Housing market returning to normal in the Cariboo (Unsplash photo)

Housing market returning to normal in the Cariboo (Unsplash photo)

The real estate boom in the Cariboo may be over but houses continue to sell

Ron Kelly, broker/manager at Royal LePage 100 Mile Realty said they do not have the 2021 listings

The real estate boom in the Cariboo may be over, but houses continue to sell.

Ron Kelly, broker/manager at Royal LePage 100 Mile Realty, said they are still selling quite a few homes, but they simply do not have the listings they used to have as the turnover was so high.

“The listings that are coming on the market are selling in jiffy quick time.”

When he checked the stats, Kelly said they’ve probably done about half of what they did this time last year, but he described the market over the last two years as frantic.

“It was insane how quickly things were selling and how many people were coming into the area,” he said.

When people comment on how much the market has slowed down he tells them that ‘we’ve had four years of a very strong market and all it’s really done is just gone back to normal’.

People are selling for a variety of reasons, said Kelly. Some people are taking advantage of the equity in their home. There are also people who are older now who are looking to downsize or move out of the area. Others are leaving for job reasons.

The properties that are seeing the most activity are between $350,000 and $550,000 with buyers still coming mainly from the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland, he said.

They’re coming up here looking primarily at retirement.

“They want a standard house, maybe something in the 108 or somewhere. If you look at the Lower Mainland market, properties are selling between 1 million to 1.5 million. Your average person will be able to take quite a bit of equity out of their home when they sell,” said Kelly, adding that when they come up here they’re going to spend up to around $550,000 and get a nice home and put the rest of the money in the bank.

Kelly said it is nice to see this as one of the main concerns when all the mills shut down was, “What are we going to do? We have no jobs for people.”

These people already have their money in the bank; they don’t need a job. “The biggest question we get here is ‘What are the winters like?’”

But not all buyers are moving into the area. Some are locals looking for a bigger house or one closer to town like Brian and Amalia McGlashlan who live on east Sheridan.

“We wanted something closer to Lone Butte than where we are right now and something we would at least begin to afford,” said McGlashlan.

They started by looking at houses but quickly came to the realization that many of the houses they looked at were dated and would require work. Sellers are putting a value on them that is not taking into account they need renovations, she said.

They came across an undeveloped property near Irish Lake that was within their budget and gives them the ability to build just what they want.

“Lumber prices are going back down to somewhere decent and Brian has been in construction for ages,” McGlashlan said. “We have friends up here who have been in construction for ages too so between them all, piecing them all together, we can figure something out.”

READ MORE: 100 Mile area real estate booming

Kelly said there is another group of buyers who are employed but not in standard jobs. They are around 30 to 40 years of age and have camp jobs or work from home.

“This pandemic thing has woken a lot of people up to the idea that ‘hey, I don’t have to go to the office every day. I can work from home and be just as productive.’”

He thinks there are a lot of companies looking at it and saying they don’t need a great big office for people. They just need trustworthy people who can work from home.

These people can get a much nicer property for the dollar value here than they could on the Lower Mainland.

Kelly said they find it appealing because the air is clean, it’s peaceful and they do not have to deal with the traffic of the city.


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