Torino 8699 Hazelbridge Way Richmond 405 homes, 185 in first tower, by Pinnacle International

July 14th, 2018

Pinnacle International?s Torino to take its place in Richmond?s Capstan Village

Simon Briault
The Vancouver Sun

Torino

Project location: 8699 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond

Project size: 405 homes (185 in first tower); Homes in Torino South range in size from 578 to 1,189 square feet (with the exception of one home, at 1,855 square feet, which has a large patio). Prices start at $579,900 for one-bedroom homes, $819,900 for two-bedroom homes and $998,900 for three-bedroom units

Developer: Pinnacle International

Architect: Bingham Hill Architects

Interior designer: False Creek Design Group

Sales and marketing: Anson Realty

Sales centre: 3220 No. 3 Road, Richmond

Hours: noon — 5 p.m. (Fridays by appointment)

Telephone: (604) 303-0148

Website: http://www.torinoliving.ca

Occupancy: 2021

Some developers concentrate their energies on single-family houses, some build multi-family apartment buildings and some build entire communities. With its latest development, Pinnacle International is placing itself firmly into the last of these categories; the company’s Capstan Village in Richmond represents community building on a grand scale.

When fully completed in 2021, Capstan Village will include six residential towers and a mix of retail, office spaces, artist studios, hotel accommodation, a daycare and a public park. It will also have its own Canada Line Station on the Richmond Brighouse branch, located between the Bridgeport and Aberdeen stations.

“The City of Richmond granted the developers permission to build new multi-family housing in exchange for a per-unit contribution to the cost of the new station,” said Grace Kwok of Anson Realty Ltd., which is marketing the development on behalf of Pinnacle International. “The community includes a new city park, which is under construction right now. And again, that’s one of the amenities that the city wanted the developer to provide.”

Following the completion of sales at Sorrento, the first residential development at Capstan Village, Pinnacle International is launching Torino. There are 185 homes on sale now in the first of the project’s three towers and Torino will include 405 homes in total.

The development will feature landscaped courtyards, gardens, fire pits, benches and al-fresco dining areas. It will also be a stone’s throw from the public park and the new Capstan Canada Line Station. The Union Square Shopping Centre and the Yaohan Centre are also both within walking distance of Capstan Village.

“Richmond is famous for eating, drinking and shopping, and residents of Torino will find there’s no shortage of places to do that right on their doorstep,” Kwok said. “At the same time, there’s going to be some beautiful green space as well with the new park.”

“The principal of Pinnacle International is Italian so that’s why we have those Italian names like Sorrento and Torino,” Kwok added. “He wanted to create the feel of an Italian village in the centre of Richmond. We felt it had a nice ring to it.”

That’s certainly the impression given by the three show homes at the Torino sales centre located at 3220 No. 3 Road, where designers False Creek Design Group have gone with a distinctly wine-focused and Italian theme.

The Torino homes will feature designer cabinetry with Blumotion drawers and hinges in the kitchens, granite or quartz countertops and Fisher & Paykel stainless refrigerators with bottom freezers. The rest of the appliances in the kitchens – built-in wall ovens, microwave ovens, hood fans and stainless steel dishwashers – are by Bosch.

Bathrooms come with designer cabinetry and vanities, granite or quartz countertops, porcelain tile floors, American Standard under-mount porcelain sinks and custom designed mirrors. There are American Standard dual-flush, water-conserving toilets and many of the homes above 1,000 square feet have five-piece bathrooms, including showers and bathtubs.

“We’ve had lots of interest from all kinds of people – first-time buyers, downsizers and young professionals,” Kwok said. “In this building, we’re making the units larger than what you would normally find on the market, especially when it comes to the one-bedroom homes. We’ll have one-bedroom and den homes that go up to nearly 700 square feet.”

Homes at Torino South will have one to three bedrooms and range in size from 578 to 1,189 square feet. This includes Pinnacle’s “1 Bed Grand” plan, the larger one-bedroom homes that Kwok said are proving so popular with buyers.

Prices range from $579,900 to $1,289,900 and include one parking space and one bicycle storage pace per unit. All homes also include air conditioning.

Torino’s on-site amenities will include a fitness centre, a yoga studio, a party room, a bocce court and a sundeck.

