Tuesday, July 3, 2012

June Numbers Despun

VREB has released their June stats update.  Here's the gist of it:

  • Sales at 637 are slightly ahead of last year's 618.  
  • Inventory is higher than last year at 5189 vs 5050.  As Roger points out, this is actually an all time high.
  • Average single family home price is $591k, which is down both from last month and from last year.  However keep in mind that monthly numbers are highly volatile.  Here is the context.
The spin machine was in full swing this time as usual.  This time the spring numbers were compared to yearly averages to make them look a little less anemic.  Patriotz captures the comparison well with a similar press release...
"For our city, an average month has 10 days of sunshine" says Sam Salmon, President of the Victoria Tourist Board. "Days of sunshine during the last three months have been well ahead of that number."
So record inventory, low sales, and prices looking weak.   And all this is before the mortgage bomb hits in just a few days.  Will it finally, truly, get interesting?


koozdra said...

"$5000 Bonus to Buyer for accepted offer before July 9."


Leo S said...

@JustJack Mike K over at VV was wondering about the months of inventory in the various areas of Victoria. Ie, how does the SFH MOI in Gordon Head compare to Oak Bay, or Langford?

I think you've posted this sort of data before. Do you have an update?


Marko said...

The market continues to be slow as it has been for the last 24 months. Nothing exciting.

Anonymous said...

You know the RE market is going to tank when mortgage brokers start a whinefest.

Canadian Mortgae Trends Blog

Anonymous said...

Leo S,

You might find this blogger's post on CMHC rule changes interesting.

Putting all the dates when CMHC changed the mortgage rules on Victoria price graphs might explain how we got to current price levels.

SilverSurfer said...

A friend of mine that has decided to not just leave VIctoria, but the country, got tired of light showings after 2 months with no offers. First he dropped the price by $20,000 on this langford almost new 3bed 3bath, then after another 3 weeks of no shows, dropped another $30,000. Finally sold but at a discount and below assessed value. He also sold his used porche after 3 months of trying with a $9,000 loss. Anectodal, but close to home.

A relative is also looking for places to rent. I don't know what the numbers are, but man, there is a LOT of empty rental inventory out there. It's possible I'm just seeing the peak due to month end, but sure seems like a lot to choose from (including lots of over priced junk).

Let's see what happens after July 9th.

SilverSurfer said...

Counting only the july 3rd postings, there's over 200 just on Craigslists. The same for July 2nd, and 1st and 30th of june. Probably a few repeats in there, but also lots of new ones. Looks like many hundreds of suites for rent. Does that look normal? I don't remember seeing that many back in Oct-Dec 2011 when I was looking for a place.


a simple man said...

"The market continues to be slow as it has been for the last 24 months. Nothing exciting."

Holding your breath under water doesn't seem that exciting either, for the first minute. But the ongoing lack of oxygen to the brain makes a static situation more and more unbearable as time goes by.

mrmike said...

Nobody is buying because nobody can sell what they already have.I hope everyone is happy with their current diggs, looks like you'll be there awhile(many years).

patriotz said...

Nobody is buying because nobody can sell what they already have

Oh they can sell all right, they just have to accept what someone is willing to pay.

And remember that someone always has to sell.

Anonymous said...

Times Colonist business section screenshot - falling prices in Victoria.

RE agents don't click here

Online article - Housing market favours buyers - Prices down in Greater Victoria as supply rises

Greater Victoria is in "more of a buyer's market" these days, the president of the Victoria Real Estate Board said Tuesday. Prices have slid as inventory has increased, Carol Crabb said.

Spin of the month Even so, the total number of sales last month through the board's multiple listing service was higher than expected, she said. The board had figured sales would come in at between 500 to 600 at the highest. Instead, the total was 637. "The market has stayed really strong."

But.. Prices have declined, but not significantly, Crabb said. "They are reducing slowly. It's been the trend over the last year or so."

Carol forgets new rules don't take effect until next week "It doesn't appear that the mortgage rule changes dramatically impacted anything," Crabb said.

