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Vancouver’s real estate boom reaches Cariboo

Frank O’Brien, Business In Vancouver, May 4, 2016

The blast radius from Vancouver’s real estate boom now extends as far north as 100 Mile House in B.C’s Cariboo region, according to Rudy Nielsen, co-founder and president of LandQuest Realty Corp. of New Westminster.

“We have buyers from the Vancouver area looking at lakefront property up there,” said Nielsen.

An influx of homebuyers who have cashed out of Canada’s most expensive housing market is also being seen on the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island, according to LandQuest’s Richard Osborne, who helped start B.C.’s biggest land broker 20 years ago.

Housing sales are up 24% this year in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area of Vancouver Island and average house prices have soared 19%, for example, said Nanaimo realtor Steve Pakozdy, who is crediting Metro Vancouver buyers for the surge. At a median value of around $400,000, Vancouver Island houses are about one-third the price of a detached house in Metro Vancouver, Pakozdy noted.

And the dollar goes even further in the Cariboo, which is just now recovering from a 10-year real estate slump, Osborne said. Noting that typical condominium apartment in Metro Vancouver sells for $425,000, Osborne said a buyer could purchase a lakefront house on 160 acres or a 122-acre working farm in the Cariboo for less.