Happy New Year!
I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on Fort St. John real estate in 2022.
There was a solid start to the year with a fast-paced Spring. Some family homes sold very quickly for near asking and occasionally multiple offers. Historically low-interest rates continued to make homeownership possible for many people, with only a small decrease in total sales over the previous year. The average sale price of a detached home remained steady —but certain subsections sold quickly due to low inventory in those price points.
Summer months are traditionally slower for real estate transactions as people enjoy the warmer weather. This year the market was steady and prices held firm. We began to see evidence of inflation in other markets, particularly rising fuel costs.
The Bank of Canada raised interest rates to combat a surge in inflation, caused by supply chain issues related to the pandemic. Some buyers were left scrambling to find and close on a home before their mortgage rate hold expired.
This caused a brief flurry of activity around October and led to some quick closings. These increases saw rates return to what was once considered “normal” in the industry. Most Millennials had never seen rates this high in their adult life and pre-approval amounts were taking a dip.
Inventory was still considered low and Fort St. John had not yet shifted to a buyer’s market, but certainly a balanced one.
The market saw another interest rate hike in November, and again in December, which caused some clients to put their real estate plans on hold. It is typical to see a seasonal slowdown as the holiday season approaches as both buyers and sellers focus on the holidays – especially since we haven’t been able to do this with any normalcy in a few years, and most prefer not to move in sub-zero temperatures!
Many economists agree it will likely be early 2024 before we will see interest rates decrease and probably not back to the pandemic-level rates many of us enjoyed.
My advice to clients considering buying a home is to look at the long term. Do you plan on staying in that home for a minimum of 5 years? If yes, homeownership is probably still a worthy investment.
Markets will always see fluctuation, however, I do not see a major price correction happening in this market, as we did not experience the astronomical year-over-year growth in sales price experienced in larger Southern markets.
During a typical recession, many people are out of work, but that is simply not the case right now.
In Fort St. John, a strong job market has drawn many people to the area in search of high-paying jobs. This is not like 2016 when people were leaving in droves and HAD to sell due to a job loss.
Fort St. John is one of the most affordable places in Canada to live with a high average family income and affordable housing compared to many other regions.
If you want to learn more about how the current market fits into your real estate goals for 2023, call or text me at 778-784-7845.
Thanks for reading!
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