April 18 Market Update

Weekly stats update courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras.

April 2016
Apr
 2015
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 367  678
840
New Listings 502 887
1413
Active Listings 2600 2601
3945
Sales to New Listings  73% 76%
59%
Sales Projection 1168 1188
Months of Inventory

4.7

311 sales last week with only 385 new listings combined with some cancellations means there was only one additional listing added to the inventory.   In the average year we would be adding a couple hundred listings from April to May.

The Teranet Home Price Index is also out for March, and oddly enough it’s down a tad over February.  Probably just noise, and we should expect a larger jump in April to compensate.   The Teranet does have a tendency to wander around for no particular reason.   Vancouver and Toronto remain the only cities in the country with strong year over year price increases.   We here in Victoria are simply caught up in the edge of the tornado.

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247 thoughts on “April 18 Market Update

  1. @Sweethome, our house inspector told us in January that things were so hot it was hard to fit us in right away. (Indeed, that was one of our first signs that this was not going to be a usual season.) I have a hard time imagining what it’s like now.

  2. Just wondering if anyone has recent experience booking a home inspector? There are so many sales, but also so many unconditional offers, so how does that net out for inspector availability?

    You can always get an inspector on a days’ notice; however, the good ones are typically booked a week plus out. Sometimes you get lucky and they get a cancellation and can slot you in quicker.

    Word of caution, if buying an older home have two different companies scan for an oil tank. I’ve had every single company miss a tank to date. If you hire two, the odds of a miss decrease big time.

  3. A 2 bed rancher at 2639 Victor just went for 475k, so 500k as a starting point for Haultain seems about right for the reasons previously mentioned.

  4. Just wondering if anyone has recent experience booking a home inspector? There are so many sales, but also so many unconditional offers, so how does that net out for inspector availability? I have some difficulty with the whole concept of inspectors (i.e. minimal qualifications, lack of real accountability in the case of an error or omission, etc.). Still, I would feel like a sucker if I made an unconditional offer and something showed up.

    I don’t really think “pre-inspections” are worth much. One can get conflicting medical expert reports, and doctors have a much higher level of training and professional regulation. I assume the home inspector topic has been covered on this blog before, but I haven’t seen it in the time I have been following.

  5. Also there’s no basement for storage or a suite, Haultain can be busy at times, and with a corner lot there may not be as much privacy but some people like them for extra parking or gardening access.

  6. Sounds like they’re going for a straight auction by setting the price effectively at $0 and encouraging unconditional offers by providing an inspection report.

  7. 1201 Haultain St V8T 1V6 – listed at $500,000 which is $9k under assessment. Looks like it’s in good shape and they have a pre-inspection report (I don’t know what pre-inspection means if the report was done by an inspection company – maybe pre-offer report). Anyway – it’s an interesting price point. Any thoughts on why?

  8. The investor program might be the key to foreign ownership in BC .

    A requirement for foreign investors that have registered under the Quebec program that they have to reside in Canada for five years before they can purchase real estate in BC.

  9. Quebec is increasing their immigrant investor program, and you can even be a shitty businessman as your track record can be unprofitable as long as you were the boss of at least 2 people for 2 years. How are they able to prove you even ran a legit business ?

    On top of that, you can even get Canadian financing for the $800K !! Insane. Then as facts have shown they only stay in Quebec for a few months then move out here with no one tracking them. The system is completely broken.

    Investment
    Applicants must intend to settle in the province of Quebec and sign an investment agreement agreeing to invest CAD $800,000 with an approved financial intermediary — a Quebec brokerage or trust company — authorized to participate in the program. The investment may also be financed by a financial intermediary.
    For a list of approved financial intermediaries, click here.

    http://www.cicnews.com/2016/04/quebec-immigration-applications-popular-investor-program-047614.html

  10. “When are Canadian regulators gonna grow a pair to go after these obvious Scammers?

    It’s forcing honest people to panic & over-bid on homes or move out of bigger cities altogether, with or without jobs.”

    Vicbot,
    Christy and DeJong don’t want the gravy train to end, that’s the problem here. Christy wants to keep blaming Albertans which I find truly disgusting and insulting to our intelligence.

    Most Albertans moving here because of their economy don’t have an established job to qualify for a mortgage.

    VicInvestor,
    Exactly, buying citizenship with no proven business that will hire Canadians and contribute to the economy. I don’t see one story where the program has created any serious employment. If there was, the government would have it on the front page.

  11. @Hawk: Toronto Sun is dead on. I know of several examples. It’s a disgrace. $800k loan, seriously?!!! Over 5 years, interest on that at 3% is $120k. We’re selling our country for $120k!!!

  12. Interesting article in TC on the $28M 529 Swanwick property.

    Agree Hawk – it should be reported that the realtor, Morning Yu, worked for New Coast Realty (& now for Metro Edge Realty), and New Coast is being investigated by RECBC & Premier’s Office, among others (& also the home owner is a patent troll suing Apple)

    Also, today’s news – now New Coast Realtors are openly advertising houses on WeChat as being Re-Assigned & Shadow Flipped:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/vancouver-real-estate-firms-advertisements-feature-shadow-flipping-homes/article29704220/

    “New Coast Realty agents Sylvie Zhao and Lucy Wang confirmed to The Globe and Mail the two homes featured were just purchased by buyers who have since hired the brokerage to flip them before the contracts with the initial sellers close.

    The ads posted this week on WeChat, a Chinese-language social media site, offer deals priced at $1.15-million and $1.85-million.”

    … “The buyer-owner who wants us to sell asked us to assign it,” Ms. Wang added.”

    PLUS the CEO of Metro Edge Realty (Yu’s boss based in Richmond) says he’s now involved in “Extreme Farming Strategies”
    https://ca.linkedin.com/in/kevin-lynch-b7299a4

    Does that mean they’re buying up Canadian farmland en masse & selling it to groups of investors in pyramid schmes?

    Just like 1075 Nelson St got sold for $60M to a group of offshore investors in 2 hours, then re-sold for $68M. From the SCMP article: “A Chinese-language flyer on Suncom letterhead … trumpeted the sale as her “perfect success”.

    When are Canadian regulators gonna grow a pair to go after these obvious Scammers?

    It’s forcing honest people to panic & over-bid on homes or move out of bigger cities altogether, with or without jobs.

  13. Globe and Mail real estate hub…. It says it has no data for postal codes in Victoria.. So not overly useful. Although the way they visualize the YoY price trends by city is nicer than my spaghetti graph.

  14. Canada’s subsidizing foreign millionaires

    “A study by the University of British Columbia points out the high level of welfare dependency among those living in Vancouver’s wealthiest neighbourhoods.

    Upwards of 30% of adults in these upscale communities report poverty-level incomes.

    Neighbourhoods where homes typically sell in the $2 million to $6 million range also have the city’s highest welfare levels.

    Under the immigrant investor program, a typical scenario might see a foreign businessman buying a house, then sending his wife and children to live in Canada while he remains overseas.

    No one is earning income in Canada, so this family qualifies for welfare.

    Our taxes are buying their champagne and caviar.

    And don’t forget they use Canada’s free health care and education systems, without paying taxes.”

    http://www.torontosun.com/2016/04/20/canadas-subsidizing-foreign-millionaires

  15. “…a zoning change from industrial to residential.”

    No it wasn’t! There’s two residential buildings on the site already. Wall Financial had plans to build a 60 floor tower on the site before they sold it. The challenge for the new owner is to get authorized for the proposed FSR (or better) and then sell the units for an unheard of $/ft.

    “Taylor said the reason for the spike in value is largely due to changes in the zoning plans for the West End, which allows for “significantly taller” buildings to be built in the area.”

  16. One comment on the G&M articale reads:

    Exposed!

    The engine behind the new-fangled “data centre” was “developed by Teranet in alliance with National Bank of Canada”. Teranet is responsible for developing “ViMO™ a mobile iPad app that helps Real Estate Sales Professionals win more business.” The National Bank has a vested interest in getting as many Canadians as possible to sign up for mortgages. And this is the consortium that the G&M enlisted to supposedly “inform” their readers?

    A monstrous fail. No one is buying this naked advertorial. I assume my comment will be deleted before long, but hopefully other readers will post the truth behind this corporate software masking as a disinterested provider of housing data.

  17. @yeahright – I agree with you but ….. I’m trying to look at the forest vs. trees on this one.
    The Globe seems to have sunk to an interesting level. I can’t figure out the ‘why’. The Globe already has IP addresses and would know who is looking at real estate articles. I find this to be a ‘tulip’ moment more so than prices.

  18. “That leaves the new owners suing city hall for a change in zoning or building a complex without permits. Which for most Chinese developers is not abnormal in their home country.”

    Nothing like a real estate economy driven by rumors. All is fair in the world of shadow flipping and money laundering.

    The beginning of ghost buildings in downtown Van, or those that fall down.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pktM__i-8IQ

  19. Interesting blog post I just read: Rent vs. Buy: If You Have to Ask, You Should Probably Rent

    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/07/27/rent-vs-buy/

    In my situation this does not apply. But I’m sure some here never even figured the outlook of renting only vs. owning. Quality of life is based on your perspective and if you look at a broader scope of things, your perspectives can change.

  20. I recollect that was a rumored zoning change for the property. And Vancouver City hall has stated that they will not be changing the zoning. That means the new owners will have to sue City Hall to try to get a zoning change from industrial to residential.

    That leaves the new owners suing city hall for a change in zoning or building a complex without permits. Which for most Chinese developers is not abnormal in their home country.

  21. Just Jack great stats info and great insight into what is going on right now. Learned a lot from U/ Marko and Mr admin.

  22. How did the market to yesterday.

    76 new listings and 57 sales for a ration of 1.33:1

    For all types of properties in the core the ratio was 41:26 or 1.6:1
    That broke down for houses at 24:12 or 2:1
    and condos at 10:14

    Obviously one day does not make a market. If you look back over the previous 7 days you’ll find that new house listings in the core just kept up with sales at 94:95.

    I suppose the only advise to give someone desperate for a house in the core these days is to keep the car gassed up for the next open house and get ready for the next auction. And that it is unlikely to change for the next couple of months.

    Prices may be starting to plateau after the big surge over the last few months as the median price increased by 4% between March and so far this April. But median prices are still increasing just not as fast.

  23. @StepbyStep,

    I wouldn’t touch that calculator with a 1000′ foot pole.

    IP collector and post code collector for more advertising efficiency.

    “The Globe and Mail” same on you!

  24. StepbyStep,

    Australia has also been forcing foreigners breaking the rules to sell their property. Here they do nothing while Christy blames Albertans for outrageous price increases.

    Australia forces sales of foreign-owned properties after breach of ownership laws

    “Treasurer Scott Morrison said on Monday the forced sale of eight properties takes to 27 the total number of homes the government has declared were bought illegally by foreigners, mostly Chinese nationals.

    Since the foreign ownership crackdown began last year, the government said it had investigated more than 1,300 property sales and had another 800 under investigation.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/17/australia-forces-sales-of-foreign-owned-properties-after-breach-of-ownership-laws.html

  25. Even 25 year industry vet in Vancouver says it wasn’t worth more than $20 million. It was flipped from $60 million to $68 as well.

  26. Today’s news about Australia’s real estate – does mention concerns about discrimination in this data but here’s the highlight:

    Australian banks have gathered data that tends to show that a lot of the real-estate investors are Chinese. The Reserve Bank of Australia (the central bank) has found that non-resident Chinese have been buying a rising share of apartments in Sydney and Melbourne.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/overheating-down-under-too/article29698786/

  27. “but I don’t think anyone will be that dumb”

    Lots of dumb and dumbers in Victoria and Van judging by the sales of late. Especially a $16 million dollar building sold for $68 million by foreign flippers in Van. Money laundering has no limits these days.

  28. He also has a penny stock that’s trying to sue Apple, Verizon and AT&T for $7 Billion over “various” patent infringements. This story is getting worse.

  29. That’s not gouging. It’s just hopeless optimism. He’s obviously planning on selling to a Chinese buyer that doesn’t know the market, but I don’t think anyone will be that dumb.

  30. If you google the guy’s name it shows a blog devoted to him with not a nice back ground. Claims he was the guy who sued James Cameron for the script for Avatar and failed miserably amongst other shady things. Interesting who lurks in this town.

  31. We now know who the gouger on Swanwick is. Does the TC reads HHV or it just more realtor paid pump ? Probably both. When it hits the front page it’s just another one of those red flags the top is in.

    “The Swanwick Road property belongs to Richmond businessman Raoul Emil Malak, land title documents show. Ansan’s website said he is the owner of Ansan Traffic Group, Western Canada’s largest provider of traffic-management services. Malak could not be reached Wednesday.

    This property was on the market last year for $13.25 million.

    It is now listed with Morning Yu, of Metro Edge Realty in Richmond. She could not be reached.

    In 2007, its original owner listed it for $24 million.”

    http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/metchosin-property-asking-price-28-8m-region-s-highest-last-sold-at-4-9m-1.2236206

  32. Off topic…
    I can think of more people I know who have bought houses with help from the bank of mom and dad, than those that did it without help.

    I don’t see it as much as I think I would, I have several theories.

    Some parents have the means and finances but I often get this feeling that the parents are unsure if the relationship will work out so they are hesitatant to throw in the cash.

