Demographics, Part One

One of the factors in real estate activity are the demographics of the city, which will give us some clues as to how many people there are (at least locally) that are likely to buy or sell.   First time home buyers – a backbone of the market – start buying between 25 and 34 (although others say the average could be getting pushed back to as late as 36).  Then people trade up through the market, until they are finally forced to sell due to health issues (waking up dead being one of the key drivers of home sales).

I’m going to dive deeper into analyzing the demographics relative to real estate in a later post.  For now, I’ve made a tool to allow you to explore the demographics of Victoria visually, from 1986 to 2041 (based on BC Stats population projections).

Mouse over the chart and use the arrow buttons at the top right or the selector to change the year.

For reference and without further comment, here are a few snapshots of the demographics at recent turning points in our real estate history.

demo1994

demo2000

demo2010

demo2015

 

Log in or Register

152 thoughts on “Demographics, Part One

  1. 7 IDs from one poster? That is a bit too much. Actually I don’t mind if he/she uses multiple IDs only to give inputs to cover multiple angles (even it is really unnecessary). But, Please. don’t fake up personal stories for each ID to confuse others. I posted my first post on this new HHV site because I wanted to calm down the poor “57 years old Poodle from TO”, when I saw “her” complaining 9 months winter in TO (which is not true) and thought “she” is too emotional and may make mistakes. What a waste and totally disrespectful of others’ time.

  2. WAit, is it tooooo late to withdraw my application to design school?

    (I kid. I’m mustachian-inspired. The point of life is not to dominate the world.)

    Though I do appreciate a good design!

  3. @caveat emptor

    Hard to say … seven aliases have been used so far:
    * BJRowlingPoodle
    * VictoriaVv
    * bob
    * Hansbrix
    * Marktip
    * Jimvic
    * Bictixk

  4. 5099 Del Monte seems strange that is still around at that price. Looks amazing for the price. Google earth shows nothing weird. Must be something. Is it close to Pat Bay highway. Noise??

  5. Does anyone know if there’s a story behind 5099 Del Monte Ave? Cordova Bay, $50K under assesment, yet 176 DOM.

    @Butter09, 869 Darwin went for $415,000, down from its original asking of $449K after 29 DOM.

  6. Thanks for all the technical tips about how to undermine useful conversation here on HHV, Introvert!

    I’ll thank you again soon as a 25-year-old stockbroker looking to sell my Hawaii home and retire in Gordon Head.

  7. You’re right, DavidL, that a person would have to stick with a specific IP address on the VPN and not ever change it. Depending on one’s VPN, this is not difficult. But what might be difficult is remembering to connect to the VPN each time one posts a comment.

  8. Spot on Sweethome, This “insanity” is seen in a lot of run ups before markets collapse.

    It’s like a serial killer running amok before he is caught. A graph of hyperinflation in the Weimer Republic has a lot visually in common with the Vancouver market as prices went off the charts.

    Markets collapse when they become erratic. The price that you get for your home becomes dependent on the BC Ferries arriving on time. $650,000 this week, $750,000 next week then back to $650,000 because it’s too stormy for the ferries to operate.

    In my opinion, it would be good for the market to put an end to these auctions and go back to an orderly liquidation of properties that have been reliably priced. Otherwise auctions should be scrutinized by an unbiased third party and the bids should be known to all bidders during the auction.

  9. Someone was asking about Estevan

    Estevan is the neighborhood around Willows Beach. It’s a small geographical area of less than a half kilometer in radius.

    There are currently 5 houses for sale in Estevan. In February there were 3 sales.
    Over the course of the last 12 months there were 35 sales of non water view or waterfront homes at a median price of $855,000 or $320 per finished square foot.

    That bought a 2,670 square foot 1940 built home on at 7,700 square foot lot. The homes on average are bigger in floor area as are the lots than some other areas.

    Which means that while South Oak Bay and Estevan have similar improved property values the underlying land value in South Oak Bay is higher than Estevan.

    NOTE: the reason why I exclude waterfront and water view properties is because there are so few sales over the course of a year in these neighborhoods, one or two water front sales could skew the outcomes.

  10. which explains how Victoria does not correlate with Vancouver any more than Ottawa does with Toronto.

    I’m not sure about Ottawa/Toronto, but it looks like Vic/Van typically correlate fairly well…except the often lag to each other (and of course Van’s Olympic boost). One of the signals Vic was about to bottom in 2013 was actually that Van started taking off.

    @SweetHome
    I do sympathize. If there’s any consolation, the market will take breathers…when the next one is, I have no idea. My guess is in a few months.

  11. @Ash

    Thanks, but I have to give all the credit to a loyal HHV reader who tipped off Leo. I was just able to confirm it by looking at the log files.

  12. Poodle’s posts were sounding increasingly desperate, glad DavidL picked it up.
    Not much is for certain on an anonymous blog. A part of me is still waiting for Prairie Boy to pop back on, confess that he never actually bought in the 2009 dip and that he’s currently slugging it out in crazy GH bidding wars, to no avail.

  13. @plumwine – Yes, 2348 Hamiota appears to be a good price, but I now know that asking prices are just suggestions, like opening bids at an auction. I thought the house on Parkside near Mt. Doug looked reasonable for $600K last week too, but it went for $750K. Also, the house on Hamiota is old and looks like it might have some issues (can’t quite tell from pictures), so I’m thinking one reason for a low ask price is to get an unconditional offer.

    That’s what makes house hunting frustrating these days: you get your hopes up something is in your price range, only to have it sell for much more. Wouldn’t it be nice if sellers had to sell to the first person who gave them their full asking price?

