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Vancouver’s Top Neighbourhoods For Real Estate Investment


buntzen1

Buntzen Lake Beach, Port Moody, BC

 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re bullish or bearish on real estate, just about everyone agrees: property is really expensive in Vancouver. But is buying a home in the Greater Vancouver Area a bad investment? Not if you’re in it for the long haul. Vancouver is one of those rare cities where there really is a shortage of land—what with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. Even if prices drop in the short term, as long as you can afford to hold tight, they’ll recover eventually. And by choosing a neighbourhood within the city where prices are not yet in the stratosphere, you can minimize the risk.

When we analyzed the neighbourhoods in Greater Vancouver for value, growth potential (momentum) and desirability (realtor grade), we weren’t surprised to see Port Moody Centre at the top the list. This tree-lined neighbourhood of single-family homes near Simon Fraser University certainly seems to offer value: Last year approximately 30 properties sold in this area at a benchmark price of just over $700,000—almost $50,000 less than the benchmark price for the Greater Vancouver Area. “Fact is, you get a lot more for your money in this community,” explains Rhonda Davis, a realtor with RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside. Plus there’s a mix of housing types: from newer townhomes, to older bungalows to side- and back-splits.

But Port Moody Centre boasts more than affordable homes (affordable for Vancouver, that is). “It’s art-focused so it still retains that sense of community,” explains Scott Stevenson, realtor with Keller Williams Black Diamond Realty. “Plus people in this neighbourhood are active,” Stevenson says. “They ride bikes, go for walks, or just stroll around before ordering some fish and chips from Pajo’s, or sitting on the patio at the Boathouse.” When they go shopping, local residents can visit their community meat shop, bakery, or fruit stand, or they can hop in a car and drive 10 minutes to the IGA.

Then there’s the location. Part of the reason Port Moody ranks so well is because the area is an accessible Metro Vancouver bedroom community, and it will become even more so when the rapid transit SkyTrain reaches the area in 2016.

The No. 2 neighbourhood on our list is Brentwood Park in North Burnaby. “Brentwood is becoming trendy, but not like Commercial Drive, where the hipsters hang out,” explains Davis. “Families who can’t afford Westside neighbourhoods—but still want a view of the ocean and easy access to downtown Vancouver—like Brentwood because it fills that niche.” Part of the community’s attraction is its relatively reasonable house prices—of the 30 or so single-family homes that sold in this area in 2014, the benchmark price was around $950,000. As an added bonus, the neighbourhood also continues to offer authentic, owner-operated espresso cafés and straight-from-Italy dinner spots which helps create and keep the community’s eclectic, authentic vibe.

 

 

Rank

Neighbourhood (Area)

Average price

Value grade

Momentum grade

1

Port Moody Centre (Port Moody)

$689,100

A

C

2

Brentwood Park (Burnaby North)

$944,600

D

A

3

Mountain Meadows (Port Moody)

$709,000

A

C

4

Cambie (Vancouver West)

$1,730,600

C

B

5

Vancouver Heights (Burnaby North)

$927,600

D

B

6

Kitsilano (Vancouver West)

$1,769,000

C

B

7

Hastings (Vancouver East)

$814,800

B

A

8

North Shore Pt Moody (Port Moody)

$745,000

A

D

9

Fairview VW (Vancouver West)

$1,438,400

B

C

10

Collingwood VE (Vancouver East)

$869,300

C

A

11

Victoria VE (Vancouver East)

$877,000

C

A

12

Willingdon Heights (Burnaby North)

$920,100

D

A

13

Renfrew VE (Vancouver East)

$885,000

C

A

14

Marpole (Vancouver West)

$1,418,900

B

A

15

Steveston Villlage (Richmond)

$910,300

C

C

16

McNair (Richmond)

$832,700

B

B

17

Garden Village (Burnaby South)

$1,037,200

D

A

18

Central BN (Burnaby North)

$643,600

A

C

19

South Slope (Burnaby South)

$1,018,400

D

B

20

Burnaby Hospital (Burnaby South)

$1,038,400

D

B

21

Barber Street (Port Moody)

$832,300

C

C

22

Steveston North (Richmond)

$802,800

A

D

23

Ironwood (Richmond)

$771,800

A

C

24

Mount Pleasant VE (Vancouver East)

$897,900

C

C

25

Fraser VE (Vancouver East)

$975,700

D

A

26

Knight (Vancouver East)

$938,700

D

A

27

New Horizons (Coquitlam)

