Quick Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Numbers

Its been a busy week.  One interesting thing was a well-priced listing we found on the Westside.  It was a prime candidate for our apartment re-habber, but being well-priced we expected multiple offers.  As a buyer that means you have to really do your numbers and commit to a firm ceiling price, and then take care of all the regular offer logisitics (financing, minutes, bylaws, inspection, etc) so that you can go in with few or no subjects.  We offered 6% over list, but came in second.   We’ll have to monitor what happens with the sale (and other comps) to see if we were smart to stand pat. (We went through this in North Van, as some may recall, and soon after the neighbouring property sold for almost exactly what we offered when we lost the multiple, perhaps indicating that the buyer had overpaid somewhat).

Anyway, Friday we had 170 new listings and 177 sales for a sell/list of 104.12%  Inventory was 10,957, and over 90’s were 2,569, or 23.45%.

Thursday we had 225 new listings and 148 sales, for a sell/list of 65.77%.

 Wednesday we had 209 new listings and 124 sales for a sell/list of 59.33%.

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69 Comments

Filed under Daily Numbers

69 responses to “Quick Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Numbers

  1. AmPa

    Holy mother of god, save us!

    We are back in 10,000-11,000 listing range.

    Still there are multiple offers.

    Still the DOM is record low.

    Still sell to list ratio is record high.

    Still no sign of interest rates damping this market any time soon.

    Still the Koreans and HongKongers are as rich as ever.

    To top it off, we are supposed to be in “low season”.

    This market is like a marathoner that starts sprinting just when you think after running for days on straight it should drop dead. Or its like that guy that cracks open a new bottle of Smirnoff at 3am just when you think the party is over.

    Won’t someone think of the children!?!?

  2. Concerto

    Are prices shooting up reflecting short supply/high demand ? They do not seem to be (which is a good thing). Any one want to comment ?

  3. Concerto

    Year or so ago comment was “Yaletown Park and Spectrum are huge small box developments that will cause oversupply upon completion”, “prices will drop” etc etc. Is it just me or did nothing like that happen ?

  4. Popeye

    “Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it.”
    – Agatha Christie

    I used to be a real estate salesman and I can tell you late Nov., but especially the first 2 weeks in Dec. is the best time of year to buy. Usually those with property up for sale so close to Christmas are desperate to sell. The closer to Christmas the better.

    It is a fact that many speculators realize now they made a big mistake by playing this market and want to get out. The champagne-popping days are over.

    Despite all the brouhaha about a hot RE market, it is clear very little is moving (down 13% from same Q. last year), prices are slipping and poised for a major correction, or maybe an outright crash. It is quite normal for sellers to stubbornly cling to their high prices not wanting to budge, but there is a way to make them face free market forces.

    Use the stink-bid approach. This could be your coup d’etat

    Discount 30% or so off the list price right off the bat and don’t give an inch. Period.

  5. Popeye

    Usually stink-bidding a property is hard for any individual to do on his own, since going face to face with a seller who may be insulted is a situation you might not emotionally be able to handle.

    This is why you should employ an agent and let him do the work for you. Your agent is obligated to take ALL offers to the vendor. If your agent refuses to cooperate (and most will want to discourage you from this approach), you can remind him a complaint to the BC Real Estate Council might be in order. Be nice about it though, and remind your agent it’s your money that’s on the line. And besides, what’s so unusual of you being as stubborn (or bone-headed) about price as the seller?

    This approach is best for people who are just “sitting on the fence” not really needing to get into the market, but at this point in the RE cycle it’s good strategy.

    As the Victorian-era poet Robert Browning said: “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

  6. Strataman

    Concerto “Year or so ago comment was “Yaletown Park and Spectrum are huge small box developments that will cause oversupply upon completion”, “prices will drop” etc etc. Is it just me or did nothing like that happen ?”
    Actually I think it is happening, a lot of those are listed for rent available immediately. I would imagine most purchasers decided that they would sell at peak season (spring) rent until then. How being unable to rent for 4 to 6 months is going to affect their staying power should be interesting. I suspect we’ll see a flod of listings in February, as they decide to try to have an early prime season, suffering from 100% subsidy thru the winter season. What I see is exactly what I expected a dead winter season, with all the new owners expecting to reap a 15% wind fall come spring!

