Search Vancouver Condos & Apartments For Sale

 

Latest News

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

New Foreign Buyer Tax Refunds for Workers

The BC government announced last week that foreign nationals with Canadian work permits through the BC Provincial Nominee Program are now exempt from the 15 per cent foreign buyer tax. 

They also announced that existing BC provincial nominees who bought a principal residence on or after the foreign buyer tax was implemented on August 2, 2016, can apply for a retroactive exemption.

There are many more important details

March 25, 2017

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver Real Estate Property Transfer Tax Changes

March 18, 2017

The following changes have been introduced for the additional property transfer tax:

Exemption –

Foreign national individuals who have received confirmation under the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program may be eligible for an exemption from paying the additional property transfer tax Refund

Foreign national individuals who were confirmed as a B.C. Provincial Nominee between August 2, 2016 – March 17, 2017 and paid the additional property transfer tax may be eligible for a refund

Foreign national individuals who become a permanent resident of Canada or Canadian citizen within one year of the date the property transfer tax is registered with the Land Title Office may be eligible for a refund of the additional transfer tax Information sheets 2016-005 and 2016-006 have been retired and the information is now on our website http://www.gov.bc.ca/propertytransfertax.

A class action lawsuit argues this announcement will be good for their case.

Buying or selling? Put Maggie’s decades of local knowledge to work for you!
  

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

How Does Canada’s 2016 Census Impact Vancouver’s Real Estate Market?

Check out the latest stats from Canada Census 2016 and see how our population is growing in Metro Vancouver, the number of dwellings, population density and more!

Population growth in Metro Vancouver communities in REBGV

Location Population 2016 Population 2011 % change
Metro Vancouver 2,463,431 2,313,328 +6.5%
Anmore 2,210 2,092 +5.6%
Belcarra 643 644 -0.2%
Burnaby 232,755 223,218 +4.3%
Coquitlam 139,284 126,804 +9.8%
Delta 102,238 99,863 +2.4%
Lions Bay 1,334 1,318 +1.2%
Maple Ridge 82,256 76,052 +8.2%
New Westminster 70,996 65,976 +7.6%
North Vancouver City 52,898 48,196 +9.8%
North Vancouver District 85,935 84,412 +1.8%
Pitt Meadows 18,573 17,763 +4.7%
Port Coquitlam 58,612 55,958 +4.7%
Port Moody 33,551 33,011 +1.6%
Richmond 198,309 190,473 +4.1%
Vancouver 631,486 603,502 +4.6%
West Vancouver 42,473 42,694 -0.5%

Source: Statistics Canada

Dwellings, occupied dwellings and population density

Location Total # of private dwellings Occupied private dwellings Land in sq km Population density per sq km
Metro Vancouver 1,027,613 960,894 2,882.68 854.6
Anmore 723 688 27.55 80.2
Belcarra 292 253 5.50 116.9
Burnaby 98,030 92,201 90.61 2,568.7
Coquitlam 54,393 51,325 122.30 1,138.9
Delta 37,590 35,758 180.20 567.4
Lions Bay 547 495 2.53 526.5
Maple Ridge 31,400 30,262 266.78 308.3
New Westminster 34,235 32,708 15.63 4,543.4
North Vancouver City 26,426 24,645 11.85 4,465.1
North Vancouver District 32,624 31,116 160.76 534.6
Pitt Meadows 7,356 7,194 86.51 214.7
Port Coquitlam 22,586 21,753 29.17 2,009.4
Port Moody 13,318 12,975 25.89 1,295.9
Richmond 77,478 73,457 129.27 1,534.1
Vancouver 309,418 293,916 114.97 5,492.6
West Vancouver 18,649 16,933 87.26 486.8

Source: Statistics Canada

Note: Occupied private dwellings are those lived in by primary residents. The difference between this number and the total number of private dwelling is that these units aren’t occupied by private residents. These units could be cottages or housing for staff or students and may be occupied.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Francophones in Early Vancouver Walk Tour

I just went on Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s two hour walk tour about Francophones in early Vancouver -dating back to the last half of the eighteen hundreds. Hosted by historian Maurice Guibord, who is extremely knowledgeable, has a lovely sense of humour and does a lot of digging to verify facts and ascertain the correct information when found with conflicting opinions. The tour took place in the original Downtown Vancouver – Gastown and the Downtown Eastside.

