Archive for November, 2013

Experts split on how many new Metro condos is too many

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Year of the condo

Frank O’brien

Download Document

Delta Rise 11941 80th Avenue Surrey

Thursday, November 28th, 2013


Download Document

Experts predict 2014 new home market

Thursday, November 28th, 2013


Download Document

According to the IMF, Canada has the most overvalued housing market in the world

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Steven Perlberg

While housing markets across the globe slowly recover, it’s no great secret that some seem crazy overvalued.

Take London, for example, where asking prices jumped 10% in October alone and foreign buyers are swooping in to buy.

Hites Ahir and Prakash Loungani at the International Monetary Fund are out with a new report that puts global housing markets in perspective.

Global housing prices rose in the second quarter of 2013, the sixth straight quarter of growth.

“House prices rose in 32 of the 51 advanced and emerging market economies in the IMF’s Global House Price Index, compared with increases in 9 countries in the second quarter of 2009, when the housing crisis was in full swing,” according to the report.

For many OECD countries, however, “the ratio of house prices to rents—a typical measure of house price valuation—remains above historical averages, leaving room for price corrections down the road.”

Take a look at Canada in the chart below. The country’s ratio is 85% above the average.

BosaSPACE at University district in Surrey: Transform Your Condo Space

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013


The buzz and momentum have been building for months. Finally came the grand reveal. Bosa Properties has now officially launched BosaSPACE: a new lifestyle concept at University District in Central Surrey. On opening day, speculation ran wild about what was waiting behind the doors to University District’s two display homes, but when those doors opened, there was a collective gasp of surprise… and delight.

It’s no idle boast when University District lays claim to being a “world first in condo living.” This 35-storey residential tower truly is something new and fresh — homes that can almost magically turn a cozy one-bedroom into a social hub able to effortlessly accommodate a sit-down dinner for eight or more than a dozen sports fans for the big game.

Un-Real Estate

At first glance the BosaSPACE concept might appear to be a stylish re-interpretation of the traditional Murphy bed, sliding walls, and multipurpose furniture long considered the foundation of flexible, compact living spaces. But that’s where the comparison ends, because in a BosaSPACE, these features are actually innovative, fully integrated transformers—an interconnected network of elements able to transform your space.

Both show homes represent an identical one-bedroom suite-one by day, the other by night. However, it would be tough to imagine two spaces with more different personalities.

In the morning, the centre island makes a great place to hunker down with an espresso and breakfast. Got some paperwork to catch up on when you get home from work? Easy. Slide out a hidden section, and presto you’ve got a workstation with built-in USB port and power outlet.

Intelligent Spaces

“It’s an ever-increasing challenge to design liveable homes that are still affordable,” acknowledges Daryl Simpson, Bosa Properties’ vice president of sales and marketing. “Rather than cut back on the quality of the materials we use, Bosa has always made a choice to focus on making homes that work better. It’s not about any single piece of built-in furniture or one sliding wall, it’s about incorporating elements that act in concert.”

He points back to the night suite’s long table. “For example, it’s wonderful to be able to be able to have eight people for a sit-down dinner, but what do you do with the chairs? We sourced the best looking, stackable chairs we could find and then incorporated an in-suite storage area designed specifically to fit them.” The result? Balanced perfection.

University District is located at 13409 – 104th Avenue in Surrey. Priced from $199,900 with most homes in the mid $200,000s. Presentation centre open for VIP previews. To book your private appointment, call 604.588.5795 or email [email protected].

© 2013 Real Estate Weekly


Plans for new Downtown Eastside housing debated

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

City prepares to release new community plan

Mike Howell
Van. Courier

The City of Vancouver is expected to release its report on a new community plan for the Downtown Eastside before the end of the year. photo Dan Toulgoe.

The type of new housing that should be built in the heart of the Downtown Eastside continues to generate debate as the City of Vancouver prepares to release its new community plan for the neighbourhood.

The debate has centred on the city’s pre-planning documents that call for a mix of 60 per cent social housing and 40 per cent rental housing in a large area known as the Downtown Eastside Oppenheimer District.

The documents do not indicate any potential for developers to build stand-alone market housing in the district, although the 60/40 social-rental mix does allow for some private homes within a complex.

The district in question covers 16 full blocks and five partial blocks, which include streets around Oppenheimer Park and a strip that runs west along the East Hastings corridor.

The area has the majority of the Downtown Eastside’s assets, including social housing, affordable food stores, social services and gathering places.

Vision Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer pointed out the district is one of eight planning areas in the Downtown Eastside. In addition, she said, the majority of new housing being built in Chinatown, Gastown and Victory Square is condominiums.

