Abbreviated Friday Numbers

296 new listings Friday and 178 sales, for a sell/list of 60.14%.  There were 112 price changes.  My apologies for the truncated report, but I’ve just been too busy to spend time blogging.

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35 Comments

Filed under Daily Numbers

35 responses to “Abbreviated Friday Numbers

  1. jim

    The sell list ratio is in decline? Maybe we will follow the US into a housing recession? Just like every other time. Who’d a thunk it?
    Quick!! Skeptic- post downtown San Fran stats before the bears go nuts.

  2. jim

    Domus! Get those Florida stats up. Stat!

  3. Domus

    Rob,

    what’s the updated inventory number?

  4. tqn

    “My apologies for the truncated report, but I’ve just been too busy to spend time blogging.” Rob said.

  5. Domus

    Hey tqn,

    are you Rob’s girlfriend? I asked him, not you though……

  6. millionpitfall

    Jim,

    Economics 101 has flown out the window.

  7. Domus

    Economics 101 is well and sound……and about to hit Vancouver…..

  8. ryan

    Two days in a row with truncated reports? i hope rob is doing alright. Rob if you’re going though any sort of personal crises I wish you well.

  9. millionpitfall

    Domus,

    Refering to the psychology of the masses.

  10. Domus

    Little recap about the world:

    1) Chinese stock market is at 4000 points; it was at 1000 points 2 years ago;

    2) Worrying signs on house prices in: Ireland, Spain, USA. Beginning of bubble collapse in the UK.

    3) General tightening of monetary policy in: Australia, New Zealand, UK, Euro area, China. Possibility of tighter monetary policy in Canada, USA.

    4) Immigration to Vancouver at historical lows (see Sauder’s website): it was at 40,000 people per year in the past 15 years; it is now at about 10,000 per year. Lowest ever recorded since the 70s, if I am not mistaken.

    Hmmm, I really wonder where house prices are going to be heading in the next few years.

  11. blueskies

    anecdotal info:

    went to an open house this weekend, condo back on the market after being sold….
    subject of bank financing could not be removed because bank refused to fund the mortgage.

    so I innocently asked the realtor if the banks had recently tightened their lending standards …

    the answer was an emphatic “yes”

    hmmm?
    gettin’ innerstin’

  12. ryan

    Makes me think…. The minute interest rates go up the people will know the banks are reducing money supply. So how do you hide it? Keep interest rates at historic lows but lend to fewer and fewer people as your criteria for lending goes up. Same effect as increasing interest rates but much more stealthy.

    While some are worried about hyperinflation, I think deflation is guaranteed in the 3 year time horizon.

  13. jim

    blueskies:I can tell you that for sure lending standards have been tightened. I am in the middle of it right now, and while it will be no problem to do what I want to do-it’s taken 12 working days versus 4 days last spring, to get approvals. And in a hot, multiple offer environment, that is onerous.

  14. Skeptic

    Jim, the bears don’t need my help, they’re already nuts.

    Domus, your point 4 talks about immigration, the Sauder data is population growth, not immigration (http://cuer.sauder.ubc.ca/cma/data/Population/population-pctgrowth-vancouver.pdf). The immigration numbers actually look fine (http://cuer.sauder.ubc.ca/cma/data/Migration-Immigration/intl-migration.xls)

    My point ? The international migrants (immigrants) are the ones coming with bags of money to buy real estate.

  15. hades_ibex

    Hello. Two questions: 1) What does “over 90s” mean? 2) Does the inventory number include these condo projects where they have their own sales staff? Thx.

  16. robchipman

    Ryan:

    Memorial Cup, house reno, flooded office, and oh yeah, my actual business. Does that equal a personal crisis? Probably not. Can I make use of your good wishes? Absolutely! Keep ’em coming.

    Jim:

    If its getting harder to get financing I only notice it slightly (and I mean very slightly), as in, not super easy to borrow more than you can service based on income (i.e., the equity gift loan). Not super easy. Still possible. That seems lose to me. (Is that good or bad? You tell me. I have my opinion, and you can probably guess it).