Francophones were  French, Belgian and French-Canadian. Maurice gave us the history of a Sun reporter, Doctor, photographer and many entrepreneurial merchants, including bar owners because Gastown was a hub having the port and railroad in the neighbourhood.  He passed around a picture of them and pointed out  buildings, some designated as heritage, that were built by them, many with French names.

Did you know that the original Vancouver General Hospital was built next to the Sun Tower – it is presently a parking lot.

In 1909 mill workers were brought from Quebec to Maillardville by the owners of Fraser Mills. The immigrants from France and Belgium in the late 1800s became notable in business and society. This occurred around 1867 when the Dominion of Canada was formed. Happy 150th birthday Canada!

But back in 1790 it was mainly Francophones who facilitated the early overland crossing of the Pacific Northwest, drove the fur economy and eased relations with the indigenous people, as well as being the first non-indigenous people to farm in BC. A francophone was instrumental in organizing the CPR.

I learnt lots!

If you are interested in history and would like to learn about Vancouver’s history, I suggest you check out Vancouver Heritage Foundation and join a house tour, walking tour, workshop or special event.

Have a Vancouver real estate question? Contact Maggie

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Why I Bought a Pied-a-Terre in Vancouver

Why I bought a pied-a-terre in Vancouver! The concept of a Pied-a-Tierre residence can be appealing for different reasons for different people. Whether it’s to decrease the frequency of a lengthy commute, to create a getaway and a chance to have easy access to the mountains and beach or simply an opportunity to stay connected to a city you love and for whatever reason have had to depart as a full time resident. The concept of Pied-a-Tierre is different than merely a vacation home because of its location and the lengths of visits the owners tend to have. They are primarily in urban areas and usually entail some form or downsizing on multiple fronts or exist as a secondary residence to a primary one, which may be in a more rural and less urban area. They are often used for longer visits, giving the owner more time to fully immerse themselves and family in what the city offers at their fingertips.

 

It is undeniable that Vancouver is the West Coast Canadian gem. Your average Canadian is familiar with the saying “West Coast, Best Coast”. The emphasis on Coast is a key component to what makes Vancouver different from other major Canadian cities. The stunning urban waterfront adds a little something extra to business trips to the city, which makes the concept of wanting to invest time into the city beyond hotel rooms and boardrooms more appealing. It’s definitely hard to end up stuck visiting chain restaurants and roaming industrial areas surrounding your hotel when you are in an urban environment like Vancouver’s. With the city as a home base combining business with pleasure is made easy. You can go from the boardroom, to a unique and tasty lunch spot in Gastown and then back to the office before wrapping up your day with a walk along the water and snagging a spot on a patio for happy hour. The transit system makes it easy to avoid owning a car so heading home to your Pied-a-Tierre condo to get ready for the next day’s work is a breeze after your evening activities. This professional’s experience is different than the average hotel experience because you have more of an opportunity to live the urban Vancouverites lifestyle. You can be here for business and at the same time explore and experience the city, combined with the perk of being able to come home to a space that is truly yours and not just a familiar hotel chain.

 

There’s also the strong possibility that you’re someone who loves the outdoors, and that was your main incentive to make Vancouver your second home. The views of the mountains and waterfront are not only easy to enjoy from a handful of the city’s downtown neighborhoods and urban areas, they truly are as close as they seem, and for the most part can be accessed within a couple of hours drive. This is what makes this west coast city a haven for urban inhabitants who pine for the outdoors as part of their urban experience. You can hit the Sea to Sky highway and get to one of the world’s premier mountain resort communities for a rip down the mountain on your bike in the summer and board in the winter. Whistler is one of the further drives, which is still only a couple of hours, but if you’re looking for a quick drive to the outdoors there are mountains such as Grouse and Seymour that are even closer. This is where the accessibility becomes a very appealing aspect of this Pied-a-Tierre lifestyle for those who are combining business with pleasure. You can work a full day in the office and hit the slopes as an alternative Happy Hour to top of a long day indoors.

