Blog › June 2012
Uptown Vancouver Blog
UNO - Well designed modern 1 bed + den/office in the trendy Uptown Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood. Lots of storage and built ins from the Gourmet Kitchen with GAS RANGE, tile back splash and corian counters to the bedroom with glass sliding doors. Bamboo hardwood throughout. Den area that could be an office, pantry or just additional storage. Located steps from all the shopping, restaurants Main St has to offer and minutes downtown and transit/Canada Line. The building has a Gym, Recreation room with pool table and Bike storage. The unit comes with 1 parking and 1 storage locker and the building is PET and RENTAL FRIENDLY. Remainder of 2-5-10 Warranty.
THE EDGE: 817 sq. ft. (all legal sq. ft.) 1 bed & 2 bath double height loft with 2 parking. Everest size views of the Harbour, Pan Pacific, City & North Shore Mtns. Both Bathrooms have been fully updated, 4 pc upstairs in the bedroom Area and a 2 pc on the main. Partial Kitchen upgrade and lots of little tweaks to the unit. Steps from all the shopping and dining that Gastown offers. Gas Range and fireplace are a few perks but the biggest of them all is the 7000 Sq.Ft. Emily Carr "esque" artist amenities building that incls: wood, metal and ceramics shops, photo lab, gym, music, and dance rehearsal space, and much more, a one of a kind facility that no other building offers. Open House Sun July 8th 2-4PM
SOPHIA! Huge sweeping City, Mtns and water views from this Stunning 1 bed + den w/ balc. This spacious and bright floor plan has floor to ceiling windows and over height 9' ceilings. Upgrades incl new H/W floors, track lighting & custom closets. A great DEN/OFFICE and open kitchen w/ GAS RANGE and s/s appls, granite counters, breakfast bar, large in-suite storage and an electric fireplace in the living room. STEPS to vibrant Uptown Main St and all its fabulous shops, restaurants. Close to Canada Line and transit, community centre and Olympic Village. 1 secure parking and 1 storage locker and bike rooms. PETS/RENTALS OK, BLDG has a party room, a rooftop terrace and a lounge. Remainder of 2-5-10 warranty.
In a real estate market that rarely seems to cool off, buyers often have a hard time determining good value in Vancouver. What is the best area to buy in? Where is the best return on investment without sacrificing that family neighbourhood feel? The answers are hard to find in such a dynamic market but, by looking into the right trends, we can often help you identify the best area.
Right now, multi-unit properties in the Uptown Vancouver neighbourhoods are starting to emerge as the best value in town. What? Where? Why? Let us explain:
Multi-unit properties are typically old-timer, character homes built in the early 1900’s that have much more square footage than allowed in today’s building code. They’re often situated in a duplex, triplex, or apartment zoned area and contain 3 or 4 separate units. This setup provides a lucrative opportunity for investors looking for solid rental income or young professionals wanting to buy a house with tenants paying for most of their mortgage costs.
After an eye-opening appreciation of detached houses West of Oak Street in 2011, prices in the Westside reached an all time high creating a huge gap between Westside and Eastside values. With Main Street becoming ever so trendy and popular, young families are now looking for affordability and equity growth potential in areas that provide tree-lined streets, proximity to shopping, great parks, easier access to downtown and out of town, schools nearby, and many more conveniences. In other words, that feel of Westside living but for a fraction of the price!
The Uptown neighbourhoods expanding from Cambie to Knight Street between 33rd Avenue and Broadway along with the Commercial Street corridor have been the hottest pockets in the city this Spring. Many houses continue selling well above the asking price and multiple offers are very common. They range from $800,000 (land value) to $1,200,000 and keep rising. These are 2 or 3 level homes with basement suites (or potential to put one in) that provide young families the opportunity to get away from strata living and own a piece of land in Vancouver.
All that said, multi-unit properties in the same area are taking long to sell and prices are starting to drop. The reason? A combination of two factors:
- Investors are reluctant to buy after last year’s price hike that resulted in an appreciation of 15 – 20% in most parts of the Westside. A lot of them expect a price correction to occur in the near future and, therefore, are on a wait-and-see mode.
- Couples wanting to live on one of the units and rent the others are finding that the banks have tightened the requirements to obtain a mortgage based on rental income and final approval is more difficult to obtain.
These are the two main buyer segments that purchase multi-unit properties and, since they’re not out there snapping up the supply, sellers have to make them attractive by lowering prices or settling for a lower offer. The ladder is where the opportunity lies!
