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Community engagement key to real estate development – Western Investor

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Getting the community onside was a central theme when three legendary real estate developers gathered February 10 for the 19th annual HAVAN Legends of Real Estate event, moderated by Kirk LaPointe, publisher and editor in chief, Business in Vancouver and vice-president, editorial, Glacier Media, and the first ever held online.

The tenet of gaining the trust of residents, First Nations and local governments underscored discussions about the past, the present and, most notably, the future of real estate development in Metro Vancouver.

When asked to share defining moments in their careers, two of the speakers at the virtual event pointed to times when gaining the confidence of the community was the key to moving a project forward. The third, Ryan Beedie, president of Beedie Development, recalled the successful opening of his first industrial project and the satisfaction he felt delivering jobs and investment into a supportive Delta neighbourhood.

Beau Jarvis, president of Wesgroup and chair of the Urban Development Institute, Vancouver, told the online audience that development can be stalled, even stopped, by community opposition. Kitchen-table talks with concerned neighbours, he said, can be as important as any boardroom meeting when it comes to moving a development from concept to construction.

Deana Grinnell, vice-president, real estate in B.C. and Ontario with Canada Lands Company, has been steeped in community engagement for years. She is involved now in perhaps her most challenging and complex mediations, regarding the master planned development of both the Jericho Lands and the Heather Street Lands in Vancouver. These high-profile projects involve not only deeply- engaged communities, but also three levels of government and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

Working with First Nations, Grinnell said, is a template for reaching conciliation with the wider community.

Being humble is good first step, she suggested.

“It is about educating yourself,” Grinnell said, “You can’t expect First Nations to educate you. You can’t arrive in room and say ‘we are going to business as long as you do it my way.’ That won’t work at all.”

Jarvis and Beedie believe the real estate industry has made giant improvements in community engagement over the past few years, but agreed more can be done.

Jarvis noted, however, that the sheer complexity and prolific growth in Metro region real estate has resulted in a “mass” of often overlapping and competing policies from all levels of government related to social issues, density, the environment and climate change, especially in the new residential sector.

“There is no prioritization of policies,” Jarvis said. This leads to development delays, ballooning costs – and directly to the current housing shortage and affordability crisis, he said.

“Every government platform is housing, housing, housing but we are not seeing an outcome,” Jarvis said. “And I don’t see that changing.”

Beedie, citing an example where it took two years to receive permits for a simple industrial building, agreed unnecessary delays can drive prices higher.

“Instead of competing projects coming to the market [at the same time] only one is approved and so the demand pushes prices up,” he explained.

Beedie also cautioned that, in the commercial real estate field, long delays can be a drag on the economy, because national companies who need new space, and employees, will look outside of Metro Vancouver.

Looking to the future, the panel called for cooperative and innovative thinking to match a restrictive land base with the explosive Metro population growth over the next decades.

“We have no greenfield sites left, it is all infill from now on,” Jarvis said, adding the only answer is “intensification.”

Grinnell urged political leadership to create regional hubs that provide a “15-minute community” with homes, jobs, shopping and services all within reach, rather than a continual expansion of land-gobbling transit lines and freeways across the region.

Beedie pointed to specific examples of how infill development could take place, providing there was a political and community buy-in. He cited Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition site, where acres of parking lots sit vacant, he estimated, for 95 per cent of the year. “That land could be purposed for housing or to create employment,” he said.

“There is going to have to be leadership, and some people will be upset, but, if we don’t address issues around density, affordability will just get worse,” Beedie said.

Sponsors

The Legends of Real Estate was presented by the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (HAVAN), and sponsored by FortisBC , National Home Warranty -AVIVA and Federated Insurance. The media sponsor is Glacier Media Group and Business in Vancouver.

 

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These are the cheapest real estate listings in Calgary right now | Urbanized – Daily Hive

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Good news for YYC house-hunters – you don’t have to break the bank to purchase your own home.

In this month’s roundup of Zoocasa’s cheapest real estate listings in Calgary, affordable properties can be found throughout the city for under $300,000.

A lower budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise your standards, as most of these properties offer updated kitchens and bathrooms, recently replaced flooring, and state-of-the-art appliances.

If you’re in the market for a new home, take a peek at these Calgary real estate listings.

5. $299,992: 6420 26th Avenue NE

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Three bedrooms
  • One bathroom
  • 826 sq ft

This Pineridge home is close to schools, playgrounds, and shopping, making it a convenient location for anyone. The property offers a detached garage and a fully-fenced yard.

