Archive for the ‘BC’ Category

What do these cities have in common?

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Take a look at this list:

Calgary
Winnipeg
Edmonton
Gatineau
Halifax
Hamilton
Oshawa
Montreal
London
Kitchener
Kingston
Ottawa
Quebec
Regina
Saguenay
Saint John
Sudbury
St.John’s
St. Catharines
Sherbrooke
Saskatoon
Thunder Bay
Toronto
Trois Rivieres
Vancouver
Victoria

Know what those 26 cities have in common?

They’re all Canadian for one, but they are also places where house prices have doubled or tripled over the last 15 years.

As special as Vancouver is, it’s apparently not unique when it comes to rising prices.

Thanks to Joe Mainlander for pointing this out, original data source is Toronto Condo Bubble.

West Van debates pros and cons of Monster Homes

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

West Vancouver is considering limiting the size of ‘Monster Homes‘ and that’s got both sides of the issue up in arms. The primary concern from some residents is that a proposed size limit would bring down property values:

“At first glance, this is flawed, to say the least,” said Russell Lane, who said he and his wife were “one of the owners of one of the larger properties and our house is on it. It’s not a ‘monster property,’ or whatever the description is, but a house that was built appropriate to current regulations.”

He said it would be unfortunate if the municipal government created, in effect, two classes of properties, where older houses that were built to code would be more attractive to buyers than homes built after a policy change.

Meanwhile North Delta brought in similar limits several years ago:

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said her community limited the size of new North Delta homes to 3,552 square feet several years ago and feels the policy has worked well, with few complaints from builders or owners of would-be monster homes.

“We were having problems with some very large homes being built, some as large as 9,000 square feet or bigger,” she said. “Allowing an unlimited amount of square feet in new homes was not taking the community in the direction it wanted to go.”

Read the full article in the Vancouver Sun.

Tiny lenders chop rates to grab mortgage customers

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Rates have dropped and that means better deals on mortgages. The big banks have dropped discount rates to an average of 2.79% on a 5 year mortgage.

Meanwhile the smaller lenders are hungry for more business so they’re cutting profits to compete on lower rates.

Mortgage Brokers are also taking cuts on commission to compete in the race to the lowest rate:

The rate war is even more intense among mortgage brokers, many of whom are shifting away from the traditional full-service model that saw brokers spending hours working with clients to select the best mortgage and earning hefty commissions. These days, more borrowers are turning to online and “self-service” brokerages that compete on volume, offering less personalized service and sacrificing some of the commissions they earn from lenders in order to discount rates even further.

Not everyone is a fan of the model. Some are worried that with interest rates already so low, brokers are having to dig deep into their commissions to offer meaningful discounts, a model that some brokers argue could threaten the industry as a whole.

“The majority of people don’t like what we’re doing and it’s a troublesome thing for us to digest because ultimately it’s the best for the consumer,” said Jeff Mark, co-founder of Spin Mortgage, an 18-month-old online brokerage that is advertising a five-year fixed rate at 2.49 per cent, well below the typical bank rate, by sacrificing some of its commissions. “We make less money per deal. I don’t know how that isn’t a good thing for the market.”

Read the full article here.

OV condo unit sale gets big price drop

Monday, February 16th, 2015

“If they got in early, they got burnt” says the selling agent about the Olympic Village condo development.

The Globe and Mail features this deal where a unit was purchased new for $1,565-million + HST in 2010 and recently sold for somewhat less.

He says prices dropped in 2013, when the city took over sales. At that time, he sold a 1,200-square-foot unit, with a water view, in the same building for $860,000. “That’s more like a Burnaby price,” Mr. Yan says.

Last December, he advised a client to purchase this unit, and she jumped on it. She’d been looking for three months in Richmond and Yaletown as well.

“I said to her, ‘If you had talked to me a year earlier, I would have got you an even better deal [in the building],’” Mr. Yan says.

Read the full article here.

Vancouver, New York, London & Paris

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Reader tedeastside either hates Vancouver or he wants other people to.

Regular visitors here know teds comments have a certain reliable tone to them, but yesterday’s got creative and inspired people to riff on it:

to those proud vancouverites who mention vancouver in the same breath as New York or London probably thinks the following

Shangri-la = Empire State building
Robson Square = Rockefeller center
Nat Bailey = Yankee Stadium
Steam Clock = Big Ben
Olympic Cauldron = Eiffel Tower
VAG = the Louvre
Robson street = Champs-Élysées
Gassy Jack = Statue of Liberty
North Van Sulfer piles = the Pyramids

This of course got some pointing out that Vancouver can have overpriced real estate and still be a decent city, but where’s the fun in that?

(more…)

Luxury hotel to become a dorm

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Looks like those basement mortgage helpers might have some competition soon if this plan goes through:

Downtown Vancouver Luxury Hotel to become International Student Housing

The 17-storey building will undergo a $37 million renovation and have 220 beds for international students come September, according to Global News; the company is eventually hoping to expand into Vancouver and Richmond and have beds for 5,000 post-secondary and high school students in nine different buildings.

The Viva Suites will be available from $900 to $2,500, depending on the amenities, location, and building, The Province reports. Some of the amenities available are a weight room, housekeeping, secured underground parking, and Internet. The suites will be available for daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly rental, with no long-term commitments required, states a company press release.

Read the full article here.

Drop in west side sales?

