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Housing Affordability Indicators


The BC Northern Real Estate Board (BCNREB) Housing Affordability Indicators estimate the proportion of median household income required to cover the major costs associated with home ownership for homes purchased in a particular year. These include mortgage costs, municipal taxes and 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 30% means that home ownership costs, including mortgage payments, utilities, and property taxes for a given year take up 30% of a typical household’s pre-tax annual income.

Home ownership in northern British Columbia remains very affordable, especially when compared with the Vancouver or and Victoria regions. The aggregate Housing Affordability Indicator (HAI) for northern BC for 2023 remains greater than 30%, checking in at 32.9%, a slight decrease from the 2022 HAI.  The affordability of home ownership in northern BC is exceptionally favourable when compared with the Vancouver Area, which experienced another year of significantly worsening affordability, clocking in at 137.0% for 2023.

This edition of the Housing Affordability Indicators for northern British Columbia includes changes to the HAI for 2020 through 2022 arising from data revisions to Median Household Income for the year 2020 due to the availability of new data from the 2021 Census.  In the case of Fort St. John, this change is noteworthy. Median Household Income in that community did not increase as predicted by Average Weekly Earnings numbers for the period and so has seen a significant correction for 2020.

Affordability by Community

Affordability improved in 2023 for nearly all measured northern BC communities. Only Williams Lake saw affordability worsen, while the HAI for Terrace remained unchanged. In terms of home ownership, 100 Mile House remains the least affordable community in northern BC. The major factor for this result continues to be median household income; 100 Mile House being markedly lower in that measure than other communities in Northern British Columbia.

Kitimat and Fort St. John continued to be the most affordable communities in Northern BC in 2023, as they have been for the previous five years.

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.