Thursday, December 3, 2009

China has given Canada "Approved Destination Status"

China Gives Canada Approved Destination Status

By 250 News

Thursday, December 03, 2009 12:44 PM

VANCOUVER - China has given Canada "Approved Destination Status" a move that is expected to increase tourism throughout Canada but especially in central B.C. It may be especially beneficial to Barkerville (which is only 2 hour drive south of Prince George), which has looked to promote it's historical links with the Chinese.

Approved Destination Status allows Chinese tour operators and travel agents to organize tours and advertise Canadian destinations. It also allows British Columbia's tourism industry to promote directly to tour
operators and market B.C. as a destination, including the development of specific promotions. It is anticipated that ADS could increase Chinese tourism to British Columbia by 25 per cent annually over the next few years.

Currently, most visitors from China are business travellers, students, or people visiting friends and relatives. The growth potential with ADS is substantial. For example, within three years of receiving ADS, the number
of Chinese visitors to Australia almost doubled. British Columbia's tourism industry has been preparing for this announcement and is ready to focus on opportunities that deliver new business as quickly as possible.

Currently more than half of all Chinese visitors to Canada come to British Columbia. From January to September 2009, British Columbia welcomed 79,845 Chinese visitors, of the 127,787 who came to Canada.

On a personal note I think this is fantastic for our Prince George Airport YXS. Besides future refueling of cargo flights I can see tourist flights direct from China coming to PG to launch their tours of BC from here.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lumber could be the new oil


Shares of several of Canada's largest lumber exporters have skyrocketed in the past two months as new building codes in China allowing wood in construction have cracked open a previously inaccessible market for Canada's long-suffering forestry industry.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Subject request - City of Prince George view of suites

I received this request/suggestion for a subject which I thought was timely and interesting:


May I suggest a topic suitable for both general market and your investor blog - the present position of secondary suites in PG. Some years back the city council passed a planning principle saying such suites were encouraged in single family house with one important proviso of assigned car parking. Then two years later a public interest group commissioned a thoughtful study of the topic. [this study is good sources of stats and data.] See LINK After that I loose the trail. Can't tell if the city followed the Abbotsford model or did what Vancouver and many many BC towns did in 2005 - 2007, namely, grandfather all existing suites but require permission going forward.Clarification on City's policy and if they grandfathered or are actively considering doing so would be really interesting to many. Paul


The city has not changed there official position from what I can tell (Click Here for there Circular). This and other info can be found on my website under the tab called "Investor Info". However a few years back the City did change/update the zoning and for most single family homes in Prince George a suite & home based business are now zoned to do so in accordance with city bylaws.

It is my experience that they have not grandfathered anything but have put a blind eye to things unless there is a specific complaint about a specific property at which time the city bylaws acts accordingly.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Average Home Prices in Prince George since 2001

Here is link to the average MLS® sale price for single family homes since 2001.
Click Here

Also visit and click on 'Investor Info' tab for other interesting information.

Dean Birks

Friday, November 20, 2009

October Home Sales Highest in 6 Years!

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province climbed 115 per cent to 8,624 units in October compared to the same month last year. Last month posted the highest number of MLS® residential sales for the month of October since 2003, when 8,682 units changed hands. The average MLS® residential sales price in the province climbed 17 per cent to $493,328 from $420,259 in October 2008.

Notice for the Prince George area which is under BC Northern that the average home price has gone up and the listings are down. This is what we are seeing on the streets here in Prince George which should make for a very active market in spring.

As of today I am very busy with sales and listings are slow to come by. I believe this makes for a very balanced market now.

Visit my website and click on 'News and Local Info' tab to keep up with what is going on in PG.

I am also now on Twitter and Facebook.


