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April real estate sales show cooling market in Kootenays

Residential real estate sales in the Kootenays showed signs of settling down in April after more than a year of historical high sales, according to the Association of Interior Realtors.

There were 307 residential unit sales recorded in the area last month, down 27 per cent compared to  the same time last year.

“This is not the same market we had a year ago,” president Lyndi Cruickshank said in a news release.

She noted record highs were set nearly every month in 2021, “so to say sales are down does not mean they are low. They are just lower in comparison to a time of unusual real estate market activity.”

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Cruickshank said rising interest rates will “naturally slow things down … the transition of which we are starting to see reflected in the number of sales and in the way real estate transactions are transpiring.” 

Despite fewer sales, average prices saw double-digit percentage increases across all home categories compared to the previous year, with the greatest increase occurring within the townhouse category at 23.7 per cent. 

Cruickshank said residential prices in the Kootenays have been fluctuating in the range of $430,000 to $525,000, making the region more affordable than other parts of the province.

There were 503 new listings recorded by the Kootenay multiple listing service in April, which was down six per cent, and 900 active listings overall in the Kootenay-Boundary, up 2.3 per cent. The total dollar volume of sales was $160.8 million, down 14.4 per cent.

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