    Imagine trying to shop for groceries with a $100 budget and not knowing what the price of each item would be until it was rung through? If beets and carrots were each priced at $3 a bunch on the sign, but carrots rung up at $4 and beets at $2.75, maybe you would rather have the beets, but you don’t have the information to make the choice. It’s like that now with housing in the hot areas, and it ain’t a few dollars here or there. That’s why I’m losing sleep.

    Glad to hear BJRowlingPoodle likely won’t be outbidding me on anything, though. Although this whole housing situation seems like a bad dream to me, I’m pretty sure one still has to pay for a house with real money.

  14. It was kinda obvious they were fake. Otherwise they would have taken much greater offence to the “decorator” jab.
    I did like the repeated claims they were ready to outbid us locals…. I think Totoro called it. They were trying to pump their own house sale….

  15. @Introvert

    Even when someone is using VPN, the IP only subtly changes between sessions and most people are not aware enough to consistently use the same VPN tunnel endpoint for each different profile. Some HHV users occasionally use VPN, but I can still go through the logs and sift out “who’s who”. 😉

    A few weeks ago, I was logged into three different parts of my Google account from three different countries. Google sent me a text message just to make sure it was truly “me”!

  16. @caveat. Single > at the start of the line and then the text you want to quote after. Your message on a new line.

  17. Nan will be happy to hear the news that the 33 year old multi OB property owner and the wealthy TO buyer looking to buy in OB are figments. .

    Moral of story – do not envy imaginary self reported internet wealth. I have met more than a few rich people. Some are into conspicuous consumption, but few are gauche enough to openly brag about their wealth.

  18. Comparing Sooke to the core is like comparing a campground to Paris.

    Just about power washed my screen with tea when I read that one!

    @BJRowlingPoodle aka VictoriaVV. One more name change and your IP is being blocked.

    Time to bust out the VPN, I guess…

  19. 2348 Hamiota St, $675k @ OB, UNDER assessed value (724k)

    An unicorn or finally a reasonable listing in the core.

  20. Mortgage rates are of national scope, set by either the BOC (variable rates) or the banks (fixed rates). Economic trends tend to be more regional (such as witnessed in the recent boom/bust in Alberta. Demand is local, which explains how Victoria does not correlate with Vancouver any more than Ottawa does with Toronto.

  21. @SweetHome – the comparison I was going for with the map is that both Vic & Van are getting ‘squeezed for land’ as both are surrounded 270 degrees by ocean. Moreover, much of the remaining 90 degrees is agricultural land reserve.

    @DavidL

    prices spiked when rates rapidly dropped!

    Oh I’m well aware what happened in Vic, but I wonder why prices plummeted when rates rapidly dropped in the center of the universe TO? 🙂

  22. @Michael

    I’m not referring to Toronto at all (why would I – this is HHV)!

    Refer to the chart that I linked to and you’ll see that the inflation-adjusted (2015 dollars) price for houses jumped from $290,660 (at 13.24% interest) in 1990 to $366,632 (at 8.70 % interest) in 1993. Prices peaked in 1994 at $380,004, and then slid down to $335,197 in 2000 while rates were approximately 7% to 9%. My point being, prices spiked when rates rapidly dropped!

  23. I found a nice place to rent but can attest to the brutal rental market. I had an advantage being a landlord myself. I got on the email alerts and was the first to see the listing. I had my intro letter prepared and saw the place as soon as I could and was first. I managed to be charming and they gave the place to us without showing it further. Whew…. I learned during the search that if it was under $2000 it probably wasn’t actually a house for rent. Lots of inaccurate listings and garbage out there if you are looking to rent a family home….

  24. @Michael – you appear to have played with the scale on your map comparing Greater Victoria vs. the Lower Mainland. They are not the same size, which your comparison makes them appear to be. I just checked it out on Google maps for myself, and I advise others to do the same (check the scale at the bottom).

  25. Nan will be happy to hear the news that the 33 year old multi OB property owner and the wealthy TO buyer looking to buy in OB are figments. Probably someone with a house currently for sale. Get some integrity!

  26. You meant that 33 years old interior designer is actually the 57 years old lady from TO?

    … Stay turned to tomorrow’s episode of As the HHV Turns when it’s revealed that VictoriaVv is actually living in BJRowlingPoodle’s basement! Next week’s plot twist will reveal that the IP resolves to Gordon Head and not Oak Bay (gasp!) …

    Seriously, HHV is a community of trust where it’s important to respect a range of viewpoints. Taking on a different persona is deceitful and cannot be tolerated.

  27. Reeks of desperation by the bulls. The numbers never added up. VictoriaBS would be banned if it was my blog. Next thing they’ll be a hot shot multi millionare trader from the UK stuck in the late 80’s. 😉

  28. Introvert, thanks for that link to the blog, it was a well thought out read:

    “You can afford to spend $200,000 more on a house if you can get by with only one car.”

    DavidL you calculated that to equal $872/mth. Sounds like a lot. Now imagine someone spending that much on booze. I was doing some bookkeeping today and this client spent $9283.77 for the year at the liquor store and cold beer and wine store. That is an average of $773.65 per month!! The biggest month, Feb 2015 they spent $989.64. NO JOKE. And it’s not like they are just buying really expensive stuff (maybe they are, I didn’t actually see the receipts) but it’s the frequency of the visits. They made 25 purchases in January, 19 in February. Their most sober month, November, they only spent $604.78 in 13 visits. But then December they spent over $900 again.

    This seems like such an INSANE waste of money. So sad.

  29. VictoriaVV is Poodle? Ohhh, too funny! And really bizarre… why even go to all that trouble to create two personas? What’s the end game?

