Nov 14 Market Update

Weekly sales numbers courtesy of the VREB.

Nov 2017
Nov
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 83  241  599
New Listings 157  387  786
Active Listings 1909  1916 1815
Sales to New Listings  53%  62%  76%
Sales Projection  569
Months of Inventory 3.0

Quite a strong week of sales to put us at the same sales pace as this time last year.   Or is it?  I was surprised at the high sales this week, which more than made up for the weakness in the first week and put us above the sales rate of this time last year which we haven’t seen for quite some time.   However my job is not to mindlessly post stats, so while searching for something intelligent to say about the market, I picked through the week’s sales.

As a reminder, the weekly numbers released by the VREB are not the sales from the week, but rather whatever listings were marked as sold that week (the complete and completely boring explanation is here).  Usually those sales are from the week or the previous one, but sometimes the sales that are entered are really old.   Like this week, where included in the tally were some sales from not last week, not the week before, not the month before, or the one before that, but sales from last year.  And it wasn’t just a few, it was 20 condo units of a new build out in Langford that sold a full 11 months ago but showed up in the weekly numbers just now.

So no, sales are not up compared to last year, they are down.  This just cements my belief that we need to get off the silly reporting date based numbers and get on an accurate count of actual sales pronto.   Luckily that is almost ready.

As I sit in my AirBnB in Vancouver this week, I see that Vancouver has followed Victoria’s proposal to restrict AirBnB rentals.   Seems like only primary residences will be rentable as short term vacation rentals, which seems sensible to me.  Interesting that their business license will cost only $49 annually as opposed to the $200 – $2500 proposed for Victoria.  Guess that means we get the gold plated bureaucracy!

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158 thoughts on “Nov 14 Market Update

  1. I haven’t heard if Vancouver will ban renting self contained suites in primary residences.

    It is pretty clear from GM article that “The new rules ban short-term rentals of entire apartments or houses where the person listing it does not live. Basement apartments and laneway houses that could otherwise be rented out to long-term tenants cannot be listed as short-term rentals.” Basement apartments are self contained suites, aren’t they?

  2. Yes, I put everything on credit cards because I get 1 to 1.5% cash back but I am wondering who is paying for that since I am not.

    The retailer. They pay 2-4% for the privilege of accepting premium cards.

    I live in a residential neighborhood of houses. I don’t think my neighbour should be able to turn his primary residence house into a Holiday Inn. Nothing about that sounds sensible to me.

    Depends. They need to live somewhere, so if they are renting it out then then can only do so for a short period of time. If they are renting out individual rooms, then yes I think that is somewhat reasonable. I don’t think we should be restricting property rights too much. I haven’t heard if Vancouver will ban renting self contained suites in primary residences.

  3. A very plain box for CIBC branch office:

    Sigh. Thanks. I was all excited with CS’s orangutan jungle gym explanation – and now…CIBC. Unless the tellers…

  4. CS – “Homeownership doesn’t build wealth, study finds”

    Umm… yea, I disagree. Buy a house in a solid city, and it builds wealth over time. Buy out in the boonies and you take your chances. I’m sure if that study included the Van market, their study would have yielded drastically different results.

  5. “Does anyone know what the heck they are building behind the Tuscany Village Thrifty’s, along Shelbourne?”

    Looks like a jungle gym for very large orangutans.

  6. Homeownership doesn’t build wealth, study finds

    Households are better off taking control of their finances than relying on fluctuating home values. That is the finding of a new study conducted by Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University and the University of Wyoming.

    “On average, renting and reinvesting wins in terms of wealth creation regardless of property appreciation, because property appreciation is highly correlated with gains in the traditional financial asset classes of stocks and bonds,” wrote study co-author Ken Johnson of FAU’s College of Business, in a release.”>Here’s a reason not to buy a house

    Owning a home may help you save money, but it won’t help you make money.

    Households are better off taking control of their finances than relying on fluctuating home values. That is the finding of a new study conducted by Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University and the University of Wyoming.

    “On average, renting and reinvesting wins in terms of wealth creation regardless of property appreciation, because property appreciation is highly correlated with gains in the traditional financial asset classes of stocks and bonds,” wrote study co-author Ken Johnson of FAU’s College of Business, in a release. …

  7. Does anyone know what the heck they are building behind the Tuscany Village Thrifty’s, along Shelbourne?

  8. Freedom2008:
    Yes, the benefits of downtown living are obvious to those who have lived in both the inner city and the suburbs.
    The question is, has always been-
    How do you convert the so-called suburbs of the 1950s and 60s – south Saanich, for example, or View Royal, into an urban village? Although these places aren’t far at all from the core, it takes a massive government commitment, with local blessing, over many years, to rezone, replan, rebuild.
    It’s not a surprise that few munis have the tenacity and fortitude to pull it off.

  9. A basement suite has for years now, been considered a mortgage helper. Recently, it’s more of a requirement. And now even that, in some cases, is not enough. So here comes Air bnb.

    In a normal market, I cannot imagine people en masse renting out rooms in their home to strangers on a regular basis.

    Again, smaller houses could be a solution, so more people can have private homes instead of forced sharing due to affordability.

  10. I don’t think my neighbour should be able to turn his primary residence house into a Holiday Inn. Nothing about that sounds sensible to me.

    Hold on, primary residences will be rentable as short term vacation rentals ONLY IF
    – the residences are away on vacation, Or
    – up to two bedrooms when the residences live at home

    Hopefully that your neighbours wouldn’t go short vacation too often, and wouldn’t like to share their living space (including bath/kitchen) with different set of strangers every day (unless they run a B&B business for living).

  11. Nothing about that sounds sensible to me.

    I suspect that the rise of temp rentals in homes is at least in part, a symptom of extraordinary home prices as well as a bit of a fad.

    A basement suite has for years now, been considered a mortgage helper. Recently, it’s more of a requirement. And now even that, in some cases, is not enough. So here comes Air bnb.

    In a normal market, I cannot imagine people en masse renting out rooms in their home to strangers on a regular basis. When this market turns and people are deleaveraging, I think its popularity will eventually wane.

  12. “Seems like only primary residences will be rentable as short term vacation rentals, which seems sensible to me“

    I live in a residential neighborhood of houses. I don’t think my neighbour should be able to turn his primary residence house into a Holiday Inn. Nothing about that sounds sensible to me.

  13. CS:

    I really hope that the sun rises in the east today because I just saw that we are in complete agreement on something. Interest rates are far too low and the average Canadian is mired in too much debt. When I was young it was not unusual for a young couple to get a second part time job which allowed them to knock a good part of the mortgage off in a few years. Maybe those weekend jobs only paid them an extra four or five thousand a year but when you are talking about a 60k mortgage it allowed them to cut it in half in five years.

    The problem is how do we go from these low rates back to something more realistic without bankrupting young couples. I think the first step would be to mandate and provide mortgages with a thirty year term like they have in the United States. That way when interest rates go up it will insulate most people from losing their homes. It might mean that young couples might not be able to move up the property ladder but at least they wont be moved out into the street. It is not a perfect solution but it is a start in the right direction. It would require the government of Canada to issue long term bonds and then make that money available to homeowners at that rate. Obviously these mortgages should be made available for a principle residence only.

    On a totally separate note I was shocked to discover what interest rate is being charged on my credit card. It was like almost 20%. This is unconscionable considering the rate that banks are borrowing from the fed. It does not affect me since we are which is known in the credit card industry as dead beats since we pay off the card in full each month. This is an insane amount of interest for anyone that has a balance. These cards seem to be designed to keep people who can least afford it in a perpetual state of being indebtedness. It is totally shocking to me. Yes, I put everything on credit cards because I get 1 to 1.5% cash back but I am wondering who is paying for that since I am not.

    Well we are off garage selling again today. Heading off towards the west shore which is always a fun adventure. My wife likes to hunt for “treasures” while I simply enjoy chatting with people. We actually do find things that we might not need but can actually use. Two of our neighbors have also given us lists of things that they want that we keep an eye out for. I am surprised that there are not more young people out there doing the same. You can easily equip a whole kitchen with high quality items for next to nothing over a few weekends. Or get great high quality children’s toys for pennies on the dollar.

    The sun does seem to be rising in the east after all this morning.

  14. Good point CS. In the end, you still gotta pay the thing off. It is generally better to have a smaller loan at higher interest than a larger one at lower interest even if on the same amortization they cost the same.

  15. @ Leo

    “So your idea of house prices rising with increased money supply means that housing increasingly is only for the wealthy that are benefiting from that increased money supply. Without an increase in wages that is the only way it can go.”

    I don’t think that is the whole story. Falling interest rates have allowed ordinary folks to borrow extraordinary amounts of money. So much of the money that’s been printed during the last few years has got into the hands of the 99%, but only as a loan.

    Working people have been able to assume massive loans relative to incomes because interest rates have been extraordinarily low. If rates pick up much further, a large part of the population are going to be in dire straights, with huge debts that they are able to service only with difficulty, if at all.

