Affordable and diverse
Currently the second largest city in BC, some real estate agents are saying it won’t be long before Surrey overtakes Vancouver in terms of size. Then we’ll see who’s the city and who’s the suburb, won’t we, Vancouver? Diversity is embraced wholeheartedly in Surrey. Here, diverse ethnic communities come together, as do diverse landscapes and the city’s diverse range of of events and activities. The idea is that, by embracing everyone and what they have to offer, the city – and its residents – all win. It’s not a new idea, but it’s becoming an increasingly revolutionary one in the age of Trump and the alt-right. There’s no place for xenophobia here, though! Surrey’s too busy working on its latest green initiatives and welcoming Syrian refugees into the community. Keep in mind that while Surrey residents love their community, the rest of Greater Vancouver likes to reiterate its reputation for crime and unkempt neighbourhoods.
Surrey’s housing market is booming and prices are soaring. With Vancouver’s prices becoming astronomical, many people in the city are moving out to bedroom communities, like Surrey, driving up demand – and prices – here. Over the last five years, home values have increased almost 81% in the area, with rent being increased whenever possible, too. Despite that, the available units in the area are getting thin. Small and large apartments are basically impossible to come by, leaving just one and two bedrooms. Even there, it’s slim pickings. If Surrey’s on your radar, leave yourself plenty of time… and plenty of cash.
Typical housing type:
A blend of detached homes and low-rises.
Surrey is working hard to be a green city. Eco-tourism is big here, and locals work hard to keep the forests and beaches in pristine condition. If your move to the area, plan to do your part to keep the environment preserved for generations to come!
Avg. rent by housing size:
Avg. rent compared to other Canadian cities
Surrey is 17% higher than the Canadian average
Apartment hunting in Surrey is tough – and only getting tougher. Listings are generally for 1-bedrooms and 2-bedrooms, most of which are apartments or basements of houses being rented out by the owners. Studios are almost impossible to find, but are worth searching for if you’re looking for a cheap rental.
Actually, if your budget’s under $1,000, they’re probably your only option! Need something bigger? If you’re on the hunt for a 2-bedroom or over, consider renting a whole house or townhouse. They’ll run you $2,000 or more, but you’ll have your own yard and dishwasher!
Like most suburbs, couples and families dominate in Surrey. Let’s face it, there isn’t really a swinging singles scene here. If people are single, it’s usually because they are divorced or widowed and raising kids. Surrey is highly multicultural, with a very strong South Asian population - and proud of it! In fact, at the city’s latest multicultural festival, the Surrey Fusion Festival, there were over 40 countries represented.
Perfect for: Families looking for a welcoming community close to Vancouver.
Not-so-perfect for: Singles who love going out on the town.
Life & Style
While Surrey is a suburb… and feels like one, it’s easy to zip into Vancouver via the Skytrain. Because of that, locals here are in and out of Vancouver as though they lived within its borders. At the same time, however, there’s more disposable income in the area as rents haven’t hit the astronomical range they have in Vancouver proper. The biggest influence on life and style is Surrey is its truly multicultural population. Every July, the city hosts BC’s largest multicultural festival, celebrating culture, food, and fun from around the world. The rest of the year, the multicultural influence can be felt in the area’s food scene, events, and activities.
Surrey has a number of well-loved restaurants, including My Shanti by Vikram Vij. If you’re looking to cook at home, in addition to the normal range of supermarkets, there’s Two EE’s Farm, an organic vegetable operation. Shop til you drop at Guildford Town Centre or the local outlet mall. Of course, locals can be found walking along or surfing at Crescent Beach. Another outdoor favourite is Bear Creek Park, which offers up trails, a running track, sports fields, a pool, and even a mini-golf course. If you’re a more avid golf fan, there are a number of courses in the area, including some that have hosted PGA tournaments or were locations for Happy Gilmore. Don’t forget to check out the local wineries!
Peace Arch Park
Historic Stewart Farm
Port Mann Bridge
Mind and Matter Gallery