Kitsilano and Fairview are two of Vancouver's most famous neighbourhoods and neighbours. Kitsilano most known for being a beautiful beach front community and an eclectic shopping district on W 4th, while Fairview is most known for its gradual slopes that provide spectacular downtown city views from its residences and businesses and busy Broadway commercial district.
While these neighbourhoods are so closely interlinked, there are surprisingly some significant differences especially when it comes to real estate. Fairview is a neighbourhood comprised of condos and townhomes, while Kitsilano has
single family homes in addition to townhomes and condos.
Buying or selling a condo in these neighbourhoods was for a long time quite similar in terms of value and affordability ... that is until the year 2015. Thats when things changed.
In 2015 benchmark prices in Kitsilano (see illustration below) began to see more upwards pressure than its next door neighbour and since then the gap has been only increasing. When the real estate market peaked in 2018 this disparity was as its greatest. Since 2015 Fairview has become the "more affordable" neighbourhood, while Kitsilano was its wealthy sibling.
Since the middle of 2019 the market finally begun revealing signs that it has adjusted to the new federal mortgage rules and stress test, and once again the disparity between the two has increased as demand to live in Kitsilano surged. Why though such a big difference? The quality and construction of homes in the two neighbourhoods over time has been quite similar so this doesn't explain "the why". The answer it seems is that people simply covet the Kitsilano neighbourhood, lifestyle, and address. For many Buyers I meet and work with they feel like its the ideal destination for them to live the life they want Walking the beachfront, enjoying the water front amenities, and wineing and dining in the restaurants and bars while taking in the views.
They are willing to pay top dollar to live in one of Canada's most famous neighbourhoods in homes not unlike those that can be found elsewhere throughout Vancouver. It's all about the address and lifestyle that does with it.
Can we expect this to change? Not until the day a beach front community and lifestyle becomes less desirable. That said as we adjust to the new realities of global warming and rising sea levels there may well be one day soon be a shift in properties of where we want to live.
A comparison of Kitsilano and Fairview condo & townhome benchmark prices since 2005