January 30 Market Update

Weekly stats update courtesy of the VREB.

January 2017
Jan
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 65 160 275 409
539
New Listings 130 317 509 699
934
Active Listings 1424 1465 1502 1525
2471
Sales to New Listings  50% 50% 54% 59%
58%
Sales Projection 436 447 465
Months of Inventory

4.58

Pretty consistent trend at 19% below last year’s sales rate.  However Mondays always have a higher sales rate and this month we have 5 instead of 4 so final month’s sales will be higher than that.  Couple more days and we’ll see how January shaped up in terms of pricing but likely we will bounce back from the dip in December.

Other than that we’re remarkably consistent with last year.   Same sales/list ratio, and months of inventory tracking on the same pattern but 23% lower.   Overall, market conditions are still just as hot as last year but with less inventory which is likely the factor constricting sales.  Once we see the sales/list ratio weakening compared to last year that is a clue the market is cooling down.

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163 thoughts on “January 30 Market Update

  1. @Introvert
    There are rats in Alberta, just not many and they do a good job of exterminating them when they are found.

    Thank you for that unnecessary clarification.

    Oh god. Not the youtubes again.

    I know.

    I’ve got nothing, so I’ll hit you with this YouTube video I found…

  2. I would suspect that the transient zoning in Victoria is now a bit of a holdover from years past due to the lack of full time rentals. Having said that though the new Legato building under construction on Yates Street is also transient zoning (and completely sold out). It would be interesting to know how many other properties in Victoria have that particular zoning?

  3. Is the Janion a residential use or a commercial use?

    It makes a difference when it comes to financing these units and it should also make a difference whether they pay residential or commercial property taxes.

    For example. There is a character home on Amelia Street in downtown Victoria that permits both residential and commercial uses. The house is 1,300 square feet and the property taxes are $11,000 a year.

    Shouldn’t transient accommodation properties like the Janion be taxed at commercial rates? But if you can show that the Janion is your principle dwelling and that you or a tenant resided there for no less than 6 months and 1 day then you should only have to pay residential rates.

    Home owners already pay enough in residential taxes. Why allow these airbnbs to get away paying less taxes than other commercial enterprises. City Hall is giving them a tax break with home owners having to make up for the tax loss with higher residential taxes.

    If it’s not a residence then it’s a business and should be taxed like one.

  4. Two more small house sold today in Oak Bay; Sunset and Bing. Both a bit under asking but they were pretty overpriced to start.

    New listing at Despard at 2.5 mil which is totally overpriced (but who knows these days?)

  5. https://betterdwelling.com/city/vancouver/chinas-capital-controls-could-crash-vancouver-real-estate/

    The global army of Chinese real estate buyers used to get around China’s capital controls by ‘smurfing’ (transferring lots of small amounts under the limit of $50k).

    As of Jan. 2/17, apparently, they can’t do this without coming under much scrutiny and penalties – and favourite global target markets of Chinese around the world could be strongly impacted.

    Does this mean Metro Van wouldn’t have even needed the foreign buyer tax? Does it mean we no longer need to worry about the Chinese buyers ever coming here?

    While the most elite Chinese may still get around these controls, the vast ‘middle class’ who were frantically trying to get their money out of China and into international real estate could be strongly impacted.

  6. Dasmo:

    I stand corrected; got through to a senior city planner who stated that they did approve the Janion for
    transient housing. So you are quite right. Should be an interesting tension between resident tenants and those operating B&B’s. What a strange little city council we have here.

  7. @Barrister, if it isn’t zoned for it then there will be trouble. The clamp down is coming either through tax or enforcement or new regulation or all. Almost the entire building will be on AirBnB I’m sure of it. Even people who bought to live in it are most likely not going to full time. Personally I think this building is perfect for it. No one can live in a closet long term anyway.
    @JD good point. More to add to my irritation with spot zoning and that it doesn’t get reflected in the maps. At least do that….

  8. Dasmo:

    You can double check with the city but the building itself was spot zoned for residential. The property zoning was transient housing but the building was actually only zoned for residential. I have no idea how it was marketed. I will try to get in touch with someone more senior in the city planning in case the gentleman I was talking with is misinformed.

  9. I thought that may be the case.

    I’m just a little fed up with the establishment that keeps talking about issues and performing study after study, but taking almost no action on them.

  10. Tallguy

    Rarely will I defend politicians but this was approved in times when their was no housing or rental issue here. I think City Hall was happy to see anything done to an empty building to get tax dollars. Also hotels were not doing so great at that time. There was risk to buying these. People who bought did well for the risk they took. Anyone who bought something in 2012/13/14 has done well. Just not to sure the people who bought in 2017 will say the same thing about these places in 3 or 4 years.

  11. If I’m reading this thing right, the Janion speaks of the hippocracy of City Council.

    Firstly there’s the whole “dealing with Air BnB’s” that’s been in the news, when this building is clearly designed and zoned to allow short term rentals.

    Then there is the housing crunch, where family’s can’t find housing to rent or buy. But they allow these 300 sq. ft. short term rentals to be built.

    Clearly being in the developer’s pockets isn’t just an issue at the provincial level or limited to just Vancouver.

  12. “Good thing that there are no drug addicts near the Janion building.”

    Yes it’s a good thing Barrister, the monkey dancers in the middle of traffic in the daytime just came out of Swan’s right ? 😉

  13. “Also, Hawk, hotels take damage deposits just like Airbnb. No impact imo. And the range in pricing is largely due to seasonal demand.

    I agree that at 300,000k the units are a gamble in many ways. At 120k they were a slam dunk.”

    Trying to defend every place in town is getting tiresome to read. Retirement must be damn boring. Do hotels have 3 day minimums ? Nope. Do Airbnb pay the same hotel tax ? Nope.

    If it was such a slam dunk then why didn’t you buy 5 of them for your kids with your mega bucks in house profits ?

    “They don’t pay the provincial government. They don’t pay the city the two — now going up to three per cent — marketing tax,” Powell said. “We collectively as an industry market Victoria, which brings economic activity to town, but they don’t contribute.”

