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.  

238 comments:

1 – 200 of 238   Newer›   Newest»
Jack and Cate said...

Marko said...

Using assessments is pretty much useless in my opinion when it comes to new homes.

-----------------------------------

We have never met or dealt with a realtor who has not used assessed values to their advantage - new or used. 14 properties later....

Jack and Cate said...

Marko said...

Using assessments is pretty much useless in my opinion when it comes to new homes.

-----------------------------------

We have never met or dealt with a realtor who has not used assessed values to their advantage - new or used. 14 properties later....

Marko said...

We have never met or dealt with a realtor who has not used assessed values to their advantage - new or used. 14 properties later....

That's great. You can use a realtor that will discuss the assessed value and the colour scheme on the brand new home you are a buying or you can use one that understands the difference between tji joists vs 2''x10'', shear walls, osb vs plywood, LVLs, nailing patterns, rain screen and many other things. There is a pretty big difference in cost between tji joists and 2''x10'' as is there with many other components whether they be structural or cosemtic in building a brand new home. Does BC Assessments factor this in? No.

Part of the reason I am building a brand new as an owner builder is to depthen my knowledge of the process (I've already had many sessions with the designer, structural engineer, surveyor, municipality, etc) . Same reason I sit on the strata councils of the condos I own (its not like I actually like doing it) but I feel like real life experience of sitting on councils and dealing with problems, contracting out depreciation reports, doing budgets, amending bylaws etc is more beneficial to my clients in me explaining the strata documents to the condo they are buying then focusing in on how their condo is above or below assessment.

I'll point out assessed value to my clients because it makes everyone feel better but I've personally bought three properties and I honestly have no idea of the top of my head whether I paid more or less than assessed value on my building lot. I paid what I felt was good market value compared to the other 50 building lots I saw and that to me is worth a lot more than the assessment number.

I was more concerned about running calculations in terms of how many yards of soil I was going to have to excavate, making sure it wasn't an archaeological site, where my sewer, water, gas, etc. services where, and other really important factors. Assessment is just a number they spit out. It's not like bc assessments factors in that I might, or might not, have to blast a portion of the lot.

David said...

Real Estate Goes Global

Seth Perry said...

@David - Real Estate Goes Global

“There are now rich people around the world who are looking for places where they can park some of their cash and feel safe about it.”

If you parked it in Victoria RE over the past 4 years, it hasn't done extremely well for you. Doesn't seem 'safe' to me.

So what about Vancouver? How far will the cookie dough stretch? If foreign speculation is a major driving force and prices start coming down then the pendulum swings back.

Vancouver sees the country’s biggest drop in new home prices

CS said...

Let's see if we can find the Oak Bay Mania for new homes.

... There have been a total of 19 sales in Oak Bay of homes built after 2009. That's 19 out of a total 39.


Nineteen new houses out of 39 OB sales since 2009 is 49%.

When half the houses sold in an old-established neighborhood are newly built it sure looks like a tear-down and rebuild mania is in progress.

Here's the latest tear-down, or actually, torn down, so now a new build-ready lot for a mere $7.99 million.

CS said...

... you can use one [a realtor] that understands the difference between tji joists vs 2''x10''

What is the difference? Can you summarize. I see apparently high-end construction using tji joists. Is that good?

Or some people use some glue-lam product that looks like dimension lumber made out of wood slivers. Is that better?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marko said...

What is the difference? Can you summarize.

TJIs are manufactured engineered wood which means they are straight and don't shrink unlike 2''x10''. With 2''x10'' depending on how they are hung if they shrink enough you can have various issues. With the TJI being straighter you also get better adhesion when you are gluing the subfloor so usually you get lets squeaking in the floors later on.

Overall, just a much better product. I am forking out the extra cash for TJIs in my house.

Only issue is TJIs make a horrible investment if you plan on living in a home short term as buyers are more concerned with the assessment than how house is built :) No one is going to give you a few thousand extra because you used TJIs instead of 2''x10''.

Dave said...

As a construction layperson the difference between 2x10" and TJI is a good example of the sort of frustration I have with determining the value of a place. Assessment is there for me to look at freely, but like you said it takes none of that more advanced stuff into account.

It's like, I know I don't want to just tell myself 'Oh, less than assessed! Must be a good deal!' but how am I supposed to access the kind of advanced information in your head Marko? As you said, many realtors don't know or have the construction background you do.

Maybe google is my friend. I dunno.

Dave3

DavidL said...

For an example of how inaccurate property assessments can be: my 2400 sq. ft. home is listed as having three bedrooms and zero bathrooms - rather that four bedrooms (yes, they each have a closet and one or more window) and three bathrooms.

I find that property assessments rarely give an accurate value for a specific property. They do give a good "feel" for properties on a certain street and examining the values over a few years yields the trend in prices for a neighbourhood.

Leo S said...

Overall, just a much better product. I am forking out the extra cash for TJIs in my house.

One of the perks of building is making those decisions. Not that you will notice the difference between properly installed TJI's or 2x10s once the floor is on.

Leo S said...

Assessments aren't that useful for individual properties, but they are very accurate overall. In our flat market the sale price/assessment ratio tends to be very close to 100%

Dave said...

Sure, I guess it's keeping in mind what to use the assessment for (not for specific properties).

Just Jack said...

CS, since January 1, 2010 there have been 19 new home sales out of total of 991 house sales in Oak Bay.

Where's the mania for new homes?

CS, you can't make this pig fly.

koozdra said...

Mortgage Companies Gain as Canada Bubble Talk Brushed Off

As the government realizes that it might not be such a good idea to insure such a massive amount of sub prime mortgages, the private industry steps in and takes the reigns.

Five percent down? no problem. Are you interest in a line of credit to go with that massive mortgage?

Death Plague said...

That New Yorker article is hilarious on many levels but the line about Vancouver being safe from so-called "climate change" is the best. If you believe in the "climate change" fairy tale Vancouver is probably the last place you'd want to be right since it's on the coast.

Leo S said...

Continually amazed that everyone falls for the joke that Genworth and Canada Guaranty are somehow private industry in anything but name.

dasmo said...

I'm continually amazed that there are people that still deny climate change!

dasmo said...

As of 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists released a revised statement,[11] no scientific body of national or international standing rejected the findings of human-induced effects on climate change

dasmo said...

or put more simply for you

CS said...

I'm continually amazed that there are people that still deny climate change!

Are you sure that anyone does?

Or do you mean you are amazed that there are people who still deny that human-caused climate change will necessarily have devastating consequences unless we immediately drastically reduce fossil fuel use?

CS said...

As for human-induced effects on climate, that's been happening on a measurable scale for at least a thousand years.

dasmo said...

"Death Plague said... If you believe in the "climate change" fairy tale..." Looks like we have a non-believer in our midst....

CS said...

Hey, Just Jack, you're changing your facts!

On the last thread you wrote:

"There have been a total of 19 sales in Oak Bay of homes built after 2009. That's 19 out of a total 39."

Now you're saying:

"since January 1, 2010 there have been 19 new home sales out of total of 991 house sales in Oak Bay"

LOL

dasmo said...

@CS...
As of 2007... no scientific body of national or international standing rejected the findings of human-induced effects on climate change...

Death Plague said...

I don't deny that the climate changes but I do deny that we can do anything about it. AGW has been resoundingly debunked by the facts on the ground namely that there has been very little "warming" in 2 decades while so called green house gases have continued to increase.

David said...

