Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday market update: WTF Tuesday?

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 
Net Unconditional Sales: 90
New Listings: 201
Active Listings: 4,503
Sales to new listings ratio: 45%

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

Animal Spirit sent me the following two charts showing the breakdown of sales in each area and the average dollar value of each area. They're telling for a variety of reasons, but the standout for me is the consistency of "desirability" of some neighbourhoods over others. 


a simple man said...

I thought that second graph was either density of rats per sq km or number of lattes consumed in a calendar yr.

Good graphs, Animal spirit.

Russ said...

Reposted from previous thread.

Hi All,

I'm interested in what everybody thinks of these two lake front Highlands properties.

*Disclaimer*I am a firm bear and am not thinking of buying either house anytime soon, BUT I would love to raise my family in a rural lakefront acreage setting like this someday (ie post-correction)*

It's an interesting comparison because both houses are on the same lake and at a similar price-point but in one you're paying for land, and the other you're buying the improvements.

House 1 (295478) looks like a nice move in ready family home, but is only on .5 acre.

House 2 (296561) is really only a cottage and would require a substatial addition or building a new house and possibly using the cottage for Grandma. But it is on 3acres with 180' waterfront and a couple of out buildings.

Assuming you kept both properties pretty much as-is, my thinking is that over the long term (30+ years) you would be better off owning the larger lot as the land value would appreciate more than the improvments on the smaller property?


Also, Does anybody have any experiences with the Highlands? Is it feasible permit-wise to build a new home and keep the existing cottage?

These homes are a fair way out of town, Do you think in 25-30years with creeping urbanisation these home's won't seem like such a daunting commute? Possibly Prospect lake felt like the end of the earth 30 years ago. ie, In 2040 will there be less of a "distance discount" than there is today?

Would appreciate any feed-back. thanks

Just Jack said...

Your buying a lifestyle not an investment. Don't get the two mixed up and then whatever choice you make will be the right one.

There are additional costs for a young family living in the Highlands and you may never see the economic appreciation of homes closer to the city.

But there are other rewards besides monetary. What price do you put on sliding the kayak into the lake at 5:00 AM to watch the sun come up? Or the tranquility and privacy of acreage?

If prices were the only gauge of the costs and benefits of owning in the highlands, then the city would be the winner. But some put a higher value on the non monetary items in life, a baby's laugh, a first love, and keeping your teeth into your old age.

SilverSurfer said...

In Roger's absence (previous graph king), I'm very glad to see somebody step up to the plate to track & graph all the *historical* long term trending details which VREB and others love to ignore.

Also thanks for actually graphing price trends. We seem to be overly focused on sales numbers around here, while price is really all that matters to us non-realtors.

I know the price story isn't in our (bearish) favour, but it can be a good indicator of bubbles popping, so let's not be shy to report the pricing (un)reality.

Great work Animal Spirits! Keep it up :-)

DavidL said...

Excellent graphs, Animal Spirit! Based on simple man's comment - I can only assume that rats like lattes. ;-)

DavidL said...

Regarding the Highlands ... My sister raised her daughter in the "most remote" part of the Highlands. From a kid's perspective, living in the Highlands means that you spend an hour or more going to/from school, it is very hard to get together with friends, and it is hard to be involved in after-school activities. It is a lovely place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there until my children are grown up ...

Anton said...

Re: The Highlands.
Make sure those properties are not in the path of the noise from Western Speedway. I have had several Sunday hikes or paddles at Little Thetis lake spoiled by the roar of motorsports. Also if the market corrects I am not sure if you can expect a specific property to correct with the market. It may, but some people have no pressure to sell and will wait for years trying to get their price. Lots of examples of this on the Gulf Islands.

Leo S said...

From a kid's perspective, living in the Highlands means that you spend an hour or more going to/from school, it is very hard to get together with friends, and it is hard to be involved in after-school activities.

Having grown up in the boondocks (considerably more so than the highlands), all this is true.

However, the country was also an amazing place of adventure and freedom to grow up in. Exploring the forests and building forts and having animals and all that was fantastic for us kids and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm a bit sad that our future kids will probably miss out on that.

Of course as kids get into their rebellious years the problems DavidL points out become bigger. But heck, that just motivates your kids to move out in a timely fashion.

I think people in general worry about kids way too much with respect to where you live. Like the old adage that you want to raise kids in your own home to give them a sense of permanence. Total bollocks. We moved from a city to the middle of nowhere halfway around the world and for us kids it was a big adventure. Of course moving during the later school years isn't great, but for young kids I don't think moving is a problem.

Watching and waiting said...

things are heating up on the KIV real estate thread again ...


