Maple Ridge still second best place to invest

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows were once again ranked at No. 2 in a list of top B.C. investment towns


July 30, 2013  Sylver McLaren, Maple Ridge Times


Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows landed in second place for the third time on the Real Estate Investment Network's (REIN) top British Columbia investment towns list.


It's an exciting announcement, said Sandy Blue, the manager of Strategic Economic Initatives at the District of Maple Ridge.


"I think it shows the ability to attract the investment we need. We are seeing significant interest from around the world now," Blue said. "It's a positive, optimistic time. It's great for us," she added. The 110-page report analyzes the current and future prospects for real estate investment opportunities in the province for the next decade.


"Both communities have been hampered by poor transportation infrastructure for decades, detracting people from moving to the area and keeping real estate prices low," said Don R. Campbell, one of the report authors and senior analyst


at REIN. "The completion of the Golden Ears Bridge between Langley and Maple Ridge in 2009 and the opening of the new Port Mann Bridge in 2012 has brought the one-time sleepy Fraser Valley farming communities closer to Vancouver. Real estate prices remain relatively low, for now. As more people begin to realize what these two growing communities have to offer, demand will increase and prices will rise."


With about 65 per cent of Maple Ridge residents currently commuting to other regions for work, REIN believes no area in British Columbia will be impacted more significantly by the completion of the Gateway Program.


In 2009, the new Golden Ears Bridge officially opened to traffic. The six-lane bridge is the first direct route from the communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to Langley and Surrey.


The transportation improvement has finally provided Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows with a direct link to Highway 1 and has reduced the time it takes to travel to Vancouver and the surrounding region, the report said. Between 2006 and 2011, the District of Maple Ridge recorded a population growth of 10.3 per cent while Pitt Meadows witnessed a population increase of 13.5 per cent, both significantly above the provincial average of seven per cent during the same time period.


The region's affordability and the transportation changes will drive more residents to the areas, driving up property values and rents, according to the report.


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