I’ve actually seen trustworthy data that show we’re now in a cooling trend. To me man-made climate change is just another socialist myth started by the anti-capitalist couch potatoes. Human endeavours and industry is but a fart in the wind when compared to geologic, solar, oceanic, astronomic, volcanic, phytoplanktonic......... Their fairy tale, although scientifically embarrassing, is at least entertaining.

dasmo said...

So this is all just conspiracy?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

Or these observations closer to home?

http://www.timescolonist.com/island-glaciers-will-disappear-in-25-years-scientist-says-1.1070577

dasmo said...

rolls his eyes....

Death Plague said...

Glaciers recede and have always done so. I'm not sure there's anything special about observing that some glaciers might disappear entirely within our lifetime. Big deal.

koozdra said...

I deny that there is anything we can do about climate change.

"What do you mean I can't be consumerist anymore?" -Everybody

mooselessness said...

Here's one recent article that answers leading questions from climate skeptics, including David's point about a cooling trend.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/may/06/top-ten-global-warming-skeptic-arguments-debunked

In any debate, it's worth asking yourself if there is any amount of evidence that would convince you to change your mind. If not, it's hard to claim you have science on your side.

P.S. To keep this blog housing related -- I'll update my earlier post about our landlords deciding to sell our place. Happily, we were able to renegotiate a new lease, so we don't need to move soon. The owners are hoping the housing market will improve, allowing them to sell in a few years.

koozdra said...

House prices to increase as new home builds slow, CMHC says

Are you trying to tell me that building way above household formation isn't sustainable? Why are we slowing down?

Keep building more.. for the economy's sake.

koozdra said...

"The owners are hoping the housing market will improve, allowing them to sell in a few years."

Prosperity is just around the corner.

David said...

From the Colonist article
A study by the University of Northern B.C. found that between 1985 and 2005, the glacier surface on Vancouver Island dropped from 18.2 square kilometres to 14.5 square kilometres, a loss of 20 per cent.

Seriously TC?! If you think that's newsworthy, recall a few thousand years ago glaciers covered most of our 25,000,000 square kilometre continent. Why do people have such difficulty accepting small changes they have no control over in their little lives?

dasmo said...

And simply insulting others vs referencing science or any other credible source does not bode well for your credibility on the subject....

Leo S said...

AGW has been resoundingly debunked by the facts on the ground namely that there has been very little "warming" in 2 decades while so called green house gases have continued to increase.

Translation: The Koch brothers have funded studies to support their industry and you see this as proof. Meanwhile the global scientific consensus says that human-induced climate change is a virtual certainty and you see this as meaningless.

Leo S said...

Why do people have such difficulty accepting small changes they have no control over in their little lives?

Why do people put layman speculation on the same level as scientific study?

koozdra said...

CIBC’s Tal: Household Formation Is Underestimated; Overbuilding Is Exaggerated

Household formation is underestimated because of... wait for it... temporary foreign workers.

"In recent months, Tal has made headlines for defending perceived excesses in the Canadian housing market at a conference in Washington and calling for more publicly available data pertaining to mortgages and the real estate market."

Just like the National Association of Realtors in the states before their crash. There is no overbuilding in the property market.

Btw, take a drive/ride out to Port Renfrew. Why are they building developments out there? Oh yeah, builders want to stay employed.

caveat emptor said...

Climate change deniers have credibility in the same league as anti-vaxxers and 9-11 truthers.

If you deny that the build up of anthropogenic GHGs will cause the globe to warm then you are basically denying a whole load of really basic physics - not just some pet theory of latte-sucking enviro-radical-capitalist hating pinkos.

DavidL said...

@David

This graph does a great job of showing the "controversy" regarding the current plateau in global temperatures:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics/Escalator_2012_500.gif

The Skeptical Science site does good at "explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation": http://www.skepticalscience.com/

Bringing this back to housing ... the 10% annual increases in property insurance for the past decade can be attributed to the increased payouts of insurers:
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/01/08/property-insurance-climate-change_n_4563729.html

David said...

Funny how the GHGs and basic physics of the 70s were leading us into an ice age.

"Climate experts believe the next ice age is on its way."
- Leonard Nimoy, 1978

Time magazine cover January 1977 The Big Freeze

I remember Suzuki had a plan to spread coal dust over the poles. Lol, whoops. Then I'm pretty sure they switched to global warming. I can't remember, what scare tactic are they using now to keep their pay checks coming? I just wish these cult shepherds donning their environmental ‘science’ degrees could finally make up their mind. That way maybe we could stop wasting billions in taxes per year.

Dave said...

Didn't know this was ClimateHuntVictoria...

Update to my anecdote and apparently related to DavidL's huffo link:
Friend's condo insurance went up, but only by ~40%, not >100%. No water-related claims or anything. We wondered why insurance was going up everywhere and he theorized either there were more payouts, or the companies' investments weren't doing as well (and therefore they needed to jack the premiums).

Also he was surprised at the depreciation report not really requiring the strata to do anything differently than they're doing, but then again he hadn't heard of Marko's three categories of strata saving. Maybe he was just operating in the conservative category without realizing there are other options.

Dave3

Leo S said...

"Climate experts believe the next ice age is on its way."
- Leonard Nimoy, 1978


Oh well if Leonard Nimoy said it it must be true. After all Vulcans are logical and not swayed by emotion.

Oh wait, in fact even in 1970 most experts were already predicting warming.

By the way, some scientists 70 years ago said cigarettes are good for you. By your logic the current consensus they are harmful is just flip flopping to guarantee their paycheques.

Didn't know this was ClimateHuntVictoria...


I wish the housing market would make up it's mind and start warming or cooling.

CS said...

As of 2007... no scientific body of national or international standing rejected the findings of human-induced effects on climate change...

Did anyone say that a scientific body of national or international standing had rejected the findings of human-induced effects on climate change?

Of course human activity affects climate: everyone surely knows about the butterfly effect.

The question that cannot be resolved by slurs or slogans is in what direction human activity is affecting global temperature and by how much: sulfates cool; CO2 warms; increased evaporation warms or cools depending on where the extra moisture goes; whereas Carbon black from diesel and marine engine exhaust definitely warms, etc., etc.

And to bring this back to housing we might wonder what the climatic impact of the global construction industry may be. China, in 2010 to 2012 is said to have used more cement than the United States used in the whole of the 20th century. You'd think that would have impacted the climate somehow, but apparently it didn't cause warming.

Glaciers, incidentally can recede for reason other than climate warming, dust deposition for example, increase solar heat absorption causing ice to melt more quickly. And the retreat of Mt. Kilimanjaro's glacier is said to be due to deforestation which has altered the humidity of the local climate.

Leo S said...

The question that cannot be resolved by slurs or slogans is in what direction human activity is affecting global temperature

Well no it can't be resolved by slurs and slogans. Luckily it can be resolved by science, which is exactly what has happened. The amount is not certain, but the direction is.

CS said...

Meanwhile the global scientific consensus says that human-induced climate change is a virtual certainty and you see this as meaningless.

It is virtually meaningless. Climate always changes and humans obviously affect climate in many ways, through clearing forests, adding dust, soot, and various gases to the atmosphere, etc. But there is a consensus about that only because it is self-evidently true.

Real science does not proceed by consensus. And there is no lack of argument as to the magnitude or even the direction of human-caused effects on global temperature. Freeman Dyson, MIT's Richard Lindzen, Fred Singer (US National Medal of Science winner — for the design of satellite-borne atmospheric temperature sensor), Judith Curry and many other first rate scientists do not agree that that human-caused climate change will necessarily have devastating consequences unless we immediately drastically reduce fossil fuel use. Which is, of course, not to say that the contrary view is necessarily false.

Off hand, I don't see how to turn that back to the question of house hunting. Sorry.

CS said...

which is exactly what has happened. — Not.

The amount is not certain, but the direction is. — Not.

Fifteen of so years ago the warmists sneered at Balunias and associates at Harvard who said that variation in solar output was a key driver of global temperature change. Now it is acknowledged that they may have been right and that we could be heading into a period of low solar activity leading to something like the little ice age.

There are many other factors that affect climate that have not been fully evaluated. The sun`s magnetic field and its effect on the flux of cosmic radiation impinging on the atmosphere thereby creating ionized particles that promote cloud formation.

As for the direction of temperature change, it`s supposed to be up and it`s supposed to be accelerating — according to the `consensus`that is. But we`ve just had, what is it, 15 years of zero temperature increase. So the models do not represent reality.

Leo S said...

CS, there is no serious scientific debate about this topic. If you venture outside climate denier echo chamber site and look at the actual scientific consensus (yes that does exist) you will see that. You are misinformed because there is a massive effort by existing industry to make it seem like this is an undecided issue.

Back to housing, one more reason not to buy waterfront!

StalJ said...

BC's CPInflation rate just went from 0.1% to 1.5% last month!! You know what they say about inflation.. a home-buyers best friend.

I'm with CS on climate change, waaaaaaay too many factors involved for the weenies to think they got it figured out.

Jack and Cate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack and Cate said...

Leo S says:

..."Didn't know this was ClimateHuntVictoria...


I wish the housing market would make up it's mind and start warming or cooling...."
--------------------------------

Amen to that brother. Soon your blog will be PuppyvideosVictoria or maybe OldPeopleinScootersVictoria. It appears that real estate is beoming a second subject on your blog......

mooselessness said...

one more reason not to buy waterfront!

I was thinking about this the other day when I read that you can't get tsunami insurance in B.C. It struck me that I have no real idea how high above sea level one would need to be to not worry about this. Although my current house is the peak of an exhausting hill...

(As I recall, Sooke removed the tsunami warning signs near Sunriver and other areas after complaints about property values.)

caveat emptor said...

"It struck me that I have no real idea how high above sea level one would need to be to not worry about this"

4 or 5 metres according to the CRD modelling. In reality that is location dependent. Much greater hazard in Port Renfrew than Brentwood Bay. Go for 10 metres above sea level and not near a coast threatened by erosion. That way you are safe from tsunamis and probably only your great grandkids have to worry about sea level rise.

CS said...

CS, there is no serious scientific debate about this topic. If you venture outside climate denier echo chamber

Leo, you are sloganeering.

And you are wrong if you mean to imply that global temperature has risen during the last 15 years. Here are the data, which are from GISS.

So no, I do not reside within the climate science denier echo chamber. You unfortunately seem to reside within the community of those who treat climate change as a matter of political truth not a scientific question.

Does anyone know, incidentally, how much carbon is released to the atmosphere as a consequence of the construction of one square foot of living space, or say, one 2000 square foot home?

reasonfirst said...

I have no doubt that humans are capable of f%^king up this planet in some way so having people watch out for this is a good thing even if they are occasionally wrong (this is not a reference to global warming science).

Leo S said...

>> It appears that real estate is beoming a second subject on your blog..

Luckily for me it's not my blog so Absolve myself of all responsibility for keeping it on topic.

CS said...

Apparently, construction of one average-sized frame home results in 57 tons of carbon emissions, which is one reason to reflect upon the current North OB reconstruction boom:

-- 2700 block Lincoln, one new house completed in the last three years (and resold for $1.9 million, or thereabouts) plus two more slated for demo this year.

-- 2700 block Heron, two houses torn down to make way for new construction completed in the last 18 months.

-- 2500 block Nottingham, new houses completed or under construction directly facing one another, and within a couple of blocks of news houses completed within the last 12 months on Burdick, Dewdney and the 3100 block Cadboro Bay road (the last on a vacant lot, i.e., without a tear down).

-- Two houses in place of a duplex in the 1800 block Beach Drive, plus another one a block or so north, all completed within the last 18 months.

This is an unprecedented rate of reconstruction for the area, such that one might consider it a construction mania. Moreover, the prices realized indicate that the activity has not caused anyone to lose money.

CS said...

I have no doubt that humans are capable of f%^king up this planet in some way so having people watch out for this

Absolutely. But beware of the many capable of "f%^king up" the information. Like John Kerry, yesterday!

Personally, I think that unnecessarily changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere is a bad idea, even if we are not at all certain whether the consequences of that change will be bad.

CS said...

But a house built of straw, can have a negative carbon footprint, apparently. So there's an idea for those North OB millionaires wanting a new house.

mooselessness said...

Thanks caveatemptor! And indeed, I see there's even a tsunami planning map with areas under 4 m marked:
http://www.esquimalt.ca/files/PDF/Public_Safety/greater_victoria_tsunami_map.pdf

Leo S said...

>> And you are wrong if you mean to imply that global temperature has risen during the last 15 years.

Easy to debunk that argument.

>> You unfortunately seem to reside within the community of those who treat climate change as a matter of political truth not a scientific question.

Human influenced climate change is about as much in question as evolution. By the way, that doesn't mean you can't find any scientists that question evolution. Here's several hundred.

Leo S said...

one reason to reflect upon the current North OB reconstruction boom:

Calling 19 new home sales in 4 years a boom is about as accurate as info saying no change in sales rate means they are tanking.

CS said...

Human influenced climate change is about as much in question as evolution.

I have acknowledged more than once that human-caused climate change is occurring. So what are you arguing about?

It seems you wish to conflate the fact of human-caused climate change, a triviality, with the inevitability of catastrophic human-caused climate change which is another question altogether, and not the subject of any supposed scientific consensus.

Science is an ongoing debate. Sometimes the debate on a particular topic flags, then whatever was last said goes into the textbooks. But the textbooks are often wrong. Consider a physics book published in 1900: No Quantum theory, no relativity. And although Einstein's relativity theory has been around for 100 years, folks are still testing it. And physicists say it must be in some respects wrong because it doesn't work at the quantum level.

And in the matter of human-caused climate change the magnitude and even the direction of the effect is still an topic of intensive scientific debate and investigation. If that were not the case, why the billions spent annually on climate change research?

As for Calling 19 new home sales in 4 years a boom, I did not.

I called Just Jack's claim (on the previous thread) of 19 out of 49 evidence of a boom. But Just Jack then revised the ratio by a factor of 100. So obviously my inference from the Just Jack's misstated data does not apply.

But in any case the number of sales is immaterial. The question is the absolute number, which must greatly exceed sales since many are custom homes that have never gone on the market. (And my list of new builds above was certainly not exhaustive.)

Leo S said...

I called Just Jack's claim (on the previous thread) of 19 out of 49 evidence of a boom.

It didn't seem at all odd to you that only 49 homes had sold in Oak Bay in 4 years?

Leo S said...

If that were not the case, why the billions spent annually on climate change research?

To improve the models, not to decide whether it might not actually start cooling after all, which is what you say is in question.

Leo S said...

So obviously my inference from the Just Jack's misstated data does not apply.

You continue to call it a mania, and an "unprecedented rate of reconstruction" even after that was cleared up. So if it is unprecedented as you say, what is the normal rate of reconstruction in Oak bay, and what is it now?

CS said...

