Vancouver Condo Market Still Booming – Condominium Prices Rise – Burnaby Richmond Surrey

Vancouver Condo Market Still Booming

Last September’s market report for the greater Vancouver region confirmed that the Vancouver real estate market is still smoking hot. Residents and condo investors are hunting for bargain properties as are students studying at UBC, Langara College and SFU. Demand is high.

The new sales and price numbers below from Royal Lepage, CREA, and REBGV may depress you a bit if your ambition is to own a new or resale condo in the city or even to rent one.

Money Has Moved to the Condo Market

Sales of detached million dollar homes have abated, yet it’s just a switch to a focus in condomiums in Vancouver. This switch has also happened in the Toronto condo market. The challenge for condo buyers is finding on at any price level they can afford. I’m sure you’re finding the rental housing and condo buying situation very difficult and you may find Surrey, Richmond, and Langley your best bets.

Prices of condos have jumped as much as 35% in some areas, and overall prices of apartment condos in Vancouver have jumped an incredible 21.7% from last September. In September CREA reported condo apartment sales growth of 19% in greater Vancouver above that of September 2016. Will that continue in 2018?




Housing Crash in Vancouver? Not Likely

There’s been a lot of talk about housing market crashes in 2018, but wishful thinking might what’s behind it.  At this point (October 2017) experts forecasted that housing markets across North America would be in a crash or deep decline, but it hasn’t happened. It probably own’t here or in US housing markets.  Demand is high and the economy may get stronger.

Condo Sales September 2017 in Vancouver

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,821 in September 2017, a 25.2% increase from the 2,253 sales recorded in September 2016, and a 7.3% decrease compared to August 2017 when 3,043 homes were sold — from CREA October report.

There were a total of 1491 apartment condos sold in September with an average HPI benchmark price of $635,800. the price growth over the last year is astonishing with North Vancouver and New Westminster leading.




Vancouver Community Price Growth Over Last 12 months Average Price September 2017
Listings in September 2017
Greater Vancouver 16% $751,861 823
North Vancouver 25.2% $614,173 175
Burnaby 24.6% $561,558 262
Coquitlam 23.8% $482,300 78
Surrey 18.5% $304,779
Langley 17.8% $337,782
Victoria 28% $471,682
West Vancouver 2.2% $1,112,334 42
Richmond 15.6 $510,476 294
Kelowna 20.2 $399,783
New Westminster 26.5% $488,600 167

The numbers above suggest Richmond, Surrey and Burnaby are where you’ll find an affordable condo. Surrey and Langley may be the future. You’ll find a lot of student housing new construction projects in this area too close to the skytrain and the major schools. Unfortunately, you will be competing with the families of wealthy students for the units who are searching off campus.

Vancouver Condo Prices and Sales Stats Screenshot courtesy of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver




How Do the Forecasts Look?

With the economy faring better, most forecasters may even upgrade their 2018 forecast for Toronto housing and the Toronto Condo market forecast, along with the Vancouver region forecast which are the only housing markets doing well.  The rest of the country is hanging on with spillover from the big cities.

When the foreign buyers tax was implemented in BC and Toronto, I suggested that instead, incentives should be provided to property investors and builders to build in areas outside of Vancouver and Toronto. Unrealistic? Long term, it benefits everyone.  These housing shortages are significant economic and personal issues. It could end in a crash.

Still the spillover has helped Kelowna, Calgary, London, Waterloo, and Ottawa.

Crisis for Condo Renters in Vancouver

The situation for many renters is definitely a crisis. There is an exaggerated need for rental properties and housing for students.  One estimate is there are more than 24,o00 families in need of housing in Vancouver and many of them may involve students studying in colleges in Richmond.

Recently 300 buyers showed up to apply for a few coop units up for sale.  If new builds decline because of a fear of rent controls and then Canadian interest rates rise, this could make the forecast gloomy.  Vancouver residents need to get more active and encourage local politicians to adopt a new attitude toward the crisis.

