Paul Liberatore

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Self-storage is becoming a hot commercial real estate sector, with many B.C. properties seeing 90 per cent occupancy levels and per-square-foot rents that can surpass that of a condominium.

In Metro Vancouver, typical rent for a 100-square-foot self-storage unit ranges between $1.84 and $2 per square foot, which, according to an Urban Analytics study, is equal to a typical condo rent in Burnaby or Richmond.

“Storage lockers are a simple investment,” said real estate consultant Ozzie Jurock. “There’s often no heat, little maintenance, and if you want to make it a luxury unit, you put in a light bulb.”

Two primary factors influence storage, according to Vadim Kobasew of Re/Max Commercial, who specializes in self-storage sales: the large amount of stuff that people acquire and their reluctance to throw any of it away.

On average, one-third of self-storage clients store their stuff for three years, meaning a steady cash flow for the owners, Kobasew noted.

There are other quirks that make self-storage property different from most commercial real estate. The buildings can be in less-than-desirable locations: small towns, noisy roads on the outskirts of cities or tucked in behind industrial areas.

Tenants pay little or no deposit and can leave at a moment’s notice, but Kobasew pointed out that, because of the wide tenant base, owners are protected from long-term vacancies that can occur in other commercial real estate categories.

Studies show that nearly 80 per cent of Canadian self-storage properties remain in the hands of small independent owners, but the sector has begun to hit the radar of large institutional investors.

Of the top 25 real estate investment trusts measured in five-year returns last year in the U.S., four were in the self-storage business, according to SNL Financial, a real estate research firm.

Los Angeles-based DealPoint Merrill recently launched a $25 million fund that will convert former retail properties, in particular stand-alone big boxes and strip centres, into self-storage properties.

“Self-storage is now legit; it’s not anymore like that odd business model that nobody really understood,” said R. Christian Sonne, executive managing director in Cushman & Wakefield Inc.’s self-storage industry group. “We’ve had entities from family money to equity firms and hedge funds jumping into the sector, which is now considered at least core, if not core-plus.”

Kobasew added some B.C. investors have been creating portfolios of self-storage buildings, but they’re mostly looking for large facilities of 200 to 300 units or more, which are rare.

He said the typical investor profile and facility remains “mom-and-pop” operations that provide a relatively secure investment or retirement income with a minimum of management.

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Chapters Indigo will shut down its Robson store in downtown Vancouver on June 30, blaming high rent as the reason for closing down its flagship location in the city. 

The company said a "very significant rent increase made continued profitability untenable," but that it plans to open another store in the same area sometime this year.

"An increase of this magnitude would quite simply make this vibrant, profitable store unprofitable," said Indigo's CEO Heather Reisman.

"As a result, we are actively pursuing another location to serve the Robson trade area, which we fully intend to open in 2015. In other key markets we are also looking at new real estate opportunities for Indigo that will best serve our unique needs."

The company added it is working with its human resources department to support its employees through this transition.

It will hold a community townhall meeting on Feb. 23.

Sherman Scott, a commercial real estate agent with Colliers International, says the retail landscape in Vancouver is shifting due to new retailers moving in.

"With Nordstrom going in right across the street [from Chapters], this area is becoming more and more expensive for retailers, so I wouldn't be surprised if the landlord has something else in mind for that space," he said.

"Some western portions of the city, we've seen a bit of a downturn and this area near the new Nordstrom, near Pacific Centre ... I think it's a popular place to be for retail. We've definitely seen an increase in rental rates in the immediate vicinity."

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The house that lycra built is worth its weight in gold.

According to B.C. Assessment’s 2015 roll, released Friday, Lululemon founder Chip Wilson’s Kitsilano home is the most valued residential property in British Columbia.

The mansion on Point Grey Road was assessed at $57,595,000.

Wilson’s waterfront abode is the most valuable B.C. residence for the second year in a row.

