Homes in Merritt BC Canada
A House for Everyone In The Nicola Valley
The history of housing in Merritt in the Nicola Valley
Homes in Merritt BC Canada vary greatly and are impacted by the various stages of its development when non indigenous settlers arrived in the Nicola Valley in the last 1800s. The primary focus was on ranching. However, when the turn of the century arrived the discovery of coal brought an increase demand for housing. As a result the village of Merritt was established in 1911.
In this blog you will see pictures of many styles of homes that have appeared in the Nicola Valle over the past 120 years or so. None of the homes pictured are for sale but they will give you a good idea of what is available.
Small Homes in Merritt BC Canada
The discovery of coal resulted in the need for housing for the miners and their families. As was the case in most mining towns this need was met by building small economical homes. The downtown area of Merritt BC still has many of these homes today. They are generally around 90 Square meters (800 sq ft). They are mostly 2 bedrooms and one bathroom. As well, they are usually on a good size city lot.
Housing styles change in the Nicola Valley
Coal mining had a short period of activity from the turn of the 20th century to the 1950’s. However the decline started in the 30’s. While coal mining was fading out, forestry began to become more important.
Unfortunately there was a problem in the early going and the City of Merritt decided to bail out one of the mills and provided a significant loan. This created a difficulty for the City as the United States put up tariffs on lumber that forced the mill into a bankruptcy that took the City with it. Therefore, growth was slow during this period with the housing remaining small and simpler in design.
Bigger Homes were on the way
While forestry was becoming more important to the city during the 40’s, the actual boom started in 1958 when the Craigmont Mine opened in 1958 and was followed in 1962 by Highland Copper Mine (current mine name). This period saw the opening of the “Bench” subdivision which sits above downtown on a hill. At first the homes in Merritt BC Canada at this time were not fancy but were bigger than downtown.
The Coquihalla Highway Arrives
In the mid seventies growth was slow. However, the announcement in the early eighties of a new highway connecting the lower mainland (Vancouver BC) to the interior generated a lot of excitement in the area beyond any previous period. Expansion of subdivisions on the “Bench” were complemented with others in the south and east.
Homes in Merritt BC continues to grow
Not much happened after 1996 as the area’s growth stalled. There was some subdivision activity in the early 2000’s but not much building took place. However, by 2018, house prices in the Vancouver area was making it difficult for young families to afford a home. Also at that time it was a great opportunity for seniors to cash in and get affordable homes in Merritt BC as well.
This pressure from the lower mainland has created a huge demand which has spurred on a major building frenzy. Unfortunately it also has driven prices up to a point where Merritt has lost most of its price advantage. For example, the million dollar home was not known in this area, but now there are lots of them, particularly along the riverside.
This is the type of home that is being built now.
Other Nicola Valley Housing styles
This article has focused on the single family market but there are many other homes in Merritt BC for consideration such as condos, rental apartments, townhouses and mobile homes. Perhaps another time I will discuss these options.
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