So if it is unprecedented as you say, what is the normal rate of reconstruction in Oak bay, and what is it now?

How about Lansdowne from Cadboro Bay to Beach Drive. Four new houses constructed or under construction this year and last, versus zero, I believe, new houses constructed in the last forty (40) years.

Altogether, I am aware of another 20 houses in the Uplands alone, constructed or under construction this year or the last two years. If The same rate of construction had occurred over the previous 40 years, every house in the Uplands would be less than 40 years old, whereas in fact the majority are older. So yes, the current rate of demolition and reconstruction in North OB is unprecedented, at least in the last 40 years.

CS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CS said...

To improve the models, not to decide whether it might not actually start cooling after all...

But if, as you say, the models need improving, which they undoubtedly do, since they are currently in riotous disagreement, then you have to acknowledge that the improved models might indeed show that it will at some point "actually start cooling after all."

CS said...

Today I took a different route to my place of work in Saanich from my humble abode south of the Uplands pale and noticed several Uplands construction sites I had not previously been aware of. One on Uplands Road, another round the corner on Cardigan Road. Probably a thorough survey would reveal the number of houses under construction or completed in the Uplands during the last three years is well above my count of 22.

I wonder if anyone has access to OB building permit data. The historical trend for the Uplands might be a useful leading indicator of something or other.

Phil said...

Here's a train ride that could effect RE values.

http://www.biv.com/article/20140523/BIV0118/140529951/-1/BIV/could-beijing-build-a-high-speed-train-to-vancouver

The proposed train line has the potential to create a contiguous link between China and Vancouver…China could import three million barrels of oil a day from Alberta if the project was built. That could be enough to justify the rail in the eyes of Beijing and Ottawa.

Seth Perry said...

39% of unemployed have given up job search

Almost four out of 10 Canadians who don't have a job have completely given up hope of ever finding one, a new survey suggests.

Seth Perry said...

@Phil re: "dream train".

Lots more info here with relevant links.

http://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/262hue/a_project_currently_nicknamed_the/

This is such a pipe dream and even if it did happen, it would take decades to build.

Leo S said...

I am aware of another 20 houses in the Uplands alone, constructed or under construction this year or the last two years.

So you're extrapolating the uplands to Oak Bay? Wildly different types of areas. We already know the stats on oak bay from Just Jack, it's pretty pointless to continue.

Leo S said...

But if, as you say, the models need improving, which they undoubtedly do, since they are currently in riotous disagreement

You may notice they all agree on the warming trend.
But if you think some individual critical scientists means there's serious question about this, then logically you must also agree there is serious scientific question about evolution.

Leo S said...

The proposed train line has the potential to create a contiguous link between China and Vancouver…

A high speed oil transporter? Sounds just about insane enough that China could build it.

dasmo said...

(The uplands is part of Oak Bay)
Amalgamate Now!

Death Plague said...

The idea that meteorologists, now called "climate scientists" can somehow predict anything with accuracy is hilarious. People who believe in so-called "cimate models" are idiots. Yes they are I said it. If you believe weathermen can predict what's going to happen beyond next week using a computer you are a moron.

Marko said...

The amount of construction in the Uplands is insane and not reflective of all of Oak Bay, but there is a decent amount of construction in Oak Bay too.

dasmo said...

Did you mean the rest of Oak Bay? Or North Oak Bay, South Oak Bay, Gonzales, Estevan or Henderson?

CS said...

The amount of construction in the Uplands is insane

As I said, a mania!

CS said...

You may notice they all agree on the warming trend.

Yes, that's the fascinating thing, they all predict warming yet there has been none for more than 15 years!

CS said...

The higher rate of building replacement in the Uplands versus the rest of OB illustrates the complexity of the market. Of probable importance in attempting to assess trends is to recognized the disconnect between the "one percent" who are mostly buying for cash and the "ninety-nine" percent most of whom are financing RE purchases.

These groups may react very differently to the current pick-up in inflation, especially if increased inflation leads to higher interest rates. The 99% will be squeezed both by increased living costs and higher mortgage service costs which would like cause most RE to decline. However, the 1%, mainly concerned with preserving capital, may go on buying on the assumption that RE is an inflation hedge.

CS said...

The economics of the high speed oil train are completely crazy:

Assume the route is 10,000 km, that the trains travel at 200 kph, that one train leaves each end every hour and that every train has 100 cars (tank cars, passenger cars, whatever). Then you have 96 trains and 9600 rail cars in continual motion.

Assume that operating costs are 50% of revenue, leaving 50% of revenue to service the $2 trillion dollar capital cost at 5%, then revenue has to be $200 billion per year, or $20 million per rail car.

Each rail car thus has to earn $54,000 per day, or $108,000 for each journey from Beijing to New York, or wherever the thing runs. If each rail car carries 100 passengers, the one-way fare would be $1,080. So its probably cheaper to fly!

And if each tank car carried 500 barrels of oil, the end to end shipping cost would be $216, which would mean gas in Beijing would be pricey.

Disclaimer: this is not a solicitation for investment and the author accepts no responsibility for calculation errors smaller than a factor of ten.

StalJ said...

I'm guessing construction of the rail would include a pipeline nearby. I mean if your gonna dig a Chunnel-like tunnel thru Bering one may as well extend the Gateway pipeline thru it.

Death Plague, brilliantly put! If meteorolgists can't predict weather for a week using their multi million$ models, what makes the pseudoscientists think they can do it with so many more variables? They all fervently declare warming, yet as CS shows no warming for 15 years. They should stick to making sci-fi movies like Inconvenient Truth.

LeoM said...

CS said: "Yes, that's the fascinating thing, they all predict warming yet there has been none for more than 15 years!"

I don't recall ever reading that climate science experts ever said the warming trend is perfectly linear. In fact, during the days after the 9/11 Islamist terror attack in New York, when all air traffic was grounded, there was a sudden spike in global temperatures due to the lack of jet exhaust contrails in the upper atmosphere. Jet exhaust reflects the sun's rays back into space.

There are many examples of the non-linear trend in climate change. To get you started, here is one article:
Forbes Article

Want more research suggestions? Try this: the "lack of warming" you mention is regional only; check out the temperature changes at the poles during the past 15 years. Plus, all that ice cold melt water from the poles helps to cool the oceans... temporarily. You can't cherry-pick data and remain credible.

LeoM said...

CS said:"The economics of the high speed oil train are completely crazy"

Take you same logic on the train to/from China and calculate the viability of the one billion dollar LRT system proposed from the Western Community to downtown Victoria that Mayor Fortin has repeatedly advocated.

Use the cost of money for the one billion dollars at 3% then calculate how many riders per day are required to service the debt, cover maintenance and operating costs for the LRT. Use the same fare structure as Vancouver's SkyTrain system.

By my calculations, the entire adult population of the western communities needs to ride the LRT to and from Victoria, everyday, just to break even.

Yet another example of Fortin's lack of economic prowess. Keep him in power and he will bankrupt Victoria, just like happened in Chicago.

DavidL said...

A weather forecast is a prediction about the future, based on current events. Climate analysis is a review of events that occurred in the past. The two are completely different.

Using a housing example, it's very hard to predict sales prices and volume for next week, while it is quite easy to review sales trends for the past 5,10,or 25 years.

dasmo said...

I must admit I do like the notion of one idiot calling another a genius!

mooselessness said...

The claim that there has been no warming for 15 years is false, as we've already discussed *on this very page*.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/dec/10/global-warming-unpaused-fast-forward

kabloona said...

Dasmo, what's the point of arguing with somebody who thinks "weather" is equivalent to "climate"...?

