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New Listing 308 - 1188 Parkgate Blvd, North Vancouver, British Columbia


V1126059 - 308 - 1188 Parkgate Blvd, North Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 308 - 1188 Parkgate Blvd, North Vancouver and currently listed at $244,000.

Seniors (55+) co-op with everything you could want for a nice comfortable lifestyle. 2 bedrooms & 2 full bathrooms! Located on a quiet cul-de-sac within walking distance to shopping, church, library & transit. This suite is a modified "D" plan & is on the NW corner. Laminate floors, top of the line washer & dryer, very bright & well cared for with a very nice treed outlook & spacious feeling. Land leased from the District of NV. The building enjoys 2 air conditioned Atrium to enjoy a game of pool, cards, crossword & other socials. Common areas & rooms are very welcoming. Great community. No mortgages, cat okay.

New Listing # 216 340 W 3RD ST, North Vancouver, British Columbia


V1125990 - 216 - 340 W 3rd Street, North Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 216 - 340 W 3rd Street, North Vancouver and currently listed at $234,900.

Quiet, cool side of the building & listed below assessed value makes this suite a great buy. Spacious 1 bedroom unit plus flex space is nicely updated & move in ready. Quality laminate flooring, newer appliances, new bathroom vanity, sink & hardware. Good sized deck for entertaining. Close to all amenities, steps to public transport, short stroll to the Quay & many trendy & delicious restaurants. Walking distance to Market Place Groceries, seabus, movie theatres & more. Extremely well run building. Rentals are limited & pets are okay. One parking & one storage locker.

New Listing 1060 Belvedere Drive, North Vancouver, British Columbia


V1123579 - 1060 Belvedere Drive, North Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 1060 Belvedere Drive, North Vancouver and currently listed at $1,085,000.

Location, Location! Canyon Heights level lot & house. Renovate or knock down & build your dream home in this dream neighborhood. Close to hiking, skiing, shopping, Edgemont Village & walking distance to Handsworth Sec school. Value mostly in land. House being sold "as is, where is". Easy to show.

New Listing 14763 Thrift Ave, White Rock, British Columbia


F1441311 - 14763 Thrift Ave, White Rock, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale SOLD at 14763 Thrift Ave, White Rock and currently listed at $869,000.SOLD

OCEAN VIEW White Rock home located on a no through road with easy access to trails & beach! This lovely s/f home boasts an open kitchen with s/s appliances, maple cabinets and a granite breakfast bar. The adjoining spacious dining & living rm open to the entertainment size (17' x 14') deck where you can BBQ and watch the ships go by. Two bedrms up (master with ensuite) 1 bedrm down with option for another (flex space) plus a home office & famrm. Updates include freshly painted exterior & interior, new membrane on deck, new roof, bamboo flooring and more. School catchment Semiahmoo secondary (International Baccalcurcate Prgm) HT Thrift Elementary. Don't miss the HGTV designed tranquil back garden. RF2 zoned when ready to redevelop

See the Pixilink 360° Virtual Tour for this listing

Recently Sold Listing 14763 Thrift Ave, White Rock, British Columbia


F1441311 - 14763 Thrift Ave, White Rock, British Columbia, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 14763 Thrift Ave, White Rock.

Can The Drive survive city of Vancouver's Community Plan?


commercial

Beth Taylor | Creative Commons

 

In December, after the November 2014 civic election, the City of Vancouver held a sub-area workshop for the Grandview community plan. It proved to be an exercise in manufactured consent. That charade undermined the Mayor's pre-election day apology and promise; the promise that if he were to be re-elected the city would listen to the community and be more transparent.

Grandview is the neighbourhood centered around Commercial Drive, affectionately known as The Drive. Its boundaries span from Clark Drive to Nanaimo Street and from Broadway north to the waterfront.

The Drive has a lively shopping district along Commercial Drive; spectacular private and public views to the mountains and downtown; and it is well served by transit and by the Britannia Community Centre. The Drive is a great neighbourhood that is still affordable for many.

This community is a model of diversity, with a broad mix of age, of ethnic, and of economic demographics. Currently 50% of the area is made up of the original heritage character built prior to 1920, generally well maintained and adaptively reused as multiple-suite buildings that tend to be more affordable than new. Many streets are entirely intact with the original buildings. The area also has a large concentration of purpose-built rentals and more social housing than any neighbourhood outside of the Downtown Eastside. Development pressures from rezoning would put all of this at risk.

