According to Doug Phair, managing broker/owner at Re/max Wrightway in Burns Lake, the Burns Lake’s real estate market has some good reasons to keep up the optimism.
Phair said the opening of the Lakeside Multiplex in 2014, as well as the Lakes District Hospital and Health Centre to be opened in February 2015, have made Burns Lake a much more attractive place for families searching for a place to live.
“We receive calls from all across the province and Alberta with people interested in our town,” said Phair.
One of the factors making Burns Lake an attractive destination to people from out of town are the low prices of properties here compared to neighbouring communities.
The average selling price for a single family residential home as of Dec. 31, 2014 in Burns Lake was $117,815, compared to $157,063 for the next-door neighbour Houston. Fort St. James was at $192,276; Vanderhoof was at $204,255; and Smithers was at $247,458.
In Burns Lake, 71 properties with a value of $8.2 million sold in 2014 compared with 63 worth $7.2 million in 2013. Half of the 35 single family homes that sold, sold for less than $110,000. Twelve parcels of vacant land, 15 homes on acreage and four manufactured homes on land also changed hands in 2014.
As of Dec. 31, 2014 there were 130 properties of all types available through Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in the Burns Lake area, down from 132 at the end of 2013.
The B.C. Northern Real Estate Board reported 5218 property sales worth $1.3 billion in 2014 through MLS®, up from last year’s 4891 sales worth $1.2 billion.
President Ken Laursen said, “In 2014, most communities across the area served by B.C. Northern Real Estate Board experienced an increase in both sales and listings. For 2015, the Board expects to see continued though modest growth in the number of sales and average home prices across much of the region. The market will be affected by the timing and number of the larger northern LNG and mining projects expected to be green-lit in the next few years.”
In Houston, 64 properties worth $10.7 million changed hands in 2014, compared to the 50 properties worth $8.5 million that sold in 2013. The median value of the 44 single family homes sold was $160,000. As of Dec. 31, 2014 there were 47 properties of all types available in the Houston area.
Realtors® reported 266 sales worth $60.5 million in the Smithers area in 2014, compared to 257 sales worth $64.2 million in 2013. The median value of the 106 single family homes that sold in 2014 was $255,000. Forty parcels of vacant land, 54 homes on acreage, 15 manufactured homes in parks and a further 13 on land also changed hands in 2014. At year end there were 211 properties of all types available through MLS® in the Smithers area, compared with 190 a year ago.
The 132 properties sold in Vanderhoof in 2014 were worth $25.4 million, compared with 2013’s 94 properties worth $18.4 million. Of the 52 single family homes that sold in 2014, half sold for less than $207,000. In addition, 27 parcels of vacant land, 29 homes on acreage, four manufactured homes in parks and a further 12 manufactured homes on land changed hands in 2014. As of Dec. 3, 2014 there were 95 properties of all types available through MLS® in the Vanderhoof area, compared with 99 properties a year ago.
In Fort St. James 42 properties worth $7.9 million sold in 2014, compared to 30 properties worth $6.7 million in 2013. At year end there were 57 properties of all types available through MLS® in the Fort St. James area, compared to 51 at the same time last year.
In the city of Prince George, 1449 properties worth $355.5 million sold in 2014, compared with 1291 properties worth $314 million in 2013. At year end there were 556 properties of all types available through MLS® compared to 639 properties at the end of 2013.