Catch Up Numbers

Sorry, all, but its been extremely busy.  Furniture delivered to the office (the result of that flood damage), temporary help at the front end (my regular admin assistant is leaving to go to Emily Carr ;-), the reno is demanding (I’m putting on the siding, and it looks great), and then, of course, there’s the regular business.

If you’ve been waiting for the daily numbers in order to make a decision, don’t worry.  Real estate moves more slowly than the TSX.  And if you get really antsy, remember, you can always just pick up the phone and give me a call.  And so, to the numbers:

 Tuesday saw 287 new listings and 77 sales, for a sell/list of 26.83%.  That’s pretty low.  In fact, since I’ve been maintaining this spreadsheet its only gone lower once – January 5, this year, 26.35%.  Other notable lows? October 18, ’06 – 26.91%, and May 11, ’07 – 27.03%.  Rolling sell/lists in those days hit the 40s and even the high 30 percentiles.

Wednesday we saw 219 new listings and 187 sales, for a sell/list of 85.39% 

Today we had 267 new listings and 157 sales  for a selllist of 58.80%.  The 14 day rolling sell list has fallen from a high on the 8th of 94.33% to 79.06% today.  Over 90s have risen, reaching 2,417, but inventory is still lagging, only increasing to 11,309. 

Will it start a panic (or a chorus of hurrays) if I say we’ve seen our own, in-office mini-jump in listings and price reductions?  To be fair we’ve actually still got more buyers than listings (and so low inventory makes sense to me). 

For people a little confused by the sub-prime issue, today’s National Post had a solid primer on it.

The Post also had an interesting article on, well,  monkeys and masterpieces.  I long ago heard someone say that given enough time and enough typewriters a chimpanzee could reproduce all the great works of English literature.  It makes sense, given enough time.  The actual theory belongs to T.H. Huxley, a 19th century evolutionary biologist, and grandfather of Aldous Huxley, of “Brave New World” fame.   Of course, Huxley theorized pre-internet.  Andrew Keen wrties in the Post today that the internet has essentially given us enough typewriters and enough monkeys, and the result is, well, underwhelming.  Its a good read that I’m sure will spur some controversy (“the blind leading the blind”…? 🙂 )

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17 Comments

Filed under Daily Numbers, National Post

17 responses to “Catch Up Numbers

  1. mike

    Ok those numbers make more sense!

  2. fish

    The Fed just cut rates to stem the bleeding. The BOC may follow since they rarely do anything independant of the Fed.

    I doubt that will help US housing too much but may put a little more wind behind ours.

    I think we will see outright declines this year in Vancouver. YOY

    But my opinion and $4 gets you a expresso.

  3. WoW

    haha – mine too – I’d better cut back on those lattes!

  4. Concerto

    Rob, thanks for producing the numbers despite your challenges !

    Interesting year – middle of August and RE watchers seem to be still waiting for the summer slow down.

    What do people think SHOULD be happening about now ? Inventory should drop as people take properties off the market for the summer, with demand declining somewhat but not in proportion to the drop in inventory ? Thoughts anyone ?

  5. fish

    Correction to my previous post. The Fed cut the discount rate not the Fed funds.

  6. doubter

    David Letterman once pointed out that if you put a thousand monkeys in a room with a thousand typewriters, the stench would be unbelievable.

  7. coco

    Canadian inflation numbers due out soon. That number will also have an effect on what the BOC will do with interest rates.

    BOC was not quick to raise rates when the U.S. was raising theirs, so they will probably be slower to lower despite the market turmoil.

  8. coco

    On news…. it will take 16 months for all the subprime to work its way through the system.

  9. coco

    Countrywide draws on $11.5 billion credit to fund its operations. Line of credit provided by 40 banks. RBC and BMO believed to be involved, media has telephone calls into both banks and awaiting word.

    There has been a lot of talk that this U.S. mortgage company can still go into bankruptcy.

  10. unemployed

    The feds cut the discount window rate. This is not going to add anything to RE in the US or Canada. The feds dont care about the RE right now or Stocks they are trying to calm credit issues. This rate discount will help you if you hav excellent credit and only if you have excellent credit.

