The Impact of Asian Investors in Vancouver | Globe and Mail & BNN

Macdonald Realty is mentioned several times in a Globe and Mail article published this morning on the impact of Asian investors on the Vancouver housing market.  See a repost of the full report below including comments from Dan Scarrow, VP of Corporate Strategy for Macdonald Real Estate Group.

Infographic_-_The_China_Factor_in_Vancouver_Real_Estate

 

This Globe and Mail article lead to a mid-day live TV interview on the Business News Network, featuring Tony Letvinchuk, the managing director of Macdonald Commercial Real Estate ServicesClick here to watch the interview.

 

Vancouver housing data reveal Chinese connection

One of the largest real estate companies in British Columbia says that more than one-third of all the single-family detached homes it sold last year went to people with ties to mainland China.

Macdonald Realty Ltd., which has over 1,000 agents and staff in B.C., said 33.5 per cent of the 531 single family homes sold by its Vancouver offices in 2013 went to people who the company said were a mix of recent immigrants and Canadian citizens.

Those buyers, the company added, tended to spend more money, too, with the average cost of a house sold to these clients topping $2-million, compared to $1.4-million on average overall.

The figures did not include Macdonald’s sales in suburban areas such as Richmond, Burnaby or North Vancouver.

“This is our snapshot of Vancouver,” says Dan Scarrow, vice-president of corporate strategy at Macdonald Realty.

The information is based on reports from the firm’s sales, anecdotes from its agents and Mr. Scarrow’s own experience working with mainland Chinese clients, and it’s a glimpse into the influence of mainland Chinese money on Vancouver’s real estate market, which is considered among the most expensive in North America.

Vancouver has been flooded in recent years by tens of thousands of investor-class immigrants from mainland China, who have seen the west coast city as a stable – and picturesque – place to park their capital in luxury property.

That has helped drive up the average price of a single-family home in Vancouver to around $1.2-million.

Mr. Scarrow, who noted the firm does not query buyers about immigration status, believes that investment flowing from mainland China into Vancouver real estate is a quantifiable phenomenon, but has not personally seen much of the more controversial type of buyer: Those from abroad who buy for investment purposes but never live in the city. “We still see very few pure investors from China who have no connection to Vancouver,” he says.

Getting a handle on foreign buyers is difficult and Macdonald’s survey is far from exact – though one major property developer in Richmond said “that sounds about right.” The federal government does not collect meaningful data on the number of foreign buyers purchasing Canadian real estate, leaving industry participants to debate the impact of foreign capital on the local market. And that debate has gotten heated recently, with some developers accusing others of racism and criticizing those who want to slap curbs on foreign investment. The issue is complicated by the fact that some of Vancouver’s ethnically Chinese-Canadian citizens with ties to Hong Kong view newer immigrants from mainland China with a degree of suspicion, assuming their wealth might have been accumulated in part by proximity to China’s Communist Party, rather than in a free market with the rule of law like Hong Kong.

The lack of hard data has also complicated discussions about the city’s affordability crisis and fuelled a local cottage industry where analysts attempt to decipher the scope of foreign money by looking at things like electricity usage in downtown neighbourhoods where some suspect foreign buyers have bought condos in which they never live.

“People always say there are no stats. Well, here are the stats,” says Mr. Scarrow. “This is actual evidence.”

There have been some reports and statistics about the scale of foreign money in Vancouver real estate before, but few have been conclusive – and none have settled the debate. One Sotheby’s report based on a survey of its agents found that 40 per cent of the luxury properties it sold in Vancouver were to foreign buyers – but not all of them were from China. Many developers trying to downplay fears about Chinese investment cite a statistic showing that only 1 to 3 per cent of Vancouver real estate purchases are “foreign” buyers – but, as is the case with Macdonald’s sales, many more expensive homes are still sold to people based here but who have come, at some point, from mainland China. A 2011 study by Landcor Data showed that 74 per cent of luxury purchases in Richmond and Vancouver’s expensive west side were by buyers with mainland Chinese names.