  7. streel

    My nephew is looking at renting a place in Spectrum and went for a viewing. The rental agency told him that 80 % of the units are investor owned.

  8. Markets are cyclical, housing is a market

    Robs quote, The cure for high prices is more high prices.

    Hope this sooths you AMPA.

  9. -A-

    Nobody is perfect, not even Rob.
    When he says that the market will turn, because it always does, and the cure for higher prices is higher prices, he is obviously mistaken.

    Vancouver RE is different from the rest of the world, and we all know why it’s different this time.

    Therefore, (dog #1 through dog #7), should give Newsflash and Rob a call and beg them to find a good investment property, before they become forever priced out of the market.

  10. Disbelief

    Vancouver RE is different from the rest of the world, and we all know why it’s different this time.

    I would like to know… All I can think of is wet and soggy…. leaky, and those are old news…
    Please enlighten us all with your wisdom beyond your years…. BTW if your in your 20’s… you should sit down and listen to folks that know better

  11. Priced Out

    I’ll save the stink bidding for next year, after the speculators have a disappointing Spring.

  12. Baba

    Hi. I rarely post here, but am always watching.
    I have a request. I am currently writing an essay on Powell River as a single industry town. I am focussing on its growth as a retirement community. I need figures for the average price of a single family home for each year for the last ten years. I have tried searching, but nothing comes up. Could anyone help? Thanks

  13. News Flash

    “Year or so ago comment was “Yaletown Park and Spectrum are huge small box developments that will cause oversupply upon completion”, “prices will drop” etc etc. Is it just me or did nothing like that happen ?”

    The Yaletown Park completions were a big topic of the past. The bears claimed this would be the turning point in the market. They were talking about in 2004 and 2005. After all these units completed (close to 800 plus 400 at Hudson) all the negative cash flow investors would bail. Or if they tried to rent them out it would flood the rental market and cause rents to drop. Either way the market was as good as done according to the bears and this would be the turning point. We heard similar things about Spectrum later on from others.

    So what happened? Yaletown Park was completed in Spring 2006. We saw very few units come up for sale (about 10%). The units that were for sale were snapped up right away. The units that were rented out were rented for record rents. All the people who bought at the presales were cash flow positive. And as we all know the market continued it’s upward trend.

    Now we have Spectrum completing. Again rents have continued to rise and the Spectrum investors are again cash flow positive. Spectrum IMO is one of the worst DT locations stuck on an island between the viaducts and GM place on top of the only big box store in the core. Still they seem to be getting decent rents for the units.

    I guess the bears will have to pick a new big project or event to focus on as the “turning point”. Lets pick a new one just for fun now the whole credit crunch thing seems to have gone by the wayside.

  14. deb

    Baba
    I don’t have that information, but have spent a lot of time looking at Powell River and do intend to buy there. I would like to learn more of what you are finding.

  15. Baba

    If someone has the prices for SFH for the last 10 years I’ll have amuch better idea. Will let you know.

  16. blueskies

    pick a new one just for fun now the whole credit crunch thing seems to have gone by the wayside.

    Newsflash: Bad news buddy!
    not by a long shot…..
    read your way through some of this and get back to us…. sorry dude you are OTL…..

    http://tinyurl.com/2umvqa

    I pick the Elan as next up, also watching Pomaria…… lots of speculators in that one too

  17. Johnnyrent

    News Flash

    A quick check on Craigslist shows many Spectrum assignments for sale, with 563′ one bedrooms for sale at $379,000. Craigslist also shows many of these same units offered for rent at $1,250 per month.

    Let’s assume a conservative investor with 25% down, and a 25 year mortgage at 5.75%. Mortgage payments alone are $1,776 per month, with little of that going to principal in the first couple of years. Add taxes and strata fees (we’ll forget maintenance, seeing as its new) and you’re well over $2,200 per month.

