LeadingRE exceeds $351 billion USD in sales

Macdonald Realty is pleased to share that Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, our global real estate network of market-leading independent brokerages, has announced its most recent sales statistics for 2015, reflecting ongoing dominance in the residential real estate market. Network affiliates produced over one million transactions valued at $351 billion USD in home sales last year, outperforming its closest network competitor by $86 billion, which further widened the margin over the previous year.
LeadingRE Annual Sales 2015 Graph

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® affiliates had 27% of the total sales among the top 500 firms in the U.S., outselling all other networks in home sales by 48%, according to REAL Trends 500, a ranking of the largest U.S. companies by transaction sides and sales volume. Members also represented 14 of the top 25 firms in the U.S. in sales volume among this prestigious group.

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Macdonald Real Estate Group – Year in Review 2015

It is the season to look back with a Year in Review 2015 video of Macdonald Real Estate Group’s performance across our residential, commercial sales and leasing, property management and project marketing divisions, as well as the launch of our new office in Shanghai, China.  This success continues to position us as Western Canada’s largest integrated real estate firm.  Watch the 3 minute video for an overview of the key highlights of our last year.

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About Macdonald Real Estate Group
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) has an annual sales volume of over $7 billion and over $2 billion in assets under management.  With more than 20 offices and nearly 1,000 staff and REALTORS®, MREG offers a full range of real estate services, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, project marketing, and the MREG Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai, China.  Macdonald Realty is the residential division of Macdonald Real Estate Group. For more information, visit www.macrealty.com.

 

Okanagan Real Estate Market Statistics – December 2015

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Kelowna and Okanagan listings and sales in December 2015.

South Okanagan: Osoyoos, Oliver, and Penticton

In December 2015, there were 64 sales of detached homes and 574 active listings in South Okanagan Area, including Osoyoos, Oliver, and Penticton. The average sale price was $422, 547 with an average days on market of 110.

The Condo market had 17 sales and 213 active listings at the end of the month. The average sale price was $211,324 with an average days on market of 95.

Townhome sales were 16, active listings were 79. The average sale price was $205,253, and the average days on market were 81.

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[Read more…]

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Statistics – December 2015

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Vancouver, North Shore, Tri-Cities and other Greater Vancouver listings and sales in December 2015.

Vancouver

In the Vancouver Westside, there were 135 sales of detached homes and 376 active listings at the end of December. The benchmark sale price was $2,885,000, with an average days on market of 42. The hottest market for sales was Dunbar with 24 sales.

In comparison, the condo market had 336 sales, 593 active listings and a benchmark sale price of $590,400 with 41 average days on market. The hottest market for sales was Downtown VW, 72 sales.

Townhome sales were 39, active listings were 79. The benchmark sale price was $897,400 with an average days on market of 35. Kitsilano, 10 sales, was the hottest market for sales in December.

Listings are down. Sales are up. It’s a seller’s market.

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The Vancouver Eastside had 122 sales and 229 active listings for detached homes at the end of the month. The benchmark sales price was $1,222,900, and the average days on market were 28. The hottest sales market was South Vancouver with 18 sales.

The condo market featured 108 sales, 171 active listing, and a benchmark sales price was $364,500. The average days on market were 36 days, and the hottest market for sales was Mount Pleasant with 30 sales.

The townhome market, on the other hand, had 19 sales and 25 active listings. The benchmark sale price was $651,200 with 39 average days on market. Champlain Heights had the most sales in December at 7.

Listings are down. Sales are up. It’s a seller’s market.

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[Read more…]

Squamish and Whistler Real Estate Market Statistics – December 2015

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Squamish, Whistler and Sunshine Coast listings and sales in December 2015.

Whistler

In the Whistler market, the benchmark sale price was $1,069,900 with an average days on market of 135 days for detached homes. At the end of December, there were 13 sales and 88 active listings.

In comparison, the condo market had 38 sales and 134 active listings. The benchmark sale price was $285,500, and the average days on market were 126.

Townhome featured 23 sales, 53 active listings and a $530,600 benchmark sale price with 83 average days on market.

Listings are down. Sales are up. It’s a seller’s market.

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[Read more…]

Surrey, Langley and Fraser Valley Real Estate Market Statistics – December 2015

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Surrey, Langley and Fraser Valley listings and sales in December 2015.

North Surrey

In December 2015, there were 99 sales of detached homes and 116 active listings in North Surrey. The benchmark sale price was $670,000, an increase of 19.0% compared to December 2014.

The condo market had 63 sales, 287 active listings at the end of the month.  The benchmark sale price was $200,000.

In comparison, townhome sales were 19, active listings were 51 and the benchmark sale price was $263,200.

Listings are down. Sales are up. It’s a seller’s market.

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[Read more…]

Victoria Real Estate Market Statistics – December 2015

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Vancouver Island and Greater Victoria listings and sales in December 2015.

Greater Victoria

In December 2015, there were 209 sales of detached homes and 578 active listings in Greater Victoria. The benchmark sale price was $521,100 with an average days on market of 58. The hottest market for sales was Langford with 46 sales. There were also 19 sales and 161 active listings at the end of the month for waterfront homes.

In comparison, the Condo market had 114 sales, 499 active listings at the end of the month. The benchmark sale price was $305,000 with an average days on market of 64. The hottest market for sales was Victoria, 49 sales.

Townhome sales were 46, 189 active listings and the benchmark sale price was $419,100. The average days on market were 85, and the hottest market was Victoria with 8 sales.

