Sales slow, but prices still up for Metro Vancouver real estate
Inventories of residential real estate swelled in February and sales slowed across the Lower Mainland in February bringing more balance to local markets, according to the latest statistics.
Greater Vancouver saw new listings on the Multiple Listings Service rise 26 per cent in February to 5,260 compared with the same month a year ago. Sales, meanwhile, declined 6.4 per cent to 2,676 compared with February 2007.
City of North Vancouver denies rezoning in hopes of lot assembly.
The preference of a narrow majority on City of North Vancouver council to see a development proposal that assembles a series of narrow, deep lots along the north side of the 100-block of 23rd Street led to a 4-3 split vote against a duplex rezoning application for one lot in the middle of the block.
That block is part of the Western Avenue planning study which netted a density increase along 23rd Street from a Level 1 low level to a Level 4 medium density.
Pristine lakes and sunny skies may be what brings the tourists to Kelowna, but it`s the ability to withstand natural disasters that just brought a major IBM presence here.
By the end of this year, a partnership between local company Rackforce and IBM will come to fruition, with the completion of a 85,000 square-foot data centre that has the capacity to store 35,000 terabytes of data, explained Brian Fry, Rackforce`s vice-president and co-founder.
Federal finance minister Jim Flaherty slammed the Ontario government for its high business taxes and applauded the B.C. government Wednesday for its recently announced cuts.
The federal government, which announced in October a drop in its business tax to 15 per cent by 2012, has been urging the provinces to lower their rates to 10 per cent during the same time frame, Flaherty told the Vancouver Board of Trade.
Credit card invitations to children raise alarm about mining Web for info
The arrival of more than 100 credit card solicitations addressed to members of a Port Moody youth swim club has parents worried that swim-meet results posted online have inadvertently made their children the target of mass marketing campaigns.
The incident has prompted CIBC to stop using the services of the company that sent out the bank`s credit card solicitations to children in the club.
Years ago we used to look at the `Big Mac Index`. This looked at the price of a Big Mac in different cities and based on what prices were (i.e. $1.50 versus $3...) we could understand the relative strength of the economy in that city. Then we looked at the Costco index. Wherever a Costco store opened ... a good place to buy real estate as that company clearly did its research before opening a store.
Well, now ... it is clearly the Wal-Mart index. Or at least ... follow Wal-Mart when buying real estate.
Police say best prevention is still `a pair of eyes`
VICTORIA -- Homeowners seeking peace of mind are turning to high-tech alarms and surveillance equipment to protect their investments. But police say the best prevention is still a pair of eyes.
Although Lisa Baumeler has never had a problem with property crime in the 17 years she has lived in her North Saanich neighbourhood, she still made sure her new home was fitted with the latest high-end security system.
Sophia more than a buyer, seller drama: All of us are players
As I was driving to BC Place two Saturdays ago, my thoughts were focused on the final two days of the home show. The sun was shining, the air was still -- ideal conditions for many outdoor activities revered by folks here in Lotusland-by-the-Sea, but not so good for attendance at indoor shows.
As I neared the stadium, storm clouds appeared, via my cellphone. Shannon Patterson, a hard-working reporter from CTV, called to ask if I had heard that Sophia, an 81-unit condo project in Vancouver`s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, was placed in receivership. No, I told her.
A strong provincial economy, thriving oil, gas and mining industries and continued population growth will lead to more stable construction costs in British Columbia, a cost-management consultant predicted Friday.
Vancouver-based consultant BTY Group predicts that after construction costs in B.C. rose by 10 per cent in 2007, this year`s cost rise will be seven per cent, followed by six per cent in 2009, five per cent in 2010 and just three per cent in 2011.
Western Forest Products turning to specialty lumber
VANCOUVER - The West Coast`s largest forest company said Friday it is surviving the meltdown of the U.S. housing market by switching its production from American-bound construction lumber to higher-valued export markets.
Western Forest Products president Reynold Hert said Friday that demand for cedar and other specialty products made from the old-growth timber is keeping the company going despite the U.S. slowdown.
Record housing starts in B.C. and condo upsurge boost national figures
Residential construction in Canada continued to show its independence from the ravaged U.S. market as seasonally adjusted housing starts in February rose to 256,900, from 222,700 units in January, a report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said Monday.
"A lot of it has to do with multiple construction in three centres," said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC`s market analysis centre. "Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver account for almost all of that surge in multiple construction activity. A lot of that would be condo starts."
A ghost town in northern B.C. could soon become the place where many of the world`s most pressing problems are solved.
That`s the ambition of an Indian-born, Canadian-educated, American-based medical innovator and entrepreneur. Krishnan Suthanthiran bought the entire town of Kitsault, 500 km northwest of Vancouver, in 2005 for $7 million from its previous owner, U.S. copper giant Phelps Dodge Corp. The town was built in the late 1970s to house about 1,200 miners and their families, but the molybdenum boom that sparked the enterprise quickly went bust and the town was abandoned by the early 1980s.