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Hard work pays off: This young homeowner's on his second real-estate deal in 14 months – Vancouver Sun

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At 28, Stuart Barkley has already acquired his second piece of real estate in Metro Vancouver. He bought his first home in New Westminster, and his second is at Amacon’s Alaska project set to rise in Burnaby’s Brentwood Town Centre.

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Stuart Barkley has just gone through his second real-estate deal in 14 months. Which is nothing unusual in Metro Vancouver – and no big deal in a town where people eat, sleep and breathe real estate 24/7.

What makes Stuart different is that he’s just 28 years old and is already well on his way to building his dream of financial independence.

“I’ve always been a saver, so after university, I’ve tried to set aside money slowly but surely,” Barkley said in a recent interview. “(I have) lived minimally and frugally for as long as I can remember. My mantra for years was, ‘Do I need that or do I just want it?’”

The Alaska development will comprise a total of 164 one, two and three-bedroom homes, including garden homes and lofts in a 22-storey concrete highrise tower.
The Alaska development will comprise a total of 164 one, two and three-bedroom homes, including garden homes and lofts in a 22-storey concrete highrise tower. Photo by Handout /PNG

It’s a philosophy that has served him well. His latest purchase is a two-bedroom condo on the 13th floor of Alaska, Amacon’s 22-storey concrete tower just south of Brentwood Town Centre. It is a spacious 915 square feet and has a wrap-around balcony with an unobstructed view towards Metrotown.

Barkley’s first property purchase was a 519-square-foot, one-bedroom condo in a 14-storey tower off New Westminster’s Columbia Street. He put down 15 per cent on the unit, which listed at $415,000.

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What has really helped him acquire a home at Alaska is his new job at a well-known appliance dealership. “My pay doubled, but I lived the same as I did before,” said Barkley.

He admits that pulling off this second deal, which cost twice as much as the first one, could be more demanding. “Financing for Alaska will be tricky, quite frankly, as my pay varies from year to year,” he said. “So this means I have to work hard for the next couple of years!”

Amacon, like many established developers, has found the last 18 months a challenge, especially in trying to predict who is going to be buying this year. “Last year, it became a guessing game,” says Grace Sartori-Austin, the company’s director of sales and marketing. “Were people preparing to hunker down? Was this the time to invest?”

Jill and Kendra Bauer designed the homes at Alaska with 'a modern boutique, New York type vibe'.
Jill and Kendra Bauer designed the homes at Alaska with ‘a modern boutique, New York-type vibe’. Photo by Handout /PNG

The company had initially intended to put Alaska on the market in spring 2020 but then hit the pause button on it, she said. “We took another look at the market through the summer and the early fall. We couldn’t trend it, though. There were very few projects that were going to be launched during the pandemic.”

In the end, the company decided, “What the heck, let’s go for it.”

That has turned out to be the right decision. As of this month, the company has sold 50 per cent of the project’s 164 homes and now plans to start construction this spring with a completion date in 2023, said Sartori-Austin.

About 50 per cent of Alaska homes are one-bedroom units and the rest of the homes include a variety of plans and sizes: a one-bedroom and den model, six loft-style homes, two- and three-bedroom residences, as well as penthouse units on the 22nd floor.

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Interior designers Jill and Kendra Bauer said they designed the interiors for a busy lifestyle and a wide demographic “taking a modern boutique, New York-type vibe.”

“Our idea of the ‘New York vibe’ is mixing materials, (like) old and new, raw and polished, metals and woods. It’s about not being afraid to combine materials to achieve a layered space that exudes warmth, all while maintaining a tasteful colour palette,” said Kendra.

Kitchen appliances will include a Fulgor Milano gas cooktop, an electric wall oven, a slide-out hood by Faber, an integrated refrigerator by Fisher & Paykel and an integrated dishwasher by Blomberg.
Kitchen appliances will include a Fulgor Milano gas cooktop, an electric wall oven, a slide-out hood by Faber, an integrated refrigerator by Fisher & Paykel and an integrated dishwasher by Blomberg. Photo by Handout /PNG

“Layering materials and playing with textures creates an edgy yet inviting atmosphere. The lobby boasts high ceilings and windows, a wood-louvred partition behind the concierge desk, black metal and bronze accents throughout and a modern open concept mail area. Hotel-lobby-inspired lounge areas invite you into a space where you are proud to host guests, whether in the various amenities or your suite.

“We took a similar approach for the suites — mixing natural elements. The suites feature woodgrain accents throughout, honed concrete-style quartz counters and marble-inspired porcelain tiles in the baths, brushed nickel plumbing, custom veined quartz counter in the kitchens and warm, wood laminate flooring. We incorporated popular and convenient open-wood shelves in the kitchen and baths.”

Amacon has chosen Italian appliance manufacturer Fulgor Milano to supply the gas cooktop and electric wall oven and Faber for a slide-out hood within the suites. The integrated refrigerator by Fisher & Paykel and the integrated dishwasher by Blomberg. A full-size stackable washer and dryer are made by Whirlpool.

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Bathrooms have deep soaker tubs, frameless glass showers in ensuites and a mirrored medicine cabinet with LED accent lighting.

