Blog › February 2016

Recently Sold Listing 6228 Blenheim Street, Vancouver, BC

R2024066 - 6228 Blenheim Street, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 6228 Blenheim Street, Vancouver.

Recently Sold Listing 1906 W 14th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

R2027772 - 1906 W 14th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 1906 W 14th Avenue, Vancouver.

Recently Sold Listing 3620 Carolina Street, Vancouver, BC

R2017333 - 3620 Carolina Street, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 3620 Carolina Street, Vancouver.

Low Loonie, Interprovincial Migration Key to Hot Metro Vancouver Market

Local and global economic factors at play in pushing region’s new home sales to a five-year high, according to Urban Development Institute’s quarterly report

A low loonie and interprovincial migration are two key factors propping up the city’s hot real estate market, according to the Urban Development Institute’s latest State of the Market report for 2015’s fourth quarter.

The report, compiled by Urban Analytics and issued February 19, said that “Metro Vancouver’s new home market experienced an exceptional quarter in Q4-2015. A combined total of 5,274 new multi-family home sales were recorded in Q4-2015, which is up 45 per cent from the same quarter last year and represents a five-year high. Current levels of standing inventory for all new home product sectors are also at five-year lows.”

Metro Vancouver’s net population change was up 10,000 compared with the previous quarter and was up nine per cent compared with the same quarter last year, said the report, with interprovincial migration at a 10-year high.

“Continued weakness in Alberta’s economy is assumed to be a primary reason that can explain the recent high levels of interprovincial migration to BC,” added the report.

The UDI added that the current ratio of 2.3 new residents per housing start is down from the 2.6 recorded in Q3-2015 but is still deemed to be in a healthy range for the overall housing market.

The report also looked at the effect of the Canadian dollar being at a 10-year low against the US dollar.

“The short-term impact of this has been twofold; an increase in global demand for Canadian real estate due to an increase in purchasing power for international buyers, and an increase in construction costs for new home developments.”

To read the full report, which is sponsored by and its parent company Glacier Media Group, click here

The Difference Between Price and Worth in Vancouver Real Estate

Seeing a rundown house listed for a multimillion-dollar price is alarming. But for some, such properties are absolutely worth the money

Point Grey 2-4m teardownA rundown three-bedroom property in West Point Grey was listed in January 2016 for $2.4 million - and hit the national headlines in the process

Most of you have no doubt seen the images a rundown three-bedroom home in West Point Grey, listed recently at $2.4 million, which has taken the internet by storm over the past couple of weeks. For those of you who have not, here’s the listing on, and here’s what the Huffington Post and The Province had to say about it, to pick just two local examples. The story also made headlines in newspapers and TV news broadcasts across Canada. 

Cue gasps of disbelief all round, with social media users and online commenters across the country dubbing the price “crazy,” “outrageous” and “disgusting,” among other words. The commenters on the Province blog descended into a full-scale, name-calling argument over it. On my own Facebook feed, friends exclaimed their outrage and shared links to some huge mansions that you could buy for the same money, in places ranging from Winnipeg to small-town Pennslyvania.

The sentiment was the same all round: “Nobody in their right mind would pay that kind of money for that house!”

The CBC was perhaps the most measured in its coverage of the story, with the headline: “Rundown Vancouver house for $2.4m: Ridiculous or a bargain?” 

It certainly seems some people think that it’s more bargain than ridiculous. The listing agent told the Huffington Post that the property has been getting a lot of interest, and she even expects it to sell for over asking price. So how can this be?

The problem is, most people (wrongly) think that the issue is about the actual price, and about the house itself. In that case, it certainly would seem ridiculous. But it’s not about either.

It’s about inherent worth, and it’s about land. Ignore the price number in the listing, and ignore the structure on the lot (which will get torn down instantly anyways).

It’s simple math. If you could buy a car for $2,400, pay someone $1,000 to get it up and running and looking shiny (with zero work needed from you), and you could sell it on for $4,500 – would you do it? There’s nothing ridiculous about that. All you need is the $3,400 capital and it's a sound strategy to net you over a grand in profit.