Looks like the Tea Party climate denier brigade is taking over HHV...

;-)

CS said...

To get you started ...

I'm not sure I recommend any one start learning about anything from a verified fraudster:

Peter Gleick Confesses to Obtaining Heartland Documents Under False Pretenses



CS said...

Returning to a more RE-related question, I agree that if we're to do anything about transit to the West shore, Gene Miller's proposal for a fast bus seems more rational, economically, than any kind of rail service.

CS said...

The claim that there has been no warming for 15 years is false

It's a matter of who you're gonna believe, I suppose, the Guardian or Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Science (which I referenced above).

On the whole, I'm inclined to believe the scientific data showing no increase in global land+sea surface air temperature since 1998.

But, in fact, Guardian article does not refute the observed atmospheric temperature data, it offers Kevin Trenberth's long-held conviction that the heat must have gone into the ocean, a claim that may be correct but which (a) is very far indeed from certain, and (b) does not prove that air temperature has risen since the late 90's — which according to NASA it has not.

The credibility of the Guardian piece is further diminished in my view by the sensationalist way in which it measures global warming in terms of Hiroshima bombs. Further, by engaging with Matt Ridley they seem to be setting up a strawman: Ridley, after all, was executive chair of Northern Rock bank when it went bust leaving the British taxpayer to pick up the tab of about twenty billion pounds, i.e., Ridley does not represent a credible scientific position, skeptic or otherwise, he is merely a political operative.

CS said...

A weather forecast is a prediction about the future, based on current events. Climate analysis is a review of events that occurred in the past

Yes, and what do you call a prediction of long-term (50 to 100 years) climate warming?

StalJ said...

"..an offer of $810,000, 35 percent over the asking price of $599,000.
The good news was that they beat out 46 other offers. The bad news was that someone else offered more than 50 percent over asking"
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-hot-housing-prices-back-bidding-wars-5503222.php#page-1

Who bought properties at bottom in two different countries?.. it's me, it's me"
Ok i dont know for sure if '13 was bottom here yet but I am pretty darn sure ;-)

koozdra said...

"Ok i dont know for sure if '13 was bottom here yet but I am pretty darn sure ;-)"

Not sure what would make you think that 2013 was the bottom.

Composite Home Price Index: Canada vs US

Marko said...

Monday, May 26, 2014 8:00am

MTD May
2014 2013
Net Unconditional Sales: 556 659
New Listings: 1,211 1,428
Active Listings: 4,641 4,783

Please Note
Left Column: stats so far this month
Right Column: stats for the entire month from last year

Marko said...

Looks like there is a good chance we get to 700 for the first time in 49 months.

Marko said...

2986 Westdowne Rd sold for $810k in 2012 and re-sells now for $840k? Not exactly seeing the correction in Oak Bay.

LeoM said...

CS said: “It's a matter of who you're gonna believe, I suppose, the Guardian or Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Science (which I referenced above).”

You’ve lost all credibility with your cherry-picking of ‘facts’ to support your biased argument and your attempts to ‘shoot the messenger’ rather than refute the facts. The Guardian and the Forbes author article get you focus, rather than the information they present. And speaking of information presented; the NASA site you link to supports a trend of increasingly higher and higher global temperatures, but again you cherry-picked the most recent few years to mock climate change science. If you look closely at the NASA charts you will see a repeating pattern of temperature spikes followed by minor corrections downward. This pattern has repeated itself on a semi-regular interval since about 1910; in fact the charts indicate a repeating pattern with a 12 to 15 year period, so it has repeated itself about 8 times since 1910. The NASA chart also shows an irrefutable warming trend during that time, which the minor corrections downward do not eliminate.

Another interesting point about your NASA Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index chart is its pattern seems to closely match charts of Victoria house prices since 1910. I’ll bet a nickel you didn’t notice that because you were too busy mocking climate scientists.

CS said...

You’ve lost all credibility with your cherry-picking of ‘facts’...

I'm sorry but your position is irrational and based on false assumptions.

I cited Nasa's Institute for Space Science. The page I linked to gives global land-sea surface air temperatures. As I stated, the data show no upward trend for 15 years. That's a fact, not a 'fact'.

you cherry-picked the most recent few years to mock climate change science

This is simply false. Nowhere have I mocked climate change science. I have a high personal regard for people such as James Hansen, former director of Nasa-GISS and Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist at NCAR, both of whom regard human-caused climate warming a serious threat to humanity, and with both of whom I have had friendly and useful correspondence.

I do, however, have a low regard for political operatives such as Gleick, who you cite, and who has been exposed as a liar.

And I do believe that the Guardian article cited above seeks to obscure the fact that there has been no upward trend in in global surface air temperature for the last 15 years.

CS said...

Some useful house price charts here:

Housing Bubbles In Canada by City

If you compare the price charts with the 5-year fixed mortgage rate, peaks are mostly preceded by spikes in interest rates, as occurred in '81, '90, '94 and '07.

This correlation seems to explain the difference between the US and Canadian markets. The Canadian housing market was unaffected (?) by the 5% US Fed rate increase between 2003 and 2005.

The implication is that Canadian house prices have achieved "a permanent high plateau" — until such time as there is a spike in rates, which will surely not be allowed to happen before the 2015 election.

koozdra said...

Leaky condo crisis rears its head again in B.C.

koozdra said...

Broker not sold on condo optimism

Which metro will fall first?

"we’re seeing that the prices of condos have gone down five to 10 per cent"

Just Jack said...

PASS THE SOAP BOX PLEASE

Too bad the "depreciation" reports have nothing to do with leaky condos. Nor do these advisory reports make allowances for shock items such as a building envelope failure, earthquake or a meteor hitting the building. The reports are just covering normal wear and tear. So every three years the strata council will spend several thousand dollars for a report that they can either act on or file away. The legislation doesn't say the Strata has to act on the recommendations it just says they have to have a report done.

The problem comes when the banks start "black balling" the complexes with secret lists of non compliers. And that's why I think every strata council should send the BC Government a letter telling them to keep the heck out of their business. Enough councils do it, the government will back down on this unnecessary intrusion.

Let the marketplace take care of itself. Poorly run complexes will sell for less than well run complexes.

I find it hypocritical on the governments part that they can legislate depreciation reports but can't ban ageism in condos.

Who the F%$^& do these clowns think they're working for. Let the government build roads and hospitals and damns - but they have no business in how a strata council manages its complex.

Just Jack said...

Are developers building the condos that people want to buy?

When I look back at the number of sales for condos built in 2014 versus 2013 or 2012 or 2011 I noticed that starting in 2010 developers have been building considerable smaller condos - and guess what - fewer people are buying.

Here are the median size of condos along with the total sales for that year of condo.

2014 698 sq.ft. and 103 sales
2013 638 sq.ft. and 57 sales
2012 765 sq.ft. and 123 sales
2011 615 sq.ft. and 161 sales
2010 688 sq. ft and 123 sales

2009 996 sq.ft. and 394 sales
2008 915 sq.ft. and 551 sales

Maybe the slow down in condo sales isn't that fewer people want a condo - its just that the developer have lost touch with their market. Their profit incentive is to build more smaller units today to make it profitable to build. But what good is it to build 3 condos now instead of the 2 before - when you can't sell half of them.

Marko said...

When I look back at the number of sales for condos built in 2014 versus 2013 or 2012 or 2011 I noticed that starting in 2010 developers have been building considerable smaller condos - and guess what - fewer people are buying.

