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Month: December 2007

A Snapshot of Vancouver

A Snapshot of Vancouver

Vancouver has consistently been voted one of the top 3 cities in the world to live in. The Vancouver Foundation’s 2007 report brings together factual information, perceptions gleaned from an Ipsos Reid survey, and ideas from residents about problems and solutions.

The report finds that Metro Vancouver is indeed a desirable place to live, but many of our 2.1 million residents face challenges. At the top of the list:

*affordable housing – rising housing costs coupled with diminishing rental stock caused homelessness to more than triple between 2000 and 2005

*the income gap – one in 4 (26%) of children live in households with incomes below he poverty line. National average is 17%

*getting started – new immigrants continue to face barriers to employment despite high levels of education. This results in higher poverty rates compared to non immigrant residents

*getting around – residents spend an average of 67 minutes commuting and $9,000 a year on transportation, the second highest expenditure after housing. Households spend $1,000 more on transportation than food

The good news

*we’re working – employment has increased an average of 2.6% annually since 1987

*we’re volunteering – volunteering is on the rise with 43% of us regularly contributing

*we’re conserving – turning off the tap meant a 23% decrease in water consumption from 20 years ago

*we’re healthier – over half of us (58%) rate our health as excellent or very good

*we’re educated – moe than half of us (51%) have completed a post secondary degree, certificate or diploma

*we’re safer – property crime has decreased by 43% since 1996 and violent crime has dropped by 17%

*we’re growing food – close to half of us (44%) grow some or all of our own food

Making the grade residents had the opportunity to grade Metro Vancouver in 12 areas. Here’s the report card:

getting around:c-    food:c+   arts & culture: b   belonging & leadership:b-   environment:c+   gap between rich & poor:d   getting started:c   health & wellness: b   housing:d   learning:b   safety: b-   work:b

New Year’s Eve Events

New Year’s Eve Events

I was going to compile a list of what’s happening around town on the last night of 2007 but the province have a complete list, so i thought it was easier to provide a link to them.

Wishing you a healthy, happy and successful 2008!

The IGA Site at Arbutus and W. Broadway

The IGA Site at Arbutus and W. Broadway

In last week’s Business in Vancouver, Peter Mitham’s Real Estate Roundup reported that Home Depot, who owns the lot the IGA is on, has put it up for sale.  We can probably assume this means HD will not be reapplying to City Hall to build on the site.

You may remember that in 2004 the hood came out heavily against a Home Depot being built here, which led City Hall to put a cap of 10,000 sq.ft. for this area. I understand the lease is up in 2009.

Personally, i always enjoyed shopping there – wide aisles in the IGA store, lots of parking, easy access and the convenience of a liquor store as well.  The new IGA which is not corporate and therefore union but a franchise and non-union has narrow aisles.

What do you think should be built on this prime site? Condos? Another liquor store? Retail? Offices? Daycare?

Friday’s Stats

Friday’s Stats

For November 30, 2007. In my market there were 24 new listings. 4 price changes – all reduced and 30 sales. This is indeed a tight market, with sales for the day slightly under, equal to or surpassing the new lsitings for the day. Traditionally, listings and sales decrease for December.

Will the New Year bring an increase of sales? What do you think?

I don’t believe the buyers who bought in the last 4 years will be selling yet and there continues to be lots of interest from non local buyers, so i see the market remaing tight for a while. We shall have to wait until the babyboomers start to retire and sell their investments or the non canadian owners take profits and move to the next place that is undervalued.  I shall try to find some stats on the average length of time Vancouver homeowners hold a property.

Have you purchased property since 2002? If so, when do you plan to move?

In my next post I wish to share with you some thoughts on the future of Canada, as presented by my favourite local economist, Michael Levy. Canada Rocks!