Do you know your Market Speed?

Market Speed August 2015

What's This Month's Market Speed?

Inflammatory Vancouver Sun Story Stirs Up West Van Residents

I have written many times in this newsletter about how the “news” can make a REALTOR®’s ’ job harder than it already is. In my experience, reporters tend to report on the extreme and take “the story”, assuming there even is one, to a different level all-together, adding fuel to the already volatile public opinion. These last several weeks news has centered around Vancouver’s inflated real estate market. For good reason.

There is no doubt our market is overactive and I totally agree there are more extremes to call upon these days, but to understand and accurately portray the picture, one must also look at the 75% or so of listings that are NOT selling – what of them? If one only reads real estate news reported by people only interested in reporting the abnormalities, then how is that different from the likes of the National Enquirer? AND even scarier is the inaccurate information being reported as fact, which leaves the public with a twisted and distorted picture.

I strongly feel, if the Sun wants to comment on a highly charged subject, they have a responsibility to get the facts right. The following story for example did arouse feelings in many - for me, it was anger and frustration.

It began with an e-mail from my mother, she likes to keep me in the know when it comes to real estate market…She sent me the following Vancouver Sun story
I thanked her along with a comment, “You know mom, and this stuff just makes my job harder”. She responds with “At least it’s good you know about it”. I respond “Believe me, I know about, I’m in the thick of it”.


What's a property worth? Property assessment notices are here.

Property owners throughout BC received their 2012 assessment notice the first week of January from BC Assessment (BCA). This notice is BC Assessment's estimate of a property's value as of July 1, 2012, and for new construction or substantially renovated homes, the physical condition as of October 31, 2012. We know the market has taken a downward turn since this date. So keep this in mind when you receive your assessment. Here are some of the changes in the values reported by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

BC Assessment vs. Market Value

BCA's assessment and the market value determined by a REALTOR® may be different. Why? Both BCA assessors and REALTORS® calculate market value by analyzing sales of comparable homes within a local market, and look at factors that affect value such as size of home, view, location - on a busy or quiet street, number of bedrooms, construction quality, floor level, and garage or parking stalls.

Where every lot and every home on a street are typically the same, both BCA's value and a REALTOR's® value will be similar during stable market conditions. Differences occur in neighbourhoods where lots have been rezoned or are different shapes and sizes, where architecture and views are unique, and where owners have made changes that BCA hasn't yet taken into account.

Differences also occur during market instability when prices rise or fall during the six-month period between July 1 and January 1 of the following year. (as we see right now)

The deadline to appeal an assessment is January 31, 2013

Property owners who disagree with their assessment should do their homework by visiting and then e-valueBC to compare their assessment with those of their neighbours. Each year, typically less than 2% of all BC property owners appeal their assessment. Property owners should first contact their local assessment office and talk to staff who can make adjustments if there is an obvious error, for example if BCA included a complete renovation, when it was merely a spruce-up.

Area assessors' phone numbers

Property owners who decide to appeal must complete a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) form and file it by January 31, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. For information, visit and select Property Assessment Review Process. Then select Property Assessment Complaint Process - Step-By-Step Guide.

Two potential results from appealing your assessment If a property assessment decreases, property taxes may potentially also decrease. BCA determines the assessed value of a property for tax purposes. The taxing authorities - both local and provincial governments - set tax rates each spring according budget requirements.

The tax rate is used to determine the amount of property tax that must be paid, based on the assessed value of a property. The tax rate applies to each $1,000 of net taxable value. The formula for calculating taxes on property is:

Tax Rate x Assessed Value / 1,000 If the tax rate for residential property is 4.01, taxes of $4.01 are charged on every $1,000 of assessed value. Residential property valued at $1,000,000 will have property taxes of $4,010 ($4.01 x $1,000,000/1,000).

Be aware that potential buyers of your home will view this as your property being worth less. Yes they will even if it's so far off. Buyers feel better when the tax assessment is higher - it's just the way the mind works, so something to consider.


