Hot Vancouver Money

Lots of discussion lately about whether we are being overrun by the Vancouver hordes, and if so, whether that will continue.   After much discussion on this topic last year, there is certainly no shortage of hyperventilating in the news about those wealthy Vancouver buyers snapping up properties.   Vague stories of Vancouver interest mashed together with anecdotes of bidding wars combine to paint a scary picture for locals hoping to get into the market.  Buy now or be priced out forever!   As usual the stories are light on logic and won’t help anyone figure out whether Vancouver buyers are actually a big factor here.   So let’s take a look.

Starting with the traffic on this blog, there was certainly an uptick last spring from Vancouver visitors, reaching almost 20% of traffic in March and April.  A proxy for the Vancouver buyer?  Well when a property is sold, the agent fills in a field called “Buyer city” on the listing, which indicates where the buyer is from.   Yes the data isn’t perfect since some agents don’t fill it in, citing the protection of privacy (about 5%).   But despite much gnashing of teeth about how buyers might rent here first and be counted as locals, it is a consistent measure of where buyers are coming from.   Think of it as a lower bound for measuring how many buyers might be coming from out of town.

Personally I find this graph truly astonishing.   While I knew Vancouver buyers were a factor last year, the magnitude of the difference to previous years really wasn’t apparent to me.  It’s quite clear that Vancouver buyers started increasing in 2014, grew more in 2015, and absolutely exploded in 2016.

At the same time, it is interesting that this year to date, Vancouver buyers are way down again.   Was this some kind of freak lemming migration that only happens every few decades?   Or will the Vancouver buyers pour in again this year?   I’ll keep monitoring this.

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212 thoughts on “Hot Vancouver Money

  1. From Vancouver but just bought a house in Royal Oak (first time buyers) – key point is we’ve been renting in Victoria since Jan so we aren’t considered Vancouver buyers according to the stats. I know of a few more couples who are in the process of doing the same thing and suspect there are many many more to come. Vancouver is just such a disaster.

  2. Penguin- I guess life just takes us all on a path…everyone is in a diff place that will take them in a diff direction. You were never on a path that took you to Van…which I was and saw what it was brought. though I guess I have to admit that Vic might be heading in the same/similar direction…

    Totally not scraping by to move here… I see it as paradise… and I love wind (being from Eng)

    Some people’s jobs are not transportable… some are needed here

    Some, might prefer Kelowna… not me 😉

  3. Luke,
    The thing about Vancouver is there is so much more to do there. Access to the okanagan, skiing, more lakes, nice beaches, better mountain biking, concerts/shows, airport, schools and most importantly way better jobs… All the young people I know that live there absolutely love it. Those that started families just moved out of town a bit to buy a house and are happy.

    I think there are so many unique and amazing cities in BC that I would love living in. I guess to me those moving from Van to Vic would be like me moving from Vic to say Duncan or Courtenay. I would totally live in those cities but would have a very tough time leaving my career as I know I wouldn’t have an easy time getting a job I love as much if I could even get a job in my field. I most definitely would take a large pay cut as well. And for what?

    Victoria is overrated and TBH the weather isn’t that much nicer than other parts of BC. It’s still cold in the winter (and summer relative to elsewhere in BC) and it’s so windy. It’s busy and the traffic sucks. I still like living here but don’t get why Victorians are so snobby and think it’s so unique and amazing. It’s funny really.

    If someone is from Van I guess I just don’t get why they would move here unless they were really scraping by. Especially if they had friends, family and a life in that city. I think everyone thinks the grass is always greener but your friends probably don’t care enough to make the move it’s just one of those things you sometimes dream about before you give your head a shake. I really do not think there are enough jobs to sustain a large migration. It is hard enough getting a job here as is. And how many regular people’s jobs are so transportable that it doesn’t matter that you live 4h away? It just doesn’t add up. I really don’t mind of people want to move here though. The more new blood the better!

  4. To answer Penguin’s post about people moving elsewhere from Van.

    I spent almost 20 years of my life in Metro Van, from 1986-2007 (with a two year absence in UK after high school) graduating high school in 1996. Out of the people from my high school Grad class – about 50% left Metro Van. They didn’t come to Victoria, but went everywhere. Some went to the States, others across Canada, some to other parts of the world. My own brother left for better opportunities in Hong Kong (and this after my parent’s left the UK thinking that Canada would offer better opportunity). With ultra low taxation and huge opportunities my brother has been able to make himself a multi-millionaire in HK – something he would have had much more difficulty doing in Canada, or the UK (both of which have ultra high taxation).

    My point being that a lot of people couldn’t or didn’t want to stay in Metro Van. It’s not a very hospitable city for a lot of young people. Not that Victoria is either though. Yes, Vic rates high on ‘desirability’ factors, but often that means there’s a lot of other factors that inhibit people’s ability to be here. I have a lot of former friends and relatives in Vancouver that often say ‘I’d love to go to Victoria but… I don’t know what I’d do for work there, or how would I make a living’. And, then they don’t try b/c it looks so difficult. Sometimes, the best things in life are the hardest things to get.

  5. Leo S – I’m not ignoring anything. I realize everything’s subjective and everyone has different tastes. You’ve been misreading my posts. Of course I don’t think that everyone’s the same!

    The point of my survey was to illustrate to those who might follow this blog from across the country that Victoria rates high on many different desirability factors for a Canadian cities of comparative size for many people. You can’t deny that – after all you live here don’t you? Yes, someone really into skiing might desire Whistler. Someone really into rain might go for Vancouver (which gets 3x more rain than Vic). Someone into big cities might prefer Toronto. Someone into frigid winters and crime would love Winnipeg. Others might really go for the ‘small town stuff’ where there’s a ton of things to do. My point being that not many people could come up w/ another city that rated so high on so many various factors. And yes, Van and TO cost more, but they are much larger cities and w/a large foreign influence and global connections – Vic is very small by comparison (but not too small, and that’s another desirability factor) 😉

    But, let’s not exhaust this any further.. it was meant to be a fun survey and produced some interesting outcomes. My point has been made.

  6. For those of you who are “empty nesters” and considering selling your single family home…… in order to buy a condo and stash the left over money in the bank…… I’d say…think twice before you make the leap. Think about what you are giving up. Control over a very important part of your life.

    Or read the strata minutes, read the strata bylaws, read the depreciation report, observe the neighbors and neighborhood, and generally make an informed decision. And if noise is a major concern, buy in a newer concrete building.

    Nice fear mongering Deryk. It’s clear that you have no experience living in a condo.

    You could try and do it legally if the city would allow you to do it, but despite them saying they desperately want to increase rental housing ….they will bring out the same old dusty book from under the counter and likely say “sorry….suites are not allowed in your area” Or some other silly rule such as…… “Sorry…..Your ceiling is one inch below the required height”.

    I hate red tape as much as the next guy, but some of these are legitimate lift safety regulations. I’ve lost count of how many rental suites that I’ve viewed that didn’t have smoke/CO2 detectors, inadequate ventilation, mould, terrible plumbing, dangerous homemade wiring, etc, etc.

    You might be able to stuff a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank, but with inflation, that will likely get eaten up before you die:)

    As Hawk and a few others will tell you, you can invest that money in fairly low risk entities and at least match inflation.

    Honestly Deryk, do some research.

  7. “Take Victoria’s own Aurinia Pharma for example, already quadrupled this year.”

    Agreed, lots of other non-real estate opportunities to make bigger money with less risk per cash outlay. Looks just like Victoria’s blow off top chart on that one though. I’m sure Mike bought at $3 but forgot to tell us. 😉

  8. Deryk, I think they do think twice before selling their home and buying a condo. It doesn’t happen overnight. Most have been thinking about making the change for years.

  9. For those of you who are “empty nesters” and considering selling your single family home…… in order to buy a condo and stash the left over money in the bank…… I’d say…think twice before you make the leap. Think about what you are giving up. Control over a very important part of your life.
    Strata Rules can change every month.
    Little dogs barking at every hour of the day.
    The guy that loves to barbecue at 11:00pm at night.
    The new vote that changes and allows short term rentals.(Bashed hallway walls with suitcases etc.)
    The strata members that decide that you need new carpets in the hallways because the colour is out of date or some other costly thing that does not need doing….just repared……resulting in massive increases in the strata fees.
    You have no more control. It’s a crap shoot.
    My advice is stay in your single family house.
    Add an income generating suite if you can manage it. You could try and do it legally if the city would allow you to do it, but despite them saying they desperately want to increase rental housing ….they will bring out the same old dusty book from under the counter and likely say “sorry….suites are not allowed in your area” Or some other silly rule such as…… “Sorry…..Your ceiling is one inch below the required height”.
    So…. my advice is go to plan “B” and create the suite like everyone else does. (The city would seem to prefer encouraging a wild west mentality.)
    Whatever you decide on that issue…… don’t sell your home unless you absolutely have to. You might be able to stuff a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank, but with inflation, that will likely get eaten up before you die:)
    Just my opinion….for what it is worth.

  10. Sales are, on the other hand equally slow, so this seems to support your conclusion for price stability rather than any noticable increase this year.

    While that may be true, I made no such conclusion. We have not entered into the Spring market which starts on March 20 so it would be premature to make such a conclusion.

    The buzz that I hear more from empty nesters in Victoria is that they are contemplating selling their home, buying a condominium or town house, and banking the rest. And I think that is showing up in condominium sales in the city. We could have a near decade high sale volumes and the lowest months of inventory for condos this March. And the prices are up.

  11. With the best ROIs nearly behind us this cycle, you don’t have to look far for other opportunities. Take Victoria’s own Aurinia Pharma for example, already quadrupled this year.
    http://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=aup.to
    Or, you could continue squabbling over the simplest concepts here 🙂

  12. John Dollar:

    Thank you for putting up the statistics. My observation is for South Victoria (Oak Bay, Fairfield, Rockland and James Bay) is that prices have stabilized. There might be an argument made that there has been a very slight decline.

    One of the clear facts that emerges is that there is a lot less listings coming on the market this year.
    This is balanced by the fact that there have been a lot less sales (more hungry real estate agents as well.) Out of curiosity I went to number of open houses over the last two weekends. I intentionally focused on houses that had just come on the market. My observation was that there seemed to be relatively few people showing up compared to last year. I believe that your statistics support this as well.

    I believe that the steep run up in prices convinced a lot of people to put their houses on the market
    particularly rental houses in South Victoria. I suspect that we have now reverted back to the more normal causes of inventory for this area:- death, divorce, retirement homes and moving to elsewhere. Overall South Victoria tends to be the final move on the property ladder for most people
    (the exception being downsizing into a condo). My suspicion is that people are staying longer in their homes than in previous years at least for south Victoria and we may have reached a new normal level of inventory.

    What I am not noticing is any real build up of inventory in South Victoria as a whole. In all of South Victoria there is probably no more than ten listings more than we started the year with. Over half the listings are what would qualify as the dregs that have been on the market for months. For example the same three have been sitting on the Esplanade for over a year. Rockland has added two more listings while James Bay has two less. Both Fairfield and Oak Bay have only added three each.
    Considering that this is the time of year when inventories are expected to increase this is a fairly low number. Sales are, on the other hand equally slow, so this seems to support your conclusion for price stability rather than any noticable increase this year.

  13. Hey John thanks for posting the numbers. Always helps to pull the data in for some perspective!

  14. Thanks John for looking it up (which is probably time consuming)

    Interesting to see how different last year was compared to 2015 & this year and also the seasonal variations. Hard to know what’s going to happen next.

  15. “… you’re loosing [sic] equity in your home now, can you think of any plausible event that can reverse that trend for the next decade?!”

  16. Vicbot, I simply chose 12 months of data. There was nothing nefarious.

    So here is 2 years of MOI for houses in Saanich East, Victoria and Oak Bay.

    Months of Inventory
    Month 2015 2016 2017
    Jan 5.43 2.89 3.38
    Feb 3.29 1.61 2.34
    Mar 2.70 1.32
    Apr 2.70 0.97
    May 2.57 0.98
    Jun 2.41 1.32
    Jul 3.11 1.65
    Aug 3.00 1.90
    Sep 2.79 2.00
    Oct 1.91 2.03
    Nov 2.82 2.36
    Dec 2.95 3.15

    So you can see now that the MOI is higher than last year in both January and February.

    And here is how the new listing and sales are happening this year.

    Month New Listings, Number of Sales, Number of 2017
    Jan 105 61 = 1.7:1
    Feb 133 96 = 1.4:1
    Mar 74 38 = 1.9:1

    And last year in 2016 this is what the ratios were

    Month New Listings, Number of Sales, Number of
    Jan 124 82 = 1.5:1
    Feb 205 158 = 1.3:1
    Mar 291 221 = 1.3:1

    We are adding listings faster than houses are selling in Victoria, Saanich East and Oak Bay than we did last year. That’s what is stabilizing our prices.

    Month Sale Price, Median Sale Price, Average
    Jan $950,000 $1,153,834
    Feb $925,000 $1,077,039
    Mar $901,000 $994,052 so far this month this data can change a lot in two weeks.

    Notice I said stabilizing. Even though the data is showing a decline. The decline is not significant.
    The sky is not falling.

  17. If you’re worried about affording housing the solution is to make more money. That’s the problem with most bears… Lack of funds. Focus on that…

    Bearkilla, these comments of yours always make me chuckle.

    Bearkilla fails at being a human being AKA what James referrd to Introvert as.

    Sadly, I didn’t get to read James’ love letter to me before Big Brother swooped in.

    Another interesting study is the regrets of the dying. One of the top regrets is working too much.

    Fascinating! Can you point us to one of these studies? I’d love to read it.

    The other top regret of the dying is spending too much time on the computer.

    Same goes for the living.

    Irregardless: not a real word. Use regardless or irrespective. (You owe me one, Introvert.)

    [Insert Face Blowing a Kiss emoji]

  18. Ento, I think you have a great plan! I have sold real estate for 25 years and my advice always was, “the best time to buy real estate is when YOU are ready, irregardless of what the market is doing”. As for the suite, which I think is a great idea, just make sure you get all the right permits. As you have already been a landlord I’m sure you are aware that the best lease to have with your tenant is a TERM lease and you will avoid many problems.

  19. The other top regret of the dying is spending too much time on the computer.

    Estimating from traffic statistics, this blog was responsible for about a million dollars worth of lost productivity last year. A success measure so to speak 🙂

  20. Another way to think of the time vs money trade off: calculate your weekly earnings.
    Now imagine you are completely free to take as many weeks of vacation as you want without impacting your employment, by giving up the money for that week. How many additional weeks off would you take?
    That money is essentially superfluous as you value the time more than the money.

  21. @Luke. Many examples of better places were named depending on what your priorities are, you just chose to ignore that.
    From a purely objective measure, both Vancouver and Toronto are much more desireable than Victoria based on their housing prices.

  22. Barrister – the suite has a few purposes. Initially – a few years of revenue. Then, nanny, followed by possibly teenagers, and possibly an elderly parent/in-law. I realize the tax issues are changing things a bit, but we’re going into this eyes wide open and don’t feel like we’re too naive to the implications. I’ve been a landlord before and feel aware of the risks.

    The other issue with a smaller house is that the $/ft^2 goes up significantly for smaller builds. So there’s just about no point, I understand, to try to build a 2000 ft^2 new house; it’ll still cost $500k, and for $600k you could have 3000 ft^2 at a similar quality.

  23. Well said Andy. The Tourism Victoria pump is getting very lame. It’s nice hear some common sense that Victoria is not Mecca for everyone and it’s a big province with different areas of beauty and lifestyles.

  24. Ento:

    I would really rethink the suite; often you are better off just building a smaller house and not having to deal with the extra costs and eventual taxes. I know that this might stir a real debate online but the numbers might be deceiving when you include all the costs involved with a new build. You also need to consider the state of landlord and tenant law at this time; it is not in your favour.

  25. Luke — It’s great you love Victoria and I think Victoria’s desirability is subjective.

    I know a lot of people that love Victoria, and a lot of people that lived here and couldn’t stand it and were so happy to leave.

    A lot of my friends chose to live in other places of the island, and would never live in Victoria (not due to cost, but due to simply not liking Victoria after having lived here or family being elsewhere etc).

    I can name countless other wonderful places to live other than Victoria that are more desirable to many, but it depends on what you’re looking for in life and what you value as desirable.

    For people that love skiing, Whistler can’t be beat. Others love the small town friendliness of Pemberton or Squamish, or the accessibility and beauty of the north shore of Vancouver (ie lower lonsdale is fabulous), Kits, the Okanagan, upper Island, or the Kootenays.

    I know people that won’t step foot in the lower mainland/Victoria because of the damp rain and clouds — they love their cold but sunny winters. I have friends that left BC due to not being able to handle the lack of light in the winters — they moved back East.

    There is no one best place, it’s all subjective, it’s all what you value and what’s important to you.

  26. I agree with the study, but that figure is from the US for 2010 and 75k is 3x the current median individual income there – and the stat was for individual income.

    In Canada the median individual income is about 30k so happiness would presumably increase up to 90k per individual income and level off. This is is higher than the total median household income in Victoria.

    Another interesting study is the regrets of the dying. One of the top regrets is working too much.

  27. Frankly, I suspect that trying to predict the market over the next few months, while great fun, is also a bit of a fools errand.

  28. I read an interesting article the other day that asked, Can Money Bring You Happiness? According to a study done by Princeton University, happiness increases as someone earns up to $75k a year, but no matter how much more than $75k they make, they don’t report experiencing much, if any, more happiness. Think of the last time you got a raise. It probably made you feel good when you heard you were getting it, but a few months later, did it result in you feeling better about your life in general?

    Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending, by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton is a book where the authors conducted extensive research on what does bring more happiness.

    Invest in experiences rather than stuff. Research showed people tend to be initially happy with new things, until they realize that better things are available. They also found that satisfaction with experiential purchases (vacations, going to restaurants, spending time with friends and families, hobbies, etc) tend to increase with the passage of time, while satisfaction with material purchases tends to decrease.

    Spend time and money on others. In a Gallup World Poll of 136 countries, donating to charity was found to have a positive effect similar to what people thought doubling their household income would have. (In the same magazine, there was also an article that said that charitable giving in Canada hits 10-year low.)

    Exercise. The more you exercise, the happier you get (within a reasonable range of exertion).

    Stay focused. People are happiest when they remain focused on an activity, whether that activity is pleasant or unpleasant.

    Socialize more. People experience the most positive moods of the day while spending time with friends and family, while playing with children produced more positive feelings than almost any other common daily activity.

    Focus on time, not money. Working long hours to earn more money to provide your children with fancier homes and shinier toys represents a bad happiness trade-off, especially given that it reduces the time you’ll have to be involved in their lives.

    Imagine you are on your deathbed. Do you think you’ll be wishing you bought more stuff, that you lived in a bigger house? Probably not. My bet is that you’d give just about anything for more time.

    One last tip: decreasing debt has been shown to provide one of the best routes to increased happiness. Brilliant – one of the best financial moves you can make can also make you happier.

  29. I’m in my 40s, somewhat bullish on this market (meaning I think it has a greater chance of going up than down in the next 12 months, based on market trends) have been here for 7 years and own a low-value house with my young family on a wonderful lot in Cedar Hill. We love Victoria for its size and class, but I’d be happy with closer skiing and mountains. Oh well.
    Our next big project is building a house. Yep – going to tear down the existing 1950s house which is dark and mouldy and has all rooms in the north side and build anew; hoping to break ground in a couple of months. Perhaps this is a good time, perhaps a bad time, but it’s the right time for us. We’ll build a house with a suite to rent and hopefully not be bankrupt by the process.

  30. Leo, yes, it’ll be interesting to verify.

    The problem that I see is in starting in April 2016 and ending in Feb 2017.

    Why start in April 2016? Why not start in Feb 2016 to get a full year? Or Feb 2014/15/16 to show a long-term trend?

    I’m guessing because going from Apr to Feb conveniently showcases numbers going up, when in truth, it may just be seasonality.

  31. John Dollar is often talking about detached houses in the core, not the whole market. I have not confirmed whether detached inventory in the core is up or down from last year.

  32. Also VREB’s own statement on inventory:

    “Inventory levels edged lower, with 1,537 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2017, 40 per cent fewer than the 2,562 active listings at the end of February 2016.”

    So when John says, “Except Vicbot, inventory is up from last year” …

    it was important to point out the facts and how data is calculated.

  33. Hey Hawk, Personally I don’t get too hung up over assessed values. Where I am, they are completely out of wack. Before this crazy market (2015) they seemed about 10-15% low to begin with. Mine just went up 35%, on top of a 25% increase the previous year which seems pretty rich to me but so too did my neighbors so I don’t think I have any cause to appeal.

  34. LeoS, it’s simpler to copy and paste my previous post (my point was that they ARE DIFFERENT, not the same)

    “[John] you’re looking at month-specific MOI, which has seasonal variation, whereas Leo’s MOI eliminates seasonal noise.

    With month-specific MOI, the April to August MOI will always look lower than the September to February MOI because RE activity is always greater in spring/summer months than in winter months.

    That’s why Leo uses a 12 month trailing average MOI.
    “12 month trailing average residential MOI = SUM(Residential MOI for the past 12 months) / 12
    “The 12 month running average is used to discover the trend since MOI is highly seasonal and it would otherwise be difficult to interpret whether the market is heating up or cooling down.”

  35. monthly stats from April 2016, which is totally different than the data from Leo.

    I don’t understand why you expect them to be the same. One is averaged for the whole market, the other is the value for a subsection of the market and not averaged

  36. The problem you’re having John is not reading your own posts.

    Vicbot: “There’s still been pressure on prices because inventory is currently down from last year”

    John Dollar: “Except Vicbot, inventory is up from last year”

    and then you posted monthly stats from April 2016, which is totally different than the data from Leo.

    So your statement was based on a false premise.

    Leo, I was quoting everything you said below to prove my point – re-read my posts.

  37. Bearkilla fails at being a human being AKA what James referrd to Introvert as. No wonder his kids despise him.

  38. @Vicbot.
    There is a place for both the raw numbers and a place for a rolling average. The rolling average has a disadvantage of being a lagging indicator since it won’t respond as quickly to changing conditions. That’s why many measures move to “seasonally adjusted” by some formula in order to make it more responsive. Problem is now you can introduce noise into the signal by your processing.

    If you are interested in the state of the market right now, use the current reading with no averaging applied.
    If you are interested in the trend, use the averaged value. For the whole market the trend is still towards heating up, however March is likely the last month of that as our MOI is converging with that of last year.

  39. Vicbot, but I’m not saying the sky is falling.

    Maybe that’s the problem you are having. You are assuming something that isn’t true and that is tainting what you are reading.

  40. If you’re worried about affording housing the solution is to make more money. That’s the problem with most bears… Lack of funds. Focus on that. Think about ways in which you failed in life and how you can start winning.

  41. John, of course I knew what the simple calculation of MOI was.

    My point was that your MOI figures were different from Leo’s because “rolling 12-month average MOI” is calculated differently to show long-term trends, and any monthly numbers from April to Feb show seasonality, not long term trends.

    If we don’t point this out, you’ll have people believing the sky is falling, when it’s not the case.

  42. Vicbot, these are not “my” numbers. I don’t calculate them. They are from the real estate board of Victoria.

    I didn’t realize that you didn’t know that.

    The Months of Inventory are the months of inventory. Everyone with access to the data will have the same numbers.

    We should be able to agree on this basic arithmetic. Arithmetic that everyone uses.

    Now the next part of your “question”. Would take me some time to calculate. I can look back on the last 15 years of data to see what has happened in the Spring Market. In most years the months of inventory for the mid March to mid June market has been lower than the winter market but it isn’t true that this has been the case for all years. Some years the MOI has remained stable and in other years the MOI has increased. And just because the MOI remained stable doesn’t mean that prices stayed level. But in those years where the MOI increased significantly in the spring – prices declined.

    The MOI by itself isn’t going to tell you what is going to happen to prices. In order to figure out what may happen in the spring one would have to look at how fast new listings are being added to the market and how fast sales are being absorbed.

  43. This past year has caused major stress to my family as we have watched our housing aspirations slip away. I place the blame strictly on new buyers from Vancouver (family included!) and beyond. I like to be a welcoming and open person, but I admit, I am going to lose my shit if one more person tells me they just moved here from Vancouver.

    You could set your housing aspirations lower (i.e. half duplex or townhome) and not endure major stress which as you know is not good for health. I grew up in a communist style apartment block in Croatia and then for 20 years lived with my parents in a 2 bedroom upper 800 sq/ft Oaklands bungalow (suite always rented). Went to Vic High in the early 2000s when only 56% of the class was graduating….etc. I turned out to be okay….by 30 I had some education (masters degree from UBC), a house, 5 rental properties and I started at minus $15,000 (student loans) when I finished college at 21. It helps to have the basic necessaities, but obviously my tight accomodation and public school I went to did not influence anything.

