Nov 28 Market and Risk Update

Weekly stats update courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras.

November 2016
Nov
 2015
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 123 236 387 528
573
New Listings 158  299 499 706
747
Active Listings 1849  1834 1811 1832
2952
Sales to New Listings  78% 79% 78%  75%
77%
Sales Projection 578 590 584
Months of Inventory

5.15

Small bump in inventory this week, now only down 38% over last year but fundamentally nothing has changed.

nov28sales

Let’s be clear:  The market is still stupidly hot and despite seasonal slowdowns there is no hint in the stats that anything is cooling off significantly.   However I would not go so far as to say that everything is peachy and we are set for another year of huge price increases because global risk and unknowns are increasing quickly.

Real estate is mostly local, and our extended period of roughly flat prices helped immensely to de-risk our market, such that even the astonishing upswing this year was not enough to move us into a range that has historically been correlated with market corrections.    However compared to previous price runups, several things are different this time:

  1. We are out of sync with Vancouver.   As they exploded from 2008 to 2014 we did nothing.   As they deteriorate at an alarming rate we are still hot.
  2. After almost a decade of incorrect calls of the bottom, both fixed and variable rates finally seem to be either poised to move up or already have.
  3. Governments at all levels seem determined to reign in our national housing monster.  During the explosion in prices between 2000 and 2008 the government was stoking the fire by loosening CMHC regulations and making credit easier to access.   Since 2008 the CMHC has taken the opposite tack, but now provincial and municipal governments have joined in and are working if not as a team, at least towards the same goal.
  4. Consumer and mortgage debt loads are higher than ever and that has a worrying correlation with subsequent recession.
  5. Real estate and related industries are a very large portion of our GDP, and when Vancouver melts down you can be assured that there will be spillover into Victoria.   As the geniuses at Manulife found out in their poll, it’s difficult to pay a mortgage without a job.
  6. International stability is looking more tenuous with citizens rejecting the establishment in several countries including our closest neighbour.

I don’t think the risks above are catastrophic yet, and if I was planning to stay in a house for 10 years or more I would still buy in Victoria at today’s prices, but I am not quite as certain it’s a good time to buy as I was 9 months ago.   The picture is changing very quickly and if there’s one thing we can expect from the government, it’s that they’ll probably act with just as little thought when tightening the regulations as they did when they loosened them in the first place.

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354 thoughts on “Nov 28 Market and Risk Update

  1. Was chatting with someone very connected to the big players in town. Was mentioning the average number of ‘units’ (not SFH) built in Victoria is 2K/yr. There are currently 16K units under construction or in permitting from Sooke to Sidney, and the average is expected to bump up to 5K/yr shortly. These are projects from very big companies who have no problem weathering a storm, but this person was mentioning that the smaller players like Abstract will need to be careful.

    This will undoubtedly take some of the steam out of the condo market, and perhaps sway some of the people currently looking in the non-core areas (Langford / Metchosin / …) from a SFH + crawl to condo + core.

  2. Does anyone else realize that this article means that a foreign buyer tax in Victoria is necessary BEFORE spring roles around. I’m so frustrated at gov’t dragging their feet on this issue. The ‘wait for more data’ dialogue already proved to be erroneous in Vancouver. This realtor obviously knows he stands to make huge amounts in commission this spring if government doesn’t intervene to help the middle class tax payer in this city.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/victoria-real-estate-foreign-buyers-1.3875688

  3. Ya Hawk it’s time to just let it go. Victoria is not going to crash anytime soon. Sure it will slow down at some point but your crash is not coming. I wish you were right but you are wrong. Victoria will continue to increase for a a while.

  4. Using grey water to keep my garden/plants alive is keeping up with the jones?

    We live in a garden city, I don’t understand, why live here if you aren’t into gardening, there is nothing much else to do other then wait in line for an hour on the way out to Costco.

    Or waiting for the big one, that’s a side hobby here, that and talking about the 112 straight days of rain and dark cold.

  5. There is opportunity here though Leo. I think you can confidently declare yourself a real estate analyst. People are hungry for information. Your outsider analytical look at our market is unique and very useful. I personally have benefited greatly by this site and the work you do Leo (and others). There is potential there to make money. Beside that I enjoy arguing and provoking here and trying to prove my points….

  6. Just takes a little bit of ‘effort’ to have a nice yard.

    Your definition of nice does not correspond to mine. Have fun keeping up with the Jones’ though.

    It’s a for profit site, usually private enterprise wants to be on the ball and be the reliable place to get info.

    Yes I’ve made literally several cents for every hour I’ve put into it. Well worth it for the privilege of not caring what you think the site should be.

  7. I always appreciate a good garden of all types. I enjoy driving beach drive and the uplands for the gardens punctuated with houses. Mine however will be organized nature and should require minimal maintenance. Lots of edible plants though…. but all native.

  8. “Although the commenters do bring the data to the site, it’s just hard to find last months data in between 223 Hawk comments”

    Better to read through 223 of Hawk’s comments, than 1 of yours.

  9. Plastic lawns, Gordon head boxes with dead lawns and dead rusted pontiacs parked on the lawn. Stay classy Victoria.

    We prefer to have a lawn and garden that we can be proud of and share with neighbours.

    We use grey water and a large underground water tank that fills over winter for our entire yard. Just takes a little bit of ‘effort’ to have a nice yard.

    The watering is automated, and we very happily pay a student to mow the lawn and keep things looking tidy and professional. We love supporting educational goals for students

  10. This site should be the go to for up to date data and news, it’s always a few days late, most of the time load up the vreb site to get current data.

    It’s a for profit site, usually private enterprise wants to be on the ball and be the reliable place to get info.

    Although the commenters do bring the data to the site, it’s just hard to find last months data in between 223 Hawk comments

  11. @Bman, we did the same thing with our lawn this summer and liked the desert feel to it. Some friends put native plants and a bit of artificial turf on their front lawn to cut down on watering and it looks awesome.

  12. Thanks for the info, Vicbot.

    Asked my friend about his estimate, he said they need new opening on the roof to run the wires, cannot use existing one on the ext wall.

  13. Bman, that depends, if you live in a nice area people look after their lawns and gardens and water them carefully, but enough that it’s not just a deadscape.

    Old school superficial thinking. The trend is more towards having a sustainable yard than the picture perfect american green grass mowed twice a week and any stray weed attacked with Raid.

    I’m happy I apparently don’t live in a “nice” area and have to worry about stuff like this that doesn’t move the needle. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why Hawk calls it Golden Head, because all the lawns are golden in the summer.

  14. Bman:

    I actually am more worried about watering the ceder trees and actual flower gardens that are around the perimeter than the grass itself. The gardens are fairly extensive.

  15. @plumwine, “Would you mind to share the co. name? I got quote $1-2k just to bring service into detached garage.”

    We used Houle Electric in 2014. But we also had to run wire underground so they had to set up a the interface for that, outdoor to underground conduit, and along with the new electrical panel, all of which added another $2k to the project cost. (We dug the trench separately)

    For the interior we went with Connected Electrical, and overall we’re happy with both Houle and Connected in terms of quality of workmanship, scheduling, customer service. (we’ve used other companies before but those 2 are our top picks)

  16. Oh come on Introvert.. You are going to correct that an obvious typo but not South’s multiple then/than errors?

    I appreciate the help!

  17. We have the opportunity to buy another property but didn’t pull the trigger because things looked a big iffy for Aug-Sept, but now that it’s clearly in the middle of a super cycle we are actively looking for an investment place.

    The house in Oak Bay for 680k was such a good deal, that’s such a low price.

  18. @South
    For us, we love our brown grass lawn in the summer time. Not watering or cutting the lawn frees up time for us to do meaningful things, like sleeping in on the weekends, hitting the road for a romantic night away, or even just talking to each other. We have to admit, we were a little concerned about what the neighbours might think. We feared attendance would suffer at our weekly Saturday night dinner parties (we love to entertain!), but our’s is a genteel neighbourhood.
    Of course, we still water the vegetable garden out of necessity (not just to appease the neighbours, but because we benefit from it), but we felt the lawn could be sacrificed.

  19. Hawk – unfortunately the Oak Bay bylaws don’t look kindly on helicopter pads. My 150ft super-yacht, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely.

  20. I have never been able to match the press release sale volumes with what is on the day to day service. I think its because they offset the data by a few days to allow for properties that have sold but have not been entered into the system by the agents. So right now it is 572 sales for November but as they trickle in the number is most likely projected to reach 599 which is four more than in 2007.

    Anyway sales are down 20 percent from October. The average decline for the last 10 years was 17%. So seasonally we are pretty much average. If that trend holds we will have sales decline to about 450 in December. But who cares about the general market or condos in Sooke!

    What we really come here for is to see how detached houses in Victoria, Saanich East and Oak Bay are doing!

    https://youtu.be/NxC5slajHTs

    House sales in the core are down 21% from last month and are about the same as last year. Months of Inventory is slightly higher and so are the average days on market. We are slightly below November 2015’s months of inventory as is our average days on market. Overall we are pretty much in the same spot as one year ago.

    Big difference is that we won’t likely have another collapse in Oil to bring in buyers come spring. So that will likely means flat house prices in the Victoria, Saanich East and Oak Bay. So prospective purchasers will have a bit of a breather to save up their loonies once more for a bigger down payment.

    Personally, I like seeing the trend for higher days on market. That means fewer people getting pulled into unfair auctions. And selling agents being able to make a buck without being out priced by the real estate evangelists.

    The silver lining is that in most years when ever we have had a rapid price increase it has been followed by long period of stable to declining prices.

  21. JJ,
    As Reason pointed out the other day it’s obvious who the troll is on here. Probably has a helicopter pad in the backyard too.

  22. Oh come on Introvert.. You are going to correct that an obvious typo but not South’s multiple then/than errors?

    “more then expected”

    “more then asking”

    “more over the years in water bills then the initial cost”

  23. Haha thanks JJ. The only statement that I made was that empty lots in South Oak Bay are worth around 800k. You have yet to share with us what you think they’re valued at, but I’d still be interested to know, unless you don’t want to share?

    You told us that an empty lot sold for 584k in 2013. For that lot to be worth 800k today, it would have to have risen in value by 37% in 3 years. Is that unreasonable? Not at all given the price action of the last few years, and especially not in South Oak Bay.

    If you are advising your clients that lot values are worth significantly less than that, you’re doing them a major disservice.

    And by the way, I am pretty much indifferent as to whether prices go up or down. Our investments are nicely balanced across asset classes, currencies, geographies etc. A dip here would be a buying opportunity for us.

  24. Bman, that depends, if you live in a nice area people look after their lawns and gardens and water them carefully, but enough that it’s not just a deadscape.

    For us, we love our garden and green grass, play w the kids and dogs on the nice lawn and have a huge food garden.

    But yes, some areas people just let it all go and you never see any life in the yard or the people for that matter.

  25. AG, I don’t really care if you believe me or not.

    You are free to remain ignorant. Some though may chose not to be. And what I’ve written here will help those people to understand land values and perhaps question unsupported statements made by bias parties.

    I think there are people, like yourself, who want real estate to remain in the realms of magic rather than educate themselves. And that’s fine, because I and others are more than happy to take your money.

  26. @Barrister
    The best irrigation system is none at all. Just let your lawn die over the summer like the rest of us. Zero upkeep, and it comes back green in the fall.

  27. That’s hilarious Mike, those words are a complete carbon copy of VREB’s and TC pump in December 2007 right before the bottom fell out.

    Major price slashes in prime hoods while the bulls can’t get off the lot thing. Just go buy one FFS and get it over with.

  28. Hawk, you do know people sometimes list really high at first just to factor out that irrational buyer that might buy at the high price.

    Then you lower and it attracts people interested in buying at a good deal.

    Have you sold a home before? I always list high at first for a few weeks to test the waters. Thank god I do that, as I have an amazing track record of selling homes for much more then “expected”.

    Good thing people don’t listen to you! How is the gambling doing? Shorted the “trump dump” and now down to $365.00 in your trading account?

  29. He said all irrigation systems need a backflow preventer and an annual inspection.

    I bought this backflow preventer for $4.50 online, when I set up my raised bed drip irrigation system:

    http://www.irrigationdirect.ca/DD-HVB-Vacuum-Breaker-3-4-Hose-Thead-Anti-Siphon-Backflow-Preventer.-DD-HVB.html

    Also, I would highly recommend the Snip-n-Drip product to water everything but the grass:

    https://www.westcoastseeds.com/shop/garden-supplies/watering/original-snip-n-drip-soaker-system/

    For everyone emailing me about the PCS accounts it is no cost, no obligation, to be set up!

    Yes, it’s a great way to see what everything around you has sold for! I love it.

    Saanich and Victoria are just brutal. It drives me nuts to see politicians talk about affordability all the time but if you want to tear down a…

    Oh, Marko. I think you’re mostly just bitter at how much time/money/hassle it has been for you to build your mansion. We should all send you a sympathy card.

  30. South, it sold after dropping the price $129K. Great selling tactic eh. How about the $500K price slash in sought after Golden Head ?

    I’ll buy the new tech Marko once it’s gone through the growing in pains in a few years. Like any new tech the first out of the gate wind up being the the Ford Pintos of tomorrow.

  31. VREB President is figuring out what’s driving the market.

    “Our current housing market is in a strong cycle due to many factors, including our current positive economic conditions, baby boomers retiring here, millennial buying cycles, a low Canadian dollar keeping folks closer to home and our favourable living conditions”

  32. JJ – It’s easy to make the case that lot values in a certain area are worth less if you assume that all buyers are irrational and making “bad economic choices.” The cognitive dissonance comes in when properties are consistently selling for higher amounts, but you ignore this because it doesn’t fit your model. At some point, your thinking needs to adjust to reality 🙂

  33. The new liquor laws will now permit alcohol to be sold in places like barber shops. My barber was thinking about serving beverages but the licence costs $12,000.

    This is getting crazy when a guy can’t enjoy an Old Fashioned or a Negroni while getting a $45 shave.

    Yet the city has medicinal emporiums popping up everywhere. I think everyone should take their seeds and just scatter them through out the parks and roadways so that it grows like Scotch Broom in the city.

    Tax that – city hall.

  34. The bureaucracy doesn’t make better homes but it makes jobs. Jobs for people that buy homes. I spoke with Mayor Fortin years ago about this and he was straight forward about it. He didn’t care how much it cost to build a home, he just wanted to protect jobs in the city.

    Eventually things will have to change unless everyone on this blog is willing to pay a grand a month in property taxes and city utility fees for a modest home.

    When we hit our next housing recession there will be no building fees to pay this army of bureaucrats. And they will be layed off and red tape will be cut to encourage building. And that will make the housing market worsen.

    But right now City Hall has is exercising as much financial restraint as a drunk sailor in a whore house. Maybe we need our own form of Boston Tea Party and we can throw all our weed into the harbor.

