The coronavirus has, without a doubt, impacted just about every aspect of our lives. Physical and social distancing has made it hard to get some of the services and products we were used to getting before. Okanagan real estate has definitely been affected as a result. Open houses are being done digitally in many cases, 360° walkthroughs of homes are being put more frequently on listings, and video tours have replaced physical tours.
Here are a few more ways COVID-19 has impacted Okanagan real estate.
Expect the Okanagan Real Estate Market to Slow Down
Although March was relatively stable (due to the impact of the coronavirus only happening at the end of the month) April likely saw a drop in numbers.
With respect to March’s numbers:
“The Okanagan saw sales totalling 551 in March, which is an increase from 435 in February and almost level with last year’s numbers of 545. In March, residential listings equalled 1365, which is a leap from February’s 939.” –Remax.ca
Despite current events, the market hasn’t collapsed in any way and is actually relatively stable right now. That being said, it’s probable that the Okanagan real estate market will slow down as people continue to socially and physically distance.
Will the Market Cool in Kelowna Specifically?
Kelowna has grown rapidly in the past few years, especially with respect to population. Mainly, this has been because of other British Columbians moving to the city in addition to people from other provinces. However, because of this rise in population, the average sale price for a detached home has become unattainable for many first–time home buyers.
To note though, this was all pre-COVID-19, and with the likely cooling of the real estate market (and lower interest rates) the market may become more attainable for first-time home buyers.
Should I Buy or Sell Right Now?
If you can find a place that suits your needs this is one of the better times to buy a home. Low interest rates, in combination with somewhat stable prices, plus greater potential to get a higher mortgage means that right now is one of the best times to invest in a home (if you can afford it). It’s unlikely that prices will see dramatic increases within the next year so even purchases late into 2020 may still be able to enjoy these benefits.
While selling has its own set of challenges due to the coronavirus, it’s still one of the best times of the year to do so. Warm weather makes it easier for people to move, and, in general, the first half of the year lends itself better to sellers. Investors and people who flip homes may see the best results during this time if home prices see a drop in the future.
A potential cooling market, and numerous factors that make it easier to buy a home right now favours first-time home buyers in the Okanagan right now. While sellers may also face challenges due to physical distancing limitations there are still plenty of ways to get your home seen online.