Numbers update and more

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.

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98 Comments

Filed under agency, Daily Numbers, New Supply, Privacy

98 responses to “Numbers update and more

  1. paulb

    These are very bearish numbers. We will fly by 13k at this pace in October. Sales appear a lot lower.

  2. Strataman

    “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?”
    I really think most people are in the wait and see mode, or “deer in the headlights”. Which way to run is the question for bears and bulls. I have noticed with myself and others that mixed signals give cause for inaction which can be be both good or bad but nevertheless is a very human trait. Nobody knows what the increased Canadian dollar is going to do, nobody knows if the Fed’s interest cut has fixed anything beyond temporary, listing now could be bad if the market doesn’t continue upwards as it would cause relisting in the spring, and on the other hand listing now if the market continues up would be plain stupid as spring is much more lucrative. Result low inventory! 🙂

  3. $fromA$ia

    Inventory 11,700’s wow thats a quick rise in a short period of time.

    US fed cut probably to help the 2+ million foreclosures a chance to sell their neg. cash flow investments.

    US will raise rates prbably from now on, lets hope those that are not financially intelligent have learned and now know their limits. 😛

  4. Priced Out

    There is a new 154 unit condo building in New West with about 40 units on VOW. Significant price reductions ranging from about $10,000 to about $50,000. Its called The Point.

  5. david

    sorry Ucluelet not developing fast enough… can’t find breakfast.

    how about can’t find workers (ie low pay workers)

    have a friend that runs an Inn in Tofino, ask around, businesses are having a tough time in the ‘tough city’ finding and keeping employees.

    the true cost of pricing ‘normal’ people out.

  6. fish

    Rob

    Nice big analytical post.

    Actually I did mention in one of my comments to expect a drop in inventory as prices stabilise.

    Those who were just ‘testing’ the market with an outrageous price, pull them, and those who don’t really need to sell will wait for the next burst of buying ?Spring.

    I really do think the market has turned though. Not just from the numbers, but the anecdotal stuff. talking to realtors and developers and mortgage brokers.

    October will bring a huge number of sub-prime resets to the US market and I would expect bad housing head-lines again.

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  8. robchipman

    Fish:

    As I recall you were also on the right side of a CB call as well. I tend to agree that high inventory can be non-committed buyers, especially in a market that lacks other motivations (rising mortgage rates, dropping incomes, etc), and I think we’re seeing that. I’m not sure the market has turned, but I’m basing that on last year – we were way slower, as I recall.

    $froma$ia sees 11,700 as a bump in inventory – if we’re running a sell/list in the low 50% range, that means we should add about what, 100-150 per day to inventory. That hasn’t happened. Some sellers are leaving, clearly. 13k by October? Stop sampling the product, paulb!

    David:

    Good point, and something we’ve seen in a lot of resort developments. Its one of the things about Whistler that has helped both Squamish and Pemberton, but neither Tofino nor Ucluelet have non-resort alternate accomodation towns close by.

    On the other hand, I’d pay top dollar for the service – after all, a vacation is sort of a burn up your money exercise anyway. That justifies paying the help more. But, if there aren’t enough of me, the service business owner can’t take the gamble. Chicken and egg, right?

    That said, can we argue that “normal” people have been priced out of Tofino/Ucluelet? Staffing tourist businesses isn’t the traditional Tough City job. Fishing was and logging is. Without the tourist development you don’t need the extra accomodation, right? Again, chicken and egg, but you could argue that the same economy that prices some people out is what creates jobs for the same people. If real estate development in Ucluelet doesn’t work or pay, who needs a caddy, valet parker, short order cook or fishing guide? Why not just stay in the motel, go fishing with your cousin, buy cheap crab at the dock and thank God nobody else has found the place, right? Again, its the same old chicken and egg thing. We can complain about it, but its like complaining about the weather.

    I’m still curious: is the pace of development slow, but assured, or are the developers making a mistake?

  9. $fromA$ia

    Thanks Rob,

    Na’ 13k inventory in automn and winter, I don’t believe this. Next spring may bring about change.
    I don’t mind change, I prefer to buy when things calm down. People are throwing their money at just about anything. Being in the trades myself I got to say the pay is good but the value of my hourly wage to RE is a joke. If this is truly the city for the world to come to for a new life. HA! after the mortgage payment you can forget it.

    I am thinking the rich migrants might have to get a job in civic duties just to keep this city moving!!!

  10. DeeDub

    You know, if actual sales prices were dropping in an obvious manner, nobody would be wasting time trying to decipher about DOM and list price changes. This is like trying to divine the future with chicken bones and dice made from pigs knuckles. At the end of the day the only statistic that matters is the price you have to pay for a property you want.

    I see we’re back into the “wait ’til next spring!” type comments. This is, what, the third or fourth year running for that particular rallying call? Zzzzzz…..

    As for the Maui comparison – I had no problem with it. Not everybody wants to holiday in the sun – there are many forms of natural beauty and that part of the island has its kind of beauty in spades.

    If anything, it is considerably more unique than, say, the GVRD. 😉

  11. fish

    Dee Dub

    I am going to say something that most economists know (but few will admit openly!)

    The price statistics of housing are so unreliable as to be meaningless.

    Ok follow this arguments carefully>

    First the mix of housing that is selling is constantly changing…there may be more condos at one time, more town-hosues at another. New homes usually comjmand a premium to old homes as they don’t need renovating and have fancy new granite tops.

    So when you compare prices you ahev to compare the same thing. you have to account for the change in mix and the change in % resale v new.

    Then which price is the most telling median (half way up) or average. Both of these will be skewed in an early part of a hosuing recession. Why? Becauuse the low earners get hit first.

    This is exactly what happened in San Diego…the prices kept going up even while sales volumes dropped dramatically…and eventually the inventory ballooned.

    That would counter-intuitive except that the top end held up the longest, and is only now starting to fall.

    Stats show San Diego county based on a number of economic measures is right at recession numbers.

    OK so we get a ‘benchmark’ house/condo to try and keep the playing field level.

    But that isn’t even reliable. Look at it this way. When prices move up, hosuing speculators buy a house buy a house, tart it up with granite counters and a few new appliances, paint etc…cost $Y. They then sell the house for 4 times $Y.

    Big increase in benchmark though some of that went into up-grades.

    On the way down, the housing speculator will have still spent $Y, but this time he may only sell the house for an increase of $Y or maybe even less than that.

    HOWEVER the benchmarke will still show a rise in price even though the speculator has taken a loss and the real price has gone down.

    So you see it is very difficult to define what the exact price is, which we why we look over the chicken entrails.

  12. fish

    Sorry about the typos- kids at my elbow- pulling me to take them swimming.

  13. WoW

    This time its real.

  14. coco

    The increase in inventory doesn’t surprise me.
    We have seen people asking the moon, sun and stars for their properties and sooner or later we may reach the affordability breaking point.

    When you are pricing professionals out of the market and minimum wage can’t pay the rent or barely pay the rent, you might have a problem.

    As house prices head towards the one million mark, how many people are actually left to qualify to purchase these homes? As condo/townhouse strata fees rise to the $250.00 to $350.00 per month range, how many people can afford these payments on top of a mortgage?

    Has everyone finally overpriced their properties to death? I’m beginning to wonder.

  15. coco

    BEIJING – Central bank: China to further rein in credit growth

    (some mortgage recipients had cheated on their applications and invested their funds in the stock markets, which had more than doubled in value since the beginning of the year. Analysts believe a drop in the markets could result in more bad loans)

    Sounds familiar.

    http://tinyurl.com/2oqh5n

  16. coco

    Calgary – single family homes dropped by $32,000 to $473,154 in September from the record high of $505,920 set in July.

    Some flippers have had their properties on the market for three months with no offers and have lowered their prices two or three times.

    Looks like we are the only hold out now.

  17. coco

    One should add…. Calgary YOY prices are still up though.

  18. coco

    Goldman Sachs tip-toeing into the bear camp

    http://tinyurl.com/yv62be

  19. coco

    DR Horton (builder) bans media from San Diego condo auction

    http://tinyurl.com/2qb45h

  20. Jay

    Rob, thanks for the numbers.

    The weak U.S. $ is going to spell problems for the local retail business (in addition to industry). I don’t think I’ll buy much here while our $ is doing so well against the U.S. $. I have managed to get some sweet deals on electronics and will be buying another car from the U.S. Have to take advantage of the weak U.S. dollar!

    I think the downturn has begun for us. Anyone buying in these treacherous economic times must have some good resources or a big time gambler. Time to ride this storm.

  21. Anonymous

    Jay wrote:
    September 29th, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    “Having to buy another car from the US.”

    I have heard this from a few people at my workplace. Unless the local auto dealers drop their prices quickly to reflect the rise dollar parity, I think the local dealerships are going to theirs sales volume go down very soon.

  22. Snick

    Spin on, Spinmeister.

  23. Annon

    “coco,
    Goldman Sachs tip-toeing into the bear camp”

    This could be good news for US dollars, I think US dollar is too beaten partly because of model funds.

  24. doubter

    DeeDub writes, “if actual sales prices were dropping in an obvious manner, nobody would be wasting time” with all the bear arguments and points out that this is “the third or fourth year running” for speculation. Absolutely, but rather than “speculation,” at this point I would use a term more like “dreaming.” Jay says “I think the downturn has begun for us” but I look at the listings and everything is, once again, even more expensive than it was last month. Prices are not falling, folks: they’re STILL RISING, exactly and precisely as they have for years now.

    After all this time eagerly reading and subscribing to the bear arguments, in the last few months I’ve finally become ready to say it out loud:

    Vancouver Is Different.

    I simply don’t believe any more that prices will drop. I now believe that even thinking they will stabilize is nothing but wishful thinking. It should be blatantly obvious to any rational person that rational arguments about real estate prices make no difference in this city. I don’t know why, but the REASON really doesn’t make any difference to me. I am a well-paid professional and I can’t afford to buy even the bare minimum of what I need to live in any manner other than as a student, and I am way, way beyond that. Even if prices did fall 10% it would make no difference to me. But I really don’t believe any more that they will.

    I am starting to plan to move away from Vancouver.

  25. Annon

    Doubter, for sure your moving away will have negative impact on housing demand in Vancouver. All that silly rush to buying/upgrading houses will DECLINE. The market has been strong. It may well go up still but I am just going to wait, wait, and wait. And we will see who will have the last laugh. I am quite comfortable with my cash position and rate of saving. My family will be ok for many years if I should lose my job during a downturn. I know some of my co-workers can not afford to lose jobs and for sure they are under lots of stress and they don’t like bear talks. But who cares, it’s part of the cycle that will just come and go.

  26. doubter

    Annon, my moving away would have zero impact on housing demand in Vancouver, because I am priced out of the market: I can’t play.

    I now believe that the last laugh is going to belong to those who have already bought, and those who can still afford to. The rest will, as before, be waiting and waiting and waiting, as you say. And there won’t be much laughter if, when you’re finally right, you have reached the point at which a 25-year mortgage will take you past age 65.

  27. Priced Out

    doubter,

    If a “well-paid professional” can’t afford to play, the game is just about over. However, I understand the need to leave. Even if the downturn starts tomorrow, prices won’t be back in line for a few years. In the meantime, this city will see a lot of pain.

  28. Jay

    Doubter, can you show me where you’ve read prices are still increasing? I haven’t seen it but I haven’t been looking too closely. From what I see out there it seems like we’ve hit the top or near it. It’s visible outside of Vancouver proper but I have not thoroughly checked Vancouver. I’m sure Blueskies can bring out the good news!

    Anonymous, I have 1 friend and 2 relatives that have already bought cars from U.S. dealers. It’s not too difficult especially if you have the right connections. My friend saved over $20K on his Audi. I’m saving over $15K on my BMW. When the dollar is at par…

  29. Annon

    Not sure if the logics make sense:
    1. Someone says the housing boom is from local people
    2. People say the fundamentals do not support current housing price

    So if average people/family can not afford house and the buyers are all local, how do we get a housing boom so high? Let’s say I accept the boom the way it has been, where can it go in the long run considering 1 and 2?

    So I don’t think doubter needs to worry too much about moving and being priced out for now because even if you move, where do you see as a better place and also provides similar job stability for you, if any?

  30. Strataman

    doubter “I simply don’t believe any more that prices will drop. I now believe that even thinking they will stabilize is nothing but wishful thinking. ”
    Don’t believe that for one minute, I’ve been thru two of these booms and it will drop and a lot more then 10%. There is nothing local about this there is a worldwide housing bubble. Read some economic history and quit looking at msm but see what many experienced investors say. There were thousands of professionals like you in California two years ago, and they got frightened and bought. They will lose much more then they put down on there homes. London too will collapse, and Vancouver is differant only in that it is out of the mainstream of the world, the hinterlands so to speak. When the pony express gets here all hell will break loose!

  31. Popeye

    doubter, who are you kidding? You actually own a pad or two and just hyping the market. “…thou doth protest too much, methinks.” Shakespeare, Hamlet (III. ii, 239)

  32. $fromA$ia

    Nice chat guys.

    Rob will agree that theres a trough comming.

    I am sure we have gone past the upcomming correction value. 20% probably with 40 year ammort, 2010, and construction/eco boom.

  33. $fromA$ia

    priced in. i mean

  34. Marko

    Sadly, I am with Doubter. I too am a well paid professional but I am nearly 50 so I will never be able to pay off a mortgage before 65. Divorce and various other factors meant I was not in a position to buy in the late 90’s early 00’s. If prices were to drop 30% it would be a tough go even assuming I have no intetntion of paying off the mortgage but simply wanted the security of knowing I wouldn’t be kicked out by my landlord. I rent near Langara but on the “East” side. When 70 year old homes in need of repair and with only one bathroom are listed at $1,080,000 who cares if prices go down 10, 20 or 30%? I’d leave too but I have a great job and elderly parents who need me nearby.

  35. satv

    35,100 sales- $770,000 peak-2007

    rob,

    those false number listing numbers are accordingly as predicted.there will be 3% drop in sales this year number of sales will be 35,100 unit,but average price will countinue up this year.this year average price will peak at $770.000 for Greater Vancouver, and more up next year. I will write that later.Most of us don’t really know the exact listings because of subject removals so what is piled up here thats good for “bears” to enjoy foolish life.

  36. vanreal

    Houses in the suburbs are still relatively affordable and I think the valley is going to drop. Vancouver city is never going to drop. It is too desirable and too central. Also to those people buying cars in the US what about your warranty. I heard that a US warranty is invalid in canada. Does that mean that you have to take it back to the US to get it serviced? Just a question, as I am also considering a buy down there.

  37. Anonymous

    What is your plan if prices start to drop? Or they only keep going up and up in your books?

  38. Anonymous

    Above question for anyone who thinks real estate will continue to rise forever.

    Please state your case, wishful thinking is one thing and economic cycles are another.

    Recesssions, economic slow downs, happen, which in turn effects housing prices. Do you really think prosperity and good economic times will last forever? Have you ever lived through a recession, or is this something your parents and grandparents talked about and you don’t believe it will ever happen again? What is your age, occupation, the amount of real estate you own, etc? Enlighten us with some details who you are and why you think the way you do.

  39. ceejay

    Look , even the 89K crowd will have trouble coming up with 175K down for the dp on a typical Vancouver home. Buyers are people with inheritances. And where in Canada is there a greater supply of departing older relatives than the lower mainland? This is why perisistenly high and increasing prices haven’t shot down consumption in the “better” neighbourhoods. If granny leaves you 200K, I bet you are more likely to buy that 800K house than if you had to struggle and scrape it together yourself. And there seems to be enough grannies out there to keep the demand up.

  40. blueskies

    Vancouver city is never going to drop.

    Vanreal: I just knew you would pop up here with this kind of nonsense.

    let’s see… a half million$ apt goes up to 1 million than doubles yet again to $2 million and then $4 million, next stop $8 million and then $16 million….. hmmm still buyers out there? OK next stop $32 million then the magic $64 million question…… OK satv has now been priced out…… the trouble with bulls is that they don’t watch where they step….

  41. bearette

    That POS North Van house at $1-plus mill with the shoddy workmanship that had the cupboards opening into the light fixtures was pulled off the market the other day — no sale. Workmen back on site to put more lipstick on the pig.

  42. coco

    Blueskies,

    If I recall from memory…. Vanreal lives in East Vancouver (housing sales are still good in that area) so maybe they believe sales in all areas are just as good as their area? He/she is only in their early twenties, so recessions and housing corrections maybe foreign words to them as they grew up in good economic times.

  43. coco

    Vanreal,

    How To Import A Car Into Canada From The United States

    http://tinyurl.com/34jb2q

    Some manufacturers/dealerships will honour warranties and others will not. (you will have to do your homework on this one)

  44. coco

    Here is the ICBC link to importing a vehicle

    http://tinyurl.com/5qemd

    (If it is too much of a headache to do it on your own, you can use an autobroker)

  45. Chooch

    Rob,

    Lets be honest and realistic. DOM may be considered private information which is the subject of a contract but it is not personal information such as a person’s age, SIN, health, etc. The reason it is not published on realtylink.org or any other publicly available site is because it is not in the interest of sellers. If you are using the standard form Multitple Listing Agreement, it is not a breach of the Agreement to publicly publish DOM information. Publishing DOM certainly isn’t contrary to any applicable privacy legislation.

    While it is technically correct to state that a buyer pays his realtor’s commission, the reality is that a seller funds the full payment under the listing agreement and the MLS system. We all know that the seller’s agent agrees to share the funding to pay the buyer’s agent’s commission. That’s the system. Making the technical argument is not very persuasive or honest. As a seller, funding commission to the tune of 7% on the first $100K and 3% on the balance, I would not be very happy if DOM was published. To say that it may not be important negotiating information is complete and utter nonsense.

    In my experience most realtors will tell you a selling price the minute that subjects are removed. I send them an email and they reply. I suppose the legitimate business decision is that I am a potential source of future commission. To suggest that realtor’s adhere to a high standard of privacy is laughable.

  46. coco

    Ceejay,

    I agree with you. But, I will add a couple more theories in addition to the inheritance factor.

    People who have owned and sold property/properties with enough gains to reinvest into the market at the current prices.

    Parents who help out with their kids with the downpayment.

  47. coco

    And….people who earn excellent coin.

  48. Chooch

    I believe coco is correct. Much of the current sfh market is being driven by people moving within the market. I know many such people. I also know a few people who have been helped out by their parents.

    I can tell you from very recent personal experience that certain lenders who previously funded multi-unit residential development have started to reduce their exposure. Also, if you speak with anyone in Toronto involved in real estate they are not bullish.

    It has been a great run….

  49. Anonymous

    “And….people who earn excellent coin.”

