Squamish is known for its spectacular outdoor lifestyle opportunities. Maples at Fintrey Park offers brand-new, detached homes in this growing community ›› p.4
September 16, 2010
Buyer’s market conditions continue
At ParkLane Homes’ The Block in Vancouver, homebuyers were offered a free Zipcar membership – and access to two nearby Zipcar vehicles – when they purchased a home there. A Vancouver bylaw, updated in 2009, helps promote this process by allowing developers a reduction of five parking spaces for every car-sharing vehicle and associated parking stall; while this isn’t a bylaw in every Metro Vancouver community yet, similar opportunities exist
Conditions in the Metro Vancouver housing market continued to favour buyers throughout August, reports the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Since April, home prices have edged down slightly as the number of sales and the number of properties coming onto the market have been declining. Residential property sales in the region in August decreased compared to the same month last year, but the REBGV notes August 2009 was the second-highest selling August ever recorded. Last month’s 2,202 residential sales represented a 40.4 increase over the 1,568 residential sales in August 2008, but numbers declined compared to August 2007 and August 2006. New listings for detached, attached and Jake Moldowan apartment residences also declined compared to August 2009, but total active listings in Greater Vancouver currently sit at 15,421 – a 29 per cent increase from the same month last year. However, even with recent declines in sales and starts, REBGV president Jake Moldowan notes that people thinking about buying home may find the right time is now. “We’re seeing moderate demand, low interest rates and a healthy but slowing stream of supply in our marketplace, all variable that favour those looking to purchase a home,” he says. “The past few months have also shown some stability when it comes to price fluctuation in the region, which is a welcome trend after reaching record highs in April.” Since spring, housing prices in the region have decreased by 2.8 per cent compared to the all-time high reached in April, when the residential benchmark price was
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Brent Toderian, director of planning for the City of Vancouver, prepares to drive a car-share vehicle. Car sharing programs can help local homeowners live a greener, more affordable lifestyle. Martin Knowles photo
Go green: give up a car Metro Vancouver builders help provide a sustainable lifestyle TRICIA LESLIE Giving up a car may be hard for some. But for Metro Vancouver homeowners who live near busy transit corridors, it may be easier than expected, especially thanks to the advent of car-share networks, such as The Car Co-op (The Co-operative Auto Network) and Zipcar.
Local builders are actively participating in helping homeowners reduce their carbon footprint, as building new homes and communities with green, sustainable practices is now fairly commonplace in the region. Several new-home projects in Metro Vancouver offer one or more car-share parking spaces, including Cressey’s James in southeast False Creek and Adera’s Green in Burnaby; others, like Concord Pacific’s Smart project in Gastown, offered lower prices to homebuyers if they didn’t include a parking stall in their purchase. !
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2 New Local Home September 16, 2010
Co-op car stalls at Vancouver City Hall (above, Martin Knowles) and at Adera’s Green.
“The car share
fills that gap” Single, detached starts see rise CONTINUED FROM P.1
$593,419. Over the past 12 months, the MLS benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver increased by 6.9 per cent to $576,597 in August 2010 from $539,600 in August 2009, says the REBGV. “Canada remains an attractive destination for foreign buyers, a fact that continues to affect activity in the “Many centres Greater Vancouver housing maracross the ket,” Moldowan Vancouver says. Canada MortCMA have gage and Housing seen a rise Corporation rein single ports that housing starts were down detached three per cent housing starts by across the country in response in August, but in B.C., August’s seato strong sonally adjusted consumer rate of urban demand.” housing starts moved higher to 25,400 units from 20,100 units in July. “Many centres across the Vancouver CMA (Census Metropolitan Area) have seen a rise in single detached housing starts in response to strong consumer demand for ground-oriented housing. Not only are developers building in areas of raw land supply, but also there has been an increase in infill developments in areas such as Vancouver City, Burnaby and Richmond,” says CMHC senior market analyst Robyn Adamache. “Multiple-family units still dominate new home construction activity, making up more than two-thirds of all housing starts in the CMA.”
