Tourism and real estate in Fernie go hand in hand. One is regularly influenced by the other and both industries feel the effect of the economy, weather patterns and international markets. The growth in Fernie is undebatable. Fernie’s population is on the rise and noted as one of the fasted growing small towns in BC. New neighbourhoods are under construction and housing starts are emerging across the city. We expect that more people will want to make Fernie a permanent part of their lives in future years.
Our clientele outside of the local community is primarily made up of buyers from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the United States and the UK. Their backgrounds are varied, ranging from empty nesters looking for a generational home to share with their extended family to young professionals looking for a lock up and leave to enjoy over the holidays and long weekends.
Buyers coming to Fernie and the surrounding area are spoiled for lifestyle amenities in our mountain paradise. Historic downtown, the proximity to airports & borders, small town lifestyle and of course world-class recreation activities are all key factors when choosing Fernie. Many want to escape their city routine, others enjoy a part time mountain lifestyle and some just want to find a more balanced work/play lifestyle.
When choosing a property in Fernie, our tourism based clients look for properties within close proximity to their favourite recreational activity. There is also a preference for properties with a mountain aesthetic. Log homes, A-frame retreats and secluded cabins are all popular styles while high selling features in any house include; a wood burning stove/fireplace , storage for ski gear, hot tubs, and of course dramatic views for Fernie’s surrounding mountains.
There are many factors that affect the tourism & real estate market in the Fernie Area. When all of these factors are performing at their peak, our market is super-heated and price inflation happens at a rapid pace. The beauty of this diversified group is that the market can remain stable or grow even when conditions are not perfect in every sector.
Not just any coal, but the best coal in the world for making steel. The 5 active coal mines in the Elk Valley supply many steel mills around the world with the hot-burning coal required to make high quality steel products. We are not known for thermal coal, (commonly used for heating and generating electricity.)
Although it’s not a local resource, oil is a primary driver in the economy for our neighbours to the east. Alberta loves Fernie, so Fernie relies on oil.
Foreign investment in Fernie can be tracked quite simply by watching the value of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar and the Pound. When our dollar is low then Fernie is on sale!
Big snow big sales, big rain big pain. Although our seasons are beginning to equalize and summer is a rapidly growing tourist season for Fernie, big powder years have a positive impact on ski hill and Fernie area property sales.
With 2017 well underway, our forecast for real estate transaction volume in the Elk Valley is bullish compared to 2016. We are projecting an increase in volume this year of 50% over last year, and with year to date single family and condo sales already up 48% over last year, we believe the region is well on track to meet our forecast. Inventory levels continue to be quite low in most categories which will ultimately lead to increased prices and rates of sales. If you are considering a purchase this year, get a good Buyers agent to help you search out the property and negotiate the right deal. It matters more today than ever as we head into a sellers’ market.
Whether local, out of province or international, people are drawn to Fernie for its fantastic lifestyle. I guess you could call it our locally shared economy.
Todd Fyfe for Fernie Real Estate Company Ltd.