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Monday Morning Briefing - January 13,

Monday Morning Briefing - January 13, 2014

One of the key new initiatives at GVHBA is a report, Getting to Groundbreaking, that we are working on with SFU and UDI to benchmark the development processes, practices and costs at the larger municipalities in our region. A critical element of this project is member input -- we need GVHBA and UDI members with recent experience in the development of townhouse projects in the Lower Mainland, from West Vancouver to White Rock; Vancouver to Maple Ridge and Langley, to tell us of their experience in the rezoning, DP and BP approval process. Participation will involve two stages: an on-line survey, and a follow-up confidential interview of a representative sample of on-line participants. GVHBA’s Development Committee has worked hard to make the survey and interview as quick and painless as possible, but it is critical to the success of this project that we receive responses that reflect members' experiences in the residential approval process. If you would like to contribute to this groundbreaking study, please contact Mark Sakai, Director of Government Relations (mark@gvhba.org) as soon as possible.

The hard work by CHBA at all three levels, and its members has resulted in great news – Canada Post has agreed to "defer the implementation date of the community mailbox fee for new development for a [further] two-year period until January 1, 2016." Since Canada Post first announced its intention to impose an unilateral $200 fee per mailbox on new homebuyers, CHBA at its three levels has worked tirelessly to oppose any attempts to implement the fee. CHBA remains committed to oppose any attempts to implement the fee after the deferral period expires. For more information, please view the announcement here.

Today is the day! Recognizing excellence in new-home construction, renovation and design in Metro Vancouver, the Ovation Awards are open to GVHBA-members in good standing.  For full details on the Ovation Awards, including how to enter (and how to upload your submissions), visit www.ovationawards.ca. The deadline is later today: 4 p.m., Monday, January 13, 2014. On Wednesday, March 5 we’ll hold the first-ever Finalists' Reception where we will be revealing the finalists for the 2014 Ovation Awards ahead of the gala awards event on April 26th.  The event will take place at The Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel in downtown Vancouver. GVHBA will be selling tickets for this event shortly, so stay tuned! Good luck to all entrants!

On December 9th, 2013 GVHBA lost a long-time member and supporter, when Daltile’s Brian Unrau passed away at age 65. Brian was always the first one to offer support for a new initiative, including as a founding sponsor of our Members Expo that has since grown substantially due in no small part to his support. A celebration of life took place on December 21 attended by several hundred friends, business colleagues, competitors and BBQ enthusiasts. Our condolences go out to Brian's family as well as his colleagues at Daltile.

Housing starts in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 19,881 units in December compared to 20,009 in November, according to CMHC. The full press release is available here and the primary housing start data can also be accessed directly from CMHC: www.cmhc.gc.ca/en/hoficlincl/homain/stda/index.cfm.

The NAHB’s latest Eye on the Economy has been released. The prospects for home building in the US for 2014 are bright. NAHB is forecasting a nearly 25% gain in total housing starts, with a 32% pickup in single-family construction, and the coming year will come atop the gains of 2013. NAHB expects that the final numbers will show that housing starts expanded almost 18% last year to a total of 921,000.

GVHBA member Green Sheet Construction Data tracks the Metro Vancouver construction market. Their online searchable database provides clients with a powerful tool to see past, current and future construction projects across the Lower Mainland. Visit www.gvhba.org/greensheethottips to view this month’s featured projects.

Once a year GVHBA member MAC Marketing Solutions shares it’s annual economic forecast with their clients. This year it’s available to GVHBA members. Check it out by clicking here

Just like our member companies, GVHBA depends on referrals for driving new membership. In October we announced a new program for ‘sweetening the deal’ for those who refer new members. From a pool of 29 referrals, the winner of December’s $100 gift certificate for the Keg Restaurant is… (drumroll...) Barb Rush of Wholesale Blind Factory! Congratulations! Please keep your referrals coming: we will have another draw next month. The more referrals, the better your chances of winning. As well, all referees will get the points to also be included in the annual Rooftopper Award. Contact Renée Auer (renee@gvhba.org or 778.373.9782), Director of Membership & Sales to learn more.

In September, GVHBA membership fee notices were electronically sent to members, and I’m happy to report that to date roughly 70% of members are paid up. If you have not remitted your 2013 fee, please give your accountant a gentle nudge. If you do not think you received the email, please contact our Office Manager, Larraine Lippiatt: larraine@gvhba.org

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