7 Reasons to Consider Downtown Living

You often hear about “move-over” homebuyers flocking to the suburbs in search of a place to call “home.” But with Millennials making up the largest segment of homebuyers today, and Generation Z expected to outnumber them within a year, there’s renewed interest in being in the centre of it all. In the heart of the action. Downtown. Here are 7 benefits that make a great case for downtown living.

Is downtown living your scene?

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A big draw to downtown living is having urban conveniences at your fingertips. Your office is within walking distance. Your favourite restaurant and the hottest club are a short stroll away. For trips further afield, public transit is often just outside your front door, ready to do the driving for you.

Unique Neighbourhoods

Downtown neighborhoods are by nature older than suburban counterparts, and thus are often steeped in culture and history, and flaunt a character all their own. Whether it’s Vancouver historic Yaletown neighbourhood, Toronto’s off-beat Kensington Market or Montreal’s vibrant Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, no two neighbourhoods in a city are alike.

Up-and-Coming Areas

Many older downtown neighbourhoods experience a revival, prompted by younger residents moving into the area to take advantage of fixer-uppers at lower prices, supporting new businesses or opening their own, and over time, transforming a down-and-out neighbourhood into the next big thing.

One-of-a-Kind Homes

While suburban homes are typically brand new and beautiful, they’ve also come to be classified as “cookie cutter” designs. If you appreciate a home with history – and often some unusual quirks – downtown living could be right for you. As they say, they sure don’t make ‘em like they used to! Think vintage stained-glass window panels, antique door hardware, laundry shoots, etc.

Higher Property Values

The suburbs give you more home for your money, downtown dwellers often enjoy a greater return on their long-term investment. And depending on which city you live in (or aspire to!) you can still find the “affordable” homes in up-and-coming communities – if you can get in before the boom!

Hello, Party Central!

By virtue of being in the heart of the action, your place will naturally become the meeting place for friends before going for dinner at the trendiest restos, or out for a night on the town at the hottest clubs. (BONUS: You can just walk home after you’ve had a few bevvies!)

The Views


October 2018 Statistics Package - REBGV

Home listings at four-year October high as sales remain below typical levels

Home sale activity across Metro Vancouver* remained below long-term historical averages in October.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,966 in October 2018, a 34.9 per cent decrease from the 3,022 sales recorded in October 2017, and a 23.3 per cent increase compared to September 2018 when 1,595 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 26.8 per cent below the 10-year October sales average.

“The supply of homes for sale today is beginning to return to levels that we haven’t seen in our market in about four years,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “For home buyers, this means you have more selection to choose from. For sellers, it means your home may face more competition, from other listings, in the marketplace.”

There were 4,873 detached, attached and apartment homes newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in October 2018. This represents a 7.4 per cent increase compared to the 4,539 homes listed in October 2017 and a 7.7 per cent decrease compared to September 2018 when 5,279 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 12,984, a 42.1 per cent increase compared to October 2017 (9,137) and a 0.8 per cent decrease compared to September 2018 (13,084).

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for October 2018 is 15.1 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 10.3 per cent for detached homes, 17.3 per cent for townhomes, and 20.6 per cent for condominiums.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“Home prices have edged down between three and five per cent, depending on housing type, in our region since June,” said Moore. “This is providing a little relief for those looking to buy compared to the all-time highs we’ve experienced over the last year.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,062,100. This represents a one per cent increase over October 2017 and a 3.3 per cent decrease over the last three months.

Sales of detached homes in October 2018 reached 637, a 32.2 per cent decrease from the 940 detached sales recorded in October 2017. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,524,000. This represents a 5.1 per cent decrease from October 2017 and a 3.9 per cent decrease over the last three months.

Sales of apartments reached 985 in October 2018, a 35.7 per cent decrease compared to the 1,532 sales in October 2017. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $683,500. This represents a 5.8 per cent increase from October 2017 and a 3.1 per cent decrease over the last three months.

Attached homes sales in October 2018 totalled 344, a 37.5 per cent decrease compared to the 550 sales in October 2017. The benchmark price of an attached home is $829,200. This represents a 4.4 per cent increase from October 2017 and a 2.8 per cent decrease over the last three months.

*Editor’s Note:

Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.



Home Sweet Home

What makes a house, a home?

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers – a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates throughout Canada – to put together some of the things that make their homes sweet.

Neighbourhood, Community & Location

“A house we love, in a neighbourhood we love, in a city we love…  Comfort for us is represented in all these factors adding up.” – Justus Edmundson, RE/MAX of Nanaimo, Nanaimo, BC

Location, location, location! For many this is incredibly important. Some want to be close to the beach and enjoy the view from their windows of beautiful gardens and luscious trees. Some want to be in the hustle and bustle of the city, close to amenities and restaurants. Whatever their preference, location is one of the most important pieces on what makes their home sweet.

Peace and quiet. They want somewhere they can move at a slower pace. High walkability. No long commutes. A view. Privacy.

“My community is the number one thing. Coming into my neighborhood to see smiling faces of likeminded neighbours. It’s the place I should be.” – Taylor Hack, RE/MAX River City, Edmonton, AB

Friends & Family… Including the Dog

Coming home to the family members who meet them at the door every day with a wagging tail makes their space home.

Without family, love, the smell of home cooking, and laughter – their home would just be a house.

“A place where I can relax. A place of gathering of friends and family. A place that I can create in, think, pray, and laugh.” – Julie Wilson, RE/MAX RHC Realty, Nelson, BC
A home is where memories are made and kept.

“My personal possessions and the memories they hold, the friendly neighbourhood and how safe and secure I feel there, my husband.” – Susan McGougan, RE/MAX of Nanaimo, Nanaimo, BC

Comfy, Cozy & Warm

For many, what makes a home that much sweeter, is that it’s somewhere they can relax.
“Reading a good book by the fire in the living room.” – Zachary Mills, RE/MAX City Centre Realty, Prince George, BC

Others find that a sweet home is somewhere that has luxury items that help you decompress, like a hot tub, swim spa, or a massage chair.

To relax, it is necessary to have safety, security, and privacy. It needs to feel like your safe zone.

Personalization & Pride of Ownership

For a lot of people, it is the personal modifications and renovations that take a house to a sweet home. It’s ownership. It’s living somewhere that represents who you are.
It all comes down to personalizing it with their own décor and colors.

“It’s those spots that become special, like in the morning I warm my feet on that one spot in the kitchen that the sun shines in while I’m drinking my coffee.” – Shauna Thompson, RE/MAX Fort McMurray, Fort McMurray, AB

Sentiment, warm blankets, family photos, a perfect spot to enjoy a good meal, quiet but loud when entertaining, a place to feel calm. That is what makes a home sweet home.

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