Saturday, January 29, 2011

Brace yourselves: January 2011 sales underwhelming

Just Jack gave us this run down of January sales volumes since 1999 in the last post. It needs to be highlighted, for more than just its comic relief!

1999 - 260 - the market is idling at the start line
2000 - 254 - market is still idling
2001 - 289 - starts creeping forward
2002 - 461 - the tires are smoking up
2003 - 437 - this ain't your dad's Buick, hold on Alice

2004 - 428 - its a friggin' Bugatti Veyron
2005 - 432 - with Nitrox Oxide
2006 - 431 - and no brakes
2007 - 387 - switching tanks
2008 - 406 - to the moon Alice
2009 - 255 - hit the brakes Alice, I think there's a brick wall ahead
2010 - 361 - nope it was a mirage
2011 - January estimate of volume of sales is... 273 - "for Christ's sakes Alice, we're outta road, jump!"


Marko said...

It is going to be over 300.

Animal Spirit said...

Check out the 84K price reduction and newly court ordered sale on 1358 Kristae Rae Lane - now listed at 20% below 2010 assessment.

Though I can imagine that it needs a lot of work, that is quite the discount.

Has anyone seen the innards?

think said...

court ordered sale just popped up on Moss Street too...

omc said...

The #s are so low, even a couple of sales makes a difference % wise. What I am noticing, at least in my watched market, is the type of sales. Most are at a pretty good price.

The stuff that has been on the market for long periods is showing up again, but at a slightly lower price. I find this a a little surprising as this time of year they usually reappear at higher prices initially.

Watching and waiting said...

My co-worker lives near that Kristin Rae home. Notes it was a rental for many years. Plus strata.

Anybody notice the 30k price drop on the 5 BR property on Musgrave within 10 days on market? Did the open house - needs lots of work. My gut says divorce sale. It looked like they lived in separate rooms. Too bad, they've only owned the house for 5 years.

Marko, 300 is still a drop compared to the 400+ for Jan 2010.

I see the house on Kelsey in N.Oak Bay went in one day and under assessed. Nice to see that whole neighbourhood take an equity haircut if they tried to list tomorrow. What's up with the house on Henderson at 639k. Estate sale but no real price drops?

omc said...

That house on Musgrave has been on the market for a long, long time. It is a busy, noisy location also.

I took a look at Kelsy also, you should take a look at what houses in that neighborhood, needing work, sold for last year. The haircut was a bit deeper in that neighborhood last year. Lots of students sitting in the front yard drinking beer in that area.

Watching and waiting said...

OMC - the one I'm referring to is MLS 287431. I know there was another house on Musgrave towards uplands past Estevan Village which yes, was on the market for a long time. Correct me if I'm wrong on 287431 re: 10 DOM.

I watched a house on Avondale sell if recall for 645k last summer - I believe it was an estate sale. The assessed value on that one if I recall was in the 700k+ territory. Needed the usual updating.

omc said...

Yup, thats the one I am talking about. It has been on and off the market for about a year. Some times FOSBO. The old mls# for it is 275973 from may when they were asking $720.

My PCS doesn't go far enough back, but I thought that one on Avondale sold ver low. It's been my impression that houses that sold last year in that area took a big haircut.

omc said...


Could you please let us know what mls 281773, 2096 avondale sold for

Marko said...

281773: 645k

Alexandrahere said...

Another "Dockside Green" condo has been sold!!! Original Asking Price? $681K Sold for $520K. Nice condo except bedrooms are a little small for me at that price.

Animal Spirit said...

that's 23.6% off original asking price. Was it a new condo, or a used one? If the used variety, then a lot of owners just took a haircut on their property value...

omc said...

I think Marko is right about the over 300 #. There should be sales showing up as completing on not only the Friday, but the end of the month also. The market isn't like 2009, where things weren't selling. 2010 wasn't exactly gang busters either; this was the month that I watched the prices start to fall from the peak. If we come under 2010 #s even with the people who will be rushing in before the rules change, we are doing very well.

Just Jack said...

Total number of sales of non-revenue homes and stratas for the month of January for the Core, Westshore and Peninsula areas as of 8:00 AM is 268

Marko said...

Monday, January 31, 2011 8:00am:

MTD January
2011 2010
Net Unconditional Sales: 320 418
New Listings: 1,122 1,211
Active Listings: 3,174 2,793

Please Note

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

Just Jack said...

I know those are the numbers shown by the board this morning. But when I do a search, those are not the numbers that I get.

