Vancouver Condos: South Facing Makes a Difference

One of the biggest problems in housing across the Pacific Northwest is having abundant levels of natural light. Winters are long and dark around here and condo units, particularly in tall structures face a dilemma of gathering natural light. Many of the more urban designs feature floor to ceiling windows to allow extra light to penetrate the living space. This is a good thing of course, but in an urban setting, north facing units still have the trouble of being a bit dark because the shadows of other tall structures makes the natural light on the Northside, cool and dark, rather than light and bright.

When adding in the issue of a darkly finished unit the north facing can be a real difficult animal to present. All else being equal a south facing unit will likely fetch 5-10% more money in a mid-rise or high-rise development. North facing units should have light tones inside to help maximize the natural light coming in. It will make a difference at sale time. South facing units with abundant natural light offer the owners a more full palette of tones, particularly if the unit has lots of glass.

I recently sold a unit in Columbia Shores that was not quite as nice as some other units in the building but its south facing lovely natural light won it over the competitors on the “dark side.”

Light activity on the resale condo market this past week with inventory levels remaining flat over the last several months and most developments seeing a stronger seller’s market.

The tower crane supporting the AC Marriott Hotel project at Terminal one was removed last week, serving notice that the $50 million project is entering the final stretch of construction. That leaves the Downtown area with only three active tower cranes serving the 7 story, Broadstone Claro on Block 17 at the Waterfront, The 8 story ‘Timberhouse’ on Block 3 on the Waterfront, and the 2 building Aegis Phase One at the Academy.

A new urban infill project will be presented Thursday at a pre-app meeting. This will replace the house that has been serving as office space at 612 West Evergreen Blvd, with a modern 5 story mid-rise mixed use building. I am unsure if the “mix” includes residential units. I’ll have to keep you posted on that.

Downtown Vancouver continues to push ever forward on its way to becoming the region’s best urban experience.

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