Low mortgage rates, pent-up demand makes third quarter property sales soar in northern B.C.

Williams Lake, Quesnel and 100 Mile House all see value increases

Unit sales in the region covered by the BC Northern Real Estate Board grew by 32 per cent in the third quarter year-over-year. (Black Press Media file photo)

Low mortgage rates combined with COVID-19 restrictions created the second highest property sales on record in the third quarter, in the Northern B.C. region, since data was collected in 1980, reports the BC Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB).

All told, 3,709 properties worth $1.2 billion sold through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in the first nine months of 2020. At this time last year, 3,741 properties worth $1.1 billion had changed hands. As of Sept. 30, there were 3,240 properties of all types available for sale through the MLS, up from 4,034 properties at the end of September last year.

Unit sales in the region covered by BCNREB grew by 32 per cent in the third quarter year-over-year. In contrast, active listings fell by 24 per cent year-over-year, as potential sellers continued to put off listing their properties. Government support and mortgage deferral programs also helped to prevent financially vulnerable households from being forced to sell. As a result, market conditions have tightened and the MLS® average price is up by 14 per cent year-over-year to $348,999 in the third quarter.

“While there is concern over the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the province, prevailing strong demand in the third quarter and record-low mortgage rates mean momentum in the market will likely continue,” noted the BCNREB in a news release. “The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) forecast MLS® sales in the region to finish 2020 about two per cent higher than 2019 sales. Meanwhile, re-sales supply is expected to continue to be slow to respond. As such, BCREA forecast MLS® average prices to rise by seven per cent in 2020 at $333,000.”

In Williams Lake the average selling price of a property in Sept. 2020 was $333,199, compared to $296,480 Sept. 30, 2019.

In 100 Mile House the average selling price of a property in Sept. 2020 was $343,388, compared to $322,537 Sept. 2019.

In Quesnel the average selling price of a property in Sept. 2020 was $296,344, compared to $277,121 in 2019.

Here’s a closer looker at the numbers by region:

Cariboo Region:

100 Mile House: So far, this year 465 properties worth $129.5 million have changed hands, compared to 356 properties worth $94.2 million to the end of September in 2019.

Half of the 134 single-family homes that have sold, sold for less than $320,000 and took, on average, 95 days to sell. In addition, 144 parcels of vacant land, 93 homes on acreage, seven manufactured homes in parks and a further 41 manufactured homes on land, as well as 28 recreational properties have sold this year. As of Sept. 30, there were 344 properties of all types available for purchase through the MLS® in the 100 Mile House area.

Williams Lake: A total of 311 properties worth $89.8 million have sold in the first nine months, compared to 385 properties worth $101.6 million in the same period last year. Of the 112 single-family homes sold to the end of September, half sold for less than $322,000 and these homes took, on average, 46 days to sell. In addition, 46 parcels of vacant land, 16 townhomes, 72 homes on acreage, and 21 manufactured homes in parks and a further 19 on land, have sold this year. At the end of September, there were 224 properties of all types available for purchase through MLS® in the Williams Lake area.

Quesnel: To the end of September, 299 properties worth $73.2 million sold through MLS® compared to 274 properties worth $66.5 million to the end of the third quarter of 2019. Half of the 112 single-family homes sold so far this year, sold for less than $280,000 and took, on average, 44 days to sell. Also changing hands this year were 46 parcels of vacant land, 68 homes on acreage, 18 manufactured homes in parks and 33 manufactured homes on land. At the end of September, there were 181 properties of all types available for purchase through the MLS® in the Quesnel area.

Northwest Region:

Prince Rupert: 168 properties worth $54.4 million changed hands so far this year in the Prince Rupert area, compared with 147 properties worth $41.9 million to the end of September 2019. Of the 118 single-family homes that have changed hands this year, half sold for less than $341,500 and on average, took 79 days to sell. As of Sept. 30, there were 89 properties of all types available through the MLS® in the Prince Rupert area.

Terrace: In the first nine months of the year, 219 properties worth $76.1 million were reported sold in the Terrace area, compared to 220 properties worth $73.4 million during the same period last year. Half of the 114 single-family homes that have sold so far this year, sold for less than $385,000 and these homes took, on average, 61 days to sell. Also changing hands were 16 parcels of vacant land, 33 homes on acreage, 23 manufactured homes in parks and nine manufactured homes on land. At the end of September, there were 247 properties of all types available through the MLS® in the Terrace area.

