Newfoundland is a “have-not” province no longer. The region is prospering and nowhere is this more evident than in the capital, St. John’s. This city of 100,000 has always been connected to the oceans—in the past for its fisheries—but now much of its bounty lies in offshore oil and gas. Our momentum score of A- shows that house prices are rising fast, but even though they’ve gone up more than 60% in the last four years, the average home here still sells for an affordable $225,500. The unemployment rate is still in the high range, at 8.3%, but it’s projected to dip below 8% in 2010 and keep falling thereafter.
For the best real estate buys look for the gorgeous historical homes that have been completely renovated in the centre of town, or the modern newer homes going up in the Southlands district. “The oil industry is really driving salaries up here,” says St. John’s real estate agent Charles Harris. “Our population is growing yet our crime rate is one of the lowest in Canada. Not only do we have more people coming out to work in the oil and gas industry but we’re seeing a lot of baby boomers selling their homes in other parts of Canada and returning home.”