Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Is Vancouver Different?

I'm not a fan of the big city... I prefer the lifestyle of Victoria. We've been highly entertained by the commentary over on CondoHype! So in that light, yesterday we travelled around to some marketing offices downtown pushing the condo lifestyle in Victoria.

I've heard that there are line-ups almost as long as the passport office one's for new condos in Vancouver's trendy neighbourhoods. What's the story in Victoria? Victoria's Truth has an insight into price reductions in the Victoria condo market. What did we find? Two general trends:
  1. Either the doors on the display suite offices were locked
  2. Or the display suite office was open and there were people inside, but they were staff and not potential buyers
I had no idea what to expect, to be honest. I wasn't thinking we'd see a line-up or even a bustling showroom. But I'd have at least thought they'd all be open. So kind of surprised.

We live not too far from the Richmond Gate development and we've watched it go up with curiosity. We've discussed it as a potential home for us for the long term. We like the neighbourhood and could see ourselves staying here, but not at those prices.

They started selling small one-beds at $250K. Now, you get a one-bed, 1.5 bath plus a computer closet for $340K (at 750SF). My friend sold his 2000 SF house with mortgage helper last year at the peak, just around the good corner from there, for $430K.

The marketing for RG seems diminished. There is no "lifestyle" pushing going on. Instead it's being touted as "affordable luxury". Considering you can get the same "affordable luxury" for $100K less on Goldstream Avenue in The Strathmore (you can spend the extra $10K yourself to swap out the fixtures and counter tops that make the difference there), what incentive is there to be in town? And does it equal a $100K premium?

The housing markets are more balanced between Langford and Saanich (in our market segment anyway). Why the big difference in condo prices?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The housing markets are more balanced between Langford and Saanich (in our market segment anyway). Why the big difference in condo prices?"

Have you tried doing the Colwood crawl? The ONLY reason to live out in the boonies (Langford/Colwood), is if you're retired and not needing to spend 3 hours in traffic daily.

$100k difference justified...

hhv said...

when you put it that way, ok.

Anonymous said...

The people I talk to who live out in Langford/Colwood say "oh, once you get out there it is great". I have never understood that reasoning.

S2

Anonymous said...

commuting sucks but if you work in the west shore then the life out west is good (if your not into the small city thing)

Anonymous said...

"For immediate release

BC Home Sales Decline Six Per Cent in First Quarter

Vancouver, BC – April 19, 2007.

British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports the residential sales volume on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC rose 5 per cent to $9.2 billion in the first quarter of 2007. However, unit sales declined 6 per cent to 22,198 during the same period. The average MLS® price reached $415,765, climbing 12 per cent from the first three months of 2006.

“Consumer demand for housing remains robust,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Strong labour demand, a low unemployment rate and rising wages and salaries are underpinning BC’s housing markets. However, high home prices are eroding affordability and squeezing some potential homebuyers out of the market.”

“Fewer home sales and an increase in active listings have positioned the market in more balanced conditions,” added Muir. “Homebuyers have a wider selection of homes to choose from than last year, and have less competition. Home prices continue to face upward pressure, but aren’t expected to climb as rapidly as in the past two years.”

MLS® residential sales volume in the province increased 4 per cent to $4.04 billion in March, compared to the same period last year. MLS® home sales dipped 7 per cent to 9,428 units, compared to March 2006. The average MLS® residential price reached $428,949 last month, a 12 per cent increase from a year ago. Fewer home sales and a 27 per cent increase in active listings pushed the sales-to-active-listings ratio (a measure of demand/supply conditions) down to 29 per cent from 39 per cent in March 2006."

S2

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