 

There is also the other end of the spectrum of people who see the appeal in Vancouver being a second home. People who have chosen to downsize their one large home into two smaller ones for reasons beyond the office. The access to a variety of downtown easts and activities seems endless in this city with new areas constantly emerging each offering a different vibe and lifestyle. It can be hard to leave a city as spectacular as Vancouver, so the fact that it can be dearly missed by those who depart is a driving force as to keep a little bit in the form of a Pied-a-Tierre. You can have a larger primary property with the backyard and multiple bedrooms, for your perhaps more affordable suburban or country life, which offers you everything you cannot easily access from your primary residence outside of the city. This is one of the great appeals of urban living and Vancouver is a prime location to fill that void. All you need is a small space, in a great location that gives you the chance to involve yourself in all of the things you love about Vancouver urban living.

 

A key element of the Pied a Tierre lifestyle is the factor that resident is wanting more of the city. The Pied a Tierre is a way to keep in touch with a city you love but for whatever reason no longer live in as a primary residence. It’s a way to stay immersed in all that Vancouver has to offer in a way a tourist or visitor is unable to, without having a home base and being able to spend longer periods of time in the city. Vancouver has a lot to offer as an urban area that make it somewhere people are left wanting more. The city itself takes a while to explore and become familiar with, even after living here for extended periods of time there is always something new to try. Once you start venturing out of the urban areas for getaways from your Pied-a-Tierre you’ll find yourself with endless camping, lakes, wine tours, hiking, beautiful drives, resorts etc. It’s the accessibility and variety that Vancouver places on your condo’s doorstep that make it a very hard city to leave with both feet. Search for your Vancouver pied-a-terre!

 

 

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

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.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

BC Real Estate Prediction for 2017 and 2018

Will the new foreign buyers tax effect Vancouver real estate sales and prices, or will the prices continue to trend upwards? Read the latest opinion from Central 1 Credit Union’s Economist

Here’s another opinion on BC real estate sales and prices from BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir

Vancouver, BC – August 25, 2016. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2016 Third Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to climb 10.4 per cent to a record 113,000 units this year, eclipsing the previous record of 106,310 units in 2005. Housing demand is expected to moderate next year, with home sales declining nearly 8 per cent to 104,400 units. However, housing demand is expected to remain well above the ten-year average of 85,000 unit sales.

“The introduction of a 15 per cent tax on foreign national home buyers in Metro Vancouver is expected to accelerate a moderating trend in the market that began earlier in the year,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, other regions of the province are performing above expectations and at the provincial level, largely offsetting Metro Vancouver’s deceleration.”

The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to increase 11 per cent to $706,900 this year and a further 5.2 per cent to $743,700 in 2017.

“While the cyclical nature of housing markets can exact a harsh toll on affordability in the short term, there is some relief for beleaguered home buyers on the horizon, added Muir. Housing starts in the province are expected to reach near record levels this year, and the highest amount since 1993. In Metro Vancouver, a record number of homes are now under construction. “A moderation in housing demand combined with a rising number of both new and resale homes on the market is expected to create more balance and less upward pressure on home prices.”

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

BC Housing Starts Decline in July

Housing starts in BC declined last month . On a year-over-year basis, new home construction was up 14 per cent in July due to a 25 per cent jump in single detached starts and an 11 per cent rise in multiple units. Through the first seven months of the year, BC housing starts are up 37 per cent compared to 2015.

Multiple unit starts dropped 14%. Single-detached starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 15 per cent. In total Greater Vancouver saw a 9% drop overall, due to multiple units.

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

What’s Special About Vancouver’s Jameson House Condos?

JUST LISTED! 2306-838 W. Hastings in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown District and only two blocks to Coal Harbour’s waterfront seawall. Enjoy the 97 Walkscore. Close to luxury shopping, restaurants, coffee shops, supermarket, the cruise ship centre, Vancouver’s convention centre and the business district. Live the Vancouver Lifestyle!

