Tag: vancouver

January 2013 real estate market still slow

Monday, February 4, 2013

VANCOUVER, BC – Home buyer demand remains below historical averages in the Greater Vancouver housing market. This has led some home sellers to remove their homes from the market in recent months.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 1,351 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January 2013. This represents a 14.3 per cent decrease compared to the 1,577 sales recorded in January 2012, and an 18.3 per cent increase compared to the 1,142 sales in December 2012.

Last month’s sales were the second lowest January total in the region since 2001 and 18.7 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.

“Home sale activity has been below historical averages in Greater Vancouver for about seven months. This has caused a gradual decline in home prices of about 6 per cent since reaching a peak last spring,” Klein said.

Since reaching a peak in May of $625,100, the MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver has declined 5.9 per cent to $588,100. This represents a 2.8 per cent decline compared to this time last year.

“It appears many home sellers are opting to remove their homes from the market rather than settle for a price they don’t want,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,128 in January. This represents a 10.9 per cent decline compared to the 5,756 new listings reported in January 2012. Last month’s new listing count was 18.9 per cent higher than the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® is 13,246, a 5.6 per cent increase compared to January 2012 and a 4.5 per cent decline compared to December 2012. This is the fourth consecutive month that overall home listings have declined in the region.

“When a home seller isn’t receiving the kind of offers they want, there comes a point when they decide to either lower the price or remove the home from the market. Right now, it seems many home sellers are opting for the latter,” Klein said.

With the sales-to-active-listings ratio at 10.2 per cent, the region remains in buyers’ market territory. Since June, this ratio has ranged between 8 and 11 per cent.

Sales of detached properties in January 2013 reached 542, a decrease of 17.8 per cent from the 659 detached sales recorded in January 2012, and a 31.7 per cent decrease from the 793 units sold in January 2011. The benchmark price for detached properties decreased 3.1 per cent from January 2012 to $901,000. Since reaching a peak in May 2012, the benchmark price of a detached property has declined 6.9 per cent.

Sales of apartment properties reached 576 in January 2013, a decline of 12.3 per cent compared to the 657 sales in January 2012, and a decrease of 19.2 per cent compared to the 713 sales in January 2011. The benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 2.9 per cent from January 2012 to $358,400. Since reaching a peak in May 2012, the benchmark price of an apartment property has declined 5.6 per cent.

Attached property sales in January 2013 totalled 233, a decline of 10.7 per cent compared to the 261 sales in January 2012, and a 25.6 per cent decrease from the 313 attached properties sold in January 2011. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 1.7 per cent between January 2012 and 2013 to $449,900. Since reaching a peak in April 2012, the benchmark price of an attached property has declined 7.7 per cent.

Vancouver’s housing price index for September 2012

Apartment Listings versus Sold in Burnaby as of Sept 2012 The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver maintains a Housing Price Index on the benchmark price of typical homes in the metro Vancouver region. These are useful when looking at how the market is doing overall.Below you will find the prices for three types of property

  • Detached – i.e. single family homes
  • Attached – i.e. townhouses
  • Apartments

The figures in brackets against each area show the percentage change over the last year. [Square brackets show the change over 5 years.] I have highlighted the biggest increases in bold and the greatest decreases in red for each category of property.


  • Greater Vancouver $935,600 (-0.5%), [5yr: 23.4%]
  • Bowen Island $592,200 (-1.9%), [5yr: -6.8%]
  • Burnaby East $751,300 (4.5%), [5yr: 21%]
  • Burnaby North $910,900 (0.2%), [5yr: 26.2%]
  • Burnaby South $1,003,700 (4.2%), [5yr: 37.8%]
  • Coquitlam $713,600 (3.6%), [5yr: 15.2%]
  • Ladner $622,500 (-0.9%), [5yr: 12.1%]
  • Maple Ridge $468,700 (1.1%), [5yr: -0.5%]
  • New Westminster $672,000 (1.8%), [5yr: 20.4%]
  • North Vancouver $961,200 (5.2%), [5yr: 12.9%]
  • Pitt Meadows $501,700 (1.6%), [5yr: 3.2%]
  • Port Coquitlam $556,000 (1.4%), [5yr: 8.7%]
  • Port Moody $851,100 (5.3%), [5yr: 13.7%]
  • Richmond $962,900 (-4.2%), [5yr: 36.7%]
  • Squamish $508,300 (4.1%), [5yr: 5.7%]
  • Sunshine Coast $365,400 (-3.8%), [5yr: -6.6%]
  • Tsawwassen $724,000 (1.6%), [5yr: 13%]
  • Vancouver East $850,000 (3.2%), [5yr: 33.6%]
  • Vancouver West $2,088,700 (-6.5%), [5yr: 39.7%]
  • West Vancouver $1,847,400 (4%), [5yr: 21.9%]
  • Whistler $848,200 (-5.3%), [5yr: -3.1%]


  • Greater Vancouver $458,600 (-2.7%), [5yr: 7.7%]
  • Burnaby East $419,900 (1.8%), [5yr: 9%]
  • Burnaby North $393,700 (-8%), [5yr: 3.8%]
  • Burnaby South $417,800 (-2.3%), [5yr: 9.3%]
  • Coquitlam $383,300 (-1.6%), [5yr: 2.5%]
  • Ladner $449,400 (-2.2%), [5yr: 8.6%]
  • Maple Ridge $272,400 (-4.4%), [5yr: -7.2%]
  • New Westminster $394,800 (0.1%), [5yr: 8.6%]
  • North Vancouver $576,200 (-0.1%), [5yr: 4.5%]
  • Pitt Meadows $327,700 (-1.3%), [5yr: 0.3%]
  • Port Coquitlam $367,000 (-1.5%), [5yr: -1.1%]
  • Port Moody $411,900 (-0.9%), [5yr: -0.8%]
  • Richmond $496,500 (-4%), [5yr: 18.2%]
  • Squamish $353,800 (2.1%), [5yr: 3.1%]
  • Tsawwassen $457,000 (-9.2%), [5yr: 3.1%]
  • Vancouver East $505,000 (-1.5%), [5yr: 11.4%]
  • Vancouver West $672,400 (-1.3%), [5yr: 11.1%]
  • Whistler $462,400 (2.5%), [5yr: 13.5%]


  • Greater Vancouver $368,600 (-0.7%), [5yr: 2.5%]
  • Burnaby East $353,000 (-3%), [5yr: -10.8%]
  • Burnaby North $328,900 (-2%), [5yr: -1.6%]
  • Burnaby South $371,800 (-4.5%), [5yr: 4.3%]
  • Coquitlam $257,200 (1.9%), [5yr: -1.9%]
  • Ladner $312,700 (-2.9%), [5yr: 5.2%]
  • Maple Ridge $179,100 (-2.1%), [5yr: -12.9%]
  • New Westminster $271,000 (-2.1%), [5yr: 3.3%]
  • North Vancouver $358,800 (4.7%), [5yr: 3.5%]
  • Pitt Meadows $219,500 (-1%), [5yr: -13.5%]
  • Port Coquitlam $225,000 (-4.4%), [5yr: -10.5%]
  • Port Moody $314,600 (4.5%), [5yr: -4.4%]
  • Richmond $334,700 (-2.5%), [5yr: 0%]
  • Squamish $259,200 (15.2%), [5yr: -5.8%]
  • Tsawwassen $333,000 (-3.8%), [5yr: -0.6%]
  • Vancouver East $305,600 (1.4%), [5yr: 8.8%]
  • Vancouver West $465,600 (-1.2%), [5yr: 3.9%]
  • West Vancouver $624,800 (-2%), [5yr: -6.2%]
  • Whistler $241,400 (-4.7%), [5yr: 67.3%]

What does the Sun Run say about Vancouver?

Vancouver Sun Run
The start of the Sun Run

Last Sunday we took part in the Vancouver Sun Run. This is the second year we have done it and this time was more enjoyable than last year.

Being fitter I had time to take in the sights and sounds of the run that much more and it got me thinking about what this event tells you about life in Vancouver.

It is probably no surprise that this is a well attended event. This year there were over 48,000 participants confirming Vancouver’s reputation for supporting an active life style.

The course takes you around downtown Vancouver, skirting the edge of Stanley Park, along English Bay, across the Burrard bridge and back over the Cambie bridge. This route shows off Vancouver pretty well. In fact I overheard another runner saying she’d not thought Vancouver would be so beautiful. (I don’t know where she was from).

The Sun Run would not work without the volunteers. They help with handing out race packs, gear check, the water stations that line the route, the after run party in BC Place and marshalling the thousands of runners and walkers. What I found interesting that I heard several runners thanking the volunteers, or even cheering them, as they went by. That was nice to see.

Perhaps one of the best things about doing the run is being encouraged by the people watching. All along the route there were people watching, cheering and shouting encouragement. I particularly liked a little girl of about 7 or 8 who was holding her hand out for “high five’s” and telling us we were awesome! It certainly helped in the last kilometre or two, when energy is flagging.

The after party wrap up was in BC Place Stadium. It was my first time inside with its new roof. It was a great venue and luckily our running clinic had arranged to meet under the N – so we were all able to catch up and find out how we’d all done. There’s a lot of people looking tired but really happy. And they’re already talking about next year!

Canadian cities do well on quality of life rankings

Yacht sailing in the Burrard Inlet
The Good Life
The Financial Times has a specialist division – fDi Intelligence magazine – which has recently published a report which ranked North American cities on a whole bunch of factors. The one that caught my eye was the category for Quality of Life in Micro Cities. (I said there were a bunch of factors!).

BC’s own North Vancouver came out top and Delta (4), Nanaimo (5), Langley (6).

  1. North Vancouver British Columbia Canada
  2. Meridian Idaho US
  3. Waterloo Ontario Canada
  4. Delta British Columbia Canada
  5. Nanaimo British Columbia Canada
  6. Fredericton New Brunswick Canada
  7. Langley British Columbia Canada
  8. Red Deer Alberta Canada
  9. Repentigny Quebec Canada
  10. Pickering Ontario Canada
I also looked at the Quality of Life category for Major Cities and BC scored there too as Vancouver came in 4th, with four other Canadian cities ranking in the top ten.

  1. Washington District of Columbia US
  2. San Francisco California US
  3. Calgary Alberta Canada
  4. Vancouver British Columbia Canada
  5. Ottawa Ontario Canada
  6. Austin Texas US
  7. Boston Massachusetts US
  8. Toronto Ontario Canada
  9. Edmonton Alberta Canada
  10. San Jose California US
It is good to know that Canada still ranks highly on quality of life!

Ironworkers Memorial Bridge

Here in Vancouver we have two bridges that cross to the north shore, linking North and West Vancouver to the rest of Vancouver. The Lionsgate bridge is probably the best known. And with it’s three lanes, it can be a frustrating one to use.

But today I wanted to pause and think about the other bridge. It has two names: the second narrows and the ironworkers memorial bridge. The first name makes sense if you think of the Lionsgate bridge as the first narrows. The second name dates back to the catastrophic collapse of the bridge during it’s construction ion June 17, 1958. At that time eighteen ironworkers were killed as the bridge fell into the Burrard inlet.

We may not think about this often as we drive over the bridge, but at least on this anniversary we should give a thought to them.  

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