Fort St John Market Intro


Mitch Collins
Daniel: Mr. Mitch Collins from Fort St. John. Everybody, please listen to this, on April 8, we are doing, once every two months, a full event. Our event on Western Canada last time was really focused around Calgary, Alberta, and parts of BC.

The next one will be pretty much all focused on Fort St. John Whitehorse and Yellowknife.  You're going to want to come back for that tonight. We're just going to be teasing you. We're going to talk for about six, seven minutes to each and every one of these gentlemen, but their goal here is to just lift the corner of the veil.

You can see that there is a portion that is up there, but then we've been to put the veil back down, but on the 8th of April, we're going to remove everything. We're going to have grass. We're going to have pictures. We're going to show statistics. And you're gonna find out that there was some really good energy and really good deals going up there. Mitch, how's things in Fort St. John?

Mitch: It is busy right now. I almost missed it because I was just logging into the REITE club. I was hoping to get one of those hundred dollar bills thrown around. I've logged in already.

Daniel: I'm familiar with Fort St. John because many people know that I lived in Whitehorse and I have a lot of business in BC. If you live in Whitehorse, every time you get to Dawson Creek, which is mile zero on the Alaska the way up to Whitehorse you pass through for St. John, and then take much of it back then. But we're talking here about the 1980s, but today, Oh my God, I have a whole bunch of information here. And again, we're going to go in much more depth on April 8th, but the projects tell me about two or three of the projects that are happening there and why Fort St. John right now is just exploding.

Mitch: Sure, you bet. Number one, the first thing is going on all around Fort St. John about a three hour radius of our town is somebody called the Montney shale gas basin that represents the most prolific natural gas reserve in all of North America and one of the top three on the entire planet. And so we happen to be right in the middle of that, the entire resource.

What's going on right now, folks, is that there's major multinational oil and gas companies that have pinpointed our area and are planning to extract the resource from our marketplace pipeline into the coast. And then from there, they're going to ship it off to China, Japan, India, Korea. That just that process alone, just the natural gas extraction represents the largest investment of any kind in Canadian history.

That's just getting underway and starting to build a bunch of activity right now. That's the first thing that's called LNG. Anybody can Google real quick, LNG, Canada, and it'll all pop up. See the next thing is in order to power that because it takes a ton of energy to build those terminals to supply energy to them, they're building a $16 billion to $20 billion hydroelectric dam, five minutes from my office here right now, that's called BC hydro site C dam before the LNG program site C was also the largest project anywhere in the country, under construction. 

We're in a position right now where they started construction on that about three years ago, it's entering into the main phase of construction. Right now we've got both 3000 people coming into our indoors. This year alone to work on that project. And so that's just two of them real quick. And the second one or the third one, and it's way smaller, but for any other region, that's all they talk about is we have something called a more major forestry habit of the forestry sector here as well.

In BC, forestry is the major economy and it's a major industry driver. 2009, Fort St. John was deemed BC's forestry capital. And so we have a new OSB facility, which for anybody that doesn't know, it's like plywood and I've built houses all the time. I can tell you right now, lumber pricing is through the roof. I've never seen it like this. They're opening up our new OSB facility in the next 60 days. That's going to bring in another four or 500 jobs right away.

We're a small town of 25,000 people at the two biggest projects in the country happening simultaneously. With a few other different industries that are burgeoning right now. Those are some of the projects that are kicking off. We're expecting tens of thousands of super high paying jobs as a result of those projects.

Daniel: What we're going to talk about more on the eighth, when we go into more details, for example, what is the average household income in Fort St. John?

Mitch: For sure. It's number one, because it's a very industry driven thumb our household income is 45% higher than the Canadian average. We're just about $135,000 per household income. Why is that a needed number? Is that our average retail price of real estate in our marketplace is just a tab under $400,000.

We've got some of the highest affordability. In our marketplace, we could see pricing more than double and it would still be a lot more affordable than pretty well, any other major market in the country because of our incomes. We got a lot of runway for balance.

Daniel: Let me see if I get to numbers of whites. People at the numbers I have here from the the statistic was say 139,000 average for a $390,000 house versus in Toronto where people are in an average. The family has an average of 110 for a million-dollar house. Okay. I can see where there are some advantages in wanting to do some business in Fort St. John. 2000 people coming for the dam plus, you're talking here about thousands and thousands coming for all the projects. Where are they going to live? Where are you going to stay? Construction was going crazy where you are.

Mitch: Here's what's neat. These projects right now, we're just getting a bunch of momentum that actually slowed us down a little bit last year. And so this is something that the site C dam for example, is as government projects. They are pretty and they are still these bigger projects. They have big camps where they bring a lot of people to come in and say they don't house everybody, but it's a lot of the workforce there because our town could not support it otherwise.

About three days ago, the government just announced we have 15,000 COVID vaccinations coming up just for our heavy industrial projects. That's going to let everybody get back to work. The pipelines of that going against site C is going to start to be able to bring in main phases of construction.

Basically, right now we're in a spot where it's just starting to really get rolling. And also I've been investing here for almost 20 years, pretty excited to see where things are in the marketplace as of right now.

Daniel: We've got two weeks. You and I get a couple more things together. I know you've got a couple of videos. We can add some slides. We can add things because the thing is right now, people can buy houses in Fort St. John and cashflow. Correct?

Mitch: Basically, what I do is I own over a hundred properties up here, myself. What we mostly do is I work with builders. We do custom design, legally suite at homes. Basically geared up just for investor clients from coast to coast. We tend to find a cash flow anywhere between $800 to $1,100 a month now. And that's before the projects get going and everybody starts coming. I think we're going to see a pretty big run-up in the rental rates as demand outstrips supply.

Daniel: You're right, the more people with which we can't afford, the higher rent and then the lots less inventory. Then people are going to raise their rent and first thing, the 800 bucks cash flow, what can turn into $1,200 cash flow or whatever.

Mitch: Actually, you were asking me before how many houses are going to be needed? Our city council actually put a report out. They hired an engineering company to tell us what we're needing to expect as far as housing requirements. And that report came back in the early part of January. And it was actually presented at the city council. That report said that we're going to need over 4,500 new homes at a door down over the next 16, 17 years.

I can tell you, I work with all the major builders in town. We might have at most 50 homes a year on average. We need to see that go up by a factor of at least six full to come in and have it starting right now to come anywhere near to completing that supply .

Daniel: What you're saying is that on the eighth, we're going to be talking about lots of stuff there is really. I don't want to compare this to the Yukon gold rush or whatever, but there is a cashflow rush or whatever that could happen in Fort St. John, for people who are smart enough to come back on the eighth and listen to you. Thank you for your time.