Monday, July 07, 2008
Yesterday I was out and about, and noticed more "For Sale" signs than I have seen for a while. It seems that there are 4 or so on every block. It seems that it is sinking in that it is over.
My neighbour has had open houses the last three week-ends in a row. It seemed that it was mostly Chinese looking (I can tell the difference between Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc. 19 times out of 20 +/- 3%). No Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, mostly small, less expensive vehicles. Maybe that indicates they are more frugal, and can afford a $900K house on a smallish lot in East Van.? Maybe not. I enjoyed doing yard work while my stereo pumped the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Forgotten Rebels, etc., out my window. Hey! fore-warned is fore-armed. Right? The asking price is 20% higher than it was bought for last year. And the defects are starting to show. Good luck with that.
So, I was all juiced up, and did some MLS searching. Still no houses in East Van. under $400K. I guess we will have to wait for fall for things to sink in. Prices and quality are all over the map, with tear-downs listed in the same price range as new construction, and big lots in the same range as small lots. A little price compression before the price depression sinks in, me thinks.
What I found interesting was all of the houses listed with a bunch of eights. I counted 10 places (out of 160 or so) that were listed for $888K. That is kind of blatant, and if I were Chinese, I would be somewhat offended. Do the listing agents think that they (Chinese) are that stupid/naive/superstitious? You would not want to mess with over/under bids on a place that was listed for $888,888.00 would you? I'll give you $888,888.88 plus my lucky rabbit foot. No Deal? I'll throw in a four-leaf clover!
Sadly, many who over-extended themselves to buy in the last couple of years - with the hopes of insane appreciation - did not see the credit crisis, doubling of energy costs, accelerating property taxes to pay for Olympic cost over-runs, food inflation of 30%, etc., coming when they factored their top line.
Why don't we just start bidding $300K with a bunch of conditions on these $800K places? Let us bring it down!
There are deals ahead. Keep your powder dry.