In 2014, it was assessed at $54.2 million up from $35.2 million in 2013 when it was still under construction.

Two other properties cracked the $50 million mark this year, acreage on James Island in the gulf islands ($51,521,000) and a single-family home on Belmont Avenue in Vancouver’s Point Grey neighbourhood ($50,126,000).

Sixteen of the Top 25 valued properties in the province are located within City of Vancouver limits, four others are in the District of West Vancouver and three are on UBC’s University Endowment Lands.

Overall, the Vancouver Sea to Sky region’s assessment roll increased to $407.1 billion this year, from $375.1 billion.

“Most homes in the Vancouver Sea to Sky region are worth more in value compared to last year’s assessment roll,” said B.C. Assessment deputy assessor Dharmesh Sisodrak in a statement. “Most home owners … will see changes up to +15 per cent.”

The Fraser Valley’s assessment roll also increased to $94.3 billion this year, from $90.7 in 2013.

Most owners in the valley will see assessment changes within +/- five per cent, the office said.

The total value of real estate throughout the province in 2015 is assessed at more than $1.2 trillion, up 5.84 per cent from 2014.

Owners of more than 323,000 properties in the Vancouver Sea to Sky region and 193,000 properties in the Fraser Valley will be receiving their assessment notices shortly.

Any owners who feel their assessment doesn’t reflect the market value of their property, as of July 1, 2014, or see incorrect information are asked to contact BC Assessment this month.

The assessments can also be appealed and reviewed by a review panel.

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Toronto-based InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:INN.UN) has bought Vancouver’s 644-room Hyatt Regency Hotel for $140 million, the equivalent of $217,000 per room.

 

Following completion of the sale, a Hyatt Hotels Corp. affiliate will continue to manage the hotel under a new long-term management contract. The sale is expected to close this month.

 

Built in 1973, the Hyatt is located at the northwest corner of Burrard and West Georgia streets and has some of the city’s largest standard guest rooms and meeting space.

 

Carrie Russell, managing director of hotel industry analyst firm HVS International, said there has been increased investor interest this year in downtown Vancouver hotel properties. She noted that so far in 2014 the Days Inn and Best Western Sands hotels have sold, both to investors from China. Also a “good portion” of the hotel-condos in the Westin Grand hotel has reportedly been sold to a single investor, Russell added.

 

Last week, Daniel Fournier, chairman and CEO of Ivanhoe Cambridge told BIV that its Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is close to a sale under a bid process that is now closed. 

 

Russell is not surprised by the hotel sales action.

 

“Vancouver is heading into a very strong convention year, Revpar [revenue per available room] is very high, and there has been little new construction. The outlook for the Vancouver hotel market is very positive.”

 

Courtesy of Business in Vancouver

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Livability poll finds we love Vancouver, but hate real estate prices

Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun

 

Only three per cent of people who live in the city of Vancouver think they are paying a reasonable amount for their mortgages or rent, according to a new poll funded by Vancity.

And across the Lower Mainland — known for its sky-high real estate prices — just one quarter of residents think they are getting good value for money when it comes to housing or rental prices.

The poll results, released to The Vancouver Sun less than a month before the Nov. 15 municipal election, delved into the topic that Vancouverites love to debate — housing affordability.

“Whether you grew up in this region, moved here 20 years or two months ago, housing costs are increasingly becoming part of how we define our relationship to Metro Vancouver,” said Shachi Kurl, senior vice-president of Angus Reid Global, which conducted the poll.

“It’s not a new conversation. We’ve been talking about these issues over coffee, in line at the grocery store, on date night or at family dinner for a generation. But as time goes by, housing costs appear to take on a more significant and prominent role in our lives.”

 

The city of Vancouver had by far the lowest percentage of fiscally happy homeowners — only three per cent thought they were getting good value from their mortgages or rental payments. The next most disgruntled lived on the North Shore (17 per cent) and Burnaby (19 per cent).

