Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday market update

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.

October 2011 (last week's numbers)
Net Unconditional Sales: 358 [231] (131)
New Listings: 799 [556] (340)
Active Listings: 4,538 [4,569] (4,562)
Sales to new listings ratio: 45%

September 2010
Net Unconditional Sales: 467
New Listings: 976
Active Listings: 4,046
Sales to new listings ratio: 47%
Sales to active listings ratio: 11% or 8.7 MOI


Average SFH price is currently $595K while condo average sits at $314K. These averages suggest there hasn't been a ton of buying action in the upscale market this month. I guess the 1% is nervous and doesn't want to be showing off their big earnings by buying Victoria luxury properties. Though the property transfer tax they'd pay would go a long way to addressing issues of economic inequality no? Anyway, digression over. 

Sales activity is higher than I'd expect for this time of year. It's still at near decade-lows, but that said, 15 unit sales per day on average is close to the summer-time numbers we saw in 2011. There's no upward price pressure though: look at the 4,538 active listings. Most of the 2000s spring selling seasons didn't offer buyers such copious quantities of mainly crap-quality listings! 

What are you seeing out there this month? 

70 comments:

a simple man said...

What I see is a stumbling market, taking blow after blow from the heavyweight, yet still standing. It is only a matter of time before the knockout punch drops the market to the canvas or the sum of all the body shots slowly drops the market to its knees, head slumped low.

Introvert said...

What are you seeing out there this month?

I'm seeing "same old, same old." But then again, we all see what we want to see.

Leo S said...

There's no upward price pressure though

Hey look Introvert, your feedback has been taken into consideration! :)


Went to a couple open houses this weekend (1971 Neil St and 4128 Burnley Close).. Paraphrased comment from my wife: "Seeing what you get for over half a million makes me never want to buy in Victoria". The open houses were pretty busy though.

axeman said...

Wrote an offer on a potential tear down in Saanich, thought I could low ball but they didn't bite. Then someone came and offered close to asking, go figure. Seems to be picking up a bit?

axeman said...

Tried my hand at a low ball offer, but it didn't fly, it was a somewhat negleted house in Sannich, but it suited my familiy. They rejected and got an offer 2 days later close to asking. Market appears to be picking up a little, but some of the listings are more accurately priced. Some are a joke.

axeman said...

ooops sorry about duplicate comments, I am still figuring out the Google account thing...

Fiduciary said...

Axeman, I had a fairly similar situation in the rental market. A big new condo in the Duval was up for rent, and they were asking $1500. I felt that was too steep for a condo, so offered lower, but someone applied at the same time offering the full rent, so they got it. We're most likely going to rent a newly renovated upper suite for $1300 instead.

Zidane said...

http://www.realtor.ca/PropertyDetails.aspx?&PropertyId=10899645&PidKey=-1277164119
"Court approval required. Offers must be accompanied by Schedule A. SOLD AS IS, WHERE IS."
It's been listed for a while (can't think why - it has a bar with darts board included). What's a sched A and what's the deal with the as is?

pod_x said...

Schedule A is the agent agreement. "As is where is" is standard for foreclosures. You buy what's there, the seller (bank) isn't fixing anything.

ph said...

Got an email that the empty condos on Fairfield road (across from the graveyard) came down $100,000.
New price of $450,000 still works out to $2940 per month (mortgage, fees, p tax...) compared to my $1025 a month rent. Wonky thing is, if I had the option to rent one of the fairfield units for $1000, I would still choose to remain where I am. It's difficult to grasp how property became so detached, especially from rental rates. Human nature is a mystery.

Just Jack said...

In a Court Ordered Sale, there would be no representations or warranties whatsoever from the vendor; the sale would be on a strictly "as is, where is" basis. No chattals (including appliances, window coverings, etc.) would be included in the sale; only the land and fixtures would be included.


The offer can not have "subject to" clauses and the prospective purchasers accepts the condition of the property as at the date they sale is registered. You do not have the legal recourse to sue the vendor.

For example you can go and look at a condo. Put a no subject offer on the property and be awarded the suite by the court. The sale goes through and the next week you pick up the keys, open the door and find the appliances gone, the carpet torn to pieces and holes in the drywall.

What you see - is what you get.

Just Jack said...

