Vancouver Real Estate Forum took place Feb. 20

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014


Real estate is a hot topic across Canada, but nowhere does it generate the type of lively discussion as it does in Vancouver.

Vancouver is considered one of the most valuable real estate markets in the country. Thanks to its gorgeous mountain and ocean backdrop, vibrant business and cultural communities, it seems everyone wants a piece of property here.

Prices across the region have climbed steadily over the years, in large part because there is only so much space to build between the mountains and ocean that attract many of us, and keep us here. It’s this reality that underscores what I believe are three key themes that define Vancouver’s real estate market today: value, urbanization and sustainability.

Let’s start with value. Real estate in Vancouver isn’t cheap. In fact, the rising price of housing is a concern for parents like me who wonder if their children will ever be able to afford their home in this city. On the flip side, that can make an investment in real estate a wise one.

As the population throughout the region grows, including the number of people moving from across Canada and other parts of the world, so too will demand for housing.

The good news for homebuyers and business owners is that developers are working to meet the increased demand for real estate. New communities are being built across the Lower Mainland, alongside a continued effort to revive more tired areas. Together, these two trends are helping to build vibrant new neighbourhoods and spur economic activity, which benefits the local economy as well as the people living and working in it.

That’s where urbanization comes in. To help keep property ownership affordable, local governments are working with developers and others across the real estate industry to build up, not just out, ensuring the best use of land and creating more efficient spaces. That, in turn, helps to drive down costs for buyers.

By increasing density in our neighbourhoods, we are not only making better use of the space available, but also helping to ensure the next generation of buyers can get into the market.

Sustainability is key to ensuring the success of this development boom. New projects going up today are not only smarter when it comes to conserving space, but are also designed to conserve energy and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some of these “green” building features include everything from solar and wind power generation to drawing heat from sewer lines. Upgrades to older buildings are also incorporating more energy-conservation designs.

The themes of value, urbanization and sustainability will be a big part of the discussion at two major real estate events to be held in unison in Vancouver. The 20th annual Vancouver Real Estate Forum is taking place on February 20, co-located with BUILDEX Vancouver, which is happening on February 19 and 20.

These events are an opportunity for people in the industry to get together, share ideas and further drive innovation across the sector. The events, which together will feature thousands of delegates, hundreds of exhibits and dozens of seminars, are also a chance for the public to get educated on the real estate market. That includes the various factors that will impact their property investments in the future.

It promises to be a very interesting discussion, and one that will continue for years to come.

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