This 1750sf spaciously laid out 2 bedroom and den faces north west and has a water, mountain and city view plus a 73sf deck for cocktails!

This luxury Vancouver condo boasts 9ft ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, in floor radian heat, a contemporary kitchen by Dada cucina of Italy, Gaggeneau and Sub-Zero applianes, plus imported Travertine flooring plus many luxury appointments including air condition and remote shades.

Jameson House boasts Canada’s first auto valet service and 2306 comes with two parking stalls and a super helpful concierge service, which is 24/7.

Rentals are permitted in this condo building and one pet per suite.

Sharply priced at $2,188,000 and available for immediate occupancy. This is the perfect investment, home or pied-a-terre.

Call Maggie today for a showing 604-328-0077

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Expert Advice for Vancouver’s Real Estate Buyers and Sellers

Expert Advice for Vancouver Real Estate Sellers and Investors

There are two types of Vancouver real estate sellers – those who are investors and those who are owner occupiers. Making the decision about the correct time to sell is much easier for investors, because they are generally doing one side of the transaction. Either they accept the current market conditions – perhaps they are cashing out of the market and retiring – or they wait until it is a sellers market and then list their property. In the meantime their investment is generating income. It is adviseable to sell the property when it is not on a lease but on a month to month rental, because a large portion of the buyers are not investors and wish to move into the suite within 60 days, so you will decrease your market substantially if its leased.  It is a good idea to reduce the rent when the property is listed for sale and ask the tenant to be co-operative with your Realtor’s request for showings and to keep it tidy. Uncooperative tenants and untidy suites will fetch a lower price. Currently Vancouver’s rental vacancy rate is 0%.

Vancouver property sellers are advised to prep your home, tidy, clean, organize closets and cupboards and do minor updates if necessary and  ensure there are no pet odours in the home, so that the home shows its best. In a balanced market make sure the price is right.  Staying on the market too long and having price reductions will not achieve the best price for you. Also, get advice from your experienced Vancouver Realtor when is the best time of the year to list your property.

Expert Advice for Vancouver Real Estate Buyers & Sellers

When  a Vancouver real estate buyer or seller makes the decision to enter the market, albeit to do one or two transactions simultaneously, the conditions will often benefit only the buyer or only the seller.  It is a buyers market if there is more supply of properties than there is demand. It is a sellers market – such as what we are experiencing currently in 2016 in Greater Vancouver  – when there is more demand than there are listings for sale and this results in multiple buyers making offers on the same property, which results in the property selling above the List Price. This is the most stressful market conditions and extremely time consuming for buyers.  If you plan to be in the market for the long term, then hunker down, keep writing offers until you win the competition and become a happy homeowner. Don’t purchase a property just to get into the market because you will not be happy if it doesn’t suit your needs.

Sometimes you are fortunate to enter the real estate market when it is well balanced between buyers and sellers. In this scenario you can shop the market to satisfy yourself that there is a selection of listings which meet your top criteria. Then you market your current home, negotiate with the buyer for a longer closing – say 90 days – then you purchase a property that suits your needs and negotiate a closing date that is one day after the closing date for the property you are selling. This scenario is by far the less stressful for Vancouver home owners.

Secondly, you could sell your current home and move in with family, or rent short term until you find the right property. The downside of this scenario is that in a rising market if it were to take six months to find the property, financially you might be unable to get back into the market.

Thirdly, your other option would be to ask your Bank to give you bridge financing, so first you would find a property that meets your needs and purchase it without a subject to the sale of your current home. Try for as long a close as possible. Should your current property not sell by the Closing Date, your Bank would lend you the funds to buy the next property and you would repay the loan when your current property sells. One risk in this scenario is what if the market were to change and trend downwards after your make your purchase , then the property you are selling would then be worth less. It is important to crunch the numbers for all the different kind of scenarios.

If the market conditions favour buyers you can try to make an offer subject to the sale of your current property. Should the seller accept this condition they would add a shotgun clause that says if the seller gets another offer which has no subject to the sale of a property, then you would be given 48 hours to remove all of your subject to clauses and thereby purchase the property or if you do not remove your subject to clauses your contract collapses and the next buyer wins.

