While COVID-19 and social distancing adaptations have proven challenging for the overall economy, there has been an upswing of activity in most BC submarkets since the spring.
Although overall, post-COVID economic recovery isn’t in sight just yet. The need for affordable housing options is dire in this province. A large gap remains between available housing options and types of housing that are in demand. Demand is edging towards single-detached homes due to shifting lifestyle desires as a result of the virus. Many people who were confined to condos longed for more space and this is evident in purchasing trends.
Historically, winter is typically a slow real estate season, as people don’t want to deal with blistery weather conditions, and many are preoccupied by time spent with family during the holidays. Will these trends remain consistent as we creep closer to the 4th quarter?
Below we explore the top BC real estate markets to watch this winter, and the trends that are propelling their post-COVID recovery.
The Greater Vancouver Real Estate market
The Greater Vancouver real estate market was buzzing over the summer months, but will this activity trickle into the fall and winter seasons? Considered a popular and expensive market to purchase in, there is a lot of uncertainty as to how the market will fare as 2020 draws to a close.
This will likely depend on the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential for another wave causing businesses to shut their doors and residents to stay in their homes. For now, many are surprised at the level of activity as an outcome of the pent-up demand from spring.
The prices of homes have been edging up since spring homebuying had been put on hold due to the virus. As a result, there have been an influx of new homes on the market. Demand has started to pick up, leading to even more competition in the Greater Vancouver market and multiple offer bidding wars on listed properties.
Year over year there were 60.6 per cent more homes sold in September. The high sales numbers included properties that have been on the high end of the market.
In Vancouver condo prices year over year in September had increased by 26.7 per cent. It remains uncertain whether trends within the Vancouver condo market will play out in the same manner as we have seen in Toronto, where demand and prices in the local condo market are trending downward.
Condo prices may begin to drop further as homebuyer preferences shift to large floorplans over small, well-located condos. If a flood of condo supply comes to the market, this could dramatically decrease condo pricing overall. As a result of the residents of the Greater Vancouver area working from home during the pandemic and home-schooling their children, some are recognizing the need for more space. Therefore, a shift may occur whereby single-detached homes with more greenspace could become more desirable.
Fraser Valley Real Estate market
When looking at the Fraser Valley market, one would never know we were in a pandemic or recession. According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, similar to the summer months, sales and new listings were at record highs in this area. Sales of single-detached and townhomes spiked, which put upward pressure on prices. This may continue into the winter season, although, with the potential for further COVID-19 waves, there’s no telling how this market will react.
Victoria Real Estate Market
The Victoria real estate market has seen an acceleration of sales as a result of the pent-up demand from the spring homebuying season. High home inventory in September has not kept up with demand. While local industry experts project that this strong activity will continue throughout the winter, they are well aware that the situation can change in the blink of an eye due to the uncertain nature of COVID-19 outbreaks.
Overall BC Market Uncertainties
Uncertainties related to the coronavirus means that the real estate market in BC could dramatically slow down once again in the winter. With flu season returning, fears of another wave could be heightened and lead to a decrease in activity across the province. People may put their real estate agenda on the backburner until there is more certainty within the provincial housing market and the economy at large.
The BC real estate market remains a popular destination for homebuyers. Although the coronavirus affected the market early on, with increased confidence and improving market conditions, we’ve seen activity in this market pick up at a promising rate in local markets province wide.
Source:- RE/MAX News
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Vancouver real estate: $2.5 million townhouse along Choklit Park, former home of Purdys, sells over asking price – The Georgia Straight
For its location and views, it’s not suprising that this Vancouver townhouse beats a lot of single-family homes in price.
These also likely explain why the strata property at 1089 West 7th Avenue didn’t stay long on the market.
As well, the property sold over its listing price, when a buyer picked it up for $2,505,000.
The Fairview Slopes townhouse is located along a storied and unique green space, Choklit Park.
The 0.07-hectare park is associated with the legacy of Purdys chocolates.
“This site was formerly the location of the Purdy’s Chocolate factory, hence the name!”, according to the online parkfinder from the City of Vancouver.
The park is “tucked into a steep slope”, and comprised by a “series of steps and terraces with a beautiful collection of trees and shrubs”.
“Although tiny, the park is expanded with its views to False Creek and downtown,” the city notes.
The Vancouver Heritage Foundation recalls online that Charles Flavelle, owner of Purdys, said that the choklit spelling was suggested by one of the “hippie” carpenter crew that built the park.
“That’s the way a kid would spell it,” Flavelle was reportedly told.
The heritage association reproduced online the plaque recalling the history of the park:
Charles Flavelle of Purdy’s Chocolates created Choklit Park in 1970 on the unused Spruce Street right-of-way at 7th Avenue, using a crew of six hired on an “Opportunities for Youth” grant. The chocolate factory at 1107 W. 7th needed an improved truck-loading facility and the children in the neighbourhood needed an adventure playground. The crew used the right-of-way and all the available space around the factory for the children’s park. Purdy’s made chocolates here from 1949 until 1982.
Purdys Chocolatier moved to Kingsway in East Vancouver, where it continues to make and sell chocolates.
Engels and Volkers Vancouver listed 1089 West 7th Avenue on November 24, 2020, for $2,298,000.
After six days on November 30, the townhouse sold for $2,505,000 or $207,000 over its original asking price.
The transaction was tracked by fisherly.com, an online real-estate information site.
The home features two bedrooms and three baths.
The listing describes it as an “architectural oasis that will capture those in search of privacy, beauty and incredible views”.
The three-level concrete and brick townhouse includes three private decks, including one on the rooftop, which offer “panoramic city views”.
“Large master retreat includes rare solarium, perfect art studio/office/shop + custom closets,” the listing adds.
Vancouver real estate: Shift on to big corporate landlords of apartment buildings
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Goodman describes the market as being balanced between the supply of and demand for listings, even though he is seeing more rental buildings for sale than in the past.
“While private investors made up the majority of vendors and purchasers in the first half of 2020, real estate investment trusts, or REITs and institutions are likely to increasingly emerge as buyers, particularly on larger deals, in the back half of the year and into early 2021,” according to a fall 2020 report by Avison Young.
Rental apartment buildings are seen as a very attractive and reliable investment for REITs and other financial companies in these uncertain times, said John Bunting of PwC Canada’s B.C. region real estate practice.
“It’s called (investing in) ‘beds and sheds,’ or the first basic needs of safety, security, shelter and food,” he said.
Bidding opened Monday for a package of 10 apartment buildings, with over 400 rental suites across Vancouver.
A family-run, Vancouver-based company, Hollyburn Properties Ltd., is selling these properties, which it has owned for decades. They make up almost a third of the 33 multi-family, rental buildings it owns in the Vancouver area.
Coun. Jean Swanson had a motion on the agenda for Vancouver city council last week, which mentioned the Hollyburn listing, picking it as an example of “a portfolio that could be attractive to REITS” because of its large number of buildings and units and its likely higher dollar value, she said.
Source: – Vancouver Sun
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