Mr. Scarrow says his company is “indicative of the overall market,” since his firm has some real estate agents who target overseas Chinese buyers, but is also firmly oriented toward domestic sales, unlike other real estate firms that deliberately target Chinese buyers.

At the same time, Mr. Scarrow and Macdonald are so bullish on the potential for Chinese investment that he is spearheading the company’s efforts to open an office in China. “While there is very little data about foreign investors in Vancouver real estate, our own internal data is enough for us to commit to investing in a representative office in Shanghai,” said Mr. Scarrow, whose mother Lynn Hsu, who came from Taiwan in 1979, is the majority owner and president of Macdonald.

Others remain unconvinced – not about whether there is an influx of Chinese money, but whether the flow of foreign capital will continue unabated.

Richard Kurland, a Vancouver immigration lawyer who works with wealthy Chinese immigrants, believes Vancouver may see a slowdown in foreign investment. He said some wealthy Chinese buyers might get anxious and sell off second properties because of the current crackdown on corruption in China.

In meetings with top real estate agents earlier this year, Mr. Kurland predicted that luxury residential real estate could drop in value by as much as 25 per cent as foreign investment dips. As evidence, he points to July real estate figures that showed 106 homes for sale on the west side in the $3-million to $3.5-million price bracket, and just nine sales, compared to 73 active listings and seven sales during July of 2013.

Originally published by The Globe and Mail on Friday, August 22, 2014.  Written by IAIN MARLOW.

Macdonald Realty tops 2014 list of “Biggest BC businesses owned by women” | BIV

Once again, for 2014, Macdonald Realty is number one on Business in Vancouver’s list of Biggest BC businesses owned by women.  Lynn Hsu tops this list which in which businesses are ranked by total number of staff.  Thank you to all of our Realtors and staff who make up this impressive number!

Capture2

 

See all the rankings at Business In Vancouver.

Keep the toaster, we’re crowdfunding our down payment

Websites help newlyweds raise money to put toward real estate goals

Newlyweds tend to receive many gifts that end up in the trash or never see the light of day.

Nowadays, many couples have been living together for years before they actually tie the knot, so they’ve probably got the silverware and salt-and-pepper shakers covered.

But what if newlyweds could channel the generosity of all their family and friends towards a big-ticket item of their choosing, like a down payment for a home?

That’s a strategy that people who are set to receive a wave of gifts for a special occasion may take more and more as crowdfunding continues to gain traction.

People have long been using Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other mainstream crowdfunding sites to raise cash for all manner of pursuits.

But more recently, niche crowdfunding sites have been popping up. A number of them focus on helping people raise cash for real estate-related pursuits, including cobbling together enough cash for a down payment.

Feather the Nest, for example, lets users create pages where they can use text, photos and video to describe what real estate aspirations they want contributors to help them fund. Users then share their campaigns through email and their social media accounts.

People can turn to Feather the Nest whenever they want to try to drum up cash for real estate goals, but the site was designed to help people capitalize on the outpouring of generosity that typically comes with special occasions.

The best example would be a wedding, said Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based Lindsay Oparowski, CEO of Feather the Nest. The spread of honeymoon registries like Honeyfund.com and Traveler’s Joy show that many couples are keen on funneling the goodwill of friends and family towards a single purpose, rather than sitting back to accept a hodgepodge of smaller gifts.

DownPaymentDreams.com_1

Screen shot showing sample DownPaymentDreams.com campaign.

Oparowski envisions soon-to-be-married couples sharing their campaigns for real estate projects with friends and loved ones  and posting them to their wedding websites. The campaigns could either complement the wedding gift menus that couples commonly offer up to family and friends, or they could replace them altogether.

That way, you end up with a house, not “mismatched placemats,” Oparowski said.

Feather the Nest isn’t the only company trying to help people crowdfund down payments. Gift registries Hatch My House and DownPaymentDreams.com both target couples who would prefer down payment assistance over cutlery and candlesticks.

Launched by Wilmington-North Carolina-based real estate agent Teresa Krebs, DownPaymentDreams.com acts as an agent referral service, offering couples a refund of the site’s registration fee and a gift card to a home improvement store in exchange for working with an agent handpicked by the site. Krebs said 20 couples a month sign up on average, with close to 800 having registered since the site launched in 2009.

