Thursday Numbers

There were 288 new listings today and 174 sales, for a sell/list of 60.42%.  Of the sales 29, or 16.67%, went over list.  11of those were on the Westside. 8 were in East Van, 1 in Port Coquitlam,  3 in Pitt Meadows,  1 in North Van, 1 in Maple Ridge, 3 in Coquitlam and 1 in the Fraser Valley. 

Average list price of the sales was $571,709; average sales price was $563,349, a difference of $8,360, meaning the average sale went for 1.29% under list price. 12 properties went for list price. One property went for 10.8%($83,000) under list while the highest over list was 30% ($361,000) over.

There were 14 million dollar plus properties sold, with  one over $2 million. Average days on market to sale was 36.

There were 79 price changes, of which 9, or 11.39%, were increases. The average original list price of price changes was $526,343; the average new price was $514,378, a difference of $11,964, meaning the average price change was -2.46%.  Average days on market to price change was 53.

Inventory in my target area rose  to 10,990, while over 90s fell to 1,790, a percentage drop to 16.29%.

0.64% of all active listings in my target area had their prices reduced today. 

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64 Comments

Filed under Daily Numbers

64 responses to “Thursday Numbers

  1. systemguy

    north van seems to be slowing down these days…

  2. first_time_buyer

    its 62.15% and not 60.42% sell / list.

  3. e

    unless its 174 sales instead of 179 (common tranposition error 4 vs 9).

    b/c 174/288 = 60.416666%
    0.6042*288 = 174.0096 which is pretty dead on (save for rounding)

  4. Jim

    I’l go buy 5 houses-that should fix it.

  5. Noname

    Rob,

    Yesterday, why were you saying that we are not going to hit 11k this month?

    It looks like we are only 10 listings away from it today?

    I am not trying to be argumentative, I am just curious why you were so confident yesterday regarding the sales numbers?

    Noname

  6. joy

    NONAME,

    I’ve told this thing several times that these real estate agents and board are not honest people.They are manipulating information and timing of the numbers..They will expire the listings right before month ends…

  7. VHB

    Joy – how is it dishonest to set expiry dates at the end of the month. Could you enlighten us as to which dates would be honest? The 17th? The 22nd?

    If I were signing a contract, the end of a month would be a nice date to use.

    Save the tinfoil for cooking fish.

  8. tqn

    Joy,
    Obviously you have not dealt with many real estate agents, or you just picked the wrong one. You have bad experience with one, doesnt not mean all are the same.
    I can always refer you to one of the best.

  9. Jim

    Joy:

    Holy mackeral. Give it a rest. This blog is run by an agent(or 2) and they appear to have high integrity.

  10. Anne

    VHB: I miss your blog.

  11. chip

    North Van inventory at 477 this morning. Last month it was bouncing between 420 and 430.

    Anecdotally, spoke to someone yesterday who’s asking just over 850,000 for a decent house so they can trade up but no offers and they’re about to take it off the market.

  12. Paulb

    Joy , you are not supposed to drink the bong water. It 11k day ppl.

  13. e

    Noname: rob was probably just referring to that it would definitely not hit 11k b/c he knew it was 10990.

    rob is such a sport sometimes for putting up with all of this, but you have to understand he is a realtor, so he has to be careful what he says as well. it would be foolish not to. i have referred some colleagues to his office, and they had nothing but good things to say.

  14. Noname

    e,

    Rob said on Apr 19 – “And there’s no way we’re going to break 11k this month. Just wait ’til you see today’s numbers ;-)”

    That was yesterday.

    How can he be so sure that we won’t hit 11K this month, if we are only 10 listings away from it?

    Noname

  15. Jim

    The westside is f ‘d. FT(house)B’s payed $1.59m for house asking 1.18m yesterday. 50% down!
    33ft lot.80 year old (reno).
    Huge haircut potential.

    Sorry bulls. Its done like dinner.

  16. e

    Noname: sorry, i didn’t see the “month”. i thought it was “day”. unless he was just being sarcastic?

    his comment was posted 10pm something, and he posted the stats past 11pm, so i assume “today” meant thursday, and he already knew the #’s by then.

  17. deb

    Is there a way I can find out if properties expired or sold? I was watching 2 of them and they have gone from MLS.

  18. chip

    The Sun has a story quoting Sauder economist Robert Helsley:

    “…(i)t is hard to forecast a substantial softening.”

