Vancouver real estate: Where to buy in the core 2018 - MoneySense

Top neighbourhoods in Vancouver’s core 2018

Looking for real estate value in Vancouver? Try Van East

by

Marpole

For some buyers and agents, this neighbourhood is hard to love. Located on the south side, it connects Metro Vancouver to Richmond and for a long, long time it was underpriced. But that started to change in 2015. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal in this slowly adapting neighbourhood but, as we all know, the terms ‘deal’ and ‘value’ are relative. The average house price for Marpole, in 2017, was just over $2.92-million — a whopping $1-million more than the Greater Vancouver single-family home average price but only $200,000 more than the average price of a home in Metro Vancouver.

At this point you might add: That’s not a deal! Well, buyers can expect to pay 75% less for a home in Marpole than in surrounding Vancouver West neighbourhoods. That makes this neighbourhood excellent value. The neighbourhood’s momentum isn’t too shabby, either. Prices rose 10% in 2017 and more than 115% in the last five years — and, according to Re/Max agents who work the area, there’s still room to grow.

GALLERY: Top 25 Vancouver neighbourhoods to buy in

But that room to grow comes at a price. The biggest detractor, for most buyers, is that the area just doesn’t have the cute, funky boutique stores found in other neighbourhoods across Metro Vancouver. You will find Chinese grocers and hair salons, as well as small, independent stores.

Kitsilano

When it comes to finding good value, Kitsilano may not be the first neighbourhood that comes to mind. It’s not cheap with the 2017 average single-family house price sitting just above $3.44-million, but when you compare it to the average price of its surrounding area — Vancouver West’s 2017 average price was just over $3.9-million — Kitsilano is good value.  

“Kitsilano is a diverse neighbourhood that provides a real sense of community to those that live there,” explains Colin Gatward, a realtor with Re/Max Crest Realty. It’s a well-situated neighbourhood that gives residents convenient access to the beach, unique boutique retail stores, an assortment of restaurants and coffee houses, it offers great schools and the downtown commute is a breeze. “It’s a neighbourhood that offers the features people look for when choosing an area to call home,” says Gatward. “The homes have mature gardens, the streets have mature trees and even new builds, which are few, tend to be smaller, boutique condo buildings. All this tends to lead to a sense of community. A chance to meet your neighbours.”

The metrics aren’t too shabby either. Yes, the price point is expensive. It costs almost 205% more than the average house in all of Metro Vancouver, but demand is strong. In one-year, property values in Kitsilano rose 18%. And momentum is strong, with appreciation in the last three- and five-years at 74% and 105%, respectively. The neighbourhood’s value has steadily grown for more than half a decade and continues to grow.

Hastings

Back in 2015, Re/Max realtor Patrick Weeks predicted that in three to five years, buyers would be unable to find a home in the Hastings, Vancouver East neighbourhood for under $1-million. In 2017, the average price for a home in this neighbourhood was $1.53-million. Weeks’ rationale was that the area offered the same amenities and the same proximity to downtown as the Point Grey neighbourhood on the other side of town, but at half the price (on average it costs more than $4.2-million to buy a home in the Point Gray neighbourhood in 2017). Weeks wasn’t the only one to notice this neighbourhood’s value. Sitting in the No. 3 spot in our Vancouver Core neighbourhoods rankings (and No. 39 in the GVA’s overall rankings), Hastings really has blossomed.

“In the last five years we’ve seen this area transform,” says Casey Archibald, a realtor with Re/Max Crest Realty. “There are now a lot of hip coffee shops, boutique restaurants and funky shops.” But what continues to lend the community its character are the old-time produce shops, the local butchers and the mom-and-pop specialty stores. “It’s a very walkable neighbourhood that’s done a lot to clean up its reputation and the streets.”

As a result, lot values have increased significantly in this community and the clean-up efforts have attracted more families, who, in turn, continue the clean-up efforts. “One of the greatest perks about this neighbourhood is that it has amazing views to the north,” says Archibald. This means some properties have mountain views — a hard-won perk for a home priced under $2-million in Vancouver.

Because the neighbourhood is still going through a revitalization and due to its excellent public transit access, most realtors believe there is plenty of room for price appreciation in this ‘hood. While property values may not go up another 92% (the five-year appreciation for this community), the 7% increase in prices in 2017 is a good indicator of what you can expect in the near term, barring any major changes to the real estate market.

Realtor’s Pick

Renfrew

The neighbourhood of Renfrew, in Vancouver East, has been a favourite of buyers, realtors and MoneySense rankings for quite some time. It first made an appearance in 2015, when it ranked No. 13. The following year it climbed to the No. 5 spot and while it fell to No. 10 in this year’s core neighbourhood ranking (and No. 68 in the overall list), realtors still consider this a hot community to buy into.

Part of the reason why this neighbourhood continues to attract buyers is that its average price offers good value, at just over $1.43-million, when compared to the surrounding area (which has an average home price of $1.6-million in 2017). Over the last year, property prices actually depreciated, on average, by 5%, but that could be due, in part, to a rush and interest in what is happening in the Hastings community, which just north of this community.

