Property sales increased, though it was still a Buyer’s Market in Fort St. John last year

Houses for sale in Fort St. John. Photo credit: Trevor Bolin

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The number of property sales in Fort St. John jumped in 2017 compared to the previous year, though selling prices continued to trend downward, according to numbers published by the BC Northern Real Estate Board.

The Board said that Northeast B.C. continued to see the effects of lower oil and gas prices over the past three years, though Fort Nelson was harder hit. Fort St. John saw a 3.5 percent drop in the price of the average family home, though sales activity did increase, with a noticeable jump over the Christmas season. The NDP government’s announcement on December 11th that construction of the Site C Dam was said to have possibly contributed to that jump.

Last year 455 properties were sold, with a total value of $174.2 million. Both those numbers were higher than in 2016 when 397 properties worth $161.5 million were sold.

In total, 218 detached homes, 25 vacant lots, 44 half duplexes, and 54 homes on acreages sold over the past twelve months. 59 manufactured homes were sold, 16 of which were in trailer parks while the remaining 43 were on other lands. Of the 218 single family homes sold in 2017, 50 percent sold for less than $378,000.

At the end of December, there were 662 properties of all types available through the Multiple Listing Service® in the Fort St. John area, up from the 642 properties at the end of 2016.

In Fort Nelson, things were not quite as rosy. The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality saw a 30 percent reduction in the average price of a single-family detached home. 53 properties sold through MLS® in the Fort Nelson area last year for a total of $7.6 million. That number is up from the 28 properties sold the year before, which were valued at $5.8 million. Half of the 23 single family homes sold in the past twelve months fetched less than $145,500. There were also six homes on acreage and one townhouse sold in 2017. As of December 31st, there were 137 properties of all types available through MLS® in the Fort Nelson area, down from the 145 properties on December 31st, 2016.

In total, the BCNREB reported 4981 property sales worth $1.3 billion in 2017 through MLS®, up from last year’s 4737 sales worth $1.2 billion. Regionally, the Board said that average sale prices have increased one or two percent past the rate of inflation.

“Most communities in our Board region have seen an increase in sales when compared to last year,” said BCNREB President John Evans. “Overall, most markets have been steady in the face of the weak commodity prices of the last few years and the boom and bust cycles since the 1970s have not been repeating themselves.”