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Housing starts in Northeast B.C. were up 7.6 per cent in 2021, according to a report from the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia.

In 2021, construction workers in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John started building 113 housing units, an increase from the 105 units started in 2020 and 75 in 2019. There were 104 housing starts in Fort St. John in 2021, compared to 68 in 2020, and nine in Dawson Creek, compared to 37, according to CPABC’s report, BC Check-Up: Invest.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, growing prices for residential properties in the region led to an uptick in housing starts in both 2020 and 2021,” said Ben Sander, a Sander Rose Bone Grindle partner.

“Still, housing starts remained below levels set a few years ago.”

CPABC says regional housing starts were a mix of detached and attached units, such as townhomes, condos and apartments, with 60 detached starts in 2021, up from 52 in 2020. There were 53 attached starts in 2021, remaining steady compared to 2020.

“While attached housing units have become increasingly common in Northeast B.C., the growth in 2021 came from detached starts, and reflects the strong demand for larger units in the region,” continued Sander.

“Another area where investment activity has grown is the significant amount of major project activity in the region.”

The City of Fort St. John approved building permits for 23 single-family homes, 14 single-family homes with suites, two duplexes, and two mobile homes in 2021. Almost half of the new dwellings permitted in Fort St. John last year came from the Salvation Army’s new 42-unit supportive housing complex.

Natural resource projects continues to account for the brunt of construction in the region, according to CPABC.

Major projects currently proposed, under construction, or on hold are worth $45.2 billion, accounting for 11.5 per cent of all major projects across the province as of 2021’s quarter three report, CPABC said.

The cost of Site C going from $10.7 billion to $16.0 billion was the main contributing factor to the 12.1 per cent increase compared to quarter three in 2020.

There were 11 projects worth $23.6 billion under construction across the region, including the recently started $565 million Spruce Ridge Expansion Project. There were 25 proposed projects in the same period with an estimated capital cost of $14.7 billion.

“The largest construction projects across Northeast B.C. continue to be natural resource projects,” continued Sander. “This is true for both projects currently underway, and for several major projects in the proposal stage.”

The five largest proposed projects are all related to natural resources with an expected investment of $9.6 billion, including the Frontier NGL Plant and Pipeline ($2.5 billion), the Sundance Low Carbon Gasoline Refinery ($2.5 billion), and the North Montney Mainline ($1.7 billion).

 

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Adam ReaburnGeneral Manager/Owner

Adam Reaburn is the owner of Moose FM and Energeticcity.ca. Adam has been working in broadcasting for over 20 years. Adam and his wife Tammy have lived in Fort St. John for over 18 years.