Investment opportunities sailing away

by Grainne Burns13 Mar 2014

A huge pool of high-earning workers are being forced to reside on a ferry due to a lack of housing stock in the small town of Kitimat in B.C.

Over 600 construction workers will reside on the Silja Festival ferry as they work on the Rio Tinto Alcan’s $3.3 billion aluminium smelter modernization project in the region. The project is expected to finish late next year.

The small town – with a population of just 9,009 – is also expected to reap the benefits of the proposed Enbridge Oil Pipeline.
Kitimat had a 30 per cent vacancy rate only five years ago. Today, it is zero a huge influx of migrant workers and their families scramble for remaining housing stock, many of which are willing to pay dollar for short-term stays.

A number of housing developments are in the construction phase, including a 36-unit build by JV Development Group. Jason Pender from the group tells CREW that a three-bedroom townhouse could command up to $3,000 monthly. 

“With sub-zero vacancy on rentals, no real estate inventory coupled with the highest property appreciation in the province, it’s full steam ahead on all fronts,” he says.

***In the May issue of Canadian Real Estate Wealth, there is a special focus on Kitimat as part of our special feature on gas and oil regions in Canada. The magazine will be on newsstands on April 6th.

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