Monday, September 29, 2014

Sept 29 Market Update

MLS numbers update courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras. These numbers are for the Victoria Real Estate Board's reporting area, including Sooke, Shawnigan Lake and the Gulf Islands.


Sept 2014Sept
 2013
Wk 1Wk 2Wk 3Wk 4
Unconditional Sales105
232
362511
487
New Listings3255808101034
1106
Active Listings4293431042804261
4547
Sales to New Listings
32%
40%45%49%
44%
Sales Projection462510530562
Months of Inventory
9.3



Hey it's an update.  By the way thanks Dasmo for posting the article about the true cost of commuting a few weeks ago.  That lead me to discover Mr. Money Moustache and I've been devouring that blog from start to finish ever since.   Next project: early retirement / financial independence.
Amazing how I didn't stumble across this blog before, given that I suspect there are quite a few commenters here that follow this philosophy.  I'm particularly interested in how realistic the early retirement concept is in an expensive city like Victoria.  Unlike Mr. Money Moustache, our house didn't cost $200,000, we're not retired before having kids (and thus childcare), and most everything is more money in Canada than in the US.  However everyone can still use a good punch in the face as far as spending is concerned.
Bonus:  an entirely new set of spreadsheets to create, and there's nothing like a good spreadsheet to get the adrenaline going.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

September

So...   how 'bout this heat?

An unexpected joy of homeownership came up this summer, twice even.  That is scraping egg off stucco that some local teenagers tossed at the house.   Or maybe it was info reminding me to put another damn post up before we hit 500 comments.

Well not much has changed in September, but more and more the market seems to be stabilizing.   Is it a plateau?  Is it a rebound?  Is there a dead cat involved?  Although we hardly fell fast enough to bounce.  Time to update the spreadsheet and see if any particular graph looks interesting enough to post.

Here's one:
Since the market peak in 2010 we had steadily worsening conditions for three whole years.  Every month the inventory grew and sales flagged.  But since mid 2013 there has been a reversal that has been remarkably consistent.   MOI has been dropping for over a year now while prices slowly creep up.   Will this turn around without more government intervention?   Or maybe the 112,000 lost private sector jobs in August will temper the trend all on its own.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Incomes versus prices: what say the numbers?

Statistics Canada released a report of household earnings based on 2012 reported income recently. Depending on your POV, you may or may not be surprised to learn Calgarians reported the highest earnings in the nation. Thought it may be fun to compare 2012 earnings with 2014 average home prices as reported by CREA for a few towns in the Great White North.

City Median income Average price Price/Income
Calgary $98,300 $466,994 4.75
Edmonton $96,030 $371,839 3.87
Ottawa $94,230 $365,366 3.87
St. John's $87,150 $349,649 4.01
Victoria $81,580 $496,225 6.08
Canada $74,540 $413,215 5.54
Vancouver $71,140 $796,714 11.19
Toronto $71,210 $568,953 7.99

I was surprised by the incomes reported in Victoria. I would have thought they'd be closer to Vancouver. Perhaps not unexpected is the fact that the two most expensive towns to own a home are also below the national average for income. It's not completely clear what the inputs for "average home price" are in CREA's system, but I'd wager they're lumping and smoothing condos, semi-detached and detached. 

Useful exercise? Thoughts? I'm sure some of the more number savvy folks around here can improve upon my Grade 3 level analysis in the comments. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July update

Busy times at work and home, so haven't had much time for the blog lately. Of course the small matter that we're no longer house hunting in Victoria plays a role.   However the comments are great as always, so here's another post to keep the party going.   

June numbers are out and I'm happy to see that a bit of the old VREB salesman spark is back.  It's a good time to buy and a good time to sell, so everyone should be happy, most of all the realtors.  It was looking like a mass extinction event was underway for Victoria realtors, but this upswing could forestall that.

Year over year sales increases are starting to peter out, mostly because we're starting to compare to months where it was already picking up last year.  Prices up a bit in the core, down a bit on the west shore.

Marko reports that many buyers are holding on to their rentals to get a better price.  Just like they were last year, and the year before, and the year before that.   Eventually, "I'll hold out another year" turns into "f*ck it let's sell".

Monday, June 2, 2014

May results and a whine from the mortgage industry

May numbers are in, and they're about as expected.  714 sales which puts us on the low middle between a hot market (963 in May 2007) and a moribund one (572 in May 2011).   Prices are well within the margin of noise, with SFH medians up a bit, and townhouses and condos flat.





Just Jack has it right when he says that the market is very fragmented.  There are both reasonably good deals in certain segments, while others have barely declined at all.  The best options price-wise seem to be those houses that have one or two little defects, or a few year old condos.  Unless that condo is cash flow positive, it's likely a losing proposition in the foreseeable future.

While Victoria's market is spectacularly unexciting, the rest of the country seems to be doing ok, with just a few cracks showing in such unimportant places like Halifax and Quebec..  and Ottawa...  and Montreal.  Not to worry.   However just in case there is something to worry about - like more government regulation - the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals are either hosting their annual get together for hay fever suffers (CAAMP ACCHA!), or have released their spring quarterly report.    In there they conclude that the 2012 mortgage changes were inappropriate, in that they apparently didn't do much to slow price appreciation in Canada.

Otherwise there isn't much of interest, mostly because the survey isn't worth a lot.  When they claim that average Canadian homeowner equity has increased by 6 percentage points in 6 months, you can pretty much judge the validity of the rest of the numbers.

One interesting tidbit:  Adding up the increased payments and lump sum payments, we get 12 billion in additional mortgage pay down in 2013.   Pretty impressive right?  Except at the same time home owners extracted $52.7 billion in equity out of their homes.  Well I'm sure the economy won't miss that $40 billion in spending when that well dries up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 20 Market Update

MLS numbers update courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras. These numbers are for the Victoria Real Estate Board's reporting area, including Sooke, Shawnigan Lake and the Gulf Islands.


May 2014May
 2013
Wk 1Wk 2Wk 3Wk 4
Unconditional Sales229
406


659
New Listings572909

1428
Active Listings45124578

4783
Sales to New Listings
40%
45%

46%
Sales Projection719687*


Months of Inventory
7.3


*Counting the stat as a weekday.  

Monday, May 12, 2014

It's looking awful fishy out there

MLS numbers update courtesy of the VREB via Marko Juras. These numbers are for the Victoria Real Estate Board's reporting area, including Sooke, Shawnigan Lake and the Gulf Islands.


May 2014May
 2013
Wk 1Wk 2Wk 3Wk 4
Unconditional Sales229



659
New Listings572


1428
Active Listings4512


4783
Sales to New Listings
40%



46%
Sales Projection719


Months of Inventory
7.3


More listings piling on and lower sales/list than last year.  Seems the market is equalizing again or as Marko says "a whole lot of boring".

End of month numbers are no different.  The more data we get, the more it seems the decline went from 2010 to 2012, with flat afterwards.  It took a big shift in sales mix to keep median prices flat during the inventory spike after the 2012 CMHC changes, but stay flat they did.  I wonder what the sales mix is like these days?