    Please explain how Spectrum owners are cash flow positive.

  18. exx

    They don’t take out a mortgage. They buy their condos with suitcases of cash.

  19. Joe just Joe

    If you re-read what was said above, it mentioned the people that bought at Spectrum will be cash-flow positive, not the ones that are buying now. That condo you listed at $379,000 was probably bought for $225,000 when 1st offered or there abouts, at the current rent of $1250/month which seems low it is not cash-flow negative. With rents going up a conservative 3% a year, within a couple of years that investment will be paying a healthy divendend.

  20. Johnnyrent

    Joe just Joe

    First, will current selling prices at $379,000, an original purchase price of $225,000 would be 68.44% appreciation. Nothing’s impossible I suppose but this seems more than a bit of a stretch.

    Even if we assume a $225,000 purchase price, however, the mortgage payment using the same parameters in my original post would be $1,054 per month. Add strata fees and taxes and you are still not cash flow positive at $1,250 per month in rent. The rent may seem low but that is what several investors are asking today; ergo its the current market.

  21. tqn

    “Therefore, (dog #1 through dog #7), should give Newsflash and Rob a call and beg them to find a good investment property, before they become forever priced out of the market”

    no need to be afraid of being priced out of the market because, the RE chihuahua dogs are already well planned in the market; thank you for your concern by the way. How about you? still feeling lonely and sour of the market? Better to make that “spycho” counselling very soon!
    Just a prediction on Nov: The second best on Record!

  22. Anonymous

    I walked by the Spectrum front to back last week, as night broke, I counted around 15 lights on … on ALL of the towers. It’s not even close to being filled.

    NewsFlash .. ‘rents are continuing to rise’, WTF? Where do you get that from?

  23. Markets are cyclical, housing is a market

    Definition “-A-” : another word for @SSH@LE.

    / Y \
    ( O )
    | | | |
    | | | |

  24. Markets are cyclical, housing is a market

    Grow a set of nuts for that pubic tupei you have…

  25. Rogie Vachon Yo!

    Bubblicious data…

  26. Jeff

    Solution for the DTES from another west coast city…
    “In downtown San Diego recently, developers converted a just-completed “luxury condo” into affordable housing after wealthy buyers failed to appear.”

  27. jesse

    “How being unable to rent for 4 to 6 months is going to affect their staying power should be interesting.”

    Some people rent out furnished units on a monthly basis (hotel style) so they can stage for sale quickly. There are agencies that will purport to rent furnished units out for you for a fee. Better than nothing. craigslist has a few of these but I don’t know how successful they are.

  28. jesse

    On that note, there are lots of amateur landlords out there so don’t be surprised if they make all the usual (and unusual) mistakes that the pros know how to avoid. Even if the market stays strong there will be investors that will get burned. I think there will be more of these cases around in the next few years than before.

  29. blueskies

    probably see a few “rent to own” deals from new landlords that want out of a neg cash flow situation also.

  30. Joe just Joe

    I guessed at the $225K figure as I don’t know what the 1bds went for, I do know the 2brs at Specturm were offered at $299K, hence the guess at $225 shouldn’t be too far off. Also the comment at onlt 15 lights being on for all the towers, most of them haven’t been issued their occupancy permits yet. Again just playing devils advocate here.

  31. Johnnyrent

    Joe just Joe

    Well then, I’ll give you that someone who bought a Spectrum 2 bedroom for $299K would do well if he/she sold now. But, I think that he/she who hesitates may be lost and those who are buying now will likely be in for a nasty surprise.

  32. Strataman

    Jesse;”Some people rent out furnished units on a monthly basis (hotel style) so they can stage for sale quickly. There are agencies that will purport to rent furnished units out for you for a fee. Better than nothing. craigslist has a few of these but I don’t know how successful they are.” Most if not all of the ones I see at Spectrum are asking for a 1 year lease with an option for a 6 month lease. Owner know one month vacancy is 10% less rent for the year. Spectrum doesn’t appear to be in the furnished hotel room syndrome. However a great site to see those kind of rentals is http://tinyurl.com/27doym which I have watched for the past three months. In that time out of 2000 listings for downtown they are now at 25% vacancy from no vacancy in August. Absolutely nothing has moved. There incredibly high rents appear to have to pay the entire return for the owner in the summer four months. If you work the math these are also losing for their investors. (Multiply the rent x 12 and 1/3 of that is the annual return)! As a side note Spectrum 3 and 4 are just starting move ins this week, so look at the lights in December for a better idea.

