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W E S T C O A S T

January 15, 2016

CONDOMINIUM www.westcoastcondominium.ca

RESORT-STYLE LIVING AT

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BUILD YOUR A TEAM

THE AIR BNB FACTOR

PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES

Don’t try condo investing without professional help P7

Are owners allowed to rent out condos short term? P22

Think contents insurance is enough? Think again

SPACE CREATORS P27

Unique storage tricks to make your place roomier P31


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CONDOMINIUM January 2016 1 Artist’s representation only. y Developer reserves the right to make changes and modifications to the information contained herein 15, without prior notice. This is not an offering for sale. No such offer can be made without a disclosure statement E.&O.E.


SELLERS, WE DELIVER! With 178 successful transactions negotiated in 2015, we have the marketing skills, the presentation skills and the negotiation experience to assist you in realizing your real estate dreams. To get the Faith Wilson Group TEAM working for you today, just call Faith at 604.224.5277 or visit FaithWilsonGroup.com.

January 15, 2016

Condo market snapshots 6 10 20 28

Tri-Cities Vancouver Burnaby Surrey

*

FWG

Get your A team together FRASERVIEW

7

Don’t even attempt real estate investment without recruiting a team of professionals

FALSE CREEK

O D L O S T O JUS

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Buying or Selling, you’ve got to have Faith *see FaithWilsonGroup.com for details

4 January 15, 2016

CONDOMINIUM

12 31

Dealing with Air BnB-type rentals

22

Do short-term vacation rentals fall under regular rental rules? FirstService Residential explains

How to… Protect your valuables Your possessions need safeguarding with more than just insurance, says GVHBA’s Bob de Wit

Unique ways to add space Innovative ideas for condo storage and other tools – via a professional home organizer

Strata meetings can descend into chaos – how to prevent that, by CHOA’s Tony Gioventu

New Listing

Tastefully Updated

8

Bosa’s new Lougheed Heights homes offer affordable, luxurious, resort-style living

CENTRAL LONSDALE

Amazing Water & Marina Views

Richmond/South Delta North Shore New West

24 26 30

27


EDITORIAL

BUYERS

2016: The year of the condo

that we assist in realizing their real estate dreams

As price gaps between property types widen, buyers are set to turn to condos even more than last year

W

hat do we have in store for the Lower Mainland condominium market in 2016? It certainly looks like it will be another scorching year. With demand for the increasingly rare single-family home continuing to push many buyers out of that market segment, it is likely that more and more house hunters – from rsttimers to families – will turn to condominiums in 2016. That’s likely to result in higher condo sales (even higher than the 45 per cent-plus annual rise in 2015), higher output from developers to meet demand, and higher average condo prices as soaring land values hit developer costs. But those averages will mask wide neighbourhood variations, from high-end units in some places to affordable options in others. Another interesting point is that, as of this month, New Westminster is the rst B.C. municipality to demand a minimum of 30 per cent of new condos to have two or more

bedrooms, and a minimum of 10 per cent to be three or more bedrooms. This is a move that has troubled developers, who nd it hard to make the nancials work on such units, but the City hopes it will ultimately provide more affordable options for family living. And what about measures by Ottawa to cool off Canada’s hottest markets? Well, the new minimum down payment rules being implemented in mid-February are unlikely to make a dent our market. It could mean that some homebuyers can’t come up with the extra cash, if they had been planning on putting the minimum of ve per cent down on a condo that costs more than $500,000. But that’s only going to affect an unfortunate few, as most people put more than the minimum down if they have more than $500,000 to spend. Plus the measures could result in an uncharacteristic January rush on $500K-plus condos, as the affected buyers attempt to close purchases ahead of the new rules.

ENJOY

the peace of mind of

FWG’s 18 MONTH

Satisfaction Guarantee* Whether buying your first condo or that palatial penthouse, it is a huge decision... one you literally have to live with. Sometimes, regardless of how rigorous and detailed your home search and your buying process was, lifestyle and family evolution hastens a change in your needs beyond your original requirements.

So, if your decision doesn’t meet your needs or wants, with the Faith Wilson Group your satisfaction is still guaranteed. FWG THE *

Here’s how it works •

If you find that within 18 months of the completion date the home you purchased with Faith Wilson Realty Group does not meet your evolving needs, we guarantee to sell and not charge you the listing portion of the commission.

To qualify for this guarantee, you must purchase another property of equal or greater value using our services.

The listing portion of the commission on your will be credited to you upon the final reconciliation of your new purchase.

Joannah Connolly Editor-in-Chief West Coast Condominium Joannah Connolly is the editor-in-chief of West Coast Condominium and Western Investor newspaper, and is the editor and content manager of Real Estate Weekly and REW.ca. She appears regularly on radio, TV and conference panels discussing the Vancouver real estate market. W E S T C O A S T

CONDOMINIUM PUBLISHER: Janai York EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Joannah Connolly EDITOR: Jill Lunde CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Frank O’Brien SALES MANAGER: Lynn Fry SALES REPRESENTATIVES: Tracey Aussem, Rebecca Bookham, Audrey White, Audrie Gilson, Jackie Mollenhauer PRODUCTION MANAGER: Holly Burge PRODUCTION: Darko Isic, Peter Gallagher DESIGNERS: Carol Rui, Arslan Sultan, Joanne Yen

Your essential guide to condo life in the Lower Mainland

ADVERTISING SALES

FAX

604-379-4576

604-439-2630

DISTRIBUTION

EMAIL

604-435-7977

salessupport@rew.ca

VANCOUVER HEAD OFFICE: 303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5Y-1J6 COPYRIGHT: WEST COAST CONDOMINIUM is published bi-weekly by Real Estate Weekly Partnership. Copyright 2015. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of articles and advertising that appear in each edition of West Coast Condominium, the publisher may not be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may from time to time occur. No part of this publication may be quoted or reprinted in any medium without the express written permission of Real Estate Weekly Partnership.

PE

A C E O F MI N

D

C ONDO

first

home

With over 548 successful contracts negotiated in the last four years, the Faith Wilson Group TEAM is ready to assist and guide you through every step of the process.

To get us working for you, just call Faith today at

604-224-5277 or visit FWG

Rea l Estate W eekly

CONDOMINIUM

January 15, 2016 5


C ONDO

MARKET

Tri-Cities Interest in the area is high spurred in no small part by the coming Evergreen Line By Jill Lunde

I

f past performance is anything to go by, the time is right to get into the Tri-Cities condo market. Prices have been climbing rapidly in advance of the opening of the SkyTrain Evergreen Line and sales in the area are on a roll. While December 2015 was quieter when compared with the month prior, it was still a banner month in relation to December 2014. Sales were higher in each city as were median selling prices.

New Horizons This Coquitlam neighbourhood has seven active listings starting from $276,000 for a one-bedroom unit in Roycroft. Listed in early December, the spacious apartment is on the building’s top oor and is close to shopping as well as walking distance to a future SkyTrain station. The top end of New Horizon listings are dominated by units under construction at The Windsor. The 25-storey tower has three current listings on MLS ranging in price from $385,900 to $454,900. The development is part of Polygon’s master-planned Windsor Gate

community. Buyers here will also have easy access to the future Evergreen Line. A two-year-old two-bedroom condo in this complex recently sold for two per cent below its $463,000 asking price. It spent 55 days on the market before a $453,000 offer days before Christmas was too good a present for its owners to pass up.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

276

Chineside The Chineside neighbourhood hasn’t been widely known for its condo developments until recently. Its proximity to the future Burquitlam SkyTrain Station is about to change that. All ve of the area’s current listings are for new homes in the Uptown towers development currently under construction on Como Lake Avenue. Scheduled for completion in 2017, unit prices range from $317,900 for a sixth-oor onebedroom to $509,900 for a twobedroom on the 23rd storey. Uptown developer Bosa Properties describes the site as Metro Vancouver’s next great urban village. A neighbourhood grocery and barista bar are planned for the base of the towers and Lougheed Town Centre is a hop, skip and a jump away – by car, SkyTrain, or even by foot.

