Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday market update

MLS numbers courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras.

Month to date October 2010 
Net Unconditional Sales: 251
New Listings: 539
Active Listings: 3,963 

October 2009 totals
Net Unconditional Sales: 742
New Listings: 1,067
Active Listings: 3,219 

Single family home average price is currently $612,385. New inventory is only slightly outstripping sales, expect the active listings number to fall slightly for the remainder of the year. Affordability is still an issue, although ridiculously low five-year fixed rates are likely responsible for more than a few sales.

UPDATE
I came across this article in the G&M over my morning coffee. You should read it:
even excluding major factors such as taxes and maintenance, homeowners pay about twice what renters pay.


Please note, the decline in mortgage versus rent payments is an interest rate effect, mostly. Declining interest rates will narrow the gap. Rising house prices will widen the gap.

58 comments:

omc said...

That active listings number is still surprisingly high given the # of properties that have been taken off the market.

Marko said...

One of my clients just got a five year at 3.45%. Can it possibly get any lower than that?

Leo S said...

Does the rate you are likely to be approved for depend at all on your down payment? Since CMHC insurance basically eliminates the bank's risk, is there any difference between the rate you might get with 20+% down vs 5% down?

omc said...

Good question Leo S. There are more than a few of us on this board that will be in that situation. Anyone know?

Also, does anyone know what the best fixed term variable rate out there is if you have at least 20% down.

Alexandrahere said...

HHV: Thank for the article...interesting.

Sales were down on my pcs data this week for SFH but the average price was higher than it has been for some time.

Here are my stats for last week .. 11 Oct - 17 Oct.

SFH; Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Saanich East & Saanich West. Min 2 Beds, 2 baths priced between $375K and $775K,

SOLD: 11
NEW: 13
P/C: 16
OM: 16

Average sales price: $590,273
Average original asking Price:$617,546

SFH within this criteria sold for 95.6% of the original asking price.


Condos' (Apt & Townhouses)
Min 2 beds, asking between $260K and $625K

Victoria: Most areas
Oak Bay: All
Esquimalt: All
Saanich East: Most areas
Saanich West: Gorge, Tillicum and Interurban

SOLD: APT - 10, TOWNHOUSES - 5
NEW: 12
P/C: 12
OM: 7

Average Apt sold for $340,636..i.e. 94.3% of the original asking price.

Average Townhouse sold for $483,400 or 96.1% of the original asking price.

Marko said...

Someone just got a great deal...

902 - 100 Saghalie
Fin SqFt: 1,188
2 bed, 2 bath


MLS® No: 282749 List Price: $549,000
Status: Pending Orig Price: $549,000
DoM: 62 Sold Price: $400,000

Only if strata fees weren't so high I think I would take the plunge into one of the units on a lower floor.

I wonder if they would sell one of their 1538 sq/ft units on the second floor for 350k? Listed at 499k.

Marko

Mark said...

$400k is a "good deal"
You really are delusional dude!
IF other sheep think like you this is gonna take a looooong time to shake out.
$400k is a good deal....please!

Jack said...

Isnt the original price for that 1.14mil? Says that on their website

Jason Lowe said...

Leo, no and yes. In order to get the best available interest rates out there you need to put down 5%. Other than that, everyone gets the best rates out there. 20% down will save you paying the CMHC insurance premium.
What a lot of people don't know is that there are STILL lenders out there that will give you the 5% for the down payment. The catch is paying the posted rates. Email me with questions, Thanks Jason.

Mark said...

Jason Lowe are you a mortgage broker?
Realtors, insurance salesmen, mortgage brokers, what has this site becoming? Free advertising for these guys?

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Mark,

If people want to come here to discuss the local market and add value to the conversation, they can feel free to identify themselves using their real names and professions.

That said, if people come here and blatantly advertise themselves without contributing to the discussion, I'll delete them as fast I spot them.

I think there's benefit to having all viewpoints add to the discussion, don't you?

Mark said...

Fair enough BUT is Jason really telling us anything new?
Looks to me like self promotion, nothing more.
I guess time will tell if he chooses to "contribute"
At least Marco posts some stats......

