The West End showed no signs of slowing after a very healthy start - although the weather didn't do much to help the effort.
The first quarter is in the books and off we go into the official spring market. There are currently 220 active West End listings showing on the Multiple Listing Service. The range as always is the most diverse in the city - much like the West End itself. A leasehold on Cardero Street is listed at $199,900. Of course the ever so exclusive but spectacular Cinq Terre has a home just over 3000 square feet listed at $7,500,000. Enough said on that one. And only blocks from each other.
There were 102 sales recorded since January of this year. Wide ranging again - from a co-op on Pendrell at $197,000 to the Penthouse at The Lumiere on Alberni Street - selling at $4,200,000. I had the pleasure of working with the purchasers on this fantastic home.
The West Ends latest opportunity to own - is at 1265 Barclay - by Wall Financial. You will note this building is already erected and will be a conversion to new and updated suites. This could be a sign of things to come. With a "hands off" attitude on new and higher developments in the West End by the City - some traditional rental buildings will be gutted and sold off as "new" condos. Interesting.
Feet On The Street
No doubt the odd day of sunshine had a lot of people out and about in the West End the last couple of Sundays. Plenty of open houses to stroll through with a cup of java. The downtown core was busy as well; the opens were doing "ok" according to most. On one hand, I could say that buyers are still hesitant but active. When the right home appears at the right price, obviously there will be some action. Who can resist these interest rates.
On the other, with Monday's Vancouver Sun article stating the new Telus Garden has sold out it's 428 condo's - it keeps me coming back - trying to spot a trend in Vancouver's real estate market. Not so easily done, as the areas you focus on - can change within blocks of each other. These sales have been occurring for months to employees first, then the general public. One very interesting point - we already had someone who had put a hold on two suites contact us and ask about the chance of "flipping" them for a gain shortly before the building completes. I could only answer - good luck. The days of frenzied buying are over. Of course if a building sells out - does that not shake memories of old - just 5 or 6 years ago - when we approached levels of sales reaching the stratosphere? Sure does. But again I say - it's very selective and remember there are some very crafty marketing folks out there turning these "sell-outs" into some good press. Marine Gateway was another. Do you really believe they sold out (writing firm contracts) in 4 hours? I will leave that to you. Also there are still homes availabe at the old Olympic Village. Comes back to my point - location, location, location.
Selected development sell-outs are an indication of the global economy affecting our market. Guess I am not the only one tired of seeing our fuel prices run up the ladder because someone in the Middle East has rattled a nasty saber. Plus, the time spent in a vehicle these days - crawling from point A to home - is taking its toll. Did I say toll ? Ummm I think a few of those are on the horizon as well. I - like many in the downtown area - are forever thankful I can walk or bike or run for both work and pleasure.
Contact me anytime to chat about the Vancouver real estate market. Especially if you are planning to purchase a new development. Don't go in alone but speak to someone who looks a bit further down the road - or across the block.