Active condo listings* 114

New listings in December

140

Condos reported sold in December

$350,000

Coquitlam December median selling price

$294,000

Port Coquitlam December median selling price

$419,500

Port Moody December median selling price

$384

Median price per square foot*

50

Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 1% 1 BR: 40% 2 BR:54% 3 BR: 5%

Buyers here will also have easy access to a future Evergreen Line 6 January 15, 2016

CONDOMINIUM

*Active listings up to January 1, 2016


C ONDO

INVESTING

Get your A team together It’s not enough to simply gather your down payment. To be a successful condo investor, you need to recruit a team of professionals By Frank O’Brien

C

ondominium investors have an historic opportunity to make money right now in the Metro Vancouver market, with either a buy-rent-and-hold strategy or even as a flipper. In 2015 the total dollar volume of residential sales in the Fraser Valley increased a stunning 47 per cent from a year earlier. In Greater Vancouver, it soared 41 per cent to $38.6 billion. Sales of just strata homes in Greater Vancouver were worth $13 billion last year: more than the 2014 combined net income of the B.C. forestry, liquefied natural gas and mining industries. But unlike the resource industry, average citizens can get a lucrative stake in the Metro condo market with relatively low cash, historically low lending rates and a near slam dunk potential of rental income or appreciative profits. The rental vacancy rate for condominiums is around 0.7 per cent and the average price of a condominium has increased 14 per cent since 2014. A flipper could have grossed nearly $61,000 just buying and selling a single Metro condominium apartment in the last year. Little wonder that sales are through the roof and investors are piling in from all corners of the world. In November more than 50 condo apartments sold every day in Greater Vancouver. To compete as an investor in this nimble market, you must have your financing in place – including at least $60,000 for a down payment – and draw an A team together to back your play.

Your team roster Real estate agent: You need a top producing agent who is experienced

To compete as as an investor in this nimble market, you must draw an A team together to back your play in the investor condominium market in the specific area you are hunting in. They must be Internet savvy and experienced in multiple-offer situations. An accountant: You’ll need a certified public account (CPA). When hiring a CPA, be sure any candidate is familiar with the details of real estate investment regarding quick sales, capital gains taxation, and be able to provide advice on your business structure, from both a legal and tax perspective. A real estate lawyer: Hire only an attorney who specializes in real estate transactions. Your real estate

lawyer should be able to handle innovative financing packages. A mortgage broker: This is particularly important today because rules continue to change. A good broker should be able to find the lowest possible financing, provide advice on mortgage insurance, and advise on whether the deal will work before you put down the money.

A general contractor: This should be someone who works quickly and knows the difference between a lipstick improvement and a renovation and can provide accurate estimates of each. A relatively inexpensive upgrade to a condominium can pay off quickly in both rental income and the eventual sale. Happy investing.

Frank O’Brien is editor of Western Investor, the largest commercial real estate investment newspaper in Western Canada.

CONDOMINIUM

January 15, 2016 7


P ROJECT

PROFILE

Resort-style living

is yours at Lougheed Heights The latest Bosa Properties condo development is changing the skyline of West Coquitlam

T

he Bosa family’s BlueSky Properties, in partnership with Bosa Properties, awardwinning builders behind some of the Lower Mainland’s most iconic developments, are once again about to change West Coquitlam’s skyline. In 2014, Bosa unveiled Uptown, a new luxury condominium development in the same neighourhood, which garnered positive reviews and sold out extremely fast. Welcome to Bosa’s newest project Lougheed Heights. In the epicentre of this sought-after postal code – close to SkyTrain, Lougheed Town Centre, excellent schools (including SFU), shops, restaurants – a renaissance of sorts is about to rise with this master planned community. Once completed, it will consist of three towers, the first being a 37-storey concrete building featuring a sophisticated collection of 334 homes. So why are home buyers excited about this newest project? For one,

8 January 15, 2016

it will feature private resort-style amenities. Club BlueSky at Lougheed Heights will boast more than 24,000 square feet of leisure space over three levels, showcased by a heated outdoor pool on third-floor rooftop complete with cabanas and lounge chairs, a barbecue terrace with fire pits and harvest table and children’s playground. For fitness enthusiasts, there will be a fully equipped fitness centre with its own basketball sport court and steam and sauna rooms. In addition, Club BlueSky will

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showcase an entertainment lounge and games room, a separate private dining room and chef kitchen, a theatre screening room, two acoustically engineered music rooms and a business centre with meeting room and private study pods. Designed by award-winning architect Chris Dikeakos, the tower will feature generous decks and balconies – great for entertaining or for taking in the sweeping views of the cityscape. Inside these West Coast

contemporary condominiums, the design is understated yet sophisticated, cozy yet clean. They consist of one-, two- and three-bedroom residences varying in size from 504 to 1664 square feet. In addition, there will be two larger sub-penthouses and three penthouses on the 36th and 37th floors. Most of the one bedroom homes will come standard with BosaSPACE, a functional concept that was recently introduced in Bosa’s University District and RiverSky communities. BosaSPACE homes will include the ExtenTABLE, which can transform from kitchen island to long table for eight. In addition, they will also have the SleepTHEATRE, a shelving unit which slides open to reveal a sofa/ guest-bed behind the television. “West Coquitlam is set to be one of Metro Vancouver’s most promising new communities and that’s why we have invested so heavily in the Evergreen corridor,” says Dale Bosa, CEO of BlueSky Properties. This community is fast becoming known as one of the most desired neighbourhoods in the city and Lougheed Heights will grow right alongside it. West Coquitlam’s reputation is that of Metro Vancouver’s next rapid transit community and Lougheed Heights is steps away from the existing Millennium Line and the future Evergreen Line. With prices starting from $279,900, Lougheed Heights is affordable luxury in the heart of a re-energized community. The sales centre is located at 581 Clarke Road (at Como Lake Ave), Coquitlam and is now open for preview from noon to 5pm daily. Register for more information at www.blueskyproperties.ca, or contact the sales team at 604-939-2677 or email: lougheed@blueskyproperties.ca. Tentative occupancy is slated for winter 2018.


CONDOMINIUM

January 15, 2016 1


C ONDO

MARKET

Vancouver A new home for a new year? Look no farther than Vancouver itself for the widest selection By Jill Lunde

2

015 was the ideal sellers’ market: fewer listings arguably drove prices higher. The demand for apartments in areas like Vancouver also increased as more people turn to condominiums as an affordable option. While December condo sales were down compared with November, it’s the contrast with the previous year’s December stats that tell a truer tale of the state of the market. In that regard, there was not a significant difference on Vancouver’s East Side (108 sales in December 2015 versus 132 in December 2014). The West Side, however, saw a significant increase (331 sales last month as opposed to 270 in December 2014).