 

PLANNING REBOOT

In 2013 the city came forward with a proposed plan for the area that was broadly rejected by the community. The proposed increased tower forms of development were highly criticized and rejected. The planning process was extended beyond the 2014 civic election. That process included creating a Citizens Assembly requiring residents to apply, who were then categorized based on their profiles. The group was selected from each category by lottery.

I have been actively involved in the neighbourhood as an owner for over 20 years, and have followed this planning process with sceptical interest. It has been a comedy of errors, yet the potential loss is so tragic for the city.

 

THE WORKSHOP

I attended the December workshop on a rainy Saturday before Christmas with a low community turnout.

Topics were assigned to each of the multiple tables. Even though most of the neighbourhood is covered with heritage character housing, the topic of heritage was separated from housing. It was included with the topic of arts and culture at a separate table. Faced with this dilemma, I chose the heritage, arts and culture topic table.

At my table there were three facilitators overseeing only three from the community and two from the Citizens' Assembly. Each table had a large scale map of the area with an overlay on which one of the facilitators was to record the comments of the group. The facilitators would stand up and report their summary of the table's comments to the room where highlights would be compiled by two planners on a master plan on the wall at the back of the room.

With each round, a new overlay was started at each table that made a new attempt at getting the answers the city was after. It took little time before all the tables degenerated to a game of Monopoly.

The facilitator at our table pulled out a copy of the plan previously rejected in 2013. He proceeded to redraw the rejected plan onto our overlay. When questioned about that, he responded that it was "only for discussion purposes". After we had discussed it and again rejected it, just as the community had done in 2013, that facilitator still refused to remove it from our overlay. We had to take the pen and cross it off ourselves. The same thing with other misrepresented drawings by that facilitator on our overlays.

Other tables shared a similar story, where facilitators and development consultants outnumbered those from the community and the facilitators misrepresented the community's comments. One table for instance had four city staff and a development consultant outnumbering two people from the community five to two.

Finally, the only comments that were recorded on the master plan at the back of the room looked very much like the previous 2013 plan, however showing even more high buildings than those the community previously rejected. It can be expected that the city will misrepresent this as the community's opinion on future zoning and development.

 

GROWTH PROJECTIONS

One of the first questions posed by the audience was the most relevant of the day: What is the population growth anticipated for the City of Vancouver and what portion of that would Grandview be expected to absorb?

The planner said the city is expected to gain 160,000 people based on regional numbers and that this had not been broken down by neighbourhoods. However, this misrepresents the facts.

The growth numbers are based on the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) approved in July 2011. The RGS used the 2006 census numbers for population and number of housing units, and estimated how much both would increase over 35 years to 2041. This was an increase of about 140,000 people and 75,000 units.

Then in July 2013, the City of Vancouver raised this 2006 to 2041 estimated growth to 160,000 people and 97,500 units. As a footnote under a high growth scenario, this was further increased to over 180,000 people and 108,500 units.

But there has never been any publically transparent analysis to show how this is growth is determined.

Looking at the census, the actual population growth from 2006 to the most recent census in 2011 was about 25,000 people and 13,000 units. It appears that these figures has been added to rather than subtracted from the RGS 2041 estimates. The adjusted estimate from the most recent 2011 census to 2041 should be only 115,000 more people and 62,000 more units.

Further, the true number of overall housing units that should be rezoned for as of 2015 would be reduced by the huge amount of zoning capacity that has been approved to date but not yet been built. This includes major projects that were rezoned (e.g. Cambie Corridor, Marine and Cambie, Oakridge, Telus Gardens, Arbutus Mall, False Creek North and South, Shannon Mews, the Rize, etc.) on top of the development capacity under current outright zoning and recently approved community plans in Marpole, the West End, Chinatown, Hastings Corridor and the Downtown Eastside.

The city is actually overbuilding by approximately 2000 units each five year census period. This has increased the unoccupied units to a total of 22,000 as of 2011. The question is not how we force people to rent out units when they don't want to, but why are we overbuilding too many expensive units that are only serving to promote Vancouver as a commodity rather than planning communities.

