West End Neighbourhood Round-up: Sailing Away in 2012.

Despite the wind and waves, The West End in Vancouver is showing signs of spring.

True signs spring is in the air, tulips are out or very close to it. The crows are already into turf wars; the sounds of returning geese never lie; and of course, real estate open house and for sale signs are dotting the landscape. It's a great time of year to pay attention to the market if there are plans in your future: to either buy or sell.

On the Multiple Listing Service, there are currently 231 active listings in the West End.  As usual, covering everything from leaseholds, co-ops and free hold homes.  The price range never disappoints. There's a one bedroom leasehold on Cardero Street listed at $199,900 to the spectacular and exclusive penthouse at Cinq Terre on Beach avenue, asking a very cool $7.5m.  Very cool.

Interest rates are holding and yes, the banks and lenders are still looking for ways to grab your attention.  One of our go-to mortgage contacts at TD has passed along that TD is actually offering to pay the first mortgage payment (up to $4000) - for first time home buyers - amongst other offers.  The point here is: SHOP around.  BMO was out of the gate a few weeks back with a 5 year rate of 2.99% and 3.99% on a 10 year term.  No one has lowered to this level previously.  It makes sense, with thinner margins - due to the rates themselves - its time to boost volume, volume, volume.

The government is seemingly sending soft and hard messages on the debt that Canadians are accumulating  - especially in the housing sector.  Enough to force the Finance Minister to hint - in a very subtle way  - that new restrictions on mortgages could be around the corner.  No worries - the banks are usually ahead of these recommendations when they are qualifying borrowers.  Bankers do not like to become home sellers.

Feet On The Street

The West End is always a hive of activity - with almost 45,000 people in the area - it just doesn't stop.  Breaking ground before Xmas - Alexandra Living at Bidwell and Davie - is just about to pour the foundation.  The upper level homes looking west and south will be spectacular.

Alexandra Living - Bidwell & Davie

As well a new development is being advertised.  1265 Barclay should have their website up this month.  Not much info on this as of yet - will keep you posted.  But considering it is located on one of Vancouver's prettiest streets - should be worth a look.

A Vancouver standard - Cactus Club - has now opened it's newest addition at English Bay.  Quite a coup here and good on them for snagging this location.  Bikers, runners, walkers, beach bodies, sea wall fans will now have a perfect destination to refuel - in more ways than one.  They did a great job on design with very little view impact from street level.  I am sure the Boathouse crew have sighed in relief.  Both these locations are spectacular (along with Milestones patio) for summer sunsets. Davie and Denman is the go-to location on those hot summer days. Watch for the next Cactus Club at the Convention Center - hard to miss - only steps away from the Olympic Cauldron.

Cactus Club Cafe now open at English Bay
Cactus Club Cafe now open at English Bay

And yes, only a matter of time, but Fatburger is heading up the hill to the 1000 block of Davie - their second location in the area. Welcome aboard.

Contact me anytime on these or other real estate questions you may have. A chat can be worth a thousand words and can save you thousands of dollars.


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