Saturday, August 13, 2011

Today let's compare Vancouver/Seattle

With Australia beginning their housing collapse, Canada is left as the last major country in the western world whose housing market has yet to crumble.

And within Canada, Vancouver is the clear real estate bubble capital.

From time to time it's fun to compare houses for sale in Vancouver with properties for sale elsewhere in North America to see what your dollar will buy.

Yesterday our friends over at the  Vancouver Real Estate Ancedote Archive (VREAA) came up with another stunning comparison. This is a house on Vancouver's toney west side at 4411 West 11th Avenue (click on images to enlarge).

This 'palatial' estate sold on February 15, 2011 for $2,830,000. 

And what did you get for almost $3 million dollars?

It bought you a 4,696 sqft single family house on a 63×121 lot (7,623 sqft; 0.175 acres). With five bedrooms and five bathrooms, this cozy abode backs onto a commercial laneway that services the businesses along West 10th Avenue (see satellite photo above).

The real estate listing promotes an oversized living area, formal dining room, family room & open plan kitchen with vaulted ceilings, eating area & French doors leading to the huge back "deck". Upstairs find the large master bedroom with ensuite & private deck plus 2 more bdrms. Out back there is a "fabulous & private yard" with terraced garden rooms, serene pond & mature landscaping. As a bonus, there are 2 self contained 1 bdrm suites below. To account for the fact the house backs a busy commerical lane servicing businesses on the other side, the listing advises you are "steps" away from the 'Point Grey Village' shopping area.

Paradise personified.

Now let's travel 2 hours south of Vancouver to Redmond Washington, a suburb of Seattle located just 16 miles east of the Emerald City.

Redmond is best known as the home of Microsoft and Nintendo-USA. Due to its large population of highly paid technology workers (especially those of Microsoft), Redmond is a very affluent community.

Over at 3018 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway NE we have a house that sold recently for $2,850,000.

So what does the same amount of money that bought you a cramped house in Vancouver (with 2 mortgage helpers and backing onto a commercial district) get you in Redmond Washington?

Well how about a 5,040 sgft single family house on a 17,859 square foot lot (0.41 acres).

And not just any lot. 

This home is 110' of preeminent, level lakeside waterfront. Not only do you get a spacious 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home but it has it's own sandy beach, boat launch, boat lifts, seaplane lift, pool, and spa. Terrific privacy, with front row expansive lake, mountain and coastline views from nearly every room.

Check out the pics (click to enlarge):


$3 million dollars in Vancouver vs $3 million dollars in Seattle.

Any questions?

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  1. any 8s in the address, though?

    looks like a T off one of the docks there - it's a no go, everybody - back to the west side!

  2. Ya, but it's not Vancouver. We are running out of.... oh, never mind.

  3. Redmond is a surburb and it's not fair to compare Vancouver. Can we see a comparison with Seattle?

  4. Vancouver is about to get a serious wake up call. All the people who are over leveraged are going to get crushed.

  5. Regarding the suggestion that Redmond, because it is a suburb of Seattle, is an unfair comparison... Interestingly VREAA thought about this and did a Google Earth search, looking at commutes to the downtown centers of both cities.

    Guess what? Google Earth puts UBC as 21 minutes from Vancouver downtown and the Redmond property at 21 minutes from Seattle downtown!

    So both homes are a similar distance to their downtown cores.

  6. Yes, but Burnaby and the North Shore is also 21 minutes away from Vancouver core and I think you could find something a lot nicer than the example given.

    Don't get me wrong, this is a great comparison and Vancouver IS over priced.

  7. @Whisperer- your comments about commute time, does that also account for traffic? My impression of seattle traffic is that it really gets congested in seattle...
    Also, if one did live in that Redmond location, how far would you have to commute just to get groceries? You would be paying heavily in gas prices in exchange.