New features on the BCA website at include:

  • Assessment roll total value by area and property class.
  • Provincial median sale price to November 2012 for single family residential and for strata residential.
  • Photos (thumbnail size) for some properties from communities where BCA has been working on its Property Photo Update initiative.
  • Top 200 Valued Residential Properties in all of BC.
  • Top 100 Valued Residential Properties in Vancouver Sea to Sky assessment region (Includes Vancouver, North Vancouver City & District, West Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, Bowen Island, Sunshine Coast).
  • Top 100 Valued Residential Properties in North Fraser assessment region (Includes Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, Belcarra).
  • Top 100 Valued Residential Properties in the Fraser Valley assessment region (Includes Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows).
  • Top 100 Valued Residential Properties in the Richmond/Delta assessment regiona (Includes Ladner and Tsawwassen).

Visit and select e-valueBC to view and compare the assessed value of any BC property.


Happy Festivus!

Prepare for gridlock, line ups and snarly drivers within a 1 km radius of Park Royal – 'tis the season, as the holidays approach. This is time of year the real estate agents secretly head to Maui to recoup for the next round. Or is it? Staying in town to sell real estate this year could prove to be worthwhile!

We experienced extra ordinary sales in October 2014 – 16.6 % higher than the 10 year average due to strong demand from home buyers. Generally speaking (because there is no across the board truths when the topic is real estate!) sales are up as are prices and we are predominately in a sellers’ market.

This is true of North Vancouver, East Vancouver and in pockets of the Westside. In actual fact the worst performer is again - West Vancouver – the *sales to listing ratio. It looks like this:

Rate   Area Sale to List
1 Eastside Detached 37%
2 North Van Detached 32%
3 Downtown Detached 29%
4 Westside Detached 18%
5 West Van Detached 16%


*The number of sales relative to the number of new listings generally over 20% is considered a sellers’ market

High End Sales get higher -The continued increase in high end sales of luxury homes sends the average price up significantly for Greater Vancouver. Sales such as these top 5 on the MLS this year (there was a private sale of a condo for $25 million not on this list):


Note - the lowest sales are coming from North Vancouver, hence the very active market we are experiencing there with strong demand for any properties priced up to $1 million.
Overall it’s been an incredible year for real estate and a banner year for Andrews Group. ?

The nagging question is always what’s next? Predictions are (from Cameron Muir of the BC Real Estate Association – yes he is an industry guy, but he’s very good).  We will continue to see strong sales through to mid 2015, at which time, the long awaited, much anticipated hike in interest rates is expected to occur.  However the change is not to have a negative effect on prices, but more a precursor to a reduced number of sales resulting in a leveling out of home prices. 

We continue to see a high demand for building lots.  There are more and more entrants into this field of the market.  We don’t have facts, but we are willing to guess the number of speculative home builders has increased two fold in the last 5 years as many of the foreign buyers/investors enter into the fray.  This results in increased pressure on demand and a dwindling supply of this product.  Therefore the cost of a good building lot has increased more so than the cost of the average “reasonable” resale home.

Builder’s must make a profit, so the high cost of land and the ever increasing cost of building has put the price of a new home to new heights.  Recent sales of this type of product in the most desirable of neighborhoods in North Van are pushing the ceiling.  Just look at the numbers - 13 sales in 2014 over 2.5 million in and around the Edgemont area alone. 

The highest was 4.5 million for 2988 Brookridge, but this was a particularly outstanding property on 1 full acre a stone’s throw from the village.  More to the point was a (pre) sale of 3.3 million for 4259 Lions – a new home on an 11,000 sq. ft lot with a floor area of 6,000 sq. ft. (a pre-sale!!!)

In contrast, last year (2013) there were only 4 sales in the same area over 2.5 million.  The top seller last year was a property at 3197 Bewicke in Delbrook.  This property was on a 14,000 sq.ft lot and was 7,300 sq ft of house.


So one can clearly see the increase from one year to the next! Just 4 days ago 4130 Lions was listed at 3,488,000 (double 8’s to cross out the deathly 4). This price for 6,000 sq. ft new home on a 10,000 sq. ft lot is really breaking the ceiling.

There are better bargains to be had west of Bayridge in West Vancouver, this area is overlooked while the feeding frenzy takes place in certain pools of properties on the North Shore.

