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Vancouver Real Estate Forum: Embracing Complexity as the ‘New Normal’

BCBusiness + Vancouver Real Estate Forum Purchasing, developing, marketing, and selling real estate is a far more complex process than people outside of the industry realize


BCBusiness + Informa Canada 

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Annual event is a conversation with everyone at the table

Purchasing, developing, marketing, and selling real estate is a far more complex process than people outside of the industry realize, especially those who just read headlines in a newspaper. What’s needed, according to Jennifer Podmore Russell, senior vice-president at Rennie Group and chair of the upcoming Vancouver Real Estate Forum, is for stakeholders and the general public to fully “embrace the complexity.”

Virtually all of the attendees at the 2018 Vancouver Real Estate Forum know fully the challenges presented by sweeping changes in housing legislation and the ponderous process that planners and politicians take in order to guarantee that all of the voices at the table are heard. Produced by Informa, this annual event is, Podmore Russell says, “a conversation with everyone at the table about how to move things along effectively.”

Delays, however, come at a cost not only to developers but to municipalities dependent on future tax revenue. “How do we adapt and build resilience to manage this phenomenal rate of change and the complexity?” Podmore Russell asks. “The new reality is that developers are facing increasing costs and diminishing returns.”

Guest speakers will be examining both big-picture topics such as national and provincial economic outlooks, as well as looking at secondary markets from the Fraser Valley to Kelowna. Other presentations will examine creating flexible arrangements in office space to house the region’s burgeoning technology and services sectors and addressing chronic shortfalls in industrial land.

Indeed, the focus of one seminar succinctly describes the situation: They’re not making it anymore, which looks at the big picture. “With ever-increasing demand and constrained supply, what are the median prices for industrial, mixed use, inner city, suburban and residential and non-residential land?” Podmore Russell says. “What transactions have been completed over the past 12 months? What land will likely be available in the near term? Given the supply constraints, are joint ventures becoming a norm bringing a landowner together with a developer? Where are land values potentially heading for the remainder of 2018 and beyond?”

These discussions are taking place amid the backdrop of high prices and. One discussion title: A League of its Own: Affordability in North America’s Least Affordable City, is sure to garner strong interest from conference attendees.

Says Podmore Russell: “The Forum has traditionally been a business-to-business gathering, but it’s time to address the various complexities we have in the Vancouver market and advance the conversation so that the problems of today do not become more acute.”


This is the 25th anniversary of the Vancouver Real Estate Forum, which will be held April 25 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. For information go to