Buyers don't want crap now... These days, buyers often seek homes which do not require a lot of elbow grease. Crabb said that a decade ago, buyers were more willing to buy fixeruppers, but "not so much anymore" even when a property's price is low to account for work needed. "There's just not that willingness to do that."

You can log in and leave comments on this article.

Anonymous said...

Only a short ferry ride away we see this - Vancouver sales hit 10-year low, real estate board declares a buyer's market

DavidL said...

From CBC.ca: Canadians have an average of 15 years left on mortgages, survey suggests

Canadians have, on average, 15 years left on their mortgages, according to a survey released Wednesday by BMO Bank of Montreal.
Other findings from the survey suggest two in five of those sampled prefer to increase their payments over time and one in five opt to make a lump sum payment. The majority of those — 58 per cent – made a lump sum payment or 10 per cent or less.

Twenty-four per cent did not make any additional payments other than their basic mortgage payments.

Years left on mortgage:

Duration      Canada  BC
Five or less    19%    15%
Six — 10         19%    22%
11 — 15          18%    18%
16 — 20          20%    14%
21 — 25          13%    11%
Over 25           12%    20%

SilverSurfer said...

"Buyer's market"?

I'd like to add my own spin to that and call it "Wait and let it crash so I can buy it at a low but fair price market", but that's too long, so how about just "Catching falling knives market"?

Wendyriffic said...

David, I was just nipping over to post the same article.

I would love to see how the length of amortization remaining on the mortgage has changed with time.

With 20% of mortgage holders having more than 25 years left, are the new changes wiping out 20% of the market here in BC? Is a fifth of the market depending on these longer mortgages to squeeze their housing payments into their budgets?

I can't predict the impact of this new (to me) information, but it does underline how stretched we are out here.

Just Jack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Whats happening in the RE market before the July 9th deadline?

Refis bearing the brunt of 'appraisal alert'

With the maximum loan to value for refis reduced to 80 per cent, banks may be adding insult to injury with more conservative appraisals for refis, argue brokers.

According to Andre Semeniuk, a mortgage planner with Mortgage Architects, appraisers are now more conservative when it comes to refinancing than purchasing.

Semeniuk said banks on appraisal alert in anticipation of a slowdown are creating the slowdown themselves. He has noticed appraisals differ by as much as 25 per cent.

Brokers are reporting that companies are on appraisal alert since last month’s mortgage rule announcement and more conservative appraisals may be driving the very slowdown appraisers are anticipating.

Leo S said...

He has noticed appraisals differ by as much as 25 per cent.

Staggering. Just goes to show the difference in what lenders will allow when their own ass is on the line compared to when they can pass the buck to the government.

Just Jack said...

If there is a difference of 25% between two appraisers then it's not just a difference of opinion. More likely, one or both appraisers are negligent. If the lender has lost money because of their reliance on the appraisal, then the lender should be compensated for their loss by the appraiser.

All appraisers carry errors and omissions insurance, its there to protect the public.

Leo S said...

Lots of low cost sales lately leading to a drop in price/assessed value. A full 5% lower than at this point last year, even after the drops in assessed values.

Animal Spirit said...

Assessment decrease was around 1% from 2011 to 2012 across all areas. Victoria city went up, Westshore down substantially. LeoS - is this incorporated in your graphs or not? I've wondered about the effect on my statistics, but 1% isn't really much of a change

Leo S said...

My price/assessment is always relative to the most recent assessment for the listing. Hence the bump in price/assessment in the new year as assessments fell.

Of course this also means that the decline since 2010 is due to both price decreases and assessment increases.

Mindset said...

Some interesting Vancouver stats in prime real estate areas

I'd say the same thing is happening here. Looks a lot like the post crash days in the prime real estate areas here too. Oak Bay? Uplands?

Anyone with MLS statistics willing to validate that the return to higher listings in prime real estate areas is near or above the 2008 mini-crash levels?

dasmo said...

I guess if you can't motivate sales with the fear that prices are going up and you'll be priced out forever might as well go for the crash is coming time to sell your house...Of course he still paid himself his commission selling his house and will get it again after the person who reads his article decides to sell.

Just Jack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MD80 said...

"he still paid himself his commission selling his house"

LOL. Is that like me paying myself to mow my own lawn? I think I need a raise.

Roger said...

Readers might want to tune into CTV Vancouver Island (Ch. 12) news at 5 tonight. They will be covering the real estate market in Victoria. I have been in email contact with the reporter this afternoon and provided many of the graphs that I have posted here and some data analysis. Hopefully, this will be used to provide some counterbalance to the usual RE industry "good time to buy" story.

This morning Carol Crabb of VREB was on the Murray Langdon show talking about the local market. Murray was taking questions via email and twitter and was kind enough to ask this question that I tweeted: "Median prices have dropped 39K from 569K to 530K in one year. Is that a small amount?"

Ms. Crabb seemed surprised that a listener posed such a blunt, detailed question but replied that it was a small change - under 10%.

I don't think many listeners would consider this a small change. If you bought last year with 5-10% down this could mean that most of your equity was wiped out.

Roger said...

Reporter on CTV news broadcast did a great job tonight. Marko was interviewed and gave a balanced, factual report on market conditions.

LeonMaynard said...

Marko might have given a decent overview on the TV news, but he got it wrong by saying that now is a good time to buy!!!

He's got to be kidding!!! Real estate prices can do one of three things; go up; go down; or stay the same.

There is absolutely zero upward pressure and all the indicators are putting downward pressure on prices. Negative price pressures such as: Unsold inventory, stricter mortgage qualification rules, shorter amortization time, interest rate increase forecasts, monthly payments, out of control municipal government spending causing rapidly increasing property taxes, and on and on...

Anything that makes the monthly mortgage payments increase will make the house/condo price DECREASE.

Monthly mortgage payments and home ownership costs are increasing rapidly and prices are decreasing. It ain't rocket science, it's simple arithmetic.

Leo S said...

Any online source for that broadcast?

Roger said...

Leo S

Yep - You can watch the video here

Roger said...

Garth talks about Victoria and Vancouver Island in tonight's blog post

Readers might recognize the graph he posted.

DavidL said...

Roger, it looks like Garth Turner linked to your "all time high" June listing's chart.

DavidL said...

Okay... You beat me to posting about the link to your chart. Enjoy your 15 minutes of Fame!

Roger said...


I just went back to Garth's site and he has put up the video to the CTV newscast.

Marko - You have gone national!!

Leo S said...

Thanks Roger. Good stuff.

Marko might have given a decent overview on the TV news, but he got it wrong by saying that now is a good time to buy!!!

I think that phrase must be in the realtor's contract somewhere as a requirement for every public appearance. :)

Leo S said...

As for not being able to time the bottom. I wouldn't be so sure. Tim at SeattleBubble.com successfully timed the bottom with his house purchase. Called the top within a year, and called the bottom within 6 months and bought. Not through intuition, but by examining the data and coming to an informed conclusion.

Maybe the bottom can't be timed exactly, but right now all signs still point down. No danger of missing the bottom within 6-12 months.

DavidL said...

@Leo S wrote: As for not being able to time the bottom. I wouldn't be so sure.

I agree. Just about everybody knew that it was a good time to purchase between 2001 and 2005. With the relatively low interest rates and low prices - anywhere over that four year span was a good time to buy. Not surprisingly, with all the selling and resale transactions - real estate grew between 10 to 20% per annum.

Compared with ten years ago, incomes have stagnated, unemployment is higher, government deficits are bulging, markets are capitulating, mortgage payments are an record highs, and real estate evaluations are slipping - and people wonder if it is still a good time to buy?!

CS said...

The real estate industry, it seems, has ingeniously inverted the meanings of the terms "buyer's market" and "seller's market."

Thus, a rising market, in which vendors relinquish an appreciating asset is, absurdly, called a "seller's market," whereas a falling market, in which vendors can expect to pass a depreciating asset to someone else, is absurdly called a "buyer's market."

Clearly, if the term are used logically, we are now in a seller's market, as buyers rashly make heavily leveraged investments in falling assets.