csi chart

The City of Delta has experienced another decrease in its crime severity index (CSI) and continues to be well below the Metro Vancouver national averages.

While the Canadian CSI increased slightly by 1 index point to 72, Delta continued its downward trend to hit its lowest point since the index began.

The overall CSI for Delta remained relatively constant between 2015 and 2016, but saw a decrease in 2017 due to a significant drop in violent crime.

The CSI is a measurement of crime that reflects the relative seriousness of offences. For example, robbery is given more weight in the index compared to disturbing the peace. A low CSI rate is indicative of a safer community.

So far in 2018, crime appears to be levellilng off and as Delta's CSI declines to historic lows, continued reductions will become more difficult.

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$14-9m Bungalow West Van main

Have we reached a new height with a listing of a two-bedroom, 880 square foot bungalow for a whopping $14,880,000?

That's a staggering $16,909 per square foot, in a city where luxury homes trade for $2,000 per square foot and up.

Why so much? The home is on an 11,000 square foot beachfront lot on West Vancouver's 'Golden Mile'  - Bellevue Ave - and is 1 of the only properties not to have been developed into a mega luxury waterfront home. Yet!

$14-9m Bungalow West Van beach

The fact is, the property would be slightly more valuable without the bungalow, as it is pretty much guaranteed that the home will be torn down to build a large house, which is an added cost.

If it makes you feel any better, the last assessment of the property was at $10,252,000, however, the near $15 million price is likely still a little rich for a developer looking to make a profit.

On a similar sized lot just 2 houses away and new, Russell Hollingsworth designed 4,000 square foot luxury home sold last December for $13 million, almost $2 million under asking price.

Almost $15m for this bungalow?  We'll See!

$14-9m Bungalow West Van ocean view

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Burnaby will be the first city in the province to implement B.C.'s new rental zoning law.

In May, the B.C. government enacted legislation to give municipalities the power to zone properties for rental only developments. This enable municipalities to ensure existing rental properties cannot be redevelped for another use, such as high priced condos. The power is optional for local governments to use, and a city can't use the rental only clause to override existing strata rules that limit rentals in existing buildings.

Image result for pictures of burnaby's rental housing

Burnaby passed a motion asking staff to implement a rental zoning bylaw to ensure that all redevelopment of purpose built rental sites be required to include the replacement of the current number of units within the neighbourhood, and that they be rented at established, affordable rates, and be make available to current tenants.


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Steveston Marine & Hardware's Moncton Street location will close its doors at the end of summer after 77 years. The old store is one of the village's iconic, historic buildings, with its elaborate artwork on its outside wall.

Steveston Marine has been struggling in the village for many years, due in part to the decline of the fishing industry.

Rezoning and heritage alteration permit applications are posted on the wall indicating the intention to demolish the building for commercial space at ground level and 5 condos above.

Image result for historic images of steveston hardware

The village used to be a commercial hub for the fishing industry. Now most if it has gone with only a few (if any) sockeye salmon openings for the fishermen these days.

Steveston is essentially a tourist town now with too many big box stores opening up in Richmond as well.  It is too tough for Steveston Marine to compete.

The store was originally a general store, called Steveston Hardware which was owned by 2 brothers. In 1974 it was bought by Weston Marine, who inserted 'Marine' into the name and it became a fishing supply store as well.

In 1984, the company went into receivership and Iqbal Ladha took it over.

Ladha hasn't totally closed his mind to the possibiity of the business returning to its roots in the future, with a couple of offers floating around the village.

Ladha mentioned 3 years ago, before he decided to sell the building, how he was thinking of relocating the business elsewhere in Steveston and turning the store into a micro-brewery or small winery, both with tasting rooms.

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heritage home

If you enjoy Vancouver's heritage homes you may want to take note - Granview Heritage Group has just released a map for the 2018 edition of it Centenary Sign Houses project.

The map pinpoints the location of 10 homes in the neighbourhood, along with historical details and the architectural style of each house. Signs are also posted on each of the properties for a year for passerbyers to see.

These houses are all 100 years old or more and up to 24 houses that retain as many of their original features as possible have been selected over the years. 

One of the criteria is that the owner has to agree to having a sign on their lawn for a year - which is rarely a problem.

