Creating the right environment for real estate success

Shami Sandhu talks about what makes Realty ONE Group different and why those differences work well for buyers and agents

Creating the right environment for real estate successShami Sandhu is president and regional director of Realty ONE Group of Western Canada. What is the Realty ONE Group and what do you do? Sandhu: Realty ONE Group is a full-service lifestyle real estate brand that has experienced rapid growth since Kuba Jewgieniew started the company in 2005. Unlike existing traditional models, we don’t…

Cleaning up Vancouver’s “rat’s nest of rot”

Single-family houses in the city are now deposit boxes. How did we get here and how can we restore balance?

Cleaning up Vancouver’s “rat’s nest of rot”It’s time for broad review of the dirty money games played in the casinos and on the high streets of the raincoast’s ‘capital' city. B.C. Attorney General David Eby recently reported that upwards of $2 billion in dirty money laundering has occurred in Vancouver casinos and luxury real estate over the past year. He characterized…

The pipeline to the future doesn’t carry the jobs of the past

The ruckus over the Kinder Morgan project is a good reminder that the economic conditions we once enjoyed are on the way out

The pipeline to the future doesn’t carry the jobs of the pastWhile the opinion writers and politicians are venting about expanding the Kinder Morgan pipeline for diluted bitumen to the West Coast, it might help to consider some history. We didn’t arrive at this shout-fest without making diverse tracks from previous experiences, and most of us are old enough to think back over a few previous…

B.C. wants more rental units; will municipalities follow through?

New zoning powers for local governments will only meaningfully affect rental vacancy rates if cities streamline approval processes

B.C. wants more rental units; will municipalities follow through?The British Columbia government recently introduced legislation aimed at housing affordability, which – among other things – would grant municipalities the power to zone for rental-only housing, ostensibly to preserve and expand the supply of rental units in the province’s tightest housing markets. With Metro Vancouver’s vacancy rate consistently below one per cent, there’s a…

When property prices are a crime

The B.C. government balked at applying the foreign buyer tax to pre-sale contracts, so property flipping won’t slow down and it certainly won’t stop

When property prices are a crimeEveryone knew that Vancouver housing prices were criminal, they just didn’t know by how much. By now, many citizens are aware that offshore money, mostly from China, has been laundered through casinos and invested in properties that have often been flipped through shady realtors and unlicensed brokers. The new government in British Columbia talked a…

How B.C. can escape its painful housing trap

Instead of targeting affordable housing, B.C. government should be targeting housing affordability

How B.C. can escape its painful housing trapBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute The B.C. government’s recent budget included a 30-point plan aimed at the province’s housing woes. The aim was off the mark. Most of the plan’s points fit into two broad categories: reducing demand by raising property transfer taxes, for non-residents and on homes over $3 million,…

Civic renewal that drains the soul – and people – from communities

When investor neighbourhoods replace residential ones, civic sustainability is the big loser

Civic renewal that drains the soul – and people – from communities“We are basically not a self-sustaining society. There is no other way to provide amenities we need … currently land and development is one of Canada’s biggest exports,” Ian Egloff of Creekside Architects is quoted as saying in Kerry Gold’s real estate column in the Globe and Mail on Nov. 25. What a great oxymoron.…

The prohibitive cost of living in Metro Vancouver

The extraordinary run-up in real estate prices like the one experienced in the Lower Mainland raises the odds of a painful market correction

The prohibitive cost of living in Metro VancouverHow can people afford to live in Vancouver? That question came to mind as I struggled to catch up with the latest torrent of media stories on the Lower Mainland’s seemingly inexhaustible housing boom. Metro Vancouver has long been the most expensive place in the country to purchase (or rent) a home. Indeed, relative to…

Lower Mainland municipalities create roadblocks to new housing

Homebuilders were asked how long they wait for permit approvals, how much it costs, how often rezoning is required and the scope of local opposition

Lower Mainland municipalities create roadblocks to new housingBy Kenneth P. Green and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute VANCOUVER, B.C. – There’s no silver bullet for Vancouver’s perennial housing woes. But trimming the red tape would help. Housing markets are incredibly complex, reflecting the ongoing interaction between demand and supply. So far, the provincial government, and Vancouver city hall, have targeted pockets of this…

Vancouver can’t have both low-density and affordable housing

To take pressure off the cost of living in Vancouver, the city should build more housing units on its limited geographic footprint

Vancouver can’t have both low-density and affordable housingBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Housing prices in Vancouver have caused a frenzy, as analysts, pundits and activists wrestle with how to improve affordability. The discussion has fixated on foreign buyers, speculators and empty houses. Regardless of the policies implemented to address these factors, trying to increase affordability by sniffing out…
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