BC Market Insights
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Market Insights - BC Waterfront Real Estate

There are a lot of "how-to" articles online that regurgitate the same advice about real estate related topics such as getting a good mortgage or prepping your home for the market. While those things are obviously very important, we want to write articles that are enlightening and valuable for visitors to our site. Rather than write about the same-old, same-old, we endeavour to create interesting and compelling articles specifically for people interested in (BC) waterfront real estate.

Thanks for reading.
Sharleen Kneeland
Publisher, Waterfront West

Lakefront Property in BC Popular with Waterfront Buyers

Since we launched the site in 2006, we have been consistently tracking the interest in different types of BC waterfront and the locations of visitors to our site (country, province, city, etc..) to get some insight into the BC recreational real estate market. We have witnessed the ups-and-downs of the market over the last 7 years, but even with the changing market and the corresponding changes to our site traffic, some statistics have remained relatively stable.

One thing that we have historically found to be consistent is the strong interest in lakefront property for sale in B.C.. Since our launch in 2006, BC lakefront real estate search terms have brought an overwhelming number of people to our site. These terms include searches with specific lake names and/or just general searches for lakefront property in British Columbia. In addition, the site overlay typically reveals that the most popular button for waterfront searches is the lakefront search.

The verdict: I'm going to go out on a limb and say that B.C. lakefront property is a hot commodity with buyers looking for recreational property here. So who are these buyers and where are they from? Well, since we have proof that many of our visitors are looking for lakefront, we can look at our general location stats and gain some insight. Here is a look at the breakdown of our Canadian traffic by province over the last 3 years (yip, the Albertans are still looking).


Here are the Top 5 Cities in Canada from which our site visitors hail (July 22, 2010-July 22, 2013):


What to do with all of this information? Well for a start, the next step for us at Waterfront West now that the new site is up and running, is to get some more lakefront property on the site for all of our lakefront buyers to peruse. We also plan to get some BC lakefront sales statistics to post on this blog so that our site visitors have the inside scoop and our buyers can go out lake house shopping armed with some solid knowledge of the market.

Our first area of focus will be Vancouver Island lakefront so please stay tuned! 




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Gulf Islands Waterfront Update: Pender Island Waterfront Ripe for the Picking

After several years of lagging, word on the street is that the BC recreational real estate market is showing signs of life again this year. Many of our member agents report an uptick in interested buyers buzzing around their offices and inquiring about properties this summer and with good reason. In many communities, the slower market for the last several years has resulted in lower asking prices and with mortgage rates still low (although creeping up slightly this week), BC waterfront is an attractive option for many buyers who were waiting on the sidelines to jump in again (no pun intended).

One place that was hit especially hard throughout the slump, is the idyllic island(s) of Pender. Located in the Southern Gulf Islands and accessible by ferry from both Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and Victoria, "the Penders" have many of the benefits of Gulf Island waterfront living as nearby Salt Spring, but with a much lower price tag and a quieter lifestyle.

Our member agents on Pender have been mentioning that their recreational real estate has slowed down substantially in the last few years, but it really hit home when I viewed the report from Landcor showing waterfront single family detached sales from the last few years. According to the report, sales went from a height of 21 in 2007, to less than half of that in 2008. The number of waterfront sales has been substantially lower than in 2007 every year since with only 2 as of June 26, 2013. Of course, there are a few pending sales that are not showing up in the stats yet, but with an average sale price of only $503, 750 so far this year for recorded sales (compared to $818, 333 on Salt Spring) and a high inventory of waterfront and view properties for sale, it is definitely a good time for buyers to take a closer look at the Penders. I decided to contact some of our waterfront specialists on Pender to get a first-hand account of what is happening in the market.

Pender Island Waterfront Single-Family Detached Sales 2006-June 26, 2013

b2ap3_thumbnail_Pender-Sales_20130708-212211_1.pngStatistics Provided by Landcor

After perusing these stats, I decided to contact some of our waterfront specialists on Pender to get a first-hand account of what is happening in the market. Our member agent and co-owner of Dockside Realty Ltd.,  Sam Boyte, explained that with the high inventory of homes for sale,  prices have become more competitive and there are currently some very well-valued homes for sale. He says that buyers are starting to take notice of the price drops on Pender Island waterfront properties (over 20% in some cases), but because of high inventory levels, buyers are making sure to get the best value for money (Read=buyer's market). Rob Southey of Pender Island Realty agrees, commenting that the most expensive sale so far this year was an ocean view acreage for $610, 000. He says that there is a great selection of upper-end property for sale on the island right now and that pricing is more flexible than it has been in the past. 

Sam provided us with a look at the overall sales recorded by VREB over the last few years and the trend with recreational property on the island is similar to that of the total real estate sales on Pender:down. Is this the low point? Maybe. It's difficult to forecast real estate with the market swings we have seen in the last 5 years, but one thing is for sure, there are some nice properties available now at a good price point and there's possibly some good bargaining to be had- at least until the word gets out. 

Pender Island - Market Statistics  (Historical MLS Sales-All Companies)


*Source: Victoria Real Estate Board Statistics. Searched by SOLD properties from Jan 1-Dec 31 in each year provided.


Pender Island Oceanfront Property Picks

Here are some very well priced waterfront property picks from our member agents.

Oceanfront Home, 1 Acre High-Bank South-Facing Property $415, 000



Captivating Views from this Oceanfront Home $540, 000


Note: Priced at $30K below the 2013 Tax Assessment. Sellers are motivated!  





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Denman Island Oceanfront Deal-Court Ordered Sale

Please note this proerty has sold since this blog was posted. Updated 12/28/10.

This month we are featuring a beautifully renovated classic oceanfront  home which was previously listed for over 1 million dollars and has now dropped to just $699, 000. This elegant and luxurious home is situated on 2.26 glently sloping acres (with a bonus 200ft of oceanfront!) and faces Baynes sound and the Beaufort mountains. In my opinion, this exposure is the nicest on the island as it offers afternoon sun and great sunsets as you look over the ocean.

This home is now in foreclosure and I believe it represents a great value for the high level of finishing, amount of waterfront and land that it offers.  Definitely worth a look! 























One more house I just have to mention...As I was looking up the info to write this blog, I came across another great value on Denman. It does have an offer pending, but is worth a look at only $529, 000. It is oceanfront as well!







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Pender Island Oceanfront Character Home - Walking Distance to...Your Own Island!

A Picturesque Piece of History on a Sensational Seaside

penderwaterfront1.jpgThis month, we highlight a unique property on Pender Island as our "Pick of the Month." This charming oceanfront character home (circa 1921) with perfectly preserved original wood floors & wainscoting sits on an idyllic .80 acre lot which gently slopes to a sandy beach and your very own .47 acre island (accessible by foot at low tide).

The home is approx. 1600 sqft with steps to an open attic w/dormers; an ideal place for extra Bedrooms. The roof was redone about 10 yrs ago, so the home is sound & dry; waiting for a buyer that appreciates long ago charm.

island.jpgThe property has just been reduced $100, 000 giving you a chance to get in this unique property in a coveted location with fantastic sunsets for substantially less. Truly Remarkable!


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Thetis Island Oceanfront; The Perfect Island Getaway

Our "Pick of the Month"  for February is a Thetis Island getaway. Sought after features of this property include 1.7 acres of private, walk-on waterfront with swimming steps from your deck, a well-appointed home, a protected bay to moor your boat and fabulous western exposure to enjoy those late summer sunsets.



According to listing agent, Joe Squire, the home is the complete package with all of the features waterfront buyers are looking for. "In my opinion  this is the perfect island getaway....sought by everyone and rarely found. With such limited supply where all the wish list boxes are checked, this is the home that gets passed down generation to generation as they're too rare to sell."

The home features easy accommodation for up to 8 people, 1.5 baths and a bright open kitchen that captures the morning sun on one side and sunsets on the other. Sleek quartz counters provide a generous amount of usable space with custom cabinets for functional storage. With sweeping ocean views and vaulted ceilings in the living area, this home exudes warmth & charm. You'll notice the radiant heat in the newly renovated bathroom, bright with a soaker tub and separate shower. Irrigation in the gardens, a workshop for the handyman, too much to list! Meticulously cared for and on the market for the first time in decades. 

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Qualicum Landing Show Homes Shine

My husband and I often travel to Victoria to visit friends on the weekend. For over a year now, on our various trips, we have been watching the evolution of the Qualicum Landing site. From the initial sculpting of the land to the framing and exterior finishing, we have been impressed by the thought put into this community and the classic style of the homes.

Needless to say, we were waiting with anticipation to see inside the gates and we (or at least I-my husband was watching our little one) finally got to see the show homes last Saturday and meet the team responsible for creating such a fine place. Being in the real estate business, I have had the chance to see many developments and this one stands out for its quality, attention to detail and design.

lr.jpgThe fantastic Cape Cod inspired show homes featured 14 ft ceilings, deluxe stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, pre-wired sound systems, heated tile floors and walk-in showers. The gated community will also includes a community garden, a clubhouse with heated outdoor pool, two spas and a games room. Keep in mind the fact that it is located directly on a fabulous piece of Vancouver Island oceanfront property and it's hard to believe you can get into this development for $369, 000!! 

On another note, some of you in Vancouver may have seen our prominent  advertisement downtown last week. This unique form of advertising, pioneered by Vision Media, put us right in the centre of things for the pre-Olympic hype and tourist traffic.





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Vancouver Island Waterfront for Sale Below Replacement Cost

As promised, we will be featuring our "Property Pick of the Month" in this blog.  Previously, this information was only available to registered users of our site; however, we have decided to make it public as it is such a popular feature.

This month's property is a custom-built lakefront home on Cowichan Lake. According to our member agent and area specialist Norm DeWit, the home, listed at $654, 000, represents the best waterfront value currently available in the Cowichan Lake market.

998_MLS1.jpgLocated on Cowichan Lake, about 1 hour north of  Victoria and 1 hour south of Nanaimo, this 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom open-plan home boasts a southern exposure, a large 11, 200 sq ft lot, vaulted ceilings, high-end finishing (including hardwood floors and stainless appliances) and the privacy of your very own dock. 



The seller has already built another home and has moved on so the home is being sold for below replacement cost. This is a great opportunity to live the dream with a first-rate home on your own piece of Vancouver Island lakefront. 





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2010 - An Exciting Year Ahead for Waterfront West

I'm back on the blog after an extended break (from blogging, not work!) and looking forward to an exciting year for 2010. My husband and I have been busily renovating our newly acquired character home and I have been working on our new site, featuring BC  luxury real estate, which will be launched early this Spring!

Below are some of the highlights to come for Waterfront West in 2010:

We will be upgrading and redesigning Waterfront West to make the user experience more seamless and bring new technology to the site including new search capabilities, a video community and an "Ask an Expert" section.

We will be launching our new site which will be one of the first BC luxury real estate sites to feature a social networking community (like Facebook), a video component featuring in-house videos about sought-after B.C. communities and huge picture viewer for seeing luxury property photos.

We are continuing to send out our "Hot Properties" newsletter featuring properties of exceptional value in the BC waterfront market and we will also be featuring a "Property of the Month" in this blog.

So, to summarize, as you can see, this year holds a lot of promise and many changes will be happening in the months ahead. Stay tuned to www.waterfrontwest.com to see the evolution.

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Positive Long Term Outlook for BC Real Estate


Several articles about the future of the BC real estate market peaked my interest this month. These articles were positive about the long-term future of BC real estate.

The first article, found in Ozzie Jurock's Insider newsletter, cites a study written by the Urban Land Institute based in Washington, D.C.: Global Demographics 2009: Shaping Real Estate’s Future. The study looks at the effects of population, urbanization and aging on real estate. According to the study, the echo baby boom generation (born early to mid-80's) will be getting into the property game in the next two decades. This generation is as large (or larger) a segment of the population than the baby boomers were and will have a huge impact on property values in the coming years. The echo generation getting into the property game, combined with the downsizing of the aging baby boomers, should result in increased pressure on the urban condo and townhome market. According to the report, the demand for suburban mansions and subdivisions will be overtaken by demand for smaller homes and condos that are in walkable communities, close to amenities and jobs. The report named Canada as one of the countries with "attractive real estate investment and development prospects once the recession subsides," and mentions western Canada as an area of promise.

On the recreational front, both Royal LePage and RE/MAX released reports on the current trends in Canada. Royal LePage reports that 64% of Canadians still view recreational property as a good long term investment and 55% of us would be willing to make compromises in order to attain the goal of owning a cottage (ie. rent it out, share with other families, etc...). The top three desires of potential cottage owners in BC? Peace and quiet, access to utilities and four-season use. RE/MAX, meanwhile, cites the importance of Gen X(30-45yrs old) in the current recreational property market. Their Youtube video states that in over 74% of rec areas across the country, this demographic is currently driving the market. According to RE/MAX , these buyers are looking for good value and opportunity (ie. my interpretation "deals"). I concur with this as we have been noticing very value driven buyers on the site in the last 6 months.

So overall, it seems that well-chosen and priced B.C. real estate is a solid investment for the long-term. According to the above reports, whether you are looking to invest in an urban condo, townhome or a quiet lakeside retreat, there should be plenty of demand for both once the recession lets up. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for deals (next fall/winter...?).

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Bidding Wars Again?! BC Real Estate Picks Up

Well, we noticed it staring waaay back in February but interest in BC real estate has picked up from the slow summer and fall of 2008. At Waterfront West, we have the advantage of being able to see the interest pick up before the sales start to come through. Back in February, we noticed an increased number of inquiries going through the site. Now this is fairly normal for February, but this time, the inquiries seemed to be more serious than the ones from last Spring. Now that the stats are coming out, we are starting to see the sales as these serious buyers  make deals.

In Oak Bay, one of the most prestigious areas in Victoria, 50% of the listings are selling, while in some other popular areas (Fairfield, Maplewood, Glanford, etc..) well over 50% and in some cases 100% of listings are selling. Even we are shocked by news of bidding wars so soon. In Vancouver, Ozzie Jurock mentions a case of a lot coming up for sale in Kitsilano for $800, 000 and going through a bidding war between 15 different buyers to sell for $840, 000. Meanwhile, here in the Comox Valley there we are aware of at least one bidding war last week on an under priced property.

A good hint for judging the market in any area you are looking to buy is to go on Twitter and do a search for your key words. Here is what we turned up by searching Vancouver real estate today:

"There were 114 New Listings and 90 Sales (Sell/List of 79%) of homes in the Vancouver real estate market on Wednesday April 29th, 2009."

"Another day with nearly 1:1 list to sale ratio in the City of Vancouver real estate market. 6 calls already on my new east van house listing"

Victoria Real Estate:

"Our Real Estate Board is showing 747 Unconditional Sales on MLS in April in Victoria..Buyers are taking advantage of lower Interest rates"

This gives you real time results of what people are talking about in real estate. 

The real question is, is this activity just a blip in the market? A short Spring pick-up before we go back down hill? It's hard to know, but if you are selling, I would say don't get too greedy. The buyers out there today are quite savvy-after all they waited out that crazy market until prices came back down and they are buying at a time of very low interest rates.  Make sure you price competitively and that your home shines. If buying, the competition is out there for the good deals in larger cities so keep this in mind. In many areas of BC, you still have the upper hand for now, but who knows for how long?

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Vancouver Island Oceanfront Developer First to Offer "Anti-Recession" Guarantee

The developer of exotic property known as ‘Canada’s South Pacific’ is marketing 30 waterfront, mountaintop and park-side estate lots with a creative ‘anti-recession guarantee’.
Purchasers will be protected by a retroactive price adjustment if the real estate market continues to soften: The developer will carry up to 20% of the price as a first or second mortgage, part or all of which will be forgiven if government property assessments over a three-year term show a drop in land value.  On a $500,000 lot, the price protection could be as much as $100,000.
“There can be good news in a recession.” says Michael Thornton, Silver Spray developer.  “We would have priced these lots 30% higher in a normal market, and no one would have thought about protecting buyers with a price guarantee. Obviously we’re convinced such unique properties will only increase in value, and we’re demonstrating confidence by putting our money where our mouth is.”
The Silver Spray Lands are on a peninsula at the extreme southwestern tip of Vancouver Island.  They are nestled between scenic surf and sunset coastline and the largest waterfront wilderness park in the Capital Regional District, featuring six miles of virgin oceanfront, pristine beaches, and 30 miles of west coast hiking trails.  With such a rare diversity of ecosystems, it took over 60 public meetings to obtain low-density residential zoning and approval for a small golf course, marina and an exclusive destination resort.
Reservations will be held in priority with a 10% deposit in a lawyer’s trust account until the lots are serviced and subdivided, which is expected to occur in late 2009 or early 2010, so early purchasers can secure almost four years of price protection.  Sales will be made only by Disclosure Statement.

For more information, and to view photos online, go to: www.silverspray.com or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (778.896.3370)

Silver Spray is located at the southwestern tip of Canada, just 26 miles southwest of Victoria on Vancouver Island.  Bordering a huge 3500-acre oceanfront Wilderness Park, this idyllic seaside community setting offers mild weather, spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, end-of-road seclusion, and convenient access to shopping and amenities.
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2008 Real Estate Sales Statistics Don't Tell the Whole Story


The Landcor BC 2008 Residential Sales Summary was released earlier this week with some surprising statistics. Although there was an overall (anticipated) 28% decrease in the number of residential sales in BC in 2008 (over 2007), the average sales price increased 10% over 2007. This sounds hard to believe amidst all the negative media out there, but is most likely due to the sales in the 1st and 2nd quarters weighing heavily on the stats. The price drops we have seen in recent months are often not reflected in statistics until a later date so I would expect them to show up in next years' stats.

Other highlights of the report are detailed here:

    *  Detached homes and vacant land had the greatest decrease in number of sales and condos the least.
    * Q4 was miserable with a 36% drop in sales over Q3.
    * Out-of-province buyers down by 37%.

A note on the out of province buyers: Albertans still remain the leaders. 69% of out of province buyers hailed from Alberta in 2008. The most popular areas for them to purchase included the Okanagan and the Kootenays and condos and vacant land were their most popular choices for types of real estate to buy.


As I mentioned above, the price increases seen in 2008 were in my opinion a result of strong sales last Spring before the market really started to take a turn for the worse. I would expect to see decreases in prices as we review 2009 statistics.

The good news is that since prices have started to become more competitive in recent months, the buyers have started to return to the market. Many of our clients are reporting more inquiries and deals going through in the last month. In addition, many sellers are becoming aware that the market has changed and pricing their homes well. Hopefully this will be enough to give the market some pep again and we'll avoid a situation similar to what they have in the US (although things are starting to look up there again too in some areas).


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Interest in BC Real Estate is Picking Up

Despite continued negative real estate reports in the media, we are starting to see increased interest in the BC waterfront real estate market again. While site traffic remained higher year over year, August-December 2008 were exceptionally slow in terms of the number of inquiries that went through the site; however,  in mid-January we saw a sudden increase in serious inquiries. This month, we are forecasting more unique visitors than we had last February (when the market was still hot). With interest rates at extreme lows (5 year mortgages available for 4.02) and average house prices starting to fall, it is beginning to make sense to jump into the market again.

While interest has picked up and I believe there is some pent up demand, the buyers out there know the market well and many are looking for deals. With forecasts calling for a hunkering down and a year or two more of these tough economic times, buyers who are ready to make the jump into some new real estate want a good price.

If you are a buyer, you can find some well-priced (under assessed value, foreclosures, etc...) waterfront properties in our "by searching the "Below Assessed Value" and "Motivated Seller" searches of our site.

If you are a seller and need to sell, make sure your house shows well and is priced aggressively. Also, you can review review Ozzie Jurock's article 10 Ways to Make Your Home Sell Faster by clicking here.

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Deals Popping up in BC's Recreational Market

As you may have noticed, we have started our "Hot Properties" newsletter as of the last week January. This was the first of a quarterly series of newsletters designed to highlight some properties on our site that are of great value in the current market. Our last newsletter featured some properties that were recently reduced, whose sellers are motivated and even a high-end foreclosure near Kelowna. Click here to sign-up.

It seems as though others in the business are starting to see (and write about) some deals as well. In last weeks Facts by Email, Ozzie Jurock pointed out some developments that may be facing issues in the coming months. Among them are:

  • Whiskey Landing in Ucluelet: Developer having problems getting an occupancy permit. Building in receivership although complete.
  • Black Rock Oceanfront in Ucluelet: Some buyers who bought pre-sales trying to get out of closing.
  • Wyndandsea Resort in Ucluelet: Construction stopped due to financial difficulties.
  • 160 Lakeshore Development Corp. in Penticton: Some buyers not closing.

Although the units in the above mentioned developments may not yet be discounted, there is potential in the market for prices to start to adjust due to the overbuilding that began to take place towards the end of the last market high.

If you are looking for deals on our site, you can sort out the motivated sellers by doing an advanced search and selecting the "Motivated Seller" button at the bottom of the page.

Happy House Hunting!

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Asbestos Class Action Suit to Help Canadians


Recently, my husband and I found out that we have asbestos vermiculite insulation in our attic. Asbestos fibres can be dangerous when enhaled as they can cause a type of lung cancer called Mesothelioma. Appartently, the asbestos is safe so long as it is left untouched and undisturbed; (which at this point it is) however, this is putting a huge wrench in our plans as we hoped to add a 3rd floor to our house this spring. In order to get the asbestos out safely, we have to hire an asbestos abatement firm to come with their big suits and all. Of course, this comes with a hefty price tag. We have been quoted anywhere from $15,000-$18,000 to have this done. Plus we have to move out of our house for a week. After spending all this money, you don't end up with a deluxe new bathroom with soaker tub and walk-in shower, you end up with a big fat zero!

You can imagine how happy I was when I heard that the class action lawsuit in the US against Zonolite (the company that sold the vermiculite) had been extended to Canadians! Now, I thought perhaps we might get these costs covered. What a happy day! I started to look into how to get our claim filed and after several phone calls, was given the information that the maximum refund to be given was $600 (US, I believe)-a far cry from the $17, 000 we have been quoted to remove the vermiculite.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I am hoping that I heard this amount incorrectly and that miraculously the entire sum of the removal cost will be covered (haha). In the meantime, it's back to the drawing board for our house plans. If you suspect you have asbestos insulation in your home, you can get further information about the Canadian lawsuit here: http://www.graceclaims.com/
Update: We had the asbestos removed for $10 , 000! 2013 and still no info or money from Grace Claims!
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New Year Favours Buyers - Waterfront Appraisals Down, Prices Down, Mortgage Rates Low

It seems like 2009 may be shaping up to be a year where deals start to pop up in the BC real estate market. We know a lot of you are out there looking for them, but we have been hearing that many buyers are scared to act now for fear that prices will fall further. Recent news that waterfront appraisals in some areas are down and sales are stalling combined with increased media hype about the poor economy will likely result in further price adjustments across BC in 2009. Depending on how long this "recession" continues, this could potentially be a great year for buyers to get in there and make some good buys on prime waterfront property.

All of the "bad" real estate news coming out right now is welcome news for buyers as it has made sellers more aware of the situation and as a result, homes are being priced much more competitively than in the past few years. I believe the days of multiple offers, $30, 000 over asking have come and gone; but they will most likely be back when we hit the next peak in the market.

Most BC property owners have already received their 2008 property assessments. Because property prices started to decline slightly after the 2008 assessments were completed, most properties will be taxed based on their lower 2007 assessment. The government has done this in part to avoid the unnecessary process of property owners appealing their assessments. Brian Hawkins, an assessor in Greater Victoria stated that higher-end and waterfront properties started to drop off in price earlier than some of the other types of property. He attributed this to their higher price escalation over the past 5 years.

To make things even better for buyers, some of the best-discounted 5-year mortgage rates that I have seen in a while showed up this week on Ozzie Jurock's Email notice. 5 year rates as low as 4.67 % are being offered by Meridian Canadian Mortgages.

We will be sending out a quarterly "Hot Properties" email with properties we believe represent good value in today's market, so if you're interested, sign- up below. Happy house hunting!

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US and German Visitors on the Increase

An analysis of site visitor locations from Sept. 01, 2008-Dec. 11, 2008 over the same period in 2007 shows that the importance of international buyers in the BC waterfront market may be increasing again. While overall visitors to our site are up approximately20% for this time period, the visitors’ locations are showing a slight change from the norm.

Since we started the site, Canadians generally comprised approximately 75-78% of our traffic. While the number of Canadian visitors to our site is actually higher than last year, the percent of Canadian visitors as a total has decreased to about 67%. Meanwhile, traffic from other countries, namely the US and Germany has increased slightly. The increase in US traffic may be due in part to our alliance with Interluxe which targets mainly US luxury consumers. The two biggest states in the US for visitors to our site are California and Arizona followed by Washington State. Perhaps the low Canadian dollar is enticing those US buyers who have not been affected by the recession (or maybe a few of these visitors are Canadian snowbirds?)...

Interestingly, despite the poor economic outlook in Canada, the percent of British Columbians visiting our site for this time period has remained steady at 67% of Canadian traffic. Albertan traffic has dropped only slightly from 21% of our Canadian traffic to 18% and visitors from Ontario have increased from 4 to 6% of our Canadian traffic.

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"Hot Properties" Newsletter to Highlight Properties of Exceptional Value

Hot Properties Newsletter

With the current economic turmoil, we realize many of you want to get the most value for your money. Sometimes, when searching real estate web sites, it is difficult to find the properties that may be undervalued or provide an especially good opportunity to get into the market. That is why we have decided to create our "Hot Properties" newsletter to single out some of these properties on our site.

Beginning in January 2009, Waterfront West will be sending out a new newsletter. This newsletter will feature our "Hot Properties" which will be hand selected from our site as representing exceptional value in the market. If you are already on this email list, you will receive the letter early in the New Year. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please enter your email in the boxes below. 


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B.C's Luxury Neighbourhoods

You may have noticed that we have added some new regional content to our site. Beginning with Vancouver and Victoria, we have picked some of the most prestigious waterfront neighbourhoods in B.C. and focused on some of the amenities that draw the luxury home buyer to them.

In Victoria, we have added information about the established luxury neighbourhood of Oak Bay (including the Uplands). Characterized by grand Art & Crafts and Tudor Mansions and with a distinctly English flavour, many of the homes in Oak Bay are over the $1, 000, 000 price mark. With miles of curving craggy shoreline, proximity to some of the best private schools in the city and all of the conveniences of city living in "The Village," Oak Bay has long been one of the most prestigious areas of the city to inhabit.

Located close to Oak Bay and near the University of Victoria, East Saanich offers luxury living with a mix traditional and modern architecture. The areas of Cordova Bay, 10 Mile point and Queenswood Avenue house many of Victoria's premier waterfront homes.

For the buyer who prefers a more rural lifestyle, the areas of North and/or Central Saanich may be a preferred option. Located on the Saanich Peninsula, luxury properties in these areas are characterized by rolling farmlands and large acreages. Homes in these areas cover a range of styles including traditional estates, west coast timber frame and luxury modern homes. North Saanich includes the quaint seaside town of Sidney, while Central Saanich includes the town of Brentwood Bay and the famous Butchart Gardens.

As for Vancouver luxury waterfront real estate, one must study the definition of the different “Wests” in the city in order to properly understand luxury lingo when speaking with the locals. Of course, Vancouver luxury real estate information wouldn't be complete without including West Vancouver , one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in Canada. West Vancouver is located on the "North Shore" across the Lion's Gate Bridge and northwest of the downtown core. Meanwhile, the area of "West Point Grey " on the "West Side" is an entirely different area of town near UBC and southwest of the downtown core. There is also the "West End" which is located right in the downtown core, adjacent to Coal Harbour, one of our other luxury neighbourhoods. Finally, some other luxury locales in Vancouver real estate include Kitsilano and the University Endowment Lands, both on the "West Side." After living in Vancouver for over four years, my husband still couldn't get these areas separated in his mind, but a real Vancouverite will be able to explain it in more depth if the above is too confusing (!)
In the coming weeks, we'll be adding more information about other luxury neighbourhoods in BC so don't despair if you don't see your neighbourhood here.
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Google "Luxury Homes BC" Searches Spike

Despite all the economic doom and gloom out there today, there are still some people who have managed to save their money and are now looking for good deals on waterfront and luxury homes. I spoke this week with a representative from the New York Times, who reported that a luxury Realtor in New York was extremely busy with wealthy buyers looking to get good deals on New York luxury properties. While doing some research this week myself, this was confirmed by a spike in searches on Google for terms such as "luxury homes BC" and "Vancouver luxury homes." Moreover, one of our member Realtors has reported that she just sold her "Big waterfront" and was closing on two more luxury properties in the next month or so.

All of these reports made me wonder if I should start a "Must Sell" list for any of our sellers who need to sell now and email it out to interested buyers. Due to my interactions with clients on a regular basis, I often am aware of sellers who may need to sell and are looking for offers. Unfortunately, since I can't afford to buy all of the properties, I thought it might be a good idea to make up this list of properties and create a mailing list of buyers wanting to receive it. What do you think? Good idea? We're looking for some feedback here so let us know by posting a comment or emailing us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

One last thing, as you may have noticed, we have begun adding information on the most prestigious luxury waterfront neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Victoria. So far, we have covered luxury real estate in Oak Bay and The Uplands in Victoria and Kitsilano, Coal Harbour and Point Grey in Vancouver. As we gather new listings in these areas, we will create links to them from these pages as well. Keep your eyes open for more to come!

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Market Insights - Waterfront Real Estate

Featured Waterfront Realtor

Dave Koszegi Group
RE/MAX of Nanaimo - Dave Koszegi Group

Dave Koszegi is SOLD on Sproat Lake and the Alberni Valley DAVE. For waterfront properties on Sproat Lake, it's the only name you need to know. One of Canada's top-ranked RE/MAX Realtors, Dave was (...)


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