To check out homes from earlier editions of the project click here and select one of the years listed at the top of the page.

There is also a tab for the Grandview database, which features information about more than 5,000  properties, about 1,500 of which no longer exist.

The sign posted the properties of homes selected for the Centenary Sign Houses project. Photo Penny

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A 1,000-foot waterslide will span four blocks from Victoria Park to Fourth Street in North Vancouver

Grab an inner tube and slide down Lonsdale Avenue this weekend as part of the ever popular Slide the City event in North Vancouver.

The 1,000 foot waterslide spans 4 blocks from Victoria Park to 4th Street, and will be open from Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

The giant slip-and-slide is part of the Fun City Festival along with other attractions including food trucks and music in Victoria Park. On Saturday, the city's free 'Summer Sessions' concert series is included in Fun City Festival with extended hours frm 5 to 10pm at The Shipyards.

Coco Jafro will perform with food trucks and a beverage garden on site. The event is expected to attract thousands of people and parking will be limited. The City of North Vancouver encourages festival attendees to bike, walk or take transit.

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corpse

Opening sooner than expected, the 'corpse flower' also know as Uncle Fester has bloomed!

Last Friday Bloedel Conservatory posted to Facebook that 'a hole' has formed in the spathe (modified leaf) that afternoon and it was expected that it was getting ready to unfurl very soon.

The hype to take a whiff of the horrid stench produced by the Titan arum - the world's largest flower - began on Tuesday. The bloom will be its most fragrant  today and will last up to 48 hours.

Why is everyone so excited! Well, it's not your average flower. It rarely ever blooms, but when it does it lets off a strench described as smelling like discarded diapers, hot garbage or even rotting fish.

It emits that smell to attract other members of natures mistfit crew such as carrion beetles and insects that feed on rotting flesh.

Bruce McDonald, the Superintendent for Bloedel Conservatory and Sunset Nursery said the response has been great and they are excited at being the first to this plant bloom in B.C. People are amazed at its size and unusual beauty.

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manhattan

Move over Manhattan, Vancouver's downtown office occupancy costs are rising faster than those in New York City's financial district and everywhere else in North America.

Downtown Vancouver's prime office occupancy costs increased by 16.0% this year, representing the largest price increase in North America, followed by Manhattan and downtown Toronto.

Depite the increase, Vancouver's prime office space remains much less costly than in Midtown Manhattan, where the top office spaces lease for US $183 per square foot, compared with US $47.95 per square foot (C$63) in Class A downtown Vancouver towers. In downtown Toronto, such top office space leases for US $56.27 (C$74) per square foot.

Although prices have escalated, downtown Vancouver is still not in the top most expensive cities globally and trails downtown Toronto.

Vancouver's rental rates are expected to continue to increase as demand shows little sign of retreat as there is no new supply expected until 2021.

Central Hong Kong remained the most expensive office market in the world, with overall prime occupancy cost of US $307 per square foot, follow by London's West End at US $235, Beijings Finance Street at US $201, Hong Kong Kowloon at US $190 and Beijing's Central Business District at US $189.

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BC Electric house exterior

If you are looking for an unusual home that has a different kind of energy then this converted B.C. Electric substation could be for you.

For $3.75 million, the uniquie property is on a 2.35 acre lot in Abbotsford, sitting on a 30 acre greenbelt forest with a river flowing beside the house.

Although its price might seem high for the area, the 12,993 square foot interior living space, which is only $289 per square foot - may be a bargain for this kind of history.

sumas-substation-1965

Known as the 'Sumas Substation' or colloquially 'The Power House', the historic building at 39623 Old Yale Road was builit in 1906 by the B.C. Electric Corporation. The Power House, made of concrete, steel and brick, housed all the equipment for powering the Fraser Valley Line of Vancouver's vast interurban longer-haul commuter and cargo streetcar system, connecting Vancouver with Chilliwack and communities in between.

BC Electric house great room


The substation was abandoned for many years, but was purchased several times in the past few decades and has been converted into a huge home. In recent years, it was extensively renovated in a high-end, industrial chic style, with exposed brick walls and steel beams, sliding metal barn doors, floor to ceiling loft style windows and acid stained concrete floors.