False Creek Nothing says quintessential Vancouver so much as the southern shore of False Creek with its picture postcard views of water and mountains. There are currently 29 active listings in the neighbourhood which runs from Granville Island to Science World. Prices start at $400,000 for a six-year-old studio in The Exchange. The neighbourhood’s most expensive current listing is

Shoreline, a five-year-old complex on Athletes Way. The price: $3.9 million. Recent False Creek sales indicate buyers willing to haggle and sellers willing to negotiate. A brand-new two-bedroom in The One went for 800,000 – two per cent less than list price – after only three days on the market. Meanwhile, in the 15-yearold Modena of Portico building, a two-bedroom changed hands for $738,500 – three per cent under asking.

Collingwood This East Side neighbourhood has a great cosmopolitan stretch along Kingsway; it’s also handy to the Joyce Street SkyTrain Station. The area’s 22 current condo listings are in buildings that range from the 21-yearold Regent Court to the brand-new Wall Centre Central Park Tower and Skyway Tower. Prices in Collingwood start at $228,000 and go as high as $592,900. The Wall Centre development is breathing new life into the neighbourhood and, while much of it is now under construction, Tower 3 is not expected to be complete until 2018. One recent sale there was for a two-bedroom that sold just before Christmas. It went for its list price of $505,900.

Recent False Creek sales indicate buyers willing to haggle and sellers willing to negotiate 10 January 15, 2016

CONDOMINIUM

MARKET SNAPSHOT

669

Active condo listings* 294

New listings in December

439

Condos reported sold in December

$412,500

Vancouver East median selling price

$588,000

Vancouver West median selling price

$833

Median price per square foot*

58

Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 3% 1 BR: 32% 2 BR:53% 3 BR: 12%

*Active listings up to January 1, 2016


14 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS SELLERS need answered before hiring a real estate agent to market & sell your home! Literally tens of thousands of dollars are riding on the agent you hire to market, present and negotiate the sale of your Vancouver home. And let’s face it - in real estate, as in life - not all things are created equal. Honest answers to these questions from the agents you are interviewing will help you to decide whom to entrust to market and sell your home for top dollar with the least amount of hassle.

1

What makes you different? Why should I list with you? What unique strategies do you use? Today, it is a much tougher and more dynamic real estate market than it was even 5 years ago. A successful agent stays up-to-speed on the complex, multi-dimensional marketing needed to reach all buyers, including mobile and internet-savvy consumers and international prospects.

2

How many properties have you marketed and sold in the last 12 months?

Did you know that only 10% of Vancouver agents sold more than 10 homes in the last 12 months? Working with top producers ensures \RX DUH UHFHLYLQJ WKH EHQH¿W RI WKHLU experience, resources and their proven plan to deliver a successful sale.

3

How many contracts have you negotiated in the last 10 years?

The more contracts negotiated and the more exposure to cross cultural scenarios translate into better advice which delivers better results for you.

4

Do you work solo or with a team?

There are simply too many steps in the full process for a solo agent to do a great job of everything. A team approach is the only way to ensure you receive the attention to detail and the full service and consistent coverage that you deserve.

5

How do you manage all showings across all of your listings?

&RQVLGHU WKDW WDNLQJ R̆ WKH EDVLF WZR weeks of holidays, stats and 1 day per

week means your solo agent misses 74 days (20%) of the year to meet face to face with prospective buyers and highlight the best of your home. Does the agent have licensed property showing specialists as part of their team or do they miss opportunities to show and sell?

6

What is your pricing strategy for my home?

A realistic, market-based price point will attract the full scope of buyers and not just those looking to “steal the deal”. Setting the right price requires skill, experience, plus local market trends knowledge.

7

How long, on average, does it take your listings to sell?

Ask if the agent tends to sell a home faster or slower than average and compare that answer to your goals; this is an indicator of their expertise.

8

Beyond posting my home on MLS and its related pickup sites, where will my home be marketed online? Today, 92% of home buyers use the internet during their home buying process and nearly half of buyers look RQOLQH DV WKHLU ¿UVW VWHS 'RHV KHVKH have a website dedicated exclusively to showcasing their clients’ homes? Does the agent’s internet marketing plan assure accessibility in Chinese and optimization for mobile devices?

9

Do you provide references from past clients?

10

What homes have you sold in my area?

An informed agent will provide you with their performance in your neighbourhood and area.

11

Do you provide a written schedule of the services you deliver?

A set of performance promises will clearly detail what you can expect from the agent, including recourse if they don’t deliver.

In closing, the sale of your home is likely one of the largest financial decisions you will make. The right agent with the skills, the plans and the commitment will deliver distinctly better results. We present these questions for your consideration in order that you make the right decision for you and your family. Please use these questions as a foundation for making the right choice for your needs.

12

Do you provide regular, updated market evaluations on my home?

Once your home is listed, how often do you update me on relevant market activity and overview?

13

What is your marketing budget for my home so as to stand out versus comparable listings? What percent of the agent’s commission will be dedicated to the marketing budget and how does this compare?

14

What marketing media mix will you use to display my home to the widest array of potential buyers?

Successful agents use a mix of search advertising, social media plus web sites for Vancouver, China, the U.S. and other international markets, and print media.

A trustworthy agent will be delighted WR SURYLGH UHIHUHQFHV IURP VDWLV¿HG clients for you to review.

Buying or Selling, you’ve got to have Faith CONDOMINIUM

January 15, 2016 11


S TRATA ADVICE

Five things to avoid at general meetings Your strata’s AGM can bring out the best and the worst in people. Here are some tips to make sure your meeting runs well and a copy of the insurance policy coverage summary. It saves time and provides owners with advance information. Attach a proxy, Form A, for the convenience of owners who cannot attend the meeting.

Delivery of notice is a constant source of dispute

Commonly avoidable errors create ongoing problems that may result in meetings that more resemble a WWF wrestling event than a business meeting

By Tony Gioventu

A

strata corporation is just a simple version of government. People are elected to run the business of the strata; owners approve budgets for operating expenses, contributions to their reserve funds and special levies when required for unplanned expenses. The most important meeting every year is the annual general meeting (AGM), when the strata approves the budget, reports on insurance to owners, elects a new strata council, and approves newly proposed resolutions such as bylaw amendments, changes

12 January 15, 2016

in the use of common property, contingency expenses, or special levies for major construction. This is the meeting where the strata council and consequently the strata manager are given the authority and direction they require to run the business of the strata. A well-planned, well-run meeting makes all the difference. Commonly avoidable errors create ongoing problems that may result in meetings that more resemble a WWF wrestling event than a business meeting.

The notice package is essential Review your bylaws to determine the agenda. Any item that your strata

CONDOMINIUM

will vote on must be included with the notice. Majority vote items, like the budget, don’t require a worded resolution, but the proposed budget and nancial statement for the period must be included. Three-quarter (3/4) vote resolutions must include the exact wording. If your strata plans on proposing new bylaws or amendments, you must include the exact wording of the proposed bylaws and a 3/4 resolution that indicates what the strata is doing. Are they repealing old bylaws and adopting new ones, amending current bylaws or repealing everything and starting with a clean slate? Include reports of council, building operations and depreciation report summaries,

Notice must be delivered at least 14 days in advance of the meeting. Allow for four days delivery and two days for the date of delivery and receipt: 20 days in total. If owners owe strata fees or special levies, include a demand with the notice if this is going to affect their ability to vote at the meeting. A generic statement on the notice package that informs owners they are ineligible to vote if they owe money to the strata is not correct. The strata must have a valid voting eligibility bylaw; they must provide at least a 14-day written demand notice for strata fees, special levies or interest owing to affect voting eligibility.

