Thursday, October 14, 2010

Times Colonist shifts gears, questions BCREA

Once every blue moon, someone at the Times Colonist gets a realistic piece of journalism past the real estate industry friendly advertorial editors. Cue the scrambling in the news room as phones ring, ears get chewed off and general unhappy client syndrome ensues...

Here's today's story: Real estate market hits soft patch, B.C. sales show modest rebound but Greater Victoria numbers lag.

I won't quote the article, you can read it over there just fine I'm sure. There's a few notables in there though that should be discussed:
  1. The BCREA reported average price was $485,459. This is "for all types of housing." It's basically meaningless, because the markets shouldn't be blended like that. Essentially they take the sum total of mobile home, condo, town home, single family dwelling, mansion, waterfront property and acreage sales and divide it up by the total number of unit sales. This is different than the VREB reported data, which breaks it down by unit type and is also different than what is commonly reported on HHV. 
  2. At first glance, total listings appear to have fallen off a cliff, being reported at nearly 800 less than what VREB reports, despite using the same sales total. I'm not sure why this is the case, but I can only guess that BCREA is excluding some areas (maybe Sooke, Gulf Islands and Malahat?) as these aren't really Victoria. But why use the sales totals from VREB that includes those areas if you're excluding some of the listings unless your trying to purposely make things appear better than they are? Even given this incorrect calculation, the sales to active listings ratio is still bad, so it's either really bad, or just bad. I'm inclined to think it's really bad.
  3. Muir still makes reference to the dubious theory that things aren't bad this year because they were "phenomenal" last year. To which I give you this...
...as proof positive that last year's sales volume wasn't that phenomenal and this year's sales volume actually is pretty crappy compared to the last decade. Please note, the graph hasn't been updated to reflect September's actual sales volume of 395.

It's refreshing to see an article about the BC market applied to the local data, even though the data wasn't really questioned (it should have been IMO), using accurate statements like "But that does not appear to be the case in Victoria" and "Compared to last September, the Victoria numbers look even worse."

76 comments:

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Anyone see Garth's talk? Thoughts?

Just Jack said...

Obviously the VREB policy to encourage more sales through promoting higher prices is no longer working. Higher prices are not serving their membership.

What the VREB membership needs is more sales and by extension more commission cheques.

But how can you increase sales when you're a monopoly? Maybe flat fee property listings may do the trick and have sellers pay up front for a listing.

My experience where the vendor has some "skin" in the game is that the sellers are more realistic on their price and have more motivation.

Its the difference between paying for an ad in the paper to rent your suite or getting a free ad on craigslist.

Marko is giving his clients a heck of a good deal, shouldn't they put some money on the table to defray some of the advertising costs? Wouldn't that be fair in light of the reduced commission on his part.

Dave said...

Just Jack....personally, I think mark may be giving back too much. When you add up time, advertising, vehicles, phone etc, there isn't a lot left.

Dave#1

Dave said...

Should say Marko, not Mark in last post

Dave#1

reasonfirst said...

I went to see Garth - entertaining speaker, managed to get more than a few laughs from the audience. He also comes off a lot less belligerant than his blog. If you read his blog or Money Road, you didn't really get anything new. It covered investing/economic trends in general and didn't focus that much on real estate alone and very little specific to Victoria.

I took a friend who is looking to buy and his big take-away was the comment that Garth said about boomers coming to Vic. Something like - "if they can't sell their house in Mississauga they won't be coming to Victoria".

Marko said...

What are you guys talking about; I just sold a home on Players Drive two weeks ago. Fair enough, I am giving back a cheque in excess of $8,000, but I am still making about $4,000! To me this is a lot of cash. I would feel weird about taking the entire $12,000. Unfortunately, some people barely make $12,000 in an entire year. Mcdonalds, Zellers, Walmart...

I figure I could realistically do 100 deals per year, IF I had enough business. $2,000 average per deal, minus expenses....yea, I will take that.

I kid you not, I made an offer on a home on Sunday for a client, and COMPLETION is today. Maybe 6 hours work?

