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Real estate booms in the West Kootenay –



It’s a seller’s market out there for people thinking of buying or selling property in the West Kootenay.

Real estate agents across the region say despite the pandemic, they’re running off their feet.

“It’s been the most active past two years in the last 12 years,” says Bill Lander of Coldwell Banker in Nelson.

In Nakusp, New Denver, and the Arrow Lakes areas, realtors report sales are up about 13% over 2019. The actual number of residential sales within the Village of Nakusp is down from last year (mainly because of low inventory), but vacant land is hot, as are commercial property sales. Overall, residential home prices in Nakusp are up about 18% this year over 2019.

In Kaslo, Kul Nijjar of Fair Realty’s Kootenay BC Property Matchmakers says 47 properties have been sold to date “with a few others that sold without even being listed.” Nijjar is on track to beat last year’s sales of 49 units. The average sale price to date in Kaslo this year is up 12.2%.

The Slocan Valley has seen ‘robust’ sales the last two years, says Lander. This year, Lander made 74 sales, at an average sale price of $279,000, about 94% of asking price. Last year, he made 81 sales up the valley, at an average $306,000.

The average sale price is murkier in the Slocan Valley, where a couple of large sales in the last two years skewed the averages. But Lander says he figures prices are comparatively flat for the last two years, compared to the rest of the province.

Demand outpacing supply

Supply is an important factor in determining price. It’s been especially tight in Nakusp.

“[A] lack of inventory has turned towards a ‘seller’s-type market,’” says Kelly Roberts of Selkirk Reality. “Our office has the lowest listing inventory that I have seen in probably the past 25 years.”

She says locals buying into the tight market have kept Nakusp hot.

“I think some of this increase may be due to the COVID pandemic,” she adds. “I think the pandemic has perhaps pushed some of the fence sitters off on our side… those that were maybe wondering if they should move out of the city decided the time had come.”

With mortgage deferrals due to the pandemic scheduled to end soon, more houses may enter the market, stabilizing prices, say analysts. But other factors may mean the good times – at least for sellers – will continue.

“The hot construction market has also helped sell existing stocks,” says Coldwell Banker’s Lander. “Increased building material costs has definitely increased the value of ‘used’ housing.

“Trades workers are booked,” he says. “Development land has had a significant increase in costs as well.”

COVID opportunities

Like for most of us, it’s been a rollercoaster of a year for real estate agents. When the pandemic hit, the industry was essentially shut down. Both buyers and sellers were concerned about participating in the sales process. But as the situation stabilized, other trends that boosted local sales began to establish themselves.

“The COVID trend of being able to work remotely is also driving the market,” says Coldwell Banker’s Lander.

“I think we’re seeing that more people are able to work from home now so these people are buying in our area,” adds Selkirk Realty’s Roberts. “There are also those that are securing property in our area to eventually build and move here.”

“Once COVID hit it certainly has changed how people viewed living in rural, smaller areas in Canada. We just got busier and busier,” says Kaslo’s Nijjar. “A lot of people who are able to work remotely are attracted to our areas – having fibre available in Kaslo and area certainly helps those buyers.



“It’s also nice to see a few more families be interested in living here. More full-time residences are being purchased, whereas in the past we have seen people buy recreational/ seasonal properties.”

And as prices rise in the Okanagan and points west, the wave has moved towards the Kootenays.

“As real estate prices were going up in the busier areas like the Lower Mainland and Okanagan, that allowed those sellers to purchase properties here for little or no financing,” explains Nijjar. “For example, someone could sell their house for around a million dollars and then be able to buy larger properties or on the lake or with lake views [here] for considerably less.

“I’m seeing many buyers from Revelstoke, Rossland and Golden coming in with equity take-outs,” agrees Lander.

However, the realtors say they’re concerned about the economic impact of the second wave of COVID, and how long the hurt will go on.

“If it continues like it has been, then I foresee another busy market this spring, providing we have the inventory to sell,” says Roberts. “However, depending on what the COVID pandemic long-term effects are to our economy, things could certainly change in the next 6-12 months.”

Province positive

Provincially, analysts remain bullish on BC’s real estate outlook for 2021.

“Multiple Listing Service residential sales in the province are forecast to rise 16.9% to 90,450 units this year, after recording 77,350 residential sales in 2019,” says a release from the BC Real Estate Association, adding that residential sales are forecast to increase 9.7% to 99,240 units in 2021.

“We are forecasting the provincial MLS average price to finish the year up 9.9% and to increase a further 2.6% in 2021.”

Still, 2020 is not a year realtors will soon forget.

“All I can add is that 2020 saw very strange, unprecedented market conditions in our area – something I’ve never quite seen in the 32 years I have been in this business,” says Roberts.

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Home sales hit record in 2020 despite pandemic – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News



OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in December hit an all-time record for the month to end what was also a record year.

It says December sales were up 47.2 per cent compared with December 2019, the largest year-over-year gain in monthly sales in 11 years.

Sales for the month were also up 7.2 per cent compared with November.

For 2020 as a whole, CREA says some 551,392 homes were sold, up 12.6 per cent from 2019, and a new annual record.