The day of the meeting You will need: a copy of the Strata Property Act; the strata bylaws and schedule of voting rights if any unit gets more than one vote; a current owners’ list showing eligible voters; voting cards to identify eligible voters; ballots for resolutions and council elections in the event a secret ballot is requested; a display board for council nominations; voting booths; ballot boxes; pens; markers; and a calculator. A comfortable room with good lighting and sound is essential. Conrm who is: (a) doing registration; (b) scrutinizing the ballot count; (c) recording the minutes; and (d) chairing the meeting. Only the chairperson has the authority to make decisions about proxy certication, eligibility for council, or other registration issues.


A competent chairperson is essential A respectful businesslike manner is the only solution. Whether the chairperson is the president, vice president of council, or elected, it is crucial for them to understand the basic procedures. Matters are decided at general meetings by majority vote unless a different vote is required. Calling the vote on resolutions, ending debate, amendments to majority votes, and procedural decisions are simple majority votes of the owners. Permit voters to speak on resolutions and motions, but stay focused on the time and motion. Avoid debates between voters and stop confrontational or threatening

language before the meeting gets out of hand.

604-263-1144 Kerrisdale

604-689-8226 Yaletown

604-263-1144 Main Street

Be open and transparent Recording the decisions at the meeting and calculating the votes correctly will provide the strata with the evidence of a properly convened meeting. Remember voting on majority and 3/4 votes only includes those eligible voters who vote yes or no, and do no abstain. For 3/4 votes, count the exact voting numbers and report the results in the minutes. Accuracy helps avoid conflict. Never allow the voting boxes or the counting of ballots to leave the room. It’s secrets that create the greatest problems.

Beyond

Expectations

If you are looking to buy or sell a condo or townhouse, your DEXTER REALTOR (backed by the entire ®

Dexter Team) has the knowledge and the experience to support and guide you through the entire process.

Tony Gioventu is executive director of the Condominium Home Owners’ Association, which promotes the interests of strata property owners by providing advice, resources and support for its members. Tony has more than 20 years of experience within the local real estate and development industry.

Your one-stop source of lower mainland home listings and real estate news. RESALE HOME LISTINGS | NEW HOMES FOR SALE AGENT PROFILES | REAL ESTATE MARKET NEWS HOME BUYING & SELLING ADVICE

Wherever you are, we can help. Contact us with confidence. Enjoy the security and confidence which comes from dealing with professionals who care. Call or visit us at www.dexterrealty.com

CONDOMINIUM

January 15, 2016 13


C ONDO

NEWS

Condo-apartment building permit values

more than double in Vancouver: StatCan BC leads country in growth in building permit values in November, as Vancouver’s total $544 million BC was the only province to see a month-overmonth increase in condo-apartment building permit values in November, rising 13.6 per cent

V

ancouver home building permits issued in November 2015 were valued at a total of $543.9million, a rise of 59.7 per cent compared with the previous November, according to Statistics Canada data released January 8. This rise was led by a surge in condo-apartment building permits, which rose 105.3 per cent year over

14 January 15, 2016

year to $356.6 million. Vancouver’s total dollar value in November was also a 7.7 per cent increase compared with October 2015’s gure of $505 million, although does not compare to July’s peak of $775.2 million. Single-family homes accounted for nearly $131 million of November’s permit value in Vancouver, and $51.6

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million was invested in townhomes. Residential permits across BC were up 41.9 per cent year over year to total $717.2 million in value, which was a decline of 3.1 per cent compared with October. However, BC was the only province to see a month-overmonth increase in condo-apartment building permit values in November, rising 13.6 per cent.

In other provincial centres surveyed, Abbotsford-Mission’s construction growth remained extremely strong, rising 107.1 per cent over last November to $13.4 million. This was 23.2 per cent drop compared with October’s even stronger gures. The value of November’s building permits in Kelowna fell to total $23.4 million, a drop of 27.6 per cent year over year and a decline of 47.5 per cent compared with October 2015. Victoria saw November building permit values recover somewhat, rising 17.7 per cent year over year to $30.7 million, which was also a very slight rise of 0.1 per cent compared with October’s gures. Across Canada, the total value of residential permits was $3.27 billion, a 32 per cent decline over the month before and a drop of 10.9 per cent year over year, undoing the recovery seen in October. The decrease was led by signicant drops in the resourcebased provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan.


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January 15, 2016 1


A SK

THE EXPERT

Can I use a second bedroom as a

mortgage helper?

There are rules around rentals in condos buildings, and around using rental income to qualify for a bigger mortgage, says Barry Magee

16 January 15, 2016

Q

I want to buy a twobedroom condo but I’d like to rent out the second bedroom to help with the mortgage, like a mortgage-helper suite in a house. Are there rules around this in condo buildings? A: Some strata corporations have very strict rules when it comes to rentals. It’s always important to look through the documentation before fully signing off on the transaction so you know exactly what you are buying into. The strata council also has the authority to change the rules anytime they want, as long as they have the proper consensus. Generally a strata building will fall into one of three categories: those that allow rentals unrestricted, those that allow rentals with restrictions as to the number of rentals in the building, and those that

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don’t allow rentals at all. So if you purchase a two-bedroom condo and want to rent out the second bedroom, is this a concern for you? It’s not, as long as you are the primary resident in the condo. Rental rules are generally designed to curb or allow renters as the primary occupier of the suite. So if you are the primary occupier of the suite, the rules won’t affect you. Renting out part of your property is a great way to free up some of your income. But one aspect that people often get confused about is whether or not the potential income of a rental suite or bedroom will increase the mortgage amount they are able

to qualify for and borrow. It can, but this can be quite limited, depending on the lender you connect with. As a rule of thumb, you need to qualify for most of the nancing on your own capability, and the potential rental income will need to be appraised by the lender before it is included in your nancing arrangement. Working with a dedicated mortgage professional will help you understand this in greater detail, and show you all the options available. Having a rental income is a great way to increase your disposable income, or to pay down your mortgage at an accelerated pace. It’s denitely worth exploring.

Barry Magee is a Vancouver-based REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty on Main Street, Vancouver. He has an extensive background in real estate marketing, and brings a consultative approach to the table for his real estate clients.


THE LARGEST REAL ESTATE EXPOSURE IN BC. Put yourself front and centre and connect with thousands of active home buyers in the Lower Mainland. With 40,000 copies distributed across Greater Vancouver to apartment buildings and retail locations, West Coast Condominium oers the largest and most comprehensive distribution method targeting condo purchasers in the marketplace. Expand your audience further by including the Real Estate Weekly in print and Rew.ca online. With more than 312,000 home deliveries and over 1 million online visits a month, REW.ca has the largest circulation of any real estate publication and is BC’s fastest growing real estate website. Contact Lynn Fry at: 604.379.4576 or email: lfry@glaciermedia.ca for more information.

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January 15, 2016 17


P ROJECT

PROFILE

Park & Metro is already 90 per cent sold A stunning West Coast home in desirable South Cambie awaits you - but you’ll have to be quick

S

outh Cambie might be one of the smallest of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods but since the Canada Line went in, this former sleepy enclave is attracting young and old back into its fold. With a variety of upscale boutiques, bakeries, bars, specialty stores and a selection of ethnic restaurants, it’s no wonder. This is where one of the province’s most respected builders, Marcon, unveiled Park & Metro, two low-rise red brick buildings. Because of its desirable address, more than 90 per cent have already sold. “People from all over the Lower Mainland, including Richmond, Burnaby, and Vancouver itself, are excited that they can come back to the city and actually afford to buy a home,” says Celia Chiu, Park & Metro Sales Manager. “This neighbourhood is close to some of the city’s best private schools, which many of our buyers have told us was a real draw as well.” Park & Metro’s collection of 73 one, two and three bedroom residences, ranging from 517 to 1,313 square feet, is located on a quiet residential street yet close to all of the urban amenities home buyers are looking for.

