Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday market update and a bunch of useless numbers

MLS numbers courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras. These numbers are for the Victoria Real Estate Board's reporting area, including Sooke, Shawnigan Lake and the Gulf Islands.

Month-to-date May 2011
Net Unconditional Sales: 128
New Listings: 396
Active Listings: 4,417
Sales to new listings ratio: 32%
Sales to active listings ratio: 11.5% or 11 MOI (estimated)

May 2010 totals
Net Unconditional Sales: 695
New Listings: 1,621
Active Listings: 4,521
Sales to new listings ratio: 42.8%
Sales to active listings ratio: 15% or 6.5 MOI

I don't have much to say about the numbers other than they point to a flat market this spring. This is different from the previous two years, but not so unlike 2008, where there was absolutely zero upwards price pressure on the local market. So while the CREA hikes the forecast for home values in Canada, clearly they are skipping over the effect of Canada's 15th city (when ranked by size) on the national marketplace (H/T happy renter). Whatever, they skipped over all but Upper Manhattan Vancouver's west side when they tried to massage the numbers like Victoria's Secret massages cup sizes under the shirts of the Shark Club girls (OH, no he didn't!). Useless those numbers (I'll let readers decide which is which).

Which brings us full circle to another bunch of useless numbers, this time provided by our very own local board. Each month, the VREB solicits responses from local REALTORS® about who's buying, why and how they're planning to pay. I've seen the dispatch a number of times but never commented on it before, for two reasons: first, it's incomplete; and second, it's internal only, which means it can't be trusted enough to be released publicly in its internal dispatch form anyway. SweetRealtor provided us with some of the data in the previous post's comments, so I feel compelled to provide the HHV filter on the data (please read that as my opinion only).

The last time someone-in-the-know sent this to me was in a month where there were 318 sales. A grand total of 84 REALTORS® responded to the survey. That's a 26% response rate. Given that the scientific polls in Canada's 41st election couldn't have been more wrong about the outcome, I'm compelled to dismiss the "survey" of local REALTORS® without further discussion for the sales tool it's likely meant to be.

This is no slight on SweetRealtor, who's input and commentary I, amongst most of you readers, value greatly, but I simply don't think we should give any weight to the results of an inside buyer's motivation/financing survey when A) it doesn't capture every buyer and B) it is far beyond a stretch of the imagination to interpret these numbers as-given against market sales-related data and attempt to construe one set of numbers into the other to come up with any kind of explanation for the current market state. 

Interesting they are; but definitive they are far from. 

85 comments:

Animal Spirit said...

Thanks HHV for keeping this going!

A couple of notes:
- at this rate, May sales may be real low, causing quite a bit of downward pressure on prices
- speaking of prices, Price Bay lane just sold for 436, down from 470 - quite a drop below the 491 assessed for a new house
- and Musgrave just dropped the price 70K to 569. Is someone getting desperate, or just trying to start a bidding war?

My read on Oak Bay is that the retirees who would have bought there in the past are either buying in the southern U.S. because it is so much cheaper, or picking up a luxury condo instead of a small old 3 br.

Leo S said...

From previous post:
One said he went to look at the demographics of a condo presale lineup himself, and based on what he saw, he's now he's a believer in HAM.

There certainly seems to be strong evidence for HAM when watching those stories on TV. Even Garth has quit dismissing the HAM theory and moved to talking about how bad it will be when the HAM stops coming.

However, lots of those asians in condo lines could be just locals too. What is it, like 30% of asian descent in vancouver?

Watching and waiting said...

if you can't sell, by golly rent it ...

$2900/month - who are they kidding??

http://victoria.en.craigslist.ca/apa/2367907115.html

Watching and waiting said...

never mind $2900/month for rent, this landlord with throw in a <> new flatscreen TV:

http://www.usedvictoria.com/classified-ad/FREE-NEW-FLAT-SCREEN-TV-WITH-LEASE--BEAUTIFUL--QUIET-2BDRM-GREAT-LOCATION_14742662

Mindset said...

