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What type of housing should the prudent be looking at right now? Obvious targets would be places that missed out on the boom and thus have less downside, or ones that stand to benefit from gentrification or imminent transit connections and thus have more upside. Or both:
Trapp & Holbrook
New West as Vancouver’s Brooklyn? Lower prices, check. Historic neighbourhoods, check. Easy transit connections, check. Still, we remained skeptical about the buzz-until the Salient Group moved in with plans to redevelop some of Royal City’s mouldering old warehouses, much as the developer did in Gastown with landmark properties such as Terminus and the Paris Block. In the case of Trapp + Holbrook (due for completion next year), most of the old buildings proved to be beyond redemption, so it’s primarily their façades that are being saved. But, as with all Salient projects, quality and aesthetics promise to be a cut above, while prices for the almost 200 residences are a good half-notch below what’s now the norm in Gastown. With a benchmark of $264,000, condo prices in New Westminster remain two percent below those of five years ago.
The Residences at Suter Brook Village
Port Moody is another historic port and railway town, but Brooklyn it ain’t. Here the appeal is more about mountains and ocean, and a residential environment that looks more expensive than it is. The 26-storey Residences complex is the final piece in a nine-hectare development from the Onni Group that helps shifts the town’s focus from a dowdy high street toward a shiny new suburban centre. With a benchmark of $307,400, local condo prices are nine percent below those of 2008 but seem likely to stabilize or increase as the dawn of Skytrain approaches.
In 2009 was named the most livable town of under 20,000 people in the world-the catch being that it’s a 45-minute ferry ride away. It will perhaps seem strange to Vancouverites that Gibsons too is concerned about housing costs, and almost a decade ago gave the go-ahead to a subdivision with sustainability and affordability as major concerns. Although there have been some Olympic Village-style issues along the way, that development is now on stream, with lots from $129,000 and geothermally heated houses and townhouses from $279,500. At $354,000 the benchmark price for detached houses on the Sunshine Coast is 10 percent lower than five years ago.
EXTRA: 6 foolproof tips on how to buy
See why Vancouver is not as expensive as you think