(June 29, 2015 , posted in Investment Property)

Is Investing in Vancouver Real Estate a Good Idea?

Vancouver is one of the rare cities in the world with a limited supply of usable land. Bordered by mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, builders and developers have only two choices: build it up or knock it down. There is no urban sprawl here...

Throughout Metro Vancouver there are several areas that city planners have allocated for condo development. Concentration of our growing population and changing demographics into these pockets allow for the protection of our established neighbourhoods where detached housing is the norm. This further enhances the value of detached homes by maintaining a traffic-calmed, community-driven, high-quality of living in many of our bedroom neighbourhoods.

In the first quarter of 2015 we have seen detached homes in Richmond, Burnaby, East Vancouver, the Westside and North Vancouver selling in an average of 10 days or less and for 100% of well positioned asking or more.

While the condo market and condo development are driven by slightly different factors, the current momentum is spilling over somewhat into the condo market as we are seeing well-priced product in the condo market selling in an average of 30 days and within 97-98% of a well positioned asking price.

Besides being locked in by mountains and water, Vancouver is a global access point for many wealthy cities around the world and their high net-worth individuals. Comparatively small on the global scale, Vanouver is well-positioned geographically and economically as an opportunity for relatively safe foreign investment. 

Just Getting Started.. #INVESTCANADA

Not unlike New York, Vancouver is an international city known for its real estate. We live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and we offer an amazing lifestyle and an incredible selection of real estate product throughout many unique neighbourhoods. From the heritage classics in Kitsilano, to the spiralling glass towers downtown and luxury condos in Yaletown, to the post-and-beam bungalow beauties in North Vancouver, and so much more, Vancouver real estate is diverse and incredibly desirable. 

Is Vancouver Real Estate Expensive?

When you're in Vancouver, most of the headlines you read are about how expensive the real estate is. And it's not just the headlines. It's the conversations you hear over coffee, at lunch, in the office, on the radio, at happy hour and in every newspaper you read. BUT, leave Vancouver and go to any international city known for its real estate, the first thing you will hear is how affordable Vancouver real estate is.

Recently on my trip to New York City for the Inman Real Estate Conference where the best-of-the-best in real estate across North America converge to discuss every aspect of market trends, global and local, the main sentiment that was repeatedly shared with me by these experts is that Vancouver is just a "playground" for foreign investors at this time. The kind of foreign investors who invest in New York, LA or London, see Vancouver as the city where investors "learn the ropes" because the stakes are much lower when you're spending $2-$20million than when you're ready to spend $100million+.

Globally speaking, we are still very much in the early stages of the explosion of wealth and investment that is yet to come. On a list of the 40 most important cities reported by Business Insider last year, Vancouver doesn't even make the list at this point. London - where $2million dollars will buy you a run-down, below-ground flat with ancient plumbing and tiny, dark rooms - is number one on that list. So are we expensive? Not when you compare us to the cities with which we most directly compete in real estate. Love it or hate it, the truth is that in the international market, Vancouver is a bit of a bargain.

Consider that in our lifetime there will never be another single family lot title issued in this city unless you tear a house down. Land is an asset that trades at a premium in Vancouver and that premium will only continue to rise as our population grows and more people want to live and invest here.
People are willing to be creative with the way they live in order to stay in the city and this is evidenced by several trends we are seeing throughout Vancouver: choosing not to have car, converting dens into bedrooms, living with extended family or having a tenant are just some of the ways we make compromises to invest in real estate and live in a city we love.

Affordability is a relative term and more people are focused on where they want to live rather than the size of their house. For example, $700,000 will buy you a 1000SqFt. ground level condo downtown Vancouver, OR a 1300SqFt condo in Burnaby, a townhouse in Coquitlam or a house in Langley. While there is a large demographic to whom Langley is appealing, there is a much larger demographic for whom proximity to the heart of Vancouver remains of utmost importance.

Waiting for the perfect time to invest in real estate is really a false endeavour. While the opportunity exists to get into the Vancouver market at currently low interest rates, it is without a doubt a good idea to invest. Make sure before you buy that you can afford what you are buying if interest rates do go back up to 5% but take this opportunity to get in while they are low.

For more detailed investment opportunities, please email or call me to discuss. 778-386-0771