Surrey has highest real estate investment potential in B.C.: report

Surrey Central Mall and Simon Fraser University | Shutterstock

The housing market in Surrey is set to outperform those of all other cities in British Columbia over the next five years, the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) said in a November 5 report.

Surrey’s proximity to major transportation routes, including ports, situate it for job growth, the report said. As well, the city is attracting businesses across many sectors, including technology, clean energy, manufacturing, agriculture, health, finance and the arts. With more than 16,800 active businesses, the city saw 6% business growth between 2015 and 2016.

Between 2011 and 2016, Surrey’s population grew 10.6% – more than twice the provincial and national average. Currently, its population exceeds 500,000, and by 2041, it is expected to surpass Vancouver to become the largest city in B.C. Consequently, vacancy rates are falling in the city and will continue to do so as supply becomes tighter.

“The main conclusion for strategic investors from these key drivers is that Surrey is a unique combination of a youthful, growing city with a diverse economy that is relatively affordable compared with the rest of the Metro Vancouver region,” the report said.

Coming in second place is Abbotsford, followed by New Westminster, Victoria and Kamloops. Vancouver ranks in 10th place

REIN senior analyst Don Campbell said the province is entering a “new era” in terms of real estate investment opportunities, with limited supply and increasing demand driving the market.

“Affordability is creating challenging hurdles for many buyers to overcome,” he said. “This report identifies where relative affordability exists and regions which will continue to see upward growth despite current high values.

“While most think these cities are in the ‘boom’ phase of the cycle, many possibilities exist in areas where the upside of rising markets remain.”

The top 10 B.C. cities for housing market potential over the next five years, are, according to the report:

1.  Surrey

2.  Abbotsford

3.  New Westminster

4.  Victoria

5.  Kamloops

6.  Kelowna

7.  Chilliwack

8.  Tri-Cities: Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody

9.  Burnaby

10.  Vancouver