    (AND)

    “It would take a sudden rise in interest rates or a large global economic shock to shake B.C. into a real estate downturn, Helsley said, and the meltdown of subprime mortgage markets in the United States won’t be it.”

    Whew, that’s good to hear. And there I was thinking affordability (demand) and over-building (supply) could affect prices.

    Now, if I could just figure out what caused the US downturn since I don’t recall any rate increases and global economic shock … .

  19. robchipman

    FTB: I’m pretty sure the sell/list is right. I probably transcribed one of the other numbers incorrectly. I’ll check later.

    Noname:

    I was pulling Domus’ leg. I already knew we were within 10, and he’d been calling for an imminent crash through the 11k cieling. Unless something big happens (like if Jim sells 50% of his holdings!) we’re breaking 11k sooner than I thought we would. (Speaking of which, remember when the cieling was 10K? 2 steps forward, 1 back, now its 11k. I guess the next question should be: how many more arbitrary cielings before the inventory trend turns around?)

    deb:

    Yes, you can find out if properties sold or if they expired. Call the listing Realtor – he’ll tell you, or contact another Realtor that you like and they can give you the info on listing status (possibly not sales price, depending on time frame).

  20. robchipman

    Chip, I almost hate beating this same old drum. Potential over supply is clearly an issue. I don’t know what our absorption rate is, but with the amount of condos being built it will have to remain strong or we’ll see the effects. The supply side of your argument is solid, if still speculative.

    Affordability is way too fuzzy, and its definitely not the same as demand. It helps the bear forecast to blur the distinctions, but its not solid info. There are (and have been) plenty of people who can afford to buy now, which is why we see record volumes over the last few years, despite prices. Prices may be (and may have been) higher than they will be in the near future, but that doesn’t mean any substantial portion of late entrants will take a loss – if they can continue to service the mortgages on their (potentially) over-mortaged places, they’ll be able to hold with no change in lifestyle.

  21. Noname

    Thanks for the clarification, rob.

    As someone has pointed out, I think, there is no arbitrary ceiling. It’s all about psycology.

    Inventory could be 5000 but if noone buys a single property in 12 month, prices would still plummet.

    Watching the over 90s increase will be interesting, unless that number is fudged due to re-listings.

    Noname

  22. chip

    Rob said:

    “There are (and have been) plenty of people who can afford to buy now, which is why we see record volumes over the last few years, despite prices.”

    Actually, I would argue that the record volumes are explained not “despite prices” but because of them. Ever higher prices build the equity that people use to speculate and trade up.

    Eventually, however, the number of first-time buyers declines, investors start to cash out, and and the locomotive of rising prices/growing equity slows, stops, and reverses.

    I think we are currently somewhere between slowing and stopping.

  23. Anonymous

    Chip: “Now, if I could just figure out what caused the US downturn since I don’t recall any rate increases and global economic shock … .”

    Chip, where have you been, US rates have been increasing now for some time…

  24. chip

    Anon,

    True, but the Sauder prof’s words were “sudden rise.”

    Not gradual.

  25. Anonymous

    The rise is sudden for US people refinancing after the expiry of their fixed terms

  26. awum

    The sales/listing ratio is up a titch last few days, but the “months of inventory” calculation keeps rising, and inventory is about one-third higher in Rob’s area than at same point last year.

    Market’s not dead. Maybe just limping.

  27. Domus

    This limp is going to develop into something more….wait till the summer and you’ll see.

  28. chip

    Well, Anon,

    In that case the rise would also have been sudden when the BOC prematurely started hiking rates a few years ago. But I don’t recall the local RE market taking a hit.

    The US market turned south primarily because of affordability and supply, not the rates and external shock referred to by Helsley. So why he thinks BC is immune to the fundamental variables of supply and demand – let alone the fickle nature of psychology – is quite simply bizarre.

  29. dignanmaplethorpe

    Here’s an idea of the lag time on mlxchange. I listed my place on the 14th it was sent to the board on the 16th, it just came up today on the 20th, 4 days lag.

  30. Domus

    Affordability: on this I disagree strongly with Rob. I do believe that affordability measures are key and when the affordability indicators are beeping you must be ready for a substantial adjustment.

    In the US we have low unemployment right now. The business cycle is benign and credit markets have been good to people in terms of extending credit. Yet, the housing bubble down there has unravelled pretty fast (and it has a long way down to go).

    Why? Because affordability collapsed: the big crash happened when price/income ratios became unmanageable. Any multiple above 4 means bubble in RE.

