I have listed a new property at 703 QUADLING AVE in Coquitlam.
Coquitlam West RM-3 Multi-Storey medium density Development Opportunity / Land Assembly East of Lougheed Highway and North Road. The site falls within the core and shoulder area of Coquitlam’s Transit-Oriented Development Strategy. The properties are located along major transit nodes in the centre of Coquitlam, near the new Evergreen SkyTrain expansion. OCP allows for a Medium Density Development Site 7-8 Stories with an FSR of 2.45 or a 4-6 story development with an FSR of 2.3 Please go to Realtors web site for feature sheet and more info including Site Video
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I have listed a new property at 22815 125A AVE in Maple Ridge.
5-bedroom. 4-bathroom home in East Central Maple Ridge. Located in a great location this rancher with basement features 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms on main level. Two master bedrooms on main. Basement finished with suite - separate entrance. Deck off the rear to enjoy the private backyard which backs onto greenbelt and ravine. Located within walking distance to shopping, transit, schools and recreation. Newer finishings throughout the home. Basement is a with 2 bedrooms. Main floor consists of 2 master bedrooms, and a third bedroom that has an ensuite. Double-garage with a large driveway. Located within walking distance to shopping, transit, schools and recreation. Measurements from BC Assessment Professionally measured by Excelsior. Saturday/Sunday Open House 2-4 pm--masks required.
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Please visit our Open House at 22815 125A AVE in Maple Ridge.
Open House on Saturday, October 17, 2020 2:00PM - 4:00PM
5-bedroom. 4-bathroom home in East Central Maple Ridge. Located in a great location this rancher with basement features 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms on main level. Two master bedrooms on main. Basement finished with suite - separate entrance. Deck off the rear to enjoy the private backyard which backs onto greenbelt and ravine. Located within walking distance to shopping, transit, schools and recreation. Newer finishings throughout the home. Basement is a with 2 bedrooms. Main floor consists of 2 master bedrooms, and a third bedroom that has an ensuite. Double-garage with a large driveway. Located within walking distance to shopping, transit, schools and recreation. Measurements from BC Assessment Professionally measured by Excelsior. Saturday/Sunday Open House 2-4 pm--masks required.
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Please visit our Open House at 22815 125A AVE in Maple Ridge.
Open House on Sunday, October 18, 2020 2:00PM - 4:00PM
5-bedroom. 4-bathroom home in East Central Maple Ridge. Located in a great location this rancher with basement features 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms on main level. Two master bedrooms on main. Basement finished with suite - separate entrance. Deck off the rear to enjoy the private backyard which backs onto greenbelt and ravine. Located within walking distance to shopping, transit, schools and recreation. Newer finishings throughout the home. Basement is a with 2 bedrooms. Main floor consists of 2 master bedrooms, and a third bedroom that has an ensuite. Double-garage with a large driveway. Located within walking distance to shopping, transit, schools and recreation. Measurements from BC Assessment Professionally measured by Excelsior. Saturday/Sunday Open House 2-4 pm--masks required.
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I have sold a property at 805 4818 ELDORADO MEWS in Vancouver.
Spotless, and every-amenity-you-need condo, in a quiet, concrete building near Kingsway and Nanaimo. Modern chef's kitchen with gas range, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. Fully tiled European spa bathroom with soaker tub. Balcony with mountain views. Fantastic opportunity in the city! Extremely well laid out Jr 1 Bed. Solid well managed building with fitness center, lounge/games room, and a sunny rooftop terrace! Located in a PRIME LOCATION steps to Skytrain! Downtown Vancouver, Burnaby/Metrotown and Richmond for all your shopping, dining and entertainment needs within minutes! Live-in caretaker. 1 parking and 1 storage locker included.
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Stay up to date on results for coquitlam land assembly.
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'An increasingly bad experience': Vancouver man cites rising crime as reason for selling condo

Allison Hurst

Allison HurstMulti-Skilled Journalist, CTV News Vancouver

@AllisonM_Hurst Contact

Published Saturday, October 10, 2020 12:26PM PDTLast Updated Saturday, October 10, 2020 4:00PM PDT
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Volume 90%
 
 
 
 
 
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The real estate market is feeling the effects of homelessness in Vancouver, particularly near the Strathcona Park tent city.
 
 
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The City of Vancouver is moving ahead with a multi-million effort to house homeless residents.
 

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VANCOUVER -- Ari Newman has called Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood home for the last three years, but that’s about to change.

“It’s been an increasingly bad experience living in Strathcona,” he told CTV News. “I’m seeing an escalation of violent crime, I’m seeing an escalation of violent assault.”

He himself has been assaulted twice while living in the neighbourhood.

“It was out of the blue,” he said of the first time it happened, recalling being blindsided by someone looking for money.

The second time, just a few months ago, he was assaulted by someone riding a bike, again over money.

“I was stopped and, you know, kind of shaken down for money,” he said.

Newman’s negative experiences in the neighbourhood started before the tent city went up in Strathcona Park, but he says the situation has gotten worse in recent months. He listed his condo in the spring, and has spent months calling local and federal politicians trying to get action taken in his neighbourhood.

“There really hasn’t been any action,” he said.

Newman is far from the only Strathcona resident frustrated by a rise in crime in the neighbourhood and calling for an end to the homeless camp. In late September, concerned residents held a rally calling on politicians to find homes for camp residents and dismantle the camp. 

While residents like Newman look to sell their homes, real estate agents are seeing interest slow in areas such as Strathcona, Yaletown and Gastown.

“I personally have listings in like the Science World area and Gastown area, so areas close to Strathcona, and we are seeing the spillover effect into those neighbourhoods too, where people aren’t as drawn to come and see those properties and the listings are sitting longer,” said Gary Serra, a real estate agent with Remax.

Since the pandemic started, with so many people working from home, Serra said he has noticed interest in condos dying down.

“The detached market is very high at almost 25 per cent. Townhomes are the highest at almost 31 per cent. And condos are sitting at around 21 per cent,” he said.

While anything over 20 per cent is considered a seller’s market, he said he’s seeing a large downturn on condos that’s resulting in an almost “balanced” market.

In neighbourhoods like Yaletown, which have typically been highly sought after, he’s says found buyers “steering away.”

“People like the character, they like that it’s right in the city core and the grit,” said Serra. “It’s gone beyond that now and people feel unsafe.”

Like Strathcona residents, some who live in Yaletown have expressed frustration with a rise in crime and violence they say started when homeless people who had been living in a tent city in Oppenheimer Park were moved into the Howard Johnson hotel on Granville Street.

In early July, Vancouver police said they had received “an overwhelming number of messages” from Yaletown residents and promised more patrols and new safety measures in the community in response. 

Serra said the real estate market has largely stayed strong despite the COVID-19 crisis, and this latest “bump,” but action on homelessness in the city needs to happen soon.

“Maybe after couple of months, if there’s really a concerted effort on the city’s part that is really doing something positive, then, you know, people’s perception will start to change,” he said.

The City of Vancouver has voted in favour of spending $30 million on housing tent city residents and other homeless people during the pandemic. Mayor Kennedy Stewart told reporters Friday the city expects to move forward on the plan “within weeks.” 

For Newman, he’s ready to move even if he has to take a loss in the sale.

“I don’t think I’ll get what I want just given what’s happening in the community,” he said. “I’ll get way below my assessed value.”

But it comes down to wanting to live somewhere and feel safe, he said.

“It’s one of those things were you just have to understand all the variables that are involved in it and then make your decision,” he said. 

RELATED IMAGES
 
  • Strathcona homeless camp
  • Strathcona neighbourhood

    Ari Newman has called Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood home for the last three years, but that’s about to change. (CTV)

  • Strathcona Park
  • Strathcona homeless camp
  • Strathcona neighbourhood

    Ari Newman has called Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood home for the last three years, but that’s about to change. (CTV)

 
 

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When should you break your mortgage for a better rate?

Pattie Lovett-Reid

Patricia Lovett-ReidChief Financial Commentator, CTV News

@PattieCTV Contact

Published Monday, September 28, 2020 7:00AM EDT
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TORONTO -- If you’ve found yourself enticed by a better mortgage rate or another lender offering something more competitive, there’s something you should ask yourself.

Does it make sense to break my current mortgage and lock it in at a lower rate?

Some families are also looking to free up cash due to layoffs associated with COVID-19 and may need to refinance their mortgage, while others might just decide to sell their home.

Regardless of the reason you might have to break your current mortgage, you will likely have to pay a penalty.

A pre-payment penalty protects your lender who was counting on interest payments from you for a specified period. When you pay your mortgage off quickly, no matter how you do it, your lender is getting less than they anticipated in interest payments and you have to pay a price for changing or opting out of the contract.

If you have a variable rate mortgage, you will have to pay a three-month interest penalty. However, if you have a fixed rate mortgage you will have to calculate three months of interest and the interest rate differential (the rate you have compared to the rate you will get) and pay the greater of the two options.

Let's break it down in a back of the envelop calculation: Assume you have a $200,000 variable rate mortgage at 3 per cent. You would have to pay a three-month interest penalty of $1,500.

If, however, you had a fixed rate mortgage at 4.29 per cent with 23 months remaining in your term and wanted a new rate of 2.39 per cent, you would have to calculate the interest rate differential or three months of interest and pay whichever is higher.

A rough calculation suggests the three-month differential of $7,283 is the amount, excluding fees, you would have to pay as it is greater than the three months of interest amount of $2,145.

The actual calculations are a little more complex, but this gives you an idea of what to look for.

To get a more accurate picture you could ask your financial institution to run and compare the numbers or go on a site like Ratehub.ca and enter in the variables that apply to you.

Before you break your mortgage, here’s what to remember:

  •  Know there will be a penalty.
  •  Have your financial institution break down the numbers for you.
  •  Understand there will be fees and that every bank is a little different.
  •  The penalty you pay has to be less than the gain you will achieve or it simply isn't worth it.

Knowing your numbers makes this an easy decision.

 

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BC Place to see new 17-storey office tower and entertainment pavilion (PHOTOS)

Vancouver City council unanimously approved rezoning to make way for the redevelopment Tuesday night
720-Beatty-Street-Vancouver-Creative-Energy-Westbank-January-2019-2
A new office tower and entertainment pavilion will be built next to BC Place. Rendering: Westbank Corporation

A Vancouver City council decision Tuesday night means BC Place stadium is about to get cozy with 17 new storeys of office space, and another six for arts and entertainment.

That’s because outside stadium gates A and B, facing Georgia Street, Westbank Corporation is proposing a major redevelopment of the Creative Energy Steam plant and an adjacent industrial site.

