Archive for the ‘Real Estate Related’ Category

EagleView Heights 12 buildings with 6 units per building at 464 Eaglecrest Drive Gibsons by TCD Development Group

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Homes will be but a stroll from Gibsons? shops, restaurants and waterfront

MatthewFlemming
The Vancouver Sun

EagleView Heights, a new collection of oceanview condominiums and townhomes by TCD Development Group, addresses a specific housing need on the Sunshine Coast: that of high-quality single-level homes in the coveted seaside village of Gibsons.

EagleView also, through creative design, has “enabled and enhanced the Sunshine Coast way of living, a lifestyle that is relaxed, convenient and expansive,” says Stanley Yasin, one of the principals responsible for EagleView.

For starters, TCD Development Group has taken full advantage of the sloped, five-acre parcel upon which EagleView is located. Ankenman Marchand Architects has created a group of 12 cluster homes, each containing six suites, so that most homeowners have unobstructed views of the North Shore Mountains, Howe Sound, Keats and Gambier islands.

Taking maximum advantage of the panoramic views was a driving force behind the design. “Essentially, every home is a corner suite,” says Yasin, noting that subtle architectural decisions, such as locating the exit and fire stairs down the middle of each building, enhance privacy and improve sound insulation.

Variety is another crucial component of the EagleView lifestyle: the design of phase one features a combination of eight two-level townhomes, eight garden suites, and 47 single-level condos, all with parking. Some homes have garages, but most of the parking is located underground and accessible by elevator. Another 24 homes are scheduled for phase two.

Creating a grand sense of living space is yet another key component of the EagleView project. “Most of the condo suites are 29 feet wide, as are the decks, which average well over 300 square feet of outdoor space,” says Yasin. “The Sunshine Coast is all about the outdoor lifestyle, and our design brings that to life.”

Mindful of Gibsons’ classic village-style ambience that values its natural surroundings, the developer’s design team worked hard to ensure that the condos and townhomes would only occupy about three acres of the five-acre property. The remaining two acres have been preserved for a naturally landscaped park featuring a pond and walking trails that connect to a 20-plus-acre nature walk adjacent to the property. “It really is a special location,” says Ian Macdonald, principal of Vaka Marketing. “You have the privacy and convenience of peaceful surroundings, with the marina, shops, restaurants and waterfront just a stroll away.”

As for the appearance of the homes, the architects ensured they would collectively be designed in a modern, West Coast seaside village style to complement the site’s spectacular natural settings. A varying palette of colour, building forms and materials were carefully selected to differentiate each building. Material selections, such as the durable Hardie cedar-like siding, stone and shake, help the project blend with its environment.

Inside, form meets function: some floor plans offer a great-room concept where the living is geared towards the views, while in a KDL plan the living and the master bedroom face the ocean and mountains. The homes also include gourmet kitchens, spa-like ensuites featuring double sinks with separate showers and tubs, and abundant storage facilities.

Amenities also abound: situated in the middle of the third row of homes will be the heart of EagleView, a central common space with an outdoor hot tub, an infinity edge swimming pool, spacious decks for lounging, and – among many interior features — a loft exercise room that overlooks the main floor and takes advantage of the views through the double-height windows.

A primary objective of EagleView was to provide a high-quality, single-level living experience so that locals could retire and remain in the community they love so much. However, the location and quality of this development has attracted attention from residents across the Lower Mainland and elsewhere, who have long dreamed of a second home in Gibsons. The charm of the community, the lock-and-walk location, and the benefits of a safe, serene seaside village are appealing to multiple demographics.

Construction on the project begins next spring, and prospective buyers are encouraged to visit the EagleView website (www.LiveAtEagleView.com) and presentation centre, now open in Gibsons at #103-875 Gibsons Way, Gibsons. For more information, call 604-886-9195.

