Growing demand for agricultural land in
Peace River North has resulted in a 10
per cent increase in price
Many transactions involve sellers retiring
from farming
Boundary expansion in Fort St. John
could cause values to skyrocket
Demand for land in British Columbia’s Peace
River North has increased from previous
years, but operational farm demand is in
decline as more people are purchasing land
for hobby and horse farms. This demand,
met with a dip in supply, has resulted in an
estimated 10 per cent increase in the price
of farmland from previous years. Prices
have steadily increased since spring, but the
number of sales has dipped due to a lack of
Fort St. John, in particular, is in the midst
of a boundary expansion plan. This could
result in as many as nine quarters (or 1,440
acres) of land becoming part of the city
for both residential and commercial uses. If
recognized as part of the city, this land will
exponentially increase in value, benefiting
many retiring farmers who have held land in
the region for many years. Buyers looking for
larger plots of land should look farther from
the city, as the price drops significantly on
properties beyond the city border.
Prospective buyers looking for land with
good soil quality and a house can pay up to
$650,000 per quarter (or 160 acres). Prices
range up to $250,000 for a quarter section
of bare land, while a quarter section of
predominantly bush ranges up to $120,000.
Average days on the market for these
properties have decreased minimally in the
past year. This has been accompanied by a
closer list-to-sale price ratio.
Buyers in this region are typically new
operations moving in. In many cases, retiring
veterans are selling their land and relocating
closer to the city. Farm prices are expected
to continue increasing in this region due to
an increase in demand and a shortage of



Improved home inspector standards better protect consumers

Economy, Families Friday, September 19, 2014 9:00 AM

VICTORIA - Today, Minister Responsible for Housing Rich Coleman announced that the Province will improve home inspector licensing requirements by creating a common professional standard for home inspectors.

The move fulfils government’s commitment to streamline the process for home inspectors who are currently governed by four different associations, each with its own requirements.

A common professional standard will ensure homebuyers benefit from a more standardized approach to home inspections. The Province will enhance Consumer Protection BC’s role in licensing home inspectors by:

  • setting new education and training requirements;
  • establishing standard testing and evaluation;
  • implementing provincial inspection standards and a common code of ethics; and
  • taking on an expanded compliance and enforcement role.

This new approach follows consultations with both consumers and industry stakeholders. The Province will work to have the new standards in place by the end of 2015.


Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing -

“Consumers deserve a rigorous, reliable home inspection industry. We want to ensure homebuyers have every possible confidence that their home inspector is qualified to help them with what is often the largest investment they will make.”

Rob Gialloreto, president and CEO of Consumer Protection BC -

“Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases a person will make. We fully support the provincial government’s commitment to enhancing protection for consumers when it comes to home inspections and we applaud their continued leadership in this area.” 

Quick Facts:

  • In June 2013, Premier Christy Clark’s mandate letter to Minister Responsible for Housing Rich Coleman  directed him to strengthen home inspector accreditation to better protect homebuyers.
  • In 2009, British Columbia became the first jurisdiction in Canada to require licensing of home inspectors.
  • B.C. and Alberta are the only two provinces that regulate home inspectors in Canada.
  • There are approximately 440 licensed home inspectors in B.C.
  • People thinking about buying a home often hire a home inspector to do a visual inspection first to help identify signs and symptoms of any major structural issues.

Learn More:

Find a licensed home inspector:

Results of Public Consultation:

Consumer Protection BC:

Media Contacts:

Sandra Steilo
Ministry of Natural Gas Development
and Responsible for Housing
250 952-0617


The Following articile was published by the BCREA today reguarding Mortgage Rates in relation to Real Estate first and second mortgages:


Mortgage Rate Outlook

In stark contrast to the consensus of economists’
expectations at the end of last year, bond yields
have spent most of 2014 trending downward. Indeed,
perhaps weary of previous false starts, bond markets
have even shrugged off recent signs of a strengthening
economy, an acceleration of inflation and the unwinding
of stimulus from the US Federal Reserve. Lenders have
responded in kind, offering homebuyers record low
mortgage rates.

• Mortgage rates remain at historic lows
• Canadian economy roars back in second quarter
• Poor job growth keeps Bank of Canada in neutral

Mortgage Rate Forecast
2014 2015
Term Q1 Q2 Q3F Q4F Q1F Q2F Q3F Q4F
1-Year 3.14 3.14 3.14 3.24 3.24 3.44 3.60 3.60
5-Year 5.19 4.81 4.79 4.99 5.14 5.24 5.65 5.65

Given well anchored inflation expectations and
near consensus that short-term rates will be higher
next year, the continued downtrend in bond yields
this year is difficult to explain. One factor could
be that investors are acclimating to the idea that
the neutral rate, or the Bank of Canada’s preferred
destination for interest rates once it tightens,
is likely much lower than in the past and that
realization is being priced into expectations and
therefore long-term interest rates.