18 January 15, 2016

Its location, nestled in one of the city’s most coveted neighbourhoods, is also surrounded by parks, trails and athletic elds. The West coast homes are distinguished by open interiors appointed with high quality, bright, spacious kitchens with Bosch stainless steel appliances, full-height pantry, Quartz countertops, builtin microwave and generous size master bedrooms with room for a king size bed, and the comfort of air conditioning for every home. On those balmy summer nights, residents can grab a bottle of wine and food and head to their oversized patios, decks or terraces and take in Vancouver’s cityscapes. Park & Metro also features parking and full size storage/bicycle lockers and rain screen technology. “For those who love the outdoors, Park & Metro is close to Queen Elizabeth Park, Langara Golf Course and the North Arm Trail Greenway,” says Chiu. “With prices starting from $415,800 we are appealing to a large cross section of buyers.” It’s the level of quality, features and nishes that is Marcon’s signature. Since 1985, locally owned Marcon

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has stayed true to its mandate of consistently exceeding expectations, both before and after homeowners receive the keys. For more than three decades, Marcon has built a stellar reputation for constructing more than 8,900 quality homes across the province. Most notably though, the builder is renowned for its Customer Care program. “I don’t think anyone in the Lower Mainland can touch Marcon’s customer service department,” says Chiu. “Its comprehensive service continues throughout the process and beyond, which means any issue or problem will be resolved quickly

and efciently.” Don’t miss this opportunity to buy in South Cambie. With more than 90 per cent of the homes in both buildings sold, Chiu expects them to sell fast. Three bedroom townhomes are also available, ranging from 1,496 to 1,927 SF. The presentation centre and display home, located at 688 South West Marine Drive, Vancouver, is open daily (except Fridays) from noon to 5 p.m. For more information call 604-325-8111, email sales@parkandmetro.ca or visit www.marcon.ca/parkandmetro. Estimated occupancy is Fall 2017.


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January 15, 2016 19


C ONDO

MARKET

Burnaby Burnaby remains a strong viable alternative to Vancouver for condo dwellers with 2015 sales up considerably By Jill Lunde

B

urnaby selling prices softened somewhat last month in comparison to November, but don’t let that blip fool you. Prices over the longer term are up including the percentage change over the past three months: 7.7 per cent in Burnaby East; 3.7 per cent in Burnaby North; and three per cent in Burnaby South. Listing activity also took a significant tumble in December as owners took time off to enjoy the holiday season. There were, however, considerably more condo listings in Burnaby in December 2015 than December 2014: 141 versus 94. Sales softened somewhat in December compared with November. The 212 transactions in December were almost six per cent lower than the 225 sales in November. However, sales in December 2015 were almost double those in December 2014: 212 compared with 111.

Forest Glen This South Burnaby neighbourhood runs parallel with Kingsway and is within close walking distance of all the amenities of Metrotown.

The area’s 24 active condo listings include several in the move-in-ready Sovereign tower. This complex sold out within hours of units going on the market and some investors are now looking to cash in. Six Sovereign suites are available ranging from $332,000 for a studio to $1.28 million for a three-bedroom home. List prices in Forest Glen are often right on the money. A one-bedroom in the Marlborough Place complex spent just over a month on the market before its owners accepted an offer $1,000 under their $275,000 asking price.

355

Active condo listings*

Vancouver Heights The Heights, as locals fondly refer to it, is a tightly knit community in North Burnaby which loves a good party. You can call the area home for a low of $319,900, which will buy you a two-bedroom in a 32-yearold Bosa tower within steps of Boundary and Hastings. Or if your budget can stretch to $638,800, check out the two-bedroom on offer in the nearby 22-year-old Carleton Place complex. A one-bedroom home in the Bosa building mentioned earlier sold in late December for three per cent under asking with the owner accepting an offer of $260,000.

This complex sold out within hours of units going on the market and some investors are now looking to cash in 20 January 15, 2016

MARKET SNAPSHOT

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141

New listings in December

212

Condos reported sold in December

$385,000

December median selling price

$511

Median price per square foot*

59

Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 2% 1 BR: 31% 2 BR:61% 3 BR: 6%

*Active listings up to January 1, 2016


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January 15, 2016 21


S TRATA

LIVING

How councils can deal with

AirBnB-type rentals With more people offering their homes for short-term vacation rentals, is there anything strata councils can do? By FirstService Residential

T

he rise in homeowners offering short-term and vacation rentals through companies such as AirBnB, Craigslist and VRBO is making a significant impact on strata corporations across the Lower Mainland. The line between a hotel and a traditional rental is being blurred. Many strata councils are taking a rm stance against these short-term rentals by issuing bylaw violation nes under their existing bylaws, while working to have new stricter bylaws passed. The councils are not wrong in wanting to address the issue; however, an even keel and planned approach will yield the best results.

What we know For owners renting out their homes, online rental services can be a good source of income while delivering a unique vacation experience for travellers. There are thousands of listings for short-term rentals in Metro Vancouver; many are for condos that are part of strata corporations. Stratas are understandably concerned about security. When neighbours do not recognize each other, keys and fobs are harder to track, and short-term renters are less likely to follow security protocols. The City of Vancouver does not allow a person to use a dwelling unit for less than one month unless it is a hotel or a bed and breakfast, as per Section 10.21.6 of its Zoning and Development Bylaws. The City of Vancouver and others in Metro Vancouver do not provide resources to actively enforce this bylaw, so

22 January 15, 2016

strata councils are trying to address the issue themselves. Traditional bylaws used by strata corporations may not apply due to their wording. Short-term rentals can be deemed a “licence” instead of the traditional “rental” and the rental bylaws therefore may not apply.

What to do Strata councils need to engage the owners they represent to better understand their community’s wants and needs. Open discussions at general meetings, along with surveys and information sessions held within the building, are a great way to gather feedback.

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If those who have opposing views can better understand the other position, there typically will not be any surprises at the general meeting when it comes to voting on a new rental bylaw. Information sessions also allow any objections to be addressed or potential revisions to be accommodated in the proposed bylaw changes. The council then needs to design new bylaws that reflect the community’s needs. In most cases, this will be limiting rentals/licences to a specific time period such as six or 12 months. Further regulations may be warranted such as well-worded bylaws for “move-in” fees or

restrictions on advertising terms for the rental/licence agreement. The owners will then need to approve the proposed bylaw changes at a general meeting and have them filed with the Land Title Office to be enforceable. Finally the strata council and the property management company can begin working on ensuring owners know of the changes and are in compliance with the new bylaws.

A solid action plan The following is a common plan of action for strata councils in addressing short-term rentals: • Have an open discussion at your next AGM to gather input from


the owners in attendance.

• Create a summary that identifies

• •

• •

why there needs to be a change, what the impact would be, any proposed bylaw changes, how short-term rentals will be tracked, and when the changes to short-term rentals would take place. Share the summary with the owners. One way to do this is by including it with the distribution of meeting minutes. Consider including contact information so owners may provide additional feedback. Hold a meeting to answer any questions about the proposed changes. This is the time to engage the ownership and ensure the council’s plan is clearly articulated. If a change in bylaws is needed, ask your property manager for assistance. Your management company will also assist in ensuring a general meeting is called and a vote held for approval of the bylaws. Educate the ownership by broadcasting the changes through notices to the owners. Site staff (e.g. building managers and concierge personnel) should be trained on the changes so that they can educate the ownership and be part of a successful implementation. Identify owners who are not complying with the changes. Send them correspondence that outlines changes that have been implemented. Reinforce the changes in strata council meeting minutes and other correspondence. Send bylaw violation warning letters to those owners who are in contravention. If no response is received, contacting the owner’s agent directly or calling the owner may be required.

