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The rush to Vancouver’s suburbs over the last few years pushed up the proportion of single-family detached houses valued at $1-million or higher in the region, with neighbourhoods as far away as Port Coquitlam and White Rock feeling the ripple effects. As a result, the average price for a home in the inner suburbs is now more than $1.6-million. As a buyer shopping for a place to call home, this can get a little disheartening. Where are the deals? The neighbourhoods where a family can buy a home and not get saddled with massive debt? If this is your mantra then check out New Westminster. All three of our top spots in the Where to Buy Now 2018 ranking in Vancouver’s inner suburbs were claimed by New-West (as it’s known to locals) neighbourhoods.
1. Uptown, New Westminster
The No. 1 spot in this year’s inner suburbs ranking was Uptown NW. The average home price in this neighbourhood in 2017 was less than $1-million ($996,903). Part of the reason for the slower appreciation in this neighbourhood is that it’s a mixed-use community, meaning single-family homes share the street with older, low-rise apartment buildings as well as newer condo towers.
The overwhelming consensus by realtors who specialize in this community is that “Uptown New West is inner-city life without inner-city Vancouver prices.” The community overlooks the Fraser River Quay and offers a multitude of festivals, as well as a popular farmer’s market. In the summer and spring, many residents will head out to Westminster Pier Park, before sauntering down to Fraser River Discovery Centre. Commuters love the area because it’s between two Skytrain stations and still offers relatively easy access to the Highway 1A, the TransCanada highway and Lougheed Highway, the three major arteries that take commuters into downtown Vancouver.
2. The Heights, New Westminster
The No. 2 spot goes to The Heights in New Westminster. It’s a neighbourhood that combines two communities, Massey Heights and Victory Heights, which are located in the northeastern end of the city on the slope above the Fraser River. The housing stock here is quite varied from heritage homes to war-time bungalows, to newer build townhomes and custom homes. What’s really lovely is that the area rests on a hillside and overlooks both the mountains and the river, explains New Westminster realtor, Dave Vallee of Re/Max Advantage Realty. Those that work in the medical community will really appreciate this neighbourhood, as it’s well-situated to the Royal Columbian Hospital, one of New Westminster’s largest employers.
Housing prices in this neighbourhood are a bit higher than the No. 1 spot — sitting just below $1.215-million in 2017 — but still a deal when compared to average price of homes in the inner suburbs, which sits just above $1.625-million. In the last year, property prices have gone up 13%, while in the last five years prices appreciated 84%.
The Heights offers easy access to commercial shops and services along East Columbia in Sapperton as well as the Burnaby border. “This neighbourhood has plenty of places to shop and is close to the Canada Games Pool and Queens Park, which are popular spots to go.”
3. Queensborough, New Westminster
Queensborough is on the eastern tip of what was originally called “Lulu Island” (back in 1890). Nestled between the Fraser River and the Annacis Channel, this community has undergone a massive transformation in the last 15 years. What was once a rural and industrial enclave has become a vibrant residential community with lovely waterfront homes and condos.
Even better is that the housing prices make owning attainable. The 2017 average price was just under $1.1-million — or 93% of the average home price in the New Westminster area and 68% of the average home price of all inner suburban neighbourhoods.
“This is a tight-knit community,” explains Dave Vallee of Re/Max Advantage Realty. “The neighbourhood offers plenty of parks and green spaces, which makes it perfect for a variety of outdoor recreational activities.” Plus, Queensborough offers a wide range of shopping experiences at the outlet malls and diverse dining experiences.
Realtors know their business, which is why it’s not surprising that Burke Mountain tied for the No. 1 realtor pick in 2018 for the full Greater Vancouver Area.
This Coquitlam neighbourhood ranked No. 14 last year, primarily because it offered exceptional value. Home prices are affordable with average single-family home prices in 2017 sitting just under $1,175,000. It only ranked No. 93 in our 2018 Vancouver ranking, due to the fact that home prices were 144% of the Coquitlam’s average price. But if your home search is across the Greater Vancouver area, you would find Burke Mountain offers great value with homes costing 30% less than the GVA prices.
Top 25 neighbourhoodsSearch 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|
|1||Uptown New Westminster||New Westminster||$996,903||92.35||86.62||★★★★||84.28%||59.28%||61.26%||9.99%||78.26%||92.95%|
|2||The Heights||New Westminster||$1,213,027||70.29||73.73||★★★★||102.55%||72.13%||74.55%||12.59%||62.79%||83.67%|
|5||West End New Westminster||New Westminster||$1,334,339||60.88||81.18||★★★★||112.80%||79.34%||82.00%||14.53%||69.76%||86.04%|
|6||Downtown New Westminster||New Westminster||$1,155,000||77.94||59.37||★★★★||97.64%||68.68%||70.98%||26.32%||92.50%||58.22%|
|8||Connaught Heights||New Westminster||$994,271||93.53||52.59||★★★½||84.05%||59.12%||61.10%||-8.24%||26.27%||96.75%|
|9||Moody Park||New Westminster||$1,180,833||73.82||54.17||★★★★||99.83%||70.21%||72.57%||12.91%||59.18%||67.24%|
|10||GlenBrooke North||New Westminster||$1,186,141||72.35||47.47||★★★★||100.27%||70.53%||72.89%||3.55%||42.65%||71.43%|
|16||Queens Park||New Westminster||$1,630,375||36.18||68.14||★★★★||137.83%||96.95%||100.19%||5.44%||51.66%||86.36%|
These are our picks for the best neighbourhoods to buy real estate in Vancouver’s inner suburbs, but if you’d rather live closer to downtown or even farther into the countryside, 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.
|Core||Inner Suburbs||Outer Suburbs|