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Marko,

$338 per square foot for a new build in a building with significant condo fees. Definitely a unique market and not one that many first time buyers or young professional couples would be seeking, I think anyway.

Does this set a new pricing precedent? If it does, we should see those Bear Mountain "deals" being reduced from ($395/SF) $349K to $299K.

sdcavens said...

What are the strata fees for Bayview? Can't seem to find them on their website.

Sweetrealtor said...

strata fees for the one that sold - $468/mo. Includes Bldg Insurance, Caretaker, Garbage p/u, Gas, Hot Water, Management, Rec Facility, Water, Yard Maint.

Just Jack said...

The number one reason why cities like Vancouver, have an extreme rent to income ratio is the ultra low interest rate. That makes rents and monthly payments close to each other and that's what makes those renters that are in position to buy a home, purchase a home.

The typical two bedroom, 900 square feet Victoria condominium is $275,000. With 5% down the monthly mortgage payment is around $1,100 a month. Which is close to what a 2 bedroom condominium rents for. The premium paid by the buyer is taxes and the monthly maintenance fees. Yet the price to rent ratio is a staggering 21 times. So for the next five years or the next renewal date whichever comes first, that new buyer has an "affordable" home in relation to rents and mortgage payments.

At the end of the five years or next renewal date when the interest rate is one or two percent more, the owner simply returns the keys to the bank and becomes a statistic.

But the bigger point here is that during those five years, the buyer paid out an additional $30,000 over rent to the city for taxes and maintenance fees for the condo and property manager as well as financing the agents commission.

At the end of the mortgage term, the bank is paid out by CMHC and the property virgin is sacrificed, forever more cashing their pay cheques at a Money Mart.

Marko said...

$400k is a "good deal"
You really are delusional dude!
IF other sheep think like you this is gonna take a looooong time to shake out.
$400k is a good deal....please!

Take for example, a young nurse ~ approx income for him 70k/year. Young nurse marries a young electrician, her income 50k/year.

A couple can potentially pull in 10k/month. 320k mortgage at 3.45% at 25 years = $1,600 per month + strata + taxes = $2,200 or so.

So after taxes probably pulling in 6 to 7k, spending $2,200 to live in a luxury condo, 9th floor, water views, HUGE - almost 1,200 sq/ft.

You find me a country where a young couple can afford to buy a luxury 1200 sq/ft condo in a city the calibre of Victoria....

In most countries a 50 sq/metre condo is considered large. Here people consider 50 sq/metres tiny. Wierd eh?

Real estate affordability sucks if you are working at a low paying job. Unfortunately this is reality across the globe.

A high school education and a single working family member could afford to be middle class 40 years ago....that is no longer, you need two university educations, two working family members to afford middle classes. Things have changed. People will need to adapt.

There is the potential the market could correct, but I can't see that condo going down to 300k and a single person being able to afford that.

Image that, rent out the other bedroom to a roomate for $700/month and you would be looking at that being almost a cheaper option than renting a basement suite.

Mark said...

Marco see Just Jack's post regarding rates resetting in 5 years time.....also when did 2200/mth become "affordable"

120k combined income does not equal 10k net either dude! Are you kidding me?

You work for VIHA right? How much do you lose in tax, pension,CPP, EI, benefits etc etc etc......well no nurse I know clears anywhere near the kind of money you are referring too without copious amounts of OT.

As far as comparing Victoria to all these other world class cities in the world....give me a break! I love that argument. If Vic is sooooooooo fantastic why was it over 50% cheaper just 6 years ago???

This is an anomaly, if you made money good on you....YOU GOT LUCKY!

Vic is not a world class city. AND wages here suck! There are no opportunities and the cost of living is insane. RE has always been expensive here but at double what it was 6 years ago when wages have barely budged (for most) is ridiculous.

Marko said...

"Marko,

$338 per square foot for a new build in a building with significant condo fees. Definitely a unique market and not one that many first time buyers or young professional couples would be seeking, I think anyway."


Keep in mind this is probably one of the best new buildings in Victoria as far as quality goes (in my opinion). Also it is on the 9th floor and building is perched on a small hill. Views are comparable to 15th + floor in other buildings.

