May 2, 2013
With April 2013 Stats Package
Spring delivers greater balance to Greater Vancouver housing market
A closer relationship between home buyer demand and the supply of homes for sale has been having a stabilizing impact on home prices in the Greater Vancouver housing market over the last three months.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,627 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April 2013. This represents a 6.1 per cent decrease compared to the 2,799 sales recorded in April 2012, and an 11.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,347 sales in March 2013.
Last month's sales equate to the lowest April total in the region since 2001 and 20.9 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.
"While the number of home sales remains below average, properties that are priced right are selling and we're seeing greater balance between buyer demand and the number of homes listed for sale. This is having a steadying influence on home prices in the region," says Sandra Wyant, REBGV president.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,876 in April. This represents a three per cent decline compared to the 6,056 new listings reported in April 2012 and a 21.4 per cent increase from the 4,839 new listings in March of this year. Last month's new listing count was 0.4 per cent above the region's 10-year new listing average for the month.
The total number of properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver is 16,730, a 1.2 per cent increase compared to April 2012 and an 8.2 per cent increase compared to March 2013.
The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 15.7 per cent in Greater Vancouver. This is the second consecutive month that this ratio has been above 15 per cent. Previous to this, May 2012 was the last time this ratio was above 15 per cent.
"There have been modest increases in home prices across the region over the last three months. This comes on the heels of home price declines of approximately five to six per cent in Greater Vancouver during the last half of 2012," Wyant said.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is currently $597,300. This represents a decline of 3.9 per cent compared to this time last year and an increase of 1.6 per cent compared to January 2013.
Sales of detached properties reached 1,064 in April 2013, a decrease of 5.5 per cent from the 1,126 detached sales recorded in April 2012, and a 24.1 per cent decrease from the 1,402 units sold in April 2011. The benchmark price for detached properties decreased 5.2 per cent from April 2012 to $914,000. Since January the benchmark price of a detached home has increased 1.4 per cent.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,052 in April 2013, a decline of 11.6 per cent compared to the 1,190 sales in April 2012, and a decrease of 12.4 per cent compared to the 1,201 sales in April 2011. The benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 2.6 per cent from April 2012 to $365,900. Since January the benchmark price of an apartment home has increased 2.1 per cent.
Attached property sales in April 2013 totalled 511, an increase of 5.8 per cent compared to the 483 sales in April 2012, and a 17.8 per cent decrease from the 622 attached properties sold in April 2011. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 3.5 per cent between April 2012 and 2013 to $455,200. Since January the benchmark price of an attached home has increased 1.2 per cent.
Click here to download the current's Housing Price Index HPI Greater Vancouver - PDF
Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement - April 17, 2013
The Bank of Canada kept its target overnight rate at 1 per cent this morning. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank forecast that the Canadian economy will gain momentum through the year following a weak second half in 2012, but slow growth through the first half of this year will limit real GDP growth to just 1.5 per cent in 2013 before rising to 2.8 in 2014. The Bank's revised forecast means that the economy is now projected to return to full capacity in mid-2015, rather than in 2014 as previously predicted. A more persistent output gap will keep downward pressure on inflation, which is now expected to gradually rise to the 2 per cent target rate by mid-2015. The Bank continued to sound a much more dovish note on future rate increases, noting that the considerable policy stimulus currently in place will likely remain appropriate for "a period of time, after which some modest withdrawal will likely be required."
With an expanding output gap and inflation trending well below its 2 per cent target, it is natural to ask if the next move by the Bank of Canada is a rate cut rather than the rate hike that almost all economists have penciled into their forecasts. However, unless the economy deteriorates much more or inflation trends much lower, the Bank is unlikely to lower interest rates since doing so would run counter to a year of loudly exhorting households to cut back on debt. Instead, the Bank will likely continue to use forward guidance about the need, or lack thereof, for future rate hikes in order to influence long-term rates and the Canadian dollar lower. The combined of effect of which should provide continued stimulus to the Canadian economy.
City of Vancouver Latest Urban projects:
- Vancouver city Projects including the eco-density program, the chinatown revitalization, the south-east False Creek revitalization, the Downtown eastside revitalization, as well as the upcoming new transportation projects and cultural projects.