    At these prices usually the kids are two income professionals in order to qualify for the mortgage; therefore, they have the means to come up with savings for downpayments.

    When the parents are involved in this market almost impossible to buy a house….parents who have been out of the game for a while always seem to think everything is overpriced, “our Boradmead home only cost us $112,000.”

    Etc.

    What I sometimes see is kids have 17% down and parents throw in 3% to avoid the CMHC fees.

  33. Ash, if someone gives you two hundred thousand dollars for a down payment how prudent are your decisions going to be on what you pay for the property?

    The kids are just going to keep on bidding on the property until the benefit of the down payment is negated by overpaying on the asset. They may get the property but they forego future appreciation by over paying at the beginning.

    The parents think they are helping their kids but they are burying both the kids and themselves into debt with a lower expectation of appreciation. Buying a home that doesn’t appreciate is like having the bank as your landlord.

  34. AG, the one thing that we all can agree on is that this market is not normal and that is illustrated in the graph of how home prices are distributed among the home buyers. There is a much larger spread in prices.

    For example. An appraisal should be accurate within 2 to 3 percent when there is a normal distribution. For instance the market value lays between $500,000 to $525,000. But now the spread is much larger and so would be the market value range. Today the market value range of a home might only be reasonably determined as being between $600,000 to $750,000. Any offer within that range would be considered at fair market value.

    However, the banks don’t like those big ranges because they are accepting a bigger risk when lending on those properties. What a prudent lender should do is reduce the loan to value ratio on high risk properties from say 80 percent to 65 percent or increase the interest rate they charge to offset the higher risk the bank is taking on.

    But they don’t.

  35. Good discussion on the value of realtors. I’m doing some research on what is out there. Not a whole lot, but there is some work in this area. Will put this into a future article. High time we get some local analysis of that question.

  36. Off topic…
    I can think of more people I know who have bought houses with help from the bank of mom and dad, than those that did it without help. I’d like to say it doesn’t bother me. True, I may enjoy a greater sense of accomplishment for doing it without help. But it just seems like the game is a little rigged/ dishonest.

    A little help to cover the minimum dp is one thing, 100-200k is another. It leads to a massive leg up as those ~30 yr old kids can buy above average properties at such an early stage, allowing them to reap the rewards of disproportionate growth in value, all tax free. To some degree it’s a mechanism for generational transfer of economic status.

    Anyone else share this observation? It’d be interesting to see how many pple are getting help vs going it alone (a poll on this blog is one idea). Does it just become an arms race as more parents step in to help because so many others are doing so?

    BTW, of the people I know getting help, some of the parents just so happen to reside in nice Vancouver neighborhoods i.e. recent lotto winners.

  37. There are only 49 homes listed for sale in Victoria today. Just yesterday 8 homes sold in Victoria. We’re pretty close to having no homes for sale in the city.

  38. @ JustJack – “Is it possible that we are running out of houses for sale in the core?

    What happens when there are no listings left to sell?”

    This is kind of apocalyptic coming from you, but not an entirely unreasonable statement. With no listings left in the core, then Cascadia will find it much easier to sell his house in Sooke. The only problem is he won’t be able to afford anything closer anyway.

    I am praying for more listings (and I am not religious). I have even found myself thinking that there are so many old people here, surely some must be dying every day. I am not saying I want someone to die so that I can have a house, but it’s a little reassuring to know that no one can stay in their house forever. If only I were younger, I could wait this cycle out for sure.

  39. Impossible to say if its a relatively normal distribution unless you break down the 1500+ bucket into smaller pieces. Given that prices are higher, the scale needs to be changed too.

    And you could always put it into an ASCII chart too 🙂

  40. For those that are interested here is the distribution of house sales for Victoria, Saanich East and Oak Bay from February 1 of this year.

    Sold Price Sales, Number of
    $0 – 200
    $200 – 300
    $300 – 400 5
    $400 – 500 25
    $500 – 600 65
    $600 – 700 91
    $700 – 800 82
    $800 – 900 85
    $900 – 1,000 55
    $1,000 – 1,250 70
    $1,250 – 1,500 38
    $1,500+ 46

    And here is what the distribution of sales for the same areas for February, March and April of 2015

    Sold Price Sales, Number of
    $0 – 200
    $200 – 300 2
    $300 – 400 9
    $400 – 500 51
    $500 – 600 107
    $600 – 700 102
    $700 – 800 78
    $800 – 900 35
    $900 – 1,000 22
    $1,000 – 1,250 30
    $1,250 – 1,500 12
    $1,500+ 17

    Some of you may want to plot the two curves using a smooth line curve and then you’ll see that we no longer have a normal distribution of sales. This is a really unique graph and illustrates tail risk. Which means that we have a higher risk of a catastrophic event happening in real estate today. But we just don’t know how to measure how high that risk is.

    This is basically saying what everyone knows on this blog already. That buying real estate in this market is riskier than it has ever been before. Are you a risk taker or are you risk adverse? Put it another way I would not be taking the equity out of my house to give to my kids to buy a home in Victoria, Saanich East or Oak Bay these days.

    That doesn’t mean that things won’t change in the future just that it wouldn’t be wise to do it now.

    This is all my opinion anyone using it owes me a buck, otherwise you got what you paid for.

  41. Why don’t they buy from a private seller? Our daughter and my son just did and there was no bidding war.

    If so, it could be that buyers nowadays often have a buyers agent and buyers agents normally don’t like to help the clients looking private sales if they are not offered the same commission, plus there could be more work.

    Back in Oct 2010, we did sell our rental house via private sale (Craigslist and UsedVictoria) and received multiple offers.

    We had two estimations from realtors, and decided to list ourselves. Had a flood of email inquires, but as we only had three hours for open house (due to tenants privacy issue). We talked with people who gave a phone number in their email, and chose 12 interested parties who we felt could fit for the house, to come to the open house for 15 minutes each private viewing. The showing was on a Monday afternoon, and the offer cut-off time was Wed 6pm the same week. By then, we received 6 offers, with 4 above asking. One of them was from a buyer’s agent on the condition that we pay her buyer’s agent commission.

    We decided to go for a quick sale, no offer-sending back and re-bid games, and kept the process open and fair to everyone (told each bidder what and how we would do: start with the highest and keep next two as backups). When the highest bid (which was not the one with agent) fell through due to financing, we made decision to go with the 3rd offer (the 2nd offer was the one with agent, and after paying her commission, we would get the same as the 3rd offer. We decided that it would not be fair to the 2nd offer buyers as they would need to pay 10k+ more for the house than the 3rd offer buyers, even it would be the same to us).

    So another thing we learned from this process was that buyers without a agent could be at advantage, be it a private sale or not, if you know the area well enough. This was confirmed again last summer when our out-of-town friends flew into town to bid for a house in Oak Bay. They didn’t have an agent, and at the end, the seller’s agent told them if they could match the highest bid, they could have the house, which they did (for a very very good price: 80K below this year’s asmt). And I even helped them to have the seller’s agent cover their air tickets 😉

  42. One clear trend – people are paying up for land, not improvements.

    147 Oswego just sold for 1.05m (asking 1.2m). Its a 2888sf lot with a new house. Junky old 1930s houses in Oak Bay are fetching similar if they’re on a 6000sf+ lot.

  43. Exactly my point! Some realtors cannot do that, and cannot post good pictures of the strengths. They write up a list of features (3 beds, 2 baths, nice neighbourhood), take dark gloomy pictures under artificial yellow light of the same rooms as other homes, no pics of the strengths.

    Hmm. Ok. So it’s not so much finding a good realtor, it’s filtering out the loads of crap. Agreed on that one.

  44. AG, I agree – if Amphion had used Marko’s service or mere posting in the first place, it would have been better.

    Though to say especially when the market is in a massive upswing. FSBOing it for a month and than listing right now actually might net you more in the end. Either you sell it with no commission as a FSBO or you go to market a month later in which time prices have gone up 2% or so.

  45. Marko or anyone else:

    What do you think the discount is of a flat-roofed modern-style home is as compared to a traditional peaked-roof, with all else being strictly equal?

  46. Thanks! Dang I considered buying the house next door to Larkdowne last year listed for 750. Thought nah too much money. What did I know?

  47. Is it possible that we are running out of houses for sale in the core?

    What happens when there are no listings left to sell?

  48. AG, I agree – if Amphion had used Marko’s service or mere posting in the first place, it would have been better. It’s related to your target market – FSBO works for buyers of less expensive homes, not higher priced homes, especially when the seller was focused on high end finishes. Buyers with >1M look at MLS/PCS, or their personal assistants do 🙂 Just my 2 bits, but those buyers are also looking for proximity to Oak Bay High & UVic, so those buzz words could have been added to the listing to maximize sale price.

    By the way, I’m with huevos – anyone know what 3018 Larkdowne sold for? thanks.

  49. Is AG and JD the same person. JD apologized it seems for AG post. Maybe I missed something or maybe there is like only 4 people on this board with multiple logins.:)

  50. Question: Why is 2045 Edgecliffe Place so expensive? $3.2m for a medium sized lot that’s nowhere near the water? What am I missing..

    Sold for $2.7 million seven years ago so someone saw something at that time.

  51. Funny, I often question the value of realtors. And yet, I look at 1609 Amphion down from us that languished on the market at $960k or whatever it was. Marko listed it and it sold for $1.1m. You can get all the information you want about a property on the interwebs, but a realtor’s job is sales. People knock realtors, but if hiring a realtor can move my house for $150k more than me doing it myself, count me in. That’s commission well spent. If you think they’re overpaid, there’s nothing stopping you from throwing your hat in.

    I didn’t actually “list it”….I just placed in on MLS® for the seller via mere posting. He then sold it for $1.1 million with the correct exposure.

    I don’t question the value of MLS®, I question whether it makes sense to pay a small luxury car to sell a property in a bidding war. The bidding war is market generated, not REALTOR® manufactured. Access to MLS® is really easy these days -> http://markojuras.com/849-flat-fee/

    YTD I have not had a mere posting not sell. Literally every single mere posting I’ve done this year has sold with savings ranging for $5 and toping out at approx. $36k when compared to 6%100k+3%balance (Commissions May Vary)

  52. Thanks Jack. Interesting a company would own them all. Wonder if they scooped them off the poor folks who couldn’t afford the $100K leaker retrofit. I wasn’t interested, but the amount for sale for a small place caught my eye.

  53. Question: Why is 2045 Edgecliffe Place so expensive? $3.2m for a medium sized lot that’s nowhere near the water? What am I missing..

  54. Re: 1609 Amphion
    That was originally a FSBO, and I’m guessing the builder underpriced it to get a bidding war started. If he’d marketed it correctly from day 1, he probably would have got $1.2m. Its a brand new family home on a nice flat lot.

  55. ok if the boat comes with and the car. I will go. I can take the retiree for a boat ride of their life. Loved that show btw

  56. I think all of those units are owned by the same company.

    The Stadacona complex says that it has no rental restrictions. However, there is an age restriction of 19 and older.

    I always thought that it was a bad idea not to allow families in this particular complex. It just always seemed to be a complex that would suit families. In my opinion they could boost the price if they allowed children.

    If you’re looking to buy in this complex and rent out the suite you should know that the rental act contradicts the condominium act when it comes to children. For example if you rent to a mother with a child or a woman that births one, you can’t evict her because she has a demon spawn. But the strata council will fine you until you evict her or the spawn turns 19.

    Anyway you have 15 condos controlled by one seller. That really isn’t a competitive market.

  57. So what’s the deal with the 15 condos up for sale in the Stadacona leaker ? Did the mold clean out job not go so well ?

  58. after they finish staring at the ocean. Here are some activities to fill up their leisure time. After those activities they can go back to staring at the ocean or find a mural 🙂 Nice town just not a lot to do,

    Tours & Activities Directory
    Looking for something to do in Chemainus? This WorldWeb.com activity guide will help you plan and book activities during your visit. Find up-to-date and comprehensive information about local tour operators and fun things to do. Be sure to check out our interactive maps, reader-submitted reviews and in-depth adventure articles.
    Golf

    •Golf Courses (1)

    Horses

    •Carriage Tours & Sleigh Rides (1)

    Leisure & Relaxation

    •Spas & Spa Packages

    Recreation & Fitness

    •Bowling (1)
    •Ice Skating (1)

    Sightseeing

    •Sightseeing & Interpretive Guide Service (2)
    •Sightseeing By Road (1)

  59. Seems like some of those lower mainland retirees are getting lost after leaving the Ferry and are buying waterfront in Chemainus for a fraction of the price of Victoria. And they don’t have to deal with bidding wars there.

    Sell your 3 million dollar Vancouver home and buy a $900,000 pristine half acre water front estate. Property taxes under $5,000 a year and prices are still at 2007 levels.

    Or you can buy a hundred year old character home along a pot holed street in Fernwood .

    Damn the choices are tough to make.

  60. The nearest we come to a buyers market is Salt Spring Island where there is just shy of 5 months of inventory. For most of the last decade there has been over a years worth of inventory on that island. But in the last 30 days, 22 houses have sold. That’s almost double the sales from a year ago. What seems to be keeping prices reasonable is that new listings are keeping up with demand with 1.5 new listings for every sale and the market exposure is 55 days.

    But prices are still around 2008 levels and only 2 sold over asking one at 1% and the other at 3 percent over asking price.