“In this generation, so many people are wanting to buy a house and they already have furnishings and towels and pots and pans and things like that,” Krebs said. “Among my group of friends that’s what people really wanted for a wedding gift — cash for a down payment.”

HomeFunded.com launched last year, but the website is still listed as being in beta testing.

Hatch My House has helped people raise about $1.7 million for down payments, $200,000 for remodeling and renovations and $100,000 for furnishings and decorations, according to Rieve MacEwen, who founded Hatch My House in 2009 with his wife Erin-Marie. More than 2,000 registeries have received funds on the site, he added.

According to Hatch My House, the average price of a wedding gift is $125, while the average number of gifts for a wedding is 70. That means, theoretically, the typical couple using the site would raise $9,000 to put towards a down payment if every wedding gift went towards their campaign.

PRIMARQ is taking a less romantic approach to the enterprise: The crowdfunder is attempting to enable buyers to obtain down payment assistance from investors in exchange for slices of their home equity.

Screen shot showing Feather the Nest’s campaign directory page.

Oparowski, who was previously a marketing director for two brokerages, said that agents could recommend Feather the Nest to people who are on the fence about buying, or use it as a “touchpoint” to maintain contact with past clients.

The site will generate revenue by taking a cut of the funds users raise through campaigns, but also plans to sell sponsorships to agents, where nest owners would receive some cash for permitting an agent’s advertising to appear next to their campaigns.

This article was originally posted on Inman News, June 30, 2014.  Written by Teke Wiggin.
View the original post at Inman News.

For more information contact Macdonald Realty at 1-877-278-3888

Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes Magazine | Summer 2014

The latest edition of Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes is now available! This publication showcases unique and luxurious homes listed with Macdonald Realty from across the province.

Highlights of this issue include summer retreats on Bowen Island, a former “Street of Dreams” show home in South Surrey, an elegant Shaughnessy home, a stunning West Coast Contemporary home in North Saanich and a community focus on Salt Spring Island. We also feature homes from Whistler, West Vancouver, Vancouver, Richmond, Bowen Island, White Rock, Mission, North Saanich, Salt Spring Island, and Mayne Island.

Simply click the cover image below to get started.
MacdonaldRealtyLuxuryMagazine_Summer2014_cover

Macdonald Realty-LeadingRE #1 Network in North America | REAL Trends 2014

Macdonald Realty is a proud member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World ® (LeadingRE), a global affiliate network of independent real estate firms. We are pleased to announce that two years in a row, Macdonald Realty-LeadingRE is the number one selling network (by unit sales) in North America – more than Remax, Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, and other well known real estate brokerages.

In addition, Macdonald Realty has continued to be consistently strong in the rankings for the REAL Trends 250 Survey, placing in the Top 10 of the Largest Brokers in Canada and Top 5 of Independent Brokers in Canada.

REAL Trends is a company based in Denver Colorado that has been ranking the Top 500 American residential brokerages since 1988 and has been ranking Canadian brokerages since 2009.


2014_RealTrends250_SocialMedia
2014_RealTrends_LeadingRE

Getting the most from an open house

111

OpenHouse

 

 

 

 

Have you ever attended an “Open House” advertised in your area or in a community you like? Most people have. Even if you’re not serious about moving, viewing a few properties in a neighbourhood you like is a great way to get a sense of the market. Who knows? You might stumble upon your next dream home! To get the most out of an open house, follow these guidelines:

  • Most open houses will have a handout available containing the list price and other property information. Be sure to keep a copy.
  • Don’t just view the rooms. Explore the entire property, including the backyard.
  • Don’t be shy about asking the listing agent (or whoever is hosting the open house) questions about the property.
  • Ask about the area. Are there schools nearby? Where is the nearest park or playground located?
  • Ask about potential required repairs and renovations. For example, if the furnace is more than 15 years old, it may need to be replaced soon.
  • Walk around the neighbourhood. Try to get a sense of what it’s like to live there. If possible, chat with a neighbour.
  • Finally, if you become interested in the home, be sure to advise the listing agent that your own REALTOR® will be following up. Otherwise, the listing agent might assume that he or she will be representing you. Looking for a good REALTOR® to have by your side? Call me today.

