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Kitimat sees lukewarm property sales in Q1, COVID-19 leaves housing market uncertain

Property value and housing sales similar to Q1 2019, but coronavirus’ impact largely unseen

The first quarter of 2020 saw Kitimat hold its own in terms of housing sales and property value compared to 2019, but COVID-19’s impact on the region still remains to be seen.

18 properties in the District sold for a combined total of $6.2 million in the quarter. This is only slightly below the same timeframe for last year, when 19 properties sold for a total of $6.7 million. As of March 31 there were 113 properties listed in Kitimat — just over a 9 per cent decrease from the 124 available in 2019.

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The first quarter of 2020 saw a persistent pullback in housing demand within the region, as the BC forestry, mining and oil sectors continued to struggle. However Kitimat fared slightly better than the 13 per cent drop in housing sales for the region. Despite a decrease in demand, prices remained static due to a decline in active listings across the region, with the average property MLS-listed property value at just under $299,000.

“We expect [MLS] sales to continue to decline in the second quarter of 2020 due to the economic standstill brought on by COVID-19, which will likely also lead to significant investment projects such as LNG and BC Hydro to scale back,” reads a release from Canada’s Multiple Listing Services (MLS) database.

Overall the BC Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) reported 753 sales with a value of over $217,389,724 through MLS in the first quarter of 2020, a decrease of just under 17 per cent when compared to March 2019.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant challenges to everyone in our society,” said BCNREB president Shawna Kinsley, adding that realtors across the Province are all doing their part to ensure communities stay safe. “The Real Estate Board has recommended that no open houses be held during this time. [Realtors] are also modifying their practices around face-to-face meetings and showings.”

In an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, consumers can expect more phone or virtual meetings as well as limits on showings and new showing guidelines.

“We ask consumers to be patient with real estate practice changes at this time. [Realtors] remain committed to serving their clients and safeguarding their communities.”
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