The Tri-Cities real estate market is booming despite a lack of foreign buyers

Howdy! It’s Morgan here with your daily edition of the Tri-Cities Dispatch. 

It’s safe to say that the pandemic has had an impact on all of our lives. It’s been a year, and a lot has changed! One of the strangest things I’ve noticed is all of my COVID-19 related dreams. Last night I had a nightmare where I couldn’t take my mask off – it was permanently stuck to my face! Has anybody else experienced weird COVID-19 dreams? 

Keep reading to receive your daily COVID-19 update and find out how restaurants are managing to stay open amidst new restrictions.  

The Greater Vancouver Area is experiencing a real estate boom despite a decline in foreign buyers.

What happened: The previous month has generated record-high numbers for residential real estate. The Real Estate Board of Metro Vancouver says that residential home sales were the highest they’ve ever been for the month of March in The Lower Mainland.

  • This spike in purchasing has been driven by local purchasers, rather than foreign purchasers.

Locals only: Foreign buyers have been a cause for concern in previous years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major decline in foreign-involved transactions. COVID-19 restrictions as well as a general sense of uncertainty have prevented foreign buyers from purchasing property in The Greater Vancouver Area.

Keeping up: A recent report by Dexter Realty predicts that, as immigration restrictions loosen, foreign buyers will re-enter the market. In the Tri-Cities area, supply is not able to keep up with demand.

The gap between active residential listings and the number of homes purchased has shrunk within the last few months in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody. The report forecasts that the return of foreign buyers may send the market into overdrive.

  • Economist Kevin Skipworth: “Wild as the current Metro Vancouver market is right now, it may be the calm before the storm … we believe pent-up demand and a war chest is building and it could be unleashed on the Vancouver-area housing market later this year”

Quick thinking: Port Moody police are praising citizens for their assistance in rescuing drowning kayakers last Sunday. Community members acted quickly after they spotted two kayakers tipped over in the Burrard Inlet last holiday weekend. The police department launched a boat from Rocky Point to assist in the rescue.

  • The two kayakers were treated for hypothermia by paramedics and the fire department when they arrived at the shore.

Playing it safe: Port Moody police posted on their Instagram and said the kayakers were not wearing personal floatation devices. The police also believe that alcohol played a part in the incident. Boaters are being urged to properly follow water safety guidelines in order to avoid accidents.

  • In BC, you can receive a DUI for boating under the influence – yes, even on a kayak! These regulations are put into place due to 65% of boating accidents being attributed to alcohol consumption.
  • The likelihood of fatality from drowning is significantly decreased by properly wearing a personal floatation device or a life jacket.

Patio season: The City of Coquitlam is fast-tracking permits to allow more restaurants to build patios.

B.C. recently enacted restrictions on dine-in restaurants to allow for a “circuit-breaker” from COVID-19 transmission. As restaurants close for indoor dining, the city responded by accelerating the process of obtaining a permit for outdoor dining.

Keeping businesses open: Last year, Coquitlam enacted a temporary patio permit program. The program has since been extended to Oct. 31st of this year to allow restaurants the opportunity to stay open.

Applicants do not have to meet the usual requirements for hosting an outdoor dining space and the application is typically processed within two days. Restaurants also have the option to expand onto sidewalks and other public property if they don’t already have an accessible outdoor space.

  • If you’re interested in applying for a permit you can check to see if your business qualifies or send the city an email expressing your interest.
  • Restaurants need your support: Visit a local restaurant with an outdoor dining space in order to show solidarity for small businesses.

COVID-19 Roundup

With more vaccines being administered daily, 20% of BC residents who are eligible for the vaccine have received their first dose. 

The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations has confirmed that a 16-week waiting period between 1st and 2nd vaccine doses is optimal.  

Currently, people born in 1950 or earlier and Indigenous people 18 or older can book their vaccination via getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca/s/ by calling 1 833 838-2323. Extremely vulnerable can also book their vaccine now.

Tri-Cities

School District #43 is reporting no new exposures.

B.C.

  • New cases: 997
  • Hospitalizations: 330 (105 in critical care)
  • Deaths: 2
  • Total deaths: 1,491
  • Vaccines administered: 946,096
  • Second doses: 87,504
  • Variant cases: 3,766

Other news

Vancouver Canucks hit hard by variant

Happening Around Town

  • Hyde and seek: An after-school drop-in youth program at Hyde Creek is open for registration
  • Coquitlam Heritage is hosting a book club via Zoom on April 8
  • If you’ve got it and you don’t want it, the Port Coquitlam Foundation will shred it April 10 at the Canadian Tire at 2125 Hawkins St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Looking to walk the path less travelled? Coquitlam has ideas
  • Coquitlam Archives recently added new online exhibits

In Other News

One More Thing

April is World Autism Month! Margaux “Retrophiliac” Wosk is a Port Moody artist who has recently launched a #neurodiversitypride line to promote autism acceptance. You can purchase enamel pins or facemasks off of Retrophiliac’s etsy shop

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