You are being misguided by MLS stats (the majority of pre-sales are not uploaded to MLS). Promontory - 177 units building with 141 units sold and 36 units unsold. Out of the 36 units unsold there are only two studios (out of 25+) and only three one bedrooms (out of 60+) available. The remaining 31 units available are two bedrooms.

Look at the DUET -> http://www.duetvictoria.com/, all the smaller one bedrooms are sold out.

At the Mondrian they only have one bedroom unit left. Most of what they have left is one bed plus den, two bed, or studio.

Looking at the floor plate David Chard is using for his 6th downtown building that will start pre-sales shortly looks like demand for one bedroom units is strong and he would have a good gauge of the market from the Sovereign and DUET, and previous to that the 834, Juliet and Corazon.

Just Jack said...

There still remains a market for developers to sell to investors smaller and smaller condos. That market likely has not changed much. Someone with a gob of cash wants a condo she can rent out to tourists by the day or week.

What may have changed is that fewer people are choosing to buy these small condos to live in.

This is what I was suggesting for the dramatic drop in condo sale volumes. Of course there may be many other reasons for the drop in volume.

I just noticed a co-relation not necessary a causation.

As long as we haven't reached saturation in the marketplace for smaller units then the niche market for micro condos might allow for a few buildings more to be built. But there is very little re-sale market after the initial purchase from the developer. This happened in assisted living condo complexes in Victoria. The market quickly saturated and prices for these condos tumbled. The same for fractional ownership condos downtown and at Bear Mountain.

Marko said...

Developers build what the presale market dictates not what the re-sale market is asking for in 10 year old buildings.

koozdra said...

Canada’s homes become a little less affordable in Q1 2014: RBC Economics

When things get "really" unaffordable we'll just take a break from real estate and wait for wages to catch. Or...

Marko said...

Victoria beeping outperformed by markets across the country big time.

The bench mark single family home currently is the equivalent price to September 2007! and May 2007 for condos.

mooselessness said...

^ I want to pretend Marko is cursing in the first sentence up there.

koozdra said...

Gen Y's lack of financial independence is striking

"Yet many of these young people lack full-time jobs in their field and a large number of them are being supported to some extent by their parents, even into their 30s. Plenty of Gen Y members are doing fine in today’s economy, but the overall lack of financial independence is striking."

The buyers of tomorrow.

patriotz said...

Developers build what the presale market dictates not what the re-sale market is asking for in 10 year old buildings.

Just keep in mind today's presale is tomorrow's 10 year old. It seems many people don't.

Seth Perry said...

Walmart Canada Layoffs To Hit 750 Workers

JOB CUTS

reasonfirst said...

"...misguided by MLS stats..."

Say it isn't so!

reasonfirst said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dasmo said...

And.... "As part of the changes, Walmart Canada (NYSE:WMT) says 1,300 associates were promoted to more senior roles and about 200 store managers were added.
Walmart has been aggressively growing across Canada in recent years, with an expansion plan that was valued at $750 million in 2012. This year, the company says it aims to create 7,500 new jobs, mainly through temporary construction and trade positions."
Hardly doom and gloom....

Seth Perry said...

Just another story of more people losing job, not a doom and gloom scenario.

At the end of the day it's still 750 people loosing their jobs.

You posted some good corporate spin though...

"1,300 associates were promoted to more senior roles" - More responsibility, same pay?

"aims to create 7,500 new jobs, mainly through temporary construction and trade positions." - So they are hoping to add some temporary construction and trade positions?

More on walmart if you are interested...

The world's largest retailer on Thursday (feb 20th, 2014) posted a 21 per cent drop in fourth quarter profit and gave a subdued forecast for the current year as it continues to be weighed down by a number of factors.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/wal-mart-reports-profit-drop-offers-disappointing-outlook-1.1695336

dasmo said...

I hate MallWart... We need less shit that is crap for cheap... I have not invested in them if that gives you any indication of what I think of them :-)

On topic...if they are adding 250 positions it's a loss of 500 jobs. with a creation of 7500 jobs (all construction jobs are temporary)...

Marko said...

Just keep in mind today's presale is tomorrow's 10 year old. It seems many people don't.

Not sure how this has anything to do with what the developers needs to build to survive?

He or she needs to build for what will sell today.

Just Jack said...

An investor generally will want cheaper condos and low maintenance with minimal repair costs in the immediate future. That would be small new condominiums.

That makes me think that we are just building condos for investors to compete with hotel rooms in the city.

We are not creating affordable housing for people to live and we are not creating month to month rental units for Victorians either.

Developers and agents point to how fast these condo complexes are selling out as proof that our society is moving to smaller units and first time home owners desire to get into the housing market. That influences city council to approve more condos, smaller units, increased building heights and reduced parking requirements.

But is it just short term gain for developers and long term pain for a city facing hundreds if not thousands of vacant condominiums in the future? As these micro condominiums become as marketable during a cyclical recession as a "leaky" condo. As we already see that there is weak demand for re-sale micro-condos today.

In my opinion, we are creating our version of Vancouver's Coal Harbour - A Zombie City.

Marko said...

We lived in a 530 sq/ft condo for more than a year and now we live in a 780 sq/ft condo which I personally find quite spacious. If it wasn't for some opportunities that came up we would still be in our 530 sq/ft condo.

If I was single I could easily live in 400 to 450 sq/ft and be happy. Many it's the European in me.

Reality is people just can't afford bigger condos. This isn't the developers fault. I was reading through the documentation for Chard's new building that will be going up on Broughton next to the YCMA and the city is imposing a sewer holding tank on the developer at a cost of $250,000 or more than $3,000 per unit. This is just one of the many things that quickly add up. On a successful project the margin is only 12 to 14% so the developer can't double the size of a condo and offer at a price point the market can support.

The Bayview was a perfect example of a failed project due to unit sizes being too big. Promontory is a success but they went with much smaller floor plans including studios, junior one bedrooms, one bedrooms, really small two bedrooms, etc. The two buildings are side by side with similar build quality. The only difference is one building catered to market demand and the other didn't.

Just Jack said...

Everything you say sounds logical. I can see how a city council can easily be swayed into believing that smaller condos are the way to go.

Since we can't have 900 square foot condos because they are too expensive. Therefore we have to have 600 square foot condos.

And next year. We can't have 600 square foot condos because they are too expensive. Therefore we have to have 400 square foot condos.

What's making condos more expensive is the economic activity caused by building more condos. Stop building condos and condo prices will decline. After all most are only being built for investors anyway. The investors will just invest in other markets.

What we are building today will leave a legacy for generations to come. Do you want a city where families can go to the movies, shop and live down town or do you want a city where the lights are turned out after 7:00 PM as the last of the commuters leave for the suburbs.

Our problem is we are trying to emulate Vancouver. We don't have to make the same mistakes - a bigger city isn't a better city. We already have a Vancouver - we don't need another one.

The only kind of development that should be allowed in the city is low rise town homes that blend with the natural contours of our landscape with lots of green space and lots of amenities.

Reduce the allowable density of the land and the price of that vacant land drops until it becomes viable to build 2 and 3 bedroom town homes again. Keep raising the density, as we are doing, then it never will be possible to raise a family in the city.

koozdra said...

Royal offers real estate agents referral fees

"Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest mortgage lender, is offering real estate agents $1,000 for referring five first-time home buyers, as competition among banks for first-time buyers has heated up."

Why are first time home buyers so coveted?

Because CMHC only offers sub prime mortgage insurance for first time home buyers which allows banks to remove these loans from their balance sheets.

The apotheosis of sustainability.

dasmo said...

"The only kind of development that should be allowed in the city is low rise town homes that blend with the natural contours of our landscape with lots of green space and lots of amenities."

That's not a city...
I might add that Town houses are being developed in fernwood, fairfield and Vicwest...

Downtown Victoria should be a low rise preserved old town, a low rise view corridor behind the empress and the parliament buildings and high rise central around UpTown. Condos of many different sizes work downtown. They are for students, young professionals, young couples, empty nesters, and vacation pads. I doubt many families are hunting for condos downtown, large or small....

Just Jack said...

No there not - they're hotel rooms.

http://www.vrbo.com/

Just Jack said...

Cities are not defined by the number of high rise towers. Victoria was a city long before the first concrete tower was built.

dasmo said...

I don't think there should be high rise towers in old town so we agree!

DavidL said...

@Just Jack
Reduce the allowable density of the land and the price of that vacant land drops until it becomes viable to build 2 and 3 bedroom town homes again. Keep raising the density, as we are doing, then it never will be possible to raise a family in the city.

I wholeheartedly agree. Much of the new housing being built in Victoria (municipality) is not much use to a young family. According to StatsCan, about 40% of couples have children. They are not being well-served with the new small condos being constructed.

How much space is needed? How much space do we want? As a bachelor, I have lived in shared accommodation and various basement suites - one as small as 400 sq. ft.. A 750 sq. ft. suite was fine when it was just me and my girlfriend (now wife.) But after a couple of kids, the current 2000 sq. ft. of living area (not including a 400 sq. ft. garage) seems fine. Ideally, I would probably enjoy 3000 sq. ft. - but I don't "need" it.

dasmo said...

IF we are talking Langford and Colwood then I agree 100%. At least there is a chance that capital city center could be done right. Maybe someone can get the land for the right price now to do a high density FAMILY oriented development there. AKA townhomes with green space and a commercial center. Not "Luxury" condos....

CS said...

But after a couple of kids, the current 2000 sq. ft. of living area (not including a 400 sq. ft. garage) seems fine. Ideally, I would probably enjoy 3000 sq. ft. - but I don't "need" it.

Yet a generation ago the average family home was only about 1000 ft2. And since then the birth rate has slumped. So, what's the matter with people? Do they like huge homes filled with stuff better than kids, or what?

Just Jack said...

Luxury condo. That's a term I have difficulty in defining. I have never heard a developer say "economy" condos though I've seen a lot of economy condos in the City. Put down some engineered hardwood, granite counters and stainless steel appliances economy goes luxury.

Most condos are just people tubes in the city.

Personally, a luxury condo is one where you have the feeling that you're in a house not in a skybox. That's not likely to occur when your cramming everything into 600 square feet.

There are some exceptional luxury condos out by Mattick's Farm. However developers have a tough time in the city, the complexes turn out looking like a Mardi Gras whore house complete with carved gargoyles or the Battleship Potemkin.

Just Jack said...

The size of the typical Canadian home hasn't changed much in 30 years. It still is around 2,100 square feet. Those Brady Bunch split levels and those Broadmead Behemoths from the eighties. Before that there were the Victoria and Oak Bay Leviathans that were later chiseled up into strata homes.

We live in North America, eat GMO foods and can barely make it to the fridge during the 6 times every half hour when the commercials are on. Most Canadians wouldn't be able to squeeze through the doorway of a Euro home let alone live in one. So we need McMansions today too.

dasmo said...

I don't have a TV and eat organic food mostly...

caveat emptor said...

Apparently house sizes are now shrinking in Canada

koozdra said...

We need more living space because our population is booming.

DavidL said...

@CS
Yet a generation ago the average family home was only about 1000 ft2. And since then the birth rate has slumped. So, what's the matter with people?

Even the WWII boxes built for returning war veterans were typically 1200 sq. ft. I was born and raised in Victoria. My parents, two siblings and I lived in a 1959-built house of 2111 sq. ft. As Just Jack said, not much has changed.

Do they like huge homes filled with stuff better than kids, or what?
A quick survey of friends shows that kids = less money for stuff.

DavidL said...

According to Shrink That Footprint, the average residential floor space per capita in Canada is 779 sq. ft. - less than the US and Australia, but much more than Hong Kong at 161 sq. ft. per capita.

Nice graphic: http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Percapitaft22.gif

CS said...

The size of the typical Canadian home hasn't changed much in 30 years. It still is around 2,100 square feet.

I was quoting our "national newspaper":

In 1975, the average size of a house in Canada was 1,050 square feet. Fast forward to 2010 and new homes being built almost doubled to an average of 1,950 square feet. This increase in house size is accompanied by a decrease in the average number of people living in a household. In 1971, it was 3.5; by 2006, that number fell by a full person to 2.5.

Just Jack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just Jack said...

As for the drop in household size. I believe someone made the point that the drop might be attributed to condominiums. Since Victoria City is at 1.68 persons per household today.

CS said...

I lived in a 1959-built house of 2111 sq. ft. I lived in a 1959-built house of 2111 sq. ft.

Unusually large for the era according to Ben Rabidoux as quoted in the G and M (link above).

Our North OB bungalow, built in 52 was originally only 1008 ft2 and that was not much smaller than other houses on the street (typically 1100 - 1400 ft).

We more than doubled the size of ours, but that is dwarfed by the monster homes (5000 ft2, north of the Uplands border, 3200 ft2 south of the pale) that are now replacing the rather appealing bungalows that once lined the street from end to end.

patriotz said...

In 1975, the average size of a house in Canada was 1,050 square feet. Fast forward to 2010 and new homes being built almost doubled to an average of 1,950 square feet.

The bogus comparison is obvious from the text: they are comparing the average of all houses in 1975 with new houses only in 2010.

CS said...

Bogus comparison or not, there is an apparent inconsistency between

"the size of the typical Canadian home hasn't changed much in 30 years. It still is around 2,100 square feet"

and

"In 1975, the average size of a house in Canada was 1,050 square feet."


Marko said...

The only kind of development that should be allowed in the city is low rise town homes that blend with the natural contours of our landscape with lots of green space and lots of amenities.

Reduce the allowable density of the land and the price of that vacant land drops until it becomes viable to build 2 and 3 bedroom town homes again. Keep raising the density, as we are doing, then it never will be possible to raise a family in the city


Where are all these townhomes suppose to be built? Condo towers downtown with over 150 units can be built on lots less than 20,000 sq/ft which only accommodates about 7 or 8 townhomes. When you have less density you have to move outwards (Langford, Colwood) and that has its own set of problems.

The 834, for example, is approximately 45% rented including the unit I own but there are very few, if any, vacant units. I am an investor but a car free individual that works downtown rents my unit and is quite happy with it. Investor owned units also improve quality of available rental units and take pressure off rental prices.

The one thing I took away from living is 530 sq/ft downtown is my girlfriend and I only had one car and I only drove for work. We consumed less than $400 in hydro PER YEAR, no gas powered lawn mower, no trips to costco, and much more.

Instead we are building a house where we'll need two cars, we'll spend $2500 in hydro per year, I'll have to buy a riding lawn mower to cover the grounds, but we'll take out our recycling to make ourselves feel better about how environmentally friendly we are.....lol.

If Dockside Green can't work where you have 10 story low rises I don't see how townhomes can be a viable option.

Just Jack said...

30 years ago, they were not building 1,050 square foot homes.

Those homes you allude to are over 50 years old now. They were built in a time before the baby boom when Victoria was a city where prairie farmers retired.