  30. I have two friends that just sold their +$1mil homes (the first in Feb and the 2nd just today) and now find themselves looking for a place to rent for mid-April. And guess what? The rental stock is kinda slim and not so “friendly” to families with a couple kids. The idea of cashing out, buying a lot and building anew to do it all over again, maybe that won’t work after all! (Especially if you thought you could do it in a new 2 bedroom for LESS than $1600/mth, close to your kids school. Apparently those no longer exist, if they ever did!)

    Unless you are moving AWAY, your chances or finding a new place to either buy or rent in the core are so terrible, it’s better to just stay put and watch the madness unfold.

  31. More high drama on HHV. Anyone could be anyone on the internet… but you have to be pretty off to go to that extent. Lack of a moral compass is sad.

  32. the 50% drop in interest rate between 1990 (14%) and 1991 (7%) is what caused a corresponding peak in prices.

    I think you may have meant a corresponding peak for Toronto prices. Toronto peaked in 1990 and then fell ~30% over the next 5 years. Vic on the other hand increased over 40% as Toronto was getting molested.

  33. You meant that 33 years old interior designer is actually the 57 years old lady from TO? Or she/he is actually none of them. What a wonderful internet. Maybe we should show poster’s IP/MAC address as part of the ID as well.

  34. @BJRowlingPoodle aka VictoriaVV. One more name change and your IP is being blocked. Appreciate the contribution, but you can contribute without pretending to be multiple people.

    Thanks to a keen eyed HHV reader for the tip.

  35. @Hawk

    There was a problem after I updated the Jetpack plugin to version 3.9.3. Strangely, all the all lowercase letter i’s were stripped out. I’ve applied a fix. This is why a few posters’ comments were temporarily corrupted. I will manually correct the text you quoted.

  36. “The market dynamics are so completely different now in this era of ultra-low interest rates.”

    Mike’s a little slow these days. Doesn’t get the 174% debt bomb that didn’t exist and the 5% wages hikes that were common back then. NIRP isn’t going to happen.

    Looks like many posters need spell check…unless they are the same poster ? 😉

  37. “The good thing for renters is it’s still pretty affordable. I just rented a GH house for $2400/month.”

    From bitter renter to happy renter. The baby bull thing will change, give it a month when the listings pile on.

  38. @Michael

    Although boomers buying their first house definitely drove up demand during the 70’s and 80’s, the 50% drop in interest rate between 1990 (14%) and 1991 (7%) is what caused a corresponding peak in prices. The market dynamics are so completely different now in this era of ultra-low interest rates.

  39. From those graphs…NOTICE there are NOW 9 bars over 22,500 (vs 2)
    So, comparisons are not that simple..but what it does prove is IN-MIGRATION…(regardless of age-wave)
    The better question is…will nesters meet immigrants demand head-on and will immigration continue?

  40. If demographics contributed to the 170% price run-up from ’85 to ’94,
    then ’16 to the late ’20s should see similar strong demand? Yes, no, maybe so?

  41. If you are in Van you probably don’t need a management company. Most issues that come up mean you ask the tenants to call someone to fix it and take it off the rent. The only concern is if the place needs to be rented. then that is a burst of work. Get good tenants in before you leave and you should be fine. It’s not like you will never come to Vic again. I wouldn’t sell your only home right now. Not with this BS going down… I would only sell if you were going to put the cash to work somehow.

  42. NIRP… Negative Interest Rate Policy … what do you do? (no one has experienced nor understands ultimate ramifications)

    You win a million dollars…. (inherit, whatever)

    You can put it in a bank (solvency issues?) and lose a fixed percent a year patiently waiting to spend it in the future….(unknown taxation implications?)
    You can put it into a principle residence and take your chances, but know that you have used it for a lifestyle as the years you have to enjoy it are passing you by…

    pick your poison….

  43. The good thing for renters is it’s still pretty affordable. I just rented a GH house for $2400/month. It’s a super nice house fully renovated and in a great spot (as far as GH goes) I don’t like the biking from there…. So about half what a mortgage with taxes and maintenance would cost….

  44. @StepByStep, I’ve never employed a property management company, but I’ve been a tenant for a few. Dutton’s was by far the most professional and organized outfit I’ve seen in town. I would use them for my own place.

    I have found that their listings are sometimes underpriced, so do your research before agreeing to a price for the rental.

    (That said, I’m still a bear at heart and, personally, would sell while the market is hot rather than keep a property out of fear of being priced out forever. I’ve also been wrong for a long long time.)

  45. @BJRowlingPoodle

    Historically, Vancouver and Seattle have followed their own boom and bust cycles. Why would things be any different this time? In Seattle, there was a notable drop in prices between 2013 and 2015 – so not exactly “going up in price for years”:

  46. “Comparing Sooke to the core is like comparing a campground to Paris.”

    Agreed. But then so is comparing Victoria to Seattle and Vancouver. Bellingham and Olympia might be better comparables.

  47. Bman. I’m talking about Vancouver, Seattle, and many other areas “outside”…. Comparing Sooke to the core is like comparing a campground to Paris.

  48. Sylvan Lane was way underpriced, whoever their Realtor was made a mistake clearly.

    I am very sure it will sell for 1.1 or 1.2 million.

    Locals appear to have been lulled into a sense that Victoria was the place where prices don’t move for a decade and that it will just continue.

    I would say if you want to own a house in the core, get in now, the surge in pricing has just started and historically it will last for at least 3-5 years or more.

    Literally everywhere surrounding Victoria has been going up in price for years now, the surge has finally hit, and we are prepared to buy our dream home any day now, and we will win the bidding war as locals are too used to 2007 prices to bid high enough to win.

