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Demographics and other fun stuff...
04-22-2013, 08:38 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-22-2013, 08:43 AM by Skook.)
Demographics and other fun stuff...
In the post Zoom Zoom makes the news!!, I quoted a Vancouver Sun news article. In that article, it alleges that an organization called FABS (For a Better Sechelt) spent a great deal of money in the last municipal election to ensure a pro-business slate of candidates would win the day. A little research into FABS shows that the majority of its founding members came from or were strongly affiliated with the CCBA - Coast Community Builders Association. Now, that puts an interesting spin on things.

There is no doubt about it that if there is one group that would like to see the RE good times continue to roll it would be the CCBA; so, its members have to be concerned to see newly constructed homes and townhomes unsold and huge lots zoned for subdivisions now being put on the market rather than being developed.

In the 2006 census, the construction industry was the largest employer on the Sunshine Coast with over 1,800 individuals claiming their incomes derived directly from the building trade and industries closely linked to it; however, the number has continued to drop since then. It is little wonder then that the CCBA wanted to elect a town council with a wide-open door policy or a Mayor that encourages businesses thinking of coming to the coast to contact him directly? Personally, I think the Mayor, his supports at FABS and the CCBA are all 'whistling into the wind.'

Let's take a close look at the population numbers for the Sunshine Coast. First, here is the overall figures for the SC from 1991 - 2011.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=109]

It is important to remember that the census counts only those who claim the SC as their primary place of residence - and those figures do not paint a picture of blazing growth. The fastest growth has been with those seeking recreational property and, perhaps, hand-in-hand with that - investment property. The graphs in my second post, Census Data - and where the action is, in the thread 'Who owns the Sunshine Coast? bears this out. These part-timers and investors do not contribute to ongoing local economic growth other than the money spent on that initial purchase or possible build.

I would like to bring back another graphic that I used in the 'Local Government' thread. It maps out the seven government areas of the Sunshine Coast and gives their population figures, again, from 1991 - 2011.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=110]

This map will become increasingly important as I explore different development projects on the coast.

However in my opinion, the following graph it the most significant when it comes to any talk about sustainable economic growth on the SC. As Stats Can began releasing the results from the 2011 census, there was a great deal written about BC's and Canada's aging population. Well, hold onto your seat because I am going to show you the demographic breakdown for the SC compared to BC as a whole.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=111]

The solid blue and pink bars represent the male and female populations of BC and you see the greatest bulge is around the 48 year age which is why boomers who begin hitting 65 in 2015 are being warned that if they've been counting on the equity in their homes for their retirement years they're in trouble. The reason isn't just the soaring cost of their properties but because there won't be enough buyers when they want to sell.

Now, overlaid on top of the BC population demographics are two solid line graphs - those are the male and female full time resident populations of the SC. The peak on both sides is occurring at age 63. But, of greater importance, look at what is occurring between the ages of 20 to 40 which is why I say the Mayor and his friends are 'whistling in the wind' if they hope to attract businesses to the SC. What business or industry would be able to survive given these demographics?

Businesses already on the SC began to feel this aging demographic and the increase in part-time residential ownership back in 2006 particularly up in the Pender Harbour area and further north. Restaurants and pubs began to cut back on winter hours - first they began to cut back daily opening hours, then they went to only open weekends and then they began to shut down completely for the winter months.

In 2008, a new resort development offering fractional ownership opened for business in Pender Harbour. Called 'The Painted Boat', it offered a spa facility and a high-end restaurant and I laughed when I saw the prices. Well, on October 21, 2012 it shut the restaurant down and announced it wouldn't reopen it until March or April, 2013. The resort GM, Ryan Schmidt, told the local press, "We ran it for four consecutive winters and it was a financial loss every single winter." Well, no kidding. Did they really believe it was going to be any different for them than what others businesses had and were experiencing? Did they honestly believe that locals struggling to survive and pay their every increasing tax assessments or those increasingly on fixed incomes would dish out $45 for their three course meal when pub grub at $12 couldn't draw them in? Or, that they could count on an aging population with increasingly bad eyesight to leave their cozy, warm homes and get into their cars to drive two-lane coastal roads in the middle of winter, in the dark, and in the pissing rain to grace their tables? Hello!

As I research and reflect, I am seeing a complete failure of business owners and developers to research and understand their local market and to look ahead to what the future may hold despite warnings that have been given for years. Those SC demographics above should be kept in mind as I post about RE developments, listings and sales in the weeks ahead.

