Saturday, March 22, 2008

Open Post

I'm off to the top of the world.

Remember to stay the course Bears, we're so close.

Here's your open thread for posting. I'll be back to continue this where I've left off in early June.

334 comments:

1 – 200 of 334   Newer›   Newest»
Prairieboy said...

Godspeed, HHV.

roger said...

HHV - Good luck on your trip.

This thread will be active for awhile so I will post these PCS links for easy access. They are updated whenever VREB updates the database. New listings, price reductions and off market for the last four days are flagged.

Condos Victoria-Esq 400-500K

SFH Saanich East 700-800K

SFH Saanich West 600-800K

Townhouses All Areas 400-600K

SFH Colwood Langford 550-800K

Reality check - Check them out from time to time. Note the listing volume, price reductions and days on market.

Anonymous said...

RE-PCS links
also click on "removed listings" for more interesting info.
(often similar listings in a different price range)

roger said...

Another PCS tip. You can sort the list by clicking on any of the titles: price, address, MLS#, area etc.

Unfortunately when a property sells it is removed from the list. If you get your own free PCS account you can see the sale price and define your areas of interest. Trial PCS lasts about 2 weeks unless you email the agent for an extension.

Anonymous said...

Well that sure didn't take long. I just tried to sign into Victoria Area Flippers In Trouble and got this message...

"This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations, and is currently unpublished. You can view your blog's posts here in Blogger, but not make any changes."

Maybe it doesn't like the links to the PCS pictures. Maybe it doesn't like the links to MLS. Maybe some disillusioned Bull flagged it.

Standby for further.

-vicrealstats

sourgrapes said...

I looked up the RUBY listing (from 'Victoria flippers in trouble' blog on mls.
http://www.mls.ca/PropertyDetails.aspx?vd=&SearchURL=%3fMode%3d5%26id%3d238800&Mode=5&PropertyID=6513925
This property was bought just one year ago for $265k. The present asking price of over $600k would erroneously lead readers to believe that seller is trying to profit $400k.

However, it sure looks like the house was built in 2008, meaning that perhaps it was a 'lot-only' sale in March, 2007?

In that case, should we not (fairly) assume that a 3000sf-plus house must have cost over $400k to build? Which would add to the base cost, and lower the gain?

We need to objectively look at ALL the info, and not simply the potential losses caused by reducing asking price. After all, there's no loss until a property actually sells.

Thanks for this great new site. Much appreciated. If we consider all info here, including the unstated, it is fantastic. The one observation is that listings will not sell as high over assessed values as they used to during 2005-2007, if at all.

We'll know that the s&*t has hit the fan when we see sale prices LOWER than assessed. Amen

Anonymous said...

Have a good trip, hhv. They don't have internet at the top of the world? We'll miss you.

Victoria Area Flippers In Trouble is up again, at least it was when I checked a few minutes ago. Thanks for putting the effort into it, I think it will become more and more interesting as time goes by. As for losses not being losses until the place is sold, ok I see your point, but the difference between the original wishing price and what they now hope to get is interesting in and of itself, and is a good indicator of changes in the market.

homewardbound

Anonymous said...

Just went to post a comment at Victoria Area Flippers in Trouble, and got the same message you reported, vicrealstats. Clicking a few times I got the blog twice but the error message more. Hope you get it worked out.

homewardbound

Anonymous said...

Looks like it was a "spam" issue.

Blogger saw too many similar links and thought it was a spam blog - I've sent a note so that a human will review it.

Should be good to go in a few days.

- vicrealstats

beagle said...

Woes in Condo Market Build
As New Supply Floods Cities

I hope all these local condo developers aren't expecting droves of foreign buyers. After reading this article I can't see how Victoria is that great that it can withstand the glut coming online in the US.

"The deteriorating economy isn't helping. "When the world goes to hell in a handbasket, the last thing anyone wants to buy is a condo," says Cathy Schlegel, a mortgage-loan broker in Fort Worth, Texas, whose condo in a high-rise called The Tower sat on the market for 14 months before she finally sold it at a loss in February."

roger said...

Beagle

There was an interesting comment in the story you posted:

"One big question hanging over the market is how many of the buyers who have put down deposits during construction will show up to close the deal."

I wonder what will happen in Victoria when all the condos under construction are completed. There are several condo developments that were recently finished (Shutters, Vicino, Breakwater, Pearl etc.) that have units for sale that were never occupied.

My previous posting on Canadians buying in the US gives part of the answer. The buyer pool is shrinking fast!!

I think we may have a solution to Victoria's affordable housing problem in the near future. In the US unsold condos have been rented at market rates to get some cash flow for the developer.

Anonymous said...

Shutters could be the new Riverview (or the Riverview of Victoria)!!

roger said...

Here is another follow up to Beagle's post. Today Garth Turner analyzed Toronto's High-carb condos. Here are some excerpts:

"First, look at the local market in the Toronto region. There are 56,000 condos in the pipeline now – being marketed or built – and it’s estimated at least 40% have been purchased by investors. This means a couple of things: First, it’s a glut. A classic, carb-rich, obese, waddling, over-indulgence of units that will ensure most of those tens of thousands of investors get to eat their shirts. Flip for a profit? You jest.
"

beagle said...

I'm hoping all these condos can be turned into rentals and we can attract some younger working people to Victoria otherwise downtown is going to be half empty condos, bewildered retirees and street people.

Victoria police have the cash, but no one to hire
This is one of the main reasons I would like to see a return to a more fundamentally priced housing market. The community is hurt buy these driven up prices. we can't even attract cops now, it's stupid. At one time Vic was worth the extra money but now I'm starting to get the itch to bail, and I've lived here over 35 years. I look at Port Alberni and housing is half the price. At one time Victoria's life style was awesome but lately it's eroded badly.

Anonymous said...

Roger and Beagle:
Rental Unit in "The Pearl" on Hillside:

Times Colonist (03/21/08)
HILLSIDE "The Pearl " New! 2Br, 2ba lux condos. 1000sf+, NS, $1500. Apr1. 514-8287 454037

vg said...

is this Tim posting on the Garth's blog ? ;)



"In the interest of full disclosure, I am a successful Realtor working out of Victoria BC .
It is my view that when and if that unit is built, by 2010 you will be able to buy it for well under 200K. You’re crazy to commit 15K to a hole in the ground.
Why not short a Dow index fund instead and make some serious coin :0 "

vg said...

nice pic !


http://www.greaterfool.ca/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/bubble.jpg

Tony Danza said...

Business hippies fight back:

http://tinyurl.com/3ymk8p

Looks like hippies are going to mine the Bear Mountain golf course.

boomer said...

A quote from "Woes in Condo Market" article in the Wall street Journal
"The U.S. finished 2007 with a supply of condos large enough to absorb 10 months of demand, the highest level since the National Association of Realtors began the tally in 1999."
It is estimated that there are well over 1800 condos for sale in the Victoria Area including MLS and direct from developers (not incl. FSBOs).... 171 sold thru MLS in Feb.

We'll know the March numbers in a week---but its different here, right?

roger said...

Canada not immune from subprime crisis: Garth Turner

Among the myths Turner identifies:

1.) Unlike stocks, real estate is a riskless investment.
2.) Houses [always] appreciate
3.) Canadian lenders are more conservative [than U.S. subprime lenders]
4.) Industry experts are worth heeding
5.) You need some place to live anyway
6.) A house is a great investment
7.) Better to be an owner than renter
8.) Rising markets are normal
9.) Real estate profits are tax-free
10.) Canada is different

In Victoria number 10 has been modified to "Victoria is different"

Anonymous said...

That would be too much to hope that one day we have 10,000 abandoned houses here and some that could be bought for $1.. it's happening elsewhere

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/
2008032/lf_nm/
usa_housing_vacant_dc

vg said...

Vancouver broke the 12,000 listings level yesterday. How many do we need here to make an impression ? 4000 ? I have not been keeping track of the total listings lately.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:24 -- here is a better link...http://tinyurl.com/35blx7

osirisvic said...

Vicrealstats,
Just an FYI on the 515 burnside place on Victoria flippers in Trouble, it was originally listed at $405,999 in Sept and went down to 379k before being re listed. That is a nearly 15% drop in asking.

Aleks said...

"That would be too much to hope that one day we have 10,000 abandoned houses here and some that could be bought for $1.. it's happening elsewhere"

That's something I'm definitely not hoping for. A price correction is one thing, but what's happening in a lot of US cities is far more serious.

In that PBS special a while back they were talking about whether or not Cleveland could be saved. When houses can be bought for less than the cost of the materials used to build them, you're looking at serious urban decay. Considering all the whinging about street people now, I can't even imagine the furor if we had Michigan levels of unemployment. Although if something like the Juliet were abandoned half-built, it might get the drug use off the streets.

Anonymous said...

RE: Flippers in trouble website

Take it with a grain of salt. This is only stating reduction in listing price but has no data on sold prices in the same area.

When I sold my place I pushed the envelope on my listing price. Then I reduced it as well but sold for a hefty profit above what other properties in my area sold for.

It would be more useful to see recent sales in the area that these people are reducing their listing to see if they listed at the right price to start.

olives said...

I think you can push the envelope if you have a really great property or in a really crazy sellers market, but I don't think 515 Burnside is fitting into either of those categories. It is just in the worst location and the price is ridiculous for where it is (IMO)

Anonymous said...

LOL - I haven't looked at the location or property so I cannot comment.

All I am trying to state is that price reductions are only meaningful when they start reducing below comparable property sales.

olives said...

I agree, and more meaningful when they are reduced below the purchase price (as is the case in the Sacramento Blog). The Victoria "Price Reduction" blog is great - if even only for our entertainment until things get rolling.

FYI 515 Burnside is at the corner of Burnside and Jutland - kittycorner to the Honda dealership. It is right on the corner. Drive by and check it out!

olives said...

Also, the fact that prices are getting reduced at all (even if from silly asking prices)is a step in the right direction. I think it is helpful to potential buyers to show properties listed for long periods of time and the many reductions.

S2 said...