Common interior amenities include a guest suite, social lounge with kitchen, a children’s playroom, a games room, and work-share spaces with free wi-fi and whiteboards.

Outside there’s the Central Green with over 8,000 square feet providing a fireplace and lounge area, outdoor kitchen and gas barbecue, as well as a children’s play area and community garden space.

Alaska

Project Address: 4433 Alaska St., Burnaby

Project Scope: A total of 164 one, two and three-bedroom homes, including garden homes and lofts in a 22-storey concrete highrise tower. Common amenities include The Central Green, a more than 8,000 sq. ft. outdoor area, including an outdoor fireplace, lounge, kitchen and children’s play area.  Ten minutes walking distance from Brentwood Town Centre Skytrain station, Brentwood shopping centre, and parks.

Prices: From $489,900 for homes ranging from 508 sq. ft. to 1,547 sq. ft.

Developer: Amacon

Architect: DYS Architecture

Interior Design: Jill Bauer Design

Sales centre: 4455 Alaska St., Burnaby

Sales centre hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday through Thursday (closed Friday).  Book an appointment on-line prior to arrival.

Sales phone (or text): 604.299.9191

Website:Alaskaliving.ca

Occupancy: Spring 2023

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Ottawa real estate market sets record in February – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Ottawa’s real estate market remained red hot during a cold and snowy February, setting a record for properties sold during the month.

“Resale properties are virtually flying off the shelves,” Ottawa Real Estate Board president Debra Wright said in a news release.

The board reports 1,390 residential properties were sold in February, up from 1,134 in February 2020.

The sales volume for residential properties and condos in Ottawa was $885,592,105 in February, 54 per cent higher than the same month last year.

“Even though our inventory is significantly lower than 2020 – a combined 46 per cent decrease in housing stock for residential and condos – we witnessed a record number of sales in February 2021,” said Wright.

“How is that possible? Simply put, properties that come onto the market are selling very quickly.”

February’s sales included 1,028 in the residential-property class, and 362 condominium-properties.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board says the average number of days on the market for a property declined from 30 days in February 2020 to 14 days last month.

The average sale price for a residential-class property was $717,914, an increase of 27 per cent from a year ago. Condominiums sold for an average of $407,671, an increase of 17 per cent from February 2020.

“There is no denying that scarcity is leading to a more rapid price acceleration,” said Wright about the sales volume for residential and condo properties.

“This scarcity combined with buyer’s willingness to pay and compete in this market will continue to drive up the sales prices.”

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Greater Victoria real estate sales, prices surge amid 'mobs' of buyers, low inventory – Times Colonist

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“Mobs” of buyers are viewing homes for sale across the region, putting in offers well above asking prices and waiving inspections as the real estate market continues surging during the pandemic and traditional slower winter months.

Home sales of all types hit a record 863 during February, smashing the previous mark of 780 in 1992, and sailing past the 772 sales in 2016.

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And prices are climbing.

The average price of a ­single-family home in the capital region breezed past the $1-million mark in June as the inventory of available homes for sale withered.

February’s single-family home average price hit $1.16 million — up from $888,000 during the same month a year ago. Last month’s average was beefed up by the sale of 30 properties that sold for more than $2 million — with 12 of those selling for asking prices and above, said Dustin Miller of 8X Real Estate in Victoria.

He said an equestrian farm in Central Saanich listed for $6 million went $155,000 over asking and there were three ­condominium sales for more than $2 million each, including the penthouse at Hudson Place One, the tallest building in Victoria.

The Victoria Real Estate Board said the benchmark value — or median price without the high and low end of sales — for a single-family home in the region’s core municipalities during February increased year-over-year by 9% to $948,200, a 1.7% increase from the previous month.

The benchmark value for a condominium in the core remained close to last year’s value at $525,400.

Real estate board president David Langlois said the market is caught between constrained inventory and high demand.

“The good news is that we have seen some stabilization in listings and condo pricing between January and ­February, but we continue to see huge pressure on single family homes,” said Langlois. “New listings are snapped up as soon as they are listed.”

That’s resulted in pressure on single family homes, where there is significant competition for desirable homes. “And in our marketplace most homes are desirable … and people are ­competing for properties and pushing prices up.”

There were 1,318 active listings for sale on the board’s Multiple Listing Service at the end of February — 38% fewer than the same period a year ago.

Miller said there are fewer than 400 single-family homes available across the entire system right now. “In a typical year we will see the most amount of inventory go online in April and May, but if the current trend continues, we will see only around half of the number of new listings compared to what was normally seen in the past.”

Kevin Sing of DFH Realty listed a modest, three-bedroom no-step rancher in East Saanich on Thursday for $759,000 and has shown it to nearly 50 prospective buyers over four days. He’s scheduled appointments from dawn until dusk and has received several offers, some unconditional, and several well over the asking price.

Sing said although the federal government’s mortgage stress test has put many younger buyers out of the single-family-home market, empty nesters, older couples who are downsizing or families with students at nearby Camosun College and the University of Victoria are lining up for the East Saanich home.

The demand for real estate seems insatiable, said Sing, and it isn’t just Greater Victoria.

“It’s worldwide,” he said. “I get on regular Zoom calls and everyone is experiencing the same thing, from Manhattan to the Grand Caymans. Unless you’re in a war zone, the demand for housing right now is just ridiculous.

“It’s hard to explain … it seem we have collectively decided [during COVID] that nesting is what we want to do.”

Langlois said the theme for 2021 is going to be inventory — “where does it come from and how much new supply can be approved — so that this situation does not persist.”

“We’ve seen the government attempt to influence the housing market in hopes of dampening the demand for home ownership,” he said. “The foreign buyer tax has changed nothing … our market continues to zoom forward with almost no foreign buyers. The government adjusted mortgage qualification rules, those are absorbed by the market and buyers adjust.”

Langlois said concerns about housing prices and availability should be addressed by supporting new developments in municipalities. “Be vocal with your local council or neighbourhood association,” he said. “These stakeholders hold the power in these negotiations and help to make space in your community. Gentle density and the building of new homes are the only pathway to moderate housing prices in our area.”

Miller said buyers and sellers should expect a competitive trend, including “mob-like numbers of people” showing up to see new listings.

He noted “bully offers” being submitted within hours of a property being listed and the waiving of all buyer protection contingencies such as home inspections.

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Greater Victoria real estate sales, prices surge amid strong demand, low inventory; 'mobs' of buyers – Times Colonist

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“Mobs” of buyers are viewing homes for sale across the region, putting in offers well above asking prices and waiving inspections as the real estate market continues surging during the pandemic and traditional slower winter months.

Home sales of all types hit a record 863 during February, smashing the previous mark of 780 in 1992, and sailing past the 772 sales in 2016.

article continues below

And prices are climbing.

The average price of a ­single-family home in the capital region breezed past the $1-million mark in June as the inventory of available homes for sale withered.

February’s single-family home average price hit $1.16 million — up from $888,000 during the same month a year ago. Last month’s average was beefed up by the sale of 30 properties that sold for more than $2 million — with 12 of those selling for asking prices and above, said Dustin Miller of 8X Real Estate in Victoria.

He said an equestrian farm in Central Saanich listed for $6 million went $155,000 over asking and there were three ­condominium sales for more than $2 million each, including the penthouse at Hudson Place One, the tallest building in Victoria.

The Victoria Real Estate Board said the benchmark value — or median price without the high and low end of sales — for a single-family home in the region’s core municipalities during February increased year-over-year by 9% to $948,200, a 1.7% increase from the previous month.

The benchmark value for a condominium in the core remained close to last year’s value at $525,400.

Real estate board president David Langlois said the market is caught between constrained inventory and high demand.

“The good news is that we have seen some stabilization in listings and condo pricing between January and ­February, but we continue to see huge pressure on single family homes,” said Langlois. “New listings are snapped up as soon as they are listed.”

That’s resulted in pressure on single family homes, where there is significant competition for desirable homes. “And in our marketplace most homes are desirable … and people are ­competing for properties and pushing prices up.”

There were 1,318 active listings for sale on the board’s Multiple Listing Service at the end of February — 38% fewer than the same period a year ago.

Miller said there are fewer than 400 single-family homes available across the entire system right now. “In a typical year we will see the most amount of inventory go online in April and May, but if the current trend continues, we will see only around half of the number of new listings compared to what was normally seen in the past.”

Kevin Sing of DFH Realty listed a modest, three-bedroom no-step rancher in East Saanich on Thursday for $759,000 and has shown it to nearly 50 prospective buyers over four days. He’s scheduled appointments from dawn until dusk and has received several offers, some unconditional, and several well over the asking price.

Sing said although the federal government’s mortgage stress test has put many younger buyers out of the single-family-home market, empty nesters, older couples who are downsizing or families with students at nearby Camosun College and the University of Victoria are lining up for the East Saanich home.

The demand for real estate seems insatiable, said Sing, and it isn’t just Greater Victoria.

“It’s worldwide,” he said. “I get on regular Zoom calls and everyone is experiencing the same thing, from Manhattan to the Grand Caymans. Unless you’re in a war zone, the demand for housing right now is just ridiculous.

“It’s hard to explain … it seem we have collectively decided [during COVID] that nesting is what we want to do.”

Langlois said the theme for 2021 is going to be inventory — “where does it come from and how much new supply can be approved — so that this situation does not persist.”

“We’ve seen the government attempt to influence the housing market in hopes of dampening the demand for home ownership,” he said. “The foreign buyer tax has changed nothing … our market continues to zoom forward with almost no foreign buyers. The government adjusted mortgage qualification rules, those are absorbed by the market and buyers adjust.”

Langlois said concerns about housing prices and availability should be addressed by supporting new developments in municipalities. “Be vocal with your local council or neighbourhood association,” he said. “These stakeholders hold the power in these negotiations and help to make space in your community. Gentle density and the building of new homes are the only pathway to moderate housing prices in our area.”

Miller said buyers and sellers should expect a competitive trend, including “mob-like numbers of people” showing up to see new listings.

He noted “bully offers” being submitted within hours of a property being listed and the waiving of all buyer protection contingencies such as home inspections.

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