Anshu Arora LLM, MSc, PMP

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Where to buy real estate in Greater Vancouver 2018

Fraser Valley’s HPI Benchmark Price — which measures the rate at which housing prices change over time — rose more than 15%, year-over-year, for single-family home in March 2018. The HPI Benchmark Price for all properties in Greater Vancouver (which includes:  Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadow, Maple Ridge and South Delta) rose more than 16% in the same period.


While housing activity appears to be slowing in 2018, real estate agents working in this western Canadian market aren’t worried. Just under 50% of ReMax agents surveyed by MoneySense believe prices will continue to rise this year.


This being said, the No. 1 spot on this year’s Vancouver neighbourhood ranking is Uptown New Westminster. The average home price in this neighbourhood in 2017 was less than $1-million ($996,903). Part of the reason for the slower appreciation in this neighbourhood is that it’s a mixed-use community, meaning single-family homes share the street with older, low-rise apartment buildings as well as newer condo towers.

The overwhelming consensus by realtors who specialize in this community is that “Uptown New West is inner-city life without inner-city Vancouver prices.” The community overlooks the Fraser River Quay and offers a multitude of festivals, as well as a popular farmer’s market. In the summer and spring, many residents will head out to Westminster Pier Park, before sauntering down to Fraser River Discovery Centre. Commuters love the area because it’s between two Skytrain stations and still offers relatively easy access to the Highway 1A, the TransCanada highway and Lougheed Highway, the three major arteries that take commuters into downtown Vancouver.


To rise from the No. 89 spot in 2017, to the No. 2 spot in the Where to Buy Now in Vancouver for 2018 rankings, is an astounding achievement. But ask anyone in this Port Coquitlam neighbourhood if they are surprised and you’ll probably just get a smile and a small shake of the head. Over the last five years, massive price growth in Metro Vancouver meant that surrounding areas like Port Moody, Langley and Port Coquitlam also saw property prices rise. In 2017, getting into this neighbourhood meant paying almost 50% less than any other Port Coquitlam neighbourhood. The value was there, but no one appeared to see it. Fast forward one year and it turns out buyers figured it out — and pounced. Average home prices are a bargain at just under $810,000 — 15% less than the surrounding area and more than 55% less than average home prices in Port Coquitlam. As a result, prices appreciated 8% in 2017. Over a five-year stretch property values have increased by more than 103%.


You’ll find older-stock family homes in Birchland Manor. Many are on larger lots with basement entrances, where you enter the home and shed your wet and muddy layers before moving upstairs to the main living space. While the majority of homes in this community are single-family homes, the area is rapidly developing prompting more townhouse and condo complexes.


“The community is a great spot for those that want a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city but still remain close to all the amenities and benefits of urban living,” explains the Re/Max Results Realty Prince Team, who specialize in Port Coquitlam properties. For other great neighbourhoods to invest in, contact me to see how you can get the most return on your Real Estate Investment!