$587,200

A

C

28

Oakridge VW (Vancouver West)

$2,060,900

D

A

29

Highgate (Burnaby South)

$926,300

C

B

30

Glenayre (Port Moody)

$759,800

A

D

31

Sentinel Hill (West Vancouver)

$1,661,500

C

B

32

South Arm (Richmond)

$877,400

B

B

33

Coquitlam West (Coquitlam)

$780,200

D

C

34

Central Coquitlam (Coquitlam)

$756,000

D

C

35

Renfrew Heights (Vancouver East)

$912,800

D

A

36

Hastings East (Vancouver East)

$930,800

D

A

37

Canyon Springs (Coquitlam)

$700,300

B

B

38

Brighouse South (Richmond)

$629,400

A

D

39

Eagle Ridge CQ (Coquitlam)

$615,900

A

C

40

Beach Grove (Tsawwassen)

$661,100

A

D

41

Suncrest (Burnaby South)

$869,700

B

C

42

Steveston South (Richmond)

$980,800

D

C

43

Parkcrest (Burnaby North)

$1,002,300

D

B

44

Capitol Hill BN (Burnaby North)

$964,400

D

B

45

Forest Glen BS (Burnaby South)

$1,164,500

D

A

46

McLennan (Richmond)

$994,700

D

A

47

Tsawwassen Central (Tsawwassen)

$731,400

C

D

48

Bayridge (West Vancouver)

$1,741,000

D

B

49

Ambleside (West Vancouver)

$1,718,500

D

D

50

Pebble Hill (Tsawwassen)

$805,900

D

B

51

Main (Vancouver East)

$1,104,800

D

A

52

Burnaby Lake (Burnaby South)

$967,300

C

C

53

Sapperton (New Westminster)

$601,800

A

D

54

Dunbar (Vancouver West)

$2,124,300

D

A

55

Seafair (Richmond)

$991,800

D

C

56

Woodwards (Richmond)

$1,025,300

D

B

57

Westwind (Richmond)

$1,039,400

D

C

58

Mount Pleasant VW (Vancouver West)

$1,257,300

B

D

59

Boulevard (North Vancouver)

$1,066,300

D

A

60

Harbour Chines (Coquitlam)

$798,800

D

C

61

Ranch Park (Coquitlam)

$686,500

B

D

62

S.W. Marine (Vancouver West)

$2,119,800

D

A

63

British Properties (West Vancouver)

$2,124,100

D

A

64

College Park PM (Port Moody)

$792,800

B

D

65

Metrotown (Burnaby South)

$1,133,700

D

B

66

South Vancouver (Vancouver East)

$982,700

D

A

67

Sullivan Heights (Burnaby North)

$772,000

A

D

68

Deer Lake Place (Burnaby South)

$1,081,900

D

B

69

Lower Lonsdale (North Vancouver)

$841,000

B

D

70

Lynnmour (North Vancouver)

$791,100

A

D

71

Glenmore (West Vancouver)

$1,345,500

B

C

72

Central Park BS (Burnaby South)

$1,035,500

D

B

73

Pemberton NV (North Vancouver)

$763,600

A

D

74

Saunders (Richmond)

$982,600

D

B

75

Uptown NW (New Westminster)

$589,100

A

D

76

Lynn Valley (North Vancouver)

$951,700

C

D

77

Westlynn (North Vancouver)

$849,300

B

D

78

Eagle Harbour (West Vancouver)

$1,275,800

B

D

79

Cliff Drive (Tsawwassen)

$719,300

C

D

80

English Bluff (Tsawwassen)

$996,100

D

A

81

Garden City (Richmond)

$1,029,900

D

B

82

Maillardville (Coquitlam)

$622,900

A

C

83

Boyd Park (Richmond)

$995,200

D

C

84

South Cambie (Vancouver West)

$2,337,600

D

A

85

Hamilton (North Vancouver)

$829,900

B

D

86

Whalley (Surrey)

$444,075

A

D

87

Norgate (North Vancouver)

$815,200

A

C

88

Glenwood PQ (Port Coquitlam)

$531,100

B

D

89

Killarney VE (Vancouver East)

$1,091,300

D

A

90

Gleneagles (West Vancouver)

$1,747,100

D

C

91

Seymour (North Vancouver)

$952,700

C

B

92

Big Bend (Burnaby South)

$889,900

B

B

93

Cedar Hills (Surrey and unknown areas)

$464,658

A

D

94

West Cambie (Richmond)

$875,000

B

D

95

Southlands (Vancouver West)

$2,284,100

D

A

96

Hamilton RI (Richmond)

$662,900

A

D

97

Queensbury (North Vancouver)

$920,200

C

C

98

Upper Eagle Ridge (Coquitlam)

$775,500

D

C

99

East Cambie (Richmond)

$863,500

B

D

100

River Springs (Coquitlam)

$490,200

A

D

101

Cape Horn (Coquitlam)

$652,600

A

D

102

Kerrisdale (Vancouver West)

$2,300,500

D

B

103

Broadmoor (Richmond)

$1,414,100

D

A

104

Connaught Heights (New Westminster)

$632,300

B

D

105

Bolivar Heights (Surrey)

$445,925

A

D

106

Riverdale RI (Richmond)

$1,145,000

D

B

107

Fraserview VE (Vancouver East)

$1,260,500

D

A

108

Arbutus (Vancouver West)

$2,487,100

D

A

109

Greentree Village (Burnaby South)

$631,500

A

D

110

Government Road (Burnaby North)

$1,253,900

D

A

111

Roche Point (North Vancouver)

$957,500

D

B

112

East Richmond (Richmond)

$1,047,700

D

A

113

Calverhall (North Vancouver)

$915,100

C

D

114

South Granville (Vancouver West)

$2,914,700

D

A

115

Bridgeport RI (Richmond)

$815,100

A

D

116

Woodland Acres PQ (Port Coquitlam)

$637,900

D

C

117

Windsor Park NV (North Vancouver)

$935,000

C

D

118

Queensborough (New Westminster)

$601,900

A

D

 

Romana King and Mark Brown

MoneySense | March 11 2015



5 Clear Signs Vancouver Mainland House Prices Will Rise


pricesup

 

It’s a question I often get asked on CKNW radio: “So will Vancouver and Lower Mainland real estate prices just keep rising – or are we in a bubble that is set to pop?”

Well, nobody can predict the future with 100 per cent certainty. But all the indicators suggest that this is not a bubble and that house prices will just keep rising – for the foreseeable future, at least.

What makes me say that? Five key factors.

1) Extremely Tight Local Housing Inventory

The British Columbia Real Estate Association says that, for the Greater Vancouver market, a sales-to-active listings ratio anywhere above 22 per cent is a sellers’ market. In January 2015 we saw a ratio of 17.7 per cent, but the following month, it jumped to 25.7 per cent. Advantage sellers.

What this means is that February saw a big jump in bidding wars and homes selling above asking price. With sales set only to increase, this will doubtless be the case for the rest of this spring market, if not the whole year.

2) Historic Low Interest Rates

With mortgage lenders offering rates that currently seem to be going from rock bottom to even lower, local buyers are suddenly able to afford that little bit more that previously – and listing agents know this and price accordingly. And they can afford to do so. With the previously mentioned inventory as tight as it is, they’re not going to scare away buyers by pushing up asking prices.

So for the short term at least, until interest rates start rising again, this will be a major factor in driving up local residential property prices.

3) Local Economic Growth Projections

New projections from the Conference Board of Canada say that Greater Vancouver’s economic growth in 2016, 2017 and 2018 will be at least 3 per cent each year, outstripping the 27 other census metropolitan areas (CMAs) surveyed across Canada.

The board said in a report published in March 5: “Vancouver’s economic outlook is positive.”

It added that the Vancouver CMA unemployment rate (currently 5.8 per cent) will fall to 4.7 per cent by 2019, similar to that of Calgary at the height of its economic boom.

Other institutions agree. RBC is similarly bullish about the economic growth in BC as a whole, as reported by REW.ca’s sister publication Business in Vancouver.

With the economy of other provinces and CMAs like Calgary projected to grow at a much slower rate, BC generally and Vancouver specifically are set to benefit with a boost in business activity, greater investment in the city and (hopefully) an increase in average incomes. All of which naturally boosts real estate prices in the medium to long term.

4) Local Population Increase Forecasts

Metro Vancouver’s population is forecast to grow by 30,000 new residents each year, or 1.2 million residents, by 2041 for a total population of 3.4 million, according to Metro Vancouver’s Metro 2040  regional growth projections 

That’s half a million new homes needed in the area to house all those people – and yet housing starts at least over the next few years, are predicted to remain relatively flat, according to the CMHC

What’s more, Metro 2040 was compiled before the recent dip in oil prices and contraction in growth of our neighbouring oil-rich provinces. Interprovincial migration from BC to Alberta is now dropping rapidly. We’re getting more and more people, and losing fewer and fewer. So by 2019, the 30,000-a-year population growth that Vancouver has been seeing could increase to 42,000 additional people a year, said the conference board.

