Monthly Archives: July 2012

Issue 15 – July 2012




A quick glance at the “numbers” area below will tell the actual story of a 2nd quarter that has softened further from the 1st quarter of this year and in combination is well below last year’s figures.

We addressed, in the last update, the philosophical discussion of worldwide economic conditions having a greater impact on our local market than our current (provincial and national) conditions might imply they should. It is, as we spoke of last quarter, the cyclical change we are encountering. The higher net worth group, representing the bulk of those active in this market, while usually less affected by the cycle change are clearly not oblivious nor immune to overall market psychology. Uncertainty must logically impact the making of decisions. The one thing that does factor here and will drive any return to former sales volumes will be the perception, of those with the capacity to undertake these purchases, that the properties offered for sale are at, or close enough to, the bottom of a value trough. Many of these players are more attuned to prices in other international cities and may, more readily, recognize “comparative” value. Indeed, the word ‘bargain’ has begun to resurface in the opinion pieces of local media/commentators.

We continue to believe that the most important way of looking at the change in conditions prevailing in any market is simple to consider the increase/decrease from one period to the successive period in numbers of sales and at what prices (demand) and the ebb and flow of the number of items for sale (supply). The eyes should not be distracted from this picture.

Now to the second quarter 2012 figures extracted from the REBGV database which we have used as the basis for our comments.

Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2012 – 293 listings sold vs. 2011 – 592sold (a decrease of 51%). Highest sale $12.03MM (’12) vs. $13MM (’11). This property – on Newton Wynd, UBC area sold in Apr ’12 after 31 days on the market, originally listed at $12.8MM. A 6 bed/5 bth home it is a unique 4,375 sq. ft. structure on a private 30,000 sq. ft. lot – with unobstructed views to Bowen Island and the North Shore mountains. Tax Assessed value stands at $8,605MM. With some refurbishing this will be a magnificent home of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes [$1MM and above] 2012 – 74 units sold vs. 2011 – 90 sold (a decrease of 18%). Highest sale $2.598MM (’12) vs. $2.65MM (’11). This property at 2519 Highgrove which sold in May ’12 after 63 days on the market was listed and sold at $2.498MM. One of 18 impressive (2bd/3bth) Whitby Estates townhomes with panoramic city and harbour views and superior concrete construction. 3,379 sq. ft. of living space. When completed in 2013, this too will be an amazing example of an attached Home of Provenance.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2012 – 122 units vs. 2011 – 158 sold (a decrease of 23%). Highest sale was $4.338MM (’12) vs. $5.6MM (’11). This Coal Harbour penthouse [Bayshore Gardens] is 3 bed/4 bth, 2,914 sq. ft., with astonishing views and supplied with a 3 car garage.
As alluded too in the BCREA press release, the exceptional activity 1st and 2nd Qtrs. 2011, was spurred on by high international demand. This is now certainly far more restrained. Economic factors, largely beyond our borders are delaying this sectors return to the former significant sales levels.

Here again are the current inventory (listings) figures:

Detached (>$2MM – 1,377) – (>$10MM – 45) Highest $37.9MM
[Waterfront, view West Van estate being marketed as a 3-way subdividable property]

Attached (>$1MM – 177) – (> $3MM – 14) Highest $8.96MM –
[8243 sq. ft. fully restored Shaughnessy half duplex – 3437 Osler St]

Apt (>$1MM – 436) – (> $5MM – 26) – (>$10MM – 6) Highest $21MM
[4015 sq. ft. /1 level – at Fairmont Pacific Rim]

Note: We do not place too much store on “asking” prices, as the only true measure of a market is a “sale” price. These are however included because they are obviously of interest. It does underline the fact that unique properties are often challenging to price and that, in certain markets very few of these offerings are sold.

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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