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Looking to invest in the real estate market? For prospective real estate investors in Canada, Fort St. John is definitely the place to be. North Eastern British Columbia’s major service centre is rife with mega projects at its doorstep, such as the liquefied natural gas (LNG) from shale gas in the Horn River Basin, Site C Hydro Dam, and the gas collection and processing structures in Liard Basin and Montney field.

 

 

Indeed, Fort St. John is blessed in resources, and investors are lining up. Four LNG export facilities are expected to be built in northwest BC. The first of them is a $36 billion LNG export terminal at Prince Rupert, a project helmed by Malaysia-based gas giant Petronas, along with its subsidiary Pacific NorthWest LNG.

 

With massive projects popping up left and right, people are starting to move into the Fort St. John community at a speedy pace. Workers transferring into the city need accommodation, and the real estate market is the first order of business for most of these professionals. Housing will have to keep up with demand, which can cause house prices to rise even more.

 

According to stats released by the B.C. Northern Real Estate, homes in Fort St. John cost over $400,000 on average in 2014. From January to October last year, homes for sale in Fort St. John, BC averaged a whopping $414,445, yielding a $43,710 increase from the previous year’s rate during the same period.

 

Petronas wants its Prince Rupert facility in operation by 2019. An expected offshoot of this is that housing prices in Fort St. John are going to skyrocket. Those who would like to own a piece of property in the area should therefore realize that now’s the time to invest in homes for sale in Fort St. John, BC.

 

Potential investors stand to benefit the most from working with prolific a REALTOR® like Scott Sauer. Real estate agents such as he have honed their craft from many years of experience in the business, so they’ll know what to expect and how to navigate the Fort St. John real estate market adeptly. They’ll also know the area you’re interested in like the back of their hand. Suffice it to say, these agents will be armed with the expertise you need to help you get the best price for the properties you’re looking to invest in.

 

(Source: Northern communities scramble to upgrade roads, bridges for LNG, Business in Vancouver, Nov. 11, 2014)

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A drop in global oil prices may favor consumers, but it also cuts the revenue of companies and oil-producing countries. It has considerable implications, for instance, on Canada, the world’s fifth largest oil producer, where the oil and gas industry contributes around $50 billion to the national economy.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark remains optimistic, however. During the recently concluded B.C. Natural Resource Forum in Prince George, Clark expressed her belief that adapting to these changes will help the local energy industry resist fluctuations in oil prices. It is also worth noting that other natural resource sectors like liquefied natural gas (LNG) are growing strong.

The province has plans to export LNG to Asia via Malaysian oil and gas giant PETRONAS. It may take a while before the project kicks into high gear, but Clark wants to make sure everything is covered, e.g. fulfilling environmental requirements, consulting First Nations, investing in major preparations, and so on.

The Fort St. John area, in this case, will be a key player. The Montney Basin, which stretches along the Rocky Mountains as far as eastern Alberta, contains an estimated 449 trillion cubic feet of extractable natural gas, enough to supply Canada alone for 145 years. From there, LNG will be transported via pipelines connected to the coastal areas like Prince Rupert and Vancouver.

As numerous construction and oil rig jobs are generated, this city in the Rockies will be bustling with even more economic activity. More workers and their families will pour into the city, increasing demand for basic necessities such as new homes for sale in Fort St. John, B.C. People who seek suitable investment properties are also expected to take note of these developments.

Top REALTORS® like Scott Sauer are in the best position to help buyers and investors find the right homes in Fort St. John, primarily by conducting a comparative market analysis (CMA). By determining how homes fare in a localized setting, sellers can derive the right price for a certain property. The CMA uses data from as early as last year and covers pocket markets (i.e. one’s prospective property as well as houses on the next street).

Those looking to invest in the thriving housing market that is Fort St. John and surrounding areas can use CMAs to their advantage. The result reflects a win-win situation: the buyer will see the value as fair, while the seller is able to use his home equity to look for a new and even larger residence. At any rate, those who seek the kind of homes for sale in Fort St. John, B.C. that make for cash flow positive investments would do well to work with a trusted REALTOR® like Scott Sauer.

