Monday, 7 November 2011

Greater Vancouver Market Update - November 2011

Market Update

Greater Van - Lower End of Balanced Housing Market

VANCOUVER, B.C. – November 2, 2011 – With a sales-to-active property listings ratio of 15 per cent, the Greater Vancouver housing market continues to hover at the lower end of a balanced market and has been trending in that direction over the past five months.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system reached 2,317 in October, a 1 per cent decrease compared to the 2,337 sales in October 2010 and a 3.2 per cent increase compared to the previous month. Those sales rank as the second lowest total for October over the last 10 years.

“Right now, prospective home buyers have a good selection of properties to choose from and more time to make decisions,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said. “Home sellers should be mindful of local market conditions to ensure they are pricing their properties competitively.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,374 in October, which is on par with the 10-year average. This represents an 18.3 per cent increase compared to October 2010, when 3,698 properties were listed for sale on the MLS®, and a 23 per cent decrease compared to the 5,680 new listings reported in September 2011.

The total number of properties listed for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® system currently sits at 15,377, which is 9.3 per cent higher than the 14,075 properties listed for sale during the same period last year. October was the first month that the total number of property listings showed a decrease this year.

The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 7.5 per cent to $622,955 in October 2011 from $579,349 in October 2010. However, since reaching a peak in June of $630,921, the benchmark price for all residential properties in the region has declined 1.3 per cent.

Sales of detached properties in October reached 974, which represents virtually no change from the 976 detached sales recorded in October 2010, and a 34.5 per cent decrease from the 1,487 units sold in October 2009. The bench- mark price for detached properties increased 11 per cent from October 2010 to $884,778, but decreased 1.3 per cent compared to the previous month.

Sales of apartment properties reached 958 in October, a 2.6 per cent decrease compared to the 984 sales in Octo- ber 2010, and a decrease of 40.4 per cent compared to the 1,607 sales in October 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3.2 per cent from October 2010 to $402,702, but decreased 0.7 per cent compared to the previous month.

Attached property sales in October totalled 382, a 1.3 per cent increase compared to the 377 sales in October 2010, and a 37.4 per cent decrease from the 610 attached properties sold in October 2009. The benchmark price of an at- tached unit increased 6.5 per cent between October 2010 and 2011 to $519,455, and increased half a per cent com- pared to the previous month.

Statistics from The Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

IMPROVEMENTS for Getting your home Sold - Critical Factors in Getting your Home Sold – Part 4

We have talked at length about a few of the factors that matter in the sale of your home. Some of you may be saying to yourself, “Jeremy, many of those factors are out of my control or at the very least are out of my control right now (i.e. Lot Size) - What about my home itself?” So let’s talk about a few of the things you can do to help you get a quick sale for the price that you want.

First, let me start by pointing out that Buyers today come from everywhere, and by everywhere I mean all over the world! As I have mentioned before (can you hear my drum banging away?), people from all around the globe come to Vancouver to buy Real Estate. My website gets traffic from China, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Philippines, Australia, England….. and I could go on. To those of you in these countries, THANK YOU for reading! The point here is that buyers have many different needs and wants based on their nature, nurture and culture, and capturing all of these is difficult. So how do you prepare your home here in the Tri-cities of Greater Vancouver: Coquitlam? Port Moody? and Port Coquitlam?

Let me start by saying that almost everyone I know watches or has watched HGTV which includes shows like Home by Design, House Hunters, Property Virgins, etc…. In my opinion, our society’s expectations have been unalterably changed. Quite simply everyone expects their “Castle” to be fit for a “King” and/or “Queen.” Everything must have its place, the lines must be crisp and clean and I should oooh and awww when turning every corner. In today’s world the aesthetic feeling generated by the home reigns supreme and new homebuilders throughout Vancouver affirm HGTV’s hold on our expectations. But really, who wouldn’t want to live in a pristine state of the art new home with new appliances, furniture that fits each room perfectly and seamless paint jobs that match the art deco on the wall. I would and I’m sure you would too!

Here is the truth of my situation though and maybe it’s your situation as well – I don’t live in a palace on the ocean with warm breezes wafting through the corridors thanks to the world famous architect who designed my home. Most of us, or at the very least myself, live in a little place called “Your City”, Canada. We may have nice things and for the most part we have loved where we lived. It has worked for our needs, and in many cases our wants, it is comfortable, and it is clean. It is not a 1 billion dollar palace, but is has been our home.

I am sure you are expecting a list of do’s and don’ts at this point, and if you would like one, please e-mail me at with “Staging List” in the title.

