The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way that many office workers conduct their work. This change has happened in a relatively short period of time. Up until recently, it was highly desirable and there was a high demand to be in and around the central business district. This phenemonen was especially apparent in Vancouver.
For a long time now, it has been considered desirable by many workers to live, work and play downtown. Office space is at a premium in the city and people have been paying very high prices to acquire ownership or rentals of condos. People have been willing to pay high prices for rent or purchase prices for the convenience of being close to the office. But things may be changing structurally, in that regard.
Many office workers in the Metro Vancouver area are now working remotely from home. Teleworking, as it's otherwise known, has been around for quite a while. However, the extent to which people are doing this has jumped dramatically due to physical distancing requirements of the collective response to the coronavirus. For many workers, this may become a more permanent feature of their work arrangements. Perhaps they will now only be going to their head office in the city a few days per week, occassionally or not at all, if their company decides paying expensive rents in the city centre just isn't worth it. To put it another way, many companies have stress tested the ability of their workforces to work remotely. Some are finding that things are running pretty well, overall. In turn, this may lead to a reassessment of office space needs. Companies may find great savings in overhead costs, if they can downsize lease footprints, as a result of workers teleworking more often.
As it connects to real estate, many workers may also assess whether they can save a lot of money on their housing expenses by moving away and out from the city, if they aren't required to be there as much (or at all). Perhaps they can find efficiencies in their budget by finding cheaper housing or rentals in the suburbs of Vancouver. And this is where I think the markets of the Fraser Valley offer a big advantage in relative costs savings for houses, townhouses and condos.
Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford all offer a great bang for the real estate buck compared to the core cities of Vancouver and Burnaby. You can aquire more space (good for social distancing) for a lower price. And since commuting will be far less of a consideration, there are a great range of property types available to choose from.
For those seeking more peace and tranquility, small hobby farms or rural acreages may hold greater appeal. There are lots of options with these property types in the Fraser Valley.