Spring seems to be a little tardy in arriving to Prince George. However, the real estate market is showing its usual signs of spring.
“The market as a whole is staying quite steady,” said Joe Postinikoff of Boardwalk Properties. “We feel that it will be a busy spring. We’re seeing an earlier push for real estate. You can feel there is an upward trend. People may have been hemming and hawing and now are acting on that.”
Real estate in Prince George remains very affordable compared with many other parts of the province.
“Real estate prices have gone up, but it’s still very affordable in Prince George,” he said. “The average residential, detached home is $327,000, when you compare that Vancouver it’s well over $1 million.”
He said realtors are seeing some money shift out of the Lower Mainland and Ontario markets, which have been very strong. He said there are lots of good opportunities for investment properties and holding properties.
“When you live in Prince George, you have access to lakes, you have access to mountains, you have a community feel,” he said. “There’s lots to like about it. You can own a home in your 20s and 30s. In a lot of other communities, you might be renting your entire life.”
And as the snow melts and the ground thaws, there will be more house starts. Postnikoff expect four or five starts in its Nechako View subdivision alone.
“I love the proximity to town,” he said of the subdivision. “You’re about seven minutes from downtown. There is a solid building scheme with high quality homes. The gravel soils are nice because there is good drainage and foundations won’t shift.”
Postnikoff and Gordon Langer, Boardwalk Properties’ agent nominee recently travelled to Williams Lake for the Northern Real Estate where proposed changes to the limited dual agency rules were a hot topic among realtors.
“There’s been a lot of talk about that,” said Langer. “We’ve had dual agency for many, many years.”
The changes will restrict realtors and agencies from representing both the seller and buyer. It’s a big issue in smaller agencies and smaller communities where there may only be a handful of realtors available.
“Change is always met with resistance,” said Langer. “We’re no different. Once people have the rules, people will adapt.”
Langer says the changes are designed to protect the public and the biggest change for realtors will be a lot more paperwork to process.
The new rules are set to be implemented June 15 and there may be more changes before then so realtors are waiting to see how it will impact them.
“Prince George is still an affordable place to live,” Langer said. “We have a lot more room to grow. If you’re thinking about buying, buy now because it’s going to get better in Prince George. Better sometimes means more expensive.”