Vancouver's West End - Highs and Lows.

We have reached the mid-point of the year and it looks like the weather man has finally admitted as much - with July starting to show signs of true summer weather.  In my last West End blog I touched on sales month by month since January of this year and as always, the variety of properties kept the activity at a healthy rate.

As of today - July 8 - there are 252 active listings in the West End.  Not hard to see that we are now entering the summer mode regarding real estate - 64 of these listings are showing downward price adjustments.  Only means two things - the initial list price was unrealistic and/or the competition simply provided better options.  The first 3 weeks of any listing is crucial - period.  That is why it is so important to work with a realtor who leaves the sugar at home - and gives you straight answers, strategies, immediate market conditions and feedback on what is actually happening.  No need to coat anything - with so much information at ones fingertips in this day and age guess work is a thing of the past.  Admittedly I have lost potential listings because I was too honest.  The only sugar I use goes in my coffee.

In the West End as always the listings and sales cover the entire spectrum of the market - age, construction, size, shape, view, location, etc.  Current listings include: the low - a one bedroom leasehold property at 1251 Cardero Street - the Surfcrest - listed at $215,000 and showing 592 square feet.  Not a bad option - gets you into the market - near the bottom of Davie Street with English Bay and Stanley Park at your doorstep and all services within walking distance.  The high - an incredible home at The Presidio - 2088 Barclay Street.  This two level penthouse offers just over 4000 square feet of living space for a cool $8,350,000.  You would be hard pressed to find a building that boasts Stanley Park as a neighbour yet only minutes from the hustle of downtown - a true oasis in the city.  I walked between these two properties yesterday - it took just 8 minutes.  No need to say anything else about how unique the West End truly is.

Closer to downtown - just a few observations.  Not sure if the uncertainty of the global economic situation is acting on some of the higher end home owner / non-resident investor types.  With the United States in a terrible mess (double dip on the way ?) - China now being suspected of having a not so hot economy - Greece just steps from disaster - there are now 8 properties at The Shangri La on Alberni/Georgia street for sale - from $2,888m to $5.0m.  These are the homes located at the 1128 Georgia Street address - look up - look way up.  Even after the events of 2008 - some are now taking the recovery of the last 2 years and concluding - this is truly the top of our real estate market and looking to cash out.  Timing is everything and will continue to be.

The Patina - just completed a few months ago - is still very active under the same front.  Many investors are now looking to cash out but no doubt this round will not generate the returns of years ago.  Currently there are 41 options in the building alone !  Well worth a look - motivation of sellers could turn into a favorable purchase for a lucky few.

On the local front the West End welcomes Bella Pizza to lower Davie Street at the 1700 block.  Family owned and operated since 1979 - Bella Pizza is a consistent "readers choice" winner for best pizza in town.

We also bid farewell to Blockbuster Video on Robson.  Sign of the times I am afraid to say - on line rentals are the new game in town.  Rogers video is in the same boat and closing up video rental shops throughout the area.

Feel free to contact me anytime - for any or all of your real estate needs.  Like I said - I don't do a lot of sugar coating - I will simply tell it like it is - with history and conditions to prove it.  No doubt a one hour chat over coffee could be worth your while.  I only promise to buy the coffee and not try to "buy" your listing - will false and unrealistic promises.


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