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Is the Kelowna housing market turning a corner?

It all depends on how you want to look at it.

Yes, home sales in Kelowna were up in February compared to January.

The benchmark selling prices of townhouses and condominiums in the city climbed slightly last month compared to January.

That's good news and indicates the local housing market may have bottomed out and is now stabilizing.

However, if you're comparing to boomtime February 2022, February 2023's sales are down by over 50% and prices are well off the record highs set last spring.

</who>This 2,500-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom house on McLennan Crescent in Kelowna is listed for sale for $970,000, which is just a little less than the $971,300 benchmark selling price of a typical single-family home in the city in February.

So, it's all relative.

Baby steps for now while the frenzied pace of sales and price escalations are well in the rear view mirror.

"The uptick in sales activity compared to the previous month suggests that we are heading in a positive direction," said Lyndi Cruickshank, president of the 2,600-member Association of Interior Realtors.

"The overstimulated boom of the last few years, along with multiple mortgage rate hike made many buyers and sellers hesitant to make any moves. Now that the dust is starting to settle, these buyers and sellers can move forward in a transitionally healthier real estate market more reminiscent of pre-pandemic conditions."

Let's put this all into numbers, according to the Association of Interior Realtors.

In Kelowna last month, 123 single-family homes sold, up from 63 in January, but still a 47% plummet from the 231 sales in February 2022 when the market was red-hot.

The benchmark selling price of a typical single-family home in February in Kelowna was $971,300, slightly off the $976,800 of January and a $160,500 plunge from the record-high of $1,131,800 in April 2022.

For townhouses, last month there were only 39 sales, up ever so slightly from the 36 of January and well off the 99 sales of February 2022.

The benchmark selling price of a typical townhouse in Kelowna in February was $742,200, up a bit from the $741,600 in January, and down significantly from the record-high of $829,000 in May 2022.

When it comes to condos, there were 74 sales in February, up from 52 in January, but still less than half of the 167 sales in February 2022.

The benchmark selling price of a typical condo in Kelowna edged up to $496,300 in February from $492,900 in January, but still well off the record-high of $557,000 in April 2022.

Despite prices softening from last spring's pinnacle, Kelowna is still unaffordable for many.

That's why there's still no rush to buy homes that have been discounted.

Another sign of sales picking up is the reduced average number of days it takes to sell a property.

In February that was 61 days for single-family homes, down from 81 in January.

For townhouses, last month it was 42 days, down from 56 in January.

However, for condos, in February it took 76 sales to sell, up from 65 in January.

When the market was hot last spring, most homes sold within a month of being listed, often for more than list price because there were multiple bidders.

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