  35. AG, you just don’t understand what I am talking about. It’s called cognitive dissonance. There have only been two land sales this year in South Oak Bay. One at $1,390,000 for a water front lot along Beach Drive and the other at $890,000 for a 17,000 square foot lot. It is not possible to determine a lot value for South Oak Bay using just these two sales.

    Vacant lot sales are insufficient in number to determine lot values in built up areas of housing such as South Oak Bay. Lot value estimates are determined by a residual method. Where you take the sale price of a recently finished home and subtract the costs to build. What remains is the value of the lot. Pay more than that and it lessens or eliminates your profit. That doesn’t mean that you won’t buy a lot for $900,000. It just means you will lose money on the sale of the completed home or have less equity if your building the home for yourself. Both are bad economic choices that most reasonable and knowledgeable people would not make. And since Market Value assumes that a buyer is both knowledgeable and acting in their own best interest buying a lot for more would not be considered Market Value. But there are some that will over pay for the lot. There is no law that says you can’t pay $2,000,000 for a lot in South Oak Bay. Pay what ever you want but don’t kid yourself into believing you’re paying fair market value.

    So why not just use sales of properties with old houses and subtract the depreciated value of the home? Because no one knows with any certainty what an 80 year old home’s contributory value is to a site. You can’t build an 80 year old home today. The materials and skills don’t exist. Then how much depreciation is there in the home. Could it be 40, 50 or 90 percent? No one knows.

    Why not just subtract the assessed value of the improvements then? Because they’re not accurate. In order to do so you have to assume that either or both the assessed value of the land or the improvements is wrong. One or both have to be wrong as the property sold more for than the total assessed value.

  36. Marko

    This is all about litigation. The city wants the blame elsewhere if the house has issues.
    The tree thing is just crazy though. In CVRD land up island you can cut all you want as long as you are not in the riparian area. That I am sure will change.
    Is that the one on Royal Oak Dr beside the school. That one is very nice.

  37. We are talking a registered vacant lot and it took 12 months to satisfy all the departments/requirements which was for the most part non-sense.

    Not surprising at all. I know someone who went through the same thing.

    My experience in gov’t is that the whole “silly changes” thing and pushing back for another seal etc is just putting off work. They don’t care about any of those things, they just don’t want to do the work. If they can find a single reason to put it off a day, they will.

    When working in gov’t I spent a week trying to get someone to just forward me an email. Literally all they had to do was open outlook, find the email, click forward and type my email address (which would have autocompleted). The answer should be, “Sure, I’ll do that right now.” Instead I got excuses. Delay a project a week because you’re lazy. Awesome.

    For me it was always the paper pushers and business people that were lazy as hell. They have time for solitaire but they won’t forward an email. Meanwhile you ask someone technical something difficult and they’ll get it back to you that day. Crazy dichotomy.

  38. Construction costs have increased due to bureaucracy since then too. The bureaucracy has added significantly to how long it takes to build a home too. Time is money.

    It’s really out of control. I have friends that purchased a lot in Broadmead and it took more than 12 months to get shovel in the ground and they are working with a very reputable builder. We are talking a registered vacant lot and it took 12 months to satisfy all the departments/requirements which was for the most part non-sense. They had to do reports and how they would replace the trees that were being taken out of the building envelope, etc.

    Saanich and Victoria are just brutal. It drives me nuts to see politicians talk about affordability all the time but if you want to tear down a 1,000 sq/ft 70 year old home and you want to replace it with a 2,500 sq/ft home with a safe 600 sq/ft suite (adds to rental pool), for example, they make the process as brutal as possible.

    The municipalities talk about the environment but you literally kill a tree with every house. For example (and there are a lot) they won’t look at the plans without a structure engineer seal. So you submit these plans then they ask for changes on the plans that have nothing to do with structure like they want the home designer to add a few more measurements, label smoke detectors, etc. You go to your designer and he or she does that, prints it (they won’t accept PDF), and you take that down to the municipality. The staff now want these plans SEALED again by the engineer even though no structural changes were made. Obviously the design and engineer are just sending you invoices at this point.

    As I said the issue I have with all the bureaucracy is the majority of it doesn’t make for better quality of homes.

  39. Barrister: go to Wes-Tech irrigation. Ask at the front counter for recommendations, they know who is the best providors as they supply the market.

    A property designed “micro” irrigation system that can expand with plants and is super efficient can save much much more over the years in water bills then the initial cost.

    We made the mistake of expanding an old system and now we have this monster water bill and have to continually move stuff around to water yard.

    Also, make sure to have many zones that you can program individually, and have a zone for potted plants only.

    http://www.irrigation.ca/contact.htm

  40. What’s to stop a builders from nominating the same person that passed the HPO exam? I didn’t read through the entire act, but it seems that someone could pass the exam and be on the payroll at multiple companies as the nominee that passed the exam.

    I’m always suspicious of certification exams. Many are just money grabs by the certification body. Experience always trumps an exam. There’s very little value in proving you can temporarily memorise things you can look up (and most likely will just look up post exam).

  41. JJ – OK then. Where would you value an empty 6000sf lot in South Oak Bay?

    If you say anything less than 750k, it becomes extremely difficult to justify many of the recent house sales that we’ve seen. Honestly, I think you’re in denial for some reason. You can only say the market is irrational for so long before you just have to acknowledge the new pricing.

  42. Missed the point AG.

    Construction costs have increased due to bureaucracy since then too. The bureaucracy has added significantly to how long it takes to build a home too. Time is money.

    But here. Since there a multitude of possible examples out there. it isn’t possible to say with 100 percent certainty that a builder could not buy a lot for $800,000 build a home and sell it for 1.7 million and still make a reasonable profit. And that’s all you really want is one example as proof that this is common for the entire marketplace. So I will concede that the possibility may exist.

    Although if you’re a builder and bought a lot for $585,000 and lots went up to $800,000. I’d sell the lot and not go to the trouble and risk of building a home on it. Making a hundred grand or more without lifting a hammer and a year of your time – that’s an easy choice.

  43. Condos are a horrible appreciation play (compared to SFH) but they have their market. In terms of my investments and condos once again comes down to lifestyle. Three new condos are headache free compared to a 1912 triplex in Fernwood. Sure the triplex will appreciate much better but I don’t have time to deal with the increased workload of plugged toilets, water ingress, and other.

    All true, but the math behind the choices is interesting.

    That increase in appreciation compounds on the overall value, not just your down payment. And the ROI on the time spent dealing with the issues on a large lot like Barrister’s old house – if he carves out the two lots – is astronomical – like maybe 1.5 million or a doubling of his initial investment 3 years ago while retaining the residence. Also possibly tax free.

    So you can spend the extra forty hours a year on work per year, or the extra time and some extra money up front on a higher hassle, older but bigger lot property. Even if you are at the top end of the income and averaging, say, $100/hour, that is $4000 dollars a year of extra taxable income – maybe $2000 after tax.

    I’d say that unless you are creating a passive income business, or a sale-able one at a large profit,your effort is going to have a higher payoff dealing with the large lot old house hassles. If you are an employee earning a straight wage this will most certainly be true over the long term if you have the income to support this type of purchase.

    Stress-cost might not be worth it, but if I had a redo I would have been a bit more aggressive with this.

  44. At times I think we could get rid of the HPO. Let people chose the builder that they want and if there is a problem then settle it in court. And then I remember how some atrocious contractors were always changing company names to avoid being sued. And the home owner was just SOL.

    I remember I was at one remodel job site and the contractor did not tarp the roof on Friday. It poured through out the weekend and the coved ceilings in the living room collapsed. I was there because the owner needed more financing to cover the water damage as the builder said he would fix the living room at cost and not charge for his time.

    I told the home owner to call the builder’s insurance company. If there had not been an insurance company then the home owner would have been taken by the builder. And this isn’t limited to small construction companies.

    So when it comes to the HPO, it’s a case of six of these and half a dozen of those. And like everything else it’s always the good contractors paying for the mistakes of the bad contractors. So why not test them first and weed out the bad builders?

    And this brings up the point of getting money draws from the bank to pay the contractor during stages of construction as well as a hold back at the end. If the contractor gets you to pay too much on the draws or gets you to release the hold back early, then you’re not being very smart. There isn’t much incentive for him to come back and fix his mistakes.

  45. foreign doctors that move to Prince George

    Don’t most foreign doctors have permanent residency? The process to be able to practice in Canada usually takes more than five years and even for well-established relationships with countries like South Africa the process takes at least three years. Permanent residents don’t pay the tax.

  46. “And to get back to the point of my statement about builders not likely to pay $800,000 for a site, the lot was purchased at $584,000.”

    JJ – when was the lot purchased? I’m guessing back in 2013, judging from your post. I bet someone would pay 800k for an empty lot there now.

  47. I think you didn’t read the article Marko. Cult mentality will do that. It was pretty clear they are going to be leading the pack. It’s about the future.

    They have no network of chargers and they don’t have a car that can be charged. Let me know when I can buy a Benz with 500km of range and I can charge it at 600 km/h in Squamish going up to Whistler.

  48. One thing is for sure. Buying a brand new house on a small lot is not likely to be a great investment. The chance of overpaying is just too high, and the depreciation on your house will likely cancel out any gains on the land anyway.

    100% agreed, but it’s also a lifestyle thing. You have professionals that make 200-500k a year and they would prefer to focus on their career versus having to worry about drain tile failure and a ton of other problems on the 1930s charmer they could have bought down the street for $1.5 million that’s on a 15,000 sq/ft lot instead of the new house on a 3,300 sq/ft lot.

    Condos are a horrible appreciation play (compared to SFH) but they have their market. In terms of my investments and condos once again comes down to lifestyle. Three new condos are headache free compared to a 1912 triplex in Fernwood. Sure the triplex will appreciate much better but I don’t have time to deal with the increased workload of plugged toilets, water ingress, and other.

  49. AG, that’s a very nice 3,500 square foot home asking 2.3 million. This newer home in South Oak Bay has been listed many times since it was purchased new in 2013 without getting an accepted offer. I wonder if this house has ever been lived in on a full time basis as I suspect it was just an investment. Has anyone ever seen someone living in the home?

    In a market with multiple bids in under two weeks, this property has now been listed for 3 months which strongly suggests the property is over priced at 2.3 million.

    And to get back to the point of my statement about builders not likely to pay $800,000 for a site, the lot was purchased at $584,000.

    For a builder to lay out $800,000 in the hope of finding a buyer at 1.8 million is risky. What I get from talking with contractors is that they rather purchase 2 or 3 lots in Langford and build houses on them rather than risk it all by speculating on selling one house in Oak Bay that might take a year to build. Most of the new homes in Oak Bay will therefore most likely be building contracts and cost plus jobs not spec housing. So you buy the lot and they will build the house which is less risky for them.

    You can pay what ever you want for the lot, but after the construction is completed you won’t get anymore for the home than what the market will bear. Overpay for the lot and that’s your loss.

  50. I think you didn’t read the article Marko. Cult mentality will do that. It was pretty clear they are going to be leading the pack. It’s about the future.

    “The partners say that these “ultra-fast” chargers are more powerful than anything in service today, including Tesla’s Superchargers. Based on the Combined Charging System (CCS) DC Fast standard, the new chargers will support power levels up to 350 kilowatts.

    That represents an expansion of the existing standard. As of right now, there are no vehicles on the market that can take advantage of that much power.”

  51. One thing is for sure. Buying a brand new house on a small lot is not likely to be a great investment. The chance of overpaying is just too high, and the depreciation on your house will likely cancel out any gains on the land anyway.

  52. You are right, I have noticed the premium for new houses is substantial.

    Maybe if Leo lets me I’ll do a guess post on HPO and municipal bureaucracy? In my opinion what is driving up new home premiums in the core largely has to do with lack of inventory as a result of huge escalation in costs driven in part by bureaucracy. Not many people go through the process of building so they are no aware of what goes into building a home these days. The homes have remained relatively simple, basically 2”x6” construction but paperwork has been made rocket science and it comes at a cost.

    You would think given how hot the market is there would be brand new homes (customs excluded) popping up all over the core, but there aren’t. As the market slows down the only new homes you’ll see in the core with be custom builds were the owners have deep pockets that can hire big name contractors such as Abstract, GT Mann, Christopher Developments, etc.

    When the market softens trade prices will drop but the bureaucracy won’t and after the HPO eliminates owner-builders and small builders the big players will be able to charge more due to an oligopoly created thanks to the HPO.

  53. @ Plumwine

    As I thought, JJ was being selective about that 679k house. That’s in North Oak Bay, close to the Victoria border, and the one I was talking about was in South Oak Bay.

    I still believe that the lot value for a typical South Oak Bay lot is somewhere around 800k.

  54. AG:

    You are right, I have noticed the premium for new houses is substantial. I agree the price would have been higher for a new house but I am not sure that the value would be there. certainly, there would not have been mahogany and burled oak throughout a new house nor the very expensive molding and trims
    or solid core hardwood doors in a new house. The fact that all the electrical and mechanical things in the house were new made it a real bargain compared to today. But, i am old so I guess I like old things.

  55. I’m not sure that I would support the 15% tax province-wide or federally. For example, what about the foreign doctors that move to Prince George? Do we really want them to pay 15% extra?

    I think it should be applied to all major population centers though, or at least those that reach a certain measure of overvaluation (including Victoria).

    Perhaps a federal program could be created, and each municipality could be given the choice of whether to opt in or out?

  56. Victoria Real Estate Board
    Thu Dec 1, 2016:

    Nov Nov
    2016 2015
    Net Unconditional Sales: 599 573
    New Listings: 786 747
    Active Listings: 1,815 2,952

    Please Note

    Left Column: stats for the entire month from this year
    Right Column: stats for the entire month from last year

  57. AG
    November 30, 2016 at 2:06 pm
    You mentioned a 679k house. I’d be interested to know where that was?

    2060 Carrick St V8R 2M6
    369502 List $: $679,000
    Status: Sold Orig $: $679,000
    DOM: 14 Sold $: $679,000
    S-Class: Single Family Detached
    List Dt: 2016/08/29 Pend Dt: 2016/09/12

    I posted this house. $680k, 2 wks dom, Fin SqFt:2155/ Lot SqFt: 6,950. Buying SFH in OB is very doable, even now. People are just too picky. They want everything for nothing.

  58. Barrister – there’s a healthy premium for new houses too. You would have paid a lot more for a new house on your lot

  59. AG:

    You are right, that at the end of the day, the market will determine what this house is worth.
    I am rather surprised at the amount of price increase in just three years since I bought. My wife says it is simply a product of me getting old. She might be right.

  60. Vicbot
    November 30, 2016 at 5:06 pm
    We also upgraded to 200A from 70A and it was around $2500.

    Would you mind to share the co. name? I got quote $1-2k just to bring service into detached garage.

