Blog › May 2014

Q1 State of the Market Report: Metro Vancouver Real Estate


lick here for full Q1 State of the Market report

Local Economic Factors

Key economic factors in Metro Vancouver continued to be positive in Q1-2014. Metro Vancouver’s unemployment rate continues to move lower. According to the most recent Statistics Canada update, the local unemployment rate dropped from 6.3% to 5.9%. Anecdotally, it has been reported that the Gen Y demographic is becoming more active in the real estate market compared to previous years/quarters. An example of this is the Fraser Valley, where new townhome sales totals in Q1-2014 were the highest recorded in 5 years. Overall sales in this market were positively impacted by the first-time Gen Y buyer.

Global Economic Factors

It is likely too early to tell if the Government of Canada’s decision in February to end the currentinvestor immigration program will have any significant impact on Metro Vancouver’s housing market. Research conducted by local immigration experts indicates that the cancellation will not have as negative of an impact as many initially assumed.

Arguably the most impactful global event in Q1-2014 has been the civic and political situation in Ukraine. This event and the ‘Polar Vortex’ have been cited by economists as the primary causes for the recent spike in gasoline prices. As a result, walkable locations that provide convenient transit options continue to become more desirable for people attempting to wean themselves off of frequent car use.

Higher oil and gas prices have had a positive impact on Canada’s largest stock index, the TSX. Since January 2014, the overall TSX index has increased by 8%. As of April 2014, the index has moved up above 14,600 and is nearing the all-time high of 15,000 achieved in May 2008.

We hope that you enjoy this edition of the report and find it to be informative, helpful and convenient. As always, we welcome any feedback or comments on the publication.

Sincerely,

Urban Analytics Inc.
Michael Ferreira, Jon Bennest



Recently Sold Listing 5172 Dunbar Street, Vancouver, British Columbia


V1064077 - 5172 Dunbar Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 5172 Dunbar Street, Vancouver.

New Listing 1 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia


V1067759 - 1 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 1 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver and currently listed at $1,298,000.

Vandwell Living Signature property -Magnolia at City Hall!! Brand new -side by side, duplex style townhome 3 bedroom/2.5 bathroom with 1 car garage. North/South facing exposure. Contemporary interior design, open plan living/dining, chefs kitchen w/Wolf range, electric f/p, s/s appliances, built in speakers, good size deck, roughed in a/c, built in vacuum, gas cooktop, engineered H/W flooring, clean lines, 'Kohler' plumbing fixtures, 9 ft ceilings, radiant heat, rainscreened exterior with 2/5/10 yr warranty, Prime City Hall area!! Tree-lined street close to Sky train, City Hall, VGH and shopping. Schools - Simon Fraser/Eric Hamber. Open House - Sat/Sun July 5/6 2-4pm.

New Listing 2 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia


V1067760 - 2 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 2 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver and currently listed at $1,298,000.

Vandwell Living Signature property -Magnolia at City Hall!! Brand new -side by side, duplex style townhome 3 bedroom/2.5 bathroom with 1 car garage. North/South facing exposure. Contemporary interior design, open plan living/dining, chefs w/Wolf range, electric f/p, s/s appliances, built in speakers, good size deck, roughed in a/c, built in vacuum, gas cooktop, engineered H/W flooring, clean lines, 'Kohler' plumbing fixtures, 9 ft ceilings, radiant heat, rainscreened exterior with 2/5/10 yr warranty, Prime City Hall area!! Tree-lined street close to Sky train, City Hall, VGH and shopping. Schools - Simon Fraser/Eric Hamber. Open House - Sat/Sun July 5/6 2-4pm.

New Listing 3 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia


V1067764 - 3 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 3 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver and currently listed at $639,000.

Vandwell Living Signature property -Magnolia at City Hall!! Brand new garden level townhome 2 bedroom/1 bathroom with 1 open parking, North facing exposure. Contemporary interior design, open plan living/dining, chef's kitchen w/Wolf range, electric f/p, s/s appliances, built in speakers, good sized deck, gas cooktop, engineered H/W flooring, clean lines, 'Kohler' plumbing fixtures, 9ft ceilings, radiant heat, rainscreened exterior with 2/5/10 yr warranty. Prime City Hall area!! Tree-lined street close to Skytrain, City Hall, VGH and shopping. Schools - Simon Fraser/Eric Hamber. Open House - Sat/Sun July 5/6 2-4pm.

New Listing 4 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia


V1067765 - 4 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 4 - 138 W 13th Ave, Vancouver and currently listed at $649,000.

