Sitting about a 4-hour drive northeast of Vancouver, the city of Kamloops, British Columbia has a real estate market that is quickly heating up. An area that is only a fraction of the size of the province’s largest city, Vancouver, with an estimated population of just over 100,000, Kamloops is quickly becoming the ideal destination for those who want to escape the big city and purchase a house in a quieter destination.
Known as being one of the sunniest areas in British Columbia, Kamloops is located in the Thompson Valley and is surrounded by mountains, rivers, deserts, and grasslands. With a vast landmass and a population density of only 17.4 people per square kilometer, the city of Kamloops has everything to offer for families looking for more space to live in, as well as a breathtakingly beautiful landscape outside your window. How has the homebuying shift away from larger urban centres impacted local real estate markets like Kamloops? Let’s explore:
Kamloops Real Estate Continuing to Heat Up
During the first quarter of 2021, the Kamloops real estate market continued to see double-digit increases across many metrics. This trend has continued well into the spring, with the number of homes sold through the MLS System of the Kamloops & District Real Estate Board totalling 395 units in the month of April. When compared to just one year ago, April 2020, the number of sold units has more than doubled this past month – an increase of 229.2%! Not only is this an astonishing increase but it is also an all-time record for the month of April.
The year-to-date metric of homes sold also hit some astounding highs, with total sales thus far in 2021 reaching 1,332 units – almost tying the record of sales in the first 4 months of a year. “Home sales posted the best April on record and just missed tying the all-time record set in May 2007 by only two sales,” said Chelsea Mann, President of the Kamloops & District Real Estate Board.
While home sales slightly slowed down in April, compared to March 2021, properties are still flying off the shelf at an expeditious pace. The relatively minute slow down, however, has allowed for inventory levels to begin to climb back up to a sustainable level. Chelsea Mann adds, “home sales continued at a breakneck pace in April, although slightly less so than the month before. As a result, overall supply levels have temporarily stopped falling but the next few months will tell whether this is just a blip or the beginning of a floor for inventories. In the meantime, market conditions remain among the tightest in history and year-over-year price gains have now moved north of 30%.”
The consistently low inventory within the Kamloops housing market has led to fierce bidding wars across the city, leading to sharp increases in home prices. In fact, the average residential home price in April 2021 was $549,056 – another record. This is a drastic 31.9% increase on the median price from just one year ago in April 2020. The trend spills over into the year-to-date price which saw an increase of $530,783 in the first four months of 2021, compared to that of 2020.
What’s to Come for the Kamloops Housing Market?
Based on the above figures, many assume that the Kamloops real estate market – and the rest of Canada – is experiencing a housing bubble. However, Kamloops recently underwent a surge in new residential listings, which may hopefully help to balance out conditions in this red-hot market.
The number of new listings in April 2021 surpassed both the five and 10-year averages for the month – hinting that supply may begin to pick up. While the vast number of new listings is helping to prevent a bubble, the current figure is not quite high enough to keep up with the current demand – inventory at the end of April was 37.3% less than that of just one year ago. This being said, industry observers are confident that Kamloops isn’t currently in a bubble, and thus is not at any risk of a “pop” in the near future.
In order for a bubble to burst, new listings need to consistently outpace demand, thus allowing prices to fall once again – something that is not anticipated to happen in 2021. So, if you are looking to purchase a property in beautiful Kamloops, and take advantage of the beautifully diverse geographical landscape, get in while you can, as prices are on an upward trajectory for the months ahead!