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by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Downsizing from a Vancouver house to a condo. What are the challenges?

Downsizing from a Vancouver house to a Vancouver condo is something that primarily comes with becoming empty nesters or assists in facilitating travel and/or retirement plans. There are a lot of factors that can make this transition challenging some of which are emotional and others purely practical and logistical. Downsizing your living space is a process that forces you to do a lot or re-evaluating of spaces and belongings in your life. This process of purging can be very difficult, however, what you’re left with often becomes all you need and the new adventure you’re left with make it easy not to look back for what you’ve given up. It’s a new adventure in life and one that many Vancouver Baby Boomers are currently dealing with or considering. Think of the fun  you’ll have when you lock your condo door and set out on a different life adventure!

The process of purging can often have a bit of a slow start. The decision to get rid of a certain knickknack you’ve had on your bathroom windowsill for 10 years can feel like an impossible one. The justification as to why it should come to the smaller space can seem like an easy one. As the process continues, it becomes much easier to make the cuts. When asking yourself questions about these items such as “what’s the sentimental meaning attached with this item?” “when was the last time I used this or even looked at it with a sense of joy“ “If I lost it in the move would I even notice?”. The answers to these seemingly tough questions get easier and easier and eventually you barely have to think about it, and can even become a bit ruthless. This natural progression of the eliminations getting easier is a reason why it’s a good idea to give yourself the time to do more than one round of purging. Even being open to purging as you unpack on the other end isn’t a bad idea. You may find things that you forgot about in the couple of weeks they were packed away in the corner. If your heart doesn’t flutter when you pull if out of that box…leave it in the box.

You cannot start too early when it comes to clearing out an entire house. Tackle one room at a time so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. You can even start as small as one closet or shelf at a time. By starting early and giving yourself the time you need to clear-out a home you’ve most likely lived in for a large portion of your life, you also give yourself time to go through your belongings more than once, you may find the items that made the cut while you were just getting started, no longer speak to you in the same way once you’ve found your groove with clearing out and have a more ruthless lens. This also gives you a chance to go through the process properly and not feel rushed, which will help you avoid purging precious items and holding on to hunks of junk that have got to go!

The emotional aspect of downsizing and purging can be challenging because of the moments you’re forced to have with belongings you’ve just always had the space for and not considered their true value. Moving is never easy and people do it for all kinds of reasons, however, downsizing from your Vancouver home to a Vancouver condo can be one of the hardest versions of moving. When you’re young and entering the housing market there’s the common goal of aiming for a larger home to inhabit longer term. Something with some outdoor space, space to have a family, entertain and throw parties, as well as, something in a neighborhood with a sense of community and a space to build on that. A large family home is often the peak of the mountain when climbing your way through the housing market. This ascent to owning your “dream home” is a big reason leaving the home you may have worked the majority of your life for, is particularly challenging. It can truly signify the end of an era for a family. The kids have moved out, you’re ready to retire and spend more time travelling and less time maintaining a property. You spent all of that time convincing yourself you needed the house and the space and now you’ve reached the flip side of that where you’re convincing yourself you don’t need the extra space and excess of belongings. It can be a mix of emotions which land on both sides of sadness and excitement. It’s a trade of items and space for time and travel that can be tough. The time it takes to let that settle in varies, however, when you come out the other side, you’ll feel lighter and ready for the next adventure!

The more practical side of downsizing from a house to a condo can also be a very helpful thing to focus on while dealing with the emotional challenges. It can actually become a really fun challenge to make for yourself. You have to decipher which items are the going to be the most useful for your new smaller space. Can you find furniture that is equally confortable but maybe more compact? Are there small appliances you don’t use very often and could probably live without? How is entertaining in the space going to change? How are the activities you did in your backyard going to transfer to your balcony, patio or smaller backyard space? There are answers to all of these questions and not all of the answers are bad ones. Things in a smaller space aren’t necessarily worse, they’re just different, and finding hacks to make a considerably smaller space as functional and aesthetically pleasing as your previous one can be a very satisfying part of the process.

Let Maggie help you make the move! *SRES* (Senior Real Estate Specialist). Decades of hyper-local knowledge!

