Home sales fade as interest rates soared

Real estate market in Burns Lake.

Home sales in the B.C. Northern region totaled 4,250 units in 2022, a 23 per cent decline from 2021’s near record pace, but on par with the average level of sales activity over the past 10 years. That said, home sales did fade in the second half of the year as interest rates soared. Indeed, by the fourth quarter, home sales across the BC Northern area were trending at just a 3,300 annual sale pace, setting up what should be a slow start to 2023.

Active listings in the region started the year at record low and slowly grew through 2022 as home sales slowed and listings remained on the market longer. As a result, markets around the north returned to balance as months-of-inventory normalized from the deep sellers’ market conditions that had prevailed for much of the last two years.

The abrupt shift in market conditions spurred by rapidly rising interest rates has translated into a softening of prices from peak levels achieved earlier in the year. By the end of 2022, the average price in the BC Northern Board area was essentially flat when comparing the fourth quarter of 2022 to the fourth quarter of 2021.

With mortgage rates expected to remain elevated, and a likely slowdown in the economy on the horizon, housing market activity across the north will remain slow in 2023.

Bulkley Nechako Region

Burns Lake: 69 properties with a value of $18.6 million sold in 2022 compared with 104 worth $31.5 million in 2021. Half of the 17 single-family homes that sold, sold for less than $277,500. 18 parcels of vacant land, 23 homes on acreage and 4 manufactured homes on land also changed hands in 2022. As of December 31st, there were 54 properties of all types available through MLS® in the Burns Lake area, up from 18 at the end of 2021.

Houston: 74 properties worth $22.1 million changed hands in 2022, compared to the 83 properties worth $18.5 million that sold in 2021. The median value of the 42 single-family homes sold was $292,500. As of December 31st, there were 22 properties of all types available in the Houston area.

Smithers: REALTORS® reported 177 sales worth $85.3 million in 2022, compared to 222 sales worth $85.6 million in 2021. The median value of the 70 single-family homes that sold in 2022, was $490,000. 17 parcels of vacant land, 40 homes on acreage, 18 manufactured homes in parks and a further 11 on land also changed hands in 2022. At year-end, there were 50 properties of all types available in the Smithers area, compared with 29 at December 31st, 2021.

Vanderhoof: 102 properties sold in 2022 were worth $32.4 million, compared with 2021’s 182 properties worth $50.1 million. Of the 42 single-family homes that sold in 2022, half sold for less than $293,000. In addition, 21 parcels of vacant land, 20 homes on acreage, 2 manufactured homes in parks and a further 7 manufactured homes on land changed hands in 2022. As of December 31st, there were 50 properties of all types available through MLS® in the Vanderhoof area, compared with 15 properties a year ago.

In Fort St. James 60 properties worth $12.8 million sold in 2022, compared to 102 properties worth $23.3 million in 2021. At year-end, there were 28 properties of all types available through MLS® in the Fort St. James area, compared to 7 at the same time last year.

Prince George: 1323 properties worth $605.9 million sold in 2022, compared with 1653 properties worth $684.1 million in 2021. At year-end, there were 551 properties of all types available through MLS® compared to 165 properties at the end of 2021.