Monday’s Numbers

There were 300 new listings today and 127 sales, for a sell/list of 42.33%.  Its not a surprise to see listings slow down somewhat (the Saturday shift may well have taken the heat off data entry) but there’s no escaping that we had a very low sell/list.   Anyone looking forward to the 11,000 plateau must be feeling good right now.

Of the sales only 12, or 9.45%, went over list.  2 of those were on the Westside. 1 was in East Van, 2 in Richmond, 1 in New West, 2 in Burnaby, and 4 in the Fraser Valley.  Price reductions were spread very evenly. 

Average list price of the sales was $495,111; average sales price was $486,823, a difference of $8,288, meaning the average sale went for 1.9% under list price. 11 properties went for list price. One property went for 30%($7,900) under list while the highest over list was 5% ($21,000) over.

There were 4 million dollar plus properties sold, with none over $2 million. Average days on market to sale was 33.

There were 124 price changes, of which 8, or 6.45%, were increases. The average original list price of price changes was $498,311; the average new price was $481,213, a difference of $17,098, meaning the average price change was -2.95%.

Inventory in my target area rose  to 10,881, while over 90s reached to 1,843, or 16.94%.

0.83% of all active listings in my target area had their prices reduced today. 

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43 Comments

Filed under Daily Numbers

43 responses to “Monday’s Numbers

  1. VHB

    Last year at this point in April:

    Weekly Averages:
    New Listings: 235.5 (Weekly average since Feb.17 – 243)
    Sales: 213.5 (Weekly average since Feb.17 – 187.26)
    Sell/List: 89.5% (Weekly average since Feb.17 – 79.04%)
    Over List Sales: 42.75/19.49% (Weekly average since Feb.17 – 38.11/19.76%)
    Price Increases: 16/25.51% (Weekly average since Feb.17 – 15.18/24.51%)

  2. frenchie

    I have a real estate question Rob, could I use another agent to make an offer on the same property for which I used a different agent? How do I fire my agent without incurring too much rap?

  3. mike

    Wow, those are big YOY changes. However, last year was a very up year, so while this is a different market it isn’t definitely a down market.

    Still, this is how it starts.

  4. mike

    Great question frenchie, I’d love to hear Rob’s take on that as well.

  5. awum

    The tight market in March through June has been the major upward driver in each of the last five years. So yeah, it’s a pretty big deal if the spring 2007 Vancouver Real Estate spring market lacks heat. Boom over?

  6. coco

    frenchie,

    If you signed the working with the realtor form you are hooped, the realtor could come back on you for commission in that case.

  7. joy

    Seems like REBGV is paying with numbers again to keep inventory low..How come all of a sudden over 150 Expiry in the middle of the month?

    They want to show people that inventory is still tight..But we all know that houses are not selling.

  8. I’m no expert but VHB’s numbers seem to reflect a slowing rather than anything more dramatic. What’s the tipping point, inventory wise? 4 months? Six?

  9. blueskies

    I’m no expert but VHB’s numbers seem to reflect a slowing rather than anything more dramatic.

    the “drama” will not be here til April ’08
    this is just the orchestra warming up….
    find your seat……..

  10. Snick

    Rob,

    I know you have probably explained this before, but is “your” area the same area as the REBGV?

  11. Domus

    Call it slowdown, but it is beginning of something bigger. We all know that and some are just more willing to acknowledge it……

  12. first_time_buyer

    Just to get an idea of how hot the market was last April. Some of Rob’s comments from last April

    Look for a strong April.
    The market is very hot right now.
    We saw some smoking numbers today, and perhaps the indication that we’ve crested a small wave.
    If April continues this way it will be much stronger than March.

    We saw a monster week, the likes of which we haven’t seen, I’d wager, since prior to Christmas.
    The daily averages for the week were:
    New listings: 251.67
    Sales: 247.67
    Sell/list: 98.06%
    Over List Sales: 20.75%
    Price increases: 27.74%
    Average Actives: 8,256
    Average Over 90:1,134.8
    Average over 90 %: 13.74%
    7.4 day rolling sell/list: 85.69%

    That’s a strong week.

    The week started with a bit of a breather (emphasis on “bit” – we’re still in a tight market).

    Before anyone calls a peak, remember that a 75% sell/list and an over 90 ratio of 25% go hand in hand with very strong prices

    The breather we saw Monday and Tuesday seems to be over.

