Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Alberta floods: black swan that kills the market?


Calgary, arguably Canada's centre of economic growth, is slowly drying out after a massive flood event that few were warning about even 24 hours before the Bow and Elbow Rivers started hammering the downtown core and surrounding neighbourhoods with flood waters unrivaled since the 1930s.

This most definitely could be an economic black swan that affects all corners of our great nation.

A black swan is defined as "an event that is a surprise (to the observer), has a major effect, and after the fact is often inappropriately rationalized with the benefit of hindsight."

Pundits are already suggesting that Canada's GDP reporting numbers will shift as a result. I've read stories suggesting that Calgary--not to mention Canmore, High River, Medicine Hat and communities in between--has roughly $5 billion worth of damage. These numbers will certainly climb as businesses feel the trickle down effect of once-disposable cash being pulled from the economy to be spent on things like foundations and drywall. The richest province in Canada most certainly will be borrowing money on the open market for the first time in a decade.

And the Calgary housing market will most definitely be affected.

Given the fact that Calgary's wealthiest neighbourhoods were some of the hardest hit, and Calgarian's penchant for holding second homes on Vancouver Island and the Okanogan, I suspect that these markets could suffer, at minimum, a minor ripple effect.

Exactly what happens elsewhere time will tell.

 

105 comments:

Leo S said...

Hi HHV. Hope you stayed dry...

Leo S said...

The ripple effect to Victoria is an interesting theory... After all we hear about hot albertan money from our resident introvert, this could be not so far fetched.

Leo S said...

At current valuations, and given the miserable state of finances in canada, an uninsured loss of a house could be a mortal blow for most families.

dasmo said...

An uninsured loss of a house is a mortal blow period.

Leo S said...

>> An uninsured loss of a house is a mortal blow period.

It shouldn't be. The fact that it is is just another side effect of the overvaluation, and the prevailing delusion that a house is an investment.

dasmo said...

Sure, If we lived in huts...

Phil said...

Isn't Alberta "non recourse"? It sounds like most of the damaged homes won't be covered by insurance so I wonder if many owners will be tempted to just walk away.

If it does happen look for the government to cover the bank losses with something like "The Canadian disaster and stability fund".



kabloona said...

The flood aftermath of rebuilding is going to draw carpenters, drywallers, electricians and other tradesmen over the mountains - that's for sure. That will hurt the BC economy as they won't be spending their money here....and might also drive up costs for BC as it competes with Alberta for construction services.

The Alberta law on non-recourse mortgages only applies if they are non-insured...so CMHC backed mortgages are fully recourse.

dasmo said...

What a mess...
There are some prevalent theories that natural disasters are actually good for the economy as a whole. Kinda hard to swallow if it's your uninsured house that's half destroyed though...

Also, don't be so sure they won't be spending their money here. I'm sure there will be a lot of people flying back and forth to do work and not moving there....

Leo S said...

Oh yeah just imagine all the broken windows. A well known boost to the economy

Introvert said...

I feel relieved that I'm not living on a flood plain--until I consider that I'm living in a high-risk earthquake zone...

Mind you, they're not quite the same: I have earthquake insurance; Calgarians don't have overland flood insurance.

Introvert said...

We've been pushing Mother Nature hard; now she's starting to push back.

Leo S said...

Earthquake insurance has been increasing in cost a lot. It will likely continue to do so as we get closer to the big one.

totoro victoria said...

I can't see this causing a ripple effect in the BC housing market.

I can see it causing a direct and severe effect on the Calgary housing market.

Resale values on the newly defined flood plain area are likely going to plummet - and stay below other areas. Areas outside of this may see a positive increase. Vacancy rates may drop for some time as people relocate while repairs are carried out.

It will likely impact how some people view buying close to a river going forward.

I do believe there will be some federal and provincial help for home repairs in the absence of insurance.

There have been other large natural disasters in Canada such as the ice storm in 1998 (more damage) and the floods in Manitoba in 1997 and 1999 (less but similar damage).


CS said...

I feel relieved that I'm not living on a flood plain ...

We've been pushing Mother Nature hard; now she's starting to push back.


Comm'n, which is it? The stupidity of living on a flood plain, or Mother Nature pushing back?

Increased precipitation on the Prairies is in fact fortunate, since increased temperatures have raised the evaporation rate making Prairie droughts more severe.

