FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – A year-end report shows a surge in house sales in northern B.C, including the Fort St. John area, in the second half of 2020.

The BC Northern Real Estate Board calls the results an “exceptional recovery from the pandemic-induced pullback during the first half of the year”.

In Fort St. John, 529 properties valued at a total of $187.8 million sold in 2020, up from 501 properties worth $179.3 million that sold in 2019.

In a release on Monday, BCNREB President Shawna Kinsley says the increase in sales was reportedly from “pent-up demand from spring sales that were put on hold, record-low mortgage rates, and historically high savings rates”.

Half of the 271 single-family homes that sold in the area last year were less than $352,500.

Additionally, 23 parcels of vacant land, 52 half-duplexes, 66 homes on acreage, 24 manufactured homes in parks and a further 44 on land sold in 2020.

At the end of December, there were 537 properties of all types available through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in the Fort St. John area, down from the 566 properties at the end of 2019.

In Fort Nelson, 82 properties, worth $12.1 million, sold in 2020, up from 2019’s 48 properties worth $5.5 million.

Half of the 31 single-family homes sold in 2020, sold for less than $125,000.

As of December 31, there were 96 properties of all types available through MLS in the Fort Nelson area, down from the 101 properties on December 31, 2019.

Real Estate Board members across northern B.C reported 5,083 property sales worth $1.6 billion in 2020 through the MLS, up from last year’s 4748 sales worth $1.5 billion.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) expects continued momentum going into the new year with the help of record-low mortgage rates and demand for larger homes.  The low supply level will bound sales in the market, which will place considerable pressure on prices until active listings pick-up.