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Month: October 2016

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

What is CMHC’s Forecast for Vancouver Real Estate in 2017 and 2018?

Check out the latest CMHC forecast for Vancouver’s real estate market in 2017 and 2018, including sales, prices, the rental units and rental rates, new construction, demographics, immigration and mortgage rate forecast.

View the graph from January 2015 showing fewer detached home sales in Vancouver.

After a record year of housing starts, new home construction is projected to settle lower but remain above the five-year average level, in line with population-based demand.

MLS®2 sales are forecast to slow to the end of 2016 with a further weakening of sales in 2017 before leveling off in 2018.

Average MLS® prices will be higher in 2016 with strong price growth in the first half of the year. Prices are expected to increase modestly in 2017

Here’s the article, published October 26, 2016.

Thinking of making a move? Put Maggie’s decades of hyper-local knowledge to work for you! Call 604-328-0077 today!

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Why Yaletown is My Favourite Vancouver Waterfront Community

What makes Yaletown Vancouver’s best waterfront community?

Yaletown has been a prevalent area in Vancouver since it was founded during the Fraser Canon Gold Rush in the 1880’s when it originally functioned as an entry point for the Railway, connecting the area to the town of Yale. The area was initially industrial, however, as the Yale railway workers began to settle at this end of the line. They soon established housing close to the water, and soon gave the area reason to acquire its name. The reasons for choosing this waterfront community shifted from industrial to urban when the city hosted Expo 86 and has continued to establish its role as one of the city’s most desirable communities that it continues to exemplify today.

Yaletown has nearly everything a Vancouverite could ask for, and if it’s not in Yaletown itself, it’s certainly easy to access in one of the many neighboring areas. Being the first stop in the downtown area on the Canada line is definitely the area’s biggest asset in terms of accessibility to the rest of the city. Along with being walking distance to Gastown, The Westend, City Center and a short Aquabus ride across the river to Granville Island and Olympic village. The beauty of accessing all of these areas, is not only are they walking distance, but you can walk along the seawall on the waterfront and take in the city while reaching your destination.

It’s not be hard to accomplish everything on your to do list with ease within the Yaletown area. It truly has everything within a few urban blocks. From locally owned grocery stores such as Choices, Nesters and Urban Market; to Dentists, Doctors, Drugstores and fantastic boutique shopping. What makes Yaletown different when checking things off your errands list, is that there truly is a great balance between one of a kind locally owned businesses and the familiar spots you can also find throughout the city. You can go from grocery shopping for local produce, to happy hour with microbrew beers at The Yaletown Brewpub, to browsing for housewares in a local boutique such as The Cross, to eating your favorite familiar entree and cocktail at Earls. The amount of choice and variation the area offers is a huge perk for people living in the community, you’re never stuck going to the same old spots…unless of course you want to!

The community is definitely a destination for spectacular dining and lounge-like night life. The elevated brick promenades are lined with restaurant after restaurant, all welcoming you in with heated patios and nearly every style of cuisine a Vancouverite could ask for. It has a reputation for having an elevated atmosphere as a community. Things just seem a little swankier on a Yaletown patio with a group of friends out to treat themselves. There is certainly beauty in the balance of the community. During the day there are families who live in the community taking advantage of all it has to offer, including neighbourhood schools.

Not only does the area have a couple of great urban green spaces tucked in between the stunning glass high rises, it’s home to the spectacular David Lam Park. The home of the Vancouver Jazz Festival, Cinema Under the Stars, outdoor concerts and outdoor spaces to play any sport or outdoor activity you can dream up. The park lines the waterfront offering vast green spaces to picnic, along with a variation of courts and a large portion of the seawall where cyclists, runners, roller bladers and people simply out for a relaxing stroll pass each other and take in the beautiful waterfront Yaletown is known for. The seawall is no more than a couple of blocks from residential areas of the neighborhood, so it doesn’t take much to effort to get outside and take in the water you can most likely see from your apartment living room. This accessibility to the water makes the element of being waterfront that much more relevant for people who choose this balanced urban community home.

