The BC Northern Real Estate Board has confirmed what many Terrace homeowners already know: the LNG Canada project in Kitimat is exerting a tremendous influence on both home sales and their corresponding value.
According to the BCNREB 2018 year-end report released Jan. 10, 380 Terrace properties valued at $117.8 million sold through the Multiple Listings Service last year, compared to 239 properties in 2017 worth just $65.2 million.
The numbers translate to a 59-per-cent increase in sales over 2017. Only Kitimat performed higher with a steep 148-per-cent climb. The two municipalities are in a class of their own when compared to real estate trends in other areas of the north.
“In the Board region overall, there was a 1.28 per cent increase in sales and a 9.42 per cent decrease in the number of active listings,” BCNREB President Court Smith says. “Real estate markets are local, of course, and while many markets, such as Terrace and Kitimat, have increased sales year over year; other markets have shown a decrease in the number of sales.”
In Terrace, the number of active listings for all property types has dropped from 196 in 2017 to 151 in 2018. Sheila Love, Terrace and Kitimat Re/Max managing broker, expects that number will continue its downward trend through 2019.
BC Assessment released its figures of home values throughout the province last week, showing an average gain in Terrace home values from $286,050 in 2017 to $312,000 beginning July 1, 2018. However, Love told the Terrace Standard the figure was already outdated as November sales showed an actual market average of $428,000. With available properties falling, she said values will continue their climb as developers race to keep up with exploding demand.
Construction activity has slowed since the LNG announcement in October but inventory levels for single-family and multi-family homes are still low. Close to 200 family homes between five projects are expected to be built over the next couple of years, but real estate agents in Terrace say higher inventory levels may be needed sooner to meet buyer demand.
– with files from Natalia Balcerzak and Brittany Gervais