In no community was there a majority of residents who were happy with housing bills, although it came closest in Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge (49 per cent) and New Westminster (45 per cent).

Nearly 1,100 Metro Vancouver residents were asked to rate their cities on “livability” factors, including green space, ethnic diversity, transit, family issues, safety, and the economy. Vancity used the results to produce a “Livable City Study.”

Very few residents in Vancouver, the North Shore or Burnaby thought there were any affordable homes left, the poll found, while a majority of respondents in Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge and the Fraser Valley thought well-valued homes could still be found with some diligent searching.

The poll also showed, though, that just because housing was expensive, it didn’t mean people were unhappy. When asked whether “it is worth every penny to live where I live,” nearly three-quarters of respondents said yes in the Fraser Valley, the North Shore and Richmond/Delta — often commenting about the region’s beauty and mild weather.

That happiness was lowest — dropping to just over half of respondents — in Surrey, the Tri-Cities and Vancouver.

Courtney Komonasky, 42, is happy living in Vancouver, where she has been for 20 years, but cannot afford to buy a home. She has rented the same apartment for 11 years, so her rent has stayed reasonable, but she has watched similar units go up and up in price.

“I have a good job and I get paid a good wage, and I really don’t know how people do it getting paid just minimum wage jobs,” said Komonasky, a registered massage therapist.

Komonasky answered the Vancity poll and, like many others who completed the survey, believes escalating real estate prices are partly due to foreign buyers who invest in local houses and condos but leave them sitting empty.

This situation has been debated by candidates in Vancouver’s mayor race, sparked by COPE’S Meena Wong who suggested investors should pay a fee if they don’t live in the properties they own. That’s an issue Komonasky will follow during the election.

“There should be some kind of tax on the people who don’t live here,” she said. “(Empty houses) makes the cost of things less affordable. They are not here to eat in restaurants or shop in the stores.”

Komonasky will monitor candidates for affordable housing solutions, saying she hasn’t witnessed cheaper rental units available in the city despite all the political talk in recent years.

All of Vancouver’s main political parties have included affordable housing in their platforms, but they range significantly in details and depth.

Perhaps the catch-22 of living in expensive Vancouver is that residents often can’t afford to take advantage of local playgrounds — sailing on the ocean or skiing in the mountains — because they are house poor.

“I don’t know that I necessarily take advantage of the things that people talk about, like the skiing. I used to snowboard but that is expensive,” Komonasky said.

Indeed, more than two thirds of poll respondents from Vancouver (67 per cent) said they have “given up a lot” to be able to afford to live in the city, followed by 59 per cent on the North Shore and 52 per cent in Burnaby. That concern was lowest among residents in the Fraser Valley (36 per cent) and Surrey (39 per cent).

The survey results showed people had made sacrifices to save money, regardless of where they lived in Metro Vancouver, including: living in a smaller space (Burnaby), getting an extra job (Vancouver), quitting golf and skiing (North Shore), reducing bills such as eliminating TV cable (New Westminster), and taking transit instead of driving (Surrey).

Nearly all respondents on the North Shore (91 per cent) and in Vancouver (89 per cent) agreed that people born in those cities cannot afford to buy real estate there. That sentiment existed across Metro, but dropped to two-thirds of people in the Fraser Valley and Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge.

In Komonasky’s case, most of her friends moved to the suburbs after having children, searching for cheaper housing.

Survey respondent Frank Wirrell dismissed as “propaganda” that Vancouver is considered one of the most livable cities in the world, promoting instead his hometown of Abbotsford. “Living in the Fraser Valley is more affordable and is excellent for retired persons,” he said.

Deanna Overland of Burnaby appeared to suggest that livability and affordability can be polar extremes in the region. “Vancouver is beautiful and has a lot to offer however the cost of housing makes it unlivable for the average person,” she said.

These issues will undoubtedly be weighing on voters’ minds when they cast their ballots Nov. 15.



