By ANDREW WAREING
Low interest rates and a healthy local economy, along with proximity to a burgeoning market to the south are offering a boost to North Bay’s real estate market.
Dan Young, a North Bay realtor and president of the North Bay Real Estate Board, speaking primarily on the residential sector, says these three factors have rallied to buoy North Bay’s real estate sector.
“For the year to date on Aug. 31, we had 888 residential sales with an average price of $131,000, compared to last year with 816 residential sales. Prices were about $9,000 over last year,” he says.
Unlike years gone by, all levels of buying from lower-end and less expensive two-bedroom single-detached homes to more expensive homes have been selling well, relative to one another.
“Houses that come on the market, within 24 to 48 hours, will have a number of offers on them,” says Young.
This compares favorably over other communities throughout Northern Ontario, says Young. But in the case of North Bay, the community has seen additional benefits from a diversified economy over the past few years with an increase in the number of jobs created by small business.
“We’ve not seen any really big jumps in price over the year before...North Bay’s prices are a little higher because we’re closest to southern Ontario,” he says.
“Retail seems to be doing well,” says Peter Minogue, president of Coldwell Banker Peter Minogue Real Estate and chair of the North Bay Economic Development Commission. “Industry, which is a concern to every municipality and city, was slow for a while, but is picking up now. The mall, of course, is very busy. There’s no problem
getting tenants for commercial office buildings. Downtown had been struggling a bit.”
Christian Fortin of Mallette-Goring deals primarily in commercial real estate. He describes the commercial side of real estate in North Bay as “stable” over the past two years with little new construction of commercial space.
On the leasing side, Fortin says office space is going for approximately four dollars per square foot, with much of the activity happening downtown North Bay. Beyond that, he has observed little activity on the industrial front.
“I would say things are stable and getting better,” concludes Minogue. “We have an optimistic outlook.”