Listings are down. Sales are up. It’s a seller’s market.

[Read more…]

2015 charitable donation to local refugee centre | Macdonald Real Estate Group

Dear Friends, Clients, and Colleagues,

In lieu of cards or gifts this Christmas, Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) has made a charitable donation to the new Welcome Centre in East Vancouver, which is due for completion in the spring of 2016 to support the refugees arriving in British Columbia.

Refugees escaping war, famine and persecution will soon have help from a regional services hub in Vancouver—a one-stop housing and support centre. Immigrant Services Society of BC is building the new, first of its kind in the world, 58,000 square foot facility that will address the immediate needs of Government Assisted Refugees and immigrants in Vancouver. The New Welcome House will be a regional service hub bringing together a unique combination of transitional housing and targeted services under one roof to streamline access to care. For more information and to follow along with the construction please visit newwelcomehouseblog.org

Season’s Greetings,

Jonathan Cooper
Vice President, Operations
Macdonald Real Estate Group Inc.

 

About Macdonald Real Estate Group
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) has an annual sales volume of over $7 billion and over $2 billion in assets under management.  With more than 20 offices and nearly 1,000 staff and REALTORS®, MREG offers a full range of real estate services, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, project marketing, and the MREG Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai, China.  Macdonald Realty is the residential division of Macdonald Real Estate Group. For more information, visit www.macrealty.com.

 

Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes Magazine | Winter 2015

The winter 2015 edition of Macdonald Realty Luxury Magazine is now available! This publication showcases unique and luxurious homes listed with Macdonald Realty from across the province.

Highlights of this issue include an exceptional “Timeless Whistler” winter haven, new additions of the International Market Pulse and a revamped LuxeTrends: What We Fancy content courtesy of Luxury Portfolio International, as well as a feature of local British Columbian Spirits.

Simply click the cover image below to see the digital version and to download the full PDF!


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Luxury Brokers Visit Two River Green

Last month Luxury Brokers from across North America visited Macdonald Realty in Vancouver for the Luxury Portfolio fall workshops. During their stay they visited the River Green Presentation Centre in Richmond, a new luxury master planned community encompassing 27 acres of river shoreline. Canada’s most significant waterfront community and Richmond’s most impressive luxury development. Designed and built with the finest materials and craftsmanship, each residence offers the ultimate in luxurious living along the Fraser River. The prestigious waterfront location embraces stunning panoramic vistas of the Gulf Islands, North Shore Mountains and the Vancouver skyline. Visit the Two River Green website for more details.

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Tom Garvey joins Macdonald Realty


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VANCOUVER, B.C., Canada (October 29, 2015) – Macdonald Realty has hired Tom Garvey as the new full-time Managing Broker for their Coquitlam and Maple Ridge offices. He will be the go-to resource for transaction-related questions, and responsible for retention, recruitment and training in those offices.

“Macdonald Realty is fortunate to add Tom to our Management Team.” says Jonathan Cooper, Vice President, Operations for Macdonald Real Estate Group. “He brings several decades of industry experience to this role, both in sales and in management, and is well respected in the Greater Vancouver real estate community.  Tom will be a tremendous resource to his offices and our company as a whole.”

Tom has served the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver Real Estate boards on a number of committees including Education, Technology, MLS®, and Professional Conduct. Moreover, he has also been a part of the BCREA education committee and acts as a Student Advisor for The Real Estate Institute of British Columbia.

 

For more information, please contact:
Jonathan Cooper, Vice President, Operations
Macdonald Real Estate Group, Inc.
Phone – 604 264 6789
Email – jcooper@macrealty.com
Tom Garvey FRI, RI(BC)
Managing Broker,  Macdonald Realty Ltd.
Phone – 604 931 5551
Email – tgarvey@macrealty.com

About Macdonald Real Estate Group:
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) has an annual sales volume of over $6.3 billion and just under $2 billion in assets under management.  With more than 20 offices and nearly 1,000 staff and REALTORS®, MREG offers a full range of real estate services, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, project marketing, and the MREG Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai, China.  Macdonald Realty is the residential division of Macdonald Real Estate Group. For more information, visit www.macrealty.com.

Whistler Market Update – Fall 2015

Strong and steady remains the description of the real estate market. Overall, we are consistent with sales volumes that were achieved in 2014.

Chalet sales (year to date) median price is $1.4M. Last year for the same time  period it was $1.250M. The Whistler Market median price of single family homes has increased 12%. Sales of chalets is up 9%. Whistler sold 123 (YTD) single family homes this year and 112 last year during the same time frame.

Our market is on track for another big year. Understand the stats so you don’t miss out! As a result of two strong years in real estate; prices are trending upwards and buyers are being forced to focus on higher priced properties.  The strongest pressure has been on our chalet or town home market.  A Buyer can easily find themselves in a multiple offer situation.

The townhome market faces the largest pressure and sales are up along with prices due to the rising costs of chalets and Buyers seeking to find an affordable alternative.

Vacant land is on demand due to the lack of choices and Buyers wanting to build their “dream in Whistler” as oppose to taking on a large scale renovation of an Old Timer’s A frame.

The condominium dollar volume showed a gain but a decline in the # of transactions demonstrating this market being the slowest to rebound. Also, maybe an indicator of some potential assessments in many of the buildings.

As a Buyer; be able to move quickly.  Expect potential multiple offer situations and expect to jump in or anticipate watching prices climb. Anticipate fewer choices as the snow starts to fly.

