Author Archives: Homes of Provenance Administrator

Issue 22 – April 2014

GREATER (METRO) VANCOUVER

APR 2014 QTLY UPPER-TIER REAL ESTATE UPDATE #22

VANCOUVER BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS

We do live in a world class city and its reputation is growing daily. Vancouverites have been titillated for some months by a term that (T.V. advertising) invited us to try to pronounce. That term, apparently a European sounding one, emerged as GESAMTKUNSTWERK. The efforts were ‘all over the show’ and we were left in doubt as to what the significance was… until a week or two ago. An exhibit opened at 1460 Howe Street (just under an ‘on ramp’ of the Granville Bridge) and we attended on day one. Fascinating, with models, drawings and artistic renderings of a proposed development quarterbacked by Westbank Projects. We’ll dangle this carrot….what if you had a building lot with a severely restricted building envelope approximating an isosceles triangle and then proceeded to design a building which had a “penthouse footprint” of, say double the ground floor footprint? An interesting conundrum ….to say the least! DO VISIT the exhibition, you will not be disappointed. Also visit http://westbankcorp.com/vancouver-house. Our interest in the nature of the residential offerings and the layouts, sizes and Penthouses etc. could not be addressed – but (we were assured) that all will be revealed in due course. Vancouver House…. you have our attention!

Yes, a serious level of demand for our city’s real estate and an active market in its upper tier. There is significant belief that this demand is growing. Now the 1ST quarter 2014 figures from the R/ E Board’s database.

Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2014 – 423 listings sold vs. 2013 – 293 sold (an increase of 31%). Highest sale $11.01MM (’14) vs. $18.6 MM (’12). This property, a 1915 Tudor Revival style English manor house – at 3689 Selkirk St, Shaughnessy sold in Jan’14 after 91 days on the market, originally listed at $12.88 MM, 7 bed/7 bth, it is a 16,287 sq. ft. 1915 First Shaughnessy character home on a 39,000 sq. ft. lot. Tax assessed at $9.052MM. A unique property and a most distinctive home of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes, [$1MM and above] 2014 – 54 units sold vs. 2013 – 102 sold (a decrease of 47 %). Highest sale $4.3MM (’14) vs. $8MM (’12). This property at 1570 Homer Mews in Yaletown (The Erickson) sold in Mar’14 after 816 days on the market. An unobstructed (forever) view property. 2 level, 3bd/3bth and 2,499 sq. ft. of living space. A luxurious Erickson masterpiece. Tax Assessed $4.084, previously listed at $4.99MM.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2014 – 144 units vs. 2013 – 57 sold (up 153%). Highest sale $5.9MM (’14) vs. $3.25MM (’13). This is a 27thFloor 3 bed/4 bth apartment – 3,600 sq. ft. in the sought after Harbour Green 2 building (1139 W Cordova St) NW corner unit. Stunning panoramic views. Listed originally at $6.388MM, it sold in Jan’14 after 120 days on the market. Tax assessed at $6.79MM.

Here are the current inventory (listed property) figures:

Detached ($2MM and up) 981 – Highest $22.8MM * – 37 at $10MM plus
Attached ($1MM and up) 111 – Highest $35MM** – 8 at $3MM plus
Apts ($1MM and up) 301 – Highest $22.3 MM*** – 16 at $5MM plus

* 5050 Happy Valley Lane. 2yr, 7bd, 8bth- 12,988 sq ft. custom blt estate (2.3 acre lot), Caulfield W/Van. European style mansion, Lighthouse Park.
** 3838 Cypress St. 5bd/7bth, 3 lvl, 12,216 s/f SL1 &2 combined, early 1900’s Heritage ‘A’ gem, Lt. Gov. Hamber’s Res “Greencroft Estate”
*** 3 Harbour Green 8,008sf P/H – 4bd/6bth, approx 3000sf patio/dk/rftop

Call 604-626-2526/e-mail HOP for info or to view any of these.

Note: We place little store on “asking” prices, as the true measure of a market is “sale” price. We include these as they are clearly of interest. It underlines the fact 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 HomesOfProvenance.com – the “go to” site for Upper Tier Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for market offering information.

