Home sales pick up

Along with hotter weather, this spring in Terrace has brought with it a hotter real estate market.

  • Sat Apr 7th, 2012 2:00pm
  • News

LOCAL REALTORS are starting to experience  sales situations more common in hotter markets such as the Lower Mainland.

“Multiple offers, offers at list or near list or more than list price, listings selling within a few days. It’s not common, but it is happening,” says Remax’s John Evans of today’s local market.

An increase in regional industrial activity, which benefits Terrace because of its central location, and continued low interest rates are doing their part.

More homes were sold in the Terrace area for the first months of this year compared to the same period in 2011 but the average price fell, indicate statistics from the BC Northern Real Estate Board.

In all, 41 detached residential homes were sold through the Multiple Listing Service at an average price of $200,926.

That’s compared to 24 homes for the same period in 2011 at an average price of $220,213. Listings have also increased,  from 201 in 2011 to 220 this year.

Four manufactured homes in trailer parks and three manufactured homes on lots were sold for the first three months of this year. All told, 60 properties changed hands from Jan. 31 to the end of March compared to 43 properties for the same period in 2011.

The value of all the properties sold this year has amounted to $12 million, substantially up from the $7.4 million in 2011.

Evans said the drop in average prices from last year to this year may seem surprising but isn’t once you delve a bit deeper.

“We’re seeing more entry level homes selling and because these typically are at a lower price, it affects the average price,” he said.

Rents are increasing because of the improving economy and reduction in supply to the point where people are deciding to buy instead, Evans added.

“A typical rent now is $800 – $1,000 a month,” he said. “When you look at an interest rate of 2.99 per cent over a 25-year term and a payment of $800 a month, that can buy you today a house for $169,000,” said Evans.

He described today’s real estate market as a “perfect storm,” noting that it’s been years since realtors have experienced such a strong demand.

There’s no typical buyer and instead a broad mix of people wanting to get into the market.

“We have first time buyers, people trading up, people coming in [from the outside],” said Evans.

In Kitimat, 29 houses sold for the first three months of 2011 at an average price of $142,137 compared to 50 homes this year at an average price of $170,103.