Houston and area real estate sales through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for the first three months of this year topped totals for the same period in 2018, indicate latest figures from the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board.
Eleven properties changed hands from Jan. 31 to March 31 this year compared to eight for the same period in 2018.
But the combined sales prices dropped — from $2.1 million in 2018 to $2 million this year.
The number of properties listed through MLS also declined from 51 for the first three months of this year to just 27 for the first three months of 2019.
Of the 11 properties changing hands through MLS from Jan. 2 to March 31 this year, eight were single family residential detached homes carrying an average price of $186,725.
That’s slightly higher than the average price of $184,607 among the seven detached houses selling for the same period in 2018 and substantially higher than the $115,500 average price for the five homes which sold for the first five months of 2017.
In Burns Lake, sales were steady with 16 reported for the first three months of this year and 17 for the same period in 2018.
Total sales values did increase, however, in Burns Lake, climbing to $2.3 million this year compared to $1.9 million last year.
Sales in the Smithers area were also steady with 44 for the first three months of this year and 42 for the first three months of 2018.
The total dollar value for the Smithers area was $12.6 million this year, slightly less than the $13.6 million for the first three months of 2018.
If sales for the first three months of this year are any indication, Houston and area real estate activity should be fairly steady as the months move on compared to 2018.
Last year, 42 properties worth $7.8 million changed hands compared to the 54 properties worth $10 million that sold in 2017.
The median value of the 32 single-family homes sold here in 2018 was $148,000, meaning that half of the homes sold for more than that price and half sold for less than that figure.
As of the end of 2018, there were 32 properties of all types through MLS available in the Houston area.
At the same time, an analysis prepared for the BC Northern Real Estate Board shows housing remains affordable in northern B.C., especially when compared to the lower mainland or Victoria.
Using a Canada and Mortgage Housing Corporation definition of ‘affordable’ as being a home cost of less than 30 per cent of a household’s before-tax income and placing that against average incomes, the analysis determined the affordability index for the north is 26.9 per cent.
That’s compared to the lower mainland where the index registers at 118.9 per cent and is at 66.1 per cent for Victoria.
The 30 per cent figure takes in mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes.
The average house price in the north in 2018 came in at $316,321 which was considerably less than the $1.576 million average price in the Vancouver area.