Real estate in Trail and the Kootenays had a robust August with home sales up over 30 per cent compared to 2019. (Canadian Press photo)

Kootenay home sales are on the rise

The number of residential home sales in the Kootenays rose over 30 per cent in August 2020

August home sales in Trail and the Kootenays shot up over 30 per cent from last year.

According to Kootenay Association of Realtors, 426 residential homes sold last month in the East and West Kootenays as opposed to 319 in 2019, for an increase of 33.5 per cent.

“While the market’s performance may seem significantly higher compared to 2019, we must remember that 2019 was a slightly weaker year for the Kootenay real estate market,” says KAR President Tyler Hancock.

The City of Trail saw 24 homes sold in the month of August, the most for the month in the past decade, and 10 more than 2019.

However, despite the upswing in sales, the active listings were at their lowest in two decades, listing 40 in 2020 compared with 63 in 2019 and 155 homes for sale in 2011.

“Covid-19 has certainly had an impact on our lives, and we are still looking for ways to navigate through this tough time,” said Hancock. “It is imperative that we look at all the aspects that the pandemic may have had an impact on. As we stand, our inventory levels have not been lower in the last two decades.”

In the West Kootenay, 164 listings were sold in the month of August compared to 144 last year, with an average price of $387,810.

In Trail, the average price for a residential home was $237,744, while Rossland’s homes averaged $508,494 this year.

Rossland’s home sales for August also were up from last year with seven homes sold, compared to two in 2019, and 11 new listings.

In Fruitvale, the village saw six home sales last month, up from four in August 2019, and a total of 23 homes sold since January.

The average home price increased from $296,000 in 2019 to $409,750 in August 2020.

Montrose, bucked the trend, with only one home sold in August and 10 in total in 2020, compared to five in Aug. last year, and 20 in the first eight months of 2019.

The East Kootenay market sold 262 units compared to 175 in Aug. 2019 with a 2020 average price of $401, 629.

The rise is significant considering the dip to 145 unit sales across the Kootenays in April when the coronavirus hit.

Year-to-date sales however are down slightly in the West Kootenay, 5.6 per cent, with 796 units sold in 2020 and 844 in 2019.

Conversely, East Koottenay is seeing a 4.6 per cent increase in YTD sales with 1,230 this year compared to 1,175 in 2019.

According to Hancock, lower inventory affects average prices in the region, as buyers are willing to pay more for a desired property in an effort to beat out competing bids.

As a result, average residential prices across the Kootenays have crept up from $333,332 per unit in January to $396,310 in August.

“We may see the rise in average prices continue and reach the $400k mark in September,” added Hancock.

“As average prices go up, we may find that there will be more sellers wanting to benefit as well. But we must remember that we are still dealing with a pandemic and sellers may be wary to list their property during this time.

“If we continue to remain supply starved, the next quarter will bring in an interesting time for us realtors, in the Kootenay real estate market.”

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