Friday, December 12, 2008

All the Economists agree on one thing!

The recession will end one day.
The real question is: Will you take advantage of what was learned from previous recessions?

What if:During the recession opportunity from 1983 to 1986 you had purchased an income property at the then average price of $75,000?
You would be better off today!

Or what if:During the recession opportunity from 1994 to 1997 you had purchased an income property at the then average price of $175,000?
You would be better off today!

Which one of these scenarios don't you want?
1. You would now own a property worth $476,000 which you have lived in and enjoyed for years.
2. You would now own a rental property worth $476,000 that your tenants paid for.

Now the "Nay-Sayers" will say:“But your $476,000 property might drop by 10% to $428,000 or horrors 20% to $381,000”. So What!

That is still a huge gain. You would be better off today!

They will also say:“It won’t happen again”.

That’s what they said in 1986 and 1997. The nay-sayers didn’t buy then either.Look at the Attached graph of the average residential Real Estate prices in the Central Okanagan from 1983 to 2008 (compiled from Okanagan Mainland Real Estate Board average sale stats).

To me it says:
1. You should have bought in the 1983 to 1986 recession opportunitywhen the average price was $75,000. But the nay-sayers said "Nay Nay!"

2. You should have bought in the 1993 to 1997 recession opportunity when the average price was $175,000, but the nay-sayers said "Nay nay!"

3. You should buy now in the 2008-2012 recession opportunity when the average price is $476,000. Let them nay, Do it anyway!

A good plan: would be to buy some Real Estate in the next 4 years.

A great plan: would be to buy some Real Estate in each of the next 4 years.
You will be better off tomorrow!

“The secret to success in life is to be ready for the opportunity when it comes”.

That time is now!*
Interest rates are low.Vacancy rates are low.Rents are high.There is a good selection of properties for sale.

*Prices are lowest from December to February when the snow flies on the Coquihalla Highway and Rogers Pass because 28% of buyers are from Alberta and 20% from Vancouver.

They don’t like to drive in the snow.

You should buy in the snow!

Bert Chapman
Office: 6-3185 Via Centrale,
Kelowna, B.C, V1V 2A7
Phone: (250) 765-0570
TollFree: 1-866-765-0579
Fax: (250) 765-0577

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bert Chapman - Realistic pricing is a must

The Daily Courier - Tuesday November 18th 2008 - By Steve MacNaull

In this rough market homes have to be priced realistically if they are to sell, says Bert Chapman of Premier Canadian Properties. The reality is that prices have plunges about 15% during the past six month in the mist of the global economic slowdown.

“Properties priced right are still selling quickly”, he said . Properties listed at market value sold within 60 days. Properties listed to high then adjusted to market value sold within 60 days of that adjustment.

Properties listed too high and not adjusted are making up the unsold inventory.
For instance, Bert Chapman just helped some clients buy a home on acreage in the high 600,000’s, It was originally listed in the mid $800,000’s.
Bert Chapman
Office: 6-3185 Via Centrale,
Kelowna, B.C, V1V 2A7
Phone: (250) 765-0570 Toll
Free: 1-866-765-0579
Fax: (250) 765-0577

Friday, November 14, 2008


It struck me while showing properties to potential buyers – Properties priced right are selling quickly.

Potential Buyers Group 1
My clients are looking for a home on acreage. They looked at 15 properties listed from mid $600,000’s to mid $800,000’s. One had just been reduced from mid $800,000’s to low $700,000’s. It had 9 showings in 2 days and sold in the high $600,000’s.
Priced right and sold quickly! My buyers are still looking.

Potential Buyers Group 2
My clients are looking for a 2 bedroom condo on the golf course. They saw 12 properties and offered on the best priced one only to find competing offers. The condo sold for full asking price in 15 days. Priced right and sold quickly! My buyers are still looking.

Potential Buyers Group 3

My clients are looking for a 3 bedroom home with a workshop and an in-law suite if possible under $400,000. Found a suitable one originally listed at $440,000 then adjusted to high $380,000’s and it sold in 2 days for mid $380,000’s.
Priced right and sold quickly!

My buyers have purchased a property originally listed in the low $400,000’s reduced in 5 stages to $350,000, then sold the next day at $340,000.
Priced right and sold quickly!