    So abnormally low interest rates have allowed banks to create money with which to reduce a significant proportion of the population to debt peonage.

  16. Looking for some advices… I currently rent in Victoria for really cheap. I have the money to put 20% down on a 650-700k house. Should I hold off or jump in and do it… I really don`t know what my best move is… Thanks in advance

    Well no one knows what will happen to the market, we see every prediction from imminent crash to a coming boom. Current conditions would indicate additional price gains although they are slowly cooling off.

    So what to do? Well personally I would wait for the spring and assess the effect of the OSFI rules. The government has never made such a big change to credit availability and I think it is worth holding off another few months to see what happens. Will it drop prices? Who knows, but it will almost certainly increase selection and decrease the pace of the market so the buying conditions will improve.

    I am confident in Victoria in the long term. We will continue to grow and our economy will be good so I have no qualms about investing in Victoria. However that doesn’t mean house prices will necessarily always go up. I see those two things as somewhat independent.

  17. They are talking quadruple pane windows!

    My understanding is that it is performance based and won’t mandate specific things to get to that performance.

  18. History has never seen money printing world wide (QE) like it has since 2008. 90% of the forecasts, historic charts, patterns, opinions , virtually everything discussed here on this blog is irrelevant regarding house pricing. When this much money printing happens on a global scale money means less an less and hard assets are all that exists.

    Perhaps. But who owns that printed money? Not me, not anyone earning a normal wage.

    So your idea of house prices rising with increased money supply means that housing increasingly is only for the wealthy that are benefiting from that increased money supply. Without an increase in wages that is the only way it can go.

  19. @numbers hack
    Thanks! I think its a good idea to do what you suggest but takes some guts to go around talking to people like this.

  20. @ Barrister

    Re: Provincial control over mortgage finance

    “I suggest that read the thirty or so leading cases on overlapping jurisdiction.”

    Which I won’t, since no one is paying me to do so, and which you haven’t, it would appear, since you offer no quotes in support of your contention.

    And while I defer to your assumption on the matter, I suggest that with ingenuity the Province could have a substantial impact on the mortgage market. For example, the Province, by way of the Provincial Mortgage Brokers Act, can impose all kinds of conditions and limitations on what brokers can or cannot do, and could in effect put them all out of business with sufficiently harsh regulations. Moreover, the Province could establish its own mortgage brokerage which, by offering favorable terms subject to the applicant having no other simultaneous loan arrangement, could marginalize other mortgage providers.

    The banks would howl, but so what. Democratic government is supposed to serve the interests of the people, not the banks and their lawyers.

  21. Recent Report from London: “Contrary to popular belief, busy city centers beat suburban living when it comes to human wellbeing, as socializing and walking make for happier, healthier people, according to a new report.

    Downtown residents – packed together in tight row houses or apartment blocks – are more active and socially engaged than people who live in the sprawl of suburbia, according to a report that aims to challenge popular beliefs about city life.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-housing-city/cities-make-for-healthier-happier-people-report-idUSKBN1CA2VN

  22. @ Barrister

    Since you are such a fan of high density would it not be easier for you to more to Vancouver

    Since I own several properties in Victoria, higher density here would be financially advantageous to me. But in what way would it be advantageous to me to move to Vancouver?

    But in any case, I believe that higher density is the prerequisite for lower cost housing for young people in Victoria. I suppose having altruistic ideas of that kind is a bit questionable. But sorry, I just have such a reprehensible tendency sometimes.

  23. New insight: Recent data show that ~$600 million has been invested in local real estate by foreign buyers since June, 2016. Victoria and Saanich account for ~70% of the activity, with Saanich having the highest [reported] rates of foreign investment in the region (it’s possible Oak Bay is higher, but we’ll get into that at the event).

    Yep. Foreign buying data that I have published a number of times here. It also includes dollar volume of investment in addition to sales counts.

    You can examine all this data here: https://catalogue.data.gov.bc.ca/dataset?organization=property-taxation

  24. Neither does OB of course, having had virtually no population growth despite being located right next to Victoria. But, Saanich is much bigger (I think of it as Victoria’s Burnaby) and I think they should do much more than they do.

    Was talking to the director of engineering of Saanich the other day. He said that Saanich used to be the Langford of Victoria back in the 60s and 70s with the pace of development. Interesting how the political climate changed so much between then and now. Wonder if Langford at some point will become like Saanich?

  25. you’d have to look at last December (or any month) and see if its stats also included numbers from previous months or years, right?

    They do.

    So your discovery is important, but just suggests that there’s more month–to-month noise overall, rather than any particular month being an anomaly.

    It’s not a discovery per se. We knew that numbers were on a reporting basis. This is just the first time I’ve seen 20 sales at a time being reported in one week from so long. That’s enough to really mess up any comparative data. I believe John Drake’s approach of ignoring any new builds is probably the best one.

  26. The other thing we should all do is ignore the “ask” price. People and their realtors set the ask price based on various strategies, none of which mean anything. We should focus on the sold prices and compare those numbers to other meaningful data…. averages, last year’s sale prices, trends, etc… but not the ask. Sold over asking? Slashed prices? Who cares. Not relevant.

    I disagree actually. Yes on an individual property asking price is not very meaningful. But for the overall market it is definitely worth watching percent over ask, sale/original ask ratio, and percentage of properties that require price cuts to sell. You can see some pretty clear trends there to match the market.

    Similar to price/assessment. Individual assessments can be way off, but overall they are pretty accurate.

  27. Looking for some advices… I currently rent in Victoria for really cheap. I have the money to put 20% down on a 650-700k house. Should I hold off or jump in and do it… I really don`t know what my best move is… Thanks in advance

  28. CS: We can just agree to disagree and I suggest that read the thirty or so leading cases on overlapping jurisdiction. On second thought it would be a waste of time since you obviously will read into them whatever you want to find.

    Since you are such a fan of high density would it not be easier for you to more to Vancouver which is already high density and suits your idea of a perfect city plan?

  29. CS:

    As always. I do disagree with you. I agree with the idea that we need to create one or two new Victoria on the island. Just for clarity, when I speak about Victoria I am talking about greater Victoria which includes Oak Bay and Saanich as well as the West shore.

  30. @ Dasmo

    Affordability will only get worse with the new building codes.

    Bureaucratic regulation of construction codes is a dumb way to regulate carbon emissions. Like the original home insulation program that gave rise to the leaky condo syndrome.

    The only economically sound solution is a carbon tax raised in stages to the point that carbon emissions are limited at whatever amount you want.

    They are talking quadruple pane windows! That will not only triple the window cost but they will also be so heavy a crane will need to be on site for installation. So an average house will probably cost 70k all in just for the windows.

    A lot more than $70 K, I should think. I just paid over $5 K for one wood, frame, double-glazed patio door (including installation, $600, I think).

  31. @ freedom_2008

    ” But why new houses are getting bigger and bigger in size while the average family size is not?”

    There are three trends in progress. (1) Increasing disparity in wealth, (2) an increase in the number of condos versus SFHs, and (3) and increase in the size of new SFH’s built where an old and usually quite livable home has been torn down.

    The first trend accounts for the second and third. Rich people are building 5000 square foot minimum homes with six or eight bathrooms (does wealth lead to incontinence, or what?), while more and more of the 99% are living in condos not SFHs.

  32. @ Luke

    we need to create another one or two Victoria’s to meet the ongoing new demand from people who want to live here

    Yes, I have been advocating this for some time. One approach would be for municipalities to adopt a plan for doubling their population within 30 years through rezoning to increase density.

    For example, Oak Bay and Victoria could designate Oak Bay Avenue from Newport to Fort Street for high rise development (10 stories plus). The Avenue could be converted largely to pedestrian use with some kind of autonomous transit system, maybe a silent elevated railway, or autonomous buses running every one or two minutes in either direction.

    Another possibility would be to carve out about ten percent of the land base of the Municipality of Saanich and build a new city at a density typical of new towns in China. That would accommodate another 350,000 people.

    Or my preferred option, a floating city in Saanich Inlet, a floating Venice or St Petersberg, housing another 350,000 or so, and invulnerable to earthquake or tsunami.

    But Barrister will probably find all these options unconstitutional also.

  33. @ Barrister

    Have you looked at the cost of a sheet of plywood lately or the cost of roofing tiles? Dont forget to add the tax onto the price while you are at it. …

    Yes, and I paid this month for a new roof.

    When you have a spare minute try reading the Canadian constitution. Banking is enumerated as an exclusively federal jurisdiction.

    That may be so, but it did not prevent the NDP from imposing, or maybe they didn’t, I forget now, a banking capital tax. In any case, according to this article in the Western Journal of Legal Studies:

    “Under the Constitution Act, 1867, the federal government has jurisdiction over banking and finance, while the provincial government has jurisdiction over property. Both levels of government therefore have the power to legislate in the field of mortgages.”

    Any other questions?

