Monday, March 18, 2013

Market Update and a Glance at Equity

MLS numbers update 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.

March 2013March 2012 
Wk 1Wk 2Wk 3Wk 4
Uncond. Sales150
259
570
New Listings433
732
1385
Active Listings4137
4215
 4274
Sales to New Listings
 34%
35%
 41%
Sales Projection500
470
Months of Inventory
7.5

Tracking extremely close to last year now with an identical sales rate and a couple more listings (sales/list last year this time was 37%).  If this spring is to stabilize the market somewhat then sales will have to pick up significantly.

On the topic of equity, here is the situation for home owners in Canada according to StatsCan.

Meanwhile, here is what happened to house prices.

Interesting how equity increased along with house prices from 2000 to Q1 2007 and then took a nosedive.    That is right around the time when CMHC opened the mortgage taps and started to fire up the market with a stream of new buyers that had previously been priced out.   Take a look at the mortgage changes that led up to this decline in equity, courtesy of Saskatoon Housing Bubble.

Mar 2006 – CMHC: 0% down, 30 yr amortizations (Genworth announces 35 yr amortizations)
Jun 2006 – CMHC: 0% down, 35 yr amortizations, interest only payments allowed for 10 years
Nov 2006 – CMHC: 0% down, 40 yr amortizations, interest only payments allowed for 10 years

The flat period after 2003 also perfectly lines up with the introduction of 5% down for everyone and the removal of CMHC price ceilings.

180 comments:

Animal Spirit said...

Thanks for the new thread Leo. If I read Marko's comments correctly, there could be a rush of sales completing before March 31. Besides the revision to PST affecting new house prices, is there another factor that could be causing a (potential) rush? Tighter OFSI rules? BMO low mortgage rates? Something else?

Introvert said...

This is ridiculous and you are the worst kind of Socialist.

Let's be honest: there are some batshit people on this blog!

Here's a Bill Maher tweet from March 6th:

Now that the stock market hit an all time high, everyone who's ever called Obama a socialist has to admit he's really bad at it.

Animal Spirit said...

and I don't care if introvert corrects my 11 p.m. grammar.

and am amazed at the differing views on tax policy from those who have diametrically opposed or similar views on Victoria house prices. quite the interesting social experiment the last thread ended up being :)

Leo S said...

I think Marko's busyness reflects the success of his business model rather than a general uptick in market activity. As you can see, the sales rate actually decreased a bit from the first to the second week of march.

Leo S said...

Ha busyness business.
Hey Marko, given the current lack of competition in the reduced commision realtor Victoria market, do you think you've underpriced yourself?

info said...

The following stats are for Oak Bay SFHs, using the 3-month median:

Peak (March 2010): 834 K

Current: 720 K
(-13.6%)

The average Oak Bay house has lost $ 114,000.00 since the peak.

The 6-month median does not work as well, in my opinion. It doesn't pick up on market reversals quickly enough. As well, it doesn't show the acceleration of current (up or down) trends very well.

The 6-month median wouldn't have, for example, picked up on the crash of 09 nearly as quickly as the 3-month median.

It would be better if Oak Bay had more SFH sales to use as data, however, the 3-month median still works quite well. This is evident once the data is plotted on a graph.

patriotz said...

Thanks for the graphs again Leo. IMHO nothing better illustrates the pit that Canada has dug itself into since 2008.

dasmo said...

Yes, Good and noble work Leo.
I find it fascinating that the average price graph illustrates we have suffered so many micro crashes on the way up ;-)

totoro victoria said...

I did vote for the HST! The worst kind of socialist that I am, and a capitalist business owner, the HST made so much more sense. Now I have to redo my billing that I recently had to change for the HST and register - pain in the butt.

It is possible to be in favour of taxation to provide the social safety net and other benefits Canadians take for granted without condoning corruption or waste.

I looked at the ski condo and I am sorely tempted. Prices are 20%down in the Okanagan for ski places, and they were not high to start with compared to Mt. Washington. I just have to check into the rentals re. vacancy rates a bit more, but it might actually pay for itself at these prices and interest rates.

totoro victoria said...

Stating that the average house in OB has lost $114 000 is going to lead to some disappointed purchasers who go out there looking to buy. This is not the reality on the ground for houses between $550 000 - $800 000 as far as I can tell.

Leo S said...

Yeah there aren't enough sales to get much/any meaning from the median or average in oak bay. Just Jack's repeat sales examples are a better way to tell.

nan said...

"It is possible to be in favour of taxation to provide the social safety net and other benefits Canadians take for granted without condoning corruption or waste"

Of course it is, but the HST wasn't that.

The HST was an increase in total taxes without any promise of increase in services and it was targeted mostly at young families who had yet to buy houses, cars and everything else needed to raise a young family at the same time prices of housing were skyrocketing and the overall standard of living for that generation was (and still is) crumbling.

Voting for an "administrative convenience" at the expense of all that is ridiculous.

koozdra said...

Would my thinking be correct that if someone took out a HELOC that the equity held in their home decreases?

totoro victoria said...

Administrative convenience translates into economic savings, which was the case for me. Time and effort is equivalent to money and too often uncounted.

BTW, no desire to debate a done deal, but your math might be off.

http://www.carp.ca/2011/06/10/the-facts-and-the-arguments-for-and-against-the-bc-hst-a-must-read-for-british-columbians-before-the-referendum/

dasmo said...

What someone draws from their HELOC is interacted from the calculated equity. Note that the Statscan data says Canadians hold over 60% equity not 6%....

koozdra said...

"What someone draws from their HELOC is interacted from the calculated equity."

Do you mean "subtracted"? Also, are you sure?

Leo S said...

The 6% figure was a red herring. Given what has happened to house prices over the last decade, the fact that equity is lower now is just staggering.

dasmo said...

he he, subtracted yes. I can't say for certain what StatsCan is pulling from but when you get a HELOC is it for a % of your home equity. For instance, my mortgage has one for up to 80% equity. This is based on the banks assessed value.

The fact that it is lower does say something that's for sure. I would suspect the number of purchases made in the last ten years with low down payments would affect that stat.

koozdra said...

I think it might be 65% now.

"In the past CMHC was backing HELOC’s allowing lenders to give clients this non-traditional type of financing up to 95% however in recent years the finance minister has forced CMHC to stop backing HELOC’s and limit the banks ability to use them past 80% of the value of the home. The banks were also warned that if they did not start showing more responsible lending habits with respect to HELOC’s that further regulations would take affect.

This Month this is what we have seen OSFI has implemented new regulations limiting lenders that offer HELOCs. The new regulations say that a lender can no longer exceed 65% of the value of the home on a HELOC. If a client wishes to get financing over and above the 65% it must be amortized. This means above the 65% point a traditional mortgage must be used."


http://www.tailoredrate.com/blog/terry-kilakos/new-osfi-rules-regulations-pertaining-heloc%E2%80%99s


The CMHC backing HELOCs. Boggles the mind.

nan said...