A look at the stats
I analyzed 97 single family home sales and 52 condo sales reported to the Okanagan Mainland Real Estate Board during October 2008 and found:

1. Properties listed at market value sold within 60 days.
2. Properties listed too high then adjusted to market value sold within 60 days of that adjustment.
3. Properties listed too high and not adjusted are making up the unsold inventory.

Check our website: for a complete list of properties Sold in October.

Why is price so important?

There are approximately 700 Realtors in the Central Okanagan, 20% of them do 80% of the business. There are 140 realtors working with potential buyers right now. They know the existing inventory and watch every day for new listings priced right or significant adjustments to existing listings.

Properties priced right get all the action! My Advice:

1. Sellers - If you need to sell now, price it right! Then buy again in the same market conditions.
2. Investors - Look for properties in good locations that create cash flow, example: properties near UBC Okanagan or on the bus line. Check our web site for a list of properties which can cash flow.
3. Renters – It’s time to buy! Look for a property with a suite to help pay the mortgage.
Work from home if you can and save office rent and gas.

Take advantage of the high inventory of properties and the low mortgage rates. Lock in your mortgage rate.

I have a client who says: “Real Estate deals are like trains….there will be another one tomorrow.”

I say: “The train is at the station, get on now while prices are competitive, interest rates are low and selection is abundant. Don’t wait to board the next run away train.”

Remember: Don’t wait to buy Real Estate…Buy Real Estate and wait!!
Bert Chapman
Office: 6-3185 Via Centrale, Kelowna, B.C, V1V 2A7
Phone: (250) 765-0570
Toll Free: 1-866-765-0579
Fax: (250) 765-0577

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bert Chapman - So How Is Your Real Estate Now?

In these difficult economic times,

When stocks drop 20% in value overnight, then rebound, only to drop again…

When the price of oil drops precipitously but the price of gasoline doesn't…

When the value of gold is measured in US dollars, so its rise in value only indicates an erosion in the value of the troubled dollar….When governments bail out financial institutions….

What should you do?

Real Estate

You can still live in it, rent it out, borrow against it at reasonable rates, and grow veggies on it. You can still sell it if you are satisfied with a modest appreciation of 50% if you bought in the Okanagan in 2005. Or 30% if you bought in 2006.If you bought in 2007, you can get your capital back plus 5-10%.

That's if you paid cash.

Since most of us didn't, we gained even more through leverage. Eg: If we invested $60,000 as a down payment in 2005 in an average home valued at $300,000, it has gained 50% in value to $450,000 for a profit of $150,000. Since we only invested $60,000 to gain $150,000, our return on investment is 250% in 4 years.

So….what does the future hold?

I don't know for sure, but using 10 years of history as a guide in the Central Okanagan…any losses in value occurred slowly, were not of catastrophic proportions, and were followed by orderly increases to considerably higher values. The cycle since 1997 resulted in a 300% increase in average house values from $164,500 in 1997 to $500,000 in 2008. See graph 1 on our website:

In Vancouver, where stats go further back, the cycle has occurred 3x from an average price of $90,000 in 1977 to $808,000 in 2008 for a 900% increase. See graph 2 on our website:

Real Estate

In good times it sets the pace for investment appreciation in slow times it retains its value and can be rented so others can help you buy it.

Take advantage of today's financial turmoil. Invest in some solid Okanagan Real Estate.

Remember …Location, location, location.

In the words of Wayne Gretzky…"Don't go to where the puck IS.... go to where it will be!

"That's great hockey sense and intuitive investment advice! People want to live in the Okanagan. You should get there first and buy real estate.

More information on the web:

Premier Canadian Properties
Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board
City of Kelowna
District of Lake Country http://www.lakecountry.careal/
Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Bert Chapman
Office: 6-3185 Via Centrale, Kelowna, B.C, V1V 2A7
Phone: (250) 765-0570
Toll Free: 1-866-765-0579
Fax: (250) 765-0577

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bert Chapman - Christies Great Estates -1702 Pritchard Drive

As posted in Christies Great Estates Issue Three 2008. Search CGE20430.

Magnificent Waterfront Estate on the Shoreline of the Canal, Located on one of the most sought after and prestigious streets in Lakeview Heights Offered at $3,199,900.

This is a spectacular waterfront residence that redefines contemporary luxury living at its very best !