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Victoria at Burke Mountain 1221 Rocklin Street Coquitlam 131 three and four bedroom row homes by Mosaic

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

The vibe is warm and inviting at Mosaic?s Victoria at Burke Mountain

Michael Bernard
The Vancouver Sun

Victoria at Burke Mountain

Project Address: 1221 Rocklin St., Coquitlam

Project Scope: A total of 131 three- and four-bedroom Tudor-style row homes on the south-facing side of Burke Mountain. Numerous parks and hiking trails, schools, shopping nearby

Prices: Three bedroom and den homes (1,547 to 1,564 sq. ft.) from the mid $700s; four bedrooms (1,721 to 1,752 sq. ft.) from the mid $800s; and four bedroom and den homes (2,043 to 2,125 sq. ft.) from the mid $900s

Developer: Mosaic

Architect: Ekistics

Interior Design: Chil Interior Design

Presentation Centre: 1221 Rocklin St., Coquitlam

Centre Hours: noon — 6 p.m. daily

Sales phone:  604-945-0087

Website: mosaichomes.com/property/victoria

Completion Date: Spring 2020

Finding just the right home can be a very competitive pastime in Metro Vancouver’s multi-family housing market, with some people even camping out nights before sales begin at some projects.

Amanda Hung and Gordon Misner and their three-year-old daughter, Madeleine, were ready to brave the cold in a tent for four days last month to be first in line when Mosaic launched sales for its new Burke Mountain development in Coquitlam. Luckily, they were spared that hassle at the last minute.

“When we set up the Tuesday night before the units went for sale, a Mosaic sales staff came outside that night and said the lineup system had changed, that we did not have to line up outside for as long as we had anticipated,” Hung said.

Faced with limited space and the fact that the potential camping site was considered a construction zone, Mosaic instituted a wait-number system instead. The family was able to go home with their No. 1 ticket in hand. They returned a few days later to buy the four-bedroom-and-den row home they had been eyeing at Victoria, Mosaic’s collection of 131 Tudor-styled units.

“We were happy with this procedure because realistically, buyers who can afford property like this have full-time jobs and a family,” Hung said. “We do not have the time to camp outside for 72 hours, but we would have done anything to be first.”

Misner said they wanted a large enough home to share with his mother, who recently retired and now wants to help raise Madeleine. “We know that raising a daughter is easier with more hands.”

At the same time, living in the ground-level fourth bedroom will allow his mother to take a break from her role as grandma, he said.

Hung and Misner, both in their early thirties, said they have been following Mosaic’s new projects ever since they bought a row home in 2014 in Fremont, another Burke Mountain project by Mosaic.

Such repeat buyers are nothing new for Mosaic, which has built almost 300 homes on Burke Mountain in the last 12 years, says Geoff Duyker, Mosaic’s senior vice-president of marketing. “We have sold 30 homes in Victoria and over a third of them have been to families that have owned Mosaic Homes previously,” he said.

Victoria is basically being built for families that need more space, he said. The unit sizes are generously sized by comparative standards, with the largest rivalling that of a single-family home.

So far, about 80 per cent of the buyers have come from either a condo or a smaller townhome and are looking for more (or bigger) bedrooms for their children, and a bigger garage for bikes and other toys, Duyker said. The remaining 20 per cent include more mature couples who no longer want the work of managing a single-family home, but still want some of the features of that kind of home.

With its newest development, Mosaic has refined its Tudor-style architecture with more exterior detailing, such as brickwork, timbers, scroll designs and window boxes, and novel elements such as corner nooks for dens or workspaces. But the biggest change from Mosaic’s previous projects was in raising the ceiling heights to 10 feet on the main levels of all homes, a modification supported by surveys Mosaic conducted, Duyker said.

“That’s a big shift for us and you can really feel it when you get into the homes in Victoria for the first time,” he said. “It gives you more volume, space and light because your windows are bigger and more storage because your cabinets are higher.”

Duyker said Burke Mountain has proven popular because the community is newly developed and provides some great views of Tri-Cities and Mount Baker. “It has new schools, new parks, new shopping retail and new trails, and then we get to do the new homes as part of it,” he said. At the same time, there are continued enhancements to transportation systems, including improvements to connections between the Mary Hill Bypass and Highway 1, as well as the extension of the Evergreen Line and improved bus routes.

Inside the homes, the kitchens are fitted with flat-panel upper cabinets available in a white or taupe matte finish which sit above Shaker-style bottoms. A black faucet serves as the centre of attention with a backsplash of bright square white tiles outlined in black grout.

In the bathrooms, frameless glass showers sit next to marble finish tiles. Lights are set on motion detectors to turn on and off as one passes by.

The three model homes also feature several design ideas that buyers can source out through their own contractors. One model, for instance, includes a 10-foot-high floor-to- ceiling library case in the living room, complete with a wheeled ladder on a horizontal rod while another model home showcases built-in shelves and desks for work spaces. The homes also have amply sized storage spaces under stairwells and in crawl spaces.

Some homes feature tandem parking, while others have side-by-side parking garages. Laundry rooms come with either stackable or side-by-side washer and dryer. The development also includes a clubhouse that buyers can use for birthday parties or family gatherings.

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Home prices fell last month except in one area

Friday, November 16th, 2018

Vancouver home prices fell 0.8%

Steve Randall
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

A leading measure of Canadian home prices declined in October nationwide although one housing market bucked the trend.

The Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index was down 0.4% compared to September, only the fourth time in the index’s 20-year history that there has been an October decline.

Ten of the eleven metros tracked declined – Victoria (−0.1%), Toronto (−0.2%), Winnipeg (−0.2%), Calgary (−0.3%), Ottawa-Gatineau (−0.4%), Hamilton (−0.5%), Edmonton (−0.7%), Vancouver (−0.8%), Quebec City (−1.0%) and Halifax (−1.0%).

Montreal was the only metro where the index rose, up 0.2%, marking its seventh consecutive monthly advance.

Year-over-year, the index was up 2.8%, beating the annual gains posted in the previous two months due to a large drop in August and September 2017.

With interest rates rising, the report does not forecast much upside for home prices in the months ahead.

Affordability worsened While the October price index decline provides some relief for first-time buyers, affordability over the previous quarter worsened.

Nine out of ten urban markets saw lower affordability in Q3 than in the previous three months.

Even in Vancouver and Toronto, easing prices did not improve affordability as wages were down and mortgage rates rose.

Montreal and Ottawa-Gatineau saw the largest decline in affordability and the report says that these markets appear to be unaffected by rising rates and tighter lending standards, with home prices rising sharply (2.1% and 2.5% quarter-over-quarter respectively).

The report also highlights the relative deterioration of condo affordability compared to non-condo homes with strong demand pushing prices up 6.8% year-over-year while non-condo prices were flat.  

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

Balanced conditions remain for BC markets

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Cooler home sales remained in October

Steve Randall
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Cooler conditions for British Columbia’s home sales remained in October as the impact of mortgage regulations continue to impact the market.

Sales were down 26.2% year-over-year with 6,405 homes sold through the MLS system. The average MLS residential price was down 4.1% to $690,161.

British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) says that total sales dollar volume was $4.2 billion, a 29.3 per cent decline from October 2017.

“The BC housing market continued to grapple with tougher mortgage qualifications in October,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, more moderate consumer demand has led to a much-needed increase in the supply of homes for sale.”

Inventory up almost 30%
Total active listings increased almost 30% to 36,195 in October and meant balanced conditions across the province overall, although individual markets vary.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 22.1% to $49.7 billion, compared with the same period in 2017.

Residential unit sales decreased 22.8%to 69,664 units, while the average MLS residential price was up 1% to $713,662.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

No easy answer on what constitutes ‘average’ strata fees

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Little clarity on ‘average’ strata fees

Tony Gioventu
The Province

Dear Tony: Thank you for your column a few weeks ago regarding the obligation to maintain common property.

We spoke to our property manager regarding the walkways and driveways in our townhouse complex and he advised because the areas are not defined on the strata plan, each owner was responsible for their own driveways. We are seniors in our eighties in failing health and we are not capable of clearing our own driveways.

