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Fort St. John moves up on list of British Columbia’s Top Investment Towns

July 25, 2013

July 25th Langley, BC - The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) released the 2013 edition of its Top British Columbia Investment Towns report today. The 110-page report analyzes the current and future prospects for real estate investment opportunities in the province over the next decade and has once again ranked Fort St. John as a top investment community. The city’s ranking has improved this year, from sixth place the 2011 edition of the report to third place in the most recent edition.

British Columbia’s “Oil and Gas capital” is estimated to have one of the largest natural gas deposits in North America – most of it still largely untapped. With the fairly recent attention being focused on the region as a viable source of shale based natural gas, REIN believes the city will experience a boost in its economy as exploration and production in the area increases. As new drilling techniques for shale are discovered, the area may become even more lucrative to oil and gas companies. The city has been nicknamed “the Fort McMurray of BC,” and REIN believes this is not far from the truth. The city’s current fundamentals echo Fort McMurray, Alberta 10-15 years ago.

“People have begun to move to Fort St. John in droves because of the high wages and ease of getting work and this is compounding an already existing constricted housing supply problem,” said Don R. Campbell, one of the report’s authors and Senior Analyst for the Real Estate Investment Network. “Rents in the region are rising and prices are beginning to follow suit. The major demand for housing in the region is currently rental product but as the labour market in the region matures, we expect this demand to shift to single-family, owner-occupied housing. Investors have been clamoring to get a piece of the region but have found it very difficult – there is nothing to buy!”

With several major projects set to be completed in Fort St. John during the next decade, the city will continue to witness rapid population growth. The opening of the Site C dam project in 2020 will re-establish the city as a hub for northeastern BC. The ripple effect created by this major project will increase rents and home prices in the region, making it even more desirable to investors and businesses.

“It is important to keep in mind that as natural gas and oil prices fluctuate,” said Mr. Campbell. “So too will the northeast British Columbia economy. Property investors in this region must not only be experts in real estate - they must also become students of the many macro- and micro-cycles that play out in the natural gas industry.”

The top BC communities in REIN’s 2013 rankings are:

1) Surrey
2) Maple Ridge
3) Fort St. John
4) Dawson Creek
5) Kamloops
6) Abbotsford
7) Kelowna
8) Chilliwack
9) Prince George
10) Langley

About the Top British Columbia Investment Towns report
The Top British Columbia Investment Towns report was first published in 2009 in response to growing demand from investors to know the province’s best locations for cash flowing properties. The report is released every second year and provides investors with comprehensive information on which areas of the province will outperform over the next decade. The communities listed in REIN’s report have been ranked according to their long-term investment potential, not short-term speculative market runs. Many sources are consulted in order to provide real estate investors with the most comprehensive information, including Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Statistics Canada, Regional Real Estate Boards, and local economic development offices. Additionally, real estate investors and REALTORS© who were well acquainted with particular cities and towns were consulted to provide ‘real time’ and ‘on the street’ experiences. The entire report is available for download free of charge on the company’s website at

About The Real Estate Investment Network Ltd.
Founded in 1993, The Real Estate Investment Network Ltd. (REIN) has grown over the years to become Canada’s leading real estate research and education organization for investors and homeowners across North America. REIN does not sell or market real estate to its members or the general public, but instead conducts objective and unbiased research, analysis and investor education. For further information on REIN, visit

For an interview with one of the report’s authors, please contact Melanie Reuter: