It should come as no surprise to anyone that if you’re looking for affordable real estate on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, you have to squint pretty hard to find it – if you can find it at all.
And a recent study – compiled by Point2Homes.com, a website that covers the national real-estate market – suggests that it’s not just a Surrey/White Rock or Lower Mainland problem, but a Canada-wide one, as far as major cities are concerned.
According to the analysis, in Canada’s largest cities – and surrounding highly populated areas – homes priced under $200,000 make up only one per cent of all listings. That number jumps to only about 10 per cent once other areas of the country – namely, smaller towns, the Prairies and the Maritimes – are factored in.
Across the 17 B.C. cities included in Point2’s report, an average of 0.16 per cent of their housing inventory was listed below $200,000. The $200,000 threshold for an affordable listing is used because it is “about one-quarter of the average national home price” according to the study.
So, aside from packing up and moving, what are Semiahmoo Peninsula home buyers’ options? A search of local listings turns up nothing when using $200,000 as a threshold. Expanded slightly, there are still limited options.
Currently, the cheapest home listed in South Surrey and White Rock is a “totally” updated” 800 sq. ft., 47-year-old manufactured home for sale in the 1800-block of 160 Street. And though, at $215,000, the price may be affordable, keep in mind that pad rent is still required – at just over $1,000 a month, according to the listing details.
Two other manufactured homes in the same neighbourhood are listed for $230,000 and $274,900.
In White Rock, the lowest priced home – a ground-floor, one bedroom, one bathroom condo on Merklin Street – is $299,900, and is in an age restricted building (19-plus). The only other listing under $300,000 in White Rock is a one-bedroom condo on North Bluff Road that is part of a co-op.
If you’re looking for a detached home, the lowest-priced on the Semiahmoo Peninsula is currently a three-bedroom, two-bath home on 15A Avenue that is listed at $1.3 million. It’s 52 years old and described as “perfect for the handyman… willing to put in the work to put their personal touch on it.”
A two-bedroom bungalow in the 1400-block of 164 Street is also listed for sale, for $599,000, but it is in a 55-plus community, and includes strata fees.
The most affordable townhouse in South Surrey/White Rock is a three-bedroom, two-bath unit in the 16200-block of 23A Avenue listed for $799,000.
If you extend your housing search slightly east, to south Langley, there are a trio of manufactured homes listed between $145,000 and $179,880, but also require pad rental/strata fees.
Conversely, the most expensive South Surrey listing is a five-acre hobby farm at 172 Street and 20 Avenue – a property “awaiting development” according to the listing details – that is for sale for more than $22 million.
In White Rock, the priciest home currently up for sale is a 10, 740 sq. ft. mansion – five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, plus a pool and ocean views – listed at $15,900,000. It includes “direct walk-out access” to what the listing details call “a private ocean-side terrace.”
Further notes from the national study show that 38 of Canada’s 50 largest cities – all of which are in Ontario and B.C. – currently have zero listings for less than $200,000. Kawartha Lakes, Ont. is the only larger region with more than one percent of listings less than the $200K threshold. Ignoring the percentages of total listings, and dealing strictly with quantity, Edmonton and Regina are the major cities with the most homes for sale under that number, at about 1,300 and 400, respectively.
Amongst larger centres, Cape Breton, N.S. has the highest share of homes for sale under $200,000 at 44 per cent.