July Numbers – Condos lead the way

Are we done breaking records yet?  I’m tired of it anyway, so it’s a good thing that we are slowly returning to a more normal state of affairs in Victoria.

Single family homes are gradually slowing down, although I wouldn’t go so far as saying that we can tell whether that slowdown is part of a longer term trend or just a pullback to a more sustainable level.   As SFH prices moved out of reach, activity has concentrated on condos, which are more active than this time last year, with a full third of condos going over ask.

In single family homes, I have to backpedal from my somewhat alarmist post mid month that Gordon Head sales had ground to a halt.   They recovered somewhat from 3 to 13 sales, which is still off significantly from previous years, but not “off a cliff” as previously described.

The entire core is definitely cooling for single family homes.   July months of inventory up from 1.9 last year to 2.8 now, and median days to sell increasing from 10 to 16 days.    The westshore is also turning around, with months of inventory up from last year.  The VREB says there is a “strong focus on the lower priced end of the market” which is to say “pay no attention to the fact that average prices for detached properties are not increasing”.

In fact finally we can see that the whole market is carving out a bottom in terms of activity and is slowing down by all measures even on the rolling 12 month which tends to lag a bit.

The market summary still considers the market to be “ludicrously hot” because months of inventory remains below 2, but this will be the last month of that for quite a while.  I will update it to take better account of the current deceleration in the market for next month.

The only record to be broken this July is in how many properties are for sale, where we saw the lowest ever recorded for a July.   Quite possibly it will be the last month of record low inventory as the trend from last year catches up.

Sales are now down pretty sharply, back to 2015 levels but still above average for July.   New listings remain a problem, since they’re lower than they’ve been since July 2005.

Sales to list continues to decline on a yearly basis.   We’re not getting a full picture of this though, because sales are constrained by lacking inventory.  If inventory increases we’ll see what the true level of demand is in the market.

Days to sell is a bit of an earlier indicator, and we can tell that while detached houses are taking longer to sell, condos are still moving pretty quickly.

The question now is, how long will the hot market persist?   In the last runup, market activity reached it’s most frantic in 2004 and started cooling down after that.  However that didn’t mean the runup was even close to being over.   There was another 3 years of very strong price gains after the market pulled back a bit.   So just because we are backing off the frenzy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to flatten out soon without an external trigger.  Of course the difference is that while percentage gains are similar, the absolute dollars that prices are rising this time are much higher so the runup could be shorter.   Also the risk of such a trigger is increasing (increasing rates, B20 rules, new NDP policy, etc) but fundamentally that kind of intervention is even less predictable than the market left to its own devices.

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195 thoughts on “July Numbers – Condos lead the way

  1. It’s interesting how Environment Canada always gives the wind and temperature as ‘x’, but ‘y’ near the water. My first year here I lived on Dallas Rd and the winter wind storms were pretty epic. Everywhere else in the city though (ie, ~5 or more blocks inland) it’s pretty sheltered.

  2. Good job on the quotations, Garden Suitor and Leo. Problem solved!

    Now all we need is editing ability for guests. Kindly put it high on the HHV to-do list, Leo. Thank you.

  3. For reference, that styling for the quotes was

    #wpcomm .wc-comment-text blockquote {
    border-left: 3px solid #bbbbbb;
    }

  4. As someone who doesn’t like the heat nor the cold this just confirms why I find Victoria the most desirable place to be in Canada.

    Agree wholeheartedly.

    I’m sad about the fewest thunderstorm days. The big thunderstorms in the interior were pretty cool.

    Calgary gets some big ones, too. Always a treat when we visit. I can do without the damaging hail, though. If you’re unfortunate enough to leave your car parked outside during a golf-ball hail episode, you’ll have a nice new pattern on your roof. Hail can even damage roof shingles to the point where they need to be replaced. Then the roofers make a killing for what they charge the insurance companies to replace them (I’m convinced they’re in bed together). But I digress.

    The low wind ratings can’t be accurate, they just can’t be. Love victoria but could do without the wind.

    Yes, I find Victoria to be moderately windy; I, too, am skeptical.

  5. A common way to highlight blockquotes is by putting a line along the left side of them:

    This solution would be fine with me. The quotations just need to stand out a lot more than they currently do.

    Put this at the top of your Monday morning to-do list, Leo! 🙂

  6. The low wind ratings can’t be accurate, they just can’t be. Love victoria but could do without the wind.

  7. I’m sad about the fewest thunderstorm days. The big thunderstorms in the interior were pretty cool

  8. As someone who doesn’t like the heat nor the cold this just confirms why I find Victoria the most desirable place to be in Canada.

    Relentlessly temperate.

  9. So Victoria has the mildest winter, 5th warmest year round, second fewest freezing days, middle of the pack for wetness and dry days, lowest snowfall, top quarter for sunny year round but bottom quarter for sunny winters, and way down at 84th for most hot days.

  10. But [blockquotes don’t] stand out enough, IMO. With only an indent, it looks too much like regular text. Can you please indent AND italicize or bold it?

    But then you lose any formatting of the quote, like if someone wanted to highlight something important, or do a thing with a message.

    A common way to highlight blockquotes is by putting a line along the left side of them:

  11. No one, of course, who owns property likes the idea

    And given that is some 67% of Canadians (and an even larger percentage of voters I would imagine) it’s also not something that will be politically feasible for the government to implement.

  12. CanSpeccy, good points. As well the fact they would have to expose their identities is a major deal.

    There’s ‘genuine fear’ in Toronto’s housing market

    “I’ve been speaking with bankers, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents,” he said. “There is a genuine fear that a collapse in prices is at hand if buyers don’t show up in the fall. This is what I heard from them:

    Many Johnny-come-lately speculators bought new homes within the last year which have not been built yet. They were hoping to flip them before moving in. I suspect this will be a drag in 2017 and 2018 as it will add to the supply.

    Mortgage rates for second and third mortgages have jumped by several points. I am told by brokers that rates for second mortgages are in the 6% to 8% range, and that rates for third mortgages exceed 10% (of course, it depends on individual cases).

    HELOCs have been all the rage the last 12 months, mainly used for paying off credit card debts. But now it’s already getting difficult to get HELOCs.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/toronto-housing-market-prices-plunge-2017-8

  13. @ Hawk

    Look for the NDP to clamp down on the foreign tax dodgers, that will have a huge effect. There will be major panic in Golden Head.

    The rental value or imputed rent tax would compel foreign investors to pay a substantial amount of tax, thereby discouraging them from holding empty houses as an alternative to bitcoin or gold as a store of value.

    As previously mentioned, the tax would create equity between renters and owner occupiers, if combined with the application of capital gains tax on owner occupied housing and tax deductibility of mortgage interest. It would also lower house prices, discourage the construction of MacMansions, increase the investment returns of landlords, while increasing the supply of rental housing.

    Altogether, the effect of a rental value tax would be to restore sanity to the Canadian housing market.

    No one, of course, who owns property likes the idea, since it would cost them some of the unearned capital gain they have already achieved or hope to derive from ownership. On the other hand, it would free large numbers of young families from debt slavery.

  14. I had one deal collapse because the foreign buyer could not get their money out of China last month.

    This raises an interesting question. If in between say, 2012-2017, a lot of foreign buyers bought BC homes with mortgages from Canadian institutions – and now, if the capital controls in China are seriously starting to bite, wouldn’t that be visible with a growth in foreclosures in the courts? Is anyone tracking this?

  15. I can’t figure out how to create an account. I am that stupid.

    Nope I’m a moron and broke it somehow. Until I figure out how to fix it I’ve put the register/login box on the right side -> under the solar info (all the way at the bottom on mobile)
    I’ll improve the quote display as well. Just chillin up in Ladysmith this smoky long weekend.

  16. Look for the NDP to clamp down on the foreign tax dodgers, that will have a huge effect. There will be major panic in Golden Head.

    New 10-year visas stoke housing booms in Vancouver and Toronto

    “B.C. is losing tens of billions of dollars in unpaid taxes related to property,” said Hyman.

    Too many dubious ways exist — the immigration lawyer said — for real estate investors to obscure their identities and avoid paying Canadian income taxes, B.C.’s 15-per cent foreign buyers tax, B.C.’s property transfer tax or capital gains tax on real-estate profits.

    To combat exploitation of Metro Vancouver’s housing market, Hyman said, one of the first things the new NDP government of B.C. should do is close the bare-trust loophole for owning properties.

    Former B.C. Liberal finance minister Mike de Jong promised in October, 2015, to get rid of the loophole, said Hymen, but he reneged.”

    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/douglas-todd-new-10-year-visas-stoke-housing-booms-in-vancouver-and-toronto

  17. ooops,
    No fan of Greenspan but he admitted he made a mistake with the housing bubble. Just like they did in the US, Canadian lenders have gone wild and another epic bubble is about to blow up in carnage. Home Capital is the tip of the iceberg being covered up for political purposes.

    “But on Thursday, almost three years after stepping down as chairman of the Federal Reserve, a humbled Mr. Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending.”

  18. Should be the same, as above.

    But it doesn’t stand out enough, IMO. With only an indent, it looks too much like regular text. Can you please indent AND italicize or bold it?

  19. Leo, is there a way to make quotations stand out more, as before?

    Should be the same, as above.

    Also, we’ve lost the five-minute window to edit our comment?

    There is now a 15 minute window to edit but only for those with an account (^ see above to create one, only take 30 seconds). Talking to the vendor to see if the editing feature can be added for guests as well.

    And I’m surprised you didn’t catch that I confused adverse and averse! Luckily I corrected it after my wife pointed it out

  20. Also, we’ve lost the five-minute window to edit our comment? That was such a nice feature. It encouraged the masses (well, me anyway) to—god forbid—proofread!

  21. Leo, is there a way to make quotations stand out more, as before? The “>” followed by the quotation is what I mean. Thanks.

  22. Richard Haysom

    The one person I won’t be paying any interest to is Alan Greenspan.<<<<<<<<<

    So true, Richard, There were a lot of other people that inspired home buyers and tried to instill confidence in the housing market.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_housing_bubble

    David Lereah, former chief economist of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), distributed "Anti-Bubble Reports" in August 2005 to "respond to the irresponsible bubble accusations made by your local media and local academics".[59]

    Among other statements, the reports stated that people "should [not] be concerned that home prices are rising faster than family income", that "there is virtually no risk of a national housing price bubble based on the fundamental demand for housing and predictable economic factors", and that "a general slowing in the rate of price growth can be expected, but in many areas inventory shortages will persist and home prices are likely to continue to rise above historic norms".[citation needed] Following reports of rapid sales declines and price depreciation in August 2006,[60][61] Lereah admitted that he expected "home prices to come down 5% nationally, more in some markets, less in others. And a few cities in Florida and California, where home prices soared to nose-bleed heights, could have 'hard landings'."[31]

  23. “The one person I won’t be paying any interest to is Alan Greenspan.”

    He caused the US bubble to explode, I would think he knows the signs more than any real estate salesman from Calgary.

  24. JohnD, I wonder if this news is related to what you’re seeing:

    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/new-canadian-banking-rules-called-game-changer-for-real-estate-tax-evasion

    “New Canadian banking rules that took effect July 1 are a ‘game changer’ that could help governments in Victoria and Ottawa fight real estate tax scams exploited by foreign buyers, says a prominent B.C. immigration lawyer.

    As of July 1, Canadian banks must confirm detailed information on non-resident clients — such as name, address, date of birth and taxpayer identification numbers — in order to report to the Canada Revenue Agency on all financial accounts held by non-residents of Canada.

    The new, so-called ‘Common Reporting Standard’ will allow dozens of countries including Canada and China to share information about bank accounts held by, or for the benefit of, non-residents, in a system designed to fight global tax evasion and improve voluntary tax compliance, the CRA says.”

  25. ,” the former Federal Reserve chairman, 91, said in an interview. “When they move higher they are likely to move reasonably fast.”

    The one person I won’t be paying any interest to is Alan Greenspan.

  26. “I had one deal collapse because the foreign buyer could not get their money out of China last month. And one foreclosure application on a foreign owner as they were missing their mortgage payments since they could not access their money in China.

    Things that may you go hmmmm.”

    JD,
    That’s some major bullkillas. No big foreign money coming in = no speculators/specs dumping = credit squeeze = bubble explosion in spades. Enjoy the ride down bearkilla , you’re about to get an education in the laws of gravity. 😉

    As per Greenspan:

    “By any measure, real long-term interest rates are much too low and therefore unsustainable,” the former Federal Reserve chairman, 91, said in an interview. “When they move higher they are likely to move reasonably fast.”

    “The real problem is that when the bond-market bubble collapses, long-term interest rates will rise,” Greenspan said. “We are moving into a different phase of the economy — to a stagflation not seen since the 1970s. That is not good for asset prices.”

  27. Let’s be real here. Bears will never buy. Never. They have no means to do so. All the bears with actual incomes bought years ago. This batch are welfare bums posting from the library.

  28. I had one deal collapse because the foreign buyer could not get their money out of China last month. And one foreclosure application on a foreign owner as they were missing their mortgage payments since they could not access their money in China.

    Things that may you go hmmmm.

  29. @LEO
    “Only thing missing is the highlight of new comments if you leave and come back. Looking to add that back.”
    Yes, I really like that feature.

  30. So the increase in fancy cars that people are noticing might just be from the extra few billions sloshing around the economy after the banner 2016. And I haven’t even gotten into lawyer fees, home inspection fees, tank scanning, renovations, etc etc.

  31. Our economy actually relies more on the fees associated with buying and selling houses than it does on agriculture, fishing, forestry and hunting combined.

    Well in 2016 there were 10,622 sales and $6.1B in sales volume. At a ~3% commission rate, that’s $184M in commissions.
    Given 1362 active agents, that is $135,105 each (before brokerage commission splits).

    Seems insane. Did I get that right?

    Edit: In a slow year like 2012 there were 5747 sales adding up to $2.7B, or about $60,487 per agent (there were fewer back then though).

  32. Testing a new comment platform which is hopefully a bit more advanced. Live comment updates, comment upvoting (I removed downvotes), better security for embedded content, etc.
    Only thing missing is the highlight of new comments if you leave and come back. Looking to add that back. For now if you keep the page open new comments should just appear without requiring a reload.
    Bear with me while I work out some kinks.

  33. I really don’t see why an individual / couple just getting into RE in the Southern V.I. wouldn’t wait a couple years and maybe strive for the 20% downpayment. That’s my advice to my adult child.

    Yeah risk is elevated, so if you are buying you should have more buffer than usual. Risk was elevated in 2008 as well when we started casually looking. Being naturally risk-averse, we held off. Didn’t crash, but was worth waiting to skip the condo property ladder and buy in a better market.

  34. “I’d rather keep an eye on Golden Head where the pompous aholes live amongst the psycho arsonists and perverts in the parks. Over rated places like that are the first to tank hard.”

    I’m not sure where all the hype and praise comes from either with Gordon Head. I grew up there and am surprised when I hear a street like San Juan being a hot spot as it is just a forgettable looking street lined with dated homes that have no type of views. That is most of Gordon Head. If you do like that boring and generic kind of family neighborhood feel it might be a good choice otherwise way overrated and overpriced. Was a great area to play street hockey as a kid though.

  35. Another capitulating Bear asked last month what indicators were available that made buying a good idea in this market. The responses, including mine, were that it was good if it was “right for their family”. Nice, safe, stay out of the middle (with the spouse) response. But what and where are the indicators?

    Financially speaking, on a balance of probabilities, I can’t think of any that suggest it’s time to buy: CDN $ increasing to $US and Chinese renminbi (reduces new investment), non-residence tax (although currently localized), CRA crackdown on RE flippers and developers and offshore tax evasion (should reduce activity and market value), interest rates heading up (currently), oil appears to be stabilizing which will take labour (renters) out of Victoria and back to Alberta (I personally know 2 that have headed back and another contemplating – they were/are Victoria renters), pressure to reduce Air B&B ops (increases long-term rental stock), and shear volume of new condos (many to become rentals) and purpose built rentals – has Victoria seen so much rental stock development in 30 years?

    I think none of these have come to quite the head as they appear to today.

    Maybe Victoria is simply attracting so much national and international attention that it is destined to become a “Have” city? Is the presence of so many high-end cars downtown the new norm for Vic? (sorry, I can’t name them, but they’re friggin nice). There’s clearly money in town.

    I’m not Bearish on the Greater Vic market (I’m still invested) and look every day for the right new investment (not seeing much), but I really don’t see why an individual / couple just getting into RE in the Southern V.I. wouldn’t wait a couple years and maybe strive for the 20% downpayment. That’s my advice to my adult child.

  36. How many starving agents have moved here from Vancouver or Ontario?

    Some of my favourite outside of the core is Sannich with larger lots but not far from downtown my vice with Sannich is where are all there side walks…pay how much to live at ten mile point and don’t even have side walks, barely lite for night driving (Gordon head, Cadboro bay, Arbutus are lovely).Oak Bay is great and walkable. Uplands is nice but I feel a little over rated. Broadmead and Cordova Bay has nice big lots and new houses.

    I wouldn’t recommend Fairfield if want away from street issues. As I work at Jubilee hospital and Fairfield/Richmond patient care centre as that is where the addiction and Mental health ward is so can have little more interesting characters…although think there will be street issues not matter area in Victoria just more noticeable in certain areas.

    Also I know many people who moved to Sidney and Brentwood bay big lots and cute little towns walkable depending where you live, great if you don’t go downtown much.

  37. James,
    Intorovert doesn’t like to read the “internet news articles” as it blows his fantasy land stories. 4 months of gains wiped out in a month.

    “That’s the biggest monthly drop since records for the price index began in 2000, according to Bloomberg calculations, and brings prices down to roughly March levels.

  38. Is it really that hard to say?
    You don’t think that people are seeing that headline and questioning whether or not they should be buying?

    When Etobicoke is several hundred thousand cheaper than the annex, people are going to start questioning their desire to live there, maybe not everyone, but that doesn’t really matter.

  39. @James: “Toronto housing market just dropped 4.6% last month.
    Open your eyes.”

    Right. But the point my friend made clear is that the drop isn’t really happening in Toronto, but in the “G” (“greater”) part of the GTA. Maybe it’ll come to Toronto or maybe things will pick up again before it does. Hard to say right now.

  40. Like the stat that only half the agents in Toronto have made 3 deals average last year. I’m sure Victoria isn’t far off.

    I’m sure the Pareto principle applies. 20% of agents make 80% of the money.

  41. Any day now the crash will come allowing renters in their thirties and forties to open their meager wallets and buy that ultra desirable core-area home that hesitancy, poor foresight, and occasionally unfortunate personal circumstance have hitherto prevented them from buying. Yes indeed.

    Toronto housing market just dropped 4.6% last month.
    Open your eyes.

  42. Local,

    My buddy has been an agent in Toronto for 20 plus years and it’s as ugly as he’s ever seen it. Places will always sell on the way down as in any market like they did in 1981, down 50% for many places when the dust settled.

    Like the stat that only half the agents in Toronto have made 3 deals average last year. I’m sure Victoria isn’t far off. How many starving agents will list a place too high in this cooling market ? Not many.

  43. 20 plus price slashes in a month not enough for you Intorovert ? Your renter will be demanding a 50% slash in rent before this bubble explosion is said and done. 😉

    Irrational exuberance is alive and well in Golden Head where the “won’t happen to me” crowd are suddenly finding out slashing is the only way out.

  44. Vicrenter,

    There are numerous anecdotes still circulating regarding RE in Toronto still going right away for over ask.

    Case in point, a friend of mine just sold some waterfront (Simcoe) property in that region – it sold immediately, no conditions, and over asking. It’s funny, right now he’s a little ticked off because he’s thinking, “If it sold that fast, I should have asked for more”. With the uncertainty in that market though, he’s just relieved he was able to sell it.

    I don’t think the anecdotal experiences are an uncommon phenomenon though. The point is, the Toronto market is presently undergoing a mass exodus of capital – it’s not looking good. But who knows what that market is going to do next.

    I agree with CS, low listings in our region are creating a bit of a stop-gap for prices. Still waiting to see what legislative or policy tools the new government will employ, or if they will do anything at all.

  45. First of all, don’t characterize Leo like that!

    I don’t know which one I am! Although we do get our share of miscreants in the hood. Latest two was someone rummaging through our car, and putting garbage into our compost bin. Should have bought in upper GH and this would never have happened.

  46. I’d rather keep an eye on Golden Head where the pompous aholes live amongst the psycho arsonists and perverts in the parks. Over rated places like that are the first to tank hard.

    First of all, don’t characterize Leo like that!

    Day 12,000 and still no crash. Poor Hawk! Every day must be hard.

    Maybe they should wait a month or 2.

    Any day now the crash will come allowing renters in their thirties and forties to open their meager wallets and buy that ultra desirable core-area home that hesitancy, poor foresight, and occasionally unfortunate personal circumstance have hitherto prevented them from buying. Yes indeed.

  47. … as house prices crumbled, but that could happen, according to Alan Greenspan, who says current low interest rates could be a thing of the past any time soon …

    The same Alan Greenspan who proclaimed in 2010 that no one could have predicted the housing bubble?