Off the front: “A
car that is parked but not used still adds to the carbon footprint.” – Brent Toderian CONTINUED FROM P.1
in many local municipalities, as planners allow the same provisions without the enacted bylaw. “We see this as a very important, sustainable part of (Vancouver’s) Greenest City Initiative,” says Vancouver director of planning Brent Toderian, who is also a Zipcar member. “A car that is parked but not used still adds to the carbon footprint,” he notes, and adds that the cost of parking, especially underground parkades, usually transfers to the cost of the unit. Being a member of a car-share program means flexibility, and allows drivers to use a variety of different vehicles when they’re needed, Toderian says. Regular maintenance and such are paid for through membership fees, but overall, being a car-share network member is much less costly than owning a vehicle, especially when factoring in pay parking fees. “I stopped using a personal vehicle over a year ago, and car sharing has been a big part of that,” Toderian says. “I don’t need one all the times, but what about the times I do need one? The car share fills that gap.” Plus, there’s a choice of vehicles, Toderian notes. “You can get a truck to go to Ikea or get a Prius ... the flexibility is great.” Car sharing can have strong sustainable and affordability advantages for any homeowner, Toderian says, which can make the new-home projects that offer such incentives more popular with Metro Vancouver homebuyers. He notes the City of Vancouver sanctions two car-share programs: The Car Co-op and Zipcar. It is up to each developer to build a partnership with either, in order to offer car sharing
Cressey’s James offers car-share vehicles.
stalls and vehicles. Tanya Paz, client relations and development director at Vancouver branch of The Car Co-op (also known as The Co-operative Auto Network), says that car share program first started in Metro Vancouver in 1997; Vancouver was the first English-speaking member of TCC behind Germany, Switzerland and Montreal, she notes. A member herself since its inception, Paz notes the network now has 245 vehicles in the region – in eight Metro Vancouver municipalities, with the highest concentration of vehicles centred in Vancouver – and thousands of members and clients (people can try out the network as clients, but members buy into the co-operative as shareholders and get better rates). “We’re on the verge of 7,000 drivers,” says Paz. “It’s great for people who need a car roughly four days a week or less.” Paz recalls receiving two calls from two different couples, anxious to thank The Car Co-op for enabling them to live in Vancouver. “They called and said, ‘We were able to buy a home in Vancouver because of you,’” she says. “It’s basically, less than owning a vehicle and less than always taking a cab ... it’s about creating a sustainable transit system for yourself.” TCC member and Vancouver resident Martin Knowles, who is also a serious cyclist, says he’d recommend joining a car-share program to anyone, especially now that more and more car sharing options are becoming available.
Martin Knowles photo
“I’m able to do a lot of my day-to-day errands by walking or by bicycle,” Knowles says, estimating he uses TCC about once a week or less. “The co-op is an ideal solution. When I do need a vehicle, I just look up the ones that are available nearby. I think it’s an awesome way to go.” At Adera’s Green – a Burnaby townhome community that has won several awards for its sustainable, innovative approach – the several car-share vehicles that are offered are a hit with homeowners, especially the younger generation, says Adera vice-president of marketing and sales Eric Andreasen. “The more youthful buyers are really concerned about the state of the planet and go to really great lengths to make sure they’re participating in sustainable practices,” he says. Local transit systems are another option for homeowners who want to go green and give up one – or both – vehicles. At Burnaby Mountain’s UniverCity, for example, developers offer homebuyers in the new Simon Fraser residential community a heavily discounted monthly transit pass, an idea Surrey Coun. Marvin Hunt thinks is superb. Earlier this summer, Hunt put forward a proposal to council suggesting developers provide homeowners with free transit passes, should they purchase a new home in a heavily populated area of Surrey, along a transit corridor. Parking stalls can be costly, Hunt notes, and says the idea would be for each developer to talk to TransLink and work out a partnership. “I think we’ve got to get more creative (to be sustainable),” says Hunt. “There are challenges for us in Surrey, where we’re so car-dependent, but it’s certainly my hope (the proposal will pass unanimously). Council has supported the concept.” Hunt expects his proposal will likely find its way back to council in October. Adding more incentives for developers to increase car share space or to help their homeowners take transit can only help the environment, Toderian and Hunt agree. “It is in our interests to spread it around as much as possible,” says Toderian.
