The average price for a single-family home in Prince George has gone up by $48,000 over the past 12-months.
In February, it reached $526,000, up from the 478-thousand we saw during the same month last year according to the BC Northern Real Estate Board.
According to the BC Northern Real Estate Board, 50 single-family homes came off the market last month – a drop from the 65 sales recorded during February of 2021.
Director Kristine Newell told MyPGNow.com with the Bank of Canada raising its key interest rate to half a percent, it will be a little tougher for new buyers to enter the market.
“Your pre-approval is going to be a little bit lower. So, if anybody hasn’t locked in we are probably going to see another rate hike this year so you should probably get your rate hold in now but we don’t see that it’s going to have a huge effect on the market because the lack of inventory is what’s driving things right now.”
“We’re carrying over from a strong market that we saw in the fall, which really didn’t slow down as much as we normally expected to”
However, Bob Quinlan with RE/Max Core Realty stated the market is still pretty healthy despite the sales drop and the lack of listings.
“Residential homes that are really nice got a nice return, rental properties also got a higher return and those that are maybe a little bit tougher might have had a discount for those that want to fix them up but the market has stayed steady.”
“In the bowl area, we are looking at about $465,000 (for the average sale in that area) and that takes into account the new houses, older ones, and the factor of rental homes, which includes duplexes and those that have suites.”
With the weather starting to turn, activity is picking up in other areas.
“Well, we are already seeing lots already being sold. I have some buyers looking for lots and as soon as they hit the market they are decent as there seem to be buyers that want to build or develop them are looking to pick them up quickly.”
Quinlan adds those in the real estate sector knew the key interest rate hike was coming and may put more pressure on buyers to lock down their purchase of choice.
“And what that usually does is when people who have gone in and got pre-qualified for a mortgage and they have a rate hold for about 90 or 120 days – now they are going to be in a hurry to find a property so that they can hold that rate.”
“So, we are going to have a little bit of an uptick in urgency for those who are pre-qualified in the next little while.”
For those that don’t have the rate hold in place, Quinlan believes local home sales will not fall off a cliff due in large part to the stress test rules in place.
“And that is a minimum of 5.25% or your contract rate from the bank plus two percent. So, if you have a mortgage pre-approved for 3% the bank wants to see that you are able to qualify for 5.25%. If you have a rate of 3.5% the bank has to qualify you for making payments at 5.5 (percent).”
In total, 70 properties came off the market last month in the PG area, a decline of 42 when compared to February of 2021.