Sunday, September 23, 2007

What is happening on the Victoria Real Estate Market?

An open thread for you to post your anecdotes. Anyone with PCS? What do you see happening?

We're seeing home prices starting to decline a bit. Our PCS only shows houses with suites or suite potential up to $425,000. We've seen perhaps five or six price reductions over the last week from above that number, and often well above that number, coming into our segment: i.e. original asking $449K new price $424,900 etc. The pace of sales is off slightly too.

On the condo side of things we still see dumpy condos in dumpy neighbourhoods asking way too much. No real significant price reductions, but no significant price increases either. The stuff is still selling though, I'm guessing there is roughly 3.0-3.5 months inventory.

Over to your insights. H/T to Roger for the post idea.

30 comments:

Roger said...

To kick things off here is a list of useful sites:

Up-to-date MLS listings (every hour)

http://scottpiercy.ca/hotsheet.html

Last 24 hour listings, with addresses

http://tinyurl.com/3bxsd7

All recent listings for Victoria and Up Island with details

http://tinyurl.com/33wou2

FREE access to Realtor MLS data (photos, price history, sale price etc.) and you only need to give your first name and email address - 2 week trial

http://www.findyourhousewithamouse.ca/

vg said...

We toured the Saanich Peninsula this afternonn to Sidney/Lands End/West Saanich Rd route and we counted roughly 30 signs and only one with a sold sign on it. Many had open houses and several for sale by owners too.
They didn't appear to be lining up around the block to put in their secret bids as per a couple months back.

Roger said...

Here are a couple of big price droppers in Victoria/Oak Bay:

MLS# 231729 585K -> 555K 96 DAYS
MLS# 234778 649k -> 599K 27 DAYS!!
MLS# 233695 529K -> 499K 55 DAYS
MLS# 235347 629K -> 599K 15 DAYS!!

There are lots more - these are just ones I have been watching. In the condo market there are 10-30K reductions happening every day.

Roger said...

VG

Interesting observations. It was my impression that there were a lot more open houses this weekend than usual. Seemed like a lot of ads in the paper as well. Anyone else notice the same thing?

I have been watching the new listings and have seen a number under 500K that were not bad at all - far from "crack shacks" and dumps. Also a lot of price reductions and older condos being listed under 300K. Is it possible that prices are dropping already?

Anyone ask the agents at the open houses how busy they have been this September?

Po Boy said...

Hey VG I bet the one sold sticker you saw was Landsend near the highway.
I know that listing and it is a way overpriced pos.
My suspicious mind tells me that the listing is running out for the second time with a new agent and this one decided to make it look good by sticking a sold sticker on it.
The other possibility is someone offered what is was worth and they took it ( $60,000 less than asking).

vg said...

po boy,

good guess,that was the one with the lone sold sticker, lol.

roger,
I did notice a few in the mid $400's that were better than what had been up for sale previously so you may be on to something there. Maybe the smart agents are sensing the downturn and telling the serious sellers to stay a step ahead of the competition.

Still alot though that are only 2 beds 1 bath and 800 sq ft too,that is way too much cash.

Roger said...

Surging loonie drives Canadians south to spend

www.komotv.com/news/9949091.html

Agents with Horizon Real Estate are well aware of this new trend. The firm has set up a sales office just outside the U.S.- Canada border.

"Our marketing strategy was 85 percent Seattle buyers, 15 percent Vancouver or business interests over the line. Now we're seeing dead-on 50-50," said agent Craig Anderson.


Lower mainland buyers going to the US to buy houses instead of Victoria!!

What about all those Albertans?

Sunday Times Colonist
http://tinyurl.com/24mez2

Quote from the article

"The Canadian dollar's strength seems to have really created a buying frenzy down here in Arizona," says Culhane. "My team is actively working with around 45 to 50 Canadian clients right now. Since it is still a buyers' market, we are finding deals for our clients sometimes as much as 20 per cent under asking price."

vg said...

