How to Tell an Up and Coming Neighbourhood in East Van
East Van is the hottest neighbourhood from a real estate perspective for quite some time, thanks to the very high absorption rate (meaning close to 50% of all homes listed are sold – a good market is 20%), rising prices, and young professionals choosing to settle down to raise their families. With an influx of new families, the neighbourhoods will surely be changing, if they haven’t already started adjusting.
Some neighbourhoods in East Van that are seeing this increase in activity and popularity, include Hastings Eats (The East Village), Cedar Cottage (Knight), Fraser, Strathcona in Mount Pleasant East and Main near Queen Elizabeth Park. Mount Pleasant East is still the most popular neighbourhood, thanks to it’s proximity to both the Eastside and Westside.
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Here are some surefire ways to tell if a neighbourhood is going through an adjustment – it may be better to get into market now so you can reap in some of the increase in value when the neighbourhood hits a popular point.
1. Trendy or Chain Business are moving into East Van
Trendy (chain) stores are constantly doing the research and looking for the next great neighbourhoods. Not only do they pay cheaper rent than in established areas of town, but they can build a loyalty with the neighbourhood before other companies move in. Look for trendy chains (like a Whole Foods, Starbucks, Shoppers Drug Mart, etc) to know where those companies expect a busy demographic. You can also look to trendy shops and restaurants, whether they’re a chain or not, because if business owners are willing to set down some roots, there must be a population that they think can support their business. Remember, when one comes, the rest follows. Look to Hastings East for a great example of this – they have some great coffee shops (both unique and chain), new grocery stores, fantastic restaurants and bars and the city of building bike paths t aid in transportation to that area of town.
2. Convenient East Van Location
Up and Coming East Van Neighbourhoods will still be quite accessible to downtown Vancouver since most people will still work and play in other neighbourhoods in town. Often the main reason for young professionals to move to an up and coming neighbourhoods is for the value – general bigger spaces for a good price (and in Vancouver, the chance to own a detached home). However, being accessible to friends, families and the great amenities in Vancouver are still a priority for most. These up and coming neighbourhoods will be well accessible to other neighbourhoods via transit, bike paths or an easy drive. The Main area near Queen Elizabeth Park is a great example, being only a few blocks to the Canada Line station on Cambie to take people north to downtown or south towards Richmond.
3. Improving Local Economy
Did a large company just put down roots in the neighbourhood, leading many employees to see homes near their work? Not only will these people populate the area, but they’ll have extra money to spend, so other great businesses and amenities will be coming in soon after. Also, a this is a big factor – are there any major developments coming up in the neighbourhood? As soon as the major condo developers start to move in, more will follow.
See our Blog on New Condo Developments in East Van
These brand new units are always appealing to young people (and investors) so expect an influx of people once the development is complete (as well as amenities on street level). Burnaby has seen a huge influx in big companies, and that’s increasing interest in the Hastings East neighbourhood – people will still have a “Vancouver” address and proximity to downtown, but they’ll be halfway to work already.
4. City of Vancouver Improvements
Is the City of Vancouver putting some time and money into the neighbourhood? Generally this happens after the wave of people has already started to move into the neighbourhood, but it’s a sign that the area is improving economically, decreasing crime and good enough for the city to continue putting money into it (to please voters!). Look for newer parks, bike paths, community centres, and even acknowledgements (like heritage designations, or the like) that show that the city has their eye on the area as well. Strathcona is a great example of this – with new bike paths getting riders from Main St to Commercial Drive, a specific detached house zoning code, improvements to the Strathcona Elementary School and great new businesses moving in.
4. Desired Architectural Style
Design has it’s trends and fads, and if one area of town has a large amount of a certain type of real estate (think heritage homes in Strathcona or Vancouver Specials nears Main) then you may have a high number of new Buyers who are specifically looking for that type of style, and are willing to put in the sweat equity to renovate it to their dream home.
5. Real Estate Effect – Decrease in Days on Market and Increase in Prices
All over East Van we’re seeing a decrease in Days on Market and an increase in Prices – all due to the growing interest people have to live in these neighbourhoods. Great houses won’t last a week on the market in East Van, and good houses won’t last much longer than that. Buyers are very eager to get into the market, and they are following the market with a keen eye and are ready to visit new listings as soon as the Sellers will let them in.
We have helped a lot of Buyers be successful in these up and coming neighbourhoods, both in finding a good property, knowing what improvements are necessary to get it up to speed and coming out on top in bidding wars (that are common these days in the hot market).
Give the WeLoveEastVan Team a call if you have any questions or want to chat about these neighbourhoods.