Daily Market Update

by Jordan Maxwell15 Apr 2015

Home sales in northern B.C town cool off
Fort St. John home sales dipped slightly during the first quarter of 2015, according to the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board, however building permits doubled to $38.8 million on-year in the same quarter.  According to the Alaska Highway News, from January to April, just over 200 properties totalling $69.4 million changed hands.  Fort St. John has seen sales of single-family homes decline in consecutive first quarters. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, 78, 72 and 59 single-family residences changed owners, respectively, in the first quarter. But while fewer homes are selling in the early part of the year, their values have been rising steadily. In 2013 and 2014, the average selling price of a home was $373,000 and $392,000, respectively.  In the first quarter of this year, Fort St. John still topped the 13 municipalities in the the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board in average selling price for a residential detached home at $416,000.  “The market has developed an interesting segment that homes over $550,000 have sold very slowly and homes under $550,000 have sold quite well,” said Fort St. John realtor Scott Sauer.  To Sauer, lower oil prices have had more of an impact on the market for higher-end homes, “but not in the regular, everyday real estate that the average Fort St. Johner buys,” he said.

Peterborough real estate market sales up 26 per cent
Local real estate sales saw their best March numbers since 2007, the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors announced Tuesday. March saw 204 homes sold, along with 10 farms, 10 cottage/recreational and 16 income/commercial/ICI properties. according to the latest stats. Seven vacant land properties were sold, bringing the total to 247 properties changing hand sin March. That's a 26.5 per cent increase over the same period in 2014. The association, which represents 445 realtors in Peterborough city and county, turns 70 this year.

Commercial real estate market on the rebound in Ottawa
In its report for the first quarter of 2015 released Tuesday, Colliers International said the National Capital Region’s office and industrial markets are showing signs of recovery. According to the Ottawa Business Journal, Colliers’ survey of 462 office buildings across the region showed an overall vacancy rate of 11.2 per cent, down slightly from 11.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014. The downtown core fared even better, with the vacancy rate falling to less than 10 per cent from 10.2 per cent at the end of 2014. “Judging from the commercial foot traffic and the number of visits to the buildings, both industrial and office, I’d say it’s nothing but positive news,” said Paul Bennett, vice-president and broker at Colliers International in Ottawa. Bennett added that many tenants are taking advantage of lower rates and landlord incentives. Base rents for downtown Class-A space have dropped from around $18-$20 a square foot to the $14-$15 range over the past few quarters, he added.

“That’s a bargain,” Bennett said. “I think tenants are realizing that.”

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