Just Sold! 404 Silverdale

I have just sold this stunning home which was featured on the cover of BC Home & Garden Magazine! If you missed this great opportunity – email me below to find out about other similar homes in your neighbourhood that are coming up for sale!

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It boasts an irreplaceable property situated on a 12,000 sq. ft. sun drenched lot offering west exposure & backing onto a private green belt. The outdoor space is an entertainer’s dream featuring lush landscaping, designer patio, pool & spa. The interior has undergone spectacular reno to create an open living space that embraces both function & modernism with style that merges the owner’s love & passion for entertaining family & friends.

The beautiful classic exterior & modern contemporary interior are a perfect blend for this outstanding neighbourhood. No attention to detail has been spared. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own your dream home.

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Tourists are back Buying Vancouver Waterfront Condos

Tourists Return To Buying Vancouver Coal Harbour Condos

The dropping Canadian dollar, along with Vancouver’s natural beauty, is bringing impromptu foreign buyers back to the Coal Harbour area, says one realtor.

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“It happened a long time ago and now it seems to be happening again,” Shaun Kimmins with Sotheby’s International Realty told The Huffington Post B.C. in an interview. He said his office fielded dozens of daily inquiries from tourists this summer.

Reblogged from The Huffington Post Canada | Andree Lau

“People walk in and with no previous intention of setting out to buy property, end up just falling in love with the area on a sunny day, walking into our office and end up writing offers.”

While Chinese visitors buying property remains consistent, it’s the American clients that have returned, he said.

Kimmins has sold several waterfront condos ranging between $2 million and $4 million this year to U.S.-based clients who use them as vacation properties.

When the towers in Coal Harbour were going up around 2001, the low dollar attracted many Americans. But as it swung up to $1.05, many cashed in.

“They have to be objects of desire but they also have to represent a safe or secure investment,” said Kimmins. “Now that we’ve seen a reversal in the depression of the [Canadian] dollar versus the U.S. dollar, we’re sensing that there’s more money coming back and buying back in.”

One of Kimmins’ clients from Mexico, who already owns in the area, bought a $5.5 million waterfront property this summer.

Meanwhile, Canadians who left Vancouver to work in Hong Kong after obtaining citizenship appear to be moving back to Vancouver, realtor Winfield Yan told the Georgia Straight.

The cost of living in Hong Kong is high, with rich mainland Chinese pushing locals there out of the real estate market, he said.

Read the original article here

Just Sold! 1695 West 10th Ave #107

I have just sold this lovely 2 bedroom co-op in fantastic South Granville – Sherwood Manor, very well run co-op in a great character building!

Living Room

Living Room

If you missed this great opportunity – email me below to find out about other similar homes in your neighbourhood that are coming up for sale!

Affordable living on pretty, quiet, tree lined street. Walk to shops, restaurant, transit, Granville Island and seawall. Extra spacious with original solid oak inlaid hardwood floors waiting to be revealed restored. Lots of insuite storage with add’l storage locker, bike & trunk room.

Other Info:  1 cat welcome with council approval, no rentals and 16+ age restriction. Co-op housing is not a leasehold, nor is there any work-share requirement.

Bonus: Drop Everything and Go Exploring

Reblogged from The Huffington Post Canada

 

Sure, it’s a bit rainy in B.C. these days, and we grumble about the cost of living here. But take a few minutes to sit back and take in this majestic new video from Destination B.C., the province’s tourism agency.

It makes us want to bolt out of the office to climb a glacier, hike through a forest, and hug a spirit bear. (Uh, or maybe just try to spot one.)

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Read original article here

Just Listed! 1695 West 10th Ave #107

I have just listed this large 2 bedroom in fantastic South Granville – Sherwood Manor, very well run co-op in a great character building!

View – 107-1695 W 10th Ave Flyer
Photo Tour
– Map & Walkscore (98 – Walker’s Paradise!)

Affordable living on pretty, quiet, tree lined street. Walk to shops, restaurant, transit, Granville Island and seawall. Extra spacious with original solid oak inlaid hardwood floors waiting to be revealed restored. Lots of insuite storage with add’l storage locker, bike & trunk room.

Other Info:  1 cat welcome with council approval, no rentals and 16+ age restriction. Co-op housing is not a leasehold, nor is there any work-share requirement. Email me to discuss!

VIFF features on Chinatown and Japantown raise questions about Vancouver’s urban changes

TWO SELECTIONS AT this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival cast their gaze upon historical neighbourhoods in Vancouver: Chinatown and Japantown. Together, they raise interesting questions for discussion about not only the past, present, and future of these areas, but also about what is becoming of our entire city as urban change and development overtake us.

Although Chinatown and Japantown were distinct from one another, they shared many parallels.

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Both areas neighboured one another on the edges of the Downtown Eastside, and both were formed by ethnic groups as a result of numerous historical social factors, including language barriers and racial discrimination.

Julia Kwan‘s documentary Everything Will Be takes an intimate and sensitive look at how current changes in Chinatown are affecting citizens who live and work in the area. Meanwhile, The Vancouver Asahi, which tells the story of a legendary local baseball team of Japanese Canadians, recreates life in Japantown during the 1930s.

Reblogged from The Georgia Straight | Craig Takeuchi

Chinatown, past and present

UBC planning professor Andy Yan was one of the people Kwan chatted with while conducting research for her film. Like Kwan, Yan has ties to the neighbourhood—his family owned businesses there. His great-grandfather owned Most Modern Cleaners while his father owned the Kwong Chow Restaurant. His grandmother also raised him in the area.

For his master’s thesis, Yan took an in-depth look into Chinatown and issues about revitalizing degenerating neighbourhoods.

What’s interesting to note is that prior to Chinatown, the area was an Italian and southern European enclave. As Kwan’s documentary reveals, one Italian family-run business in that area remains, Tosi & Company (current proprietor Angelo Tosi is featured as an interviewee in the film).

This shift in ethnic dominance in various areas is one that has repeatedly occurred throughout the city’s history. Both local, national, and international economics and politics have determined not only waves of immigration from different countries but also what types of class and professionals the city has attracted. As but one example, Robson Street used to be known as Robsonstrasse, due to the growth of German immigration in the area.

Yan explained by phone that Chinatown began as a bachelor’s society, but grew as women arrived and families began to grow, particularly after the Second World War.

“The completion of the [Canadian Pacific] railway in 1886 certainly helped increase the population of Chinese Canadians to concentrate and move to cities like Vancouver and Victoria and begin in neighbourhoods like Chinatown, but also the kind of ongoing relationships to Chinese settlements throughout the province was in part connected and coordinated out of the neighbourhood.”

Both Chinatown and Japantown were also hit by the Anti-Asian Riots of 1907. The Asiatic Exclusion League, formed by local labourers concerned about their jobs being taken away by cheaper Asian labour, became upset by Asian immigration. In reaction, they marched through downtown Vancouver and continued into Chinatown and Japantown (also known as Little Tokyo) where they smashed businesses and looted stores.

The attacks did not deter the communities, however. While Japantown blossomed up until 1941, Chinatown particularly boomed in the 1960s and ’70s.

Read 1287 more words here…

Empty homes not the issue in Vancouver, Urban Futures think-tank says

A THINK-TANK THAT looks into demographic and economic issues has had enough of some of the talk around unoccupied homes in Vancouver.

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Noting that “with recent headlines speculating on the share of the City’[s] unoccupied housing stock ranging between 25 and 50 percent”, Urban Futures thinks it might be helpful to give out again its previous report on vacant dwellings in Canada.

Reblogged from The Georgia Straight | Carlito Pablo

In a media release today (September 26) providing a link to the paper “Much Ado About Nothing: What the Census data say, and don’t say, about foreign & temporary residents and unoccupied dwellings”, Urban Futures states that “discussions around this issue have suffered from, at best, misrepresentation of the available data to consider the issue”.

“At worst they are further entrenching misconceptions about housing occupancy in the region,” the group adds.

The Urban Futures study notes that an average of 4.8 percent of dwelling units in 33 major metropolitan areas across Canada was unoccupied during the 2011 census.

“With a 5.4 percent level of unoccupied units, the Vancouver CMA [census metropolitan area] was above the CMA average, but the difference was slight compared to other CMAs, such as the Victoria (7.5 percent), London and Windsor (6.9 percent), St. Catherines/Niagara and Sherbrooke (both at 6.8 percent) regions,” the paper states.

Zeroing in on apartments, Metro Vancouver had 6.2 percent vacant, which is “below the 7.0 percent average for all 33 of the CMAs in Canada”.

“The average of 5.4 percent of all private dwellings in the Vancouver CMA being unoccupied at the time of the Census represented underlying levels of 3.2 percent of the single detached stock, 6.2 percent of apartments, and 6.8 percent of attached ground oriented units. Single detached units accounted for 20 percent of the unoccupied units in the region on Census day, perhaps reflective of 2011’s active real estate sales market,” the paper notes.

