January 9, 2023
Looking back on the year that was 2022 for real estate here in Kelowna, it’s like a tale of two years rolled up into one.
At the start of 2022, we had little listing inventory and high buyer demand. I relied on my network and colleagues to get the jump on any ‘coming soon’ listings or ‘pocket listings’ to give my buyer clients any opportunity for success. Having listings appeared to be quick and easy work, but managing multiple offers, many of which had little or no subject conditions, can be stressful and risky if not done with care and skill. Many times that seller, once their home was sold in a day, becomes a buyer in the same type of market, which adds onto the madness.
At the end of 2022, it was a much different tale. We still had low listing inventory, but demand had already shifted significantly. Buyers were negotiating with sellers and in many cases, had the upper hand.
We saw the peak of our Okanagan real estate market come in May. That’s when things started to taper off. There were signs of hope for buyers, when new listings would come on with an offer deadline date, and we’d hear there were no offers, or the seller would be now “looking at offers anytime”. More and more, sellers were getting ghosted on offer date, until the point where they were all coming to market and ready to do business with anybody willing to deal with them.
We watched as interest rates rose, gas prices went up over $2.00/L, groceries became more expensive; everything started to cost more. People got a bit more conservative with spending, RV’s and boats appeared on Facebook Marketplace, expensive cars and trucks had price reductions, as did much of our listing inventory in Kelowna, West Kelowna and surrounding areas.
It’s all relative though, keeping with the theme that you don’t wait to buy real estate, you buy real estate and wait. Time heals everything. We saw this in 2015 and 2016 when the market went crazy, then cooled off the next 2 years. Those who panicked and sold for a loss in 2017 and 2018, were kicking themselves in hindsight when Covid made everything go berserk. Anybody who bought earlier in 2022 may seem like they’re underwater if they sell today, but remember… buy real estate and wait.
The average benchmark price for single family homes in Central Okanagan in December 2022 was $1,002,400. 3 months prior it was $981,800. 6 months prior it was $1,091,400. A year previous it was $1,037,900. 3 years ago $687,000.
2023 will be an interesting year, and we’re all watching with anticipation. Everybody’s situation is different, so there’s no one set way to move forward. I would predict we’ll see more stability and less of a roller coaster ride in the next 12 months; let’s see if I’m right.