Leo S Said: (continuing the previous post) However, lots of those asians in condo lines could be just locals too. What is it, like 30% of asian descent in vancouver

I've heard that's exactly why Vancouver is so HAM crazy. Every city in Canada has the same lax repatriation rules, but people do tend to go to places they have heard of, already have relatives or feel culturally safe.

Does everyone here know that Victoria is one of the whitest cities in Canada? With global integration and the flood of highly educated immigrants into almost every thriving business sector, this statistic is pretty embarrassing. Not to mention that recent studies associated a 10% gain in cultural diversity, with a 15% gain in innovation....

Craig said...

"With global integration and the flood of highly educated immigrants into almost every thriving business sector, this statistic is pretty embarrassing."

Most of Canada's immigrants are family class, not skilled, and it's one reason they are mired in poverty even years after arriving.

"Not to mention that recent studies associated a 10% gain in cultural diversity, with a 15% gain in innovation...."

Intellectual diversity, yes. But this is separate from cultural diversity, which can go either way.

a simple man said...

and 828 Hampshire just listed with an agent for $725K. Coincidentally, 868 Hampshire went up yesterday on an identical sized lot, but a smaller home, for $600K.

Interesting times!

happy renter said...

How the home price forecasts changed

The short version: blame it on Vancouver.

a simple man said...

"There were 445 total housing starts over the first four months of the year in Greater Victoria, a 47 per cent drop from the same period in 2010"

TC today

a simple man said...

House on Dewdney also drops 50K today.

happy renter said...

Western Union cuts 140 jobs in Victoria

omc said...

I remember this time of year last year as the time the price drops started to happen. Things will start to get vary interesting soon. Especially when simple amn is no longer lurking in the market, having bought his house on st anne. At least then they will take down the new listing sign and the open house sign.

A good time to list is Feb, not May. The spring market is mostly done.

Just Janice said...

I'm wondering what your take on 75 Linden is?

a simple man said...

very astute, omc.

Just Janice - for the price, size and location it seems cheap. The age gives me pause as it just celebrated its 100th year birthday. Go over it with a fine tooth comb looking for foundation issues, insulation, rot. etc. Find out what has been done with permit and what hasn't - is the plumbing newer or vintage, same for electrical. These old houses can cost a fortune to fix. But then I have a bit of a self-professed aversion to building-character houses.

omc said...

I haven't viewed that one since we are not looking at homes with suites. Other than that, it is in a nice location, but what about schools? Vic high and central don't have good reps and in fact are very far away.

It is a 1911 house; some are gems but most I have seen are not. We call these "character building" houses for a reason. It will most likely have no insulation in the walls just to start with. I have been in houses of this vintage where you wear your outside coat, and your hair actually moves with the breezes that come from outlets and such.

There will at least be one level with knob and tube wiring. The plumbing can be very challenging and undersized. permieter drains? we don't need no stinking perimeter drains! It also sounds like you couldn't see the foundation due to the suite; this would scare me at this vintage. You get the idea.

It sounds like a negative nelly, but be very cautious with old timers. I am a former trades person who is comfortable with most work, and I would be extremely hesitant to buy one.

Just Janice said...

Thanks for the input - my preference is to sit on the sidelines, but dh is starting to itch to buy. Thankfully he's happy in our rental - but he has written to the owner indicating we'd be interested in buying. My fear is that she'll take us up on it - so I'm wanting to know what 'fair market' value is. I called the realtor and was informed the basement height is 6'5" and that the one suite is 'kind of rough'....

We like Fairfield. Our current home is waterfront. We like the elementary schools and middle school is about 11 years away so not of a concern for a long while.

Funny enough in conversations with my two neighbors the one to the North indicated he is thinking of selling soon and the tenants to the West have indicated that their landlord intends to put their home on the market in July and so they will be moving in June....it'll be interesting to see what the asking prices are....

Just Jack said...

I think the recent updating was done by the previous owner of the home when it was bought in 2007 for $885K.