A beautifully appointed, custom built, family home with a wide open floor plan and large over size windows boasting spectacular water views from all principal rooms. Enjoy approximately 5950 sq ft* on 3 spacious levels. Featuring large, entertainment size Living and Dining areas, a gorgeous Gourmet Chef’s Kitchen, with all top quality professional appliances, adjoining Eating area and large Family / Media room. Many features include a stunning Master Suite with direct water views plus 4 children’s Bedroom’s and separate Nanny Suite. The quality and finishing’s are evident throughout the home and feature beautiful dark hardwood floors and extensive millwork detail.

Enjoy nearly 2500 sq ft of water side patios, featuring a sensational heated Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi and Waterfall all illuminated with dramatic night lighting. Other features include a Self-contained guest suite with separate entrance, oversized Triple Car Garage and RV Parking.

This is considered to be one of the most spectacular homes in the Okanagan Valley, and is located just 10 minutes to the heart of the city and only 25 minutes to the Kelowna International Airport .This property captures what the Okanagan Valley Lifestyle is all about!


Todd Townend
Kelowna Real Estate - Live Your Life in Luxury
Premier Canadian Properties
Okanagan Branch#6-3185 Via Centrale,
Kelowna, British Columbia V1V 2A7

Direct Line: 250.869.7378
Phone: 250.765.0570
Fax: 250.765.0577
Toll-Free: 1.866.765.0579

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bert Chapman - Christies Great Estates - 485 Casa Rio Drive

As posted in Christies Great Estates Issue Three 2008. Search CGE20429.

Waterfront Sanctuary on Lake OkanaganSituated in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, a dream residence awaits a deserving ownerOffered at $4,995,000.

This four-bedroom, five-bath Contemporary Home is laid out across three stories spanning a total of 4,792 sq ft* of living space. A complete renovation has graced the home with top-of-the-line finishes and exceptional landscaping.

The open, flowing floor plan is perfect for hosting gatherings of any kind. A beautiful curved staircase accesses the upper and lower floors, while the stunning, modern epicurean kitchen features thick granite countertops, a massive island, and premier stainless-steel appliances. The living room, highlighted by a slate fireplace, and the dining room flank the kitchen. Large nano-doors and a glass-enclosed covered patio bring in an abundance of sunlight and views of Lake Okanagan.

Spacious and comfortable, the master suite boasts an extensive walk-in closet and a huge en suite bath with granite countertops, a jetted tub, and radiant floor heating. The grounds that surround this exquisite treasure include a putting green, verdant foliage, stone pathways leading to the water, a majestic weeping willow, and 90 feet of sandy beachfront with a permanent 100-foot dock.
Todd Townend
Kelowna Real Estate - Live Your Life in Luxury
Premier Canadian Properties
Okanagan Branch#6-3185 Via Centrale,
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1V 2A7
Direct Line: 250.869.7378
Phone: 250.765.0570
Fax: 250.765.0577
Toll-Free: 1.866.765.0579

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Press Release - Jerry Dombowsky - “Grandpa sells Motels and Hotels”

Jerry Dombowsky was at a family gathering last summer when he started talking about his love of selling hotels and motels and working with buyers on their purchase of a property.

The grandchildren were within “ear shot” of this conversation when they began shouting “Grandpa sells hotels and motels”.

This struck a cord with Jerry.

In his 32 years of real estate experience in Alberta and British Columbia, Jerry Dombowsky has seen a lot of real estate transactions, specifically in the hotel and motel industry.

Jerry says, “The internet is an integral part of day to day communications. The diversity and transference of information brings the property to the property buyer in a timely informative manner.”

Jerry has a broad knowledge of hotel and motel markets in Alberta and British Columbia and has completed many hotel and motel sales and purchase transactions including small and large businesses, and commercial real estate. Having owned and operated ranches, hotels and motels, in the past, Jerry Dombowsky has a very good understanding of the effort needed to close the deal.

As of September 1st, 2008, through Jerry Dombowskys connections with Premier Canadian Properties and Christies Great Estates, the benefits of buying a hotel, motel or resort will be presented to a worldwide audience.

Jerry’s new website which is dedicated solely to the acquisition of hotels and motels in Alberta and British Columbia is located at

Now that “Grandpa sells hotels and motels”, the grandchildren are looking for extended stays with Grandpa.

For more information or an interview, contact Jerry Dombowsky at (250) 717-1886.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bert Chapman - Kelowna Real Estate -What's Luck got to do with it?


