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Vancouver Real Estate - October 2015
In This Issue


Sotheby’s International Realty Canada
2015 Fall Market Forecast

16 September 2015, written by SIRC

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s latest report forecasts strengthening demand for residential real estate over $1 million in Toronto and Vancouver into the fall, including building momentum in luxury sales over $4 million, reinforcing both cities’ positions as international market leaders in top-tier real estate.
The 2015 Fall Forecast analyzes Canada’s largest metropolitan real estate markets and examination of key macro-economic indicators.

Sales of units over $1 million (condominiums, attached and detached single family) increased 56%, 48%, and 20% year-over-year in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Vancouver, and Montreal markets respectively, while sales volume decreased 36% in Calgary. At the same time, luxury real estate sales in the $2-4 million and $4 million-plus ranges surged 52% and 71% in Vancouver, and 46% and 72% in the GTA.

National Highlights:

  • The Bank of Canada’s September 2015 decision to hold the key overnight interest rate at 0.5% will continue to have a positive impact on real estate sales over $1 million.
  • In most major metropolitan markets, the contraction in the Canadian economy during the first part of the year, and speculation that growth may weaken has not affected consumer confidence in the $1 million-plus real estate market.
  • The demand for single-family homes over $1 million in the GTA and Vancouver is expected to remain high, outstripping available inventory.
  • There’s limited supply in the single family home market. As a result, demand for condominiums and attached homes over $1 million is expected to remain strong in the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver.
  • International demand for top-tier real estate in Canada’s major cities is expected to remain high as volatility in global stock markets and a faltering Chinese economy results in a continued influx of buyers, particularly from mainland China.
  • The upcoming federal election is not expected to impact the $1 million-plus real estate market heading into fall 2015.

Vancouver Market Highlights:

  • Vancouver’s $1 million-plus real estate market is expected to continue to trend upward in fall 2015.
  • Limited inventory, strong consumer demand, low interest rates and international buyers will continue to drive favourable seller conditions, multiple offers and sales above list prices in the fall.
  • Detached single family home market is expected to lead gains in sales volume and pricing, particularly in the $2-4 million and $4 million-plus luxury segments, while the performance of the attached home and condo markets will remain strong.
  • Limited supply in traditional luxury neighbourhoods will propel buyers into neighbourhoods east and south.

Calgary Market Highlights:

  • After several years of record-breaking sales, Calgary’s high-end sector experienced a downturn in the first half 2015 as the market absorbed the effects of declining oil prices and a dip in consumer confidence.
  • The performance of Calgary’s top-tier real estate market inextricably tied to the state of the oil and gas industry, local employment and net-migration, and with economic volatility and job losses anticipated in the coming months, real estate sales over $1 million are projected to slow in fall 2015 as absorption rates continue to decline.

Toronto Market Highlights:

  • The GTA (Durhan, Halton, Peel, Toronto, and York) is expected to lead Canadian $1 million-plus real estate sales this fall.
  • The strongest performer of all major metropolitan markets in the first half of the year, high-end real estate in the GTA was characterized by heightened sales volume and multiple offers over the summer months.
  • Sales over $1 million up 53.5% year-over-year in July and August and the $4 million-plus category performed exceptionally well with year-over-year gains of 158.3%.
  • Momentum is expected to accelerate into the fall, given limited inventory, low interest rates, high consumer confidence and the influence of foreign buyers, particularly from mainland China.
  • Detached single family homes are expected to experience continued price gains, pre-emptive and multiple offers, and sales above list price.
  • Heightened demand in the $1 million-plus attached home and condo market is anticipated, while continued competition in traditional luxury neighbourhoods will result in growth in the $1 million-plus market in emerging high-end neighbourhoods in the northern part of the city, including York.

Montréal Market Highlights:

  • Balance is anticipated to remain in Montreal’s high-end real estate market in fall 2015.
  • Following a period of heightened activity in the latter half of 2014 resulting from consumer confidence instilled by the results of the provincial election, sales of top-tier real estate stabilized in the first half of 2015.
  • This trend continued throughout the summer and the high-end market is expected to remain consistent in terms of both sales volume and selling prices in the fall, with the majority of sales anticipated in the $1-1.5 million single-family home market.
  • Along with demand from the Middle East and France, Montreal has experienced an uptick in buyers from mainland China seeking multiple properties or condo units in recent months, a trend that is expected to continue into the fall.

CLICK HERE to download the Complete Report on Canada’s Luxury Real Estate Market 
for the First Half of 2015 (PDF  2.93MB)


Disclaimer *The information contained in this report references data from Statistics Canada, the Bank of Canada, the Canadian Real Estate Association, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, MLS boards across Canada and other secondary sources. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada cautions that data of this nature can be useful in establishing trends over time, but do not indicate actual prices in widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differentials within local markets. This report is published for general information only and not to be relied upon in any way. Although high standards have been used in the preparation of the information and analysis presented in this report, no responsibility or liability whatsoever can be accepted by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada or Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates for any loss or damage resultant from any use of, reliance on or reference to the contents of this document.

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News Release - Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Metro Vancouver home buyers compete for fewer home listings
VANCOUVER, B.C.
October 2, 2015


Conditions continue to favour home sellers across *Metro Vancouver’s housing market. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Metro Vancouver reached 3,345 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September 2015. This represents a 14.5 per cent increase compared to the 2,922 sales recorded in September 2014, and a 0.5 per cent decrease compared to the 3,362 sales in August 2015.

Last month’s sales were 32.9 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.


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CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE ARTICLE (PDF 1.02 MB).


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Rethink Your Reno:
Home Updates To Avoid


15 July 2015, written by SIRC
Follow the Sotheby's blog with Bloglovin.

When renovating your home, it’s important to asses which updates pack the most bang for your buck. Renovation updates, such as kitchens and bathrooms, are typically reliable for adding to a home’s resale value; however, there are certain upgrades that may not do the same. The article below suggests renovations that may not provide the most return on investment for your home.

Here are a few types of updates that you may want to avoid when preparing your home for sale:

Specific Types of Rooms
Err on the side of caution when considering updating a library, home office or a theatre room. These types of features are tailored to a homeowner’s lifestyle needs, and aesthetic tastes. There’s a chance a buyer may dismiss upgrades such as these entirely.

Flooring
Many buyers look for longevity and durability in a home, of which flooring is a great indicator. Although some people like the warmth of a carpet, it can be impractical for those with pets and allergies, are perceived as hard to clean, get worn down quickly and have to be replaced every few years. Some types of laminate are attractive while others just look fake. For slightly more money, hardwood, stone, bamboo or cork are durable and looks slick, providing increased value.

Fancy Finishes & Decor
Stick with neutral, simple décor when updating for resale. Neutral paint is typically preferred over wallpaper, as it can become dated quickly and is a hassle to replace. Install standard lighting, such as pot lights, and leave fancy chandeliers to the discerning tastes of new owners. This way your property will appeal to a much larger audience. Introduce colours and interesting touches through accessories.

Expensive Appliances
Custom or commercial-grade appliances can be expensive, and underappreciated. Stainless steel appliances can cost slightly more, but pack big punch. Luxury appliances rarely recoup their initial cost.

Odd Rooms and Walls
Make sure to maximum room space and smart storage ideas when renovating for a sale. This is where a simple design consultation can make a huge impact. One large bedroom made into two small unusable rooms or a cramped laundry or powder room in an awkward space could be seen as a future renovation expense.

Extra Tip: Landscaping
If you have left over money from other renovations that you have completed, then landscaping can provide a great first impression and attract potential buyers. When considering total value of a renovation budget, landscaping should be a low priority and should not take the place of updates that provide a greater return.

Remember that return varies by each market. Your real estate agent is a great resource for advice on the most and least important updates for resale in your market.


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Downsizing Help:
How to Edit Your Belongings


Learn what to take and what to toss if you're moving to a smaller home


My mother was the most wonderful lady: gracious, giving and loving. But she was a child of the Great Depression, so she never threw anything away. “I might need them someday,” she would explain when I suggested that a 30-year accumulation of rubber bands might be excessive. 

My reaction to this was to throw away everything — whether I needed it or not (much to my husband’s chagrin). The upside of this admittedly knee-jerk response was that when it came time for us to downsize, the editing part was fairly easy.

But it is most assuredly not easy for most people. Whether you are moving from 6,000 square feet to 2,500, or from 2,500 to 900, the requisite divesting can stop one’s desire to downsize in its tracks. So let’s talk about some ways to give direction to that necessary purge and make it more comfortable.

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