 

———

Blog post provided by Darin Germyn Personal Real Estate Corporation, a REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty in South Surrey / White Rock.   Visit Darin’s blog at Germyn.ca  originally posted April 4, 2014.

Macdonald Realty’s North Vancouver office sponsors Burstin’ with Broadway


Poster-up-and-away-corr-bo
This year our North Vancouver office is sponsoring the “Burstin’ with Broadway” performance taking place May 31st, 2014!

Fill the stage with 120 energetic singers, a live band and a Musical Director with a passion for Musical Theatre, and what do you get? A “choir” show like no other! The North Shore’s own Burstin’ with Broadway’s lively concert will send you home with a beat in your feet and a song in your heart. A great collection of show tunes from all the decades of Musical Theatre, including songs from South Pacific, Bye Bye Birdie, The Music Man, HAIR, Chicago and Once on this Island.

Burstin’ with Broadway was founded in January of 2005 by Dominique Hogan. The idea came out of a simple premise that perhaps others enjoy musical theatre music as much as she does. The second premise was that she had met many talented singers who didn’t read music or who had little to no classical musical training. And so Burstin’ with Broadway was born, a non-auditioned community choir dedicated to singing Musical Theatre repertoire on the North Shore.

Saturday, May 31st
2pm and 7:30pm
$28 Adults, $25 Students and Seniors


Macdonald_Realty_ad_16.5cm_x_20cm_FINAL

Subterranean Garage in the 2014 Doory Awards with HGTV


love_it
This year it is our pleasure to have a Macdonald Realty listing nominateed in the 2014 Doory Awards by HGTV’s FrontDoor.com! VOTE for our nomination in the category “Your House Has What?!” Click the Love it button to vote for this Victoria home with a James Bond style Subterranean Garage.

Subterranean Garage in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

 

 

Make sure to check out the other great nominees!


doory

Macdonald Realty West Vancouver sponsor “That’s Just Crazy Talk”

Macdonald Realty’s West Vancouver office is sponsoring the May 22nd play “That’s Just Crazy Talk” by Victoria Maxwell, a fundraiser for the North Shore CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association). We are happy to support such an important and worthwhile organization in our community.


north_shore
“”That’s Just Crazy Talk”” looks at both the light and dark side of living with bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis. This funny and achingly truthful play both entertains and educates, exploding stigmas and portraying the love and resilience it takes to stay together as a family and the beauty that can result when we face our demons.

Victoria Maxwell is one of North America’s most sought-after educators and speakers on the ’lived’ experience of mental illness and recovery.

The performance will be preceded by a wine and cheese reception and silent auction. A panel discussion will follow “”That’s Just Crazy Talk””.

May 22nd, 6pm
Kay Meek Centre, West  Vancouver
Tickets at www.kaymeekcentre.com  $30 Adults, $20 Students/Children

Find the North Shore CMHA on social media:
Twitter: @northshoreCMHA
Facebook: @NorthShoreCMHA

For more information contact Macdonald Realty at 1-877-278-3888

Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes Magazine | Spring 2014

The latest edition of Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes is now available! This new publication showcases 42 of the most unique and luxurious homes for sale across BC this spring.

Our cover story is a Resort Style home in the Morgan Creek area of Surrey. Listed at $2,498,000, this home soars with extensive fir beams, gorgeous outdoor spaces and the finest of finishings. Other listings to look for include an award nominated Victoria home with a “”James Bond style subterranean garage””, a Bed & Breakfast property on Pender Island and an Okanagan Vineyard in Naramata. We also features homes from Whistler, West Vancouver, Vancouver, Richmond, Bowen Island, White Rock, Mission, North Saanich, Salt Spring Island, and Mayne Island.

Simply click the cover image below to browse these beautiful homes.


MacdonaldRealtyLuxuryMagazine_Spring2014_cover