    Powell said he hears similar concerns from other hoteliers around the province in his role with the B.C. Hotel Association. ”

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/victoria-airbnb-hotels-taxes-1.3871973

  14. This building is not zoned as a hotel or a even as a B and B. You are confusing generally zoning and site specific zoning. The building was approved as residential only by city council.

    Barrister, as a retired lawyer with internet access you are capable of looking up basic bylaws. It is zoned for transient accommodation, which is hotel and motel use. There is no way owners will vote to restrict this use imo given the at least 30% impact on resale value and the fact that the building was advertised as Airbnb permitted plus the 75% majority vote required to change this use if it is even possible on this development – as a developer I would have ensure this term was non- negotiable if possible.

    http://www.victoria.ca/assets/Departments/Planning~Development/Development~Services/Zoning/Bylaws/Schedule%20A.pdf

    Also, Hawk, hotels take damage deposits just like Airbnb. No impact imo. And the range in pricing is largely due to seasonal demand.

    I agree that at 300,000k the units are a gamble in many ways. At 120k they were a slam dunk.

  15. The more airbnb units that come on the market means lower occupancy and rates. If the dollar ever goes back to par-ish. Tourism will go bye bye again.

  16. I may be wrong but I can see problems with a building full of airbnbers. Owners and daily users do not treat the building the same. I just see a better use of 299k in Victoria.

    Never mind once you take into account opportunity cost on your down payment + transaction fees (100% loss) the value proposition really is destroyed.
    Now take into account your time for managing the AirBnB (or $ to pay someone else) and you are breaking even at best or losing money for taking a risk. I ran the numbers on the 595 Pandora place for AirBnB. Couldn’t make it work. Didn’t stop it from selling out (the small units) within days of course.

  17. Dasmo, one would have to check title to ensure there is no registered covenant restricting short-term rentals. You can’t rely on the zoning alone.

  18. “It only takes a few incidents with short term tenants for the permanent residents to rebel and amend the condo bylaws.”

    Yes a condo I lived in voted to amend the bylaws and restrict rentals to a certain % because of building security issues – people moving in & out, leaving doors open with the moving truck, which gave thieves & (unfortunately) drug addicts a way in. When you’re dealing with people’s personal homes & property, day-to-day privacy and safety becomes an important topic, especially if there are kids or seniors (who cannot defend themselves as easily).

  19. DASMO:

    This building is not zoned as a hotel or a even as a B and B. You are confusing generally zoning and site specific zoning. The building was approved as residential only by city council.

    I rented for a year at Shutters and the tenants had just voted to prevent any short term rentals. It only takes a few incidents with short term tenants for the permanent residents to rebel and amend the condo bylaws.

    At the original prices these suites made sense for young people who wanted to be downtown. At 300k
    a suite I suspect that it is far from a wise investment.

  20. Thanks Reasonfirst for the link – interesting on 2 fronts – I did an analysis of some vacation homes in the US, and it showed similar occupancy rates – around 50% – because every destination seems to have high & low seasons.

    Also interesting that it shows that 87.3% of AirBnB units in Victoria are entire homes/apts, whereas only 9% are private rooms and 3.7% are shared rooms.

    This is similar to what other cities have been complaining about – AirBnB likes to promote itself as a way for private homeowners to earn a bit of extra $ by renting out a room in their house like a traditional B&B, but studies like the ones from LA, San Fran, or U of Penn show that it’s running more like a virtual national or international hotel – taking up entire apartments that could be rented to locals.

    However, not many locals would actually want to live in a 300 sq ft space, which is why when a developer of tiny condos says that the building will solve the needs of an increasing Victoria population, it’s really double-speak for “sell it to an investor who’ll keep it empty or rent it as a hotel” – happened all the time in Vancouver.

  21. Reason,

    I also noted many ads with minimum 3 night stays with $150 damage deposit too with some varying prices at $87 up to $180 with the same size suite. I forsee a lot of disappointed wannabe landlords.

  22. I think the airbnb stats tells us the market is saturated and yet still more fools are buying in to it.

  23. Vancouver in free fall. Keep on buying Victorians … AKA “suckers” . 😉

    “In January, Richmond detached sales fell 66% year over year, Vancouver West fell 72%, while West Vancouver sales fell 74%. For Vancouver West and West Vancouver it was the worst January on record. It was the second worst January for Richmond sales, trailing only January 2009 (Financial crisis).”

    “As sales falter, inventory continues to pile up, adding further downwards pressure on prices.”

    http://vancitycondoguide.com/chinas-capital-controls-chokehold-luxury-sales/

  24. Hey Marko:
    Are “Net Unconditional Sales:” really unconditional sales or sales that have cleared conditions?

  25. I think you are wrong. The units are so small that your occupancy will likely be two. The guests know it is owned by someone and they will be rated publicly on their stay and their id will need to be verified prior to registering with Airbnb.

    I would say the risk with Airbnb is much less than an owner having rowdy friends over on the rooftop for a party. And you know the suite will be cleaned and maintained perfectly by owners renting on Airbnb.

    In my view the potential for problems with Airbnb would be much greater with a large party renting a whole house than a tiny suite. I’d have no qualms buying in a building with small suites rented to Airbnb guests with owners and strata council who are extra motivated to maintain value and quality of surroundings.

  26. 2213 Windsor Rd slashed 90K in Oak Bay but the Swiss secret agents infiltrating are too busy banging on random doors ? Meanwhile sales are going through $400K plus over but the multiple of price slashes I’ve posted are too much over assessment ? LOL

    The sheep continue to get fleeced while Vancouver has come to a “screeching halt” with average prices falling under $1 million. Yep, the dumb money is alive and well in Victoria. Fads never end well.

  27. Totoro

    So assume the cleaning fee is covered in the airbnb. I have taken out the 400 dollar expense and added 150 for insurance and misc expense. You need 105 dollars a night in rental only to breakeven at 70% occupancy to justify 299k assuming you do not actually want to live in a hotel size room. 🙂

    I may be wrong but I can see problems with a building full of airbnbers. Owners and daily users do not treat the building the same. I just see a better use of 299k in Victoria.