Watching and waiting said...

sorry KIV link cut off due to blog field parameters..

look under the "Home assessment" thread ...

Just Jack said...

I didn't find anything "hot" about the discussion on KIV.

I've heard the argument of whether to use an appraiser or an agent many times before. Depends on what your looking for. A quick estimate or a document for court or lending purposes.

I'm sure the agent would not like his estimate to appear in court when people are seeking damages. Or his report was used as the basis by a lender or other party, who is seeking damages based on his erroneous report. I don't think that's what he is saying at all. He just wants to give an opinion, based on his experience, of the value of your home for free or the minimal cost of a bottle of wine. Maybe help a friend out in their divorce. He certainly does not want to be held liable for his opinion.

An agent's market evaluation should be free if you list the home with them. It's a loss leader, a way to get to meet prospective clients. Next to real estate signs, probably one of the best tools to find clients.

Probably the reason why so many companies are trying to cash in on the free appraisal business. Companies like Zillow and Zoocasa who are trying to sell advertisement space to the agents.

Most mortgages never have an appraisal done. 70% of mortgages are done by a computer application where the broker or banker inputs the data. No human being ever enters onto the property. It's based on the honesty principle. And the use of applications are expected to reach 90% by the end of this decade.

So, the mortgage appraiser should come close to being extinct. Appraiser only being used when there is a disagreement on the property's value. Because it's really hard to cross examine a computer program in court.

Leo S said...

All I see in that thread is this monymony character being a dick and Tim Ayres giving him/her a royal smackdown.

Just Jack said...

Well moneymoney does have quite a few misconceptions of what an appraiser and an agent do do.

A lot of that misconception happened when properties were selling in under a week. Neither the agent nor the appraiser could guess how much people would over pay on a listing. Past sales meant very little, it was the last sale on the street plus another $20,000.

Now, that the market has cooled considerably you're going to have to do more than just put a sign on the front yard or tell a friend to sell your home. Some neighborhoods while not on fire are surely still simmering such as Fernwood homes with suites. Other areas are suffering like Sooke. Where you will need to have someone push your property over the other ones to make a sale.

Appraiser don't do this, they are not marketers.

And on the flip side, agents are not trained evaluators. Its not that they can't give an opinion of the property's value. In most cases that is very simple - a couple of similar homes that sold recently in the neighborhood.

The problem that they have is valuing the strange, like a 20 foot wide lot that's over 600 feet deep. Or how much compensation the city should pay for taking a portion of someones land for road expansion, divorce disputes, estates etc. Where the value has to be proved and demonstrated to all parties involved without bias. And that's what an appraiser does. Where its not the price of the comparable that count, its how the comparable sales are interpreted.

Just Jack said...

Those that think they may be retiring to one of the Gulf Islands.

Small price reduction on Sidney Island from $4,200,000 to $2,950,000.

With your 4 acres of waterfront, you get a new 7,000 square foot log home, a dock and a private air strip.

I'm a little short this week, but Xmas bonus time is coming!

Animal Spirit said...

Interesting. To both complete the data series for the figures to 2011 and test Just Jack's house pair comparisons of price drops in the outlying areas vs. the core areas, I entered the 2011 monthly data to date from VREB into my data tables and charts.

Some findings:
- on a paired VREB area (i.e. Saanich West) by area basis, average prices for 2011 are down 7.4% from 2010 (the only areas with increases are Victoria/Victoria West, Saanich West and Metchosin, the biggest decreases are Central Saanich at -14.3% and North Saanich at -19.0%)

- in the second half of 2011, Sooke has gone done a full $82,000 from 2010 levels, or 18.6% in a year and a bit.

- in 2011, the relative amount of sales in Saanich East and North Saanich have gone up, while Sooke sales have dropped substantially. Oak Bay sales have stayed high. Given that SE, NS and OB have the highest average prices (in areas with more than a few sales), this would mean that overall reported averages and medians are biased due to the change in sales mix

- Sooke, North Saanich and Sidney prices are back around 2006 levels, while Victoria/Victoria West, Saanich West, Oak Bay and View Royal average prices are at all time highs.

So yes, prices do seem to be dropping from the outside to the centre, at the same time as relatively fewer people are buying in the lower outside areas as well.

Just Jack is right. To best preserve capital (if one believes the market is falling), sell in Oak Bay and buy in Sooke or Sidney.

Next up medians.

Just Jack said...

Animal Spirit said "Just Jack is right".


S2 (Just Jack's long-suffering wife)

Animal Spirit said...

S2 is always right. Just Jack just randomly happened on what seems to be a correct guess.

Following from my post above, median data is (as expected) smoother than the averages. 2011 is down 4.1% on a paired area basis from 2010, with almost all areas declining.

Of interest, over the past year Saanich East is only down 1.2%, while Sooke is down 8.5% ($36,000). Medians for Sooke show price rollback to 2007, as opposed to 2006 for the averages.

So yes, S2 - moving to a trailer in Sooke with Just Jack might not be such a bad idea after all :)

a simple man said...

Local Victoria man can't afford to fix his newly purchased home.

Reason not to buy from a flipper #241

a simple man said...

About 12 per cent of Canadian mortgage holders would be challenged if their rate went up by less than one percentage point, a report from the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals found Wednesday.


a simple man said...

And add the flipped house on Caddy Bay Rd to the list of recent flipped houses that are having a hard time finding a buyers - two recent price reductions and still waiting. Hopefully flippers are starting to notice that it is no longer and easy game.

a simple man said...

wow - I have to slow down typing or proofread - my apologies for the typing errors.

Just Jack said...

If you just slightly leave the central core, there is a massive change in the quality of home for the same price. Even as close as Brentwood Bay. And the Pat Bay Highway is not a bad commute.

The homes are newer, bigger, some with views, and I would say better quality than the older housing stock in the city. Like the home that just sold on Grieg. It just sold for slightly less than it did in February 2006 and it took over 6 months to find a buyer at that price.

It's difficult to wrap your mind around these enigmas. But, then again, it didn't make much sense when prices were skyrocketing either. The market is just working in reverse.

Excluding some smaller and getting smaller areas of the inner core municipalities there are too many homes for sale and too few buyers.

The big rise in prices happened in 2005 when Flaherty gave us Zero down and 40 year amortizations. Prices on the typical home rose a hundred thousand dollars in a very short time.

That will be our big roll back in prices when they go from 2006 to 2005 levels. That will be the big one, that everyone will notice. What has been going on for the last year, has just been people rocking the coke machine.

Introvert said...

That will be our big roll back in prices when they go from 2006 to 2005 levels. That will be the big one, that everyone will notice.

In 2005, the average price for a SFH was $463,399. I hate to break it to everyone, but those days are gone. One of the couples featured in the Going Going Gone article said it best: "One thing that has changed in the past year is our perspective: we no longer believe a crash is inevitable."

a simple man said...

That would be a loss of 22% from this month's average price. I really don't think that is too unrealistic.

Just Jack said...

Market prices will fall until you can entice enough people back into the market.

Typically what happens is that enough home buyer's pull out of the market, for various reasons from unemployment to interest rate hikes, that only investors are left. Prospective home owners are gun shy, most will not buy into a falling market. And very few will want to take on a long term liability. They'll commit a smaller portion of their income to housing and for a shorter amortization period.

And the banks won't be helping. Mounting losses will make them tighten up their lending policies which will make prices moderate lower.

That leaves the investor to step into the market. But they are looking to buy and have a positive cash flow and a return on their equity.

Because in a downturn, its the investor who re-starts the market cycle.

Introvert, you don't want to do that calculation. You'll piss yourself when you see the downside of prices.

Never have so many, owed so much to so few.

Alexandrahere said...

a simple man: I read that article about the home buyer who bought a home with a leakage problem in the basement. On the vendor's disclosure statements perhaps it should read: "I have knowledge of or recently (within 3 years?) have done repairs of a) Electrical items; b) structural repairs or amendments; c) Plumbing additions or repairs; d) Water or drainage problems or repairs.

The current disclosure statements I believe, are not adequate enough to protect buyers. And sometimes the inspector's you hire tell you nothing of major consequence .....especially if you get one that your realtor recommends. Most people don't know a "qualified" inspector and take the word of their realtor who says I can give you the name of a really good guy. Or I'll make an arrangement for an inspector to come for you if you like. The time-line for an inspection is tight and this guy owes me a favour! And so on and so on.

DavidL said...

Keep in mind that $463K in 2005 dollars is worth $516K in 2011, when factoring in the CPI using the BOC Inflation Calculator.

a simple man said...


Totally agree that house inspections are very tricky. Needs to be better disclosure documents as well, as you have noted. Never go with the inspector the realtor brings. Total conflict of interest.

Hi DavidL;

I did the same calculation with the BoC calculator but saw that it used the cost of shelter as one of the inflationary inputs and thought that would confound the comparison.

Maybe if we take the half way point to strip out the major impact of housing over that time we might find the inflation level not considering shelter costs.

Just Jack said...

Is the purpose of the disclosure statement to protect buyers?

The agent assisted the home owner in filling out this declaration, but no where does the declaration say that. I think anyone who assists in the preparation of this document should also state what degree of assistance they performed and there name should appear on the document as well. That to me, would show that the property disclosure statement is for the protection of the buyer.

But, right now, it seems its more for the protection of the agent.

I think you should hire your own home inspector too.

pod_x said...

@a simple man

I did the same calculation with the BoC calculator but saw that it used the cost of shelter as one of the inflationary inputs and thought that would confound the comparison.

Cost of shelter, not price of assets. CPI includes rent index, not purchase price. Similarly, it does not include the price of other assets as well, such as equities or bonds.

a simple man said...

Great - thanks for that clarification, Pod X.

Then a 13.5% drop is not at all unrealistic.

I will likely buy after the 25% drop, though.

Leo S said...

In 2005, the average price for a SFH was $463,399. I hate to break it to everyone, but those days are gone.

In 2008 average prices dropped by 17% in 6 months. 22% doesn't seem out of the question.

EatMe said...



Mindset said...

Simple Man in Respone to Introvert: a loss of 22% from this month's average price. I really don't think that is too unrealistic...

Unrealistic? Where do you get those rose colored glasses there Introvert? I'd put some on, but I would worry I might walk into a pink wall if I used them to guide my investment choices.

I read all of the news,and mostly I have been seing poor economic outlooks, record personal and government debt levels, government cut-backs, lacks of ROI on RE investments, a global financial crisis blowing the markets around like leaves, oh, and Carney taking a new role where he now has to be super responsible with our fiscal policy (does this mean no more crazy interest rate/CMHC bailouts or he might look bad)?

I would say 22% on average is realistic. And if that is all that happens, I think we should all be very proud to have only seen such a moderate correction compared to so many other countries.

Great graphs again Animal Spirit. I appreciate all of your work here. Keep it up.

a simple man said...

Mindset - I feel the same way.

And EatMe - I just read that release. Based on speculation, but that would certainly keep a lot of the market propped up.

Who knows what is right? I know this, right now it is far cheaper for me to rent and it is relatively risk free.

If I bought right now I would be on pins and needles.

Just Jack said...

When the numbers get this big, do they still have meaning.

Does it really translate into the typical home owner being able to afford another $50,000. What if interest rates had gone up?

Maybe if it were applied to the monthly payment. In otherwords, a buyer today can afford to pay an additional $200 a month in mortgage payments than a buyer in 2005. But then taxes are higher, sewer, water, garbage, insurance.

Or is it even correct to apply a CPI factor on a market determined asset.

A radio in 1930 may have cost $50. You can imagine if you applied CPI to that, a radio would be close to a thousand dollars today.

Somehow you have to account for the loss in purchasing power over the last few years. I am mystified of what you could reasonably use though? Or should we even bother, what it is, is what it is.

That's why Carney sits in Ottawa and I sit in Victoria.

Just Jack said...

Lower interest rates, don't seem to be stimulating demand for housing. And that's what is worrisome.

Maybe the government can give $15,000 to all first time home buyers in order to stimulate demand?

Why not remove the cap on how much of your RRSP you can use to buy a home? And you don't have to make payments back into your RRSP until you sell the home or 15 years?

But low interest rates - they ain't working.

Just Jack said...

Buying real estate today, is like starting to smoke.

Its expensive and for most people it will end in tragedy.

Just Jack said...

I wonder when the BoC slashes interest rates if your bank will lower the rate on your line of credit?

Don't think so......

First you hook them... then you reel them in.

Cor said...

Unfortunately the Bank of Canada can only slash interest rates in a slight way. As far as I know, zero is the limit. Although I may take a quick look at Japan's rates, to see if they were able to breach zero.

As Jack alluded to, prices have actually been falling as rates fall lately. Makes sense in that fear creates a rush into the perceived safety of our bonds. The worrisome event will come after our property is off a third, and our debts (bonds) start being treated similar to certain European countries.

Introvert said...

The worrisome event will come after our property is off a third, and our debts (bonds) start being treated similar to certain European countries.

This is baseless fear-mongering. A country isn't in danger until debt-to-GDP reaches 100% or higher.

Canada: 84%
Germany: 84%
USA: 94%
Italy: 119%
Greece: 143%

The fact of the matter is Canada is not Greece or Italy and never will be.

Cor said...

I’m not sure where you got your ratios Introvert, but below is a reliable source giving total debt to GDP ratios. We’re not a PIG yet, but I’d be careful in saying “never”.


(page 5) “450% for the Euro zone and the United Kingdom; 470% for Japan, and 410% for Canada.”

“The debt figures in these ratios include both private and government debt; thus, they are measures of aggregate indebtedness. These statistics indicate that the euro currency
countries as a group, the United Kingdom, Japan and, interestingly Canada, are all more deeply indebted than the United States.”

DavidL said...

My prediction for the past 18 months has that real estate prices will slowly slide down through 2014, reaching 2005 values (or lower). They will be stagnant through 2018, not matching inflation. Prices then maybe slowly begin to go back up. (Queue the next bubble for 2025?)

I'm sticking to my guns on this prediction ...

Marko said...

My prediction is prices remain relatively flat for the next 5 years.

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

Since we're predicting. I predict, the Eurozone will crash & burn in 2012 along with China, brining the USA into a massive recession in 2013 (remember markets often go down after US elections), then at some point they try to print us into oblivion, and then later realize they gotta curb inflation by massively raising interest rates right around 2014, and thus Canadian housing will crash and burn.

Meanwhile Gold should reach some $3,500 by end of 2013, silver to $100 and I'll be buying an early retirement beach front house in one of the PIIGS countries after they exit the Euro, go back to their old currencies and massively devalue their currencies against the super Euro (or German drachma). Portugal looks like a nice place, it never had a real estate bubble and is in its 8th consequitive year of real estate decline and considered 2nd most lkely to fail after Greece. Couple that with an exit of the Euro + massive printing of new currency, and it's the opportunity for a century for a real estate grab.

I'll be sure to send pictures from my (nude) beach front Portuguese Villa around 2015. Who knows, maybe they'll even feature me on Cribs! ;-)

MBComm said...

My prediction is everything will end up where it was 10 years ago. History repeatedly illustrates that bubbles always return to their starting point. Our commodity and housing bubbles were initiated around 2001 with the help of Greenspan's policies.

Marko said...

^ Awesome, I'll go back to my VIHA job and be able to afford a waterfront home.

a simple man said...

I think it is kind of sad that a trained healthcare worker can make more selling homes than helping lives.

Not a slam on you, Marko, but rather narration on the oft-backward nature of our "modern" society.

Just Jack said...

You mean like the waterfront home on Glenwood along Portage Inlet, that was listed at one time for $709,000. And sold this week for $515,000?

Be careful of what you wish for.

a simple man said...

A few houses bid above asking in OB this week. When is the madness going to end?

EatMe said...

When is the madness going to end?

Any day now.. I thought that's what you bears have been telling us???

DavidL said...

@EatMe wrote: When is the madness going to end? Any day now. I thought that's what you bears have been telling us???

Quite the opposite ... Western society has been living for beyond its' means for a couple of generations. Rapid industrial growth has been at the expense of the environment. Globalization in the 80's and 90's (in particular, exporting jobs overseas to labourers paid just dollars/day) pumped up the economy for a while. Then post-9/11 came the low interest rates to encourage people to borrow, and continue to live beyond their means.

The final balance sheet doesn't look good. There is a an environmental/economic/social debt owing that will take a least a generation to pay off.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

"The fact of the matter is Canada is not Greece or Italy and never will be."

Former PM Paul Martin recently said we were only a couple short years away from a "Greece" situation in the early 1990s. Given that since 2004 or so, Canada has fallen into the same budgetary and debt patterns as we did in the 1980s, coupled with zero opposition, only cries for more spending and more debt, I wouldn't be too quick to make this claim.

Just Jack said...

I think people are afraid of whats happening in the world and they want to park their money into something safe. And real estate is one of those safe havens. Because real estate will always have value.
Better to spend $700,000 on real estate and lose half, than on the stock market and lose it all.

Imagine owning a condo in Humboldt Valley and seeing almost 150 for sale signs of condominiums just in the downtown core. For the last ten years you've been buying and selling properties and now you have a very good chance of losing most of it. What do you do?

You buy a house in Oak Bay.

All you've done is change tables in the Real Estate Casino. Bought yourself a little more time.

Most however, will end up with a larger mortgage than they have ever had before.

The people you should be watching are the ones that SOLD in Oak Bay.

Imagine clearing $700,000 tax free dollars on a home you bought in 1990 for $165,000.

You won the lottery! You're set for the remainder of your life. Free to travel, anywhere, anytime.

Very, very few Canadians will ever have that much cash in their bank account.

About said...

RE: "And add the flipped house on Caddy Bay Rd to the list of recent flipped houses that are having a hard time finding a buyers - two recent price reductions and still waiting. Hopefully flippers are starting to notice that it is no longer and easy game."

That's my house.. Interesting that you know so much about me. E.g. that we are still waiting and that we thought it was an easy game..

I don't actually know anyone named simple man, but obviously you know me.

a simple man said...

About - I am sorry if I have offended you.

The price reductions are what we all watch in our PCS systems - it is public knowledge, and I have long watched all the flips in Oak Bay. And I am assuming you are still waiting since there is no "offer pending" listed on the PCS system and there is still a sign out front of the house.

I have no idea if I know you and I know I have never discussed this house with anyone, but for what it is worth, you are seemingly more in tune with the market than other flips in Oak bay that we have long talked about that are still sitting - in fact, St Ann is approaching its one year anniversary and Dunlevy must have passed half a year by now.

It is no longer an easy game like it was two years ago, that much is obvious.

Marko said...

Which home is that?

a simple man said...

2434 Cadboro Bay Rd. $639K - fully redone.

Just Jack said...

Lots of square footage for the money on Cadboro Bay. There have been sales of smaller homes at only slightly lower prices.

Maybe it's the curb appeal? Some shrubs, a tree or two, update the front entry and steps, and a new lawn or at least shock the lawn with some heavy nitrogen fertilizer.

Maybe its time to bring in the home stagers and fill the space with some quality furniture, so people can get an idea of how the home will look when furnished.

The home just seems to lack character.

Trilobite said...


That's very interesting! It would be great if you could tell us a bit more such as flip/no-flip, the business case, rental potential etc. .
I'm asking since I'm always curious in various ventures :).

Of course, I realize, it may simply be a case of changed plans and then there'd probably not be much more to say.

Marko said...

How is the home a flip? Tax records (public info) last Improved Single Property Cash Transaction was in 1992.


a simple man said...

Sorry if I am incorrect - it was for sale in the spring exclusively through one realtor and not even on mls. It then showed "sold" on the realtor website.

After that there was a flurry of activity at the house with trades of every variety, new roof, drywall, plumbing, etc. and then it was up for sale by the fall.

Perhaps "About" is the original owner and I am out of touch.

Leo S said...

Another chance to gauge where lot values are going. 2636 Scott Rd listed for $339k.
The almost identical teardown at 2851 Scott sold in a bidding war for $353k a few weeks ago and then mysteriously was immediately relisted for $386k.

Predictions on this one?

Alexandrahere said...

JJ....You would be surprised how many people in this city would have more than $700K in their bank account if they sold their current home.

If you are not getting or going to receive a gov't style pension, and you have sold your home; having 700K in the bank isn't going to get you very far......you still have to pay rent. Believe me, you are not going to be living high on the hog.....taking dream vacations and eating at the fanciest restaurants twice a week.

Marko said...

"2636 Scott Rd listed for $339k."

- List agent for details Offers to be Presented Wednesday 16 November.

The other home on Scott had a total of 10 offers so 2636 Scott should have a few as well.

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

I’m not sure where you got your ratios

International Monetary Fund, 2010.

Former PM Paul Martin recently said we were only a couple short years away from a "Greece" situation in the early 1990s.

Oh, you don't say! Someone recently said something about the 90s? That's evidence enough for me. Thanks, HHV. Where would we be without your sage input?

First Greece, then Canada! When we default--and it could be next year or at the very latest the year after--Victoria's real estate market will tank. Renters the capital region over will emerge from their grungy rental accommodations with fists full of saved cash (most renters are amazing savers) and buy that house in Oak Bay outright for $200,000. This is the renter's dream in a nutshell, isn't it? Well good luck with that.

Anton said...

Ditto Alexandrahere re: $700,000 not necessarily putting one on easy street. It sounds like a lot of money but you can’t have your cake and eat it too. I have seen people burn though similar sized inheritances with only a few shiny vehicles and other toys and trips to show for it. More than half of million dollar lottery winners are broke again within 5 years. That is not to say that everyone would squander the money but the risk is higher than if one has slowly accumulated a similar amount by years of living beneath one’s means. I think there is some truth to the house buyer’s argument that paying down a mortgage is like a forced savings plan for grasshopper types who don’t save. Maclean’s reported that 32% of Canadians expect to fund their retirement with a lottery win. It is this kind of shrewd money sense that has been helped push real estate values to the lofty heights they are at now.

Animal Spirit said...

Scott St. Let's see if the successful bidder this time puts it in unconditional and discovers a leaking underground oil tank - and then trys to make money selling it along to others.

Animal Spirit said...

Now that I've got average and median prices for each VREB area going back quite a way, some interesting modeling can be done.

Let's see what happens when I take the average price for each listing area (averaged over the last, say 3 years) and multiply it by the number of sales for each area in a month.

Could be a good way to create an area based selling index to remove the impact of different numbers of sales in different VREB areas from the equation.

