Sept 6 Market Update

Weekly stats update courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras.

September 2016
Sept
 2015
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 104
704
New Listings 108
962
Active Listings 2011
3478
Sales to New Listings  96%
73%
Sales Projection
Months of Inventory

4.94

The long weekend means this is really only 2 days of data so the numbers can be mostly ignored.    Sales and listings should both pick up as we get more data.   Inventory still critically low, the lowest level we’ve ever seen in August.

Looking at the data coming out of Vancouver, I can’t see it’s looking overly catastrophic yet.  Sales are down, but so is inventory.  Sales/list in the same range as before the tax.   I suspect we will see a quiet period where sellers hold off listing to see what happens while buyers hold off buying for the same reason.   Eventually someone will crack, but maybe not until the spring market.

 

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200 thoughts on “Sept 6 Market Update

  1. AG don’t mean to criticise anyone but I confess I’m speculating on their reason for selling. I live in the neighbourhood and I’m just as close to the sea as they are. The smell coming up from the north end of the beach is nauseating. And I’m not a he, I’m a she.

  2. Bitterbear desperately wants to live by the ocean, but unfortunately he can’t so he criticizes those that do instead…

  3. .I remember watching the guys framing my house and was like wtf., this makes no sense that I can make way more flipping paper on my desk (and I flip paper for less $ than 99% of my competition) than someone sheeting my roof 40 feet off the ground.

    I think this has to be a temporary anomaly. Although I admit that it is taking way longer to change than I thought and temporary may be another 15 years, but eventually the market will adjust with most of the buying/selling processing being automated + a cursory look by a lawyer.
    On the other hand you have to consider that the average framer is probably making more than the average realtor. Don’t dismiss the fact that you seem to be in the top few percent of performers.

    @Anitapatina

    developers have increased costs at their end with engineering reports etc etc… you can’t build a straight up house anymore.

    My question is always how anyone builds a new house in places like Moncton where houses cost less than $200k. Clearly they have to build cheaper somehow. They won’t sell anything at a million dollars each.

  4. Seems no reason why property and bond prices should not become downwardly inclined too.

    Bonds yes, but property prices typically jump for a ~few years as a new rate-rise cycle begins. The trick to understanding why is as nominal rates slowly begin rising, real rates are still declining (aka – RE loves inflation).

  5. Now Hillary has been carted off to hospital, or is it a loony bin, Trump appears to be running for the US Presidency unopposed. And if he wins then interest rates will “have to go up”.

    Markets are already jittery with the US stock market indices falling two and a half percent on Friday, although jacked up again today (FED intervention?). Seems no reason why property and bond prices should not become downwardly inclined too.

  6. More bullkilla news. Stick a fork in it, she’s done, well done. 😉

    Expect tougher mortgage rules by November

    Home buyers may feel the pinch as banks comply to stricter rules

    “In an announcement released today by the nation’s financial regulator, banks and lenders that offer mortgage financing will face stricter regulations and this will translate into tougher lending rules for home buyers.”

    “For the average Canadian home buyer, then, this could mean that as early as November, it will either be:
    → harder to get a mortgage
    → mortgage rates will start to rise (even slightly)
    → or you won’t qualify for as large a mortgage as you would’ve prior to these new rules.”

    http://www.moneysense.ca/news/expect-tougher-mortgage-rules-by-november/

  7. Mon Sept 12, 2016 – 9:00am:

    Sept Sept
    2016 2015
    Net Unconditional Sales: 241 704
    New Listings: 363 962
    Active Listings: 2,061 3,478

    Please Note
    Left Column: stats so far this month
    Right Column: stats for the entire month from last year

  8. Musgrave is indeed high quality in this market. Liveable immediately and in a good location? Check check. Lots of people I know would spend their maximum to get into OB and then not be able to renovate for a number of years and certainly never be able to tear down. Not all or even most sales will result in tear downs. I looked at a dated (original everything, unfinished basement, vinyl siding) but well-kept OB house in the spring that sold for $900,000. I drove past it the other day and saw both a roofing company truck and a drainage company truck parked out front. Clearly whoever bought it is going to make it work for them. The truly, truly aweful houses out there are much more likely tear down candidates than the liveable ones.

  9. If Musgrave was only about location then both Musgraves would sell for the same price. There’s a difference between the 2 houses and one was more desirable mainly due to the square footage and height of basement.
    (I don’t know what else to call it except “higher quality” – I don’t mean expensive finishes – it’s the framework and bones of it that can be updated or better used immediately by a family. There are lots of people living in that neighbourhood that don’t want a mansion even if they have $1M to spend)

  10. Now clarifying the detached is tanking too, not just all areas. Bullkilla. 😉

    @SteveSaretsky 16 minutes ago
    Through September 1-11: Lowest number of sales for Van East/West detached over the last 10 years.

  11. 2571 Musgrave has nothing to do with the house except that it’s livable so building a mansion is not pressing. Or it can be rented in anticipation of a flip. This is about the location. Very desirable location….

  12. Vancouver sales still looking grim for the bulls.

    Steve Saretsky ‏@SteveSaretsky 20 minutes ago
    all areas.. Sales for first 11 days of sept are lowest in last 10 yrs

  13. Does anyone know of a person that takes pictures/videos with a drone?

    I have a 15 acre treed parcel that needs some work done.

  14. 2571 Musgrave is a good example of one of those “high quality” houses that don’t seem to have lost momentum from spring, eg., 1400 sq main floor, good height basement, reasonable layout, location, etc. but still needs some updates. The other house on Musgrave has a smaller main floor and a lower basement (but some good updates) – so it’ll probably sell for less than 2571. Hamiota is smaller as well, so not sure why they’re asking 950k.

  15. One of the Musgrave sold for 952k, (asking 799), imo it is the better one. Not sure how it will affect the bidding offers for the other Musgrave? Panic buy or set a price ceiling.

    btw, 2417 Hamiota is still sitting there asking for 950k…..

  16. I’ve been really enjoying the foreign home shows on Gusto.

    -A Place in the Sun = UK or Spain? (Spoiler.. everybody moves to Spain)
    -The House that £100,000 Built (UK)

    Realtor: “And THIS (pointing to literally a CLOSET) could be your office.”
    Buyer: “Ooh lovely! Oh yes this will do – very nice indeed.”

    So refreshing compared to the North American ones (“Not granite? Unacceptable.”)

    The reno’s on The House that £100,000 Built often use really cheap materials (concrete, plywood, barn-type exteriors) Definitely not my style but it’s really growing on me & cool to see people think outside the box for building & how this means they can live within their means. Today a woman built a house for £50,000 (interior was finished with OSB, Oriented strand board – no paint, no drywall, etc.) Just add friends & love!

    I know Marko has alluded to this before, but gosh it’s good to have some perspective. I now am certain my condo is a castle.

  17. Interesting comment about Mexico. Ironically, my mother told me my sister, who lives on disability in Vancouver, is going to Mexico next week to find a place to live that she can afford.

  18. “like the Mexicans down in southern states building houses for cheaper wages.”

    True, very common topic in Texas and around the southern states. If anybody ever wonders why you can buy a mansion there for $200k, it’s because of the low-cost labour (which makes Trump’s statements all the more bizarre).

    Speaking of lack of skilled labour, 2 carpenters, an electrician, and a drywaller that did work for us are all retiring soon, and saying the same thing – not enough young kids with enough skills to fill in – very few people they can recommend that have the experience to do the job right.

  19. a long trend toward fewer trades makes sense but there should be correlative decline in demand given that demographics would be controlled in the comparison. However, the speculation in the market might delay the impact of reduced demand.

    It very well could be that there are roughly as many trades people employed full time in BC as 10 years ago, but they are not in Victoria or the lower mainland. That makes sense to me.

    Marko, regarding the additional costs, do those get paid by the owner or by the tradespeople?

  20. Buddies of mine were pushing hard to draw attention to the retirement curve and lack of youth in trades way back in middle 90’s but no one in government would listen so I’m not surprised.

    I expect the new wave after the coming crash will be temporary foreign workers like the Mexicans down in southern states building houses for cheaper wages.

    Fort Mac rebuild makes total sense. Watch Clark come out with fast track builder permitting along with new tax evasion/ money laundering laws.

  21. developers have increased costs at their end with engineering reports etc etc… you can’t build a straight up house anymore.

    Different levels of government have increased costs a lot with bureaucracy. Since 2009 I don’t think there was one year were between municipal and provincial something hasn’t been added driving up the cost of the home. This is the latest from the HPO Office if you want to build a home, has to be one of the dumbest things to date but will drive up the cost/complexity of building a home.

    https://hpo.bc.ca/owner-builder-exam

    and this is my 2 cents on this exam having owner-built a home

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcfyZHdfS5s

  22. I’m baaack…..

    From my friend….

    a lot of construction guys have headed up to Fort McMurray lots of rebuilding with top wages… insurance money.
    construction in BC is the largest part of the underground economy in BC next to the pot industry…doesn’t show up in the stats.
    developers have increased costs at their end with engineering reports etc etc… you can’t build a straight up house anymore.

    all hearsay! (my forte)

  23. There were studies published here in BC and around the US showing that the skilled labour shortages are due to demographics: higher number of retirements of aging baby boomers and declining numbers of younger skilled workers able to fill the gaps.