    The median price was $505,000 that got you a home with a panoramic water view.

    And Vancouver buyers out bought Victorians by a ratio of 4 to 1.

  61. I’ve bought four places without a realtor. Two were private sales and two were listed. No problems.

    I’ve used a realtor to sell a home once and it was completely not worth the commission.

    I would use a realtor’s services to list on MLS. Getting online is worth more than the price at the moment imo.

    Currently we are looking for another place to purchase up island. I think a buyer’s realtor can bring value for someone new to the process. We won’t use one just because it is something we feel comfortable doing ourselves and everything is online now. This increases the listing realtor’s commission which has a few potential advantages.

  62. two million dollars and sit back and earn close to thirteen thousand dollars a month total from the rental incomes. (New house, one year old, in Sooke with 3 bedrooms and a legal one bedroom suite costs $400,000.00 Main part of house rents for $1,500.00 The suite would rent for $800.00.

    Your math is off. Never mind the transaction costs or vacancies not accounted for – 5×2300 is $11,500. Expense including repairs, maintenance and taxes but not utilities are about $600/month so take $3000/month off your total equals $8500.

    Given that you can invest 2 million and should be able to withdraw $8000/month for life I’m not sure why you’d buy five houses in Sooke and deal with the hassles of home ownership unless you think Sooke is going to appreciate dramatically. And no use of leverage is a poor strategy for rental RE imo.

    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/29/how-much-do-i-need-for-retirement/

  63. “What specifically would a good realtor do over and above writing a good description of the place to highlight the strengths and posting on MLS?”

    Exactly my point! Some realtors cannot do that, and cannot post good pictures of the strengths. They write up a list of features (3 beds, 2 baths, nice neighbourhood), take dark gloomy pictures under artificial yellow light of the same rooms as other homes, no pics of the strengths.

    It definitely affects homeowners in non-core areas as well as condo owners, where a realtor may not make much commission so they don’t put much time into it.

    It’s not just my experience, I have talked to a lot of homeowners with that experience.

    They need to know what differentiates a good realtor.

    “Not true. It was incredibly slow and definitely a buyers market from mid 2010 to end of 2013.”

    Seriously – it was relatively easy to sell a good property in Victoria during those years. I have personal experience of properties selling in 1 day on PCS before official posting to MLS during those same years.

    So if anyone’s trying to sell their home, and it’s sitting on the market – they have to take a good look at whether their listing is competitive and why or why not.

  64. I’ll tell you how I have chosen an agent in the past. In this example it was for a condominium. I looked at which agent had suites for sale in the complex. Knowing that they had been in contact with prospective purchasers that already had interest in the complex that they could contact again.

    Sold to the first person the agent brought to look at the suite. The offer was fair and we didn’t counter.

  65. “Also interesting that Swanwick is associated with a Richmond realty firm.”

    Good eye Vicbot. Looks like an offshore flipper for sure. I was told Vic realtors don’t like to do deals with mainland agents but not sure how true that is. I would think at that price any Vic agent would steer their client clear of that joke.

  66. this town has enjoyed a seller’s market for years (even during the flat years).

    Not true. It was incredibly slow and definitely a buyers market from mid 2010 to end of 2013.

    Realtors have to know their houses better, and it helps homeowners to know how to pick a good realtor.

    Please elaborate on how you would pick a good realtor.

    If you know your target market, you focus on their needs, not features.

    This seems pretty basic. What specifically would a good realtor do over and above writing a good description of the place to highlight the strengths and posting on MLS?

  67. Damn I’m having a hard time mutli-tasking today! My last post was under “Victoria”.

    Hawk, that’s exactly what went through my mind when I saw Swanwick. Shadow flipping, extra commissions anyone? Also interesting that Swanwick is associated with a Richmond realty firm.

  68. Yes Deryk that’s a possibility, but they could also buy in Aldergrove , South Surrey or Langley and not have to be isolated on an island.

    We are having more purchases from out of town buyers than we have had in the last half dozen years but so are other cities. And these buyers are from many other places than Vancouver. Cities that have a lower median prices than ours. The most predominate reasons why people move to another city is job relocation and to be closer to their family. And those purchases are spread out over all areas and all income groups. If it were simply millionaire retirees then why not buy in Montreal and winter in Florida.

    Is Victoria getting its fair share of the 3 million plus sellers? Well if we are, they don’t seem to be keeping pace with Victorians that are buying in the high end range these days.

    It’s a good story but there is no proof that Vancouverites are having a significant impact on Victoria house prices. I understand the logic that since house prices are higher than the average Victoria family can afford then high prices must be a result from buyers from somewhere else.

    But I think it has more to do with buyers having bigger down payments that can come from various sources such a gifts from their parents, inheritance, selling of an investment property, etc. And that this demand is overwhelming the low supply.

    And there seems to be no shortage of lower tier lenders that are willing to loan $750,000 to two 25 year olds.

    When you point a finger at someone else there are three fingers pointing back at you.

  69. Is this what you want Victoria to turn out like ?

    Stampede: the inside story of Vancouver’s wildest property deal, gone in 7,200 seconds

    An SCMP investigation reveals the obscure transactions behind a commercial real estate frenzy, including a two-hour stampede by investors desperate to pay C$60m for a site valued at C$16m. Then, a month after taking ownership, they resold it for C$68m

    http://www.scmp.com/comment/blogs/article/1937267/stampede-inside-story-vancouvers-wildest-property-deal-gone-7200

  70. “Honestly, you are being fed BS.”

    No I’m not being “fed” anything. That is my life experience outside of Victoria, and also why I’ve found some realtors better than others.

    Your experience is selling Victoria real estate, and this town has enjoyed a seller’s market for years (even during the flat years).

    It’s totally different in other cities and sub-sections of those cities, where they haven’t enjoyed easy times. Realtors have to know their houses better, and it helps homeowners to know how to pick a good realtor.

    If you re-read my post, we agree on a lot of things anyway. I said in a seller’s market, all you have to do is put it on MLS.

    Also, I agree that selling TJI joists isn’t marketing or strategy – it’s feature selling. If you know your target market, you focus on their needs, not features.

  71. Marko 450 plus a square foot. A lot but I was thinking more with the place on Rithetwood going for 1025k. thanks

  72. Yes realtors can add some value, but you need to find one that understands the strategy behind selling your property.

    Honestly, you are being fed BS. As long as common sense is applied there is no “strategy.” For example, if the home has an awesome suite obviously you’ll highlight a suite in the description/pictures. A monkey can do that, you don’t need to pay 20-50k for that.

    6 years ago when I got my real estate licence I had to sell a few homes for my father so I thought because they were high quality construction that I could sell them by being present for showings. I would go to the showings and start off with, “TJI joists, 3/4” pylwood (instead of 5/8”) sheeting for floors, hurricane ties, and the only reason the exterior walls are OSB sheeting is OSB provides for better seismic qualities than plywood on exterior walls……”

    After my speal I would get a response like, “hmmm, backyard access won’t work for my dog.”

    Last 5 or 6 houses I’ve sold for my father I haven’t bothered to show up for a single showing, throw up the lockbox and let people go through and wait for an offer in my inbox.

    If had to sell my own personal home one thing is for sure, wouldn’t waste my time with a drone video or any “strategies.” Professional photos, floorplan, mls, lockbox. Done.

    My point is there is no strategy. Strategy is throw it up on MLS (with a minimum level of competency) and put up a lockbox.

    On a side note, took me three years to convince my father to stop using TJI joists and all this other crap as no one gives a s*** and he finally did. Haven’t had problems selling anything with 2×10” joists, no comments from buyer’s inspectors either 🙂 People are WAYYY more concerned with colours than how the home is actually built.

    In terms of bidding war strategy, if you can call it that…..list home on Thursday morning, open house Saturday, offers Sunday at 5 pm. Rocket science.

    Now there are a few common sense items such as if you have an older home it is wise to have it scanned for an oil tank ahead of listing because if you have that report the odds are greater you will receive more unconditional offers Sunday night at 5 pm if buyers have that concern alleviated beforehand, but once again this isn’t designing and building a Tesla….just common sense.

  73. “And now Swanwick Manor, assessed at a mere $4.3 million has just been raised in price from $13 million to $28 million. Obviously this is the time to buy, before we’re all priced out.”

    If that isn’t the biggest sign yet to put the crash helmet on then I don’t know what is.

    Meanwhile Miami melts down, San Fran has it’s first decline in 4 years, high end New York high end is slowing down. 150,000 families are planning to leave Vancouver, and wouldn’t be surprised to see Victoria families ponder the same thing.

  74. The thing of course for Vancouver buyers coming here is that they don’t really need a job. They can sell their own house for 3 million…buy a house in Victoria and still have two million left over. They could buy five “new” houses in Sooke with that two million dollars and sit back and earn close to thirteen thousand dollars a month total from the rental incomes. (New house, one year old, in Sooke with 3 bedrooms and a legal one bedroom suite costs $400,000.00 Main part of house rents for $1,500.00 The suite would rent for $800.00
    Vancouver people don’t need a job. It’s actually quite amazing!!!! People in Victoria don’t seem to understand what has happened in Vancouver. I have many friends in vancouver who are making the move to Victoria.

  75. CS that place sold for 5m a few years ago. OK I guess its worth 5 times now.

    529 Swanwick Rd

    SOLD! – $5,000,000 11/12

  76. In the current market most places seem to sell in a matter of hours, or at most a couple of days, but some still hang fire. In such cases, some vendors are reacting by raising the price.

    An ugly flat-topped new-build on Dewdney Avenue, for example, went from $1.5 million to $1.575 million before it sold. And now its twin in the ugliest new houses of the year contest, is offered at $1.699.

    Meantime, 2990 Rutland, having failed to sell for months, went from $1.5 million, or about 30% over assessment, to $2.7 million plus, yet still the wretched clapped out 1920’s bung. won’t sell, so another price increase is surely due.

    And now Swanwick Manor, assessed at a mere $4.3 million has just been raised in price from $13 million to $28 million. Obviously this is the time to buy, before we’re all priced out.

    https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Single-Family/16834558/529-Swanwick-Rd-Victoria-British-Columbia-V9C3Y8

  77. “So Realtors are unnecessary is what you are saying”

    Personally I’d say as a former buyer almost unnecessary would be about correct.

    We went through 3 realtors before we finally found one that suited us as buyers. I’m skeptical on how it would be if I had to use the same one for selling.

    I found the house I bought. My realtor at the time was always questioning me on why we wanted to look at homes that are priced higher then we are ever going to offer.

    I felt, back then, that I could see a home around $25k more and then low-ball it down to the price we wanted to pay. And it actually worked on a couple of homes. One we had an excepted offer, but we decided it had to much work to be done to get it where we wanted it -so we walked, and the other we bought (I don’t think it is possible in this new market from what I have been reading).

    My realtor was basically only good for getting us in that electronic listing to see the full report on a home, to get us the right paperwork and to get us into places when we wanted a viewing.

    He gets payed by the seller but almost felt like at times that we were doing the work he should have.

    Don’t get me started on realtors we met representing an open house. I would always grill them on question and they could never give me the answer “Has the roof been done in the last 5 years?” (“I’ll have to ask the owners on that one, let me get back to you”). If you are representing in selling a home, shouldn’t you have researched the home and be ready for simple answers?!?.

    I’m worried what it’s like for sellers.

  78. Uhhh thanks for the marriage advice there Deryk, but that ship has sailed and ain’t coming back. Looking for advice on the housing market.

  79. (I’m actually Vicbot – made a mistake with my screen name 🙂
    “The people selling their home in Vancouver are selling their homes for three million plus.”

    True – I know several people that have sold their homes in Vancouver (one for >3M, one for >1M, & some for less, also some cashing in condos in Vancouver for houses in other areas) and moved away from the high cost of living there.

    They have either retired or found a way to make a living in a lower cost area (without mortgages). One had a job lined up, but several didn’t have jobs to go to before they made their decision to move.

  80. Yes realtors can add some value, but you need to find one that understands the strategy behind selling your property.

    Strategy is identifying strengths/weaknesses of a property, & understanding just 1 to 3 compelling reasons why a person would buy your property over a neighbour’s. Then you can set the right price (not just based on comparables or assessed value).

    When we sold, the realtor knew the strategy behind every home in our neighbourhood – he had unique selling features prepared “just in case” – views, updated kitchens, developed basements, or downsides like bad layouts. He focused on different ones for each sale.

    He had zero personality but he sold our place fast without an open house 🙂 The market wasn’t super hot at the time either.

    The real estate industry isn’t doing a good job of teaching realtors strategy, and that’s why they’re not worth $50k.

    In a seller’s market, it’s too easy to just find the comparable sales prices, post to MLS, have an open house, & sit back and wait for calls.

    When you sell your home, it’s important to know the difference between Marketing & Advertising. (unfortunately, those 2 terms have been mis-used by the industry.)

    Marketing is overall strategy, and it can include Advertising as an optional exposure tactic (MLS, PCS, flyers, ads).

    Part of Marketing is “Positioning” to your target buyers: high end vs low end, which is “staging” with Tiffany lamps or Ikea.

    Another part of Marketing is Branding – which is driving around in a realtor’s Jag, or drone videos.

    The reason why some realtors aren’t worth $50k is because they don’t know how to start with strategy.