    My point is people obsess about housing, location, schools (I really don’t get this one….the teachers are the same everywhere), etc. Really you need a roof over your head, some food, and some decent luck with health. Who really needs a garage, an ensuite, stainless appliances, etc.

    If someone told me tomorrow my house is gone and I need to go live at the Janion I wouldn’t view it as the end of the world. I would buy a bike and go ride the galloping goose more often.

    My cousin and her husband (phd chemist and engineer) with two kids live in a 600 sq/ft condo in Croatia due to a ridiciolous real estate market and they are out riding bikes non-stop and living a super active and healthy lifestyle. Does it suck having a bunk bed in your master bedroom for the kids, yes, but it’s not life and death. Their goal is to one day buy a two bedroom condo……a townhome would be a dream.

  44. The potential downside of Oak Bay building lots is staggering.

    I kept preaching for years that building lots in the core were not following the market in 2011/2012/2013/2014. Building lots bottomed out in 2010 and then while the SFH/condo market slide until 2014 building lots in the core actually went up a notch. No inventory.

  45. Marko, if you write “Offers will be held in confidence and reviewed on such and such date” can you still accept an offer early? Or are you ethically bound to what you communicated in the notes?

    If you have instructions from the seller you can move up the presentation time. Happens from time to time. Usually only happens if the “bully offer” is unconditional and way above asking.

    No seller is going to accept a conditional offer early and potentially miss out on unconditional offers at time of deadline.

  46. BTW Richard, why would someone pay $300K over assessment to make 4% on return ? That goes against all common sense when the downside is massive in a rising long term mortgage interest rate environment. You’d be better to put it in US dollars that tracks rising long bonds.

  47. “Hawk, if that duplex rents for $3,000net/month it’s +4% return on a $835K cash purchase, 2-3X more you’d ever get at a bank. Not good enough for me as an investment return, but for many is preferable to one’s money languishing in a bank, which also carries risk.”

    Richard, with a $3500 mortgage at 25% down with taxes insurance and taxes on rental income. You can get whole houses in Oak Bay and Fairfield for $3000 range versus a duplex in a so so hood.

  48. John your formula was “Number of active listings divided by number of sales” for each month.

    It’s like saying “Monthly number of tourists in Victoria decreased from April 2016 to Feb 2017 – therefore the trend is for fewer tourists.” Nope. It points to seasonality.

    Your data starts in spring April 2016 & ends in winter Feb 2017 – and like every VREB report shows, activity picks up in spring and subsides in winter. So of course you’re going to have MOI in each winter month higher than MOI in each spring/summer month.

    The only way you can eliminate this noise of seasonality is by rolling average, which is a different calculation.

    Otherwise Leo wouldn’t bother to calculate rolling averages.

    Someone trying to buy a home needs to understand seasonality.

  49. And to finish the thought Vicbot. The months of inventory are actual sales and listings that are occurring right now. They represent what is happening in the market right now. Not what happened on average over the last 12 months. This is what someone that is trying to buy a home today would be experiencing.

  50. Vicbot, actually I’m not.

    I am looking at the trend over many months, in the examples that I gave you that trend was over 12 months and thousands of sales. It’s very obvious that the trend has been that the months of inventory has been increasing since April of last year. There are some month to month variation but you can smooth out the curve.

    You can look back at the last 10 years to see what has historically happened to the months of inventory as we enter into the spring market. So you can make reliable predictions of what will happen this spring to the months of inventory. ceteris paribus

  51. “I am 29 and have not heard of anyone or any friends of friends that have moved here from Vancouver.”

    I’m mid-30s and I know three couples who moved here from Van last year and two who are moving here this year. I also have two other friends there who’ve been talking about moving here. In two cases, one half of the couple grew up in Vic and so is coming home, in a sense, but in the other three cases (plus the two who are considering a move) the people involved have never lived here. They’ve all described a long-term life in Vancouver as being impossible in one way or another. Several of these friends are/will be living in Victoria and commuting to Vancouver for work one or twice a month. Most of their work can be done remotely.

    I think that early-to-mid 30s is when people really start getting anxious to buy a house and/or start a family these days.

  52. Solution to Gregor Robertson’s Vancouver housing crisis:
    Every new project should have 5% of the units dedicated to low income earners, sale prices and or rents adjusted accordingly. If the developer increases the dedicated % of units, an overall increased density be allowed.
    Not only does this provide affordable housing, it integrates social economic classes which is healthy to society.

  53. That makes sense John – you’re looking at month-specific MOI, which has seasonal variation, whereas Leo’s MOI eliminates seasonal noise.

    With month-specific MOI, the April to August MOI will always look lower than the September to February MOI because RE activity is always greater in spring/summer months than in winter months.

    That’s why Leo uses a 12 month trailing average MOI.
    “12 month trailing average residential MOI = SUM(Residential MOI for the past 12 months) / 12
    “The 12 month running average is used to discover the trend since MOI is highly seasonal and it would otherwise be difficult to interpret whether the market is heating up or cooling down.”

  54. Hawk, if that duplex rents for $3,000net/month it’s +4% return on a $835K cash purchase, 2-3X more you’d ever get at a bank. Not good enough for me as an investment return, but for many is preferable to one’s money languishing in a bank, which also carries risk.

  55. Luke, Victoria has been building condo towers, lots of condo towers. And Victorians were led to believe that this construction would solve the housing affordability problems and low vacancy rate. Developers kept on asking for smaller condos and more storeys because this was how we would solve the problems. We would build our way to affordable housing.

    Instead we find out that 500 to 1000 of these condos are airbnbs. 18 or 20 of the downtown high rises are zoned transient. Hotel suites for investors. We were bullshitted.

    You can not build affordable housing. The very act of building stimulates the economy creating more demand. And if you are building the wrong type of properties that will only amplify the problem with prices and lower vacancy rates.

  56. I agree with Hawk the top is here for sure. I was at Whole Foods last night and overheard several soccer mom types complaining about the cost of Arugula. One said that hubby was worried that they might not be able to go skiing and go on a cruise next year… they might have to only choose one. It’s rough out there folks. This economy and this housing market is imploding.

  57. Vicbot

    To gather a pulse on the Real Estate Market, experts use what is called “Months of Inventory” (MOI). This is the amount of time it would take to sell all current listings at the current sales pace if no new listings became available.

    Number of active listings divided by number of sales.

  58. Penguin, when a retired lawyer with money to burn has to dispute the insanity as normal you know the top is in. You know what they say about lawyers.

    Victoria incomes do not support this FOMO panic buying other than mommy and daddy loans which come via HELOC’S which have their limit.

    The Chinese inflow taps to BC have been shut off leaving no big foreign money to keep the bull story going that drove the whole move the last 20 years. It’s running on fumes.

  59. Richard, you’re right, perspectives on places to live change depending on age (eg., I’m 50).

    Luke, agree with what you’re saying about types of housing and I think Victoria has a lot of advantages over other cities. However, stating “no one could come up with another place that was more desirable in Canada” is just plain untrue & distorted. It’s like asking a Chocolate Lovers forum “Who can come up with a better dessert than Chocolate?” Or a Skiing forum, “Who can think of a better vacation than skiing?” I value my time in both Vancouver and Victoria, and priorities changed as I got older.

  60. “Hawk makes some good points now and then, but his problem is that everything is a sign that the market is crashing. He’s like the opposite of the real estate board (for whom it’s always a good time to buy).”

    It’s true but he is needed to balance out the bulls. I think that is why he posts the way he does. I am curious too whether the bulls are becoming Victoria RE moguls because of all the Vancouverites, Chinese, prairie retirees etc moving here and buying up all of our RE?
    I am 29 and have not heard of anyone or any friends of friends that have moved here from Vancouver. We know many people our age who live in in Van (my SO is from there) and not one has thought about moving here. I think it’s all hype with a small amount of truth just like all the other hyped up explanations.

  61. “Bank for International Settlements says Canada is showing early warning signs of financial crisis”

    ICYMI bulls, it’s only the umpteenth warning the past few months. Some are slow learners that market tops take time to play out and it’s the bottom on the 9th inning.

  62. BTW – Leo S. I totally understand different people like different things. Some people like sump pump’s when they break down I guess. Not me. I’m just right on when I say there’s a lot of people that like Victoria and would move here – if they could afford it. My survey confirmed that when no one could come up with another place that was more desirable in Canada (yes, subjective, but no one came up with anything). Many who can’t afford Vic go for their second, or third choice… which could be places like Kelowna or Comox/Courtenay.

    And if anyone’s interested I just turned 39 (ugh – only one more year to go) 😉

  63. Victoria is not Vancouver but it does has many of the same issues when it comes down to lack of land and lack of diversity of housing in the core. Too much low density SFH’s that are becoming unaffordable for many. Besides that the choice is often only small condo’s with not much else to be found unless one endures the often hellish commute to the fast growing cookie cutter development’s in the Westshore. That Strata duplex at 2632 Mount Stephen Ave. that went so high over asking/assessment in Oaklands is a sign that there is an extreme demand for other diverse types of housing so rarely found in the core.

    This excerpt from the Vancouver Mayor’s address to the Urban Land Institute (is Lisa doing anything like this?): In Victoria it’s fast becoming the same thing: ITS NOT ABOUT SUPPLY, BUT LACK OF VARIETY. There’s an awful lot of parallels between Vic and Van that this article talks about… For ex. too many aging 3/4 storey ‘walk up’ apartments. Not enough of the “middle” for types of housing.

    In last week’s address to the Urban Land Institute, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson made some bold promises to meaningfully deal with the region’s unaffordability plague.

    Vancouver’s mayor has had enough of being hemmed in—by his city’s limited housing stock (gleaming, sub-750-sq.-ft. high-rise units or million-dollar single-family teardowns), and by the voting Boomers who consider cranes in their sight lines a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights.

    For years, Mayor Gregor Robertson has touted density and pointed out supply shortages at countless community and council meetings, taking on NIMBYism and negotiating with developers, all the while watching helplessly as the required annual household income to buy an East Side townhouse climbed from $97,000 a decade ago to $175,000 today.

    He shared such personal anecdotes and observations with more than 300 developers and business people at last week’s meeting of the B.C. chapter of the Urban Land Institute.

    In a 45-minute speech, he charted a new vision for his leadership on affordable housing.

    Maybe it was his nearly eight years in office giving him the confidence to risk re-election for the betterment of new—and increasingly vocal—constituents that he’s advocating for: those under 40, many with families, desperately trying to stay in the city they grew up in. He was glum and stern, calling the real estate lottery winnings of some and the exodus of so many others an indictment of a “failing city.” And a failing mayoral legacy, if he opts for the status quo.

    IT’S NOT ABOUT SUPPLY, BUT VARIETY

    The biggest bomb Robertson dropped was that Vancouver does not have a supply problem, long the cry of politicos and the real estate industry.

    “We need to stop fixating on density because it’s not what this is about,” he said.“Density for density’s sake might just give us more empty homes.”

    He noted that thousands of new units are going up and to market with luxury price tags that continue to make them inaccessible to working British Columbians.

    Robertson also went all in on announcing changes to “single-family” neighbourhoods that are designed to increase housing diversity and affordability by filling this housing stock’s “missing middle”—the shortage of affordable duplexes, townhomes and row houses. He backed up the urgency with data from city staff:

    70% of all current development proposals are for condos

    16% are for rental apartments

    less than 10% are for subsidized housing

    THE PATH TOWARDS ‘GENTLE DENSITY’

    His plan focused directly on not only more supply, but variety of supply—call it “gentle density.”

    City Land
    The City is the biggest landowner in Vancouver and the Mayor noted six key sites could create in excess of 3,000 homes.

    Transit Corridors
    Mayor Robertson said there are big plans in development for Grandview Woodland and Joyce Street Station.

    Arterial Streets
    Priced-out constituents are asking for densification here, the Mayor indicated, but so are private speculators.

    Multi-family Neighbourhoods
    Vancouver is full of aging apartment blocks and mid-rises that need reinvestment. “Aging apartment buildings … desperately need reinvestment at a time when our vacancy rate is near zero,” he said. “Why aren’t we adding a fourth floor to the three-storey walk-ups that are all over the city?”

    Single-family Neighbourhoods
    Mayor Robertson sees the current crisis as an opportunity to finally move past his largest resistors. “The time is right to advance this conversation and change these areas to provide homes for more families,” he said, noting that “the choice isn’t between change and no change, because the single-family home neighbourhoods are changing right now. We’re seeing character homes being razed and replaced with much larger single-family homes. So the essence of the neighbourhoods is already in great flux.”