Creating a heat island with energy inefficient concrete and glass towers, while removing the urban forest canopy, adds to climate change. We need accurate growth projections so that we can plan for growth in a way that will minimize negative impacts.

 

FINANCING GROWTH

What most people don't understand is that all this growth doesn't make the city money. On the contrary, the city must subsidize growth.

The development fees collected by the city only cover a small fraction, about 10%, of the actual costs of servicing the infrastructure for development and the population growth it brings. With all the development that has been completed over that last few decades it has served to increase property taxes and the city's debt, not decrease them.

Of course some growth is inevitable and we have to plan for this. We have done that in spades. But where are the discussions about how much growth we can afford and what the growth limits are to retain liveability, affordability and environmental sustainability?

 

MORE TO LOSE THAN TO GAIN

So getting back to the Grandview plan, the existing Local Area Plan currently allows for a broad mix of apartments, townhouses, duplexes, multifamily conversions and single family while protecting heritage character. Grandview was considered under CityPlan to already meet regional objectives of increased density with a variety of housing types.

Although there may be some opportunities along Hastings Street and Broadway, the vast majority of the neighbourhood would have much more to lose by rezoning that it would gain. Currently there are no programs to replace the existing purpose-built rentals or social housing with equivalently affordable units. As these existing units are demolished, people are displaced, which is one of the main contributors to homelessness.

This farce of a "planning" exercise attempts to manipulate the perception of public support for the unjustified ruin of Vancouver. Professional planning should start with legitimate data and objectives that are to the public's interest rather than turning it into a game of Monopoly.

 

Elizabeth Murphy

Special To The Province | January 9, 2015



Vancouver’s Top Neighbourhoods For Real Estate Investment


buntzen1

Buntzen Lake Beach, Port Moody, BC

 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re bullish or bearish on real estate, just about everyone agrees: property is really expensive in Vancouver. But is buying a home in the Greater Vancouver Area a bad investment? Not if you’re in it for the long haul. Vancouver is one of those rare cities where there really is a shortage of land—what with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. Even if prices drop in the short term, as long as you can afford to hold tight, they’ll recover eventually. And by choosing a neighbourhood within the city where prices are not yet in the stratosphere, you can minimize the risk.

When we analyzed the neighbourhoods in Greater Vancouver for value, growth potential (momentum) and desirability (realtor grade), we weren’t surprised to see Port Moody Centre at the top the list. This tree-lined neighbourhood of single-family homes near Simon Fraser University certainly seems to offer value: Last year approximately 30 properties sold in this area at a benchmark price of just over $700,000—almost $50,000 less than the benchmark price for the Greater Vancouver Area. “Fact is, you get a lot more for your money in this community,” explains Rhonda Davis, a realtor with RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside. Plus there’s a mix of housing types: from newer townhomes, to older bungalows to side- and back-splits.

But Port Moody Centre boasts more than affordable homes (affordable for Vancouver, that is). “It’s art-focused so it still retains that sense of community,” explains Scott Stevenson, realtor with Keller Williams Black Diamond Realty. “Plus people in this neighbourhood are active,” Stevenson says. “They ride bikes, go for walks, or just stroll around before ordering some fish and chips from Pajo’s, or sitting on the patio at the Boathouse.” When they go shopping, local residents can visit their community meat shop, bakery, or fruit stand, or they can hop in a car and drive 10 minutes to the IGA.

Then there’s the location. Part of the reason Port Moody ranks so well is because the area is an accessible Metro Vancouver bedroom community, and it will become even more so when the rapid transit SkyTrain reaches the area in 2016.

The No. 2 neighbourhood on our list is Brentwood Park in North Burnaby. “Brentwood is becoming trendy, but not like Commercial Drive, where the hipsters hang out,” explains Davis. “Families who can’t afford Westside neighbourhoods—but still want a view of the ocean and easy access to downtown Vancouver—like Brentwood because it fills that niche.” Part of the community’s attraction is its relatively reasonable house prices—of the 30 or so single-family homes that sold in this area in 2014, the benchmark price was around $950,000. As an added bonus, the neighbourhood also continues to offer authentic, owner-operated espresso cafés and straight-from-Italy dinner spots which helps create and keep the community’s eclectic, authentic vibe.