Dean Birks

Monday, November 16, 2009

TTM Rescources Pres Says New Mine Would Employ 650 to 800 People - Opinion 250 - News for Northern and Central Interior of British Columbia, Canada

TTM Rescources Pres Says New Mine Would Employ 650 to 800 People
By 250 News
Monday, November 16, 2009 11:14 AM

Prince George- The President and Chief Executive Officer of TTM Resources who are proposing to build a new molybdenum open pit mine south of Vanderhoof, in the Nzako Rd area, says the company feels it can shave off a half billion dollars in investment by going with used equipment.
The project as it now stands, is scheduled to cost 1 billion dollars, and will employ 650 to 800 people when the mine is up and running.
W.K. Crichy Clarke, says we are looking at some used equipment in your area of the province which would cut the cost of the mine by nearly one half.
Clarke appearing on the Meisner show on CFIS Monday, said he has a letter of intent from a Chinese private investor to invest a large sum of money in the project. The investor, who operates a private development company, is seeking approval from the Chinese government to allow him to invest in a project outside of China.
Clarke says if all goes well with the environmental reviews, they would be able to begin construction on the mine in the spring of 2011.
The mine would have a life expectancy of 32 years and would produce 50 to 60,000 tons of ore a day."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Trade Mission a Breakthrough

Trade Mission A Breakthrough

By 250 News

Monday, November 09, 2009 03:59 PM

Prince George, B.C. -

Prince George, B.C.- The current trade mission to China aimed at opening up doors for more B.C. lumber products is being classed as a major breakthrough.

An agreement signed today with the City of Shanghai endorses wood-frame construction for affordable housing, creating an enormous opportunity for Canadian forest products, says Minister of Forests and Range, Pat Bell.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the Government of Canada, through Natural Resources Canada, will contribute $800,000 in 2009-10 to construct a wood-frame demonstration building to showcase the application of wood design and building materials. The Province of British Columbia will manage the project through Forestry Innovation Investment (FII), the province's international marketing agency for wood products. The City of Shanghai will provide land and some building materials.

Minister Bell says it had been expected the exports to China would exceed 1.3 to 1.4 million board feet this year, but he expects that number to be surpassed. “This MOU could easily double the volume of wood moving into the area by itself” says Bell.

"Shanghai is the first city to move ahead with China's affordable housing initiative. By 2012, one in five housing starts will be for affordable housing," said Bell. "By demonstrating how we can help them meet their housing needs, we can tap into the biggest single opportunity the Canadian forest sector has seen."

Shanghai alone is expected to build 20 million square metres of affordable housing space by 2012. Opportunities for wood use include roof trusses, partition walls, in-fill walls, and hybrid construction for mixed-used commercial and residential buildings.

There is good news for the Port of Prince Rupert as well says Bell. The Chinese prefer milled lumber as it is kiln dried and weighs less so ships can carry more of the finished product than they could if it were raw logs. “Moving a thousand board feet of lumber from an average Canfor mill to Shanghai about $60-$65 dollars, that’s the same amount it costs to ship that thousand board feet to Chicago. If you want to move the lumber further down south into the U.S. you’re into 90 plus dollars, so even though we think of the Chinese market as a long distance away, its really a very short distance and its because the sea borne transport is very affordable.”

The mission isn’t all about lumber sales. Minister Bell has meetings planned in Beijing to talk about other opportunities, such as the Worthington MacKenzie mill and the Eurocan Mill in Kitimat.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Foreclosure Question & Answer

Last night here in Prince George at the CNC I attended and 'Investor Club' to talk about Foreclosures and the pros and cons. The one question I did not have an answer for (but said I would call a few lawyers and get an answer) was... What does it cost a lender on average to foreclose on someone?

I talked with a few lawyers and they said there really is no average but if you had to put a number on it then lets say $5000. The problem with answering that question is the lawyers meter is ticking away and some foreclosures are done fast and straight forward and others can be very long, drawn out and complicated. So really there is no good answer for this.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Housing Sales Climbing Across Province

Housing Sales Climbing Across Province

By 250 News

Monday, July 13, 2009 09:39 AM

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province rose 40 per cent to 9,970 units in June 2009 compared to the same month last year.

Activity in the month of June marked the fifth consecutive month of rising sales and the highest level of activity since January 2008, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

"Housing markets around BC continued to post higher sales in June, fuelled by attractive mortgage rates and lower prices,” said Bryan Yu, BCREA Economist. “The larger urban regions of Greater Vancouver and Victoria exhibited balanced market conditions in June, while others have recorded improved market stability. Stronger demand and a decline in home listings are stabilizing home prices in many BC markets."

Year-to-date, MLS® residential sales dollar volume was down 20 per cent to $16.3 billion over the same period last year. A total of 36,329 units were sold in the first six months of 2009, down 15 per cent from 2008, while the average MLS® price declined 5 per cent to $448,381.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Landlord Help?!

