Vancouver real estate: Where to buy in the outer suburbs 2018

Top neighbourhoods in Vancouver’s outer suburbs 2018

Why real estate buyers should consider Mission, B.C.

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1. Mission B.C.

If your house search includes exceptional value and you don’t mind driving an hour, each way, to commute to work then you really need to consider moving to Mission, B.C.

Homes in this community are 70% cheaper than Greater Vancouver average home prices. In 2017, you could buy a single-family home in Mission for less than $645,000 — and that’s after a one-year price increase of 19%. No wonder Mission, B.C. ranks No. 1 in the Where to Buy Now 2018 rankings for Vancouver’s outer neighbourhoods.

Situated on the north bank of the Fraser River and overlooking the City of Abbotsford, Mission appeals to those who like access to all that interior B.C. has to offer — snow sports, hunting, fishing, ATV sports, and many other outdoor activities — but want the amenities of city living.

If you do decide to house shop in this community, be prepared to see a lot of houses. The options can range across the board from newer, larger, more expensive builds to older homes that offer anywhere from two to five bedrooms (you can even break the bank and go for acreages but you’ll need to fork out a few million for these properties).

2. Birchland Manor

To rise from the No. 89 spot in 2017, to the No. 2 spot in both the Where to Buy Now in Vancouver for 2018 overall rankings and the Vancouver outer neighbourhoods rankings, is an astounding achievement. But ask anyone in this Port Coquitlam neighbourhood if they are surprised and you’ll probably just get a smile and a small shake of the head. Over the last five years, massive price growth in Metro Vancouver meant that surrounding areas like Port Moody, Langley and Port Coquitlam also saw property prices rise. In 2017, getting into this neighbourhood meant paying almost 50% less than any other Port Coquitlam neighbourhood. The value was there, but no one appeared to see it.

GALLERY: Top 10 Vancouver neighbourhoods to buy in

Fast forward one year and it turns out buyers figured it out — and pounced. Average home prices are a bargain at just under $810,000 — 15% less than the surrounding area and more than 55% less than average home prices in Port Coquitlam. As a result, prices appreciated 8% in 2017 and in five years property values have increased over 103%.

You’ll find older-stock family homes in Birchland Manor many on larger lots with basement entrances — where you enter the home, shed your wet and muddy layers before moving upstairs to the main living space. While the majority of homes in this community are single-family homes the area is rapidly developing more townhouse and condo complexes.

“The community is a great spot for those that want a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city but still remain close to all the amenities and benefits of urban living,” explains the Re/Max Results Realty Prince Team, who specialize in Port Coquitlam properties.

3. Port Moody Centre

Once again, Port Moody Centre is on our neighbourhood ranking, sitting in the No. 3 spot for the outer suburbs in Vancouver (and claiming the No. 4 spot in the overall list). No one is surprised.

While, we’ve mentioned it before, it’s worth mentioning again: the opening of the Port Moody Centre Skytrain, two years ago in 2016, really did accelerate the revitalization of this community. Before the update, the area boasted little more than an old, derelict railway station and a few industrial-type businesses. Now, there’s a little bit for everyone. From single-family homes, to new-build townhomes and condos, to church-sponsored affordable housing, this neighbourhood is turning into one of the best examples of mixed-use communities in the Greater Vancouver Area.

A few years back, Garrett Wong of Re/Max Metro predicted that in 10 years this area will look and feel “quite different” due to all the major redevelopment. He was right and residents didn’t have to wait 10 years. “It’s a small neighbourhood and this lends a sense of real community to the area,” explains Wong. “There’s a great Rocky Point Park with great access to the inlet and the neighbourhood is now known for its artsy feel and great micro-pubs.”

The best part? The homes are still $500,000 less, on average, than the average home price in Greater Vancouver (and slightly less than the average home price across Port Moody). Of course, the neighbourhood isn’t a secret anymore — particularly after we first identified as a great spot to buy back in 2015 (where it held fast to the No. 1 spot), which means prices appreciated in 2017 by 19%. But Wong and other realtors that work the area still consider this a great neighbourhood to buy into as there appears to be more room for future appreciation.

Realtor Pick

Walnut Grove

This Langley neighbourhood has long been a favourite of realtors, families and commuters. It boasts great schools, a tight-knit family-oriented community, affordability within the Lower Mainland and easy access to highways and decent access to commuter transit (the West Coast Express, Maple Meadows Station, is just over the Fraser River).

