Monday, July 19, 2010

Mortgage statistics

As VancouverCondo.info so accurately notes, there is a massive absence of publicly accessible and usable data in the Canadian real estate industry. Much of that stems from the anti-competitive practices of the CREA and it's member boards, but occasionally some businesses will offer a great resource for understanding who is buying and selling. CanEquity is one such organization. I'm not sure what their market share in Victoria is like, but I'd imagine their experiences are fairly similar to most mortgage lenders in the local game. Here's what they say about who is applying for mortgages in the CRD:


I'll let readers dissect this data in the comments. I'm surprised at the new insights and pleased by having prior convictions confirmed in this information. Most surprising is the number of renters trying to become homeowners for the first time. I'd have thought the low average dollar amount of mortgages would point to a disproportionate number of refinances, not an almost 50% FTBer market share. 

72 comments:

HouseHuntVictoria said...

From AlexandraHere in PP:

Good Monday morning everyone.

Here are my stats for the past week of July 12th - 18th. Note: Victoria includes Vic. West.

SFH:--Min 2beds,2baths from $375,000 to $775,000.

AREA NEW SOLD P/C ACTIVE

Vic 7 4 13 105

OB 0 2 5 16

ESQ 4 2 3 43

SE 11 9 15 146

SW 6 2 3 85

TOTALS: 27 19 38 394

Some sales were:
4313 Columbia 559K-480K -79K
828 Hampshire 738K-660K -78K
3527 Richmond 639K-555K -84K

Some prices changes were:
2963 Cedar Hill 525K-439K -86k
975 Taine 500K-395K -105K
3038 Foul Bay 599K-499K -100K
820 St. Charles 835K-729k -96k

CONDOS: Min 2 beds $260K - 625K

Vic: Burnside,Fairfield,Mayfair,Rockland,Sears,VicWest
OB: All
Esq: All
SE: Broadmead,Camosun,CedarHill,HighQuadra,Lakehill, Maplewood,MtTolmie,Mt.Doug&SwanLake
SW: Gorge,Tillicum & Interurban

AREA NEW SOLD PC ACTIVE

VIC 9 4 7 121
OB 0 0 1 13
ESQ 4 0 4 31
SE 8 3 6 47
SW 1 0 0 12

TOTALS 22 7 18 224

Some sales were:

507-11 Cooperage 499K-449K -50K
901-1420 Beach 595K-549K -46K
203-1035Southgate297K-258K -39K

Some price changes were:

204-1037 Richardson 369-329 -40K

#4-630 Seaforth 599K-549K -50K

July 19, 2010 9:19 AM

jesse said...

I don't think we can determine much from these data. It may not represent the market as a whole and also only looks at mortgage applications, not all of which will turn into actual mortgages.

Based on looking at that data set, Victoria looks a lot like the rest of the country. But in terms of prices it definitely is not.

Just Jack said...

What I found interesting is that this data reaffirmed what most of us have been thinking about income levels for buyers.

The average household income for people looking to buy a home is about $100,000 (dual income).

The average starter buyer (which is mostly a single person condo buyer) is at roughly $60,000.

Taking the first time buyer at $60,000 and a median Victoria condo at $300,000 you can see that at a debt ratio of 32 percent. These buyers are at the extreme end of affordability.

While the move up market double income market requires a minimum $100,000 down payment and $500,000 in financing for the typical $600,000 Victoria home.

That down payment usually comes from the selling of condominium. Looking back in time to when condos were a $100,000 cheaper would be the summer of 2005.

So the idea is to buy a condo and wait 5 years before you can move up to a house. However, now that first time buyers are at the extreme end of affordability, it doesn't look like that 2005 base will improve much over the next few year. If condo prices roll back, then that base 2005 year will also roll back to 2004, 2003, etc.

This market is predicated on prices continuing to rise at double digit rates which reaffirms consumer confidence in the real estate market and allows condominium owners to move up to houses.

When a market vacillates, consumer confidence erodes. Prospective purchasers hold off from making a decision, which makes the market even more volatile.

Several times over the past years, the market became irrational as buyers over bid on housing, when the last sale on the street became the benchmark for all future sales. Now those excesses of the past are coming back to haunt over extended home owners.

Just Jack said...

Check out this video on youtube

The banks are now paying to have new homes demolished in the USA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsgOaCZ2Lag

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Jesse,

Agreed. This kind of data is a mere snap shot, not a particularly great source for market data. But you have to admit is refreshing to see a real estate related company make information like this so accessible in such an easy to read/understand format no?

eos5d said...

