Publisher’s Letter

Since the pandemic, housing markets throughout the world–and particularly in small-town B.C.–have experienced record sales and price increases. Now, like all cycles eventually do, this one is also slowing. In some cases, we should even start to see more housing inventory and increased choices for where to live.

That said, even with interest rate increases (which seem to be having one of the desired effects, of cooling a hot property market) we’re still going to struggle through a period of inflation. Due to variables as diverse as supply-chain issues, fuel costs, building costs, labour shortages and more, demand is as high as supply is low. Rather than being regional blips in our market, these are global issues brought on by macroeconomics, the pandemic and even war–major forces, causing ripple effects throughout the world.

What does this all mean for B.C.’s small towns? Since many small-town developers sold out their inventory of new residential property quite quickly over the past two years, they are still struggling to get new housing on the market. But rest assured it’s coming! (see our take on new home inventory and new trends in community development.) Will prices come down? In some areas they already are, and my prediction is: things will likely stabilize very soon, but anything seems possible these days!

With many pandemic restrictions now eased in B.C., we see the pent-up demand for vacations, restaurant meals and other services that were curtailed over the past two years now expressing itself. Locavore restaurants and small businesses offer unique and comfortable shopping experiences close to home, or in nearby communities that are fun to visit. Great community centres are a form of reprieve from the unpredictable world we now live in, and a place to do everything from a daily walk to a vigorous workout to an art or sports class.

With energy costs on the rise and more stress than ever on the environment, we’re proud to champion some new and energy-efficient building options, including the Passive House standard and various styles of kit-built and pre-fab homes--which, by the way, are a great way of expanding your live, work or play space with minimal fuss.

Whether you’re visiting a smaller B.C. centre this summer or contemplating a second home or part- or full-time move, I encourage you to explore the local offerings. From a roadside produce stand to a market-fresh local restaurant, from mom-and-pop grocery and general stores to carefully curated, one-of-a-kind clothing boutiques, by supporting community-owned and -run businesses, we help elevate local economies–and, ultimately, our own quality of life.

Wishing you a happy and safe summer!

Steve Dietrich – Publisher