Housing Market ‘Relatively Stable’ in Northern BC
Prince George, B.C. – New numbers released by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) indicate housing demand has remained ‘relatively stable’ in the northern half of the province the past year.
“We’ve seen overall this year across the north unit sales year-to-date are about the same as it was last year albeit down about one percent,” says chief economist Cameron Muir. “And the same goes for the average house price – prices remain relatively stable across the north in aggregate too.”
The average overall price of a home in northern B.C. in August, 2016 was $264,902 – down from $277,374 last year.
The number of active listings was also down slightly from 2,936 last month compared to 2,994 a year ago (Prince George numbers were not available).
But all things considered, Muir still considers it a good news story for northern B.C.
“That’s actually good news given the fact that we’ve had a collapse in oil prices and much weaker commodity demand on a global basis. So the north is actually weathered quite well the latest storm.”
He’s expecting more of the same down the road.
“I think going forward in the north, we’ve going to likely see more of the same but we have to be cognizant of course as the north is a very large area and there’s some really big regional differences,” says Muir.
“So a market such as Prince George – a service centre – one that is a much more diversified economy, has done much better than some other parts of the north where the impact of weaker commodity demand is much more acute.”
They say “relatively stable” in referring to housing prices, I prefer to use the word “stagnant” both are descriptors of something that remains relatively unchanged.
Housing prices follow the general economic conditions in the region, and those conditions remain relatively “stagnant” to “negative” in Northern BC.
There, I fixed the story to make it “positive spin” free. ;-)
Big growth areas in coming years will be in the Chilliwack and Victoria areas. I spent some time in Chilliwack this summer and their real estate market is really feeling the effects of Lowermainland overflow. It’s a market looking like Vancouver market now in terms of growth in valuations.
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