    This is all powerful stuff from the City, but the Mayor didn’t get into specifics about implementation, promising details in the coming weeks.

    WHAT VANCOUVER SHOULD DO NEXT:

    Brent Toderian, city planning consultant with TODERIAN UrbanWORKs, president of the Council for Canadian Urbanism, and former director of city planning for the City of Vancouver. Toderian has long cited “gentle density” and housing stock variety as a blueprint for Metro Vancouver.

    “We need more options, more ground-oriented density options that are compatible with single-detached housing, like secondary suites, laneway housing, row houses and stacked townhouses,” he notes.

    Zoning needs to accommodate families priced out of “family homes”

    “Across the region, there’s a challenge to make sure zoning allows the kinds of housing types that provide variety and choice,” he says. “If zoning isn’t strategically reconsidered, we’ll continue to have a kind of polarized approach to housing choice: mostly low-density, single-detached housing, which is too expensive for almost everyone, or high-density multi-family housing near transit, which is certainly an attractive and positive choice for many, but won’t be chosen by everyone.”

    Government and developers, we need more than just single-family homes and condos

    Ownership of any real estate in Metro Vancouver is an increasingly unattainable goal for renters, even though, B.C.-wide, 63% of them feel that homeownership is important. In Metro Vancouver, 88% of surveyed renters said they may never be able to afford a home. So how does a family with two or three kids stay in the city when they can’t afford a small, detached house? “Options,” Toderian says. “We need more options, including multi-bedroom apartments and ground-oriented density options that are compatible with single-detached housing—like secondary suites, laneway housing, duplexes, triplexes, row houses and stacked townhouses.” Essentially: less-expensive, low-to-medium rise intensification like one or two mortgage helpers per detached house, or street-level row-housing and walk-ups.

    Zoning needs a foundation to work

    “The regional leadership hasn’t necessarily been there consistently on housing variety and choice,” Toderian says. “I would like to see more regional leaders leading this kind of conversation about how diverse housing is important right across Greater Vancouver, not just in specific individual municipalities.” That Greater Vancouver is composed of 21 municipalities, and 13 of the province’s 30 most populous ones, only clouds the role of leadership, he adds.

    “The challenge is that these zoning decisions are often seen only as local issues, and not at all within the purview of the regional level of government, which is technically true.

    However, the truth is that you have a regional need for more choice within our housing stock—for reasons ranging from sustainability to economic development. And even though the region has no direct authority on this, I think regional leaders have a greater position, a platform, to promote a healthy and much-needed conversation. They have various strategic tools, ideas and best practices that could benefit all municipalities and support a stronger region as a whole. It’s not just about authority—it’s about mutual support and creativity.

    But zoning is a glacial process that needs sustained momentum from all sides. “The truth is that a lot of things are likely necessary before more flexible zoning will be successful,” Toderian says. “Things like a clearly-defined strategy and vision around ‘gentle density’ or missing-middle housing, and open discourse—including working with the media, facilitating public conversations, sharing ideas, and even providing training and support for local municipalities to learn from. We also need to acknowledge that most of the challenges for new housing choices are not planning challenges, but rather political challenges.”

  64. Richard, I’m 26 and from what I’ve been reading, there’s a couple other posters in the same age group

  65. John Dollar, exactly how did you calculate the MOI – what equations did you use? It would be good to know how it compares to Leo’s methods.

  66. Vicbot,

    Apr 2016 to Mar 2017
    ‘Single Family Detached’
    District ‘Victoria’, ‘Victoria West’, ‘Oak Bay’, ‘Esquimalt’, ‘View Royal’, ‘Saanich East’, ‘Saanich West’
    Calculated from 3,100 listings

    Month Months of Inventory
    Apr 2016 1.06
    May 2016 1.09
    Jun 2016 1.26
    Jul 2016 1.86
    Aug 2016 1.81
    Sep 2016 2.05
    Oct 2016 2.38
    Nov 2016 2.21
    Dec 2016 2.85
    Jan 2017 3.59
    Feb 2017 2.28
    Mar 2017

  67. Sounds like bulls are getting nervous when they react negatively to anyone who thinks $300K over assesment isn’t normal.

    That duplex would not get $3500 a month for 1500 sq ft in a so so over valued neighborhood.

    This is what the US housing bulls sounded like before the walls caved in. Vancouver began its descent with the same pump a year ago.

  68. Vicbot,

    Time frame: April 2016 to March 2017
    Listing Sub-Class is ‘Detached Houses’
    District: ‘Victoria’, ‘Oak Bay’, ‘Saanich East’
    Calculated from 2,100 listings

    Month Months of Inventory (MOI)
    Apr 2016 0.97
    May 2016 0.98
    Jun 2016 1.32
    Jul 2016 1.65
    Aug 2016 1.90
    Sep 2016 2.00
    Oct 2016 2.03
    Nov 2016 2.36
    Dec 2016 3.15
    Jan 2017 3.38
    Feb 2017 2.34
    Mar 2017

  69. Hawk makes some good points now and then, but his problem is that everything is a sign that the market is crashing. He’s like the opposite of the real estate board (for whom it’s always a good time to buy).

    Short term price drop – ‘the blow-off top is here!’
    Short term price increase – ‘another sign the end is near!’

  70. Andy7, just to re-confirm Leo S’s post below on how he calculates MOI numbers:
    Apr 2016 3.35
    May 2016 3.05
    Jun 2016 2.81
    Jul 2016 2.6
    Aug 2016 2.42
    Sep 2016 2.29
    Oct 2016 2.17
    Nov 2016 2.06
    Dec 2016 1.97
    Jan 2017 1.9
    Feb 2017 1.7

    Things always change but it’s important to see how MOI is being calculated.

  71. Hawk:

    I am not sure that because it sold over asking and over assessment that means that the end is near. Unless you are suggesting that most of the sales in the last couple of years were also a clear sign that the end is near.

    Hawk is the sort of guy that thinks that a restraining order is just a girls way of flirting with him. It is all in how you interpret reality.

  72. I am older and having lived mostly in Toronto, the lack of ice and snow is a blessing here. I also spent a few years in LA and the heat all summer was a killer.

  73. 2016 assessment $488
    2017 assessment $551
    Listed for $769
    Sold for $825″

    Another sign the end is near when a duplex that can’t be rented out for the cost of an average mortgage with 25% down is $300K over assessment. What bank is lending out this kind of stupid money ? Probably TD.

    Keep on buying fools, media hype of “everyone is moving here” has a short shelf life.

  74. “John Dollar — ” inventory is up from last year”

    Saanich East popped again the last 2 days from 70 SFH’s to 82. That’s double what it was just over a month ago.

    Looks like the inventory jump is about to tell the tale how many FOMO’s are left in the pool.

  75. It would be interesting to know the ages of the participants in this blog. I think one’s point of view will vary depending on age. I’m 63, I agree with Vicbot, we “Prairie” people want to get AWAY from the snow and ice. My neighbour slipped on the ice five days ago, she is still in hospital with a broken wrist and collar bone. I have slipped 3 or 4 times in the last couple of weeks. You don’t want to break anything after age 60 because it takes forever to heal.
    Kelowna/Okanagan appeals to a younger Prairie generation those wanting to get away for long weekends or summer holidays hence all the toys, but not retirement.
    The Island/Victoria is where it’s at! I desribe Victoria to my friends like “LIVING IN A FLOWER SHOP!” Year round colour, it makes the year go by slower making you feel younger!

  76. Leo:

    I agree that it is the number of sales but the size of the purchases is also important. In short, are the out of towners showing up with much deeper pockets.

  77. The Mount Stephen sale was presented as an example of what I suspect is a purchase

    Even in the slowest years there are sales to out of towners. That isn’t the issue, it’s the number of sales that makes the difference.

  78. John Dollar — ” inventory is up from last year

    Month Months of Inventory
    Apr 2016 1.06
    May 2016 1.09
    Jun 2016 1.26
    Jul 2016 1.86
    Aug 2016 1.81
    Sep 2016 2.05
    Oct 2016 2.38
    Nov 2016 2.21
    Dec 2016 2.85
    Jan 2017 3.59
    Feb 2017 2.28
    Mar 2017 5.79 partial month”

    Hey John, are these numbers for SFH or for all residential property types lumped together? Thx.

  79. I think it does matter. The ones that are here and bought last year are no longer relevant. The only thing that matters is if we will have another year with more than normal out of town buyers or not.

    When I commented that ” It is not a matter of if they return, they are already here”, I was not referring to those Vancouverites who purchased in the past year. I am referring to those who are currently purchasing. You don’t need to wait till spring to find evidence that properties are being sold to non-Islanders. The Mount Stephen sale was presented as an example of what I suspect is a purchase made by an outsider (whether they be from across the strait or another country). It seems that ‘Foreigners’ rush in where Locals fear to tread.

  80. Kelowna is trucks + toys country. The landscape around there is beautiful and the summers are amazing, but it’s a pretty trashy place these days. The rest of the southern interior is nicer in my books because it isn’t quite so gaudy.

  81. Kelowna is awful in winter though. The humidity from the lake means it’s damp, windy, and overcast 90% of the time. Great place in late spring and early fall, but the worst of all worlds in winter. I’d actually prefer Calgary winters.

  82. can you still accept an offer early

    My understanding was the realtor communicated a change in the deadline through:

    same day notice of Friday evening deadline

    Instead of after the weekend open house.

  83. The prairies cover Alberta, Sask, and Manitoba. People have different opinions depending on which prairie province they live in. If you’re from Manitoba, Kelowna isn’t your playground – it’s still a flight or two away from family, just like Victoria and Vancouver Island.

    eg., a comment from a relative, “Manitoba winters can be particularly harsh with the way that Arctic air seems to funnel directly down into Winnipeg, and we don’t get to enjoy Chinooks. We saw snow from October to April. Don’t want to see it again. That’s why we chose the city with the least of it”
    (Richard sounds so much like my rellies I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s from there as well)

    So I don’t think you can determine anything from 1 conversation, eg., if we phone condo rentals in Hawaii, then 20% of the time it might be owned by someone in Vancouver or Victoria, but it doesn’t mean that every retiree in Victoria vacations in Hawaii (they’re spread out in places like Phoenix, Mexico, Cuba, Australia, Palm Springs)

  84. most of the reason why Albertans love Kelowna, Kamloops, Salmon Arm and all of the Okanagan is there are good recreational lakes

    Exactly. As Luke doesn’t seem to understand, different people like different things. Albertans tend to be into their toys like RVs and jet skis and ATVs and snowmobiles, and all of that is just way better in the interior.

  85. Or they just got an early unconditional high offer with a time limit and decided not to hold the open house. The owner can accept whatever offer they want whenever they want.

    Marko, if you write “Offers will be held in confidence and reviewed on such and such date” can you still accept an offer early? Or are you ethically bound to what you communicated in the notes?

  86. Long story, a little shorter, lol, he called Kelowna Alberta’s playground.

    Kelowna is redneck country, which makes (most) Albertans feel right at home.

  87. It is not a matter of if they return they are definitely here!

    I think it does matter. The ones that are here and bought last year are no longer relevant. The only thing that matters is if we will have another year with more than normal out of town buyers or not.

  88. RE: Kelowna, most of the reason why Albertans love Kelowna, Kamloops, Salmon Arm and all of the Okanagan is there are good recreational lakes. I have Albertan family members who drive 8 hours with an RV drop that off and go back to get the boat. Anyway the best snowbird location is the Yucatan Peninsula bar none. Cheap as hell and great weather.

  89. richard Haysom:

    “Victoria to us Prairie dwellers is an absolute Mecca, the city is just the perfect size, not too bustling (as per Vancouver), has a great Art and Cuisine scene, year round safe recreational options, excellent and abundant medical facilities and speed zones crafted for aging drivers!”

    So, I just got back from Maui and used Vrbo to find a nice condo. I have also been looking at the “snowbirding” lifestyle in Arizona. I contacted a few owners with properties in Phoenix and somewhat surprisingly, 2 out of the 5 that I contacted were “prairie people”. Maybe not so surprisingly, I guess.

    I had a rather in depth conversation with a gentleman from Edmonton who advised me that their summer/winter vacation destination was Kelowna. He also owned a condo there.

    I chuckled and asked him about the condo he had, that we wanted to rent, in Phoenix. Although he wasn’t too interested in heading down there now, he figured that when he retired he would spend a fair amount of time there. “Live in Kelowna and winter in Phoenix.”