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver’s Luxury Condo Sales Hit a Record High in 2016

Vancouver Luxury condo sales (over $3M) hit a record high in 2016 at 100, compared to 69 for 2015.

2015 had 13 sales over $5M. The most expensive was the Penthouse at 1480 Howe Street – Vancouver House pre-sale  – which sold for $8.8M for 3,252sf. The top floor in this condo building which is due for completion in 2019 is one of many top floor suites. It is a three bedroom with amazing outdoor space totalling 2,300sf. The list price was $9.488.000. Average sale price was $4.3M and it took an average of 52 days for these luxury condos to sell.

2016 had 28 sales over $5M, The average sale price of $4.650.000 and it took an average of 57 days for these luxury condos to sell.  80 of the 100  sales over $3M last year occurred before July 31st. The most expensive sale was $16.6M for 6,000sf Penthouse at Two Harbour Green on Coal Harbour’s waterfront – 1139 W. Cordova. Imagine the stunning water and mountain views!

What neighbourhoods had the most luxury condo sales? In 2016, 50 of them were in Coal Harbour and 18 in Yaletown, 10 in the West End, 10 in Downtown, 6 in False Creek and 2 in Fairview and 2 in Kerrisdale

Currently there are 36 listings for West Side condos over $3M. How will the foreign buyer’s tax effect this market? Least expensive is 1051sf 2 bedroom on 58th floor at Trump Tower listed at $3M. Most expensive is 3900sf at Kings Landing, 428 Beach Ave., listed at $8.9M. It’s been on the market for 477 days!.

In 2001 there was only one West Side condo which sold over $3M – a Penthouse on Bayshore Drive. Between January 2002 and December 2005 there were 22 sales on MLS.

Back in the Winter Olympics Year of 2010 there were only 36 Vancouver West Side condos that sold over $3M and only six sales over $5M. Average sale price was $3.985.000, with an average days on the market of 85, versus 57 for the sales in 2016.

  • 2010 had 36 sales, average sale price $3.985.000
  • 2011 had 49 sales
  • 2012 had 34 sales
  • 2013 had 42 sales
  • 2014 had 39 sales
  • 2015 had 69 sales
  • 2016 had 100 sales, average sale price $4,650,000

Have a Vancouver condo question? Put my decades of hyper-local knowledge to work for you! Call Maggie 604-328-0077

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Where is Affordable Real Estate in Greater Vancouver?

Where is Affordable Real Estate in Greater Vancouver? 2016 was by far the hottest real estate market I have ever experienced in my 35 year career. It did, of course, benefit home sellers rather than home buyers but if you were selling your home and wishing to buy another it was a challenge to say the least, due to the demand far outstripping the supply.

The BC Government’s 15% foreign buyers tax introduced on August l, 2016 put the brakes on the market. In fact, property sales were already decreasing due to the affordability factor. Then City Hall passed the Empty Home Tax, which takes effect on January 1, 2017 and will present a challenge to people who live outside of the city and own a pied-a-terre in Vancouver for their own use. They will have to pay a 1% tax of assessed value if the property is left vacant for more than six months. In addition, Ottawa tightened mortgage qualifying rules – yet again, which presents a  challenge for local buyers.

Vancouver is obviously trending up the unaffordable real estate ladder, whereby the younger buyers who aren’t lucky enough to tap into the Bank of Mum will be faced with renting or moving to the far away suburbs and commuting by public transportation or having to drive, which also increases your overhead,  if they have a City job.

First I’ll look at houses -just because they are part of the real estate equation but only a small percentage of local people can afford a house in Vancouver – even on the East Side. Townhomes have become an alternative to houses and then of course there’s condos which remain the most affordable type of real estate to own, providing you’re not on the waterfront or the luxury Downtown hotel/condo complexes!

Townhomes reached a benchmark price of $661,000 at the end of December 2016, which is a 20% increase for the year. Over the last ten years the Lower Mainland has seen a 56% increase in townhome prices and a 39% increase over the last five years. Squamish townhomes won the race last year, boasting a 33% increase, closely followed by Whistler with a 32% increase and Maple Ridge with a 28% increase Currently the suburbs with the most affordable townhomes are Maple Ridge with a benchmark price of $391,000, followed by Pitt Meadows at $477,000 and Coquitlam at $504,000. Clearly townhomes are benefiting from the high cost of a house. In Squamish the benchmark price of a house is $813,000.

