On June 16, 2015 we hosted our Annual Real Estate Forum at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. The event was a huge success thanks in large part to our main sponsor Deloitte as well as the AWF community. Guests were treated to a delicious lunch, followed by dynamic discussion from our Panelists and Moderator. Our 2015 Panel consisted of:
Justin Mitchell, Partner, Frontline Real Estate Services
Don Forsgren, President, Intracorp
Chrystal Burns, Vice President, Investment Management, Bentall Kennedy
Chuck We, Director of Leasing, Oxford Properties
Jennifer Podmore Russell (Moderator), Director, Deloitte Real Estate
In one sentence Don Forsgren described the current state of Metro Vancouver’s Real Estate market as “Red Hot” and predicted the remainder of the year to be a “Scorcher”. Changing consumer tastes, demand for transit oriented communities, and increasing need to innovative continue to drive real estate investment decisions across Metro Vancouver. We highlight the key discussion by asset class as follows:
Retail: Jennifer Podmore is correct in saying “we click before we pick”, which is a key force in the way we shop and the retail experiences we demand. The traditional mall format is quickly becoming irrelevant and Chrystal Burns explained how this is affecting her business. Specifically, department stores no longer attract the masses as they once did, and instead investors need to incorporate public space, services and amenities into the shopping experience in order to be relevant.
Office: As Vancouver continues to move towards world-class status, the office space under development is being designed to cater to world-class tenants. Chuck We commented on how new office space design and marketing is being done with the millennial in mind. Tenants are focusing on creating space that attacks top talent from across the globe by creating an open working environment that is close to amenities. While transit is important, it isn’t always a key success factor in the office leasing market. Often amenities and neighborhood character will trump being located near transit.
Residential: As always, the topic of affordability was front and center. Justin Mitchell explained how “affordability” and “single detached home” will never again be complimentary terms. Even in the outlaying suburb cities like Langley and Pit Meadows, a new single family home is selling for upwards of $700,000. Only those who have built up equity will be able to afford a single detached home. Thus, it is increasingly important to pressure municipalities to rezoning for more density.
We hope all our guests in attendance had an amazing time at this year’s event and we look forward to seeing you in November and throughout the 2015/2016 season!