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East of Main, and North or 7th seems to be the Live/Work hotspot in the city. Another new development was announced recently. Onni has released a future scheme that still needs to be approved (though it isn't a request for re-zoning so the approval should come easily). This development will consist of 209 units on a seven storey building facing East 1st Ave and a six storey building facing Great Northern Way. 

 

This development will sit close to the future Emily Carr University campus, so it could be a great new investment opportunity. More details should be announced once it has approval. 

 

Image courtesy of ChangingCity.ca

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Another new Live/Work residence is coming to Mount Pleasant - with the project about to start sales. The building, Shine, will be located at 273 East 6th Ave, across the street from District. 

 

Designed by SHIFT Architecture and developed by Imami Development, it'll be awhile before this building opens its doors, but it will be something to look forward too, as Live/Work buildings have been rising in popularity in the last few years. 

 

It will be interesting to see exactly how it is zoned and what people are allowed to do with the space. 

 

Image courtesy of ChangingCity.ca

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Market Update

JANUARY 2013

Happy 2013! With Christmas behind us and the New Year starting to take shape, we'll begin to see a lot more activity in Vancouver Real Estate than what last month brought. As expected, with people celebrating the holidays, many chose to remove their listing from the market and focused their sights on shopping for gifts rather than a new house. This December was no different than others in that the number of listings and sales dropped in every market (except Downtown Vancouver - possibly due to the fact that Downtown serves mostly single people and those without kids who may have more time around the holidays).

 

December 2012 sales were down 31% from December 2011, and down 32% from November 2012. This ends a year marked by lower than average home activity and modest price drops thanks to a number of factors including the new mortgage rules, lack of great inventory and a general hesitation by both Buyers and Sellers. Keep in mind that activity still varies depending on the area and that the numbers for Active Listings in the charts below were pulled at the beginning of the month - before the typical influx of listings that usually occurs in later January.

 

Vancouver West:
Attached homes in Vancouver West had the biggest drop in terms of both listings and sales, where prices remained fairly constant. The Sellers may have been unwilling to drop their prices below their own expectations, leading to a lack of sales. The trend for people buying smaller, less expensive homes continued with high sales for homes less than $500,000 with one or two bedrooms. With Buyer's taking their time in a slower market, it was no surprise that the days on market increased with patient Sellers finally selling their property.

 

Detached homes in Vancouver West are also trending towards the cheaper market, with homes below the $2-million mark having an average absorption rate of 14%, with the median sales price of everything in the Detached market hovering around $2-million. The sales to active ratio for this market is at a low 5.8% with houses being on market for an average of 72 days.

 

Vancouver East:
Sales in Vancouver East dropped significantly last month, with a 41% decline in Attached homes sales and a 17% drop in median sales price (so for half of the 36 sales in December, 18 of them were below $338k). The busiest market in this area was the sub $300k market, and almost no sales above $800k. The one and two bedroom markets dominated, with most people probably looking to the East for an affordable first home, or upgrade to one of the many new condos in the blossoming Main St area.

 

Detached homes in Vancouver East had 30% less listings and a 37% drop in sales, though prices remained steady in the $800-900k area. With no sales above $1.4-million, this market continues to be the area where people go for entry level detached homes (and with mostly 4 and 5 bedrooms, you can expect many Buyers to be taking advantage of the mortgage helpers and homes in need of some renovations).

 

Downtown:
Sales activity saw an interesting rise in Downtown last month, with both the number of sales increasing 26% and the number of listings increasing 4% over November. Notice the sharp decline in median price down to $524k from $648k, and the average price down to $646k from $777k. This, along with a high number of listings in the sub $600k market, explain the increase in sales as entry level Buyers were taking advantage of the lower prices while they were available.

 

North Vancouver:
Following the trend, listings and sales dropped in North Vancouver, though this area has the highest overall absorption rate in any market at 10.6%. The Attached market remained fairly steady in price, hovering around $500k on average, with most sales being two bedroom units. Notice the change since December 2011, very similar number of listings and sales but the average price has increased 20% and the median has increased 26%, with the Average Price/Sqft dropping 10%. These changes are making the area much more affordable given that the $405/sqft is almost $50 cheaper than the lowest Price/Sqft in Vancouver.

 

Aside from the expected drop in sales and listings, the Detached market hasn't changed significantly from last month, or last year. The Absorption rate was highest in the $700-800k and the $1-1.2 million market with over 20% of homes selling.

 

Don't expect listing inventory and sales numbers to stay this low. The Real Estate Market usually picks up in mid-to-late January once everyone heads back into a daily routine. The number of new listings will increase, it's the market segment and quality of the listings that will be interesting - here's hoping they fit what Buyer's have been waiting for! We're also expecting interest rates to rise in the next month or two, as that normally happens around this time of year, so keep that in mind if you want to lock down a good rate.

 

Now is a great time to get started on a search for your new home. Contact me if you have any questions about a market or area, or if you would like to get an email whenever a new listing matches the criteria you're looking for in a home. I'm happy to help!