Problem with being a Realtor is finding enough business that is why I will never achieve 100 deals per year. However, I am hoping by giving thousand in cash back I will receive a lot of referrals which means in turn I will need to spend less time prospecting clients and more time writing offers.

PS. I know of a guy who did 134 deals last year in Vancouver without an assistant. It is possible.

Marko

Marko said...

"When you add up time, advertising, vehicles, phone etc, there isn't a lot left."

Vehicles? I had a Civic before I became a Realtor; I still have the same Civic....

Phones...800 minutes per month - $45 bucks. Just wait till Wind Mobile comes to Victoria in April, even cheaper....

Advertising....I think craigslist, usedvictoria, personal website, etc...Are more effective then print...so advertising doesn't cost me much.

Time....if you refuse overpriced listings, and only work with qualified buyers ready to buy....this component is not bad either.

Marko

Alexandrahere said...

Marko: You are an incredibly generous guy. I truly wish you much success because of it.

Mark: Many times I have put in offers with the same mind set as you. i.e. I put in offers (especially with investment properties), with the vendors realtor. I act as my own agent. I'm polite so I don't mention to him that he should be giving me back the buyers agent commission, I just make the reduced offer with that in mind. Usually, as well you don't mention some of the property faults on the initial offer. I wait until the deal has been made and the vendor has emotionally let go of the place. Only then do you "go in for the kill"
I make my "real" offer after the inspection. It might sound nasty....they play games.....I play games.....its not personal....its business.

I'm out of the game now because the "casino's" have closed down.

But maybe, just maybe I'll get in there again.

Mark said...

Garth was pimping his book....SURPRISE! and his services.....investment advisor extraordinaire.

As far as Vic RE, well we all know how he feels about that....second only to Honkcouver for overpriced in Canada.

He doesn't have a crystal ball and neither do we BUT he is fairly astute and makes excellent points about Vic being drastically over priced.

That said, where is the melt down? Gonna take longer than I though I guess.

Robert Reynolds - GBA said...

I saw Garth a year or two ago, I also have greater fool, and read his blog regularly. Well I should say skim his blog regularly. I am amazed how we can write the exact same thing for weeks months and years on end. Occasionally he throws in a bit from the news, but 90% of the time he writes the exact same thing over and over.

I think he is right on some of the major trends like demographics and boomer downsizing for income, but he is hardly the only one or the first to notice these trends.

I take everything I read of his with a big pile of salt. He has an agenda, selling books, and now selling investment advice.

Gotta hand it to him though, he knows how to get publicity and draw a crowd.

Robert Reynolds - GBA said...

I saw Garth a year or two ago, I also have greater fool, and read his blog regularly. Well I should say skim his blog regularly. I am amazed how we can write the exact same thing for weeks months and years on end. Occasionally he throws in a bit from the news, but 90% of the time he writes the exact same thing over and over.

I think he is right on some of the major trends like demographics and boomer downsizing for income, but he is hardly the only one or the first to notice these trends.

I take everything I read of his with a big pile of salt. He has an agenda, selling books, and now selling investment advice.

Gotta hand it to him though, he knows how to get publicity and draw a crowd.

Just Jack said...

Good stuff Alexandrahere,

Since you deal directly with the listing agent, when they ask how much do want to put as a deposit, how about saying.

"Make the deposit equal to your commission and the HST."

This does several things.

It motivates the agent, he sees his cheque in a trust account and an almost guaranteed pay day. From that minute on, the agent is dreaming of what they are going to be spending the money on.

It makes him/her aware that you know how much is being made on the deal.

Now, if it comes down to squabbling over a couple of grand, you can always bring up how much he is making on this deal.

What you are doing is motivating him or her to work for you. To see a written cheque for $20,543.23 is more powerful than saying a 3 percent commission.

Always remember you are NOT negotiating with the home owner -you're negotiating with the agent. That's the person you have to motivate with fear and greed. Because with that $20,543.23 in a trust account, that agent is more likely to say.

"Its a good offer, I think we should take it"

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first attempt to...

double end on a deal

omc said...

I have known a lot of realtors over the years, both professionally and personally. I was in the housing industry for years. Thinking that you are going to beat them at their own game is a bit wishful. Kinda like thinking you're are a tough guy and picking a fight with a boxer. They do this day in and day out, you won't rattle them. Some of them are down right slippery, and seem to have no morals or conscience.

If you want to save some money on commission end of things, take someone like Marko. At least then you know that you did save some money and you have someone with some trades experience looking with you. That part is invaluable.

Alexandrahere said...

OMC...real estate investing was my game.

Phil said...

If Marko can do the same job for 1/3 of the commission he will beat them at their own game. Price matters. Just look at Walmart.

Mark said...

My gut tells me there will a lot of realtors doing what Marco is trying to do in very short order....survival of the fittest and all.

Then, it's just a matter of hiring the least slimy of the bunch.

FYI I know quite a few realtors and can tell you they are going hungry right now and panic is starting to set in. Hopefully they saved for a rainy day.

Alexandrahere said...

Marko: As I said before .... good on you Marko!!! Just watch your back....the slimy ones (realtors) as Mark and OMC put it are out there and they don't like to be beaten by a young, honest & innovative entrepreneur.

DavidL said...

@HHV and others

I had a chance to see Garth Turner's presentation on Wednesday evening. He is both a seasoned and eloquent presenter. I was impressed with the actual presentation, as he effectively used a variety of subtle techniques to deliver "his message" without appearing like a "doomsday" messenger.

As for the actual content, it was much of the same as you would read on his blog or in his books. One little tidbit that he offered up was that he foresaw a slow, steady slide in house prices, eventually dropping to 2005 levels.

However, Garth often promotes a "sell and invest" strategy in his speeches, blog and books that I don't fully agree with. He suggests that if you've built up a considerable amount of equity in your house (or other real estate assets), that you should sell, invest the money and rent your home using the interest/dividends from the invested equity. I have three concerns about this approach - one of which I had a chance to talk to Garth about after his presentation (detailed below).

My concerns about his "sell and invest" strategy are:
[1] If you draw off all earnings from the investment, it's effective value decrease over times as a result of inflation.
[2] If you own a house outright, then your ongoing costs are very low. Why does it make sense to sell in this case? (I figure that the insurance, property tax and maintenance costs for a average house in Victoria is about $750/month ($9000/year). Townhouses and apartments are not much less due to ongoing strata fees.)
[3] For many people, there is intrinsic value in owning their home - it's not always about the money!

DavidL said...

After Garth's presentation, I has a chance to talk to him directly about my concern about inflation eroding the value of the investment ...

Using his example that the proceeds of a house sale could be invested at 7%, I suggested to him that as the "actual" inflation rate is about 4% that the net income would only be about 3% - so a $400K investment would only yield about $12K per year, when adjusted for inflation. His first response was that inflation was only about 1.8% so that yield would be higher. I pointed out that inflation in Victoria has historically been much higher than the national average. He changed "tacks" and suggested that if renting, there there are limits in how much the rent can be raised each month. I agreed and said that the BC Gov limits rental increases to 4% per year ... part of that 4% inflation I was talking about! He then got a bit defensive and said that I don't have to follow his advice. I said that I was not trying to challenge him and just wanted to get clarification about the issue with inflation. He then said that as inflation increases, so will the interest/income paid on the investment - so it's a matter of having enough to invest to maintain the income. I then asked if the approach might work better for someone who is in their "golden years" and doesn't have to deal with the effects of compounding inflation as versus someone like myself who expects to live another 40 years. He understood what I was saying, but obviously didn't want to discuss it any more - so I thanked him for the entertaining and informative presentation and wished him well.

Dave said...

From one Dave to another... Garth's a dummy.

He is in the business of selling fear. He isn't in the business of providing people with sound financial advice. His bias is huge.

As to your question... Garth knows the real answer but he won't say it. Risk cuts both ways. High inflation and low interest rates will benefit those in debt and hurt those with fixed income investments. Hard physical assets are a good hedge against inflation. Houses are such hedges.

As far as rent controls and limits go, that has only worked because rents have gone up at slightly less than inflationary rates this past couple decades. Should that change, then I have no faith that rent controls will work. Look to New York for evidence of that.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Real rents in Victoria have only increased about 1% per year for the past 20 according to CMHC. Despite rental rate increase limits.

DavidL said...

@Dave wrote: He is in the business of selling fear. He isn't in the business of providing people with sound financial advice. His bias is huge.

I doubt that big corporations like Investors Group (who sponsored Garth's presentation in Victoria) want to be associated with fear. Yeah, sure ... Garth is able to draw a crowd and Investors Group therefore able to do some inexpensive direct marketing.

I saw a lot of 50+ boomers at the presentation and I think a lot of them are looking for better ways to plan their retirement portfolios. Quite a bit of Garth's presentation was upbeat in terms of where he predicts equities and bonds may be heading over the next few years. I didn't see any fear mongering ...

DavidL said...

@HHV wrote: Real rents in Victoria have only increased about 1% per year for the past 20 according to CMHC. Despite rental rate increase limits.

I'm sure that you are correct that the inflation-adjusted rental rates have increased by less than 1% per year. If inflation is not accounted for, the rate increase is much higher.

This is the point that I attempted to ask Garth about ... any investment whose growth does not match inflation will devalue over time. If you don't raise rent to match inflation, you will eventually be earning much less rental income.

Leo S said...

Marko, enjoy it while it lasts. As less and less people use full commission agents you will have fewer opportunities for fat commissions to share. Eventually your 6 hours of work will be paid something more commensurate to the effort.

As for Garth, he was ok. I went 2 years ago and liked his talk better then. Seemed more cohesive then, and far less overt in advertising for his hosts. Wednesday he was sort of all over the place, relying on his pictures to carry the presentation.

Ohwell, still worth the free admission. I guess now that I know his biases I'm less impressed by his show.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

DavidL, I'm not talking about inflation adjusted rates. I'm talking about the compounded annual increase in rental rates. If you work backwards using the 2-bed apartment number ($1001 reported in April 2010), you'd have that same unit renting for $500 in 1990 if it was raised 4% per year. Is that realistic to you?

HammerTown said...

@Dave wrote: He is in the business of selling fear. He isn't in the business of providing people with sound financial advice. His bias is huge.

@Mark wrote: Garth was pimping his book....SURPRISE! and his services.....investment advisor extraordinaire.

I saw Garth. He provided sound financial advice. He also did not oversell his book. Of course he made mention of it but it was done in a very tasteful manner and only after presenting an hour of free financial advice. What did you expect?

Several times he mentioned:
1) That his advice was speculation.
2) Always employ the help of a professional financial adviser.

He ended the presentation on a very positive note about living and earning a living and Canada that I felt was meant to lift up everyone spirits.

Not a negative presentation in the slightest. I came out with some great pointers. I would go see him again.

DavidL said...

@HHV wrote: If you work backwards using the 2-bed apartment number ($1001 reported in April 2010), you'd have that same unit renting for $500 in 1990 if it was raised 4% per year. Is that realistic to you?

Yes, it is realistic to me. In 1992 I rented a 750 sq. ft. 1-bedroom basement suite (with own washer/dryer) for $400/month. It now would be worth $800/month. My mother-in-law has a suite that in 1990 rented for $350/month and now rents for $750/month. My 2400 sq. ft. 4-bedroom house house rented for $1300/month in 1992. Would it now rent for $2600? Likely pretty close ...

omc said...

If Garth's advice is to sell your home and use a financial adviser to invest the money for you, that seems a little lame. All investments have risk, and I would think the markets are just as risky as our housing market. Boy, wouldn't you be happy if took his advice in 2008.

Did he take time to explain how advisors make their money and the extremely high fee structure they have?

Phil said...

Dave - if Garth is a "dummy", I don't think there is a word yet that describes someone like Flaherty. We are not in good hands, folks.

omc said...

My PCS has been very busy these last few days, almost like the spring. In new listings and price corrections that is, extremely slow for sales. Seems like the low end of the market is getting some sales, but at far lower prices.

Chickinvic said...

No, $500 for a 2 bedroom in 1990 isn't realistic. I rented an absolute DIVE in Vic West in 1991 and even then it was about $560 for a 2 bedroom. Believe me, it was in a shit neighbourhood and it was a crappy place. If my roommate and I could have afforded something better we would have. Anything decent (which this dump wasn't) was more than that. I'm thinking it was probably more like $700?

HouseHuntVictoria said...

My first Victoria rental was $425. It was a basement bachelor in Gordon Head in 1993. My next rental was a dumpy Quadra area 2 bedroom basement suite that we paid $750 for - in 1994.

I can't find the old CMHC data, but I seem to recall the average reported 2-bed rent in Victoria in the early 1990s was around $800.

Alexandrahere said...

Investor's Group....man, I found them to be even more "slimy" than realtors. Mind you that was a few years back. Have they changed?

msr said...

The first place I rented was a 1-st floor 2br for $785/mo. This was in 2005. It wasn't an amazing place, but it was on Quadra & Mckenzie and worked well for me.

DavidL said...

@Alexandrahere wrote: Investor's Group....man, I found them to be even more "slimy" than realtors. Mind you that was a few years back. Have they changed?

When I invested with them in the mid-90's, every mutual fund offered was heavily back loaded. The still have some of the highest MER's in the business. I assume that all sales are still commission based. I have acquaintances who've worked there and told me it is a cut-throat environment to work in.

DavidL said...

Figure 3 in the following document shows the average 2 bedroom apartment rent in Victoria between 2000 ($750) and 2009 ($1000):
http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/esub/64471/64471_2009_A01.pdf?fr=1287177972583

In 9 years, rent increased by about 33%. As inflation was higher in the 1990's, a 50% increase ($500 to $750) over 10 years (1990-2000) doesn't seem outrageous.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Thanks for the link DavidL.

DavidL said...

... and here's the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Victoria from 1986 onwards:
http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/data/dd/handout/CPIAN92.pdf

DavidL said...

The previous link only shows the CPI through 2006 ... this document shows through 2009: http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/data/dd/handout/CPIAN.pdf.

More BC Stats: http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/data/bus_stat/econ_stat.asp

Alexandrahere said...

Thanks for all the info DavidL. Also glad to know others feel the same way about Investors Group. I found them to be arrogant, pushy and obviously under pressure to sell. Although, I have to admit I did meet one salesperson from Investor's who later went to another institution (bank) and I found him to be a nice guy who was very helpful and very knowledgeable....guess that is why he left.

Ryan said...

My company RSP was with Investor's Group for a while. The two things I remember were when we first got introduced to the plan they kept talking about how they weren't charging us a fee, so I asked them how they were making money. Boy did they ever not want to tell me that! Eventually they admitted that they get a kickback from the fund companies, but they still tried to sell it as a positive.

The second thing I remember was when mentioned I have investments with PHN. They tried to talk me into buying PHN funds through them. I don't remember what their pitch was, but it struck me as ludicrous. No matter how small a percentage they take, there is no way it can be better than buying direct from PHN. Needless to say, once we switched to a different RSP company I transferred everything to PHN.

DavidL said...

Okay ... I've obviously had too much coffee, as I feel inspired to take the CPI numbers from BC stats and work out historical rent based on $1000 in 2009.

year |  %  | rent
===================
1990 | 5.2 | 704.37
1991 | 5.7 | 744.51
1992 | 2.2 | 760.89
1993 | 2.9 | 782.96
1994 | 2.1 | 799.40
1995 | 2.5 | 819.39
1996 | 1.0 | 827.58
1997 | 1.0 | 835.86
1998 | 0.2 | 837.53
1999 | 1.1 | 846.74
2000 | 1.6 | 860.29
2001 | 1.2 | 870.61
2002 | 2.7 | 894.12
2003 | 2.2 | 913.79
2004 | 2.3 | 934.81
2005 | 2.2 | 955.37
2006 | 1.5 | 969.70
2007 | 1.2 | 981.34
2008 | 1.8 | 999.00
2009 | 0.1 |1000.00

Obviously, these numbers don't match the CHMC numbers for average rents between 2000 and 2009. But it is not surprising ... the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is defined as a measure of price change in the cost of a basket of consumer goods and services. However the CPI excludes real estate, insurance, investments, taxes, fuel and volitile commodities. That is, increases in these sectors (particularly real estate) are not reflected in the CPI.

According to the CHMC, the rent for an average 2 bedroom apartment in Victoria has increased from $750 in 2000 to $1000 in 2009. This 33% increase nowhere matches the 230% increase in the cost of a SFD from $251,398 in 2000 to $580,748 in 2009. (Source: VREB)

This 33% rental increase in 9 years works out to a 3.25% annual increase (compounded) - closer to my suggested 4% "actual" inflation rate. Housing costs (SFD) have increased at an annual rate of 9.75% over the same period of time.

Whew! Need more coffee again!

Deanna said...

I moved to Victoria in Sept 1989. Rent for my 1 bedroom apt on the corner of Blanshard and Pandora (yes, it's now a backpacker's hostel - I was living there when the forest mural was painted on the back) was $275. Went up to $300 in the next year.

In 1996, I was renting a 2 bdrm with a fireplace and 2 patios for $735, again on Pandora, just up the hill from Cook St. In 2001, I was renting a 3 bdrm with a yard for $840 in the Quadra and Topaz area.

Then I bought a condo which I sold last year. I guess I was out of the rental market for too long - I was shocked that a so-so 2 bdrm basement suite was $1100. Gave up on that this spring and moved out to a duplex in Central Saanich with a big yard for $1650. I'm paying as much for rent as I was for mortgage and strata fees. I got great capital gains, but renting isn't saving me any money.

Olives said...

Maybe I've been lucky...

My first one bedroom apartment in 1986 was $180. I 1994 I rented a two-bedroom basement suite for $500. Currently I rent a three-bedroom house for $1,300.

All these places have been in East Saanich area.

Dave said...

Fuel, food, and property taxes are included in the CPI.

An arguably better index would be one excluding food and energy.
Dave3

Just Jack said...

On the positive side Deanna, you have matured into a very very attractive woman with capital gains, as compared to that perky 20 year old that is a $300,000 in debt.

DavidL said...

Dave3 wrote: Fuel, food, and property taxes are included in the CPI.

According to Stats Canada and BC Stats, the Bank of Canada (BoC) defines the terms for the CPI. On the Web site, the BoC defines the core CPI as follows: The CPI excluding eight of the most volatile components (fruit, vegetables, gasoline, fuel oil, natural gas, mortgage interest, inter-city transportation and tobacco products)

Read more at: http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/en/cpi.html

DavidL said...

Olives wrote: Maybe I've been lucky ... My first one bedroom apartment in 1986 was $180. I 1994 I rented a two-bedroom basement suite for $500. Currently I rent a three-bedroom house for $1,300.

I think rather than luck - it may have been "smarts" on your part. A three-bedroom house for $1,300 in Saanich East seems like a very good deal to me.

Deanna said...

lol @ Just Jack

Oh, I'm not complaining - selling the condo and walking away with $100,000 in my pocket was absolutely the right thing to do. The duplex is very nice - not enough closets or electrical outlets, but new floors, new kitchen, a garage, and a 1/2 acre yard are nice after renting a basement suite. It's still amusing to me that even though this is 4 bdrms, we don't have room to comfortably store all the stuff that fit into our 3 bdrm, 1200 sq ft condo. It just goes to show how good the floor plan for that condo was!

