Call 250-682-0158 Login or Sign Up

Archive for the ‘Real Estate News’ Category

Housing market off to solid fall season

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

by Jamie Henry15 Oct 2014

Canada’s housing market – including condo sales – is off to a solid start this fall, with new data pointing to a near 11 per cent rise in sales for September compared to a year ago.

Nationally, sales for all property types rose 10.6 per cent to 42,151 units, led by significant gains in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. New listings rose eight per cent, thanks to growth in the Maritime provinces, while the average price increased almost six per cent, to $408,795.

Calgary realized the greatest rise in sales, up 31.2 per cent to 488 units sold in September, while the average price rose 8.8 per cent to $318,913. In Toronto, sales rose 20.2 per cent to 1,976 units with average price hiking 7.1 per cent to $366,588.

That increase in activity is being felt on the ground.

“A lot of people start looking for homes, or take up their search again, so I’m not surprised that sales are up,” says David Fleming, an agent with Bosley Real Estate in Toronto. “[September] is one of the busiest months of the real estate calendar.”

In terms of prices, Vancouver experienced the greatest rise, up 11.3 per cent to $476,498. During the month of September, 1,191 condos were sold in the West Coast city.

September’s performance is largely in line with industry expectations.

In August, CREA’s chief economist Gregory Klump accurately predicted no slowdown to Toronto’s housing market. “That’s because there’s a shortage and there will be a shortage because the city is trying to densify,” he said.

Three Canadian cities are ranked in the top 10 most livable

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Three Canadian cities are ranked in the top 10 of The Economist’s annual ranking of the world’s “most livable” cities.

  • Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are ranked third, fourth and fifth (tied with Adelaide, Australia), respectively, on the distinguished magazine’s annual ranking of 140 cities.

The magazine says its ranking “assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions” based on five categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

Melbourne, Australia, was deemed the most livable city, followed by Vienna. Vancouver and Toronto are a close third and fourth, respectively, while Calgary is tied for fifth with Adelaide.

The top 10 cities are as follows:

  • Melbourne.
  • Vienna.
  • Vancouver.
  • Toronto.
  • Calgary (tied).
  • Adelaide​ (tied).
  • Sydney​.
  • Helsinki.
  • Perth, Australia.
  • Auckland.

In general, the ranking shows a broad trend that mid-sized cities in wealthy countries with low population densities score well. Seven of the top 10 cities on the list are in Australia or Canada, for example.

“This can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure,” the report says.

Vancouver scored so well in part because of its good score on crime issues.

“Vancouver saw a record low number of murders in 2013, after a decade-long decline that pushed homicide rates down to 1.5 per 100,000 of population in 2012.,” the report notes.

Not surprisingly, cities currently experiencing violent uprisings were clustered at the bottom. Kyiv was ranked 124th, Tripoli was in 132nd place, and Damascas was in last place.


After a lacklustre start to the year, Kamloops Real Estate sales are on the upswing. Find out which area is the most popular here

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

After a lacklustre start to the year, Kamloops Real Estate sales are on the upswing. Find out which area is the most popular here:


B.C. has a height limit of 6 storeys. Will high rises be built of wood?

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Adera Development Corporation’s Sail condo development at the University of B.C. in Vancouver includes two six-storey wood-frame buildings.

In the five years since B.C. increased the height limit for wood-frame buildings, new structures have been popping up all over the province. Now lumber’s biggest advocates are predicting they can build higher than they ever expected.

Since 2009, when the province raised the limit for wood-frame buildings to six storeys from four, 202 new five- and six-storey buildings have been approved, including 58 that are already complete.

Among the finished structures are the two buildings at Sail, a six-storey condo development at the University of B.C., the five-storey Library Square development in Kamloops and the five-storey Riverport Flats rental development in Richmond. The new projects come as the province pushes to revitalize the forestry industry and find new markets for wood projects.

But builders can go even higher than six storeys if they use mass timber — also known as massive timber. Unlike the light-frame or stud construction used to build houses and low-rises, mass timber is made by bonding together thin layers of wood to create a material that is much stronger and more fire-resistant than lumber.