  61. 2161 Beaverbrook – obviously a small lot (3300sf), and a smallish property (1906sf finished). However, it’s a brand new house and a great area. People are paying 800k+ for crappy old houses on larger lots.

    Given that the build quality and finishes look good but not amazing, I would have guessed around the 1.3m area. I guess we’ll see if someone wants to pay up.

  62. Has anyone noticed the price for 2161 Beaverbrook. It is totally over the top in my opinion but what do you think?

  63. Curious Cat:

    The coffee shop idea works great for me, why dont you pick a date and place and lets see who shows up.

    The invitation to come over for a coffee is still open. Most mornings during the week work for me except Thursdays. Mornings are good for me since my wife spends a couple of hours in the gym we have in the house. Why dont we say at 10:oo and you pick a day Monday to Wednesday next week. Thursday and Friday next week dont work.

  64. Gwas, I have not used them personally, but I have spoken to the guys at Van Isle Windows and they seemed ok. They will do a free estimate and even come do a site visit and measure to give a firm quote.

    Barrister, I’d love a tour, but I was just joking about volunteering someone else to host a get together! That is too rude of me! Perhaps we should have a HHV pre-Xmas meetup at a coffee shop in, where else? Oak Bay! I think it’s only fitting. And then next time it should be Fairfield, then somewhere in Saanich East, then Saanich West, etc, until we get to visit all the neighbourhoods in the core! Weekdays between 10am-2pm work best for me as my son is in school, but I could do an after dinner evening if it’s a Tuesday or Thursday.

  65. I got fog in a couple windows that I guess replacement is needed. Anyone have a recommendation where I will not get ripped off?

  66. Curious Cat:

    I would be happy to host in January. Might I suggest that we get together one afternoon to work out the details. I am assuming that you have about a dozen people in mind?

    Anyway, let me know what might be a good time for you. I will be happy to give you a house tour at that time.

  67. Why are Benz sales up for 5 straight years and Tesla has major repair problems ? Time will tell but I’m sure Daimler will be the leader down the road.

    The luxury car market has been growing substantially YOY. Almost everyone is up unless there is a model cycle anomaly. In terms of reliability I would take my Tesla any day over an E-Class Benz. Not to mention re-sale on Teslas is insane compared to E or S class.

    I am not necessarily disagreeing with you regarding Mercedes. I own two of them and they are a great product. They are a serious competitor.

    Mercedes struggles with younger buyers. You are not going to get a S4 or 435i driver into a C-Class. In the last decade the average age of a Benz buyer has been 5-6 years older than Audi/BMW depanding on the year.

    BMW is already ahead having built over 60,000 i3s. Not sure how you guys can be so sure on a company that has a history of building boring cars for an older demographic being such a massive success in the EV market. VW is already bringing the Golf E to Canada next year and it is a half EV, I drove one in Europe this summer. Drives slightly better than the Leaf but the big thing is it isn’t ugly 🙂 What is Benz doing?

    Not saying it can’t happen, but if I had to bet $ it certainly wouldn’t be on Benz. It would be like betting that the Raptors beat the Cavs in a 7 games series. It could happen, but the odds aren’t favorable.

  68. Interesting news about that Mercedes 5 minute supercharger I mentioned I heard was in the works and was shot down here for by the local expert as being impossible. Seems I was right.

    Did you even read the article? “At full power, those chargers could add 100 kilometers of range in less than five minutes.”

    These chargers are designed for between city travels. Tesla already has them…..I hit 600 km/h recharge a few weeks ago on a supercharger going down to Portland. So basically Benz is saying they will do what Tesla has already done?

    When I said 5 minutes almost impossible I clarified it with it was impossible with current technology using A/C current (what you find in your house).

    To get an insane re-charge rate you need D/C current and unless Benz plans on coming out with cars that have 100 km range it won’t be 5 minutes even with D/C. The recharge rate slows down as the battery gets closer to 100%.

  69. Barrister, I tried for a quick and cheap solution for my front lawn, a micro irrigation kit from Cdn Tire that we attached to the spigot on the front of the house a few years ago and was subsequently informed by a plumber that this was against building code. He was at the house to replace our water line and noticed our setup. He said all irrigation systems need a backflow preventer and an annual inspection. I told him it was just a $45 kit from CT, surely it didn’t apply! But alas, he said it didn’t matter. Something about the possibility that it could contaminate the drinking water. Last summer we did not water our front garden. Another thing to add to the list…

  70. Barrister has that huge 8000 sq ft house. I think he should host. 😉 I’m dying to see it! I love character homes!

    And holy cow… I step away from the blog for a day and a half and there were 200 comments to sift through! There is probably a new blog post by the time I finished catching up and writing this comment.

    Heatpump: yes mine is on a 30amp breaker. I’ve upgraded the wiring in my house in 2012 and it cost me $10k. I replaced the panel to gain a bit of room for more breakers, but left the service at 100amps. There was an issue where the hydro line attaches to my house whereas it comes too close to a window and was not to code. By staying with the 100amps, deemed sufficient at the time with only one kitchen, I was grandfathered. My friend’s husband is an electrician and said I would need a bigger panel for an electric furnace and suggested that natural gas would be the way to go. Apparently Terasen has some promotions going right now where it only costs the homeowner $50 to bring the line to the house! This seems the most cost-efficient solution, but it’s just one more item to add to my list of future improvements.

    Right now I’m dealing with a bathroom addition so that is taking up most of my focus. It has been very challenging dealing with a low height, crazy sloping floor! We’ve ended up cutting a beam, moving ductwork, getting a custom showerpan, all to maximize every inch possible. I haven’t had laundry for almost a month. I’ve had to work with construction-grade ear protection as my desk is also in the basement literally 8 feet away from the new bathroom. I’ve spent hours researching how to make low ceiling spaces appear taller (paint the ceiling with a satin/gloss finish instead of flat) and how to make dark spaces appear brighter (do not paint everything white, it just creates shadows). This actually is harder to research than you would think as Houzz seems to think “low ceiling height” is 7 feet and a slope is half an inch. Man how about 6’3″ to 6’7″ in about 10 feet?? Yeah a 4″ slope! Fun times, but boy oh boy will it be worth it!!!

  71. For a change of topic I am looking for a way to water my lawn and gardens. Has anyone had any experience with the different in ground systems here in Victoria.

    I am leaning towards an above ground system like the one sold by Lee valley but it seems pricey and does anyone know if it works. The above ground seems to have a lot more flexibility for the gardens since the height oand nature of the plants changes over time.

    I spoke to one guy who services the below ground systems and he says that the available products are very shoddy these days and that the installation companies are dubious.

    I really would appreciate some positive suggestions of a practical nature. Recommendations for a good contractor would also be great.

  72. Meatspace. With beer.

    I’m so conflicted. I like beer but I’m a social vegan.

    In order to keep my anonymity I’ll come as Hawk.

  73. I’m interested in more on HPO (though maybe Marko wants to keep that to his blog). I’m interested in more on building passive in Victoria. How about an article on which municipality is easiest to build in? There are lots of topics relevant to housing in Victoria other than just sales stats.

    I’d be interested in, in no particular order, a guest post on DIY drip irrigation, how to make great graphs, and the insider’s guide to mortgage qualification. In return, I will undertake to write a great guest post on a yet to be determined topic at some point in the future.

    All good ideas. Sales stats are the easy ones to post when I don’t have time to write something else detailed.
    Anyone want to volunteer? Most of the listed topics are not areas I have expertise in for the most part.

    Or maybe we need to have that HHV get together that I promised. Christmas a bit of a busy time for get togethers though.

  74. A new blog post is usually a change in topic (except for the few that insist on reviving the previous days’ arguments).

    Sometimes I wonder if by putting a new post up I’m just the guy that barges in to a conversation. Then there’s a few moments of awkward silence and everyone picks up where they left off. 🙂

  75. Also, I’ve been trying to hold back and wait for Introvert but I would just mention that illicit is not the same as elicit and we are back to using advise when advice will do.

    Thanks for stepping in, totoro. We could also remind (for the second time) a certain realtor about question marks at the end of statements. But, lately, this is how I feel:

    https://twitter.com/meakoopa/status/801475726776139777

  76. I don’t recall ever being asked about that. I believe ours is 100A but they neither asked nor checked it. TD Meloche Monnex

    I see you’ve switched to TD MM. You’re welcome.

    For the major “Price Slash of the Day” in the core, goes to Introvert’s, gwac’s, Mikey’s and AG’s, pride and joy, Golden Head.

    What’s with “Golden Head”? I don’t get it. Can someone please explain it to me?

  77. We also upgraded to 200A from 70A and it was around $2500. When we bought the insurance company asked about the panel, and the fact that we were going to upgrade it – I think insurance would have been more if we hadn’t upgraded.

    Interesting anecdote from the road, probably applies to Canada as well: Most people are upset about house prices in NZ & Oz, lots of debate about “negative gearing” (borrowing money for investment properties), over-building apartments/condos for investors, etc. One politician said:
    “We are in danger of developing a society whereby some people are able to buy their 6th, 7th, 8th home, but people trying to get into the housing market to buy their first home simply aren’t able to.”

    Everyone from waiters to taxi drivers to businesspeople brought this up without prompting. By the way another article today:

    “The rising number of foreign buyers snapping up properties in the Victoria area is sparking debate about bringing Metro Vancouver’s 15% tax on foreign buyers to the capital region as well.”
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/victoria-foreign-purchasers-1.3873015

  78. My perennial favorites are peonies. I’d be interested in, in no particular order, a guest post on DIY drip irrigation, how to make great graphs, and the insider’s guide to mortgage qualification. In return, I will undertake to write a great guest post on a yet to be determined topic at some point in the future.

    Also, I’ve been trying to hold back and wait for Introvert but I would just mention that illicit is not the same as elicit and we are back to using advise when advice will do. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a tree to decorate and some wine to mull.

  79. Ah, I see gwac. I have a friend that subdivided in Saanich. Sounded like hell. Very slow process.

    @infrequentposter
    I feel left out. Maybe next year I can make the naughty list.

    Yes the SNR is a little low these days. Kind of the nature of the internet (and maybe seasonality.. I’m definitely looking for distractions). I think some more posts from Totoro, Leo S, Marko and Sidekick Spliff would help balance things out.

    I liked the guest blog post idea. A new blog post is usually a change in topic (except for the few that insist on reviving the previous days’ arguments).

    I’m interested in more on HPO (though maybe Marko wants to keep that to his blog). I’m interested in more on building passive in Victoria. How about an article on which municipality is easiest to build in? There are lots of topics relevant to housing in Victoria other than just sales stats.

  80. Dasmo

    Thanks for the info on 1 Bate. Beautiful piece of property in a beautiful area.

    However if the existing building means you need a variance to build an actual house that would be a disincentive. Also the fact that the property is zoned agricultural but would be impossible to use for agriculture because you can’t cut any trees. If I owned 45 acres I would want at least a field for a big garden and perhaps some chickens.

    The current or previous owners screwed up by not getting this piece of property into the private forest designation back when they still could. That gets you a total out on municipal bylaws, dramatically lower taxes and you never have to actually cut a tree if you don’t want to. Plus if you have been in the designation for 15 years or longer there is no penalty to get out. Back in the day parcels of this size were allowed in the program but now the minimum is 25 hectares.

    I guess I need to look further afield for my rural paradise 🙂

  81. I almost miss info/Victoria real estate update, haha, whatever happened to them?

    No need to wonder or pine. Info’s fervor and imminent doom mantra have simply been transposed here under the nom de plume of Victoria Real Estate Update: http://www.greaterfool.ca/2016/11/29/why-i-rent/#comments

    A great read if you like predictability:

    In Victoria, sales of detached houses have shriveled by 48% since April… Falling sales levels indicate that prices will begin falling soon. That’s a well-established real estate fact.

  82. In no particular order, hawk, AG, gwac, and (to a lesser extent) Barrister are sort of taking the fun out of this blog for me, trolling and bickering. Can we limit people to like 100 posts a day max or something? I almost miss info/Victoria real estate update, haha, whatever happened to them?

    More quality posts from perennial favourites Just Jack and Marko pls, less sh*itposting from the rest.

    Just my $0.02.

  83. “Hawk

    That was funny as well as true.”

    gwac,

    What’s really funny and true is how you and AG have been posting in tandem like some WWE madmen for the past 2 days non-stop, as soon as I start posting some of the dozen’s of price slashes from all price ranges. Meanwhile trying to debate the shit out of price of a lot til one needs some NoDoze.

    Sounds like some serious nervousness and doubt your own estates aren’t worth what you think they are. It’s called signs of the coming correction, and spillover from Vancouver. 😉

  84. “Well AG, I haven’t seen any proof of that. I’ve seen builders pay far less for the land and sell for 1.8 million but I’ve not seen any builders pay $800,000 for a lot and make a profit yet.”

    Here’s a 4 year old house on a smallish South Oak Bay lot, on the market for $2.3m – https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Single-Family/17370307/2277-Central-Ave-Victoria-British-Columbia-V8S2S1

    That’s probably overpriced, but you can see that the margins are still there for builders. This one is just down the road from that crappy old house that sold for $809k.

  85. “AG, how is the percentage of people buying in Oak Bay more relevant than in the core?”

    Because the house is in Oak Bay. You were implying that the sale was not representative of the area or the market, so you discounted it. Then you backed that up by saying that only 6% of core buyers pay over 1.5m. But I bet the percentage of Oak Bay buyers paying over $1.5m is higher, and would reveal that this sale is actually fairly representative of the local market.

    So, what’s the percentage of Oak Bay buyers who pay over $1.5m? And even more relevantly, what’s the percentage of South Oak Bay buyers who pay over $1.5m?

  86. Barrister

    Seaward Terrance that is a great area. I think it is priced about right for someone who has a reno or build budget.

  87. Well AG, I haven’t seen any proof of that. I’ve seen builders pay far less for the land and sell for 1.8 million but I’ve not seen any builders pay $800,000 for a lot and make a profit yet.

  88. AG, how is the percentage of people buying in Oak Bay more relevant than in the core?

    You want me to sample a group of millionaires to see how many are millionaires?

  89. JJ you can buy an old house in South Oak Bay for 800k, build a new house and still come out ahead. New houses on lots like that can easily sell for $1.8m

  90. Hawk

    That was funny as well as true.

    Barrister plus that family room. Just bulldoze it and send it to Hartland.

  91. GWAC:

    On Seaward Terrance, you got to love the elegance of the kitchen and the bathroom cabinets are just about perfect.

  92. Funny how the big bucks boys on here want to tear everything down as soon as they see something that just needs a decent reno and some elbow grease.

    That’s the problem with this town, just rip down something that can be reno’d and build an ugly f’n flat roofed box with zero character and ice cold interiors. Then slap some exorbitant price on it and say there’s a Red Barn down the street to justify it. Slowly turning into another Vancouver with the same attitude.

  93. AG was the house on Central Avenue bought by a builder intending to build on the lot or was it bought by someone intending to live in the home?