- Downtown Vancouver Planning updates including all the information on the status of a project, start and completion dates, last update, links to related information, as well as contact names and phone numbers.
- Downtown vancouver metropolitan core jobs and economy land use plan including what you should know about the metropolitan jobs and economy land use plan
- The urban development institute Pacific region including information and reports on development industry in British Columbia, promoting wise and efficient urban growth, good planning and good development practices, affordable housing and high quality commercial and industrial developments.
- Avison Young Vancouver Industrial overview including updates and market snapshots on industrial construction, retail sale, vacancy rates, capture and absorption rates, capitalisation rate.
City of Vancouver: Transportation 2040
Vancouver's New City Planner:
Government announces new HST/PST housing transitional rules
FEBRUARY 17, 2012
The government today announced the HST/PST transitional rules on new homes.
As the province transitions back to the PST, which will replace the HST effective April 1, 2013, measures to ease the HST burden on new home buyers include:
- The BC New Housing Rebate threshold will increase to $850,000 from $525,000, so that more than 90% of newly built homes will now be eligible for a provincial HST rebate effective April 1, 2012.
- The maximum rebate will increase to $42,500 from $26,250 effective April 1, 2012.
- Buyers of new secondary vacation or recreational homes outside the Greater Vancouver and Capital Regional Districts priced up to $850,000 will now be eligible to claim a provincial grant of up to $42,500 effective April 1, 2012.
- For newly built homes where construction begins before April 1, 2013, but ownership and possession occur after, purchasers will not pay the 7% provincial portion of the HST. Instead, purchasers will pay a temporary, transitional provincial tax of 2% on the full house price.
HST/PST transition rules will help ensure that whenever purchasers buy a new home they will all pay a consistent and equitable amount of tax, whether the home is built:
- entirely under the HST;
- entirely under the PST; or
- partly under HST and partly under the PST.
The temporary housing transition measures will be in place until March 31, 2015. The tax only applies to homes where construction begins before the transition date and ownership and possession occur after.
REBGV successfully advocated for the following:
- An increase in the threshold value of homes to be covered by the rebate;
- An increase in the rebate amount;
An announcement of the transition rules for new homes as early as possible.
- Click Here to read the HST to PST Transition Rules from the British Columbia Real Estate Association.
SOLD CONDOS STATISTICS:
What is a mean Average?
The Average price is obtained by dividing the total dollar volume of sales by the number of sales.
What is a Median Average?
To obtain a Median price, all of the sales prices are arrayed in numeric order. In the case of an even number of sales, the median is the highest price in the lower half of the group. If there is an odd number of sales, the midpoint sale is taken as the median.
What is the Sales-to-active listings ratio (SALR)?
The ratio of home sales to active listings is a good indication of any upward or downward pressure on home prices. Figure 1 illustrates the relationship between the sales-to-active listings ratio (SALR) and changes in home prices in Vancouver. As home sales rise relative to the number of homes listed for sale, home prices are pushed higher.
In 2008, a contraction in demand and an increase in the number of home listings pulled the SALR down sharply, below 0.10 or 10%, leading to a strong buyers market and declining home prices. A dramatic increase in demand this year had the reverse effect, drawing down the supply of homes for sale and pushing the SALR above 0.25 or 25%, leading to upward pressure on home prices.
This is a good rule of thumb: home prices are typically pulled downward when the SALR is below 0.10 or 10% and pushed upward when above 0.25 or 25%. Home prices tend to exhibit little upward or downward pressure when the SALR is between 0.15 and 0.20. In other words, home sales are 15-20 per cent of the total active listings in a given month. At this level, a relative balance exists between supply and demand.
Urban Planning Update
A SENSE OF PLACE:
"So really the most important role for architects is to create a sense of place for people to live" James Cheng, Architect.
FALSE CREEK FLATS - CHINATOWN - STRATHCONA CONNEXIONS
Vancouver- From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 1:03PM EST
Crossing Main Street and the city's historic railway station, an area that Mr. Beasley predicts could become the new eastern edge of a re-oriented downtown, he turns left towards the viaduct's Union Street off ramp. Here you can see evidence of recent neighbourhood renewal, sparked primarily by the 10,000 new residents that have arrived here in the past decade, lured by projects like Citygate, and more recently by the Olympic Village.
