Vancouver’s 24th & Main latest hot spot, Listed at $749,000, Sold $1,033,000

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Latest hot spot is area around Main and E. 24th Avenue

John Colebourn

Realtor Darryl Sjerven stands in front of a house at 265 East 24th Ave. in Vancouver. Sjerven says the area around Main Street and 24th Avenue is the city’s new hot spot. The heritage fixer-upper behind him listed for $749,000 and, within two weeks, sold for $1,033,000. That’s $284,000 above asking. Photograph by: Arlen Redekop, The Province

Realtor Darryl Sjerven knew the area around Main Street and East 24th Avenue in Vancouver was a hot housing market — but not red-hot.

After listing a home on East 24th Avenue for $749,000, Sjerven had 18 immediate offers. Most were well above the asking price.

The home finally sold for $284,000 above the asking price — leaving Sjerven with full confidence that the pocket around Main and 24th Avenue has become the latest trendy place to live.

Sjerven, a realtor with Re/Max Select Properties, listed another home across the street on East 24th. It sold for almost $250,000 above the asking price. Another home at Main and East 20th Avenue was listed for $959,000 and sold for $320,000 above the asking price in eight days.

While the housing market in other parts of Metro Vancouver is experiencing a boom after recent rough economic times, the Main Street area is getting a lot of attention for a number of new reasons.

“This is an area with awesome amenities,” said Sjerven, pointing to the sports facilities, schools, community centres, shops and restaurants all within walking distance.

The new Canada Line SkyTrain is just a few blocks away, and designated bike routes are near the area.

“Once you live in this area, you don’t leave,” said Sjerven.

Andrew Ramlo, a director with Urban Futures, a demographic and economic research think-tank, agreed the Main Street area is emerging as a prime location.

“There has been a lot of renewal along that stretch of Main Street,” he said of the trendy shops and restaurants.

By comparison, homes in the west side of Vancouver can easily run $1.5 million and up.

“In part it is demographics and it is part community amenities,” he said. “It is a very significant change for the area.”

Ramlo is hearing about bidding wars and notes it comes down to simple economics.

There’s not a whole lot of listings out there and it is causing things like these bidding wars,” he said.

Helmut Pastrick, chief economist with Central 1 Credit Union, said mortgage rates are behind the busy housing market activity in the area.

“The mortgage rates are the main reason we are seeing this turnaround,” he said. “Low mortgage rates are a powerful sales stimulus and when combined with an improving economy, housing markets take off.

“The strong market momentum coming out of the recession will carry into 2010, driving unit sales and prices to new highs.”

After a 25-per-cent sales plunge in 2008, housing sales will rise 10 per cent in 2009 and with that momentum, climb 30 per cent higher in 2010, he predicts.

He expects sales for 2011 will fall back slightly from 2010’s record high.

The annual median sales price for a residential property in B.C. will increase to a record high of $391,000 in 2010 and $415,000 in 2011, Pastrick predicted.

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