Terrace, Prince Rupert and Kitimat show increases in housing sales

Divya Gill 

With the BC Northern Real Estate temporarily halting open houses earlier this month, the province's housing market has seen a significant increase in sales despite the pandemic.
Managing Broker for REMAX in the Northwest, Sheila Love said the pandemic didn't hinder the Northwest's housing market because of new projects like LNG Canada and the port expansion in Prince Rupert, more jobs are being created; therefore, more people need a place to live.

"In Prince Rupert, there were, let's say, in October there were 18 sales, and for the total year to date was 186 from January to the end of October. Last year at the same time, 22 homes sold, and the total was 168. Last month there were 39 sales in Terrace compared to 31 last year at the same time, and our total sales to date this year was 258 compared to last year 251. Kitimat, for last month 20 sales compared to 15 sales last October and year to date 139 this year, 121 last year."
One area of the housing market that did change was showcasing the homes.
"Most of our listings are on MLS. The realtors also have their own site that they can send out listings to their clients. So what we are seeing is that our clients are looking at the houses, looking at some of the virtual tours, some of the realtor's have actually gone in, and the client will stay at home. They have gone in with their iPad or iPhone and done the tour and said, okay, now we're at the door, now we're going into the living room and walking through the house with the people. Once they've narrowed it down to three or four houses, then they'll go out and look at the houses they've chosen."
Love added that the realtor market has been following all public guidelines and work safe rules. And the public has been wonderful to deal with as they make the necessary changes as the pandemic continues into its second phase.

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