    Considering the above is someone without the afforementioned “inheritance” or “equity from sale of existing home” this income amount has got to be at least $89K +++

  50. REsteven

    Buying a car in the US is not as easy as you may think:

    “Canadian car-shoppers face roadblocks in U.S.”

    http://tinyurl.com/2y4foj

  51. robchipman

    Chooch:

    You’re factually wrong on the agency issue (who pays the commission is inextricably tied up with agency). Read the brochure or do some research. You’re still looking at things from a sub-agency POV. That generally does not apply any longer (it can, but its very rare). Its not a case of me being “technically” correct, but not honest or persuasive to say a buyer pays the buying agent’s commission. (BTW, let’s be clear: its not my job to persuade you of facts. I can share them with you, and you can accept or reject them. In fact, under agency, commissions are transaction driven rather than paid by the seller. That distinction is important, and I’m not sure you understand it. Its not really an opinion issue).

    Regarding release of private information, you’re confusing your opinion on what is and isn’t counter to legislation with what actually is or isn’t counter to legislation. It makes for interesting debate, but in the final analysis there’s only one opinion that matters on any legislation: the opinion of the body that enforces the legislation. From the Board’s POV its more important to stay on the right side of the Privacy Commissioner than it is to promote their own reading of legislation (which you have the luxury of doing, not having any dog in the fight, right?).

    You argue that DOM is not private and that releasing it without restriction isn’t counter to privacy laws. My counter position is simple: I don’t know it for a fact, but I suspect that it is privacy concerns that keeps DOM off public platforms. I arrrive at this conclusion because DOMs turn up in the same places as other info that I know is privacy protected (sale price, for example), and I know I can release information found on those platforms to an interested buyer on the same basis (i.e., I need to have a credible business reason to do so).

    Who’s right? In law, I don’t know. I know that the Board has guidelines, created after consultation with Board lawyers and the Province’s Privacy office, that are supposed to keep us on the right side of the line. You may not believe that reason. In fact, you say that the Board keeps the info private in order to benefit sellers and disadvantage buyers. That’s a flawed argument. The Board has an ethical regulation that all parties to a transaction are dealt with fairly (hard to argue its fair to deny one party information that’s widely available). Buyers do indeed have access to the information (and I don’t think you even dispute this). Agency law pretty much requires that a buyer agent provide the info to a buyer if it is important to the buyer’s decision making process. The Board has a way that it feels is legal that allows it to share the info. Your complaint that the information is restricted is really without merit. Its may not be available on Realtylink, but is is easily available.

    You may be right that it is not a breach of the listing contract to share DOM (may be right, because, again, unless you’re an judge your opinion on what is and isn’t a breach, like mine, has limited value). However, breaching a contract between an agent and a sellerisn’t the same as breaching privacy legislation. Arguing that a contract allows you to breach legislation is generally a poor defense, and in many cases is no defense at all. (You are correct that the MLS contract deals extensively with personal information and privacy, and we try to cover ourselves in every way imaginable, and also claim to acquire copyright of the seller’s personal and private information. 3 questions: why do we even try, when did we start, and how successful do you think we would be if we went to court? Privacy legislation is a bane of organized real estate).

    Realtors may tell you sales prices the minute subjects are removed. I won’t dispute that they do so. They may not be awre of it, but if they don’t have a credible business reason for doing so, they are breaking Board rules. Some Board rules exist specifically to help Realtors avoid breaking privacy legislation rules but still do as much business as they possibly can. Again, that’s just fact. If Realtors you know have a credible business reason to share sales price, they also have a credible reason to share DOM. If you can get sales prices easily, you can also get DOM easily. Just ask.

    If they don’t have a credible business reason for sharing the info they’re in potential trouble. The point of the credible business reason is that its required in order to a) supply the information to members of the public without b) running afoul of privacy legislation. Pretty simple.

    I guess, bottom line, I’m saying “Realtors don’t give the information out on Realtylink, but they do give it freely through other mediums, and I think we do this because we’re trying to abide by privacy legislation”. I don’t really see you arguing that the information is restricted; I see you arguing that we don’t publish it on Realtylink to benefit sellers. To make that argument you have to willfully ignore an awful lot of fact and interest.

    I’m glad you raise the issues, though. I think its important that people talk about them and understand them. Read the Blue Brochure and ask me a few questions from that and I’ll try to fill in any blanks that remain. I think you’re better off informing yourself a little more about an extremely complex subject before you dismiss explanations as dishonest or laughable. Start with the concept of agency vs. sub-agency, and bone up on the history of the change we underwent over the past 20 years. You’ll learn a ton.

    (BTW, I said “Some might argue that DOM is not a powerful issue”; that implies that others would argue that DOM is powerful. It depends an awful lot on the seller and the buyer, and the various particulars of the transaction. To say that it “may not” be important negotiating information is completely reasonable. Are you really incapable of imagining a situation where high DOM does not confer any power to a buyer?)

  52. doubter

    Priced Out writes “If a ‘well-paid professional’ can’t afford to play, the game is just about over.” This is merely one of those “logical” arguments that has been so for years and I see no evidence that the game is changing or even close to “over.” People–I don’t know who they are, where they come from, or how they became so filthy rich–are still buying and increasing prices. I now think that the “evidence” that people speak of on this blog and formerly on VHB is just wishful thinking. There’s some tiny evidence of a “peak” but the next month prices are up again.

    Jay, in terms of rising prices I’ve seen, nothing scientific, just looking at properties online and in REW. Square footage for money just seems to be going down and down and down.

    Annon, you ask “So if average people/family can not afford house and the buyers are all local, how do we get a housing boom so high?” This is the million dollar (ha!) question. I have never seen a satisfactory answer, and this is why I have started to believe that it is irrelevant for whatever reason.

    Where do I see as a better place and also provides similar job stability? Any of the other major Canadian cities. Take a look at prices in Montréal, for instance, and tell me you don’t feel like moving there when you see what you can get for the same price as a crummy condo in Surrey.

    Strataman: “I’ve been thru two of these booms and it will drop and a lot more then 10%.” Well yes, again, looking at historical charts it all makes perfect sense. It’s just that things have not changed and are not changing, and I heard these arguments (and bought into them) three, four years ago. I ridiculed msm as well, but when I read the other day that the ‘powers that be’ forecast a 10% increase for Vancouver home prices in 2008, I felt like I would be an utter fool if I disbelieved it for about the fifth straight year in a row. I think they will be found right.

    Popeye, I don’t own a square centimetre of real estate. I protest “too much” because I am sick and tired of having been a renter all my life. I’m really too old for it (mid-forties).

  53. Domus

    Rob,

    is it the rain and lack of outside activity or your posts are becoming larger and larger?
    Just kidding…….

