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Feb. 14, 2022

Neighbourhood Edition: Geoff Davis on River Heights

Neighbourhood Edition: Geoff Davis on River Heights

On this special neighbourhood edition, we are joined by Geoff Davis, Realtor® with Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate - Claude Davis Team. In this episode we chat about River Heights.


On this special neighbourhood edition, we are joined by Geoff Davis, Realtor® with Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate - Claude Davis Team. In this episode we chat about River Heights.

 

Transcript

Announcer:

Welcome to the I Love Winnipeg Real Estate Podcast. Your premier resource for buying, owning, and investing in Winnipeg's real estate market. And now here's your host, Adrian Schulz, who loves all things, real estate, property management, and mortgage financing.

Adrian Schulz:

On today's episode of the, I Love Winnipeg Real Estate Podcast, I'm joined by Geoff Davis. And now Geoff, is it the Davis Real Estate team?

Geoff Davis:

I think we're technically called the Claude Davis Real Estate team, but I'm here as our representative today, I suppose.

Adrian Schulz:

And who's Claude, for our listeners who don't know?

Geoff Davis:

Sure. So I am a second generation real estate agent. My dad is Claude Davis. He's been in the business since the late 70s, although he might get mad at me for telling you that.

Adrian Schulz:

So that's a little bit about you and your business. Can you tell us about the neighborhood that you specialize in?

Geoff Davis:

Sure. So we're based out of the Royal LePage Dynamic office on Corydon Avenue, in the heart of River Heights. And certainly my business takes me all over the city and most frequently, I'd say in the south central neighborhoods with a real focus on the River Heights neighborhood.

Adrian Schulz:

So what makes River Heights unique compared to other parts of Winnipeg?

Geoff Davis:

I think a big part of it is its location in the city, it's a very central neighborhood. It's very quick to get downtown to a lot of shopping and other businesses like that. While also retaining some of the aspects that people like about more suburban living, generally have nice big yards in River Heights. You have room to put a double garage on your yard and also still have some green space behind the house, which is nice. But people see nicer commutes, more of a community feel and walkable neighborhood than you would get further south in the suburbs.

Adrian Schulz:

What do you think is the most significant thing that has changed in River Heights over the last decade?

Geoff Davis:

So one of the things we've seen become a much bigger factor is the influx of infill development in the neighborhood. For the most part, that is older homes that maybe have structural issues, being torn down and newer homes built on those lots. One issue that's been quite divisive in the area, I would say is the subdivision of some of those lots. Especially in the more western parts of the neighborhood, like Centennial Street, for example, where they'll take a 50 foot lot and turn it into two 25s.

Geoff Davis:

There is also the newer townhouse style condo development along the old train tracks on the western side of the area, as well as a soccer field on Grosvenor Avenue on the west side, that was turned into about 30 high-end infill homes as well, about five years ago. So yeah, I think there's people on both sides, obviously pro new development and nice high-end homes coming into the area. And people who like the status quo, and push back a little bit against the size of some of these infill houses, and the different architectural styles as well.

Adrian Schulz:

And I know there's sometimes a play on words, Crescentwood and River Heights. Could you just sort of draw us a visual boundary of what you consider to be the official River Heights?

Geoff Davis:

I can and I have a strong opinion about this, because I grew up in Crescentwood and everybody assumed it was River Heights, but it's not, it's Crescentwood. So I consider the eastern boundary of River Heights to be Cambridge and east of Cambridge, in the area where Kelvin, St. Mary's high schools are, that would be Crescentwood. Crescentwood was the earlier developments, in roughly 1905 I believe that was subdivided off. And the boundaries of that included, what is now considered Crescentwood, as well as Oxford and Waverly Streets, which is kind of the northeastern corner of River Heights. Wellington Crescent would be the Northern boundary, Taylor Avenue on the south, and then Kenaston Highway on the west side.

Adrian Schulz:

Okay. Right now, obviously we're experiencing a bit of a shortage of available inventory, but people still need to move and they need to upsize, and they need to downsize. That being in mind, what is the price range for an average family home in River Heights today?

Geoff Davis:

Sure. I listened to your episode with Tom Goodfellow and I liked how he did a pre and I suppose, para pandemic price. So I have numbers from 2021 and from 2019, and we do see a big increase during that timeframe, which is probably unsurprising. So average in 2021 of single family detached, so that's excluding multifamily or duplexes, was 495. So it's pushed up to almost half a million dollars on average.

Geoff Davis:

Now I also pulled the median price, which is only 435. So it's been over a decade since I took stats in university, but what that means is still more than half of houses selling are under 450. So there is, in the 350 to 400 range, you can still get into the neighborhood into a nice bungalow, for example, as a starter home and then all the way. Of course, some of the highest end real estate in Winnipeg is in River Heights, especially along the river on Wellington Crescent. So there's a huge range in the area, but still accessible I think for those first time buyers. That price of 435 by the way, is up from 380, which was the median in 2019. So we've seen a significant increase in those two years.