Do strata corporations have an option to require owners to remove snow and apply salt or sand for driveways and sidewalks? If every owner contracted a different company to clear the snow, it would be mass confusion in our complex. 

Margaret F., Abbotsford

Dear Margaret: Common property does not have to be specifically shown or defined on the registered strata plan. Under the definition of common property in the Strata Property Act, common property is that part of the land and buildings shown on a strata plan that is not part of a strata lot.

If any limited common property has been designated, it must be shown on the strata plan filed in the Land Title Registry by the owner developer or filed as an amendment by the strata corporation by three-quarters vote that complies with the conditions set out in the act.  

The act does not permit a bylaw that makes owners responsible for common property unless the regulations of the act are adopted, which would make such a bylaw possible. No such regulations have ever been adopted to date.

On your strata plan, the driveways and sidewalks are common property and the snow removal and salting must be performed by the strata corporation.

A common problem for strata corporations, such as townhouse developments with larger geographical areas to maintain, is the expectation and practice that strata fees are lower. As a result, many townhouse complexes do not budget sufficient funds for snow removal, storm sewer maintenance, landscaping and tree maintenance and fencing.

Failing to budget for a maintenance item is no excuse to avoid the obligation. It is very common for townhouse complexes to ignore trees and fencing until the only option is replacement or removal, often resulting in damage to foundations and structures of the buildings.

I am frequently asked what the average strata fees should be for a townhouse complex. Every strata corporation is different and the needs of one community for exterior maintenance and services may be twice as much as a neighbouring property based solely on design, finishing and age. To set an effective budget, start with an inventory of all common property and common assets that require maintenance, repair and inspection.  Almost every exterior element requires attention on an annual basis.

The price of ignoring the obligation of snow and ice removal from sidewalks has been a costly mistake for many strata corporations across the province this past winter.  Municipal bylaws require the adjacent property owner to remove snow and ice within a defined period of time. Failing to do so could result in a fine or summons and many strata corporations received fines as a result that were as high as $600 per incident.  Check your local bylaws before winter sets in. 

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Ovation 813 Carnarvon Street New Westminster 204 one, two and three bedroom homes by Domus Homes

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

At 32 storeys, Ovation is sure to attract attention

Kathleen Freimond
The Province

Ovation

What: 204 one-, two-, and three-bedrooms and two-level ‘city’ homes

Where: 813 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster

Residence size and prices: 482 to 1,344 square feet; one-bedrooms from the low $400,000s; two-bedrooms from the mid $600,000s; three-bedroom sky homes from the low $1,100,000s; Two-level city homes from the low $800,000s

Developer: Domus Homes

Sales centre: 1001 Columbia Street, New Westminster

Hours: noon — 5 p.m., Sat — Thurs

Telephone: 604-553-8004

Website: OvationNewWest.com

Domus Homes is setting the stage for plenty of applause with Ovation, its new 32-storey development in New Westminster’s historic downtown.

One of the showstoppers is expected to be the amenity level on the 32nd floor. Half the space is dedicated to indoor amenities, including a sky lounge, fitness zone, chef’s kitchen and dining room, while the other half comprises outdoor amenities that include a hot tub, bocce court and barbecue area.

“The concept is to enable everybody in the building to enjoy the spectacular views from the top of the building,” says Richard Wittstock, principal at Domus Homes. “There are 360-degree views of the [Fraser] river, mountains and bridges.”

Ovation will be close to the New Westminster SkyTrain station and surrounding shops, the Columbia Square Mall and the New Westminster Quay. Wittstock believes the location is a major advantage.

“We started with an incredible location and then, working with GBL Architects, we think we’ve created something really special,” he says. “The building’s architecture features vertical and horizontal elements working together.”

The interior design, by Cristina Oberti Interior Design, features two colour palettes, Light and Dark.

