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Typical house price in Kelowna still under $1M

Much is made of the $1 million milestone.

After all, it's one-million-dollars, that seven-digit number that denotes rich, expensive and luxury.

In real estate, it's a magic figure that makes some people despondent because it's unaffordable, others excited because they can afford it or that their house is worth that much.

In January, according to data from the 2,600-member Association of Interior Realtors, the benchmark selling price of a typical single-family home in Kelowna was $989,800.

Oh, so close to the $1 million breakthrough, but not quite there.

The $989,800 benchmark is up 2.3% from the $966,500 it was at the end of 2023.

</who>Chelsea Mann is president of the 2,600-member Association of Interior Realtors.

For the past 21 months, the benchmark price in the city has fluctuated slightly above and slightly below the $1-million mark.

It was in April 2022 that the benchmark peaked at $1,131,800 as the housing market wrapped up its post-pandemic boom before runaway inflation and skyrocketing mortgage interest rates pulled the pin on sales and deflated prices.

It likely won't be long before the single-family home benchmark selling price in Kelowna is back over $1 million.

January showed a little post-Christmas spark in the local housing market with a mixed bag of sales activity and price movement.

</who>This 2,800-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bedroom house on Keyes Road in Rutland is listed for sale for $989,000, which is just a little less than the $989,800 benchmark selling price of a typical single-family home in Kelowna in January.

"Typically, we see less sales activity in the winter than the summer, however, not usually straight out of the gate after the holiday season," said Association of Interior Realtors president Chelsea Mann.

"It seems spring may be arriving early in terms of real estate activity along with the warmer temperatures."

To put it in numbers, 79 single-family homes sold in January in the Central Okanagan, down ever so marginally from the 82 sales in December, but up 23% from January 2023.

For townhouses, the benchmark selling price of a typical one last month was $728,000, off slightly from December's $731,600 and well down from the record-high of $829,000 in May 2022.

In January, only 28 townhouses changed hands in the Central Okanagan, down from 29 in December and a 20% plummet from January 2023.

Last month, 57 condominiums sold in the city, up from 45 in December and a 10% increase from January 2023.

The benchmark selling price of a typical condo in the Central Okanagan in January was $485,400, a bump from $480,800 in December, but a significant drop from the record-high of $557,700 in April 2022.

While prices of single-family homes, townhouses and condos are all less than they were at their peak in early 2022, that certainly doesn't mean they are more affordable.

Higher mortgage interest rates means it's harder to qualify for a mortgage and potential home buyers actually have less buying power than they did two years ago.

As well, there's a shortage of homes for sale in all categories in Kelowna because construction can't keep up and people are constantly moving here and moving around.

It creates a confounding scenario that slows down sales because prices are high and many people can afford them, yet prices remain high because there's still competition.

That competition is mainly people moving here from Vancouver, Victoria or Toronto, where home prices are higher, so Kelowna is a bit of a deal.

Or, it's people that already live in Kelowna that have seen equity in their home escalate like crazy over the past decade and they can afford to sell and buy something bigger and better and still pocket some cash.



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