The Quirks of New Neighbourhoods

You’re trying to sell a house.  It’s a beautiful new house in a gorgeous new neighbourhood, and it’s priced competitively, but it’s just not selling – what gives? 

Most issues in real estate come down to basic supply and demand.  You might be in a generally slow market with fewer Buyers, of course, but what if it’s a fast-moving market where most things are selling fairly quickly? 

New neighbourhoods present a special challenge for Sellers.  Firstly, Buyers tend to be very hesitant about buying into areas that are still in development.  There are factors like construction noise and dust, child safety, and the uncertainty of not knowing what will be built up around you.  Will you still have that beautiful view when the neighbourhood is finished? 

There’s also another issue at play, and it’s particularly relevant in a town like Squamish.  We have a large number of residents working in construction and development, and that means that compared to other communities, we have a much greater proportion of people buying land and building properties.   As a result, individual parcels of land within neighbourhoods get bought up, and housing is built over a period of several years.  

During that time, owner-builders may live in their properties for the purpose of preferred tax treatment, but generally speaking, houses will be coming onto the market at fairly regular and predictable intervals for a period of years.   

So, we come back to the supply problem – until the neighbourhood is complete, not only is there a lot of perceived instability for Buyers, but there are many houses coming onto the market.  Some Sellers will be very keen to get their money out and onto the next project, so there are a combination of factors that will tend hold prices down.     

We’ve seen this play out in neighbourhoods like Thunderbird Ridge, where prices held stable around $700,000-$900,000 for years.  Once all the construction was complete and the number of ‘for sale’ signs started to reduce, prices rose and have since stabilized mostly in the $1.2-$1.6 million range.   

So, what does this mean for Buyers and Sellers in new neighbourhoods?   

There are some amazing opportunities for Buyers right now in University Heights and in other neighbourhoods around Quest, Crumpit Woods, Ravenswood, and more.    

If we look at other communities around Vancouver, houses of this caliber are generally priced well above $2 million; it’s still possible here in Squamish to get in at the low to mid $1 million mark.  Most of these new builds also have a mortgage-helper suite.   

I see some fantastic investments for Buyers over the long term.  Give it a few years, and I expect to see some really attractive gains – with the upside in the short term of getting into a terrific neighbourhood and a beautiful home, at a comparably very good price.   

I don’t discount that these numbers, unfortunately, are out of range for a large number of buyers, but the reality of our housing market is that detached houses are likely to continue increasing in value over the long term. 

Conversely, Sellers who have the ability to ‘wait it out’ until these newer neighbourhoods mature, are likely to find that their patience pays off with much higher selling prices down the road.  

So, it’s really a question of deciding whether it’s still worth selling now to find other opportunities, or sitting on your investment for a bit – both have merit.   

Please call me directly if I can be of assistance in helping work through the options and opportunities, and if you enjoy my content, please like and share my posts and Page – thank you!