People tend to overpay for recent updates, so I'm guessing the $885K was high back then.

The good news for you, bad for the hubby is that they most likely will not drop the price to near or below what they bought the home for in 2007.

My guess, is that the listing will probably expire after 90 days. You might want to look at updated homes that were bought five or more years ago, the vendors will be more likely to accept reasonable offers.

This advice was brought to you free - and that is what its worth.

Just Jack said...

I went biking through Fairfield and Oak Bay last weekend and besides the increased number of real estate sigs, I noticed a lot of homes that seem to be being prepared for sale. New paint, driveway repairs, renos, etc.

So, Janice I think your neighbors have it right. There's a lot of inventory about to come on the market. Right now we're sitting around 115 homes for sale in Victoria and 96 for sale in Oak Bay. Oak Bay inventory is high and it looks like there will be more homes for sale in Oak Bay than Victoria in the future. Despite the fact that Oak Bay has only one-fourth the population as Victoria.

We live in interesting times.

Just Jack said...

If you're one of the few lucky ones that have sold your condominium in the last month, it really is tough to find a home in the Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich East areas to buy at a reasonable cost.

You probably just cleared enough on the condo sale for 20 percent down payment on home as long as you can keep the house price under $500,000. Otherwise you need a suite and those homes scream up by another $100,000 and more.

It would be absolutely disappointing to have to live on Foul Bay road after scrimping to pay for a condo for the last several years. Because you're no better off than if you had bought the starter home on Foul Bay road instead of the condo half a dozen years ago.

And speaking of condos, sales in the last 30 days, suggest that future home sales are going to get worse. Only 112 condos have sold in the last 30 days in Greater Victoria, that's not going to translate into many house purchases in the upcoming 30 days.

omc said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that many that sell off their condos, will not be re-entering the housing market for some time. This happened in the early 90s; young people lost money on their condos. Real estate became very out of fashion for some time.

Just Jack said...

The kids could sell off the condo and move back in with mom and dad.

Imagine 25 years old and a hundred grand in the bank....

Time to travel around the world...

Hello Thailand...., Australia

and

.... Moose Jaw Saskatchewan.

If your 25 and single with a 100K... what the hell are you doing here. Go out, have fun, see and do everything, then come back and marry the sucker who stayed here and kept the house.

jesse said...

MOI well above 6 for THIS time of year... not looking too promising for sellers for the next 3-4 months, a time that's supposed to be peak selling season.

a simple man said...

I was up to visit my mom last night in the western communities. She lives on a small cul-de-sac that has perhaps 12 homes.

In the past month two of the houses on the street had sons return to the basement suites, along with recent brides. Both had bought new condos but could no longer afford the payments and sold. Don't know if at a loss.

Both were construction contractors. Their big trucks are gone, too.

omc said...

That is what I mean about young people selling condos and not moving up in the housing market. Also, as markets go sideways, condos go down. They won't be able to afford to buy again after selling.

omc said...

The big truck thing was also a way we could tell the newbies in the trades. Who in their right mind would actually haul anything in a polished black pick up with huge wheels and tons of chrome?

Marko said...

"Both were construction contractors. Their big trucks are gone, too."

Do you know how many people call themselves contractors?

The guy framing one of the houses we are building right now has two job offers - Butchart Gardens & School Board or he can continue doing his own thing framing houses.

I have a listing on Players Drive right now where the builder framed the home himself, roofed it, did all the finishing inside himself, is building a spectacular kitchen himself, works 60+ hours per week....do you think people like this are ever going to be out of work?

Jason said...

Maybe not these particular two, but there certainly were plenty nail-pounders out of work for a short time in 2008. Just like any industry, there are lots of imperfect, lazy, peronally dislikeable, under-experienced or for some other reason less employable people than others in their industry. Trades are certainly not immune to downturns.

Leo S said...

do you think people like this are ever going to be out of work?

