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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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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This was in the Globe and Mail today.  Arg!  I know people think multiple offers are a great thing and Realtors must love them, but a balanced market is much healthier and sustainable
 
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JENNIFER VAN EVRA

Special to The Globe and Mail

When Vancouver real estate agent Terry Flahiff listed the Kitsilano bungalow a few weeks ago, he knew it would generate interest. Located on the city's west side, the 1926 home featured hardwood floors, a large renovated kitchen, a bright two-bedroom basement suite, a white picket fence and a tree swing.

Sure, the yard was small, the view out the back was a giant condo complex, the bedrooms were tiny - the master was slightly more than 100 square feet - and it was just half a block off one of the city's busiest thoroughfares. Still, those shortcomings were quickly forgiven by the dozens of prospective buyers who streamed through the first open house saying, "Honey, I love it" and trying to imagine life without closets.

Five days later, seven agents lined up to make their offers. The asking price was $959,000, but because of the competition, they knew they had to push higher. Only two bids came in at less than $1- million, and in the end, the home sold for a staggering $1.142-million - more than $180,000 over the original price tag.

"My clients were hoping to get around $1-million or maybe $1.05-million," Mr. Flahiff says. "I think they were very happy."

As neighbours south of the border continue to pay the price for their housing market collapse, it seems that home buyers in Vancouver have forgotten the global economic downturn like it was yesterday's news - and that rush of optimism is fuelling a return to bidding wars.

Earlier this week on the Eastside, a partly updated Commercial Drive bungalow with a two-bedroom suite and a new garage and studio drew 10 offers - most of them with no inspections, despite the fact that the 1926 house needed a new roof, electrical upgrades and drain tile work, and had an old oil tank buried in the back yard. The first showing was Thursday last week, and on Sunday it sold for $113,000 over the asking price.

The same dizzying chain of events is being repeated around the city, where homes are selling in a matter of days, some for prices that sellers could not have imagined just a few months earlier. To make matters worse, many are being bought outright, because an offer that includes subjects (that is, the buyers want a few days to get an inspection or appraisal, finalize financing and so on) just can't compete.

According to veteran agent Rod MacKay, prospective buyers who have been waiting in the wings for the past year feel more confident about the economy and want to capitalize on the record low mortgage rates and reduced home prices before they drift outside their financial grasp. And because of the low mortgage rates, home ownership is now within reach for thousands of first-time buyers who had been priced out of the market, adding to the pressure at the bottom. Meanwhile, sellers aren't jumping in nearly as quickly: A third fewer houses were on the market this August than a year earlier, giving buyers a tough lesson in the laws of supply and demand.

"Prices have moved up 10 per cent in the last six months, so people are worried that if they wait for the perfect house, it won't be affordable," says Mr. MacKay, whose client offered $62,000 over the asking price on the Commercial Drive home, but landed near the bottom of the pack because her offer was contingent on getting two weekdays to finalize the financing. "So if someone is offering on a house that's $950,000, but they can afford $1.1-million, they think they'd better pay it now because that house will cost $1.75-million before they know it."

Still, experts say that even though Vancouver posted record sales in August - a whopping 117 per cent over the previous year - the overheated market is not likely to last. The backlog of buyers will purchase homes, and more sellers will enter the market, marking a return to a more balanced situation.

"The volatility has definitely been very surprising. We expected to see improvement from the recessionary lows, but we didn't see it rising this quickly," says Brian Yu, an economist with the British Columbia Real Estate Association, pointing to a steep decline in mortgage rates and low inventory as the central reasons behind the speedy return to a red-hot market.

"But the Vancouver numbers are showing some signs of plateauing, so the markets are probably going to stabilize over the next while," he says. "They can't increase at this rate forever."

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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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Last Thursday the Urban Development Institute held its Annual General Meeting and Bob Rennie was the guest speaker once again.
 
In the buildup to the talk, there was quite a bit of joking going around at the tables "I am sure that Bob will be positive even with what we have seen in this market" and things of that nature.
 
When Bob was officially introduced, there was even a chuckle in the room as it was said "and I am sure Bob will somehow be positive." 
 
Let me tell you.  Bob turned the skeptics in the room around really quickly!  Using numbers gathered from an independent source, Rennie dove right into an hour long talk on many issues, but the key to it all was really how little supply there is.
 
Bob was careful to separate the village of "downtown" from the suburbs, giving a hint that he, like myself, realizes that there is potential for some further downward pressure in the burbs where values must be supported by local incomes.
 
An amazing time was had, and Bob Rennie, who I have known for years and consider to be a friend did an excellent job.
 
 
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Developer Takes Unprecedented Step to Pass On Significant Construction Cost Savings to Pre-Sale Buyers in Yaletown


 
 

2009-03-18 00:04:45 -

Vancouver, B.C. - (March 17, 2009) - Prominent Vancouver-based developer Amacon has teamed up with MAC Marketing Solutions (MAC) to develop a unique, honest and first-of-its-kind construction cost savings initiative for The Beasley, a new Yaletown high-rise development. Amacon is taking unprecedented action by passing along construction cost savings to buyers, reducing the initial purchase price by a minimum of

22 per cent. The initiative will be called the 'pass it on' campaign.

The 'pass it on' campaign was made possible after Amacon spent months negotiating with their contractors, suppliers and trades. When Amacon reviewed the construction costs they could save, they decided to pass on the savings to the pre-sale buyers of The Beasley. The significant savings will also be offered to new purchasers. The brand new Yaletown condos start at $219,900 CAD ($170,200 USD). For many original home buyers, this refinancing option will deduct on average $100,000 - $250,000 from their initial purchase price.

'We are in a very different market than a year ago; when we negotiated our construction costs and realized the savings we made, we were happy to pass on that savings to our purchasers. We're putting everything out into the open as we see it's a win-win-win situation,' says Cameron McNeill, president of MAC. 'This sale will provide an unprecedented real estate opportunity for those who are interested in getting into Downtown Vancouver's real estate market at affordable prices.'

The Beasley real estate sale begins on Saturday, April 4, 2009. The sale will feature a collection of signature residences including bachelor, one-, two- and two-bedroom plus den suites ranging in size from 436 to 1,334 square feet. Soaring 33 storeys high, the sustainable condominium will introduce more than 200 homes to Yaletown and will be ready for occupancy July 2012.

'The Beasley is one of the only rare opportunities to buy a brand new home in Yaletown because there is very limited land available for high-rise development,' says Nic Jensen, manager of sales and marketing of Amacon. 'The decision to share our construction cost savings will create an exceptional buying opportunity for people who thought they could never afford to own real estate in a thriving downtown community such as Yaletown.'

The Beasley's Yaletown location is its best amenity. The condominium will be situated within minutes of the seawall, Robson Square, Vancouver Art Gallery, Orpheum, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Library Square, GM Place and BC Place, as well as world-class dining and a variety of international retailers.

A tribute to urban excellence and vision, The Beasley is named after legendary Vancouver city co-director of planning, Larry Beasley. Tasteful interiors and finishings found in each home will include floor-to-ceiling windows, rich plank hardwood floors and gourmet kitchens with top-of-the-line KitchenAid Architect II Series stainless-steel appliances.

Amacon is one of Canada's premier new home builders with a reputation of building quality homes. With four decades of development and construction expertise, Amacon is recognized as one of Canada's most influential real estate development and construction firms. Laying the foundation with excellence, Amacon controls all aspects of the development process including, site acquisition, project design, development, construction, marketing and sales.

MAC Marketing Solutions Inc. is a marketing and sales organization specializing in both residential and resort real estate developments in Metro Vancouver, Interior B.C. and Calgary. Founded in 2001 by Cameron McNeill, MAC continues to be a proven leader in sales with respect to volume and dollar value. Over the past five years, the company has sold more than $4-billion worth of real estate.
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No money for Quattro buyers: developer

Courtesy of ctvbc.ca

 

Thanks to a clause in their contracts, the people who have already paid to live in a huge Surrey condominium that was engulfed by fire won't be getting their money back, the developer said Sunday.

Instead they'll have to hold tight while the damage is assessed and Phase Two of the Quattro buildings in Whalley is rebuilt -- or sell their stake to someone else, said developer Charan Sethi.

"If you want to assign the contract to someone else, you can do that," said Sethi at a town hall meeting for Quattro buyers. "We'll put a system in places so you can do so."

The building was fully insured, and unlike other pre-sale projects that have hit bumps, any extra costs won't be passed on to the buyer, he said.

Surrey hinged the promise of revitalizing the neighbourhood on the $625-million condominium project, the largest-ever commercial and residential development the city had ever seen.

More than 100 units had sold out within hours when the project went on the market. Some 116 buyers were planning to move into their units in the spring.

Instead, a fire broke out on Phase Two of Quattro on October 2, sending massive plumes of smoke into the sky and threatening to engulf nearby buildings as well.

The three-alarm fire knocked out power to over 4,000 people and threatened to topple a large construction crane.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze, which they're saying was suspicious.

The contract clause allows for an extension beyond the initial completion date that is equal to the time it takes to repair or rebuild the building in the case of a fire. It also allows the developer a period of 120 days if there is a fire.

Other Surrey developments have had trouble not because of the fire, but because of a global credit freeze.

The developer of the Infinity project near King George SkyTrain Station filed for bankruptcy protection after one of its financial backers, Lehman Bros., went under.

The developer, Jung Developments says it's in negotiations with three local big name developers, and says it's confident that it will find the $100 million extra needed to finish the project.

Other pre-sale condominiums have run out of money as well, leaving some buyers in the lurch.

Vancouver-based Eden group canceled two condo projects due to projected cost overruns before they reached construction. Another of its condos, The Sophia, is nearing completion in the hands of a receiver.

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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