Sept 26 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  241 422 608
704
New Listings 108 363 621 844
962
Active Listings 2011 2061  2079 2060
3478
Sales to New Listings  96% 66%  68% 72%
73%
Sales Projection 732 767 760
Months of Inventory

4.94

I’ve said before that inventory should be falling this time of year, but that’s not actually accurate.   Inventory typically stays steady August to September as sellers with overpriced garbage hang on for one more month before pulling their listings until the spring.   Starting in October we should see a sharp decline in inventory if you can imagine it going any lower.

chart-8

Just a reminder, even in hot markets, sales cooling off in the fall are perfectly normal.  Taking the last hot market of 2002-2006, we can see that sales typically decline by about 22% from the hottest month (May) to September, and a further 33% from now until December.   Not once have I seen a year where the market forces were able to overwhelm seasonality and keep sales high into the late fall.

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285 thoughts on “Sept 26 Market Update

  1. Cat5e is totally unnecessary. I also don’t use it at work because wireless routers work as well or better and require no work to maintain or upgrade and minimal cost to replace.

    So you have no use for it. Fine. But assuming everyone’s use case fits yours is false consensus bias.

    Stationary devices should be wired. I use wireless exclusively for mobile devices and I have pretty skookum wireless ( https://www.ubnt.com/unifi/unifi-ap/ ).

    My use cases are definitely not average, but not uncommon. I can go into details, but I assume you don’t care.

    The big problem with wifi is it shares bandwidth. Let’s say your wifi router does 300Mbps. That’s max throughput total in perfect conditions (e.g. line of site to router and no interferrence). However many clients you have share the total available bandwidth. If one client is hogging all or nearly all, the others can be choked out. If one is sending tons of packets (even though it’s low throughput), it can choke the others out (e.g. bittorrent) because it causes collisions with other devices. On a wired connection I can max a gigabit connection sending a file between computers without affecting anyone else on the network. If you use minimal bandwidth, then sure wifi is easy and should work.

    No maintenance is a joke. When do wired connections require maintenance?

    Also, you know you can use those wires in the wall for more than just networking right? You can use them as HDMI extenders, for sharing audio (perfectly synchronised unlike ip audio solution), to run non-ip surveillance cams (better quality for less $$). Pulling them out is insanity.

    “Oh we never use the outlets in that room, let’s pull them out.”

    Curious cat said:

    -I’ve been using Kodi since it was called XBMC.

    Nan replied:

    I can google kodi too and learn that is was called Xbmc.

    Seriously? You don’t believe Curious Cat has been using it that long? You think it’s more likely he/she googled Kodi (obviously never having heard of software that’s on every $50 Android box out of China) to find a detail about it to claim superiority over you? That’s your take. That’s more likely than he/she actually has been using it that long?

    I first ran it on a hacked xbox (as in the original xbox), back when that was a thing. So I definitely believe Curious Cat. I’d also guess CC and I are close in age (or at least same generation).

  2. I completely agree with you Barrister. It’s one of the reasons I think the trend is up for years. The confusing part for many is why did we fall ’10-13? I think the answer partly lies in the few boomers that were starting to retire back then wisely substituted for US on the cheap with their above-par loonies. Now even those leading-edge boomers are selling US for 50+% more than they paid once converted, and are now looking back to their original plans of retiring to Vic.

  3. Out of curiosity I googled Hogtowns millionaires. There are over 118,000 millionaires and that number excludes the net worth of their principal residence. There are well over a thousand with a net worth (again excluding their principal residence) of over 30 million. These figures are by the way in US dollars and not the Canadian Peso.

    I dont know for a fact but my guess is that none of these people are living in a 300k condo. So if over the next two years one percent retire and actually move to Victoria this would represent about 500 sales a year. Most of those sales would be concentrated in the core and not in langford or Sooke. Even if you cut those numbers in half they will have an impact on the market here particularly in areas like the Uplands.

    Totally unscientific but what I am hearing from the old boys network is that Victoria and not Vancouver is the place to be. I am not trying to sell anything here, I am just passing on what I am hearing. The proof is in the pudding and the next few years will show if there is a trend.

  4. Leo S.

    Toronto buyers who are retiring will often have a lot more cash than the guys from Vancouver.
    For most of the guys that I worked with their principal residence is only a small portion of their net worth. The net worth of the average partner in a corporate law firm or of a stock broker is almost always well above ten million. If their house goes up or down ten percent it does not really make a great difference to them. While Vancouver has the real estate millionaires the real money is still in Toronto.
    I spent my whole career on Bay Street and I suspect that most people really dont understand how much money is out there. The guys I went to school with are all in their early sixties and they are looking to retire. I would estimate about one in ten are seriously eyeing Victoria and a few have already bought here in the last few months.

  5. Just a side question if ya’ll don’t mind, since we talk about money and security and such on this blog once in a while:
    Does anyone have experience with the Costco life insurance policy? I’m shopping around but don’t really know where to get the best rate.

  6. @nan – I don’t stream from my laptop to a hardwired PS3. I don’t think I said that. I stream from a NAS server to hardwired PS3. Kodi is on my laptop but I rarely use it because it requires an additional step to connect the laptop to the TV with HDMI. I actually didn’t even realize the name had changed to kodi until this summer when my cousin came to visit and asked me to install XBMC on her laptop. The PS3 works very well as a media server anyhow, and for files that have Cinavia protection, I stream to my Xbox instead or I transfer the file to the laptop then hook it to the TV via HDMI, or stream thru my Sharp TV. I have no need for a bunch of Android boxes, as all my current technology already fulfills that purpose.

    I obviously can’t convince you of the benefits of ethernet over wifi and you’ve already ripped out the infrastructure anyhow so I guess it’s a moot point.

    My question to Marko: do buyers care if there is ethernet wired throughout? Is it something that you would highlight as an agent?

  7. @introvert – yup Cat6 is the new standard, but Cat 5e is definitely sufficient for almost everyone and it wasn’t worth the price difference. Also, with Optik TV you can connect all the receivers with ethernet instead of coax so every drop/outlet we’ve wired can be used for television/telephone/internet. It provides options. So as a homeowner, wiring your house with ethernet is in my mind, an improvement over coax. Maybe nan would be shocked that we removed all the coax in our house? (however being an old house, we only had three runs anyhow)

  8. If you know what kodi is and have a decent router why are you moving files and streaming from a laptop to a hard wired PS3? I can google kodi too and learn that is was called Xbmc. To use it means you pretty much don’t need anything in your house other than internet, a wireless router and a few android boxes. I have a 3 floor house and I have devices as far as they could possibly be away from the router through lathe and plaster walls and suffer no lag. I can transmit 4K Netflix, movies and anything else I want over my wireless network to any room in the house with no issues. Cat5e is totally unnecessary. I also don’t use it at work because wireless routers work as well or better and require no work to maintain or upgrade and minimal cost to replace. There’s a few points.

  9. I don’t get it – why would you need a media panel at all? I have a wireless router connected to a media server in my basement that connects wirelessly to everything in my house. 3 Computers, 3 tvs, game systems, 3 phones everything. I actually ripped out all the cat 5e when I moved in… because that stuff is from the stone ages…

    A lot of stuff I looked at didn’t have a wireless option or the wireless option wasn’t the best. For example, I have three electrical panels in my house and I wanted to measure consumption at each panel for various reasons (need to monitor electricity my car uses as business expenses, etc.). The best equipment for this needed Cat5E to each panel.

  10. One of the things that has become clear is that the single principle driver behind house prices particularly in the core and the Saanach peninsule are retireees from the rest of the country.

    It really hasn’t become clear at all. Outside of the surge from Vancouver this year, the percentage of buyers from out of town is pretty small.

    It is not just the number of extra purchasors every month it is also the amount of cash available to them that boasts prices.

    Vancouver buyers will have extra cash. Toronto a little bit if they sold recently. The rest of the country would be moving from a cheaper area to get here and have to pony up a couple hundred thousand extra to move here.

    Someone is now going to point out the vast majority of people who retire in Toronto or Vancouver have no interest in moving to Victoria. This is absolutely true. But one has to remember that the GTa has about six million people a good portion of whom are baby boomers reaching retirement age.

    Sure. And China has a billion. And India has a billion. What if just 0.1% of their millionaires decide to move here? We’d be overrun! I don’t put much stock in those hypotheticals.

    The simple fact of the matter is that the huge grey haired gang that you see in Victoria are by and large not locals.

    Very unlikely. The majority are almost certainly locals although of course some of them may have worked in other cities in their lives.

  11. @nan -I’ve been using Kodi since it was called XBMC. Wifi doesn’t work perfectly in every environment and situation. It definitely has its uses, of course. I have 3 tablets, 3 phones, one laptop and a surface pro. I made my points. I’m not sure you made yours…

  12. @curious cat: like with most things, Victoria is 5 – 10 years behind. You both need to learn about what kodi is. And get a decent router. Cat5e is the least of your problems. Lol is right.

  13. HHV is littered with the carcasses of people who swore there’d be a crash “soon.” Even the blog’s founder eventually gave up and moved to Alberta.

    On a different note, isn’t Cat6 the new standard?

  14. @Nan – my hubby can’t believe you ripped out the cat 5e in your house! Using wireless technology you will have lag playing FPS games on your gaming consoles, while there would be ZERO lag using Cat 5. You won’t drop any packets using a wired system, ever. A microwave can jam wifi signals depending on the frequency. No one can jack into your wired network, but they can jack into your wifi. Wifi signals drop and slow down depending on obstacles and distance, ie the signal on the top floor of a 3 story house will be weak-ass if the router is in the garage. Oh and the speed of our wired network is about 10 times faster than our wifi. (For example, I transferred an episode of Games of Thrones, 550MB to my laptop and it took 4:49 mins and from my computer to my husband’s computer it took 48sec.) Before we hard-wired our PS3, streaming videos over 4GB from our computer would be so laggy as to be unwatchable. But whatever works for you… lol

    @numbers hack: My husband recommends BellTech Services. They’ve done all the networking at his work and they do residential as well.

  15. @ all
    Thanks for sending all the info and pointing us in the right direction. Going from wireless back to wire; more reliable. Complicates is we are working away from Victoria for a little while yet, hence third party services. We’ll get her up and running. Thanks again everyone, much appreciated.

  16. Barrister, no where has almost doubled in 3 years including the Uplands. Nottingham has dropped it’s price a million and a year later still can’t sell it.

  17. @vicrenter-
    I think the quote you’re looking for is ‘the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent’ (or patient, as it were). The history of HHV is one of people trying to time the Victoria crash and failing, so you’re in good company. Some of us just got lucky, but most just bought in at some point.

  18. Dear marko:

    You are right they have not doubled overall but some areas like tthe Uplands have almost doubled and parts of Oak Bay are up by at least a third. Do you actually know what the average price increase has been over the last three years in the core?

  19. I don’t get it – why would you need a media panel at all? I have a wireless router connected to a media server in my basement that connects wirelessly to everything in my house. 3 Computers, 3 tvs, game systems, 3 phones everything. I actually ripped out all the cat 5e when I moved in… because that stuff is from the stone ages…

  20. Barrister: We’re pretty aggressive savers, but because we haven’t had maintenance costs, property taxes, etc. we have been able to take more vacations and eat out more frequently than we would if we owned. We’re not living some sort of high life and spending every extra dime, but we’re not financially stressed in the way that I see that many owners are.

    My mistake (and it was mine, not my partner’s) is that I was trying to time the market. I was sure that if we just waited another year or two or three we would hit a time when we could buy a house at a steep discount. I’m not just trying to complain or to feel sorry for myself here – I was just saying that I agree with the idea of making smart real estate decisions but that sometimes you just can’t outsmart the market.

  21. We bought our place in the core three years ago. We moved from LA and at the time wondered why houses were so cheap up here. Obviously prices have almost doubled since.

    Prices haven’t even close to doubled in the last three years?

  22. Dear Vic renter:

    We bought our place in the core three years ago. We moved from LA and at the time wondered why houses were so cheap up here. Obviously prices have almost doubled since. Don’t have a crystal ball but with the baby boomers retiring in droves I dont expect any massive drop in prices any time soon. But one never knows.

    Considering that a paid off house is often the principal repository of retirement funds I am a little surprised to think that renting freed up “extra play money”. i would have thought that any “extra” money saved by renting would have been either set aside for a bigger down payment or alternatively put into retirement savings. How much do you need for retirement? I will pass on my fathers words of advice. Figure out what you annual living expenses are now. Multiply by 30 (you might well live into your nineties.) Figure out how many more years of working you have left (65 minus your age) Divide the first number by years of work left. That is how much you should be saving each year. If the number scares you, it should. And before you think you spend less after retirement you generally dont. While you are at it check out the annual cost per person of a quality nursing home.

    What is more likely than a crash in real estate prices is an increase in mortgage rates. At present I have four friends that have just started looking in the core for a retirement house. All of them can write a check for two million cash without blinking and also before selling their Toronto homes.
    My point is that they are the buyers who are looking at the core today. Interest rates will not affect them.

    The good news is that the next generation should start inheriting some serious money about five to ten years from now.

  23. What CuriousCat said….it can be done with relative ease via self YouTube training or you can go route of electrician (that knows the basics of networking) or computer tech too.

    Mistake I made on my house is only having one media panel. I have so much equipment in it now that I can’t close it anymore and crap is hanging out -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo_JiomwI60

  24. @numbers hack
    A couple years ago Rona was clearing out their network stuff so we bought 500ft of Cat5e cable for like $16. I figured out how many outlets we wanted, bought a patch panel from Rona and a crimper on Amazon I believe, watched a couple youtube videos and then we started running cable. The basic concept is this: internet from pole comes into the house to Telus modem in my garage. I have a little room here with a shelf to hold the Telus modem, a switch and my router. (You could use the Telus modem exclusively, but I prefer using my Linksys as it gives me a few more slots.) Drilled the patch panel into the wall (or in our case, a piece of plywood). Ran cable throughout the house, each cable ending at the patch panel. Then each slot on the patch panel then needs a separate cat5 cable to run to a switch or two (again, depends on how many outlets). The switch is like an extension of the modem. If you only had one outlet, you could just plug it directly in the modem, but I have something like 14, so it goes from patch panel, to switch, to modem. (Think of the switch like a hub). The switch needs a power source as well. I will try and see if I can figure out how to post a picture of our setup.

  25. Entomologist, I second Bernhardt. They did my office and did a great job. Architect Greg Damant is a good option, LEEDS certified. I believe he works with Bernhardt.

  26. @Entomologist – Definitely go for a PH if you can. You can find a list of energy specialists at http://www.passivehousecanada.com/ although I’d recommend getting in touch with Torsten at City Green Solutions.

    Bernhardt contracting has built several Passive houses, although I don’t think it would be a problem for another eager builder. Designers are tough – personally, I’d forego one and research it yourself. Find a bunch of houses you like and mix/match.

    People are busy right now so be prepared to wait.

  27. @Numbers Hack
    I suspect you’d get good advice from one of those ‘Dial a Geek’ type services. Describe your issue, and see what they suggest.

  28. @Numbers hack – you can borrow my crimpers or buy your own. Easy to throw ends on those cables and then plug them into a switch.

  29. So having aggressively paid down our mortgage the past 4 years, we’re now at the point of wanting to build a new house.
    I’d be curious to hear people’s thoughts on favorited designers. We’re interested in a passive house possibly, or at least a very high efficiency home with a contemporary style. Any thoughts out there?

  30. @numbers hack

    Might want to call one of the local IT companies. Depends on what you want to do. If they are just data, then crimping ends and plugging them all into a switch should do. Then you can plug your router into the switch.

    If some will be used with baluns, then you’ll need a patch panel. If they are raw (no rj45 connectirs) I’d suspect the plan was a patch panel with some ports being used for data, others for av, security etc.

    Some electricians might be able to deal with that, but definitely not all. I mean, they’ll be able punch down the wires in a patch panel, but I’d assume you want some advice and it made functional. Definitely up the alley of anyone that does network infrastructure or even a more advanced AV installer.

    Home automation job that was never finished?

  31. Sorry a tad off base.
    Does anybody know a good electrician or handyman that could set up a home ethernet network. I have about 25 naked cat5 wires going into my basement and I have no idea what to do Haha. Can’t find anything on craigslist and bestbuy Has no idea

  32. “There are a lot of systemic issues in the market right now that put it beyond my comfort zone. Unfortunately, a lot of young families and others who don’t have an understanding of the risks have bought beyond their means and they might/will suffer for it.”

    I agree, Bitterbear. But then I’m also one of the people who thought about all of this way too hard for too many years and am now unable to live in any of the neighbourhoods that I’d hoped to live in. I could have afforded something in those neighbourhoods up until this year but sitting on the fence hoping for a crash all that time means that I can’t anymore. (Like you I’ve had a great lifestyle due to the money freed up by renting.) I’m still waiting but it’s now mostly because we can’t find a house we like at a reasonable price that doesn’t need major work practically anywhere in any of our secondary core neighbourhoods. We’re two professionals who don’t want to be in a car all the time, so the core is for us. It’s tough out there.

  33. A whole new months worth of statistics to tear apart. By the way, I do appreciate and find helpful a lot of the comments on this site.

    One of the things that has become clear is that the single principle driver behind house prices particularly in the core and the Saanach peninsule are retireees from the rest of the country.It is not just the number of extra purchasors every month it is also the amount of cash available to them that boasts prices.

    Someone is now going to point out the vast majority of people who retire in Toronto or Vancouver have no interest in moving to Victoria. This is absolutely true. But one has to remember that the GTa has about six million people a good portion of whom are baby boomers reaching retirement age.
    If three percent of those retiring decide to move to Victoria we are talking a fairly large number each month. The simple fact of the matter is that the huge grey haired gang that you see in Victoria are by and large not locals.I have been surprised at the number of Toronto lawyers that I have run into in Victoria. You are obviously not talking huge numbers but what is significant is that most of them can write a cheque for a couple of million without blinking. As one guy put it, the house in Uplands cost me half of what my downtown condo sold for; it was cheap.

    Leaving foreigners out of the equation for the moment, it strikes me that retirees account for the disconnect between prices and wages here in Victoria.

  34. Good on you Barrister. I also made money in real estate, but when I moved to Victoria, I decided the down risks were too great. Would I have made money had I bought when I came? Yes. But I would not have been able to provide my kids with a great education both in school and out. That was my choice and I have no regrets in that regard.

    My issue with real estate is that people need to consider whether it is still a good investment and to do that they have to cut through a whole lot of marketing spin, bad data and misinformation. There are a lot of systemic issues in the market right now that put it beyond my comfort zone. Unfortunately, a lot of young families and others who don’t have an understanding of the risks have bought beyond their means and they might/will suffer for it.

  35. @Gwac
    You and me both. Don’t care about biking, but oh what I wouldn’t give to not have so many busybodies so close to me.

  36. Where one chooses to spend ones money is certainly an individual choice, but a house has usual been the single best investment that most people make that provides a strong investment for one latter years.
    If nothing else the fact that there is no capital gains on a principle residence means that it is one of the only investments that can best weather inflation.

    It may not be everyone’s choice of where to spend their money but it should at least be taken into consideration by everyone. Personally, I made more money on real estate than I did working and that is in spite of working twelve hour days most of my life. But the beauty of this country is that one gets to make choices. I just wish that people would not complain about were their choices lead them.

  37. Hawk not going to speculate. I want 10 acre land
    to build on and live. I want some chickens and grow some own food and so on. Still want to be able to bike downtown.

  38. Marko, houses have become luxury items too. I’d way rather spend my money doing things than sitting in it. And BTW, our three cars are a 2001 Suzuki wagon, a 2002 Cavelier and our “new” car is a 2009 Prius. None of us drive Teslas.

  39. Hawk

    I do not wear spandex. I biked 8000 km this year and not 1 km in spandex. I have a very expensive comfortable seat. :).

    I love to pick up 10 acres plus land within 30 minutes of Victoria. Sub 500k. So a little correction would be nice. I doubt we will see it. Just the typical pause and go 100kph and pause and go.

  40. Sure gwac, you wouldn’t be wasting your time calling me doom and gloom like all the other pumpers and industry types if you weren’t secretly worried about the same imploding market happening here. $500K buys you a lot of spandex. 😉

  41. Seems Tally ho hotel has shut quickly. Bar still open.
    The Facebook quote says employees lockout and all guests have left. Any idea anyone???

  42. Marko
    Agreed. I may have mentioned Mount Washington in a casual way but I am well aware that I am lucky to have time, money and health to be able to do things like that. I hope I wasn’t implying that I regarded that as a “need” or a “birthright”.

    That said in my life I have witnessed things that were regarded as luxuries become “near essentials”. This would include second cars, air conditioning on houses, multiple TVs, more than three bedrooms for a family of four, annual getaways to somewhere warm, multiple concurrent extra-curricular activities for kids, en suite bathrooms, the list goes on……

  43. Mount Washington has been mentioned twice today like it is a normal activity, I guess for our North American society it is. I am not even that old and I remember when I was 9-10 years old in Croatia spending time on my grandfather’s farm. We would stuff bags with hay, walk to the nearest hill, drag the bags up the hill and slide down the hill. It was fun. You had to be somebody to afford skis, let alone be able to drive to Austria (distance from Victoria to Mount Washington) to use a chair lift somewhere.

    The dogs, boats, multiple cars, all extreme luxury items facilitated by an extremely high level of living standard. To complain that you can’t fit all these luxury items into a condo is a bit backwards in my opinion.

  44. So both you and your wife have to get jobs near each other. If one of you have to get another job then you either sell the house or only take jobs near where you work.

    Not complicated. Buy central. Good chance you will be close to future jobs. Consider the toll the commute might take before moving to a new job that’s far away. Or be an entrepreneur that can set your own location of work. There is lots of research that proves the basic point that commuting sucks.

    Here’s a very basic sampling
    https://blog.personalcapital.com/financial-planning-2/surprising-costs-commute/

  45. Keep your head in the sand gwac and don’t read the news. Places like yours are getting hacked to pieces in Van but can never happen here cause : fill in the excuses…..Check out the reporters MLS posts or just go have another valium. Vancouver is collapsing while you pumpers talk about biking FFS.

  46. Let me see if I got this straight; buy a house near work. So both you and your wife have to get jobs near each other. If one of you have to get another job then you either sell the house or only take jobs near where you work.

    I guess buying a house near your job works if you have one of those wonderful government jobs where you never get let go when the company downsizes. On the other hand constantly moving every few years would be great for the real estate industry.

  47. Looks like the seasonal lull is over. T’was a great chance to get a deal on VicRE & some Euro equities (ie. HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse…) We should now rise again into next summer.

  48. Cars are needed. No options

    Lots of driving is necessary, especially for longer distance intercity travel. Other options are just too crappy to be viable. The way I look at it is that if you could get just 20% of current trips in the city that are most easily replaced with biking, transit, and walking over to those modes then the road experience would improve for all users, money could be saved on infrastructure and people would be fitter to boot.

    I’m certainly not going to be holier than thou about it. My family owns a car and we drive when we need to. You won’t find me taking the kids to Mount Washington in the cargo bike, but the cargo bike and a bit of effort makes it a simple choice to live with one car and only rent another on the very rare occasions we need two cars. Saves a pile of money if you can replace at least one car with bikes and transit.

  49. When the $300 to $500K price slashes hit here soon like in Van right now, there will be lots less traffic as the second cars get sold and bikers and bus pass sales increase.

  50. I bike to work or bus if it’s really lousy or I have too much to carry, so I have the moral high ground just like the rest of you. But I have a husband that works on the ferries, so he needs a car. My kids activities take them to Elk Lake at 5 am, Tofino, Mount Washington and Whistler. Cars are needed. No options. Maybe living big is one of the privileges of not spending gross amounts of monthly income on a mortgage.

  51. cheap suburb houses around hillside mall going for a fortune boggles the mind.

    Who is buying these places? I’d think that’s out of the price range of your first time buyer. Even if you are two young professionals it’s a big chunk of your income.

    Is it mainly people already in the market moving up/down?

    A family making median in Victoria can’t afford most of Saanich East. Quickly looking at a mortgage calc, 88K qualifies you for around 500K (plus whatever down payment you have scraped together). So.. what? Maybe 600K? Then with a suite they can maybe stretch to 700K depending on the lender?

    Not something I’d feel comfortable signing myself in for with that kind of income. Apparently people are doing it though (from the reports of how close your avg canuck is to insolvency).

  52. Caveat: “Then there is making a bit of effort to walk or bike the kids to school. I live 1 km from the neighbourhood school and I am always shocked to see people that live even closer than me piling the kids into the car to avoid the otherwise exhausting 800 metre walk.”

    I was just talking about this with my friend last night! Her kids go to Rogers Elementary and the situation of parents driving to school has become so bad, the school sent out the following email:

    From: “Rogers Elementary” notifications@schoolconnectsweb.com
    Date: September 26, 2016 at 1:08:19 PM PDT
    To: Parents
    Subject: Rogers – Traffic in surrounding neighbourhood
    Reply-To: sinnes@sd61.bc.ca

    Parking and Traffic in the surrounding neighbourhoods

    Traffic volume to and from the school is heaviest during drop off and pick up times and this is also the case in our neighbouring communities. As many of you know the residents of the roundabout on Rogers Way have become increasingly frustrated by the amount of people parking illegally in the roundabout during pick up and drop off times. They have had their driveways blocked and property parked on repeatedly. In some cases this has led to damaged gardens and irrigation systems. Through my discussions with the residents of Rogers Way the impression I have is that they would have less concerns and frustration if drivers were following the bylaws and posted signs that are in the area.

    So please keep in mind that if you are parking in the neighbouring community you must obey the street signs that are posted and be mindful of these Saanich Parking Bylaws:

    · No parking within 1.5 m of a driveway
    · No parking on sidewalk or boulevard
    · No parking on the roadway side of a vehicle stopped or parked at the edge of a curb of a street

    If you are mindful of these bylaws and the posted signs you will see that there should not be any parking in the roundabout on Rogers Way except for the designated stalls. You will find ample designated parking spots further along Rogers Way and down Rogers Lane.

    Ultimately, the solution to the traffic volume problem is to have less vehicles on the road but I understand that it is not always an option for families. It is vitally important then that as drivers we are adhering to the laws and bylaws that exist.

    I have requested that Saanich Police increase their presence to help improve the situation on Rogers Way but if improvement doesn’t occur quickly I can imagine that we will see ticketing of vehicles that are parked illegally.

    So please give yourself extra time in the mornings and afternoons, park legally and respect the property of our neighbours and our neighbourhood. We want to make sure that arriving and leaving school is safe for all our students, families and neighbours.

    As always if you have any questions please feel free to contact me here at the school.

    Sincerely,

    Scott Thomas

    srthomas@sd61.bc.ca

  53. Pretty lame answer considering most people don’t want to live very close to work so they can separate their lives from it, and kid demands always involves travel of some sort in all types of weather. Denying your kid life experiences and activities/sports just to try and save the planet and pack them all on bikes is ridiculous and not realistic but it’s your kids, not mine.

    Living within a 5km radius of work ensures you a pretty easy bike ride of at most 7.5 km. For my fairly typical office location that 5 km radius includes 100% of Esquimalt and Victoria, most of Oak Bay and solid chunks of View Royal and Saanich, so living “close” to work is hardly a difficult criteria to satisfy even on a limited budget. It’s true that having kids tends to equate to more driving but it is surprising how many activities can be found close at hand. Minimizing driving then becomes a matter of choosing from the plethora of available activities and sports, ones that are closer at hand. Then there is making a bit of effort to walk or bike the kids to school. I live 1 km from the neighbourhood school and I am always shocked to see people that live even closer than me piling the kids into the car to avoid the otherwise exhausting 800 metre walk.

  54. All iPhones that have Google Maps open and Android phones that have location services turned on send anonymous bits of data back to Google. This allows the company to analyze the total number of cars, and how fast they’re going, on a road at any given time.

    Google maps has had this for years. I mainly use it on longer trips however, as I have no need usually to check a map, and then again when I’m stuck in traffic at an unexpected spot to try and find a way around, or if I’m just curious as to how bad the problem is.

    I consider myself very lucky that I do not need to deal with the Colwood crawl, or ferry traffic, or much of any traffic, really. My boss has allowed me to work from home exclusively for the last 8 years and actually brings the work to me on the weekends or when he’s in the area. My husband commutes by bike to his job everyday, rain or shine, sans spandex, and my son takes a bus home from school. For some reason, my area (Gorge between Tillicum/Admirals) doesn’t seem to inspire much envy from most people, but I think where I live is awesome! The Gorge walkway is a beautifully landscaped, well cared for 2km gem with a brand new bathroom smack in the middle of it, amenities close by, 10 min bus ride to downtown, convenient access to the TCH, rec centre/movie theatre/arena/library just 1 km away… it’s perfect for us! Ticks all the boxes. I have noticed that prices of SFHs in the area have increased by about 20% in the last year, so maybe some people are starting to take notice?

  55. “Perhaps, but only because they’ve designed their life in such a way that the only practical way is to drive their cars. They’ve bought a house too far from work. They’ve enrolled their kids in activities too far from work and home, and they’ve bought heavy expensive toys that need to be carted around in a car.”

