Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, and Maple Ridge have some of the best value for standalone housing in the Greater Vancouver Area, boasting safe communities, spacious lots, and affordable, accessible housing. Following not too far behind, also are the municipalities of Pitt Meadows and Coquitlam. For example, a recent comprehensive study by the United Way reported record low violent crime rates (1.8%), see more at: United Way of the Lower Mainland Tri-Cities Community Profile.
The Tri-Cities has always been popular with first-time homeowners due to its reasonably priced detached homes and proximity to many lesser-known nature trails and camping sites. Previously, the area had little transit accessibility. However, with the recent completion of the Evergreen Line which connects the area via the SkyTrain, residents are connected directly to downtown Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Richmond, and the YVR-Airport. There have been concentrated efforts to develop high-rise condos, townhomes, and malls in proximity to the SkyTrain stations, in “cluster neighbourhood” fashion, making the Tri-Cities one of the most attractive areas for first time homeowners or renters.
In addition to the brand new SkyTrain extension, the BC Provincial and Greater Vancouver governments have committed to invest in bus lines, planning for increased ridership and service in 2016. Driving, also, is a pleasure in the Tri-Cities, with wide roads and 3 highways providing freeway access to other municipalities in the Lower Mainland, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, and North Vancouver: The Trans-Canada Highway, Lougheed Highway, and Barnet Highway.
THINGS TO DO:
Between Lougheed Mall and Coquitlam Centre, there is no shortage of options for shopping. And, with the availability of space, the region accommodates multiple large format stores, such as Costco, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Ikea (one of only 2 in the Greater Vancouver area), and multiple Wal-Marts. For golf lovers, the area is also home to Westwood Plateau, a stunning mountain golf course. You may be surprised to hear that Coquitlam is a popular place for Korean BBQ or cuisine as well – Coquitlam earns the affectionate title of Greater Vancouver’s “Koreatown”, with the highest proportion of immigrants at 41.7% in the Tri-Cities with South Korea, China and Iran being the top three source countries.
Consider that the price to own a home City of Coquitlam, is half of the average Vancouver home, based on the following benchmarked prices (2015):
- Single Detached Home: $860,000
- Townhouse: $420,000
- Apartment: $270,000
Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, and Maple Ridge are ranked amongst the highest growth areas in the Vancouver housing market, only after West Vancouver (#1) and Tsawwassen (#2). To note, housing growth in West Van and Tsawwassen are driven by only the most elite in price bidding wars or custom home constructions. Furthermore, as both West Van and Tsawwassen are not linked to Metro Vancouver by public transit, and the houses are largely 4 or 5 bedroom mansions, these neighbourhoods remain inaccessible, in more ways than one, for young professionals, new families, or modest retirees. Meanwhile, the Tri-Cities are the most affordable fast growing neighbourhoods, catalyzed both by rapid new condo construction and development in the area. Condos and townhomes in this area are the most affordable, and newest developments in the Greater Vancouver area, while still boasting direct SkyTrain access to downtown. With relatively high incomes, relatively low unemployment and crime rates, and a relatively high vacancy rate, the Tri-Cities appear to be a good place to live.