Wednesday Numbers

There were 326 new listings today and 184 sales, for a sell/list of 56.44%.  Of the sales 29,  or 15.76%, went over list.  8 of those were on the Westside. 7 were in East Van,  4 in Richmond, 1 in Port Coquitlam, 1 in New West, 3 in North Van, 2 in Maple Ridge, 1 in Burnaby and 2 in Surrey. 

Average list price of the sales was $556,758; average sales price was $547,450, a difference of $9,318, meaning the average sale went for 1.49% under list price. 18 properties went for list price. One property went for 21%($64,000) under list while the highest over list was 26% ($126,000) over .

There were 18 million dollar plus properties sold, with two over $2 million. Average days on market to sale was 39.

There were 70 apartments,  3 duplexes, 70 houses and 38 townhouses sold.

There were 108 price changes, of which 6, or 5.56%, were increases. The average original list price of price changes was $558,484; the average new price was $544,372, a difference of $14,112, meaning the average price change was -2.45%.  Average days on market to price change was 41 days.

Inventory in my target area rose  to 11,557, while over 90s rose  to 1,757, or 15.20%.

0.88% of all active listings in my target area had their prices reduced today.  The 14 day rolling sell/list was 62.88%.



Filed under Daily Numbers

44 responses to “Wednesday Numbers

  1. siri


  2. look around

    “There were 108 price changes, of which 6, or 5.56%, were increases”.
    This is smallest number i noticed recently

  3. chip

    Interesting. I track West and North Van, as well as Downtown, and I’ve seen inventory shrink significantly over the past couple days.

    But Chipman’s numbers in the last two days have shown inventory to be growing. I wonder where it’s happening.

  4. siri

    someone has to tell Victoria Real estate board for not telling the truth about prices..

    Real Estate Sales and Prices Increase in April
    May 1, 2007.Prices were strong because of over Million $$$ hoomes…

    Real estate sales remained strong throughout the Greater Victoria area in April while the sale of 28 single family homes over $1 million pushed the average price to a new record high. There were 898 sales through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, up 15% from the 780 sales in the same month a year ago. There were 833 sales in March of this year.

  5. siri

    Don’t we see the same happening in vancouver as well?

    So many Million $$$ houses being sold everyday…

  6. millionpitfall


    Very interesting to say the least. The average Joe thinks the market is going up because the million dollar home sales push up the median prices.

  7. Jim

    Simple math would say fewer buyers are paying more per transaction.
    Simple analysis is; people are geting priced out at some price points.
    Conclusion: as Rob says:” the best cure for high prices is high prices”.
    Result: the market is slowing and prices will adjust downward-(crystal ball time)-possibly a few months?Few years?

  8. wishiweremidas


    Where is inventory in the areas you track vs. this time last year?

  9. jojuchst

    Not only are there so many million $$$ houses being sold everyday but there seemed to be some bidding wars for some. Check out this posting:

    There is mention of illegit money might be involved. I just came across this article on the Province today:
    on fraudsters obtaining loads of merchandise using fake credit cards. Easy money. Why not splurge it on some expensive RE.

  10. robchipman

    Why do we even look at numbers if we’re just going to throw out speculative predictions? Surely we can do a little better.

    I report how many million dollar properties sell each day. In the area I track we don’t see that many, really. Last night we saw just under 10%, and Tuesday and Friday were also high, but generally we’re more like 5%.

    Sales slowing, inventory rising, panic imminent? The fact is that sales for April ’07 were very similar to April ’06. There was a bigger YOY drop between APril ’05 and April ’06 than between ’06 and ’07. Inventory is rising. Sales, YTD, are off a bit (-5.3% for houses, -2.9% for townhouses, -5.4% for apartments), but that hasn’t translated into price reductions, and coming off a record year those numbers don’t look to be panic inducing to me.

    We generally sell as many, or more, apartments as houses every day. The split in April ’07 was 40/18/41 apartment/townhouse/house. In April ’03 it was 37.5/15/47.5. Couldn’t we argue that we’re selling more in the lower price ranges now? That the high number of those low price sales are dragging average price down more than the $million+ sales are dragging them up?

  11. -A-

    That’s right no panic. Panic won’t set in until it’s too late.

    As a bear, I certainly hope there is no panic just yet, or a slowdown in building.

    The market is psychology driven and there are only about 25 of us bears in the whole of BC. So I don’t expect the party to end just yet, and it won’t unwind slowly

  12. Jim

    Prices are up. The average transaction price is up. So sales are slowing as people can’t or won’t pay the market price. So either people find more money, or sales keep slowing, or prices fall. Did I miss something?