Obviously, the board is including sales of other things besides houses and stratas in Greater Victoria, like vacant land, businesses, Gulf Islands, commercial leases, industrial sales, etc.

But since I calculated my data, just on homes and stratas for each each year in the same way, for each year. It holds true that this is one of the worst months for January sales in almost a decade.

Alexandrahere said...

Good morning all. This week has the highest average selling price in my areas of interest since I started tracking sales prices in mid July 2010.

Here are my stats for the week of 24 Jan - 30 Jan: SFH, priced between $375K - $775K, minimum 2 beds & 2 baths, located in the core municipalities of Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Saanich East and Saanich West.

NEW: 30
SOLD: 13
P/C: 16
OM: 1

Average Selling Price: $601K
Median Selling Price: $630K
Four of the 13 homes sold went for below BC assessed value.

Condos: Min 2 beds priced between $260K and $665K located in most areas of Victoria & Saanich East, all areas of Oak Bay and Esquimalt & Gorge,Tillicum & Interurban areas of Saanich West.
NEW: 20
SOLD: 6 apts and one townhouse
P/C: 16
OM: 1
The townhouse sold under assessment at $340K. Avg Selling Price of apts: $355K;Med: $338K
Half of the condo apts sold for under assessed value.

Marko said...

Just Jack,

Yea, but last year they also included vacant land, etc.

We need to compare apples to apples, and 320 vs. 418 is just that?

Excluding a bunch of properties and comparing is 268 to 418 is misleading.

Rhino said...

thanks for the #'s Alexandra. The condo market looks downright lethargic. I don't have actual numbers to back this up, but I will go out on a limb and say more condos were sold in Jan 2002 than Jan 2011. Just think of how much bigger the stock of condominiums is now?

Leo S said...

Average Selling Price: $601K
Median Selling Price: $630K

Wow, median higher than average. The lower end really is dead. Strange, I would have expected if there was any sort of buying surge it would be on the lower end of the market.

DavidL said...


I'm guessing that those people who can "afford" real estate at the lower end of the market are already tapped out. As there is a finite amount of market growth possible and with ~70% (national) ownership rates, most of the current market activity appears to be people who are [1] already established in the market, or [2] who are "well to do" and can afford a 600K+ mortgage.

Just Jack said...

Well, we certainly do not want to be misleading. So, here's the raw data, the whole enchilada, the good -the bad -the ugly from houses to commercial leases, warehouse sales, to sales of small islands for January of each year.


Since we are looking at housing, not industrial leases or vacant multi-family building sites, the original data reflects what IS happening in residential. This last set includes everything and still shows the same trends.

The intention was not to mislead, I chose not to include commercial and industrial oranges and only look at residential apples in January of each year. I don't think there is anything misleading in that as long as I stated HOW I ran the search.

But, you have a choice - use either set of data you wish.

Alexandrahere said...

Check out 683 Jolly...brand new 2010 built home. Originally asking $669K now at $598K. Apparently below building costs. There is no floor plan included and is not advertised with a suite. There are 4 good sized bedrooms (one on the lower level) and 3 full baths plus double garage. A suite may be possible by the look of it.

Just Jack said...

Basically, there is no change in the price for the property on Jolly.

The current asking price does not include HST. While the previous price included the 12 percent HST.

Too bad, the real estate board doesn't set a standard of how the asking price should be shown. Especially when it comes to HST rebates.

DavidL said...

@Just Jack

Thanks for the residential apples... interesting numbers for sure.

Watching and waiting said...

went to the open house on Jolly. The realtor was on my back extolling the virtues of this house the whole time - real hardsell. Tried to tell me you can dig out the cement floor 5' basement/crawl space and add a suite downstairs. Asked him if the perimeter drains would be higher than the floor - cue the crickets. I also noticed they did not have all the appliances which makes me wonder if the builder was tapped out.Cheap finishing, overlooks a dirt berm separating the house and the pat bay highway. It's also a corner property with a very small side yard if you want to call it that.

Mr.4AM said...

Don't look now but the Financial Post just posted a story suggesting that the excessive growth of the CMHC could be putting tax payers at risk, should the real estate markets go down.

My favorite part:

"The report also makes the case for beefed up oversight of CMHC as right now its relationship with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is primarily a courtesy arrangement under which the crown corporation is not compelled to follow OSFI directives."

Ooooh a loop hole! Didn't see that one coming didja Harper?


patriotz said...