Still, realtors who know Vancouver East are confident that this area’s value still has some legs. While momentum is slowing (and will continue to slow to a more balanced level), there is still room for property price appreciation. It’s family-friendly, ethnically diverse and the schools are good, which makes it a draw for those that still want to stay urban without cracking the $2-million mark.

Top 25 neighbourhoods

ClickTap column headings to re-rank neighbourhoods. ClickTap on any neighbourhood name to learn more about it. Search by neighbourhood or area to filter results.

Rank Neighbourhood Area Average home price (2017) Value Momentum Realtor Grade Average price vs. area Avg. price vs. metro district Avg. price vs. outer region 1-year price change 3-year price change 5-year price change
1MarpoleVancouver West$2,924,64474.2993.42★★★½74.95%173.90%106.93%10.50%85.67%116.11%
2KitsilanoVancouver West$3,446,74058.5789.79★★★★88.33%204.95%126.02%18.07%74.13%105.29%
3HastingsVancouver East$1,530,00071.4380.25★★★½95.12%90.98%55.94%7.17%70.99%92.29%
4CollingwoodVancouver East$1,509,40374.2969.37★★★½93.84%89.75%55.19%4.09%61.08%87.11%
5RenfrewVancouver East$1,435,15987.1446.62★★★½89.23%85.34%52.47%-5.00%59.55%78.20%
6Mount PleasantVancouver East$1,597,95360.0056.05★★★★99.35%95.02%58.42%1.93%65.46%74.42%
7KnightVancouver East$1,595,45662.8680.36★★★99.19%94.87%58.33%7.53%64.16%92.46%
8GrandviewVancouver East$1,677,48047.1472.94★★★★104.29%99.75%61.33%9.98%68.85%86.68%
9Renfrew HeightsVancouver East$1,500,54477.1445.19★★★½93.29%89.23%54.86%4.03%58.22%65.11%
10CambieVancouver West$2,959,10371.4345.32★★★★75.84%175.95%108.19%-4.03%51.61%82.77%
11Hastings EastVancouver East$1,550,78367.1459.94★★★½96.41%92.21%56.70%-0.11%56.70%88.01%
12VictoriaVancouver East$1,497,76180.0061.95★★★93.12%89.06%54.76%3.86%64.44%81.21%
13West EndVancouver West$4,090,00022.8697.12★★★½104.82%243.20%149.54%26.82%83.31%122.28%
14OakridgeVancouver West$3,181,67668.5745.95★★★★81.54%189.19%116.33%-3.56%57.35%77.23%
15Mount PleasantVancouver West$2,504,57977.1417.33★★★★64.19%148.93%91.57%-6.42%52.97%47.98%
16MainVancouver East$1,894,11734.2960.00★★★★117.76%112.63%69.25%3.92%52.68%86.97%
17FraserVancouver East$1,711,78742.8677.44★★★106.42%101.79%62.59%10.82%63.32%88.98%
18South CambieVancouver West$4,251,52115.7189.10★★★½108.96%252.80%155.45%17.10%69.14%108.11%
19South VancouverVancouver East$1,625,01454.2960.57★★½101.03%96.63%59.41%2.83%59.78%82.83%
20UniversityVancouver West$8,229,4672.8696.34★★★210.91%489.34%300.89%63.39%89.59%108.60%
21DunbarVancouver West$3,291,53465.7117.52★★★84.36%195.72%120.35%-6.09%37.45%53.82%
22ArbutusVancouver West$3,629,09948.5723.32★★★½93.01%215.79%132.69%0.07%45.33%49.46%
23S.W. MarineVancouver West$3,628,47151.4328.34★★★92.99%215.76%132.67%-2.40%53.11%51.64%
24KillarneyVancouver East$1,676,26750.0031.39★★★104.22%99.67%61.29%-3.90%47.21%66.40%
25SouthlandsVancouver West$4,012,51728.5754.73★★★102.83%238.59%146.71%5.94%58.95%72.66%
Value
Measures how affordable the neighbourhood is compared to the surrounding area and the region overall
Momentum
Measures how quickly prices are appreciating in this neighbourhood, with an emphasis on long term appreciation
Realtor Grade
How realtors we surveyed rate this neighbourhood

For more, please see our complete methodology

These are our picks for the best neighbourhoods to buy real estate in Vancouver’s core, but if you’d rather live farther from the hustle and bustle of downtown, we have more suggestions. We ranked the best neighbourhoods in three regions — core, inner suburbs and outer. The core is the city’s urban centre, with accessible transit and easy access to amenities. The inner suburbs are for people who don’t mind trading a longer commute for better parking and a bigger lot size. And the outer region is for buyers who either don’t need to commute downtown at all, or are willing to log some serious travel time in exchange for affordable prices and wide open spaces. Check out the map below to see how the regions break down.

Regions map

Core Inner Suburbs Outer Suburbs