The British Columbia Real Estate Association predicts house sales in Northern BC to drop 12.6% in 2022, according to its first-quarter housing forecast update.

Last year, 5,495 homes were sold in the north, a near record-high year for the region. The association expects 4,800 homes will be sold this year, and 4,300  in 2023.

Provincially, Multiple Listing Service® sales are forecast to decline 17 per cent from a record high 2021 to 103,250 units this year. In 2023 MLS® residential sales are forecast to fall an additional 12 per cent to 90,200 units.

“We expected home sales in 2022 to moderate from the frenetic pace of 2021,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “However, sales activity will remain high by historical standards.”

The real estate association says the housing market is entering 2022 with the lowest level of active listings on record and significant demand-side momentum.

“That means strong sales should persist through the first few months of the year, and supply will remain severely limited. As a result, continued upward pressure on home prices is expected in all markets,” said a release.

House prices are expected to rise by 8.5 per cent in 2022, mainly in the first half of the year.

“With sales activity normalizing in 2023 and inventories rebuilding, market conditions around the province should improve, and price growth is anticipated to slow to 2.7 per cent.”

According to BC Northern Real Estate Board’s year-end report, property sales in Fort St. John saw a 51 per cent increase in 2021 compared to 2020.