Vancouver Real Estate - February 2016
In This Issue

Anne’s Market Insights
Why is the Vancouver property market still growing?

An Economics Perspective on Strata:  The Shift from Singles to Multis

A Testimonial From Recent Clients (January 2016)

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - Feb 2016
Home buyer competition keeps home sellers in the driver’s seat

Recent Sales
My sales for the month of January.  Hot market!
Anne’s Market Insights
Why is the Vancouver property market still growing?
The current Vancouver real estate market is buoyant and hot. All of us can hear about it and it is in the media on a daily basis. At a current pre-sale that I was attending with a client investor, there were over 3000 interested groups of buyers for a tower with 334 condos. On the day of the sale, in less than 4 hours, close to 200 condos were already under contract. This is our real estate market reality. Those condos were selling like "hot cakes".

Toronto Dominion just released a statement on February 11th, 2016 mentioning that real estate would slow down, but those expecting a housing crash “are likely to be disappointed”: prices in Vancouver would rise 7 per cent this year, from a near 20-per-cent growth pace in 2015, and could see a 2-per-cent decline in 2017.

What are the key drivers of this market?

Foreign investors seeking safer assets in Canada and attracted by a low loony (minus 15% depreciation in the last 12 months versus the USD), the continuation of low interest lending rates for home buyers (for example 2.94% for a fixed 5 year term), the high profile of Canada's cities for immigration (projected to reach over 30,000 in Vancouver in  2016) and the low level of real estate inventory by historical standards all contribute to two markets thriving in Canada - Vancouver and Toronto (by 20%  and 14% respectively in2015)*. Barring a major macro event, I would  anticipate these drivers to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

While detached homes in the West side are becoming out of reach for many after increasing by close to 25% in one year on the West Side, there are still some opportunities in certain pockets of Vancouver. For instance, even though such homes have increased by over 26% in the Vancouver East Side, this segment is still affordable in this part of Vancouver. Some neighborhood on the east Side have been revitalized over the last decade and offer many amenities. 
Duplexes and townhomes are currently in very high demand and are great alternatives to condos for the families and downsizers who wish to have some outdoor and storage space.
South Granville, Marpole and Vancouver East side offer great choices as it is well serviced by transit, close to great shopping, Downtown and the Airport.
How to take advantage of such opportunities in this fast paced environment?
More than ever before, it is important to select the right property, in the right location, with the right amount of leverage and a medium to long term investment timeframe. Likewise, the current environment provides a very favorable market for a seller who wishes to downsize or relocate. And more important than before, it is critical to have the advice of a very qualified realtor for the valuation and the buying or selling process.
With this in mind, I believe that property assets should and will continue to act as a stabilizing anchor in a family’s net worth.

Anne Mainwaring

An Economics Perspective on Strata:
The Shift from Singles to Multis

A myriad of factors impact housing demand, from geography and land scarcity, to population growth and economic conditions. These are the driving factors in the current trend of shifting away from single-detached housing toward multi-family housing units, especially in the urban areas of Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna.

Vancouver is Canada’s third largest city, with the metropolitan area home to over 2.4 million people spread across 950,000 households. The geographical limitations of being  fenced in by the North Shore Mountains, the Strait of Georgia, the border with the United States and the Agricultural Land Reserve in the Fraser Valley, have necessitated a shift in the housing stock toward higher density projects. Indeed, single-detached homes are becoming increasingly scarce. Between 1991 and 2011, the total stock of single-detached homes in the Vancouver CMA actually declined by 1,000 units, as existing single-detached homes were either replaced by higher density condos or converted to multi-family units via the rapid expansion of rental suites. Most significantly, the share of single detached homes declined from 50 per cent in 1991 to only one-third by 2011.
These land intensive single-detached units are projected to decline even further, both in proportion and absolute numbers, to just 10 per cent by 2040.

Across the water from Vancouver, Victoria is also experiencing an increase in population density, with a population 24 per cent larger than its current size. As a result, between 2016 and 2036, approximately 2,100 additional units are projected to be added to the housing stock on average each year. By 2041, multi-family housing units are projected to be three out of every four, and the amount of new additions of singledetached homes is projected to decline to less than 500 units by 2041. Contrast that with a Victoria housing stock in which new single-family units accounted for 50 per cent of all new home construction for most of the early part of the 2000s, and the dramatic shift in the city’s housing landscape comes into focus.

