Friday there were 322 new listings and 169 sales, for a sell/list of 52.48%. Inventory was 11,754, while over 90s were 2,674, or 22.75%. There were 155 price changes.
Of the price changes 12, or 7.74%, were increases. The biggest increase was 17%, or $167,000. The biggest decrease was 16%, or $199,600. The largest number of price decreases in my target area were in Surrey (21%). Average original list price was $616,921, while average new list price was $601,921, a difference of $15,000, or 2.81%. Average DOM to price change were 53.
Of the sale, 52, or 30.77%, were over list price. 20 were in Van West, 10 were East Van, 3 were in Richmond, 1 in Pitt Meadows, 10 in North Van, 2 in Maple Ridge, 1 in Coquitlam, 3 in Burnaby and 2 in Surrey. Average list price was $580,157, while average sale price was $572,439, a difference of $7,718, or 1.27%. Average DOM was 38.
Thursday there were 332 and 149, for a sell/list of 44.88%.
Wednesday there were 287 and 121, for a sell/list of 42,16%.
What can we conclude from those numbers, aside from grow ops fuelling our economy, prices dropping, expired listings simply re-listing, affordability limits being reached, mortgages being hard to acquire, etc?
-Inventory is remaining lower than most people thought. Predictions of 13,000+ weren’t uncommon a few months ago, and predictions of reduced inventory were rare. Inventory has behaved differently that most imagined. MOI is down.
-DOM is still very low. Well priced stuff sells.
-Over 90s are higher than we’ve usually seen, but not by much. If we combine that number with the recently common low sell/list I think we need to conclude that more sellers are leaving the market these days without selling. They’re just taking the balls and going home.
-Mortgage rates haven’t really jumped much since the big spalsh of the credit crunch. Could that be due to the fact that real mortgages (as opposed to non triple-A ABCP, or sub-prime mortgages) are pretty safe debt vehicles? There’s certainly food for thought there.
-Property is still selling for within 2% of its list price.
The past week saw some interesting themes emerge from the comments section. One concerned development in Ucluelet. I remarked that development in Ucluelet hadn’t progressed as quickly as I would have expected, and certainly not as quickly as I’ve seen it occur in Maui or Cabo.
VHB wasn’t surprised at all, and based that on climate- Maui and Cabo warm, Ucluelet, not so much. I’m not sure I agree with VHB. I think development is fuelled by income streams (real or potential), and that while those can be influenced by warm weather they can also be influenced by other things. Obviously, I think Ucluelet/Long Beach/Tofino have those other things, or else I wouldn’t go there. Others share my perspective on that, because they’ve invested heavily (there’s a large hotel/cottage combo under construction, as well as a large golf course/hotel/housing development). Whether VHB is closer to the mark than I am will be revealed in the fullness of time. It is an interesting idea though: if we exclude ski resorts, is it safe to say that warm resort destinations do much better than…”not warm” destinations?
Some people saw my comment on the pace of Ucluelet development as an attempt to spin the market. Everyone can always find what they’re looking for, but its interesting to spin an essentially negative comment (development is not progressing fast) as a positive one.
Regaardless, I think Ucluelet is an interesting case study. It has a restricted land base. A high proportion of it is waterfront. It offers lots of outdoor activities. It is stunningly beautiful. Great views are common. Developers with deep pockets are present, and active. You can get waterfront, near town, with an island thrown in, for what you might pay for an old house on the Westside.
But I had a hard time finding bacon and eggs Monday morning, or Sudafed on Sunday.
Are there comparisons to the Whistler experience? Is this the “next” place? Am I being impatient, and will development blossom next year, when the hotel is finished? Are the large developers making a timing error? Or is timing less important to them?
(BTW, I think it should be obvious that I’d be happier if development didn’t happen – that’s what “pave paradise” means. If Ucluelet/Long Beach/Tofino becomes another Whistler, why would the majority of people who go there now keep going?)
Days on Market was another theme that emerged from comments. Some argue that access to the information is restricted, and there is much confusion. Let’s deal with the perception that DOM is a powerful piece of negotiating information. It is, of course, important information, but is it powerful? Friday’s stats indicate that listings that change prices wait, on average, 53 days to change price. Friday sales occurred after an average of 38 days. Average sales price was less than average new list price. We know that some potential sellers are motivated more by price than by time. I can tell you that, based on Friday’s sales, two over lists were on the market over 170 days. Only 4 of the underlists took over 170 days. 2 of 52 vs 4 of 117. Some might argue that DOM is not a powerful issue. Many sellers are willing to sacrifice time for price.
Be that as it may, a buyer may still want DOM info. The fact is that it is available to an interested buyer. Its just not available to everyone, for free. I explained that I thought this was a function of privacy legislation. To be more precise its probably the Board’s approach to not running afoul of privacy legisaltion. I can’t point out what actual part of the legislation applies (I’m no lawyer) but it is an issue as far as I understand things, and it doesn’t just apply to DOM. It also applies, for example, to sales prices, which can’t be publicised prior to it being released through a government registry (in other words, not upon subject removal, not upon completion, not upon registration, but upon release by BC Assesment – that could be months after the sale). This is based on the Board’s position, supported by the Office of Information and Privacy Commission, that the info is personal and private, and belongs to the principals to the transaction (buyer and seller). However, Realtors can disclose non-subject and reported, (but not yet completed) sales prices if we have a legitimate business reason to do so.
We can, in other words, disclose some personal information (sales prices, DOM) in a CMA, for example, if we have a legitimate reason. CMAs are given to goth buyers and sellers without obligation. You can get the info from a Realtor without having to use that Realtor in the transaction. We really don’t restrict access to the info. We just try to stay on the right side of privacy legislation.
Aggregate DOM info for any particular area is also available through Realtors. Because aggregate info is less private its easier to publicise. All you need is someone willing to make the investment of time, energy and money.
Neither CREA nor BCREA collect any of this info. They have access to it, but it is collected and maintained by the Board.
The old idea that the seller pays the commission was floated as well. Generally speaking this is inaccurate. If a seller opted to use a system called sub-agency then, indeed, the seller would be paying the commission. However, under agency law its more accurate to say that the commission is transaction driven, and that both buyer and seller must consent to it. There are important differences between sub-agency and agency, and 99% of all real estate transactions in BC are conducted under agency. The seller pays the seller’s agent, and the buyer pays the buyer’s agent, through a transaction driven commission (the seller pays the commission with money the buyer gives him). A quick review of the Blue Agency Brochure will speak to both who pays the commission, what agency duties are owed by who to whom, as well as privacy legislation issues.