A survey of housing data by UBC academics has found that a neighbourhood in Langley has the most housing starts of any region in Metro Vancouver over the last five years.
From 2017 to 2021, there were 4,313 housing starts in an area bounded by the Trans Canada Highway to the north and Glover Road to the southeast. It also includes Willoughby east of 208th Street, and north of 80th Avenue it stretches as far as 200th Street.
That means it includes much of the Yorkson and all of the Carvolth areas, which have seen the most intensive development in Langley in recent years.
According to the data collected by the Housing Research Collaborative Group, there were 2,541 units of apartments, 1,485 townhouses, 261 detached homes, and 26 semi-detached homes that started construction in the area between 2017 and the end of 2021.
The other major areas of Willoughby also saw a lot of housing starts. The neighbourhood south of 80th Avenue, between 208th and 200th Street, saw 1,415 housing units start construction. The strip of land west of 200th Street next to the Surrey border, 535 units of housing saw construction commence.
That adds up to 6,263 housing starts in Willoughby alone.
Across the region, there were 126,133 housing starts. The developments in the Yorkson/Carvolth area singled out by the researchers represent 3.4 per cent of all new housing starts in Metro Vancouver in that five-year period.
Add in the other Willoughby neighbourhoods, and that region alone is responsible for 4.9 per cent of all housing starts in Metro Vancouver.
The reason for the rapid development of Willoughby, particularly the Yorkson and Carvolth areas, is a combination of the fact that developers could buy large lots, and that they were already close to existing amenities, according to Sean Bouchard, vice president at local builder Quadra Homes.
“That particular neighbourhood has all the features you could want,” Bouchard said.
When development of northern Willoughby kicked off in the early 2000s, there were already schools, parks, and rec centres a short distance away, and it’s just a few minutes from a major highway interchange at 200th Street.
Now that the area has developed more, there are more and larger parks, sports fields, a park and ride at the Carvolth Exchange, and the Langley Events Centre.
“It’s a beautiful hub,” said Bouchard.
Development is not likely to stop in Willoughby any time soon.
Quadra Homes and Vesta Properties are among the larger developers building significant condo and townhouse developments in the area, but there are still undeveloped areas. In the Williams neighbourhood, significant new developments are beginning to come to the Township council for approval.
Bouchard estimates it will take another 15 years to complete the development of the wider neighbourhood.
Quadra is about to start work on a new 410 unit project at 83rd Avenue and 208th Street, with half affordable rentals.
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