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Greater Trail real estate remains a buyer’s market

A projection of real estate prices predicts that housing prices in the West Kootenay will be on the rise over the next few years.

A recent projection of real estate prices in the province predicts that housing prices in the West Kootenay will be on the rise over the next few years.

But two local realtors say it still remains a buyer's market in the Greater Trail region.

Central 1 Credit Union, an association of credit unions which includes the Nelson and District Credit Union, released its forecast detailing real estate trends in various parts of the province.

All Pro Realty's, Tom Gawryletz, said that, for their office, last spring was slightly busier than the beginning of 2013 but the market seems to be levelling out after falling in 2008.

“The last two or three weeks there have been a few more tire-kickers out, people who are out looking at houses,” said Gawryletz. “But there's not many buyers yet.”

Gawryletz said that although the outlying areas have been a bit slower in recent years, the Trail market has been relatively busy.

“There's been a lot of younger families moving back to the area,” said Gawryletz. “They seem to be people who grew up in the area and now they're possibly finding work at Teck.

“We've seen a few doctors relocating to the area which helps the higher range market but for the most part the number of listings seems to be the same and prices about the same. It's taking a bit longer to sell a home. It's definitely a buyer's market.”

Richard Daoust, of Century 21 Kootenay Homes, says he is cautiously optimistic about the local market in the coming year.

“We've seen what appears to be a step up in activity in the last four to six weeks.” said Daoust. “In March we saw increases of about 15 per cent in sales.”

Daoust also said they have seen new people coming into the area for work and some, who had been renting, are seeing enough stability in their jobs to be starting to buy homes locally.

Daoust said he sees the number of homes for sale in the Greater Trail area to be somewhat lower than it has been.

“Some of the homes are coming off the market, people weren't getting what they wanted and decided to wait,” said Daoust. “Some sellers were bringing their houses closer to market value and they were selling better.”

He added that there has been more demand for new houses than they have seen in awhile.

“There are some new houses being built at Redstone and some of the other developments like that,” said Daoust. “I'd say that if there were more new houses being built in Trail we'd probably see those go.

“Prices have been relatively stable in this area for awhile but I can see them possibly rising this year.”

Last November, Coldwell Banker released its annual survey of 74 real estate markets across Canada comparing the sale price of similar four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes in each area. Trail placed seventh among most affordable in Canada, with an average four-bedroom, two-bathroom home listing for just over $232,000.