“The reaction has been great so far,” Kwok added. “People are not having to worry about upgrading into something bigger in a few years. It’s expensive moving home and with the larger units we have, buyers are realizing they can really get settled in for a longer period.”

One such buyer is Jess Feng, a Richmond resident and first-time buyer who has bought a one-bedroom home at Torino.

“It’s in a great location for me – very close to shopping and also convenient for my parents to visit,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of friends in this community and it provides me with lots of opportunities for entertainment and work. I run a cake shop with my friends and it’s going to be very close to my new home.”

“I had been looking for a place to buy for a few years and I’ve had some bad experiences in the past, but the people at Torino were great,” Feng added. “I just registered online and they reached out to me. The experience of buying a home here was really good and that helped me to make my decision.”

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Location key in winding up a strata

July 12th, 2018

The location of the property is critical in the sale of a strata corporation

Tony Gioventu
The Province

Dear Tony:

Our strata council was approached by a developer interested in purchasing our property outright. They came to a council meeting, gave us a slick presentation, told us they were prepared to pay 35 per cent over our assessed values and suggested we hold an information meeting with the owners. 

Up to the information meeting, everything was reasonably civil. At the information meeting, several owners demanded to know how many offers we have had on the property. The developer advised they don’t work that way and will retract if we look for other offers. 

As a council, we were a bit embarrassed as we did not investigate this further. I can see the point of owners in wondering whether we solicited the best price and terms or whether we just settled on a higher value.

The Strata Property Act gives us no indication of the process involved. Is there at least a best practice?

Jenna L., North Vancouver

Dear Jenna:

As a strata corporation, you are the collective property holders of a single piece of real estate that has a marketable value.

In many ways, it is no different than selling your condo. You list the property for sale and offers are made that you can accept, reject or counter offer. Through this, you negotiate the price, terms of the sale and the conditions or subjects that may apply to both parties.

The sale of a strata corporation, or winding up as known in the act, has more requirements to fulfill because the strata council does not have the authority to market the property or approve the terms and conditions of the sale without the consent of the owners. In addition, unless all the owners approve to the proposed sale and no interest holders object, the strata is required to apply to the Supreme Court of B.C. for ratification of the sale once the resolutions are approved.

In almost every wind-up, it has been in the best interest of the strata corporation to retain a commercial broker to act in the exclusive interest of the strata corporation to market the property. The competition for property has generally resulted in the best terms and highest prices, but a word of caution: not all properties will attract multiple offers due to capacity of the sale or current market conditions for buyers, and not all properties will return higher-than-assessed values. Don’t be lured into price based on assessment values as market values may be higher.

Because your property is a modest size and ideal location for redevelopment, a marketing strategy and invitations for offers may be the best option to determine best price.

There are many conditions to consider in a wind-up process. The location of the property is critical. The current and future zoning of the property, as well as the possibility to assemble neighbouring properties, may have a significant impact on the price. The terms of the sale are also significant. A closing period in six months may be a much more attractive deal than a closing in one or two years.

The current condition of your building and future cost facing your owners is also a consideration. It is possible the strata corporation may be due for some major upgrades because of aging assets. It is worth assessing the next five to 10 years of renewal costs when considering a wind-up. If you are facing $100,000 per unit in upgrade costs in the next five years, a sale near or above current values may be the best option for the owners to consider.

You will need a reliable depreciation plan or engineering study to help determine these liabilities for the owners. Before you proceed, determine the scope of legal fees for each phase of the process as you will need legal assistance in negotiating the proposed terms and conditions of the sale, the preparation and holding the meeting for the 80-per-cent vote, the court application if necessary and the appointment of the liquidator to manage to winding up of the strata and the disbursement of revenues and expenses. 

