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Prince George, Northern BC sees 5% dip in home sales during May : BCREA

(Photo submitted by BC Real Estate Association)

It was a bit of a role-reversal on the topic of housing sales for BC in the month of May.

After being plagued by some of the new rules for the past year, the Lower Mainland seemed to get back on its feet while places like Prince George and Northern BC declined according to the BC Real Estate Association.

Deputy Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson recently spoke with Vista Radio.

“This time we had pretty big increases in the Lower Mainland whereas those markets in the past were fading to kick off the year and in the north, sales actually dipped a little bit month-over-month as they were down by about 5% across the north and about the same in Prince George.”

The dip is being partially blamed on the recent downturn in the province’s forestry sector where several sawmills have announced curtailments.

However, the provincial housing body isn’t pulling the plug on the region quite yet.

“It could be just a little bit of a pullback after the initial excitement from the LNG and I think now there is a little bit more of a risk clouding the horizon.”

“I think the long term story for the north is a positive one and I think this is just a temporary blip.”

When it comes to prices though, Ogmundson states the positive outlook for the north hasn’t really changed.

“At least in terms of prices, we’re still going to have a pretty strong year in the north, a little bit mixed too as you have some pretty big outliers like Kitimat that are still up in the double digits, and approaching 50% year-over-year and in other markets like in Prince George and Quesnel we’re seeing things a little bit more flat.”

Northern BC saw a 9.5% decline in home sales when comparing last month to May of 2018.

The average price for the north currently sits at $313,000 while PG is a little bit higher at about 350-thousand.

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