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Relatively affordable prices, combined with a pandemic-induced desire for additional space and new transportation infrastructure, have made Langley one of Metro Vancouver’s hottest housing markets.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board saw Langley prices surge through the end of 2021. The benchmark price of a detached home increased to $1,560,600, up 37.3 per cent from the previous year.

Townhouse and apartment benchmarks rose approximately 30 per cent year-over-year, to $771,200 and $520,700, respectively, by the end of December.

“Initially during the early stages of the pandemic, purchasers were looking for more space and pricing was more reasonable in Langley and neighbourhoods south of the Fraser in comparison to Vancouver,” said Zonda Urban market analyst Melissa Nestoruk.

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Not only have home prices increased, but Statistics Canada estimates Langley’s population swelled by 4,702 residents in 2021, second-highest in the Lower Mainland behind Surrey, which welcomed 13,004 new residents.

Aiming to provide additional supply to meet the spike in demand, Langley Township implemented a New Housing Plan in November, allowing more duplexes, laneway housing, and detached secondary suites.

“As the market continues to show a surplus of activity and heightened pricing, buyers are realizing it is getting increasingly harder to enter the market,” Nestoruk said. “There is almost a fear of missing out on purchasing a home as prices continue to rise, and Langley still offers a lower price point.”

SkyTrain on its way

Demand has also centered around the Surrey-to-Langley SkyTrain corridor, extending the Expo Line from Surrey City Centre to Langley Centre.

Construction of the 16-kilometre extension is slated to begin in 2024 and be completed in 2028, adding eight new stations to accommodate an estimated 62,000 daily passengers by 2035 and 71,200 by 2050.

Population around the SkyTrain corridor is projected to increase by at least 120,000 during the next two decades. As a result, despite prices nearing $1,150 per square foot condo pre-sales near the corridor are selling out in a matter of days as buyers try to secure their spot.

“There has been a lot of interest from investors around the anticipated SkyTrain extension, this includes parents assisting their children purchase their first home,” Nestoruk said.

“For investors specifically, there is lots of talk of government bodies and businesses expanding into Fraser Valley, and with the addition of the new transportation infrastructure this area becomes even more favourable.”

One of Langley’s most ambitious developments is Latimer Heights, a 74-acre master-planned community by Vesta Properties that will provide more than 2,000 homes and feature Langley’s first two high-rise residential towers.

Located south of the SkyTrain extension, Forme on 54th by Whitetail Homes has also seen a surge of interest, with low housing supply pushing both first-time buyers and downsizers to new condo developments.

“So far, I have seen very high absorption in Langley, with a significant amount of the new developments selling out over the fourth quarter,” Nestoruk said. “With interest rates quite low, we have seen a lack of inventory in the re-sale market south of the Fraser and as a result buyers are turning to pre-sale projects.”

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