Wildfires can make it difficult to get a new home insurance policy in parts of the Okanagan, but that hasn’t slowed down the housing market, according to a local real estate agent.
“This is not a new problem for the Okanagan. This is something that has happened in the past and we are all educated about it and our customers are well served with our local knowledge, ”said Lyndi Cruickshank of Engel & Volkers South Okanagan.
Cruickshank, also vice president of the Association of Interior Realtors, said agents work closely with insurance companies and lawyers to ensure purchase contracts are designed to accommodate potential delays. that buyers might face to get the coverage required for banks to lend to them.
This has forced some deal closing dates to be pushed back, Cruickshank said, but that’s no reason to stop shopping for a new home and even more so to work with an experienced real estate agent in the Okanagan.
Rob de Pruis, spokesperson for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, suggested that it is equally important to deal with experienced insurance brokers.
“We know there are about 100 insurance companies in British Columbia that offer some level of home or home insurance. might be able to place a blanket, ”said de Pruis.
“There are options available and every insurance company is a competitor and they all have different operating policies and procedures.”
For example, some companies will not write a new policy if there is an active forest fire within 25 kilometers of the property in question, de Pruis continued, while others will not write a new policy if the property in question is covered by an evacuation alert.
But there might be other options available, like adding a new home to an existing policy or putting a new owner on an existing policy.
“It’s just a matter of shopping around, making a few phone calls and talking to a knowledgeable broker,” said de Pruis.
Meanwhile, home prices continued to rise in the Okanagan into the early summer, despite declining year-over-year sales.
New data from the Association of Interior Realtors shows residential sales in the Okanagan totaled 1,074 in July, down 21% from the same month last year.
More striking was the 30% drop in new listings with 1,474 properties put on the market last month, down from 2,096 a year earlier.
This raised the benchmark price for a single-family home in the central Okanagan to $ 934,000, up 32% from July 2020. The same benchmark home in the North Okanagan has increased in value by 32% to $ 667,000 and in the South Okanagan by 27%. to $ 780,000.
“We live in a very desirable area, so it’s no surprise that strong buyer demand has remained constant during the summer months. Although sales are down from last year, this is likely due to the lack of inventory associated with the normal seasonality of the real estate market, ”Kim Heizmann, president of the Association of Interior Realtors, said in a statement. Press.
“There is a gap in the supply of active listings compared to the amount of demand that we know. It will be interesting to see if this gap between supply and demand narrows in the coming months.
Thinking of moving? Here are the benchmark * and average selling prices for homes in the Okanagan in July 2021.
SOUTH OF OKANAGAN **
Single-family: $ 780K
Townhouse: $ 457,000
Condo / apartment: $ 361K
Single-family: $ 934K
Townhouse: $ 643,000
Condo / apartment: $ 453,000
NORTH OF OKANAGAN
Single family: $ 667K
Townhouse: $ 448,000
Condo / apartment: $ 285,000
Source: Association of Interior Real Estate Agents
* Benchmark properties are those with what the Association of Realtors considers to be “typical” assets and is considered a more accurate indicator than a simple average.
** Reference prices are not yet available for the South Okanagan as the area is a new addition to the Association of Realtors.