We are coming to the end of one of the most exciting real estate markets Squamish has ever seen. While many people would probably choose other adjectives rather than ‘exciting’ to describe this year’s market everyone can probably agree the changes are unlike anything we have seen before. It is hard to ignore the development boom that has taken over the town. In nearly every neighbourhood there is construction underway, with development applications and projects lined up years down the road. So how has this real estate boom impacted each individual neighbourhood in Squamish? Here we look at price gains in different suburbs of Squamish plus other big changes.
Garibaldi Highlands is a quiet residential neighbourhood characterized by older established single family homes and tree-lined streets. In recent years Quest University has changed the dynamic of ‘The Highlands’ and two new developments, University Heights and University Highlands, have popped up offering lots, single family homes and duplexes for sale. Typically homes in Garibaldi Highlands are more expensive than other parts of Squamish. In October 2015 the average home price was $700,300, a year later this has increased to $893,900 a whopping 27.6% increase in one year. Down the road from The Highlands, Garibaldi Estates which has mixed residential and commercial saw an increase of 25.6% going from $417,500 to $524,500.
Brackendale, Squamish’s northernmost suburb, has maintained a rural and laid-back charm. A nice mix of single family homes, townhomes, duplexes and commercial, this established neighbourhood has been popular with locals for a long time. Many properties in Brackendale enjoy over-sized lots and the handful of restaurants and shops make it an ideal neighbourhood for walking and bike riding. In the last year home prices in Brackendale have increased 25.4%, in October 2015 the MLS HPI Price was $530,200 rising to $665,000 in 2016. There is a townhome complex planned for Government Rd and the awaited Cheekeye Fan development is inching forward.
For a long time Valleycliffe has had the reputation as an affordable neighbourhood but with home prices increasing 26.6% in the last year, this may no longer be the case. Located close to downtown Squamish and a quick 45-minute drive to downtown Vancouver, Valleycliffe is quickly being discovered as a commuter friendly neighbourhood surrounded by trails, mountains and in some cases, ocean views. The new Crumpit Woods development features million dollar homes with some of the best sea views in Squamish. In October 2015 the average home price in Valleycliffe across all categories (detached, townhomes and condos) was $475,300, in October 2016 this jumped to $601,900.
Downtown Squamish is seeing the most changes with several large-scale developments re-shaping the landscape. The biggest development being Newport Beach which will eventually house an additional 6000 residents, create a new business and retail centre and re-shape the waterfront in Squamish. Other developments currently underway include the final phase of Eaglewind, Soleil, The Main, Cleveland Gardens and more. Although there are some single family homes in downtown Squamish the majority of dwellings are townhomes and condos. In October 2015 the average home price in downtown Squamish was $364,800, in October 2016 this jumped to $452,300 an increase of 23.9%.
Dentville and the Northyards make up the Central Squamish area. In Dentville property prices increased 39.5% year-on-year! Northyards properties also saw enormous gains increasing 33.4% in one year. Central Squamish is a mix of older single family homes, new and old townhome developments, as well as pockets of commercial. Typically this area has been affordable but with new developments such as The Current, Newport Landing and Breeze we are seeing prices escalate.
So the burning question- can this growth continue into 2017? This is a matter of speculation, and the answer to this question depends on who you ask. Looking at the data, prices in Squamish are beginning to cool, while days on market and inventory are both increasing. The Squamish real estate market is now considered balanced based on the sales/ active listing ratio and many believe the market is now starting to correct. With some major developments just breaking ground there is an expected 20 years of construction boom in Squamish’s future therefor it is likely Squamish will enjoy an active market for many years to come.
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