Realtor in Vancouver



VANCOUVER — The changes aren’t big but for the second year single-family homeowners in Vancouver will see the west-side, east-side differential in their property values narrow with west-side homes losing a bit of ground and east side values rising, according to BC Assessment Authority data released this morning.


From the BCAssessment’s perspective, the picture is one of stability, according to Charmesh Sisodraker, deputy assessor for the Vancouver Sea to Sky region with most property owners seeing modest changes of plus or minus five per cent.


For Vancouver’s west side, BCAssessment pulled example assessments to demonstrate the trend showing a house on a 50-foot lot valued at $1.61 million for 2014, compared with $1.62 and a house on a 33-foot lot assessed at $1.25 million for 2014, down marginally from $1.26 million.

By contrast, the trend example for the east side was a single-family home on a 33-foot lot valued at $1.13 million compared with $1.08 million in 2013.


Condominium apartments on both sides of Vancouver saw their assessments slip. A two-bedroom downtown apartment saw its 2014 assessment slide to $543,000 in 2014 from $567,000 in 2013, a two-bedroom east-side apartment dropped to $364,000 in 2014 from $383,000 in 2013 and a west-side two-bedroom declined to $571,000 in 2014 from $599,000 in 2013.

BCAssessment valuations are estimates of a property’s market value as of July 1, and physical condition as of Oct. 31, with results released publicly in early January to be used by municipalities for setting property taxes.


In Metro Vancouver, the City of Vancouver saw the total value of all of its properties rise to $254.5 billion for 2014, including $3.1 billion of new construction and subdivisions, compared with $248.9 billion in 2013.

Homeowners can compare their assessment to their neighbours online

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I want to share this excellent WEBSITE called PeopleMovin it details the worlds immigration patterns and I was amazed at some of the results , for example did you know that contrary to what many people think in Canada there are more people from the UK that immigrate to this country than from China! surprised ? take a look at the site.

World Population: 6,853,328,460

Migrants in the world: 215,738,321

Almost 216 million people, or 3.15% of the world population, live outside their countries. 

Click on a country box to know more about migration flow to/from that country.



Immigration around the world


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2013 Vancouver Real Estate



First of all I would like to wish you and your loved ones all the best for 2013! May it be full of happiness, success and most importantly health! 2012 has been an interesting year when it comes to real estate , we had an extremely busy start to the year were we saw most of the sales happen (January to May), prices rose, we saw multiple offers happen and everything was pointing to a busy real estate year, along came summer and the market started to slow down many sellers took their homes off the market rather than sell for a price significantly lower than their asking price and this has been the trend, we have seen a very minimal drop in prices; as many hope for a real estate meltdown similar to the USA most are coming to the realization that this will probably not happen and we have been experiencing a normal cyclical real estate slowdown.


Housing starts in Metro Vancouver are forecast to remain flat in 2013 — the CMHC numbers call for 19,000 housing starts in 2012 and 19,100 in 2013.

The average annual MLS price in Metro Vancouver is projected to end 2012 down 6.4 per cent to $730,000 and then drop a further 0.3 per cent in 2013 to $728,000 as people shift toward more moderately priced homes, including those in the Fraser Valley and show a preference for condominiums over single-family detached homes.

The number of sales in Metro Vancouver is forecast to end 2012 18 per cent lower than 2011, but then to increase 11 per cent in 2013, shifting the market back to balanced territory before the end of next year, the CMHC forecast says. A sales-to-new-listings ratio between 45 and 60 per cent is considered balanced, while a lower ratio represents a buyers’ market and a higher ratio represents a sellers’ market.


As uncertainty is still in the air many sellers that have been holding off to sell or have taken their property of the market will try to sell beginning of the year, I expect many sellers will potentially be a bit more reasonable when it comes to price so if you can benefit off a reasonable seller come January and February this could be the right time to still snatch a deal before the busy spring market.


It will be important to keep our eyes open on this one and I will be closely monitoring the signs of a market about to take on steam, if history repeats itself like it has done many times before and I compare this slow down similar to that of 2009 after the USA meltdown, we could potentially see a wave of buyers early in the year Feb – Mar , something to note in BC is that the HST will come back down in March this could be a psychological boost that could help buyers and sellers.
Regardless of what 2013 brings real estate wise remember that every situation is different and one must take advantage of the present as the future will always be UNCERTAIN.


