Industry insiders predict 2018 real estate trends

Last year was busy for developers and marketers throughout Metro Vancouver, and a lot is in store for 2018. Sales continue to be robust, and many projects are launching with priority registration lists that far outpace the number of units available.

Faced with increasingly sophisticated and knowledgeable homebuyers, the industry is responding with a more diverse range of products designed to satisfy the demand for contemporary homes that not only look great, but live well. Here, four industry insiders share their predictions about the coming year.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 3.07.29 PMKaren West, sales and marketing director with Boffo Developments

Q: What gets you excited looking forward into 2018?

A: The demand for housing in Metro Vancouver isn’t going to stop, but I believe we’ll see a more stable market in 2018. I’m also cautiously optimistic that municipal governments will see this ongoing demand as an opportunity to streamline the project approval process – something the entire industry has been talking about for a long time.

Q: Boffo has always been a leader in the trend of building larger condominium homes. Will this trend for more spacious suites continue through next year?

A: Yes. I see demand for family-sized homes continuing – especially with the “locals first” approach that some municipal governments are taking. Whether you’re upsizing to start a family or downsizing from a single-family home, if you choose higher-density living, you still want enough space to live comfortably.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 3.09.57 PMScott Brown, president and CEO of Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing

Q: What gets you excited looking forward into 2018?

A: Continued migration to take advantage of ongoing growth in the Fraser Valley. This trend has caught the attention of Vancouver realtors, meaning that in some projects in suburban markets such as Surrey Centre and Langley, 30 to 40 per cent of the buyers are from out of town.

Q: Presales have been making headlines. What’s in store for next year?

A: I predict presales will remain strong across all products, but especially in townhomes. Not so long ago it was the norm to have a three- to four-month completion for townhomes. Now they’re in such high demand it’s more often taking 12 to 18 months. Larger units may take a little longer to sell, but there’s no problem with absorption.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 3.09.21 PMEric Andreasen, Adera’s vice-president of marketing and sales

Q: What gets you excited looking forward into 2018?

A: The market has, literally, been without inventory for a number of years – and when there’s no supply, it’s inevitable that prices go. A lot of developers have new products coming to market in 2018, so buyers should have some breathing room, which will help reduce their anxiety.

Q: Adera has won many awards for their commitment to building greener, more sustainable multi-family developments. What new trends will we see
in 2018?

A: I think technology allowing people to automate systems that increase energy efficiency is going to become even more important. For example, having lights that turn off automatically can add up to a lot of savings, especially when you combine them with features such as LED lighting. And I believe using techniques such as cross laminate timber (CLT) construction will bring renewed focus on the sustainability of wood products. CLT is in its infancy now, so it’s definitely something to watch.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 3.08.49 PMGrant Murray, senior vice-president of sales at Concord Pacific

Q: What gets you excited looking forward into 2018?

A: The rapid escalation in prices may slow – which would be good for buyers – but I see the market continuing robust in 2018. People tend to take an average price increase over the past two years, but if you look at the average increase over the past 10 years, it’s only approximately five per cent per year. The condo market especially has plenty of room to go farther. I’m also looking forward to our new project in Metrotown on the site of the old Sears building, where we’re hoping to build Metro Vancouver’s tallest highrise – more than 65 storeys.

Q: Concord is one of Canada’s largest builders of master-planned communities. What’s the future for this style of development?

A: We will continue to focus on large master-planned communities because the economy of scale they create provides many opportunities to add amenities that wouldn’t be there if you’re building a single tower. Things like schools, parks, daycare, restaurants and seawalls all increase the value of what homebuyers own and enhance the neighbourhood in general.



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