“So if you’re looking at the whole neighbourhood, there’s nothing radical being proposed here,” Reimer told the Courier after a forum on the future of the Downtown Eastside Nov. 21 at Simon Fraser University’s downtown campus.

“There’s a concept to secure the low-income tenure in the area, which seems like a very reasonable one to me.”

That concept is one Michael Geller, an architect-developer and former NPA council candidate, argued against in last week’s forum, which attracted about 50 people including Ray Spaxman, the city’s former planning director.

Though Geller recognizes that some market housing could be allowed under the plan, he questioned whether a person would want to buy a condominium in a building where the majority of units are social and rental housing.

Geller said he supports replacing “decrepit” single-room-occupancy hotels with new social housing. But, he added, it is important to incorporate stand-alone market housing in a community plan that wouldn’t force low-income people from the neighbourhood.

“It’s that sharing of the area that I think, over time, will result in a healthier neighbourhood,” he said.

Spaxman said his reading of the documents would allow, for example, 12 units of market housing, seven units of rental housing and 11 units of social housing in a new 30-unit complex.

But Spaxman pointed out the difficulty in advancing the discussion on the Downtown Eastside without the full plan in people’s hands. He is wary of statistics being promoted by activists and claims made by people close to the discussion.

“We must not go forward with some ideological position,” he said.

“We have to get the facts together, we have to look at what ramifications of all these policies are. We need to do it and take the time to do it properly, otherwise we shall rush into getting a plan done because it’s an election year and we want to get it out of the way.”

Pete Fry, the chairperson of the Strathcona Residents’ Association, said home ownership doesn’t dictate whether a person stays in the neighbourhood and participates in the community.

“I think tenure is dictated by safe, secure, affordable housing where you’re not going to fear renoviction,” said Fry, who is more concerned that proposed increases in building heights could turn the Downtown Eastside into a real estate speculator’s market.

Brian Jackson, the city’s director of planning, responded to Geller’s concerns about the lack of stand-alone market housing in a letter, which he allowed to be shared with the public.

Jackson noted the Oppenheimer District comprises about 15 per cent of the geographic area of the Downtown Eastside, where many residents are facing “significant health and affordability challenges.”

“It is a sensitive part of the community that is facing significant development pressure and it has the potential to change very quickly, which may negatively impact the most vulnerable residents,” Jackson wrote.

“The City wants the neighbourhood to change for the better without creating more homelessness and where the changes result in improved housing options for many of the existing residents.”

The Downtown Eastside plan is expected to be released before the end of the year.

© Copyright 2013

Arbutus neighbourhood at a glance

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Sandra Thomas
Van. Courier

The neighbourhood of Arbutus Ridge is interesting in that it encompasses several enclaves, including Mackenzie Heights, and reaches blocks into territory typically considered Kerrisdale.

The boundaries include West 16th to the north, West 41st Avenue to the south, Mackenzie Street to the west, and Arbutus Street and Maple Crescent to the east. The population is about 16,000, with the majority living in single-family homes on tree-lined streets.

It’s ironic this now largely affluent neighbourhood was once dubbed “Asthma Flats,” because in the late 1800s and early 1900s it was nothing more than a swamp that could only be traversed by a plank walkway.

Like many neighbourhoods of Vancouver, it was the Canadian Pacific Railway that brought about development to Arbutus Ridge. In 1888, the province turned over more than 2,100 hectares of land to the CPR, including the area now known as Arbutus Ridge, which became a municipality of the city in 1929.

The now defunct Arbutus line is still visible throughout much of the neighbourhood.

According to the most recent statistics available from the city, in 2006 almost 36 per cent of Arbutus Ridge residents were between the ages of 40 to 64, followed by the second highest demographic, aged 19 and under, at 23 per cent. English was still the predominant language in 2006 at 45.9, down from 57 per cent in 1996.

Meanwhile the number of Chinese-speaking residents rose from 29 to 34 per cent between that same time. Single family homes dominated the landscape at 6,100, and the median household income was almost $55,000, but that number is likely considerably higher today.

Starting in 1912, Mackenzie Heights, located in the upper southwest corner of Arbutus Ridge, was the first area of the community to be developed for residential settlement.

It wasn’t until the 1940s and 1950s that sand was hauled in from False Creek to fill in the Asthmas Flats so development of the low lands could begin.

The area was once home to dozens of houses designed by architect G.L.Thornton Sharp in the English arts and crafts style and even today, several can still be spotted along West 37th Avenue.

Arbutus Then and Now – PDF

© Copyright 2013

There’s something about a Fairborne home

Thursday, November 21st, 2013


Download Document

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market In October 2013

Thursday, November 21st, 2013


Download Document

The mobile consumer and the right response to responsive design

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Seth Kaplan

Download Document