House for sale in downtown Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)

Kootenay real estate sales off slightly in July 2021

Strong demand, lower inventory still an issue

The Kootenay real estate market is still strong, says the latest report from the Kootenay Association of Realtors, but it has fallen off the torrid pace of a year ago.

Residential sales units were off 23.2 per cent from July 2020, but average prices were up 20 per cent, which means the total sales dollar volume in July was only 7.8 per cent less than the previous year.

KAR President Chuck Bennett says demand remains high, and as it has been for the past year or so, inventory shortage remains a concern.

“Our sales last month were close to what we had in June 2021, and I believe that the demand for homes in the Kootenay region is very much intact,” he said. “Rising average prices, on the other hand, can be correlated to the shortage of inventory that we’ve been facing for quite some time now. It is important to consider that sellers in the market are still benefiting from the multiple offer scenarios, even as the numbers suggest a fall in units sold. I expect active inventory numbers to improve as we approach fall. But as demand continues, we may be hitting record lows before that time. That being said there is no doubt that we’ll be having a record-setting year sales-wise.”

The number of new listings added in July were down and Bennett says that recent fires have had an impact.

“As our province is yet to recover fully from external factors that can affect buying and selling decisions, I can understand why the market performance was slow last month. However, as demand continues and with strong financial growth expected in the province, I see sellers being more confident about making real estate decisions in the days to come. The imbalance of supply and demand will eventually fade away, but we can’t deny that much needs to be done supply-wise.”

READ: New homeowners living near burning B.C. wildfires face tricky insurance processes

READ: CREA reports home sales down 8.4% month-over-month in June

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