    There are more recent articles but this is a good summary:
    http://www.bccpa.ca/legacy/profiles-publications/publications/icabc-beyond-numbers/additional-archives/2007/beyond-numbers-october-2007/on-the-cover-looming-labour-and-skills-shortages/

    “The demographic challenges that threaten these businesses are quite simple: an aging workforce, a declining 15-24 year old new entrant pool, stiff international competition for talent”

    “According to provincial employment projections, based on the period 2005-2015, there will be more than one million job openings in BC, as 461,000 new jobs are created, and 652,600 workers retire from existing jobs in the workforce.[5] However, over the same period of time, there will only be 650,000 young people enrolled in the school system, resulting in a projected shortfall of more than 400,000 workers in BC”

  24. Again just eyeballing the trend line on number of full-time construction jobs over the last 10 years, the line is pretty flat with pretty consistent variability. If it’s not number of workers, and it’s not number of building permits, then it’s probably price inflation.

    You would think if it was just inflation at least you would be able to find people. My gut feel is a shortage in the industry is causing the price hike.

  25. Again just eyeballing the trend line on number of full-time construction jobs over the last 10 years, the line is pretty flat with pretty consistent variability. (this is all of BC data). If it’s not number of workers, and it’s not number of building permits, then it’s probably price inflation. People are charging more for the work they used to do for less. Why? anyone’s guess but my guess would be because customers can pay it. (read low interest rates and HELOCs) I’d also consider the possibility that a lot of people in trades choose not to live in Victoria because they can’t afford a house of their own.

  26. On the other hand the shortage of trades has been a common problem for years now, nothing new. More youth are choosing less back breaking work for the same money with less feast or famine risk.

    I agree with you on this….I remember watching the guys framing my house and was like wtf., this makes no sense that I can make way more flipping paper on my desk (and I flip paper for less $ than 99% of my competition) than someone sheeting my roof 40 feet off the ground. It’s not like being a framer is just manual labour; you have to know your stuff, you need tools, you need to go out and get work, there is the risk of falling and killing yourself, etc.

    I even made a video about this at the time -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD3CXGwh-CE

    With more and more people doing less back breaking work I am worried about things and the economy in general long term like 30 years out. I have zero faith in CPP and pensions. My gut feeling is that there is no way in 30 years there will be enough money to go around to pay 80% of top 5 earning years for the massess leaving their institutional desk jobs.

  27. From my construction buddies experience in the past that most developments are tight wads and the work is boring and repetitive. They preferred the rich guys places who had the higher/sometimes unlimited budgets. The work was much more challenging and interesting.

    On the other hand the shortage of trades has been a common problem for years now, nothing new. More youth are choosing less back breaking work for the same money with less feast or famine risk.

    Besides new build costs have always been outrageous versus existing homes. It’s the price you pay for brand new. I don’t get the bitch factor on that having anything to do with the real market direction. Existing home demand ultimately drives boom or busts in this town. New builds are a luxury.

  28. Anitapatina, you are actually making an important point. permits are up from last year, but down over the longer term. I suspect there is a pattern in the social dynamic that shows increasing reliance on short term gains to make decisions when a cycle is peaking. We hear a lot of these stats posted by real estate boards and this fuels buying behaviour ie more sales than last week, things are insane out there, prices up over last month etc. But when a market turns downward, I think we likely see a reliance on longer term stats to try to soften the downward cycle. So in a downward market, real estate boards will say things like, “yes down year over year, but still up over the last 10 years” or “average price dropped but we are still higher over last year”, or “fewer sales this August, but August is always slow”. this is a way of minimizing the downside and optimizing the upside to get people to generate buying mania but not panic when the market turns. I don’t have any data on this, just an anecdotal observation of my own with a healthy dose of speculation.

    the conversations over the back fence are important indicators of the underlying mood, so please stay posted.

  29. I wouldn’t say this is a boom in residential building.

    To build a solid house in the core has gone from $150 to around $200 per square foot in the last 18 months. Either a building boom, inflation, or absolute shortage of trades. My guess would be on #1 and #3.

  30. Guess it is a pop not a boom… just talking about the little world I know… permits up 42% (2016). Greater Victoria permits up 52% (2016) Anyhoo… my guy wants to get built out FAST! My posts are basically anecdotal… out of my league here… I’ll move on.

  31. If you look at BC stats, building permits have been decreasing over ten years for the Capital Region (2006-2015). The change is significant (p = .016, one tailed; p=.032, two tailed) and is moderate in size (r = -.675). Over the last 10 years, building permits have decreased significantly. However, they have remained basically flat since 2009 (=-2.61). I wouldn’t say this is a boom in residential building.

  32. Hawk… that is why my guy is picking up the hammer… he wants to get ‘er done before the whole thing comes tumbling down… he is very nervous… he has been here many times before.

  33. Marko… I agree construction is booming… I have another friend that is starting a development on the peninsula … he thinks he may have to swing a hammer himself… not to happy about that!

  34. Of course there is a shortage of framers, etc, Victoria is down 5000 construction jobs from a year ago and too many projects pumped out by developers with free money while it lasts.

    Doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out they are working at bigger projects somewhere else paying better money. Typical action at a market peak like in 2007 when they were crying for construction guys. It’s the business /credit cycle near its end.

  35. ON a very practical note can anyone recommend a good gutter cleaning company. The back of the house is a full three stories and I am looking for a professional crew. Obviously, I am new to Victoria and any help is appreciated.

    I used FriendlyGiant Window&Gutter last week on my three story house. I inspected the gutters after with my drone and I was happy with the work.

    I can’t comment on price being good or bad as the other company I called was too busy and another one never replied to my email or voicemail.

  36. the decent houses still have very busy open houses and are selling substantially over ask. So it’s really only the more undesirable segment of the market that appears to be slower and calmer than the spring market.

    This pretty much sums up the market right now. Still seeing Vancouver buyers out there; a couple of my listings this weekend with accepted offers from Vancouverities.

    Way easier than anything in Greater Victoria. We basically had to submit drawings and a fee, go through an inspection and show interconnected fire alarms and off-street parking. We pay a licensing fee each year.

    In Colwood you just sumbit a fee I think, I don’t think you even need to do drawings/inspection.

    He said he is getting busier… people are losing their jobs very distressing for everyone.

    I have a friend right now trying to frame a house and he can’t find anyone to even come provide a quote. I ran into a framer at Slegg Lumber who now works for a large company that is trying to hire 40 framers and he says no one is evening phoning. In the past he says people would phone, they wouldn’t be good framers, but at least people were phoning.

    You have two different types of people that lose jobs. I know two electricans that were working up North making $120,000-$140,000 per year and both lost job late last year. One is waiting for the union to call him the other one got a local job for a residential home contractor in Victoria working 8 to 4pm and then does side jobs in the evenings and small renos on Saturdays. He is not making 6 figures anymore but he adapted.

    It’s like when we lost a bunch of realtors 2011-2014……okay so the market sucks but did you try soemething different, like lower commissions? “ummm, no.”

  37. I’m still looking fairly actively. In my opinion, the houses that are available now are pretty awful compared to what I saw in the spring market. In the spring I’d often have a few places that appealed to me to look at each week, but right now I’d say places that truly interest me come up at the rate of one every two or three weeks. While the crap that seems pretty bad is going for asking (asking prices seem to be way up since the spring, mind you), the decent houses still have very busy open houses and are selling substantially over ask. So it’s really only the more undesirable segment of the market that appears to be slower and calmer than the spring market. I think we’re at the point where there’s just not a lot of good inventory left.

  38. Yes Totoro congrats and welcome to the retirement world! Definitely there were red flags when you weren’t answering Hawk’s question! 🙂 but it’s good to clarify things. I’m sure you’ve made a few sacrifices along the way to have some early freedom, but it’s all worth it! And there’s definitely a difference between non-conforming & illegal (eg., one can have legal non-conforming)

    Anitapatina, another interesting story. It reminds me of things my aunt was telling our family the other day – how she’s extremely disappointed in people today and how much debt they’re racking up, via houses, renos, and cars they can’t afford but want that instant gratification of feeling they’ve “made it,” and she doesn’t see a happy outcome for the country as a whole.

    If only people in their 80s & 90s hung out in this blog, they’d have some interesting stories of big recessions to tell – I’ve heard enough of these to never brag about how properties have gone up in value – you just never know, so be thankful for whatever you have & don’t think you’re brilliant just because you’re lucky.

    As for CRA, disgusting how they’ve been asleep at the wheel for so long.

  39. “According to the bears, the sky in OB is falling! They just cannot stop bad mouthing the area.”

    ICYMI, it’s a long standing Victorian tradition taught in all the schools from a very young age. 😉

  40. “The places on Musgrave will go for much higher than list. Hell, consider that you have 2br condos on OB Ave going for mid-700s (insanity!):”

    JD,
    The one by Foul Bay has been for sale for like 6 months or more with no takers. The other one looks like a flip as the framing is just going up and the owner suddenly realized his front window is overlooking one of the busiest intersections in the area. Total rip off prices with very cold decor. More future bagholders.

    dasmo, sorry but my basement is taken up with my multiple servers, screens, and stacks of cash. 😉

  41. “According to the bears, the sky in OB is falling! They just cannot stop bad mouthing the area.”

    Except that the two condos I referenced are both in Victoria, and not Oak Bay.

  42. ON a very practical note can anyone recommend a good gutter cleaning company. The back of the house is a full three stories and I am looking for a professional crew. Obviously, I am new to Victoria and any help is appreciated.

  43. Meanwhile on the other side of the real estate fence… I was commiserating with a friend of mine yesterday… she is heading for foreclosure. Knock at the door… an agent of the bank I think, checking on impending properties. We are congenial people so we invited him in and offered a cup of tea!

