The Kootenay Real Estate Board (KREB) is an association owned by REALTORS® who live and work in the communities of the East and West Kootenays and Boundary areas of B.C. (Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash)

Real estate market remains hot in Greater Trail

Trail had the highest number of homes sold in the region in 2018, followed by Castlegar and Nelson

The real estate market was a hot one from Rossland to Trail and the Beaver Valley last year, especially if you were a seller.

The usual turnover for a family home in good condition and priced accordingly, was weeks.

And the average house sold in the Silver City went for upwards of $208,000, a number up $21,000 from the price of an average single family dwelling sold in 2017.

“There were more buyers than houses for sale, so it was definitely a seller’s market,” began realtor Deanne Slessor from Century 21 Kootenay Homes. “People were looking to buy near schools … we even had a pretty good market up in West Trail last year, which was great,” she said.

“And there were actually quite a few people looking for the retirement-style half duplexes as well. Those were really hot.”

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In all, according to statistics provided by the Kootenay Real Estate Board, 161 homes were sold in Trail last year. That number is very close to the year previous. And similar to 2017, home prices were at the bottom of the list compared to stats from surrounding villages and cities. However, the number of homes sold in Trail far exceeded the outlying municipalities. Only the Castlegar market was comparable with 131 homes sold, though the average price was $320,000.

With so many homes sold in Trail, the question becomes, “Who is doing the buying?”

Besides families looking for starter houses and aging homeowners looking to downsize, Slessor says the tight rental market likely played a role. Stock has been snapped up by the growing post-secondary and international student body, most of whom look for small homes to rent as a group.

“There’s really not anything to rent here, so I think that also drove the market a bit,” she explained. “Also, there were some investors coming into the area looking for rental properties. The market has really changed and the rental prices have changed quite a bit as well,” Slessor said.

“We have a property management division in our office and it was pretty rare that they had vacancies on anything. But single family dwellings were the highest in demand.”

As far as what homes were selling for throughout the region, the trend was very similar to the 2017 market. For example, Rossland’s residential real estate again came out on top. Based on 55 sales, the average home sold for $365,000 which was $53,000 more than the average home sold in 2017.

“Rossland was the rockstar for sure,” said Slessor. “But Glenmerry, Sunningdale are always (popular). And Montrose too, that’s been a really popular area for people looking to buy because you are in the middle of everything there. You’re close to (shopping) and everything else, but still not close to town.”

Another municipality that continues to trend up in real estate value is Fruitvale. Based on 31 sales, the average home went for $301,000, which was $23,000 higher than the average of 36 homes sold in 2017.

While no numbers were available for Warfield and Montrose from previous years, in 2018 the average home sold for $282,000 and $266,000 respectively.

By far, the costliest place to buy is Nelson. The average price of 97 homes sold in the Queen City last year came in at $508,000, which was up $80,000 from the average sale in 2017.

Just what will happen in the housing market over the next 11 months is pure conjecture. But one month in, Slessor speculated that 2019 may end up similar to last year.

“I feel like there is a pent-up buyers market still, because in the winter months a lot of sellers take their homes off or they don’t list until the spring,” she said. “People wanting to buy are just waiting so they have a bit of selection.”

That said, whenever a home hits the market that is in good condition and in a desirable neighbourhood – it sells quickly.

“People don’t want to do a lot of work in most cases,” said Slessor. “So you’re getting premium dollar for anything that’s been done up nice. Those are the hot ones that sell at higher prices with lots of offers.”

Generally, the local market follows what is happening in larger areas like the Okanagan.

“So if you see their markets slowing down, sometimes we end up getting a bit of that too,” Slessor added.

“But I feel like this area is being more discovered. I would describe our market as hot.”

The average prices listed are for Single Family Detached Homes only and do not include rural or surrounding areas.

Numbers provided to the Trail Times came with this disclaimer, “Although the Kootenay Real Estate Board (KREB) deems this information to be reliable, KREB cannot assume responsibility for the accuracy.”

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