Expert Advice for Vancouver First Time Real Estate Buyers or Investors

This is by far the easiest of Vancouver real estate transactions because you do not have a property to sell, you are solely a buyer. So once you have a written pre-approved mortgage, have selected an experienced Realtor to represent you, then it is merely a matter of finding the right property.

Investors are sometimes lucky and find a property that already has a tenant in place. If this is the case you would want to ensure that the tenant is paying current market rent. If the condo isn’t rented its a good idea for your Property Manager to get access to the condo prior to the beginning of the month, so they can take pictures and upload the property to their website.

For buyers who are renting you will need to have a longer closing so that you can give your landlord the required notice to vacate the premises.

Current Vancouver Real Estate Market Conditions

Currently the sales to active ratio for Vancouver real estate is 51%, having hit a hight of 57% in April and a low of 4% in November 2008. Vancouver property listings are now 2,362, having reached a high of 6,321 in October 2008 and a low of of 1,689 in December 2015. Vancouver real estate sales hit a record in April 2016 at 1,302 and a low in low in January 2009 at 251, June2016  sales were 1,219.

Have a real estate question? Call Maggie 604-328-0077 and put my decades of hyper-local experience to work for you!

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

What Makes Vancouver Special?

bayshore1650What Makes Vancouver Special?

Vancouver is a waterfront city with the Coastal Mountain Range as a backdrop – geographically beautiful with a mild climate and it is a cosmopolitan city. The  most spoken languages being English and Chinese.

The first Europeans to discover the city were the Spanish in 1791 (a number of streets named after them – Cordova, Cardero, Valdez and Narvaez) and British Captain George Vancouver in 1792 but it took another 100 years for it to be settled, after the completion of Canada Pacific Railway which brought in Chinese to work on the railway. Simon Fraser University was named after an explorer and fur trader.Which cultures apart from the British helped shape Vancouver?  Japan, India, China and Italy Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Tips for Vancouver Stratas Dealing with Estates and Collections

V1127283_A01_75Tips for Vancouver Stratas Dealing with Estates and Collections. What happens when an owner dies, how does the Strata Corporation collect strata fees or special levies? Owners should provide emergency contact info to the Property Manager and council members. This person should have next of kin information or know who is handling the estate. Otherwise, the PM will have to check Wills BC or search the court registry to determins if anyone has applied for probate of the estate. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Tips for Vancouver Condo Owners with Noisy Neighbours

stock-photo-18251685-angry-young-woman-shakes-fingerTips for Vancouver Condo Owners with Noisy Neighbours. Sometimes you wil  have a noisy condo neighbour. This isn’t necessarily referring to a neighbour who parties. It may be a neighbour who has a dog that barks all the time, or has workout equipment in their condo. Most strata corporations have bylaws that restrict noise but it’s not necessarily an easy problem to resolve. The construction of buildings will contribute to the transference of noise, or not.

As an owner you have the right, from a legal perspective, to quiet enjoyment of your property. It is not always easy to determining what level of noise is reasonable, as it is subjective. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

SOLD! 1820 Woodland – Why Are Young Vancouver Townhome Buyers Heading East?

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERASOLD! 1820 Woodland – Why Are Young Vancouver Townhome Buyers Heading East? Because East Vancouver’s real estate is more affordable! My clients search extensively in Downtown and Kitsilano for a townhome, or preferably a half duplex and were faced with multiple offers, maxed out on their price or having to settle for less.

How Much Less Expensive is Grandview than Kitsilano?

Currently the average sale price of a new townhome in kits is $970,000 vs $674,00 in Grandview. Read more

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Top Ten Countries for Chinese Overseas Property Buyers

top tenTop Ten Countries for Chinese Overseas Property Buyers, according to a new report by Juwai.com, The most popular country for Chinese buyers is still the United States, followed by the United Kingdom and Australia.

Top 10 Countries for Chinese Buyers & 2014 Price Performance according to Juwai.com activity as listed –  Read more

Top

Contact Maggie Chandler today to find your Vancouver dream home