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Vancouver real estate: downtown condo sales rise, suggesting U-turn from pandemic flight to suburbia – The Georgia Straight



Buyers appear to be coming back to Downtown Vancouver.

While many are still willing to drive out to the suburbs in search of homes, purchasers seem to be enamoured again by the charms of downtown living.

In February 2021, a total of 105 mostly condo properties sold in the area designated as Downtown Vancouver West, which is the urban core.

The area does not include Coal Harbour, Yaletown, and the West End.

The 105 sales last month represent the biggest volume for the past one year.

The COVID-19 pandemic crashed the market for condos in Downtown Vancouver to its lowest point in April 2020, when sales fell to 29 units.

Based on figures by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) and real-estate information site, downtown sales slowly crept up reaching a high of 82 units by December 2020.

Per Zealty’s tracking, the 105 sales in February 2021 mark a 52.2 percent increase from January 2021.

Moreover, 29 out of the 105 sales, or 27.6 percent, sold either at full or above asking prices.

This ratio represents a 314.3 percent improvement over the rate recorded in January 2021.

Prices remain competitive in Downtown Vancouver West.

The median price for mostly condo properties stood at $699,000 in February 2021, down 0.1 percent from the previous month.

At its lowest point last year in April, the median price was $680,000.

On a per square foot basis, the price in February 2021 was $1,247, up from $1,030 in April 2020.

Earlier in March this year, the Straight reported about an anticipated revival of Downtown Vancouver with the arrival of vaccines and the resumption of travel and tourism.

Top executives of McNeill Lalonde & Associates, a real-estate marketing organization, talked about the subject in an interview over at a Vancouver podcast.

MLA cofounder Cameron McNeill noted that the downtown market may see price increases between 10 to 20 percent in the next 18 months.

McNeill and his business partner Ryan Lalonde both noted that Downtown Vancouver is a “very special” place.

The pandemic has driven many buyers outside the downtown core to find bigger homes and outside spaces.

Also in March this year, the Straight reported about a projection by Dexter Realty about condos and other strata properties.

The Vancouver company believes that these properties are going to be the next star of the housing market, and not just in Vancouver but across the Lower Mainland region as well.

It noted in a report that buyers are “pivoting to condos”.

Purchasers are “looking towards the easing of pandemic regulations”.

This, in turn, “will bring vibrancy back to downtowns and foreign students back to Metro Vancouver campuses”.

“Affordability is part of the equation,” Dexter Realty’s Kevin Skipworth wrote in the report.

In February 2021, the price of a typical condo in markets served by the REBGV stood at $697,500.

Compare this to the benchmark price of a townhouse at $839,800, and detached home, $1,621,200.

The appetite for condos outside Vancouver seems to be growing as well.

David Hutchinson with Sutton Group West Coast Realty told the Straight about a Port Coquitlam condo that was listed on March 16, 2021.

Unit 220, a one-bedroom unit at the River Rock Landing condo development at 2368 Marpole Avenue, was priced at $399,900.

Hutchinson’s client and 17 other buyers placed bids.

The condo sold for $492,000, or $92,100 over asking. His client, who is a first-time buyer, lost.

“I asked the realtor how many offers he was anticipating so we could gauge some kind of pricing strategy,” Hutchinson related.

“We were in the top three, and made it to the top two in back-up offer position, but the other offer removed their conditions,” he continued.

“Naturally, the buyer is discouraged, as are the other 16 buyers who lost out probably are too,” Hutchinson noted.

His client, who came to view the property with her mother, asked if she should “take a break for a little while”, which is a “natural reaction after such an emotionally draining experience”.

“Being a buyer isn’t easy in this market,” Hutchinson said.


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PGIM Real Estate, Revera Affiliate Target UK Market in Newly Formed JV



Real Estate Sales In September

PGIM Real Estate has been active in recent months providing capital to facilitate blockbuster senior housing acquisitions. Now the firm is looking to capitalize on demand for senior housing in the United Kingdom.

The Madison, New Jersey-based real estate investor and lender announced this week it is entering into a joint venture with Signature Senior Lifestyle, an affiliate of Revera, to develop and operate senior housing communities around greater London

Mississauga, Ontario-based Revera serves 20,000 older adults in long-term care homes and retirement residences in Canada. It is also the majority shareholder of Sunrise Senior Living, one of the largest senior housing providers in the U.S. The company operates a portfolio of 12 communities in the U.K. under the Signature Senior Lifestyle brand, with one community in development that is slated to open in autumn 2021.


The JV has one development underway — a senior housing community, or “prime care” home, in southwest London. PGIM worked with Elevation Partners, a London-based investor and asset manager in U.K. health care real estate, in sourcing, structuring and executing the venture. Additionally, PGIM will retain the firm to leverage its expertise.

PGIM and Revera did not respond to requests for comment from Senior Housing News regarding details about its development pipeline.

London is emerging as a future hotbed of senior housing development, spurred by favorable demographic growth trends and a lack of available supply, and the PGIM-Revera venture will find competition.


Maplewood Senior Living CEO Gregory Smith told SHN last month that demand for U.K. senior housing is comparable to major U.S. markets such as New York and San Francisco, where supply has historically been constrained.

Maplewood and its investment partner, Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) are looking to expand its luxury Inspir brand to the U.K., and identified five suburban markets around London with high barriers to entry that are favorable for the brand’s growth.

Revera CEO Tom Wellner sees similar untapped upside potential for senior housing in the U.K.

Source: – Senior Housing News

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Where in Canada are house prices increasing the most? Maybe not where you think – CTV News



Canada saw a surge in housing prices over the past year due to COVID-19, a market trend experts say is caused by people working from home more often and moving to rural and suburban areas.

Data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) shows that when comparing the average market prices from February 2020 to February 2021, Canada had a 25 per cent year-over-year increase. The average price rose from $542,484 to $678,091.

“One factor is that with work-from-home even more generalized, many people don’t have to live within commuting distance from their jobs,” Shaun Cathcart, senior economist at CREA, told “That means that folks who own condos and smaller homes can take out built-up equity and move to a property that better meets their needs – as over the past year, home is not only where you eat a few meals and sleep, but also the office, your kids’ school, playground, gym, etc.”

The largest year-over-year percentage changes came from the Northwest Territories (48.1%), Nova Scotia (30.4%), Ontario (24.5%), Quebec (22.5%), and New Brunswick (20.9%).

Cathcart noted that the higher percentage change in Northwest Territories is likely due to the fact that in both February 2020 and February 2021, six homes were sold throughout the entire territory and the ones that were sold in 2021 were marked at a higher price.

When looking at the provinces and territories that had the largest upsurge in terms of price difference, Ontario sits at the top of the list with an increase of over $170,000. Northwest Territories came next, followed by British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Quebec.

The data also shows that prices in suburban and rural areas were impacted the most and saw the biggest changes, with regions like Rideau-St. Lawrence and Sarnia-Lambton in Ontario averaging about a 50 per cent increase from the previous year.

“With people no longer having to live within commuting distance to their jobs, as long as suburban and rural areas have decent internet, they become even more attractive to families looking for more space,” said Cathcart.

Find your region and the year-over-year price and percentage change below.

Cathcart says that Canadians can expect to see sales and prices increase this year, but forecasts sales to slow down in 2022 while prices remain high.

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