Today’s Numbers (posted by Chan)

There are 289 new listings and 130 sales, for sell/list 2.22%.  Inventory is 11878, while over 90s reached 2719, or 4.37%.



Filed under Daily Numbers

60 responses to “Today’s Numbers (posted by Chan)

  1. Johnnyrent

    Allow me:

    Sell/list = 44.9%
    Over 90s = 22.8%

  2. Anonymous

    Really, is it that hard to get simple division right? I’ve watched this board for a long time and its this insanity that is taking me to write for the first time.

    …but, thanks for posting the data anyways. 🙂

  3. paulb

    must be lots falling off the market because the inventory number is not moving much considering the over abundance of listings

  4. jesse

    Anticipation of a further price rally into 2008 is likely causing listings now to be not so stiff. People can wait until the spring and try again if they don’t get their price.

    If it were obvious the market price will start dropping with no end in sight, would you de-list and wait until the Spring?

  5. WoW

    its a comin’ round the mountain as she come’s
    its a comin’ round the mountain as she comes
    its a comin’ round the mountain
    its a comin’ round the mountain
    its a comin’ round the mountain
    as she comes

    can you feel that chill in the air?

  6. WoW

    12,000 – Oct 25th.

  7. deb

    October 27

  8. doubter

    Why is an inventory of 12,000 considered to be such a milestone (or barrier)? Why should we believe that it would prompt a decrease in prices? I know the obvious answers, but I still see no other signs of a slow down: buyers seem still to be paying a premium.

  9. Strataman

    “Why is an inventory of 12,000 considered to be such a milestone” I agree not at all a big deal we were there in June, July or something. In fact even 13,000 would be no suprise as lots of condos are coming on the market. Only when sunny April, May 08 shows 16,000+ will I actually believe the market has turned! (and I think that might happen).

  10. paulb

    I am with strataman but it is nice to see inventory growing. If we grow from this date forward that would be huge. Listings always trail off this time of year.

  11. Anonymous

    Contrary to common stereotype, not all chans can do math, or care to read a blog for that matter.
    Hmmm with such a person on the team, I’m having idea about the Chipman gang.

  12. doubter

    I continue to be a once (and perhaps future) bear who has become a bit of a sceptic. “Only when sunny April, May 08 shows 16,000+ will I actually believe the market has turned”? So is there a scenario in which we have that level of inventory and prices continue to rise, or at least remain stable? I mean, I hope they fall 50%; in fact I’m counting on it if I ever want to own a place here.

  13. Johnnyrent


    There has never been a period in Vancouver’s history where a sustained and substantial run-up in prices has not been followed by a correction.

    Those who tell you that this time is different due to low interest rates, strong employment and a strong economy have their eyes half shut. South of the border, many Vancouver-like markets with the same economic conditions are correcting, and they started to do so long before the sub-prime debacle.

    Time is on your side. Unfortunately, no one can predict the timing with certainty. That said, the probability of a turn in the other direction increases with each passing month of the current insanity.

  14. Inventory barely inching up despite large daily gains, must be lots of expiries.

  15. doubter

    Johnnyrent, perhaps I’ve just turned into a cynic, or maybe it’s embarrassment at communicating these “certainties” about the cyclic market to friends and family over the last several years, but I’m very wary at this point. Maybe it IS different this time, somehow. All I know is that I look like a fool for not buying a year ago; I look like a fool for not buying two years ago; I look like a fool for not buying three years ago; and so on. I’m tired of looking like a fool, and I am having a hard time seeing much different this year from all the others, sub-prime fiasco aside (this seems to have had zero impact in Vancouver).

  16. abc

    Doubter, if you are “counting on” a 50% drop in nominal terms you may never see it. Even bears such as myself will be buying before a 50% nominal drop occurs.