The rent to purchaser ratio is only for comparison purposes.

What a condominium could rent for has nothing to do with its market value.

Compare that with a ten suite apartment building where the rents have everything to do with what a property sells for.

In one case you're buying a home in other you're buying an income stream.

Just Jack said...

For those inquiring minds that want to know...

How much more is one district worth in relation to another part of the city.

Looking back at the median prices over the last 6 months, I find the least costly neighborhood to live in is Vic West at $445,000 and the most costly being Oak Bay at $790,000.

Here they are ranked from lowest to highest. What it means - you decide.

$445,000 - Vic West
$470,500 - Esquimalt
$499,000 - Saanich West
$555,000 - Victoria City
$597,500 - View Royal
$609,450 - Saanich East
$790,000 - Oak Bay

It goes to show you how unimportant weather and climate are on property values. There are many more factors that are vastly more important than weather.

Maybe a better way to look at differences in areas would be how much more a month would someone being willing to pay in each area.
For comparison purposes I'm using $400 per $100,000.


$1,780 for Vic West
$1,882 for Esquimalt
$1,996 for Saanich West
$2,220 for Victoria
$2,390 for View Royal
$2,438 for Saanich East
$3,160 for Oak Bay

This does show how low interest rates can distort neighborhood prices. I think most of us would be willing to pay another $400 a month to live in Victoria rather than Esquimalt. But would you be willing to pay $800 more a month if interest rates were to rise to say 7%. I don't think so, because that lump sum monthly price difference has remained relatively stable over the last decade. And you see that in rents as well. Apartments in Esquimalt rent for only a couple hundred a month less than apartments in Victoria City.

Alexandrahere said...

Just Jack re: property values

You are not comparing apples with apples. OK, granted Oak Bay and the Fairfield area of Victoria go for more money and are considered very desirable areas to live in.

But you cannot compare Saanich East with Esquimalt unless you site the same year/type/quality of home. Esquimalt has many, many more lower cost housing units (think war time housing) compared to Saanich East.....

Examples of recent sales:

Esquimalt:

1212 Rockcrest blt 1959 bungalow, 5 beds, 2baths, 2877 sq.ft (including basement) Sold: $595K, assessed at $548K

1169 Hadfield blt 2002 two level, 3 beds, 3 baths,1531 sq ft, Sold: 519K assessed at $499K

1209 Greenwood 1958 bungalow, 3bds, 2baths 1858 sq ft (including basement) with inlaw. Sold: 580K, assessed at 541K.

1011 Gosper 1958 bungalow 4 beds, 2 baths, 1832 sq ft (includes basement), Sold: 567K, assessed at 515K.

Saanich East:

1613 Pear St, 1958 bungalow, 4 bds 2 baths, 1800 sq ft (includes basement), Sold: 490K, assessed at $526K,

1640 Longacre, 1975 bi-level, 3 beds & 3 baths 2222 Sq ft, sold: 570K assessed at 564K

1604 Hybury, 1976 bi-level 5 beds, 3 baths, 2163 sq ft, Sold: 550K assessed at 543 K

1005 Greenridge (High Quadra), 4 beds, 2 baths with in-law suite and views, Sold: 495K, assessed at 524K.

Just Jack said...

Yeah, I tried that. At first I took homes that had between 1,600 to 2,600 finished square feet, located on 7000 to 9000 square foot lots that were built between 1965 to 1985.

I ended up with 5 sales rather than a couple of hundred doing it my way.

Then I thought, I am comparing Apples to Apples! Just not Red Delicious Apples to Red Delicious Apples. The data is still relevant, its comparing medians for detached homes in one area to medians for detached homes in another area.

In otherwords, the typical buyer is paying about eighty thousand dollars more to live in Victoria than Esquimalt. That can and does vary widely on an individual basis, but in the bigger picture its $80,000.

patriotz said...

"In one case you're buying a home in other you're buying an income stream."

Those who buy condos (or houses) to live in are buying an income stream as well, which is the shelter that they receive. That has a marketable value (i.e. what it could be rented for).

Given the huge difference in cost from renting it's hard not to conclude that they expect to sell it for a lot more. So they are buying for capital gains too, which means they are speculators.

Ask someone who buys a condo because they "just want a home" if they care whether they would be able to sell it for what they paid for it.

The real difference is that those who buy condos are clueless about finance, while those who buy multi-unit rentals aren't.

Just Jack said...

Are home owners buying an income stream when they purchase a home to live in?

Well not one that they can take to the bank or add to their personal income tax return. Perhaps if they are paying less in mortgage payments than rent. Hmmmm, a bit of a stretch to call a home an investment.

If it were an investment then they would want to maximize the net return. But if its a home they are more interested in maximizing the enjoyment that they get from the property. New hardwood floors, granite counter tops, wine coolers, home theaters. Things that you wouldn't put into an investment property but you would put into your home.


Then there are the condominiums that forbid you to rent the suite. If people were making their choices based on the income stream, then there should be a noticeable difference in the prices of condos with and without rent restrictions. But I don't see condominium complexes that allow rentals sell for more than condominiums that don't allow you to rent. In fact, one might argue that condominium complexes that restrict rentals sell for more than complexes that do not.

hmmmm its a stretch. A nice text book illustration but not existing in real world.

fatjay said...

The Teranet House Price Index has added data for Victoria:

http://housepriceindex.ca

According to their sales pairs data the cost of housing in Victoria has essentially been flat since 2008.

How does that compare with what people are seeing out there?

I'm watching the Kelowna market which is similar and haven't seen a lot of same-sales, BUT I do see a lot of listings at or below their sale price from 1-4 years ago.

I think that things have slowed down drastically since around May 2010, but there isn't much pressure in either direction. As I mentioned, I see a lot of listings sitting below their original purchase price which aren't selling, yet people still aren't dropping their price. The only portion of the market I see dropping steadily is recreational property and the higher end, about 700k or 800k and up.

Leo S said...

Great to see the Teranet data out there. Nothing groundbreakingly different from what we already know based on average prices in that period.. However it is interesting that they show small increases in the past 6 months, whereas I've seen steady decreases based on sales comparison to assessment.

Fiduciary said...

What are other people experiencing in the rental market? I, like many here, don't want to buy while prices are this high, so I'm renting for awhile, but want to move for an upgrade in terms of space, light etc. I figured with a vacancy rate this high, and us being the sought-after "young professionals" we'd have no problem getting what we want, but after losing one application because we wouldn't pay $1500 for a condo, we may lose another due to move-in dates. The landlord on this nice upper-suite house says someone else will already do their move-in date and the other person is willing to throw in an extra half-month's rent to steal the place away from us. It could be a bluff, of course, but I didn't expect finding a good rental would be that difficult.

a simple man said...

Finding rentals in Victoria is easy - good rentals is harder. But they do exist. I have a really nice 4 bed, 3 bathroom home with garage and gardener in Oak Bay for a reasonable rate.

relativelyspeakin said...

Did anyone see this article on a 'canadianized' Zillow.com site?

http://tinyurl.com/4xzfzcc

Mark said...

@Fiduciary,

Right now is a bit of crappy time to be looking. School has only recently settled down and you're probably seeing the held-over demand from those who could wait.

If you can wait until March/April, then you will have your pick.

Rhino said...

My experience with the Victoria rental market is if you can spend over $1600 a month the world is your oyster. You can get some crazy deals on places that would sell for a million or close to it. Best bang for your buck and where renting vs buying really tilts to the renter.

If your under $1300 a month you will probably end up with the place you imagined yourself living in college.

$1000 and under its all out war with students and hippies.

Fiduciary said...

We're right around the $1300 mark as a target, and just sent confirmation that we'll take it on the 1st to secure the place. At 1150 sq.ft. and newly renovated (nicely), I think it's still a good deal.

Fiduciary said...

Also, thanks for the input Rhino, Mark & a simple man.

Marko said...

Sales have really slowed down this week for whatever reason...

Just Jack said...

Just tried the Zoocasa site.
The home was valued between $424,000 to $538,000. (You gotta like that tight value range) with an estimate of $484,000.

Not bad considering the home is only worth $380,000

Glad it was free, because I wouldn't pay for it. I also signed up for the monthly report to see how many unsolicited emails I get from agents wanting to sell a home that I don't own.

Rhino said...

Congrats Fiduciary, sounds like you got a really good deal

Just Jack said...

Just tried Zoocasa on another home that sold 4 months ago. A hundred thousand over the purchase price.