So that leaves condos as the only choice for young buyers. Alternatively, the Province could grow the economy in Surrey and create more jobs for people working out there. These properties saw a 52% increase over the last ten years in the Lower Mainland. East Van won this race with a 73% hike. Currently the least expensive condos in the Lower Mainland are in Maple Ridge with a benchmark price $208,000, then Port Coquitlam at $303,000, followed by Pitt Meadows at $310,000. Coquitlam is also affordable at $346,000. Consider a joint venture with a friend and buy a two bedroom condo with both of you paying the mortgage and sharing the profit when you sell. You can still find some two bedrooms in Richmond, Coquitlam or Burnaby that sell for less than $350,000. So getting some assistance from the Bank of Mum may be possible for first time buyers.

Consider Ladner which has a bus to the City and maybe in the long run the BC Gov’t will extend the Skytrain from Richmond to cross the new bridge which is due for completion in 2022.

Greater Vancouver 2016 Market Recap

In my entire career I have never seen anything close to 2016. Back in the good old days a hot market which favoured sellers would produce three or maybe four offers on the same property. Last March I was in an 18 offer presentation and every offer had at least another eight buyers competing for the property. I have also never seen properties sell for such a large amount over the list price. So it is healthy to see the market return to normal. If the Mainlanders return to buying real estate for the Chinese New Year which is at the end of January, that will stabilize prices. If they don’t we may well see a small decline, particularly in house prices. The sales to active ratio peaked at 61% and now sits at 27%. Listings peaked after the Wall Street crash in 2008 at 20,000 and now sits at 6,200. Prices generally decrease when the supply is high, but we have never had this degree of unaffordability.

2016 Vancouver West Side Real Estate Recap

The year saw the BC Government introduce the 15% foreign buyers tax on August 1, 2016 and City of Vancouver passing the Empty Home Tax effective January 1, 2017.

Sales actually peaked in March at 1,005 and declined to 325 in December, with a sales to active ratio falling from 66% to 28%.

Average days on market bottomed at 18 and is now up to 37.

There are only 1,049 properties listed for sale on the West Side. This is an all time low.

The average sale price of a house is now $3.7M, up 11% over the last year. Townhomes sit at k$1,287,000 up 16% over the last year and condos are $856,000 up 14% over the last year.

Ten years ago the average house price was $1.2M, townhomes $570,000 and condos $420,000. Houses have outperformed and perhaps that’ll be where the correction will be.

2016 East Vancouver Real Estate Recap

East Van average sale price is down to $1.452.000 for houses, which is equal to a year ago. It peaked at $1.726.000 in April. Townhomes are $814,000, up 21% from a year ago and condos are $543,000 up 22% from a year ago. Clearly East Van is benefiting from the very expensive West Side.

Ten years ago the average house price was $540,000, townhomes was $330,000 and condos $231,000. Cheap or what!!

Sales to active ratio is now 25%.

Currently 712 properties listed. The low was Dec’15 with 500.

Average days on market is 36.

Some economists are predicting that prices will correct by ten or even 20%, or only house prices will correct, and some are saying prices will sit flat for the time being. In truth, no-one knows and time shall tell! History shows that long term investors always do well.

Let my decades of hyper-local knowledge help you find the right home! Call Maggie at 604-328-0077

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

BCREA Predicts BC Home Sales & Prices to Decline in 2017

November 29, 2016.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) just released its 2016 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to climb 11 per cent to a record 113,800 units this year, eclipsing the previous record of 106,310 units in 2005. Less robust economic conditions combined with government policy constraints are expected to slow housing demand by more than 15 per cent to 96,300 units in 2017. However, housing demand is expected to remain well above the ten-year average of 85,000 unit sales.

