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A Slice: January 2021

A Whole New World


Back in March who would have imagined that December would be a record month for the number of properties sold in that month. The analysis and questions of how this could happen during such a global crisis will be a topic for many conversations, and while record low interest rates...

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Self driving cars, black fish & rain rooms

So what to expect in 2014? Continued Balance. 

Happy New Year! This year we saw real estate in Greater Vancouver warm up as the year progressed and provide something that was needed – balance! The first half of 2013 saw a wait and see approach – visions of an NDP victory and interest rates rising. But neither event happened and with signs of economic improvement, elimination of the HST in favour of GST/PST pent up demand did what it eventually does – Buy! With population growth in Greater Vancouver continuing to be strong, buyer demand will continue to be ever present in the market. Despite sluggish global economies and United States government disagreements, real estate sales climbed through the summer and into the fall. Year over year, units sold for 2013 in Greater Vancouver are up 14% compared to 2012. Albeit, it was still 5% down compared to the yearly average over the last 28 years. So a hot market it was not – despite being labeled as such in the media. What’s the key word? Balance!
For the second straight year, the real estate market in Greater Vancouver saw the number of total active listings decline. Total Residential Active Listings are down 10% from December 31, 2012 compared to December 31, 2013 and down 17% compared to November 30, 2013. Total properties listed for sale during 2013 were down 6% compared to 2012 and down 8% compared to 2011. Sales to Listings Ratio (The percentage of units listed in a month and sold during that month) increased through the year and in comparison to 2012, finishing in December at 102% compared to 81% in December 2012.
So what to expect in 2014? As boring as it sounds, continued balance. It may not be flashy but it’s not a bad place to be for buyers and sellers. As baby boomers relocate and share some of their property wealth with their children, continued foreign investment and the belief that Vancouver is an attractive place to live, demand for real estate in Vancouver will continue at a consistent level in 2014. The Bank of Canada is likely to maintain lending rates with some movement in long term rates possible, although probably limited. We might even see the focus shift away from where prices are going (or not going) and instead realize that there is actually stability in the Vancouver real estate market. 
Greater Vancouver: Total Units Sold in December 2013 was 1,990 – down from 2,390 in November 2013; up from 1,171 in December 2012; Total Active Listings are down 10% year over year, Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 6 Months (Balanced Market) compared to 12 Months Supply at the end of 2012. Benchmark Price is up 3% since January 2013 and flat to January 2012.

Vancouver Westside: Total Units Sold in December 2013 was 393 – down from 488 in November 2013; up from 235 in December 2012; Total Active Listings are down 14% year over year, Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 5 Months (Balanced Market) compared to 11 Months Supply at the end of 2012. Benchmark Price is up 4% since January 2013 and flat to January 2012.
Vancouver Eastside: Total Units Sold in December 2013 was 236 – down from 282 in November 2013; up from 124 in December 2012; Total Active Listings are down 18% year over year, Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 4 Months (Seller’s Market) compared to 8 Months Supply at the end of 2012. Benchmark Price is up 3% since January 2013 and up 3.5% to January 2012.
North Vancouver: Total Units Sold in December 2013 was 137 – down from 197 in November 2013; up from 90 in December 2012; Total Active Listings are down 8% year over year, Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 5 Months (Balanced Market) compared to 8 Months Supply at the end of 2012. Benchmark Price is up 3% since January 2013 and up 1% to January 2012.
West Vancouver Houses: Total Units Sold in December 2013 was 75 – down from 89 in November 2013; up from 38 in December 2012; Total Active Listings are down 10% year over year, Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 7 Months (Balanced Market) compared to 15 Months Supply at the end of 2012. Benchmark Price is up 5% since January 2013 and up 6% to January 2012.
Richmond: Total Units Sold in December 2013 was 249 – down from 290 in November 2013; up from 139 in December 2012; Total Active Listings are down 11% year over year, Month’s Supply of Total Residential Listings is at 7 Months (Balanced Market) compared to 14 Months Supply at the end of 2012. Benchmark Price is up 2% since January 2013 and down 3% to January 2012.


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In, Out, Old, New, Hot or Not?

Ok, here is what the blogosphere is saying about what you should be trying, forgetting, accepting, ditching or not. Obviously your choice to ignore or say who cares, but...here is what they say!

2013 (old news)                                    2014 (and beyond!)

Kale. Why? I just learned to embrace it               Cauliflower. Yes, it is the
and now love it? I say keep the                               IT vegetable they say.
superfood going.                                                     Have you tried 
Nuba's cauliflower? 
Cupcakes & Donuts.                                 Eclairs. I say goodbye for now to 
Ok I added the donuts. My                                    those others and welcome the  
feeling is the donut, even                                      decorated eclair. 
the cronut (croissant/donut) is done.                                             
They aren't going anywhere, now                          
L'Atelier de l'Éclair in
a staple, but what is next?                                     Paris' 2e arrondissement 

Design - leave it in 2013                        Design trends for 2014
Beni Ourain Moroccan style rugs,                        Kitchens in colours: grey, navy,    
chevron zig zag stripes, starburst                        army green instead of white. Natural 
mirrors, vinyl wall decals and Fiddle                    stone such as agate and malachite.
Leaf fig trees. OK if you have them,                    Touches of brass & gold, vintage bar 
no worries, but if you don't, don't go                    ware, lacquered walls.  
buy them now.                                                     The predicted Pantone colour of 2014
Radiant Orchid. Who knew there  
                                                                             was someone who decided the year's

What else in happening? 
SELF DRIVING CARS - I can`t wait for one of these!

Volvo tests self-driving cars
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The Interactive Art Scene

I love the excitement around the interactive art scene, especially attracting crowds, young and old. Not just attracting them, but waiting in 4 hour line ups for a 45 second experience. Most of these crazy lineups are happening in NYC of course, but I predict the interactivity will spread and the action of experiencing art will be contagious. We did have the lego making experience with Douglas Coupland in the fall at the VAG. I am also loving the craziness for rain rooms, 'heavenly' mirrored rooms, hopping inside pregnant sculptures, even watching climate change through art. The excitement is bringing those who don't normally enter museums inside, those who want to see what all the fuss is about and pop cultural enthusiasts into a gallery or to an Art Fair. It may not even be about interacting, it can reflect design or fashion and they will come. Who went to Alexander McQueen's exhibit at the Met?  Louboutin's exhibit in Toronto?  The Punk Chaos to Couture also in NYC? I took my daughter to this and now she is actively shredding her clothes! 
  Come and interact at the Vancouver Art Gallery's next Fuse on January 24th. 
A field of falling water that paused wherever a human body was detected, Rain Room offered visitors the experience of controlling the rain. 

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. Hundreds of multicolored LED lights, suspended at different heights and dangling from floor to ceiling, transform a room into what feels like eternity. The cube-shaped, mirror-paneled room has a shallow reflecting pool as its floor and the lights flicker on and off in a strobe-like effect. 

Portrait of the Artist is a white larger than life-sized fiberglass sculpture based on a digital scan of the surface of Jennifer Rubell’s naked body when she was eight months pregnant. It features an egg-shaped void where the baby would be. People are encouraged to pose inside the void in the fetal position.

Vanishing Ice introduces the rich artistic legacy of the planet’s frozen frontiers now threatened by climate change, a phenomena understood by the public primarily through news of devastating climactic events. The exhibition offers another perspective by providing visitors an opportunity to experience the majesty of sublime landscapes that have inspired artists, writers, and naturalists for more than two hundred years.

The Fresh Start Effect?

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? And if yes, how long do they last? Here are 4 tips from The New York Times for improving your chances at success.
Make a concrete plan: Write it down, put it in your calendar like an appointment. When you embed it firmly in your memory, it is harder to postpone it.
Put something you value on the line: If you weigh your resolution down with a financial consequence you are more likely to follow through. Set up an appointment with a trainer, pay in advance and you are very unlikely to cancel. You can arrange to forfeit money if you don't achieve your goals at stickK.com, a website created by behavioural economists.
Bundle your temptations: this has the best success with a health goal. Imagine you want to exercise more but struggle to drag yourself to the gym. Imagine you have a love of trashy novels or are addicted to binge watching TV series but feel guilty wasting the time. Allow yourself to read or watch only at the gym!
Seek social support: you can achieve more with the help of a mentor. Tell your family and friends you are quitting smoking/eating too much/wasting time whatever it is and have them encourage you along, don't keep it a secret.

And what if you still don't succeed? Good news, you will have other opportunities to try again. It is the 'fresh start effect'. People often intensify their pursuit of aspirations in September, after their birthday, beginning of the month and even the beginning of the week. And while you create those goals that aren't so fun, add some items to your list that will be fun to cross off i.e. book a trip somewhere warm, plan a party, sign up for a course, paint a picture, meditate or...buy a new house?

BC Property Assessments

By now you should have received your property assessment. Over 98% of property owners accept their property assessment without proceeding to a formal, independent review of their assessment.  If you think your assessment is incorrect, you have until January 31st, 2014 to file an appeal. For more information or to view your assessment on line: http://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/

What are you watching?

Ok, it contradicts with getting back in shape and getting off your butt... but if you bundle it with a workout? Just watched the first episode of season 4 of Downton Abbey - LOVE. Am very excited for the next Scandal episode - LOVE. I will admit though after binge watching on my ipad mini, waiting a week between the next fix is hard! What about Prisoner of War? This is the series that Homeland is based on. I haven't started it yet and it is entirely with subtitles, but according to those in the know, this is even better than Homeland. 

While on vacation this December, our entire family watched CNN's Blackfish. Holy Whale that is one powerful documentary - an absolute must see. It actually haunted me for days. It made everyone, especially my 10 year old son, really question the value of places like Seaworld, Zoos etc. It made us think swimming with the dolphins at a nearby hotel, dolphins we see each year, seem so depressing. We went snorkeling off the shore and swam with enormous Manta Rays and to see these majestic sea creatures up close and personal makes you realize how shocking it is that we trap whales and dolphins in these small pools and make them perform for us. We also went to the Seahorse Conservatory where they have almost single-handedly saved the seahorse from world wide extinction. Check out Blackfish, honestly it's worth it.

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Entrepreneur Extraordinaire

I love learning about how successful entrepreneurs got their start and how they turned an idea into a world wide success.Tory Burch is one of those amazing business people who in such a short time has taken the ready to wear fashion world by storm.  And now we have a store in Vancouver. Sometimes I am sad when the American line finally makes it to Vancouver as it loses its special touch, but you must see the Alberni location. The store is a beautiful jewel box itself. While the rest of Canada is in a polar vortex, check out some of these spring looks and how Tory created this fashion success in just 8 years. Even if you are tired of the logoed ballet flats, the store is worth a visit!

#BoFLive | Tory Burch in conversation with Imran Amed
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Dexter Associates Realty


2094 West 43rd Avenue

Vancouver, BC.   V6M 2C9

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Ruthie Shugarman · 2094 West 43rd Ave · Vancouver, BC V6M 2C9 · Canada 

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this event gathers women and leaders in the community for a salon-style information sharing from experts in our community. 


Invented by Ruthie in 2008, this bi-annual event draws over a hundred women to “swap” their gently used clothes. Attendees get a refresh of their wardrobe with fantastic finds without spending money, with remaining clothing donated to women’s charities.



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