New Westminster poised to become real estate hot spot: study

New Westminster is set to become a real estate hot spot, according to a REIN report | Shutterstock

Benchmark home prices have fallen, but they remain near record highs in Vancouver, and homebuyers are extending their reach beyond the city limits.

As buyers turn to other municipalities across the region where prices aren’t quite so prohibitive, New Westminster in particular is set to become one of the province’s top real estate destinations within the next decade, according to a Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) report released April 5.

New Westminster is a desirable location for real estate, REIN said, because of its location and transportation infrastruction; not only do commuters not need to cross any bridges or drive through any tunnels to get to most parts of the city, but it also has five SkyTrain stations and is close to the Trans Canada Highway.

According to REIN senior analyst Don Campbell, vacancy rates are falling in the city and demand for houses and condos have increased – and this trend is set to continue.

“Throughout history, there have been cities that seem to miss out—or lag—while the surrounding regions boom. This used to be the story of New Westminster; however, it is no longer true,” he said.

“Homeowners and investors who have been paying close attention over the last few years have done very well to position themselves in this transportation hub city.”

The labour force has been increasing steadily in the city, with the biggest employers being the Royal Columbian Hospital, Translink and the Port of Vancouver. REIN says New Westminster has plans for a revitalization of its waterfront and historic downtown area, and infrastructure and other upgrades to the hospital and Pattullo Bridge are also in the works. All these changes will increase the city’s attractiveness, according to the study.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV