Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday market update, it's almost over

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.

November 2011 (last week's numbers)
Net Unconditional Sales: 419 {314} [200] (90)
New Listings: 756 {570} [369] (201)
Active Listings: 4,202 {4,218} [4,265] (4,503)
Sales to new listings ratio: 55%

November 2010
Net Unconditional Sales: 479
New Listings: 722
Active Listings: 3,723
Sales to new listings ratio: 66%
Sales to active listings ratio: 13% or 7.7 MOI

It's remarkable how day after day, 15 housing units seem to change hands in Victoria over these past few months. Consistently, steadily, eerily. Food for thought: I bet the rental market is more active these days, too bad we don't have that data. Debate. Go. 

76 comments:

MD80 said...

Friends just moved into a rental 1br 2ba in the Hudson for something in around $1600 per month. I can't imagine the owner (who lives in Vancouver) is even close to breaking even on that one! The rent on this unit was significantly reduce by something like $500 before they snagged it. Funny how some new owners (speculators?) actually believe that a renter will be willing to bridge that carrying cost vs rent gap.

a simple man said...

Still - $1600 for one bedroom seems steep. I guess you are getting a deluxe pad, though.

SilverSurfer said...

I've just signed a new rental contract with a new landlord. After 3 years at my previous place with 1 bedroom on a waterfront property paying just under $1,000/mo ALL utilities +cable included (+fruit trees, and 15 mins from downtown), and not a single rental increase, it's time to move on.

I've been searching ads (on http://www.padmapper.com) - which I learned about on this blog a while back (thanks)for about 4 weeks.


I've been looking for a 3 bedroom, min 1 bath, top part of a house unit (no appartment buildings), in a cul de sac, with all utilities included.

I can report that the rental market is a little bit desparate. I've seen a couple of ridiculous rent $$/month requests for such a 3 bedroom into the $1800 range + utilities, but I can report that 80% of them are in the $1400 to $1600 range + utilities. Utilities (hydro+water+gas - if applicable)on a 3 bedroom unit can range from $75/month in summer, upwards of $200/month in winter.

I managed to score the following deal:

-1450 Sqft. Well maintained, top part of house (built in late 1990's.)
-Cul-De-sac
-3 Bedroom
-2 bathrooms
-open concept dinning+living room
-large kitchen with lots of storage
-large master bedroom (fits king size bed+ various bedroom furniture)
-2 car garage + lots of street parking
-owner lived there for 5 years and did various upgrades.
- Brand new Dishwasher + Fridge
- Free shared laundry access
- 10 mins from downtown.
- Back & Front yard (gardner included).
- Utilities: Hydro & Water & Garbage all included
- Non Smoking, but children & pets allowed.

All for $1520/month (start with 6 month lease) with signed no rent increases for the next 4 years! Originally it was $1575 + Utilities, but after meeting me, I negotiated it down - although my letters of reference probably helped. Oh and I can move in 3 weeks early if I want to. So no huge rush to move everything in 1 day.

Don't under estimate your negotiating power. Happy Renting!

Alexandrahere said...

Silver Surfer: Wow you got a really good deal there....especially since the rent includes hydro etc.

Leo S said...

Great info. Thanks SilverSurfer.

Alexandrahere said...

Last week (21-27 Nov), in the areas of Vic,OB,Esq,SE & SW with a min of 2 beds and 2 baths, there were only 18 sales. The avg price was $520K and the med $542K. The avg price (within the same criteria) was the lowest since I started tracking in mid July 2010. 12 of the 18, or 67% of those sold went for below BC Assessment.

The avg min 2 bed, 2 bath condo, pretty much in the same areas went for $298K and T/H's for $379K. 6 out of the 8 sales (75%), went for below BC assessment.

SilverSurfer said...

I should admit, I saw a LOT of crap places before I found this gem. The thing that I found the strangest was the ridiculous colors people painted certain rooms. Dark Green kitchen walls, really? Bright pink bedroom walls - really? Blue countertops with glaring yellow cupboards in kitchen, really? I even saw a purple toilet - coudln't believe it!

I also failed to negotiate one previous place that was almost as good as this one. That lord had never known a bad tenant and didn't value my near perfect rental history & raving references. At any rate, I think I must have put some 30 hours in 1 month into looking for a deal and physically visited about 9 different places.

Al said...

Renters, be careful about renting a suite in a house, regardless if it is the main part or top floor of the house: ask the owner if there are SOUND proof installations between the suites walls and ceilings, if there is not (likely the case in most houses where the suites were added or the house was separated after the original build), you will hear people walking, talking, music, showering, toliet flushing, ... in other part of the house, guaranteed, if they are normal living people.

So if you are sensetive about noise, better to rent a whole house or a even a townhouse, pay $100-$150 more a month, and have peace.

Leo S said...

you will hear people walking, talking, music, showering, toliet flushing

Yep. Hence why we moved to the top floor. No problems there.

MD80 said...

Good point Al, but that extends to owners as well. I once owned in a 2003-build downtown condo and could still hear people stomping around above me and the guy cranking his stereo next door. And when you own it's not as easy to give notice and move...you're pretty well stuck!

Al said...

Owners, if you are noise sensitive, buy a whole house or at least a townhouse, pay more and have peace.

More important, if you plan to rent part of your house out, sound proof it first.

Al said...

"Yep. Hence why we moved to the top floor. No problems there."

Are you sure people live downstairs couldn't hear you at all?

a simple man said...

I don't know - I rent the whole house and it is still very, very noisy!

Leo S said...

Are you sure people live downstairs couldn't hear you at all?

Sure they can hear us. But that ain't our problem!

Introvert said...

Growth of Canadian mortgage debt slows

AandJ said...

Here is a graph of the daily number of three bedroom listings on Craiglist since May 2011. I thought the number of listed units would continue to rise but lately it has been falling.

http://i39.tinypic.com/2iu9sue.png

BTW - craigslist Canada site went down today.

Al said...

What I was trying to say was that when finding a place to rent, it is a good idea to check the invisible issues, to avoid potential suffering down the road.

We are helping friends managing a house rental (they moved to Seattle to work last year). The house is separated into 2 suites; 3 bed/2bath/den upstairs and 3bed/1bath down. The spaces are nice and big for both, all hardwood/tiles. We were wondering if the rent was a bit low ($1500up/$1350down, all inclusive other than internet/cable/phone) until we were there after the tenants moved in. It is not only the noise you can hear from each other (floors), you loose you privacy as people could guess what you are doing by the sounds they hear.

So the house is rented to 6 UVic students now, and I couldn't image how could two families or one family and one group students live there, unless they are related to each other, or one of the families is the owner.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

@Introvert,

That article is funny: "The rate at which Canadians have been racking up new mortgage debt has slowed in recent months, lending credence to the theory that the country’s housing market will hold up, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. suggests."

Why explain the obvious as the truth when you're motivated to maintain the status quo. The obvious explanation for the deceleration in mortgage debt is because fewer people are buying homes and fewer people have an interest or capability in refinancing or tapping into the equity of their homes.

Funniest thing the article doesn't mention: these are symptoms the US and all other over-extended markets experienced at the top too.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

@AandJ, thanks for that graph. Strange there's little in the way of seasonality in that graph. Given the number of student accoms in town, you'd think there'd be a spike in availability in late spring/early summer?

JustWatching said...

Introvert,

Thanks for posting the link to that article.

I am curious about your current view of the Victoria real estate market.

Do you think now is a good time to buy and if so what are your reasons...

JustWatching said...

Anyone remember when there were only a few single family homes in Greater Victoria under 400K.

Today there are 117.... 8 of these are in Fernwood, Victoria and the Sears area. Price breakdown as follows:

Under 300K - 13
300-350K - 34
350-400K - 70

Considering Sooke? There were 20 sales last month and 217 to choose from today.

Looking for a condo in the city of Victoria? Take your pick from the 370 available: 146 bachelor/1 bedroom and 224 2 bedroom and larger. Last month 60 buyers snapped one up.

Leo S said...

That's not an article, that's a press release, and not even a very good one. Growth in mortgage debt slows... to what? What was it before? No data, no backup to their claims, and no link to the report.

Here's the actual report, for a bit more info

I like this quote though: For 2011, CMHC forecasts that the average MLS® price will be within $353,100 to $375,300 for 2011 and within $315,800 to $418,700 for 2012.

They really cover all the bases, from a 15% increase in prices, to 13% decrease. Makes you wonder why they bother even releasing forecasts.

Al said...

Another example, we have a friend live in Vancouver. When she bought a new house there, like many others, she asked the builder to put in a suite in the high basement, 2bed/1bath, nice living/kitchen, but she didn't know to ask the builder to add sound proof (not part of the code).

The rent is very reasonable, suite has been easy to rent out, the issue is the tenants keep complaining about the sounds their hear so they moved out and the new tenants have the same issue ...

Our friend has no young children, no pets, only aging parents and two high school/university age kids who stayed in their own rooms most time, but she needs the rent money. So now they avoid using their nice two floor high family room in the evening all together, and reduce the sounds to minimum when they watch movie in their part of the basement. I am sure they also hear the sounds from the basement, but couldn't complain.

It is one thing to hear your own family noise, but another matter to constantly hear others'; it is also not nice to let others know/hear what you are doing in your private space, regardless if you care or not.

So be careful on renting/building suite, code only requires fire proof, but sound proof is a must.

relativelyspeakin said...

re: renting. I sold in the spring and rent the main level of heritage home. Although it's beautiful, it's still a 100 year old house in which sound carries quite clearly. I can hear the guy who lives downstairs snoring and laughing at Seinfeld (who even watches that anymore?) and I can hear the woman who lives upstairs on the phone with her mother. It's a little too close for my comfort but I didn't realize it until I moved in. I pay $1100/mo utilities all in for a large suite (insuite laundry, ss appliances, front and back porch, original heritage finishings etc.), which I thought was a heck of a deal for the area and size of the place but I would say the landlord knew that she couldn't charge much more because of the noise issue.

Just Watching:
I have indeed noticed the number of homes below $400k. This is the market I have been watching for over 2 years. I remember there used to be about 5 at any given time. Friends thought I was insane that I'd sell my condo to rent in hopes that I'd be able to afford a house in the next few years and when they ask me how the wait is going and I say 'the market is deflating nicely, thank you' they think I'm crazy. But when you watch it like some of us do, you can see it. There are WAY more homes under $400k now than there ever were. And in the past 6 months, I'm seeing BETTER homes in the under $400k range. Initially it was all crap but over time there have become better choices in this market range (don't get me wrong, there's still a lot of crap out there). I figure I'll just keep waiting it out a while.

Fiduciary said...

The noise issue as well as sharing laundry are two big reasons why we decided to wait for a new condo to be available instead of renting a suite. Turns out wiring for Ethernet is also a much bigger factor for us that I originally though too, so that restricts the number of rentals significantly, but we can wait for something to come up.

Marko said...

Really? Out of the 8 that our under 400k three are teardowns and would be worth more as bare lots, 2 are on shelbroune. One of them has foundation issues, one is on a 1,680 sq/ft lot - that has to be the smallest lot I have ever come across.

Introvert said...

I can hear the guy who lives downstairs snoring and laughing at Seinfeld (who even watches that anymore?) and I can hear the woman who lives upstairs on the phone with her mother. It's a little too close for my comfort but I didn't realize it until I moved in.

Renting isn't all that great.

a simple man said...

As far as I am concerned, in Victoria, in 2011, renting is fantastic. Saves me me a lot of money and gives me quality of life every month.

Leo S said...

And in the past 6 months, I'm seeing BETTER homes in the under $400k range.

Case in point: 808 Darwin.

Renting isn't all that great.

Nice non sequitor. Renting does not imply hearing your neighbours. Either you rent an appartment that is properly sound insulated (or on top floor), or you rent a house. Same the other way, if you're one of the many landlords forced to rent out a space in your home to make ends meet, then you get the noise. If you own a townhouse, you get the noise. Renting and noise are completely independent.

relativelyspeakin said...

Introvert:
No, renting isn't all that great. But there are a lot of ups to it that compete with the downs. When I compare it to the responsibility and pain of owning, I'm happy in spite of the 'living' sounds (at least everyone's on the relatively same schedule - no late night partiers and no one addicted to their stereo etc.)

I'm enjoying not having to deal with the building issues (I was the strata president) - which is akin I suppose to maintaining your own home. And I'm LOVING the ability to just call the landlord when something isn't working - and not have to make arrangemetns or pay to have it fixed. My suite is 4x the size of my condo for the same monthly output, it's something I'd never be able to buy anyway on one salary so I can enjoy it for a while, it's spacious and beautiful. And I have a nest egg gaining money, waiting for when I feel it's right and want to take on the responsibility of owning again.

There are pros and cons to both. Financially I know I'm ahead and sold at the right time - units in my former building are going for a lot less than the per sq ft that I got for it in March.

Also Marko - not everyone wants a huge lot. My ideal would be to find a house without much land at all. I don't want to take care of a yard - of any size really. (However, I'll give that 1600 sq ft lot is pretty small).

I've been to probably a hundred open houses over the past 2 years for houses under 400k and the offerings ARE improving but they're still few and far between.

VP said...

Remarkable how fast American prices are still falling once you consider how much stronger their economy is than ours.

Seattle home prices down 6.5% from a year ago

Leo S said...

Garth has a good post debunking that mindless CMHC press release.

Dave said...

Re: Sound proofing:

How effective is it? Any anecdotes?

Re: Seasonal fluctuation in 3br offerings:

I imagine it would be greater for the 2 and 1br offerings. Students don't all have friends waiting to be roommates.

Dave3

Introvert said...

I am curious about your current view of the Victoria real estate market.

Do you think now is a good time to buy and if so what are your reasons...


Some point-form thoughts by way of answer:

-A $300,000 house in Oak Bay will never, ever, ever exist again.

-In the long run, real estate in Victoria (especially in the core municipalities) is always a good investment.

-Inflation, if it ever becomes an issue, is beneficial to the debtor and harmful to the creditor.

-I tend to agree with Marko: overall it's better to buy when one feels comfortable doing so rather than to try to "time the market."

Just Jack said...

The last time a house in Oak Bay sold for under $300,000 was in April 2004 when it sold for $278,000.

Today that same home is assessed for $582,000.

It just seems unbelievable that property values could ever fall at least 50% from today's values to reach the level of 2004.

But in the first 10 months of 2004, nearly 2,200 homes sold in the urban core. I wonder if some one back in 2004 were to be asked if sale volumes would ever be under 1,500 again, they would have said never ever again.

The first 10 months of this year has 1,451 sales. A drop of 35% just in volume from 2004.

And I wonder if someone back in 2004 would ever think our vacancy rate would go from 0.5% to almost 4% would have said never, ever again.

Or that we would be nearing 8% unemployment when back in 2004 you couldn't find people to work in retail stores would have said never, ever again.

I don't know if home prices in Oak Bay will ever be under $300,000. But, our economy doesn't look so good anymore, and everyone is getting nickel and dimed from taxes, sewer, water, utility, and hydro fees. And that wasn't happening in 2004 either.

So maybe the best advice if you want a house in Oak Bay for under $300,000 is to buy a $600,000 home today and wait.

Al said...

"Re: Sound proofing:
How effective is it? Any anecdotes?"

The sound proofing effectiveness should be well known. See Info

We had a neighbor who used this for his movie room walls/floors in the middle of his first floor, so when there are friends and family visit, the kids can watch movies and listen to music as loud as they want while the adults sit in adjacent family room have nice and peaceful chats. That was the first time we saw how it worked (in 1999).

JustWatching said...

Introvert,

Thanks. Your comments seem pretty reasonable to me...

CFA Joe said...

Introvert,

Inflation is not necessarily good for the debtor. If we have inflation guaranteed that interest rates will be jacked up. Inflation is good for the asset owner (with no debt).

Leo S said...

-A $300,000 house in Oak Bay will never, ever, ever exist again.

I'd tend to agree. Does anyone here expect Oak Bay for $300,000?

-In the long run, real estate in Victoria (especially in the core municipalities) is always a good investment.

Not really. You say that because in 30 years it's very likely that real estate prices will be higher than they are now. I agree, but that does not make it a good investment. Firstly, most people will move 3 times in that period, so the first time they move it might be a colossally bad investment. Secondly, if I buy a stock before the crash in 2008, and later it recovers above it's previous value, that does not make it a good investment. Much better to wait for a bit if you see it sliding.

-Inflation, if it ever becomes an issue, is beneficial to the debtor and harmful to the creditor.

Depends if you can weather the interest rates. 12% of mortgage holders would have trouble with even a 1% increase in rates. Can you imagine 5%?

-I tend to agree with Marko: overall it's better to buy when one feels comfortable doing so rather than to try to "time the market."