No. Does it matter? No one is saying every single construction worker will lose their jobs. The point is, in slow times, the weak are weeded out. People with no jobs don't buy houses, they leave town. All contributes to the trend.

a simple man said...

Hi Marko - the cream always rises to the top. I have no doubt there are excellent craftsmen out there (ie. Maximillian Huxley, Coastal Construction, etc) but the boom we have seen here also brought in a lot of questionably-skilled contractors as well. Those of lesser skill are the first to have losses in employment, not make their bills, lose the lease on their big trucks and then sell their condos.

I don't have a hate on for contractors - I just don't like people who present themselves to have a skillset in a particular area that they really don't. They are in every profession and every trade.

a simple man said...

omc - I have often thought the same - how could such shiny trucks be work trucks? I would buy a 10-yr old truck that had seen a lot of love and really use it as a work truck.

I have the sense the flashy trucks are more about egos - they are the ying to the businessman's corvette yang.

Marko said...

"The point is, in slow times, the weak are weeded out. People with no jobs don't buy houses, they leave town. All contributes to the trend."

The weak typically are not buying houses.

Secondly, not everyone is losing money on condos. My listing at 207-630 Speed Ave sold a few weeks ago for $332,000 and my client paid $275,000 back in 2007. Enjoyed it for 4 years, and made some coin tax free.

Jason said...

"The weak typically are not buying houses."

Cringinly darwinian, but.... clearly they are. Anecdotal stories like ASM's post is merely more evidence of it. And with the lax lending habits that exist, why wouldn't they. More stringent lending criteria is there to stop it from happening, but people buying both condos and expensive trucks on the basis of several good years are the reason for our horrifying personal debt statistics. And dont forget those stats are averages, which means there are many on the far side of that 150% number.

The over-indebted will be the banana peel on which this market first slips i think. Reality and common sense will be the guy that kicks it in the teeth while it is down. Momentum will be the ensuing vehicle that runs it over.

Jason said...

And not everyone is losing money on condominiums ...... yet.

Leo S said...

The weak typically are not buying houses.

70% home ownership rate, remember?

Secondly, not everyone is losing money on condos.

Who is claiming they are? That some guy made marginal gains in 4 years isn't exactly surprising. The market is up since then.

BC Troll said...

Shiny new trucks are for people who want others to think they are successful. When I see a shiny truck I think of insecure people with big car payments and big gas expenses. Shiny trucks can easily be 10% of the cost of a house and unlike houses there is no debate about what happens to their value after they are bought.

Watching and waiting said...

simpleman: I'm sure you know by now that 828 listed with Marko - way to go 828 .. better to have tried and failed than to never tried at all (referring to first listing it on your own).

Introvert said...

The over-indebted will be the banana peel on which this market first slips i think. Reality and common sense will be the guy that kicks it in the teeth while it is down. Momentum will be the ensuing vehicle that runs it over.

This is the funniest extended metaphor I've ever seen. Does anyone else agree? This one's a keeper: whenever I feel down I'm just going to read it again.

Marko said...

People are too caught up on other people's trucks, debt situtations, living arrangements, etc.

DavidL said...

I've never quite understood the accountant driving a BMW, real estate agent driving a Lexus, and the contractor driving a shiny new 7.3 litre turbodiesel pick-up.

In my mind, if you look that well off - you are charging too much!

DavidL said...

@Marko

Other peoples' debt situations do affect the economy and thus the real estate market. Too much debt = forced sales = declining prices.

Living arrangements? Who was mentioning this ...?

Just Jack said...

DavidL said...
@Marko

Other peoples' debt situations do affect the economy and thus the real estate market. Too much debt = forced sales = declining prices.

Living arrangements? Who was mentioning this

Agree, agree, agree.

I've never quite understood the accountant driving a BMW, real estate agent driving a Lexus, and the contractor driving a shiny new 7.3 litre turbodiesel pick-up.

In my mind, if you look that well off - you are charging too much

Agree, agree, agree.

