August 2009

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This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week “City Hall Briefs” section on Friday August 14, 2009.

Seniors Centre Kamloops RezoningIt was smooth sailing for a couple of large North Shore developments at a public hearing this week. City council unanimously approved a pair of rezoning applications for a seniors’ housing complex in Brocklehurst and a shopping centre in Westsyde.

The RiverBend Seniors Community, located at Tranquille Road and Mayfair Street, met no opposition from the public on its way to being approved. The development, headed by the Thrupp Manor Society, will offer 266 multi-family seniors’ residential units comprised of 66 below-market rental units and 200 life-lease market-housing units. RiverBend will also include commercial space oriented to support services for seniors living in the complex, along with a wellness clinic. Construction on the project is expected to begin in October.

Mayor Peter Milobar said the development should help ease the demand for low-income and seniors’ housing in the city. “I think it’s a nice fit,” he said.

Council also gave the green light for a shopping centre on a 2.5-hectare piece of land at 3260 Westsyde Rd. That application also passed without any opposition.

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This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week “New Home Buyers Guide” on Friday, August 14, 2009.

DAVE EAGLES PHOTO:  Kamloops This Week

DAVE EAGLES PHOTO: Kamloops This Week

Building a community from scratch is a lot harder than it looks – it’s what the group behind a massive development in Aberdeen is in the process of finding out. The Aberdeen Highlands Development Corporation has started construction on the first phase of it’s West Highland community and the land developer has a real life Sim City on it’s hands.

Chris Bebek, general manager for Aberdeen Highlands, explained the company has built other subdivisions, but she compared this project to starting a whole community. “You’re having to think about a lot more things than we’ve had to in the past,” she told KTW.

The to-do list before the area can be sub-divided and sold to developers is lengthy. A roundabout at Aberdeen Drive and Pacific Way is now being built will be built this summer along with all the services to the individual lots – that includes sanitary, storm and water works.

Streetlights will also be installed and Aberdeen Drive will be given a multi-use pathway that will act as a walking trail and bike path. ” There’s a lot of things that are on the go right now to get us prepared to start that pre-marketing for when it’s completed in the fall,” Bebek said. She pegged the completion date of the first phase for September or October.

In the meantime, Highland Development is updating it’s website and getting ready for pre-sales.

The first phase of the development will include 34 single-family lots, two multi family sited, a new fire hall and a mixed-use commercial-residential site. It is expected that 90 to 110 units could be built in the first phase, housing several hundred people.

While the economy and the real estate market have taken a pounding in the last year, Bebek noted Aberdeen Highlands has received plenty of interest and compiled a list of perspective developers in Kamloops.

City council gave the massive development the go-ahead last winter. The Aberdeen Highlands area, located near the top of Pacific Way and the Aberdeen Hills Golf Course, spans roughly 150 acres. Once completely built out, the development is expected to consist of nearly 1,000 new homes, along with some areas of commercial and park space.

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This article appeared in the Wednesday, August 12, 2009 edition of the Kamloops This Week and was written by Jeremy Deutsch.

Construciton - framing Kamloops HousingJust as the economy is starting to show signs of life, construction in Kamloops also appears to have been given a new ticker. For the second straight month, the number of issued building permits and their dollar values increased. In fact, the number of single-family permits issued for the month of July was more than the previous two months combined.

A total of 24 single-family residential permits were issued in Kamloops, making it a bigger month than July 2008, when 15 permits were handed out. Throw in another 88 multi-family units and the number of residential permits climbs to 112 – more than double the previous July. The value for all those permits added up to $17 million, which was more than in July 2008.

Though the commercial side – which had been strong throughout the year – did take a dip, the total value of construction permits for the year now sits at $72 million. That’s well short of the $122 million at this time last year, but on pace for the $120 million to $140 million projected for 2009.

The real estate market in the city was just as busy. According to the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association (KADREA), 264 residential units were sold in the city last month, marking a 14 per cent increase from July of the previous year. Of the units sold, 82 per cent were under $400,000. Craig McIntyre, president of KADREA, attributes the bump in sales to a number of different factors, including good selection on the market, reasonable pricing and low interest rates.

Though the market in the first half of 2008 was thought of as still being red hot, McIntyre pointed out sales were already trending downward before the global recession hit last fall. As for the future, McIntyre predicts sales to stay strong for the rest of the year, noting the peak months are in the spring and fall. While he suggested the market is on the cusp between a buyer’s market and a balanced market, McIntyre said it’s still a good time to buy. “Kamloops remains a good place to be.”

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The latest statistics for July were recently released by the Kamloops Real Estate Association. July definitely was a busy time in the Kamloops real estate market, as residential sales for July 2009 were far above July 2008.

Kamloops Real Estate Comparative Analysis By Property Type July 2009

Kamloops Real Estate Comparative Analysis By Property Type July 2009

Kamloops Real Estate MLS Activity July 2009

Kamloops Real Estate MLS Activity July 2009

Kamloops Real Estate Sales by Subarea July 2009

Kamloops Real Estate Sales by Subarea July 2009