The municipality received an updated rezoning application for 720 Beatty St. and 701 Expo Blvd. in March.

Atop both redevelopments, there will be a terrace with greenspace, with enough room for a running track on top of the upgraded steam plant building – which itself delivers hot water and heating to more than 200 buildings in the downtown peninsula.

WestbankThe new 17-storey office tower proposed for 720 Beatty Street. Rendering: Westbank Corporation

Westbank first acquired the natural-gas steam plant in 2013.

The ground floor of the new office tower will be bolstered with a five-metre passageway to provide pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists a connection to four new levels of underground parking and a connection to Expo Boulevard and Beatty Street.

The adjacent entertainment pavilion will provide 30,236 square feet of commercial space with a karaoke spot, virtual reality sports hub, sports bar, and brewery already in the plans.

720-Beatty-Street-Vancouver-Creative-Energy-Westbank-January-2019-33The proposed underneath of the 720 Betty Street office tower. Rendering: Westbank Corporation

Nearby homeowner Helene Perndl expressed her support for the new infrastructure.

“The current building on this block is a big eyesore and I think this will be a huge improvement,” she submitted to council in favour of Westbank's proposal.

“I'm happy to see that big investment in office buildings like this are still going ahead even during the pandemic.”

EntertainThe six-storey entertainment pavilion will make space for restaurants, a brewery, karaoke spot, and sports bar. Rendering: Westbank Corporation

The project will bolster the southwestern corner of BC Place ticket holders of concerts and sports games with more entertainment and dining options in the downtown area.

Initial construction of the now-approved project – which is estimated to generate approximately 2,000 off-site and on-site jobs – is being financed by Allied Properties Real Investment Trust for $185 million.

CreateRendering: Westbank Corporation

“The project will not only contribute to increasing job space and to advancing the city’s economic development objectives but also help to achieve the regional entertainment district envisioned under the Northeast False Creek Plan,” detailed city staff in a report to council.

The rezoning will generate nearly $13 million in development cost levies, $4.7-million in community amenities, and more than $1 million in public art for the municipality.




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Greater Vancouver Detached Real Estate Prices Rise, While Condos Slip Lower

Greater Vancouver real estate had a huge month for sales, but condos are showing weakness. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) data shows composite prices grew in September. Breaking down the price trend by segment, we see two different markets. Detached prices are higher than the month before, with the annual rate of growth rising. Condo apartments are lower than the month before, with price growth stalling. Both segments remain below their all-time highs.

Greater Vancouver Detached Homes Rise, While Condos Lose Steam

Greater Vancouver real estate prices are picking up some steam. The price of a typical home across REBGV reached $1,041,300 in September, up 5.8% from the same month last year. In the City, it was a little more dependent on which part you were in. Vancouver East saw the price of a typical home hit $1,105,800, up 7.5% from last year. In Vancouver West, the price reached $1,271,900, up 4.0% from last year. In all regions, the price increases are largely due to detached prices rising, and are still below the all-time highs. 

Greater Vancouver Composite Benchmark Price

The price of a typical home across Greater Vancouver, in Canadian dollars.

CompositeDetachedCondo ApartmentJan 2005Jul 2005Jan 2006Jul 2006Jan 2007Jul 2007Jan 2008Jul 2008Jan 2009Jul 2009Jan 2010Jul 2010Jan 2011Jul 2011Jan 2012Jul 2012Jan 2013Jul 2013Jan 2014Jul 2014Jan 2015Jul 2015Jan 2016Jul 2016Jan 2017Jul 2017Jan 2018Jul 2018Jan 2019Jul 2019Jan 2020Jul 2020$0$200,000$400,000$600,000$800,000$1,000,000$1,200,000$1,400,000$1,600,000$1,800,000Canadian Dollars
MonthCompositeDetachedCondo Apartment
Jan 2005 384,400 545,100 250,100
Feb 2005 387,100 547,800 252,400
Mar 2005 389,400 550,000 254,600
Apr 2005 392,100 552,800 256,600
May 2005 397,500 559,300 261,100
Jun 2005 403,600 565,800 266,400
Jul 2005 409,000 573,500 270,400
Aug 2005 414,000 581,100 273,100
Sep 2005 420,500 588,700 278,900
Oct 2005 423,200 592,500 280,400
Nov 2005 426,300 596,900 282,600
Dec 2005 429,800 601,300 285,400
Jan 2006 437,800 613,300 290,400
Feb 2006 447,100 625,300 297,100
Mar 2006 455,500 637,800 302,400
Apr 2006 465,100 649,800 309,900
May 2006 474,700 662,300 316,900
Jun 2006 482,800 674,900 321,100
Jul 2006 486,700 678,700 324,400
Aug 2006 490,900 683,000 327,900
Sep 2006 494,300 686,900 330,600
Oct 2006 494,300 686,900 329,900
Nov 2006 494,700 687,400 329,600
Dec 2006 494,000 687,400 327,400
Jan 2007 500,900 696,100 333,400
Feb 2007 506,600 705,400 337,100
Mar 2007 512,000 714,100 340,600
Apr 2007 519,700 726,100 345,900
May 2007 527,000 737,600 350,600
Jun 2007 534,300 749,500 354,900
Jul 2007 538,900 755,000 358,400
Aug 2007 543,900 760,400 362,900
Sep 2007 548,200 765,400 365,700
Oct 2007 550,800 768,100 368,200
Nov 2007 553,500 770,300 370,700
Dec 2007 555,500 773,000 372,200
Jan 2008 560,500 781,700 374,700
Feb 2008 566,600 791,000 378,400
Mar 2008 572,400 800,200 381,200
Apr 2008 574,300 803,000 382,400
May 2008 575,400 805,700 382,700
Jun 2008 577,400 808,400 383,400
Jul 2008 567,400 795,300 375,900
Aug 2008 560,800 782,300 372,700
Sep 2008 553,500 769,700 368,400
Oct 2008 538,200 748,500 357,400
Nov 2008 522,800 728,300 346,100
Dec 2008 507,800 708,100 334,900
Jan 2009 504,700 702,700 333,400
Feb 2009 500,500 697,200 330,400
Mar 2009 497,000 692,300 328,400
Apr 2009 503,900 701,600 333,900
May 2009 511,300 710,800 339,900
Jun 2009 518,900 720,700 346,100
Jul 2009 527,800 734,800 351,900
Aug 2009 536,600 749,000 357,100
Sep 2009 546,600 764,300 363,900
Oct 2009 551,600 774,100 365,700
Nov 2009 558,500 784,400 370,400
Dec 2009 565,100 794,800 374,200
Jan 2010 570,800 807,300 375,700
Feb 2010 577,800 819,900 378,900
Mar 2010 584,300 835,700 380,400
Apr 2010 588,900 843,300 382,900
May 2010 588,100 845,500 380,700
Jun 2010 584,700 841,700 377,700
Jul 2010 578,500 835,700 371,900
Aug 2010 575,400 830,200 370,900
Sep 2010 573,900 827,500 370,200
Oct 2010 573,100 825,900 369,900
Nov 2010 574,700 830,800 370,700
Dec 2010 574,700 829,700 369,900
Jan 2011 580,400 847,700 371,200
Feb 2011 586,200 860,800 372,400
Mar 2011 597,000 880,900 378,900
Apr 2011 609,700 913,100 381,900
May 2011 616,200 928,900 384,700
Jun 2011 620,400 938,200 386,200
Jul 2011 622,000 945,200 385,400
Aug 2011 622,300 946,300 384,200
Sep 2011 620,800 945,800 382,200
Oct 2011 619,300 945,800 379,400
Nov 2011 617,700 942,500 379,900
Dec 2011 614,700 935,400 379,400
Jan 2012 615,000 935,400 380,900
Feb 2012 621,600 949,100 383,200
Mar 2012 628,500 961,100 385,900
Apr 2012 633,100 970,900 387,700
May 2012 635,800 973,600 390,700
Jun 2012 630,400 965,400 387,200
Jul 2012 625,000 954,500 385,400
Aug 2012 618,900 946,300 380,400
Sep 2012 615,800 940,900 378,900
Oct 2012 613,100 933,800 378,400
Nov 2012 607,400 920,200 376,700
Dec 2012 600,800 908,700 372,400
Jan 2013 599,300 906,000 371,400
Feb 2013 602,000 907,100 372,400
Mar 2013 604,700 912,000 376,400
Apr 2013 608,900 918,000 380,400
May 2013 609,700 921,300 379,700
Jun 2013 613,100 924,500 383,700
Jul 2013 613,100 925,600 382,700
Aug 2013 612,700 928,900 380,200
Sep 2013 613,900 927,800 383,200
Oct 2013 613,100 928,300 380,900
Nov 2013 615,000 930,000 382,700
Dec 2013 615,000 932,700 381,700
Jan 2014 618,100 936,000 384,900
Feb 2014 623,100 942,500 388,700
Mar 2014 629,300 954,500 390,900
Apr 2014 633,100 964,300 391,700
May 2014 638,100 973,600 393,700
Jun 2014 641,900 984,500 394,200
Jul 2014 641,900 988,300 392,700
Aug 2014 644,300 989,900 395,400
Sep 2014 646,200 995,900 394,900
Oct 2014 649,600 1,002,500 396,200
Nov 2014 650,800 1,005,800 395,200
Dec 2014 652,300 1,009,600 397,200
Jan 2015 655,800 1,018,300 396,900
Feb 2015 663,500 1,035,200 399,900
Mar 2015 676,200 1,061,400 405,200
Apr 2015 687,300 1,085,300 410,200
May 2015 699,200 1,112,600 412,900
Jun 2015 708,800 1,132,800 416,700
Jul 2015 715,400 1,152,400 416,900
Aug 2015 724,200 1,170,900 420,700
Sep 2015 736,900 1,190,600 430,200
Oct 2015 748,800 1,207,400 439,200
Nov 2015 765,300 1,236,900 448,200
Dec 2015 773,800 1,258,100 449,700
Jan 2016 789,600 1,284,900 458,900
Feb 2016 813,400 1,321,900 473,400
Mar 2016 834,500 1,361,200 482,200
Apr 2016 864,100 1,419,500 495,200
May 2016 907,200 1,523,100 506,500
Jun 2016 934,900 1,568,900 523,200
Jul 2016 947,500 1,585,200 533,000
Aug 2016 949,900 1,581,900 538,200
Sep 2016 945,200 1,575,400 536,500
Oct 2016 936,000 1,550,300 535,700
Nov 2016 927,600 1,519,300 536,700
Dec 2016 915,600 1,488,700 534,200
Jan 2017 914,100 1,479,500 536,000
Feb 2017 926,400 1,480,600 552,200
Mar 2017 943,300 1,499,100 566,000
Apr 2017 966,400 1,530,700 582,700
May 2017 992,500 1,572,100 600,200
Jun 2017 1,011,000 1,590,700 616,800
Jul 2017 1,031,000 1,613,000 632,800
Aug 2017 1,040,200 1,614,700 642,300
Sep 2017 1,046,700 1,616,300 650,300
Oct 2017 1,051,700 1,609,800 658,300
Nov 2017 1,057,100 1,606,500 666,000
Dec 2017 1,060,900 1,604,800 672,300
Jan 2018 1,069,000 1,603,200 682,800
Feb 2018 1,084,400 1,606,500 700,300
Mar 2018 1,097,100 1,611,900 711,800
Apr 2018 1,103,200 1,607,600 718,300
May 2018 1,104,400 1,608,100 719,000
Jun 2018 1,104,400 1,599,400 721,300
Jul 2018 1,098,600 1,585,800 718,500
Aug 2018 1,083,200 1,560,700 708,300
Sep 2018 1,068,600 1,541,100 698,500
Oct 2018 1,061,300 1,528,500 695,000
Nov 2018 1,041,700 1,506,700 679,300
Dec 2018 1,033,300 1,486,000 676,500
Jan 2019 1,021,000 1,458,800 672,300
Feb 2019 1,017,900 1,448,400 673,800
Mar 2019 1,012,500 1,445,100 670,300
Apr 2019 1,010,200 1,433,700 670,500
May 2019 1,006,400 1,426,600 666,800
Jun 2019 998,700 1,423,500 657,300
Jul 2019 995,200 1,417,000 655,300
Aug 2019 993,300 1,406,700 656,300
Sep 2019 990,600 1,406,200 654,000
Oct 2019 992,900 1,415,400 654,800
Nov 2019 993,700 1,415,400 654,000
Dec 2019 1,001,000 1,423,500 659,500
Jan 2020 1,008,700 1,431,200 666,000
Feb 2020 1,020,600 1,433,900 680,300
Mar 2020 1,033,700 1,450,700 690,000
Apr 2020 1,036,000 1,462,100 688,800
May 2020 1,028,400 1,456,700 686,500
Jun 2020 1,025,300 1,464,200 680,800
Jul 2020 1,031,400 1,477,800 682,500
Aug 2020 1,038,700 1,491,300 685,800
Sep 2020 1,041,300 1,507,500 683,500
 
Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Generally speaking, the rate of growth is accelerating – but two distinct markets are emerging. Detached homes are seeing a higher annual rate of price growth, but condo apartments are stalling. Detached home prices are at a high for the year, but remain 6.7% below the all-time high. Condo apartment prices are lower than the previous month, and are 5.24% below the all-time high.  

Greater Vancouver Composite Benchmark Price Change

The annual percent change of a typical home across Greater Vancouver.

CompositeDetachedCondo ApartmentJan 2006Jun 2006Nov 2006Apr 2007Sep 2007Feb 2008Jul 2008Dec 2008May 2009Oct 2009Mar 2010Aug 2010Jan 2011Jun 2011Nov 2011Apr 2012Sep 2012Feb 2013Jul 2013Dec 2013May 2014Oct 2014Mar 2015Aug 2015Jan 2016Jun 2016Nov 2016Apr 2017Sep 2017Feb 2018Jul 2018Dec 2018May 2019Oct 2019Mar 2020Aug 2020-20-10010203040Percent Change
MonthCompositeDetachedCondo Apartment
Jan 2006 13.89 12.51 16.11
Feb 2006 15.5 14.15 17.71
Mar 2006 16.97 15.96 18.77
Apr 2006 18.62 17.55 20.77
May 2006 19.42 18.42 21.37
Jun 2006 19.62 19.28 20.53
Jul 2006 19 18.34 19.97
Aug 2006 18.57 17.54 20.07
Sep 2006 17.55 16.68 18.54
Oct 2006 16.8 15.93 17.65
Nov 2006 16.05 15.16 16.63
Dec 2006 14.94 14.32 14.72
Jan 2007 14.41 13.5 14.81
Feb 2007 13.31 12.81 13.46
Mar 2007 12.4 11.96 12.63
Apr 2007 11.74 11.74 11.62
May 2007 11.02 11.37 10.63
Jun 2007 10.67 11.05 10.53
Jul 2007 10.73 11.24 10.48
Aug 2007 10.8 11.33 10.67
Sep 2007 10.9 11.43 10.62
Oct 2007 11.43 11.82 11.61
Nov 2007 11.89 12.06 12.47
Dec 2007 12.45 12.45 13.68
Jan 2008 11.9 12.3 12.39
Feb 2008 11.84 12.13 12.25
Mar 2008 11.8 12.06 11.92
Apr 2008 10.51 10.59 10.55
May 2008 9.18 9.23 9.16
Jun 2008 8.07 7.86 8.03
Jul 2008 5.29 5.34 4.88
Aug 2008 3.11 2.88 2.7
Sep 2008 0.97 0.56 0.74
Oct 2008 -2.29 -2.55 -2.93
Nov 2008 -5.55 -5.45 -6.64
Dec 2008 -8.59 -8.4 -10.02
Jan 2009 -9.96 -10.11 -11.02
Feb 2009 -11.67 -11.86 -12.68
Mar 2009 -13.17 -13.48 -13.85
Apr 2009 -12.26 -12.63 -12.68
May 2009 -11.14 -11.78 -11.18
Jun 2009 -10.13 -10.85 -9.73
Jul 2009 -6.98 -7.61 -6.38
Aug 2009 -4.32 -4.26 -4.19
Sep 2009 -1.25 -0.7 -1.22
Oct 2009 2.49 3.42 2.32
Nov 2009 6.83 7.7 7.02
Dec 2009 11.28 12.24 11.73
Jan 2010 13.1 14.89 12.69
Feb 2010 15.44 17.6 14.68
Mar 2010 17.57 20.71 15.83
Apr 2010 16.87 20.2 14.68
May 2010 15.02 18.95 12
Jun 2010 12.68 16.79 9.13
Jul 2010 9.61 13.73 5.68
Aug 2010 7.23 10.84 3.86
Sep 2010 4.99 8.27 1.73
Oct 2010 3.9 6.69 1.15
Nov 2010 2.9 5.92 0.08
Dec 2010 1.7 4.39 -1.15
Jan 2011 1.68 5 -1.2
Feb 2011 1.45 4.99 -1.72
Mar 2011 2.17 5.41 -0.39
Apr 2011 3.53 8.28 -0.26
May 2011 4.78 9.86 1.05
Jun 2011 6.11 11.46 2.25
Jul 2011 7.52 13.1 3.63
Aug 2011 8.15 13.98 3.59
Sep 2011 8.17 14.3 3.24
Oct 2011 8.06 14.52 2.57
Nov 2011 7.48 13.44 2.48
Dec 2011 6.96 12.74 2.57
Jan 2012 5.96 10.35 2.61
Feb 2012 6.04 10.26 2.9
Mar 2012 5.28 9.1 1.85
Apr 2012 3.84 6.33 1.52
May 2012 3.18 4.81 1.56
Jun 2012 1.61 2.9 0.26
Jul 2012 0.48 0.98 0
Aug 2012 -0.55 0 -0.99
Sep 2012 -0.81 -0.52 -0.86
Oct 2012 -1 -1.27 -0.26
Nov 2012 -1.67 -2.37 -0.84
Dec 2012 -2.26 -2.85 -1.85
Jan 2013 -2.55 -3.14 -2.49
Feb 2013 -3.15 -4.43 -2.82
Mar 2013 -3.79 -5.11 -2.46
Apr 2013 -3.82 -5.45 -1.88
May 2013 -4.11 -5.37 -2.82
Jun 2013 -2.74 -4.24 -0.9
Jul 2013 -1.9 -3.03 -0.7
Aug 2013 -1 -1.84 -0.05
Sep 2013 -0.31 -1.39 1.13
Oct 2013 0 -0.59 0.66
Nov 2013 1.25 1.06 1.59
Dec 2013 2.36 2.64 2.5
Jan 2014 3.14 3.31 3.63
Feb 2014 3.5 3.9 4.38
Mar 2014 4.07 4.66 3.85
Apr 2014 3.97 5.04 2.97
May 2014 4.66 5.68 3.69
Jun 2014 4.7 6.49 2.74
Jul 2014 4.7 6.77 2.61
Aug 2014 5.16 6.57 4
Sep 2014 5.26 7.34 3.05
Oct 2014 5.95 7.99 4.02
Nov 2014 5.82 8.15 3.27
Dec 2014 6.07 8.24 4.06
Jan 2015 6.1 8.79 3.12
Feb 2015 6.48 9.84 2.88
Mar 2015 7.45 11.2 3.66
Apr 2015 8.56 12.55 4.72
May 2015 9.58 14.28 4.88
Jun 2015 10.42 15.06 5.71
Jul 2015 11.45 16.6 6.16
Aug 2015 12.4 18.28 6.4
Sep 2015 14.04 19.55 8.94
Oct 2015 15.27 20.44 10.85
Nov 2015 17.59 22.98 13.41
Dec 2015 18.63 24.61 13.22
Jan 2016 20.4 26.18 15.62
Feb 2016 22.59 27.7 18.38
Mar 2016 23.41 28.25 19
Apr 2016 25.72 30.79 20.72
May 2016 29.75 36.9 22.67
Jun 2016 31.9 38.5 25.56
Jul 2016 32.44 37.56 27.85
Aug 2016 31.17 35.1 27.93
Sep 2016 28.27 32.32 24.71
Oct 2016 25 28.4 21.97
Nov 2016 21.21 22.83 19.75
Dec 2016 18.33 18.33 18.79
Jan 2017 15.77 15.15 16.8
Feb 2017 13.89 12.01 16.65
Mar 2017 13.04 10.13 17.38
Apr 2017 11.84 7.83 17.67
May 2017 9.4 3.22 18.5
Jun 2017 8.14 1.39 17.89
Jul 2017 8.81 1.75 18.72
Aug 2017 9.51 2.07 19.34
Sep 2017 10.74 2.6 21.21
Oct 2017 12.36 3.84 22.89
Nov 2017 13.96 5.74 24.09
Dec 2017 15.87 7.8 25.85
Jan 2018 16.95 8.36 27.39
Feb 2018 17.06 8.5 26.82
Mar 2018 16.3 7.52 25.76
Apr 2018 14.16 5.02 23.27
May 2018 11.27 2.29 19.79
Jun 2018 9.24 0.55 16.94
Jul 2018 6.56 -1.69 13.54
Aug 2018 4.13 -3.34 10.28
Sep 2018 2.09 -4.65 7.41
Oct 2018 0.91 -5.05 5.57
Nov 2018 -1.46 -6.21 2
Dec 2018 -2.6 -7.4 0.62
Jan 2019 -4.49 -9.01 -1.54
Feb 2019 -6.13 -9.84 -3.78
Mar 2019 -7.71 -10.35 -5.83
Apr 2019 -8.43 -10.82 -6.65
May 2019 -8.87 -11.29 -7.26
Jun 2019 -9.57 -10.9 -8.87
Jul 2019 -9.41 -10.5 -8.8
Aug 2019 -8.3 -9.8 -7.34
Sep 2019 -7.3 -8.6 -6.37
Oct 2019 -6.4 -7.5 -5.78
Nov 2019 -4.6 -5.8 -3.72
Dec 2019 -3.1 -4 -2.51
Jan 2020 -1.2 -1.7 -0.94
Feb 2020 0.3 -0.7 0.96
Mar 2020 2.1 0.7 2.94
Apr 2020 2.5 2.3 2.73
May 2020 2.9 2.9 2.95
Jun 2020 3.5 3.6 3.58
Jul 2020 4.5 5 4.2
Aug 2020 5.3 6.6 4.5
Sep 2020 5.8 7.8 4.5
 
Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Sales Reach A September Record

Greater Vancouver real estate sales reached a new record for the month. REBGV reported 3,643 sales in September, up 19.6% from the month before. This represents an increase of 56.2% compared to the same month last year. It was actually so busy, it was 44.8% above the 10-year average for September.  

Greater Vancouver Composite Sales Vs. Listings

The number of homes sold vs total inventory in Greater Vancouver.

SalesListingsJan 2015Mar 2015May 2015Jul 2015Sep 2015Nov 2015Jan 2016Mar 2016May 2016Jul 2016Sep 2016Nov 2016Jan 2017Mar 2017May 2017Jul 2017Sep 2017Nov 2017Jan 2018Mar 2018May 2018Jul 2018Sep 2018Nov 2018Jan 2019Mar 2019May 2019Jul 2019Sep 2019Nov 2019Jan 2020Mar 2020May 2020Jul 2020Sep 202002,0004,0006,0008,00010,00012,00014,00016,000Homes
MonthSalesListings
Jan 2015 1,913 10,811
Feb 2015 3,061 11,898
Mar 2015 4,060 12,376
Apr 2015 4,179 12,436
May 2015 4,056 12,336
Jun 2015 4,375 12,181
Jul 2015 3,978 11,505
Aug 2015 3,362 10,897
Sep 2015 3,345 10,805
Oct 2015 3,646 9,569
Nov 2015 3,524 8,096
Dec 2015 2,827 6,024
Jan 2016 2,519 6,635
Feb 2016 4,172 7,299
Mar 2016 5,173 7,358
Apr 2016 4,781 7,550
May 2016 4,769 7,726
Jun 2016 4,400 7,812
Jul 2016 3,226 8,351
Aug 2016 2,489 8,506
Sep 2016 2,253 9,354
Oct 2016 2,233 9,143
Nov 2016 2,214 8,385
Dec 2016 1,714 6,345
Jan 2017 1,523 7,238
Feb 2017 2,425 7,594
Mar 2017 3,579 7,586
Apr 2017 3,553 7,813
May 2017 4,364 8,168
Jun 2017 3,893 8,515
Jul 2017 2,960 9,194
Aug 2017 3,043 8,807
Sep 2017 2,821 9,466
Oct 2017 3,022 9,137
Nov 2017 2,795 8,747
Dec 2017 2,016 6,958
Jan 2018 1,818 6,947
Feb 2018 2,207 7,822
Mar 2018 2,517 8,380
Apr 2018 2,579 9,822
May 2018 2,833 11,292
Jun 2018 2,425 11,947
Jul 2018 2,070 12,137
Aug 2018 1,929 11,824
Sep 2018 1,595 13,084
Oct 2018 1,966 12,984
Nov 2018 1,608 12,307
Dec 2018 1,072 10,275
Jan 2019 1,103 10,808
Feb 2019 1,484 11,590
Mar 2019 1,727 12,774
Apr 2019 1,829 14,357
May 2019 2,638 14,685
Jun 2019 2,077 14,968
Jul 2019 2,557 14,240
Aug 2019 2,231 13,396
Sep 2019 2,333 13,084
Oct 2019 2,858 12,236
Nov 2019 2,498 10,770
Dec 2019 2,016 8,603
Jan 2020 1,571 8,617
Feb 2020 2,150 9,195
Mar 2020 2,524 9,606
Apr 2020 1,109 9,389
May 2020 1,485 9,927
Jun 2020 2,443 11,424
Jul 2020 3,128 12,083
Aug 2020 3,047 12,803
Sep 2020 3,643 13,096
 
Source: REBGV, Better Dwelling.

New Sellers Of Greater Vancouver Real Estate Rise Over 31%

Greater Vancouver real estate is seeing an uptick in the number of sellers hitting the market as well. REBGV reported 6,402 new listings in September, up 10.1% from the month before. This represents an increase of 31.6% compared to the same month last year. The increase is substantial, but if you recall – not quite as much as the sales increase. This left total inventory tighter than last year at this time. 

Greater Vancouver’s total real estate inventory grew, but not by much. REBGV reported 13,096 new listings in September, up 2.3% from the month before. This works out to an increase of 2.6% when compared to the same month last year. When measured by total inventory, this would appear to be a tight market. However, due to the large uptick in new listings, inventory is still in the balanced range.

Generally speaking, Greater Vancouver real estate sales are very strong. Breaking it down, the picture isn’t quite as clear and straightforward. Total inventory looks tight, but the sales to new listings ratio is balanced. When looking at segments, we see detached prices are responsible for more gains. Meanwhile, condo apartment prices are cheaper than they were a month before. This isn’t just a Vancouver trend though, it’s also similar to what Toronto is seeing as well.


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Canada real estate: RBC Economics forecasts drop in condo prices in major markets in 2021


 

  • Bank economist Robert Hogue sees lesser appeal of big-city living.
 
  • Bank economist Robert Hogue sees lesser appeal of big-city living.STEPHEN H/UNSPLASH

For hopeful home buyers, next year may be a good time.

If it’s a condo in big markets like Vancouver or Toronto that they’re looking for, 2021 could be their lucky year.

A recent RBC Economics report forecasts a softening of condo prices in major residential markets.

“The bottom line is we expect condo prices to weaken in larger markets next year…,” economist Robert Hogue wrote.

 

In September 2020, condo prices declined slightly month-over-month in markets represented by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

REBGV covers Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, West Vancouver, and Whistler.

 

In its report on October 2, the board noted that sales of condos reached 1,596 last month, a 36.9 percent increase compared to the 1,166 sales in September 2019.

The benchmark price increased 4.5 percent increase from September 2019, but declined 0.3 percent compared to August 2020.

The price of a typical condo in REBGV markets was $683,500 last month.

Compared to three months ago, September’s benchmark price for condos represents a 0.4 percent increase.

However, when compared to six months ago, last month’s price was a 0.9 percent decrease.

Meanwhile, benchmark prices of detached homes and townhouses in the region in September 2020 increased month-over-month by 1.1 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, in September.

The same happened in areas covered by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. These are Surrey, North Delta, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission.

In September 2020, the benchmark price of a condo in FVREB markets was $436,900, a  0.1 percent decline compared to August of the same year.

Meanwhile, prices of detached homes and townhouses in the region increased 1.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, over August.

Hogue made the prediction about weakening condo prices as part of his broader report about the Canadian housing situation and COVID-19.

The forecast comes in the heels of previous observations regarding a shift in buyer preference from condos to detached homes because of the pandemic.

Last July, Statistics Canada predicted such a shift.

“As working from home becomes more prevalent,” the agency stated,” we may see an increase in the demand for larger living spaces that single-family homes can offer, causing a shift in demand from condominium apartments towards single houses.”

On September 4, Hogue released a commentary about the August 2020 housing market, noting that buyers nationwide are “demonstrating a stronger preference for single-detached homes”.

Moreover, the “growing penchant for single-detached homes is supporting stronger price increases in that category”.

In his latest report on September 30, Hogue wrote that the “impact of COVID-19 on the housing market is complex”.

According to Hogie, it will “lead to diverging price trends among regions and housing categories”.

“It is cooling demand for and boosting supply of rentals in large urban areas,” the economist explained. “This, in turn, is reducing investor interest in condos.”

As noted previously, the pandemic is “also altering the housing needs of many current owners who look for more spacious properties in less crowded settings”.

“This is simultaneously shifting demand from condo apartments to single-detached homes and other low-rise categories, and increasing the supply of smaller condos in core urban areas,” Hogue wrote.

Moreover, “Work-from-home arrangements and the lesser appeal of big-city living (with reduced cultural and socializing opportunities during these times of social distancing) are increasingly driving buyers further away from downtown locations into suburbs, exurbs and even cottage country.”

 
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Please visit our Open House at 805 4818 ELDORADO MEWS in Vancouver.
Open House on Sunday, October 4, 2020 12:00PM - 1:00PM
Spotless, and every-amenity-you-need condo, in a quiet, concrete building near Kingsway and Nanaimo. Modern chef's kitchen with gas range, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. Fully tiled European spa bathroom with soaker tub. Balcony with mountain views. Fantastic opportunity in the city! Extremely well laid out Jr 1 Bed. Solid well managed building with fitness center, lounge/games room, and a sunny rooftop terrace! Located in a PRIME LOCATION steps to Skytrain! Downtown Vancouver, Burnaby/Metrotown and Richmond for all your shopping, dining and entertainment needs within minutes! Live-in caretaker. 1 parking and 1 storage locker included.
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Shangri-La tower glass windows could 'spontaneously' shatter, warns strata

The strata includes 234 condo units at Shangri-La Live/Work, which covers floors 16 to 42, sandwiched between a hotel below, and more luxury, residential units above.

VANCOUVER, 1128 W Georgia St, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Strata minutes suggest that the Shangri-La's glass windows could need to be replaced at a cost of more than $60 million....................(Photo credit: Francis Georgian / Postmedia) , Vancouver. VancouvrReporter: ,  ( Francis Georgian   /  PNG staff [PNG Merlin Archive]Strata minutes suggest that the Shangri-La's glass windows could need to be replaced at a cost of more than $60 million. PHOTO BY FRANCIS GEORGIAN /PNG

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Strata owners have, for some years, drawn attention to allegedly faulty glass windows in residential condo units at the 62-storey Shangri-La tower in downtown Vancouver.

