MY WIFE and I were rowing a canoe around Salt Spring Island 11 years ago when the conversation drifted towards where we would like to spend our outdoor recreation time. The answer, in unison, was Squamish, and every time we have asked ourselves that question, the answer has remained the same. That is why we first bought a home in Squamish and we haven’t regretted it a moment since. As someone who is involved in the local real estate business as a developer, I can confidently say that anyone who has moved here and invested in a home or a property, would not regret it either. This is an amazing place to call home — and to own a home, as many homeowners are happily realizing. You can feel the euphoria in the air for Squamish, aided by the Sea to Sky Gondola and the generous global press coverage that came with it. Squamish is on a growth trajectory, and frankly, I’m not surprised by it all. In fact, the surprise is that it has taken others this long to discover what was abundantly clear to me the day we moved here — given its geographical location, Squamish was always poised to grow. In addition to having access to an unparalleled outdoor recreation scene, we are equidistant to Whistler and Vancouver, world-class locations in their own right. Vancouver’s red-hot market is driving people to discover Squamish and that real estate growth has finally reached our town.
Of course, it doesn’t take long for people to realize the value they are building in their home in Squamish. Compared to Vancouver and now even North Vancouver, homes in Squamish are a half-price sale. And I believe the price differential between them has increased over the past ten years. Therefore, we are playing a little catch up when it comes to an increase in home prices locally. Over the long term, real estate investment in Canada has always been a wise investment. We have heard this adage before, and it certainly applies to Squamish. If you look at the graph of real estate prices in the last 100 years in Canada, the graph will show you only one movement — up. Yes, there are ebbs and flows in any real estate market and Squamish is no exception, but rising property prices locally only goes to prove that buying a home is still one of the best ways to build equity. There may be lot more housing inventory coming on the market such as our mixed-use development Dowad Drive, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into property prices dropping. If history is any guide, then home owners will keep seeing an increase in housing prices, even though that increase in price may be more gradual than the past year.
And let’s not forget, real estate market is influenced by several other factors and I think Squamish stands to gain from them. We are lucky to have a young demographic and a very active entrepreneurial and an arts community. I have also noticed lot more seniors moving to town to join their kids and grandkids and that completes the circle of family and community. We also have a good council in place that champions our town.
As reported recently in the national news, we have housing and infrastructure projects worth billions coming to Squamish and the Sea to Sky corridor, in the next decade. Construction, whether residential or commercial, always spurs economic growth in retail, restaurants, hotels, and other sectors. The number of housing projects coming to the market is also a shot in the arm for our local economy as more people are employed in Squamish.