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An accident by a contractor caused damage across four units

Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun Newspaper

 

Carmen Cheung thought her condo renovations were almost done – then a contractor punctured a pipe, sending an hour-long cascade of water through the walls of her Burnaby home.

"I saw … like rain coming down from outside, it was pouring like a waterfall," Cheung told CBC News.

The damage was so extensive that Cheung — and the occupants of three other condos in the building - had to relocate during the repairs. A disaster turned into a nightmare, as Cheung found herself in a snarl of seven insurance companies.

"I feel so frustrated, and at the same time I feel very sorry for the other units, because they have to pay the expenses too," she said.

 

Cheung says that the strata's insurance corporation insists that her mother — as the legal owner of the condo — is responsible.

"My mom didn’t drill a hole. My mom didn’t cause the flood. So we went to our insurance company, and basically they said it's not their responsibility."

"It’s really, like no one is telling me anything."

The insurance companies stalled over who should cover what.

The property manager for the strata corporation began demanding deductibles and leaving phone messages, suggesting Cheung is responsible to pay or the matter may end up in court.

Burnaby condo flood

A renovation accident caused a massive flood in Carmen Cheung's condo, forcing her and the residents of three other units in the building to move out while repairs were made. (CBC)

Cheung says she scrambled to understand her rights. Her elderly mother, the legal owner, felt blamed and tried to make amends with neighbours by apologizing, and even paying $189 for damages done to another unit.

"You know what? No insurance claim should be that difficult," says Kevin McIntyre, president of the B.C. Insurance Broker’s Association.

"But when you have a situation like this, when you have three different adjusters involved in one probably relatively small loss, and a whole bunch of insurance companies and a property manager involved and a strata council involved — it's just too much. It's just too confusing - and frankly it shouldn't happen."

McIntyre says a lot of times an insurance broker can act as an advocate for the individual condo owner.

Many condo owners are also under-insured. More than half of B.C.'s condo holders do not have homeowners' insurance, according to McIntyre.

Burnaby condo flood

Carmen Cheung's apartment before she began renovations. (CBC)

That is a risky situation, says Tony Gioventu, of theCondo Homeowners' Association, because if an owner is responsible, they are likely responsible for paying a deductible that could be anything from $500 to $100,000.

Water damage and floods are the highest causes of loss to Canadian insurance in recent years — flooding alone costing $3.4 billion to the industry.

That’s driven premiums up — and put a lot of pressure on condo stratas not to make claims — according to Gioventu.

He says he's seen bullying from all sides in disputes, from condo board members, property managers.and from neighbours.

"People putting a lot of pressure on their neighbour because they say, 'Hey wait, just because you had a claim doesn't mean I want our insurance to go up.'"

The worst part about situations like Cheung’s, McIntyre says, is not the soggy walls — it’s the bad blood between neighbours.

"The saddest thing for me is, it's neighbour against neighbour, in a place that you want to go home and enjoy your life and relax in."

Numerous calls to the property manager received no response. Attempts to reach condo board members were unsuccessful so far.

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A friend of mine wrote this article comparing Selling a home to giving birth....funny read for sure. Ladies that have given birth and sold a home, what do you think?

 

This article is courtesy of http://www.thingsyouwontlearninschool.ca/

 

 

Before You Buy Your First Home, Beware The Selling Process

Look up, pause briefly for a moment, and remember the good times you had when you bought your home.

We’ll compare those brief moments when the world was your Oyster Rockefeller (because that’s the only way to eat oysters). The emotion you felt when you were buying your home was exciting, thrilling, exhilarating, heck even titillating whatever that means. This emotion was downright erotic.

But what happens when you pull the plug and want to upgrade your place or sell and head for Costa Rica where you can buy twice the house, some beachfront and open up a surf school and still have money left over? You have to sell your place.

And it can be a HUGE pain in the part of your body that regulates sitting.

