Real estate board reports sales down in Burns Lake

The B.C. Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) reports that property sales are down in Burns Lake so far this year.

A total of 12 properties have changed hands in Burns Lake since January this year.

A total of 12 properties have changed hands in Burns Lake since January this year.

The B.C. Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) reports that property sales are down in Burns Lake so far this year.

According to the BCNREB, 12 properties worth a total of $1.3 million have changed hands since January 1, 2011.

At the end of March there were 108 properties of all types available for sale through the MLS® in the Burns Lake area.

In comparison 20 properties had changed hands during the same period last year worth a combined total of $1.95 million and there were 120 properties of all types available for sale.

Graham O’Meara from Remax Wrightway in Burns Lake agrees that sales have slowed down during the period.

He said the year started out strong, however sales have backed off over the last three weeks.

“This is usually quite a strong time for sales,” he said.

O’Meara attributes the down turn to local and global uncertainty, as well as a tightening up from the banks and also increasing municipal taxes.

He went on to say that municipal spending coupled with municipal wage increases result in rising taxes that put a strain on the local economy and on the local real estate market, however he said, In a small community things can also turn around quickly, especially with the start up of new businesses and industry in the local area.

“We do have a strong inventory at the moment,” he added.

BCNRB president Victor Prystay said, “In spite of a long hard winter that has seemingly impacted the various real estate markets in our Northern two thirds of the province, the numbers of sales and listings throughout the area are only, on average, marginally down over 2010.”

Prystay said the exceptions to the slight market down turn include Kitimat, Fort St. John and Fort Nelson. “All of whom saw an increase in the numbers of sales while Terrace, Fort St. James and the greater Prince George area generally held their own.”

He added, “On the plus side, in those areas that have enjoyed an increase in volume, average sale prices continued to rise and with spring finally here and bringing with it the number of new listings that historically come into the market at this time of year, we are continuing to be optimistic about 2011.”

Smithers real estate sales are also slightly down from last year. Realtors® in the Smithers area reported 42 (45) sales, down from 45 sales last year, with a value of $8.8 million to March 31st, 2011.

In addition to the 23 single family homes that sold, 6 homes on acreage and 4 manufactured homes on land changed hands this year. At the end of the first quarter there were 206 properties of all types available for purchase through the MLS® in the Smithers area.

Realtors® in the Vanderhoof area reported 19 sales worth $3.5 million in the first quarter of 2011, down from 30 sales at the same time last year.

At the end of March there were 102 properties available for purchase through the MLS® in the Vanderhoof area.

In the first quarter of 2011 there were 12 sales worth $1.3 million in the Fort St. James area, this number is up from 11 sales in the same time frame last year.

As of March 31 there were 49 properties available on the MLS® in the area.

“With the number of billion and multibillion dollar projects in Northwest B.C. that are now lining up and are either under construction or are working their way through regulatory approval processes, including Prince Rupert Port expansion, the Apache Kitimat LNG Terminal, the Northwest Transmission Line and Galore Creek, we anticipate a bright future for all communities in the Northwest corridor.”