Cory Raven | 604-220-9399

 
The Capitol Residences are coming along nicely, as seen in this photo found on skyscrapers.com
 
Capitol Residences at 833 Seymour as of January 2010
 
Capitol Residences, built by Wall Financial (Run by Peter Wall and Bruno Wall) was sold a few years back by Bob Rennie and Rennie Marketing Systems.
 
What is the address of Capitol Residences?
The address is currently slated to be 833 Seymour Street,Vancouver.  This may change at completion.
 
Who is the builder of Capitol Residences?
Capitol Residences is being developed by Wall Financial Corp.
 
What is my condo at Capitol Residences worth?
For a free evaluation of your condo, conact Cory Raven of TAC Real Estate Corp at 604-220-9399
 
When will Capitol Residences be completed / finished?
Capitol residences is slated to be finished in late 2010.
 
 
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The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has released their Sept stats.  Very detailed and very positive!
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Well well well, looks like the media is catching on to the technology I have been offering on my www.coryraven.com/m (go there from your iphone or android, blackberry coming soon)
 
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Starting the house hunt in Metro Vancouver no longer needs to be a static pursuit. A couple of firms have joined the technological wave of text-messaging and map-location to launch services that deliver property information to consumers on their wireless devices.
 

Starting the house hunt in Metro Vancouver no longer needs to be a static pursuit. A couple of firms have joined the technological wave of text-messaging and map-location to launch services that deliver property information to consumers on their wireless devices.

Photograph by: Graphics, Vancouver Sun

Starting the house hunt in Metro Vancouver no longer needs to be a static pursuit.

A couple of firms have joined the technological wave of text-messaging and map-location to launch services that deliver property information to consumers on their wireless devices.

It is the thin edge of making property searches completely mobile, although not a lot of consumers may be aware they are available.

“There’s no doubt that mobile is where it’s at,” says Kye Grace, a tech-savvy realtor and consultant in Vancouver. “From searching right down to a realtor [website] having a mobile option for iPhones, Blackberrys and Android phones.”

The logic for realtors, Grace said, is that “you want to be where the consumer is. And in all reality, the consumer is going mobile.”

From the consumer’s perspective, Grace said regardless of how much time consumers spend looking up property listings on their computers at home, they still wind up driving around to see the offerings, so its more convenient and efficient if you can deliver information to them where they are.

RealtyText is one program created by the Vancouver-based firm RT RealtyText, which uses text-messaging to deliver information to house-hunting consumers.

Company president George Haddad said realtors can subscribe to the service, which allows them to upload their listings to RealtyText’s system, then put an addition to their property signs printed with the realtor’s special code.

The consumer who sees that sign texts the code to the RealtyText system, which sends back the listing information — including specs, photos and an option to contact the listing agent to set up a viewing.

“Business has been really, really good,” Haddad said of his company’s initial sales campaign.

“What [realtors] like is that they’re providing information to clients 24/7,” he added. “As well, they love the fact they can monitor activity on a property,” by seeing how many people request information.

Haddad, an active developer, said he got the idea for RealtyText out of his own frustration at not being able to get information quickly while he was on the road.

And from watching American Idol and registering the show’s method of text messaging for viewers to vote for favoured contestants, Haddad thought that text would be the way to do it. After about 18 months of development, he launched RealtyText earlier this year.

The technical experts at Myrealpage.com dreamed up a more comprehensive search tool that marries Google Maps with the Multiple Listing Service databases of B.C.’s real estate boards, and provides a search tool accessible through a mobile version of a subscribing realtor’s website.

“With the mobile product, it gives consumers their first opportunity to go and shop for a home away from their home computer,” Ray Giesbrecht, Myrealpage.com’s sales and marketing manager in Vancouver, said in an interview.

The service uses the iPhone’s GPS navigation system to show consumers MLS property listings within the vicinity of their location on a Google Map, and set it to follow them around, plotting more listings as they travel through neighbourhoods.

This gives homebuyers “a more realistic context of the property vis-a-vis its neighborhood,” he added.

Giesbrecht said the system also has options realtors can access for users to flag favourite listings, grade them, and make comments on them for future review at the realtor’s office.

The Rogers-owned search service Zoocasa.com does offer a similar mobile application for the iPhone, but Giesbrecht noted that it aggregates listings from sources other than MLS databases, so its listings are limited compared with Myrealpage.com.

Grace, while he is not a user, offers a favourable review of Myrealpage.com’s offering.

“As far as individual products go, Myrealpage is the best,” he said, “but I don’t think they have any competition either.”

The difficulty right now, Grace added, is accessibility. At this point, consumers probably aren’t aware that the tools are available.

depenner@vancouversun.com

 
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Courtesy of Thane Stenner, published in the Globe and Mail
 
Looking west from the boardroom in our office, you can just see it: an enormous pit, perhaps 200 feet deep, where the crowning glory of Vancouver's skyline would have been.

Designed by the late, great Arthur Erickson, the Ritz-Carlton's 123 luxury residences would surely have been one of the most prestigious addresses in the city. Fully 58 storeys high, the tower featured a dramatic 45-degree twist from foundation to apex, with spectacular views of the city, the Strait of Georgia and the North Shore mountains.

At least, that was the idea. When the global financial crisis hit last fall, the Ritz-Carlton was one of the casualties. Faced with sky-high construction costs, uncertain financing and sluggish sales, the developer halted the project in October. Recently, there's been some buzz about things starting up again after the 2010 Olympics. Until then, it serves as a poignant reminder of the depth of the global financial crisis.

A time to buy?

I asked Ross McCredie about the project when we met for a working lunch late last week. As president and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty Canada, and a 10-year veteran of the industry, he knows full well how tough times have been for anyone buying or selling luxury real estate in Canada. "It was incredible how quickly the market dried up," Mr. McCredie said, shaking his head. "From October of 2008 to the spring of this year, across the country, sales literally stopped."

Since then, however, it's been a different story. "I was surprised at how quickly the market picked up this past spring," he said. "[In Vancouver,] we've sold one home well over $10-million, one at $9.5-million, as well as two in Victoria at $6.8-million and $6.5-million, all in the last six weeks."

Why the dramatic change? Mr. McCredie believes it has everything to do with the psychology of the sellers. "The past year has cut deep into the mindset of many high-net-worth individuals and their families," Mr. McCredie said. "[Many] have decided to dispose of properties they thought they would never sell."

If you're a buyer, this is the kind of mentality you've been waiting for. "In the urban centres, properties over $3-million have a limited number of buyers, and they're taking a great deal more time to sell," Mr. McCredie said. "Often, sellers feel as if they 'missed the market,' and they're panicking somewhat."

If it's a recreational property you're shopping for, the news is equally good.

"Across Canada there are rare opportunities to purchase one-of-a-kind properties at well below assessed values - and often well below replacement cost," Mr. McCredie said. "This is especially true in the recreational markets such as Whistler, waterfront homes in the Okanagan, Muskoka and Mont Tremblant."

Advice for buyers and sellers

Despite his optimism, Mr. McCredie is quick to point out that luxury real estate is far from a "slam dunk," even in this market.

Certainly, great deals are out there, but the rules of real estate still apply: "Location is still the No. 1 driver of value in the upper end of the market," Mr. McCredie said.

At the same time, he points out that buyers are looking for more than just a pretty view.

"The architectural significance of the home is becoming more important. Size has little to do with value, but the actual beauty, quality of construction, and function of a home are key components of establishing a home's value."

Mr. McCredie believes that when it comes to luxury real estate, both buyers and sellers need to think carefully about the investment aspect of their purchase.

"Whenever buying or selling any home - and especially the most expensive home on the block - think about who else would buy it," he said.

As Mr. McCredie points out, building your dream home is all well and good, but your dreams aren't necessarily the same as a potential buyer's.

"People often get carried away building a trophy home for themselves without ever considering the basic fundamentals of real estate," he says.

"As a result, they overbuild for a particular lot or neighbourhood."

As Mr. McCredie candidly explained, such a move is rarely a wise investment decision. "It's a very simple supply-and-demand function," Mr. McCredie said.

"If there are multiple high-net-worth individuals who would want the home, then its value can easily exceed the current market."

As our server brought us the bill, I asked Mr. McCredie where he thinks the luxury market in Canada is headed over the next year.

He reminded me that when it comes to luxury real estate, the market is only one factor in the equation.

"A home's value is always determined by the buyer's ability to believe the home's story," Mr. McCredie said.

"Done poorly, you can sell a home well short of its value. Done well, you can overcome nearly any market."

Thane Stenner is founder of Stenner Investment Partners within GMP Private Client L.P., as well as Managing Director, Private Client. He is also bestselling author of ´True Wealth: an expert guide for high-net-worth individuals (and their advisors). He can be reached at thane.stenner@gmppc.com. The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and readers should not assume they reflect the opinions or recommendations of GMP Private Client L.P. or its affiliates.

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I have just uploaded a copy of this month's Informed Buyer and Seller Newsletter
 
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Market conditions drive strong June housing sales

VANCOUVER, B.C. – July 3, 2009 – The combination of low interest rates and more affordable pricing helped propel Greater Vancouver home sale numbers to the second all-time highest total for the month of June.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties increased 75.6 per cent in June 2009 to 4,259, from the 2,425 sales recorded in June 2008. The figure is just short of the record-breaking 4,333 sales which occurred in June 2005.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined 17.9 per cent to 5,372 in June 2009 compared to June 2008, when 6,546 new units were listed. However, new listings increased 13.5 per cent from May to June of this year. Total active listings in Greater Vancouver currently sit at 13,252, down 27 per cent from June 2008 and 2.9 per cent below the active listings count at the end of May 2009.

“Price reductions and low interest rates have created an improvement in affordability, which is causing the number of sales to rise to levels comparable to 2003 to 2007,” Scott Russell, REBGV president said.
 
“Many people who were reluctant to purchase a home last fall and earlier this year are returning to the market because they see conditions that appeal to their personal and financial needs,” Russell said. “However, the current marketplace is such that buyers are more inclined to walk if they don’t like the terms of an offer.”

Residential benchmark prices, as calculated by the MLSLink® Housing Price Index, declined 8.2 per cent to $518,855 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.

The number of sales of detached properties increased 81.6 per cent to 1,667 from the 918 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties declined 8.4 per cent to $701,384 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.

The number of sales of apartment properties in June 2009 increased 69.3 per cent to 1,790, compared to 1,057 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 8.2 per cent from June 2008 to $356,880.

The number of attached property sales in June 2009 increased 78.2 per cent to 802, compared with the 450 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit declined 7.3 per cent between June 2009 and 2008 to $441,620.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in June 2009 compared to June 2008:

Detached:

Burnaby up 109.7 per cent (151 units sold from 72)

Coquitlam up 122.2 per cent (160 units sold from 72)

Delta - South up 107.7 per cent (56 units sold from 27)

Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 54.3 per cent (162 units sold from 105)

New Westminster up 104.8 per cent (43 units sold from 21)

North Vancouver up 96.2 per cent (153 units sold from 78)

Port Moody/ Belcarra up 120 per cent (33 units sold from 15)

Richmond up 77.4 per cent (204 units sold from 115)

Squamish up 107.7 per cent (27 units sold from 13)

Sunshine Coast up 33.9 per cent (75 units sold from 56)

Vancouver East up 71.2 per cent (238 units sold from 139)

Vancouver West up 85.2 per cent (200 units sold from 108)

West Vancouver/Howe Sound up 117.8 per cent (98 units sold from 45)


Attached:

Burnaby up 81.8 per cent (140 units sold from 77)

Coquitlam up 80 per cent (54 units sold from 30)

Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 48.6 per cent (55 units sold from 37)

North Vancouver up 121.2 per cent (73 units sold from 33)

Port Coquitlam up 82.6 per cent (42 units sold from 23)

Port Moody/ Belcarra up 77.3 per cent (39 units sold from 22)

Richmond up 84.5 per cent (155 units sold from 84)

Vancouver East up 118.5 per cent (59 units sold from 27)

Vancouver West up 121.8 per cent (122 units sold from 55)


Apartments:

Burnaby up 60.4 per cent (239 units sold from 149)

Coquitlam up 93.9 per cent (95 units sold from 49)

New Westminster up 57.1 per cent (121 units sold from 77)

North Vancouver up 71.4 per cent (120 units sold from 70)

Port Coquitlam up 58.1 per cent (49 units sold from 31)

Port Moody/Belcarra up 128.6 per cent (48 units sold from 21)

Richmond up 54.1 per cent (225 units sold from 146)

Vancouver East up 58.7 per cent (165 units sold from 104)

Vancouver West up 87.2 per cent (627 units sold from 335)

West Vancouver/Howe Sound up 155.6 per cent (23 units sold from 9)

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Dear friends and clients,

I am very pleased to announce that I have been been asked to join MAC Marketing Solutions to champion a new venture.  It is an honour to be personally selected by the owner and CEO of MAC, Cameron McNeill to spearhead this new challenge.  MAC is looking to grow their market share in resale condos with the same rapid expansion as seen over the past few years with the project marketing side of MAC.  MAC has sold billions of dollars in real estate over the past few years and is responsible for the new MACBULK concept you have likely heard about on the radio or seen on the TV.  MAC is a leading real estate marketer with extensive experience Downtown, in East Van, Burnaby, New West, North and South Surrey, Richmond, the Okanagan and out of the province.  Our resale company will focus on Metro Vancouver.

I am joining in the capacity of designing and implementing the new resale company and running it once it is off the ground as Managing Broker  This means in a month or so you will be getting another email with further details (the new name, branding, etc)

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU, MY EXISTING CLIENTS?

Nothing changes.  Although I will be taking part in this exciting new role, I am still working full time as YOUR Realtor.  My level of service and commitment to helping you achieve your real estate goals remain the same.  As I have mentioned in the past, I am never too busy for your questions, requests, comments, referrals etc.  My contact info stays the same with my direct line being 604-220-9399, my email cory@coryraven.com and my website www.coryraven.com

You may notice a day or 2 of down timeon my websites, http://www.coryraven.com and www.listingstoemail.com as my web designer works on the re-design.  If you can't get on either to get information on listings or anything else, please pick up the phone and call me or shoot an email off to me.
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Please excuse the mess while I upgrade my website.  In the meantime, you may access all my blog posts by clicking here.
Please excuse the mess while I upgrade my website to provide you with even more timely and topical information on our market and the process of buying and selling.  In the meantime, you can access my blog by clicking here
Cory Raven
Telephone:604-220-9399
Cory Raven - Managing Broker
RE/MAX Select Realty
4806 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
V5V 3R8