(Source: "Clark confident in LNG future," The Prince George Citizen, January 22, 2015)

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Energetic City’s real estate market continues to be sizzling hot, and its various flourishing industries significantly influence the trend. As big companies migrate to the region to explore its rich resources, Fort St. John, BC homes for sale are getting more valuable and in-demand. Here are three sectors that investors find profitable to explore:

 

 

Agricultural Ventures

One of the latest developments in the city’s agricultural scene is the new Agricultural Land Reserve panel, where two of the three members are Peace Region locals. Northern Horizon correspondent William Stodalka has more on the story:

Late last week, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that these three people – a retired farmer, a rancher and a bookkeeper – would join the Agricultural Land Commission’s North panel.

Previously, one large ALC panel made all the decisions. Now, there are six regional boards, and some of the people who previously served on the big ALC panel have gone to these other panels. However, all of the three panellists in the North are new to the ALC.

B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick said that the province’s Board Resourcing and Development Office chose the panellists around the province from over 100 applicants.

“Now that we have local panels, people who live in the area, they should have a much better appreciation of the local area and what’s happening in the region,” he said. “It makes it easier for them if they want to go on site and see what’s happening.”

Energy Projects

Of course, even if it has expansive lands for forestry and agricultural opportunities, Fort St. John won’t be called the “Energetic City” or “BC’s Energy Capital” without its prosperous oil and gas industry. Abundant in shale gas supply, the region has been touted as a centre for drilling. Its future looks even more lucrative with the extraction and export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asian markets. The approval of the Site C Dam construction project will help supply power for the provinces industrial projects and booming population growth.

Real Estate Opportunities

The industrial growth in the area fuels its thriving real estate market, and homes are getting sold to prospective residents and investors quickly. Together with a healthy economic condition, local infrastructure improvements also encourage more individuals and families to move to the city. To avoid limited supplies or high prices, new residential developments are expected.

If you need help finding homes for sale in Fort St. John, BC that you can flip or where you can settle down if you work or run a business in the region, talk to an experienced agent like Scott Sauer. As a REALTOR®, he can provide you a wide range of options. Aside from residential properties, he also has plenty of resources to assist you in looking for farms or homes on acreages and other recreational properties in the area.

(Source: New Agricultural Land Commission panel chairs for the North, Northern Horizon, October 16, 2014)

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Tremendous news for the economy of Northern BC as the Northern Gateway Pipeline porposed by Enbridge has been conditionally approved.  Millions of dollars will be spent in comunities as the pipeline is built and full time jobs created.  This kind of positive news will draw more workers to our comunity and creat a greater demand for housing.  In 2014 we have received the conditonal approval for Site C hydro electrical dam and now the anticipated Northern Gateway.  I look forward to these projects gaining full approval and the tax dollars they will generate the imporve the roads, schools and health care for all British Columbians. 

 

The federal government has agreed to let Enbridge build its Northern Gateway pipeline, subject to 209 conditions recommended by the National Energy Board and further talks with aboriginal communities.

Enbridge wants to build the pipeline from Bruderheim, Alta., to Kitimat, B.C.

 

This is the text from the question period 

 

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair called it "folly" and "pure madness" to think anyone can put supertankers in British Columbia's Douglas Channel.

Both Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said they would reverse the decision to accept the National Energy Board's pipeline approval. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, environmental groups and First Nations reacted quickly to news of the federal approval, releasing statements opposing it.

Nathan Cullen, the NDP's finance critic and an MP who represents an area the pipeline would traverse, said the approval is "an arrogant, Ottawa-based" decision.

"Conservative MPs know that. They will be held to account for this," Cullen said.

Conservative MPs 'hiding'

Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford, whose office announced the decision to allow the pipeline, wasn't available for interviews on Tuesday. The announcement was made in a news release with no ministerial press conference.

Enbridge has to show the NEB how it will meet the 209 conditions and has to apply for more permits from the federal and provincial governments, Rickford said in the news release.

 

Enbridge has obtained the approval of the federal government to build an oil pipeline from Bruderheim, Alta., to Kitimat, B.C.(Julie Gordon/Reuters)

"In addition, consultations with aboriginal communities are required under many of the 209 conditions that have been established and as part of the process for regulatory authorizations and permits. The proponent [Enbridge] clearly has more work to do in order to fulfil the public commitment it has made to engage with aboriginal groups and local communities along the route."

 

Mulcair said Conservative MPs from British Columbia are "hiding under their desks right now" because the pipeline is already an election issue in the province.

Trudeau said British Columbians aren't opposed to economic development, but want it done right.

"This government has actually hindered our ability to get our resources to market by not doing its homework … not building the right kinds of partnerships with communities," Trudeau said.