Additionally, the performance of Canada’s financial
and banking system post-financial crisis has won
it a reputation among foreign investors as a safe
harbor. Foreign holdings of Canadian government
bonds and treasury bills have jumped from
15 per cent to over a quarter of outstanding debt
since the global financial crisis. As uncertainty
mounts in other areas of the world due to weak
economic growth or unresolved conflicts, assets
have crowded into both US and Canadian debt
securities, forcing yields lower. Given these factors,
rates could remain below historical average levels
even as the Bank of Canada begins tightening.
While we do not expect the Bank to act on interest
rates until late in 2015, bond yields could rise
modestly before then in anticipation of higher
rates, particularly if economic growth is stronger
than expected. If so, we expect to see a slight
increase in five-year and one-year fixed mortgage
rates by the end of 2014.

Economic Outlook

As was widely expected, the Canadian economy’s
weak start to the year proved to be temporary as
growth roared back in the second quarter. Canadian
real GDP expanded 3.1 per cent at an annual rate
last quarter, the highest rate of growth in close
to three years. That growth was largely spurred by
exports to a similarly resurgent US economy, which
grew at a robust 4.2 per cent annual rate in the
second quarter. If momentum in the US economy
can be sustained, the long awaited rotation of
Canadian economic growth towards exports and
business investment could be realized. Indeed,
in past business cycles, a recovery in business
investment tends to lag behind a recovery in export
Note: Data is average of weekly rates
Source: Bank of Canada; BCREA Economics
Foreign Investment Boosted by Canada’s Financial Credibility
Mortgage Rate Forecast is published quarterly by the British Columbia Real Estate Association. Real estate boards, real estate associations and REALTORS® may reprint this
content, provided that credit is given to BCREA by including the following statement: “Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.”
BCREA makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.
1420 - 701 Georgia Street West, PO Box 10123, Pacific Centre, Vancouver, BC V7Y 1C6 | Phone: 604.683.7702 | Fax: 604.683.8601 | Email:
BCREA Mortgage Rate Forecast September 2014
Send questions and comments about Mortgage Rate Forecast to:
Cameron Muir, Chief Economist,; Brendon Ogmundson, Economist,
Additional economics information is available on BCREA’s website at:
To sign up for BCREA news releases by email visit:
While we expect that economic growth will
slow moderately from the robust pace of the
second quarter, it will remain relatively strong
at 2.3 per cent for 2014 before accelerating next
year to 2.7 per cent.
CPI inflation, which has been above the Bank’s
2 per cent target for several months, is showing
some signs of softening due to a sharp decline
in the price of energy products and other
commodities. Core inflation, which the Bank
uses as its operational guide for monetary policy,
has drifted higher but remains relatively muted.
Though some wage inflation has occurred of
late, slack in the labour market and continued
competitive pressure in retail sectors will likely
keep core inflation from breaching the Bank’s
2 per cent target in the short-term.


“Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.”



BCREA Economics Now provides timely information on economic news relevant to REALTORS®. Subscribers receive brief emails highlighting the latest economic and housing market news as it happens. Be informed. Stay on top of the market. If you have not already subscribed to continue to receive BCREA Economics Now, subscribe by clicking here.

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement - September 3, 2014

The Bank of Canada once again opted to leave its target for the overnight rate unchanged at 1 per cent. In the statement accompanying today's announcement, the Bank noted that though inflation is close to its 2 per cent target, the recent pick-up in inflation was largely due to temporary factors as the Bank anticipated. In spite of stronger global and domestic economic growth last quarter, the Bank still expects excess capacity in the economy to be absorbed over the next 2 years and judges risks to its outlook to be balanced between higher inflation and still elevated household debt. Therefore, the Bank remains neutral with respect to timing and direction of its next change to the policy rate.

As the Bank noted, economic growth exceeded expectations in the second quarter. However, the economy looks far more pedestrian if averaged over the entire first half of 2014.  Employment growth has been uneven and the Canadian unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. Therefore, the Bank is unlikely to be moved from its current stance after just one strong quarter of economic growth. We expect that the Bank will continue to take a cautious approach to monetary policy until it sees concrete signs that the economy is growing above trend. That means at least one more quarter of solid GDP growth paired with more steady employment gains, as well as similarly strong data in the United States. While the Bank left the door open to lower interest rates given its "neutral" stance, we still anticipate that the next move for interest rates will be upward, though not until 2015. 

For more information, please contact: 

Cameron Muir

Brendon Ogmundson

Chief Economist


Direct: 604.742.2780

Direct: 604.742.2796

Mobile: 778.229.1884

Mobile: 604.505.6793



BCREA represents 11 member real estate boards and their approximately 18,000 REALTORS® on all provincial issues, providing an extensive communications network, standard forms, economic research and analysis, government relations, applied practice courses and continuing professional education (cpe).

Real estate boards, real estate associations and REALTORS® may reprint this content, provided that credit is given to BCREA by including the following statement: “Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.” BCREA makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.

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