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Month: March 2011

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

What a Great Deal in Vancouver Real Estate

This is what buyers dream about!

A price reduction of $50,000! New Price $799,000

Be the first to view this totally updated Renfrew home.  Perched on top of the hill, with views to Burnaby Mountain and Downtown Vancouver. Close to shops and transportation, Renfrew, E. Broadway and E. Hastings.

3 bedrooms up and a 2 bedroom suite down.

View the listing and call me for a showing! You won’t be disappointed!

Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

UBC Rapid Transit Study

Thanks to everyone who came out to the blogger breakfast this morning.
For those who didn’t make it, Jeff Busby and Margaret Wittgens from TransLink’s planning division led us through a discussion of the UBC Line options presented in phase two of the study.

They answered questions about the routes, station locations, design considerations, evaluation considerations and more.

As of today, you can now go here to see detailed info about each of the seven alternatives in the study.

And as we sadly didn’t have the evaluation summary in the breakfast packages, please do take a look at the evaluation information online. The evaluation summary on the site can be found here, and the evaluation summary as a nice print PDF is here.

A reminder again that we are holding four consultation workshops and one webinar, and the first workshop is TONIGHT, March 30. Feel free to pass this on to your friends or anyone else interested in the UBC Line study.

Locations and dates are available here

Translink is now carrying out a Situation Analysis Study to build some kind of public transportation to UBC , that connects to Cambie Canada Line. There are a number of options.

No doubt it will be very disruptive to the merchants along Broadway but when it’s completed I think it will be as popular as the Canada Line.

Be sure to give look at the options and give them your input.

Let us know what you think is the best way to go.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Wordless Wednesdays

Vancouver’s Burrard Street Bridge joins Downtown to Kitsilano and opened in 1932. Busts of Captain George Vancouver and Sir Harry Burrard-Neale in ship prowls jut from the bridge’s superstructure

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver Real Estate Prices

A client asked me if it’d be a good investment buying a one bedroom in Coal Harbour, Vancouver, BC . Would prices move up over a 3 year period?

So I did an analysis of real estate lisitngs that had sold, on an annual basis, from 2007.

The real estate stats for one bedrooms with views showed the average sale price in 2007 was $448,765 with an average of $672psf.

The average sale price in 2010 was $474,003, with an average of $701psf Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Can I Rent My Vancouver Condo?

If you are a condo investor, or a vacation home buyer, who may wish to rent out your condo, the strata bylaw regarding rentals is of utmost importance. So here are a couple of changes effecting the strata rental restrictions

New rules apply to residential strata developments are categorized into two sections. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

The 10 Most Expensive Streets in the World and How Vancouver Compares

How does Vancouver’s high real estate prices compare with the most expensive addresses in the world? According to data compiled by Financial News, we’re still well off the top 10 and we have a long way to go baby!

Belmont Avenue, near UBC, in Vancouver, is one of our most expensive streets, averaging $5,673 pr sq meter.

#1 is 7 Road in Hong Kong which clocks in at a mere $78,200 pr sq meter

Others in the top 10 are #2 Kensington Palace Gardens in London at $76,600 psm. #3 Avenue Princess Grace in Monaco at $69,000. #4 is Fifth Avenue in New York at $67,000 psm

So hurry up and hop into some Vancouver real estate – it’s still cheap by world standards!

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/real-estate/most+expensive+streets+world+Vancouver+compares/4465848/story.html#ixzz1I1Bz0RF5

Here’s a similar projection on the future of real estate prices in Vancouver

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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Can I Pay off My Mortgage Sooner?

So you’re buying your first Vancouver home and you’re unsure how long you’ll live there. You have questions about paying off your mortgage sooner. Let’s look at 5 ways you can save money on your mortgage.

Most mortgages are portable, so if you sell before the term is due you should be able to move the mortgage to the next property you buy. However, the amount you will require to borrow on the new home will probably differ, so make sure you understand the terms. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver’s Pattison Climbs Forbes List of Billionaires

West Vancouver entrepreneur Jim Pattison is the third richest man in Canada and ranks 173rd in the world, according to Forbes magazine’s annual list of billionaires.