Hey! Keep your mitts off of 515 Burnside. That is my future investment property. Once this puppy turns I'm going to pick it up for a steal, rent it out, wait for the market to rise again and sell for a profit. I'm thinking a couple of million dollars by then. Whoo hoo. A can't miss investment.

Right? Tell me I'm right.





ha, ha, ha, ha.

vg said...

s2,

you slumlord you ! ;)



On BNN they mentioned how Canada is 2 years behind in the US chart trends on affordability and that it is typical of us historically. They tried to use the flatlining,rents and wages catching up BS but did not rule out declines. The painting the best case scenario but also admitting the best is behind us in the Canadian housing market. Not like we didn't know it but like olives said,at least the MSM is now mentioning these possibilities. Just seeing the price reductions of 5-10% on some nice looking places also tells you the party is over.

Anonymous said...

There is still a lot of Calgary money flowing into Victoria. How much do you think this house will cost? The other house is also new, still under construction. The previous house was torn down after being purchased for $3.5M.

greg said...

Haven't heard the soft landing spin yet. That was getting play in the US right before things tanked. IF you hear the MSM start that line, it's over.

Anonymous said...

The only people moving here from Calgary are those with criminal records who are not allowed access to the US. All other Calgarians are buying where the value's at, in Phoenix, Palm Springs, etc. I have many friends and relatives in Calgary, all have either bought or are planning to buy in Phoenix.

vg said...

Was talking with a friend in the investment business in Vancouver this morning and it's common knowledge amongst the big money he comes in contact with that the real estate game is long over and only the fools and the rich asians remain buyers and that tap can turn off at anytime.

The general synopsis is just to look south of us and how can we not be effected at some point soon and that the affordability is similar to all the past booms which means only one thing,down she goes.

roger said...

Here is a real haircut: MLS 240699 302 Vancouver duplex in Fairfield. Currently renting @ 1700 per month.

58 DOM initially listed at 739.9K reduced to 689K; then 649K and sold for 630K. 109K drop from initial asking!!

Anonymous said...

Regarding 515 Burnside, I have viewed it recently (about a month ago). It is a realtor-owned property and she is (obviously) selling it herself.

When we did our walkthrough, she was at home. She kept a stereo on to try to drown out the street noise, and couldn't resist poking in and throwing in uplifting comments about the potential of the place.

I've only looked at one other property as bad as this one. I suspect that she's trying to offload it to a developer - there is nothing redeeming about this house. Everything needs updating, badly. It's old, ugly and drafty. It's in a horrible location. I think it has some zoning that allows for more than just residential though.

Honestly I'd be surprised if a developer would be even interested in it with the market in such a precarious condition.

Billy TwoBaulz said...

Hi folks,

Just a quick note that there's a G&M article online entitled "Canadian households dodge U.S.-style credit woes".

http://coxie.notlong.com

There's some interesting comments in there (mine excluded - heh) in the sense that they are less bullish than I'd thought. The mix is roughly 75% bear.

Could it be, recent hubris aside, that the MSM will turn quicker in Canada, once people bandwagon onto the US-led bear camp?

beagle said...

Saw this on the Seattle bubble blog.
They just went negative yoy.
King 5 news report
Local bulls have to be getting a little nervous because Seattle was different you know.

snaptee said...

Well what do you know, maybe all this recent talk about that shitbox on 515 Burnside is what got it sold. Final damage was 325k, down from 406k in September 07. That's a difference of just under 25%.

vg said...

great news report beagle, just a glimpse of what CHEK will be broadcasting in the coming months as the pump machine winds down to a whimper and reality sets in.

vicrealstats said...

I didn't have the 406k start but my thanks to those that emailed the remaining dates and prices.

Here is what I had for the listing history on 515 Burnside...

Down 18.7% from $399,900 On Sep 21/07
Down 16.5% from $389,000 On Oct 29/07
Down 16.1% from $387,500 On Nov 10/07
Down 15.8% from $385,900 On Nov 19/07
Down 15.0% from $382,500 On Nov 22/07
Down 13.4% from $375,500 On Nov 28/07
Down 12.1% from $369,741 On Dec 2/07
Down 15.9% from $386,900 On Jan 4/08
Down 13.5% from $375,900 On Jan 6/08
Down 12.0% from $369,500 On Jan 9/08
Down 13.5% from $375,900 On Jan 10/08
Down 12.1% from $369,900 On Jan 19/08
Down 9.7% from $360,000 On Jan 25/08
Down 12.1% from $369,900 On Jan 29/08
Down 11.2% from $365,900 On Feb 11/08
Down 9.7% from $359,900 On Feb 20/08
Down 8.7% from $355,900 On Feb 23/08
Down 7.9% from $353,000 On Mar 14/08
Sold $325,000 on Mar 25/08

Date Listed: Sep 21/07
Days on market: 186
# of Times Listed: 2
Taxes: $1820
Assessment: $321,600

Wonder what she paid for it?

Note: I'll update the blog as soon as I get control back. This is what blogger says...

This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations, and is currently unpublished. You can view your blog's posts here in Blogger, but not make any changes.

Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

We received your unlock request on March 22, 2008. On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam.

vicrealstats said...

BTW - Without knowing what this person paid for the house, of course I don't call this an actual loss of cash.

However, I would say this owner took an 18.7% decrease in expectations -- to the tune of $74,900.

$74,900 would pay my rent bill for a quite a while.

greg said...

vicrealstats-

tried to post at Victoria flippers in trouble, but couldn't. Can I ask, are you doing this manually or do you have a script collecting the info for you.

I've been interested in something like that for awhile, if you care to share any details, I would appreciate it.

olives said...

I know what she paid for it. No need to feel badly for her (LOL)

vicrealstats said...

Can I ask, are you doing this manually or do you have a script collecting the info for you.

Manually, and it's painful.

I have emailed the guy who does the Sacramento blog for details on how he does it but haven't had a response back yet. If you look back at some of his older posts you'll see his format has changed a little over the years.

The PCS site is what makes it possible, since there is some listing history available. Unlike us Canadians the Americans have great resources available to them to find listing and sales history.

In the future, I think I may limit the posts to "Requests" and Condo's only. At least with the condo's you can get some past sales history for other units and provide comparable listings.

jas2 said...

Too bad that 515 Burnside didn't go below 200K. :P

Actually, I would maybe consider it if it sells for 150K. However, I'm not sure if my expecations are in tune with reality.

How much do you people think that property should be worth? I live just near the place and think the location is bad and the house looks very worn out.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's worth much as a residence. Maybe commercial?

Anonymous said...

Wow, someone is a proud new home "owner"! Even with $50,000 down the buyer is paying over $2,000 a month on a 25 year mortgage.
Think of what you can rent for $2k a month, and 50k to spend or invest.

greg said...

vicrealstats,

Thanks for the answer. I believe sites in the US pull info out of the county records - don't see why that shouldn't be possible here, but I am unaware of anyone doing that with a feed from BC Assessment, for instance.

Good job on your site, looks just like the "original", as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Anonymous said...

I believe 515 Burnside was purchased March 2006 for $276K. My source may not be 100% accurate (about 90%). Does that align with your info Olives?

Selling for 353K = 77 K gross profit.

Subtract 12K for realtor selling fees (6% on first 100K & 3% on remaining) $13.6K. Minus (guessing) $1500/yr in property tax, net profit = 60.4K. Minus all other expenses + rent?. These are unknowns to me.

Not a bad deal, but rather risky considering the location and even more risky for the new owner whom according to Roger stands to make 3% a year. That will take a few years to break even considering all the expenses such a property will incur.

roger said...

anon 8:00 AM said

Not a bad deal, but rather risky considering the location and even more risky for the new owner whom according to Roger stands to make 3% a year.

I wonder where he got the idea that I said owners would make 3% a year. I am looking for the big drop this year. Maybe he is referring to the Genworth condo report I posted on PB's blog.

vg said...

Love'em or hate'em, Garth sounds the bell in the Ottawa Citizen.


"The real estate disaster now in full flower to our south is a fascinating, gripping spectacle. It’s time we looked closely. Because, one way or another, it’s coming here."

"Canadians, strangely, believe this country’s immune from the housing contagion sweeping America. The myth results from three powerful forces. Denial tops the list, no doubt the result of having more than 80 per cent of our net worth in one asset, the family home. Add to that the excellent communications job done by the real estate lobby — mortgage-lending bank economists and the CEOs of real estate marketing companies — who claim home values will rise forever. Finally, our belief the Americans screwed up by giving subprime mortgages to unworthy people so they could buy unaffordable homes."



http://www.garth.ca/weblog/

vg said...

What the bulls don't seem to get is the easy credit days are over,the banks are taking all the cash the Fed/BOC will give them but won't share it. Business will stifle,growth will stall and consumer confidence is down and will continue down.

The end of a boom is never pretty but this time the factors are far worse then 1981 high interest rates scenario. The hedge funds are selling stock and paying back yen they borrowed cheap,it's the classic bull market cycle end not to mention those derivatives. Now the question is wether we have deflation, inflation or both, I am leaning towards both,guess that means stagflation.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! The crash might be over before we have a chance to participate!

Billy TwoBaulz said...

vg,

Mish makes some cogent arguments that the current environment is heading towards deflation, and in the longer term is not inflationary at all. It's difficult to see this at the present time, but he does make some convincing arguments that the current inflation will subside once the recession hits the rest of the world as hard or harder as it's hitting the US. Of course, oil is a different story to wheat and houses, but if everything else deflates, the price of oil could drop hugely, notwithstanding that we're running out in the long term.

olives said...

we can have deflation inthe monetary sense (like Mish means)and prices of certain commodities and and services can still increase.

S2 said...

MSN.ca article

"Saskatchewan is now Canada's fastest-growing province and is attracting people from every part of the country, Statistics Canada says"

http://news.sympatico.msn.cbc.ca/Saskatchewan+sees+biggest+population+jump+since+1952/Local/SK/ContentPosting.aspx?isfa=1&newsitemid=sask-saskatchewan-population&feedname=CBC_LOCALNEWS&show=False&number=5&showbyline=True&subtitle=&detect=&abc=abc&date=True

roger said...

