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Month: January 2012

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Why I Bought a Downtown Vancouver Condo in Domus – Condos for Sale

As a first time Vancouver condo buyer, I’d looked extensively for four months, in four different Vancouver neighbourhoods on the west side and in four different price ranges. In total I’ve viewed over 30 condos with my realtor Maggie Chandler, as well as attending many open houses on my own.

I’d originally wished to be in Kitsilano, north of 4th avenue and had an attraction to the lofts but I ended up Downtown at 1055 Richards Street.

When i viewed the remaining condos at Richards Living I became smitten with the wonderful outdoor spaces. And then a new listing came on the market which I viewed at Open House and called Maggie to take a look with me the next day. There was lots of activity and the realtor had told us she had two offers coming in. As it turned out no offers arrived and I was able to write on the following day. Read more

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Canadian Housing Market a Balloon Not a Bubble-BMO – Homes for Sale in Vancouver

Bank of Montreal’s Sherry Cooper released this update on Canada’s real estate market

  • – Moderate activity, stable prices anticipated through 2013
  • – Low interest rates should hold affordability in check allowing household income to catch up with prices
  • – Currently strong sales in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland & Labrador, as well as in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Halifax and Ottawa
  • – Previously red-hot Vancouver softening
  • – BMO advises homeowners to choose a 25 year amortization

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Jan. 30, 2012) – The housing boom in Canada is more likely to cool than correct, according to a new special report released today by BMO’s Economics Department.

“With the exception of a few regions, valuations remain only moderately high across the country, especially when low interest rates, demographics, construction costs, land-use regulations and foreign capital inflows are considered,” said Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, BMO Financial Group. “Low interest rates should hold affordability in check for some time, allowing incomes to catch up with higher prices and restore proper valuations.”

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BC Retail Sales in 2011 Best since 2007 – Vancouver Real Estate Market Update

Retail sales in B.C. rose for a fourth consecutive month in November, marking the longest string of consecutive monthly gains since late 2009. Total dollar volumes gained 0.3 per cent from October to reach a seasonally-adjusted $5.1 billion.

While activity trended at record highs in November, adjustment for price levels suggests that real sales volumes are only slightly ahead of the peaks observed in early 2008, despite a larger population. Nonetheless, the recent uptrend is a positive indicator for economic growth that reflects stronger fourth-quarter employment and purchases encouraged by discounting on the part of retailers.

At the retail-sector level, November growth was led by clothing retailers which recorded a seasonally-adjusted sales gain of 4 per cent from October, motor vehicle and parts dealers and gas stations. Sporting good and hobby retailers also recorded a stronger gain from October. These retail sectors have recorded uptrends in volumes in recent months.

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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

How is the Real Estate Market for Vancouver’s Shangri-la Condos?

How is the market in Vancouver’s Shangri-la Condo Building? How are sales compared to last year? Are prices up or down? Are condos selling faster? What price range is selling the best? The complex consists of 2 sections, each with their own address, entrance, elevators  and concierge. The Live/Work section go to the 40th floor and the Estates are from 41-61. The condo owners share the hotel facilities

1128 West Georgia – The Estates @ Shangri-la

  • current listings – 12
  • Listings range from $2.8M to $5M
  • 2011 has only had 2 sales
  • 2010 had 12 sales, from $2.7M to $5.8M

1111 Alberni – Live/Work

  • current listings – 14
  • ranging from one bedrooms at $638,000 to $2.188,000
  • 2011 sales – 24
  • average days on market 54
  • average sale price $1,113,465
  • solds ranged  from $562,000 (670sf one bedroom)  to $1,755,000 for 1600sf 2 bdrm
  • 2010 had a whopping 35 sales ranging from $475,000 to $1,728,000

Conclusion

The building is now 3 years old. Prices were cheaper a year ago when the original owners were flipping. Presales started in 2004. An analysis of 1111 Alberni shows prices are higher this year than last and sales are down. You can buy into 1128 W. Georgia for under $1200 psf, which I think is very reasonable for luxury Vancouver condos but the market over $3M attracts fewer buyers than the market around $1M.