 

 

Rank

Neighbourhood (Area)

Average price

Value grade

Momentum grade

1

Port Moody Centre (Port Moody)

$689,100

A

C

2

Brentwood Park (Burnaby North)

$944,600

D

A

3

Mountain Meadows (Port Moody)

$709,000

A

C

4

Cambie (Vancouver West)

$1,730,600

C

B

5

Vancouver Heights (Burnaby North)

$927,600

D

B

6

Kitsilano (Vancouver West)

$1,769,000

C

B

7

Hastings (Vancouver East)

$814,800

B

A

8

North Shore Pt Moody (Port Moody)

$745,000

A

D

9

Fairview VW (Vancouver West)

$1,438,400

B

C

10

Collingwood VE (Vancouver East)

$869,300

C

A

11

Victoria VE (Vancouver East)

$877,000

C

A

12

Willingdon Heights (Burnaby North)

$920,100

D

A

13

Renfrew VE (Vancouver East)

$885,000

C

A

14

Marpole (Vancouver West)

$1,418,900

B

A

15

Steveston Villlage (Richmond)

$910,300

C

C

16

McNair (Richmond)

$832,700

B

B

17

Garden Village (Burnaby South)

$1,037,200

D

A

18

Central BN (Burnaby North)

$643,600

A

C

19

South Slope (Burnaby South)

$1,018,400

D

B

20

Burnaby Hospital (Burnaby South)

$1,038,400

D

B

21

Barber Street (Port Moody)

$832,300

C

C

22

Steveston North (Richmond)

$802,800

A

D

23

Ironwood (Richmond)

$771,800

A

C

24

Mount Pleasant VE (Vancouver East)

$897,900

C

C

25

Fraser VE (Vancouver East)

$975,700

D

A

26

Knight (Vancouver East)

$938,700

D

A

27

New Horizons (Coquitlam)

$587,200

A

C

28

Oakridge VW (Vancouver West)

$2,060,900

D

A

29

Highgate (Burnaby South)

$926,300

C

B

30

Glenayre (Port Moody)

$759,800

A

D

31

Sentinel Hill (West Vancouver)

$1,661,500

C

B

32

South Arm (Richmond)

$877,400

B

B

33

Coquitlam West (Coquitlam)

$780,200

D

C

34

Central Coquitlam (Coquitlam)

$756,000

D

C

35

Renfrew Heights (Vancouver East)

$912,800

D

A

36

Hastings East (Vancouver East)

$930,800

D

A

37

Canyon Springs (Coquitlam)

$700,300

B

B

38

Brighouse South (Richmond)

$629,400

A

D

39

Eagle Ridge CQ (Coquitlam)

$615,900

A

C

40

Beach Grove (Tsawwassen)

$661,100

A

D

41

Suncrest (Burnaby South)

$869,700

B

C

42

Steveston South (Richmond)

$980,800

D

C

43

Parkcrest (Burnaby North)

$1,002,300

D

B

44

Capitol Hill BN (Burnaby North)

$964,400

D

B

45

Forest Glen BS (Burnaby South)

$1,164,500

D

A

46

McLennan (Richmond)

$994,700

D

A

47

Tsawwassen Central (Tsawwassen)

$731,400

C

D

48

Bayridge (West Vancouver)

$1,741,000

D

B

49

Ambleside (West Vancouver)

$1,718,500

D

D

50

Pebble Hill (Tsawwassen)

$805,900

D

B

51

Main (Vancouver East)

$1,104,800

D

A

52

Burnaby Lake (Burnaby South)

$967,300

C

C

53

Sapperton (New Westminster)

$601,800

A

D

54

Dunbar (Vancouver West)

$2,124,300

D

A

55

Seafair (Richmond)

$991,800

D

C

56

Woodwards (Richmond)

$1,025,300

D

B

57

Westwind (Richmond)

$1,039,400

D

C

58

Mount Pleasant VW (Vancouver West)

$1,257,300

B

D

59

Boulevard (North Vancouver)

$1,066,300

D

A

60

Harbour Chines (Coquitlam)

$798,800

D

C

61

Ranch Park (Coquitlam)

$686,500

B

D

62

S.W. Marine (Vancouver West)

$2,119,800

D

A

63

British Properties (West Vancouver)

