Monday, August 6, 2007

Giving Back

Quite often the tone of this blog is overcome by negativity; it's par for the course of being a RE bear in a boomtown. This post seeks to correct that, even if just for a day.

The August long weekend is our favourite weekend in Victoria. The Symphony Splash has been a tradition for Ms. HHV and I since we met and long before. If the reports leading up to this year's rendition were correct, we owe a debt of thanks to RE developers Bayview. Even if they were slightly exaggerated for marketing effect, good on Bayview for announcing a 5-year deal to keep the show running.

We're not big on crowds so we rarely go downtown for festivals or Canada Day. But Symphony Splash is a must-not-miss event simply because of the spectacle. We typically see 2 or 3 symphony concerts at the Royal each year, but nothing beats the outdoor experience. We sit in awe, lose ourselves in the sounds, and look at the sights of one of the most beautiful cities we've ever seen.

So thank you Bayview for giving back to the community which is likely giving you more than you could have ever dreamed of. Thank you Farmer Construction for the fireworks. And because I'm in a gratitude-filled mood: thank you Avia-West for supporting competitive cycling in the cycling capital of Canada (one of my other loves).

28 comments:

vg said...

Good points HHV. we have a beautiful place here, that is why we all get so passionate about RE prices or we all would have moved somewhere else by now.

One thing I want to mention where this town misses the boat completely is from visiting Pike Place Market in Seattle last week. How come the City here cannot figure out that by having something similar down on the Wharf St dockside would be the biggest boom to the city and create a reason for people to come down town ? I hadnt been there for years and it is a very cool experience that locals and tourists would lap up in spades. The City here always wants events that charge money to get in, no wonder they all fail.

Anonymous said...

I was talking to a developer and apparently some old lady of 95 years owns the two old vacant buildings and some more land. People have been trying to buy it for years and she won't sell. She probably won't be around much longer.

Anway, this developer wants to buy and build ... you guessed it. More condos. Luxury condos. I said - who will buy them? - she said Albertans of course.

This city is gong to change and I don't think it is for the best.

A market would be great. I love the markets in the south of France and Normandy.

It won't happen here. (They could not even get the performing arts centre together)

vg said...

When oil prices correct then we'll see how many Albertans want to buy luxury condos here. Oil taking a hit today on expected slowing US economy and higher OPEC exports past 5 months. Could be like last year and head back to $60 barring any hurricanes.

Personally I don't want my city's economy built on Albertans popping in a couple times a year,that does nothing to help the neighborhoods that are built around all these new developments.

hhv said...

I'd like to see the market go into Crystal Gardens, but trucking is a huge issue... no parking. Too much rain here for outdoors to prosper outside of july/aug... i agree pike place mkt is a great attraction.

that old run down building is there because the old lady was told by her husband never to sell to developers because they'll screw you, or so the urban legend goes...

halifax has a great Saturday market year-round in the old brewery downtown... that old building at the end of the railway there would be great for that.

No foresight for attractions is what you get when you give an architect the mayors throne unchallenged for three terms... ol, lowe has gots to go... time for someone not too cozy with residential development only...

i also always thought that the sound stage for splash should stay in the harbour for 4-6 w/e in the summertime and have free shows every saturday, only symphony on this w/e, but have other attractions: not like Def Leppard, but maybe Great Big Sea, or similar more family-type music groups that will keep the drinking/policing issues to a minimum...

Anonymous said...

VG,

I hope you are righ and Iam sure you are. I love your common sense.

HHV, Yeah I heard that too. It was on his death bed. I think she has cats. I hope she doe not leave it all to her cats.

Anyway, things could be great down there. Also there are some old buildings on Store Street. At the end, near Victoria gymnastics.

I don't know if you have ever seen the Forks in Winnipeg. It is really nice. Also Toronto has just done something with the old Raiway yards but I have not seen it yet.

vg said...

well, I attended my first open house today in many years, only to help out the relatives who respect my opinion on houses and wanted me there even though they know where I stand on RE. The most interesting point was there had been an open house the day before and they had 65 people thru and not one offer and it wasnt too bad a place if you were actually willing to overpay like so many are. So if this was such a hot market sales wise then why no offers after that many people and not even a low ball offer as the agent made no secret that it was a distress type situation ?

Anonymous said...

Vg,

I know of two people who are trying to sell their homes because they bought new property. Both homes are over $1 million. One house the people bought 4/5 years ago for $700,000 and now they are trying to sell it for $1.5 million. It has been on the market for 1/2 a year. They are retired. Someone told them they could get that for it so that bought another house on that assumption. Not one bite.

Same with the other people. Retired. In a panic because they thought they would get a huge amount for their house and decided to go and buy waterfront.

I am sorry but I don't feel sorry for them at all. it is just greed and shady real estate agents.

talus said...

Drove by a house in our old neighborhood of James Bay. Over one year on the market and it finally sold (changed realtor's 3 times and renovated though).


A quick check of the MLS shows these two long-timers...

MLS 228757 $699,000
MLS 233374 $1,649,000

Both over one year on the market.

That said, many have sold and there seems to be little inventory where there was quite a selection in the spring.

talus said...

Better buy fast ....

MLS: 231357 $759,900 South Oak Bay

Exact same house now....

MLS: 233853 $699,900 South Oak Bay

Wait a minute. I thought real estate ALWAYS went UP!? Looks like an 8% reduction to me.

HADENOUGH said...

