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In the Press

2008 Forecast at Jurock Conference

by Sharleen Whiteside

September 20, 2007

Last weekend Waterfront West staff attended the B.C. real estate guru Ozzie Jurock's 2008 Real Estate Outlook to find out what he predicts for B.C. markets for the coming year.

For all of the recreational real estate fans out there, Ozzie advised to "go where the boomers go" and B.C. areas he alluded to for future growth in this sector included much of Vancouver Island, as well as some smaller towns in the Okanagan and Shuswap areas.

A recent survey by Angus Reid Strategies showed that one of every four Canadian adults would like to buy a vacation property. Forty-one percent of these buyers were over 55 years old and eighty-three percent of them wish to pay off their mortagages on these properties or have clear title within 15 years of purchase. Furthermore, waterfront properties are most popular with B.C. buyers (39%).

Based on these survey results, the high demand for rec. property, coupled with the availability of extra cash and cheap mortgages is keeping the market brisk for B.C. recreational property. Many of our subscribing real estate agents have reported a surge in activity in the last few weeks of August and beginning of September, and our site stats have shown an increase of anywhere from 500-2500 more unique visitors month over month since January so the demand is definitely out there! Stay tuned to this blog to find out the top 10 recreational areas in B.C. as determined by our site statistics (to be released next spring).

For real estate investors or speculators, the general advice of the day was to make sure you want what you buy. Despite some US markets preforming well (Seattle gained 12% in price this year according to NAR), US headlines are grim in light of the recent sub-prime mortgage debacle. Investors must be aware of the psychological impact of the media on the market. Although B.C.'s economy remains strong, as does Alberta's, Ozzie pointed to the high listing to sales ratio in Edmonton (which he belives is unwarranted) as a possible indicator of the psycholoigcal effect the negative media has created.

The other "fly in the ointment" could be a possible debasement of currency and all implications that would have (ie. raised interest rates). Although he believes this is unlikely, he advised real estate investors to excercise caution and make sure to do their due diligence to make sure properties cash flow and/or make sense from an investment perspective. He advised that if you are planning to buy or need any type of loan to get it in writing now as he believes banks will tighten up on lending to avoid loan defaults.

On the upside, for those of us who think against the grain, a little more bad news may cause US markets in select areas to slip further and create some good buying opportunities.

Finally, he says if you are buying for yourself, buy the best you can afford and enjoy it to the fullest!


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