  13. blueskies

    Are interest rates going up?
    According to this…. maybe……

    full article

  14. awum

    In the hottest sales month (May) of last year, in the first seven sales days there were 1323 sales in Rob’s area. In May of this year, it is 1473 sales. We’re averaging a good 10% more sales per day this year than last. At this rate, it’s close to May 2005, which was a historical high. You can’t take a “bear” read on those numbers without losing your credibility. Keep perspective!

    Over the same period, last year there were 1841 new listings, and this year 2164. We’re averaging a good 18% more listings per day this year than last. OK, now that’s a bear playground.

    My question (aside from my usual question, who the hell has this money and where did they get in from?): Why so many listings? The inventory rise has little to do with softer sales, so what is pushing so many sellers out in to the open? Profit taking? New construction? Inability to flip pre-sales?

  15. tufelhund

    also following north van single family homes since last july. would guesstimate that by july 21, 07 we will have more inventory than 06 and all are getting more expensive. not seeing much linger on the market unless a really questionable location or needing a bit too much effort.

    date – total homes under 550 / 600
    21/7 – 220
    25/07 – 222
    31/07 – 216
    01/08 – 211 9 / 26
    03/08 – 206 9 / 28
    08/08 – 201 7 / 22
    17/08 – 197 8 / 22
    21/08 – 215 9 / 26
    23/08 – 208 8 / 24
    28/08 – 220 6 / 21
    21/09 – 234 9 / 27
    06/10 – 246 11 / 28
    13/10 – 236 10 / 25
    22/10 – 253 11 / 29
    10/11 – 243 12 / 32
    16/11 – 228 10 / 32
    24/11 – 222 10 / 26
    30/11 – 214 12 / 27
    9 / 12 – 182 13 / 26
    22/12 – 145 9 / 22
    02 / 07 – 153 6 / 15
    02 / 22 – 162 7 / 16
    26 / 02 – 170 7 / 17
    03 / 03 – 158 7 / 16
    03 / 12 – 181 9 / 17
    03 / 14 – 164 7 / 13
    03 / 22 – 171 6 / 15
    04 / 11 – 173 6 / 12
    04 / 16 – 197 5 / 13
    04/ 28 – 204. 2 / 8
    04 / 05 – 213. 2 / 8
    10 / 05 – 211 2 / 6

  16. Jim

    awum: As always your posts are well reasoned and supported. What you are saying is you cannot look at stats in isolation. +18% in listings trumps +10% in sales. Right?
    Rob: How about this? An increase in listings will result in an increase in sales because of more selection irrespective of yet higher prices.

  17. robchipman


    You’re right that sales are slowing and prices are rising. People either won’t or can’t pay current prices, to some extent.

    The extent obviously isn’t great, at least as of yet. Sales YOY or YTD aren’t way off record pace. People have been finding more money, whether through inter-generational, longer amortization times or looser lending practices (which we all recognize, regardless of whether we think it is good on balance or not)

    Can we conclude that its the lower part of the market that is suffering? I think the numbers indicate otherwise (we’re selling more lower priced properties than in past years).

    Is it million dollar+ properties that are keeping the market going? Again, I don’t think so. We sell as many or more apartments as houses. Dollar volume and average price are effected by the expensive sales, true, but unit volume indicates lots of lower end sales.

    Jojuchst and Jack suggest some conclusions that strike me as a little far fetched (criminal activity and psychology are the determining factors).

    Maybe we should conclude that the average price is pushed up by a small number of million-dollar+ sales, but since 50% of all sales are still in the lower end of the market we know that a market fuelled by million dollar+ sales will have even higher average prices and lower percentages of apartment sales (i.e., 20% of sales are high end (million plus), and apartments make up 30% of sales.

    I might be interpreting the numbers incorrectly, which is why I share the thought process with you. I’m looking for a hypothesis that jives with the numbers, that’s all.

  18. Domus

    Interesting article at

    “Multi-million dollar homes that are not financed by ‘sub-prime’ credit, yet are seeing dropping prices since the beginning of 2007.”

    “Wealth and excellent credit have until now spared bedroom communities in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York’s Westchester County from declines in home prices. Now the tightening of credit in response to rising subprime defaults has disrupted the real estate food chain, bringing the national housing slump to Manhattan’s doorstep. Prices fell as much as 18.8 percent this year in 15 of the 24 areas in which data was collected.”

    “People who may have bought their first home may not be able to do so now, and that stops some of the movement”

    “Whales eat plankton. If the plankton disappears, what will happen to the whales?”

  19. jojuchst

    I think all of the above mentioned (inter-generational, longer amortization times or looser lending practices, illegit money, psychology) together contributes to supporting this round of raising RE prices.

