Monthly Archives: October 2009

Issue 4 – October 2009




It is a widely held opinion that a market cycle starts its upward turn when the entry level buyer starts to buy. This “return of confidence” as it is often more colloquially termed is noted firstly in an increase in the number of lower priced property transactions and then followed by an increase in the price level of that lower end.

This gradual return of confidence on the part of these buyers seems to be passed on to those at higher price levels (in some part due to the ability of the “sellers” in these transactions now being able to buy). It is generally the upper range homes that languish a little longer and appear to lag the media reported “comeback”. Here in Greater Vancouver the lag related to our recent cycle, does, however appear to have been of a relatively short duration. The change in activity level and higher price points (since mid 2008) is evident if one looks at the numbers included in the past four or so quarterly reports. It appears that we are currently in a relatively stable phase “upper market-wise”. What remains a truism is that appropriately priced properties do sell more readily. We are not by any means in the type of sellers’ market evident in the late 2008/early 2009 time frame.

An interesting discussion took place some weeks ago. It centered on the notion that the “luxury market” (a term we find offensive on various levels) should be somewhat impervious to economic conditions. This position appears to imply that those who can afford housing at the upper market level are blind to market forces (indeed cavalier to the changes taking place around them). The concept being – ‘I can afford therefore I buy’. The facts indicate otherwise. Look at those same numbers shown in the past year or so and a lessening of activity is certainly evident. It seems there are two points being overlooked. Firstly, intelligent human beings are cautious by nature and secondly, this market is driven partially by those who either become able to acquire such property and those who (maybe very quickly) become unable to retain such ownership. Some are too ready to categorize segments of markets.

Now to the facts regarding the upper end Vancouver market 3rd Quarter’09 vs. 3rd Quarter’08.

Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2008 – 46 listings sold vs. 2009 – 170 sold (an increase of 270%). Highest sale $14.8MM (’09) vs. $9.5MM (’08). This property – on Pt Grey Road, sold in July ’09 after 116 days on the market, originally listed at $15MM. 7 bed/7 bth it is an 8,838 sq ft structure on an 80 x 230 waterfront lot – 2 upgradable duplexes or a rebuild. A location of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes [$1MM and above] 2008 – 23 units sold vs. 2009 – 57 sold (an increase of 148%). Highest sale $3.46MM (’09) vs. $3.85MM (’08). This property on Bellevue Ave, Dundarave WV which sold in Sept ’09 after 22 days on the market was listed at $3.465MM. A stunning Hollingsworth designed home on W/Van seawall. 2bd/3bth with 4021 sq ft of living and some unfinished space.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2008 – 52 units vs. 2009 – 100 sold (an increase of 92%). Highest sale was $6.5MM (’09) vs. $5.35MM (’08). This West Cordova property in the highly desirable Shaw Tower is a 4 bed/5 bth Coal Harbour double unit of over 4000 sq ft.

Again, visit the website to see the new developments. We continue our commitment to keep you up to date on Vancouver’s … – the “go to” site for Upper Tier Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for market listing information.

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