I'm curious as to what the average down payment is now and what it has been in recent history...

Just Jack said...

My guess is that the typical household trys to work their mortgage to around $2,700 per month and put no more than 20 percent down.

They would rather keep any extra money in the bank or in an investment rather than have a larger down payment. When money is cheap they want to leverage as much as possible.

If they're moving up to a home, most don't want to get burned by CMHC again, so they try for 20 percent down or roughly $120,000 for the typical home, but usually end up putting only 15% down. Which is less of an ouch in a CMHC premium than 10 or 5 percent down.

Now most of the banks want to have your mortgage insured, so you may get a better interest rate from them by paying for CMHC insurance. Or I should say tacking the insurance onto the end of your mortgage.

The banks are not silly, they pay millions to economists to give them solid advice. Since you pay economists nothing, well you get the other kind of advice.

If CMHC had not stepped up to insure all these mortgages, then the banks would have tightened up lending and we would now be knee deep in the crapper, rather than just standing on the edge and looking smugly down on the Americans.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Irony is delicious. Especially when it's marketed as a simple change of words.

Remember this blog post a while back calling out a listing for miss-marketing a shoddy-priced product as a "terrific investment opportunity"?

Seems today they had to lower the price. At least the return on the potential monthly income went up with this new lower price. Who knows?, if the market keeps going south maybe the "terrific investment opportunity" claim will come true!

CD said...

July MTD: 263 sales, 655 new listings, inventory 4444.

a simple man said...

and that tear-down in Beach Dr backing Bowker Creek sold for $561K (asking $530K, appraisal $787K).

Just Jack said...

So which part of the market segment for the urban core municipalities is the most active.


The Starter home
360,000 to 479,000
75 homes for sale with 16 sold in the last 30 days for 4.7 months of inventory

The middle income household
480,000 to 720,000
341 listings and 89 sales for 3.8 months of inventory


Upper middle income
721,000 to 870,000

111 listings and 20 sales or 5.5 months

And the over the top club

871,000 and up
206 listings and 27 sold or 7.6 months of inventory


Well, once again it is Joe the plumber and his part time real estate agent wife, who are driving the market with 3.6 months of inventory. With properties at the outer ends of the curve languishing on the market.

The condominium market is taking its toll on the starter homes. After all its a better life style to live in a new two-bedroom condominium than a 75 year old 2-bedroom home near the methadone clinic or drunk tank.

And the millionaire and wannabee millionaire clubs are not exclusive any more. There membership has now bloated to the level that you can't tell the Vanderbilts from the Rockefellers or the Wu's from the Ran's anymore.

Alexandrahere said...

Well, maybe this doesn't sound like a big deal but I like the look and sound of it anyway.

2374 Cookman, a very nice upgraded older home in a desirable area of Oak Bay has been re-listed at $585K down from $659K. 9 months ago it would have been listed at perhaps $689K? The assessed value is $595K.

A nice little price indicator of things to come for an "ordinary" house behind the untouchable "tweed curtain"?

Just Jack said...

Seems to be good value, as one sold across the street a year ago for 586K and was assessed for $555K. And that was the highest price ever paid on that street.

The original list price, at $659K was ridiculous - in relation to the one that sold across the street. Which makes me think that the agents may be new to the industry or the home was vendor priced at the beginning.

The agents are offering $7,850 to the selling agent, so you should be able to negotiate most of that off the list price if you just use them.

The home does have an Energuide rating of 67, which is in the typical but lower end of the range for an updated older home, so you shouldn't have to big of a heating cost shock for this old timer.

I'm suspicious as to why the basement is so unfinished given all the other updating that has been done. Check for knob and tube wiring and a 100 amp or less electrical service and ask when the perimeter drains (if any) were cleaned? Turn on the tap and shower to see what the water pressure is like. A lot of these old timers need a new 3/4 inch line installed.

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. If all of the offers are to be presented at the same time, I would think the agents are trying to create an auction environment as this list price seems reasonable and should attract attention from buyers.

Maybe all of us bears should meet at the open house and compare notes?

omc said...

I wouldn't get too hot to trot on that house on cookman. They have only just relisted at a 15k price correction. Given the size and such I would compare it to the plumer st that sold at $550k. I hven'tlooked as it isn't a family house,but I would expect probs witht the basement. Notice it is only 6'1", I am willing to bet that that the unfinished area is straight rock. Radon anyone?

Just Jack said...

