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Northwest real estate sales down in 2023

Despite a drop in sales, prices rose over the previous year
For sale sign in front of a home. (Black Press Media file photo)

A year-end report published by the BC Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) on Jan. 5, 2024, indicates Northwest B.C. saw a fall in sales in 2023 compared to the previous year.

In Terrace, 271 properties worth $116.2 million were sold in 2023, compared to the sale of 277 properties worth $114.8 million in 2022. Though the number of properties sold fell compared to last year, the value increased due to a rise in house prices across the city and country.

Out of the 147 single-family homes sold, half were sold for less than $499,000. Additionally, 15 parcels of vacant land, 25 homes on acreage, 24 manufactured homes in parks and a further 25 on private land were sold in 2023.

According to the report, at the end of 2023, 130 properties of all types were available through Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in the Terrace area, which is way up from the 45 properties available on December 31, 2022.

As in Terrace, sales declined in Kitimatwith the sale of 184 properties worth $85.7 million in 2023, compared to 202 properties worth $72.8 million in 2022. The average value of the 115 single-family houses sold in 2023 was $375,000.

Additionally, 28 half duplexes and 19 townhouses were sold. The number of all types of properties available on December 31, 2023, was 90, which is way up from 37 at the same time last year.

Similarly, Prince Rupert observed a fall in sales from the previous year. In 2023, 156 properties worth $61.8 million were sold compared to 192 properties, worth $88.9 million, in 2022.

Additionally, 13 parcels of vacant land, seven townhouses, and four half-duplexes were sold in 2023. By the end of the year, 125 properties were on sale compared to 34 on December 31, 2022.

For the final quarter of 2023, markets around the northern region showed varied trends. In contrast to the third quarter, sales rose in Prince Rupert, Quesnel, 100 Mile House, and Williams Lake, while shrinking in Kitimat, Prince George, Fort St John, Terrace and Smithers.

The report highlights a significant decline in sales in the B.C. northern region in all three months of the final quarter of 2023. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the last quarter of 2023 was the third lowest level with only 867 sales across the region.

Overall, 4,233 property sales worth $1.7 billion were reported in 2023, as opposed to 5,071 sales worth $2 billion in 2022.

“Overall, the housing market in the BC Northern Board area remains soft as high interest rates have constrained affordability for buyers,” stated the BCNREB.

In expectation of the Bank of Canada cutting its overnight rate in 2024, fixed-rate mortgage rates have declined significantly. The board speculates there will be growth in sales by spring for the region with the presumption of mortgage rates falling even further.

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