The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) released the 2013 edition of its Top British Columbia Investment Towns report, analyzing the current and future prospects for real estate investment in the province over the next decade. The 110-page report identifies which areas will outperform in the coming decade and finds that the City of Surrey is the top region in British Columbia in which to invest in real estate
The top B.C. communities in REIN’s 2013 rankings are:
2) Maple Ridge
3) Fort St. John
4) Dawson Creek
9) Prince George
Unsurprisingly, Surrey remains on the top of the list of B.C. Investment Towns for the fourth year in a row. The city’s population has exploded in the last few years, recording a population increase of 18.6 per cent between 2006 and 2011. The city’s population is second in the province to Vancouver, but that is about to change. The city’s population is expected to increase by a staggering 250,000 over the next three decades, and the town will reap the benefits from the Gateway Program. A number of projects are in various states of completion that will positively impact the commute for residents to and from Surrey and improve transportation logistics for businesses.
Chilliwack makes its debut on the top investment list at number eight after debuting as a Tier Two City at last print. As the population continues to grow, increased demand and agricultural land restrictions will cause real estate prices to rise. Landlords in the region have already witnessed an increase in average rent as people turn towards renting as an affordable option. Rectifying Chilliwack’s non-connectedness with public transit to other cities would be game-changing for Chilliwack.
Vancouver, perhaps surprisingly, did not make the list. The cost of housing in Vancouver has become one of the most expensive in the world, with Demographia International ranking Vancouver as the second most unaffordable place to live in the Western world. Affordability and lack of cash flow will be the hindrances to the average investor. While other markets experienced a decrease in home values during the economic downturn, Vancouver’s real estate market remains hot and as overpriced as ever. Investors are finding it hard to enter the market or create cash flow.