    I don’t think this is entirely fair. When I was looking to buy a place, the housing stock overwhelmingly consisted of single family dwellings and condos. There didn’t seem to be a whole lot in between; very few townhouses, and very few duplexes. The “cheap” single family dwellings reasonably close to town were what people here label “junk” – 40s and 50s bungalows in need of maintenance, on busy roads, etc. The upgraded stuff was pretty unaffordable.

    I don’t disagree entirely. People make it difficult on themselves when they own 2 trucks, a boat, and a 5th wheel. Off to Langford you go. But for those of us who would prefer to stay close to town and not be totally car dependent and not be totally house poor, there aren’t that many options. We could use more “middle of the road” housing stock like row-housing, town houses, duplexes, etc. Langford, for all its flaws, seems to do a decent job at getting a variety of housing types built. Victoria, in my opinion, does not.

  56. “Perhaps, but only because they’ve designed their life in such a way that the only practical way is to drive their cars. They’ve bought a house too far from work. They’ve enrolled their kids in activities too far from work and home, and they’ve bought heavy expensive toys that need to be carted around in a car.
    Those things are all under your control. ”

    Pretty lame answer considering most people don’t want to live very close to work so they can separate their lives from it, and kid demands always involves travel of some sort in all types of weather. Denying your kid life experiences and activities/sports just to try and save the planet and pack them all on bikes is ridiculous and not realistic but it’s your kids, not mine.

    Many people can’t ride a bike to begin with and most are scared shitless of getting hit by the typical shitty driver. It’s almost a weekly occurrence as of late.

  57. “Sam Cooper ‏@scoopercooper 8 minutes ago
    Markdowns of 300 to 500 k all over east side #VanRE”

    Looks like the last of the suckers is getting hosed in Victoria for a couple hundred grand while the smart ones are dumping as fast they can in Vancouver. That’s some serious slashing.

    The perma-bulls are all going to need a pair of those “padded spandex” when this is all over and won’t be from the bicycle seat. 😉

    BTW Jack, could you post a warning before you post stuff like that ? Something like “Please swallow coffee before reading” ? 😉

  58. How does that work. Where is traffic data coming from. Is my iPhone secretly sending info as I wait to Google?

    Yes, if you are running Google Maps.
    If you use Android, your location is shared with Google for this purpose whether you like it or not.
    On the iPhone you can disable location sharing (to Apple) by going into Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> System Services -> Routing and Traffic to off.

  59. Leo

    That will happen when someone gets killed. The latest issue on the goose/lockside is idiots with their 1000 lumen lights coming on other bikers and walkers. Idiots.

  60. @Marko Juras – “Notes from a realtor on a house in Gordon Head that just went for $186,000 over asking…”

    Maybe you’re not at liberty to answer, but was this the one on Penshurst listed at $650K? I thought that one seemed like a low price, especially given the 9000 sq.ft. lot, unless Victoria prices were indeed dropping. If it went for $836K, that may even be more than it would have gone for a few months ago.

  61. The problem with the Goose and Lochside are they aren’t commuter routes, they are recreational trails. So you have a mix of slow moving and fast moving people (generally pedestrians and cyclists)

    Agreed. They need to widen it, and make one side exclusively for bikes, and the other exclusively for pedestrians.

    What they should do is convert one of the sidewalks on Shelbourne into a bike lane. Or something/ Anything really.

    They are. http://www.saanich.ca/EN/main/community/community-planning/centre-corridor-plans/shelbourne-valley-action-plan.html

    I ride shelbourne sometimes, but certainly not with the kids, and only on the electric bike where I can almost pace traffic.

  62. @BitterBear

    I have two teenagers, three cars, a boat, a dog and a piano. How is a condo going to help me?

    Who’s fault is that? 🙂

    @Just Jack

    I’m glad that you are fortunate enough and healthy enough to commute by bike but for most people using a bike everyday is not practical.

    Perhaps, but only because they’ve designed their life in such a way that the only practical way is to drive their cars. They’ve bought a house too far from work. They’ve enrolled their kids in activities too far from work and home, and they’ve bought heavy expensive toys that need to be carted around in a car.
    Those things are all under your control. We’ve deliberately designed our life not to require regular driving, and so we don’t. The majority could do the same, they just chose not to.

    I left there because people were getting rude and the traffic was getting bad. Much like Victoria is becoming today.

    Definitely Victoria is not the quaint small town it used to be. And it will never return to being that.

  63. How does that work. Where is traffic data coming from. Is my iPhone secretly sending info as I wait to Google?

    iPhone is opt-in. Android is opt-out. So you are default off. Though maybe it changed on android, my latest OS update it asked some permissions about location data. It’s all anonymised (or for you tin-foil hatters, they claim it’s anonymised).

    Apparently they use some other sources, like Local highway authorities (road sensors). I don’t think our traffic counters give out real time data. Heck, I think someone has to go pull data off them manually and feed it into a db. Maybe in a more advanced city, like Nanaimo. 😀

    I’m sure they use a bunch of less reliable sources as well, but weigh them against the phone data they have. E.g. twitter.

  64. The two houses for sale in my hood (Mt Tolmie) are languishing. They are not underpriced that is for sure. The one will have another open house this weekend. I guess no one is biting at $900k for an old war box across from the school in a neighbourhood that has no sidewalks…. The other house is over a million for half a lot on the corner with a new particle board and MDF box put on it…. It’s been for sale since I moved in.
    I can understand high prices in OB and Fairfield etc where there are nice sidewalks, mature trees, beautiful houses, walk ability, bike ability etc. Small inventory for the highest desirability. True Gorden head even (thanks Leo for setting my boundaries) because there are larger lots, more nature, closer to beaches but these cheap suburb houses around hillside mall going for a fortune boggles the mind. It’s not like Microsoft is headquartered hear or something….

  65. Marko

    How does that work. Where is traffic data coming from. Is my iPhone secretly sending info as I wait to Google

    I went up island this summer and I saw a red blockage coming up literally in the middle of no where on the open road. Sure enough there was an accident as I got to the red part. There would be no road sensors or anything of that nature in that area. So must be collecting GPS data off other people’s cellphones is the only conclusion I can come to. It is surprisingly accurate, like it will pick up congestion on the highway from a ferry offloading.

    Fortunately very few people have it so often you’ll see a 5-6 kilometer backup on the Pat Bay to Sayward and Cordova Bay Road is wide open. Once everyone has it people will clog Cordova Bay Road 🙂

  66. Marko

    How does that work. Where is traffic data coming from. Is my iPhone secretly sending info as I wait to Google? 🙂

  67. A few years ago MIT’s Technology Review had an article proposing overhead bikeways in clear plastic tubes (unfortunately, I cannot find it on the Web). But here’s a picture that gives you the idea.

    Seems the ideal solution. And as someone commented, there could be fans installed to provide commuters a tailwind. In fact, one could dispense with the bikes, with a good following wind, you’d just need a skateboard or roller blades and you be whisked to work faster than all those losers in cars clogging the highway.

    And here’s another overhead biking solution. Should be great as long as you have a head for heights.

  68. Notes from a realtor on a house in Gordon Head that just went for $186,000 over asking…

    “As of noon Thursday we have over 20 realtors who will be writing offers. PLS EMAIL OFFERS TO….”

    Both clients that emailed me about the property I just laid it out for them. Unless you are prepared to go $150,000 over asking and unconditional we are all wasting our time going to view this home. Fortunately, both of my clients listed to me and I didn’t have to show it.

    The obvious under listing is starting to become super annoying. 19 people wasted their time writing offers in this case.

  69. Thanks, CuriousCat and LeoM, for your insights.

    UVic students renting suites in my neighbourhood this semester seem to each own a vehicle, unlike in semesters past.

  70. then you go on to say that Victoria has relatively bad traffic for a town of its size. Relative to what other city?

    I should refine that to say that the traffic is only relatively bad for the approximately 20% (70,000) of the regional population that lives on the West Shore and then only if they have to regularly commute into the core. For folks living in the core or the Peninsula traffic is really not bad at all.

    Relative to what other cities? One similar size town I can think of that has way easier traffic than Victoria is Regina. I think the easy geography explains that.

    Now that I think about it I can actually think of some town much smaller than Greater Vic that have somewhat bad traffic. Kelowna would be an example (mainly if your commute crosses the lake).

  71. “Padded shorts” circumcised or non circumcised? It’s for the benefit of the people of the coffee shop when you straddle in. I won five bucks the last time a cyclist walked in. Camel toes are even money.

  72. I ride my roadbike w/ “clicky” shoes and spandex. The shorts are padded, it takes the “raped by my bike seat” feeling away. Seems like you’re the one w/ the holier than thou attitude by the way, since you can’t stand people like me. I’m just enjoying myself on my morning commute.

  73. Because Oak Bay is such a small part of the marketplace that is affordable to such a small group of buyers it does not provide a reasonable or reliable view of the marketplace as a whole.

    Oak Bay prices have been the most volatile over the past year with median price swings as large as 20% from month to month. Some buyers are not as constrained by wealth as the rest of the world and they will pay over market value because that extra money has little meaning in their lives. They’re 80 years old with ten million in the bank. Are they going to worry about over paying by $200,000?

    Oak Bay is one of the more difficult areas to estimate market value or as I explain to people that call up for an appraisal. “I appraise market value – not crazy value” and that means I have to discard some of the sales as not being reflective of market conditions as they don’t meet the definition of market value. And that means a good chunk of those sales by delayed offers are tossed from any analysis for not being reasonable and reliable.

  74. Not since 2007 have we had a year of such low months of inventory and low days-on-market. Yet prices have remained stable due to the increase in new listings that have come to market during the year.

    The months of inventory for most of this year was under 2 months. This morning it stands at 2.59 for all types and all areas which is the second highest MOI since January when it was 4.0. The DOM is similar, for most of the year it has remained under 16 days. Well below that of January when it was 35 days. Currently it stands at the third highest for the year at 17.

    The big surprise has been the sudden increase in sales and new listings this year that peaked in April and May and have decelerated steeply since then. And today we are back to historical norms after experiencing a bubble in demand and supply that lasted for about 6 months. The rise was one of the strongest in the last decade but so has been the decline.

    On the way up prices typically increase rapidly when market factors are accelerating but when market factors are decelerating, prices tend to moderate lower over a longer period.

    And that seems to be what is happening

    Month Sale Price, Median all properties and all areas
    Jan $454,250
    Feb $491,500
    Mar $509,500
    Apr $536,000
    May $505,000
    Jun $505,500
    Jul $508,500
    Aug $489,900
    Sep $511,000

  75. Barrister,

    Over the last 6-8 months or so I’ve been using a quick-glance anecdotal benchmark on realtor.ca – 4+ br 2+ bath (ie family) house in the area bound by Cook, Fort, Oak Bay and the Water – essentially Fairfield, Gonzales and South Oak Bay. I’m not saying there’s not other places to live, it’s just an area that’s easy to look at that I’m familiar with.

    I go up in increments of $100k in the price bracket and see what’s in that range. It seems to be the most expensive it’s been there yet, given that there’s nothing that shows up until you look over $800k. At $0-$900k there’s one house – on St Patrick at $899k. From $0-$1M there’s four houses.

    If you decide to squeeze your family into three bedrooms (highly do-able) and two baths (with kids two baths is almost required) for the sake of affordability, there’s nothing under $800k, two under $900k and six under $1M.

    Such choice for a working family…if you don’t have hot money from somewhere else, good luck with that. It’s pretty grim out there, and other areas aren’t much better. Check out all that quality available in Fernwood/Oaklands. There’s no wonder good houses what would traditionally be seen as more affordable areas are commanding higher prices, because Fairfield/Gonzales/S. Oak Bay seem out of reach for even two young professionals now.

  76. I might be imagining it, but there seems to be a lot more listings in Oak Bay and Fairfield than I have seen in a while? The number in Uplands seems to have at least doubled and the same in south Oak Bay. Rockland has added a few as well.

    Is this common for the end of September?

  77. The monthly stats should be here in a few days and it will be interesting to see what picture they paint.

    I could be mistaken but I dont think that there is a high concentration of jobs in the inner core unlike cities like Toronto. In fact, it was the successful fight to prevent the destruction of “old town” Victoria that has made this city a tourist magnet. But that probably speaks against the utility of train that goes downtown.

    The simple question is where are the people from Langford actually travelling in the morning? My suspicion is that many of the jobs are dispersed over the whole Saanich peninsula.

  78. Why do you give a shit if someone parks in front of your house, assuming of course that you have a driveway and you park your two and a half cars there?
    If you get a ticket for parking on a grass boulevard, just throw it in the trash like everyone else.

  79. Saanich has a bylaw that prohibits parking on grass boulevards. In many neighbourhoods in Saanich the grass Boulevard goes right up to the paved street. If someone is parking on the grass Boulevard in front of your house you can call the Saanich parking bylaw officer; he won’t answer the phone so leave a message. He usually arrives within 90 minutes after you leave a message and he almost always tickets the car parked in grass boulevards. Section 16 of the following bylaw prohibits parking on boulevards. The term “Boulevard” is defined in section 1.

    If there’s no grass growing on your Boulevard then buy a big bag of grass seed at Costco and spread it now.

    Saanich will also issue you a permit to landscape the boulevard in front of your house:

    http://www.saanich.ca/assets/Local~Government/Documents/Bylaws~and~Policies/boulevards-management-bylaw-1982-no-4806.pdf

  80. LeoM,
    You sound like one of those dick bikers who rides down Shelbourne dictating traffic in bad spandex. How’s the window peeping lately ? Keeping track of whose who in the hood I’m sure. 😉

  81. Hawk said: “So you’re one of those dick bikers who rides down Shelbourne dictating traffic”

    Hawk, bikers have the same legal rights to use the roads as people who drive cars; it’s the law.

    Hawk you sound like one of those hypocrites Barrister was alluding to who complain about things that don’t fit into their personal agenda; people who contravene laws/bylaws that don’t suit them but then hypocritically complain about other people who contravene other laws/bylaws.

  82. And another…

    Jane 2014-08-17 17:13
    Hi there,
    We own a corner lot in Cordova Bay. Our neighbour across the road from us has decided that he prefers to park his two vehicles on the side of the road that is attached to our property rather than use his side of the road or his 6 car driveway. Are there any bylaws / time limits about parking on residential streets?
    Thank you,
    Jane

    SAANICH POLICE RESPONSE:

    Jane,

    There are not any bylaws that dictate where one may park their vehicle on the roadway, as far as only in front of your own property. Saanich bylaws are posted on their website http://www.saanich.ca.

    We have received a few similar questions, and all we can recommend is to have a conversation with your neighbour asking their courtesy, unless the manner of parking is creating a safety issue.