So Mother Nature is not so much pushing back as, in this instance, but compensating for whatever role human activity may have had in the late 20th Century rise in temperature.

The good news from the Globe and Mail is that:

"mortgage rates hikes are initially positive for the housing market. They encourage prospective buyers to get off the fence and buy a home in hopes of avoiding further increases."

Like, buy now before anyone you might want to sell to down the road has been priced out.

Introvert said...

Comm'n, which is it? The stupidity of living on a flood plain, or Mother Nature pushing back?

Both.

Living on a flood plain has always been risky; but climate change has probably made it even more risky, in terms of both likelihood and intensity of destructive events.

koozdra said...

I was thinking black swan event also. The whole economy will be affected.

Could this signal the return of a provincial sales tax in Alberta?

dasmo said...

Add in deforestation and making the ground impermeable through pavement...

dasmo said...
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dasmo said...

Views counter to the broken window fallacy

Just Jack said...

One person that I know has a home in Fairfield and one in Calgary that he rents.

The rent was a significant source of his income. Now he is faced with financing his mortgage free Fairfield home to repair the Calgary home.

The numbers don't work for him to repair the home to sustain a positive cash flow to live on.

I should feel sorry for him - but I don't. He had his decade of being a real estate millionaire which is more than most young people will ever have in their lives. It just bugs me - that I have no empathy for his situation.

CS said...

but climate change has probably made it even more risky, in terms of both likelihood and intensity of destructive events.

It is accepted as a fact by the media that climate change has increased the frequency of extreme weather events, but the scientific evidence is scant.

For example, modeling indicates that Atlantic hurricane and tropical storm frequencies are reduced by climate warming.

In fact, climate change probably means that the entire range of climate variability moves, e.g., temperature or precipitation rising or falling, but the range itself being not much affected.

Insofar as greenhouse-gas induced warming is greater near the poles than at the equator, it reduces the energy differential that powers many extreme weather events.

CS said...

Re: Views counter to the broken window fallacy

Why not take this to its logical conclusion and blow up Ottawa (after first moving the people to a tent encampment), then enjoy the resultant economic dividend.

dasmo said...

"Why not take this to its logical conclusion and blow up Ottawa (after first moving the people to a tent encampment), then enjoy the resultant economic dividend."

Well, this is done all the time. Just look at the state of Afghanistan and Iraq. They just leave out the part of moving out the people first....

CS said...

Good point. Let's just have a no-fly zone over Ottawa.

CS said...

The economic stimulus from disaster relief is due to the multiplier effect, i.e., the additional economic activity generated by the spending of income derived from disaster relief.

The magnitude of the multiplier effect is variable and depends strongly on the type of work created by the economic stimulus.

Disaster relief thus provides economic stimulus the same way as quantitative easing, but it focuses stimulus on construction which probably has a high multiplier effect than leveraged investment in the stock market.

The implication is that governments should quit quantitative easing and focus on housing bubbles directly, by for example, making mortgage interest tax deductable, increasing homeowner property tax grants, and by paying for my much needed home renovations.

lolatengo said...

I check the Calgary housing stats relatively frequently. I've been surprised to see that the sales numbers for this week have been up yoy every day since the flood. This makes no sense whatsoever. Even a snow storm slows down sales. I'm really having trouble believing the numbers.

http://www.creb.com/public/seller-resources/housing-statistics.php

Leo S said...

>> Views counter to the broken window fallacy

They're only saying there might be a localized boost at the expense of other areas. Overall they are clearly detrimental.

"Dacy and Kunreuther found that the money that rushed into the Alaskan economy after the temblor, and the generous government loans and grants for rebuilding, meant that many Alaskans were actually better off afterward."

In other words, Alaska got some more funding, while the rest of the US was stuck paying for it. That's not an economic boost, that's just a transfer.

CS said...

They're only saying there might be a localized boost at the expense of other areas.

Is that really the case? Is there not an argument that the local stimulus generates more additional economic activity that the stimulus itself, thus increasing the overall size of the economy?

If so, then the source of the stimulus funding is not relevant to the argument. In theory, that cost could all be borne by the region being stimulated, e.g., through some long-term loan arrangement.

dasmo said...

Economic activity is all about "transfers". What's bad for the economy is no activity, no transfers happening.

Leo S said...

Brilliant. Any increase in natural disasters from climate change will surely bring about the next economic boom. Rebuilding will provide work for everyone!

Sure there are some mitigating factors. If a flood sweeps away some aging infrastructure then it is essentially forced stimulus spending, and the re-built infrastructure will support future economic development. But most of the destruction in Calgary is of perfectly good dwellings and infrastructure that will be replaced with similar structures. The reconstruction does not add significant economic value, and that money could have been better spent on just about anything else.

CS said...

The reconstruction does not add significant economic value

It depends. If the new construction is superior to the old, it may do.

But, in any case, the income generated by reconstruction itself creates demand that adds to total economic output, provided that there are unused or underutilized resources of labor and capital. This is the multiplier effect, and the additional output may exceed the cost of the reconstruction.

that money could have been better spent on just about anything else.

Not exactly. That money spend by consumers on fast food, haircuts and foreign travel, has little or no multiplier effect -- so the economists say (I think).

But it must be true that it would usually be more productive to invest in new structures than to destroy what you have, and rebuild them.

dasmo said...

I'm glad you think I'm brilliant!

patriotz said...

Economic activity is all about "transfers".

No it's not. Economic activity is about trade. A transfer is a handout, a trade isn't.

koozdra said...

Landlords in Langford right now...

StalJ said...

1711 Haultain St. (house by Jubilee Hospital)

Sold in June 2010 for $447,500, 2013 Assessment is $397,000.
Price Original $421,000
May 6/13 $319,900
Jun 26/13 $289,900

Over 35% off, if they get 289K.
Ouch!

Marko said...

Court ordered sale....my suspicion is that it will go for more than 289k come court date but who knows.

dasmo said...

289 would be nice. You might be able to make money renting it at that price. Interesting to see what happens.

Introvert said...

It is accepted as a fact by the media that climate change has increased the frequency of extreme weather events, but the scientific evidence is scant.

Really? Then forget the science for a moment (which I bet you're wrong about, by the way) and look at the weather-related insurance claims for Alberta, for example:

Past 4 years: average of $670 million annually

Previous 15 years: average of $100 million annually

Source: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/alberta/Alberta+urged+prepare+increasingly+severe+weather+insurance+losses+mount/8446756/story.html

Chris said...

Re: 1711 Haultain St. (house by Jubilee Hospital)

Think of the genius seller of that house from 3 years ago. They must be grinning from ear to ear. I bet all their friends and family told them they were nuts to sell too in 2010. On the flip side, I'd feel sick if I was the person across the street from the 289,900 now, asking 449,900 for their half duplex.

Just Jack said...
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CS said...

forget the science for a moment (which I bet you're wrong about, by the way) and look at the weather-related insurance claims for Alberta, for example

You bet I'm wrong, I know you're wrong. LOL.

As I stated, precipitation on the Prairies has increased due to climate warming. That has nothing to do with the extremeness of weather, if by extremeness we mean the range of variation. It simply means that the range of variation in precipitation has moved.

Because Prairie cities are not well designed to cope with floods, increased precipitation means greater weather-related insurance claims, but that has nothing to do with whether the weather is more extreme than it used to be. The scientific evidence, both theoretical and empirical, suggests that it is not.

Introvert said...

The scientific evidence, both theoretical and empirical, suggests that it is not.

All right. Please provide evidence.

info said...

It's interesting to compare the year to date price changes of Canada's major cities (from January 2013 to present). Source: Teranet

Victoria: (-4.12%)

Vancouver: (+0.59%)
Calgary: (+3.52%)
Edmonton: (+3.11%)
Toronto: (+0.93%)
Montreal: (+1.92%)
Winnipeg: (+3.37%)

Victoria is the only city that has experienced an overall price decline since January of this year (other than Hamilton (-0.38%)).

Victoria has, by far, the weakest housing market in Canada.

info said...
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info said...
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info said...

The spring market is the most active time of the year in terms of house sales across North America.

The vast majority of the time the spring market is also the strongest time of the year in terms of house prices. This is true with all Canadian cities, including Victoria.

The spring market this year in Victoria was very weak. Prices declined. In comparison to previous spring markets in Victoria, prices declined a lot this year. Clearly, house prices in Victoria are in a strong downward trend that will continue for a long time. Prices in Victoria have declined in 8 of the last 10 months.

