Monthly Archives: January 2011

Issue 9 – January 2011




We continue to live in interesting times. We again see ourselves comparing two years in which we have seen some ebb and flow in sales or to put it in economic terms “oscillating cycles”. Ah, yes, cycles again; we make no apologies for the discussion of the configuration of the road map resulting from the forces of supply and demand. The market is clearly experiencing resurgence as the upper end again shows a healthy year over year increase. We are seeing this in both number of sales and gross dollars expended. Those participating in this arena have been joined by a goodly number of immigrating buyers largely from the Far East (especially China) and also from Europe. It is our belief that we have as yet experienced only a small first wave of what will prove to be a continuing and significant force in this Upper Tier of residential real estate. For a major world city, repeatedly rated by non-Canadians as in the top places to live on this planet, many of our fellow Vancouverites seem to be the last to accept that our current prices represent excellent value for money to foreign buyers.

It is the time of year that we again look at our new (2011) tax assessment. Do they mean much? How does that figure relate to the current market value? Does this figure bear any comparison to current market value? Don’t forget that the assessment for tax purposes is designed to provide an estimate for relative taxation equity.  It does not claim infallibility. The B.C. Assessment Authority permits (encourages?) property owners to contest the assessment if they disagree with it. More to the point – what is our real estate worth? (what is our net worth?) Depending on one’s age / planning horizon – how important is this 2011 valuation?  Is it the Province’s estimate that decides the value of our homes or do we trust the market place to give us a fair price for our valued assets? All the tax authority can do is cause us to be charged a modicum more or less in property tax for the years we own that property but it has no say in what we sell our property for and what that ‘willing buyer’ will pay.

Now to some of the facts regarding the upper end Vancouver market ’10 vs. ’09.  Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2010 – 870 listings sold vs 2009 – 596 sold (a rise of 46%).  Highest sale $17,5MM (’10) vs. $15,2MM (’09). This property (on Osler Street, a Shaughnessy estate)  sold late Oct ’10 after 366 days on the market, listed at $22MM. 7 bed/8 bth a 18,633 sq ft home on 1.12 acres of park like property – exceptionally well appointed home with circular drive way, chef’s dream kitchen and enumerable lifestyle amenities. By renowned architect Ernest Collins this home also boasts a 2 bedroom nanny suite. Truly a home of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes [$1MM and above] 2010 – 233 listings sold vs 2009 – 175 sold (a rise of 33%). Highest sale $7MM (’10) vs. $3.88MM (’09). This property (on Point Grey road – actually 2 blks from the previous year’s top selling attached home) is a highly desirable 3 bed/3 bathroom ½ duplex on the Golden Mile waterfront. Over 3400 sq ft with unobstructed waterfront views.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2010 – 469 listings vs. 2009 – 371 sold (a rise of 26%). Highest sale were two units both $5.8MM (’10) vs. $6.5MM (’09)  the properties concerned are 25th floor in Two Harbour Green (W. Cordova St) – an impressive view dwelling (3 bed/4 bathroom) 3600 sq ft on Coal Harbour. A N/W corner highly luxurious unit with panoramic views. The other, a 51st floor Shangri La, 4470 sq ft, 2 level “estate”. 3 bed/ 4 bathroom plus office, mega unit with breathtaking views.

We extend our wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year – may we see lower tensions in the strife torn Middle East. Good will to all persons.

Again, visit the Homes of Provenance website to see the new developments.  We continue our commitment to keep you up to date in the “higher value” market – the “go to” site for Metro Vancouver Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for market listing information in the higher range.

To join the group getting the e-mail version of this “update” – send a request now to and you’ll be assured receipt; phone us at (604) 626-2526 or visit www.