I don't think my math is off - none of those studies agree and their conclusions are all based on models that contain thousands of assumptions, making them of little value when real world data is available - i.e. my own personal experience and the experience of others.

Since the HST, every meal out, diaper, tank of gas, piece of furniture, and my used car I paid more for. If I buy a new place, I'll probably pay some HST on that too.

Sure my accountants and bookeepers get a break, but I'd pay them anyways. I very much doubt any administrative staff was actually cut in government either.

At this point in time, public sector employees are so over paid and services are so low that no matter what, more tax = bad.

I want to see bottom up budgeting rationalizing every person and activity currently being paid for by the public coffers and then attested to as accurate by both the auditor general & external auditors (with no materiality to hide things under).

The whole mess should then be subject to a VFM audit. I bet they come up with so much wasted money, corruption, back door deals & graft your eyes would bleed.

Until then, it's downsizing time.

koozdra said...

An infographic about the state of Canadian debt.

totoro victoria said...

HST is a non-issue. I'd rather talk about relevant stuff like, for example, will there be more folks wanting to buy new homes when the rules change back to the PST/GST.

koozdra said...

Manulife withdraws low mortgage rate after consulting Ottawa

info said...

@ Leo

You should put together some graphs of the 3-month median for different areas of Greater Victoria.

The -13.6% correction that Oak Bay has experienced so far is only the beginning. If you would plot it on a graph, it would be obvious that the 3-month median was quite accurate in showing the price run-up, the crash of 09, the stimulus generated recovery, the new peak, and, of course, the decline from peak so far.

More sales would have been better, but we are talking about one area here, Oak Bay, and only one type of property, SFHs. If it had been condos, SFHs, and townhouses in different areas of Greater Victoria then I would say that there should be more data. If that was the case, then the 3-month median graph would be all over the place and showing no trends at all. However, once plotted on a graph, it is obvious that the 3-month median for Oak Bay does show trends accurately.

Remember, when realtors are trying to convince people to buy a house, they use recent comparables (sometimes only 1 house) from the same area. That is obviously ridiculous as one or two comparables cannot possibly show the trend. However, realtors do this all the time.

The 3-month median for Oak Bay works. Oak Bay is down -13.6%.

caveat emptor said...

that infographic is a bit misleading:

For instance a debt to disposable income ratio of 1.63 doesn't mean "for each 100 earned 163 is spent" (difference between a stock and a flow variable)

Probability of provinces defaulting - no mention of the assumptions used in deriving this. I'd rate the likelihood of any province, let alone Alberta or Ontario, defaulting in the next 20 years as closer to zero than 40%. The bond market views a provincial default as very unlikely - only slightly more likely than a Canadian default.

Equates more debt to being poorer - last I checked you had to look at assets as well to see who is richer and poorer

a simple man said...

info - show us the graph!

caveat emptor said...

Thank goodness Flaherty's jawboning of the mortgage market only seems to be affecting that miniscule proportion of the market that is unaware that lower than posted rates are there for the asking.

Apparently it is OK to provide 5 year mortgages at 2.9% and below just not to advertise them loudly.

If Flaherty was serious about raising mortgage rates all he needs to do is tweak CMHC rules so that the banks bear more of the risk.

Look out below if Flaherty does that

Leo S said...

You should put together some graphs of the 3-month median for different areas of Greater Victoria.

All my data is scraped from the VREB. Hence I only get the headline numbers and not the ones for each individual area. I'd have to copy those manually from the individual PDFs. Only someone with access to the raw data could do this effectively. Unfortunately the old realtor that used to frequent HHV (Double Agent) is no longer around, he made some nice graphs.

Leo S said...

From an old post on VV: Oak bay 6 month average

a simple man said...

I think double-agent's undoing was that he showed us too much.

subprime11 said...

Desirable neighbourhoods like Oak Bay will hold their value longer as fewer owners are willing to accept getting 13.6% less than peak prices. Hence the low SFH listings and sufficient buyers to support current prices. We will be the last domino to tumble but it will tumble.

BCAccountant said...

@nan

I know I should leave this alone, but I find the mass public’s ignorance but blind persistence of incorrect information my top frustration. There are so many things wrong with your posts it is hard to know where to start. I am an accountant and have in depth knowledge of GST/HST/PST so please try to put your anger away briefly and really try to understand what I am writing.

There is no HST on gas, it is only 5%, furniture had 12% tax before HST, during HST and will again after HST, the same is true with almost everything that you purchase. If you buy a new home there are large rebates refundable to the purchaser that make the HST system better than the GST/PST system when buying a new house. Lower income families were not hit hard by the HST for two reasons… first there was an increased HST rebate that in covered more than the increase in taxes paid (this means they were better off financially under HST) and second, low income families don’t spend much money on items with increased HST, except for haircuts. These families spend money on rent/mortgage, insurance, food, and transportation, most of which are GST/HST exempt and the others did not increase under the new HST system.

The HST is a luxury type tax that affected mostly higher income earners with disposable income. With such a tax you could choose not to purchase items and therefore avoid consumer taxes. Personal taxes are unavoidable and affect everyone. Due to the reinstatement of GST and PST they have raised MSP, lowered the personal exemption, raised personal taxes for some of the higher tax brackets and raised corporate taxes, all of which are less efficient and will affect most people anyways. The worst thing that has happened to this province in a long time was the elimination of the HST.

Leo S said...

I think double-agent's undoing was that he showed us too much.

Remember his last post said he's taking the winter off and going south? I'm guessing the real estate cartel found out his identity and he accidentally went for a swim without taking off his cement shoes.

BCAccountant said...

On a happier note, I can't tell you have much I appreciate the work that you do, Leo and HHV. I also enjoy reading everyone's comments and opinions. With the exception of annoying comments regarding grammatical errors, I get so much from all the posts.

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

"From an old post on VV: Oak bay 6 month average"

The average is too easily skewed. For this reason, the median is used in the U.S..

6 month data goes back too far. Applying the 6-month average to the crash of 09 in Victoria illustrates the problems that its use produces.

The 3-month median eliminates almost every problem that comes with using the 6-month average.

info said...

For those of you who are doubting that the current major correction is under way in the more affluent areas of Greater Victoria, think again.

The following prices are for SFHs in Victoria, Oak Bay, East Saanich, West Saanich and Central Saanich, using the 3-month median.

April 2012: 605 K

Currrent: 550 K
(-9.1%)

Over the last 10 months, SFHs in these 5 areas have experienced a -9.1% drop in prices. The correction well underway and it is happening in all areas of Greater Victoria.

This certainly supports the data that suggests that prices for SFHs in Oak Bay have declined significantly from peak.

I am in the process of calculating the combined decline from peak for the above 5 areas.

totoro victoria said...

Thanks for chiming in BCAccountant - I didn't have the energy for that one.

SJ said...

@ Animal Spirit

There’s the BC First Time New Home Buyer’s Bonus for new builds which will end on the 31st March:

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=0778BC0286DC4B1DAFEF090568064BB0


Leo S said...

@BCAccountant Thanks for posting.

@info. When you're talking a couple dozen sales, both the median and the average are unreliable.
However having data per-area would be very useful I agree.

info said...

@ Leo

"When you're talking a couple dozen sales, both the median and the average are unreliable.
However having data per-area would be very useful I agree."

The 6-month average has double the number of sales as the 3-month median, which only includes a few dozen more sales. If you disregard the 3-month median for Oak Bay for the reason of a low number of sales, then you must also disregard the 6-month average for Oak Bay for the same basic reason.

caveat emptor said...

+1 to thanks for BCAccountant.

It drove me crazy when people talked about the HST as this new massive cash grab as if we never paid tax on most purchases before.

Unfortunately the Liberal's attempt to implement it reeked of slime, which doomed a sound policy

Jack and Cate said...

BCAccountant - according to this list I see a few (quite a few) things that are affected by HST and not just for the rich.

http://fighthst.com/hit-list/

BCAccountant said...

@ Jack and Cate
I would be interested to know which of those expenses you think would affect lower income families. I agree that a couple categories would affect them, but the increased HST rebate more than offsets most, if not all, of the additional costs. Maybe we disagree what expenses would affect them or what lower income families mean?

patriotz said...

The HST was an increase in total taxes without any promise of increase in services

FYI BC is running a deficit with no end in sight, which necessarily means more taxes without increased services or less services without increased taxes at some point.

The HST was the best way to increase revenue while actually increasing competitiveness at the same time and the province was stupid to reject it.

CS said...

Thanks BC Accountant for explaining why abandonment of the HST is a retrograde step that adds costs to business, and thus ultimately to everyone, without achieving significant savings to anyone.

If the Liberals announced that if elected they'd retain the HST and would send every resident of the Province a check for $400 — the amount of the transition funds that would otherwise have to be refunded to the Feds — they'd surely retain power.

Of course, the NDP could beat them to the punch.

CS said...

the province was stupid to reject it [the HST].

It was a close thing. A cash inducement would surely swing opinion the other way. In fact, if everyone had understood that abandonment of the HST would cost billions, the vote would likely have gone the other way.

Just Jack said...

For the four month period bracketing March 15, 2010 there were 109 single family home sales in Oak Bay. The median price was $820,000. This bought you a 2,511 square foot home on a 8,600 square foot lot.


Today, sale volumes have dropped from 109 sales to 53 or 51%. And the median has fallen to $720,000 or a decline of 12%. Today, the median price buys a 2,450 square foot home on a 8,763 square foot lot.

And how did the rest of the core districts fair. Sale volumes are down 48 percent and prices are down close to 7% since March 2010.

So those in Oak Bay lost the equivalent of a Mercedez Benz while those in the rest of Victoria lost the price of a Ford Mustang.


Leo S said...

you must also disregard the 6-month average for Oak Bay for the same basic reason.

I do. I wouldn't put any stock in that chart reflecting reality. I think Just Jack's analysis is much better for areas with few sales.

Leo S said...

The HST was the best way to increase revenue while actually increasing competitiveness at the same time and the province was stupid to reject it.

Common failure of democracy. The way the Liberals lied about the HST caused its defeat, but what if they had been honest? They probably wouldn't have been re-elected. The average person isn't going to vote for a tax no matter how effective and progressive

koozdra said...

"I'd have to copy those manually from the individual PDFs."

Can you link to an example pdf?

Leo S said...

I mean just off the regular VREB site.

The rest of my historical data (monthly prices back to 1989, and some other data back to 1996) is thanks to Marko sending me the reports. Those don't have the stats broken down by area.

koozdra said...

Do you have an email address or should I send something to the blog email?

Leo S said...

Blog email if you want to contact HHV. leo.hhv@gmail.com if you want to contact me.

Trent S said...

http://www.library.mcgill.ca/edrs/services/publications/howto/pdftoxls/pdftoexcel.html

does this help when exacting data out?

Marko said...

Voting to keep the HST was the first time I ever voted and it will be a long time before I vote again - I was disappointed with the masses. Not with the fact that they voted to can it but almost every person I talked to that voted against it had very little knowledge of how it worked.

For someone that is self-employed like me it made things so much easier and more efficient; however, I am not concerned about it at all. I will just pass the added costs and inefficiency of going back (my time) onto the consumer.

Instead of charging $799+HST for mere postings I am going to switch to $899+GST.

On the cash back side I am going to give buyers $500 less per transaction.

I agree, the worst thing that ever happened to BC was elimination of HST; however, at least my business is strong enough that I can offload all the costs to consumer so I personally won't be losing out but some businesses may not be able to. Overall for BC a horrible move.

Marko said...

The average Oak Bay house has lost $ 114,000.00 since the peak.

And up $500,000 since 2000 :)

Leo S said...

Hey Marko, given the current lack of competition in the reduced commision realtor Victoria market, do you think you've underpriced yourself?


Instead of charging $799+HST for mere postings I am going to switch to $899+GST.

On the cash back side I am going to give buyers $500 less per transaction.



Looks like I have my answer :)

Marko said...

I thought I would have more competition by now but I don't - I made the mistake of spending on advertising this year and now crazy busy, would have been fine just via referrals. Showing 30+ properties this week.

The big players won't play my game until there is at least 15% market adoption and that will take 10 to 15 years so I am good for a while.

Amazing how well mere posting work when priced reasonably. Mere posted a place in Gordon Head on Thursday - they had an accepted offer by Saturday.

Leo S said...

I thought I would have more competition by now but I don't

Maybe even some less. Jinwoo out of the business and who knows how long Ray will continue. Doesn't seem like a lot else coming.

BCAccountant said...

That is a very good point that I don't think a lot of people consider.

Introvert said...

I am an accountant and have in depth knowledge of GST/HST/PST so please try to put your anger away briefly and really try to understand what I am writing.

There is no HST on gas, it is only 5%, furniture had 12% tax before HST, during HST and will again after HST, the same is true with almost everything that you purchase.


I'm a grammarian with in-depth knowledge of grammar, so please try to understand what I'm about to write.

You can't connect sentences with a comma. Ever.

The second paragraph above has at least four sentences, all joined by commas.

Introvert said...

With the exception of annoying comments regarding grammatical errors, I get so much from all the posts.

