Don't write off this market, say experts

With the Lower Mainland showing real signs of recovery, Todd Talbot, the co-host of Love It or List It Vancouver, says local property investors should concentrate on the opportunities sitting on their own picturesque doorstep.

Talbot, an actor turned real estate agent and investor, is the keynote speaker at the upcoming Investor Forum Vancouver, a two-day conference focused on connecting newbie and seasoned players with experts in residential property.

"I don't take big risks and tend to stay in the Vancouver area," says Talbot, speaking about his own investment philosophy. "I have looked at other opportunities outside of B.C., but feel more comfortable being able to drive past and tend to properties nearby."

With the Greater Vancouver market now enjoying a period of stability thanks to four consecutive months of increasing home sales, investor interest in the region is set to rise once again.

But knowing where to buy in B.C. is among the main challenges facing local investors.

Canadian Real Estate Wealth - host of the Investor Forum - has moved to address that concern. The November issue of the magazine identifies, among other key neighbourhoods on the Lower Mainland, Grandview-Woodland and Whalley in Surrey as two hotspots primed for capital growth and rental riches.

That Top 100 Neighbourhoods (November) issue of Canadian Real Estate Wealth magazine also names several other neighbourhoods in the B.C. region, with the entire list to be revealed at the Investor Forum. The national event is set for October 5 and 6 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Investors of all levels are expected to attend the third annual event, including local real estate expert Gary Spencer-Smith. He says investors could come to regret not availing themselves of today's opportunities.

"People who do not start now (investing) will look back in 10 years and kick themselves, with record low interest rates (and) pretty good regulations on borrowing," says Spencer-Smith, an acclaimed speaker and adviser at NSS Investment Property. "With less demand in the market, we are also finding that the 'deal of the century' is coming along every week."

The new-look schedule for the Investor Forum includes two workshops, added this year, with acclaimed real estate author Julie Broad exploring the underlying premise of her latest book, focusing on building relationships in order to build investment portfolios.

Another workshop, hosted by Eddie Speed, CEO of NoteSchool, will show how purchasing non-performing notes allows investors to acquire U.S. properties at a 70 per cent discount off market value.

"We will show how buyers can get these notes of the hedge funds, how to manage them and how to get the best return, which can vary between seven and 11 per cent," says Speed. He and Taylor may have to agree to disagree.

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