Sure. The problem is, the banks and mortgage industry have redefined what people should be comfortable with, because the risk isn't on them. Take an random buyer from 10 years ago and show them today's prices. Let me bet 90% of them would not be comfortable.

We've seen it happen over the years so we're used to half million dollar teardowns, and we confuse that familiarity with comfort. It's a false comfort.

SilverSurfer said...

Inflation is not even good for the asset owner, for their asset's monetary value (aka price) will crash. AFTER inflation has crashed the market value of the properties, THEN it is not a good time to buy, but the best time to buy.

Why:

1) Prices are at all time lows - easy to enter market. (Be greedy when everyone is fearful and selling)

2) Abnormally high interest rates can only mean one thing, each time you renew your mortgage the probability of the interest rate being lower is greater.

There's only one caveat to this, although prolonged high interest rates aren't the norm historically, this scheme works best for those that have real cash waiting in the sidelines, and can minimize their actual mortgage loan value.

These are house buying for dummies concepts that apparently the vast majority of the population doesn't get, or doesn't want to get. Suits me fine. I say let them all buy houses at exhorbitant prices, it just means I'll have more to choose from when the market crashes later.

If you want to be above average, stop doing average things. Don't follow the herd, first question instead where they will end up.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

Let me fix these for you:

"Some point-form thoughts by way of answer:

-A $300,000 house in Oak Bay will (likely) never, ever, ever exist again.

-In the long run, real estate in Victoria (especially in the core municipalities) is (has been, but only since around the early 1970s, boomer bubble, no one can predict the future, past performance doesn't guarantee future performance, etc) always a good investment.

-Inflation, if it ever becomes an issue, is beneficial to the debtor and harmful to the creditor.


Except in real estate, where inflation combated by interest rates as is mandated by the BoC, has demonstrated the polar opposite during those immediate years where inflation is an issue, e.g., 1980-82, interest rates rise causing affordability crunches and sharp, steep housing unit price drops. Hopefully you don't have to renew your mortgage or have a variable rate during those years, cause man-alive, it's ugly when you do.

Marko said...

Crazy stock market - sold three positions I picked up the previous week. Suncor 5% up, BM0 7% up, and a very nice profit on Goldcorp!

Has there been a correlation done between the TSX and the CND housing market?

Will said...

I found one a while back that was done for commodities but haven’t see one for stocks.

real estate correlation with commodities

JustWatching said...

Good news from the Conference Board of Canada. Homeowners in Vancouver will feel better today after reading this Vancouver Sun article.

Metro Vancouver resale market 'balanced'

Metro Vancouver's resale housing market has moved into a “balanced” range where neither buyer nor seller have any particular advantage in negotiating a sale, according to a Conference Board of Canada report released Tuesday.

As well, the report's author said in an interview about the board's metro Resale Index – November 2011, there's no longer a threat of a real estate bubble forming in the region.

“The threat of a bubble has largely dissipated,” senior economist Robin Wiebe said of Metro Vancouver. “But, really, there never was one."


In Victoria prices are lower and average income is about the same so one can only assume after reading this article that we are not in a bubble either.

Just Jack said...

An interesting comment on a well known Sooke realtor's Twitter.

"It's encouraging to note that all risks to #yyj area housing market are external (ie, global economy). Local fundamentals are solid".

Hmmm, sounds good doesn't it? Why does no one ever explain what they mean by fundamentals?

S2 (JJ's wife)

JustWatching said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fiduciary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JustWatching said...

When a RE agent says "Local fundamentals are solid" it means that if you can fog a mirror the bank will give you a big, low interest rate mortgage insured by CMHC with no risk to the bank.

It does not mean the local economy is stable and doing well. The following factors are not relevant to a realtor when pumping real estate: government cutbacks due to a rising multi-billion dollar deficit, falling tourism revenue, a weak construction industry, difficulty exporting with a high US dollar.

Fiduciary -- Thanks for pointing out the missing word.

Fiduciary said...

JustWatching - no problem.

patriotz said...

Inflation is good for the asset owner (with no debt).

Asset inflation is good for the asset owner. You can have asset deflation (i.e. a bust) and consumer price inflation at the same time (e.g. in the early 80's in the Vancouver and Victoria housing markets).

The main reason why RE prices have risen so much in the last 30 years is that consumer price inflation has fallen with the resulting drop in interest rates.

