Monthly Archives: April 2013

Issue 18 – April 2013




 In March of this year, the Globe and Mail published an interesting article with a headline which read – “Canadian luxury real estate set for a boost from the newly rich”. It is almost the only editorial over the past year or so that presages a positive future for any element of Canadian real estate in any corner of our country, province or city. It touches on improving real estate values and increasing demand within the “upper-tier” sector and certain cities in particular. Could Metro Vancouver have received a mention,  or possibly two? Let’s find out.

Admittedly, this premier national daily newspaper is a business and economically oriented one and does not appear to be drawn to the highly emotive and lurid type of headline often employed by other publications (often, but not exclusively magazine style offerings) relying for an increase in sales at the checkout/newsstand on impulse purchasing by those with a penchant for the dramatic. Strangely, a reference to last quarter’s update comes to mind. The Globe’s offering in March alluded to numerous factors which were felt would ultimately lead to “…upward pressure on prices of luxury properties” and “Canada will become increasingly popular as a destination for international wealth along with New Zealand and Australia. That’s because of “the rule of law, strong domestic balance sheets, political stability, and [the fact that] they are lovely places to live”. Both references came from Andrew Hay, head of global residential property at, British-based Real Estate consultancy, Knight Frank.

While, it was noted, “Vancouver region’s premier real Estate market took a breather last year, although sales of properties valued at $3MM or higher remained well above levels of a decade ago”. In his words “Vancouver is definitely the most favoured Canadian location for the newly wealthy, outstripping Toronto and Montreal.”

This quote, too, appears in the same article – “Don Campbell, a senior analyst at Real Estate Investment Network in Vancouver, noted that the pattern of home price growth in Vancouver closely tracks the movements of Chinese GDP – an indication that Chinese investors have a considerable influence on the Vancouver market .”  See full copy

Now the first quarter 2013 figures extracted from the REBGV database.

Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2013 – 260 listings sold vs. 2012 – 361 sold (a decrease of 28%). Highest sale $18.6 MM (’13) vs. $19.88 MM (’12). This property – at 5638, Newton Wynd, Vancouver, sold in Feb’13 after 206 days on the market, originally listed at $23 MM, 5 bed/8 bth, it is a 9,734 sq ft structure on approx 30,000 sq ft, water and mountain view property– luxurious 1350 sq ft,  master suite. An impressive 10 year old University area home, tax assessed at $13.268MM.  An amazing home of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes, [$1MM and above] 2013 – 48 units sold vs. 2012– 83 sold (a decrease of 42 %). Highest sale $3.25MM (’13) vs. $3 MM (’12). This property, on Highgrove Place, Whitby Estates, W/Van, which sold in Mar ’13 after 361 days on the market, was originally listed at $3.398MM. One of 18 luxury adult, concrete construction terrace homes with outstanding views. 3bd/3bth and 3,282 sq ft of living space. Newly built for occupation end of 2013. Highly desirable homes being created with “provenance”.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2013 – 92 units vs. 2012 – 77 sold (an increase of 19%). Highest sale $8 MM (’13) vs. $5.9MM (’12). This is the penthouse, 42nd Floor 5 bed/7 bth apartment “full floor” – 5,708 sq. ft. in The Melville (tallest in Coal Harbour) . Spectacular 360 deg view, clubhouse, pool, sauna, steam room. 11ft ceiling living room (18’ x 30’), pvt 3 car lock up garage and many more features incl the ‘chef inspired’ kitchen. Listed originally at $8.5MM, it sold in Mar ’13 after 241 days on the market. Tax assessed at $5.544MM.

Here again are the current inventory (listings) figures:

Detached ($2MM and up) 1310 – Highest $28.8MM * – 36 at $10MM plus

Attached   ($1MM and up) 161 – Highest $5.28MM** – 8 at $3MM plus

Apts ($1MM and up) 370 – Highest $28.8MM*** – 2 at $20MM plus

*     Caulfield W/Van  2.3 acre estate lot. 7bd, 8bth European style mansion

**    3414 sq. ft. “Cres on McRae”, Shaughnessy t/hse –  3bd/4bth

***  Penthouse 1 at Fairmont Pac Rim 3bd/4bth, 2 lvl 6434 sq.ft. 598 days

Note: We place little store on “asking” prices, as the only true measure of a market is “sale” price. We include these as they are clearly of interest.  It underlines that unique properties are challenging to price and, in certain markets, very few may sell.

Please visit our website for new developments.  We continue our promise 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 offering information.

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