    The days of easy money are gone, long gone. This sub-prime deal is just at its infacy stage. We got another 14-16 months at $30b/mth to go. Housing is going to continue to crash and burn. IMO

  11. robchipman

    Coco:

    You’re correct about the 16 months. The funny thing (not funny “ha ha”) is that the sub-prime problem seems to hurt less where it started and more in the equities markets. Talk about unintended consequences. Note that many bears here have been saying “When the sub-prime news really hits the MSM then we’ll see RE tumble” – in fact now that the news has hit the MSM its the markets that are getting it in the ear (not that that damage isn’t felt on a wider front or that it won;t have fall out of its own).

  12. crasher

    Rob,
    Do you really think anyone would expect the RE market to react that fast to a global emergency crisis? You explained very recently and accurately that stock markets are much more liquid and can therefore react instantly such situations.

    coco,
    Investors who are seriously tuned into financial markets have long come to realize that any action by the BOC is totally meaningless, as it only can only react to the real trendsetter, the US Fed, to maintain a currency balance. It has no clout whatsoever to dictate the private sector or the economy.

    It should be noted that Fed only lowered the discount rate today, and not the more significant target setting Fed funds rate. It is very common to drop the discount rate as an emergency move to global financial upheavels. It seldom affects long term rate trends in the private sector. Bond yields, which are most sensitive vehicle to sudden changes shrugged off today’s move with no reaction at all.

  13. robchipman

    Crasher:

    No, I don’t think real estate will react overnight to things the way the stock market does. RE can react quickly, granted, but I think the stock market will always move faster and with more volatility.

    Still, my point is that in past years the loan problem would be closely linked to the banks and the region; today that problem is worldwide and goes directly to the equity markets. I know that some people foresaw exactly this sort of outcome, because they understood how mortgages have been transformed into easily tradeable items, but I think its also fair to say that many commenters thought we’d see losses focussing on real estate values in overheated markets. Got any non-real estate blue chip stocks? They still got hit, right?

    In terms of what the central banks are doing, and how much it will influence things, I think the real story is that their participation is now getting a lot of ink. In the past it was generally limited to target inflation rates and interest rates. People speculated and waited for the rate announcements to bolster their arguments. Now we have central banks around the world taking action to respond to the credit crunch, and we have the MSM reporting on it. Whether you think the intervention is normal, good or bad doesn’t matter, I believe. The fact that it is the story of the day could be the pyschological trigger we’ve been expecting to see. We’ll see.

  14. coco

    BMO & RBC estimated to have given 250 million each to Countrywide. BMO refused comment, still waiting word from RBC.

    Mum seems to be the word on subprime exposure, except CIBC which admitted their amounts.

  15. robchipman

    coco:

    And people were happy that CIBC actually put a number on it. A big part of the problem is that the value of bad loans is hard to determine, hence the challenge in selling them.

  16. Contrarian

    Rob,

    I’ve just read the National Post article.

    Of all the usual supects currently being blamed i.e. Investment Banks, Central Banks, Ratings Agencies, Mortgage Companies, Realtors, etc, I find it a bit strange that the National Post would end the article by blaiming the CLINTON administration!

    I’ve been following the whole US mortgage fiasco since I started reading about Option ARM in 2005 and this is the first time I’ve heard Bill Clinton being blamed.

    The lawyers are going to have a field day with this current mess and those with the deepest pockets i.e. IBs and Ratings Agencies, will pay for creating and selling financial products ill-suited for those who bought them.

    Sorry National Post but leave the financial reporting to the FT, Bloomberg and WSJ.

    Next thing we’ll find out that Bill Clinton took the US into Iraq.

    With regards the Vancouver real estate market, I’ve been very surprised with its strength this Summer. This Fall will tell us whether we got an unexpected boost from pre-approvals jumping into the market due to interest rate fears or whether this market really is the RE equivalent of the Energizer Bunny.

  17. robchipman

    Contrarian:

    I didn’t think they blamed the Clinton Admin so much as invoke that the law of unintended consequences and apply it to the fair lending practices.

    But, hey, if you like I can probably figure out a way to blame Iraq on Clinton! 🙂

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