    He was too busy to have tea… he had to visit nine other properties from Sooke to Rocky Point that have just entered the process. He said he is getting busier… people are losing their jobs very distressing for everyone. Nice fellow though… lots of kindly advice.

  44. The places on Musgrave will go for much higher than list. Hell, consider that you have 2br condos on OB Ave going for mid-700s (insanity!)

    According to the bears, the sky in OB is falling! They just cannot stop bad mouthing the area.

    That reminds me those losers got rejected by a girl, cannot let it go and name calling for years.

  45. Actually Leo S you are surprisingly easy to figure out!

    Told ya! I’m not too concerned. I know I could take on any of the whackos on this blog. 🙂

    Market is definitely not as frenzied as it was. 4335 Torquay has been sitting on the market for quite a while now and a price reduction but no action.

  46. “He also indicated provincial regulators will be looking into Mr. Gu’s business practices.”

    Looks like all those 1000’s of illegal homeowners will be selling very fast once they see their buddy is getting gutted by the CRA and provincial tax hounds. This will be one massive landslide as they all dog pile to get out of Vancouver and Canada ASAP. Awesome timing to retire at 40. 😉

  47. “Guess what it is still for sale. I put in an offer at the original price and it was rejected with the note that someone from Vancouver will buy it. Lol and good luck.”

    Good luck is right. Even Ozzie Jurrock the long time bull said today that the foreigners are now heading to Toronto and didn’t get those bucks for being stupid.

    They see the government policy changing in BC and won’t allow themselves to get burnt like the recent tax did. Today’s Musgrave suckers are tomorrow’s bagholders.

  48. Oh my the vitriol!

    I’m strongly in favour of suites and couldn’t care less if you have a non-conforming one. I am glad for those that do because how the heck can many of them afford to live here otherwise if interest rates ever rise? Plus they are a more efficient use of space and create room for extended family without too much sharing of toilets.

    I am opposed to not paying your taxes on rental income not because I’m the tax police but because the penalties are not worth it and a lot of people don’t seem to realize this. It can actually be criminal and to be avoided at all costs given the interest and doubling provisions on amounts owed. The penalty for a non-conforming suite is decommissioning.

    Our house in the Okanagan has a suite which we legalized through a grandfathering program. Way easier than anything in Greater Victoria. We basically had to submit drawings and a fee, go through an inspection and show interconnected fire alarms and off-street parking. We pay a licensing fee each year. I think it is absurd that this is not adopted here given the number of non-conforming suites and the vacancy rate.

    The OB house that I was referring to did not and does not have a suite. The inspector’s visit was a surprise – most municipalities are complaint based, but not Oak Bay apparently. We do live in a legal non-strata duplex so that should narrow it down for the impertinently insistent.

    Retired at 45? Now what? I feel like I’m just getting going…

    Good question. Taking care of family, gardening, church stuff, volunteering, reading, exercise, managing investments, writing a book maybe, some travelling maybe – probably a lot of down time. We had cancer in the family over the past 1.5 years and it has left me with both reordered priorities and a bit of burn out.

    I think a sabbatical year is a great idea though. Wish I had taken one when the kids were still young enough to travel with us. Gets harder in middle/high school.

    Ya, your secret identity is safe, as long as you are wearing those glasses and acting wimpy….

    As always. Plus my rolling shopping cart keeps me incognito. I blend in with all the OB crackheads.

    As far as doubting the ability to retire early. There are many millenials who are retiring far earlier with kids, some before they have kids. You don’t need a paid off house and it is not rocket science, more like simple math. Check out sites like this for examples:

    rootofgood.com
    milliondollarjourney.com
    gocurrycracker.com
    frugalwoods.com
    mrmoneymustache.com
    http://globalnews.ca/news/2394255/two-canadian-millionaires-share-how-they-retired-in-their-early-30s/

    On most of these sites we would be considered late bloomers.

    And for the math:

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

    And congrats on your retirement, Totoro! But I don’t think you’ll abandon HHV. You’ll need your daily fix, just like the rest of us.

    Thanks – I’ve been wondering about those houses on Musgrave too so maybe I’m still in the game 🙂

  49. Ok just to let you know how fucked up things are out there. I put in an offer on a place I have been following for awhile. It has issues. Place had been on the market for a long while. Even though no one was interested at the original price for a good long time when the market took off they increased the price 80k. Guess what it is still for sale. I put in an offer at the original price and it was rejected with the note that someone from Vancouver will buy it. Lol and good luck. I had some ideas for it for a longterm investment but oh well.

  50. This is what the bank told me. I was surprised but this is what they said. I will be interviewed by the fraud squad next so I’ll ask them.

  51. Those two open houses on Musgrave St are packed. Rarely you can pick and choose sub-1M house w/ suit in OB, esp on the good side of Cadboro Bay ;-). It will be interesting to see what they will be sold for.

  52. Rook, I noticed that my bank now employs four Mandarin speaking tellers and there are always conversations in Mandarin in the bank when I go in. A few weeks back, I was in line behind a young Asian girl who was depositing a cheque for $100,000 for her two “clients” who were waiting by the front door. The bank manager approached her and reminded her that there was a $50,000 limit. I have been trying to make sense of this observation.

    On a completely unrelated note, I’d like to remind everyone to watch their transactions on their bank statements. My bank account was hacked through my debit card and the bank’s fraud algorithms didn’t catch it. Substantial chunk of money was taken. The fraud investigator told me this is becoming quite a common problem. She said it often happens through hotel key cards which apparently hold your debit card information. She said always destroy the key card and never return it to the front desk when you leave.

  53. Rook I would have to agree. Two houses on my street in Broadmead have sold to people from mainland China. One to a family in which the father continues to conduct a lot of business in China but calls Victoria home so good on them and not an issue. The second is certainly more interesting the house sold this summer for 1.2 million and the only person living there is a UVIC student from China who I am guessing didn’t pay for the place. Now to be clear I don’t have a problem with immigrants who want to settle in Victoria but it is concerning , at least to me, if rich people from outside Canada are buying residential real estate in Canada as an investment with no intention of living in it full time. And before anyone says it it does matter were the rich investors come from. I’m in Ottawa for work so IP address will reflect that.

  54. A long time ago Just Jack mentioned that his true identity wouldn’t be that difficult to ascertain, but my Google search for bitter renting real estate appraisers who think prices are way too high yielded nothing.

  55. totoro, I, for one, really hope you maintain your presence on this blog. Your calm and logical take-downs of so much stupidity posted here would be deeply missed.

  56. Meh, I don’t see the big deal with revealing one’s identity online … A cursory sleuthing online would reveal who I am …

    Um, no.

    You post on Reddit as “stealstea,” and you once posted an ad for a free “aero latte drink foamer” on UsedVictoria. A WhoIs lookup of HouseHuntVictoria.ca also turns up nothing.

    Leo, you’re safely anonymous!

  57. I know this is a sensitive subject for some, but I would like to talk a bit about foreign ownership in Victoria. It is undisputed that money has been leaving China at unprecidented numbers the last handful of years, much of it landing in BC because of Canada’s lax regulations and CRA’s incompetence.
    We know that Vancouver’s housing is a huge issue. Foreign money along with FOMO of locals, speculation and low interest rates all working synergistically to inflate the market out of control.
    At the risk of some of you calling this racist, I have noticed the number of Chinese speaking families have increased quite a bit in my neighborhood (and at Costco for that matter) in the last 6 months.
    While recognizing that this is all well and good, I do wonder if this has been a recent shift and the numbers are being tracked by local government.

  58. Sweethome: what I’ve heard from friends that are still looking is that the open houses are less insane than in the spring, but that there’s very little to look at out there right now. They’re also looking for a specific type of house in prime areas so I think no matter the market conditions they’re not going to have an easy time.

    Judging by some recent sales there’s still plenty of places going for well over ask.

  59. Exactly Vicbot, it’s not even about the suite. If you are going to call for perfectionism on everything stated on here for years ad nauseum, and can’t answer a simple question on a basic locale due to flip flopping misleading statements, then face the music. No one asked for an exact address.

  60. Entomologist, my 2 cents. I was trying to be diplomatic, but to put it very bluntly, this was never only about some stupid illegal suite.The suite was used as an example of inconsistency and hypocrisy, and this came after a long time of
    accusing others of not understanding inconsistency or the difference between the facts and opinion,, but then all the while displaying those same tendencies.

    Then Hawk asked a very simple and reasonable question about which municipality she was in, because Victoria had been mentioned before and some statements needed to be clarified – which all of us had answered and remained anonymous. Then suddenly no answer. So this wasn’t about remaining anonymous.

  61. Yep, good for totoro, but anyone else who does it and doesn’t pay their taxes then they are asking for the wrath of the CRA and the municipality to come knocking. Might want to look up the definition of a hypocrite Ash, but defend the guilty all you want.

    Speaking of CRA, they obviously have been doing diddly squat for the last 30 years as they let this scumbag run rampant in Vancouver flipping houses with their network of thousands while they all pay no tax and don’t live here.

    I recall totoro and a couple others telling me I was a racist for bringing up these articles several months back, that they were few and far between, and that the “authorities” will take care of whomever is breaking the tax laws. Apparently not, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Out of the shadows

    Kathy Tomlinson reveals how loopholes and lax oversight are making it easy for a network of local and foreign speculators to play the system, and, in the process, fuel the steep rise in Vancouver home prices

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/vancouver/out-of-the-shadows/article31802994/

  62. And congrats on your retirement, Totoro! But I don’t think you’ll abandon HHV. You’ll need your daily fix, just like the rest of us.

