According to BC Business magazine, Fort St. John is still one of the top cities to work in BC— ranked second to be exact. Despite the recent oil crisis and the climb in unemployment rates, the magazine also found that northeast British Columbia is still an economically attractive region. One of the reasons is likely due to the income growth of close to 20%. So, what exactly does it mean for the Fort St. John real estate market? With affordable housing prices, real estate has shown signs of stabilization.
Although sales figures don’t match up from years previous, the Fort St John real estate market can still be promising for long-term investors. The progress on the Site C Dam, which has so far employed over 1,494 workers, expects to hire more workers at the start of construction which is projected to span over the next eight years.
In addition to more jobs in Northern BC that are inevitable, affordable housing prices— with a median price of $419,900— certainly make it a buyer’s market.
As a city that is tied to oil and gas development, the approval of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project is another positive sign for job growth. This project would stabilize the local economy, especially considering that BC will be able to export its gas on the world market for a higher price (source).
With this in mind, it’s safe to say that it could also have positive effects for the Fort St. John real estate market in the long run. As one of the top cities to work in BC, Fort St. John is particularly attractive for younger families given the affordability in housing and the projected improvements in the Northern economy.
While the Fort St. John real estate market still has a long way to go, according to real estate agent Trevor Bolin, homes that were on sale over the spring and summer are starting to be purchased. There has also been an increase in building numbers this past November.
As with any real estate market, it’s difficult to pinpoint precisely when changes will occur. Having said this, as one of the top cities to work in BC and with more jobs in Northern BC on the horizon, the Fort St. John real estate market will see improvements over time.