Where are Western Canada’s biggest hotspots for real estate investment in 2019? 2019’s top five real estate investment towns in Western Canada. Western Investor’s picks for the top five Western Canadian cities to invest in real estate over the next year.
Western Investor’s No. 1 pick of western Canadian cities for real estate investors is the northwest British Columbia centre that is ground zero for the biggest private investment in Canadian history.
It will also likely change the fortunes of those real estate investors quick enough to get into town. Despite work camps springing up to house the estimated 6,000 construction workers, the real estate play in Kitimat is residential rentals. A lot of management types, consultants, government officials and other professionals will be seeking two to three year rentals in Kitimat, figures Jason Pender of JV Development Group. His company is in a joint venture rushing to complete a 27 acre project with 94 townhomes, more than 30 detached house lots and a 12 acre modular home site.
“We have the land,” said Danielle Myles, manager, economic development, for the City of Terrace. A key parcel is the 1,187 acres of industrial-zoned land bought four years by China based Qinhuangdao Economic and Technological Development Zone (QETDZ) for $11.8 million. The land is in the city’s massive Skeena Industrial Development Park. QETDZ has cleared nearly 800 acres of land for development as part of its $100 million preparation budget.
Myles expects Terrace will be the staging site for much of the work for the LNG plant in Kitimat, which is a half hour drive away. Terrace, unlike Kitimat, also has an airport and established and extensive retail, fitting a city that is known as the trading centre for northwest B.C. An idea of the momentum: commercial building permits in Terrace have soared nearly 300 per cent over the past two years. You can still buy a detached house in town for an average of $337,000, up 18 per cent from a year ago.
Western Investor has combined two neighbouring centres, Abbotsford and Mission, as its No. 3 pick for the best real estate investment opportunities in 2018-19. Abby Mission is on the eastern edge of the Lower Mainland and is a real estate pressure valve for both residential and industrial plays. The area is feeling its own population pressure as more people from Metro Vancouver move in looking for work and affordable housing. As of September, 1,567 new homes were under construction in Abby-Mission, including nearly 300 new detached houses, which sell for an average of $843,900.
As Abbotsford fills up, Mission is seen as the next industrial destination. The district of Mission has easy freeway access and is just 15 minutes from the U.S. border, and is seen as ideal for distribution facilities. There are two main industrial parks in the Mission area: Mission Industrial Park, which allows light industry, warehouse, office use and even accessory retail; and Silver Creek Industrial Park, which has direct railway and Fraser River frontage for heavier industrial.
Okotoks is one of the fastest growing cities in Alberta, with a population of 28,881 according to 2019 figures. Just 15 minutes south of Calgary, Okotos posted a growth rate of 17,8 percent from 2011 to 2016, and a whopping 43 percent from 2006 to 2011, emerging as an indemand destination for commuters. The average age of residents is 34, making it a popular choice among millennials. Rental demand in the city is at a high, with vacancy dropping to 1 percent in 2017 from 4 percent in 2016. Okotoks accounts for nearly 50 per cent of residential sales activity in the Foothills region, according to the Real Estate Investment Network.
5. Leduc, AB
Leduc’s population growth is among the highest in Alberta, posting a 23.4 per cent increase from 2011 to 2016. The city’s population was 29,993 as of the 2016 census.
The city’s industrial investment opportunities are best offered by the Nisku Business Park in Leduc County, employing more than 400 companies and 6,000 workers locally, in industries ranging from agriculture, to forestry to fishing. Growth in and around Edmonton International Airport has helped provide jobs and development opportunities for Leduc residents, including construction of the world’s largest marijuana production facility by Aurora Cannabis. The arrival of the 800,000 square foot warehouse is expected to contribute to declining industrial vacancy rates in the county and rising lease rates. A 400,000 square foot auto parts and distribution warehouse from Ford Canada is also on the slate for the coming year.
Source: Western Investor