Wednesday, January 17, 2007
brain function as related to RE prices
Some may be (and have been) questioning what is so great about Vancouver (besides the balmy winters). I know that I have been questioning that myself, and decided to look up housing prices across this great land - just to see if Vancouver prices have a modicum of rationality. Nope. They don't.
Here are the average resale prices, how much they have moved (either way), and average rents in Canada's major urban centres. House prices are looked at November 2005 - November 2006, and rents are looked at October 2005 - October 2006. (Resale prices of homes are from MLS stats, and rental stats are from CMHC link)
Vancouver - average resale price - $519K (up 16.5%)
- average rent - $1,045 (up 4.4%)
Calgary - average resale price - $360K (up 36.4%)
- average rent - $960 (up 19.5%)
Edmonton - average resale price - $282K (up 42.5%)
- average rent - $808 (up 9.9%)
Regina - average resale price - $123K (up 11%)
- average rent - $619 (up 2%)
Saskatoon - average resale price - $167K (up 9.6%)
- average rent - $608 (up 4%)
Winnipeg - average resale price - $153K (up 14.8%)
- average rent - $709 (up 3.4%)
Toronto - average resale price - $355K (up 4.2%)
- average rent - $1,067 (up 1.1%)
Montreal - average resale price - $218K (up 3.2%)
- average rent - $636 (up 2.8%)
St. John, NB - average resale price - $141K (up 13.8%)
- average rent - $556 (up 2.1%)
Halifax - average resale price - $194K (down 1.2%)
- average rent - $799 (up 3.5%)
NFLD (all) - average resale price - $135K (down 3.4%)
- average rent - $635 (up 0.4%)
Talk about regional disparities. Vancouver % increases pale in comparison to Edmonton and Calgary, but in those cities, houses are still affordable. Further, all of Canada has been heading to Alberta because of the oil boom. There are very well paying jobs there. Even burger flippers and Tim Horton's workers are fetching in the neighbourhood of $20/hr, and could entertain the idea of buying their own home. In Vancouver, even the best paid (Dr's. lawyers, etc.) are hard pressed to come up with the money to buy the crappiest of places (and I include brand new 500 square foot condo's in that assessment).
Anywhere east of Alberta (with the exception of Toronto), I could buy a place pretty much outright. In some places, I could do so and have money left over for a new car, a few holidays, etc. And, Vancouver has some of the lowest median earnings in the country. In a lot of those cities, one could buy a place with 0% down, and the rent would cover the mortgage payments. Here, one would need 50% down and still fall short of the rent covering payments. We have had the hardest winter weather of any city in Canada so far too, so don't tell me about how great the winters are here. We don't even have the equipment to keep the streets free of snow and ice here. Montreal spends $50 million per year on snow removal. I would be curious to know how much ICBC will be paying out to motorists who crashed into each other on our snowy/icy streets. I'd bet that it is in the tens of millions.
So what is it about Vancouver? I think I have an idea. The soil in BC has very low levels of selenium, and hence, low levels in our food (even food from California, etc. Selenium levels fall drastically west of the Rockies). Selenium is crucial for brain function (I take supplemental selenium - so I'm ok!).
There you have it - the brains of British Columbian residents are operating in very low gear. That explains so much - poor driving habits, self-centredness, buying unaffordable real estate, the gov'ts that keep getting voted in, etc.
We are collectively brain-dead. Vegetative. Stunned.
I'm outta here!