The over-indebted will be the banana peel on which this market first slips i think. Reality and common sense will be the guy that kicks it in the teeth while it is down. Momentum will be the ensuing vehicle that runs it over.

This is the best writing. Yes, I will read this often and smile.

S2 (JJ's wife)

a simple man said...

Marko said "People are too caught up on other people's trucks, debt situtations, living arrangements, etc."

These things are important illustrations of how we got here and where we are going. Too many people overextend themselves and make purchases of $50K + vehicles when they really can't afford and/or really don't need it. It is about image and it is a sad reflection on our society. Sure, some people can afford a flashy BMW or truck with little or no concern and it is their earned money - I give all the power to them to spend their money as they choose.

The trucks often play into their debt situations - or a flashy bmw into others. I am sure you can see that. The car and truck sales people prey on these uneducated consumers as much as the unscrupulous RE agents - they really don't care if their client is overextending themselves as long as they get the sale.

Many of these young, uneducated naive people have become overextended with condos and trucks and are now being forced to move back with mom and dad where the living is cheap. This is very relevant to this forum as it helps understand what is happening here in Victoria and I would dare say has a lot more relevance than any CREA press release that has twisted the numbers to drive more sales despite a sick market (but who cares, right? As long as commissions hold up the house of cards).

And yes, Marko, we are all aware you live in the basement of your mom and dad's house, but you are different in that you never left because you knew it was not financially a good decision for you - you are different than the two men I wrote of who recently returned to the nest with their recent brides in tow. You hustle and have three careers as I see it (contractor, RE agent, pulmonary tech). Good for you. If you want to drive a bling car I suspect you have earned it.

a simple man said...

by the way, Marko. I like the new website.

Sweetrealtor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sweetrealtor said...

It used to drive me nuts when I worked for 1% and I'd have a buyer's agent drive up in his/her Jaguar and rake the sellers over the coals for extra commission. I drive a 2003 Matrix and I drive the hell out of it. I agree with JJ, if you have a flashy car it just appears that you are charging too much - way too much.

a simple man said...

Sweetrealtor - I like your style. Yours, too, Marko.

Sweetrealtor said...

HHV, I must admit I was a bit gobsmacked to see my name in your main article. I don't feel slighted in the slightest that you don't value the data of the market poll.
However, I do see the value of this data. It doesn't matter if 35% or 100% of the sales answer the poll. It's meant to be a snapshot of what is happening and I'd argue it is very close to the numbers you would see if all the sales were surveyed. It's very similar to the Angus Reid polls in the pre-election. The polls suggested the Conservatives were strong, the NDP was picking up steam and destined to place second, and most of Canada couldn't stand how Ignatieff wagged his finger at us every time he spoke. They didn't need to poll all of Canada to get the flavour of what was happening. It was a sample snapshot and it was pretty much bang on.

Introvert said...

Sweetrealtor said:

However, I do see the value of this data. It doesn't matter if 35% or 100% of the sales answer the poll. It's meant to be a snapshot of what is happening and I'd argue it is very close to the numbers you would see if all the sales were surveyed.

HHV doesn't value the poll results mostly because he doesn't like what they show. If the poll results were more in accordance with his preconceived narrative, he would value them more.

I don't hold this against HHV, however. I'm biased, too. Everyone is.

Leo S said...

However, I do see the value of this data. It doesn't matter if 35% or 100% of the sales answer the poll.

Not quite, but I see what you mean. HHV wants complete data, when what he's getting is a statistic. Nothing wrong with that, you can get perfectly valid data from that, you just introduce more variables (self-selecting sampling being one).

Quite likely the picture wouldn't change much with a higher response rate.

The real problem is that what we get is a snapshot. Every once in a while someone posts these stats or a part of them, but without historical data or context it means very little. Is 12% buyers from outside BC high or low? Is 25% first time buyers high or low? What about the financing choices? How have all these things changed over time? I wish VREB would post all their surveys on the public site. Without that the snapshot is interesting but not particularly useful.

Rhino said...