  83. here’s another one:

    Daryl 2014-10-09 15:59
    several of the houses around mine have suites they rent to university students. One house in particular has 4 or 5 cars that park on the rd (as do I and everyone else), these cars can stay parked for over a week at a time without moving and since there are so many they cause a real problem parking. Is there any length of time a car can stay parked without moving or any way to enforce that they at least try and park in front of their own home?

    SAANICH POLICE RESPONSE:

    Saanich has a bylaw that limits parking to 72 hours, at which time the vehicle must be moved. http://www.saanich.ca/living/pdf/traffic8382.pdf

    Firstly, we recommend you speak with your neighbours to attempt to find a solution – more organized parking that does not pose any obstruction/ris k. Failing this, feel free to contact our non-emergency line 250-475-4321 ext 4264 to make a report for parking enforcement to follow up.

  84. Wonder what “dan’s” internal logic around the no sidewalk being relevant was. They are parking on his property? (meaning the boulevard, which is not his property)

  85. Dan 2016-02-11 19:53
    Hi, I have a question about parking. On our street people park on street in front of houses where there is no sidewalk. Do people have a say who can park in front of their house or is it first come first serve?

    SAANICH POLICE RESPONSE:

    Unless signage states “Residential Only” or other similar restrictions, parking is open to all. Even with those signs, it would not prevent your neighbour, per se, from parking in front of your house.

  86. @ Marko

    Can you enlighten what the Realtor commissions are renting out a property? 3% + 1.5% gross amount of the lease? Thanks in advance

    Usually it is something like, but varies…

    2.5% net rent payable 1st 5 years, 1.25% thereafter to a max of 10 years,

  87. Introvert – I looked into this a couple years ago for my mother-in-law and got the answer from Saanich Police. No one owns any spot on a residential street. You can’t say the spot directly in front of your house is yours only. It’s basically first come, first served. You are not allowed to block anyone’s driveway, that’s about the only enforceable rule. Unfortunately this was not the answer my mother-in-law was hoping for, as they live on a small cul-de-sac directly across from a rental house with multiple tenants with many cars that keep taking the spot in front of my in-laws house. Of course, my inlaws have too many vehicles as well, so I don’t feel too badly for them, yet it is a hassle to visit as there are never any free spots on the road and backing out of the driveway is like threading a needle trying not to hit any of the parked vehicles.

  88. I believe Bingo is referring to on-site parking spaces, off street. Each municipality will indeed have minimum parking stall dimensions for use when calculating parking availability. So yes, as s/he points out, if you can’t prove you have enough spaces on site then you won’t be able to have a secondary suite, for example.

    Introvert, most municipalities will have regulations around how long one may park on street without moving the car. A 72 hour maximum is common. So, although I suspect you were being facetious, no your neighbour could not leave their two cars in front of your place for the rest of their lives. But I suppose they could park them there every day as long as it’s never for more than 72 hours (or whatever the local bylaws say) at a time. And you may do the same in front of their lot.

    So, while the municipality may require someone to prove that they have sufficient off-street parking to support a use as per the local zoning bylaw (ie, two spaces min. for a house plus one more for a secondary suite is typical in many municipalities), the local government has no authority to force you to use those spots (fortunately? unfortunately?).

    Two things: often inter-neighbour problems like you seem to be hinting at can be resolved by a knock on the door and a polite conversation. Just reminding the neighbour that it’s a bit annoying to see their cars out front every day can be enough. Alternatively, if they are forced to park on the street because they don’t have enough parking available on site, that could hint at an illegal use such as one or more unpermitted suites or some type of home business beyond what’s allowed. That type of thing can be helped by municipal intervention.

  89. What is considered a parking spot is quite explicit. There’s a minimum depth from the boulevard (essentially a driveway has to be able to fit a normal length vehicle completely within the property lines).

    I saw a place listed as having 4 parking spaces. As far as bylaws were concerned it barely had one legal spot. Also advertised as having an “inlaw” suite (so unregistered suite). Obviously unregistered, because good luck getting one registered with only one parking spot off street.

    Oh, but buyer to verify all info…. (realtor washes hands).

  90. Thanks for the reply, Infrequentposter. So if your neighbour decided to park his two cars in front of your house for the rest of his life, you would have no recourse?

  91. The extent to which homeowners “own” the street parking spots on the municipal boulevard fronting their property is zero. Sometimes you’ll see fake (childish?) ‘no parking’ signs made up and placed in front of someone’s property (several of these along Prospect Lake Road) or strategically placed planters or rocks as well. The effect of these is psychological rather than legal. And did I say childish? It strikes me as sort of a petty territoriality – it’s published property.

    This is separate from the “residential only” type signs Marko refers to, which are more on a neighbourhood scale rather than pertaining to and individuals frontage.

  92. You say the comparison is ludicrous then you go on to say that Victoria has relatively bad traffic for a town of its size. Relative to what other city?

    I traveled from the Knight Street bridge in Vancouver to Langley City in the same time it takes me to get from Victoria to Langford during their respective rush hours. But then they don’t put traffic lights on their highways to back the traffic up for a mile.

  93. Shelbourne is a no go zone for me.

    Agreed. I’d rather bike the hills on Cedar Hill Road, or detour over to Henderson. Or if I was going all the way to Mount Doug (from Fairfield) I’d go for the 10 minutes longer but ten times more pleasant route through downtown and along the Lochside. The only parts of Shelbourne I ever ride are north of Feltham and south of Haultain

  94. Re: comparison between Victoria traffic and LA and Vancouver.

    The comparison is ludicrous, but I would say that Victoria seems to have relatively bad traffic for a city of it’s small size because almost everything in and out is on a few routes. If you want really fast traffic over long distances you build freeways, which obviously Victoria has only done to a very limited extent. And building a lot of freeways really kills the charm of cities.

    In the big picture the commutes here aren’t that bad. Yes it does suck a bit for the relative minority of people that live in Langford or beyond and must commute at prime hours to the heart of downtown. But Vancouver has way more people doing longer commutes than that.

  95. Ha ha. Rotterdam doesn’t have the climate for it at all. It rains every day and it’s windy every day so you are always riding up a hill. Seems to change direction on you so you seemingly never have it at your back. Very busy bike paths. But when it’s easier to hop on the bike to go the the grocery store then drive, that’s what you do…. even if it’s raining.

  96. “So you’re one of those dick bikers who rides down Shelbourne dictating traffic flow instead of taking a parallel side street.”

    That’s the problem with Shelbourne – between Mt Doug Park and Lansdowne, there aren’t any parallel side streets. Coming into town, on the left between Mt Doug park and Cedar Hill X, there are no alternatives as that area is occupied by UVIC and the Gordon head street maze. South of Cedar Hill X, there’s Richmond but that is very hilly and requires a detour up and down a very steep hill at the foot of Mt Tolmie. SMU is in the way of any of the smaller roads between there and Landsdowne. On the right, there is only Cedar Hill, which is far too hilly for most cyclists and ends with pretty steep hills coming onto Cook street. Once at Lansdowne, cyclists generally go over to Scott and then Haultain and into town from there where they are out of the way.

    What they should do is convert one of the sidewalks on Shelbourne into a bike lane. Or something/ Anything really. I’m a cyclist and Shelbourne between cedar hill cross and Lansdowne at rush hour is the most dangerous and generally unavoidable street in the city bar none.

  97. I for one am thanking the stars I have the Goose at my future home so I won’t need to live the crawl. People will use them once they become everywhere and connected. to fight them is fundamentally the wrong thing to do…

    I’m all for proper bike routes and protected lanes. It has been shown to work elsewhere and Victoria (arguably) has the climate for it. Riding year round is definitely doable.

    The problem with the Goose and Lochside are they aren’t commuter routes, they are recreational trails. So you have a mix of slow moving and fast moving people (generally pedestrians and cyclists). It has only resulted in a few incidents so far, but as people get fed up with traffic and adopt cycling more things will only get worse.

    Might be as easy as widening the trail slightly and changing markings, but as it stands it’s not a proper commuter route.

  98. Protected bike lanes work. I lived in Rotterdam and they made that city livable. They make a huge difference. Busses don’t almost kill you is a big one. Why to they love to pass bikes with mm to spare? But another one is subtle. I find riding with cars is doable in nice weather but add rain, and it rains almost every day in Rotterdam, and the equation changes dramatically. The audio experience alone of riding in traffic with vehicles in the rain is just too threatening and uncomfortable. Shoot we would ride 20k on bikes with our son on his bike to school, through a major city! I would not do that here in lil’ol Victoria…. Protected bike lanes are the low hanging fruit to at least give people an out. I for one am thanking the stars I have the Goose at my future home so I won’t need to live the crawl. People will use them once they become everywhere and connected. to fight them is fundamentally the wrong thing to do…

  99. I think JJ has finally lost it…

    Ha!

    Yeah, I’ve lived in the lower mainland and travel to LA for work. Saying Victoria is half as bad is hyperbole. As bad or worse? Come on. Hoping to shy people away from moving to Victoria?

    It’d suck live in Langford, but I’ll take the Langford commute over any of the Vancouver bedroom communities or worse yet any of the LA bedroom communities.

  100. I ride a bike too. And I take the parallel streets and walk the bike across the pedestrian crossings. I don’t believe that the city should put bike lanes along the arterial roads when better bike routes can be laid out without having vehicles and bikes mixing together and crossing into each others lanes.

    Because I ride a bike I am more conscious of cyclists around me but some cyclists are real arses when it comes to sharing the road and rider etiquette. When I hear of a cyclist collision with a vehicle my first thought goes to the untrained, unlicensed cyclist as being the primary contributor. Because there are a lot of jerks that should not be riding in traffic without reflective gear and necessary safety equipment on their bikes.

  101. “816 Falkland back on market for the 3rd time this year! Sold in February and May.”

    Victoria, the new flippers paradise. Maybe the new auditors need to take a closer look around here, I’m sure it’s rampant for money laundering as much as Vancouver.

  102. From yesterday’s posts (28th): “Sale @ 4418 Tourquay this morning for $782,100 and purchased 23 months ago for $580,000.”

    It’s back on the market this morning (29th).

    You are right, something must have gone wrong with the unconditional contract very quickly after it was reported?

  103. Not to mention half of them aren’t wearing helmets anymore because it hurts their hipster image. Talk about brain dead.

  104. Bman

    That is funny. I refuse to wear spandex. I am MTB first so we hate the spandex crowd.

    On that note CRD thank you for giving us MT work. We took Partridge without asking so sorry about that.
    JJ would have a fucking heart attack if he saw the infrastructure they built us MTB at mt work this summer.

  105. The only downside I can see with getting more people out of their cars and into bikes would be the increase in spandex clad, click-y shoe wearing folks, with holier-than-thou opinions of the non-biking population.”

    Too funny Bman. If I have to see one more skinny assed old dude with hairy legs in spandex thinking he’s in the Olympic trials, I’ll gag.

  106. “I just came back from Vancouver. No way is their traffic worse than ours.”

    “I’ve also driven in L.A. which is a piece of cake compared to Victoria.”

    I think JJ has finally lost it…

  107. “Every time I read a lane is being taken away I smile at the though of those angry motorist. Shelborne this morning.”

    So you’re one of those dick bikers who rides down Shelbourne dictating traffic flow instead of taking a parallel side street. Amazing more haven’t been smoked. As an occasional biker I always take side streets to avoid being killed, but so many bikers have an attitude problem which only compounds the situation.

  108. The only downside I can see with getting more people out of their cars and into bikes would be the increase in spandex clad, click-y shoe wearing folks, with holier-than-thou opinions of the non-biking population.

  109. I said on wheels so no need for tracks. Either both rail track with droppable wheels (exists) or simply self driving electric trams on wheels and remove the tracks.

    Because we have self driving public transportation available to make that a reality? Yeah, one day. Not helpful in the meantime.

    Once we have self driving vehicles, then Victoria’s “awful” commute from Langford becomes moot. Hop in your car or order an Uber (or ride share, or whatever) and do some work, read, have a coffee. No need for a fixed time schedule tram.

  110. “That’s a real stinky attitude Gwac. Make others lives hell so you can ride your bike in peace.”

    A tad dramatic JJ.

  111. JJ

    Every time I read a lane is being taken away I smile at the though of those angry motorist. Shelborne this morning.

    1800 to 2500 rides at day leave or enter the goose counter daily. We need to get way more people on their bikes. Only way to do that is separate bike lanes. More bikers less issues for cars.

    The tide is going towards the bikers and that is not going to change.

    Lockside and the goose are a perfect example if you build it, it will be used.

  112. Seeing how busy the goose is in the morning there are many more enjoying the peaceful ride into work than only Gwac….

  113. @ JJ, our bike is electric and will hold two small kids and groceries no problem. Even has a rain cover for the bucket. Although expensive it’s much cheaper than a car.

  114. From yesterday’s posts (28th): “Sale @ 4418 Tourquay this morning for $782,100 and purchased 23 months ago for $580,000.”

    It’s back on the market this morning (29th).

  115. That’s a real stinky attitude Gwac. Make others lives hell so you can ride your bike in peace.

    How can anyone hate Montreal. The food is FANTASTIC. The people are friendly, attractive and happy and you get to speak and hear a second language that isn’t Mandarin. It’s a culture about family and friends. And that’s what people talk about, unlike Vancouver and Victoria where the conversation is all about what they own.

  116. @bingo I said on wheels so no need for tracks. Either both rail track with droppable wheels (exists) or simply self driving electric trams on wheels and remove the tracks.

  117. I just came back from Vancouver. No way is their traffic worse than ours. You can always get off the street and stop in for dinner and wait for the traffic to die down. Not here, once you’re on the highway you are there until you get to where you’re going. There are no options but to sit in your car and suffer.

    I’ve also driven in L.A. which is a piece of cake compared to Victoria. The traffic has an energy and just keeps moving. I’d snap on the cruise control between San Diego and L.A. and never have to brake for a car trying to squeeze in or have to make multiple lane changes to get to my destination. Here its go 3 feet and stop, wait, go five feet, stop wait.

    It’s neither a pleasure to drive in Vancouver or Victoria but Vancouver has well maintained and lots of roadways and plenty of places to stop.

  118. I think it’s been established that there is no single solution to the traffic problem. So here’s my little suggestion for something that would help:

    Let employees work from home if they can. How many provincial/federal/municipal/university employees, computer programmers, people employed in financial services, and other white collar-y sorts need to be physically present in an office between the hours of 9 to 5, Monday to Friday? I thought we were living in a post industrial age. So why do industrial age working arrangements persist?

    And while we’re at it, reduce everyone’s working hours. Why is the 8 hour work day standard? Most of us don’t do 8 hours of work a day anyway. Could also let people choose their hours of work. If you insist your employee must come to the office, why must your employee start at 8:30 everyday? Let them start at 9 or 10 there is nothing happening before then.

