November 20, 2017

Property Trends In Vancouver For 2016

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Housing has been a hot topic in Vancouver over the last few years. We have seen many changes, and, no doubt, there will be plenty more to come. Anyone entering the property market in the next year or so should understand exactly what they should be looking at. Here are five trends that have been on the rise during 2015 and that are likely to continue next year.

Increasing Stop Work Orders

Permit applications are flooding the offices of Vancouver’s building offices at the moment. Unsurprisingly, it’s causing multiple delays. City staff just can’t cope at the speed they used to – but it’s fair to say that residents aren’t waiting around. Instead, they are going ahead with their building and renovating work, regardless of having a permit. And the result is that the city building officers are issuing almost 75% more stop workers than they did last year.

Homeowners and builders should, instead, wait for their permits to come through or it will result in a fine. And, more importantly, even longer delays. They should also make sure that they have a proper survey in place before buying land or a renovation project. There is some good advice on surveys for home builders here – http://cochraneng.com/our-services/surveying/. Good research will lead to a quicker response from the permit applications, and increase the chances of a positive reaction.

Lack Of Affordable Housing

According to a report from the Vancity Credit Union, there are many currently housed in starter homes, unable to make the climb up the property ladder. The report lays the blame squarely at the feet of the lack of affordable housing in the city. The figures are stark. The difference between a one bedroom starter home or apartment and a three bedroom home with a yard can be as much as 95%.

Those are astonishing figures, and will cause problems for those young couples wanting to start families. Unless, of course, they have wealth to draw from to invest. However, there have been signs that the need for affordable housing could lead to more construction. But, possibly, of a different kind. The rise of ‘skinny houses’ is the subject of a fascinating report in The Globe and Mail – and it’s a trend that is expected to continue.

Commercial Property

Commercial property is seeing a lot of action, and many are attracting sales from abroad. According to a report in the Vancouver Sun, the global market is seeing a lot of value in commercial property in the city. And they are prepared to spend big to get it.

One recent example is the Bentall buildings between Burrard and Thurlow and Dunsmuir and Pender streets. They are a distinctive landmark in the Vancouver skyline, and were built between 1969 and 1981 – but are now on the market. They are expected to raise one of the largest amounts from a property sale in the city’s history. Don’t be surprised to see foreign companies amongst the bidders for the compound.

Plenty to think about, then, for any Vancouver individuals and businesses for 2016. Let us know your thoughts.

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