Yes its true. Hockey has taken over the city - the Stanley Cup is within reach of our Canucks and a series win is only fitting - since Vancouver already lays claim to another "world champion" - in Stanley Park. Even those with just a fleeting interest in the game will be drawn into the series by friends, neighbours, etc. After all, the Olympics is still a fresh memory and who wouldn't want another opportunity to cheer a "home town" effort.
On the real estate front - Vancouver and the West End continue to keep a steady pace. Sales of apartment (condo) properties reached 1,228 suites in May of 2011 - a decrease of 9% compared to this time last year and almost a 16% decrease from May 2009. No doubt the economic situation at home and throughout the world has been an influence - causing lenders to tighten the reigns on mortgages. Many first time buyers still find themselves jumping for joy at the interest rates that are being offered - only to be disappointed by either not qualifying at all or at a reduced mortgage amount. Canadian lenders have absolutely no interest in becoming real estate companies or entertaining even a slight chance of repeating the disaster of our American neighbours - at any level.
The West End is currently showing just over 230 active listings - including a studio on Burnaby Street at $215,000 and of course the Shangri La anchoring the upper West End market - with a 2600 square foot home at a cool $5 million. Plenty of variety as always - in the West End. Breaking these down a bit - there are 106 homes for sale under $500,000 and 70 listed at $1 million or more. The now completed Patina at 1028 Barclay (at Burrard) is adding to the current stock - with 37 listings - 19 of these above the $1 million mark. Just over 60 homes are listed between the $500k to $1 million level.
The most active properties of late are detached homes - not a huge player in the West End - but reports of mainland Chinese and Persian buyers seemingly in a buying frenzy abound - on the West Side and in West Vancouver as well as Richmond and Steveston. Driving force here has many opinions but with economies faltering all over the world (who's next) and the stock market being the unreliable investment tool it has become - most are citing it's a matter of security of investment. Investors do not want to see their monies vanish into thin air but want some concrete (no pun intended) evidence of where their funds have landed. Canada is not one to boast but with stability on many fronts - most notably banking and government - these investors are inbound in swarms. And what better place to invest in property - still ranked in the top ten places to live on earth - it's a simple choice. Seems dirt is the new gold.
On the local front - Independant Flixx on Denman Street is closing its doors after 10 years - a valiant run against the on-line movie business. If the huge players like Blockbuster and Rogers are having to re-tool - the local business were no doubt walking the same tightrope. We wish the management and staff all the best in the future and if you are looking for some deals on hard copy DVD's - drop by - for blow out prices.
Contact me anytime to discuss the real estate market in the West End and downtown core of the city. Still the best place on earth - dirt and all.