You really should pay attention to those annoying comments regarding grammatical errors. It might do you some good.

dasmo said...

I think we are pretty lucky to have our very own grammarian!

Introvert said...

In fact, if everyone had understood that abandonment of the HST would cost billions, the vote would likely have gone the other way.

I don't think so. Like many others, I felt that a vote against the HST was a vote for democracy. I didn't much care that the HST made better economic sense.

The economy isn't the be-all and end-all. Sorry.

Introvert said...

Lies do eventually catch up with you.

–BC Liberals' epitaph

caveat emptor said...

@Introvert

I value the contrarian perspective you bring here, but not the grammar nitpicking.

Language is for communication. The majority of the posts you "correct" actually do a fine job of communication - their meaning is quite clear despite grammatical errors. So why bother?

I would venture that many of those you correct can up their grammar game if they are writing in a more formal venue.

Just my $.02

dasmo said...

What could be more formal than this permanent record?

totoro victoria said...

I'm ok with the grammar thing.

I am; however, concerned that there are a couple of patriotz's posts that I have agreed with recently.

Introvert said...

I value the contrarian perspective you bring here, but not the grammar nitpicking.

Fair enough.

I would venture that many of those you correct can up their grammar game if they are writing in a more formal venue.

I disagree. The errors typically being made are of comprehension, not proofreading. Therefore, their grammar game would not likely be upped significantly in any venue.

If you don't enjoy my "grammar nitpicking," may I respectfully suggest that you do what I do with info's posts: scroll past them.

Introvert said...

I am; however, concerned...

Should be: "I am, however, concerned..."

:)

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

oh the irony - good thing i don't care cause there is nowhere to scroll to.

Introvert said...

Is anyone else a little bothered by the fact that one of Flaherty's henchmen phoned up Manulife and pressured the company to reverse its low mortgage rate?

And isn't this behaviour ironic coming from our federal "free enterprise" party?

Imagine the howls that the Conservatives would cry if Tom Mulcair and the governing New Democrats did the same thing. We would never hear the end of it!

Introvert said...

Everyone tries to "improve" this blog in his or her own way, be it with graphs, grammar, or gags.

This blog is a microcosm of life: we can't get rid of anybody, so we must learn to coexist.

patriotz said...

Is anyone else a little bothered by the fact that one of Flaherty's henchmen phoned up Manulife and pressured the company to reverse its low mortgage rate?

You mean stop advertising its low mortgage rate. Nobody said that customers of Manulife won't still be getting it.

And isn't this behaviour ironic coming from our federal "free enterprise" party?

It took you this long to figure out that the Cons aren't really a free enterprise party? How long ago did they bring in the 0/40?

If they really believed in free enterprise they would have gotten rid of government mortgage insurance when they took office, rather than expanding it.

dasmo said...

It's some sort of posturing that's for sure. 2.89% has been on ratehub with different banks for months. Plus, patriotz is right, it's only MAP that he shut down. They will still give the low rate to customers. The Feds are trying their best to flatline the housing market while at the same time stmulate the economy and maximize inflation. The later without having it officially break 2%. That's a tough balancing act.

Leo S said...

Canadian Mortgage Trends has a good article about it.

If they want to regulate, then regulate. Giving banks a timeout for rates that are too low (why is 3% this magical cutoff?) is ridiculous.

Jack and Cate said...

For someone that is self-employed like me it made things so much easier and more efficient; ....
____________

Very succint Marko - made it easier for business and I am guessing all the pro's for the HST are business(es)...

a simple man said...

This is worth a read:

http://whispersfromtheedgeoftherainforest.blogspot.ca/

About the Richmond market - some neighbourhoods down 5% from last year (median price).

a simple man said...

sorry - a typo above - should have read "down 50%"

yogurt said...

I liked this line in the description for a $545K house on Nicholson just off Quadra:

"The home itself seems sound."

Seems sound! Good enough for me.

"Current owners are clearing and tidying so no photos of the interior are available yet." Clearing? With an R? Uh oh.

Also, there's a picture of a chicken.

caveat emptor said...

Are the chickens included?

At least there'll be eggs to eat even if you can't make the payments.

caveat emptor said...

OT - natural gas has been on a tear lately - though off of very low levels. Nearly hit $4 yesterday. If it bumps up to $5 or so that starts putting new life into NE BC.

FWIW I've invested a bit in natural gas stocks based on the idea that prices are going to recover from the $2.50 level they hit a while ago back to the $5-6 range.

Marko said...

For someone that is self-employed like me it made things so much easier and more efficient; ....
____________

Very succint Marko - made it easier for business and I am guessing all the pro's for the HST are business(es)...


Are you implying inefficient businesses don’t impact non-business individuals?

If a builder is building one to two homes per year and hypothetically his accounting costs go up a $1,000 per home - guess who pays for it in the end?

As I said, I am going to offload all the inefficient onto the consumer.

koozdra said...

Flaherty doesn't want "a race to the bottom". He's doing everything he can to bring the housing market down. He is trying to do it slowly. The banks need to compete. Something interesting from the article was that if the banks agreed on a rate then they would be accused of colluding. Which is illegal.

Flaherty sees something from on top of the mountain that we can't see sitting at the base. Maybe he sees the US situation unrolling here. Massive run up in house prices and massive amounts of debt. Sure the causes are different.

Everybody in the mortgage world is upset but none seem to acknowledge that prices are way to high. High home prices are a huge drag on the economy. Lowering them is good for everybody. Oh, except the 70% of the population that owns.

Well at least people made sound and informed decisions. They weren't banking on house prices doubling in ten years and staying that high, right?

Another thing to consider is that the banks are sitting on loads of cash and want to get into the market place to make more money. Is anybody asking where all that money came from?

When sales drop off by 20% across the country how do you entice people to take on more mortgages? You drop your price. A concept a lot of sellers these days don't want to accept.

What's next? Flaherty's office taking out an ad in the newspaper telling people what the maximum percentage to lower their houses per year?

Mortgage rates aren't low because we are getting such an amazing deal from the banks. The rates are low because our banks have become huge cash cows.

Marko said...

Grammar. We are on an anonymous blog, where some of the posted content is 100% incorrect and we are worried about grammar?

In my opinion pristine grammar belongs in academics. I took some very good English classes at university and one professor thought a ton of mnemonics which I still remember to this day....my favorite is FANBOYS but I know many more.

Two Independent Clauses
(plus a coordinating conjunction)

F ... For
A ... And
N ... Nor
B ... But
O ... Or
Y ... Yet
S ... So

Did I use this crap when I wrote my master’s thesis at UBC? Yes.

Do I use this crap when I have to answer 30-40 emails per day sometimes 10 or 15 off my touchscreen phone? No. I often see on my phone that I typed into then instead of than or something similar and I often don't bother to correct due to time constraints.