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New Local Home September 16, 2010 3
4 New Local Home September 16, 2010
Squamish: the outdoors is yours
New Fintrey Park homes offer more It’s known as the outdoor recreation capital of Canada – and for good reason. With world-renowned ski resort Whistler just 45 minutes away on one side, Vancouver 45 minutes away on the other, and surrounded by the spectacular beauty of the Pacific Ocean and B.C.’s beautiful West Coast mountains, Squamish is starting to become known as one of Metro Vancouver’s most desirable communities. And a great place to purchase a new home. “People don’t recognize the potential Squamish has as a bedroom community to Vancouver,” says Maples at Fintrey Park sales director Don Coggins. “It’s only 45 minutes to Vancouver and 45 minutes to Whistler, and much easier (to live and commute) than the valley.” Maples at Fintrey Park is a new, 175-home community set on 54 acres just off the Sea to Sky Highway in the heart of Squamish, close to downtown shopping and amenities. Developed by Loggers Lane GP, built by Rommel Homes and managed by Glacier Creek Contracting Ltd., the new community features all singlefamily detached homes, all three CONTINUED ON P.6
A kayaker navigates the Ashlu River in Squamish, where the opportunities for outdoor recreation are countless. tourismsquamish.com
Close to Vancouver. Close to Whistler. Closer to nature. Now selling new homes in Squamish . . . just 45 minutes to Whistler or Vancouver on the new Sea to Sky Highway
$20,000 in purchase credits available for the first 10 buyers The Maples is launching a new series of homes, located next to Brennan Park off Finch Drive. Close to all amenities.
For more information call 1.888.262.2808 or go online to www.fintreypark.com
Ranchers and two-story single family homes ranging from $499,000 to $579,000. Financing packages are available.
or visit our Presentation Center on the corner of Finch and Bryson in Squamish. ( See hours and location under “Find Us” on the website).
New Local Home September 16, 2010 5
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6 New Local Home September 16, 2010
Maples at Fintrey Park: live in Squamish Maples prices attractive CONTINUED FROM P.4
bedrooms or more. And the lifestyle? The outdoors is ‘in’ in Squamish. With plenty of worldwide exposure during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Squamish’s breathtaking natural beauty transcended even the Games, leaving many visitors and spectators from elsewhere in awe of Beautiful British Columbia. Its majestic mountains invite all kinds of activities: skiing, snowboarding, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, zip lining and more, while local golf courses and community amenities abound. The ocean and local lakes, rivers and other meandering waterways and waterfalls welcome long walks, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and rafting, while camping is always popular. For those who prefer to stay inside, there’s still plenty to do, from shopping to live entertainment to the area’s restaurants, lounges and cafes. Maples at Fintrey Park is also located right behind Brennan Park’s pool, ice rink, playing fields and fitness centre, while a twokilometre interconnected walking and biking trail system will lead residents to Squamish in minutes. Many of the homes at Maples at Fintrey Park boast amazing mountain views; homes are designed in a wide variety of sizes and plans, from single-level homes to two-storey residences. CONTINUED ON P.7
A rendering shows just two of the many available floorplans and designs at Maples at Fintrey Park, located just off the Sea to Sky in Squamish.
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New Local Home September 16, 2010 7
Discover Squamish living
‘This is the place to live’ CONTINUED FROM P.6
Coggins notes homebuyers can get a single-family detached home with garage starting from $499,000 at the Maples. “There’s some pretty attractive pricing,” he says. “If anybody is an outdoor person at all, this is the place to live.” Designed to carefully maximize the natural benefits of its forests and streams, Maples at Fintrey Park was developed in consultation with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Squamish Stream Keepers and First Nations. It offers 27 acres of preserved green space, the trail system, a neighbourhood park and open play area, and natural view corridors that ensure more than 50 per cent of the home sites back onto green space. Inside, every Fintrey Park home comes with a complete set of Frigidaire or Kenwood appliances and flooring includes carpet, ceramic tile and laminate; homeowners can choose to upgrade with features like radiant-heat flooring as well. A presentation centre for the project recently opened at Bryson Way and Finch Drive, just off the Sea to Sky in Squamish. Visit www.fintreypark.com to find out more about Maples at Fintrey Park.
Hiking the local mountains is always popular in Squamish, where the Maples at Fintrey Park offers new, detached homes to buyers. tourismsquamish.com
Can small town values and big city amenities coexist? Start with quality highrise residences located in the heart of the thriving town centre. Add ocean views, amenity-rich shopping promenade of Johnston Road, and top ranked local schools. Of course it can. AV R A . I N T I M AT E & L I VA B L E . W H I T E R O C K . REGISTER NOW
W W W. AV R A L I V I N G . C O M
This image is an artists’ representation only.This is not an offering for sale. Any such offering can only be made with a disclosure statement. E.& O.E.
8 New Local Home September 16, 2010
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*Please contact an Onni sales representative for details. This offer only applies to select homes. Onni reserves the right to make any modifications and/or substitutions to this offer, without notice, should it be necessary, or to cancel this offer in its discretion. E.&O.E.