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White Rock’s real estate market not hot enough to make top-10 list

Research firm ranks Surrey as top spot in B.C. for real estate investment

Cranes at a construction site in White Rock adding to the development in the city. Photo by Sydney Morton
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Reported by Sydney Morton

A leading research firm that specializes in studying the economic health of cities has left off White Rock from its top-10 list of best B.C. municipalities in which to invest real estate.

The Real Estate Investment Network released its list Nov. 5 and chose White Rock’s neighbour, Surrey, as the municipality best to lead the province in real estate investment.

“It’s a very robust methodology but there are a lot of pieces to it,” said Jennifer Hunt, vice-president of the investment network, when asked about the results.

White Rock’s economy smaller than other neighbouring communities

It turns out White Rock didn’t have a chance to make the list since it did not qualify to be analyzed because its economy wasn’t as strong as the other municipalities Hunt said.

“To qualify it would need to have strong economic growth which is really where it starts,” Hunt said.

The investment network, or REIN, is an independent research and analysis firm that has produced reports for investors for 25 years. It has offices in B.C. and Ontario.

The network’s report comes one month after White Rock city council unanimously approved a new Official Community Plan (OCP). The plan provides White Rock residents with a vision of what the seaside municipality will look like in 2045.

Report doesn’t reflect the cities actual growth

White Rock Coun. Helen Fathers said she wasn’t familiar with the findings of the report but argued the municipality is being developed at a pace that bodes well for its economy and growth.

“Business is booming in White Rock in regards to development,” said Fathers. “I can’t see that [the report’s findings] would be detrimental because there’s lots of building going on here.”

Surrey topped the list in part because it has more than 16,800 “active businesses across a wide array of industries and a six per cent growth in businesses in 2016 over 2015,” the report said.

Surrey was followed by Abbotsford, New Westminster, Victoria, Kamloops, Kelowna, Chilliwack, the Tri-Cities and Vancouver.

Cliff Annable, executive director of the White Rock Chamber of Commerce, said he was unaware of the report but surprised White Rock wasn’t considered for the list.

“Surrey has lots of open land, whereas White Rock doesn’t,” Annable said. “White Rock is smaller and the reality is land costs a lot more — land all over is so expensive, especially in this area.”

 

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