Let's compare the price gains/losses (March through May) in Victoria, going back a number of years. Source: Teranet.

2013: (-4.1%)

2012: (+0.7%)
2011: (+1.6%)
2010: (-0.3%)
2009: (-1.0%)
2008: (+2.4%)
2007: (+3.1%)
2006: (+7.9%)
2005: (+6.8%)
2004: (+6.8%)
2003: (+3.4%)

I think this spring market price plop has set the tone for the rest of the year. If Victoria house prices took a dive of -4.1% during the strongest 3 months of the year, then think about how much house prices could plop during the weakest months of the year (July - December).

Victoria's housing bubble has started to deflate, but there is much deflating left to do. This will take years.

The Canadian housing market was boosted with excess credit for 13 years as a result of lax lending standards. Housing bubbles worldwide have crashed after similar excess housing market stimulus. Canada's correction/crash is next. The whole world is watching.

Just Jack said...

The Victoria core market for condominiums as shown through several re-sales of the same condominium.

$139,900 -06/96 Original purchase
$130,000 -10/2002
$177,000 -12/2004
$195,000 -08/2005
$282,000 -05/2008
$219,000 -06/2013

Will the condominum market eventually erase an entire decade of price increases?

Because when you really think about it - what is stopping condo prices falling. After all they are always making more strata lots. It isn't that there is a shortage of strata lots. You can make a strata lot out of thin air. It isn't even tangible - you can't touch a strata lot it doesn't physically exist.

dasmo said...

Have a good weekend nerds!

dasmo said...

Thoughts on the 50 Howe flip?

CS said...

The scientific evidence, both theoretical and empirical, suggests that it is not.

All right. Please provide evidence.

I provided one reference in support of my contention above. Did you read it?

Here's a quote from another:

" One of the major problems in examining the climate record for changes in extremes is a lack of high—quality, long—term data. In some areas of the world increases in extreme events are apparent, while in others there appears to be a decline."

The thing to remember is that, in the long-run, extreme weather is normal.

Remember the Little Ice Age when they roasted an ox on the frozen Thames.

And the storm of 1287, when an unusual combination of low pressure and high tide created a storm surge that killed thousands in England and on the other side of the North Sea. The harbour at Hastings was destroyed, the old town of Winchelsea, which was already under attack from the sea, was abandoned... the thriving port of New Romney became landlocked. Massive quantities of shingle from Dungeness, along with mud and soil, inundated the town, completely filled the harbour, and left New Romney nearly a mile from the sea...

Then there was the Grote Mandrenke OF 1362, which drowned tens of thousands in Holland.

Which all might make people hesitate before buying one of those expensive low-bank waterfront properties built on a tsunami flood plain.

Marko said...

Writing on a house this morning....so far 5 offers being presented later today! Crazy.

a simple man said...

Big banks raising mortgage rates again...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/06/28/business-mortgage-rates.html

Introvert said...

You're right, CS: I'm sure the weather/climate isn't changing as much as people think. Just don't say that to folks on the Jersey shore or to those in downtown Calgary.

info said...
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info said...

"Writing on a house this morning....so far 5 offers being presented later today! Crazy."

Where is the proof Marko?

Everyone knows that realtors will say anything in an attempt to sell more houses.

Read my earlier posts. The spring market in Victoria was a huge failure. This market is in deep trouble. Prices will continue to decline in Victoria for years.

Even if you were able to provide proof that there were multiple bids on one house, it would only be one example. One example is not representative of the entire market.

House sales this spring in Victoria were extremely weak, and even weaker when population increases are taken into account. Sales totals in at least one of the spring months this year were the lowest (popoulation adjusted) in Victoria's history.

a simple man said...

Any house will sell for the right price - looks like the vendor found that price - completely believable, even in a down market.

Leo S said...

"Everyone knows that realtors will say anything in an attempt to sell more houses. "

Don't be a jackass

vawr said...

@leo

"Everyone knows that realtors will say anything in an attempt to sell more houses. "

"Don't be a jackass"

If Info had said "Take anything a realtor says with a grain of salt" would Info still be a jackass?

Marko comes across to me as a reputable and honest realtor however making an assertion on a forum about offers that cannot documented publicly is not the best idea.

totoro victoria said...

I think Marko has been around long enough and been pretty forthright and has provided valuable information from his line of work.

I would, however, take anything info said with a grain of salt.

Marko said...

It is an isolated example but multiple offers still do occur even in this market.

Leo S said...

Demanding proof for any statement you happen not to like just tends to shut down conversation. Some data is verifiable, like market stats, other data is anecdotal but still very interesting. When I comment that my landlord is struggling with massive debt, or that it is easy to find a rental I also don't expect someone to jump down my throat demanding I provide my landlord's audited financial statements. That just leads to a hostile comment environment (and yes I realize I'm not helping by calling info a jackass :)

patriotz said...

It is an isolated example but multiple offers still do occur even in this market.

What matters in RE markets or any other market is not how many offers are made, but how much the high bid is for.

koozdra said...

" "I saw that they are going to increase rates, so I called my bank last Friday and locked in 2.5 percent for 120 days," said the 31-year-old accountant, starting the clock on a four-month search for a new home before borrowing gets more expensive. "

Prices have slipped from peak, interest rates are rising, no better time to buy. Unless of course you subscribe to the supply and demand theory of markets. Nah, that's just a theory.

Analysis - The buyers are back, Canada housing market defies doomsayers

kabloona said...

Koozdra: Kind of a ridiculous article...buddy 'locks in' at 2.5%....for what, a whole year or two???

Plus, there are no "houses" available for $499k in "Downtown Toronto" - unless you count a condo/strata as a "house"..... which I don't.

CS said...

I realize I'm not helping by calling info a jackass

You didn't. You told them not to be, which can easily be avoided by withdrawing the unwarranted aspersion.

Marko said...

Just read a really good paper out of the US on real estate commissions, may interest some of you.

http://economics.mit.edu/files/6812

koozdra said...

Look at these entrepreneurs.

739 Massie.

Listed: $489,000 (started at 499)
Assessed: $450,000

Recent sold date: 30/Jul/2012
Price: $455,000

Talk about holding real estate. Now they think they can make a quick buck. Market says.... NOOOO!

koozdra said...

Is this what the market has come to?

398 EPSOM CLOSE - $679,000 (Assessed: $639,000)

Obviously it didn't sell. This price is retarded (to use the parlance of our times).

What are my options??

How about a rent to own? No, that's crazy, for 679? That will never work.

But... maybe... it... could...

$2400 / 4br - 2000ft² - Huge House Rent 2 Own Immediate Possession!

koozdra said...

Is this what the market has come to?

398 EPSOM CLOSE - $679,000 (Assessed: $639,000)

Obviously it didn't sell. This price is retarded (to use the parlance of our times).

What are my options??

How about a rent to own? No, that's crazy, for 679? That will never work.

But... maybe... it... could...

$2400 / 4br - 2000ft² - Huge House Rent 2 Own Immediate Possession!

a simple man said...

Does anyone know how much the going rate for laying hardwood floors is? Just labour, I have the hardwoods.

vawr said...

@totoro

You said, "I would, however, take anything info said with a grain of salt"

I think your animus towards Info is clouding your judgement.

totoro victoria said...

Maybe. Or maybe it is just a somewhat normal reaction to an overly dogmatic approach.

koozdra said...

13.5, that's not that bad, right?

Marko said...

Tuesday July 2, 2013 7:50am:

June June
2013 2012
Net Unconditional Sales: 664 637
New Listings: 1,240 1,449
Active Listings: 4,833 5,189

Please Note
Left Column: stats for the entire month from this year
Right Column: stats for the entire month from last year

Marko said...

How bad has the market been the last few years?

i/ 664 is the highest June sales in the last 4 years.

ii/ 1,240 new listings is the lowest since 2006.

iii/ 4,833 is the lowest inventory in the last 3 years.

Leo S said...

Interesting. The bank of canada calls someone with debt at 250% of gross income "highly indebted". The mortgage industry calls someone with debt 500% of gross income a AAA borrower, or "dream clients".

Just Jack said...

Sales are up from last year but at the cost of the Western Communities and Saanich Peninsula.

The biggest winner is the core districts of Victoria where house sales are up 27% from last year. And strata home sales are up 7%.

Everywhere else house and strata home sales are down from last year.

Why? Perhaps the slowing economy has a harder impact in the outer districts where unemployment and vacancy rates are higher?

Then why the increase in the city core? Maybe because the city core districts are perceived as a safe haven for real estate investments? In times of uncertainity people flock to "safer" investments. Perhaps they're consolidating real estate wealth by shedding surplus properties to buy that Oak Bay home?

Mayfair Man said...

How bad has the market been the last few years?

i/ 664 is the highest June sales in the last 4 years.

ii/ 1,240 new listings is the lowest since 2006.

iii/ 4,833 is the lowest inventory in the last 3 years.


Could we prices start to climb higher with reduced inventory and higher sales?

a simple man said...

We are in the bear trap phase. The worst is yet to come.

Enjoy the day!

Marko said...

^ No, now if sales were 800+ and inventory below 3,000....maybe but that is probably 5-6 years out.

For now a whole lot of boring market. Slow sales, slow new listings, prices flat give or take maybe down a tad but nothing exciting.

Just Jack said...

Personally, I doubt prices could begin a sustained recovery. There is just too much inventory available. And conversely not enough inventory to crash prices.

I see some great opportunities available for those who are not chained to a downtown desk. This quirky market we're experiencing right now doesn't happen often and doesn't last long. Eventually the core districts will take their hit and the opportunity of being mortgage free a decade sooner will be gone.

As for condos, they're just the kiss of death. The only people who should be buying condos are the very elderly who plan to die there. The best advise you can give someone under 30 is to not buy a condo and always wear a condom.

-And sunscreen

StalJ said...

@marko
"For now a whole lot of boring market."

For myself seeing a house in Fernwood/Oak bay border listed for 35% less than 2010's sale price is anything but boring. Way I see it, the whole property ladder is starting to wake to reality. Numerous high end houses in the area are now listed for nearly 60% off their original list price. Sure they had their head in clouds. Still 60% is a lot, shows a wake up call.

Leo S said...

That's the thing about these valuations. A 10% decline is not a big hit when houses cost $250,000. If you had to sell and were underwater by 10% back then, most people could probably beg borrow or steal $25,000 to get out.

10% at $600,000 is another matter entirely. Most people don't have $60,000 lying around, and without a house to lend against, will not be able to raise it either. Those people will be either trapped in their house until the market recovers, forced to rent it out and live with the negative cash flow, or declare bankruptcy.

Leo S said...

Moved in over the weekend. Thoroughly enjoying the place, so far no regrets.
It would have been almost certainly financially advantageous to wait another year or two, but between buying now and buying this fall, I think it turned out ok given what happened with rates. Prices would likely not have fallen enough by the fall to offset the rate increase (but will eventually).

The local market is firming up a bit as the world market continues to teeter. Hard to imagine that is sustainable. As Introvert likes to hear: interesting times ahead.

caveat emptor said...

VREB news release

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

"We are now headed into the quieter summer months, so I'm interested to see where this leads." -Mann

As are we.

info said...

"For now a whole lot of boring market."

Not if you are a potential buyer waiting for prices to decline dramatically before buying. Victoria's housing market is definitely headed in the right direction for this group of people.

"Slow sales"

True, an understatement actually.

"slow new listings"

Compared to what? Some sellers are holding out for a better market in the next year or two which will not materialize. These sellers will eventually list and sell for much less than what they could get today for their properties.

We have not seen the peak of the inventory yet. That will come later when the hold out sellers panic and list. Prices need to decline more before this happens. This is how it unfolded in the US. In Phoenix, for example, the inventory peaked in early 2009, after house prices had been declining for 3 years. The total price decline was about -40% by early 2009. More on that later.

"prices flat give or take maybe down a tad but nothing exciting."

Victoria house prices declined -5.5% (January through May), according to the Teranet index. As my previous post indicated, it was also during the spring market, the strongest time of the year in terms of potential price appreciation.

If you are a potential buyer waiting for lower prices, this is very exciting. If you are a seller waiting for a better market, you just lost another 5.5% through the normally strong spring market. I suspect that many sellers do not understand that the housing market in Victoria has weakened dramatically since December 2012. It would help if they were given the correct information. I doubt that many realtors are helping much in this regard.

Just Jack said...

Brain fart on my side here. Would someone explain the active-listings-to-sales ratio? Because I can't get 17% from the VREB data. And I don't see the relevance of a ratio that has listings that may be over a year on the market with today's sales. And why is 17% - which I interprete as there being over 5 active listing for each home that is sold as being balanced?

I can understand the Sales to New Listings Ratio - that makes sense. If you have 10 sales with 30 new listings in the same month or 33% that tells me that there is a good supply of housing coming on the market relative to what is being taken off the market.

What would you interprete the active listings to sales ratio to mean?

Marko said...

Compared to what?

The last 8 years??

Info, you aren't going to change the course of the market by coming on here and Garth Turner every day and repeating the same thing over and over again.

If you are a potential buyer waiting for lower prices, this is very exciting. If you are a seller waiting for a better market, you just lost another 5.5% through the normally strong spring market.

I am renting a high-end condo right now and as a potential buyer this isn't exciting at all. There is no "dramatic" drop on quality single family homes from what I can see.

I suspect that many sellers do not understand that the housing market in Victoria has weakened dramatically since December 2012. It would help if they were given the correct information. I doubt that many realtors are helping much in this regard.

You do realize 80% of sellers list higher than what the REALTOR® recommends?

Think about it.....a REALTOR® doesn't get paid; in fact they lose quite a bit of money plus their time if a home doesn't sell. No REALTOR® is going to tell a seller that the market is better than it actually is.

StalJ said...

@Marko
“There is no "dramatic" drop on quality single family homes from what I can see.”

There are some dramatic drops on quality if you look for them,

9344 Ardmore Drive. First listed at $13 million, then reduced to $8.4 million, then $7.99 million, and (this week) $6,188,000.
660 Lands End Road. It hit the market at $19.2 million, became $18.7 million, then $9.9 million, and (this week) $6,998,000

Here is another,
“…is now listed at $4.988 million, down from $9.999 million in January 2012. The house had previously been priced at $13.9 million…HSBC held mortgages on the house totalling more than $14 million, court documents state.”

http://www.timescolonist.com/asking-price-plunges-for-len-barrie-s-former-home-on-bear-mountain-1.320088

All near 60% off original list.

Marko said...

The most expensive property to ever sell in Victoria is $10.5 million. Only 5 properties have ever sold above $7.0 million (all waterfront acreages, one a 22 acre island in Sooke.

So does $13.9 million on Bear Mountain make sense? You can throw a rock from this home to a building lot listed within the same gates for $357,000.

It would be like pricing a bungalow home in Fernwood $1.5 million and selling it for $500,000 and call it a massive amount off original asking price.

Leo S said...

Brain fart on my side here. Would someone explain the active-listings-to-sales ratio?

Active listings/sales is just some bizarro way of saying MOI. How they got 17% there I have no idea, it wouldn't be the first time the VREB's math doesn't add up. One possibility is that they used residential active listings, which could be about right. Marko do you have the residential inventory for June?

I expect what they wanted was sales/active listings but got confused.

Mayfair Man said...

Marko - With a "boring market" have you noticed that the number of realtors has been reduced?

Also do you ever see a time when the buyer pays his realtor a commission and the seller pays his realtor a commission, instead of the current system where the seller pays both?

Marko said...

Marko do you have the residential inventory for June?

3,879

Marko said...

Marko - With a "boring market" have you noticed that the number of realtors has been reduced?

Also do you ever see a time when the buyer pays his realtor a commission and the seller pays his realtor a commission, instead of the current system where the seller pays both?


We dropped from 1,300 in 2012 to about 1,225 realtors earlier in the year but that number has been steady for about 3 months now. Those leaving being replaced by new ones.....commissions are so high that you can work a full time job, sell or buy one home for a family member or friend and cover all your fees and expenses for the year. I think that might be keeping the numbers up? Because really there is barely enough business for 800 realtors let alone 1,225.

Second question....no, don't see it happening in the near future but it makes sense in theory.

Leo S said...

Thanks Marko.

That's the source of the 17%.

642/3879 = 16.6%

Marko said...

Anyone has any ideas for fun real estate toppers?

Along the lines of "Not Haunted," or "Free Pizza with Purchase." (Preferably shorter like "Not Haunted.") Given how the slow/boring the market is I am thinking about throwing a few out there for fun on my busy road listings.

koozdra said...

Don't hesitate, real estate.

koozdra said...

Header:
Isn't all that fence sitting starting to hurt?

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