  49. Is there a way to get listings at or under BC Assessment? website?

    In a word – No. The BC Assessment site (http://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/) will show you sales history for a specific property in the last 3 years. If you want to see what listing are available in your area, I suggest using http://www.realtor.ca/ or contact a real estate agent to set up a PCS (Private Client Services) account that will list (in great detail) all the properties that match you selection criteria.

  50. For another example of how overpriced the market is getting, check out 4012 Cedar Hill Rd (MLS 361455), asking $160,000 over assessed value. Yes, the interior is updated – but for $748,000 you could get something 30 years newer.

  51. We own a modest SFH, fully paid for, in the core. Likely moving to Vancouver due to work transfer, we are not real estate investors and don’t have the temperament or interest to manage a rental. We will rent in Vancouver and hesitate to sell our house in Victoria for fear of never owning again. We never expected to have this fear, and also we feel we can financially handle a substantial downturn in the value of our house should markets crash. Have any of you used a professional management company to handle rentals? I’d welcome opinions on what we are considering.

  52. What is happening with 82 Sylvan Lane? I saw it newly listed earlier this week for $849k, for a matter of days. Today, it is relisted at $975k….?

    This is all pure insanity.

  53. Mike, I know you’re from the UK but did you skip geography class by any chance ole chap ? 6 million Chinese laid off, exports tanking 25%, yep they’ll be taking row boats filled with cash from Richmond to get here to pay $150K over. The game is over dude, best get used to the idea.

    Victoria was the last blip on the chart as the authorities are now on to the cash funneling game and the vault is slamming shut. Sell now or kiss good bye the easiest $100K you will ever make.

    China to lay off five to six million workers, earmarks at least $23 billion

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-layoffs-exclusive-idUSKCN0W33DS

  54. Ha…I had to try out the “new plug-in” 🙂 Don’t worry, I won’t abuse it.

    I’d like to see this market take a breather for a while… she’s running a little too hot for my liking.

  55. @Michael

    Wow! That newly discovered fault line fractured and the San Juan Islands have been replaced by the Lower Mainland?! 😉

    That ferry keeps so many people away from the Island … thanks goodness that we are not a suburb of the GVRD.

  56. I think this is the most visually obvious reason Vic will now ‘play catch up’ with Van, while the western communities will forever lag.

  57. Looks like the flow of HAM will be slowing down in the coming months. Bagholders self help groups will be forming by fall.

    “Seattle lawyer Dan Harris ­— an expert on facilitating trade with Chinese businesses — said that since January, China has aggressively clamped down on capital flight.

    Harris said U.S. realtors are calling his firm more and more often for help in getting cash out of China for luxury home sales that were easily completed in the past.

    “That will impact real estate in Vancouver and Seattle,” Harris said in an interview.

    “If anyone thinks the Chinese government will not stop people from sending $3 million out to buy a house in Vancouver? Wow. I don’t know what they know that I don’t.”

  58. I wonder how many of these over bids by 100K plus are going to be flipped in a few months ? Have to be naive to think this is not happening here.

    Former ‘wholesaler’ lifts lid on a dark side of Vancouver’s red-hot real estate market

    “Amanda said some wholesale deals involve only unlicensed brokers and pools of offshore cash organized informally, and some appear to involve realtors and brokerages hiding behind unlicensed wholesalers.”

    “Amanda said she believes that unethical and ignorant investors are driving B.C.’s housing market at full speed towards a crash.”

    http://www.theprovince.com/business/former+wholesaler+lifts+dark+side+vancouver+real+estate/11771306/story.html

  59. BUT at least options here, move to Duncan; close drive and very affordable!

    Yes. That’s one reason Victoria’s market is so different from Vancouver’s. Downtown Victoria is a lot more accessible from the West Shore, Sidney, and Sooke than Downtown Vancouver is from Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

  60. The lot we might get isn’t far from the goose so my bike commute dream isn’t dead yet… Didn’t ship our bike back from the Netherlands. Just too much $$$ I found a place in Ontario that imports them and it’s close to the same cost as shipping vs selling and buying again. So if we really wanted to spend the $ on the ultimate electric bike we can. In the meantime I await my disc pads so I can get the one I built here back on the road!!!!

  61. Thanks Leo. I’m very open to all contacts and tips. Passive house is a no brainer. It’s one of the things that attracts me to the Mandala homes prefab. They offer that site specific tuning to the design. Although it’s not rocket science. You simply need the intent from the start.

  62. Here’s a shocker from the statscan report:

    The tendency of adult children to remain living with their parents has increased over the last three decades.

  63. “In general, homeownership rises quickly with the age of household maintainers before their early 40s, and continues to climb at a slower pace until reaching a plateau of over 75% near age 65. The homeownership rate changes little from age 65 to 74 but starts declining after age 75.”

    Bear in mind that the report is about “home” ownership not SFH ownership. Some of these seniors could be moving from SFHs to condos but they aren’t giving up home ownership in large numbers till after 74.

    Also this is looking at people that are still alive at various ages. Those that die are more likely to give up ownership though the spouse may become the new “household maintainer”

  64. @Leo S

    I would agree – I know several people who have bought this year, who are around my age and are wage earners. One couple bought a house in a bidding war. I’m sure they paid more than they would have liked, but they paid what they could afford to pay. There just aren’t many deals to be had right now.

    With respect to mainland and foreign buyers, the effect seems mostly to be limited to higher end properties in Oak Bay, Gordon Head, and so on. These neighbourhoods are not first time buyer material for your typical Victorian family so I wouldn’t worry about them. Maybe some move up buyers get displaced into the next best neighbourhood or they buy a crappier house or just pay what they can afford.

