The average selling price of homes in Smithers through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) skyrocketed compared to the same period in 2021, indicate the last statistics from the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board (NREB).
As of September 30, 140 properties worth $69 million sold via MLS at an average selling price of $548,821 compared to 187 properties worth $69.3 million with an average of $398,707 in the first nine months of 2021.
That gave Smithers the highest average prices in the North so far this year, even over Prince George at $527, 579.
“I think it’s just one of those things that kind of proves the point that even though stats are facts, they can be misleading,” said Sandra Hinchliffe, a Smithers real estate agent and past president of the NREB. Basically, we just had more high-end sales than we’ve ever had.”
Hinchliffe’s search of the last 12 months revealed nine sales over $800,000 and a couple in the $1.2 million range.
She sees that changing, though, with the rising interest rates.
“I think it’s probably a case of a high-end purchase is an optional purchase, just like a recreational property would be,” she said. So people who are thinking about buying a high-end home, they’re just putting that on hold right now waiting to see what the economy is going to do and the interest rates and that kind of thing. Just like the investment buyers have basically stopped.”
The other factor, she thinks, is plain old supply and demand.
“It’s always supply and demand,” she said. “It’s really interesting in Smithers because this year, we had 140 properties sell for 69 million, and last year 187 For only $300,000 more. So, it goes to show how much our prices have gone up and that’s why our average has gone up so much. We had extremely low inventory all year.”
There were only 51 properties of all types available for purchase through MLS in the Smithers area at the end of September.
This reflects a trend throughout the North of fewer properties changing hands, but at higher prices. Only Fort Nelson and Kitimat saw decreases in the average home sale price.
But while the trend is evident everywhere down to 100 Mile House, the Smithers jump of roughly 38 per cent was the second sharpest increase. Only Burns Lake saw a greater incline at 43 per cent.
Across the whole north total sales through MLS dropped considerably for the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2021.
While 5,306 properties sold to the end of September last year worth $1.9 billion, the number dropped to 4,141 properties worth $1.7 billion for the same period this year.
“Sales in the B.C. northern region fell to below pre-pandemic levels for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis,” reported the real estate board.
“Within the quarter, sales fell sharply, and in September were at their lowest level since 2010 on a seasonally adjusted basis.”
The real estate board said that average sales prices are dropping and days on the market are increasing at a gradual pace.
“As the Bank of Canada continues tightening, albeit at a slower pace going forward, we anticipate that mortgage rates will continue to drag on prices and sales,” it added.
With files from Rod Link