The Prince George housing market is still very active.

According to Bob Quinlan with Re/Max City Centre Realty, 70 single-family homes were sold in October, down slightly from the same time last year where 85 properties changed hands.

Year-to-date, the northern capital has 874 sales this year (single-family), a decline from 2019 where the city recorded 951.

Quinlan told MyPGNow.com the increase in sales is continuing from the summer.

“The surge has probably gone on since June and has taken off. It still is that the actual number of sales is down but the prices are higher so it’s an indication people are looking to purchase.”

“We are consistently seeing a three to percent increase each month (in housing prices) so prices are healthy and strong for those that are still able to buy.”

BC Northern Real Estate Board Director Kristine Newell added residents are still house-hunting despite the pandemic.

“You know, global pandemic or not, people still have to move. There are job changes and all sorts of situations, once we sorted it all out, it was pretty well back to business as usual.”

However, the buying process has changed since COVID-19 took hold.

“We are telling buyers to really do your research as we are not doing any frivolous showings anymore. That includes carefully reviewing all the listings, photos, and details and to drive by the property. We are also requesting to keep the groups small for any serious showings, maybe don’t bring the kids the first time, wait until the second or third time, maybe just bring your parents until you have made an offer,” added Newell.

The BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) is predicting the north will hit 43-hundred unit sales this year, which would be an increase of about 4%.

Heading into 2021, the BCREA projects 47-hundred units to be sold in our region, which would mark the best sales year in about a decade.

Meanwhile, BC  real estate agents are being told they should not be holding open houses, to protect themselves, and their clients, from the virus.

The professional association that regulates agents, and the B-C Realtors Association, say they should be using virtual tools to show their homes.

They say such a move will reduce personal interactions that could lead to the spread of the coronavirus.

The BCNREB supported the recommendation earlier today (Friday), the news release is as follows:

The BC Northern Real Estate Board supports the call to temporarily halt Open Houses, as recommended by the real estate regulatory agencies and the British Columbia Real Estate Association on November 5, 2020.

“Many of our members have already stopped Open Houses and have moved to virtual options, such as virtual Open Houses, expanded virtual tours or modified showings,” states President Shawna Kinsley.

“Listings may also be designated “no showings” while remaining on the MLS® system. If you are a buyer or seller, please speak to your REALTOR® about COVID-19 preparedness.” BC Northern REALTORS® have long developed and recently updated, guidelines for real estate practices such as showings, in accordance with health authority orders and guidance from WorkSafeBC,
the regulators and the provincial association.

President Kinsley notes, “Buyers and sellers will have seen changes to how properties are previewed and showed – changes intended to ensure the health and well-
being of consumers during extraordinary times.”

REALTORS® moved to virtual options at the start of the pandemic in March and quickly adopted requirements for social distancing, sanitizing and health and travel questions during showings. “We have long adapted to the realities of COVID”, added President Kinsley. “The temporary halt to Open Houses is not expected to affect northern or north-central markets.”