While there is a focus on strata wind-ups in Metro Vancouver, they occur routinely in every part of the province.  For more information on strata wind-ups, go to www.choa.bc.ca

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Fern Grove 34 single family homes at 24012 127B Avenue Maple Ridge by Epic Homes

July 12th, 2018

It’s all in the details at Fern Grove

Mary Frances Hill
The Province

Fern Grove

Where: 24012 127B Ave. (128th and Fern Crescent), Maple Ridge

What: 34 single-family Craftsman-style homes on lots ranging from 3,732 to 8,000 sq. ft. Available in three- to six-bedroom models, some with legal basement suites

Price: From $929,996 for a 2,954-square-foot home with an unfinished basement.  The largest home, being the Alouette model show home at 3,820 square feet, includes a finished two-bedroom basement suite and sells for $1.1 million

Developer and builder:  Epic Homes

Sales centre: Fern Crescent and 128th Ave., Maple Ridge

Centre hours:  noon to 6 p.m., daily

Sales phone: 604-477-2959

At the Fern Grove new-home project in Maple Ridge, Leanne Leon has created a home that no doubt already lives in the imaginations of so many homebuyers: it’s a haven of familial warmth with an appealing adult formality.

“It’s all about the details and making sure each space looks beautiful and balanced from every perspective,” says Leon, a designer with E2 Homes Ltd., and the lead in the project for Fern Grove’s developer, Epic Homes.

In a display home’s grand living room, Leon created a dominant focal point with the gas fireplace at its heart. Cabinetry beneath matching artwork on each side creates a vertical line straight to high square windows and up to the ceiling, creating perfect symmetry on either side of the fireplace for a regal, columnar look. “I think we definitely achieve a balance with the fireplace wall as the focal point, and the beautiful combination of colour and rough and smooth texture bring a sleek tone and feel to this room,” Leon says.

Epic Homes is marketing the community for both empty nesters and first-time buyers, two demographics that may seem generations apart. However, they share some preferences — the open-concept space being the most popular, Leon says.

“People seem to be looking for more definition of the rooms, although they still like to retain the shared open-space aspect of the open floor plan, which this home offers. It appeals to all age groups.”

While the main room is defined by its formality, Leon adds favourite pieces for a touch of casual warmth. A large, square caramel leather ottoman was a find from Vancouver-based Article, surrounded by traditional furnishings and a light neutral palette of greys and browns. That caramel tone also stands out in the dining chairs in the spacious open-concept kitchen-dining area.

In an upstairs den, a sofa from local decor outlet CF Interiors is so inviting, she says, “you fall right into it. It’s perfect for lounging in, to watch your favourite show.”

In the kitchen food-prep area, quartz countertops and two-toned Shaker wood cabinetry in painted white or maple stain add a classic touch against the subway tile backsplash.

The master ensuite comes with Italian ceramic tile, frameless glass shower enclosure and a stand-alone soaker tub. Leon has worked on the design of display homes with Epic Homes since 2006. Twelve years of partnership has given her an opportunity to reflect on how her style changes and develops with every project, she says. “I love looking back at my old show homes and seeing how my work has evolved over the years.”

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Vancouver housing sales drop as prices flatline

July 7th, 2018

Home prices remain the same as few buyers looking

Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail

Home sales in the Vancouver region have tumbled to their lowest level in six years while prices flatline, with listings languishing on the market.

There have been fewer home buyers recently but prices tend to be slow to react before declining, said real estate economist Tom Davidoff of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.

“Prices are slow to adjust,” Mr. Davidoff said in an interview on Wednesday. “But there are reasons for optimism if you’re a millennial buyer. The price momentum has certainly slowed and there is reason to think you will see a further softening of the market going forward.”

Total residential sales volume last month fell to 2,425 transactions, down 37.7 per cent from 3,893 sales in June, 2017. Last month’s sales, the lowest for June since 2012, were 28.7 per cent under the 10-year average for the month, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

“Before prices fall, you tend to see sales activity fall first,” Mr. Davidoff said.

The benchmark price for all housing types in Greater Vancouver has flattened, slipping to $1,093,600 − down $400 from the previous month but up 9.5 per cent since June, 2017.

The benchmark price is an industry representation of the typical home sold in an area.

“Buyers are less active today. This is allowing the supply of homes for sale to accumulate to levels we haven’t seen in the last few years,” board president Phil Moore said in a statement.

The total number of listings soared to 11,947 last month, up 40.3 per cent from 8,515 in June, 2017.

“Rising interest rates, high prices and more restrictive mortgage requirements are among the factors dampening home buyer activity today,” Mr. Moore said.

