Saturday, February 24, 2007

Whose buying anyway?

I'm dumbfounded to explain where people work, how much they make, and how they can possible afford to buy in this market.

Here's my information source. (2005 census numbers)

Here's my thoughts:
  • 351K total population in the CRD seems really low.
  • 167K to 182K between 2005-2010 is significant job growth: until you look at the % = 1.4%/year
  • CRD has second lowest job growth of all regions in BC; yet second highest housing inflation rate? [this is my assumption, based on average SFH price, Lower Mainland highest, CRD 2nd... I could have pulled this info out of thin air too, and am feeling too lazy to research so point me to the truth if I'm wrong please]
  • Construction boom in CRD in terms of jobs is big (7.5%) in 2007-2009 then predicted 6% drop in 2009/10. That's a big year of year decline and coincides well with current developments in CRD predicted completions. Does this mean no new growth is forecast for housing in 2010 and the near years post?
  • Highest number of job growth is in the low-pay accommodation- and food-services and retail industries.
  • Predicted decline in jobs for high-pay government and education jobs.
  • Increase in health care jobs: can these be considered high pay anymore? As I understand it, fewer well paid RNs hired, more $20/hour LPNs and Nurse's aides... I'd say it safe to assume that the two cancel each other out and we'll experience job growth without overall growth in pay. Again, just assumptions by a non-economist, so likely completely baseless, please educate me.

Going out this afternoon to explore new developments of condos and mixed SFH in Langford. Going to check out Latoria Walk, Royal Roads and Goldstream developments. I'm curious if speculators are buying these units or not. I'm inclined to think that the speculation isn't worth the risk anymore, that developers aren't willing to give the profits away so easily and the pre-build pricing is more in line with fully-completed unit price. Does anyone else think that $350-450/sqft is disgusting?

Weekly sales numbers are up at VT; is this an inventory slowdown? Does this means prices will increase sharply? Or just a weekly blip?

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