On the Rebound

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Image by: Brian Howell / Nik West / Gregory Crow

The heated B.C. real estate market is back with a vengeance, but not all neighbourhoods are created equal. We’ve got the five “hot pockets” to watch for – and invest in – in 2010.

What goes down in B.C. real estate must, apparently, come up. And quickly: by the end of 2009, the average home price in the province had risen to $463,000, back to where it was in 2007. Interest rates are, at least for now, at record lows, and increasing consumer confidence has spurred the market’s recovery beyond expectations. Barring the usual unforeseeable mayhem, things are looking good.

But speak with any number of real estate experts and you are sure to get entirely divergent assessments on the state of the market. Nothing is clear-cut or set in stone in this industry. When selecting neighbourhoods to feature as “up-and-coming,” therefore, one must do so with caution: consensus does not equal accuracy, nor can the analysis of any amount of data guarantee that one region will outperform another. Still, supply and demand go hand in hand, and where the people go, increased desirability and value follow.

B.C.’s population grew from four million to 4.5 million between 1999 and 2009 and is expected to reach five million by 2019. In this year’s real estate roundup, we look at particular regions of the province that have been experiencing steady population growth or that have a history of underdevelopment and the capacity to grow. In consultation with a variety of experts from across B.C. – in development, sales and urban planning – we’ve picked five “hot pockets,” based on either current levels of construction or near-term development potential. For each neighbourhood, we’ve identified a project that embodies that potential and asked the developer and marketer to answer the question, Why here? Finally, we’ve asked the city planners and politicians responsible for those areas to explain what their vision is for the neighbourhood.


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