Prices were flat month-over-month for townhouses sold, with the benchmark reaching $859,800 in June, up $300 from May and a 15.3-per-cent gain over the past year.

Prices began surging regionally in mid-2013. Those huge spikes ended in mid-2016, shortly before the B.C. government introduced the foreign-buyers tax in August of that year for the Vancouver area.

The average price for detached houses sold in Greater Vancouver reached $1,754,795 last month, up 2.4 per cent from a year earlier. The region’s condo market saw a 5.7-per-cent gain over the past year to hit an average of $693,626.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board saw a total of 1,452 sales last month, down 43.5 per cent from a year earlier. In the board’s territory, which includes the sprawling suburb of Surrey, the average price for all residential property types dipped to $748,709 last month, down 0.4 per cent from June, 2017.

On the higher-end part of the market, prices are dropping. On Vancouver’s west side, the benchmark price for detached properties slipped to $3,392,500 in June, down 1.1 per cent over the past month and a 6.5-per-cent decrease over the past year.

An annual 0.2-per-cent property surtax will be imposed by British Columbia’s NDP government on the portion valued above $3-million and up to and including $4-million; for the portion above $4-million, a 0.4-per-cent annual rate applies.

For example, the owner of a property assessed at $4-million will fork over extra taxes of $2,000 next year, while the owner of a $6-million home will cough up an extra $10,000.

The NDP got the idea of the surtax from Rhys Kesselman, professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University’s School of Public Policy, who proposed the concept in early 2016, although he envisaged a formula that would have lessened the surtax burden on homeowners who pay B.C. income tax.

Mr. Davidoff, who supports the surtax, has been the target of booing at protests against the NDP’s housing policies.

He said many homeowners perceive their large price gains are the result of hard work and skill in investing in housing as an asset, but that clashes with the NDP’s view that the time is ripe to tax millionaires who benefited through sheer luck from the real estate boom. “Of course you want to avoid taxing those who scrimp and save,” Mr. Davidoff said.

Benchmark prices in Greater Vancouver for detached houses are up 0.7 per cent over the past year to $1,598,200. Whistler, B.C., has been one of markets escaping the cooling-off trend, with the benchmark price for detached properties rising 9.5 per cent over the past year to hit $1,716,200 in June. 

© Copyright 2018 The Globe and Mail Inc.

The Crestline 1422 Portage Road Pemberton 36 townhomes and garden apartments by Alture Properties

July 7th, 2018

The Crestline has eyes focused on Pemberton

Michael Bernard
The Vancouver Sun

The Crestline

Project address: 1422 Portage Rd., Pemberton

Project scope: Located about two hours north of Vancouver, 36 townhouse and garden apartments ranging from one-bedroom-plus-den units through three-bedroom homes with rooftop decks or ground-floor patios. Units from 800 through 1,350 square feet.On offer is a wide range of recreational activities from skiing and snowmobiling in winter to hiking, mountain biking, golf, canoeing, kayaking and swimming in summer

Prices: From $385,000 to $655,000

Developer: Alture Properties, Burnaby

Architect: Lovick Scott Architecture

Interior designer: Debbie Evans

Sales centre: Whistler Real Estate Co., 4308 Main Street, Whistler

Sales centre hours: By appointment; register on website for access to salespeople

Sales phone: 877-242-2448

Website: www.crestlinepemberton.com

Occupancy: Spring 2020

While rent and housing prices can make it hard for all but the well-heeled to work or play in Whistler, up the road about 30 minutes, the village of Pemberton is fast becoming the home of choice for the more modest wage earner.

That’s why The Crestline, a new development of 36 townhouse and garden apartments, has attracted a waiting list of some 350 people anticipating the July 22 sales launch, says Stephen Duke, executive vice-president of Alture Properties, the firm developing the project.

In Pemberton, Duke notes, the youth factor is strong.

“It’s people who work, younger working couples who have an upper limit to what they can pay,” he says. “It’s a very young community with an average age in the mid-thirties.

“These are attainable homes that are priced at half of what you would pay in Whistler,” he said, adding: “This is where the couples go to have babies.”