Next week is going to be interesting. Take a look at all the price reductions in Townhouses from 400-600K in the last few days.

vg said...

Interesting surge roger, I thought there was someone posting on here only a couple of weeks ago that there were no decent townhouses in that price range.

The agents must be frustrated with some of these tightwads that go to all the hassle of repricing and it's only $10,000 down on a $500,000 place or $15,000 on a $700,000 range place,if you are even going to bother why not make it $20,000 at least if you are serious about selling. As a buyer I would avoid someone cheap like that as that would mean there is little room for negotiating.

roger said...

VG,

Lots of reductions and listings in Single Family Homes as well. Here is a screenshot of PCS this morning for SFH homes in Saanich and Victoria under 750K.

vg said...

billy,

thanks for the reminder of mish's blog,always has interesting stuff there.

Billy TwoBaulz said...

No worries VG. Indeed he's often coming from the same kind of headspace as many of us are on here.


OT, but what's the one thing more frustrating than the bubble RE market?
The g*(&$%n Canucks, that's what. I'm just listening to the WIld game and it is not a pretty...well, sound

vg said...

I hear ya billy,just when they look OK they go in the trash again..argghh ! Luongo should have stayed away an extra game. Oh well 4 more and all at home,gotta believe !

roger said...

Here is a PCS screenshot of single family homes in Victoria and Saanich (E&W) under 750K. Note the large number of new listings and price reductions in the last 3 days.. Note the reductions are also happening in the under 600K market.

Any comments folks???

boomer said...

From the "cheaprealty blog:
RE: "I must say I have been looking at the PCS for about 2 years now and I have never seen so many homes for sale and so few sales. This is for homes over $500,000 to unlimited."

I have been watching several PCS categories including Victoria AND up-island (actually seems to be doing a bit better than victoria -but starting off at a much lower average asking price) and your comment is right on in the pages I look at. (includes victoria condos which may be heading into meltdown)

Plus numerous price reductions ---and this is the "Hot" RE season.
I predict March numbers are going to be pretty bad sales-wise and I imagine that the RE industry wizards are already working on their "onwards and upwards" spin for next week..

vg said...

yes they will spin it into the "you now have more selection and a balanced market" BS line.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking in the central island area and prices are all over the map. I viewed this property. Very talented photographer. House is in serious disrepair and appears peiced together over the years. Kitchen and Master share top floor, no closet for the master, and main floor is a couple rooms stuck onto a living room that has a staircase locked off due to its code violations. 27% price drop, not enough, but things are indeed happening.

1190 CORCAN ROAD MLS# 243522 $635,000
Zone Zone 5- Parksville/Qualicum Status Active
Sub Area Z5 Qualicum North Bedrooms 3
City QUALICUM BEACH Bathrooms 2
Type Single Family Ensuites 1
Taxes $3,327 (2007) Year Built 1998
Days on Market 180


Price Dates
Listed Oct 2/07
Original Price $865,000
Mar 3/08 $670,000
Mar 7/08 $635,000

Current Price $635,000
Sqft.Total 3,260

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced that the market should/will fall as well, but when I walk around Oak Bay, Fairfield and James Bay, I see a lot of sold stickers?? These people buying must be the greater fools? Don't they read, see what's going on in the rest of the world? Why are they buying?

boomer said...

anonymous 11:12

This IS the busy real estate season and many people will buy what they want when they see it and/or for reasons that are not necessarily price trend related (like if they just sold their bigger place or relocated)
This is a bear blog so we tend to be perhaps overly price conscious AND it is the case that much of the general public is just not very "market savvy" ----not necessarily "greater fools" but inclined to get caught up in the general spring euphoria and realtor hype without doing much analysis or market research.
Its also possible, I suppose, that RE bulls are right and that exuberant irrationality will continue unchecked in spite of all indications to the contrary. Id bet against it.

sitting pretty said...

I'm convinced that the market should/will fall as well, but when I walk around Oak Bay, Fairfield and James Bay, I see a lot of sold stickers??

There's a big difference between SFH's in these areas and condos. Unlike condos, an Oak bay house is not a commodity. The people buying are using inheritances and renovating the houses for the long term. It's the same reason houses have dropped in value in the inland suburbs of San Diego while in the the oceanside communities prices continue to rise. If you are waiting to get that $1M house in South Oak bay for $400K, you'll be in that basement aprtment for ever.

Anonymous said...

Sitting pretty - I agree that SFH's in good established areas will perform much better than new tract homes or condos that are easily replicated by developers. However, in a downturn everything gets hit to some degree. Top notch neighbourhoods near the ocean like Laguna and Newport Beach in Orange County, CA, where I've got family, are experiencing falling prices - although not nearly to the degree of the tract subdivisions in the Inland Empire. In Victoria, we went through the seven year slowdown in the 1990's. Our rental condos lost value during that time but our house near but not on the water in Ten Mile Point actually saw quite a decent increase during the same slow period. The waterfront places in the same area went up very sharply right through the recessions and slow periods. I am not sure, though, that will happen during the next slowdown as prices have shot up too much in every neighbourhood in town.

roger said...

Anon 3:44 said

I agree that SFH's in good established areas will perform much better than new tract homes or condos that are easily replicated by developers. However, in a downturn everything gets hit to some degree.

Fairfield and Oak Bay are already having properties sell for considerably less than the initial asking price. I posted some links to slideshows showing reductions in Oak Bay and Fairfield on the Victoria Housing Blog

Readers might find them interesting.

sitting pretty said...

anon 3:44

You are basically agreeing with me. Why not just say so?

Anonymous said...

I don't think comparing an asking price to a sold price has a whole lot of relevance because some people purposely inflate the prices and then deflate them within a few weeks.

I think what we really need is for people to do analysis of:

1) Last purchased vs selling price - To Understand the average gains or losses, and ideally over what period of time.

2) BC Assessed price vs sold price. Even though I think the method that BC Assessment uses to valuate houses is ridiculous, most realtors and many people use that data, and I suppose we could to, not to determine worthiness of a house, but rather track the psychological shift of selling for over assessed, vs selling for under assessed.

Can anybody provide this kind of data with ease?

sitting pretty said...

Can anybody provide this kind of data with ease?

No. That's why there is so much emphasis on how much sellers are "losing" based on changes to asking prices. It's the only data point available and some people are desperate to present data that supports their position that prices are about to fall by 50%. Dream on. If you are renting now and waiting for a crash before you buy, you will still be renting in two years time.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that during the last softening, high quality SFH's in the best areas of town performed reasonably well. That is not to say that going forward this will be the case because all parts of Victoria have had a very high run up during this boom. First rate areas may perform better than other real estate but I am not convinced they will go up (and I refer you to the situation in coastal California where even the prime areas are seeing falling prices).

roger said...

anon 6:09 said

I don't think comparing an asking price to a sold price has a whole lot of relevance because some people purposely inflate the prices and then deflate them within a few weeks.

The RE industry considers the sale price/listing price ratio an important metric. In sellers' markets this ratio is around .98 and it is lower in buyers' markets.

Overpricing your house initially to "test the market" or for any other reason is one way to get less money for your home. This local REALTOR® sums it up as follows:

If your home is not priced competitively, buyers will reject it in favour of other larger homes for the same price. At the same time, the buyers who should be looking at your house will not see it because it is priced over their heads. The result is increased market time, and even when the price is eventually lowered, the buyers are wary because "nobody wants to buy a house that nobody else wants". The result is low offers and an unwillingness to negotiate. Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible from the sale, but a listing priced too high often eventually sells for less than market value.

If you want market condition data based on BC assessment and the sale of actual homes in a given area you should look at Landcors Housing Price Index. The Housing Price Index is a new product developed by Landcor™ Data Corporation. The purpose of the Housing Price Index is to track trends in the general level of residential property prices throughout British Columbia.

This product presents a constantly updated view of real estate market activity in British Columbia over the past two years. You can view trends in the real estate market for BC and areas or jurisdictions within BC that you select.

Take a look at Victoria and Oak Bay HPI; they both peaked and are falling.

beagle said...

This is how it evolves, first there won't be a decline then it's on to there won't be a decline in high quality. Right from the bubble blog cliche play book. Warms a bears heart it does.

Anonymous said...

"Top notch neighbourhoods near the ocean like Laguna and Newport Beach in Orange County, CA, where I've got family, are experiencing falling prices - although not nearly to the degree of the tract subdivisions in the Inland Empire. "


If this recession plays out as most of the economists and financial experts are claiming, it will be worse then anything you have ever seen and that $1 million Oak Bay home will get chopped in half. Sitting pretty you are clueless, as Suze Orman said house prices in the US have to come "down down down" and this is just the beginning. If you think we are immune you have your head up your you know where,houses are an asset with a fluctuating price and not a gaurantee of anything other than 4 walls and a roof over your head.

Anonymous said...

"It’s actually sales that are currently more than 43 percent down in the Bay area , down in the 9 Bay Area counties between 35 and 53 percent depending on the county. But prices are by no means finished.
"And yes, some analysts are predicting more than 50 percent drops, ultimately. Here’s just one: Schahrzad Berkland, a realtor, real estate analyst for The Berkland Group, and advisor to the San Diego Reinvestment Task Force Foreclosure Subcommittee, has predicted a 53% drop in prices for San Francisco."




sitting pretty should read something besides the TC. This came off an article posted on PB's blog, if SF goes down then the whole west coast is toast.

Anonymous said...

Spinning pretty, you sure sound different from a few weeks ago, you've changed your tune lately, sounds like you agree with most people on this blog now. Why not just say so?

Anonymous said...

In a real estate downturn, properties that are heavily weighted in the land component fall (as a lump sum) the most dramatically.

This is why you will see (and are now begining to see) starter houses, homes on acreage and water front properties decline first in the marketplace. Both are heavily weighted in the land component of the total value (which comprises land and improvements.)

