Houston real estate sales jump

Liquefied natural gas project having an influence

Property sales of all types doubled in Houston and area for the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2018.

And the average price of a single family house also rose, indicates sales information released by the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board.

As of the end of June, the average price of a single family detached home was $179,945, a bump up from the $175,977 as of June 30, 2018 with 20 homes selling as of June 30 this year compared to the 11 sold as of June 30, 2018.

The number of properties of all types sold in the first six months of this year was 28 with a total value of $5.2 million compared to the 14 properties carrying a value of $3 million which were sold as of June 30, 2018.

But the number of properties up for sale has dropped — to 32 as of June 3o compared to 51 as of June 30, 2018.

Houston realtor Jantina Hamelink said the increase in activity has been noticeable.

“There’s a lot of optimism in the area. LNG is positive news for Houston,” she said of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline which will run south of Houston to feed the LNG Canada liquefied natural gas project now under construction in Kitimat.

“There’s been calls from people and businesses outside the area thinking of moving here.”

And there’s interest from people attracted to Houston’s affordable housing prices compared to nearby Smithers, Hamelink added.

“You can buy a really nice detached family home here for under $200,000. In Smithers it would be between $300,000 and $350,000 so that’s been a driving force,” she said.

Hamelink is also aware of a growing shortage of rental housing.

“It’s getting hard for people to find a rental,” she said.

“Some of the property owners here are renovating apartments and that’s good to see.”

If Houston is undergoing a busy real estate time, things have been steadier in Smithers and area with 113 sales of properties of all types carrying a value of $35.3 million for the first six months of this year compared to 125 sales worth $37 million for the same time period in 2018.

And the average selling price of a single family detached home fell in Smithers and area — from $314,954 as of June 30, 2018 on the strength of 50 sales to $294,783 based on 53 sales to the end of June this year. Still, this year’s average selling price has increased over the $270,807 of 2017.

Sales activity Burns Lake and area was also stable with 37 properties worth $5.6 million sold for the first six months of this year compared to 39 properties worth $5.3 million as of June 30, 2018.

But the average selling price of a single family detached house dropped in Burns Lake and area from $140,471 on 7 sales for the first six months of 2018 to $134,069 on 13 sales for the first six months of this year.

And like Houston and Smithers, the average price of housing in Burns Lake has increased over 2017 when it was $127,701.

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