CPABC: Northwest B.C.’s growing population and demand for housing continued to push property values up

SMITHERS, British Columbia, Aug. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to BC Check-Up: Live, an annual report by the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) on demographic and affordability trends across the province, Northwest B.C.’s population grew by 880 residents in 2022, slightly up from an average of 569 from 2017 to 2021.

“Over 100,000 residents call our region home. Northwest B.C.’s population growth continues to be primarily driven by migrants from other provinces and countries,” said Jeanne MacNeil, CPA, CA, partner at Edmison Mehr Chartered Professional Accountants. “Employment opportunities with the major projects in our region have continued to attract new residents, but we are also seeing an outflow of residents to other parts of the province.”

With an average age of 40.7 in 2022, residents in Northwest B.C. were the second youngest in the province. However, the region’s average age rose by 2.0 years over the past decade, which is at a faster pace than the province as a whole.

“It’s encouraging to see the region continue to attract more residents,” continued MacNeil. “As a result, there is also increased demand for housing. However, despite doubling the amount of housing units completed in 2022 relative to 2021, population growth continued to outpace new housing supply.”

In 2022, there were 106 housing units completed in Terrace and Prince Rupert. Continued population growth and higher demand for housing across the province pushed average assessed property values up in three of the region’s four largest municipalities (compared to 2021):

  • Prince Rupert: $407,250 (up 31.4 per cent)
  • Smithers: $421,013 (up 20.4 per cent)
  • Terrace: $440,376 (up 14.9 per cent)
  • Kitimat: $344,996 (up 0.1 per cent)

“Despite increase in property values last year, much like the rest of B.C. and Canada, we did see overall housing prices weakening across the region in the latter half of 2022,” commented MacNeil. “This is due to rising interest rates and softening of the economy.”

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About CPA British Columbia

The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the training, governing, and regulatory body for over 39,000 CPA members and 6,000 CPA candidates and students. CPABC carries out its primary mission to protect the public by enforcing the highest professional and ethical standards and contributing to the advancement of public policy.

CPABC Media Contact:
Jack Blackwell, Economist