I just came across what appears to be a fantastic service to help landlords in BC. I had an investor client that mentioned he used their services and has been a very big help.


Dedicated to providing services, products and representation to help our members suceed as rental owners, ROMS BC serves and represents 2,000 members who collectively manage over 45,000 residential rental units throughout British Columbia. Our Members benefit from a broad range of services including:

-instant legal and operating advice
-credit checks on tenancy applicants
-educational seminars
-trade show
-forms which meet government and business requirements
-comprehensive bi-monthly news magazine
-savings with reputable suppliers
-residential rental insurance program, designed exclusively for ROMS BC Members
-lobbying to all levels of government

Give them a call to find out more at 1-888-330-6707 or Click Here for the website.

Hope this helps.


Dean Birks

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2 New Bio-Energy Plants for Prince George BC

This is great news for Prince George. These two new Bio Energy plants will use wood waste. The P.G. Interior Waste to Energy group said today they plan to start construction on a $50 million bioenergy project in early May. The project is expected to create 70 jobs, producing electricty to heat 7,000 homes, as well as other products like bio-energy and bio-oil.

"This is an example of the new forestry sector" says Liberal candidate for Prince George-Mackenzie Pat Bell, "The plant will also produce an activated charcoal that can be used in water filters and in the automotive paint industry. It also produces light and heavy oils. The light oil can be used as bio-diesel and the heavy oil has other applications.""This is an example of the new forestry sector" says Liberal candidate for Prince George-Mackenzie Pat Bell, "The plant will also produce an activated charcoal that can be used in water filters and in the automotive paint industry. It also produces light and heavy oils. The light oil can be used as bio-diesel and the heavy oil has other applications."

Click here for the full story.

Dean Birks

Monday, April 20, 2009

Market has picked up in last few weeks

The Prince George Real Estate market has picked up with very low inventory for homes under $250,000 range. I have even been involved in multiple offers in the last week which has not occurred much since last summer.

Revenue property is low as well but I am aware of some very good ones coming on the market in the next week or so which has good cash flow.

The tolerance of buyers looking for fixer uppers has gone but a good home or property renovated well and ready to go seems to be selling well.

Plus the low interest rates combined with the reduced prices makes for another great opportunity. Prince George is very well positioned to move and carry on up as the economy moves forward.

For a list of revenue investment properties either duplexs or homes with suites just visit and send me a request and I will email a list to you.

Dean Birks

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Prince George a big winner with stimulas money!

I can't believe what I am hearing. There are actually people out there that are complaining the BC Gov't is spending money as if they think it has all to do with an election. Hello???

For the last 7 months the world has been in a major financial crisis and recently all the world leaders have met and agreed that all governments spend money in their perspective areas to help get through this world mess.

The way I see it, the BC Liberal Government have been very prudent and good and redeveloping BC as a place to live and more important a place to work and do business. Because of them BC enjoys a triple AAA credit rating and also cash in the bank to now spend during these hard times. Save for a rainy day, and thank god they did.

Now on to the great news for Prince George here is links to just a few great announcements:

These are just a few to find out more just click here.

All the best and don't forget to vote in the up coming May Provincial Election.


Dean Birks

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Prince George's primary strategic advantage to investment.

Not only is Prince George BC a fantastic place to live and work, it should also be considered to bring or start your business here. I came across this local website by Initiatives PG that is worth going through.

"Prince George is the commercial and financial centre of British Columbia’s resource-rich heartland. With skilled labour, low costs, and a high quality of life, Prince George is a true haven for business." Click Here for the rest.

and for Real Estate info... Click Here


Dean Birks

Thursday, March 12, 2009

City real estate good bet, report says...

Prince George was ranked #10 in the place to invest in Real Estate. Click on this link to the Vancouver Sun to read.

For more information on investment in Prince George Real Estate visit

Dean Birks

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Investor - Prince George Real Estate Market Update as of Feb.2009

Investor - Prince George Real Estate Market Update as of Feb.2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

MLS - Sales and Listings 2008 report for Prince George.

I have just compiled the MLS data of Sales and Listings for 2008 here in Prince George. This report is for Detached homes within City limits. We have done alot better than most cities.
Also note that May, June, July data is not available and is not represented in the data.

Click Here for the report.

All the best in the new year!
Cheers Dean Birks