    Obviously this wouldn’t solve everything, but it would help reduce the number of people rushing from A to B at an arbitrary hour, and it would improve quality of life by freeing up time for first world pursuits like going to the gym, and going for hikes.

  119. JJ

    Maybe you should cash out and move to one of those wonderful little towns, Life is to short to live in such a horrible place 😉

    Oh ya that wonderful snow is always great for the already wonderful commute in Montreal and Toronto. LOL

  120. Lisa helps and Saanich thanks for the new bike lanes. Please keep taking away car lanes to make biking safer and accessible for the masses.

    I am sure JJ and Hawk will agree. 🙂

  121. Unlike Toronto, Victoria isn’t big enough to be an armpit of Canada. The best we can do is be that annoying piece of belly button lint.

    I enjoyed the time I briefly lived in Toronto. I found it exciting with lots of big money to be made. So I wouldn’t call the city an armpit. I loved Quebec, the people are warm and friendly and the small towns along the St. Lawrence are gorgeous. Fantastic heritage going back four hundred years.

    I lived for many years in Vancouver which is like living in a car wash. I left there because people were getting rude and the traffic was getting bad. Much like Victoria is becoming today.

    There are still some gems of smaller cities and towns in nice weather areas that haven’t been overrun by development. But then I don’t mind having four distinct seasons. I’d rather shovel snow in the sunshine than be stuck indoors during a rainstorm. What am I saying – I’d get a snow blower no one shovels snow anymore.

  122. “From now on every condo tower built lowers the quality of life of those that live in the city.”

    So many people who live in condos downtown have no car (and no parking spot available to acquire one), and so many of them also work downtown, that I doubt that they are typically the people who are degrading the quality of life in Victoria. As Marko suggested, living in a condo downtown close to where you work is the greenest housing solution possible. The problem lies with people living outside of Victoria but working in it. I highly doubt that many downtown condo dwellers make daily commutes out to the western communities.

    I also lived in Toronto for a few years and I loved it. But there, like here, I was a bike commuter and a transit rider. I wasn’t caught up in the horrible traffic. And in Toronto and now Vancouver the traffic is REALLY horrible. Other than the Colwood crawl, Victoria isn’t anywhere close to Toronto and Vancouver levels of traffic. We need to make sure that we keep it that way by encouraging density rather than sprawl and by promoting bikes and transit.

  123. JJ

    I have cars. I also choose a place to live that would allow me to bike. 25km a day.

    I use my cars a lot to come downtown go up island Costco. Traffic is fine.

    Only issue with traffic is in and out of Langford from 7:30 to 9 and 4 to 5;30. Sorry if you choose to live there and commute to Victoria than you have nothing to complain about. That is one reason why houses are cheaper. You make your choices live with them and stop complaining is my motto.

    The Government is not responsible for people`s out of the way choices.

    At 7am the streets are dead so the ambulance will be able to scrape my body up quickly. Thanks for the concern.

  124. When you can carry a family of three on your back to the grocery store or ballet classes while riding your bike in the rain then you then you can talk to me about traffic solutions.

    Or having to use a vehicle for work and daily traffic congestion that adds hours to your work day and raises the cost of doing business in the city.

    I’m glad that you are fortunate enough and healthy enough to commute by bike but for most people using a bike everyday is not practical. Let’s hope you don’t have a serious accident on your bike, because the ambulance will be caught in traffic.

  125. I bike to work every day JJ. More people should do it. Stop asking your government to build things for cars. More people need to bike. You want to move somewhere that requires a car than 2 fing bad. Live with the traffic

    Try driving in Toronto in rush hour those people have something to complain about it

    You do not get JJ how lucky you are in VIctoria. Keep complaining gives you something to do I guess.

    Every day I count my blessing that I live here and not that arm pit of Toronto.

  126. “We are a small city with big city traffic problems because of a lack of action by city counselors and city planners that are intent on making our traffic worse.”

    gwac obviously doesn’t have to do a daily commute through any of the main intersections of Victoria. Even 6;30 am traffic is getting stupid now. The road systems here were never designed to hold this much traffic and it’s getting close to the breaking point where people won’t move here. One accident and half the town shuts down.

    Vancouver may be larger but the street layouts allow for many different choices of routes to take. Here it’s one way for the most part or add a lot of time on to the drive to take any back roads.

  127. GWAC, you just don’t get it.

    We are degrading our environment not improving it. One day we will be like those two cities you left in Canada. Ask yourself, has living in the city gotten better in the last decade or worse? Because I don’t believe that these long line up of cars pumping out fumes and quadrupling commuting times is an improvement. I don’t believe the increasing number of homeless, working poor and tent cities are a good thing.

    We are following the same destructive course as most North American cities. Instead of improving the quality of life we are creating temporary construction jobs for short term profits. After the developers have taken their profits and moved on, the City and its people will be left with a legacy of concrete towers and bad decisions for the next hundred years.

    We can build more condos but we can’t fix the infrastructure that we already have in place. Leaking water mains and waste water systems, pot holed road, cracked sidewalks, etc.

    I too have lived in other cities and Victoria is one of the most poorly maintained cities I have ever lived in. We live in a natural paradise but the current growth of the city is degrading that environment.

  128. I agree with you Nan. Trains and buses are not the end solution. They are just a band-aid solution. If instead of buses and trains we invested in public/private fleets of small electric Google cars and community bikes that are available on demand that would be a vastly better system. Buses and trains are the dinosaurs of the past.

    That means improving our road system to allow for these new innovations. A centralized traffic center that can alter the traffic flows and operation of the intersection lights. How about cameras at the intersections and along the roadways to show motorists which roadways are clogged and suggest re-routing of their trip to lesser traveled streets.

    We are a small city with big city traffic problems because of a lack of action by city counselors and city planners that are intent on making our traffic worse. The personal on-demand vehicle is here to stay. That will never change. If the counsel and city planners would accept this then they could better plan the cities and make our lives more enjoyable and more productive once again.

  129. Sorry JJ

    Living in Victoria is like living in Paradise… I have lived in the 2 largest cities in Canada before. No comparison. How do you come up with this stuff JJ. Maybe u should visit one of our dispensaries and get some happy brownies 🙂

    Life is really good here for those that do not search for shit to sift through daily.

  130. Living in Victoria is like living at the bottom of a well. You first have to climb out of the well before you can travel anywhere. It is a badly laid out city plan and people like Lisa Help are intent on making it worse. We have breached the point and can no longer build any more hi-rises in the City until the roadways are improved. From now on every condo tower built lowers the quality of life of those that live in the city. Driving times are extended and you have long lines of idling cars spewing out fumes into our lungs.

    The idea of building smaller condos does not solve the problem of families that work downtown. Small condos are not an option for families and they happen to be the brunt of the daily commuters. If you improve the roadways you will improve affordability as more people have the option of living outside of the downtown core.

  131. I agree with lots of this transportation stuff but I have to disagree on Trains (and buses for that matter). Trains and buses are a terrible solution for most people these days – it’s an A-B relationship. It isn’t on demand “to-anywhere” transportation like cars and bikes. It simply isn’t adaptable enough to the demand for daily transportation for most working adults.

    Most folks are so busy these days they can’t afford to wait for a train or bus and they need A-B-C-D-E…etc transportation. Groceries, visit friends, go to the gym, go to a restaurant, meet for a hike, etc.

    “But this works in Vancouver/ Toronto etc” I disagree, it doesn’t. Hundreds of thousands of folks commute for literally hours everyday in those cities, whether they are on a train or car or taking their lives in their own hands riding a bike in all that mess. When I walk the streets there, the average fitness level is definitely lower than it is here – folks have no time for anything else. That isn’t what I would call “working”. I call that a bunch of sheep suffering together in the cold because that is what is “normal” and “expected”. The folks who want a better life just leave.

    I agree with Barrister – The answer overall is fewer people. However, for a comfortable lifestyle for those that live here, those people need to use less of the shared resources we have available and this includes roads we already have by driving much smaller cars/ e-bikes/ whatever.

    Why is the goose great? because there is virtually no traffic, its faster than the crawl and it’s safe. The roads could be like that too if everyone in a car wasn’t wasting 90% of the space they take up in their 5 seaters.

  132. RE the issue of supply by building condos. It seems there is a nearly bottomless pit of demand for cheap houses so when condos are built they are bought up by speculators and many left to sit empty. Given this, demand for housing is really never satisfied. So I don’t see building condos as a way to address supply.

    Also, I have two teenagers, three cars, a boat, a dog and a piano. How is a condo going to help me? If they started building three bedroom condos larger than 1400 sq ft with two parking spaces for each unit and a large storage unit attached, then maybe. But that’s not what they build. They build micro suites up to two-bedrooms that are too small to fit even a dresser. And no one wants a grand piano banging away above or below them.

    I think the solution is to get real with the household balance sheet and stop buying houses.

  133. Dasmo said:

    ..colour coded compartments can split of in VicWest to go to different destinations over the bridge..

    The bridge that will have no railway? So maybe in 90 or more years when it is replaced again?

    From the bridge FAQ: “If funding is made available, a separate rail bridge can still be added at a later date.”

    HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah. Like that is ever going to happen.

    We can’t figure out efficient commuting from Langford, you think there is going to be any traction on plans to get people here from Duncan quickly and efficiently? Look how long it has taken to make the ‘hat a little safer. If that budget is difficult to swallow/justify….

  134. Marko:

    As to your hydro bills in the condo you seem to forget that for most high rises there is a substantial hydro bill built into your common expenses. The hall lights are running 24/7. The elevator eats up electricity and there are water pumps located every few floors. I rarely have much more than one or two lights on at night. My total utility expenses are less than most condo strata fees.

    I am not saying that there is not some savings in high density if you make the units small enough but rather they are not nearly as much as one might think.

  135. Actually, you are right in that we should strive to stabilize the population at zero growth. That way we dont have to build condos in the first place. There are all sort of things that we can do to reduce environmental impact. But one is always balancing quality of life against environmental impact.

    For example, we can ban all movie theaters. Think of the savings. Since I dont value movie theaters I would be okay with that but thousands of others would not be. While we are at it we should close down hockey arenas as well. I dont use them either. My point is that people trot out environmental as long as it does not effect what they value.

    Lets get rid of real estate signs as well since they really are unnecessary these days. The list can go on. lets not forget about banning beer since it is non essential and can be replaced with water. The coffee shops can go as well. Totally unnecessary.

  136. Agreed. I hope a fast track process for densifird residential development is next on the list for improving affordability.

  137. The only fundamental solution to the demand is don’t allow immigration and don’t encourage people to have kids.

    Otherwise you need to work on supply and I’ll take a tall building downtown versus a clear cut to build a bunch of OSB homes any day.

  138. Having lived downtown in a condo I am convinced that it has the least environmental impact. My hydro bills were like $30-$40 every two months! We only had one car and that was only because of my business. If I have a government job downtown I would have gone no car and just used Modo.

    Now we are spending on hydro and gas like 6-7x more? Two cars, etc.

    Not to mention density. You can stuff 400-500 people into a building versus having to clear cut a small mountain to stuff that many people into single family homes.

    My 2 cents.

  139. Dasmo:

    Actually, the point I was making was to move jobs out of Victoria to places like Duncan and further up island. That way you dont have the number of people driving to Victoria in the first place.

    The developers seem to have us all trained to believe that every city needs to be turned into another Toronto or Vancouver. We need to move away from this American model of living. We are not Hong Kong and we should strive to create a better and more affordable life for the generations to come.

  140. @Barrister, I agree. I find it extremely odd the university doesn’t build housing. The other thing is large scale developments should be mandated to do something about the added traffic impact. Like subsidize a grocery store on site. Build more pedestrian friendly developments. Reduce the need to drive. The problem now is our transportation infrastructure is already on the brink of non functioning. So any plans to relieve it will take 20 years which is too late. A train and connected, protected bike lines would do a lot if combined with conscientious development. And speaking of the Goose premium. Expect that to grow. Traveling to my building site in the morning, I am horrified of the prospect of driving the other way in that traffic. That I can use the Goose is my saviour and it will be a much nicer ride than from the Mount Tolmie hood. It will probably take less time even…. That trail is a jewel of the region. The E&N is one in the rough. It only awaits it’s tram connecting Duncan to downtown for $15 round trip. Free WiFi and a seat so you can get stuff done on the way in… Self driving trams with wheels so colour coded compartments can split of in VicWest to go to different destinations over the bridge….

  141. @ Marko

    Can you enlighten what the Realtor commissions are renting out a property? 3% + 1.5% gross amount of the lease? Thanks in advance.

  142. @Barrister
    Why not go further, and allow more government workers to work from home? Then they can choose where to live. No reason that the guy in the PST office answering phones needs to physically be in the office. No need to secure office space in Duncan or Nanaimo.

  143. The problem with housing is best solved by reducing demand not increasing supply. First the University is sitting on large amounts of land, build more student housing. In fact insist that the University have no more students than they have housing.

    Secondly move government departments to smaller towns and cities like Duncan and Nanaimo.
    Cities of about 250,00 have been shown to be the most cost efficient and often with the highest quality of life. For that matter build another University in Nanaimo specializing in engineering and technology.

    I know that developers love the idea of more high-rises since they are so profitable but do we really need a second Vancouver?

  144. Now that’s lazy! It takes, what, maybe 10 minutes? Like I said last time I stayed right downtown vancouver for $60/night. But my standards might be significantly lower than yours..

    When I did my masters at UBC I travelled to Vancouver a lot. I use to find deals online for the Fairmont Waterfront for $129 to $179 per night. Once I stayed at the Fairmont Pacific (really nice) for $99 per night and the olympic torch was still burning.

    I would be okay paying $300 – $400 a night in summer for a nice hotel downtown but they can’t be hurting because of AirBnB if it is $600 to $800 a night.

    At least if I wasn’t lazy AirBnB would have given me an option to go.

  145. They are using AirBnB as a scapegoat for a much much larger problem. It’s a supply problem.

    I think it’s both. Supply is an issue and I believe that’s the provincial government’s next move in this space. Tackle the supply issue by hopefully reducing red tape to get things built. But AirBnB is definitely having an effect as well.

    I was too lazy to look for AirBnB accommodation I would he happy with so

    Now that’s lazy! It takes, what, maybe 10 minutes? Like I said last time I stayed right downtown vancouver for $60/night. But my standards might be significantly lower than yours.. 🙂

  146. Vancouver severely restricting AirBnB.

    Limited to principal residences. No renting out investment properties or suites on AirBnB
    Required to have a business license
    Required to pay a hotel tax
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/vancouver-strict-limits-on-airbnb/article32104303/

    If this goes through Victoria will be right behind them. The wild west of AirBnB is over.