    First time buyers get to do what they’ve always done, and compromise on location, property type, school choice, or whatever is important to them. If they want to be close in to Victoria, there are certainly areas that remain within reach. Foreign buyers probably aren’t going to take a run on the Gorge or Esquimalt any time soon.

  65. @dasmo. Have a chat with these guys if you’re interested in passive house design. They’re doing some pretty cool stuff. 80-90% energy use reduction for houses just by paying some attention to it during construction.
    http://bernhardtcontracting.com

  66. my lady and I ended up buying last April, and went with a half duplex instead of a house

    Hence why I don’t buy the “we’re being overrun by foreign buyers” argument. Lots of people I know have bought in the last year, and about half the HHV readership has as well. Like you said, affordability wasn’t too bad before the recent insanity, and many places were cheaper (on a monthly basis) than renting.

  67. @Jason

    Thanks! I went through Myrtle around August of 2014, and I think it sold in the fall for around $370k. It needed some work (or so I thought) and I was a little bit shy about having a project. $455k is pretty good for a coat of paint. Ah well – live and learn.

    Anyway, congrats on the condo purchase! – my lady and I ended up buying last April, and went with a half duplex instead of a house. Perhaps also not as good an investment, but it’s been cheaper than where we rented, so I ain’t gonna complain.

  68. How did you embed that image?

    I added a new plug-in (not surprisingly named “Embed Images in Comments”) on this site yesterday evening. All links to GIF, PNG and JPEG should now be scaled and displayed in-line.

  69. Leo S. I think it’s people that have PCS setup, and in the areas they like, but they had them setup to a certain price range, and with the new 20% higher bids happening, they are not seeing the selling price show up, or even asking prices lately.

  70. Lots of people seem to be asking about sales prices for properties they are interested in. Email your realtor, ask to be set up with a PCS account and tell them the areas, types of houses, and price range you are interested in and you can see that stuff for yourself. Free, no obligation with any realtor as far as I know.

  71. Just Jack. Can you do all sales at all prices for Arbutus, Cadboro Bay, and Oak Bay? Including all sales, waterfront or water view.

    Would really appreciate it. A lot of places in estivan, caddy bay, and arbutus are water view or water front.

  72. I loved the Westy. It had a new engine though. A Jetta conversion. Lots of pep. An excellent ride and lots of fun. Hope to not need one as we will be living in nature in the future so less need for it. Every day will be camping in paradise! Will be living a billionaire’s life by EU standards.

  73. @CS

    Thanks insightful indeed.
    The key takeaways are:
    1/ polarization between haves and have nots esp. By age
    2/ correlation higher costs = detrimental to family formation

    Makes a lot of sense. Makes me think London Japan and Hong Kong. High costs of living and younger people worry about getting by this month as opposed to let’s have kids. BUT at least options here, move to Duncan; close drive and very affordable!

  74. “You can afford to spend $200,000 more on a house if you can get by with only one car.”

    Make sense. We see all those shiny lifted trucks in Westshore. While Vic/Fairfield/OB are too house poor and they are riding bikes rain or shine. 😉

  75. @Just Jack, how about Estevan?

    I am surprise Dunlevy sold within a weekend, while there are 2 new houses in the same area still available.

  76. Though count us in with the HHV people that folded this month & bought. Got our condo from our landlord for 10k under appraised value. Not as good investment as a house but great lifestyle & storage, very affordable for us, could stay here forever & we value the security of not having to move. Will be interesting to see if it affects spending habits at all. Now onto payoffthemortgagevictoria.ca! (also howlongcanistayoffthestratacoucil.ca? )

  77. Leo S – classic. My first car was a 1976 bus. It took a year or so to realize it’s not so much a car as a hobby… Damn those skinned knuckle valve adjustments every 2 months.

  78. Bman – 1660 Myrtle sold for 455k.

    I also kept looking at it online in Dec 2014 (when it was a court sale, asking 359k, not sure what it went for then) – it is a nice size & nice little yard & nice how the dining room opened to the back patio. Doesn’t look like they did much to it. Just painted the outside & put in a counter and appliances in the basement. I have no handy man skills (which is likely why I didnt move on it in 2014) but looks like even I could have done that!

  79. My most expensive car was the Westy

    Now that is fully your own doing 🙂

    My parents used to have a Westfalia (pop top 80s), so last summer I wanted to rent one for a bit of a nostalgic camping trip. Reserved for a week in the summer, and 3 days before we were to pick it up we were told it had blown its transmission and they didn’t have any alternatives.
    It was perfect in the end. I got the full Westy experience of catastrophic mechanical problems without having to spend a dime!

  80. I buy used cars and sold two vastly different ones recently before the move to Rotterdam. Without having a daily commute really the monthly cost of ownership was $500 all in. Add more if you commute from Langford or want a fancier car. My most expensive car was the Westy purchased at $16,500. Sold it for $17,500 but it ate way more cash along the way….

  81. You can afford to spend $200,000 more on a house if you can get by with only one car.

    Meanwhile in Canada…. http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/extended-auto-loans-1.3481327

    “Canadians brought home 1.9 million new vehicles in 2015, a record sales number.”
    “Canadians are increasingly buying too much car and paying for it with loans that extend for six, seven and eight years, according to a federal consumer watchdog.”

  82. Boomers tend to stay in their SFH home longer now days, lots stay until the end

    That has nothing to do with boomers. Everyone stays in as long as they can. That has not changed. The point is that eventually you have no choice. Despite boomers thinking they will be forever young they will be forced out of their homes at the same rate as the generation before them

  83. Several people have mentioned Cadboro Bay, Gordon Head and South Oak Bay several times on the blog. Maybe we should take a look at what is going on in those hoods?

