I know what you might be thinking - how could I possibly be thinking about Spring in what feels like the dead of winter? The days are chilled, there are, in fact, many clouds in sight, and some days it feels as if the sun may never come again.

I want you to remember the last time you felt like something wasn’t going to end. What did it feel like, taste like, and smell like? Can you recall how you felt? Personally, I remember a time less than one year ago, when the house was covered in DIY half-done projects, and the aroma of my third and final attempt at banana bread filled my home. Working from home no longer felt like a staycation, and oh boy, did I brush my teeth this morning? I remember thinking, “Is this how life is now?”

Looking back, I can see that for better or worse, things always shift, and then they shift again, and then they, you guessed it, shift again. This year, can we simply be with the shift? Can we flow with the currents of life? Shifting and adapting are what keep our species alive. It’s our superpower.

Remember this as your moment of darkness before dawn. Soon, the flowers will bloom, and the sun will warm your chilled skin. You’ll take a walk with your friends, kids, parents, or maybe just with yourself, and you’ll remember that blip in time that felt like an eternity, and you’ll compare it to the sweetness you’re feeling at that moment.

When we understand that all things seemingly good or seemingly bad inevitably change, we learn to let go of those labels entirely. Nothing is good and nothing is bad; it’s just life. And with every evolutionary moment, we learn, grow, and yes, we change.

Kind Regards,

Gino Pezzani

Your Real Estate Consultant For Life

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Vancouver, B.C. – January, 2022 – The increased activity seen in the Lower Mainland’s commercial real estate market in the first half of 2021 carried into the third quarter (Q3) of the year across all categories.

There were 640 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2021, a 64.1 per cent increase from the 390 sales in Q3 2020, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland was $3.250 billion in Q3 2021, a 30.7 per cent increase from $2.487 billion in Q3 2020.

"Commercial real estate activity recovered steadily in the first three quarters of 2021 against 2020 levels as consumer and business confidence returned from the initial uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic caused," Keith Stewart, REBGV economist said. “In particular, the strength of land acquisition activity points to new development interest across the region.”

Q3 2021 activity by category

Land: There were 228 commercial land sales in Q3 2021, which is a 137.5 per cent increase from 96 land sales in Q3 2020. The dollar value of land sales was $1.839 billion in Q3 2021, a

15.5 per cent increase from $1.592 billion in Q3 2020.

Office and Retail: There were 235 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2021, which is up 42.4 per cent from 165 sales in Q3 2020. The dollar value of office and retail sales was $489 million in Q3 2021, a 41.7 per cent increase from $345 million in Q3 2020.

Industrial: There were 153 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2021, which is a 43 per cent increase from 107 sales in Q3 2020. The dollar value of industrial sales was $544 million in Q3 2021, a 116.7 per cent increase from $251 million in Q3 2020.

Multi-Family: There were 24 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2021, which is up 9.1 per cent from 22 sales in Q3 2020. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $378 million in Q3 2021, a 26.4 per cent increase from $299 million in Q3 2020.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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In BC in December, sales, new listings, and housing starts all declined somewhat from November. While sales rose slightly in the lower mainland, declines in all other regions of the province caused a decline overall. Rental rates in Victoria and Vancouver remain elevated relative to pre-pandemic levels amid generally high consumer price appreciation. 

Retail sales rose in November in BC to a fresh record, with sales 12 per cent above February of 2020 prior to the onset of the pandemic. As of January, restaurant reservations in Vancouver are at roughly 50 per cent of the pre-pandemic level, dropping by roughly a third since December due to Omicron. By contrast, Toronto is about 95 per cent below the prior year's restaurant activity due to fresh restrictions. Google's measure of movement trends is currently about 22 per cent below pre-pandemic levels in BC. 

