Renting Is King in Vancouver's False Creek Flats

Since the city released their proposed draft plan for the area, there’s been a lot to look forward to from the False Creek Flats. As the future home of the St. Paul’s Hospital, the Flats are well on their way to becoming an important Vancouver neighbourhood.

Even now, before the False Creek Flats are rejuvenated, this has become an attractive area for renters (and, therefore, investors). In the last five years, the population of the Flats has grown by 7%. Compare that to the City of Vancouver (5%) and Metro Vancouver (6%), and you can see that the area has already been attracting a lot of attention. Let’s look at some of the trends and neighbourhood features that are responsible.

Renter’s market
Overall growth aside, this area — defined by Main Street to the west, Prior Street to the north, Clark Drive to the east and Great Northern Way to the south — has one of the highest percentages of renters in the city.

Roughly 71% of all False Creek Flats households rent, compared with 51% in the City of Vancouver and 35% in Metro Vancouver. To accommodate this, the area has embraced new perspectives on urban space. The neighbourhood is dense with low-, mid- and high- rise apartments (in fact, 83% of households in the area live in apartments) and a combination of new and old dwellings make efficient use of the prime city centre real estate.

As a result of its renter majority, the Flats claim a younger demographic. A large proportion of residents are young adults and young families; 38% of them are between the ages of 20-39. Several of the Flats’ key characteristics appeal to a renter demographic and younger resident profile, which further explains the popularity of this area.

Public transportation is one of those characteristics. According to market research, False Creek Flats residents are much less likely to drive to work. In fact, only 35% rely on their own vehicle, and almost twice as many walk or cycle to work than the rest of Vancouver.

With proximity to top cycling routes (the seawall and the Adanac bike lane, among others), Main Street–Science World SkyTrain Station and a number of central bus lines, these numbers don’t come as a surprise. Being able to save money by not having a car is a huge perk.

Nearby attractions
You won’t find a more central home base than the False Creek Flats if you’re after Vancouver’s cultural scene. If you’re looking for the best of the city’s restaurants, Chinatown is only a couple minutes walk away, and Gastown — known for some of the city’s best nightlife — is just past that.

The downtown core is only a few minutes away by SkyTrain or a short walk over the Georgia Viaduct, and once there, you’ll have access to things like the Vancouver Art Gallery, Rogers Arena and The Orpheum Theatre.

On the other side of the False Creek Flats, Olympic Village and Mount Pleasant offer up fantastic food, craft beer and a generally cool vibe, with plenty of patios for sunnier afternoons.

Active lifestyle
But the False Creek Flats attract more than just the weekend warrior. Next door to this great neighbourhood is the 28 km seawall. Whether you’re athletically inclined or merely want to take a walk by the water, this is a perfect addition to your daily routine.

With the proposed Walk the Line initiative, False Creek Flats residents will be able to use the area for even more. The extension will create a new loop of the seawall path, tracing the historical shoreline of False Creek with links over the train rails and top amenities for residents in the district.

Upcoming development
The most fascinating feature of the False Creek Flats doesn’t have anything to do with its current state. The changes planned for this area will transform it into one of Vancouver’s most interesting neighbourhoods.

Along with vast residential development (3000+ condo units), the Flats will soon become host to a number of institutional anchors such as the new St. Paul’s Hospital and Emily Carr University, as well as a large tech sector. Moreover, with plans to create heritage and cultural hubs, the area will become busier than ever.

Whether you’re looking for a place to live or are hoping to make some extra income with an investment property, the False Creek Flats may be the place for you.

Looking for a rental or an investment property in one of Vancouver’s top emerging markets? Our rental specialists and rennie advisors can help.


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