  63. Oh come on – having an ‘illegal’ suite is breaking a municipal bylaw. It’s not criminal. No one other than the neighbours gives a fig about illegal suites, especially since municipal bylaws change dramatically over time, the possibility of amalgamation, etc. Good for Totoro if she has a suite and hasn’t been busted (but you know, don’t count on never being found out).

    Not paying taxes, on the other hand, is breaking federal laws, being a social parasite, and could land you in jail. The moral imperative is clearly different.

  64. Good for you totoro, well played…

    On another note – does anyone know what the Gonzales property sold for? It was listed around 960, and curious if the buyers met the bar.

  65. Ash, it comes from a long time of accusing other people on this blog of being inconsistent or not understanding the data – those are 2 examples of many.

  66. To switch topics back to house hunting: I’m still following listings in the $650 to 800K range, and it’s interesting to see a couple of houses back on the market today (4190 Thornhill says due to financing and 1934 Casa Marcia sold for less than ask subject to probate but now back up). There are also a few price reductions. It feels much different than 6 months ago, but I haven’t actually gone to any open houses recently to “gauge the mood”. I haven’t heard from any active hunters lately. Have they all either bought or given up?

  67. So the burning question is whether one can have an illegal suite yet claim the income. Yep, someone needs to be held accountable.

    Getting weirder by the minute!

  68. I don’t think anyone really worries if someone has an illegal suite or lives 2 blocks or 2 km from big barn.

    That’s not the point. Everyone likes to be anonymous & debate stuff, but if your posts accuse other people of “vague recollections instead of verified facts” and “unreasonable interpretation of information,” – when in fact, you ARE posting inconsistencies, then you better be ready to explain yourself when someone DOES point out those inconsistencies.

    eg., if you live in OB with a suite in your house and have an OB inspector coming to your door, why are you lecturing others that they better tell CRA about their rental income?
    On the other hand, if you live in Victoria, why are you putting that municipality down by talking about such a high crime rate?

    These questions need to be asked in all fairness. (If you can’t stand by your assertions, then it’s the pot calling the kettle black.) We all say what municipality we live in and we’re still anonymous.

  69. “She has a suite in OB, so let’s attack her because we’re all squeaky clean? Lol.”

    No, because she regularly called out anyone who didn’t pay their renter in the basement income taxes and to live by the letter of the law. AKA as hypocrite.

    I could care less where she lives or lived, but if you’re going to play all righteous and the authority on being a landlord on here for years then best you own it when your busted.

  70. Meh, I don’t see the big deal with revealing one’s identity online. Are people really so concerned about that? Maybe the same people who are worried about crossing roads. A cursory sleuthing online would reveal who I am and it wouldn’t be rocket science to figure out where we live. We’ve all figured out where dasmo is building so I’m coming over for a skinny dip in the pond before he ruins it with his hippie house.

  71. This discussion about Totoro is bizarre. She once said she’s a stroll from the red barn, so therefore she must live in Victoria? She has a suite in OB, so let’s attack her because we’re all squeaky clean? Lol.

    And just so I’ve got this right, on HHV you’re guilty until you can prove yourself innocent? If Hawk wants to claim I actually live on ten mile point it’s my duty to dig through old posts proving I don’t? God damn that sounds like a lot of work on my part!

    This whole thing reminds of when people used to take shots at Marko. Anyone remember when Just Janice called up the UBC registrar to see if Marko actually had a degree? hahah

  72. dasmo,
    Just wondering if you had ground testers drill down deep to see there is no water from the pond going to cause problems ? I know a guy who had probs with that once and it effected his ability to get insurance/permits etc.

  73. Sounds like a nice story but sounds far fetched to me to only be owning a principal residence since 2004 and a couple of rentals a few years after and they are all paid off. If they’re not paid off you’re at risk of a market crash and retirement is still a pipe dream. Plus 4 kids with future college expenses and all the other cash one needs to grow old with til their 80’s if they’re lucky.

    After being busted for the illegal suite in Oak Bay all bets are off on this one being true. But I’m just a lowly renter so who am I to say ? 😉

  74. totoro – notwithstanding the shadowy mystery of your exact location 🙂 you have been a consistent voice of sanity and reason on this blog.

    Happy retirement and new adventures. I’m too late to retire 20 years early and slacked off too much in my youth anyhow. Currently saving up to take a sabbatical year somewhere with the kids though.

  75. I, like many here, have intentionally never said exactly where we currently live or own homes, nor what I do for a living for that matter. The internet being what it is – way more public than most might feel comfortable with unless you are using it to market a business – which I am not.

    I suppose I can disclose that from next Friday I will be identifying as retired and, as I’ve stated before, I’m not a boomer, I didn’t inherit, had no parental assistance and I spent a lot of unnecessary time in school and not very much time making a high income while living in a high cost of living area. The ability to retire 20 years early is something I value more than most things and I appreciate how learning how to save and invest, much of it online including through this site, has helped us get our time back.

    I don’t pretend to know the future, and I don’t care where anyone lives or whether they rent or own or whether they follow something I’ve posted or not, although I would like to think that some people might have been influenced to buy earlier by some of the experiences and financial information I’ve shared. Who knows.

    I do know what we’ve done with RE and other types of investments has worked for us, although there were definitely some mistakes made. I’ve found that the internet and this forum a useful place to follow the local market and work through complicated decisions.

    Here I have also learned that there is no shortage of contradictory opinions that logic provides no barrier to. And some posters seem to enjoy making personal attacks rather than analyzing information, and others perceive a logical critique of an opinion for a personal attack. Just like a dysfunctional family.

    The most fascinating aspect of this blog for me were the reports on the ground and the many thoughtful analyses of stats with lovely graphs, but a close third was the exposure to black and white thinking. Holy holy – who would have thought some people could maintain such a filtering and unreasonable interpretation of information in the face of contradicting facts for years and years! But we are all living in and with our housing decisions so I guess it doesn’t really matter much except for the window it provides into different strokes.

    Going forward I’m not so sure I’ll have as much interest in RE. I expect we’ll be moving on to some other stuff on the vision board now that we’ve got more time. Then again, I could just be posting from Leo’s basement suite which is most definitely not in Oak Bay.

  76. Yeah we haven’t had any drainage issues but our neighbour’s yard floods a bit in the winter. Most of the houses are on-grade slab with no basement and were built 1910ish so seems a reasonably OK spot. Some have dug down. We have a perimeter drain that we need to keep on top of.

    It’s not an ideal spot earthquake-wise, is my one concern.

  77. That’s a nice area for sure, all those side streets. Houses look much better than they used to. A friend of mine knew someone who had some major drainage problems in that area and it turned into a nightmare of lifting the house etc. Was costly.

    Not to say it can’t happen all over little pocket areas where homes weren’t built back in the early days because of drainage probs like parts of Fernwood and Hillside Mall area.

  78. “Friends who probably live just south of you claim to live in “Tijuana Oak Bay”.”

    Yes I’ve heard and used that one! We eat Oak Bay’s muffins and then slink back across the border uncontrolled.

    We love it there, got lucky on a solid house before the run-up and plan to stay indefinitely. I’ve heard about the improvements to Amphion St, but I’m not holding my breath until it happens. Will likely be some years yet. It really would make an improvement – the street is not great.

    There does seem to be some money going in, though there’s some coincidence too. The house that’s being lifted had a chimney fire last year shortly after it sold (I think it was shortly after anyways). So, I think they just decided to do the major reno. A new foundation on that house will make it really nice. It’s a good lot, and I think a very old house (late 1800s).

  79. “We bought on Amphion St on the north side of Oak Bay Ave. ”

    Friends who probably live just south of you claim to live in “Tijuana Oak Bay”.

    Seriously though living on near Oak Bay Ave on either side of Foul Bay Road is a fantastic location as long as you are a few houses off of the so-called arterials (which would be considered like quiet side streets in some parts of the world).

  80. “totoro has consistently said she lives in oak bay. But if someone is handing out pitchforks I’ll take one.”

    I beg to differ LeoS. I only saw the one post ever stating Oak Bay and was why I questioned her as to which side it was to end the discrepancy. All I got was a non response with a ridiculous accusation that I was stalking her, lol.

    So as Vicbot suggested she has an illegal suite in Oak Bay( after the inspector came) and apparently is a lawyer breaking the bylaws. Who woulda thought. 😉

  81. If you look in the area around Red Barn, there are a surprising number of new houses, major renos, house lifts etc. Clearly there’s lots of money going into that area.

    Amphion St is also (apparently) going to be transformed with new sidewalks and a boulevard planting program. Should have a pretty dramatic impact on that street.

  82. I’ll say that from several previous comments I assumed Totoro lived on the Victoria side of the tweed curtain so I was surprised to see her say she lives in Oak Bay. Frankly I don’t care enough to read back through previous posts. I only did that on occasion to mock “info’s” poorly timed prediction.

    Credibility is a precious resource on a mostly anonymous forum. Most of what we post is completely unverifiable. Being consistent in the information we provide helps earn credibility. I try to live up to that standard – to the extent that if you care to read through seven years of HHV you could probably identify the Fairfield house I claim to live in.

  83. “If you can put up with all the crackheads and murderers OB is not too bad.”

    Yes I see them on a regular basis on Oak Bay Ave smoking crack in the alley across from the butcher.

    Bury the murders to protect yourself but they were all gruesome. More bad shit goes down in the nicer hoods than the gloaters want to ever acknowledge. Victoria has a very dark side and is not all gardens and gnomes.

    I clearly recall and actually asked you to verify which area you lived as you flip flopped implying you lived in both, but you gave another Trump style answer like most lawyers do.