I look at the big picture. Would my buyer client rather receive poor grammatical emails with a clear message and excellent content and a $7,000 cheque on completion or academically well written emails and a bottle of wine and a pat on the back on completion? I think most people will leave with my poor grammar. I mean live....:)

Marko said...

OT - natural gas has been on a tear lately - though off of very low levels. Nearly hit $4 yesterday. If it bumps up to $5 or so that starts putting new life into NE BC.

A lot of things have been on a tear lately.

a simple man said...

If you have the ability to communicate like a professional, why not do it?

Marko said...

I have a different approach to business. I drive a civic, wear jeans and cheap H&M shirts and I run my office out of a renovated garage. My buyers/sellers hire me for the content/value. I often show up to homes with buyers and sometimes the seller is like, "where is the realtor?"

Fancy suites, nice cars, and "professional" communication are not my strong points.

Anyway, 15 minutes lost to this blog this morning...back to work.

nan said...

@ BC Accountant

First, for the first time ever, I agree with introvert - A vote against the HST was also a vote for Democracy.

On top of that, the HST wasn't Revenue neutral. Many of the rebates were either:

a. given to other publicly funded bodies (and are therefore the same as a direct tax increase)

b. have to be applied and qualified for giving the government the chance to say you can't have your money back.

Also, it's been well established that the tax was nowhere near revenue neutral anyways - returning to the PST will cost the gov't at least $0.5BB this year alone.

So lets get this straight: The BC Government

1. Ingnored the democratic process
2. Increase taxes and as a consequence, allocated a greater % of the capital available in the provincial economy less efficiently
3. Increased its level of control over all of our money

And all of you voted for this in the name of administrative efficiency?

Since when did efficient paper pushing take precedence over Democracy and TRUE efficient allocation of capital by the Private Sector?

Personally, when I am offered the choice of either being left alone or being "gently" bent over a barrel, I choose the former.

subprime11 said...

Nan, in my experience when one is bent over a barrel there is nothing gentle about it.


yogurt said...

About professional realtor communication and mobile phones -- grammar aside, I wish the realtors I contact would spend an extra ten seconds to think about the image they project.

We e-mailed a realtor recently to ask about a property listed on MLS and received a five word reply: "We have an accepted offer"

All you need to say, I guess. But to me, that terseness seems dismissive. In his place, I might have written "Thanks for your interest. We have an accepted offer, but I will let you know right away if anything changes."

Yikes, three times as long!

I type on mobile phones too, and I know it can be a pain, but communication is part of the job. To help out, some mail apps let you store phrases for reuse. Voice recognition works pretty well now too.

My family aren't committed to any realtor right now. This guy saved himself 10 seconds on our e-mail and maybe 10 minutes on his day's worth of texts. But he won't ever be our realtor.

CS said...

You can't connect sentences with a comma. Ever.

Brings to mind the story of professor C. E. M. Joad having just missed a train, when another train, making an unscheduled stop, pulled up to the platform in front of him.

He jumped aboard, only to told by a porter:

"You can't get on that train, sir. It doesn’t stop here."

To which the professor replied:

“Don't worry. It didn't stop and I didn't get on it.”

yogurt said...

Oh no, I meant "my family isn't." I changed the subject without checking the verb. Mercy!

CS said...

Re: grammar, etc.

Do I use this crap when I have to answer 30-40 emails per day sometimes 10 or 15 off my touchscreen phone? ...

It depends who you're addressing.

If you're corresponding with the Dean of the Faculty at Harvard University about your application for employment, you'd probably do well to use all that crap.

But if you're just posting a quick comment on HHV, the most formal mode of expression ain't necessarily the most effective.

As long as folks speak intelligible Inglish hoo cairs?

But we'd no doubt miss Introvert if he were not here to appraise our language, and perhaps we will find his/her (their?) advice useful in other circumstances.

a simple man said...

yogurt - exactly the way I feel. I take a mental note of the realtors with bad-worded/borderline deceptive ads and realtors that are condescending.

When I go to open houses with my wife and our kids the realtors often look right through us while doting over other potential buyers. Why? Because we have young kids and my wife looks younger than she is.

Went to look at an open house on Wooton. Realtor told us before we were in the front door there was an offer already pending conditions and pretty much did not say another word to us. Turns out the conditions fell through and there have been multiple open houses since.

A little manners training and professional communication would go a long way.

CS said...

A vote against the HST was also a vote for Democracy.

It may have been a vote for democracy but at a price tag of up to $3 billion, or several thousand dollars per family of four it was an unreasonably expensive way of voting for democracy.

But the expense can be avoided still. We should have a new referendum, which would be on whether to retain the HST while making a payment to every citizen corresponding to an equal share of the funds saved.

A cash payout of up to several thousand dollars to every family would make a real difference to the poorest members of our community, and only politics is preventing this from happening.

koozdra said...

"Fabulous AGGRESSIVELY PRICED family home!"

I think this realtor is missing the difference between putting aggressively priced in the description and actually aggressively pricing the property.

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12949743&PidKey=-153017550

nan said...

"it was an unreasonably expensive way of voting for democracy"

That is quite a statement. You might want to be careful about what you say, especially around people who have lost those they love to defend the right to vote that you clearly take for granted.

Do you know what a "slippery slope" is?

a simple man said...

New listing on Dunlevy yesterday - my wife was very excited about it as it pretty much had a lot of the things we have been looking for and at a price that was not too hard to swallow ($600K).

When the listing went up without pictures, the realtor put on 1400 sq ft upstairs and 1400 sq ft undeveloped downstairs. Perfect. Curiosity piqued.

Later that night pictures were added. Original, but that is fine - easier to fix up that layers of bad renos.

But, hold on, the sq footage is now 1110 on each level. Dreams squashed - too small.

580 sq foot mistake? That is a bit much to take. Professionals?

reasonfirst said...

Marko,

You vote and things didn't go your way so you won't vote again???

On the other hand, "Fancy suites, nice cars" immediately put my BS radar on alert so I am with you on that one.

r


Leo S said...

There's a big difference between the subtleties of grammar and just outright illiteracy.

Will anyone outside of Introvert care if you've used a comma rather than a semicolon? Probably not.

Is it therefore ok to write the unintelligible nonsense I see every day on MLS? No.

You don't need perfect grammar, but you do have to appear to have progressed further than grade 5 in your writing skills if you want to be taken seriously.

Just Jack said...

Something that you should keep in mind when house hunting these days are renovations. If the home has recent and significant updates you will pay a premium for that property. A premium that is lost when you resell the home.

As an example.

A home along Cedar Hill X road was significantly updated prior to being sold in October 2005 at $382,000. That home just re-sold at $449,000. An increase of 17.5% over the last 6 1/2 years.