A new socialist driven research project called Cambie Corridor is being conducted to see if a restriction on development to force lower rents will work. In a few years, we’ll have data, but in the meantime, why would the condominium builders not just stop building in Vancouver?  Builders need incentives, where that is just a money losing proposition. They can’t create $850 apartments in Vancouver’s pricey atmosphere.

There’s a lot of belief in magic in some government quarters but the current crisis shows how badly mismanaged housing in Vancouver is.

The city awash in beautiful condo buildings however the units are out of reach of most buyers. One could ask who the builders are building for if few are able to finance them?  New government housing projects could create coop affordable units, but would they turn into another LA styled Watts neighbourhood, with crime and malaise?

Now we understand the wish for a Vancouver housing market crash.

Failing Governments in BC and Ontario Need Ideas

The previous BC government failed badly in using old school tactics to solve an International level challenge.  Rightfully, they were ousted, and now we’ll see if the NDP can actually deliver on their promise to lower income buyers and renters. Supply must be increased in Vancouver as the city just gets more popular.

And for most homebuyers in the Vancouver area, detached houses aren’t even a thought since the average price has hit  $1,617,300 which is up almost 3% since last year.  Condo hunters will have to be more persistent, patient and creative to land a condo to call home.

A solution that may support increasing availability is to open up land for development outside of Vancouver up the coast and out on Vancouver Island, or into the interior. With Federal and BC government incentives and tax support for this (take it from the foreign buyers levy — $billlions of dollar tax grab for what purpose?.   This could be used to draw businesses out into new outlying communities.

Many businesses don’t actually need to be in Vancouver. If they had an opportunity to move somewhere cheaper, they’d do it. They’d get away from the congestion too. People want to live near the jobs, thus moving  the jobs outward will take the pressure off and open up amazing new cities across BC.  Places like the Comox Valley and Sunshine Coast and Nanaimo would welcome the growth.



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8 Key Skills/Habits of the Best Luxury Real Estate Agents

What Truly does Create a Successful Luxury Realtor?

Realtors who specialize more in the luxury market likely have a few unique personal and professional traits that bode well for them. The stars in this niche might not match our picture of them however. They could actually possess negative traits.

As long as they have these 8 professional traits/activities listed below they may overcome anything and build an insurmountable edge in selling the most high priced luxurious condos and estate homes.

merrily-hackettWhat separates elite realtors from the rest?  It may a belief in themselves, that they can do anything and are quite happy to do whatever it takes to improve their business. After they eliminate all the stuff that they’ve discovered doesn’t work, they focus more on what will.

And they have that joyful optimism that says “I can do this.

Success in real estate does take time, however top realtors know they must take what does work and accelerate it. Sure, human relationships are organic and it takes time for everyone in the community to get to know your reputation. So anything that accelerates your reach, credibility and familiarity is worth doing.



In luxury real estate, poise, trust, and presence in the upscale communities are important. Are millionaires more exposed to fraud or bad transactions than the less wealthy? Not really. Rich homeowners want a realtor that “belongs or looks like they belong in their circle”, whom they can trust and will take all the pain away.  They consider their circle a prestigious club. If a Vancouver millionaire wants to sell their $2 to $10 million home, they’re likely going to contact one of the top realtors such as Merrily Hackett (over $15 billion in sales volume and 22,000 real estate ends in 2015!) and Jason Soprovich. They’re the most visible and reputed millionaire realtors in Vancouver.

Jason has been involved in over One Billion Dollars of Residential Sales and was ranked West Vancouver’s #1 Realtor for 2011 based on a record setting $265,000,000 Dollar Volume of Sales for a single calendar year.  Jason has earned a wealth of professional expertise, knowledge, sophisticated resources and unique skills along with an understanding of the Marketing and Promotion of Luxury Real Estate down to every last detail.