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

Issue 20 – October 2013

GREATER (METRO) VANCOUVER

OCTOBER 2013 QTLY UPPER-TIER REAL ESTATE UPDATE

 BEING THERE WHEN HISTORY IS MADE – PT II

 Thank you to those of you who called, e-mailed, and in various ways commented on last Quarter’s discussion on the ‘Metro Vancouver Groups’ involvement in the Fairmont Pacific Rim sales [“When History is made – PT 1 – JULY 2013]. Please see ISSUE 19 HOP website, if you did not see that one. A little more on that later, including a surprise development.

Our Upper Tier activity continues apace and H. of P. wants to address a story which surfaced during August. We suggest, for a moment, that we collectively suspend our judgement and preconceptions and consider the ramifications of the following. Donald Trump is invited to this city to “rebrand” the 2009 shelved project formerly known as The Ritz Carlton Tower. That proposed 63 storey tower designed by renowned architect, Arthur Erickson, it was announced, would henceforth be known as the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver. “We are thrilled to be bringing the Trump flag to Vancouver as it has become a world-class city in its own right” Trump said at a packed press conference. When looking at expanding our portfolio, we felt that this was a market that held great potential for our brand”. This $360MM tower will house the highest Michelin star rated restaurant in Canada when it opens. Presales are commencing as this is being written – anticipated completion is estimated to be in the range of mid-2016. Other features include champagne bar, a pool bar and Canada’s first Mar-a-Lago Spa to be opened by Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

We felt that it was of interest to return briefly to the ‘Fairmont sale story’ of our last Update. Some coverage has emerged, but surprisingly little, in our estimation. Our Canadian “discretion” is likely part of this and is, we feel, a good thing. Our discussion with the Buyer’s local representative (see the HOP interview appended here) revealed a few more details – a further sidebar to last update’s sidebar if you will. The foreign buyer stated that they were attracted to Vancouver and Canada by the country’s stability and the city’s natural beauty and stressed that they placed in high value the pervasive societal acceptance exhibited by the citizenry. This is borne out by the final figure attached to the aggregated purchase. Not only did they acquire the 3 units referred to in last Quarter’s report but subsequently arranged the addition of the last unit on the 46th floor. Premier penthouse accompanied by the sub floor’s entire footplate. The total consideration, an astounding figure, a shade under $55MM. While clearly, the parcel is not a principal residence, it represents a major vote of confidence in our city’s standing and its future.

Yes, a serious level of demand for our city’s real estate and an active market in its upper tier. We clearly believe that this demand will grow by leaps and bounds.

For full details of third quarter sales and available properties please click here.

Please visit our website for new developments.  We continue our promise to keep you up to date on Vancouver’s HomesOfProvenance.com  – the “go to” site for Upper Tier Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for market offering information.

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

Issue 19 – July 2013

GREATER (METRO) VANCOUVER

JULY 2013 QTLY UPPER-TIER REAL ESTATE UPDATE

 BEING THERE WHEN HISTORY IS MADE ?

 In May of this year, history was made in Vancouver. We, at Homes of Provenance, are pleased to have been able to discuss this disposition and acquisition with the representative Realtors of both the seller and the buyer. We are speaking, of course, of the sale of the Fairmont Pacific Rim penthouse for $25MM in May.

This two-level jewel crowning the 47 story strata hotel on West Cordova was brought to market in August of 2011 at a price of $28,800,000. It is assessed, for property tax purposes at $16,991,000. The listing Real Estate company was Angel, Hasman of West Vancouver, represented by Malcolm Hasman, a well-respected and experienced Realtor involved in large part with the sale of upper-tier homes. The buyer was represented by Sasan Fazli of RE/MAX Crest Realty, part of the RE/MAX Metro Vancouver Group. Homes Of Provenance, whose Realtors are all licensed members of the 10 office “Metro” is pleased to have been associated with this momentous occurrence.

A fascinating side-bar to this story (property transaction) is the fact that the buyer’s representative Sasan Fazli concurrently assisted the buyer with the acquisition of both units 4601 and 4602 (sub-penthouses) in the same building.#4601 listed at $21,000,000 (assessed at $8,796,000) and sold for $15,000,000, a 4015 sq ft, one level – 3 bedroom, 4 bathroom unit is located below the abovementioned penthouse as is 4602. This was listed at $11,288,000 (assessed at $6,997,000) and sold for $9,750,000. At 3,358 sq ft, this 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom. A sum total of $49,750,000 for the three with an aggregate of 13,807 sq ft and generous outdoor patios for each unit. It is feasible that the buyer might “connect” one or both of the two lower dwellings with internal stairways. We are attempting to “interview” the two representatives and, if successful, will attach one or both of these “interviews” to this Update on the HomesOfProvenance.com website.