The actual national average home price was a record $607,280 in December, up 17.1 per cent from the final month of 2019.

CREA says excluding Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, two of the most active and expensive markets, lowers the national average price by almost $130,000.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021.

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Who knew a health crisis would spur on a Vancouver real estate boom? – News 1130



VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Prices are up, and buyers are bidding. As the option of remote work continues, the demand for property is also continuing to rise.

One of the country’s leading brokerages says there is a real estate boom in Vancouver, and while low interest rates and pent-up demand are factors, the pandemic has helped fuel it.

Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper says the aggregate price of a Greater Vancouver home last quarter rose more than seven per cent to a little over $1.1 million.

RELATED ARTICLE: Vancouver office vacancy rates spike amid COVID-19, but well below national average

New data from Royal LePage finds more than half of Canada’s largest real estate markets have seen double-digit price growth over the last few months.

The brokerage says multiple offers have again become common and almost every detached home is attracting competitive bids.

Soper says 2020 was the strangest year of his career and that the term “recovery” is an understatement. He adds that, looking at fourth quarter results, he can state without hyperbole that the health crisis has triggered a real estate boom.

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Top Real Estate News of the Week: January 11 to 15 – Toronto Storeys



Another week in Toronto has come to a close and, from January 11 to 13, real estate stories continued to take our desktops by storm. In fact, you may have struggled to keep up with it all!

And, let’s be real: everything — *gestures vaguely* — is a lot right now, so there’s a fair chance you don’t want to spend your weekend doom-scrolling, trying to catch up on all the latest news about what’s up, what’s down, and what’s not budging. In fact, we wouldn’t recommend it. (Who thought the change of the calendar year meant anything at all, really?)

To make your day a little easier, we’ve gathered up this week’s top articles and assembled them below. Consider this place your Toronto real estate news digest, where you can get the picture before you go outside to get some (socially distanced) fresh air.

With that, we’ll get right to it. Here are your top “storeys” for the week:

1. What Ford’s New COVID Measures Mean for the Ontario Construction Industry

As Ontario grapples with surging daily COVID-19 case numbers that are now threatening to swamp hospitals, Premier Ford announced new public-health measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, which includes new restrictions to the construction industry. The measures include a stay-at-home order, in connection with a province-wide state of emergency declaration.

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2. Ford Government Approves Temporary Ban of Residential Evictions

With stay-at-home orders in place, the Ontario government has approved an emergency order that temporarily pauses the enforcement of residential evictions. This marks the second time in less than a year that the province has paused residential evictions. The government made the announcement Thursday morning, two days after Premier Ford declared the province was entering its second state of emergency as Ontario grapples with surging daily case numbers that are now threatening to swamp hospitals.

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3. Canadians Believe More in the Housing Market Than the Overall Economy

Is this optimism? Despite the negative implications COVID-19 has had on nearly every business sector, it appears the pandemic hasn’t had an (lasting) effect on the the real estate industry. According to RBC’s latest edition of its Home Buying Sentiment Poll, Canadians still believe in the strength of the housing market — despite growing concerns of the overall economy.

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4. Average Rent Prices in Downtown Toronto Are Now Less Than the GTA Average

“Never thought I would see this,” Realosophy Realty President John Pasalis wrote on Twitter. His words are paired with a visual, which shows that right now, downtown rents are priced lower than those across the city at large, as well as across the GTA. The core’s average rent price is $2,132, under Toronto as a whole at $2,152, and the GTA’s current $2,227 average.

But there’s more to rent prices than their at-a-glance averages.

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5. Average 1-Bedroom Rent in Toronto Has Dropped Over 20% Year-Over-Year

In a similar vein to the above article, this week, Padmapper released its January national rent report, analyzing hundreds of thousands of listings last month to examine median rent prices across the 24 largest cities in the country. And where the country’s largest city is concerned? One-bedroom rents fell nearly 4% month-over-month, while rents are down over 20% year-over-year.

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6. Who Gets the House? ‘Divorce Month’ Prompts Real Estate Questions

In news that’s both a bummer and important to know, the first month of the year is often known as ‘Divorce Month’ — pandemic or not. And COVID, along with all the increased time it’s forced people to remain together under one roof, has likely only added to the number of people now seeking separation from their partners. And while the initial decision to part ways is the first of a long list of decisions that must be made, what to do with a shared property is most often also hanging out at the top of that list.

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7. Canadian Housing Market Already On Pace to Have Record Year in 2021: RBC

On Wednesday, RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue released a new report looking at the current state of the country’s housing market, which Hogue believes is on pace to set more records amid the current unprecedented public health and economic challenges. The report begins with this sentiment: “in the end, the rollercoaster that was 2020 left Canada’s housing market more or less where it started the year: full of bidding wars, escalating prices and exasperated buyers unable to find a home they can afford.”

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8. A Sprawling Winter Light Exhibit is Coming to Toronto’s Waterfront

Need some fresh air? We feel you. Starting this Friday, two new outdoor light exhibits will open to the public as part of Harbourfront Centre and The Waterfront BIA’s outdoor winter celebration of arts & culture: Site Alive | Winter Editionwhich will transform the 10-acre waterfront campus into a unique, immersive world of sensory experience.

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