Diane Birk

Love Where You Live.......Real Estate in Vancouver

Price Per Square Foot Debunked

An anomaly in the current market is the reliance by buyers on the myth of "price per square foot" as representing real market value.  It is perpetrated by reality television, market gossip and inexperienced advice.


The concept of price per square foot is used by developers in their pro-forma to cost out a development, and to estimate profit.  At the same time, developers will add a dollar value per floor when they have an entire building to sell out, based on view desirability, and this creates a micro-market within the development.  When a unit comes back to the market as a resale, it is no longer competing within the micro-market, but with the resale market and nearby properties.  On resale, we are often comparing apples and oranges, and price per square foot does not equate.  A fixed dollar value per floor also no longer applies.


Think of it this way - how do you put a price per square foot on a beautifully renovated suite compared with one that has had a bad do-it-yourself experiement, or a good view versus and alley view?  A suite with smaller square footage but a superior use of space and layout will comand a higher price (and therefore a higher price per square foot) than a larger suite with wasted space and a bad floor plan.  The disturbing thing that I am seeing in this competitive market is that $1,000 per square foot seems to be the selling price for anything - regardless of any features that add or subtract value, and there seems to be no distinguishment for a great Strata versus a not so great one.


I am really concerned that Buyers are relying on the price per square foot myth when they determine what they will pay in a bidding war.  In any market conditions, Buyers should rely on experienced advice in determining a fair offer price, and a ceiling price they will pay in competition.  With over 23 years experience in all types of market conditions, I can help!  

Diane Birk
Cellular: 604-760-4884
Head Office: 604-984-9711
Fax: 604-984-3350
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