Introvert,

I'm not so sure bears wouldn't like what the results show. In summary:
- The most active buying segment is still the first timer. (most likely to be low equity buyers)

- About half of all buyers have less than a 20% down payment. We don't have any stats on this (that I know of) but you have to assume an average mortgage size of these buyers is over 300K!!

- Hot foreign and out of province money is negligible.

a simple man said...

Rhino - those were my thoughts as well. I was bouyed by the stats, however incomplete they may have been.

DavidL said...

@Rhino

I totally agree with your synopsis.

I am genuinely surprised at how many first-time buyers are still entering the market. As for the less than 20% down - I imagine that it must be hard for many to come up with the $50K (inexpensive condo) to $125K (average house) required to avoid paying CHMC premiums ... unless "moving up" in the market.

@SweetRealtor

Thanks so much for providing the survey results. We all know that random-survey historical results are just out of the question ... so thanks for giving us something worthwhile the "chew on".

DavidL said...

Canadians borrowing more against their homes

Fifteen per cent of Canadian homeowners took money out of their homes last year, at an average amount of $30,000, new data showed Wednesday.

[snip]

Approximately three million Canadians have no debt on their homes. And the report estimates that 79 per cent of mortgage holders have at least 25 per cent worth of equity in their homes, and roughly three per cent have "negative equity" — meaning they owe more on their home than it would be worth if they sold it.

jesse said...

@DavidL: Based on those numbers, 35% of homeowners have no mortgage. Only 1.2MM households, out of around 12MM total households, (or about 10% of households both renter and owner) are leveraged more than 4:1.

I don't see much in those data that would overwhelmingly cause the federal government to fear prices dropping 20% nation-wide.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

@SweetRealtor,

Please accept my apologies for gobsmacking you. I meant no offense and want to convey to you that I appreciate your participation in the discussion here and appreciate you sharing the data.

I do stand behind my original thoughts about the data. It's not scientific and I don't believe it should be used to try to explain current market conditions.

Political polls are scientific, with methodologies and margins of error. The more localized the poll, the smaller the sample size, the greater the margin of error. The VREB survey has no obvious scientific methodology.

No pollster predicted the outcome of the election. None predicted a collapse of the Liberals or a decimation of the block. No one predicted a Conservative majority (most had that likelihood at less than 15%). And all those pollsters had scientific polls with margins of error at + or - 3% 19 times out of 20.

The survey results are interesting. But they don't tell us anything definitive about market behaviour and they don't jive with other data sets we have access to publicly (look at the out of town numbers and compare them to BC Stats migration rates).

This post was meant to prevent readers from saying things like: "no wonder prices are so high, look at all the people paying cash."

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Introvert said: "HHV doesn't value the poll results mostly because he doesn't like what they show. If the poll results were more in accordance with his preconceived narrative, he would value them more."

I don't value the poll results because it wasn't a poll. I don't have preconceived notions about this particular subject (the financial circumstances of individual buyers active in the market in the first 4 months of 2011), I just have a healthy skepticism and a critical mind to investigate issues beyond the surface skimming that VREB "survey" data tends to offer us.

What do the survey results mean in relation to current market sales data? How do they explain current prices? How do they explain the decade low in sales volume? How do they explain the buyer preference toward SFHs over strata properties? How do they explain the near doubling of the DOM stats over the past 12 months? ETC...

a simple man said...

Apparently, silver has dropped 7% in the last day. I liked Silver Surfer - he had some good points of view - I hope he returns.

Leo S said...

Good article in the TC about how to combat speculators

Leo S said...

And 981 Tulip starts the price reduction game again.

happy renter said...

Garth Turner's opinion on the Vancouver RE market makes the front page of CBC.ca:

Vancouver Real Estate to chill: ex-MP

DavidL said...

@ a simple man

Hopefully Silver Surfer lived up to his name, riding the silver wave up to the lip, and then proned out. By getting up early, Mr. 4 AM likely saw it coming and avoided going over the falls.