Duke said he expects the buyers for this project will be mostly management-level couples from Whistler who want to start a family or perhaps already have children. He said some empty nesters who are getting out of older homes in the area have also expressed interest in buying.

Just a half hour’s drive from Whistler Village, and about two hours from Vancouver, the village of 2,500 sits on the floor of the Pemberton Valley, which has warmer summers and cooler but drier winters than in Whistler.

This is one of Alture’s “specialty developments” said Duke, noting another luxury townhome project now under construction on Cultus Lake near Chilliwack, where each home has its own boat slip.

The Crestline consists of two buildings with the homes built with one, two or three levels. Some will have rooftop spaces providing panoramic views of Mount Currie and the Coast Range peaks encircling the area.

Renderings of the project show the influence that Whistler exerts with the use of natural stone and timbers, and small dormer-like peaks and gables.

“Our location is our selling feature,” says Duke, adding that it is being built for the lifestyle of people who live in and around Pemberton. The development will be located next to a new community centre, library, day care, a water and skateboard park and a planned community garden.

Predictably, the underground parking has room for storing snowmobiles, which locals use to reach the Pemberton Ice Cap and Birken, which Duke says makes Pemberton one of the most popular snowboarding areas west of the Rockies.

“It’s the lifestyle that appeals to the people who are there, and we have factored that into buildings themselves,” said Duke. “All the homes have outdoor living space with a roof deck or garden patio. There is parking for pickup size trucks and we put storage lockers right next to the parking so you can unload your kayak or snowboards or your golf bags.”

Inside the homes, all the open-living plans have nine-foot ceilings, Shaker-single panel interior doors, flat stock trim and baseboards painted white. Flooring is wide-plank wood-look V-groove engineered laminate in a smoked finish Nordic Oak. There is broadloom in all bedrooms and staircases, and large-format black porcelain tiling in the entryway.

The kitchens come with a complete standard package of Blomberg appliances, including an induction range, refrigerator, dishwasher, hood fan, microwave and washer and dryer.

Kitchen cabinetry is a two-tone design with wood-look flat slab doors on the base cabinets and gloss white slab doors with concealed hardware. There are quartz countertops and a porcelain backsplash.

Bathrooms have modern “floating” vanities with quartz countertops and rectangular sinks, and master ensuites have spacious two-person shower stalls and a natural finish porcelain floor tile.

Buyers can choose from a few upgrade options, including remote-controlled motorized roller blinds on living, dining and master bedroom windows and over-height cabinetry with flat stock moulding trim that reaches to the ceiling.

Mechanical includes a heat pump combination that provides both heating and cooling, with a central hot water system.

Cailey Wilkes and her husband Alex both work in the area, Cailey as a wedding planner and Alex for Tourism Whistler. Cailey, from northern England, and Alex, from Australia, have lived in the area for a few years. “We’ve done quite a lot of hiking and camping and have fallen in love with the Sea-to-Sky corridor.”

They’re not the only ones to be smitten by Pemberton. Cailey’s mother and father, who live in Spain, fell in love with the area visiting Cailey and her brother. They now dream of retiring there, Cailey said, and have plans to help her and Alex buy a home at Crestline.

Duke said Cailey’s mother Linda has been calling him every month over the last year, asking when sales would begin.

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Linea 236 homes at 13318 104 Avenue Surrey by Rize Developments

July 7th, 2018

Rize?s Linea sure to be a standout in Surrey City Centre

Simon Briault
The Vancouver Sun

Linea

Project location: 13318 104 Ave, Surrey

Project size: 236 homes ranging in size from 474 to 1,491 square feet. Prices start from the high $300,000s for one-bedroom homes, the high $400,000s for two-bedroom homes and the low $600,000s for three-bedroom units.

Developer: Rize

Architect: IBI Architects

Interior designer: False Creek Design Group

Sales centre: Opens today at 10249 King George Boulevard, Surrey

Hours: noon — 5 p.m., Sat — Thurs

Telephone: 778-395-1126

Website: http://www.liveatlinea.com

Occupancy: 2021

When Linea takes its place in Surrey City Centre, it will be a standout in more ways than one.

Rising to 28 storeys, the 236-home project from developer Rize will have a look that the company’s Steven Cox says will distinguish it from its counterparts.

