Are you considering buying a home in Fort St. John? With interest rates at a 20-year high and inflation on the rise, it’s understandable if you’re feeling hesitant. But, as the Deputy Chief Financial Economist for CIBC, Benjamin Taal, recently explained, the Bank of Canada’s primary objective is to provide Canadians with a stable and low inflation rate. Raising interest rates is one means of achieving this, even if it pushes the country into recession.

The good news is that this recession is not like others we’ve seen in the past. In Fort St. John, there are record numbers of job vacancies, including high-paying jobs, as many Baby Boomers have decided to retire during the pandemic. Additionally, the pandemic caused an unprecedented increase in inflation as many goods were not reaching consumers, but as the supply chain stabilizes and travel restrictions are lifted, this should improve.

Fort St. John is a special market, with a high average family income and is considered one of the most affordable places to buy a home. While house prices may not plummet, they may see smaller increases year over year compared to larger markets. People are still able to find jobs, even with stricter mortgage qualification guidelines and increased interest rates.

It’s important to keep in mind that interest rates are not likely to decrease until early 2024 and may never drop as low as they did during the pandemic. If you plan to live in the area for at least five years, purchasing a home may be an economical choice. If you purchase and rates go down, you can contact your mortgage professional to see if you can lower your payments by re-negotiating the loan and locking in at a new interest rate. And, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, your first step should be talking to a mortgage professional who can guide you through the pre-approval process.

And, for those who decide to stay in the rental market, it’s important to note that inflation and interest rate increases will likely flow down to tenants. Landlords will seek to make up for their rising expenses by increasing rents. The greater demand for rental properties in Fort St. John will continue to be pushed up by the influx of new workers into town, further squeezing this already tight market.

Don’t navigate the complex Fort St. John real estate market alone – work with an experienced agent to make your next home purchase or sale a success.  Contact Elizabeth Chi PREC at 778-784-7845.

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