Spring 2014 Market Update – Vancouver Real Estate

April 20, 2014

Spring 2014 Market Update

House Market Update

As predicted in my last newsletter, the heavy demand for Eastside single family homes continues to produce competing offer scenarios and create upward pressure on prices. The price of both land and nicely renovated older homes continue to increase and another 10% in 2014 would not be surprising especially around Main Street and Fraser Street (the new Main!). On the Westside, its all about land still. Bidding wars for standard single family lots are almost the norm especially in Point Grey and Dunbar. Brand new homes command a premium but unlike on the Eastside there is little value in homes that are more than 20 years old here, so be wary of pouring money into renovating an existing structure unless doing so entirely for your own enjoyment/use. The sad fact is that perfectly livable older homes continue to be knocked down and replaced by newer structures, not all of which are any more likely to be standing in 50 years than the houses they are replacing. This situation is very unlikely to change unless drastic legislation (well beyond the City’s recent minor incentives) is introduced and with the dollars at stake here that will likely never happen.

Condo Market Update

In broad strokes the condo market in Vancouver is well balanced right now. There is a good chance that sales volume over the year will be close to the 10 year average and prices will likely remain flat +- 5%. Sales volume through the winter was higher than normal because the first half of 2013 had been unusually slow. There was then a small lull which has now past and the spring market appears to be fully underway, if perhaps a few weeks behind its usual cycle. Looking closer at micro markets and buying patterns, there have been some gradual changes over the past couple of years. For example the emergence of Main Street/ Mount Pleasant/False Creek East as a condo market has drawn a lot of first time buyers away from more established areas such as Kitsilano and the West End. These two neighbourhoods, with predominantly older buildings and quieter surroundings, are now relying more on buyers downsizing out of detachedhomes and coming back into the city from the suburbs. With empty nesters still in good supply this will likely keep the prices strong even in the older buildings, because of the unique appeal of these more leafy and established communities. Moving back into an urban setting is a lot more palatable with world class beaches and parks at your doorstep!