    My five tenants are in year long leases. AirBnb is not something that interests me for my properties but in my opinion this Vancouver thing is a political move and a bit BS.

    They are using AirBnB as a scapegoat for a much much larger problem. It’s a supply problem. Just look at Victoria, we didn’t have a larger rental building built for 30+ years.

    They could have literally picked a bunch of other scapegoats. Off the top of my head why just not amend the strata property act where stratas cannot have rental restrictions? Would bring thousands of units to the rental market. I know multiple people living in Cook Street village condos (non-rentable) that leave the country for extended periods and cannot rent their unit and it sits vacant while it could accomodate a student for 8 months if it wasn’t for the rental restriction.

    Second of all I wanted to go for personal reason to Vancouver end of August and the hotels I had stayed at frequently years ago downtown where like $600 to $800 per night. I was too lazy to look for AirBnB accommodation I would he happy with so I just never went to Vancouver. It was going to be like $2,000 for a weekend trip, screw that.

  147. @cs:
    How about I put it this way: Tarrif barriers will not undo technological advances in robotics and automation that have progressively shifted manufacturing from a labour intensive process to a capital intensive one. This process predates free trade agreements. A tarrif barrier will raise the price of manufactured goods. This would simply provide another incentive to cut excess labour, and beat out competitors with lower prices.

  148. The robotics age is already replacing millions of workers per year.

    Well we agree on that Michael. Cheap labour is yesterday’s story. Today and tomorrow’s story is automation replacing that cheap labour. Economies built on cheap labour will not do well.

  149. Thanks RenterRabbit, interesting story. I do feel for the people that got caught in the middle of the foreign buyer tax. Just bad timing. Wonder if the cascade of collapsed deals is about at their end or still coming.

  150. “There is no going back to the good old days of a workforce of high paid, semi-skilled blue-collar workers.”

    Mike doesn’t live in the real world.

    Canadians are just $200 away from being overwhelmed by debt, new survey finds

    “A survey this month from TransUnion found 718,000 Canadians can’t even absorb a 25-basis point increase in interest rates without being in a negative cash flow situation. One percentage point would drive 917,000 over the edge, the credit rating agency found.”

    http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/debt/canadians-are-just-200-away-from-being-overwhelmed-by-debt-new-survey-finds

  151. @ Bman and Michael

    There is no going back to the good old days of a workforce of high paid, semi-skilled blue-collar workers.

    Merely asserting something doesn’t make it a fact.

    The US grew to become the world’s largest industrial economy behind a tariff wall. It has ceased to be the world’s largest industrial economy after turning to global free trade.

    Free trade is great for investors in global corporations that can engage in global wage arbitrage, making Joe Fresh shirts as modeled by Justin Trudeau in collapsible factories in Bangladesh, or making cell phones in Chinese factories with suicide nets, but for the people of Detroit and countless other North American industrial cities, it’s meant rising unemployment and declining incomes.

    But perhaps you are talking up your own investments.

  152. I work in the financial industry in Victoria and had a client come to me with an interesting situation…

    He recently became semi-retired and could work remotely from home. He had sold his Delta house in June for $1.2MM (clean title) and moved to Victoria and bought a new house in Victoria. The sale of their house in Delta was set to close Sep. 30 and they found out this week that the buyer asked for a 21 day extension on closing date as they are short the 15% foreign buyers tax for closing costs. My client had bridge financing in place to bridge his purchase and sale and had to come see me last minute to get an extension approved.

    Thought this was interesting as it encapsulates a few of the issues this site discusses (and Lower Mainland as a whole):

    Foreign Buyer’s Tax implications on previously agreed contracts
    People from lower mainland selling off and moving over to Victoria
    Client essentially paid cash for purchase here with unconditional offer
    Employment was not generated by local economy

    He did indicate he knows of a few friends that have made similar transitions over the last few years but doesn’t believe in the hype that “all” of the lower mainland is moving.

    Just thought it would be an interesting story to share!

  153. re: Hopesmore and Montgomery:

    These kinds of fast re-sales in Vancouver were sometimes examples of money laundering or shadow flipping. Not saying that’s what it is, but it makes me suspicious of the real story.

    Good news on AirBnB finally.

  154. “And what’s all this straw-grasping on Hopesmore? Nobody ever heard of a job transfer or other unexpected event?”

    Or the neighbor is a nightmare, or maybe they are just plain greedy trying to gouge the next fool who doesn’t know Vancouver is tanking while the seller just realized he overpaid and better dump fast.

  155. “I completely blame the buyers for this mess…”

    Agreed, they fall all over themselves as soon as the media pumps out the local agent saying they better get in now because the foreigners and Vancouverites are flooding the town when they weren’t. The gullible public sucks it right up like Trump voters, they buy the bullshit as God’s word.

    Then there’s the bankers and mortgage brokers who happily facilitate it … but now some of the banks are now cutting back on mortgage lending and tightening the rules. That’s a major policy shift not seen in decades. It will take time for joe average to clue in, AKA the bagholder.

  156. “And what’s all this straw-grasping on Hopesmore? Nobody ever heard of a job transfer or other unexpected event?”

    Good point. The person or people who bought it in August probably would have been wise to assign some weight to unexpected events in assessing whether to grossly overpay.

  157. Curious whether the lack of home inspections has hit anyone hard. I know one place that had water entry issues right after.

  158. I’m not saying this is the case for Hopesmore but I hear families talk about not being able to find a rental and have therefore bought instead.

    That’s different from saying that people have a choice to buy or not to buy because they could always rent.

    Some don’t have that choice. Are these the people to be blamed? Or is it a system that encourages people to over pay. Where everyone along the food chain is pushing the deal to go forward.

  159. No policies will revive manufacturing jobs. Thinking they could is on the same level as a Trump-supporter who doesn’t understand how bond markets affect interest rates 🙂 The robotics age is already replacing millions of workers per year.

    And what’s all this straw-grasping on Hopesmore? Nobody ever heard of a job transfer or other unexpected event?

  160. @ JJ

    “The game is stacked against the buyer.”

    I would say that buyers as a group are more in control regardless of the market, though few of them think so. Sellers are usually opportunistic and will always seek the best price for their asset. What changes is buyer psychology and the belief that with the odds so stacked against them, throwing normal prudence out the window is the only way to buy. Sellers wouldn’t be asking $950,000 for bungalows for very long if sellers writ large refused to fork it over.

    I completely blame the buyers for this mess…

  161. With respect to “Local Fool”; a fool and his money are soon parted. As to that property being near prestigious stores maybe it is back on the market because Canadian Tire is moving to Hillside.

    But one cannot draw too much from one or two resales. Sometimes a house purchase is the last straw on a marriage and the house ends up on the market.

    611 St. Charles just came on the market for 2.2; does anyone have any thoughts on it. I knew it was being listed but I would have guess around 1.8.

  162. Was this not the same property that we talked about having over sold back in August?

    Having sold in a week after multiple bids and being under listed at $595,000? And then selling 150% over assessed value?

    Real estate is buyer beware. If you pay too much, it’s your own fault. But is it? Today’s buyers are at a disadvantage as the system is set up against them. Everyone involved with the property has their livelihood dependent on that sale going through. The game is stacked against the buyer.

    As there seems to be no one that helps buyers from over paying these days. Especially when it comes to the middle income type property. Most buyers will not seek unbiased advise. Rather than pay a couple hundred bucks for an appraiser to consult with them before they buy they are willing to wing it on hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  163. @Barrister
    $948,000 doesn’t seem outrageous for that place, so I’m saying coincidence. I note that it’s a duplex. Maybe the neighbours are an insufferable lot.

    The Hopesmore place was assessed in the mid $500s, and it was listed around the same. It is near the prestigious University Heights mall, and nearby high-end stores and restaurants such as Canadian Tire, Tim Horton’s, and Boston Pizza. So let’s call that one an over-bid.

  164. @CS
    What is the desired effect? Using tariffs to re-establish manufacturing in the United States and/or Canada is unlikely to produce a good result, unless you think trade wars are a good result. There is no going back to the good old days of a workforce of high paid, semi-skilled blue-collar workers. The success of the manufacturing sector will hinge on its ability to use less labour. That won’t change by throwing up tariff barriers.

    As for us, I would point out that Canada’s manufacturing sector had its heyday after the Auto Pact – which saw the removal of tariff barriers on vehicles manufactured in the US, in exchange for production quotas in this country.

  165. The same thing is happening with 1579 Montgomery; they closed just a couple of months ago and are asking virtual the same sale price plus RE commission. Listed at 948,000. Maybe coincidence or are some people simply overbidding?

  166. @ Bman

    I could not agree with you more, although your use of “appalling” is almost a euphemism here. Just astonishing to watch. If this gets much worse I shudder to think of the long term prospects for our economy – where everyone is house poor and crushed under unimaginable levels of debt. In this case, I hope they lose their shirts in the resale.

  167. @Local Fool

    Thanks – crazy. It just sold for $925,000. Is this a classic case of “Oh sh*t, what have we done?” I don’t know why anyone would immediately try and sell after overpaying several hundred thousand dollars, except as a Hail Mary to get some other fool to pay for your appalling lack of judgment and restraint.

  168. @ Vicbot

    After WWII the 1950s/60s saw new TVs, video recorders, passenger jets, microchips & fiber optics.
    After the 70s/80 recession, the 1990s saw new Personal Computers, Software, Cell Phones, etc.
    In all these cases, gov’t invested in science and technology.
    We need that to happen again.

    But obviously it’s not happening. The dot.com boom was the last hurrah.

    Now the IT jobs are mostly offshored. Meantime, India is graduating 550,000 engineers a year. China even more. But we’re going to beat both their mass of cheap labor and cheap brains? I don’t think so. Either we rebuild a national manufacturing base behind a tariff wall or we endure an everlasting recession, to use a polite word for depression and ever growing unemployment.

    Cowichan sweaters, craft beer and a few decent but largely unknown wineries are about all we have left. The forests, we asset stripped years ago.

  169. @ Bearkilla

    #3 Harper didn’t set oil prices

    The Harper government did all it could to develop the tar sands. The increased production turned the Canuck buck into a petro-currency that at one point exceed the value of the greenback, thereby killing much of Canada’s industrial economy.

    Now the oil revenue has collapsed and the industrial economy won’t rebound in a matter of months or probably even years. Once the workforce has been dispersed, the expertise lost, recovery of manufacturing in a high-wage jurisdiction is tough if not impossible.

    https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/canadian-government-spent-millions-on-secret-tar-sands-advocacy

  170. Inventory is low and sales are down and that is expressed in the months of inventory. We are around 2.3 months of inventory currently and the days on market is in the high teens for all properties in all areas. That’s low.

    But we have been a lot lower in the past decade. Back in 2006 we were as low as 1.4 months of inventory with the days on market in the low 20’s. In less than a year those numbers nearly doubled. Then during the 2008 recession we briefly reached 15 months of inventory and close to 60 days on the market.

    I think one of the things that make people anxious is the often quoted over asking price sales. It suggest that the bigger the difference -the hotter the market. But there are a lot of properties that sell under asking price – they just don’t get the attention in the media.

    What I don’t understand is why an industry wants to scare prospective buyers into eventually giving up on buying a home.

  171. FYI, Vancouver residential inventory is 40% of the 10 year average and sales have been on the decline since March and down $300K /26%. To say it can’t happen here based on inventory is salesman hype.

  172. Torquay sold at 138% over its government assessed value. Is this typical of the market place?

    Yes it is. The median sales to assessment ratio for Saanich East is 135% for September.

    So why such a big difference between list and sale price? The property was a delayed offer or blind auction. The property was listed for 5 days at a low price to garner multiple offers. The list price has little to do with value and all to do with marketing. A game of bait and switch.

    As a prospective purchaser it is still worth your time to bid on these properties knowing full well that there will be other offers. But you have to go in with your best price and never counter. It would be prudent to have the property valued by an appraiser before making an offer so that you don’t overpay for the property. An appraiser can do a valuation with some limitations in an hour before you make your offer.

  173. All we heard this year was how inventory and quality sucked, with 40% higher sales. September should be blowing the doors off May if it was truly a hot market.

  174. January and February were up 53% and 42% respectively above seasonal history making it a “hot” winter market. It may be stupid the prices the fools are paying, but September is not hot. More salesman pump.

    Second strongest September sales combined with lowest September inventory ever on record. Not sure what you want to call it, luke warm?

  175. January and February were up 53% and 42% respectively above seasonal history making it a “hot” winter market. It may be stupid the prices the fools are paying, but September is not hot. More salesman pump.

  176. Interesting comments on Garth yesterday about ponying up cash at renewal time if you under 20% equity or your credit has hit hard times.

    “Anyway, what could a mortgaged homeowner whose equity is starting to melt away expect? Did you see the following comment posted here last night from a banker blog dog?

    “We started pulling bureaus on all mtg renewals 2 months ago. If your beacon is under 600 you pay .25 extra so this has already started to increase rates only in a very small number of cases but as we begin the inevitable sharp increase in unemployment and losses, the number of mtg renewals needing the extra charge will increase dramatically.

    “If you do not have at least 20% equity at renewal time and a good credit score you can be asked to make a lump sum payment to reduce the mtg principal down and/or increase the mortgage payment to shorten the amort, and if you cannot do either, then die. Those dumb enough to have bought with 20 down you will be sent a letter asking to find another lender and you pay a high open mortgage rate until you do.”

  177. Okay, then let’s not quibble about what is pending and what are sold. Here is the count of sales by month for all types and all areas as of this morning.

    Month Sales, Number of September all types all areas.
    Jan 522
    Feb 768
    Mar 1106
    Apr 1238
    May 1297
    Jun 1162
    Jul 949
    Aug 868
    Sep 630 projected at 700 for the month.

    It appears that we may have a 20% decline in sales from August and a 45% drop in sales from the peak. We are likely back to sale volumes consisted with those in 2015 and 2009. Those are still good numbers showing good current demand for the overall market. And a lot of the decline may be attributable to the season but not all of it. This is still a market heavily weighted towards sellers. Buyers are not getting any relief on the price they have to pay, they just have a little more properties to select from than they did at the beginning of the year.

  178. numbers hack, on China, the experience that my colleagues and I have had is very different. (and of course North America needs to manufacture something – but we can’t compete with $300/mth salaries for simple commodities – to justify higher salaries our workers need to make bleeding edge, high-value-add, higher-priced products)

    There are reasons why China is a “developing” country. Engineers are hired regularly from Canada & US as consultants to set up manufacturing plants in China because they often need guidance on safety standards – what my colleagues have found are places where people have died due to no one following those standards. Just 1 very very small example: look up Wintek workers & n-hexane.

    China’s manufacturing plants also often have suicide netting – look up Foxconn suicides, and overwhelming problems with overtime and failure to report accidents (workers usually come from poor areas, get room & board, then don’t leave the plant due to excessive overtime)

    Patents are a huge issue: I’ve had to deal with problems where the designs of patented products were copied & manufactured by Chinese companies – there was no recourse because it was impossible to enforce North America patents there.

    The result was that companies spent millions of $$ in engineering costs inventing those products but we couldn’t recover the money from product sales there:
    http://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/ip-policy/enforcement/report-patent-enforcement-china

    Also due to lack of safety protocols, soil & water contamination have become major issues, so people living near plants have suffered. Kids have lead poisoning from metal smelters & the battery industry. Electronic waste from NA is still being imported.

    China is trying to solve these issues but they need to have better legal processes to protect property rights, workers, and health & safety of general population.

  179. Do you have a general “feel” for what is selling (condos v. houses) and if some areas are hotter than others? Is it Langford or the inner core. I have noticed that Uplands does not seem to be flying off the shelve.

    Homes in the core are still insane and going over asking (regularly by a lot). Just look at the two sales on Roseberry this week.

    Core condo inventory is by far the worst I’ve ever seen it in terms of quality. Last year you could buy a half decent one bedroom unit downtown or Vic West for 300kish, now there is literally nothing 300ish that is half decent.

    Uplands has to slow down sooner or later as the gains or not sustainable, it has seen the largest appreciation, by far, of any neighbourhood in Victoria. People are listing homes at $2.2 million that where $1.2 to $1.3 only 18 months ago.

    Hindsight is difficult but if I could go back I would have not built my house and would have bought the place below and happily lived in it for 10 years until I saved up to build new.

    $1,025,000 two years ago: http://www.dharvey.ca/property-details/336388

    At this point no way on earth I could ever get into the Uplands, but not losing sleep over it either 🙂

  180. So do you know what happens to the sales that collapse between pending and closed?

    Extremely rare; I’ve never come across it in my 450 career deals or so.

    I think the odds of that happening might be in the neighbourhood of 1 in 500 to 1 in 1000.

    I think the VREB would just subtract it from the next month.

  181. The sales that went pending and then failed to close are shown as being back on the market, cancelled or expired.

  182. In my opinion, the condominium market and the stand alone house market are distinct from each other except for an overlap at the starter house and new condo level. The condo and the stand alone house market compliment each other as they generally react due to similar events happening in the economy. But they don’t usually appreciate at the same rate nor do they always trend in the same direction. The condo and the house market are not perfect substitutes for each other but they do compliment each other.

    For most families stand alone houses in the core and houses in the Westshore are substitutes. If you’re priced out of the core then you switch to less costly areas such as the Westshore. With two areas that are substitutes you will see sale volumes decline and prices plateau in the core and that results in sale volumes and prices increasing in the Westshore.

    And I think that is why a break down between condo and stand alone and between the core districts and the Westshore is important. Simply looking at the grand total numbers for all types of housing in all areas isn’t telling you much.

  183. Only the Pending date and the closing date are shown in the daily hot sheet stats. The sale is first shown as pending and then shown again as closed.

    Thanks just jack. My understanding is that when the VREB publishes “Sales” for the month, they count the pending sales.
    So do you know what happens to the sales that collapse between pending and closed? Are they backed out of the next month’s data? In other words, would the month’s sales actually be
    Sales = (# of deals gone pending) – (number of deals counted in previous months that collapsed before closing)?

  184. 50 sales in one day would refer to both pending and closed sales. So there is a bit of double accounting going on here, for example in the last 24 hours, 36 properties went pending and 25 were closed.

    I was referring to pending sales and at one point yesterday we were at 50…..that number is constantly moving as the last 24 hours moves.

  185. “The only way we can maintain and develop a manufacturing sector is if Canadians buy shoes and shirts, and computers and car parts made by people earning Canadian wages.”

    …and you would have a terribly inefficient sector as no one else in their right mind outside of Canada would pay the resultant prices. Not to mention the cost to the consumer….

  186. @numbers, You aren’t getting a mold made and first shots here in five days from China or anywhere else. You can get rapid prototypes from anywhere in 5 days… China’s lack of regulation, cheap labour cost, mega low tax rate and low environmental standards are why everyone manufactures there. Plus we have now lost all that infrastructure and expertise. It is the Art of War playing out. However the first industries to move over were the worst polluters so they have paid the price. They are now improving their standards which is why that stuff will shift elsewhere like Cambodia….

  187. A sales has three “sold” dates. First there is the meeting of minds. That’s when both parties agree to the price and the contract is signed. Followed by a Pending date when the subject clauses are removed. Then lastly the closing date when the property is registered at the Land Registry.

    Only the Pending date and the closing date are shown in the daily hot sheet stats. The sale is first shown as pending and then shown again as closed. 50 sales in one day would refer to both pending and closed sales. So there is a bit of double accounting going on here, for example in the last 24 hours, 36 properties went pending and 25 were closed.

  188. “The bears were warned it was going to be a hot Autumn.”

    Hot ? Sales are down over 40% from a few months ago. Perma-bulls can’t see past the end of their nose that the market is cooling.

    Still no explanation on the so called 50 sales on what day were these sales signed on, not filed, and wether they were mobile homes, Uplands mansions,Langford condo or Sooke slap board shack.

  189. Marko:

    Have to definitely agree that 50 sales in a 24 hr period is a impressive number for Victoria. So far September sales seem very strong as well.

    Do you have a general “feel” for what is selling (condos v. houses) and if some areas are hotter than others? Is it Langford or the inner core. I have noticed that Uplands does not seem to be flying off the shelve.

  190. Germans, Canadians, Americans and the Chinese.

    We manufacture in Asia and in Europe. We use to manufacture in the USA and looked at making in Canada. The big difference; the North American educated work force wants a desk job pushing paper and expect a big salary. Our co. tried to open a plant in the USA, guess what, of the 100 jobs we posted, we could only find 25 qualified people @ an average starting wage of $35000 to $45000 USD a year + benefits + profit share.

    We looked at a feasibility study in putting something in Southern Ontario, we had to deal with 17 governmental departments to get the permits to start working – our team kiboshes that idea after the report was received. It is IMPOSSIBLE to cut through the red tape to get anything up and running.

    Our Chinese operations; up and running in 120 days. It has been 7 years + 11 months without a workplace incident and contrary to what people think, the environmental standards here are higher than in Canada. The co. got a subsidy to install renewable energy onsite, and 45% of our energy is from these sources. Workers get monthly safety training, at no charge from the government. The business development council comes in quarterly to see if we are doing okay and asks how the government can improve on their service.

    FYI in our meeting in a certain Steel town in Ontario, we were pretty much road blocked on every item we tabled. Think “pipeline”. According to our calculations, we would have contributed at least $3.5 MM Cdn in taxes annually, not including worker benefits/salaries to Ontario and the Federal government. I could ramble on about what is wrong here, but that is just a small view of our last decade in manufacturing.

    If manufacturing were to come back to North America, there needs to be a SYSTEMIC change in how the government supports this, including suppliers that have the requisite skill set to supply the manufacturers, e.g. think about developing a simple mold for a widget…it would take us 9 months to do in North America and we can get a prototype here in less than 5 business days!

  191. @cs the path to prosperity for North America doesn’t lie with manufacturing copycat commodities that any plant anywhere in the world can make.

    In North America (and Europe) every generation got out of its economic doldrums by introducing breakthrough technologies that changed the way the world operated.

    After WWII the 1950s/60s saw new TVs, video recorders, passenger jets, microchips & fiber optics.
    After the 70s/80 recession, the 1990s saw new Personal Computers, Software, Cell Phones, etc.
    In all these cases, gov’t invested in science and technology.

    We need that to happen again. Trying to use low interest rates to pump up the real estate industry is just as bad as hoping to rely on the manufacturing of commodities with no value added.

  192. 50 sales in the last 24 hours is conclusive evidence of a hot Autumn. I’ll post a graph later with some hockey stick shapes and bright green arrows that point at stuff. Explains everything.

  193. Hit 50 sales in last 24 hours earlier in the day. Highest I’ve seen this September.

    The bears were warned it was going to be a hot Autumn.

  194. BearKilla is getting a little riled up about the extra 10,000 people planned for bear mountain that are really going to screw up his commute.

  195. #1 German products are crap and horribly engineered. They have very poor electrical engineering in particular.

    #2 Canadian products are even worse and always have been. The list of Canadian inventions is pathetically small.

    #3 Harper didn’t set oil prices

  196. Question – not infrequently I see real estate ads in the relevant parts of town mentioning that the property is “close to the Galloping Goose” or “close to the Lochside”. Is there an actual premium to living close to one of these trails versus an equivalent house and neighbourhood further away?

    I would pay a bit extra for it, but I doubt the premium is detectable.

  197. @Marko
    These last couple days I’ve noticed a bump in sales between 700k-900k. Strong finish to the month.

    Meanwhile Hamiota re-listed with 20k price drop…

  198. The political whoring of the real estate industry continues.

    Vancouver immigration consultant accused of fraud was a significant donor to B.C. Liberals, records show

    “A self-proclaimed immigration consultant accused of defrauding Chinese immigrant investors has donated about $67,000 to the B.C. Liberals.

    On Monday, the B.C. Securities Commission accused Paul Oei of defrauding Chinese immigrant investors of $6.9 million.

    Oei made the political donations along with his wife, Loretta Lai, and two companies, which were also cited by the Commission.

    The couple has also donated $8,477 to the federal Liberal party since 2014.”

    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/accused-immigration-consultant-significant-donor-to-bc-liberals

  199. “Hit 50 sales in last 24 hours earlier in the day. Highest I’ve seen this September.”

    Are you not just counting Saturday and Sunday sales filed on Monday ?

  200. You think Germany wastes time making socks? No. They export cheap labour and keep expensive labour. They make Porsches and medical equipment and let others make their plastic spoons. I think this is basically what Hilary is proposing.

    So true….half the equipment I ran at VIHA as a respiratory therapist was Siemens (German company).

    Canada would be in the same relative position to the US that Greece is to Germany except that we have our own currency that can adjust to keep us in business however inefficient we are compared with the competition.

    The Harper Government’s energy policy resulted in the destruction of much of Ontario’s manufacturing industry and now the price of oil has slumped we winning neither on manufacturing or resources. But we have a cheap dollar so we still have jobs.

    Germany excels at snapping together stuff made with cheap labor in Eastern Europe, or just sticking a German nameplate on a product from a cheap labor area. If you drive an Audi 3, for example, you’re driving a Hungarian made car.

    So, yes Germans are smart. But what they do is impossible for Europe as a whole to do. In fact, Germany’ success is achieved at the expense of the European periphery that is trapped in the Eurozone. The Euro is too cheap for efficient German exporters, and therefore propels the German economy, but it is to dear for most of the other Eurozone economies which thus flounder with unemployment rates of up to 50%.

  201. @ JD

    Re: Trump offers a path to American reindustialization.

    Uh, no he doesn’t. It’s the same old tired ‘lower taxes, lower the deficit trickle-down economics’ that has been proven to not work.

    First, he’s proposed taking half the workforce of the tax rolls entirely, which is not exactly trickle down economics. Second, he’s proposed matching China and Canada corporate tax rates, which is only sensible, since it will encourage repatriation of foreign profits of American corporations and investment in the US (behind a tariff wall).

    Better would be to abolish corporation tax altogether. Then corporations would have more cash to invest. And if corporate profits are paid out to shareholders, that’s not a problem, the money will be taxed as regular income at whatever the top marginal tax rate happens to be.

    As for cutting the top tax rate, it’s not going to make any difference. People with large incomes shelter it from taxation (think tax-free Clinton Foundation, which has paid out over $50 million just for travel expenses of Hillary, family and friends). That’s why Buffet says his secretary pays more tax than he does (the solution for Buffet would be a capital tax, then he’d be making a real contribution.)

  202. @ Vicbot

    The last thing Canada needs is someone wasting time trying to re-negotiate NAFTA – we need to kickstart the economy with more jobs in technology & new industries

    But NAFTA explains where many of our jobs went. Before NAFTA Canada was the largest supplier of car parts to the US. After NAFTA Mexico became the largest supplier of car parts to the US. Now, after entry into the WTO, China has become the largest supplier of car parts to the US. Until industry becomes fully robotic, which will be a while, labor costs in a global free market are a key factor determining where most of the manufacturing will go. Hence China now has a larger economy than the US. The only way we can maintain and develop a manufacturing sector is if Canadians buy shoes and shirts, and computers and car parts made by people earning Canadian wages. Existing trade deals and others planned, (e.g., the TPP) with Third World countries ensure that we will never have a major manufacturing revival until our wages converge with those of the Third World.*

    *Vietnam is a party to Obama and Hillary’s TPP and there the the average monthly salary last year was $145 in Hanoi.

  203. Question – not infrequently I see real estate ads in the relevant parts of town mentioning that the property is “close to the Galloping Goose” or “close to the Lochside”. Is there an actual premium to living close to one of these trails versus an equivalent house and neighbourhood further away? I’d expect a premium to actually backing on the trail as that is backing onto a park (albeit a long thin one). But I’m curious if there is any affect for proximity.

  204. You think Germany wastes time making socks? No. They export cheap labour and keep expensive labour. They make Porsches and medical equipment and let others make their plastic spoons. I think this is basically what Hilary is proposing.

    So true….half the equipment I ran at VIHA as a respiratory therapist was Siemens (German company).

  205. “I really don’t admire Donald Trump or think he is very smart. But he at least offers a realistic path to repatriation of American manufacturing, without which America is unlikely again to see rapid economic growth or maintain its global hegemony.”

    Uh, no he doesn’t. It’s the same old tired ‘lower taxes, lower the deficit trickle-down economics’ that has been proven to not work. NAFTA is a red herring – Canada/Mexico trade is really minor compared to Asia. Trump’s plan to provide tax cuts to rich and to impose import tariffs is woefully outdated. They need to emulate successful economies which provide cheap education in high-tech manufacturing. You think Germany wastes time making socks? No. They export cheap labour and keep expensive labour. They make Porsches and medical equipment and let others make their plastic spoons. I think this is basically what Hilary is proposing.

  206. “I guess you think mortgage rates should be higher than they are now.”

    Yes I think the real inflation rate is more than 2% – one of the problems with CPI is that it uses mortgage payments as a measure of housing costs – which completes ignores actual home prices and the length of time someone needs to pay off a home. LeoS posted a link to alterative calcuations for the actual inflation rate hovering more like 7%.

