This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week on July 12th, 2011 and was written by Jeremy Deutsch.
Like so many industries following the 2008 economic meltdown and ensuing recession, steady may not be so bad.
That can also be said for the real-estate market in the Kamloops area.
Kamloops Century 21 realtor Kirsten Mason said the market isn’t in the same place as it was before the recession of 2008 — when homes were flying off the market — but it has remained consistent in the years since.
According to numbers from the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association, home sales in the first six months of 2011 dropped slightly — to 1,031 from 1,140 the previous year.
The number of residential listings also dipped — to 2,920 from 2,981 in 2010.
The median price for a home hasn’t changed much, either, with the average home in Kamloops selling for $352,000.
The majority of homes being sold in Kamloops are between $200,000 and $400,000.
Mason, who also writes for her own Kamloops real estate blog, suggested the market still favours buyers, noting there is plenty of inventory from which to choose.
She has also come across homeowners who purchased at the height of the market, but haven’t been able to sell their property at that same price.
“It is now taking more time for properties to sell and listings sitting on the market for over 60 to 90 days is not unusual,” Mason said.
“There are definitely still the buyers/sellers who are moving within the city, but it seems like a lot of people are taking the wait-and-see attitude.”
She predicted the market will likely remain in the same state for the rest of 2011.
With plenty of houses on the market already, it should be no surprise the number of new houses being built has also taken a tumble.
According to statistics from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the number of housing starts in June dropped to 20 from a high of 54 the previous year.
That pushed the overall starts down to 100 for the first half of the year, compared to 194 through the first six months in 2010.
The number of multi-family starts also declined slightly — to 159 from 178 in the first half of 2011.
Overall, housing starts dropped by 30 per cent in Kamloops in the first six months of the year.
The drop in starts in Kamloops is in line with other communities in the region, such as Kelowna, which recorded a 24 per cent drop in starts.
Permit statistics from the city’s building department are expected to be presented to council on June 19 as part of a mid-year report.