Although aggregate employment has recovered in BC to pre-pandemic levels, the accommodation and food service sector was about 14 per cent below the pre-pandemic level in December. The labour market has served high-income workers much better than low-income workers. Employment in high-income industries is about 7 per cent above pre-pandemic employment levels, while employment in low-income industries is about 5 per cent below pre-pandemic employment levels. Manufacturing in BC remained constant from last month, as with exports and imports. Business confidence stayed flat in December, while consumer confidence drifted downwards. The number of US and non-US tourists has been rising each month since restrictions were eased last summer, reaching about 45 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in November.

For a more comprehensive overview of BC's economic recovery, click here

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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A teacher and his student were walking through the forest. The student asked, “Why are most people’s minds restless?" The teacher smiled and told his student a story:

One beautiful day, an elephant was standing by the shade of a tree, eating leaves. Suddenly, a small fly came buzzing and landed on the elephant’s ear. The elephant stayed calm and continued to eat. The fly flew around the elephant’s ear, buzzing noisily, but the elephant seemed to be unaffected.

This bewildered the fly, and it asked, “Are you deaf?” “No,” the elephant answered. “Then why aren’t you bothered by my buzz? What is your secret? How can you stay so calm and still?”

The elephant stopped eating and said, "My five senses do not disturb my peace, because they do not rule my attention. I am in control of my mind and my thoughts, and therefore, I can direct my attention where I want, and ignore any disturbances, including your buzz. Therefore I can stay peaceful.”

At the end of the story, the student’s eyes opened wide, and a smile appeared on his face. “Now I understand! If I am in command of my five senses, my mind will become calm, and I will be able to disregard the restlessness.”

“That’s right,” answered the teacher.

“The mind is restless and goes wherever the attention goes. Control your attention, and you control your mind.” 

If you like this kind of story, please let me know...

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While the majority of expert opinion had swung toward the Bank of Canada raising its overnight rate this morning, the Bank instead maintained its overnight rate at 0.25 per cent. However, in the statement accompanying the decision the Bank noted that slack in the economy has been absorbed and it is ending what it calls its "exceptional forward guidance" on the policy interest rate. This is a clear signal that the Bank will begin raising its overnight policy rate, likely at its next meeting in March. The Bank also noted that the Canadian economy grew much faster than expected over the second half of 2021 and has entered 2022 with considerable momentum. While the Omicron variant is weighing on activity in the first quarter, its impact is expected to be modest. Importantly, the Bank expects inflation to remain close to 5 per cent (annualized) over the first half of 2022 before declining to 3 per cent by the end of the year.

Inflation continues to run ahead of the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target and inflation expectation are noticeably rising.  That has prompted the Bank to bring its rate tightening forward by several months. We expect the Bank will begin tightening in March, ultimately bringing its overnight rate to 1.75 per cent by early 2023.  Canadian fixed-rate mortgages have already been rising in anticipation of a higher Bank of Canada rate and are now closing in on their pre-pandemic level of 3 per cent. For an analysis of how this rate-tightening cycle may impact the BC housing market, please see our most recent Market Intelligence Report, "Too Tight? The Impact of Bank of Canada Tightening on BC Housing Markets"

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Link:  https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/bank-of-canada-interest-rate-announcement-y3ely6wsnh

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To succeed on the job, you first have to land that job. Aside from your skills and qualifications, most interviewers look for an attitude they like in a candidate. A study published in the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology suggests that the best way to do that is by emphasizing not what you’ve accomplished, but how you accomplished it.

In a series of experiments in the United States and the Netherlands, subjects participated in a mock job interview. “Candidates” were told to talk positively about themselves, but receivers found themselves more interested in the efforts and struggles the candidates had to deal with, rather than the final results they achieved.

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Canadian seasonally-adjusted retail sales rose 0.7% to $58.1 billion in November. The rise was driven by sales at gasoline stations (+4.9%), building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+3.0%) and food and beverage stores (+1.0%). Core retail sales, which strips out gasoline and vehicle and parts sales, increased 0.5% in November. Part of this growth was due to price growth--retail sales rose 0.2% in volume terms.