    First up is Cadboro Bay

    Currently there are two properties for sale. Last month there were two sales.
    Over the course of the last 12 months there were a total of 21 house sales excluding water front and water views at a median price of $688,000 or $321 per finished square foot. That got you a 2,145 square foot home built in 1955 on a 8,100 square foot lot.

    How about Gordon Head

    There are 21 houses for sale. Last month there were 4 sales. Over the last 12 months 123 non water front and non water view properties sold at a median price of $679,000 or $286 per finished square foot. That bought a 1976 built, 2,400 square foot home on a 8,200 square foot lot

    How about South Oak Bay

    There are 14 homes for sale. And 11 were sold in February. Over the last 12 months, 118 non waterfront and non water view homes sold at a median price of $860,000 or $373 per finished square foot. That bought a 1940 built, 2,300 square foot home on a 6,600 square foot lot.

    So which is the “hotter” neighborhood?

  84. I’ve been following the discussions on the lack of inventory and the associated pressure on prices in Victoria. Would like to buy in Oak Bay but it seems out of reach now for many demographics. Does anyone know the sale prices for 531 Oliver and for 879 St Patrick? Seems like they sold almost as soon as they were listed.

  85. @Bman

    You’ve got a good point, there. Estimating $250/month for insurance, gas, etc. would leave $622/month – or a $37,320 car.

  86. Based on the census data, it looks the first-time home buyer demographic (25 to 34) will remain fairly steady until 2024 and then begin to drop off. Does this mean that housing prices will continue to climb until then? As, entry-level housing is becoming increasingly expensive, I would argue that condominium and townhouse sales will be more attractive to this demographic.

  87. I agree with BJRowlingPoodle about South Oak Bay vs. Cadboro Bay/Gordon Head/Estevan.

    In addition to proximity to shopping, the latter areas are close to the university. SOB is just a bit too far from there and not close to downtown either. The lots are small and the houses often in rough shape.

    I think South Oak Bay is fully priced out. If we were moving back to Victoria from Vancouver, we would pick the areas you identified.

  88. Boomers tend to stay in their SFH home longer now days, lots stay until the end. For example, there are 4 widows in our small crescent, two are 70s, one in 80s, one in her 90s, all chose to stay in their 2000sqft home alone after husbands passed away. Probably all have spousal pensions from the husbands.

  89. DavidL, to be fair I think you would have to factor in the operating cost of the vehicle in that $872 per month figure.

  90. With my immediate family in Victoria, one relative sold their house at age 70 and the other at age 80. Both prefer to rent, choosing to live within walking distance of stores, banks, etc close to bus routes. In both cases, it was hard for them to make ends meet on their retirement income, but after selling – their financial worries are over. They are now “set for life” …

    … scary how many bluehairs are the only thing you see over the steering wheel. I guess we should get used to it with the number of boomers out there …

    Those self-driving cars can’t come soon enough! 😀

  91. You can afford to spend $200,000 more on a house if you can get by with only one car.

    That’s an interesting point, but when you “crunch the numbers” – it needs to be a luxury car needs to be worth more than $50,000. Here’s the math …

    A $400,000 mortgage with 10% down will incur $8,640 in CHMC mortgage insurance. That $368,640 mortgage amortized over 25 years at a 3% mortgage rate (5-year, fixed) works out to monthly payments of $1,745.

    A $600,000 mortgage with 10% down will incur $12,960 in CHMC mortgage insurance. That $552,960 mortgage amortized over 25 years at a 3% mortgage rate (5-year, fixed) works out to monthly payments of $2,617.

    The difference is $872/month. What kind of vehicle can you get for that much? Most manufacturers will offer 0% financing for 60 months … that $872 will buy a vehicle worth $52,320.

  92. Plumwine, I think new to town buyers are not so interested in South Oak Bay. It’s too far from everything (shopping, malls, airport, Costco, good rec centres).

    The areas that are hot are estivan, Cadboro bay, arbutus, and Gordon Head. They are close to water, great Newer houses, larger lots with garages, tenants allowed, fences allowed, less crowded streets, and still around 200k less then SOB.

  93. “2738 Dunlevy Street was an amazing house! We looked at it and the location, street, beautiful renovation.

    We figured that it would sell for 1.2 or 1.3 million”

    South OB commands higher price than Estevan, has any South OB updated 50s bungalow sold over 1M yet??

    Just 2 houses down on Dunlevy sold for $700k iirc, bigger house with a HUGE garage. Yes, it needs update, not turnkey like 2738.

    1883 Lulie St $1.35M, 2724 Dewdney (ugliest house award winner…) $1.6M. Both brand new, ~2x floor space, offer much better values IMO.

  94. Looks like real estate is also red hot across the Strait (the Juan de Fuca Strait, that is):

    From yesterday’s Seattle Times:

    The median price of single-family homes sold in King County last month hit a new high of $514,975, up about 20 percent over the median price a year ago, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service said Monday. Some submarkets, like Seattle, rose even more.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/king-county-home-prices-hit-a-new-high/

  95. Has the house on Rockland sold yet? 1.699 million, 1587 Rockland. Wonder if this price range is also hot?

  96. Excerpt from a blog called Money After Graduation:

    You can afford to spend $200,000 more on a house if you can get by with only one car.

    As far as monthly payments go, it costs the same amount to own a $400,000 house in suburbia and drive two cars as it does to own a $600,000 house in the centre of the city and get away with one vehicle. This means choosing a more expensive home near one person’s employer of a two-person household is actually cheaper than living further away and forcing both to drive to their respective jobs.

    http://www.moneyaftergraduation.com/2015/12/14/it-isnt-cheaper-to-live-in-the-suburbs/

  97. 2738 Dunlevy Street was an amazing house! We looked at it and the location, street, beautiful renovation.

