David's thoughts on anything real estate related


I spent the weekend touring the newly completed Patina Development.  This 42 story building is located in the heart of Vancouver at 1028 Barclay Street.  It is destined to be one of Vancouvers most prestigious developments. The units are well designed and the views are simply stunning.  

The new YMCA anchors the building.  My good friend just purchased a home at Patina.  His primary reason for buying into the building was to be close to this facility.  For those not familiar with the YMCA, it offers everything from child care to health and welfare centers across Canada.  The health center at Patina is well appointed with everything you need to stay in shape from a lap pool to a huge fitness facility.  The YMCA has been around for more than 125 years. Their slogan is "bringing people together" and they certainly have at Patina.

As a developer and realtor, I can appreciate a building that is planned from the inside out.  This is one of those buildings.  Each floor plan is carefully designed to minimize wasted space and takes advantage of the views. Homes range in size from 552 square foot studios up to 2700 square feet for the sub-penthouses and 3,170 square feet for the penthouse.  The penthouse itself comes with a 2,000 square foot roof terrace.

The finishes are what you would expect for a newly built modern high rise downtown.  Some of the appointments that I appreciated were the european style cabinetry, solid core interior doors, thick profile granite countertops and Miele appliances.  Below is a quick video of taken with my phone (sorry about the quality).


Please visit our Open House at 3021 15TH AVE W in Vancouver.

See details here

Open House on Sunday, November 20, 2011 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Rare find Heritage home. Perfect layout with two bedroom legal suite. Granite counters, stainless steel appliances, Kohler faucets, automatic awnings over your sundeck and the backyard. Built-in barbecue for your outdoor entertainment. Basement suite rent fully furnished at $2,400 per month.


Vancouver is known around the globe as one of the most livable cities in the world.  This is great, but it also makes it one of the most unaffordable cities in the world.  This is where laneway housing steps in to fill the void.  It creates "hidden" density in some of Vancouver's most desirable single family neighbourhoods and provides an opportunity for badly needed rental units.

Laneway houses are essentially tiny single family homes ranging in size from 500 square feet up to 1,000 square feet that are built in your back yard.  They cannot be subdivided or sold seperately from the main house.  They can only be used for additional family members or for rental income.

Affordable housing is a big topic with the municipal elections around the corner.  To give credit where it is due, Gregor Robertson did a great job coining laneway housing as a part of his "Eco-Density Initiative".  This form of housing is meant to "help reduce the city's carbon footprint, expand housing choices, and ensure Vancouver remains one of the most liveable cities in the world."

Here are four reasons why laneway housing makes sense:

1) They add hidden density to single family neighbourhoods

2) They're Green

3) They provide a new form of housing for those that can't afford Vancouver's expensive house prices

4) They are visually appealing and very livable 


I have sold a property at 3691 38TH AVE W in Vancouver.
Dunbar Character home on flat, 138 foot deep lot. Move right into this inviting home with an extra large back yard and oversized 2 car garage. A large, updated kitchen has an eating nook that opens onto a sundeck overlooking the yard. Themain floor features a living room, large den or formal dining room, spare bedroom and bathroom. Upstairs is a master bedroom, bathroom, reading nook and extra room that could be used as nursery or study. At garden level, is a one bed suite plus shared laundry & storage. Many renovations have been completed over the last 10 years including the garage, master bed addition, kitchen and bathrooms. Enjoy great schools, parks, and amenities'. Road work at Dunbar & 38th, access home via Highbury.

November 2, 2011

With a sales-to-active property listings ratio of 15 per cent, the Greater Vancouver housing market continues to hover at the lower end of a balanced market and has been trending in that direction over the past five months.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system reached 2,317 in October, a 1 per cent decrease compared to the 2,337 sales in October 2010 and a 3.2 per cent increase compared to the previous month. Those sales rank as the second lowest total for October over the last 10 years.

“Right now, prospective home buyers have a good selection of properties to choose from and more time to make decisions,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said. “Home sellers should be mindful of local market conditions to ensure they are pricing their properties competitively.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,374 in October, which is on par with the 10-year average. This represents an 18.3 per cent increase compared to October 2010, when 3,698 properties were listed for sale on the MLS®, and a 23 per cent decrease compared to the 5,680 new listings reported in September 2011.

The total number of properties listed for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® system currently sits at 15,377, which is 9.3 per cent higher than the 14,075 properties listed for sale during the same period last year. October was the first month that the total number of property listings showed a decrease this year.

The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 7.5 per cent to $622,955 in October 2011 from $579,349 in October 2010. However, since reaching a peak in June of $630,921, the benchmark price for all residential properties in the region has declined 1.3 per cent.

Sales of detached properties in October reached 974, which represents virtually no change from the 976 detached sales recorded in October 2010, and a 34.5 per cent decrease from the 1,487 units sold in October 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 11 per cent from October 2010 to $884,778, but decreased 1.3 per cent compared to the previous month.

Sales of apartment properties reached 958 in October, a 2.6 per cent decrease compared to the 984 sales in October 2010, and a decrease of 40.4 per cent compared to the 1,607 sales in October 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3.2 per cent from October 2010 to $402,702, but decreased 0.7 per cent compared to the previous month.

Attached property sales in October totalled 382, a 1.3 per cent increase compared to the 377 sales in October 2010, and a 37.4 per cent decrease from the 610 attached properties sold in October 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 6.5 per cent between October 2010 and 2011 to $519,455, and increased half a per cent compared to the previous month.

Download the complete stats package by clicking here.


BMO Capital Markets reported recently that "The averaged Priced Home in Vancouver is now 11.2 times family income, more than double the ratio of a decade ago." And "it is a market that is subject to an elevated risk of a correction." hinting that we are in a bubble and that prices could collapse at any time.

This statement is partly true. Let me explain further. Like many things, what makes this comment true boils down to the 80/20 rule. 20% of high priced homes in the lower mainland are skewing the statistics and it is important to remember that it is only the most desirable areas in the lower mainland that are now what I would classify as no longer affordable.

News reporters feed on statements like the one made by BMO and it makes the job of a real estate agent more challenging than needed.

As a comparison, imagine if two car dealerships moved into Vancouver. One dealership only sold Farraris and the other only sold Hondas. The average price for the cars in the Farrari lot sell for $500,000 and the average price for the Honda lot is $30,000. Therefore the average price for a car in town is $265,000. This is simply not an accurate statement

Take out the sales of homes priced over $1,000,000 and the actual price of a detached home is closer $600,000 and the average price of a condominium is around $315,000.

These findings come from a recent study from Vancouver-based Urban Futures which uses Landcor Data figures. The study breaks down the sales data into five quintiles representing equal sales in price brackets from the highest to lowest. Considering the top quintile (or top 20% of sales by value), which ranged up to $17,500,000, the average single family price was a lofty $1,690,000, twice the average price for all sales. The remaining 80% (where the typical buyer is found) the average price was $591,000 or 27% below the overall average price.

For condominiums, when factoring in the upper quintile the comparison is $904,000 vs $311,000

The reality is that the average buyer can still find relatively affordable homes with detached prices at under $650,000 and condo prices at about half of that price. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver notes that the one in every five homes sold this year for less than $350,000.

Vancouver home prices are the highest in Canada, but for the majority of buyers they are far below what most media suggests.

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.