Kitimat has seen an increase in housing sales since this time last year, according to the BC Northern Real Estate Board.
In the first half of 2016, 47 properties worth $14 million were sold through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS,) compared to 40 properties worth $11 million sold in the first half of 2015. According to the board, half of the 33 single family homes sold went for less than $350,000
At the end of June, 144 properties of all types were available through the MLS in Kitimat.
Kitimat notary Jacqueline Sweet said that most of the people selling homes in Kitimat are older couple’s looking to retire and leave town, and most buyers are people looking to buy their first home, or people who are looking to buy a larger home.
“It’s definitely a buyer’s market,” she said. “There’s a lot of options, the prices are lower this year than they were in the last two years.”
Sweet said that the Kitimat market is not impacted by the new transfer tax that was introduced by the provincial government last month, because there aren’t many foreign investors in the area currently.
The transfer tax applies to foreign buyers, who will now have to pay an additional 15 per cent in tax when they purchase residential property in the province.
Prince Rupert saw a slight drop in the number of properties sold, but an increase in the price of the ones that did. 101 properties were sold for $28.5 million, compared to 109 properties worth $24.5 million in the first half of 2015.
The trend also continued in Terrace, with 134 properties worth $39 million sold during the first half of 2016, and 144 properties sold for $35.7 million in the first six months of 2015.
In April of this year, an average detached home in the metro Vancouver area went for around $1,817,027, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average price for a home in Canada overall was $508,567 in March of this year.