This year Walnut Grove dropped in the rankings from No. 2 in the South Fraser rankings for 2017 to No. 5 in both the outer neighbourhood list and the overall Greater Vancouver list. It’s a small drop and one that can easily be attributed to a not-so-robust one-year price appreciation But let’s put that in perspective: Property prices increased by 10%, on average, in this community in 2017 and the neighbourhood boasts a five-year appreciation of 70%. Plus, the 2016 market was particularly frothy in this community with many move-on-up buyers scrambling to get into a detached home (after selling their townhomes and condos). This prompted massive bidding wars, a surge in prices and, eventually, scared some buyers away from the community.

Still, single-family homes in Walnut Grove are still relatively affordable here with average prices sitting just under $925,000. Commuters can rest assured that their hour commute (each way) will only be isolated to the work week, as the community offers all other amenities within walking distance. The final reason why this community continues to hold value, from a realtors’ perspective, is that it’s adjacent to the picturesque but more expensive Fort Langley community, where the average cost of homes was almost $1.25 in 2017.

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
1Mission BCMission$641,13786.0560.14★★★★½95.50%63.25%34.87%19.06%65.08%68.99%
2Birchland ManorPort Coquitlam$809,80190.7675.91★★★½85.03%48.15%44.04%7.67%67.25%102.57%
3Port Moody CentrePort Moody$1,407,70558.5188.95★★★★94.94%83.70%76.56%19.48%87.24%99.13%
4Mary HillPort Coquitlam$976,41575.0080.62★★★★102.53%58.06%53.10%18.26%71.03%90.72%
5Walnut GroveLangley$922,39976.6358.70★★★★½82.45%90.99%50.17%9.57%71.10%70.45%
6College Park PMPort Moody$1,396,01960.1487.32★★★★94.16%83.01%75.93%22.30%80.74%97.23%
7Central AbbotsfordAbbotsford$649,14391.3079.17★★★80.00%64.04%35.31%23.09%73.82%82.69%
8Glenwood PQPort Coquitlam$954,03177.7278.08★★★½100.18%56.73%51.89%12.55%80.55%86.99%
9Mission-WestMission$1,506,37128.8099.09★★★★½224.38%148.60%81.93%99.52%143.81%143.79%
10Brookswood LangleyLangley$1,176,28351.8188.77★★★★105.14%116.04%63.97%10.17%98.33%120.08%
11Lincoln Park PQPort Coquitlam$856,58287.3243.84★★★★89.95%50.93%46.59%4.70%61.05%66.95%
12Lower Mary HillPort Coquitlam$902,80082.9761.23★★★½94.80%53.68%49.10%6.74%67.72%77.62%
13Aldergrove LangleyLangley$735,73289.6770.47★★★65.76%72.58%40.01%18.98%74.09%75.54%
14Abbotsford EastAbbotsford$796,46678.2654.89★★★★98.15%78.57%43.32%14.68%62.82%68.36%
15Willoughby HeightsLangley$1,301,87443.1292.75★★★★116.37%128.42%70.81%28.06%87.20%106.04%
16Eagle Ridge CQCoquitlam$1,076,74365.2279.17★★★½131.38%64.03%58.56%12.52%79.56%88.09%
17CloverdaleSurrey$1,023,56361.2367.93★★★★103.32%100.97%55.67%14.96%67.30%77.13%
18Woodland Acres PQPort Coquitlam$1,096,20866.4975.91★★★½115.11%65.18%59.62%10.73%70.87%88.94%
19LynnmourNorth Vancouver$1,276,66771.0190.76★★★70.85%75.91%69.43%25.09%76.40%112.51%
20Fleetwood TyneheadSurrey$1,034,29960.3371.38★★★★104.40%102.03%56.25%13.43%70.89%79.69%
21Oxford HeightsPort Coquitlam$916,76280.9854.35★★★½96.26%54.51%49.86%7.59%57.49%77.13%
22GlenayrePort Moody$1,113,29379.3548.37★★★★75.09%66.20%60.55%-4.67%55.64%79.33%
23Sea IslandRichmond$1,240,91773.5593.30★★½69.17%73.79%67.49%43.09%78.46%112.95%
24Fairfield IslandAbbotsford$609,24293.8443.66★★★½75.08%60.10%33.14%15.18%64.37%51.37%
25Ranch ParkCoquitlam$1,180,71357.7978.26★★★½144.06%70.21%64.22%16.40%74.27%84.79%
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 outer region, but if you’d rather live closer to 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