  33. Strataman

    Sorry 200 listings!

  34. Concerto

    Furnished equals twice the rent but 50% (max) occupancy over a year. Unfurnished is half the rent of furnished for 1 year rental

  35. -A-

    Crazy dog tqn said: Just a prediction on Nov: The second best on Record!

    I wouldn’t be surprised; it is typical of crashes to be preceded by a string of record breaking sales and price appreciation.

  36. jesse

    “As a side note Spectrum 3 and 4 are just starting move ins this week”

    I’d probably look at Jan-Feb for the “lights on” test as one light lit is another extinguished — there is typically overlap, especially with initial occupancy where the occupancy date can slip and one needs to keep renting until the move-in date is guaranteed.

  37. tqn

    -A- said “I wouldn’t be surprised”

    Dont be surprised, you have got used to it in the past many years, so learn to live with it.
    Whenever the crash come to you, well, nothing would change for you anyway, cuz, a cold basement is still a cold basement!

  38. Annon

    tqn, News Flash, how long have you been on the housing market?

  39. tqn

    as long as I have been able to manage it!

  40. Annon

    tqn, how many years is that?

  41. blueskies

    checked out Spectrum 1 & 2 today

    flipper city! low end kitchens, godawful hall carpets, only 2 elevators per bldg.

    significant noise factor including rabid football fans.

    SE corner 16 floor good exposure to sun in S2
    ask $565, had an apartment size fridge and $400+ maintenance fees.

    quick and dirty construction co.
    poor paint finishes (amateur hour)
    low end laminate in main areas

    not impressed overall

  42. Strataman

    “flipper city! low end kitchens, godawful hall carpets, only 2 elevators per bldg.” Agreed I was thru 3 and 4 a while back on business. Basically low end spec quality, lousy location. Try two treadmills for 900+ residents! Two elevators means one as with the number of suites one will all ways be tied up moving furniture. Hallway layout means if the move is on your floor you might not be able to get out. True price should be around $125,000.00 for a 1 bedroom which is what it will be in two years!

  43. -A-

    “True price should be around $125,000.00 for a 1 bedroom which is what it will be in two years!”

    That is if we still have easy credit.

  44. Markets are cyclical, housing is a market

    -A-, you mean if easy credit dries up.

  45. Jeff

    I think A actually meant if we still have easy credit… if not then prices will be sub-$100k.

  46. -A-

    That’s correct Jeff, if interest rates spike, it will be Florida Extra Plus.

  47. Jeff

    Ozzie Jurock interview…
    Not sure where he gets the Vancouver numbers from…

  48. Dude

    The market has turned!!! Smell the coffee. The faster the market crashes, the faster it will recover. Long death is painful. Just let the market be and tell the truth.

  49. Jeff

    I think this will be a long correction lasting 10 years.

  50. Jeff

    Americans leaving the B.C. housing market…
    http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=a5173b36-2dcd-4be8-a460-3695517179df&k=88000
    Funny thing is I just sold a place for an American who swore last year he would never sell his place here in Vancouver.

  51. coco

    National Bank of Canada takes $575-million charge

    http://tinyurl.com/yo8mom

  52. coco

    Bank of Canada will respond to global turbulence: Dodge

    http://tinyurl.com/yu7yeg

  53. coco

    B.C.’s booming building sector masks a troubling economic malaise

    http://tinyurl.com/yu89qr

  54. coco

    Bank of Montreal to Take Writedowns of C$210 Million

    http://tinyurl.com/yvzk2t

  55. coco

    If above links are not working because of tinyurl server problems, just google the headlines.