  81. Deryk, we don’t know how much of a mortgage they have on their property in Vancouver.

    And like I’ve shown most of the million plus homes in the core are being bought by people from here. There are a lot of places in the world to choose from when you have millions. We get some of them, but we don’t get all of them coming to Victoria.

    My guess is that we are not getting that many of the rich coming to Victoria. Most of the Vancouverites relocating here are middle income households that are buying along the entire spectrum of house price ranges and in all areas. They are relocating here for jobs and for family.

    And it works the other way too. I had a call from a person that wanted to have their home valued as they were buying a Bed and Breakfast in Guadalajara for $140,000. The city has the second best weather in the world. That’s were he is retiring to. A week’s worth of groceries there are $20. The quality of medical is the same as here and it costs less. Beer is a buck a bottle. No snow to shovel, it’s warm all year round.

  82. Best advice….stay with what you have. (You did ask so I am telling you:)
    When it really comes down to it, make a supreme effort to stay together. Marriage is hard work. Most guys don;t know that I think. Get some professional help if you don;t have the skills on how to make things right. That was the best advice I was given and it worked for us.
    It’s not easy. But it is worth it. The costs of a marriage breakdown is just too high. On everything. Your kids. Your sanity. Your pocket book. It all hurts too much.
    Everyone makes mistakes. Learn from that and never look back. True love is a beautiful thing.
    Good luck to you. Trust the process.

  83. The people selling their home in Vancouver are selling their homes for three million plus. The price difference between Vancouver and Victoria (Comparable walking distance to the centre of town or beaches) is massive. I feel that until that gap is narrowed then you will still see “timid” weak offers being rejected. Something new is happening and I feel that the dam has finally burst for people deciding whether to cash in on Vancouver before it all bursts. (It’s also the retirement issue.)

  84. Thoughts from the masses on what to do? Separating from my spouse, we own a nice house in the core with a suite, renovated kitchen/bathroom, nice floors, big yard. Paid 500k for it in 2013 and expect we’d get a much better price in today’s market.

    But then what? – both of us would need to be making conditional offers on our next places, and the fear is when selling we wouldn’t be able to get back into the market. Based on some of the comments here, it sounds like we wouldn’t be competitive enough buyers right now. Renting is an option but there is a 2-year old toddler in the mix and pets, and the rental market looks ridiculously competitive right now too. Downsizing to a condo/townhouse is an option, but again – a condo with a toddler sucks, and those properties don’t appreciate in the same way.

    Both of us kind of want to stay in the house and buy the other out which means we won’t be able to agree on that. Another option is one person moves into the suite but that sounds like a recipe for animosity (but good for kid, maybe.) Any ideas?

  85. An interesting story by the person travelling weekends to look at houses in Victoria and being outbid.

    Most prospective buyers still hang on to the belief that they want to pay fair market value. And that’s why they get out bid. They want everyone to play by the same rules. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen in this market. A buyer with a bigger down payment from the sale of their property will simply overpay to secure a house. The property might have a fair market value of $750,000 and they will bid $850,000 because they made a bundle on the sale of their home.

    But that practice isn’t sustainable as prices rise. Two months ago more people could sell their home in Surrey and buy in Victoria because of the price differential but now that prices are higher fewer will be able to do so.

  86. Funny, I often question the value of realtors. And yet, I look at 1609 Amphion down from us that languished on the market at $960k or whatever it was. Marko listed it and it sold for $1.1m. You can get all the information you want about a property on the interwebs, but a realtor’s job is sales. People knock realtors, but if hiring a realtor can move my house for $150k more than me doing it myself, count me in. That’s commission well spent. If you think they’re overpaid, there’s nothing stopping you from throwing your hat in.

  87. The real estate industry is going to get a big shake up. We now have the technology to support it.

    Perhaps. Thing is we had the technology 15 years ago. Why is it still the same? Why are mere postings 1% of the market?
    Same old reasons and people fall for them
    “This is the biggest purchase of your life, you need a professional handling it”
    “I can get you an extra $50,000 on sale so my commission is worth it”
    “Working with a buyers agent is completely free”
    “Internet? Real estate is about finding local buyers, let me show you around in my Jaaaag”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eWIrBOc3zE

  88. 1082 Quailwood Place anyone have the price it sold for. 700 ass/ 750 list 1700 sq. Very small inside with traffic noise from Royal Oak.

    thanks

  89. The real estate industry is going to get a big shake up. We now have the technology to support it. The industry is like the old fashioned “Yellow Pages”. In the past, companies needed to be in the yellow pages but now everyone simply uses google. In order to try and keep control of the power, the industry has made it all seem very scary to the consumer warning them that “they need a realtor now more than ever”. In reality, one simply needs a good lawyer to wade you through the paperwork. I believe that the home insurance industry is going to go through a similar change. People are fed up being told that it would cost three times the real cost to rebuild their homes in the event of a fire than what it would really cost. So change is inevitable.

  90. I agree Marko but then shouldn’t high commission Realtors be held to a higher standard? Thus my suggestion of firing a non performer. They should be doing the work to find out how to sell it. I’m curious how much longer the monopoly will hold. Like you said it doesn’t have much value to the consumer. It should be robo realtors with a Zillow like database and interface. Self posting should be easy etc. Integrated legal. Staging, pricing, analysis sold as upgrade services. Pay for visibility, social media sharing….
    Stay Jobless Leo. Maybe with all the negative press towards the industry their hold on the data will be opened up and you can start the Zillow of Canada.

  91. One thing that surprises me is the stories of people being frustrated by the multiple offers issue. Some mention coming over to Victoria several times and not being able to successfully win a bid on a house. Why don’t they buy from a private seller? Our daughter and my son just did and there was no bidding war. It was relatively easy using our own lawyer. We thought about selling our own house in Rockland and listed it on craigslist and used Victoria and we only got one person who enquired. (We also only got one agent who called which was surprising). Our house has five fireplaces, two small offices, 1912 character home, four full bedrooms, beamed ceilings in the living room, large entrance hallway with beamed ceiling, very large sunny dining room with beamed ceiling, new electrical panel and completely rewired, New heat pump, newer roof, chimney’s all repointed, one bedroom suite in basement with private entrance, large,very private sundeck, exterior painted a few short years ago. No buried oil tank. The large kitchen is modest and would need updated. The house is within walking distance to downtown and oak bay village and it sits among lovely oak trees on a quiet dead end street. And yet we only got one call. No one seems interested in buying privately. Instead of pricing low and creating a bidding war, we thought people might appreciate value in knowing the price we wanted for our house. We have since decided to keep this house because we think it is a gorgeous house. As for buyers, it would seem buying privately would be worth considering if people are having trouble buying a home in Victoria.

  92. Marko- I just watched that YouTube link you posted about the value, or lack thereof, of real estate commissions. You’re far too honest Marko, you’ll never make it as a realtor!!!

  93. Just think what the buyer of Faithwood must be thinking: “I better not have been the only one offering over ask!!”

  94. Are there any other Associations or Municipalities that deny Rental Suites.

    How controlling is BARA?
    Are there any other such Associations with similar controls?

  95. I think it is quantitative easing too. All of those trillions are being spread out among the home owners of today in their mortgages. Better for the individual to carry the debt load than the country through deficit financing.

    However, most recessions end when consumer spending increases. If we were to have another recession the typical home owner would be in too deep for the country to spend our way of the recession by increasing consumption. Most people would end up having to sell their hard assets. And that would be a lot of houses for sale in the world.

  96. Indecent Proposal Redux… A man sells his soul for a real estate flip…

    David is a talented architect, His wife Diana is a top notch Real Estate Agent..they sell their Victorian Home for a paper promise and move to Winterpeg… 🙂

  97. @justjack I’m holding out to be the last house in the core – selling at the half a billion dollar price you quoted. I can be very patient. I bought at the end of 2012, patiently following a house down after it was listed for over a year. For that type of money, I will head to another province.

  98. JJ said, “The big question is why this surge of buyers across the country?

    It’s global Jack, Canada is just one country experiencing this surge.

    This sudden global surge in RE prices seems to be a phenomenon to convert paper wealth to hard assets. Read the news from any desirable coastal city or any modern city with a decent economy, and the story is the same, low inventory and rapid price increases;

    London, England
    http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/uk-property/

    Shanghai, China
    http://www.ibtimes.com/house-prices-major-chinese-cities-rose-49-march-some-cities-struggling-unsold-2355278

    Sydney, Australia
    http://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/buying/why-we-need-to-stop-the-shock-over-sydneys-skyhigh-property-prices/news-story/811f3cf5098c2208d937994c37af4720

    Pick any city, then search Google News; the results are the same globally.

    Investors and factory owners seem to be converting soft assets (dollars/stocks/bonds) to hard assets, land and residential houses.

    The people driving this recent RE boom seem to be Investors.

    My theory is Quantitative Easing is the root cause;
    – QE pumped trillion$ into the global economies
    – QE altered the normal economic cycle by preventing a recession
    – QE kept most people working and saving and buying ‘Stuff’
    – QE kept the global factories busy making ‘Stuff’
    – QE made millions of factory owners millionaires
    – QE injected trillions of new dollars into the world and those dollars cycled through the system to give everyone the belief that they can afford more ‘Stuff’
    – QE made investors, business people, factory owners, wealthy, very wealthy…on paper…

    But now…fear is beginning with economies shrinking and going to negative interest rates. People want hard assets instead of paper wealth.

    Now there is a huge surplus of paper dollars and paper stock certificates and bonds; and a shortage of desirable hard assets, like RE.

    Search Google for “Land Grab”. Wealthy investors from all countries are rushing to grab land in all countries; the land grab is affecting prime agricultural land worldwide; it’s not a phenomenon that is confined to residential houses.

    If you had a successful business with $35 million sitting in stocks, bonds, and savings accounts; what would you do with it? I’d buy land and houses. Hard assets will always survive.

  99. you are right suites are not allowed in Broadmead. If realtors even suggest suite potential when advertising a house the Broadmead Residents Association(BARA) sends a note to the offending realtors to that effect. As I live in the neighbourhood I get the BARA news letter and they ask residents to let them know if they suspect a suite in the neighbourhood.

    I did hear multiple times (for difference addresses) that neighbours in Broadmead do pick the rental suites out and the owners were ordered to close them down.

  100. Maybe it will just turn into The Hunger Games for Houses and bidders will be put on TV to duke it out to win the house or be sent to Langford.

    That’s pretty funny.

  101. Maybe it will just turn into The Hunger Games for Houses and bidders will be put on TV to duke it out to win the house or be sent to Langford. 😉

  102. I agree with you Marko. Maybe on some specialty properties it would be good for the agent to have the old school tie but times have changed.

    Jack, for the rare time I agree with you, re specialty property.

  103. Remember all the 3rd virtual tours that were all the rage 5 years ago? Why are they so rare now? Because it was just another gimmick.

    Fundamentally the buyer has to walk-through your home and like it enough (along with seeing enough value at asking price) to make you an offer.

  104. Question is why not change Realtors? If they haven’t succeeded by now just reference Marko’s posts on wasting his time with stuff that doesn’t sell. I’m sure your realtor will now have the same attitude towards your house. Get some fresh blood in….

    Thinking about how buyers buy in this day and age….PCS account – call buyer’s realtor – buyer’s realtor opens lockbox, buyers likes the home and sees enough value to make an offer, or not. Where is the listing realtor in the process?

    As long as the listing realtor meets certain minimum level of competency (professional photos, can book appointments, answer questions) the odds of success are the same so changing is totally pointless in my humble opinion.

    The real estate industry has done an amazing job of convincing the public that realtors sell, when in fact buyers buy.

    Last year I was involved in approx. 60 sold listings and represented a tad over 30 buyers….of the 30 buyers I represented don’t remember the listing realtor being instrumental in any shape, way, or form in terms of selling any of the homes.

    Other than saving my listing clients a few hundred thousand in commission last year I don’t remember doing anything extraordinary with my listings either…..even the extra stuff that I did/do is all BS. For example, I’ll sometimes do drone videos of my listings. In all honestly, has nothing to do with selling the listing but rather people looking at the drone videos, seeing something different, and calling me for a listing presentation. The actual drone video does not improve the odds of a sale, in my opinion.

    Back to the point of 98% of the equation is price.

    This isn’t 1995 where a realtor has to put the word out. A house under 800k with a suite in the core is hitting well over 2000 PCS accounts that minute the listing realtor clicks “submit.”

  105. Vic&Van
    you are right suites are not allowed in Broadmead. If realtors even suggest suite potential when advertising a house the Broadmead Residents Association(BARA) sends a note to the offending realtors to that effect. As I live in the neighbourhood I get the BARA news letter and they ask residents to let them know if they suspect a suite in the neighbourhood.

  106. Yesterday we had 4 new house listings in Saanich East and 3 sales.
    Victoria city had 3 new listings and 4 sales
    Oak Bay had 0 new listings and 3 sales.

    Not good numbers for buyers out there looking for a home.

    Today, Victoria is down to 49 house listings in a city of 80,000 people. Oak Bay a township of 10,000 souls has 43 listings. Saanich with over 110,000 people has 138 listings.

    I’m starting to wonder why prices are not higher. If we get down to one listing in the City that last home surely must be worth half a billion dollars to someone.

  107. Re: Faithwood. I understand that there is no suite and, in fact, the covenants on the properties in that area prevent the construction of suites if I am correct.

  108. “Whoa, have we talked about 4294 Faithwood?

    Assessed: $730,000
    Asked: $889,000
    Sold $: $1,252,000″

    Has the dirty money started moving in here or just the insane asylum folks out on day pass ?

  109. I don’t think it is necessary to change agents. I’ve spoken with your agent many times over the years and in my opinion she is one of the best in Sooke.

  110. @ cascadia: A buyer chose to look at our place (over other similar ones) just because they thought the deck & outdoor space looked nicer – they bought it. So if you re-list, remember to highlight any unique features you have through words & pictures, eg., suite or level lot.

    @smileon: we also moved back to Victoria from Vancouver but it was before this crazy market. Even then, we had to make snap decisions for the best properties, so we:

    a) came over both weekdays & weekends, on a moment’s notice, any ferry (based on floor plans)

    b) waited till fall (every year prices dip in fall/winter, but inventory drops and there’s more lag between the best postings – but you never know this year!)

    c) had a list of tradeoffs prepared (eg., we could trade a usable basement for a bad kitchen, but we couldn’t give up a garden for anything)

    Be prepared for risk & unexpected costs if you go unconditional. There are lots of buried underground oil tanks. Closer to the ocean, there are a lot of damp basements. The previous owners of my place paid $18k to remove their old buried tank (Victoria Tank Service), but the high end is $100k for soil remediation.

    Also be careful of older homes (eg., 1910s-20s) that look nice on the outside but might have old windows, outdated insulation, outdated electrical. Electrical upgrade work can cost $10k+ for a whole house.

  111. We almost bought 736 Transit in 2008 when it was listed (99% sure it’s the same place). We put in a solid offer (low/mid 7’s?). As I recall the owners decided not to sell at the time. I never followed whether it sold later. Nice place – but 1M – holy cow! Glad we ended up where we did on a lot twice the size with more room for my urban gardening endeavours.

  112. Question is why not change Realtors? If they haven’t succeeded by now just reference Marko’s posts on wasting his time with stuff that doesn’t sell. I’m sure your realtor will now have the same attitude towards your house. Get some fresh blood in….

  113. or do a mere posting with Marko

    I’ve had to end offering mere postings in the Westshore/Sooke…..not enough hours in day to drive out there anymore. I am only willing to do two per week max these days even in the core areas.

  114. 4294 Faithwood caught my eye because, like it, my house is also appraised for $730K, but before I got too excited, I reminded myself that it was also 1000 sq ft larger, has a two bedroom suite, and is in a pricier neighborhood. So I’m going to say their appraisal is low.

  115. Less than 10 minutes before the Faithwood sale was reported 736 Transit came in at $206k over asking price.

    There is very little shock value in Faithwood.

  116. All good info – thanks guys.

    So if I am going to lower the ask, what do you feel is the best course of action? Should I drop $10k and relist with another realtor or just reprice and stick with current realtor? I guess my concern is that the listing is going stale and just adjusting the price may not attract the interest I would hope for. Thoughts?

    What good would a new realtor do? Stick with the current one.

  117. mooselessness said

    “Whoa, have we talked about 4294 Faithwood?

    Assessed: $730,000
    Asked: $889,000
    Sold $: $1,252,000

    3 bedroom plus suite, built 1989. Broadmead, toward Blenkinsop Lake.

    I suppose the difference between Ask/Sold isn’t THAT unusual right now. Crossing the million dollar line made my eyes pop though.”

    I was interested in this house and am pretty sure it did not have a suite, plus I walked by it before the open house and not much of a yard.

    This market is killing me, I am looking to make a move. I have a almost paid off house in Broadmead which assessed a bit over Faithwood yet everytime I look at a house there are other people at the showing, what is everything an open house now?? And they go for well over asking! Another example I looked at is a house on Rawley asking +/- 900K sold for $1004200 no conditions in 2 days. I feel like I am sitting on $1 000 000 which I can’t spend because I can’t write an offer before it is sold. Although I am not at all panicked, as I am happy to stay where I am and finish paying off my mortgage, I understand why people panic.

  118. “When you see price growth start to enforce price growth then we tend to get into your typical bubble situation and that’s when things get concerning for us,” said Robert Kavcic, Vice President and Senior Economist at BMO Capital Markets.”

    When the banks are calling it a bubble I think the “flawed” theory holds less water. Every bubble has a catalyst, we just don’t know which it’s going to be.

  119. “The circular hypothesis is a closed system which eventually devours itself. The pyramid model would suggest the market is sustainable.”

    Great explanation Jack.

  120. @Cascadia. I’ve been in your exact situation. Buy a house new and keep it super clean and kind of expect it to rise in value after many years.

    The issue is your location. There is literally billions of potentially available lots within a few min drive of your place. You are not landlocked in the core. So your land is maybe worth $40k, and your house was bought at a premium (new). The issue with buying new is the moment you do it starts to lose value. It’s now getting close to a decade old and the styles now are much brighter/modern.

    I saw a show home near you with modern look/feel and a flat lot for less then you are asking.

    The fact you want to sell because the commute has worsened since you bought is also something many other buyers in the area are experiencing so there is quite a lot of sales in your area lately.

    I would bite the bullet and stake this up to a “lesson learned”. Don’t buy new out in the middle of nowhere with lots of land for new developments.

    I would paint the interior modern colours, and take new photos of the house with blue sky and at least a shot outside at the nice looking trees out back. Private nature park back yard is great, keep window coverings open during day and nice to look at. Currently you have wet/grey cold looking photos with mid winter dead looking trees.

    Relist at 458,000 after all that with same realtor, or do a mare posting with Marko and save $18k and list at 448,000.

    The longer you wait to move “up market” the more you have to pay when you re-purchase. So selling faster most likely will equal same same at the end of the day as the west shore is now going over asking by 50k or more!

  121. “@Hawk: Hilliard MacBeth’s assessment is flawed, in my opinion.”

    claanu,

    Anyone who calls for a crash seems to have a flawed opinion. Happens in every bubble. A pricing plateau will precipitate a crash, where the buyers peter out.

    As he said, as the other markets in Canada continue downward, the banks will eventually tighten credit and to the foreign buyers as well.

    Not all the Chinese have cash or they wouldn’t be taking out Canadian mortgages getting zero income verification using ghost condos as collateral. I didn’t see them rescue the Americans when they crashed.

    To think this will continue higher and higher without any repercussions of the massive debt bomb, with increase of subprime lending to facilitate down payments is wishful thinking,but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    It’s all about time, the higher it goes the harder the fall, and 10 years is about right to me.

  122. Prices may have detached from average incomes but people are simply putting down larger down payments to get an affordable monthly payment.

    The big question is why this surge of buyers across the country? And is this surge sustainable?

    The bigger down payments may be coming from several sources. Selling your investment properties and principle residence to buy that last home you’ll ever own. Gifting or loaning a down payment to your kids. Or it could be from shadow lending or foreign money too.

    But I think the key is bigger down payments where most of the money is likely sourced from real estate that has appreciated. This isn’t fresh new money entering into the system but recycled equity. Instead of having a pyramid shaped market with a lot of new money at the bottom supporting higher prices we have a circular shaped market where higher prices create more equity which creates higher prices and so on.

    But to accept this hypothesis you have to agree that equity is not the same as cash. And I understand that some may not see any difference between the two. The circular hypothesis is a closed system which eventually devours itself. The pyramid model would suggest the market is sustainable.

    Something that may show if this is happening is if CMHC is guaranteeing less money these days. Since the financing is coming from other sources. I don’t have that information but it may be interesting to try and find it.

  123. @claanu:

    It’s good to know someone else was in the same boat, though I don’t see how we could waive all conditions, TBH.

    Whereabouts did you end up buying? We’ve made offers in Fernwood, Oaklands and even Saanich West and been outbid by people with unconditional offers.

  124. @cascadia, I think your problem is not enough bathrooms. Perhaps a reno to add the fifth one. Just kidding!!! I think it’s simply that there is a lot of competition in that area all at similar price points with similar features. You either need to be patient or adjust the price IMO. From the pics there doesn’t seem to be any big change to be gained from staging. Better off to drop the price than to bling out the kitchen or something like that. I would say 469 as a fresh listing. Possibly a new agent if your contract allows. They probably think it’s a dud now….

  125. Whoa, have we talked about 4294 Faithwood?

    Assessed: $730,000
    Asked: $889,000
    Sold $: $1,252,000

    3 bedroom plus suite, built 1989. Broadmead, toward Blenkinsop Lake.

    I suppose the difference between Ask/Sold isn’t THAT unusual right now. Crossing the million dollar line made my eyes pop though.

  126. @Hawk: Hilliard MacBeth’s assessment is flawed, in my opinion.

    His use of micro-economic indicators doesn’t work with Vancouver (and now Victoria). Prices have already decoupled from local salaries. We have a global supply of wealthy investors, who are drawn to Southern BC’s mild climate, proximity to Asia, and “safe” status. Our provincial economy could tank and they’d still flock in.

    We’ve been hearing the bubble talk in Vancouver for 10 years. I was certain we were on the cusp of it five years ago. Meanwhile my friends bought in and their home has appreciated by $100k per year since then.

    The only way I see the bubble bursting is if they cut off foreign access to this market. Like capital controls in China, or the Canadian government closing loopholes. That could happen, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Truthfully, I don’t fear a bubble, I fear a pricing plateau, one that sucks the life out of our best urban cores.

    All just my two cents. 🙂

  127. All good info – thanks guys.

    So if I am going to lower the ask, what do you feel is the best course of action? Should I drop $10k and relist with another realtor or just reprice and stick with current realtor? I guess my concern is that the listing is going stale and just adjusting the price may not attract the interest I would hope for. Thoughts?

  128. Well conditions are off for our lot and christened it with some kayaking on the weekend. Even took a dip in the water! I officially traded my house for a chunk of dirt. Now the real work begins.

  129. @smileon:

    We were in the same boat, pardon the pun. Outbid in Vancouver, decided to try Victoria, took the ferry every weekend, outbid here too.

    We did this for three months and got worn out. So we went unconditional after due diligence and discussing the risks with our broker. That got us competitive and we landed a place.

    But it irks me that we had to do that. I think, unless it’s a cash offer, subject to financing should be mandatory.

    As for Esquimalt / Vic West, from our limited viewings it’s happening there too. But it’s to a lesser extent than, say, Fairfield or Oak Bay. Makes sense. A great area and close to the core.

  130. People rely too much on comparable sales. A comparable sales analysis is a judgement sample where the person doing the analysis chooses what they believe to be the most similar properties to yours. Relying just on this one method of valuation may be misleading. And sometimes can be just wrong.

    First of all, most of the time it is not possible to find a minimum of three recent sales of similar homes to yours that have sold. Finding comparable sales to your home sounds good on paper but in the real world it rarely happens.

    Just a difference in finished floor area or how that area is distributed between floors can become a large adjustment. Say if you had a new home and were comparing it to a house that was 300 square feet larger how much would you adjust the comparable sale for the difference?

    Lot size, views, renovations the adjustments can add up. But the adjustments may not be cumulative. You can make dozens of adjustments but the typical buyer only considers a half dozen items or so when purchasing a home.

    What I find is that most people, including agents, incorrectly analyze comparable sales. Because the comparable sales analysis is tricky, highly judgmental and at times poorly researched.

    That’s why you need to look at value from several independent sources and then reconcile those differences into a value range showing the low and high range as well as the most probable price.

    I rarely do mortgage appraisals these days because the need for the appraisal is just confirmation of the sale price. The appraisal being at the end of the process. People are not wanting an appraisal then – they just want a loan. Then you are more of a data entry clerk than an appraiser.

    Instead, my work is at the beginning of the process where I work with buyers to determine what to bid on the property. And I work with sellers who want an independent analysis separate from a real estate agents. And I work with law firms and buyers in foreclosures. I sit right beside the prospective buyer in the court advising on the initial and subsequent bid. Then in the court room you will be there, your real estate agent and myself and I guarantee that you will be the most informed person in that room. When you are at the beginning of the process you give value to the buyer and the seller because they want an appraisal then. So at times my answers are going to be short, to the point and sometimes not what you want to hear.

    So I wouldn’t get too caught up in finding perfect comparable sales for your home. All a small judgement sample is able to do is illustrate that a market existed for homes like yours during the last 90 days. You would need to forecast into the next 90 day period to determine the anticipated future sale price of the property.

    Yes, it may be possible for you to get a full price offer on your property but at this time it isn’t probable. You may have to wait for the market to catch up to your asking price.

  131. “The more interesting thing is how bad we guessed it’s price – I would have overshot too if I had put in a guess.”

    Reasonfirst,
    I originally wanted to pick $450K but thought there would be some sucker out there with a penchant for punishment. Not everyone wants to be a funky Fernwoodian it seems.

    LeoS,
    You should start attracting the psychologists bizz for some more advertising bucks, God knows they will be rolling in the dough when this is all said and done. Even the Vancouver buyers are hitting their breaking point. 😉

    Housing markets hot, but talk of a bubble getting louder

    “Hilliard MacBeth warns, that this real estate bubble will be much more painful. “There is so much debt involved that there are going to be some very, very difficult circumstances for families, including personal bankruptcy and that sort of thing.” He says the scale of trouble is very different this time.”

    http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2016/04/19/housing-markets-hot-but-talk-of-a-bubble-getting-louder/

  132. Smileon:

    You should get used to the ferries. It’s a way of life on the island and the slower speed is what brings people to Victoria. Or as the affectionate Tshirt states “Republic of Vancouver Island.”