I hope he returns as well.

a simple man said...

Listings seem to be surging in Oak Bay - is anyone else noticing this in other areas?

Just Jack said...

Oak Bay hit 100 listings today with sales averaging 18 per month. That's 5.5 months of supply.

The median list price is $1,050,000 and the median sale price is $765,000.

In contrast Victoria city has 118 listed homes and averages 32 sales a month over the last 3 months for 3.5 months of inventory. Median sale price $589,250 and median list price is $675,000.

Sooke...

Has 240 homes for sale and averages 21 sales per month for 11.5 months of inventory.

Median ask price $488,000. Median sale price $411,000.

jesse said...

@Leo S: "Good article in the TC about how to combat speculators"

Good article, though I don't think Victoria needs much more help to cool off prices...

Sending a signal to the international market that property speculation has limits would be good in principle, even if such legislation had no teeth. Write your MLA! You can make a difference, especially in an election year!

Dave said...

This blog seems to find anecdotal evidence entertaining, yet this 'poll' has been dismissed. I would think it would prompt as much or more discussion about the market than the anecdotes.

True, we don't have historic poll results which would be interesting to see, but why not discuss the results in terms of the current market?

What do the survey results mean in relation to current market sales data? How do they explain current prices? How do they explain the decade low in sales volume? How do they explain the buyer preference toward SFHs over strata properties? How do they explain the near doubling of the DOM stats over the past 12 months? ETC...

HHV I think if you found those answers this blog would have no reason to keep going :)

I fully understand that the poll results aren't going to magically explain everything, but am arguing they are worth discussing. Heck we spent, what, 10 comments discussing two contractors moving into their parents' houses.

Dave3

Sweetrealtor said...

There was recent disciplinary action against an agent for commenting on his blog that another agent's listing was overpriced. As much as Marko and I like to give our two cents on this site, we will have to moderate our commentary based on this outcome. We're happy to provide the facts and will leave the overpricing commentary to the rest of you. Luckily, we don't have to have the same filter with our clients and you can expect nothing but our usual brutal honesty if you choose to work with us. But from now on, just the facts... (Even if a property is factually overpriced, we still can't say anything here.)

HouseHuntVictoria said...

@Dave,

People are free to discuss it. You know my opinion. It may well be wrong. It's just an opinion on the survey, nothing more, nothing less. I like to think it's grounded, but then again, my wife likes to think I'm not. Except when I am because she told me I was.

Just Jack said...

Too bad about the disciplinary action taken on the agent. If the agent had shown up with a lawyer at the disciplinary board, I wonder if things might have turned out differently.

It seems that you're allowed to have an opinion until people start to listen to you. So, can a professional body, usurp your constitutional rights to free speech? I wonder if the board would be after us individually if we did not have anonymity.

a simple man said...

I wonder is there would be disciplinary action if a realtor said a home was underpriced?

I would suggest that if they are going to monitor their realtors ramblings that they fact-check a lot of the blogs associated with their sites - they may find a few that tend to stretch the truth.

So much for freedom of speech in Canada. Unbelievable.

Sweetrealtor said...

It does seem rather heavy handed. This was on the agent's personal blog, likely not getting as much attention as HHV. But the board ruled it impacted the other agent's ability to sell the house and also broke the golden rule of "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." I'm guessing the price had more impact on the ability to sell than a few comments on the agent's personal blog. But I shall do as I am told and put a filter on commenting on prices or any way a property is presented. I really don't want to suffer through an imposed ethics course. I already have good ethics.

jesse said...

"But the board ruled it impacted the other agent's ability to sell the house and also broke the golden rule of 'Do unto others as you would have them do to you.'"

Proof once again that independent blogs like this one are important. Realtors should always sidestep the issue of prices beyond citing comparable sales.

a simple man said...

that all said, I would like to personally thank Sweetrealtor and Marko for providing their insight to this blog. I know that coming here and providing their input certainly would put them on the VREB radar and would then expose them to a certain degree of risk with their livelihood.