  28. A cleaner will cost 60 each time. You need hotel clean and someone reliable who will show up and do a pro job is 30/hr in Victoria – more if you use a service that guarantees coverage for illness. You’ll have two loads of laundry most times to wash and dry. I’d call it a wash.

    I remember JJ dismissing this development due to the size of the units. I wish I’d paid more attention. I have to say my resistance to the darker side of downtown led me to a fail to closely consider the option even though I’ve loved that building since I was a server at Swans many years ago.

    I think these are perfect for a young adult. I would have happily co-signed or co-owned several units so our kids could buy it from us when they turn 19 and have a place to live and rent out while they go and figure out life – if they were interested which I expect they would have been. Very inexpensive way to get them into the market and teach them how to manage debt and extremely flexible for that stage of life.

  29. Victoria Real Estate Board

    Wed Feb 1, 2017:

    Jan Jan
    2017 2016
    Net Unconditional Sales: 478 539
    New Listings: 753 934
    Active Listings: 1,516 2,471

    Please Note

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

  30. “I could not live in 290 sq ft beside a busy bridge without wanting to blow my brains out. Just trying to figure out why anyone would.”

    Bang on gwac. Wait til the new bridge lane is 100 yards closer and smack under your window.

    I’m sure the bridge deck will have some loud annoying noise to it as well like most other bridges.

  31. The first buyers of Janion were on it! Most of them were obviously AirBnBers. It being zoned for it etc. The second round buyers? Not as clever.

  32. Vic

    Like I said in my post I am not sure what the average rent and cleaning fee would be year round to get the 70% occupancy. Summer would be a lot higher and probably booked very day. You need about 120 a night (added some insurance) in rent and cleaning fee(seems that is a revenue source since cleaning 291 sq feet should not cost $60. I have put 400 in expense) to breakeven at that 299k price. I could not live in 290 sq ft beside a busy bridge without wanting to blow my brains out. Just trying to figure out why anyone would.

  33. The service charge goes to Airbnb and the cleaning fee is an expense. Keep in mind that owners who purchased early bought in at about 120k for a smaller unit. They’ve done well.

  34. The Janion AirBnB that totoro linked to is only charging $98 a night. That’s pretty far off from Gwac’s imagined $175. (There’s a 3 night minimum, a $60 cleaning fee, and a $40 service charge.)

  35. I’ve been here well over a year and now I love it. There’s rats everywhere…but there’s much less here

  36. The first thing I ever saw on the very first day moving to Vic was a rat the size of a large cat with an incrediblely long tail… It didn’t scare me, Bc I knew I’d found paradise….

    Newport is right on the course.

    Say what you want. The only way here is up !

  37. @AG:

    BC Assessment has 605 Newport valued at 1,6M and change ( Land at 1,5M ). Last years assessment was at 1,195M.

    Looks like a cute little house, not what I would consider a tear down. With a 100×150 lot though, it’s anybody’s guess what the buyer will do here.

  38. 605 Newport Ave – sold for 1.95m, assessed at less than 1.2m. Was on the market for 1.195m back in mid-2015.

    Realtor describes it as “a great rental while you design your new home.”

    Did someone really just pay 1.95m for the land?

  39. From the previous thread, Catbus said:

    “Catbus – January 29, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    What about side- or up-sizers who kept their previous homes as rentals? I have no data (anybody?), but this is what we did 3 years ago when we were expecting our second kid, needed a bigger house and had a hunch that prices were going up after years of what seemed like relative stagnation. ”

    A word of caution to anyone who buys a principal residence house (house-A), lives in it for a few years, then uses equity from their first principal residence (house-A) as a down-payment on a second house (house-B), which then becomes their principal residence and their first house (house-A) become their rental investment property.

    Seems like a good investment idea, until… the CRA audit…

    Many people don’t realize that the equity you extract from house-A as a mortgage, which you then use as a down-payment on house-B (your new principal residence), can not be used as a taxable expense against the rent-revenue you receive from house-A.

    However, you can extract equity from house-A and use it to buy an investment property and then the mortgage interest will be allowed as an investment expense, but never if you use the extracted equity to buy another principal residence.

    Just having a mortgage on a rental property does not guarantee that your mortgage interest is a valid expense; it is not always. It depends on what you used the mortgage money for; investment use or personal use.

    Just another tip for wanna-be landlord investors; study the tax rules.

  40. When Hawk says something is one way, it’s probably the other. He’s wrong about everything, except Trump.

  41. Totoro,

    They probably don’t complain as it makes for better cuisine than the other nearby options…

  42. Tororo:

    It is not an issue of city zoning; it is an issue of what the condo committee sets up as rules. Condos like Shutters severely limit the number of units that can be rented and and that all leases must be long term and approved by the management committee. These restrictions were put into place after a few years of renting people renting. Apparently this is a growing trend with condos.

  43. It’s the worst rodent problem in 20 years according to the pest control people. Not great for when renting to tourists. ” Nice place except for that rat the size of a cat. ” But probably not in the gentrified Red Barn area.

  44. Your neighbours might not be thrilled to your running a hotel with strangers coming and going.

    The Janion is zoned for transient accommodation.

    Heard the the Janion has a nasty rat problem. I’m sure that will bring in the great reviews.

    As far as I can tell the reviews are great. The whole waterfront and the rest of Victoria, including Uplands, has rats.

  45. Heard the the Janion has a nasty rat problem. I’m sure that will bring in the great reviews. Those wharf rats can be the worst and the biggest.

  46. You also have to worry about the condo management prohibiting short term rentals altogether. Your neighbours might not be thrilled to your running a hotel with strangers coming and going.

  47. There are maybe a few more expenses; management & marketing, insurance, repairs & maintenance… otherwise looks pretty good. Probably won’t get 22 nights all year, at least at those rates.

  48. it can go down to $115 a night for the 22 nights to breakeven with my numbers. I am not sure what the realistic number is to get 22 nights (70% occupancy) on a yearly average.

