Realty market booms in Peace, Smoky regions

Peace River realtor Layne Gardner predicts a better year for real estate in 2022 as the economy continues to rebound from the COVID pandemic. South Peace News is featuring real estate in the High Prairie region in a future edition.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Real estate sales in the Peace River and Falher regions boomed in 2021 and are expected to grow.
Peace River realtor Layne Gardner predicts a better year for real estate in 2022 as the economy continues to rebound from the COVID pandemic.
“Looking forward to 2022, a multitude of factors look to support growth for the coming year,” says Gardner, an associate with Re/Max Northern Realty.
“The economy continues to rebound and consumer confidence is on the rise as we get back on track.”
Oil prices are strong, he says, and the general sense of security with continued employment in the area will help see consumers enter the real estate market.
“Those looking to take advantage of the continued low interest rate will also likely make moves before the anticipated rate increases later this year,” Gardner says.
“As such, we should see a slight increase in prices for 2022 as inventory levels remain stable.”
He says the market in the 2021 real estate market in the Peace region started off with a bang as first quarter year-over- year sales increases were in the double digits each month.
“Much of this was due to the pent-up demand from 2020 which was likely attributed to the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that were in place,” Gardner says.
“Buyers came out in full force at the start of 2021 and inventory levels dropped and prices stabilized.”
By the end of 2021, the pace slowed considerably as uncertainty returned when the Delta and Omicron variants but sales were up over 2020.
Residential sales in the Peace River area in 2021 grew 50 per cent over 2020.
Some year-over-year increases for the month were as low as 10-15 per cent, some as high as 70-80 per cent but varied throughout the year.
Over in the Smoky River region, sales skyrocketed.
“Combined 2021 residential sales in Falher, McLennan, Donnelly, Girouxville and Jean Cote grew an amazing 138 per cent over 2020,” Gardner says.
“Factoring in the combined sales of residential, acreage agricultural and commercial sales reported in our system, the Smoky River region witnessed a very strong 100 per cent increase in sales in 2021 over 2020.”
He notes the 2021 numbers have to be taken into context accounting for the very high levels of uncertainty and the effects of COVID-19 had on the real estate market and the economy in general in 2020.
The commercial market is also on the rebound.
“Another area of real estate that we are seeing higher levels of interest in that we haven’t seen in many years is the commercial market,” says Gardner.
Peace River commercial real estate sales were 300 per cent higher in 2021 than 2020.
“Interest so far in 2022 should support that strength going forward,” Gardner says.
“In fact, there were more commercial sales in 2021 than in 2020 and 2019 combined.”
In Peace River, eight commercial properties sold in 2021, compared to two in 2020 and three in 2019.

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