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Here is an interesting look at the after affects of the Olympic Village in Vancouver...
Among the lasting legacies for Olympic host cities are the villages constructed to house athletes and officials. After the final medals are awarded, how do cities capitalize on these massive remnants of their games?
or the 2010 Winter Olympics, about 3,000 of the world’s best athletes (and officials) took over a corner of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia — not to mention the little city that skiers and bobsledders created 70 miles north, in Whistler. Such Olympic villages can be billion-dollar creations that are in the world’s spotlight for just a few weeks.
So what happens to these glamorous villages when the athletes pack up their medals, memories and dirty laundry to fly home?
If the planners have done their homework and everybody keeps their promises, the villages are in for a long and productive post-games life. But that’s not always how it works out. Here’s our look at the afterlife of several villages from the past few decades.
Vancouver: The best (and costliest) village ever?

With its Olympic Village, Vancouver is certainly gunning for one of the most dramatic transformations of a site — and it looks like it may succeed.
What the athletes may not know, as they enjoy the spectacular views across False Creek toward the Vancouver skyline and the North Shore Mountains beyond, is that city planners have hoped to transform this land since the 1970s. The Southeast False Creek area was the last remaining piece of undeveloped waterfront in downtown Vancouver. Most recently, its big tenant was the city’s public works yard.
That all changed with the Olympic Village — 18 midrise buildings with enough apartments to accommodate 2,730 athletes and officials during the Olympics, and an additional 350 during the Paralympics in March.
After the games, the ultragreen village (rechristened Millennium Water) will become the centerpiece of the larger Southeast False Creek  neighborhood. The village’s 1,100 units will include 730 market-rate condos, 120 market rental apartments and 250 affordable rental apartments. (Many of the condos already have sold, for about $950 per square foot.)
Homeowners won’t be able to move in as soon as the games end, however. Once the village is handed back to the developer this spring, the buildings need to be touched up and retooled: Kitchens that were boarded up for the games so athletes couldn’t use them must be completed. Nice wood flooring must be installed (often right atop the carpeting in place for the athletes, which will be used as padding).
The apartments aren’t the only thing that will need to be altered: A 45,000-square-foot community center on the waterfront, which is now serving as the village mayor’s office during the games, among other uses, will be refitted with a day-care center, a restaurant, a nonmotorized boating center and a gym.
The goal is to create a complete community with all the things it needs, where none existed before. By 2020, city planners expect the Southeast False Creek neighborhood to be home to 16,000 people living in more than 5,000 apartments and condos. They’ll be able to enjoy 26 acres of parkland, including a new waterfront promenade, a public plaza and a community garden.
Sound good? It should. The Vancouver press has reported that the $1 billion project is $130 million over budget to date.
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Some may say I am crazy for even attempting to answer this question, as the number of variables make it near impossible to predict, but seeing as it the question on everybody’s mind at the moment, let me take a shot. The question, of course, is:

“What is going to happen to the Vancouver real estate market after the Olympics?”

Now, if I truly had a crystal ball, I would have cashed in big time long ago and would probably be writing this newsletter from a lounge chair on the beach. That said, in my mind, it is much less a question about WHAT will happen then it is about WHEN it will happen. Allow me to explain...

At some point mortgage rates have to go up. They HAVE to. The historic average for fixed rate mortgages sits somewhere around 6%. We have been at, or below, 4% (historic lows) for almost a year now. On the variable side, the Bank of Canada has committed to holding the prime lending rate until the June 2010. After that, it would appear to be a safe assumption that rates will start to climb upwards. When exactly the rate increases start, and how sharply they rise, is yet to be determined, but I would be shocked if we didn’t see changes by the Fall of this year.

What will these rate increases mean to the housing market? Well, with increased rates, the cost of borrowing natural increases as well. For those that are stretching their budgets to make a purchase, this will mean that will now be able to afford less. The same monthly payment will buy you “less house”, if you will. This reduced buyer power will naturally lead to some downward pressure on housing prices towards the end of the year and into 2011.

If you are now wondering whether this means you should be buying now or waiting until next year, the answer is not quite as simple as waiting for prices to turn downwards. First off, any decreases we see towards the end of this year may be offset by the price gains we see over the next few months. Secondly, if you are using financing for your purchase, and home prices do indeed start to trend downwards, it will likely correlate with rising mortgage rates - meaning your cost of borrowing will be higher. 
And, of course, the one thing that can always throw a wrench into the Vancouver market is the influx of foreign buyers. Even when all the local economic fundamentals point in a certain direction, strong movement into, or out of, Vancouver from overseas can have an affect on the market that is difficult to predict. In what is now a true global market place, ignoring the impact of external factors can mean you are missing a large portion of the equation.

Ultimately, the decision making process in a changing market is complex and individual. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your situation with me, please don’t hesitate to ask.
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