For Sellers, October is a historically a strong sales month as many Buyers have been educating themselves and are now ready to purchase.

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Blog post provided by Shauna O’Callaghan, a REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty in Whistler.  Visit her website shaunaocallaghan.com  for more information.  Oct 8, 2015.

 

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Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes Magazine |Fall 2015

The Fall 2015 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 an exceptional West Coast Retreat aptly named Eagles’ Perch in East Sooke and more articles such as the British Columbia Wine Feature and Trends: What We Fancy. 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 see the digital version and to download the full PDF!


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Macdonald Realty #1 in 2015 list of “Biggest BC businesses owned by women” | BIV

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In the August 4, 2015 edition of Business in Vancouver, Macdonald Realty was ranked #1 on their annual list of the biggest BC businesses owned by women.  With 930 employees in B.C., Macdonald Realty’s Owner, President and CEO Lynn Hsu tops a list that includes SimpeQ Care, TPD, Purdys Chocolatier and CEFA Early Learning Schools in the Top 5.

Macdonald Realty also ranks 11th on BIV’s list of Biggest B.C. organizations managed by women.

Business in Vancouver newspaper is the flagship publication of Business in Vancouver Media Group. Since its creation in 1989, the weekly newspaper has been an essential source of news, features, analysis and data for Vancouver business leaders and influencers. It remains a must-read source of unique, unduplicated business insight.

See the full list at Business in Vancouver.

 

Over 300 Macdonald Realty Agents Achieve the Certified Negotiation Expert Designation

VANCOUVER, B.C., Canada (August 11, 2015) – Macdonald Realty is pleased to announce that as of August 11th, 2015, over 300 of its real estate agents have received the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®) designation – this represents over 50% of the agents from Macdonald Realty’s residential sales offices.

“In decades past, agents were the conduits of listing information.” Explains Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) CEO Lynn Hsu. “Now, there is an enormous amount of listing data readily available to the public online, and the value proposition for the real estate agent has changed.  Agents must provide cogent analysis of the data available, and expert negotiation skills to resolve conflict, build bridges, and bring deals together for the benefit of all parties involved.”

Jonathan Cooper, MREG Vice President, adds: “The bottom line is negotiation skills are fundamental to the real estate business.  Successfully managing the ebb and flow of interpersonal communications—often under considerable time constraints—is vital to real estate transactions, and it’s not something that can be replaced by a computer.”

Offered by the Real Estate Negotiation Institute (RENI), the CNE® course applies up-to-date research in negotiation dynamics to the real estate sales process.  It provides agents with tangible tools and insights to achieve better outcomes for their clients.  Since 2006, tens of thousands of real estate agents across North American have earned the CNE® designation.

Suze Cumming, the Canadian Director of the RENI, has collaborated with MREG over the last twelve months – “I  would like to congratulate Macdonald Realty on being the only brokerage in Canada to have successfully certified over 300 of their real estate professionals in this critical area of expertise.  Their commitment to a higher level of service excellence proves that they are leaders in the real estate industry.”

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For more information, please contact:
Jonathan Cooper, Vice President, Operations
Macdonald Real Estate Group, Inc.
Phone – 604 264 6789
Email – jcooper@macrealty.com
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About Macdonald Real Estate Group:
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) has an annual sales volume of over $6.3 billion and over $1.75 billion in assets under management.  With more than 20 offices and nearly 1,000 staff and REALTORS®, MREG offers a full range of real estate services, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, project marketing, and the MREG Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai, China.  Macdonald Realty is the residential division of Macdonald Real Estate Group. For more information, visit www.macrealty.com.

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HGTV’s House Hunt Winner in Best International Home 2015: Timber Frame Home in Squamish

The HGTV House Hunt has finished and the votes are in. Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you to all who helped Macdonald Realty’s International Home nomination become the 2015 winner. Find out more about this amazing listing below on the HGTV House Hunt website:

Timber-Frame Home in Squamish

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This backyard view of the home shows off the pairing of stone and neutral siding that were used for the exterior. The landscape and hardscape includes a small pond and evergreen trees.

Special thanks to our luxury home marketing network partners at Luxury Portfolio International for coordinating our nomination.  What an honour!  Our Squamish listing won over fellow nominees from Queenstown New Zealand, Paris France, Marrakesh Morocco, Australia, South Africa, Mexico and other exotic global locations.

Lynn Hsu, CEO of Macdonald Realty, named one of The 50 Most Influential Women in BC | BCBusiness

From politicians to bankers, charity mavens to retail entrepreneurs, these are the leaders who are having a big impact behind the scenes and at centre stage in British Columbia.

If you’re a reader of the business press—or any story featuring the power brokers in our midst—you’ll be struck by one thing above all else: the paucity of women. While some may argue that “them’s the numbers”—and yes, women are poorly represented in the boardrooms and backrooms of B.C.—the fact is that we in the media bear some responsibility. The evidence of powerful and dynamic women leaders abounds. It’s just not being reported as frequently.

That, in part, is why BCBusiness decided to do this survey of B.C.’s Most Influential Women: to put a distinctly female face on power and influence in B.C….

Lynn Hsu
President and CEO, Macdonald Realty

Influence: Taiwanese immigrant Hsu has helped turn Macdonald into one of the largest full-service real estate firms in B.C–and the gateway for Mainland Chinese investors.