  84. I don’t think Hawk has vague recollections. The point is that if anyone is going to demand accountability & facts from posters on this board (and shooting people down when they don’t have them), then it’s best that we all hold ourselves accountable to those same high standards. If you say that you have a tenant in your house, or that you’re a “stroll away” from Red Barn, then talk about a Welcome Letter from OB (when everyone knows OB doesn’t allow rentals – so your suite would be illegal) and shooting Victoria down for its crime stats – well, then you know why credibility becomes a question.

  85. There are some 6,500 detached houses in the town of Oak Bay.

    Last month there were only 45 active listings and 14 sales.

    What would happen if just another 2 percent of these home owners decided to downsize to a luxury condo or upscale rental in Victoria Harbor or in Sidney?

    In my opinion this is the key to affordable housing. Educating the public that there are viable options to living the rest of their lives in comfort rather than in a house where they struggle to pay the taxes each year.

  86. Famous quotes about gentrification.

    “There are not enough Indians in the world to defeat the Seventh Cavalry”

    George Armstrong Custer

  87. totoro, my biggest gain from amalgamation would be the ability to wheelbarrow garden waste over to the Elgin lot.

  88. Never claimed to be a beneficiary of the Red Barn effect although I agree that this type of business is indicative of gentrification. I think it will have this effect in Esquimalt too.

    What I did say is exactly the opposite of what you posted. That is the problem with feeling free to go with your vague recollections instead of verified facts. Oak Bay has a much lower tax rate than Victoria and does provide this advantage to residents – along with things like free garbage drop off at the Elgin road facility.

    If you can put up with all the crackheads and murderers OB is not too bad.

  89. Yep, the floodgates have opened alright. No doubt the majority of foreigners will be going elsewhere.

    More Chinese cases target property in B.C., say lawyers

    “Lawyers in Vancouver say they are seeing a substantial increase in B.C. court cases filed by Chinese companies seeking to seize real estate assets from Chinese immigrants in B.C.

    Based on the case, Duhaime says she has obtained information from China alleging that “billions of dollars” of bank fraud proceeds are invested in B.C. real estate. She said she could not share the documents for reasons of client privilege.”

    “The (Citic) Mareva case absolutely increased the interest in China, and caused a number of banks in China to reach out to us and say ‘We have all these cases. Can we do something in B.C., too?’” Duhaime said. “There is lots of cases coming down the pipe, and there is lots of appetite in China from the government, down to the banks, to come to B.C. to enforce judgments.”

    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/more-and-more-chinese-cases-target-property-in-b-c-say-lawyers?__lsa=d2e1-8c1b

  90. Yes it’s all online totoro. All the wasted board space on how the Red Barn was going to driving up your real estate values and how you balanced the tax advantage to living on the Victoria side. Whatever, a lawyer is another word for liar as is well known.

    Yes Oak Bay may be the safe place for the kids but maybe don’t want to know your neighbors too well. Some of Victoria’s most notorious murders happened behind the Tweed Curtain.

  91. One side of Foul Bay vs the other…hmm. So I’ll offer my perspective. We bought on Amphion St on the north side of Oak Bay Ave. It’s on the Victoria side. Most people actually just assume we’re in Oak Bay, to be honest, so I don’t know where the notion of extreme desirability sets in. We didn’t go looking for a house in that location in particular but we liked it and the location. We also looked at a house on Chaucer on the other side that was around the same price but a worse house. Might it have been because it was in Oak Bay? Dunno. Hard to tell, as Chaucer is a nicer street than Amphion, with mature trees. Amphion is busy with cut through traffic.

    Foul Bay, it’s busy. People speed. I’ve had many people blow by the crosswalk at Leighton, including a cop who ended up following me and apologizing for not stopping. I had my two kids with me. Willows is our school and the kids may walk to it one day – the benefit of that street is that it’s one lane so you just have to wait for one car each side to stop at the crosswalk. No huge deal.

    We enjoy the walk ability of the neighbourhood. We have friends in South OB who are exactly in our position financially and none of us are rich or stuck up – we just grew up around that area and feel at home there. I’m close to friends and family. I don’t know if I should be ashamed of the location or be heckled for being pretentious…

  92. OB is certainly a great area, It has great tree lined streets, mature neighbourhoods, heritage houses, modern mansions, quaint village, beaches, can live car free easily etc. But it’s price premium is not only driven by these elements. People also want to fit in with those they want to fit in with. So the postal code does add to the price.

  93. Well, we prefer the convenience of Saanich. My wife has to drive all over greater Vic for work, and OB is just too awkward for regular trips to Langford or up the peninsula. We used to live in James Bay and it was even worse – hell in summer with all the ships and cabs and festivals. So no thanks, OB is a nice place to go to dinner, but we don’t want to live there. Being further north appeals a lot to anyone who goes to the airport or ferries, or up-island a lot.

  94. Fly on the wall
    Victoria = 1st world problems haha

    Anywhere in Victoria is better than 99.99% of the places in the world.
    Foul Bay + Cadboro Road haha. It gets 1% of the traffic of any busy road in the world.

  95. That’s what makes this blog seem like a movie – humour, mystery, intrigue, banter, investigative reporting, scandal 🙂

  96. Given that all past posts are online it should be pretty easy to substantiate alleged inconsistencies. I particularly look forward to reading my post on the virtues of being Victorian.

  97. You’re not running for president totoro but your credibility rings of Trump. Trolling comes with it’s perks I guess. Just change your hood when ever the story suits you.

  98. Oak Bay
    – Close to the water
    – Close to downtown
    – Beautiful, well-kept streets
    – Private schools
    – No industry
    – Quiet, safe streets for kids

    If you can afford it, why would you live anywhere else?

  99. Victoria is a big area. I like some of the neighbourhoods a lot. Others not so much. You’ve got everything from Pandora and Cook to Rockland/Fairfield and in between.

  100. Funny , totoro previously went on at length how she lived on the Victoria side of Oak Bay and the great benefits to being a Victorian.

  101. As long as we are talking about those limey bastards, let’s try to remember that the word “twat” is not a good thing to call an Englishman or more specifically an English woman. Although it would be quite accurate for anyone from Scotland or Wales.

  102. Actually, I think we got a welcome letter from the mayor and two tickets for two free extra garbage bag pickups. Maybe that is what you meant.

  103. “This coming from the guy who thinks paying $200k in order for kids not to cross a road is the mark of rational thinking…”

    Well maybe $100k 🙂 But seriously, yes Cadboro Bay Rd is more of an “avenue” than a busy street. But it’s all relative – to Mark Zuckerberg, dropping $30k on a Green Day concert in his back yard is like another person buying new iPod speakers. If someone’s worked hard to make money, why not spend it on what they want? It doesn’t mean they’re trying to show off or care WTF anyone thinks of them.

    In terms of why OB is more pricey, it’s pretty simple: Victoria & Vic West & Esquimalt have some industrial areas that create a few small barriers to beach access. Saanich East & West are further from downtown than OB.

    Exactly the same reasons why Kahala & Hawaii Kai are more expensive neighbourhoods than Aiea on Oahu – same shore, same ocean, but different land uses residential vs industrial, and different types/amounts of traffic.

    Mind you, these are all First World Problems – who cares in the grand scheme of things – we’re all lucky to live in Victoria.

  104. Yeah, we never got one when we bought so I’m not sure what you’re talking about. We did; however, get an OB building inspector visiting to make sure there was no illegal suite in the garage.

    There are PITA people in every neighbourhood.

  105. Old colleague of mine rents in Oak Bay. At some oak bay event the subject of the welcome basket that newcomers to oak bay get came up and she jokingly said that they didn’t get one when they moved to Oak Bay. The elderly lady next to her said “Yes but you’re only renters”.

  106. This coming from the guy who thinks paying $200k in order for kids not to cross a road is the mark of rational thinking…

    Yeah, someone just got it a bit wrong. You have to cross Cadboro Bay Road to get to Willows but the properties on the opposite side are also OB and many are more expensive than the ones nearer the school. The Lansdowne slope is some pretty desirable RE – especially near Carnarvon imo.

  107. Or rather, people live in Oak Bay for the status but then say they are really doing it for the children in order not to sound so materialistic. Just like people say they bought the X5 because they wanted something safe for the children.

    Let’s pull back the tweed curtain. My four neighbours are not anything like the stereotype being promoted here. Nice folks and not rich – just bought early enough to have been affordable. We used to drive an old tercel and the majority of my neighbours were similarly modest.

    My best friend also lives in OB – their kids are 4th gen like mine. Never used to need a lot of money to here btw, plenty of affordable options – it is only in the last 10 years that it has become much more difficult. This has also made OB a fantastic investment.

    I know many families in OB and I’d say for the most part the stereotype is dead wrong. A few families with inherited big money and a lot of others with medium means who bought before the big run up.

    As for Enger & Volkers – pretentious twats. I say bring in the infill housing. Nice to have a little more density and diversity.

    Unless you actually have first hand experience with the neighbourhoods I’d say you really are not commenting from solid ground – the stereotypes say more about you.

  108. Sorry but that says more about you and your false assumptions than the people living in OB, or anywhere for that matter.

    This coming from the guy who thinks paying $200k in order for kids not to cross a road is the mark of rational thinking…

  109. Where the heck did you get that list of fundamentals?

    And besides where are the bad schools? Do your kids have to be searched for knives before class or walk through metal detectors? When was the last time you were mugged anywhere in the Greater Victoria area. How about those people that don’t have kids- why would the schools be of any importance to them at all. If you live in Oak Bay – chances are you are driving to the grocery store not walking. And I don’t know if you noticed but Victoria and Saanich have waterfront too.

    And this is how you justify these kinds of price differences over the last six months between districts?

    District Sale Price, Median
    Victoria West $612,500
    Esquimalt $619,000
    Saanich West $620,500
    View Royal $634,000
    Victoria $735,000
    Saanich East $805,000
    Oak Bay $1,150,000

    That’s a 43% difference between Oak Bay and Saanich East and a 56% difference from Victoria. All have schools, all have shopping, all have beaches. In fact you’ll find most of those living in Oak Bay are using the conveniences that are in Victoria and Saanich East. When was the last time you took your kids to a gymnastics or ballet class in Oak Bay? Been to Home Depot lately?

    Face it Nan, you’re surrounded by posers.

  110. @JustJack “They use to call the barrier between Oak Bay and the rest of the world the Tweed curtain when Oak Bay was filled with pompous English twits that practiced keeping their accents.”

    Just have to say, I have lived here over 40 years and still haven’t been able to get rid of my English accent. My kids take delight in mocking it and I hate that I am still asked where I live in the UK but there it is, I sound like a Brit and I am stuck with it, hem, hem.

  111. The status that comes from paying for the high price in Oak Bay is derived from the quality of the fundamental aspects of the neighborhood. (convenience, safety, beach, shops, etc) I’m sure there are some folks out there who ignore the fundamentals and just spend money to tell people where they live but I would think that most folks just want a nice, safe place to live that is close to good schools and work and end up rationalizing the cost and buy in Oak Bay.

    I do agree with you on cars though, sedans are safer than SUV’s anyway and in my view, needing to consume new cars with financing is practically a disability. That being said, I see as many new cars on Bear mountain as I do around Oak Bay…

  112. “Or rather, people live in Oak Bay for the status but then say they are really doing it for the children ”

    Sorry but that says more about you and your false assumptions than the people living in OB, or anywhere for that matter.

  113. More likely, people pay the premium so they can say they live in Oak Bay, and then remind everyone of it ad nauseam.

    Or rather, people live in Oak Bay for the status but then say they are really doing it for the children in order not to sound so materialistic. Just like people say they bought the X5 because they wanted something safe for the children.

    The rational mind boggles.

  114. Yup that Engel & Volkers sentence is LOL pretentious 🙂 But RE folks are like that – they just want to keep the easy multi-million $ commissions going. Remember the last time OB did an analysis of this, around 50% of OB residents wanted different types of housing.

    Realtors all over Victoria can be pretentious sometimes: “Neptune’s Love Child” home in Cordova Bay “delights Architectural Connoisseurs” – not really – it has great windows though. Or all the “Executive Style” homes on Bear Mountain or Marine Way in North Saanich, “For those Discriminating Buyers who like to entertain”

    I agree that you can’t generalize – every person’s motivations for living in all these places are very individual. For some people, it’s geography. For others, it’s living around others that are similar socioeconomically. Honestly I’ve known people to retire with multiple millions but they haven’t changed at all who they like to hang out with – and if they did, they wouldn’t have much character to begin with.

  115. An over generalization Vicbot. There is no universal truth to what you have said.

    I don’t know why so many people have a hard time of simply saying they want to live around other people that are similar socially, economically and politically. The rest is just geography being used to rationalize price.

    And that goes for Chinese investors. They tolerate the whites but they don’t buy in black or East Indian neighborhoods. And let’s face it most of the expensive hoods are predominantly White, Conservative neighborhoods. When was the last time anyone saw an NDP sign in Uplands?

    They use to call the barrier between Oak Bay and the rest of the world the Tweed curtain when Oak Bay was filled with pompous English twits that practiced keeping their accents.

  116. I got this sponsored to me on FB. The 3rd sentence is something really special.

    https://www.facebook.com/EngelVolkersVictoria/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf

    Engel & Völkers Victoria

    September 6 at 9:58pm ·
    ..

    Taxpayers of Oak Bay, it is time to get engaged in this conversation. Please share this with your fellow Oak Bay property owners. Oak Bay is a high value suburb of Victoria and is not responsible for providing all forms of housing types for all people.

    One of the reasons Oak Bay retains its property values through economic turmoil is because of the character it has. The reason we are seeing large jumps in equity is because of what we have and maintain.
    This strategy needs to hear from property owners in the municipality.

    Infill housing strategy invites residents’ input – Oak Bay News

    Oak Bay embarks on a critical component of the official community plan two years to the month after finalizing the guiding document.

    http://www.oakbaynews.com

  117. Have to agree with Nan, people are willing to pay a premium not to have to cross too many busy roads – seen this a lot. In terms of braggarts, I’ve met people with new-builds in other non-OB neighbourhoods and they can be WAY more roll-the-eyes annoyingly boastful and materialistic than someone in an average older house in OB.

    If thinking “they must just want to say they live in OB” makes you feel better, then that’s up to you, but it’s not based in any 2016 reality. There’s a reason why quiet non-industrial neighbourhoods next to oceans & within 10 min drive from downtown sell for a premium anywhere in the world. It’s because people want to live there for the lifestyle. eg., Gastown condos cheaper than English Bay, west side of Oahu cheaper than east side, South Sydney cheaper than Manly.

    If I could afford a house in Manly that would be great, but I don’t think people are snobs if they can.

  118. I actually get this conversation from home owners quite often when the that want a higher appraised value. These are things that mean quite a bit to the home owner but are not reflected in the price the market pays. Even when they are presented with a plethora of data they can’t accept that all those flower beds in the back yard and the willow tree their grandpa planted have no value to most prospective purchasers.

  119. “For some, safety is paramount…”

    For some, the illusion of safety is paramount. I’m not sure how paying a $200,000 premium based upon an irrational assessment of risk can be construed as rational. More likely, people pay the premium so they can say they live in Oak Bay, and then remind everyone of it ad nauseam. Also irrational, but necessary for the truly brand-conscious.

  120. Or Nan, is it possible that your parents ended up the same way as thousands of other homeowners in the early 80’s. I know when we HAD to sell back then I told my daughter pretty much the same thing.

    Parents do what they can to protect their children from the harsh realities of finances and housing market crashes.

  121. yep, amongst other things. People are rationale, they just internalize their value systems and interpret their alternatives and make decisions in the context of those values. If you perceive either one of those roads as dangerous and don’t want your kids crossing them 2x per day, you will be willing to pay a premium not to have to do it. Admittedly at the extreme, it might be important enough to someone to justify a $200,000 premium. When I was 7, my parents sold a house they had built 1.5 years earlier because after living in the neighborhood for a while, they decided the road was too busy. They probably paid $20-30k in transaction and moving costs in the early 80’s to move away from what they perceived as dangerous. For some, safety is paramount, especially for little kids that tend to run into the middle of the street. Maybe it’s not a likely scenario but all things being equal, crossing more busy streets at the same time as commuters are travelling =greater chance of being the “unlikely tragedy ” on the cover of the times colonist

    When buying, my wife and I certainly prioritized being on school sides of busy streets much higher than actually being in a particular neighborhood or being particularly close to anything in particular.

    Also, I don’t know how you could see carboro bay or foul bay as “minor roads”. They are both busy, full of tough to see cross walks and commuters. People get hit off bicycles by careless drivers on those streets on a regular basis.

  122. Not having to cross Foul bay (or even Cadboro Bay) everyday for school is attractive to parents of small children. How attractive? Maybe it’s worth 20%

    Did you seriously just suggest that some people are willing to pay an extra $200,000 to avoid having to cross a minor road to get to school?

  123. “and a glossy mag containing nothing but full color ads for high priced Victoria RE that came through our mail slot the other day suggests that the investment funds are no longer flowing freely.”

    I’ve been wondering about that sector CS. There is a $27 million class action lawsuit against these guys with a past history of being banned from public markets. They show up here on a couple of projects, you have to wonder if this is going to be the next sector to take the big swan dive on these so called “safe” investments.

    Lawsuit targets Ontario’s $4-billion syndicated mortgage industry

    “Investors have launched a proposed class action against a high-profile Toronto-area condo development firm, with projects across Canada, that raises millions from mom-and-pop investors through risky pooled mortgage products—many of which are advertised as safe and “secure.” ”

    http://www.macleans.ca/economy/angry-investors-seek-class-action-against-high-profile-seller-of-risky-syndicated-mortgages/

  124. And Nan, those are most of the factors that I am following to see if they are trending up or trending down.

    None of this is bad news, it’s just not all good news. When it comes right down to it, what happens in Oak Bay has little to do with the market place. Oak Bay is small and insignificant relative to the whole market with only 14 out of 207 house sales in the core last month.

    But it does have a psychological affect on some. Would it really matter that much if Oak Bay prices backed off to the same rate as the rest of the core? It is still very good appreciation. Or has this very little to do with the market and more with some people’s egos.

    Or as one person said to me the difference between someone from Oak Bay and another city is that someone from another city will have pictures of their kids in their wallets while those from Oak Bay have pictures of their homes.

  125. You’re just being a troll on this one Totoro.

    Don’t like the example so what. No example is ever perfect but the message is clear.

    Oak Bay can not appreciate at nearly double the rate as the rest of Victoria forever. A hundred years of history shows us that. There has always been a price difference between the two areas but when they diverge too much, the market corrects to bring them back into an historical balance. You might pay 25% more for a house in North Oak Bay over a home in Camosun but you won’t pay 100 or 200 percent more.