 

All the best in 2013,

 

Ben

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MARKET STATISTICS

Featured Listings
2839 ST GEORGE ST
  • SOLD! Offered at $1,199,000
  • 5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms
  • 2,367 Sq Ft
  • Spectacular modern 1/2 duplex with a flexible floor plan and high end finishings
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3579 W KING EDWARD
  • SOLD! Offered at $1,488,000
  • 6 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms
  • 2,567 Sq Ft
  • Centrally located, this great family house has 4 bedrooms up and hardwood floors
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204 - 431 E 44th AVE
  • SOLD! Offered at $365,000
  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 916 Sq Ft
  • Laminate floors, new stainless steel appliances, cozy gas fireplace and sunny south-facing patio
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Market Update

DECEMBER 2012

November continued the trend we have been seeing over the past 6 months: fewer homes listed for sale, decreased sales numbers and a gradual decline in average home prices. For a frame of reference, November sales for Greater Vancouver were 30.3% below the 10 year average, which is largely due to many Sellers simply pulling their homes off the market rather than lower their prices any further. New listings were also 12.9% below the 10-year average, while the sales-to-active-listings ratio remained constant from October at 11%.

 

Vancouver West:
Attached home sales were up 38.6% over last month and 15.1% over last year, while active listings were up 23.3% over last month and a whopping 76.7% over last year. This combination resulted in a drop of about 13% both compared to last month and last year. Interestingly, the average price per square foot is only down 2.6%, meaning that smaller, less expensive homes are making up a larger portion of the sales. Detached homes showed a 9.6% decrease in sales over September numbers and 32% over last year. Average pricing is actually up 3.2% over last year, though they have slipped 3.9% compared to last month. The hotspot here is the sub-$1m market, though the sample size is small. This is further evidenced by the higher absorption rates seen in the sub-$500k market.

 

Detached homes sales slumped 31.8% over October and were down a full 50% over this time last year. Active listings were higher 21.2% above last year, but down 10.8% since October. Average pricing dipped 8% compared to both last year and last month. The $1-1.5m segment is the only price point here with any traction at the moment and it actually moving nicely at a balanced 18.3% absorption rate.

 

Vancouver East:
Attached property sales remained steady with October numbers but slipped 24.7% compared to last year. Active listings were up 19.7% over last year and down 8.7% over October. Average pricing is actually up slightly over both last year and last month, despite average price per square foot declining slightly. This is mainly due to a shift towards larger and higher end units on the Eastside. Both the $500-600k and $800-900k range are selling well.

 

Detached homes sales climbed slightly over October numbers but are down 28.9% compared to last year. Inventory is consistent with November 2011 and has dropped 14.4% since October. Prices have edged up slightly here as well. The $600-900k bracket is performing well as many people are using the downturn in the market to make the jump into entry level detached homes.

 

Downtown:
Sales activity downtown was hit hard last month, with a 64.8% drop over last year and 45.2% over last month. That said, active listings were also down 35.6% and 40.4% respectively. Average pricing showed healthy increases, up 31.2% compared to this time last year, as did average price per square foot numbers. Somewhat surprisingly, the $600-700k was the busiest market segment here.

 

North Vancouver:
Showing signs of stabilization month over month, attached properties in North Vancouver still slipped 33% compared to last November. Inventory is up 14% over last here, but down the same amount over October. Prices slipped 11% since the month previous, wiping out prior gains and coming in 6.3% below last year. Breaking the trend, prices are actually up 17.2% over last year. The entry level market has picked up a bit of steam here.

 

Detached home sales fell further in November, down 20.8% over last month and 35.6% over last year. While listing inventory was up over 40% compared to last year, it has actually dropped 17.6% since October. A slight dip in sales prices was noted versus October, with a more noticeable 9.5% decline in the past year. The $600-700k segment here remains extremely hot, while the $1.2m+ range has slowed to a crawl.

 

Look for December numbers to continue the trends mentioned above. Lack of inventory should help prices stabilize. All eyes will be on January to see if inventory rises... and if demand increases to match.

 

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season.

 

Ben

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MARKET STATISTICS

Featured Listings
2839 St. GEORGE ST
  • FOR SALE! Offered at $1,199,000
  • 5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms
  • 2,367 Sq Ft, 180 Sq Ft patio
  • Spectacular modern 1/2 Duplex with flexible floor plan
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470 & 480 ESPLANADE AVE
  • FOR SALE! Offered at $2,300,000
  • 0.5 Acres Total
  • Two adjoining vacant lots in Harrison Hot Springs
  • C-2 Zoning allows retail, hotels/motels, restaurants, community care facilities and more.
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204 - 431 EAST 44th AVE
  • SOLD! Offered at $365,000
  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 916 Sq Ft
  • Laminate floors, new stainless steel appliances, cozy gas fireplace and sunny south-facing patio
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Market Update

July 2011

With the summer market in full swing, it appears we are still waiting for the summer weather to catch up. As expected, it is much more of the same this month compared to last. Sales are down across the board, with the exception of the North Vancouver attached market which appears to be bucking the trend. Expect that to correct next month. Average sale prices and active listings are fluctuating across the board, but prices in most markets slipped slightly without enough dip to cause alarm. Everything we are seeing is typical for the seasonal nature of the Vancouver market and I expect to see a continuation of these trends for the next two months before an upturn in September.

Looking at the bigger picture, predicting the local market is beginning to require more and more knowledge of international financial markets. Using local trends to predict the market has quickly become a fool's game and many more factors must be taken in to account. We will have to keep an eye on foreign markets in the coming months, as they will likely play a larger role in the Vancouver market moving forward than rising mortgage rates will.

Any questions, ask away. And enjoy the summer!

Ben

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MARKET STATISTICS

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#204 - 283 Davie St.

  • FOR SALE Offered at $669,000
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#601 - 29 Smithe Mews

  • FOR SALE Offered at $675,000
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  • 983 Sq Ft
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#406 - 3083 W 4th Ave

  • FOR SALE Offered at $425,000
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