“”Housing demand across the province is expected to moderate next year as declining affordability related to rising prices and government policy interventions limit the number of eligible buyers,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, while home sales are not expected to repeat this year’s record performance, consumer demand is expected to remain well above the ten-year average.”

The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to increase 9.8 per cent to $698,900 this year. The supply of homes for sale is expected to trend higher next year as moderating demand is met with added new home completions. A trend toward more balance in the market will unfold next year and exert less upward pressure on home prices. In addition, a larger contraction in the number high-end home sales will contribute to moving the aggregate average price statistic lower. As a result, the average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to decline 6.4 per cent to $654,200 in 2017.

We are returning to a balanced market.

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

BC Real Estate Sales Decline

 November 15, 2016

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that 7,272 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, down 16.7 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.4 billion in October, down 24.2 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $606,787, a decline of 9.1 per cent compared to the same month last year.

“Housing demand remained mixed across the province in October,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Home sales across the Lower Mainland were down from the elevated levels of one year ago, but stabilized on a month to month basis. In contrast, home sales on Vancouver Island and in the interior of the province continue to post strong year-over-year gains.”

“The decline in the average residential price reflects a smaller proportion of transactions in the province originating in Vancouver,” added Muir. Home sales through the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver fell to 31.4 percent of BC transactions last month, compared to 42.6 per cent a year ago.

Average sale price is up 10% from a year ago.

 

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Interest Rates for Vancouver Home Buyers on the Rise

November 15, 2016

Interest Rate increases are coming fast and furious from all lender this week, including Major Banks and Monoline lender.

In the article below, RBC has taken a position where fixed rates for 5 years are as high as 2.94% and apparently if you want a 30 year amortization, there will be an additional premium on interest rates.

This is a very aggressive change and there will likely be more to come.

At this point, TD has increased fixed rates, nothing yet from Scotiabank.

Most important to note, lower rates in the 2.49-2.59% range are still out there for conventional deals, (20% down payment or more) and for insured (lower down payment 5-20%), rates are still as low as 2.24% (must close by December 31).

Vancouver real estate buyers need to have a proper pre-approval  as the market is in constant movement.

Looking for an experienced mortgage broker?

Jeff Fraser | Mortgage Advisor | Dominion Lending Centres – A Better Way  

604-340-1809 Email. [email protected]

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Average Sale Price of Greater Vancouver’s Condo Neighbourhoods

What is the Average Sale Price of Greater Vancouver’s Condo Neighbourhoods? Looking for an alternative neighbourhood the buy a condo in, that is less expensive than Vancouver West Side or East Vancouver?  Check out the below graphs for resale condos in October 2016.

Vancouver West Side, East Vancouver, North Vancouver and Richmond

Burnaby North, South and East, New Westminster

Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Langley

 

 

Ladner, Tsawwassen White Rock and North Delta

 

Squamish, Maple Ridge and REBGV

 

Contact me if there’s a graph you like.

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

East Vancouver Real Estate Prices and Sales Drop in October 2016

November 5, 2016, from REBGV stats

East Vancouver Real Estate Prices and Sales Drop in October 2016 whilst listings remained flat. The overall average sales price sits at $890,000 which is equal to November 2015. It peaked at $1.107.000 in May and has been sliding since then. Current market conditions favour buyers and I expect this will continue into next year. Overall the market has returned to being balanced and more normal than what we’ve seen over the last year.

Average Sales Price – houses are currently $1.564.000, down from $1.703.000 in July. Townhomes sit at $836,000, down from $905,000 in September and condos are flat at $495,000. Overall price is now the lowest it’s been since Jan’15. Houses are up 10% over the last year, townhomes 13% and condos 14%.

New Listings for the month of October were 435 with only condos increasing

Total Listings are up to 1,037 from the bottom in December of 500. The biggest increase is houses, which have doubled since January this year. This is the highest they’ve been since March 2014 and are 22% more than a year ago.

Sales now sit at 195 and have contined to decline since the peak in March at 408 and are 41% lower than Oct’15 and equal to December 2015.

Sales to Active Ratio currently sits at 19%, compared to 40% a year ago. It peaked in March at 67%.

