The Kamloops real estate market appears to be picking up in time for the fall after a slow summer for sales.
The Interior Realtors Association recorded 165 residential sales in and around Kamloops in August, down from 194 in July, and a decrease of 42.5% compared to August 2021.
Chelsea Mann, vice president of the association, said there are a couple of reasons the local market has had a slow season.
“Our summer was slow to start, like the weather, that once it started, people just wanted to get out of town and enjoy it. So that was one thing. Obviously when wildfire season comes around, that always slows things down, people get very nervous and their minds are elsewhere,” Mann said.
Mann said interest rates also have an impact on purchasing power, noting that it also caused some “mistrust” in the market.
“Some people had to jump right in before their rate changed, and then others just thought, ‘I’m going to wait a bit,’ and it seemed like all of those things happened at the same time.”
Mann said market activity appears to be picking up, which is typical for the fall.
“Just more activity on their listings showings that were really quiet for a few weeks, now it’s picking up,” he said.
“So that’s really good to see.”
Mann said Kamloops home prices have “leveled off” over the summer, and the city has almost reached August 2021 price levels after seeing some slight declines in recent months.
Mann said Kamloops is often flat while other markets see more drastic changes.
“[Prices] are almost the same as last year at the same time. And then, month after month, they’ve had minimal declines,” Mann said.
“Our Kamloops market is a little different than BC in general. If you were to look at the Fraser Valley, for example, they have a different story to tell. Their prices have dropped quite dramatically. But they were also dramatically taller than us.”
Data from the Interior Realtors Association indicates that there has been a 126 percent increase in the number of overall active listings in Kamloops compared to August of last year.
Mann said it appears the market is still trending toward more balance.
“[There’s] a little less stress for buyers, they have more houses to choose from. We are in our fourth month of consistently adding 50 percent more new listings than are actually selling. So it’s a good opportunity for buyers to take a breather, actually find the home they really love, do their due diligence,” Mann said.
She said she’s seen more frequent home inspections, financing, and for sale clauses.
“In fact, we are negotiating houses, something that we have not been able to do for so, so long. So now you’re not always looking at an asking price like ‘How much more can I pay above that asking price?’ Because that’s how it was for a while,” Mann said.
“I’ve had customers come to me and say, ‘Are we allowed to undercut? Is it something we can do? And it’s like, yeah, now, that’s something that’s reasonable.”
Mann said it’s hard to predict what’s next, but the Kamloops market feels like it may behave more along typical seasonal trends: busy in the fall, slower in the December holiday season.
Mann said it’s hard to predict how much of an impact interest rate hikes will have on the Kamloops market, especially since it’s unknown whether the government will seek to continue raising rates.
“There’s a combination of things that have gotten us to where we are now, it’s not just interest rates. I think commonly, you see a bigger effect six, nine months down the line from any kind of government interventions, interest rates and things like that,” Mann said.
“Looking forward, it’s really hard to know exactly how much of an effect it will have.”