News

Metro rental apartment buildings sales weaken

Frank O’Brien, Business in Vancouver
April 4, 2017

Record-setting pace slows as prices push market peak and cap rates plunge

Record-shattering sales of rental apartment buildings have slowed in Metro Vancouver, but analysts say the slowdown could be more a sign of fewer properties available than of flagging demand.

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Seriously! Not an April Fool’s joke
Coming soon: 11,784 new rental suites

Goodman Report
April 1, 2017

For the last 10 years, we at the Goodman Report have railed against the rental housing policies of Metro Vancouver – and in particular the City of Vancouver – relating to the glaringly insufficient new rental stock under construction. The track record of local politicians in creating an environment conducive to purpose-built rental construction had been dismal at best, a travesty at worst.

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Separation of church and real estate

Frank O’Brien with Christopher Cheung and Pat Johnson, Business in Vancouver
March 21st, 2017

Top land prices have persuaded multiple Metro Vancouver churches to sell out or leverage development with joint venture partners.

A small church in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood is attracting a lot of visitors this April, but most will be drawn by something other than the Holy Spirit.

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Protecting Rental Stock or Holding Back Rental Construction?

Jon Meyer, News Talk 980 CKNW
February 27th, 2017

Bulldozing old three and four storey apartment buildings in established neighbourhoods could cure what ails Vancouver’s dismal rental vacancy rate.

But the city imposed a temporary moratorium on the demolition of old apartment buildings in 2007, but it’s still in place today.

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Metro Vancouver mayors say homelessness has reached crisis in B.C.

Chuck Chiang, Vancouver Sun
February 27, 2017

Metro Vancouver mayors say homelessness in the region has reached crisis proportions, and the situation may be even more dire in the suburbs and rural areas than in Vancouver.

The latest numbers show that the unsheltered homeless population in Metro Vancouver jumped 26 per cent every year since 2011, and about five people become homeless every week. Today, roughly 4,000 people in the region are in immediate need of housing, the report said. The sobering numbers were released Monday at a press conference announcing the recommendations of Metro Vancouver’s homeless task force to tackle the problem.

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Should Old Rental Buildings Be Saved — or Sacrificed?

Christopher Cheung, The Tyee
February 14th, 2017

“I feel like I really lucked out,” said Mitch William. His rent is a bargain.

William pays $855 a month for a 750-square foot one-bedroom apartment in Metro Vancouver where the average rent is $1,223, according to a fall 2016 report by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

His location is also convenient. His rental building is less than a block away from the Metrotown shopping centre and SkyTrain station. William, 25, takes the train to work downtown at an insurance company. The ride only takes 16 minutes.

William’s apartment is coveted for another reason: there aren’t nearly enough rentals in Vancouver to go around at any price.

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Train But No Gain? High-Density Transit-oriented Site Wasted

This article was written and published in the 2016 Year-End Goodman Report.

For the record, the Goodman Report is very supportive of responsible efforts by various levels of government to provide assisted or social housing for those in need. It’s clear to us, however, that the program put forward recently by the City of Vancouver for providing temporary modular housing is a reactive, poorly conceived solution to a deeply rooted problem.

Here’s what’s happening. To address the chronic non-market rental shortfall, Vancouver is currently installing on valuable City-owned land 40 temporary modular housing units of 250 SF each. While our politicians congratulate themselves on finding an approach to housing shortages and unaffordability, the manner in which they’re executing this program represents a misguided, wasteful use of high-density land and taxpayer money.

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Our recipe: Valuing an apartment building

This article was written and published in the 2016 Year-End Goodman Report.

What goes into the mix when we decide what a building is worth? Here’s our stew:

Location: It’s not just about municipality. Neighbourhood, street, corner or midblock position – they all matter too. We get into the nitty-gritty, converting the property’s location into a quantified value.

Improvements/Condition: Any deferred maintenance? If the large items have been completed (think roof, piping, elevator, any structural requirements), then investors will view the property with greater pricing consideration. Is it a legal non-conforming structure, or does it conform? Any unauthorized suites?

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