Kitimat still most affordable northern community, says report

The BC Northern Real Estate Board has released their housing affordability study which shows Kitimat still leads in affordability.

The cost of owning a home in Kitimat has risen over last year but it is still the most affordable community in Northern B.C., according to a Housing Affordability Study released today by the BC Northern Real Estate Board.

The study shows that 21.5 per cent of a median household income goes toward financing home ownership in Kitimat.

It’s the lowest percentage among northern communities. In Terrace the number is 29.8 per cent.

The highest is in 100 Mile House, where it is 47.6 per cent.

Although still the lowest, Kitimat’s figure does show an increase over 2013’s report. Based on 2012’s numbers, the BCNREB said last year that 17.9 per cent of median household income needed to go towards home ownership in town.

That’s a 3.6 per cent rise in cost.

Vancouver, by comparison, has its affordability index at 84.2 per cent, rising two per cent since the last report.

“Despite price increases, home ownership in Kitimat continues to be the most affordable in the region at 21.5 per cent,” says the BCNREB report. “While 100 Mile House remains the least affordable…This difference stems from the respective disparities in house prices and in median incomes of these two communities.”

In 100 Mile House they say there are low reported incomes based on the 2006 census, coupled with high house prices.

“The favourable index for Kitimat reflects low average house prices accompanied by the highest reported median income in the region, according to the 2006 census.”

Earlier this year the BCNREB also issued their first quarter report for the year. That showed that 36 properties worth $10.4 million have been reported sold to the end of March 2014.

Twenty-three of those 36 were singl family homes, five were townhomes and two were vacant parcels.

By the end of March there were 47 properties of all type for sale in Kitimat through the MLS service.

Comparing to last year, the 36 sold properties is down from 2013’s 60 properties sold, but despite dropping by a half, the value of the sales actually increase this year. Those 60 properties accounted for $10.2 million worth of sale.

There were fewer properties for sale at the end of March this year compared to last year when there were 51, according to the BCNREB report.