This kind of population growth will put huge pressure on local housing stock and, again, keep house prices rising.

5) Continued Influx of Overseas Investors

One of the most discussed (and much-maligned) influences on Vancouver real estate prices is the thorny topic of overseas investors parking their money in our city’s more expensive homes, particularly those from mainland China.

Some BC agents have suggested the trend is focusing increasingly towards investing commercial and recreational (hotel/resort) properties and away from the limitations of Vancouver housing. And that may be true, but it doesn’t mean that foreign investors are going to stop buying up the city’s real estate and pushing up prices. If anything, signs suggest that more and more overseas investors, from an increasing number of countries, will look to perceived “safe havens” such as Vancouver to park their cash.

The Urban Land Institute said in a recent report that “Local money coming out of China and South Korea is set to continue to seek a home in international markets, and to be supplemented in the years to come by pension fund capital from Japan.”

And Canadian Real Estate Wealth recently reported that Canadian real estate markets should prepare for an influx of investors from Russia and Greece too.

The article said, “Dr. Sherry Cooper, chief economist at Dominion Lending Centres, told CREW sister site MortgageBrokerNews.ca that, due to political uncertainty in Russia and Greece, nationals from both of those countries are expected to move their money out-of-country and into the Canadian real estate market.”

So it looks like we are not expecting foreign investment to die down any time soon – even if the Chinese economy’s growth doesn’t perform as well as anticipated.

Where does all this leave the average Vancouverite? Sitting pretty, if you’re a home owner. Positively smug, if you’re a real estate investor. And if you’re a renter – with a limited window of opportunity to get yourself onto the property ladder any way you can while rates are low.

REW.ca | March 19 2015



Vancouver house prices break down Main Street’s dividing line


But new data show that the once-clear line has since been wiped out as more and more single-family properties in what was once a large swath of relatively affordable housing creep past the $1-million mark. 

Andy Yan, a researcher and senior urban planner with Bing Thom Architects who has compiled and studied the City of Vancouver data since 2011, had pondered the “freezing” of the million-dollar line – technically Ontario Street, a residential route two streets west of Main – last year, but said he did not anticipate such a pronounced and sudden tipping point.

“They are remarkable changes,” Mr. Yan said in an interview on Tuesday. “People who were buying [in East Vancouver] back then, they were struggling, but they were still able to buy. They were garment-industry workers, restaurant workers, those working in the fishing industry. Where do those people buy now? Or can they?”

Two-thirds of all single-family properties in the city are now assessed at more than $1-million, according to the data. In 2010, when adjusted for inflation, only one-third were.

Jacky Levi, a Realtor with Re/Max who specializes in East Vancouver real estate, said the rigidity of the Main Street million-dollar line has been softening for some time, but its disappearance has been most pronounced in the past couple of years.

“Five, six years ago, the east and west addresses meant differences in price and popularity,” he said. “Now, we see it sliding toward Fraser Street: the east side is catching up in prices.

“In the detached category, we’ve seen extreme price increases in property value. A Vancouver Special that used to trade in and around the $800,000 [range] a couple years ago now exceeds $1-million – and they aren’t renovated. It’s just a base, standard lot.”

Among other observations: 99 per cent of single-family properties west of Ontario Street were assessed at more than $1-million in 2015, compared to 44 per cent east of Ontario Street; luxury properties (defined as those assessed at more than $5-million) nearly tripled to 1,282 in 2015 from 2010; and there are no longer single-family properties in Vancouver assessed at less than $500,000 in 2015.

The only value category Mr. Yan found to decline was single-family properties assessed at less than $1-million – a figure that fell by 45 per cent in the past five years.

These findings might signal, among other things, a shift toward denser homes such as duplexes and condos, Mr. Yan said. He added that there is a tendency to focus on solutions without fully understanding the problems and stressed the need for a “considered, thoughtful directive” on what cities are trying to accomplish.

“These maps and analyses are not meant to fan the flames of moral panic, but rather inform a civic resolve and dialogue to deal with housing affordability in the City of Vancouver,” Mr. Yan said. “We are still missing this level of data on other parts of the region.”

 

The Globe and Mail | Tuesday, Mar. 17 2015, 8:52 PM EDT



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