An even keel and planned approach will yield the best results

• Continue •

following up and be consistent with all owners. Review short-term rentals on an annual basis and be prepared to make changes to best reflect your community’s needs.

Additional items to consider If the council does not understand the owners’ needs, it may be difficult passing the required three-quarters vote. Specific bylaw wording will be needed to address short-term rentals that may not qualify as a defined “tenancy.” Consult your management company in regards to crafting the appropriate bylaw wording. There may be insurance coverage issues if residential units are being used for non-residential means. The Strata Property Act requires a one-year exemption for rental units after a new bylaw restricting rentals is passed. If this is applicable to a strata corporation, the year exemption should be planned for and reminders issued well in advance. Persistent, consistent action is the key to weaving bylaw changes into the fabric of your strata.

FirstService Residential FirstService Residential in British Columbia is a subsidiary of FirstService Corporation, a global leader in the rapidly growing real estate services sector, one of the largest markets in the world. As the leading property management company in North America, FirstService Residential oversees more than 6,500 residential and commercial associations including 1.5 million residential units.

Your one-stop source of lower mainland home listings and real estate news. RESALE HOME LISTINGS | NEW HOMES FOR SALE AGENT PROFILES | REAL ESTATE MARKET NEWS HOME BUYING & SELLING ADVICE

Email: rewads@rew.ca or Call 604.379.4576

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January 15, 2016 23


C ONDO

MARKET

Richmond South Delta December sales and listings likely the calm before the storm By Jill Lunde

F

ollowing trends seen throughout Metro Vancouver, Richmond and South Delta experienced a cooling-off period this December in their condo real estate markets. In Ladner and Tsawwassen, listings were down close to 36 per cent over November and sales were off by a fraction over 11 per cent. It was a similar story in Richmond where there were 25 per cent fewer new listings and close to a 23 per cent decrease in sales. Still, December 2015 was a banner month with sales up considerably in both Richmond and South Delta compared with December 2014. By all accounts, it’s a harbinger for a strong 2016.

Brighouse Brighouse encompasses Richmond’s downtown core and major shopping district, and also offers great access to the Canada Line. The median list price of a condo here is $488,500, with the range starting at $68,000 and going as high as $6,880,000. Not only does the price range vary widely, so too does the age of buildings. The oldest listing is in a 44-year-

old building; there are also over 100 listings for brand-new condos in the neighbourhood – several of which won’t be ready for occupancy until 2018. Seven recent sales paint a picture of what buyers can expect. Four were in Tempo, which will be complete in 2017; all went for their list prices. The other properties sold from one to four per cent less than asking; the best deal was for a unit in the three-yearold Saffron building. The owner here was hoping for $418,000 but walked away with $401,800.

Beach Grove Tsawwassen is known as a quiet community and that’s particularly true in this close-to-nature neighbourhood. There are two condos on the market here; both are twobedroom units with similar asking prices: $379,000 and $379,900. The distinguishing features are their age and square footage. The less expensive option is in the newer building (nine years old; 994 square feet). If a more dated kitchen is not a concern, you might be happier with the costlier choice. That home is in a 32-year-old building but is much more spacious with 1,345 square feet.

There are over 100 listings for brandnew condos in the neighbourhood – several of which won’t be ready for occupancy until 2018 24 January 15, 2016

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MARKET SNAPSHOT

628

Active condo listings* 200

New listings in December

169

Condos reported sold in December

$391,350

Richmond December median selling price

$524

Median price per square foot*

57

Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 1% 1 BR: 32% 2 BR: 59% 3 BR: 8%

*Active listings up to January 1, 2016


MONCTON ST GILBERT RD

NO 2 RD

RAILWAY

NO 1 RD

1ST AVE

2ND AVE

STEVESTON HWY

LONDON RD DYK E R

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January 15, 2016 25


C ONDO

MARKET

North Shore The real estate market is awakening from a sleepy December with new records anticipated for 2016 By Jill Lunde

I

t was a quiet Christmas season for condo buyers and sellers last month with both listing and sales activity down over November. Nevertheless, December 2015 was much busier than that same month a year before. North Vancouver saw 66 new condo listings compared with 62 in December 2014; where the activity was really exceptional was in sales: 102 in December 2015 versus 59 in December 2014.

Central Lonsdale This community in the heart of North Vancouver offers a blend of high and low rises. There are currently 13 active listings ranging from $268,800 to $1,798,000. The former is a four-year-old onebedroom condo in Villa St. Georges listed in late November. This ground floor garden home faces the quiet side of the building and has an efficient layout with no wasted space. The much more expensive option is for a two-bedroom penthouse in The Symphony, a 13-year-old building on West 16th Street. No expense was spared in this suite which includes

elevator access to a private foyer. But it’s the 360 degree views of the ocean, city and mountains that will ultimately sell the place (it’s been on the market since late October). Looking at recent sales, a onebedroom home in the two-year-old Local on Lonsdale complex spent a mere four days on the market before it was snapped up for two per cent under its asking price of $530,000.

Ambleside This is one of Metro Vancouver’s most loved locations with many amenities including the ever popular Ambleside Beach. There are 19 active condo listings here and, while the area is more known for its expensive price tags, there are three homes (all one-bedrooms) on the market for under $250,000. Two of these are in the 50-year-old Oceanbrook building, with the third in the nearby 52-year-old Shalimar complex. At a higher end of the scale, there are four listings that will set you back well over the million-dollar mark. The priciest ($2,880,000) is a corner unit in a low rise currently under construction on 15th Street. You can expect nothing but top-of-the-line features throughout this beautiful space.

No expense was spared in this suite which includes elevator access to a private foyer 26 January 15, 2016

MARKET SNAPSHOT

CONDOMINIUM

147

Active condo listings* 75

New listings in December

112

Condos reported sold in December

$412,000

N. Vancouver December median selling price

$629

Median price per square foot*

59

Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 1% 1 BR: 37% 2 BR:52% 3 BR: 10%

*Active listings up to January 1, 2016


C ONDO

LIVING

Protect your valuables It’s not enough to have insurance. You need detailed lists of what you own to protect yourself in the event of theft or a natural disaster By Bob de Wit

A

re you aware of all the contents in your home? Do you know their value? Can you list these off the top of your head? Probably not. It is imperative to ask yourself these questions before the unthinkable happens. It is much easier to tally all your possessions while they are still in front of you. Whether you are a victim of theft or of a natural disaster, engaging in preventative measures increases your chances of recovering the full value of all your possessions and provides peace of mind that all items are accounted for. Crimes of opportunity for quick cash are the most prevalent offenses. I spoke with GVHBA member Federated Insurance, who recommends the following: • Set automatic light timers, to make your condo look occupied at all times. • Close your blinds at night, especially if your condo is on ground level, to prevent those passing by from seeing valuables on display. • Lower the sound on your telephone and answering machine, so they can’t be heard outside. You don’t want unanswered calls broadcasted. • Mark possessions with engraving

Whether you are a victim of theft or of a natural disaster, engaging in preventative measures increases your chances of recovering the full value of all your possessions and provides peace of mind that all items are accounted for pens or permanent markers to aid recovery, especially items that can be easily carried away (e.g. bicycles, electronics, musical instruments, sports equipment, etc.) This helps items to be returned to you and, most importantly, it works as a deterrent as marked items are harder to sell. Federated Insurance also suggests these tips to guide you in the event of an insurance claim: • Mark down serial and model numbers of all big-ticket items. (Think jewellery, electronics, etc.) Categorize items by room to help you remember and stay organized. • Make digital copies of receipts and

back these up in password-protected cloud storage (e.g. Dropbox). This keeps copies from being misplaced and off the premise. Remember to keep this list up to date. Take pictures of every room and also back these up in the cloud. Pictures of items in your condo can be vital to aiding insurance claim settlements.