Unfinished basement always get me asking why? Fresh paint hides a lot of problems too. I think there is quite a bit of rock in this area, so the house might not even have drain tiles. But it could also be like parts of Fairfield that are quite bad for damp basements and insect infestations. The house age is circa 1919, but it looks more 70's to me. Probably a lot of face lifts over the years - watch for stucco applied right over top of the original wood shingles.

Do we have radon problems in Victoria?

omc said...

That house is a 1919, with a reno in the early 80s. I would be very suspect on the foundation. This area is very roccky and many older homes had straight rock in at least part.

DavidL said...

Radon gas in the Victoria area is extremely unlikely. As we have no underground uranium deposits in this part of the world, radon gas just doesn't form here (as part of the normal radioactive decay chain).

Radon gas can be found in the Interior: http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile42.stm#E46E451

think said...

That house on Cookman is worth about 525000-540000. Anyone paying 585000 for that place is over-paying for sure. And that is not even taking into accout the fact the market is falling and it will probably only be worth 500,000 by Christmas.

Marko said...

So, before I get some professional photos and pay some UVIC kid to make my site look professional with flash features and other gizmos what do you guys think about the content? I know the site itself sucks, I've done in myself.

What do you think I should add, what do you think I should delete?

Feel free to bash, I enjoy criticism! Is there anything that needs to be made more clear about my commission structure?

www.jurashomes.com

Mark said...

Looks good Marko!

All I care about is getting a fair shake on the commission and you are dong that....Once this BS with CREA gets resolved next year you and your service should become the rule as opposed to the exception.

Not like I'm buying anytime soon as I see a minimum 30-40% correction but when I do I will guy you a call. Still considering building as well so might talk to you and you dad about that as well.

Glad you sold your place on BAREBACK Mtn....did you get what you were asking?

Mark said...

Marko, the only criticism I have is less hair product dude......otherwise people might mistake you for that same sex realtor couple Binab and Strasser! Damn those tow are greasy!

HouseHuntVictoria said...

A bathroom sink doesn't speak much to me as your banner...

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Marko, send me an email. Link on front page. It'll be worth your time.

Marko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ryleyb said...

Marko - the title of every page on the site is "Your Site Name"... might want to fix that :)

-Centered bullets look weird (see your featured products page, first two lines)

-What's the difference between your two full service packages? Seem to be identical except in how much you get paid...

Alexandrahere said...

Many of you are right on the Cookman property in Oak Bay. The gist of my comment however is that it is great to see some Oak Bay houses being put in the category of "ordinary" houses in the Victoria area instead of being put up on a pedestal simply because of their location.

There have been some huge price reductions so far this week of p/c,re-lists and sold listings.

So far this week for condo listings in my areas there has only been one sale, a townhouse in Esquimalt, 11 new and 13 price reductions.

For SFH in my search areas so far this week there have been 9 sales, most with considerable price reductions, 20 new and 15 price changes.

omc said...

Has anyone here actually looked at that property? If so, give us the low down.

Marko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just Jack said...

I would think you would want to stay away from any properties along a heavy traffic road. When the market corrects there will be a lot of properties for sale that do not have the adverse influence of road traffic. No matter what you cosmetically do to the property you may never overcome the poor location.

Properties along major roads tend to be the last to rise in value and the first to fall.

In a downturn these properties need a stick of dynamite under them to make them move. Nothing spoils an offer faster than a Boom Box at full volume from a car passing the property on the way to the university.

If I may be so bold as to suggest, that it may behoove you to consider 3 or 4 suite buildings when they come down in value. If we are in for a hard time in the future, you may need a steady income stream rather than gambling on a quick profit.

As for staying closer to the city core for protection from falling prices, the difference is that while both Langford and Oak Bay, for arguments sake, dropped 10 percent. You can see that the lump sum amount of the Oak Bay property is greater.

Rejecting your offer, may not have been a good thing for the agent to do. The question is now - what are you going to say to the realtor when they call you back explaining the executor is willing to look at your offer.

Marko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexandrahere said...

You took the words right out of my mouth Jack and you are absolutely correct about properties such as the one on Foul Bay Road. It is right on Foul Bay and is only one house down from the Foul Bay/Lansdowne intersection. A great place for break-and-enter enterprises. The lot is small and the lack luster house has realized its full potential.

Leo S said...

Wonder what's wrong with this one:
http://www.realtor.ca/PropertyDetails.aspx?PropertyID=9687808

Assessed at 472, spent a month at 450, and now just reduced to 424. The front looks a bit rough, but other than that it looks nicer that most places in that range, and certainly bigger.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Leo, that house needs about $30K in work (windows for sure), is on one of the busiest streets in Esquimalt (crime central too), doesn't have a suite and would require significant investments to make one feasible. It's unappealing to anyone but a first timer who can't qualify for a $450K mortgage without suite income.

