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Who Owns the Sunshine Coast?
04-06-2013, 12:53 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-06-2013, 01:05 PM by Skook.)
Who Owns the Sunshine Coast?
A True Story:
When: summer, 2006
Where: St. Mary’s Hospital, Sechelt

I’ve dropped into the hospital for a blood test. The lab is located in a main corridor - its seating is along one wall of the corridor. Near the seating is the entrance to the X-ray department. The corridor is used by those coming into the hospital from the back parking lot.

When I arrive, there is a woman (guess her age to be about 40) standing behind a small table next to the X-ray department door. There are brochures and pill samples on the table. I say to myself, “Oh, yeah” - (I know what’s up here). I walk over, play dumb, and ask, “Whatcha doing?” She says, “I work for (drug company) and I am just trying to catch doctors as they come in.” I ask, “Oh, you from the coast, then?” She says, “No, I’ve come in from Vancouver.” I say, “Right” and I go sit in a chair behind her. After my blood test, I return to the chair to wait for my friend who has gone off to bank.

As I wait, a young looking doctor walks by and stops to talk to the drug rep and it is obvious they have met before. After a few words from her about the pills, he says, “How is your investment property doing?” She says, “Great, it is rented out right now.” He says, “We’ve been thinking about doing that, too, with ours”. They proceed to talk about how great the market is on the coast and as they talk they are getting more animated and excited. I, who was already po’d that a drug rep was pushing her pills in a public area of the hospital, am now really starting to fume.

When my friend arrives, I ask her to wait a minute because I have something to say to those two standing by the table. I walk over and stand beside the drug rep and face the doctor like she is doing. I say to them, “I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation. I think you both should be made aware of the social repercussions of your investments. Up where I live past Pender Harbour, there are families who have been on the coast for generations and who are now wondering how they are going to pay their tax assessments because the likes of you have driven up property values. As well, their kids are leaving because they can’t afford to buy on the Sunshine Coast.”

The young doctor has turned into ‘Mr. Bobblehead’ - his head moving up and down in agreement as I have been talking. He says, “Oh, I know it has become very expensive for everyone.” As he talks, I glance at the drug rep beside me. She won’t look at me but stares straight ahead at the doctor, but I can see her jaw muscles moving as she grinds her teeth. I cut the doctor off and say, “I gotta go. My friend is waiting. I just thought it important that you know. You both have a really great day, now.”

Did I expect anything to happen from my little speech? No, though I felt better making it; but, maybe, just maybe, their precious investments felt tainted.


In spring, 2011, the Sunshine Coast Credit Union released a 38-page report titled ‘The Future Business Environment of the Sunshine Coast 2011-2021’; its purpose being to “determine the most likely economic and demographic conditions in the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) during the next ten years.” The report was actually prepared by the Economics Department, Central 1 Credit Union on behalf of the SCCU, its client. The report has some interesting facts and figures including this:

As of 2010, almost 59% of the housing stock (single detached homes) and raw land was owned by non-locals.

This information was purchased by Central 1 Credit Union from Landcor Data Corp. and Landcor reached this conclusion by “examining property records that have a different property owner record than the actual property itself. If there is a difference and city of the owner address is also different, then it is considered non-local.” The report offers tables and charts illustrating this level of external ownership and the origins of this ownership and these begin below.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=82]

To clarify the middle table on the left, SCRD refers to all areas outside of the District of Sechelt, Gibsons and the Sechelt Indian Band lands (I.G.D - Indian Government District). I had troubled with the totals in this table until I realized that they had to apply to single detached homes only (this will become evident in my next post). I am assuming that Landcorp can only get this info from land title documents and therefore condo ownership would be excluded; if this is so, then non-resident ownership could be higher still.

The middle pie chart above shows that non-local Canadians are the biggest players on the SC and the pie charts and table below show their origin. Look at that - the lower mainland and most from the City of Vancouver! Now, how could they afford to own in the Vancouver and on the Sunshine Coast, too?

[Image: attachment.php?aid=83]

Now, you can see why I wondered about Ozzie Jurock’s influence when I first saw this ownership data. In 1999, he began to pump the Pender Harbour area at his Land Rush Conferences in BC and Alberta; in print; and, on air and Pender Harbour led sales on the SC pre-2004 and its boom continued until 2008. By 2004, Jurock was saying, “Buy waterfront - it doesn’t matter where because they don’t make it anymore” and sales began to take off in lower SC. Coincidence? Perhaps.