 


 

You hop in your car or take a private ride with Uber to a few open houses and condo showhomes on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon just to kill time. A few espressos, hours and fancy salespeople later you feel like getting a mortgage, borrowing some money from Uncle Fred for a down payment and closing a sale to have a place to call your own. 

You’re feeling great. You and your significant other have good jobs, life is grand with no worries, accountabilities or responsibilities. You want to grow up and prove to your parents, family and especially your peers that you are SOMEONE. How else do you do that except to buy a home. There's no better display of wealth. Buying a home is soooooo awesome.

Selling a home is the complete opposite. It's like scrubbing a barbecue grill spotless after a biker rally.

In fact my wife, who has successfully undergone the life-altering dark comedy known as child labour, can attest that selling a home is more painful (emotionally – stay with me here ladies) than labour.

The Sex, The Scandal and the Labour of Selling Your Home

Buying a home = sex (pleasure)

Selling a home = labour

Some sex is terrible just as some home buying experiences are terrible - usually because you haven’t found the right one. Other times the sexual (err home buying) experience is fantastic. You fall in love, forget all the baggage that comes along with it, put your best offer forward and seal the deal. Maybe you had a drink and a smoke to celebrate – who am I to judge.

Then the realities of life start to kick in. 

Things need work.

You notice more of what’s on the inside than what’s on the outside and it starts to bother you. Things start breaking down, leaking and some parts even develop funky odours that weren’t previously advertised like on your first date (or first showing). It was all patchwork and staged to look good to catch your attention. The cliche says it was lipstick on a pig. And by golly he/she got it and you were hooked. 

Your logic put you into the market 
We need a place to call our own, with a den for an office space and an extra bedroom for our future child”, 

And your emotion guided you into the purchase 
Well, we can make this 2 bedroom work. The granite looks beautiful and that patio is amazing for entertainingOMG look at this bath tub and those granite counters – it’s perfect.

This is the definition of house horny. When you notice these trigger feelings, know that you might be on the cusp of acting on emotion. Most of these rationalizations are for one reason:
 
This is what you really mean:
I can show off my place and people will like me.
 
You don’t have to admit it yourself now, that’s fine. But I can attest to this because I’ve been there.
 
Selling Your Home

So when you do decide to sell, it’s time to cash in the value of your home sweet home. But you won’t get any money, honey, until you seal the deal.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get a bidding war and your place will sell like a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato on a fall day in downtown Vancouver. If you’re like the other 99% of listings you’ll be on the market.

Waiting.

Patiently.

How’s that drying paint looking?

Agony abounds watching the phone in earnest, for it to ring. Well, nowadays it’s mostly text messages and email, who am I kidding. Just trying to paint a picture here.

Selling a home can really suck. Like I said, labour. When it sells, it’s like pregnancy brain. You forget what it was like carrying all the weight around for up to 9 months. As soon as the ordeal is over with – poof – out of your memory.

Your asking price is very important. When a realtor gives you a range of prices to list for, they will give you a range. Don’t get all excited about the top end of that range unless properties exactly like yours are selling at that price. Not asking prices, selling prices.

The real estate agent should be pulling comparable listings for you and giving you a great idea of what your place is worth. It’s worth doing some digging on your own as well.

But where do you look?

Check the assessed value of your home on your latest property tax form or go to your city’s website and check. Usually you can find the property tax assessment of any home in the city for several years back. Quite a handy tool and part of every smart buyer and seller’s war chest of information.

The Selling Process – Like Child Labour, But Longer
 
Open houses, waiting, showings, waiting, another open house, waiting, showings, waiting. 

Arguments with your roommate, spouse or co-owner.

More time elapses. Your real estate agent calls you to discuss lowering the price because market conditions have changed. (News flash, market conditions are always changing).

Alas, an offer!

Oh wait, it was based on buyers financing that fell through. Now you're back on the market. Waiting, open houses, showings.