The Dark palette, presented in the two-bedroom show suite, is the bolder option, Oberti says. The kitchen features two cabinet door finishes: the lower cabinets are in a dark grey wood finish, while the uppers have a high-gloss white lacquer finish.

“The combination adds contrast while also brightening up the space,” Oberti says. “It gives the kitchen a graphic punch.”

Major appliances include a five-burner 30-inch Bosch gas cooktop with a slide-out range hood and a Bosch wall oven. The 36-inch Fisher & Paykel refrigerator with french doors is integrated, as is the Bosch dishwasher.

The sales centre also features a second kitchen based on a one-bedroom unit. Showing the Light palette, this kitchen has a 24-inch Bosch gas cooktop and a 24-inch single-door Blomberg refrigerator. A large island doubles as a dining space with one end free of cabinetry to accommodate seating while the other end contains a Bosch dishwasher.

Both the Light and the Dark schemes feature full-height kitchen backsplashes in a marble finish.

In the ensuite, the white quartz countertop and the continuous surface of marble-look 24- by 12-inch porcelain tiles on the floor and walls give the space a fresh and spa-like ambience.

In the main bathroom, the countertop is grey quartz, while the dark grey floor tile complements the dark wood cabinetry.

Wittstock says Ovation has attracted a lot of interest from a range of buyers, including first-time buyers.

“We think the two-bedroom homes will appeal to young professionals and the city homes are going to appeal to the families, while the sky homes will appeal to downsizers and professional couples,” he says.

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Balanced Conditions Prevail in BC Housing Market

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Balanced conditions remain for BC markets

BCREA

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,405 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in October, down 26.2 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $690,161, a decline of 4.1 per cent from October 2017. Total sales dollar volume was $4.2 billion, a 29.3 per cent decline from October 2017. 

“The BC housing market continued to grapple with tougher mortgage qualifications in October,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, more moderate consumer demand has led to a much-needed increase in the supply of homes for sale.” 

Total active residential listings were up nearly 30 per cent to 36,195 units in October, compared to the same month last year. While the BC housing market exhibited balanced conditions overall in October, market conditions do vary between regions and by product type. 

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 22.1 per cent to $49.7 billion, compared with the same period in 2017. Residential unit sales decreased 22.8 per cent to 69,664 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 1 per cent to $713,662.

Another Canadian city contemplates foreign buyer tax

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Montreal?s renters might suffer from a foreign buyer?s tax

Neil Sharma
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

These days, Montreal is riding high—the city`s economy is surging and so is its real estate market—but that’s inevitably attracted interest from foreign buyers whom the mayor fears is driving unaffordability.

Valerie Plante, elected mayor last year, wants to follow Vancouver and Toronto’s lead in implementing a foreign buyer tax. However, according to Carrie Law, CEO and director of Juwai.com, the largest website in China for international real estate, the proposed tax would actually harm Montreal’s renters who comprise two-thirds of the city’s households.

“A foreign buyer tax would favour the one-third of Montreal households who are owners over the two-thirds who are renters,” she said. “That means two out of three care more about rents than prices. I do agree that buyers from China play an important, minority role in certain parts of the condo market. Most new condos bought as investments by foreign buyers will end up as rentals. The current condo boom could lead to foreign buyers financing lower rents for locals. It’s hard to understand why the government opposes the possibility of lower rents. Rents have a bigger impact on many more people than do prices.”

As mortgage broker George Macris of Dominion Lending Centres Centre-Ouest in Montreal notes, the municipal government doesn’t have the power to instate a housing tax. Plante’s party, Projet Montreal, first called for a tax in spring 2017, but unless the provincial government steps in, their calls will go unheeded. Macris added that, for a city its size, Montreal is a low-priced market that was bound to attract investor attention, both domestic and from abroad.

That doesn’t mean Plante may have a point about the influence of foreign money on escalating housing prices.

“As a veteran Montreal mortgage broker, it’s been a little over six months that every client I have who is prequalified, and who’s in the market to purchase in Montreal or the surrounding areas, is finding themselves in multiple offer situations and I’m seeing more and more offers accepted just over asking price,” he said.

