Real estate market prices slipped slightly in the Kootenays in 2012, but Greater Trail managed to keep its footing.
Sales were up for units of residential detached homes across both the East and West Kootenay, but average sales prices were down marginally.
In Trail the number of sales of homes was definitely up, said ReMax owner Tom Gawryletz, buoyed by an influx of young families and a stable local economy.
“They are ex-Trail people and they are buying some properties and getting re-established in the area,” he said about the bump in sales. “And I don’t think there are as many people leaving the area … like there used to be.”
The average residential detached Kootenay home sold for $288,379, down from $290,365 in 2011. The highest average in the last 20 years was in 2008 at $316,600.
That average is far below where the market sits in Trail. The latest average residential assessment for
Trail dropped $3,000 to $174,000 from one year ago, according to B.C. Assessment. Gawryletz said the majority of the movement has been in the neighbourhoods of East Trail and Glenmerry.
Across the East and West Kootenay in 2012, 1,312 homes sold in 2012, slightly more than the last two years, but down significantly than the last 20 years, with only 1995 having lower sales figures at 1,229.
Through the years Trail and the surrounding communities have weathered the real estate storms due to the “stabilizers in the area” such as Teck Trail Operations and the industrial park, said Century 21 Kootenay Homes owner Richard Daoust.
“They are hiring new people to take over the old spots (at Teck),” he said. “So it’s creating a bit more of a buyer’s cycle. But prices haven’t moved, if anything.”
Daoust said prices in Greater Trail were down from the year before by four per cent, but sales weren’t.
“Our area, on a per capita basis, was higher than all of the other towns in the Kootenay Real Estate Board,” he said.
A November report by the Coldwell Banker real estate corporation placed Trail in the top-10 for most affordable real estate markets in the country, comparing the sale price of similar four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes in each area.
“There are not as many young families moving to Rossland,” he said, pointing to the area’s overbuilt condominium market and the drying up of the U.S. Market as reasons as well.
“Because of the values across the border, a lot of the people are buying across the line instead of in Canada,” he noted.