  54. Strataman

    doubter “because I am sick and tired of having been a renter all my life. I’m really too old for it (mid-forties).” Heck! I was an owner all my life till now and I rent because I had a frickin habit of buying near the top! 🙂 Now I see people doing the same thing I did including using appreciation in housing to expand beyond their means. I know a lot of people that “own” places but couldn’t survive even two months of a job loss for ONE of them without going into default. They are not owners they are renting from the bank and deluded into thinking they have something. I did OWN two houses (100%) and then was stupid enough to upgrade in the 80’s bubble (which is minor compared to this one) with a big mortgage, interestingly my job dissappeared the same time the housing crashed. I never want to be in that position again. Don’t sweat it, bubbles tend to be anything from 3 years to 8 years, I would bet on this one popping now, 2010 will be a great time to buy as this bubble is world wide in housing (first time as far as I know). I see it starting right now actually as more units reach completion, and I meet more people who can’t despite good income even afford a 1 bedroom condo.

  55. coco

    Now that the dollar is just over par. What kind of house do you get you down south?

    Houston, Texas – 675k
    http://tinyurl.com/23zkk2

    Scottsdale, Arizona (otherwise known as snotsdale in Phoenix) – 749k
    http://tinyurl.com/yud2xj

    Las Vegas, Nevada – 649k
    http://tinyurl.com/yp9cc6

    La Quinta, Calfornia (suburb of Palm Springs)
    1.3 million (have to put something to compare to West Van/North Van properties)
    http://tinyurl.com/3xqcj5

    Blaine, Washington – 679k
    http://tinyurl.com/yquknt

    Bellingham, Washington – 429k
    http://tinyurl.com/3a3ltv

  56. coco

    I went to four opens in my neighbourhood today and it was very quiet. Got chatting to the realtors and here is what four different realtors said:

    I only had you and one other couple come through the house today.

    This house is needs to come down in price, but the owner doesn’t want to drop their price. I have tried and tried, but they won’t listen.

    If you price a house sharply, it will sell as there is buyers around. Buyers will not buy anything that is overpriced now.

    I don’t know why everyone decided to list their houses the last few days. Usually people are taking their homes off the market this time of year, not putting them up for sale.

  57. robchipman

    Domus:

    Its start and stop blog withdrawal 😉 I’m spending as much time as possible on my reno – I’ve been doing all the work myself this summer – and am at the rough in stage for plumbing, electric and HVAC. Other things take time as well, and sometimes the comments on the blog aren’t particularly motivating. Then, just when I’m ready to pull the plug, I sit down and read something interesting (Chooch’s view of agency and privacy, for examle). The best comments are ones that spur more discussion, as opposed to “The sky’s falling. Check out this link” for the umpteenth time.

  58. robchipman

    Strataman:

    “the 80’s bubble (which is minor compared to this one)…”

    It doubled in one year. One. And interest rates were huge. And we had a smaller, more exposed economy. How can you say the 80s bubble was minor compared to today’s market?

  59. robchipman

    Coco:

    “If you price a house sharply, it will sell as there is buyers around. Buyers will not buy anything that is overpriced now”.

    Arguably, that’s always true. Over-priced is relative. What you might call an over-priced listing is what I might call pushing the limit a little. Last year we were succesful at that more often. This year, not so much. However, did the guys who bought over-list last year pay too much? Probably not.

    High prices market wide, that are arguably not affordable or sustainable, do not make everything over-priced. Over-priced really has to be applied to an individual listing. However, if you look back in the blog, I was making the same comment 18 months ago (well priced stuff sells, over-priced stuff sits, buyers are well informed about value these days).

    The idea that people usually take their homes off the market at this time of year is definitely not solid. The whole Spring/fall up, winter/summer down idea is over valued, and you’re going counter to it anyway.

  60. Chooch

    Rob,

    Again, lets talk reality and practice. The Board’s Exclusive Buyer’s Agency Contract for buyer’s provides that the buyer’s realtor will advise the buyer of the total amount of remunerationn offered by the seller and the listing brokerage to be paid to the buyer’s brokerage for assisting in obtaining a buyer for that property. If any such money is available it is deducted from the amount payable by the buyer to his or her realtor. That’s also in the contract. In practice, under the MLS, there is always remuneration offered by the seller’s brokerage. Sometimes it is not the 3.255/1.1625 that the buyer’s agent would like, but there is always some remuneration. So, again, the commission payable to both selling and buying realtors is almost always entirely funded from the proceeds of sale received by the seller. That is reality. It is black and white. Yes, you can describe it as “transaction driven” but that does not change reality and practice.

    You say you speak of facts yet you speak in generalities of undisclosed policies and legal opinions. You admit the subject is complex and you refer me to the blue brochure? You my friend are the one in need of some education. Most of the information, including DOM information, collected by realtors is not personal information subject to protection. This is a link to a guide that may assist you in understanding the legislation: http://www.oipc.bc.ca/pdfs/private/a-_GUIDE_TO_PIPA(3rd_ed).pdf I suggest you read the definition of “personal information”. Information that is not “personal information” is not subject to the legislation and is therefore governed by contract. Did someone really tell you the Privacy Commissioner advised the Board that DOM, selling price and related information is “personal information”? Also, contractual terms drafted with the advice of good legal counsel will not contravene legislation. That may help explain why listing contracts provide for broad public disclosure of information provided by the seller.

    Realtors are in business. They don’t have to give out DOM information to the public if they don’t want to. My point is that it is proprietary information available to realtors and they can use that information to obtain buyer clients and negotiate on their behalf. Nothing wrong with that. Lets just be honest about it. Realtors do not owe any duty of care to the general public, only to their clients. That said, it is pretty easy to get realtors to disclose DOM, sale price, etc. Many reatlors have it available on their websites.

    Yes, of course, in some circumstances DOM information is not valuable. I want to see if someone while pay me $1.2M for my two bedroom bungalow in Marpole that I bought 4 years ago for $380K and rent out for $2,400 per month. I don’t really care if I sell and so a buyer knowing my property has been listed for 170 days makes no difference to the negotiation. I want $1.2M and that is that. I believe that is the exception and not the rule. I’m sure you can use your imagination and come up with an example of when it would lower a price by tens of thousands of dollars.

  61. albatrox

    I am back home (France) from my trip last week in Vancouver and here are some thoughts and impressions since last time I was there 4 years ago.

    1) Grow up supporting real estate is beyond any doubts. Many posters have provided the answers in previous posts but I would add that this industry is bigger than many think and still has running power. Main reason for this I hear are lack of law enforcement ( I hear that in Calgary you get 3 years jail as compared to BC where usually people caught end up paying a small fine). I also had some evidence that grow ups are supporting real estate in Seattle. Most money laundering seems to be done by paying cash construction workers.
    2) Real estate prices are insane in Vancouver. Langley and Surrey I think will be the first areas to take a hit. I have never seen so much for sale signs in any other city or country. Almost one in three homes has a “for sale sign” and a lot of development is going on. In the White Rock area I saw many reduced for sale signs as well. West and north Vancouver prices are beyond my imagination. I visited a open house in WV, a complete junk. Owner asking 1,6 million – It blew my mind !!! 2 bedroom home, 46 years old with no land, it stinks rotten carpet you are afraid to lean against the wall as it might fall down… It is a complete shame.
    3) Salaries in Vancouver (at least manufacturing sector) have pretty much stagnated and engineers get from 50 to 80K a year which will not qualify them for 1 million dollar mortgages.
    4) All of my friends (8) who have bought homes in Vancouver in last three years have already extracted equity from their homes to use as down payment for second houses. And for buying cars etc. Lending practices are very lax it seems and you can get a mortgage still very easy. Housing in this city is not anymore a place to live, but big time investment and speculation vehicle.
    5) I heard very often than many people that will come in Vancouver for the Olympic games will stay there permanently when they see how beautiful the city is. It seems like a very prevalent view as I heard this many times. This is the dumbest thing I ever heard. (and from people that are not construction workers).
    6) I saw many people lining up in the US border to go shopping in US. People I talked to were going to buy just about anything electronics, cars, wedding dress etc..
    7) I learned that you cannot deduct interest on the mortgage in Canada. Also heard that interest earned on your money in Canada is taxed at the same rate as the rate you pay on your general revenues in Canada. I really don’t see how could any one foreigner move their money to Canada under those conditions let alone buying a house.
    8) Rent is still very affordable, prices for things other than real estate have not changed very much since last time I was here, 4 years ago which makes living in Vancouver still affordable.

    My conclusions :
    I decided to prolong for another year my work contract here and postpone my move to Vancouver. Real estate in Vancouver is way out of touch with any fundamentals and putting money into it at this point in time is a complete waste.
    Real estate problems in Vancouver are just as deep as in the US even worse (over-extended borrowers, speculation, affordability limits and grow ups) and it is just a matter of time before rationality kicks in. Pain will be much bigger than in the US though. Vancouver is not different.
    Prices will come down in average by 30% in the coming years or wages will have to increase by that amount.

  62. Anonymous

    Albatrox,

    I’m very interested to hear about the real estate market in France. How dose the market there compare to the market here? Are you in a quaint coastal town, inland? The reason I ask is that I was looking at purchasing property in the South of France. From what I’ve seen on the Internet it looks stunning, the character buildings, the castles… landscape, makes our vinyl and stucco boxes look like a joke!

  63. Mightymouse

    Oops, the comment above is me Mightymouse.

  64. coco

    Rob,

    I agree with your comments. I posted the comments for others to see what different realtors saying out there.

    As far as the different seasons for the housing market, maybe somewhat true and somewhat not. One can only see what happens as seasons pass.

  65. coco

    Fed adds 7.25 billion into the system today.

    (we definately have some issues here and we have not hit the top of the arm resets yet)

  66. blueskies

    the sky is NOT falling… yet

    http://tinyurl.com/2cevlh

    …. but it could ….. check out this link .. 🙂

  67. coco

    As banks, companies, pension plans, etc. from around the world take large subprime losses profits are affected. One can only wonder what less profit means in the future, for jobs, R &D, mergers/acquisitions, pension funds, etc.

    It’s not looking too pretty the way everything is unfolding so far.

  68. Coq_Mike

    ceejay said:

    “Buyers are people with inheritances.”

    I am sure this is true, but there are many other kinds of buyer.

    For example: I purchased a small condo in Coquitlam about 15 years ago. Some years later I bought a small house in the same area. Now I am buying new house in the Port Moody area. At the time of my first purchase I had an interest rate of 9.7% for five years. I can tell you during those early years I ate a lot of Kraft Dinner and potatoes.

    Buying in today’s market seems much easier to me than it was 15 years ago.

    I just know I am going to get slapped for saying that.

    Buying your first property has always been very hard and in some cases requires a life style change.

  69. coco

    Coq Mike,

    I added a few items to Ceejay’s list in my post yesterday, your situation is included.

  70. coco

    “Buying in today’s market seems much easier to me than it was 15 years ago.”

    Depends:
    – on your age
    – if you have gains from property/properties you have sold in the past.
    – on your income and the amount you can qualify for.

    For younger people or people who have never owned a property in the past, it is probably not easy at all.

  71. coco

    In the past, mortgages didn’t take up such a huge percentage of your income as they do today.

  72. coco

    I moved to BC 10 years ago, if I had to rebuy the property I just sold at today’s prices, I would not qualify for the loan.

  73. satv

    OK satv has now been priced out…… the trouble with bulls is that they don’t watch where they step….

    NO! blueskies,

    I don’t want to hurt your feelings at once so unless you digest the first figure,I am not going to release the second figure thats like a good treat for you.here is one lesson for you…….

    The Whistle is broken
    The Whistle is broken
    The Whistle is broken.
    The Whistle is broken.
    The Whistle is broken.
    The Whistle is broken
    Horse man would never come up again.
    Horse man would never come up again.
    Horse man would never come up again.
    Horse man would never come up again.
    Horse man would never come up again.

  74. abc

    “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. ”

    That is one conclusion. I do not have sufficient information to come to such a conclusion myself (although perhaps you do). For example, at vancouver (un) realestate, the blogger has for some time been following MLS V648709 which has morphed into MLS V668870, with a price reduction. He writes “it indicates to me that things are being relisted to show fewer days on the market”. Am I to believe this is a rare practice, when one of the few properties he tracks is re-listed in this manner?

  75. blueskies

    Am I to believe this is a rare practice, when one of the few properties he tracks is re-listed in this manner?

    DOM is more important to some than is being admitted to.
    The fact that an individual listing is relisted just to show lower DOM shows that it is very relevant. “New Listing!” “Owner Motivated!”
    “Bring your Offers….Please!”

  76. DeeDub

    The fact that an individual listing is relisted just to show lower DOM…

    Except nobody has shown any such “fact”. The house was relisted – that is ALL that was shown.

  77. robchipman

    Chooch:

    A lot of what you’re saying is true, but you’re drawing some bad conclusions.

    The RESA requires that a Realtors disclose remuneration to buyers and sellers, and you’re right that the Board’s Buyer Agency contract reflects this. Its done not because the contract says it has to be done, but because its the law. It is supposed to happen even if the buyer doesn’t have a written agency agreement.

    Whether the amount that cooperating Realtor is willing to share is deducted from what the buyer is paying the buyer’s agent is actually negotiable, like all commission rates. The default position on thecontract is that it is deductible, but its not required. That contract can be amended in ways that the listing contract cannot be.

    In practice there is not always money offered by a co-op agent, and there are times when there are strings on it. There are also discount brokerages that offer less than the amount required by buyer agents.

    The bigger question, I guess, is who funds it. You’re sticking with the opinion that the seller does. That’s an old opinion, and it was valid under sub-agency, but it no longer valid today. Its about 10 years out of date. That’s not my opinion. Its simply the way the transaction is viewed by the industry (Realtors as well as conveyancers) and the way it is viewed legally. Again, it has to do with agency, which dictates which money becomes whose when. You can try to tell me what the “practice” is, but until you can explain who writes which cheques to whom in the conveyance procedure (and you obviously don’t have a grasp of that) I won;t believe that you know what you’re talking about (no offense meant – the enquiry is good, but you need to do some research).

    The blue brochure speaks to agency, not privacy legislation. My point with privacy legislation is not that my read on it is better than yours, but that my read and your read are irrelevant. I don’t need to educate myself on privacy more so that I can disprove your position. You could well be right. I’m saying that I believe DOM is privacy protected because it a) appears where other privacy protected info appears and b) the Board tries to stay onside with the Privacy Commissioner and c) we do disclose it to buyers when we have a credible business case. Its possible that DOM isn’t disclosed on Realtorlink for some other reason, but the fact remains that it is easily available. Arguing that we restrict access to it for the benefit of sellers is illogical.

    “Did someone really tell you the Privacy Commissioner advised the Board that DOM, selling price and related information is “personal information”? ”

    In regard to disclosing sales prices the Board did pretty much exactly that this month. Published, circulated, glossy paper and everything. I believe it is now a Rule of Cooperation (a rule that is common to several Boards). That may surprise you, but it is indeed the case.

    If contractual terms drafted with good legal counsel never contravene legislation, why do we need courts, or am I being too simplistic? Law is complex, and interpretations of legislation change with time and application, and can’t be pre-judged. Its by no means uncommon for a contract to be nullified, in whole or in part, by the force majuere of legislation.

    “[Realtors] don’t have to give out DOM information to the public if they don’t want to”…unless the member of the public has an agency relationship of some kind with the Realtor and the DOM info might influence their decision. In that case the Realtor is obligated in law to provide it. What the Realtor wants or doesn’t want is irrelevant at that point.

    I’ll rebut more later. I have to hop now. I like the questions, and it betrays some intelligence, but you don’t understand the subject matter.

  78. vanreal

    thanks for the info coco. I do appreciate it.

  79. vanreal

    Interesting article in the Sun today saying that 30% of the Canadians who work overseas come from BC. they go overseas to make the big bucks but seem to want to return to BC at some point. Can this phenomenon be adding to the price escalation in the lower mainland. ie. wealthy BC expats returning home with the bucks to buy a house and settle down in BC.

  80. vanreal

    blueskies, you are correct. I shouldn’t have said never drop because all real estate is cyclical. What i should have said is that I don’t see Vancouver proper dropping any significant amount (more than 10 to 15 %) in the immediate future. I see the suburbs dropping more

  81. ceejay

    Coq Mike: i’m sure that borrowing is a lot easier…affording, in the words of Borat :”not so much”.
    Why is KD a staple of the frugal classes? I understand potatoes, being of Irish decent and all, but you can get some nice veggies for a buck and not have to resort to noodles and flavoured orange tempera powder.
    Even being frugal, these days, saving the equivalent, even at 10% down, of 100000 boxes of KD , takes some doing. That’s why its either inheritances or the other things coco mentioned.

  82. Chooch

    Rob,

    My intent in pointing out the provisions in the Buyer’s Agency Agreement was to highlight the usual source of funds for paying commission. I wasn’t thinking of disclosure or who, at law, is actually responsible for paying the commission. I’m starting to think the “spin, spin, spin” comment guy may be right. It doesn’t matter who cuts the cheque to the realtors. Commission, in most cases, is built into and comes off of the purchase price.

    There is a distinction between personal information that is subject to privacy legislation and confidential information that is the subject of agreements and business policy. Sale price is confidential information until it is public. I can understand that the Board may not want you realtors to disclose sale price until it is in the public domain for client confidentiality reasons. Once the Form A Transfer is filed (not even registered) in the LTO the sale price is public. Anyone can obtain a copy of a pending Form A and see the consideration paid for the property. Again, in my experience many realtors will tell you sale price as soon as subjects are removed without any real business reason. David Richardson has no problem publishing sale price: http://www.realtordavidrichardson.net/properties.asp?sold=true

    With respect to contract terms and legislation, my point is very straightforward. A lawyer does not draft a contract term that is contrary to existing legislation unless the intent is to contract out of the legislation. You can’t contract out of the privacy legislation just as you can’t contract out of the employment standards act.

    “Force majeure of legislation” is nonsense. Force majeure is a legal term for a contractual provision that excuses performance because of something beyond the control of the party required to perform. A strike, war, etc. Law IS complex. You should stick with the realtor stuff.

    On DOM you make my point. If you have a realtor the realtor will tell you DOM. If DOM was subject to privacy legislation or even a confidentiality agreement between the seller and listing realtor, it would not be available to realtors through the MLS. The MLS itself can be considered a public disclosure given the number of realtors that have access. DOM is not made available on public sites viewed by people without realtors for a business reason. The Board may make such policy for good business reasons but lets not point to law, agreements or privacy obligations that don’t exist. Your (a) and (b) excuses are without substance.

  83. Chooch

    David’s current listing page also discloses sale prices of very recent sales:

    http://www.realtordavidrichardson.net/properties.asp

  84. Anonymoose

    Chooch said…
    Law IS complex. You should stick with the realtor stuff.

    It’s comments like that that make smart people look dumb.

    IMHO

  85. CC

    Hey Rob,

    It must just be coincidence that the Board’s interpretation of privacy legislation and the release of DOM happens to dovetail nicely with their interest in ensuring Realtors maintain control of valuable information, eh?

