Housing market ‘softening’ in October, says real estate agent

Looking to buy a home? Prices have been reduced in October

The Central Okanagan’s housing market prices are “softening” according to a real estate agent.

But they’re still going for their asking price, said real estate agent Andrew Smith, with Royal LePage.

“Prices are certainly softening, and with absolute certainty, the number of unit sales is softening, but the list to sell number, the percentage, that number stays consistent in hot markets and slow markets, and that is approximately 98 per cent of (asking price). So we’re not a community where a $500,000 condo wouldn’t get offers of $450,000,” he said.

However, agents are seeing more price reductions in homes. “There’s no question we’re seeing a lot more price reductions than we saw in 2017 (and) 2016. They’re rolling in every day,” Smith said.

RELATED: Okanagan real estate market cools off

For October, the average sale price of a home was $705,000 with 190 residential house sales. Last year’s sales had an average of $771,000 with 254 sales, he said.

“We’re in danger in the next new months of having it dip into the $600,000s again,” he said.

However, one month doesn’t make a market, added Smith.

“If you look at year-to-date numbers…the average sale prices are significantly higher this year compared to last year. Last year was $708,000 and this year is $771,000 and that’s based on 2,600 sales for 2017 and 2,100 for 2018. So we’re about 500 unit sales off last year, but prices are up.”

As to where the Central Okanagan’s housing market will go, that is still up in the air considering the province’s speculation tax and the uncertainty with this year’s interest rates, Smith said.

RELATED: Housing slowdown forecast to cool B.C. economy

Young people are also moving to multi-family developments like The Verve in Glenmore, instead of single-family home areas like Rutland or Glenrosa in West Kelowna, places where they traditionally moved to, he said.

And, according to Smith, the bright side is houses aren’t going for less than they’re worth in the current market.

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