Anyone who thinks that a rise in consumer price inflation, with the inevitable rise in interest rates and likely stagnant wages, means higher RE prices is deluded.

patriotz said...

Has there been a correlation done between the TSX and the CND housing market?

First of all before 2000 Canadian regional housing markets were not correlated with each other. For example housing prices went up substantially in BC during the Toronto bust of the late 80's-early 90's. During the same period the stock market went up.

In the late 90's, prices went down in Vancouver (and Victoria I would guess) while Toronto went up and the stock market experienced a huge runup (the dot-com bubble).

And stock market cycles move much more quckly than RE cycles.

About all you can say is that the stock market and RE markets tend to go down during recessions.

a simple man said...

are we in/entering a recession?

SilverSurfer said...

Technically speaking, a recession is when GDP is negative for two consequitive quarters, which conviniently means you won't find out about it from the MSM until 6 months after you're deep into it and in many historic situations out of it.

Realistically, we've never recovered the recession that started in 2008. Wages are stagnent, *REAL* unemployment figures remain elevated ~3 times above normal, our debts & deficits continue to accumulate, GDP growth is mostly artificial in major G20 countries vastly boosted by increased debts and highly questionable accounting practices. And as a result of all this risk (ignoring the growing number of elephants in the room - Euro on verge of collapse, China on verge of implosion, US economic situation getting worse by day, Iran/Israel/Syria boardering on war), interest rates will remain artificially depressed until the can finally hits the wall and then we'll experience a SHTF moment. I predict (major) currency wars to accelerate in late 2012 into 2013, followed by physical wars if massive global economic reform does not take place - i.e. End the Fed and central banks by extension, End the Keynesianism insanity (Debt based monetary systems), end all corporate influence over government lawmakers.

I'm betting on nothing getting resolved, and chaos to ensue. Hence why I'm continously going further and further into gold and silver.

[/End of doom and gloom], now back to your regular scheduled programming... Remember folks, everything is OK, please do not worry and quickly carry on to your next shopping experience.

DavidL said...

@a simple man asked: are we in/entering a recession?

Answering this is a challenge as there are conflicting definitions for a recession. That said: inflation is slowly inching up, wages are close to stagnant, consumers have less money for discretionary spending (partially because so much money is being spent on servicing debt). Most "first world" countries are seeing their deficits skyrocket and concerned about the fiscal side-effects of austerity and now resorting to tinkering with the how money is exchanged. Did I mention the environment?!

It all looks rather grim to me ...

DavidL said...

Incidentally, watch for some profit-taking on the markets tomorrow and an inevitably "new" announcement over the weekend from the ECB/IMF on how they will attempt to stabilize the economies of the PIGS.

pod_x said...

Everyone in the world (and their dog) is expecting inflation to make their debt troubles go away. Which tells me things aren't gonna happen as everyone is expecting. Probably, the opposite.

Also, inflation does not necessarily make debt easier. Especially rate adjustable (ie, Canadian mortgages). And inflation does not guarantee your income will go up proportionately. You might very well get squeezed by lagging incomes and rising costs.

MC said...

Question: What are your views on manufactured homes? Sometimes "I wonder if it would be worth it to buy one for $50000 to quickly pay if off and save on rent and payments for awhile...thoughts?

Leo S said...

Anyone know anything about 998 Karen Cres? I'm surprised that it's still for sale. Must be something wrong with it.

JustWatching said...

Leo S,

998 Karen is one of those houses you might want to avoid...

Reason why - click here

Animal Spirit said...

Someone should knock on the door and ask the tenants if they know that it had been a grow op. Could be some interesting unresolved things in walls and wiring if the house has only been 'cleaned' Nothing said about proper remediation and inspection.

Leo S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leo S said...

Haha. That'll do it. Thanks JustWatching.

Funny how that sentence isn't in the current description.

Just Jack said...

An indoor air quality test is a must for this one and any other tests that may be relevant.

This may be a requirement from some banks before they lend on the property. If the property does not pass the relevant tests, then a buyer may have to find private lenders at much higher interest rates of 12 to 15 percent. Since a substantial portion of value in our market is created from cheap credit, that will have a massive affect on price.

If the property fails the relevant tests then you're likely looking at land value less the cost to demolish the building.

