Who knew me quitting the blog would lead to a revival of HHV? Thanks to DavidL, House Hunt Victoria was revived last May with the new format and moved to a dedicated site in the fall (if you’re wondering where he went, I didn’t kill him he has been busy with renovations) . Since May, 60 posts have been published while some 12,000 visitors have viewed 129,000 pages and made almost 4300 comments.
More than ever I believe there is value for prospective house hunters in Victoria to have a source of information that does not come from the real estate industry. Not just to provide a different lens on the data, but as a way to host diverse discussions on all topics related to renting and buying homes. For the vast majority, the home they buy (especially in our high-priced market!) will be the single largest investment they will ever make. If you’re only asking the people trying to sell you the house or the mortgage if you should buy and you can guess what the answer will be.
What makes HHV so interesting is that there is a good mix of people with different viewpoints which leads to active discussion. Renters, owners, investors, bears, bulls, halibuts, real estate insiders, skeptics, and observers. Unlike many other housing blogs, the comments are neither an echo chamber nor a toxic dump of vitriol. Thank you to everyone who reads and comments as you make HHV what it is.
I have a list of things that I would like to work on to improve the site. On top of the automated stats, I’d like to modernize some of the resources, and collect some of the really useful information that has been discussed here over the years for renters and owners. I’d like to work on improving the data visualization tools and find ways to make the statistics more meaningful for people who want to understand the market but don’t care to dig into the details. I’d like to collect statistics on important factors that influence the housing market, like demographics, vacancy rates, and employment rates and provide a way to explore them. These things will be coming over the next year as time allows.
Implementing these things takes both lots of time and newly some money to run the server and site. The Victoria housing market and this site has always been a hobby of mine and I don’t expect it to turn into any significant money making venture anytime in the future. However to ensure that it remains active and continues to be improved, some costs will need to be covered. So I am introducing “HHV Supporters” who will live in the sidebar of the site. These will be a limited number of ads for local services relevant to the real estate market.
Now advertising is a contentious issue online, and I’m certainly conscious of the desire not to change what isn’t broken. I hate intrusive or misleading ads as much as anyone and that will not happen here. To ensure that the flavour of HHV does not change, the following policy will apply to any advertising.
- No special treatment for advertisers either in the comments or articles.
- Advertisers have no influence on site content. No thinly disguised “guest posts” or other sleazy stuff.
- Simple images only, set aside from content. No seizure inducers, no popups. Again, no sleazy stuff.
- No questionable advertisers or products (“Click here to meet nearby hot granite countertops!“)
So what will the revenue be used for? Well outside of covering costs for hosting, domains, and redirects from the old site, I would like to start an HHV Beer Fund. Back in the beginning of the blog before I started reading the site, there were some in-person meetups that I’d like to revive. Personally I think it’d be fun to meet some of the blog readers and some free beer to get the conversation started (or to drown your sorrows into) can’t hurt. So, any interest? (dasmo you have to bring your cargo bike). If yes, please leave a comment as well as to how you think it could work.
Would you attend a HHV meetup?
- Maybe (39%, 24 Votes)
- Yes (28%, 17 Votes)
- No (26%, 16 Votes)
- Eww, blog people smell (7%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 61
Unrelated update, I’m working on making the trends in the weekly data easier to visualize. Here’s a start. Month to date sales volumes are used to estimate what the months of inventory is before the end of the month.