Kitimat: 119 properties worth $37.5 million have changed hands in the first nine months of 2020, compared to 106 properties worth $50.6 million to September 30, 2019. Of the 79 single-family homes sold so far this year, half sold for less than $327,500. These homes took, on average 85 days to sell. In addition, 12 half duplexes and 19 townhomes were also sold this year. At the end of September there were 159 properties of all types available through the MLS® in the Kitimat area.

Bulkley Nechako Region:

Houston: To the end of September, 22 properties worth $4.7 million sold in the Houston area, compared with 46 properties worth $9.4 million in the same period last year. At the end of September, there were 26 properties of all types available for purchase through MLS® in the Houston area.

Smithers: As of September 30th, 188 properties worth $62 million changed hands in the Smithers area, compared with 175 properties worth $51.9 million in the first nine months of 2019. Half of the 75 single-family homes sold so far this year, sold for less than $365,000 and these homes took, on average, 64 days to sell. Also changing hands this year were 28 parcels of vacant land, 36 homes on acreage, 20 manufactured homes in parks and 14 manufactured homes on land. As of September 30th, there were 99 properties of all types available through the MLS® in the Smithers area.

Burns Lake: So far this year 54 properties worth $10.5 million have been reported sold through MLS® compared to 69 properties worth $11.7 million in the first nine months of 2019. At the end of September, there were 70 properties of all types available for sale through the MLS® in the Burns Lake area.

Vanderhoof: A total of 102 properties worth $23.4 million sold in the first nine months of the year compared with 96 properties worth $26.6 million at the same time last year. Half of the 41 single-family homes sold so far this year, sold for less than $247,500 and these homes took, on average, 87 days to sell. Also changing hands were 16 parcels of vacant land and 22 homes on acreage. At the end of September, there were 92 properties of all types available through MLS® in the Vanderhoof area.

Fort St. James: 47 properties worth $8.7 million were reported sold to the end of September, compared to 52 properties worth $8.9 million in the same period last year. As of September 30th, there were 53 properties of all types available for purchase through MLS® in the Fort St. James area.

Northern Region:

Fort St. John: As of September 30th, 386 properties worth $137.7 million were reported sold in the area, compared to 393 properties worth $142.2 million to September 30, 2019. Half of the 195 single-family homes sold so far this year, sold for less than $353,000; these homes took, on average, 80 days to sell. In addition, 12 parcels of vacant land, 42 half duplexes, 51 homes on acreage, 21 manufactured homes in parks and a further 30 manufactured homes on land, were reported sold. At the end of September, there were 644 properties of all types available for purchase through MLS® in the Fort St. John area.

Fort Nelson: 58 properties worth $8.1 million have sold in the first nine months of 2020, compared with 34 properties worth $3.1 million to the end of September 2019. Of the 22 single-family homes sold so far, half sold for less than $123,000. On average these homes took 195 days to sell. Also changing hands were 4 homes on acreage, 4 manufactured homes in parks and 14 manufactured homes on land. As of September 30th, there were 111 properties of all types available for purchase through MLS® in the Fort Nelson area.

Fraser Fort George Region:

Mackenzie: In the first nine months of 2020, 32 properties worth $6.3 million were reported sold through MLS® in the Mackenzie area, compared with 35 properties worth $5.7 million to September 30, 2019. Half of the 23 single-family homes sold so far this year, sold for less than $165,000 and these homes took, on average, 120 days to sell. At the end of September, there were 70 properties of all types available for purchase through MLS® in the Mackenzie area.

Prince George: In the City of Prince George, to the end of September 1,015 properties worth $376.4 million changed hands, compared with 1,110 properties worth $386.1 million to September 30, 2019. In the western part of the City the median price of the 190 homes sold this year, was $364,500. In the area east of the By-pass, the 122 single-family homes that sold had a median price of $295,000. In the northern part of the City, the 129 single-family homes sold had a median price of $412,500. In the southwest section of the city, the median price of the 212 single-family homes sold was $465,000. At the end of September, there were 532 properties of all types available for purchase through MLS® in the City of Prince George.

Members of the BC Northern Real Estate Board serve the real estate needs of the communities from Fort Nelson in the north to 100 Mile House in the south and from the Alberta border to Haida Gwaii.

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