KAMLOOPS — If you were among those buying or selling a home in Kamloops last year, you were in good company.
It's been a long two and a half year search. But for Melanie Andrews, it was a wait well worth it.
WATCH ABOVE: Full story by Reporter Tanya Cronin
"We looked at probably 20 to 25 houses over that time, took our time. We were first time homebuyers so we were renting and weren't in a big rush and found this place in December," says Andrews.
A 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, double garage, single family strata home, located in Juniper. At a purchase price of $375,000 it was the perfect place for Melanie and her husband, to get into the market.
"We really wanted something where we had our own house and we had lots of room, and the reason we went with strata is because it's more affordable to get that kind of space."
It seems that was the feeling many people had. The Kamloops housing market posted double digit sales growth in 2015, up 14% Realtor Tracy Moffett says first time homebuyers were just one reason the local market was so hot.
"I think people are taking advantage of the low interest rates, whether they're upsizing to a bigger house, we saw a lot of people move back from Alberta, unfortunately things aren't going so well over there. Then an overall sense of people moving within Kamloops," says Moffett of Royal Lepage-Westwin Realty.
2,572 residential units were sold last year, the dominent portion of the activity in single family home sales which came in at over 1800. In Kamloops, Brocklehurst was the number one area to buy a home last year, followed by Aberdeen and several parts of Sahali.
"We've been a real stable market here and we're still affordable, you go to Kelowna, you're going to spend a lot more money, Vancouver of course is super expensive right now, so the prices in Kamloops are definitely attractive," says Moffett.
The median sale price of a home in Kamloops for December was $375,000 with the peak in November, at $393,000. Houses selling between 300 and 400,000 sold quickly, with most properties only staying on the market for a day or two.
"We had a couple places where they were taken out from under us, one place where we looked and there was an offer, we were ready to put an offer in but an offer was already accepted before we had a chance to put an off in, it was a challenge in that way," says Andrews.
Somewhat frustrating for buyers like Melanie, but a positive sign the local real estate sector is strong, and forecasters say it's expected to stay that way through 2016.
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