Since 2009

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows almost the best real estate in B.C.

This area still a good place to put your money, say realtors

Call it a three-peat for second place, which isn’t bad when considering the top opponent is a heavy hitter like Surrey.

For the past three years, Surrey has been the top place in B.C. to put real estate investment money.

But since 2009, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has been No. 2, according to the Real Estate Investment Network.

“Over the long term, Maple Ridge is a good investment,” said Melanie Reuter, with the network.

One of the reasons for that is the comparably low prices for housing makes it still possible for investors to rent out units and still get more from the rent money than it costs to pay the mortgage.

The two new bridges, the new Pitt River and the Golden Ears Bridge to Langley, which have been open for three years, will spark interest in moving to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, says Reuter.

“As people see the benefit of a shorter commute, they’re more likely to buy there.”

Reuter said that transportation, roads and bridges, and rapid transit, such as SkyTrain and West Coast Express all improve the marketability of housing.

“Transportation is a huge driver for real estate.” If frequency of the West Coast Express train were to increase, that also would kickstart nearby home prices.

The Real Estate Investment Network does an annual report called Top B.C. Investment Towns.

It says that with 65 per cent of Maple Ridge residents commuting, no other Lower Mainland municipality will benefit the most from the Gateway program, which resulted in the construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

However, according to the District of Maple Ridge’s Commercial and Industrial strategy published last year, Maple Ridge has the second-largest percentage of residents working locally, about 35 per cent. Only Surrey has the larger percentage of residents locally employed at 38 per cent.

According to the report, Delta, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and New Westminster all have a higher percentage of residents who have to leave their community for work.

The network says that real estate prices remain relat ively low but that prices will rise as demand increases.

“The report highlights how the improvements to the transportation infrastructure have made our community accessible to investors in the Lower Mainland. That combined with programs like our Town Centre Investment Incentive Program have resulted in over 40 projects in our town centre valued at $80 million,” Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin said.

“Maple Ridge is also a prime location for commercial and industrial development. Council’s priority is to complete land use policy work and incentive program development to ensure that our commercial and industrial development and employment growth are centre stage in the coming years.”

Top 10

The top towns in REIN’s rankings are:

1) Surrey

2) Maple Ridge

3) Fort St. John

4) Dawson Creek

5) Kamloops

6) Abbotsford

7) Kelowna

8) Chilliwack

9) Prince George

10) Langley

 

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