The panel says: “Macdonald is far bigger than even the real estate industry realizes, in terms of the amount of transactions. They’re one of the largest residential brokers in B.C., and on the commercial side, the amount of real estate that they’re transacting–they’re doing deals that are as big as what Colliers or CBRE is doing.”

Read about the other 50 Most Influential Women in BC at BCBusiness

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BC Real Estate is Front and Centre in Shanghai | BCBusiness with Dan Scarrow

Beyond Borders
Macdonald Realty’s Shanghai office is meeting the needs of its clients and bearing fruitful results

As seen in BCBusiness July 2015 issue.

As the demands of the BC real estate market change, realtors and their respective real estate agencies must react accordingly to stay in the game. For one agency, this meant thinking outside of the box and stepping out of its time zone.

When Macdonald Realty opened its office in Shanghai, China, last year, it was branded as “The Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre.” But Dan Scarrow, who manages the Shanghai office, says that his Chinese clients had their own words to describe it. Impressed with the office’s scope, they say that it covers “an entire dragon of services.”

Those services include residential resale, commercial sales and leasing, new development project marketing and property management. While American, Australian, New Zealand and European real estate companies had established offices in China, Macdonald Realty was the first company in China with a sole focus on Canadian real estate. The company decided to open the office as a response to their clients’ desire for better access to the Chinese market.

Scarrow is uniquely qualified to run the office. He has been working with Macdonald Realty for nearly 10 years, and has worked as an executive assistant for the CEO, and as a residential and a commercial agent. He is a born-and-bred Vancouverite, but he is half Taiwanese. “The upshot is that Mainland Chinese see me as a white Canadian, but I’m also able to communicate with them in Mandarin,” he says. “I guess you could say that, in China, I am an authoritative foreign curiosity and hence memorable.”

His company, says Scarrow, has several competitive advantages. “Our intimate knowledge of the market is what makes us uniquely valuable to investors here,” he says. “We are small enough to be agile, but big enough to provide a full range of brokerage, management and advisory services.”

Scarrow works with Chinese clients who are in the process of immigrating to Canada, with new Canadians and with pure investors. Those interested only in investment tend to look at new condos and commercial properties. “What resonates with investors in China is the perception of Canada as a safe and secure investment climate, in contrast with China’s robust, but volatile, environment,” says Scarrow.

In order to stand out in today’s highly competitive real estate market, Macdonald Realty has undertaken several innovative marketing strategies. As technology has made property information widely available to the public, Scarrow notes that the role of the real estate agent has shifted: from gatekeeper of information to interpreter and negotiator. To meet the demands of those roles, Macdonald Realty has been working with an outside training organization to offer all agents the exclusive Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) designation. Macdonald Realty has also launched its own magazine called Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes, to help market its luxury home listings in Canada and in China. Produced by the company’s own in-house creative marketing team, the magazine has proven to be a hit.

But from his own experience, Scarrow says that the most important way for an agent to get ahead is to be a competent professional first. “Doing a fantastic job with one client will generate more long-term business than even the most successful email campaign,” he says. “Start with the people who know and trust you, do an unbelievable job for them and continue learning about how to be a professional from the good agents and managers around you.” Dan Scarrow manages Macdonald Realty’s Shanghai office sults just come a lot easier.”

This article was originally posted on BCBusiness, June 12th, 2015. 

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Macdonald Realty Nominees for HGTV’s House Hunt 2015

The HGTV House Hunt is on once again! This year we are nominated under 3 categories, with 4 of our listings in beautiful BC. Tour amazing homes across the globe, vote for your favorites, and enter for your chance to win a $10,000 cash prize! And remember you can vote for your favorites once a day. Follow the instructions below to vote for Macdonald Realty Nominees for HGTV’s House Hunt 2015:

Step 1: Tour the homes in the category.
Step 2: When you’ve found your favorite, click “I’m Ready to Vote.”
Step 3: Choose your favorite by clicking “Vote.”
Step 4: Click “Continue to Next Category” to tour more homes.

Amazing Kitchens: Country Estate in Vancouver
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A mix of contemporary style and country charm brings this spacious, eat-in kitchen to life. Charcoal gray cabinets and gray stone countertops blend seamlessly together, while a gray and white chevron tile backsplash breaks up the monochromatic space. The large island pairs with country-style barstools to provide additional seating for dining. Click here to vote for this listing as your favorite Amazing Kitchen!

 

Privacy, Please: Luxe Chateau in Victoria
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Sprawling mountain views and a luxurious infinity-edge pool and spa, what’s not to love? Relax, unwind and take in the incredible views of the natural Fiord of Finlayson Arm and the Saanich Inlet. Click here to vote for this listing as your favorite Privacy, Please candidate!

 

Rustic Lodge in Chilko
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Located on 25 acres of deeded land with a private 10-acre lake, the Huston Family Estate offers an unparalleled atmosphere with breathtaking views of the majestic Chilko Valley. Click here to vote for this listing as your favorite Privacy, Please candidate!

 

Timber-Frame Home in Squamish

 

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This backyard view of the home shows off the pairing of stone and neutral siding that were used for the exterior. The landscape and hardscape includes a small pond and evergreen trees. Click here to vote for this listing as your favorite International Homes candidate!

 

Thank you to our global partners Luxury Portfolio International for bringing attention to our amazing collection of luxury homes listed across British Columbia by our Macdonald Realty agents.

Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes Magazine | Summer 2015

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 magnificent living on Panorama Ridge, Surrey and more such as the British Columbia Wine Feature and Trends: What We Fancy. 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 see the digital version and to download the full PDF!