I think this may only be a "feel good" site to encourage people to visit, look at the advertising and put themselves onto a mailing list.

relativelyspeakin said...

Well apparently Zoocasa's new site hasn't made fans of some people:

http://tinyurl.com/3g2ary4


I ran a few houses myself and I find they're on higher end for sure - I think it's a bit feel goodie too.

Renter said...

I would love to hear some more rental deal stories. Personally, I found it really hard to find a nice place for $1600. We ended up out in a duplex in Central Saanich, busy road, only one bathroom, not enough electrical outlets, but with new laminate floors and updated kitchen. Bonus - enormous backyard that I have permission to do anything with (huge garden? check bonfires? check chickens? check build a couple of sheds? check) and landlords quite good at responding to maintenance requests.

While I can easily get comparisons for houses to determine whether a sale price is a good deal or not, it's harder to find comparisons for rentals to see if rental A is a better deal than rental B or how to negotiate a better rental rate.

Craig said...

We spent a couple of months trying to find a house between OB and Cordova over 2500sf and budget around $3000. Lots of crap out there and the odd house that was okay was quickly snapped up before we could make the trip to view.

By far the worst experience trying to rent and we've lived in Toronto, Vancouver, Europe and Asia.

Delayed our move to Victoria till next year.

Zidane said...

Craig, is that because you're waiting for better rentals or because you will got straight to buying and are waiting (hopefully) for prices to come down.

Rhino said...

Another one bites the dust....

http://tinyurl.com/62th5v5

Looks like Parkside downtown was the final death-blow

Just Jack said...

Craig, what you are seeing is Victoria.

Victoria is a woman past her prime that's trying to re-live her youth by wearing her dress too short and her neckline too low.

She looks good from afar, but she's far from good.

Craig said...

If prices fall enough we would buy but no rush. We plan to start our search a bit earlier next year and hopefully have better luck.

But to be honest, if it wasn't for my children attending a certain school in Victoria we would give it a miss. The downtown is like Dawn of the Dead and the housing stock is just dire.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Just did the house we bought 3 months ago. Low was $80K more than we paid, high was $180K more. And in an area where prices are dropping to boot...

Just Jack said...

I ditto that, its the school that's keeping us here too. Otherwise, the wife could bus to work from the Westshore or Brentwood Bay.

Just Jack said...

Dawn of the Dead LOL

Just in time for Halloween - a new picture

yogurt said...

The pool of full houses for rent was small when we were looking a year ago, especially since we were focused on a single neighbourhood (for school). Our budget topped out around $2000.

We ended up with something that's more rundown that we'd like, but it was the only full house at any price that matched the location we wanted. I'm happy to stay here for years in hopes of falling prices. (We sold in Sooke in 2011.)

Padmapper.com helped our search, but we needed to watch UsedVictoria and Craigslist directly to be sure we saw everything. Google Reader helps with that. Pay attention to ads that lack details/photos or that are misplaced on maps; others may skip over these, leaving a worthwhile house for you.

If it weren't for school, we'd probably live closer to nature in Sooke or the Gulf Islands, or closer to family in Ontario. Victoria's attractions don't justify the cost for me.

Unknown said...

Rented a 1912 character house in Oak Bay near the village for $1850. 3 bed and 2 bath with play room. I think it's a deal, though still a lot of money. We feel lucky to have got it having 2 young kids and the dearth of full homes for rent in close to town neighbourhoods. Assessed at $735000. After property taxes, property management fee etc, I don't think the owner is getting very much revenue relative to assessed value. Would love to buy and stop being a renter, but just can't justify it at these values.

Chickinvic said...

For me, co-op townhouses are the best deal in Victoria. That's where we are, and that's where we'll stay. 1100sf, 2 bed/2 bath (upstairs/downstairs townhouse setup), small fenced yard, playground if you have kids, etc. Nice natural area by trails, schools and buses. So much cheaper than buying and no danger of ever being evicted. Co-op is for all income ranges too (DH and I make over 2X the average for Victoria households and feel we can't afford to buy at Victoria's out of whack prices). We aren't willing to be house poor. We pay less than $940/month (and we are in one of the pricier co-ops, many are cheaper) and pay an extra $5/month for a 2nd parking space.

