Aug 21 Market Update

Weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

Aug 2017
Aug
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 157  322  483
883
New Listings 222  431  676
1120
Active Listings 1932 1915  1942
2094
Sales to New Listings  71%  75%  71%
79%
Sales Projection  777  750
Months of Inventory 2.4

Bit of a surprise increase in inventory this week due to a bump in new listings from 209 two weeks ago to 245 last week.   Maybe a few extra people trying to sell their house before the moon blots out the sun for good.   SFH prices relatively stagnant so far this month still while condos continue to increase.  Sales are coming anywhere from 13% below list to 12% over ask (and one lot in Sooke that sold for 45% over ask).   25% of sales going for more than 1% over ask, 31% selling for within 1% of asking price, and 44% more than 1% under ask.

We’re running about 15% below last year’s sales rate, with inventory down 9%.

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242 thoughts on “Aug 21 Market Update

  1. Scott St. would presumably sell for lot value, right? That’s a good area, so I can’t imagine anyone getting an average size lot (~5000 ft^2 or so) for less than $550k. A glance at MLS shows exactly zero vacant land lots for sale in all of Victoria, Oak Bay (save for one on Willows beach for 2.7M…) and Saanich south of Mackenzie (save for one massive redevelopment property around Carey rd for 5.9M). Forget the 1 bd/1 bath house – the place would sell for the same price with just a chicken coop on it.

  2. More fake debt bomb news. It’s not real, just made up by some writer. 😉

    Household debt threatens long-term economic prospects, says federal report

    Report to CMHC warns steady climb of household debt-to-GDP level puts Canada’s economic growth prospects at risk

    OTTAWA – Even debt-free Canadians could eventually feel a pinch from someone else’s maxed-out credit cards, suggests research presented to senior officials at the federal housing agency.
    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. board members received an update in March on the country’s credit and housing trends.

    The presentation contained a warning: the steady climb of the household debt-to-GDP level had put Canada’s long-term economic growth prospects at risk.

    The document pointed to a study that argued household debt accumulation eventually hampers economic growth over the longer term, eclipsing the nearer-term benefits of consumption.

    http://www.macleans.ca/economy/household-debt-threatens-long-term-economic-prospects-says-federal-report/

  3. Unless I missed it I didn’t get an answer to whether there was PST on a sales commission in BC. (I know there is GST)
    Appreciate someone clarifying that, thanks.

  4. Marko, I give you this, our market in Calgary is very different from your Victoria market and I’m not talking market conditions. Having bought in Victoria I know how difficult it is as a buyer to “find” what you’re looking for and time consuming. I made four seperate trips of a week to 10 days each before finding what I wanted. Every home in Victoria is different condition wise and style. Calgary has umpteen homes the same style no matter what decade, only the condition varies. So if a person likes a particular style there is usually a number to choose from therefore making the purchase side of it fairly easy. Conversely if you have one for sale you have a whole bunch of similiar houses to compete against. If your seller is strapped it makes it a tough sell if they can’t afford staging etc, to out-compete the others or if they have little wiggle room to drop their price. So my real estate experience is very different from yours. 3/4 of my business has been with buyers 1/4 with sellers.

  5. As a realtor for over 30 years I can tell you I put in way more time servicing my listing clients than with my buyers. I bet I spend 3X as much time with my sellers than buyers.

    You are the first realtor in my real estate career to note you spend more time with sellers, let alone 3x? I’ve probably heard from 100+ sources the exact opposite. There is a reason top agents have a “buyers’ specialist,” or similar. It is way more time consuming to work with buyers on average from personal experience.

  6. I knew my 11 points would get people going!
    As a realtor for over 30 years I can tell you I put in way more time servicing my listing clients than with my buyers. I bet I spend 3X as much time with my sellers than buyers. Just saying! Interesting how everyone has a different perspective.
    I definitely wish you well Barrister, I hope you prove me wrong, but if you keep your hours it will be interesting revisiting this topic.

  7. I figured I would pay between 1/2 and 1/4 point higher than the normal commission for a buyers agent.

    3Richard:

    1.) I am not advertising the property on used Victoria, it will be on MLS like every other property.

    2.) I have a very realistic idea of what the house is worth.

    3) Since I will be paying a bit more than the going rate to the buyers agent so they will be happy to have their buyer come to look at it.

    4) Everybody uses a lawyer at closing and, generally, that is where the problems arise.

    5) I can only think of one or two occasions that I even meet a vendors agent when I was viewing houses.

    6) When you think of it your agent does not do much of anything.

    7) There is no secret pool of buyers that your agent dips into.

    8) Nor is there this mass of inventory of houses at this price point or this style. An agent who has a buyer in this price range that wants to be in the city (including Uplands) can show all the listings in a day or two at the most.

    9) I do not have lawyer tattooed on my head. My wife says that I look more like the gardener than a lawyer these days.

    10) You dont even need a fancy photographer since there is no need for curving lens to make things appear bigger. The house is huge and the rooms are large to start with.

    11) Exactly what does the listing agent actually do once the house has been listed other than throw on a lock box. Dont tell me that he uses his negotiating skills since there is next to nothing to negotiate nor do agents have any particularly good negotiating skills in my experience.

  8. My friends used a mere posting with Marko and there were multiple offers and it was a higher end property. It is exposire on realtor.ca plus a buyer’s commission that gets a sale. The rest you can do with. Lawyer if needed.

    Don’t know which home your friends were but multiple offers are a function of the marketplace, not my mere posting or full-service listing. The list to sales ratio on mere posting the last couple of years has been around 95%…..in 2013 it was around 45%. I changed absolutely nothing.

    Let’s put it this way if your home is worth $1,000,000 is a buyer willing to pay $1,050,000 if you decide to hire an agent for $50,000? Is a buyer willing to pay $1,065,000 if you hire an agent for $65,000?

  9. I’ve been involved in over 350 transactions in the last 4 years and these are my personal thoughts as an industry insider.

    1/ 95% of all RE transactions are a result of MLS®.

    2/ Mere posting gets you on MLS®.

    3/ Doing mere postings I have a lot of experience with buyers and sellers coming face to face (i.e., unrepresented buyer buys a mere posting). I’ve always been incredibly shocked at how often things go smoothly and I attribute this to the two parties finding some sort of common ground in that neither party has a REALTOR®.

    4/ Buyers buy, REALTORS® don’t sell. I’ve been preaching this point for years, even when the market was ice cold -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CtoxjN3du8

    5/ Buyers for homes for $3 million still look at MLS®. This isn’t L.A. or New York where we have “representatives” buying properties for celebrities.

    6/ Unless they go direclty to a mere posting, for example, and the seller is willing to flex more as they don’t have to pay out a cooperating commission.

    7/ If you exclude marketing and soliciting for business the per hour for actually working on a transaction is massive.

    8/ Not sure what the point here is.

    9/ REALTOR® are naturally biased towards earning a commission.

    10/ Yes, MLS®. Explain this, if “marketing” is so important how come 95% of transactions involve a buyer’s agent? If the listing agent is so clever at marketing shouldn’t they be able to sell the majority of the homes directly to a buyer?

    11/ So price aggressively?

  10. Richard you usually make a lot of good points but having bought and sold myself privately I strongly disagree. My friends used a mere posting with Marko and there were multiple offers and it was a higher end property. It is exposire on realtor.ca plus a buyer’s commission that gets a sale. The rest you can do with. Lawyer if needed.

  11. Yes, some of my comments would be satisfied by a substantial buyers agent commission. However, Barrister by his own words,
    “So the question arises why would I be paying an agent about 40k for his share of the commission for what is likely to be around 40 hrs of work at best?”

    seems to think all its going to take is about 40hrs of work. It would be a miracle if all it takes is 40 hours! I bet if Barrister is honest with tracking his hours it will be into the hundreds of hours if he sells it at all.

  12. Richard – valid points but the majority of them are dealt with by offering a substantial commission to the buyer’s agent.

    You are still paying but only approx. 50% of what you normally would.

    I would agree (especially for this high end property) that totally avoiding MLS would be a very bad idea. Paying no commission to attract buyer’s agents would also be a very bad idea.

  13. 3Richard Haysom wouldn’t all of those points be addressed by the buyers having an agent and Barrister offering a reasonable commission for them?

  14. Ash I thought it was 2534 that had a sold sign on it – might have misread the address. Ah, I think it might have been 2642. Really misread it!

  15. @Barrister
    Couple of thought to keep in mind…..(this should get the blog going!)

    1.) 95% of all RE transactions are a result of real estate agents.
    2.) By trying to sell the property yourself you eliminate approx 90% of buyers.
    3.) Most buyers do not want to come face to face with the seller, especially if the seller is a lawyer!
    4.) Contrary to public opinion, houses do not sell themselves, realtors sell houses, yes there is the odd exception.
    5.) Buyers for $3M homes don’t have the time to be looking by themselves, they hire someone to do it for them, especially if they are not paying ( seller pays)
    6.) There’s nothing to be gained by a buyer trying to “save” the real estate commission because isn’t that what the seller is trying to do?
    7.) I bet Barrister if you keep tabs for all your time and expenses you will be quite dismayed at your final hourly tally, it will be way less than what your hourly lawyer fee would have been, infact you may work a whole lot for nothing!
    8.) It will come as a surprise that finding a buyer and negotiating a price probably represents one sixth of the overall transaction.
    9.) Sellers are naturally biased towards their homes and overlook many problems, can’t look at their homes objectively.
    10.) Can you honestly say you know how to effectively and where, to market your home?
    11.) Beware making your listing stale and causing suspicion as to why it hasn’t sold.

    GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR DECISION !!

  16. I am still waiting for an offer to purchase from Hawk. I am sorely disappointed. What a glorious day out there and maybe a good day for folks to go to the beach.

  17. By the way. I was very happy with the real estate lawyer I used and these amendments had to be made at the time of purchase as well. The lawyers opinion of most real agents was less than complimentary.
    He has already told me that he will not charge any extra for drafting the agreement of purchase and sale since it ends up being less work if it is done right at the beginning considering the couple of unusual things with this house.

  18. totoro:

    There are a couple unusual matters with this house that do need to be addressed. Just a matter of amending the standard forms.

  19. Barrister – the standard buy sell ageeement addresses those issues already. You don’t need to have a real estate lawyer draft something.

  20. A real estate agent brings credibility to the negotiations. Although, several people on this blog like to slag agents they do bring a sense of credibility and trust to setting the asking price. Otherwise if I’m coming to look at your property one of things I would ask is “how the hell did you come up with this price?” And if you can’t give me a satisfactory answer, I’m not going to trust that you’re asking price is close to being fair.

    If you’re asking over 3M for a property I need more than your word that this is a fair price.

    Love them or hate them sometimes you need them. And that’s what you’re paying for – not just their time.

  21. Barrister – maybe a private sale to Hawk? He is sitting on a lot of cash from his 500% annual stock market returns. Downside – he may want to wait for the zombie apocalypse before pulling the trigger.

  22. Barrister

    I would second John’s suggestion to hire an appraiser – particularly if you are doing a private sale. The appraisal fee will be a small fraction of your proceeds and will buy you a lot of peace of mind re getting value. I helped family sell a place recently. We hired an appraiser ($350 for this small job, your house will be more) to get a valuation and I also met with two real estate agents and got their market assessment. Armed with this information we ended up selling the place to an existing owner in the building. The in-building buyers stepped forward just before I met with the agents and I carried on meeting with the agents because the private deal was far from a sure thing.

