Vancouver's Beautiful Kitsilano Real Estate

(February 17, 2014 , posted in Vancouver Real Estate)

The Investment of Vancouver’s Beautiful Kitsilano

With multiple new buildings for sale and pre-sales moving quickly throughout the Westside of Vancouver, it seems clear that Kitsilano real estate development is booming. Several new buildings have sold out over the past year and I have personal experience working with clients looking in the area who have lost out on what they wanted when taking too long make an offer and secure a unit. It’s been a busy Fall in Vancouver real estate in general, but given that the Westside presents a timeless appeal combined with a general lack of supply, parts of this market have been busier than usual.

THE WEST SIDE OF VANCOUVER:

Vancouver’s West Side is comprised of many unique and attractive neighbourhoods. The total area of the West Side encompasses the south shore of English Bay from Point Grey towards the West and across to Fairview. The region is mostly residential with two main commercial areas and lots of independent, smaller shops and notable restaurants throughout the many different neighbourhoods. Housing prices in the Westside of Vancouver can range anywhere from 2million to 20million. Kitsilano is the Westside’s most affordable area next to Fairview and offers a large selection of older low-rise condo buildings that offer excellent square footage and proximity to the waterfront for the price. The average condo price in Kitsilano ranges anywhere from $250,000 to $2.5million.

THE MAKEUP OF KITSILANO:

Perhaps most famous for Kits Beach, rated one of the ten best beaches in the world, Kitsilano is a vibrant community close to downtown and UBC. The area attracts students, young professionals and families. Real Estate is generally older, but new boutique condo buildings with anywhere from 12-50 units are part of a new wave of development in the area. In the detached housing market, fabulous Art Deco and Heritage homes are found throughout the gorgeous tree-lined streets.

Two main commercial areas are West 4th and Broadway, both of which are a mecca of cuisine from around the globe, independent retail, markets and organic grocery stores. The area is know for having a “healthy” vibe as residents tend to be seen in yoga or cycling gear unless they are headed for dinner in which case most places are generally casual and jeans and sandals are perfectly acceptable.

THE KITSILANO MARKET:

For detached homes in the Kitsilano area, the official market type has remained a steady Seller’s Market, ranging in the past several months anywhere from 34 to 44%. (This is a Sales Ratio determined by taking the total amount of homes sold in one month divided by the total number of homes for sale in the same given month.) Specifically in relation to the October stats, detached homes are selling an average of 4-6% below list price and the most active price band is between $1.5million and $2.25million with 38% of homes in this price band selling (a jump of 10% from September 2013) with an average of 28 days on the market. That’s a lot of activity for the Fall in a market where widespread speculation has been toward expecting the opposite.

In the attached market, activity is proving even stronger and no doubt this has a lot to do with the increase in new development for this market sector. The official market type for Kitsilano in October 2013 was a seller’s market, sitting comfortably at just over 24% of homes selling for an average of 3% below the list price and average of only 24 days on the market. 1 and 2 bedrooms have been the most active category and $300,000 to $700,000 has been the most active price band.

The activity in the new development sector has allowed for new inventory to come on the market, much of it affordably priced for the area spurring an increase in activity. There are those living in an older building who are looking to upgrade and rent out their old place, there are UBC students looking to buy into something new and pay less than rent on a monthly basis and there is a large demographic of professionals working in the city who don’t want to live downtown but enjoy the proximity of a Kits address (especially if it is a new one) to their work.

For example, a new build such as Alder Crossing was completed in 2013. It is a boutique collection of 12 units comprised of condos and townhouses, many with rooftop patios and city views. All but two units are sold at this point and prices ranged from $290,000 to just over $1million.

Alternatively on a slightly larger scale, a development known as Radius is in presales and with 50 units in total, also with city views and rooftop decks just steps from Granville Island, it is scheduled to complete in 2015. The price point on these units are phenomenal when you consider that at price per square foot you are getting something brand new for nearly the same price as a comparable in the current resale market.

Kitsilano’s hippie roots made it an affordable place to live for many years but it’s proximity to downtown, Granville Island and a strong artistic community has forced housing prices to rise in accordance with the rest of the city. It has remained a strong investment decade after decade. The location is unbeatable, the lifestyle is world-class and the excellent reputation it holds reaches far beyond city limits. The new development is reviving many areas that will benefit from the influx of new residents, but for those not into brand new, the resale market in Kits has the advantage of bonus square footage rarely found elsewhere in Vancouver. The demographic is largely younger with more than half of the residents age between 25 and 45.

Whether you are looking for a good investment to rent out or a lifestyle change for yourself as a student, young couple or down-sizing, Kitsilano is a not only a very healthy and enjoyable place to live, it is a tried and true sound real estate investment.

Most Common Properties in Kitsilano:

• 1-2 bedroom condos
• Attached Single Family Residences – Townhomes
• Attached Multi-Family Residences – large, old heritage homes divided into multiple units