All posts from 2021

Laneway Homes Decreasing Real Estate Value in Affluent Neighborhoods

by Bevony on 30 December 2021 Comments Off on Laneway Homes Decreasing Real Estate Value in Affluent Neighborhoods

A new study done in Vancouver’s west side now shows that residents are more interested in privacy. Privacy is more important to them than even the gentlest density. The study data was published in the Journal of Urban Economics. The data shows how having laneway homes next door in affluent areas can decrease property value by 3.8%. 

Back in 2019, we saw an increase in laneway homes, and we even have a blog post of their emergence. Now in 2021 and into 2022, we are seeing that homeowners want to avoid density. We are not seeing a negative effect on lower and median valued home. But neighborhoods with higher value properties are taking the hit. The effects are seen mainly on Vancouver’s west side. Here we are seeing a decrease of 5% to 7%, but when we go to the East, we are not seeing this effect. 

The data used in the study was extracted from Vancouver real estate sales recorded from 2009 to 2017. Data on sales prices of properties neighboring laneway homes was analyzed. The data shows a negative spillover of building new laneway homes that increase density. The data suggests privacy loss is the main factor.

What are Laneway Homes Anyway?

Laneway homes are similar in structure to garages. But instead of housing cars, they house people. You can read our post on Laneway Homes to find out more about them. That post talks about their history, and why they started being built and used. So it is easy to see how one may feel like you have less privacy if your neighbor has a laneway home. The data suggests 75% of homeowners are not bothered by small density increases around them. But the 25% that are bothered, have pricier homes and are not OK with the loss of privacy. 

What the Numbers Look Like 

There is opposition to increasing density, though it is beneficial to social good to have more particular types of housing units. The study shows that houses within 100 meters of a property with laneway homes on the West Side saw a 2.8% lower sale price. Houses immediately beside a property with a Laneway house saw a 3.8% decrease compared to houses beside those that had a garage but no Laneway home. Houses with the highest values, with a laneway home next door, saw a 4.7% decrease in value.  

Since 2009, developers and homeowners in Vancouver have added some 3000 laneway homes to properties. This, along with rezoning 95% of single family properties, has been a key component of the house strategy to allow 1.5 story homes. 

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BevonyLaneway Homes Decreasing Real Estate Value in Affluent Neighborhoods

Enjoy Spring Flowers on Your Windowsill This January

by Bevony on 18 December 2021 Comments Off on Enjoy Spring Flowers on Your Windowsill This January

Due to the very wet fall of 2021, many garden stores still have a big selection of bulbs available. We have been through a difficult season that has forced us to seek comfort, stability and tradition. So many British Columbians have suffered hardships and losses due to extreme weather events and COVID-19 related issues. For many of us the simple plant on the windowsill could do a world of wealth in lifting our spirits. 

Find yourself some specially prepared heat treated bulbs such as Paperwhite narcissus which is a common choice for the holidays. These are great for your own home or even to be used as gifts for your family and friends that need a bit of cheer. 

Caring for Your Bulbs 

You can have them in soil in pots or for a more aesthetically pleasing presentation you can have them set on stones in a glass container creating a display out of their roots. For optimal performance you want to start them off cool. You will need to get them early enough so they can spend 10 days in outdoor temperatures running from 5 to 10 degrees C. This ensures root development. When the roots are established you will start seeing green leaves. When you keep the bulbs cool their flower stems will remain compact as they emerge. Then you can bring your plants inside to watch them bloom. The cooler you keep them, the more compact they will be which will mean they will be more attractive. When the flowers open, you will not only be enjoying their beautiful bloom but also their unique perfume.  

Other Flower Options

Prepared Hyacinths are another option. They are more compact and have a more powerful fragrance. Keep them cool to ensure their beauty will last long. 

Amaryllis flowers are a stunning visual option but they do not have a scent. Their striking color and the way their petals unfold always make a big statement. You can find these pre-started, in bud or ready to bloom in pots but you can still purchase bulbs and follow the instructions above. The bigger the bulbs, the larger the flower. Pot these bulbs so the top third is above ground. This will create a unique look that is full of character. Keep these beside a cool window so they can develop at a slow pace for the best results. 

Get to Planting!