  17. Strataman

    doubter “So is there a scenario in which we have that level of inventory and prices continue to rise, or at least remain stable?” If we reach that inventory prices will likely plateau or run level for a month or three, IF that inventory stays even or flucuates plus or minus even a thousnad until July THEN we will see small decreases year over year. Probably 10 % next year, then you might get your wish and you won’t want to buy as each month shows a few (2-3 %) decline. If the Canadian dollar goes higher say to 1.10 by July 08 you will see rapid decline. My opinion! I suspect Canada’s retail Christmas sales will be way down this year, and employment will start to fall gradually. The sub-prime will tighten up lending in Canada and Vancouver because even the BOC has said our banks are holding assets of which they do not have a value. Patience!

  18. News Flash

    “There has never been a period in Vancouver’s history where a sustained and substantial run-up in prices has not been followed by a correction.”

    How about right now? We have been running for 5 years and no correction is sight.

    “Those who tell you that this time is different due to low interest rates, strong employment and a strong economy have their eyes half shut.”

    That is right. It is the run up in prices that cause the corrections. Things like interest rates, employment and economy have no effect on housing prices just like Johnyrent says.

  19. Strataman

    “We have been running for 5 years and no correction is sight.” Five years???!! You must be awfully young, five years is sweet tweet! 🙂 Crap I have a rose bush that is fifteen years old and has almost died three times! (No blooms for several years each time)!

  20. blueskies

    Crap I have a rose bush that is fifteen years old and has almost died three times! (No blooms for several years each time)!

    exactly! these young ‘uns just don’t get the “patience” part……

  21. blueskies

    a showpiece bonsai takes 25 years

    got patience?

  22. Johnnyrent

    News Flash

    I don’t know how old you are but I doubt you’re very seasoned. I’ve lived through the same hype we’re hearing now, three times as a Westside homeowner, and I know it for what it is. You, on the other hand, have blind faith in the continuance of real estate appreciation, apparently indefinitely, despite a mountain of evidence in front of you that suggests otherwise.

    Granted, this evidence is South of the border and more lately East of the Rockies. So far you can rightfully argue that we are different, as to this point, we have been. At the same time you might have a look at a number of other markets that heretofore also thought they were different, until recently. I include Edmonton, Calgary and Seattle. These markets haven’t crashed, but they have turned or are turning.

    I submit to you that when prices run so far ahead of economic fundenmentals, as they have here, they are bound to correct. There isn’t a market in the US that hasn’t experienced this, isn’t, or isn’t in the first stages of doing so. I include markets with lower interest rates, higher population growth, lower unemployment and stronger, more diversified economies than ours.

    If you have some plausible argument to tender, which suggests that those of us who predict a correction in the not too distant future are wrong, I’d like to hear it. So far all you’ve evidenced is that you are firmly in the denial camp, with nary a shred of substance to support your position.

  23. Anonymous


    Your obviously too young to remember how high interest rates, slowing employment and bad economic times can bring down housing prices.

  24. fish

    You don’t need high interest rates, a recession or even a ‘bad’ event for housing to peak and drop.

    There was no one event that started the dotcom crash.

    Tomorrow I will post on how bubbles come about and how they pop.

  25. TI

    If many listings expire and relist later, the inventory will keep stable for a long time.

    It may take many years (maybe 50 years)to reach 12000.

  26. doubter

    Johnnyrent writes to News Flash, “If you have some plausible argument to tender, which suggests that those of us who predict a correction in the not too distant future are wrong, I’d like to hear it.”

    This is the crux of the problem, in my opinion. I have been reading this kind of thing almost verbatim for YEARS now. The point is, those who have predicted a correction (including, formerly, vehemently, myself) have simply been wrong, time and time and time again. So perhaps the onus is now on those who are predicting a correction. What makes it different now, this year or next? I have not seen a convincing argument yet. But we still get the these little tantalizing and perhaps exaggerated shreds of evidence while prices continue to rise. The latest being sell/list ratios and inventory levels. The market yawns at this and keeps on chugging.

    The issue seems to be that the Vancouver housing market is IMplausible. It has not responded to any rational arguments. It seems now to be irrational. Psychology? Maybe. As I’ve written in the past, the best “new” and concrete possible explanation I’ve seen here is the grow-op issue.

    Another thing to consider is that the run-up this time has apparently been unprecedented. One way of responding to this would be to posit an equal and opposite correction. But maybe something fundamental has changed; it is at least a possibility. Look at the now-famous chart:

    Nothing like this has happened in about 120 years, excepting perhaps the Second Word War rebound, but that was arguably a correction in the other direction (a recovery). Maybe a new benchmark for home prices is being set. Is that completely impossible? Why?

    Again, I am largely playing devil’s advocate here. I dearly hope I am wrong, but part of me is really starting to doubt it (hence my user name).

  27. abc

    Doubter, you are being impatient. And forget about grow-ops. Think supply and demand. High prices are generating new supply. Some day (I don’t know when) the economy will not be as strong as today and demand will drop. Supply and demand will lead to lower inflation-adjusted prices than today.

  28. coco

    Canada’s annual inflation rate jumps to 2.5 per cent in September

    Canadian dollar now trading at $103.55

  29. coco

    According to a report by investment bank Punk Ziegel, there are 17.4 million vacant houses in the U.S., and only 4.3 million of those are second homes. That means there are more ownerless houses in the United States today as a percentage of total inventory than at any time since records have been kept.

    Not only are there not enough qualified households available to take them over, but demographics are heading the opposite direction. A Punk Ziegel analysis shows that the number of people aged 25 to 34 — the age of most home buyers — peaked in 1989 and will not get back to that level until 2013.

  30. Anonymous


    just wanted to thank-you for all your effort posting the things you post here.

    Its really great to come here and get one-stop shopping for all the day’s financial info, courtesy of your efforts.


  31. coco

    Your welcome Anonymous.

  32. coco

    BMO sells main branch building in Edmonton and leases it back from the purchaser.

    (capitalizing on real estate or raising funds for commercial paper problems?)

  33. coco

    Canadians deeper in debt than ever before: study

    “25 per cent of Canadians do not think changes in interest rates, housing prices, wages or reduced access to credit would negatively affect their financial well-being”


  34. Johnnyrent


    There are two problems with predicting a reversal. First, you are 100% wrong until it does reverse, no matter how compelling your logic. Second, a reversal begins with a stop, the timing of which no one can pinpoint. We are therefore left to speculate that it is coming at some point in the future, armed only with indicators that support this speculation. In the meantime the market continues to move forward.

    In terms of the credibility attached to bear arguments, there is a correlation between the length of time individuals begin calling for a correction and the length of time it does not happen.

    Indeed, its very hard to be a contrarian. It requires the patience of Job in this particular market however I am no less persuaded than I ever was that patience will be rewarded, sooner rather than later.

  35. coco

    House prices have sticker shock at a certain price point. 900k and up inventory doesn’t move very fast. So maybe the lower end will keep rising in price and collide with the upper end coming down in price?

  36. coco

    I think everyone is paying attention to the stock market and not chatting right now. Coco didn’t say, “got cash” for no reason.

  37. Jeff

    i think the greedy are still buying into the stock market.

  38. coco


    The stock market is a toxic mix of subprime, credit crunch, commercial paper woes, very high oil prices, etc. Will not take much to ignite it.

    You can buy on the dips, but you have to watch out for bear traps.

  39. doubter

    abc and Johnnyrent, you skirted the main issue I raised: that is, have we moved on to a new standard in real estate pricing? If “100” in the chart I linked to was the benchmark from 1890 to circa 1997, what’s to say that 200 is not the new benchmark?

  40. abc

    Maybe you guys can time the stock market. But you will miss up days, and hurt yourself with taxes and trading costs. Also you will spend a lot of time guessing the direction of the market—time better spend researching individual stocks.

  41. abc

    Well, doubter, no-one knows but what you can do is attach a probability to each outcome (and I would allow for outcomes between these extremes). And then ask, what happens to my net worth if I buy or rent under each scenario. eg, A leveraged buy with a return to ‘100’ would be a big financial hit. Renting with pricing staying at ‘200’ means that I delay the enjoyment of home ownership, although there isn’t much of a financial hit.