This allows us to save a very large portion of our income (DH earns twice what I make and we live off my earnings and save his), travel, etc. I just can't see spending 2-3 times what we currently spend on housing.

Leo S said...

Chickinvic - I've heard about the coop housing before. How is the condition of your townhouse complex? I was speaking to an acquaintance who lives in a coop townhouse, and he said theirs was in quite poor repair. Mold behind the cupboards, generally run-down, etc. Is it the same for yours, or are there also nice ones?

Chickinvic said...

Ours are pretty good. No mold, etc. We also have an inspection committee that comes into your home once a year (2 weeks notice) - just to check on needed repairs, etc that you may not have already reported (when a repair is needed, we let the maintenance people know). I'm sure there are some co-ops that are not in as good of repair, but I have no complaints.

I also like it because it is like owning in many respects (indeed it is a form of ownership - but you own shares in the co-op). We have painted the interior all our own colours and replaced all the curtains with custom blinds. Things I wasn't allowed to do in our previous rented place. Some people have been here since it opened (20 years ago)! I've heard our co-op is among the nicer ones (but certainly not the only nice one).

Some of my requirements were 2 bathrooms (1.5 baths actually), laundry hook-ups, small fenced yard, townhouse (I had enough of living in apartment style buildings), and I wanted to have a dog. So, I looked up the local co-ops that could fulfill all those requirements and requested applications from those. I actually drove around to get a look at them too just to see if I wanted to live there.

Chickinvic said...

We also have funds that go into a replacement reserve fund. We are one of the very well-funded co-ops, and roofs have been replaced, exterior painting is done on a schedule, appliances were replaced last year, etc. It is all part of our Capital Plan. They are replacing the downstairs carpets with laminate (2-3 units per year). The unit we live in already has the laminate (which I really like).

Leo S said...

Thanks Chickinvic. That's really useful information. How long did it take between filling in applications and getting into a place? I assume the waiting lists are long..

Might have to go for some drive-by's this weekend.

Chickinvic said...

I think we heard back from this place about 3-4 months after applying and were in here a couple months later (they interview suitable applicants when a vacancy is coming up and the membership committee makes recommendations based on the interviews).

It really just depends. We had several vacancies come up lately (people bought houses I think - ouch!). Sometimes you can go a year without a vacancy. It is easiest if you are looking for a 2 bedroom in our particular co-op (because there are internal waitlists for 3 and 4 bedroom units from people who have expanded their family after moving in).

I was just going to keep applying to the ones that interested me until I got in somewhere (you usually have to re-apply or let them know somehow you are still interested every 6 months at most co-ops). I feel very lucky that we have such affordable housing, it is a real community feeling too.

Most co-ops (including ours) ask for you to participate (which means serving on a committee and helping out). The average is supposed to be 4 hours per month. I consider it a pretty small price to pay for what we get, but as with everything in life some people end up doing more than that and some don't pull their weight. We really try to get people in who actually want to contribute and not just take.

Chickinvic said...

Oh yes, I also thought I would add - there are no "waitlists" as such (we do keep applications for 6 months, but the person who applied 4 months ago isn't ahead of you in any line or anything). You could apply tomorrow and get interviewed for the next available unit even though someone else applied before you. It really depends on who is suitable for the unit. It doesn't matter when you applied - has no bearing on when you might be selected.

Some advice for those interested in co-op. It helps to learn about/understand the principles of co-op living and what it is. Some people have weird ideas about what co-op life involves (we don't have communal kitchens, etc). You have all the privacy of any other type residence.

It is also helpful to have some sort of volunteer experience (even if it was just helping out with your kid's field trip or anything little). Every little thing helps. They are just looking for clues that you will be a willing participant (pull your weight, lol).

Fiduciary said...

Thanks a bunch for the little writeups Chickinvic, it's good to learn a bit about co-ops.

Just Jack said...

The one thing about condominiums is that they are boringly similar once you get inside one. There really isn't much that you can do to make 700 square feet different from the next skybox. That, and that there are so frigging many of them.

Perhaps thats why if you had bought one in "City Place" on Fairfield Road back in April 2006 for $290,000, You would have had to wait almost 50 days to get your best price today of $305,000.