It is the perfect time to start potting your bulbs for enjoyment next year indoors. These flowers in bloom will be a stunning addition to your home or can be great for gifts to friends and family members. If you are choosing non-prepared bulbs you will have a wide variety to consider choosing from. Just remember that not all bulbs are suitable for early forcing. Some of the easiest and best options to choose are Hyacinths, Crocuses and Tete-a-tete daffodils. 

Get smaller pots running 4 to 6 inches in size. Many potting soil is very lightweight so you can add some sand to the mix. Push the bulbs deep into the soil and cover with sand. This will prevent them from lifting out of the pot. 

Europeans on Top Planting Bulbs

Europeans have a different approach. Instead of burying the bulbs, they place them on top of the soil. This way the bulbs themselves offer some beauty before they bloom. Using more decorative pots also helps to improve the overall aesthetic look and feel of the plant on display. These top planted bulbs can be covered with some sand to keep them stable. 

These top planted bulbs will need 4 to 6 weeks to cool so their roots can develop. This time will also allow the flower stems to push out of the bulbs. Find a cool place that is above freezing to place these bulbs. This is a very crucial point for their development. You can place them outside in a southern or western spot and cover them with bark or sawdust so they don’t freeze while their roots are growing. 

Once rooted some bulbs will show stem growth. At this point they are ready to go indoors to start blooming. Crocuses are known to emerge first then Hyacinths and then the Tete-a-tete daffodils. Some minor bulbs will also work well. These include Grape Hyacinth, Scilla Campanulata and Chionodoxa.   

What bulbs will you be choosing this season to lift your spirits and the spirits of your loved ones? Just remember to keep them cool for the best blooms come January. 

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BevonyEnjoy Spring Flowers on Your Windowsill This January

Housing Market Pricing Canadians out of Small Towns

by Bevony on 9 December 2021 Comments Off on Housing Market Pricing Canadians out of Small Towns

It is not only in larger cities like Vancouver and Toronto that are feeling the surge in home prices. As more people leave the big cities to find more affordable real estate, they are hit with the reality that the cost of real estate in smaller towns has also increased. What does this mean for the people who grew up in these towns and cities? 

House prices have changed dramatically and it has left a lot of people angry, upset and bewildered. A lot of people have left the big cities and a lot of those are young people. They have gone on in search of more affordable houses and as such have driven up house prices there. So now people who were born and raised in these smaller towns and cities are having to struggle to be able to afford a home due to the increase in new homeowners from outside. Not only have home prices increased but traffic has increased, people are fighting for daycare spots, access to vets, doctors etc. Everything has changed for people living in smaller towns and cities. With no change to infrastructure and more people migrating to these areas it will be tough for city dwellers. 

Housing Prices Affecting Many Aspects of Life

The price increase on houses does not only affect those searching for a home to buy. In this case we can see how it has driven up traffic congestion in smaller cities, has caused strain on the economy of these cities, causing shortages in care for children, animals and more. More vehicular traffic equals more pollution.

People born and raised in these smaller towns who had dreams of staying in their area and buying their own home are now needing to look outside. Many young people had a good life prior to the pandemic and had pictured themselves living in their city for the long haul. Many people had their down payments saved up and were working their way to making a purchase. Now rising prices may mean they can’t afford a home, even with the down payment they had saved up. 

It’s hard to keep an optimistic outlook in a situation like this. Especially for those who have taken a hit to their income. Many responsible young people now can’t see the benefits of their savings due to increased housing prices. Many saw an impending crash in the housing market and expected prices to fall. Now instead of being able to afford more houses with their budget they really can’t afford a home or simply can’t. 

Did you have your heart set on purchasing a home in a small city or town? Have the increasing prices priced you out of a home? Let us know what is happening in your small town below.

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BevonyHousing Market Pricing Canadians out of Small Towns

2021 – A Record Year for Canadian Home Sales

by Bevony on 3 December 2021 Comments Off on 2021 – A Record Year for Canadian Home Sales

In November 2021 the Canadian Real Estate Association released national home sales statistics. The statistics showed that 2021 had set another yearly record where home prices were concerned and the year is not even done yet.  These high house prices are bringing investor capital into the market just as a number of recent reports had suggested. 