Talus,

I get the private client listings and I must say any house over $800,000 just seems to sit and they ALL sell below asking, I get that information too.

This is why I am so confused why everyone says hot market.

HADENOUGH said...

Talus,

Nothing sold yet again. This is the 4th weekend.

This is Oak Bay, Uplands, Gorodon Head, Broadmead, Elk Lake - pretty much everywhere.

No condos though.

vg said...

On BNN TV this morning they had a segement on the US mortgage lending rules tightening up like a vise. Believe it or not folks they actually said "the easy money days are over",lol... and get this,you actually have to have something called a "down payment" and it has to be in the 5-10% mininum and... you actually have your employment track record checked not once, but three times ! what is this world coming to ? are they trying to kill the economy for crying out loud ??? ....and hows my kid working at Timmy's gonna buy that condo ?

And on top of that the one woman who was trying to sell her second home in Phoenix had her prospective buyer scrutinized for 6 months til they approved them to buy and her principal residence isnt even getting any lookers. Man was that Greenspan a genuius or what ? LOL

vg said...

PS forgot to mention, Wells Fargo just raised their 5 year rate from 6.8 % to 8% ! talk out a major ouch !

JMK said...

Someone should tell them about it before they approve to many mortgages at their posted rates:

https://www.wellsfargo.com/mortgage/rates/

vg said...

Maybe they had to layoff the website guy due to slow bizzness. ;)

vg said...

"For example, late last week, Wells Fargo upped its interest rate for large 30-year fixed rate home loans made through mortgage brokers to 8 percent from 6.875 percent."

Those are mortgages over $417,000 referred to as jumbo loans which most mortgages are in major cities of the US.


http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5032292.html

JMK said...

Interesting that their posted rates are so much lower. One possibility is that they are trying to kill their brokerage business? I can not imagine that they are posting low rates and then telling all their clients that they only qualify for something that is 1% higher.

JMK said...

BTW, I think the idea of a proper farmers market downtown somewhere is great. Just so long as it actually has some local farmers at it and it not all "arts and crafts". I'd vote for it on the north side of downtown, as it has more of a local vibe, and some chance of being able to park there.

Anonymous said...

"I can not imagine that they are posting low rates and then telling all their clients that they only qualify for something that is 1% higher."

True, they can't tell *all* of their customers that they don't qualify for the lower rate. That would be illegal. However they could tell *some* of their customers that they don't qualify.

It's perfectly legal to advertise a product that is limited to certain customers. Based on vg's comments, it sounds like the low rates might still apply to mortgages under $417,000.

Of course, if this limitation isn't made clear in the advertising, it could be seen as a form of bait and switch, one of the sleazier marketing tactics.

vg said...

Agree on the arts and crafts, keep it to a mininum and quality suff and no gouging. The flowers shop was phenomenal with awesome bouqets that went on forever it seemed and only $15 each with choice mixes. The fish shop was unreal,crab legs as long as my fore arm and huge salmon all fresh. Those fish guys were great flinging 50 pound salmons 15 feet away and catching it all to the cheers of the crowd.

You have to have it down by the Wharf St docks starting it by Milestones using up the whole dockside,you want the foot traffic from tourists or it wouldn't work.

vg said...

Lepage moving into the US,they see the writing on the wall for BC, Alberta:


"Out west, in contrast, the market is so hot — with double-digit growth — it is worrying brokers, Soper said."

“They aren't sustainable in the long-term,” Soper said of the western price hikes, which have outpaced salary increases of most buyers."


http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070808.wroyallepage0808/BNStory/robNews/home

Anonymous said...

VG,

Interesting. What I don't understand in this article iit said that Ontario is on sound legs. I understand it is heading into a recession. I am also wondering about the banking sector in Toronto.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2007/01/12/ontario-economy.html

Also, they said a housing correction only lasts about 2 years. Is this just Real Estate hype?

Aleks said...

Two years peak-to-trough doesn't sound unreasonable to me. That doesn't mean prices immediately start climbing again, though, you could have a correction followed by a long period where the market is flat.

hhv said...

"they said a housing correction only lasts about 2 years."

That's the equivalent of saying that a bull run-up is only two years. How can anyone say that with any certainty? Sure the correction in the 80s was about that length. But the stagnate period of the mid 90s was 7 years and that was equally a correction, just a different form.

We could be in for either type--long drawn out, or quick crash--I'd wager on the latter, but if I'm wrong it won't be the first nor the last.

House Frau said...

I also posted this on PBs log.

I have seen nothing is sales over $800,000. Nothing. Many price changes but no sales. I has been like this for at least a month.

JMK said...

Hi House Frau,

According to VREB, there were 27 properties over $1 million that sold last month, so you must have a pretty restrictive filter on your MLS search.

Village said...

Did BoC release a study that indicated the average real estate market correction was 3.5yrs in Canada and 4.5yrs USA. Also that 70% of the time, both countries are in the same real estate cycle.

We just haven't started our downtrip yet.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

I found this on their website. It's a speech by Dodge in 2003.

"Considering that property is by far the world's biggest single asset class, it is not surprising that movements in the real estate market are drawing a lot of attention. In many countries, housing prices, in particular, have been rising rapidly, raising some concerns about a possible sharp correction at some point.

Given how often real estate booms have triggered banking crises around the world, this issue is clearly important from the point of view of financial system stability as well..."


You think he foresaw the future? Seems like no one was listening or the couldn't figure out how to pro-actively prevent the future from repeating the past.