Westside Upper-End Market Trends 2013
While first quarter demand for luxury homes has softened on Vancouver’s coveted Westside year-overyear—with sales down 18 per cent from 2012, the second-best Q1 on record—activity remains at a historically healthy level.
Seventy-four homes priced over $3 million changed hands in the fi rst three months of the year, demonstrating that confidence in what is arguably the city’s pre-eminent blue-chip area, continues to be buoyant—a testament to the industry adage, ‘location, location, location.’ Yet, the market has been impacted by current economic realities at home and abroad.
The enthusiasm of international buyers, and the Chinese in particular, has waned, as growth has slowed in China and as Vancouver’s prices have posted substantial gains over the past fi ve years. Currently, the market remains in balanced territory, with the University area emerging as 2013’s most sought-after neighbourhood, while the perennial favourite, Shaughnessy, takes second place. In the condominium segment, Coal Harbour, with its close proximity to Stanley Park, is attracting the bulk of buyers, followed by Yaletown.
While inventory has edged up, along with a slight increase in days on market, activity in late March and early April showed signs of improvment. Currently, 341 detached homes and 59 condominiums are listed for sale on the Westside.
Prices have held up relatively well, although luxury condominium buyers typically have some room for negotiation. The lion’s share of upper end sales is occurring between $3 million and $4 million, yet purchasers also remain active in the ultra-high end, as demonstrated by this year’s most expensive sale to date—a 9,700 sq. ft. home with exceptional views on a large lot on Newton Wynd in the University area. It moved for $18.6 million. The benchmark still stands at $19.8 million for a property on Belmont Ave., sold in January of 2012.
The most expensive condominium sale in the fi rst quarter was also a substantial transaction at $8 million for a four-year-old, 5,700 sq. ft. unit. That’s well off the record of $10.1 million once fetched for a prime Cordova suite.
The most expensive listing currently available on Vancouver’s Westside is a home boasting nearly 7,900 sq. ft. of living space, situated on an oversized lot on Westbrook Crescent. Its sticker price? $23.8 million.
The priciest condominium offering, located on West Cordova, is listed at $28.8 million. While touting extraordinary views and more than 6,400 sq. ft. of opulence, the unit has remained on the market for over a year and a half.
Recent indicators appear positive, although upper end sales in Vancouver Westside are expected to remain off the 2012 pace through year-end, but should maintain their present level of overall health and stability.