Real estate sales dipped in the first quarter of this year in the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.
Through April, eight properties worth $2.3 million were sold through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). That's down from last year's 12 properties worth $12.6 million.
The new data was released by the BC Northern Real Estate Board.
The average price for a single-family residential detached dwelling rose in the first quarter of this year to $362,000. Last year that number was about $246,000. Four and five homes sold in the same period in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Myrna Blake, associate broker for Royal LePage, said prices have fallen for lower-end homes.
“The properties where the prices go down tend to be the ones where there’s large choice in that range,” said Blake.
“In the ones that maybe aren’t as well maintained or basically the starter homes, those prices have probably come down so that they are more competitive with one another. The higher end homes, not necessarily, because in Fort Nelson we always have a very limited supply of higher-end homes.”
As far as commercial and industrial properties go, she said they’ve seen some of those businesses close, but they often retain their space, anticipating a return to the area when business picks back up.
“It’s very tough to find replacements, so if they’ve got nice shops and they’re well set up they’re just going to mothball it for a bit,” said Blake.
And they’re wise to do so, said Blake, since at least on the industrial side, business was brisk despite an economic downturn.
“I just came in from showing an industrial building. Strangely enough we have more interest in purchasing industrial and commercial properties now than probably what we would have when we’re really busy,” she said.
“I think the perception out there is that this is the time if you want to have something commercially or industrially here, this is the time to do it because of the industry that has moved out,” she added. “As you [in Fort St. John] know, when the industry pulls out, it comes back, and I think the astute buyer knows that.”