A view of Revelstoke. (North Columbia Environmental Society)

A view of Revelstoke. (North Columbia Environmental Society)

Jocelyn’s Jottings: The housing market is changing Revelstoke

How many people do you know who have left because they can’t afford to buy a house?

One of my best friends is moving away from Revelstoke.

She isn’t a skier or an Australian returning home, she is a new mom who had intended on raising her family here. And even though her husband has a well paying industry job and she was working full-time prior to having the baby, they can’t afford to buy an appropriate home.

Though their rental isn’t overly expensive, the house is old. Earlier this year she called me in a panic because wasps were crawling in through the bathroom fan and she was worried they would sting her child, or her pet, who is allergic. There have been other struggles with the property as well as the looming threat of having to find a new place if the landlord ever sells.

I am mad they are leaving, not at them, but at the system. I am mad about the housing crisis.

These friends of mine are exactly the kind of people we need in Revelstoke to keep the “community feel” we, as well as the tourists, love.

If they can’t afford a house, I wonder who can. Who is buying these $800,000-plus houses?

According to ratehub.com’s mortgage calculator, with the minimum down payment, and the lowest interest rate choice, a buyer would be paying almost $3,200 a month for 25 years.

With a $160,000 down payment, that rate decreases slightly to around $2,600 a month.

If you are following common financial advice and only spending one-third of your monthly income on housing, to afford that mortgage your family should be bringing in upwards of $115,000 a year (and that isn’t considering the craziness of hydro bills, food or gas prices in Revelstoke).

According to the 2016 census, the average income of a Revelstoke resident in 2015 was just under $44,000 a year and there were only 390 households making over $100,000 a year (out of 5,510).

READ MORE: Revelstoke property values up by 7% in 2020

Still, that was six years ago. But, put that through an inflation calculator and $44,000 goes up to $48,000, which might bump another 145 households into the $100,000-plus category, if everyone got annual raises that match inflation.

When you look at it that way, it makes sense that there are so many AirBnBs and houses with multiple roommates.

In the end, I don’t think my friend’s only reason for leaving is the lack of housing, but it is playing a major role. And, one day it will play a major role in my decision to leave.

Though I don’t currently have plans to move away, the lack of housing options is a consistent addition to my con side of my “stay or leave Revelstoke” list.

How many people are in the same boat as me and my friend?

What would Revelstoke be like without people like us?



 

@JDoll_Revy
jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Column

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the city’s environmental advisory committee and some city councillors would like to receive and provide input into an application for a groundwater licence in Salmon Arm for the purpose of bottling fresh water. (Lachlan Labere - Salmon Arm Observer)
Concerns raised over water licence application in Salmon Arm for bottling water

Neighbours want to know more, city councillor concerned about commercial use of public aquifers

Photo: pixabay.com
Morning Start: What does space smell like?

Your morning start for Wednesday, April 21, 2021

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

Tourism businesses are bracing for further details of travel restrictions expected to be announced by Friday, April 23. ( Jim Elliot-Eagle Valley News)
B.C. travel restrictions create uncertainty among North Okanagan-Shuswap businesses

Sicamous mayor to ramp up campaign against licence plate hate

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Sheldon Pierre Louis’s winning mural design, “kʷu mr̓imstn, we are medicine.” (Facebook: Okanagan Nation Alliance)
Syilx artist selected as winner of Kelowna Gospel Mission’s mural project

Sheldon Pierre Louis was also awarded $10,000 for his winning submission, “kʷu mr̓imstn, we are medicine.”

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Most Read