High End Units are going FAST!

Another Tidewater condo went pending in just matter of 2 days, this one a smallish 2352 SF listed at $1.4 million. These Tidewater units over the last few months are selling faster than much more affordable units in places like Parkview and Heritage Place. We all know by now this market is pretty hot, but high end property typically moves at a slower pace than middle priced property all else being equal. Something is driving this seemingly disproportionate activity in the luxury condo market here in Vancouver.

One thought is that Portland exodus is a real thing and perhaps many Rose City condo owners are moving out and pressuring the local market here. COVID-19 has altered the work flow and many former office workers are now content to work from home, some employers seem to like it as well. Others have suggested that a return to a more traditional office environment is desired. So what is the driving factor? Frankly it is a bit of both and Vancouver has become the darling of the metro area over the last couple years.

For those in Portland living in an urban neighborhood such as the Pearl District, South Waterfront, or Lloyd District, will not find many non-Portland locations that offer all the urban amenities and walkability they are accustomed to. Vancouver however is a notable alternative to Portland with the only “real” city living outside Rip-City in the entire metro area. This could be a major factor in the high end condo sales outpacing marketing times of much more affordable units. Portland’s Pearl and South Waterfront have had extremely expensive condos for quite a while with pricing much higher than Vancouver. Vancouver feels like a value when moving from those two neighborhoods.

For buyers seeking a home in that challenging $300-$400k price range, an urban condo in and around Esther Short Park could be a great alternative to a suburban single family home. These condos are not under as much buyer pressure as suburban properties so buyers may not face the crazy bidding wars that beat down buyers in suburbia. I wrote last week about urban living not being a match for everyone, but how many buyers have actually considered it enough to make that determination. Buyers in the mid market should at look at urban condos and think about the prospect of living the ‘city life’ before deciding on a suburban single family home. Buyers looking at a $400,000 SFH will have to give up space in an urban condo with units at that price range likely have a third less floor space and no yard. But the walkability and social life opportunity is vastly improved Downtown versus the ‘Burbs’.

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