Market prices also start to decline starting in the outlying areas such as Sooke and Shawnigan Lake where the months of inventory are now climbing.

The typical Canadian family lives in homes that are between 1,600 to 2,700 square feet (average of 2,100 square feet). Houses that are smaller or larger than this range will also be more heavily impacted by a downturn. ie the "starter homes" and the "McMansions".

So, if you have to buy in this marketplace, you should be looking at homes that will loose the least in relations to other properties. As an example, this would be the Gordon Head box.

Siobhan

vg said...

roger,

here is another one for your slide show. With a $50,000 drop, 2 price reductions and still for sale then it would like this person who has to sell will be letting it go much cheaper than the asking price.

MLS# 241681

roger said...

VG,

The RE agent has really let the cat out of the bag on MLS# 241681 by saying that the owner is leaving the country. This is a useful piece of information to the buyer because he knows the seller is under a deadline to sell. The seller needs to sell before he becomes a non-resident. That is probably why he has reduced the price twice in 35 DOM to 749K from 799K.

Once the seller becomes a non-resident the CRA wants 25% of the sales proceeeds as a credit against possible income tax due on the next tax return. Or arrangements can be made for a tax certificate but that takes 6-8 weeks. More info on this here

roger said...

Looks like the banks think blogging is the way to get attention and pump their products.

RBC now has a blog and they are Pumping real estate

I had the opportunity to speak with Bernice Dunsby. She’s RBC’s Senior Manager of Client Acquisition, Home Equity. Basically, she knows Mortgages. She assures me that purchasing a home (or apartment or condo or loft, etc.) is still a stable investment in today’s market.

“Over the past ten years, there’s been a 65% increase in the value of homes,” she says. “If you think about increase value, does it mean a good investment? Yes.”

I also asked Bernice about whether we Canadians should be worried about the struggling housing market south of the border. She insists that the Canadian markets are separate than those in the U.S. and that when it comes to home purchases, the intention to buy is still very strong in our country.

I wanted to know whether it was even a possibility for a University student to think about signing him or herself up for a mortgage.

It’s Possible. Even individuals with little income can qualify for mortgages nowadays. “In the past, banks required a minimum of 20% on the down payment of a mortgage,” Bernice tells me, “but today you can own a home with no money down. You can literally purchase with no down payment.”

I guess Canadian banks learned nothing from the fiasco south of the border.

Anonymous said...

I just visited the flipper blog for California. The losses occuring are astounding.

Anyone know the basics for buying something down there?

Anonymous said...

That RBC blog post and the fake comment tacked to it is infuriating.

Equally bad is this post

http://blogs.rbc.com/rbcp2p/2008/03/debt_options_for_students.html

Wow. I mean wow. Let's instill those values in our children, people! Don't worry about money, just borrow it all!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry that was this post.

talus said...

sitting pretty said...

If you are waiting to get that $1M house in South Oak bay for $400K, you'll be in that basement aprtment for ever.


I'm not so sure about that. I'm renting a south Oak Bay house right now. The new owners spend $750,000 to buy it last year.

The interior paint and hardwood floors look Ok.

The house only needs:

- new windows
- new roof
- new gutters
- new foundation (if you want to use the basement for anything but storage).
- new weeping tile (to stop the water ingress in the basement)
- new furnace
- new plumbing (unless you like rusty water)
- a new kitchen
- new bathrooms
- an electrical upgrade to the already upgraded electrical (conditonal to the sale the knob and tube was removed but they only put in a 100 amp service and 1 plug per room).
- Oh, and SOME INSULATION -- we are going through $300 month in oil!!

After your done correcting those minor deficiency's, I would say you are easiy looking at a 1 million plus home in Oak Bay. Now who wants it?

I'm thinking I could build one heck of a house for that kind of money (let alone the 750K they paid for it).

So -- minus the renovations, I could see myself offering 350k to 400k for the house as fair value.

We are only at the start of this slide -- wait for it.

vg said...

"I wanted to know whether it was even a possibility for a University student to think about signing him or herself up for a mortgage.

It’s Possible. Even individuals with little income can qualify for mortgages nowadays."


That is the most irresponsible statements by a banker I have ever seen. A univeristy student ? whose next on their potential lending list, a grade 11 with a part time job at McDonald's ? pathetic,I will now remind myself to never ever open an account at RBC.

VicREBear said...

Hmm. Bernice Dunceby is RBC’s "Senior Manager of Client Acquisition, Home Equity". In other words, she's Mortgage Peddler in Chief, and is schmoozing desperately during what is now rapidly turning into a down market for real estate. RBC will have a lot to answer for when the few university students (or their Boomer parents, more likely) they ensnare start losing money hand over fist.

Anonymous said...

I don't see this as any different than credit card debt, really. The bank wants to push people towards owing them as much as possible for as long as possible. The trick they play is how much they can squeeze you before you can't pay anymore.

The only difference between mortgage and credit card debt stupidity was that mortgages were so obvious. 40-year mortgages and zero to five percent downs were unthinkable not to long ago. They've only managed to turn the tide by propping up and hyping the RE market along with all the other RE proponents. And Canadians are all too happy to join in on this since 83% of our net assets are in our houses.

olives said...

Roger said: "I guess Canadian banks learned nothing from the fiasco south of the border."


Really, how is this not grossly negligent at this point? Even if banks have no fidiciary duty to their clients and customers, you'd think there was some sort of duty of care owed to their shareholders??? (what a freakin joke)

All this with the benefit of a "crystal ball" down south.

I suppose in the future we may return to 25 percent downpayments, CMHC will be a thing of the past, and once again there will be no such thing as auto or personal loans.

ROGER said...

VREB RELEASES NUMBERS!!
MARCH REAL ESTATE STATS

SFH Average Sales Price (GV) UP 9.9K
Mar-08 597.2k *** Feb-08 587.3K
Mar-07 542.5K *** Feb-07 534.1K

SFH Median Sales Price (GV) DOWN 13.9K
Mar-08 529.6K *** Feb-08 543.5K
Mar-07 489.9K *** Feb-07 472.0K

MLS Sales DOWN 15% YOY
Mar-08 707 *** Feb-08 619
Mar-07 833 *** Feb-07 707

New MLS listings UP 6% YOY
Mar-08 1390 *** Feb-08 1260
Mar-07 1315 *** Feb-07 1205

Active MLS listings UP 17% YOY
Mar-08 3591 *** Feb-08 3311
Mar-07 3079 *** Feb-07 2919

roger said...

Analysis of VREB March Stats

March was a great month for bears. Sales were down YOY as we enter the busy spring sales season. Inventory rose to a level not seen for years. The median price of 529.6K (the yardstick for market trend analysis) dropped by 13.9K. in March and is now equal to the January 2008 level of 529.9K. The average price rose by 9.7K but this is due to the fact that 20 houses sold in March for over $1M (compared to 10 in February).

The condo market average price fell by 5K and the median rose by 1K. The only good news for bulls was the townhouse market where the average price rose by 36K and the median rose by 17K.

Tony Joe of VREB had this to say about the market:
"With more properties available for sale, buyers now have a greater choice, but the continued demand for homes and steady prices mean sellers can anticipate strong interest in properties that are realistically priced."

Translation: Inventory is rising, sales are down from last year and the median price is dropping. SFH sellers better be realistic or they won't sell. Buyers can take their time and be aggressive with their offers.

All in all folks this market has turned down...

vg said...

Great bear numbers, the sales,listings and median price drops are a huge indicator the bubble is popping. As we all predicted we would get the same spin from the RE bobbleheads when it's clear the trend is down heading into the hottest time of the year. April should be even better.

Anonymous said...

You get a different (and more realistic) view from the numbers from the three big vreb areas: Victoria, Saanich East and Langford.

For Victoria, the Jan/Feb/Mar median prices for SFH were $478K / $498K / $500K in 2007 and $550K / $545K / $525K in 2008. That was for 138 sales in Jan-Mar/07 and 116 sales in Jan-Mar/08. So number of sales down 16% (not exactly a crash) and median prices are up every month year over year. Story for condos similar except number of units sold dropped 24%. Median prices are higher though.

For SFH in Saanich East, it's $531K / $520K / $526K in 2007 and $549K / $629K / $621K in 2008. 196 units in 2007, 194 in 2008 and seriously higher prices. Same for condos.

For SFH in Langford, it's a slight increase in price and similar volume of units. Condos are selling in the same quantity with higher prices.

I could go on, but this blog format makes spewing numbers tiresome.

The mistake people make is taking an aggregate statistic over a large number of disparate areas and assuming that will represent one of the areas. That doesn't make sense, statistically. The vreb stats over the whole of it's territory are useless and meaningless (they obviously don't have any statisticians on staff). If you want to buy in Saanich East, then that area is big enough to have it's own meaningful stats, and that is what you should be looking at. Ditto Victoria and Langford. Look at it this way, if you want to buy a house in Saanich East there isn't much point in looking at a place in Sooke. So why would you think that a price statistic that includes Sooke would be relevant?

greg said...

Umm, what are you saying anonymous - that by breaking out the aggregate stats things are a bit better in some choice districts and suck even worse in the outlying areas?

Anonymous said...

Not exactly. A lot of the other areas are too small to represent statistically significant samples. They skew the overall stats, in the same way that median price is a better measure than average, which can be skewed by a small number of unusual sale prices.

vg said...

I think they call that "cherry picking". Sannich West median is down, View Royal median is down, both heavily populated areas. I think one wants to pump the numbers.

Anonymous said...

Numbers are disappointing. Why are people buying at all, and paying such great prices? Obviously, they are the greatest fools ever. When in the rest of the world, RE are crashing, these idiots keep our prices high, thinking they will benefit 20% price increases year after year after year.. By 2015, in their minds, the median price for a house will be $1M, while the average local salary would probably stay near $25K. Go figure.. I'm beginning to hate this place and want to immigrate to the US. Why the f**k do we have all these idiots continuing to buy? Where the hell do they keep coming from?

Anonymous said...

