A July 2022 report released by BC Northern Real Estate Board shows home sales and demand reducing slightly since the post-pandemic boom . (CP file photo)

A July 2022 report released by BC Northern Real Estate Board shows home sales and demand reducing slightly since the post-pandemic boom . (CP file photo)

Home sales in the north at lowest since pandemic boom but prices remain historically elevated

Smithers, Vanderhoof lead home sales in Bulkley-Nechako Region

Residential unit sales across northern B.C. have been at their lowest level since the post-pandemic boom, says the provincial real estate board. However, despite the drop, the numbers remain elevated to historical averages.

The BC Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) reported 2895 properties sold for $1.2 billion through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in the first six months of 2022, down from the 3561 sales reported in the first half of 2021.

At the end of June, there were 2900 properties of all types available for purchase, up from 1505 at the same time last year, said BCNREB in a report released earlier in July.

In the Bulkley-Nechako Region, Smithers area leads the way with the highest number of sales with 90 homes sold for $46 million in the first six months of 2022, compared to 118 sales worth $41 million in 2021. Half of the 35 single-family homes sold so far this year sold for less than $515,000 and took, on average, 80 days to sell. Eleven parcels of vacant land and 19 homes on acreage also changed hands since January 1st.

Hazelton/Highway 37, which formerly used to be clubbed with the Smithers area was added as a new major area to the statistics. The route saw 17 properties worth $5.6 million change hands so far this year compared to 16 properties worth $3.9 million in 2021.

Vanderhoof reporting 50 sales worth $17.8 million in first six months of the year, compared to 86 sales worth $24.7 million to June 30, 2021. As of June 30, there were 53 properties of all types available for purchase through the MLS in the Vanderhoof area.

Burns Lake saw 43 properties worth $11.9 million sold, compared to 56 properties worth $12.6 million in the same time-period last year. At the end of June there were 62 properties of all types available for purchase in the Burns Lake area.

In Houston, 35 properties worth $8.5 million have changed hands so far this year, compared to 52 properties worth $11 million in 2021. As of June 30th, there were 41 properties of all types available in the Houston area.

In Fort St. James, 35 properties worth $7.8 million compared with 47 properties worth $10.4 million in 2021. At the end of June there were 27 properties available for purchase in this area.

While average sale prices have eased in recent months, they are still up 6% from the prior quarter hitting $431,544. Seasonally adjusted average days on market fell to 51 from 59 last quarter. With falling sales and rising active listings, the sales-to-active-listings ratio has improved in recent months and is approaching balanced market levels.

By the second half of the year, demand will temper and prices and sales are also expected to soften due to tightening by the Bank of Canada and heightened mortgage rates, predicts BCNREB.