  20. Domus

    inter-generational: parents won’t bankroll much longer. Valuations are such that their retirement savings might be in danger. Only option: take equity out of their appreciated homes. Risky, though…..push up prices with more debt……

    longer amortization times: this is interesting. To me an amortization longer than 30 years sounds like a crazy amount of interest to service the debt. In the first 10 to 15 years you would basically pay interest only. It is very much like renting, although they call it differently. Are you sure that it’s not better to rent for the next 5 years and see what happens

    looser lending practices: please see sub-prime meltdown down the border. Crash in many areas happened regardless of low unemployment, good earnings and strong economy. This is a killer.

    illegit money: this might be an explanation only if the illegit sector was growing. I have no idea about this one.

    psychology: please see builders’ and buyers’ psychology down the border. After that, compare to 12 months ago. Things change fast.
    The only ones who have not accepted it yet are the sellers. But if things do not change for another 6 months they will freak out big time.

  21. awum

    If it’s intergenerational wealth transfer that’s keeping this going, that drives prices into territory utterly out of touch of the unassisted buyer until such time as that fuel is used up as well.

    In fact, one of the the scariest ideas conceivable about the current RE boom is the idea that older folks are driving up the prices by helping their kids buy homes. If that is true (I’m not sure about that myself) imagine what happens when (a) that source of funds runs out, and (b) we see any kind of retreat from current highs in employment or softening economic conditions. A 1981/1982 repeat starts to look like a possible scenario.

    The fact is, whatever it is that continues to pump up the RE balloon simply can’t be without limit.

    When Rob says it’s very hard to find good metrics, I take that as meaning that the vast majority of housing purchases are not supportable as investments alone. It’s like when David Lereah says that the US RE market let things get out of touch with fundamentals. Now he says they are “paying for it.”

    Whoever is driving the market beyond fundamentals (whether it’s The Moms & Dads, The Hell’s Angels, The Amateur Speculators, The Chinese, The Koreans, The Albertans, VANOC, Bob Rennie…) doesn’t really matter. The market will pay for it in the end; it has to. The tap will stop running at some point. And the longer it runs, and the further prices go into la-la land, the more it will pay.

    By the way, before sales started to slow in Florida, they saw increases in listings too. I thought then that was because the prospect of turning a profit on rising real estate prices finally drew in more investors and speculators than there were buyers, and that’s what would bring it all down. Is that happening here?

  22. GrowBuster

    illegit money: BCHydro suspects about 18,000 growops in BC!!

    About parents helping. I personally have two friends that bought this year (first home buyers) whom required the help of their parents to purchase/finance the place.
    One bought a 600k townhouse in Richmond (Steveson Highway) and one bought a 550k condo on the westside (12th Ave).

  23. Noname

    Awum said – “Is that happening here?”

    Of course that’s what is happenning here, some are just still in denial because we haven’t quite yet run out of specuvestors…


  24. awum

    Holy crap… I missed this in the April FVREB stats: In April 2007, they had 51% higher inventory than April 2006.

    51%? In the US, 20-30% increases had everyone hitting the panic button.

    Our panic button must be stuck.

  25. -A-

    Panic button not yet activated, because everyone in Raincouver, thinks we are different up here because believe it or not, everyone actually has bought the Olympic hype and the fable that we are running out of land.

    Yes they actually believe we are running out of land when in fact the Fraser Valley is actually bigger than some countries, and we have a population in BC smaller than some cities which I lived in.

    Rob, this thing can pop anytime, and there won’t be much warning.

  26. jim

    Hypothesis: Its a global asset and real estate frenzy(bubble?) and its driven by excess liquidity. It will be curtaled by less liquidity-higher rates,tighter lending standards or by buyer exhaustion-affordability ceilings,boredom.
    The latter seems to have prevailed in the US not the former. It will happen inconsistantly around the world as to severity and timing. Local prognosticators always have the best reasons why:
    a.) our city will keep appreciating,or
    b.) we will experience a soft landing.

    They have typically(not always) been wrong; real estate booms beyond the mean revert to the mean.

  27. -A-

    Jim, rates haven’t gone up much,and yet the problems have begun in the US.

    In the 60’s and the 70’s politicians, abused the fiscal levers, and then came the 80’s.

    Since the last serious recession, they have been abusing both fiscal and monetary policy.

    The 80’s will look like a party, compared to the mess that lies ahead.

  28. Skeptic

    Domus: “Are you sure that it’s not better to rent for the next 5 years and see what happens”

    Hey Domus, just a thought….

    You rent, I’ll buy, lets chat in 5 years ? 🙂

    Lots of groupthink amongst the bears and negativity here.

  29. Jaymo

    Skeptic: Lots of groupthink amongst the bears and negativity here.

    Oh yeah, we had a colossal run up in RE prices in vancouver because of all of the independent minded, free-thinking bulls that went against the grain? Get serious.

  30. Priced Out

    I’ve been offered significant down-payment help from my parents. I told them that if they really want to give me money, put it in a GIC and I’ll buy later. Seriously.