  56. Brian

    GOOD NEWS: British Columbia’s Economic Prospects in 2008 Appear Solid

    British Columbia’s economy created over 55,800 new jobs in the past 12 months to October 2007. Of those, 48,600 or 87% were full-time. Sustained strong growth of employment has also contributed to a steady net influx of people from other provinces and from outside the country. At 4.4%, British Columbia’s unemployment rate is near the 20-year-low it reached in March 2007.

    http://www.reedconstructiondata.com/articles/read/british-columbias-economic-prospects-in-2008-appear-solid/

  57. Brian, this is not news, this is industry propaganda. Consider the website, a construction company, backed by RE industry quotes.

    “Finally, despite the weakness in the U.S., China’s insatiable appetite for British Columbia’s resources should mean that the province’s net exports will continue to contribute to growth in the future.”

    This is complete rubbish, China does not have an ‘insatiable appetite’ for BC exports. Reed construction could not have possibly verified this. As I posted last week, BC only exports, what was it, 4.5% to China, I think it was $1.5 billion.

    Further, it mentions 13 000 jobs created in construction out of 55 000 jobs over the last year were in construction alone. If this is correct, almost a quarter of all new jobs are in construction. Sounds like California a couple of years ago.

  58. sorry, just noticed it was reed construction *data* … not sure how much closer that could be to being considered news.

  59. whitebear

    A lot of Canadian banks have taken some write-off with regards to their subprime exposure. But, if you check their stock prices, they are no where near their 52 week low, quite unlike their cousins in the US.

    http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=BMO.to Bank of montreal trades up today. FYI. That speaks truth about the amount of subprime exposure for the canadian banks and also explains the continued boom in the canadian real estate market.

  60. Anonymous

    Jeff
    November 18, 2007 at 11:59 pm
    Americans leaving the B.C. housing market…
    http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=a5173b36-2dcd-4be8-a460-3695517179df&k=88000

    Jeff, thanks for the link.

    I couldn’t stop laughing reading the last few sentences of the article:

    “Economic uncertainty in the U.S. spurred by the housing recession and tightening credit markets has perhaps knocked the American who would spend $500,000, Kelly said.

    Americans playing in the $1-million-plus market are still interested in Whistler, but proceeding with a bit more care, he added.

    “They definitely have to have something before the Olympics, whether it’s rental or purchase,” Kelly said. “Americans are big Olympic boosters, they always have been, and they want to be part of [the 2010 Games].” ”

    Yes, Americans are big Olympic boosters. But how many are going to buy just because of the Olympics. These $1 Million plus players didn’t get rich buying on hype.

  61. I remember lots of people saying Americans were buying places en masse a couple of years ago. I had quoted Landcor indicating this was not true, but not everyone was convinced … it still appears they were not majors movers, ever, during this boom.

    Landcor didn’t even mentioned non-resident Iranians and Chinese since there purchases in BC were not significant. Lots of others thought there was proxy buying and that their purchasing was/is rampant. Maybe if one had lots of exposure to one market like Coal Harbour, this might seem true, but I dont’ know, since there is no data showing this.

  62. Anonymous

    “A lot of Canadian banks have taken some write-off with regards to their subprime exposure. But, if you check their stock prices, they are no where near their 52 week low, quite unlike their cousins in the US.”

    Bank of Montreal

    52Wk High: 72.75

    52Wk Low: 56.44

    Today’s close 57.18

    Only 74 cents above the low, nah nothing like their American cousins at all. lol.

  63. Jeff

    lol… RY and CM made new lows today.

  64. Priced Out

    Things seem to be me moving fast now. The amount of money involved is hard for people to get perspective on. So, so scary.

  65. robchipman

    Here’s some perspective. This is 1st quarter of this year:

    TORONTO, March 2 (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) posted a 27.6 percent rise in its first-quarter profit on Friday as a result of strong earnings across all of its business divisions, particularly in its U.S. segment.

    Canada’s biggest bank said it earned C$1.49 billion or C$1.14 a share, for the three months ending Jan. 31.

    versus a more recent story:

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) – Bank of Nova Scotia became the latest Canadian bank on Tuesday to warn of writedowns in its fourth-quarter results because of turmoil in the U.S. subprime mortgage market.

    Scotiabank, Canada’s second-biggest bank, said it will lop C$135 million ($141 million) after tax off the value of its nonbank asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) and structured credit investments.

    The portion of Canada’s ABCP market that is not run by the country’s big banks ground to a halt this summer when buyers dried up on fears the debt investments were exposed to the U.S. subprime market. Companies holding the paper as investments have been cutting up to 15 percent off its value.

    Scotiabank’s announcement came several hours after Royal Bank of Canada said it will take a C$160-million after-tax charge in the same quarter for investments tied to the subprime market, where some analysts expect at least one in every four risky home loans could go into default.

    *****

    We probably haven’t seen the full extent of the write-downs, but if my math is right (someone please check it) RB made a Q1 profit about 9 times bigger than the write down. Does that make the write-down big or small? I’ll let you decide, and add only that I wouldn’t call the write down insignificant, and smaller losses in one area of a profitable balance sheet have probably hammered other stock values even more. Aside from it looking scary and moving fast (sorry, Priced Out, but what’s new about that?) can anyone hammer some numbers into perspective?

    (Side note: I read today a forecast for 4 rate cuts from BoC. Remember what I said about the CBs thinking they can manage inflation, coco? I know, time will tell, but I see increasing liquidity on the horizon).

  66. coco

    Rob,

    If banks could manage subprime writedowns, why would they raise mortgage rates in October due to the credit crunch and offer less off a discount off the posted mortgage rates more recently? I guess they want to maintain high profits and please the shareholders after all?

    The consumer will pay for banks bad investments whether that is in the form of higher credit card interest rates, higher mortgage rates, less of a discount off posted mortgage rates, higher bank fees, borrowing restrictions, etc., etc.

  67. Anonymous

    “I read today a forecast for 4 rate cuts from BoC”

    Please post the link.

    Four is extreme…that sounds like someone is predicting a slowdown or recession spillover effect from the U.S. into Canada.

  68. robchipman

    coco:

    I’m not saying that banks can manage sub-prime write downs (“… I wouldn’t call the write down insignificant…”)

    That said, are you really seeing significant moves in mortgage rates? My latest rate sheet has everything from 1-5 years in a narrow band: 5.55% to 5.94%. Compare that to Feb. this year:
    1 yr = 5.2%
    2 yr = 5.25%
    3 yr = 5.3%
    4 yr = 5.3%
    5 yr = 5.19%

    and September of ’06:
    1 yr = 5.1% (unchanged from September 14, was 5.25% August 23rd)
    2 yr = 5.2% (unchanged from September 14, was 5.3% August 23rd)
    3 yr = 5.3% (unchanged from September 14, was 5.3% August 23rd)
    4 yr = 5.35% (unchanged from September 14, was 5.4% August 23rd)
    5 yr = 5.28% (was 5.3% September 14 and 5.35% August 23rd)

    On $100,000 the monthly diff on a 5 year rate is about $40.

    Anonymous:

    Can’t find it online at the FP, but in the paper itself, FP2, Best of the FP Netwoork, you’ll find Ted Carmicheal, JP Morgan Chase Canada’s chief economist making the call. You guessed it: he is styled one of the most bearish forecasters on Bay Street. He thinks 4 cuts of 25 basis points apiece will not undercut attempts to keep core inflation in the 2% range.

    In other news PMI Mortgage Insurance was approved Thursday for the lucrative insured mortgage arena. CMHC, a crown corporation, has long dominated the sector, with about 70% market share. They’ve been giving up ground (not too hard to do when you start from a monopoly position and then have to compete) to Genworth and AIG. Another player makes for more competition, and that gives Canadians who require mortgage insurance more choice, which is a good thing. While it reduces CMHC’s access toe asy money it should also calm those who fear that the Canadian taxpayer is underwriting bad loans through CMHC. Who can really argue against privatizing bad loans?

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