Where to buy real estate in Canada 2021: Delta and Surrey
The municipalities of Delta and Surrey continue to be strongly-desired locations for real estate, even after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The municipalities of Delta and Surrey continue to be strongly-desired locations for real estate, even after the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Sub division||Postal FSA||Neighbourhood name||Overall rank||Avg price 2020||1-year growth||3-year growth||5-year growth||Value score (out of 5 stars)||Neighbourhood economics score (out of 5 stars)||Neighbourhood accessibility score (out of 5 stars)||% Households with Children|
|surrey||V4A||south surrey - whiterock||5||$949,767||0.9%||-1.7%||44.1%||3.3||4.2||4.0||37%|
|surrey||V4N||tynehead - fleetwood||6||$912,475||5.8%||13.9%||74.4%||4.0||3.4||0.9||53%|
|delta||V4M||tsawwassen beach / english bluff||10||$1,378,183||6.2%||-4.8%||26.9%||2.6||4.6||0.0||42%|
South of the Fraser River in B.C. are the municipalities of Delta and Surrey. These two neighbouring cities are known for their diverse array of landscapes, communities, and people. Surrounded by west coast beauty, locals enjoy breathtaking scenery, mild temperatures and an abundance of outdoor recreation to choose from—both cities are highly covetable by families, retirees and new Canadians.
At the very southern point of British Columbia, and jutting out into the Strait of Georgia, the municipality of Delta is comprised of the geographically distinct communities of North Delta, Ladner and Tsawwassen, and is home to a population of 11,281 residents. It’s known for being a safe, clean and quiet city with good access to the City of Vancouver and surrounding areas, with local household incomes roughly 30% higher than the Metro Vancouver average. Vancouver’s International Airport is just 20 minutes away in neighbouring Richmond, and commuters can reach Vancouver’s downtown core via the SkyTrain’s Canada line. It is also the location of the BC Ferries Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, which provides service to Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and the Gulf Islands.
Delta’s downtown includes a number of suburban amenities including a hospital, museum, libraries and a sports and recreation centre. Delta is also known for Burns Bog, a 3,000-hectare section of the Fraser River Delta, which remains the largest undeveloped landmass in North America.
It is considered one of B.C.’s most important agricultural centres due to its rich soil, in fact, farming contributes $170 million annually to the local economy. It’s also a fishery and cannery hub due to its location on the Strait, Fraser River and Boundary Bay. Delta’s economy is supported by the manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, tourism and retail industries. Manufacturing employs 27% of locals, with a focus on wood products, food processing, tech and construction products, while 10% of local jobs are provided by the transportation sector.
Surrey is the third-largest city in the Metro Vancouver region by land size and second by population, home to 527,000 residents. One of the fastest-growing and ethnically diverse city’s in the province, it’s popular with new Canadians. While it was originally supported by agriculture, Surrey is now known for investing heavily in its infrastructure and tech industries. It neighbours Langley Township to the west, Delta to the east, and lies south of the Fraser River, which separates it from the municipalities of Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, Burnaby and New Westminster. However, the city is easily accessible, serviced by the Expo SkyTrain Line, and with the TransCanada and 1A Highways running through it.
Its suburban mass is spread among seven main neighbourhoods: Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton, South Surrey and Whalley. The city is a major manufacturing centre within Metro Vancouver, home to many thriving sectors; in fact, 38% of the region’s industrial land is within its borders. Clean technology is a major sector, making Surrey globally recognized for its technological innovation, as well as its vibrant, sustainable communities. Other primary employers include advanced manufacturing, agri-innovation, health sciences and technology, education and the creative economy.
It also boasts the largest public school district in B.C., with over 100 public elementary schools and 21 public high schools, and two university satellite campuses—Simon Fraser University and the Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Surrey’s historic downtown neighbourhood, Whalley, is the site of its City Hall, the university campuses, and multiple performance-art and cultural centres. The city hosts a number of festivals annually including WinterFest, which draws crowds of over 120,000 people in February, and the Cloverdale Rodeo and County Fair. Locals can also enjoy majestic mountain views and beaches to the south of the city, and even visit the boundary arch marking the U.S-Canada border in Peace Arch Provincial Park.
Because of their exceptional locations and lifestyles, Delta and Surrey real estate prices have historically been expensive. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market in this region had seen steady growth. The benchmark home price in Delta was $915,600 in March 2020, up 1% from 2019. Surrey’s benchmark price was $847,900 that month, up 1.9% year over year. Sales had seen strong year-over-year growth in both cities, increasing 15% in Delta with 62 homes sold, and 25% in Surrey, with 724 homes sold.
Once lockdowns went into place in April of 2020, price growth slowed, though it wasn’t immediately impacted. Benchmark prices were $915,900 and $858,200 in Delta and Surrey that month, up 0.6% and 1.2% from pre-pandemic conditions the month before. Sales, however, slid dramatically, falling by 66% in Delta and 56% in Surrey, before rebounding by 176% and 130% by June, indicating the supply-and-demand challenges had returned to the market.
As experienced throughout the Metro Vancouver region, the real estate market in Delta and Surrey had more than recovered by early spring of 2021. Sales rose sharply in both cities, increasing by a whopping 519% in Delta, and 386% in Surrey. Detached homes made up the largest portion of sales, reflecting buyers’ desires for greater square footage and less urban density during the pandemic. This demand is likely to remain strong moving forward, as Surrey and Delta continue to be highly covetable buying destinations due to their quality of life, and proximity to downtown Vancouver.