The story is similar in Kelowna, which has emerged as one of the pre-eminent retirement and tourism destinations in Canada. A boom in apartment construction through the early 2000s pushed the share of condos and other multiple family units higher in the overall housing stock. After a prolonged slide following the 2008/09 recession, new home construction has picked up once again. But, similar to BC’s other major urban centres, the relative proportion of singledetached homes in the city’s housing stock is declining, while the shift toward multiple units is expected to accelerate, contributing to an increasing relative scarcity of single-family homes. Overall, as increasing population density continues to cause a seismic shift in the type of homes that are being built in urban areas, a decreasing emphasis on single-family homes, in favour of land-rationing apartment and attached residential construction, can be expected to continue into the future.
This is an extract from the publication BCREA The Bulletin.  CLICK HERE to view the complete document.
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A Testimonial From Recent Clients
January 2016

From the beginning, Anne took the time to explain us the specifics of the Vancouver West property market and the whole process of buying and selling real estate.

When we were ready to buy our new home on the West Side, Anne was very pro-active and  efficient at informing us about the homes we might be interested in and she would clearly highlight and identify  the benefits and limitations of each property. Very importantly, we felt that she was committed and she was very responsive regarding our queries.

Once we made our decision, her negotiation skills and valuation knowledge were invaluable and we could feel that she truly had our best interests in mind. Even though we were in a multiple offer situation, Anne helped us remain calm, kept us up-to-date with the transaction and her presence on our side was both very reassuring and critical to the successful outcome.

Anne is clearly very comfortable navigating the multi-cultural real estate landscape of Vancouver and her Chinese language skill was very helpful as she had to deal with Asian brokers on multiple occasions.

Thanks to Anne's integrity, perseverance, listening skills and cheerful sense of humor, we  have enjoyed the whole experience, and we now own the house we wanted in our favorite neighborhood.

From being our realtor, Anne has now become a good friend. We would highly recommend Anne to anyone who is looking for a very professional real estate agent.
-- R&S M.
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News Release - Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Home buyer competition keeps home sellers in the driver’s seat

VANCOUVER, B.C.  --  Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totaled 2,519 in January 2016, an increase of 31.7 per cent from the 1,913 sales recorded in January 2015 and a 10.9 per cent decline compared to December 2015 when 2,827 home sales occurred. Last month’s sales were 46 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the second highest January on record.

“Fundamental economics are driving today’s market. Home buyer demand is at near record heights and home seller supply is as low as we’ve seen in many years,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,442 in January 2016. This represents a 6.2 per cent decline compared to the 4,737 units listed in January 2015 and a 119.8 per cent increase compared to December 2015 when 2,021 properties were listed.

“The MLS® is the most powerful real estate marketing system in the country. If you’re thinking of selling, it’s important to talk with your REALTOR® about putting your home on the MLS® system to ensure your property gets maximum exposure,” McLeod said.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 6,635, a 38.6 per cent decline compared to January 2015 (10,811) and a 10.1 per cent increase compared to December 2015 (6,024).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for January 2016 is 38 per cent. This is indicative of a seller’s market.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

Sales of detached properties in January 2016 reached 1,047, an increase of 34.1 per cent from the 781 detached sales recorded in January 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 25.9 per cent from January 2015 to $1,273,100.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,096 in January 2016, an increase of 35.5 per cent compared to the 809 sales in January 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 15.9 per cent from January 2015 to $443,400.

Attached property sales in January 2016 totalled 376, an increase of 16.4 per cent compared to the 323 sales in January 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 14.6 per cent from January 2015 to $555,100.

*Editor’s Note: Areas covered by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

CLICK HERE to download the complete stats package.

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Recent Sales

The Leveson

306 - 7828 Granville Street, Vancouver
Lougheed Heights

302 - 515 Foster Road, Coquitlam
Lougheed Heights

510 - 515 Foster Road, Coquitlam
Pinnacle Living - False Creek

503 - 89 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver
Pinnacle Living - False Creek

307 - 89 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver
Towne ONE

4 - 5808 Tisdall Street, Vancouver
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A beautiful example of West Coast architecture!
Copyright © 2016 Anne Mainwaring REALTOR, All rights reserved.

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