Conditions not met

Art Sterritt, executive director of British Columbia's Coastal First Nations, said he's looking to B.C. Premier Christy Clark to stop the project. In a news release, Sterritt warned that First Nations are weighing a range of legal and direct action responses, but will wait to see what Enbridge does.

"We’ll see if Enbridge dares to put its shovels in the ground," Sterritt said in the release. "First Nations and our allies will protect our rights and the interests of future generations. We will never allow oil tankers into our territorial waters."

Clark has the power to grant or deny dozens of other permits for its construction. Her government has set out five conditions she expects to be met before allowing the Northern Gateway pipeline to be built across British Columbia.

B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak said the province's conditions haven't changed and its five conditions haven't been met, the CBC's Stephen Smart reported on Twitter.

The Dogwood Initiative, which says it's B.C.'s largest non-partisan democracy group, also called on Clark to reject the proposal.

"First Nations and the democratic majority of B.C. voters oppose Northern Gateway. Despite that, Ottawa still intends to ram it down our throat. Premier Clark’s only politically viable option is to join us in standing up for British Columbia,” spokesman Kai Nagata said in a news release.

'Will not be built'

Other groups asserted that despite the approval, the pipeline faces too many obstacles to be built.

 

Protest signs are shown in the town of Kitimat, B.C., on April 12, 2014. Residents of the town voted against the Northern Gateway pipeline project in a blow to Enbridge's efforts to expedite the flow of crude from Canada's landlocked oilsands to high-paying markets in Asia.( Julie Gordon/Reuters)

"Approving the Northern Gateway pipeline rejects science, disrespects First Nations, ignores the Government of British Columbia and brushes aside the voices of millions of Canadians," Tim Gray, a spokesman for Environmental Defence, said in a news release.

 

"Despite cabinet’s approval, the pipeline will not be built. These conditions cannot be met — an approval with conditions is as good as a no. Opposition to the project will only grow louder and stronger every day. This project will be challenged in the courts and on the ground."

May said the terrain under which the pipeline would pass is rugged but fragile, making it extremely hard to clean up any spill.

"Every First Nation along the route opposes the project," she added.

More permits needed before construction can start

The federal approval is one more step in a long line of permits necessary for Enbridge to get access to the Pacific coast to ship crude to Asia.

The federal regulatory process began in May 2010 when Enbridge submitted its application to the National Energy Board.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in question period that Mulcair was trying to distract from what he called the NDP's opposition to resource development.

"The process we have in our government, in terms of environmental evaluations, we establish independent expert panels that follow a public and scientific process. When we've received the report from that process, we will make a decision obviously based on the facts in the not too distant future," Harper said.

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Fort St. John real estate prices still continue to rise. In 2012, growth in the local real estate market pushed average home prices up a remarkable 10 percent. This was followed by more growth in 2013 that further extended the price trend’s upward surge. Surprisingly, this isn’t deterring buyers, who continue to snatch up properties almost as quickly as they can be built.

Commercial Property Sales in Fort St. John Brisk, May Surpass Supply

Despite the increase in real estate prices, property sales haven’t slowed down, and now commercial land and buildings are in extreme short supply. Entrepreneurs are coming to the city with the intent of opening industrial service companies to support the gas extraction and production industries working on the Montney Formation. Unfortunately, most are simply not finding any buildings to buy or rent.

Similarly, the desperate lack of restaurants in Fort St. John is proving difficult to fill. Despite restaurateurs’ best efforts to open new locations in the city, the lack of suitable commercial spaces is leaving many disappointed.

Thankfully, however, the construction industry is responding to the shortage. According to an article from the city’s local news provider, Energetic City, the number of building permits issued this year stands at double the figure posted during the same time in 2013. As would be expected, commercial developments took the lion’s share of the pie:

"The value of construction in Fort St. John continues to forge ahead of last year’s pace, as 30 permits issued last month, added up to $18.7 million.

Six of the permits were for commercial developments, including the construction of a new hotel on the Alaska Highway, and they represented the biggest slice of the total value, at 11.7 million.

The April total nearly doubled the total for the same month last year, which was 9.8 million, and was also generated from a total of 30 permits."

The shortage in supply is working to the advantage of real estate investors, however. The capitalization rate on commercial properties stands just north of 8.5 percent, treating investors to the promise of great returns. Lagging just slightly behind, residential properties are similarly attractive, with the cap rate for rental houses and duplex homes topping a respectable eight percent.

