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August wildfires barely dent Okanagan home sales, stats show

Seventy-two fewer units sold between July and August, according to Association of Interior Realtors
Kelowna city centre. Benchmark home prices in the Central Okanagan increased even as wildfires raged last month.

Wildfires slowed the local real estate market slightly in August, but not enough to make a serious dent.

Association of Interior Realtors released its monthly statistics on Wednesday, and it found a decrease in the number of sales last month compared to July. A total of 1,265 residential unit sales were recorded across the entire AIR region in August, which was down from last month’s 1,337 units sold.

There were 359 units sold in the Central Okanagan last month, which was down from 408 in July and 504 in June.

“While sales activity seems muted compared to the unusually high activity over the last few years, when comparing to pre-pandemic years it held up pretty steadily in August,” AIR president Chelsea Mann said in a press release. “The high cost of borrowing and the raging wildfires across the province likely played a part in subduing market activity.

“This is, however, a welcomed calming of sorts, as it allows both buyers and sellers to make more informed decisions as opposed to having to expedite their decisions in order to either beat the competition or to outrun rising mortgage rate hikes.”

Benchmark prices in the Central Okanagan increased in all three categories over last month. The single-family mark jumped half a percentage point to $1,068,600, the townhouse price moved up 2.3% to $786,000, and the apartment/condominium figure increased 2.1% to $525,700.

It was a different story in the North Okanagan, where the single-family ($763,100) and townhouse ($576,400) benchmark prices both fell from July to August. The apartment-condominium mark increased 2.4% to $350,400.

There were 145 units sold in the North Okanagan last month.