Anyway, enough about that, you'll get far superior analysis from PB at VT. So go there, then come back and buy some books from Amazon through this site so I can quit my day job and live the dot.com dream ;-)
On with the real show now...
I peruse statistics at work in my own research fairly often. I came across this dandy gem today:
CMHC is forecasting that housing starts in BC will total 14,100 this year, down 13.5% from the 1999 level. A surge in demand for high-end homes (those costing $500,000 or more) is not expected to be strong enough to offset the effect that higher interest rates and construction and land costs have had on the market for entry-level home buyers.When was this from? October 13, 2000. And they say Victoria is different. What was happening back then? Stock market was uber-bullish, the NDP government of BC was on the way out, and developers were ready for a pro-business change. Even then they claimed no one could afford the product on offer. So what does this mean? Just more confusion for yours truly unfortunately. My best guess: the markets change, but the rhetoric doesn't. Man, do times ever change fast in the RE market. That was 7 years ago, almost to the day. Someone. Please. Help. Us.
The cost of new housing in BC’s two biggest urban centres continued to fall in August. The new housing price index (NHPI) in Victoria was down 4.4% from a year earlier, while Vancouver’s NHPI slipped 1.0%. Elsewhere in Canada, only two urban areas–Saint John-Moncton-Fredericton (-0.4%) and Sudbury/Thunder Bay (-1.3%)–saw the cost of new housing decline. Prices are rising in other cities, at rates ranging from +0.9% in Windsor to +7.2% in Ottawa/Hull. Overall, new housing prices were up 2.4% from August 1999.
Since 1992, the cost of new housing in Victoria has fallen 28%, while average prices for new housing in the Vancouver area have dropped 17%. Prices for new housing in the province have been declining steadily since the mid-1990s. In Vancouver, the rate of decline is slowing but this has not yet occurred in Victoria. Land prices are beginning to stabilize, but the cost of homes built in the city has continued to drop. New housing prices are affected by a combination of factors, including the state of the housing market, the availability of land on which to build, and the type and size of housing that is being constructed. The long-run decline in the NHPI is a reflection of falling prices for both the land and housing components of the index. (emphasis mine)