up! Magazine (West Jet) July 2006
Going one-on-one with Rudy Nielsen, the godfather of Western Canadian recreational real estate
There are real estate agents, and then there’s Rudy Nielsen. Fit, trim and appearing far younger than his 65 years of age (probably something to do with having more recreational properties than you have pens), he’s a 40-year real estate veteran who says he’s never seen a hotter recreational property market. His New Westminster, B.C.-based Niho Land and Cattle Co. Ltd. sells everything from lakefront lots to last year’s headline-grabber: the sale of an entire ghost town in northern B.C.
Who are your customers and where are they buying?
A lot of people are looking for their little place away from it all, but they’re still working, so they have to drive. To use Vancouver as an example, [the most expensive properties] are the closest—about a two-hour drive around Merritt. Buyers here want a recreational property that they can now use on weekends but will eventually develop as a full-time home.
Are the rumours true? Are Albertans buying up B.C.?
You look at the same driving-time recreational theory from Calgary and Edmonton. So you draw circles around [Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver], and what you get is what I call the Golden Circle—the region around Osoyoos and the southern B.C. interior where everyone living in the three cities can drive to. This is the most sought-after place to buy land.
What are some of the secret spots not yet discovered?
The Queen Charlotte Islands is the most beautiful spot there is—its mystique, large old-growth timber, beautiful sandy beaches… and the best fishing in the world. The Crowsnest Pass is going to be a hot area, and along the whole Kootenay trench. —TG