    If you go with a full service agent I would definitely negotiate the commission. Some agents won’t move on commission. Some will.

  23. Sounds like you have thought it through. You are a lawyer so that helps.

    Good luck I hope it sells quickly.

  24. Managing an agent is sometimes even more stressful. Besides I am not sure what there is to manage that an agent does for you. it is not like there is a flood of potential buyers at this price point involving a ton of appointments. Besides, it will give me something to amuse myself with. If it becomes a hassle I can always get an agent later.

  25. Barrister

    I would hire an agent. Money does not seem to be an issue so why the hell go through the trouble and stress of managing this yourself.

  26. I would hire Marko in a second….

    I think Marko has created a good niche by doing things different.

  27. John Dollar:

    I am turning over in my mind whether I really need an appraisal. Generally I suspect that what you are suggesting is good advice. But i am not sure that with a purchase price in the 3 million plus neighbourhood that any buyer would be paying anything other than cash.

    I think that getting a survey done is sensible and having a clause inserted making clear that the purchaser has reviewed the survey and that the property being sold is exclusively that within the survey. Further I want a clause stating that the deposit is deemed to be agreed to be liquidated damages but that the vendor is not limited to those damages. Actually, I will have my real estate lawyer draft the agreement of purchase and sale to be used.

    In most cases I would say that your advice is excellent but our situation is a bit unusual since we already own the house that we will be moving to after the sale. In most cases people need the proceeds of the sale for their next purchase so your advice is really good.

  28. Barrister, it you do go the route of a mere posting you may want to have your own building inspection performed and have a current real estate appraisal done so that the prospective buyer can get financing readily.

    That would give the prospective purchaser some assurance about the property and if the buyers have been pre-qualified the deal should go easily.

    I think you should speak with several real estate appraisers before choosing one. They are not all the same and they do not all charge the same fee. An appraisal on a property like yours should cost between $750 to $1,000 and any value updates over the next six months would be at half the original fee. And you could negotiate the appraisal fee into the purchase as chances are the buyer is going to need to pay for an appraisal anyway.

  29. Marko stated on here he’s not a good salesman and only meets one smart person a year. I’d say that’s a deal killer in my books.

  30. I like quadra island a lot. Great place to sit in a beach chair making hundreds an hour laughing at bears.

  31. In case you want to live on an island off an island off an island..

    I’m often up on Denman/Hornby. Great little islands, although busy this time of year. There is a property there I covet…

  32. From our end we’re excited to have signed the build contract! Construction to commence within 2 weeks. Demolition imminent.

  33. Barrister –
    Not sure why you wouldn’t consider Marko, but he can set you up with a mere posting very easily if that is what you want. And I also used Dawson Mullen and had a good experience.

  34. New build at 851 Coles St sliced $100K. One big ouchy for that builder as the fleecing of the flock is thinning out.

  35. Barrister- Do a mere listing and save yourself a bundle. If I can do it successfully and save $30,000 I’m sure you, as a retired lawyer, can easily handle a few showings, review offers, and accept the best for your circumstances. But if you’re hoping for a bidding war, then be sure to remove any listing contract clauses that bind you into either accepting a full price offer or paying the buyer’s agent a commission if you don’t accept a full price offer. Mullen Demeo are excellent real estate lawyers who can do the legal work for acceptance and registration.
    https://www.realestatelawvictoria.com

  36. Nice day out there Hawk. You should take a bike ride downtown on one of those bike lanes and enjoy a nice lunch on a patio. Have a good one. Our interactions always bring a smile to my face.

    I hope there are no hard feelings.

  37. “I think speculation on ones home is moronic and down right stupid.”

    Gwac ,you need to change your nick to “crabby old man” or maybe ” hypocrite”. I post info from every angle showing excessive speculation/debt and the results of that through history and you now agree with me while you chuck crap at me ? You’re one strange dude.

  38. Gwac
    August 27, 2017 at 11:31 am

    I think speculation on ones home is moronic and down right stupid.
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    Lol, alright Gwac, I don’t spend enough time here to catch some of the back and forth. I’ll cancel my reservations.

  39. Oops

    Hawk is referring to a lot I was thinking of buying for retirement building . I chose not to because I decided I do not want to live in that area in the future. He has turned this into I am flip flopping on the market.

    What I own right now will be past to my kids as I have repeated to him numerous times. I think speculation on ones home is moronic and down right stupid.

  40. Hawk
    August 27, 2017 at 9:57 am
    Great to see you’ve flip flopped once again gwac, shows your weak character. So you’re out buying today, that’s great to hear.

    Gwac
    August 27, 2017 at 9:50 am
    Yep Hawk the crash is just around the corner.

    Gwac, I usually don’t go out of my way to protect bulls, but I don’t really get the sense that you are a true, market will never go down, buy now or never, bull.

    If you are looking at purchasing, wait until after the OSFI legislation is enacted this fall. Short of an absolute guarantee of a crash, there is no way this isn’t going to negatively affect the market.

    You would have nothing to lose and quite possibly everything to gain.

    There you go and in 6 months I will have Leo give you my e-mail address and you can e-transfer me enough money for a nice dinner and drinks. We will toast your good fortune. Lol.

  41. More sleazy leftovers from corrupt Christy and her cronies. This smells to high heaven and shows how gullible she was.

    How a murky company with ties to the People’s Liberation Army set up shop in B.C.

    “In 1996, Poly Technologies and another Chinese state-owned company, Norinco, were linked to an undercover sting that saw 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles smuggled into the port in Oakland, Calif., allegedly to arm street gangs.”

    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/how-a-murky-company-with-ties-to-the-peoples-liberation-army-set-up-shop-in-b-c

  42. I’d strongly recommend a mere posting Barrister. You’ve got the skill set to show and close the deal. If it doesn’t sell list with a realtor then. I had a terrible experience with a realtor and haven’t used full service since and have had zero problem buying and selling.

  43. Yep Hawk the crash is just around the corner. I believe it since you have told us for years on here. There is no way you could be wrong right???

    Maybe you should head to Kansas. There is probable a home you could afford there now.
    Why did you sell your home. In retrospect speculating on your home was kind of foolish no?

  44. Our agent basically put the house on MLS and had photos taken. He did not personally show the house even one time. He forgot simple things about the house and had to ask us all the time. Always called me by the wrong name.
    Yes he subtly and not so subtly convinced us to take a lower price for a quick sale….we agreed to it so shame on us for sure.
    Months later and I still look back and feel sick on how much money he got for so little work. I would have to,work hard for 4 months to make what he got for doing almost nothing.
    We bought our new house privately …yay! Reasonable people can do it fairly and quickly and cheaper.

  45. Yes gwac, only 10 years ago there wasn’t a massive credit debt bubble like no other in history. Maybe you should update your charts. You’re not in Kansas anymore.

  46. This question has come up during a dinner conversation yesterday. Exactly how much does a listing agent actually do these days? Advertising is pretty well taken care of by the MLS. So whether they use a good photographer might be important but with inventory being this low how critical is that anyway these days. For example if you are looking for a house in Fairfield or Oak bay priced between 1.5 and 2 million most buyers will be able to go through the list in a couple of days. You can pretty well do a drive by of all the properties in a morning.

    I have had agents tell me that they bring great negotiating skills to the table. But what is there really to negotiate? Price, closing date and the size of the down payment. The reality is that your agent is mostly negotiating with you to drop your price because his economic interest is in getting a fast sale and not necessarily the best price.

    In terms of advice in how to stage a house there are a number of great online articles that usually prove to be better than most agents advice. Generally your agent has no contact with the buyers in most case and no influence on them.

    So the question arises why would I be paying an agent about 40k for his share of the commission for what is likely to be around 40 hrs of work at best?

    I may be misremembering but did someone mention that you can arrange to have the house listed on MLS for about $800. That would let me bump up the purchasers agents commission to 2% and still come out ahead.

  47. I don’t think of this blog as a bear site. There are a few on this site that taunt others with false claims that this site has been pro crash for a dozen years. In my opinion these bloggers would like to see this site close down. Their agenda is one of seeding distrust. The haters on this blog all seem to be those that claim they are bulls.

    jd

  48. After 10 years I truly believe this blog is on a loop. Same bashing stuff for 10 years. Only difference is prices are up 30’to 40%. Not exactly a bubble over 10 years. 3 to 3.5% a year compounded is not exactly bubbly territory. Keep it up Hawk and friends that 50% haircut is just around the corner.

  49. Curious Cat: Thank you for the input and I have heard from a number of people that they were happy with Binab.

  50. “FHawk’s News

    That’s a good one.”

    Price slash #3 on another one of the other “fake” 20 plus Golden Head’er slashes just in the last month at 1554 San Juan Ave.

    Not to mention all the other fake slashes from South Oak Bay to Cordova Bay the last 24 hours. That’s a good one alright Intorovert. 😉

    I think I’ll take real estate investment advice from some no name economist in the TC pumper rag who hasn’t exposed his personal real estate holdings.

    In fact the guy’s ramblings sound downright desperate that he’s completely fucked when the market does inevitably tank.

    Maybe he needs a reality check like so many others ? Vancouver price slashes have increased 40% in the last week for August. It’s a frickin bloodbath of dumpers.

    http://www.myrealtycheck.ca/

  51. Barrister – we’ve used Jason Binab three times since 2006 and he was great. Very professional, personable, capable, and that must be the experience of many as he’s become quite successful. He has a good network and advertises quite a bit, nice website, and for a unique property like yours, I think you will want maximum exposure.

    I know some people here have rolled their eyes at him because of his TV work and his video blogs, but last year my friend’s sister tried to sell her Cordova Bay home with a “team” and after two months of no offers she relisted with Binab and it sold very quickly for full ask.

  52. People moving to Victoria aged 60-69 MINUS people moving away in that age group MINUS people dying in that age group = 950.

    So the people that moved to Victoria in those 5 years is definitely significantly more than 950.

    How many of the “definitely significantly more than 950” purchased homes with cash? Or with an exceptionally large down payment? This information is the holy grail.

  53. FHawk’s News

    That’s a good one.

    @Gawk – get over it, it’s happening – Hawk may be extreme but he’s right we have reached our “hub” and now we are going down, how bad and for how long who know, get over it… the stats from Leo prove it

    First, maybe get his name right. Second, stats do not “prove” anything will happen in the future. Three or four years ago, the stats were “proving” that prices couldn’t rise higher—then guess what.

    In the core you can pretty much make a 1:1 correlation between twisty narrow, “inadequate” roads and desirable expensive neighbourhoods.

    True.

  54. @ Marko

    So true. Learned that the hard way with a property that took 18 months to sell when the market was dead. Anyone who is even remotely interested can and will find you property if it’s listed on the mls. It became painfully obvious that realtors don’t determine if your place sells or for how much, the market does. Keep in mind our realtor was an award winning high performer. Not because he had some magic formula for making sales happen but because he was good at hustling listings and overcoming objections once someone actually came forward to the table. He even said at one point, “what can I do, no interested parties are coming forward to the table.” The internet has changed everything but most people don’t seem to see it or believe it so like you say the traditional, now non-optimal (I’m being gentle) business model persists.