“The tower provides for incredibly efficient floor plans and the exterior appearance of the building is quite striking and overwhelmingly organic,” said Cox, Rize’s head of creative. “There will be free-flowing, curved balconies surrounding the entire outside of the building.

“It almost looks like it’s undulating and each suite will have an enormous, over-sized balcony, much larger than the pegged-on balconies that you sometimes see on other towers. It will look very different from its more rectilinear neighbours.”

Rize, a company whose leaders describe themselves as boutique developers of large-scale projects, has been operating exclusively in Metro Vancouver for the past 25 years, developing both residential and commercial buildings. The company’s residential developments under construction include The Independent at Main and Broadway and a Metrotown project called Gold House.

“We’ve got a rich history of interesting and unique projects in and around Vancouver,” Cox said. “We’ve also worked in Richmond and Burnaby and now we’re building homes in Surrey. We’re a fairly small group, but we take on some pretty big developments.”

Rize’s previous projects include The Ralston at the north end of Granville Street bridge, as well as Metropolis, one of the first projects to take advantage of the City of Vancouver’s heritage density bonus program. Under this program, developers were given permission to create new residential density in exchange for rehabilitating and legally protecting heritage buildings.

“One of the things that’s unique about Rize compared to other developers is that we produce homes that are pretty unique architecturally,” Cox said. “This means that we tend to cater more to end users, people who love their homes because they speak to them emotionally.”

Linea, which will take its place at 13318 104 Avenue, is the work of IBI Architects and False Creek Design Group. The condos will have one to three bedrooms and the project will include an as-yet-undisclosed number of townhomes.

Cox said that Surrey represents a big opportunity for Rize, describing the city as having an optimistic and diverse population that’s open to new and innovative ideas.

“We see Surrey City Centre as the downtown of the future for Metro Vancouver,” Cox added. “Surrey’s population will surpass Vancouver’s within a decade and with the rapid transit that is being developed or is already in place, there’s no reason for it not to continue to grow at an incredible pace. It’s got the beginnings of the key infrastructure that people want from a livable city as well as academia, business and culture. These things will really set it up for the future.”

Linea will have more than 14,000 square feet of amenities, including a 7,000-square-foot outdoor courtyard, an outdoor patio combined with an indoor lounge area, a two-storey gym, a yoga studio, a games room, a common kitchen and a shared co-working space.

“A lot of people in this neighbourhood were talking about wanting to have better home office options,” said Cox. “As a result, we’ve developed a substantial space that will go on the ground floor of the building for people who want to work from home.”

Homes at Linea will have eight-foot, eight-inch ceilings, air conditioning, wireless smart thermostats and wide-plank laminate wood flooring in warm grey or pearl throughout living spaces. Kitchens include quartz countertops and backsplashes, as well as single-bowl, under-mounted sinks with Baril pull-down faucets. There are Blomberg built-in refrigerators, Fulgor Milano convection wall ovens and induction cooktops. Homes above 800 square feet will come with 30-inch appliances and all homes include Blomberg front-load washers and integrated dryers.

Large-format 24-by-24-inch porcelain wall tiles will match the 12-by-24-inch floor tiles in powder rooms, bathrooms, and ensuites. There are Caesarstone quartz countertops in bathrooms with rectangular under-mount sinks, skirted soaker tubs and showers with Baril chrome faucets and fixtures.

“In Surrey, we’re expecting buyers from a younger demographic – people who may have entered the market in the last five years or so and are looking to get into something a little bit larger. We’re also seeing a sizable group of first-time buyers who are looking to get into the market in one of the few remaining locations in the Lower Mainland that is still within reach in terms of affordability.”

The sales centre for Linea at 10249 King George Boulevard, which is within walking distance of the Surrey City Centre Skytrain station, will be opening its doors today. Homes range from 474 to 1,491 square feet. Prices start from the high $300,000s for one-bedroom homes, the high $400,000s for two-bedroom homes and the low $600,000s for three-bedroom units.

“You’re close to everything at Linea,” Cox said. “On top of that, you’ll be living in a home that is really innovative in terms of its design and it’s at an affordable price point.”