“I believe there is no substitute for aggressive promotion, networking, and a deep comprehension of market conditions and honed negotiating skills. Success is not measured solely by sales, but by relationships built, continually communicating with clients and by responding to their individual needs; as well as, appreciating the special qualities of their property.”  Read interview in the Vancouver Sun with Jason.

jason-soprovich

Top 8 attributes of a great Luxury Real Estate Agent:

  1. Actively prospects 3 hours per day. Countless studies show successful Realtors are ardent prospectors and salespeople. Merilly Hackett is quoted as saying her priority is prospecting and sales. And smart realtors don’t doddle with social media and content marketing either. Instead, finding someone really good means saving their precious time.
  2. Focuses on more Listings. This entails finding homeowners who want to sell, thus they’re putting more time into networking and meeting people to create more touchpoints with people in communities. Word does get around and they’re actively invested in the communities, businesses, and upscale residents where million dollar listings are prevalent. They also create a presence on the lifestyle and real estate websites homeowners frequent. Online and off, they focus on reaching people with homes to sell.
  3. Uses Sales Scripts. Using their tested best selling conversation means finding a conversational and inquiry process which they’ve found works for them. This improves engagement with prospects and leads to higher closing rates. This conversation with prospects continues online and off. If the first contact goes well, it puts the relationship on sound footing and that tends to continue, ultimately leading to sales transaction and a long term professional friendship.
  4. Hires a Digital Marketer and an Assistant. Though some agents hire an realtor assistant who may free up considerable time, that person is not an excellent digital marketer. Online reach and impact are very important now to help support the realtor’s real world networking and communications. And using SEO, Social Media, email, content marketing, and even paid advertising are all part of what’s now called omnichannel marketing, is necessary because it maximizes the collective promotional value. Combining roles creates double mediocrity.
  5. Networks with other Successful Realtors. Other realtors may often be your best clients and it never hurts to know the best in the business. Realtors from other areas of the city, country or world might send clients your way if they know about you, or find you online. This means making an effort to create conversations with other realtors — they refer to who they know, trust and might benefit from. This is business. Here’s where digital marketing, SEO and content marketing pay dividends. It makes you visible online and creates touchpoints with other realtors — the touchpoints that mean something to them. They are an important customer prospect.
  6. Builds a strong local presence.  Visibility via outdoor advertising, digital advertising, and community activities and perhaps some timely print material gets you known. And yes, getting your lawn sign in a great neighbourhood is always a key goal. This is where active networking and interpersonal time comes in too. Nothing makes an impact better than connecting with people face to face whether at sports events, community events, or other social activities. If your face and name are all over the place, it makes it easier for people to approach you.
  7. Delivers Wow Factor. Realtors that use drone video, interior video, superb photography, beautiful staging, and an amazing fun experience on their website impresses homesellers. They may bring a large tablet computer to show how they can improve their home and landscaping for even more value add. They can’t help like a realtor who brings out the beauty and full value of their home online. Who wouldn’t be impressed. Being listed on a site such as Dream Homes Magazine or the Robb Report adds even more prestige. And let’s not forget the value of being highlighted in the media.
  8. Understands the local market exceedingly well. A property is worth whatever buyers think it’s worth. A hovel in Toronto or Vancouver has sold for an obscene price. Luxury realtors such as Jason Soprovich know how to buy and position a high value property for sale. There’s a lot more play in the luxury market thus allowing for more creativity in presentation of value and negotiating a price. Knowing which features are most important to specific buyers allows them to clinch a better price. This impression of competence gives them a lasting reputation as a master of sales.

By following these top sales professional traits, you’ll push yourself into the elite category and focus your time on the activities that truly do bring the best long term results. If it takes time to build a regular real estate career, it takes even more effort, strategy, and resources to become the next Merilly Hackett or Jason Soprovich.

Who do you feel is the most notable luxury real estate agent in your city?

 

Affordable Leads for Luxury Realtors

What’s the value of realtor leads for the next 5 years? Immense, and when you create them yourself, they’re not cold leads which is you receive from lead generation companies.  Today’s best luxury real estate agents develop their own unique and impressive realtor brand. These impressions have a powerful effect on buyer/seller attitudes. 

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