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'Everyone wants a balanced housing market'

Actually, record-high prices, inventory shortages, bidding wars and rushed closings with no conditions and no home inspection don't benefit anyone in the real estate cycle.

"We all want to see a balanced market," said Lyndi Cruickshank, the new president of the 2,500-member Association of Interior Realtors.

"There's a perception out there that sellers want this market of record-high prices. But in reality (an unbalanced market of sky-high prices and few homes for sale) cripples everyone's ability to move forward."

That's going to require some more explanation from Cruickshank, who is also the managing broker and owner of Engel & Volkers South Okanagan.

"High prices are not just a purchaser's problem, but a seller's problem because that seller becomes the purchaser of tomorrow," she said.

"We've heard of a lot of people who would like to sell and move on, but aren't listing because they have to have somewhere to go and there might be no place to go (with the scarcity of homes for sales and high prices)."

</who>Lyndi Cruickshank of Engel & Volkers South Okanagan is the new president of the 2,500-member Association of Interior Realtors.

Potential buyers being priced out of the market is a common theme in the Okanagan's current red-hot market.

But we often don't hear the other side of potential sellers also steering clear because of high prices and nowhere to go.

Of course, someone could sell their house in Kelowna for the record-high benchmark selling prices of a typical single-family home of $1.13 million and move to St. John, New Brunswick where the median price for a single-family home is $289,300.

But that's not the way it works in the vast majority of transactions.

Most homeowners selling in the Okanagan want to remain in the Okanagan to continue to work, play, be with family and friends and-or retire.

Plus, they generally want to move into something bigger and better close by, which is more expensive and hard to find.

Even if the Okanagan home seller is 'downsizing' or 'rightsizing' from a single-family home to a townhouse or condominium, the process can be daunting.

Sure, the record-high benchmark selling prices are lower for a townhouse at $758,100 and a condo at $557,400.

However, there's a shortage of townhouses and condos for sale, which creates hesitancy with potential single-family home sellers.

A balanced market is just that -- balanced with stable prices so buyers and sellers have equal leverage.

Real estate is a supply-and-demand game that realtors really can't change.

"The association communicates with all levels of government and advocates for consumers," said Cruickshank.

"We will continue to support our members, and, in turn, their clients, through this very difficult period of lack of inventory."

The association Cruickshank assumes the presidency of is bigger than ever.

In 2021, the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (Central and North Okanagan and Revelstoke) amalgamated with the South Okanagan Real Estate Board, which Cruickshank used to be the president of.

The newly created Association of Interior Realtors then merged with the Kamloops & District Real Estate Association and the Kootenay Association of Realtors.

The association also represents the South Peace River area in the north.

"I am excited and honoured to be assuming the position of president," said Cruickshank.

"Our association now spans an even greater area throughout British Columbia and we are here to support the important work of realtors in their communities."

The new board of the Association of Interior Realtors takes over Friday:

- president: Lyndi Cruickshank, Engel & Volkers South Okanagan

- past-president: Kim Heizmann, Century 21 Vernon

- vice-president: Chelsea Mann, Century 21 Kamloops

- Bruce Seitz, Royal LePage East Kootenay

- Stephanie Braun, ReMax Kelowna

- Geoff Cowling, Royal LePage Penticton

- Maria Besso, ReMax Vernon

- Kaytee Sharun, Royal LePage East Kootenay

- Tina Cosman, Royal LePage Salmon Arm

- Ryan Malcolm, William Wright Commercial Kelowna

- Don Gagnon, Royal LePage Kelowna

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