    Troll that…

  126. “Besides how are you going to tell if prices have or have not gone down in Oak Bay when only a dozen properties or so, sell a month”

    I don’t really care that much, but that is what benchmarks are for, and they all point up. Maybe one month could generate an anomaly but the law of averages would imply that when the benchmark is up for the last 10 months or whatever, it is more than likely a legitimate increase not only relative to itself, but to the rest of the city as well.

    On differentials, maybe Oak Bay used to be a deal? Not having to cross Foul bay (or even Cadboro Bay) everyday for school is attractive to parents of small children. How attractive? Maybe it’s worth 20%, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s worth more today than it was last year. Who knows. But it happened.

    Also, in my experience, houses in Oak bay are sold to folks who earn their money. Anecdotes about rich folks from China and Alberta with suitcases carrying millions are one thing (and are maybe the dominant buyer at the higher end) but I know 9 families who have bought in Oak Bay in the last 3 years, (all before this year, thankfully) none of them are old or retired or rich or received an inheritance and all have mortgages. They all work hard, have family incomes over $150k and none of them bought a house with more than 25% down (and those that put down larger amounts had been working hard building careers and saving from their jobs for 5-10 years)

    The demographic stats available for the various neighborhoods look at everyone. Folks that earn $20k in CPP and bought their house 50 years ago for 30k are in the same bucket as people who bought last week, paid 1.2mm and make 300k. The demographic slice you should be concerned with are those that are buying today. They don’t have wealth but relatively, they make a lot of money and want to live in a nice neighborhood for their kids.

    There will always be more demand for the best parts of the city, Oak Bay is one of those. This year, there just happened to be disproportionately more money chasing a limited number of houses for sale. It doesn’t matter why, but it happened and prices are what they are

    Maybe there will be less next year and it will go down next year maybe there won’t, maybe the differential will grow or shrink or maybe it won’t but I can assure you that the limited inventory in Oak bay is not a sign of market softness. It’s a sign of limited supply available to meet a given demand. A low number of transactions is a result of a limited inventory. An inventory limited by the fact that anything put on the market that’s half decent gets snapped up in a week if not days.

    On a related note, does anyone know what that house for sale on the corner of Cranmore and Hampshire went for? $1.1mm list, would have closed this week I think.

  127. With fewer prospective purchasers and more house to chose from.

    Fewer prospective purchasers, yes. More houses? No. Inventory will almost certainly be down from August.

    We have had worse months when it comes to months of inventory than we are experiencing now.

    Not any worse August though. Inventory, sales, and new listings are all seasonal. You can’t ignore that.

  128. @ Hawk

    The lack of anecdotal stories on 100’s of people shoulder to shoulder at every new listing with cars around the block seems to tell the tale.

    and a glossy mag containing nothing but full color ads for high priced Victoria RE that came through our mail slot the other day suggests that the investment funds are no longer flowing freely.

    But oil looks good. Encana up nearly 5% today, up 100% this year.

  129. A million or two million or 3 million is completely arbitrary on your part. We’re dealing with Oak Bay where what the average person earns means very little.

    Completely untrue.

    Most of the core increased by some 30 percent from 2012 and Oak Bay rose 55% Obviously that can not continue into the future. The price difference between two identical houses on different sides of Foul Bay would be extreme.

    There is a price difference but not so extreme from one side of Foul Bay to the other. The further away from the dividing line in OB the more the prices seem to diverge (Rockland/Fairfield excepted). Prices won’t appreciate like they have forever but OB has had a higher rate of appreciation historically than other areas for as long as I’ve been tracking it. It is also the first to go up in a seller’s market and usually the last to fall – although the really expensive homes in, say Uplands, can be strongly impacted by higher interest rates or a seller’s market more than what is currently the 800-1.6 million dollar range.

  130. That’s what I’m hopping Hawk. That the bidding wars and delayed offer tactics will end. I doubt that is going to happen this month but maybe by the end of the year.

    If I were to make suggestions to the real estate council of BC the suggestions would be for the banning of delayed offers, except in very limited circumstances, and that there was a fair listing price practice. That agents would not be allowed to intentionally under price properties.

  131. Nan, I haven’t been saying prices are going down in Oak Bay.

    The only thing I’ve said is that first go the sales then go the prices. And that the current prices are out of step with what has happened in the rest of the market. Most of the core increased by some 30 percent from 2012 and Oak Bay rose 55% Obviously that can not continue into the future. The price difference between two identical houses on different sides of Foul Bay would be extreme.

    Besides how are you going to tell if prices have or have not gone down in Oak Bay when only a dozen properties or so, sell a month. If all of the properties had the same physical attributes it would be better but Oak Bay is a hodge-podge of styles, house and lot sizes and views.

  132. The lack of anecdotal stories on 100’s of people shoulder to shoulder at every new listing with cars around the block seems to tell the tale. The panic is gone and the steady complaints during the frenzy about low inventory and shit quality are still the same as back then. Bidding wars, and blind auctions of this past year will go down in history as The Big Scam.

  133. Then Nan, stop looking in Oak Bay or raise the bar on the price you’re looking at.

    There are zero houses listed for under half a million in Oak Bay. Has the selection of houses changed?

    A million or two million or 3 million is completely arbitrary on your part. We’re dealing with Oak Bay where what the average person earns means very little.

    There were 45 active listings in Oak Bay in August and 14 sales (3.2:1) Compare that to Saanich East where there were 230 active listing to 134 sales (1.7:1) Which hood had the better selection?

  134. Sorry Vicbot, just delete the last comment. I had a call come in and did not edit the post.

    And I know that in BC you should never use pot as an example.

  135. Based on my quick “consumer grade” review of MLS, there are only 6 SFH for sale under $1,000,000 in all of oak bay, and they all need lots of work. There are only 2 that I have seen before this week, so 4 new ones in the last couple weeks. Prices aren’t going down in Oak bay anytime soon, at least not before prices absolutely everywhere else.

  136. Low inventory is only part of it Vicbot.

    You can have low inventory with a lot of new listings each month and that will keep prices stable.

    Think of the supply as a big pot of water with a spigot at the bottom on a fire. As long as there is enough cool water being poured into the pot to match the hot water coming out of the spigot the amount in the pot stays the same. The level in the pot is at an equilibrium and prices are stable. That level in the pot can be at any point as long as it is stable. So you can have stable prices at high inventory or at low inventory. Prices only change when the level of the pot is changing. And for the last few months the level in the pot has been rising.

    The question is if there is enough cool water coming into the pot to cool the market? And that temperature is measured by the days on market. If the days on market is rising then the market is cooling if they are falling then the market is getting hotter.

    And prices well they increase in hot markets not in cool markets.

  137. A low number of sales can mean 2 different things depending on inventory.

    If there’s high inventory & low sales, it means the market is slow, it’s a buyer’s market, & prices are decreasing.

    But if there’s low inventory & low sales, it usually means the market is constrained by inventory, and prices may be stable.

    VREB stats seem to show the Sales/List pace is still 3X above historical averages.
    http://www.vreb.org/pdf/VREBNewsReleaseFull.pdf
    eg.,
    Sales to Active Listings Ratio is 60%, compared to 18% 2 years ago. (and 70% in May 2016)
    (which is probably why prices are still up August over July)

    Different situation in Vancouver though.

  138. Again Marko – so what if it is just seasonal or if it plays out as a correction.

    Right now it looks that September will be a better month than most months this year for house hunting. Maybe not in price, but in selection. With fewer prospective purchasers and more house to chose from.

    We have had worse months when it comes to months of inventory than we are experiencing now. Such as back in the years 2006 through 2008. We got through those years and we will get through this one too. When 97 percent of the home owners don’t have their houses listed for sale, there is always a possibility of a surge in listings coming to the market. Even if just another 2 percent of home owners put their houses up for sale that would completely change the dynamics of this market.

  139. It’s looking pretty clear that the FOMO has pulled forward all the “pent up demand” and now it’s on the decline. Rents are at levels where even my building has openings for the first time since winter. With doctors and other professionals balking at coming here, it’s evident the wall has been hit.

    Canada’s economy could take 15 years to ‘reinvent’ itself, warns head of Royal Bank of Canada

    “McKay also said he’s concerned about how much current levels of consumer debt and higher debt-servicing costs will hurt longer-term economic growth.

    ‘Unprecedented Territory’

    “When we put so much of our consumer debt into the housing market and rates go up, more disposable income gets consumed within that consumer wallet and therefore it stunts longer-term growth,” McKay said. “That’s one of the unintended outcomes of moving so much of that borrowing forward, and putting it into housing stock the way it is. So we certainly have to be concerned about longer-term growth from that perspective.”

    “If you look at what happened in southern California, where doctors, nurses, teachers, firefighters, policemen couldn’t afford to live in a community and had to commute from long distances, you lose your support network, you lose your economy around those houses,” McKay said. “I think they’re trying to solve that, and they have every right to solve for that kind of community challenge.”

    http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/canadas-economy-could-take-15-years-to-reinvent-itself-warns-head-of-royal-bank-of-canada

  140. Why did you choose 2 million? And not a million or 3 million?

    It’s only “super poor” in the arbitrary price range you chose Marko.

    Behind what you are saying is that you believe their is a cap to house prices because of affordability and that is contrary to the anecdotes of Vancouverites selling their town house for 4 million and foreign purchasers buying a house in Uplands where money is no issue. In essence you are saying house prices are too expensive. And I think the market is agreeing with you.

  141. Now some say that this is just a seasonal slow down. So what – it’s still a slowdown that results in more selection for home buyers.

    30 years of local data says it is a seasonal slowdown. How many Augusts or Septembers have been stronger in sales than May of the same year?