Vandwell Living Signature property -Magnolia at City Hall!! Brand new garden level, townhome 2 bedroom/1 bathroom with 1 open parking. South facing exposure. Contemporary interior design, open plan living/dining, chefs kitchen w/Wolf range, electric f/p, s/s appliances, built in speakers, good size deck, gas cooktop, engineered H/W flooring, clean lines, 'Kohler' plumbing fixtures, 9 ft ceilings, radiant heat, rainscreened exterior with 2/5/10yr warranty, Prime City Hall area!! Tree-lined street close to Sky train, City Hall, VGH and shopping. Schools - Simon Fraser/Eric Hamber. Open House - Sat/Sun July 5/6 2-4pm.

April Report & Forecast


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,730 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, up 12 per cent from April 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $4.3 billion, an increase of 19 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $561,613, up 6.3 per cent from the same month last year.

BC Real Estate Association April 2014 sales statistics“BC home sales trended higher in April as the typically robust spring market unfolds,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Rising consumer demand coupled with fewer homes for sale has most BC housing markets now exhibiting balanced conditions, where neither buyers nor sellers have any particular advantage.”

“Housing affordability improved last month as intensifying completion for new business by financial institutions pushed the posted five-year fixed mortgage rate to a record low of 4.79 per cent” added Muir.

During the first four months of the year, BC residential sales dollar volume was nearly 28 per cent to $13.9 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 18 per cent to 24,165 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 8.3 per cent at $573,965.

BCREA 2014 Second Quarter Housing Forecast

Vancouver, BC – May 15, 2014.BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 5.2 per cent to 76,700 units this year, before increasing a further 6.7 per cent to 81,800 units in 2015. The five-year average is 75,400 unit sales, while the ten-year average is 84,800 unit sales. A record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.

MLS residential sales in BC through 2015“BC Home sales are expected to trend higher this year and in 2015, as stronger economic conditions both at home and abroad bolster consumer demand,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “While historically low mortgage interest rates are a key market driver, population growth led by a strong upturn in net migration and more robust employment growth are expected to generate additional housing demand.”

The average MLS® residential price for the province is forecast to increase 4.3 per cent to $560,500 this year and a further 2 per cent to $571,500 in 2015. Increasing consumer demand combined with fewer homes for sale has created balanced market conditions in most BC regional markets, resulting in home price appreciation more in line with overall consumer price inflation.

For the complete report, see BCREA Q2 Housing Forecast.



New Listing 5172 Dunbar Street, Vancouver, British Columbia


V1064077 - 5172 Dunbar Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale SOLD at 5172 Dunbar Street, Vancouver and currently listed at $1,388,000.SOLD

Located in Prime Dunbar!! Dunbar & 36th Ave. 35 x 111 lot, only 23 years old & 2400 sf house. 3 bedrooms (could be 5 bedrooms) plus den & rec room, 4 bathrooms, double car garage & 3 year old roof. Open floor plan. Very bright kitchen, granite countertops, back splash tiles and all appliances have been updated. All bathrooms (except basement ) also have been totally updated include: tubs, toilets, vanities, granite countertops with under mounted sinks, mirror, light fixtures, tiles & floor. Potential bach suite in basement. Potential to build a laneway house. School- Kerrsidale Elem/Point Grey. Open House Sat May 17th 2-4pm.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market: April 2014


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver figures for April show healthy spring sales that are putting us on the verge of a seller’s market. Prices remain calm, but in general house and townhouse prices continue to edge up month by month for, while condo prices remain static.

Watch the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver video.

Sales and Listings

MLS® home sales across Greater Vancouver picked up in April, with 3,050 properties changing hands. Sales nearly caught up with the 10-year average again, ending up within 5.2 per cent of it, after dropping 17.2 per cent under in March.

There were 1,332 detached house sales, 542 townhouse/duplex sales and 1,172 apartment sales in April. Compared to March, those were hefty increases of 19.4 per cent for houses and 29.4 per cent for attached properties, while condo sales rose by 6 per cent.

New listings were up over the previous month in all categories, but they weren’t up enough to offset April’s robust sales. A total of  5,950 new listings hit the market in April, including 2,564 houses, 931 attached properties and 2,363 apartments.

What’s Up, What’s Down – At a Glance
 Apr / Mar 2014 Apr 2014 / Apr 2013
Overall Sales +15.5% +16.1%
- Detached +19.4% +25.6%
- Townhome +29.4% +6.1%
- Apartment +6.0% +11.4%
New Listings +12.7% +1.3%
Current Listings +7.2% -7.3%
 

There are currently 15,515 residential properties for sale in the area. Divide that by the 3,050 sales and you get the highest sales-to-active-listings ratio since June 2011. Here’s a look at how the sales-to-listings ratio has fared over the last two years compared to the REBGV’s definitions of buyer’s, seller’s and balanced markets.

