The top floor of the glass-walled room in Squamish's downtown Cornerstone Commercial Building was packed with 30-somethings sipping glasses of wine and nibbling appetizers.
This is the community's latest neighbourhood development's prime market, said Michael Hutchison, president of Squamish-based development company Bethel Lands Corp. — one of the partners in the Crumpit Woods subdivision.
On Thursday (June 14), potential buyers gathered for the public launch of the first phase of the 109-building-lot development, slated for property northwest of the intersection of Westway Avenue and Plateau Drive in Valleycliffe. Up for grabs are 44, 9,500-square-foot single-family lots.
“We really think the market is ready for a product like this,” Hutchison said.
For the first time in six years, the Lower Mainland is playing a large part in Squamish's home buying, said Lisa Bjornson, managing broker for Black Tusk Realty. Traditionally, Squamish purchasers make up 60 per cent of the market. That has dropped 10 per cent, while outside money has increased from 40 to 50 per cent.
“It is a big stimulus when you get this flux from out of the area,” she said.
Most of the movement involves single-family homes. Squamish is making a name for itself as a first-time homeowners' destination, Bjornson said, noting the town's recent media coverage surrounding the area's baby boom only adds to interest.
Squamish's housing market has already adjusted to the global recession, Bjornson said. Couple that with low interest rates and the community is known as a “good buy,” she said.
“We have already absorbed the hit,” Bjornson said.
Crumpit Woods developers anticipate the start of construction on the roadways and services around the first week of July. The subdivision will be completed in April or May 2013, Hutchison said.