Average Days on Market flat at 11 and equal to a year ago

Percentage of Original Price 99%, down from June’s peak of 105%. Currently the lowest it’s been since Jan’15.

Dollar Volume is about 60% less than the peak in May and 40% lower than a year ago. Almost back to Feb’14 levels.

View the average sale price since 2011

View sales since 2011

Put my decades of hyper-local knowledge to work for you! Call Maggie 604-328-0077.

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Vancouver’s West Side Real Estate Prices, Listings and Sales Drop in October

Vancouver’s West Side Real Estate Prices, Listings and Sales Drop in October. Compared to the previous month, listings sales and prices declined. Compared to a year ago listings and sales are lower and average sale price is considerably higher for condos, lower for townhomes and up a tad for houses.

Listings dropped from 1,840 in September to 1,733 in October and are 13% less than a year ago. Usually listings decline in the Fall.

New listings are 10% less than a year ago and dropped from 932 in Septemberto 736 in October

Sales peaked in March at 981 and now sit at 404. Houses are down 51% from a year ago, townhomes 63% and condos 34%. House sales increased from 61 in September to 79 in October. Condos sales set a record in March at 683 for the month and were down to 301 in October. Townhomes peaked at 77 in March and are down to 24. The market hit bottom in November 2008 with only 171 West Side property sales

Sales to active ratio is only 12% for houses, 17% for townhomes and 32% for condos. Analysts say that upward pressure on prices occurs when the ratio is above 20% and downward pressure when is it below 12%. The peak was March at 65%, currently it is 23%.

Best Selling Price Range – condos $500,000-$600,000. townhomes $1.1M- $1.2M and houses over $3M.

Average days on market sits at 28 compared to 30 a year ago. From June to August it bottomed at 19 days. Houses are taking the longest to sell, with an average of 39, townhomes are 15 and condos 26. The peak was January 2009 with an average of 73 days to sell.

Percentage of original price – houses sit at 93%, townhomes at 103% and condos at 98%. April was the top at 104% and it has been declining since then, now down to 97%. This is the lowest its been since Feb’15.

Dollar volume hit a record in March this year at 1,587,730,189 and has been on a downward trend since, now at 568,531,740, approximately a 60% drop!

updated November 5, 2016 based on REBGV stats

 

by Maggie Chandler Maggie Chandler No Comments

Metro Vancouver Real Estate Prices Up in October but Sales and Listings Down

Metro Vancouver Real Estate Prices Up in October but Sales and Listings Down.

Real estate sales were 15% below the 10 year October average. House sales clocked in at 2,233 which is a 38% drop from a year ago and 0.9% lower than September. House sales were 652, down 54% from a year ago. Townhomes sales were 39% lower than a year ago and condos were also 39% less than a year ago. Towhome sales were up a tad from the previous month but houses and condos declined.

New  listings were 9.5% below the 10 year average for the month and were also lower than September.

Total listings clocked in at 9,143, down 4.5% from a year ago and 2.3% lower than the previous month.

Sales to active listings ratio was only 24% – meaning that only 24% of listings sold. Analysts say upward pressure occurs when the ratio surpasses 20% and downward pressure when the ratio is less than 12%. The ratio was down slightly for townhomes and flat for houses and condos.

Average days on the market was 21 for houses, 12 for townhomes and 11 for condos. Compared to the beginning of the year only houses have increased.

Average percentage of original price declined for all types of Metro Vancouver properties. Houses are currently selling at 95% of original price, townhomes and condos at 99%.

Dollar volume is way down for houses – 52% lower than a year ago. Townhomes are down 29% and condos 12%.

Average sale price – houses peaked in February at $1.811.000 and is now down to $1.619.000. Townhomes peaked in July at $735,000 and now sit at $681,000. Condos peaked in July at $573,000 and now sit at $572,000.

Houses increased from $1,541,000 in September to $1,649,000 in October. Townhomes dipped from $721,000 to $681,000 and condos increased from $549,000 to $562,000.

The affordability factor is benefiting townhomes and condos.

View the 10 year average sales price for houses, townhomes and condos.

View the 10 year sales graph

Put my decades of hyper-local knowledge to work for you! Call Maggie 604-328-0077.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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