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The State of the Coast economy
The Sunshine Coast has what you might call a micro-economy: a localized, independent variant on the larger booming economies of Vancouver and BC that we are tenuously connected to. Like a micro-climate, our micro-economy features less of some things, and more of others, in a combination unique to our area. We have an older demographic, the second oldest region in BC in fact, trailing only Parksville; yet we have a thriving small business economy, with new startups opening every single week of the year. We have a thriving tech hub, a bustling creative artist community, blossoming farmers and artisans markets in each of our 3 main population areas (Gibsons, Sechelt and Pender Harbour), and we have a home building boom that has spawned dozens of construction and trades companies. On the other hand, our manufacturing sector is small. Our service economy is under-developed, and our tourism economy is a fraction of what it could and should be, at least from an economic standpoint. All of which really means that growth is an opportunity for the coast, in multiple sectors.
Supporting that growth is investment, and that’s part of our responsibility as well. Joining a credit union is a purposeful choice, largely driven by a sense of community, and supporting the economic and financial growth of that community. That community is made up of your friends, neighbours, and loved ones and there’s pride associated with seeing it thrive. The Sunshine Coast is an incredibly special region, and a community we’re proud to be a part of. The work we do is always rooted in supporting the health of this community as it changes, expands, and grows. Members invest their savings with us; we lend those savings to other members so they can buy homes, start businesses and plan families. Those businesses grow, and save with us so that we can invest in other families and community members. It is a virtuous cycle, and one we are so fortunate to be part of.
We recently commissioned the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Outlook and Review. Bryan Yu, Deputy Chief Economist, Central 1 Credit Union, shared his expert forecast, predicting business and population growth across the region.
- Employment on the Coast is forecasted to climb more than four per cent from 2016 through 2021
- There have been a number of new businesses open in the last year
- Housing markets will continue to operate at a high level with a strong increase in building permits, elevated home sales near 1,000 units per year on average, and median home values increasing 20 per cent by 2021.
- Between January 2018 and June 2018, the Sunshine Coast saw 458 property sales and an average house sale price of $736,000.
- The share of non-local owner housing demand is likely to decline as retirees transition to the region full-time.
- Professionals who can work remotely and still be linked to their clients and employers, will find the Coast lifestyle highly attractive.
It’s an exciting time to be part of our community, and we’re committed to anticipating and delivering on the evolving expectations and needs of our members as the Coast continues to thrive.