The waterfront definitely has you covered for the warmer and dryer Vancouver months and the abundance of fitness studios have you covered year round. When it comes to fitness, you name it, Yaletown’s got it! Pure Barre, Crossfit, Yoga, Hot Yoga, Spin, and a Dance center; combined with everything the Roundhouse Community center has to offer, Yaletown makes it hard to justify those excuses for skipping the workout. Health and fitness tend to come hand in hand in general, and Yaletown definitely has them both. After your workout, it’s super easy to grab a smoothly or juice or even hit the salad bar to round off a healthy day. It’s hard not to feel inspired to get moving when you have everything to facilitate a healthy lifestyle at your fingertips.

Another element of balance that the area embodies is in the Heritage buildings and architectural aesthetic. Roundhouse Community Center being front and center on Pacific Boulevard with the old engine turntable as a small outdoor amphitheater. In another tribute to the rail history of the area, it also houses Engine 374, which pulled the first passenger train into Vancouver in 1887. Accompanying the elevated brick promenade are streets of buildings from the area’s industrial days, Hamilton and Mainland being the most prevalent. Along with many of them being converted to modern living spaces on the inside, there are also a great deal of office spaces which were established during the dot com boom and continue to function as office spaces above the rows of restaurants. Many are designated Heritage by City of Vancouver. These buildings are surrounded by glass high-rise apartment buildings that embody the modern feel of the downtown community. Depending on the look and feel of the condo you’re looking for, it’s not hard to find either option on the streets of Yaletown, from cool heritage lofts to studios to amazing Penthouses with astounding water, city and mountain views. Waterfront living at its best!

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

BC Housing Starts Continue to Climb

Here’s the latest stats from BCREA – October 11, 2016

Housing starts in BC surged 40 per cent higher to 47,560 in September and were 79 per cent higher on a year-over-year basis. Single detached starts rose 27 per cent compared to last September while multiple unit starts nearly doubled. Through the first three quarters of the year, BC housing starts are up 39 per cent compared to 2015. 

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 110 per cent year-over-year in September, led by triple digit growth in both single and multiple units. In the Victoria CMA, housing starts tripled compared to September 2015 due to strong growth in new multiple unit starts. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA rose 16 per cent on balanced growth between single and multiple unit starts. Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA declined 64 per cent compared to last year as multiple unit projects took a breather in September following several strong months of activity. 

Buying or Selling? Put my decades of hyper-local knowledge to work for you!

Call Maggie 604-328-0077 today!

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver’s West Side Sales & Average Price Decline in September 2016

Vancouver’s West Side Sales & Average Price declined in September 2016, pulled down mostly by houses whose average sale price peaked at $4.2M in July and now sits at $3.7M by still remain 17% higher than a year ago. Townhomes peaked in May at $1,279.000 and are now $1.119.000 equal to a year ago. Condos peaked in July at $911,000 and now sit at $820,000 still up 21% from a year ago. In Sept’10 you could still buy a West Side house for less than $2M.

Sales peaked in March at 981 and clocked in at 424 in September, down 29% from a year ago and almost back to January 2013 levels. House sales for the month were 50% less than Sept’15, townhomes were 24% less and condos 23% less.

Listings clocked in at 1,751 for the month, 21% less than a year ago and the lowest level since Dec’10.

Sales to active ratio peaked in March at 65% and now sits at 24% – down 10% from a year ago and equal to Feb’15 levels. Average days on the market for September sales is 22, up slightly from the low of 19 in June.

Percentage of original sale price is 94% for houses, 98% for townhomes and 99% for condos. April was the peak with an average of 104%.

Dollar volume peaked in March and is now a third less, as well as being 26% lower than a year ago, dragged down to a large extent by houses.

The new Government regulations has taken the heat out of the market and we are returning to a more balanced market.

Buying or Selling? Put my decades of hyper-local experience to work for you! Call Maggie!

 

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

East Vancouver Property Prices and Listings Turn Up in September But Sales Decline

East Vancouver Property Prices and Listings Turn Up in September But Sales Decline

Average sale price for East Van peaked in May at $1.1M and now sits at $912,000, up 7% from a year ago. Houses sit at $1.6M which is 19% higher than a year ago, having peaked in July at $1.7M.  Townhomes are $905,000 , a whopping 37% higher than a year ago and currently a record high. Condos are $496,000 which is 14% higher than a year ago, having peaked in June at $525,000.