• Once

all possessions are documented this will assist you in making sure you have adequate insurance coverage. Eliminating crimes of opportunity, keeping an up-to-date list of possessions in a safe place, and a thoroughly understood insurance policy are your key to keep your valuables safe.

Bob de Wit is the CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA), a not-for-profit society representing the residential construction industry in the Greater Vancouver area. Celebrating 40 years in 2014, GVHBA has more than 860 members and is proudly affiliated with the provincial and national Canadian Home Builders’ Associations. Follow Bob @rdewit or email bob@gvhba.org for renovation tips and industry trends.

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January 15, 2016 27


C ONDO

MARKET

Surrey Sales are fast and furious in Surrey but prices appear to be in flux By Jill Lunde

T

here were plenty of Surrey buyers and sellers dreaming of a condo Christmas last month. While the 133 sales in the city were down over November by a little over six per cent, they were 43 per cent higher than December 2014. Median sales prices for last month also tell an interesting story. These were higher compared with December 2014 in South and North Surrey, but lower in Central Surrey and Cloverdale

Fleetwood Tynehead With 26 active condo listings, this Surrey neighbourhood has lots to offer including handy access to a town centre, library, community centre and parks. Prices start at $109,900 for a studio apartment in a 36-year-old building that came on the market in mid-December. The current priciest option is a two-bedroom in the brand-new Manarola development on 160th Street: $317,900. Now under construction, this development is close to completion and over 50 per cent sold. Eleven units are currently listed, starting at $284,900.

Recent sales at Manarola would seem to indicate a developer who’s willing to play ball. A two-bedroom unit spent a month on the market before an offer of six per cent under asking ($314,900) was accepted in mid-December. Another preChristmas sale in Fleetwood Tynehead was for a two-bedroom home in the Abbey Road complex that went for $233,000 – one per cent less than its $235,000 asking price.

551

Active condo listings*

Elgin Chantrell This South Surrey neighbourhood is as close to Crescent Beach as you can come with condo living. All eight of the area’s active listings are along King George Boulevard, with all but one of them in the same building, Watermark. Prices start at $217,500 for a one-bedroom. This one is a court-ordered sale; it could prove to be a solid investment as it is currently rented for $1,200 a month. The most expensive Watermark listing is a twobedroom that’s asking $349,000. It’s a bright corner unit with 963 square feet in an open-concept plan. The only area listing not in Watermark is next door in the High Street complex. It’s a one-bedroom unit with an asking price of $324,700.

This one is a court-ordered sale; it could prove to be a solid investment as it is currently rented for $1,200 a month 28 January 15, 2016

MARKET SNAPSHOT

CONDOMINIUM

133

Condos reported sold in December

$234,900

December median listing price*

43%

Price change from December 2014

$289

Median price per square foot*

66

Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 1% 1 BR: 33% 2 BR: 62% 3 BR: 4%

*Active listings up to January 1, 2016


REW.ca presents its exciting new publication West Coast Condominium – your essential guide to condo life in the Lower Mainland. Get the latest news, stats and inside information on the region’s vibrant condo market: • Neighbourhood stats and current sales • Expert condo buying and selling advice • New development previews • Investment essentials • Condo décor and home solutions

Pick up a copy at over 1,600 retail locations in Greater Vancouver Or go to www.rew.ca for our virtual edition. To advertise call 604-379-4576 or email lfry@glaciermedia.ca CONDOMINIUM

January 15, 2016 29


C ONDO

MARKET

New Westminster 2015 saw a dramatic increase in Royal City condo sale prices‌ and the forecast for 2016 remains bright By Jill Lunde

N

ot surprisingly, both condo listings and sales in New West were down in December when compared with November. The Santa-factor plays a big role in owners not wanting strangers descending on their homes. The more interesting story is comparing December 2015 statistics with those of December 2014. Here we see a noted decrease in listings (31 versus 73) which speaks to reduced choice, and higher sales (67 compared with 52). The median sales price of a condo in New Westminster in December 2014 was $278,000; by December 2015 that had ballooned to $323,000.

Downtown Downtown New Westminster is an historic part of the city and it also offers easy access to SkyTrain stations, strolls along the waterfront, and front-row seats for various festivals. Of the area’s 22 active listings, nine are on Carnarvon Street., where the views of the Fraser River can be stunning. While the median listing price for the neighbourhood is $329,350,

you can get your foot in the door for as little as $168,900. A recent sale in nearby Fraser House indicates owners are willing to take offers. This condo spent 47 days on the market before its owners sold for $290,000 – three per cent under their asking price.

Fraserview This area also enjoys a deeprooted sense of culture and heritage and has the intimacy of a small town. There are 24 active condo listings here including several in brand-new buildings. Four homes are for sale in The Lookout on Victoria Hill; they range from $379,900 for a onebedroom to $489,900 for a twobedroom home. While developers tend to sell their units right at list price, other owners are often open to negotiation. Two recent sales in Fraserview demonstrate that some properties go for under list (a twobedroom in The Carlyle sold for two per cent under its $415,000 asking price after only 13 days on the market) while others go for more (owners of a two-bedroom on Ginger Drive held out 66 days before accepting an offer two per cent over their original price of $219,900).

This area also enjoys a deep-rooted sense of culture and heritage and has the intimacy of a small town 30 January 15, 2016

MARKET SNAPSHOT

CONDOMINIUM

142

Active condo listings* 31

New listings in December

67

Condos reported sold in December

$323,000

December median selling price

$379

Median price per square foot*

74

Median days on market* Type of inventory* Studio: 0% 1 BR: 41% 2 BR:50% 3 BR: 9%

*Active listings up to January 1, 2016


C ONDO

STYLE

Unique ways to add space Are you always scrambling to find additional storage space in your tight floor plan? A professional organizer shares some tips

By Michelle Hopkins

A

decade ago, Elinor Warkentin said goodbye to a spacious apartment and hello to a 380-square-foot character charmer in the West End. “I denitely speak from experience when it comes to nding new ways to store my stuff,” quips the owner of Goodbye Clutter, a company that helps people de-clutter, organize and nd solutions to their lack of space issues – big or small. It’s safe to say that Warkentin has become an expert in helping her clients look for distinctive and

functional ways to store their things. “The very rst thing we do is sort, purge and organize,” adds the professional organizer. “Then, we nd ways to utilize the space they have more effectively… it’s really about taking the time to critically look at your condo and to nd more storage space and ways to use what you do have more effectively.” She went on to talk about what she calls “looking for those empty pockets” in your home. “One of my favourite space-saving pockets is your luggage,” she says. “Keep a large garbage bag in your suitcase so when you need your suitcase for a trip, all you do is empty all of the stored items into the bag and place it where you store your suitcase until

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January 15, 2016 31


you return home.” If your décor is vintage, head to your favourite antique shop and look for those traditional mail-room cabinets or the old storage lockers – you know the metal ones from your high school gym? Stack them and display some of your favourite keepsakes and treasures. Another idea is a vintage ladder – perfect to organize blankets. “Antique breadboxes look fabulous and provide storage for your table linen or candles,” adds Warkentin. “Another is a second-hand library card catalogue. It can double as a recipe card holder or for bills and statements.”

