FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – Fort St. John had the most affordable housing in northern B.C. last year, according to a real estate board report.

The BC Northern Real Estate Board released their annual Housing Affordability Indicators (HAI) Wednesday, which estimates the income needed to cover home ownership costs in a specific year. These will include mortgage costs, municipal taxes and fees, and utilities for the average single-family home. The higher the HAI measure, the more difficult it is to afford a home.

The average homeowner in Fort St. John spent 19.3 per cent of their income on home ownership, which is down 10.9 per cent from 2019.

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, housing is considered affordable if it costs less than 30 per cent of a household’s before-tax income.

The board says the city remains the only community in Northern BC reporting steady improvements in affordability.  This is due to house prices dropping between 2016 to 2020.

Kitimat (-18.8 per cent) and Terrace (-11.3 per cent) joined Fort St. John in having the best affordability improvements last year.

The average single-family home sold for $373,081 in 2020.

In the first quarter of 2021, the average price for a home was $376,884 in the city.