Apply the same principle to this property. As long as the buyer has, say, an extra million bucks to spend on building a shiny new house on the lot, they’ll sell it on for $4 or 5 million easily, making an easy million dollars. And there are plenty of buyers with deep pockets. Some overseas, some local.

So now we’ve proven that it’s a sound investment for someone. But still it doesn’t explain why the prices are just so high. That all comes down to what the property – what anything, in fact – is worth.

The true value of anything is the exact price that somebody is willing to pay for it. And the more in demand and rare a thing is, the more that price will be. That’s true of diamonds, luxury cars, designer clothing – and real estate. When you look at the thing itself, it’s just a lump of compressed carbon, a hunk of shiny metal, some sewn-up fabric, or a wood-framed shack on a plot of dirt. But if that thing is rare, desirable, unusually beautiful and/or a status symbol, it will fetch a huge price. That’s just how our free capitalist market works – for better or worse.

Now, a rundown three-bed on a narrow lot may not seem to you especially beautiful or desirable or rare, but that’s where you’d be wrong.

What’s beautiful about it is the city in which it is located – arguably one of the most naturally beautiful cities in the world. Plus this particular listing is in a gorgeous neighbourhood, on a cherry-tree-lined street, with views of snowcapped mountains, all a stone’s throw from an incredible forested park. What’s desirable about it is that it is in Vancouver, a real estate investor’s paradise, a global financial safe haven and a city of world-class lifestyle. And what’s rare about it is that there is a desperate shortage of single-family plots available in our geographically constrained region, all of which are greatly coveted by potential buyers from inside and outside the city.

So it could be argued that this property is a big old diamond that just needs some polishing. And, as much as we may wish this was not the case, none of us is inherently entitled to be able to buy diamonds.

Fortunately for those who want to buy Vancouver real estate, considering the blistering demand, there are still a remarkable number of relatively well-priced options out there – just take a look on, plug in what you're able to pay, and see.

New Listing 350 E 60th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

R2037097 - 350 E 60th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 350 E 60th Avenue, Vancouver and currently listed at $1,898,000.

Quality custom built home. 3 bedrooms and 2 baths up - stone fence around the front exterior of the home with lamps at the posts, modern stone slabs on the front siding. Crown moulding, thick floor boards, engineered hardwood, High ceilings, Southern exposure with 2 potential suites downstairs. Double garage and additional parking on the side. This home is ready to move in!! Quiet inside street and walking distance to everything - Langara College, Golf Course, Sunset Community, Canada Line and Oakridge Mall. No sign on Property.

Recently Sold Listing 3468 W 30TH AVENUE, Vancouver, BC

R2033002 - 3468 W 30TH AVENUE, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 3468 W 30TH AVENUE, Vancouver.

New Property Transfer Tax Legislation

There have been some changed to Property Transfer Tax just announced by the Finance Minister. If you are about to purchase a new build home, or are NOT a Canadian Citizen or Perment Resident,  these changes effect you. 

  1. Newly built homes priced up to $750,000 will be fully exempt from the property transfer tax when bought by Canadian citizens or permanent residents as a principal residence and lived-in for a full year. The measure aims to assist purchasers and help stimulate the construction of moderately priced homes. The exemption will save a purchaser up to $13,000, and provide an estimated $75 million in property transfer tax relief for new construction in 2016-17. Partial exemptions are available for new housing valued up to $800,000. Newly constructed housing eligible for the exemption includes the first purchase of a new housing unit or a newly subdivided unit.
  2. Those who buy land and build homes to be used as their principal residence can also apply to receive a refund of property transfer tax rather than an exemption at the time of registration, if they complete construction and move in within a year of purchase. The program will'be available to buyers regardless of how long they have lived in British Columbia, meaning those who move to B.C. to take jobs, start companies and build their lives here will also benefit. The exemption will be available to first-time buyers and previous property owners alike.
  3. The New Housing exemption will be largely funded by increasing the property transfer tax rate to 3% on the portion of fair market value over $2 million. The 1% rate on the first $200,000 of property value and the 2% rate on the value of a property between $200,000 and $2 million continue to apply. The new higher rate is expected to raise an additional $75 million each year.