  55. They might have a list of prospective buyers for a home like yours.

    Ohhh yea, and a list of offshore buyers too willing to pay above market value for your home because they are not familiar with the local market.

    Sigh….the traditional business model is here to stay for a very long time. The myths people buy into….

  56. Bike paths are a good proxy even if you don’t ride a bike. Don’t hear a lot about bike paths in Chicago.

  57. Bearkilla’s Mary Kay bizz must be doing gangsta.

    I dunno last time it was $1000/hour. Maybe bearkillas mysterious income is a leading indicator

  58. Condo listings keep hitting record high for the year. They’re all dumping ASAP before the last sucker is left.

    940 Leslie Dr slashed $50K. Another shack that will need another $100K more.

    Bearkilla’s neighbor at 935 Bradley Dyne Rd slashed $40K with much more to go.

    “Making hundreds of dollars an hour from the comfort of home is great. ”

    Bearkilla’s Mary Kay bizz must be doing gangsta.

  59. I’m glad I don’t have to commute at all. Making hundreds of dollars an hour from the comfort of home is great. I’d hate to be a basement dwelling bear always mad about being broke.

  60. Barrister true, not everything is downtown. But I’d wager that rush hour is an influx to the core in general. And if we don’t build it but people still want to move here, that will just drive prices up even further. I don’t think that’s a good thing, even though I own.

    Stop signs and lights are there for safe and efficient travel of everyone (drivers, cyclists, pedestrians). I’m fine with cyclists not coming to a complete stop as long as they’re not getting in anyone else’s way or risking hitting someone. And as long as they don’t interfere with the proper flow of traffic. So if I pull up to a 4-way stop ahead of a cyclist, I’m going to have the right of way and I’m going to take it. If no one else is affected, then I don’t have a problem with a cyclist doing a rolling stop.

  61. How come we don’t hear about appraisals in BC? Why is the credit tightened up only in Toronto? Thank you.

  62. Read Bikenomics! That will put you in some perspective (I’m first a walker, then a cyclist if/where possible/ then a driver)…

  63. I would recommend that everyone should watch “Bikes vs Cars” it is available on Knowledge BC free for all. Very interesting and informative.

  64. @ Barrister:

    if you dont build it them you wont have the population increase to deal with

    Yeah, we could put up signs at city entry points: “Unwelcome to Victoria: Immigrants prohibited, and that includes you out-of-town Canadians. “

  65. 3Richard:

    Thank you for the referral; I will put him on the interview list. I appreciate your response.

  66. @Barrister
    I recommend Greg Phillips with Newport Realty. Give him my regards if you get a hold of him.

  67. I dont mean the occasional bicyclists I actually mean the majority dont stop at stop signs.

    I’d agree with that. Seems to me that about 5% of bikers stop at stop signs. Probably 10% of cars stop at stop signs. So on that metric drivers are twice as law-abiding 🙂

    I find the argument that many bikers are scofflaws to be a weak argument against bike infrastructure. Imagine if that standard were applied to car infrastructure. “Most drivers break the speed limit – so we aren’t going to invest any more in road infrastructure.” That would rightly be seen as nonsensical.

    I do get annoyed when I see bad biking or dangerous driving, but in the end I can’t control how the rest of the world bikes, drives and walks all I can do is more or less follow the law, look out for the safety of others and myself.

    PS watch out for crazy bikers in Switzerland if you move there. There’s way more of them then here and they move fast because e-bikes have exploded in popularity there.

    OK back to real estate

  68. Caveat:

    I would be happy if bike riders would actually stop at stop signs. I have almost been run down a couple of times just walking across the corner. I dont mean the occasional bicyclists I actually mean the majority dont stop at stop signs.

  69. Garden:

    Actually a lot of the jobs are not right downtown. Any way you look at it you are adding a lot of cars that are driving through the downtown. Personally I dont care since I avoid being downtown as much as possible. Everyone seems to work on the assumption that Victoria has to accommodate another 20 thousand people but if you dont build it them you wont have the population increase to deal with in the first place.

  70. “Bikers have to learn to slow for right turners on any other road in Victoria. Downtown should be no different.”

    Wherever there is a designated bike lane the bike proceeding straight ahead would have the right of way over a right turning car. Conversely where there is no bike lane then definitely a cyclist passing to the right needs to watch out for right turners.

  71. Increasing congestion […] Building more condos downtown and increasing population in order to just put more taxes in the city coffers is a recipe for disaster.

    Downtown condo dwellers don’t have as much reason to commute by car, as most of the jobs are downtown. So the impact on congestion is limited compared to SFH’ers coming in from outside.

  72. “I’ll maintain that calling the traffic “bad” on Pandora is laughable”

    Seems to be the opposite of the status quo on every news report I have seen as well as experiencing it. Nothing like having a bus or large truck hang almost half way into the other lane and dictate traffic flow for blocks. It’s an engineering disaster to under design lanes like that with zero room for error.

    Bikers have to learn to slow for right turners on any other road in Victoria. Downtown should be no different.

  73. Sidekick:_ Thanks for the suggestion; I will put him on the list to call.

    I thought it would be a nice location for a eight or nine story apartment better then an old stagnant house. We are still thinking it through since I seem to be slow at making decisions these days. Slow at most everything else as well.

  74. “No right turn on a red so traffic backs up ?”

    As a driver I actually like having a defined time window to turn where I won’t be smoked by through traffic (on red) or have to worry about late crossing suicidal pedestrians (on green).

    I’ll maintain that calling the traffic “bad” on Pandora is laughable, though I would agree it is usually marginally slower than before to travel the length of Pandora through downtown.

    Bikers are sure a defensive lot.

    ??? I was speaking from the perspective of a driver though I am also a biker and a pedestrian at times.

  75. Drove it several times during daytime traffic and rush hour and it sucks. No right turn on a red so traffic backs up ? Idiotic planning. Fort St will be a bigger disaster.

    Bikers are sure a defensive lot. They think this is Amsterdam all of a sudden.

  76. Toss in the bike lane fiasco and you’ll have more people leaving Victoria than moving here. Being trendy is a fad idea that only lasts so long.

    There is no bike lane fiasco. It’s laughable – I kept hearing on VV about the “gridlock” on Pandora. Have had the opportunity to drive Pandora at morning and afternoon rush hour several times in the last week. No traffic jams, once had to wait about 75 seconds to turn onto Blanshard. Oh the humanity!

    And seriously does anyone move away from an area because there is some bike infrastructure? “Honey – we got to get out of here! It’s just not dangerous enough for the bikers anymore.”

    On the other hand I have heard some people on this blog specifically touting proximity to bike routes as a benefit.

  77. @Barrister – I’ll go out on a limb and recommend Geoff Field @ DFH. You may get some interest from developers with frontage on three sides, although I noticed you had a ‘stop overdevelopment’ sign out a while ago.

    If you like your neighbours, now would be the time to throw on some restrictive covenants. Sounds like you don’t need the $.

  78. We are a small town with a shitty road system.

    The charm of Victoria and Oak Bay stem partly from the fact that they were designed before the ubiquity of cars and thus designed more for people and less for cars.

    In the core you can pretty much make a 1:1 correlation between twisty narrow, “inadequate” roads and desirable expensive neighbourhoods.

  79. “We need to spread out the major employers in the Capital area not cluster them all within a ten kilometer radius of each other.”

    Ever notice how all the great cities of the world big and small lack a downtown core and instead spread the economic activity all over the place?

    Oops. Nope.

  80. Your hemmies bothering you again gwac ? Almost 20 price slashes city wide today, expect more as the weekend rolls on. 😉

    Barrister, you better get a starving agent like gwac, sounds like his phones aren’t ringing and needs the work bigly.

  81. GWAC:

    The basement of the south tower may or may not have been actually used as a dungeon at one point. Hawk would feel right at home.

  82. Barrister

    One more thing. You have a spare room for Hawk in Lugano . Anything really, preferable no internet connection. 🙂

  83. “Victorians have always thought that their city is bigger than it really is. We are a small town with a shitty road system.”

    Bang on. Increasing congestion where one accident on any main thoroughfare shuts down half the city is pushing the limits of what the system can currently handle. Building more condos downtown and increasing population in order to just put more taxes in the city coffers is a recipe for disaster.

    Toss in the bike lane fiasco and you’ll have more people leaving Victoria than moving here. Being trendy is a fad idea that only lasts so long.

  84. GWAC:

    Absolutely true that it is not always greener on the other side. I have been in Lugano a fair number of times so I have a good idea of what I am getting into. For my wife being close to family is a big bonus.

  85. Barrister 2 things

    “not always greener on the other side”

    I do hope you find what is missing here for you. Retirement should be a happy one so best of luck with how this plays out.

  86. Barrister, I looked to see which real estate agents were the most active in your area. No one stood out more than the next person.

    I think you might want to think more about the agency than the person. Some of the more frequent listing agencies in your hood are Newport, Pemberton and Re/Max. They might have a list of prospective buyers for a home like yours.

  87. Victoria is still too small for densification to work. Vancouver had a population close to 2 million before it made sense to build rapid transit.

    We need better and more arterial roads. The problem isn’t population – it’s infrastructure and centralizing of the provincial government. We should be locating provincial government buildings and workers outside of the core or by increasing the use of telecommuting.

    Maybe a new Legislature building in Colwood and then turn the current building into an airbnb.
    Or the Navy Base re-located to Sooke or Port Renfrew. We need to spread out the major employers in the Capital area not cluster them all within a ten kilometer radius of each other.

    Victorians have always thought that their city is bigger than it really is. We are a small town with a shitty road system.

  88. Thanks GWAC:

    I am pretty sure that Marko would not like to hear from me. Any serious suggestions? Jason Binab seems to carry a lot of listings?

  89. Love your opinion as to the names of good real estate agents that you have been happy with for me to interview.

  90. Luke:

    Try talking to people in Toronto that commute from Hamilton, Barrie and Gulph to the core of the city.

    Rather than building massive transport projects moving jobs out to Langford, Mill Bay and Duncan is a much more sensible approach.

  91. CS:

    Thank you for confirming that you are choosing to use a loaded word. Oak Bay is a perfect example were some many houses have been upgraded, historically preserved or replaced with new builds.
    Actually, I am not sure why you would pick one of the most inappropriate parts of Greater Victoria to call stagnant. Time for that second cup of coffee perhaps. Stagnant is not the same as balanced or sustainable.

  92. Victoria has no new land unlike Toronto to build upon?

    Toronto can sprawl in three directions… Calgary and Edmonton in all directions. Yes, these three are largely built out and have green belts to contend with against any further growth – they can’t keep growing forever either, but for them – where there’s a will there’s a way, and they don’t have the ocean or topography to deal with like Victoria does.

    In Victoria’s case we can’t build on the ocean or the Peninsula’s ALR. In the core – there is virtually no new land! Quite right Cavaet – hell will freeze over before anything changes in Croak Bay. There’s a big hill called the Malahat if we want to expand to the Duncan area. They’d have to engineer Swiss style highways and re-open the railway, plus build a new bridge from North Saanich to facilitate it all. Think the little $34 million bandaid they’re currently doing on the ‘Hat is going to help the commuters much from north of there? Maybe a little but it won’t cause Duncan to explode. I work w/ a couple guys who commute from up there – one from Maple Bay the other from Chemainus – don’t know how they do it and they always seem so tired. One is talking about quitting as he can’t take it anymore.

