Real-estate analyst says Lower Mainland elections could influence housing prices
Don Campbell likes to say that he doesn’t sell real estate. “I’m just a researcher,” insists the author of several books on property investing.
Campbell also likes to say that because he’s not selling property, he can be counted on to offer an unbiased perspective. He’s the founding partner of the Real Estate Investment Network, a Langley-based company that provides market analysis to clients.
Reached by the Georgia Straight on his cellphone for an interview about the fall municipal elections, he was forthcoming about which cities he’s watching.
Surrey is number one on his shortlist of three. According to Campbell, B.C.’s second-largest municipality has been “excellent” on a number of fronts. One is the development of its town centres. Another is the protection of farmland. Third is its ability to provide more affordable housing than Vancouver.
“And now that Dianne Watts is no longer going to be the mayor and heading up that focus, it’s going to be very interesting to see (a) who gets in next, and (b) what their policies are,” Campbell said. “They need to keep very similar policies that they’ve got now. They’re growing at such a rapid rate that if they start changing policy now, they’ll get caught in a lot of problems.”
Earlier this year, REIN released its latest report on the top B.C. towns in which to invest in real estate, and Surrey topped the list.
Former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum and councillor Linda Hepner have announced that they’re running for the city’s top post. Councillor Barinder Rasode is widely expected to join the fray.
Campbell said that he’s also looking at what happens in Abbotsford. In REIN’s latest report on the top towns in B.C. for real-estate investment, Abbotsford placed third after Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, which came second.
Underscoring that he’s not siding with anyone in particular, Campbell said that he’d like to see that the next Abbotsford council “understands that the Surrey model is a sustainable model”. Another concern he has regarding Abbotsford is the need for the municipality to attract jobs.
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