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Vancouver housing sales drop as prices flatline

July 7th, 2018

Home prices remain the same as few buyers looking

Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail

Home sales in the Vancouver region have tumbled to their lowest level in six years while prices flatline, with listings languishing on the market.

There have been fewer home buyers recently but prices tend to be slow to react before declining, said real estate economist Tom Davidoff of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.

“Prices are slow to adjust,” Mr. Davidoff said in an interview on Wednesday. “But there are reasons for optimism if you’re a millennial buyer. The price momentum has certainly slowed and there is reason to think you will see a further softening of the market going forward.”

Total residential sales volume last month fell to 2,425 transactions, down 37.7 per cent from 3,893 sales in June, 2017. Last month’s sales, the lowest for June since 2012, were 28.7 per cent under the 10-year average for the month, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

“Before prices fall, you tend to see sales activity fall first,” Mr. Davidoff said.

The benchmark price for all housing types in Greater Vancouver has flattened, slipping to $1,093,600 − down $400 from the previous month but up 9.5 per cent since June, 2017.

The benchmark price is an industry representation of the typical home sold in an area.

“Buyers are less active today. This is allowing the supply of homes for sale to accumulate to levels we haven’t seen in the last few years,” board president Phil Moore said in a statement.

The total number of listings soared to 11,947 last month, up 40.3 per cent from 8,515 in June, 2017.

“Rising interest rates, high prices and more restrictive mortgage requirements are among the factors dampening home buyer activity today,” Mr. Moore said.

Prices were flat month-over-month for townhouses sold, with the benchmark reaching $859,800 in June, up $300 from May and a 15.3-per-cent gain over the past year.

Prices began surging regionally in mid-2013. Those huge spikes ended in mid-2016, shortly before the B.C. government introduced the foreign-buyers tax in August of that year for the Vancouver area.

The average price for detached houses sold in Greater Vancouver reached $1,754,795 last month, up 2.4 per cent from a year earlier. The region’s condo market saw a 5.7-per-cent gain over the past year to hit an average of $693,626.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board saw a total of 1,452 sales last month, down 43.5 per cent from a year earlier. In the board’s territory, which includes the sprawling suburb of Surrey, the average price for all residential property types dipped to $748,709 last month, down 0.4 per cent from June, 2017.

On the higher-end part of the market, prices are dropping. On Vancouver’s west side, the benchmark price for detached properties slipped to $3,392,500 in June, down 1.1 per cent over the past month and a 6.5-per-cent decrease over the past year.

An annual 0.2-per-cent property surtax will be imposed by British Columbia’s NDP government on the portion valued above $3-million and up to and including $4-million; for the portion above $4-million, a 0.4-per-cent annual rate applies.

For example, the owner of a property assessed at $4-million will fork over extra taxes of $2,000 next year, while the owner of a $6-million home will cough up an extra $10,000.

The NDP got the idea of the surtax from Rhys Kesselman, professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University’s School of Public Policy, who proposed the concept in early 2016, although he envisaged a formula that would have lessened the surtax burden on homeowners who pay B.C. income tax.

Mr. Davidoff, who supports the surtax, has been the target of booing at protests against the NDP’s housing policies.

He said many homeowners perceive their large price gains are the result of hard work and skill in investing in housing as an asset, but that clashes with the NDP’s view that the time is ripe to tax millionaires who benefited through sheer luck from the real estate boom. “Of course you want to avoid taxing those who scrimp and save,” Mr. Davidoff said.

Benchmark prices in Greater Vancouver for detached houses are up 0.7 per cent over the past year to $1,598,200. Whistler, B.C., has been one of markets escaping the cooling-off trend, with the benchmark price for detached properties rising 9.5 per cent over the past year to hit $1,716,200 in June. 

© Copyright 2018 The Globe and Mail Inc.

Pricey Vancouver market weakens with buyers on sidelines

July 5th, 2018

Sales down 14 percent in June

Mortgage Broker News

Vancouver’s housing market showed continued signs of weakness in June, as affordability worries curb demand from buyers.

Sales were down 14% compared with May, the first monthly decline since January when tougher federal mortgage rules took effect, according to a report by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The number of transactions was 29% below the 10-year average for the month of June, the group said.