    People that want a home to live in will pay more than a builder. Because a builder has to construct a home and make a profit. If the profit incentive is not there then they will not buy the property. At this time the demand for people to have a home to live in is greater than the demand by builders.

    If the person is intending to live in the home then all you really know about lot value is that it is less than $809,000. The home on Central was not advertised as a tear down. It is a 1,500 square foot character home with a basement that is in high demand for buyers to remodel. The house has value.

    How much value? Probably quite a bit since you can derive rents from it. How much would you pay today to derive a steady stream of net $2,500 a month or net $30,000 a year. An economic rent you would not receive if it were a vacant lot. How much did your mutual fund return on say a hundred or two hundred grand this year? Or how about the return on a 25 year bond. The house adds an economic value to the land.

  94. I am not too sure about selling a lot next door to Hawk since I would be concerned that the negative vibes would scorch the paint off my house or possibly cause a zombie invasion to erupt.

  95. Bingo

    I just mentioned Saanich in the post since that is the one I had exposure to the process and thought it can not be too different thus the price and warning do not think sub divide or clear cut is easy. 🙂

  96. 4601 Seawood Terrace. That is a blast from the past. Best thing is bull doze and start again.

    You need a million more though. 🙂

  97. Just Jack:

    First, thank you for the numbers, they were both useful and informative. It is refreshing to get facts
    instead of just hyperbola. I also agree that it is a matter of what is happening in the various tranches of pricing that is relevant.For example house prices south of Bay Street and including all of oak Bay seem to be averaging in the 1 million range. Obviously Uplands is a market unto itself at the moment.

    Some people here seem to want to take one or two sales and extrapolate whole arguments from a couple of examples. Condo prices in eastern Aleppo have dramatically dropped so is that a future indicator for Victoria?

  98. Thanks Dasmo. I was going off gwac saying it was Saanich.

    Looks like VR has an exception for a primary dwelling. If the garage is considered and outbuilding..

    Anyhow, can’t be bothered to dig into it any more. I’m not in the market to buy an acreage and if I were I’d probably lean towards central saanich. The people I know there have had no issues on their acreages cutting tress ALR or not.

  99. Here’s another Golden Head fix’er upper that no one wants at 4601 Seawood Terrace. Ocean view, large lot, and had to slash it $159K down to $929K from $1,088,00 and still no takers.

    I think Golden Head is over hyped and the big sales you hear are only going to the promo pumped agents deals who are happily taking the sheep to the cleaners.

  100. “The percentage of people buying a home for more than 1.5 million is just 6%.”

    What’s the percentage of people in Oak Bay buying a home for more than 1.5 million? That seems more relevant.

  101. Just Jack:

    That is good idea about contacting city hall. My guess is that Marko is pretty well on target with the pricing. Because the lots are on the ridgeline of Rockland they are worth more than further down the hill. The extra value is in the long ocean and mountain views, I am right on the corner of Rockland and St, Charles. The view from my third floor is actually rather spectacular.

    I will check with the city, great idea. in the meantime my wife is mulling it over in her mind. She might be an ex New York model but she has the mind of a Wall Street accountant.

  102. How strong is the market for $1,750,000 homes in Oak Bay? First of all paying $1,750,000 for a house in the core is not typical. Most buyers are paying between $600,000 to $800,000 for a home in the core. The percentage of people buying a home for more than 1.5 million is just 6%. The number of sales falls off dramatically at around $1,250,000.

    So saying that a home that sold at 1.8 million is proof that the market is hot in Victoria is bovine fecal matter. What you really want to know is if the market is “hot” in your price range not someone else’s price range.

  103. Bingo you have to use it for agriculture use not to build a house or driveway or outbuilding or whatever, That is the problem I was going to encounter. I had plans for a business that needed out buildings.

  104. Dasmo

    The stories I could tell you about my experience building on the lake. It was a nightmare. First they wanted to have access at anytime to come on to my property to look at the plants. My Lawyer told them to not bother with that on the deed. I own to the low water mark. After planting 600 plants and than having to hire someone to count them and than being told that the ratio of high to low plants was not good enough. At that point I told them to go away and stop bothering me. Never heard back from them.
    There is over 2000 plants now and it looks great. I spend a lot of time removing evasive plants.

  105. JJ, I was thinking of the old house on Central Ave that sold the other day for $809k. Also, the lower bound for old houses in South Oak Bay has been around 800k for much of this year. Even for crappy old tear downs.

    Just because no empty lots have sold, doesn’t mean that you can’t estimate the lot value.

    You mentioned a 679k house. I’d be interested to know where that was? Was it in the same area? If it wasn’t the same area then it’s not particularly relevant.

  106. From the bylaw:

    Where a protected tree is located within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) or
    outside the ALR on land zoned for agricultural use and the protected tree must be
    removed to permit the land to be used for an agricultural use. The application must
    be accompanied by a sworn declaration (affidavit) from the owner stating that the
    protected tree(s) is to be cut or removed to permit agricultural use and that the
    agricultural use cannot be located elsewhere on the lot so as to accommodate the
    protected tree;

    Sounds like ALR and agricultural zoning is treated the same. Only people I know with acreages are in Central Saanich, so I have no idea how it works in practice. But if you have a signed affidavit they can’t block you from cutting.

    Also:

    Where protected trees are growing on Rural Lands, the property owner will be
    permitted to remove one protected tree for each .40458 hectare (1 Acre) in a lot per
    calendar year

    I don’t remember where the urban containment boundaries are for Saanich though. It looks like it should be outside of it.

  107. For the major “Price Slash of the Day” in the core, goes to Introvert’s, gwac’s, Mikey’s and AG’s, pride and joy, Golden Head.

    After trying the ole “lucky 8” tactic, they took a $510,000 major hack and slash and still no luck. Previously $3,398,888, and now $2,888,888. Maybe the extra 8’s will work ?

    That’s a half a million dollars of hope down the tube. I swore Tony Joe said he had 20 bidders on his last Golden Head house. Guess they all left town….or the country.

    Funny how all the bulls are missing these massive price cuts. Bad for business I guess, or their own net worth. 😉

  108. AG, there are no recent sales of vacant lots in the neighborhood. There were 3 sales of vacant lots so far in 2016 in Oak Bay. One was a waterfront at close to 1.4 million. Another was in a low lying area near the Chines grave yard and the other was almost a half acre lot of rock at close to $900,000.

    So how do you figure that $800,000 is the lot value in Oak Bay when the only evidence is three sales over 6 months ago that ranged between $890,000 to $1,390,000? When during the last 90 days their have been properties improved with livable houses on good sized lots selling as low as $679,000.

    If you’re a prospective buyer for a house in Oak Bay and an agent is trying to sell you a dump at $900,000 saying that the lot values in the area are $800,00 ask the agent to show you those vacant land sales. When it comes down to what the lot value is for housing in built up areas is or is not it is just a guesstimate based more on feeling than good evidence.

    And if you are a prospective buyer for a home in these areas it shouldn’t matter what a lot is or is not worth as you’re looking for a property with an existing home not a piece of land to build on. For some reason buyers believe that the lot value is more secure and subject to less of an up and down movement in price. That’s just not true. Vacant land has a lot of volatility and is subject to wide price swings. Because you don’t have a house on the property you can’t offset mortgage payments with rents. If the market changes then you can’t sell the land without a loss and it costs you money every month as you can’t rent it. Because of that increased risk, most banks will only lend 65% of the value on a vacant lot.

  109. @caveat 1 Bate is also in the sensitive terrestrial ecosystem DP area. So if you aren’t a tree hugger like me then it’s not for you. I accept the added admin load because I want to live in the forest and not have it levelled and turned into bear mountain around me. If you hope to subdivide there it won’t be easy. Also lots of wet lands which would limit building sites. 15 – 30 meter setback from high water.

  110. $100K price slash on 1845 Fairburn Dr. Nice place, beautiful pool, .28 acre but no one wants it. Where did all the buyers go ?? Chop, chop !

  111. View Royal requires a two to one tree replanting for every one cut down. Pretty much all native trees are protected.

  112. Bingo

    ALR you can cut away and say it is for farming. Agriculture each tree has to be approve to be cut and some you have to build around or pay the fine. I was warned when I called Saanich that the tree huggers in Parks who approve each and every cut are a nightmare to deal with. This is why people stick cooper nails or drill and place pesticide in the tree because they are not allowed to cut living trees of some type.

    http://www.saanich.ca/EN/main/community/natural-environment/trees/tree-protection-bylaw.html
    •Arbutus
    •Garry Oak
    •Pacific Dogwood
    •Pacific Yew

  113. @caveat, I think that place is still on the market because it needs to be dealt with before you can build. It’s in View Royal which does not favour two dwellings on a lot. It looks to me like someone built an uber garage with a suite above with plans to build the house later. 15 years later and the rules have changed. So you would need to get the variance which goes against their OCP or tear it down or rip out the suite etc. So it’s not so move in ready. Unless you want to live in a loft above a huge garage. It is a great spot though being in the park.

  114. gwac:

    Good luck cutting trees down in Saanich

    Vandekerkhove had no issues, of course that was ALR not normal agricultural. Easy enough to look up the bylaws.

    My best guess is no issues while it’s zoned agricultural. Cut away. Just make sure to do under the pretence of farming and well before any application for zoning changes and subdividing.

  115. Another recent $100K price slash in Cordova Bay, 5009 Bonanza Pl. Beautiful shape, awesome view but no one wants it.

    I thought Cordova Bay was the new hot rich man’s area, Mike said so. Apparently not. Chinks in the armor are adding up. 😉

  116. Barrister are you looking for specific stats or just general stats for all properties in all areas?

    Because the overall stats for sale volumes are not going to be much different from last year. Sales in all areas for all types of properties for the month of November for the last 10 years ranged from a low of 263 during the 2008 economic recession to a high of 596 in 2007. The 10 year average being 469 sales in November. Today we are at 547 sales for the month which is a little less than last year.

    So we are definitely within the range of normalcy for sale volume of all types and all areas.

    But as I have said before. I don’t think many of the people on this blog care about what is happening in other areas or other types of properties. Their interest is limited to single family homes in the three areas of Victoria, Saanich East and Oak Bay. Sale volumes for November over the last 10 years have been as low as 49 to a high of 117. The 10 year average is 95 house sales in November. And today there are 92 house sales for the month of November in these 3 areas. We are close to the 10 year average.

    When it comes to where the high sales number are being achieved it isn’t in the three premium priced hoods but condos and stand alone houses in the Western Communities. That’s where the sale volume records are being broken. And so the pendulum swings as buyers are out priced in the expensive areas they move further out or substitute a house for a condo.

    And that’s how months of inventory and days on market begin to increase again in the three premium hoods.
    The MOI for these 3 hoods over the last 10 year in November went as low as 1.89 to a high of 10.16 in the 2008 recession. The average MOI for the last decade was 6 months of inventory. Today we are at 1.75. The same with the average days on market. Both are at their lowest point in any November for the last 10 years. And that’s why we are seeing irrational bidding.

    Will this irrational market in these 3 areas continue forever? Of course not, the market will swing back and those that did get caught up in bidding wars will regret their purchase and try to find someone to blame for their lack of good judgement. Parents that gave/gifted a down payment to their children will likely find that a lot of that down payment money is lost money. And that doesn’t mean that prices have declined, it just means that inventory and days on market return to a more balanced position.

  117. 742 ST. PATRICK ST – offered for 1.799m and sold for 1.868m.

    I guess the South Oak Bay market is still pretty hot after all.

    I actually thought this was priced slightly too high. The lots are worth maybe 800k each, going by recent sales in the area. But you can’t develop either one without knocking the house down. And if you price it as a single, large lot with an old house on it, then it’s definitely on the expensive side.

  118. I don’t know if GWAC is suggesting that each of the lots are worth 1.2 million or both of them together.

    I would think Marko is closest at $750,000 each if they were severed and build-able today. Since 527 St. Charles just sold at $792,500. And that’s about the only indicator in your hood for the last two years since the last vacant lot sold on Royal Terrace at $635,000.

    Maybe you should call City Hall and ask if there has ever been an application to subdivide your property by the previous owner. The previous owners could have had their application turned down and it would be good thing to find out why.

  119. @gwac – Assuming a 1 metre minimum setback, yes – you’re looking at a 20 ft wide house.

    “nuts” is not the word that comes to mind here. F’n cheeky is a start..

  120. Caveat

    I was looking at that place a while back. Always though it was just some dude running away from home place. It seemed really weird on such a huge acreage. Not sure if it can be subdivided. In Sannich when I was looking I could only put 1 house up and outbuildings were ok on Agriculture. Good luck cutting trees down in Saanich.

  121. I second Marko. $5K is nuts for upgrading. Ours was under $3500 all in (tax, BC hydro portion, permit, new panel, moving loads over etc).

    Heat pumps don’t draw much. The breaker on my 3 Ton unit is 30 amps. I think the most it draws is around 25 amps and it doesn’t consistently draw that. So, it may be possible to fit a heat pump on a 100 amp panel. I’m definitely not an electrician, so don’t take my word for it.

    We upgraded to 200 amp well before getting a heat pump and it was for flexibility. E.g. if we want to put infloor heating in the bathroom, electric tankless water heater, hot tub etc.

    A 200 amp panel is a prerequisite for a lot of projects a home owner might want to do.

  122. Barrister

    You did great. Those lots are worth 1.2m total min minus fees to carve up.

    I bought a 1.5 acre lot with 450 footage of lake front for 400 ish in 2011. I kicked myself for a year think I got ripe off and what did I do. Put up a nice place for 300k. I now count my lucky stars cause I could not replace it for 1.5m. Sometimes being lucky is what it takes.

  123. Tonight I actually started looking at super cheap lots in the middle of no where. I need one so I can write the HPO owner-builder exam and document the BS process.

    If you are really in the middle of nowhere would you actually need to write the HPO exam? In many BC regional districts there is no building bylaw outside the municipalities. Or if there is a building bylaw there is no enforcement service.

    At what stage is the HPO required?

  124. GWAC:

    I agree that it is hard to get land out of the agric. tag. Actually would want to keep it as a farm and estate.
    Dont need the money but do want the privacy. Talking it over with my wife who is a fair bit younger so what she wants is a bit more important.

    Was not actually thinking of having the kids move in since for some reason they seem to prefer Malibu at this time. It is a bit of a mystery why anyone in their twenties would rather be in Malibu than a nice sleepy little place like Victoria with all us grey haired types.

    Actually asked Marco about farmland on this blog but I am thinking maybe I should phone him at the office.

  125. GWAC:

    Like you I felt the real value of my house was in the 26,000 square foot lot. I bought at 1,650,000 three years ago so it is a reasonable investment.The 8,000 square foot house was completely updated; heating . plumbing and electrical. At the time I thought it a reasonable price but not a bargain. Looking back, it was a real steal compared to today.