  142. Totoro, last year was a different market than what we are in today.

    That’s why it is only important to look at the current market to see if it is accelerating or not. What happened a year before is of little importance to what is happening today.

    When you’re comparing one month in a year to the same month a year ago all that is telling you is what happened between those two months and not what happened in between.. When you follow the month to month or quarter to quarter trends that tells you how the market is changing over time.

    Now some say that this is just a seasonal slow down. So what – it’s still a slowdown that results in more selection for home buyers.

  143. If you want to buy a house in Oak Bay then there are 32 houses that you can look at today.

    A couple are sold subject to probate (still showing as active but sold) which leaves us with 30. Out of that 30 we have 13 over 2 million. Then whatever slim pickings are left a number have accepted offers on them. A few are delaying offers too.

    Basically availability is super poor.

  144. There are some 32 houses for sale in Oak Bay at any time. But there is also a constant flow of new listings. Last month another 26 houses were listed while only 14 sold.

    Understandably you could argue that there isn’t enough houses for sale in your price range, but that price range is different for most everyone.

    If you want to buy a house in Oak Bay then there are 32 houses that you can look at today. And each day there will be new ones to choose from. In fact the months of inventory is now the second highest this year.

    Month Months of Inventory
    Jan 3.24
    Feb 1.70
    Mar 1.53
    Apr 0.94
    May 0.90
    Jun 1.23
    Jul 1.83
    Aug 2.50

  145. Oak Bay has outpaced every district by a long ways and that’s why it is paying the price with the lowest number of sales of any district.

    Yeah.

    By the end of August, there were just 2,094 listings, a drop of 43.2 per cent from the same month last year. The capital region has the “lowest number of listings available for sale in an August that we have seen in the last 20 years,” Mike Nugent, real estate board president, said in a statement. – See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/victoria-real-estate-sets-record-in-seller-s-market-1.2335610#sthash.qqoAGvvi.dpuf

  146. I thought the reason there weren’t any sales in oak bay was because there isn t any inventory, not because demand at the current prices does t exist

  147. Oak Bay has outpaced every district by a long ways and that’s why it is paying the price with the lowest number of sales of any district. This September the number of sales in Oak Bay may be the worst in the last decade.

    First go the sales then goes the prices.

  148. And here is what they were five years ago

    District Sale Price, Median
    Oak Bay $739,250
    North Saanich $700,000
    Metchosin $660,000
    Saanich East $611,500
    Highlands $585,000
    Victoria $572,500
    View Royal $533,000
    Central Saanich $517,000
    Saanich West $501,500
    Esquimalt $493,000
    Langford $469,900
    Colwood $462,250
    Sidney $450,000
    Victoria West $441,000
    Sooke $390,000

  149. For those interested here are the median prices for the last 6 months by location.

    District Sale Price, Median
    Oak Bay $1,150,000
    North Saanich $853,000
    Saanich East $805,000
    Highlands $799,900
    Victoria $730,000
    Central Saanich $717,500
    Metchosin $710,000
    View Royal $634,000
    Saanich West $622,000
    Esquimalt $620,000
    Victoria West $612,500
    Sidney $577,600
    Colwood $567,000
    Langford $540,000
    Sooke $449,185

  150. 14 year cycle ? WTF is that ? Lets just make up a new thesis. What happened to 1941 and 1986 ?? Mike the line is down dude, not up. As an ex-economist you have to be blind or totally ignorant to not see the parabolic blow off is in full motion.

    The foreigners are selling, the party is over. Christy just said it’s a nice start and she holds the power, not the bulls. It’s over, sell or be crushed.

    “Many other countries are encouraging Chinese investments, such as the United States and Europe. With more immigrant investor opportunities in other countries, the pasture appears much greener elsewhere. In fact, they say Chinese are being warned about Canada and are being encouraged to invest elsewhere.

    The QIIP (Quebec Immigrant Investors Program)

    They say many Chinese investors who are now citizens here are actually selling their homes. Because many of them came through the QIIP and had purchased homes in Vancouver before applying, those homes were not declared in the application process. In light of the recent 15% tax they fear CRA will crack down and come after them for not declaring the home purchase(s) during the application process.”

    http://www.vancitycondoguide.com/foreign-investor-gives-insights-on-new-tax/

  151. Regarding taxes, my own opinion is that there should be a heavy one on capital gains from residential real estate, one that scales back slowly with the duration of ownership. Something like: 100% – (5% + inflation) x years_owned. That’d put a serious lid on speculation, foreign and domestic.

    There’s no way that’d fly now (and it’d be catastrophic in effect, I imagine), but maybe once this market finally mean-reverts people will realise it was a stupid thing to bet the economy on and be open to maintaining sanity in the market going forward.

  152. And at the same time discourage hoarding of residential real estate by eliminating the tax exemptions if you own more than 3 separate dwellings.

    I think there should be no principal residence tax exemption in Canada for anything being sold over $2,000,000 and lived in for less than 15 years (or some sort of combination)……………so many high end flips in Victoria in the last 24 months were people walked away with $200,000-$800,000 tax free or more money than the average person in their 20s will accumulate in their entire lifetime. Some great examples in Oak Bay, buy a nice luxury house, live in it for 18 months, pocket a bunch of tax free cash.

    In Vancouver the numbers are in the millions on some of the flips, I mean “principal residences.”

  153. Does anyone know how many sales over two million there has been in the core over the last few months?

    Last two months 24 in Greater Victoria and 11 in the core.

  154. Heard a totally random theory about the Vancouver market yesterday. Over the last 25 years’ immigrants coming to Vancouver possibly come from cultures that put a huge emphasis on home ownership and often pass homes from one generation to the next. Theory being that over time this has contributed to fundamental inventory problems especially in terms of SFHs?

    I’ve witnessed it in my homeland of Croatia. Average salary is like 700 Euros per month but in bigger cities (Zagreb, Split) the nicer neighbourhoods command 500,000 to 1,000,000+ euros for a SFH. Problem being houses are passed from one generation to the next and rarely come to market creating for a ridicolously dysfunctional income to price ratio.

  155. Speaking of Vancouver, if the August numbers had dropped while Toronto’s had remained the same, there was still a chance that Vancouver’s numbers had just been pulled back into July (to beat the tax deadline). But Toronto’s August numbers have increased in all areas (TREB reports show increases in number of sales & prices, compared to both July 2016 & Aug 2015) – totally diverged from Vancouver – which seems to support the idea that Vancouver’s numbers may continue to fall and investors are moving their money to other cities:
    http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/mortgages-real-estate/toronto-home-sales-up-23-5-per-cent-in-august-realtors-vow-to-study-foreign-investors

  156. Very nice graph indeed LeoS. With the amount of HELOC’s and other credit card debts never seen before, the 1980 projection is more realistic.

    Once the negative equity bagholders start lining up at the local Vancouver/Victoria credit counselors, the wheels will fall off this trainwreck as the banks freak out and shut the lending doors.

  157. Nice Vancouver graph.

    Next shoe to drop is price compression. As all though high priced listings drop their asking prices and compete with the lower priced homes.

    In July you may have gotten a water view home for a couple of million. This month you might get a water front home for the same price.

  158. I don’t know if I agree with the assumption that inventory is critically low because the months of inventory is near the highest it has been all year for houses in the core.

    There are 250 houses for sale in the core and at least another 200 condominiums and that’s sufficient to keep median prices from rising.

    Month Months of Inventory for houses in the core
    Jan 2.84
    Feb 1.66
    Mar 1.31
    Apr 1.06
    May 1.09
    Jun 1.26
    Jul 1.86
    Aug 1.81

    Month Sale Price, Median
    Jan $655,500
    Feb $681,500
    Mar $740,000
    Apr $759,500
    May $760,000
    Jun $743,000
    Jul $754,500
    Aug $728,000

    And that’s been possible because of the drop in purchases in almost every month since April.

    Month Sales, Number of
    Jan 122
    Feb 228
    Mar 318
    Apr 376
    May 337
    Jun 291
    Jul 206
    Aug 207

    Along with the increase in days on market

    Month Days to Sell, Median
    Jan 17
    Feb 10
    Mar 9
    Apr 10
    May 9
    Jun 9
    Jul 11
    Aug 11

    I also expect the ratio of new listings to sales to improve this month in that we might average 1.5 new listings for every home that sells. Prices may remain unchanged but there will be slightly more to choose from and if you stay away from delayed offers the experience of buying a home won’t be so sour. Or better yet. Put in one bid and don’t counter. Leave your smart phone at home and go out for a nice Schnitzel at the Rathskeller. If you get the property great but your not heavily invested in the outcome if you don’t. Worst news would be that you had a nice uninterrupted diner.

  159. Everyone knows them. The people that have a high net worth in Victoria but have a hard time paying property taxes.

    Those dilapidated houses in Oak Bay and Victoria filled with millionaires (or close to) but they are broke and collecting social assistance.

    And that’s where we should be looking in order to improve affordability in the city. Educating people that just because you may not own a home that doesn’t make you homeless. If we encourage people to list their homes for sale and seek other non ownership arrangements. And at the same time discourage hoarding of residential real estate by eliminating the tax exemptions if you own more than 3 separate dwellings. That would raise the supply of housing in our city.

    At this time, Victoria is hurtling down the path that every other North American city has followed. The result in the end is high property taxes that will drive the elderly and young families out of the city.

    After all it isn’t a stretch to think that if can afford to have a million dollar home in the City – you should also be able to afford 2 percent of that amount each year in property taxes.

  160. Million average net worth in vancouver does seem surprisingly high. That includes owners and renters..
    I supposed again the median would be more informative.

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