There have been complaints, some filed in civil claims, about alleged fogging caused by moisture trapped in between the panes that make up what are known as insulated glass units (IGU), or windows.

But there are now more serious concerns.

According to recent strata minutes, the inner panes of the IGUs apparently “suffer from a nickel sulphide inclusion and/or manufacturing defects, which can cause (them) to spontaneously shatter.”

Minutes described the possibility of windows cracking as a “real and unacceptable risk.”

The minutes also said some outer panes in the IGUs have “thermal stress fractures” that could mean “that sections of the cracked glass could … eventually become separated from the main assembly and fall to the areas surrounding the curtainwall, (and be) a source of risk for danger to the life and health of pedestrian traffic walking anywhere near the base of the building, the swimming pool area, as well as to occupants of other units.”

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AWM Alliance Real Estate Group Ltd., which manages the property, did not reply to Postmedia queries about the situation and whether it was taking any additional safety measures.

The strata includes 234 condo units at Shangri-La Live/Work, which covers floors 16 to 42, sandwiched between a hotel below, and more luxury residential units above.

Reports in a notice of civil claim filed some years ago mostly focused on condensation, with water dripping or sealant missing. There had also been earlier complaints about staining, and years of various engineering and legal investigations have ensued and continue.

The recent minutes noted that, over the years, shattered inner panes of glass meant some windows had already been removed and replaced on nine floors.

The minutes pointed to a recent amendment in early July to another notice of civil claim, which was launched by the strata in 2015.

This amendment names as defendants a list of developers, contractors and suppliers, including ones associated with Westbank Corp., the developer of the Shangri-La tower, and builders Ledcor Construction.

The building was completed in 2009.

The minutes said up to 70 per cent of the IGUs are allegedly failing “prematurely by decades and reaching just a fraction of their expected lifespan of 40 years.”

There is a different strata of units on floors 43 to 62 of the skyscraper, which is also separately seeking to remedy similar issues with its windows.

In all, each strata at the tower has two legal actions underway, one to recover costs under warranty via insurers and the other against developers, builders and contractors. All four cases have been set to be heard in October 2021.

Meeting minutes noted the cost of replacing all of the windows could be $65 million for the two stratas.

Between 2010 and 2011 in Toronto, when there were some 15 cases of shattered balcony glass crashing from tall downtown condos onto the streets below, some owners launched class-action suits against developers and contractors.

jlee-young@postmedia.com

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I have listed a new property at 805 4818 ELDORADO MEWS in Vancouver.
Fantastic opportunity in the city! Don't miss this extremely well laid out Jr 1 Bed complete with chef's kitchen with S/S appliances, granite countertops, fully tiled spa-like bathroom, laminate flooring and private balcony overlooking the city. Solid well managed building with fitness center, lounge/games room and a sunny rooftop terrace! Located in a PRIME LOCATION steps to Skytrain! Downtown Vancouver, Burnaby/Metrotown and Richmond for all your shopping, dining and entertainment needs within minutes! 1 parking and 1 storage locker included.
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10 East Vancouver condos for sale under $400,000

What they lack in bedrooms and square footage, these listings make up for in price and a Vancouver address.

PHOTO BY REW.CA

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Believe it or not, there are still condos available in East Vancouver for under $400,000. Most are studios, yes, but there are a few one-bedrooms and even the occasional two-bedroom.

In a 2019 moneysense.ca article, the area’s neighbourhoods (Knight, Hastings, Victoria, Collingwood, Renfrew, Grandview and Mount Pleasant) came in at #3-9, respectively, for best areas in Vancouver to buy real estate.

Here are 10 condos throughout East Vancouver listed on REW.ca for under $400,000.

1. $399,900: 210-1099 E. Broadway

One bedroom, one bathroom, 541 sq. ft.
Bright, airy, and freshly painted, this Mount Pleasant unit features a large bedroom, renovated kitchen, updated bathroom, and balcony. In-suite laundry, in-suite storage, parking, and extra storage locker are also included. Pets are welcome.

2. $399,900: 103-813 E. Broadway

One bedroom, one bathroom, 764 sq. ft.
This ground floor unit includes a den that could work as a second bedroom. Features include hickory hardwood flooring, granite countertops, crown mouldings, in-suite storage, and in-suite laundry. One cat allowed but sorry, no dogs.

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3. $399,900: 105-725 Commercial Dr.

One bedroom, one bathroom, 697 sq. ft.
Commercial Drive is right outside your door in this Place DeVito suite. It’s been completely renovated; the kitchen, appliances, quartz countertops, backsplash, flooring and bathroom are all new. The unit also has an extra-large patio with a private side entrance. Parking and storage included. No dogs allowed.

4. $399,000: 402-5189 Gaston Ave.

One bedroom, one bathroom, 593 sq. ft.
Steps from Joyce SkyTrain Station, this one-bedroom home features southeast exposure and recent renovations, including new laminate flooring, LED lighting, and bathroom fixtures. Upgrades also include the (covered) balcony flooring. Parking and storage included.

5. $399,000: 210-1545 E. 2nd Ave.

0 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 433 sq. ft.
The selling points of this studio in the Talishan Woods building include proximity (two blocks) to Commercial Drive, new bathroom cabinetry, and new granite countertops. Other designer touches include quality tiles and fixtures and planked laminate waterproof flooring. Pets are allowed, rentals are too but are currently at limit. Parking and storage included.

6. $389,900: 102-33 N. Templeton Dr.

1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 479 sq. ft.
Highlights of this one-bedroom unit with 370-square-foot patio include an updated bathroom and kitchen appliances, laminate flooring, granite counters, and an open kitchen. One pet allowed. Tenanted to Oct 31, 2020.

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7. $389,000: 120-2390 McGill Ave.

1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 636 sq. ft.
Located in 12-unit McGill Manor in Hastings-Sunrise, this east-facing ground-floor condo comes with a spacious private patio. Also included: in-suite laundry, storage locker, and underground gated parking stall. Rentals and pets allowed.

8. $378,800: 306-711 E. 6th Ave.

1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 511 sq. ft.
New appliances and a private balcony are among the highlights of this Mount Pleasant condo. Recent building updates include new roof, balcony resurfacing, and plumbing. Rentals and pets allowed, parking and storage included.

9. $352,000: 104-2250 Oxford St.

0 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 525 sq. ft.
Rentals are allowed in this north-facing, low-priced Hastings-Sunrise ground-floor studio, which comes with a private 500-square-foot patio. Pets allowed. Parking and storage included.

10. $349,900: 103-29 Templeton Dr.

1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 500 sq. ft.
This northwest corner ground floor unit comes with a patio (and hot tub) off the bedroom. Other features include in-suite laundry, laminate floors, and a window alcove seating area large enough for a single/guest bed. Pets and rentals allowed, storage locker and parking included.

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The renovated kitchen and bathroom give this condo at 1330 Hornby Street a sparkling new look.

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This humble, 7,236-square-foot downtown four-bedroom (with seven baths) unit in the Hotel Georgia has ‘entertainment-sized’ living and dining areas boast advanced tech, a billiard room, wet bar and wine room.

8 condos over $10 million in the Lower Mainland

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11 condos under $500,000 in downtown Vancouver

There's plenty on the market for under $500,000 in downtown Vancouver, you just have to know where to look.

The renovated kitchen and bathroom give this Hornby Court studio a sparkling new look.The renovated kitchen and bathroom give this condo at 1330 Hornby Street a sparkling new look. PHOTO BY COURTESY OF REW.CA /PNG

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Are people fleeing downtown Vancouver for the suburbs? Not exactly. But while much of the rest of Metro Vancouver has seen an upswing in sales in the last couple of months, downtown condos are holding steady, with supply outpacing demand.

“This is the first time since May 2014 that we have seen over 1,000 active (condo) listings in downtown Vancouver,” realtor Ian Watt told the Sun earlier this month. Watt’s specialty is Yaletown condos. Listings have gone up by 54 per cent since August 2019.

This means it’s a verging on a buyers’ market in downtown west. Courtesy of REW.ca, here’s what you can get for less than $500,000:

One of two one-bedrooms on this list, this 570-square-foot unit features southwest facing views and a gas fireplace among other things.One of two one-bedrooms on this list, this 570-square-foot unit features southwest facing views and a gas fireplace among other things. Courtesy of REW.ca PHOTO BY REW/HANDOUT /PNG

1. $499,900: 2001-63 Keefer Pl.

The first of two one-bedrooms in this list—the rest are studios—this 570-square-foot unit comes with southwest facing views and a gas fireplace, air conditioning, in-suite laundry, underground parking and storage. Building (the Europa) amenities include a pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise centre and concierge. Pets and rentals allowed.

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Building amenities include indoor pool, hot tub, dry sauna, change room, gym, party room, outdoor garden and bike room.Building amenities include indoor pool, hot tub, dry sauna, change room, gym, party room, outdoor garden and bike room. Courtesy of REW.ca PHOTO BY REW/HANDOUT /PNG

2. $499,000: 803-1188 Howe St.

Granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and new laminate floor are among the features in this open-plan 495-square-foot one-bedroom. Building amenities include; indoor pool, hot tub, dry sauna, change room, gym, party room, outdoor garden and bike room.

This is an concept 412-square-foot studio.This is an concept 412-square-foot studio. Courtesy of REW.ca PHOTO BY REW/HANDOUT /PNG

3. $497,000: 308-969 Richards St.

Contemporary cabinets, open concept 412-square-footer with built-in Murphy-bed, built-in closets and storage rooms. Building (the Mondrian 2) amenities: exercise room, whirlpool, and steam room. Pets and rentals allowed. No parking.

This south-east corner studio features a bedroom-sized den that gets plenty of sun and its own parking stall.This south-east corner studio features a bedroom-sized den that gets plenty of sun and its own parking stall. Courtesy of REW.ca PHOTO BY REW/HANDOUT /PNG

4. $490,000: 315-1189 Howe St.

This south-east corner studio (497 square feet) features a bedroom-sized den that gets plenty of sun, when available, courtesy of floor-to-ceiling windows spanning from east to south. Parking stall included. It’s one of four under condos in this list in the Genesis, whose amenities include pool, hot tub, sauna, gym, billiards lounge, media room, guest suite, 5,000-square-foot terrace garden, 24-hour concierge and security patrol. Pets and rentals allowed.