If they gave a similar discount on a the 1538 sq/ft unit on the second floor - for example at 350k or so, the price per sq/ft would be dirt cheap at $227 sq/ft. This would be unheard of.

Someone just paid $178,000 for a 405 sq/ft studio in some crappy new wood frame building next to Victoria General - this studio unit has 1 window, yes I kid you not, one window. Price per sq/ft = $439.....

The value in Bayview is there.

Marko

Marko said...

Mark,

Where did I refer to them NETTING 10k/month in my posting?

Mark said...

Take for example, a young nurse ~ approx income for him 70k/year. Young nurse marries a young electrician, her income 50k/year.

A couple can potentially pull in 10k/month.


YOUR WORDS MARCO......

Marko said...

Mark you can't even read properly....

"A couple can potentially pull in 10k/month. 320k mortgage at 3.45% at 25 years = $1,600 per month + strata + taxes = $2,200 or so.

So after taxes probably pulling in 6 to 7k, spending $2,200 to live in a luxury condo, 9th floor, water views, HUGE - almost 1,200 sq/ft."

Mark said...

Take for example, a young nurse ~ approx income for him 70k/year. Young nurse marries a young electrician, her income 50k/year.

A couple can potentially pull in 10k/month.

THIS IS WHAT YOU SAID....NOWHERE IN YOUR POST DID YOU MAKE REFERENCE TO THEIR MORTGAGE BEING DEDUCTED FROM THAT TOTAL.

REGARDLESS A COUPLE MAKING 120K/YR DOES NOT "PULL IN" 10K/MONTH. YOUR POST SURE LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE REFERRING TO "NET" AND YOU SAID PULL IN.....MAKES ME THINK WHAT IS LEFT AFTER THE GOVT AND UNIONS TAKE THEIR SHARE.

"NET" IMPLIES INCOME AFTER TAX AND DEDUCTIONS.

NET DOES NOT IMPLY GROSS INCOME - MORTGAGE PAYMENT.....YOU SAID THEY PULL IN 10K/MONTH

THEY MAY GROSS 10/MONTH BUT ALL THAT AFFECTS IS THEIR ABILITY TO GO GET OVER FINANCED IN MY BOOKS.

2200 MORTGAGE GIVEN WHAT THESE 2 MAKE IS A LOT OF $$$$$

Mark said...

AND FURTHERMORE....IT'S AN APARTMENT! I'VE BEEN IN THE BAYVIEW, IT AIN'T THAT SPECIAL.

THERE IS A REASON THEY ARE DISCOUNTING THESE UNITS.

Dave said...

Mark.....Take a pill. Marko made it very clear what they net.. 6-7K/mo.

Dave#1

Just Jack said...

In relation to the other units in the property along Saghalie Road, $400,000 for 1,196 square feet is good. But, the spider senses are tingling on this one. There is no such thing as a free lunch in real estate.

I'm betting on a typo in the sale price or an inaccurate listing as the other "-02" suites which would be below this 902 suite are only 785 square feet not 1,196 square feet.

Also any complex where the pre-sales are recorded at full list price by the agent, rattles me. I would like to check those prices with those registered in land titles. A building that is not completed is not considered real estate until there is title to the property. And because its not real estate yet, the sale of the property does not fall under the real estate act. Recording the property at full list price may just be for book keeping purposes because the buyer may make changes up until closing that would affect the final price. So an agent would simply record them all a full price offers and not have to disclose an interest in the property as he had to buy 4 suites to get the contract to exclusively sell in the complex.

Buying in a new complex from a single vendor and agent is risky business. I think it would be worth your while to hire someone like Marko or pay an appraiser to investigate the property BEFORE you buy.

Alexandrahere said...

Sorry people; but if you look at yesterdays blogging (one page back from this) you will see the approx pay scale for BC registered nurses.

Leo S said...

@Jason Lowe

Thanks. That clears it up.

@Mark. Stop being so abrasive. Jason answered my question, so already he has contributed. What exactly do you contribute aside from venom?

Just Jack said...

$120,000 combined income for a nurse and an electrcian.

32% debt ratio and up to 40%. Maybe more if your creative with suite income and overtime. Don't include day care expenses or any other loans that do not appear on their credit report.

Interest rate 3.4% for five years.

$120,000 x .32 =$38,400 or $3,200 per month (minimum) that's a mortgage of
.......... $782,500.

With a suite and some creativeness

$120,000 X.5 =$60,000 or $5,000/month for a mortgage of ...........$1,222,500

And at renewal time with a 2 percent increase in interest rates that's a payment of $6,477 per month.

And just for fun at what interest rate would it have to be to consume every dollar, quarter and bent penny of their $120,000 income.
-------9.65%------

And at 9.65% and $3,200 per month what would the price of the home drop by so that another Nurse and Electrician could buy their home.

------$391,637--------------

Which is about equivalent to their entire contribution room to their RRSP for the next 20 years. Of course they will not be contributing to their RRSP - no money, no need to save for your children's education as they've had the equivalent of an economic vasectomy, (procedure is much the same but instead of a scalpel a bent paper clip and a pocket protector is used), the anesthesiologist knocking the patient out, by showing him his credit card statement.

"Real Estate - the most important investment in your life"

is now changed to

"Real Estate - its your own damn fault"

Mark said...

@Mark. Stop being so abrasive. Jason answered my question, so already he has contributed. What exactly do you contribute aside from venom?

The simple fact that he had to answer your question suggests you should not consider buying real estate. That was pretty elementary.

And I contribute plenty. Mostly, I am the voice of reason that sees through the BS of many of the posters here.

Mark said...

Just jack....another realist!
Excellent post.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

While I agree with the cause effect relationship regarding prices, incomes and interest rates, I think any references to future interest rate rises needs to be supported by something we see occurring in our markets. I've asked this question here before, but I'll ask it again, do people see signs of rising interest rates in the markets? I don't.

Three years ago I wrote about the effect of rising interest rates for people renewing mortgages in 2007/2008 as interest rates were higher then than in 2002/2003, though still very low historically. For the people that bought in 2005/2006 who will be renewing this year and next, they're getting better deals than they original got on their 5 year fixed-rate mortgages.

I completely agree that rises in interest rates will create havoc for anyone who bought recently, especially first timers and those who maxed out credit availability. But what's happening to North American markets looks eerily similar to Japan circa 1990, no? We could be in for an extended period of very low interest rates.

PainInThe said...

"Can it possibly get any lower than that?" - Marko

Heck yes. It's been at 0% in Japan for more than a decade.

Didn't help. Not a bit.

When it crashes, it CRASHES.

No longer a matter of if, but HOW SOON.

Probably when a glut of Spring listings come online, at the usual ridiculous prices.

Leo S said...

But what's happening to North American markets looks eerily similar to Japan circa 1990, no? We could be in for an extended period of very low interest rates.

Which did nothing to stop their 15 year slide in real estate values. Nor did record low rates do anything for the US collapse.
Real estate values defy all logic and no matter how much we try to analyze there is just no predicting what will happen.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

@Paininthe, Japanese mortgage rates are roughly what our variable rates are: around 2.3%. Their "Bank of Japan" rate has been under 1% for a very long time, but that's the overnight lending rate, not the mortgage rate.

My point was ultra low mortgage rates don't necessarily stimulate a saturated market nor are they automatically followed up by a rise in interest rates in the near term. But that doesn't mean I'm right, but I'd love some comments pointing me in the direction of rising interest rates, which would be a good thing for our overall economy up to about the 6.5% range, IMO.

Reid said...

HHV, in response to your question on mortgage rates, I follow the bond rates fairly actively and the medium term bond rates typically drive five year mortgage rates. The rates are very low right now, but economists I follow are calling for these rates to drop a little more over the next 2 to 3 quarters before they begin rising in the latter half of 2011. The forecast increases by the end of 2011 would align with discounted five-year mortgage rates at or close to the 4% level (versus the 3.45% today). In discussions with economists, they see rates rising when we start to see employment growth. So if you believe that we are in for a long drawn out recession with limited employment growth, then I would assume interest rates are going to stay low for some time. A lot would have to change to see five-year discounted mortgage rates above 6% again which IMO would be a death sentence for real estate in Victoria.

Waiting said...

Does anyone know what 1679 Warren Gdns sold for last year. I just saw it come back on the market and seem to recall it selling for a lot less about 1 year ago.
Thanks!

