First Quarter Market Update
All data used in this column was collected on April 12, 2011 from the MLS. The data was collected and compiled independently by the author. There are private sales that are not accounted for in this data. If you have any questions about this data contact the author at 250.719.3538 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the first quarter of this year the Northern Lights Real Estate Board joined the South Okanagan Real Estate Board. This is a great move for our local real estate brokerages, Realtors and consumers. One drawback to this merger, however, are some changes in record keeping. This has made it difficult for me to compare data from this year to data that I collected from the past two years. Regardless, market updates are important for you to know what’s going on in the local real estate market and to have the facts to justify the explanations. If you would like clarification of these changes and how they affect the data that is being communicated, don’t hesitate to contact me at the information provided below.
In the first three months of 2011 there were a total of 60 homes bought and sold. At the time this column was written there were 147 homes listed in the region. After a big run up in listings from early January to mid-February when listings increased from a low of 97 to a high of 151, the housing supply has pretty much hovered around the 150 mark.
Last year we had 54 sales in the first quarter. Thus, we are running at about the same pace as last year, which is good news. The first half of 2010 was a record year for transaction levels in and around Dawson Creek.
This is how the market has broken down by price point:
Under $100,000: There were 6 sales in this price range. There are currently 12 homes available in this price range. The sales to listings ratio was 33%. The majority of the properties that are available for sale are mobile homes in parks. 5 of the 6 homes that sold were little shacks that I assume people are buying in order to renovate.
$101,000 - $150,000: There were 6 sales in this price range. There are currently 12 homes available for sale in this price range. The sales to listings ratio was 33%. This is not a typo – the numbers are the same for both price ranges. Again, there is a mix of trailers and shacks in this price range. If you’re buying, be prepared to either pay pad rent or sink some cash into your investment.
$151,000 - $200,000: There were 7 sales in this price range. There are currently 15 homes available in this price range. The sales to listings ratio is 32%. In this range you find more fixer-uppers and some nice rural properties with mobiles on them. If you are priced in this range, make sure you are as attractively priced as possible, the competition is heating up.
$201,000 - $250,000: There were 14 sales in the price range. There are currently 20 homes available for sale. The sales to listings ratio is 41%. This is the middle of the bell curve in Dawson Creek. There are lots of buyers and lots of sellers. If you can make your house stand out it will sell. If you are buying in this range and you find something that you like, move quick, the good ones don’t last long.
$251,000 - $300,000: There were 12 sales in the price range. There are currently 26 homes available for sale. The sales to listings ratio is 32%. This is another popular price range in our market. If you watch closely you can get into a good family home with an attached garage or a completely renovated older home.
$301,000 - $350,000: There were 8 sales in this price range. There are currently 14 homes available for sale. The sales to listings ratio is 36%. This is a strong price category based on sales relative to availability. You can get into a newer home with a double attached garage if you are patient. If you are selling, price right, wait it out and you’ll get your price.
$351,000 - $400,000: There were 5 sales in this price range. There are currently 14 homes available for sale. The sales to listings ratio is 26%. There are a lot of nice rural properties in the price range. In town, you are looking at something built since at least the 90’s and it should have a garage of some sort – either double attached or detached.
$401,000 - $450,000: There was 1 sale in this price range. There are currently 6 houses available for sale. The sales to listings ratio is 14%. Though this has been a slow moving category lately, it tends to roll in waves. That means that you will see several houses sit in this price range for a while and then see them all get scooped up in a big hurry. I have no idea why, it’s just the way she goes.
$451,000 - $500,000: There have been no sales in this price range. There are currently 11 homes available for sale. In this range in the city limits you are looking at either brand new or top of the line executive homes. The threshold for prices in Dawson Creek is still stuck at $450,000. When I moved here two years ago that threshold was $400,000. A couple of sales over that limit and the glass ceiling will be broken. For sellers, be patient. For buyers, if you can afford a home in this price range you want to make sure that you are getting value for your money. There are also lots of very nice rural properties with lots of land and nice homes.
Over $501,000: There have been no sales in this price range, however there has been one sale since the beginning of April. There are 17 homes available for sale. The vast majority of these homes are substantial acreages with beautiful homes on them. In town, they are massive brand new homes or top-flight executive homes. For those selling in this range, patience is the key. The market hasn’t quite caught up with you yet, but it will.