  34. Overkill…. expect small windows in the future. I think BC Hydro just wants to sell more power down south at a premium so the less we use the better. Let’s just ignore all the embodied energy in all that glass…. they should revise the code so we can build this net zero super insulated house OR a yurt…

  35. Affordability will only get worse with the new building codes. Even my house would not meet the final codes slated to be in place by 2030. I’m willing to bet I have the most overbuilt house in the CRD right now too. They are talking quadruple pane windows! That will not only triple the window cost but they will also be so heavy a crane will need to be on site for installation. So an average house will probably cost 70k all in just for the windows. No more attics. I don’t have one and it’s costing me in extra design thinking for mechanical routing but also added finishing etc. Lots off hidden costs like having 6” of foam on the outside of the wall. Not so easy to attach things through 6” of foam. It’s been a pain through 3”. So again more costs… It’s fine that I’m choosing to build something as I am but if everyone has to build like this and better an average new house will cost a fortune to build….

  36. @Luke- Victoria is not a mini Van….yet and I agree being on an island helps.

    People still smile and look each other in the eyes and the pace is definitely slower. I just would hate to see the city lose its charm for the almighty buck. Seniors, students, young families they make a city a home.

    I grew up in Vancouver and honestly can barely tolerate the place now.

    Also I want to move back to Victoria someday…I am more than willing to make compromises and my income isn’t bad. Here’s hoping for some good decisions and planning to keep Victoria Victoria.

  37. We do have climate and hospitable land limitation for housing supplies, and cities should support higher density to help the issue. But why new houses are getting bigger and bigger in size while the average family size is not? It is a trend/issue that totally against affordable housing.

    How much space do we really need (!= want)? 1000 to 1500 sqft is probably enough for family of two or three. If everyone wants multiple fancy gears and multiple rooms to put them in, plus multiple rooms to just move around, then don’t bother to complain about affordability.

    Note that the floor area of the average new three-bedroom home in the UK is 88 sq m (947 sq ft) : http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-14916580

  38. 2500 Mowat just came up for under $790K in Oak Bay on a 7200 ft2 lot. MLS#385532.

    Took a walk by this place and I think this represents very good value in the current market – at first glance – didn’t get inside though. The home looks well kept and solid, and the pics not too bad. West facing back yard and quiet street. Fantastic location. It’ll sell fast is my prediction.

  39. Watching this happen to Victoria scares and saddens me.
    I hope something changes. I want to be able to live there and I want a diverse population. No point to this really except there is more to life and to the quality of a place than money.

    @Grace – if that is what is happening, that would be sad. I’d hate to see Vic turn into a mini Van.
    Change is inevitable, and people will have to adjust expectations. However, I don’t think we’re ever going to see things get quite as bad as Van here. They are much larger. There is still a strong sense of community here that is now largely missing in Van, here we have less traffic/much quieter, and of course as always: the better weather. I think being on an island will always help shield us somewhat (not completely) from the increasingly dark nature of the globalized world that is influencing Van.

    What, after all, is a home. It’s a box with some fixtures and fittings and bit of land.

    Totally, but in Vic there isn’t enough apples to go around so we go back to the apples/potatoes analogy from Barrister. The apples are mostly spoken for and people aren’t budging (unless dearly departed). So we give them potatoes.

    How much should that cost in one of the world’s least densely populated countries, with an abundance of cheap construction materials?

    @CS – You are right Canada is huge and not densely populated, but think of it this way: The actual livable land in Canada with the best weather is small. The only part of Canada with the best climate is the BC coast – and that land area is very small. Van and Vic are expensive partly b/c of the lack of land and best climate. Much of the land in Canada is relatively inhospitable and some of it un-developable. Compare to the UK (where I think, like me, you have background). While that country is small and crowded, almost all the land there is livable and the Gov’t there is now creating more new ‘Garden cities’ to meet demand. Outside London, people can largely still afford some type of home with a garden and they offer much more housing types than here. More land could be opened up locally of course, like the tree farms that cover Van Island -but the onus on the Gov’t to create a new city just isn’t there yet.

    This is the problem we have in Vic actually – we need to create another one or two Victoria’s to meet the ongoing new demand from people who want to live here if we want them to have space and a living standard comparable to before the 80’s. Maybe we should create a new city up near Leechtown, and Hawk could be mayor! 😉

    This is why Horgan is going to come down heavy on speculators. They’re raping the city and avoiding taxes, and Victoria isn’t immune. We just don’t talk about it here because we’re in denial.

    I hope he does come down on speculators – and esp. those foreign buyers. I don’t have high hopes, but we will see come Feb.

  40. ICYMI, the big money has no problem saying it how it is. The Pain Train is on it’s way. 😉

    @vanreport
    “Vancouver real estate is ominously overpriced and financed by too much debt. A crash is inevitable. The market is in trouble. A lot of trouble.” – Jack Miles, managing partner of $30 billion hedge fund

    #VanRE

  41. “I would not trust realtor’s definition of “Victoria local”. The buyer could use one of the houses as address, to be qualified as “local” by VREB”

    Neither would I. Smells like a money washing venture . What local buys 3 houses, this one on a busy street to then decide which one? You would think the agent would say the guy is a bit eccentric with a wink, or something of that sort.

  42. @Penguin
    Not the house we were thinking, 2500 Mowat just came up for under $790K in Oak Bay on a 7200 ft2 lot. MLS#385532. There are a few more like this kicking around, you need to catch them before they get onto MLS. Good luck

  43. Talking to the agent he says he buyer purchased a few houses to determine which one he wanted to live in. Apparently a Victoria local.

    I would not trust realtor’s definition of “Victoria local”. The buyer could use one of the houses as address, to be qualified as “local” by VREB.

  44. If we have 4 times the $ supply now that we had in 2008 then everything solid including housing should be 4 times the $ value that it was in 2008.

    The money never reached the pocket book of the people. If that had happened wages would have increased by four times also. That would have been hyper inflationary and would have to be fought with higher interest rates as it was in the 1980’s. The money instead was locked into assets through the banks using mortgages.

    All those trillions of dollars are now stored in individual’s mortgages and equity. In this way those trillions of dollars that were floating around the world that could have been inflationary can now be reduced by lowering real estate prices without causing wages to increase and inflation to take hold.

    Only when rents begin to increase is it seen as inflationary. If you have to move to Vancouver or Victoria for a job you’ll need higher wages to live in those cities. Entry level positions will have to pay $75,000 a year or go unfilled and that will drive the prices of goods and services up.

    In my opinion, this is what will get the governments to move on interest rates. When goods and services start to become outrageous. The longer the government waits to react to the cost of higher goods and services the greater the chances that inflation will become uncontrollable and then any measures to beat it into submission could be draconian. As it was in the 1980’s.

  45. I see 1030 Richmond St sold again.

    $800K, purchased Mar.30th for 901K. That’s a big loss after closing costs.

    We were going to see the house this week before it was sold. Talking to the agent he says he buyer purchased a few houses to determine which one he wanted to live in. Apparently a Victoria local. I saw the March sale, I also stopped by the house and it looked like it had sat abandoned all summer, they didn’t even do some simple yard clean up for the sale. I figured there would be a low offer.

    I was also curious if they’re was anything wrong Wythe the particular house. I didn’t like the fact that it’s on a fairly busy road and you would have to bank out each time you leave the driveway.

    Either way with closing costs that purchaser is out a fairly large portion. I was curious if the “multiple houses ” were really for speculation and not moving in.

  46. So is the crash imminent? I’m really curious. I heard a lady in the grocery store yesterday who said she was having trouble paying bills which means that the whole economy is crashing.

  47. CS:

    Great point. Now exactly where can I buy all this really cheap construction material? Have you looked at the cost of a sheet of plywood lately or the cost of roofing tiles? Dont forget to add the tax onto the price while you are at it.

    When you have a spare minute try reading the Canadian constitution. Banking is enumerated as an exclusively federal jurisdiction. Exactly what is taught in high school these days?

  48. @ Grace

    “Watching this happen to Victoria scares and saddens me.”

    Agree. It’s bizarre. It’s perverse.

    What, after all, is a home. It’s a box with some fixtures and fittings and bit of land.

    How much should that cost in one of the world’s least densely populated countries, with an abundance of cheap construction materials? Not much. However, through the genius of financial manipulation, people today are paying as much or more of their income in mortgage interest to the banks as ever before.

    Moreover, with wage growth on a declining trend, paying back the capital borrowed will likely be a life-long burden to many home owners.

    Perhaps the business of creating housing loans should be taken over by a government monopoly that would limit the cost and availability of credit to keep housing costs lower and more stable. That looks like a good project for the Provincial NDP. By making mortgage finance a government monopoly, the Province would divert profits of banks (mostly owned out of Province) to itself.

    The NDP under Dave Barrett had the fortitude to do something of the kind with car insurance thus keeping within the province large sums of cash that had previously flowed to New York based insurance companies.

    Time for a return to the good old days of SoCred/NDP economics, which made this province wealthy.

  49. John Dollar,

    If Harvey Wienstein’s parents had had an open dialogue with him maybe he wouldn’t be such a pile of shit right now.

    I fixed it for you.

  50. @ Rook

    “Good read here that opposes the infamous ‘more supply’ rhetoric.”

    The law of supply and demand has not, so far as I am aware, been repealed. The thing is, if demand grows faster than supply, then prices rise. A reversal of that price trend will result either from a reduction in demand (i.e., tighter lending rules, higher interest rates, declining population, higher unemployment, etc.) or an increase in supply.

    In particular, since the financial sector controls regulation of lending to its own advantage, i.e., to ensure that the greatest possible proportion of income is devoted to interest payments, more supply is desirable at the bottom end of the ladder — assuming we want to see most young people forming households before they reach middle-age.

  51. History has never seen money printing world wide (QE) like it has since 2008. 90% of the forecasts, historic charts, patterns, opinions , virtually everything discussed here on this blog is irrelevant regarding house pricing. When this much money printing happens on a global scale money means less an less and hard assets are all that exists.
    If we have 4 times the $ supply now that we had in 2008 then everything solid including housing should be 4 times the $ value that it was in 2008. Take a look at USA and world money supply charts.
    We might be 1/2 way , unless they stop and reverse it will always go up. If they stop and reverse, you better grow your own food. Its up or out….

  52. It makes me so sad, not just for myself, but for all the seniors on fixed, low
    incomes who helped shape the city to hear there is little hope Victoria will ever be reasonably affordable in the future. People who did the tough and not glamorous jobs that keep a city cared for and clean and interesting.
    Vancouver has lost its heart and soul as the young leave and the old renters barely scrape by.My mother and mother in law were able to live in Van on very limited incomes back in the 80s..I have no idea where they would live now..

    Watching this happen to Victoria scares and saddens me.
    I hope something changes. I want to be able to live there and I want a diverse population. No point to this really except there is more to life and to the quality of a place than money.

  53. I never said the video victimizes boys, because it doesn’t.

    What I said and you seem to strongly disagree is that parents should be speaking to their sons about these videos.

    Most women know that they can attract the attention of males by the way they dress or act and that gives them power to manipulate some men if they choose to. It also sells a lot of videos. What parents should be explaining to their sons is that this is not meant to encourage unwanted actions by the boys. In my opinion, it is just natural for most women to want to be attractive to men or other women. Evolutionary, it’s their way of attracting a lot of males so that they can make the best selection. I think that once boys understand this then you’ll find that they will act in a responsible manner so that they get chosen if they want to be. Boys in our society are not as socialized as girls are and in my opinion they are not well informed by their parents about relationships. They are left to fend for themselves and to make many mistakes.

    If Harvey Wienstein’s parents had had an open dialogue with him maybe he wouldn’t be in such a pile of shit right now.

  54. Almost remarkably, what I have not heard in this midst of this entire crisis is what the goal of any action taken will be. To “cool the market” is the one most often bandied. The average price of a detached home in Vancouver is 1.7 million CAD. We have somehow normalized insanity. The detachment from median income has been metaphysical for some time.

    If the aim of any comprehensive plan is to bring housing back in line with a sound economic foundation, letting history be our guide, housing should be no more than a 3-5x multiple of median income. If this is the goal then I believe two taxes will bring the entire housing crisis to heel: 1) Property surtax of 10% 2) Speculation tax of some form. Rebates against CRA taxes paid to bring the property tax in line with current rates and exemptions for grandma and grandpa who have paid into the system.

    The NDP could do so with political impunity: 1) No one in their right mind fancies subsidizing tax-dodging elites 2) Any damage to so-called “equity” will be exposed as ill-gotten as well the economic foundation upon which this province lies will set itself on a path to repair. Any consequential debt crisis should be taken on by Ottawa in the form of direct debt payments to private citizens rather than juicing the banks. QE has been an utter failure for Main St. The pledge to debt-service in this province is strangling the masses and excacerbating inequality. Withdrawal is not pain-free.

  55. I wonder if that place on Richmond has been sitting empty since it sold in March; It looks semi-decent from the photos attached to the prior listing. Could easily see this one being a flip gone wrong.

  56. If you didn’t see it and hear the lyrics,which is why JD posted it I’m sure, then it’s pretty lame to write another thesis condemning him just as they did me. Let’s move on people.

  57. Maybe the house sell on Richmond was Military getting posted – I think they cover the loss (or at least used to) if you had a family and got posted somewhere. Hopefully that’s the case and not someone who worked a long time for the down payment and lost it all .

  58. As for the mother of the teenage daughter, you should be talking to your son

    Er…. what?

    The reason why videos like this one still sell is because parents are talking to their daughters about exploitation but not spending the same amount of time speaking with their sons as they don’t think boys can be victims.

    I didn’t watch the link, never do, but the logic used to justify posting is a bit odd here too.

    It appears you admit the video could be offensive and it victimizes boys. This raises the question as to why would you post this as a “gift” to another poster in the first place?

    The victimization you identify seems to be that you feel boys are manipulated into buying albums through the use of mainstream sexualized images of women, but the women in the video are paid models so they are not victims. This completely ignores the fact that girls are equally exposed to such media images and that there is a vast body of research that demonstrates that ill effects on the psychological development of boys and girls. And the impact of this when added to the historical power differential between men and women.

    This is something that our society will continue to evolve with, perhaps faster through the use of the legal system in high profile cases where people felt that they could justify their behaviour as they internalized objectification messages to the point that it was normalized. Just like the evolution of other other types of protection against discrimination and victimization that were once accepted as okay and legal in the mainstream.

    When this happens more frequently people who feel they can justify the behaviours will risk being called to account for it in a way that will impact their social status, and most of the next generation will just know it is wrong. I look forward to that. I do see this reflected in my sons and their peer group already.

    I guess the main point JD is that your logic needs to stand up to rational thought if you are going to try to defend yourself from an assertion of inappropriateness. It would be better just to say you didn’t think about it that way and didn’t mean to offend, because I don’t think you did.

    Digging your heels in and trying to say the objectification is okay or it is boys who are the victims, not the teenage girls, becomes way more offensive imo.

  59. “@Hawk – you’re a very intelligent poster. you do have a certain style though! but take a look at cash avail in the world and how RE price changes correlates”

    Thanks numbers, I try my best. 😉

    I like to watch where the big money is going and that can be a major teller of what’s coming down the road like it did in mid 2000’s.

    Sounds like a painful loss for Richmond Rd and a lesson that not everyone wins and one can make serious misjudgements of value in a mania market. Just like Trump whose taking a 23% beating so far.

    Condo prices at Trump Tower are plummeting to their lowest value since the Great Recession

    http://www.businessinsider.com/new-york-trump-tower-condo-prices-dropping-2017-11

    Sellers Are Finally Blinking As NYC Real Estate Prices Fall

    https://www.bisnow.com/new-york/news/state-of-market/sellers-are-finally-blinking-as-nyc-real-estate-prices-fall-81040

    Nerves tested as luxe market again loses footing

    While optimism was in the air earlier this year, brokers are feeling jitters as the high end sees deals drag and prices drop

    https://therealdeal.com/2017/11/15/nerves-tested-as-luxe-market-loses-footing-again/

    Luxury Manhattan Homes Are Lingering on the Market

    https://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/78110-luxury-manhattan-homes-are-lingering-on-the-market

  60. One video and all the covfefe. All of the professional models in the video were paid. This is what they do for a living. The same is true for male models in Madonna and Beyonce videos. The video doesn’t depict aggressive sexual pressure or intimidation, pedophilia or the exploitation of women.

    Perhaps the biggest group being exploited are boys as the video is directed towards them so that they buy the album.

    As for the mother of the teenage daughter, you should be talking to your son. And explaining that the video is aimed at boys to spend their money. That the video is advertising showing an exaggeration of women that is targeted to manipulate males so that the music company can benefit.

    Once your son learns that he is the one being deceived, the video isn’t as appealing anymore. The reason why videos like this one still sell is because parents are talking to their daughters about exploitation but not spending the same amount of time speaking with their sons as they don’t think boys can be victims.

    Except for the T-shirt that said “Who the F*&^ is Axl Rose” That was priceless.

  61. @Barrister, you make good points, but my point is that there is a lot of MORE MONEY in the system right now. Victoria is experiencing the same issues as any desirable city in the world. Immigration is the easiest scapegoat and yes some people can be ostentatious with their wealth and standout, but this is not the root cause.

    @Hawk – you’re a very intelligent poster. you do have a certain style though! but take a look at cash avail in the world and how RE price changes correlates

    @Bitterbear, “pick up the work that millenials won’t do”
    That is just wrong. So bring in migrants to pick our fruit in the Okanagan? Bring some Central Americans to wash our dishes @ Pags? is that the long term immigrants we want? Is that the stereotype we are comfortable of immigrants fitting into? these are the good immigrants?