  126. Barrister

    That kids idea is great if you want them that close. I think those lots would be more valuable than equal value farm land. Hard to get land out of the agriculture tag once in. Core will always be more valuable imho.

    I put in an offer on 7 acres a few months ago. It got turned down. Glad it did. Rather keep the core house than have to deal with so much land as I get older. I also like being so close to the real hospitals in Victoria as I get older. Still 20 years from retirement but planning :).

  127. gwac:

    Dont need the money, actually was thinking about one house for each of the kids. But right now city council is all for making more density in the city. i was actually thinking of maybe buying a small farm up in Saanich and just building an estate home. Victoria politicians seem determined to Americanize Victoria and turn it into a mess like Vancouver.

  128. Barrister

    If you do not need the money I would hold off. Not making any more land in the core.

    My lot is 140 (road facing) by 110. When I bought it I thought the real value was carved up in the future.

  129. House hunting:

    Yes, except each lot would be a bit over 6000 square feet with clear ocean views from the second floor.
    The view would be similar to that from Government house. I am only three doors further up on Rockland. 6000 is not exactly a giant lot but it allows for a decent sized three bedroom house and garage to be built.

  130. James Soper:

    West Shore prices seem to be within range of an average family income still with a bit of help from the parents. Oak bay or fairfield still look like good value if you sold your house in Vancouver or Toronto to move here.if you look at the average income for the top twenty percent in Victoria then Fairfield, Oak Bay and Rockland are also affordable.

  131. “Objectively though, there is nothing to stop house prices here seeing another pop higher in the spring. ” Sure there is. No one can afford it, and banks aren’t allowed to lend money to people who can’t afford it as easily any more.

  132. “In cars as in real estate, what matters is results.”
    Tesla might have the ability to make an electric car, but currently not at scale. Toyota currently makes more cars every week than Tesla ever has in a year. They’re trying to get there obviously, but it’s not an overnight thing. (and I’m rooting for them.)

  133. Hawk:

    I am not necessarily disagreeing with you regarding Mercedes. I own two of them and they are a great product. They are a serious competitor.

  134. Barrister,
    Why are Benz sales up for 5 straight years and Tesla has major repair problems ? Time will tell but I’m sure Daimler will be the leader down the road.

  135. $75K price slash in Cordova Bay, 5209 Polson Terr. Nice place, awesome view, but no takers so must slash to move the product.

  136. Hawk:

    The new Mercedes electric cars will have the same failing as their regular vehicles. In the spring they have this irresistible urge to invade Poland.

  137. In cars as in real estate, what matters is results. They are working on electric cars and batteries while Tesla already has those on the road and is working on making the car self driving and thus decimating the overall market. 5 min recharge is nice, not needing to own a car at all is nicer (for most).

  138. AG:

    Yes, both parcels would have independant road access. My lot has regular streets on three sides.
    Bottom line no need to do a strata; also easy to connect to water and sewer and also natural gas and electric.

  139. Marko:

    I am sure that you are correct about the lot value and I would not be in the least surprised if it sells for that price. It was late at night and it was an emotional reaction.

    It does make me wonder if it would be worthwhile severing off two small lots off from my backyard.
    They would each be about 6,000 square feet. That would still leave me with 14,000 square feet.
    The lots would both be on the Rockland Ridge line so they would have full ocean views from the second floor. The question for you Marko is what is a small 6000 sq. foot lot worth in Rockland these days?

  140. Tesla will do just fine because Merc will be buying batteries from them. Or is there another gigafactory being built somewhere in partnership with a long established electronics manufacturer?

  141. Interesting news about that Mercedes 5 minute supercharger I mentioned I heard was in the works and was shot down here for by the local expert as being impossible. Seems I was right.

    Benz is going after Tesla bigtime and the rest of the car manufacturers are in on the superior supercharger.

    Ford, BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen are teaming up to build a network of electric-car charging stations in Europe that will be even faster than Tesla’s Superchargers

    http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/11/29/why-ford-and-the-german-automakers-just-teamed-up.aspx?&utm_campaign=article&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=foxbusiness

    Daimler Takes Aim at Tesla Motors With $11 Billion for Mercedes-Benz Electrics

    “Daimler is part of a joint venture announced on Tuesday that plans to install a network of ultra-fast 350-kilowatt chargers Opens a New Window. along major travel routes in Europe. At full power, those chargers could add 100 kilometers of range in less than five minutes.”

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2016/11/29/daimler-takes-aim-at-tesla-motors-with-11-billion-for-mercedes-benz-electrics.html

  142. That is a ridiculous amount of money for a very small

    That’s actually a big lot. 66×144 is a 750k+ lot value only these days. Your typical lot would be more along the lines of 50 x 110-130

  143. Following up on earlier comments, I would probably benefit from house prices dropping in Victoria. Although we own some real estate here, we are young and would relish any opportunity to pick up some distressed assets. I’d love to get into the development game at some point too. Elevated, rising prices like we’re seeing right now, combined with high contractor pricing, make it very difficult to find opportunities.

    So personally I’m torn between wanting the price of our assets to rise, and wanting the opportunities that a drop in the market would bring.

    Objectively though, there is nothing to stop house prices here seeing another pop higher in the spring. What I want, or what anyone else on this forum wants, has very little to do with it.

  144. How does your friend deal with home insurance? I am fairly certain sure no company will insure under 100 amps.

    I don’t recall ever being asked about that. I believe ours is 100A but they neither asked nor checked it. TD Meloche Monnex

  145. The solar roof comment is tongue in cheek, as Elon Musk will provide solution for all our problem.

    No idea on 60 amp service insurance. It was his family house, then lived alone for years, and wanted to upgrade after gf moved-in…. (along with newer kitchen and bath)

    $1500 for BC hydro, another $1500 connect to the panel. Chances are he will need a new panel / sub panel, dig a new ground, gfci a few circuits, 3 prong outlet.

    He spent the $$$ on new appliances instead. Happy wife.

  146. I just looked at the listing for Earle St. They want almost a million for this piece of crap on a small lot.
    That is a ridiculous amount of money for a very small, old and seriously crappy house.

    Sorry the prices have become rather insane.

  147. Or go with solar roof instead…

    Not sure how that solves the load problem? A 50 amp car charger + stove + dryer and you are already approaching 100 amps without anything else.

    $5k for upgrading the hydro service, after said and done, I was told 2 years ago. My friend stays with 60 amp, no problem even he do welding from time to time.

    It was about $2,800 two years ago. Probably around $3,500 to $4,000 now.

    How does your friend deal with home insurance? I am fairly certain sure no company will insure under 100 amps.

  148. Or go with solar roof instead…

    $5k for upgrading the hydro service, after said and done, I was told 2 years ago. My friend stays with 60 amp, no problem even he do welding from time to time.

  149. 100A should be enough for heatpump + elec heat aux backup.

    With electric cars coming <10 years might as well just be proactive and go 200 amps. A lot of car charging stations take upwards of a 50 amp breaker and load safety calculations factor is at 80% (50 x .8 = 40 amps so you max out a 100 amp service really fast).

  150. CuriousCat
    The furnace is approaching 20 years and when it goes, I’m not sure what the replacement will be. I’m hoping I can still have the heatpump…… or pay thousands to get 200amps.

    Unless you have a second kitchen / suite (or load calculation required…) 100A should be enough for heatpump + elec heat aux backup.

    Daily peak consumption is during dinner time. With heat pump + aux heat + hot water tank + stoves, meter shows <15KW. Those are on 240v -> ~70A. You still have enough juice left on 110v for lighting, fridges, heated floors, TV etc.

    of course, you can just turn off the heat while cooking too.

  151. As for her sister who bought a teardown in Sidney in August, she still hasn’t been able to find a builder. Hope she doesn’t have a big loan on that while it’s sitting empty.

    HPO office is chasing out small one man (or woman) show builders with bureaucracy. Eventually the only builders around will be large organizations who can “nominate” someone from their company/office to go take continuing education courses.

    The small and often excellent one person builder just can’t keep up anymore with handling the construction site, WCB, accounting, HPO BS, etc.

    It’s funny how government has diverted everyone’s attention to foreign buyers and Airbnb but between provincial and municipal governments it’s become a total nightmare to build a residential home. I am honestly not exaggerating when I say about 50k in bureaucracy has been added in the last 8-10 years that does nothing to improve the quality of the home.

    It’s very a systematic process. They want to kill the owner-builder with a difficult exam and then they want to get rid of the small builder. I wonder at what point people will say enough is enough? Would people be cool if the government said you can’t sell your home privately?

    Tonight I actually started looking at super cheap lots in the middle of no where. I need one so I can write the HPO owner-builder exam and document the BS process.

    For those stuck with the prospects of writing the exam my database of questions is finally growing a bit. I am hoping to get the database to 100 to 200 questions and then to write a supporting study guide to help people out. Four more emails today from people across BC. “Please help!! I write the Owner Builder exam on Friday the 2nd!!!”

    -> http://markojuras.com/2016/11/hpo-office-owner-builder-exam-part-7-preparation-and-sample-exam-questions/

  152. Most definitely. I wonder if it’s something to do with seasonality? Local buyers slow down their buying in the winter but foreign buyers don’t? Just a guess.

    That’s a bit of my guess. Absolute number of buyers didn’t go up much, just a drop in overall sales.

  153. You guys are kinda, sorta, in a way, fun.

    The interesting part of this whole debate is really in the direction each person wants the Island market to go. If you are an investor, why wouldn’t you be looking for protracted gains? Your challenge is really to shut out the noise and review as many facts as possible for market direction.

    Now, if you are a seasoned investor, then my guess is that you’ve been doing this for some time and you plan to hold onto your “investments” until you retire. Good on you and hopefully your renters pay off your mortgage and you have the retirement you want….as long as it’s not soon.

    If you are a new investor (flipper) then you had better error on the side of caution. Hawk may be hitting a lot of people in the side of the head with a two by four but it shouldn’t distract from the message.

    My fear, for what it is worth, is still the bond market. When the U.S.A raises rates in a couple of weeks the BOC will definitely not follow their lead. I am concerned that the bond market in Canada will react very negatively to the reinforcement of economic malaise in Canada. Perhaps they take it in stride but if they decide there is far better yield in the U.S., then we will have a problem.

    If that were to happen, like it or not, Victoria will be impacted very negatively by a large spike in bond yields because interest rates will rise again … perhaps not as measured as everyone would hope.

    Measure your risk appetite based on your investment horizons not your best wishes. Save that for a Christmas greeting. I would rather sell one year too early than 6 months too late.

    Good luck to all.

  154. Actually “Prior Castle” on 620 +St Charles sold for hundreds of thousands less than it was bought for a few years back. But I think it was an exception for reasons that take too long to explain.

    But somebody asked for just one. That should reve up hawk for another twenty posts.

  155. Here’s what I don’t understand:

    With 400% annual stock market returns why doesn’t Hawk just buy Villa Madrona instead of going on about this or that price slash.

    Assuming he started with 50K about 4 years ago he should have approximately 31 million now. Let’s call it 20 million after tax.

    Go, Hawk. Enjoy your vast wealth.

  156. I think we need more than one month

    Most definitely. I wonder if it’s something to do with seasonality? Local buyers slow down their buying in the winter but foreign buyers don’t? Just a guess.

  157. Better to act now than wait until we turn into a wasteland like Vancouver. Lots of support even amongst home owners for controlling speculation in the housing market.

    I guess I’m the only one who’s pro-speculation. I suspect I’m not alone — but perhaps I am.

  158. “ICYMI Mike, there’s over a dozen price slashes the past few months/weeks you didn’t tell us about while saying all the filthy rich are buying up Oak Bay and other rich areas of town. Looks like you’re wrong again. I’m sure I’ll find more.”

    Hawk, I’d still like to see one example of a home in the core selling for less than it previously sold for. You can list as many ‘price slashes’ on overpriced properties as you want, but as you know it’s actual sale prices that matter.

    Whenever you’re ready, just share one property with us.

  159. Leo

    I think we need more than one month. Also there was no change in Median price from the Oct increase. I hate to mention this but Victoria does not vote Liberal so do they really care about the voters.

  160. Hawk and JJ notwithstanding, Victorians aren’t terribly upset with the prices in Victoria. And as you’ve repeatedly outlined, affordability isn’t bad these days relative to history.

    Better to act now than wait until we turn into a wasteland like Vancouver. Lots of support even amongst home owners for controlling speculation in the housing market.

  161. [image removed. Sorry I don't like to edit posts, but this isn't adding anything to the conversation - admin]

    Well, I thought it was funny!

  162. The government is coming up to an election and this is a hot button issue. They won’t be afraid to act quick.

    Hawk and JJ notwithstanding, Victorians aren’t terribly upset with the prices in Victoria. And as you’ve repeatedly outlined, affordability isn’t bad these days relative to history.

    Also, I, for one, want foreign buyers to drive up our prices! I think it’s nuts to want one’s investments to suck. Houses are investments, whether we like it or not.

  163. The government is coming up to an election and this is a hot button issue. They won’t be afraid to act quick.

  164. That is quite the jump. I bet if it stays at this level they will extend the tax to Victoria.

    How many years of nutso price increases did it take (and an upcoming election, of course) before they introduced the foreign buyers tax in Vancouver? I bet we’re years off getting one, if at all.

  165. Tiny house hunters right now on hgtv is in SF. Someone’s 375 sq ft shed in their back yard is for sale for 495k USD. . Wow that is nuts. I guess this will come here eventually.

  166. ICYMI Mike, there’s over a dozen price slashes the past few months/weeks you didn’t tell us about while saying all the filthy rich are buying up Oak Bay and other rich areas of town. Looks like you’re wrong again. I’m sure I’ll find more.

    You also said back in January that high end houses like Villa Madrona always start high when I mentioned it first went up for sale at $19.5 million. In that case this could get ugly.

    Bought January 2016- $8.48 Million

    For sale November 2016 – $6.8 Million

    Loss in 10 months before salesman’s cut – $1.68 Million

    With salesman’s generous 3% cut – $204,000

    Total potential loss in 10 months – $1.88 Million

    Of course that’s IF he gets $6.8 Million to the dime.

    Read it and weep bulls, the spill over from Vancouver has begun.

    Last price:

    New and improved price:

    https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Single-Family/17043101/670-Lands-End-Rd-North-Saanich-British-Columbia-V8L5K9

    South = idiot. 😉

  167. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    “Hawk: I’ll add to that SPY SHORT”

    HAHAHAHAHHAHA!

    That’s how you never get around to saving a down payment on a house bro, always gambling and market timing.

  168. Sure Mike, maybe try telling us when “we” actually bought it , not 10 months later. You’re so full of BS, but most likely from years of choking on the silver spoon.

  169. Foreign buyers are problems. Funny how many people continue to claim that there is no evidence. By the time these folks recognize this is an issue, English and French are no longer the choice of languages in town.

