Kamloops BC

  • Pindy4

    Status: Forum Member

    Posts: 22
    Joined: 24 May 2011
    From:

     Any thoughts on investing (residential) in Kamloops, anyone?
  • Pindy4

    Status: Forum Member

    Posts: 22
    Joined: 24 May 2011
    From:

    OK, I’’ll do my best to answer my own question. Here is some general information that I have garnered during a two and a half week real estate shopping trip to  Kamloops. All facts and figures should be verified as my memory is crowded. Kamloopsians – jump in and correct me where necessary!

    Kamloops Profile/ Housing Market

    Kamloops is a lovely little city, with beautiful residential areas popping up everywhere, downtown growing and getting livelier (even some nightlife), older areas in transition, up and coming university, great sports/tournament scene, and economy ‘steady’ (did I mention all of that sunshine…)

    It  is currently a buyer’s market.  Housing prices peaked in about 2008, then dropped, and the market is getting ready for them to start climbing. Vacancy rate is ‘officially’ about 2.1% (but seems a little higher). Kamloops is only slightly above the provincial average for income level and population growth. No major transportation improvements planned that I found. Major employers (not in order) are hospital, pulp mill, Thompson Rivers University and Public Schools.  The proposed Ajax mine is in the early stages of an environmental assessment. If approved mine construction will begin in 2013 and copper production in 2015.

    As the proposed mine is within city limits, it’s very controversial. If approved this means more jobs, more rental properties needed for miners, etc. but also possible decrease in property values for the nearby areas (primarily Aberdeen, Pineview Valley, and possibly Dufferin??). Climate will most likely be affected – more fog, less sunshine (I have it from the horse’s mouth…) – but to what extent is as of yet unknown.


    Rental areas/area profiles

    A detailed look at Kijijis, other ads,  shows that the most sought after area by renters is Sahali (proximity to the university, shopping, bus lines, not too far from downtown..). Aberdeen also apparently rents out very well (this is a likely area for ‘the miners’ to reside if Ajax mine goes through).

     Other good rental areas: Brocklehurst OK, pockets of North Kamloops (some areas to be avoided like the plague); Valleyview – OK. Batchelor heights, OK – full of new townhouses/condos, great views, but currently rather treeless and can be dusty – not really close to amenities (to my knowledge)Downtown seems to  have a lot of vacancies, but some nice, new condo developments, and other nice downtown “pockets”.  Dallas – too far from city centre, and Westsyde (although lovely!) does not seem to rent as well – people perceive it as too far from downtown (15-20 minutes! Most of us would be so lucky!) A new shopping center is currently being built there, close to schools and on a bus line.

    Rental prices for houses (3 beds, 2 baths) average about $1500. Typical range: $1200-1800. Houses are most in demand by renters, but people are seeking everything (basement suites, 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms..). Tons of people are requesting places that will take pets (maybe this is typical) – I think the BC tenancy act allows landlords to take a $500 pet damage deposit. I viewed several houses for sale under $350,000 with suites, but most need fixing up, or are not ‘ideal’ because of design.


    Area profiles

    Kamloops has ‘climatic zones’. Aberdeen is high (1500 feet higher than the valley) and hence winter comes 3 weeks early and spring arrives 3 weeks later – steep hills/driveways. Brocklehurst (close to airport and pulp mill) has more smog/fog – is low in the valley (so warmer) and very flat.

    Valleyview, Dallas are apparently in the windy corridor (east, along the South Thompson), Westsyde (along the North Thompson), around the corner from Brocklehurst,  is sunny and clear skies.

    Some areas of Kamloops are close to the river, so potential flooding – dikes have been built in areas previously flooded (ie. Westsyde), and sandbags are currently located in other areas (ie. North Kamloops) where no dikes are (yet). Termites are an issue in some parts of Kamloops (areas where there used to be orchards and the trees got ploughed under), and potential buyers should consider getting a termite inspection.


