Real estate - listen to the pros!

It seems like everyone I bump into these days has an opinion on the real estate market.  I hear an assortment of declarations like “It’s another bubble”, “the interest rates are going to spike”,  “The US is going back into a double dip recession.”  Or maybe it’s because the European Union is in trouble, and on and on it goes.  Overnight suddenly everyone is a junior economist or a real estate guru.

I was at a coffee shop just yesterday morning where I heard a young gal in her late thirties talking about the imminent crash of the BC real estate market, and how anyone would be crazy to buy right now.  Her opinions were so strong and said with such conviction, that anyone listening would have almost no choice but to accept them as real estate gospel.  And why wouldn’t they?  As social creatures this is where we get the majority of our information.   We are trained to pay close attention to any info that might negatively impact our well-being.  This is something that media exploits every day with their fear based headlines.

And here is where it all gets very concerning for me, because with a little bit of investigation I have discovered that most of this “noise” comes from people who have never invested in even one piece of real estate.  They are nowhere near qualified to be influencing your decisions.                                                                                                                          

We have to be careful to only take advice from those who actually walk the walk, people who have held, bought and sold in good times and bad.  The best advice comes from someone who is currently in the trenches doing deals at the same time as they are giving their opinion.

I personally don’t think its out of line to ask someone who’s attempting to impart their “knowledge” on you, what their personal real estate portfolio looks like, what you will likely find is that those with the actual qualification to speak on the matter are a lot harder to find than these empty theorists.

So as a person who has been involved in over 100 real estate transactions so far this year and has personally bought and sold a number of my own properties in 2012, I feel obliged to share with you the reality of what is happening right now in the market as we speak and what it all means to you…

So here are some numbers that will paint the correct picture, in bullet form


Nation wide:

CMHC forecasting stability and slight up tick in prices for 2013  (2.5-3.5%)

Canadians own 67% of their primary residence as compared with 41% in US


Province wide:

Salaries up 2.9% over all

Job growth 11%


Locally (Central Okanagan)

Over all sales volume (dollars) year over year is up 12.6%

Unit sales are up 14.9% (amount of homes changing hands)

Inventory is down by 200 units.  This positively affects demand as supply decreases


In conclusion, the market is very stable. And well into a recovery period.  It is comforting to know that although certain major centers in Canada may experience a correction due to over building and affordability issues, our local market has already been there done that, got the T-shirt.  Anyone not in a coma for the past 4 years can tell you about the correction and half decade long sales slump. 

The majority of the over supply from 2007 has been absorbed, with the development victims of poor timing like; Waterscapes, Martin lofts, Invue and Southwind at Sarsons all finally wrapping up their final sales.  There is no glut of inventory being built like in Toronto or Vancouver. 

The bottom line, if now is a good time for you personally to upgrade or change your living situation, then the current market is ripe with opportunity and nothing going on economically at a micro, or macro level should influence your decisions otherwise.  Just one mans opinion yes, but it comes with a heap of real world experience behind it.


This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

AJ is the owner of Kelowna’s downtown boutique firm, Vantage West Realty. The firm takes pride in breaking the mould when it comes to how they practice real estate. With a well-deserved reputation as a real estate renegade, Hazzi has been shaking up the Kelowna real estate scene since 2002.

Having been a student of real estate through two market cycles, AJ has come to see an absence of truly qualified professionals specializing in investment real estate. This has become AJ’s role within the firm and the community: To educate clients on how to achieve financial freedom through real estate.

Arming his clients with knowledge on where to find positive cash-flow, how to renovate for profit, and other creative avenues that most agents completely ignore, Hazzi has carved out his niche as a real estate investment advisor (REIA), and loves nothing more than educating people on the right strategy to capitalize on both boom and bust years.  AJ is a firm believer that the Kelowna market is rich with opportunity, if one knows where to look.

If you are in search of an advisor who practices what they preach, consider that AJ has built his own real estate portfolio up to include multi and single family cash-flow rental properties, development property, resort property, fix and flips, and commercial properties. By sharing the lessons learned from his own experiences, his clients get the knowledge and confidence to invest without having to make the expensive mistakes he and many new investors have made along the way.

His goal is to impart on people, especially of the X and Y generation, that depending on RRSPs and Government Pension Plans to look after us down the road is risky business. Most people don't realize that as little as one or two properties added to your real estate portfolio now, can secure a comfortable, even lavish, retirement.

Bringing a consultant's approach rather than the tired, old-fashioned sales approach, AJ and his partners offer a world class service from finding, pre analyzing, and negotiating your next acquisition, to property management, all tailored to today’s busy investor.

To hear what AJ Hazzi's clients have to say about his service view the testimonials.

Contact Information

For more details or to reach AJ Hazzi, please visit www.vantagewestrealty.com

Email [email protected] Cell 250.864.6433

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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