Adan Sprauer
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Vancouver’s housing market endured lower sales volumes in 2012, but prices held steady, according to monthly reports issued by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Despite the relative lack of transactions, there was no shortage of significant news stories related to this sector, particularly within Vancouver’s city limits. Below, I’ve listed the top five real-estate stories in order of importance.


1. Jim Flaherty reduces the amortization period


Since becoming federal finance minister in 2006, Jim Flaherty has been playing a game of yo-yo with the amortization period. At first, he jacked up the maximum length of time to pay off a mortgage to 40 years. Flaherty then drove it down to 35 years in 2008, 30 years in 2011, and 25 years last June, citing the hot housing market as justification. The final reduction was accompanied by other restrictions: Canadians could borrow only 80 percent against the value of their homes, down from 85 percent, and 20-percent down payments were required for homes valued at more than $1 million. In subsequent months, sales volumes plummeted in this region to record 10-year lows. Financial institutions put the squeeze on developers seeking to finance projects. And as we look toward 2013, it’s clear that building a project in this city is no longer a licence to print money.


2. City moves toward scrapping the viaducts


City of Vancouver staff presented a concept plan in the summer to remove the downtown viaducts, which would allow West Georgia Street to connect with Pacific Boulevard, and Dunsmuir Street to reach Rogers Arena. The idea has generated opposition from PavCo, which manages B.C. Place, and Strathcona residents who fear for the future of their community garden. But the prospect of more parkland, increased housing development, and higher land values without viaducts will likely be too much for council to resist. This is being presented as a win for the environment, but the real pot of gold lies in future residential real-estate developments in False Creek Flats east of Main Street and south of Prior Street.


3. Brent Toderian is fired


In late January, less than three months after Vision Vancouver won the election, the city canned planning director Brent Toderian. It was done without cause, sending a scary message to the rest of the managers at Vancouver City Hall. The dismissal threw the future of the Cambie corridor into doubt and reinforced perceptions that the real role of the planning department is to generate income for city coffers.


4. Marine Gateway sells out


On a Saturday morning in March, Rennie Marketing Systems sold all 415 units within four hours at the Marine Gateway project. This PCI Group project is next to the Canada Line’s Marine Drive Station—and this rapid sale reflected the appeal of rapid transit for condo buyers.


5. Council approves Mount Pleasant rezoning

City staff maintained that Rize Alliance’s proposed 19-storey high-rise and retail development on the southwest corner of East Broadway and Kingsway was in keeping with the area’s community plan. That didn’t mollify the critics, who turned out by the dozen to express concerns about shadowing, the building mass, and traffic. In the midst of the public hearing, the Vision Vancouver–controlled council fuelled more suspicion by voting to amend the procedure bylaw to prevent speakers from resuming comments later if they exceed their five-minute time limit. Council ended up approving the project after staff recommended that the developer pay $6.25 million to the city for future amenities.


Other real estate stories


Earlier this month, Onni informed City of North Vancouver mayor Darrell Mussatto that it would withdraw an application for a large mixed-use project at the Safeway site on Lonsdale Avenue. In October, Burnaby council granted approval in principle to the master plan for Brentwood Town Centre, which calls for 11 residential towers and two office buildings. In July, Vancouver city council voted to approve Aquilini Development and Construction’s application to develop three high-rise rental towers near Rogers Arena.

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Vancouver's Real Estate

Affordability fears go back a long TIME...

Vancouver 1900 Black and white


On Sept. 30, after months of research, the Mayor's Task Force on Housing Affordability released its final report, outlining the challenges facing renters and owners in Metro Vancouver's housing market.


"We know that many people across a wide range of incomes face affordability challenges in our city," it states, "from those with little income and no housing to those with a higher income but who struggle to find affordable, suitable and adequate housing...


How Vancouverites decide to address these challenges is fundamental to the future of our city. Should we simply let the market decide what kind of city we want and who gets to live here? Or should we take the actions needed to increase the diversity of affordable housing options, and maintain the vibrancy, diversity and economic competitiveness of our city?


"We believe that this report provides a blueprint for both short and long-term policy directions to significantly increase affordable housing options in Vancouver, and encourage City Council to embrace the recommendations and take action on the most pressing policy issue in Vancouver today -- the lack of affordable housing."

