Like any investment, the Vancouver housing market has its ups and downs. However, in North Vancouver, where the median price of a single family detached home is 1,824,614, we’ve seen about a 10-per-cent increase last year and a 21-per-cent increase in the last five years, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

The hot spots include Lynn Valley, a very desirable neighbourhood nestled between the mountains and where old houses sit on big lots and go for above asking, even when the market is in favour of the buyer.

Another hotspot in North Vancouver is In Edgemont. In 2011, houses that went for $800,000, now go for between $1.8 million or $2 million now. In these higher end neighbourhoods, where everybody dreams of livings, real estate will always be a good investment, no matter what the rest of Canada’s housing market does.

The North Shore market appears to be driven mostly by Vancouverites who’ve been priced out of the trendy areas like Yaletown, Gastown, and the Westside and have growing families who want quiet, well-developed neighbourhoods.

A part from Vancouverites, the North Shore growth has also been fueled by foreign buyers who see North Vancouver as a great investment. There has been a lot of news about how the foreign home buyers tax has effected Vancouver and each region is effected a little differently. On the North Shore, the foreign buyers tax has effected some of the higher end properties.

The market most effected by the tax is West Vancouver, one of Canada’s wealthiest neighbourhoods, where the benchmark price has dropped by 13.5 per cent. Detached homes were selling for an average of $3,359,400 in August but were down to $2,90711 in January. The numbers of average days on the market also increased by 62 per cent in West Vancouver.

However, in most markets, sales are often slow in winter months. If compared to the previous year, the sales actually increased by 9.3 per cent in West Vancouver.

North Vancouver was the next market that appeared hardest hit, seeing a benchmark decrease of 7.4 per cent when the foreign buyers tax was implemented. But when we look at last year around the same time, the benchmark had increased by 13.7 per cent.

Vancouver’s West Side had the lowest decrease in the Metro area and still had increased by 8.7 per cent during the same period the previous year.

The average number of days on the market increased in all Metro Vancouver neighbourhoods, with the most dramatic increase in Vancouver East, and the lowest increase in North Vancouver.

What is to be concluded by all this? That although January and February have been soft months for real estate sales, the overall market is still very strong and Vancouver – West Van and North Van especially – are good investments.

Vancouver is always rated as one of the top places to live in the world and when you have so many people wanting to buy here, then prices will always increase.

Taxes like the foreign buyers’ tax will come and go but the reality is that if you buy your house in a great neighbourhood and don’t listen too much about the upturns or the downturns of the market then you’ll end up on top.