Residential - Average Price $512,811 - Last year $479,714 - Increase 6.9%
Apartment - Average Price $315,707 - Last Year $278,559 -Incrreas 13.34%
Townhouse- Average Price $396,086 -Last Year $353,708 -Increase 11.98%

Listing Inventory Up 42.6% Units Sold Down 39.6%

The market is healthy but price sensitive. Some say, “You have to be lucky to sell”.

Luck is... “Where preparation meets opportunity!”

I was at a car show in Keremeos British Columbia recently and overheard a conversation between a Realtor and another person. “How is the Real Estate market these days?” Realtor...”It’s terrible!” No one is buying, everyone wants to sell and everything is for sale. No one can buy anymore because prices are too high.”

I thought to myself...I guess that person won’t be buying or selling through that REALTOR anytime soon.

I also should focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. You will attract what you focus on.

So...How is the Market?

Well, I am personally working with several groups of buyers.

  • Repeat clients from 6 years ago. They are unfortunately splitting up. She has a good job in healthcare and can afford to buy their existing house. He is a welder and is pre-qualified for $400,000 - $450,000. Good jobs.
  • Another repeat client – they have a private sale for their existing out of town property to a neighbor. They want a home in Lake Country with a lake view, approximately $600,000 - $700,000. He works for a door company and she works for Canada Post. Good jobs.
  • Parents of a university student looking for an apartment near UBC Okanagan, price range $250,000 - $300,000. Parents are accountants. Good jobs.
  • I recently completed a sale of a townhouse to a young couple expecting twins. They wanted to move close to their parents. He works for a warehouse company and she works for an insurance company. Price range $300,000 - $320,000. Both have Good jobs.
But, how can this be?The Realtor at the car show said “no one is buying”. I can hear you thinking, you’re just lucky! What is luck? … “Where preparation meets opportunity”
So…who can buy? People with good jobs. Let’s look at the Yellow Pages for good jobs. Accountants, bankers, airport employees, auto body, casinos, cell phones, chiropractors, city workers, doctors, dentists, environmental consultants, funeral homes, health care, lawyers, waste management, plus retirees and seniors, etc. etc. etc.
Life goes on. Peoples’ housing needs change. Houses will be bought and sold.
There are plenty of opportunities for those who are prepared. They will be lucky!Don’t wait to buy Real Estate - Buy Real Estate and wait!

Agent: Bert Chapman
Office: 6-3185 Via Centrale, Kelowna, B.C, V1V 2A7
Phone: (250) 765-0570Toll Free: 1-866-765-0579
Fax: (250) 765-0577

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bert Chapman - University helps create mini condo-boom

By Steve MacNaull - The Okanagan Saturday August 9, 2008.

UBCO-related condominium purchases in the Central Okanagan are creating a mini-boom within a market that is generally softening.

"Parents of university students are buying condos around UBCO and along bus routes to the school so their child can stay in them, but also as an investment,” said Bert Chapman of Premier Canadian Properties.

“The idea is, if their child also gets a roommate to pay $850 a month, it’s a mortgage helper. Hopefully, when they sell the condo in three or four years, they make a profit that covers what they spent on tuition and more.”

Bert Chapman’s office is at the Quail Ridge golf course beside UBCO. Last weekend, there were eight sales at the Pinnacle condo complex at Quail to parents of university students, with multiple offers on three of the units.

The price range for two-bedroom condos in the building is $289,000 to $349,000. Since the building has resort zoning, short –term rentals are allowed, so they can be rented to students during the school years, then to golfers in the summer.

Chapman is also aware of A half a dozen sales to parents of university students at Brookstone in Winfield, which is on the direct bus route to UBCO. “Because my office is beside UBCO and our company represents sales at Brookstone, we have been able to spot this trend.

“I’m sure there are more sales just like it, but because various agents at different companies are handling them, they don’t see it as the mini-boom we do.”

After a five year run of doubling prices and record sales, the Okanagan real estate market is slowing as investors and flippers drop out in reaction to higher prices and a slowing economy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


A recent article on July 12th 2008, in the business section of the Kelowna Daily Courier by Joseph Roberge, Investment Advisor, purported that over the last 30 years the S & P TSX Index outperformed Real Estate Investment. He claimed that the stock index averaged 10.8% per year while Real Estate was 7.7% average gain over the same period.