Instead I am going to talk about the Big 4 of home improvement for creating value. The best way to create value in addition to de-cluttering and reorganizing is to: Paint, Re-do Flooring, Re-do Bathrooms and finally Re-do Kitchens. Each of these areas will give you a certain Return on Investment (ROI) depending on the market conditions. By far the best things that you can do when preparing your home if you have time is to PAINT and RE-DO Flooring. These are the least costly improvements you can do to your home, take the least amount of time to do and will most often bring you the largest ROI per dollar invested. Painting and flooring are also the least risky when trying to court prospective buyers because both are relatively cheap to change again so they are not necessarily going to cause a buyer to walk away. It is important though to make sure that you are up to date with the “Trends” of the day making sure that you are choosing relatively neutral colors and decent quality products. It is important to note that I am talking about an immediate selling situation, not the situation where one may be wanting to sell in a few years time.

Bathrooms and Kitchens, on the other hand, are a much larger investment and can pay off under a couple of circumstances. First, do it early. If you remodel your kitchen and bathroom by designing it differently, adding new cabinets, countertops, appliances and hardware do it early enough that you get to enjoy it! If you go through this right before selling your home you are not as insulated from the risk of the market shifting, which could cost you money. This is why people who flip houses often lose money. Second, choose classic colors. I know that you really want that pink granite but believe me when I say not everybody loves it the way you do, seriously. Fact is, colors, finishes and hardware matter. People notice. Thirdly, make sure the finishing is done properly. Do not cut corners, but spend the extra time or money getting the crown molding in your kitchen caulked properly. Finally, make sure it all goes together. There is a lot you can do but if your plan calls for the colors, wood and appliances to clash like chic does with grunge then forget about even starting. If you’re not sure about this call a designer or at least call me because it is a huge investment and you do not want it to go to waste.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

As always, if you would like more information about my services or any properties that you are interested in, feel free to call me @ 604.561.4371 or e-mail me @

All the Best!
Jeremy Kyle MBA

Monday, 24 October 2011

Size Matters…. Lot Size That Is! - Critical Factors in Getting your Home Sold – Part 3

In Part 1 and 2 of Critical Factors in Getting your Home Sold, we talked about Location of your home as well as Market Conditions. We talked about why these factors matter and how they can affect the sale of your home.

Today, I am going to discuss Lot Size with respect to Greater Vancouver. Lot size is an interesting topic when discussing property value, especially considering the changes we are seeing in the size of lots that new homes are being built upon. In order to best understand why lot size matters to the sale of your home in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, we need to go back to Part 1 of this series where I discussed a few of the economic drivers specific to the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market. Specifically, I want to discuss the drivers which affect Supply and Demand; the lack of land available for development. Because of the restrictions placed on land due to the Ocean, Mountains, US Border and Agricultural Land Reserve, we, plain and simple, are running out of land to build new homes on. For example, the area of Coquitlam called Burke Mountain is currently being developed and is the last major area within Coquitlam where new homes can be built. Because of this, new homes are being built on lots that are no bigger than 4000 to 5000 square feet, a drastic difference from homes built throughout Coquitlam in previous decades on large lots of 7500 to 9000 square feet.

So what am I trying to say here? As the amount of useable land decreases, you are likely to see large lots become a scarcity. It is true that as you move your real estate search further out in the Fraser Valley this trend tends to decrease depending on location, a factor, which will dictate demand. All in all though, the trend is certain to be repeated as amenities and transportation improve throughout the outlying regions of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. In addition if people continue to move here at the rates projected, then we are going to see a different Vancouver taking shape over the next couple of decades.

So does lot size matter? – Of course! The closer you are to Vancouver and the larger the lot you have, the better your position from a long-term investment point of view. Regardless of these factors, if you love your home and the property is functioning in the ways that you need it to be, then you my friend, have a great piece of Real Estate!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

If you are interested in the current market here is a link to Greater Vancouver Real Estate Boards Press Release – (

As always, if you would like more information about my services or any properties that you are interested in, feel free to call me @ 604.561.4371 or e-mail me @

All the Best!

Jeremy Kyle MBA

Monday, 10 October 2011

Okay, so we covered the fact that market conditions are important and these conditions are always in flux. We covered that there are certain factors in Vancouver that will put a certain amount of pressure on the Real Estate market that cannot be removed. Finally, we discussed that there are external pressures such as international demand that affect price and motivation by ultimately affecting the supply of homes for sale.

So what about the location of your home? Again, there are a number of ways to discuss this question. First things first…what municipality do you live in? This is important because the market in Vancouver has certain behaviors that can be observed. The historical and statistical truth is that the Vancouver Real Estate generally works like an earthquake. It starts at the epicenter of downtown Vancouver and the West End and then spreads or ripples outwards. To put this in perspective, let’s talk about this past spring, 2011. Reports from news stations and colleagues confirmed that money from offshore China entered Canada and was put towards purchasing homes in Downtown Vancouver, Vancouver West and Richmond. This sent the market into a frenzy whereby property prices rose substantially due to a rise in demand, and led to homes selling in multiple offer situations. As the prices rose, it drove people out of their local market or market of choice because of the change in affordability. So where did they go to buy homes? They moved into the adjacent municipalities, where a similar pattern was observed of buying and price increases. This effect has rippled through the lower mainland with decreasing effect as we move outward from the traditional city center talked about above. So does your municipality matter? YES… The behavior of the markets throughout the Greater Vancouver area will affect the price of your home differently depending on the municipality you live in.