    Methinks you try too hard (and in too condescending a manner) to defend the moral rectitude of an amoral (and profit seeking) entity.

  86. Popeye

    Most of the stuff snapped up in the last 2 years has been by the “real estate never goes down” crowd. My guess is that 60% of the new developments alone was sold to speculators. Just leafing through last Sat. Vancouver Sun’s newspaper Homes ads–40 (yes forty) pages of not-so-glossy ads, you sense the feeling of urgency if not panic. The question then is: Is there a glut come crash? Well, when the tide goes out, as Warren Buffett is wont to say, you get to see who’s been swimming naked, and it looks like darn near everybody has been caught skinny-dipping down at Liquidity Beach.

  87. blueskies

    http://tinyurl.com/23467b

    August “is still absolutely awful, confirming that the existing homes market is now in freefall,” says High Frequency Economics.
    Its view is that there is no sign yet that the bottom of the housing market is near. “With price declines accelerating, real mortgage rates are very high and rising further. The downside from here is still substantial.”

    no bottom in sight….. unspin that!

  88. coco

    The Fraser Institute: ‘Liveable Region’ Remains a Myth as GVRD Planning Results in High Housing Prices and Traffic Gridlock

    http://tinyurl.com/2enj7x

  89. coco

    Oil falls to $79.30

    Canadian dollar follows 99.96
    (we almost got to 1.01 yesterday)

  90. coco

    Vanreal,

    Your welcome.

    I also heard if you have a dealer who doesn’t allow a Canadian to purchase a new car in the U.S. or a dealer who doesn’t honour warranties to use an autobroker to get around this. You would have to speak to an autobroker for more details on how this all works.

  91. WoW

    where are the numbers

  92. blueskies

    where are the numbers

    http://vannumbers.wordpress.com/

    where the action is! 🙂

  93. paulb

    check back Wed

  94. robchipman

    cc/Chooch:

    I think we all agree that the information (DOM) isn’t controlled. Its easily accessible. Chooch’s complaint seems to be that it is that it isn’t published on Realtorlink, not that it isn’t accessible. There is no “dovetailing” of legal interpretations to restrict access to information to which access isn’t restricted. Sorry if that sounds condescending, but how many times can we re-visit that particular point?

    cc:

    The Board profits from providing service and info to both sellers and buyers. I’m not protecting an amoral and profit seeking entity when I point that out. I’m just pointing out that your appraisal of what is in the Board’s profit making interest is flawed. I think you’re stretching to argue that I’m protesting too much. Chooch is making (and you’re accepting) a weak argument based on some flawed assumptions.

    Chooch:

    In regards to who pays the commission, you’re simply re-stating your original position. It is a vaild interpretation of sub-agency, but not agency. Point blank question for you: do you understand the difference that I’m alluding to between sub-agency and agency? (You’re making an argument here that was settled 10 years ago).

    Your opinion on the difference between personal information personal information that is subject to privacy legislation and confidential information that is the subject of agreements and business policy is great, but its irrelevant. You (like me) aren’t the one who decides these issues. ThePrivacy Comissioner does. When you say “Sale price is confidential information until it is public” your’re correct, but when you say it becomes public “[o]nce the Form A Transfer is filed (not even registered) in the LTO” and imply that the Board can therefore publish it you go too far. The Board, in consultation with the Privacy Commissioner, has passed a Rule of Cooperation that prevents members from disclosing the information before a public authority has disclose it, unless the member has a valid busines reason (and the Board’s example is a CMA); if you know a Realtor who is disclosing this information early, and if you suspect that the Realtor does not have a valid business case, you’ve possibly discovered a situation where a Realtor is breaching Board rules and privacy guidelines. You haven’t proven that the rules and privacy guidelines don’t exist. (You’re making the argument that speed limits don’t exist because you’ve seen David Richardson speeding).

    In terms of lawyers drafting contracts that conflict with legislation, you’re not making a point. You’re arguing that a good lawyer won’t draft a contract that conflicts with legislation. I agree that a good lawyer won’t purposely draft a contractual term that conflicts with legislation, but I will say that a lawyer can be sufficiently good and various acts of legislation sufficiently complex and sufficiently changing that a good lawyer can draft a contractual term that, in the fullness of time, ends up being in conflict with legislation. Do you disagree with that?

    I’ll go further: a lawyer can draft a contractual term that permits one party to do something that may or may not be prohibited by legislation. That’s because enforcement of legislation isn’t always clear and happens after the fact. Do you disagree with that?

    Whether DOM is subject to privacy legislation or not is a red herring. I simply said that I think the reason it doesn’t appear Realtorlink is that I assume that it is privacy protected. I made that assumption because DOM does turn up in reports that contain other information that I know is privacy protected. I assumed (and made full disclosure that its an assumption), that DOM was information of the same nature as sales price. I may be wrong about DOM’s nature as far as privacy goes, but all I was doing, from the start, was trying to explain why the info doesn’t apear on Realtorlink. We both agree that the information is accessible to the public from other places, and that the Board has a way for members to share the info with the public provided the member follows some simple rules. Whether my assumption about why the info doesn’t appear on Realtorlink is correct or not isn’t the point. The info is accessible.

    You’ve argued that Realtors want to control DOM info because its very valuable to buyers, and damaging to sellers (or potentially so). Let’s for a moment, agree that the value of the information is high as you say. You’re ignoring a couple issues. One, the information is accessible. Its not restricted. Second, for every listing agent there is a buyer agent. The buyer agent is Board member in equal standing to the listing agent. The DOM info is important to the buyer agent and the buyer. Board rules and agency law require that the buyer agent provide the info to the buyer. In other words, the info isn’t restricted, and its not in the Board’s interest to restrict it.

    Let’s see if we have any agreement:

    -is the information really restricted?

    (every other disagreement we have depends on that, no?)

    Questions:
    -do you know the difference between agency and sub-agency?
    -are you aware that public information (such as property owners names) that are accessible in person from tax rolls are restricted online? I can’t for example, do a tax search to see who the owner of a particular property is. Its public information, but its privacy protected.

  95. WoW

    That vannumbers.wordpress.com is a very useful source, thanks!

  96. blueskies

    The US housing market will be saved by dumb Canadians who think that they are getting a bargain because the Canuck Buck is at parity with the USD. Why these condos weren’t attractive when USDCAD was 1.05, I’ll never know – but that is sentiment and psychology for you.

    from a US broker blog…….

    they like us! they really like us!

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