I would encourage any readers of this blog to seriously consider one of these realtors if you are considering purchasing or selling a home in Victoria. They have demonstrated over many, many months that they are here for the long-haul (many realtors have stopped by and have since left) and that they have a balanced view of the market. They do not always agree with some of us, but that brings value and balance to the blog. I feel they would do a really good job for you if hired for find or sell a home.

My opinion, but I feel that they deserve this credit.

dave said...

@ DavidL

Silver Surfer is a great example of the same greed in our housing market. I remember he commented how the next stop would be $52 an ounce when it was high $40s. And before that he would regurgitate all the ‘expert’ reasons why it was going into triple digits. That’s the thing with greed and bubbles, it’s always easy to convince yourself it will never end and that it is somehow different this time.

Just Jack said...

If I had a listing and another agent was saying it was overpriced all that would do is bring more people to look at my listing of the property.

A blogger, saying that it's priced too high has no affect on the properties value - the market sets the price.

The listing agent should thank the agent for the free advertising.

Sweetrealtor said...

I thought there was no such thing as bad press...

Alexandrahere said...

dave, re: silver surfer comment. You know the world would be a pretty boring place to live if we all possessed identical personality types. I don't think buying silver has anything to do with greed. Some people like to gamble, to take a chance. They feel if they don't, they would live their life to regret it. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. Some like to sit and hope for the entire economy to collapse so that other "chance players" will be in the same boat as he is. Myself, if I hadn't "taken chances" I would have been a single woman with a child that maybe wouldn't have had the opportunity of a higher education, and my retirement years would most likely be spent in government subsidized housing. But people like me and perhaps silver surfer should have known our place, and accepted our lot. Personally, I thrive around others that like to take an element of risk in their lives.

Leo S said...

I fully understand that the poll results aren't going to magically explain everything, but am arguing they are worth discussing.

Ok, you start :)

Silver Surfer is a great example of the same greed in our housing market.

Harsh. Give the guy a break, for all we know he cashed out at the top and laughed all the way to the bank. That's not greedy thats smart. Or he didn't, so what. He's likely still far ahead if he bought more than 6 months ago.

Dave said...

Ok, you start :)

Haha! I'll be the first to admit I come here for insight, not to provide it.

I expect the more qualified posters will provide it to me :)
(and I'm very thankful for those posters by the way).

If I listened to my uncle I would be buying into Kettle Creek (starting at only $279k!). Thankfully I have you people.

Rhino said...

Well before we beat up too much on Silver Surfer lets keep things in perspective.

He was pounding the table on silver for well over a year when the price was in the 15-20 dollar range (and probably before that)

Today it is around 35 Bucks. He has done far better than if he plunked his money down on a house last year in Victoria. He has also done far better than putting it in an ING account or GIC.

I do hope he comes back with an update on how he will proceed with his silver position.

DavidL said...

@HHV

It looks like your new post from yesterday (May 12th) has "disappeared" with the Blogger Service Interruption. Hopefully it will be restored soon!

http://status.blogger.com/

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Yep. Four + years of using Blogger and this is the first time something like this has happened. Weird. Are you readers ready to make the jump to Wordpress yet?

a simple man said...

I will make the jump to wherever this blog goes, or am happy to stay as well. Can't complain too hard for a service provided for free.

DavidL said...

@HHV wrote: Are you readers ready to make the jump to Wordpress yet?

I would suggest sticking with Blogger ... I don't know if the reliability would be any better. Are banner ads required with WordPress sites?

HouseHuntVictoria said...

@David,

I've been thinking about making the switch for some time. I wouldn't use a wordpress.com site, I'd host it myself and use a .org version on a unique domain URL. I'd use a commenting tool that will allow you to use the current account you have set up, most likely.

Spam commenting may or may not become an issue though.

And, if I do make the switch, egads!, advertising will likely have to appear to help fund the minimal cost associated with it. I won't use Adwords though.

Just Jack said...

I'd advertise on this site.