Daily Informative Updates on
New Residential Real Estate & Construction News
for Vancouver Island Communities

Nov 30, 2010

1stView Welcomes New Team Members

The 1stView Team - Jakob Christoph, Cathy Glover, Clarice Coty, Mia Heitland, Ted WoodThe 1stView team is expanding with the introduction of Jakob Christoph to its sales department and Mia Heitland to the communications desk.

Heitland, a former reporter and marketing director takes over the communications reigns as the point person for client services. A key part of her role will be providing daily updates to readers of both blogs, www.1stView ca and www.claricecoty.com. Her aim is to provide readers with all the new Vancouver Island real estate construction and development news, as the 1stView team develops a "one-stop shop" for home buyers and developers.

"We make it easy for the online visitors to find new real estate projects on Vancouver Island, with representation of many types of residential projects" Heitland said. "Our blogs report on real estate and development news that matter on Vancouver Island."

A new project for 1stView is the development of a comprehensive online real estate and construction directory for Vancouver Island. Just launched this week, this easy to search directory will help consumers find the type of real estate and construction service or product in specific communities.

A BCIT graduate, Christoph has worked for the Jim Pattison Group and spent time in the UK. An avid sports and outdoorsman, he is happy to be back in his hometown. "I am happy to be representing 1stView," he said, "and my hope is to help clients find the services and products that they need, while bringing success to the businesses involved with the 1stView directory. 

In photo, from left to right Jakob Christoph, Cathy Glover, Clarice Coty, Mia Heitland, Ted Wood

Nov 29, 2010

Qualicum Landing Beach Front Homes on Vancouver Island Now 70% Sold

Qualicum Landing, a 15-acre Vancouver Island waterfront development just north of Qualicum Beach is now 70% sold out.
Construction is complete on the first 5 phases of new oceanfront homes, and real estate sales continue to be steady despite the winter market. The sales team attributes this in part to recent developer incentives being offered to offset the harmonized sales tax (HST).
The development at Qualicum Landing includes a clubhouse with heated outdoor pool and two spas, private beachfront recreation areas, and a community garden.
These luxury Vancouver Island waterfront homes are priced from $399,000. Only 18 of these beach front homes near Qualicum Beach remain.

Nov 29, 2010

Only 5 Lots Remain at Fairwinds' Bonnington Ridge Development


Only five residential lots are still available in Fairwinds Community and Resort’s latest real estate development.
Bonnington Ridge offers golf course and ocean view lots situated on a quiet cul de sac, steps from Fairwinds Centre and minutes from Fairwinds Golf Club and Schooner Cove Marina.  Fairwinds is a waterfront golf community located in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island.
Among the five remaining lots for sale is lot six, which offers a spectacular Vancouver Island ocean view on .35 acres.
Properties at Bonnington Ridge start at $209,000. 
For more information, visit their website or drop by the Presentation Centre at 3455 Fairwinds Drive.

Nov 26, 2010

Vancouver Island Real Estate Project "The Gales" Featured in Homes and Living Magazine

The Gales in Ladysmith will be the Feature Home in the Christmas edition of Homes and Living Magazine. With interior design in the show homes done by Unique Interiors, these new Vancouver Island patio homes and condominiums are set to shine.
This Vancouver Island real estate project in the central Island community of Ladysmith offers a stunning retreat nestled between water and mountains. A new home development comprised of 42 patio homes and 28 condominiums with mountain and ocean views, The Gales is built in a  West Coast contemporary style with open floor plans. Warm earth tones and wide sunny balconies create the perfect backdrop for the stunning views. These homes offer more than 800 sq ft of balcony and patio space to take advantage of the scenery. Phase V of this Vancouver Island new homes project has now been registered with the Land Titles office.
Come and be blown away at The Gales.