Animal Spirit said...

Leo - likely because it is at a really busy location (corner of Colville and Craigflower) and (on StreetView) looks like shite from the road.

Probably something else wrong with it as well.

Animal Spirit said...

darn - didn't see HHV's post before mine

just did an interesting analysis on a large number of the houses and townhouses listed <525K in the core areas

average listing price to assessment:
assessed <400K: 117.1%
assessed 400-450K: 109.8%
assessed 450-525K: 104.1%

The lower end houses seem to be far overpriced based on this data sample. Could it be that implied land value is basically 400K for any lot.

(except that doesn't land value fall first in a declining real estate market)

jesse said...

"is refreshing to see a real estate related company make information like this"

There are great data coming from the real estate boards as well. For Vancouver/Lower Mainland, they do some decent analysis on benchmarking and serves both their members and the general public for better or for worse.

What concerns me about the data presented is that on cursory glance it looks like nothing is amiss:

- 6 figure incomes including primary/secondary applicants
- Seemingly manageable loan amounts vis a vis incomes

The differences between cities is difficult to discern. Cities in Ontario don't look that different.

Looking at household debt levels and savings rates over time is a more striking indication of upcoming distress. BC Stats personnel have not been able to figure out why BC's savings rate has been negative for so long; it's seemingly impossible and could be an indication of serious structural problems.

jesse said...

This is from 2005, but a very interesting read:

The Negative Personal Savings Rate:
Is It Just A Statistical Mirage?
(PDF)
by Benjamin Tal, CIBC.

Just Jack said...

How much better or worse is your neighborhood in relation to the City.

Here is an unscientific list of median prices for homes on 4,000 to 7,200 square feet non water view lots for the urban areas of Oak Bay, Victoria and East Saanich. So you can see how your neighborhood stacks up to the rest. Neighborhoods with 3 or less sales have not been included.

Oak Bay

$585,500 -North Oak Bay
$591,000 -Henderson
MEDIAN $673,250
$697,000 - Estevan
$740,000 - South Oak Bay


Victoria
$444,000 -Central Park/Downtown
$483,000 -Sears
$489,000 -Mayfair
$500,000 -Fernwood
$520,000 -Burnside
$525,000 -Hillside
MEDIAN $545,000
$605,000 -James Bay
$672,000 -Fairfield
$763,000 -Rockland

East Saanich
$445,000 -Quadra
$453,000 -Swan Lake
$528,000 -Cedar Hill
$539,500 -Maplewood
$545,000 -Camosun
MEDIAN $567,750
$575,000 -Lake Hill
$583,500 -Mt. Tolmie
$586,500 -Gordon Head
$630,000 -Mt. Doug
$652,000 -High Quadra


As you can see, the car is alive and well in Victoria. The areas nearest the downtown business districts are the least expensive neighborhoods. Unless, like in the case of James Bay, there is a extraordinary influence such as the Dallas road water front. You may work downtown, but you want to leave the city and its social problems in your rear view mirror after 4:30.

And that is not going to change over the next 20 years. As our social problems get worse, the area will expand. And people will drive farther and longer to escape the inner city.

If you are building in an established neighborhood, you should be careful not to overbuild for the neighborhood. Its fine to be the best house on the street, but your not going to get a Rockland or South Oak Bay price for a Fernwood neighborhood. An upper middle income household may be paying $800,000 for a home, but they are not going to live in a slightly below middle income neighborhood like Fernwood, Hillside or Sears. These areas would most likely never make their short list of properties to view.

Build well with quality but never overbuild for a neighborhood. The typical middle Canadian family lives in a 2,100 square foot home and wants a back yard. If you build a 4,200 square feet with no yard - you may limit the demand for the home and that affects price. And I would think having an $800,000 home in an area of $500,000 home may be pushing the limit.

But then again, if you had asked me 10 years ago, if Bear Mountain would be a success - I would have said no.
So, sometimes one just has to reach for the brass ring and risk falling off life's merry-go-round.

Alexandrahere said...

ooops....i mistakenly posted on HHV's last posting. Could you look back to see. Just want your opinion on that house on Phillion.

Leo S said...

And that is not going to change over the next 20 years. As our social problems get worse, the area will expand. And people will drive farther and longer to escape the inner city.

Or, as gas prices rise more and more, people will see more value in being within walking/cycling/short public transit ride of work and the closer residences will gain in value, while stuff in the western communities falls. Could go either way.

Alexandrahere said...

One thing you must remember though Jack is.....Sears area, some Mayfair areas, some James Bay areas and lots of Esquimalt areas have war-time houses i.e. those little originally 2bedroom, 2bath 750 sq. ft or so. This brings the "average" price of houses down in these areas. There is a place for them, and in the 60's and 70's these were the starter houses people bought before moving up. As well, some bought out in the Western Communities. The condo market of the 70's and early 80's was not bought by first time buyers on the whole. Instead they were purchased by retirees or near retiree's who sold their family homes, put some money in the bank, or helped out their kids. Most of the condo's were paid for in full as a result.

If you were to look at listings say in Esquimalt in the Saxe point, Rockheights,Parklands, Upper Old Esq. Road, and some of the Selkirk areas, you will find that those 50's and 60's homes will often sell for more than houses in the Saanich East and Colwood Langford areas.

For a myriad of reasons, unlike many other BC towns and cities, Victoria's residential areas will always be more desirable than the outlying areas.

Of course this is only my opinion, but I'd be willing to bet on it....and sleep with the knowledge of the bet.

Rhino said...

Looks like the first wave of "bargain" hunters has hit the market. A flurry of sales lately, and a lot of properties being pulled. My PCS is down to 259 properties from a high of 290 a few weeks ago.

Alexandrahere said...

hmmm Rhino...So far in my areas:

Condo's:

New: 16
PC: 16
Sold: 3

SFH:

New: 15
PC: 18
Sold: 11

The most notable sale was the one at 18 Phillion...very classy and if I were younger, I would have jumped on it. Original asking price: $789K sold: $600K!!

Rhino said...

I just look at SFH. It looks like the trend continues big-time for condos....

Just Jack said...

Statistically irrelevant - I'm using medians not averages in order to rank neighborhoods in established urban areas. What you say is true, but it doesn't change the ranking.

The lot size limitation that I used would also excludes monster homes that would tend to skew the data, because zoning bylaws restrict the floor space ratios. So the houses are going to be similar enough in most aspects to provide a consistent and reliable ranking of the areas.

As most everyone has said at one time or another, its not the house thats making the high value, its the high cost of the land.

Just Jack said...

Here is an overview of the core municipalities

$435,000- Esquimalt
$462,500- Vic West
$494,500- Saanich West
$545,000- Victoria
-----MEDIAN +/- $560,000 ----------
$567,750- Saanich East
$673,750- Oak Bay

Or to put it another way, you will pay about 20 percent less to live in Esquimalt versus Victoria for similar accommodation.

Or how about another way:

The typical person is willing to pay about 55 percent ($240,000) more to live in Oak Bay rather than Esquimalt. That's about another $1,000 per month in mortgage payments. Yet the difference in rent is only about half that much or around $500 between the areas.

Tomas said...

Prices will go down: twitter.com/squidly77

Mark said...

All statistics aside the biggest problem with Vic real estate is people (spelled S H E E P L E) are nutso!

Paying what they are paying is ridiculous and it's obvious that until they start to see the MSM kick it up a notch and reporting about foreclosures, rising interest rates and housing basically just being a bad "investment" they will continue to make bad emotional decisions.

Victoria IMO isn't worth half of what your average house price is. Too bad for the suckers when the avg price returns to half of what it is today.

I have plenty of friends in the trades looking for work. Some have left to go work in Ft Mack etc but I hear things are slow up there too. Govt jobs? Forget about it...I know a lot of people employed in the service and tourism industry in Vic and they are struggling big time!

There is nothing to sustain the silly prices except plain idiocy and poor judgment (for the time being)but it will come down and come down hard.

My biggest question is why stay here? All I ever her is "how great Vic is" Well I don't see it.....used to be a great place before the crime, over building, traffic went through the roof and sense of community disappeared.

Now it's just another small wanna be city with an identity crisis and bad weather.....yup I said it. The weather just ain't that great folks so stop pretending it is.

Personally I would have left long ago but the ball and chain that is my career prevents me from doing so. As soon as I can though, I will gladly get off this rock never to return.

I think over the next year to 2 we will start to see a mass exodus of people doing the same. Some in search of jobs, and a better quality of life, others like myself who have come to realize that Vic just "ain't all that" and that there is a whole lot more out there!

Just Jack said...

This is the era of "How much is the payment" not "how much is the house"

As for what people can afford, the difference between homes 5 years ago and today is ------ $400 a month. so on the payment plan is Victoria unaffordable?

