The Burnaby Mayor, Derek Corrigan, gave his annual State of the City address at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown on April 13. He covered several interesting topics including current and future plans for Burnaby in terms of social housing, commercial property developments, and residential property developments.

One concept that was mentioned over and over again in the address was that of Burnaby as a "Creative City". This refers to the focus on the development of lively, diverse "streetscapes" and public places, and tying all this in with residential real estate projects in development and being planned--including the proposed "Metroplace" development at the Metrotown SkyTrain station, and Sovereign, the 45-tier development which features 202 residential units on 26 tiers, 169 hotel rooms over 13 levels and a three-tier retail podium.

When Sovereign went on the market last month, all 202 residential units sold out in a single day. This event surpassed the single-day record for Burnaby real estate sales and is a great market indicator for future real estate development projects in Burnaby.

Other Burnaby residential property developments of note which were initiated or partially/fully completed in 2010 include:

  • The Empress - a 45-tier mixed use property development with a hotel and 202 residential units at Willingdon Avenue and Kingsway.
  • The Jewel II - a 21-tier residential property development with 98 units at Beresford Avenue and Wilson.
  • The Concord-Pacific Development - a 21-tier residential apartment tower on Nelson Avenue.
  • Polygon Development - a residential high-rise with townhouses (245 units) located between Bennett St. and Nelson Avenue.

Burnaby's current and future real estate projects can be seen on the Burnaby City website. Among its residential goals, the City tries to balance the housing needs of the city with social responsibility:

"Burnaby, through its land use designation function, has the ability to influence the location of housing and provide for various types of neighbourhoods. These actions have encouraged a broad range of choice in residential environments including single and two family areas and town- house and apartment areas that meet the housing needs of differing households."

The four goals for housing as laid out on the Burnaby City website are:

  • To provide a varied range and choice of living opportunities within the City.
  • To establish increased opportunities for ground-oriented housing.
  • To maintain and improve neighbourhood livability and stability.
  • To help ensure that the needs of people with special and affordable housing requirements are met.

What can be taken from the annual State of the City address is that Burnaby cares about well planned residential real estate projects. If you are thinking of buying real estate in Burnaby, you can be assured that amenities, transport, and social services are all well catered for.

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Real estate Stats for March 2011

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), activity in the Greater Vancouver real estate market continued to strengthen in March. The property market has had a very strong start to the spring season, according to the monthly stats released.

Burnaby Real Estate Stats

Burnaby has seen a huge increase in property listings come on the market compared to February:
221 detached homes, 144 attached homes, and 336 apartments were listed in March.

There were also huge gains in the number of real estate sales in Burnaby in March:
160 detached homes, 103 attached homes, and 191 apartments were sold during the month.

Overall, there was a 1.4% increase in the price of property in Burnaby in March, based on sales of detached (1.9% increase) and attached homes (1.3% increase) and apartments (1% increase), based on the MLSlink Housing Price Index.

The benchmark price of a detached home in Burnaby is now $882,731, the benchmark price of an attached home is now $501,257, and the benchmark price of an apartment is now $364,847. The benchmark price is the estimated sale price of a benchmark property. Benchmarks represent a typical property within each market.

For more information, see the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) website.

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In order to establish a recommended Selling price for a home, Kristy will gather information from a few sources such as:

1) The economy
2) BC Assessment
3) Multiple Listing System (MLS - recent sales in your area)
4) Landcor (Kristy has access to private sales)
5) Property evaluation of your home and its features and upgrades
6) Home Staging

Kristy will first analyze the economy. Are prices rises or falling? How much inventory is on the real estate market? Which season are we in (fall, winter, spring, summer).

Kristy will review the Property Assessment Notice.
Your taxes are based on the value of your home determined by the BC Assessment, the BC government agency responsible for classifying and assessing all BC real estate property. Has the value increased or decreased?

Kristy will examine the most recent comparable information from MLS. Kristy will scrutinize the homes that have recently sold within your neighbourhood and the homes that are currently on the market in your area. Both selling and asking prices are reviewed along with the condition and time spent on the market.

Kristy invests in obtaining information from private sales. Along with the MLS, Kristy invests in Landcor to provide her with the most up to date information relating to the most recent property sales in your area. This allows Kristy to have an edge while negotiating for her Buyers and is more accurate when pricing a home for her Sellers.

Kristy will visit your home and do a full property evaluation.

Kristy will examine the exterior and walk room by room in your property to note the features and condition of your home that will affect your home's value.

Kristy will discuss the option of home staging in order to increase value and maintain equity. Information from the National Association of REALTORS prove that homes sell an average of 50% faster and for 7-10% higher sales price, Kristy will recommend Home Staging in order to increase value and maintain equity in your home. Vacant homes that are staged prior to listing sell in an average of 42 days and occupied homes sell in 39 days.

Kristy Mattiazzo, REALTOR®, ABR®,SRES®, CCSP™
REALTOR®, Accredited Buyer's Representative®,
Seniors Real Estate Specialist® & Canadian Certified Staging Professional™
Sutton Centre Realty

T) 604-831-7321
F) 604-936-9412


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When it comes to buying and selling property there are literally hundreds of things to think about. Some of these things might not be so obvious, but a good REALTOR will make sure you are aware of things as trivial as numbers in an address.

An article in the Province newspaper a while back talked about how having certain numbers in your address could increase the value of your property--by thousands of dollars potentially. How so you might ask?

Real Estate Numbers

Numbers have certain meanings and associated superstitions, especially in certain Asian communities. Having a number eight in the address can be worth an average of about $10,000 or more if you are selling your home, according to the article. 

This article was based on a report published by researchers at the University of B.C. economics department. The UBC report was based on 115,000 residential Greater Vancouver real estate sales from 2000 to 2005.

Back to that lucky No. 8--the Chinese superstition that eight is lucky relates to the fact that it is phonetically similar to the Chinese word for prosperity or wealth. Superstitions and beliefs come into play more often than we might expect; the No. 4 on the other hand is considered unlucky. This is why many residential towers in Metro Vancouver have no 4th, 14th or 24th floors.

Apparently this is a big issue when it comes to Richmond real estate, where a high percentage of the city’s population is of Chinese background. So many people have requested a change in their house number that the Richmond City planning department had to create a brochure on the matter. Needless to say there is a lot of bureaucracy and fees to to discourage people from changing their numbers.

All the same, it's just another thing to think about, and ask your REALTOR about when it comes to buying and selling real estate in Greater Vancouver.

Read the full report titled Superstition in the Housing Market. It is an interesting read for anyone interested in the real estate market.
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