We feel it is of interest to explore some of the dynamics which brought this marketing to a successful conclusion. Indeed, in its simplest form, this is an example of the culmination of the interaction between a willing buyer and three willing sellers. Some details are obviously a matter of record, but these two representatives must respect the various parties’ privacy and
sensitivity.

There is evidently a serious level of demand for our city’s upper-tier residences and an active market in these. This serves to confirm the assertions made and reported in our last (first quarter) update. It is our considered belief that this demand will grow by leaps and bounds and transactional statistics will expand for Metro Vancouver in our arbitrarily chosen boundaries for the “upper tier”. Not a week goes by where we do not have some discussion as to the appropriateness of these parameters. At this point they shall remain as defined in the following figures.

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

Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2013 – 385 listings sold vs. 2012 – 295 sold (an increase of 30%). Highest sale $16 MM (’13) vs. $12.030 MM (’12). This property – at 4815 Belmont Ave, Point Grey, sold in Apr’13 after 19 days on the market, originally listed at $17.5 MM, 4 bed/4 bth, it is a 3,625 sq ft structure on approx 52,000 sq ft, water and mountain view lot– in beautifully landscaped garden. An impressive 48 year old University area home, tax assessed at $13.268MM. A unique property and a distinctive home of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes, [$1MM and above] 2013 – 86 units sold vs. 2012– 74 sold (an increase of 16 %). Highest sale $4.75MM (’13) vs. $2.598 MM (’12). This property, at the Kingswood, W14th Ave in Fairview sold in May ’13 after 22 days on the market and was originally listed at $4.999 MM. One of 18 luxury adult, concrete construction terrace homes with outstanding views. 3bd/5bth and 4,366 sq ft of living space. A luxurious home lushly landscaped with a 6,700 s/f wrap-around terrace.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2013 – 122 units vs. 2012 – 122 sold. Highest sale $25 MM (’13) vs. $4.338MM (’12). This is the penthouse, 47th Floor 3 bed/4 bth apartment, 2 full levels – 6,434 sq. ft. in the Fairmont Pacific Rim which graced the “current inventory” section below for almost 2 years – aptly described as “the most prestigious ocean front penthouse in the city” and “truly world class and without comparison” . Listed originally at $28.8MM, it sold in May ’13 after 643 days on the market. Tax assessed at $16.991MM. (see above).

Here again are the current inventory (listings) figures:

Detached ($2MM and up) 1422 – Highest $29.88MM * – 45 at $10MM plus
Attached ($1MM and up) 185 – Highest $4.998 MM** – 10 at $3MM plus
Apts ($1MM and up) 391 – Highest $19.88MM*** – 3 at $10MM plus

* 5633 Newton Wd ¾ ac lt. 6bd, 8bth- 14,000sq ft arch. designed mansion
** 2474 s/f. Yaletown 1576 Homer Mews (Erickson) t/hse – 3bd/3bth
*** Penthouse at Harbour Green II 3bd/5bth, 2 lvl, 6018 s/f, 1139WCordova

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 HomesOfProvenance.com  – the “go to” site for Upper Tier Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for market offering information.

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

Issue 18 – April 2013

GREATER (METRO) VANCOUVER

APR 2013 QTLY UPPER-TIER REAL ESTATE UPDATE

 OUR CITY’S FUTURE IN LUXURY?

 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 http://rem.ax/ZeGZtZ

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 HomesOfProvenance.com  – the “go to” site for Upper Tier Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for market offering information.

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

Issue 17 – January 2013

GREATER (METRO) VANCOUVER

JAN 2013 QTLY UPPER-TIER REAL ESTATE UPDATE

THE END OR A BEGINNING?

There was a comment made last quarter of the “year coasting to a quiet close” and, yes, was it quiet! This quarter’s Update (the first edition of 2013) addresses a comparison of the last quarter’s results for 2012 vs. the same period for 2011. It’s always an interesting exercise comparing how successive years finish off.