This east-facing 412-square-foot studio offers a solid urban view and lots of natural sunlight.This east-facing 412-square-foot studio offers a solid urban view and lots of natural sunlight. Courtesy of REW.ca PHOTO BY REW/HANDOUT /PNG

5. $489,900: 705-1225 Richards St.

This east-facing 412-square-foot studio offers a solid urban view and lots of natural sunlight. It comes with a Murphy bed and in-suite laundry. Building (Eden) amenities: a guest suite, party room, gym, and hot tub. Pets and rentals allowed.

This studio features granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and in-suite laundry.This studio features granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and in-suite laundry. Courtesy of REW.ca PHOTO BY REW/HANDOUT /PNG

6. $461,000: 304-1155 Seymour St.

Studio (470 square feet) and den in an end-corner suite. Features include granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and built-in Murphy bed, in-suite laundry, balcony and storage locker. Building amenities: outdoor pool and spa, sauna/steam room, party/meeting rooms and concierge. Pets and rentals allowed.

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This corner studio includes a flex space.This corner studio includes a flex space. Courtesy of REW.ca PHOTO BY REW/HANDOUT /PNG

7. $438,000: 609-1189 Howe St.

Corner studio (439-square-feet) with a flex space, and a balcony with a view of the city and courtyard.

This studio measures 408 square feet.This studio measures 408 square feet. Courtesy of REW.ca PHOTO BY REW/HANDOUT /PNG

8. $429,000: 502-1189 Howe St.

Another studio in the Genesis building, this one 408 square feet with in-suite laundry and a balcony.

This 429-square-foot studio includes flex space and a patio.This 429-square-foot studio includes flex space and a patio. Courtesy of REW.ca PHOTO BY REW/HANDOUT /PNG

9. $425,800: 214-1189 Howe St.

429-square-foot studio with flex space and patio (94 square feet). Located on the second-level courtyard of the Genesis. Parking stall included.

No pets allowed in this 397-square-foot studio.No pets allowed in this 397-square-foot studio. Courtesy of REW.ca PHOTO BY REW/HANDOUT /PNG

10. $425,000: 408-789 Drake St.

A 397-square-foot corner unit open studio, shared laundry. Rentals yes, pets no. Shared laundry.

The renovated kitchen and bathroom give this Hornby Court studio a sparkling new look.The renovated kitchen and bathroom give this Hornby Court studio a sparkling new look. Courtesy of REW.ca PHOTO BY COURTESY OF REW.CA /PNG

11. $425,000: 705-1330 Hornby St.

The renovated kitchen and bathroom (updated cabinetry, backsplash, and quartz countertops) give this 408-square-foot Hornby Court studio a sparkling new look. Custom shelving in the walk-in closet is an added bonus.

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THIS WEEK IN FLYERS

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Hail of bullets kill an accused China-Vancouver money launderer – and shatter myth of a victimless crime

  • Jian Jun Zhu, shot dead in a Canadian restaurant hit, had been accused of processing more than US$165 million per year through his underground bank
  • An anti-money-laundering expert says the shooting suggested someone did not want investigations into the underground bank to proceed
 
A bullet hole is seen in the window of Manzo Itamae Japanese restaurant in Richmond, BC, where accused money launderer Jian Jun Zhu was shot dead last week. Photos: Ian Young and The Vancouver SunA bullet hole is seen in the window of Manzo Itamae Japanese restaurant in Richmond, BC, where accused money launderer Jian Jun Zhu was shot dead last week. Photos: Ian Young and The Vancouver Sun
A bullet hole is seen in the window of Manzo Itamae Japanese restaurant in Richmond, BC, where accused money launderer Jian Jun Zhu was shot dead last week. Photos: Ian Young and The Vancouver Sun

At least seven bullets raked through the tinted windows of the Manzo Itamae Japanese Restaurant in the Vancouver satellite of Richmond, at around 7.30pm on Friday night.

The shooter fired from the northeast, at an angle almost parallel to the glass; the bullets ripped long paths through the thick pane. One round also punched dime-sized holes in the metal window frame, before tearing a 10cm (4-inch) gouge through the laminated glass at head height.

Dining on the other side of the window were accused money launderers Jian Jun Zhu and Paul King Jin. Zhu, 44, was killed. Jin, aged in his 50s, was wounded in the face.

The brazen attack, which investigators have characterised as a targeted hit on two men well known to police, also shattered any illusions about money laundering being an innocuous offence, in a city that lends its name to a particular method of smuggling money in and out of China – the “Vancouver Model”.

Paul King Jin was wounded during a shooting last week in a Richmond, BC restaurant. Photo: World Champion Club
Paul King Jin was wounded during a shooting last week in a Richmond, BC restaurant. Photo: World Champion Club

Both Zhu and Jin were the subject of investigations into Zhu’s alleged underground bank, Silver International, that officers suspected was laundering more than C$220 million (US$165 million) per year.

 
 

Although a criminal case against Zhu collapsed in 2018, the BC government launched ongoing lawsuits against both Zhu and his suspected client Jin, seeking the forfeiture of millions worth of cash, real estate and casino chips.

 

Christine Duhaime, a Toronto-based anti-money-laundering consultant who has advised Chinese and Canadian banks, said the attack suggested that someone “did not want an investigation to proceed”.

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Duhaime said the attack also put lie to the myth that money-laundering was relatively harmless: “We heard it often before in Vancouver, ‘it doesn’t harm anyone, it’s victimless’ … but it attracts a lot of other criminality. We are seeing in Vancouver the sort of thing you would once see in Macau, regarding gambling debts. We’re beginning to see the violent side of money-laundering.”

 

We believe this was, obviously, a targeted incidentSergeant Frank Jang, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

 

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Frank Jang, a spokesman for the regional integrated homicide investigation team (IHIT), confirmed Zhu’s identity, while a source with knowledge of the investigation told the SCMP that Zhu’s wounded dining companion was Paul King Jin.

The Vancouver Sun’s Kim Bolan was the first to report that Zhu and Jin were the victims.

But Jang said IHIT could not comment on the identity of the wounded man, who had been discharged from hospital. “He’s making efforts to stay out of the limelight. He’s very fearful, for himself and his family,” said Jang.

 

Jang said both victims were “well known to police”.

 

“We believe this was, obviously, a targeted incident,” he said, although IHIT was not commenting on the allegations against Zhu.

Suitcases of cash

The accusations against Zhu and Jin are laid out in lawsuits filed against them by British Columbia’s Director of Civil Forfeiture, laying claim to the pair’s assets.

 

The criminal case against Zhu collapsed for reasons that are unclear in 2018. But the forfeiture actions accuse Zhu of running Silver International as an underground bank for people associated with the drug trade.

Customers would turn up at Silver International’s office in a Richmond business centre with suitcases and large bags filled with cash, a police affidavit said. Silver International’s clients included the “Yellow Triangle Boys” triad gang, the government’s lawsuit claims.

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On October 15, 2015, police raided the office and found safes packed with more than C$2 million in cash, that sniffer dogs indicated was “positive” for drug residue, according to the lawsuit. Ledgers seized during the raid suggested Silver International was processing about C$220 million a year, police said.

Bullet holes are seen in the window of the Manzo Itamae Japanese Restaurant in Richmond, BC, where accused money launderer Jian Jun Zhu was shot dead last week. Photo: Ian Young
Bullet holes are seen in the window of the Manzo Itamae Japanese Restaurant in Richmond, BC, where accused money launderer Jian Jun Zhu was shot dead last week. Photo: Ian Young

The investigation of Silver International had started with a probe of Jin’s activities; in the separate lawsuit against him, the Director of Civil Forfeiture says Jin “has a criminal record with convictions for aggravated assault, sexual assault and sexual exploitation”, although Jin has denied the “totality” of that description.

 

A police raid on Jin’s riverside flat in Richmond and other addresses, conducted on the same day as the Silver International raid, found more than C$4.8 million in cash and C$45,000 in casino chips.

Jin had been banned from all BC casinos, having been involved in cash deliveries to high-stakes gamblers and suspected of loan sharking, the lawsuit said, and he and his associates were involved in 140 transactions involving more than C$23 million at casinos between 2012 and 2015.

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In turn, Jin and his associates would bring “suitcases, boxes and bags containing large sums of currency derived from unlawful activity” to Silver International, the lawsuit alleges.

 

In his response to the lawsuit, Jin says the cash and chips were acquired lawfully. “[Jin] has been a citizen of Canada for over twenty-five years,” his response says.

“He has been engaged in the sports of boxing and martial arts for most of his life … Mr Jin has engaged in numerous forms of lawful employment over the course of his life, including while in Canada, and has been successful in lawfully producing income for himself and his family in the process.”

 

Lawyer Bibhas Vaze, representing Jin in the forfeiture case, said he would not comment on the shooting.

Zhu, in his response to the forfeiture case, had denied “any legal basis” for the claim. “The defendant is no longer charged with any criminal offence in relation to those matters,” he had said.

The Vancouver Model

The alleged activities at Silver International have been a focus of British Columbia’s ongoing Cullen Commission into money laundering that was launched in 2019.

The commission heard how the Vancouver Model of laundering had become known internationally, premised on thwarting China’s US$50,000 annual limit on cash exports.

The model, described by criminologist Stephen Schneider to the commission in May testimony, is designed to achieve two things: smuggle Chinese money into Canada, while simultaneously laundering Canadian drug money and sending it to China.

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A person who wants to move money out of China deposits cash into Chinese bank accounts that are associated with an underground bank. The customer then travels to Canada where they are presented with Canadian currency derived from the drug trade; that cash is then converted to chips at a casino. After a gambling session, the chips are cashed out in the form of a cheque.

Manzo Itamae Japanese Restaurant in Richmond, BC, where accused money launderer Jian Jun Zhu was shot dead last week. Photo: Ian Young
Manzo Itamae Japanese Restaurant in Richmond, BC, where accused money launderer Jian Jun Zhu was shot dead last week. Photo: Ian Young

The drug traffickers meanwhile receive their funds from the underground bank in China.

By pairing two sets of customers in this way, an underground bank is able to provide each with money in different countries, effectively moving cash between countries without it being transferred physically or electronically.

 

Transnational gangs from Asia, many of which have been operating in Vancouver, are now being used to provide money laundering as a service … that’s pretty astoundingAnti-money-laundering consultant Christine Duhaime

 

Silver International was a key player in the Vancouver Model, Schneider testified.

The Vancouver Model represented a sophisticated combination of various money-laundering strategies, Duhaime said, and a confluence of circumstances had created a “perfect storm” for money-laundering in the city.

Duhaime said money-laundering in Vancouver was so sophisticated that it existed not just as a by-product of a particular criminal enterprise, but as a separate service industry.

“Transnational gangs from Asia, many of which have been operating in Vancouver, are now being used to provide money laundering as a service … that’s pretty astounding,” said Duhaime.

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Because Canada’s regulators were based in Ottawa, they tended to focus on that side of the country, she said. “It’s like Lord of the Rings. The eye is not focused on Vancouver, it’s always on Toronto, and criminals are pretty smart. They know when an area is being looked at and regulated.

“From the criminals’ perspective, they sensed early on that there was not a lot of attention on Vancouver, that the eye was somewhere else.”

The China-Vancouver money laundering industry depended entirely on China’s cash export limits, Duhaime said. “If China were to relax those, then the grey banks would go out of business,” she said.

Paul King Jin’s World Champion Club gym in Richmond. The BC government is seeking to seize Jin’s assets. Photo: World Champion Club
Paul King Jin’s World Champion Club gym in Richmond. The BC government is seeking to seize Jin’s assets. Photo: World Champion Club
Vancouver has been a focal point for Chinese money outflows for many years, as a key immigration destination for mainland millionaires and their families. Although the specifics of the Vancouver Model are certainly illegal, smuggling money out of China is not necessarily so in Canada – 
some Canadian bankers
 once tolerated the practice as part of the mortgage business.

The real estate industry in particular had long held a permissive attitude to dubious money flows, Duhaime said, and “in a nutshell, we bred a culture in which this kind of activity was permitted. Now we are trying to turn that culture around”.

“Among realtors, it’s complicated. It’s not like they were given a lot of assistance, even if they were asking for it, to comprehend what their [anti-money-laundering] obligations are. They struggled for many years, but now have a much better understanding of their obligations and a whole new system of oversight, but it has taken many years.”

But for IHIT’s Sergeant Jang, the focus now is a murder investigation.

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“We’re homicide investigators,” he said. “I know there are a lot of other police agencies involved in investigating Mr Zhu, but as far as we’re concerned he’s our victim … we’re not investigating a dead man for money laundering.”

Jang said it was still unclear whether the gunman intended to kill Zhu or Jin. “It could have been one, it could have been the other, it could have been both.”

He said police were shocked by “the brazenness, the recklessness” of the shooting, and the disregard for bystanders in the restaurant. “When we have a shooter on the other side of glass [it’s] really unpredictable where those bullets go. Lay people think a bullet goes in a straight line. That’s not always the case,” he said.

“The possibility of innocent victims, collateral damage, could have been much worse.”

Jang said IHIT was appealing for dashcam footage of the scene, including from anyone who was on busy Garden City Road between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Friday.

“There has been a lot of talk about who the victims were, but the focus of our attention should be on the shooter, the person or people who are responsible for this,” said Jang.

“It’s a very active investigation. It’s being given a lot of attention, not just from the public but from people in government. We’re working hard.”

 
 
 
 
Ian Young
 

Ian Young

Ian Young is the Post's Vancouver correspondent. A journalist for more than 20 years, he worked for Australian newspapers and the London Evening Standard before arriving in Hong Kong in 1997. There he won or shared awards for excellence in investigative reporting and human rights reporting, and the HK News Awards Scoop of the Year. He moved to Canada with his wife in 2010.

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Brock Worobel stands in the alley behind The Paris Block building in Vancouver on Sept. 18, 2020. Worobel, who has owned a condominium in the building for seven years, is concerned about the rise in crime in the neighbourhood.

TAEHOON KIM/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Condo owner Brock Worobel says he is feeling extremely uneasy living at 53 West Hastings, near Vancouver’s downtown east side.

Mr. Worobel purchased his condo in the six-storey Paris Block, just west of Carrall Street, nine years ago. It is an award-winning commercial heritage building that was converted to condos with sleek, modern interiors in 2008. It was one of the first of several new residential buildings in the area aimed at a professional young buyer, a precursor to the Woodward’s Building that came a couple of years later. Mr. Worobel says he loved his neighbourhood – until the pandemic hit.

In the past six months, he says he’s seeing new faces on the street, including drug dealers doing business in the street below. There’s been vandalism to the building, including the entrance door, which was damaged and now needs replacing. The building manager cleans up used needles , human feces and trash from the doorway daily, and he has friends who won’t visit.

“Last night for example, across the street there was a fight between one of the vendors, and this guy pulled this massive knife out of his back pocket. I’m no stranger to the stuff that goes on down here, but that was a shock to see,” Mr. Worobel says.

“If you’ve been into the area lately, this one block of West Hastings is a dangerous no-go zone. This is social chaos. It’s social disorder. It’s a textbook case of what not to do when it comes to civil society. … No one would expect or accept to have to live in something like this.”

 

The increased crime and disorder of the Downtown Eastside is pushing into other areas. Vancouver Police Deputy Chief Constable Howard Chow noted a rise in serious crimes throughout the city, as well as an increase in needles on the street, visible drug use and garbage that’s accumulating on city streets. Residents have voiced concerns, and city council has responded with a motion to look at leasing buildings as temporary shelters, as one of a few options. They also announced provincial and federal funding of half a billion dollars, some of which Mayor Kennedy Stewart said would go toward vulnerable residents without proper housing.

But Mr. Worobel questions why the situation was allowed to become so dire. His strata council has considered hiring a security guard, but it would cost around $24,000 extra a year, and some residents have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and can’t afford it, he says. Landlords in the building are seeing their tenants move out. Mr. Worobel worries that if he wanted to leave nobody would buy his condo, or even rent it, which means he’s stuck.

When COVID-19 struck, businesses throughout downtown shuttered and customers and workers left, and garbage and crime increased. Empty streets are always an unhealthy situation for an urban environment, and for the housing market. Downtown Vancouver now has the region’s worst sales to listings ratio, which is industry’s way of saying that sales have plummeted.

But the pandemic is only the tipping point: it isn’t the cause of disorder and suffering, says Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program.

What we are seeing on Vancouver’s streets is the result of policy-making that chooses supply of market-rate housing without understanding the consequences for vulnerable groups of people, he says. It’s the reckoning of an urbanist movement in the past few years that has focused too largely on free market solutions without including vulnerable people in the equation. Downtown Vancouver illustrates how such oversight can go so horribly wrong, leaving all members of the community worse off.

 

“This is the ‘triumph of the city’ style thinking meeting the consequences and realities of displacement and inequality,” Mr. Yan says. “There is an inhumanity to it because these are market failures. The market is simply not designed to meet the housing needs of those existing low-income residents who live there.”

Hani Lammam, executive vice-president of Cressey Development Group, agrees that the dire downtown situation isn’t just due to the pandemic. From his developer’s perspective, he sees the situation as a result of what happens when rampant speculation drives up real estate prices and drives affordable housing out of the market. He says the city played a role when it rezoned areas of downtown and helped drive those land values up further, gleaning higher community amenity contributions from developers. His own company was squeezed out of the downtown area as a result, and hasn’t built a project there in a decade. He says they were squeezed further by government policies and new taxes that aimed to fix the lack of affordability that followed.

A side effect is that developers who paid too much for downtown properties are just leaving them undeveloped, he says.

"All this land that has been designated for condominium development and unfortunately been speculated upon by sometimes less experienced developers is now caught in a situation where it really cannot ever be developed economically based on what has been paid for it. So downtown Vancouver is at a standstill.

“I sit here and I look at what has happened downtown, and to an extent on the west side – and Vancouverism, this concept that has been celebrated, is actually failing,” Mr. Lammam says.

“While we do blame some of those bad actors that were chasing foreign buyers, I am going to take this opportunity to say that the rezoning policies forced that to happen – when the process of determining community amenity contributions [CACs] by the city of Vancouver became this pot of gold that city council at the time wanted to get their piece of.”

 

Developers typically pay CACs to the city when a property is rezoned. CACs are based on the “land lift,” or the increase in the property’s value.

“And of course the greatest land lift is achieved when you build a super luxurious product, because you can sell it for $3,000 a foot,” Mr. Lammam says. "And so, then the land must be worth $600 a foot. But if the conclusion is it’s worth $600 a foot, then I cannot build an affordable product based on underlying land valuation. So developers were forced to go and build these lavish buildings and of course there’s no market here, ‘so let’s go sell it in China.’

“The city wasn’t just greedy; they drove it in that direction,” Mr. Lammam says. “That had a snowball effect, because once this project achieved this selling price, then every other property valued is based on that success – whether it was a rezoning or not a rezoning. So, I would say we got caught up in that in some of our west side projects, where in order for us to buy the land we had to pay so much for it, because the [comparables] with the marketplace now, we could sell for $2,000 a foot, or $2,500 a foot.”

The reasons may vary, but business players and homelessness activists alike are looking for government to help the community recover.

Craig Stanghetta, business owner and designer known for the interiors of many popular restaurants, including Savio Volpe, Kissa Tanto and Bao Bei, has had his office in the area for years, and he’s shocked at the decline. Fellow business owners in the area have been hammered by the economic downturn and again by the influx of additional crime and vandalism, he says.

“I am a terrified bystander right now,” Mr. Stanghetta says. "I think that there is a bit of leadership required, where I think the idea of how to help a disenfranchised segment of the population is not working.

 

“All I’ve seen is it get worse and worse. … .I am left wing in my political leanings, but it comes down to pragmatically how you have to go about your day, and I have pretty much an all-female staff and if they don’t feel safe coming into the office – then that’s a broken system. It’s not fair, frankly. So I am hoping there is a re-evaluation of [the situation] for the greater good.”

Jon Stovell is president and chief executive officer of Reliance Properties, which owns several rental projects throughout downtown, including Canada’s first micro-suite rental building Burns Block at 18 West Hastings St. That building is seeing high turnover due to open drug use and heightened disorder, including people urinating at the entrance and spitting on the building speakerphone. Police have accompanied sanitation workers on their clean ups of the street.

A 240-square-foot unit is renting for $1,360 a month on Reliance website. A 300-square-foot apartment is available for $1,500 a month.

Mr. Stovell, whose office is in Gastown, says he’s been attacked on social media for publicly complaining about the area’s mounting social problems. But, he says, we need to discuss the matter of separating drug addiction and treatment from illegal behaviours, which still need to be addressed in order to protect members of society.

“If you’re an alcoholic you’re not allowed to drive drunk … but when it comes to crime related to drug addiction it seems [illegal behaviours] are increasingly being treated as part of the malaise of drug addiction, and therefore are being increasingly permitted and overlooked by society.”

Housing activist Wendy Pedersen blames inadequate rent control for vulnerable groups as a major contributor. Rents increase as soon as tenants of single-room occupancy (SRO) hotel units vacate. Because of previous city policy, hundreds of welfare-rate SROs have been lost in recent years and social housing has not kept pace by a long shot. Investors who’d purchased properties occupied by low-income residents have paid or harassed tenants to leave, she says. Also, landlords have evicted a lot of people who were living as guests of SRO tenants.

 

“Yeah people will get more desperate, and maybe people are more edgy and angry because of the situation that they find themselves in. I think I would be angrier and edgier too,” says Ms. Pedersen, who’s lived in the Downtown Eastside for 30 years. "There is a lot more garbage on the street, but I think when you have more people the street you get more garbage If they can’t be a guest, if they can’t rent a place because rooms are converting out of reach, if BC Housing has 15,000 people on their waiting list, where are they going to put their garbage?

“You are in crisis survival mode. I’d be throwing my garbage on the street took, especially if I had a mental-health issue untreated and the drugs I’m taking are contaminated. It’s obvious.”

Ms. Pedersen asks people to see the failure with the system, and not the individuals.

"They need to advocate for systemic solutions, and not get on the wrong side of this, which is to punish the individuals, criminalize people, criminalize the homeless and people addicted to drugs.

“Housing is key. It’s one of those fundamental pillars that needs to be solved.”

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Visit the Zero Canada Project hub to find out how you can connect with our partner organizations such as CAMH, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, United Way 211 and more
 
 
 
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Imagine a Vancouver with homes the middle-class can afford.

Help us start Making HOME.

Learn More Take Action

 

Make Vancouver affordable for the middle-class.

Not too long ago, people from across the country or around the world could come to Vancouver, work hard and build a middle-class life. Generations of families invested in homes that helped them establish secure lives in our city, raise kids, and create strong and vibrant communities.

But today, these kinds of communities are becoming hollowed out. People can’t afford to live in the neighbourhoods where they grew up, making it harder for families to support each other.

It doesn’t need to be this way.

With the average price of a detached home in East Vancouver being $1.4 million, the options are now limited to condos, renting, or more and more often leaving town.

 

Imagine a vibrant Vancouver with more affordable homes in all neighbourhoods.

What if we could introduce a new option? What if instead of building just multi-million dollar homes, we could build more small multi-unit homes instead? Imagine if multi-generation families or groups of friends owned homes together, including households that make just $80,000 a year?

Making HOME (Home Options for Middle-income Earners) is a new program that will:

  • Make owning a home in Vancouver a reality again for people like teachers, tradespeople, artists, health care workers and small business owners.
  • Make it easier for seniors to stay close to their families.
  • And make it possible for the next generation to stay in Vancouver.

How does it work?

Instead of building one big house that only 2.5 percent of Vancouver residents can afford, Making HOME will allow small-scale, multi-family housing to be built on a standard lot, with a set amount of living area put aside for households making a middle-income.

The house would look like any other house, except it might have four front doors. Three for families that make around $150,000 a year (like two teachers, or an accountant and a tradesperson). And one door reserved for middle-income earners – forever.

On larger lots, there could be up to four market homes available, with two set aside for middle-income earners. Again, guaranteed forever.

Meet Sarah, she’s looking to downsize.

Sarah has owned her home for more than 20 years. Her kids have grown up and her home is feeling a bit empty. The neighbourhood is too, because no one’s kids can afford to live where they once grew up.

But Sarah wants to take advantage of Making HOME to change that. She hires a builder to redevelop her one big, empty home into four smaller homes. She keeps one of the units for herself, she sells two of the remaining market homes to a couple of young professionals, and she sells the guaranteed middle-income home to her daughter who makes $80,000 a year.

All of these new neighbours used to rent, but now thanks to Sarah and Making HOME, they can all create a new community and Sarah’s daughter can live really close by!

Meet Devon, Alex, Juan and Jennifer: Four friends with big dreams.

Devon and his three friends always thought they would have to eventually leave Vancouver to buy a home and raise a family. But now, thanks to Making HOME, they’ve decided to buy a home together and build their own small community.

Together, they all qualify for a joint mortgage so they can buy and redevelop a home together. Devon and Alex are both mid-career and can afford one of the market units. Juan owns his own company and can also buy a market unit. Jennifer is an artist and makes around $80,000 with her partner so they qualify for the middle-income unit. The last unit they sell on the market to a family of new Canadians who never thought they would be able to buy a home in Vancouver.

Let's bring houses back to the middle class.

Sign up to stay up-to-date on our work to make Vancouver more affordable for the middle class.

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Vancouver mayor touts new housing program for middle-income earners

Proposal opens door for property owners to build up to six small homes on one lot

 

Mayor Kennedy Stewart announced Monday a new housing program aimed at providing more housing for people on incomes of $80,000 to $120,000 per year | File photo Dan Toulgoet

Mayor Kennedy Stewart announced Monday a new housing program that proposes allowing property owners to build up to six small homes on a standard-sized single-family lot.

The catch is two additional homes — whether they all be built in one big new building or spread across the property — have to be sold to a person or persons with a household income of $80,000 to $120,000 per year.

Under the proposal, owners could convert or redevelop a single-detached house into multiple homes, keep one for themselves or other family members, and sell the remaining homes to middle-income earners.

“Imagine homes where seniors can age in place right next door to their children and grandchildren, close enough to ask for or lend a hand, but with a private home of their own,” Stewart told reporters. “Imagine homes that groups of young professionals can develop together — homes they work out of and build a community around.”

 

Various scenarios could unfold under the program, with up to six homes built or fewer, but the focus is to ensure one home be affordable to a middle-income household and a covenant applied to make that affordability permanent.

The proposal is called “Making HOME —Housing Options for Middle-Income Earners” and will be introduced in the form of an amendment to a motion from Coun. Lisa Dominato at Wednesday’s council meeting.

If approved by council, staff will explore further details on the proposal, with the mayor wanting to launch a pilot project next year of 100 homes. The pilot would exclude homes with renters, so not to displace them, and heritage homes.

The goal is to create more affordable housing for people who can’t afford to purchase a home in Vancouver, said Stewart, noting such a program would build an inventory of homes not subject to ever-rising property values and harmful speculation.

The average price of a detached home on the East Side of the city is $1.4 million. A buyer would have to be in the top 2.5 per cent of earners to afford such a home, according to information supplied by the mayor’s office.

Currently, almost 60 per cent of land in Vancouver is zoned for single-family detached homes, with a total of 68,000 lots across the city, with prices of homes on the West Side considerably higher.

A 2017 study by the city found that 71 per cent of respondents said they moved out of Vancouver because they needed affordable housing. A total of 51 per cent said they couldn’t afford to live in their preferred neighbourhood.

mhowell@vancourier.com

@Howellings


 

 


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Joshua Gordon is an assistant professor in the Simon Fraser University School of Public Policy.

If you follow the housing debates in Toronto and Vancouver, you’ll have undoubtedly heard the claim that the affordability challenges facing both cities are the result of supply problems. Common complaints include a lack of new housing, burdensome regulation and flawed zoning.

This “supply narrative” has been endlessly repeated. There’s only one problem: there’s no good evidence for it.

Consider the following pieces of inconvenient evidence. First, there have been no major changes to the regulatory framework around supply in either city since the early 2010s. Yet benchmark house prices in both cities have risen between 75 per cent (Vancouver) and 115 per cent (Toronto) since 2010. If there has been no significant regulatory change on the supply side, then this suggests that price appreciation reflects changes on the demand side of the equation.

Second, rates of housing construction have remained very strong for several years. In fact, in Vancouver there were more housing completions from 2015 to 2020, in the midst of the housing crisis, than there were in any five-year period before that. In Toronto, the rate of housing completions in the same recent period was second only, for recent decades, to the pace set between 2000 and 2004.

 

This broad pattern applies to rental construction too. For example, Vancouver saw more rental completions in the five years from 2015 to 2020 than in the previous 15 years before that combined; Toronto, meanwhile, saw the fastest pace of rental construction since the early 1990s.

Rather than weak supply, then, the issue has been intense demand pressures, including cheap credit, foreign ownership, speculation and high rental demand emanating from a previously strong labour market.

Third, sharp increases in housing prices have happened in many cities surrounding Toronto and Vancouver, even though there are far fewer regulatory and geographic supply constraints in those areas. This suggests that housing prices can rise sharply in the face of strong demand pressures, regardless of the regulations in place.

Fourth is the question of zoning. A common claim by so-called YIMBY (“yes in my back yard”) activists is that single-detached zoning is a central cause of housing unaffordability, since it constrains the land that can be developed and thereby drives up land and housing prices. However, there is no clear relationship between the prevalence of single-detached zoning in Canada and the level of affordability in a city. If anything, Canadian cities with the highest share of single-detached houses have the least intense affordability challenges – the opposite of the hypothesized relationship. Indeed, Vancouver has the lowest share of single-detached housing among urban areas in Canada, while Toronto is fourth-lowest.

Of course, that pattern exists not because single-detached zoning causes improved affordability. Rather, it’s because strong demand pressures tend to cause both denser housing patterns and higher prices.

 

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Housing form is basically irrelevant to the affordability challenges in an urban area. That’s why Hong Kong and Manhattan are highly unaffordable, even with no single detached houses in sight. Similarly, paragons of “missing middle” housing, such as London and Stockholm, are also highly unaffordable.

The commonality between these expensive cities is very strong demand pressure, not housing form or zoning – and that’s the best indication of what’s driving prices up.

There are several peer-reviewed articles that document the connection between demand-side factors and housing prices in Toronto and Vancouver, particularly the role of foreign ownership and speculation. Yet that peer-reviewed research is dismissed or ignored by advocates of the supply narrative. In fact, the case for the supply narrative is so weak that, after several years of research in this field, I have yet to encounter a single academic peer-reviewed article which documents a substantial causal link between supply-side factors and housing unaffordability in Canada.

So why is the debate so evidence-averse? Because the narrative is useful to powerful people.

The supply narrative does two things. It helps stymie action on the demand-side, which might actually bring prices and rents down, while giving cover to governments who want to pretend to care about affordability for the middle class. And it is a useful weapon for developers seeking to gain various policy concessions, including rezonings from municipal governments, which deliver windfall land appreciation.

The vested interests behind the narrative are relentless, since there are billions in profit to be had. Why let pesky facts get in the way? Such interests, and their noisy Twitter allies, are trying to win the debate through sheer repetition.

 

However, housing affordability will suffer to the extent that policy makers either buy into the misdirection, or use the narrative to deflect public pressure to take substantive action. Sometimes, then, it’s helpful to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

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