At least birth is usually no more than 24 hours.

Then finally a legitimate offer comes down the pipeline.

An offer can contain anything really, as this is done through a formal Contract of Purchase and Sale. The first time you see this document it can look a bit intimidating. As you do this more and more, it gets pretty standard. A good real estate agent will be very transparent and explain all the requirements to you. If they don’t, make sure you ask. 

If you need any clarifications, ask your realtor to explain any term in the contract offer that you’re not familiar with. It’s their job and you’re paying - You’re the boss.

The main part of offer contains the bid price and 99/100 times an offer contains subjects. Subjects are other things that can be included in the offer and this mainly includes:

·      Subject to Financing (aka getting a mortgage)
·      Home Inspections
·      Sale of the buyer’s home (so they can come up with the money to buy your place)
·      Anything else the buyer wants out of you, such as:


o   Subject to carpet cleaning
o   Subject to repairs being completed 
o   Subject to 120 days closing period before the completion day
o   Subject to leaving the pet dog, Ginger
o   Subject to the Corvette in the garage

I’m fairly confident the only things off limits as part of the sale are human beings. 

You can feel free to check court cases at your provincial/state court for that if you’re into the human buying business. If that’s the case, you have bigger issues.

clean offer involves only a price, a home inspection and a reasonable closing date. Anything more than that and it becomes more convoluted than Laplace Transformation Equations in differential calculus. Yeah, exactly.

I once had an offer on one of my homes that was 10% below my asking price (I listed it at the lowest price the realtor proposed to be competitive). This lowball offer included the following clause “subject to the sale of the buyer’s property if it sells before (4 months from the date signed)

Are you kidding me? I thought. 

These buyers haven’t even listed their home for sale and they make an offer based on fairy dust and hope. I hope they make smarter decisions in the future than buying a new place when you haven’t even put your current one on the market. I forgot to mention their place for sale was an apartment, identical to 8 other places in their building, for sale. As Uncle Jesse said, haaaave meeeercy.

My First Sale

The first time my wife was involved with a sale, we were selling her condo in Vancouver for $438,000. After a couple of months on the market and still no offer, we got our first one - for $418,000.

My thoughts – “Sweet, an offer! Counter with a fair price and let’s seal the deal.” Of course, I never told her my thoughts. I was watching her reaction.

My wife’s thoughts – “How dare they offer such a low price!” 

She was seething. Fangs started to grow from her teeth. Her blood was boiling. She was livid that someone would offer $20,000 less than her asking price. She was yelling at the RE agent on the phone to tell that buyer to piss off when the buyer refused to budge when my wife countered with $435,000.

After half an hour of the most illustrious curse words this side of the Adriatic, she looked at me from atop her perch at the kitchen table while I was reading a book. “Babe, what would you do?”

Eureka, my turn to talk. Finally.

“I think you should take the deal or counter very close – say $420,000. The money is on the table for you to take. Who knows when another offer will come.”

She took the deal and the buyer went for the counter. My wife got her equity out, the buyer got a place and everything was more awesome than the Lego movie.

I love it when a plan comes together. 

I could see that if left alone, she would have gone crazy, left the deal and God knows how long the place would’ve been on the market for.

You will get emotional.

You will feel threatened and disgusted when someone gives you an offer lower than your asking price.
"How dare they offer that price on MY home"

Remember this:

The seller is always an optimist. (My place is beautiful, why wouldn’t anyone pay me more than I’m asking for.)

The buyer is always a pessimist. (This place is alright, needs some work, here’s a low price)

This is a word of caution to plan for the whole process when you plop down that down payment: Buying, living AND most importantly, selling.

Unfortunately you wont learn this lesson until you go through it yourself.