We’ll get to these momentarily; firstly a comment on our headline and its possible “dark side”. With a subscription to MacLean’s magazine we see an advance copy thereof (digital download). Behold the first issue of 2013 (this is the Jan 14th edition, loaded to iPad on Jan 4th). One has to suppose that ‘publication date’ is a flexible concept 😉 ! We urge all “balance minded” folk to read it and make their own judgement accordingly. Here we go – the front cover (accompanying a picture representing an alternative concept of ‘prices going through the roof’) sports the headline “Inside the Great Real Estate Crash of 2013”. The article on page 44 shows a lurid photograph of flames surrounding a high-rise building and in block capitals the legend CRASH AND BURN. In an arena where opinion is fairly evenly spread between the “we’re doomed” believers and the “logically it is a correction” brigade, the only ‘economists’ quoted are those who would likely appreciate the author, Chris Sorensen’s rhetoric and the graphics used. Yes, we acknowledge the journalistically provocative style adopted by this publication (commencing about 4/5 years ago) and it is understood the nature of “debate” necessitates opening with a “speaking for the motion” piece.

While not wanting to question every comment raised, we’ll address one statement made. It refers to the three months of ‘falling housing starts’ as a bad thing and an indicator of impending Real Estate Armageddon (our hyperbole – apologies) .Why could it not be seen as a likely indication that builders and developers are making intelligent business decisions? … a logical response to the signs in the market. I do believe that this journalistic piece will be seen as a ‘poke’ to make the Canadian homeowner and those currently renting, question the pros and cons of being in or being out.

Now the final quarter 2012 figures extracted from the REBGV database.

Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2012 – 180 listings sold vs. 2011 – 267 sold (a decrease of 33%). Highest sale $8,388 MM (’12) vs. $14.68 MM (’11). This property – at 1688, Acadia Rd, Vancouver, sold in Oct ’12 after 48 days on the market, originally listed at $11.9MM, 7 bed/8 bth, it is a 9,916 sq ft structure on a 21,053 sq ft, W facing property– A 17 year old University area home, tax assessed at $8,006MM. A good example of a home of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes, [$1MM and above] 2012 – 44 units sold vs. 2011 – 52 sold (a decrease of 15 %). Highest sale $5.34MM (’12) vs. $3.3MM (’11). This property, on Bellevue Ave in Dundarave Ave, W/Van, which sold in Oct ’12 after 22 days on the market, was originally listed at $5.98MM. Hollingsworth designed, panoramic ocean and city views 2bd/4bth and 4,371 sq ft of living space. A spectacular 23 yr old waterfront townhome (tax assessed at $4.98MM) – on a 10,000+ sq ft lot.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2012 – 70 units vs. 2011 – 82 sold (a decrease of 17%). Highest sale $5.3MM (’12) vs. $7.2MM (’11). This is a previously unoccupied (no HST) 22nd Floor 2 bed/3 bth apartment (NE facing) corner unit, 2630 sq. ft. unit in Three Harbour Green with 24/7 concierge. Unobstructed views, indoor swimming pool and more. Listed originally at $5.8MM, it sold in Oct ’12 after 33 days on the market.

Here again are the current inventory (listings) figures:

Detached ($2MM and up) 998 – Highest $37.9MM * – 37 at $10MM plus
Attached ($1MM and up) 107 – Highest $8.5MM** – 5 at $3MM plus
Apts ($1MM and up) 308 – Highest $28.8MM*** – 2 at $20MM plus

* W/front, view West Van estate marketed as 3way subdividable ppty
** 8243 sq. ft. fully restored Shaughnessy half duplex – 3437 Osler St
*** Penthouse 1 at Fairmont Pacific Rim 3bd/4bth, 2 lvl 6434 sq.ft. over 510 days on market

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. Note: in this market segment, the number of detached listings has risen by over 21% (year over year). Attached up by 16% and apt 8%. Just a note here; these inventory figures are as at Dec 31st of both years and a sizeable number “expire” by Jan 1st. Thus far (first two weeks) this year many of those which came off the market have not been relisted for sale. Many are resisting chasing a declining market in this phase of the cycle.

It will be of interest to see where sales activity in the upper tier moves during the first quarter of this year. It is questionable we’ll see an increase, in this quarter.

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

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

Issue 16 – October 2012

GREATER (METRO) VANCOUVER

OCT 2012 QTLY UPPER-TIER REAL ESTATE UPDATE

AT A POSITION IN A CYCLE

The headline this quarter is used in a somewhat ‘tongue in cheek’ way. As in, “when are we not at a position in a cycle?” The emphasis here is surely on the fact that ‘cycles’ become a topic when the circumstances we find ourselves in, are not to our total satisfaction and we need assurance that the ‘pendulum’ will return to the more desirable position. As a matter of interest, can you remember many communicators identifying what most would identify as a ‘desirable position’ for the purpose of reinforcing the inevitable reverse swing?

Upper end residential real estate is not immune to these cycles, although, as we have addressed before, those players with more significant financial resources are generally less vulnerable to the urgency brought about by the need for immediate disposition. Also, too, they are not as limited as the less financially endowed, by the inability to acquire real estate (or additional units) than say, the important sector of ‘first-time buyers’.

Consider for a second the impact of a cycle, such as the present one, on recreational real estate (generally a discretionary acquisition). Look at the softness around this province in places such as Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Whistler and the Okanagan. Clearly, the demand has subsided and the sales that are being transacted are in large part at lower price levels than prevailed at the height of the preceding cycle. The fact remains that the confidence to buy affects all groups of buyers, even those with more significant wherewithal to buy. “Confidence” is the key here and this generally returns concurrent with the belief that the market has started to rebound.

Now the third quarter 2012 figures extracted from the REBGV database.

Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2012 – 197 listings sold vs. 2011 – 312 sold (a decrease of 37%). Highest sale $16.167 MM (’12) vs. $10.3 MM (’11). This property – at 1988 Drummond Drive, Vancouver, sold in Sept ’12 after 228 days on the market, originally listed at $19.6MM, 4 bed/8 bth, it is a 12,184 sq ft structure on a 65,433 sq ft, W facing property with 10 car garage – A 5 year old Pt Grey masterpiece, tax assessed at $11.2MM. Indeed a home of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes, [$1MM and above] 2012 – 45 units sold vs. 2011 – 68 sold (a decrease of 34 %). Highest sale $4.28MM (’12) vs. $3.15MM (’11). This property, at The Erickson (Homer Mews) in Yaletown, which sold in Aug ’12 after 117 days on the market, was originally listed at $5MM. A unit with unobstructed False Creek views, 3bd/3bth with 2,502 sq ft of living space. A spectacular 2 yr old semi-waterfront townhome (tax assessed at $3.7MM) – one of a kind.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2012 – 76 units vs. 2011 – 127 sold (a decrease of 40%). Highest sale $6MM (’12) vs. $10.1MM (’11). This is a spectacular refurbished and fully furnished 38th floor Aquarius penthouse (the entire floor – 5,234 sq.ft.) 3 bed/7 bth apartment with panoramic 360 degree breathtaking views (incl 4 car pkg). Listed originally at $7.45MM, it sold in Sept ’12 after 96 days on the market. Note – larger than the attached sale above and all ‘on one floor’ – unit 3801 & 3802 combined.

Here again are the current inventory (listings) figures:

Detached ($2MM and up) 1404 – Highest $37.9MM * – 48 at $10MM plus
Attached ($1MM and up) 206 – Highest $8.96MM** – 11 at $3MM plus
Apts ($1MM and up) 436 – Highest $28.8MM*** – 5 at $10MM plus

* W/front, view West Van estate marketed as 3way subdividable ppty
** 8243 sq. ft. fully restored Shaughnessy half duplex – 3437 Osler St
*** Penthouse 1 at Fairmont Pacific Rim 3bd/4bth, 2 lvl 6434 sq.ft. over 400 days on mkt

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. Note: the number of detached listings has risen by over 21% (year over year). Attd by 44% and apt no change.

It will be of interest to see where sales activity in the upper tier moves during the final quarter of this year. It is unlikely that we’ll see an increase, if any, before next year.

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

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

Issue 15 – July 2012

GREATER (METRO) VANCOUVER

JULY 2012 QTLY UPPER-TIER REAL ESTATE UPDATE

INVENTORY INCREASES, SALES ARE CONTRARIAN

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 … www.HomesOfProvenance.com – the “go to” site for Upper Tier Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for market listing information.

