I spent the weekend in Ucluelet, hence the new photo on the masthead. It was great to get away.
I was surprised by the development there. On the one hand it seems as if the classic paving of paradise is well underway. On the other hand, if I compare it to Cabo San Lucas or Maui it doesn’t seem as if development is progressing as fast as I would have expected. There are still deer on the main streets. I couldn’t find a place to get bacon and eggs Monday morning, and ended up driving to Tofino.
Maybe I’m passing judgement too early; I’m sure that the influx of people next year will make a huge difference in infrastructure and services. There are several closed businesses, including both traditional industrial suppliers as well as a few restaurants. By next year there will be a new, huge, functioning hotel with cottages, and many more houses. Over the next several years a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course will come on stream as well. If its all a success they’ll have to widen the surf highway.
I was also surpised with the quality of comments over the weekend. They are really going downhill.
We live in interesting times. The dollar is at par. The implications of that are huge. A short month ago we expected increased interest rates. Does anyone forsee those now? What impact will inflation have on real estate values? Will the rising dollar continue? Will that lead to Canadian recession, nationwide, or do we really have a fractured economy? Will the Canadian dollar be devalued, leading to inflation? We’ve heard the arguments that the dollar should trade around 85 cents. What impact does the dollar’s value have on Vancouver real estate?
We often read comments here about how much real estate should cost, and how that should relate to what the average person or family earns. I read an interesting story this morning in the Post about how much you have to make to get to the top of the heap. Apparently $89k per year is enough to get you into the top 5% of all wage earners. The mainstream story is that middle class wage earners are losing ground while the rich get richer. I guess some would conclude that government isn’t doing enough redistribution. However, the story also points out that high income Canadians are paying a growing share of personal income taxes, so its not as if they’re being ignored. I think they’re just responding to the challenge better (which makes some sense – after all, if you own a small business you’ve got more control over how much money you make, while if you work for any business you simply don’t have the same options). It seems clear that 10% of all taxpayers pay more than 50% of all income tax (even the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives doesn’t dispute those numbers), and while some would argue that they should pay more, I don’t think many would argue that the 10% use that many more services. Is there an argument to be made that we’re all over-taxed? That decades of prosperity haven’t really paid for most Canadians? That if an annual wage that’s roughly equivalant to the cost of two pick-ups puts you in the top 5%, then maybe someone isn’t paying attention to opportunity development?
And now the numbers:
Friday we saw 348 new listings and 140 sales for a sell/list of 40.23%.
Monday we saw 231 new listings and 143 sales for a sell/list of 61.90%.
Today we saw 215 new listings and 168 sales for a sell/list of 78.14%.
Over 90s hit 2,758, which is 24.0% of the total inventory of 11,489.