Adjusting for seasonality, sales fell by about 5% to the lowest since 2013, according to Bloomberg calculations.

The figures add to evidence Canada’s hottest housing markets are cooling after price gains that topped 30% early last year led governments to step in with tougher regulations, including a mortgage stress test. While prices remain robust, the slump in sales is fuelling a rise in unsold inventories that could act as a drag on home values down the line.

 “Buyers are less active today. This is allowing the supply of homes for sale to accumulate to levels we haven’t seen in the last few years,” Phil Moore, the Vancouver board’s president, said in a statement. “Rising interest rates, high prices and more restrictive mortgage requirements are among the factors dampening home buyer activity today.”

Benchmark home prices were little changed at $1.09 million, leaving them 9.5% higher than in June 2017. The number of properties for sale is the highest in three years, and is up 40% from a year ago, the board said.

Buyers may soon get more negotiating power, though. The ratio of sales to active listings for detached homes declined to 11.7% in June, and prices often come down when the ratio holds below 12% for a sustained period, the realtor group said.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media

Chinese inquired about US$1.45B worth of Canadian properties last year: Juwai

July 5th, 2018

Chinese interest in Vancouver property slipping

Mortgage Broker News

A website for buyers of overseas properties says Chinese nationals expressed interest in about US$1.45 billion worth of Canadian properties last year, with interest in Toronto and Vancouver slipping following the introduction of foreign buyers taxes.

Juwai.com says consideration of properties in Canada’s largest city dropped by 25 per cent in 2017 after nearly doubling between 2015 and 2016.

Vancouver inquiries fell 18 per cent last year after growing by 9.3 per cent the previous year.

Metro Vancouver has had a 15 per cent tax on foreign home purchasers since 2016. The new provincial government hiked the levy to 20 per cent and imposed it in the Victoria and Nanaimo areas, as well as the Fraser Valley and central Okanagan.

A 15 per cent tax was imposed in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area _ stretching from the Niagara Region to Peterborough _ on buyers who are not citizens, permanent residents or Canadian corporations. In the first month after the tax was imposed in late April, foreign buyers made up 4.7 per cent of home sales in the region, according to Statistics Canada.

With no tax in place, Montreal was the hot destination, growing by 84.5 per cent in 2017 and 43.3 per cent a year earlier.

A separate report says no additional foreign buyers taxes are expected to be imposed in Canada and Australia this year, with New Zealand being the only major investment destination considering one.

Juwai says Chinese were unfairly blamed for property price increases, even though data suggested it was due to other factors such as historically low interest rates.

More than half of Chinese buyers considering Canada were motivated to invest for their own use, nearly 26 per cent for investment and 17 per cent for education. 

The Canadian Press

Copyright © 2018 Key Media

Detached homes entering buyers’ market in Vancouver

July 5th, 2018

Vancouver detached homes a buyers’ market

Steve Randall
The Vancouver Sun

Buyers looking for detached homes in Metro Vancouver have more choice as sales weakened again in June.

Detached home sales fell 42% to 766 and the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says that the sector is leading the move towards a buyers’ market.

“Buyers are less active today. This is allowing the supply of homes for sale to accumulate to levels we haven’t seen in the last few years,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “Rising interest rates, high prices and more restrictive mortgage requirements are among the factors dampening home buyer activity today.”

Although new listings were down 7.7% across all residential property types year-over-year and down 17.2% from May 2018, total active inventory was 8,515, 40.3% higher than a year earlier.

While detached sales recorded the largest decline year-over-year, apartment sales were also down sharply (by 34.9% to 1,240) along with attached homes (down 37.3% to 419).

Price growth is slowing

The increased supply and weakened demand means that, although prices continue to rise, the acceleration of prices is slowing.

The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,598,200, up 0.7% from a year earlier but down 0.6% compared to May 2018.

For apartments the benchmark is $704,200, up 17.2% y-o-y and up 0.4% m-o-m; for attached homes the benchmark price of $859,800 is up 15.3% y-o-y but virtually unchanged month-over-month.

“With reduced demand, detached homes are entering a buyers’ market and price growth in our townhome and apartment markets is showing signs of decelerating,” noted Moore.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd