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Fall 2003 Market Update – Vancouver Real Estate

October 2, 2003

Fall 2003 Market Update

RAINSCREEN—RECOVERY OF VALUES

As most, if not all, of you are aware, building envelope failure has been an epidemic in the Lower Mainland over the past decade. A combination of factors led to numerous complexes having to undergo a total exterior retrofit under the new building code, using “rainscreen” technology to cope with our wet climate.

The code was introduced in 1999 and it immediately created more consumer confidence in brand new construction, however, the “post-leaky condo” complexes continued to give prospective buyers the jitters, even after the repairs were complete. This is no longer the case. The difference in value between a similar home in a “fixed” building versus a building with the original envelope in place (even it has never experienced any obvious problems) has grown substantially. It still tends to take about 6 months after the works are complete for the cloud to lift, but when it does, the effect on the values is significant.

What does all this mean to the consumer?

As an owner in a complex built under the old code (primarily in the time period between 1981 and 1999), I would recommend that you support any move towards envelope replacement, even if it is hard to say for certain that the original envelope will fail. The market will punish you if you do not and will thank you if you do.

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