Saanich West is up year-over-year. I don't know about View Royal, I didn't copy those numbers because it's a small area. Real estate is seasonal and cyclical. Seeing a drop in median price from Feb to Mar is not all that meaningful. It's the month-by-month year-over-year numbers that are significant. I'm not cherry picking, but you guys are definately trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

Billy TwoBaulz said...

Roger, thanks for the RBC blog - that was priceless.

"Wow! I had no idea I could get a no-down mortgage as a university student! I'm glad RBC told me about this, and why the increased demand created by such no-down products will keep the market pumped up here, unlike down in the scary US where people who couldn't afford houses bought them with no money down.............wait...................?"


I posted a cynical comment so we'll see if they post it.

vg said...

"Why the f**k do we have all these idiots continuing to buy? Where the hell do they keep coming from?"


Brainwashed that this is Nirvana and we are immune, they will learn a hard lesson soon.

vg said...

"Seeing a drop in median price from Feb to Mar is not all that meaningful."

actually it is very meaningful as we have an almost record high listings and we are in a 3 month downish trend where a year ago March was part of a 4 month uptrend . Sales being down 17% YOY is also very meaningful is it not ? otherwise the boom would be in full swing but it's not.

Toss in the high number of price reductions in the last week and April will be most interesting. If sales are down next month after all those then you can put a cork in it, this baby is over and done.

Anonymous said...

actually it is very meaningful

OK, if you insist. But I think we'll be having the same conversation every month this year as prices continue to creep up year over year. One month they'll be up (and I'm sure that will be dismissed as a blip, or it will be ignored because some neighboring area is down) and next month they'll be down (the crash is underway).

olives said...

If every month listings continue to increase and sales drop then it will become more and more "meaningful".

Anon, you have to admit that the market has changed compared to a year ago - even if average prices are still creeping up.

For sure a drastic change in the market doesn't happen overnight, but it is obviously evolving. It's playing out similarly to what we have read over the past year in the U.S., so this is all to be expected.

roger said...

Anon 1:58 said:

For Victoria, the Jan/Feb/Mar median prices for SFH were $478K / $498K / $500K in 2007 and $550K / $545K / $525K in 2008. That was for 138 sales in Jan-Mar/07 and 116 sales in Jan-Mar/08. So number of sales down 16% (not exactly a crash) and median prices are up every month year over year.

OK using your numbers, which I have not confirmed, we get the following median year-over-year (YOY) for Victoria.

Jan. YOY (550-478)/478 = 15%
Feb. YOY (545-498)/498 = %9
Mar. YOY (525-500)/500 = %5

So I agree median YOY is positive every month but falling fast. High inventory, low sales volume and lots of price reductions are now affecting the market. Pretty soon we will have negative YOY and then you will need a new way to spin it. What will you say when the median price in a few months is less than same month a year ago?

BTW - please use a name. Replying to anonymous gets tiring and we can't tell one RE anon pumper from another.

PleaseCrashCome said...

I will not feel sorry for the people buying today at such exhorbitant prices. It's their fault. I mean with all the information available on the economics and dynamics, what's going on in the US, Garth's book, etc, etc. I will actually delight in their loss, because I am today p**ed off that these idiots continue to prolong these silly speculative overinflated prices. I want a crash, I want it now.

Anonymous said...

So I agree median YOY is positive every month but falling fast.

Time will tell if the median simply bottoms out at a more sensible YOY increase (similar to inflation) or does in fact go negative. There is little evidence of the latter, since unit sales are not much different. All of the fascination with price changes, etc. is nothing more than a desperate attempt to see what you want to see.

pleasecrashcome -- you are the classic bitter renter, wishing misery on other people if they should be unfortunate enough to have bad timing.

I want my 60 year Mortgage said...

I wonder where we can get stats on how many people are overextending themselves in this market. I.e. 0 down, 40 year mortgages, etc .. Out of the total number of sales, what % belong to this "risky" category? BTW, I'd pass my "60 year" mortgage to my children, and they can to theirs.. provide they are not mobile.

pleasecrashcome said...

Anon -- and you are the classic greedy idiot/dummy speculator blinded by the notion that RE prices will go forever. I bet you drive a pollution spewing shitbox and you count your every penny. That's why you've never traveled and are clueless about the coming crash. This for you is all there is.. this little island for you is the center of the universe.. You probably don't know where the US is. We feel so sorry for you. Don't expect a hand-out when your little RE slumlord empire comes crashing down.

Anonymous said...

"statistically not significant" = DENIAL, the first stage of the RE CRASH

What's the next stage in the CRASH lifecycle.. "THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING".. I don't remember.

Anonymous said...

RE CRASH LIFECYCLE

-> DENIAL
-> THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING
-> I'M POOR AND SICK (MENTALLY DEPRESSED)
-> GOVERNMENTS, PLEASE HELP, WE PROMISE WE WON'T DO THIS AGAIN

Anonymous said...

pleasecrashcome -- I hope you're getting your blood pressure checked regularly.

As for not taking a handful of sales as statistically significant, that's not denial, that's common sense.

I'll check back with you lot next year.

boomer said...

Mark Twain said:

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

This applies to both sides of the current RE argument-so you may as well believe whatever you want because you sure aint gonna convince anybody of anything
by cherry picking March RE numbers to back up your side of the tale. Only time will tell-and there will still be contrasting interpretations.

IMHO Victoria RE will slip into a buyers market by July latest.

Why are people buying at these levels? Many reasons which dont necessarily reflect a market view. You could also ask why are people selling at these prices if values are going higher?
Thats why its called the real estate "market"

vg said...

"wishing misery on other people if they should be unfortunate enough to have bad timing."


thats a good one, the bears have been told the same thing the past several years, "yep you losers,you timed it wrong,too bad so sad". Free markets work both ways and not always to the upside. Just a bitter renter I am,lol.

roger said...

anon 5:13 said

Time will tell if the median simply bottoms out at a more sensible YOY increase (similar to inflation) or does in fact go negative. There is little evidence of the latter, since unit sales are not much different.

The SFH median YOY for the City of Victoria (not GV) may go negative next month!! The April 2007 median was 527.5K which is barely above the March 2008 median of 525K reported today.

There were 45 SFH sales in Central Victoria in March-08 and 61 in March-07. Don't you think a 26% drop in sales YOY is significant? Greater Victoria SFH sales totalled 374 in Mar-08 vs. 424 in Mar-07 which is a 12% drop. Is this not significant? BTW in March 2006 there were 53 sales in CV and 413 in Greater Victoria and this March was lower than this too.

Anon RE pumper this will be my last response to your comments unless you wish to use a name. If you are to lazy to bother why should any of us respond to you?

roger said...

Boomer said

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

This applies to both sides of the current RE argument-so you may as well believe whatever you want because you sure aint gonna convince anybody of anything
by cherry picking March RE numbers to back up your side of the tale. Only time will tell-and there will still be contrasting interpretations.

Boomer you are a regular poster and I am a bit surprised at your post. Many of the bears on this blog have tried to supply data, statistics and articles in order to backup our claims to a market downturn.

In my case, I have analyzed VREB statistics, supplied actual price reduction data, links to Landcor House Price Indexes and other information in order to support my viewpoint.

What would you have us do? Just wave our arms and give unsubstantiated opinions and predictions like the RE pumpers and trolls that frequent this blog?

Anonymous said...

roger - You flatter yourself. I don't care if you respond to me or not. I'm not here to have a conversation with you.

sitting pretty said...

boomer - your comment makes sense. Naturally, you are now on the sh*t list because you have displeased the almighty roger. neither side of this debate will concede defeat until the bitter end, which will likely never come because the crash is right around the corner. The basement dwellers who rely on roger to interpret the stats and tell them "it's going to be OK, the crash is nigh" don't want to hear contrary opinions.

BTW roger, that anon RE pumper made some good points. Too bad you and your teenaged friends could only counter them by hurling silly insults and making baseless predictions. You people really are sad, aren't you?

vg said...

why should we be sad ? we're thrilled cause this boom is about to go bust. Party on Garth ! ;)

olives said...

Anonymous said...
"roger - You flatter yourself. I don't care if you respond to me or not. I'm not here to have a conversation with you."

Roger posted statistics and data and you responded to it. If you are not here to have a conversation, then what is your purpose?

boomer said...

Roger- I think we all appreciate the work you do to provide up to date data and logical commentary.

In my post I said
"IMHO Victoria RE will slip into a buyers market by July latest"

I was just commenting on the unreliability of cherry picked statistics.(not yours)

How MUCH do you want me to agree with you?
I mean You/I COULD be wrong. I doubt it, but I have erred in the past.
Lighten up a bit, my friend.

roger said...

Boomer,

Thanks for your response. I agree with you that we could be in a buyers' market by the summer. We no longer have a sellers' market and are in balanced market territory (40-60%). Some areas up island (i.e. Parksville-Qualicum) are already a buyers market with ratios in February below 40%.

I was mistaken - I assumed you were referring to my March analysis of VREB data as "cherry picked" data and that stats were not that important.

I don't expect you or any other poster to agree with me. I am just trying to present a constructive viewpoint based on the information that I can find. I have been wrong about the RE market in the past. However, I have plenty of company. Who would have ever thought it would go on this long a few years ago?

But with each passing month Victoria became less affordable to the citizens that live and work here. This can't last and IMHO a bubble has formed and it will burst before too long.

discountgirl said...

It is not mere coincidence that Garth Turner's book has become a bestseller. Canadians are obviously nervous about their 'investments' in their houses. They should be.

The only clear trend that the Vic March stats seem to support is a dramatically increasing inventory and drop in sales. But I have more confidence in the collapse of this crazy market now than in any time over the past 2 years. I am more than happy to sit on the sidelines and watch the anxious sellers wonder why they can't get their asking prices. I anticipate a 40% price haircut, and plan to enjoy the next few months! meantime beside

Muriel said...

Well, I guess these stats still disappoint me. The number of listings and price reductions I have been seeing on PCS led me to expect more - more specifically, a reduction of average SFH prices from last month, and a continuance of the downward trend from Dec. 2007.

