FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Property sales in Fort St. John saw a 51 per cent increase compared to 2020, according to BC Northern Real Estate Board’s year-end report.
The real estate market in the north saw a boom in 2020, and was close to hitting record sales of 6,763 in 2006.
In Fort St. John, 802 properties valued at a total of $310.3 million sold in 2021, up from 529 properties worth $187.8 million that sold in 2020.
Half of the 406 single-family homes that sold in the area last year were less than $377,000.
Additionally, 45 parcels of vacant land, 70 half-duplexes, 88 homes on acreage, 30 manufactured homes in parks and a further 82 on land sold in 2021.
At the end of December, there were 403 properties of all types available through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in the Fort St. John area, down from the 537 properties at the end of 2020.
In Fort Nelson, 95 properties, worth $18.7 million, sold in 2021, an increase from 82 properties worth $12.1 million sold in 2020.
Half of the 34 single-family homes sold in 2021, sold for less than $178,000.
As of December 31, there were 116 properties of all types available through MLS in the Fort Nelson area, up from the 96 properties on December 31st, 2020.
Real estate board members across Northern B.C reported 6,701 property sales worth $2.4 billion in 2021 through the MLS, up from last year’s 5083 sales worth $1.6 billion.
The report says housing markets across the north ended the year with sales trending about 25 per cent above long-term average levels, pointing to a fast start to 2022.
However, the region will start the year off with a low supply resulting in continued upward pressure on home prices.
“We expect markets will remain tight through the first half of 2022 before rising mortgage rates and expected tightening by the Bank of Canada starts to temper demand,” said the report.
The BCNREB says residential sales remained elevated in the north during the third and fourth quarters of 2021, despite fewer sales compared to the first and second quarters.
Seasonally adjusted sales in the fourth quarter of 2021 were around 30 per cent above the level in 2019, prior to any effects from the pandemic, but are down 21 per cent from the third quarter.
The real estate board says active listings continued their decline in the fourth quarter, falling 16 per cent from the third quarter, continuing a long-run downward trend in the number of actives which has predated the pandemic to 2015 or earlier.
“The combination of near-record sales and record low inventory is driving prices to new records.”
Residential prices are up roughly 28 per cent since the start of the pandemic and in the fourth quarter averaged $399,615.
The board says average days on market rose from 55 to 67 on a seasonally adjusted basis from Q3 to Q4 but are down from 71 days in the same quarter last year.
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