  49. “No, it’s the cars that should be banned. Then the streets will be thronged with pedestrians, and air quality would be much better. But there would, obviously, be an exemption for electric cars.”
    I was joking. I don’t think anyone would be in favor of removing sidewalks. Just like they won’t remove bike lanes once they’re in.

  50. Airbnb is a good use for small apartments like that. People will pretty much pay the same for a small studio as they will for a large studio. If they’re only in town for a few days, it doesn’t really matter.

    Small apartments and SFHs on busy streets are awesome places for getting good yields on holiday rentals.

  51. how are these numbers for the Janion sale. Just throwing it out.

    mortgage 1500
    condo fees 150
    taxes 200
    utilities 250
    cleaning 400
    total 2500

    airbnb 22 nights
    175$ a night 3850
    1350 profit amonth

    ag yes

  52. “Suddenly realized that this condo must a lot smaller than the upstairs of the carriage house.
    What idiot bought this place?”

    Some millennials say that boomers are unsympathetic to their plight.

    Exhibit #1: Barrister and his 2-storey carriage house 🙂

  53. Gwac:

    Thanks for the numbers. It almost makes me feel good about the $206 per square feet that I paid for my place. I am not even counting the 1,300 square feet of unfinished basement in that nor the 600 square feet of finished space in my carriage house. Suddenly realized that this condo must a lot smaller than the upstairs of the carriage house.

    What idiot bought this place?

  54. 182 sales, 965 active listings.
    Last Jan was 282 sales and 1289 active listings. So sales of SFH are down (note 1 day remaining).
    About 5.1 MOI this year compared to 4.6 last year.

    Not enough quality inventory is make take on it…..take a look at 3351 Doncaster today. List for 950k and sold f0r $1,200,000 or $400,000 over the new assessment.

  55. GWAC

    Do you know what the actual price and square footage were on that sale. (not questioning what you are saying but wondering about the specifics)

  56. Janion building broke the price per ft record in Victoria with the sale last night. Seems the lucky person got to pay over a 1000 dollars per square ft. Enjoy your micro living.

  57. There’s no “Fort-Yates” crawl to speak of.

    Occasionally I have to drive rather than bike my daughter to preschool in Fernwood. Then I have to face the “Pandora Crawl” into downtown. There is usually a bit of a car line-up at Cook but a matter of minutes or less ( and probably could be alleviated by better light timing). And of course the other 23 hours of the day there is rarely any issue there at all.

  58. I was biking home the other day and there was not ONE, and i mean it, not ONE person using the sidewalk the whole way home. It’s an affront to taxpayers and car drivers that these aren’t turned into car lanes.

    No, it’s the cars that should be banned. Then the streets will be thronged with pedestrians, and air quality would be much better. But there would, obviously, be an exemption for electric cars.

  59. I was biking home the other day and there was not ONE, and i mean it, not ONE person using the sidewalk the whole way home. It’s an affront to taxpayers and car drivers that these aren’t turned into car lanes. It’s ridiculous that we maintain this expensive infrastructure for the token few who decide to walk places.

  60. “If Trump manages to somehow drag down Canada’s economy, guess what? Low interest rates forever!”
    Totally what happened in Mexico recently… no wait, it’s actually jumped 1.5%(from 6% to 7.5%) .
    How about that.

  61. I used to ride down Yates and Fort street during “rush hour”. These aren’t busy streets. The only reason there are cars on them at all is because the lights are synced to make them stop at every single light. I would barely even pedal between lights because you’d just be waiting anyway. Even though they made it so that people were waiting longer in the downtown core, there was never an instance where people were stuck in traffic. There’s no “Fort-Yates” crawl to speak of.

  62. Re. The bike lanes… I say – eliminate bike lanes on Fort St. and Yates St. downtown and put them on View St. instead. Probably too late for them to change it, and esp. too late for Pandora St bike lanes (Lisa needed a direct route to City Hall anyway). But hey, worth a try to get them off busy Fort and Yates?

    I’d ride my bike downtown if the lanes were on View St. and we wouldn’t loose more parking that way, just saying – it makes sense.

  63. Rook – Where does it say they won’t extend the foreign buyer tax anywhere else in BC? As far as I knew, the government left that door open. Obvious the next place would be CRD, but we all know in election mode Christy won’t extend it, and obviously it was very ill thought out, as it affected folks who weren’t part of the problem by not being tied to income. Quote from Clark when implementing the foreign tax: “Tax policy is by necessity secret.” – B.C. Premier, Christy Clark

    And if you think 15% tax is enough, think again… Hong Kong had to double theirs to 30% in Nov. 2016… after it proved 15% wasn’t enough and the Chinese were finding ways around it there anyway. After a brief dip in prices after the 15% was introduced there, prices resumed an upward trend.

    https://list.juwai.com/news/2016/11/what-hong-kong-s-tax-change-tells-about-chinese-property-demand

    The Chinese capital curbs were implemented after this article was written but will they find ways around that?

    The BC government should never had allowed all the foreign (now mostly Chinese – but at first from Hong Kong) investor speculation in the first place, they knew it was happening when it started as far back as the 1990’s with the Hong Kong migrants worried about the 1997 hand over of Hong Kong to China. After 1997 went by, everything appeared ok for the Hong Kong citizens (for now – they get completely absorbed by China in 2038)

    Then, the rise of the global army of mainland Chinese real estate buyers targeting western countries and Asian countries all around the world really started to pick up around 2001 – and grew non-stop since. Their favourite target countries are: UK (now w/ Brexit causing a drop in the pound even cheaper), Malaysia, US (this might start to change w/ Trump?), South Korea, Australia, and of course, Canada (mainly just Vancouver and now especially Toronto). Hong Kong, also a target.

    What we really need is a tax dependant on income and tied to income taxes (for deductions from foreign buyer tax, indexed in some way to various levels of income). This has been discussed on this blog already. The tax would be eliminated once income reached a certain level. This would ensure that those investing in property here, no matter where they’re from, would be contributing to Canadian society through income taxation. Those coming here to work would not be penalized.