    Long story, a little shorter, lol, he called Kelowna Alberta’s playground. Apparently, it’s easy to drive to and the “prairie” people own half of it. It’s all subjective. Kelowna’s winters are considered warm by Alberta standards.

    I’m sure that some people from the prairies do move to Victoria. I just doubt that it is anywhere near the amount that settle into Kelowna.

  90. Or they just got an early unconditional high offer with a time limit and decided not to hold the open house. The owner can accept whatever offer they want whenever they want.

    What is really shocking to me is the 825k price for a 1500 square foot duplex unit with 3750 square foot lot in Oaklands. The other larger unit was listed for 519k in 2013.

  91. Leo,

    “Hawk, there may well be fewer Vancouver buyers than last year. But that’s not the point.”

    It sort of is the point. If the Vancouver buyers don’t return en masse this year like last year, then the market could look quite different. A bit too early to tell since they didn’t really arrive until March last year, but we’ll keep monitoring this.

    It is not a matter of if they return they are definitely here!

    Whether it’s Vancouverites, foreign buyers or locals subsidized by wealthy relatives, FOMO is escalating and some realtors are actively pouring fuel on this fire.

    Rather than enticing multiple offers with a low listing price and delayed offers after a weekend open house; now, high asking prices are partnered with limited time blind faith. Elias Mavrikos http://mavrikoscollective.com delivers this tactic: reneging on previously announced weekend open house and same day notice of Friday evening deadline for submitting ‘delayed’ offers. Increased pressure by reducing time & knowledge. It appears this approach is designed to fetch a price above and already elevated list price.

    This reminiscent of Calgary a decade ago. However, the difference is this frenzied demand for a limited supply is not occurring amongst local and first-time buyers This approach is a catalyst geared towards price escalation in external buyers. After all, they have the resources to bid high, with no conditions and most likely not even able to view in person.

    I am very curious about the number of offer submitted and range of bids. Certainly not purchased by someone who needs financing. Even before the introduction of the mortgage rules, what lender is going to provide financing for 150% of the assessed value. So even with Christie’s (actually Taxpayer’s) down payment incentive for first-time buyers, Victoria, like Vancouver is out of reach. Perhaps our tax dollars are better spent on rapid transit for commuters living in outlying (aka affordable) communities.

    Friday: “Looking @ offers Tonight(March 10)-Call immediately if interested
    Saturday morning: “OH’S CANCELLED-NOW SOLD ”

    1 – 2632 Mount Stephen Ave
    Strata Duplex in Oaklands

    2016 assessment $488
    2017 assessment $551
    Listed for $769
    Sold for $825
    DOM: 3

    https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Single-Family/17875953/1-2632-Mt-Stephen-Ave-Victoria-British-Columbia-V8T3L6?cultureid=1&utm_source=&utm_medium=emailtemp%20-%20EmailFriend&utm_campaign=ListingLink&p1=%7B%5Bp1%5D%7D&p2=%7B%5Bp2%5D%7D

  92. The problem with sump pumps is that they aren’t as reliable as good ol’ gravity. And they can be expensive to replace/maintain.

  93. Re: sump pumps: Friends have a house on a steep lot where the bottom floor is considerably lower than street level. They therefore have a sump pump but it’s one that just gets the water from any downstairs plumbing up to the sewer line at street level. So not all sump pumps are installed because of high water tables / water issues. I’m sure that the Fairfield swamp one is there because of potential water issues, but my point is not to discount a house just because it has a pump without figuring out what’s going on. (My friends initially freaked about the pump until the building inspector explained.)

  94. When I was looking for prescient comments of mine from a long time ago (to satisfy James Soper), I found some funny stuff in the archives. I will release them slowly. Here’s one:

    “The potential downside of Oak Bay building lots is staggering.”

  95. Interesting read ‘Vancouver pain’ on those pesky Vancouver buyers coming here. As a former Vancouverite who moved to the island (up-island) in 2007, for a while I felt like I’d moved to another country – and yes there are lots of prairie retired folk ‘up island’. Eventually, I came to my senses and located in Victoria in 2015. I found it a very interesting read (sorry to cause you to loose your shit though).

    As the survey I did on this blog recently confirmed, no one could come up w/ a city in Canada more desirable than Victoria (yes it’s all relative/subjective, but no one came up w/ anything). Victoria is where it’s at!

    As I peer into my crystal ball however, I see Vancouver buyers dropping off this year from 2016 levels. Their market was smoking hot last year – this year – not so much. Plus, as it’s been said time and time again – inventory levels here are rock bottom – so there’s nothing much for them to buy! But, who knows what the year ends up bringing… time will tell.

  96. Speaking of prairies, my relatives are from there and they always wanted to go where there’s no snow. Maybe up island but interior isn’t as much of a draw.

    “Victoria to us Prairie dwellers is an absolute Mecca” – had to laugh because this is very similar to what they always say except it’s “Victoria to us is literally Hawaii”

  97. A couple sales I’ve been following…

    2565 Margate went for $1.110k which was $40k under asking… old house but good location. Obviously no bidding war here.

    This one was shocking to me: 1456 Hamley St. asking $1.975k went for $2,026,500. New house so add GST. This was an obvious bidding war. Why is it shocking? I don’t think I should be shocked at these things anymore. But -it’s essentially built on one of the former drained marshes in Fairfield – hence the need for a sump pump (but as I’m starting to realize, this is quite normal for Victoria – I’ll take gravity any day – so glad I found a house that doesn’t need a sump pump;-). There’s also a daycare next door! Imagine the squealing kids day after day all year long. The land there is saturated and water table extremely high. Basically, built on a swamp w/ a nice view of Government house for over $2m.

    The last house in the four strata cul-de-sac w/ nightmare four storey apartments staring at it, bomb site next door, and again – saturated land and sump pumps, has come up on the market. I was blown away when the house behind went for almost $1.6m and this is listed for that and will likely go for the same. No privacy and fish bowl living! 2127 Fair St. Let the Van buyers have it. Add GST.

    Can’t help but agree w/ Hawk on the prairie buyers (yes that does feel strange). Quite possible they are more likely to go ‘up island’ because Victoria is simply too expensive (not that they wouldn’t want to be here). Unless they’re loaded w/ oil money or something and got out w/ good timing. Prices are rising up island too, as inventory drops there also. The ‘Okanogan’ is in Washington State – but I think that was just a spelling error. The Alberta folk like the Okanagan because of proximity to ‘home’. However – I’m seeing a ton of Alberta plates around town again lately (why don’t they know how to drive??) And, also Sask. and Manitoba plates are abundant.

  98. More prairie folk will be moving up island or Okanogan where prices are much cheaper than the average prairie city. Unless they are loaded they want cash from selling not take on a new mortgage in retirement.

  99. Months of inventory or MOI. A simple measure but as usual more complex depending on what subset of the data you use.

    Months of inventory = inventory / sales. I.e. How many months would it take to sell all the inventory at the current sales rate if nothing new was added?

    I publish two numbers regularly:

    1. Total market MOI – This is simply all inventory divided by all sales. It is for all of Greater Victoria and includes commercial inventory and sales. This is what you will see in the weekly updates (**as of March 6th it is 2.38**). The weekly numbers are not broken out by residential/commercial so this is the best we can do without a bunch of manual work.
    2. Residential MOI – This is residential inventory divided by residential sales in Greater Victoria. This is the number that will be more meaningful to people as I doubt many people care about commercial. **As of February 2017 it is 1.7** (as in the Market Summary box at the top right).

    Now, on the Market Summary tab, all the data is using residential MOI. The first graph is the 12 month trailing average of residential MOI. In other words:

    12 month trailing average residential MOI = SUM(Residential MOI for the past 12 months) / 12
    The 12 month running average is used to discover the trend since MOI is highly seasonal and it would otherwise be difficult to interpret whether the market is heating up or cooling down.

    Seperate MOI for condos, SFHs, townhouses, and core vs westshore will be available once I have the data feed up and running. For now I can’t be bothered to run these queries manually all the time..

  100. Those sub-areas comprise about 40% of the SFH sales, 30% of townhouse sales and 60% of condo sales in Greater Victoria. It is difficult to understand how months of inventory in Greater Victoria can’t be impacted by a dramatic uptick in these areas? Instead we see an overall 30-40% decline in MOI in Greater Victoria.

    Maybe a different calculation being applied to the data?

  101. Vancouverites may have been the catalyst for last years (2016) real estate run up in Victoria but I think prairie weary retiring boomers will surely take their place in ever increasing numbers. It has been another brutal winter on the Prairies, (and still is) a reminder to aging boomers, they “just can’t take it anymore”. Victoria to us Prairie dwellers is an absolute Mecca, the city is just the perfect size, not too bustling (as per Vancouver), has a great Art and Cuisine scene, year round safe recreational options, excellent and abundant medical facilities and speed zones crafted for aging drivers!

  102. OK good to know about Leo’s chart.

    Leo, if you ever get a chance, could you also look at the MOI for sub-areas of Vic, Saanich East, and Oak Bay – because at least then we’d get a consistently calculated MOI for comparison’s sake.

    (because I’m guessing that John’s MOI is being calculated using a different method)

  103. Yes, I am using a subset of the general market being house sales in Victoria, Saanich East and Oak Bay.

    The problem with using general data is market segmentation. If instead of using general data for all areas and all types of properties the data is limited to similar properties with similar geographical and economic factors then the results will improve. That is one of the major reasons why the board went to a House Price Index instead of continuing on with general averages and medians.

    However a third party can’t verify the HPI unless they know what comprises the benchmark property for the area. If your house is a rancher on the waterfront and the benchmark home is a 2 storey on a regular lot then the HPI is not going to be that reliable to you.

  104. Leo, this statement is true.

    I’m not interested in a hypothetical Vancouver buyer level. Actual Vancouver buyers are not above long term trend in 2017.

    Leo – congrats on taking my quote completely out of context

    The rest of your quote was speculative and contradicts the available data year to date.

  105. I think it has to do with how MOI is calculated?

    To determine the months supply of inventory for a given area, you divide the number of active listings on the market by the number of homes sold per month on average during the previous 12 months.

  106. Leo’s chart says “Months of Inventory (12 month average)”

    So does that mean that each point is the 12 month average up to that month, or the monthly?

  107. I think Leo uses MOI averaged over a year or the past 3 months to smooth out daily fluctuations

    Leo reports what the MOI was on the first day of each month:

    https://househuntvictoria.ca/market-summary/

    You can move the cursor over the chart and you’ll get the monthly total – not averaged over 3 months or a year.

    The chart shows a marked decline from last year like the monthly VREB data. JJ may be using a subset of data for Oak Bay or some other area – not sure.

  108. Sounds like another Christy Clark scandal brewing, just in time for the election. So BC Housing lines up mega-million dollar loans via CMHC to build high end luxury condos and Bob Rennie is signed on as the lead seller ? This is after a land swap where City of Vancouver gave up a $100 million difference ? Give me a fucking break.

    On top of the Wall’s donating $400K days before getting the contract to build a large social housing project, this is getting disgusting. No wonder there’s an Elections BC/RCMP investigation into shady donations.

    https://omny.fm/shows/steele-drex/bc-gov-t-made-loan-to-developer-to-build-luxury-co

  109. John, I think Leo uses MOI averaged over a year or the past 3 months to smooth out daily fluctuations. If the 5.79 is for 11 days, it’s not the same as the other data.

  110. My argument is that there isn’t one.

    Makes more sense.

    Why are your MOI so much higher compared to Leo’s 1.7? Or the VREB for that matter. When I look at the data from January and February last year this is what is posted on their site for this year:

    Inventory levels edged lower, with 1,516 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate
    Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2017, 38.6 per cent fewer than the 2,471
    active listings at the end of January 2016.

    Inventory levels edged lower, with 1,537 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board
    Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2017, 40 per cent fewer than the 2,562 active
    listings at the end of February 2016.

    Are you looking at a different sub-areas in Greater Victoria? Maybe the core?

  111. Except Vicbot, inventory is up from last year

    Month Months of Inventory
    Apr 2016 1.06
    May 2016 1.09
    Jun 2016 1.26
    Jul 2016 1.86
    Aug 2016 1.81
    Sep 2016 2.05
    Oct 2016 2.38
    Nov 2016 2.21
    Dec 2016 2.85
    Jan 2017 3.59
    Feb 2017 2.28
    Mar 2017 5.79 partial month

  112. I don’t know how this shows a causal link?

    I am not arguing that there is a causal link. My argument is that there isn’t one.

