Wednesday Numbers

There were 242 new listings today and 202 sales, for a sell/list of 83.47%.  Of the sales 33,  or 16.34%, went over list.  9 of those were on the Westside. 6 were in East Van,  2 in Richmond, 1 in Pitt Meadows, 5 in North Van, 1 in Maple Ridge, 6 in Burnaby and 3 in Surrey. 

Average list price of the sales was $513,821; average sales price was $510,233, a difference of $3,588, meaning the average sale went for 0.77% under list price. 46 properties went for list price. One property went for 28%($111,000) under list while the highest over list was 35% ($100,000) over (a new condo along the East Hastings corridor we recently spoke about, and equals over $600/sq. ft.)

There were 12 million dollar plus properties sold, with  two over $2 million. Average days on market to sale was 30.

94 apartments sold, 2 duplexes, 8 apartments, 1 duplex, 71 houses and  26 townhouses were sold.   17 apartments, 14 houses and 1 townhouse sold over list.

There were 94 price changes, of which 9, or 9.47%, were increases. The average original list price of price changes was $623,210; the average new price was $603,967, a difference of $19,243, meaning the average price change was -3.1%.  Average days on market to price change was 47 days.

Inventory in my target area dropped  to 11,243, while over 90s dropped  to 1,647, a rise in percentage to of 14.65%.

0.76% of all active listings in my target area had their prices reduced today.  The 14 day rolling sell/list was 61.14%.

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38 Comments

Filed under Daily Numbers

38 responses to “Wednesday Numbers

  1. OMG! It’s a bull market again!

  2. accountant88

    Rob,

    Thanks for including the additional details on the sales:

    94 apartments sold, 2 duplexes, 8 apartments, 1 duplex, 71 houses and 26 townhouses were sold

  3. AmPa

    I talked to my neighbor, and he said the sky is falling. Besides, Ahmadinejad of Iran is threatening to wipe the western world off the map, which means there will be more people taking out sub-prime loans in Arizona to build bunkers, but they will default on it, and won’t buy Canadian lumber, and everyone in Vancouver will starve, let alone be able to pay mortgages. That’s nothing compared to sars and flu epidemic, magnitude 10 earthquake, out of control child obesity, mercury in our canned tuna, Y3K, total pine beetle infestation of our forests, and hurricanes due to climate change, all which are surely immennet as early as tommorow, and all of which are more likely than BC continuing its boom.

    This market crashed back in 2002, all the price increase since is hubba-bubba bubble gum delusions.

  4. Jim

    Rob:
    Thanks for indicating the overlist details. I have been automaticaly assuming all Westside overlists were SFH.
    I note that the board’s monthly stats for April indicate a falling year over year rate of change, and a surge in inventory. Yet prices are zooming?
    Tough to be a “bear” with relentlesly rising prices. Tough to be a bull-unless you have your head up your ……

  5. coco

    Thanks for breaking those numbers down Rob.

    If condos/apartments continue to lead the pace as the most sold properties every day, that does tell you that there is some affordability problems starting to go on with single family home sales.

  6. John

    Interesting numbers. 79 out of 202 sales went for list price or higher. Homes selling for list price or higher seems to be very common. Average sale seems to be steadily 2% under list (and often around 1% or less). Sellers really seem to be getting what they want.

    Just checked the monthly numbers, detached benchmark in Greater Vancouver up 0.8%, in Fraser Valley detached price index up 2.2% for April.

    Ed Danger:
    Funny, it seems the bears or bulls will come out in full force depending on the daily numbers. Really though, I don’t think it’s ever stopped being a bull market at any time over the last 5 years. Of course, it’s cyclical, so eventually some balance or a drop will come. Will rising inventory be the trigger, or when the spring comes to an end will inventory slow down too?

  7. Domus

    Let’s see whether this is a consistent return to high sell-list and high prices……I believe we might be in the presence of a blip due to some buyers feeling compelled. I might be wrong, but I do not believe this year will be the same.

  8. Jim

    Domus:
    You can’t seriously be watching *daily *stats as a market barometer? The monthly stats tell a more compeling story. For the bears-rising inventory and a falling year over year % change. For the bulls relentlesly rising prices. But Domus, “the trend is your friend”.
    John: Excellent “fence sitting”. It might go up it might go down. Powerful.

