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Real estate sales down nearly 25 per cent in 2015

Tanking commodity prices are letting some of the air out of Fort St. John's ballooning real estate market. Home sales in Fort St. John were down nearly 25 per cent in the first half of 2015, according to recently released data from the B.C.

Tanking commodity prices are letting some of the air out of Fort St. John's ballooning real estate market. 

Home sales in Fort St. John were down nearly 25 per cent in the first half of 2015, according to recently released data from the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB). 

The first half of 2015 saw 374 home sales, compared to 497 during the same time in 2014. Total home and property sales fell from $188 million in 2014 compared to $131 million year to date. Dawson Creek's real estate market is not covered by the board. 

Despite slowing sales, homes increased in value. The average single detached home went for $403,500, compared to a median price of $397,000 in 2014. 

Board president David Black said that while low oil prices are hurting markets in oil and gas regions, markets in the Peace appeared to be cooling from a hot 2014 fueled by liquefied natural gas speculation. 

"Those communities expecting to benefit the most from LNG had a great year in 2014 and have now returned to traditional volumes but at higher values," Black wrote in a release. 

"They will now have to wait for the beginning of one of these projects to actually realize the projected benefits." 

Sales were also down in Fort Nelson, from $7 million in 2014 to $4.4 million this year. The average price of a home was $333,000. 

Prince George was up around 4 per cent owing to its relatively diversified economy, the board said. 

reporter@dcdn.ca