Listings continue to climb and are now the highest they’ve been for the year and up 3.6% from a year ago. Currently 984 in total. Still a lot less than the peak in Oct’08 which was over 2,000 listings.

Sales peaked in March this year and are now less than half that number, clocking in at 201 which is 38% lower than a year ago and equal to Jan’15 levels. Houses are 52% less than Sept’15, townhomes are 23% less and condos are 27% less.

Sales to active ratio sits at 20%, having peaked in March at 67% and is 40% lower than a year ago.

Days on the market average 24, which is 11% less than a year ago. It bottomed in June at 15.

Percentage of original price is 97% for houses and 101% for townhomes and condos.

Dollar volume is 33% lower than a year ago and less than half of what it was at the peak in May this year.

Buying or Selling? Put my decades of hyper-local experience to work for you! Call Maggie!

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Metro Vancouver Real Estate Sales & Prices Dip in September

Metro Vancouver Real Estate Sales & Prices Dipped in September 2016 as a result of the foreign buyers tax implementation. Sales totalled 2,253, a decrease of 32% from a year ago and down 9.5% from the previous month and equal to March 2013.  September sales were 9.6% below the 10 year sales average for the month. Real estate sales peaked in March and are now less than 50% of that number.

The sales to active listings ratio sits at 24%, which is the lowest its been since February 2015.

New listings in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,799 in September which is a decrease of 1% compared to a year ago and 11.8% higher than the previous month.

Total listings are currently 13.4% less than a year ago but 10% more than August 2016. Listings are close to October 2015 level.

Average days on the market has turned upwards to 28, which is 33% less than a year ago.

Dollar volume peaked in March and is now less than half of that amount, as well it is 29% less than a year ago.

The average sale price peaked at $1.106.000 in February and currently sits at $877,000, back to February 2015 level but up from $844,000 in August and 1.9% higher than a year ago. Metro Vancouver houses topped in January at $1.817.000 and now sit at $1.542.000, up 9% from a year ago. Townhomes topped in July at $735,000 and are now at $720,000, up 21% from a year ago. Condos topped in July at $573,000 and now sit at $549,000 , up 15% from a year ago.

Buying or Selling? Put my decades of hyper-local experience to work for you! Call Maggie!

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Which Greater Vancouver Neighbourhood has the Best Priced Homes?

Looking for a house, townhome or condo to buy in Greater Vancouver and wondering where the best value is? Here’s which Greater Vancouver neighbourhood has the best priced homes.

Houses

Below is the Benchmark Price  and one year price change, as published by REBGV for August 2016

  • Bowen Island $797,000 +26%
  • Burnaby East $1.260.000 +33%
  • Burnaby North $1.596.000 + 33%
  • Burnaby South $1.700.000 +39%
  • Coquitlam $1.228.000 38%
  • Ladner 1.031.000 +34%
  • Maple Ridge $712,000 +37%
  • New West $1.104.000 +34%
  • North Van $1.689.000 +42%
  • Pitt Meadows $784,000 +34%
  • Port Coquitlam $907,000 +33%
  • Port Moody $1.394.000 +35%
  • Richmond $1.704.000 +43%
  • Squamish $800,000 +33%
  • Sunshine Coast $475,000 +26%
  • Tsawwassen $1.247.000 +36%
  • East Van $1.533.000 +35%
  • Vancouver West $3.617.000 +34%
  • West Vancouver $3.359.000 +38%
  • Whistler $1.322.000 +24%

Most expensive – Vancouver’s West Side. Least expensive Sunshine Coast

Townhomes

Benchmark Price at Augst 31, 2016 and one year change in price

  1. Burnaby East $511,000 + 15%
  2. Burnaby North $514,000 + 18%
  3. Burnaby South $562,000 +27%
  4. Coquitlam $516,000 +23%
  5. Ladner $638,000 +26%
  6. Maple Ridge $408,000 +41%
  7. New West $550,000 +25%
  8. North Van $900,000 +37%
  9. Pitt Meadows $479,000 +30%
  10. Port Coquitlam $550,000 +36%
  11. Port Moody $538,000 +17%
  12. Richmond $732,000 +31%
  13. Squamish $613,000 +31%
  14. Tsawwassen $640,000 +29%
  15. East Vancouver $785,000 +36%
  16. Vancouver West $1,107,000 +36%
  17. Whistler $762,000 +28%

Most expensive is Vancouver’s West Side and Best Value is Maple Ridge but if you wish to live closer to the City there is good value in Burnaby North and Burnaby East

Condos

Benchmark Price at August 31, 2016 as published by REBGV and one year change in price.

