REAL ESTATE sales dropped here for the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2014, according to statistics from the BC Northern Real Estate Board.
Through the Multiple Listing Service, 144 properties worth $35.7 million sold from January to June this year, down from 201 properties worth $48.4 million that sold in that time the year before.
Half of the 80 single family homes that sold carried prices of less than $286,000. On average, it took 70 days for those homes to sell, which is more than twice as long as the average 31 days it took for a house to sell in January to June 2014.
During that same period of 2014, half of the 99 single family homes that sold had a price tag of less than $289,000.
So although homes are taking longer to sell and sales overall have dropped, average prices have increased for the first six months of this year.
The average selling price of a home among the 80 that did sell was $302,162 compared to the average selling price of $294,651 among the 99 homes sold from the first half of 2014.
The 2015 average is also considerably higher than the average price of homes sold in 2013 and 2012. In the first six months of 2013, 104 single family homes sold for an average of $235,000 and in 2012, 93 homes sold for an average of $211,733.
Terrace’s average selling price for the first six months of this year was just above the Kitimat average of $301,336 out of the 49 homes sold. It was also substantially higher than Prince Rupert, which had an average price of $241,503 from the 80 homes sold.
In addition to single family sales, nine parcels of vacant land, three half-duplexes and nine homes on acreages sold during the first six months of this year.
Sheila Love from the Terrace office of Remax Coast Mountains noted that there are not a lot of homes on the market at the lower end of the price range. That may be a partial reflection of more new or newer homes up for sale.
“Prices were once in the $200,000-$225,000 range but there is not a lot there now and I don’t think we’re going to see those [prices] again. For a three-bedroom house in the Horseshoe with a full basement, you’re now looking at close to $300,000,” she said.
Love added that prices for mobile homes and rowhouses have also increased over the past several years.
This year’s housing market is also different from last year because the number of single family homes for sale has increased.
“This year we have 52 listings in that [average] price range, at least double from last year,” said Love.
“It’s definitely a buyers’ market out there.”
Love said the market remains optimistic given the prospect of economic growth in the area.
That is also the case in Prince Rupert where Remax Coast Mountains also has an office, she said. John Evans, who had been manager/broker here will be manager/broker of the Prince Rupert office, while Love takes over as manager/broker here as of Sept. 1.
And whereas buyers in past years may have been spurred by interest rate drops when mortgage rates were in the 6 or 7 per cent range, that’s not the case nowadays when rates now run between 2 and 3 per cent depending upon term and conditions.