$2,124,100

D

A

64

College Park PM (Port Moody)

$792,800

B

D

65

Metrotown (Burnaby South)

$1,133,700

D

B

66

South Vancouver (Vancouver East)

$982,700

D

A

67

Sullivan Heights (Burnaby North)

$772,000

A

D

68

Deer Lake Place (Burnaby South)

$1,081,900

D

B

69

Lower Lonsdale (North Vancouver)

$841,000

B

D

70

Lynnmour (North Vancouver)

$791,100

A

D

71

Glenmore (West Vancouver)

$1,345,500

B

C

72

Central Park BS (Burnaby South)

$1,035,500

D

B

73

Pemberton NV (North Vancouver)

$763,600

A

D

74

Saunders (Richmond)

$982,600

D

B

75

Uptown NW (New Westminster)

$589,100

A

D

76

Lynn Valley (North Vancouver)

$951,700

C

D

77

Westlynn (North Vancouver)

$849,300

B

D

78

Eagle Harbour (West Vancouver)

$1,275,800

B

D

79

Cliff Drive (Tsawwassen)

$719,300

C

D

80

English Bluff (Tsawwassen)

$996,100

D

A

81

Garden City (Richmond)

$1,029,900

D

B

82

Maillardville (Coquitlam)

$622,900

A

C

83

Boyd Park (Richmond)

$995,200

D

C

84

South Cambie (Vancouver West)

$2,337,600

D

A

85

Hamilton (North Vancouver)

$829,900

B

D

86

Whalley (Surrey)

$444,075

A

D

87

Norgate (North Vancouver)

$815,200

A

C

88

Glenwood PQ (Port Coquitlam)

$531,100

B

D

89

Killarney VE (Vancouver East)

$1,091,300

D

A

90

Gleneagles (West Vancouver)

$1,747,100

D

C

91

Seymour (North Vancouver)

$952,700

C

B

92

Big Bend (Burnaby South)

$889,900

B

B

93

Cedar Hills (Surrey and unknown areas)

$464,658

A

D

94

West Cambie (Richmond)

$875,000

B

D

95

Southlands (Vancouver West)

$2,284,100

D

A

96

Hamilton RI (Richmond)

$662,900

A

D

97

Queensbury (North Vancouver)

$920,200

C

C

98

Upper Eagle Ridge (Coquitlam)

$775,500

D

C

99

East Cambie (Richmond)

$863,500

B

D

100

River Springs (Coquitlam)

$490,200

A

D

101

Cape Horn (Coquitlam)

$652,600

A

D

102

Kerrisdale (Vancouver West)

$2,300,500

D

B

103

Broadmoor (Richmond)

$1,414,100

D

A

104

Connaught Heights (New Westminster)

$632,300

B

D

105

Bolivar Heights (Surrey)

$445,925

A

D

106

Riverdale RI (Richmond)

$1,145,000

D

B

107

Fraserview VE (Vancouver East)

$1,260,500

D

A

108

Arbutus (Vancouver West)

$2,487,100

D

A

109

Greentree Village (Burnaby South)

$631,500

A

D

110

Government Road (Burnaby North)

$1,253,900

D

A

111

Roche Point (North Vancouver)

$957,500

D

B

112

East Richmond (Richmond)

$1,047,700

D

A

113

Calverhall (North Vancouver)

$915,100

C

D

114

South Granville (Vancouver West)

$2,914,700

D

A

115

Bridgeport RI (Richmond)

$815,100

A

D

116

Woodland Acres PQ (Port Coquitlam)

$637,900

D

C

117

Windsor Park NV (North Vancouver)

$935,000

C

D

118

Queensborough (New Westminster)

$601,900

A

D

 

Romana King and Mark Brown

MoneySense | March 11 2015



Balancing Heritage with Modern Values in the Proposed Vancouver Heritage Conservation Plan


 heritagemodern

Vancouver's plan to update its heritage conservation program is prompting dialogue on architectural innovation and what should be considered a heritage building.

The city is currently gathering feedback on its Heritage Conservation Program, which was established in 1986.

SFU and the Heritage Vancouver Society are co-hosting their own public debates on the issue.

 

Heritage as inhibiting architectural innovation

Alec Smith, a partner at Shape Architecture, was one of the panellists at a recent debate on heritage and new developments.

