The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) has released its new list of Top 10 cities in B.C. to buy real estate in the next five years.
Surrey tops the list, with Vancouver coming in 10th place.
Abbotsford comes second to Surrey, and the rest following are: New Westminster, Victoria, Kamloops, Kelowna, Chilliwack, the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody), and Burnaby in ninth place.
The new REIN list comes three years after its last report in 2014, which also identified Surrey as the top B.C. 10 to invest in real estate.
In the 2014 report, Vancouver placed ninth in the list.
Founded by analyst Don Campbell, REIN is a Langley-based real-estate research, education, and consulting organization.
“British Columbia’s is entering a new era of real estate opportunities and challenges,” Campbell states in a media release. “While most think the Lower Mainland’s housing market is priced ‘out of this world’ – limited supply and increasing demand continue to drive this market.”
In the media edition of its new report, REIN notes that Surrey is a “unique combination of a youthful, growing city with a diverse economy that is relatively affordable compared to the rest of the Metro Vancouver region”.
“Surrey’s enviable Pacific Rim location for international trade to Asia and the United States, combined with a diverse economy, deliver substantial business opportunities,” according to the report. “Sectors such as clean energy, finance, insurance, real estate, technology, advanced manufacturing, education, health, agriculture and arts help safeguard Surrey’s economy and make it one of the more resilient cities when it comes to economic booms and busts.”
REIN also notes in the report that Surrey is forecast to become the biggest city in B.C. by 2041.
According to the report, “it’s no wonder Surrey claims, ‘The future lives here’.”
As for Vancouver, the REIN report notes that the city has “all the right economic fundamentals of a world-class city, and attracts foreign investors and capital as a safe-haven on the global scale”.
“While affordability affects the return on investment, strategic investors, over the long-term, will find relatively safe investment opportunities, when timed right and with the right property,” according to the report.
REIN has two warnings about Vancouver.
One is about ‘market influencers’, which include “government policy (in place and proposed), and long delays in building approvals”.
“Strategic investors must pay very close attention to the political rhetoric and policy announcements,” REIN cautions.
The other warning about Vancouver is that it is “at the end of the boom”.
“Cities can remain at the end of the boom for a long, long time,” according to the REIN report. “Peaking affordability, employment, and sales are just a few of the drivers expected at the end of the boom. Vancouver has them all.”
Five cities get honourable mentions in the new REIN list. Fort St. John comes first, followed by Dawson Creek, Township of Langley, Mission, and Maple Ridge.