  170. Looks like your massive commodity boom call last fall was a total dud.

    Well for starters, our largest resource company (that this “douche bag” advised you to buy) went from about $3 per share to now well over $30 per share. But for you, I suppose that’s a “total dud” since you somehow made more by shorting the market.
    http://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=tck%2Fb.to

  171. The crawl is scary. I see it on the way to my building site. At least we are just after the new overpass so it might be greatly different when that’s done but as it stands it does add a solid 15 minutes to the drive rush hour traffic vs regular. The Goose is our out. Have a good connection to it and it will be a nicer ride then from the mt tolmie hood!

  172. @CuriousCat – “My bff is regretting buying the lot on Bear Mtn. Her builder sent her a picture of the hwy at 7am and she’s now seriously considering selling without moving in and finding a rental.”

    I haven’t been out that way lately, but they are now working on the McKenzie interchange, so possibly it’s worse temporarily. Mind you, the whole project isn’t slated to be finished until late 2018.

    We never considered that area because of the commute. It was not so bad ten years ago, but traffic has gotten worse every year. It actually only takes around 20 minutes to make it from downtown to the #14 exit by Costco when there is no traffic. The thing is, there is traffic during the majority of the day. There also seem to be more accidents, and when that happens, there can be a complete blockage, depending on where it is.

    We had been considering Central or North Saanich because traffic seems to flow a little better that way. However, now that I am in a somewhat decent location in Saanich East, I realize location was actually more important than I had been weighting it. Bus service isn’t too bad, so we only need one car. We are generally within a twenty minute drive of most of the things we need to get to. Day in and day out, that’s a huge lifestyle impact.

  173. Foreign buying in Victoria(6.3%) is currently on par with Richmond(6.7%). Now let’s remember that these numbers are in actually higher as these numbers listed are self reported. Please someone, tell me how this can be an accurate representation.

    These are not self or REALTOR® reported numbers. I believe them to be quite accurate.

    Keep in mind Vancouver has rebounded from 1.4% to 3% in the last few months. I think we need another 6 to 12 months of data to see where things settle out.

  174. Could someone please tell me what 3850 Amroth Place in Ten Mile Point sold for?

    Sold for $1,070,000.

    I’ll note again anyone who wants a PCS account (you can see sale prices) please feel free to email me and I’ll set you up. Give me 1 to 2 days for setup.

  175. “Now let’s remember that these numbers are in actually higher as these numbers listed are self reported. Please someone, tell me how this can be an accurate representation.”

    Hey Rook, it is actually required on the Property Transfer Tax Return which is usually completed at a lawyer’s office. I suspect the number is reasonably accurate, but there will always be tax cheats.

  176. “Sorry JD, I guess the street’s getting better with infill.”

    Street due for complete replacement with trees/boulevards and narrower road surface in the next 2-3 years. Will make a big difference. Location is fantastic, good mix of demographic, we love it there. Couldn’t be happier. Couldn’t afford it now, of course, but whatever.

  177. Rook,
    I’m sure Helps will get on it, after the bridge is finished. Few will be outraged on here, they want $$$ not a viable city. The more greed the better for them.

  178. “he said he sold the stock market at the bottom this year ”

    BTW Mikey, as I stated before it was a small put option position to protect the small amount of stock I owned at the time. Common investment move, with a minor loss. I explained that before but you’re too much of a douche bag to post that part.

    I went on to buy several cheap stocks off the bottom I’m up from 200% to 700% for a 400% average for the year, still a few weeks left to bank some more. Thanks for reminding me how much it was a great time to buy. 😉

    Looks like your massive commodity boom call last fall was a total dud. You must have lost a pile. 😉

    http://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=%24CRB

  179. ‘Marko Juras: New provincial foreign buyer numbers are out. Both Victoria and Vancouver jumped a bit.’

    It baffles me that no one seems to think this is a problem for affordability in the city of Victoria. “unregulated, speculative global capital,” as Vancouvers mayor eloquently calls it, has actually ruined their city in terms of housing.
    Is anyone else that comes to this blog afraid similar will happen to Victoria? Why is no one talking about this?
    Foreign buying in Victoria(6.3%) is currently on par with Richmond(6.7%). Now let’s remember that these numbers are in actually higher as these numbers listed are self reported. Please someone, tell me how this can be an accurate representation.

  180. Michael, maybe you’re right about the market heating up early. Hawk’s old house must really be soaring in value right now.

  181. 825k for an old Amphion on a 4300ft lot! Not a good street and doesn’t even have a suite. Sorry JD, I guess the street’s getting better with infill.

    Maybe the market’s taking off seasonally at the same time as it did last year.

  182. I peer longingly to the east

    Yes, OB has that effect. I hear there is going to be a high tea time border amnesty soon. Hopefully they let you in.

    More positively, you are definitely in the Red Barn effect zone. Expect some hefty increases and a lot of tasty sandwiches in your future.

  183. If it becomes perpetually impossible to afford housing in the city where you live what does that mean current residents should vote for?

    You meant the approx. 70% of residents that own a home?

    Also, it is not impossible to afford housing in the city. Like other cities, it may be less affordable to own a SFH in the core/desirable areas. People might turn to townhouses and condos or buy elsewhere. You can see this effect in Vancouver.

    Home prices have been rising my entire life vs. incomes. They will continue to rise long-term imo. There might be a crash point, but there will likely also be a recovery. Maybe there will be greater government intervention in the form of a capital gains exemption limit or other measures that will slow the trend but given that 70% of electors own homes, and the province gets a lot of revenue from PTT on rising prices, I wouldn’t hold my breath for great voter support for strict measures. If 70% of electors were renters things would likely be different.

  184. “Small lot, old house with no renos, close to Oak Bay Ave but not the best area.”

    They don’t call it the Oak Bay Tijuana for nothing. I live close to 1628 and it’s a meager existence we have carved out for ourselves but we hope for better days. The other day the community association air-dropped supplies and rations on the field at Redfern Park, and we were grateful.

    When the wind is right and the smoke from the gas fires is blowing west, I peer longingly to the east and dream of Ottavio.

  185. Of course AG, everything is over priced unless it goes over ask. Cordova Bay showing numerous haircuts from $25K up to $75K in prime areas.

    I have barely skimmed the pile, it’s obvious there is an established trend of unreported price slashes of huge amounts of cash but the pumpers hype the POS houses that suck in the sheep by the slick salesmen out to line their pockets.

    More signs then ever a crash is needed, a fricking Red Barn doesn’t justify that rape job.

  186. 629 Beach Dr was always overpriced – its not waterfront, but that’s how they priced it initially. The price will come down further from there. Will probably sell for under $2m I think.

  187. Nan:

    I want prices to normalize at 3-5x.

    So on a median family income (90K assuming it increased with inflation from 2014), that means a dwelling for 280-450K.

    That’s doable now. Buy a condo in core or a house in Langford or Sooke.

    Housing prices are up because interest rates are low. Once rates go up, prices will come down. The caveat being monthly payments (as a % of income) are going to stay in the same historical range. Housing prices may be the highest they’ve ever been as far as nominal prices, but it isn’t the least affordable Victoria has ever been.

    I think a bigger concern is affordable rental units. We need more rental supply in this town.

  188. “Meanwhile, back in the Uplands here’s another $365K price slash….. previously listed at $2.5 million, then $2.19 million, now $2.135 million. OUCH !! But it does say “world class”.

    My mistake, it’s not Uplands, it’s prime South Oak Bay on 629 Beach Dr with a better view than my place.

  189. Jusu is awesome when I feel like blowing $10 on an overpriced juice. And the food there is actually really good. Nothing says ‘up and coming area’ like a cold-pressed organic juice bar.

  190. Not just the red barn effect for 1628 amphion. Jusu is there too..

    Don’t be ridiculous! Jusu is clearly effect not cause 🙂

  191. The disconnects are still really interesting. So you have that house on Central Ave in South Oak Bay selling for 809k. Then, the next week, 1628 Amphion house (smaller lot, older house, worse location) sells for 825k.

    Is the area around Red Barn becoming more desirable? Is South Oak Bay becoming less desirable? Or is there just no consistency in the core SFH market right now?

  192. AG, they got raped. PT Barnum and his crew in full force. When does Marko drop the price on his Bank St box ?

  193. Well said nan, my so called “negative” posts are only interpreted that way because I see the danger of an over priced market which has clearly showed itself in Vancouver in flying colors.

    The price slashes I am easily finding without even trying before, have gone unreported by the blog and it seems the homeowners don’t want the value of their castles knocked back to reality.

    Thus their ridiculous attacks. Sorry boys, but $200K to $700K to $2 million price slashes in Victoria is huge news.

  194. Redbarn at Vanalman. What impact has that had?

    Off topic. Excellent post Hawk except I can’t see the Uplands house.

    I want prices to normalize at 3-5x

    Doubtful that this will happen Nan. If you look at investment-type housing markets they have detached from average income based affordability and once they detach it would take an almighty crash to bring them back in line. A lot of equity would have to disappear before this happens. If you look at the graph posted below you will see long-term prices have increased faster than incomes. The detach from historical 3-5x income accelerates as prices rise and the 70% that own a house build equity with which to buy the next house.

  195. Not just the red barn effect for 1628 amphion. Jusu is there too and it’s a rapidly improving area. Plus it’s close to the hospital. Still, that house is on a small 4500sf lot, still can’t believe the price.

    Hawk what do you think of this sale?

  196. Could someone please tell me what 3850 Amroth Place in Ten Mile Point sold for?

    Thank you very much in advance.

  197. I’m thinking about asking Hawk,AG, and gwac out for a beer. I figure maybe a little face to face would make them act more cordial and “adult”. Anyone else?

  198. Then we have another Uplands estate at 2475 Lansdowne who thought they would catch the Asian eye but so far not good. Had to take a $190K price slash. Another big OUCH !! Maybe need to add some more 8’s. 😉

  199. Nan

    I was not saying Life is good because house prices are up. It was a general comment about living here and being positive. Agree with your last sentence.

  200. No need to apologise gwac. I grew up in saanich, so I’m pretty familiar with all the hoods.

    Speaking of Saanich West.. 4752 Interurban Rd is pending at 750K. Cool house, but seems like a lot for the area and being on Interurban proper. Could be I’m just not familiar enough with sales in that area.

    Big lot and only 15% over assessed.. so, I guess that’s not crazy? Someone liked it enough to bid 50K over ask.

  201. “I need to unsuck myself out of your cesspool of negativity. Life is good.”

    I wouldn’t equate the fact that house prices have increased with “life being good”. I equate it to loose monetary policy and politicians at different levels of government trying to remain in power by playing a spirited game of “real estate whack a mole”

    In my opinion, the fact that some folks sees these price increases as wholly positive or even important is indicative of their own failure to diversify their assets and plan for their future.

    While I don’t agree with most things Hawk says, price increases like what we have seen over the last 2 years are inherently bad for Victoria’s families and I want prices to normalize at 3-5x. While I agree Hawk’s view is excessively “negative” in tone, I believe the market conditions he is promoting are wholly positive for all current residents of our great city.

    The more meaningful real estate becomes, the less meaningful everything else becomes.

  202. Meanwhile, back in the Uplands here’s another $365K price slash….. previously listed at $2.5 million, then $2.19 million, now $2.135 million. OUCH !! But it does say “world class”. 😉

  203. I’m pretty sure the Red Barn effect will keep giving. The new owners will be okay. And you can almost see Oak Bay from there if they let you across the border.

  204. Totoro

    That what happens with the irrational view I have to live in Oak Bay. Sorry I feel no sympathy to those that overpay.

  205. the home was baited with an low price

    So terrible when unsuspecting buyers get trapped like that. Can’t expect self-control with that kind of bait.

  206. Amphion was a delayed offer/blind auction that was only allowed a minimal exposure to the market of 4 days. I wouldn’t doubt that the agent had ten offers. But we don’t know what nine of them may have been and neither did the buyer. All we really know is the home was baited with an low price to entice multiple offers and the agent hooked a good one. This is like hunting deer by putting a salt lick out in a field.

    If the market was at 4 months of inventory rather than 2.5 there would likely have only been one offer with the property listed for a month or two.

  207. Bingo

    Sorry I never new there was an area referred to as Royal Oak. Just only thought about the royal oak drive in the East area. Should have put 2 and 2 together since there is a school over there named Royal Oak. My apologise.

  208. Today’s crazy house sale: 1628 Amphion.

    Close enough to OB to discuss. WHAT! That is nuts. I thought the Granite Street house was a crazy price for a shack but this beats it.

    I don’t want to say I told you so, but who called the Red Barn effect?

  209. Leo S:

    Number 1 factors by a mile is local employment and incomes

    Which is often similar here vs Vancouver etc. Explains any “correlation”. Two graphs looking similar to the eye isn’t a very good measure of correlation.

    gwac, I linked the saanich west map on VREB.

  210. They only want to hear about Oak Bay houses.

    Yes, finally, please stop talking about that other stuff.

    No-one has commented on why are they using vinyl for walls in OB? Seems intriguing. And why is there a step up to nowhere in the bedroom in the Margate house? For the navigational challenge?

    So much to discuss even in these sad times of little inventory.

  211. I’m always interest in seeing how the graph of sales by price range in the various districts change with time. The more symmetrical the bell graph is in an area, the easier it is to appraise a property in that area. Langford is very symmetrical and the margin of error when appraising is only 2 or 3 percent of what the home would sell for that day.

    Oak Bay is off the frigging chart. There is little to no symmetry to the graph of sales by price range at all. And the appraisal can be off by 10 percent to what the property would sell for that day. Buyers for houses in that area need to take a Valium. I know that some Oak Bay buyers are making bad decisions that they will pay for years later when they go to sell. But right now it’s just the banks money that they are gambling with. And that only costs them about $400 for every hundred grand of financing. That’s lost money that is either going to the banks as a payment on equity that does not exist or lost opportunity to the buyer that they could have used for something else. Money they will never see again.

  212. Today’s crazy house sale: 1628 Amphion.

    On the market for 699,000, sold for 825,000. Small lot, old house with no renos, close to Oak Bay Ave but not the best area.

    I’m genuinely shocked by this one.

  213. Re: the top
    The bulls only need worry once the bears & hawks buy back in 🙂 My guess is he sold at the 2013 bottom like many did after seeing burning houses on Maclean’s magazines, similar to how he said he sold the stock market at the bottom this year (as many do at bottoms, I’m not necessarily picking on him). He does love my arrow charts, so I won’t deprive him.

  214. “Real estate is mostly local” I don’t really buy that statement. If you look at those teranet charts I posted yesterday Van, Tor and Vic are correlated to some extent over the long term. It is a bit of both. I think Hawk tends to point macro conditions while some of the bears tend to focus on local market conditions. Long run, I would focus on the macro.

    Number 1 factors by a mile is local employment and incomes and population trends. Take a look at the prices in have vs have not cities and that should be clear.