    Assuming 3 weekend trips would cost you about $500 in Ferry costs. This is less than a house inspection. Or another way less than 1/15th of a percent of the home price.

    I think where you may be frustrated is your “Time Investment.” And that part I understand. Have you considered renting in Victoria for a few months and remove the stress of Cross Commuting for Open Houses?

    Most importantly, there are good and bad and sometimes horrible individuals in all professions. But here we are in the hottest market during the hottest time of year that set a monthly all time sales record in March.
    Perhaps it’s time to be honest with your Realtor about your expectations. And Vice Versa.

  133. @Cascadia,

    Viewing MLS in your area I see a couple of houses I would look at before yours as they come with one extra room and are priced cheaper than yours. More bang for my buck.
    But that’s just a quick look and I’m not doing my usual thorough research when I compare properties. But even at a quick glance I might even sacrifice a bathroom or two in your area that appeals to me just to get a cheaper price.

    Just saying.

  134. Cascadia, if you want my two cents.

    You have a great experienced realtor so that’s a non-factor.
    You have a spec built home in an organized subdivision; therefore, uniqueness (which typically results in longer days on market) is a non-factor. This isn’t a 10-acre horse farm with a custom built home where you need to wait for the “right person.”
    Home as per photos presents very well so that’s a non-factor too.

    If you’ve had showings and no offers you have two options; as Leo suggested, wait for the market to catch up to the price or drop the price.

    Changing the description doesn’t help too much if you have people coming but not making offers.

    When I have lunch with non-BS colleague realtors will always poke fun at all the BS in real estate (“marketing,” “staging,” etc..) and how it comes down to price 98% of the time.

    Marketing has pretty much been made irrelevant by the MLS® system. I’ve listed 50 properties since September 1st, 2015. Two listings cancelled, remainder all sold and 5 active listings left. Nothing spent on market beyond photos and floorplans.

    I was looking at a fancy magazine the other day and had luxury properties listed across the world. One condo caught my eye in Zurich at a cool $8,000,000 Euros….if I had 8 million Euros I wouldn’t fly to Zurich to buy that condo, I would look at 15 other ones. My point is marketing isn’t there to sell properties, but to get listings (“hey look, if you list with my your place will be in advertised all over the place”).

  135. Vicbot – good point, maybe I need to relook at the listing and try and highlight that suite. It is also vacant now, which would appeal to those families with an in-law living with them.

    Yeahright – Perhaps you are looking at the house on Birchwood that just sold and have a very sloped back yard – much less desirable than ours. The only homes that have sold recently in Sunriver below assessed value are a foreclosure house and new builds (not assessed with the house yet). We are assessed at $469 and asking $489, so 104% of assessed. The last two comparable houses to sell here were assessed at $462 – sold for $470 and assessed at $410 – sold for $471. Looking through current listings as well as recent pending/sold it seems we are right where we should be. We are the listing on Willowpark.

  136. Very good feedback from everyone – thank you. I very much appreciate it. I am trying my best to not be defensive about the house as we have taken great deal of care in the upkeep of it over the years and it really shows when you see the house in person.

    To those advising to lower the asking price -I can appreciate that we may need to lower the price slightly, but my concern is how much do we need to lower the ask? Are we talking $5k, $10k, $20k? My previous thinking had been that for it to really make a difference we would need to drop significantly, but how much would be significant? I do feel this is really tough to know unless you actually see the house and comparables in the hood but would like to know opinions anyway.

    We are not in a situation where we HAVE to sell, and to be honest pretty much all the houses we were interested in have pending offers and there is little coming up now that interests us that we can still afford. That being said, I do feel that the longer we wait the larger the price gap will be.

    We have been relying on looking at market stats/comparables, but mostly on our realtor’s opinion and feedback from realtors who view the house as to how desirable our price is comparable to others in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, we are getting no feedback that the price is too high or that people don’t like something, other than the stairs. All we are getting is feedback about what great condition the house is in, that they love it, and some have told the agent that it’s at the top of their short list and to please notify them if an offer comes in. There are also a couple of couples that want the house but need to sell theirs before they can make an offer. I do trust our realtors opinion as he/she has been around a long time and is highly respected – she feels that we are the best price for a comparable house in the neighborhood – perhaps we need t re-evaluate.

    Just Jack – I may get defensive, but in no way hate you. It’s tough to separate emotions from a business transaction when you have lived in it and spent so much energy on it, so I will have a tendency to get defensive when facing criticism about it. I have been thinking about the GST matter the last few days and I hadn’t really considered that before. So, you didn’t really put the thought in my head, but I do agree with you. I also see that part of the issue is that our house is a higher priced house relative to Sunriver, but our realtor already advised us of that weeks ago. I may not agree with all your sentiments, but I do appreciate you taking the time to voice your information/opinions and offer me feedback.

  137. @Cascadia,

    I know it’s not the end all-be all information, but http://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/Property.aspx has sales data in your area last year where homes were selling well below assessed value.

    I know this year is a hot market but, to me, I see the way below assessed value sales last year is now sitting at “bang on or slightly above” assessed value sales this year. And I see yours is way above. (Unless I’m looking at the wrong home on a sloped road way).

    Just a thought from the outside looking in.

  138. Cascadia, 1 more idea (you’re probably getting sick of them by now!)
    I could be wrong, but on the plus side, your home seems to have a full suite in the basement, whereas the others don’t?

    This feature isn’t highlighted in your description, and so you might be missing out on buyers that are looking for a suite for rental, in-laws, or teenagers.

    The last time I sold a home, I had to work on the description with the realtor, because they had missed some highlights that made it stand out from the pack, and it worked well.

  139. My comment about the suite-ability of the Fernwood house was meant to be more of a general statement – yes it’s a cheap house for a number of reasons…lot size, busy road, etc. but I think that you could probably find examples of houses with these features also seeing some surge in prices.

    The more interesting thing is how bad we guessed it’s price – I would have overshot too if I had put in a guess.

    Where we misled by the idea that this price growth is consistent across the board or that everyone is listing low for bidding war? I think it’s the suite-ability based on a very small sample of houses that haven’t gone nuts but could be wrong – sounds like a job for JJ.

  140. @cascadia – Some really great insights shared with you that I also have found beneficial. Another thought is to consider the timing of your sale. I don’t know the answer – but does spring selling make a difference in this market? If so, then you want to be sure to make the sale happen in the spring window. Good luck and I wouldn’t change anything in your home – it looks lovely.

  141. @marko juras

    “I’ve stopped taking on new buyers for the time being…..just too difficult to explain to people their conditional offer at asking price is wasting everyone’s time and I don’t really have the time to go through 4-5 failed attempts before the buyer figures it out themselves and then when they figure it out they can’t go unconditional anyway (need financing subject).

    It is so bad out there that I don’t even get excited writing unconditional offers anymore. Wrote one up in Fairfield yesterday 126k over asking, no conditions, exact dates seller wanted, outbid by another unconditional offer.

    To give you some sort of general guide I am finding based on my ground work that 1/3 of offers are unconditional. So if a place has 12 offers, for example, 4 are unconditional.”

    This.

    We’ve been coming to Victoria from Vancouver for 3 solid weekends, looking at homes and making offers. We’ve made 3, and all have been beaten by at least one unconditional. We were in on one that had 12 offers and 4 unconditional, so maybe we’re talking the same place.

    At this point we’re super frustrated with our wasted time and money on the ferry and, frankly, with our realtor, who hasn’t been as transparent as Marko above about the likelihood of us actually getting an accepted offer. No way are we going to make an unconditional offer on a house, in my opinion that’s asking for trouble.

    So now what? Do we wait until the fall to see if prices and bidding become sane, or do we settle for a place outside Victoria proper? Is this happening in places like Vic West and Esquimalt? It’s happening in Burnside, because it just happened to us there too!

  142. Cascadia, it you have your agent look up the 6 month median bracketing your original purchase date in 2009 for houses in Sooke on lots of less than 10,000 square feet and compare that to today’s median you’ll see that the median has changed very little from $386,000 to $385,000. What that means is your home, assuming you paid fair market value, has not increased in value since you purchased it. But since you bought your home new, it has aged seven years. And then there is the GST of some $23,000 you paid, in some cases the tax is not fully recoverable upon re-sale like the property purchase tax.

    This is despite the increase in sales activity between the time you bought your home when Sooke had 43 sales in that 6 month period to that of today when there has been 73 sales in the last 6 months for homes on lots of less than 10,000 square feet in Sooke.

    Since February 1, the sales to assessment ratios for homes in Sunriver ranged from a low of 99 percent to a high of 115%. The median or typical home in the area is selling at 107% of its current government assessed value. The median or typical home in your hood has a value of $415,000.

    The last similar home to yours sold at $158 per finished square foot, two weeks ago. Someone looking to buy a home in Sunriver would have looked at your home and the recent sale on Driftwood – and they chose Driftwood over yours paying $470,000.

    What is important for any seller to know these days is what is a reasonable price for their home. If you have heightened expectations you might let the best offer slip away.

    At least you are now better informed that you were two days ago. Hate me now – love me later.

  143. Trying to get a few small things done around my house, responses from tradespeople

    “I am too busy for the next two or three months, and would not have time until after that. If you are still looking for it to be done then, let me know.”

  144. Cascades- I just looked at your listing on Willowpark. My first impression is the yellowish walls look old and dated, especially with the yellowish wood floors. Maybe a weekend painting session to change to brighter colours would help; if it was my place I’d paint the yellow walls a very light greyish violet to complement the yellowish wood floor colour. Having said that, I agree with the other comments, price is the problem. When buyers walk through your house they are thinking about your house compared to other houses they have seen. So far, all the potential buyers have had the same thought, “I like the other house better”. There are only a few things you can change about your house. You can’t change the number of stairs or the sloping yard, but you can change paint colours.

  145. Sorry Cascadia but I think looking to reasons other than price and Dom is unlikely to solve the issue. Re-list at a slightly lower price. As Leo said the market will likely catch up to your price but it will be higher elsewhere too. If your down payment on the next place won’t meet what you need if you sell lower maybe hold on and relist later at a point when you’ve saved more or prices have risen in Sooke.

  146. Leo: of course lowering the price will solve everything, but that’s a pretty simple way to approach it

    Exactly. Simple and effective.
    Look either you want the place sold or you don’t. Clearly the price is too high. If it wasn’t too high it would have sold.

    So you either drop the price or you wait for the market to increase so that the property is no longer overpriced. The market is increasing so eventually you will sell at the current price, but if you are selling to buy closer to town that likely won’t get you anything.

  147. Yes, mine is the one on Willowpark.

    Just Jack: Not sure where you got the info but you are a bit off. In the time our house has gone up there have been 27 listings in Sunriver, 11 of which are pending/sold – 3 of these were brand new builds. There are two pretty comparable houses that have sold recently – Birchview Place and Driftwood Drive – both sold for $470 with one not having a suite in it and being assessed just over $400, the other was quite comparable to ours. If you look you will see there haven’t been many houses sell above $450 in Sunriver – only 4 houses with one being a new build. I think a blanket statement saying it’s a sellers market here is pretty inaccurate. Sure certain price ranges are selling very well, but others, not so much. As for why others prefer another house to ours – I’m not sure, maybe they didn’t want a suite, maybe they liked the layout better for their situation, I don’t really know.

    Leo: of course lowering the price will solve everything, but that’s a pretty simple way to approach it and alot easier when its someone elses money on the line. I appreciate the sentiment, but I’m hoping to avoid dropping my pants to sell the place.

    Vicbot and Curious Cat: thanks for the feedback as well. The layout issue really had more to do with us having a walk in basement and there being a full set of stairs to reach the main floor. We had two sets of buyers turned off because of that – they didn’t want stairs (they are pretty evident in the listing pictures but I guess not everyone pays great attention before booking a viewing). the back yard issue was only an issue for some and others love the back yard – its a good size but most of it is sloped and backs onto treed parkland, so it’s a selling feature for some and a detractor for others.

    Mooselessness: thanks for the feedback as well. I agree that the listing is going stale. We still have a fair bit of interest but we may need to look at listing with another agent. Resetting the DOM would fool buyers who haven’t seen it yet, I presume. I feel the same way about Sooke – if we worked in the Westshore we would just stay as we do like it here but the commute for my wife is just too much now.

  148. I’d be interested to hear comments on the legality, morality, or practicality of so called “referential offers,” which are increasingly appearing in the Victoria market. These are offers that only make sense in reference to other offers and do not stand alone, i.e. “$5,000 more than the highest bid”.

    I don’t think a referential offer, as is, is legal. When I’ve written referential offers I’ve written them up as, “the seller is invited to counter this offer at $5,000 more than the highest conditional bid up to a maximum of xxx,xxx” and then I have a separate max for highest unconditional bid…..you don’t want to try and outbid some idiot conditional offer that has no intent of following through; therefore, why I’ve differentiated in the past. Seller counters back (in theory), buyer accepts (in theory) and you have a valid contract.

    Hasn’t worked well and a lot of brokerages now are not willing to entertain referential offers so it is kind of a mute point. Seeing fewer and fewer of these types of offers.

    I’ve tried all sorts of strategies this year but when you have people bidding 200k over ask, no conditions pretty much nothing works and when things are 200k over ask seller typically isn’t willing to risk it screwing around with a referential to squeeze out 201k or 205k.

    I’ve stopped taking on new buyers for the time being…..just too difficult to explain to people their conditional offer at asking price is wasting everyone’s time and I don’t really have the time to go through 4-5 failed attempts before the buyer figures it out themselves and then when they figure it out they can’t go unconditional anyway (need financing subject).

    It is so bad out there that I don’t even get excited writing unconditional offers anymore. Wrote one up in Fairfield yesterday 126k over asking, no conditions, exact dates seller wanted, outbid by another unconditional offer.

    To give you some sort of general guide I am finding based on my ground work that 1/3 of offers are unconditional. So if a place has 12 offers, for example, 4 are unconditional.

    Also, unlike in the past, when people lowballed unconditionally, these days unconditional offers are usually also the ones coming in aggressive on the price.

  149. There’s only one reason that a property doesn’t sell: it’s priced too high.
    All other reasons can be simplified to that

    As I approach 400 sales in my career in Victoria all I can say is no s***, too bad only 2% of the population is able to grasp this concept. The other 98% believe that a picture of their realtor on the back of a bus, or a mass mailed notepad will help to sell the property, among many other awesome marketing strategies 🙂

  150. Oh no — I’ve made another snarky comment.

    Introvert! There wasn’t even a misplaced comma in this case. You just saw JJ’s name and had to add a content-free insult. What’s the point? You’re hurting the site.

  151. Cascadia, my advice is to address the negatives: have a floor plan available on the realtor’s website, and have pictures of the backyard on mls. It is a pet peeve of mine when I go to a showing or an open house and I feel like the sellers are “hiding” something. I get so focused on the negative that I can’t appreciate the positives. At least if you had a photo showing the backyard isn’t flat, then people have a chance to say, “ok, I can live with that because it has the office/suite/# of bedrooms I need” ahead of time and it’s a non-issue during the showing.

    Personally, layout is HUGE for me, and a floor plan is my way of weeding out homes I would never consider.

  152. It’s not as simple as you’re making it out to be. – that was a pretty compartmentalized response.

    Lots of things are really simple in Just Jack’s mind. Oh no — I’ve made another snarky comment. You better give JJ a big kiss, AG.

  153. There’s only one reason that a property doesn’t sell: it’s priced too high.
    All other reasons can be simplified to that

  154. 1930 Leighton sells for asking price, 659k. That’s basically lot value around there, not a bad deal.

  155. Larkdowne is over listed by about $150k.

    If was listed for $949,000 it probably wouldn’t have made the open house and maybe even gone for $1.2M

    Just my 2c.

  156. Fernwood also had 2 humungous trees whose roots might grow into the house or water main (?), so might have to be removed by new owner or developer, if allowed, and at high cost.

    @Cascadia it was interesting to have your perspective on Sooke. You’re probably doing everything right and the market is just slow on average. If some of the feedback was related to layout, I’ve heard that it might help to change the lighting (strong lights in better areas, or LED lights to remove yellowness) or re-arrange furniture to change the flow of people walking through. Then again, your realtor has probably already done that!

  157. Well Cascadia, since you listed your home listed for sale, 13 properties have sold in Sunriver Estates and only 19 have been listed in that time. The highest price paid was $470,000 or $158 a square foot.

    So tell me why do buyers prefer other properties over yours?

  158. @Cascadia, I imagine you’re talking about the house on Willowpark (I’ll let you add the link, if you like). The photos look lovely.

    We sold our own Sunriver home in 2009 for the same reason as you, the commute, as much as we loved Sooke otherwise.

    One thing you’re up against is the interchangeability of Sunriver homes. Willowpark is $490K for a 4 bedroom, but there are two five bedroom places for around the same price and about a dozen other homes in the neighbourhood, all of which feel fair similar. And now you’ve got the problem of a stale listing.

    I’d consider doing the cancel/relist trick with a price drop. Silly as it is, resetting the DOM counter does seem to work sometimes, even though you’re not really fooling anyone.

    With our own sale, the interchangeability of local homes actually helped us. Someone wanted a different Creekside model, lost it to another buyer, and then heard that ours was about to come on the market. In that case, luck and our realtor’s connections helped (we used John Vernon), as it had not yet hit MLS.

    Good luck to you!

  159. 2215 Fernwood – $430K on my PCS – Hawk wins and even he went too high!!!! Hawk cred up a few notches I would say.

    sale price guess on Fernwood Rd house
    fireecology1 630k
    Gwac 725k
    Animal Spirit 637.50
    Michael 688.8
    Hawk 490k
    CuriousCat 525k
    ash 580k
    Leo s 648k
    step 565K
    JC748,888

  160. Wow, that’s easy to say without knowing any details Just Jack. We have done our homework on comparables and I am seeing what other similar homes in Sooke are selling for and we are very competitive. If we were out to lunch our realtor would tell us, as she has multiple other properties in the area for sale. We have spoken with her and a couple other realtors and they all feel we have a competitive price based on all the criteria. We have asked for candid opinions on price and what else we can do to make the house more marketable and they feel we just need to be patient.

    It’s not as simple as you’re making it out to be. – that was a pretty compartmentalized response. I do believe median days on market when we listed was about 50 in Sooke. But there also has been a flurry of sales on houses in the 300’s and very low 400’s in Sooke in the last month or so. Houses in the high 400’s and up seem to be sitting on the market longer here as perhaps buyers are opting for boxes in the Westshore instead.

    As I said, I’m happy to link the listing or post the mls number – if you were to objectively look at the house and comparables I think you would not be able to say we have priced ourselves out of the market at all.

  161. I’d be interested to hear comments on the legality, morality, or practicality of so called “referential offers,” which are increasingly appearing in the Victoria market. These are offers that only make sense in reference to other offers and do not stand alone, i.e. “$5,000 more than the highest bid”.

  162. @SweetHome

    I’d say in this market today we could still make it work. But we would never get what we got back in 2012. We would definitely have to compromise more (commute, room count, kitchen size, yard size, etc.), especially trying to get it at $425K or below to keep the taxes down as a 1st time home buyer.

    But lets look at it this way, we would have saved way more by now and could have forgo the 1st time buyer thinking and get something slightly more costly.

    Luck and timing were definitely on our side.

  163. On a lighter note…

    Does anyone know where in Victoria to buy good quality patio furniture? Looking for something with the Sunbrella fabrics. I know Costco sells them but they don’t have them in the warehouse, and I’d like to try it out the chairs before buying. Any ideas?

  164. @ Chris: Lots of rich people look poor to backwoods rubes from Victoria B.C. who aspire to consume conspicuously and equate wealth to showy baubles and spendthrift behaviors.

    How poor is this guy who works at google?

    http://www.businessinsider.com/google-employee-lives-in-truck-in-parking-lot-2015-10

    Or this guy who owns a house outright after 3 years?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/mortgage-pay-off-three-years-1.3302229

    You should read “The Millionaire Next Door”. Accumulating wealth is equal parts sacrifice, discipline and hard work.

    Wealth is a debt from society – an excess of value you have provided the collective over the value you have consumed. The sooner you get that debt large enough to live off of, you get to retire.

    The “undesirable” or “unpleasant” behavior described by yeahright is how people get rich. His behavior should be envied, not looked down upon.

  165. The median days on market in Sooke is 22. If you’ve had your home up for sale for 60 days with no offers then you need to drop the asking price.

    So for you, it isn’t a sellers market because you’ve priced your home out of the market.

    Sooke is still a sellers market – it’s just that you’re not in the game.

  166. “An engineer going without food to pay for gas to get to work? Seems like mixed up priorities. No one has to buy a house, they can rent or live in a more reasonably priced city.”

    No, no mixed up priorities at all. You have no idea what his job was, what his life situation was.
    He had a very tight budget, was renting, rents were high compared to salaries, and he had to live there to pursue that particular career. As you say, find something you love but it may not happen in a low cost town.

    He was also paying off student & car loans. It wasn’t his age either – other “mature” recent grads were in the same boat.

    A lot of people are in that situation. If you are lucky enough to come from a family with means, or find a well-paying job in comparatively lower cost Victoria, then you have no business making assumptions or criticizing how other people struggle.

  167. 2215 fernwood rd looks like it sold. That was our guess the sale price. Can anyone confirm if it sold and for what?

  168. Then there is Langford and Colwood. If you’re paying for location in the City – then you’re paying for quality in the Westshore.

    40 sales in the second week of April ranging from $346,000 to $1,640,000

    The median or typical homes sells around 106% of its government assessment which is down from the ratio back in April 2015 when it was 109%.

    New listings are not keeping up with supply with 0.8 new listings for everyone that sold and the months of inventory is down to 1.3 And yet just 17 percent of homes sold over asking and none sold for more than 10 percent over list price.

    You’ll pay about $575,000 for a house in Langford that mirrors the same house in Gordon Head for $850,000

    So why are home buyers not going nuts like they are in Victoria? I suspect its because people are buying a home to live in and raise a family in the Westshore. In Victoria they are mostly investors trying to strike it rich. A gold rush where everyone wants to stake the same claim.

    https://youtu.be/YNvOl_Yml3U

  169. @yeahright – Thanks for sharing your story, and I’m glad other posters have reflected upon it. I think it confirms my concern that your financial situation would have been very precarious if you had to try to buy a house now for the $100K more it would likely cost. Prices are still climbing, so that target gets ever further away for someone trying to save for home ownership.

    I think a family like yours who is hard-working and frugal should be able to afford a basic house in Victoria (or within 30-minute max. commute). First of all, I think it is vital to a stable society that there is a means for people to be able to work their way up. A wide cross-section of people with skills in all areas need to be able to afford a decent place to live for the salary their job pays. Salaries have never been great in Victoria compared to the cost of living, which is why @yeahright had to cut the frills to even be able to get a house before the price run-up. Now that gap is ever-widening, so I am worried about a skills shortage in certain areas.

    Secondly, I am convinced that this current spike in Victoria prices is largely due to both a direct and trickle-down effect (i.e. via Vancouver and TO) from “HAM”, so I think home ownership for people who have been living and working in the area for years would be much easier if there were better regulation on foreign ownership. Some control should have been put on this years ago. Now I am not sure how it can be done without causing chaos.

  170. An engineer going without food to pay for gas to get to work? Seems like mixed up priorities. No one has to buy a house, they can rent or live in a more reasonably priced city.

  171. yeahright,

    That’s a great story. To the naysayers: the best things in life are free. Better to go to the beach, bike a trail or hike Mount Doug than blow money frivolously. And best of all, the feeling of seeing your net worth rise, knowing you are swimming instead of sinking, is a thrill all to itself.

  172. All this talk of tipping & going to restaurants is not related at all to people’s struggles to make ends meet for their families in the current housing market. Those are 2 different things.

    I know an engineer (good income) who had to budget so carefully every month that some nights every month he went without food because he needed to pay for gas to get to work! (He needed to live in that city for work)

    Look at this article – 2 engineers – good careers, good paying jobs, thinking of moving in with parents, as a lot of their friends have:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/real-estate-house-prices-millennials-1.3514476

  173. @Chris

    We just arrived back in BC from Alberta,

    Living with Mom and her husband for two months while we got our lives together to live in Victoria is nothing to be ashamed of.

  174. Quick to assume yourself totoro – when did I mention rich people are immune to being “cheap” (the more specific term you so helpfully pointed out)? I am not mixing anything up, just pointing out that “I can’t help thinking…” this person sounds like a really cheap guy who focuses on scrimping at all times rather than getting on and enjoying life. Living with your mother when you have a spouse? Renting a crappy place in a sketchy neighbourhood for years on end? All the while having enough to put away $15k a year and working what I assume is a low paid job. I would council someone starting in the same position to doggedly pursue a job you love or starting a business all the while learning as many valuable skills as you can along the way. Taking this route typically leads to a much higher income. And yes it may involve some crappy jobs at times but I would never suggest to anyone they resign themselves to one for any length of time.

    yeahright – understood, just sounded like what I describe above!

  175. I have been lurking on here for a few months and couldn’t resist replying to Just Jack from the other side of the story in Sooke. Sooke is not a sellers market for everyone. We have been trying to sell our house in Sunriver – it just passed 60 days on the market still with no offers – meanwhile the price in town just continues to rise.

    A little background – we bought the house in February of 2009 after the financial crisis. We had moved from Alberta in 2008 just before the crash and were looking to buy once we founds jobs. It seemed like the perfect time to buy as houses were sitting on the market and we had lots of choice out in Sooke. We ended up buying a new house in Sunriver.

    Fast forward to two months ago, with the commute getting to be far too long for my wife (who works right downtown) and her wanting to start a small side business we decided it was time to look closer to town. The house went up the middle of February and shows like a pretty much new house – we get nothing but positive comments on the condition of the house (many wonder if we even live in it or if it was professionally staged), the suite is also in pretty much new condition. We are asking 4% over assessed value and $15k over what we paid for it in Feb of ’09 (so if we get asking we will lose on it once we pay the realtor) and nothing so far. Obviously not everyone who has looked at it has loved it but we have had quite a few showings with lots of positive feedback (the only negative so far has to do with the house layout or that the back yard is not flat enough). Our realtor (who has lots of listings in Sooke and Sunriver) feels we are the best value in Sunriver but yet nothing is happening. I’m trying to look at the whole picture objectively but I am stumped as to why we can’t sell this place.

