According to research from the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN), New Westminster is poised to become an even hotter market in Metro Vancouver as families seek relative housing affordability outside Vancouver. The report finds New Westminster is growing in several key indicators on the REIN Long-Term Real Estate Success Formula and forecasts the city is just beginning a strong economic upward trend.
Due in part to three large employers, the Royal Columbian Hospital, Port of Vancouver and Translink, as well as a robust community of small- and medium-sized businesses, New Westminster has a consistent growth in labour force participation, aiding strong GDP growth. Furthermore, relative housing affordability, easy access to key regional and post-secondary hubs via transit and highways create a consistent influx of families into the city.
In addition to the planned revitalization of the waterfront and historic downtown, New Westminster is a prime location for industrial and transportation businesses because of its close proximity to the Trans-Canada highway, U.S. border crossings, and the Vancouver International Airport. The city is also taking action towards a vibrant future with planned infrastructure developments/upgrades to the hospital and New Westminster Secondary School, as well as the Pattullo Bridge rehabilitation project.
“Throughout history, there have been cities that seem to miss out, or lag, while the surrounding regions boom. This used to be the story of New Westminster; however, it is no longer true,” says REIN’s senior analyst Don R. Campbell. “Homeowners and investors who have been paying close attention over the last few years have done very well to position themselves in this transportation hub city. Vacancy rates have dropped, demand has increased for home and condo purchases and we are, in fact, just witnessing the beginning of a strong upward demand curve.”
REIN research predicts opportunities exist for strategic investors as New Westminster revitalizes key areas, establishes its status as a transportation hub, and becomes an area on pace, even ahead of pace, with growth in Metro Vancouver. Even with New Westminster now on the “demand radar”, diligent and creative real estate investors who want to stay ahead of the economic and demographic trends may still find cash flowing properties in the city today.