  215. Just Jack:

    I stand corrected, I was still working on my first cup of coffee. Back to decorating the tree today and then a concert tonight.

  216. gwac

    I actually started out with a fairly middle of the road statement that real estate was both local and macro – not just local. Your the one that kept coming back for more and going off track.

    This is tame compared to your and Hawk’s interactions.

  217. Barrister, If you re-read my post you will see that I did break out detached houses and areas.

    I did not include condos because it seems no one on this blog cares too much about them. They only want to hear about Oak Bay houses.

    I think if more people paid attention to the marginal properties then they won’t be shocked if the market turns on them. After all, the people in steerage on the Titanic were drowning while those in First Class were still sipping Champagne.

  218. Was mine name-calling or just goading?

    Meanwhile:

    “New provincial foreign buyer numbers are out. Both Victoria and Vancouver jumped a bit.” – here is the link:

    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016FIN0053-002520

    An interestingly they are keeping an eye on the CRD presumably for foreign buyer spillover:

    “The Capital Regional District, where the additional property transfer tax does not apply, saw about 6.3% of transactions (55 out of 879), representing 10.3% of the value of all transactions. Government continues to monitor this data closely.”

  219. Bingo/Denise

    Confused Royal Oak rd is that not in Saanich East. I know the school is West . Is there an area Called Royal Oak near the school you where referring to? Anyways sorry.

  220. gwac

    “Victoria is not exactly reacted the same as Toronto and Vancouver” once again black and white – “not exactly”.

    “So in any downturn do not expect the same % in all areas.” – I guess you like stating the obvious too.

  221. OMG gwac, you’re a pathetic homeowner who can’t accept the top is in , and price slashes in the most desirable areas are now starting to show up.

    Here’s another Oak Bay price slash for you, only $25K though. Man it’s too bad the agents and Oak Bay house obsessors on here don’t report the price slashes, just the over asks. All reno’d up and ready to roll, and no vinyl walls either. 😉

    http://newportrealty.com/listing/15dd

  222. gwac

    November 29, 2016 at 10:35 am

    “Bingo Royal Oak is Saanich east.

    Prices in Broadmead is stupid high not sure about sunnymead.”

    Royal Oak is in Saanich West gwac. Broadmead is in Saanich East.

  223. gwac:

    Bingo Royal Oak is Saanich east.
    Prices in Broadmead is stupid high not sure about sunnymead.

    Royal Oak is on the west side of the highway, that’d make it west. Broadmead is on the east side of the highway. The highway is what divides Saanich East and west.

    From VREB (I assume they know what neighbourhoods are where): Saanich West

    Broadmead is priced high, but it always has been expensive. Personally I like Broadmead. I can see why some people dislike it (much too dark for some). I’ll take dark over the stucco village of Sunnymead. Blech.

  224. JustJack;

    Thank you for the numbers; they are helpful. Just two points, neither of which is a criticism.

    The numbers would be a lot more helpful if they where divided between SFH and condos. While related the two markets operate a bit independently. A significant movement (either up or down) can get lost when lumping it in with median prices using condo sales as well.

    I also believe that blending all of Victoria into one batch may be a bit misleading. Vic West is really a different market than Fairfield. For my purposes, I view the areas of James Bay, Fairfield, Rockland and Oak Bay as one market for SFH.

    But it would be interesting to know at least what percentage of buyers in Oak Bay SFH are out of town. Frankly, the fact that 24% of buyers are non local strikes me as an extremely high number for a city the size of Victoria. How does that compare to other small Canadian cities.? The other question would be of homes sold for over 1.5 million how many were out of town?

  225. OMG Hawk this is so pathetic. You sold way to early because of some fantasy crash you expected. You are even more delusional thinking your stupid links over the past years have an impact. In the mean time house prices have surged this year. Good luck this is pointless. In the end this all about you affording a house again. Who cares.

    I need to unsuck myself out of your cesspool of negativity. Life is good.

  226. “So in any downturn do not expect the same % in all areas.”

    gwac, you are one funny dude. Can you tell us where the rules are for when a bear market kicks in ? You seem to have inside info. 😉

    It’s called hot money, and it’s here too. When it’s gone, it’s suddenly very very cold with no rules to say how far it will go, but 10% will not be the bottom, when Vancouver just dropped that in a couple of months.

  227. gwac, it’s called credit tightening, which they are doing already. Think they are going to piss away all those profits lending to a bloated bubble housing market ?

    Why did BNS cut back mortgage lending bigtime this year, and how do you think they made all those profits your boasting about ?

    You denier bulls are hilarious stuck in your bubble. No concept of lending risk or what’s even happening in the real world outside of the Uplands and Golden Head.

  228. National198.35
    Victoria174.00
    Vancouver248.01
    Edmonton180.68
    Calgary179.78
    Winnipeg204.03
    Hamilton197.91
    Toronto211.71
    Ottawa144.90
    Montreal150.45
    Quebec171.54
    Halifax141.12

    Index starting in 2005 at 100. Victoria is not exactly reacted the same as Toronto and Vancouver so ya it is correlated but in a very different movement. So in any downturn do not expect the same % in all areas.

  229. “New provincial foreign buyer numbers are out. Both Victoria and Vancouver jumped a bit.”

    Yep, Vancouver down from 15 % to 3% from summer, that’s huge. BC government house tax coffers down over $200 million. That’s even more bigly. 😉

  230. AG, thanks for that stats 101 platitude. And inflation an popn growth are macro fundamentals – why would you strip them out?

    gwac, who said anything about timing. I am just disagreeing that real estate is mostly local using historic data.

  231. Hawk

    So the banks have stop lending. So they are only going to manage their current portfolio. Interesting I guess I missed that news link from you.

  232. I just used the “CORREL” function in Excel to compare Vancouver and Victoria teranet and the correlation coefficient was 0.961. I think that means they are highly correlated. 🙂

    Any statistical people out there that care to comment on the validity of this as I haven’t done this stuff in years.

  233. “No one in their right mind can say that Victoria and Vancouver have been well correlated over the past 10 years.”

    As I said to gwac, corelation is all bullshit and irrelevant. When the banks across Canada tell you at the same time that they won’t lend you money, it’s universal. How hard is that to comprehend ?

  234. Reason

    The markets that are more speculative in nature have gone up more. Those markets always do and the falls match that also. That is my only point. Victoria in my view will not see the same fall when Toronto falls. Toronto will fall eventually. I think Toronto may see a 20 to 25% fall. Victoria will be limited to 10%. My view is that will happen in 2018.

    My point in all this is Victoria is still healthy and trying to time a fall on Macro activity is a fools game. Victoria in the past has been a more stable market. Up than long pause over and over. 1980 was different but quickly recovered in non inflation $.

  235. It’s easy to ‘identify’ a correlation between two assets that rise in value over time. Inflation, increased population density etc will ensure that prices in Victoria, Vancouver, and Toronto will all be higher 20 years from now. But then again, so will prices for tomatoes and the hourly rate for an accountant.

    There is a great deal of noise. Strip out inflation, and there are very significant differences in the trends for those centres. No one in their right mind can say that Victoria and Vancouver have been well correlated over the past 10 years.

    And of course correlation between two trends does not always imply a common cause, either.

  236. Ha Ha AG…but you have zero idea of my situation. I guess when you’re panic stricken like Mike is you have to spend all day drawing up imaginary charts with funny arrows so you can sleep at night. Vancouver drop coming soon !

  237. Like I said GWAC – you like things Black and White. The trends are undeniably related. Do the price movements have to be identical for you to agree?

    What I do agree with though is that prices across the country seems to have diverged more since interest rates hit rock bottom. My theory here is that low interest costs (which is generally a significant factor) probably have a lower weighting in buyers decision making and local conditions probably have a higher impact (OVER THE SHORT TERM). But when interest rates rise, you will see more of a convergence again as in the past.

    http://imgur.com/a/IF519

  238. “Or how about 2532 Esplanade that sold 5 years ago for $2,620,000.”

    That’s going to be another nasty loss after salesman fees. But I thought real estate holders in Oak Bay from 5 years ago made an absolute killing ? Guess not.

    “Of course there are differences locally but you are being deliberately blind if you can’t see the common macro impacts.”

    Agreed Reason, macro impacts always come home to roost. You have to keep an open mind to how this whole market ran up and how it’s now changing.

    Having to mortgage test 2 full points higher and a number that will rise as rates move back up soon is kinda major in order to even qualify. I’m sure the banks will be doing it soon on all loans.

    gwac is clueless that we all borrow from the same banks with the same rules. There is no 3 market bullshit.

  239. JJ – one of the benefits of 2584 was that it had parking access from the rear. So you wouldn’t need to drive along Esplanade to access your house. The access was alongside an apartment building at the rear, so if you bought it you’d have to do due diligence on whether that access would be available long term.

  240. Not blind to anything Reason. The 3 markets are very different and behave differently. You may want them to react the same to events but they do not. They do not fall the same %, or rise same %, their movements are not the same time length.

  241. Or how about 2532 Esplanade that sold 5 years ago for $2,620,000. Doesn’t seem that the high end water view homes along that street have changed much over the last five years.

    Willows Beach a great place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.

  242. gwac said:

    “They have not acted the same at the same time.”

    You like your absolutes gwac: “never has never will”, “have not acted at the same time”. It’s easier to have a b&w view of the world I guess. If you can’t see those markets behaving similarly – the most obvious being around the GFC in 2008, the latest run-up in 2016 or the general price increases when after interest rates plummeted. Of course there are differences locally but you are being deliberately blind if you can’t see the common macro impacts.

  243. AG, it’s too bad you bought near the top. There’s a long way to go with your bull excuses….ALL the way down. 😉

    It’s nice to see the Canadian institutions at least tell people to get the hell out now where the US lied all the way down.

  244. Is this true Hawk? When did you sell your house? Were you trying to time the market or did you just want to downsize?

  245. I know what seismic upgrading is, thanks Hawk. This seems different though. The density of the pillars seems like massive overkill. There are something like 12 pillars under that small space. It also renders the area under that front room completely unusable.

  246. From Hawk
    “No need to tear down a perfectly fine home with a view to kill for. Kinda like my place.”

    I just spit out my coffee in laughter at this one. Dude sells his house before the surge expecting an 80% crash. Lost 100s and 100s or thousands of dollars and is now comparing his rental view to an oceanfront. OMG that is priceless.

  247. totoro,
    Esplanade looks fine. AG doesn’t appear to understand what seismic upgrading is but he’s new around Victoria.

    The fact it was priced high when high end sales were paying stupid prices with no problem from the bulls because there’s a coffee shop next door, or a nice walk down the avenue etc. makes no diff. Someone paid $2 million too much for Villa Maradrona 10 months ago too.

    No need to tear down a perfectly fine home with a view to kill for. Kinda like my place. 😉

  248. totoro – if you looked around it, I promise that you’d change your mind. And the vinyl is not just on the outside, its the interior walls too.

  249. And of course there are those that identified themselves as being non Victorian buyers buying in the core. This month 74 out of 306 buyers indicated their city of origin as being other than Victoria or the question left unanswered at 24%

    Last year it was 85 out of 310 or 27%

    The year before is was 62 out of 260 or 24%

    That’s down considerably from the spring. I suppose it wasn’t so much of a sustained wave of out of town buyers coming to buy up properties in the core but more like a baby’s fart* in a bathtub.

    *apologies to the House of Commons

  250. 2584 esplanade does not seem to need to be torn down? It has been plumbed-in for solar heating, seismically and otherwise updated and has a legal two-bedroom suite. It is not everyone’s cup of tea given it is at the high end that it is a fifties house with an addition with vinyl siding (WHY???), but it is assessed at 1.67 million and for sale for 2.59 million – over 50% over assessed – about right for the market. 3.3 million seems way out of the ball park of comparable sales.

  251. Honestly that house at 2584 Esplanade needs so much work doing to it that it would be worth just starting over. It also has these massive concrete pillars underpinning the front room – makes me a little nervous as to why they were there.

    As a comp, 2378 Esplanade sold for 2.5m in June. Its a much nicer house than 2584, but on a worse lot. So the new pricing on 2584 might not be too far off.

  252. “By the way, I looked at that 2584 Esplanade house. It has vinyl walls inside and pretty much needs to be torn down.”

    I guess Villa Madrona should be torn down to at a $2 million price slash. Always some lame bull in denial excuse. Kinda like the captain of the Titanic ordering the band to play on. Can’t handle losing, just like Trump.

  253. Hawk, let me get this straight. You can’t find a single example, not even one, of a house in the core that has sold at a lower price than its previous sale? Is that correct?

    Because if that’s true, it kind of undermines your argument that core prices are being ‘slashed’ and the market is ‘collapsing’.

    There is only one person in denial here.

  254. Where were these price slashes last month AG, or the months before ? Everyone was too busy lapping the blocks in their Tesla’s and BMW’s relaying stories of line ups around the hood and you couldn’t get in the door.

    Mailboxes were stuffed with pleas from poor families starving their families on Kraft Dinner to get into Oak Bay and Fairfield. You think the agents didn’t price it according to the last sales in the hood ?

    The MOI increase Jack posted shows what’s happening. I’m sure if I had access to the system I would find many that sold under asking, Jack’s posted many before. You clowns are in denial. Major price slashes in hot hoods means demand is falling.

    As per Jack MOI:

    Apr 0.97
    May 0.98
    Jun 1.32
    Jul 1.65
    Aug 1.90
    Sep 2.00
    Oct 2.03
    Nov 2.50

  255. Back in the spring, many of the bulls were touting how properties in the core were selling above asking price. Personally I think comparing the list to sale price as a shit indicator. However since the bulls started it, here is what has happened to the sales to list ratio for homes in the core this month.

    39 out of the 189 sales in the core sold for more than 5% over asking price. 18 sold for more than 10 percent and 10 sold for more than 15%. And that makes sense as our average days on market has gone from a low of 16 to 30 days for houses in the core. And that means fewer successful delayed offers/blind auctions than we had in the spring that caused irrational over bids by some buyers.

  256. Hawk you just gave us an example of a price drop, again.

    Now, please show us ONE example, in the core, of a house that sold for x and then recently sold (or is offered) for less than x.

    If you can’t even give one example of that, all this noice you’re making about the market crashing is just BS.

    By the way, I looked at that 2584 Esplanade house. It has vinyl walls inside and pretty much needs to be torn down.

  257. 2584 Esplanade right smack on Willows Beach had no takers a year ago for $3.3 Million, now slashed $700K to $2.59 and still no takers. Willows Beach waterfront doesn’t get much better.

    The 3 stooges keep saying the filthy rich are moving here in droves to Oak Bay. Apparently not. This is looking like Van city spillover in spades.

  258. Thanks for the numbers JJ!

    Impressive that Saanich West, Vic West, View Royal and Esquimalt median is near 700K now. Earlier this year they were a deal compared to SE, OB and Vic.