It goes on: “Within the Vancouver region, with an overall average of 6.2 percent, unoccupied apartments accounted for a slightly above average share in the City of Vancouver (6.7 percent) and West Vancouver (6.9 percent), and well above average shares in Pitt Meadows (8.7 percent), Surrey (9.2 percent), and in the UBC/UEL area (10.1 percent). The spatial pattern of unoccupied apartment units throughout the region is driven by a wide range of factors, from the prominence of student populations within each municipality to sales activity.”

The authors note that there are no census data on foreign ownership or investment in housing.

Their conclusion: “There are significant housing issues in this region—the levels of occupancy by foreign and/or temporary residents and level of unoccupied units are not among them.”

Last year, the Straight spoke with one of the authors of the report, economist Ryan Berlin, who said at that time: “We were just trying to reframe the debate in terms of the actual numbers and in terms of the definitions.”

Read original article and more here…

Real-estate analyst says Lower Mainland elections could influence housing prices

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DON CAMPBELL LIKES to say that he doesn’t sell real estate. “I’m just a researcher,” insists the author of several books on property investing.

Campbell also likes to say that because he’s not selling property, he can be counted on to offer an unbiased perspective. He’s the founding partner of the Real Estate Investment Network, a Langley-based company that provides market analysis to clients.

Reached by the Georgia Straight on his cellphone for an interview about the fall municipal elections, he was forthcoming about which cities he’s watching.

Reblogged from The Georgia Straight | Carlito Pablo

Surrey is number one on his shortlist of three. According to Campbell, B.C.’s second-largest municipality has been “excellent” on a number of fronts. One is the development of its town centres. Another is the protection of farmland. Third is its ability to provide more affordable housing than Vancouver.

“And now that Dianne Watts is no longer going to be the mayor and heading up that focus, it’s going to be very interesting to see (a) who gets in next, and (b) what their policies are,” Campbell said. “They need to keep very similar policies that they’ve got now. They’re growing at such a rapid rate that if they start changing policy now, they’ll get caught in a lot of problems.”

Earlier this year, REIN released its latest report on the top B.C. towns in which to invest in real estate, and Surrey topped the list.

Former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum and councillor Linda Hepner have announced that they’re running for the city’s top post. Councillor Barinder Rasode is widely expected to join the fray.

Campbell said that he’s also looking at what happens in Abbotsford. In REIN’s latest report on the top towns in B.C. for real-estate investment, Abbotsford placed third after Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, which came second.

Underscoring that he’s not siding with anyone in particular, Campbell said that he’d like to see that the next Abbotsford council “understands that the Surrey model is a sustainable model”. Another concern he has regarding Abbotsford is the need for the municipality to attract jobs.

Vancouver is third on Campbell’s list of cities to watch. “The next mayor, whether it’s the current one or a different one, is really going to have to tap into us being that high-tech hub, and attracting that millennial-aged, well-paid employee because they can, you know, afford to live in Vancouver.”

Asked about New Westminster, Campbell admitted that he’s not familiar with its politics.

But there’s one thing he has observed about the Royal City: “What they need is a new economic-development focus that right now hasn’t been communicated very well.”

Campbell explained that while the city has transit and jobs, it “seems to have missed the majority of the real-estate demand curve that you saw in Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby, [and] Coquitlam”.

It’s mostly “reputational”, according to Campbell, pointing out that New Westminster needs a brand that is attractive to young people and families.

“What it needs is a new message by the city put out to the world of, ‘Hi, we’re New Westminster, here are our positives,’ and a new, young, fresh mayor might do that,” Campbell said.

He emphasized that he doesn’t know much about Jonathan Cote, a young councillor who declared in June that he wants to become the next mayor. Incumbent four-term mayor Wayne Wright hasn’t announced his plans. According to Campbell, “The mayor is just one of many moving parts in a city’s reputation.”

Campbell also mentioned one other thing in connection with civic elections: the impact on real estate of decisions made by mayors and councils on public transportation. According to him, every time a new rapid-transit system like the Evergreen Line in the Tri-Cities area is developed, demand for real estate shoots up along its corridor.

Surrey council has been pushing for a three-pronged, street-level light-rail system that would connect Surrey Centre with Guildford, Newton, and Langley. For its part, Vancouver wants a subway along Broadway to UBC.

Read original article here

Green incentives a must for developers, says report

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NOT SURPRISINGLY, RESIDENTS in areas well served by public transit drive less.

Reblogged from The Georgia Straight | Carlito Pablo

Driving less means fewer greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, which is good for a warming planet. But what if there’s a way to boost this benefit to mitigate climate change?

An information item included in the agenda for the meeting on Friday (September 12) of Metro Vancouver’s housing committee gives some direction. It’s a summary of a report with a self-explanatory title: “Why Creating and Preserving Affordable Homes Near Transit Is a Highly Effective Climate Protection Strategy”.

The full report can be found on the website of the two U.S. nonprofits behind it, the California Housing Partnership Corporation and TransForm. The paper cites analysis of data provided by 36,000 households in three types of locations in California: transit-oriented, areas with less frequent transit, and not transit-oriented (those more than a half-mile away from transit or that don’t get as much transit service as the first two categories).

It also uses five income categories: extremely low income, very low income, low income, moderate income, and higher income.

The 16-page report notes that households in transit-oriented areas use transit three to four times more than those in other areas.

Although that is to be expected, the paper points to a much higher “transit trip bonus” from extremely low income and very low income households in transit-oriented neighbourhoods. That is, they take transit 50 percent more than their neighbours in the higher income brackets. This finding has implications for how policy should be geared toward residential development in transit nodes.

The paper notes soaring demand from high-income households for luxury apartments near public transit in California. However, there is little private interest in developing homes for low-income families in transit-oriented areas.

The situation may be similar here in Metro Vancouver. Although current and future transit locations are attractive sites for development, housing prices in general are beyond the reach of many working families.

The report also draws a model wherein public investments are made in affordable homes in transit-oriented locations. With 10 percent of revenues from California’s auction of GHG cap-and-trade allowances, the state could build—over a period of three fiscal years—“15,000 transit-connected homes that would remove 105,000,000 miles of vehicle travel per year”.

“Over the 55-year estimated life of these buildings, this equates to eliminating 5.7 billion miles of driving off of California roads,” the paper states. “That equates to over 1.58 million metric tons of GHG reductions, even with cleaner cars and fuels anticipated.”

The paper also suggests providing additional incentives to developers for more GHG-reducing measures in projects in transit-oriented locations. Topping these measures is housing more extremely and very low income families. Another is for developers to provide free transit passes.

According to the report, developers can also be encouraged to create space for bike-sharing and provide amenities like bicycle-repair stations and “pedestrian trunks to support walking to shopping”.

Relaxation of parking requirements for developments in transit-oriented areas may also be a good incentive for developers.

The report cites a prototypical example of an approximately three-hectare site with an original plan to build 875 units in six-storey buildings and a parking requirement of 1.65 spaces per unit. By designating the entire development as “affordable” for extremely low income households, the parking can be reduced to less than one space per unit, allowing the developer to add 146 units. The paper also notes an interesting detail, which is that “contrary to popular perception, lower-income households have relatively high car ownership when they lack access to transit.”

“This finding is significant because it indicates the large financial savings that lower income households can accrue by being able to avoid vehicle ownership by living near transit,” the report notes. “Transportation costs, primarily those associated with vehicle purchase, maintenance and operations, are the second highest household cost after housing.”

Read original article here

Yaletown properties assessments reduced

THE PROPERTY ASSESSMENT Appeal Board has approved a joint recommendation from Bosa Development (Pacific Point) Inc. and B.C. Assessment’s area assessor for the Vancouver Sea to Sky Region to reduce the valuations on nine addresses on the northwest edge of Yaletown.

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Reblogged from The Georgia Straight | Charlie Smith

In 2013, Bosa Development completed the Pacific Point project at the corner of Homer and Pacific streets.

For 425, 427, and 429 Pacific Street, there were reductions of 6.7 percent, 17.8 percent, and 15.8 percent, respectively.

These three properties were initially assessed at $900,500. As a result of the agreement, the three sites are now valued at $790,000.

Six other addresses in the 1300 block of Homer experienced a collective drop in assessment from $2.5 million to $2.3 million. For these six sites, the average reduction was seven percent.

In each instance, the value of the land was reduced but the value of the “improvement” (i.e., the building) remained the same. This indicates that under certain circumstances, B.C. Assessment may be prepared to make adjustments on its assessments of land in the downtown core.

Lower assessed values translate into lower property taxes. That’s because municipal and school levies are based on B.C. Assessment’s valuations.

The head of Bosa Development, Nat Bosa, was in the news late last month after he and his wife bought the famed 106-year-old Empress Hotel in Victoria. The Bosas purchased the 477-room hotel from Ivanhoé Cambridge for an undisclosed price.

The Empress Hotel was designed by architect Francis Mawson Rattenbury. His fame increased after he was murdered in England in 1935 by his wife’s lover.

In addition to designing the Empress Hotel, Rattenbury was the architect of the neighbouring parliament buildings in Victoria and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Read the original article and more here.