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5 Ways to Stay Safe At Home

No matter how beautiful or spacious your house, the most important thing is that you feel safe and secure in your own home. It is scary to think that break-ins happen, but don’t worry, there are things you can do to prevent them. Check out these 5 tips to stay safe at home!

  1. Set up an alarm system. Alarms are one of the most effective ways to ensure safety in your own house. By setting up an alarm system, the police would be alerted in case of a break in. Moreover, it would automatically make your home a less favorable target since the burglars would not want to risk setting off the alarm.
  2. Don’t hide your keys in obvious places. Hiding your keys under the doormat or a rock may be okay a few decades ago, but now you may want to change up your hiding spot. The best place to put a spare key is with a trustworthy neighbor or family member.
  3. Install yard lights and security cameras. The brighter the area outside your house is the less likely it is for burglars or intruders to find hiding spots. A security camera could also help with identifying the intruders or alerting homeowners of an intrusion.
  4. Lock your windows and doors. The easiest way to prevent a break-in is at the point of entry. Locks are crucial, so don’t be afraid of spending a little bit more on them to ensure the safety of your house. Burglar-proof windows are not necessary but could be a possible upgrade in particularly at risk areas or dark alleyways.
  5. Keeps your plans private. You may be super excited for your next vacation, but wait until you’re back from the trip to share your plans publicly. It’s okay to tell your close friends and families but there is no need to tell the supermarket clerk or the hairdresser because burglars rely on these tips on people who will be out of town.

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5 Tips for Staying on Budget During Renovations

Are you getting ready to sell your house? Perhaps that includes some renovations. Check out our top 5 Tips for Staying on Budget during Renovations!

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  1. Stick with standard sizes and models. Custom kitchen cabinets, for example, are very expensive. Save money by choosing stock ones, then attaching molding, corbels, or wood carvings for flair.
  2. Don’t work without a design. Some projects require an architect, some an interior designer, and sometimes a talented builder will get your aesthetic and help you come up with a good plan. Don’t start a remodel without a detailed floor plan. A lot of elements interact in a space — put them all on paper and you’ll catch problems before they are built.
  3. Rent or borrow what you don’t have. Check with neighbors and friends for miter saws and power drills. Home centers rent heavy-duty tools, such as tile cutters and power washers, for a weekend fee
  4. Keep the same footprint. Consider what projects you can complete without moving walls or other systems behind the walls. Building an addition, moving walls, or relocating sinks and stoves involves major construction as well as new electrical, plumbing and flooring work.
  5. Budget for the Unknown. While it’s great to keep a positive attitude and think that everything will go as planned, life usually doesn’t work out that way. When coming up with your kitchen reno budget, add on at least 15% for contingencies.

Big Fat Deal: This is what $15 million will buy you in Vancouver | BCBusiness

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Each week, BCBusiness takes you inside one of the most outrageously upmarket real estate offerings in the province in their Big Fat Deal real estate blog.

Price: $14,988,000
Address: 1268 Tecumseh Avenue, Vancouver
MLS: V1100762
Listing agents: Erin Mulhern and Manyee Lui at Macdonald Realty Ltd. in Vancouver

Custom built in 1984 with a Georgian design, this 7,000-sq.-ft. residence’s stately grandeur matches its location just off Vancouver’s exclusive Crescent enclave in the city’s First Shaughnessy district. For history buffs, the Crescent has always been synonymous with wealth and power, being the preferred address of lieutenant governors and the city’s elite over the past century.

Fast forward to present day and the area still holds cache with numerous august homes and estate-sized lots. This gated residence is described by listing agents Erin Mulhern and Manyee Lui as “simply exquisite” with a beautifully appointed interior that starts with a dramatic foyer accented by 18-foot ceilings and a sweeping double staircase leading to a galleried landing that sets the tone for the rest of the home.

The kitchen counts professional-line appliances while an expansive great room with vaulted and coffered ceilings provides an outlook that spans the entire south-facing garden. A butler’s pantry serves as a connection between the kitchen and the dining room, where mirrored ceiling panels and a chandelier add a touch of glamour.

The formal 23-foot living room can easily accommodate a baby grand piano, while hardwood floors flow through to the adjoining study where wainscoted walls imbued with a deep red gloss add a further notch on the imperial chart.

The upper level is home to four bedrooms including a private master wing endowed with the required walk-in closet and a spa-like ensuite bathroom complete with a rain head shower and bench seating, plus a stainless-steel freestanding bathtub. A one-bedroom suite above the three-car garage provides additional accommodation.

Pull up a chair in the recreation room downstairs where a well-stocked bar and separate wine cellar will keep the libation flowing, or decamp into the media room for movie watching.

Multiple french doors lead out into a garden oasis with large terraces that are perfect for summer entertaining, and a swimming pool and a tennis court for friendly—or more serious—competition.

This article was originally posted on BCBusiness, April 24th, 2015.  Written by Nicola Way.

Nicola Way runs the property listing sites BestHomesBC.com and AssignmentsCanada.ca.

Macdonald Realty Recognized for Outstanding Referral Services

Macdonald Realty was Recognized for Outstanding Referral Services

Macdonald Realty received the prestigious Global Alliance Award for the Most Outgoing Cross Border referrals from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE), a global network of more than 500 top independent real estate firms. The award was presented at the network’s Annual Awards Gala this spring during LeadingRE Conference Week in Las Vegas.  This was Macdonald Realty’s third consecutive year winning this award, showcasing our position as a local BC company with strong international connections.