    Meanwhile we have seen all the houses we were interested in come and go and now everything that comes up is more expensive than it was two months ago. We are mostly looking in the Westhore (Colwood, Langford, closer stuff in Highlands, View Royal, and Esquimalt) as we are not interested in bidding wars and have no desire to make an unconditional offer. I’m worried that the longer it takes us to sell in Sooke, the bigger the price gap is going to be. I do fully agree about the price difference – our house that we are asking $490 for would sell for likely $700 in Langford and well over $800 in the core – so there is alot to be saved buying in Sooke.

    I’m happy to post up the listing if anyone is interested to look and give any advice on selling this place, and I just wanted to say that not everyone selling is enjoying the recent upturn in the market.

  176. @Chris,

    I’m not cheap, I’m frugal. I spend money where it counts. I do tip (even though I don’t believe in it). And I go traveling (I’ve been as far as Japan), and go on kayaking/biking trips. Heck, 2 weeks ago I went on a charter with my neighbor and his buddies for halibut ($$$), I paid my hefty share. I’m usually the one who offers to pay the full bill when I go out with friends.

    What I am getting at here is I still live a very fruitful life. Especially since we are aggressive savers. I just don’t need to “Keep up with the Joneses” to be happy in my life.

  177. “When I read your story I can’t help but think of the person at every group get together that short changes the bill (no tax/tip), never wants to do anything that costs money, borrows things all the time, etc. all the while squirreling away every cent.”

    I had a few friends like that, was painful. Never could go out for a bite to eat at somewhere decent. If they did they would find a way to cheap out and not pay or split the meal between them when they could well afford to treat themselves once in awhile. After awhile as the list grew you had to step back as the tightwad thing got ridiculous.

  178. “There’s more to consider beyond purchase price, interest rate and the monthly mortgage payment. It’s essential that buyers leave enough time to do their homework – especially considering, 40 per cent of prospective first-time buyers are worried they don’t understand the full cost of ownership.”

    Very important point, home ownership has many hidden pitfalls. If 1 in 5 of owners are concerned about losing out on the lottery winnings it could well crash the market. Only 8% of distressed buyers in the US crashed theirs.

  179. When I read your story I can’t help but think of the person at every group get together that short changes the bill (no tax/tip), never wants to do anything that costs money, borrows things all the time, etc. all the while squirreling away every cent. I hope now that you’ve set yourself up you are as generous with the people that assisted you over the years as they were with you.

    You are making a lot of assumptions. What poor people are like. What constitutes a good time. What saving requires. Who is generous and who is not.

    You are actually mixing up choosing to do things that cost little for the long-term benefits – of which there are many in life – think hiking, dinners with friends at home, donating time rather than money, local camping vs. being cheap/unfair with others re. not tipping, borrowing and not returning items, relying on others to support your costs. You do realize that these things are different right? I know a number of rich folks who fall into the cheap category.

    I think you’d benefit by understanding the difference between being frugal and being cheap. The advantage of learning not to waste and to spend in line with your values is that not only is it good for the environment, when you do cross over to being “rich” these habits tend to stick. You’ll likely have extra income to donate or put to good use for other family members. Maybe read this:

    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/10/24/frugal-vs-cheap/

  180. Sooke, a 40 minute drive from Victoria in non peak traffic hours or in the minds of those that live in Victoria – 3 days by dog sled in a blinding snow storm.

    The second week of April, 13 houses ranging from a low of $305,000 to a high of $710,000 sold. Two sold over the asking price. None sold for more than 10 percent of the asking price.

    Market exposure is 22 days with the typical home selling at around 109 percent of its assessed value. New listings being added at the rate of 1.5:1 and 3.7 Months of Inventory.

    Sooke is a sellers market but without the hysteria of Victoria.

    It is difficult to find two similar homes in Victoria and Sooke to compare. A home that sells for a half million in 4 days in Victoria wouldn’t be appealing to someone buying in Sooke and would likely taking months to find a buyer. There was one sale of a home along Pyrite road in the Broomhill hood that sold for $368,000. Its equivalent in style, size and condition in Gordon Head would be $850,000.

    That’s a substantial price differential that seems to be getting larger and larger.

  181. I’m not being critical of anyone who was dealt a bad hand – you’re going to have a paid off house in a few years and financial freedom after saving up $200k on a small income – I just think the route taken is not a very enjoyable one, but one that has been made by choice not circumstance. Live within your means but enjoy life a little too!

    When I read your story I can’t help but think of the person at every group get together that short changes the bill (no tax/tip), never wants to do anything that costs money, borrows things all the time, etc. all the while squirreling away every cent. I hope now that you’ve set yourself up you are as generous with the people that assisted you over the years as they were with you.

  182. I started from nothing and really admire what you did yeahright. I worked multiple jobs in the early years and lived cheap to get ahead. I don’t see that there are too many options except combinations of work harder/live cheaper/get an education if you are trying to leap up to a higher level of basic security in life from a point of dependence based on your own efforts. We drove gradually improving (really cheap to an old tercel) cars for ages. I hope my kids stay at home and save money at the beginning. Gets so much easier when you are able to save and invest.

  183. Here’s a link to the news report Hawk cited:
    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/cnw/release.html?rkey=20160418C3867&filter=5609

    By the way, 885k for Wootton is a surprise – it’s a great neighbourhood, but it still needs renos, basement isn’t developed, steep stairs. But as TripleARated said, CMHC only goes to $1M, so that must be playing a factor in the 800-1000k sales ranges. Makes me wonder if it’s a family or a developer, and if any developers ever take out mortgages before they build the new home? I have no idea, with the way mortgages are being doled out like candy!

  184. impressive story yeahright. Congratulations. Nothing to something is way harder than most people think and way harder than going from a pile of money to a big pile of money.

  185. Agree with Just Jack about $1,000,000 and up properties. I think there is better value to be had in those price ranges than sub $1,000,000. By the time you get to waterfront (in the core) – $2,000,000 and up, you can find properties that just sit for a long time – no bidding wars or sales within days there. There are deals to be had if you have the money for a more expensive, larger property in the core.

  186. @yeahright, your story is inspiring to a lot of people – congratulations on your amazing success. When the market goes through a downturn, you’ll be better off than most because you’ll be in total control – free of debt and free of worry about the bank taking the house away. Also, you can now save more rapidly and invest more conservatively because you don’t owe a lot.

    My parents also started with nothing, but saved hard and worked hard night and day, and being in control of their finances and out of debt allowed them to survive the bad economic times of the 80s. It made me understand how enjoying life doesn’t mean spending a lot of money – it actually means being happy about the small things, and being secure enough for the future to have peace of mind.

    (also it’s been my experience that anyone who would be critical of you is actually worse off than you)

  187. @Chris,

    Nothing is really ever easy or free is it. We all have to deal with the cards we are dealt in life.

  188. geez I can’t get over these stories! yeahright – as I’ve said before, to each his own, but from my perspective it sounds like a life of living on welfare! Living at your Mom’s place with your wife, getting old cars given to you, $350, then $550 rent, etc. I guess you get to enjoy the benefits after all these years but sounds like a big price to pay.

  189. TD report out, 1 in 5 house buyers admit making irrational decision based on fear of missing out. I imagine Victoria is like 3 out of 5 with 70% local buyers.

  190. @SweetHome,

    My story. Well, where to begin. In my early 20’s living in Nanaimo struggled to get work. To the point that I had to resort to welfare. But got the bright idea to go to school and learn the cooking trade. Got the max student loan for a single person and $5K of that was a bursary that I didn’t have to pay back :). After receiving my cooking certificate, with only $300 left in my account, I move to Alberta to work at a resort in the kitchen.

    As I started to accumulate money from my wage I started a GIC with a portion of my pay to start paying back the student loan (3.5% back then, Wow). That tactic plus all the money I got from taxes help pay off that loan quick.

    Cheap living cost. Food was very low $$, I payed about $350 in rent. And they had a van bus us to town every two weeks. I started to keep investing in GICs, Started laddering them to get better % rates. Aggressive saver here. I also met my partner (years later my wife) and that is now a double income (she thinks off saving just like me).

    A car was later given to us and that was the only real (but small) expense we had then.

    Three and a half years later we decided to quit the resort and move back to BC. Living with my Mom back in Nanaimo we had to get the car inspected to get insurance on it. It failed big time, so we had it junked. As we wanted to live in Victoria we needed a new car for resume drop offs and interviews. We got a car used off the lot for $7K (ouch!). By the way, we still have this car 12 years later.

    Moving to Victoria months later we found an apartment for around $550, expecting to only live there for a bit and move on because it wasn’t the greatest part of town and paper thin walls a some odd tenants etc. (moving on didn’t happen for 8 years).

    My wife had the job 1st, as I looked around for work of the cooking verity. This didn’t happen for months, I was getting so frustrated I desired to go back to school and maybe start web design. I had fiends already doing this sort of work so I asked them question and looked at the course and started to read up on this subject and taught myself programs like Photoshop and some coding. As mentioned I had friends already doing this sort of work so they got me a little job here and there and it actually landed me a full time job and I didn’t even need to go to school (I guess I can really sell myself at times even if I don’t fully know what I am doing). I’m still at this job over ten years now.

    So in 2010 we decided to pull the trigger and seriously start looking for a house. We had saved just under $200k for a down payment by this time, we were approved by the bank no problem. As we were 1st time home buyers we wanted to get a place $425 max. Finally we found a place in 2012 that suited us all right, a 3 bedroom one level ranch style home. It was on the market forever. It was assessed back then around $440K something and it was on the market for $449K. We put in an offer for $420K and it got denied, so we then offered $425K and we got it.

    We got a mortgage broker (never do it through a bank) and got a great 25 year plan. We had more money saved at this point and put about $200K for a down payment plus we tapped our RRSPs and TAX Free. We have come into some more money from the family about $10K worth over time.

    We are on track to paying off the mortgage in just under 4 years now. So that is debt free roughly 8 years in total.

    So that’s my nothing to a little something story.

  191. “As Victoria’s GDP has been falling relative to other cities according to South Vancouver Island Economic Development.”

    Not surprising to see the drop. We haven’t heard the media or Mike pump the huge job increases in months now as they seem to be in decline. Other than the typical spring cycle of low paying tourism and restaurant jobs I’m not seeing any new industries moving here and starting mass hiring campaigns.

  192. Teranet is having a problem because the rate of increase is not the same for all types of properties and all prices ranges. If you want to know what is happening in the market place you have to zero in on a specific class, location and price range.

    The price increases are not consistent across all types of property, locations and price ranges. My guess is that the price increases are more to do with a supply problem in some price ranges rather than an improvement in our economy. As Victoria’s GDP has been falling relative to other cities according to South Vancouver Island Economic Development.

  193. “I quote “This is not a problem. I will put you in touch with a brokerage that handles these sorts of things.”

    Triple A,

    That’s a very scary quote coming from one our supposedly “conservative” Canadian big 5 banks. As of 2010, CD Howe stated it’s over $1.2 trillion in Canada. Can only imagine what it is now, being a totally unregulated industry.

    Welcome to Canada’s subprime crisis that won’t end well. The higher this goes, the farther the fall.

    “TORONTO — Canada’s housing boom is increasingly driving homebuyers to seek mortgages from private lenders, who demand rates that can be more than five times higher than those charged by the nation’s banks.”

    http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/mortgages-real-estate/ordinary-canadians-become-bankers-as-shadow-mortgage-lending-rises-to-meet-housing-demand

  194. Market snapshot for the second week of April (8th to the 14th) for houses in the core districts.

    95 sales ranging from a low of $390,000 to a high of $2,610,000.

    “$100,000 Club” are agents that have been able to sell a home for $100,000 over asking price. As tacky and unprofessional as that sounds the club has been getting more members in the last week.

    56% of the homes sales in the second week sold for more than asking price.
    23% sold for more than 10 percent
    4% sold for more than 20 percent over the asking price.

    The median price was $770,000. The Average $874,500

    The median home sold at 124% of its assessed value. Last month the ratio was 121%. A year ago the median sales to assessment ratio was 109%. Which is a similar increase to what the mode has improved from last year.

    Despite the over asking prices and higher median sales to assessment ratio, in my opinion, there were some good deals for buyers in the last week. Surprisingly some of them were in Oak Bay and Ten Mile Point. Properties that sold in the $1,000,000 to 1.7 million range where I thought the buyer got good value for their money.

    In contrast and not surprisingly Fernwood, Oaklands, Cedar Hill and Broadmead had the lowest value for the money relative to their sales to assessment ratios

    71 percent of the buyers still say they are from Victoria and only 9 out of the 95 stated Vancouver as their home town. Vancouverites bought homes ranging between $495,000 to 1.8 million with only two sales over a million compared to 14 Victorians that purchased homes over a million.

    The core isn’t replenishing the sales fast enough to keep up with demand with only 89 new listings to the 95 sales. And the median exposure remains low at 8 days on the market.

    There are some surprising changes in the price ranges of homes that are selling in the last two months compared to last year. With a drop in the number of purchases under $800,000 and an increase in the number of purchases over $900,000.

    Things that make you go Hmmmmmm.

    re-posted by request

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