But its not all Victorians, only 3 percent of the total stock of housing is sold each year. That leaves 97 Percent whose equity has increased, so that they can finance a Mercedez, BMW or Porche over 25 years, or give a condo down payment to all of their kids, by using their line of credit. Thereby stimulating the economy so that more people can buy homes. Our prices are based on debt growth not on income growth, so as long as the payments are made each month....

the hamster in the wheel goes round and round.

patriotz said...

As most everyone has said at one time or another, its not the house thats making the high value, its the high cost of the land.

That's backwards really. The only thing that determines the price of a house is what someone is willing to pay for it. The price of land is simply the price of a house minus the cost of building. If the price someone is willing to pay for a house goes down, the price of land goes down too.

Marko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Reynolds - GBA said...

I had a though (rare I know!)

Realtors are often called enemy #1 on the blog.

But a realtor only gets paid when a house sells. If the house won't sell at its current price the Realtor is going to pressure the seller to drop their price. In a falling market realtors are going to be our friends.

Just Jack said...

My take on it is supply and demand.

If prices are falling, then new construction will likely come to an almost standstill. That means builders are buying far, far fewer lots. That means less demand with the same supply, which makes lower prices.

An improved property has a house than can be rented. So there will likely be some point that a person can buy the property to provide a reasonable return on their equity invested. So, there should be a lower level that improved properties will stabilize.

Not so for vacant land. There is no stabilizing return on equity, no floor to the price. Only developers caught with subdivisions of empty lots, that are costing the developer every month in finance charges with no offsetting income.

Now, one could argue that the inner city starter homes would be a good purchase. However, if prices are falling chances are that unemployment is growing and consumer confidence is falling. Which would mean the demand for starter homes by builders and first time house owners would be very limited.

And no: The price of the land is not the price of the home less the value of the building.

The price of the building is the price of the home less the cost of the land. There are land sales and there are home sales, but never do you find a house (without land) sell.

So the former statement can't be proved, but the later can be proved with market sales.

So a lot in Esquimalt is $300,000 and a lot in Oak Bay is $540,000.

The improved properties sell for $400,000 and $640,000 respectively. That makes the 50 year old identical rancher on each property have a residual value in situ of $100,000.
Its the land that is making up the value - not the house.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

1. Land is always the most volatile price-wise, especially so in a falling market. If anyone has access to land prices from the drop during 2008 you'll see what I'm talking about. Bare land values dropped far more than improved land values. That's why the saying goes: On the way up, big lots, on the way down, big houses on small lots.

2. REALTORS® get a bad reputation in two ways (IMO anyway), first, their professional associations spin and mislead and second, as individuals, sometimes, some of them, misrepresent the value of home ownership (not to be confused with prices). Unfortunately for the good ones out there, and there are several that I wouldn't hesitate to name or do business with, they get lumped in with the bad ones.

3. Smart REALTORS® don't care about market value. They care about sales volume. The commission difference between a home that sells for $650K versus a home that sells for $500K is only about $4000. Most REALTORS® will only see about $1000 of that directly. A good REALTOR® can make money in any market - as long as there are sales, and there always are; for them it's about market share. The real estate industry, IMO, has done themselves a disservice by focusing on the financial "investment" aspects of homes in their marketing and sales spin. When the "investment" is losing money, it's hard to sell. When the market falls more than 10%, look for the spin to move from "investment" to the more intangible qualities of a home like the ability to make it your own (paint etc) and provide long term location stability.

Just Jack said...

Well, there does seem to have been a rush by builders to purchase lots before the HST came in. Land banking them for future construction. But, all that did was pulled future demand forward, with very few sales in July.

Now to me, it seems like lots in Bear Mountain are cheaper than they have been for several years. But its hard to tell, with the GST, HST, extra charges and unknowns like blasting.

In the urban core there are 32 lots for sale. All of last year there were only 45 sales. That's not many lots, but then again the cost of urban lots is so high, there aren't that many buyers. As one builder said to me.

"Why buy one lot in Oak Bay and all the bureaucracy of the city, when you can buy two in Langford with very little city intervention."

The way I see the market for the past 6 months is that it has been rather boring. No money being made and just people jockeying for a better move up house. With a lot of agents, their biased economists and media friends trying to lead the horses to water. But a third of the herd is no longer drinking. And that's not just Victoria - its across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver.

The longer this market stays in the doldrums, the more anomalies like 18 Phillion will happen. One has to watch for the odd ball properties, they'll show up first.

(no dissing you intended Alexandria. but you see Art Deco worth saving - I see a book of matches, a can of volatile spirits and a moonless night)

So set your PC accounts to watch for properties with most of their value in the land component - that's where the anomalies are going to happen. Not necessarily in the Gordon Head boxes. Watch for estate sales, where the executors do not live on the Island. Court sales, that have been on the market for more than 30 days, vacant homes and divorces especially if the 1, 3 or 5 year term is coming up (because the spouse ain't going to be signing the mortgage renewal).

As a prospective purchaser, you no longer have to worry about back up offers (real or not), 24 hour clauses, or not getting a building inspection. If you're knowledgeable enough about real estate, you can use the listing agent as your agent (better chance of getting the home too), just stipulate that you want the property appraised. That's a couple hundred bucks versus a selling agents commission of a couple thousand bucks. Never use the same lawyer as the bank and be prepared to shop around, with the appraisal in hand, to find the best terms and rates. When shopping for the best term and rate, don't go to your regular bank first, go to their competition and get their best rate - then take that information to your bank. The easier you make that bankers life, the better deal you're going to get, so have all of your information together in a nice package with a couple of different bankers' cards attached to the file.

And if you are selling real estate.
Get a BIG non refundable deposit and a long, long closing.

Just Jack said...

Well, there does seem to have been a rush by builders to purchase lots before the HST came in. Land banking them for future construction. But, all that did was pulled future demand forward, with very few sales in July.

Now to me, it seems like lots in Bear Mountain are cheaper than they have been for several years. But its hard to tell, with the GST, HST, extra charges and unknowns like blasting.

In the urban core there are 32 lots for sale. All of last year there were only 45 sales. That's not many lots, but then again the cost of urban lots is so high, there aren't that many buyers. As one builder said to me.

"Why buy one lot in Oak Bay and all the bureaucracy of the city, when you can buy two in Langford with very little city intervention."

The way I see the market for the past 6 months is that it has been rather boring. No money being made and just people jockeying for a better move up house. With a lot of agents, their biased economists and media friends trying to lead the horses to water. But a third of the herd is no longer drinking. And that's not just Victoria - its across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver.

The longer this market stays in the doldrums, the more anomalies like 18 Phillion will happen. One has to watch for the odd ball properties, they'll show up first.

(no dissing you intended Alexandria. but you see Art Deco worth saving - I see a book of matches, a can of volatile spirits and a moonless night)

So set your PC accounts to watch for properties with most of their value in the land component - that's where the anomalies are going to happen. Not necessarily in the Gordon Head boxes. Watch for estate sales, where the executors do not live on the Island. Court sales, that have been on the market for more than 30 days, vacant homes and divorces especially if the 1, 3 or 5 year term is coming up (because the spouse ain't going to be signing the mortgage renewal).

As a prospective purchaser, you no longer have to worry about back up offers (real or not), 24 hour clauses, or not getting a building inspection. If you're knowledgeable enough about real estate, you can use the listing agent as your agent (better chance of getting the home too), just stipulate that you want the property appraised. That's a couple hundred bucks versus a selling agents commission of a couple thousand bucks. Never use the same lawyer as the bank and be prepared to shop around, with the appraisal in hand, to find the best terms and rates. When shopping for the best term and rate, don't go to your regular bank first, go to their competition and get their best rate - then take that information to your bank. The easier you make that bankers life, the better deal you're going to get, so have all of your information together in a nice package with a couple of different bankers' cards attached to the file.

And if you are selling real estate.
Get a BIG non refundable deposit and a long, long closing.

Just Jack said...

Here's three more recent sales of anomalies

330 Hector
1716 Woodsend
3905A Cadboro Bay.

All are heavily weighted in the land component.

Want to have a middle income home. Buy an upper income home - and wait.

Skeptic said...

Real estate agent says price is firm but owner gets a haircut anyway...

Gordon Head Box - Click Here

Was this the only bad haircut in Saanich last week? These sellers went for a light trim and got a brushcut.

Haircut #2

Haircut #3

Haircut #4

Skeptic said...

Even in Oak Bay it takes a price reduction in order to sell. Owner got nervous and bailed after 3 weeks on market. This one went for 40K below assessment.

Down on Townley

Bob leftcoaster said...

Interesting. That Townley house originally started at $669k. It sits on a big lot but calling it a 3bdrm was a bit of a stretch.

Alexandrahere said...

Here are some buzz cuts for SFH in the past week.