His firm specializes in modern design. It recently designed new homes around two character houses in Strathcona, a Vancouver neighbourhood known for its heritage values.

"There's a lot of challenges to do more adventurous projects like that in the city of Vancouver," said Smith.

He said he thinks Vancouver's architecture needs to be able to grow and evolve.

"The emphasis for me really needs to be on striking a balance between conservation of buildings that have merit but also not trying to impose an historic style on new developments within those neighbourhoods," said Smith.

He added that many of Vancouver's most iconic buildings, such as the city's provincial law courts designed by Arthur Erickson, were created more recently.

"There was a time in Vancouver's history when it really led the world in its innovative architecture, and that was through the 50s, 60s and 70s," said Smith. 

 

Balancing heritage with modern values

Javier Campos, the president of the Heritage Vancouver Society and a principal with architecture firm Campos Leckie Studio, agrees.

He said although character is important, contemporary architecture also needs to consider current values like density and ecological design.

"We need to identify character but we also need to encompass what we're going to do in the future and how we're going to live in the future," said Campos.

He said character can be as much about fitting in to the overall feel of a neighbourhood as conserving bricks and mortar.

The next SFU talk on heritage and character will be on April 16.

 

CBC News | March 3 2015

 



5 Clear Signs Vancouver Mainland House Prices Will Rise


pricesup

 

It’s a question I often get asked on CKNW radio: “So will Vancouver and Lower Mainland real estate prices just keep rising – or are we in a bubble that is set to pop?”

Well, nobody can predict the future with 100 per cent certainty. But all the indicators suggest that this is not a bubble and that house prices will just keep rising – for the foreseeable future, at least.

What makes me say that? Five key factors.

1) Extremely Tight Local Housing Inventory

The British Columbia Real Estate Association says that, for the Greater Vancouver market, a sales-to-active listings ratio anywhere above 22 per cent is a sellers’ market. In January 2015 we saw a ratio of 17.7 per cent, but the following month, it jumped to 25.7 per cent. Advantage sellers.

What this means is that February saw a big jump in bidding wars and homes selling above asking price. With sales set only to increase, this will doubtless be the case for the rest of this spring market, if not the whole year.

2) Historic Low Interest Rates

With mortgage lenders offering rates that currently seem to be going from rock bottom to even lower, local buyers are suddenly able to afford that little bit more that previously – and listing agents know this and price accordingly. And they can afford to do so. With the previously mentioned inventory as tight as it is, they’re not going to scare away buyers by pushing up asking prices.

So for the short term at least, until interest rates start rising again, this will be a major factor in driving up local residential property prices.

3) Local Economic Growth Projections

New projections from the Conference Board of Canada say that Greater Vancouver’s economic growth in 2016, 2017 and 2018 will be at least 3 per cent each year, outstripping the 27 other census metropolitan areas (CMAs) surveyed across Canada.

The board said in a report published in March 5: “Vancouver’s economic outlook is positive.”

It added that the Vancouver CMA unemployment rate (currently 5.8 per cent) will fall to 4.7 per cent by 2019, similar to that of Calgary at the height of its economic boom.

Other institutions agree. RBC is similarly bullish about the economic growth in BC as a whole, as reported by REW.ca’s sister publication Business in Vancouver.

With the economy of other provinces and CMAs like Calgary projected to grow at a much slower rate, BC generally and Vancouver specifically are set to benefit with a boost in business activity, greater investment in the city and (hopefully) an increase in average incomes. All of which naturally boosts real estate prices in the medium to long term.

4) Local Population Increase Forecasts

Metro Vancouver’s population is forecast to grow by 30,000 new residents each year, or 1.2 million residents, by 2041 for a total population of 3.4 million, according to Metro Vancouver’s Metro 2040  regional growth projections 

That’s half a million new homes needed in the area to house all those people – and yet housing starts at least over the next few years, are predicted to remain relatively flat, according to the CMHC

What’s more, Metro 2040 was compiled before the recent dip in oil prices and contraction in growth of our neighbouring oil-rich provinces. Interprovincial migration from BC to Alberta is now dropping rapidly. We’re getting more and more people, and losing fewer and fewer. So by 2019, the 30,000-a-year population growth that Vancouver has been seeing could increase to 42,000 additional people a year, said the conference board.