The median price in the core for the same time periods increased from $445,000 to $570,000 or 28%.

The premium paid for the home when it was recently updated was $31,500 or about 8% of the original purchase price. A premium, excluding depreciation, that disappeared after living in the home several months.

Back in 2005, the original purchasers had to pay that price for the home as there were likely several other prospects eager to buy the property. It was either pay the price or not get the home.

Just something to think about when you smell new paint and see new cabinets in a home.

And incindentally, this is a reason I have for arguing that the 5% down payment is too low. You can easily pay 5% over market with some updating, staging or slick marketing. 5% down isn't a responsible policy for underwriting mortgages.

CS said...

"it was an unreasonably expensive way of voting for democracy"

That is quite a statement. ...


And I stick by it.

Essentially the HST referendum was a campaign of spite engineered by Van der Zalm who apparently greatly disikes Gordon Campbell.

If you bring up the World Wars every time a government does something after an election that it said nothing about beforehand, you're gonna be busy.

And if the public have to pay a multi-billion-dollar price tag for every demonstration of your disapproval we'll soon all be broke.

Our system of government is a representative democracy not, primarily, a referendum system, which is fortunate, as the outcome of the HST vote shows.

The Campbell government that introduced the HST was duly elected and it will, in all probability, be duly booted from office this year, although a show of principle on the HST might give them a new lease on power.

CS said...

I mean, obviously, the Liberals, not the Campbell government, will in all probability be booted.

Re: house depreciation, this must apply to an even greater extent in the case of new homes than of reno'd homes. Not only does stuff get worn and soiled but the styling becomes passé. But not so passé that young folks think its really cool, e.g., coved ceilings.

Introvert said...

There's a big difference between the subtleties of grammar and just outright illiteracy.

Yes, and I think not knowing how to join two sentences constitutes "outright illiteracy."

You don't need perfect grammar, but you do have to appear to have progressed further than grade 5 in your writing skills if you want to be taken seriously.

Sadly, some of the writing on this blog is fifth-grade caliber.

Face it: if you're making tons of mistakes on this blog, you're probably making tons of mistakes everywhere else you write.

The excuses we read are funny, though. My favourite is: "I can turn my grammar comprehension off and on, at will."

caveat emptor said...

I remember all these HST arguments before. This is like a replay.

I have to agree with CS. A referendum should be about the proposal. A general election should be about which government you want in power (and punishing the sitting government for their misdeeds if you like). In countries where referenda are a routine part of the system (like Switzerland) you vote on the issue at hand rather than using it as an excuse to vent your anger.

CS said...

Sadly, some of the writing on this blog is fifth-grade caliber.

Reminds me of H.L. Mencken's definition of a good school teacher:

"A crank who thinks correct spelling is really important."

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

If you bring up the World Wars every time a government does something after an election that it said nothing about beforehand, you're gonna be busy.

The public accepts some mendacity in politics as a matter of course, but certain lies are too much to take. The swiftness of the HST reversal (only a few weeks after the election), and the fact that the HST was a monumental change in tax policy, meant that this lie was unacceptable to the majority of the population.

Blaming it on Vander Zalm is silly. Blaming it on people's misunderstanding of economics is silly.

The BC Liberals are to blame. We'd have the HST today if not for them.

But don't worry, guys and gals. Sometime in the second Dix administration, the HST idea will come up; if the NDP is smart, there will be lots of public consultation; and before you know it, the HST will return to B.C. Anyway, that's my reading of the future.

Introvert said...

Lowering [prices] is good for everybody. Oh, except the 70% of the population that owns.

So lowering prices is good only for a minority of Canadians. OK--great reason why they should be lower.

Whatever benefits the minority at the expense of the majority should prevail.

Capital gains tax is too high; let's lower it for the 10% of Canadians rich enough to even worry about capital gains.

dasmo said...

I am a terrible speller and still think it's important! This all reminds me that it is important even here. Where else does one write but on blogs, Facebook, and quick emails? I say keep it up introvert. I know I'm an idiot so you can't offend me!

edmontonian016 said...

Introvert, you are wrong when you say "You can't connect sentences with a comma. Ever."

A comma may be used to connect two sentences when the second sentence starts with a SONYFAB word like: so, or, nor, yet, and, etc.

Leo S said...

Yes, and I think not knowing how to join two sentences constitutes "outright illiteracy."

For someone who thinks so highly of grammar, you seem to have little regard for the meaning of words.

Just Jack said...

Truly a new definition of illiteracy.

One comma splice - you're an illiterate. A run-on sentence and you get your dangling modifier cut-off. Use who instead of whom and you risk death by a thousand paper cuts inflicted by a librarian.

Introvert is not a grammarian.
Introvert is a heckler.

a simple man said...

Says a lot about the state of affairs when the majority of arguments are about grammar.

Little to argue about when it is accepted fact that housing in Victoria is slumping.

Introvert said...

A comma may be used to connect two sentences when the second sentence starts with a SONYFAB word like: so, or, nor, yet, and, etc.

If you were to look at the paragraph that I was correcting, you would see that the sentences were joined only with commas (no conjunctions).

dasmo said...

Looks like there wont be a rate hike in the near future...

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20130320a.htm

Just Jack said...

Introvert, how does your home being worth a hundred thousand or more dollars today benefit you!

What can you do that someone that doesn't own a home can't do?

BCAccountant said...

@ simple man

Agreed. My husband used to argue with me regarding my stance on the housing market in the last couple years. Now he agrees, although somewhat grudgingly, that we should wait a year or two to see what happens.

koozdra said...

"So lowering prices is good only for a minority of Canadians. OK--great reason why they should be lower."

I have an idea.

We form the SCMHC (super CMHC). It will provide, to every Canadian, a guarantee that when you sell your property they will get what they paid for it including appreciation through inflation. Why should only the banks have their risk removed? If you sell your property for less than what you paid, the gov't will cut you a cheque for the difference.

Introvert, what do you think?

Introvert said...

I wrote:
Yes, and I think not knowing how to join two sentences constitutes "outright illiteracy."

Leo S wrote:
For someone who thinks so highly of grammar, you seem to have little regard for the meaning of words.

Third definition of "illiteracy" (Dictionary.com):

a mistake in writing or speaking, felt to be characteristic of an illiterate or semiliterate person: a letter that was full of illiteracies.

-------------

Looking around, I see that I've set the bar too high. My mistake.

caveat emptor said...


What can you do that someone that doesn't own a home can't do?

Paint all the walls black for one.

Introvert said...

One comma splice - you're an illiterate. A run-on sentence and you get your dangling modifier cut-off. Use who instead of whom and you risk death by a thousand paper cuts inflicted by a librarian.

What about not just one but hundreds of the above?

caveat emptor said...

