The year 2019 was mainly a positive one for real estate in Kamloops and the surrounding area. While sales were down slightly, low inventory and continued stable demand led to price increases in all housing categories.
While December is typically a slow month for real estate in general, sales were up sharply in Kamloops during the month this year. There were 155 home sales in December 2019 compared to just 123 last year for an increase of 26%. The number of new listings was were also up significantly in December with 188 homes hitting the market compared to 137 last year, a gain of 37%. Sales and inventory for the entire year showed a much more stable picture of real estate in Kamloops. There were 2,862 sales in 2019 compared to 2,974 in 2018, for a slight year-over-year decrease of 3.8%. New listing data was very close with 4,526 new listings in 2019 compared to 4,485 in 2018 for a very slight increase of 0.9%.
Home prices moved higher in Kamloops in all of the various housing categories. Single family home prices jumped 4.3% and averaged $485,741 in 2019 compared to $465,721 in the previous year. Town house prices were up 5.9% to $365,206 in comparison with $344,866 in 2018. Apartment prices saw a bigger increase of 11.3% rising to $271,660 in 2019 from $243,986 in 2018. The biggest increase for 2019 was in the mobile home category with average prices increasing by 17.3% to $148,669 from $126,796 in the previous year. Overall the average price for all sales categories was $418,617 in 2019 compared to $390,449 in 2018 for an annual increase of 7.2%.
December sales activity was led by South Kamloops with 16 sales followed closely by North Kamloops with 15 sales and Aberdeen with 13 sales. For the entire 2019 year, sales activity was strongest in Brocklehurst with 293 homes trading hands, followed by Sahali with 236 sales and Aberdeen with 230 sales.
Overall, the 2019 real estate market in Kamloops showed surprising stability compared to much of the rest of British Columbia, with sales in our area coming in just below the record levels set over the previous 3 years and continued improvement in average prices. Much of the remainder of British Columbia, with the exception of many northern communities, saw sharp declines in sales, significant increases in the number of listed homes, and lower prices. Sales activity in Kamloops has been picking up for the past 3 months, as it has in most parts of British Columbia recently, and this is likely to continue as we head into the early part of 2020.