    Nice source of wisdom, you guys.

    Barrister, yes 2 options would be Oak Bay or Cadboro Bay. Also some beautiful homes around Gordon Point Drive.

    Cadboro Bay is underrated. It’s a great neighbourhood. Ten Mile Point is in Caddy Bay, along with seldom-talked-about Wedgewood Point, a quiet area up high, with breathtaking views of Haro Strait. I go for walks there sometimes, just because it’s so nice.

    And Gordon Point is indeed lovely.

  48. I have a friend trying to buy a house in the Annex neighbourhood of Toronto right now who reports that she’s still up against multiple bids and that sales prices are high over asking. She’s put in several offers in the $200,000-300,000 over asking range and has lost out every time. According to her, the news about the decline in Toronto prices is a tale of two area codes: house prices in the 905 (suburbs) are way down while prices in the 416 (Toronto proper) haven’t changed since the new regulations were introduced.

  49. “Probably no needles on the lawn, even though I’m sure Hawk will report having seen crack smokers milling about.”

    I’d rather keep an eye on Golden Head where the pompous aholes live amongst the psycho arsonists and perverts in the parks. Over rated places like that are the first to tank hard. 😉

    “The current level of interest rates is abnormally low and there’s only one direction in which they can go, and when they start they will be rather rapid,” Greenspan said on “Squawk Box.”

    “But he warned that the low rate environment can’t last forever and will have severe consequences once it ends.”

    Great link CS. The ignorant and the arrogant are about to be roasted to a crisp.

  50. Barrister, check out Queenswood and Ten Mile Point.

    Those areas have big houses on big lots, some notable character homes, lovely walks and quiet seashores to reflect on life. A number of streets simply ooze prestige (McAnally, Seaview and Queenswood most obviously). It might be too secluded if you are coming from Rockland.

    Uplands is always fashionable but there has been a lot of speculative froth over there compared with the rest of Victoria; I don’t think it is good value at this particular moment. It is more central and has bus service. To really get to know your neighbours, you would be advised to join the yacht club, the golf club, the union club or have kids at SMU. Then, too, it is becoming more like a Vancouver neighbourhood with lots of offshore money and spec homes.

  51. In amongest some of your suggestions a number of people have suggested moving to a different location rather than so close to downtown. I have discussed this with my wife and I was wondering what locations you would suggest?

    Most areas outside downtown core don’t have much homeless residents. So multiple choices depending what do you want and what are the must haves for you.

    If you must have 3000ft or over house and big land with low density, Broadmead or Uplands (none of them allow legal suites), or Ten miles point or Queenswood. Assuming that you wouldn’t like be too far from city facilities, so Broadmead is the furthest.

    If you must have stops/banks/restaurants/library within walking distance, Fairfiled (must be south of fairfiled road) or Oak Bay or Cadboro Bay or Mt Tolmie

    Friendly neighbours are everywhere if you are open and lucky, or nowhere if you are not. But a not too big and not too small (say between 8 to 30 houses) dead end (e.g. a Cul-de-sac) street normally has more friendly neighbours who may even have dinner together once every few months and street party once a year.

    We did talk to a few neighbours to get a good sense of the street, before buying current home, it helped lot to know if we could “fit-in” afterwards.

  52. “I was wondering what locations you would suggest?”

    Barrister, yes 2 options would be Oak Bay or Cadboro Bay. Also some beautiful homes around Gordon Point Drive.

  53. It looks to me, that the only thing holding this market up is the fact that there’s nothing offered for sale. Well, very little: today, less than a dozen new listings between Oak Bay and View Royal, and out as far as Cordova Bay. That, surely explains why, even if you go as far as Port Renfew, they still want more than four times the median Oak Bay family income for a two bed shack with an outhouse.

    Altogether, looks like an avalanche about to happen. Or as Alan Greenspan remarked, the week before the crash, bids will still be outpacing offers.

  54. Re: Capital gains tax on rental property.

    This is another source of inequity between renters and owners. The tenant must pay a rent generating an adequate return on the landlord’s investment after all taxes have been paid, including CGT. This suggests that for the sake of equity, something presumably our new NDP Government espouses, owner occupiers should pay not only a “rental value” tax, but the capital gains tax on any appreciation.

    The impact of such measures on the housing market would, of course, be cataclysmic. Consider the offshore owner of a rather boring Uplands home without a view such as 3320 Ripon Road. In addition to the Municipal property tax of around $17,500, there would be tax on the imputed rent, say $10,000 per month, which would work out at arounf $55,000, for a total of $72,500.

    Now, the idea of having a house of six or eight thousand square feet and an acre of ground when two or three thousand square feet with a five to ten thousand square foot lot is not so attractive. Neither is holding it for capital gain, if the gain were taxable. In fact, the appeal of owning versus renting would be significantly diminished. Tenants, on the other hand would experience no increase in living cost but a greater choice of houses to rent as landlords built up their portfolio as house prices declined.

    I nearly said, as house prices crumbled, but that could happen, according to Alan Greenspan, who says current low interest rates could be a thing of the past any time soon, and that when rates start moving up, they will move really fast. Although as the man who wrecked the economies of the Western World “the Maestro,” as Greenspan was once known, may know no more than anyone else.

  55. @ Introvert:

    “You’re always observing the market vicissitudes of the Uplands; why not move there? Probably no needles on the lawn, even though I’m sure Hawk will report having seen crack smokers milling about.”

    You might consider 3320 Ripon Rd. They just knocked a coupla hundred g’s off the asking.

    As for the drug problem, I should think the Uplands is more for the dealer type than the user, so no probs there, I should think.

  56. In amongest some of your suggestions a number of people have suggested moving to a different location rather than so close to downtown. I have discussed this with my wife and I was wondering what locations you would suggest?

    You’re always observing the market vicissitudes of the Uplands; why not move there? Probably no needles on the lawn, even though I’m sure Hawk will report having seen crack smokers milling about.

  57. LeoM from this blog said he paid it.. If true or not, who knows.

    Yes, thank you, Mr Technical. We know of one poor soul who has paid CGs.

    Just because you haven’t heard of it happening doesn’t mean it won’t.

    You’ll notice I’ve never said or implied that it won’t. It could. But it hasn’t happened to date, as far as we can tell. If it were happening en masse we would have heard some howls by now.

    Everyone knows it’s true. Even the realtors are advertising the other side as “at the highest elevation of the sought-after upper Gordon Head area”…

    I’d be—and I’m sure you are—OK with living on the “crappier” side of an overall fantastic neighbourhood.

    It’s not that I wish you ill for being a landlord, it’s totally the tax fraud thing. I think the same thing about waitstaff that don’t claim their tips.

    So all Victoria accountants are participating in tax fraud by advising clients that, to the best of their knowledge and experience, CGs are not due?

  58. In amongest some of your suggestions a number of people have suggested moving to a different location rather than so close to downtown. I have discussed this with my wife and I was wondering what locations you would suggest?

  59. Also, as long as I’m myth busting the fear mongering bs, the capital gains on PR topic is also crap. There has been no administrative change to the PRE. The rules are outlined on the CRA site. If CRA does start assessing gains on the suites, it will be a percent of the home used for rental. In our current example that is 900/4000 of the gain split between spouses. Roughly 25% of a capital gain of 100k after all buying and selling costs taxable at 50% of the tax rate is somewhere around $4- $5,000 give or take the personal tax rate. Have a little rrsp room when you sell? Problem solved.

  60. it’s totally the tax fraud thing

    What tax fraud thing? There was never a need to report sale of principal residence so people didn’t.

    I asked my accountant about my situation in particular and suites in general. He did not think my rental (not every year but some years of our basement suite (approx 1/4 of the house)) risked my principal residence exemption. More generally he didn’t think most basement suites in owner occupied houses would jeopardize PRE. Ultimately CRA opinion will be more important than what my accountant thinks. But based on my accountant’s advice and a conspicuous lack of stories of people losing the PRE I think most owners with a rental suite will be able to keep the PRE.

    Of course if CRA aggressively takes away the PRE for houses with suites it will encourage two things (1) Taking suites off the rental market, (2) Upfront tax fraud of people not reporting the suite income at all.

    Neither optimal outcomes.

  61. While I do not doubt there is a percentage of landlords not reporting their rent income, the rampant tax fraud you refer to is a myth, seemingly spread by disgruntled renters. Do the math, anyone that has bought a home in the past 10 years would be near breakeven on a suite. When interest rates go up the result will be a loss. Those landlords will have increasing interest costs of their homes shielded by tax refunds.

    While I’m not personally aware of anyone not reporting their net positive suite income, I believe commonlaw renters claiming single for the double gst credits is a much broader fraud problem.
    Regardless, the rent rebate should go a long way to solving both.
    And having been a landlord for many years I guarantee you many renters carry resentment and ill will to those they see as better off. Anyone planning to be a landlord needs to understand that regardless of how fair and amicable you think you are during a tenancy, the relationship will always show its true colors. No breaks, stick to the contract from start to finish.

  62. Sorry, non-landlords, who wish us ill!

    It’s not that I wish you ill for being a landlord, it’s totally the tax fraud thing. I think the same thing about waitstaff that don’t claim their tips.

  63. But it’s also west of Tyndall, so technically in the favelas (according to Leo).

    Everyone knows it’s true. Even the realtors are advertising the other side as “at the highest elevation of the sought-after upper Gordon Head area” (for 1848 San Juan).
    And I just want to move up there because the solar potential would be better….

  64. I’m curious about this as the new requirements on disclosure on selling a principle residence, that are confusing to say the least, kicked in from 2016… I’m sure there’s many people out there who are now confused about what to do with large spaces in their homes… in a city with an incredibly low vacancy rate…

    Marko’s suite is a very small part of the house. I think this is different than renting out about half of the place like most up/down suites.

    No one in the media or on this blog has said boo about a capital gains hit. It is not happening. Sorry, non-landlords, who wish us ill!

    LeoM from this blog said he paid it.. If true or not, who knows. Based on the weight of the evidence I believe the PRE does not apply for most suites. However this is the first year they even have the info necessary to enforce this. Just because you haven’t heard of it happening doesn’t mean it won’t. I did promise to ask the CRA for a technical interpretation which I haven’t done yet. Will try to send that off soonish.

  65. My thoughts on it are super low interest rates and rental market was buoyant even 4-5 years ago so instead of taking a loss a lot of people just rented out their places.

    I don’t think you get a big decline if the economy is humming along. That’s what we had in 2011/2012/2013. Huge inventory and very few sales, but people just kind of held on and waited it out. Only those that had to sell were selling, and that wasn’t that many people.
    Contrast this to 2008/9 when the economy was going down the drain. The Victoria market was absolutely not resilient then despite low interest rates. It was declining very quickly, the downturn just didn’t last long.