Despite the many naysayers of early 2014, the Vancouver market continues to defy all odds and common sense – which is about the only thing you can say is consistent about this market. We at Andrews Group continue to keep a watchful eye and remain busy throughout the holiday season……well one of us is going away.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season and Aloha till next year..?

Where you live does matter...

Welcome back to the (rising?) fall market 2014 – It’s been a very busy summer for Andrews Group and so apologies for being so behind with our Marketbrief! Our business is rocking and rolling and our team has expanded once again. In addition to the 3 of us licensed Realtors, (Brenden, Dana & Elaine) and our full time marketing expert (Ian) we have added a new administration manager to keep us in organized and in line – Lori Brandstrom. Lori is a long time North Shore resident and active member of the community. Her talents round out our team and she was an immediate fit into our culture of dedication to providing the highest level of service with integrity. Welcome Lori!

Undoubtedly one of the most common question we hear is “How is the market doing?”. In this article we answer that question, show the best and the worst, but with one caveat, this is not the whole picture.

As you can NEVER get the whole picture from the 'news' or from your friend who know as a banker in Alberta who just spoke with their friend who just moved to Vancouver, or seeing a bunch of for sale signs in your neighbourhood. There is always so much more going on in each specific area, you would really need to talk to us if you want more accuracy. The following is a general look which provides you with much more information than what the news media provides, but even then, it’s more complicated than these numbers. However that being said, you can clearly see some of the trends. For example:

Shining stars – North Van and Eastside – both areas have done amazing. How do we calculate? A common indicator of strong market is the “Sales to listing” ratio. This number indicates what % of the listings are actually selling. It’s usually a surprise to sellers to consider that listing their home may not bring about a sale. As a matter of fact it’s more likely NOT to bring about a sale. This is usually a tough nut to swallow, but for example, the North Vancouver market is HOT right now. The sales to list ratio in the summer for North Van was 37% for Detached Homes. Right behind it was the Eastside with 36%.

Here is the rule: Sellers Market = 21% or greater - Balanced Market = 15 – 20% - Buyers Market = 14% or less Here is the formula: Sales for the Month ÷ Active Listings = % of Homes Selling.

As you can see, even in the best market in the city, there is a 63% chance of not selling.(we're talking selling, not giving it away.

The worst performer was West Vancouver with 13% - which means you have an 87% chance of NOT SELLING. 2nd worst performer is the Westside with 17%. All stats are misleading of course. To really understand what this means in a given market one has to break it down to neighbourhood. North Vancouver has 35 neighbourhoods contributing to those stats. Eastside has only 16. Westside has 19 and West Vancouver has 35 (which includes all the way to Lions Bay).

Because of this, the sales ratio per neighbourhood in a given area can vary widely. For example Norgate in North Vancouver had a 100% sales ratio because this neighbourhood is a very small pocket of comparably inexpensive homes. In the period sampled there were only 2 homes listed and both sold, but Princess Park, a popular area of more expensive homes had only 1 out of 5 listings sell, putting its sales ratio at 20%.Both fall under the North Van Area Statistic. The overall picture does not tell the whole story. If you had a home in North Van listed, and didn't’t sell, chances are you probably not happy with your Realtor® and are feeling left behind. The fact is some houses are just harder to sell than others. It’s worth mentioning those reason.

Top 5 reasons in order of importance.


If your house suffers from one of these ailments, you will have to be very patient and you will also have to price it accordingly and even then may still have to be patient. Remember the ratio…even in a hot market without any of top 5 issues, your chances of selling are not great. These are the facts.

But lets look at the areas and their performance this summer:

Detached Homes Attached Homes
North Van:    37%   18%
West Van:    13%   13%
Eastside:      36%   30%
Westside:     17%   20%
Downtown:   25%


Top Performing Neighbourhoods (detached) Worse Performing Neighbourhoods (detached)
North Van:     Pemberton Heights Lynnmour
West Van:      Olde Caulfield Ambleside/Dundarave
Eastside:        Fraser Mt. Pleasant
Westside:       Dunbar Oakridge

** In choosing the top and worse performers, we had to use our opinion. We chose neighbourhoods with a more average number of sales. Example North Van – Pemberton Heights had 100% sales which was 9 homes out of 9 listings and Lynnmour had only 1 sale out of 11 listings. For more details, just e-mail us and we’ll send you all the stats!