The analysis of the data indicates that more Canadians are purchasing homes as investment properties than as principal residences. Often these already have their primary residence and the phenomenon is continuing to grow. Online data from the Bank of Canada supports this reflecting mostly domestic investors. 

What is Causing This Influx of Investors into the Market?

Many of these residents are using the equity in their primary residences to purchase new vacation homes and investment properties in coveted spots. Many are making this move as they see housing as a safer way to invest their money leaving the financial markets behind. Real estate continues to attract people thanks to all the records in price gains seen since the summer of 2020. 

How the Trend Has Changed

TheToronto housing boom of 2020 was driven by end users but this is not the trend we are seeing for 2021. New investors are playing the majority role in driving up the real estate prices this year. 

In the summer, we saw where home price growth cooled off a bit. Now we see the market heating up. In October we saw the prices increase more than 23% over the prices of October 2020. The data shows an increase in activity from multi-property owners. There are borrowers with 2 or 3 active mortgages. These homeowners have their primary property in addition to one or more vacation homes. 

There are also those who have four or even more than four mortgages. These are most likely real estate investors. Homeowners in the latter group increased by 15% in 2021 for the months April to June when compared to the same period in 2019. This increase was highest in Ontario with a 21% increase and in Quebec with a 16% increase. 

How Long Can Investors Remain Optimistic?

The concern now is that these investors could cause the prices to increase at a faster rate, locking out others looking to buy a home as their primary residence. Investors are less constrained by income when considering a property for purchase. Investors are looking to turn a profit by re-selling a home at a higher price. This is why investors aren’t deterred by rental income being under the costs of the home. As long as investors are optimistic prices will continue to rise because they are usually willing to pay higher prices and have money at their disposal. This is similar to the type of investor psychology seen in 2016 to 2017 in Toronto. This was followed by the government stepping in with the mortgage stress test requirements.

What Happens if Investor Optimism Continues?

Expectations of future price gains can expose the housing market to a higher correction chance. If this happens it is not just investors that will feel the squeeze. Many households  have their wealth and access to credit tied to their home value. This could lead to a housing market crash of 2007 and 2008 in the United States. The good news is that our country’s financial system is quite resilient so we can envision a horizon with little to no calamity. 

Still, if housing prices were to drop significantly this could affect household spending and even have repercussions on employment. So there’s a lot at stake as we watch Canada’s housing market prices. 

Check out our last post on this topic and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Bevony2021 – A Record Year for Canadian Home Sales

Expect a New Surge in Canadian Home Prices

by Bevony on 25 November 2021 Comments Off on Expect a New Surge in Canadian Home Prices

Canadian house prices are expected to increase again. We are seeing both first time home buyers and investors scrambling to buy before the interest rates increase. The Bank of Canada has issued a warning that there is a high risk of a sudden price drop but people are ignoring this and looking to buy now. 

We can see renewed investor activity and market frothiness in a number of cities. So homeowners are considering if it is a good time to buy or not. These conditions are known to have the ability to expose the market to a higher chance of correction. 

The Bank of Canada in October 2021 signaled that the overnight rate was at an all time low of 0.25%. They also predict that this could begin rising in the middle quarters of 2022. Analysts note that another rush to buy may have already started. 

It is common for people to jump into the market when interest rates start rising again. This includes investors who want to make most of their money and of the market. This is why an acceleration is expected within the next couple months. 

A Little History – Canadian Housing Market in 2021

In March of 2021, Canadian house prices increased 31.6% year over year. We hit a record high before prices softened a bit in the summer of 2021. We are now seeing a price just below this peak in October 2021. 

The rating agencies are taking notice with estimates of Toronto’s housing market being overvalued at 32% and Vancouver’s housing market being overvalued at 23%. Toronto is Canada’s largest city and the average home price there hit 1.2 million CAD in October. This is an increase of 19.3% from the previous year. This, while the average cost of a detached home is CAD $1.5 million. 

While the Prime Minister promises to act on the market, many are criticizing him about the 77% increase nationwide since he came into office in 2015. 

Mortgage brokers everywhere are seeing an increase in clients that are motivated to buy, as they fear the prices will only keep going up. While fear is never a good motivator, this is the current reality of the Canadian housing market.  

