Realtor in Vancouver

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 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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About Vancouver Realtor Adan Sprauer

Vancouver Realtor Adan Sprauer


Adan Sprauer Vancouver Realtor and Real Estate Specialist 



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Adan Sprauer

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