So as you can see, it’s not a just a simple question of how is the market? Or believing what Global TV reports on the evening news, or for what’s in the Vancouver Sun for that matter. Almost always, the news media takes the highs and lows and reports it as the news. They don’t mention the details, or even the real situation. They are just filling up time and providing fodder for your next coffee break. IF you want real stats, that pertain to you give us a call! If you want we can tell you why your home didn't’t sell, but you may not want to hear it.?



Buy a whole 55 acre BC town 80 km north of Whistler

Imagine owning a whole town for less than a home on the North Shore! Crazy!




Cypress Challenge raised over $415,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Research

Andrews Group participated in the 7th annual Cypress Hill Climb challenge bike race this last August 16th to help raise awareness and funds for this worthy cause. The event was the brainchild of Geoff and Myriam Glotman in response to losing Myriam’s mother Betty Ergas to Pancreatic Cancer. We raised over $12,000 for this event with Ian and Elaine and Lori (our new admin assistant) racing the gruelling 14 km up hill to the top. Many thanks to our friends and clients for their support. We would not have been successful without you!! ? click here to learn more about this worthy cause.


The Acquisition of Land

Changing Landscapes

Two weeks ago, Andrews Group listed a home in South Granville. More accurately the area is closer to Kerrisdale than South Granville, but MLS categorizes it as such.  

Quiet tree lined streets, well groomed laurels, mature rhodos, and a luxury car or two in most every driveway; this district has always been desirable with the well to do.  As early as 1905 families were attracted to and settled in the area.  A charming neighborhood quickly developed with a mix of bungalows and upper scale family homes, many with character of an era gone by.


Prestige, central location, (smack in the middle between downtown and the airport) great community with good schools, an elegant mix of shops and restaurants attracts keen interest from the real estate market. It’s a highly desirable spot and the price of a typical home here is exceedingly high.  A classic home in this area resembles the picture below and sells for around 3 million dollars.


Welcome to the 80's

In the 1980’s Vancouver experienced an influx of foreign buyers, mostly from Hong Kong, in search of status wielding properties, these buyers were not ones for older homes.  During this period, many homes on the desired west side were purchased and torn down.  In their place massive homes utilizing the maximum possible square footage for the property, were built.  Though there was some outcry, not much has really been done and the typical home being built in the 80’s looked like this:

The 80’s, not the best decade for taste, I should know (I had the clothes and hair style to prove it), and a somewhat hideous style of home was being built by most developers - not so classic or classy.  Case in point, this home doesn’t conjure up the same “Leave it to Beaver” feeling many us equate with a neighborhood of character does it?  Where is the charm?  In that semi-circle?  Unfortunately many of these were built – it’s called progress and development and neighborhoods change.  

In municipalities with an official Heritage Register, buildings are categorized based on their historical importance, such as Vancouver’s A, B, and C classes, or North Vancouver’s Primary, Secondary, and Supplemental classes.  These classifications reflect the building’s level of protection against future alteration or demolition. In most municipalities, homes in the highest heritage category cannot be altered without municipal approval, but many nice homes exhibiting some character of the period don’t fall into heritage status and are open season for builders.  Such was the home we listed.

Multiple Offers

Our little old semi character home was extremely desirable, not only was it on a great street and on the right side of the street, but it also carried an authentic 8 at the end of its address.  It’s notable that every other home in that block now also ends with 8 – an option available at the city of Vancouver for a mere $200 for a lifetime of wealth coming your way.  The same option can be purchased in West Vancouver for $1,000…

Of course, acting for the sellers, it was our strategic plan to build up as much interest as possible.  We limited access and advertised in the Chinese Real Estate weekly, Real Estate Weekly, Outlook,,,,, Craigslist, and a 7000 pc mailout as well - massing tension in the buyers.  The calls, e-mails and texts grew each hour as we grew closer to the day of reckoning.  The agent’s open and the public open were well attended.

Groups of buyers, whole families of 2 to 8 politely toured through and inspected the offering, taking additional pictures, conversing in foreign languages and walking the property.   Those with interest made enquires of the sellers expectations.  We kept track of all attentive parties and kept them apprised as time went on.  When the actual day arrived, the interest had grown into a frenzy of communications. 

The Day of Execution

On the day, anticipation and pressure was high for both buyers and seller.  We received over 50 texts and 65 phone calls about this property on that day alone– it was insanity.  Two buyers came directly to us to write offers because they thought they were hedging their bets by going through the listing realtor (always love that). Offers were at 5:30 on a Monday evening.  We arrived at 5:15pm with 2 offers already in hand, 2 sent on e-mail en-route to the house.  Outside the home was a parade of black SUV’s, Mercedes and BMW’s lined along both sides of the street with agents and a few buyers talking amongst themselves in heavy discussion about the item up for bids.  The games had begun.

The Seller

Inside the house was Margret, our lovley owner of the home, along with her children and their spouses, anxiously waiting.   Margret looked all of 90 pounds, fit, well dressed and sharp as a tack.  She had paid $27,500 for this home and it was home for the last 50 years.  She wasn’t sure where she was going to go and hesitated selling because of it, but she knew the home had outgrown her and her family encouraged she move to something more suitable, closer in and safe. It was perhaps beyond time.

The Presentations

And so it began, ahead of schedule, why keep everyone waiting?  It was difficult to manage the order of presenters because we weren’t sure who was there first or in what order others were arriving.  A particularly zealous realtor, who had been in constant contact, was anxious to be first and so initiated the process.  A somewhat young agent, well-dressed, very polite; her clients, new to Canada, were a family of three and were waiting outside. 

It’s wise to have the client available in a multiple offer.  Should any changes need to be agreed upon, it can be dealt with right there.  Our first agent beamed about the creditworthiness of her clients and reverently covered the details of her offer to the attentive sellers seated around the table - including Margret.  The offer was strong, over asking and there was a deposit cheque, but she had subjects.  

Though this first offer had promise, expectations were high and we had 12 more to review.   One after another each agent sat down and presented the terms of their offers, some very professional and prepared, others looked like they had just finished a walk with the dog, then popped in last minute with an offer.  One of them brought his client right to the table and wrote in the dates and details through agreement with us.  Four agents brought bank drafts to show they indeed had the deposit, most were subject free, most were close to or over asking, but each was different and we kept the best on top.

Some offered that Margret could stay in the house for little or no rent for a period of time, one suggested she pay market rent at $5,000 per month.  It was difficult for Margret to imagine paying $5,000 a month when she had paid $27,500 for the property to begin with.  We tried to explain this to the agent since financially his was one of the best, but he would only reduce it to $3,500.  

Agents revolved in and out of the door, introductions and presentations carried on.  There was continual interruption of my  phone ringing with calls to check on status and texts were jingling even more frequently.  These calls could not be ignored as each was potentially an integral part of the process.  To say it was hectic would not aptly describe the scene – it was madness. After a while Margret grew tired of the procession and began asking everyone if they wanted anything while she mulled about in the kitchen sorting out nuts and cookies.  She seemed a little bored, but the family was enjoying this and the tension turned to excitement as the money grew.

Almost 5 Hours Later

Emotions were high on both sides of the table.  It became clear there were 5 of 13 offers serious enough to give each of the agents the option to sweeten their deal. And theydid, as subjects were removed, prices went higher, and possession became more acceptable.  Considering this was a multiple offer situation to begin with, it never ceases to amaze us how much more room is still available.  If someone really wants a property, they can usually dig a little deeper and find a little more – in this case that was from $75,000 to $200,000 more. The offer process had turned into an auction with each agent outbidding the other.  Everyone on their phones negotiating with their buyers or consulting them on the street, vying for the top spot.  All of us were on low battery with our cell phones and were scrambled to recharge into anything.- there are few plugs in old houses!

Settling on the Best of the Best

The 5 best contenders were whittled down to 3, the 3 played against each other. In the end we settled on the highest bid with the best odds of completion, and the best terms for our client. $300,000 over the asking price, no subjects, a deposit cheque for $600,000, closing in 3 weeks and the ability for our client to stay up to 4 months at no cost to her. 

Final signatures were signed, offer accepted and the deal was done.  It took almost 5 hours.  The winner of the bids?  A buyer from  China who has never even stepped foot in Vancouver…

Through our sales process we knocked on a few doors in the neighborhood.  The older residents were sad to hear Margret was leaving. “It will be bought and torn down” they said, some of them asked us if the house would stay, but sadly it will not.  It will become another 5 to 7 million dollar mansion in 2014 style. This neighborhood will continue down its path of change for better or worse.  

Multiple Offer Facts:

  1. Just because you have multiple offers does not mean you will get a no subject, over-asking offer. You will still get anything and everything in an offer.
  2. Pricing your home below market does not guarantee multiple offers. There are no offers till you have a written offer in hand – talk is cheap.
  3. You don’t have to accept any of the offers on your home if they are not agreeable to you – even if it was over asking with no subjects.
  4. Some buyers will pull out because of the multiple offer situation – the competition is not for everyone and you can lose a good buyer.
  5. Having a cheque along with the offer is most comforting – buyer’s remorse is likely to kick in the next day.

The Numbers

The graph is growing as we are already ¼ way into the year.  Looking at the sales we can see we were off to a good start, but it has been little slower the last 6 weeks on the NorthShore.  This is not the case with the Westside, where the number of sales has been edging upward.  However note how many properties in North Van are going over the asking amount!  Many of these properties are in the $1 million range as buyer are putting pressure on this end of the market. 

Days on the market are also reducing as we are clearly into the spring time and activity level is high. 

Of course the number of listings continues to increase and we will likely see this till around mid/late June. 

The Graphs

The graphs show us a picture of the last 4 years of listing and sales in both West and North Vancouver.  It’s one of the easiest way to see how the year is stacking up.

WV listings are creeping up, and have leveled as discussed above in the The Numbers spreadsheet, but we can see they are remaining below 2013 which was a year with a lot of supply. 

WV sales started out well, had been dipping a bit and now a sharp rise, big change from last year.  We are hopeful this will continue in the upcoming weeks as activity feels like it has improved now the long spring break is over!

NV listings are also on the rise and reaching up to 2013 as well and though sale prices have been strong, actual sales have leveled at last years number. 



Court Ordered Sales

Chesterfield - interesting alternative to apartment living with 800 sq. ft for $599,000 in an almost new home.

W 19th- listed 9% below assessed value in a great central Westside location

Norvan - purchased for $340,000 in 2008 in Sechelt on the struggling Sunshine Coast

Ontario - listed at only 76% of assessed value, owner lives at Angus Drive?  and acquired the property in 1992

OMG February Already!

It’s too late to say Happy New Year – even if you’re Chinese!  January has been a very busy month for the real estate market in general and especially for Andrews Group – so apologies in a late start to the Market Brief.

Why so busy you ask?  2013 ended on a strong note in comparison to a rather tepid 2012 with sales increasing by 14% and most of that activity was in the last 6 months of the year. 

This activity did not trump 2011 (the banner year and reporting 11% more in sales), but that was an unreasonable year!   The market seems to be running at a stable pace at the moment.  More balanced shall we say…

Prices have been constant with some upswing for the most part, but nothing significant or exciting to write about.

Best performers = High End Luxury Market – which continues with strong momentum and those numbers do skew the reality of the average house. 

Worst performers = apartment/condos – especially in West Van????  Results show a flat line the last 5 years and everyone asks us why.  Our opinion – folks in West Vancouver want a house, old folks plan to be “removed in a pine box”. 

The largest % of apartments in West Van have unreasonable restrictions.  Imagine spending over 1 million on your home and then being told you can’t bring Felix or Fifi and if you go away, you can’t rent it out (No Pets or Rentals).  We think that’s too strict and those strata’s (the governing body of the building) are shooting themselves right in the foot!
Single family homes however remain your best investment

Let’s look at the Real Estate Boards House Price Index, which tries to take these homes out of the equation and give a more accurate picture.  Here are the graphs for the last 3 years in each of the markets we regularly examine:












On a personal note


 In 2013 Andrews Group added another member of the family, Dana Torrell, to the team.  Now we are 3 licensed realtors – all family members, working for the common good of our clients. 

We have grown both professionally and personally into our roles within the company.   Luckily we all love each other and get along with great respect for the uniqueness each of us brings to the table.

Dana brings strong business acumen to the group and keeps us organized and on track.

Brenden’s astuteness and incredible memory for details keeps us ahead of the curve when it comes to servicing our clients.

The young blood injects a higher intensity of energy which transforms into greater ability  to provide superior service to our clients!!. Plus we couldn’t be more committed to everyone’s success.  It’s been positive growth and we continue to fine tune each week as we review what’s working and what needs improvements.  The only problem is I seem to be working harder!! But I love it. 

I like to look back and reflect on what lessons each year brings as we move into the next.  We had some high moments and some low ones.  Accomplished some great things and yet, oddly, still managed to make a few mistakes...

I am grateful for the good times and vow to always learn from the hard/bad times.  As I have come to realize each setback almost always brings with it lesson and once accepted, something better lies ahead, and most certainly emerges into a more powerful you.  It’s all good. 

On that note if you are interested, I’ll share a personal story of a really “dumb” moment last year, which gave me pause to reflect on why it was painful – this in turn, helped me to move on and that’s what we have to do isn’t it?

Read my story here: Keep Moving On!

 Hope 2014 is a great year for you and your family!!  We wish you the very best.



Numbers so far...

We’ve added 3 weeks from last year...

West Van Sales for the 2nd week of January this year at 26 when last year was 26, but then 17.  Plus 8% of the sales were over asking and there were more reductions.

More notably North Vancouver had 17 sales on Jan 20th of last year and 61 sales on the 26th of this year with 18% going over asking.  

The Westside jumping up from 118 sales to 172 this year and 13% over asking. 

The number of listings of course will build over the next couple of months and we’ve yet to see, but for now, we seem to be little lower on the supply side and higher on the demand side of things..


Comapre with the begining of last year



Court Ordered Sales

This month there are several more than appear, so if you’d like the most recent list of all properties please e-mail us.

Here are 6 properties recently put on the market.  The most interesting seemingly to be 1466 Gower Point in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast. 

This property is 17,250 sq. ft with 2 structures on it. One to live in and one available to rent or make a studio.  It’s a depressed area and there are some bargains on the Sunshine Coast, other areas with some great deals are Bowen Island and Squamish. 

These areas have been left behind of Vancouver’s boom in real estate.


Lamb in Lion Out

Just like unpredictable spring weather, or perhaps more like typical Vancouver weather, Vancouver’s real estate market continues to mock the predictors, soothsayers, experts, and carry on its own course regardless of what people are saying. As it’s the end of the year, it seems fitting time to review – then tuck the data into the history banks whilst looking to the New Year and taking a stab at predicting all over again. It’s what we humans do and we’re proud of it.

After a disappointing fall 2012 with miserable sales and a fairly flat start to 2013 – sales picked up steam as the year went on and despite the heavy cloud of burgeoning interest rates and all the doom and gloom that comes with that storm. Yet again, for like the 5th year in row, it didn’t happen - and yet again no bursting of the bubble? As a matter of fact the upward rise of sales has outshone last fall and currently sits at the 10 year average.

Look at these numbers – Last November in 2012 sales of detached homes on Vancouver’s Westside were 76 – this year 142. West Van logged a miserable 32 sales in November 2012 and this year saw that number more than double to 78. North Van has had a steadier time of it this year (meaning it has enjoyed a more consistent year), however it too went from 6 sales in Nov. 2012 to 83 sales for Nov. 2014. Over all the market activity has improved as the months went by and we will finish well. The REBGV reports sales up 37% which is more in line with North Van’s increase, but obviously Westside and West Van have performed better than the average.

To put the 3 areas on graph from January 2012 to November 2013 – the graph looks like this: 

How much are sellers getting?

Sale prices have only seen a very modest increase in the last 2 years. Poor performance and some frankly over priced houses in 2012 and early 2013 didn’t fool buyers. They tended to offer much less than the over inflated asking price. The following graph shows the percentage of the sale price properties sold for. You will note that North Vancouver did best here with its less volatile and steadier market, so prices remained within reason and even at it’s lowest point, the average seller was getting 93.5% of their asking price, where Westside was only getting 89.7% and West Vancouver looking at averaging only 87.1%. At the end of this year prices have increased slightly after taking a slight dip last year and now folks are only discounting an average of 7% of their asking price and North Van only discounting 4.5% off theirs. By the way – Andrews Group is very happy to average our sales at 98% of their asking price – it helps when our clients listen to our advice on listing price of course?

Average Sale Prices in each area:

As mentioned above we have seen a slight increase. Here is a detailed look at the averages month to month for each given area in not one but two formats for you! both numerical and on a linear graph so you can see we pretty much ended up right back to from where we started from. You may note that West Van’s average price is actually down a bit when one looks at the actual numbers. We were surprised at that, given a number of higher end sales, but this is what the numbers tell us: The spread sheet – it doesn’t lie.

The Chart – shows the more volatile ups and downs of West Vancouver and the Westside and how they crossed paths a few times….

Prediction for 2014

Ha – no predictions from this fine team. We know enough to know we don’t know ? We do know there remains a steady demand for our real estate. People want to live in Vancouver and they love the North Shore for what it has to offer, they also love the prestige of the Westside and West Vancouver. In our next market brief we will break down a few neighbourhoods for where the best buys are and where we feel people are focusing on and why. There is not a lot of options with mountains, rivers and oceans blocking the sprawl of our finest neighbourhoods and interest rates for now seem to be sticking right where they are. We will continue to report what we see and give you the facts at all times!

More numbers: The totals spread sheet

We’ve really given you a lot of number already we know, but this running graph we manually pull each 2 weeks backs up the solid sales in all areas. As you can see Dec. 1st shows an increase in sales across all three areas and you will note the number of listings decreasing each period – EXCEPT for West Vancouver apartments. It’s a phenomenon how difficult they remain to sell. All the developers and district hall points to the need for higher density, and yet, really, people in West Van want to live in houses and not condos. The condos available have restricted the rules so much that no one wants to play! No Dogs, No Cats, No rentals, No children – they’ve excluded 60% of population. Many people feel West Van is just NO FUN – and prefer to live downtown or even choose the more vibrant North Vancouver Lower Lonsdale area at ½ the price for a newer condominium. We’d love to see the strata corporations lighten up a bit. Just our opinion? Also note the percentage of properties going over asking. West Vancouver is performing the worse in this area, but the Westside and North Vancouver still seeing around 15% of the properties that sold going over asking.

These graphs show us the supply and demand for West Vancouver and North Vancouver over a 4 year period. North Van listings now on the higher side, though since fall they have been below last year. West Vancouver on the other hand had a very high listing count right up till fall of this year when they finally dipped ever so slightly below 2012 – Still at this point, they are at an all time high point. Sales as mentioned have seen a pretty good autumn for both North and West Vancouver and looks as if that might continue to the end of the year.

Court Ordered Sales

We have 6 properties for selected for review in the Court Ordered section of our news brief. By far the most interesting is 4637 Cochrane on the Sunshine Coast , close to Madeira park. This home was purchased for $480,000 back in 2007 in what looks like a private sale. It’s assessed at $340,000 and is now listed at only $260,000. The property is ½ an acre! Next best choice is 1542 White Sails Dr. on sadly depressed Bowen Island. This property was purchased for $525,000 back in 2008 and is assessed at $495,000 – asking now $388,000. This is a cute home on an 8,320 sq. ft lot and is right in Turnstall Bay. The 555 Inglewood home is a tough sale - poor location, on a busy road, in a dark hollow - in Cedardale. The builder overbuilt and chose interesting, but not mainstream fixtures and finishes for a speculative build – not a wise plan. It’s been on the market since January 2012 when it was listed at $3,188,000 now a court ordered sale at $2,198,000.

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