    So I believe if the economy remains stable, any decline will be moderate. But if there is a recession then all bets are off. What could derail the Victoria economy? Tech or tourism pullback, a lot of startups are purely speculative and make no real money or are highly sensitive to consumer confidence. Reduction in military spending, government spending. Granted not that likely under the NDP.
    However credit contraction itself would also hit hard given how many are employed in the FIRE industries.

  66. Let me share some of my experience on the ‘cliquey’ aspect of Victoria:

    I used to work in a different city for a company that I won’t name out of respect. Without patting myself on the back too much, I was identified at that company and in that office as a good employee, an up-and-comer of sorts. Time went on and, for personal reasons, I transferred from that office to the one that this company had here.

    Day 1 here I was introduced around the office. One particular individual stands out in my memory. I hadn’t known them beyond mentioning my name and where I was from when they blurted out that the company should stop allowing transfers to Victoria. They told me to go home. What’s ironic was that this individual relocated in an almost identical way and from the same origin a couple of years earlier. Instead of comradery there was hostility that, to this day, I’m still not sure on what was founded. Suffice to say, I didn’t have another conversation with this individual for the remainder of my time with the company. Other employees had a more muted but similar outlook to outsiders; it made for a very unenjoyable time at work and affected me negatively beyond work hours.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve since joined a competitor, pushed off any weight that this experience placed on me, became that up-and-comer, and integrated into the Victoria community. I couldn’t be happier. To anyone who’s experienced or is experiencing similar, I’d just say that Victoria can be pretty great if you find the right situation. Keep looking.

  67. Mukluk, its been a Victoria tradition for decades. People have always been cliquey here. If you have a couple close friends you’re doin good. I’ve found over the years less is better anyhow. Less bullshit and drama.

  68. “The difference between 28 (the high in Victoria today) at 43% humidity and 36 degrees (the high in Beijing) at 63% humidity is a significant and very uncomfortable difference.”

    You missed the point,It’s not about how you feel, it’s what you’re breathing in that stays deep in your lungs.

  69. Agreed on it being hard to make friends in Victoria if you aren’t from here. Glad to hear I’m not the only one. Back in Ontario any one of your friends would introduce you to all their friends and vice versa. Here, when I make a friend they will get coffee but studiously avoid introducing you to their group.

    I don’t think people mean to be exclusionary here, per se. It just seems to be part of the DNA of the city. In my age group at least (30s) I detect a common thread of insecurity that causes people to look at each other with a suspicious or defensive eye.

  70. Barrister, “Actually who is shaping the city are not the new generation but a few older developers who are getting seriously rich.”

    No, it’s the people. Always has been and will be. Developers can do as they wish but the people are vindicating it through their purchases. Just like they’ve vindicated FOMO. I’m not suggesting it’s realistic to do but if people don’t want a particular development, hold out. The rich developers will go away if nobody buys their product. Apes together strong.

  71. The difference between 28 (the high in Victoria today) at 43% humidity and 36 degrees (the high in Beijing) at 63% humidity is a significant and very uncomfortable difference.

  72. Victoria was 65 peaking to mid 80’s today while Colwood was 85. Beijing was 99. Close enough to say it’s just about as bad. Worse inland and mainland Seattle. Don’t have link handy but was one that matched Environment Canada numbers.

  73. freedom_2008: “Are you kidding me?! If you are in Beijing and looking at a mirror a few feet away, you couldn’t tell the figure in the mirror is Hawk or Luke. ”

    Hawk: According to the official particulate measurement on many news sites it is as bad or worse. Funny how some folks can’t accept reality.

    Which official site? The official Chinese sites numbers are well known for its zero trustworthy level, you have to use the ones run by US embassy in Beijing. I was in Beijing last year and this year, and have friends living there, so I knew the reality. Do you (i.e.are you in Beijing and Shanghai recently, and saw the reality there)?

  74. TOUCHE’ INTROVERT!
    “I’ve met quite enough people for one lifetime”
    @Barrister, Wouldn’t your health situation pose some problems living permanently in Switzerland? How do you find the health care in Victoria for your health concerns?

  75. I’ve met quite enough people for one lifetime.

    As always, very witty. Makes me laugh.

    Barrister, I wish you well – enjoy yourself whatever you do! Lugano looks lovely and is much smaller. Rules are sometimes a good thing if you match the lifestyle they create. I still think Victoria is lovely myself. I enjoy living here. Mind you I have extended family and friends here and that does make a difference to quality of life.

  76. Gordon Head certainly isn’t on fire like it was in the spring, but there are still sparks here and there.

    1678 Cedarwood Close (aka Gramma’s house)

    List: $749,000
    Sold: $816,888
    DOM: 5

    This place needs a ton of renos, but it’s located in the most walkable section of Gordon Head, a spot that’s arguably as walkable as some of the most walkable parts of Oak Bay. But it’s also west of Tyndall, so technically in the favelas (according to Leo).

  77. “Are you kidding me?! If you are in Beijing and looking at a mirror a few feet away, you couldn’t tell the figure in the mirror is Hawk or Luke. ”

    According to the official particulate measurement on many news sites it is as bad or worse. Funny how some folks can’t accept reality.

  78. We just returned from a trip to the US.

    Barrister, all the best for your new home in Europe – I’m sure it’ll be a neat experience, and sorry that you didn’t find what you were looking for here.

    As Freedom said, I wonder if your feelings on Americanization and the needles/rubbish on your lawn are related to the specific neighbourhood.

    I’m surprised to hear that Rockland has become that way – it seems the druggies are expanding their range, so to speak – I noticed this with some graffiti on a Rockland house.

    But I think that if you had lived a little further from town (eg., 5 or 10 minute drive), your experience would probably have been different, and maybe if you’d join the Union Club, you’d meet other people. It’s hard when your health is also suffering.

    After being in the US for a bit, I do appreciate Victoria’s lack of endless strip malls, quick walk or drive to the ocean, general walkability, moderate climate, and neighbours that share tool rentals 🙂

    I have to say, though, I very much appreciate the outgoing nature of Americans especially Californians for some reason – maybe it’s because their population is higher? I do find some Islanders so laid back and uncommunicative at times that it’s frustrating – perhaps it’s an island thing, I don’t know 🙂 Perhaps it’s changing too.

  79. I will start renting it out soon again, I still haven’t come across anyone having to pay capital gains yet and my accountant is telling me to rent it and not worry about it.

    No one in the media or on this blog has said boo about a capital gains hit. It is not happening. Sorry, non-landlords, who wish us ill!

    Barrister, you are living the dream!

    It sounds like Barrister’s health is failing; I wouldn’t call that living the dream.

    People are friendly if you belong to the set but if you don’t, you are kindly tolerated but not included.

    I’ve heard this but not experienced it. Then again, I’m never trying to make a bunch of friends. I’ve met quite enough people for one lifetime.

  80. Hi Luke.

    We lived in our Victoria house for twenty years but I have also lived in a remote part of the Kootenays and Comox.

    In other words I know small town life. Yes I am slightly bored here and I knew I would be. We came to get out of debt and for a change of scenery. I love our house, the neighbourhood, the outdoor opportunities but yeah.

    We won’t be back for at least five years. At that point I will be more than ready. But for now I will enjoy what I can and visit Victoria for city time. Nanaimo is close and I can also go to Vancouver quite easily.

    Seriously if anyone has a place they rent out on a weekly or monthly in the core I would love to hear about it. I have very good references and we are well known in Victoria. I love cats and dogs and would be happy to housesit.

    On the driving…it isn’t just OB although it is very pronounced there. 40 Khmer everywhere is crazy. Bay Street being 40 is ridiculous.
    .

  81. It is hard to feel included when you move to a new city after retirement, unless you have relatives/old friends live here.

    And more, people don’t normally understand it until they moved to the new city and stayed for few years when the novelty wears off and they feel more and more isolated. Then they either survive (if they in a good hood) or move again.

  82. It is hard to feel included when you move to a new city after retirement, unless you have relatives/old friends live here.

    And that’s the reason we won’t get a swarm of retirees coming to Victoria from around the country, despite the good weather. Very few value weather higher than family/friends, and of those, even fewer have the means to purchase here. We will get more fromVancouver, but even then there is a huge difference between living in the same city and living a ferry ride away from family. Moving to Victoria will likely immediately eliminate 90% of visits.

  83. Our smoke levels are worse than Beijing and Shanghai

    Are you kidding me?! If you are in Beijing and looking at a mirror a few feet away, you couldn’t tell the figure in the mirror is Hawk or Luke. 🙂

  84. I know how you feel Barrister, wrt “included or warmly treated”.

    It is hard to feel included when you move to a new city after retirement, unless you have relatives/old friends live here.

    You don’t have a work tile and don’t have company and colleagues to socialize in the new city. People normally identify others by what you do, not by who you are, as it takes time to find out who you are and people just don’t have the time.

    The key is to find the right hood (definitely not Rockland) to live. You don’t need 200 people to feel included or warmly treated, just the right few to be good neighbors, store/bank clerks, family doctor, activity friends, and take time to slowly develop relationships. It is not easy, but doable given time (4 years is not that long).

    Of course it would be wonderful to have family and old friends to live nearby to get that instant warm connection, or to move with friends/family together to a new place, if you can.

  85. Another flipper slash at 1744 Foul Bay Rd for $30K loss on the costs. Guess this is what happens when you live on the wrong side of the tracks. When the specs want out, you know the game is over.

  86. @ GWAC:

    “If you are a homeowner in Switzerland, you have to pay income tax on what is known as its ‘rental value’. ”

    Here, landlords pay that tax, but not owners. That creates an inequity between owners and renters since the ‘rental value’ tax must be passed on to the tenant by the owner who, after all, will not own a rental property if it does not yield an adequate return after all expenses, including tax.

    Therefore, I would advocate for a “rental tax” based on assessed property value and applied on a revenue neutral basis by way of a reduction in the provincial income or sales tax.

  87. I will start renting it out soon again, I still haven’t come across anyone having to pay capital gains yet and my accountant is telling me to rent it and not worry about it.

    Marko – I’m curious about this as the new requirements on disclosure on selling a principle residence, that are confusing to say the least, kicked in from 2016… I’m sure there’s many people out there who are now confused about what to do with large spaces in their homes… in a city with an incredibly low vacancy rate…

  88. Not looking at the moment but we definitely want to move back to the city some day. For me that would be next month…haha. My husband loves it up here and for the price of a modest condo in Vic we got a lovely house and yard.

