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Kamloops' summer housing market means higher prices, lower sales

It's a bit confounding.

Summer hits in Kamloops, temperatures rise, the kids are out of school, the living is easy and we go into holiday mode.

Many people put any notion of buying or selling a home out of their mind for the season.

So, home sales slip.

Yet, despite less activity, prices continue to rise.

See, I told you it's all slightly counterintuitive.

Last month in the Kamloops, 230 homes of all kinds (single-family, townhouse and condominium) changed hands, according to just-released figures from the 2,600-member Association of Interior Realtors.

That's down ever so slightly from the 233 sales in May, but up from the 159 in April and 172 in March.

Seems May represented the spring bump in home sales.

This month is expected to see even softer sales compared to June as people really do the summer check-out from home buying and selling.

Yet, in June the benchmark selling prices for a typical single-family home, townhouse and condo in the city continued to climb.

</who>This 1,600-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home on Harrison Place is listed for sale for $674,900, which is just a little more than the $651,700 benchmark selling price for a typical single-family home in Kamloops in June.

For instance, last month the single-family benchmark was $651,700, up from $633,700 in May and $635,400 in April.

The same trends holds true for townhouses with last month's benchmark at $538,200, a rise from $524,200 in May and $527,300 in April.

When it comes to condos, the June benchmark was a new record-high of $404,300, up from $390,600 in May and $373,400 in April.

The old record of $403,323 was set in June 2022 as the market came off its pandemic boom.

While prices are certainly on an upward trajectory compared to earlier this year, June's benchmarks for single-family homes and townhouses are are still well off the record highs set in the spring of 2022 -- $820,990 for a single-family home and $569,400 for a townhouse.

Current sales pace is down considerably from 2021 when the market was booming as people went into a pandemic buying frenzy to get the home they wanted in the area they wanted, especially if they were going to be working from home.

That same spree sent prices to their peaks in mid-2022.

Then, the pandemic ended, inflation skyrocketed and mortgage interest rates shot up.

Consumer confidence deflated and sales and prices dropped as everyone sobered up.

While the market has improved since its bottom in late 2022-early 2023, it is still nowhere near the boom of 2021-early 2022.

So, one could say Kamloops' market has stabilized, balanced and will now follow more sane seasonal flows.

However, down and balanced does not mean affordable.

Kamloops prices are still out of reach for many, especially potential first-time homebuyers.


"Demand for affordable housing is at an all-time high," said Chelsea Mann, president of the Association of Interior Realtors.

"However, there is still a segment of the market that is not available to meet certain buyer's needs due to the high cost of lending, in particular affordable housing."

While buyers acted with abandon during the boom, today's buyer is cautious.

"Competitively priced homes and those in the mid-range price points are moving at a more even pace than those at the higher end," said Mann.

"The costs of carrying mortgages could impact sales activity as interest rate sensitive buyers can no longer afford what they could have a year or so ago."

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