Vancouver - West End - Feeling the Heat


Welcome back and yes - the cool weather is most certainly the hot topic in Vancouver today.

Snow covered North Shore Mountains
Snow covered North Shore Mountains

The Arctic once again has decided to dispatch our way - just a taste of what usually breezes down the east side of the Rockies and has our Alberta and Prairie neighbours secretly under their breath saying - "take that... Lotus Land".  Although we will never see the minus 20's and 30's they endure, the locals still have a great excuse to chit-chat at the local coffee shops.  Today the summit at Whistler/Blackcomb is reporting about minus 26 - great time for the hearty skiers to hit the slopes while Grouse Mountain is at a mere minus 8 degrees. In this clear air the City must look spectacular under all this sun from the top.

And... once again Vancouver continues to hold its own with another top ranking as worlds most livable city ! Read more here...

The real estate market in Vancouver and the West End has shown positive signs in most areas very early this year.  With the relaunch of the Millennium Water/Olympic Village - now called the "Village on False Creek" - buyer traffic will be driven to the area for a look to see what the advertised discounts will produce.

The Village on False Creek - Kimmins and Associates
The Village on False Creek - Kimmins and Associates

Good response so far with 128 units reported as being sold - but of course there is a long way to go.  As Mr. Bob Rennie stated - positive as he always is - this could be a 2-3 year project to recoup the taxpayers investment.

As always - when buying new - I encourage you to have your own Realtor - especially looking at newer projects still under construction.  I always ask one question to those contemplating a purchase on their own - "do you know what a Developers Disclosure Statement is ?"  If you shrug your shoulders or fail to read it - well lets just say - "I told you so..."

In the West End - there have been 51 sales alone - amongst the new properties that were listed just this year - an excellent level of activity for January and February.  Some sales have occurred in 3-5 days selling above the published list price.

1307 - 1050 Smithe Street - Kimmins and Associates
1307 - 1050 Smithe Street - Kimmins and Associates

Our listing on Smithe Street (very near Robson) had - within 2 days of the home coming to market and after the first viewing - an accepted offer - selling in just 6 days.  This is very significant on two fronts.  First, of course, and the most important as a seller,  is pricing at realistic levels.  Second - and its the feel that has been the most common over the last 6 months amongst buyers - is they are still active  but are in no rush to move on properties - due to plenty of inventory and awesome interest rates.  What buyers will do is continue to view properties - and in this case - make a move as everything worked - price, size, condition and location.  Speaking to the buyers, they had simply arrived at a point in their search that this was the only building they were interested in.

1808 - 1239 West Georgia - The Venus - Kimmins and Associates -  Luxury Real Estate
1808 - 1239 West Georgia - The Venus - Kimmins and Associates

Another property I listed at 1239 W Georgia - the Venus (a great option, by the way) - had us accepting an offer after only 9 days on market and 5 viewings.  Again, realistic pricing, condition, location and investor interest resulted in satisfied parties on both sides.

I did see that most lenders raised their mortgage rates by 0.25% last week.  Obviously with the Middle East seemingly being turned upside down of late - this failed to make any news feeds.  Not much of a rise but on the lower end of the pricing scale - along with the amortization periods being reduced from 35 to 30 years by the Federal Government - this will impact those who waited just a bit too long to purchase over the last year - especially first time home buyers.

So we continue on into the spring market (once clear of our taste of winter) knowing March as always - will produce an attitude change and more activity - thanks to the magic of sunlight and to those who must - due to life or employment changes - begin to seriously consider their futures. All in all - the West End is still one of the most popular residential areas in Vancouver - with such a variety of selection and on the door step to all the best the city and nature has to offer.

I do have to mention that if you are looking for a West End destination on Sunday nights - be sure to drop by Central Bistro on Denman Street.  Great live jazz and attractive drink specials paired with a sleek menu - a perfect way to wind down for the weekend.  It was a full house last Sunday with some very surprising renditions of jazz classics - with a great band - that offered up the mike to those who dared show there stuff.

I welcome comments of any kind and if you are looking for information on the real estate market - other than just statistics or news articles - contact me anytime.  Honest answers guaranteed - no need to jazz up the truth.

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