Realtor in Vancouver
 

 

 

 

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.

Read Full Story

 

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.

Read Full Story
Categories: , 2013 real estate numbers | Albion, Maple Ridge Real Estate | Amortization period | B.C Growth | best time to buy real estate in vancouver | best time to sell real estate in vancouver | Brentwood Park, Burnaby North Real Estate | buyers | cambie and main | Cooler Housing prices | Downtown VW, Vancouver West Real Estate | Dunbar, Vancouver West Real Estate | eastside vancouver homes | Eastside Vancouver Real Estate | First time buyers | French immersion | Grandview VE, Vancouver East Real Estate | home buyer | home buyers | home seller | homes | immigration, people move, moving, real estate flow of people, Vancouver, canada | Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver Real Estate | Marine gateway sells out | mc2 | Money Vancouver | Mount Pleasant VE, Vancouver East Real Estate | Panorama Village, West Vancouver Real Estate | Port Moody Centre, Port Moody Real Estate | presentation center | prices vancouver to drop | r | Real estate | real estate buyers | real estate market down | real estate news | real Estate news Vancouver | real estate prices | Real Estate properties | real estate sellers | real estate specialist | Renfrew VE, Vancouver East Real Estate | sellers | Simon Fraser Hills, Burnaby North Real Estate | Sold out Vancouver MC2 | Southlands, Vancouver West Real Estate | top stories 2012 | top Vancouver real estate stories 3012 | Uptown NW, New Westminster Real Estate | van | Vancouver East | vancouver eastside values | Vancouver news | vancouver re | vancouver real estate | Vancouver real estate News | Vancouver realto | Vancouver Realtor | Vancouver Realtor Adan Sprauer | West Side, | westside | westside vancouver homes | Westside vancouver Real Estate

Luxury Homes For Sale

Luxury Condos For Sale

 

About Vancouver Realtor Adan Sprauer

Vancouver Realtor Adan Sprauer

 

Adan Sprauer Vancouver Realtor and Real Estate Specialist 

 

 

LOOKING for experience to put Vancouver’s home market in context, win-win negotiation skills, high-tech savvy Real Estate tools and a personal touch? When you partner with us, you've partnered with a team of experienced pros who will leave you grinning from ear to ear.

                    Learn More about Vancouver Realtor Adan Sprauer 

Contact:

 

Adan Sprauer

Vancouver Realtor

and Real Estate Specialist

Multiple Realty Ltd

 

adan@adansprauer.com   

 

604-340-7778 Adan Direct

604-434-1431 Office