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BevonyExpect a New Surge in Canadian Home Prices

Lumber Prices Increase as Storm Blocks Roads and Rails in British Columbia

by Bevony on 19 November 2021 Comments Off on Lumber Prices Increase as Storm Blocks Roads and Rails in British Columbia

Canada’s largest port located in Vancouver is currently stranded with no access to rail cars and trucks. These are what move goods, including lumber, out of the region. Many roads have been washed out and rail tracks are locked in the westernmost province. As such, key lumber supplies are at risk of being stuck. This while many home builders were just piling-up materials to ensure supply. This not only affects us here, but also affects the entire North America, which gets approximately 14% of their lumber from British Columbia. 

With the risk of no movement for lumber many mills are increasing their prices. What is worse is, it is not the first time that rail tracks have been blocked in British Columbia in the past five months. Previous damage caused by wildfires and a record heat wave during the summer months of 2021. 

This time of year usually sees lumber prices rising as builders start to accrue materials for spring season building. This is usually their peak season. The market saw a strong start to the week but with the rail issue there is now a frenzy. On Thursday, the B.C government closed all Forest Service roads.  

What Is Being Done to Remedy the Situation?

While crews are working to clear the roadways after mudslides the railway tracks are being repaired. There may be the option to transport lumber and supplies through Albreta but this all depends on where the lumber company is located.


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BevonyLumber Prices Increase as Storm Blocks Roads and Rails in British Columbia

Potential Solutions for Affordable Vancouver Housing

by Bevony on 11 November 2021 Comments Off on Potential Solutions for Affordable Vancouver Housing

The current housing market in Vancouver is unbalanced, to say the least. As such, it is our opinion that the government needs to be more inventive with their policies. We need to now, more than ever, tackle the problem of housing affordability head-on. It’s not just about increasing the supply of housing, it is also about ensuring that the supply of houses is also affordable. 

Negative Impacts of an Unbalanced Housing Market

The main problem with an unbalanced housing market is that it will destabilize the economy. Housing prices have a huge impact on residential investment. With a disruption in the global supply chain, materials have become harder to source and delivery times have become longer. Companies are having to find alternatives which are often more expensive. This is also causing an increase in prices for building a new home. 

What Needs to Be Done 

Upcoming housing developments should include a full range of homes for different income groups. While there is no silver bullet, this can make a big enough difference. Building from the ground up can be done to ensure that people from every income bracket have a fair chance to access homeownership. This is where Silverbeam Homes comes in. We can help you create a home that meets your needs while keeping you within the budget you can afford. It is important to come with an open mind. Contact us and let us sit down and work something out. Your dream of homeownership may not be so far fetched. Give us a call today!

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BevonyPotential Solutions for Affordable Vancouver Housing

Creating Your Haven at Home

by Bevony on 4 November 2021 Comments Off on Creating Your Haven at Home

After we build your home it’s time for you to add those finishing touches to make the inside “homey”. You want your home to be tailored to your lifestyle and that’s why you decided to build your home from the ground up. You want to look at how you live currently and how you want to grow in your home. This will ensure that your choice of design elements will make your life comfortable now and for years to come as your lifestyle and family needs change.  

Things to Consider 

You will have some things you need to consider before you even start building. Or if you already reside in your forever home you will need to consider these before your planned renovation. What are the needs of your family? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help create your home haven. 

  1. Two person showers?
  2. How many sinks are needed in each bathroom?
  3. Will you need large closets?
  4. Do you need a lot of storage space in your kitchen?
  5. Do you like to entertain and need room for that?

Considering Prices

With the global disruption of supply chains across industries the prices of materials and furniture have increased and continue to do so. When you do find items priced within your budget you may find yourself waiting quite some time for these items to arrive. 

All in all you can create a haven at home whether you build your own home or buy a home. By taking the above considerations into mind, creating and striking a budget you can achieve your goals for a lovely home that meets your needs now and in the future. 

We can help you build that home from the ground up. Give us a call today and let our team of experts get started working for you.

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BevonyCreating Your Haven at Home

Could B.C Move to Ban Single Family Zoning?

by Bevony on 28 October 2021 Comments Off on Could B.C Move to Ban Single Family Zoning?

New Zealand has taken the move to ban single-family zoning in cities. Housing advocates think this is a move that British Columbia should consider. This would mean an end to single-family zoning. That could open up some of the housing markets to persons who previously had no hope of owning a home in some places.

