A Year on: Mister, would you like to buy a house?

Trent Ernst, Editor


One of the biggest changes between now and the mine shutdowns at the turn of the century is simply this: ownership.

Before 2000, the houses were all owned by the mines. They were rented to employees, or sold with a buyback clause.

When Bullmoose and Quintette shut down, anyone who wanted to was free to walk away from their house.

This time, though, people own the houses. Some are renting out these houses and apartments, but many more own their own homes.

While there are currently 98 properties listed at Realtor.ca, don’t expect another housing sale like the previous one. Then, many houses sold for as low as $30,000. While the overall asking price has dropped by as much as 25 percent in the last year. Looking at the April 17 issue of the Tumbler Ridge News last year, the lowest asking price for a condo was $100,000. In last week’s paper, the highest asking price for a condo was only $8000 more than that.

The lowest priced house listed April of last year was $219,000. This year, the lowest priced house is half that.

That listing, at $108,000 is one of handful of properties that has been foreclosed upon. Despite rumours of dozens of houses having been repossessed by the bank, of dozens of people just abandoning their homes, the reality is not quite that grim.

There are only about five foreclosed homes listed at realtor.ca, though speaking to a local realtor, there may be a couple more coming up in the next few months.

A foreclosure is a legal process where the lender, typically a bank, attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has stopped making payments by forcing the sale of the property.

The assessed value of homes in Tumbler Ridge is down 14 percent from last year according to BC Assessments, dropping from an average of $245,000 to $210,000. However, part of the assessment process is finding the average sale price of homes in a certain town or area.

In the last 12 months, there have only been four houses that have sold in town.