To get approval for mass timber structures higher than six storeys, developers must prove that the building will be just as safe as if it were built with concrete and steel.

Vancouver architect Michael Green has been one of the world’s strongest voices in support of tall wood buildings. He grabbed attention with the audacious claim that mass timber construction can be used for structures as tall as 30 storeys, but he now believes he wasn’t shooting high enough.

“I’ve been saying 30 for a long, long, long time … but I picked the number 30 out of the air,” he said.

“I am quite convinced that we’re going to get to 40, we’re going to get to 45. I don’t know where we’re going to end.”

He believes that as these buildings push higher and higher into the sky, concrete and steel will be incorporated into the structure in an attempt to get the most out of each material.

Green’s firm designed the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, a seven-storey mass timber building at the University of Northern B.C. that was recently completed and should be cleared for occupancy in a few days.

Now he’s got his sights on much bigger things. Although he couldn’t give any details, he said his firm is now working on a “very large timber project” in Minneapolis with a large developer that has traditionally built skyscrapers.

And later this week, Green will submit his proposal for a groundbreaking new 16-18 storey wood student residence building at UBC.

“It will absolutely be the world’s tallest. It’s absolutely one of the most important wood projects to be announced in the last, well, ever,” he said.

“It’s a huge step for UBC and even if I don’t get the project, I’m tremendously honoured that everybody has embraced the idea to this extent.”

Green talks about wood with reverence, describing the beauty of lumber and the human desire to be surrounded by natural materials.

But he has practical reasons for advocating for wood as well.

“Sixteen per cent of the world’s fossil fuels go into making steel and concrete,” Green said. “How can we build big buildings in wood that sequesters carbon, that’s very low energy, that we can grow more of, that’s a renewable resource?”

On Monday, forest research organization FPInnovations launched a technical guide to help builders become familiar with wood as a construction material. It includes peer-reviewed research on building techniques.

Natural Resources Canada, which funded the creation of the guide, said in a news release Monday that “increasing the number of tall wood buildings is a priority for economic growth opportunity.”

Conroy Lum, FPInnovations’ research leader for structural performance in advanced building systems, said that incorporating wood will be key as the world’s population grows and becomes even more concentrated in urban areas.

“There’s going to be greater demand for buildings, both to provide service as well as to house people,” Lum said.

“If we can we do it with a material that allows us to deal with minimal impact to the environment, that would be preferred.”

He believes that Canada’s building codes are in need of a reboot to reflect the fact that fire-prevention science has advanced significantly in recent decades.

“Let’s start from fresh. Let’s look at the materials closely. Let’s see how can we go about building and designing with wood that will help us mitigate the risk,” he said.

Read more:

The trio of contenders for title of ‘Canada’s wealthiest city

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary remain the wealthiest cities in the country but the gap between them in average household net worth is narrowing, according to data released Monday by Environics Analytics, a marketing services and data analytics company.

WealthScapes 2014, a database on the assets, liabilities and wealth of Canadians to December 2013, found that the average household net worth in Vancouver was $710,095 followed by Toronto at $693,652 and Calgary at $680,377.

“But the difference in affluence is getting smaller as the net worth in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary grew by 6.5 per cent, 8.8 per cent, and 10.8 per cent, respectively, compared to 2012,” it said. “While increases in liquid asset and debt were similar among the three cities, the key differentiator was real estate values — up a modest 2.8 per cent in Vancouver, a strong 6.6 per cent in Toronto and roaring 9.1 per cent in Calgary.

“Vancouver continues to reign as Canada’s wealthiest city because of its pricey real estate — averaging $579,250 per household compared to $535,002 in Toronto and $485,364 in Calgary. Canada’s most populous city, Toronto, benefitted from a 6.1 per cent rise in savings — nearly triple the national average — and a 3.7 percent decline in consumer debt — which is a significant drop given that nationwide consumer debt remained essentially unchanged. And in addition to its healthy real estate performance, Calgary benefitted from a 2.9 per cent decline in consumer debt; those two indicators ranked among the best for large cities.”

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Kamloops Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.