Affordable home prices in Northern B.C. to attract buyers

As the real estate market continues to heat up in the Lower Mainland, more and more people will be drawn to more affordable prices up north.

As the real estate market continues to heat up in the Lower Mainland, more and more people will be drawn to more affordable prices up north, says William Lacy, President of the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB).

“The bright spots we are seeing are the southern areas of the board, with activity up above last year’s levels,” he said. “There will be more of an impetus for people to move away from the higher-priced centres toward a more affordable area with an extremely high quality of life, which the northern part of the province has always provided.”

The BCNREB reported 859 sales with a value of $217,657,633 through the multiple listing service (MLS) in the first quarter of 2016. This compares with 856 sales worth $213,161,426 to the end of March, 2015.

As of March 31, there were 3973 properties of all types available for purchase through the MLS compared to 4023 at this time last year.

“Although we are dealing with the hurdles that come from lagging oil prices in the furthest northern reaches of our board, we are still seeing steady and strong demand for this time of year when we look at the board as a whole,” said Lacy. “Once oil bounces back and a few of the large initiatives get up and running, the northern areas will be bustling with activity.”

Burns Lake: 16 properties worth $1.4 million have changed hands since January 1. At the end of March, there were 102 properties of all types available for sale through the MLS in the Burns Lake area.

Smithers: Realtors in the Smithers area reported 44 sales with a value of $9.4 million to March 31, 2016. In addition to the 16 single family homes that sold, four parcels of vacant land, eight homes on acreage and two manufactured homes on land changed hands this year.

At the end of the first quarter there were 221 properties of all types available for purchase through the MLS in the Smithers area.

Vanderhoof: Realtors in the Vanderhoof area reported 13 sales worth $2.4 million in the first quarter of 2016. At the end of March, there were 116 properties available for purchase through the MLS in the Vanderhoof area.

Fort St. James: In the first quarter of 2016, there were 13 sales worth $2.7 million in the Fort St. James area. As of March 31, there were 67 properties available on the MLS in the area.

City of Prince George: 281 properties of all types, worth $76.3 million, have changed hands in the first three months of 2016 in the City of Prince George. At the end of March, there were 600 properties of all types available on the MLS within the city limits.