Preparing for the National House Price Survey

It's that time of year again. CENTURY 21 is preparing its Spring 2008 National House Price Survey which compares typical home prices in neighborhoods across Canada. 55 cities participated in the Fall Survey. I completed Richmond, BC's entry for the Spring Survey. Offices across Canada were asked to choose three neighborhoods in their cities and provide details about a typical home in each comparing what it would have sold for last year with what it is selling for this year. The task sounded easy but lead to numerous discussions in our office regarding what is typical and more importantly, which neighborhoods give a true cross-section of what Richmond is really like. Terra Nova and Steveston quickly came to mind to represent our upper end and our trendy destination. Choosing the third was more difficult. We had to find distinct communities and needed a cross-section of value which meant I was lacking an "affordable" option (even if half a million dollars plus hardly sounds affordable). In the end, I decided transportation friendly Hamilton offered amazing value. Prices in Hamilton have held steady this past year without the dramatic increases Terra Nova and Steveston saw. It is still possible to get a newer (under 15 years old) 2000 sq ft 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bathroom home with a double garage for under $560,000. Last year similar homes in this area were selling near $520,000. The other two areas increased by almost $100,000. Now we wait. Will Richmond make the survey? Will prices in Hamilton catch up to the rest of Richmond? Hmmm, this almost sounds like we are waiting for the next episode of our favorite reality show. 

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