Brookswood State of the Market Report 2020
Below is Frontline Real Estate Service’s annual State of the Market report on residential development in Langley’s Brookswood-Fernridge area. Included in this report is an analysis of recent development land sales activity and a detailed update on the Booth, Fernridge, and Rinn neighbourhood planning processes.
State of the Market
Since our 2019 state of the market report, things have remained slow for the development land market in Brookswood – Fernridge. The lack of sales activity in the neighbourhood has been largely due to the region working through a market correction that began a year and a half ago, the enormous increase in municipal fees for development, and the COVID-19 pandemic which added unprecedented uncertainty to the market. Overall, the Brookswood-Fernridge area experienced a 30% decline in the number of land sales over the last 12 months; this significant decrease can be seen in both the drop in the dollar value of sales and total acres sold.
The planning staff at the Township of Langley made progress with the neighbourhood plans for Rinn, Booth, and Fernridge (see below for more details on this), but the public engagement that was scheduled in June had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Staff are developing a new strategy to collect public feedback but this has caused delays and the neighbourhood plans that were scheduled to go before council for approval later this year won’t be ready until the second quarter of 2021.
Despite the decline the area has experienced, it’s not all gloomy news; the market has begun to pick up in the past 6-8 weeks and both developers and investors are eyeing potential purchases in Brookswood-Fernridge again.
The neighbourhood plans must be completed prior to new development but there is a collection of development applications that were grandfathered in prior to the new plan being announced. Over the past year, a number of these grandfathered applications broke ground, however all other applications must wait for the neighbourhood plans to be finalized before receiving final approval. Due to this, the development applications highlighted below will have varied construction timelines.
BROOKSWOOD-FERNRIDGE neighbourhood updates
Neighbourhood planning began last spring for Booth, Fernridge and Rinn. Phase 1 included a public open house to collect public input on the community’s values and important assets within each neighbourhood. Planning staff took that feedback and went to work on the next phase which includes technical and policy analysis as well as feasibility work. According to the Township, there was a round of public engagement meetings scheduled for June 2020 however, they were cancelled due to the pandemic. Completion of the new neighbourhood plans is now delayed until Spring/Summer 2021.
Below you will find a summary of the distinguishing features as well as an update on the current status of each neighbourhood. You can find out more about the neighbourhood planning process at www.tol.ca/bfnp.
At the open house on June 18, 2019, Booth was identified as a hub of mixed uses and an area of opportunity for more affordable housing. Since our July 2019 report, three additional development applications have appeared in this area, all of which are for townhomes. The construction you may have seen on 32 Avenue is one of the grandfathered applications for single family homes.
Respondents from the 2019 open house supported the protection of the green and natural spaces in Fernridge and the preservation of the equestrian character of the neighbourhood. Based on current applications, the northeastern portion of Fernridge may see some development of single family homes prior to the adoption of the neighbourhood plan.
Rinn covers the northeastern portion of Brookswood-Fernridge where redevelopment has yet to begin. There is one large 84 lot subdivision on 208 street that was grandfathered in and can proceed ahead of the neighbourhood plan, but it has faced delays due to servicing challenges. Any further development in this neighbourhood is likely a few years away, waiting for the neighbourhood plan to be complete. Respondents from the open house last year would like to see a prioritization of the expansion of the trail networks in Rinn and the protection of natural and green spaces.
Glenwood does not have a neighbourhood plan in the works, therefore, the timeline to development is currently unknown. This extended timeline to development makes for excellent holding properties but keeps land values below the other neighbourhoods of Brookswood-Fernridge.
If you have any questions, or if there is any further information that would be particularly helpful to you, don’t hesitate to contact Mike Harrison. To receive future reports directly to your inbox, please sign up for our development land newsletter here.
In creating this report we consult planning and engineering staff at the Township of Langley, survey multiple land transaction reporting systems (Commercial Edge, MLS) and analyze municipal development data to bring you the most relevant information.