The Vancouver Sun cites a consensus built among city real estate participants as they wait for the provincial cabinet’s final decision on the development of another hydroelectric dam, which is slated to be built seven kilometres from Fort St. John.
Both the federal and provincial government have already given environmental approval for the dam, and construction is said to possibly begin in early 2015 if it receives cabinet approval.
According to the Sun, the average price of a detached home has risen by 10.1 per cent in the past year to $410,200, and the average selling price for industrial land has increased by more than 10 per cent in the past year to about $162,000 an acre, which continues to increase as most industrial properties in the region are now asking for a least $200,000 an acre.
All of these increases are said to be a result of Fort St. John’s increasingly active energy sector, which has made Fort St. John one of the province’s strongest real estate markets.
Director of B.C. Northern Real Estate Board, Curtis Robinson spoke with the Sun and says he only anticipates the approval would result in a “slight impact” on housing prices, as most Site C contruction workers will be housed in large work camps being built near the dam site.
Robinson does however anticipate the approval of Site C will result in “significant impact” on the rental market, resulting from Fort St. John’s apartment vacancy rate of only 1.5 per cent.
Founder of Cape Construction, Ralph Schwartzman, who is building two 78-unit rental buildings on a four-acre site in Fort St. John, says he feels an approved Site C project will create a “temporary stimulus” to the region’s real estate market.
His company’s first Fort St. John rental building is expected to be ready for occupancy early next year, with monthly rents ranging from $1,600 to $1,800 for units with 850 to 950 square feet of living space.
Cape Construction president, Reisa Schwartzman says she feels there’s a “buzz” that Fort St. John will become B.C.’s version of Fort McMurray.
With files from The Vancouver Sun