Archives from November 2013

Laneway housing has been a hot news topic in Vancouver this fall. Often, stories have presented this latest housing trend as the ultimate answer to building affordability into the Vancouver market. With 1,000 city permits now issued for laneway homes since 2009, I've heard many people talk about what a great way it could be to build income on your existing property. Or how it can provide a unique solution by offering grown children or aging parents a place to live.

But based on numbers alone, a laneway house project is probably not a solid investment for landowners.

Click here to read the full article.

Last week, Hungerford Properties’ partner, Andrew Hungerford, had the honour of being awarded to Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40. This week, we asked him to reflect on some of his career highlights and to offer some hard-earned insight into the Western Canadian real estate market.

Q:  How would you describe your job?

A: I run a real estate investment, management and development company with my brother and father.  I focus on acquisitions, asset management, financing, accounting and business development.

Q: How did you get started in real estate?

A: Straight out of university. I graduated from the Queen’s commerce program and then I joined KPMG in Vancouver where I worked in a group called FIRE, or Financial Institutions and Real Estate. My clients were real estate companies and private equity funds, which is exactly what I do now.

Q. When you were in high school, is this what you imagined you’d be doing at 39?

A; When I was a kid, I was always fascinated by construction and always building things – lego was my favourite toy. But in high school, I was just focused on getting to university. Looking back now, I think my high school self would have been very impressed at what I’ve accomplished.

Q. What are some of the highlights of your accomplishments:

A: Getting into Queen’s commerce, completing my CA, getting into Stanford, working in real estate private equity in New York and London. Working in private equity were hard jobs to get and they were incredible experiences. I spent five years between those two cities.  When I was investing across Europe, I saw many different real estate cycles happening in different countries.  One country can be up when another is down. That doesn’t tend to happen in North America. What that taught me was to take the long-term view and so in my work with Hungerford Properties, we aren’t following the market herd mentality. We’re making decisions based on our own research and conclusions.

Q. Where do you hope to be in 10 years, career wise?

A: Right where I am. What we do is really exciting and I love it. I want to continue doing this and growing our portfolio and business.

Q. What are you most excited about that you're working on right now with the Hungerford Properties?

A: We just bought the Haworth building in Calgary. It’s a really iconic building that we bought at a great price and we have the vision, expertise and track record to reposition the building into an exciting, vibrant and successful multi-tenant property.

Q. In your 5 years working with your family's company, what's the biggest lesson you've learned about real estate in Western Canada?

A: To diversify our portfolio and to not just invest in one asset class. We don’t do just residential or just industrial. That allows us to have a really strong and stable platform that’s insulated from market volatility, and that diversification limits risks and creates stable returns.

Also, Western Canada is one of the greatest places to be. It’s one of best performing regions of the developed world, with strong population growth and wealth creation and personal disposable income growth. Having immense natural resource wealth under our feet bodes well for the future of Western Canada, and the demand for more properties.   

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