Since January 1st, the MLS system has produced 41 multi-unit listings in the before mentioned areas with 19 of them still for sale today. The amazing and tale-telling number is that only 10 properties have sold this year!!! That’s less than 25% of the listings! The others have been taken off the market so, what we have now is about 10 months’ supply (if sales continue at the same pace of just 2 per month). Will the current listings take that long to sell? Extremely unlikely since the Vancouver market historically adjusts quickly once prices fall. On top of that, we have regular houses in the same area selling in multiple offers with prices rapidly approaching the value of multi-unit properties ($1.3M - $1.5M). This is a classic buyer’s market but, chances are, it will be short lived.
Once a pattern of falling prices is established, they eventually reach a point where buyers see good value and start buying again. Multi-unit properties are on the brink of that and, by then, the best opportunity to obtain a great deal is gone! Competition for the properties comes back and prices rise again.
Prices are definitely correcting in Vancouver and it has everything to do with the value gap between the West and East sides. If the same type of houses 10 - 25 blocks apart have a price difference of $500,000 to $800,000, it’s obvious that the market will adjust. In Vancouver’s case, the Eastside is appreciating while the Westside corrects. Multi-unit properties on the Westside are listed around the $2 million range.
Typically, having equity of $300,000 to $600,000 on a condo doesn’t get a buyer approved to finance a home with a price tag of $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 on the Westside. It’s only natural that people are moving east and multi-unit properties are clearly the best value today.Marcus Maia UPTOWN VANCOUVER Dexter Associates Realty
SOMA LOFTS: West facing open plan 1 bedroom loft style apartment, concrete construction, 10'5' CEILINGS with floor to ceiling windows lot of natural light & a great balcony for entertaining. Views to the city & mountins via deck. Polished concrete floors, stainless steel appliances, GAS RANGE, granite countertops, insuite storage & laundry. Soma Lofts is located in the Uptown Main Street area of Mt. Pleasant which is fast becoming a diner's destination with lots of shopping & entertainment. Close to transit and only minutes to downtown. A fabulous building & one of Vancouver's hottest areas to live in. Comes with 1 PARKING 1 STORAGE locker and lots of bike rooms too. Remainder of 2-5-10.
May stats and supply levels.
Attached are the listings and sales for the month of May. Please note that due to a change in the benchmark price calculation, May’s Benchmark Price will not be available until next week. While the Real Estate Board did provide a Benchmark Price for May, previous month’s prices need to be changed to match the new calculation.
Most areas saw a continued increase in listings for May. Units sold in May were similar to the amounts sold in April – although down from 2011 May sales. Here are a few highlights:
Greater Vancouver: Units Sold in May 2012 up 2.1% from April 2012 and down 15.6% from May 2011. Total Active Listings are up 20.2% from May 2011, currently there is a 7 Month’s Supply of Listings – Balanced Market.
Vancouver West Side Residential: Units Sold in May 2012 up 4.4% from April 2012 and down 22.7% from May 2011. Total Active Listings are up 38.9% from May 2011, currently there is a 6 Month’s Supply of Listings – Balanced Market.
Vancouver West Side Houses: Units Sold in May 2012 down 6.2% from April 2012 and down 46.5% from May 2011. Total Active Listings are up 78.1% from May 2011, currently there is a 9 Month’s Supply of Listings – Buyer’s Market.
Vancouver West Side Condos: Units Sold in May 2012 up 11.6% from April 2012 and down 8.9% from May 2011. Total Active Listings are up 28.1% from May 2011, currently there is a 6 Month’s Supply of listings – Balanced Market.
Vancouver East Side Houses: Units Sold in May 2012 up 12.6% from April 2012 and down 28% from May 2011. Total Active Listings are up 22% from May 2011, currently there is a 4 Month’s Supply of listings – Seller’s Market.
Vancouver East Side Condos: Units Sold in May 2012 down 27.7% from April 2012 and up 10% from May 2011. Total Active Listings are up 36.5% from May 2011, currently there is a 6 Month’s Supply of listings – Balanced Market.
North Vancouver Houses: Units Sold in May up 4.2% from April 2012 and down 17.5% from May 2011. Total Active Listings are up 25.2% from May 2011, currently there is a 3 Month’s Supply of listings – Seller’s Market.
Richmond Houses: Units Sold in May down 11.5% from April 2012 and down 25.2% from May 2011. Total Active Listings are up 22.4% from May 2011, currently there is an 11 Month’s Supply of listings – Buyer’s Market!
Richmond Condos: Units Sold in May down 23.2% from April 2012 and down 31.2% from May 2011. Total Active Listings are up 30.2% from May 2011, currently there is an 11 Month’s Supply of listings – Buyer’s Market!
Be a leader in this market, not a follower! Cause you might be following for a while and it sucks.