    Grace – I thought you loved Qualicum Beach. It’s beautiful yes, full of incredible nature – but… like I did after a short time there (and I ended up somehow enduring it for 8 years) are you now finding it boring? I’m still feeling like I did things backwards, in my 30’s, moving to the sleepy retirement community first then Victoria later – but it was work related as I had found what I thought was a good job up there (but take my advice everyone – never work for a municipality – I have worked for two different ones and now that I don’t its incredibly awesome to work in a normal place again).

    Now, I feel like coming down to Victoria was the best thing I ever did – I don’t regret going to QB – but in a way I wish I had just come straight to Victoria after leaving Van. However, if I had never gone there I wouldn’t have had the experience… and now that’s a life lesson learned.

    Good luck w/ whatever you decide to do. If you come back down here you probably won’t regret it though it’s probably gotten more expensive for rental or buying since you left.

    As for the slow drivers in OB – I have to agree – and get this – our mayor wants to reduce speed limits to a Max of 40km/h every street! Hopefully he’s forgotten about that one…

  89. Looks like crash now, but Vancouver looked like that after their tax too, didn’t last long. We’ll see.

    It’s interesting to speculate. When you take a look at Vancouver, in some respects you could call it a rebound, but I think on the whole, it’s questionable. My understanding of the market aggregates seem to suggest a net outflow of money, meaning, the market is actually contracting. This has generally been the case starting well before the tax rolled in. Certain bottom-end segments are growing, but it’s lopsided, disjunctive and dysfunctional.

    I’d be inclined to think that while speculation in both Vancouver and Toronto has been substantial, in Toronto it isn’t an endemic, ingrained part of the market mindset as in Vancouver. To an extent, that will buy Vancouver time – ie, the sudden drop is halted by investors speculating that this is only a lull, before those 1.6 million dollar homes roar on up to 3 million.

    If I’m right, then I’d also think that the supply of those folks is increasingly limited – and broadly, their market isn’t going anywhere. If you’re a speculator, that’s a potential disaster. But they haven’t given up hope yet, and that nut is much harder than Toronto’s.

    If Vancouver goes, you can expect Victoria will do just the same. If a Vancouver home is $800,000, why pay that for a home in Victoria? Some would – most won’t.

    Glad to see Hawk-n-Gwac throwing the hate at each other again. Missed it. 😀

  90. Brutal smoke or what eh ? I’m sure this is not good for those foreigners coming here who think they are escaping climate change. Our smoke levels are worse than Beijing and Shanghai

    http://aqicn.org/city/beijing/
    https://weather.gc.ca/airquality/pages/bcaq-010_e.html

    Hawk – having been to China five times since 2007 b/c my brother lives in Hong Kong – I can tell you it did cross my mind that the recent smoke compared to pollution levels there. I felt it on my throat yesterday.

    However, as you can see from the data posted above – today is just another typical day in Beijing – and this is not typical for Victoria. Also, still just a typical day in Beijing is worse than a very bad day for us here today… another thing to take note is often in winter Beijing gets far far worse (about 4x worse than what their readings show for today or about 5x worse than what we are experiencing here today). It’s no wonder wealthy Chinese have been seeking RE in mostly healthy cities across the west.

    Shanghai or Hong Kong both also have very high pollution levels – but since they are on the coast (just like us) often they fare better than Beijing which is further inland and because of it’s geography traps pollution far more often.

    As for escape from climate change – in the coming decades there will be no escape for anyone – weather you are Barrister in the Swiss alps or a poor farmer in India. Some will fare worse than others… http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/climate-change-deadly-heat-waves-south-asia-1.4231281
    Most unfortunately, that’s the ones’ who contributed the least to the problem. In the end, we will all have to endure the consequences which could be catastrophic if much needed changes don’t happen soon. However, this is off the topic of housing, unless you’re thinking of buying a low lying house in James Bay and worried about sea level rise or tsunami’s or something.

  91. We have 1950 homes on the Market. At over 5000 the market did not decline so first lets see some more inventory and see what happens.

    The market was extremely resilient when sales were at a crawl and inventory was at record highs. My thoughts on it are super low interest rates and rental market was buoyant even 4-5 years ago so instead of taking a loss a lot of people just rented out their places.

  92. One of the greatest strengths of humans is also a major weakness: seeing patterns and applying them. Victoria is not Toronto nor is it Vancouver. We could easily follow the same pattern, or we could easily not. Reversion to the mean could happen in a 6-mo correction, or over close to a decade of flat. We might not be at the peak.

    The wildly inaccurate predictions roundup should illustrate that it’s very hard to predict where the market will go in the near future. Only time will tell, indeed.

  93. I guess only time will tell what happens to the Victoria Market. We have 1950 homes on the Market. At over 5000 the market did not decline so first lets see some more inventory and see what happens.

  94. “BTW numbers in Victoria are still not showing any decline..”

    Median and average prices are down, hold on to your benchmark fantasy, it will clue you in 6 months from now when the prices have already tanked like Toronto. No one is immune in a bubble explosion.

    Funny you told me you were a strong buyer a couple of months ago too but apparently didn’t have the balls to pull the trigger. 😉

    Toronto home sales plunge 40% in biggest drop since the recession

    Home prices in Canada’s largest city also posted their biggest monthly drop in at least 17 years in July

    http://business.financialpost.com/real-estate/toronto-home-prices-in-record-monthly-drop-as-sales-plunge-1/wcm/1b276698-c8b0-4cb9-a5a6-522557f062fe

  95. @Leo
    For your information, I just downloaded Opera to use as an alternative search engine and it works perfectly. So the problem is definitely Safari.

  96. Yep Hawk if you think you were right the last how many ever years. Great good for you. 2 thumbs up. The top has been forming for 8 years. One hell of a top. Great call.

    BTW numbers in Victoria are still not showing any decline..

  97. Brutal smoke or what eh ? I’m sure this is not good for those foreigners coming here who think they are escaping climate change. Our smoke levels are worse than Beijing and Shanghai.

  98. Thank you for all your kind wishes which are heart warming. Taxation is certainly a problem but the house has a strange tax exemption because of a historical preservation and access to academics agreement none of which I pretend to understand. Part of the house is medieval while the new addition is Renaissance. It has been in my wife’s family for generations. It positively makes the Rockland house look very new.

    The Swiss actually dont like tourists and foreigners at all. But they are very aware of what butters their bread. A few years ago when we were there my wife talked me into going to a small family gathering and knowing that I am not particularly fond of crowds she sort of forgot to mention that almost two hundred people where there.The only thing I can relate it to was the gathering of a Scottish Clan (with the notable exception that these people actually liked each other more than their dogs). I dont recall ever feeling more included or warmly treated. I am not sure if that is an advantage or not.

    Contrary to what a couple of people have suggested my decision to sell or not has absolutely nothing to do with were i think the real estate market is going. Personally i would not bet a dollar on my opinion being right but, for what it is worth, I suspect that SFH will plateau for a number of years.

  99. gwac, the same info was there in front of your face for the last six months as the top was clearly forming. Denial stage is very common for you flip flopping bulls.

  100. Toronto: Pause or crash?

    Looks like crash now, but Vancouver looked like that after their tax too, didn’t last long. We’ll see.

  101. This person was a mortgage broker and would introduce us as their next project. As soon as we decided not to buy, all contact stopped

    Ouch! Reminds me of my old colleague who was at a posh Oak Bay gathering and the topic of the welcome basket for new residents came up. She said, “hey I don’t recall getting a welcome basket”, and the lady next to her said “Oh, well that’s because you’re just a renter”

  102. Hawk the difference between me and you is I take in all new info and can change direction and not sit on a view for 8 to 10 years. 🙂

  103. “Victoria IMHO slows soon/ plus or minus 10% over the next 5 years.”

    gwac,
    Good to see you’ve finally seen reality since your last call a month or two ago of the market going up another 20% plus. But 10% is a drop in the bucket of what’s to come.

    Hotels and restaurants can’t find workers, minimum wages can’t keep low paid workers happy when you have to put 70% of your income into a rental. Something big is about to give.

    Sudden growth comes with a huge cost when developers don’t think ahead of who is going to do the dirty work. Who said developers care other than the money lining their pockets.

    Labour shortages, short-term rentals slam tourism operators

    http://www.timescolonist.com/business/labour-shortages-short-term-rentals-slam-tourism-operators-1.21571577

  104. That is huge and will have a bigger impact than the .25 raise.

    Yes. I think the BoC is given a bit too much credit in terms of what dictates the rate of a mortgage in Canada.

    “They won’t raise rates, because it would crash the economy”.

    Oh, the sweet innocence…

  105. Buyer who walked away from Surrey real estate deal ordered to pay $360K

    The B.C. Supreme Court has ordered a buyer who walked away from a Surrey, B.C., real estate deal last summer to pay the sellers more than $360,000, or six times his original deposit.

    The ruling puts the would-be buyer on the hook for the difference between the contract he signed — for $1,260,000 — and what it eventually sold for after the homeowners failed to find another buyer to match the initial high offer.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/buyer-who-walked-away-from-real-estate-deal-ordered-to-pay-360k-1.4232844

  106. Local

    Toronto peaks and valley are exaggerated so more room to go there. Speculators and foreigner are gone as well as higher rates.

    Victoria IMHO slows soon/ plus or minus 10% over the next 5 years.

    We keep hearing about the .25 increase who cares. The 5 years bond rate is at 1.75 vs .6 a year ago. That is huge and will have a bigger impact than the .25 raise.

  107. Do not let Canada find about this

    Rental value

    If you are a homeowner in Switzerland, you have to pay income tax on what is known as its ‘rental value’. The rental value theoretically represents what you as owner would receive if you rented the property to someone else, i.e. what that tenant would pay you in rent. At the same time, you can deduct mortgage interest payments and other costs for the upkeep of the property from your taxable income. Remember to take account of this when filling out your tax return.

  108. Barrister!
    I totally understand your despair with finding needles and garbage tossed into your yard, that is truly unfortunate. I understand you live in Rockland and I had no idea that was a problem there. Fortunately my property just a little further east of there (Gonzales area) hasen’t experienced any of that. Our big curse are the deer and I guess I would take that anyday over needles and garbage.
    Perhaps selling is a good idea but not to leave Victoria but simply find a different local. I understand your wife’s relation to Lugano but perhaps you should just go for an extended stay before you make any drastic moves. Visiting or hollidaying a place is very different from permanent residency and it takes time to find out. I remember working in Florida for 4 months back in the 70’s and finding out how incredibly different one’s perspective was from being a tourist.
    Are the Suiss all that welcoming, to tourists perhaps but anyone else? I’m not so sure, there’s a reason for all their infinite rules. During my teenage years I lived in Luxembourg (now there’s a fine and interesting place) and my Dad was looking to move to Switzerland as he had a job offer there and was looking into citizenship. He gave up after all the endless requirements.
    Whatever you decide don’t be too hasty, making major changes later in life can be very debilitating. Well I hope I can have a beer with you before you go! I’ll be in Victoria first two weeks in September.
    LEO, possibility of a get together?