Pattison, 82, whose net worth is estimated at $5.8 billion, moved up 39 spots from last year’s rankings.

As president and founder of the Jim Pattison Group, the third largest privately-owned company in Canada, Pattison’s business ventures include car dealerships, grocery store chains, real estate development and radio and television stations in B.C. and Alberta. He also owns the rights to the popular reality TV series Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and the Guinness World Records franchise. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Paris Beats out Vancouver for Prosperity Among World Cities

For a rundown of how each of the 24 cities did in Toronto Board of Trade’s prosperity rankings, please click here.

OTTAWA – Toronto has fallen four spots to No. 8 in the Toronto Board of Trade’s annual measure of prosperity among world cities. Vancouver, meanwhile, fell to 14th from 12th.

For other Canadian cities, Montreal declined to 20th from 15th, while Halifax rose to 17th from 20th.

Assessing economic performance and livability, the ranking report – done with the Conference Board of Canada – said issues such as low productivity and long commute times hurt both Vancouver and Toronto’s rankings in this report, meant to compare the standing of Canada’s biggest city with other major centres around the world.

“With decent employment growth, and a good high-tech and professional- employment sector, Toronto’s problems stem more from under-investment in productivity-enhancing machinery and equipment,” the report said.

As well, the average 80 minutes of commute time (round trip) for Toronto was ranked the highest of the 24 cities measured.

Vancouver ranked lower in the economic factors included in the rankings. The city ranked 18th overall economically out of the 24 cities being compared. While Vancouver’s labour attractiveness finished higher at 8th, its transportation commute times, infrastructure and ridership was abysmal when compared to the 23 other cities, finishing at 21st (ahead of only Sydney and Halifax).

The report is telling us that Vancouver’s transportation commute times and infrastructure are abysmal. Is it really better in Paris? Whilst there was a movement to the suburbs in the ’80s, many young families are opting to live/work in the City, sacrificing space for not having that time consuming commute.

I think the city’s densification program makes sense. As does their Lanehouse program.

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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

777 things to do in Vancouver, BC

777 things to do in vancouver, bc

777 things to do in vancouver, bc

 Drop by the Flying Tiger on 4th, just west of Macdonald Street in Kitsilano for Asian Brunch which includes dim sum.

Open Sat and Sun 10.30-2.30

Authentic Asian street food. A simple menu and cocktails.

Visit their website or make a reservation

Have a favourite new Vancouver restaurant to share with us?

Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

How Is the Vancouver Real Estate Market?

The real estate market in Vancouver has been slower in March than it was for the first two months of the year but  March sees the average sale price up and the average days on the market down. So, fewer sales but higher prices and homes selling faster

March is always a busier month than January and February, but clearly the new mortgage rules have brought the buyers into the market earlier this year. Last year the Olympics skewed the Spring market.

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Vancouver west side homes

March has had 165 sales published by MLS  with an average of 25 days on the market, a list price to sale price ratio of 103% (indicating most homes selling above list price) and an average sale price of $2,209,193. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

BC to hold a Referendum on the HST in June

The Provincial Government is moving to a mail in vote when we vote on the HST June 24th.

 There will be no change to the referendum question itself. 

 Attorney General Barry Penner says moving to a mail in ballot is expected to save BC taxpayers 18 million dollars, and address potential voter fatigue.

 He says it will be undertaken by Elections BC “in a neutral fashion

BC’s new Premier, Christie Clark, announces she will call a referendum on the much disliked HST in June. There is a rebate on the HST if you buy a new home under $520,000. Since the implementation of the HST last July, many developers are targeting the lower end of the market.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Canada Goes to the Polls

The federal Conservative government has been brought down on a historic vote in Parliament, setting the stage for a May election.MPs voted 156-145 in favour of a Liberal motion citing Stephen Harper’s minority Tories for contempt of Parliament, and expressing non-confidence in the government.

The move sends Canadians to the polls for the fourth time in seven years.