Nov 25, 2010

New Development Proposed for Mill Bay Marina


Mill BayA real estate development company with roots in the Mill Bay community is hoping to breath new life into this small Vancouver Island community, the Victoria Times Colonist is reporting.
Cadillac Homes bought the waterfront property surrounding the community’s ravaged marina this year through a court-ordered sale and has plans to reinvent the marina and establish a new hub for the town.
"This is the only waterfront community I know of where there's nothing on the waterfront for the public other than the beach," said Cadillac Homes president Cam Pringle, noting the pebbled stretch of beach along Mill Bay Road offers only the view. "What we're hoping to do is build something there that the whole community will support and come down to."
Pringle said he's part of the Mill Bay community. He has lived in the area for 20 years and has had his own small boat moored at the marina over that time.
He hopes the Cowichan Valley Regional District will embrace his vision of enhancing Mill Bay. "We are building a community benefit with the marina itself and rebuilding the boat launch, putting in a boardwalk, a little cafe and maybe some space for local artists," he said. "It will be a real hub for the community."
Pringle hopes to be able to get his project in front of the CVRD directors before the end of this year and schedule a public hearing early in 2011.
The Cadillac Homes proposal would see a high-end townhouse development developed up from the marina. There would be 14 new waterfront townhomes, likely ranging in price from $750,000 to $950,000. The project also includes a complete overhaul and rebuilding of the old marina including 94 slips, some transient moorage and a boardwalk featuring retail and service outlets.
The best-case scenario - getting all approvals required without delays - would see the company break ground in June, Pringle said, and be done by the summer of 2012. 
Excerpted from the Victoria Times Colonist

Nov 24, 2010

Foundation Poured on Comox Valley Townhomes

New Courtenay town housesConstruction is underway on the 10 new Comox Valley town houses and patio homes that will comprise the Piercy Avenue Townhomes development on Muir Road in Courtenay.
Built by Comox-based builderrs McQueen Construction, the 10 new homes will offer 2 or 3 bedrooms and bathrooms, including the option to have the master suite on the main floor. 
The functional floor plans will offer 1,300-1,600 sq ft and offer attached garages.

Nov 16, 2010

1stView Team Stays at Pacific Shores Resort on Vancouver Island


Pacific Shores











In October, our company, 1stView, took six employees to a team retreat at Pacific Shores Resort and Spa, just five minutes south of Parksville on Vancouver Island. We chose Pacific Shores because of its many amenities including: the stunning restaurant; swimming pool and hot tubs; and numerous walking trails.
We stayed for three days and held our meetings in a large suite overlooking the ocean. The room was large enough to accommodate six people around the full-sized dining room table, which we used for our meetings. The wireless internet in the room was a very helpful feature.
Thanks to the suite’s fully equipped kitchen, we were able to bring our own breakfast and snacks, and it was convenient to dine in the room during the meetings.
We had dinner in The Landing West Coast Grill - the resort’s dining room - every night, which our team enjoyed thoroughly. One member of our group had the rack of lamb for the first time and raved about it. We even enjoyed crab cakes from the menu - twice.
Our team enjoyed the retreat because we were able to combine effective business meetings and relaxation. 
Meetings were interspersed with long walks on the beach and through the adjoining forested park. We also took advantage of the pool, steam room and hot tub. There is a work out room and the full service Aquaterre spa available as well.
Pacific Shores offers a serene, relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. We all enjoyed our time there and plan to return again soon.
Our team saw families and couples vacationing there, many of them from Vancouver Island. As a get-a-way, the resort offers true Vancouver Island style, with vacation units situated throughout the lush landscaped property and surrounded by the ocean. 

Nov 15, 2010

New Development Makes Road Changes

With construction well underway at Diamond Park Townhouses, changes have been proposed to increase parking and landscaping and make the access roads safer at the new townhome project in Courtenay.
Courtenay council amended the development permit with variances for the 21-unit multi-residential development Monday to provide a loop road through the development and increase the parking to two spaces per unit.
Construction on two units is now complete, while six units are at the interior finishing stage, seven units are being drywalled and the last six units are at the lockup stage, according to the report from senior planner Gina MacKay and director of planning services Peter Crawford.
During a site visit in September, the configuration of the parking and access roads was discussed, focused on providing two parking spaces in front of each unit and eliminating the hammerhead turnarounds in favour of a connecting loop road.
With the proposed reconfiguration, each unit will have two spaces in front of it. The approved site layout includes a hammerhead turnaround at the end of each internal roadway. The proposed loop road eliminates the need for these hard surface areas and allows for additional visitor parking, explained MacKay and Crawford.
The original configuration also put the children’s play area between the two turnarounds, and the proposed revised site layout moves the children’s play area to a protected corner.
Courtenay councillors commended the developer and the city's planning department for their flexibility to make improvements.
All of the units at Diamond Park Townhouses are 1,100 square feet in size and have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Features include hardwood floors, upgraded lighting and contemporary interior finishing. The project also includes sprinkler systems, backyard patios and fenced yards. Each unit includes stainless steel kitchen appliances and a washer and dryer. 

Nov 15, 2010

CMHC Releases Victoria Outlook


Greater Victoria housing starts will more than double in 2010 and then stabilize in 2011, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Victoria Housing Market Outlook Report, published today.
The CMHC's forecast is for total housing starts in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes Sooke to Sidney, to reach 2,100 units in 2010 and 2,000 units in 2011.
“Housing starts are forecast to remain stable next year, as builders and developers continue to make up for the low level of 2009 activity, and respond to local economic growth and positive migration,” said Travis Archibald, CMHC Senior Market Analyst. “Residential construction activity across the Victoria CMA will surpass the ten-year (2000-2009) annual average of 1,817 housing starts both this year and next.”
The number of MLS sales in 2010 will fall below the ten-year (2000-2009) annual average of 7,131 for Greater Victoria, the report predicted. However, it also states that full-time job growth, stable and low mortgage interest rates, and a leveling off of resale prices will drive a modest increase in the level of MLS transactions from 6,200 in 2010 to 6,750 in 2011.
As Canada's national housing agency, CMHA provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge. For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca.

Nov 11, 2010

Sales Heating up at Langford Real Estate Development


Kettle Creek StationThe combination of low interest rates and small footprint, affordable homes has resulted in robust sales at Langford’s Kettle Creek Station. The Vancouver Island new home project which offers seven detached home plans under $400,000 and zero per cent financing options has sold four units in the past month and 100 in the last year.
“We’ve had great success with the Kettle Creek Station project because we’ve been able to build a product which has been appealing to buyers despite the challenging market we’ve experienced over the past two years,” said Les Bjola, CEO of Turner Lane Developments. “These new units are ideal for those looking to buy an incredible home – without the usual price tag.”
Kettle Creek Station recently launched the project’s fifth phase which includes 24 micro homes – built in clusters of three attached units, separated by concrete walls.
With HST-inclusive prices ranging from $270,000 (one bedroom, 600 square feet) to $330,000 (two bedroom, 1,000 square feet), all come with individual yards, two car driveways, crawl spaces and granite countertops.
Buyers benefit from fee simple ownership and can choose from a variety of décor packages. Optional features include a built in vacuum system, skylights, wood flooring, stainless steel appliances and geothermal heating and cooling.
“We first introduced the geothermal heating and cooling option earlier this year, during phase three,” said Bjola. “It’s proven to be quite popular with homeowners – not only is it a great investment financially, but it feels great to be environmentally responsible.” Those who opt in for the geothermal technology can expect to save an average of 60 per cent on their annual heating and cooling bills.
The Kettle Creek Development is located on the western edge of Langford Lake about 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. 