Another "Dockside Green" condo has been sold!!! Original Asking Price? $681K Sold for $520K. Nice condo except bedrooms are a little small for me at that price

The real issue is that the rents are more than a little small at that price. There's a furnished 2BR for rent on Craigslist right now for $1650/month. That spells downside for prices, big time.

omc said...

Hey, guess what! There is a bunch of overpriced garbage listings that didn't sell last year filling up my PCS.

They aren't even waiting for the season this year. Almost a bimodal market; you want to sell and you price aggressively, or you're a dreamer/flipper and you price aggressively in the other direction.

Just Jack said...

One of the things that CMHC should be made to do, is to have a reserve for losses, at the same levels of other insurers.

But, that would mean that CMHC would have to substantially increase the cost of the insurance to the public and not re-insure a good amount of the policies that it holds.

Another thing Flaherty could do, is raise the level the banks can do conventional mortgages from 80% to 85%. That could reduce some of the exposure to Canadian taxpayers. But, the consumer may pay a higher interest rate to compensate the banks for the larger risk.

I think the days of CMHC insuring home equity lines and non owner occupied dwellings is going to disappear. Eventually, the cost of insurance will be too expensive for most Canadians and CMHC will be neutered.

Reid said...

I went to look at a recreational property at a ski resort I often visit last week. The realtor representing the resort was all over me. Prices for the new condos at this resort are down 40% and they are open to low ball offers (her words). I asked her why there is no demand today. She said the combination of the new 2010 mortgage rules requiring people to put down 20% and the 12% HST has all but killed sales. She said most of the buyers in prior years were putting down a minimal amount and utilizing CMHC, but now the cash required is too high even with the much reduced pricing. She said now it is all about how much cash people have and not so much about how much credit they can secure. So the condo I was looking at was $500k, but is now listed at $300k, but you could easily get it for $250,000 or half of what they were originally asking. The problem is you need to have a $50,000 deposit, $30,000 in HST and $3,000 in PPT or $83,000 in cash (33% of the purchase price) to buy a new condo regardless of your borrowing capacity.

In Victoria I can buy a principal residence for $500,000 with 5% down and no HST. Cash required is a down payment of $25,000 and $8,000 for PPT for a total $33,000 (6.6% of the purchase price) or $50,000 less than the recreation/investment property which is purchased for half the price. I was actually thinking about low balling this place, but now I realize that there are simply not going to be sufficient buyers for many years in this market unless the rules change and consequently prices are likely going to continue tanking. So it will be interesting to watch resort/recreation towns over the coming year as they are likely going to be the leaders in real estate price declines.

Waiting said...

Love this ad. Any predictions on how long until it shows up on MLS?

Robert Reynolds - HMR Insurance said...


Interesting, I have on occasion thought of buying a "recreation" property as a first property, as they seem to be more volatile in value, and might drop in price further/faster than residential as you have noticed. I assume the used properties are not as hard hit due to no HST?

To me 20% down for a ski chalet or lakefront vacation home seems reasonable, isn't that what it used to take back in the day?

Check out MLS 287918
1200 sq ft. 1950's built rancher.
2 bed, 1 bath. no basement, oil furnace, hideous kitchen and bath. shed looks like it is falling down. garbage in the yard, and the exterior looks like it probably is very damaged and in need of repair. Foundation "see remarks" that sounds promising...

The realtor says invest some "sweat equity" and it will be great. well that an another hundred grand and you have a half million dollar box...


Just Jack said...

The banks will finance the HST. CMHC lends on the purchase price plus the HST less any rebates.

Yup, they finance a tax

Marko said...

Tuesday February 1, 2011 8:45am:

Jan Jan
2011 2010
Net Unconditional Sales: 339 418
New Listings: 1,187 1,211
Active Listings: 3,283 2,793

Please Note

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

patriotz said...

CMHC lends on the purchase price plus the HST less any rebates.

Yup, they finance a tax

That actually makes sense economically since the HST is built into the cost of the property.

They were financing the PST and GST on inputs (which were built into the cost, just not visibly) before, right?

Another way of looking at it. A property sells new for 500K+HST = 560K. Suppose at the same time someone who had bought an identical property, and never lived in it sold it. What would he get for it? 560K with no HST. Because the two properties are identical to the buyer and the buyer cares about how much he pays, not who gets what.

Colleen said...

Could anyone please tell me if on a new home purchase, the 20% down is calculated on the sale price or the sale price + HST. Ie...on a 500k house, is the 20% down 100k or $112 (560k x 12%). It's surprisingly difficult to find an answer to this simple question.