This week has been an odd one for the properties we're watching (mostly 2 bed condos under $250K and houses under $425K). The start of the week was very slow, no sales, no new listings, we were getting kind of worried that this was going to become a trend and possibly signal a shift in this market back in favour of sellers.
Well, over the past two days, a completely different trend has emerged: price reductions and increased back-on-the-markets. A listing can be pulled off the MLS anytime. Then, the realtor can re-list it at a different price and reset the days on market stat back to 0. It's a shady deal, but then again so is the RE market eh?
So I check in this afternoon with the listings to look for sales. Instead what greets me in the system is several significant price reductions; in more than one case 10%+ reductions in condo asking prices (all around 220K). That to me is a significant discount. If I was buying, I'd be thinking I drove a hard bargain getting that kind of price reduction out of the seller.
What's the trigger? Well, some people could have conditional offers on other places and could see themselves losing their new homes because they can't sell their old one. Or, I prefer to think the market is shifting, especially with condos. But I'm seeing it with houses too. One house that we looked at twice and did the math on at least a dozen times, sold for $25K under its asking price. Had we made an offer, we thought this kind of low-ball as borderline insulting. Not so apparently.
So are we seeing that places are priced too high for the market? Are we seeing some panicky selling? Or, and most likely, I'm describing circumstantial, anecdotal evidence that we can't possibly extrapolate into the market. But for us bears, I'm holding out hope.
Tomorrow I'll do an update of our list of watched homes and condos and do the math like in our previous post here.
On another note: watching the CBC as I type this, and get this, the business update included a brief discussion of a housing slowdown across Canada fuelled by overspending due to increased real estate values. Or in plain english, people have re-mortgaged their homes to buy new cars and expensive furniture and other goods, and have now realized their debts are significant and are changing their spending ways so as to pay down debt which in turn means less buying of homes which means a decline in housing values... ah, the market fuelled by idiocy.