Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday Hunting

Looked at two condos this morning. One was literally a closet. I am amazed that people are listing one-bed plus dens as two bedrooms. And then pricing them like they are luxury condos.

We talked about not getting trapped in the market if we buy. So our thoughts on the purchase is to approach the suites as a purchaser would. We can fix up the walls, change the floors, update the kitchens and baths. But we can't change the amount of light that comes into the rooms or change the layout.

So light and layout are imperative to any decisions we make.

I still think condos suck. Too much to compromise to ever really enjoy. There are some positives, but a lot of negatives too.

Over on Victoria's Truth there's been a bit of a discussion about the number of new units coming onto the market. I'm wondering the implications on the type of units we've been looking at. I'd classify what we've seen as the last of the affordable units around. The units are generally bigger, sometimes 20% or more, than the new developments. New units are usually priced at least 30-40% more as well. Granted, there aren't too many new units under construction in neighbourhoods that I would classify as affordable. What does this mean for the cheaper units available today? Does this make the affordable--OK, I can't use that term anymore, its not accurate, let's agree to call them least-expensive--units a more competitive market? Can we assume that they are going to experience a relative stable pricing effect because of this?

This market is terribly difficult to sort out. I'll tabulate some of the price to sales ratios that I can later today and post again.


Vicguy said...

Sounds to me like the market is at an extreme greed stage when you can't find even an affordable condo in this town,totally ridiculous market.

As far as the negatives on condo's they can actually be worse than you can imagine. I rented a high end quality shoebox for a year and the nitpicking by the older owners was painful to say the least. They all knew I was the lone renter and seemed to zero in on me but I was a prime tenant,never blasted the music etc,too small a place to have anyone over either. The infighting amongst themselves was brutal too over who's trying to control the money over repairs and upgrades,was like Peyton Place and very nasty. If your into the monthly committee meetings you'll love it, if not , beware.

Village said...

I would request the last 2yrs of meeting notes if you find a condo you are interested in.

The first 3 months of this year should give an indication where the market is heading. Winter seemed to show slowing market year over year and many more price breaks then I noticed previously. If that is a developing trend. We should be looking at a larger number of price reductions later in the year. Hopefully shake out some of the wishing prices out of the market.

Condo price movement probably depends on who's buying them. If a large number of investors are to flip. Then I would expect fairly heavy downward pressure on the prices in the overall market. Buyers don't care what you paid for the place. They do care that there are 5 comparable units for sale at cheaper prices.

If you were a truly nasty buyer, you would seek out those units. And then submit offers to both of them, let them know they are competing with each other in a race to the bottom. =)

HouseHuntVictoria said...

I've had some family-length personal experience with horrendous strata's... let's just say I don't need convincing.

Best advice my realtor has given me: a contact with a home inspector who apparently goes through the minutes with a fine tooth comb, not just the building. He has a rep in town that has led to the nickname: deal-breaker.

Village: not sure the legality of your suggestion, though I agree with its merits not necessarily with its ethics. As I understand it, an offer is a contract to buy less the subject to's. The scenario might leave you on the hook to buy two (or more)... but if one of your subject to's was that the other guy doesn't beat your price?

Village said...

I don't see why it would be illegal, provided your 'Subject To' covered the situation. You could just round robin the bids, and whittle them down that way. =)