4. $274,900: 21 Copperstone Villas SE

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Four bedrooms
  • Two bathroom
  • 1,132 sq ft

Located in Copperfield, this townhome features a fully developed basement, spacious tiled front entryway, and upgraded appliances in the kitchen. This is an end-unit property boasting tons of natural light and electric fireplaces.

3. $225,000: 14625 Shawnee Hill SW

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Two bedrooms
  • Two bathrooms
  • 1,174 sq ft

This bungalow-style condo is located in The Highbury building in Evergreen Estates-Shawnee Slopes. The unit was recently updated and has stainless steel appliances, a spacious master bedroom, a walk-through closet, and luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout. Condo fees include everything except electricity.

2. $219,900: 3 – 812 McNeill Road NE

cheapest real estate Calgary

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Two bedrooms
  • One bathroom
  • 441 sq ft

In this Mayland Heights bi-level home, house-hunters will find large windows, a dining area with a cozy built-in bench, and a spacious balcony with downtown and mountain views. The unit has been freshly painted and boasts new laminate floors.

1. $179,000: 32 – 3800 Fonda Way SE

cheapest real estate Calgary

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Three bedrooms
  • One bathroom
  • 1,099 sq ft

Live in this new Fonda condo, featuring a renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a main floor office, and laminate-engineered hardwood flooring throughout. The upper level is home to a spacious master bedroom and recently renovated four-piece bathroom.

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Real estate company says demand for housing in Niagara will continue to grow – NiagaraFallsReview.ca

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A Hamilton-based real estate company says Niagara’s economy as well as its real estate market are poised for continued growth.

After placing a renovated 12-unit apartment on Drummond Road on the market, Crescendo Equity secured a total sale of $2.9 million. That translates to $247,000 per unit, compared to a previous benchmark of $176,000 for units in the area.

The company predicts demand for housing in Niagara will continue to grow through 2021.

”Market conditions are being strengthened by interprovincial migration, as home buyers and renters from the Greater Toronto Area, Peel and Halton regions look to Niagara for more space and better affordability,” said Mathew Moxness, Crescendo Equity’s founder.

The Drummond Road property is part of the company’s larger strategy to take older, underperforming stock and reposition properties for maximum occupancy and potential.

“With growing demand for multi-family housing throughout Ontario, repositioning aging and underperforming assets will help to supply the segment and provide housing for those who need it,” Moxness said.

The company, which offers opportunities to private and group investors, purchased a shuttered retirement home in Niagara Falls last year, and plans to convert the property into apartments.

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BCREA: BC Government Proposes Changes to Real Estate Services Act Paving Path for Single Regulator – Business Examiner

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BRTISH COLUMBIA – On March 2, Bill 8: Finance Statutes Amendment Act, 2021 was introduced in the BC Legislature. With its introduction, the BC Government’s intention to create a single financial services regulator, including real estate, announced in September 2019, was finally made clear.

The bill creates the path for the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) and the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC) to become part of the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA). According to the government’s news release, this is expected to happen “later in 2021.”

BCREA reaction:

We welcome a more cohesive regulatory structure, which is something we asked for early in 2019. Unfortunately, the legislative changes introduced yesterday don’t include the creation of the Professional Standing Committee BCREA proposed more than a year ago.

When the BCFSA becomes the real estate regulator, administration of the Real Estate Services Act (RESA), Real Estate Development Marketing Act and parts of the Strata Property Act will be added to the BCFSA’s current regulatory responsibilities, which include credit unions, mortgage brokers and insurance. BCFSA’s Chief Executive Officer will become the new Superintendent of Real Estate.

As a result of the omission of the Professional Standing Committee, BCREA is concerned that real estate licensees will have fewer opportunities to provide input into rules and policies that impact the practice of real estate. Although the Professional Standing Committee isn’t included in the proposed amendments to RESA, we hope it will be implemented in the practical application of the new regulatory structure. We will continue to work with the BCFSA, OSRE and RECBC to this end. Our goal is to ensure a consistent, meaningful process for practitioner input.

Other Changes:

At a high level, the government also proposes the following changes, among others:

  • expanding the administrative penalty system, including the option of requiring further education and doubling the maximum penalty (currently $50,000),
  • eliminating discipline committees, and
  • strengthening the new superintendent’s options for handling urgent circumstances.

Next steps

BCREA is carefully reviewing the proposed changes to RESA, including seeking legal analysis and meeting with government staff.

This bill – like all bills – will be debated in the legislature and subject to further changes as part of that process. Once it’s passed, it won’t take effect right away. Instead, the government will implement it at a later date by regulation.

As BCREA learns more about the proposed changes to RESA, we’ll provide updates in future blog posts. If you have any concerns, please contact Senior Policy Analyst Norma Miller.

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