This kind of population growth will put huge pressure on local housing stock and, again, keep house prices rising.

5) Continued Influx of Overseas Investors

One of the most discussed (and much-maligned) influences on Vancouver real estate prices is the thorny topic of overseas investors parking their money in our city’s more expensive homes, particularly those from mainland China.

Some BC agents have suggested the trend is focusing increasingly towards investing commercial and recreational (hotel/resort) properties and away from the limitations of Vancouver housing. And that may be true, but it doesn’t mean that foreign investors are going to stop buying up the city’s real estate and pushing up prices. If anything, signs suggest that more and more overseas investors, from an increasing number of countries, will look to perceived “safe havens” such as Vancouver to park their cash.

The Urban Land Institute said in a recent report that “Local money coming out of China and South Korea is set to continue to seek a home in international markets, and to be supplemented in the years to come by pension fund capital from Japan.”

And Canadian Real Estate Wealth recently reported that Canadian real estate markets should prepare for an influx of investors from Russia and Greece too.

The article said, “Dr. Sherry Cooper, chief economist at Dominion Lending Centres, told CREW sister site MortgageBrokerNews.ca that, due to political uncertainty in Russia and Greece, nationals from both of those countries are expected to move their money out-of-country and into the Canadian real estate market.”

So it looks like we are not expecting foreign investment to die down any time soon – even if the Chinese economy’s growth doesn’t perform as well as anticipated.

Where does all this leave the average Vancouverite? Sitting pretty, if you’re a home owner. Positively smug, if you’re a real estate investor. And if you’re a renter – with a limited window of opportunity to get yourself onto the property ladder any way you can while rates are low.

REW.ca | March 19 2015



Vancouver house prices break down Main Street’s dividing line


But new data show that the once-clear line has since been wiped out as more and more single-family properties in what was once a large swath of relatively affordable housing creep past the $1-million mark. 

Andy Yan, a researcher and senior urban planner with Bing Thom Architects who has compiled and studied the City of Vancouver data since 2011, had pondered the “freezing” of the million-dollar line – technically Ontario Street, a residential route two streets west of Main – last year, but said he did not anticipate such a pronounced and sudden tipping point.

“They are remarkable changes,” Mr. Yan said in an interview on Tuesday. “People who were buying [in East Vancouver] back then, they were struggling, but they were still able to buy. They were garment-industry workers, restaurant workers, those working in the fishing industry. Where do those people buy now? Or can they?”

Two-thirds of all single-family properties in the city are now assessed at more than $1-million, according to the data. In 2010, when adjusted for inflation, only one-third were.

Jacky Levi, a Realtor with Re/Max who specializes in East Vancouver real estate, said the rigidity of the Main Street million-dollar line has been softening for some time, but its disappearance has been most pronounced in the past couple of years.

“Five, six years ago, the east and west addresses meant differences in price and popularity,” he said. “Now, we see it sliding toward Fraser Street: the east side is catching up in prices.

“In the detached category, we’ve seen extreme price increases in property value. A Vancouver Special that used to trade in and around the $800,000 [range] a couple years ago now exceeds $1-million – and they aren’t renovated. It’s just a base, standard lot.”

Among other observations: 99 per cent of single-family properties west of Ontario Street were assessed at more than $1-million in 2015, compared to 44 per cent east of Ontario Street; luxury properties (defined as those assessed at more than $5-million) nearly tripled to 1,282 in 2015 from 2010; and there are no longer single-family properties in Vancouver assessed at less than $500,000 in 2015.

The only value category Mr. Yan found to decline was single-family properties assessed at less than $1-million – a figure that fell by 45 per cent in the past five years.

These findings might signal, among other things, a shift toward denser homes such as duplexes and condos, Mr. Yan said. He added that there is a tendency to focus on solutions without fully understanding the problems and stressed the need for a “considered, thoughtful directive” on what cities are trying to accomplish.

“These maps and analyses are not meant to fan the flames of moral panic, but rather inform a civic resolve and dialogue to deal with housing affordability in the City of Vancouver,” Mr. Yan said. “We are still missing this level of data on other parts of the region.”

 

The Globe and Mail | Tuesday, Mar. 17 2015, 8:52 PM EDT



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