Housing advocates think it is worth considering this move in the most expensive markets of British Columbia. There are those of course who think that there may be unintended consequences that come along with this move.

What the New Legislation Means

The New Zealand legislation was introduced last week. It requires the selected cities to apply “medium density residential standards” to single-family zones. the legislation needs this to be done by August of 2022. These new regulations allow homeowners the ability to build a maximum of three housing units. And they can go up as much as three storeys high. The New Zealand cities that will be affected by the change include Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch.

The idea for the changes is to urge the new construction of as many as 75,000 housing units within the first eight years. A similar change in British Columbia would have the largest impact in certain areas. These would include point Grey and Kerrisdale in Vancouver. Homeowners in these areas would have more flexibility to build larger homes and separate units that could replace single-family homes.

Does the Move Increase Costs?

Yes, the change in legislation does make single-family homes more expensive. But it also increases the availability of other housing options. This can help to make the current housing shortage in New Zealand a little better.

Lessons for British Columbia

A move like this in British Columbia could help to reform local municipal powers but with a change in the current powers, a lot of housing development could open up. But with the possible blowback, some municipalities will find this hard to do.

We have seen some steps taken towards similar measures in some municipalities. But there has been opposition from powerful constituencies. There have been attempts by Ontario and Vancouver to eliminate single-family zoning but experts note that the New Zealand move offers a lot more flexibility.

Benefits of Getting Rid of Single Family Zoning

Several reasons are getting rid of single-detached zoning could be beneficial. These include:

  • Climate
  • Affordability
  • Equity
  • Public Health
  • Infrastructure Costs
  • Public Interest
  • Increase in value of existing lots

The problem with the latter is that the land often gets re-priced before the building starts. This was the experience of Vancouver the last time they tried to relax single-family zoning. This had effects on infrastructure and transit and these have to be factored in before an all-out change.

The experts suggest starting with research to ensure that the policy is sound if and when the changes are made.

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BevonyCould B.C Move to Ban Single Family Zoning?

British Columbia COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted

by Bevony on 20 October 2021 Comments Off on British Columbia COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted

Residents of British Columbia have a lot to look forward to with the news that restrictions are being lifted. Parties, weddings, funerals, sports events, and concerts will be allowed to operate at full capacity beginning October 24, 2021. 

The lifted restrictions won’t apply everywhere though, like those places with additional COVID-19 restrictions in place.  These include parts of Fraser East, Interior Health, and Northern Health. So some events will still remain at half capacity. But in Vancouver will be allowed to operate at full capacity. For example, the Vancouver Canucks game is scheduled for October 26th. This will be allowed to operate at full capacity in Vancouver, but the Abbotsford Canucks game will have to remain at a 50% capacity. 

Restriction Impacts

The restrictions have impacted all of us overall. However, they have had a greater impact on the event and tourism & hospitality sectors. These sectors are among the happiest about the lifts in these restrictions as now they can start recovering. 

The lift in restriction comes on the same date that it becomes mandatory for all individuals over the age of 12 years old to present a vaccine card. The card must be presented in order to access many services, businesses and events. These include concerts and sporting events. While people will still be required to wear a mask indoors, they will also be allowed to mingle in pubs and restaurants as long as they remain at their seats. No dancing will be allowed in these settings. 

Why Lift the Restrictions? 

Changes in Covid-19 infection rates are the driving factors behind the lifting of the restrictions. Infection rates in different age groups have fallen. This is especially true for those in the 5 to 8 and 9 to 11 year old age group. September started with a spike in cases. But since the start of October, we are seeing declining numbers. Not only is the infection rate declining, but hospital admission rates also declining in that age group. 

The seven day average case count is declining slowly and active hospitalizations and cases are remaining stable. The statistics at the time of putting this post together for vaccinated British Columbians over the age of 12 showed 83.5% of that population fully vaccinated. 

We look forward to business slowly going back to pre-pandemic viability but we know it will likely be a slow process. Here in the building market we are available to customers and potential customers looking to build their dream home. 

If you are ready to build your home, we are ready to help you make that step. Give us a call or send us a message through our contact us page. We want to hear from you.

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BevonyBritish Columbia COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted