October Update

Every month I try to get a jump on the VREB by pulling the data for sales and new listings and prices from the VREB database before the official numbers are released.  And every month I’m frustrated by the fact that it is impossible to match the numbers that VREB produces.

The problem of course is all of your insatiable thirsts for immediate information.   Monthly stats are compiled the morning of the 1st of the following month, and the problem is that quite a lot of sales for the month have not been entered into the system yet.   So what do they report for the month’s sales?  Well all the sales that were reported during the month, minus the sales that were reported in previous months but collapsed.   Problem is that means what gets reported as sales in a certain month are actually missing quite a few sales at the end of the month, and include several sales from the previous month.   For example, as I write this, of the 280 single family sales that the database says were reported in October, 15 actually happened in September, and the total reported by the VREB is 294.

You’d think counting sales wouldn’t be so difficult.

Maybe it doesn’t matter, but fundamentally data that depends on how prompt agents are at entering their sales isn’t very reliable.   Much better to just throw the whole reporting dates out the window and move to a model where everything goes by the date a sale actually happened.   Collapsed sales are an insignificant number and can be tracked separately.   As of now I can actually do that since I gained access to the raw data feed from the VREB and am using it to build out some better reporting tools for the market.  Along with that I will at some point transition to statistics based on sales dates rather than reporting dates and thus will diverge from the published VREB stats somewhat.   Stay tuned for that.

For now, we’ve got the stats as they come from the VREB.  And this month is much the same as September.   Overall sales down some 10% from last October with detached declining the most, and condos maintaining the feverish pace from last year.


Median prices have backed off a bit from the big jump in October, with detached median dropping some $30,000 to at $767,500 and condos down $20,000 to $370,500.   The exception is townhouses where the median is up $10,000 to $510,000.  As usual, monthly medians are mostly noise, what we want are the trends.

Months of inventory is ticking up but we’ll need this to go a lot higher to get back to properly balanced territory.

A positive sign is new listings which were higher in October than the 3 previous years.

The new listings combined with the frenzied pace of construction around here should be addressing some of the inventory challenges going into 2018.

Now that the stress test has been introduced, the government can back off of further interest rate increases.  With the economy taking a breather, the Bank of Canada has already eased off the brakes and future uncertainty with NAFTA is not going to make them eager to get back on.  The average mortgage rate paid by consumers has edged up barely a fifth of a percent from the low earlier in the year, but with the stress test (assuming people can’t find a workaround) what people have to qualify for will be more important than what they pay.

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77 thoughts on “October Update

  1. Introvert, judging from Amazon’s stock price I wouldn’t say many underestimate them….

    For sure. Many regard Amazon as the front-runner to be the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

    I’m an avid Amazon shopper. Amazon is expanding its distribution centre in Vancouver because of all the ordering I do!

  2. I hear you Barrister but the false tech companies aren’t enough to discredit the industry. The true distinction should be how much is exported IP. I would assume not much with Telus. Others almost entirely export supply.
    Sidekick is right. It’s mostly hidden especially here. The reason is because Victoria is not a big market for the products produced so there isn’t really a need to advertise locally. So if you aren’t in the industry you just wouldn’t be aware of it.
    As for Amazon they are super high tech not only because of their cloud infrastructure, products and research but because all the tech behind their retail monster. Hardly “just” a retailer.
    Introvert, judging from Amazon’s stock price I wouldn’t say many underestimate them….

  3. Amazon has a massive technology portfolio.

    Yes, it is a common misconception that Amazon is just a retailer. Their cloud infrastructure is huge. Look into how much of the internet runs on hardware rented from Amazon.

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

    “AWS is predicted to have $13 billion in revenue in 2017”

    In watching Amazon quietly swallow up massive parts of the modern world, I think the appropriate response is admiration and fear. Kind of like watching the Mongols conquer Asia. Not as glamorous as Apple and Google, but don’t underestimate them.

  4. Makes sense it’s an Amazon expansion. Maybe they will do big Vancouver expansion and put HQ2 in Chicago or something.

    In any case it’s a good time to be in software

  5. You did, Leo. Apparently he had over 300 trick-or-treaters come to his door!

    Are you some sort of Gordon Head omnipotent being?

  6. The Amazon announcement probably relates to an expansion of their Vancouver distro center.

    I think you’re right.

    Amazon is not going to build HQ2 in Vancouver.

    It would be too close to HQ1, and housing prices aren’t exactly welcoming.

  7. The Amazon announcement probably relates to an expansion of their Vancouver distro center.

    Amazon is not going to build HQ2 in Vancouver.

  8. Amazon is going to save the bubble? Dream on. How does it feel to lose $40K last month? That’s the bigger question the pumpers won’t talk about. Smells like the dam has burst. 😉

  9. Deb, That’s probably #4 slash on San Jose.

    On a brighter note, Trump’s new tax plan cutting mortgage interest deduction in half has the housing industry reeling today with serious concerns for a major housing recession from the homebuilders association.

    The US catches a cold, we get the flu. Look out below pumpers.

  10. What do you think the right price is for this house?

    I am not an professional but I would say closer to $550. I looked at it years ago when I owned a home on this street.

    It has a tiny lot with no parking. The living rooms are small and the bedrooms even more so, a tight fit for a Queen bed given the layout. The second bedroom is little larger than a closet. The garden has been nicely done recently. When I went and looked round it was described as an alternative to a condo but with very steep stairs.

    Hard sell even in a good market.

  11. I see 67 SanJose has reduced again. $649 now, still too high for what it is in my opinion. Nice location though.

  12. Leo:

    I found your post much more informative than the article in the TC today. You separate condo sales from house sales and it creates a very different ( and far more complete) picture of whats going on in the market.

  13. Dasmo:

    Sorry about the partial sentence but had a minor emergency here. When they count tech companies does one include their sales offices here. Victoria has a lot of car dealerships but you would not say that we have any automotive industry here. Does one include the IT departments of banks as part of the technology sector? Has anyone come up with a standardized definition? I guess what raised a red flag is when they included Telus and Amazon as part of the tech sector. Do they include all of the employees or just their R&D sector?

  14. House prices have not risen because of increased salaries but because of leverage…cities like Vancouver and to a lesser extant Victoria house prices have totally detached from local incomes. In most cases this ends really badly.

    Bingo…

  15. Oh yeah, I’m pretty sure we went trick or treating at Weaver’s house.

    You did, Leo. Apparently he had over 300 trick-or-treaters come to his door!

  16. Dasmo:

    Thank you for those two articles. It did raise a couple of questions in my mind. Foremost what is and is not a tech company. For example, I would have not considered Telus a tech company in that its primary business is telecommunication. Amazon is primarily a merchandising company. Both have been lumped in as tech companies in this article. Obviously these days their is an element of technology in every virtually every business including farming. My car these days has more computing power in it than Apollo 13.

    I am trying to understand something that is new for me. Is there an accepted definition of what is and is not a tech company? Does this inc

  17. I thought Bearkilla had his own helicopter with a landing pad ? Nice of him to toss out bags of money to the little people.

  18. Looks like big trouble for the pumpers. Averages and medians down $30K for SFH’s and averages down $40K for condos. With VREB saying sales are being pushed forward because of stress test I’d say it’s SHTF time.

    “That’s how we retired Toronto lawyers roll, muthafucka!”

    Is this appropriate language LeoS? I’m sure some mothers out there might think not, when coming from an arrogant grammar/ spelling Nazi.

  19. OK Leo:

    I will bite and ask what the dollar value of Vancouver’s intellectual capital sales where last year? More to the point what was the dollar value of intellectual capital sold abroad. You might be right but some numbers would be nice.

  20. Penguin:

    Of coarse I can comprehend why a lot of people really like living in Vancouver. In many ways it is an excellent city and for many people their best choice. I never said otherwise. But it is not the Nirvana that some people make out.

    Incidentally, the decision to move in my instance is my wife’s desire to be near family. Feel free to disagree with my view points, often I am wrong, but at least take into account that my opinions are not based on any self interest. The simple fact of the matter is that I will be gone before many of the proposed and approved high rises downtown are even completed. I am much more concerned about what we are leaving behind for the next generation when I am not focused on how to manage six steps to get down to the garden. But you are correct when you imply that the problems of cities like Vancouver and Victoria dont really impact people like me.

    What disturbs me is the the quality of life for millennials is worse than it was for my generation. This is not a prophecy rather it is a simple statement of where things stand today. There is a 2012 You Tube video of Dr. Micheal Berry addressing the UCLA economics commencement that I strongly recommend. The situation has gotten predictably worse in the past five years.

    For a young person to buy a house in Victoria requires a ticking time bomb of debt. House prices have not risen because of increased salaries but because of leverage. My generation has had a wonderful party at the same time by increasing public debt and expenditures to the point that our grandchildren will be struggling to pay it off.

    Unlike Hawk, I am not gong to predict a housing crash but certainly in cities like Vancouver and to a lesser extant Victoria house prices have totally detached from local incomes. In most cases this ends really badly. If you gave a moments thought to what the BC economy would look like in a housing crash it should provide some sober reflection. In the past four of five years we have had a negative balance of trade. In one year we broke just above even. In short we spend more than we make. The difference is simply made up by increasing the debt.

    Do I really believe that Canada is in trouble, I certainly believe it enough that this house is the last asset I have here. But maybe I am wrong and things are actually a lot better than 20 years ago.

  21. Penguin:

    Of coarse I can comprehend why a lot of people really like living in Vancouver. In many ways it is an excellent city and for many people their best choice. I never said otherwise. But it is not the Nirvana that some people make out.

    Incidentally, the decision to move in my instance is my wife’s desire to be near family. Feel free to disagree with my view points, often I am wrong, but at least take into account that my opinions are not based on any self interest. The simple fact of the matter is that I will be gone before many of the proposed and approved high rises downtown are even completed. I am much more concerned about what we are leaving behind for the next generation when I am not focused on how to manage six steps to get down to the garden. But you are correct when you imply that the problems of cities like Vancouver and Victoria dont really impact people like me.

    What disturbs me is the the quality of life for millennials is worse than it was for my generation. This is not a prophecy rather it is a simple statement of where things stand today. There is a 2012 You Tube video of Dr. Micheal J. Burry addressing the UCLA economics commencement that I strongly recommend. The situation has gotten predictably worse in the past five years.

    For a young person to buy a house in Victoria requires a ticking time bomb of debt. House prices have not risen because of increased salaries but because of leverage. My generation has had a wonderful party at the same time by increasing public debt and expenditures to the point that our grandchildren will be struggling to pay it off.

    Unlike Hawk, I am not gong to predict a housing crash but certainly in cities like Vancouver and to a lesser extant Victoria house prices have totally detached from local incomes. In most cases this ends really badly. If you gave a moments thought to what the BC economy would look like in a housing crash it should provide some sober reflection. In the past four of five years we have had a negative balance of trade. In one year we broke just above even. In short we spend more than we make. The difference is simply made up by increasing the debt.

    Do I really believe that Canada is in trouble, I certainly believe it enough that this house is the last asset I have here. But maybe I am wrong and things are actually a lot better than 20 years ago.

  22. I’m pretty sure we went trick or treating at Weaver’s house.

    Government handouts! Shame on you Leo.

  23. Oh yeah, I’m pretty sure we went trick or treating at Weaver’s house. Was so star struck I forgot to ask him about the housing market. Damn!

  24. The argument that Vancouver doesn’t make stuff is idiotic anyway. They make a lot of intellectual capital. I think the guy’s angle was more trying to scare people (“don’t mess with the housing market or we’ll be ruined!”).

  25. I like how the other realtor on that show is arguing that Vancouver basically produces nothing of value and relies on foreign cash to keep the dominos from toppling.

    Here’s the thing, though. Other cities make stuff, which we think of as good. But the problem with making stuff is that sometimes the world wants less of your stuff—or wants to pay you less for that stuff—and then you have a problem. A place like Calgary comes to mind. Boom/bust/boom/bust.

    Whereas Vancouver does well because it’s Vancouver; it’s desirable in and of itself. It’s so nice—it doesn’t have to make things for people to want to live there.

  26. Hey, bears. Weren’t you saying before that the NDP would for sure try to pop the housing bubble?

    No.

    Despite their impassioned plea for affordability, they still are accountable to the electorate, and probably don’t want to be seen as nixing a market where 70% of the population are home owners.

    And I suspect that whatever announcements they make in February will still be observing this very basic principle.

  27. I like how the other realtor on that show is arguing that Vancouver basically produces nothing of value and relies on foreign cash to keep the dominos from toppling. Classic fear uncertainty and doubt.

  28. Thanks once and future, I had the earthquake maps on the Resources section but didn’t have some of the other info.

  29. “Anyone try out this tool yet to get an earthquake report on a property?”

    “I am not going to spend $20 for this”

    Hey, get Bearkilla to try it, he’s got lotsa cash.

  30. I often use helijet for Canucks games and concerts. You just need a good income. It’s not that expensive. I’ve taken my kids on helijet to science world for the day too.

  31. Have we not hashed out this Vancouver issue thoroughly enough back when apparently everyone from Vancouver was moving here? Barrister it’s beyond me how you can’t comprehend why someone would want to live in Vancouver. I wouldn’t want to either but it is so very easy to see why some people would love it. My friends who live there lead an exciting life with fulfilling careers that they couldn’t get here as well as all the other amazing things already discussed (over and over). You also don’t like Victoria and the people that live here……not everyone has family mansions in overseas they can simply move into when they don’t like something about the place they live. They strive to find a balance and a good life with what they have.

  32. You are absolutely right that what one values in a city is at least to a large degree subjective. What is perhaps less subjective is whether for the average person the cost of housing is economically in line with salaries. Considering that housing is for most people the single largest budget item one has to question whether living in Vancouver as opposed to Victoria really makes sense.

  33. Barrister
    Ultimately whether or not you like a city is a personal choice. I thought Oklahoma City was a hell hole when I went there for work, but there are probably folks that swear up and down that it is the best place in the best country in the world. You don’t like Vancouver and that is a valid opinion. Lots of people do like Vancouver as evidenced by its continually high rankings on best places to live and popularity for visitors.

    Universities are not even the best in Canada much less world class.
    UBC is generally rated 2nd or 3rd in Canada and around 30th globally. That rates the descriptor world class IMO. If someone was the 30th best golfer or soccer player in the world they would be considered world class.

  34. Introvert:

    I am Scottish and wont even buy a coffee at a coffee shop much less book on a helicopter to Whistler.
    But it is there for those that want it. Personally I think that Cosco’s brand of house coffee is better than Starbucks any day and at a fraction of the price.

  35. Introvert:

    On the other hand a young person can live in Vancouver and not have enough money for bus fare to Whistler much less paying for the tow tickets after paying for their rent.

  36. By the way you can fly to Whistler from Victoria direct by Helijet. It is only about a one hour flight.

    That’s how we retired Toronto lawyers roll, muthafucka!

  37. John Drake:

    I have a friend who lives on Salt Spring who would agree with you. But you should be warned that there are less than fifty coffee shops on the island. But there is an absolutely great bookstore. By the way that little bus shelter at the end of the city dock is actually the airport. Salt Spring really is a very special place.

  38. Caveat:

    On a more positive note, I really do believe that Victoria is far superior in most regards to living in Vancouver. You are right about the skiing but for a lot of young people at least you can afford to go spent a week at Whistler. Besides I remember when I was in University bundling into a friends car at five in the morning and heading off to either Vermont or Quebec to ski. I also dont see any shortage of coffee shops here in Victoria.

    By the way you can fly to Whistler from Victoria direct by Helijet. It is only about a one hour flight.

  39. But don’t get me wrong: I love Victoria.

    It’s not a coincidence that Victoria is the third-highest-priced city in Canada.

  40. In terms of foreign purchasers (non citizen; non landed immigrant) I still think that in addition the 15% tax that we should also impose annual property taxes that are at least three times the regular tax rate or even higher. That way at least there would be an ongoing benefit to the community.

  41. Economics notwithstanding, it’s difficult to argue that Vancouver isn’t the overall best city in Canada in terms of scenic/natural beauty, proximity to other locations of scenic/natural beauty, variety of recreation opportunities, amenities, arts and culture, restaurants/nightlife, and mildness of climate.

  42. So, finally, Thank you for being you Victoria And thanks for helping me realize that leaving Van was a very good decision Caveat

    I agree that Victoria is awesome. A city of 350K isolated on an island of course can’t offer every amenity and attraction that a city of 2.5 MM has. I do agree that Victoria does very well on the dining, cultural and entertainment fronts for a city of its size.

    The things I miss the most about Vancouver are actually some of the things Entomologist listed – the amazing outdoor recreation opportunities north and east of Vancouver.

    One of the very few metrics on which Victoria actually sucks is access to skiing. There are very few population centres in BC that are more than 3 hours from the nearest ski hill like Victoria is. Perhaps that is a measure of just how good we have it if that is the worst thing I can find 🙂

  43. Caveat Emptor:

    Thanks for the list in that it provides me some insight into your perspective. Some of the things on your list make sense others are a bit more questionable. To be fair to me though when we looked at Vancouver I was comparing it to other large cities and it still fell short in some many areas. The beaches are there but the water is still bleeding cold most of the year. Compared to Malibu or Hawaii they really are fourth rate. The Universities are not even the best in Canada much less world class.
    Both Toronto and Calgary are far better for employment opportunities if you are into that stage where making money is important. New York is still the place to be for the ambitious. Vancouver is mostly a cultural backwater compared to a number of east coast cities.

    I will agree that Whistler has world class skiing facilities and that is indeed a plus. The mountains do indeed look lovely and there is real value in that. On the other hand it is mostly impassable terrain for a large part of the year with limited utility for most people. I will agree that there seems to be a Starbucks or a knockoff on almost every corner.

    I am not saying that Vancouver is not a good city to live in but it does not live up to its star billing in my mind when I compare it to Nice, Barcelona or Vienna for example. Actually in many ways it compares poorly to Toronto. On the other hand it is an improvement over Medicine Hat, Fargo or Sudbury.

  44. And why does Victoria not have a frickin’ outdoor pool?? It’s a crying shame.

    I know! I love outdoor pools!

    A couple of years ago Jack Knox wrote a great piece on the closing of Victoria’s only outdoor pool, located at UVic’s Ian Stewart Complex. The article mentions that Nanaimo, Courtenay, and Campbell River still have outdoor municipal pools (all of which I want to check out someday).

    http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/jack-knox-outdoor-pool-s-fate-stinks-1.1872481

  45. “RBC is already applying the stress test for mortgages.”

    Median prices down $30K,sales down and banks starting stress test early as OSFI implied they wanted them too. Can’t mean a thing. 😉

  46. Having lived in Metro Vancouver in various places for twenty years I think can weigh in on this conversation…

    Personally, I’m so happy to have discovered Victoria, I feel it is far far superior to Vancouver, mostly because of the weather and people, but the smaller size also lends to a much nicer city to live in and a much better quality of life is found here. The compactness of Victoria means you can get from anywhere to anywhere in a much shorter time with much less stress than the hell that is the traffic in Van. but I realize that’s also ‘imo’ and a personal preference.

    Here’s what I think of what Caveat had to say…

    1) The parks. Stanley Park alone is enough to blow away most of Victoria. But Vancouver also has the huge Pacific Spirit Park and then the wall to wall parks on the North Shore.

    Um…. Victoria has some incredible amazing parks Stanley Park is not much more than a tired forest full of squatters and swamped in fumes from the numerous freighters on English Bay. Polluted waters too. I got really sick one time from swimming at Third beach. Within forty minutes of Vic there are amazing wilderness parks like East Sooke Park, and countless others, where you truly feel ‘away from it all’. In Van, to get ‘away from it all’ one has to either travel for hours or hike up very steep mountains. Then contend with some of the other 2 million plus residents trying to get ‘away from it all’.

    2) Seaside walking routes that collectively blow away the pedestrian friendly parts of our waterfront

    Not really… we have Galloping Goose and Lochside trails, numerous bike friendly roadways, and long waterfront walkways around the inner harbour and… not much is more beautiful than Dallas Rd. Did I mention how overcrowded Van walkways always are? Good luck missing the numerous other users.

    3) Bike infrastructure that Lisa Helps can only dream of.

    Well, Van is six times bigger than here. But, I feel Victoria has done well and is improving the bike infrastructure. Galloping Goose and Lochside are incredible long trails too.

    4) Transit that works really well

    Did you ever try commuting on Skytrain? I did. Pure hell. Always overcrowded during rush hour that you can’t even get on some trains or be a sardine. At night, some very dangerous people abound. On skytrain sometimes there is no one immediately avail. to help you. Our transit system is much more friendly where people actually say ‘thank you’ when they disembark the bus. Hardly no one says ‘thank you’ in Van.

    5) Real beaches

    Willows beach, Island View beach, Dallas Rd beaches, are all pretty darn real to me.

    6) Ocean water that warms up above 14 degrees in the summer

    Plenty of warm water in numerous nearby lakes and Saanich Inlet side. I will agree w/ you that on the Juan de fuca side you are hard pressed to swim without a wet suit, can make for a nice quick cold dip on a really hot summer day though.

    7) Skiing that is 40 minutes away rather than 3.5 hours away

    You’ve got me on this one. However, the skiing near Van is often so crowded you either have to wait forever to get on the lifts, and then don’t bother even trying to have a relaxing ski down the overcrowded slopes where the snow is all wrecked because there’s too many people! Also, I can make it to Mt. Washington in 2.5 hours… I guess you drive slow? Once you get there, Mt. Washington is a gem, and often not overcrowded at all. Sometimes, it gets more snow than any other mountain in North America!

    8) World class skiing 1.5 hours away

    Whistler is more like over 2 hours away and the road to get there often busier than hell. Once you get there, it’s so expensive, most people can go to Mexico for a week for less than what a weekend costs there.

    9) Real mountains not hills

    Real mountains trap all those clouds that keep the rain there for days and days without change, and keep it from moving along like it moves through so fast here. I’ll take our little hills any day 😉

    10) Trips that don’t all begin with ferry fare or flight to get off the island

    Who needs to leave paradise to go where? Vancouver is fairly far away from most of the world too, just like Victoria. It really doesn’t take that long to ‘hop’ from our relaxed little airport to YVR to make your connection.

    11) Huge amount of live music of every genre

    Riflandia was pretty good this year. We’ve always got something going on practically every weekend. I think given we are smaller than Van we do pretty well for live music.

    12) Unfathomable number of restaurants, coffee shops and bars

    Ditto – Vic has some awesome haunts. It’ll take me a lifetime to discover everything here also.

    13) Beautiful physical setting

    Again, ditto. And did I mention the endless rain Van always gets in winter when it moves through so quickly here. I’ll take the sun any day thank you. Those ‘real’ Olympic mountains always look so amazing too.

    14) World class educational institutions

    Ditto. UVic is pretty darn good too. So is Camosun.

    15) A ridiculous number of fun things to do with kids.

    Ditto. So much to do with kids here and added benefit is it’s much much safer than over there. Hear about all the gangland shootings in Metro Van lately? Not happening here.

    16) Nightlife every night.

    Ditto. We do so well for a city of much smaller size. I’ll give it to you, that Monday through Wed. is quiet, but that’s the same in mouldy, wet Vancouver.

    17) Granville Island.

    We have Fishermans wharf… 😉 We have bastion square. Market Square. Chinatown. beautiful shopping streets like Government/Johnson. I’d argue – much nicer than G. Island. Granville island, imo, is not all that appealing actually with that noisy bridge right overhead. False Creek is also very polluted.

    18) Diverse economy and all sorts of employment opportunities.

    We have so much stable employment here and now construction employment they can’t find the people to fill positions! Esp. government employment that I’m so happy to have landed here a good paying Gov’t job with a great pension and benefits, thank you very much Victoria! Even my Crown Corporation employer is having a hard time filling positions.

    19) Cultural diversity like few other similar size first world cities.

    Yes a larger city will inevitably have more cultural diversity but in recent years Victoria has been getting much more culturally diverse than it was previously. Besides, is there anything wrong with actually still having a city with a non diverse majority? I’m not sure all that diversity is actually a benefit to Van. or anywhere else when often integration doesn’t happen as it should.

    20) People watching

    Ditto. Actually some really funny crazy friendly regular characters here. Like that guy that carries the dinosaurs everywhere! I’ve gotten to know some of them due to the small size of this beautiful place and since I work all over the place out there I see them again and again. Not like in Van where people get more lost easily and so end up faceless and forgotten.

    21) Direct travel connections to lots of places

    Direct and quick connections from here to Calgary and Van and Seattle, etc. lead to mostly quick connections to most places. This actually benefits Vic as it keeps us a bit more isolated and leads to a better feeling community than Van which is easily swamped by the jet set Asian crowd.

    22) Theatre

    Ditto. I’m amazed what we do for a city of our size again in this regard. So much great stuff going on here.

    23) Dance

    Ditto. Actually, compared to London, UK, for ex., Vancouver really sucks in this regard. You have to get out of the club by 2am instead of 5am 😉 Vancouver could actually do much better for it’s size in this category. It’s still largely a ‘no fun’ city as it’s had that reputation for a long time.

    24) Amazing shops

    Ditto. Unless you like all that high end Robson St. name brand stuff like ‘Prada’ and frankly, I could care less about that. Actually one could argue some of our shops are better than there’s. As there’s more of a community feel to shopping here in places like Munro’s. Try actually getting to know your local shopkeep in Van? Won’t happen like it does in a much smaller more friendly place like Vic.

    So, finally, Thank you for being you Victoria 🙂 And thanks for helping me realize that leaving Van was a very good decision Caveat 😉

  47. Just writing that list made me miss Vancouver 🙁

    Of course since I left in 1998 it has gone from expensive to downright outrageous.

  48. “Besides walking trails, if which there are so many on the Island, what else do you see as great in Vancouver?”

    Barrister. You have made it clear that you don’t like a lot of things about Victoria. Most of the things that bother you about Victoria are even worse in Vancouver so it is fairly natural that you wouldn’t like Vancouver. At the same time is it really that hard for you to understand why many, many people think Vancouver is amazing, even if you don’t?

    My personal preference is Victoria, but here is a short list of things that are awesome in Vancouver:

    1) The parks. Stanley Park alone is enough to blow away most of Victoria. But Vancouver also has the huge Pacific Spirit Park and then the wall to wall parks on the North Shore.
    2) Seaside walking routes that collectively blow away the pedestrian friendly parts of our waterfront
    3) Bike infrastructure that Lisa Helps can only dream of.
    4) Transit that works really well
    5) Real beaches
    6) Ocean water that warms up above 14 degrees in the summer
    7) Skiing that is 40 minutes away rather than 3.5 hours away
    8) World class skiing 1.5 hours away
    9) Real mountains not hills
    10) Trips that don’t all begin with ferry fare or flight to get off the island
    11) Huge amount of live music of every genre
    12) Unfathomable number of restaurants, coffee shops and bars
    13) Beautiful physical setting
    14) World class educational institutions
    15) A ridiculous number of fun things to do with kids.
    16) Nightlife every night.
    17) Granville Island.
    18) Diverse economy and all sorts of employment opportunities.
    19) Cultural diversity like few other similar size first world cities.
    20) People watching
    21) Direct travel connections to lots of places
    22) Theatre
    23) Dance
    24) Amazing shops

    I could go on…..I didn’t even list a lot of things that I love that have rather niche appeal.

  49. To be clear, I’m not saying Vancouver is bad to live in because you may never buy a house. If they had a stable rental market with lots of different type of housing available it would be fine. The problem comes when houses are unaffordable and rents are high and places unsuitable.

  50. @Barrister
    RE – What is the appeal of Vancouver?
    Well, Vancouver did biking right. I don’t know about surrounding communities (Burnaby, Surrey, etc.), but Vancouver city’s biking network is brilliant. Cruise safely and efficiently through a network of attractive side-streets, with cyclist-level intersection buttons, and separated lanes where needed.

    Vancouver has accessible skiing. 30-45 mins to the top of Cypress to go XC or downhill skiing sure beats the pants off 3.5 hours up the Malahat & Island Highway to Mt Washington. In fact, it has mountains! The whole Coast Range is there – Squamish/Whistler within a couple of hours for all your rock climbing, mtn biking, kiteboarding, alpine climbing needs.

    Ever been to Kits beach in the summer? Boom. I do enjoy the laid back Willows/Caddy Bay atmosphere, but Kits is gorgeous, and the beachfront area, from Towers/UBC all the way to English Bay, is massive. And why does Victoria not have a frickin’ outdoor pool?? It’s a crying shame.

    No ferries needed. It’s not everything, but it’s something.

    I’m not leaving Victoria, but for outdoor living- Van has its advantages.

  51. VREB October benchmarks (MoM__YoY):

    Houses Greater Victoria___ -0.4%___ 11.3%
    Condos Greater Victoria___ 0.2%___ 19.6%

  52. Interesting report.

    Re: “Now that the stress test has been introduced, the government can back off of further interest rate increases.”

    The thing about the stress test, surely, is that it frees the BoC from the need to worry so much about housing, leaving it free to adjusts rates according to the needs of the overall economy. What is likely to cause the BoC to hold off on further rate increases in the near future is the fact that the economy contracted in August.

  53. Thank you again and as always. Your numbers and charts, along with the commentary are certainly heads and above to how the VREB presents it.