View same stats for other price ranges of Vancouver condos.  Keep up to date with Vancouver’s real estate news, search for homes. Review the entire Buying and Selling Process.

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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver Luxury Condo Sales Jump 25% in 2011

The Vancouver luxury condo(over $2M)  sales for 2011 have exceeded 2010 by 25%, making it the best year ever  and the average price is 25%  higher than it was a year ago but inventory has also risen 20% from a year ago.

Best Month for Sellers?

March/April

Sales over $5M

  • 2010 -6
  • 2011 -12 (of which 8 were on the Coal Harbour waterfront)
  • 23 condos listed over $5M
  • 2011 most expensive sale was Shaw Tower Penthouse selling over $10M Read more

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Real estate One of the Top Performing Sectors in 2011 – Homes for Sale in Vancouver

With real estate being one of the top performing sectors in 2011 – the S&P/TSX Capped REIT index was up by 15 per cent, or 24 percentage points above the return for the S&P/TSX composite – some have argued real estate won’t generate a repeat performance this year.

But Jeffrey Olin, a former real estate executive turned investment banker turned portfolio manager at Vision Capital Corp. isn’t in that camp. Mr. Olin, who co-oversees the three property funds that are home to about $100 million in assets, believes the fundamentals continue to be attractive.

“The prospect of low-long-term Japanese-style interest rates for the foreseeable future bodes extremely well,” said Mr. Olin, citing a 2.85 per cent 10-year mortgage recently given to one of the country’s largest apartment rental companies.

In addition, Mr. Olin argues the supply-demand balance for commercial real estate is positive. “Across the country, we have single-digit vacancy rates for virtually every property type in virtually every region versus double-digit in the U.S. You will start to see rent increases this year,” said Mr. Olin, who at a recent conference heard that cap rates will soon start with a four and not a five.

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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

How is the Vancouver Real Estate Market in Fairview?

How’s the real estate market in Vancouver’s Fairview? Are prices up or down? What’s selling best? What’s the average sale price? What’s the days on the market? Are prices higher than a year ago?

What’s It Cost To Buy Fairview Real Estate?

You can buy a studio condo from $260,000. A one bedroom condo from $280,000 and a 2 bedroom condo from $380,000.

Fairview also offers one bedroom townhomes from $355,000 and 2 bedroom townhomes from $445,000 and 3 bdrms from $600,000. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

*World’s most successful trader backs the Euro – Real Estate Market Update in Vancouver

George Soros, the man who made $1 billion by shorting the British pound on Black Wednesday in 1992, is backing the Euro by investing billions of his own cash.
Soros, who holds the record for making the most money in a day, revealed at the World Economic Forum this week that he’d recently bought over $2 billion in European bonds (mainly Italian not Greek).
On the face of it, the news will welcomed by readers who are nervous about the destabilizing effect the euro crisis is having on overseas property sales in Europe.
However, the picture painted by the multi-billionaire, now 81, is less reassuring.
Soros believes the world faces one of the most dangerous periods in modern history with the possibility of a period of “evil” in Europe if the economic system collapses.
“The euro must survive because the alternative—a breakup—would cause a meltdown that Europe, the world, can’t afford,” he told delegates.  

This is good news!

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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Where Are Foreigners Buying Real Estate in the United States – Real Estate News in Vancouver

Many Americans consider homeownership a key stepping stone to achieving the “American dream.” But no societal group values homeownership more than foreign-born U.S. residents: those who have come to the country to seek a better life, an American dream of their own. Consider this: nearly 80% of foreign-born U.S. residents owned a home in 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. The national homeownership rate at that time was 65.4% (it is currently 66.3%).

With that in mind, we set out to find the makeup of each state (i.e. where do its foreign-born residents come from?), and which states are most popular among foreign homebuyers and investors. (Note that these stats refer to the overall population, not homeowners alone.)

Hold your cursor over each State and you’ll see which country the immigrants come from. China is not at the top of the list, as it is in BC.