    Agree Bingo and Rook, it doesn’t matter who is in office, if US inflation officially takes off they will have to increase rates. Then if Canada doesn’t, foreign buyers are going to want more RE with a lower dollar, making cost of living worse.

    The last thing Canada needs is someone wasting time trying to re-negotiate NAFTA – we need to kickstart the economy with more jobs in technology & new industries – not get de-focused.

    The old manufacturing and commodity-based jobs aren’t what we excel at anymore – as anyone in business knows, North America has always been most successful when we took the lead in new advancements – not hanging onto the past and not trying to compete with lower cost labour.

  207. @ Bingo

    The US economy is strong compared to the rest of the world. Definitely not strong in a historical sense, but it’s currently the fastest snail in the race.

    China’s economy has slowed to an annual growth rate of 7%, which everyone in the financial press reports as if it is a terrific failure of government economic management. But at 7%, China’s economy will double by 2026.

    Meantime, our economy is stagnant, and the manufacturing sector has been hollowed out both as a result of NAFTA and Harper’s ill-advised policy on tar sands development that made the C$ a petro-currency and killed much of our manufacturing sector.

    On present trends, who do you think will dominate the world in ten years time. Probably won’t be uncle Sam and his enfeebled Western allies.

    I really don’t admire Donald Trump or think he is very smart. But he at least offers a realistic path to repatriation of American manufacturing, without which America is unlikely again to see rapid economic growth or maintain its global hegemony.

  208. @ Vicbot

    I never said I was “for” free money – quite the opposite.

    Well that’s what we’ve got. mortgage rates of 2.5% or less and a BoC inflation target of 1–3%. So the real rate of interest is essentially zero. So since your not for free money, I guess you think mortgage rates should be higher than they are now.

  209. @ Michael

    What really sets rates is the free market (ie. enormous boomer supply of money chasing yield)

    I nearly mis-coded that quote, using a BLOCKHEAD tag instead of BLOCKQUOTE tag.

    Where do you think the money comes from? Its created by banks under the supervision of the FED.

    Nonsense. Vic houses soared over 10-fold while rates went from 2 to 20%.

    You are confounding many factors. Even the most simpleminded first-time buyer surely knows what will happen if, after buying with 5% down, rates go from 2% to 20%, or even the current mortgage rate of 2.5% to 5% in a matter of a year or two.

    Remarks such as your merely confirm the absurdity of the RE pushers’ claims.

    On whether rates go up or not, I have no definite opinion, but if Donald Trump is elected US President, and if he institutes his promised economic policies, then there will be rapid inflation and rising interest rates.

  210. So when our dollar tanks further when there is a USFed hike and our Canadian lenders tightening rules, could we not see a flood of foreign buyers from all over coming and buying at a discounted rate? I was walking behind a what I assume was an American family the other day downtown who were talking about buying a vacation home here in the city. The wife said to the husband, ‘So what about prices, we already get a 30% or more discount with our US currency.” There definitely is a draw to Victoria and as a first time home buyer, I do fear that draw could widen further. Thoughts?

  211. Not necessarily. The current consensus, to which Hillary is a party, seems to be that we need more free money.

    But reality will likely dictate otherwise. US inflation is currently within target, if it takes off they will have to increase rates.

    The US economy is strong compared to the rest of the world. Definitely not strong in a historical sense, but it’s currently the fastest snail in the race.

    I’m bullish on the US economy though and a hardcore bear on the Canadian economy.

  212. “Nonsense. Vic houses soared over 10-fold while rates went from 2 to 20%.”

    And how about wage hikes and personal debt levels during that period ? It was a generational move never to be seen again. Only a bozo wouldn’t see anything inflationary similar will crush this market with a mere one percent hike. Markets already tank on a quarter point hike.

  213. “Well, OK, then, be happy, don’t worry. It’s gonna be free money and rising house prices for ever.”

    I never said I was “for” free money – quite the opposite. But it takes more than the IQ of a flea to set policies for long-term improvement of the economy.

  214. The president doesn’t set rates, the FOMC does.

    What really sets rates is the free market (ie. enormous boomer supply of money chasing yield)

    when the price of money goes up, the value of assets measured in money has to go down.

    Nonsense. Vic houses soared over 10-fold while rates went from 2 to 20%.

  215. Trump is willing to say anything & flip flop on interest rates

    Well, OK, then, be happy, don’t worry. It’s gonna be free money and rising house prices for ever.

  216. The president doesn’t set rates, the FOMC does.

    Yes, but the Chairman of the FED has, in reality, overriding influence in most circumstances. Moreover the Chairman of the Fed, whose term expires in 2018, is chosen by the President. moverover the incumbent Fed Chairman is bound to take note of the wishes of the President if she has any desire for reappointment in 2018.

    A rate hike is coming regardless of who wins.

    Not necessarily. The current consensus, to which Hillary is a party, seems to be that we need more free money.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO2eh6f5Go0

    Trump on the other hand is promising an inflationary economic policy that will guarantee higher rates, and Canada will be dragged along whether we like it or not.

  217. CS said:

    ..real estate-crushing rate increase early next year should Trump win the election

    The president doesn’t set rates, the FOMC does.

    A rate hike is coming regardless of who wins. Whether it’s before 2017 or not is the question.

  218. The reality of world financial markets crashing is even worse than real estate. That will be an after thought when portfolios will be destroyed overnight. Won’t happen thank God…

    Stocks may respond to changing market conditions faster than RE, but when the price of money goes up, the value of assets measured in money has to go down. And in fact, during the last dislocation, was it not a housing crash precipitated by Greenspan’s 17 consecutive rate increases that set of the stock market crash, rather than the other way around?

    As for “won’t happen” it seems early to be thanking God.

  219. “But my point, of course, as Marko realizes, was to warn of the distinct and apparently growing possibility of a real estate-crushing rate increase early next year should Trump win the election.”

    I think the possibility went way down last night. Only a fool believes online polls no matter how many fake clicks. Putin and Assange probably punched in a few too after they hacked them all, lol.

    The reality of world financial markets crashing is even worse than real estate. That will be an after thought when portfolios will be destroyed overnight. Won’t happen thank God, I have faith Americans are not all dumb shits like the ones they show sitting in a bar in Pennsylvania.

  220. In the Time Mag online poll, Trump won the debate 58 to 42.

    Yea, and I say the Victoria market will be up 50% next year.

    LOL. But you have only one vote, whereas there were 1.77 million votes in the Time Mag poll!

    Actually, I thought the debate was horrifying. I mean, either of those decrepit, weird and frankly unpleasant egomaniacs becoming the most powerful person on earth should make anyone consider moving to Tierra del Fuego.

    But for those rooting for Hillary with her truly creepy smile, the CNN aka Clinton News Network poll of 452 people has her winning the debate.

    But my point, of course, as Marko realizes, was to warn of the distinct and apparently growing possibility of a real estate-crushing rate increase early next year should Trump win the election.

  221. Hillary trashed the sniffing and sickly buffoon. Next debate will be even worse as he used up all his over used lies.

    Interesting to see the changes to the mortgage insurance will effect those in financial straits. Obviously more going on behind the scenes with the mortgage fraud that they want to admit and odds of foreclosures go up.

    Canadian homebuyers expected to bear costs of tighter mortgage insurance rules

    “The analyst said the new rules could also serve to crimp the practice of extending the amortization period of a mortgage to reduce monthly payments when a borrower is in financial distress. This is because, under the new framework, more capital would have to be set aside against those mortgages.

    “In our view, this weakens the incentive for mortgage insurance companies to forbear, potentially increasing the likelihood of foreclosure,” Routledge wrote. An increase in the number of properties in foreclosure proceedings, in turn, would weigh on home price appreciation, the analyst said.

    http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/mortgages-real-estate/canadian-homebuyers-expected-to-absorb-higher-costs-of-tighter-mortgage-insurance-rules

  222. @cs, LOL, give it a rest.
    Even Time Magazine puts a huge disclaimer on their online poll:

    “A disclaimer: Online reader polls like this one are not statistically representative of eligible primary voters. They are a measure, however imprecise, of which candidates have the most energized online supporters, or most social media savvy fan base.”

    Even white supremists of Stormfront are saying “Hillary mopped the floor with Trump”

    Trump can’t force interest rates to rise, and even if he could, he wouldn’t in this kind of world economy.

  223. @cs

    You can. And perhaps that is what motivates the 3-4% of buyers that are foreign. I just wouldn’t expect that number to change much because of a policy decision to tax Vancouver.

    As for the debate, if that performance does not sink Trump, I can’t imagine what will. So maybe you’re right. Maybe he wins.

  224. @ Bman

    To me, that will appeal to people who want the antithesis of what Vancouver/Seattle/San Francisco offer.

    Still you can get a cool waterfront trophy house here for, by international standards, real cheap. And it would be a handy convenient overnight place for those who come here to sail, ski, or play golf.

    Would be interesting to know how many houses over, say, $5 million have gone to foreigners in the last few years.

  225. In the Presidential debate Donald Trump confirmed that, if he wins, interest rates will rise: said Yellen’s low rate policy was based in politics not economics and has created a colossal asset price bubble. And polls now show Trump and Hillary in a dead heat. So if you’re long on assets and heavily levered, hold your breath. In the Time Mag online poll, Trump won the debate 58 to 42.

  226. Listings rapidly picking up in Vancouver. Over 10k now. Lots of smart owners trying to unload before things get really nasty. Smart Victoria owners should be doing the same. 😉

    Just out of town on business, and it’s amazing what you can get in the States for half the price of Victoria. People buying in Victoria right now are royally getting ripped off imho.

  227. @Barrister
    That’s a good point about about the currency. I like Victoria, and I don’t find myself longing for things to do. But I also like boring. It allows for creativity. I guess what I mean, is that if night life, a vibrant street life, major concerts, or even just that “feel” that there is always somewhere new to go, some new scene to discover, a city the size of Victoria isn’t for you. I like it, but then I’d be perfectly content living in Nelson.

  228. Actually, I find Victoria anything but boring. There really is a lot going on and, having come from LA, it is actually possible to get to things without a four or five hour gridlock problem. But you are right, Seattle is the alternative. The other factor for foreign buyers is the drop in the Canadian dollar. It left a bad taste for a lot of people who bought three years ago.

  229. @Local Fool
    I too suspect that Michael is engaging in bear baiting (har har). With respect to foreign investment, the important detail that seems to get overlooked is that Victoria is a city of ~350,000 with very few direct flights to international destinations, where the major “industry” is public service, and where the pace of life is…slow. To me, that will appeal to people who want the antithesis of what Vancouver/Seattle/San Francisco offer. This is a good city for people who want boring, and to withdraw just a little bit. Nothing wrong with that, but I do not see how Victoria, in any way, is a substitute for Vancouver. Seattle is the substitute.

  230. Marko:

    Again thank you for providing the numbers and they are helpful. I am looking forward to seeing the VERB numbers in that they breakdown house and condo sales. Do you have any idea how the 1.5 mil and up market is doing??

  231. @ Hawk,

    Michael’s pattern of making an assertion and (usually) failing to elaborate makes me suspect that most of the time, he’s just looking to get people on here going.

    I guess I took the bait, and if he does have a new bong, he is having more fun than I. Oh well, at least I suit my name. 😀

  232. Michael has a new bong and stopped reading the news a month ago. All the top foreigner agents have been quoted multiple times that their clients don’t like surprises and are going to Toronto,Seattle and other countries.

    I would imagine the foreign student buyer may soon be a thing of the past too in Victoria as the deep pocketed parents get spooked by their friends losses and having to disclose personal things like “incomes”. An over 40% drop in sales since May is a number not to be ignored, seasonal or not.

    http://globalnews.ca/news/2943992/goodbye-vancouver-foreign-buyers-now-flooding-seattle-and-toronto-real-estate-markets/

  233. @ Michael

    “Back to life”? In other words, the RE market in the interior and VI has been dead in your view?

    Seriously, that’s not how foreign buyers work. Global investment in RE like any other asset class moves in hordes chasing the “next big thing”, and seeks certainty around the market in which that asset presides. They’re a fickle bunch who’s inclinations can change drastically and overnight.

    In global RE markets, Victoria, the interior etc is unlikely to ever be prime locations for foreign buyers. They have already been setting their sites elsewhere both due to the high entry prices in BC as well as the now uncertain RE investment climate brought from the tax shock. To say it’s dropped in Vancouver, ergo, will now rise in Victoria is, IMO an illogical and simplistic thing to say.

  234. Marko said:

    So looks like September will be 2nd strongest ever on record in terms of sales and active inventory will be lowest ever recorded.

    Incredible market considering gov’t actions early August. Surprising too how foreign buying remained steady here from Aug 2-31 as I thought Vic would see more of an immediate scare. Leads me to believe foreign buying will only rise from here. Maybe that was part of the plan – take pressure off Van while bringing Interior & Island back to life.

  235. The volume of sales do typically decline between August and September as most of us are more concerned about getting the kids back to school rather than buying. But this years decline is unusual.

    Month Sales, Number of
    Jan 522
    Feb 768
    Mar 1106
    Apr 1238
    May 1297
    Jun 1162
    Jul 949
    Aug 868
    Sep 569 to date and projected to be 700 by the end of the month.

    That’s a sizable drop from the peak in May. I suppose you could dismiss this decline by saying that we are returning to sale volumes similar to years past and that the first half of the year was just an anomaly. But then you would have to dismiss all of the price gains that occurred due to the high sale volumes in the first half of the year too.

    Month Sale Price, Median all types all areas
    Jan $451,200
    Feb $490,000
    Mar $500,500
    Apr $520,000
    May $503,900
    Jun $500,000
    Jul $499,000
    Aug $483,000

    Quote by Isaac Newton: “What goes up must come down.”

  236. As outrageous as rents are in Silicon Valley, it’s still interesting to note that rents are falling, same with Seattle having the largest drop nationally. Homeowners overpaying thinking they’ll pass it on to the renter are in for a rude awakening.

    No wonder I’ve seen more rentals lately in areas that were hard to find last spring and we’re at the hottest rental time of the year. Renters are rebelling and/or people are leaving.

    New report shows rents falling in San Jose and San Francisco

    “Some observers are emphatic: “The prices have reached their saturation point,” said Ron Stern, CEO of Bay Rentals, a housing relocation service. “Tenants cannot be soaked for one extra dollar.”

    “Seattle scored the largest fall in rent: 13 percent, from $2,170 to $1,890.”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/25/new-report-shows-rents-falling-in-san-jose-and-san-francisco/?platform=hootsuite

  237. Wow, quite the number. I wonder how long til Victoria agent numbers drop with such bad quality houses to buy.

    “Ross Kay ‏@rosskay 53 minutes ago

    55% of Alberta REALTORS have yet to renew their license with only 5 days to go. And this market still has the incomes to support it!!”

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