With real estate in Fort St. John in such high demand, the market for commercial property investments is expected to be bullish, a boon for early investors who are able to purchase property from a reliable REALTOR®, like Scott Sauer.

(Source: Building permits already double this time last year in Fort St. John, Energetic City, May 6, 2014)

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Will B.C. Hydro’s proposed dam on the Peace River finally be given the green light? That’s the question local authorities, residents and other stakeholders are anxiously awaiting an answer to.

Further increasing anticipation is the fact that a joint panel review will soon be released by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) and the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (BC EAO)—the result of which may have an immense bearing on the dam’s future. Business in Vancouver provides more details on this development:

The federal and B.C. governments will reveal a Joint Review Panel's recommendations regarding Site C on May 8, officials confirmed Thursday.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency issued a statement saying the Joint Review Panel had issued its report on the proposed hydroelectric dam that could be built less than 10 kilometers away from Fort St. John.

However, that statement did not say whether or not the panel recommended the project to move forward.

Lucille Jamault, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), said that the panel gave the report to the federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (BC EAO).

"As the Joint Review Panel agreement states, it is the agency and the BC EAO that will make public the panel report," she said. "It will be posted on the agency's public registry and the CEAA website."

The dam is meant to provide renewable energy to the residents of British Columbia, as well as to supply adequate power to the province, whose energy demands will steadily increase in the years ahead.

Site C Dam Approval Seen To Boost Fort St. John Real Estate Demand

Of course, power generation won’t be the only thing that experiences an uptick should Site C push through. As early as now, REALTORS® like Scott Sauer are already predicting a boost in Fort St. John real estate demand given the dam’s proximity to the city.

According to Sauer, B.C. Hydro expects the project to attract 5,000 workers to the area. Given Fort St. John’s current population of 20,000 people, that’s a whopping 25% increase which will likely translate into robust growth for the real estate sector.

While the hydroelectric company will most likely build housing for its Site C employees, it is expected that many of these new employees would much rather look at suitable Fort St. John real estate listings, and be full-fledged homeowners instead. Buying a house in the city also offers other perks, like easy access to shopping/business districts, and proximity to good schools—a must for workers with children.

Real estate investors are also keeping a keen eye on the city. Many will look to develop subdivisions, condominiums and other multi-family properties that will address the influx of new residents in Fort St. John should Site C become a reality.

(Source: Government to release Site C report May 8, Business in Vancouver, May 2, 2014)

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The Fort St. John and Northeast BC economic outlook is outstanding. Most of BC throughout 2013 experience population declines; the Northeast is growing and bursting at the seams. New home construction can not keep up with demand, retailers are short of staff and heavy industry is moving full steam ahead. Fort St. John is the economic heart of BC producing huge royalty's for the government from all the natural resource extraction in the Montney play. This has had a huge influence on historic high BC Assessment values, up 10.3% year over last. In this rising real estate market there is good news for first time home buyers.

"The real estate sector has been lobbying for tax relief, and there was a relatively small break announced in the provincial property transfer tax for eligible first-time home buyers. Those who qualify could save up to $7,500 on buying their first house, as long as that property is acquired for $475,000 or less, up from the previous threshold of $425,000."

With prices on the rise and good homes hard to find, it is crucial to have a market expert in your corner. I work with RE/MAX Action Realty in Fort St. John and my office sells around 60% of all the homes in town, dominating the local market. To have the inside edge on new hot listing and deals in Fort St. John real estate, contact me today 1-250-794-1515 cell. If you are a first time home buyer, I will explain to you all the government grants and RRSP programs available to you, saving you money on your home purchase.

 

Now Is a Good Time to Work with a Fort St. John Real Estate Agent

 

If you have purchased real estate before and are in the process of finding a different home, investment property or expanding your business I can help. With 10 years experience and 700 sales under my belt I will give you the right advice to help you achieve your goals. You may be surprised to find out what your home is worth, call me for a free no obligation market evaluation. Residential real estate in Fort St. John is a great investment and the city is a vibrant place to call home.

 

(Source: B.C. pegs population growth to rebounding economy, The Globe and Mail, February 8 2014)

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The Fort St. John real estate market is experiencing a massive construction boom. According to CBC British Columbia, 30 construction permits—with a combined value of 18 million dollars—have been handed out so far. As of May 7, 2014, 25 new homes have been built, more than double that of the same period last year.

