Thursday, January 20, 2022

Fewer houses to purchase; Higher prices to pay for them; themes for many Northwest communities in year end report from BCNREB

The final review of Real Estate sales in Northern British Columbia for 2021 highlights what we all have taken note of in Prince Rupert in the last year,. 

The price point of local homes on the North Coast continues to rise, with the median price for a home in the city now closing in on the 425,000 dollar mark.

Something confirmed earlier this month with the release of BC Assessment data which indicates those trends should continue through this year as the Prince Rupert market continues to percolate.

When it comes to the review of data from 2021, the BCNREB was noting of  near record sales to the end of December, as well as a record low inventory  all assisted by a recovering economic picture to propel the market in many areas of the North and Northwest.

The combination of near-record sales and record low inventory is driving prices to new records. Residential prices are up roughly 28 per cent since the start of the pandemic and in Q4 averaged $399,615. Average days on market rose from 55 to 67 on a seasonally adjusted basis from Q3 to Q4 but are down from 71 days in the same quarter last year. 

In 2021, the real estate market in the north boomed. Although it did not hit a record for sales, it came close, with sales in 2006 just 62 units higher. While new listings have remained steady throughout 2021 compared to prior years, very high sales activity drove active listings to the lowest level since records begin in 2000. 

These factors drove the sales to active listings ratio to record highs in 2021, surpassing the frenetic market activity for 2005-06, reaching a record of 40% in March. This, in turn, caused the average sale price in northern BC to surge 17.6% from $325,615 in 2020 to $382,786 in 2021.

As we move into the start of 2022 the BCREA notes of near all time highs for Northern British Columbia along low inventory and high demand.

Housing markets across the north ended the year with sales trending about 25 per cent above long-term average levels, pointing to a fast start to 2022. Unfortunately, the region will also start the year with extremely low supply, which means continued upward pressure on home prices. We expect markets will remain tight through the first half of 2022 before rising mortgage rates and expected tightening by the Bank of Canada starts to temper demand.

Prince Rupert was very much part of the Northern picture when it came to that surge of property deals closing,  with homes continuing with recent trends and the number of days required to close a housing deal continuing to drop.


When it comes to a review of the numbers for 2021. Prince Rupert stats show a sharp increase in sales with  283 transactions last year, compared to 229  property sales a year ago

That has delivered some $108.6 million in results, compared to 72.9 million a year ago for properties that have sold through the MLS® so far this year. 

Half of the 184 single family homes sold in 2021 sold for less that $418,000.

2021 also saw 28 parcels of vacant land, 5 townhouses and 21 half duplexes sold over the twelve months of last year

As of December 31, there were 68 properties of all types available for purchase through the MLS® in the Prince Rupert area, that was down from the 80 properties at years end in 2020. 

The  pace of the market in Prince Rupert keeps the city close to the findings of the Terrace market, which has long been the most active of the regional housing markets in recent years.


Realtors in the Terrace area sold 412 properties in 2021 up from 318 of a year ago

The value of these properties was $173.2 as 2021 came to an end. compared. to $114.1 million of December 31st of 2020.

Of the 213 single family homes that changes hands in 2021, hall sold for less that $450 million .

The Terrace market also saw 39 parcels of vacant land, 36 homes on acreage, 28 manufactured homes in parks and a further 14 on land sold in the last twelve months. 

As of December 31st,  there were 124 properties of all types available for sale in the Terrace area, that number of available properties is down from the end of 2020 when 154 properties had been listed as available.

Kitimat - By the end of 2021 the Kitimat market had seen 190 properties sold, an increase on the 166 properties of one year ago. The value of the transactions of properties which have been reported sold was worth $68 million compared to $52.6 million a year ago. 

The median value of the 115 single family homes sold in 2021 was $365,000

Kitimat realtors also reported that 32 half-duplexes and 16 townhomes had sold signs posted in the District in 2021.

At the end of  December there were 104 properties of all types available for sale through MLS® in the Kitimat area, that down slightly from 106 that were listed at the end of 2020.


Smithers continues to see significant growth in the realty sector,  the Bulkley Valley community reported 261 sales compared to 252 a year ago,  with a value of $96.8 million to December 31 2021, up from the $83.5 million one year ago.

The median value of the 105 single family homes that sold in 2021 was listed at $400,000

In addition to single family homes, 68 parcels of vacant land and 53 homes on acreages also changed hands by the end of 2021.

Smithers realtors also noted that 10 manufactured homes in parks and 11 manufactured homes on land also were sold to the end of 2021.

At the end of  December there were 51 properties of all types available for purchase through the MLS® in the Smithers area, compared to 78 available on the listings at the end of 2020.


Over the course of a three year period of review, Prince Rupert has been among the most active markets  in terms of price increases of the communities of the Northwest. 

The North Coast featuring  an average property listing of today $127,000 higher than  it was in 2019.  

Among the communities of the Northwest, Prince Rupert is just  off the pace of Terrace in total average price, with a $40,000 gap between the two communities. 

You can review the full overview for the different regions from the BCNREB here.  

More items of note on the Housing sector can be found here

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