The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in March hit a record high as they continued their rebound from the lows of earlier this year when the COVID-19 froze the market. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

Seller’s market continues for Kootenay homeowners

In Trail, sales were up almost 40 per cent from the same time last year …

Throughout the Kootenays, monthly sales numbers have been record-breaking for 12 months in a row, as home prices continue to rise.

The Kootenay Association of Realtors reports that a total of 372 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in March 2021, a rise of 84.1 per cent from March 2020.

The average MLS residential price in the region was $428,629, a 25 per cent rise from $342,708 recorded in the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume in March was $159.4 million, a 130.7 per cent rise over March 2020, which stood at $69.2 million.

“For the last five years we had seen consistent sales numbers but that trend has been disrupted by the pandemic,” said KAR President, Chuck Bennett. “Such a change in market behaviour can be attributed to buyer fatigue that the region has seen since the 2016 hot market. As the demand for residential properties continues to grow, we will see this uptrend in the coming months as well.”

In Trail, sales were up almost 40 per cent from the same time last year, with 18 residential units sold in March 2021 compared to 11 in 2020. There were also 29 new listings last month compared to 20 in 2020.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, 36 residential homes have sold in Trail this year, slightly more than previous years except for 2012 when 37 homes sold. Yet, inventory is down to a 10-year low with an average of 28 homes listed at the end of each month since January, compared to 33 last year and 136 active listings in 2012.

In Rossland there is a drop in active listings from 39 in March, 2020 to 23 in 2021, however, sales indicate a significant rise from three in March 2020 to 14 last month. New listings were also up with 12 this year compared to 10 in the same month last year.

The average price for a Rossland residence is $482,420, compared to $681,908 in Nelson and $343,069 in Trail.

Falling inventory numbers across BC has led to a surge in average prices, and an increase in demand, which Bennett believes will be met in the coming months.

“In the Kootenays, it is true that homes are currently selling with multiple offers,” said Bennett. “Not just compared to a small dip in sales in March last year but even looking at our performance in the last five years, we have sold more month-on-month.

“In such a scenario, inventory numbers are bound to be low. However, our YTD numbers suggest that there is no downtrend in the number of new listings that we’re adding. We’ve been vocal about low inventory in the last few months but since the start of 2021, we’ve been adding new listings at a faster rate.

“As average prices are bound to rise in multiple offer situations, as a realtor I can attest that this is a good time for the sellers in the market. Which in turn is the reason why we will continue to see more new listings in the market through summer. There is a spike in average prices indeed, but it is more of a consistent rise that we see in healthy markets.”

Year-to-date (YTD), Kootenay MLS residential sales dollar volume in March was $372.9 million, 102.4 per cent higher as compared to the sum in the first three months last year.

YTD residential unit sales were up by 60.8 per cent at 875 units, while the average MLS residential price (YTD) was up by 25.7 per cent to $426,217. As of April 06, 2021, there were 865 active residential listings in the Kootenay region.

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