These things you just won’t learn in school.
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VANCOUVER, B.C. – November 4, 2014 – Home sales in the Metro Vancouver* housing
market continue to outpace long-term averages for this time of year.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in
Greater Vancouver reached 3,057 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2014.
This represents a 14.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,661 sales in October 2013, and a 4.6
per cent increase over the 2,922 sales in September 2014.
Last month’s sales were 16.6 per cent above the 10-year sales average for October.
“We’ve seen strong and consistent demand from home buyers in Metro Vancouver throughout
this year. This has led to steady increases in home prices of between four and eight per cent
depending on the property,” said REBGV president Ray Harris.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,487
in October. This represents a four per cent increase compared to the 4,315 new listings in
October 2013 and a 14.7 per cent decline from the 5,259 new listings in September.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver
is 13,851, a 9.2 per cent decline compared to October 2013 and a 6.6 per cent decrease compared
to September 2014.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro
Vancouver is currently $637,000. This represents a six per cent increase compared to October
2013.
“Detached homes continue to increase in price more than condominium and townhome
properties. This is largely a function of supply and demand as the supply of condominium and
townhome properties are more abundant than detached homes in our region,” Harris said.
Sales of detached properties in October 2014 reached 1,271, an increase of 19.1 per cent from
the 1,067 detached sales recorded in October 2013, and a 60.9 per cent increase from the 790
units sold in October 2012. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 7.9 per cent
from October 2013 to $995,100.Sales of apartment properties reached 1,268 in October 2014, an increase of 15.5 per cent
compared to the 1,098 sales in October 2013, and a 57.9 per cent increase compared to the 803
sales in October 2012. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased four per cent
from October 2013 to $380,200.
Attached property sales in October 2014 totalled 518, a 4.4 per cent increase compared to the
496 sales in October 2013, and an 53.3 per cent increase over the 338 attached properties sold in
October 2012. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.7 per cent between October
2013 and 2014 to $479,500.

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News Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Steady trends continue in the Greater Vancouver housing

market

VANCOUVER, B.C. – February 4, 2014 – The first month of 2014 saw home sale and listing

totals outpace historical averages in the Greater Vancouver housing market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in

Greater Vancouver reached 1,760 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January 2014.

This represents a 30.3 per cent increase compared to the 1,351 sales recorded in January 2013,

and a 9.9 per cent decline compared to the 1,953 sales in December 2013.

Last month’s sales were 7.2 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“The Greater Vancouver housing market has been in a balanced market for nearly a year. This

has meant steady home sale and listing activity accompanied by stable home prices,” Sandra

Wyant, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,345

in January. This represents a 4.2 per cent increase compared to the 5,128 new listings reported in

January 2013.

Last month’s new listing count was 17.7 per cent higher than the region’s 10-year new listing

average for the month.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® is

12,602, a 4.9 per cent decline compared to January 2013 and a nine per cent increase compared

to December 2013.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro

Vancouver is currently $606,800. This represents a 3.2 per cent increase compared to January

2013.

With the sales-to-active-listings ratio at 14 per cent, the region remains in balanced market

territory.

“If you’re looking to sell your home in a balanced market, it’s critical that your list price is

reflective of current market conditions,” Wyant said.

Sales of detached properties in January 2014 reached 728, an increase of 34.3 per cent from the

542 detached sales recorded in January 2013, and a 10.5 per cent increase from the 659 units

sold in January 2012. The benchmark price for a detached property in Greater Vancouver

increased 3.2 per cent from January 2013 to $929,700.

Sales of apartment properties reached 753 in January 2014, an increase of 30.7 per cent

compared to the 576 sales in January 2013, and an increase of 14.6 per cent compared to the 657

sales in January 2012. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3.7 per cent from

January 2013 to $371,500.

Attached property sales in January 2014 totalled 279, an increase of 19.7 per cent compared to

the 233 sales in January 2013, and a 6.9 per cent increase from the 261 attached properties sold

in January 2012. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 1.7 per cent between January

2013 and 2014 to $457,700.

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