Also, in the Marketing category Macdonald Realty received honorable mentions for their 2014 Corporate Brochure of Integrated Real Estate Services and their 2014 Recruitment Video in the Interactive Media / Video category.

“An innovative and creative approach to marketing is critical for success in today’s real estate market. Our award-winning firms have distinguished themselves by conveying their firms’ unique character, while providing essential information to home buyers and sellers.”

Macdonald Realty is the sole Vancouver representative of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com), the largest network of premier locally-branded firms in more than 50 countries. LeadingRE provides its affiliates with an extensive range of brokerage services, which include lead generation, cross-market referrals, branding support, luxury marketing, online exposure, technology systems, and industry-leading professional development.

For more information on placing a referral with our award winning referral team, please email relocation@macrealty.com or call 1-877-278-3888.

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$94K micro condo in Surrey attracts hordes of home buyers | Platinum Project Marketing

Macdonald Realty Estate Group’s project marketing team, Platinum Project Marketing had a busy Saturday, launching sales on Evolve, a new condo development in Surrey, which Developer WestStone Properties said sold 300 condos worth about $70 million in a frenzied 90 minute rush.

Read on for the full story as reported by The Huffington Post.

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Photo from The Huffington Post

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Surrey Condo Sales: Hundreds Line Up For Chance To Buy $94,000 Micro-Units

The opportunity to buy a brand-new condo for under $100,000 in Metro Vancouver’s sizzling real estate market brought hundreds of people to a Surrey sales centre on Saturday.

Prospective buyers stood in line for hours to buy into the 35-storey Evolve concrete tower. A big draw were the micro suites, starting at 316 sq. ft. and $93,900.

Twin brothers and WHL players, Connor and Curtis Honey, drove up from Edmonton to be the first people in line at 4 a.m. for the opening day of sales. They snapped up one of the 80 micro condos.

“It is pretty small, but I think there’s ways to work around it and maximize the space,” Curtis Honey told CTV News.

Developer WestStone Properties said 300 condos worth about $70 million were sold in a frenzied 90 minutes Saturday.

The majority of Evolve’s 406 units are priced at less than $250,000.

The condo project’s marketers, Platinum Project Marketing, also credited the high-tech sales presentation, including holograms and augmented reality, for drumming up interest. (Watch video above.)

Evolve is scheduled to be finished in 2018. It’s one of several new towers in Surrey’s developing West Village.

With about 1,000 people moving to Surrey every month, the city is forecast to become B.C.’s biggest by 2041.

Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes Magazine | Spring 2015

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 an exceptional trophy home in Vancouver and new articles such as the British Columbia Wine Feature and Trends: What We Fancy. 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 see the digital version and to download the full PDF!

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5 Spring Cleaning Hacks

Spring is here and that means it’s time to start your spring cleaning. But it doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence this year! Here are a few hacks that will help you get through that cleaning faster with these spring cleaning hacks.

1. Use lemons to remove hard water stains

lemon
Find instructions on Broccoli Cupcake

2. Coarse salt can help you clean cast iron.

pan
Find instructions on Martha Stewart

3. Get rid of water rings on tables by using a hair dryer

3
Find instructions on Homemade Mamas

4. Remove soap buildup from glass shower doors by using a fabric-softener sheet

shower
Find instructions on Real Simple

5. Slide an old pillow case over a ceiling fan blade to catch dust and dirt

fan
Find instructions on Real Simple

Vancouver firm offers a one-stop real estate shop for Chinese investors in B.C. | The Vancouver Sun


dan_scarrow
When Vancouver-based Macdonald Realty dispatched Dan Scarrow, the agency’s vice-president of corporate strategy, to China last March to investigate the feasibility of launching a branch office in Shanghai, the assignment was initially only going to be for four months.

A year later, Scarrow, a second-generation Chinese Canadian who is fluent in Mandarin, is still there. The Vancouver Sun reached Scarrow in Shanghai by phone last week to discuss his progress, objectives and challenges in building a bridge for residential and commercial real estate investment between China and British Columbia as the new managing director of Macdonald Realty’s Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai.

Q When you first were dispatched to Shanghai at this time last year, it was for a four-month assignment to investigate opening up a Macdonald Realty branch in China. Why are you still there?

A We actually have ended up opening up an office here. We have a representative office over here in Shanghai now doing project marketing and commercial and residential prospecting for our Vancouver and British Columbia offices. We’ve branded it as the Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre, so it’s offering a one-stop shop for Chinese investors looking toward anything to do with Canadian real estate, specifically B.C.

Q Why did Macdonald Realty want a presence in China?

A It was sort of two-fold. The first one is that Chinese investors are becoming a bigger and bigger part of our market — both on the residential side and the commercial side. And after our investigation over here we found that there are no other Canadian [real estate] companies over here in China that actively do this, so we would be the first one.

Q What’s been the biggest adjustment living in China for you personally?

A Shanghai is a pretty easy city for an expat to get used to. I think that the rest of China would be a much more difficult adjustment, but Shanghai itself is a pretty cosmopolitan city with a pretty global outlook and a pretty robust expat community. So it’s not as difficult. The challenge, I guess, that everyone talks about is the pollution aspect. They talk about it here the same way Vancouverites talk about the rain.

Q What’s your mandate in terms of building links between commercial real estate in B.C. and the Chinese market?

A Our main mandate is to promote B.C. commercial properties over here in China. I think we all acknowledge that China has been growing. It has created the fastest-growing wealthy and middle class in human history, so tapping into that market I think is going to be increasingly important for Canada and Canadian companies over the next decades.

Q What’s the most common question you hear from Chinese clients interested in investing in British Columbia’s commercial real estate?

A The most common question actually isn’t about real estate. It’s with what is happening in immigration. The biggest question is what is Canada’s current immigration policy and what will it be moving forward, just because there have been so many changes to Canada’s immigration policy in the last few years, and I think everyone is a little bit confused as to what it will be moving forward.

Q Any unwelcome surprises or challenges doing real estate business in China?

A Not really. It’s been interesting in the last year because there were the big changes to the immigration program — the investor immigrant program in the middle of last year and continuing until today. And also with the collapse of oil prices and the subsequent drop in the Canadian dollar. That’s been another thing we’ve had to deal with, but more in a positive sense from our investors’ point of view because now Canada’s real estate market is seen as even cheaper than it was prior to that change.

Q In a blog post last year you wrote that wealthy clients in China are more interested in placing their children and a portion of their wealth outside of China than they are in immigrating themselves. Why do you think that’s the case, if it still is the case?

A It still is the case. If you’re a wealthy Chinese individual it’s likely because you have a large business still in China. China does not recognize dual citizenship and it’s just more difficult for you to actively operate your business without Chinese citizenship. So a lot of people, they’re not willing to give up their business so they’re not willing to give up their Chinese passport either.

Q Which areas of Vancouver’s commercial real estate market are your Chinese clients eager to get involved in?

A For a lot of our clients it’s hotels. But it’s an education process as well, letting them know which asset classes are involved or available in B.C. Hotel investment is more of an active business, so while we have a lot of hotel operator clients who are interested in buying hotels, if they don’t have that kind of experience we like to talk to them about some of the other opportunities that might be available. Some of the hotter ones would be street-front retail with redevelopment potential. That goes very quickly for us. We probably have 15 very serious-type buyers that would snap up products like that immediately, but we can’t find enough product for them. It’s a lot of investment-type product that has income right now but has development potential in five to 10 years.

Q What’s the next step for your operations in China?

A Right now we’re working with a couple of developers to promote their projects over here [in China] and so we’re doing project marketing and then also working with our residential agents to make sure the listings that we have are exposed to the widest possible audience. And finally — obviously — exposure of the commercial real estate realm. I think that’s really the big push right now. A lot of investors have already bought a home for themselves in Vancouver and they’re looking for ways to diversify their investment portfolio in Canada, and really the promotion of the commercial real estate, and the education of those buyers, is our next step.

 

This article was originally posted on The Vancouver Sun, February 24th, 2015.  Written by Evan Duggan.

5 ways to say ”I Love You” in Whistler this winter

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It’s that time of year again when it’s on all of our minds. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite ways to experience life and love in Whistler…. Happy Valentines Day from Macdonald Realty!  Enjoy Romantic Whistler.

Catch a Sleigh Ride
Glide through the snow drawn by gentle, giant Percheron horses. Sip hot chocolate or add a gourmet fondue dinner for a winter night to remember.
Click Here to book your perfect romantic evening out.

Unique Alpine Dining at the Fairmont Whistler
A crackling log fire, warm hospitality and hearty alpine cuisine set the stage for a unique dining experience in Whistler at The Chalet at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler hotel. Click Here for reservations.

Ice Skating Under the Stars
It doesn’t get much more romantic than gliding under the stars in the Whistler Olympic Plaza. The open-air ice skating rink is free to use, and ice skate rentals are available for only five dollars!

Stargaze From the Top of the Mountain
If you’re looking for an adventure – albeit, a romantic adventure – you’ll want to check out the night time snowmobile and snowcat rides up to the Crystal Hut on Blackcomb Mountain. Once you’ve reached your destination, you’ll be treated to a candle-lit dinner. Click here for more details.

Scandinave Spa
If you’re ready for some relaxation, you’ll need to check out this gem of a Spa. The Scandinave is best described as an oasis tucked away in the middle of the woods. A perfect gift or moment to share. Indulge in the traditional spa offerings, like a couples’ deep tissue or Swedish massage. You’ll leave feeling like a million bucks. Click here to create a spa package for the one you love.

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Blog post provided by Shauna O’Callaghan, a REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty in Whistler.  Visit her website shaunaocallaghan.com  for more information.  Oct 8, 2015.

5 Top Tech For Your Home

Is your New Years resolution to revamp some of your gadgets? Let 2015 be the year you upgrade the technology for your home! Here are some of our favorite new products to help streamline your daily routine.

USB-wall-plug
(Two Twenty One)
USB Wall Outlets
Replace bulky chargers and plug your USB cable straight into the outlet! They are especially useful by the bed, where many of us stash all kinds of USB-equipped devices, such as phones, tablets, and e-readers. That stuff competes for space on a standard duplex outlet that may already be serving a bedside lamp or a clock. Most hardware stores now carry these outlets. Learn how to install one here.