  1. Burnaby East $561,000 +26%
  2. Burnaby North $468,000 +30%
  3. Burnaby South $535,000 +29%
  4. Coquitlam $346,000 +28%
  5. Ladner $397,000 +12%
  6. Maple Ridge $200,000 +18%
  7. New WEst $275,000 +26%
  8. North Vancouver $467,000 +27%
  9. Pitt Meadows $299,000 +18%
  10. Port Coquitlam $310,000 +30%
  11. Port Moody $474,000 +29%
  12. Richmond $440,000 +21%
  13. Squamish $354,000 +30%
  14. Tsawwassen $411,000 +13%
  15. East Vancouver $439,000 +32%
  16. Vancouver West $691,000 +27%
  17. West Vancouver $906,000 +31%
  18. Whistler $375,000 +41%

Most expensive is West Vancouver and best affordability is Maple Ridge, followed by Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam.

Always happy to answer your real estate questions! Vancouver real estate since 1981!

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

New Mortgage Regulations for Vancouver Real Estate Buyers

The Federal Government announced significant changes to regulations for new-government backed insured mortgages today. Effective October 17, 2016, all insured homebuyers will have to qualify at the posted 5-year qualifying rate.  This is a change from previous policy where only variable rate mortgages and mortgages with terms less than 5-years were subject to a higher qualifying rate.

With this move, the Federal Government has chosen to offset a modest risk to the taxpayer by severely eroding affordability for low equity home buyers, particularly first time home buyers. The qualifying rate is updated weekly and available on the Bank of Canada website. It is currently 4.64 per cent, about 200 basis points higher than the best bank offered rates.

To qualify for mortgage insurance, a homebuyer’s debt servicing ratio must be no higher than:

  • Gross Debt Service – 39 per cent of household income, including mortgage payment, taxes and heating costs.
  • Total Debt Service – 44 per cent of household income, including mortgage payment, taxes, heating costs and all other debt payments

The announced measure will apply to new mortgage insurance applications received on October 17, 2016 or later. This measure will not apply to mortgage loans where:

  • before October 3, 2016: a mortgage insurance application was received;
  • the lender made a legally binding commitment to make the loan;
  • the borrower entered into a legally binding agreement of purchase and sale for the property against which the loan is secured.

Mortgage loans for which mortgage insurance applications are received after October 2, 2016 and before October 17, 2016 are also not affected by the rule change, provided that the mortgage is funded by March 1, 2017. Homeowners with an existing insured mortgage or those renewing existing insured mortgages are not affected by this measure.
The Federal Government is also instituting new eligibility rules for low-ratio (higher than 20% down payment) mortgages backed by government insurance. As of November 30, 2016,  to be eligible for government insurance, new mortgages must meet the following requirements:

  1. A loan whose purpose includes the purchase of a property or subsequent renewal of such a loan;
  2. A maximum amortization length of 25 years;
  3. A maximum property purchase price below $1,000,000 at the time the loan is approved;
  4. For variable-rate loans that allow fluctuations in the amortization period, loan payments that are recalculated at least once every five years to conform to the original amortization schedule;
  5. A minimum credit score of 600 at the time the loan is approved;
  6. A maximum Gross Debt Service ratio of 39 per cent and a maximum Total Debt Service ratio of 44 per cent at the time the loan is approved, calculated by applying the greater of the mortgage contract rate or the Bank of Canada conventional five-year fixed posted rate; and,
  7. A property that will be owner-occupied.

These new criteria, in particular requiring a maximum purchase price below $1 million, will essentially make the majority of single family homes in Metro-Vancouver ineligible for government issued insurance for low-ratio mortgages.

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