Quesnel is the place to buy a home – nation says so

National rankings puts Cariboo city No. 1 outside of Quebec

Real estate firm picks Quesnel for list of Best Canadian Cities for Housing Affordability and Job Growth. (Black Press file image)

Real estate firm picks Quesnel for list of Best Canadian Cities for Housing Affordability and Job Growth. (Black Press file image)

Sticker shock can go the other way, too. As in, look at those house prices, I can’t believe they’re so low…in Quesnel.

It’s leading the real estate industry to ask is Quesnel the best place to buy in B.C.? How about Western Canada? How about the third best bang for your land value buck in all of Canada, and No. 1 outside the province of Quebec?

Digital brokerage Nesto did a ranking of the best cities in which to buy a home, for the kind of home you get for your money.

According to their research, Quebec boasted six of the Top 10 spots with Sept-Iles and Becancour leading the way. The former has an average home price of $204,042 with a lower property tax rate (1.15 per cent) than the national average, while the latter’s average home sells for $206,748 with a property tax rate of 1.26 per cent.

The average home price in this city: $209,133.

“Quesnel in British Columbia, and Cornwall and Timmins in Ontario rounded out the Top 5, with each of those cities boasting an average home price of less than $213,000 and a property tax rate below the national average,” said Chase Belair, principal broker at Nesto, in a conversation with Canadian Mortgage Professional Magazine.

“Quesnel is among the cheapest places to live in Canada and is certainly one of the most affordable cities in British Columbia,” said Nesto’s assessment of the city. “With a low average cost for a home, this town of around 12,000 residents is an attractive proposition for young families who want to settle in a safe community. Surrounded by natural beauty in the northern Rocky Mountains, the town is popular with skiers and mountaineering enthusiasts. It’s a roughly eight-hour drive to Vancouver from Quesnel.”

Christine Buemann is a mortgage broker based in Prince George. She sits on B.C.’s Northern Real Estate Board. She agrees that Quesnel is definitely more than a flash in the goldpan.

“In my experience, Quesnel is definitely one of the most affordable cities in our province and likely Canada-wide,” she said. “Not only is the average income considerably higher, the quality and quantity of potential to earn income is also more appealing to many. When you combine that with affordable home prices and reasonable property tax amounts, it is no wonder we are seeing so many young families interested in relocating to this hidden gem of a community.”

Belair said the opportunity for communities like Quesnel sits in the pandemically enhanced job climate where people no longer need to be in an office at headquarters in order to effectively do their job. In fact, say human resources commentators, through the use of technology for communication and workflow, a company might be advantaged to find talent far beyond their usual price point if that talent doesn’t have to come to your expensive city. That talent could be living a better life in a place like Quesnel, and still be available as your employee.

“If someone’s working remotely, and they are able to continue to do so, absolutely I would look outside the major cities – there’s a lot of value,” said Belair.

On that theme Bueman added, “In the bigger centres, most properties contain suites in order to ensure the total household expenses remain feasible; however in Quesnel, many are enjoying more space and privacy. In fact, we find many properties have shops or garages in order to store the recreational or additional vehicles which the residents have the luxury to afford.”

There are many reasons to consider Quesnel a property investment nugget, especially for those who want to live where they are investing their real estate money. Bang for buck is one more mark in Quesnel’s favour.

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