(Masudas)
Ring Smart House Controller
Simply called “Ring,” this $269 US wearable device from Japanese company, Logbar, allows people to control a host of household appliances, including lamps and televisions. By pressing a stud on the side of Ring with your thumb, you can draw gestures in the air that turn items off or on.
Source: Logbar


h67pro_2_1
(Moneual)
Robot Vacuum and Mop
The Moneual Rydis H67 isn’t just a regular robot vacuum cleaner, it’s also a robot mop too. The $399 product, from California-based Moneual, can be programmed to suck up dust then mop your floor, with full cleaning cycles lasting up to five hours.
Source: Moneual



(USA Today)
Child-Proof Outlets
Thousands of children end up in hospital every year after sticking their fingers (and other items) into electrical sockets. San Diego-based Brio believes it has an answer with the Safe, a $49 US wall socket that uses sensors to differentiate between plugs and other objects. The socket only lets power flow if an electrical plug is detected. Anything else stuck into the hole won’t receive a charge, preventing someone from being shocked.
Source: Brio


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(PetNet)
Smart Feeder for Pets
This new feeder from PetNet features remote feeding so you can control your pet’s feeding from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Adjust feeding schedule in real-time, from anywhere or set up automated schedules to manage feeding times, portion sizes, and food dispensing speed. As well receive alerts and notifications on your smartphone about feeding times, meal confirmations and food inventory.
Source: PetNet

BC assessments show strong appreciation in Vancouver single-family home values | The Vancouver Sun with Dan Scarrow

Metro Vancouver homeowners have grown accustomed to healthy increases on their annual BC Assessment notices, which are now landing in mailboxes.

What’s new this year is that condo values are also rising in the region, after a few flat years that saw condo construction outpace homebuyer demand.

“Condominiums, that’s apartments and townhouses, up until 2014 had been relatively flat over three years,” said Cameron Muir, chief economist of the B.C. Real Estate Association.

Over 2014, however, Muir said condo sale prices have risen in step with inflation. Condo prices in Vancouver and its nearer suburbs were up about two per cent as of July, when B.C. Assessment sets its values for the next year’s assessment roll.

Single-family home values were up a more substantial 6.5 per cent, Muir said, but some of the condo valuations were a departure from the previous year.

“We’re probably looking, in Vancouver, at sales (increases) of 16 to 17 per cent in 2014,” Muir said, “so, there’s much stronger demand, and we’re also seeing inventory levels steadily decline.”

B.C. Assessment doesn’t produce average assessment values for property types in Lower Mainland markets but does highlight representative examples.

In Vancouver, a typical east-side two-bedroom apartment increased 4.7 per cent to $381,000, from $364,000 a year earlier.

On Vancouver’s west side, values for a typical two-bedroom apartment rose 7.5 per cent (to $616,000), in line with the growth in value of a detached home on a 33-foot lot (up 7.5 per cent to $1.575 million).

In its real estate assessments a year ago, B.C. Assessment had highlighted decreasing condominium values in the range of four to five per cent — the second consecutive year that condo prices declined or offered minimal increases.

“Changes within a plus or minus five per cent range, that’s what we categorize as stable,” said Dharmesh Sisodraker, B.C. Assessment’s deputy assessor for the Vancouver Sea to Sky region, which takes in Vancouver and the North Shore all the way to Whistler.

Assessments, which are used by municipalities to set property taxes, tend to lag the overall market by the time they are released.

In east Vancouver, a typical detached house on a 33-foot lot saw an increase of 11.3 per cent, to $993,000.

In Vancouver Heights, typical detached home prices rose five per cent to $955,000.

“(Condominium) prices are still under pressure versus detached homes, mostly because there is so much (condominium) product on the market,” explained Ray Harris, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, and the increases in condo prices are “sporadic.”

In Metro Vancouver, demand for new condos has been in high-growth areas linked to rapid transit, such as the Marine Gateway development at Cambie and Marine in Vancouver or the Metrotown and Brentwood town centres in Burnaby.

“If a complex is in demand and there are not a lot of units in the market, you can get more of a lift,” Harris said.

Suburbs such as Burnaby, Coquitlam and Port Moody — communities either on SkyTrain, or where SkyTrain is being built — are among those that have seen modest increases in the range of two to three per cent.

However, the gains weren’t shared equally and some spots still showed decreasing assessment values. B.C. Assessment cited an example at Simon Fraser University’s UniverCity development, where the assessed value of a two-bedroom highrise unit declined 2.5 per cent from 2014.

“There are a few pockets where values decreased slightly,” said Zina Weston, a deputy assessor for B.C. Assessment in its North Fraser region, which takes in the eastern suburbs closest to Vancouver.

“If there is a lot of building that comes on in a short period of time in a finite area, there might be some (downward) pressure on pricing,” Weston said.

Harris added that condo owners trying to re-sell are having a tougher time because developers are selling new units at lower prices than they would be if the market were stronger.

Condo values also declined in Fraser Valley suburbs from Langley to Chilliwack, where single-family home prices are in the reach of more buyers.

Dan Scarrow, a vice-president at Macdonald Realty in Vancouver, added that some municipalities are more encouraging to condo developers and “as a result of that, maybe some areas tend to get overbuilt.”

“Then, in some municipalities, say Vancouver, it is more difficult to get a project off the ground, but demand is actually quite high,” Scarrow added.

Markets that rely on recreational property sales — such as Whistler, the Okanagan and Kootenays, where sales collapsed and values declined following the 2008 recession — also took part in some of the rebound in 2015 assessments.

B.C. Assessment cited examples in Kelowna where assessments were up from four to seven per cent. In Whistler, a typical home in the White Gold area increased in value 7.4 per cent, to $1.06 million.

 

Homeowners can look up their assessments on the B.C. Assessment website.

This article was originally posted on The Vancouver Sun, January 3, 2015.  Written by Derrik Penner.