    We are in an knowledge economy. Things can and will be done remotely. When I grew up, Natural Resources was the key driver in BC…guess what? we have competition for everything that BC used to sell. It doesn’t cut it anymore.

    We need smart people and people who can BUILD BRIDGES. As a resident, I want to see more immigrants that can help us build bridges and create opportunities for our kids. Look at some of the builders of BC in the last 50 years…lots of immigrants, Future Shop Owner, London Drugs Owner, and even Bosa the builder… and Elon Musk…geez he is an immigrant also…and Canadian!

    In life you can wait until an opportunity drops into your lap…or you can go out and find one. the same with house hunting. 🙂

  62. Barrister, I don’t disagree with you but I would point out that not all immigrants are the same. We have immigrants who come to this country prepared to pick up the work that many of the entitled millenials won’t do. They have children, pay taxes, buy stuff and add greatly to our communities. These are the people we need and should welcome and endeavor to keep.

    The other kind of immigrant is the one who buys up real estate with money made overseas where the regulations or lack thereof make it easy to make money, and they pay few taxes in Canada but can take full advantage of our health, education and social services. This is the kind of immigration that costs us both in terms of support and in terms of pushing house prices out of reach for the rest of us. This is the kind of immigration that we don’t need.

  63. Heres one for Hawk

    785 Island Rd, Oak Bay. Price slash of 200k from 1.8 to 1.6.

    It is still not meaningful other than the fact that it was crazy overpriced to begin with.

    I missed Hawks video that seems to have raised the dandruff of a few people. Not sure whether to feel deprived or depraved. At the end of the day my interests are totally focused on the rose garden.

  64. Numbers Hack:

    The supermarket analogy is perhaps one of the greatest examples of fuzzy thinking that I have read in a long time. But on the other hand it does underline our failure to educate millennials in basic economics and, frankly, underlines their sense of entitlement.

    Lets examine the supermarket analogy again (as bad as it is). This time though the apples are the houses in Victoria’s core while there are also potatoes available which will be the houses in the west shore. For the boomer generation there were 20 apples for twenty people enough to go around.
    As the population increases there are still those twenty apples but now forty people trying to buy them. Lets even say that increased housing density has increased the number of apples to 30 but that still means that some people have to settle for potatoes.

    The underlying problem is that the population has increased. Nor can you really blame that population increase on the baby boomers since that generation has a negative birth rate. At the risk of being dreadfully politically incorrect the increase is virtually solely attributed to immigration. Before I am swamped with the usual flood of reasons as to why immigration has been a boon to creating a multicultural society let me focus on the simple fact that the main beneficiaries of immigration has been the top 1%. Immigration has kept the cost of labor down and continues to do that.

    There are lots of other factors involved including government policies that have encouraged the continued concentration of the population in a handful of cities. I hate the grocery store example but just maybe it would have been smarter to build a second grocery store with twenty apples rather than just offering more potatoes or just apple slices when you have 40 buyers instead of twenty.

    The simple reality of the matter is that just about now, if you took immigration out of the picture, housing should be becoming cheaper as the baby boomers die out and move into nursing homes to be replaced by a smaller generation. At the same time real salaries should be rising as the labour force shrinks.

    I fully expect that people will start to point out thirty other factors all of which have some truth to them. I am afraid that I moved in the circles of the Toronto spin doctors who were the handmaidens of the one per cent. The general strategy when one has an inconvenient truth is to bury it under 40 other factors so that it gets lost in endless debate.

  65. Foreigners are a major part of the problem due to their speculative tendencies to ramp up their stock markets, gambling, etc to excess. They go big, and lose big. This is why Horgan wants to go province wide with the tax and clamp down on the massive speculation game.

    If you take your eye off the ball when the global party is ending in other countries that drove up your paper profits then you’ll be a bagholder for many years to come. To say prices will go up forever is asinine. Rising rates is a sign of the end of the business cycle, not the beginning.

    You can make yourself aware and prepare for the inevitable, or be naive like Jerry and stick your head in the sand and slag anyone with an opposite opinion based on numbers and facts.

    The Chinese Government Just Triggered a Selloff in the Country’s Shares

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-17/chinese-stocks-closing-out-grim-weak-after-xinhua-bashes-moutai

    Junk Bond Funds Post Third Biggest Outflow Ever Amid Risk Rout

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-17/junk-bond-funds-post-third-biggest-outflow-ever-amid-risk-rout

    China overhauls $2.69 trillion public-private projects as debt fears rise

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-ppp/china-overhauls-2-69-trillion-public-private-projects-as-debt-fears-rise-idUSKBN1DH0DE

  66. I wouldn’t blame foreigners for what is going on in Victoria or even Vancouver. The biggest culprit and really like the article from BEANCOUNTER is too much money.

    Just imagine you are in a supermarket, there are 10 apples, and 10 people with $1 each. $1 per apple.
    What happens when suddenly there are 1o apples and the supermarket has a “easter hunt” to find an additional 1o printed $1 bills hidden inside the store? Now on average you have $2 to pay for each apple. But some people will find the extra $1 + more, and others won’t find it at all.
    From the above analogy, Millennials didn’t find the extra $1 and the Boomers did. Hence there is no parity anymore, and in a nutshell, that is market for ALL REAL ASSETS around the world now! The solution is easy, just read carefully BEANCOUNTER’s economist’s take, give everyone money.

    Beancounter says:
    November 14, 2017 at 1:58 pm
    Education alert: Debt crises and free money solutions – Canada gets a special nod.
    http://www.dw.com/en/can-we-avoid-another-financial-crisis/a-41111841

  67. @Hawk
    Stock markets are crazy if you are in the right sector and there are some extraordinary gains, you don’t even have to buy venture stocks, there are some NASDAQ stocks that I follow that are returning about 30% this month and market caps are generally between 500MM to 1B.

    @General Housing + NDP Policy
    1/ new policy
    a/ 30% Foreigners Tax Lower Mainland
    b/ 15% Foreigner Tax Rest of BC
    ======don’t think this will have an effect on the market whatsoever, but to tackle the whale of demand
    c/ 30% Tax on Secondary Properties
    d/ 45% Tax on Third Properties
    e/ + 0% 12 month holiday on Cap Gains on non primary residences

    That will kill the Golden Egg in no time haha.

  68. even though there effectively is

    Exactly. Everyone dances around the issue of commissions and the real estate training spends quite some time talking about the competition bureau and how you can’t imply that there is a standard commission or agree to not offer alternate commissions, but the reality is there is an unspoken rule at most brokerages that no one can advertise a commission that is less than the typical 6/3%.

  69. Dear Female Reader:

    Do not be troubled or dismayed. There is a simple reason why none of us here find Hawk’s posts incendiary.

    Nobody reads them.

  70. https://www.gensqueeze.ca/code_red

    There is a petition here that you can sign that I was surprised to see has only 2,322 signatures.

    Quote from the page on how the housing situation is affecting ‘Gen Squeeze’… the last part about massive influxes of foreign capital is what I find is most wrong about the situation…

    “Many see no choice but to leave their communities, taking their energy and talents with them. Many others make significant sacrifices in order to stay (e.g. accepting much smaller homes than they grew up in, taking on massive debts or giving up on home ownership altogether). Others are reaping windfall gains in equity or have already cashed out, but nonetheless recognize the situation as being ludicrous (especially in places like Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto and elsewhere).

    The housing crisis is part of a larger affordability crisis, or squeeze, hitting younger people especially hard (though impacts are felt across all ages).

    Especially maddening: massive influxes of international capital pulling markets skyward; shady profiteering within the real estate industry; vacant homes hollowing out our neighbourhoods; unstable, unaffordable or poor quality rentals. “

  71. Horgan speaks to Development community today in Van…

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/horgan-udi-talk-november-2017-1.4404369

    Interesting quote from Weaver in this article: “The market does need to be corrected. We have a generation of people, the millennials, who will never be able to afford a place to live, and the market needs to be tempered …The reality is, you need to take really, really significant steps now. It’s out of control,” he said.
    “We’re seeing a lot of money parked here, in our housing and rental and land stock … in order to protect money and look for capital gains. That is not what housing is for. It’s for living in.”

    Six weeks ago, Horgan acknowledged his party was taking longer than expected to put forward policies to deal with housing affordability.

    “Housing is a critical component of many people’s equity and their retirement prospects, and we want to make sure we don’t adversely affect the marketplace,” he said. ”

    That quote from Horgan might give a bit of insight into whatever they plan to do in Feb… I’m not sure how much sway Weaver has on that though.

    Also, this rather long snippet also shows some of the perils facing todays younger set, compared to the benefits of timing that were and are still enjoyed by those lucky boomers: It compares how things were in 1976-1980 compared to today. While it mainly talks about Metro Van, I think we can compare ourselves to those issues here in Victoria. For ex., barely affordable homes for families are found in Royal Bay or Westhills, but these area’s often require longer commutes, and are still more expensive than in the past, and hence the living standard for ‘Gen Squeeze’ is down.

    https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/gensqueeze/pages/107/attachments/original/1464150906/Code_Red_Rethinking_Canadian_Housing_Policy_Final_2016-05-24.pdf?1464150906

  72. Another EV advantage. Relaxing in a heated vehicle in the ferry line instead of being corralled into the commercial holding area to buy overpriced food.

    And Tesla Semi unveil live now!

  73. This came from Gen Squeeze:

    New insight: Recent data show that ~$600 million has been invested in local real estate by foreign buyers since June, 2016. Victoria and Saanich account for ~70% of the activity, with Saanich having the highest [reported] rates of foreign investment in the region (it’s possible Oak Bay is higher, but we’ll get into that at the event).

    Anyone know where the data come from?

  74. Just we know/expect what old posters would say so we may not bother to read their posts, but we pay attention to new posters to see fresh inputs and opinions.

    I agree. People are repetitive on all sides, especially the bears.

    They use simple arguments such as “prices can only reflects local incomes” when as we see for years, this is not the case. The world is different now, more interconnected than ever. People, jobs, families, money – it is all more mobile than ever before, and certain global markets including Vancouver and Victoria stand to (and are) benefiting from this influx of cash. Whether you like it or not, we’re now “on the map” and highly desirable, and it isn’t going away. Prices likely have no where to go, but up.

    Even if local incomes cannot afford housing, it’s not particularly germane to a “crash”, as the marginal (in this case, global) buyer has been and will continue to keep prices elevated. Vancouver is a clear case in point. No policy measure implemented thus far has durably impacted the market – and why? Because these tools have typcally restricted local lending, not global money. The 15% tax was put in place, but we see 1 year out where that went.

    The “interest rates are rising” is another fallacious argument, as history shows that rising interest rates are usually concurrent with economic expansion and rising home prices. Further, they cannot raise rates in a low inflation environment; it’s broadly counter to their mandate. There is no sign that inflation is picking up in any significant way, therefore they aren’t raising rates, and house prices aren’t falling.

    If you’re not in the Victoria market yet, you might as well look elsewhere. The days of “affordable” accommodation are long gone, no matter how much it hurts your “feelings”.

  75. Part of me hopes that it was foreign buyers. hate to think that some poor cannuck got suckered into those prices.

  76. All posters are created equal, old or new. Just we know/expect what old posters would say so we may not bother to read their posts, but we pay attention to new posters to see fresh inputs and opinions. But they are still created equal nevertheless. -;)

  77. Thats good Dasmo. Yes your naughty bits put you in the sin bin I recall, lol.

    Can’t share my picks as I work too hard to research etc. Dont like recommending either incase they head back down and others lose. Yes they’re venture stocks. Lots of hot sectors and quality undervalued companies if you’re prepared to do the hard work.

  78. @ Hawk,
    Share some of your picks! That is some unbelievable performance. I can’t even see anything on the markets that has touched that. Are you fully invested in penny shares on venture exchanges or into leveraged investing?

    And no, I wasn’t making any reference to you. You are entitled to also voice your opinion on the matter…. Probably not something to constantly harp on here but then again neither is posting videos all the time. I seem to remember getting dog piled-on for posting a certain image suggesting we were measuring each others private bits….

  79. Question for those well informed folk out there. If a foreign student, who is resident in Canada for a number of years, buys a condo is this sale listed as foreign buyer or not?

    For Vancouver foreign buyer tax, they are foreign buyers, and so is anyone who is not a Canadian Citizen or Landed Immigrate. see: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/property-transfer-tax-chinese-student-1.3719106

    For realtor board, they probably count anyone with a local address as a local buyer, regardless the address is a rental or home-stay.

    Note for CRA, if the students stay in Canada long enough and don’t live in school Dormitory, they are residents for income tax purpose. But they are still foreign buyers.

  80. Dasmo, so you’re saying this an opinion that needs to be discussed here on an ongoing basis ? This is a real estate blog. There are other blogs designed for that subject.

    I just defended myself from being falsely accused as a pedo by some new poster for liking Van Halen,Motley Crue type videos on occasion like any old rock and roller. Maybe I’ll be leaving this blog if that’s what it’s going to turn into.

  81. @ female reader, don’t go away. The whole point of voicing an opinion is just that, voicing it. You will never convince or sway a direct opponent within the intraweb. You might give confidence or sway to those that read and say nothing though. It is a subject that needs voicing even if I don’t exactly share the same boundaries as you. The subject needs awareness and discussion because no mater what anyone thinks there is still an imbalance….

  82. Question for those well informed folk out there. If a foreign student, who is resident in Canada for a number of years, buys a condo is this sale listed as foreign buyer or not?

  83. Says caveat, the know-it-all with little facts of real life experiences, like the other pumpers with PC narrow minds. What a sad life to be stuck on a one way road to nowhere. Stock market is sure kicking ass though, up 100% this month. 😉

  84. I bet there’s no 15% foreigner tax on those Bosa units. 95% local my ass. To get a low 4% yield @ $2,200/ square foot on AAA, you have to charge $90 per square + op costs. This is higher than Sanfran and Manhattan. Chances are this is just more dirty money finding an unregulated corner of Vancouver real estate to sit in now that it can’t speculate on zillion dollar mansions in the west end anymore. Financial whack a mole.

  85. But I am going away, because I don’t think it is worth my time to fight with a stranger about the pervasiveness of the portrayal of women in an exaggerated sexualized context, and the problems it creates for us, on a blog about Victoria real estate.

    Stick around – stupid inappropriate videos are the smallest part of HHV. You are right to avoid further arguing with Hawk. He has rather inflexible views that have not been altered even when the market goes against him for a decade or so.

    And kudos for speaking up.

  86. You stop noticing the sound of planes in short order.

    Maybe. I lived on a busy road once. Never got used to the traffic and it always bugged me. Perhaps some people are bugged more than others by noise.

    There is a body of literature suggesting poorer health outcomes among people living close to airports. Correlation isn’t causality but still makes you go hmmm….. YYJ is getting busier every year, but it is certainly no Heathrow.

  87. I spent some years living in Sidney near the airport. You stop noticing the sound of planes in short order.

  88. female reader,

    Wow. It’s called a difference of opinion of a rock and roll video and your hardcore feminist viewpoint. Comparing me to Roy Moore is utterly disgusting. Better shut down Much Music and all the other media/malls etc and we can live in Handmaids Tale land.

  89. Sidney is a great town to retire to but unfortunately the prices have really begun to reflex that fact. The only thing that is missing is a first rate hospital which is long overdue in my opinion.

    Do you know Sidney well? We go to Sidney often, but often short and often stayed indoor/incar. One time in the past summer, we took a long walk there and sat on the lovely beach under the sun for about hour, and started that “we could move to here” feeling. But just as we were about to stand up and leave, a big airplane flow low over us into YYJ airport.

    That noise and sight crashed our “day dream” and brought us back to the reality: most areas of the narrow Sidney are covered by the flight over zone from/to the nearby airport. How many flights are there each day and is the number increasing? Sure they may not fly between mid night and 6am, but as retirees who spend most day time around home, do you really want to listen to these flight noise once a hour or more often? Now, we still go to Sidney often, but bye to “retirement dream” in Sidney until we lose our hearing 🙂

    Again, for non locals move to here or anywhere, talking to the locals and renting first to get to know the place before buying is always a good idea.

  90. Vancouver office spaces shatter $1300sq/ft record, sells for $2000sq/ft

    When word started swirling in Vancouver last week that the Bosa Waterfront Centre office tower had sold in three days at prices topping $2,000 per square foot, the news was greeted with incredulity.

    “I simply don’t believe it,” said Ozzie Jurock, a noted Vancouver real estate consultant and investor.

    “If anyone would have presented this [performance] in the original pro forma, we would have thought they were crazy,” one Bosa executive confided to Business in Vancouver.

    Bosa dismissed rumours that most of the space was sold to foreign buyers.

    After pulling purchaser data the company confirmed that 95% were local.

    https://www.biv.com/article/2017/11/bosa-office-tower-sells-out-2000-square-foot/

  91. To even further expand on my comment, the exact unit as mine on the second floor (directly beneath us) sold Feb 2017 for $339k, so assuming the 3rd floor would fetch a bit more, that would be around $350k value just a few short months ago. Are people willing to pay $100k premium for brand new construction?

  92. I met my friend for coffee today and our talk briefly veered to real estate. She asked me to guess how much a 1 bedroom downtown condo, Yates on Yates, is selling for. Square footage I asked? 500ish. Ground floor? Yup. My guess, $299k. She laughed out loud and asked what planet I was on. So then I said.. 349? She laughed some more and said “in what world are you living?!” 399?? I believe the answer was 469 or something insane like that.

    For reference, I purchased a 1bed+den condo at 1030 yates pre-construction in 2004 on the 3rd floor for $185k. It was 740sq ft, included a parking spot underground and a balcony. We sold it mid-2006 for $266k.

  93. I did not feel the same way about the video that you felt female reader/mother to a teenage daughter but thank you for your input.

  94. Sidney is a great town to retire to but unfortunately the prices have really begun to reflex that fact.

    In that case, Toronto or Hamilton must be even more desirable for retirees, to say nothing of Vancouver.

    😛

  95. Sidney is a great town to retire to but unfortunately the prices have really begun to reflex that fact. The only thing that is missing is a first rate hospital which is long overdue in my opinion.

  96. Hawk’s reply is meant to shut me up? My first impulse to reply was this: Oh, Hawk, I see, it’s that you share “musical/artistic taste” with Roy Moore.
    But I am going away, because I don’t think it is worth my time to fight with a stranger about the pervasiveness of the portrayal of women in an exaggerated sexualized context, and the problems it creates for us, on a blog about Victoria real estate.
    But before I go, I want to say this, Hawk:
    You think this is just about sexual assault? Because it is not. It is about a culture that blurs the line between sex and everything else when it comes to women’s bodies. It is about women letting bad stuff happen to them and saying nothing because there is no cultural attitude built around believing/supporting them. If you can’t see a connection between enjoying that video and what it stands for and the attitudes that led to the problematic interactions/harassments/assaults that have come to light, then I’ll not trust you to stand up on behalf of women. The whole point of this time is to speak up, so that’s what I’m doing.

    Sorry for the distraction, everyone else. I just couldn’t let it go.

  97. It was a rock and roll video, not a sexual assault video. The latter is the moment we are having which I am well aware of. Apologies for my acknowledgement of musical/artistic taste.

    5450 Alderley Rd in Cordova Bay slashed $55K.

    3266 Harriet Rd slashed $65K to $525K

    1415 Monterey Ave slashed $55K.

    825 Condor Ave slashed $40K to $799K

    New build at 1011 Foxwood Pl slash #2 for $55K total.

    3 out of 4 , 2 bed 2 bath condo sales yesterday went under asking, the other at the ask.

  98. The messaging from some people in the industry on commissions does not help consumer education. I just spoke to someone who was told by their realtor that they were not allowed to offer a lower cooperating commission as if there was some rule against it.

    It is quite the opposite of course, the industry cannot imply there is a standard commission as that would drift into price fixing which is illegal.

  99. Female reader, thank you.

    I actually didn’t get that far. What came up when I clicked the link was an ad for Poopouri which was hilarious! I thought that was the joke.

  100. Just because the consumer doesn’t choose to utilize these services is a different matter.

    One wonders then why aren’t they in larger numbers? My thoughts are people are using full commission realtors simply b/c so many others are, like a herd mentality, and so the market is largely sown up by that? However, I do see a lot of your signs around town, along w/ the other guy in Fair Realty, so people are seeing the light in some respects. I’d guess most full commission Realtors won’t show their clients mere postings unless asked about specific properties? It seems strange the catalyst for change on a large scale isn’t happening yet, despite large price increases which also means large commission increases.

    We are thinking Sidney..a bigger Qualicum with Victoria closer.
    And I am down fairly often…so much busier than here…I feel like I am in NYC. Lol.

    Sidney is a lot like QB – but closer to all the action. Along with the Pen., I think of Sooke as a place to retire to one day in a distant year. Funny, I used to feel like Victoria was like NYC as well, when I lived up there and came down to visit! It was like a breath of fresh energy esp. in winter. It’s crazy how living somewhere so quiet can make a small city like Victoria seem like that. Now that I’m down here, I realize how small Victoria really is – working all over the CRD and surprisingly see the same people all the time. There’s some really quirky funny characters in this town.

    They don’t seem to care too much about addressing housing.

    Neither does OB of course, having had virtually no population growth despite being located right next to Victoria. But, Saanich is much bigger (I think of it as Victoria’s Burnaby) and I think they should do much more than they do. I also wonder why there isn’t more going on in Esquimalt? I expect to see STVR’s pick up in surrounding muni’s after Victoria clamps down.

  101. While anything not age restricted on YouTube is probably not overly risqué, let’s keep it clean. Link removed. Thanks for heads up female reader.

  102. Ew. JD, could you please use private email to send Hawk links to degrading videos that prop up problematic portrayals of young women? Or do they put their clothes back on and talk about bubble markets or their experiences with foreign buyers? If so, I’m sorry I didn’t watch more, and please disregard.
    Are you guys unaware of the moment we are having? If no, let me tell you, men are just starting to get their heads (both of them) around just some of the problems they themselves cause in this world. Google around and you might see that including/commenting on that link is not just off topic for this blog. It also conveys an attitude toward a population of people to whom you may be married? have fathered? be related to? certainly, interact with, and who read this blog, that needs to be challenged. Let’s save the dirty old man act for another blog; one that I don’t read.

  103. Well Rook, I’ve always thought that a quarter of new condo sales go to foreign investors as wealth havens. But I can’t prove that it’s just a gut feeling. Another quarter are sold to those that are working on the project as home occupation or rentals. And the remainder is sold in the open market.

    Like Henry Ford and the model T, the car he built could be purchased by the workers themselves thereby creating demand just by building the cars and in our case just by building condominiums. And that’s why building more and more condominiums is not going to satiate demand.

    What we have to do is stimulate the re-sale market. 97% of all of the inventory of condos and houses in Greater Victoria are not for sale. All that has to be done is to encourage 1 or 2 percent of that massive market to sell and our prices will moderate to being reasonable once again.

    But that’s contrary to the government’s policy to create jobs and stimulate the economy through construction. Unfortunately, all that they have been doing is inflating a market through speculation and land banking so that when we do have our next recession in BC, the effect on the housing market may be disastrous thereby reducing or eliminating a lot of family wealth.

    Frankly, the cost of housing in this city is f***ing scary. We are now built out to the end of our sewer lines with new properties in Goldstream fetching close to a million dollars now.

  104. From previous thread…
    @Penguin: “Doesn’t seem unreasonable for 700-800k budget but there’s just nothing good out there and if there is it seems to get snapped up.”

    Have you taken a look at 2707 Forbes st as I think it meets most of your criteria?

  105. I think pressure should be placed on the CDN Realtor industry to modernize their onerous fee system.

    It’s a free market just like investment services….the system is modernized; on the sale end you have legal mere postings and lower commission full service models and on the purchasing end you have legal cash back. Just because the consumer doesn’t choose to utilize these services is a different matter.

    If you want to pay a 2% MER go ahead, not for me, TD Waterhouse $9/trade all day long.

  106. Seems like zero interest from them. I have not heard a peep out of Saanich. Just like they don’t care about foreign buyers while Victoria looked into it, and they’re not moving on getting new developments approved more quickly while Victoria has made strides there. They don’t seem to care too much about addressing housing.

    We voted for the current Saanich Mayor because we wanted a change, as political atmosphere becomes “stagnant” when politician stays in power for too long. But we will vote the current mayor out at the end of his first term since he brought in the bad atmosphere.

  107. More BS from Vancouver. After all, our housing market is where it is because of all this.

    Sam Cooper continues to expose all the scandal behind our dishonourable leaders:
    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/clark-wat-met-hong-kong-developers-while-foreign-investor-debate-roiled-b-c

    Also, my fingers are crossed we get to see what’s in these documents.
    https://thinkpol.ca/2017/11/15/vancouver-real-estate-board-threatens-thinkpol-with-lawsuit-to-protect-foreign-buyer-privacy/?platform=hootsuite

  108. I’m curious if anyone knows if any of the other municipalities in the CRD outside of the City of Victoria have any proposals regarding STVR??

    Seems like zero interest from them. I have not heard a peep out of Saanich. Just like they don’t care about foreign buyers while Victoria looked into it, and they’re not moving on getting new developments approved more quickly while Victoria has made strides there. They don’t seem to care too much about addressing housing.

  109. They want to use the MLS for advertising to other agents and the public. If you look on the system you’ll see condos that have a year built as 2018.

    Right, it makes perfect sense that they would want to list a couple units on MLS to bring buyers in, but why upload units that were never listed on MLS after they sell? Just to pad someone’s stats?

  110. For Luke ( I don’t know how to quote here) we definitely used different lawyers. We have used our lawyer for thirty years and trust him. He is a dear friend. We got a fair price. In fact I am quite sure it is worth more than we paid. The family had done all the upgrades…they were working on finishing up,when we bought. We inspected the work ( my husband is very knowledgeable as we have built and designed homes many times) along the way. We gave them a very long possession date which did inconvenience us but we really wanted the house. We are very happy with it.
    As far as enjoying life up here…my husband LOVES it. I like it..especially the running and walking trails. So beautiful and quiet. But oh how I miss my beloved Victoria sometimes. It is my home. My heart is there. We have agreed to go back in a few years although it will probably mean renting. We are thinking Sidney..a bigger Qualicum with Victoria closer.
    And I am down fairly often…so much busier than here…I feel like I am in NYC. Lol.

    Sorry for the long story but you asked. And I appreciate it.

  111. Can any of us remember this spring when properties were selling over asking price in Oak Bay, Victoria and Saanich East?

    Well just as Hawk as said, those day are gone.

    Month Sale Price to List Price Ratio
    Jan 102.4%
    Feb 103.7%
    Mar 101.8%
    Apr 101.3%
    May 101.9%
    Jun 100.0%
    Jul 99.2%
    Aug 99.5%
    Sep 99.4%
    Oct 99.2%
    Nov 97.6%

    Those over ask prices peaked back in the spring and have been declining steadily since then. At the same time the average days on market has been rising. This month the average sale price is now 2.3% under the latest asking price.

    Month Days to Sell, Average
    Jan 26
    Feb 23
    Mar 16
    Apr 18
    May 16
    Jun 20
    Jul 26
    Aug 25
    Sep 31
    Oct 31
    Nov 36

    At 36 days on the market for a house in Victoria, Oak Bay or Saanich East the days of differed offers or blind auctions are most likely gone. And that’s good news for today’s buyers because their mamas didn’t raise no fools.

  112. Luke, the hotel industry is free to buy these transient zoned properties too. And I suspect they have, it’s a good way to add to their number of hotel suites without building a new hi-rise building. If I owned the Empress I would have bought have the units in the Janion just for overflow during the peak summer market. Heck of a lot cheaper that building a new hotel and the city was also giving ten year tax exemptions on some of the condo buildings.

  113. I did not think it was common practice for presales to be entered into MLS. Do you know why a developer would do that?

    They want to use the MLS for advertising to other agents and the public. If you look on the system you’ll see condos that have a year built as 2018.

  114. Re. new Airbnb/STVR rules

    I’m curious if anyone knows if any of the other municipalities in the CRD outside of the City of Victoria have any proposals regarding STVR??

    My suspicion is that the City of Victoria (and Vancouver) moved on this because they both have large hotel industries that probably lobbied the councils to act. Surrounding municipalities, like Saanich, Esquimalt, OB, etc are not acting (yet) because they do not have large hotel industries?? I know Richmond moved on STVR’s, but this is b/c they were right beside YVR and so had a big problem there. Maybe Saanich, Esq, etc are not acting because it’s not a problem? (i.e. not many complaints).

  115. Amazing how people can work together if you give it a shot.
    Felt so damn good to bypass huge realtor fees.
    You have nothing to lose with ads online.

    Great story Grace. I hope you’re enjoying life up in QB. I’d add that people should use a different lawyer than the one the seller uses. Of course, make sure you have your lawyer go over the offer of Contract of purchase and sale before you sign on the dotted line.

    I’d also add that if you are going to buy a house this way – make sure you have done your research on what houses are selling for in the area you are looking in. Sometimes, as we are constantly seeing with Hawk’s price slashes – sellers can overprice their property and not be realistic. You will know with research usually (unless the property is extremely unique) weather they are priced too high.

    You might also come across people ‘underpricing’ their property. The best thing to do is negotiate what you both feel is a fair price before moving ahead.

  116. Looks like HHV does have good readership: there are FIVE “house Wanted” Ad posted in UsedU today after people shared private buying experiences. Way to go!

    That’s interesting, I had a look at that. Keep re-posting people, as I had to post the ad several times.

    I think pressure should be placed on the CDN Realtor industry to modernize their onerous fee system. House prices have risen so much since that was first deduced, it’s a bit like PTT also not being modernized much since the days of Vander Zalm to keep pace with todays house price increases as well.

    How about we all just avoid full commission realtors altogether until they comply? Their fees are too high! How is it fair that they simply just take a few pictures, sign a couple of documents and then possibly make what for many people is almost a years salary after just perhaps a few days work??!

    https://www.propertywire.com/news/europe/uk-estate-agent-fees/

    In the UK for example – Realtor fees average 1.5% for the entire transaction, but vary widely from a low of 1%. Fees are often higher in London, but still only a max. of 2.5%. How is it fair that Canadians continue to allow ourselves to get fleeced with our mega high fees?

  117. Leo –
    That assumption sounds correct, but then you’d have to look at last December (or any month) and see if its stats also included numbers from previous months or years, right? So your discovery is important, but just suggests that there’s more month–to-month noise overall, rather than any particular month being an anomaly.

    Or are you saying that something unique happened recently that happens only rarely, or once a year?

  118. @Deb. You have it correct. They sold in December, but yes last december’s numbers would be higher by 20 compared to what was reported.

    Instead of constantly revising prior months data the VREB chooses to publish sales based on when they were reported. Problem is that can distort the picture of what is actually going on. Sales last December are definitely not relevant to current market conditions.

  119. Seeing a pile of new 2 bed 2 bath condo listings this week. The smart sellers are listing now versus the spring/summer when the condo bubble will blow up with the hundreds of new builds hitting the market all at once.

    Still very few sales this week in same category too so maybe it hits earlier with the stress test squeezing out the first time buyer.

  120. You have to consider that those sales were not reported last year when they happened

    So if these condos sold November, 2016 the numbers then would have been even higher at that time. Consequently, if they were not included this November the numbers would be 40 sales lower in comparison to last November. That is quite a difference isn’t it?

    Anyone who just looks at the statistics released by the VREB would be thinking the market is picking up again where as it is the opposite. Or do I have it wrong?

  121. Do we know how the condo vs SFH sales break out in the core? I am beginning to suspect that they are operating as increasingly divergent markets.

  122. The accepted offer may have been a year ago but the sale not entered until the project has been completed and the sale registered at land titles.

    I did not think it was common practice for presales to be entered into MLS. Do you know why a developer would do that?

  123. Do you think the VREB skewed the numbers because sales are really dropping?

    No, nothing nefarious here just the way that weekly and monthly numbers are reported. You have to consider that those sales were not reported last year when they happened so there is no double counting. It just makes the numbers not suitable for comparison when random sales from months ago can show up

  124. Leo S, I commend your work toward creating useful numbers. Thank you.

    Days on market should pretty much be correctable based on some reasonable criteria.
    Date of sale, as you discussed in this post, should also be fix-able.

    The other thing we should all do is ignore the “ask” price. People and their realtors set the ask price based on various strategies, none of which mean anything. We should focus on the sold prices and compare those numbers to other meaningful data…. averages, last year’s sale prices, trends, etc… but not the ask. Sold over asking? Slashed prices? Who cares. Not relevant.

  125. It may have been a year or so ago that I mentioned the same anomaly of trying to get the VREB data to match. I don’t think it is a conspiracy or anything just how the data is collected. For example pre-construction condos. The accepted offer may have been a year ago but the sale not entered until the project has been completed and the sale registered at land titles. Both are recognized and accepted as a sale date. I think there are a about three different dates that can be considered as a sale’s date.

    1) the meeting of minds when the offer is accepted.
    2) the date the subject clauses are removed
    3) the date of completion aka registration at land titles.

    This is the one of the reason why I prefer not to use new condominium complexes in some analyses. The other reason is the many creative ways some developers deal with the GST. Is the sale including GST, excluding GST, net of any rebate and who is assigned the rebate. And of course special pricing with discounts, property tax exemptions, upgrades, and extras included like TV sets, etc.

  126. @Leo S

    Why would the additional condos show up in this weeks figures. Do you think the VREB skewed the numbers because sales are really dropping? There seems to be lots more for sale this November compared to last year. Even a few SFD showing up under $500,000.

    Personally still happy to rent and see what happens in the market. It sucks to have most of my things in storage but having been patient this long I am in no hurry to jump on anything.

  127. @Leif you are right. I should improve that chart. The left axis is for sales/list ratio, the right is for months of inventory

  128. Looks like HHV does have good readership: there are FIVE “house Wanted” Ad posted in UsedU today after people shared private buying experiences. Way to go!

  129. “The new rules (in Vancouver) ban short-term rentals of entire apartments or houses where the person listing it does not live. Basement apartments and laneway houses that could otherwise be rented out to long-term tenants cannot be listed as short-term rentals.

    Owners and renters would be allowed to list a room in their apartment or house, or rent out the entire unit while they’re away, for example on vacation.”

    Bravo! And if AirBnb complies with the local regulations as they said they will, units without short term rental licence will be pulled out from their listing. This, combined with the empty homes tax, will for sure create some long term rental units for Vancouver. Hopefully other nearby BC municipals like Burnaby, Richmond, Saanich, Oak Bay, …, will follow Vancouver and Victoria lead soon.

  130. nice job Leo. Very detail-oriented!

    CIBC world markets calling for a bullish real estate market in Vancouver and Toronto despite the expected headwinds from regulatory changes and debt levels. The Vancouver market has really blown my mind. The condo market over there has appreciated 30-50% in <1 year! If Vancouver continues its strength, Victoria is not gonna correct.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/housing-prices-cibc-tal-1.4401743

  131. Leo: Thanks for all the hard work on putting the numbers together. Kudos on picking up on those twenty extra sales as well.