82 Sylvan (OB) $789-$735K down 54K

2530 Victor:(VIC)$419-$474 down $45K

1351 Slater:(VIC) $570-$523 down 47K

A924 Richmond (VIC)$519-$473 down 46K

4064 Licorice Ln (SE) $679-$629 down 50K

1165 Hadfield (ESQ) $709-$642 down 67K

2057 Townley (OB) $669-$558 down 111K

1653 Hillview (SE) $620 - $533 down 87K

4358 Elnido Cresc (SE) $599-$512 down 87K

729 Miller (SW) $524-$424 down 90K

18 Phillion (ESQ) $789-$600 down 189K

1272 Kings (VIC) $579-$503 down 76K

3824 Cardie (SW) $649-$585 down 64K

The talk around the water cooler? Hmm Wish I were a fly in so many places.

JustWaiting said...

A realtor just told me that now is a great time to buy - lots of selection, quite a few price reductions and some good deals out there. But then the same guy told me it was a good time to buy a year ago when prices were going up and said I better get in before it was too late.

These guys always seems to think it is a good time to buy real estate. Could it have something to do with their commission? Just wondering.

Alexandrahere said...

I thought of writing a "best seller" book once. The title was going to be "The Gold BMW"

Skeptic said...

Sometimes those "suite deals" aren't so sweet...

KIV landlord tells her story

patriotz said...

"These guys always seems to think it is a good time to buy real estate. Could it have something to do with their commission?"

It's a Great Time to Buy or Sell a Home (US NAR, 2006, PDF)

And as they say, the rest is history.

Alexandrahere said...

Good morning all. Active listings last week were down after considerable sales and many properties taken off the market.

Here are my stats from July 19 - July 26:

SFH

Criteria: Min 2 beds, 2baths from $375K - $775K

Victoria/VicWest,Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Saanich East & Saanich West.

New: 26
Sold: 23
OM: 21
P/C: 39

Condos:

Min 2 bedrooms from $260K-625K

Victoria: Burnside,Fairfield,James Bay,Mayfair,Rockland & Sears

Oak Bay: All

Esquimalt:All

S.E.: Broadmead,Camosun,CedarHill,Gordon Head,High Quadra, Quadra, Maplewood, Mt Doug, Mt. Tolmie and Swan Lake.

S.W.: Gorge, Tillicum and Interurban.

New: 18
Sold: 5
OM: 1
P/C: 18

Is anyone tracking downtown condo's? How are they doing in comparison?

Deanna said...

@Skeptic

And I know I'll never rent a suite again. We hear a lot from owners having a hard time finding decent tenants, but not too often the hard truth of good renters looking for decent landlords. Too often you get first time owners who are overwhelmed and stressed out and expect you to ignore that they can't keep up with maintenance. The last suite I was in there were mold problems, yard was not maintained, they had a tree fall down in the yard - narrowly missing my car - that sat there until we gave notice - renovation debris piled up outside our front door - which also sat there until we gave notice - and landlords who made too much noise. Never again.

In the future I will rent full houses only. I have started asking for credit checks and length of ownership intentions (3 times a house has been sold while I was renting it with unpleasant results), proof of insurance, and 3 references from former and current tenants.

I'm sick of irresponsible landlords who can't fulfill their side of the contract.

Deanna said...

@ Double agent

Are you out there? I've missed your charts and insider commentary.

Alexandrahere said...

If you are going to buy a house with a suite, or you are thinking of putting one in your home; this is my advice:

Try to buy a house close to town or transportation and get one with a bachelor. This way you will often get an older gent/lady without a car. Advertise it as furnished.

If you are putting a suite in your house, again a bachelor try to situate the "living area" under a guest bedroom or a little used room to cut down on the noise factor for the both of you.

You can reasonable ask for a single person when you have the smaller suite, it takes up less room, is cheaper to build, the occupant uses less energy & if you have it decently/attractively furnished, you will be able to get the same rent as a one bedroom unit. And the plus side of this is you are avoiding damage that may be caused by the moving in/out of furniture.

Also, if you allow for one indoor cat, (provide a scratch post) you will get a much better "pick" of tenants and they will stay longer.

At the outside entrance of their suite or by their "patio" area, put in some nice plantings and a privacy screen.

The more respect you give; the more respect you receive.

Double-Agent said...

Just got back from vacation and found out that the market has tanked while I was gone. Things are not looking good for July sales. Here are the July-to-date stats.

Total MLS Sales: 385
New Listings: 913
Active MLS Listings: 4,435

Sales should be around 500 for the entire month which is way down from the 933 in July 2009. Spinning that will be hard to do.

Marko said...

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