    The thing to do now it’s coming up to election time – is ask your MLA about what their position is on this issue, and then vote accordingly. I say… ‘Christy Clark has got to go – hey hey, ho ho’.

  64. Introvert/Rook:

    When the head of communications and issues management says something, you take it as fact?

  65. If Trump manages to somehow drag down Canada’s economy, guess what? Low interest rates forever!

    Trump may scare off new investment in Canada, says manufacturing group

    Many large companies are becoming gun-shy about making new investments in Canada because of Donald Trump’s hardline stance on firms investing outside the U.S., says the head of a leading trade and industry group.

    http://www.obj.ca/Canada%20-%20World/2017-01-31/article-4728523/Trump-may-scare-off-new-investment-in-Canada-says-manufacturing-group/1

    Improved oil drilling activity forecast tempered by competition risk from Trump

    http://www.news1130.com/2017/01/30/drilling-activity-forecast-revised-higher-as-stronger-prices-drive-investment/

  66. Our government is completely incompetent. No research or analysis before creating policy, and trying to manage the impossible task of keeping their votes and keeping the real estate and construction industries wealthy.

  67. “Totally agree. When I ride my bike, I prefer less busy roads because the air is cleaner and I’m less likely to die (suddenly).”

    Totally don’t get why they don’t follow the Vancouver model here. Not all of the streets run east/west and north/south, but they could designate some roads as primary bike use, like 10th Ave in Vancouver.

    Oak Bay regulating suites…that’s way more progressive than I would have assumed Oak Bay to be. Now start quashing age restrictions and mandate some 3 bdrm condos!

  68. Which of the 510,000,000 km are you planning to relocate to? (From the previous thread.)

    Well, at retirement we’ll consider relocating elsewhere on the Island. It’s a big island, and 99.9% of non-Victoria properties on it are less expensive than a similar property in Gordon Head. So equity will mean something, then.

    I still dont understand why they did put the bike lanes on secondary roads.

    Totally agree. When I ride my bike, I prefer less busy roads because the air is cleaner and I’m less likely to die (suddenly).

    So it’s official, BC liberals are not planning on extending the foreign buyers tax to help unnafortabity in the rest of the province.

    I’m glad to hear this. It was only needed in Vancouver.

  69. Totoro, thanks for the link to the marches (especially now with Trump not understanding the separation of powers in firing the AG, and the Montreal suspect turning out to be a Trump fan)

  70. LEO:

    Thank you for the SFH numbers; that is a very large year over year drop.I wonder if we are seeing the foundation for a drop in prices?

  71. @totoro let me know if you find out anything effective that can be done from here regarding Trump. Interested in this as well.

    I’ll be at the rally against Islamophobia down at Centennial this Friday. Maybe not the most effective thing but makes me feel better. I’d like to go to this one though – hopefully a local group will organize as well: https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2017/jan/27/scientists-are-planning-to-march-on-washington-heres-why

    Protesting is the best I’ve got at the moment, so, even though I don’t like crowds, I’m just going to keep showing up until I find something that I can use my skill set for.

  72. I’m wondering if anyone has numbers for January on out of province/Vancouver/and foreign buyers?

    So it’s official, BC liberals are not planning on extending the foreign buyers tax to help unnafortabity in the rest of the province.

    https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-to-lift-foreign-buyer-tax-for-those-with-work-permits/article33821689/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&utm_content=buffer94291&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer&service=mobile

  73. Hi Leo S, do you have a program that could run a heirarchical regression? that might help tease out whether low inventory or high prices are the better predictor of low sales.

    Hierarchical regression? Dunno I got a C in statistics. 🙂
    If you know of how to do this kind of thing drop me a line.

  74. @totoro let me know if you find out anything effective that can be done from here regarding Trump. Interested in this as well.

  75. For Greater Victoria. SFH Jan 1 to current date. I haven’t seen the SFH data published yet, was wondering if anyone here had the numbers.

    182 sales, 965 active listings.
    Last Jan was 282 sales and 1289 active listings. So sales of SFH are down (note 1 day remaining).
    About 5.1 MOI this year compared to 4.6 last year.

  76. Hi Leo,

    “Look up? Or do you mean Victoria city proper only?”

    For Greater Victoria. SFH Jan 1 to current date. I haven’t seen the SFH data published yet, was wondering if anyone here had the numbers.

  77. Mike’s BS is getting very boring. He’s running out of countries to say it’s worse than here but ignores the 14% wage annual hikes for last 15 years and a coffee costs $15.

  78. Barrister: but that would be total logic that apparently evades Lisa Helps and her pro-cycling team at Victoria city council. Much like the outdated zoning/planning bylaws in Victoria city that prevent more affordable diverse types of housing from being built.

    Better to put the bicycles on main streets and busy bus routes where they have to dodge cars, trucks and buses! Plus annoy those pesky polluting drivers with narrower lanes (also, sorry Tesla and Leaf/Volt drivers, you’re also taking up too much space while you search/circle for increasingly non-existent parking). Then, while they’re at it, destroy what’s left of any competitiveness for downtown businesses. That way we can make way for Douglas/Yates to become the next Hastings/Main… At least the homeless and druggies will be happy when many of the downtown businesses flee to Mayfair, Uptown, and Hillside Malls… Smart…

    Actually I am an avid cyclist and would cycle downtown if it was safer – but I’d rather not put my life into another drivers’ hand… I’m avoiding downtown even with the new lanes.

  79. I still dont understand why they did put the bike lanes on secondary roads . Make the secondary one way and close off the other lane just for bikes. Better for bikes and better for cars.

  80. Actually I ride a bike. So you would think I should be in favor of bike lanes. And I am. Just not along arterial roads where a fraction of a second in the lapse of a motorist’s attention when trying to make a turn ends in a fatality. The money would have been better spent on improved street lighting making it safer for both cyclists and pedestrians. Instead we’ll have more frustrated motorists trying to run that red light, pass that bike or make that quick turn.