The one comment Ozzie the shill did say that made sense was if you are into buying RE in Arizona etc wait til the spring cause thats when the second round of mortgage resets will have kicked in and the deals will be even better.
As in the stock market the market always overshoots the high side and always overshoots the downside as well.

hhv said...

Just got back from shopping at the newly-opened Thrifty's at Tuscany. The store is great. The buildings look like a bad imitation, the parking lot is so small I had to make a 3 point turn to back out of a stall, and given that it's dark out we expected to see more than two units with lights on. But alas, those must have been the show suites. If I bought there with a possession date of July 1, and it's now Sept 22... I'd be pissed.

greg said...

I wonder if anyone from Tuscany has seen Tuscany Village? I'm sure they'd laugh till they cried.

vg said...

We were looking at it while sitting at the light on our way out and sayin how anyone would pay such big bucks for the fake Italian balcony which means no balcony,just a wrought iron railing and then open your scenic windows to smell the fresh aroma of car exhaust off McKenzie as it's backed up 20 cars deep most of the time. Man am I pessimistic or what eh ? LOL ....but that was the reality,no wonder only half the units have sold,the first half are probably still kicking themselves.

Village said...

Remember when they would build places with sprawling parking lots. There was plenty of parking and layouts made sense and were easy to navigate. I know I avoid places where parking is a pain.

As for local market. The MLS descriptions seem to be slightly changing. More motivated sellers, reduced prices and in general the tone (if you can get that from text) is more willingness to entertain offers.

Anonymous said...

There are some very bad realtors. They just want to stir the market up, make the potential buyers panic. Just check the price history of MLS#233791. I hate these bad, bad, dirty realtors.

Anonymous said...

My doctor has moved to an office at the Tuscany Village place. I was shocked by the stupidly tight parking. I have a little Corolla, and I guarantee you I was thinking I will never bring our truck there. Really tight parking for even smaller vehicles. I would never buy a place there. Never. I suspect these units will mostly wind up rented to students.

Aleks said...

The only insight into the RE market I have is my mom's townhouse complex and the condo project with it's show "suite" in the lobby where I work. My mom's townhouse is one of the few semi-affordable places in town which are big enough for a family, and consequently the prices keep going up and most places sell within days of listing. Nothing's been put up there in the last month, though.

The condo project is Centennial Walk, they of the "Carefree living. Starts here." add campaign. Very little has sold since the opening weekend. They just had a mortgage sale, 5% for three years if you bought that weekend. Didn't seem to get much traction. The second floor is mostly sold but only about 30% of the third and fourth floors are sold. Probably because for what they're asking, you could buy a townhouse in the complex right next door, and have a bigger place with a yard.

I did an MLS search on View Royal the other day. There's maybe a dozen listings for existing homes, and more than 50 from the new condo and housing projects.

Anonymous said...

The bloom appears to be off the rose for second-string areas like Fernwood and Sidney. I'm seeing semi-decent places in the 400-500 range sitting for weeks. Not that I'd buy at this point; it's still too much for what you get. But a year and a half back I remember crack-shacks in Fernwood going for over list in a week. That doesn't appear to be happening any more.

Roger said...

Condo prices are dropping too!!

In 28 days this downtown unit has gone from 425 to 399 and today dropped to 375.

http://tinyurl.com/2j9wkc

hhv said...

"I suspect these units will mostly wind up rented to students."

I can see the ads on craigslist... "Stone's throw to campus, luxury student accomodation, $2500/month." Too bad that even $2500/month doesn't cover the mortgage let alone the other costs associated with those places.

greg said...

They are putting up a sign at Vicino, in James Bay Village, advertising units from $299,000. A little while ago, they were starting at $350,000 or so.

Mind you, they are already more than 9 months behind the originally announced completion schedule of winter 2006/2007.

Anonymous said...

I have started a personal assault on this ridiculous market. First, I tell the RE agent listing my true story of paying less on rent than I would on interest. I happily describe my financial plan for riches sans mortgage (saving $700,000 on interest for starters, an additional $120,000 in property taxes I don't have to pay, all the $ I earn from investments that don't cost me money, etc. I suggest that I may place an offer for $350k or some other low-ball offer (ie what the places are acually worth). So far I have quite enjoyed seeing th and scare the crap out of greedy homesellers and RE agents around town. The dumps I've seen are dipping below $500k and still staying listed for weeks.

If enough of us do this it might just begin to shift the psychology of the masses. If one homeseller actually took the bait, the others on the block would be priced lower when their turn comes up. Let the mass hysteria begin.

I have no intention of buying at this point, this is just for sport;). Anyone wanna play?

Roger said...

Just listed this morning:

http://tinyurl.com/27x5uz

Finally, a fix-upper available in Fairfield! This is the first time on the market for this family home of more than 40 years. Great ‘bones’ from rugged 50’s construction, coved ceilings, good basement height with some life left in the roof. Just shine up the gorgeous oak hardwood floors, upgrade the kitchen, bathrooms, windows and fireplace, add some paint & reap the benefits in an area of exceptional homes on the Oak Bay border.

Will some sucker actually buy this place and pay 3K a month mortgage (10% down) and $300 a month taxes while pouring money into renovations?

Stay tuned - I will post updates

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've been waiting and waiting with bated breath to pay $550K for a piece of bulldozer bait like that. Where do I sign? They are saying the same family lived there for 40 years? Were they blind? Never once wanted to update anything? Yuck.

Anonymous said...

I am sure this place is both for renting and selling:

http://victoria.craigslist.org/apa/428523671.html

Anonymous said...

anon wrote

I am sure this place is both for renting and selling:

http://victoria.craigslist.org/apa/428523671.html


This was MLS 233168 until yesterday when the listing was cancelled after 69 days on the market. Upgraded interior. Price started at 689.9K, then 679.9K and finally 669.9K with no takers.

Renting for $2400 permonth will not cover the taxes and investment interest on this one. I suspect the renters can look forward to 24 hour notice for showings before long

Anonymous said...

That Fairfield listing is by John Vernon, the realtor who precedes every price with "Only" (eg:2.16 ACRE COMMERCIAL ZONED (CN1-A) DEVELOPMENT SITE
EXISTING TENANTED COMMERCIAL BUILDING
MLS# 224464 - Only $2,350,000), as if he's advertising today's Wal-Mart special. What a shyster.

Anonymous said...

A house in my neighbourhood sold a couple of years ago for around $354,000. It is a 2 bedroom house with basement. Someone bought it for full price and has now put a suite in the basement. It is now up for sale by the owner for $525,000. Good luck with that.

vg said...

I despise these guys that take a 2 bedroom bungalow with a low height basement and put a suite in it.I hope they get burnt. I have seen several rentals that appear at first to be an entire small house and then it says its the main floor only. The flippers are getting desperate as the main floor is like $1400 when only a year or so ago you get the entire place for the same price.

The rental prices in this town are going up cause these guys are gouging to recover their cost outlay faster to build these joke suites. I hope the renters just not bite on these ripoffs and force them to lower the prices.

hhv said...

I agree with you VG, unfortunately, a ton of renters are paying those kinds of dollars.

Anonymous said...

I have only just recently moved to Victoria. I'm trying to get a handle on things, so I'm on PCS and have been keeping a spreadsheet since the 228XXX MLS number listings. My spreadsheet includes things such as Last Asking price, Final Sale Price, Original Asking Price, Drop from Original Ask, Final Difference, Days on Market etc. Here are some interesting extrapolations using a setting on PCS of Victoria and area homes under $650K with "Character" (we don't want new build ideally):
avg DoM: 49
Final Difference (the difference btw the Original asking price and the final sale price) $11,500. This number also takes into account a few properties that have sold ABOVE asking price. The biggest single final Difference was -50,000 .
the largest drop I have seen to date for a home as yet unsold is $70,000 and I'm commonly seeing price reductions in the $20-30,000 range.
My hope is that within the coming months things will begin to cool, as they have done in Calgary for example where the following trend has reared its' head:
total listings sept 2005...3,896
total listings sept 2006...6,142
total listings sept 2007..11,195

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