It’s not just low interest rates that are pushing the Interior real estate market to greater heights.
Some sources are saying that the shift to working from home because of COVID-19 may be an even bigger factor.
“Clearly, exceptionally low interest rates are keeping the market’s wheels well greased at this stage,” states a new report from RBC. “Yet work-from-home is possibly an even more powerful driver of activity.”
Kim Heizmann, president of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board, won’t go quite that far since interest rates are a huge factor, but did tell iNFOnews.ca that the work from home movement is a major player.
“People have reassessed their housing, because their housing has become their offices, their gyms, their schoolyards, their backyards, everything, due to the lockdown,” she said. “Everybody has done a lifestyle evaluation. We believe that’s one of the factors that is pushing the market.”
Resales of existing homes has gone up 32 per cent in Canada so far this year, the RBC report says, with Montreal leading that way at almost 36 per cent and Vancouver close to 31 per cent.
“A number of current owners are opting to move, something they wouldn’t have contemplated had it not been for COVID-19,” the RBC report states. “With commuting to work less of a factor, many Canadians are drawn to more affordable suburbs and smaller markets away from core urban centres —driving up home resale activity significantly in these more distant areas.
“And with travel abroad likely restricted for some time to come, other Canadians are looking to buy vacation properties to get away from it all. Cottage country and other smaller markets have recorded some of the stronger resales gains so far this year.”
The report doesn’t break sales down to smaller communities but both Kamloops and the Okanagan regions showed significant increases in sales and prices this year over last year.
“Kamloops is in the middle of a growth spurt,” Dave Jones, the City of Kamloops business licence inspector told iNFOnews.ca. “It’s the last hidden gem in the Interior. Developers are starting to recognize they can come in and develop some land and make money here.”
Single-family housing prices are about $200,000 lower in Kamloops than Kelowna but are climbing in both cities due to a lack of new listings.
There is, of course, no way to tell how long this boom will last but, there is getting to be a shortage of supply in the form of new listings.
“We’re still surprised it’s done what it’s done,” Heizmann said. “We’re going to have to see quite an influx of listings in order to change the type of market because we are so low in our inventory numbers.”
But, there’s a hesitancy for some people to list their homes.
“One of the concerns with some sellers is there’s nothing to go and buy,” Heizmann said. “The fear is they don’t want to put their house on the market if there’s nothing to buy.”
That, combined with big city people relocating to work from a quieter home environments, will likely keep prices going up.
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Vancouver real estate: $2.5 million townhouse along Choklit Park, former home of Purdys, sells over asking price – The Georgia Straight
For its location and views, it’s not suprising that this Vancouver townhouse beats a lot of single-family homes in price.
These also likely explain why the strata property at 1089 West 7th Avenue didn’t stay long on the market.
As well, the property sold over its listing price, when a buyer picked it up for $2,505,000.
The Fairview Slopes townhouse is located along a storied and unique green space, Choklit Park.
The 0.07-hectare park is associated with the legacy of Purdys chocolates.
“This site was formerly the location of the Purdy’s Chocolate factory, hence the name!”, according to the online parkfinder from the City of Vancouver.
The park is “tucked into a steep slope”, and comprised by a “series of steps and terraces with a beautiful collection of trees and shrubs”.
“Although tiny, the park is expanded with its views to False Creek and downtown,” the city notes.
The Vancouver Heritage Foundation recalls online that Charles Flavelle, owner of Purdys, said that the choklit spelling was suggested by one of the “hippie” carpenter crew that built the park.
“That’s the way a kid would spell it,” Flavelle was reportedly told.
The heritage association reproduced online the plaque recalling the history of the park:
Charles Flavelle of Purdy’s Chocolates created Choklit Park in 1970 on the unused Spruce Street right-of-way at 7th Avenue, using a crew of six hired on an “Opportunities for Youth” grant. The chocolate factory at 1107 W. 7th needed an improved truck-loading facility and the children in the neighbourhood needed an adventure playground. The crew used the right-of-way and all the available space around the factory for the children’s park. Purdy’s made chocolates here from 1949 until 1982.
Purdys Chocolatier moved to Kingsway in East Vancouver, where it continues to make and sell chocolates.
Engels and Volkers Vancouver listed 1089 West 7th Avenue on November 24, 2020, for $2,298,000.
After six days on November 30, the townhouse sold for $2,505,000 or $207,000 over its original asking price.
The transaction was tracked by fisherly.com, an online real-estate information site.
The home features two bedrooms and three baths.
The listing describes it as an “architectural oasis that will capture those in search of privacy, beauty and incredible views”.
The three-level concrete and brick townhouse includes three private decks, including one on the rooftop, which offer “panoramic city views”.
“Large master retreat includes rare solarium, perfect art studio/office/shop + custom closets,” the listing adds.
Vancouver real estate: Shift on to big corporate landlords of apartment buildings
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Goodman describes the market as being balanced between the supply of and demand for listings, even though he is seeing more rental buildings for sale than in the past.
“While private investors made up the majority of vendors and purchasers in the first half of 2020, real estate investment trusts, or REITs and institutions are likely to increasingly emerge as buyers, particularly on larger deals, in the back half of the year and into early 2021,” according to a fall 2020 report by Avison Young.
Rental apartment buildings are seen as a very attractive and reliable investment for REITs and other financial companies in these uncertain times, said John Bunting of PwC Canada’s B.C. region real estate practice.
“It’s called (investing in) ‘beds and sheds,’ or the first basic needs of safety, security, shelter and food,” he said.
Bidding opened Monday for a package of 10 apartment buildings, with over 400 rental suites across Vancouver.
A family-run, Vancouver-based company, Hollyburn Properties Ltd., is selling these properties, which it has owned for decades. They make up almost a third of the 33 multi-family, rental buildings it owns in the Vancouver area.
Coun. Jean Swanson had a motion on the agenda for Vancouver city council last week, which mentioned the Hollyburn listing, picking it as an example of “a portfolio that could be attractive to REITS” because of its large number of buildings and units and its likely higher dollar value, she said.
Source: – Vancouver Sun
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