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Reader Barb Rennie posted this in yesterdays thread, can any Realtors vouch for it’s accuracy?

Total number of Sales in West Vancouver for Detached Homes:

Month of January 2014 – 55
Month of January 2015 – 36

Total number of Sales in Vancouver Westside for Detached Homes:

Month of January 2014 – 147
Month of January 2015 – 77

Are all sales from January 2015 are tabulated yet or is this apparent drop in west side sales simply due to incomplete data?

Local buyers drive up prices on east side

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

So the Canadian dollar is in the toilet now which means buying stuff here in some other currencies gets you a nice 25% discount compared to a year ago.

And yet who’s driving up prices on the east side of Vancouver? Local buyers according to some realtors.

“We had 20 people in the city who would have paid asking price and 10 who wrote offers and were willing to pay more,” said Rockel of Macdonald Realty Ltd.

She said no overseas buyers were involved in the final offers.

The big news was the property that got 31 offers:

Meanwhile, Vancouver realtors are still agog over the 31 offers that were received for a home at 3 East 60th Ave. in South Vancouver which was listed at $899,000 and went on sale 10 days ago.

“It was for sale on the Tuesday and by the Friday we took offers,” said Sebastien Albrecht, a realtor with Royal Lepage.

“I’ve seen multiple offers on properties — the most being 10 or 12 — I don’t think any of us have seen 31 before. It’s the talk of the town among realtors,” said Albrecht.

He said he couldn’t disclose the selling price because the property was in probate, which would have to be cleared before the sale could be finalized.

Not mentioned in that article is the fact that the asking price on that property was $30,000 under assessed, but still that’s a lot of bids.

Sunshine coasts largest developer files for Bankruptcy

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Last week over at VancouverPeak Skook posted about the bankruptcy filing of Wakefield Construction.

We missed that posting here at VancouverCondo.info, but it’s got some interesting details about the impact to the economy and a number of subcontractors on the sunshine coast, Vancouver, Whistler and Bowen Island.

There are no winners in this situation – not the employees, not the subcontractors, not the local businesses nor suppliers, not the community and not Lance Sparling. As the list of “Unsecured” creditors shows, he borrowed from himself, too, to keep the ball rolling. His waterfront home was put on the market a year ago and remains unsold despite a -25% drop in the list price; but, as we know those million dollar plus properties have been slow to move on the Sunshine Coast – only 17 sold in 2014 out of a total of 123 listed – that’s barely 14%.

Skook also relates a personal memory:

Like so many others living in and north of Sechelt I wondered what would replace the old “Wake-in-the-Field” Inn and then was fascinated by those uniquely curved roofs of that replacement – the Wakefield Beach development. When I moved down to Sechelt, I had the opportunity to walk through the project and it is a very special and attractive development. The company, Wakefield Construction, was born from that development and at least in this instance the company name lives on.

While Skooks posting is almost nostalgic in tone, the first major media to pick up this story is Business in Vancouver. In their story the Realtor is surprised:

“They ruled the world up here,” said Sechelt realtor Susanne Jorgenson,” “I don’t know how they could have failed.”

..The chamber of commerce is shocked:

“I was shocked,” said Kim Darwin, president of the Sechelt and District Chamber of Commerce. “[The Coast] has a number of new construction projects coming up, so I hope our smaller contractors can step up.”

And the customer is angry:

“They screwed a lot of people,” said Brad Copping, general manager of South Coast Ford Sales Ltd., which had hired Wakefield Construction to complete a 9,000-square-foot addition to its Sechelt dealership. Copping is now paying three of the former Wakefield employees to continue work that is now half complete.

“This will cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars,” said Copping, whose company is not on the creditor list. “They [Wakefield Construction] over billed us and then didn’t pay their sub-contractors. So we are paying twice for the same work.”

Read the full article over at Business In Vancouver.

 

BOC chops rate in race for bottom

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

If you’ll recall you’ve been warned many times by a number of government talking heads that rates could go up at any time.

Today the Bank of Canada finally took action and cut rates by a quarter from 1% to 0.75%.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Poloz said the oil price drop is “unambiguously bad” for the Canadian economy, prompting the bank to take out what he called an “insurance policy” against future risks, such as weak inflation and a household debt squeeze. But he denied the move was calculated to send the Canadian dollar lower.

“Market consequences will be what they are,” he said.

The rate cut sent the loonie plummeting below 81 cents (U.S.).

Mr. Poloz, who acknowledged that oil dominated the bank’s discussions leading up to Wednesday’s rate decision, said he’s ready to cut rates again if prices fall further.

“The world changes fast and if it changes again, we have room to take out more insurance,” he said.

The rate move, which few analysts anticipated, is an attempt by Mr. Poloz to shield highly indebted Canadian households from an oil-induced hit to their jobs and incomes – signs of which are already evident in Alberta.

In the comments section here, Dave asked the question: How much of the BC economy is tied to Oil and Alberta?

I would like to know how much of a hit the damage to Alberta will be to BC. It seems to me that everybody underestimates the economic impact. I think our statistics don’t capture the role of Alberta in our economy. I think I read that Westjet estimated 5,000 people in the Okanagan work in the oil patch. And that’s just them trying to estimate things for their benefit (i.e. people who buy plane tickets). How many work from home on their computers? Or only make a few trips per year and don’t get picked up the radar? How many work in the Okanagan but for companies that service the oil patch? Add it all up and there is a LOT of employment related to Alberta.

 

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