    Anyway it’s done. We’ll pay for the lanes and the bridge and the crosswalks. So you can add a grand a month in property taxes and utilities to the cost of a new home in the city.

  81. Don’t forget to add GST and PTT to the 1.6 million for 2125 Fair St… Then, add the fact there is basically no yard or privacy, and 3 other similar houses AND apartment buildings staring you down…
    oh… and strata title!

    ….Bargain 😉

  82. Bike lanes in Victoria are an expensive dream of a deranged city council. I believe you will see some future Mayor of Victoria return most of these dedicated lanes to vehicles.

    You could run as Victoria’s Rob Ford. Are you also 400 lbs, and do you enjoy crack?

  83. Can anyone tell me what the SFH Sales & Active Listings numbers are for January 2017 to date for Vic?
    Thanks.

    Look up? Or do you mean Victoria city proper only?

  84. I just looked at the listing for 2125 Fair Street. I cant believe they want 1.6 million for it. I know that it is a new build but all the same it seems like a lot.

  85. Well Deb, I’ll worry about that when or if Victoria ever becomes a major city in Canada. Just the City of Surrey has a greater population than all of the districts combined in Greater Victoria.

    And that’s Surrey! And nobody wants to live in Surrey – right!

    Bike lanes in Victoria are an expensive dream of a deranged city council. I believe you will see some future Mayor of Victoria return most of these dedicated lanes to vehicles. I don’t disagree with bike lanes, they just should not be on arterial roads. Our city is just not designed for bike lanes with all the narrow streets and parked cars along the street.

    500 Victorians biked to work today but only 490 made it.

  86. Still it is an interesting piece of trivia.

    Does indicate how insane it has gotten here. Not Vancouver levels of insane, but insane nonetheless.

    In the huge area of Metro Vancouver that is west of PoCo and north of the Fraser there are essentially zero freehold houses under 900 K and a tiny handful under 1 Million. An equivalent area here has only a fraction of the population and number of houses but yields upward of 100 houses for sale under 800K

  87. Can anyone tell me what the SFH Sales & Active Listings numbers are for January 2017 to date for Vic?
    Thanks.

  88. John Dollar – As Dasmo said that comparison doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    A logical comparison would be to compare the Greater Victoria core (Vic, OB, Saan, Esq) to the Greater Vancouver core (Vancouver city which is still almost twice as populous as the CRD.

  89. @J Dollar, why do that? you just give openings to shoot you down. Maybe compare the Van core to Vic core instead to Greater Van to Vic core….

  90. If your friends can’t afford it some other family can.

    Here’s some trivia for you. The average home price in Canada is $471,000. In Vancouver the average fell under a million to $948,000 and in Victoria so far this month the average is…….

    $1,051,000

    Yes – our average price for a house in the core is now higher than Vancouver.

    Time to sell the house in Victoria and retire to Vancouver.

  91. “How would you tell which is the important factor? I can’t think of any particularly robust way to tease out whether it’s the inventory or the prices that are dampening sales. All I see is 40% less inventory, much of which is stale overpriced crap.”

    Hi Leo S, do you have a program that could run a heirarchical regression? that might help tease out whether low inventory or high prices are the better predictor of low sales.

  92. @ John Dollar
    It seems that most major cities in the world disagree with you as there is a move to restrict cars in many of them, perhaps they should have consulted you first, they obviously don’t know what they are doing:
    https://geographyeducation.org/2017/01/27/paris-mayor-unveils-plan-%E2%80%8Bto-restrict-traffic-and-pedestrianize-city-center/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_car-free_places

    @Dasmo
    You can’t train on regional trails or pathways, they are perfect for the commuter or slow riders but do not work for people who are “serious/competitive” bike riders. Car drivers have to learn to share or leave their cars at home.

  93. They’re choosing to build a new home, so they should also realize that they will end up paying more to buy the land and build the house than what they could sell the completed home for.

    One of the families was hoping to do an owner build. I don’t think the lot they envisaged exists anymore in the core at a price they can afford so they are going. I have a feeling their plans are going to have to change. The other family is selling a home they had built in Oak Bay (by a GC) just over a year ago. They will make a killing on that purchase/demo/rebuild. I am not feeling sorry for them especially as they are semi-abusing the principal residence exemption.

    I am just surprised that the current conditions aren’t bringing more teardowns or near teardowns to market. There has probably never been a better time in Victoria to sell a crappy house or crappy location.

  94. “why spend millions on bike lanes but let bike safety slide” … yes, you’re missing the point. Building bike lanes and other infrastructure is not about bike safety but about increasing ridership. Making more attractive for people to get out of their car and into their bicycle. Whether it’s actually safer is not the point … but the fact remains (as was pointed out below) that safety of cyclists increases when you remove red-tape such as bike helmets.

    You want to make riding seem as a simple, easy thing to do, you just hop on your bike and get going. Not have to put on helmets, tights, and other unsightly bits. And that is what makes it safer: the more cyclists on the road, the safer it is for all of them. Mainly because cars get better at noticing them.

    By the way, one way to increase parking downtown is to eliminate, or at least reduce “loading” zones. There’s so many, it’s ridiculous. Don’t these businesses know how to share?

  95. @ Mike, you just supported my argument. “Why have bike lanes when we have an incredible network of paved regional trails?” Those are protected bike lanes in the extreme. Bike lanes painted on the road are relatively useless IMO. It’s not that much money and effort just fill out such a protected network. Thank goodness it’s happening! maybe within my lifetime even.
    What is so different about our needs and Rotterdam’s? The bike lanes enabled me to ride my son to school everyday instead of driving through crazy traffic or taking the metro or bus. Such a great thing to also see how it enabled the young to have greater independence. Seeing all the school kids ride to school alone was pretty awesome. Keep the oldies healthy too…. The biggest thing I never realised as a sometimes bike commuter here was why the rain makes a huge difference. It makes being in the traffic too much because of the auditory experience being so close to the cars. It is feels very unsafe. Having the comparison made that clear to me. In Rotterdam I biked rain or shine. Well, it never shone so I pretty much only biked in the rain…..

