Monday, December 20, 2010

December month to date stats

MLS numbers courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras.

Month to date December 2010 (last week's month-to-date totals in brackets)
Net Unconditional Sales: 243 (163)
New Listings: 408 (305)
Active Listings: 3,308 (305)

December 2009 totals
Net Unconditional Sales: 453
New Listings: 480
Active Listings: 2,557

It's a particularly slow time of year, in an untypically slow year for Victoria's real estate market. Not really a good time to be selling, but for those buying, there's a higher chance that what's on the market is in the need-to-sell category versus the want-to-sell, which may mean you can drive a harder bargain.

This early-winter's market has been tough to sort out. There's a bit of a tug of war going on, so far with sellers pulling just that little bit harder. The sales to new listings ratio has been between 4 and 6 for the past couple of months; which is why prices aren't falling as fast as they did in August and September when the market had the bears salivating.


HouseHuntVictoria said...

If you haven't read this from Mish today, do it now: Canadian Borrowing Gone Mad

Animal Spirit said...

Thank god for the new thread. I was just about to ask Marko if he could install baseboard heaters with blowers in the back of my 77 Mustang.

Just Janice said...

Mish getsnit, the bears get it, the question is when will everybody else 'get it'? My only fear is that when the $#!+ does hit the fan, that things will still be really anaemic from an economic point of view. I think it's quite possible that the Canadian circumstance might be worse than the American circumstance right now....

DavidL said...

@ Animal Spirit

Now that was funny!

Leo S said...

Thats the good thing about this blog, when real estate gets boring we can talk about something else. Talking about CMHC on the canadianmortgagetrends thread about amortizations got me immediately deleted. Thou shalt not be off topic!

DavidL said...

I predict that by April, real estate prices will resume dropping as fast as in August and September. I think there are quite a few people holding off on selling - hoping that the market improves by the spring. Meanwhile, the amount of court-ordered sales in my PCS keeps on climbing. I know a few people who were lucky enough to sell last summer and are now saving big $$$ (and marriages) by saving money by renting.

a simple man said...

DavidL - I completely agree. Inventory is high right now, but the shadow inventory of people that have either removed their house from listings until the spring or who are just waiting until the spring is large. I have no stats to back this up - totally subjective and based on my observations.

When all these houses hit the market, prices will fall.

Catherine said...

Thanks everyone for the comments on heating - I've been offline a few days, negotiating a new car deal.

omc said...

In the mean time don't get excited if things are a bit tighter in jan/feb. This always happens.

kabloona said...

From Yahoo Finance:

"Could a U.S.-style collapse happen here?

Tom Fennell, On Monday December 20, 2010, 5:25 pm EST

Home ownership is at the centre of many Canadians' financial retirement plans. That's especially true for baby boomers who are sitting snugly atop a nice wave of real estate inflation.

In fact, the average price of a detached home in Canada has doubled since 2000, and in September was sitting at $331,000. Of course that number pales when compared to Vancouver, where the average price for the same period was $679,000 and in Toronto it was a still-high but a more modest $427,000.

So a lot of people nearing retirement age are hoping the housing market will stay buoyant until they cash out, allowing them to downsize, pay off their debts and still have plenty of money left over...."

DavidL said...

Regarding all the rumblings by Carney, Flaherty, and the big banks ... I would propose the following changes to residential mortgage qualification/renewal:

[1] Mortgage qualification must continue to be calculated using a 5-year fixed rate payment schedule.
[2] New mortgages must have an amortization period of no more than 25 years. A 10% down payment is required for owner-occupied residences. If not owner-occupied (such as rental), a 25% down payment is required.
[3] The amortization period for existing mortgages which are greater than 25 years cannot be extended. For example, a 35-year mortgage with a 3-year fixed rate mortage cannot be amortized for more than 32 years at renewal time.
[4] Home equity lines of credit (HELOC) may not exceed 10% of the assessed value of the residence, and the remaining principal + HELOC must not exceed the assessed value of the residence. Existing HELOC that exceed these constraints must be reduced by 10% per year until such time that the remaining principal + HELOC no longer exceeds the assessed value of the residence.


Just Jack said...

The mandate of CMHC to be returned to helping Canadians to buy a home.

CMHC insurance, no longer to be used for secondary residences or investment properties.

That CMHC become an autonomous body with clear non politcial objectives, like the Bank of Canada. And not to be used by governments for party politics.

Harper better call an election before this market disintegrates, otherwise they'll be lucky to get two seats in the next election.

Simply put

Don't fu.. with a man's castle

DavidL said...

@ Just Jack

Do you think that most Canadians will hold Harper et al. responsible for for a crashing real estate market? Maybe I'm too cynical ...

HouseHuntVictoria said...

The problem isn't Harper's alone. The trend started under the Liberals in the early late 1990s and early 2000s. Harper definitely poured gas on the fire, but if you understand gov't policy making, you'll know it wouldn't have mattered much which party was in power because they both acted in the same manner.

The problem isn't the gov't. The problem is the CMHC.

