In 2012 Williams Lake saw what real estate agent Willy Berger described as a positive year in real estate overall if you look at the rest of the world.
“The statistics are positive,” he said. “We’ve had ten more units in the residential end selling, and the average price seemed to have gone up, but we have sold more higher end homes, so prices are more stable, than going up.”
The latest BC Northern Real Estate Board report showed that for Williams Lake there were 315 sales worth $68 million reported through MLS®. The number is down from 324 sales in 2011, but those sales garnered $65.5 million. Berger is a director on the board and said Williams Lake did sell a lot of houses.
“There were lots of owners willing to sell, even if they had to adjust to reality and adjust prices. That really curbs the market when there are sellers willing to sell. Then there are some people that bought high and they cannot afford to sell low: they can’t.”
Half of the 126 single family homes sold in 2012 sold for less than $235,000.
The sales also included 20 parcels of vacant land, 80 homes on acreage, 14 town homes, 27 manufactured homes in parks and 32 manufactured homes on land. At the end of December there were 352 properties of all types available through MLS® in the Williams Lake area, up from 342 properties at the same time last year.
What doesn’t show in the stats are new homes being built, but Berger said there has been a few more in the rural areas than there were in 2011.
In the 100 Mile House area, 291 properties worth $58.5 million sold in 2012, compared with 291 properties worth $55 million in 2011. The 91 single family homes that sold in 2012 had a median value (half sold for less) of $218,000.
In addition, 72 parcels of vacant land, 65 homes on acreage, 24 manufactured homes on land, 9 manufactured homes in a park, and 21 recreational properties changed hands in 2012. At the end of December there were 525 properties of all types available for sale through MLS® in the 100 Mile House area, down slightly from 541 properties at the end of 2011.
Quesnel saw 295 properties changed hands, up from 248 that were sold in 2011. The value of these properties was $51.9 million ($42 million in 2011). The median value of the 124 single family homes sold in 2012 was $199,000. In addition, 43 parcels of vacant land, 58 homes on acreage, 23 manufactured homes in parks and a further 30 on land were reported sold in 2012.
At year end there were 233 properties of all types available for purchase through MLS® in the Quesnel area, up from 215 properties at the end of 2011.
Compared to 2011, Berger said there are more homes available for purchases wanting to get into the housing market.
“I would say our entry level houses have come back. We’ve seen more townhouses, condos and smaller homes than the years before. At the moment the interest rates are still low, although that could be scary.”
Gazing into his crystal ball, Berger said the overall predictions are for a stable market in 2013 with a slight decline on prices — two, three to five per cent.
“It’s not too much to worry about because it may happen in a certain bracket of market. The affordability market will be fairly stable and strong.”
Winter’s a tough time because it takes longer to sell a house, but definitely on Jan. 2, people started to inquire and offers have already been made on homes.
“So that’s good,” he added.