Marko said...

It was listed last year for $659,900 but it went over asking price for $679,000.

Waiting said...

Thanks Marco!

bullbear said...

Agree with Reid. Most bond yields are about to begin a secular shift as witnessed from numerous gov't maturities and corporate yields bouncing hard off the bottom of multi-decade trading channels last few days. I don't think they'll climb too quickly 'til late 2011 as Reid suggested. But even if Bernanke & company fail to ignite any inflation & GDP growth this next year, bond investors will still begin to demand higher rates of return from heavily-indebted (riskier) countries like Canada (..just like they've been doing in Ireland, Spain, etc). Keep in mind we're at the top of the list of the world's most indebted countries. We're even more in debt than countries like Italy & Japan when you include both public & private debt (investors will soon wake up to this). Furthermore, there's an incredible amount of both residential & commercial demand for money coming in the next few years as record dollar amounts of mortgages come due. It's basic supply & demand, and the demand for money will rise sharply from here until 2013.

Robert Reynolds - GBA said...

RE: Interest Rates

I follow bond and equity markets close-ish, I see very similar crystal ball pictures to Reid.

Maybe a little fluctuation +/- 1% in bonds, banks have a lot of profit margin atm, so they can stand to discount a bit to compete, so retail mortgages not moving much.

Also the prime rate seems to have disconnected from bond rates the last few months. Normally prime and the bond market move similarly to each other. The little bumps BoC has been doing/planning have not been seen in bond markets to the extent you would expect. This leads me to believe that the Prime rate is being bumped up more as a symbolic gesture, "see everyone, the recession is over, we can push rates up, we could only do that if the recession was over right? right? guys? Bueller?" The bond market seems more pessimistic.

Since 2001 we have been in a "near" Zero Interest Rate Environment, I don't see that changing any time in the next decade.

@Mark see the following
http://xkcd.com/386/

Regarding people "advertising" I don't see a problem with the people we have as regulars, Marco provides stats, Double Agent provides great graphs, I have provided several people here and IRL with insurance advice, a mortgage broker who can answer our questions, or give advice while not being a spammer is welcome in my books.

I am going to Hawaii end of November, I will check out some real estate info on another island retirement destination where everyone wants to live. Will report back.

Robert Reynolds - GBA said...

@bullbear

Regarding investors wanting higher yields, that's what corporate and/or junk bonds are for.

A better solution would be for those investors chasing yield would be to get back into the stock market, and spur some growth and GDP that way.

Current economic policy (mostly the USA) seems to be inflate away the debt with QE and low rates, if govt. needs more cash they will just raise taxes rather than issue higher coupons on bonds. (Won't end well, but will take a long time to explode in their face)

bullbear said...

@Robert

Maybe I misread you, but it sounds as if you think bond issuers actually “issue” their bond yields. Of course, those yields are set by the market at bond auctions...or at least by an open market bidding process. Also, not sure why you pointed out lower-rated (“corporate and/or junk”) are for higher yields. I guess as long as you understand that all bond markets have an effect on each other (ie. if muni’s or say a large corporation's bonds plummet, they’ll also pull down treasuries). Unless you were just agreeing on what I was hinting at, that someday even our federal gov’t bonds might be low enough rated that they could be as high yielding as say Ireland.

Phil said...

RR, I think you will find Hawaiian RE more reasonable than Victoria... This is on Maui:
Maui home

Mark said...

Who would've thought Maui would be cheaper than Victoria....I think the weather is pretty nice there right? Good place to retire maybe?

Well I guess Victoria must be a lot better?

Can anyone tell me how we are justifying the premium to live here again? Oh ya, what Marco said....hahahaha!

Thanks for posting that. Maybe it will snap some people out of their delusion. I doubt it though.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Just some "light" reading for your morning "pleasure"

Bubble 'n Fizz(le) said...

RR, I think you will find Hawaiian RE more reasonable than Victoria... This is on Maui:
Maui home


You've obviously never been there--that house is in the armpit of Maui. You'd be a 45 minute drive from the nearest decent beach. Notice there were no pictures of the interior of the house? I wonder why. One of the "view" pictures looks like it was taken from the back seat of a car.

