Editor's note: An edited letter by Ivan Krpan ('Demolitions just make good business sense' Sept. 4 Re: More demolitions than ever) was refered to at a recent public hearing regarding mega homes. In the interest of clarity, we have posted the fuller version of the letter below. It is Richmond News policy that the editor reserves the right to edit letters for brevity, taste and legality
Little bit of due diligence please…
Grandstanding, innuendos, hearsay and rhetoric have become a standard practice by our City representative, as well as (let’s call them) concerned citizens, when it comes to throwing stones at the home building Industry. Due diligence, research and investigative journalism in this case have gone by the wayside for the greater cause of discrediting the home building industry.
What is forgotten here is the flip side of demolition, which is building, being progressive, sustaining a vibrant industry that contributes twice as much to the cash register of our city than even the Casino does.
Here are some of the facts on the so-called “spike” in demolition of old homes in our city. This information is readily available on the city website, but the report needs to be analyzed, rather than simply taking the bottom number and yelling that the sky is falling.
Out of 86 demolition permits issued, 17 were for detached accessory buildings, meaning detached garages. This means two permits were issued for one property. This is a very unusual situation for which I don’t have an explanation other than it simply happened by chance. There were four duplexes, again two permits each, and two storage units, so the grand total was 63 and not 86. The greatest number of demolition permits, total of 47, were taken out for RS1E and RS1F zoning, 5 LUC zoning and few others. Yes, there is a slight increase in demolition permits but there is also a very good reason for it.
To even suggest, that the upcoming insignificant changes in the local bylaws are the main driver for this activity, ignoring all the indicators/statistics that say otherwise, is simply being out of touch with reality and lacks common business sense. As a businessman and an expert in the field of home building, I follow closely trends in the real estate market to build my own business model. To make my point that this activity is strictly driven by supply and demand, which means the hottest real estate market that we have seen in decades, here are a couple of lines from the REBGV monthly statistics report for June and July: June sales were up 29.1 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month. It’s the fourth straight month with over 4,000 sales, which is a first in the REBGV history. July sales were 33.5 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month. The total number of properties currently listed on MLS is 11,505, a 26.3 percent decline compared to July 2014 and a 5.5 percent decline compared to June 2015. Much of today’s activity can be traced to strong consumer confidence, low interest rates and a reduced supply of homes for sale. This is a quote from Mr. Darcy McLeod, REBGV president. Not to mention the huge benefit of a high US dollar to a foreign buyer.
With the above in mind, how could anyone in this industry, with any business sense at all stand by and not take advantage of the hottest real estate market. That would be like fishermen staying home during the biggest salmon run ever. It doesn’t make any sense to me. If I had one hundred old homes in my reserve, I would be taking out one hundred demolition permits right now, because that makes good business sense and at the same time that is good for our city.
Dakota Holdings inc.
(Custom home builders)