    My point is, that the core is so constrained from any growth for more SFH by so many factors. Even building more in the Westshore, which is just about all they can and will do – is just going to lead to more traffic headaches going to/from even w/ the new interchange which may finally get completed in 2019. They could put in rapid transit and maybe even a high speed ferry to shuttle people back and forth – but do you see it happening? I don’t. Not in Lotusland. They can’t even build the new bus lanes as the quote came in too high and everyone’s too busy. So, everyone commuting out there will sit in traffic for longer and longer…

    CS brings an interesting point to mind – all that useless forested land up in the Highlands area, ripe for development and not in the ALR. Makes sense to me but… guess what, they’re never going to go there so we can forget about it. Ever try driving through that five way intersection up near Interurban Camosun? Not fun. That area is f*ked for traffic flows and needs a complete redesign. Our inept planners and lack of amalgamation will ensure progress that could happen is, unfortunately, mitigated for a long long time.

    So, the appeal of living in the core will continue – but our prices have reached a ceiling? Probably. Time will tell if they finally do something real about shuttling people back/forth between the core and Westshore… or even as far north as Duncan area. But, I’m not holding my breath…

  93. In your list of what cities do you conveniently left out cities that remain balanced, dynamic and sustainable at an equilibrium.

    I use the word “stagnant” which signifies the same as balanced, i.e., having no current or flow, but also having possibly an unpleasant smell of decay, as in an old Oak Bay bung with a leaky envelope.

  94. CS:

    In your list of what cities do you conveniently left out cities that remain balanced, dynamic and sustainable at an equilibrium. “Stagnant” is a developers word for I cant make a fast buck; it has wonderful negative implications.

  95. Basing an entire economy on real estate and a massive debt bomb not a good idea. No shit eh ?

    ‘Painful no matter what happens’: economists worried by B.C.’s financial reliance on real estate

    UBC prof. says it’s bad policy to base a budget around real estate industry

    “It’s not a healthy situation to be that dependant on real estate, so the adjustment is going to be a little bit painful no matter what happens.”

    http://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4260288

  96. “Where did this myth did cities have to grow endless or their economy will suffer”

    Did anyone say that?

    Cities grow, stagnate or decline. Apparently, most “house hunters” here want Victoria to stagnate both in terms of density and economy. That’s fine with me.

    But not only Marko, but Justin Trudeau want to bring more immigrants to Canada, which means that room must be made for them somewhere.

    Since the sentiment in Victoria seems to be, no immigrants in my back yard, we have either to pack them into the existing megacities, or create economically dynamic new settlements.

    I’m proposing Sooke—Langford as Vancouver Island’s location for a new center of economic development and population growth. House hunters as opposed to house vendors may find the proposal of some interest.

  97. Very interesting about what is going on with Toronto. Funny how lawyers always do well no matter what is going on.

    Hmmmm

    SFH prices down from a short lived peak in April, but still up YOY.
    Condos up 23% YOY.

    Almost identical to what happened in Vancouver…..

  98. Bearkilla. You could be totally right. I never thought about it like that.
    You also could be grasping at straws to defend a deflating market.
    Who knows anymore. One thing I have learned over the past three years is to stop consulting blog comments from random strangers in making big life decisions. And yet here I am….commenting.

  99. “Most current first time buyers have bought in the craze leaving less renters than before. This huge jump in rent isn’t going to work. ”

    I believe you are correct Rook, have been noticing the same, prices are way out of line. The old adage of “I’ll just rent it out” as if renters always magically appear can come back to bite like it did back four years ago when landlords prayed for a good tenant to come along. Ours even was offering $100 just to find anyone you know. We’ve hit Peak Renter along with peak house prices and affordability.

    The Oaklands slashes continues at 2554 Shakespeare St down $30K but will need another $100K with the complete gut job needed. When the shacks have to slash in the hot areas you know it’s all downhill from here. Condo listings hit year high as well. Say good night Irene…. I mean Bearkilla. 😉

  100. Or it could be Chad and Stacy and their kids already rented their house and moved in awaiting school to start. The rental market does kind of mirror the real estate one in seasonality although the University/ college aspect kind of amplifies it.

  101. Where did this myth did cities have to grow endless or their economy will suffer originate from in the first place. Why do people keep repeating this without ever questioning it? This is up there with Napoleon was short, the Vikings had horned helmets, carrots make you see better, George Washington had wooden teeth and that people told Columbus that the world was flat.

    Now, to the more important question, which real estate agents would people recommend here.

  102. A little anecdotal news regarding rentals in Victoria.

    Things don’t seem to be as hot in the rental market as news articles, and a recent housing boom would lead you to believe. Many people are putting their homes for rent for unrealistic amounts (not lining up with local incomes, or the quality of house for that matter). Many houses are reposted on craigslist etc. every other day with no biters. The good ones priced fair still go fast, and occasionally you see a little price drop, but not a lot.

    This response from a person whose house has been up for at least 3 weeks after I asked if there was some wiggle room with the rent: “…the rent is what it is. I can’t afford to reduce it or I won’t be able to pay for it. Make sense?”

    It does make sense. I understand for sure that rent must exceed the mortgage, taxes, etc. But what if the house doesn’t won’t rent for that much and you lose one or two months rent? Better having a nice steady reliable tenant at 200$ less a month no?

    I have a feeling that a lot of the landlords that bought in the last two years as an investment (I have met more than a few during our home hunt) will be trying to liquidate as soon as there is some sort of correction. Most current first time buyers have bought in the craze leaving less renters than before. This huge jump in rent isn’t going to work. Thats my two sense…. or maybe I’m just frustrated and bitter.

  103. @ JD
    Re: So to lower house prices, no prob. prohibit land subdivision and place a prohibitive tax on new houses

    “That’s the only alternative you can think of?”

    I think it’s commonto add “Sarc off,” or some such thing to indicate intended irony. Clearly needed in my failed attempt.

  104. @ Barrister:

    I have asked you before, give me some examples of cities where more high density has lead to a major drop in housing costs?

    Why should I give you examples? I have never said that “more high density has lead to a major drop in housing costs.”

    What I do say is that house prices in Victoria, especially the core, are substantially determined by land prices and that the price of a lot will be lower than it would otherwise be if zoning bylaws are changed to allow higher densities. In turn, lower lot prices (relative to what they would otherwise have been) will mean more new houses are built, which means that new houses will be cheaper than they would have otherwise have been.

    But inasmuch as city house prices are driven in part by an influx of outsiders, then rising prices could well coincide with zoning changes to allow greater subdivision of land and increases in home prices.

    Conversely, if the population of a city is collapsing due to a loss of industry, an outbreak of plague or whatever, then a reduction in available building land, as in Detroit, where abandoned subdivisions are being converted to farmland, may nevertheless be accompanied by falling house prices.

    Cities generally increase in density as they increasie in population. So increasing density will tend to be associated with increased home prices, partly for the reason that JD stated at 9.55 am. But unless you wish to strangle the economy of a city, you need to allow population growth without massive home price increases, which means, among other measures, increasing housing density.

    New York, got to have a GDP greater than that of Canada by, in part, keeping housing costs down, for example, by subsidizing development of low cost housing.

    The idea that greater Victoria cannot achieve huge increases in density is absurd. At noon today I was at the top of Mt. Manuel Quimper with a view all the way from Sooke to the Parliament Buildings. The intervening land is virtually all rubbish: not just hills and hollows, but humps and mumps, impossible hillsides and dismal sloughs. What use is it? As low productivity forest land it is of minimal value. As recreational land it is not the best that BC has to offer and thus lacks potential for development as a world class resort area. So all it’s good for is growing people.

    But for God’s sake, not like Broadmead, with three houses to the acre. Let’s set aside a dozen areas of 50 to 100 hectares and develop them at high density to create villages of five to ten thousand souls, each village with a soul of its own, i.e., shops, churches, schools, etc. plus vast areas of wilderness park around them and with some kind of rapid transit, maybe hyperloops, connecting the villages to one another and with Downtown Langford and Sooke, leaving Victoria’s core to subside into seedy irrelevance.

    P.S. I mistakenly posted this on the previous thread. Sorry.

  105. So to lower house prices, no prob. prohibit land subdivision and place a prohibitive tax on new houses

    That’s the only alternative you can think of?

    We will always be a boom/bust economy until people stop thinking it can only be an either or answer.

  106. CS:

    “LOL.

    So to lower house prices, no prob. prohibit land subdivision and place a prohibitive tax on new houses.”

    You can’t just will prices to be lower in a desirable location. When a city is desirable, the value of real estate is going to increase. The only thing that densification does is temporarily decrease the average cost of a unit in the city, by flooding it with small, cramped living units with little to no land. The average unit is cheaper because the average unit is smaller and crappier. Apples to apples, properties don’t get cheaper by densification. If you densify the hell out of Victoria, my third-acre in Broadmead is going to skyrocket in value because it will be such a rarity. Look at real examples– why do you think there aren’t any detached SFHs in Manhattan? And a mere 2000 sq. ft. rowhome sells for $12 million? The denser the city, the more a square foot of land costs. I don’t want to have to raise my family in a condo, but that’s what densification promises. How would building condos and multiplexes make existing SFHs cheaper?

    CS: “Yes, that’s by definition. But is Point Grey in Vancouver so intolerable with its 33 foot lots?”

    How much do those cost? I’m not sure what you’re getting at here… I’d rather spend a million in Victoria than a million in Vancouver right now. A million in Vancouver buys nothing. If and when Victoria becomes as dense as Vancouver the nice SFHs here will also be 4-5 million.

    CS: “There seem to be an important issue at stake that no one here seems willing to consider:

    Do you want to make family homes in Victoria cheaper, or not? From comments here, it seems that the answer is “NOT.”

    You’re saying we should replace half-acre lots with 8-plexes. All your densification promises is that the standard for a “family home” will change from an actual house with a yard to a fractional portion of a house or high-rise condo building. To me it’s not increased affordability if I have to live in a small unit with no yard and no privacy. That just means I’ve gotten less for my money, not more.

  107. We have pretty well decided to move as soon as I recover enough to travel. I am looking for recommendations for real estate agents. It is a rather large Rockland property so I am looking for agents that are experienced in that sector.

  108. Marko:

    Obviously I am not suggesting that we emulate Detroit. My point is, as you well know, that it is much easier to shift demand than to increase supply when it comes to cities. It would not be great for your business but such is life.

    Marko, how about if we legislate a flat fee of $2,000 maximum for selling a house. That would help in keeping house prices reasonable.

  109. If we are short of people to work at Tim Hortons, that’s got to be good news. First, it means that the the lowest rate of pay in a free labor market will rise. Second, it means that there are better jobs than working at Tim Hortons available to nearly everyone. And Tim Hortons will no doubt survive somehow, with more automation, higher wages and higher prices, the latter good for everyone’s health since we’ll eat fewer donuts.

    Not sure if really that simple. A lot of jobs such as housekeeping are still a way from being automated and with a global economy higher wages have a cap. At some point, you can’t export product competitively. and a million other factors.

    A guess Japan has a pretty good grasp on this given they give zero immigration but many other countries such as Germany depend on immigration for their labour force. Last I read 1 in 7 workers in Germany is an immigrant.