  113. There are many factors at play in the market – 1 factor alone doesn’t cause a market to move up or down.

    There’s still been pressure on prices because inventory is currently down from last year, therefore fewer houses to choose from and fewer sales overall, including from local, Vancouver, or international buyers.

    We won’t know until spring how the annual hotter spring market plays out – it depends on more people selling homes, continued free money, and if price differential with Vancouver is still enough for people there to sell and move here. Also if Ontario introduces a foreign buyer tax.

    Leo I think AG was referring to your point when he said “Each Van buyer is, like someone else said, a source of pure, exogenous demand.”

  114. So what you are saying is that there has been a dramatic decrease in Vancouver buyers since August 2016 through to now, yet average prices have increased 12% over the same time period. I don’t know how this shows a causal link?

  115. It sort of is the point. If the Vancouver buyers don’t return en masse this year like last year, then the market could look quite different. A bit too early to tell since they didn’t really arrive until March last year, but we’ll keep monitoring this.

    Leo – congrats on taking my quote completely out of context 🙂

  116. It sort of is the point. If the Vancouver buyers don’t return en masse this year like last year, then the market could look quite different

    From what I have read and heard from agents is that what happened last year is unlikely to occur this year and there should be a return to previous sale volumes.

    While an increase in Vancouver buyers was not evident until March and April last year, the days on market fell and prices for houses rose in Victoria, Saanich East and Oak Bay in February. House prices were already escalating before there was an increase in Vancouverites buying.

    Month Days to Sell, Average Sale Price, Median

    Sep 2015 41 $679,500
    Oct 2015 43 $712,570
    Nov 2015 38 $669,000
    Dec 2015 41 $692,750
    Jan 2016 38 $692,072
    Feb 2016 21 $771,500 DOM falls and Prices Rise
    Mar 2016 16 $800,000 Increase in Vancouver buyers
    Apr 2016 18 $849,950 Prices stablilize
    May 2016 20 $832,000
    Jun 2016 16 $850,000
    Jul 2016 15 $817,500
    Aug 2016 16 $805,000 Decrease in Vancouver Buyers back to norms
    Sep 2016 24 $840,000 Prices begin to increase
    Oct 2016 22 $885,000
    Nov 2016 31 $875,000
    Dec 2016 29 $871,500
    Jan 2017 26 $950,000
    Feb 2017 23 $925,000

  117. “So I assume you bought big last year at this time”

    Yes, I did.”

    Funny you never shared with the board. No wonder you need to keep the bubble from blowing up. Max leverage has a way of making one heavily bias.

  118. If Vancouver buyers are still above the long term trend, that’s supportive for the market.

    Leo, this statement is true.

  119. AG,
    So I assume you bought big last year at this time based on all the anecdotals ? Otherwise your weren’t a smart investor right ? Seems you were in every house for sale in Oak Bay and never laid down a nickel. It was so obvious as you just said.

  120. Hawk, there may well be fewer Vancouver buyers than last year. But that’s not the point.

    It sort of is the point. If the Vancouver buyers don’t return en masse this year like last year, then the market could look quite different. A bit too early to tell since they didn’t really arrive until March last year, but we’ll keep monitoring this.

  121. Hawk, there may well be fewer Vancouver buyers than last year. But that’s not the point.

    Each Van buyer is, like someone else said, a source of pure, exogenous demand. If Vancouver buyers are still above the long term trend, that’s supportive for the market.

  122. AG, you fail to still understand that Vancouver buyers were by far still the minority of buyers last year and now are in severe decline. What’s 20 Vancouver buyers a month do to how many sales last month ? Not much.

    What happened last year is not any indicator what will happen this year. Embracing 20% annual gains as the new norm is where investors get burnt in spades.

  123. It’s not the boonies Leo, its officially still the core!

    Technically correct, the best kind of correct.

    It also just dawned on me what you are selling on that etsy store of yours.

  124. Hawk – all that may be true. But when you rail against things that are ‘unfair’ or ‘illogical’, you do yourself a disservice as an investor. Look at the facts, embrace them, and make your decision based on that.

    This time last year, Vancouver prices went crazy and anecdotes were flying around about Vancouver buyers coming to Victoria. It was pretty obvious what was starting to happen, and what was going to happen in Victoria. But your opinions were distorted by your view of what you think is right or wrong, and so you missed the trend.

  125. “You’re seeing 20 per cent house-price growth in a market where you shouldn’t see that much,” McKay said of hometown. “That’s concerning. That’s not sustainable. Therefore, I do believe we are now at a point where we need to consider similar types of measures that we saw in Vancouver.”

    Good article, and why Victoria can’t stay on this path, regardless of price comparisons to Vancouver’s obscenity. 20% is not normal. The TD bank news could be the catalyst that blows this pig up.

    The public has been scammed by the so called “conservative” lending banks that they are no better than the subprime scum lenders of the US crash. They puked out the easy credit until the walls fell in the exact same way.

    Another Canadian false image is now exposed to the world, just like Vancouver being money laundering capital of the world. No wonder we’re leading the G7 in household debt.

  126. I blame the green rush because it’s making new rich people and a need to make more grow ops.

    I finally understand why you bought that place out in the boonies.

  127. Agreed. The problem with the “we did it to ourselves” explanation is that not much changed in Victoria to cause prices to sky-rocket.

    There doesn’t need to be a sudden catalyst. Affordability was improving for years and local buyers were getting back in the market. Doesn’t explain the magnitude of the increase but even without Vancouver prices would have risen last year.

  128. Excellent interview – thanks for posting Local Fool. The article MacBeth referred to was this one:
    http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/how-canadas-big-banks-pumped-up-the-housing-bubble/
    How Canada’s big banks pumped up the housing bubble
    “The banks earn big profits off soaring house prices, knowing that taxpayers will clean up the mess if the bubble pops. That has to change.”

    As MacBeth said, we’ve got to get this economy focused more on innovation and R&D, not as much on RE, for the sake of everyone’s future. Also as we’ve seen with TD, the banks are pushing LOCs and other credit too much, to the point where some boomers are risking their retirement savings to help their kids with expensive houses.

  129. I wonder how much of a down-payment some of the regulars here could have earned in the past eight years in the time they have spent spelling the doom of the Victoria RE market. BOYS, you could have actually cashed in, WOW… I know that we have spent that time investing more in Victoria RE. The Doom and Gloom likes of Hawk, Info, Patriots (all the same?), told me 8 years ago that my continued investment in Victoria RE was certain to end in bankruptcy. That was some of the best advice I ever ignored.

  130. For you bears out there or anyone else that might be interested, here is a link to Vancouver RE Agent Steve Saretzky interviewing Edmonton author Hilliard MacBeth.

    MacBeth is the author of the 2015 book, “When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pkr86X8VBo

  131. Dasmo, the chart coincides with Vancouver sales dropping off a cliff.

    James, I couldn’t have said it better.

  132. @ John Dollar, I also blame the Albertans. I also blame the green rush. I think our market went ballistic due to those three effects. Vancouver hitting a crazy peak and starting a decline. This would be the nudge anyone close to making the move to cash out. Also the gap widened so much it is a strong allure to be able to buy something you could never have in Van and have a million left over. Who needs the job? Alberta is to blame because oil tanked so if you lost your job are you staying in hell? No, you are coming back to the shire. Same with any oil patch early retirement candidates. I blame the green rush because it’s making new rich people and a need to make more grow ops. I think the Oaklands area seems to be the preferred choice. for that…

  133. Given Victoria’s tight inventories now, it might encourage even more people to buy first before selling, but it’s not going to be 100% of the time.

    Our market was tighter last year than it is today. We were down to one month of inventory now we are over two.

    But what would you do today. Would you sell your home and then start looking to find a house to buy or would you start looking for a home and then sell.

    My guess would be that most would start to look for a home before putting their house up for sale.

  134. There are always going to be people that rent here first before buying, eg., Barrister, VancouverPain, etc. It depends on your circumstances. eg., our friends on the West Side sold before they bought the next place because they didn’t want to be holding 2 places at once. We bought in Victoria before selling but we had the luxury of staying with my parents. A co-worker rented before buying. Another person stayed in a hotel with all his stuff (most in storage) before even renting, to research the neighbourhoods.

    The reason for the mixed bag is because the exact timing of buying a house doesn’t line up with the rest of your life – you can’t always find a place to buy before you start a new job, or put kids in school, or officially retire, so for continuity you may have to rent first.

    Given Victoria’s tight inventories now, it might encourage even more people to buy first before selling, but it’s not going to be 100% of the time.

  135. Agreed. The problem with the “we did it to ourselves” explanation is that not much changed in Victoria to cause prices to sky-rocket.

    But there was. The equity in your home had increased tremendously. Now you could give the kids a down payment to buy a new house or you could buy a rental property or two.

  136. Says the guy who’s never bought or sold a house in his life.

    An ad hominem reaction is the sign of capitulation in a discussion. That’s all you got left.

  137. Well Dasmo, the smoking gun you are looking for matches up with the problems in the Alberta Oil patch.

    Big lay-offs in the Alberta oil fields matched quite well with the increase in demand for housing in Victoria. Sale volumes dropped off after the lay-offs ended. That’s why the wave of buyers was so short lived. So blame the itinerant Alberta workers coming back home with their big severance checks looking for something to buy. These people already lived in Victoria they just contracted out for a couple of weeks at a time. Faced without a job but sitting on a stack of cash.

  138. It would be so much easier to find the house in Victoria before selling in Vancouver.

    Says the guy who’s never bought or sold a house in his life.

  139. It would be so much easier to find the house in Victoria before selling in Vancouver. In that way you could get bridge financing for a few months to carry both properties until you sell the Vancouver home. Especially if you have kids as it only makes sense to let them finish the school year. Another problem with renting in Victoria is you most likely will have to sign a one year lease.

    And that would make sense when you see that the percentage of buyers from Vancouver increased by so much in 2015 and 2016 They kept their home in Vancouver and when they filled out the contract they wrote their Vancouver address and not a rental property’s address.

  140. @ Hawk, Leo’s chart shows a huge increase. It more volatile yes so the seasonal decline is greater but the overall patter shows a huge jump in Vancouver buyers. As Leo points out 10% can have a big impact on a market. Something started this and it wasn’t lower interest rates…. We have had those for a decade now.

  141. It’s a legal thing. You have to do it that way.

    I think people think they have to, but they are actually using it improperly. The trademark is intended for use by members of the CREA in their advertising in a specific way and not all real estate agents are members of the CREA, either. This document shows examples of improper usage of the trademark.

    http://www.hrra.com/_docs/media/trademark.pdf

    Sounds like you are more likely to get in trouble for using it when you shouldn’t, versus not using it.
    Then again, I’m not a lawyer so maybe I’m interpretating it wrong.

    http://www.agentharvest.com/blog/realtor-vs-real-estate-agent-when-is-it-appropriate-to-use-the-term-realtor/

  142. The we-did-it-to-ourselves explanation is lazy, simplistic, and unpersuasive, in my opinion.

    Agreed. The problem with the “we did it to ourselves” explanation is that not much changed in Victoria to cause prices to sky-rocket.

    Did incomes here suddenly jump? Nope, rising slowly (though economy is relatively good).

    Did aging parents suddenly get more generous? No evidence for or against, but a bit implausible.

    Has borrowing ability increased? No, it has gone down due to rule changes.

    Is natural population growth leading to a strong rate of new household formation? Nope, natural population growth is negative here.

    Did the supply of new housing suddenly dry up? New SFHs haven’t been added in significant numbers in the core for a long time, but there are lots of condos being built and plenty of new SFHs in the burbs.

    Jack has often spoken about the Core vs. Westshore premium and how that can’t grow without limit. That makes sense. At some point you save so much money buying in Langford that the commute becomes palatable. If we accept that prices increases in the Core will ripple out to the suburbs it seem reasonable that the insane price increases of Metro Vancouver might eventually percolate out to the surrounding areas.

    “Blaming” it on Vancouver also has the advantage of helping to explain price increases all up the east side of the Island to Campbell River (and supposedly some interior markets as well, though I am less familiar with that)

  143. “The anecdotes are there for a reason.”

    “You don’t just pop over and say ‘we’ll take that one’ and then sell your Vancouver house and move the following weekend.

    Many anecdotal stories have been posted of the Asians in the minivans or high end cars who aren’t in a rush to sell cause they are loaded and pay bully bids of $200K plus over ask.

    How about all those “ferry stories” where everyone and their neighbor is coming over to buy ? Pick and choose your anecdotal. Fact is they are on a severe decline going by the Leo’s chart.