It's outlived it's mandate IMO. End all mortgage insurance altogether and you'll quickly see where the true market value is. If the banks are such "prudent" lenders and Canadians are so "conservative" when taking on debt, why do we need the CMHC anymore at all? All they do is skew the market to the upside and prevent substantial bank losses should the market correct.

Mr.4AM said...

HHV, you totally nailed it.


DavidL said...

I agree that the CHMC is a big part of the problem... but who sets their policies?

If I recall correctly, there are a number of private insurers (such as He Capital) who offer competative rates to the CHMC. In fact, don't some of these companies specialize in high risk mortgages that don't qualify for a CHMC insured mortgage?

DavidL said...

Ahhh... that would be "GE Capital" (damn smart phone).

Just Jack said...

I think the Canadian government underwrites GE Capital, just like it does CMHC?

I could be wrong though, because only have access to a mentally challenged phone.

Al said...

Does anyone kow how much is 3891 Ansell Rd sold for? It was in mls (properly a listing only deal) a few days back. thx.

Alexandrahere said...

Well the dreamer at 2407 Estevan in Oak Bay finally came down to a little bit of reality. Original asking price $940,000 sold for $705,000. Still 150K or so above assessment but currently in the real world of Victoria/Oak Bay sales.

Marko said...


The Ansell property sold for 630k.

I had a client prepared to write an offer on it at the time of sale.

I encourage all buyers to monitor not only MLS but also property guys, craigslist, and usedvictoria as deals can come up time to time. It is also important to work with a buyers' Realtor who is willing to work with you on a such transaction.

1750 Richardson sold today for 935k! Impressive.

2327 Florence finally sold for $540,000 - I am assuming a lot of bloggers on here viewed this property at some point.

Al said...

Thanks Marko.

The asking price (Ansell property in Mt. Tolmie area) was $649,900, we thought it was too high, for 2400 sq. ft total including finished basement, 2 bedrooms on main floor and 2 bedrooms suite in basement. Expected it to sell around $600K. Sounds like the owners got a good deal.

Marko said...

Did you get a chance to look at it?

- 40 Year Roof (2 years old)
- Heat Pump (2 years old)
- Newer gas furance with upgraded ducting.
- Newer gas hot water tank
- All new windows
- Newer viynl deck
- New Bathroom upstairs with glass slate shower.
- Solid bathroom downstairs
- Newer kitchen
- Refinished floors
- New interlocking paved drive
- Well set up suite, legal because south of Mckenize, rental value probably $1,200/month.
- Nice rec room downstairs.
- 8400 sq/ft lot, 100% usable.
- Newer garage
- I am missing a lot of things.

Overall this place was immaculate inside and out. The owners had lived there for 8 years and systematically carried out upgrades and renovations. This was not a flip job. The $12,000 they put into the interlocking driveway probably got back $1,000 when it came to sell the house.

If I itemized all the upgrades carried out in this home I think you would be surprised.

Marko said...

Stand corrected: Lot size was 8220 sq/ft for 3891 Ansell.

Closest comparable is the flip job of 3913 Ansell Road.

2149 sq/ft finished.
6120 sq/ft lot.

Obvious flip. Sold quickly on MLS for 640k. Certainly no heatpump or any other upgrades where it is difficult to get your money back.

Al said...

No Marko, we didn't go inside but we live close by and know most work they have done. Note a suite is allowed in the area, but is not legal until it has been inspected and approved and registered by Saanich.

That being said, this example shows that the market has not yet dropped to 2008/2009 dip level, as we paid about the same for ours in Feb 2009, which has everything new, 300sf bigger house, 1000sf larger lot in the same neighborhood.

Marko said...

"Note a suite is allowed in the area, but is not legal until it has been inspected and approved and registered by Saanich."

Fair enough, are they calling them legal non-confirming like in Victoria or is there a different term for Sannich?

We just received an occupancy permit on a brand new home with a suite in Esquimalt and the suite had to be registered. Get this, in Esquimalt now they make you sign legal paper acknowledging you can only rent the suite if you actually live in the home. You cannot build a new home and rent out both the suite and the main living space. You have to live in one or the other. Was kind of a surprise.

"No Marko, we didn't go inside but we live close by and know most work they have done."

Inside was really done with attention, even the 2 bedroom suite was nicely appointed with fireplace, well laid out kitchen, etc.

Marko said...

Al, you pretty much bought at the bottom of the dip so your house is obviously going to look like a great deal compared to others selling in the neighborhood now.

a simple man said...

I want to wish everyone and their families peace and happiness over the holidays.

Your dialogue over the past year has been a great gift to me.

dub said...

Is Canada waking up to the contradiction called the CMHC?

CMHC is answer to ballooning consumer debt

I'd like to think so, but am constantly surprised at how little people seem to know and understand about the CMHC (aside from the fact that they paid them some money so that they could buy their house).

Al said...


Saanich seems has tight rules than Victoria. In addition of the owner occupy rules similar to Esquimalt, the owners also must supply one off-street parking space for the suite. See: