Category Archives: data

Eliminate character to avoid affordability 

There are some old homes on Vancouver and some people think we shouldn’t be tearing down 1000 of them each year.  The city has some heritage and ‘character’ protections in place, but these have the unfortunate side effects of slowing the relentless rising of house prices:

“The real data on the house next door is that it reduced the value by 15 per cent,” said Jackson, whose neighbour’s house was re-listed and sold for less money after the city determined it has “character features” on the exterior. 

Read the full article here

In Vancouver your basement suite can be a mansion

Someone at zero hedge saw the unoccupied units stats for Vancouver and decided to refer to them all as ‘mansions’:

There Are 66,719 Empty Mansions In Vancouver

Yan said most of these were concentrated in three areas: Coal Harbour, Marine Gateway and Joyce-Collingwood. Surrey came in second at 11,195, Burnaby at 5,829 and Richmond at 4,021. The focus has clearly been on the most expensive neighborhoods: the number of unoccupied units increased 25% in Richmond between the 2011 and 2016 census and by 28 per cent in Burnaby.

To take advantage of this multi-million mansion ghost town, in November 2016 the Vancouver city council voted to approve a tax on empty homes, the first in Canada. Based on self-reporting owners, the tax is a one-per-cent charge on homes that are not principal residences or are not rented out for at least six months of the year. The goal was to improve Vancouver’s tight rental vacancy rate of 0.6 per cent by encouraging owners of thousands of empty units to offer them up for renting.

Read the full article here.

Toronto #1 (in empty homes)

You were feeling all proud about the number of empty homes in Vancouver weren’t you?  25 thousand, that’s a lot, but Toronto just had to outdo us:

Hold my beer Vancouver, we got this. The newly released 2016 Census numbers from Statistics Canada, show the City of Toronto saw Vancouver’s 25k+ unoccupied homes, and trumped it by another 74k units. Now with over 99k unoccupied homes in the city, speculation of Toronto real estate might be worse than previously thought.

Read the full article here.

West Van population slip sliding away.

According to BC Statistics the community of West Van is seeing a steady population decline.

According to a B.C. Statistics report, the population in West Vancouver dropped by 2.1 per cent between 2015 and 2016 with just under 41,000 people now calling that community home.

The downturn in West Vancouver is the largest year-over-year decline of any B.C. municipality with at least 15,000 residents. West Vancouver has been in a slow and steady decline since 2011, which doesn’t follow the current trend of most municipalities across the province that have seen a steady increase in their populations.

So whats driving the decline? Housing prices? Aging Population? Lack of Bars and Restaurants? Lack of rentals? The mayor is concerned about all those factors.

“So we need more rental accommodation so when our young people are graduating and want to stay in West Van, have a place to rent.”

The business community, Smith says, is also suffering from the lack of vibrancy.

“We don’t have the bars and restaurants to create any vibrancy in the community. It’s a very serious situation,” Smith explained.

Read the full article at Globalnews.

Condo sales see big drop in December

So far it’s been single family homes that have seen the biggest drop in sales and prices in Vancouver with condo sales chugging right along.  That may be changing. Whether you blame it on market changes or weather, Vancouver condo sales saw a 23.7% drop in December.

Bubble talk might be impacting sales, as they declined significantly across the GVR. 915 sales were logged through the MLS, this represents a 23.7% decline from the month prior. Of those sales, 1 in 4 were in Vancouver West – which only experienced a 19.9% decline from November. Declining sales is expected in December, but this was a 25.3% decrease across the GVR from the same time last year.

Of course prices are still way up from a year ago.

Read the full article over at betterdwelling.com.