Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Feb 18 Market Update

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.

February 2014February
Wk 1Wk 2Wk 3Wk 4
Unconditional Sales101

New Listings372588

Active Listings35563599

Sales to New Listings

Sales Projection---400

Months of Inventory

Pretty steady sales rate of 100/week.   Soon we will no longer be blowing last year's numbers out the water for sales.  But the government is getting nervous again, with some tweaks to CMHC in the 2014 budget.  If the market in the rest of the country doesn't settle down soon there will be more, and more significant ones.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January Roundup

A few days late, a few graphs short, but here's some info about how the market fared in January.  The full report is as always, over at the VREB.   Their new president, Tim Ayres (a past contributor to this blog) seems to be much more reserved with his opinions.   Of course he deals out in Sooke a lot so he has looked the decline in the eyes more than most.   Sales are up, but Tim knows it's hardly cause to celebrate given the extremely low levels last January in the depths of the hit from the mortgage changes.

Another sobering discovery that the VREB has made is the MLS HPI.  In previous years they would have trumpeted gains in the median price (up a staggering 11% Jan 2013 to 2014!!!!) but now they know this is mostly nonsense because the HPI over the same period is down 1.7%.   If you're unlucky enough to live on the peninsula, SFH prices are down just shy of 5%.

Yearly medians are edging up due to sales mix changes, a reduction in the MOI, and the dropping out of last year's very low January numbers.

Looking forward, the sales to new listings ratio gives a clue as to the direction of the market.  It has recovered from it's lows lately, and is heading to the levels seen in the late 90s, which is more in line with the flat market scenario rather than the declines we've seen in the last 4 years.  Of course all this is depending on continued low rates and no more government meddling (and you know how much they like to meddle).

Looking back at the peak, things are about the same median price wise, with SFH down 8%, condos down 12%.  Only townhouses have gone insane in recent months.  Clearly the low sales in this category make this measure far too volatile for anything other than entertainment value.  Just Jack, care to explain a $100k increase in townhouse medians within a few months?

By the way how's that affordability picture looking these days?   If Victoria were governed by more traditional definitions of what constitutes affordable housing, what would the average family be paying?   Based on the average income, 20% down, and current 5 year rates, that would be about $470,000.    So only about a $100k gap to go.

Edit:   LeoM asks: "Has anyone done a Victoria graph similar to the Toronto graph?"

Here is that:

Update:  Regraphed in 2013 dollars and with a power trend line as per Koozdra's request.

Or log scale if you wish....

Although a log scale of inflation adjusted house prices sends quite the wrong message...