A new report ranks Chilliwack seventh out of the top 10 communities to invest in real estate in B.C. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress file)

Chilliwack among top 10 B.C. cities to buy real estate

Real Estate Investment Network ranks the city seventh for being affordable and in transition

For anyone looking for a place to invest a real estate dollar, Chilliwack is right up there.

That’s according to the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN), which ranked the city seventh in its list of top 10 towns and cities across British Columbia.

“People choose to live in Chilliwack because of lower tax rates, affordable housing costs and lifestyle opportunities,” according to the REIN report.

“[S]trategic investors will see that Chilliwack is in a favourable position for a strong, long-term real estate market.”

Features in the city the REIN points to include: Molson Coors new plant currently under construction; the Downtown BIA’s efforts to attract business; and the University of the Fraser Valley’s campus in town.

Number one on REIN’s list is Surrey, the second largest and fastest growing city in B.C., followed by Abbotsford in the number two slot. New Westminster is in third with those being the only three Lower Mainland communities ahead of Chilliwack.

Victoria, Kamloops and Kelowna are ranked fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

REIN’s focus is on those investing in real estate rather than those looking for housing so there is a distinct look to the future. The report points out the average one-bedroom rental prices in Chilliwack is $750 yet there is a vacancy rate of just 0.8 per cent.

“Chilliwack is one of the most affordable cities in which to rent in the province, but this won’t last given the extremely low vacancy rates.”

At the investment end, the report points to an average recent sale price of $430,000 (in October it was $466,965 up from $417,242 in October 2016).

READ MORE: Highest ever October real estate sales in Chilliwack

The report says a “typical” single family home is in the range of $625,000 to $650,000, which is considerably lower than the rest of the Lower Mainland, although is a little higher than recent data. At the peak of the market, which is now, the average detached house in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board region (which does include Agassiz and Hope) was $$587,640 in October.

The REIN report also states that “media reports a cooling off period of the housing market. Don’t believe it.”

The vast majority of real estate stories this year in The Progress, however, pointed to the continued hot housing market.

REIN must be pointing to one story in March about a B.C. Real Estate Association forecast that 2017 would see sales in CADREB to drop 21 per cent over 2016.

READ MORE: Chilliwack real estate sales cooling as prices continue to rise

The report breaks down details about each of the 10 communities featured placing Chilliwack in the “recovery” phase, as opposed to “boom” or “slump.”

How any Lower Mainland community could be considered in recovery versus boom seems odd, but the report explains the term “recovery” is a technical term referring to underlying structures that could influence the future of the market.

The three investment tactics measured by REIN are “buy and hold,” “rent to own” and “fix and flip.” The report puts Chilliwack in the middle of recovery, which means the most optimal investment tactic is rent-to-own, while “buy-and-hold” and “fix and flip” are deemed “good” tactics.

REIN’s complete list of the top 10 real estate investment communities, in order:

1. Surrey

2. Abbotsford

3. New Westminster

4. Victoria

5. Kamloops

6. Kelowna

7. Chilliwack

8. The Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody),

9. Burnaby

10. Vancouver


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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