  96. I try to ride my bike to work whenever possible, and notwithstanding this year, I have been pretty consistent about not driving for about 2-3 years. It’s a great way to clear your head before and after work if it works for you.

    In all honesty though, I could care less about bike lanes.

    The Galloping Goose, Lochside Trail, E&N trail and various municipal trails all provide enough safe bicycling access across the region 12 months a year. Riding on roads, whether in a bike lane or not during our dark wet winters, or even in the middle of summer is a terrible idea.

    I remember last spring on a sunny afternoon I decided to leave early for work so I could get some exercise and make my ride a little longer. I chose a different route, used a road with a bike lane. 5 minutes into my ride, I almost get creamed by some oblivious tourist.

    Why have bike lanes when we have an incredible network of paved regional trails?

  97. Well Caveat, your friends will just have to pay more and buy one of those “over priced” tear-downs.

    They’re choosing to build a new home, so they should also realize that they will end up paying more to buy the land and build the house than what they could sell the completed home for.

  98. It’s closing down vehicle traffic lanes that are used by thousands of vehicles for the sake of a few hundred cyclists. That will have an effect on downtown businesses as motorists decide it isn’t worth the aggravation to shop downtown.

    I don’t really care how well dedicated bike lanes work in Rotterdam. This is Victoria and we have our own set of unique obstacles that make biking to and from for a significant portion of the population not practical.

  99. @J Dollar, bike lanes are opening up new arteries into downtown not closing them…. if it’s easier to bike people will do that instead of driving. I’ve lived it. Protected bike lanes made Rotterdam livable. They are a great thing for our city. We have the climate, the scale and the riders already. Shoot, I’m sure half the people living in the Hudson drive into town when they would probably bike if it was inviting and safe.

  100. Two families we know looking for building lots in the core. Pretty much nothing available they report. They say there are a few tear down worthy properties that have languished on the market, badly overpriced.

  101. “When you say that you can not tease out of the market if low sales are due to high prices or that inventory is high since only crap is for sale. That is your opinion of what is or is not crap. Many buyers would be happy with that crap. It may not meet your needs but that does not mean others would feel the same way.”

    That’s been the mantra the last few years when inventory was high too but sales were slow, it’s all crap they cried, yet they keep buying it and paying $200K over value as well.

  102. “Your argument on safety makes no sense.”

    Makes total sense, why spend millions on bike lanes but let bike safety slide. Like I said, some days I see half the riders with their lap top bags and man buns flying through traffic like they own the road with no helmets as well as women, and can’t even stay within the bike lane they’re given.

    There seems to be more car/bike accidents lately which only means higher costs to everyone. If you are going to one, do the other cause the biker always loses.

  103. When you say that you can not tease out of the market if low sales are due to high prices or that inventory is high since only crap is for sale. That is your opinion of what is or is not crap. Many buyers would be happy with that crap. It may not meet your needs but that does not mean others would feel the same way.

    An appropriately priced house will find a buyer. The problem is that the houses are not appropriately priced. That’s the reason why months of inventory and average days on market are higher now and sale volumes of houses in the core are near a ten year low.

  104. Airbnbs are not the only problem. But they add to it. As a taxpayer, I should have my city look at all means to provide affordable housing at a reasonable cost. And that would mean discouraging those that take places for local to live out of the housing stock.

  105. So every day I drive into my office and I take the portion of Cook Street that starts at Quadra that has the new raised cycling path…..it is super super rare that I see a cyclist. That stretch of Cook Street took forever to redevelop.

    Are there any sort of stats of how many people ride to work and if that number is increasing with all these cycling infrastructure initiatives?

  106. How do you know he would have even bought it if Airbnb was not an option. Makes sense to buy if you can rent it out on Airbnb. But if that wasn’t an option he may very well have just used a hotel instead of buying

    because I told him to Airbnb it with a new service called SpaceHost. I once sold a unit at the Bayview that was 5 years old and only had 3 months of use on it. Sellers from Calgary just didn’t come often but wanted to have a place in Victoria. Were not interested in long term renting as it would have impeded from coming whenever they wanted to.

  107. When it comes to bike helmets and cars. The car always wins. The helmets protect you from a fall from a bike and not an accident with a car. Given a choice between a helmet law and a law requiring reflective clothing. The reflective clothing would safe more lives.

    I am becoming more aggressive when driving. When I come up to an intersection that I am intending to turn right, I will move my car fully over to the curb so that a bike can not get between me and the curb. That makes it easier for me and I don’t have to watch for a bike passing on the right keeping the bike rider safely behind me where they have to follow the same rules of the road as I do.

  108. ii/ A had a client from up island buy a unit at the Janion a few weeks ago so he can come down here a few times a month and have a place to stay. When he is not here he will Airbnb it through a service, otherwise he would just let it go vacant.

    How do you know he would have even bought it if Airbnb was not an option. Makes sense to buy if you can rent it out on Airbnb. But if that wasn’t an option he may very well have just used a hotel instead of buying

  109. Low inventory is not the factor constricting sales. Its the over inflated prices

    How would you tell which is the important factor? I can’t think of any particularly robust way to tease out whether it’s the inventory or the prices that are dampening sales. All I see is 40% less inventory, much of which is stale overpriced crap.

  110. The wide spread use of airbnb’s as a commercial enterprise have caused a shortage in rentals, higher rents and higher condo prices. They are counter productive to the goals of a society to create affordable housing and should be discouraged.

    Airbnb is such a small portion of housing stock that if you took all Airbnb operations and made them long terms rentals it wouldn’t have a large effect. The other portion of it is, from personal experience, the majority of my clients doing Airbnb would not long term rent otherwise.

    i/ Young couple with a suite in the Mount Doug area that Airbnbs….both sets of parents live out east and come for 1+ month at a time; therefore, if it wasn’t or Airbnb the suite would just go vacant.

    ii/ A had a client from up island buy a unit at the Janion a few weeks ago so he can come down here a few times a month and have a place to stay. When he is not here he will Airbnb it through a service, otherwise he would just let it go vacant.

    Not sure why everyone is all over Airbnb and totally missing all the other issues…..for example, one of many, why are so many of the buildings in the best families areas such as Cook Street village age (no kids) and rental restricted? Because politically no one wants to touch that subject.

  111. Streets are the arteries of a city. If you restrict and clog these arteries the City will die.

    I suspect that a future Mayor will remove these bike lanes in order to bring people back downtown. Otherwise the city will shut down at 5:30 and people will not come back downtown. Instead they will do their shopping in the suburbs. That will become a habit to most people and then it would be a huge endeavor to get people back into the city when the bike lanes are removed.

    Nothing wrong with creating bike lanes but not at the cost of inhibiting the easy flow of vehicle traffic.

  112. Why are we spending so much money for bike lanes and reducing parking if the city is just going to ignore the most important part of bike rider safety, their head.

    If one gets splattered with no helmet then the health care system then has to take over for millions in lifetime of care. If one gets killed, then the driver has to carry that with them for life in both instances.

    Hawk as I already pointed out the major loss of parking is from development. Bike lanes when complete will cost far less parking spots than have been lost through the development of surface parking lots into higher value uses.

    Your argument on safety makes no sense. Most cars drive faster than speed limits and many roll through stop signs – both factors proven to increase accident risks . By your logic nothing should be spent on road safety till those problems are solved.

    The research on safety benefits from helmets is mixed.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bike-helmet-laws-have-little-effect-reducing-head-injuries-says-ubc-study-1.3308238
    That said, personally I wear one nearly 100% of the time because it is the law, it’s my habit, and it might help a little bit if I was in a crash.

  113. This isn’t a discussion on Bed and Breakfasts but on airbnbs.

    The wide spread use of airbnb’s as a commercial enterprise have caused a shortage in rentals, higher rents and higher condo prices. They are counter productive to the goals of a society to create affordable housing and should be discouraged. If you are renting out your condo for more than 6 months a years on a daily or weekly basis then that’s a hotel not your home and it should be taxed accordingly.

  114. Low inventory is not the factor constricting sales. Its the over inflated prices. You’re going to keep hearing the old inventory blah blah thing from the VREB. Don’t buy into this. Sales will continue to tank here until prices fall. The media and realtors have done a good job with propaganda.

  115. “Why are we spending so much money for bike lanes and reducing parking if the city is just going to ignore the most important part of bike rider safety, their head.”

    The reality is that if we really cared about brain injury, people would wear helmets constantly – in cars, while walking, while riding. The notion that people only need helmets on bikes and not in cars, for instance, is based in culture rather than evidence.

  116. caveat,

    Why are we spending so much money for bike lanes and reducing parking if the city is just going to ignore the most important part of bike rider safety, their head.

    If one gets splattered with no helmet then the health care system then has to take over for millions in lifetime of care. If one gets killed, then the driver has to carry that with them for life in both instances.

    I assume you think it’s OK.

  117. And commercial taxation on properties used as airbnb’s for more than 6 months of the year. Commercial property taxes are 3 or 4 times more than residential in Victoria

    B&Bs don’t pay commercial taxes and they operate 12 months a year. B&Bs don’t seem to pay much more taxes than Airbnbs. I’d say treat them like B&Bs with the addition of another tax that gets remitted to the city and a limitation on large scale operations if this occurs. Deal with issues on a complaints base like secondary suites are managed and leave condos to stratas to manage with city complaints back-up and court remedies. Also there should be tax slips issued for the rental income by Airbnb that are remitted to CRA to ensure income taxes are paid.

  118. It’s getting to be a joke considering over half the bikers appear to not wear helmets anymore as it effects the image of the hipster bikers.

    Hawk your logic is getting a bit tortuous. Can you explain why bikers not wearing helmets affect your parking supplies? Would the parking issue resolve itself if people were just better at wearing helmets?

  119. And commercial taxation on properties used as airbnb’s for more than 6 months of the year. Commercial property taxes are 3 or 4 times more than residential in Victoria

    Tax away those profits and the owners will go back to renting month to month.

  120. “I asked if it was tactful for them to be inquiring about how to make me homeless while standing on my doorstep? They did not understand, and when I called them parasites they called me rude. ”

    Good on you Cadborsaurus. What a bunch of scum. Always a sign of a market about to tank like Vancouver is when they are so desperate they don’t give a shit about the renter. Time to implement the foreign tax ASAP.

  121. Vancouver continues to tank bigtime. Look out below Victoria….. and bull trap suckers like Mike. 😉

    Real estate brokerage data says Vancouver home sale price averages dip below $1-million

    “For the first time in recent memory, the average sale price for a home in Vancouver has dipped below the $1-million price tag.

    It’s more evidence the real estate market in Vancouver is coming to a screeching halt.”

    http://www.cknw.com/2017/01/29/267389/

  122. Two Swiss (yes, from Switzerland) Realtors met me at my door on Saturday. They said that they had just sold a house down the street and were wondering if I’d be interested in selling as they got top dollar for my neighbour. I said I was renting so they should move along. They then asked, very pleasantly, for my landlord’s name and phone number. I asked if it was tactful for them to be inquiring about how to make me homeless while standing on my doorstep? They did not understand, and when I called them parasites they called me rude. Has anyone else met foreign Realtors doing door to door inquiries? This was a first for me, my mailbox is always full of pamphlets from local Realtors but I’ve never met a brazen sort like this at my door. I live in Oaklands which is starting to feel like Vancouver with the pushy sales.

  123. This January will likely have the highest months of inventory for single family houses in the core since February 2015. The average days to sell a house in the core is now 27. This average has been trending upwards since April when it fell to 18. As for new listings of houses, they have been added to the core at the rate of 1.85 to every 1 sale this month.

    As for the number of house sales in the core, it seems we have hit another bottom for the last 24 months and near the lowest sale volumes in ten years. At the same time the median price has risen to $900,000 from December’s $761,000.

    Is it any wonder why house sales in the core are slowing to near 10 year historic lows!

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