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By Jon Zacks

A new study suggests home ownership is becoming more affordable in Fort St. John.

The seventh annual report on housing affordability, from the BC Northern Real Estate Board, says after an extended period of rising house prices, Northern BC finally got some relief last year. The study says average house prices across the North dropped by 3.2 per cent. Coupled with low mortgage rates, the board says that led to much more affordable housing across the region.

However, while the price of an average home in Fort St. John increased between 2008 and 2009, the study says those homes still become more affordable, by virtue of taking up a smaller portion of household income.

The study says 31.1% of household income is needed to finance ownership of a house in Fort St. John. That compares poorly with some of the other communities in the North, and makes Fort St. John slightly more expensive than average in this region. But, it still makes homes here much more affordable than elsewhere in the province, with an average of 62 % of family income needed to finance a home across BC, and 69 % of income required in the Vancouver area.

Another recent study from the BC Northern Real Estate Board showed the average price of a residential detached house in Fort St. John (in the first quarter of 2010) is slightly more than $328,000 – up nearly $55,000 from the same time last year.

Download the entire report below.

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