Affordable Areas in Surrey, BC: Where to Find Affordable Housing in Surrey

Affordable Areas in Surrey, BC: Where to Find Affordable Housing in Surrey


If you have been considering a relocation from another country or other areas within Canada, Surrey BC should be at the top of your list for consideration. This article will deal with where to find affordable housing in the area however we will be sure to include other helpful links to other great posts we have done so you can learn as much about relocating and moving to Surrey as you need.

An Overview of Surrey, BC

An Overview of Surrey, BC

Surrey is a diverse community located just a 30 minute drive from Vancouver. It has a population of approx 603,970 and is projected to grow even bigger by 2051 to almost 884,380 residents. It is known for its progressive city planning, temperate temperature, excess of park space, abundance of job opportunities, work-life balance, central location within the Lower Mainland, and best of yet, its affordability in comparison to other populous areas in Canada. 

For a fulsome rundown on Surrey as a community, visit our blog titled Surrey Neighbourhood Guide: Your Guide to the City’s Best Neighbourhoods

What Do Most People Consider ‘Affordable Housing’?

The definition that the Federal government, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and many lower levels of governments use is whether housing expenditures cost less than 30 percent of a household’s total income before taxes. Using this definition, a household earning the median pre-tax income of about $62,061 in Vancouver would have ‘affordable housing‘ if their monthly housing costs were $1,633.18.

CMHC says that the term “affordable housing” can be unclear to many, thinking that it only refers to rental housing subsidized by the government. It can be a very broad definition that can include home that you purchase to a unit you rent as a tenant or even a non-profit provider, all provided that housing costs are less than 30 percent of household income.

While that would be lovely, for the purposes of living in the Lower Mainland, the buzzwords “affordable housing’ may be slightly unattainable when in competition with the entirety of more affordable, rural Canadian markets.

Now that we acknowledge there is no specific definition of affordable housing, for this purpose we consider the pricing of homes in Surrey to that of the rest of the Lower Mainland, which includes Vancouver, Whistler, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, White Rock, Delta and other municipalities.

Surrey is significantly cheaper than most areas in the Lower Mainland, which helps advance its prosperity as a destination for many, allowing them to be close to Vancouver without the associated substantial price tag.

The average salary or household income to live in Surrey (as a homeowner) is $49,727, significantly lower than Vancouver, however will still find you many options to consider for your living arrangements. (average income as reported by

Reasons to Live in Affordable Areas in Surrey

This should be an easy one, who doesn’t love saving money right? Why spend multiples of what you can find a home in Surrey for in other areas, when it offers a similar quality of life? Plus, Surrey and the Lower Mainland are generally easily travelled, meaning you can access all the perks of neighboring communities without spending the entire day in your car. In this case, Surrey is cheap compared to its neighboring municipalities. 

Surrey has quality education opportunities right from prekindergarten to post secondary, easily accessible amenities located right within its boundaries, parks and recreation opportunities galore, and a stunning variety of employment opportunities easily found within the diverse industries within the city limits. All of this for a substantially lower cost of living than other areas in south-western BC. 

With all the different areas in Surrey to consider, you will want to find the best option for your budget. South Surrey is arguably the best and nicest sub-area within the city limits to live, thus the most expensive in our list, yet there are so many micro-markets scattered throughout the city.  For more on some of the areas in Surrey, check out our blog

Different Types of Affordable Areas in Surrey

You may be a home buyer or a renter, so we will deal with both.

Renting in Surrey

Here are the differences in rent (generally) in Surrey compared to 4 other major municipalities near and including Vancouver.

Average Rental Rates graph in Surrey, Vancouver, New Westminster, Burnaby and Coquitlam BC, Sept 2023

(as according to

The cheapest rents in Surrey seemingly correspond to the least expensive areas to own such as Whalley and Newton areas, which are expanded on below.

Buying in Surrey

Average Home Values graph in Surrey, Vancouver, New Westminster, Burnaby and Coquitlam BC, Sept 2023

(as according to FVREB HPI Sept 2023)

To get more specific, there are 6 major sub-areas/communities in Surrey.

If you are considering buying a home, this will help you determine where you can generally find the most affordable options.

Surrey (combined)WhalleyNewtonFleetwoodCloverdaleSouth SurreyGuildford
(FVREB HPI Sept 2023. A note- East Newton is generally a less expensive option than West Newton, however we have grouped them together for this table)

As you can see,

‣ If buying a condominium, Whalley is the most affordable option.

‣ If buying a townhome, Whalley and Guildford are the most affordable options.

‣ If buying a detached home, Guildford has the most affordable options.

Pros and Cons of Living in Affordable Areas in Surrey

Affordable living doesn’t have to come with a long list of detriments to it, yet there are always pros and cons.

Pros of Living in Affordable Areas

‣ Quality of financial life, you have more disposable money to play with

‣ Lots of opportunity to find a place that meets your needs

‣ Often have good transit and community centers 

‣ Lots of room for price appreciation, especially during boom markets

‣ Excellent investment opportunities 

Cons of Living in Affordable Areas

‣ Neighbourhoods are more accessible to everybody, the good and the bad

‣ Often fewer amenities that better equipped areas that receive more community investment

‣ Social connections can be more difficult to foster in shared living like condos and townhomes

‣ Some neighbourhoods may not be a kept up as others in pricier areas 

Tips for Finding Affordable Areas in Surrey

If you are set on moving to Surrey, we want to help you get started.

  1. Get acquainted with the areas more intimately. You can do this by visiting our blog titled How to Live in Surrey: A Complete Guide for New Residents
  2. Do your homework. If renting, be sure to consider what is being offered compared to other options in other communities. The same goes for buying: there are many great communities to choose from and having a general knowledge of each is important.
  3. Buying an affordable home also goes hand in hand with getting a great, affordable mortgage. To learn more about picking a great mortgage, stay tuned for an upcoming blog we will post on our website shortly. In the meantime, you can check out a video we did on the topic here.
  4. If buying, don’t always let the financials make your decisions. We all love to save money, but buying a home should combine more than just how much money you can save, it likely is a place you will call home for years to come and is not easily traded like renting may be. Buy what you want, where you think you can live long term and something that compliments your budget.
  5. If buying, call the Germyn Group. We have been successfully helping people locate and buy the perfect home in Surrey since 2007. For a complimentary, obligation-free discovery call where we will provide you with the right advice to get started, click here.


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