  42. coco


    You linked Shiller’s home price chart, but have you seen the video that goes with it?

  43. fish10

    Doubter- you have some very thoughtful points.

    What is the level at which home prices are now fundamentally supported (as opposed to sepculatively) will try and address that in my next blog post.

  44. coco

    MoneyGram International, the nation’s second-largest wire transfer company, has become an unlikely casualty of the mortgage meltdown.

  45. Anonymous

    High loonie spoils pension fund gains in third quarter

  46. coco

    Ooops! Anonymous is me above

  47. coco

    BoC took a breather and has not injected any cash into the system for two days. First time all month.

  48. blueskies

    what’s to say that 200 is not the new benchmark?

    this would mean rents will have to rise sharply along with wages to pay the rent…..

    new paradigm? I don’t think so

    RE prices have to fall there are no other alternatives.

  49. Priced Out

    Argggggh, I just found out little brother is pressuring Mom and Dad to help him buy a house. LB wants to buy a shack in East Van with a buddy of his. His buddy is apparently in the middle of a divorce.

    My concerns are:

    1) Two single straight guys, and who knows what will happen once women get involved. Even without women, can they really share the same roof for any length of time.

    2) LB has never saved a penny in his life and likes an active social life. He flies to another province sometimes to hang out with an old girlfriend. I doubt buddy saves either.

    3) Although both are making decent incomes, they seem to be relying entirely on their parents for downpayments. My parents are resisting (Mom is a bear and Dad is generally cautious), but I think buddy’s parents will contribute.

    3) Although LB is somewhat handy, he is incredibly lazy. They will probably buy some shack with a suite. I would not want to be my LB’s tenant. He is too self-involved and irritable.

    Our parents do have real cash (not just home equity), but I want them to retire in style. I don’t know how much LB is asking for, but I dread even guessing. Anyhow, I’m working with Mother Bear so she stays strong under the LB’s persistent pressure. I won’t even talk about it directly with LB because it end up in a blow-up. I’m trying to put forward a sensible arguments to my parents without appearing self-interested.

  50. spaceman

    From 1974 to 1981 the Average house price in Victoria went from 50K to 140k, then over the next 5 sank to
    100k (7 year run up, 5 year decline). Then from 1987 to 1994, 100k to 250k, then stagnated for the next 7 years. (7 year run up, small decline). My point…
    7 year run up in prices is Normal Market conditions. Over 100% apprecitation… Normal in the past 2 market cycles… What happens next? Anything is possible, but what will probably happen???? A market slow down seems immenent to me. Will prices drop? Yes but by how much is th e question. I am shooting for 15% over 5 years… Maybe not…

    Stats via Victoria MLS,

  51. coco

    Your links for border wait times and webcams:

  52. coco

    Priced out,

    Your little brother wants to buy a house with his buddy and his divorce is not finalized?

    During the divorce process is not the time to buy the new house or a new car. This is also not the time to invest in any product or to shift investment assets. Investments that you make during this time could have enormous financial strings attached — and enormous tax implications. Your property may be divided in a different way than you thought it could be. There’ll be costs to split it up, even penalties in shifting assets from one spouse to the other.

    Unless the property division has already been decided before you make a purchase, how do you know who is going to get which asset? Shifting assets could create difficulty in tracking the location and ownership of the asset, and a suspicion that someone is hiding assets.

  53. Annon

    doubter, if you have made your decision by your own research(educated guess) as you seem like you already do. Then I guess you better do what you think you must do next in this ever increasing RE market. One example is to move away as you mentioned once before or just buy whatever you can afford and sleep with comfort knowing that you know for sure you will not lose value on your RE purchase. That would stop the circular argument about “THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT” and it’s only fair to you to spot it and take advantage of it.