And also to see what would happen to the numbers if all of a sudden sales in Oak Bay and East Saanich went down the proverbial toilet.

Just Jack said...

There are a lot of people in Greater Victoria with over $700,000 in equity.

But equity is not cash.

You can turn equity into money by selling your home. As long as there are not too many people trying to do this at the same time. Naturally if too many people try to do this at the same time, then the amount of equity that they have will drop.

So, while a lot of people in Victoria have over $700,000 in equity. Very few people have $700,000 in cash.

Or how about this one. My neighbor has $500,000 of equity in his home. He will not mortgage the home, nor is he willing to sell the home. Is that equity equal to $500,000 in the bond market?

Sure, I could burn through $700,000 as fast as Charlie Sheen on a holiday in Columbia. But we're (sorry I'm) talking at retirement. Hookers, coke and fast cars are fine at 35 or even 45, but at 65 your a little slower so you have to cut out the cars.

How long would it take the typical grandmother to burn through $700,000 that's still returning money from being invested. She could die a millionaire.

patriotz said...

"You would be surprised how many people in this city would have more than $700K in their bank account if they sold their current home"

They wouldn't if more than a few of them sold.

Think that over.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

@Introvert, when the finance minister of the time comments on his area of responsibility that should be evidence enough for you.

Please note: nowhere did I say we were going to be the next Greece, I simply refuted your claim that we will never be in a similar position--which is a purely poppycock claim unsupported by evidence.

Do I think we will fall into the same trap as Greece has? Extremely doubtful, but possible, and certainly not impossible.

Craig said...

The sale at 2511 Cranmore Rd for $610,000 has to be a misprint.

It was listed for 739,000 and assessed at 831,000.

Craig said...

And a $100,000 drop on 4446 Tyndall Ave this morning.

a simple man said...

Hi Craig;

I don't think the Cranmore house was a misprint. I went though it during an open house - it needed hundreds of thousands of dollars of renos. It was very, very tired. Prices are starting to approach sanity city limits now, but still a way to go to the core.

Jason said...

Re: cranmore. The photos of it were great - i would never have guessed that it needed much reno'ing. Was that one an example of staging? How much does staging cost?

a simple man said...

Hi Jason - you are right that the photos were great - but once you stepped inside it was all bad. Needed a complete new roof, new windows, new exterior and every single room needed substantial work - especially the kitchen and bathrooms. There were some walls that were shifting/buckling as well. Likely needed new drainage. It had big problems. That said, it had a certain "grande" layout that was very nice - one of the nicest I have seen on Oak Bay.

a simple man said...

and I would say there was no staging done, really. I think the pics were from a previous time.

Have no idea how much staging is, but would suspect anywhere from a bunch to a whole bunch.

Alexandrahere said...

Hey Just Jack: Do you remember a year or so ago when I said the vendors were out of their minds to think they could get nearly 900K for their house at 345 Linden? You said that it should go for around that price and the style of the home "California Rancher"...(actually California Bungalow) was your favorite of all favourites. Well, it sold today for $670K....five thousand below BC assessment. I should have put money on it!!

Introvert said...

@Introvert, when the finance minister of the time comments on his area of responsibility that should be evidence enough for you.

Right, because I forgot that finance ministers are
always correct.

How naive, HHV.

HouseHuntVictoria said...

@Introvert, not correct at predicting the future... the only prediction on offer is yours. Naive, indeed.

vawr said...

introvert, you're very creepy

EatMe said...

introvert, you're very creepy

Because an alternate / contrary view is put forth?

vawr said...

eatme, with your name and middle finger I see that you and introvert have something in common.

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

Has any one come across this one
It started to make me want to hold off a bit longer before buying, maybe the coast will benefit more , or not ,lots of old foges here

patriotz said...

That graph only shows relative populations. It looks a whole lot worse when you compare the debt loads and incomes of 1986's 20-30 year olds with today's 20-30 year olds.

Leo S said...

Because an alternate / contrary view is put forth?

No, because of his odd obsession with where HHV bought a place, and posts that are obviously only put here to annoy people. Alternate viewpoints with actual data are great.

Introvert said...

...his odd obsession with where HHV bought a place...

If I'm interested in where HHV bought a place, it's because there's really no good reason for him not to tell his readers. We're all anonymous here.

Let's say a guy starts a blog about investing in gold. He runs it for a while, develops a community, then mentions to his readers that he decided to sink all his cash into a precious metal other than gold. Which one? Oh, that doesn't matter. Let's move on, shall we? How about we keep talking about gold...

Rhino said...


I could make similar accusations about yourself.

Why is someone who owns a house and wants to stay in it for the next 10 years posting everyday on a real estate blog? Probably be the last place I would go after buying a house..

