Real estate sales in B.C.’s Bulkley-Nechako and northwest regions have weakened in the first half of 2020 compared to the same time frame last year according to a report released by the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) on July 7.
“The first half of 2020 saw a significant decline in housing demand in the region, with sales in April reaching a low not seen since January 1988,” said BCNREB President Shawna Kinsley.
Houston area had 14 properties worth $2.5 million changing hands so far this year, compared to 28 properties worth $5.2 million in 2019. There were a total of 34 properties of different types available by the end of June in the area.
Burns Lake area has seen sale of 17 properties worth $2.7 million through Multiple Listing Services (MLS), compared to 37 properties worth $5.6 million in the same period last year. By June end, a total of 81 properties were available through MLS in the area.
Smithers area reported 90 sales with a value of $28.1 million in the first six months of 2020; a drop from 113 sales worth $35.3 million at this time last year. Half of the 39 single-family homes sold so far this year, went for less than $311,000 and took, on average, 66 days to sell. 10 parcels of vacant land and 17 homes on acreage also changed hands since January. As of June, there were 112 properties of all types available for sale in Smithers.
Vanderhoof area realtors reported 56 sales worth $13 million in the first six months of the year, compared to 61 sales worth $19 million last year. As of June 30, there were 103 properties for sale in the Vanderhoof area.
Fort St. James hasn’t seen a significant fall in sales with 27 properties worth $5.3 million sold this year, compared to the 26 properties worth $4.6 million sold last year in the same time frame. By June end, there were 50 properties available for purchase in the Fort St. James area.
In the northwest region, Prince Rupert has sold the same number of properties this year so far, at 89 sales compared to the same time frame last year. The properties sold at $29.9 million, a higher price point compared to last year’s $23.5 million. Terrace area realtors have sold 105 properties in the first half of 2020, worth $34.1 million compared to 134 properties worth $45.6 million in the same period last year. By June end, there were 253 properties available for sale in the Terrace area.
Kinsley also indicated that despite the region’s struggling forestry, and mining and oil sectors, “the decline in the second quarter was primarily due to the state of emergency declared by the province that implemented physical-distancing measures. This halted real estate activity across the province, which is highly reliant on in-person interactions.”
The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) are predicting that the downward trend for sales throughout B.C. would continue and sales would fall by almost 18 per cent in 2020.