Category Archives: pictures

Map of assessment changes from 2013 to 2014

VMD pointed out this interesting zoomable map of assessed property value changes over the last year in Vancouver.

Anthony Smith at HealthyCityMaps created this map using BC assessment data.

At his site you can click and zoom in to see whats happened to values in different neighbourhoods.

Interesting to see how tax assessments vary from micro area to micro area.

Dark purple represents a large increase, yellow is neutral and dark orange is a large decrease from 2013 to 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 10.42.02 AM

View the full map here.

Field Guide to the Tarps of Vancouver

It used to be that Vancouverites were concerned about leaky condos.

There was a time when local newscasters and politicians would wring their hands and referred to condo repairs blossoming across town as a ‘crisis’.

Then we discovered that tarps can be worn with flair!

Here’s just a few different styles that you can currently find on the Fairview slopes, look around town and see if you can spot these or other trend setting styles!

What special style has your strata chosen?

A field guide to various condo repair tarp styles
A field guide to various condo repair tarp styles


1. Drapery:
just throw it up there! This bohemian style says you have more important things to do than tidy up the tarps.

2. Tidy blue:
a ‘just so’ cap of shiny white tarp tops custom fit to your building is offset by a beautiful blue mesh, making even a grey sky look sunny!

3. Showercaps:
just a little on the top please! Leaves the balconies, doors and windows unblocked, but keeps the rain off the roof!

4. Stormtrooper:
for the serious mysterious type.  Cover everything in a tight white shell. These are not the droids you’re looking for.

5. Cascading green:
for extra excitement in a downpour, this style will only work with a multilayered building but creates a beautiful waterfall effect in a heavy rain.  The green mesh says ‘i care’ about the environment.

Have we missed any quintessential Vancouver tarp styles?

BC Mortgage Applications falling off a cliff


Dyugle pointed out this graph on historical mortgage application volume at canequity.

There are some great stats at that site, but the historical chart is remarkable.

It goes back to 2003 and so far 2013 is scrapping along historical lows for that full time period.

I guess homebuyers these days are just using suitcases of cash?

I don’t know how else you would explain this big shift in mortgage applications unless the data is still being updated.

*Anon points out this is percentage of preapproval applications done online. So why are we seeing a smaller percentage of preapproval applied for online than we did for the last ten years? Any mortgage brokers care to comment?

Its even more remarkable when you look at this graph and notice how normally this would be the time of year with the highest volume of mortgage applications.

Check out the full site here for more interesting stats.



How do we compare to Victoria?

As prices have gotten silly in Vancouver they are often compared to what you can get in other cities around the world, many of them in the post-correction US.

But you don’t have to go far for an alternative to Vancouver, you can even stay in the province.

Our nearest comparable would be the smaller city of Victoria.

To that end Interest Only has put together this chart showing the variation in home prices between Vancouver and Victoria based on Teranet data.  After dipping in 2005 the deviation has become rather pronounced recently.  Here’s what they say about it:

What this tells us is that Average home prices in Vancouver relative to Victoria are stretched.  Victoria prices are rolling over and as a result, Vancouver looks like a new 23 year high versus Victoria prices. The ratio is outside of two standard deviations relative to the 23 year average (The shaded area).



What’s going on with inventory?

At the beginning of the month we saw a sharp drop in inventory, moving away from a near record high to a more moderate level for the season.

There are still a lot of properties for sale in Vancouver, but not the crazy highs we saw in the spring after the month end flush.

B5baxter has updated his inventory chart over at and it looks like the last week has seen most of those properties come back on the market.

So we’re at a lower inventory level, but there is a sharp recent increase.

Any theories on what’s going on with listings?  Looks like there was a similar jump in July 2006:

Battlemap: My God, it’s full of blue.

VMD has updated his Vancouver Real Estate Battle Map.

Here’s the May 2013 SFH edition:

Now that tax season and vacations are over and done with, we head back to the Battlefield!

– Fraser River turned crimson with Bovine blood as the REBGV Bulls failed to defend their Last Stand in Coquitlam. The Bear Army pressed forward and took control of North Surrey for the first time in this War.

– The Bears diverted their main attack forces in Van West & Richmond to solidify control of outskirts such as West Van, Burnaby, Ladner, Poco & Tsawwassen.

– The following Bull Territories are facing imminent defeat: Surrey.

Feb 2013: VMD Battle Map Update

Over at VancouverPeak VMD has updated his SFH battlemap and it’s starting to go monochrome..

This is an entertaining way to track market changes across Vancouver and you can see the color change across the map in relation to earlier posts.

He’s also helpfully marked areas that have switched from positive to negative over the last month.

Looks like the only YOY gains left are in the southeast, losses are showing up everywhere else now.

In other news B5baxter has updated the inventory graph. We’re now showing the highest inventory on the chart for this time of year. Inventory is still growing, but at a slightly slower pace.


Over the last 30 days the average daily increase was: 55
At this rate we would reach 16,000 in 5 days (Mar-12-13)
At this rate we would reach 20,000 in 78 days (May-23-13)
and 25,000 by August 22, 2013
Last year during this same 30 day period the averages was: 57
Last week the average was 56
Thanks PaulB for the numbers!

Home and Condo sales battle map

VMD has been busy over at the new Vancouver Peak Forum uploading new Battle of Vancouver maps.

These maps show the increase or decline in year-over-year REBGV home price index (The Benchmark or HPI).

There are maps for both the condo market and for single family homes in the lower mainland, along with a few historical maps for comparison.

Here’s the map for SFH, showing big changes in South Surrey and UBC:


And here’s the map for Condos, which looks similar but the big changes are in South Surrey but Bull forces are firmly entrenched in Guilford and Pitt Meadows.



Here’s the original discussion thread for the Condo map and for the SFH map.

You can find more great creations and analysis from VMD over at greaterfoolvancouver.

Cambie-fornia, Compare and despair.

Remember when a million dollars was real money?

It’s always fun to compare what your Vancouver home dollars will get you in less fortunate countries.

A commenter by the name of mortgage posted this delightful contrast.

Here’s what $2.5 million will get you on a major street in the Cambie corridor, walking distance from the world famous ‘Oakridge Center Mall’.  This 1948 beauty is located near the vibrant heart of Vancouver, where the sun always shines:

Somewhat south of there is a place called Beverly Hills California.  If you take your $2.5 million down there you’ll find something like Dudley Moores old digs:

..but you wouldn’t be walking distance to Oakridge Mall.  They have a Zellers.

$100k price drop guarantee

With more and more noise in the news lately about falling sales and prices in the Vancouver real estate market developers are getting creative.

When even the real estate industry predicts prices to be lower in the future how do you sell new condos?

How about offering a $100k price drop guarantee?

Crabman points out that’s what the Kimpton in North Van is offering.

It’s not entirely clear how it works, but lets assume they don’t mean that they guarantee prices will drop $100k in the next two years.

“New guaranteed prices are what you will pay today and are net of the $100,000 price protection guarantee provided by the developer and registered on the title on closing”

Here’s the ad:

And here’s a shot of the sign currently on the building exterior:

This is certainly an interesting alternative to the many stealth price drops that we usually see: free car, etc.

What do you think? If you’re looking to buy but concerned about falling prices would the price drop guarantee make you more willing to purchase?