    Not surprising though. Look at what 800K gets you in Gordon Head vs Royal Oak. I’ll take the 80s split level over the 70s box any day of the week.

  259. Hawk I expect to see that Median price in the core fall big time with all these mined price decreases in Oakbay. Right? If it does not what the excuse?

  260. Big difference between dropping an asking price and a lower resale, as AG pointed out. Asking prices finally caught up with demand, then shot past it. Yawn. Didn’t I call for the market flattening months ago?

    So far demand and supply are keeping absorption consistent. We’ve gotta drop into a fair market before we’ll be in a buyer’s market. Can that happen quickly? Sure, a black swan event would surely do that. The more likely scenario is a gradual change.

    Can’t find a lower resale? Even in million plus listings?

    I think someone that bought this summer might have to eat realtor commissions in order to sell, but we aren’t at lower prices (yet).

  261. Here are the median prices to date for detached houses in Victoria, Saanich East and Oak Bay. Based on 1,790 house sales.

    Month Sale Price, Median
    Jan $692,072
    Feb $771,500
    Mar $800,000
    Apr $849,950
    May $832,000
    Jun $850,000
    Jul $817,500
    Aug $805,000
    Sep $840,000
    Oct $885,000
    Nov $865,000

    And here is what the rest of the core areas (Saanich West, Vic West, View Royal and Esquimalt) look like based on 769 house sales to date.

    Month Sale Price, Median
    Jan $578,900
    Feb $547,450
    Mar $584,000
    Apr $630,250
    May $634,500
    Jun $619,000
    Jul $598,500
    Aug $605,000
    Sep $630,000
    Oct $677,500
    Nov $692,500

    It appears that house appreciation in the three premium hoods has been slowing for the past several months while the remaining areas have risen.

    Typically at this time of year house sales slow. However relative to the remaining areas of the core the 3 premium hoods appear to be slowing at a faster rate. And that relates to the decline in sales in the 3 hoods compared to the rise in sales in the remaining areas.

    Month Sales, Number of in Saanich East, Victoria and Oak Bay
    Jan 82
    Feb 158
    Mar 221
    Apr 266
    May 243
    Jun 189
    Jul 152
    Aug 135
    Sep 133
    Oct 121
    Nov 90

    House sale volumes for the remaining core areas.
    Month Sales, Number of
    Jan 40
    Feb 70
    Mar 97
    Apr 110
    May 94
    Jun 102
    Jul 54
    Aug 72
    Sep 53
    Oct 31
    Nov 46

    And the rise in the Months of Inventory in the 3 hoods relative to the drop in MOI in the adjacent areas.

    Month Months of Inventory Oak Bay, Saanich East and Victoria
    Jan 2.89
    Feb 1.61
    Mar 1.32
    Apr 0.97
    May 0.98
    Jun 1.32
    Jul 1.65
    Aug 1.90
    Sep 2.00
    Oct 2.03
    Nov 2.50

    Month Months of Inventory for the remaining areas in the core districts.
    Jan 2.75
    Feb 1.76
    Mar 1.31
    Apr 1.28
    May 1.38
    Jun 1.14
    Jul 2.44
    Aug 1.64
    Sep 2.13
    Oct 3.71
    Nov 2.41

    All this is showing is what everyone should suspect on this blog. That high prices in the 3 premium hoods seem to be causing prospective purchasers to move further out to find affordable detached housing. That doesn’t mean that house prices in the 3 premium hoods are going to fall, I suspect what we will see is the trend of slowing sales and increasing months of inventory in the premium hoods to continue for many more months to come.

    Of course many things could happen in the next 6 months to change this but assuming that there are no significant economic bumps along the way this, in my opinion, is what we are most likely to experience.

  262. Reasonfirst

    I think the island is more dictated by local factors. Government jobs and so on. Toronto and Vancouver have a huge foreign influence and more speculative influence.. They are 3 different markets while in end go up. They have not acted the same at the same time. Also Toronto and Vancouver have had larger increases in the past 7 years. Victoria had the same if not higher median price a while back.

  263. “Just one example Hawk! That’s all I’m asking for ”

    Seeing how I’m a nice guy and it took just a few mins to find, here’s another price slash in South Oak Bay in great shape one block from the ocean. Relisted and dropped price $100K.

    It’s even been listed in the New York Times and still no takers. Cracks are widening into what looks like a massive crevice. 3 price slashes within blocks, but they are all “over priced” of course.

    You can go back to your woodpile now gwac and take AG with you, he’s a lonely old guy(gal) by the looks of it. 😉

    http://www.rew.ca/properties/372134/375-sunset-avenue-oak-bay

  264. Anyone looking for a wireless security system. I have them in my Trees and inside. Arlo is great. I would spend the extra and go pro. Pro has rechargeable batteries and card slot.

  265. “Real estate is mostly local”

    I don’t really buy that statement. If you look at those teranet charts I posted yesterday Van, Tor and Vic are correlated to some extent over the long term. It is a bit of both. I think Hawk tends to point macro conditions while some of the bears tend to focus on local market conditions. Long run, I would focus on the macro.

  266. I am a clown according to Hawk. Oh that hurts…..

    Should you not be busy digging up links. Don’t let me take you away from that…

  267. Of course AG, anything that sold under asking was asking too much but similar homes that sold $200K over asking in need of expensive renos a couple months ago shows the market is fair value for the best place on earth.

    You 2 clowns trolling is getting pathetic. Don’t rich guys have better things to do ?

  268. Hawk – I’m looking for an example of a house in the core that sold for some value, then sold at (or was marketed at) a lower value.

    I’m not really interested in your examples of houses that were listed at unrealistic prices, then cut lower. That doesn’t tell us anything.

    If you really believe that the market is already dropping, then it should be easy to find some examples.

  269. Hawk

    Dropping your price from a stupid asking means nothing.

    So if who wanted your house that you sold how much extra would it cost you 300k, 400k 500k????? Good call.

  270. “Hawk – my question remains. Can you find me a house in the core with a significant price drop?”

    Did you not read my posts yesterday ? Whose the troll ? Sad and desperate bulls.

  271. gwac – I know you’re right. He’s just so good at trolling that it’s very difficult not to respond. Look at his attempt to spin those rental vacancy numbers, for example.

    Hawk – my question remains. Can you find me a house in the core with a significant price drop?

  272. “Vacancy rate numbers are out. Victoria tightened again to 0.5% and now has the lowest vacancy in Canada. As newcomers typically rent first, should lead to another sizeable wave of buyers this Spring.”

    The so called “newcomers” must have been renting a long time waiting for the spring crash as core sales are down 60%. I see lots of rentals online. Their numbers don’t take in every illegal suite which makes up the bulk of most rental suites.

  273. AG

    It is not worth it. He reminds me of the 2 original dudes from the curse of oak Island. They spend there whole life in the pursuit of something that is not there and than get old and bitter.

  274. Middle of nowhere ? It’s in prime Deep Cove where many rich and elite live. You are new to the city though. It’s had 10 years being for sale for $20 million and went down from there. I think they know how to price it and the rich are obviously feeling some pain. Your bulls “it’s only one house” excuses are getting lamer by the post.

  275. Ummm, that’s just one house Hawk. And it’s in the middle of nowhere, very difficult to price.

    Find us a similar example in the core and you’ll get some credibility back.

  276. Correction: Total potential loss in 10 months – $1.88 Million. In other words as good as $2 million blown down the shitter in 10 months. Nothing to see here folks, just move along.

  277. The 3 stooges show up in tandem within 7 minutes to diss the elephant in the room, too funny… price slashes extreme.

    Mike said back in January that high end houses like Villa Madrona always start high. In that case this could get ugly.

    Bought January 2016- $8.48 Million

    For sale November 2016 – $6.8 Million

    Loss in 10 months before salesman’s cut – $1.68 Million

    With salesman’s generous 3% cut – $204,000

    Total potential loss in 10 months – $1.72 Million

    Of course that’s IF he gets $6.8 Million to the dime.

    Read it and weep bulls, the spill over from Vancouver has begun.

    Last price:

    New and improved price:

    https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Single-Family/17043101/670-Lands-End-Rd-North-Saanich-British-Columbia-V8L5K9

  278. CuriousCat

    If you did not have to drive out of Bear Mountain it would be an amazing place to live. I think for anyone who works from home or is a retiree. Bear Mountain is a great place. Houses are beautiful, surroundings are amazing. Great place to bike.

  279. Barrister

    Inventory of good stuff is brutal right now in the core. Not sure what happens when the spring market rolls around without a buildup of inventory. Time will tell.

  280. Vacancy rate numbers are out. Victoria tightened again to 0.5% and now has the lowest vacancy in Canada. As newcomers typically rent first, should lead to another sizeable wave of buyers this Spring. Of course they will all be recorded as local buyers even if airbnb’ing for a month 🙂

  281. Barrister, you are right on all counts. It’s a combination of her not listening to me, alternating with her not telling me things that will illicit a negative response. Which is why she didn’t tell me she was condo shopping 2 weeks ago, until yesterday. We speak everyday, all day, so it’s a conscious omission. I realize this, and thus I hold my tongue. Or instead of telling her, no you can’t do that, I ask instead, “oh, that’s allowed?” or “do you think capital gains might apply there?” and “I think I read somewhere that the mortgage rules changed, did you hear about that?” in a ireaditsomewherebutdidntunderstandit voice. Trying to train her to do her research.

  282. gwac:

    I am beginning to suspect that Hawk thinks that the market might be slowing a little?

    On a more serious note, if one removes all the houses that have been on the market for over a year (the dregs so to speak) the amount of inventory seems seriously low.Some areas like West Shore might see some minor price reductions due to the new mortgage rules but overall I suspect the market will plateau.

  283. “Real estate and related industries are a very large portion of our GDP, and when Vancouver melts down you can be assured that there will be spillover into Victoria. ”

    “Governments at all levels seem determined to reign in our national housing monster.”

    Two basic common sense concepts the bulls can’t comprehend. Two recent price slashes in Oak Bay and a high end ocean front property taking a $1.1 million (20%) beating since January last purchase says the cracks are showing from Vancouver spill over. They always show in the high end first,and low inventory has dick to do with it.

    When has government ever attempted to reign in house buying ? Never.

    When has there been calls from Canadian institutions, analysts etc of a disorderly correction ? Never.

    When has debt been a ticking time bomb as oops posted ? Markets don’t take off from historical debt levels massively beyond the US, the money access has been mainly tapped out.

    The buyer pool has shrunk huge, the foreigners have left and 2017 will be one scary Trump disaster.

    Fall of 2007 was red hot too LeoS, then by spring of 2008 suddenly holes in the ground and the construction jobs you could write your own ticket for were gonzo overnight.

  284. Regarding heat pumps. We have one and nat gas secondary all controlled by a Nest. The Nest has an option for how aggressively to call on the gas furnace when heating. The “Max Savings” setting uses the heat pump as much as possible while the “Max comfort” uses the gas furnace more to get to temperature faster.
    Paradoxically with the price of gas I believe the max comfort is actually cheaper, especially when it’s cold and the heat pump would have to run much of the day to maintain temperature.
    So at current gas prices the heat pump is not worth it for heating.

  285. Dear CuriousCat:

    Your BFF sounds like a lot of people here in Victoria; not a wit of common sense along with a willingness to blame everyone and everything except themselves. Houses are almost never completed on schedule and delays are to be expected. Was she too lazy to do any research on building or did she think that the general rule did not apply to her because she is “special”.

    You are absolutely right that the Colwood crawl is not new and if anything it is written about ad nauseum in the local paper. She decided to build a house without checking out the neighbourhood first. The house is not ruining her life, her lack of brains is ruining her life. That you generally get a better price during the spring market is also no surprise. Listening to real estate agents for advise (sorry Marko) is equally silly. They are salespeople and their economic interest is not the same as yours.

    Why dont people like this listen to logical advise? It is because you are not telling them what they want to hear. I ran into this constantly and it still mystifies me. Somehow one plus one is supposed to equal six or twelve.

    Same thing with buying a building lot during a housing boom. If you are expecting to get talented tradesmen that work for a reasonable price and will keep to a schedule then you are either dreaming or are extremely well connected. A couple of days worth of research should uncouver that from day one. A lot of the population are serious candidates for a “Darwin award”.

    Anyway, I think you gave your BFF some good advise, odds are she will either ignore it or resent it; maybe both. You might want to reconsider giving her sensible advise; it is likely to come back to haunt you.

  286. My bff is regretting buying the lot on Bear Mtn. Her builder sent her a picture of the hwy at 7am and she’s now seriously considering selling without moving in and finding a rental. She went condo shopping a couple weeks ago, but a realtor friend told her not to buy a condo. He thinks the market will tank a bit, meanwhile her regular realtor is telling her it will remain the same. I pointed out that he was the one that got her to list her old place early February… I didn’t have to say more because she knows if she had waited until April or May she would have made an extra $250k. Still a touchy subject. And he’s the one that found her this Bear Mtn lot… She’s crunching numbers to see if there’s any way she can get out without screwing herself financially, but there’s a huge financial incentive to the principal residence exemption, so she’s now calling it, the house-that-will-ruin-her-life. Yes, she’s a bit dramatic! The commute is not NEW. Why don’t people listen to the rational people in their lives??? For now I told her to just stop worrying about it, and not to do anything rash. Wait and see. Her projected completion date is end of January now. (Was November originally. Ha!)

    As for her sister who bought a teardown in Sidney in August, she still hasn’t been able to find a builder. Hope she doesn’t have a big loan on that while it’s sitting empty.

  287. Here is a good article where the columnist is discussing the numbers regarding the heat pump. For our house, we paid $8000 in Nov 2008 to add-on a system to our existing oil furnace. I don’t think they do this anymore, but it included the outdoor unit which we were able to put on the concrete slab right next to our oil tank. This worked only because we replaced the long 1200ltr tank with a tall skinny 600ltr tank, which gave room on the concrete pad for the air handler. This was a cost savings, as a level concrete pad would have been a few hundred. We had to have an electrician come and wire the outdoor unit and that was $350. In order to replace the furnace with electric backup, we would of had to upgrade our panel, (currently 100amps) which is thousands of dollars. http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/how-our-household-is-saving-2-400-a-year-on-heating-costs-with-asterisk-1.2179939

    The furnace is approaching 20 years and when it goes, I’m not sure what the replacement will be. I’m hoping I can still have the heatpump. I wouldn’t be surprised if bylaws or insurance companies will force us to get rid of our oil tanks. Then it’s natural gas (I would need to get a line brought to the house) or pay thousands to get 200amps. Anyone have a propane furnace?

  288. Leo:

    An excellent summary of the situation. Difficult to predict but, if I had to guess I suspect that we will plateau out this year. But i suspect that anyone who is predicting is just guessing much like I am.

    Three years ago when I bought I felt that Victoria was underpriced. Today, I am not so sure.

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