Overview of future development in BC!..as per the Vancouver Board of Trade.

(January 23, 2013 )

Vancouver Board of Trade 2013 Real Estate Panel

RE: Urban Development in British Columbia

The following information includes some valuable facts regarding Urban Development in BC. I wanted to share it with you as I think you’ll find it quite informative;

The keynote Speaker was Diane Watts, Mayor of Surrey. She spoke about BC’s next metropolitan centre which is costing 2.8 billion in construction investment. Did you know that Surrey has the largest school district and has been voted as the best place in BC to invest for the 3 years in a row, and the 4th best place in Canada to invest!! This is one of the largest development projects occurring! (Who would have thought?!)

Another speaker on the panel included Peeter Wesik, President of Wesgroup. His predictions for Real Estate in 2013 are:
•He doesn’t foresee a crash coming…in order to have a crash you need to have a major economical shock…which isn’t going to happen in Vancouver! (Even the instability of 2008/2009 didn’t influence our market as bad as we had predicted).
•There are generally 2 conditions that can affect the market, such as what happened in the U.S. 
◦ 1) over building & under supply, &
◦ 2) a big spike in interest rates. Neither of these are occurring here as BC has very solid jobs and Canada has a solid banking system.

He also mentioned that the West Side is an anomaly and should be disregarded when looking at stats…only .7 percent of people earn 250K a year and up!

Peeter believes that we are moving into a balanced market and the 2nd half of 2013 will show normalization, which means that if the market is slow for the first half of the year then it is the right time to buy!

Speaker Richard Wozny, Principal of Site Economics Ltd, said that in terms of employment it depends on industrial development. We are starting to run out of land therefore annual absorption is increasing.

Andrew Grant, President and Founder Partner PCL Group, shared his comments regarding Marine Gateway, a massive project in South Vancouver at Marine and Cambie.
•A 4.8 acre site consisting of the Canada Line, Bus Exchange, Infrastructure, Development, and Housing for 2000 jobs and 740 residents;
•73% of these buyers came from the city of Vancouver, 50% of which were from the neighbourhood and only 2% were not local. ..What this tells us is that our economy is not being fueled or flooded with foreign buyers at this point in time.

In Summary, the panelists gave their thoughts collaboratively on upcoming trends for the year which included:
•They feel that the trend of growing multi-family homes will continue to increase due to affordability;
•Yaletown will continue to grow as a community…there is currently only one elementary school in Yaletown which was full the first day due to the growing number of families;
•Vancouver’s average household income is 66K a year (lowest in Canada) versus Ottawa’s which is 96K (highest in Canada);
•We need to densify transit and ridership…and relate it to new development…the key issue is close proximity to transit...Metro Vancouver is the 2nd most congested city in North America! Transit is going to be the game changer and whoever has transit is an economic winner!

“We need to make sure that whatever we are doing at a provincial level is fostering confidence.”
- Andrew Grant

In conclusion;

My personal take and opinion on the upcoming Real Estate market is that we need to think ahead of the curve and jump into buying or selling when the time is right, which for each individual varies depending on their situation and the product that they are buying or selling. Certain properties that have been sitting on the market for some time are now getting offers as buyers are getting off the fence…and sellers are still not coming down as much as consumers thought they would! This is causing some multiple offer situations which prove to be moving us towards the balanced and stable market that I believe is just around the corner.

When talking about Metro Vancouver the stats are very general, one should get more specific stats and personalized market updates tailored specifically for them…that’s where you need your local trusted realtor to guide you in the right direction!

If you have any questions about any of this or Real Estate or the market here in Vancouver please do not hesitate to contact me. My direct number is (604) 209-4504 or you can email me at aleya@aleyabhaloo.com. I look forward to your comments and feedback.