He conveniently omitted that:

1. The equity increase in your principal residence is tax free while stock gains are taxable. Advantage Real Estate!

2. You can live in your Real Estate Investment but not in your stocks. Advantage Real Estate!

3. You can buy Real Estate with a low down payment effectively increasing your yield. You need cash to buy stocks. Advantage Real Estate!

4. You can rent out all or part of your Real Estate and let your tenant buy it for you. Stocks you have to pay for yourself. Advantage Real Estate!

Bert Chapman is the Managing Broker/Owner of Premier Canadian Properties and past President of the Okanagan Mainland Real Estate Board

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bert Chapman - Market tipping in favour of buyers

By Kathy Michaels - Kelowna Capital NewsPublished: July 12, 2008 12:00

PM Updated: July 12, 2008 10:32 PM

It looks like the party is over for those who were making buckets of money flipping real estate.
The latest figures from the Okanagan Mainland Real Estate Board point to a changeover in the marketplace as the number of units listed on the Multiple Listing Service were up by 43 per cent as 1,421 listings were up for grabs in June compared to 992 in June 2007.
The total sales dollars of all property types sold decreased by 42 per cent compared to June 2007, while the number of units sold decreased by 46 per cent, amounting to 355 units sold compared to 656 last June.
While the news may appear to be grim for those who are listing properties, Bert Chapman of Premier Canadian Properties former president of OMREB said it’s just a matter of going “back to normal,” and nothing worth panicking about.
“We’ve been through four years of prices jumping up every year, but we’re back to a normal market,” he said, noting that in the 40 years he’s been in real estate, there have been boom cycles.
What should help ensure that this last boom cycle isn’t followed by a bust, however, is the the baby boomers and their apparent love for the Okanagan.
“There’s a 1,000 people in Canada that turn 60 every day, and we appeal to them,” he said.
“Baby boomers are a fortunate generation. They have had a full career if they wanted it and there have been no depressions or wars stopping them. They had the advantage of buying real estate that was cheap and making money on that. Now they have aging parents that are expiring and leaving them a significant inheritance—they have money coming at them from all sides.”
Bert Chapman did admit that there are issues within the economy that could also be negatively impacting the buying spree that existed before now, such as forestry employers downsizing and the rise of fuel costs.
As for whether or not all the changes will drive prices down, Bert Chapman said “Yes.”
“Anytime you have an excess of inventory, it will affect prices,” he said. “You will have people that need to sell fast, so yeah there will be pressure on prices, there’s no question.” There have already been reductions on the MLS, he explained, adding that many of them are due to the fact that there was some over expectancy on what homes were worth.
“It’s just a return to reality.”
Brenda Moshansky, OMREB director in the Central Zone, said the shift to the buyers market will once again put emphasis on the quality of a seller’s property, and patience will be required.
“When selling a property in this market everything becomes important including your neighbourhood, your property type, and your home’s appearance,” she said.
Prices are remaining stable, and there is still a steady appetite for properties, especially mid-range properties that are priced competitively.
The average days-to-sell is starting to increase, requiring more patience from sellers, as buyers have more choices and therefore take more time to make decisions.”
For more information visit

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bert Chapman - Willows Project survives receivership

Excepted from an article by Steve MacNaull in The Okanagan Saturday for July 5, 2008

The Willows—a 71-unit condominium in Winfield disrupted by a lien and subsequent
receivership-is ready to be completed.
Since work halted in January, receiver BDO Dunwoody has hired a new contractor to
finish the building on Bottom Wood Lake Road so people can start moving in this fall.
“All the contracts written before the receivership are being honoured at the prices
originally agreed upon, said Bert Chapman of Premier Canadian Properties, the Kelowna
real estate office marketing The Willows.
“While the receivership and the delay are unfortunate, it’s ended up to be a good news
story that buyers will get their condos at the original price.”
A few of the units that were not sold and became available because their original buyers
wanted out of their contract , will go on sale soon at higher prices that reflect the
Okanagan’s rising real estate values.