BC Electric house master bedroom


The home now has 8 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 2 large lofts, 5 kitchens, expansive living and dining areas, a theatre, an elevator, a 1,000 bottle wine cellar and  4 large balconies.

BC Electric house formal living room


And if making your mortgage payments might be challenging, think again. There are 2 separate rental apartments as well as a third legal rental suite with 2 bedrooms in the main home.

Any takers?

BC Electric house family room

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City Hall

With less than a 1% vacancy rate and as Richmond continues to fine tune its housing policies, the city is considering a market rental policy, which is expected to be approved this week.

This new policy would ensure that not just low income or social housing units need to be protected but that the supply of rental units needs to increase. So while the city's previously approved affordable housing strategy responded to below market rental housing, this new policy would address housing that is rented out at market rates.

Approximately 82% of renter households (about 15,500 households) find accommodation in the secondary rental market, which includes condominiums, single family homes, secondary suites, coach houses and subsidized rental housing.

The new policy will include encouraging building owners to keep units in good repair and creating incentives for market rental housing developments such as density bonuses, decreased parking requirements and fast tracking permits.

Another key point was to ensure that there would be more family sized units created - units with 2 or more bedrooms, particularly because 40% of Richmond's renters are families with children.

The policy will also encourage housing units that rent at market rates for tenants, with no restrictions on income levels. and also seek to encourage developers and investors to build new market rental units.


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Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws for all its locations within 2 years. The company has become the largest food and beverage company to do so as calls to cut waste globally grow louder. 

By 2020 Starbucks will be using straws made from biodegradable materials like paper and specially designed lids.

The strawless lids will begin to appear in Vancouver this fall, with rollouts with the rest of Canada to follow next year and a global rollout soon after.

In Canada, Mcdonald's say they plan to monitor the market tests to understand the impact the changes may have before making a decision, while A&W says it will eliminate all plastic straws from its restaurants by the end of this year.

While plastic straws have become one of the more high profile issues enivornmentally, they make up only about 4% of the plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in the water each year.

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victoria b.c.

With an overall vacancy rate of 3% nationally, Canada's rental markets can present opportunities for investors in some smaller B.C. regions.

In B.C. urban areas and suburbs in close proximity to downtown Vancouver tends to trend below 1% vacancies. Though pricey, demand on cities like Burnaby and East Vancouver provide landlords with a steady source of income and potential for an increase in property value.

Kelowna and New Westminster per-door prices are relatively cheaper than Burnaby and East Vancouver and offer higher cap rates for mid-range investors. .

B.C's 5 best picks for landlord markets in 2018 are:

1.  Victoria with a rental vacancy rate of 0.7%. An average 1 bedroom rents for $1,070 with an average price per suite of $215,000 and rising.

2.  Kelowna with a rental vacancy rate of 0.2%. An average 1 bedroom rents for $1,150 with an average price per suite of $135,000.

3.  New Westminster with a rental vacancy rate of 1.1%. An average 1 bedroom rents for $1,330 with an average price per suite of $288,474.

4.  East Vancouver with a rental vacancy rate of 0.3%. An average 1 bedroom rents for $1.460 with an average price per suite of $390,349.

5.  Burnaby with an average vacancy rate of 0.6%. An average 1 bedroom rents for $1,380 with an average price per suite of $332,132.

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Hand holding smartphone view looking in house on blurred house background with Home security CCTV system concept.

Examples of more and more instances are starting to surface of sellers using hidden cameras to monitor activity in their homes during showings, and it may affect when, where and how buyers and their Realtors should react when viewing a property. Though it may seem an appropriate practice in high end homes containing expensive valuables, it's not limited to the luxury real estate market. Hidden camaras have been found in fixer uppers and other lower priced homes as well. The problem is that the equipment is so affordable that any seller can afford it.

Buyers should be advised to be circumspect during showings. Cameras that capture a buyer's exuberance or dissatisfaction with a home could reveal important negotiation leverage that the seller can later use against the buyer. You are better off not saying anything when you are in the house.

Buyers working with Realtors may want to work out a plan for communicating about a property before heading to the showing. Maybe treat the showing as if the seller is sitting in the living room.


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