On the southeast corner of Main and Prior, the old Bank of Montreal building has become a hip new space called the Denim Gallery Café. On its northern flank, the shrine to Jimi Hendrix speaks of the area's history, and the sad fate of Hogan's Alley, bulldozed for the new viaduct. Despite community opposition at the time, it was destroyed while Strathcona was narrowly saved from demolition by a robust residents association. "We really have to thank those people as city-building heroes," says Mr. Green. "Just imagine what this place would be like if they hadn't fought it."
Now Union Street is alive with new shops, cafes, businesses and housing. The month-old David Nicolay-designed Union Bar is doing a brisk business.
"If the viaduct area opens up," says Mr. Nicolay, "it would be a great boon to the neighbourhood and would link the surrounding areas that now function as little islands."
The new viaduct precinct plan is beyond the concept of the "other side of the tracks", says Mr. Beasley, "it's about removing the tracks altogether. People in the downtown eastside will have beautiful park systems and a huge infrastructure of amenities that were previously denied to them."
Turning West on to East Georgia, we drive past a parking lot at the edge of a lane that will soon be a 28-unit, nine-storey residential building. It was designed by Inge Roecker and Birmingham & Wood Architects to fit the 25-foot lot typical of the area and to engage with its lane culture. Project architect Sandra Moore hopes that, "the lanes of Chinatown will once again provide primary access to retail, businesses and dwelling units as they have in the past."
She notes that the south end of the lane flanking the site that meets the viaduct, "has huge potential to become a pedestrian/bike corridor connecting the viaduct precinct to Pender Street - the heart of Chinatown."
Next, Mr. Beasley drives us down that very street, past Peking Lounge, a furniture and interiors boutique, and Bob Rennie's new art gallery, making a left at International Village, a mixed use, 15-year-old development.
"You see how Abbot is such a great urban street," says Mr. Beasley," with shops, housing, theatres, cafes. And then suddenly - there's the viaduct. It just stops everything abruptly with no consideration for the nature of the neighbourhood."
To our immediate east, urban streetscape dissolves into empty parking lots.
"If people have the courage to come together and implement this plan..." says Mr. Beasley, "...It could be the crowning glory of the city," interjects Mr. Green, finishing Mr. Beasley's sentence.
"This could be Vancouver's defining moment."
- Click here to see the plans and maps with the new buildings and parks removing the Viaduc would generate - PDF
New Vancouver Convention Expension project:
The vision has quickly become a reality. The New building and its accompanying two acre public plaza are located just west of the existing convention centre facility. A 200ft. (60m) glass-enclosed connector will link the east and west buildings, providing stunning harbour views and complete integration of both wings. It's been no small task. The $883 million dollar expansion encompasses 1.1 million square feet - approximatelly 4 city blocks. Of this, 40 % is built over water. The new space will boast 52 break-out meetings rooms, a new adjacent 400-Room Hotel, and 83,000 sq.ft. (7,711 sq.m) of restaurants, retailers and attractions. By increasing the existing meeting place threefold, it is estimated that the new facility will generate an additional $107 million annually in delegate spending.
The VCCEP takes the Vancouver convention centre's commitment to environmental stewardship to new levels by incorporating numerous groundbraking innovations in sustainable design. One of the expansion's most highly anticipated features is a six-acre "living roof", one of the most ambitious project of its kind worlwide. About 30 % of the roof has already been planted with some 400,000 seedlings and thousand of seeds. Plants will be watered via clever irrigation systems that makes use of drainage and water recovery mechanisms that will collect rainwater. Architect Hemstock says: "We want to promote bees, ants, and other insects and birds to bring them back to the downtown"
Olympic spotlight aside, the project will provide an inspirational example of architecture innovation, functional design and a commitment to sustainability.
- Click here to View the Vancouver convention centre expension project by Canadian Architects - PDF
Vancouver the world's greenest city by 2020 - 10 years plan:
Vancouverism is fast replacing "Manhattanism" as the maximum power setting for shaping the humane mixed-use city, important ideas for a new era of scarce energy and diminished natural resources.