Making The Move to Fernie

Each season has its unique advantages in Real Estate. While listing a property for sale in the winter typically sees a less crowded market with little competition, we are seeing some new trends emerge as more purchasers have taken to online property searches due to the pandemic. Potential home buyers are now actively looking, no matter the season, so as we head into another exciting winter season, it’s as good a time as any to be listing or looking to buy. 

Maybe you have been dreaming about purchasing that quintessential Fernie property, and now, with the current mortgage rates remaining at historical lows, owning in this incredible mountain community may be closer than you think.

HSBC Canada led the trend earlier this month when it announced a five-year fixed default-insured mortgage for 1.99%, the lowest rate ever for a five-year fixed at the time. Despite the restrictive conditions, these low rates will provide a significant boost to the BC housing market. 
The Kootenay Association of REALTORS® (KAR) also reported a 52.4% rise in sales this past fall compared to 2019. “Realtors® in the region have adapted well to changing market scenarios and have been quite successful in minimizing the impact of the pandemic. We are sitting on the cusp of a major transition in our daily lives but real estate buyer behaviour in the Kootenays appears to be unaffected,” says KAR President Tyler Hancock.

For Single Family listings in Fernie, we saw active listings drop as low as 32 available units with an average selling price of $686,744 which is a 3% increase in price compared to last year. As of October 8, 2020 sales volume is up 9% but remains hampered by the low available inventory. Along with this, there were seven sales over one million this year-to-date which represents a whopping 250% increase in sales over one million dollars as compared to the same period in 2017. Our Luxury sales are certainly no comparison to towns like Canmore or Whistler, but trending is beginning to show a migration to Fernie with more disposable income for housing.

Affordability in the Elk Valley is challenging for buyers and renters looking to live right inside the City limits of Fernie due to the abundance of employment and lifestyle amenities. Fortunately the combined inventory from surrounding areas such as Sparwood, Hosmer, Elko and Jaffray balance the over-all cost of single family housing and provide options for most buyers in the valley.

If you’re thinking about making the move, here are a few things to remember:

Have a clear idea of the must-haves for this property. How do you want to use it?What is the big motivating factor for this move?
Become familiar with the market. Your Realtor® can help you with this even if you’re thousands of kilometres away. They can keep you up-to-date on new property listings that meet your criteria.
Decide if you want to use your home as a second home, investment property, or your primary home. This will be especially important for determining your cost of purchasing if you are financing part of the property, as well as determining any zoning or tax implications.
• Get pre-approved for financing. A good lender will help you determine what you can afford. In our fast moving market, having that pre-approval in place will go a long way in establishing your ability to complete the transaction.
Real Estate is staying positive in the current economic recovery, and despite the lower inventory, we are seeing lots of excitement in Fernie, with more buyer confidence, and unique opportunities to enter the market. Whether you’re a current resident of Fernie, or looking to make the move from another place, now is a great time to look at your options and to find the perfect place to call “home.”

Todd Fyfe is the owner/operator of Fernie Real Estate and a passionate real estate agent.