Harper is set to visit the Governor General’s residence Saturday morning to dissolve the 40th Parliament and sound the starting gun on an election campaign.

Canada’s Prime Minister has been leading a minority government for 5 years now and no doubt would like to win the May election with a majority governemnt for his Conservative Party

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Mortgage Rate Forecast from BCREA

Mortgage rates have thus far evolved in-line with our December 2010 forecast, with the 5-year fixed rate reaching 5.44 per cent and the 1-year rate hitting 3.50 per cent in mid–February. Mortgage spreads (the difference between a fixed mortgage rate and the yield on Government of Canada bonds) have returned to historically normal levels and we expect these spreads to remain fairly stable in subsequent quarters. Therefore, the path of future mortgage rates will be largely determined by changes in government bond yields, which have moved significantly higher in recent months but are currently being pushed lower by world events. We anticipate that, barring a growth depressing and sustained rise in oil prices, yields will move gradually higher throughout the year as markets price in improving economic conditions and higher inflation expectations. Rising yields will in turn lead to higher mortgage rates, likely in the realm of 4.35 per cent for a 1-year and 5.90 per cent for a five-year fixed rate mortgage by the end of the year

Mortgage rates are an integral part of the Vancouver home buying process. I remember when rates were always above 10%. Over the last few years they have been historically low. BCREA forecast they will gradually continue to climb until the end of next year. So selecting a 5 year term may be wise, or talk to your lender about a variable rate mortgage.

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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Marijuana now called an investment?

It has been called a lot of things over the years: grass, Mary Jane, wacky weed. Now, researchers are suggesting a new moniker for marijuana: alternative investment.

A report out this week on the U.S. medical marijuana market estimates the unconventional business already generates $1.7 billion in economic activity a year. But that market could grow fivefold in short order, researchers say, as the list of states that legalize pot for treating a variety of illnesses grows and as more patients try it — and switch.

The study, conducted by See Change Strategy for the American Cannabis Research Institute and Deal Flow Media, a financial research firm specializing in unusual assets, says that of the nearly 25 million Americans who are potentially eligible to use medical marijuana based on their diagnoses, fewer than 800,000 currently do.

That makes the nascent market a potentially attractive one for investors looking for an alternative to the more traditional investment alternatives like art, antiques, wine or coins, one with an upside potential that makes China’s current growth rate look anemic.

The opportunities, the authors say, aren’t confined to cultivation and distribution — the riskier parts of the business.

Many perfectly legal products and services, from software and security to hydroponic infrastructure to marketing, communications and consulting, will offer money-making opportunities in the coming years.

But the authors, who surveyed 300 medical marijuana industry insiders, point out that the fast-growing market faces a daunting number of hurdles. These include inadequate access to legal capital, unfavorable tax status, a lack of experienced executives, downward pricing pressure and a complex — and contradictory web — of state and federal rules. All this makes investing in marijuana a risky proposition.

I recently wrote a post about growop homes and vancouver real estate buyers. The post outlined the damage growops can do to a home, what is required by the seller if the home has been a growop and things to carefully pay attention to in the home that can be damaged by the growop. BC Bud has made fortunes for many lower mainland pot growers. And now pot is being referred to as an investment! A tad riskier than an RRSP for sure!

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler 4 Comments

Vancouver Real Estate Downtown

This is an update to a recent post on an upcoming presale in Downtown Vancouver called Maddox at 1314 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC

The condos will vary from 498sqft to 1576sqft

The developer, Cressey, also built Olive, Mantra, Elan and Donovan in Vancouver.

Register for the upcoming spring presale or contact me if you wish buyer services Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver Real Estatate Trends for Olympic Village

Dreaming about buying your Vancouver condo in the Olympic Village and living on the waterfront? 

Well, the selection of condos is better than it was a year ago.  There are resales, many bought by investors and not occupie, there are condo buildings in the neighbourhood that aren’t part of the Olympic Village and there are also presales (Pinnacle, Wall Centre, Maynards and James).  So take your pick! Read more

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