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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Will BC Gov’t Permit Theatres to Serve Alcohol? Vancouver Real Estate News

The provincial government is reviewing whether to lift restrictions on movie houses that prevent them from serving alcohol, Solicitor-General Shirley Bond said Wednesday.

Bond said she’s aware that theatres like the Rio Theatre in east Vancouver are grappling with historical provincial liquor licence regulations that may not reflect modern trends.

“We are aware of the challenges that these establishments have faced with current regulations and, in fact, over the last several months have been examining the policy implications and are currently considering what changes may be appropriate,” Bond said. “We look forward to having more to say about this in the near future.”

Bond’s comments come on the heels of an open letter sent to her from Vancouver-Mount Pleasant MLA Jenny Kwan, urging Bond to “find a solution that will allow the Rio to continue to operate successfully.”

How civilized!

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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

How is the Vancouver Real Estate Market in the West End?

How’s the market in Vancouver’s waterfront neighbourhood of the West End? Are prices up or down? What’s the average days on market? What’s the average sale price? Are listings rising or falling? Are the prices higher than a year ago?

December saw listings flat and sales dropped by half

Majority of the condos that sold were still under $500,000, favouring lower end sellers. In general, Sellers need to be priced no more than 4% above market value in order to attract an offer. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Mortgage Update – Homes for Sale in Vancouver

There’s more to Mortgages Than the Interest Rate

Yes, rates are at a historical low but when you buy a Vancouver home and take out a mortgage, there are many other items to consider. Here ar a few:

Prepayment

  • With a pre-payment privilege, you can make payments toward the principal portion of your mortgage over and above your monthly payments
  • Closed mortgages have different types of pre-payment options. The amount you can pre-pay becomes important if you get bonus payments, a windfall or an inheritance
  • An open mortgage means you can pay the entire principal sum without notice. This is a good option if you are self-employed or if you get regular bonus payments. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

What Are Vancouver Strata Options RegardingDepreciation Reports ? Condos for Sale in Vancouver

By Jeff Besant and Jeff Renwick

Following the lead of other provinces and many U.S. states, the B.C. government now requires all strata properties greater than five units to have a common property depreciation report completed generally by the end of 2013 (December 13, 2013, to be exact).

Although the legislation requires that a depreciation report be completed, unlike other provinces, the legislation does not require that the funding requirements identified in the report be implemented. Therefore the strata remains in charge of what the reserve fund contributions will be.

The strata may also defer a depreciation report by passing a resolution with a three-quarters majority vote to that effect. However, the resolution to exempt the strata from preparing a depreciation report has an 18-month time limit, so the resolution must be re-passed by three-quarters vote on a periodic basis in order to continue to defer the report.

The legislation also requires that a depreciation report be completed every three years.

The main purpose and benefit of the depreciation study is to provide a long-range common property maintenance and renewals plan which, if followed, will maintain the value of the property. Ideally, owners will be prepared for anticipated future common property component and system deterioration though proactive planning instead of reactive response. It is generally assumed in the facility management industry that reactive repairs costs two to five times more as the same job would cost in a planned and scheduled environment.

Very useful information.
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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

How is the Vancouver Real Estate Market in False Creek?

How’s the real estate market in False Creek and the Olympic Village neighbourhood? Are prices up or down? What’s the average price? What’s the average days on the market? Is this area good value for waterfront property? Listings continue to rise, delivering a strong buyers market.

Generally developers do not list all their pre-sales on MLSand only some of the Olympic Village condos are listed on MLS, so I cannot keep track of those for you.

Geographical Outline

East of Burrard Street, west of Ontario Street and north of 6th Avenue. Vancouver’s Olympic Village is part False Creek. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

SOLD! 2108-788 Richards Street – Vancouver Condos for Sale

There was instant reaction to this well laid out n.e. corner 2 bedroom and den in Downtown Vancouver’s L’hermitage en Ville, offering sleek sophistication and uncompromising style. It is one of a handful of hotel/condo buildings in the City, the most well known being Vancouver’s Shangri-la and Pacific Fairmont Rim Estates.

