(File photo)

Realtors remain upbeat despite mill closures/curtailments in Clinton and 100 Mile House

‘There is nothing to panic about’

Despite local mill closures resulting in roughly 300 layoffs, realtors remain optimistic about the state of local real estate.

“One of the biggest drivers for the South Cariboo is affordable real estate prices. We see tons of people moving here, many from the Lower Mainland in an effort to simplify their lives and enjoy all that the Cariboo has to offer one of which is a much lower cost of housing,” starts a statement from RE/MAX 100 owner, David Jurek, to the Free Press. “It’s sad to see the mills close and to see the effects on the numerous families that are associated with those closures. We expect to see some more inventory come on the market but with the lower inventory that we have had over the last few years, there is nothing to panic about. More inventory and a correction in pricing will just generate more interest in the marketplace with those looking to leave the city and move to the Cariboo for the amazing lifestyle the area offers.

We sell hundreds of homes every year and the reality is that those hundreds of buyers aren’t moving here for the mills. For those looking to sell their homes now is the time to price accurately and not reach for the stars like many have been doing. We are still seeing lots of activity in the area and expect that to continue throughout the busy summer season.”

Wayne Walker, the owner of Royal LePage, said they were already starting to see some ripples from the announcements, adding there have been numerous houses coming on the market and quite a few price reductions.

“We’ve been riding an extremely good real estate market for quite some time and all things slow down sooner or later,” said Walker. “I think we’ll see prices correcting on some overpriced places, but how much is dependent on a seller’s motivation to sell.”

Adding that some people are more affected by the mill closures, the key in this situation was to keep calm and make an informed decision.

“Don’t panic, get the facts. Our market is still active and I believe, although maybe slower, will remain active. This is still a beautiful place to live and retire,” he said. “My crystal ball is presently a little cloudy to determine how much and how soon prices might drop.”

According to Walker, a large percentage of their buyers are retiring and aren’t looking for a job.

However, he did dispense some advice on some of the younger families who may be worried about their mortgage.

“Anyone in fear of defaulting on their mortgages, go see your bank or lender and discuss any options. Do it sooner than later to be prepared.”

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