Nov 02, 2010

Single Family Home Sales Down on Vancouver Island

With 244 single family home sales in the month of October, the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board's sales numbers saw a significant drop. Multiple Listing Service sales data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board for October 2010, shows a decline in unit sales compared to 2009. Single family property sales in the VIREB area through the MLS in October 2010 were down 46 per cent from the 450 sales in September 2009. 
“We are beginning to see inventory levels decrease month over month while unit sales are down less than nine per cent from last month," said Jim Stewart, president-elect of VIREB. "The larger markets in Victoria and Vancouver are beginning to see their unit sales increase on a month over month basis, and traditionally we follow those markets by a couple of months.”
In October, 485 single family homes came on the market , down 18 per cent from the 592 listed in October of last year. There are 443 now more single family homes available on MLS in the Vancouver Island region than there were one year ago.
The average sale price across the VIREB region for October 2010 was $318,619, a four per cent decrease from the average  $332,877 seen a year ago.
For the 12-month period from the end of October 2009 to October 2010, average sale prices across VIREB's six zones saw: Campbell River increase nine per cent (to $294,291) and the Comox Valley drop five per cent (to $320,876). Nanaimo slipped six per cent (to $338,334), as did Parksville/Qualicum (to $343,371), and the Cowichan Valley  (to $338,090). Port Alberni was down one per cent (to $213,550).
Stewart said he is seeing signs of stability returning to the Vancouver Island real estate market.
"With historically low interest rates still available, and a good supply of homes, it is still good a time to invest in Vancouver Island," he said.

Nov 01, 2010

Greater Victoria Posts Improving Sales Numbers

The Greater Victoria Real Estate Board on Monday released numbers that show sales were up in October over the previous month, but well off from last year's mark. The number of property sales sold through the Multiple Listing Service in Greater Victoria during October was 467. That is up 18 per cent from the 395 sales in September, but still down 37 per cent  from the 742 sales in October of 2009.Prices for all types of homes were on the increase in October. The average price for single-family homes was $641,780 up from $599,825 in September. The median price rose to $539,500, and the six-month average to $627,263. 
The report did note that there were 12 single family home sales of more than $1 million in October, including one home in Central Saanich which sold for more than $6 million.
That single sale, combined with an increase in the value of waterfront home sales last month, affected the overall average price.
“Higher-priced sales can significantly affect the overall average price and it is important to note that while the median price of single family homes also rose last month, the increase was substantially less than the increase in the average price,” said board president Randi Masters.
The average price for condominiums was $323,522 last month, up from $295,463 in September. The average for the last six months was $321,381. The median price for condominiums in October declined to $278,500.
Masters said the number of sales in October was similar to the levels seen in the late 1990s.
“We were pleased to see market activity pick up last month with sales now more closely reflective of the balanced market a decade ago prior to the very active years between 2001 and 2009,” she said in a release.
The number of properties available for sale at the end of October declined to 4,046, but was still 26 per cent higher compared to the 3,219 available properties in October last year. October saw the sale of 252 single family homes, 128 condominiums, 50 townhomes and 15 manufactured homes.

Nov 01, 2010

Condominium Sales On the Rise Across Canada: Re/Max Report


The popularity of condominiums is growing in the Canadian real estate market, particularly among first-time home-buyers scared off by high prices for single-family homes, says a report released by real estate-services firm Re/Max on Monday. The report sites affordability, lifestyle, investment opportunities and urban renewal efforts are among the reasons condo sales have spiked over the last year in several Canadian markets.
In Victoria, for example, the average price of condominiums sold in October, 2010 was $323,522, while the average price of a single family home was $641,780, according to the Greater Victoria Real Estate Board.
"As one of few affordable housing options available to first-time buyers, the concept is poised for dramatic growth in years to come," Michael Polzler, executive vice-president for Re/Max's Ontario-Atlantic Canada operations, said in a statement.
"The lifestyle has also gained a foothold with younger, hipper audiences as the definition of home ownership evolves with the changing demographic," Polzler added. "Dreams of the small home with a white picket fence are being replaced by the funky loft apartment in proximity to shops, restaurants and entertainment."
Other factors driving the condo market include urban redevelopment, empty nesters seeking low-maintenance retirement properties and investors hoping to sell when prices appreciate, the report said.


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