Fernie bucks the BC housing trend

According to a new housing market outlook by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which forecasts housing starts, sales and prices in B.C. will begin to stabilize next year, before accelerating in 2021.

But with data compiled from the Kootenay MLSⓇ, [see below] shows that Fernie is well and truly bucking that trend. With the acceleration starting between 2018 and 2019 where the average sold price of a single-family dwelling increased by 12%, from $568,373 to $646,267.

CMHC also reports, B.C. will also see stronger growth compared to other parts of Canada, “consistent with growth in real disposable income that is forecast to exceed the national average over this period.”

Along with an uptick in sales, CMHC is forecasting prices will begin to climb again next year. “British Columbia will see a modest recovery in price growth in 2020 from a decline in 2019, but rise to the second-highest rate of price growth after Ontario in 2021,” states the report.

Despite an anticipated hike in prices, the agency says concerns around overvaluation in the region have lessened, as growth in market fundamentals over the same period could be enough to support the uptick in sales and prices. 

So why is the Fernie real estate market bucking the trend in BC? Well, in my opinion, there are many factors;

  1. Increased popularity as a tourist destination. More and more people are discovering Fernie, returning and also spread the word, the secrets out!
  2. USD to the CAD exchange rate. Americans realise that there $’s can go a lot of further north of their borders.
  3. Lifestyle, more and more people are looking for a change, an alternative lifestyle to city living. That’s why I came to Fernie over 10 years ago! With technology, the number of people who can now work remotely is changing the demographic of home buyers.
  4. Affordable compared to mountain towns such as Banff, Canmore, Squamish and Whistler. Fernie is seen as a much cheaper option to these other mountain towns in the Rockies.

Amongst the list above Fernie remains a vibrant and diverse community with so much to offer. From the retail shopping downtown, the restaurants and the arts and heritage. To the immense natural beauty of the area, that enables world-class ski hill along with biking and hiking trails that rival the best in the world.

Fernie will continue to grow along with the increase in the price of housing. The CMHC report concludes that risks remain for the market, including global trade tensions and high household debt which could be vulnerable to interest rate hikes.

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