But instead we have the average Victoria (city only, not inc VW) SFH price increase from an already ridiculous $602,263 to an even more absurd $619,333. I know it's just the average, and misleading, but it still annoys me.

I guess what I'm most pleased by is this:

SFH Vic (only) median price
Dec.07 - 568,500
Jan. 08 - 550,000
Feb. 08 - 545,000
March 08 - 525,000

March 07 - 499,900

None of this is frustrating enough to make me want to buy - we actually just found a great new rental (inc. granite countertops, LOL)where will be very happy to live for the next two years at least. But I am still annoyed by the length of time it's taking to reach the inevitble turning point.

Muriel said...

oops, I meant inevitable.

pleasecrashcome said...

I can just imagine the TC tomorrow bragging about how the average price has gone up in March. I'm eager to learn also about the number of hits the Bare Mountain website is getting from Phoenix investors. What a joke that article was a couple of months back.

greg said...

Increase in average home price is a function of increase in high end sales -which were still lower than typical "hot"months of the past few years. There is still 1 year plus, maybe even 18 months of million dollar plus inventory out there.

The drop in the median is far more meaningful - it means what is affordable and what is selling in general is getting cheaper.

TC can try to spin that.

BTW, I am thinking of launching the real estate pumpers blog, anonymously of course, so all these recent arrivals will have somewhere they can discuss their sunny happy theories without being annoyed by bearish arguments.

I'm serious!

roger said...

Muriel,

The average sales price can vary a lot from month to month if the statistical sample size is small and the high end sales are irregular. The city of Victoria has a wide spectrum of housing and the sample size (sales) in many months is small (under 50). The median is a better indicator of trends as noted by the Calgary Real Estate Board.

The problem with both metrics is that they don't represent the market value of a given category of home in a particular area. Lancor's Home Price Index is a new index of property values in various cities and towns throughout BC. The index is not inflation adjusted and uses 2001 as a baseline. You can access the graphs for free.

Greg has the current SFH graph for the city of Victoria on his Cheap Realty Blog. The graph shows a peak last fall and a gradual rolloff since then.

sitting pretty said...

But with each passing month Victoria became less affordable to the citizens that live and work here.

Reminds me of Whistler. Is it gonna crash there too?

sitting pretty said...

BTW, I am thinking of launching the real estate pumpers blog, anonymously of course, so all these recent arrivals will have somewhere they can discuss their sunny happy theories without being annoyed by bearish arguments.

Don't you mean so they won't contine to post here and make you bears feel uncomfortable?

sitting pretty said...

pleasecrashcome - sounds like you took one of your pills. Good boy.

roger said...

pleasecrashcome said

I can just imagine the TC tomorrow bragging about how the average price has gone up in March.

Carla Wilson's TC newspaper article More houses, condos for sale in Greater Victoria than last March now available online.

Fairly muted this month - no RE pump. The inventory, sales, average and median numbers were compared to February.

vg said...

spinning pretty,

Whistler chalets are down $140,000 and sales are down 50% in the first quarter. I say it is already starting to crash there when the big bucks aren't buying in the middle of a prime ski season, wouldn't you think so too ? maybe cause they can't afford it anymore in a credit crisis that is only just beginning to unravel.

vg said...

Tony Joe, board president, said, "With more properties available for sale, buyers now have a greater choice, but the continued demand for homes and steady prices mean sellers can anticipate strong interest in properties that are realistically priced."


yep, 1981 and 1990 spin, means no one can afford your box so best drop your prices as we are running out of sheep. Baaa baaa ;)

Muriel said...

Yes, thanks Greg and Roger. I do see how distorted the average can be. And I think the Lancor graphs are also useful. It's still annoying though, to frequently see the average prices reported and emphasized, rather than the medians - in the same way it is monumentally aggravating to see media stories about the area's most expensive properties - using the asking price instead of what the property (eventually) sold for!

Anyway, I have been talking quite a bit about housing prices/market these days because of our upcoming move. In discussing why we are moving to a better rental instead of buying right now, I often find it helpful to use the analogy I think I first saw on VHB's site: Can't I afford to buy a house? Sure I can, in the same way I can "afford" to buy a $100 chocolate bar, i.e. with some savings, low debt and two incomes, I'm quite confident we could qualify for a mortgage that would allow us to enter the market, but that doesn't mean I think it's a good idea to spend our savings and income that way, or that I wouldn't feel utterly ripped off and hate the taste of the "chocolate bar" if we chose to do that.

S2 said...

Oooo, chocolate. Good analogy.

What about buying it for $100 and then the next day seeing it at
$20?

That would...well...make me need chocolate. :)

Olives, what is KS? Another code name?

Muriel said...

I just saw a TV commercial for an auction of 20 "luxury" condos in....Bremerton, WA(!)

Ad said condos that were going for $919,000 will have bids starting at $100,000. Auction is April 20.

No doubt there are reserve prices, but interesting to see this happening so nearby.

S2 said...

Coming soon to an island near you.

snaptee said...

Can't I afford to buy a house? Sure I can, in the same way I can "afford" to buy a $100 chocolate bar

Your analogy is flawed because you don't need the chocolate bar to live, but you do need a roof over your head. So at what point do you overpay for that necessity? That's the question most bears will be asking themselves.

Anonymous said...

Hey Spinning pretty-

Good to see you are back to your old self, or is this your old self, wait a minute......your sitting, no your spinning..... ummmm, I just don't know, but YOU sure do!!!!

Muriel said...

Your analogy is flawed because you don't need the chocolate bar to live, but you do need a roof over your head. So at what point do you overpay for that necessity?

For sure, it's a flawed analogy - I haven't seen too many chocolate bars for rent either! (ick)

But I've found it does very effectively convey the point that for me (and many other housing bears), refusing to buy now is not about being absolutely unable to do so, but about being unwilling because I don't judge it to be a smart financial decision, and because the feeling of being ripped off would override the "pride of ownership" that bulls constantly point to as one of the reasons for buying an overpriced object.

vg said...

The cat's outta the bag bulls, TC headline today :

"Regions real estate shows signs of cooling "


Carla can't deny the inevitable,down down down she goes,where she stops nobody knows. ;)

Anonymous said...

"Your analogy is flawed because you don't need the chocolate bar to live, but you do need a roof over your head. So at what point do you overpay for that necessity? That's the question most bears will be asking themselves."

Well, I think it's a good analogy. You may not need to eat a chocolate bar to live, but you need to eat something and chocolate will do in a pinch. You certainly don't need to BUY a place to live in. Renting works just fine.

PS - I'm sure I'd feel less regret over spending that $100 on a chocolate bar than $500K on a roof over my head - although I plan to do neither.

VicChick

olives said...

s2 said:

"Olives, what is KS? Another code name?"

ooooh, I'm hurt!


I can't wait to read the TC article.

sitting pretty said...

There's a two-page spread in the TC today on how mortgage companies are improving affordability for buyers. Of course, you'll need more than chocolate bar money to get into the game, which is why you bears are desperately hoping for prices to fall into your basement apartment rent zone.

S2 said...

Sorry cyber friend. Didn't mean to hurt you. I'm confused though. I think it means Kiss A** :)

Sitting pretty. You make me laugh. :)

roger said...

olives said

I can't wait to read the TC article.

Here is the link Region's real estate shows signs of cooling

Excerpts:

In Greater Victoria, 707 properties sold last month, up from 619 in February and 464 in January. However, March of this year trailed the same month in 2007, which had 833 sales.

Inventory has gone up as well. The total number of properties for sale in Greater Victoria last month through the Multiple Listing Service was 3,591, up by 17 per cent from March of last year, the Victoria Real Estate Board said.

In Greater Victoria, the average price for a single-family house rose month-over-month to $597,176, up from $587,295 in February, the board said.

The local record high was set in December at $624,450, an average skewed by several multimillion-dollar homes.

However, the median, or midpoint, price for a house in March was $529,625, below the February median of $543,500.


RE is cooling North of the Malahat

North of the Malahat, the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board said there were 383 single-family house sales in March, up from February at 369, but lower than March a year ago when 511 properties changed hands.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board said the average sale price was $338,846 last month, down from $346,795 in February.

talus said...

What may turn out to be more interesting in the blogosphere is the increasing conflict between the Bulls and Bears.

Looking back a year at this blog it would be difficult to find 20 comments on a post - let alone a Bull. In general it was quite difficult to find a Bear (anyone remember satv from Vancouver?).

Here we are one year later and the Bulls have come to play... what brought them here? (rhetorical question)

This is just the beginning. Can't we all play nice?

vg said...

"There's a two-page spread in the TC today on how mortgage companies are improving affordability for buyers."


spinning pretty,

your shtik is so transparent...how do they improve affordability ? 60 year mortgages ? 100 year ? oh yeah baby lets mortgage our lives to the frigging hilt.

did you happen to notice the confliting articles ?

One page had the article by the RBC saying the level of people intending to buy a house is at a 15 year low ? and on the other page a picture of a young and dumb couple who just bought a presale condo in Calgary ? and they said they "might as well get in the game" just cause the rents were a little high ? wow, what an intelligent reason to buy when presales and home sales are showing red flags in every major city. Sheep led to the slaughter.

vg said...

"Here we are one year later and the Bulls have come to play... what brought them here? (rhetorical question) "


Denial and fear, a year ago they were cocky with themselves and friends on all their paper profits as they partied away,now they are crapping their drawers that yes we can indeed go the way of the USA as in all the other past booms and recessions.

Many probably borrowed against all those paper profits to buy second places and are losing sleep over this and need to vent their denial,just like the stock boards you read.

olives said...

"...vent their denial..."

Exactly, and the venting for some includes obnoxious personal insults - a pretty clear indication of the state of mind (anger and panic)

Anonymous said...

comecrashnow

Anon -- and you are the classic greedy idiot/dummy speculator blinded by the notion that RE prices will go forever. I bet you drive a pollution spewing shitbox and you count your every penny. That's why you've never traveled and are clueless about the coming crash. This for you is all there is.. this little island for you is the center of the universe.. You probably don't know where the US is. We feel so sorry for you. Don't expect a hand-out when your little RE slumlord empire comes crashing down.

olives

Exactly, and the venting for some includes obnoxious personal insults - a pretty clear indication of the state of mind (anger and panic)


Er, every hear the one about the pot calling the kettle black?

Anonymous said...

Just noticing that some bears have suddenly jettisoned the average house price as a meaningful metric for the market--surprising since for the last few weeks many had been betting that a 3rd straight monthly decline in average price would be the official harbinger of doom. I am guessing if it had indeed declined, the 'average' would be the darling of bears city-wide.

Such fickle and fair-weather friends of favorite stats both bears and bulls alike are when the numbers stop telling them what the want and need to hear.

olives said...

"Er, every hear the one about the pot calling the kettle black?"

Well I agree that some of us are reacting to the insults with some of our own, but I was referring to the people who it seems are purposely tracking down a house crash blog specifically to do so. :)

I personally don't go onto real estate agent sites or forums and call them names and give personal attacks, but maybe some here do....anyone?

Billy TwoBaulz said...

Hi folks,

Here's an interesting article that is from the UK, but equally relevant to us:

http://www.moneyweek.com/file/44638/home-sour-home.html

or http://homesour.notlong.com

Quote:

"Until recently I was constantly told that the fundamentals of the housing market were strong thanks to the fact that supply for property was low and demand was strong, which made it nigh on impossible for prices to fall.

My endlessly repeated reply was to say that demand is not economic demand unless it is backed up by having the money to pay for the thing you demand. We all want houses, of course we do, but if we can’t afford to pay for them, our wants can’t support a market.

I want a detached villa on the edge of Regent’s Park, (really badly, as it happens) but there’s no point factoring that into an analysis of the future price of detached villas on the edge of Regent’s Park. For one simple reason – I don’t have £25m to buy one with.

Now if I could get someone to lend me £25m (and if I was fool enough to take it) that would be a different matter.

The price of houses is driven by credit

My point? That the price of houses is not about the supply of houses and the demand for them in general, but about the supply of and demand for credit. You can only push the price of something up if you can – and if you want to – get the money together to do so.

So why are house prices falling now? Not because all of a sudden the average Englishman has decided he’d rather live in a caravan than in a four-bedroom executive home, but because house prices are well beyond the reach of prudent lending levels and the banks, paralysed by their new-found recognition of risk, will no longer lend at anything beyond cautious levels."

greg said...

Actually, I called for a higher average and lower median. If you come over and read my site, you will see which statistic I think is more meaningful....

Billy TwoBaulz said...

Of course the last sentence above only applies to US and UK banks, since the banks here are still lending willy-nilly. Some would say this is because Canadians are inherently better risks than Americans and Brits, and that Canadian banks are more sophisticated than their US and UK counterparts.

I would argue the opposite: that Canadians in general are far less business- and finance-savvy than Brits and Americans, and that Canadian banks are less sophisticated than their US and UK counterparts - partly due to being protected from competition, and partly due to Canada's economy being undiverse.

I also believe that the loose lending in Canada is being driven by the previously loose lending in the US and UK, not the other way round. Canadian interest rates have generally followed US rates, with a lag, and imprecisely, just as many of us expect the Canadian housing market to follow the US and UK, but with a lag and inexactly.

beagle said...

The most meaningful stat is inventory. If it gets too high prices will fall, maybe a lag but they will fall. The reason there are so many arguments is inventory has gone up but not enough to be clearly bearish.
It's enough higher to cause a flattening of price but it needs to go a lot higher to get big price drop. We should see what the trend is by fall ,IMO. Real estate markets move really slow. The US market peaked long before the prices came down.

roger said...

This question was posed earlier in the thread.

I wonder where we can get stats on how many people are overextending themselves in this market.

Canadian Mortgage Trends is a great site with lots of info on this subject and others. This recent post had stats on 40 year mortgage amortization.

25-year amortizations are fast losing ground as the Canadian standard. "Extended amortization mortgages...now account for no less than 65% of new business," says CIBC's Benjamin Tal. That includes 30, 35, and 40-year amortizations.

olives said...

The TC article this morning indicated that the lending here is finally now tightening too:

"Dunnery Best, managing director, portfolio manager and investment adviser with CIBC Wood Gundy in Victoria, said the subprime housing crisis in the U.S. has led to tighter lending standards everywhere, including Canada."

talus said...

I do like to read Chipmans' blog... http://robchipman.net/blog/
(a Bull blog for those that don't know it).

I find his data interesting and his conclusions "different" to say the least.

Chipmans' used to be the home of the Bull(sh*t) but I notice the Bears are really pounding it lately.

Maybe that drew the Bulls out?

vg said...

thank you olives, Dunnery is trying to tell the message in a very subtle way but the bulls still dont get it. As per the TC, "cooling" means buyers are drying up.


As per average prices,they always come with the disclaimer/warning of numbers being skewed due to million dollar home sales as to not scare off the buyers so how can you not take it as serious as the median. Eventually they will trend down but median is what counts to me.

the bubble has popped said...

A friend of mine who is a local realtor told me there are at least 11 properties (the majority vacant condos) for sale in Victoria that are actually foreclosures. The banks are keeping it very quiet and the listing agents have agreed not to disclose this to potential buyers (believe it or not, the RE disclosure rules don't require it because it is not considered a defect to be in foreclosure).

olives said...

From the Chipman blog about the recent Calgary stats:

"Total MLS listings inventory at the end of March was 12,597, a whopping 167 per cent increase from 4,723 registered in March 2007. The month-end inventory for single-family homes in Calgary metro was 5,957, up 155 per cent from a year ago, while for condos it was up a staggering 283 per cent from a year ago to 2,781 listings from 726."

roger said...

anon said:

Just noticing that some bears have suddenly jettisoned the average house price as a meaningful metric for the market--surprising since for the last few weeks many had been betting that a 3rd straight monthly decline in average price would be the official harbinger of doom.

Sure some bears swing between pushing the median one month and the average the next month just like the bulls and VREB do when it suits their purpose. Spin seems popular in real estate and politics.

Not this bear. I still consider it a useful metric. In my previous post I said "The average price rose by 9.7K but this is due to the fact that 20 houses sold in March for over $1M (compared to 10 in February)".

Ten extra $1M house sales easily push the average price up 9.7K. If you reduce the GV sales volume in March ($223M) down by $10 million to $213M and divide by the adjusted houses sold 364 (374-10) you get an average sales price of 585K. This is 2K less than the GV February average of 587K.

The adjusted average price would be even lower if we used a more realistic sales figure that is higher than $10M for the 10 extra sales. Visit Greg's site for a full comparison.

anon said
Such fickle and fair-weather friends of favorite stats both bears and bulls alike are when the numbers stop telling them what the want and need to hear.

The big news this month is the increased inventory and lower SFH sales. It is not just an anomaly unique to Victoria. THe VIREB stats show sales are way down as well (30%) and some previous "hot areas" like Nanaimo and Parksville-Qualicum have YOY's for March of 4% and 3% respectively.

RE Bulls and eager buyers should visit this Victoria RE blog Those folks will tell you want you want to hear and make you feel that everything is OK and prices have nowhere to go but up.

beagle said...

Vancouver sees second-straight monthly home sales decline

"In the Fraser Valley, property inventories hit a 10-year high in March, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board reported, with total active listings up 27 per cent to 9,361 units compared with a year ago."

North Shore Inventory is up 47%

Looks like Vancouver may be unwinding from the outer areas in.

Billy TwoBaulz said...

Hi folks,

Another article on the UK housing market for those interested:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/aa0779c2-000b-11dd-825a-000077b07658.html

or

http://ukhouzez.notlong.com

The parallel I see is that the UK is another market that one might think is too different from the US to follow it (e.g. their constraints on building space are apparently higher than Canada's). However the UK media has already shifted to wary bearishness. Almost inarguably, their print media is higher quality than Canada's. I reckon this is partly why these views get aired there and not here.

Anonymous said...

Roger,

If you agree that the average house price is a good metric you cannot try to remove the influence of higher priced homes.

If you do that then you would have to remove the lower end homes as well

Anonymous said...

Ten extra $1M house sales easily push the average price up 9.7K. If you reduce the GV sales volume in March ($223M) down by $10 million to $213M and divide by the adjusted houses sold 364 (374-10) you get an average sales price of 585K. This is 2K less than the GV February average of 587K.

No one can accuse roger of cherry picking statistics. He is adjusting them to support his desired conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Drop the ten highest and the ten lowest housing sales and March would probably show a decrease from the VREB stats. A million dollar (or more) sale pushes the avg price up more then a $400k sale brings it down.

vg said...

CHEK just reported of the "cooling" trend happening and low and behold they had an "independent" analyst instead of the usual VREB pumpers who said the demographics are changing and the boomers are switching to saving from spending.
They tried to spin some of the last of the dying breed of overbidders out there(AKA greater fools) and that there's still a pulse but it was definitley reported like someone just died. Victoria RE Boom RIP. ;)

roger said...

Anon said:

If you agree that the average house price is a good metric you cannot try to remove the influence of higher priced homes. If you do that then you would have to remove the lower end homes as well

I think you misunderstood my post or I did not explain myself very well.

What I originally said yesterday was "The average price rose by 9.7K but this is due to the fact that 20 houses sold in March for over $1M (compared to 10 in February)".

Today I was attempting to show why I felt the 9.7K jump in average was not significant and why the median is a more useful number for short term trend analysis.

I am not saying that one should use an adjusted average as a metric. However, if in one month you had 20 over $1M and in another month you had 10 then this calculation provides some insight into the effect the extra 10 sales had on the average price.

I agree with your last comment about removing the lower end sales from the calculation if the higher end sales are being removed and a new metric is being developed. This technique of removing data from the both ends of the distribution is used by statisticians conducting data analysis to get less noise in the mean calculation. Unfortunately lowly bears like myself do not have access to VREB data.