    We figured that it would sell for 1.2 or 1.3 million right away. Still a deal for the right person, that area is close to the best area in Canada.

    Minutes to Willows, walk the dog around Uplands, can’t think of a better place. If it wasn’t for the size of yard we would have thought about it.

  98. “4337 Parkside listed for 600k, sold for 751k.”

    “1468 Rockland sold for $100 over asking: $964K –> $1.06 million. Assessment $796. The biddings wars continue. A co-worker told me his realtor has offers on all his listings!”

    AKA “The Suckers Rally of the Century”, something to tell the grandkids when they ask you why the hell didn’t you sell ? If you’re not selling, you’ll be soon crying.

  99. I wonder if as their husbands start to die off over the next ~25 years, if boomer widows will be more likely than previous generations to sell the homestead and move to the garden city?

    I kind of hope not, as it’s already scary how many bluehairs are the only thing you see over the steering wheel 🙂 I guess we should get used to it with the number of boomers out there.

  100. Yes, I agree with that. With a big cohort of boomers eventually there will be more turnover within the 18% senior population, but not necessarily more MOI given the demand.

  101. I don’t think Victoria is going to get more inventory all of sudden for this reason.

    It will absolutely add to the supply. That doesn’t mean that supply won’t be snapped up immediately, but it means the turnover will certainly increase as more people start dying off.

  102. I think US retirement destinations might be a bit different. A lot of those purchases are second homes in Phoenix, Florida or Las Vegas. Even though Victoria is desirable for retirement I don’t know many retired people with a second SFH in the core here, maybe a condo.

    Yeah, the survival rate decreases but there is strong replacement and low inventory of houses overall. I don’t think Victoria is going to get more inventory all of sudden for this reason.

  103. What these developments mean is that interpretation of market trends without some segmentation of property by price bracket is always going to be a dodgy business. Not that I have any solution, i.e., a means to gather data by price bracket.

    Bingo. Luckily we have Just Jack to provide insight into the finer market segments.

  104. One of the more comical demographic studies ever written (complex formulas and all) was from Harvard in 1988…

    Conclusion
    We have documented that changes in the number of births over time lead to large and predictable changes in the demand for housing. These changes in housing demand appear to have substantial impact on the price of housing. If the historical pattern continues over the next twenty years, housing prices will fall to levels lower than observed at any time in recent history.

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w2794

    Imagine if the Van couple who bought for 498k in ’86 and just sold for 9M had listened to that research in ’88. Most everywhere in US/Can went much higher in the 20 year span of 1988-2008.

  105. 3/4 of the 55-64 year olds own houses. By 75 2/3 still are owners

    2/3 of the survivors still own houses. Consider that quite a few people have died by then and will have liquidated their assets. Only 2/3 make it to 75 to start with.

    For sure some do this but “net seller starting at 70” indicates that most are not buying – they either stay put or sell and do not buy again. Leo – where does this stat come from? Do you have a link?

    The only study I know of is a paper out of the states from a few years back. I do have a link (need to find it) and will write about this in more detail in the future. While not canadian data, they did look at net buyers and net sellers in various markets, including retirement destinations like Phoenix (where I believe the crossover point was age 71).
    Net buyers mean, the group as a whole sells more houses than they buy. Someone downsizing is not a net seller because they sell and buy one house.

  106. Any idea what 1660 Myrtle sold for? Not sure if it is a done deal yet or still pending. I looked at that house in 2014 when it was under foreclosure, and have some regrets about not bidding on it. Kind of a dumpy little joint, but it seemed like a decent deal at the time.

  107. So far this year over 70 houses in the core districts have sold over a million dollars. In comparison for that same time period a year ago when there were only 24.

    The average price for a detached home in the core has increased from $666,300 to $780,500 between the two time periods or 17%

    That’s for the general market. Your home will differ substantially from 17% depending on the style of your home and where in the city core the property is located.

    District Average 2015 , Average 2016 Percentage Change
    Oak Bay up 30.6 %
    Saanich East up 22.5 %
    Victoria up 5.9 %
    Saanich West up 6.1 %
    Esquimalt up 14.5 %
    View Royal up 2.3 %

    The average sale price for home in Oak Bay since the first of the year is now $1,286,500. Which is great news for most of the bulls on this site as all of them seem to live there.

    Saanich East is now $802,750 and the same style of home in View Royal is $582,500.

    So why are there such massive differences between areas? Any bull will tell you it is location, location, location.

    Which really means they don’t know.

    Someone wanted to know about the Western Communities. And here are the year over changes.

    District Average 2015, Average 2016 Percentage Change
    Highlands up 21.6 %
    Metchosin down -22.3 %
    Colwood up 6.0 %
    Langford up 11.4 %
    Sooke up 2.4 %

    And we can’t forget the Gulf Islands
    down -19.9%

    .

  108. @ Numbers Hack

    Question is what happens when the 150k over 50 ages? I do believe this demo OWNS A DISAPPORTIONATE amount of all asset groups. Thinking 33% of population and 90% of all wealth.

    When the 150 K over 50 age and drop off the twig, their assets (90% of all wealth?) will go to their mostly over-50-age children. And as the value of their main assets, property and stocks have increased greatly in the last decade, we’ll see an even greater concentration of wealth among the over 50’s in the future as those entering their peak earning years receive ever larger inheritances.

    A consequence of this trend is that the RE market has increasingly diverse segments. Young adults who want to start a family and see a house, not an 800 square foot condo, as a pre-requisite, have almost no capital, whereas many of those whose children have left home or will soon do so, have tons of cash.

