North Vancouver has always seemed like a sanctuary for those fed up with Vancouver’s preoccupation with newer, bigger, more expensive housing.
While Vancouver seems to be on a mission to tear itself down and start over again, North Vancouver, with its ranchers and split levels, has always felt like a trip back in time. It’s the place where you can live in a small house on a big lot and not lose sleep over the size of your mortgage. And it’s within walking distance of some of the best schools, ski hills and mountain biking trails.
Of course, it was a matter of time before the lust for big new houses reached the north shore, and judging from the numbers, that time is now. The median price of a single family home in North Vancouver shot up to $1,042,600 by the end of last year. That’s almost a 10-per-cent increase in one year and a 21-per-cent increase in five years, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. And it may be January, but buyers are out in full force, looking to snap up deals priced under that amount.
“It’s absolutely crazy,” says Shelley Williams, who’s been a real estate agent on the North Shore for 14 years. “Houses are going quickly. If it is in your price range and your area, you’d better get in there because it’s all moving so quickly.”