    Happy Easter to everyone. Go make some money in real estate.

  13. Jim

    I would say its boom over. But I would also say anybody selling for the next year ,that bought more than 24 months ago, will still make a healthy profit.
    The real way to take advantage of a declining or “buyers market” is to target your property/neighbourhood/price point and buy when your personal circumsatnce warrant. Also buy when the Vancouver Sun says the re boom is over, (in about a year or 2).

  14. Snick

    Jim,

    I know of many people who have condo assignments. The condos are due for completion soon. Talk about “bad timing” on their part.

    It seems to me that many of these same people will be stuck with the costs associated with holding onto these “investments” before they are sold. Ugh!

    The word will spread (and is spreading) that a major slowdown is in the works.

  15. blueskies

    I know of many people who have condo assignments. The condos are due for completion soon. Talk about “bad timing” on their part.

    has there an increase in the number of assignments listed, more specifically Spectrum or “W”?

  16. Jim

    Snick:

    I have a good size circle of friends, financial advisors, business owners, and professionals. I can’t find one (not one!)who is bullish on real estate(I am a closet bull). The most bullish comment I have heard from anyone (outside of blogs) is: “We plan on staying put for 10 years so we will be fine.” I think we will see price declines similar to last Fall without the recovery seen this Spring.

  17. awum

    I’d bet that if you looked at the average age of the building of current listings, it is decreasing. I suspect there are significant numbers of folks trying to turn a profit on the assignments they purchased in the last 24 months or so.

  18. Snick

    Jim,

    Price declines as per the Fall of 2004 would be welcomed by many “The Pause” as it is referred to now.

  19. domus aurea

    Sorry, you can daydream about price-plateau.
    It will not be immediate, but the nominal prices will go down substantially. Study some history……

  20. Jim

    domus; As I have cash in hand….that would be great!

  21. domus aurea

    ….and, let me add, you will have to be patient. This will unfold over the next 3 years at least. I don’t see sudden crashes, but a prolonged downhill. This is based on observation of the US market as well as the fact that interest rates are quite stable.

  22. charles

    i’ve decided to sell off all my properties. i can never seem to hold on for long. the last time i did this was in the early 90’s (sold 3 condos), and i lucked out. with the correction, i was able to use that same equity to purchase 5 condos that carried. i am now selling them.

    here is hoping that we are right. if all goes well, if i can then buy 7 condos that carry with that same equity, then i would buy back in. then if they return back to 2006 prices within 10 years, then i would have substantially more equity than if i held the original 3 condos (i.e. 200% more).

    i don’t make a lot of money, and this is the only way that i can build equity. the timing game is very tough,. but all i ask is to luck out once more. then i can retire (on bonds).

  23. Jim

    domus:
    My thinking is a prolonged downhill may still offer buying oportunities at the beginning of the slope. Property types, locations, and price points may average out to a gentle slope. But within that, some properties may even appreciate, while others tank.
    Charles: You are lucky, or hyper smart, or both. Unless you are a realtor/lawyer/and at end of mortgage term-transaction costs are gonna be huge.

  24. Snick

    Charles,

    You mention, “the timing game is very tough.”

    Why would that be the case in a cyclical business like real estate?

  25. charles

    jim: as rob keeps on saying, i just buy when it makes sense. of course i also sell when it makes sense. sure beats having to deal with vacancy, painting/cleaning/renovating, etc while waiting for prices to be reasonable. yes, it costs a lot, but i have a realtor in the family so basically i don’t pay as much commission as i should. i am a long time customer of my notary, so she gives me good pricing. but yes, it still costs a lot; but renting for a few years is typically able to cover those costs and then some.

    as for mortgages, i typically go for variable open below prime (tho back in the 90’s it was prime+1%).

    i’m not smart. it is some luck, but you have an idea when valuations are so high or so low. after all, i wouldn’t mind 25% down if it carries in GVRD anyway. when i sold the original 3, i was kicking myself b/c the market still continued to rise after, but i just shut myself out for awhile, and came back and prices were falling. but NEVER try to catch a falling knife. WAIT and BE PATIENT. let the downward spiral play out more. psychological is an interesting thing.

    snick: its tough b/c you cannot call top or bottom. you can get close, or you can be truly mistaken. market timing is next to impossible (otherwise we would all be millionaires); stock market same thing – it is cyclical just the same.

