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Where to buy a condo in Vancouver in 2018

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Infographic where to buy condo townhouse Greater Vancouver BC
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Continued demand for condos in Greater Vancouver

Greater Vancouver’s real estate market is a good news / bad news story that can leave even the most experienced home buyer or seller a little dazed and confused. Benchmark prices are up, by 11.5%, for all property types but inventory levels are also rising. Sounds like a recipe for a price correction, right? Except overall supply is still well below long-term historical averages, according to Phil Moore, President of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). This could explain why prices keep climbing in Greater Vancouver. For instance, in 2018, the condo market prices climbed 19.3%. Strong start, yes, but it’s still lower than the 10-year May average. Up. Down. Up. Down.

It’s not surprising buyers and sellers are all feeling a little fatigued. It doesn’t help that the new mortgage stress test — that came into effect on January 1, 2018, and now requires all purchasers to qualify for a loan at the posted five-year rate — and rising mortgage rates are both helping to seriously erode buying purchasing power.

Rather than give up on the homeownership dream, many buyers are switching focus to condos and townhomes. Evidence of this shift came early. Reports from REBGV show that activity for townhome and condo sales at the start of 2018, were above the 10-year January average sitting at 14.3% and 31.6%, respectively. At the same time, there was a 24.8% drop in sales for detached homes.

To be clear, these numbers are for resales of existing condos, not pre-sales of units that haven’t yet been built (which are historically more costly per square foot). This will help homebuyers determine where to buy a condo in Vancouver, including the surrounding GTA region.

All this can be daunting for anyone looking to buy a condo in the Lower Mainland — but we can help. By examining the value, price momentum and the economic viability of almost 400 neighbourhoods, we came up with a ranking of the best neighbourhoods in the Greater Vancouver Area to buy a condo. The communities that rose to the top offer good value, solid economic fundamentals and a strong opportunity for future appreciation.

We didn’t stop there. We realize that not everyone wants to or can afford to buy a condo in Vancouver’s urban core. As a result, we broke out our best neighbourhoods to buy list to include the top communities to buy in surrounding cities. You’ll find the best condo communities in Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, the Tri-Cities, Langley and even Abbotsford. Our aim is to give you a starting point — a ranking to help you short-list the best possible neighbourhoods where you can begin your home-hunt.

10 Best Neighbourhoods to Buy a Condo in the Greater Vancouver Area in 2018

  1. Coquitlam East, Coquitlam, Greater Vancouver – $480,200
  2. West End VW, Vancouver, Greater Vancouver – $908,068
  3. Coquitlam West, Coquitlam, Greater Vancouver – $510,385
  4. Downtown VW, Vancouver, Greater Vancouver – $861,441
  5. North Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Greater Vancouver – $506,432
  6. Central Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Greater Vancouver – $390,142
  7. Bolivar Heights, Surrey, Fraser Valley / Lower Mainland – $205,528
  8. Granville, Richmond, Greater Vancouver – $230,315
  9. Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver, Greater Vancouver – $692,434
  10. Langley City, Langley, Fraser Valley / Lower Mainland – $302,651

10 Worst Neighbourhoods to Buy a Condo in Greater Vancouver in 2018

  1. Sea Island, Richmond, Greater Vancouver – $672,450
  2. Hamilton, Richmond, Greater Vancouver – $657,000
  3. English Bluff, Tsawwassen, Greater Vancouver – $362,000
  4. Hemlock, Mission, Fraser Valley – $99,750
  5. Deer Lake, Burnaby, Greater Vancouver – $1,000,000
  6. Indian River, North Vancouver, Greater Vancouver – $686,657
  7. Citadel, Port Coquitlam, Greater Vancouver – $1,038,000
  8. Clayton, Surrey, Fraser Valley – $344,912
  9. McLennan, Richmond, Greater Vancouver – $648,000
  10. Bear Creek Green Timbers, Surrey, Fraser Valley – $320,785

Additional reports

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Romana King

Romana King is an award-winning personal finance writer, real estate expert and the current Director of Content at Zolo Homebase. Romana has contributed to business and lifestyle publications including, Toronto Sun, Maclean’s, MoneySense, Globe & Mail Custom Content Team, and The Toronto Star. Among her achievements, Romana won silver for her annual Where to Buy Now real estate package in the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. In 2015, she won a SABEW Business Journalism award. When she was editor of CI Top Broker, Romana helped guide her team to obtain its first KRW Business Journalism nomination, and in 2011, she was part of a small team that helped MoneySense win Magazine of the Year at the 34th annual National Magazine Awards. Her north star is to consistently provide actionable, valuable and accurate information that helps elevate the financial literacy of everyone.