Buyers line up for Surrey microlofts
Published Saturday, May 30, 2015 5:00PM PDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 30, 2015 6:46PM PDT
Roughly 50 people lined up outside the showroom of a new microloft development in Surrey Saturday morning, some of them hours before the doors actually opened.
They were looking for their chance to invest in the Metro Vancouver real estate market, for prices unheard of in the City of Vancouver.
Chunkit Lee was the first person in line. The Vancouver resident showed up at 8 a.m., hoping to claim the $15,000 in incentives the developer of Prime on the Plaza was offering to early buyers at the event.
Lee said he’s seen real estate prices rise significantly in recent years, and wants to invest in the market.
“The livability in Surrey it's getting better and better every year, so I thought this was a good place to start investing,” Lee said. “Vancouver is out of my price range right now.”
Prime developer Jon Stovell told CTV News Lee’s is a common story.
“In Vancouver, there’s just so many people who can’t afford to get into the housing market,” he said. “So a lot of them are coming out here to now purchase microlofts in Surrey.”
That’s why AC Buiza was in line.
“They're a decent price and it's nice location -- just outside the skytrain -- for students and whatnot,” Buiza said. “I can't afford four- of five-hundred thousand for a condo in Vancouver, right?”
Buiza said he’s interested in buying one of the 306-square-foot microlofts in the Prime building for “investment purposes.” Prices start at around $130,000, much less than a small condo in Vancouver.
While people like Buiza are lining up to invest, the average price of condos south of the Fraser River has actually dropped since last year.
The price of such units under the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s jurisdiction -- which includes Surrey -- dropped 2.6 per cent from last April to this April.
That’s not the ideal trend for people looking to turn a profit in the real estate market, but it is beneficial to people who are just looking for a place to live. According to Surrey City councillor Bruce Hayne, there are a lot of those.
“There's about a thousand a month moving to Surrey,” Hayne said. “There's going to be another 100-thousand living units in city centre over the next twenty-five years or so. so that's a significant, significant influx of people into the city centre.”
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro