Issue 24 – October 2014

GREATER (METRO) VANCOUVER

OCT 2014 QTLY UPPER-TIER REAL ESTATE UPDATE #24

OUR RECENT PREOCCUPATION WITH AFFORDABILITY

When contemplating a regular series of articles on a subject such as the “upper tier” of our city’s residential real estate, we at Homes of Provenance address a variety of issues. One that may be regarded as “the elephant in the room” could well be affordability. The past six months or so has seen a definite escalation in articles and discussion on this topic. Possibly brought about by our impending municipal elections.

Let’s raise the spotlight then. Homes of Provenance has used a somewhat arbitrary measure of ‘upper tier’ as including detached homes of $2MM or more; attached (t/homes or duplexes) and apartments of $1MM or more. Clearly, these parameters define a class of housing that would be unaffordable by a large percentage of those in Metro Vancouver who currently are, or aspire to become, home owners. Other than those who ascribe to a more socialistic viewpoint, most of this group accept the fact that, for limited financial resources and/or lower earnings, they cannot or should not venture into the “upper tier”. Supply and Demand factors set the ‘cannot or should not’ aspect of affordability at each level of the pricing spectrum. A recent Vancouver Sun columnist has suggested that it may be realistic to “….consider that your home doesn’t have to be a house, and that it doesn’t hurt to start small and think big”. That columnist, Shelly Fralic, has expressed her frustration thus. “So for the love of God, people, stop complaining about the price of housing in Vancouver. Market forces, not your, mayor or mom, determine the cost of housing. Just ask home buyers in New York, Paris and London.”

The demand for our city’s upper tier real estate remains strong as we see in the 3rd quarter 2014 figures from the Greater Vancouver R/ E Board’s database.

Detached homes sold [$2MM and above] 2014 – 423 listings sold vs. 2013 – 374 sold (increase of 13 %). Highest sale $14.35MM (’14) vs. $15.19 MM (’13). This property, high end, gated, Shaughnessy home – at 1431 Laurier Ave, sold in Aug’14 after 85 days on the market, originally listed at $16.89 MM, 6 bed/8 bth, a 9,000 sq. ft. home on an approx 20,000 sq. ft. lot. Exceptional quality – Italian marble, granite and H/W. 6 car Parking incl 3 car garage. Spectacular kitchen/ home theatre/ rec room and Gym.Tax assessed at $10.893MM. Incredible dwelling and a most distinctive home of provenance.

Attached homes, those best described as townhomes and duplexes, [$1MM and above] 2014 – 79 units sold vs. 2013 – 95 sold. Highest sale $3.675MM (’14) vs. $4.724MM (’13). This property At 2748 Highgrove Pl in Whitby Estates

(The Terraces at Highgrove) sold in Sept’14 after 158 days on the market. Over 3200 sq ft it is a new, spectacular view townhome (3bed/3 bth) with stunning architectural features. Tax Assessment awaited, originally listed at $3.898MM.

Apartments [$1MM and above] 2014 – 137 units vs. 2013 – 116 sold (up 18%). Highest sale $11.65MM (’14) vs. $9.75MM (’13) This is a 22nd Floor 3 bed/5 bth sub-PH – 5,100 sq. ft. in the sought after One Harbour Green (2200 1169 W Cordova St). Panoramic views of city, water, mountains and park. This “full flr” apt has 24hr Concierge and full slate of facilities. Listed originally at $13.28MM, it sold in Sept’14 after 19 days on the market. Tax assessed at $9.4 MM.

Here are the current inventory (listed property) figures:

Detached ($2MM and up) 1505 – Highest $25.8MM * – 67 at $10MM

plus

Attached ($1MM and up) 184 – Highest $5.95MM** – 19 at $3MM plus

Apts ($1MM and up) 413 – Highest $18.68 MM*** – 13 at $5MM plus

* 4749 Belmont Av, Pt Grey. 5bd/3bth, 3700 s/f 1937 (1 – 4 bldg lots?)

** 1233 W.Cordova 3bd/3bth, 2 lvl, 2580 s/f TH 17

*** 3000-1139 W.Cordova 6018 sf P/H – 3bd/5bth

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