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Housing Affordability Indicators

Introduction

This annual edition of the Housing Affordability Indicators for Northern British Columbia is based on a refreshed data-set that updates baseline variables to 2010. The revised indicators correct for errors that can develop over long periods of extrapolating baseline data.

The BC northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) Housing Affordability Indicators estimate the proportion of median household income required to cover mortgage costs, municipal taxes/fees, and utilities for the average single-family home. The higher the measure, the more difficult it is to afford a home. For example, an affordability measure of 50% means that home-ownership costs, including mortgage payments, utilities, and property taxes take 50% of a typical household’s pre-tax income.

Home ownership in Northern British Columbia remains exceptionally affordable, especially when compared with Vancouver.  Historically, the largest contributor to affordability has been house prices, and this trend continues for 2017.  The average price of a single-family dwelling sold in Northern British Columbia in 2017 was about $290,000. Q3 2016 statistics list average Vancouver single detached house prices at over $1,500,000. In 2017, The Housing Affordability Indicator for Northern BC was 28.9% compared to 115.7% for Vancouver.

Affordability

Changes in affordability also varied across the region. Kitimat, Mackenzie, and Fort St John saw affordability improve by 16.7%, 3.0% and 2.7% respectively. Prince George, Prince Rupert, Smithers and Williams Lake saw affordability worsen by 4-10%. In 100 Mile house, affordability worsened by 12.4% In most cases, worsening affordability can be attributed to increases in average house prices. The most affordable community in Northern BC remains Mackenzie, where home owners require only 20.1% of their annual income to cover the costs of housing.

Our members are committed to improving the Quality of Life in their communities. The BC Northern Real Estate Board supports growth which encourages economic vitality, provides housing opportunities, and builds communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods. The REALTOR® members of the BC Northern Real Estate Board serve the real estate needs of the communities from Fort Nelson in the north to 100 Mile House in the south and from the Alberta border to Haida Gwaii.

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