Real estate has been moving very briskly in Kimberley since last summer. Bulletin file

Real estate has been moving very briskly in Kimberley since last summer. Bulletin file

Hot Kimberley real estate market leads to tightened inventory

Real estate sales in the entire Kootenay region have been brisk for almost a year, and Kimberley is no different. Houses are selling almost as quickly as they hit the market. But there is a downside to the boom. There is growing concern about the lack of inventory.

Darren Close, managing broker for Royal LePage East Kootenay Realty, says he has been selling homes in Kimberley and area for over 15 years, and he has never seen inventory levels this low.

“Usually there are 80 to 100 single family homes on the market,” he said. “Right now there are 19, with six on offer already. That’s crazy low.”

Close says inventory levels have been shifting into the lower range for the past five years, but have really lowered since COVID-19.

The difference, he says, is that many people have realized they can work from home, and that allows them to live wherever they want.

“It’s all about demand,” he said of the shrinking inventory. “People can live where they want to live. Telus brought fibre in to Kimberley and it’s a robust little town with a warm vibe. It’s not necessarily getting people to list homes that’s the problem, it’s population growth. The market place isn’t meeting demand.”

Even developments currently underway are usually pre-sold before they are finished, he said.

“We need more product. We need more land to come to market, more rental buildings, townhouses — like the Watkins School site, that’s a great development.”

A hot market can stress the rental market as well, Close says. Rent can only increase so much before the landlord decides to sell, he said. And it’s really tough for buyers.

The international school, when built, will add to demand, he said, as parents will want to have a place to stay when they visit their kids. And a lot of owners are living in their condos now, which then presents a challenge for tourist accommodators, reducing the number of units available for short term rental.

“There is no short term solution. But there has to be some discussion with developers, and the city about available land. If we don’t do something it will just burden those of us living here, cost wise.”

When asked for comment, Mayor Don McCormick said that there is not a lot the city can do itself.

“As a municipality, we do not control the major considerations that impact housing inventory: the Rental Tennancy Act that right now discourages being a landlord. We do not directly control developer engagement – who they are or what they wish to build; and we do not control how investment properties are managed (long term versus short term). What we do control is the environment that either encourages or discourages investment. Land availability and approving and processing permits are key for developers and builders.

“Staff are working hard to keep pace. You can understand their challenge when only once since 2012 have there been more new dwellings created than demand from net population growth.”

READ: Hot Kootenay real estate market shows no signs of slowing

READ: July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

While pharmacies across B.C. are using AstraZeneca for public immunizations for people 40 years of age and older, there is no availability currently in the Kootenays. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
No AstraZeneca vaccine availability in Kootenay pharmacies, says Interior Health

Vaccine has been opened up at pharmacies in other areas of the province to people 40 years of age and older

Michel-Natal-Sparwood Heritage Society runs a museum that was established to display the heritage of the "no-longer towns" of Michel and Natal, and the Elk Valley Area. Photo Submitted/Monica Beranek, Artifact Curator
Sparwood to support museum financially through to December 2022

The district will provide financial support for the museum to hire a full-time director

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Most Read