Despite an increase in realty prices, the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board says home ownership in Prince Rupert was slightly more affordable in 2014 than it was in 2013.
The 2014 Housing Affordability Indicators estimates 28.8 per cent of household income goes toward home ownership in Prince Rupert, down from 30 per cent last year. The cost of financing home ownership used by the board includes taxes, utilities, mortgage payments, user fees and insurances.
The figure puts Prince Rupert in the middle of the pack of the 10 northern communities included in the study. Terrace was the least affordable at 33.7 per cent, while 100 Mile House, Fort St. John, Kitimat and Prince George were also more costly. Mackenzie had the lowest percentage of income going toward home ownership at just 20.4 per cent, while Williams Lake, Smithers, and Quesnel were also more affordable.
“Overall, the affordability indicator for communities across northern British Columbia has shown only a very slight increase over the period 2010 to 2014. The trend for the affordability indicators for Prince George, Prince Rupert, Smithers, and Quesnel has remained reasonably flat,” wrote study author Leslie Lax of STRATEGIC Management Consulting.
The housing affordability index of 29.1 per cent in Northern B.C. was well below the provincial average of 67.9 per cent of household income being used to pay for ownership and even further below the 82.6 per cent of household income needed to finance ownership in Vancouver. In terms of pricing the average home in Northern B.C. cost approximately $280,000 in 2014 compared to $680,000 across the province and $880,000 in Vancouver.