What’s behind this construction boom? you may well ask. Plenty. Among the most prominent, there’s the recent discovery that British Columbia is sitting on a vast natural gas deposit. There’s also the impending approval of the BC Hydro Site C dam, and Canadian forest products company Canfor’s plan to spend $30 million for the improvement of its Polar sawmill at Bear Lake. Frank Peebles of Business Vancouver expounds on the last:

"Canfor will invest $30 million at its Polar facility in Bear Lake, north of Prince George, to replace the existing sawmill and to produce higher-value products, company officials said Wednesday at the company's annual general meeting in Prince George.

Canfor will also pump $6 million into its Fort St. John sawmill's log yard stabilization project.

The two announcements were the highlight of the meeting, which was held in Prince George for the second year in a row."

With all the good news coming in, it’s time for you to take advantage of the booming Fort St. John real estate market. Timely and accurate advice can save you thousands of dollars according to local REALTOR® Scott Sauer with Re/Max Action Realty. Whether you’re buying or selling a home in the area Scott will be of immense help.

Fort St. John Real Estate Market Goes through a Construction Boom

Education and experience

R.H. Grant, a Canadian politician, once said, “When you hire people who are smarter than you are, you prove you are smarter than they are.” Real estate is a complex landscape, but with an experienced and educated professional like a REALTOR®, you can navigate its avenues with ease.

Area knowledge

A REALTOR® possesses in-depth knowledge about the neighborhood a property sits in, including the type of schools, the crime rate, or the demographics. He can pass the information to you, and even identify comparable properties for your benefit.

Price guidance

A REALTOR® guides clients to make the right monetary choices for themselves. A selling REALTOR®, in particular, can supply buyers like you the real estate data you need, help you weigh your options, and choose a price that works for your budget.

All these services and more makes a REALTOR® like Scott Sauer your greatest real estate ally.

(Source: Northern B.C.'s Canfor mill set for $30-million upgrade, Business Vancouver, May 2, 2014)

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A lot of people tend to hunker down in their homes in winter and do not feel like venturing out into the frigid cold more than necessary. This year has been very unique, the deep freeze and massive snow dump we experienced in December 2013 and the 2 week Chinook in January. Fort St. John is still the hottest real estate market in B.C. yet the idea of selling or buying a house in the winter is not every ones ideal.

 

However, January, February sales statistics are very similar to the “Spring Market” May and June - comparing the number of homes sold in a month. Fort St. John has a very consistent rate of home sales. There are probably still people who question if homes actually sell in winter, but a Fox Business article published December 12, 2013 gives tips to help people sell their homes that can be of help as residents want to sell their Fort St. John real estate.

 

As international investments dollars pour into the peace country, workers are required to move into the area to meet the work load and Fort St. John will continue to grow. While it is true that winter may seem like an odd time to buy or sell a home, keep in mind that people looking for a house at this time of the year are also in dire need of a place to buy.




Wintertime Improvements


Homeowners can boost the value of their homes by increasing the curb appeal, yes even in the dead of winter a home can have curb appeal. In the month of December, hang Christmas lights and check the roof for ice dams. Shovel off the ridiculous amount of snow from the driveway and sidewalks to create a well cared for appearance. Think of it this way keeping the snow cleared in the winter is the same as mowing the lawn in summer. Spruce up the interior with crisp paint to create a homey feeling. In January remove the Christmas lights and seasonal decoratons.


Leave the Lights On

 

One of the starkest differences between selling a home in winter and in summer is the hours of daylight available. As days in the winter are extremely shorter, it pays to have all your lights on for scheduled showings to greet potential buyers with a cheerful looking home.

"You can apply the same idea to the inside of your house too. Make sure that the heat is on several hours before buyers arrive and that the place is clean and smells fresh.First impressionsare everything in real estate so you really want to "wow" buyers when they pull up to your house and walk inside."

Stand Out


Preparing your home for sale will help you get top dollar and attract a larger more motivated group of buyers. Ensuring that you have the upper hand negotiating the sale of your home is even more important than staging. Scott Sauer a REALTOR® with RE/MAX Action Realty (cell 1 250 794 1515) is a master negotiator and will fight for every dollar on your behalf like it was his own home he was selling.


Real estate in Fort St. John is a hot commodity! There is an acute shortage of good homes for sale. Give yourself the advantage and call Scott Sauer 1 250 794 1515 to help you buy or sell your next home. 

 

(Article Excerpt and Image from 3 Tips for Selling Your House in the Off-Season, Fox Business, December 12, 2013)

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