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.