Adrian Schulz:

Now being in the real estate industry, you're probably seeing the people not only upsizing or moving, but also making improvements to their homes, right, because we're staying home more. Do you find when you're working with clients that are looking for a home, do you find that what they're looking for has changed in the last couple of years and what has changed?

Geoff Davis:

I mean, we're all considering home offices nowadays, I suppose and we certainly weren't two years ago. People have spent so much time in their homes the last couple of years, that you really need it to be a more comfortable space. So yeah, I'd say that, can we get away from each other once in a while? Do we have the space to do that? Are pretty important I think. Do I have the opportunity to work from the house comfortably, and not be sitting on the end of my bed while I work for eight hours a day? That kind of thing I think has become really important.

Adrian Schulz:

We both have kids, so we can appreciate this. We are self, my wife and I, we renovated our basement during the pandemic or cleaned it up, just so there was more space to play. Right. Not for her and I, but for the kids and also the backyard. I don't think we've ever landscaped as much as we did in the last two years. We're fortunate enough to have a nice big yard, so that we could in fact stay at home if we needed to. And you think about the kind of homes that people were looking for before, and you want sort of maximum square footage of a home.

Adrian Schulz:

But I think people now are also taking into consideration again, the size of the yard, in case they need to stay home, which is kind of interesting. Do you find that River... Well, you've mentioned it. So in River Heights you've got sort of the beginning, the mid and the high end range. Is it sometimes a challenge for a young family to choose a home in River Heights that they're going to be able to afford, or do you find that it sort of caters to all needs?

Geoff Davis:

It is. I mean, there's such a variety of style of house and price range. I mean, the original developments basically range from about 1905 to the mid 60s, is when you get further south in the area. And then now with those infill homes, I mean, really it's 110 years worth of different styles and sizes of homes in the area. It is a challenge, it's very in demand. I find when I meet with new buyers to start looking for a house, it's often the first neighborhood they mention when they're considering different areas. So depending on budget, depending on what people need, as far as size, number of bedrooms, that sort of thing. To be honest, sometimes there can be better value to be found outside of the neighborhood, because you do, to some extent pay to be in River Heights, because it does have that very central location and high desirability.

Adrian Schulz:

Yeah. And I think of it of cache as well, as do many other neighborhoods.

Geoff Davis:

For sure.

Adrian Schulz:

We used to live in Armstrong's Point. Right. But I refer to it as Wolseley now, but we were so central. You needed to go out for dinner and it was a 5 or 10 minute drive to your favorite downtown restaurant. Right. And then we moved and we moved out into Tuxedo and we're always thinking like, "Where do we go?" There are options, but not nearly as many as there are living in River Heights, or right in around, or Crescentwood, because I know we chatted about that. So I guess, what do you love most about River Heights?

Geoff Davis:

So I mean, from the real estate perspective, I love that variety. I love that I can show somebody a bungalow built in 1931, one day and then we can go see a cool mid-century place built in the early 60s the next day, and you're still in the same neighborhood. You have those nice big yards like we talked about, you have the opportunity to spend time outside, but it's still pretty walkable, depending where you are in the neighborhood. There's lots of great restaurants. My personal favorite is Bonfire Bistro on Corydon and Waterloo. We used to go there a lot, at least pre pandemic anyway.

Adrian Schulz:

That's a classic.

Geoff Davis:

Absolutely. Yeah. For me, I always think about where I'm going to walk my dog, if I live in this neighborhood, or where I'm going to go for a jog? From River Heights you even have easy access to Assiniboine Park, again, going downtown for dinner, or a show, or a Jets game or whatever, is also very doable from the neighborhood.

Adrian Schulz:

How do people reach you?

Geoff Davis:

So I can be reached on my cell at 204-955-4320 or Geoff with a G, geoffdavis@royallepage.ca. They can also check out my website at geoffdavis.ca.

Adrian Schulz:

Thanks for your time today, Geoff.

Geoff Davis:

Thanks very much, Adrian.

Announcer:

Thanks for listening to the I Love Winnipeg Real Estate Podcast. If you like this episode, please subscribe and give us a rating, which will help us reach more listeners. Until next time, connect with us on social media and online at ilovewinnipegrealestate.ca.

Geoff Davis Profile Photo

Geoff Davis

Realtor

Born and raised in Winnipeg, and proud to call the city home! Real Estate was a part of life growing up - my dad has been in the industry for 40 years, and I jumped at the chance to work with him. I earned my Real Estate licence and began my career in 2009. I started out working in new condominium sales in Downtown Winnipeg before branching off to focus on working directly with buyers and sellers. I hold a BA (Hons) from the University of Winnipeg.

I bought my first home in 2011. Life has changed a lot since then! My wife and I moved into the house together in 2016 after our wedding. Our son Quinn was born in June 2018, and we are expecting our second child in July of 2020. Along with our dog Pippin and our cat Brian, the house is really filling up!