Media gang violence and real estate!

What did we do?
An article on gang violence in Kelowna is one thing, a three page spread with a full cover and cheesy title! Did someone serve the journalist a bad meal last time they were here?
In all reality, the damaging effects of such an article on the housing market here are very temporary, but it could not help but get my attention as I sleepily tuned into the CBC headlines earlier this week.
Aside from the very visible gang violence that very rarely occurs in Kelowna, the truth is that across BC whether you are in a low cost entry level home or a multi million dollar mansion, you very likely have some unsavoury neighbours not too far away and you will likely never recognize them or understand their activities and illegal livelihood (I could make a joke about global financiers or large construction company owners here, but I will refrain).
Kelowna is a beautiful place and attracts many people, young and old to enjoy the climate we are blessed with. Any commercial endeavour, legal or illegal requires clients for consumption and hence the reason there is any illicit drug activity here and the corresponding turf wars. It is not because crime is easy in the Okanagan, it is simply because there are clients here.
References to taking a note from Surrey in terms of urban planning are simply laughable. To even hint that Surrey offers a crime free lifestyle that the Okanagan can learn from or that we could learn lessons from perhaps their traffic management seems just a little far stretched.
The good news, the residents of Kelowna are what make it a great place to live. We are not immune to gang activity and the RCMP have made tremendous gains it would appear in the inter-agency dealings attempting to close down, make life difficult and track down criminals.
Kelowna did not deserve the attention it received earlier this week, but deep within our own hearts, we know it is the coolest place to live in BC with the best climate. In time, we will be able to curtail illegal gang activity, they will not be able to call Kelowna home and with some assistance from our lawmakers in the Province and Federally the RCMP may be given the tools to prevent much of the activity that happens right across BC and stems from the Lower Mainland. 
In the mean time, our real estate markets have once again started the year with some frenetic activity. Many REALTORS® have been busy writing contracts since January and my suspicion is that we will show some healthy trends in absorption compared to last year which was also a very positive start to the year. 
Overall, I would expect we will trend very close to last year's numbers although removing the HST later this year is going to cause some confusion once again, although it will remove a barrier to purchasing resort properties which need an injection of enthusiasm at the moment.
Until next week...

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

For the past twenty years Mark has been involved in real estate development and consulting and is currently a REALTOR with Sage Executive Group in Kelowna.

His column, brings a unique perspective on what may be important to us in the future as we come to grips with fast paced change in a world that few people barely recognize.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an Adventurer, Philanthropist and Keynote Speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com


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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