Perhaps some intellectually curiosity on the issue? Based on the subject of yours posts it can't be that...

I am guessing like a lot of people the size of your mortgage scares the sh*t out of you.

Anonymous said...

Introvert was a long time poster (with another ID) on HHV before he finally bought a house. As a former bear he now feels he waited too long to buy and is bitter.

Introvert - you have to move on and enjoy your home. If it drops in value it doesn't matter because you intend to live there for many years.

Try and enjoy life... Trolling here will only make you more bitter and unhappy.

a simple man said...

I kind of like Introvert being around - makes us stay honest. I also enjoy EatMe - although his/her name and picture always are offputting, but I suppose that is the intent.

Introvert said...

Why is someone who owns a house and wants to stay in it for the next 10 years posting everyday on a real estate blog?

It's odd, I know. But I guess this blog can attract all sorts. And I want to stay in my house for the next 30 years (or so).

I am guessing like a lot of people the size of your mortgage scares the sh*t out of you.

Naw, I'm pretty young and I put down around 20%.


Introvert was a long time poster (with another ID) on HHV before he finally bought a house. As a former bear he now feels he waited too long to buy and is bitter.

I suppose there's no way to prove this, but I've never posted here under a different ID. The truth is that I discovered this blog after I bought a house. (I know this doesn't make any sense to you because, as a homeowner, I must surely be so busy with home maintenance and yard work that I couldn't possibly have time to read a blog!)

I would have liked to have bought a house in Victoria before the run-up in prices, but undergrads in university are usually unable to buy a house.


I kind of like Introvert being around - makes us stay honest.

a simple man, thanks for saying that.

All of you must know that if it weren't for EatMe and me, this blog would be a deafening echo-chamber of bearish groupthink.

Trilobite said...

Yeah, I'm with a simple man. I think it's nice to have Introvert and Eat Me around.

Animal Spirit said...

There is a reason for anonymity - at times vindictive or flaming types (well beyond those such as EatMe or Introvert who have opposing views or are trolling types) do go personally after other posters or bloggers.

Victoria is a small town. People know people. People who move to other towns could be as easily harassed as those who live in Victoria. Given that the community of people who move to other specific cities is quite small, someone could easily isolate who HHV is if they knew where he lived now and wanted to do so.

May not happen off of this blog for the general public. That said, it would likely happen for realtors who post here anonomously and whose brokerages might not like differential views to the industry line being stated.

Leo S said...

All of you must know that if it weren't for EatMe and me, this blog would be a deafening echo-chamber of bearish groupthink.

Fine with me. I'm not here for some sort of peer support group. I'm here for the data, analysis, and interesting links. So if you have some, that's great, but endless rehashing of dead horses like "renting is throwing money away" and "victoria is a nice place to live" aren't really useful.

Bubble 'n Fizz(le) said...

All of you must know that if it weren't for EatMe and me, this blog would be a deafening echo-chamber of bearish groupthink.

True, thanks for taking over. When HHV capitulated I realized my work was done.

Just Jack said...

You should have put money on it.

I re-looked at the last time the property sold in 1994. Then compared the median then and today.

Median prices went up 141 percent since then. That's an increase on the original purchase from $300,000 to $725,000.

But, the re-sale of the property only shows an increase of 123 percent.

What also changed is that I no longer like these homes as much.
Arts and Craft style homes are so Hannah Montana.

Just Jack said...

Ooops, have to carry the one.

Increases are 241 and 223 percent respectively.

Can't keep doing this stuff in my head.

Leo S said...

808 Darwin. Don't want it, but seems better than most at $399k. I remember in 2009 at the low of the dip we were looking and the stuff for $399k were still 1000sqft boxes.

Sweetrealtor said...

Just saw the Darwin house this morning. It is in pretty good shape, a lot better than other houses in this price range.

Alexandrahere said...

One of the nicer buys of the week I think was at 5050 Cordova Bay Rd. It went for $600K; a substantial and gorgeous 1950's home with suite. Makes so many in this price range look like poor cousins.

Leo S said...

3205 Kingsley is nice too. I'd expect this one to sell relatively quickly. Good size, important parts updated, suite potential, convenient location.

We'll take it for $450k.. :)

Rhino said...

"One of the nicer buys of the week I think was at 5050 Cordova Bay Rd."

I actually went through that one. I won't speak bad of a sold house, but lets just say it was no steal.

Marko said...

Monday, November 14, 2011 8:00am

MTD November
2011 2010
Net Unconditional Sales: 200 479
New Listings: 369 722
Active Listings: 4,265 3,723

Please Note

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