    I’m not going to be like my buddy at work. He told me why he only eats no-name noodles for lunch every day. His condo and SUV are killing him financially. Every month he goes another $1000 deeper into debt, so he tells me. I suggest he sell both monsters, but he thinks he can find a much better paying job. I reminded him that this is Vancouver. Good luck with that.

  31. Skeptic

    We’re still going up. Read all about it here:

  32. crasher


    That’s history.
    For the Future, check out the article on

  33. Skeptic

    Interesting article. Looks like some pain there.

    Number of times Canada mentioned in article: zero (0)
    Number of times Vancouver mentioned in article: zero (0)

  34. jim

    Skeptic: Agreed prices are rising.
    Are sales off? Even slightly?
    Is inventory up YOY?
    Are those dichotomous stats?
    What’s it mean? Anomoly or market peak?
    Sekptic you are the most logical and fairly argued bull on all the local blogs. What do you do for a living? Real estate investng? Realtor? Recent home buyer?

  35. Peter

    I think most of the bears don’t get the point. This time will be different!

    I am interested to see the stats that exclude the million dollar listings.

  36. Paulb

    the trend is sky high listings and slower sales. Although still a sellers market the wheels are getting loose. Wait for todays numbers….

  37. siri

    Don’t trust these number either.

    How can we trust these people and Numbers ?

    Look at the govt…they are lying.Realtors are super liars.I know lots of realtors on this blog as well…And they will open their big mouth right after this post.

    One of the builder took Mayor’s of greater vancouver for a free trip to china..What’s free in this world??

    So everyone is working for these builders and agents…Govt. is benefitting from the taxes they get on real estate transactions and realtors get big cut too…And poor people,they will suffer.

  38. statistican

    I am a regular reader of the blog and comments, but I do not comment because I don’t know much about RE.

    But I do know a little about stats. When you add a value close to the average to your array of numbers, it has little impact on the average. For example, take the average of 2,4,6,8, the average is 5. Add a value close to the average (e.g. 4) to the original array and the new average is 4.8. Not very different.

    But, add a number far from the average (e.g. 20) to the original array, and the new average is 8. Therefore, the sale of even one more million dollar property on any given day affects the average, more than a myriad of sales that are close to the average.

    Yes, the number of million dollar sales drags the average sale price up.

  39. Domus


    what you are saying may be correct for Rob’s numbers.

    However, for the monthly figures provided by the REBGV your criticism does not apply: they are aware of the problem and correct the mean and median to control for outliers. The numbers they give are based on “representative” houses and apartments.

    Of course, the best measure is provided by the Case-Shiller index which is used in US metropolitan areas (proposed by the famous Professor Robert Shiller) who follow dwellings over time and registers transaction prices for them.
    That gives the best estimate of price changes over time.

    By the way, Professor Shiller defined Vancouver as the bubbliest RE market in North America.

  40. statistican

    Thanks Domus. I was only thinking of Rob’s numbers.

    I tend to generally agree with your comments and have learned a lot from reading all the comments.

    As an average person with little RE experience, it seems to be that the current market is not sustainable. It just doesn’t make any sense when one considers the average wage in Vancouver. Where do the buyers come from when FTBs can’t get in the market. Sooner or later, things will change. However, I understand the debate is about when, not whether, things will change.

  41. doseofreality

    “And poor people,they will suffer.”

    Maybe the vast majority of “poor” people are poor because they have a “whoa is me” attitude. Being in that frame of mind long enough makes people believe that society owes them everything…Maybe only a minority of “poor” people actually NEED help??? It’s the poverty pimps who ride the backs of the down and out for more and more handouts. Draining tax dollars that could be allocated to a million other deserving social programs!

  42. doseofreality

    What are the most vocal bears going to do once the market does fluctuate the other way? Dance in the streets? Throw little bear parties in front of first time buyers new homes???

    There is nothing to prove. All markets change. Real Estate is heavily publicized, so everybody seems to have an opinion. The ironic part is the uproar of the discontent, who have been calling for the crash for years while the RE markets have been steadily rising. Talk about cost opportunity! Fact of the matter is, if you have rented instead of purchasing, you have effectively pissed away X number of dollars every month. You get 0% return on that rent money. Sure hope you invested what ever money you “saved” by not buying!

    If you are really into timing markets, why don’t you jump on the next economic boom, instead of crying wolf after you miss it again. Can you say environment???

  43. Skeptic

    Hi Jim, ytd sales may be off a little, mtd are not. yoy inventory is up, not enough to affect price at this stage. There’s not enough data to say this upward trend has ended.

    Yes, I’ve got a little skin in the game and I’ve enjoyed some of the upward movement in prices. I’m not employed in the real estate sector.

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