A real estate sign. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward)

Northern B.C. real estate ‘very hot’ amid low supply and rising prices

Northern real estate markets to remain tight through the first half of 2022

The B.C. Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) said the real estate market in the north “remains very hot” after an almost record-setting year in 2021. The region has an extremely low supply which means continued upward pressure on home prices.

Markets are expected to remain tight through the first half of 2022 before rising mortgage rates and “continued tightening” by the Bank of Canada begin to temper demand by the summer.

Vanderhoof area realtors reported 13 sales worth $3.9 million in the first quarter of 2022 through the Multiple Listing Service. At the end of March there were 32 properties available to buy in the Vanderhoof area. There were 14 reported sales worth $3.7 million in the Fort St. James area during the same quarter — with 14 properties available as of March 31.

READ MORE: ‘Rare’ private island up for sale north of Fort St. James

Housing markets across the north started 2022 with sales trending about 25 per cent above long-term average levels, suggesting the potential for yet another strong year. There were 1041 overall reported sales in the north with a value of $448,840,650 in the first quarter of 2022. This compares with 1526 sales worth $500,991,790 to the end of March 2021. As of March 31st, there were 1721 properties for sale compared to 1314 at this time last year.

READ MORE: Canada’s average home price hit record $816,720 last month as supply began to rebound

Residential unit sales in the north remain high, although less so than during the record-setting first and second quarters of 2021. Sales in the first quarter of 2022 are roughly 38 per cent above the fourth quarter of 2019, prior to the pandemic, and are up seven per cent from the previous quarter. Active listings have dropped each quarter since the second quarter of 2019 and are now at a record low — continuing a downward trend since at least 2015.

READ MORE: Vancouver’s March home sales up 27% since February: B.C. real estate board

A combination of near-record sales and record low inventory is also driving up prices. Residential prices are up roughly 31 per cent since the start of the pandemic and in the latest quarter surpassed $400,000 for the first time, hitting $409,826.

Average days on market remained at 62 up from 56 days in the same quarter last year. Although sales are down from their peak in early 2021, less active listings means that the sales-to-active-listings ratio has hit a record level.


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