  144. What I think is more likely to happen is that either you or your spouse come to Victoria and look for a place while the other stays with the kids in Vancouver.

    No, sorry, it’s not. When you’re forced to buy a house unconditionally (as has been the case here the last year) you have to sell your Vancouver house first and then look for something here. I have many friends who have done exactly what I described. It’s more along the lines of renting a place in Victoria first, then selling Vancouver, then moving things over here to a storage locker, then trying to buy a house.

  145. @introvert. Based On what?

    Based on your bitterness about not being able to afford a house.

  146. That’s not how the real world works, though. Buying a house isn’t like buying a car; you typically have to sell your house first and then navigate what has become a frustrating experience of missing out on many houses before you actually manage to buy one. In the meantime, you’re managing whatever employment you have and transitioning your life (which often means your kids) to a new town. You don’t just pop over and say ‘we’ll take that one’ and then sell your Vancouver house and move the following weekend.

    That’s a bit of an over statement.

    What I think is more likely to happen is that either you or your spouse come to Victoria and look for a place while the other stays with the kids in Vancouver. I can’t imagine selling the house in Vancouver while the kids are still in school there and then try to get them into a Victoria school half way through the year.

  147. Tell me the TD mortgage brokers as well as independents aren’t doing the same thing. Looks like a bomb just went off in the banking industry.

    ‘I will do anything I can to make my goal’: TD teller says customers pay price for ‘unrealistic’ sales targets

    “You don’t know what it’s like to go to bed at night, knowing your job is now to set people up for financial failure,” says the teller, her voice cracking.

    Go Public has heard from TD tellers in several Canadian cities who say they quit their jobs because the pressure to push products was so extreme.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/td-tellers-desperate-to-meet-increasing-sales-goals-1.4006743

  148. Vancouver is just a half day trip from here, not really much point in renting a place here when you own a house in Vancouver.

    That’s not how the real world works, though. Buying a house isn’t like buying a car; you typically have to sell your house first and then navigate what has become a frustrating experience of missing out on many houses before you actually manage to buy one. In the meantime, you’re managing whatever employment you have and transitioning your life (which often means your kids) to a new town. You don’t just pop over and say ‘we’ll take that one’ and then sell your Vancouver house and move the following weekend.

    We’re involved in a parent-run preschool and my wife has been the admissions officer since about 2012. The preschool is in Oak Bay. I can tell you that in the last 18 months, we have been inundated with the same email – ‘We just moved from Vancouver and were wondering…’

    The anecdotes are there for a reason.

  149. “It is taken from the purchase/sales contract by the listing realtor – not the buyer’s realtor and input into the system based on that document alone. There is no stifling, just the data collection method used, people renting here after moving from elsewhere will be recorded as from Victoria.”

    Why would it not be in the listing agent’s/industry’s best interest to know that they came from out of town ? It helps their buyer clients as well to hype the market too. Salesman 101 to use whatever tools to increase your business in a FOMO market. Just cause Marko ticks off Victoria no matter what doesn’t mean they all do.

  150. not really much point in renting a place here when you own a house in Vancouver

    Yeah, unless you’ve sold and are taking your time to look due to low inventory. I think it can be a bit of a tough go right now to find something. Also why I think the out of province numbers might be a higher % than reported by VREB, especially given mobility numbers. If new demand has a disproportionate effect on the market this might be more nb. to figure out for the crystal ball.

  151. It is taken from the purchase/sales contract by the listing realtor – not the buyer’s realtor and input into the system based on that document alone. There is no stifling, just the data collection method used, people renting here after moving from elsewhere will be recorded as from Victoria.

    Assuming that they are living here and not over for the week looking at properties. Vancouver is just a half day trip from here, not really much point in renting a place here when you own a house in Vancouver.

  152. there is no reason why the agent would want to stifle that valuable info

    Did you miss the bit about how this information is collected? The quote from Marko is below.

    It is taken from the purchase/sales contract by the listing realtor – not the buyer’s realtor and input into the system based on that document alone. There is no stifling, just the data collection method used, people renting here after moving from elsewhere will be recorded as from Victoria.

    Looking at the mobility stats vs. reported sales to out of province buyers there is a big disconnect between the numbers so perhaps out of province buyers are a bigger influence on local market conditions than the VREB stats show.

    This is my theory, you don’t have to agree with it.

    reliable and falsifiable evidence

    The best kind.

  153. The repeated YOY increases in GH are surprising though:
    eg., 1620 Sarita Pl
    2016 assessment: $626k. 2017 assessment: $756k. Increase 21%
    2017 list price: $725k. Sale price: $918k or 21% over 2017 assessed & 47% above 2016 assessed.

    That’s quite an increase in 1 year. If the house had been sold at 21% over assessed in 2016, it would have gone for $757k

    Good point John about the banks making it more difficult for borrowers. I wonder if these buyers aren’t borrowing the downpayment – don’t know if there’s any stats on what % of homes are bought without loans.

  154. Introvert, the argument that a home that sells over asking price is indicative of rising home prices has been debunked repeatedly on this blog.

    Intentionally under pricing a property to entice multiple bids illustrates nothing of what is happening to market values in the city.

    It is even possible that that property you mentioned may have undersold as properties in the Gordon Head area have been consistently selling at 25% more than their BC Assessed value.

    Anyway you are entitled to your opinion however your opinion lacks merit and is only an argumentative fallacy as it is not based on reliable and falsifiable evidence.

  155. “My guess is that there is a statistically significant group of buyers who move and rent first before buying.”

    If the Vancouverites have only been renting for less than 6 months to a year , there is no reason why the agent would want to stifle that valuable info. Agents are trained to know your client, not play CIA agent. The more the info is out there the better for the whole industry to keep the pump alive and they will tick off Vancouver on the forms.

    As I said before anyone who just won the Vancouver lottery will be more than likely to be ecstatic to share that info. You have no reason to hide the fact of where you recently came from when you need the agent to show you all the hoods you are clueless about. This secret Vancouverite theory shit has to stop.

  156. “On another anecdote, Willows school is crawling with new families from Vancouver, so whatever the stats say, I can assure you that there is a HUGE influx of new families in the Oak Bay area from Vancouver. They are the principal reason why Willows now has a lottery system for French Immersion and that the English stream had people lining up at midnight. ”

    They had a segment on CTV a few weeks back about Vancouver folks moving across the street from Willows and can’t get their kids in and have to go to Sir James or other schools. I think many Vancouverites didn’t do their homework before moving here. Nothing worse than finding out after how tough it is to live the perfect Victoria lifestyle in the middle of a FOMO mania.

    Hang in there in ride this insanity out. TD bank dropped 5% in one day due to whipping employees to sell shit customers don’t need, things can always change faster than you think. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. How many got mortgages they shouldn’t have ? Hmmm.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/td-bank-stock-pprice-1.4019822

  157. The we-did-it-to-ourselves explanation is lazy, simplistic, and unpersuasive, in my opinion.

    @introvert. Based On what?

  158. This is happening in Gordon Head with remarkable regularity (every couple days). The latest—and $193,000 over asking:

    1620 Sarita Pl
    List price: $725,000
    Sale price: $918,000
    DOM: 9

    Seems like any average property in GH, listed in the $700s, has a good chance of fetching in the $800s, and sometimes the $900s.

  159. Fascinating anecdote, VancouverPain. I’m glad you passed it along.

    Your suspicion that there are more Vancouver and out-of-town buyers than the official numbers suggest is also shared by me. And I think out-of-towners have been skewing our market, under the radar, for many years.

    The we-did-it-to-ourselves explanation is lazy, simplistic, and unpersuasive, in my opinion.

  160. How much of a “gift” do you need to give to say your daughter to buy a house these days?

    A lot. Really a lot.

    She will need at least a 20 percent down payment to avoid high ratio financing. On a $750,000 home that’s $150,000. Luckily your home has gone up in value so you can take out some equity but that $150,000 is going to cost you at least $600 a month. She will have to pay the rest of around $2,400 a month and the taxes and the utilities and the maintenance. That is if you and her qualify with the banks. This may not be as easy as it was a year ago.

    Hence the slow down in sales this year and why homes with suites are so necessary. And why houses in Oaklands that permit basement suites can be almost as expensive as in Oak Bay where they don’t permit suites.

  161. I think a lot of buyers are taking Barristers advice and choosing the outer areas rather than Victoria, Oak Bay or Saanich East.

    But that’s what suppose to happen as the market moves from a shortage to a surplus. Things have to get really bad before they can get better.

    The good news is that new listings are being added at the rate of about 1.9 to every house that has sold this month in Saanich East, Victoria and Oak Bay and that will likely keep average and median prices from rising. However the months of inventory still remain low at around 2.3 but not as bad as this time last year when we bottomed at 1.3

    The average and median days to sell are still very low but that has more to do with the blind auctions that seem so common today. But the good news is the auctions aren’t doing as well as last year. I suppose that’s a good reason to pump the market by making people fear an invasion of Vancouverites. In that way Mom and Pop would be willing to gift you a down payment out of fear that those rich Vancouverites with their ugly buck toothed children won’t price you and your little angels out of the market.

  162. It’s a pet peeve of mine when I see REALTOR® instead of realtor.

    Agreed. Unfortunately now I have to use the trademarked term or get my hands slapped. I prefer “agent” to get around the regs 🙂

  163. “So what happens now Vicbot and TallGuy with the recent decline in buyers from Vancouver?”

    No crystal ball 🙂 but let’s take a look at what a company does when it wants to project sales of a product – they look at target buyer profiles (especially unique ones) & what affects them.

    For sake of argument, a simple equation for a combo of what Victoria is uniquely affected by:
    millennials starting families + population bulge of boomer retirees + 2nd home vacationers + domestic investors + foreign buyers + big RE contributors to BC politics (developers, realtors) + worldwide disruptive events

    Then you factor in the probabilities affecting each group – for millennials it might be inheritances & Vancouver, for boomers it’s Vancouver & Toronto, for foreign buyers & Canadian or foreign vacationers it’s the Canadian $ and foreign politics (US, China), investors affected by self-perpetuating rising prices, foreign buyers affected by Canadian quality of life, developers affected by city councils, etc.

    Then dial up & down all influences.

    In a supply-restricted market like Victoria, right now the score card says there are more things adding to demand than taking away from it. But again, anything can happen.

    VancouverPain hope you can stick it out. I still get the sense that can pounce on the right place in the city where not a lot of people are looking, and be very happy, eg., relatives in Mayfair & Hillside areas. Neighbourhoods evolve as the city grows.

  164. Dear Van Pain:

    I can sympathize with the problem you are having with being priced out of the market. Might be time to look at Langford or the Gorge area. Prices may drop a fraction but I suspect that they will just plateau out for a while. I suspect that the flood of Vancouver buyers may have ended but I suspect that we will revert to a steady trickle. But, there is also only a trickle of new SFH homes in the core coming on market.

    I have heard this same frustration from a number of local Victorians who feel like the boomers have priced them out of the market or at least priced them out of the most expensive and desirable areas.
    Real estate markets are impossible to predict but I donnot see a much drop anythime soon.

  165. @VancouverPain

    Why not just take yourself out of the buyer pool? We’re in pretty much the same position as you seem to be; facing the choice to capitulate, settle on something we would never be happy with, or to just hunker down. My personal choice is not to participate in this market or be a contributor to the mania, my wife on the other hand is anxious for all the standard reasons.

    Pretty tough, and can be stressful. On the other hand, having sunk a chunk of our downpayment into RRSP’s the sizable tax return takes a bit of the sting out.

    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/hbp/ – $50,000 per-couple invested in RRSP’s can be withdrawn to purchase/build a home – which we plan to do when the time comes, or not…

  166. So much for the all of Vancouver moving here theory. If anything the story should be migration of victoria residents to van. In my office alone about a third of the workers in the past 2 years who left was due to Vancouver sucking them up. How many people have come from vancouver to work in our office zero

  167. Leo S
    March 10, 2017 at 11:25 am
    Remember that one Vancouver buyer has a much bigger impact than one local buyer selling their house and buying another. One represents pure demand, the other is a net zero. I don’t really care if there are 10,000 sales by locals moving up/down/sideways on the property ladder, they have very little effect on the supply/demand balance

    If you are buying and selling in the same market then the effect should be zero. But I think a much bigger effect than people from Vancouver are local parents helping out their kids to buy their first home.

    I spoke with a retiree who used the equity from their home to give two of their kids a down payment to buy new houses in Langford. The retiree’s father just past away so they are now selling the home and moving into the grandfather’s condo. The increase in equity in one house has created demand three fold.

