Vancouver real estate: Strathcona house prices increase amid bidding wars while homeless camp in park

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      The homeless encampment in Strathcona dominates news about the historic Vancouver neighbourhood.

      People have been sleeping in tents in and around a park since June 2020.

      Now there is a plan to close the camp by the end of April this year.

      Meanwhile, house hunters have kept the real-estate market busy in Strathcona.

      In March 2021, an average of one home was sold daily in the East Vancouver neighbourhood.

      And because of strong demand, many homes are selling way above their assessed values.

      One example is 834 East Georgia Street.

      The single-detached home sold for $2,505,000 on March 9 this year.

      The selling price was 51.3 percent of its assessed value of $1,656,000, based on tracking by the real-estate site Zealty.ca.

      Sutton Group-West Coast Realty listed 834 East Georgia for $2,279,000, which means the home sold 9.9 percent above its original asking price.

      Buyers are holding bidding wars that push property prices further up.

      David Hutchinson with Sutton Group-West Coast Realty is a veteran of these contests.

      Back in February this year, Hutchinson told the Straight that he made offers on two properties on behalf of his buyers.

      Both of his clients lost.

      “It's hard to gauge where the price will actually end up in multiple-offer situations, and it's even harder to go in without inspection and financing clauses,” Hutchinson said.

      One of the two properties was a two-bedroom condo. Unit 4 at 874 East Georgia Street sold for $1,105,000 on February 2 after it was listed for $999,000.

      The second was a two-bed townhouse. This property at 814 Hawks Street on February 8 sold for $1,070,000 after it was listed for $998,000.

      Over a one-year period, the benchmark price of a Strathcona home increased to over $1.15 million as of the first quarter of 2021.

      Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the price of a typical home in the neighbourhood was more than $1.1 million.

      “The Strathcona market hardly missed a beat,” Hutchinson said.

      In March this year, Hutchinson had a buyer and they made an offer on condo unit in the neighbourhood.

      Unit 2 at 874 East Georgia was listed for $979,000. The two-bedroom condo sold for $1,040,000 on March 1.

      Hutchinson’s client lost.

      “These particular buyers were initially looking in the West End, but the market was very competitive there, so they decided to look in the Strathcona area, which has a good vibe, and might be less competitive,” he recalled.

      Hutchinson expects prices in the neighbourhood to increase some more.

      “Strathcona is back, the park is being cleaned up, and it looks like this location is once again becoming an idyllic, little neighbourhood, and the prices are also once again starting to reflect that,” Hutchinson said.

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