VANCOUVER, BC., November 9, 2016 -- Rows of realtors' signs in the 500 and the 700 block of Renfrew St in Vancouver, BC., November 9, 2016. (NICK PROCAYLO/PostMedia) 00046188A ORG XMIT: 00046188A [PNG Merlin Archive]
East Vancouver is open for business, with eager realtors amassing blocks of homeowners willing to cash out of their houses and make way for multi-unit developments.
In Grandview Woodland, neighbouring homes along Nanaimo Street and East Broadway are listed at prices far greater than their assessed values. As expensive as single detached homes are in Vancouver, assembled land on arterial roads in the area now primed for rowhouses, townhouses and condos is far more valuable.
Take, for example, a four-bedroom, 1950s house at 2085 East Broadway with an assessed value of about $900,000 and an asking price of $4.2 million.
“LOCATION! LOCATION! Land assembly potential, this property falls into the New Zoning just approved by City Hall for 6 storeys,” states the real estate listing, which refers to the Grandview Woodland Community Plan, recently passed by city councillors.
Another half dozen homes within a couple blocks to either side are listed with prices ranging from $1.8 to 2.8 million.
Ask Anne McMullin, the president and CEO of the Urban Development Institute, if there’s a land rush in East Vancouver, and she’ll tell you there’s not – not right now, anyway.
“I wouldn’t call it a land rush,” McMullin said in a recent interview. “I would say that maybe it’s a rush of realtors.”
While major developers like Intracorp, Westbank, Onni, Wesgroup and Reliance have already bought property in the area during the last few years in anticipation of the new area plan, realtors may be banking on interest from smaller developers, she said.
“I would expect there to be huge interest in Grandview Woodland land assemblies. The plan has been five years in the making. There’s enormous pent up demand,” she said. “There’s very, very little area that has opened up for development and they’ve opened up the door, I suppose (with the area plan).”
When asked why land isn’t being snapped up the moment it hits the market, McMullin said local developers won’t buy at prices they don’t think the market can bear. “Where the prices will come in, I don’t know, but there’s certainly great interest in the busiest hub in the region.”
Further east and south, other pockets of neighbouring houses are on the market for prospective land assemblers.
Six homes in the 500-block of Renfrew St. are listed by realtor Niko Lambrinoudis for $2.5 million apiece (their assessed values range from $800,000 to $1 million each).
“LAND ASSEMBLY. Please do not walk on properties or disturb the owners,” reads the property descriptions of each of the homes.
The realtor has many other homes listed with similar descriptions in neighbouring areas along routes like Nanaimo St. and Broadway. He has previously sold assembled listings along Renfrew St. and is actively seeking to assemble more land on that street, according to residents. Lambrinoudis did not reply to a request for comment.
On the 700-block of Renfrew St., another line of homes is listed for $2.5 million each by realtor Tariq Malik.
As Malik explained, the block of homes he is trying to sell is eligible to be redeveloped under the City of Vancouver’s interim rezoning policy for affordable housing. The interim policy is citywide and intended to boost the supply of below-market housing, but it has a 20-project cap. A dozen of those projects have already been accounted for.
Each of the blocks mentioned in this article are covered by the interim policy or the Grandview Woodland plan.
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