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1st Quarter Stats for West Vancouver

Blog by Patrick O'Donnell PREC* | April 3rd, 2012

1st Quarter Stats for West Vancouver

Now that we have completed the first quarter of 2012, we can finally start to see a pattern in the market and an indication of what we can expect for the rest of 2012.  As always, the weather is playing its part in the attitude of our buyers.  Although, it has to be said, this is not the main contributor. Buyers from mainland China have dropped quite dramatically and China now seems to be experiencing a few of the economical woes that our counterparts in Europe and the States have been experiencing over the last few years.

Other things that appear to be slowing our market a little are the embargo handcuffs being placed on our Iranian buyers, who can normally be counted on for good spring building activity.  There is a marked shift in our Caucasian buyers. A huge number of buyers that have either sold at an extremely high price on the West Side (Point Grey, Shaughnessy area) or have been priced out of the West Side market are still able to find good value on the North Shore (relatively speaking).  Then, of course, there is the group that seems to be sitting back waiting for a slump (not a good idea). These buyers are either ill informed or just not financially equipped to participate in the Real Estate frenzy that continues on the North shore.  It is often difficult to play nicely when you are at the disadvantage of arriving to the party with only Canadian dollars.

Here are your figures for the first quarter.  The West Vancouver market is broken down into 35 different areas, covering everything from the British Properties to Furry Creek:

Predominantly estate-like properties, mostly greenbelt views with some ocean, lots of privacy, huge square footage, gated entries, certainly not a ‘wonder years’ neighbourhood!

2012 - 3 sales. Average sale price $5.5 million

2011 - 10 sales. Average sale price $2,637,500

No, the prices have not increased 100% in this area. 2011 sales were mostly building lots; you will see lots of new homes being built in this area, many of which will hit the market late 2012, early 2013. Obviously there is a long term confidence in the West Vancouver market – particularly in this area.

Predominantly 50 to 60 foot wide lots, high residential density. Generally, there is more value on the south side of the street than the north side and lots more value on a property with a good view. There is an opportunity for more of a neighbourhood feel, although over the last year many of the sales have been to off-shore buyers, which does not generally equate to ‘street hockey’.

2012 – 25 sales. Average sale price $1,700,000

2011 – 47 sales. Average sale price $1,533,500

10.8% increase in price. 88% decrease in the number of sales.

The prettier sister to Ambleside with slightly larger 60 to 70 foot wide lots. Just a nicer feel, with easier access to the village of Dundarave. More of a sleepier feel. This is ‘The Place’ to live for the baby boomers that do not want to move into a condo.

2012 – 18 sales. Average price $2,039,000

2011 – 27 sales. Average price $2,080,000

2% decrease in price. 50% decrease in the number of sales.

This area runs across the top of Ambleside and Dundarave and has spectacular views. Although many of the homes are dangerously close to the highway, this area has experienced a few unbelievable sale prices. A question of monkey see – monkey do – but isn’t that the way most of the real estate markets work? It is one person’s confidence to purchase that allows another to be brave!

2012 – 8 sales. Average price $2,865,000

2011 – 12 sales. Average price $1,826,500

56.8% increase in price. 50% decrease in the number of sales.

Predominantly older homes (50’s/60’s). Ripe for new construction. Decent lot size, some parts can be dark with steep driveways. However, generally a good location for the kids, schools and easy access to the highway.

2012 – 9 sales. Average price $1,525,000

2011 – 11 sales. Average price $1,150,000

32.6 % increase

A lovely area, if you can find something on the right side of the street away from the highway noise, the views are breathtaking.

2012 - 6 sales. Average price $2,079,000

2011 - 10 sales. Average price $1,599,500

British Properties / Glenmore
A real mixed bag of tricks. Large lots, old homes, new homes, great views, no views. 75% of the sales in 2011 were made to off-shore buyers. Many of whom will probably regret their decision if they survive the winter. I really get the feeling that these huge homes are not always going to be the trend. I am not sure how 7,000 sq.ft. is going to be environmentally justified for just two or three people!

2012 – 31 sales. Average price $2,108,000

2011 – 59 sales. Average price $1,540,000

36.88% increase.

Cantebury / Chartwell / Chelsea Park / Westhill / Whitby Estates / Panorama Village / Deer Ridge
An extension of the British Properties. The views from most of these homes are the best in town. All above the highway.

2012 – 13 sales. Average price $3,720,000

2011 – 38 sales. Average price $2,822,500

31.7% increase.

Caulfeild / Upper Caulfeild / Rockridge
The reason I have lumped these three areas together is because as a buyer you would certainly look at each as offering similar benefits; although Rockridge does tend to have a higher average sale price.  A lovely location, with its own shopping centre and great schools. A very nice neighbourhood. Many of the homes have spectacular views

2012 – 21 sales. Average price $1,840,000

2011 – 31 sales. Average price $1,462,000

25.8% increase.

Cedardale / Park Royal 
A central location close to everything, older homes, but not so old that they need to be knocked down. A few are close to the highway, but this is one of the last areas where the kids actually play on the streets and the neighbours take the time to chat.

2012 – 6 sales. Average price $1,646,000

2011 – 7 sales. Average price $1,230,000

33.8% increase.

Cypress / Sandy Cove / West Bay
Such a lovely location. Just past the Bayridge/Westmount area. Nice access to Stearman beach. Lots of nice cul-de-sacs: Erwin Drive, Travers & Radcliffe – take a drive and drool! Still very affordable around the Marine Drive area.

2012 – 10 sales.  Average price $1,838,000

2011 – 12 sales.  Average price $1,890,000

A very solid & consistent – yet still affordable, neighbourhood.

Cypress Park Estates
An area that was originally considered by many to be the poor cousin of Caulfeild. It’s above the highway; many of the homes were built in the 70’s so are now ready for a major reno – maybe even a tear down depending on the view, size of lot or availability of sunshine!  This is a nice area, which offers a buyer an entrance to the West Vancouver market. Easy access to Rockridge High School and the highway.

2012 – 6 sales.  Average price $1,530,000

2011 – 4 sales.  Average price $1,189,000

28.7% increase.

Gleneagles / Eagleridge
One of the most underestimated locations in West Vancouver. Fantastic views from many of the homes, good sized lots, unusual architecture. Lots of old post and beam homes (good bones – easy to renovate), close to everything that West Vancouver has to offer – this is a sleeper neighbourhood.

2012 – One high sale of $4,250,000 and two lower older priced homes at $980,000 and a terrible lot for $790,000

2011 – 10 sales. Average price $1,395,000

Horseshoe Bay / Whytecliff Park
Another area that has been overlooked in the last couple of years. The lower part of Horseshoe bay is still going through some teething problems, but that is starting to change. Whytecliff is a jewel of an area, if you can get the views, the lot and the sun – you are made in the shade (just not too much shade!).

2012 – 5 sales. Average price $1,099,000

2011 – 8 sales. Average price $1,078,000

Old Caulfeild / Eagle Harbour
The reason I have put the lower part of Caulfeild with Eagle Harbour is because they are just so close to each other. Great sized lots in these two area and still affordable – relatively speaking.

2012 – 12 sales. Average price $1,370,000

2011 – 18 sales. Average price $1,284,500

Consistent in price but a 50% decrease in the number of sales.

So there you have it. Not every area has been mentioned in this summary. If your area has not been mentioned and you would like further details on the first quarter results, do not hesitate to give me a call.

Statistics can be manipulated to say pretty well whatever you want them to say. These are the raw facts as per the sales reported to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. It is clear without too much more digging, that while the prices are good, the numbers of sales are down in many of the areas. Let’s see how this translates as we enter what should be a buoyant spring market.