The report goes on to cite high costs and substandard facilities as particular problems -- echoing media rumblings about a city-wide "housing crisis" -- and concludes that housing affordability is perhaps the most significant issue affecting Vancouverites at the dawn of this century. As it turns out, a look through the city archives reveals that it was also the most significant issue affecting Vancouverites at the dawn of the LAST century. And quite often ever since then. Hm.





"There are more speculators about New Westminster and Victoria than there were in Winnipeg during the boom and they are a much sharper lot. Nearly every person is more or less interested and you will have to be on your guard against all of them."

-- William Cornelius Van Horne, in a letter to Major A.B. Rogers of the C.P.R, 1884.

"[The government] believes that all people have the right to expect decent living accommodation. It believes that appropriate steps must be taken to assure an adequate supply of housing... not just to meet present needs, but to meet the needs of the future as well. A great deal of time has been spent, by both public and private authorities, on analysing the housing problem. We must now concentrate our efforts on finding the solution."

-- "Housing: Everyone's Responsibility." Dept. of Municipal Affairs. Victoria, 1969.

"Vancouver's housing problems focus on the issue of cost of housing services. Inadequate income, or alternatively, the high cost of shelter, is seen to be the major factor constraining choices... An estimated 23% of the City's families pay in excess of 30% of their income for shelter."


-- "Understanding Vancouver's Housing," Planning Dept. City of Vancouver, 1979.

"What sort of economy and society will there be if only the very rich can afford to live here? Current high housing prices have definite economic growth and job creation implications for the province. If high-priced executives can't afford to move here, how can lesser-paid people afford to stay?"

-- The Vancouver Province, 1981.

"Land prices are high, it is said, higher than anything would warrant. 'Why, the workingmen cannot afford to pay at the rate demanded for these tiny outside lots,' asserted one man recently. The same thing was said here 20 years ago, answer the pioneers; others of us know that it was repeated 10 years ago and five years ago, and our children and our children's children will hear the same tale of woe decades hence."

-- B.C. Magazine, 1911.

"Housing costs are high, but we can't afford to throw up our hands and say we can't afford to build many more houses until costs come down again. In a city growing as fast as ours this would be the counsel of stupidity and despair. We must have more homes and we must have them at prices people can afford to pay."

-- The Vancouver Sun, 1958.

"Vancouver is facing a housing crisis. Real Estate agents have difficulty in finding apartments and houses to accommodate hundreds of people seeking quarters every day -- soldiers' families, war workers, and people who are swelling the city's population. Then there is also the slum question."

-- Vancouver News-Herald, 1941.

"Apart from overcrowding, a very unfortunate condition is being perpetuated in connection with dilapidated and, in some cases, condemned dwellings. Under ordinary circumstances, these buildings would stand vacant, or be demolished, but the great lack of suitable accommodation has forced people to occupy these premises to the detriment of their health and wellbeing. The rentals obtained are small and, therefore, the landlords will carry out no repairs, nor make any improvements; thus, damp and cold add their toll to the misery of the occupants."

-- Interim Report of the Special Housing Committee, 1937.

"The inability of younger households to afford 'family type' accommodation in the City has been one of the spin-offs of rising house prices... Households in the lowest income category, 18% of all households, have about 4% of the total income, while those in the highest category, 23% of all households, have 47% of the total income. The obvious implication is that much of the purchasing power in the City, including the ability to pay for housing, is concentrated in a relatively small proportion of households."

-- "Understanding Vancouver's Housing," Planning Dept. City of Vancouver, 1979.

"Look no further than the Trafalgar area, perhaps the most striking example of investor decay in the city. It's no longer a community, it's a commodity. A pocket of land bought and tilled by speculators... It didn't used to be this way."

-- Vancouver Courier, 2012.

"The association suggests that land speculators, in their greed for quick capital gains and profits in bidding for land offered for tender by Cities and Municipalities, have raised the cost of serviced lots beyond all reason, far beyond the limits of scarcity."

-- "A Brief On Housing." Vancouver Civic Action Committee. Jan, 1967.

"I look on it (such activity) as I look on land speculation where nothing is done but turning property over for profit. They add nothing to the city. I despise it. […] We have to retain occupier ownership in the city or our neighbourhoods are going to go down the drain."

-- Ald. Mike Harcourt, quoted in The Vancouver Sun, 1974.

"Given the negative impacts that expensive housing has on our city -- whether it is forcing people into longer commutes, living in substandard housing, or limiting economic opportunity -- we urge City Council to be bold and embrace the recommendations we have laid out, with a determination to see them through. The health, prosperity, and future success of our city depends on it."


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Vancouver City


A cooling in Vancouver’s real estate market that includes falling house prices might not be all bad news for the economy, a CIBC report says.


The CIBC World Markets report says the slowing of Canadian home sales will “take a bite” out of economic growth but adds there could be “winners as well as losers across the economy.”

Housing affordability issues have been a drag on B.C. growth, CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld says in the report.


“(T)he rapid run-up in prices was one factor turning the province from a beneficiary of in-migration to a net source of emigration,” Shenfeld writes. “Dreams of retiring in B.C., and taking one’s spending money to that province, might be back in vogue if relative prices of housing are better in line with other provinces.”

He says if prices in Vancouver fall further than prices in the rest of the country, there would be a longer-term benefit, including that it would make it easier for companies to find employees because people would be more willing to move here.


“Having your house prices so much higher than houses in the rest of the country makes it difficult for people to make the decision to move there,” Shenfeld says.

Further, he says lower prices could free up money for other spending.

“What of the young newlyweds scraping by on mac-and-cheese in order to save for their first home? A slip in prices could ease that task, freeing up spending power in the process,” Shenfeld writes.

First-time home buyers would not have to save as aggressively for a down payment if prices in Vancouver were lower, Shenfeld says. “It hasn’t happened much yet because house prices have not come down much yet, but if house prices do come down, that will make the down payment easier to save for,” he says.

In October, the dollar volume of homes sold in B.C. dropped 14.6 per cent from a year ago, the number of sales dropped 10 per cent and the average price — $508,292 — was down 5.1 per cent, the B.C. Real Estate Association reported earlier this month.

“(A) retreat today could be the preferred alternative to a harder landing from even higher prices down the road,” Shenfeld says. “House prices seem to be falling, and it’s unlikely that we’ve seen the bottom of that yet.”

Shenfeld recognizes that an older homeowner may have to lower retirement spending if their property brings in less money when it’s sold. “That is a negative for spending, but there are others in the economy for whom the weaker house price is a positive. It may still on balance be a negative, but not as big a negative as some surmise.”


He also writes that the slowing market could “chop nearly a percentage point from growth,” because there will be fewer houses built and fewer sales of furniture and appliances as a result.

This report is the latest in a series of CIBC reports that play down some of the concerns about the potential for a devastating U.S.-style crash in residential real estate.


More pessimistic analysts have warned some types of Canadian real-estate in some markets are overpriced and at risk of tipping into a rapid decline.


While deflation in housing prices has widely been cited as the cause of the economic woes in jurisdictions such as the U.S. and Ireland, Mr. Shenfeld argues that it wasn’t the falling prices that caused the core problems in these economies but rather the accompanying wave of defaults that devastated their financial systems.

“Canada hasn’t lent as aggressively to its lower-income home buyers, and a correction in house prices caused by a tighter regulatory environment and earlier price overshooting, rather than by defaults, would not on its own generate that same banking system shock,” Shenfeld writes in the report. “Most historic wealth declines coincided with other sources of economic weakness, including rising unemployment or high interest rates that depress consumption.”

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MC2 Development almost a sell out

Aside from the words “sold for $100,000 over asking”, nothing makes the real estate junky salivate quite like the term “one day sell-out” – a term that’s thrown around when pre-sale marketing leads to people lining up around the block like West Side families trying to get their kids into French immersion. (Urban legend has it that many of these people risking nerve damage from standing on their feet for hours on end are not, in fact, actual condo purchasers, but are paid by investors who then take their place in line when it’s time to enter the building and sign the contract to purchase).

Well, Intracorp’s pre-sale of their new property at Cambie and Marine didn’t quite sell out; but it far exceeded expectations according to real estate marketer Bob Rennie.


347 out of a total of 443 homes sold on opening weekend, which is certainly respectable given the high amount of inventory on the resale market. Similar to projects around transit nodes like Brentwood and Metrotown, Intracorp MC² project seeks to capitalize on its location close to the Canada Line SkyTrain station.

 “We hoped to sell 60 per cent in our opening weekend of sales and exceeded that goal already, with nearly 80 per cent sold and just 96 homes left,” said Rennie, principal of Rennie Marketing Systems. “This weekend’s strong sales are a clear sign that when developers build for and identify today’s consumers’ needs and purchasing ability – close to amenities, transit and bike routes – the Metro Vancouver homebuyer is very strong.”

One and two bedrooms are still available at MC² starting at $259,000, with 40 homes under $299,000. “Over half of the 443 homes are affordable to buyers with an income of $60,000 a year," said Rennie. "It has to be convenient for commuters, and it has to be affordable. And MC² has both."

The presentation centre at MC² is located at 8160 Cambie Street (at Marine Drive) in Vancouver, and is open daily from 12 noon to 5 pm (closed Friday or by appointment only).


For more information, visit

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Vancouver homes taking longer to sell but still alive


It’s down, but not out.


To one expert observer, last month’s 32-per-cent drop in year-over-year home sales in Metro Vancouver looks more like a cyclical trend than a harbinger of a bursting bubble in the Metro Vancouver housing market.

Data released this week by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver indicated that sales volumes fell significantly in September compared to the same month in 2011 — 1,516 properties last month compared to 2,246 in September 2011.


Prices haven’t followed the sales volume trend. The real estate board reported that the composite benchmark price fell 0.8 per cent compared to September 2011, and is down 2.3 per cent in the last three months.

Tsur Somerville, who holds the Real Estate Foundation of BC Professorship in Real Estate Finance at the University of B.C., says the trends fall within the normal cycle.


The Metro market isn’t as popular as it was a year ago when the 2010 Winter Olympic spotlight was still warm.

“Sales started being lower year-on-year last November. I want to see whether that (trend) accelerates or not before I start saying that things are much worse than we were thinking about,” Somerville said in an interview.

“People aren’t standing in line overnight at every condo centre, and it’s not a sure thing. There are (housing construction) projects that are struggling and there are projects that are doing well. It doesn’t look exuberant but it looks pretty normal.”


Stats from the real estate board indicate that it’s taking a few days longer to sell a house, compared to last year.

Average time on the market for a house sold in September 2012 was 53 days, compared to 52 in September 2011.

Houses sold in August 2012 after an average 57 days compared to 48 days a year earlier.

Andrey Pavlov, a professor of finance at Simon Fraser University, has a different take on the sales trend.

He thinks Metro Vancouver single-family home sales prices are substantially lower than what the real estate board’s benchmark number indicates.

“The indices are down only slightly, but this is misleading,” Pavlov said in an email. “In an up market everything sells, good and bad. In a down market, only the best properties sell. So it takes a while for transaction-based indices to reflect the true decline in prices.

“My casual observation of single-family homes (land value only) in Kits(ilano) suggests 10 to 15 per cent declines already, with a lot more likely to come.


“New mortgage rules and troubles in China certainly play their role. But more importantly, the Vancouver market has been substantially over-valued relative to other North American markets for a while now.”

Pavlov said real estate prices in Metro Vancouver are now higher than San Francisco — the most robust regional economy in the world thanks to Silicon Valley — and are “just about comparable to New York City.”

In spite of that, rents are half as high, and incomes for the same occupation are only a half to two-thirds as high. On top of that, the ability of U.S. taxpayers to deduct mortgage interest expense means its “far more expensive to own property in Canada relative to the U.S.”


“So there is no long-term reason for price-to-rent ratio in Vancouver to be higher than that of other highly desirable markets,” Pavlov wrote.


He also pointed to “competition among cities for people and investments” as an adverse factor for Vancouver.

Real estate marketer Cam Good noted that Metro has fewer offshore investors and immigrants looking to get into the market compared to a year ago — and he believes that’s having an overall effect on sales and prices.

“The fact is that the shine has gone off Canada a little bit since we closed our investor immigration program,” Good said. “We are seeing through our business in Hong Kong and the U.S. more demand for the U.S.

He said the U.S. investor immigration program, called EB-5, is considered a better option for wealthy immigrants.

“The easiest way for Chinese to immigrate into Canada was by depositing $800,000 with our governments for five-and-a-half years. They can’t do that any more.


“We’re still, luckily, experiencing the follow-through on prior commitments — kids coming to school, other family members already here. But in terms of the new people coming over, there is definitely less.”

Nonetheless, he said some Metro markets are still strong. He pointed to Coquitlam, along the Evergreen Line light-rail transit corridor, as an area that’s attracting interest.

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About Vancouver Realtor Adan Sprauer

Vancouver Realtor Adan Sprauer


Adan Sprauer Vancouver Realtor and Real Estate Specialist 



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