Who would've thought Maui would be cheaper than Victoria....I think the weather is pretty nice there right? Good place to retire maybe?

Try an apples-to-apples comparison. Ever seen the non-res property taxes, condo fees, etc. in Maui? I thought not. Also, you can't retire there unless you're a US citizen or green card holder, so don't forget to add in travel costs.

Geez, you lot are so naive.

omc said...

Actually B&F, you are the one misunderstanding things these days. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal recently making fun of Vancouver prices. They directly compared what you could get for the same price of a Yale town condo in many areas. One of them was Hawaii, they knew the market better and probably got a better part of town.

One of the excuses for the silly prices here is that rich people from around the world desperately want to move here. VREB's own stats dispute this and show that the last bull market was due to local borrowing only.

I personally know many people who have bought retirement homes in the states these last few years. The model is the same as our claimed "rich foreigners" were supposed to have; they only stay down for part of the year. No green card and keep your Canadian medical.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

And interest rates pause, again.

jesse said...

"Can it possibly get any lower than that?"

5 year fixed 3.3%. Yes.

I find the graph in the OP very interesting. According to the graph, it hasn't been cheaper to own compared to rent in a generation.

Pondering said...

Here is what you can get in Boston from the same amount.

http://tinyurl.com/2fb3ayf

You can live near Harvard Medical School in a nice neighbourhood. You can't honestly compare the ecomony of Victoria to Boston can you?

Marko said...

Great, so $377 sq/ft for a condo unit in an old 1895 house...! I am just not seeing the deal there.

WiseInvestor70 said...
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WiseInvestor70 said...
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WiseInvestor70 said...

Ok, I'm going to compare Los Angeles with Victoria, although it wouldn't be fair while

Los Angeles

Area
- City 498.3 sq mi (1,290.6 km2)
- Land 469.1 sq mi (1,214.9 km2)
- Water 29.2 sq mi (75.7 km2) 5.8%
- Urban 1,667.9 sq mi (4,319.9 km2)
Population (July 1, 2009)
- City 3,833,995
- Density 8,205/sq mi (3,168/km2)
- Urban 14,775,000
- Metro 15,250,000

The economy of Los Angeles is driven by international trade, entertainment (television, motion pictures, video games, recorded music), aerospace, technology, petroleum, fashion, apparel, and tourism. Los Angeles is also the largest manufacturing center in the western United States

The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside combined statistical area (CSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $831 billion (as of 2008), making it the third largest economic center in the world

Victoria BC

Area
- City 19.68 km2 (7.6 sq mi)
- Metro 540.4 km2 (208.6 sq mi)
Population (2006)
- City 78,057 (63rd)
- Density 4,196.9/km2 (10,869.9/sq mi)
- Metro 330,088 (15th)

The city's chief industries are technology, tourism, education, federal and provincial government administration and services.[citation needed] Other nearby employers include the Canadian Forces (the Township of Esquimalt is the home of the Pacific headquarters of the Canadian Forces Maritime Command), and the University of Victoria (located in the municipalities of Oak Bay and Saanich) and Camosun College (which have over 33,000 faculty, staff and students combined). Other sectors of the Greater Victoria area economy include: investment and banking, online book publishing, various public and private schools, food products manufacturing, light aircraft manufacturing, technology products, various high tech firms in pharmaceuticals and computers, engineering, architecture and telecommunications.

The province of British Columbia had a Real gross domestic product (GDP) of $164 billion (as of 2008)

WiseInvestor70 said...

Now lets compare some shacks


House in Los Angeles

House in Victoria

So, yes keep dreaming that nothing is going to happen, keep dreaming

Hush little baby, don't say a word, Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird.
If that mockingbird won't sing, Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring.
If that diamond ring is brass, Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass.
If that looking glass gets broke, Mama's gonna buy you a billy goat.
If that billy goat won't pull, Mama's gonna buy you a cart and bull.
If that cart and bull turns over, Mama's gonna buy you a dog named Rover.
If that dog named Rover won't bark, Mama's gonna buy you a horse and cart.
If that horse and cart fall down, you'll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

*** Data from Wikipedia, USA Gov stats and BC Stats

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