@Introvert
You spoke of "outright illiteracy". If you do a basic internet search on that phrase you'll see that it is used as a synonym for TOTAL illiteracy. Your use of it as a synonym for comma-challenged is a novel, and dare I say incorrect, usage

Introvert said...

Introvert, how does your home being worth a hundred thousand or more dollars today benefit you!

This is clearly a question, yet there is no question mark at the end.

In what grade did we learn how to use question marks?

Now is this example of illiteracy acceptable for an adult? I'll let the reader decide.

Introvert said...

Your use of it as a synonym for comma-challenged is a novel, and dare I say incorrect, usage

My use of it was with respect to the lack of understanding of how sentences are properly joined.

Introvert said...

I say keep it up introvert. I know I'm an idiot so you can't offend me!

Thanks, buddy. I will.

Introvert said...

We form the SCMHC (super CMHC). It will provide, to every Canadian, a guarantee that when you sell your property they will get what they paid for it including appreciation through inflation. Why should only the banks have their risk removed? If you sell your property for less than what you paid, the gov't will cut you a cheque for the difference.

Introvert, what do you think?


I like it!

Introvert said...

Says a lot about the state of affairs when the majority of arguments are about grammar.

Little to argue about when it is accepted fact that housing in Victoria is slumping.


Or, little to argue about when it is accepted fact that housing prices in Victoria have not melted down as predicted.

Just Jack said...

You're stretching on that one - Introvert!

Still waiting for your answer.

I know that it takes you a long time to respond using anything over a sentence or two. Easy to be a critic - when you don't have to prove yourself. Take your time, you need it for all the re-writing and proof reading. Not to mention all that worrying about making a mistake in your grammar. Wouldn't that be terrible for you! Split an infinitive and you're just another mystery case of instantaneous combustion. A smoldering chair of question marks where your Colon used to be.

CS said...

Re: grammar:

Keep stickling, Intro. As Lynne Truss might have said, you have nothing to lose but your sense of proportion, and arguably you didn't have a lot of that to begin with.

info said...

Another excellent post by the whisperer.

Vancouver's housing market is crashing but the public, in general, isn't aware. Why? The answer is here.

MC said...

Speaking about other investments -- what services/websites do you guys use to do short term investing? I am looking at maybe playing around with some short term trading/ day trading... any suggestions?

Introvert said...

Still waiting for your answer.

caveat emptor gave the answer I would have given.

a simple man said...

also forgot - extract equity. A common theme.

Introvert said...

I submit that, for good or ill, I drive most of the comments on this blog.

Just Jack said...

Introvert, you should have capitalized the first word of your sentence.

What an illiterate!

patriotz said...

Teranet for February:

Index Level 139.48 ©
% change y/y 0.73%
% change m/m -1.43%
Year to date- 0.02%

Looks like they are back to tracking the median. The upcoming months will be interesting.

Introvert said...

Introvert, you should have capitalized the first word of your sentence.

What an illiterate!


caveat emptor's name is not capitalized, so I don't capitalize it. Too difficult for you to understand, Just Jack?

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

Looks like they are back to tracking the median. The upcoming months will be interesting.

If most of what has happened up to now hasn't been interesting, I'm not sure what will make the next period of time interesting.

dasmo said...

The Teranet index actually illustrates my theory bang on...That the market started to slow at the end of 2007 and will average out to be a flat-line for ten years from that point....We are five years in so far.

Just Jack said...

Poor excuse, Introvert.

You used his name in a new sentence. It just goes to show your total lack of understanding of the structure of a sentence.

It's a poor teacher that blames their students.

Introvert said...

That the market started to slow at the end of 2007 and will average out to be a flat-line for ten years from that point....We are five years in so far.

No, dasmo. You are wrong, wrong, wrong! It's obvious that we've had a significant price decline and that this is ONLY THE BEGINNING. In a few short years, every renter will be able to afford a home--even in Oak Bay--and there will be unicorns galloping across Willows Beach and rainbows in the sky every day.

Introvert said...

It's a poor teacher that blames their students.

Subject/pronoun agreement error.

Introvert said...

And if Just Jack can't afford a house soon, he'll start shoving people on the sidewalk.

Introvert said...

What's clear is that Canada is on the road to becoming Cyprus. We should be there in 390 years or so.

Just Jack said...

Introvert has gone walk about.

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

Re: the grammar discussion

English teacher parties

Just Jack said...

Can we just get back to real estate?

S2 (JJ's wife)

Bitterbear said...

The fact that one can read and respond to posts on this blog at all precludes the condition of illiteracy.

You cannot connect sentences with a comma because the sentence will be a run on. Alternatively, you can but accept that you have created a run-on sentence and get over it.

However, you can connect independent clauses (which are structurally equivalent to sentences) when they form a list or, as has been pointed out, when they are joined with a coordinate conjunction as in

He did not go in because the lights were off, he was afraid of the dark, and he had forgotten his flashlight.

Can we put this to rest now?

And Introvert, thank you for correcting your appalling misuse of a semicolon before the transition "however". Made me weep.

DavidL said...

Back to real estate... I spent most of last week skiing at Mount Washington. Just as many properties are for sale as last year - perhaps even more! Some properties have now been listed for over three years. The condo that my family stayed in at Deer Lodge is listed at $237K, $10K less than in March 2012.

During the week I chatted about local real estate with ski instructors and other people who work on the mountain. The feeling is that none of the sellers are willing to "budge" on the asking price. They are holding out, hoping that nobody will drop their price. Otherwise, selling prices may start to plunge.

As one instructor told me: he and his wife made a cash offer of 10% less than the list price on a condo. (They were hoping to avoid the daily commute to/from Courtney.) They approached the sellers realtor with the deal, but he refused to convey the offer, saying that he did not want to "insult his clients".

Meanwhile, in my 25+ years of visiting Mount Washington, I've never seen so many places for sale...

Seth Perry said...

Graphic: How Canada changed on Flaherty’s watch


REF: Ottawa Citizen

Seth Perry said...

Canada's Flaherty concerned for borrowers at time of low rates

DavidL said...


Vancouver’s vacancies point to investors, not residents - The Globe and Mail

Marko said...

My family aren't committed to any realtor right now. This guy saved himself 10 seconds on our e-mail and maybe 10 minutes on his day's worth of texts. But he won't ever be our realtor.

Yet he or she could be a ridiculously awesome REALTOR®.

When I go to open houses with my wife and our kids the realtors often look right through us while doting over other potential buyers. Why? Because we have young kids and my wife looks younger than she is.

Not sure what this has to do with anything? A lot of younger people (looking in Oak Bay) are pulling in hefty dual professional incomes. I've had a lot of late 20s buyers buy 600k+ homes over the last few years.

Went to look at an open house on Wooton. Realtor told us before we were in the front door there was an offer already pending conditions and pretty much did not say another word to us.