I came across an interesting article in my internet searches. It is a ‘Prosperitas’ newsletter from the then Eugen Klein Real Estate Brokerage in Vancouver (he now specializes in Commercial Real Estate). Klein begins by thanking the 500 attendees at Land Rush 2004 put on by Ozzie Jurock. He writes, “I already have 8 new clients set appointments to meet with me to discuss their investment plans and goals.” In his newsletter, Klein focuses on Recreational Property. He writes:

Quote:Two groups in general are driving the high demand. International investors still perceive our province as and exotic playground or untamed frontier… Baby boomers nearing retirement age are looking for venues for their amassed wealth; and the low interest rates permit them to go into debt to invest in their dream property or retreat - a new phenomenon challenging the venerable dictum that retirement entails scrupulous management of assets and equity.

I know from living in the Pender Harbour area that there where many cabins owned by lower mainland residents prior to 2000. Many of those had been owned for years and some had been passed down from parents. But after that date, there began a big turnover of properties as their value increased and many of the buyers were boomers.

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04-07-2013, 07:56 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-07-2013, 08:05 AM by Skook.)
RE: Who Owns the Sunshine Coast?
Census Data - and where the action is.

There is a lot of interesting information in census data, but it can also be quite confusing, too (I still haven’t got a handle on all the ‘income’ categories). So, I started organizing some of the data in tables with the intent of showing population levels throughout the coast and how those levels translated into the types of dwellings being built over the last decade. I then created charts from those tables and they are below.

The other day when I looked at those charts I thought I could somehow support Landcor’s figures on non-resident ownership; however, after posting that new thread above, I looked at my charts again and realized I was wrong. I am sure that support is there, but it is buried across many different census categories.

Stats Canada main criteria for a census is ‘Occupied’ dwelling and if it is a primary residence or not. It doesn’t matter what type of dwelling as long as it is a self-contained unit with a separate entrance. If it is your primary residence, you will then be counted in the census for that area whether you own it or not. (Lines can be blurred here, too, because I know someone with a home in Ladner but now that he is retired spends 9 months of the year at his boat-access property on the coast. His wife, on the other hand, probably splits the year evenly - so, where have they been counted in the census? I also know someone with a home In Sechelt who has a boat-access property near Egmont. Also, an older couple who raised all their children in a boat-access community but when the winters got too difficult that couple purchased a condo in Burnaby to spend those difficult months near their children who have all settled in the lower mainland.)

Stats Can takes that ‘Occupied’ data and breaks it down into ‘owner-occupied’ and ‘rented’ (I have not used this information in my charts). It will also take that ‘Occupied’ dwelling and separate it into the ‘Type’ of dwelling (here, I did take the ‘Single-detached’ information and grouped the remaining types (attached, apartment, mobile, etc.) as ‘Other.’

Now, Stats Can did something new beginning in the 2006 census which was to count the ‘Total’ dwellings in a census area (basically, anything inhabitable with that separate door) and I have used this information in the left hand chart for each area along with the number of ‘Occupied’ dwellings. The right hand chart shows ‘single detached’ and ‘other’ dwellings. Over both charts, I have overlaid population results.

Again, the purpose of the charts is to show what areas are showing growth (full-time resident, recreational or, perhaps, investment) and how that growth translates into what is being built and lived in. As for that Landcor data on non-resident ownership, I guess it will just have to be accepted at face value.

To recap:
Area F - West Howe Sound (includes Gambier, Keats, Trail Bay, Thormanby and North Thormanby Islands)
Area E - Elphinstone
Area D - Roberts Creek
Area B - Halfmoon Bay
Area A - Egmont & Pender Harbour

To see all the communities included in these areas, you can revisit the map in the ‘Local Government’ thread.
[Image: attachment.php?aid=84]
The charts for most areas seem straight forward to me; however, I find Area F mystifying and this is likely due to the fact I have never travelled east of Langdale nor on the islands that make up the Gambier Island Trust. The charts indicate first a rise in population and then a decrease of almost the same amount and the same occurring for single detached homes. Howe Sound Pulp & Paper is located here and it is definitely a ‘boom or bust’ industry. Perhaps, growth occurred during a boom and then workers and their families left the area during the ‘bust.’ Also, people buying up recreational properties on the islands could have torn down older multiple dwellings and put up single new ones. Also, in the early 2000s there were many more mobile homes on the coast and this could explain why in many areas you see a drop in ‘Other’ dwellings.
[Image: attachment.php?aid=85]
It is important to note here that the SC has seen a significant drop in families with young children and charts showing this can be found in the Sunshine Coast Credit Union report mentioned in the post above. As a result, the School Board has begun to amalgamate schools. In the Pender Harbour area, the elementary school now only serves grades 1-3 and those in grades 4-6 have been moved over to the high school which previously served grades 7-12. The loss of school age children up and down the coast will definitely be reflected in those population levels shown in the charts.
[Image: attachment.php?aid=86]
Finally, SCRD charts are an overview of all the combined areas.

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