December 2007: YOY increase in sales volume, YOY increase in average and median sales prices around 10%-11% from December 2006, but month-over-month decreases in average and median sales prices somewhere in the neighbourhood of 6%, bringing us back down to October 2007-type numbers of $495K-$500K median and $550Kish average.
2008: I'm starting to believe, the more I read about the sub-prime stuff and the extent to which the Canadian financial industry is trying to avoid any economic damage, that a recession is highly likely to begin in the US in the first and second quarters. January/February are typically bad months for consumer spending. This Christmas season was disappointing for retailers around North America. I expect 4th quarter 2007 numbers to reflect this. Our economies are 70% consumer driven.
That said, I don't see the economic engine that is development in BC to slow down soon. I'll go on record to say that, while I want a correction to start this spring, I expect that YOY numbers will be flat, the spring will show "usual" 5%-7% price gains over 2006 spring month numbers, but a slow fall will bring prices back to "zero-appreciation" YOY.
Other news: I came across this interesting story on a US blog. Check it out, it is a long read, but entertaining and informative. Here's the background. And here's a notable quote:
Jimmy was a banker and in spite of that he was a buddy of mine. One of the few that didn’t have his head in the sand and instead of just trying to push loans through to get the commission, he actually cared about the likelihood of repayment. He was a brand new banker, and in being such was crippled by his idealism and integrity. One day, obviously frustrated he pulled me into his office, closed the doors and asked me, “Look, I need your help. What the heck is going on here?”
I said, “What do you mean?”
“Well, this business, these loans. They’re all garbage. The other bankers are bringing deals to the table that are worthless. Condo deals, town homes, and I’m not the economist you are, but I read your reports and I at least understand the market’s oversupplied. There’s no way those developments are going to sell. But their loans get approved anyway, meanwhile I’m getting yelled at because I’m not meeting my quota. It’s almost like they want us to bring in bad loans. It just doesn’t make sense.”
And then I realized what was happening. Jimmy was new.
Update: doesn't everyone want to live in Victoria anymore?
RANKING OF HAPPIEST PLACES TO LIVE
1. Saint John, N.B.
2. Quebec City
4. Moncton, N.B., Kitchener, Ont. (tie)
6. St. John's, N.L.
13. Ottawa-Hull, Toronto (tie)