I'm still jonesing for a house of my own, but I'm comfortable sitting on my investments and waiting for the right place at the right price.

(and waiting, and waiting!)

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Interesting story about real estate "investors" in today's Financial Post. Seems that rental properties aren't the investment this couple (one a real estate pro) thought they were.

Alexandrahere said...

HHV--I was reading that investment article as well today. Talk about stating the obvious as to what financial steps these "poor" folk should be doing....especially at their age. The article, as many of them do in this section of the paper, made me giggle.

This week, as far as my stats are concerned, is looking to be one of the worst weeks in terms of real estate sales activity so far this year.

Mindset said...

For some additional market information I think bloggers here might want to perform ongoing searches of the Victoria craigs list for 3bdrm units for rent. My wife and I have never seen anything like it. Over 100 listings since Oct 5th alone.

In the mix it appears some nice houses are being pulled off MLS and being put up for cheap rent (some with with incentives). Rents are also getting a lot lower based on our observation over the past year.

Probably some good lead market indicators here for our group statisticians. For SFH's maybe something like rent $$ over appraisal $$ as a ratio, combined with craigs list inventory levels?

Just Jack said...

I listened to Cameron Muir's talk on Garth's site and I see that Cameron has changed the definition of a balanced market from being 4 to 6 months to 5 to 7 months.

So inquiring minds want to know why? I looked at the number of re-sale condos in the urban core and related it to the number of sales in the last 30 days. This gave me 6.1 months of inventory. Before, this would indicate a bearish market with prices stable to decreasing. Under the new 5 to 7 months this would be a balanced market with stable prices.

So what did happen to prices?

The median condo price for the last 30 days was $276,000

The median condo price for the period of time 30 to 60 days ago was
$285,500

So Cameron's 5 to 7 months as being a balanced market is BUSTED.

Nice try Cam, you've been caught moving the goal posts to serve your master.

The most interesting thing about his "talk" is not what he says, but what he does not talk about. Most people agree that an interest rate of 3.9 percent extended out to 35 years makes homes affordable to a lot of the population.

But how about risk? Does qualifying someone at the five year discount rate reflect risk or is it just a confidence game to make the buyer feel secure.

Kind of like putting a subject to financing and building inspection in the purchase agreement, but having the removal date of this condition unrealistically set two days from now.

The only way to reduce risk, is to reduce exposure. And that is by reducing the amortization period. Buyers should be qualified at a 15 year amortization rate.

DavidL said...

@Just Jack wrote: The only way to reduce risk, is to reduce exposure. And that is by reducing the amortization period. Buyers should be qualified at a 15 year amortization rate.

Very interesting point. I seriously doubt that many people would qualify for a 15-year mortgage with current prices. Would qualifying for a 25-year amortization be more realistic?

DavidL said...

Here's Cameron Muir's presentation on YouTube:
BCREA Housing Market Update - In Focus: Population Growth & Housing (Oct 2010)

Corresponding BCREA news release: Market Conditions Beginning to Improve

Maybe we know something about the market that they they don't?

Alexandrahere said...

HHV .... Sorry, I see you said the financial post this morning. I was talking about the piece in the business section of todays Times-Colonist. You must have wondered what I was talking about.

Just Jack said...

In my view, instead of high ratio buyers qualifying at the 5 year rate (which seems to be open to interpretation of what five year rate to use) it would have been better to have high ratio buyers qualify at a 25 year amortization. Some of these purchasers may have then been wise to go the 25 rather than 35 years. At least at renewal time it would give them an option to extend if the interest rate went above what they could afford.

Qualifying at the five year rate was a bad solution by Flaherty showing his misunderstanding of mortgages, brokers creativity and risk.

The really spooky thing about Flaherty is he looks like a cross between my French Canadian grandmother and Ernest Angely the Baptist minister. This creeps me out when I watch him on TV. Because I imagine him in a Mink coat smelling of Lavender perfume and laying hands on Harper saying "evil spirits come out"

As you can guess my grandmother was not an attractive woman and I have issues that I still have to work out.