    You can come up with lots of cute stories about why this time is different: but if you look at historical time series in Holland, UK, US, Japan and other countries, affordability is key.

    When housing costs get out of whack with respect to what people earn, you can expect the worst.

  31. dignanmaplethorpe

    Rob, If affordability isn’t that big an issue, why would intrest rate hikes affect the housing market negatively?

  32. Domus

    Just a brief excerpt from an article about Claifornia’s foreclosures:

    “A surge of foreclosures in California has some economists concerned that the fallout will be long lasting and potentially wound the whole economy.

    The 11,033 foreclosures in the first three months of the year represent an 800 percent increase over the same period a year earlier.

    “For this rise in foreclosures to be happening in the midst of a strong labor market is truly unique and scary,” says analyst Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics.”

    I would like to highlight the economist’s comment: “For this rise in foreclosures to be happening in the midst of a strong labor market is truly unique and scary” – this is a typical example of saturated affordability, when you engage in expenses you can no longer finance. It’s like a domino after that: when the first pawn falls, so the others follow.

    You know what’s the scariest thing? This events have repeated themselves over the whole history of developed economy, and every single time you have to hear someone trying to rationalize them by saying that “this time is different” or “we live in a new paradigm”.

    It might take some more time for Vancouver to get there, but there it will go…..

  33. robchipman

    Aside from bears using it as a strawman argument, who’s actually saying “this time is different” or “we live in a new paradigm”?

    I don’t know a lot about California foreclosures, but I have read that US foreclosures are a result of an increase in rates between the inital loan and today’s US rates. The problem is affordability, but it could be argued (and was predicted) that the sub-prime industry is the architect of its own misfortune.

    Our mortgage market is different. Its not time of paradigm. Its structural. If our mortgage rates shoot up, then yes, we’ll ahve problems. And yes, it could happen. But if it does it will happen for different reasons than it did in the US (it won’t be because of teaser rates being replaced by current rates, which I understand has been as much as a 5 point difference).

    And while I won’t dismiss US foreclosures, I will point out that over the past few years I’ve had bugger all foreclosure business – rates have been low and values have been rising, so a foreclosure only goes full term in strange circumstnaces. In other words, an 800% increase sounds huge, (and it is enough to be fodder for Congress) but don’t forget what level its coming from.

    I agree that affordability is important. I don’t agree with your latest metric, and I have problems with the term “affordability” meaning many things to many people -its just not real exact.

  34. dignanmaplethorpe

    ROB,

    “I don’t agree with your latest metric, and I have problems with the term “affordability” meaning many things to many people -its just not real exact.”

    How about FTB affordability?

    “Our mortgage market is different. Its not time of paradigm. Its structural.”

    And weren’t you just talking about loose lending in Vancouver?

    “Most employed people who want to buy real estate, even at today’s high prices, can. Lots of sacrifices, I agree, but money is cheap and lending is loose.”

    I am beginning to see you don’t want to agree with anything. Although you say you agree in one scentence, you say you don’t in the next. These aren’t really discussions anymore, they’re “See how rob will ague this time” rants. It’s a bit boring.

  35. Domus

    Rob:

    to be fair I never mentioned that you ever said saying that “this time is different” or “we live in a new paradigm”. You didn’t, as far as I can remember.

    But many other people did, including some of the ones who shouldn’t have (because they were in official positions). That makes you quite a lot of honor.

    Affordability: it means what you can afford with a given monthly payment. With low interest rates you can afford a lot of dough! However as the prices of that dough skyrocket, that given monthly payment will buy you less and less, until it buys you almost nothing.

    Two things you can do then: (1) stop buying; (2) increase the monthly payment.

    If you choose number (2) but your income does not go up, well……..

  36. Domus

    And yes, strangely enough, by affordability I mean “what you can afford”!

    So, if you make 3k a month and you pay 2.4k on your mortgage+costs, I call that stretching yourself, hitting the affordability wall or whatever else you can think of.

    Markets rely on the spending power of individuals: at least we should agree on that one.

  37. robchipman

    dignanmaplethorpe, untrue and unfair. I disagreed with domus’s multiplier being a determinant.

    I agreed that affordability is important, but that it is very hard to define. (Saying its what you can afford isn’t a very good definition. Sorry, domus).

    I said housing demand and ownership demand are different, and that housing demand is key, while ownership demand is derived from housing demand.

    And although lending here is way looser than it has been in the past, it was even looser in the States, and different in a structural way.

    I’ve agreed that if interest rates go up we’re in trouble, and if supply outstrips demand (especially in regard to new construction), we’re in trouble.

    The real disagreement is simply that domus seems to say that if the average joe can’t afford to buy, as defined by price/income

  38. Domus

    Rob said: “Saying (affordability) is what you can afford isn’t a very good definition. Sorry, domus.”

    Not to overcomplicate things: I really thought affordability is the ability to afford something (or what you can afford).

    I must refresh my English……

  39. accountant88

    dignanmaplethorpe
    April 20th, 2007 at 3:53 pm
    Here’s an idea of the lag time on mlxchange. I listed my place on the 14th it was sent to the board on the 16th, it just came up today on the 20th, 4 days lag.

    ———————————————
    Rob,

    Can you provide general reasons why it takes it takes 6 days for a listing to show up on the mlxchange?

    In today’s high speed information age, that seems like quite a long time.

  40. accountant88

    Jim
    April 20th, 2007 at 9:19 am
    The westside is f ‘d. FT(house)B’s payed $1.59m for house asking 1.18m yesterday. 50% down!
    33ft lot.80 year old (reno).
    Huge haircut potential.
    —————————————-
    Jim,

    Is this the house in Dunbar?

    Wow, this guy paid $1.6MM and now listing at $1.2MM?

    Well, he could afford to buy at$1.6MM…guess he could afford the $400,000 loss.

    Perhaps he may get lucky and sell at above list price and his loss will be smaller.

  41. robchipman

    O.K, domus, you’re right. Using the word in the definition of the word is O.K. too. Here’s the rub: if you and I have the same income, and support the same number of people, and live in the same city, is your “affordable” the same as mine? Probably not. Affordability involves trade offs, and the decisions are made by individuals. Thats why some people always say real estate is unaffordable.

    accountant88:

    Volume is the short answer. Listings go up firat, then sales.

  42. aaronbest

    accountant88**It generally takes 2 to 3 business days for listings to show up on MLXchange. This lag time can fluctuate due to a number of things, namely work load on the people inputting the listings at the board, long weekend, etc…It generally takes another day or two to hit the MLS & Realtylink.

    In dignanmaplethorpe’s example. The listing was signed on a Saturday. Monday was the next business day. From that point it took another couple of days. Not uncommon. The listing was most likely up on the Realtor’s website, Craigslist, etc…the same day the listing was signed.

  43. Domus

    Rob:

    I like your example. I my view even the frugal guy in your example will have troubles affording a place in Vancouver, without (substantial) parental help.

    This is what I mean by hitting the wall.

    Jim:

    400k loss??? In Vancouver’s RE market? Do losses really exist? I thought they were a fiction of bears’ imagination, these sad onlookers full of doom and gloom……..

  44. aaronbest

    dignanmaplethorpe**What are you selling? How much are you asking?

  45. Domus

    Rob,

    any hope of getting the Friday numbers tomorrow…..I know you might have a social life, but I am a ruthless person……

  46. Jim

    Accountant 88:

    No, I mean he just paid 300k over asking. Bubble.

  47. aaronbest

    Jim**It could be an example of someone getting caught up in a bidding war??? Who’s fault is that?

  48. Jim

    Sorry 400k. Bubble.

  49. Jim

    aaronbest:
    I was the beneficiary of a bidding war on one of my properties in September. Listed 1,399k sold 1,635k.
    We will not see a market again like this in our life time.

  50. Snick

    That’s nice.

  51. accountant88

    Jim,

    Wow, this guy paid $1.6MM, put down 50% and financed $800,000?

    This guy (and spouse?) must make a lot of money to finance this king size mortgage.

    That’s about $5,000 per month mortgage payments.

  52. Domus

    Accountant88:

    don’t you realize that everyone can afford 5k per month in Vancouver…….it’s ok here….

  53. Snick

    Domus,

    People can say/write all they want. You don’t have to believe everything they go on about…

  54. blueskies

    We will not see a market again like this in our life time

    engrave this in stone!
    absolute stone cold truth….

  55. Domus

    I am a believer…….

  56. greyskies

    Rob said:
    “I’ve agreed that if interest rates go up we’re in trouble, and if supply outstrips demand (especially in regard to new construction), we’re in trouble.”

    Are you saying if interest rates go up affordability may be an issue?

    Will we be in trouble if prices continue to rise?

    (you may be contradicting yourself)

    On the supply side, it’s a pretty good bet eventually there will be an oversupply, the only question is will it be by this summer or fall.

  57. blueskies

    I’m seeing this global credit/housing bubble as a singular episode in our lifetime, similar to how the Great Depression is viewed by those who lived through it.

    When the global bubble pops most boomers will see the run up and subsequent downside as a defining moment in their lives.

  58. Headlines from the USA

    Foreclosures in North Carolina up 56 percent 04/20/07

    ‘Upside Down’ Home Sellers Owe More Than They Get 04/20/07

    More on San Diego Foreclosures 04/20/07

    Many subprime loans, foreclosures occur in minority areas (CA) 04/20/07

    Citi’s Prince laments subprime regulation 04/20/07

    Looking for a foreclosure fix 04/20/07

    GMAC, GE Will Cut 1,400 Job Cuts on Subprime
    decline 04/20/07

    H&R Block to Sell Option One Mortgage to Cerberus Capital Management 04/20/07

    ‘Upside Down’ Home Sellers Owe More Than They Get (DC) 04/20/07

    Subprime lenders shrink in N.J. 04/20/07

  59. fake name

    “I’m seeing this global credit/housing bubble as a singular episode in our lifetime, similar to how the Great Depression is viewed by those who lived through it.”

    It may not turn so severe, we have Rennie , so it will be different this time.

  60. Jim

    5k a month is nothing. Sorry. There are a lot of prosperous people in this town. A lot. But, “this too shall pass”.

  61. robchipman

    Greyskies:

    Someone’s sneaking onto your computer and posting under multiple names again.

  62. accountant88

    $5,000 per month is nothing?

    That’s $60,000 per year take home pay….which is equivalent to a person earning $100,000 per year – just to pay the mortgage.

    I have to get out more often and meet some of these prosperous people who have no problem paying $5,000 per month mortgage payments to the banks.

  63. aetakeo

    Vancouver does have more families making over 100k per year: check out page 4 of this publication, which it suggests that one in five families make 100K+. Still, 4 in 5 families don’t. In Canada overall, 15% of families make 100K+, as opposed to our 20%. I’m not sure I can believe that 5% can sustain the current conditions. Also check out page 2 for housing statistics and affordability; and look at what the margin (market) is doing now compared to the average of long-hold housing.

    There is an affordability wall, even with Rob’s construction of affordability. No one can pay 100% or greater of their family’s after tax income to housing. I imagine even rich people like to eat, and they buy shoes – even if they’re doing it at Value Village. So, starting at the impossible (all income on housing), and backing down, there will be some tolerance level which is the maximum amount a person can spend and still eat and clothe themselves. Current equity is the other part of this picture: but considering the debt issues we have as a city, we’ve got to factor in average credit repayment, and lack of savings, too. Transportation is also sort of a big deal for most people, unless they’re so rich their company provides car and driver.

    Also, to my mind, every dollar in the aggregate that goes to the mortgage does not go to Holt Renfrew and Starbucks. I suggest that “affordability” isn’t just a personal choice: if there were many people making the house-poor choice, it would effect the local economy other ways. Fewer babies, fewer Louis Vitton handbags, fewer nights out at restaurants, fewer boutique chic outfits, fewer dogs with fewer trips to the vet. If the whole city went house poor, it would negatively affect the local economy, which would negatively affect rich people. Also, things like business rents go up as business land is squeezed by house-poor residential. (For example, I predict it might cause head offices to move out of the city. Oh wait.)

    Affordability isn’t something we can just dismiss with people’s choices. Yes, it is possible that our spending patterns in Vancouver will forever lean more towards housing than in other areas, and to a point that’s even sustainable. It’s how far we’ve gone into that area that’s under discussion. I suggest we’ve passed the tolerance for affordability beyond which the whole economy becomes affected – at least after credit runs out. (Especially with fuel cost affecting other necessary sectors like transportation and food.)

    I don’t, however, believe we’re New York.

  64. Jim

    Aetako: Sorry, you are completely wrong. $100k is not a big income these days. $250k is. This is why I gave up on other blogs. Only this one has anything of use-current stats. Current stats say: prices are rising in the face of rising inventory, and slowing sales. That is usually “end game” in any economic cycle. Don’t confuse high net worth and high incomes with high economic prescience. And that is why bidding wars occur on charater (cracker box) homes that have curb appeal and a veranda. Value is nothing, emotion is everything.

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