The Year in Review: REBGV's Summary of 2012


"For much of 2012 we saw a collective hesitation on the part of buyers and sellers in the Greater
Vancouver housing market. This behavior was reflected in lower than average home sale activity
and modest fluctuations in home prices"

                                                                                                              -Eugen Klein, REBGC President


The world didn't end in 2012 and the same can be said for Vancouver's real estate market. 


Let's take a look at the 5 year trend:


And the 25 year trend:


Overall we see a decrease in the price index starting early summer 2012. Which is normal given in previous years sales do in fact decline, and with it the price index, beginning between April / June. The only exception we see in are the years 2009 and 2011, where it was more level than a true decrease until winter.


Drivers such as continuing low mortage rates and market speculation.


Year to Year comparison in sales we see a total of 25,032 in 2012

In 2011 there were 32,387 (2012 - 22.7% decrease), 2010 there were 30,595 (2012 - 18.2% decrease)


The home sale total was 25.7% less below the ten-year average in the region.

However, 2012's total listing was 6.1% above the ten year average in the region.


Compared to 2011, there was a 2% decline (2012: 58,379 - 2011: 59,539) in number of residential properties available and 0.6% increase in regards to 2010 (58,009).


Is it a good time to buy? Is it a good time to sell?

Investors and home buyers out there are doing two things:


1) Actively searching for properties that can generate postive cashflow asking for a price they perceive to be good deals. They are out there, many as a matter of fact. Whether they be restricted to pure investments or a home that may be rented out in the future or rented out now, with the possibility of acting as a primary residence years down the road there are all sorts of investors looking at the market right now.


2) Waiting for the "bottom" of the market. The strategy here is to get a "maximum" on the return for their investment right at the lowest point in the curve, right before prices start to go up again. This isn't anything "wrong" or "bad" about it; the only negatives are potentially losing out on the property that nicely compliments their portfolio or even losing out on the perfect home that is available now. If one buyer thinks the home is pefect for them, another one will as well. 


The same could be said for sellers:


With the release of this year's (or more accurately last July's) property assessments many home owners are taking a look at their needs, their reasons for considering a move. Was the house a short term investment, a flip? Were there plans for a downsize or upsize?


We cannot forsee where the market will be a year from now, or even 3 months from now. What we can do is take a close look at the specific area the seller is living in and analyze the specifics. Prices across the board are still at an all-time high and sales are still being completed. Everything from studio apartments to multi-million dollar houses are being offered and sold.


The best method is to see if it is a good time to sell is to sit down with a realtor and go over in detail the specific needs and expectations the seller deems important. The region statistics may say one thing, but the micro-markets (especially in Vancouver) may say another. 

I offer no pressure, no obligation,  free home evaluations so you can have an idea of what your home is worth and determine what is the best action for you as a seller and a buyer.

Let's sit down and have a conversation, you won't regret it. I guarantee. 


We all hear of the lockdown by the Chinese government on money leaving the country coupled by the tumbling of the Chinese real estate market.


Courtesy of Google


But what needs to be done? Or rather, what should be done?


This short video report courtesy of the Financial Times



I smell a business opportunity coming, one that is already adopted by many many Chinese developers no doubt. Perhaps this pattern can be seen in emerging markets as well. 

A personal favourite of mine is South East Asia; we also see the growth of the middle class in these countries and with the increasing (at least seemingly) political stability (as well as pro-democratic business-friendly policies) foreign investers may gain more confidence in the markets.


2013 is going to be a very interesting year not only for our very own market here in Vancouver (I love start-ups!), but also on a global scale. New Chinese government, four more years of Obamarama, new Korean leadership (congratulations to Korea's first female president!), and so on. Happy holidays!


Behold: Jameson House


A Foster + Partners Design


Created by a cast of real estate all stars, Jameson House was developed by BOSA Properties and designed by Fosters + Partners in association with Walter Francl Architecture Inc.

This 36 story, 119 meter tall building certainly adds an unique flavour to Vancouver's skyline.


Everytime I pass by this building I've always felt there was something different and frankly, "off". 


And now i know why.



Notice the design of the building's first two floors. The professionals' say it best;


"The first two stories of the structure correspond to the adjacent 1920s Art Deco buildings—the Ceperley Rounsfell Building and the Royal Building—and the scale of the pedestrian street level. The original buildings, which had fallen into disrepair, were restored  and incorporated into the ground floor plan of the new tower development. The historical section of the podium houses new retail, while the new development creates entrances for the office and residential areas in the tower."1

But that's not all,

"Eight levels of offices extend above in a sleek rectilinear glazed cube, the top level of which corresponds to the cornice height of the nearest building located at the corner. This volume contrasts with the rest of the tower, which houses the residential apartments."2

This is the basis for the "odd" perception I had. The gap between the two buildings gives the appearance of instability, completely unfounded I admit. Instead, this allows for the rooftop garden terrace as evident atop one of the retail spaces. 

The design serves a pratical purpose, not for conspicuous shows of "look what I can do". According to the design philosophy by the architects and developer, subtantial efforts were made to ensure "green living" throughout the entirety of the building. For example, wind and sun direction, climate conditions, and even rainfall are taken into account. Nearby buildings are even considered in the collaborated design with city planners, "the residential floors curve outwards in four wide bays, which are staggered to allow daylight to reach neighbouring buildings and oriented to provide uninterrupted views of the landscape".3

However, perhaps one of the coolest features of this building:


Don't you want one of these (the garage, not the car)? Reminds me of back home in Asia. 

It's luxurious, it's sleek, it's undoubtedly fantastic. It's also available. 


There are currently 21 units available in the building including 2 penthouses. 

The penthouses are multi-leveled and include its own rooftop garden terraces.


Luckily the lawsuit between the previous Korean developer, Argo Ventures Inc. and Bosa Properties Inc. didn't have a damaging affect on the completion of this project last year. Story here.


Congratulations Vancouver on making the shortlist this year!

Hopefully one of the many developments being constructed now will be considered in a few years.




Thanks to:

Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

New Home Trend

Business in Vancouver


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