Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14 Market Update

MLS numbers update courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras. These numbers are for the Victoria Real Estate Board's reporting area, including Sooke, Shawnigan Lake and the Gulf Islands.


April 2014April
 2013
Wk 1Wk 2Wk 3Wk 4
Unconditional Sales108
278


615
New Listings338695

1408
Active Listings40874170

4585
Sales to New Listings
32%
40%

44%
Sales Projection---679 


Months of Inventory
7.5


Same pace continues, sales ahead of last year.  This month might even be ok compared to more than just last year, but I don't think it'll be anything to write home about.   Teranet for March is out, flat year over year.  The beginning of the month predictor said to expect 705 sales, which should be pretty accurate given that sales are still accelerating through April.   

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tim Ayres is taking my jerb

What happened to the old spinmeisters at the VREB?   Gone are the days when we needed this blog to de-spin the VREB press release and no matter the market it was a good time to buy.  Ever since Tim took over, the press releases have been getting progressively more restrained and, dare I say it, balanced?

It starts with the title, "March 2014 Real Estate Activity in Victoria".  That's so boring I could have written it.  What happened to "Spring Market Rebounds in Victoria?" or "Buyers Frothing at the Mouth for Your Home"?  After all, sales are up almost 20% from last year.   It's here I would point out the problem with that comparison, but Tim has thought ahead; so I'm reduced to a lame "what he said".
However, the average sales for the month of March over the past five years is 607 properties per month, so though 2014 is stronger than the year previous, sales have not yet returned to the longer term average
Prices are flat according to the MLS HPI, and the market according to Tim is balanced.  "There is no extreme upward or downward pressure on housing prices right now".   Sure enough, the data agrees.



MOI of 7 is a bit less than the March of the last 3 years, but still on the high side of a balanced market.


Sales to list is again stronger than the last years, but not strong.  

I like the yearly data because it flattens out all the seasonality and minor price movements.   And something unusual is happening.  Whether due to sales mix changes or actual price increases, the yearly median price has gone up for a few months now.  That hasn't happened since the last peak in 2010.

$5000 isn't much, but it's a break from the multi-year trend we've seen.  However, as Just Jack says, if you really want to know what's going on, you have to look at the segment of the market you're interested in.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mar 26 Market Update

MLS numbers update courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras. These numbers are for the Victoria Real Estate Board's reporting area, including Sooke, Shawnigan Lake and the Gulf Islands.


March 2014March
 2013
Wk 1Wk 2Wk 3Wk 4
Unconditional Sales132
259
393
483
New Listings361664953
1231
Active Listings382639274007
4333
Sales to New Listings
37%
39%41%
39%
Sales Projection---543550

Months of Inventory
9.0


On track for about 15% increase in sales over last year.  It's a misleading comparison though, because in March of 2012 we had 570 sales, in 2011 we had 622, and in 2010 there were 789.   The sales rate is still in the toilet, just not the worst we've ever seen.

By the way, is anyone actually swayed by arguments around what the average person is or isn't doing?  The average homeowner won't be in trouble.  The average Canadian doesn't buy US property.  What the heck is the average Canadian?   Anyone have a definition of average that don't make those statements completely meaningless?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Market update

MLS numbers update courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras. These numbers are for the Victoria Real Estate Board's reporting area, including Sooke, Shawnigan Lake and the Gulf Islands.


March 2014March
 2013
Wk 1Wk 2Wk 3Wk 4
Unconditional Sales132
259


483
New Listings361664

1231
Active Listings38263927

4333
Sales to New Listings
37%
39%

39%
Sales Projection---543


Months of Inventory
9.0


Despite all appearances, House Hunt Florida continues.
And it seems so does the Victoria market.   Sales seem to be off to a strong start here, a bit of a surge unlike last year.  Do people buy houses during spring break?   If this pace continues we will eclipse last March in sales by quite a bit, and even post a somewhat respectable number.    Wonder how our new finance minister will react to his predecessor's failed efforts to tame the housing market?


Update thanks to poobserv:  Looks like I'm dyslexic and wrote 295 rather than 259.  Sales are ahead of last year's pace but not nearly as much as previously stated.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's March

High time for the spring market to get going.   So how is it looking?  Well not that great.  The VREB has the details as always.


Marginally better sales than last year but that's nothing to write home about.   We're still far off any semblance of a good market.   

More graphs coming later, for now, here's an advertisement idea I saw for you, Marko.  Maybe hand out some flyers?


Courtesy of the League of Gentlemen.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Feb 18 Market Update

MLS numbers update courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras. These numbers are for the Victoria Real Estate Board's reporting area, including Sooke, Shawnigan Lake and the Gulf Islands.


February 2014February
 2013
Wk 1Wk 2Wk 3Wk 4
Unconditional Sales101
200


394
New Listings372588

1039
Active Listings35563599

4072
Sales to New Listings
27%
34%

38%
Sales Projection---400


Months of Inventory
10.3


Pretty steady sales rate of 100/week.   Soon we will no longer be blowing last year's numbers out the water for sales.  But the government is getting nervous again, with some tweaks to CMHC in the 2014 budget.  If the market in the rest of the country doesn't settle down soon there will be more, and more significant ones.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January Roundup

A few days late, a few graphs short, but here's some info about how the market fared in January.  The full report is as always, over at the VREB.   Their new president, Tim Ayres (a past contributor to this blog) seems to be much more reserved with his opinions.   Of course he deals out in Sooke a lot so he has looked the decline in the eyes more than most.   Sales are up, but Tim knows it's hardly cause to celebrate given the extremely low levels last January in the depths of the hit from the mortgage changes.


Another sobering discovery that the VREB has made is the MLS HPI.  In previous years they would have trumpeted gains in the median price (up a staggering 11% Jan 2013 to 2014!!!!) but now they know this is mostly nonsense because the HPI over the same period is down 1.7%.   If you're unlucky enough to live on the peninsula, SFH prices are down just shy of 5%.

Yearly medians are edging up due to sales mix changes, a reduction in the MOI, and the dropping out of last year's very low January numbers.


Looking forward, the sales to new listings ratio gives a clue as to the direction of the market.  It has recovered from it's lows lately, and is heading to the levels seen in the late 90s, which is more in line with the flat market scenario rather than the declines we've seen in the last 4 years.  Of course all this is depending on continued low rates and no more government meddling (and you know how much they like to meddle).


Looking back at the peak, things are about the same median price wise, with SFH down 8%, condos down 12%.  Only townhouses have gone insane in recent months.  Clearly the low sales in this category make this measure far too volatile for anything other than entertainment value.  Just Jack, care to explain a $100k increase in townhouse medians within a few months?


By the way how's that affordability picture looking these days?   If Victoria were governed by more traditional definitions of what constitutes affordable housing, what would the average family be paying?   Based on the average income, 20% down, and current 5 year rates, that would be about $470,000.    So only about a $100k gap to go.



Edit:   LeoM asks: "Has anyone done a Victoria graph similar to the Toronto graph?"

Here is that:


Update:  Regraphed in 2013 dollars and with a power trend line as per Koozdra's request.


Or log scale if you wish....


Although a log scale of inflation adjusted house prices sends quite the wrong message...