Exciting Things Coming to Lonsdale!

It seems that every month I hear about another plan for a new development in the Lonsdale area. As a young homeowner and real estate agent in North Vancouver this is very exciting news. The influx of new apartment buildings, plans for a Ferris wheel, Tap and Barrel patio, Whole Foods, Browns, Shipyard Plaza etc. is contributing to a refreshing transformation for the community. In my opinion, this "urbanization" will improve the appeal of living on the North Shore and spark a rise in the real estate market. The current value of existing houses and apartments will increase as Lonsdale becomes more established, and desirable area to buy into. 


Another upside to all of this new development is that it will provide more options for affordable housing on the North Shore. Especially for young buyers, like myself. From personal observation, I have seen a notable trend of buyers in their 20s-30s purchasing apartments near Lonsdale instead of downtown Vancouver. Not only as their first home, but also as their first major investment. This is a positive trend, in my opinion, for the economy of BC because with the expensive cost of living and lack of jobs for young professionals, many of them are moving out of province. I think it is important to provide affordable housing for those yuppies to start their lives here. Also, with increased population on the North Shore, there will hopefully be improved and increased infrastructure. There are a number of businesses and industries that will benefit greatly from these improvements to the North Shore and increased population density.

Interesting Article on Global Appeal of Vancouver Real Estate Market

A friend of mine posted this article from the New Yorker, written by James Surowiecki that I found very interesting. This article explains Vancouver's housing market from a global perspective and the real estate trends we are currently experiencing as a result. 

When price-to-income or price-to-rent ratios get out of whack, it’s often a sign of a housing bubble. But the story in Vancouver is more interesting. Almost by chance, the city has found itself at the heart of one of the biggest trends of the past two decades—the rise of a truly global market in real estate.
— Surowiecki

Surowiecki goes on to explain that foreign investors are choosing Vancouver because of its social and political stability as a "hedge city" and its proximity to the Pacific Rim. He also mentions a safe feeling with reference to climate change.

These foreign investment and global interest serve as a benefit for current home owners, but a challenge for many buyers. The surge in housing prices in Vancouver bring both good and bad changes to our city. I am interested to see other's opinions on the matter.

City of North Vancouver City Shaping Meeting

On April 15th I attended a City Shaping Town Hall meeting at for the City of North Vancouver discussing the possibility of allowing coach houses in addition to basement suites in the central Lonsdale area. It was very interesting to hear all opinions and it was great to see such a big turnout. I think that getting involved in your own community is very important. Both voicing opinions and listening to others is detrimental to any plan's success.

The main points that were brought up in last month's meeting were that some residents were concerned about lack of infrastructure in North Vancouver to support the high density predicted, over-populated neighbourhoods, and lack of parking. On the other hand many residents found that a couch house and a basement suite would be beneficial as it could support a larger and extended family, save on child care and could also serve as a mortgage helper for those that need it. North Vancouver is a beautiful place to live and central Lonsdale is an up-and coming, highly sought-after neighbourhood. By adding more coach houses and basement suites it provides the option for a more diverse community as it provides several housing options.

The City Shaping City of North Vancouver Official Community Plan is in Stage 4: Draft OCP. This includes discussions and input on the OCP draft. They do this through open houses, focus groups, town hall meetings, and more. I thought at this meeting a lot of great points were brought up. If you would like to see a video of what happened at this meeting it is available on the City of North Vancouver's Website, or see below.

How you can get involved:

•Sign up for regular updates at CityShaping@cnv.org
• Attend an Open House 
• Fill out a Feedback Form 
• Review the latest Summary Reports
• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter
• Check our webpage regularly at www.cnv.org/CityShaping

Passive House Technology

REW.ca sent out this article about passive house technology a couple of weeks ago. I found it to be very interesting as it looks great, in my opinion, and provides long-term environmental and economical benefits for the owner. There are a couple Passive Houses in Whistler that I think look very modern and simple, which I love in the design of a house. One of them was the Austria House for the 2010 Olympics and another is a duplex. Click on the links and videos below to learn more! Definitely worth while to take a look.