In BC, seasonally-adjusted sales rose 0.8% in November. Compared to the same month last year, retail sales were up 3.3% in the province. In the Greater Vancouver region, sales rose 0.7% month-over-month and were up 9.4% year-over-year. 

In November, Canadian e-commerce sales rose from $3.3 billion to $4.3 billion. As a result, e-commerce increased from 5.4% of total retail sales in October to 6.9% in November. This percentage remains elevated relative to pre-pandemic levels. 

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Many organizations and employees are seeing the benefits of remote working—less expense on office space, better work/life balance, increased flexibility, and so on. That means working from home isn’t likely to go away entirely, even as the COVID-19 pandemic ebbs.

•Adjust your expectations. Even now, some managers may struggle with keeping track of employees who aren’t just down the hall. You don’t have to see each employee every minute of every day to know that they’re doing their job—you can’t do that anyway. Focus on KPIs, benchmarks, and deadlines to monitor performance at a distance.

•Share successes. When a remote employee lands a new client or does a great job on a project, don’t keep the news to yourself. Recognize positive accomplishments with a group email or in a Zoom staff meeting so everyone knows what is possible to achieve. This sends the message that you trust people and value their work when they succeed.

•Use technology for connection and accountability. You may not communicate every day, but don’t let that be an excuse to neglect your employees. Use email and other tools to check in often—not so much that you overwhelm them, but just enough to make sure they’re on track.

•Ask for feedback. Communication shouldn’t be one-way, especially when you’re distanced. Ask employees what they need from you in terms of time and resources. They may want more frequent or less frequent communication, or better access to information, to do their jobs. Respond as best you can to make the relationship flow easily.

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Did you know— the ancient Vikings measured age in how many winters someone lived through? I just love that idea, like we aren’t merely surviving the winter months with extra-thick socks while clutching a warm mug, but we are living through them and truly taking in all they have to offer and thriving in response.

I think we can all agree that 2021 was challenging and we are all likely to anticipate 2022 with a sense that there is a fresh start on the horizon. However, if we channel our inner Viking (skipping the horned hats), we are obligated to bring vivid life into this typically bleak month, rather than seeing it as something to survive until warmer times. There is living to be done in January, my friend!

Those ancient Vikings were masters of the sea and had an innate understanding of navigation by natural elements. Like many ancient cultures, they noted landmarks for reference points and used the stars to navigate their way while out at sea, however they also kept track of their route through storytelling. Reciting the route they took in a poetic tale was not only entertaining, but it was also a way to hand down trade routes through generations.

I’m sharing this with you because I think there is value in giving voice to the course you plan to take as you begin the journey through 2022. All journeys begin with a plan and end with a story - I hope your story this year is a good one!

Gino Pezzani
DIEN Realty
604-418-9366

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Canadian prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose 4.8% on a year-over-year basis in December, up from 4.7% in November. On a month-over-month basis, the CPI declined 0.1% in December, the first monthly decline since December 2020. The Bank of Canada's preferred measures of core inflation (which use techniques to strip out volatile elements) rose an average of 2.9% year-over-year in December. Higher prices for food (+5.2%), passenger vehicles (+7.2%) and homeowners' home and mortgage insurance (+9.3%) were major drivers of growth in the headline CPI. Supply-chain difficulties continued contributing to price gains, as well as the flooding and infrastructure damage in BC. In BC, consumer prices were essentially flat month-over-month, and up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. 

Inflation continues to run ahead of the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target. Although transportation costs appear to be trending down, food and shelter costs are on the rise. While the food prices may reflect temporary supply chain issues, a recovery in Canadian rents and rising mortgage costs mean the shelter component of CPI may continue to rise in 2022. As a result, we expect this elevated level of inflation to persist through 2022 before prices begin moderating. The Bank of Canada has signaled that it will begin raising its policy rate this year, and markets are now expecting those rate increases to happen much earlier than previously anticipated, perhaps as early as the Bank of Canada meeting next week.


For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-inflation-december-2021

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