Of Urban Planning And Municipal Wisdom

The biggest news from the first quarter on our North Shore is Onni’s release of details for the CENTREVIEW redevelopment of the old Safeway site in Central Lonsdale (Lonsdale and 13th). The projected completion (occupation) is slated for the Fall of 2017 and will include some 127 residential units ranging in size from 485 sq ft to over 1000 sq ft. Penthouse and sub-Penthouse details will be available once the sales centre opens. There will also be 90,000 sq ft of retail space anchored by BC’s 6th and largest Whole Foods store. Office space of some 80,000 sq ft too, not to mention the residential ancillaries of a pool, gym, sauna, hot tub and more. The question arises – owing to the extensive nature of this project, are we about to witness the creation of a new focal point/hub for North Vancouver?

Your scribe attended Centrepoint’s official presentation to Realtors this week and I invite anyone to call me with any questions. Having assisted clients in viewing and buying homes and/or investments in numerous of the NS condo developments, I am most happy to discuss details of this and other offerings in the area.

Interestingly, not a week goes by without some assertions by NS folk about densification and comments/opinions on concepts such as ‘overbuilding’ and ‘absorption’. Yes, my favourite topic, supply and demand! My opinion, and I know there are those who are generally “agin” the speed of change around them – I believe that in the global scheme, the lower mainland’s municipalities are engaged in intelligent urban planning. I have been following with interest the Oakridge (Oak St corridor) plans of the City of Vancouver and am impressed with the direction this is headed, because it makes sense. One or two people living in a dwelling on a lot of 6,000 sq ft or more is difficult to justify. I am clearly not against detached homes but believe that municipal planning MUST pursue the blending of these forms of ownership especially along the natural (and emerging) transit corridors. We on the North Shore have to realize that ours is a sophisticated and highly sought after place to live and that our three municipalities diligently steward this process as it is an essential component of our functioning and liveable neighbourhoods. We are tremendously fortunate to be surrounded by a surfeit of natural beauty and these are superb for recreation and rejuvenation.

April 2014 Podcast

North Shore Real Estate Radio

On an ongoing basis I pledge both my continued personalized service and a commitment to my reduced  business ecological “footprint”. A significant part is the radio (podcast) library which I’m continually creating.

All North Vancouver Real Estate “Updates”, reports and information articles, checklists etc. will be archived on my website and available for download or desktop listening 24/7. You can access the information you seek when the spirit moves and not when someone pushes yet another flyer into your mailbox. I am most excited about these developments. Input as to the topics for “programming” you feel would be of interest is strongly sought. Please e-mail. This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call me 604 988-7368 and 1-800-665-1455.

Click on the “Podcast” Icon in the top right of this article to listen now.

April 2014 Numbers

And now to our March figures for 2014 in comparison to 2013. North Van detached homes sold are up 17% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 9% and apartments up 25%. The detached average price is up 9% and inventory is down by 15% from 2013. Average prices up 1% (t/hses) and up 1% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 123 vs. 122 unchanged from Mar 31st 2013 and (apt) up11% from last year for the same date.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for 2014 is now up by 32% from Mar 2013. Average price of what has sold is up 10% from last year and inventory now down 6% from Mar 31st 2013. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold 2014 are up from 2013 at 17 vs. 10 units with a 6% drop in average price. Active listings are down year over year from Mar 31st 2013 by 28% (40 vs. 56). Apartments reflect 35 sold in 2014 vs. 33 in 2013 with average price up 11% from Mar 31st 2013 and active listings 6% down from Mar 31st 2013.

Both jurisdictions continue evidencing healthy demand. Inventory is generally down. Please contact me with any market enquiries and remember I should be honoured to assist you with the selling or buying of your home or investment property.

Additional Costs When Buying A Home

Current North Shore Home Buying Costs

An Estimation Of Closing Costs On The North Shore.

  • Approximate Legal Fees and Disbursements $900/1,200*
  • Survey Certificate (if one is not available) $550
  • Appraisal (if required by the lender) $300
  • Inspection fee (not mandatory, but strongly recommended) $450 – dependant on square footage
  • Property Transfer Tax 1% of the first $200,000 plus 2% of the balance of the purchase price

E.g: A $850,000 home would attract PTT at this level
1% of the first $200,000 – $2,000
2% of $650,000 – 13,000      Total    $15,000

Other Fees/Costs

  • If your down payment is less than 25% of the purchase price of the home, the lender will require mortgage insurance from CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)/or other Mortgage insurers. The insurance premium, which is usually added to the mortgage, ranges from 0.5% of the mortgage amount to 3.10% depending on the size of down payment.
  • Property Tax Adjustment – In addition to the above costs, you may be required to have cash on hand to repay the vendors for taxes they have paid in advance (depending on possession date and how the vendors paid their taxes). A good rule of thumb is to have enough money on hand to pay six months of taxes. e.g. $750,000 home – approx $2,400.
  • Insurance – You will have to arrange home insurance a few days before possession. The annual rate for a basic policy is approximately (detached)  $800/1,200.

*These figures are an estimate only. They are subject to change and it is recommended that you consult your lawyer/notary for confirmation of your total costs.

I have not tallied the above as you should determine which will apply to your purchase.