However, another technique using moving averages (i.e. rolling) can be used to "smooth" monthly variations. This is done in the stock market by technical analysts - 50 day and 200 day MA are examples. VREB uses 6 month averages and VIREB uses 12 months (which is too long). VREB does not publish a graph though. I have the charts in my spreadsheet of VREB data and will put the charts up if anyone is interested.

Happy Owner said...

Looking at Victoria Housing Now stats, sales to listing ratio is just slightly under 40% from Jan 2007 through to Feb. 2008. This by most accounts shows a "buyers" market for the last 13 months. Interestingly, SFH prices are up 18% in the same time period. Could we get GARTH (by the way I'm selling a book on the coming housing collapse written by an out-of-work politician trying to make ends meet) TURNER to explain the contradiction of fewer sales but increased prices in this little ol' backwater of the world.

greg said...

Higher prices on declining sales is a classic sign of a top in the stock market, as the smart investors bail and the fools keep buying.

Anonymous said...

Higher listings and lower sales, but prices increasing.

Its called "irrational exhuberance"

The buyers are unaware of the change in market conditions and are still believing that the market is "hot'.

Siobhan


Siobhan

vicrealstats said...

304-225 Belleville St
MLS# 234767

Total Loss: $99,000
Percent Loss: 17.4%
Asking Price: $469,000

Bedrooms: 2 Baths: 2 Sq. feet: 1334

Listing History:
Down 17.4% from $568,000 On Aug 23/07
Down 13.9% from $545,000 On Oct 5/07
Down 11.5% from $530,000 On Oct 25/07
Down 6.0% from $499,000 On Mar 4/08
Down 0.0% from $469,000 On Apr 2/08

Date Listed: Aug 23/07
Days on market: 223
# of Times Listed: 1
Taxes: $2322
Assessment: $432,000

Previous Sales: Unknown
Comparable: 215-225 Belleville St Assessed: $489,000 Sold: $410,000 Feb 20/07

vicrealstats said...

Note: PCS list the above as "BOM" or Back on Market.

It's MLS number remains the same.

vg said...

"The buyers are unaware of the change in market conditions and are still believing that the market is "hot'."


usually referred to as "fleecing of the flock" or the "hockey stick" chart pattern which always ends ugly,especially when a recession kicks in.

roger said...

happyowner said:

Looking at Victoria Housing Now stats, sales to listing ratio is just slightly under 40% from Jan 2007 through to Feb. 2008. This by most accounts shows a "buyers" market for the last 13 months.

The report uses sales/active (all) listings not sales/new listings. You need to use a different number than 40%. Here are the bands for each ratio:

sales/new listings ratio:
>60% sellers market
40-60% balanced
under 40% buyers market

sales/active listings:
>23% sellers market
18-23% balanced market
under 18% is buyers market.

Here is a graph showing both ratios over the last few years using all types of housing stats.

cedarguy said...

BREAKING NEWS FROM THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Home prices still rising across the country

LORI McLEOD
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Toronto — Home prices continued to rise in Canada in the first quarter of 2008 in every major market except Edmonton, according to a Housing Price Survey report released Thursday by Royal LePage Real Estate Services.

Detached bungalow prices showed the largest gain across Canada in the first three months of the year, rising by 8.3 per cent from the year before to $336,836. Two-storey homes rose by 7.1 per cent to $400,647, and standard condo units by 6.9 per cent to $240,423.

Anonymous said...

Here is a graph showing both ratios over the last few years using all types of housing stats.

By both measures, Victoria has returned from a sellers market to balanced. I guess we could assume any motion will continue in the same direction, but in light of the YOY increases in prices, if I was a renter waiting on the sidelines for a crash I'd be just as nervous now as in the last few years.

Anonymous said...

Balanced for the moment.......... but........ The Trend Is Your Friend

Anonymous said...

"if I was a renter waiting on the sidelines for a crash I'd be just as nervous now as in the last few years."

I don't think it's the renters who need to be nervous right now...

Reno Real Estate said...

keep your wood away from the bears my friend.
Take care make fun

Aleks said...

"I don't think it's the renters who need to be nervous right now..."

But things could go terribly wrong and we could all be forced to continue living as we have been! The horror!

S2 said...

Good Grief! Today's HouseHunting section of the Vancouver Sun.

Keep kicking it Sun and it may raise it's head and take some more breaths.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/section.html?section=Househunting

roger said...

Anon said:

By both measures, Victoria has returned from a sellers market to balanced. I guess we could assume any motion will continue in the same direction, but in light of the YOY increases in prices, if I was a renter waiting on the sidelines for a crash I'd be just as nervous now as in the last few years.

Victoria has returned to a balanced market. The YOY gain is dropping and I will show you this in some graphs that I prepared.

To start here is VREB's average price graph. They do not plot median so you can see a plot of both here. You will note a lot of spiking up and down in the average price due to a particular month having a large number of high-end sales.

Statisticians use rolling averages to "smooth" the data. This is done by averaging the current month with a number of previous months. VREB uses 6 months, VIREB uses 12 months and CREA uses 3 months (quarterly reports). Here is a graph of all three. The 12 month does not provide any short term trend analysis but the 3 month does. Here is a graph showing Average & Median with 3 month smoothing.

What about YOY?. This graph shows YOY using monthly VREB data. There is a lot of variation from month-to-month and in some months it goes negative. However if we do YOY calculated on 3 month rolling averages we get this graph. This is what CREA and Royal LePage do in their quarterly reports. However they only calculate every quarter (i.e average Oct+Nov+Dec). My graph shows "rolling quarters" so the April YOY compares the Feb,Mar & April average with the respective averaged months a year ago.

There is no doubt that the YOY this month is a good positive number. However, you will notice that the YOY (both with and without smooting)has been dropping quickly in recent months. This has happened in the past but in those cases inventory was not nearly this high with reduced sales. IMHO it will keep dropping and reach negative territory in the summer and will stay near or below zero for a considerable period.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's the renters who need to be nervous right now...


If true, that supports my premise that most of the bears on this board would be unable to purchase real estate even if prices fall back by several years. Unlike hhv, your objective is adolescent gratification derived from people who are better off than you losing some of their (paper) wealth. I'm guessing you would be really thrilled to see people forced out due to foreclosure. "Look at those stupid people...we're so smart...ha ha ha." Of course, you'll still be in your rented flat with no prospect of anything better, so the joke's actually on you.

Anonymous said...

That last anon post... would you categorize that as denial or angry? Looking forward to the panic post.

S2 said...

It is widely accepted that there are seven distinct stages in the grieving process.

The seven stages of grief for a scale that one who has suffers a loss will ascend over time.

The seven stages of grief are:

Shock or Disbelief

Denial

Bargaining

Guilt

Anger

Depression

Acceptance and Hope

Billy TwoBaulz said...

I plump for angry. Adolescent angry owner needs to smoke more weed...

Billy TwoBaulz said...

I shouldn't be responding at all to the immature trolling, but it's just interesting to reflect in general on the hostile bulls' take on renting. The image is always painted of renters stewing away in basement rentals or apartments...why is this?

I suspect many of the bears on here, judging by their articulateness and financial savvy, are not teenagers renting flats but mature people with real jobs renting houses.

My wife and I owned two properties until recently - a house in the UK that we lived in and a bare land investment property up island (we bailed out of both by choice, doing quite well on the UK house and making a tiny profit on the up-island property). We now rent a 3-bed 3-bath oceanview house on 2.5 ac. We couldn't be happier with no debt. Bitter apartment renter? Hardly.

boomer said...

Just got a 40 YEAR AMORTIZATION table in the mail from a local realtor.-- thanks!

It shows that if I amortize $500000 ( should be just about enough for a mediocre SFH in Victorias burbs or reasonably ok area closer in) over 40 years with a 5 year initial rate of 6% it will cost me just $2725.44 monthly to carry it (and I will have $482,163.66 left to pay off over the ensuing THIRTY FIVE years at renegotiation time).
>Principal paid off around 18 grand---Pretty cool eh?

Just for grins, lets go back to the old fashioned 25 year amortization (also on half a million bucks at 6%).
Monthly payment would be $3273.71 (over 500 bucks more p/m)

Well, that’s kinda crappy-why would I do that?

HERES WHY: Balance owing at the end of 5 years to be paid off over the ensuing TWENTY years:
$449,183.52
>Principal paid off around 51 grand.

So, if I’m 30 years old when I do this, in 5 years time:
I can still owe $482 grand (and look forward to owning the mediocre joint outright at the age of 70- if I make it)

OR

I can owe $450 grand (and look forward to owning the mediocre joint outright at age 55)


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

PS.
Good mortgage calculator here:

http://www.gregnowik.com/mortan.htm

(sorry –don’t know how to make it a link)

Anonymous said...

pleasecrashcome said ...

Anon -- and you are the classic greedy idiot/dummy speculator blinded by the notion that RE prices will go forever. I bet you drive a pollution spewing shitbox and you count your every penny. That's why you've never traveled and are clueless about the coming crash. This for you is all there is.. this little island for you is the center of the universe.. You probably don't know where the US is. We feel so sorry for you. Don't expect a hand-out when your little RE slumlord empire comes crashing down.

and billy observed ...

I suspect many of the bears on here, judging by their articulateness and financial savvy, are not teenagers renting flats but mature people with real jobs renting houses


OK then!

vg said...

"I'm guessing you would be really thrilled to see people forced out due to foreclosure. "


who says they are foreclosed ? they are just in upside down mortgages and will be stuck in the places they fell in love with cause they wanted to be there for 40 years so whose saying we are wishing anyone to be on the street ? none of us have wished that. There weren't line ups at the soup kitchen in 1981 and 1990,just some sorry assed people who paid too much and were stuck living where they wanted to be a year or 3 before the peak, so quit with this "ill will" bullshit and get real.

If they lose their job and can't pay then they best go find another one and does not play into wether house prices tank or not. It's wether there aren't any suckers left to buy these shit box houses for twice the price of what you can get in other major cities with twice the home. I say the pool of sheep is running dry as sales are down every where,the tide has turned and "the market" is showing the other side of the coin that its not a one way street.

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