Topics Of Conversation And A Reminder At Thanksgiving Time

To speculate as to what Canadians (we the people further north) will be discussing at any given time may seem like a meaningless exercise… or maybe not. Topics come and go – somewhat like real estate cycles and are clearly governed by “what’s on the collective mind?” Be it the Olympics, Tennis, the Bard, Hockey, Provincial, Federal, Municipal, School Board, Parks’ Board or your club elections. Cycle and season dependant or maybe Pop Stars or dignitaries. The list may influence some piece of each of our minds at some time.

Focus if you will on the dinner table, work lunch room or the pub chatter in our city or various suburbs. I venture to say that we would encounter a handful of these at this juncture.

The cost of homes – rental or ownership, leading to the conclusions that this is largely out of our control and that of our offspring, leading in many cases to a level of frustration.

What about politics? Sort of under our control??  Status quo or widely divided electorate – again some level of frustration.

…and how, you may wonder, do these two topics connect?  Will federal (or provincial) leadership take a stand on foreign ownership of real estate and the linkage to affordability?

Will our country continue to be the envy of the world, hence keeping pressure on real estate prices in the most desirable areas?

Will a close political race, vote splitting, unfriendly (unCanadian?) infighting/mudslinging and so forth, move us toward a more collaborative political structure/a proportional representation approach? And will this in turn support more creative and constructive thinking on realization of the “Canadian dream”?

Will jobs be created/ become more plentiful and assist our children in buying their first home in the Lower Mainland?  All these imponderables!!

Do remember your ballot!

Given a couple of months, we will likely realize that, whatever the political outcome, our lives remain pretty much unchanged, and the dinner conversation will go back to real estate alone….

October 2015 Numbers

We are now into our last quarter of 2015 with 75% of the year behind us. Yes, our data is giving us a good message as to the annual outcome! North Van detached homes sold are up 16% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 44% and apartments up 44%. The detached median price is up 20% and inventory is up 6% from 2014. Median prices (t/hses) up 3% and up 6% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) down 43% from Sept 30th 2014 and (apt) down 14% from last year for the same date.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for Sept 30th 2015 is up by 26% from last year at that time. Median price of what has sold is up 13% from last year and inventory now up 14% from Sept 30th 2014. On the condo side, attached (t/hses) sold by  Sept 30th 2015 are up 45% from 2014. Active listings are down 7% year over year. Apartments reflect 160 sold in 2015 vs. 139 in 2014 (up 15%) – median price now up 10% and active listings down 3% from Sept 30th 2014.

October 2015 Podcast

North Shore Real Estate Radio

On an ongoing basis I pledge both my continued personalized service and a commitment to my reduced  business ecological “footprint”. A significant part is the radio (podcast) library which I’m continually creating. All North Vancouver Real Estate “Updates”, reports and information articles, checklists etc. will be archived on my website and available for download or desktop listening 24/7. You can access the information you seek when the spirit moves and not when someone pushes yet another flyer into your mailbox. I am most excited about these developments. Input as to the topics for “programming” you feel would be of interest is strongly sought. Please e-mail. This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call me 604 988-7368 and 1-800-665-1455. Click on the “Podcast” Icon in the top right of this article to listen now.

Five Trends That Will Shape Real Estate In Metro Vancouver

Please take a look at an article published by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver:

By 2041, more than 1.2 million more residents will move to the Metro Vancouver area, bringing our population to 3.4 million residents.

To accommodate these newcomers, we’ll need more than 574,000 new housing units according to Metro Vancouver data.

Given Metro Vancouver’s geographical constraints – the North Shore mountains, the Pacific Ocean, the US border, and protected agricultural land to the east – how will this shape our communities?

To find out, we asked urban design specialist Bob Ransford, who has spent the last 24 years tackling complex urban development and land use challenges.

Here are the five trends he believes will shape real estate in Metro Vancouver in the next decade.

1 Transit oriented development (TOD): increased density around transit lines and stations will occur if the TransLink referendum passes. Micro-suites of 250 sq. ft. with common areas for dining and fitness will become more popular with Millennials who live more in the street and in coffee shops and are used to sharing cars, rides and space. TOD reduces traffic, energy consumption and our carbon footprint. If the TransLink vote is no, TOD development will halt.
2 Small-scale density: to maximize land use and reduce building and infrastructure costs, we’ll see more small detached energy-efficient homes, cottages and multi-family units on small lots in pocket neighbourhoods. This increases affordability, lets younger families move into neighbourhoods and lets seniors stay in neighbourhoods.
3 Social purpose such as real estate owned by faith-based groups and other non-profits: we’ll see more development of property owned by places of worship, often located on prime real estate. Congregations increasingly want to use land more efficiently to build affordable housing and are not interested in making a profit. Developments will include smaller, affordable apartments.
4 Maker Spaces: a new trend that preserves industrial areas by combining light industry, for example, artisan manufacturing, with residential. Cities are economic growth engines and this new mixed-use zoning encourages industry which doesn’t produce noxious fumes or use heavy equipment in residential areas, helping jobs stay close to home. Examples include MakerLabs on Kingsway which rents laser cutters, routers, 3D scanners and printers, industrial sewing machines and woodworking tools.
5 Changes in tenure: fee simple, strata tenure and co-housing ownership will be joined by new types of shared ownership that helps promote small-scale density. Legislation will change to allow property owners to build and sell laneway homes and basement suites, which are presently only allowed as rentals.