Willoughby State of the Market Report 2019
Below is our annual State of the Market report on residential development in Langley’s Willoughby neighbourhood. In this report we look back at 2018’s market activity while looking forward to what 2019 will bring. Included in this report is a highlight of the in-process development applications and sale activity of residential development land in the area. Most importantly, we have included an update on the development status of the various neighbourhood plans.
DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY IN WILLOUGHBY
2018 was a rollercoaster year for real estate in Willoughby, starting off strong but tapering off mid-year and finishing on a low note. Despite the market softening, plenty happened throughout the year that’s worth noting, including a long list of land transactions, new development applications and the resolution of servicing challenges that were holding up development in some areas. Check out the neighbourhood updates below for more on that subject.
Weak market conditions have many investors and home builders waiting on the side lines for the market to show signs of balancing out and, until then, we can expect to see fewer land transactions through 2019. New home construction, however, should continue to roar as townhouse and condo projects that presold in 2017 and 2018 continue to be built.
The green highlighted regions on the below map indicate areas containing a high concentration of new development applications and are where we can expect to see the next influx of new construction. The red and yellow outlines indicate high concentrations of recent residential development land sales. As development generally follows closely behind recent transactions, we anticipate development will pick up in Central Gordon in 2019. Smith (indicated by the red outline and number 2) may be an exception to that rule as the entire neighbourhood remains undevelopable until the future school and park requirements are met.
CURRENT STATE OF EACH NEIGHBOURHOOD
We are seeing the Township’s “Gateway” vision take shape with construction kicking off on PCI’s new head office for First West Credit Union and Quadra’s condo project on 86 Avenue, as well as the continued growth of Wesgroup’s business park on 200 Street. In 2019 we should see the launch of several additional townhouse and condo projects in Carvolth, following progress of many development applications last year.
Construction has begun in the southwest quadrant of Yorkson and a number of new applications were submitted in 2018. 2019 will see development in this quadrant continue as well as construction throughout Yorkson of the multi-family projects that pre-sold homes in 2018.
Despite an incredible number of new development applications last year and progress by past applications, the timeline to development in Central Gordon remains unclear. The uncertainty stems from unknown timelines for two stormwater detention ponds which are prerequisites for development.
The Smith neighbourhood’s prerequisite elementary school and park site has yet to be secured and unfortunately, Township of Langley staff did not see progress on this in 2018. The general sentiment remains that development in Smith is at least 3-5 years away, resulting in stagnated land values.
The new Williams Neighbourhood Plan was adopted in 2018 bringing optimism for the timeline to development. There are a few servicing and engineering issues to iron out still but sentiment remains positive. Construction of the 216 Street interchange is well underway.
Township of Langley staff report that the prerequisite elementary school and park site in the southwest quadrant has been secured and anticipate development and construction in the area to advance quickly. A new application for a 30 acre community in the southeast quadrant should be a catalyst for development in an area historically stuck waiting for upgraded services.
Development continues to progress on the west side of North East Gordon, where services can be built for the various new subdivisions under application; however, the portion of the plan between 207 and 208 Street remains undeveloped as the future stormwater detention ponds have still not been secured. As a result, land values in that area lag compared to values of land in the developable areas of North East Gordon.
2018 saw a development application for a high-rise tower on the west side of 200 Street receive conditional approval but it will likely be some time until construction begins, as there are significant infrastructure upgrades required, including a new bridge. The future of the special study area, that we noted last year, remains unclear.
SouthWest Gordon & Routley
These neighbourhoods are substantially built out with minimal new development.
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. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.