Ambleside Park has recently sold out Phase Six while real estate inventory in town remains at a historic low level. (Ambelside Park website screenshot)

Ambleside Park has recently sold out Phase Six while real estate inventory in town remains at a historic low level. (Ambelside Park website screenshot)

Smithers real estate inventory hits historic low point

President of the Northern Real Estate Board says there are only six houses for sale in town

Real estate statistics for Smithers tell quite a different story than recently released census data from Statistics Canada.

In 2021, census takers counted 5,378 people in Smithers compared to 5,401 five years earlier, a decrease of 0.4 per cent.

Sandra Hinchliffe, a Smithers real estate agent and president of the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board (NREB), said that really does not make sense.

“Obviously, Smithers is growing,” she said. “If everybody in town was just moving around, like a game of [musical] chairs, then prices wouldn’t go up. There’s less houses than there are people that want to buy them. And that’s why the prices are going up.”

READ MORE: Smithers single-family home values increase by 21% for 2022

She points to the new Ambleside Park subdivision as a good indicator. Ambleside Developments broke ground on the 105-lot neighbourhood in 2013 with Phase One house construction beginning in 2014.

Phase Six, comprising 11 lots, recently sold out and the developer is now getting ready to start Phase Seven sales.

Meanwhile, inventory across the NREB area is at historically low levels, Hinchliffe said.

READ MORE: Smithers population declines in 2021 census

“It has been in Smithers as well,” she stated. “We’ve been kind of battling a low inventory for years or it’s been slowly going down, but COVID just kind of made that problem much much worse. There’s very little inventory. I think in town right now there’s maybe six houses for sale.”

The high demand and low supply was reflected in this year’s property assessments. The average value of a single-family home in Smithers jumped 21 per cent last year from $362,000 to $438,000.

The same thing is happening in the rural area surrounding Smithers.

“A lot of people have decided they want to be rural,” Hinchliffe said. “So the demand for rural is really, really high. And that comes from in-town people and out-of-town people.”

She noted there has been a trend for some time of people getting out of the Lower Mainland for mountain lifestyle destinations such as Revelstoke. Canmore and Nelson. Consequently, real estate prices in those places are now much higher than Smithers.

“People always used to call Smithers the best kept secret,” Hinchliffe said. “Now I’m kind of wondering whether the cat’s out of the bag.”



editor@interior-news.com

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