Here are some of Warkentin’s top storage solutions:

• Repurpose things. She has another

idea for the suitcase. Warkentin’s antique travel luggage doubles as her linen storage and as her bedside table. This idea is great to stow those off-season items. Go vertical. If you have a shelf in your closet, add a second one that isn’t as deep to store those smaller

32 January 15, 2016

items.

• Foot • •

• • • • • •

CONDOMINIUM

stools offer great storage space for games or Afghans. Create a bookcase in your staircase – you can have some bookshelves built into each stair, if they are deep enough. Hanging fabric shoe boxes can also be a great place to stow all sorts of items. They are only about seven inches deep so they can fit practically anywhere. Ikea has some in an array of colours. Consider a Murphy bed with a desk that folds out when the bed is up. Wall-mounted desks or side tables (both with drawers) in the bedroom are great space savers. Add shelves to the back of your cabinets. No space for a towel rack? Hang some on the back of the door. If you have dead space below your bathroom sink, you can create extra storage with a decorative curtain. Add a large shower caddy for your bottles of shampoo, conditioners, body products and razor thus freeing up some valuable cabinet space in the bathroom.


It’s really about taking the time to critically look at your condo and to find more storage space and ways to use what you do have more effectively

• Get creative. You know that old dish

rack you don’t use anymore… well, it makes a great place to hold your mail, file folders, pens and other sundry papers. Who doesn’t have any mason jars kicking around? They take up way less space than your typical Tupperware containers and they look great and can be hung

underneath cabinets. boomers will remember the Lazy Susan. Now it’s called a “turntable.” These 12- to 18-inch turntables can be placed in your refrigerator to add precious square footage. Even if you don’t have a ton of spices, those little spice racks can be extremely functional for storing

• Baby

small things all around your condo. Use them to create extra storage in unlikely places – on the side of cabinets, on the bathroom wall – and keep your small things enclosed. For a little extra storage, mount a shelf just below the ceiling along the length of a room. If your ceilings are tall enough, you’ll barely notice it. This works especially well in a hallway. Under your bed is a goldmine of usable space. Stuff numerous boxes filled with seasonal items, such as blankets, clothes or your yoga mat. “I always caution my clients not to place paperwork or bills under the bed as it can interfere with their sleep just knowing they are there,” says Warkentin. You might think a lattice wall is only for your backyard. Warkentin has a designer friend who used one in his home to hang his sporting gear. If you have children, avoid mixed zones. Keep the toys in one area instead of having them scattered everywhere.

CONDOMINIUM

January 15, 2016 33


C ONDO

MARKET

WEST VANCOUVER DISTRICT OF NORTH VANCOUVER

CITY OF NORTH VANCOUVER

ANMORE BELCARRA BURRARD INLET

PORT MOODY COQUITLAM

PORT COQUITLAM MAPLE RIDGE

BURNABY VANCOUVER

PITT MEADOWS

FRASER RIVER

MISSION

NEW WESTMINSTER

RICHMOND SURREY

ABBOTSFORD

LANGLEY CITY DELTA

WHITE ROCK

A selection of open show homes and sales centres across the Lower Mainland

BURNABY 1

NORTH VANCOUVER

Modello #118 - 5021 Kingsway Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.456.0688 ...................Pg21

COQUITLAM 2

Loughed Heights North Rd, West Coquitlam Coming this Fall 604.412.0313 ...................Pg 9

NEW WESTMINSTER 3

Aragon 260 Salter Street Coming this Fall 778.398.1344 ...................Pg 2

34 January 15, 2016

CONDOMINIUM

4

Seylynn Village 600 Mountain Hwy Open Daily 12 – 5 pm 604.980.5000 ...................Pg 35

5

The Residences at Lynn Valley 1175 Lynn Valley Rd Coming this Fall 604.924.0166 ...................Pg 3

VANCOUVER 7

Park & Metro Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.325.81111 ...................Pg 18

8

Sterling 3130 Arbutus St Open Daily 12 – 5 pm (except Friday) 604.428.8858 ...................Pg 36

9

The Arc 89 Nelson Street Coming Spring 2016 604.899.8800 ...................Pg 15

RICHMOND 6

Harbour Walk 12235 No 1 Road Open Mon to Fri 9 -4 pm, Sat & Sun 12 - 4 pm 604.274.7326 ...................Pg 25


MAKE IT A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

SECURE ANY HOME

WITH ONLY

$ 10,000

97 HOMES SOLD ALREADY!

150 GREAT HOMES LEFT TO CHOOSE FROM HOME

TYPE

SIZE

PRICE

DEPOSIT

601

1BED + DEN

598 SF

$356,900

$10,000

2004

2 BED

766 SF

$528,900

$10,000

2205

2 BED + DEN

800 SF

$565,900

$10,000

1707

3 BED + DEN

1,291 SF

$802,900

$10,000

ASK HOW YOU CAN EARN UP TO $10,000 PER REFERRAL. ALL DEPOSITS ARE REFUNDABLE UNTIL JAN 31ST, 2016. FOR DETAILS VISIT OUR DISCOVERY CENTRE.

NOW SELLING

INTRODUCING

THE DENNA CLUB A RESIDENTS ONLY 14,000 SQ FT PRIVATE FITNESS CLUB

· AT THE HEART OF LYNN CREEK – NORTH VANCOUVER’S MOST EXCITING NEW MASTERPLANNED COMMUNITY · SWEEPING VIEWS OF DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER AND THE NORTH SHORE MOUNTAINS

· AIR CONDITIONING & TRIPLE GLAZED WINDOWS · IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO UNRIVALED NATURAL BEAUTY AND RECREATION · ALL JUST 12 MINUTES FROM DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER

604.980.5000 SEYLYNN.CA

600 MOUNTAIN HIGHWAY, NORTH VANCOUVER. OPEN 12 – 5PM DAILY.

THIS IS NOT AN OFFERING FOR SALE. ANY SUCH OFFERING MAY ONLY BE MADE WITH A DISCLOSURE STATEMENT E.&O.E. PRICES AND PROMOTIONS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. SOME CONDITIONS APPLY.

CONDOMINIUM

January 15, 2016 35


STERLING by Cressey

37 UNPRECEDENTED KERRISDALE HOMES

This is not an offering for sale. Such an offering can only be made after filing a disclosure statement. E&O.E.

• The grandest CresseyKitchen™ ever, complete with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances

• Concrete homes and Cressey’s design offer a level of quality unmatched in Kerrisdale

• As spacious as a single-family home with full laundry room, walk-in closets and pantries

• Indulge in your outdoor living room or penthouse rooftop terraces complete with an outdoor kitchen

BOUTIQUE RESIDENCES AT WEST BOULEVARD AND 48 TH AVENUE FROM 1,408 TO 2,127 SQUARE FEET - VISIT US TODAY.

AR BU TU S ST.

15 TH AVE.

STERLING DISPLAY HOME:

3130 ARBUTUS ST. 16 TH AVE.

OPEN 12-5 DAILY, EXCEPT FRIDAY.

604.428.8858

S t e r l i n g B y C r e s s ey. c o m

WESTCOAST CONDOMINIUM Jan 15, 2016  

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