Kitsilano Real Estate Update for May 2018

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What’s Happening in the Kitsilano Real Estate Market

Hello readers, and Happy Spring! Kitsilano has really come to life over the last little while with gardens in full bloom and the beach filled with people on sunny days. I know I’m thrilled about this weather since I can use my outdoor space, but it also brings a lot more listings, and the good ones with great outdoor spaces.

The Kitsilano market has been shifting for a few months now, though how much depends on the type of home. The Westside detached market has seen more of a shift than the Eastside market, thanks to the high prices and the new School Tax, but the really nicely renovated character homes or more affordable homes on smaller lots always seem to have a lot of interest. Townhouses in Kitsilano have been a steady market for a while now, and condos in Kitsilano are having a bit of a hey day right now. The market has been busy the last few years, but I’ve seen some really strong sales go through this past month indicating that Kits condo buyers are still out there. At the end of the day, anything well maintained and price sharp will sell, quickly and often in multiples, but there isn’t a sense of urgency for the high end market, or units that are still asking a premium.


The last few years in Vancouver Real Estate have been insane, with ever increasing prices and multiple offers on just about everything, so it’s nice to see things slow down a bit allowing Buyers the chance to submit conditional offers. This past month, we’ve seen some units still sell in multiples while some units only receive one offer. I’ve seen a few units not get an offer on the offer day then get one the day after once a Buyer realizes they don’t have to compete. I’ve seen some units drop their price (these ones were all over priced from the start anyways) and others increase their price when they didn’t get the offer price they were hoping for (this strategy never works).

A shifting market is a good opportunity to get a negotiation going with Sellers. Put in some low offers to see how motivated they are to sell. Though you have to keep pricing strategy in mind – just because a Seller won’t negotiate their price down doesn’t mean you’re not getting a deal – it’s all relative to what else is selling and how they’ve priced the unit.

So I bet you’re wondering if prices will drop (and considerably at that)? It depends.

The detached market in Kitsilano has seen falling prices since September 2017. The HPI Price hit it’s highest of $2,625,500 in September 2017 and has been dropping ever since, now at $2,313,000. The HPI Price of Kits townhouses has been steady around $1,085,000 after it’s high in October 2017 of $1,126,000. The condo market market in Kits as been ever so steadily rising, so it’s current HPI Price of $662,300. The vacancy tax and school tax will have an effect on the more expensive properties in Kitsilano. Rental rates aren’t increasing fast enough to keep up with real estate value, so we’ll see fewer investors looking to buy in this market. Interest rates increased again, which makes the stress test that much tougher on Buyers. If inventory keeps increasing, we’ll see some downward pressure on prices, but I don’t see inventory increasing significantly. I can see detached prices continue to drop slightly, though condos and townhouses still have too many interested Buyers to drop significantly in price, but I do think we’ll see a slight change in the market, if anything to give Buyers a bit more negotiation room and the chance to submit conditional offers. If the detached market continues to soften, it’ll give townhouse and duplex owners a chance to jump into the market, which will allow condo owners a chance to jump into the townhouse market, which will open up the doors for more first time buyers, so hopefully we see some movement in the market this Spring.

As always, if you want to chat about your real estate goals, don’t hesitate to contact me: 778-387-7371 or [email protected]. With a bit more competition when it comes to selling your property, putting int those extra touches to ensure the unit shows well will be really important, as well as good marketing and top notch negotiation.

Kitsilano Condo Market Update

The Kitsilano condo market has been pretty busy as good units priced sharply are still selling in multiple offers after the first weekend of open houses. The sales to active ratio is 96% for 1 bedroom condos, 41% for 2 bedroom condos and 25% for 3 bedroom condos, so it’s strong all around, with a lot of activity for 1 bedroom units.

For one bedroom condos, the median price is $648,000 ($1,017/sqft) and the average price is $652,435 ($1,032/sqft). For two bedroom condos, the median price is $898,000 ($1,053/sqft) and the average price is $1,009,600 ($1,059/sqft). These prices have been pretty steady over the last few months, though the 2 bedroom market has seen it’s ups and downs depending on what type of product has sold. For 3 bedroom condos, the median and average price is $1,152,000 ($923/sqft). This market has very few sales (there was only 2 this past month) so there could easily be a big difference in prices month to month.

Total inventory is increasing for each market, though we’re still far below the numbers we saw for 1 bedroom condos a few years ago. Much of this inventory is new listings, which shows that the market isn’t stagnant. The days on market averages still shows about 2 weeks or less for each condo market, so Buyers, preparation and knowledge is still important as good listings will be sold quickly.

Kitsilano Townhouse Market Update

The Kitsilano townhouse market is as busy as the condo market. There aren’t as many sales because of a smaller amount of available inventory, but we’re still seeing a 100% sales to active ratio for 1 bedroom townhouses, 89% sales to active ratio for 2 bedroom townhouses and 75% sales to active ratio for 3 bedroom townhouses.

Inventory of Kitsilano townhouses is quite up or down given that it’s a smaller market (less than 10 listings in each segment), so it’s hard to compare one month to another. Overall, we are seeing new listings hit the market and lots of sales so the market is definitely moving.

For one bedroom townhouses, the median and average sale price was $621,000 ($826/sqft). For two bedroom townhouses, the median sale price was $1,076,000 ($1026/sqft) and the average sale price was $1,068,563 ($1002/sqft). For three bedroom townhouses, the median sale price was $1,699,000 ($1007/sqft) and the average sale price was $1,829,000 ($1117/sqft).

There’s still a large price difference between townhouses and (updated) houses, so it’s more likely to see Buyers jumping from a townhouse to a half duplex, then from a half duplex to a house. We’re also seeing a lot of down-sizers moving into larger townhouses or duplexes, so this market should remain pretty active despite a slight softening in the more expensive market.

Kitsilano Detached House Market

The Kitsilano house market has been slowing for a few months now, exasperated by the school tax (applicable on properties over $3-million). Only 6 Kitsilano houses sold last month with 1 of those being a new development. For re-sale properties, the average sale price is $2,292,000 and the median price is $2,000,000. For new developments, the average and median price is $3,700,000 (+ GST) since there was only 1 sale this past month (our listing at 3468 W 14th).

The sales to active ratio is really low – 8.5% (a strong Buyer’s market) – for resale properties, and with 59 listings on the market, you would have options. The question is how much the Sellers are willing to negotiate and what your plans are for the unit. With a lot of houses needing full renovations, this market can be tough for Buyers to get into. Not only do you need good financing to purchase the house/lot, but Buyers will need to have funds available to finance a big reno and carrying costs as well (financing for renovation costs can be tough to get). This is what makes well maintained and renovated properties that much more appealing – they aren’t as expensive as a new build, but they still offer Buyers a chance to live in a great property.

With the housing market being slow, good marketing, good negotiation and proper expectations are even more important than normal, so give us a call if you want to work with seasoned agents who know how to make things happen.

If you have any questions on the market, or if you want to sit down with an agent to chat about everything you need to know, give me a shout: 778-387-7371 or [email protected].