The City of Fort St. John is a city in northeastern British Columbia, Canada. A member municipality of the Peace River Regional District, the city encompasses a total area of about 22 square kilometres (8.5 sq mi) with 18,609 residents at the 2011 census (More than 21,000 by the end of 2015). Located at Mile 47, it is one of the largest cities along the Alaska Highway.
Originally established in 1794, as a trading post, Fort St. John is the oldest European-established settlement in present-day British Columbia. Fort St. John is served by the Fort St. John Airport. The municipal slogan is Fort St. John: The Energetic City.
Why should I invest in Fort St John?
BC is leading Canada in economic growth and is expected to continue that trend for the next 7-10 years or longer. NorthEastern BC (FSJ and Dawson Creek) have been the hottest places for employment historically in the Province for decades now. In general, we have 2% of the population of BC with 9% of the GDP contribution.
We are the only region of BC to offer energy development, and we also have massive resources of forestry, mining, agriculture in addition to oil and gas.
Average age in FSJ is 29.7 years old and we have a quickly expanding population due to employment creating in-migration both provincially and from around Canada and local population growth.
Currently, NorthEast BC is home to the vast majority of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), which holds the 2nd largest natural gas reserves in the world, right behind Russia's country wide deposits....all within a few hours of Fort St John.
There are 21 companies currently looking to export our natural gas through Liquiefied natural gas (LNG), which will be a brand new industry in Canada. Many of the companies looking at this industry have already spent literally a ton of money (as much as $20B) currently in buying companies, land and the facility space and engineering on the coast of BC. Even one of the larger LNG terminals being built would be the largest investment in Canadian history in any industry.
LNG as an industry could bring in well in excess of $100B (potentially over $200B) in direct investment, most of which would be felt in the North East - centered around FSJ.
In addition, the Site C Dam has just started construction a few months ago, and is Canada's largest project currently underway. It's 5 minutes from town and will be bringing as many as 10,000 jobs locally in a town of 23,000..right now there is only about 500 on site as the project ramps up.
All of this high end employment makes for Canada's largest economic development boom which will cause people to migrate into the region in droves and causing unparalled opportunities in real estate investment.
It's a fantastic time to buy now as the market has currently softened short term with the downturn in energy markets, creating opportunities to buy at slightly off prices before the Site C project kicks in later this year and drives demand again.
Fort St. John Market Facts (Last published):
- Vacancy Rate: 4.0%
- Average MLS residential sale price: $377,887
- Average MLS Days on Market (DOM): 79
- Total Market Listings (MLS): 816
- Average weekly earnings (Alberta): $1119
- Average 3 bedroom rent: $1111 (2nd highest in BC, only behind Vancouver)
- Unemployment Rate: 9.4%
The first census to include Fort St. John as a defined subdivision occurred in 1951 and recorded 884 people. The population rapidly increased, doubling almost every 5 years for 15 years so that by 1966 there were 6,749 residents living in the community. Population growth slowed in the 1970s, rising by 1,551 people, from 8,264 in 1971 to 9,815 in 1978. However, by 1981 the population had swelled to 14,337 people, an increase of 4,522 people in just 3 years. A recession in the 1980s kept the population from reaching 15,000 until 1994. However, Fort St. John has managed to become the largest city in the BC Peace, and second largest after Grande Prairie in the entire Peace region, which straddles the boundary between the provinces of BC and Alberta. Since then, the population has continued to rise steadily at about 2% a year.