Terrace real estate market favours sellers

"We've had a few bidding wars," says local real estate agent John Evans

THE LOCAL real estate market has shifted in favour of sellers, says one real estate agent in commenting on the latest statistics released by the BC Northern Real Estate Board.

John Evans from Remax calls the change to what he calls a “soft sellers’ market” a product of stable sales growth. Sellers are now getting closer to asking prices if not above, said Evans.

“We’ve had a few bidding wars,” said Evans. “I think that we’ve made that transition from a buyers’ to a sellers’ [market].”

Property sales statistics for the first six months through the Multiple Listings Service indicate 150 properties sold in the first six months of this year compared to 135 for the same period last year. The dollar value also rose, from $25 million last year to $29.3 million this year.

“I’m getting more grey hair and it’s busier and things are good,” said Evans. “There’s just a real different tone out there with buyers.” And that tone is seen in the number of people looking for homes on the market — which, while getting hotter, is stable enough in its rise to create optimistic attitudes on both sides of transactions, said Evans.

“The nice thing about our market is it is nice, stable growth,” said Evans. “Sometimes when the market is surging too quickly, buyers tend to hold back when they should be jumping in.”

The abundance of buyers and positive attitudes despite rising prices can be attributed to low interest rates and a still-varied selection of homes on the market, said Evans.

At June’s end, 287 properties of all types were listed and fixed term mortgage rates at various banks touched as low at 3.2 per cent. Looking back at the last six months, 93 single family detached homes sold, of which half went for under the $199,000 mark.

The average selling price for a single family detached house for the first six months of this year was $211,733 compared to $208,044 when 79 single family homes sold in the first six months of 2011, $202,342 when 57 single family homes sold in the first six months of 2010 and $207,525 when 77 single family homes sold in the first six months of 2009.

The average selling time for a home so far this year has been 71 days, said the real estate board report.

Also, 11 parcels of vacant land, five half duplexes and 14 homes on acreages sold.