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Case Study

Prince Rupert 2012 Review and Outlook

Victoria (Head office)
Phone: (250) 658-8060
Toll Free: 1-877-907-8060
Fax: (250) 658-8067
Regional Manager: Dale Schuss
Email: info@randallnorth.ca
485 Garbally Rd, Unit D
Victoria, BC V8T 4T3

Mailing address:
PO Box 53531
Victoria, BC V8X 5K2
Canada

Prince Rupert 
Phone: (250) 627-1414
Fax: (250) 658-8067
Regional Manager: Dale Schuss
Email:dale.schuss@randallnorth.ca

Mailing address:
P.O Box 728
607 2nd Avenue West
Prince Rupert, BC V8J 3S1

Cowichan Valley
Phone: 778 356-0021
Fax: (250) 658-8067
Regional Manager: Gloria Carvalho
Email: gloria.carvalho@randallnorth.ca

2012

THE CHALLENGE:

To make money for property investors in a small city with a great future, but with a less stellar history.

BACKGROUND

Prince Rupert was incorporated as a city in 1910 with much interest and fanfare. With the arrival of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (their western Pacific terminus) and auction of the newly cleared property lots, the future looked great. However, what the future did end up to hold was a constant switch between high hopes and let downs.

The port was never properly developed in those early years and the Grand Trunk Pacific collapsed, only to be amalgamated with other bankrupt railways across Canada to form Canadian National. The town began to settle back as a fishing centre with numerous canneries. The town’s early promise of a northern gateway to the world began to fade away.

During World War II, the town grew sharply, albeit temporarily due to the city’s location close to Alaska and its rail links. When the war ended, the town shrunk again and the future was uncertain.

In the late 1940’s hopes rose again when a large pulp and paper plant opened and in ths height, it employed close to 1,000 people. The city grew again and a sense of purpose and prosperity was felt by the citizens.

However the pulp and paper plant failed twice, in the mid 1970’s and again in the 1990’s both times involving temporary provincial government intervention. The only bright side during this period was the development of the bulk materials port facility at Ridley Island.

In the early 2000’s the pulp and paper plant shut down for good and hundreds of jobs were lost. The population went from 18,000 to 14,000 and house prices free-fell and many stores in the downtown area closed.

A new glimmer of hope came in 2005 with the announcement of a new container port facility to be built. Prince Rupert’s much closer reach to Asia and the rail links make the city a preffered location to handle the expanding trade. With the port would come hundres of jobs.

Phase I of the port is complete and is a great success. The recession has delayed the Phase II but once open, hundreds more jobs will be created. Until then, housing costs and population will remain stable, but when opened (along with hopes of expanded bulk facility), the city should be undergoing a new arrival that is hoped to be the real thing this time.

City industries: Container Port, Bulk Port, Fishing, Tourism (Terminal for BC Ferries, Alaska Marine Highway, Cruise Ships), Forestry, Regional Centre (North Coast and Queen Charlottes).

PROPERTY INVESTORS RESULTS

Randall North Manages over 30 properties in Prince Rupert. Vacancy rates average about 6% for properties under management. Houses have a very low vacancy rate, condominium units have a higher vacancy rate.

Limits for rentals (rents per month):

  • 1 bedroom house (not a typo!) $675.00
  • 2 bedroom house $800.00
  • 3 bedroom house (old timer) $900.00
  • 2 bedroom condo $650.00

With many smaller homes selling below $100,000 or just above, real cash returns can be expected. With economic expansion coming, some real capital returns may be realized too.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO BUY A PROPERTY IN PRINCE RUPERT, PLEASE CALL RANDALL NORTH. IN PRINCE RUPERT, WE SELL HOMES AND MANAGE THEM TOO!