Creating new housing supply is critical to improving housing affordability in B.C.'s real estate market. Relatively high housing prices in B.C., and particularly in the Lower Mainland, are driven by increased demand that has resulted from B.C.'s economic and population growth, as well as constrained geography and a lack of available land. The New Housing exemption is expected to benefit owners of about 22,000 new homes in 2016, many of which will be constructed in the Vancouver area.

As well, Purchases will be required to identify themselves as Canadian Citizens or permanent residents. New citizenship disclosure requirements will come into effect in Spring 2016.

Individual transferres who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents will be required to disclose their citizenship and Corporations will be required to disclose their directors citizenship.


Thanks to Pauline Fong-Leung, M.B.A. Notary Public for this info. If you have questions for a Nortay Public, call her at 604-879-7812, or visit her website

Recently Sold Listing 18E 139 DRAKE STREET, Vancouver, BC

R2031999 - 18E 139 DRAKE STREET, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 18E 139 DRAKE STREET, Vancouver.

“Blistering Start” to 2016

Sales across province rise 33 per cent in January as sales dollar volume soars 69 per cent, reports association

Home for sale - sold

BC home sales in 2016 got off to a “blistering start”, according to a BC Real Estate Association report on January’s statistics, issued February 12.

There were a total of 5,831 residential unit sales recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province last month, a rise of 33.2 per cent over January 2015.

BC’s total home sales dollar volume in January was $$4.39 billion in January, up 69.1 per cent compared with the same month last year – a rate of growth that has been accelerating for many months. This increasing growth rate reflects the combination of both growing total transactions and the average MLS® home price in BC rising in January to $752,906, up 26.9 per cent from January 2015.

“The BC housing market continues to build on momentum from a very strong 2015,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA economist. “Heightened demand is being met with the lowest level of supply in a decade, resulting in increased pressure on prices in much of the province.”

However, just like in previous months, the BC figures mask the massive variations between home sales and price movement in different markets across the province, with the major southern regions seeing huge increases in sales and dollar volumes, and some of the smaller regions declining, particularly in the north and Interior of the province.

Of the larger markets, the largest increase in sales was again recorded in the Fraser Valley, where home sales climbed more than 58 per cent from January 2015. However, unlike previous months, Greater Vancouver and Chilliwack were both beaten by strong transaction increases recorded by Victoria and Vancouver Island, rising 52.9 and 34.7 per cent respectively.

The Fraser Valley for the first time in many months over took Greater Vancouver’s sales-to-active-listings ratio as the province’s highest, at 35.1 per cent, meaning that is the region that is deepest into sellers’ market territory.

The Northern Lights region yet again recorded the biggest annual decline in unit sales, down nearly 28 per cent year over year, with dollar volumes falling even more as prices drop. The BC Northern and Kootenay real estate boards all also posted declines in sales and dollar volumes.

BC Northern, Kamloops, Kootenay, South Okanagan and Northern Lights all recorded year-over-year price declines, the largest in the Northern Lights region at 11 per cent. Greater Vancouver was the region to see the biggest price increase, at 30.9 per cent.

To read the full BCREA report, click here.

Recently Sold Listing 106 8622 SELKIRK STREET, Vancouver, BC

V1139107 - 106 8622 SELKIRK STREET, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 106 8622 SELKIRK STREET, Vancouver.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market January 2016

Sales of residential real estate in Greater Vancouver rose nearly 32 per cent last month compared with those recorded in January 2015, as condo prices continue their recent surge, according to Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) data released February 2.

The sales figure was 46 per cent above the 10-year average for the month, in the second-busiest January on record, reported the board.

So how do the sales and prices break down by property type and area? Our infographic below pulls out the key highlights of the board's report.

To read the full story and analysis, click here.

rebgvNeighbourhood Focus Infographic: Fleetwood Tynehead_2