    If you want to blame Vancouverites for Victoria’s high prices you are welcome to do so. But I think we should take a look at ourselves too.

    You’re wasting too much time trying to find someone else to blame.

  168. Remember that one Vancouver buyer has a much bigger impact than one local buyer selling their house and buying another. One represents pure demand, the other is a net zero. I don’t really care if there are 10,000 sales by locals moving up/down/sideways on the property ladder, they have very little effect on the supply/demand balance.

    Out of town buyers and first time buyers are the drivers, hence focusing more on the absolute numbers rather than percentages.

  169. I think it’s possible. It’s enough to shift the market equilibrium. Changes in price happen when demand or supply or both change. We have a situation where both have changed. Supply is at historic lows & demand even higher because of out of town buyers.
    So the market is especially sensitive to slight changes, causing big shifts in prices.

    Foreign buyers were only about 10% average in Greater Van…

  170. Everyone loves an anecdote so here goes:

    We have close family in their 30’s that recently relocated here from Vancouver for a job. They just sold a 3 bed 1200′ sq townhouse near commercial drive for over $900,000 and in exchange bought a house in Oak Bay for about the same price.

    Meanwhile, my family (born and raised) has been renting a home here while we built a substantial downpayment. Sadly, we have watched the prices run away after losing out on 6 offers last year, which were mostly to Vancouver buyers. We kept thinking more supply would come on the market, but it remains mystifyingly low. Now we are virtually priced out of Oaklands, and the price we could have bought in Oak Bay in the fall of 2015 will barely get us a house in Vic West now. Sour grapes? Just a little. I very much relate to Vicrenter’s experience in trying to find a home.

    This past year has caused major stress to my family as we have watched our housing aspirations slip away. I place the blame strictly on new buyers from Vancouver (family included!) and beyond. I like to be a welcoming and open person, but I admit, I am going to lose my shit if one more person tells me they just moved here from Vancouver.

    It’s hard to be excited for our family that we wanted to move over for so long, when they have been here for two months and have managed to buy a home due to being able to make a bully offer thanks to the CRAZY appreciation of their Vancouver townhouse. Such is life. We will have to cut into our downpayment for some therapy sessions I think!

    On another anecdote, Willows school is crawling with new families from Vancouver, so whatever the stats say, I can assure you that there is a HUGE influx of new families in the Oak Bay area from Vancouver. They are the principal reason why Willows now has a lottery system for French Immersion and that the English stream had people lining up at midnight. So there may be Boomers cashing out from Vancouver and living off their leftover millions, but I can assure you, there are many Gen-X families relocating as well, and doing more of a straight swap in terms of home value. The difference being, here they get a home in Oak Bay with a yard, versus a townhouse on the east side.

    3 years ago, I was telling everyone I knew in Vancouver they should move over here for a better quality of life and cheaper housing. Unfortunately for me, they listened. Now their quality of life is improved at my families expense and I hate them for it.

    So dear Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto readers, we’re full here in Victoria. Our kids can’t get spots in schools and we can’t buy houses due to you, so please forgive our lack of welcome. To us, you are the foreign invaders…

  171. Thanks for the numbers John – great to see more detail.
    “So was the increase in Vancouver buyers from 5 to 9% enough to cause last years increase in prices?”

    I think it’s possible. It’s enough to shift the market equilibrium. Changes in price happen when demand or supply or both change. We have a situation where both have changed. Supply is at historic lows & demand even higher because of out of town buyers.
    So the market is especially sensitive to slight changes, causing big shifts in prices.

  172. @ John Dollar – re “Janey, at some point you need to ask yourself – are your assumptions reasonable & would they affect the outcome?”

    So sorry but I’m totally lost as to which of my comments you are referring to – it has been a month or two since I posted a comment.

    Please enlighten.

  173. It could be, it could be, it could be…

    Janey, at some point you need to ask yourself – are your assumptions reasonable? And would they effect the outcome?

  174. Thanks JJ.

    I understand some that argue that this does not include those that rented first before buying.

    Yes, it doesn’t. The listing realtor reports the sale and all they do is enter the city listed for the buyer on the contract of purchase and sale. It could be a relative’s house in Victoria or a rental house. There is no further information sought from the purchaser or their realtor about how recently they’ve moved like there is in the census. My guess is that there is a statistically significant group of buyers who move and rent first before buying.

    (FROM MARKO) Listing REALTOR® reports the sale so I just enter in whatever city is on the contract of purchase and sale for the buyer. I don’t call up the buyers’ REALTOR® to see how long they’ve been in Victoria. No one does.
    https://househuntvictoria.ca/2016/11/01/october-market-strong-but-early-signs-of-weakening/

  175. Primary Year Sales, Number of
    2012 3150-246=2,904
    2013 3422-276=3,146
    2014 3861-323=3,538
    2015 4713-370-=4,343
    2016 5824-500=5,324
    2017 553

    And those that indicated their buyer city as Vancouver for those years
    Primary Year Sales, Number of
    2012 105 (3.6%)
    2013 109 (3.5%)
    2014 147 (4.2%)
    2015 224 (5.2%)
    2016 473 (8.9%)
    2017 13

    I understand some that argue that this does not include those that rented first before buying. That would assume that the purchaser has interpreted the question differently than in the past.

    But the flip side of that would be that more Vancouverites just came over for a couple of days before buying and that’s why the numbers are higher in 2016. Maybe more of them were investors/speculators and not looking for a home to occupy? These are all possibilities.

    So was the increase in Vancouver buyers from 5 to 9% enough to cause last years increase in prices?

  176. Personally I suspect the big difference in the Vancouver factor from this year to last isn’t a matter of money (or sale price), it’s a matter of volume (time, or probability of a sale). Although Van prices this year aren’t that much lower than last year (roughly 10% less than the summer peak, if I recall correctly, and still higher YoY), as Hawk and others keep reminding us, sales volume is way down – more than 50% lower YoY. So those who were interested in making the move now face a much more uncertain process of selling – longer days on market, much more competition for home sales, much greater hassle (weeks or months of showings, etc.); at the same time, buying here remains challenging, with little inventory and lots of over-offers for the prime listings.

    So I have no proof of this, but having sold and moved a few times, if I imagine myself considering such a move (‘we’ve always loved Victoria!’), the prospect of selling quickly and unconditionally – or not – would be a significant factor in such a move. With that guarantee gone, the move becomes much less desirable, even if the finances make sense on paper.

  177. For the month of April 2016, I have 89 purchasers that indicated Vancouver as their buyer city.
    That’s out of a total of 1,132 that responded to the question in April (7.9%)

    55 of those purchases were in the core districts out of 659 responses (8.3%)

    43 were houses purchased in the core out of 354 responses (8.2%)

    You can do the same using Victoria as the buyer city but that would not include people from the Saanich Peninsula or other places on Southern Vancouver island that purchasers indicated as their “buyer city”.

    Total dollar volume of the sales for those that responded to the question for April 2016 was $680,390,466. The dollar volume of all sales from purchaser that indicated their city as Vancouver was $65,336,500 (9.6%)

    Just looking at house sales in the core. Total sales for April 2016 was $332,368,217 less those that did not respond to the question netted an amount of $310,265,878. Vancouver responses were $39,628,800 (12.7%)

    So that’s just one month out of the year and I chose a peak month for Vancouver sales.

  178. That doesn’t explain the difference. Sales are off only about 20% from last year.

    My explanation:

    Last year Vancouverites came here in (relatively) large numbers, jacked the prices and reduced inventory. Prices are now at a level (for some) where for many of them there isn’t enough left over between what they sold for in Vancouver and what a decent home costs here. Plus the foreign buyers tax changed the mentality in Vancouver real estate, your graph even dive-bombs at the end of July to correlate this.

    Enter the locals, Vancouverites who rented for a awhile (like yours truly), and savvy speculators. We saw the prices and inventory which led to FOMO taking over. So we started buying, with our parents help (not me thankfully), to fill the gap (yours truly again).

  179. That doesn’t explain the difference. Sales are off only about 20% from last year.

    They’ve had a rough winter even compared to us. Some of them are still buried and can’t get out the driveway.

  180. I believe there is also a sweet spot, which we may or may not be at yet.

    That being, there is a price that Vancouverites will pay for a home that will still leave them with savings, a sort of price differential. A person isn’t going to sell their home in Vancouver, quit their job, pay to move, and then buy a home at or nearly at the same cost they just sold their home for and end up with zero net gains from selling their Vancouver home.

    Well, some people will, but I believe that most won’t. The people who will are likely gen-x’ers and millenials who still have many working years left to pay off a mortgage and used their paper gains to up-size in Victoria. But what they could afford in Vancouver during their life time is less than what a 40 yr old to Boomer age could afford, and that person is going to bank parts of their sales for retirement. There’s a price differential in there where Victoria home prices will lag Vancouver home prices.

  181. It’s count, not %. Sorry the 0-100 range is confusing. I will make some more graphs… later..

    Interesting graph. It is not surprising that there is a difference between last year at this time and this year. Think about it. There was at least “some” product last year and so there was a sale. This year there is no product.

    That doesn’t explain the difference. Sales are off only about 20% from last year.

  182. Yeah, you guys must be right. I found the data for 2013. When I look at what I notice is that the % of buyers from BC is 14% and only 10% from the other provinces yet there were more people moving to Victoria from other provinces than the rest of BC. One possible explanation is that out of province people rent first more frequently before buying.
    http://lesleefarrell.com/where-buyers-coming-from/

    Would be good to know if the graph is for the City or Greater Victoria.

  183. Totoro I’m assuming it’s number not % because there wouldn’t be a period where 90% of buyers were from Vancouver.

    Leo, is it at all possible to generate a graph with %? Along with the $ / areas other people pointed out. We’re making you work 🙂

  184. Leo, Do you have the power to make a $ version of the same graph? As in how much money Vancouverites spent instead of a body count?

  185. Interesting graph. It is not surprising that there is a difference between last year at this time and this year. Think about it. There was at least “some” product last year and so there was a sale. This year there is no product. I know several agents who are pulling their hair out by the roots because they can’t get product and yet they have buyers, buyers, buyers. Few product. Few sales. Graph shows flat. Why is anyone surprised?
    Prices will naturally rise dramatically which will entice some people to sell. Some sales will take place. Graph will then show a rise in Vancouver buyers. No magic involved. No mystery.

  186. totoro:

    I think this is a graph of the actual number of buyers per month. It does not represent what percentage of all buyers were from Vancouver in any given month.

  187. While we are asking the impossible of you, two more items. First is there a breakdown between condos and SFH. Secondly, is there a breakdown for purchases in Oak Bay. If a large number of the purchases where in Oak bay it would indicate that they were buying at the higher end of the market.

    Don’t know how to express this exactly, but I am not surprised that there was a wave of buyers from Vancouver that would subsequently slow down. Prices suddenly skyrocketed in Vancouver and I suspect that a large group of people suddenly decided to retire a few years early by selling their houses in Vancouver and buying an equivalent home in Victoria while banking a million or two. But there is a limited number of people that would, or could, do that type of move. So we saw a wave. The slowdown in Vancouver would have also served to reduce the flow.

    In the same fashion I am not surprised that the inventory is low. The spike in prices last year convinced a number of people to sell, perhaps earlier than planned. I also noticed that a large number of rental houses went on the market. Basically, the spike in prices soaked up a good portion of a few years of inventory.

  188. does this encompass the entire lower mainland, like buyer city field = Richmond, PoCo, Surrey…etc…

    It doesn’t. These are only buyers where the city was specifically Vancouver (exact match). So Surrey, Langley, etc are not captured. I did some of those queries and the numbers were very small (like a couple a month) so I didn’t bother adding them up.
    I think it’s less about the exact numbers and more about the comparison to previous years. While sales doubled in 2016, Vancouver buyers increased more than fivefold in some months (March – July). After that it dropped back down to normal levels (up only as much as overall sales are up)

  189. With inventory being at historic lows, the number of sales to Vancouver buyers has probably decreased because overall number of sales has decreased.

    I wonder if a graph of % of buyers would help – then the fact that the total number of sales is lower wouldn’t skew the results for this year.

    (also other possible factors: the unusual amount of snow has discouraged travel, and there’s not as much urgency to buy here given the slower sales in Vancouver)

  190. Leo, thanks for putting numbers to the rhetoric.
    Noticing the data where it says “buyer city field = Vancouver”, does this encompass the entire lower mainland, like buyer city field = Richmond, PoCo, Surrey…etc…

    If it DOESN’T, then the numbers would be even higher than what your graph indicates

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