What’s urbanization got to do with lumber we might ask. Plenty, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and the Urban Land Institute. Their top trends in real estate for 2015 identify where markets are defining need for accommodation. We’re told the urbanization of America has turned nine-to-five cities into 18-hour centers: “Downtown transformations have combined the key ingredients of housing, retail, dining, and walk-to-work offices to generate urban cores, spurring investment and development and raising the quality of life for a roster of cities”. And it’s not just Millennials pouring into those urban cores. Baby boomers are also reportedly moving downtown, instead of into warm-weather golf communities.
Here at home, the transformation of downtown Vancouver has come in the form of an explosion of young families. According to the 2011 census, the number of children downtown under five doubled in the previous five years. “Hundreds of families are choosing to stay in downtown Vancouver after they have children instead of fleeing to the suburbs as previous generations have,” attests The Globe and Mail. At the same time, hundreds of families from the suburbs are downsizing for the many conveniences of downtown living. City planners, unfortunately, did not foresee downtown becoming such a hub for families. We’re short schools. Living in the heart of downtown Vancouver, it will be an anxious time not knowing if our little skater below will luck out in the lottery system to see who gets into our Yaletown neighborhood school next September. Kindergarten registration opens November 1st.