With a zero per cent vacancy rate, it is clear that something is abuzz in Whitecourt. Its local economy thrives on the back of its oil and gas production, with three forestry-related mills also a major source for employment within the district.
The town’s population has been growing steadily over the years as more migrant workers choose to settle permanently in the community. Its central location in Alberta and proximity to urban cities such as Edmonton are vital for residents and investors.
Whitecourt offers a positive business environment – there is no Provincial Sales Tax, low municipal tax (amongst the lowest in the province), low utility costs, modern infrastructure and an abundance of natural resources. This young and vibrant community is continually expanding with the majority of its population between the ages of 25 and 44 years old, and an average family income of over $99,000.
With the average home selling for $391,460, the cost of market entry in Whitecourt remains an obstacle for many first-time buyers. As such, they remain in rental properties to save up for deposits, says Janet Kuehn, associate with RE/MAX Advantage Whitecourt.
“A lot of local people are also investing in the area, which indicates the level of confidence that they have for its long-term potential,” she adds.
Kuehn states that given the small area size, almost all of the high-density residential areas are a good investment choice. “It all depends on how much you are willing to invest, be that $200,000 to $450,000.”
Single-family homes dominate the property inventory in Whitecourt, with demand ‘exceptionally high’ for this type, explains Kuehn.
“When single-family homes come onto the market they tend to go quickly, so investors need to jump on the opportunities when they arise,” she advises.
Townhouses with three to four units are an alternative for investors, says Kuehn, especially for migrant workers.
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