Welcome back and I do hope you enjoyed the holiday season - fast as it seemed to come and go - and good wishes for a prosperous 2011. The West End area of Vancouver continued to reveal its diversity in 2010 and maintained a steady level of activity for both property listings and home sales. I still cannot think of another location that offers the entire spectrum of home selection and options within a city core while just steps from some of the best mother nature has to offer - than right here in Vancouver's West End.
The sales figures for 2010 - according to the Multiple Listing Service - show a total of 613 homes being sold in the area. This number may change a bit as homes actually sold in 2010 but not "completing" until the new year are still to come. A very unique and interesting part within these statistics had the lowest sale occurring on Burnaby Street at $166,000.00 - while a sale at the Shangri La on Alberni/Georgia Street sold for $5.8 million dollars - all within 8 blocks of each other !
Here is a review of the number of suites sold in the following price ranges:
$0-350,000 - 181 home sales
$351-$500,000 - 223 home sales
$501-$750,000 - 104 home sales
$751-$1 million - 35 home sales
$1m-$2million - 52 home sales
$2million - plus - 18 home sales
As you can see - the most active price range is under $500,000 - this can be attributed to first time home buyers comparing rental rates vice a mortgage payment - thanks to the record low interest rates which are still holding.
The quarterly sales activity pretty much followed the seasonal treads we see in Vancouver under normal market conditions:
First quarter - 161 sales
Second quarter - 194 sales
Third quarter - 138 sales
Fourth quarter - 120 sales
There was a reduction in the number of listings this year over 2009 but pricing remained stable - buyers were active but being very selective and of course interest rate holds downplayed any panic to purchase. I have spoken to many potential buyers and although still planning a purchase - are on the sidelines waiting to see how 2011 will begin to shape up on many fronts - number of new listings, previous homes returning to market at adjusted prices, interest rates holding firm, economic outlooks, etc. No doubt the HST issue is preventing many from buying a "new" home - talk on the street is the only way the Liberals will ever survive the next election - is to rescind the HST.
And so it goes. I have had many calls in the last 2 days from both buyers, sellers and other real estate representatives on all fronts - new listings, viewing of current listings and those becoming familiar with options as we enter the spring market. An early prediction ? Vancouver will see it's ups and downs but most will agree - when living in one of the best places on earth - the ship will tend to stay its course regardless of the external forces of the economic climate. Here is some feedback from off shore investors we have dealt with over the last year. When asked why are you buying real estate in Vancouver - the overwhelming responses were:
- number one banking system in the world
- stable government
- "safe" country
- loss of confidence/volatile markets
- cultural diversity
- natural beauty
When generating this kind of interest from afar - at least one question I get asked is easily addressed - "should I invest in property in Vancouver" ? Simple answer.