What about the location of your home within a municipality? That matters too. Realtors that have been around the block or lived in the area for years on end know this well. They know which areas have higher demand because they are just “sexier” than the neighborhood down the block. I have lived in the Tri-cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody) since 1987 and there are definitely areas that have higher demand than others – and often the demand is due to factors like larger lots, family neighborhoods, close to transit, view, etc…. While other areas have a more negative our tougher reputation. So in a nutshell, neighborhood does matter both for when you buy and when you sell and this will show in the amount of competition that you experience in either case.

What about the location of your home on your street or the location relative to main roads? In my experience, each buyer has their own general take on what they like and dislike BUT what you will see is that properties which are on quiet streets will generally have a higher demand when it comes to selling than those that do not. In addition, properties that are waterfront, positioned with views, have private settings or back onto a green space tend to be more sought after as well. On the opposite end of the spectrum, properties located by railway, highway/busy road, or power-lines tend to have a longer lifetime on the market unless these factors are taken into account when pricing the property. Again it comes to personal preference or what a buyer might want in a home and these are fluctuating all of the time. If you are wondering why I am not talking about the curb appeal of homes in your neighborhood – I will make sure I come to that later.

As always, if you would like more information about my services or any properties that you are interested in, feel free to call me @ 604.561.4371 or e-mail me @

All the Best!


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Critical Factors in Getting your Home Sold

A lot of people ask me when I talk to them about selling their home, “Jeremy, what is the most important things that I need to do to get the most money for my home?” Undoubtedly, there are numerous things that every homeowner thinks they “should” do, like attempt to turn back the clock and make their home brand new again. The problem with this is that we are all busy, we have jobs, we have kids, we have kids with lives and we need to sleep – sleep…. Yes you need to sleep!!!

In my opinion, it is important to look at number of different factors that will influence both the price your home will sell for and amount of time it will take to sell your home.

Like the common question I mentioned above indicates, there are some things that the homeowner has control over both before they list their home and during the time that their home is on the market – Home Condition, Easy Property Access, Market Exposure and dare I say it, “Agent Choice”

There are other factors, though, that are out of the control of individual homeowners when selling – Market Conditions, the Location of Your Home, Your Lot Size and (drum roll please…..) Asking Price.

So let’s take a moment to discuss these “Critical Factors” and we will start with those factors that you, the homeowner, CAN NOT control.

Market Conditions in Greater Vancouver, which includes of course the Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam Municipalities, are created by the whirlwind of international/global, national and local events and factors. As we saw in the recent, economic crisis, just how the global financial markets when crunched affect local markets like ours. The good news is that Greater Vancouver recovered in approximately 2 years to the price levels that were observed just before the economic crisis took full effect. So is Vancouver insulated from catastrophic events and financial meltdowns? No – Period. But there are a number of interesting aspects of Vancouver that make it more resilient than other markets.

Greater Vancouver is a beautiful place that attracts many people from around the world. Its location on the Pacific Rim, the clean air and the fact that Canada is an unbelievable place to live and fulfill dreams make the destination of choice for people from around the world. As we saw through the lens of the 2011 Olympics, Greater Vancouver has a lot to offer for lifestyle. But here is the catch – there always is one, right? – Vancouver has a LIMITED amount of land, which can be developed. Here in Vancouver, we are surrounded by the Coastal and Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Ocean and our American Friends to the South (Border) as well as a little something called the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) all, which affect the supply and demand of Real Estate. Let’s be clear here, most cities don’t even have one of these factors affecting it. So in a nutshell, the supply is fixed in terms of current available land and the clock is ticking.

So what does this mean for our local markets? What does it mean for the Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody Markets? It has a huge impact overall as demand continues to stay relatively steady for homes. In 2011, initial sales in Vancouver West, Richmond and the North Shore of Vancouver spiked due to outside demand, which pushed local demand further away from the downtown core in a sort of ripple effect. As this outside influence has slowed into this fall of 2011, the number of listed properties have continued to increase while the number of sales, which is an indicator of buyer demand, has diminished. Now is this the way it will stay? Absolutely not, the market is always changing and it has peaks and lows sort of like the ocean tide. The most important thing for you as homeowner wanting to sell is to get a good “snapshot” of what is going on in your community both in terms of your immediate area and the surrounding municipality. Enter the Realtor – this is where I come in and help you out. It is a partnership after all and I want to make sure that you maximize your sales price and sell in the least amount of days as possible.

If you would like more information feel free to call me @ 604.561.4371 or e-mail me @