So why no mention of the grow operation or need of an air quality test? I suppose its for legal reasons. The agent does not have first hand information that it was a grow op, how extensive the operation was and how affective any clean up was done.

Its a case of "buyer beware".

Introvert said...

Microsoft opens design studio in Victoria

Microsoft Corp. will open a major game design studio in downtown Victoria early in the new year that could employ up to 60 people.

...

Victoria was chosen for its strategic proximity to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and for its "livability," which will help attract the best and brightest in creative, production and design in the global gaming industry.

...

"The sun shines over here, there are no hour-long commutes, housing prices are half as much ... it was an easy decision," said Robertson, an industry veteran who lives in Victoria.

...

We wanted to live where we worked and we love the community feel of Victoria ... the walkability, the village centres, the bike lanes."

...

The facility, to be called Microsoft Studios Victoria, will have an open, modern design and rooftop garden. Microsoft has an option for the floor below to allow for expansion of its workforce.

...

The site was chosen for its downtown waterfront location and proximity to seaplanes and ferries to Seattle, Robertson said.

...


"Victoria offers proximity to world-class universities, a thriving, advanced technology industry with a highly educated and skilled workforce, located in one of Canada's best communities to live in," he said.

...

Post-secondary institutions and the local technology sector were thrilled with Microsoft's decision, saying the company's "star power" on the global stage will put Victoria on the map and help to attract talented people.

a simple man said...

Introvert - I read that as well - exciting for Victoria!

a simple man said...

But, I also need to point out that Microsoft is HQed in Seattle, and we all know how well Seattle is doing.

Anton said...

I'm not surprised. Don Mattrick, former wiz kid game developer who was president of Electronic Arts until he moved to head the game division of Microsoft lives in Victoria.

Marko said...

Thursday December 1, 2011 8:00am:

November November
2011 2010
Net Unconditional Sales: 482 479
New Listings: 847 722
Active Listings: 4,329 3,723

Fiduciary said...

I would debate working at that office, but if they treat their employees anything like EA treats theirs, I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

a simple man said...

My wife was surfing the rental houses in Oak Bay last night - it seems like there is an awful lot of houses for rent here and they are nice for what you pay - changed from the summer where there seemed to be very little.

a simple man said...

VREB release:

Real Estate Activity Stable in November
December 1, 2011


Real estate sales activity remained steady throughout Greater Victoria last month with a total of 482 homes and other properties selling through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), virtually unchanged from 483 sales in October. There were 479 sales in November of last year. Overall prices, meantime, remained mixed, depending on price measure and property type.

Victoria Real Estate Board President, Dennis Fimrite, said the continued stability in sales is indicative of a balanced and healthy market, "We were pleased to see that sales last month were higher than in November of last year and showed little change from October. Looking forward, we anticipate continued stability as we move into 2012." Fimrite noted that there was some variability in prices last month, depending on property type, "It’s important to look at price changes over several months to determine what trends are developing as there will always be month-to-month fluctuations in prices depending on what properties sell in a given month." He added that that there were 11 single family home sales of over $1 million in November including one for over $6 million in Oak Bay.

Fimrite added that the number of properties available for sale eased last month to 4,329 compared to 4,687 at the end of October. "Inventory levels remained 16 per cent higher than a year ago but have fallen back from a peak of over 5,000 seen earlier this year."

The average price for single-family homes sold in Greater Victoria last month was $592,034, down slightly from $595,836 in October. The median price also declined to $530,000 while the six-month average declined to $613,259. The overall average price for condominiums last month was $320,558, up from $307,329 in October. The median price for condominiums in November also increased to $296,000 while the average for the last six months declined slightly to $321,941. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $380,675 compared to $428,040 in October. The median price declined to $360,000 while the six month average declined to $425,095.

a simple man said...

BTW - look at the average price drop in townhouses - almost $50,000 last month from Oct. The bottom falls out first.

Introvert said...

I also need to point out that Microsoft is HQed in Seattle

Forgive me for nitpicking, but it's actually Redmond.

a simple man said...

Duly noted, Introvert. Thanks for your correction.

Jason said...

If the $6.5M oultier is removed that sfh average drops below $580k.

Fiduciary said...

And Redmond is still expensive, but not immune to a correction.

http://www.zillow.com/local-info/WA-Redmond-home-value/r_54089/

Look at that, a 25% drop.