  109. Barrister, have you familiarized yourself at all with Swiss taxation on your residence? You may be in for a shock if you research something called Rental Value Tax.

    Many Swiss homeowners take out the largest mortgage they possibly can for the longest term possible and under no circumstances reduce the principal any more than they have to. Why would that be?

  110. Barrister

    Life is short so I hope things work out in what ever direction you decide. You are retired so jumping into another language full time should produce results quickly.

    Victoria is clicky. You need a Dog, bike or kids in private school to meet people. Work also. If you stay Barrister join the union club.

  111. Barrister, you are living the dream!

    When we decided to move to Victoria, we were warned that people were unfriendly, out for themselves etc. But the first day at the kids’ school, a person approached me and made a point of inviting us over, introducing us to their friends and including us in all the parties and celebrations. This person was a mortgage broker and would introduce us as their next project. As soon as we decided not to buy, all contact stopped but for promotional emails about rates and being priced out forever.

    I have found for the most part that people are friendly but not in the down home, borrow a cup of sugar kind of way. Not like the prairies at all. People are friendly if you belong to the set but if you don’t, you are kindly tolerated but not included. Part of it for me is that I don’t own a house, so I never put down roots. Now, I’m looking elsewhere to build my community. I hope you can do the same in Switzerland.

  112. @ Barrister
    Snooty Euros or Snooty Victorians…you’ll find them everywhere.
    With that said, Victoria IMO is not as friendly as it was before going back decades.
    Perhaps big city prices, big city attitudes…and too many uber fashionistas sipping lattes 🙂

  113. Thank you Penguin for your very reflective statement. There was an element of American architecture here when I moved. They can call it West Coast but it is an architecture that developed and is the hallmark of California. Ironically California has moved away fro that style of building since it seems dated even when new. Anyway, I dont want to start a battle here.

    My main source of happiness is not where I live but rather the wonderful woman that I live with.

  114. Wolf:

    Actually who is shaping the city are not the new generation but a few older developers who are getting seriously rich.

  115. “If you have a second google Lugano and compare the feel of the two places.”

    No fair! On sheer beauty most towns and cities in Switzerland blow most Canadian and US cities out of the water. You could substitute any number of Swiss cities into your sentence above. Many are fairy-tale beautiful, especially the old parts. Some are ringed by less attractive post war buildings (still way less ugly than our sprawl, tho).

    Having lived a bit there and having relatives that live there I can say that the main downsides are (1) generally less living space than we enjoy in Canada (more apartment living as a rule, though lots of people live in SFHs of course, particularly in smaller centres), (2) RULES – the stereotype is true – the Swiss have a law , rule , permit or license for everything

  116. Sorry for hurting your feelings Barrister I wasn’t trying to be mean. I’m sure you didn’t mean to hurt my feelings with your comment about me either. I don’t think my comments were too far off although I could have worded them nicer. So I’m sorry!

    I have lived here for over 10 years and honestly can’t see the Americanization in only the last few years that you see. I’ve seen it since I’ve been here and am curious as to what lead you to the Americanization comment. Is it just that you only see it now that you’ve lived here? I don’t love Victoria either so I think you are making a great decision. What people have you met that are mean spirited? I don’t love Victoria people on the outside either and find most people look out for themselves for the most part. I think it probably comes with living in a city although I haven’t lived in many. Most people around my neighborhood are friendly but I live in saanich.

    Good luck and I hope you find happiness in Switzerland!

  117. GWAC:

    You are absolutely correct that Lugano is far more expensive and if my wife had not inherited a beautiful home there it would be not be affordable for us. The main drawback is that I am only fluent in English.

    We are in the process of still making a final decision but we are leaning in that direction. One of the reasons that Lugano is so expensive is that it, like Victoria, has very mild winters and rarely sees snow. I have stayed there a few times over the last number of years and I found it very tranquil being right on the lake itself. So we are both mulling it over. Moving, under the best of circumstances is a bit of a pain in the rear.

  118. @Deb
    Hmm. Seems to be loading fine for me on Safari. Can you tell me what version of Safari (Safari – > About Safari) and OS X you have (Apple icon at top left – > About this mac)?

  119. “We are leaning towards selling and moving to Lugano.”

    Wow. Barrister is cashing out. We must be at the tippy top.”

    Agents preparing too. I see growth in used car salesmen soon. 😉

    Canada’s realtors brace for the end of the housing boom

    OTTAWA – Canada’s long housing boom has drawn thousands into the sector, from realtors and home stagers to construction workers, and a looming slowdown threatens to trigger an exodus that could wipe out many of those jobs and force the economy to shift down.

    While housing has long been the main engine of Canadian growth, economists say a drop in home sales has already started to weigh on the economy and if price declines follow, consumer spending and jobs will suffer.

    “To a lot of people, it is a get-rich-quick scheme,” Toronto realtor David Fleming said about the real estate market. “But history shows when the market turns, half of the agents leave.”

    David Madani, economist at Capital Economics in Toronto and a well-known housing bear who predicts prices will drop by as much as 40 per cent, expects the fallout will be deeper and last longer, reducing Canada’s annual growth rate by half a percentage point over the next five years.

    http://www.bnn.ca/canada-s-realtors-brace-for-the-end-of-the-housing-boom-1.819173

  120. I constantly have problems with this site loading on my Mac

    Thanks for the heads up, will look into it. Apparently it works in Firefox on mac but not Safari? I’ll try to get my hands on a mac to test it out.

  121. Barrister, I just got a glimpse of you as Abe Simpson:

    “I used to be with it, then they changed what it was. Now what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems weird and scary to me, and it’ll happen to you.”
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV0wTtiJygY)

    Change happens all the time. Young and/or new folks are moving in and making the city theirs. Your generation did the same.

  122. Thanks Deb. I wish we could reply directing to someone’s post.

    Not looking at the moment but we definitely want to move back to the city some day. For me that would be next month…haha. My husband loves it up here and for the price of a modest condo in Vic we got a lovely house and yard.
    But we both want to be back in the city for our golden years. Figure 2,000 a month or the equivalent in that year would be our budget. We have not rented in 45 years so it would be an adjustment. Don’t want a house, couldn’t afford one anyway and we are very queasy at the thought of owning a strata. I have heard many horror stories from very careful people. They all say never again!
    We would love Cook St village…my fav hood!

  123. Re: Condo/house debate. We have been doing some renovations on our house, and I have been temporarily renting a newer condo. So, I now have a glimpse at the alternative. I am not sure of the price of the condo, as there are no recent sales of the same-sized units in that building, but I would say it would be at least $100K less than our house.

    Advantages of the condo: nice view and bright interior, everything new and in working order, easier to keep clean, location would be handy if I were working downtown, and no maintenance hassles/costs.

    Disadvantages: even on a higher floor there is still traffic noise and the area will have construction for years; I find under 800 sq.ft. cramped for two people (although I find a 2000 sq.ft. house too big); concrete construction is pretty good for internal noise, but I still hear either a dog or a child scampering upstairs (I would never buy in a wood-frame building); the finishing is attractive, but not built to last; and I don’t have to deal with strata as a renter, but looking at the mix of people in the building I could see competing viewpoints and objectives quite likely. Also, in the long term, the appreciation of a house is almost certain to be greater because of the land. It’s hard to say what will happen in the nearer term, though.

    If I had over $1M to spend on a house in the core, then I would prefer a house. However, for the price of the condo, I doubt you can get much in the core that doesn’t need major renovations. Most people don’t maintain their houses like Marko apparently does.

  124. Lugano is a beautiful town, with wonderful food and heavenly scenery. We visited there and stayed near the olive tree trail, walked the 3.5km trail twice, once at night. It was the most beautiful and peaceful place in Switzerland for us (we stayed 3 months in Switzerland in 2013) .

    But to visit a place and to live in a place could be very different. Lugano is a small place, you might get bored there after a while; Also as there are more and more refugees coming into Europe, the environment and culture there will change (towards the way you like or dislike).

    Of course, you can always move back to Canada after few years, but probably not back to Rockland, as that hood has been very well known for its carefree homeless residents and associated problems for a long long time (not sure why you were not told 4 years ago).

    Good luck.

  125. @Leo
    I constantly have problems with this site loading on my Mac. Also often stalls when I try to post a comment, which may be a good thing;)

  126. @ Barrister:

    “We are leaning towards selling and moving to Lugano.”

    Wow. Barrister is cashing out. We must be at the tippy top.

  127. Can anyone of you real estate guys tell me…would a rent budget of 2,000.00 a month get you a good two bedroom apartment in the core?

    I was just looking for a place in the DT to rent for a few months. I have received 7 replies to my add all of them for under $2000 a month. The areas varied from close to the University to James Bay but I can tell you there are quite a few out there if you are looking.

  128. 3) I got tired of finding needles in my front yard along with beer bottles and all sorts of rubbish

    Barrister, where do you live? And how often do you find needles?

    Oak Bay drivers are so slow…lol

    Molasses. Nothing frustrates me more than open road in front of someone doing 20kph.

  129. We left Victoria for upisland three months ago. I miss my old hood and the city terribly and come back down about every three weeks. For business and personal reasons. Yes I am getting used to less traffic etc but wow,the changes to Vic are very obvious when you have been away for awhile.
    First…Oak Bay drivers are so slow…lol. Traffic is way worse than even three years ago. Road rage is real. Things have changed a lot in a very short time!
    I still love downtown but would never live there.

    I do not get what the Americanization of the city means! It is becoming more urban for sure but nothing American about it.

    Real estate upisland is hopping. The house we bought would sell for quite abit more than we paid for it. How long that lasts who knows but the whole island is hot ( in more ways than one) and people are definitely leaving the nightmare that is the lower mainland.

    Can anyone of you real estate guys tell me…would a rent budget of 2,000.00 a month get you a good two bedroom apartment in the core?

  130. Agreed Local, there will be many more and expect more from big 5 bank employees when house prices really start to unravel. That’s usually when the flood gates open by whistleblowers.

    Buffet will short with puts I would imagine. He’s not going to not hedge a bubble bet after seeing the US blow up.

  131. I still think Berkshire’s purchase of HCG shares is odd. They don’t generally make bad bets, making me think uncle Buffet knows more than the public does. The Morneau interview slip a little while ago heightens my suspicion more.

    Anyways, I doubt HCG is the only rotting carcass.