  17. Harvesting Time

    High housing price and strong currency make international investors dump more properties.

    It is the best time to harvest their corps.

  18. wise_investor

    No offense Rob but to state the obvious your “blog” is an MLS stat service which provides a forum for a handful of commentators who spend much of their time looking for that one market and/or economic indicator which will once and for all determine whether someone is wise or foolish to buy real estate in the lower mainland. Does any real healthy debate exist on this subject (or this site) anymore? Hardly. Perhaps these “commentators” can state whether they own a house or rent, IRR since 2000, and what their real estate investment plan is for the next 1, 2, 3 and 5 year time horizons. That would make things interesting.

  19. coco

    Bulls and bears are golden to Rob, depending on what real estate cycle we are in at the time.

    Bulls can say bears are crazy, because they don’t follow the masses. Bears can say bulls are crazy because they follow the masses. The bull is not going to convince the bear to buy in a peak market. The bear is not going to convince the bull to buy when the market is in a slump.

  20. robchipman

    wise investor:

    Personally, I’d rather this blog’s audience debated something else. As Jim said when this was posted: “Quick!! Skeptic- post downtown San Fran stats before the bears go nuts…Domus! Get those Florida stats up. Stat!” Most times its the same old same old.

    However, if I post something on agency, for example, it gets very little action. It seems to me that anyone wanting to begin investing in real estate should get very familiar with the role of the Realtor, and with the basics of agency. If I post a link to another blog’s take on Redfin or discount brokerages, again, not much action. Highlight the growth chasing approach of an investor? Not much action.

    The stats are relatively easy to post. I look at them everyday, and it doesn’t take a lot of extra time to massage the numbers and post them. People seem to like them, so I do it. But you are right – post a low sell/list and we hear “See, its changing”. Post a high sell/list and we hear “Hey, look at San Diego!” The repetition is not particularly reinforcing to the blogger. However, people seem to like doing it, so I’ll probably keep posting.

    I would prefer, to be honest, to hear some input and discussion (not debate, necessarily, because that tends to imply that one side is right and the other wrong) about different approaches to real estate investment.

    The fact is that real estate is a great investment that has treated many, many people very well. Everyone buys real estate, really, even those who rent. Investing in it is like a business: you need to be able to make money at it at prevailing prices. This has been hard to do in the past, and is harder to do now, but its still possible.

    Coco:

    I don’t think you could be more mistaken. Bulls and bears didn’t exist for me until I discovered VHB’s blog. They don’t actually factor much into my real life investment experience. I certainly don’t convince anyone to buy or to sell. My clients make up their own minds. I help them once they’ve done that.

  21. Domus

    Skeptic,

    do these numbers (straight off Sauder) look fine to you?

    Quarter GVRD Pop Difference YOY Growth
    2005.1 2,181,583 10,395 1.92%
    2005.2 2,192,406 10,824 1.98%
    2005.3 2,203,719 11,313 2.06%
    2005.4 2,215,866 12,147 2.20%
    2006.1 2,229,449 13,582 2.19%
    2006.2 2,231,574 2,125 1.79%
    2006.3 2,233,952 2,378 1.37%
    2006.4 2,236,938 2,986 0.95%

    Growth is halved with respect to 2 years ago.
    In takes a year for 10,000 people to arrive, it used to be a quarter.

    If you compare to the mid 90s, then it is even worse. These rates are growth are almost zero. We could see negative by the Fall.

    Talking to people in the rest of Canada I have the impression the rest of the country thinks we are a bunch of nutters, worse that China.

  22. wise_investor

    Thanks Rob; I greatly appreciate the numbers you post and hope to be able to contribute to some good “discussion” about different approaches to real estate investment in the future. We live in a unique city and province which have already and continue to undergo a transformation of epic proportions. Some neat topics for blog posts could include:

    Property characteristics which would allow a purchaser to “improve value” vs. relying solely market exposure.

    Pitfalls to look out for in properties that would be affected more negatively in a downturn or buyers market.

    The basics of forming joint-ventures or limited partnerships to purchase real estate.

  23. jim

    wise_investor: Ok. Why don’t you start? I will follow.

  24. jim

    rob: Its not harder to get financing, just taking more time.

  25. CheapMan

    Bears: Please, do not go nuts after seeing todays numbers.

  26. Craig

    wise_investor, I will take up your suggestion. in particular, I am interested in discussing what pitfalls will cause certain properties to lose more value in a downturn.

    I think there are some areas that are traditionally hard to sell that will suffer disproportionally when it turns.

    properties in poor locations have been selling at comparable prices for the past few years, in my view. i have friends who just bought in north van, across the street from the highway (the look out their front window onto the highway). given the other characteristics of the property, the price they paid, while less, was still near comparable to properties with better locations. in a slower market, i think their property takes a much bigger hit than a property in a particularly desireable location (like Edgemont Village).

  27. Q

    I am unsure where to ask this question. I have been patiently watching housing prices when just today my landlord decided to up our rent starting in September from 1500 to 1700 dollars. I am not a lawyer but are rent increases not regulated to 4% or so a year? I hope I am not asking this question in the wrong forum.

    Q

  28. robchipman

    Rents are restricted and the landlord can only raise the rent once per year by 4%. He has to do it on a prescribed form and serve notice according to specific rules three months in advance.

    Go to the Residential Tenancy Branch website for more info.

    You’re faced with a simple choice: tell the landlord his rights and obligations, and hope he doesn’t choose a path that hurts you (i.e., sells). Chances are that he won’t sell, but low returns on investment can prompt him to do so.

  29. Skeptic

    Domus, you’ve missed the point, go back and re-read my post and click on the second link.

    Rob, I’d like to hear more about your reno and please post lots of pictures. Everyone I know is renovating at the moment.

    Craig, you are spot on, some poorly located properties are getting prices that they wouldn’t otherwise. Edgemont Village is a whole different ball game, the standard procedure there is to tack on $100k to that asking price if you want the property.

  30. ObserverX

    Q: you don’t happen to be in a certain building on W. 16th, do you? That’s what’s happened to us today and we’re trying to figure out how to deal with it.

    Rob: what do you mean the landlord does something to hurt us? even if he sells, it’s not something that happens over night and he’s got to get those leases signed doesn’t he? my gut feeling is that he’s trying to get in these ridiculous increases to make it more attractive for him to sell.

  31. ObserverX

    … more attractive to buyers is what i meant.

  32. robchipman

    If returns aren’t good enough (and many argue that renters get a great deal and are subsidized by landlords who apparently can’t add 2+2), then the landlord will sell/renovate. That’s largely a last case/worst case scenario, but it means that the tenant has to go to the open market. Even with the one month rent payment the tenant loses ground.

    You’re right that he may be trying to up rent to make a sale more attractive, however, increased rent makes a property more worthwhile to hold, as far as I’m concerned.

  33. ObserverX

    I’ve just spoken to the landlord. He claims that because we are on 1-year fixed term leases (and always have been), rent controls do not apply. He claims that he has verified this with the RTO. Is this true???

  34. robchipman

    If each lease is a new one, then he’s right. However, simply saying the lease has a 12 month term does not make it a term certain lease.

    In my experience the information officers at the RTB end to give you the answer tht you’re looking for, largely because they base it on the information that they are given. As a result the landlord and tenant can both call about the same issue and find that the RTA supports their position. Without actually seeing the document the RTB officer can’t clearly decide (again, JMHO).

  35. ObserverX

    Hmmm, I never thought it would be this subtle — certainly the print of the Residential Tenancy Act doesn’t make such fine distinctions. Looks like it needs to be revised.

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