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

Issue 14 – April 2012

GREATER (METRO) VANCOUVER

APR 2012 QTLY UPPER-TIER REAL ESTATE UPDATE

LESS HOMES SELLING AND A GROWING INVENTORY

A quick glance at the “numbers” area below will tell the factual story of a 1st quarter that has not replicated the 1st quarter we experienced last year (2011).

A quote from a recent press release put out by the Economic department of the Real Estate provincial body, British Columbia Real Estate Association, puts this in perspective. Although their purview is BC in aggregate the reference to ‘high end home sales’ reflects largely the picture in Greater Vancouver.

“….the dollar volume of homes sold through Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in BC declined 26.5 per cent to $3.8 billion in March compared to the same month last year. A total of 6,882 MLS® residential unit sales were recorded over the same period, a decline of 20 per cent. The average MLS® residential price was $545,959 in March, 8 per cent lower than March 2011.”

The spike in consumer demand recorded a year ago was not repeated last month, said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. A marked increase in high-end home sales a year ago pushed up unit sales and skewed average prices higher, so it is no surprise to see fewer home sales and lower average prices in March of this year.”

The philosophical discussion considering the worldwide economic (or indeed that dwelling on the “tighter” local one) resurfaces whenever a cycle threatens to (or in fact gives evidence that it has undergone) change. Are those with higher net worth/income who represent the core players in this market, less affected by the cycle change? Does being a member of this “core” mean that one has been largely unaffected financially? Or does the overall market psychology have a dampening effect on this group’s outlook too? The certainty factor of ‘intuiting’ the return to an economic well-being by a majority must logically impact the making of decisions. We propose no mind-elevating solutions only some topics for consideration.

Another area for consideration at a future date is the presumptuous defining of just what the Upper Tier for, say, Greater Vancouver (or any other city or conurbation) is. We work loosely with a Detached Residence that is valued by the market place at in excess of $2 million and call that ‘upper tier’. Somewhat arbitrary, we do admit, as it can be easily criticized when, say, a half-acre lot with a modest sized (dated) home sells for $2.2 million. The clarification here comes with the consideration of lot value and that of the so called ‘improvements’ added to that lot. Concepts of “highest and best use” come into play as does the potential for further development as controlled by the local jurisdiction – (municipality) and too by physical attributes (e.g. watercourses, stability of the land, land use restrictions etc.) We shall discuss this further in upcoming updates.

When looking at stats, the most important message to consider is, which way is inventory trending and the same for number of sales in each market segment? Future quarters will reveal more and more relevant YTD statistics.
Now the first quarter 2012 figures extracted from the REBGV database upon which we have based these comments.

Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2012 – 354 listings sold vs. 2011 – 518 sold (a decrease of 32%). Highest sale $19.8MM (’12) vs. $16.8MM (’11). This property – Belmont Ave, Pt.Grey sold in Jan ’12 after 97 days on the market, originally listed at $25MM. 8 bed/8 bth it is a 10,734 sq ft structure on a serene, park-40,434 sq ft lot – majestic, Point Grey view mansion with a 50 ft indoor/outdoor pool w. hot-tub. Tax Ass $15.114MM. Indeed a home of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes [$1MM and above] 2012 – 77 units sold vs. 2011 – 103 sold (a decrease of 25%). Highest sale $3MM (’12) vs. $7.138MM (’11). This property at 1337 The Crescent which sold in Mar ’12 after 35 days on the market was listed at $3.288MM. An impressive Character (2bd/3bth) Shaughnessy townhome with views of the city and extra-large terrace. 4,278 sq ft of finished living space. Also an amazing Home of Provenance.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2012 – 126 units vs. 2011 – 158 sold (a decrease of 20%). Highest sale was $5.9MM (’12) vs. $7.1MM (’11). This Coal Harbour property [Two Harbour Green] is 3 bed/4 bth, 3636 sq ft., on one level with a 3 car garage and astonishing views.

As alluded to in the earlier mentioned press release, the exceptional activity 1st Qtr 2011, was spurred on by high international demand. This has not in any way collapsed but is certainly more restrained. As 2012 progresses we will see whether this sector will see a return to those significant sales levels.