  26. robchipman

    Coco:

    You’re mistaken about the impact of signing the Working With a Realtor brochure. Its a disclosure form, not a contract, and signing it simply acknowledges that the Realtor has made the required disclosure to you. It doesn’t bind you contractually.

    Joy:

    Inventory is steadily rising. If the Board is playing with the numbers to keep them low they’re going the wrong way. Overtime on Saturday and another 300 on Monday.

    Snick:

    See my link in the Blogroll “What’s My Target Area” for my target area.

    In regard to why its hard to time a cyclical market, there is no “why”. Most people are unsuccesful in doing it. That’s the simple fact. It may be that the lack of success is due to some other reason aside from difficulty, but in the final analysis, who cares? More people profit from time in than timing. Just do the numbers. Charles is right about that.

    Jim is also right. A prolonged downhill will provide buying opportunities. There’s nothing wrong with buying into a trough. There’s a lot right about it. Like always, the individual property has to make sense.

  27. joy

    Yes,it’s rising but slowly while in reality it’s rising faster than what REBGV is telling people ?

  28. domus aurea

    Jim:

    let me spell this out. The correction may be sow, but it is going to be brutal. Downward and brutal.

    I frankly do not see how you can make profitable transactions: going short on housing is going to be the only option for an investor.

    Look at it this way: when the stock market crashed in 1929, it did not recover to its original peak until more than 30 years later.

    Suppose that for housing the recovet is 1/5 of 30 (that is 7 years): why the hell should you hold a falling asset? Keeping your wealth in humble bonds would be a much easier option.

  29. Skeptic

    “Suppose that for housing the recovet is 1/5 of 30 (that is 7 years)”

    6 years actually 🙂

  30. Jim

    Domus: From where do you derive your certainty?
    If I can buy at 15% to 20% below todays’ prices I will do so regardless of what stage the fabled “correction” is at. Let’s look at the U.S. for example. Average prices nationwide have declined for the first time since,well,ever. Yet it is only a percentage point or 2. Why? Because some areas are still appreciating, and others are plummetting by double digit percentages. The way to get wealthy is to set the price you will sell at, and set the price you will buy at. And then do so. I have done that since 1983 and have d0ne well. The alternative is what? To guess when prices have bottomed, or topped, and then make your move. I have never in 25 years of buying and selling real estate seen or heard of anyone being able to do that. Frankly I am plannig to ride one more RE up-cycle and then cash out. I won’t be so bold as to predict when the crash or recoveries will come or how much things will go up or down. I know my bench marks and thats all I give a rat’s ass about. Good luck with your plan.

  31. Snick

    Jim,

    I think Domus means to say, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”

    After all, this IS the biggest RE boom in history; unsupported by “fundamentals”.

    Who can deny that?

  32. Domus

    Sorry, I meant 6 years.

    Jim:

    I have no certainty, but I am quite confident of my argument. I guess you must have a special talent to spot properties that are below their market price in this market, which is after all a really expensive one after the long-run.

    I can deny that I admire you boldness: as for me, I have no plans to deal in real estate any time soon. I do believe there are better ways to spend my time and/or money. Houses are for living in.

    One last note: Warren Buffett has recentloy sold his house in Laguna Beach (California) and is only keeping his usual dwelling in Omaha (Nebraska). His reason for that is “that the market is overpriced in California, and a big correction is coming”.

    Of course, he must be wrong, it is always a good time to buy…..

  33. Priced Out

    Awesome stats. I’m looking forward to the crash and watching the speculators suffer. This city has been wrecked by this real estate mania. BURN BABY BURN

    Don’t worry Rob, you’ll sell in good times and bad. Other realtors won’t be so lucky.

  34. Moneyfromasia

    Just so you readers know. I bashed agents I had in the past, 6 in a row in particular. I also notice allot of agent bashing on this blog. I tried sales in the past, actually cold calling. You can take a real beating at times.

    I got to tell you guys, I asked Rob to find me a home and he did. He even met my critera that I was asking. Although he met my families criteria I still find it unsuitable but thats ok. Rob has made great effort with me. I am really suprised.

    To all of you that tar and feather agents, don’t bother here. Rob doesn’t deserve it. Really! Give him a try if you are looking. Good Luck:)

  35. Moneyfromasia

    Oh ya, Thanks Rob and no I am not Jeckle and Hyde.:P

  36. Iggy_12

    Hey Rob,

    You mentioned earlier that you were not allowed to give anyone your MLXchange login info. What about setting up a kiosk in your office where people could drop in and look up the info on a house without one of your agents hovering over giving the hard sell? I think that would be a good service to provide for us “tire kickers” who are still saving up for a down payment to get some market info without wasting an agent’s time.

    Sure, there might not be anything stopping someone from using a different agent when they find a place but most people would use you because you provided them with this service. Maybe you could charge a couple bucks per hour of browsing time.

    Most agents will set you up to receive listings via e-mail but those have only minimal detail and don’t want to send you the detailed listing unless you are seriously considering buying it. I’d like to shop around but I don’t want to waste anyone’s time and I don’t want someone bugging me to make up my mind.

    What do you think?

  37. robchipman

    I think its a bad idea, and I think you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    1st, if I had agents who hovered over unqualified tire kickers I’d pull my hair out. Its a waste of everyone’s time with the added bonus of being frustrating.

    2nd, I wouldn’t invest (aside from time blogging) in educating unqualified buyers on the off chance that they might choose me to represent them in the future. Buyers should choose agents for much better reasons than that.

    3rd, you should be finding out about what makes a good Realtor, and developing a relationship with them, even if you’re not buying for several years. I would educate someone if I thought they were serious, that I could help them, and if I could create a good relationship. I really want very little to do with people who think I’m bugging them to make up their mind as I hover over them applying the hard sell. I’d rather help people who want help get what they want. Its way more rewarding.

    4th, I’ll send general information to people quite often. Its unlikely that they’ll convert to clients, but its pretty painless for me. However, until the demonstrate that they’re serious about something I see no reason to give them more in depth information, and its not just about me.

    Evaluate what you’re asking for: access to personal information belonging to serious sellers so that you can satisfy your curiousity. Why or how does that benefit the seller? Why would he want his agent to do it? How is this a service that anyone deserves? Is it right for me to say to sellers “Let me use your life material to perhaps get a future client, maybe, even though it won’t help you at all”. Why would I share personal information about my clients homes and financial situations with someone who isn’t interested in buying my clients’ homes? Its a non-starter as far as I’m concerned. If you’re not intereted in buying someone’s home I don’t think you have any reason to know about their personal business.

    If you’re saving a downpayment in order to buy in the future, that’s great, and I want to encourage you. Take advantage of the time to learn other things about real estate.

  38. Iggy_12

    Let me clarify what I’m asking for…

    I want to be able to see how many times a house has been listed and/or sold over the past few years and how the prices have changed.

    I want to be able to look at the neighbouring houses that have recently sold to see what the area’s price trend is.

    I want to be able to see when a house was listed and what price adjustments have been made.

    I want to see the assessed value of the land and buildings.

    I want this to be “self-serve” so that I can look around at my own pace and not waste anyone’s time and not be pressured.

    Your “demonstrate you are serious” comment illustrates why this type of service would be useful… you don’t want to talk unless I show you how much money I have – sort of like the luxury car salesman who won’t talk to anyone not in a suit.

    I’m not after anyone’s personal information. I want information about the PRODUCT they are trying to sell so I can make a more informed purchase in the future. (yeah, yeah, I know many people’s only asset is their house which makes it more “personal”)

  39. Snick

    Iggy,

    You can find all the info at “Landcor”. But, you’ll have to pay for it.

  40. robchipman

    Iggy:

    I understand that you’re trying to become a more informed consumer. That’s laudable, and I don’t want to come across as confrontational. But, you’re not answering the question. Why should the agent of an owner of a house provide you with:

    -how many times his property has been listed?
    -a history of price reductions?

    Why should owners and their agents, en masse, give you access to that information so that you can identify trends?

    Its not about me. In your scenario I’m not going to pressure you into doing anything. I’ll qualify you as a non-buyer, and then leave you alone. We can assume I can figure out some sort of cost recovery program to make it, if not worth my while, at least a no cost charity project.

    So…how does this service, which is clearly beneficial to you, benefit sellers? We’ve established that you’re not a buyer, right? You’re not going to buy their property.

    You are apparently going to invest years of personal attention to deciding which property/neighbourhood/trend is going to help you make a decision about what you may want to buy in several years time. That requires personal information that belongs to sellers. You can get around that by saying that the Board wcquires copyright on the information through the contracts we make with sellers, but the fact is taht we do that as agents for the sellers in an attempt to further their interests. I can’t see how giving the info to you furthers the seller’s interests.

    Making a wise decison on where you want to live depends on things other than the list price history of someone’s property. Neighbourhood trend information doesn’t require unfettered access to MLXchange, and doesn’t come from perusing individual listings; it comes from aggregates. Assessed value of property is a public record. The government already provides that, free of charge. Its not convenient, but it is free, and nobody will pressure you to make a decision about anything. You can also arrange to have an account with BC Online.

    My problem with your idea is twofold: First, you aren’t anyone’s client, but you want an agent to share his clients’ information with you even though you aren’t interested in buying. There is no advantage to the seller. The agent is bound to promote the seller’s interests. Giving you the information doesn’t do this, and may conceivably harm the seller’s interests. There is no logical reason to do it.

    Second, as a potential client I see your activity as wrong headed. You’re free to decide how you want to spend your time, but you’re not free to decide that I should help you do it even if I think its the wrong thing for you to do. I have to be onside in the agency relationship before I agree to promote your interests. I need to see a benefit to you, or at least be convinced enough in your intelligence to suspend my disbelief in your theory, before I’m going to participate in this.

    So far you haven’t convinced me that this “service” is in the interests of my current clients (sellers) or potential clients (you). I know you want it, but….

  41. Iggy_12

    Rob,

    Let’s change a few of your assumptions… assume that my downpayment is almost enough so we’re talking months instead of years and then assume that I pay you a monthly fee. So, you are now “working for me” , in a way, which means that the sellers are on the other team and you should not care about what their interests are. We can exclude the listing for which you are the seller’s agent if that’s a conflict of interest.

    If you were to buy a house for yourself, you would be able to look up all of this info. Isn’t that also not in the interest of the seller who is selling to you?

    To answer your question of why I should be told the price and listing history – so that I can see if he is trying to play tricks with relisting to “freshen” up the days on market in order to extract more money from me. Similar to how a seller of a car should tell me how many accidents its been in. Telling the truth is not always the way to get the highest price but it brings transparency and integrity to the process.

    Thanks for your time.

  42. robchipman

    Iggy:

    If you approached me and said “I want to buy something, can you help me?” I’d take a hard look at your situation. If you demonstrated to me that you were serious I’d give you all the help you need. The difference between this scenario and the original one is that you have to convince me that you’re serious about acquiring real estate.

    Monthly fee for access? No thanks. Monthly fee for real estate consultation and information sharing? Convince me that you’re serious and I’m sure we could work it out. I’m interested in being a real estate facilitator, not an information re-seller.

    In regard to seeing the listing history of a particular property that you’re interested in I have two comments. First, I’d share all of that and more with you as standard practice. That means listing history as far as it goes back, property assessment and title search as a minimum. Second, the amount of days a place has been for sale has very little relevance on its own.

    There is no conflict of interest for me to show you information about a listing I have from another seller, aside from the points raised in the Blue Disclosure Brochure (if you haven’t read it, you should do so; its on my links).

    You’re not correct that its not in the interests of the sellers for me to have access to their personal information. If I’m buying for myself I’m a buyer. If not buying myself I’m looking at the information to either bring them a buyer, or to help another seller. Its in the interests of all sellers to maintain a healthy market place, and I help do that.

    You’ve got some trust issues. That’s understandable, but not warranted. Knowledge, which is what you’re looking for, is the solution. Its not too hard to get information about real estate in general and a specific property in particular. When you need it you can have it. What you’re better off doing now is learning who does what in the transaction, what tools are used, and how transactions go wrong (most go right, but if they go wrong its a big problem). The numbers on the property is information – mere data, if you will. Learning the mechanics of how the stuff is bought and sold is knowledge, and is more valuable by far. The knowledge doesn’t change so much, and will protect you. The pricing information constantly changes, and therefore can’t be depended on (despite what some bears say, trends indicate rising prices now, but does that mean you can’t lose money on real estate?)

  43. coco

    In the past a realtor tried to get me to sign a disclosure form before showing me any houses.

    A realtor also told me if I signed this form, I have to buy from them or they can come back on me.

    So, why are they do this? Are they lying to me to sign this form before even making an offer on a house?

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