Local realtor says housing prices could rebound starting this year

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Realtor Trevor Bolin thinks that 2018 could be the year that housing prices in the Fort St. John area start to rebound.

In a blog post earlier this week, Bolin points to the correlation between oil prices and trends in the local housing market, specifically to the magic number of $60 for a barrel of oil. In a graph, Bolin points out times when the price of oil, accounting for inflation, was above or below the $60 per barrel mark and can see the relation between the local housing mark. He says that due to the community’s reliance on oil and gas to drive the local economy, the trickle-down effect to the housing market typically takes about a year from when prices start to fall.

“When you look at all these things, it spells a lot of really good things for our market. We’ve seen the lowest prices in years in Fort St. John. We’ve still got really low mortgage rates which are increasing. We are still in a buyer’s market but that is quickly changing. When we start to look at how many active listings in different price ranges are on the market compared to a year, year and a half ago when things started to really go south, we’ve seen a huge drop in the number of listings.”

Bolin explained that looking at recent stories about increased housing sales, improved economic outlooks, and the trend in commodities prices and adding those together means that demand could increase in the near future.

“This is probably going to be the last bit of our buyer’s market. I suspect by probably the summer we’re going to be looking at a balanced market. From there, our market is historically known to turn fall to winter, when we’re going to start to see a seller’s market.”

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Bolin added that his think that a four to six percent increase in real estate prices this year is most likely, especially after the 4.6 percent drop last year. He added that the housing market will likely start to see dramatically increasing prices due to the comparatively small number of housing starts since 2015.

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