Here again are the current inventory (listings) figures:

Detached (>$2MM – 1211) –(>$10MM – 45) Highest $39.9MM
[3 separate homes on 5+ acre West Van estate (Chartwell)]

Attached (>$1MM – 180) – (> $3MM -10 at) Highest $8.96MM –
[8243 sq ft fully restored Shaughnessy half duplex 3437 Osler St]

Apt (>$1MM – 303) – (> $5MM –19) – (>$10MM -4) Highest $28.8MM
[6434 sq ft /2 level – Penthouse #1 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 and the new developments. We continue our commitment to keep you up to date on Vancouver’s … www.HomesOfProvenance.com – the “go to” site for Upper Tier Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for market listing information.

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

Issue 13 – January 2012

GREATER (METRO) VANCOUVER

JAN 2012 QTLY UPPER-TIER REAL ESTATE UPDATE

ANOTHER YEAR OF INCREASES

The activity in this segment continues to increase year over year. And, yes, as we have seen in the recent press on inflating assessed values, the prices of the top properties sold in Metro Vancouver have risen at an impressive rate. We are seeing this in both number of sales and gross dollars expended. Those participating in this arena have been joined by a large number of immigrating buyers (investors?) primarily from the Far East (especially mainland China) and others from Europe. The first waves that Vancouver noted in the past 2 to 3 years have grown to be a significant force in this upper tier of residential real estate. For a major world city, repeatedly rated by non-Canadians as among the top places to live on this planet, many Vancouverites seem loath to accept that our current prices represent relatively good value for money to these foreign buyers. This coming year will be a telling one – is the evident slow down over the past month or so the foreshadowing of a downturn in this segment? We believe not just yet. The upcoming quarter to quarter analysis will certainly be something to follow with interest.

We penned a discussion of the Property Tax Assessment a few years ago and will repeat it here with some minor updating as it is the time of year that we again look at our new (2012) tax assessment. Does it mean much? How does that figure tie in with today’s value? Does it in fact bear comparison to current market value at all? Don’t forget that the assessment is for taxation purposes and is designed to provide an estimate for relative taxation equity. It does not claim infallibility. The B.C. Assessment Authority permits and does not discourage property owners from contesting 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? It is the tax authority’s mid-year 2011estimate. Is it what decides the value of our homes or do we trust the market place to give us a fair price for our valued assets? All these figures can do is cause us to be charged a modicum more or less in property tax for the years we own the 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 tier Vancouver market ’11 vs. ’10. Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2011 – 1687 listings sold vs 2010 – 870 sold (a rise of 94%). Highest sale $17,5MM (’11) vs. $15,2MM (’10). This property – Belmont Ave, Pt.Grey sold in Mar ’11 after 32 days on the market, originally listed at $19.8MM. 6 bed/8 bth it is a 9,785 sq ft structure on a serene, park-like lot – A splendid, Point Grey view mansion with a 741 sq ft courtyard. Again a home of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes [$1MM and above] 2011 – 318 listings sold vs 2010 – 233 sold (a rise of 36%). Highest sale $7.138MM (’11) vs. $7MM (’10). This property at 3838 Cypress St which sold in Jan ’11 after 24 days on the market was listed at $7.588MM. A spectacular and unique 5bd/7bth Shaughnessy townhome on the Heritage “A” list, formerly the estate of Eric Hamber, B.C. Lt. Governor, with 7530 sq ft of living space. An amazing home of provenance.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2011 –541 listings sold vs. 2010 – 469 sold (a rise of 15%). Highest sale was $10.1MM (’11) vs. $5.8MM (’10). This is an ultimately luxurious 40th floor Shaw Tower (the entire floor – 7450 sq.ft.) 7 bed/7 bth apartment with panoramic 360 degree breathtaking views and 8 parking (incl 3 car private garage). Listed at $15.5MM, it sold in Sept ’11 after 123 days on the market. Its Tax Assessed value when sold was $12.345MM.

Here again are the current inventory (listings) figures:

Detached ($2MM and +, 778) – Highest $39.9MM * – 33 at $10MM +
Attached ($1MM and +, 102) – Highest $5.888MM** – 4 at $3MM +
Apt ($1MM and +, 303) – Highest $28.8MM – 4@ $10MM +/20@ $5MM *3 separate homes on 5+ acre West Van estate (Chartwell)
**2474 sq ft /2 level at the Erickson, Yaletown
***6434 sq ft /2 level – Penthouse #1 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.