“Foreign buyers are maybe playing a role in the pricing game, but Montreal has a growing economy with the lowest unemployment rate it’s seen in decades.”

Indeed, at 5.6%, Montreal’s unemployment rate hit its second-lowest level on record last month.

But Law thinks that a foreign buyer tax could have unforeseen ramifications that Plante’s administration will rue.

“Would the tax address the issues its supporters claim it does? No,” she said. “We believe those fears about affordability in Montreal are exaggerated. Affordability is actually what’s driving prices up, in the form of high employment and low interest rates. Foreign buyers are in no way driving market-wide price or sales trends. That’s preposterous on the face of it.”

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

Province tackles housing crisis in 42 communities

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

4,900 new units to be built over three years for renters from a range of income

Amy Smart
The Province

The B.C. government is funding 4,900 new affordable rental units to be built in the next three years as part of its efforts to tackle a housing crisis across the province.

The units will include both non-profit and co-operative housing and are designed to address affordable-housing needs for a range of income levels in 42 communities, the government says in a statement.

The buildings will contain a mix of units for middle-income people and families, heavily subsidized rentals for seniors and others on fixed incomes, and homes for low-wage workers.

“We want a range of people to have access to this new affordable housing. The projects will include a mix of rent levels,” Housing Minister Selina Robinson said at a news conference in Vancouver.

Robinson said one building could be home to seniors, retail workers, nurses and first responders, “who are increasingly struggling in a rental market that is becoming so unaffordable for too many.”

Jill Atkey, chief executive for the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association, said the investment is “vital.”

One-third of B.C. residents are renters and almost half of them are spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent. Almost one in five are spending more than 50 per cent of their income on rent, she said.

“Data tell us that this crisis is real,” she said. “Spending more than you can afford on rent is becoming the new normal,” she said.

It’s significant that the projects are being delivered thorough the non-profit sector, Atkey said, because it means they will remain affordable in future.

This is the first set of housing projects selected through the B.C. government’s $1.9-billion Building B.C.: Community Housing Fund established to construct more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for independent families and seniors.

It’s part of a larger $7-billion commitment by the B.C. government to build 114,000 affordable homes over 10 years.

Increasing the housing supply was also part of the NDP government’s confidence and supply agreement with the B.C. Green party.

Robinson said the province received more than 100 responses to its request for proposals and the projects were selected based on criteria that includes the types of clients and the impact the project is expected to have in reducing the community’s affordable rental-housing need.

Seventy two projects have been approved. About 1,500 homes will be built in the Vancouver area, 1,400 in the Fraser Valley, 1,300 on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, and a combined 750 in the Interior and north.

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Metro Vancouver’s industrial supply is lagging demand

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

There is a high demand for industrial units in Metro Vancouver

Steve Randall
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

High demand for industrial units in Metro Vancouver is outpacing new supply and driving rental rates higher.

With an ongoing record low vacancy rate of less than 2%, even a 5% growth in inventory (more than 9.2 million square feet net) over the past 36 months has not done enough to meet demand, especially from the fast-growing ecommerce sector.

Avison Young reports that the industrial vacancy rate in the fall of 2018 has hit 1.5% in Metro Vancouver with rental rates have continuing to climb rapidly. The average asking net rent in Metro Vancouver is now at $11.43 psf, up from $9.99 psf a year earlier.

New build may be best for large operators Tenants in virtually all markets are faced with either renewing their lease at notably higher rates or relocating further away from the region’s traditional core industrial markets to markets located further south of the Fraser River and further east in the Fraser Valley.

“Companies are increasingly looking for efficiencies, including consolidating multiple locations into a larger facility,” comments Avison Young Principal Russ Bougie. “Given enough lead time, larger companies currently have more options for a new build-to-suit than if they were to lease an existing building in almost all size ranges and markets.”

Market fundamentals remain strong, and demand from owner-occupiers and investors at near record levels is expected to continue for at least the next 18 months.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd