Murrayville offers more… Platinum Group is offering a limited-edition collection of brandnew townhomes in the historic community of Murrayville. Entitled Murray’s Landing, the Langley development features spacious, four-bedroom homes situated in a peaceful neighbourhood that is both modern and contemporary, while remaining rich with heritage ›› p.4
February 25, 2010
Realtors raise thousands for charity in 2009 Metro Vancouver real estate industry generous to non-profits
... to help prevent one,” Flaherty says in a release. The rule adjustments for governmentbacked insured mortgages are set to come into effect on April 19. Ottawa will now: n require that all borrowers meet the standards for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage even if they choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter term.
Realtors from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s were busy working for others in 2009. REBGV’s commercial and six geographical divisions converted a year’s worth of meetings, seminars and other events into thousands of dollars for the people most in need within their respective communities. All totalled, the seven divisions raised $52,932.33 in monetary donations for local charitable causes last year. “Last year was full of ups and downs in our market, but our divisions’ longstanding commitment to charitable giving remained strong and steady through it all,” says REBGV president Scott Russell. “There is a deeply rooted culture of giving within the realtor community, which is exhibited through many hours of volunteerScott Russell ing, planning and sheer dedication.” The funds raised went to help a broad cross-section of organizations throughout Greater Vancouver. The Delta Boys & Girls Club, Tri-City Women’s Shelter, the Lions Gate Hospital Hospice, the BC Cancer Foundation and Covenant House were among the recipient charities in 2009. The REBGV welcomes everyone to join them in thanking the REBGV divisions for their extraordinary fundraising efforts in 2009. To see a complete rundown of all of the charitable contributions made, turn to the next page.
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Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association CEO Peter Simpson, at an Adera development site, is concerned that new lending rules will have a negative impact on the housing market. Tricia Leslie photo
‘If it’s not broken, why the fix?’ GVHBA CEO questions new federal mortgage rules TRICIA LESLIE The federal government should not try to change something, lest they make it worse. At least, that’s how Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association CEO Peter Simpson sees it.
“If it’s not broken, why the fix?” Simpson questions of the new measures announced by Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty last week, intended to strengthen housing financing. “If there is no bubble, why is (the government) implementing these rules? They’re not justified or needed,” says Simpson. While Flaherty says Canada’s housing market is healthy and stable, and that there is no evidence of a housing bubble, the new rules are “proactive, prudent and cautious
2 • New Local Home | February 25, 2010
More than $50,000 for good causes CONTINUED FROM P.1
Burnaby/New Westminster/Tri-Cities • $2,826.53 raised at the BNT Golf Tournament for S.H.A.R.E. Society – May 21. • $3,825.23 raised at the BNT Christmas Party for Tri-City Women’s Shelter – Dec, 3. Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows • $1,526.58 raised at the MRPM Golf Tournament for the Salvation Army Caring Place – June 10. 400 needy people were served a full Thanksgiving dinner – Oct. 12. • $2,748.96 raised at the MRPM Christmas Party for the Salvation Army Caring Place – Dec. 9. North Shore/Sunshine Coast/Sea-to-Sky • $4,307.24 raised at the NSS Christmas Party for Family Services of the North Shore and the Lions Gate Hospital Hospice – Dec. 3. Richmond/South Delta/Gulf Islands • $3,280.27 raised at the RSDGI Golf Tournament for Delta Assist and Richmond Carefree Society – “Last year June 18. • $2,302.00 was full of raised at the ups and Richmond downs in our Christmas Party market, but for the Richmond Hospital Foundaour divisions’ tion – De.c 3. longstanding • $7,008.00 at the commitment raised South Delta to charitable Christmas Party for the Delta Boys giving & Girls Club and remained Reach 4 Youth – strong and Dec. 11. steady Vancouver East through it • $2,108.50 all.” raised at the Vancouver East Christmas Party for Admiral Seymour Elementary School – Dec. 17. • Over 45 calculators donated to grade 4 and 5 students at Admiral SeyGour Elementary School – Oct. 7. West Side • $635.71 and four bags of clothing raised at the Brock House barbecue for Covenant House – June 10 • $2,378.93 raised at the Westside Christmas Party for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation – Dec. 10. Commercial • $2,280.38 raised at the Commercial Golf Tournament for Team REBGV Commercial – The Ride to Conquer Cancer – June. • $180 raised at the Commercial Forum for Team REBGV Commercial – The Ride to Conquer Cancer – June. REBGV-wide • Sales from Teldon Calendars raised $4,603 for Tri-City Women’s Resource Society, RainCity Housing and Covenant House Vancouver. • The 2009 REBGV Charity Golf Classic raised $4,700 for Covenant House Vancouver. • The 15th Annual Realtors Care Blanket Drive gathered 4,350 bags of blankets and clothing. • RBGV’s First Annual Shelter Drive raised $8,221.
“Our banks are already
very cautious” Off the front: “These
policies are less severe than raising interest rates.” Tsur
Somerville, UBC real estate expert CONTINUED FROM P.1
This requirement will help Canadians prepare for higher interest rates in the future. n lower the maximum amount Canadians can withdraw in refinancing their mortgages to 90 per cent from 95 per cent of the value of their homes. This will help ensure home ownership is a more effective way to save. n Require a minimum down payment of 20 per cent for government-backed mortgage insurance on non-owner-occupied properties purchased for speculation. Industry stakeholders were not consulted about the changes, Simpson notes. “We were surprised. (When it was announced) was the first time we heard about it,” he says, and adds the housing market is still coming out of an unstable 2009. The housing market is just starting to gain some momentum after an unstable 2008 and 2009, and adding more restrictions could be harmful, Simpson says. “We have always encouraged homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers, to be prudent with their purchases and buy homes within their means,” Simpson emphasizes, and adds that Canada has been more cautious than other countries with its lending practices, anyway. “Our banks are already very cautious about who they lend to ... the concern is that a lot of first-time buyers will now start re-thinking when to buy.” Having the first-time buyers busy in the market is imperative to its success, Simpson says, because they allow other homeowners to sell and get into a “move-up” home, and the sellers of those homes, in turn, can move up or downsize as needed, etc.
UBC professor and real estate expert Tsur Somerville says the new mortgage rules announced by the federal government are ‘fairly moderate and fairly focused.’ file photo
At Polygon Homes, senior vice-president of sales and marketing Ralph Archibald doesn’t see too much of an impact happening due to the new rules, since Polygon sees a lot of people who buy their homes to live in them, not as non-owner-occupied residences. “The 90 per cent financing is still available and the 35-year amortization remains in place, and those are two key components to get new homebuyers into a home,” Archibald says. UBC professor and real estate expert Tsur Somerville agrees that having the 90 per cent financing and 35-year amortization in place is good, but says there will be an effect on qualification for home mortgages. “It’s going to dampen some of the market, but not a lot,” Somerville says. “I think it’s probably the best compromise between people who don’t and people who do think there’s a serious problem (with the housing market).” Somerville says he hadn’t necessarily been
NEW Lending rules
in the “bubble camp,” but on the other hand, he was concerned at what would happen to the market if it continued at the pace it has been. “Interest rates affect so much more than the housing market,” Somerville says of predicted hikes. “These are policies that are less severe than raising interest rates, and this way, it’s relatively targeted toward the housing market. (The rules) are fairly moderate and fairly focused.” Although interest rates are expected to rise, most experts are predicting they won’t increase by too much, and likely not until the latter half of this year. Simpson says he has expressed his concerns to the government, and will continue to do so with all levels of government. With the HST set to kick in July 1, and the impending threat of interest rate hikes, Simpson says these new lending rules are deterrents the industry does not need. “It will contribute significantly to buyer resistance,” he says. “It won’t be good for the market.”
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New Local Home | February 25, 2010 • 3
Vancouver’s Builder of Choice since 1980. Visit a Polygon community to find the home that’s right for you.
All Sales Centres open Noon to 5pm except Friday
Sophisticated three and four bedroom townhomes at the master-planned community of Dayanee Springs
Sleek 26-storey concrete tower just minutes from Metrotown, SkyTrain, restaurants, great schools and more
Located at the base of Coquitlam’s Westwood Plateau, steps from shops, schools and Town Centre Park
Contemporary two bedroom homes featuring floor-to-ceiling windows to capture spectacular views
Timbers Club – 7,500 square foot private amenity with pool
Residents-only fitness studio and social lounge
Priced from $519,900
B U R N A B Y M E T R OTO W N
EW L N DE O M
Three and four bedroom Seaside-style townhomes in sunny South Surrey
7,500 square feet of resort-style amenities including outdoor pool, spa, hockey room, fitness studio, and theatre s Minutes to new village-inspired lifestyle shopping centre with trendy shops, market, and restaurants s
Priced from $389,800
Priced from $369,900
1357 Purcell Drive, Coquitlam Telephone: 604.552.3003
6688 Arcola Street, Burnaby Telephone: 604.871.9056
2729 158th Street, Surrey Telephone: 604.541.4246
Polygon Tyneridge Homes Ltd. Polygon Whitetail Lane II Homes Ltd. Polygon Dayanee Springs Development Ltd.
Polygon Luma Tower Ltd.
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LS DE O EN M P O
Featuring welcoming East Coast shingle-style architecture
A collection of three and four bedroom townhomes at Sunstone, Polygon’s popular master-planned community in North Delta s Exclusive membership to the Sunstone Club, a 12,000 square foot clubhouse s
Central North Delta location close to commuter routes, schools, shopping, walking trails and more Priced from $369,900
N O R T H D E LTA
One, two and three bedroom apartment residences at Windsor Gate, Polygon’s master-planned community in Coquitlam s Located just steps from the shops and services of Coquitlam Town Centre s
Exclusive membership to a grand clubhouse featuring over 15,000 square feet of resortstyle amenities
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Exclusive collection of three and four bedroom executive townhomes
Convenient location just minutes from shopping, schools, commuter routes and all the natural North Shore amenities including Lynn Creek Trails and Mount Seymour
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8355 Delsom Way, Delta Telephone: 604.588.8153
3097 Lincoln Avenue, Coquitlam Telephone: 60.552.1113
For more information, call 604.871.4226 or visit polyhomes.com
Polygon Spyglass Homes Ltd. Polygon Nordel Development Ltd.
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Polygon Wedgewood Homes Ltd. This is currently not an offering for sale. Any such offering may only be made with a disclosure statement. E.&O.E.
N O R T H VA N C O U V E R
G IN M N CO OO S
4 • New Local Home | February 25, 2010
A quiet community rich with heritage
New townhomes offer more in historic community Pioneers Paul and Lucy Murray came to Langley in the 1870s, giving their name to the Murrayville neighbourhood (the area between 216 and 216 A streets and 48 and 48A avenues). One of the oldest subdivisions in Langley, the area remains historic yet vibrant in the bustling Township of Langley. A new addition to the community is the Platinum Group of Companies latest project, a limited-edition collection of townhomes entitled Murray’s Landing. A family owned company that has been building homes for over 15 years, Platinum Group has earned the trust of the community through innovative design, quality construction. In Murray’s Landing, the award-winning developer brings the same high standards and features you would find in singlefamily detached homes to the multi-family environment. The setting is magnificent, with treelined boulevards and exquisite gardens that create a feeling of village life. Shopping at Murrayville Square Mall is within walking distance and Willowbrook Shopping Centre is a short distance away, as are financial institutions, a variety of restaurants and other local businesses. “If simply enjoying living in a quiet community that is rich with heritage and pride, yet modern and perfect for all your family needs, Murray’s Landing is for you and your family,” says marketing specialist Luana Matteazzzi. At just over 2,000 square feet, these fourbedroom townhomes feature nine-foot ceilings throughout the main living level as well as oversized windows, baseboards and mouldings. The daily living space is a contemporary open plan consisting of kitchen, family room and eating nook, while an energyefficient gas or electric fireplace with a hand-crafted concrete surround completes the layout. A more formal living room and dining area are also located on the main floor. The kitchen is a home chef ’s dream, complete with granite countertops, designer backsplash, custom-designed maple shaker cabinetry, and designer stainless steel appliances. CONTINUED ON P.6
Platinum Group of Companies is offering a limited collection of townhomes in Langley’s historic Murrayville neighbourhood. The four-bedroom Murray’s Landing dwellings are spacious and open, with nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows. Kitchens come with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, and living areas are complemented with energy-efficient gas fireplaces. Set in a location that is within walking distance to local businesses, Murray’s Landing is also close to major transportation routes and transit options. Martin Knowles photos
New Local Home | February 25, 2010 • 5
‘Our ancestors actually got it right’ Building your home? Experts offer advice at GVHBA workshop Find out all the latest tech tips in homebuilding at the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ winter session of What’s New in Homebuilding, a popular workshop for people who are contemplating having a custom home built for them. Presented in partnership with Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, the March 6 event features technology experts from the GVHBA, including architect Richard Kadulski and Eneready Products Ltd. owner David Hill. “It is important to understand how your home works – materials, construction techniques, ventilation – so you can make better-informed choices for your family and the environment when building your next home,” says Kadulski. Workshop topics include: Principles of durable building envelope construction; Healthy housing tips for superior indoor quality; Ventilation systems; Energy efficient and green construction practices; and how energy choices affect costs. The full-day workshop runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Best Western Coquitlam Hotel and Conference Centre (319 North Rd., Coquitlam; Salon A), with lunch and coffee breaks provided in the cost ($75 per person or $130 per couple). Registration is limited. Call 778-565-4288 to register.
Sustainable building is key for UDI MAGGIE CALLOWAY The Urban Development Institute (Pacific Region) is often in the news – but who are they and what do they do? A national non-profit association for the development industry and its related professions, the UDI also has international affiliations, according to its website. The 500 corporate members of UDI Pacific represent thousands of individuals involved in all facets of land development and planning, including: developers, property managers, financial lenders, lawyers, engineers, planners, architects, appraisers, real estate professionals, local governments and government agencies. Since 1972, the Pacific Region has been dedicated to fostering effective communication between the industry, government, and the public; and aims to improve both housing and job opportunities for all B.C. residents. UDI Pacific also serves as a public voice of the real estate development industry, communicating with the media on a number of issues. The association concentrates its activities in three primary areas: government relations; professional development and education; and research. “From the beginning, the Urban Development Institute has been involved in promoting
UDI executive director Maureen Enser says sustainable, affordable building is important.
sustainable use of land. Our members build buildings but they also build communities,” says UDI executive director Maureen Enser. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for the communities in which we build, and the land. We all know land is a precious resource, so how do we use it wisely is a question which is always top of mind.” Finding a balance between sustainability and affordability is key, Enser says. “The other side of it is, how do we use the land wisely and make it environmentally sustainable but also affordable?” Urban Development Institute brings in the practical side of the environmental equation and searches for which technologies offer the biggest bang for the buck but which are also affordable. UDI is also investigating working with the energy sector and researching new energy systems, to see if they are more affordable than the current ones in use.
UDI members are also reaching out right across the country to see what other jurisdictions are doing and to ask, “What is it we can do to be more efficient and yet affordable?” “We have all heard about eco-density and sustainable communities, which we support, but we also use the term ‘climate-smart development,’ which is all about green building, but it goes further and addresses land use,” Enser says. “So it goes back to the earlier principle of increasing density around transit nodes so that people don’t have to use their car for every trip. We are making it possible for people to live and work in closer proximity so they don’t even need to use public transit – they can walk everywhere if they so choose. It’s all about taking a look at all those principles and finding a practical affordable application and that’s what we are about.” Interestingly this understanding of how important it is to reduce the distance between home, work, school, shopping and entertainment for the sake of the environment would not be a foreign concept to people who lived hundreds of years ago, Enser notes. “When we grew up, everything was within walking distance and if we had to use the car, it was to travel much shorter distances than today,” she says. Enser says it is a North American phenomenon to use the car to travel greater distances. “When we started populating North America, we started separating uses. We had a residential use in one area and an industrial use in another and a commercial use somewhere else,” says Enser. “The traditional way of building communities is to put them all together in close proximity. What we are doing now is to put them all together in what is called neo-traditional planning – our ancestors actually got it right.”
He wants more space. She wants more style. Their happily ever after is Time. HWY
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2 Showhomes Open 12 – 5, 9525-204th Street, Langley, BC. 604 694-1819
ParkLane Homes (Walnut Grove) Ltd.