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Political lock puts B.C. landlords in limbo

Frank O’Brien, Business in Vancouver
June 13, 2017

Potential changes could affect sales, competition, demolitions

B.C. landlords are watching closely to see if the BC NDP and BC Green Party coalition survives to form the next provincial government and, if so, what it will mean to the tightest rental housing market in Canada.

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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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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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Opinion: Industry expert says sell, sell, sell

The following article was published in an earlier version in The Province on December 28, 2016. It has been penned by a prominent financial advisor and is intended to offer a vivid alternate perspective to the market.


Over my lengthy 45-year career as a financial advisor, I have been a strong advocate of owning apartment buildings.

Yet now, as much as it pains me, I am recommending to clients not to buy any further residential revenue properties in Metro Vancouver. More importantly, though, I am also recommending to them to consider putting their apartment holdings on the market to take advantage of this overheated apartment feeding frenzy that we are currently experiencing.

This decision has not come lightly, nor did I wake up one morning and decide to sell. Many of my colleagues have been shocked that I, as a financial advisor and experienced real-estate professional, should have come to this conclusion. My detailed research and the current geopolitical climate have made it obvious to me that the values associated with apartment buildings just do not make any economic sense. To quote Judge Judy, “If it doesn’t make sense, it cannot be true.”

Is there a bubble about to burst? No. Is this a crisis similar to the U.S. sub-prime fiasco? No. Then where has my epiphany come from?

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Local buyers help drive B.C. apartment sales higher in 2016

Peter Mitham, Business in Vancouver
January 24th, 2017

Billion-dollar year

Apartment sales logged another blockbuster year in 2016, even though numbers didn’t quite match those logged in 2015.

A total of 174 purpose-built rental properties worth nearly $1.5 billion changed hands in 2016, according to numbers compiled by David and Mark Goodman, who recently added Cynthia Jagger to their team at HQ Real Estate Services Ltd. This was down 4% from 2015.

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Metro Vancouver’s rental housing, industrial property sectors see continued short supply

Chuck Chiang, The Vancouver Sun
January 25th, 2017

Metro Vancouver’s rental housing and industrial markets remain highly active, with demand outstripping supply on both fronts, leading to sales and price surges in some areas and low vacancy rates in others, according to recent reports.

CBRE’s Q4 market review of Metro Vancouver’s industrial real estate sector showed that the region saw industrial leasing space vacancy rates drop to 2.4 per cent at the end of last year, the lowest level since 2007. Sales, meanwhile, reached a record $1.2 billion in 2016, up nine per cent from the previous year.

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