  54. coco

    Years ago, I knew of two guys going through a divorce that bought a house together before the divorce was final. What a mess, ex-wives saying their hiding money, putting a lien on the new house they purchased together, etc. etc.

    A year later, one guy wanted out, because he met a gal he wanted to live with and marry in the future. One bought the other out, but it was hard on him financially.

  55. jesse

    “have we moved on to a new standard in real estate pricing? ”

    doubter: It’s great you are throwing this out again. In moments of supreme weakness I have the same thoughts but find solace in the following:

    Price-rent and affordability numbers are the worst in North America. If something has fundamentally changed going forward, it is unique only to certain cities like Vancouver with bad affordability. And some of these supposedly “unique” cities — Seattle, San Diego, Auckland, Miami — aren’t actually so unique any more. Their prices are now under significant downward pressure.

    So if you think things are different in Vancouver you will need to differentiate between these other cities that, not just 6-12 months ago, were supposed test cases for the “new world order” of higher prices. Their conditions are similar: foreign investment, rising populations, low interest rates, lack of buildable land, drug money, healthy local economies.

    So if you want to put the onus on bears, as to why Vancouver might be different, I would say Vancouver is not that different from other comparative “worldly” cities, from what I can see. Unless there is some differentiator compared to these other cities what will stop Vancouver from exhibiting the same signs of downwards price pressures eventually?

  56. blueskies

    slightly OT

    said up to 65 per cent of the purchasers in some Surrey condo projects are investors who plan to rent the units out.

    said many developers deliberately build units as small as 340 square feet so they can be priced below $200,000, making them attractive to investors.

    rational market? I think not.

  57. Jack

    dear Priced Out,

    take this to heart:
    never make any long-term investment when it is not implied for the long term.
    your LB and his buddy should consider renting together, not buying.
    do not buy with someone unless you expect to be with that someone for another 10, 20 years. so unless LB and buddy are more than just buddies… do not touch it.

    how long does he intend to hold on to that shack he’s eyeing?

    best of luck…

  58. Getting Less Anonymous

    I financially burned myself 7 years ago when I believed there was a new paradigm and justification for new P/E multiples on the stock market. While I recognize that real estate isn’t synonymous with stocks, I do feel the same buzz around me (friends, family, others) that pricing is just going to keep going up. Having read “A Random Walk Down Wall Street”, I truly think we are in a market best described as the-greater-fool for anyone that is a net new entrant or someone that doesn’t have a long term view on the market (i.e. 10 to 15 years). I believe the market will go above the current rates — just not for another 15 years and after a sizable dip in the interim. I have now put my money where my mouth is and have sold and will become a renter in a few months. All in all, its just capital preservation for me in the short term and I’m willing to deal with the frictions of moving to do it. My 2 cents anyways.

  59. Priced Out


    I’m not so worried about the divorce angles as LB’s buddy and ex didn’t seem to have assets and she was the one who fled. But it could still be another complicating, troubling factor.

    I’m more worried about “one guy wanting out” scenario and how our parents are getting dragged into this in terms of the downpayment and I would assume co-signing (neither LB nor buddy have much credit history methinks).


    I have little idea what is going on in LB’s head these days and I’m quite frankly afraid to ask. The more details I hear from Mom – who is quite rightly upset about the pressure – the more angry I get. Why the urgency? I would be surprised, though, if he was thinking decades down the road.

    If I could put a bearish spin on this, the market is down to guy’s like my LB and his buddy. Bullish spin would be there are still people out there caught in the frenzy, even LB who is not totally ignorant what’s going on in the US.

  60. coco

    Priced Out,

    Just print out those articles about Chilliwack homes coming down 30% and White Rock prices down 4% and say it could be spreading.

    I take it your LB has never lived out on his own before and has no idea about money management, if you say he doesn’t have any savings of his own. Your parents will not be helping him to learn to stand on his own two feet financially, if he contributes no money of his own towards the downpayment. If your parents want to help him out, then they should say, you save X amount on your own first and when you do we will give you X amount.

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