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver sales to listings April 2012-2014

At 19.7 per cent, the current sales-to-listings ratio is pushing a seller’s market. Quoted in Business in Vancouver, REBGV president Ray Harris says, ”We’re not in a sellers’ market. For that to happen we would have a higher price-to-active-listings ratio for a sustained amount of time.”

Benchmark Price (MLS® Home Price Index)

The MLS benchmark prices continue to hold steady, increasing ever-so-slightly every month. The benchmark price is a calculation of the typical home for a particular neighbourhood.

Greater Vancouver MLS® Benchmark Prices % Change
 Apr 2014Mar  2014Apr 2014
Detached $956,700 +1.2% +4.7%
Townhome $464,400  +0.9% +2%
Apartment $375,500 -0.1% +2.6%
 

According to a new BMO poll, home owners in Vancouver believe their property values have increased by an average of $269,000 since they bought them.

Vancouver owners believe they could sell their properties at an average price of $698,000 for all home types. (The average benchmark price for all housing types in Greater Vancouver is $619,000 and in the Lower Mainland is $555,100.) Over 25 per cent of owners believe the value of their home has more than doubled since they bought them.


If they bought their home ten years ago or more, they’re probably right. Greater Vancouver home prices started their dizzying climb in 2002. The benchmark price for detached houses has doubled since it hit $469,080 in March of 2004. Condos were about half of today’s benchmark price in January 2003 at $187,570. And attached properties cost $231,190 in January of 2001, about half of today’s benchmark price.

In his April market video, REBGV president Ray Harris looks at price appreciation in the last four years and sees a widening gap between houses and attached or condo properties.

 



Three Little Fixes You Can Make When Prepping a Home for Sale


Three Little Fixes You Can Make When Prepping a Home for Sale

For Sale (Almost)
Homeowners make a lot of memories in their houses, and there's no doubt it's emotional for them to say goodbye to their well-loved kitchens and family rooms when they put their homes on the market. Unfortunately, potential buyers will not be charmed by that "lived-in look." Buyers will only see details that need TLC... ASAP.

Here are a few simple DIY projects that you can do. These little fixes will rejuvenate some common trouble areas and make homes more appealing to fussy buyers... 

1) Busted tiles are not classy. 
Oops. Did an anvil drop on that tile countertop? Tile holds up almost indefinitely to all kinds of wear-but sadly, tile cracks if something heavy is dropped on it.

What you can do
It's relatively simple to replace broken tile: remove the grout, mask the surrounding tiles with tape, loosen the tile, chisel out the pieces, set the new tile, fill the perimeter with new grout and allow the grout to dry. Goodbye, shabby tile.

2) Scratches and dings and gouges, oh my! 
We know your brother-in-law didn't mean to run into the built-in bookshelves drawer with the recliner. While a droll family memory, there's no value-add for the prospective home buyer, so it's probably best you get rid of any and all visible scratches, dings and gouges.

What you can do
Minor scratches can be wiped clean with mineral oil, lightly sanded with fine grade sandpaper and sealed with polyurethane. Scratches that penetrate the finish can be filled with a like-colored furniture repair stick. The product consists of wax and putty, and is easy to apply. Follow with a coat of polyurethane.

Not quite a gouge, but deeper than a scratch? Use wood putty in a matching color. Gouges also can be treated with wood putty. Make the repair, let it dry and apply the polyurethane.

3) Counter intelligence?
Bags of groceries, stubborn food stains and the occasional misfire with a kitchen knife are all to blame for laminate or Corian counter surfaces looking scuffed and sad. Fortunately, there are simple solutions that won't leave you with an empty wallet.

What you can do
Laminate is a repair-friendly surface: a color-matched repair pen or paste will camouflage most scratches. Be careful not to overfill, and gently sand the excess when dry. The remnants of past meals can be removed using a paste made from baking soda and water. Leave the paste for a few hours and wipe away. No need to rub or scrub.

Minor scratches on Corian can be treated by using a mild abrasive liquid cleaner on a damp sponge, rubbing over the scratch in small, overlapping circular motions, and rinsing with clean water. Wipe the surface completely dry, and repeat if the blemish is still visible. Deeper scratches should be treated following the manufacturer's instructions.

That was easy, wasn't it? With a little elbow grease and a modest investment of time and money, you can bring the sexy back to worn surfaces.