  9. Domus

    I don’t watch daily but I acknowledge a pick-up in sell-list over the past week.

    It is due to listings going down rather than sales going up, which is informative for me. That’s why i attribute it to a blip.

    Listings will start their run again??

  10. John

    Jim:
    I never said “it might go up it might go down”, most everyone will agree the market will eventually go down, that’s what cycles do. If not making a prediction as to when or how much is fence sitting, then fine, I’m sitting on a fence. 🙂

  11. Jim

    John:
    Fair coment. I apologize for misreading.

  12. GrowBuster

    Now I can see why house prices are still going up..
    This house (about 20 years old) was listed for over 700k and sold within week or so back in 2006.

    I believe the house address is: (near Elliot, Killarney area)
    XXXXXXXX AVE E VANCOUVER

    Right across from the elementary school

    Yesterday I saw a bunch of cops and the Growbuster Truck outside this house. Today there’s a sign on the front door of the house (something about not safe to enter).

    They need to have more strict punishment for the pot growers….

  13. kenady

    Re:

    “the highest over list was 35% ($100,000) over (a new condo along the East Hastings corridor we recently spoke about, and equals over $600/sq. ft.)”

    Unreal. Why would this sell for so much over asking? This is the pre-sale at Sugar, right? Doesn’t make sense to me. Anyone have anymore details? I’m in shock.

  14. BCHydro

    http://tinyurl.com/fnthn
    About 18,000 grow-ops suspected in BC!!!!

    That’s a lot of homes!!!

    Imagine if all those homes were put back on the market (eg. For sale or for rent). Guess what would happen to house prices? =)

  15. robchipman

    Growbuster/BCHydro:

    Do me a favour, please. Don’t post address information that degrades the value of a specific property in the same post where you say “I believe the house is…”

    The problem is simple: You make a derogatory statement about a specific property that can potentially affect the value of the property and the owner’s interests, but you couch it in terms of “I think…” If you’re going to potentially damage a specific person your allegation has to be a little stronger than that.

    Additionally, were you to be wrong you will have done damage without identifying yourself. I’ll have given you a platform from which to do your potential damage, and I am identifiable. I have no wish to cause or suffer financial hardship due to an incorrect assertation on your part.

    You can accomplish essentially the same thing without posting the address info.

    Thanks.

  16. robchipman

    kenady:

    Excellent powers of deduction. Sugar appears to be selling quite well.

  17. GrowBuster

    Rob,

    Sorry, my bad.

    If I was certain that it was that house/address, could I post the address?

    The reason I posted the address was to validify the post. (eg. Someone could verify that the house was indeed sold last year, the price, and that it was a growop).

  18. robchipman

    Growbuster:

    I’d prefer that you not post the address, to be frank. Here’s why: the defense to defamation is that the statement is true, but if you post true stuff here, anonymously, and another party takes exception, I take the heat. I need to prove that its true, and I may or may not be able to do so, and its a big pain.

    That said, there’s nothing wrong in talking a little more onbliquely about the issue. Grow ops can affect a property’s value, depending on extent of damage, remediation, and other factors. Grow op/illegal manufacture of drugs is a specific question on the PCDS for exactly that reason. There are some interesting implications for a buyer’s agent in that regard, as well as the listing agent.

    What about your other question: what if all 18,000 alleged grow ops were back on the market?

    Couple thoughts. First, inventory would easily pass the 12,000 mark 😉

    Second, many of the alleged houses serve as housing as well as grow ops. Perfect scenario is a 50 yr+ bungalow with hydro going down the inside of the wall (easy to tap), with an elderly Grandma upstairs taking care of a raft of kids while the two parents are at work. Basement contains two big grow rooms and a clone room. Bust them and kick out the family and there is an increase in demand for accomodation.

    Third, if they hit the market after proper remediation there isn’t a huge problem. We’ve sold those kind of grow shows in the past. Its pretty easy to document the whole thing from bust through permits through to inspection. If there was no bust you’ve got another kettle of fish. Who knew what becomes a big issue. I can’t knowingly sell you a grow op without disclosing that fact, obviously. (Yes, the pain I’d suffer renders it not worht the hassle, aside from the ethical considerations).

    Fourth, if the market is propped up by grow shows and money laundering, doesn’t that mean that the grow shows are hitting the market already? (On the other hand, if someone has a profitable grow op with a great cover, why put it up for sale and invite the inevitable property inspector?)

    Clearly there is a lot of meat in your subject matter.

  19. Domus

    Rob,

    we are passing 12k anyway….:)

  20. Skeptic

    If someone is bypassing the hydro meter, how does Hydro pick it up, do they get a reading for the whole street and then have to figure out which house ?

    Domus, look at Phoenix, don’t expect any price drops until we hit 25,000 ;-)…

  21. Craigy

    I can’t believe prices keep increasing but they do. All the talk about rising inventory is moot if most everything is selling eventually and people keep spending more on what is selling. So, the inventory is greater than it was last year. Big deal. Last year was exceptional.

    And as for trends, they only predict the future if you can safely extrapolate them. If the trend is a minor correction, then it isn’t very predictive at all. To use a (poor) analogy, if I slow down from 120 to 100 on the highway, it doesn’t mean I am going to stop.

  22. Jim

    Craigy: I posted this on the Victoria blog:
    Average prices go up in a declining market because lower priced properties sell slower due to the financial circumstances of FTB’s and the equity challanged. High end homes continue to sell and drag the average up. This was discussed at length as the US bubble deflated and is finally happening now in San Fran. Vancouver is experiencing the same phenomanon and is EXACTLY 12 months behind the US bubble cities. This upward inventory trend could reverse any day or week-justifying continued double digit price increases. But then Vancouver would have the most expensive real estate in North America in about 2 years, ahead of New York and San Fran (and I think even Geneva and London). Does that seem plausible to you? Or anybody else on this Blog? Rob? Aaron?

  23. robchipman

    skeptic:

    My understanding is tht Hydro knows how much juice a block consumes, and how much they sell, so if there is a discrepancy they will know. I’m not sure its easy for them to isolate the discrepancy without actually looking at a suspicious block, but I may be wrong. Once they know that someone is stealing power they then look at all the houses and make educated guesses (at least that’s what some hydro personnel have told me).

    Other people may have easier times detecting potential grow ops (police, for instance). The old house with the service coming in under the eaves and then down inside the wall, windows with tightly drawn curtains (maybe b&w plastic behind), generally beat up looking but with brand new locks is a good bet. An ear or hand to the door to detect a vibration/hum is a further tip off. Hydroponic store left overs (cardboard boxes, black plastic pots, b&w plastic, Sunshine Mix#4) in the garbage or garage, are, believe it or not, yet more evidence. Of course, the old challenge of smell is a constant issue. I’ve been told that even venting it down the sewer by taking off a toilet can be problematic, because sewer systems vent out stacks in the roof. Where water is metered (as in Langley) excessive water consumption for cooling hydroponic solution can also be a tip off.

    Anyway, its pretty easy, I think to find most grow ops (although how would we know how easy it is to find “most” if we don’t know about the ones we don;t know about?).

    Jim:

    Logically what you’re saying is possible (not the “exactly 12 months behind the US” part, of course). If the top end keeps selling while the bottom doesn’t, then averages will rise, and volumes will likely fall. Good theory. Is it happening in practice? Not sure. April 2007 we sold 1,350 apartments. April 2006? 1366. March ’07? 1,532. March ’06? 1,779. Feb. ’07 – 1,269. Feb. ’06 – 1,212. If apartments reflect FTBs (and I sell many FTBs into apartments), then I’m not sure those numbers support your theory.

    What about median price vs. average vs. benchmark? Any hints there that FTBs are dropping off?

  24. Craigy

    Jim,

    Personally, I think Vancouver real estate is overpriced now. But apparently many buyers disagree. I agree that it seems difficult to envision Vancouver having the most expensive real estate in North America and I can’t envision double digit increases for the next two years.

    I hear you about the possibility of high end homes dragging the market up but I haven’t seen any number that back it up. Anecdotally, I know quite a few roughly equivalent homes that are simply selling for more than they were a few months ago. So, I don’t think the increases that are being reported right now are a statistical mirage.

    I also don’t think you (or anybody) can predict, from price increases, that this means we are 12 month behind the US. Maybe Vancouver’s price increases are happending for a different reason. Don’t get me wrong. We may well be 12 months behind the US; we just can’t prove it yet.

  25. awum

    Perspective:

    Average sales/day in Rob’s area last May was 219. Average listings/day was 285. May was the hottest sales month last year. It’s only two days, but the last two days have been not too far off last May’s pace.

    What’s pushing the market now? Beats me. Even some of the cheerleaders must be shaking their heads now.

  26. Domus

    hey, soon even the realtors won’t be able to upgrade to larger houses…….

  27. jim

    Took a quick read of some of the bear blogs around. April’s increase in prices seems to have swamped the increased inventory news. Rob,help me out here. The stats you post and the REBGV stats refer to sales when they close or the money changes hands, not when the deal is struck correct?
    Whereas inventory and lisitngs is current?

  28. millionpitfall

    Rob,

    Having a source in law enforcement, I would have to say your theory of having families displaced out of all these grow op homes would increase housing demand doesn’t hold water. Many of these people own several homes for grow op purposes and many of these homes are not occupied on a full-time basis.

  29. John

    Rob:
    You make a good point about FTBs and apartments. According to the April stats for the FVREB, more apartments were sold in April 2007 than in the same month last year. At the same time, SFH transactions were down.

    From Jim McCaughan (President FVREB)
    “More clients are asking realtors to show them condo options in the Fraser Valley. You can see that reflected in our April statistics by the increase in the number of apartment units that sold… compared to last year.”

    I would think a big chunk of these sales are FTBs and lower priced properties are still selling.

    Jim:
    From reading Rob’s blog in the past, sales lag about two weeks, listings and inventory is current.

  30. Joel

    I think Vancouver real estate is overpriced now. But apparently many buyers disagree.

    I’d say with a fair degree of confidence that the majority of buyers think just like you and I, that RE in Van is overpriced. They just buy regardless, maybe out of fear or emotion or just because they don’t care.

  31. Jack...........

    Shiller: Mr. Worst-case scenario
    Robert Shiller called the tech-stock crash just as the Nasdaq peaked. But he is also the expert on the real estate market. And where does he think it’s headed now? Uh-oh

    Question: Okay. What you’re about to say is not a forecast.

    Answer: Well, human thinking is built around stories, and the story that has sustained the housing boom is that homes are like stocks. Buy one anywhere and it’ll go up. It’s the easiest way to get rich.

    Question: So how rich can you get on real estate?

    Answer: From 1890 through 1990, the return on residential real estate was just about zero after inflation.

    Question: Excuse me? That’s all? Hasn’t it been higher lately?

    Answer: Since 1987 it’s been 6 percent [or about 3 percent a year after inflation].

    Question: So real estate doesn’t go up roughly 10 percent a year?

    Answer: It can’t be true that homes rise 10 percent a year. If they did, in the long run no one would be able to afford a house.

    Question: Let me grab a calculator. If real estate really rose 10 percent a year, a $25,000 home in 1957 should be worth roughly $3 million now.

    Answer: And that flies in the face of common sense. In fact, I’m inclined to think there’s a good chance that the return on real estate will be negative, substantially negative, over the next 10 years because all booms reverse in the end.

  32. Deedub

    Robert Shiller called the tech-stock crash just as the Nasdaq peaked.

    That is misleadingly correct. Shiller did in fact call for a top in 2000 – but he also famously called a decade-long top in 1996 – which is a fabulously incorrect call.

  33. Westside Matron

    I live on the westside at 21st & Macdonald, and in the past three years have had five grow ops on my side of the street – most recently, one on either side of me. Hydro comes in the dead of night and checks the output of the houses at the poles to confirm illegal usage. No one has been arrested but every house has been shut down – when the houses are put up for sale – in every instance – the real estate agent has claimed not to know the past history of the house. Remediation to code is not a reliable test whether the house is safe to live in. The mold lives on!

  34. robchipman

    million:

    I’m not saying that all grow houses are occupied, not by a long stretch. And I’m not arguing that the occupants would contribute to housing demand in a significant way.

    That said, I stand by my description of a common practice. And while I have lots of respect for LE, I think its fair to say they miss more than they catch, and so surrender the title of ultimate authority.

    westside matron:

    You’re right that remediation doesn’t necessarily solve the issue, and I shouldn’t have implied that it does. Still there are as many types of grow ops as there are growers. I’ve seen very clean ones, and I’ve seen them where the grower actually just dumps dirt on the floor. However, if the grow op part wasn’t an issue we wouldn’t have to disclose it, would we? And I wouldn’t be worrying about someone tagging a house as a grow op by mistake. It is an issue, for sure.

  35. millionpitfall

    Law Enforcement for busting grow ops is short staffed, so it may seem that they are missing more than their catching. Plans to increase staffing are in process.

  36. GrowBuster

    Yes, they should increase funding.
    I think they should confiscate and sell the growop’s houses (by using the proceeds of crime act) and then use those funds to increase staffing.

    None of this fining the house owner 5-10k, which is peanuts….

  37. robchipman

    Million:

    Isn’t LE underfunded across the board? Grow ops are the subject today, but what if we talked property crime? Or open trafficking of drugs? Or open consumption of drugs, whether it be marijuana or harder drugs as seen in the DTE? And let’s not even bring up driving issues, whether bad driving practices or car theft/driving w/o a licence, etc.

    Is that the problem, or just a sympton of a larger problem? Let’s face it: right now grow op busters (I believe) inflict the biggest punishment on the grower by taking the crop and breaking all the equipment. I don’t think the grower gets much greif through court.

    Why should a Realtor care and why is this a real estate related issue? That brings me back to GrowBuster and his suggestions.

    I’d argue that the person who owns the grow house shouldn’t be responsible for the grow op simply by virtue of owning the house. There should be a requirement for some other sort of transgression.

    In many cases the owner is a solid citizen. They pay taxes, have a fixed address and are part of the above ground economy. They are victimized by the grower. Their property is damaged, they incur fines, they can be forced to execute bylaw upgrades in addition to regular remediation (any renos done in the past without permit, for example, may require permitting, inspecting and upgrading). Worse, depending on when the operation is busted, and where the owner is, the proeprty may be left unsecured, with power (and subsequently heat) turned off, during a cold snap, leading to frozen pipes and further damage. Insurance is unlikely to cover grow op losses, btw.

    It begs the question: what if the owner was the innocent victim of the criminal? Which crime becomes greater? Growing marijuana and damaging someone’s property, or renting to the wrong person through an error in judgement?

    It is simple to punish the owner, obviously, and collect from them. That doesn’t make it right. Imagine how a grower finds a house to operate in. Is it possible that they lie to the landlord? Use a front? Victimize not only the landlord but the front as well?

    What about the landlord being in cahoots with the grower, or the grower buying the house to use as a cultivation site and a money laundering opportunity? I think there is a simple solution. Charge the grower with damage to the landlord’s property in addition to the crime of growing. Put the landlord on the witness stand as a witness for the prosecution, and wathc the real story come out.

    In my experience crown counsel wants nothing to do with protecting the rights of an innocent and victimized landlord. They’re quite content to let municipal authorites punish the taxpayer while the grower gets very light punishment.

    Should we, as Growbuster suggests, take the house and contents and use them to fund more police? Prove the owner is guilty and by all means punish him. As far as I know we don;t do that under the current system. Right now, however, the owner gets punished simply for being the owner. Not fair.

  38. GrowBuster

    I agree with Rob. I guess I did not word my original post correctly.

    If the grower owns the house, take the house away.

    If the grower rents the house, and the grower and renter know each other (eg. Are working together to grow pot), take the house away.

    If the grower rents the house, and the grower and renter do NOT know each other, fine the grower (which is hard to do, because the grower is no where to be found).

    I think they are slowly taking houses away if the grower owns the house (you can google growop and find several examples).

    Two of my relatives had growops in their places that they rented out.
    One in a house.

    One in a condo in downtown!!!
    The one done in the condo was pretty descretely. My cousin even went inside the condo to collect rent monthly. They only used the bedrooms to grow, but one would never know unless you went into the bedrooms!!! They got caught due to the strata finding water leakage.
    My cousin was not too impressed. He got charged with fines and repair bills and nothing happened to the growers. The only way my cousin could have found the growops, is if he inspected the bedrooms each month, which is VERY hard to do…

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