Olives said...

Is the other shoe about to drop?

John Mauldin's The Subprime Debacle Part 2:

http://www.safehaven.com/article/18580/the-subprime-debacle-act-2

Marko said...

"This week, as far as my stats are concerned, is looking to be one of the worst weeks in terms of real estate sales activity so far this year."

This week was actually not that bad, October will most certainly have a higher sales volume then September unless we see a dramatic slowdown in the next two weeks.

SFH average if hovering around 595k for the month.

Just Jack said...

Nothing really to say, just finished a bike ride and I thought I would share it with you all.

Pondering said...

To give an idea of value in Victoria. I just got back from Boston. You can get a 6 bedroom renovated heritage house from the 1600's for 550k in Salem which is 50 minute train ride from downtown.

eYoK said...

Life is becoming so expensive these days

Marko said...

Looks like they have decided to clear our things at Finlayson Reach on Bear Mountain....

http://bearmountain.ca/Home/Live/Properties.aspx

Marko said...

Unit 1001 looks sweet.

msr said...

Wow Marko,

Quite the bargains out there. Getting up for 60% off.

Marko said...

I wouldn't call it a barging, but someone of the units are attractively priced considering the amenities in that building + concrete built.

Leo S said...

Rode up to Nanaimo today to go see these guys: http://www.twelve3.ca/about_us.html

A 12x12x12ft cube house. Pretty neat, pretty ingeniously built. A bit on the small side, but for a suite, I really like the idea of having a separate building instead of having people actually in your house. Even though it is small I think you could probably rent it out pretty well in Victoria.

Animal Spirit said...

Anyone know the story with 5345 West Saanich - court ordered sale on a large lot.

DavidL said...

@Just Jack wrote: ... just finished a bike ride and I thought I would share it with you all.

That's a lovely photo of you, Jack.

DavidL said...

@Leo S wrote: Rode up to Nanaimo today to go see these guys: http://www.twelve3.ca/about_us.html
A 12x12x12ft cube house. Pretty neat, pretty ingeniously built.


Very cool. Do you have any information about pricing?

Sometime within the next ten years, I plan to look around for a nice vacation/retirement property. A small prefab building like this would be perfect for vacations, etc. until I feel like building a larger house. I could then serve as a guest house, etc.

Leo S said...

$36k for the house. But you need a foundation and hookups. They figure the whole thing will run you around $50k.

They said the houses come flatpacked and can be put together in 4 days.

DavidL said...

Thanks, Leo!

Marko said...

Month-to-Date Market Statistics
Posted by
Oct 18 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010 8:30:

MTD October
2010 2009
Net Unconditional Sales: 251 742
New Listings: 539
1,067
Active Listings: 3,963 3,219

Please Note

Left Column: stats so far this month
Right Column: stats for the entire month from last year

Marko said...

SFH average is running $612,385 helped by an out of town buyer of a 3 million dollar property in Oak Bay. Average DoM for sold SFH is 63.

Price Original = $646,250
Price List = $633,122
Price Sold = $612,385

Alexandrahere said...

BC registered nurses earn approx:

$56,163 to start going to a max of $73,731.

They have shift differentials as well:

Nights an extra $3.50 per hour
Evenings: an extra .70 per hour
Weekends: an extra $2.00 per hour

The charge nurse of the shift earns and extra $9.38 per shift and this responsibility is usually done on a rotational basis.

O/T: time and a half first two hours; double time over first two hours, all hours over 43.2 per week and all hrs worked on a scheduled day off.

Statutory Holidays:

Regular stats: time and a half and I think the superstats of Christmas Day, Good Fri. and Labour Day pay double time or more.

Sweetrealtor said...

I am married to a hard working nurse. I can tell you the majority of them make 70K and up, unless they choose not to work full time. Many of them make up and over 100K after many overtime shifts are factored in.

Not that this has anything to do with real estate or house hunting in Victoria!