Doesn't really seem worthwhile to have paid 1.5 times market rent for five and a half years to earn $15,000 and then give that to the agents for selling it.

Likewise if you had bought a town home in Langford (WHY!)in June of 2006 for $355,000 (including GST!) you would have had to wait close to 200 days to sell the "dream" for $328,000 today.

It seems some people failed Tom Vu's course on how to be a rich home investor. (check out his videos on youtube)

Just Jack said...

If houses were horses someone would shoot them to put them out of their misery.

Like 723 Princess
and 855 Craigflower

For God's sakes would somebody buy these things so I never have to see them again!

Leo S said...

Thanks Chickinvic. Will definitely check them out.

In other news, I had to laugh at 544 Davida.. Doesn't sell for a month at $485k? Drop it to $449k.. Still no sale after another couple months? Up it to $492k!!

Just Jack said...

For those who have been watching our prices roll back to 2008, 2007, and 2006 levels in condominiums and homes mostly in the western communities it seems the market decline has crossed over the bridges into Victoria.

In July 2007, a property on Regents Place in Rockland sold for $787,000. And now 4 years later it re-sales for $790,000.

The need for a basement suite to make ends meet for most buyers is most evident in sunny Fernwood. While properties in better areas may have rolled back to 2007 levels, Fernwood is bucking the trend. A property on Adanac that sold in January 2007 for $418,000 has just re-sold for $452,000.

The benefits of a mortgage helper soon disappear when you have to mortgage more money.

Alexandrahere said...

This week is looking pretty sad....if things don't improve by tomorrow, this will be one of the lowest weeks within my criteria for total sales and it will see the lowest average price since I began tracking a year and a half ago. Right now the avg sales price of a SFH with a min of 2 beds & 2 baths priced between $375K & $775K in the areas of Vic, OB, Esq, SE & SW is at $495,250!!

There have been only 8 sales and the avg price would have been considerably lower if not for the one sale of $719K.

Leo S said...

Also 3074 Millgrove. Sold for $350,000, $100k under assessment. Maybe it's a teardown, but it wasn't described as such (new roof, new thermo windows, etc).

Just Jack said...

I wouldn't call the Millgrove property a tear-down either. The home is rent-able at competitive current levels and the improvemnets appear to add significantly to the value of the property as a whole.

What seems to be happening is that the value of the underlying land is dropping.

But, vacant land prices may be appear to be stable or even increasing.

That's because this is the tale of two markets. Fewer, developers and builders are looking at homes to tear-down because these properties are to costly to hold until it becomes economically viable to demolish and construct a new home. That allows those people looking for a home to live in to have less competition in buying.

If your the only bidder, your going to get a good price.

The builders and developers are lagging the home owner market.

As prices for homes that are just a few years old decline, builders
and developers will have to buy land at lower prices or go broke building their homes.

Leo S said...

Happy Halloween everyone!

Get into the holiday mood by touring one of our many abandoned tear-downs, and shudder at the thought of the size of the mortgage you would have to take to own it.

Introvert said...

I shudder at paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to landlords for decades, and then ending up with nothing material.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

"I shudder at paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to landlords for decades, and then ending up with nothing material."

I hope you shudder at paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to banks in interest payments and taxes to municipalities and maintenance fees to strata corps and contractors over decades and decades and in the end being lucky to break even.

Introvert said...

I hope you shudder at paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to banks in interest payments and taxes to municipalities and maintenance fees to strata corps and contractors over decades and decades and in the end being lucky to break even.

First of all, HHV, you're in the same boat as me: you're a homeowner. If renting is so great relative to buying, why aren't you still renting?

Second, I don't mind paying taxes. Taxes are what we pay for civilized society. I'm happy to pay them, especially at the municipal level.

Third, paying a contractor for home repairs and renos is not a terrible burden (or at least it doesn't have to be). Not to mention, employing contractors is good for the economy and therefore the community.

Lastly, I can't wait to see how this current crop of "genius renters" will have made out in 30 years' time (the ones on this blog, that is). Too bad we'll never be able to find out. So I guess all anybody can do is argue now and speculate about the future.

patriotz said...

"I shudder at paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to landlords for decades, and then ending up with nothing material."

Your fallacy is assuming that people who would rather rent than buy at today's prices have an irrational bias against buying, and would not buy at some future point at a lower price.