Steve MacNaull is a business reporter and columnist with the Okanagan Saturday. He
can be reached at

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bert Chapman - Condo market good for buyers - Kelowna Capital News

By Kathy Michaels - Kelowna Capital News - May 09, 2008

Condominium projects are rising around Kelowna at a seemingly rapid rate, causing some to speculate that the city will soon reach an oversaturation point.
While not everyone agrees with that assessment, a market analyst at the Canadian Mortgage and Housing corporation says there is a potential for oversupply of condominiums and apartments this year.
“The supply of listings is going up quite dramatically, and there are also high levels of new construction this year.
“There certainly is that potential,” said Paul Fabri, with the CMHC office in Kelowna.
Multi-family starts have more than doubled from levels recorded during the same first quarter period last year.
Construction began on another two apartment condominium projects in April and the first rental apartment building since 2004.
Fabri doesn’t forecast doom and gloom from the potential oversupply. He said that it will just mean that people in the market for a condo will have a good supply to select from.
“It also means that we aren’t going to see the type of price increases we’ve seen over the last couple of years,” he said.
“As demand moderates and supply increases that has an impact on price, so I am forecasting that we are going to see the pace of price growth slow in 2008 and 2009.
“I think prices will still edge up, but we aren’t going to see the double digit increases that we’ve seen over the last few years.”

On the other side of the spectrum is Bert Chapman, a realtor and owner of Premier Properties. Bert Chapman, a past president of the Okanagan Mainland Real Estate Board, said rumours about too many condominiums on the market are dead wrong in his estimation. “There is a demand from affluent baby boomers, seniors and university students,” he said, noting that their population growth will carry on well into the future.

To prove what he suspected, he pulled together a research team to spend dozens of hours taking stock of all the developers in the area with projects on the go.
Using the listings from the website, Premier Properties staff then contacted all the developers and found out that of the 105 projects on that website, 38 are single-family lot projects, not condos. Eight projects were condo developments that were completely sold out. Five other condo projects weren’t going to be built out until five to 10 years into the future.

Bert Chapman said that left 54 other condo projects underway, a number, he said, that will be appropriate for the people who will be investing in this area in the long-term.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bert Chapman passes the torch as head of OMREB

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - Business Thompson Okanagan

KELOWNA - Bert Chapman has known mostly highs in his 40 years in the real-estate career, but when he hits the lows, he sits in his car, and looks at the poppy in the visor.“I keep it there because no matter how bad things get, I look at my poppy and remember my grandfather. He sat in a muddy foxhole while they lobbed hand grenades. It brings you down to earth.”He has managed and owned offices, trained realtors, written manuals, but the advice he gives people starting out is the advice he was given as a rookie.

Al Buxton was the top salesman in the Maple Ridge Block Brothers office where Bert Chapman, at 24, started his career. One Saturday on their way back from an open house, Chapman asked Buxton his secret of success.“He told me to keep in touch with everybody I come across in this business and to make sure I regularly contacted them. I took that to heart. It’s a fabulous source of business.“This is a people business.You can get all focused on real estate, but that isn’t where it’s at. It’s why I’m still here. I enjoy the people.”Three years later, he opened his own office. Block Brothers had told him if he got a few good people, they would open an office in Mission. “I got 10 people over three months and we were ready to go, but out of the blue, they bought a company in Abbotsford and expected people to move. We had done everything and there was nothing left to do to open, so we did.

“I had to learn how to manage an office in a hurry,” says Bert Chapman, past president of the 1,200-member Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board. “I had enough horse sense to make it through and I wasn’t above asking.“We hit Mission at the right time. It went from 8,500 people to 21,000 in 12 years and I was nicely positioned. I got good people. We did 75 per cent of the business.”He eventually sold the office, semi-retired in Palm Springs and “put my feet up by the pool, but found out I didn’t like that, so I got my real-estate licence.”

After three years, he returned to Canada, worked for a few companies and eventually Canada Trust sent him to Richmond with a near-impossible mission: by year’s end save an office that had lost $100,000 in June.“The next year, I took it to No. 2 in Canada. I rode the wave (of the Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong).”

He ran the company training centre, wrote the training program and added all those new realtors to his growing list. In 1996, he moved to Kelowna, and his first sale was to a person on his list. He worked for a few companies before he was recruited to take an office that was on the verge of closing. “I got so it was worth something and (the Seattle owners) sold it to Derek Trethewey, who owns Okanagan Land Development. He kept me on as a manager and then I bought it.”

Premier Canadian Properties, a leader in full-service luxury home sales, eventually became an affiliate of Christie’s Great Estates, which offers properties all over the world.Chapman wants to utilize that global network of 224 Christie offices. His two offices - one at Quail’s Ridge Golf Course and one on Sunset Drive downtown - have video screens and DVDs always showing some place sunny and exotic. “We’re only ones doing that and business is building. The market is 48 per cent local, 28 per cent Alberta, 20 per cent Vancouver and four per cent everyone else. We’re trying to grow that four per cent.”

Chapman is optimistic that the sizzling Okanagan real estate market, which grew by 31.73 per cent in 2007 to a record $3.88 Billion in sales, will stay hot because 1,000 people will turn 60 every day for the next 10 years and a lot of them want to retire here. Add seniors, singles, students and investors and there’s an equation for even more records.While Chapman’s hours often mirror that of his offices, which are open eight hours a day, seven days a week, he plans to slow down and spend more time with his 10-year-old grandson.

“I think the highlight of my career was getting advice from Jimmy Pattison. I was in a client’s office one day and in walked Jimmy Pattison. He spent 20 minutes just talking with me. I did a lot of listening. I learned how to listen.“He said: ‘It’s amazing what you can get done if you don’t care who gets the credit.’ I took that to heart. I believe that. I don’t have an ego. I buried it that day. I give everyone else the credit because they deserve it.”But even when he remembers Pattison, Phil Gaglardi, W.A.C. Bennett - “a dynamic individual” - and Henry Block - “a great leader” - he never forgets his grandfather and that poppy in his visor.“Every Remembrance Day, I always go and find the oldest looking vet selling poppies. I go up and shake his hand. I usually end up crying. I always put in $100 because without them, I probably wouldn’t be here selling real estate.”

Monday, January 28, 2008

Study really hits home - Daily Courier

By Steve MacNaull Monday, January 28, 2008

Keeping company with the likes of Los Angeles, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Sydney, Australia, Kelowna has shown up on a list of “severely unaffordable” housing markets. “This year, we expanded our survey to include more Canadian cities, so Kelowna debuted as the 13th least affordable in the world,” said analyst David Seymour of the Winnipeg-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy. The independent think-tank helped put together the fourth annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which compared the median residential price in a city with the median household income to come up with a median multiple rating.

Kelowna‘s median house price of $446,300 and its median household income of $52,200 results in a rating of 8.5 (that means the price is 8.5 times more than the income). Anything 5.1 or more is considered “severely unaffordable.” “That‘s amazing,” said Bert Chapman, a real estate agent with Premier Canadian Properties in Kelowna and president of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board. “We‘re in great company with Los Angeles and Honolulu, but it also means we have a serious problem with affordability and entry-level housing.” Los Angeles tops the list as the city with the least-affordable housing. Its median house price is $588,400, and its median household income is $51,100, earning it an 11.5 rating. Median house price is defined as the midpoint between the highest-priced and lowest-priced home in a city. It‘s usually lower than the average price, which is calculated by dividing total sales volume by the number of sales. That‘s why, in this survey, Kelowna‘s median residential price (taking into consideration all single-family home, townhouse and condominium sales) of $446,300 is lower than the $500,000 average single-family home price commonly used.

“I‘m not passing judgment, but our market is extremely busy, even if it is considered severely unaffordable,” said Bert Chapman. “The customer who we are dealing with (wealthy baby boomers attracted to Kelowna for its lifestyle, natural beauty and weather) is different from the buyer on a budget,” Chapman said. However, he said the local real estate board is lobbying the government to allow for more affordable housing. The lack of affordable housing is preventing many workers from moving to Kelowna and exacerbating the labour shortage.

“The crucial issue in affordability is not just desirability, but lack of a suitable supply of land to build on because municipalities make development too expensive or slow it by not releasing enough land,” said Seymour. The survey ranks 227 cities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Kelowna‘s 8.5 ranks it as the most unaffordable city in Canada, ahead of Vancouver (No. 15 with 8.4) and Victoria (No. 22 with 7.3). Kelowna is even considered more unaffordable than such international centres as London, England (No. 18 at 7.7), Melbourne, Australia (No. 22 at 7.3), and New York City (No. 28 at 7.0). The most-affordable city of the 227 surveyed is Thunder Bay, Ont., with a median multiple ranking of 1.8. The median residential price in Thunder Bay is $107,800, and the median household income is $58,500. To put that in perspective, a Kelowna homebuyer pays off the equivalent of a house in Thunder Bay and then has to do it four times again because higher residential prices mean larger mortgages, higher interest rates and longer amortizations