We extend our wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year – may 2012 be a good year for the return of some stability to our economic environment and a more peaceful community of nations. Goodwill 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 upper tier 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 info@HomesOfProvenance.com and you’ll be assured receipt; phone us at (604) 626-2526 or visit www. HomesOfProvenance.com

Issue 12 – October 2011

GREATER (METRO) VANCOUVER

OCT 2011 QTLY UPPER-TIER REAL ESTATE UPDATE

THE TREND CLEARLY CONTINUES

We began this year with a comment (headline) proposing that demand for our upper end real estate, from outside of Canada, was appearing to be significant. Reference was made to the evident presence of mainland Chinese buyers joining the traditional European and Middle Eastern group. While that European and Mid East presence is still here, Greater Vancouver must now acknowledge that the Chinese buyer currently outnumbers all others. The question has been asked, are these non-resident offshore investors or immigrating buyers? A good question and while we all have our opinions, difficult to categorically answer. To be more definitive, we will have to wait for some years (we feel at least five). One argument cites the Hong Kong buyers who sold and returned to Hong Kong after the hand back of the Island by the British on July 1, 1997. No, there was not a wholesale divestment at that time, or since, but clear evidence of some resale. This city, and especially areas such as Richmond, continues to show the significant impact of that in-migration and continuing investment. We are, and remain, a safe haven for investment from afar.

While the toughness of current economic times will undoubtedly reduce the overall number of real estate transactions, our belief is that this upper tier is less affected by that ‘shrinking’. Indeed, the percentage will likely be a fair bit less. We also see that the players at this end of the market are less constrained by the oft touted argument of affordability. This, of course, is a significant consideration when one talks of ‘first time buyers’ without much in the way of down payment and clearly no equity from the sale of a former residence. Demand at the upper end is usually backed by significant equity and often by substantial other financial assets and cash flow. The other contributor buoying this demand is the relatively low cost of borrowed money. Also consider that the “retired” group display a higher degree of urgency regarding these retirement/recreational needs than those younger folk embarking on acquiring starter and subsequent housing. Yes, demand is certainly evident in this more mature sector and patience less of a virtue.

Now the third quarter 2011 figures extracted from the REBGV database.

Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2011 – 312 listings sold vs. 2010 – 170 sold (an increase of 83%). Highest sale $10.3 MM (’11) vs. $8.2MM (’10). This property – on 31st St, Altamont (WV), sold in Aug ’11 after 80 days on the market, originally listed at $10.888MM, 6 bed/7 bth, it is a 6,898 sq ft structure on an 18,140 sq ft, gated, S facing property – A six year old waterfront mansion.  Truly a home of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes, [$1MM and above] 2011 – 68 units sold vs. 2010 – 48 sold (an increase of 41 %). Highest sale $3.15MM (’11) vs. $2.85MM (’10). This property, at Aquarius Villa, in Yaletown, which sold in July ’11 after 55 days on the market, was originally listed at $3.288MM. A unit with unobstructed marina views, 3bd/3bth with 2,474 sq ft of living space. A spectacular semi-waterfront townhome – one of a kind.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2011 – 127 units vs. 2010 – 96 sold (an increase of 32%). Highest sale $10.1MM (’11) vs. $4.35MM (’10). This is an ultimately luxurious 40th floor Shaw Tower (the entire floor – 7450 sq.ft.) 7 bed/7 bth apartment with panoramic 360 degree breathtaking views and 8 parking (incl 3 car private garage). Listed at $15.5MM, it sold in Sept ’11 after 123 days on the market. Note – larger than the detached sale above and all ‘on one floor’!

Here again are the current inventory (listings) figures:

Detached ($2MM and up) 1158 – Highest $25MM * – 38 at $10MM plus Attached   ($1MM and up) 143 – Highest $5.78MM – 7 at $3MM plus Apartments ($1MM and up) 434 – Highest $28.8MM** – 4 at $10MM plus

* Belmont (Pt Grey) 11,000 sf 8bd/8bth. Over 40,000 sf  “majestic” res  ** Penthouse 1 at Fairmont Pacific Rim 3bd/4bth, 2 lvl 6434 sq.ft.

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. Note: the number of detached listings has risen by over 60% (year over year).

It will be of significant interest to see if sales activity in the upper tier is maintained during the final quarter of this year.

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

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