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House prices climb, but sales slow in Kamloops

It's the summer real estate market.

It's not supposed to make sense.

As such, while home sales in Kamloops slowed further in July, prices managed to escalate.

</who>Chelsea Mann is the president of the 2,600-member Association of Interior Realtors and a realtor with Century 21 Realty Executives in Kamloops.

"Seasonally, it is characteristic to see sales activity cool during the hot summer month, which given the slight dip from activity in June, isn't surprising," said Chelsea Mann, president of the 2,600-member Association of Interior Realtors and a realtor with Century 21 Realty Executives in Kamloops.

To put that in numbers, there were 212 sales of all kinds (single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums) in Kamloops in July, a slide from 230 in June and 233 in May.

Generally, a slowdown in sales means demand has softened and prices slip back, too.

</who>This three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,500-square-foot house on Hillcrest Avenue is listed for sale for $673,900, which is close to the $672,900 benchmark selling price of a typical single-family home in Kamloops in July.

However, in July, the benchmark selling price of a typical single-family home trotted up to $672,900 from $651,700 in June.

The benchmark for a townhouse in July was $544,000, an increase from $538,200 in June.

Bucking the price trend were condos, which had a July benchmark of $402,600, down a bit from $404,300 in June.

Normally in summer, home sellers and buyers take a bit of a break.

They have other things to do -- vacation, sip a cold one on the patio, hop on the boat, hop into the lake and generally avoid anything that had too much to do with work or decision making.

After sales peaked in 2021 and prices set record highs in 2022, Kamloops' residential real estate market has been in flux due to inflation and higher mortgage interest rates scaring buyers and sellers and potential buyers and sellers.

Sales and prices were on a slow upward trajectory from the late-2022, early-2023 doldrums when summer came and disrupted everything.

There could be slight, further erosion in sales and possibly prices this month as summer continues hot and people find other fun things to do besides buy and sell homes.

Another indication sales are slowing is the number of days it takes to sell a home.

That's 52 for single-family, a 29% increase from last year, 43 for townhouses (for 71% longer) and 55 for condos, 51% longer.

However, prices are expected to remain relatively stable and maybe even climb some more because inventory of homes for sale is low.

With not a lot of choice on the market, sellers can be somewhat firm on price.

"While inventory is gaining momentum, low supply is still an issue and a primary factor driving price growth," said Mann.

"It is promising to see some typical market activity despite high interest rate hikes creating a challenging climate for buyers and sellers."

However, that promise only goes so far.

Kamloops home prices are still historically high and that means many people are priced out of the market.

Some who would like to sell the house they own to move up into a bigger and better one are holding tight; others are renting, even though they'd like to buy; others still are renting and sharing with roommates because that's all they can afford right now; and finally, some are still living with mom and dad because they can't afford to rent or buy currently.

Mann said the trend may even be going farther.

"With consumers feeling pinched by high mortgage rates, some buyers have gravitated towards eyeing other geographical regions with more affordable options," she said.

That could mean a buyer settles on a cheaper neighbourhood and home in Kamloops.

Or, it might also mean a buyer forgoing Kamloops all together and purchasing in more affordable outlying region.

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