  132. Wow, the KPMG report out on Home Capital is brutal. What a corrupt shit show covered up by all those insiders. So much for Canada being the good guys, we’re just as bad as the US scamsters. Warren Buffet may wish he did his DD first.

    Exclusive: How the Home Capital Sausages Were Made

    “The KPMG report in its totality is devastating. Its description of HCG’s operations resemble those of a Wolf of Wall Street-worthy boiler room operation rather than a Schedule 1 bank. All the normal business functions of a financial institution were subjugated to growth objectives. Red flag warnings were routinely ignored, internal credit and quality control processes were either non-existent overridden or outvoted, and the IT systems were either dysfunctional or simply turned off. Home Capital was a $20+B bank run on spreadsheets and SalesForce.com.

    Finally, the report removes any remaining mystery as to why HCG, despite trolling the length of Bay Street for financing, could only raise money on loan shark terms in its deals with HOOPP and Warren Buffett. Quite simply, no one trusted the quality of loans produced by a culture and an organization with these glaring flaws.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-02/exclusive-how-home-capital-sausages-were-made

  133. Victoria is still beautiful, and I dont deny that fact, but it is approaching a threshold where it could lose a lot of its charm.

    Quite right – I agree – we better act quickly to make sure they preserve the heritage that still hasn’t been degraded to the point it has in Vancouver, for example. However, I thought Victoria is a bit more strict on preserving heritage than Vancouver is or was? Apparently, Van is finally moving to preserve some of the scarce heritage that’s still left there.

    There’s an example of a large old heritage home on the corner of Foul Bay Rd and Quamichan that mysteriously burned down over a year ago now. It was the only way the ‘developer’ (Large & Co?) Could replace it. I still see no activity there so not sure what the hold up is? Apparently, the developer was denied being allowed to replace the old house because it was heritage. So then -conveniently, vagrants or squatters burned it down! Now, they’ll be allowed to replace it as there is nothing there. That took me back to something that happened in Qualicum Beach around mid 2000’s. The town wouldn’t allow ‘Quality Foods’ to redevelop the dated 1980’s grocery store in the centre of town (called ‘Qualicum Foods’ there, we have two locations here – one in View Royal the other in Langford). One night, the grocery store mysteriously burned down… hmmm… they never did find out why but apparently it was ‘electrical’. Then, the new massive grocery store got approved of course – still holding a monopoly as the only large grocery store in town. Hopefully, the only way to redevelop heritage in Victoria is not to burn it down mysteriously, but preserve it in innovative ways instead.

    On Downtown packed w/ homeless – agree – I can’t understand where or how all these people get to that point? I think we act as a bit of a gravitational pull for Canada due to our climate, and so we’ll always have more than our fair share of homeless types. But, that’s the same on a bigger scale in Vancouver (still mild climate) and apparently a big problem in many US cities as well – but Seattle and Portland have come up w/ innovative ways to reduce the problems there. Agree, it’s not so much a problem in Europe where many countries have legislation to house homeless – however – nowadays many Euro countries are grappling w/ the refugee crisis and have many non-Euro citizens homeless on the streets – this is what caused the now disbanded ‘jungle’ refugee camp where they were desperately trying to get to Britain for all those handouts, and this is partly what led to Brexit. So, all is not well in Europe either. My guess is Switzerland is more of an isolated refuge from these problems? I get where you come from on this factor.

    I googled Lugano and it looks beautiful – head for that if you can! Life is short we need to make the best of every day…

  134. Luke:

    Predominantly I was referring to the architecture, specifically the high rises combined with the modern California homes (although they stopped building them because they look so dated in LA).
    The downtown is packed with homeless people and is noticeably less clean than before. I dont have any facts to support this but there seems to be just as many malls out here, for the size of the population as there was in LA.

    Victoria is still beautiful, and I dont deny that fact, but it is approaching a threshold where it could lose a lot of its charm.

    If you have a second google Lugano and compare the feel of the two places. Moreover we are losing
    a few more historic homes every year and the city has very loose policies to preserve them. As the city approves higher density there is a major temptation to either have an accidental fire or to simply remove the central supports in old house like mine. The fact of the matter is that my property is worth more without the house on it. I actually had a developer over for party that assured me that if I had the central support of the house removed than the house would collapse in on itself in a few months and i would stand to make an addition million or two. The sad fact is that the city would oblige rezoning and severance of about six building lots. Strangely there is no law against this as far as I can tell.

  135. We’ll be sad to see you go Barrister… but Switzerland sounds lovely (would love to visit there someday, but since I love beaches and the ocean… its a bit down on the list)

    I do look forward to your open house if you have one!… a cat can look at a king 😉

    On #3 I have to agree – If I was to live near downtown it would only be in a condo, that was secure. At just over 3km distance, I feel like I’m just far enough away from downtown here in OB. I feel like 2km from downtown is how far you need to be in a SFH to get away from needles/booze trash, etc.

    On #4 I disagree (since I’m welcome to). I’ve found all the people I meet every day in Victoria (and in my job I meet many of the most dis-advantaged people here) to be quite mellow, laid back, and friendly. Some are stupid, yes, and occasionally there is the mean spirited one but I find it’s only occasional and is often mitigated if you approach them in the right way in the first place. However, as I said before, I’m also comparing them to Vancouver people (I lived in Metro Van for 20 years total) and if you want mean or cliquey – go there. Vancouver is far far worse than here for the way people are. Someone can disagree w/ me on that if they want but that was my experience in Van. If I was comparing Vic people to Qualicum Beach people (where I lived for 8 years, that would be a different story altogether).

    On Victoria being ‘Americanized’ I still don’t understand what you mean by this? We don’t have a large presence of guns, we don’t have huge expanses of strip malls and low density areas catering exclusively to the car. There are no large garish billboards everywhere here like there is in the US. No large freeways (esp. going through downtown like in so many US cities). I find Victoria is much more like a British or Euro city than a North American city. With street names constantly changing names that’s a very British thing (i.e. Landsdowne becomes Hillside becomes Gorge…) (North Dairy becomes Finlayson becomes Jutland…) There is not much of a grid system here outside of downtown (more Euro than US again). No numbered streets here much (again, more like Euro) The condo boom going on looks more like a mini Vancouver Yaletown, and will attract more yuppie types who don’t seem to care all that much about the down and out’s downtown shooting up fentanyl in the street below while they hold cocktail parties above in their secure condo’s. That’s just city life – and Victoria is getting bigger and more like a bigger city than before – though nowhere near Van yet. I find many of the US tourists I meet who come here love the charm and vibe and are happy to get away to somewhere that definitely feels much different than back home ( I also meet many tourists in my job). Many are also disenchanted w/ their gun laws back home.

    But, what’s ‘American’ about it? I’m curious.

  136. Used to live in the Jutland Rd. area more than 5 years ago. 5min. walk to work. On that route, needles and used condoms galore! Almost on a daily basis. Let alone the crazy critters I had to walk by.

    …Not now where I live.

    I still see it a bit as I bike near that area at the end of my trip.

    But at least I don’t have whacked-out haggard hookers waking me up in the middle of the night, screaming at the devil!

  137. Marko:

    Your whole list of house maintenance seems to only involve you being home for two or three days. It is not like you are personally doing the work. With a bit of organization you can schedule a lot of it on the same days. Is it really such a big deal?

  138. Barrister number 3 is exactly why I will not live anywhere within walking or a quick bike ride of downtown. We need DT cleaned up before its too late.

    Good luck with whatever happens.

  139. John Dollar:

    Thank you providing the comparable properties, it is very helpful. Your comments and insights are also valuable.

    Penguin: Your name calling and totally unfounded assumptions reflect badly upon you. It makes you appear mean spirited and foolish.

    3Richard:

    Reasons for the move:

    1) First, it has nothing to do with either making a profit or where the market is going contrary to what some people think. neither a profit or a loss on the house would make much difference in either my financial situation or my lifestyle. If that annoys those failures in life who spend so much time being envious of others than too bad. In point of fact, after deducting the money to restore and improve this wonderful heritage house, deducting the transaction costs and reconverting the proceeds back to US dollars there will not be a large amount of profit nor am I looking for one in particular.

    2) I will give Penguin credit for mentioning too many changes in Victoria but it has been four years and not two that I have been here. The city is being Americanized at an amazing rate and for my personal tastes it is losing its charm. In all likelihood I will not live to see the full impact of these changes but my wife will and she shares my opinion. I will acknowledge that for a lot of people these are viewed as positive changes. Different strokes for different folks.

    3) I got tired of finding needles in my front yard along with beer bottles and all sorts of rubbish.This may seem like a trivial point but it reflects other problems with Victoria.

    4) Finally, there are far too many mean spirited people in Victoria whose attitude is build on a strong foundation of being stupid to the the extreme. You are welcome to disagree but that has been my experience.

  140. Reason, single people won’t be buying bloated prices of SFH’s so the senior best cash in ASAP. Smart move Barrister.

    2017 Census: More Canadians Living Alone, With Parents Or Without Kids

    “Of the 14.1 million households in Canada in 2016, 28.2 per cent comprised only a single person — the highest proportion of single-person households ever recorded and the most common living arrangement captured in the 2016 count, a first for the country.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/08/02/2017-census-single-canadians_a_23061332/?utm_campaign=canada_newsletter

  141. Marko “Could have bought a place at 986 Heywood with private garage and Tesla charging. There are buildings being pre-sold right now that offer charging in the unit stall.”

    I see what you did there. Well played Marko.

    Could I also join in and not surreptitiously say that there are only 3 units left. Buy now or be unable to charge your Tesla in your own private garage forever.

  142. @Marko Juras

    “the gutters cleaned x2 year”

    No trees near my house so, x1 year, or x1 every 2 years (Due to the birds (mostly crows) eating stuff up there).

    “sprinklers winterized x1/year”

    Never winterized anything, even this colder winter (not even the rain barrel hookup to the downspout).

    “gas appliances serviced x2 years”

    No gas hook up!

    “heat pump serviced x2 years”

    Baseboard heating (cheap!)

    “garage doors/openers serviced x2 years”

    Carport covered, it’s amazing how the weather is different when “just” covered and not exposed.

    “ongoing gardening/watering”

    The BONUS! Love the organic food we produce to sustain our bodies.

    “inspect attic x1 year”

    Nah, every 2 years if that…

    “inspect crawl space every few months”

    On a cement slab (rancher no stairs)

    etc., etc., and my house is only 2.5 years old. Can’t imagine living in a larger 100 year old home.

    1985 is not a hundred years!

    Got the place 2012. Paying about the same as rent if we wanted, but we jacked it to double payments to pay-down quicker. About to pay it off in full Oct. this year. Maintenance is low and I can DIY a lot of it (And enjoy it). Or hire a contractor (but I’m in control of who to hire, not strata council!). I’m not stuck in a sardine can of a box with little choice to improve. Very close to amenities (5min. walk). It take me less the 30min. bike ride to get into town for work (or 10min. car ride).

    When renting and looking for our home, I thought about condos or Town homes, or even duplex… Due to frustration!!! But we were patient and stuck to our guns (because you could be choosy back then) and found this affordable place.

  143. 3Richard Haysom
    August 2, 2017 at 5:44 am
    Barrister, what are the three main reasons why you are contemplating this move?

    Oh, I would dare venture that Barrister has a very good idea of the value of his investment. He has gone through this housing exercise in the U.S.A and by monitoring this site and probably others he has decided that the top is in or just passed.

    Some people learn better through experience.

    My recommendation would be to list it just under market value and get the heck out. You, more than anyone else, know the problems with chasing the market down.

    Good luck.

  144. Another failed auction at 4363 Emily Carr Dr relisted and jacked up $53K. Some agent doesn’t read the right stats.

    High end Broadmead townhouse at #18- 934 Boulderwood Rise slashed $35K.

    3446 Plymouth Rd appears to be another failed auction, originally listed at $998K, relisted at $1.298K and now slashed $98K to $1.2 million. Bizarre.

    931 Mcclure St slashed $50K. Need more than that.

    Another Golden Head weak slash of only $40K at 4273 Houlihan Pl.

    Two more in Ten Mile Point in the $1.5 million range with weak slashes as well. Some sellers can’t get over they missed Peak Victoria.

    More slashes in the last day than in a week. Many are VREB wide so all areas are sensing the slowdown.

  145. Barrister, the Direct Comparison Approach on a property like yours fails miserably as there have only been four sales in the last 6 months that I would consider similar enough to do an analysis. There are no exactly the same properties. And these sales ranged between $590 to $490 a square foot for the largest home at 6,400 finished square feet. Because of the size of your home my guess would be anywhere from $375 to $400 a square foot. But I haven’t seen the inside of your property and don’t know what kind of remodeling or renovating you’ve done since you bought the home. And if it’s significant that would increase the price per square foot rate.

    A short list for competing homes to yours currently listed would be
    2741 Dalhousie
    2820 Beach
    935 Foul Bay

    So you do have some solid competition and would have to list close to market value. A blind auction would not garner enough interest in a short listing period. It’s necessary to expose your property for 30 to 90 days to get the best bids.

  146. “Barrister, what are the three main reasons why you are contemplating this move?”

    Never happy with what he has, greedy, Victoria has changed too much in 2 years.

  147. Well I got a real estate agent coming over to look at the house and give me a ball range of prices. We are leaning towards selling and moving to Lugano. I have no real idea what the house is actually worth in this market; pretty sure that it is more than when I bought it in Nov 2013. Needs some fresh paint in a couple of rooms though.

  148. That’s assuming that the units are priced cheaply enough to make renting them out a sensible business decision. Hard to find in Victoria these days.

    You set it up right from the start with the developer. The strata corporation retains one unit.

    The strata corporation could still buy a unit if it the building was an older complex. But that would be more difficult as the owners would all have to put money in the pot to buy it. And I doubt you’ll get many people to agree. Best to do it right at the beginning from the developer.

    Maybe the NDP could make all developers sell one of the units to the strata corporation. That’s one more rental unit in the city and a way to finance repairs in the complex without resorting to Special Assessments.

    The complex that does this is in Broadmead and they love it.

  149. I thought you stopped renting it?

    I did because I don’t need the cashflow but it is a nice security blanket you don’t have a in a condo.

    I will start renting it out soon again, I still haven’t come across anyone having to pay capital gains yet and my accountant is telling me to rent it and not worry about it.

  150. I think you also need to comparable apples to apples when going condo vs townhome vs SFH. Often I find people compare olders homes versus newer condos. This is what I mean by comparing apples to apples.

    Brand new condo on Christmas Hill -> https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Single-Family/17915921/305-4027-Rainbow-St-Victoria-British-Columbia-V8X2A8

    Floorplan A here -> http://www.lyraresidences.com/floor-plans-phase-1/#0

    A townhome on the same hill will set you back over a million -> https://sothebysrealty.ca/en/property/british-columbia/greater-victoria-real-estate/victoria/149875/

    And one of these SFH homes on the same hill would now be around $1.45 to $1.55 million -> https://www.google.ca/maps/@48.4709937,-123.3778352,3a,75y,48.98h,97.58t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sjLTgV1VVlafvAw4XzxSxaw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    The spread between the three is quite large when they are all in the same location/ballpark of finishing/age.

  151. The SFH suite and no strata fees make a big difference financially.

    I thought you stopped renting it?

    And just getting out from under the thumb of the strata is worth it for me. Was at a friend’s kid’s birthday party at a townhouse complex. Got the stink eye from some neighbours for playing with the kids in the common grassy area between the units. Apparently that is NICHT ERLAUBT.

    Condos are great, stratas suck. I would like to see a common set of strata rules adopted in some complexes that cannot be changed by the owners and all decisions for repairs are made by an independent third party that is normally not under the control of the strata. So much less to fight about then.

  152. Bollocks. Where would you plug in the Tesla?

    Could have bought a place at 986 Heywood with private garage and Tesla charging. There are buildings being pre-sold right now that offer charging in the unit stall.

    Finances just don’t make sense for me personally; 1,200 sq/ft units at Heywood are selling close to what my house is worth.

    The SFH suite and no strata fees make a big difference financially.

  153. If it wasn’t for the financial factors and wanting to be set for retirement I would be in a condo at the Bayview.

    Bollocks. Where would you plug in the Tesla?

    Anyway if you really preferred the condo it would be simple. Airbnb the house through spacehost and move into the condo. Think of how much time you would save on the commute.

  154. I have the gutters cleaned x2 year, sprinklers winterized x1/year, gas appliances serviced x2 years, heat pump serviced x2 years, garage doors/openers serviced x2 years, ongoing gardening/watering, inspect attic x1 year, inspect crawl space every few months, etc

    True although you can do a lot of this stuff much less. Gutter covers and I think I sweep them once a year. No sprinklers to service (I use the sprinkler in the sky), had the furnace and fireplaces checked once every two years, haven’t serviced the heat pump yet (guess I should), replaced a roller on the garage door myself they don’t need service normally, MIL does the gardening but if that wasn’t the case I’d have a simpler garden, no need to inspect attic regularly, no crawlspace.

    Pressure washed the driveway this year because I happened to borrow a pressure washer. 100% unnecessary but kinda fun to do. Would never pay for it, it’s more a meditative thing like raking a rock garden.

    Granted repainting the deck is tedious, and regrouting the chimney as well. Probably why they’re both half done.

  155. The median and average are down but what I find more important is the average days-on-market is getting close to 30 and that means the end of blind auctions.

    Hawk if you can’t say it in words then say it with music.

    https://youtu.be/L8NV2es3nGY

  156. I can understand why older people buy condos as a primary or secondary property, but if I’m young and forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars I’m buying land, not the interior of a cube. If all I could afford was a condo I’d rather not buy at all, and instead save up longer for the SFH. Sure, condos are much less expensive but you get what you pay for. Nobody likes dealing with Stratas.

    I loved living in a condo…..what I’ve taken away from living in a SFH the last few years.

    Can’t replicate the location. I lived in the Songhees for three years and it was super quiet at night yet you were a short stroll to downtown. Can’t buy a house in the Songhees.

    Living in a SFH is horrible for the enviornment. I would say probably the worst thing you can do for the environment is having kids followed by living in a SFH versus condo.

    There is a lot of reponsibility that comes with a SFH home. Just off the top of my head I have the gutters cleaned x2 year, sprinklers winterized x1/year, gas appliances serviced x2 years, heat pump serviced x2 years, garage doors/openers serviced x2 years, ongoing gardening/watering, inspect attic x1 year, inspect crawl space every few months, etc., etc., and my house is only 2.5 years old. Can’t imagine living in a larger 100 year old home.

    You buy crap you don’t actually need to fill up the SFH.

    The massive advantage SFHs have is finances. With a suite a large house is cheaper on a monthly cash flow basis than a higher-end condo due to suite income and no strata fees. Not to mention much better appreciation over 20-30 years.

    If it wasn’t for the financial factors and wanting to be set for retirement I would be in a condo at the Bayview.

  157. The council may then obtain financing on that unit(s) to have repairs made to the building. The rent(s) would then be used to pay down the mortgage.

    That’s assuming that the units are priced cheaply enough to make renting them out a sensible business decision. Hard to find in Victoria these days.

  158. I wonder why new listings vary so wildly. For example, why did listings increase from 965 in July 2015 to 1310 a year later? That’s an increase of 35%.
    What persuaded all those people to list a year later? And could the same thing happen now?

  159. Starter homes and newer condominiums (not luxury) appeal to the same target market and should be similar in price. That there is such a large difference between the two indicates that the market is out of sync and I would expect a correction.

    You can still get starter homes for around $500,000 to $550,000 in Mayfair and Hillside. And a condo with about the same utility as a two-bedroom starter is going to set you back about $400,000. That may indicate that houses are some $100,000 to $150,000 over valued at this time.

    Of course this is my opinion and it is a rudimentary attempt to quantify how large or small (depending on your view) house prices are over inflated. As always -your mileage may differ.

  160. I came across a very novel way of paying for Special Assessments by strata corporations. Instead of costly depreciation reports and special levies on the owners every new condominium complex should have one or more of the strata units designated as a rental property owned by the strata council. The council may then obtain financing on that unit(s) to have repairs made to the building. The rent(s) would then be used to pay down the mortgage.

    What a simple way to solve a complex problem.

  161. Average and median down. SFH sales in core and SE and SW the three main drivers. Stick a fork in it, she’s done.

  162. I can understand why older people buy condos as a primary or secondary property, but if I’m young and forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars I’m buying land, not the interior of a cube. If all I could afford was a condo I’d rather not buy at all, and instead save up longer for the SFH. Sure, condos are much less expensive but you get what you pay for. Nobody likes dealing with Stratas.

  163. Why would you buy a condo when you could have land?

    The average condo costs some $400,000, compared to the very entry level houses for $650,000 that is still a big difference. The difference between having to pay PTT as a first time buyer and being exempt.

  164. So, I’m not that familiar with the Victoria market but if you go to Realtor.ca it shows a couple dozen homes in the Victoria area for under $650,000.

    Is there a flight to quality? Are these homes in terrible areas? Why would you buy a condo when you could have land?

    There are 28 listings and 4 are houseboats, lol. What’s the story?