    So the real estate market is highly diverse, catering on the one hand, to people looking for cheap family homes, and on the other hand, older people of relative affluence or even great wealth looking for a home that makes a statement, i.e., view lot, if not waterfront, and thousands of square feet, with high end finishing and professionally landscaped grounds.

    What makes this trend particularly difficult for what someone here called “the poors”, i.e., young people in search of a family home, is that there is now substantial redevelopment in the core, which drives up the value of old houses (i.e., their lot value) that would otherwise be relatively cheap.

    We have here a mechanism whereby aging of the population actually inhibits family formation and thus drives further aging of the population.

    What these developments mean is that interpretation of market trends without some segmentation of property by price bracket is always going to be a dodgy business. Not that I have any solution, i.e., a means to gather data by price bracket.

    But nice graphics, and useful data.

  109. 26% of men and 17% of women die by 70 so there’s a pretty strong selling pressure. Death of a spouse is often a cause for selling or downsizing. By 75 that is 36% and 25%. Those are US numbers so here would be a little lower.

    Of course we all have anecdotes of people living independently in their own SFH till well into their 90’s. That in new way contradicts that selling pressure builds with age

  110. 1468 Rockland sold for $100 over asking: $964K –> $1.06 million. Assessment $796. The biddings wars continue. A co-worker told me his realtor has offers on all his listings!

  111. Now we know why seniors bankruptcy is up bigtime. They obviously aren’t getting smarter with old age. As Forest Gump says : stupid is as stupid does. Kiss your inheritance good bye kids.

    Seniors going bankrupt in soaring numbers

    More Canadians are outliving their savings and spending their golden years in debt

    Bankruptcy trustee Doug Hoyes blames the lingering debt largely on our addiction to low interest loans.

    “If you’ve got decent credit, you can go out and get a mortgage for 2.5 per cent. So why not be buying the bigger house?” he says. “Today we don’t need to save because we all have a line of credit.”

  112. For sure some do this but “net seller starting at 70” indicates that most are not buying – they either stay put or sell and do not buy again. Leo – where does this stat come from? Do you have a link?

  113. Around 70, they may choose to their house and down size into something smaller, without stairs and yards such as a condo. For some that may also mean paying off or reducing the size of their mortgage making it easier to survive on a small pension.

  114. 3/4 of the 55-64 year olds own houses. By 75 2/3 still are owners. I don’t think we are headed for a “massive sell-off” by those who hit 70 given that seniors only make up 18% of the population… and the 50 plus cohort is pretty big with many years of home ownership left. Still time for 50-60 year olds with lifetime savings to buy up the nicer homes and enjoy their retirement here. I don’t think the core areas are going to experience a real rise in inventory for demographic reasons. Neighbourhoods do tend to change demographically over time. For example, there has been a huge transition on the Lansdowne slope over the past 10-15 years to younger families with children as those that moved in in the 50s to raise young families passed on – often staying in these homes until the end.

  115. @LeoM I believe most of the cause of net selling is because of health issues and death. Some people will still be buying investment property after 70 but that is the exception.

  116. LeoS said “People become net sellers in retirement destinations around age 70.”

    Maybe not. Bank interest on savings is so low that a common new theme with us older folks is we are taking our savings out of the bank and buying another house as an investment. So instead of liquidating, we are buying!!!

  117. The pumpers don’t get that the affordability line is past for most and further insanity will drive families and the youth out of here sooner than the inevitable economic downturn.

    They won’t settle for Langford cookie cutter boxes, they’ll expand their horizons and leave like myself and most of my friends did. Victoria is a nice place but is not the end all be all.

  118. Good point.
    Then maybe the next highest 25-29 bar in the 2016 chart would be the one to watch as they reach their buying age of 36 (~9 years away?). Seems to mesh with 1990 being the peak birth year for millenials in Canada. However so many other factors at play (job creation, migration, etc) but your charts sure give us something to ponder as far as local demographics.

  119. With our current 2016 chart, the tallest 20-24 age bar now has to reach age 36

    A ton of those 20-24 year olds are in university and will not stay in Victoria once they graduate. Notice how that bar doesn’t move along in years like the other waves do (boomers, echo boom, etc).

  120. Great stuff Leo! I think the 1994 chart best hints at our next serious correction. Prices ran up 160% here between 1985-1994 until the tallest blue bar reached age 30-34 (peak buying) and the highest boomer-parents bar reached age 70-74 (start to become net sellers).

    With our current 2016 chart, the tallest 20-24 age bar now has to reach age 36, or about ~14 years away (assuming the FTB age doesn’t get pushed further than 36). Likewise the peak boomer bar 55-59 has to hit 70-74 when they start turning from net buyers to net sellers, or about 15 years away. Assuming of course the boomers still start to become net sellers at the same age their parents did. For sure I think they will start to liquidate investment property by their 70s.

  121. People become net sellers in retirement destinations around age 70. Looking at 2015 stats, we are within a couple years of a massive increase in the numbers of net sellers in Victoria as the older boomers move into that age group.
    Whether an influx of younger boomers will counteract that is hard to say.

  122. Nice graphs. Agreed the bulge shows that people who stay do get older :-), plus the low birth rate and the aged new comers. But look at the nice bar of the age 20 group: UVic is probably getting bigger!

  123. Great stuff Leo. 2 observations:
    1/ demographic is getting older.
    2/ look at 2000 vs 2015. The 50-60 were 35-45 then

    Question is what happens when the 150k over 50 ages? I do believe this demo OWNS A DISAPPORTIONATE amount of all asset groups. Thinking 33% of population and 90% of all wealth.

Comments are closed.