That is the mirror image of your irrational bias towards owning. You can't see those who don't share your bias as being rational.

This is the sort of nonsense that bubbles are made from - we heard plenty of it from the US five years ago - and we all know what happened to people who paid attention to that nonsense.

Just Jack said...

And hows that downtown condo real estate doing?

The Astoria was one of the first high rise towers that caused a sensation with its pricing. Back in 2006 you would have bought a one-bedroom for a whopping $272,000 or $470 per square foot. Then re-sold it 6 months later for $319,000.

Wow, that's how to invest in real estate!!

But now that same condominium sold this week for $279,000.

Wow, that's how not to invest in real estate!!

Leo S said...

Not to mention, employing contractors is good for the economy and therefore the community.
Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.


Yes, let us all give thanks to Introvert. While the rest of us live like parasites off the soft underbelly of society by renting, he is standing tall and keeping this community alive. Without his gracious tax paying and job providing, Victoria would likely be no better than (gasp!) Halifax. Instead we are the best place on earth.

Mindset said...

I shudder at paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to landlords for decades, and then ending up with nothing material.

Where and when you invest your money is the point of this blog, not that you shouldn't invest it.

RIM at $70 a share a couple of years back looked like a great place to put a bunch of money. Now, it looks like a bad investment. Why is that? Times change. Markets change.

All indicators are that housing is no longer the good investment it was a few years back and that it probably won't be a good investment again for some time.

The old housing as forced savings arguement?

Not in a downturn, if you have to; borrow to the limits of what you can afford, you probably need money in the next five years for retirement or to seek other life opportunities (like starting a business, going back to school, moving to where the work is) or just realize it is smart to have a contingency fund in case life doesn't go as smoothly as planned, (which it often doesn't).

I shudder when I read blanket statements that ignore current realities or over-simplify decision making on the biggest asset most people will buy in their lives.

Marko said...

Monday, October 31, 2011 8:00am

MTD October
2011 2010
Net Unconditional Sales: 457 467
New Listings: 1,015 976
Active Listings: 4,504 4,046

Please Note

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

Introvert said...

While the rest of us live like parasites off the soft underbelly of society by renting, he is standing tall and keeping this community alive.

There's a lot of truth in this (sarcastic) statement.

Without his gracious tax paying and job providing, Victoria would likely be no better than (gasp!) Halifax.

No, no. It's not my gracious tax-paying and job-providing that's making Victoria better than Halifax; it's Victoria's mildest climate in Canada. Victoria is a relative oasis in an otherwise frozen, blizzard-ridden northern country.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

@Introvert, where I bought, price to rent ratio on a SFH is almost even, factoring in maintenance, taxes etc... In Victoria, well, not so much. I'm not an advocate of long term renting, just an advocate of not paying an ownership premium like the one that exists in Victoria currently.

Just Jack said...

It's not the weather. Its the economy.

Victoria has better weather than Fort McMurray, yet home prices are higher in Fort McMurray.

Vancouver has more rain than Victoria, yet prices in Vancouver are higher than Victoria.

The Gulf Islands have the same weather as Victoria, yet the prices are lower.

The only time weather has an affect on prices is when you bend over and sunshine comes out of your butt.

Animal Spirit said...

To attempt to answer Joe's question about distribution of sales in different areas, I pulled off the annual sales figures (all house types) from VREB and plotted the %sales by area from 2003 to 2010. Unfortunately the data isn't specific to SFH nor does it have 2011 to date.

I'll pass the results on to HHV for a potential post. Here is my initial read on the graph/data:

1. relative amount of sales for Saanich East has stayed remarkably similar, ranging only between 20.5 and 22% of total (if anything decreasing between 2003 and 2010)

2. relative sales has increased by far the most in Langford (going up from 11 to 13%).

3. Oak Bay, View Royal Sales vary the most of any areas.

4. Interestingly, high points for North Saanich, Victoria/Victoria West and Oak Bay (all of which have higher average prices) occurred in 2010.
4. Three of the lower average areas - Esquimault, Sidney and Saanich West had relatively low sales volume in 2010.

So, without 2011 data easily trollable, I would say that Joe could be partially right -there may have been a shift to more expensive selling areas - at least in 2010.

Nothing conclusive though.