Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Spin it up!

Headline in the Glum and Maladroit Sunday declares Bidding wars disappearing in Vancouver.

It sounds like good news at first. Or is it bad news? Depends on the spin.

I liked this caveat -
Nobody is talking about a crash. Limited land supply, population growth, the 2010 Winter Olympics and a strong regional economy all point to long-term healthy housing demand. But there is a sense the air is leaking out of what had become an overinflated market.
I don't know about that, a lot of people are talking about a crash. The only ones not talking about it are the drunk on appreciation of the last few years, and the just plain drunk. Okay, the vested interests in general. And there is that limited land thing, the Olympics, and the (temporarily) healthy regional economy.

I like this one too -
“On the Labour Day weekend, I sold a house in Shaughnessy for $300,000 over listing [price] with 10 offers,” Macdonald Realtors agent Lorne Goldman says.
Great, 2 1/2 months ago a home sold for over asking. Well maybe they listed at $500k under assessed. Then the aside -
“Those days are becoming less frequent.”
I smell the first inkling of capitulation there.

But anybody hoping that prices may come back within reach for first-time buyers is likely to be disappointed. Slowdown or no, Vancouver real estate remains too expensive for many.
Yet they talk about population growth as part of the formula. Is it possible that there can not be a first time buyers' market anymore? Is Vancouver just going to go into stasis? A ridiculous assertion.
A search for a single-family, detached home under $600,000 on Vancouver's west side yields three listings all on land leased from the Musqueam Indian Band... A heritage home in Mount Pleasant is listed at $799,000, despite having suffered a fire last year.
here they resort to list prices (as if they will get those now), and focus on VW. They're talking like a DJ, but not really saying anything (neither am I, but I am having fun).

“Affordability is a big issue in Vancouver. And affordability is likely getting worse at a [September] rate of increase of nearly 17 per cent. Because there's very little chance that the income growth will grow at the same rate,” says Craig Alexander, deputy chief economist with TD Economics. He anticipates the rate of price increases will continue to slow.

“Twelve months from now, I would bet that home price growth in Vancouver would be in the single digits. That's not a terrible outcome, that's a healthy income.”
Try negative double digits boffin. When will we see them start comparing to 1992 prices to show how well we are doing?

Rick Valouche, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, says the market is becoming more balanced. And this year's total sales are on track to surpass last year's record total, he says.
And Canada is on track to meet emissions reductions too.

Some buyers might be sitting on their hands as they assess whether wobbles in the U.S. housing market will affect Vancouver, says Bob Rennie, whose Rennie Marketing Systems sells Lower Mainland condominiums like proverbial hotcakes. U.S. housing prices took their biggest drop in 35 years in September.
But that won't happen here. Why?
But after a few months, those buyers will be back in, Mr. Rennie predicts, driven by factors that include the coming the 2010 Olympics, a shortage of land and the perception of Vancouver as a safe place to invest.
Indeed. Much safer than Jalalabad or Pyongyang. Oh, and did you notice? Rennie drags out the Olympics and the shortage of land again. I guess everything will keep on going up - until we face the shame of not being able to host the Olympics because of a lack of snow. Salt Lake City will benefit though. Probably start another housing boom over it.
His firm also recently sold 40 per cent of the units in a new Burnaby high-rise over a weekend.
Didn't they used to brag about selling out in a weekend? I guess people are not as bold in Burnaby. Does anyone have any Craigslist reports on what is being flipped in OMA?

And finally -
Mr. Webber, who works in commercial real estate, is confident he'll sell his house, a nearly new, three-bedroom detached townhouse in waterfront Steveston. And he doesn't sound overly dismayed that he's had to drop the price from an original $679,000 to $659,900, which is still well above what he paid three years ago.
This does not sound like a slowing of appreciation, this sounds like a reversal. I guess it depends on how you spin it.

Excuse the cut and paste patchwork, and the lack of direction, I have just been hankering to use the cool animated gif, and have been really busy.


bc_cele said...

Didn't they used to brag about selling out in a weekend? I guess people are not as bold in Burnaby. Does anyone have any Craigslist reports on what is being flipped in OMA?

I was asking this question over at the VHB. That is the way I remember it, and I also have heard that the numbers are often pumped up to boot. The real question isn't how many he 'sold' on the first weekend because his little orchastrated shows are suppose to generate the same feeding frenzy that the PS3 does. The question is if this will sell-out any time soon, or even at all?

solipsist said...

Thanks for posting bc_cele. I just got back from VHB and saw your post. I ought to have checked it out first. I've been up to me arse in alligators lately.

Looking at VHB and Van.Con.Info., this post is a bit redundent, but it does have a cool animated gif!

solipsist said...

That would be redundant.

Van Housing Blogger said...

Very cool gif! And good commentary, too.

solipsist said...

Thanks for dropping by VHB. It's always an honour.

WoodenHorse said...

Great gif. You should use that one on every media story like this.

The more frequently I see "The market's gonna stablize...I don't have proof, just trust me 'cause I have a vested interest" type stories the better I feel. If things were all well and good, they wouldn't be wasting the ink.

solipsist said...

Thanks for commenting woodenhorse.

I am amused at the desperation to quell any doubts. It reminds me of the Talking Heads song that has the line - "you're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything".

The Glib and Meaningless might do just as well to print Yada, Yada, Yada, blah, blah...done. and save some trees.

Anonymous said...

I just saw this listing today on Craigslist, and I think it's new: http://vancouver.craigslist.org/rfs/235318111.html

I almost purchased this property a year ago, when it was listed for $330k. The structure appeared okay, but the kitchen needed to be gutted, it needed new carpets, and the full bathroom was a bit odd. Then add that the "den / computer area" above the master bedroom is rather quasi-legal: the other half of the duplex has a deck, which was on the original plan (and was that way due to CoV height restrictions, I believe). This one was converted by the original owner (probably without permits), with lots of windows and skylights, into a new room - a very poorly heated room that would be very loud when it rains. At least they're only billing it as a 2 BR on the realtor's page, opposed to a 3 BR when we were looking to buy.

I'm curious whether the new owners did any interior improvements (flippers?) or were just hoping the property would keep going up. Either way they've jacked up the price by $59k in just one year. Amusingly enough, back when this unit was listed for $330k, someone had overhauled the rear half and was trying to sell that for $459k.

It was hard to justify spending $330k on that property back then - questionable addition, busy street, lots of work needed. But paying abother sixty large for it? Forget about it!

Anonymous said...

Hi soli,

This is a great addition to house blogs in Vancouver... you are doing a terrific job. Your posts are interesting and I look forward to every one. Guranteed!


solipsist said...

Thanks for your kind comments anon. I try to satisfry.

Babybull40 said...

yes Soli you are doing great with this housing blog.. good info for all you Vancouverites or wannabes... I've decided that unless I win the lottery I will not move out that way...I love Vancouver.... It's beautiful there..But my budget doesn't allow for that lifestyle.. keep the great job.. Love ya Big Man..