Home sales went through the roof in the Kootenays last month.
The Kootenay Association of REALTORS (KAR) reported Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in September 2020 rose 52.4 per cent from September 2019, recording a total of 442 residential unit sales in the West and East Kootenays last month.
“The impact we were expecting Covid-19 to bring is not reflecting on the real estate market for several reasons,” said KAR President Tyler Hancock. “The first is pent-up demand over the last five months, and the fact that people may not want to wait until winter arrives.”
In Trail, the active listings were down from 62 in 2019 to 46 in 2020, but the number of homes sold increased to 21 this year compared to 16 in Sept. 2019. The average home price also was up more than 30 per cent from last year at $266,466.
The actual dollar volume of homes sold in September totalled $5,340,788 an increase of 76 per cent from last year.
“Realtors in the region have adapted well to changing market scenarios and have been quite successful in minimizing the impact of the pandemic,” said Hancock. “We are sitting on the cusp of a major transition in our daily lives but real estate buyer behaviour in the Kootenays appears to be unaffected.”
Rossland’s numbers also hit its highest sales activity in a decade with 10 residential homes sold in September, up 30 per cent from the same month last year. The average home price, however, dropped less than 1 per cent to $406,940.
The average price for a Kootenay home stood at $395,768, an 11.3 per cent rise from $355,442 recorded in September last year. The total sales dollar volume in September was $174.9 million, a 69 per cent rise over 2019, which stood at $103.1 million.
While sales are brisk, Trail’s MLS inventory remains at a decade low with an average of 34 homes on the market each month in 2020, compared to 55 last year, and a high of 113 in 2015.
“Sales numbers may seem to be the go-to parameter for analysts to determine market health but as a realtor, there is more to it than that,” said Hancock. “Although the numbers may seem extraordinary right now, we must not forget that these are extraordinary times as well.”
The low inventory levels may determine market behaviour in the days to come.
“I remember mentioning this last month that average prices will reach the $400-k mark by September and today we’re at $395-k. Against the ongoing trend, if we can get more homes on the market, average prices in the region will stabilize,” added Hancock.