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Homebuyers seeking to unwind amid a slower-paced atmosphere will find it in Sunshine Hills; this North Delta neighbourhood is a quieter suburban enclave just steps from ample greenspace. These features, combined with its comparably affordable entry point into the market, make Sunshine Hills Zoocasa’s top-ranked neighbourhood in the Surrey-Delta region.
Roughly 10,000 people dwell in Sunshine Hills, accounting for 10% of Delta’s total population. The neighbourhood is well-situated, just 25 kilometres from downtown Vancouver, and 21 kilometres from the YVR airport in neighbouring Richmond. It is a very family-friendly neighbourhood, with just over half of households having children. There are a total of five local schools in the neighbourhood, including Seaquam Secondary, Sunshine Hills Elementary and Cougar Canyon Elementary.
The community is surrounded by nature, with Cougar Creek to the north and Watershed Park to the south. Burns Bog Nature Preserve, one of Delta’s most notable natural features, is also nearby, offering residents ample opportunity to get outside and enjoy an active lifestyle.
While Sunshine Hills residents will need a vehicle to get around the region, the neighbourhood has several nearby bus stops at its southern edge. There are many dining and shopping options within a 10-minute drive, most of which are clustered on Scott and 120 streets. The neighbourhood also has close access to Highway 91, which crosses the Fraser River to the northwest and connects Delta with Annacis Island, Richmond, and New Westminster, and the Sea to Sky Highway is located to the south.
Sunshine Hills experienced its largest building boom in the 1960s and 70s, and much of its available housing stock is made up of single-family detached homes and townhouses, most with a classic mid-century modern aesthetic.
In this highly sought-after neighbourhood, home prices are in the mid-range for the Metro Vancouver region; the average home price was $1,065,567 in 2020. Price growth has been relatively stable in recent years, up 3% from 2019, 4.9% over the past three years, and up 52.2% over the past five years. Given its relative affordability and family-friendly amenities, Sunshine Hills is sure to remain a top choice for homebuyers in the Metro Vancouver region for years to come.
With beaches, shopping, and spectacular bluff views, the unique neighbourhood of Tsawwassen Central offers the perfect blend of suburban and oceanside lifestyles. It’s no surprise this southwestern Delta community ranks in the top three for the region. Located on the peninsula that juts between the Strait of Georgia and Boundary Bay, there’s beach in every direction, along with plenty of charming shopping, dining and entertainment options just steps from its residential enclave.
The neighbourhood’s main drag can be found along 56th Street, with a number of restaurants and shopping centres clustered close to 12 Avenue, including the Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall, Tsawwassen Mills and Tsawwassen Commons. While local residents will most likely need a vehicle to get around the region, there is frequent bus service provided by the Coast Bus network, with regular shuttle and city bus service into nearby Richmond, the airport and downtown Vancouver—the big city is a mere 25-minute drive away.
Locals enjoy a slower pace of life, surrounded by the natural beauty of the peninsula. There are many parks and hiking trails nearby, and plenty of options for recreational boating and water sports. The neighbourhood is very family-friendly with nearly half of all households having kids, and a number of nearby schools, including public elementary and private options.
Tsawwassen is also an important access point for both Vancouver Island and the neighbouring United States: it provides the only road access to the American territory on the southern tip of the peninsula in the community of Point Roberts, Washington. The community is also home to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal; built in 1959, the ferry provides foot-passenger and motor vehicle access from the Lower Mainland to the southern part of Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. There is also recreational access to Boundary Bay at Centennial Park, with an extensive bike/footpath running along the edge of the Bay.
As the area was mostly constructed between 1960 and 1980, single-family detached houses are the most common housing type, making up 70% of dwellings. These are priced in the mid-range for Metro Vancouver, costing buyers around $1.5 to $2 million. However, a recent boom in development means there are more affordable options too, in the form of condos and townhouses.
According to Zoocasa’s data, the average home price in Tsawwassen Central was $944,117 in 2020. Values have grown modestly in the past year, up 3.8% from 2019. Prices have dipped 1.4% over a three-year horizon, but are still up strongly from 2015 by 34.6%. As the neighbourhood offers young families detached options at a comparatively affordable price, it’s sure to remain in high demand in the post-pandemic market.
Located in the southeastern corner of Surrey, the neighbourhood of Clayton is an urban suburb poised for big change. The area has undergone a development boom in the past decade with lots of planned community features to come following the expansion of the SkyTrain transit network into neighbouring Langley. Once established, the expanded line will bring three SkyTrain stops to Clayton, improving its connectivity to downtown Vancouver, and prompting the development of new housing, community centre, and pedestrian community. The neighbourhood is also located right off the Fraser and Trans-Canada Highways, making it easily accessible for commuters.
This, along with its vibrant urban lifestyle and affordably-priced real estate, has made the neighbourhood an attractive draw for homebuyers, especially first-timers. Many of Clayton’s residents are young families and couples who enjoy its proximity to the town centre of Cloverdale, good walkability and friendly vibe.
The neighbourhood is designed for pedestrian ease, and its many protected trails and green walkways are perfect for taking a stroll. Cyclists can quickly find themselves in close-by farmland, surrounded by the wonders of nature. Residents can also enjoy the many restaurants and shopping centres south of the Fraser Highway and on 188 St., including the Clayton Crossing Shopping Centre and Hillcrest Village Shopping Centre. There are several local schools including Clayton Heights Secondary, Hillcrest Elementary and Hazelgrove Elementary.
The fact that this neighbourhood is in a growth phase is reflected in its housing prices; the average cost of a home was $945,975 in 2020, reflecting a 5.9% increase from 2019; however, values have skyrocketed over the long term, up 83.5% from 2015. As there’s still lots to come for Clayton in terms of development, this community is sure to be an attractive destination for homebuyers in the years to come.
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