We got an excellent offer from the first group of showings and the condo sold at almost list price!  I have other qualified buyers wishing to purchase in this exquisite residence of fine distinction. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

How Is the Vancouver Downtown Real Estate Market?

How is the market in Downtown Vancouver during December?

What is the average price? How long does it take to sell a Downtown condo? Are prices up or down? Are listings and sale up or down? How does the market compare to a year ago? What price range is selling the best?

What’s Selling?

A bottom end market with 80% of the Downtown Vancouver sales under $500,000 and only 10% sales over $700,000. Only 5% of sales over $1M. Inventory equal to  March Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Survey Notes Vancouver Is Second-Costliest Housing Market – Vancouver Real Estate News

Vancouver displaced Sydney as the least-affordable housing market after Hong Kong among large English-speaking cities, as home prices rose faster than incomes, a study of 325 metropolitan areas worldwide showed.

Vancouver’s median home price of C$678,000 ($686,400) in the third quarter was 10.6 times its median pretax household income of C$63,800, making the city “severely unaffordable,” Demographia said in a report today. A ratio of 3 or less is considered “affordable,” according to the public-policy firm’s survey of markets in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the U.K., the U.S., Canada and Hong Kong.

Sydney’s ratio of median home price to income was 9.2, while Hong Kong’s was 12.6, a record for the eight-year-old survey, surpassing the previous high of 11.5 for Los Angeles in 2007. Home prices in Hong Kong, Vancouver and Sydney haven’t plunged as they have elsewhere, such as in Ireland, now the second most-affordable country, after the U.S., the study said.

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Always has been expensive!

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Are Vancouver’s real-estate Prices Leading to Inter-Provincial Migration? Homes for Sale in Vancouver

Vancouver needs “more housing created in the low-to middle-income range,” he said.

Roberston has appointed a task force on housing affordability, which includes social housing for the homeless, and he said he expects an initial report this spring.

The experts will look at solutions based on zoning, density and different ownership models that work elsewhere, he said.

Because it’s not the city’s role to become a developer or interfere in the free market, Robertson said, there is “a limited ability to affect the market.”

But he said the city does have some tools and incentives to encourage higher density and mixed-income developments.

Housing experts say the ship may have sailed for affordable housing in Vancouver proper, or on the North Shore, where there are only eight two-bedroom suites under $300,000 listed with MLS, but numbers increase marginally elsewhere, with 70 such properties in Burnaby, 77 in Richmond and 42 in New Westminster.

Yes, I have experienced a few younger couples leaving the city due to the high cost of homes

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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

How is the Vancouver Real Estate Market in Yaletown?

How is the Vancouver real estate market in Yaletown? Are sales up or down? Have listings increased? What’s the average price? How long does it take to sell a Yaletown property? What are prices doing? Are they higher or lower than 90 days ago? What price range is selling the best?

The Yaletown market in December saw listings flat and sales down, compared to November

  • 50% of the sales were under $500,000
  • 3 sales over $1M, including one over $7M
  • the inventory almost doubled and the average price increased (due to a sale of $7M)
  • market favours buyers.  The new year will see an uptick in listings which will solidify the buyers market Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Will Chinese New Year Impact Vancouver Real Estate Prices in 2012?

The story of 2012 in real-estate-mad Vancouver could be a “not very sexy” chapter or another surge of cash transactions in the “micromarkets” favoured by Chinese investors.

Julia Lau, Chinese real-estate specialist at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, believes sales are about to spike in certain neighbourhoods in conjunction with the three-week holiday associated with Chinese New Year.

Lau’s clients are wealthy Chinese business-men who set their families up in tony areas of Vancouver and West Vancouver that offer multimillion-dollar homes with top schools. These investors like to buy Vancouver property while visiting the wife and kids at this time of year, Lau said.

In the first few months of 2011, stunning growth in sales and double-digit price gains in Vancouver’s Westside, West Van and Richmond skewed regional prices to a peak in June. The gains have started to fade, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association, with sales slowing in December, and Vancouver’s price average dropping two per cent to $734,766.

This New Year may not be as busy as past ones

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