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11-13-2013, 09:31 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-13-2013, 09:32 AM by Skook.)
RE: Demographics and other fun stuff...
November 13, 2013:

I am adding the following 2011 census results for Sechelt and Gibsons. The maps below show the areas included in the census results - District of Sechelt and Gibsons Population Centre. The latter extends beyond the municipal town boundaries into District of Howe Sound (Hopkins Landing and Granthams Landing) and into the District of Elphinstone. Most residents within these areas would consider themselves part of Gibsons and any listings in these areas are considered within the Gibsons real estate market.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=530]

I am currently working on Gibsons posts that will be referring to the population data in this table.

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01-22-2014, 06:59 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-22-2014, 06:59 PM by BCer.)
RE: Demographics and other fun stuff...
Quote:These part-timers and investors do not contribute to ongoing local economic growth other than the money spent on that initial purchase or possible build.

Oh man, don't know about that. As a former investor on the Coast (soon to be a current investor) I spent tons of cash locally, even living there part-time. Everybody from the hot tub guys to the septic guys, to the fireplace guys, not to mention taxes, water, ferries - man I was a can cow. I really don't know how you can say that with a straight face. Anyway, I'm finding your site very interesting as think about buying a new place in Gibsons.
01-23-2014, 09:29 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-24-2014, 09:55 AM by Skook.)
RE: Demographics and other fun stuff...
Welcome to VanPeak, BCer.

It's not hard at all to say that with a straight face. How many hot tubs did you buy, how many septic fields, how many fireplaces? Those are all one-off purchases that I would put under 'initial purchase' or 'possible build'. As for taxes, water and ferries - none of those 'monies' make their way into the pockets of small business owners on the coast and they pay all those fees, too.

The keyword in the sentence you quote is "ongoing" as in day-to-day purchases made by the those living "full-time" in a community: gas, groceries, restaurant meals, gifts, computer supplies, books, small appliances, furniture, linens, clothes, shoes, gardening supplies, etc. How many of these items did you buy as a "former investor" and "part-time" resident?

Now, I confess that when I wrote that initial post I was thinking of life up Pender Harbour which has been severely impacted by the increase in part-time residents at the expense of full-timers. Businesses in Sechelt and Gibsons do have a larger population base to draw on; however, they are now coming under pressure, too, as those in the top spending bracket (21 -45) leave the coast whether for employment opportunities or to support the aspirations of their young families only to be replaced by retirees whose main concern is to save not spend and more so now that they've had almost 5 years of low interest rates on their conservative investments. Don' forget that the 2011 Sunshine Coast male and female populations by age are the solid lines in that graph above and you can now shift those bulges and valleys up by 3 years.

As well, there are new factors coming into play that will affect the survival of small businesses on the coast - online purchasing and debt load with the latter strongly influencing the former. Everyone is looking for a bargain these days.

I have been following the lists of coastal businesses put up for sale these past six months and it's an eye-opener. I can see all I've mention above is coming into play. There's also another important factor - owners wanting to retire and pull out their equity - but guess what - there's no one to buy. This is worthy of another forum thread one day.

By the way, this is not my site - I am only a guest with a deep curiosity trying to understand. I'm glad to read that you find my endeavours interesting. As a last thought, I hope you will share your SC insights with the forum, BCer, as you make the move back to the coast.
04-12-2014, 03:00 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-12-2014, 03:08 PM by Skook.)
RE: Demographics and other fun stuff...
Sunshine Coast Population Estimates 2011 - 2013

I was in the BC Stats website today looking for some info and I wound up on the Population Estimates page. One of the documents posted there was the “2013 Sub-Provincial Populations Estimates” and I thought, “Hmm, this could be good.” Well, it was.

The document states:

Quote:On an annual basis, BC Stats produces sub-provincial population estimates using the Generalized Estimation System (GES). This regression model uses symptomatic indicators such as health client registry and residential hydro hook-ups to gauge population growth from one year to the next. These estimates assist in local and provincial government planning processes.

The reference point for this document was July 1, 2013, so the next release will likely occur sometime after July 1, 2014 and I am so looking forward to it. The reason being is that for the first time that I am aware of BC Stats has released a Sunshine Coast Population Estimate showing a decline.

The image below shows the StatsCan 2011 Census results. The survey was mailed out in May, 2011. Some results were released by September; however, regional population data did not become publicly available until February 2012.

The next table shows BC Stats population estimates. The 2011 column show slightly higher figures than the 2011 Census results, so my guess is they added to the figures to account for any growth between May and December 2011. We can see that population growth was predicated for all areas of the Sunshine Coast in 2012; however, look what happened in 2013 - all areas are now showing a loss of population except for the Sechelt Nation Government District.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=888]

I think you can appreciate why I look forward to the next population estimate release - I want to see the 2013 to 2014 results. I expect those four areas will be in the red again; I want to see by how much.

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