  110. I am beginning to really be convinced that you work for a developer because the alternative would not be either kind or charitable.

    Yes Barrister, for the millionth time, we get it. The only people that get rich with densification is developers. I’ll take your advice, drop what I am doing, and I’ll become a developer tomorrow. Piece of cake, no risk, massive profits.

  111. @ MJ

    The barriers to come to Canada are so insanely high that you don’t get immigrants coming that are going to work at Tim Hortons.

    If we are short of people to work at Tim Hortons, that’s got to be good news. First, it means that the the lowest rate of pay in a free labor market will rise. Second, it means that there are better jobs than working at Tim Hortons available to nearly everyone. And Tim Hortons will no doubt survive somehow, with more automation, higher wages and higher prices, the latter good for everyone’s health since we’ll eat fewer donuts.

  112. You want to lower house prices than relocate jobs out of the city. Prime example are cities like Detroit in the rust belt.

    So, cities should try to emulate Detroit? Have you been to Detroit in the last 10 years?

  113. @ Luke

    I did notice they are starting construction on the overpriced ‘Bowker’ development now, but that’s hardly going to ‘do the part’ or contribute anything to affordability.

    Well if the law of supply and demand has any validity, and let’s face it, economics has no validity if the law of supply and demand has no validity, then an increase in supply however small will tend to make prices lower than they would otherwise have been. As for the claim that the “Bowker” development is “overpriced,” it makes no economic sense. The price at which the development is sold is the price the market will bear, which precludes over or under pricing.

    But obviously, one small development is not going to make much difference. However, if you rezone the Avenue to allow ten or twelve story high-rises, and rezone the adjacent avenues to allow 3/4 story multi-family buildings, then there could be a huge both on the population of Oak Bay and on the price of a condo unit.

  114. CS:

    You want to lower house prices than relocate jobs out of the city. Prime example are cities like Detroit in the rust belt.

    I have asked you before, give me some examples of cities where more high density has lead to a major drop in housing costs? Certainly not Toronto or Vancouver but you must have a lot of examples.

  115. At CE

    Significant new supplies of SFH are only going to come from Langford, Colwood and Sooke Let’s look at the possibilities:

    Oak Bay – tons of potential for infill SFH on large lots, but unlikely to happen before hell freezes over

    At least one person here acknowledges that there’s “tons of potential” to increase densities throughout Victoria, but it won’t happen.

    And it’s probably true that it won’t happen.

    So WT… is the matter with people.

    How the heck do they think cities like London and Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai got built. Not with pathetic whimpering about the impossibility of doing anything that they haven’t been doing for the last hundred years, like pissing away the forest resource, raping and pilling for mineral resources, while failing to develop a tourism resource with a potential equal to if not superior to that of Switzerland.

  116. @Mukluk

    Densification means everyone owns less land.

    Yes, that’s by definition. But is Point Grey in Vancouver so intolerable with its 33 foot lots?

    There seem to be an important issue at stake that no one here seems willing to consider:

    Do you want to make family homes in Victoria cheaper, or not? From comments here, it seems that the answer is “NOT.”

    That, however, is probably not the view of most young people seeking a home of their own. Perhaps the blog should be renamed, from “House Hunt Victoria,” to “The Conspiracy to Raise Victoria House Prices.”

  117. Luke:

    Victoria has no new land unlike Toronto to build upon?

    I am a Toronto boy and you seriously cant be saying that. Toronto has effectively build out to Hamilton in the West, past Oshawa in the east and up to Barrie. Downtown Toronto to Hamilton is about 70k. using that same distance Victoria can build out to Duncan in the north and out to Jordan river in the West. Between Toronto and Hamilton it is all high density housing.

    I am beginning to really be convinced that you work for a developer because the alternative would not be either kind or charitable.

  118. @ JD

    If you increase the allowable density of land then the price per square foot increases and the land becomes more expensive.

    The act of building more housing, stimulates the economy and makes housing more expensive. You can not build affordable housing because the act of building stimulates demand through increased employment.

    LOL.

    So to lower house prices, no prob. prohibit land subdivision and place a prohibitive tax on new houses.

  119. Significant new supplies of SFH are only going to come from Langford, Colwood and Sooke. Let’s look at the possibilities:

    Oak Bay – tons of potential for infill SFH on large lots, but unlikely to happen before hell freezes over

    Victoria – some limited potential for infill SFH, council is at least somewhat supportive. Lots of new condo supply.

    Esquimalt – some limited potential for infill, likely to contribute to low-rise condo supply. Wildcard is status of underused DND land. If this was given to a local FN that could open up some amazing areas for development

    Saanich – lots of undeveloped land but the supply of land outside the ALR and within the urban containment boundary is not that great

    Highlands – not pro-development – fairly minimal supply

    Central Saanich – ALR

    Sidney – some potential for new SFH development

    North Saanich – ALR plus not very pro development

    View Royal – some infill SFH potential, some opportunity for new SFH developments north of the TCH though constrained by ALR.

    Metchosin – ALR and anti-development

    Langford and Sooke – cut down those damn trees and get on with the SFH construction

    Colwood – as above except the trees are already gone

  120. GWAC, did you check the foreclosure applications today in Victoria. There were two in Victoria and seven in Vancouver.

    Maybe we are getting more like Vancouver!

  121. These over askings are becoming more infrequent than last year but this one caught my attention…

    1591 Despard Ave in Rockland asking $1,650k went for $1,710k – big lot, but totally in need in fixing up. I’m wondering if they are thinking redevelopment and hence that would explain it…

  122. whether it’s 13 new arrivals a day or less than 3, as IslandScott states, you need to subtract departures and deaths, the latter being probably in the vicinity of 10 a day. So in reality, Victoria may not be growing at all. And since we know that population on the West Shore and Peninsula is growing, the whole of the core, like Croak Bay, may be losing population.

    CS – Victoria CMA is growing, by 12.68 new people added per day. This does take into account deaths and departures. It’s the net increase in people. Comes from Leo’s Stat’s on the last post 23,155 new people over five years is 12.68 new people per day to the ‘Victoria Metropolitan Census area’. Newhomeowner has since broken it down by community.

    You are quite right, here in ‘Croak Bay’ we do not see much of an increase of any population, and arguably – are not doing our part to help the housing crisis despite close proximity to the core. I did notice they are starting construction on the overpriced ‘Bowker’ development now, but that’s hardly going to ‘do the part’ or contribute anything to affordability. Metchosin is another example of a place that is not growing and anti-development. In Metchosin’s case I would say – thank goodness it’s like that – as it’s so beautiful out there, preservation of that nature for future generations is important. I would hate to see it spoiled with rapid, poorly thought out, development like Langford.

    Homeownership in the city is a pipe dream for people that aren’t gifted wealth by their parents or are far above average.

    Thanks Newhomeowner for breaking down the new people per day per municipality. The wealth that people are using towards home purchase can come from previous equity as well. Two people with well paying jobs, and say – at least 50% down can still afford a SFH in the core, but we are reaching a ceiling. Those gifted with more of a downpayment, which could come from multiple sources (inheritances, equity, bank of mom and dad, etc), can still afford a SFH with less income.

    In a city with thousands of rowhomes and condos, a detached home becomes an extreme luxury.

    Which is the case in many cities around the world – and the way we are headed, or you could argue we are already there, except we lack options for people. As I pointed out earlier – many people here still have the recent memory of it being relatively affordable to buy a detached home in the core. Or they didn’t see the large price increases coming and now it’s too late. More diverse housing is needed, to give people options, as the options here with the way it was developed in the past (i.e. mostly SFH on medium or large lots) is more limited than in many other more mature cities around the world. It’s a poor use of such a limited land space, but likely in the decades before the 1970’s when most of it was developed they didn’t see what’s coming or here now.

    Victoria’ core has virtually no new land available to develop more SFH on. This is unlike Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, etc which can all keep sprawling. Vancouver has the problem of lack of land as well and look what happened there…

    Yes, we will see our sprawl happen in the Westshore – and we need a rapid transit link between the core and Westshore.

  123. Vacation rentals are a non-story when you actually examine the numbers

    I disagree, I talk with a lot of property managers and they always bring up airbnbs as the reason for our high rents. Other cities have the same problem

    https://youtu.be/LMw-h0VSa9g

  124. Marko

    What is happening out there?

    Condo`s

    SFH/core and non core.

    You are the only one who can put some day to day reality to the present situation.

  125. And this is bad densification too. Condo towers being built as vacation rentals don’t add supply and don’t ease the rental market.

    Nothing will be built going forward with vacation rental zoning and currently it is less than 20 buildings that have such zoning. It use to be 21 but two buildings recently banned short term rentals through bylaw amendment, even thought they have the zoning.

    Vacation rentals are a non-story when you actually examine the numbers.

    You can create affordable housing by encouraging re-sales of existing housing and dissuading hoarding.

    Affordable or not you still need a massive amount of construction to accomodate the population growth we are seeing in Victoria. Downtown towers or clearcut everything from Victoria to Sooke.

    21,000 people in 5 years physically need a place wheather affordable or not.

    and unlike Vancouver we just don’t have that many units sitting vacant for the fun of it where you can impose a tax and bring supply of physical accomodation that is vacant to market.

  126. EDUCATION so that those at the lowest rung on the earning ladder can obtain higher paying jobs.

    Agreed!

    But then we need to open the boarders to low skill immigrants. In the last 12 months, I know of three young Croatian couples that have moved to Victoria and in all three situations at least one person in the household works in the IT industry, all six individuals are employed, all six speak great English. All three couples will likely be in the market for a starter home with 3-4 years.

    The barriers to come to Canada are so insanely high that you don’t get immigrants coming that are going to work at Tim Hortons.

  127. And this is bad densification too. Condo towers being built as vacation rentals don’t add supply and don’t ease the rental market.

    The more the city decrease unit size to allow for more units to be built on a piece of land the higher the land cost increases for the older housing on lots in the city as developers buy them up and have them re-zoned. And then we end up with thousands of micro condos that are not suitable for families and end up being airbnbs.

    Then we have one or two bad tourism years and condo prices collapse. Then owners stop maintaining them and they depreciate quickly. What we are doing is building tomorrow’s slums today.

    Build for families not for tourists.

  128. Densification means everyone owns less land. The amount of land allotted to the average unit of property decreases. This can cause nominal prices to decrease, but only because people are now packed together like sardines in rowhomes and high-rise condos. There’s no way to make properties cheaper apples to apples through densification. In fact, I would argue that densification actually accelerates property appreciation even more. In a city with thousands of rowhomes and condos, a detached home becomes an extreme luxury.

  129. oops,
    Those are some scary stats. With the new OFSI rules most likely to kick in the fall, there will be some serious media attention and expect to see some panic in the market with those up for renewal in the next year.

    Many who got in on a wing and a prayer who can’t qualify under the new rules will be taking what profits they got and run. This should be the major catalyst needed to get inventories back to normal range and pop this bloated pig for good.

    “As reported here, uninsured mortgage growth is 14% a year. Huge. Eight in 10 mortgages in the GTA or YVR – the most inflated markets in the galaxy – are uninsured (thanks, mom), and half have 30-year amortizations, suggesting the borrowers couldn’t handle payments on 25-year plans. Almost a third of all these uninsured borrowers have debt-to-income rations of 450% or more. Gulp.”

    http://www.greaterfool.ca/2017/08/23/after-mom/

  130. If you increase the allowable density of land then the price per square foot increases and the land becomes more expensive.

    The act of building more housing, stimulates the economy and makes housing more expensive. You can not build affordable housing because the act of building stimulates demand through increased employment.

    You can create affordable housing by encouraging re-sales of existing housing and dissuading hoarding. You can do that by announcing that there will no longer be any capital gains exemption for more than three residential rental properties. Buy as many apartment blocks as you want but after three single family residences all of your profit from those sales will be fully taxable.

    When investing becomes hoarding that’s when the activity of acquiring residences becomes detrimental to our society. Housing shouldn’t just be a privilege for the wealthy.

  131. CS

    What does that do. Maybe 100 lots, house will go for 1.5 when newly built how does that help at all.

    At the same time carve up the golf course if you want some more 1.5m dollar homes.

    The boat of cheap homes has left the port. People will have to move further from the core. This happens in all major cities. Victoria is no different.

  132. “EDUCATION so that those at the lowest rung on the earning ladder can obtain higher paying jobs.”

    A job, any job, is often the best education for a better job, especially for young people without much clue about what work is all about.

    Raising the minimum wage reduces the possibility for those of the lowest productivity of finding a job, since no employer will pay more than a laborer’s work is worth.

  133. @Barrister

    “The one proven result of high density is that a lot of developers become extremely rich.”

    @ RH

    “What is really needed is for the Government to provide and pay for EDUCATION so that those at the lowest rung on the earning ladder can obtain higher paying jobs.”

    Maybe you guys would benefit from a little education in economics.

    One definite consequence of increased density is a reduction in the land cost per unit of housing. But obviously, when, as in Hong Kong, you have a density 100 times that of Victoria, then raising density may cease to be a practical or even a feasible option. Fortunately, Victoria is nowhere near such technical limits.

    I suggest densification should begin in the Uplands, by reducing minimum lot size from ca. 21,500 square feet to 5000 square feet. Subdivision in the Uplands might make present owners richer than they are now, but it would sure lower the price of an Uplands lot.

  134. EDUCATION so that those at the lowest rung on the earning ladder can obtain higher paying jobs.

    Agreed!

  135. @CS I love your idealism, it seems all so simple to just increase density. Regrettably Barrister is 100% correct in his comment “The one proven result of high density is that a lot of developers become extremely rich.”
    A quick search of Hong Kong’s RE market shows that it starts at about $1M Can. for a 400 sq ft apartment, so high density there hasn’t done anyone any favors. I heard that people take out 99year mortgages and basically pass it from one generation to the next, hardly a RE market to emulate.

  136. All this emphasis on raising minimum wage really irks me. All that accomplishes is raise the cost of living for everyone including those poor soul the Government is attempting to help. What is really needed is for the Government to provide and pay for EDUCATION so that those at the lowest rung on the earning ladder can obtain higher paying jobs. It’s such a cop out to just raise minimum wage, which has been pointed out not only puts certain businesses at risk but also REDUCES the number of jobs.

  137. CS

    A lot of the retires are in their early fifties these days. If you sold your house in Vancouver for 3.5 million and can buy a nice Oakbay house for 1.5 you can bank 2 million in savings, so why bother working at a job you might not like until 65.

    Show me a city with high density that made housing more affordable in North America.
    The economics of high density usually prove to be counter intuitive for a number of reasons. The one proven result of high density is that a lot of developers become extremely rich.

  138. Speaking of land use, Greater Victoria has an are of 696 square km, which means we have an average population density of 502 persons per square kilometer. Hong Kong, in comparison, has a population density of 57,250 per square kilometer, or more than 100 times Victoria’s density.

    We’d be smart to boost our population density, rather than sprawling everywhere burning megatons of fossil fuel to get from the part of town where we live to the parts of town where we want to be to work, shop, find entertainment, or visit with friends. It would also make the outdoors more accessible by eliminating so much suburban sprawl between downtown and the wide open spaces.

    A change in zoning bylaws to achieve higher densities would make housing affordable for nearly all.

  139. Barrister:

    “With a lot of out of town purchasers their income is not relevant since they are often retires who are paying cash.”

    Only 18.4% of Victoria’s population are “seniors,” so it seems difficult to believe that anything like a quarter of house sales are to out of town retirees.

    But in any case, there is something odd about house prices rising in direct ratio with available income and borrowing power. A house, after all, is just a box with windows doors, plumbing, etc. Why should the price continually rise, unlike so many other things, which get cheaper, or at least do not rise in price faster than inflation.

    The answer, it will be said, is that there is a shortage of land: they’re not making it any more, as Mark Twain is said to have observed. But with only 350,000 people and an urban area extending from Sooke to Sidney, why is land so expensive? Obviously, dumb zoning bylaws. So why don’t the municipalities fix them. And if the municipalities won’t make sensible zoning bylaws, why won’t the Provincial Government force the issue?

  140. CS:

    With a lot of out of town purchasers their income is not relevant since they are often retires who are paying cash. Or people who sold houses in Vancouver for 3 mil and buying here for two million. Their ability to purchase is not based on their income. It changes the fundamentals of the market.

    I believe that I got the 25% figure from one of Leo S great stats charts which breaks it down further as to the number from the mainland BC , the ROC and also foreign buyers.

    Newhomeowner:

    Victoria has grown and it really is time for us to acknowledge the reality that the west shore and the peninsula all the way to Sidney are part of the city. We might as well be pointing out that home ownership for most people in the Uplands is now unaffordable. It is what happens when a city grows and is also successful. In Toronto, I commuted a lot further both in terms of time and distance than the West Shore.

  141. I don’t know why the population growth is such a mystery, the info is widely available

    2016 population / 2011 population / %change

    Metropolitan Victoria 367,770 / 344,580 / 6.7
    +13 people per day

    broken down by the 10 municipalities I looked at

    City of Victoria 85,792 / 80,017 / 7.2
    +3/day

    Esquimalt 17,655 / 16,209 / 8.9
    +0.8/day

    Oak Bay 18,094 / 18,015 / 0.4
    -nothing really

    View Royal 10,408 / 9,381 / 10.9
    +0.6/day

    Highlands 2,225 / 2,120 / 5.0

    Sooke 13,001 / 11,435 / 13.7
    +0.9/day

    Colwood 16,859 / 16,093 / 4.8
    +0.4/day

    Metchosin 4,708 / 4,803 / -2.0
    new people are banned

    Langford 35,342 / 29,228 / 20.9
    +3.35/day

    Saanich 114,148 / 109,752 / 4.0
    +2.4/day

    And lets just put to rest the discussion on median incomes. If your median SFH in the core is $850k then your carrying costs on a mortgage+utilities+taxes is basically 100% of your daily median household income in Victoria which is $77k/yr. If that was a single income and assuming 35 hours/week that’s $42/hr.

    Homeownership in the city is a pipe dream for people that aren’t gifted wealth by their parents or are far above average.

  142. Looking at medium incomes as a measure of housing demand is also questionable when about a quarter of the purchases each year are from out of town.

    Are there really that many out of town purchasers?

    And if there are, what do they do with the houses the buy?

    Do they live in them?

    If they live in them, they become in-towners and their incomes will be counted in the assessment of median income.

    Or do they rent them?

    If they rent them, the price they pay will be linked in some way to the local incomes which will dictate what tenants can pay.

    Or do they keep them empty? Some apparently do, but seemingly not a large proportion of them, otherwise, one in four houses in Victoria would be empty, which seems not to be the case. (If it were, municipalities would serve the community interest by imposing an empty house tax.)

  143. I really dont see any reason that we need businesses that wont pay their people a living wage.

    I take it that you are are using the term “living wage” loosely, since evidently those receiving what you would call a not living wage, are nevertheless still living. Or, if you say, that they are still living because their not living wage is supplemented by welfare, etc., what is the alternative? For them to receive all of an amount equal to a “living wage” from the taxpayer, while they are relieved of the burden of work altogether because the minimum wage makes their employment unprofitable?

    The net result of such an arrangement is that there is more idleness, which among young people means not only the loss of opportunity to acquire work skills, by which they can increase their earning power, but often trouble with crime of various kinds, despair, mental illness, etc., and a reduced GDP.

    I certainly don’t believe that the government should be looking for ways to subsidize the profits of these businesses through cheap wages.

    In what way is government subsidizing the profits of these businesses through cheap wages?

    Allowing a free labor market where anyone can offer or accept any wage that they care to offer or accept excludes anyone subsidizing anyone.

    The only subsidization that we see in the labor market is due to the existence of minimum wage laws (or wage settlements achieved through monopoly pricing by unionized labor) that cause prices in the minimum-wage or unionized sectors of the economy to be higher, and profits lower, than they would otherwise have been, i.e., employers and their customers are compelled by law to subsidize the wages of workers whose labor is of low market value.

    Raising wages by raising the minimum wage, seems akin to expecting water to flow up hill. Sure some people may benefit from a rise in the minimum wage, but employers will revise their business plan, to use less labor either by automation or by curtailing the least profitable parts of their enterprise, etc. In addition, employers may be forced to accept lower profits, but that only discourages enterprise and thus reduces labor demand. So minimum laws benefit some workers while depriving others of the opportunity to work.

    My own view is that if you wish to benefit low wage workers, this should be done in a way that does not destroy the free market in labor. One way would be a negative income tax of some sort, or a job subsidy paid to employers, that would lower the unemployment rate and thus drive up wages.

    These are, however complex issues, involving many factors beside those just mentioned, including immigration rates, immigrant selection, trade agreements, tariffs, and controls on the export of capital and technology, etc.

  144. CS:

    Do we really need to accommodate businesses that are just looking for cheap labour? I really dont see any reason that we need businesses that wont pay their people a living wage. If that means the price of a Starbucks coffee goes up 20% then that is too bad. I certainly dont believe that the government should be looking for ways to subsidize the profits of these businesses through cheap wages.

  145. First, I am not a stats guy and secondly I agree that house prices cannot escape the fundamentals. But there are a number of points here that people are making that I am finding confusing and possibly misleading when it comes to Victoria’s housing fundamentals. In no particular order let me point out the following points.

    1) Like it or not Victoria as a housing market is no longer restricted to what everyone is calling the core.Pointing out that a medium income family in Victoria has trouble buying in the core may be accurate but also meaningless as to the fundamentals of the housing market in Victoria.

    2) Looking at medium incomes as a measure of housing demand is also questionable when about a quarter of the purchases each year are from out of town. Victoria is not a closed economic system where the cost of housing is directly attached to local incomes.

    3) yes three quarters of the purchases are local but one also has to take into account that about half of Victoria’s residents are renters. What is relevant to the SFH prices is not the medium income but what is the top quarter of incomes in Victoria. Most of the purchasers of SFH, especially in the core will be drawn from that top quarter. The real question in my mind is whether prices have detached from that top quarter of incomes.

    4) The question in my mind is whether there is enough demand from that top quarter of incomes combined with out of town buyers to match the available supply of SFH in the core. To talk about medium local income is a bit misleading since medium income will barely put one into the housing market and if one is looking at SFH then one can barely manage the West shore. In Canada, this is the first year when the oldest baby boomers have turned 65 (the baby boom started in Canada in 1952 and not 1946 like the US). The amount of out of town purchasors are not likely to decrease any time soon).

    5) Are the fundamentals of the market out of balance? I dont know but measuring medium income against affordability does not tell us very much as to the actual fundamentals.

  146. “Meantime, according to this article dated September 2015, there were over 1200 condos going up in Victoria: enought to house the entire influx, without counting new houses, of which there must have been many hundreds built since 2011, and condos completed between 2011 and 2015.

    Looks like Victoria’s oversupplied with housing, as we could soon discover if prices continue their gentle glide toward the edge of the waterfall.”

    CS,
    The developer pumper on the news the other night said there were 2500 under construction right now in the downtown core. More than enough for those who want to live with the crack heads and mentally unwell. The condo bubble explosion will be costly for the FOMO and the flippers who think we are New Vancouver.

    Langford getting a Camosun College site will be major shift to the Westshore and will drain many away from a congested core.

  147. “Population grew by 6 a day in the core from 2011 to 2016”

    That’s a total of 2,140 people in six years.

    Meantime, according to this article dated September 2015, there were over 1200 condos going up in Victoria: enought to house the entire influx, without counting new houses, of which there must have been many hundreds built since 2011, and condos completed between 2011 and 2015.

    Looks like Victoria’s oversupplied with housing, as we could soon discover if prices continue their gentle glide toward the edge of the waterfall.

  148. @ Hawk

    “I’ve heard a few stories just the past couple of days of new downtown businesses having problem attracting workers for $20 an hour and aren’t restaurant nor construction related.”

    People working for $20 an hour are likely to buy, if they buy RE at all, on the West Shore or beyond, where their labor is in demand at the big box stores and in the booming local construction and service sectors.

    Stupid, RE-interests-dominated municipal councils that fail to undertake rezoning to accomodate more people including low-wage workers, are now seeing the economy of the core migrating the the edges. Soon Langford will be the place to live, while Victoria’s core will be swarming with annoying cruise ship passengers buying tee shirts and tacky souvenirs and eating hot dogs and hamburgers. Victoria, could become the hamburger capital of Canada.

  149. @ Luke

    Meanwhile 13 new people arrive in Victoria each and every day. That’s right – 13 more than the day before at a rate of 6.7%, that exceeds the Canadian average. Wonder what that means for future density/ land prices? Hmmm…

    whether it’s 13 new arrivals a day or less than 3, as IslandScott states, you need to subtract departures and deaths, the latter being probably in the vicinity of 10 a day. So in reality, Victoria may not be growing at all. And since we know that population on the West Shore and Peninsula is growing, the whole of the core, like Croak Bay, may be losing population.

  150. You average the medians for those three months. This is the correct median prices for houses in the core for those months.

    Winter D-J-F (315 sales )was $860,000

    Spring M-A-M (623 sales) was $871,000

    Summer (505 sales) J-J-A was $850,000

    Spring was our busiest season and that’s when prices peaked.

  151. “However, the notion that prices can explode with reckless abandon, leave fundamentals far behind never to see them again, is a goofy proposition that is not supported by anything other than wilful ignorance and hype.”

    Well said Local. The downtown condo bubble is a prime example. Most of the buyers are there for the flip as the listings have bumped up again today. As hot as some agent says it is, there seems like more are trying to get out ASAP.

    As well most people who make under $25 an hour are not living downtown paying off a $400K condo with minimum down payment like all the glossy ads seem to portray. I’ve heard a few stories just the past couple of days of new downtown businesses having problem attracting workers for $20 an hour and aren’t restaurant nor construction related. Workers don’t want to pay high parking costs, ride a tiring bus ride, and can’t afford the expensive condo to own or rent. One business is shutting down because of it and one is government related.

    Sure seems to me like the sudden growth is now being stifled by lack of workers due to high living costs which is the classic sign of a business and credit lending cycle coming to an end.

  152. Incomes and prices have always mattered in Victoria, as our market history shows that. Every time it escapes affordability – it eventually readjusts to match the economy.

    Exactly, which is why the large price increases can’t continue. But, I predict it just levels out as there’s simply not enough land or supply in the core as the population continues to increase. I don’t see a dramatic drop on our tiny rocky outcrop in paradise (unless say- nuclear war and then nothing matters, or there’s a big earthquake, or a massive economic depression like 1929, or we all get Trumped!). With Trump at the helm, anything can happen.

  153. Interesting how perceptions can differ from reality.

    Poll released today shows people perceive crime to be much worse in Toronto and Montreal than it actually is there, with an actual crime severity index for both of these to be lower than Victoria!

    Winnipeg is rightly perceived as having high crime, with violent crime there at a high level and crime on the rise there. However, while crime is higher in both Regina and Saskatoon than Winnipeg it is not perceived to be so.

    Victoria comes out near the top – perceived #3 best city in Canada for Safety which is close the reality of the crime severity index, just after the perceptions for quiet Charlottetown and secure Ottawa.

    Article that talks about the perception poll:
    http://globalnews.ca/news/3689496/canadian-cities-safety-poll/

    While perceptions can differ from reality, we can see from the actual statistics from Stat’s Canada, that Victoria’s crime rate dropped 6% from 2015 to 2016…
    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170724/t003b-eng.htm

    We also see from the Reported Crime Statistics… http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170724/dq170724b-eng.htm that Victoria’s Crime Severity index has dropped almost the most in the country! Behind only Trois Rivières. “The CMAs with the largest declines in CSI were Trois-Rivières (-14%) and Victoria (-12%).” So, we can see the reality that crime is now on the decline here.

    So, overall – Victoria has both perception and reality to be a fairly safe and low crime city, Nationally. But, it did surprise me that Toronto and Montreal did so well on the Crime Severity Index.

  154. 3 month average of monthly median prices (Core SFH)

    Winter (D-J-F) – 847K
    Spring – (M-A-M) – 869K
    Summer – (J-J-A) – 858K

    Changing start month by one gives a slightly different impression.

  155. Leo you posted in April on whether the data at that point supported the idea that SFH prices in the core were declining. At that point you said there was not the evidence to determine that (and incidentally mentioned that starting a graph with the January outlier gave a misleading impression).

    I’d be interested to here your take now that we have almost four more months of data.

  156. My point was that it doesn’t make sense to start a trend line in January, as that month was a clear outlier.

    Agreed – starting a series with an outlier is usually misleading and when done intentionally is just cherrypicking to support a predetermined conclusion.

    It’s certainly possible that prices are starting to fall or “pull back” but the data offer only weak evidence of that. Given the high month to month variability of the core median it is more likely that prices are bouncing around on a plateau at present.

  157. No one is going to be able to go out, get a good paying job or career with just 5% or less down, and then expect to afford a SFH in the core ever again.

    This is called a “permanently high plateau”, argument folks. Every peak, or near peak, of a cycle, you’ll have people arguing this. It’s a variation of “this time is different”. You can also see his “old valuations no longer matter” argument:

    Prices here haven’t been solely about incomes for a long time and never will be again.

    He’s being a bit slippery here, because of course it’s never solely about incomes, but in conjunction with the above, his implication and conclusion is clear. It’s also not supported by history.

    Incomes and prices have always mattered in Victoria, as our market history shows that. Every time it escapes affordability – it eventually readjusts to match the economy.

    Here’s a quote from the late Irving Fisher, who I would wager is smarter than myself and the above commenter put together:

    Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months.

    That was on the eve of the 1929 market crash. Are we headed for something similar in Victoria? I would say that’s too extreme. However, the notion that prices can explode with reckless abandon, leave fundamentals far behind never to see them again, is a goofy proposition that is not supported by anything other than wilful ignorance and hype.

  158. Softening of prices around the corner?

    Entomologist, it would be a real stretch of the imagination to think that this market could go from a sellers or bullish market which it is to a “soft” market in the immediate future.

    The term “soft” to describe a market is an oldie. What it meant in the past was there was considerable variation in prices for the same type of property with the purchasers having more negotiation power. That’s not the market we are in today or even close to being in. We are in a sellers or bullish market with the sellers having control over most of the negotiation. The reason why prices are not increasing are the limitations outside of the control of the purchasers. And that’s the size of their down payment and ability to finance and those are set most often by the size of the buyers savings and the bank.

    What it seems we have had is a pull back in house prices in the core this summer. That may well be seasonal, but it still is a pull back.

    When it comes to trending prices in real estate the more current the data the more weight it should have in any analysis. What happened a year or two ago when the interest rate and lending policies were different is of less importance than what happened last month.

    Q1 Median $880,000
    Q2 Median $876,000
    Q3 Median $845,000 to date (The median in the last 30 days is $837,000)

    So it does seem as though there has been a summer pull back in prices. You can call it a seasonal pull back but it still is a pull back in prices. That doesn’t mean the market is “soft” because buyers are still bullish on the market and negotiations still favor the sellers.

  159. “I agree – there isn’t going to be a crash”

    Glad we have Luke here to keep the masses calm. Meanwhile US new home sales tanked and along with increasing credit card delinquencies and a massive auto loan bubble exploding.

    It don’t look good down south as the reality of zero wage growth and high prices sink in. Not like here where these things never matter in la la land.

    New Home Sales Crash In July Following Plunge In Household Formations

    “The 8.9% year-over-year plunge in home sales is the worst since June 2014..

    As it appears higher mortgage rates, stagnant wages, and soaring prices have finally caught up to one another.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-23/new-home-sales-crash-july-following-plunge-household-formations

  160. Andy7-
    Sure, sales are slower than 2016, which was a crazy year. But they’re still well above the recent average. I’m referring to prices, which are still climbing (witness Teranet and other sources), or at least on a plateau. My point was that it doesn’t make sense to start a trend line in January, as that month was a clear outlier.

  161. Entomologist (August 22, 2017 at 11:11 pm) wrote:
    “There may indeed be a softening in SFH prices right around the corner, but so far the data don’t show it. JD – rather than posting January onward SFH sales, how about posting 12 months of data? In fact the only weird month was January, which was something of an overshoot price-wise (remember back at Christmas time when I said ignore December and January stats because they suck? Lowest volume of the year means that the averages are the least representative). We’re still up YOY, and increasing much more slowly this year than last, but still increasing (overall market; core SFH may be in a plateau).”

    I’ve been tracking sales back through 2012 for single family homes in Vic. If you track the sales stats back, you’ll notice that sales for SFH have been dropping since Oct 2016. July 2017 sales were 25% lower than 2016 and pretty close to 2014’s sales volume. The SFH market is slowing down, and as sales drop, inventory will rise, and prices start to correct. It just takes time — a ship doesn’t change direction on a dime.

  162. @Luke, you’re right, I do believe most of those towers will be filled, but rentals will level off just like home sales, Vic will always be a desirable place to live…we are an ever urbanizing landscape, but incomes need to mach housing more than 1:10….so yes we will grow, but we are NOT VANCOUVER or NEW YORK…get over it

    Learner -SFH prices in the core are not solely about local incomes anymore. There are still cases where income is somewhat/partially the case now – but this is for those with a big down payment. Prices here haven’t been solely about incomes for a long time and never will be again. No one is going to be able to go out, get a good paying job or career with just 5% or less down, and then expect to afford a SFH in the core ever again. In many parts of the world people accept this and never expect to own a SFH near the centre of an expensive city. Here, it is different because people still remember the way it used to be (still a relatively young city on the world scale). There are those that dream of the time their parent’s enjoyed here (nostalgia), and wish it is now like that for them. They will be forced to accept the new reality if they haven’t already. The Victoria of the relatively recent past that many continue to constantly wish for on this blog – is gone forever. Just like the rest of the world, these days – Victoria is rapidly changing. I never said we were Van or NY though – not sure what you’re talking about there…

    @Luke I’m not looking for a crash, but a levelling off like Victoria has done for the past 60+ years…face it..it’s ok, it’s actually a good thing.

    I agree – there isn’t going to be a crash – just an eventual levelling off – and yes, that’s a good thing. The rapid price rises we saw over the last two years are not likely to continue, that’s a given.

    Luke, where do you get 13 new people per day? I get 2.94 per day.

    Islandscott – I got that figure of 13 people added here per day from Leo’s previous post where he talked about the ‘Victoria census metropolitan area’, (not just the city of Victoria): growing by 23,155 people over 5 years is 12.68 new people added per day (round that up to 13). Interesting though, that only about 3 of those new daily people are going to the City of Victoria, the rest to the other 13 fiefdoms (except mostly Metchosin and OB which take in virtually no new persons)

  163. There may indeed be a softening in SFH prices right around the corner, but so far the data don’t show it. JD – rather than posting January onward SFH sales, how about posting 12 months of data? In fact the only weird month was January, which was something of an overshoot price-wise (remember back at Christmas time when I said ignore December and January stats because they suck? Lowest volume of the year means that the averages are the least representative). We’re still up YOY, and increasing much more slowly this year than last, but still increasing (overall market; core SFH may be in a plateau).
    Most exponential growth rate curves in nature eventually either crash or plateau into sigmoid curves, which include some overshooting along the way. January was the overshoot.

  164. @Luke I’m not looking for a crash, but a levelling off like Victoria has done for the past 60+ years…face it..it’s ok, it’s actually a good thing.

  165. You’re welcome Learner. Bubbles take time to play out and with the unprecedented easy credit it lasted longer than anyone imagined.

    Many like gwac are OK with buying cheap off someone else’s bubble crash loss, but not when someone buys in off their own loss. I expect it to get much nastier on here as the credit bubble unwinds.

  166. Learner sure thing. You are just one of many over 10 years that have called for a downturn and who have disappeared from here in disappointment.

  167. @Gawk – get over it, it’s happening – Hawk may be extreme but he’s right we have reached our “hub” and now we are going down, how bad and for how long who know, get over it… the stats from Leo prove it

    @Luke, you’re right, I do believe most of those towers will be filled, but rentals will level off just like home sales, Vic will always be a desirable place to live…we are an ever urbanizing landscape, but incomes need to mach housing more than 1:10….so yes we will grow, but we are NOT VANCOUVER or NEW YORK…get over it

    @Hawk, you are extreme, but I think with the craze you need your input, you keep people in check from FOMO, so thanks

    @ LEO keep up the good work. You are fab. One of the most informed, analytical, and rational people in or outside of the business.

  168. Some more fake news for the Trumper humpers. As I was saying about the business cycle ending and those dang credit markets….

    Wall Street Banks Warn Winter Is Coming as Business Cycle Peaks

    “HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley see mounting evidence that global markets are in the last stage of their rallies before a downturn in the business cycle.”

    “It all means stock and credit markets are at risk of a painful drop.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-22/wall-street-banks-warn-winter-is-coming-as-business-cycle-peaks

  169. Barrister,

    Go tell it to gwhacked, I’m just responding to his immature attacks. He can’t handle seeing $170K slashes and gets his panties all in a knot. I’m just posting the facts. If you haven’t sold you haven’t made diddly squat.

  170. Just got the estimate for the house in Lugano if we were to sell. Outrageous price to say the least. I am absolutely stunned.

    Prices here in in Victoria seem to have more or less leveled off.

    Hawk, time to tone it down a bit. Lets keep it all civil.

  171. FN Hawk

    How much have you lost on the sale of your house? Maybe you can click your heels and the money will appear.

  172. gwac, do have hemorrhoids again ? You’re sounding like a real ahole who can’t take all the price slashes and bad news of a melting bubble. Maybe you need a reality check and a chill pill to get over losing corrupt Christy. 😉

    http://www.myrealtycheck.ca/

  173. Hey FHawks News

    You seem upset. Anything I can do? Need a couch to crash on?
    Hopefully some more price reductions tomorrow. They seem to make you happy.

  174. How about Gwhacked Flip Flop News ? He’s whined the whole time prices have topped out since January that suddenly a 20 to 30% correction guaranteed in the cards as I posted more and more evidence of a maxed out market of debt and FOMO that anyone with a brain can see.

    Miraculously he calls the TO market months after it started, just like Vancouver did last year which I showed was tanking and he denied. Now he calls a fence sitting “plus or minus 10% price fall”.

    He’s the fakest poster on here but there are a few right on his lying ass. Relentlessly boasted he was about to buy more land then got too chickenshit to put his money where his mouth is. Yep, I’m fake. 😉

  175. Garden Suitor, congrats.

    ‘FHawks News’ is brilliant.

    The offender in question often brings to mind Frank Zappa’s quote about his experience with journalists: “people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for people who can’t read…..”

  176. Mortgage rule changes are cooling housing market: Morneau

    Finance Minister Bill Morneau says last October’s sweeping mortgage rule changes aimed at cooling Canada’s housing market have successfully dampened high-risk borrowing.

    But despite a report urging Ottawa to look at ways of boosting support for Canadians entering the housing market, the Minister ruled out any new measures along those lines, expressing concern that such an approach would encourage higher house prices.

    “Preliminary data received since the government implemented its most recent adjustments to mortgage rules in October, 2016, suggests that the rule changes are having their intended effect,” states Mr. Morneau’s letter to the finance committee.

    Canadian existing-home sales were down 2.1 per cent in July, representing a fourth consecutive month of decline.

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/mortgage-rule-changes-aimed-at-cooling-canadas-housing-market-are-working-morneau/article36057512/

  177. Hawk you like to twist and twirl information to make it seem like the end is near. Just trying to add reality to your posts…

  178. “Marked down” to 1.38 M. Would have been an 800 K house when I was house shopping in 2008.

    This would’ve been a $900-950k house when I was shopping just two years ago! The biggest gains have def. been in the last two years. Looked at a nice one in that area at 2052 Avondale that year, that was listed for $950k and went for $900k and would now potentially be anywhere from $1.2-$1.3m.

    Does anyone know what 2520 Wooton Cres. in North OB sold for? Total fixer upper w/ torch on roof and shared driveway, listed for $799k after a $100k reduction – now disappeared from my PCS but a sold sign has gone up.

    “Mooselessness” – love that!

  179. Garden what the new sale price? Just trying to put things in perspective.

    “Marked down” to 1.38 M. Would have been an 800 K house when I was house shopping in 2008. We did look at a few houses in that are when we were looking but we didn’t love the prices or the neighbourhood (not slagging the area – it is lovely – we just liked other areas more).

  180. Looks like the public’s perception of Oak Bay and Golden Head is determining they are over valued like Bearkilla’s hood where there have been oodles of slashes as well the past 2 months.

    With the median in the core declining, it’s only going to get worse on the outskirts as the FOMO back off bigtime.

    3516 Plymouth Rd in Henderson area on slash #2 for another $79K, for a total slash of $178K. Ouch.

  181. As I said before, the average DOM is the convention not the median. I still like to watch what is happening to the median but if you want to stay consistent with others then you would use the average DOM.

    Having said that, auctions or deferred listings did not start to dominate the market until the median DOM went under 18 and then it quickly fell because the agents were only allowing 5 to 7 days for the public to view the property before the auction date. Instead of allowing the marketplace to determine the DOM the agents were putting in place a 5 to 7 day DOM on their listings. Then add the predatory pricing with low lists price to attract dozens of eager bidders and buyers became irrational.

    The DOM is important as this is how most of the people on this blog assessed the “hotness” of the market. That they may have been manipulated into believing the market was hotter doesn’t seem to bother them. The public has acclimatized themselves to a low DOM and now with the increasing DOM they are speculating about a pull back (5%) or correction (10%) in prices.

    Even though, as Bearkilla pointed out, the DOM is still low by historical standards, the public’s perception is a major determinate of price.

    As an example, you can see that as the DOM has increased over the last 90 days the median price of houses in the core has softened.

    Month Sale Price, Median
    Jan $900,000
    Feb $880,400
    Mar $867,000
    Apr $850,000
    May $890,000
    Jun $884,000
    Jul $845,000
    Aug $846,000

    I surmise that simply looking at the set of economic indices of the market isn’t sufficient to project the most plausible future affect on prices. It’s necessary to look at the trend of the preceding months. And if you are in a trend of increasing DOM, Months of Inventory and New Listings to Sales it is possible to have declining prices even when the indicators are still in what historically been called a “sellers” or “bull” market. I don’t think the decline in prices would be of any significance perhaps a pull back, maybe a correction.

  182. Normal days-on-market has for decades been described by agent, lawyers, accountants and the courts as 30 to 90 days.

    When a law firm asks for a valuation on a property they routinely ask for a 30 to 90 day value. What they are trying to say is that they don’t want a quick or forced sale value. Neither do they want a value that is high. It’s a phrase that has been used for eons. It’s not accurate but it’s descriptive.

    You can have a balanced market with a DOM under 30 days or over 180 days. It depends on the property and the market. The key point being that market prices are not rising or decreasing. That there is enough active listings and new listings being added to keep prices from rising with the current demand. We’re at equilibrium or balanced.

  183. We get the data from the same source. Since no one seems to care about anything further out than Saanich West on this blog, the DOM I’m showing is, as I have described, for houses in the core.

  184. To answer Caveat emptors question. Last year when the market was sizzling the average and median days on market did not increase during the summer months.

    Thanks John. Looking at Leo’s chart posted in the comments on the last post it looks like “normal” (pre 2016) median DOM for July or August would be in the range of 45 days. According to your data median DOM this year in that time frame is 15-16 days – still stupidly low, but not as bad as this time last year (11 days). One thing that is slightly confusing is that your numbers for DOM and Leo’s appear to be somewhat different, though showing similar pattern.

  185. Doesn’t DOM typically increase over the summer? Though I agree there does seem to be less craziness to the market than several months back.

    To answer Caveat emptors question. Last year when the market was sizzling the average and median days on market did not increase during the summer months

    Month Days to Sell, Average Days to Sell, Median for 2016
    Jan 39 17
    Feb 26 10
    Mar 20 9
    Apr 18 10
    May 19 9
    Jun 18 9
    Jul 16 11
    Aug 19 11
    Sep 26 12
    Oct 21 12
    Nov 29 14
    Dec 31 16

    So this summer, by the DOM indicator, has been cooler than last year – just ask my tomatoes and cucumbers. It’s still a sellers market just less frantic.

    Month Days to Sell, Average Days to Sell, Median 2017
    Jan 27 9
    Feb 22 8
    Mar 18 9
    Apr 17 9
    May 16 9
    Jun 20 12
    Jul 23 15
    Aug 24 16

  186. Thanks Leo S for once again providing great information. Seems more like a plateau than anything else.