I don't actively engage people in conversation either at open houses. If people want to ask questions or talk I am more than happy to but because a REALTOR® doesn't engage you I don't think you can draw any assumptions on that alone.

Marko,

You vote and things didn't go your way so you won't vote again???


I think the plurality electoral system or whatever it is called is kind of lame - I am better off spending the time working than going to vote as the odds are my vote won't make a difference. If we had a hybrid between plurality, for example, 50% parliament representation from the ridings, and 50% proportional representation I would go out and vote.

totoro victoria said...

Last word on grammar (maybe not):

Q: What do you say when you are comforting a grammar nazi?
A: There, Their, They're

As for getting caught up in the debate on grammar, move on folks, nothing to see here.

Finally, Mt. Washington numbers made absolutely no financial sense for us.

koozdra said...

"I've had a lot of late 20s buyers buy 600k+ homes over the last few years."

A very sad state of affairs. Flaherty will do what he can to correct this. Unless he steps down tomorrow.

Marko said...

he and his wife made a cash offer of 10% less than the list price on a condo.

Cash offer doesn't mean anything to the seller. The only thing that matters is whether the offer is conditional or unconditional.

Marko said...

A very sad state of affairs.

Yes, young people going to university or starting a business, working hard and achieving financial success is sad.

koozdra said...

"Yes, young people going to university or starting a business, working hard and achieving financial success is sad."

What are you talking about? You think paying 600+ for a house in your late 20's is a good thing?

yogurt said...

Yet he or she could be a ridiculously awesome REALTOR®.

Could be. But you could say that of anyone. All I know about him is that he doesn't spend much time talking to prospective buyers, which is something I'd want the realtor selling my home to do. Hopefully for those owners, he already has a few backup offers in his pocket.

In general, being a good communicator saves time in the end and helps prevent misunderstandings. I don't see it as window dressing, like a nice suit or car.

(This is not to say I care about using their as a singular possessive in a blog comments. I think a lot of the errors we see here would be fixed by the authors minutes later if Blogger allowed editing after posting.)

Marko said...

Speaking about other investments -- what services/websites do you guys use to do short term investing? I am looking at maybe playing around with some short term trading/ day trading... any suggestions?

I have a TD Waterhouse account for long term investing (RSPS, TSFA, other). If you have over $100,000 in household assets it is $9.95 a trade last time I checked. A bit of a ripoff eitherwise - like $29.95 per trade.

For swing trading/day trading I like to use Questrader. It is only $4.95 per trade plus their new platform isn't too shaby.

Questrader oftens run a refer a friend program where both parties get $50 free worth of trades.

Marko said...

Could be. But you could say that of anyone. All I know about him is that he doesn't spend much time talking to prospective buyers, which is something I'd want the realtor selling my home to do. Hopefully for those owners, he already has a few backup offers in his pocket.

In general, being a good communicator saves time in the end and helps prevent misunderstandings. I don't see it as window dressing, like a nice suit or car.


The vast majoity of buyers that contact me without a realtor are not very serious about buying and can burn a lot of time from experience. I've sold 8 listings so far this year with another 3 accepted offers right now. Yes, two I double-ended but both times those buyers stood out to me as very serious and I could tell from the moment from when they called for various reasons.

I work with a lot of listings and a lot of buyers as well so my grasp of how the system works is fairly good. My conclusion is that as long as there is a minimum level of comptency REALTORS® don't sell, buyers buy.

If the REALTOR® you communicated with told you there was an accepted offer and filed your email should the offer collapse he or she has met a minimum level of comptency. Any higher (writing a longer email you feel good about) would probably not result in an increase probability of a sale.

That is the whole concept behind my business model. MLS® has almost leveled out the playing field in terms of marketing a home (pending minimum comptency); therefore, why not save what you can on commission?

Reality is, on average, the market is going to dictate what the home sells for.

Leo S said...

Yet he or she could be a ridiculously awesome REALTOR®.

My conclusion is that as long as there is a minimum level of comptency REALTORS® don't sell, buyers buy.


That would seem to indicate that there is no such thing as a ridiculously awesome realtor.

Marko said...

That would seem to indicate that there is no such thing as a ridiculously awesome realtor

Well, one that exceeds the minimum level of competency and works for half the commission would fit awesome in my opinion.

Marko said...

Plus on the buying end a good REALTOR® help quite a bit.

But honestly, I would be lying if I said that my great sales skills sold the 8 listings I've sold so far this year. The listings were well priced, the right buyer showed up for the right reasons at the right time and I helped facilitate the sale.

Marko said...

One last thought regarding good communication. I think consumers put too much weight in the wrong places. For example, they will put a lot of weight on how the REALTOR® comes across and communicates in person which is important but there are many more components to communication when selling a property..

The reality of the situation is 95% of deals are done entirely via email and phone and it is actually quite rare that I meet the other REALTOR® face to face.

It would be better to put weight into things like, does the REALTOR® answer emails on average within 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, or 36 hours? Does the REALTOR® have his or her cellphone on the sign or does it go to a switchboard? Does the REALTOR® have their cellphone easily accessible on their website and realtor.ca or is it impossible to find their cell? Etc.

Leo S said...

Well, one that exceeds the minimum level of competency and works for half the commission would fit awesome in my opinion.

Commission coshmission. As long as you keep posting stats you get a gold star in my book.

Marko said...

What are you talking about? You think paying 600+ for a house in your late 20's is a good thing?

Well, it is certainly better than being in your late 20's working a dead end job.

My friend and his wife (both 27) bought a $620,000 home last year. The minute they bought it he stopped reading HHV and they had a kid with another one on the way. They make $150,000+ per year family income which will probably increase over time plus they are getting $1,200 for their suite. I don't see what is wrong with this?

Not everyone is one HHV obsessed like us about where the market is heading.

Leo S said...

and they had a kid with another one on the way

This seems to be a common disease to turn home ownership into a requirement for starting a family.

They make $150,000+ per year family income which will probably increase over time plus they are getting $1,200 for their suite. I don't see what is wrong with this?

It's certainly risky. Mat leave will cut that down, and the mortgage depends on two incomes. Will they be in trouble? Likely not. But also very likely to have been better off financially by waiting. We will see.

Just Jack said...

Okay, I'll bite.

What jobs get two 27 year olds $150,000+ a year? And why didn't they buy sooner?

S2 (JJ's wife)

Marko said...

Nurse and CGA.....

Bitterbear said...

DavidL...we recently asked "the realtor" (we know who we mean) about purchasing something in the 135 range and he told us that we had to start at 160+.

A couple of days later, buying some new ski boots, the guy helping us said if you want a deal you have to go private and he was happy to put us in touch with people who would gladly sell for 135.

My spidey senses are tingling.

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