MLA Canada executives foresee revival of Downtown Vancouver, upswing in property prices

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      A number of narratives have emerged out of the real estate market in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      The search for bigger space, which took many buyers looking outside dense downtown areas in 2020, is one of these strands.

      With the arrival of vaccines and the start of a massive vaccination drive, the trend may see quite of a change.

      As pandemic restrictions are likely to ease, along with the resumption of travel and tourism, downtown areas could witness a revival.

      This can mean one thing for properties, especially in Downtown Vancouver.

      As real estate marketer Cameron McNeill noted in an interview at a podcast, Vancouver’s downtown area may be looking at price increases between 10 to 20 percent in the next 18 months.

      “Downtown Vancouver will always be Downtown Vancouver, and it will be a very special place,” McNeill said.

      McNeill and Ryan Lalonde cofounded McNeill Lalonde & Associates, a marketing organization.

      The two business partners were guests at a recent episode of the Vancouver Real Estate Podcast of realtors and brothers Matt and Adam Scalena.

      At the podcast, Lalonde noted that prices have been “stable” in Downtown Vancouver.

      Like McNeill, Lalonde sees a “huge upswing potential there”.

      “Vancouver has something that is very special that you just will not be able to find anywhere else in the Lower Mainland,” Lalonde said.

      Lalonde also related that new developments in Downtown Vancouver currently go for $1,500 to $2,000 per square foot.

      Meanwhile, properties in the resale market are priced at around $1,000 and $1,100 a square foot.

      Lalonde likewise said that the push among buyers to look for bigger spaces is likely to continue in 2021.

      However, the “pendulum will swing back”, he said.

      At the podcast, McNeill also mentioned two other areas in the Lower Mainland, which present great potential for real estate.

      One is Squamish, which he said is going to boom because of its proximity to the city of Vancouver.

      A recent report by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver showed that the price of a typical home in Squamish was $829,100 as of February 2021.

      The price represents a growth of 6.9 percent compared to the same month in 2020.

      MLA Canada has an office in Langley, and this was noted by McNeill when he mentioned the Fraser Valley as another place where he sees more growth.

      “It is fundamentally changing our region,” McNeill said about the area serviced by the Fraser Valley Real Esstate Board (FVREB).

      According to McNeill, the Fraser Valley, particularly Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford, is adding new housing stock that will rival Greater Vancouver in the coming years.

      In a recent report, the FVREB stated that 2,815 homes were sold in the area in February 2021.

      The number means an increase of 108 percent compared to February 2020, and 64 percent more than January 2021.