    Property Managers

    The  two main Property Management Companies appear to be: Columbia Properties Management and CML . I also found Gateway, but have not researched them.

    BC taxes etc.

     For Albertans, buying in BC is pricey (HST 12% on all services – new homes exempt from HST; and that darn Property Transfer Tax which is 1% on the first $20,000 and 2% on the balance – I think.

    Rental Insurance

     - Rental insurance bought in BC appears to differ than Alberta  (??)– companies stipulate that inspections  are required every 60 days. Quotes I’ve received from three brokers (on my first investment property that I just bought J) range from $750 (“named perils” policy) to about $1100 for comprehensive package, for an older bungalow, 3 beds/2 baths property (1590 sq ft).

    Cheers.






  • JimWhitelaw

    Status: Forum Member

    Posts: 737
    Joined: 27 Aug 2008
    From: Edmonton, AB

    Hi Pindy4,

    It's good to see how thorough you are being with your research. Good work. I have a few questions about your analyses.

    Pindy4
    It  is currently a buyer’s market.  Housing prices peaked in about 2008, then dropped, and the market is getting ready for them to start climbing.


    Since "market is getting ready" is a forward-looking assessment, I'm curious what it is that you're seeing that leads you to believe the current situation is going to change? Do you think the new federal financing rules will have an effect on this expected price growth?

    Pindy4
    Rental prices for houses (3 beds, 2 baths) average about $1500. Typical range: $1200-1800. Houses are most in demand by renters, but people are seeking everything (basement suites, 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms..). Tons of people are requesting places that will take pets (maybe this is typical)


    This is very interesting, it has always been quite difficult for me to understand what is in demand vs what is available on the market. Perusing ads can show the available product and asking rental rates, but how do you assess what people are looking for? I'm interested to understand your method for this. The only input I get on this is from people sending inquiries from my website, but that's a very limited number of responses and likely biased by the fact that they are mostly asking about the types of properties I already have available. 

    thx.
  • Pindy4

    Status: Forum Member

    Posts: 22
    Joined: 24 May 2011
    From:

     I'm a real novice Jim and my comment is based on what realtors, property managers, mortgage brokers with their own investments, relatives and friends said (my head is spinning from all of this)- yes I suspect the new financing regulations will affect price growth, same as elsewhere in Canada. 

    re-how I determined what accommodation is in demand  - I looked at what people were looking for on Kijijs and made a chart. , (I also looked at what people were offering and made a chart for that, which helped me conclude that there were too many vacancies in the downtown-core). So, for example, on a given day I got the following for "accommodation needed" in the areas that I was targeting as the best rental areas: 

    -which allowed pets: 24
    -close to the university: 10
    - a house: 24
    -a  2-3 bed dwelling: 16
    - 1 bed: 11
    - not in North Kamloops: 3
    - must be Brocklehurst: 4  (this is where I bought)
    etc.
     (I also noted what price range everyone was looking for, and a bunch of other details)
  • Pindy4

    Status: Forum Member

    Posts: 22
    Joined: 24 May 2011
    From:

     I'm a real novice Jim and my comment is based on what realtors, property managers, mortgage brokers with their own investments, relatives and friends said (my head is spinning from all of this)- yes I suspect the new financing regulations will affect price growth, same as elsewhere in Canada. 

    re-how I determined what accommodation is in demand  - I looked at what people were looking for on Kijijs and made a chart. , (I also looked at what people were offering and made a chart for that, which helped me conclude that there were too many vacancies in the downtown-core). So, for example, on a given day I got the following for "accommodation needed" in the areas that I was targeting as the best rental areas: 

    -which allowed pets: 24
    -close to the university: 10
    - a house: 24
    -a  2-3 bed dwelling: 16
    - 1 bed: 11
    - not in North Kamloops: 3
    - must be Brocklehurst: 4  (this is where I bought)
    etc.
     (I also noted what price range everyone was looking for, and a bunch of other details)
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