The median size of a house built in the 1970's in Victoria was 2,400 square feet.

Just Jack said...

Those are very logical statements Marko, it would be difficult for any city council to disagree with them.

Yet, condo prices seemed to rise as more and more were built. And it seems rental prices have not changed much in the last few years either.

Why is that!? Are we like Coal Harbour where on census day in 2011 nearly 25% of those condominiums were vacant. Could it be that the drive to build smaller and smaller units for reasons of affordability are only creating investors' "N"otel rooms that are vacant most of the year?

Maybe hotels like the Fairmont should hold back city and provincial taxes until these Notel rooms get sorted out or have to pay commercial taxes not residential.

Even the "834" has advertised vacation suites...

"The 834 is available for monthly stays only. Premiere Executive Suites would like to thank you for browsing our extended stay furnished rentals website. We are focused on bringing you from the smaller extended stay hotels and moving you into larger fully furnished apartments. We will try to fulfill all of your corporate housing needs by delivering comfortable bedroom suites, luxurious living areas and practical kitchens – a home away from home. For short term rentals or long term rentals across Canada, we have it all available for you at Premiere Executive Suites. You can reach us toll-free at 1-888-788-5788."

Leo S said...

The one thing I took away from living is 530 sq/ft downtown is my girlfriend and I only had one car and I only drove for work. We consumed less than $400 in hydro PER YEAR, no gas powered lawn mower, no trips to costco, and much more.

Increased population is an inevitability for now, so there is only two options. Do you want to build low density and have massive urban sprawl, with 2 hour commutes and endless traffic snarls or do you want to build a city core that is actually livable without a car?

The only feasible to the city core is higher density. Sure preserve the historic sections, but where possible build up. If you build out instead of up you end up with American cities of endless sprawl, and pave over much more of our landscape.
Sure speculative investors are a problem in condos, but there are much better ways to restrict that rather than not.building condos

dasmo said...

Yep, ideal city is dense with lots of Green close by. We need more people living downtown. That's through condos. There will always be vacation rentals here...it Victoria! Plenty of homes and town homes for short term rentals too...

caveat emptor said...

I agree that we need to encourage density, but not sure high rise condos are the way to go. As Just Jack has pointed out micro condos and highrises in general don't attract families. For better or worse middle class Canadians seem to think raising kids in a condo tower is cruel.

I think a lot of densification and infill could happen with row housing, townhouses and low rise condos (some is already of course). If land prices are too high too allow that then perhaps land prices are artificially inflated by the prospect of building high rises.....

Just Jack said...

I don't buy the higher density makes better cities argument for Victoria. We are not having a problem with increased population in Victoria. The population increase is in the Western Communities

In the Westshore they have embraced a bigger core of low rise buildings. That has drawn families and industries out to the Westshore. Where you can be anywhere at anytime in under 10 minutes.

And what are the costs of building up. Its clogged road systems, reduced retail stores, higher taxes, pollution, reduced tourism, higher costs of goods and services, increased policing, inner city schools problems and over management by the city.

There are benefits to building up, but in Victoria we aren't getting any of them. And yet if you leave the downtown core you get neighbourhood block parties and local business nodes of mom and pop shops to get a cup of coffee a haircut or gel nails.

I don't see a problem of having the older inefficient homes on big lots being assembled into town house developments like what is happening along Shelbourne. I just think we don't need more condos in the city. Condos that are purchased for speculation and not home ownership. Because once these 400 to 600 square foot complexes are built - there with us for the next hundred years. A problem that the city will have to grapple with in the future. As we are simply building tomorrow's slums today.

dasmo said...

"Where you can be anywhere at anytime in under 10 minute" I call BS on that big time...

dasmo said...

"And what are the costs of building up. Its clogged road systems, reduced retail stores, higher taxes, pollution, reduced tourism, higher costs of goods and services, increased policing, inner city schools problems and over management by the city."
I agree if you are talking 40 stories on Bear mountain or in Colwood but in the heart of downtown? or Vic West? Townhouses in fernwood and Fairfield yes. Downtown is for apartments and condos. We still have plenty of room to add more downtown IMO. We need more people living there anyway. Personally I think what Lefave & Co is doing works very well. I also think we could go much higher around the Hudson area. Nothing to preserve in that zone of victoria... Plus if buildings could go higher the developer could possibly offer bigger units that were more affordable.... This might also reduce the desire to build high rises in Colwood...

CS said...

Those homes you allude to are over 50 years old now. They were built in a time before the baby boom when Victoria was a city where prairie farmers retired.

Not before the baby boom, according to Wikipedia: In Canada, the baby boom is usually defined as occurring from 1945 to 1965.

Marko said...

I agree that we need to encourage density, but not sure high rise condos are the way to go. As Just Jack has pointed out micro condos and highrises in general don't attract families. For better or worse middle class Canadians seem to think raising kids in a condo tower is cruel.

I don't buy the argument that kids can't be raised in a condo and I never will (I grew up in a condo in a inner city in Croatia... I would just go outside and play in the park with my friends...not sure how playing in a city park versus a fenced back yard is different?). Personally, I would have no problem dropping $425k on a 950 sq/ft two bedroom plus den brand new condo at the Duet, dropping off a kid at school 30 seconds away across from the huge park and then walking 5 minutes to my middle class downtown job.

Half the world lives in a condo. Just because in Canada we are spoiled enough to the point where a middle class family can afford a massive luxury item like a $2,000/year dog doesn't mean a family can't be raised in a condo, it just means we have enough resources where a middle class family can afford a house in Happy Valley with a small yard for their dog to run around in.

Marko said...

Plus if buildings could go higher the developer could possibly offer bigger units that were more affordable.... This might also reduce the desire to build high rises in Colwood...

Exact reason why Dockside Green failed....you can't go concrete (quality) low rise and make money when it comes to condos.

I think density is awesome. Look at the corner of Blanshard and Johnson 10 years ago and look at it now. A bit of commercial, a few condo towers, it's actually vibrant now with people walking around.

CS said...

If one considers the living space occupied by those newly establishing a family home, it is doubtful if there has been any increase over the last 50 years and in fact there may well have been a reduction as an increasing proportion of young couples are compelled by financial circumstances to settle for a condo, not an SFH.

This bodes ill for Canada as a healthy nation able to reproduce itself, unless young people accept the challenge of raising kids in apartments, something that people in many parts of the world do as a matter of course. To make the challenge more appealing we need to create high density housing in leafy, park-like settings with play schools and elementary schools close at hand but minimal traffic.

Urban development needs engineering for both energy efficiency and healthy human development.

And I don't see any conflict between condo development and town-houses. Condos will go where land prices and demand for living space are highest, town-houses in more suburban areas, e.g., Gardiner's Green where density has been increased by a substantial factor by replacing a handful of old houses with 20-24 town houses.

Marko said...

I think Gardiner's Green is perfectly suited for that location. But I wouldn't want to see Gardiner's Green on Yates besides the Empires Theaters where you can put two towers up with a commercial ground floor component.

Just Jack said...

I don't think we have much choice. The city will continue to allow smaller condos so developers can make a profit. That will raise land prices and developers will be back to city council for more stories, tax holidays and more units in the buildings.

Darwinian economics at work.

Marko said...

The city will continue to allow smaller condos so developers can make a profit.

and you work for free?

caveat emptor said...

I don't buy the argument that kids can't be raised in a condo and I never will

Agreed- my comment above was reporting on Canadian attitudes, NOT agreeing with them.

I would just go outside and play in the park with my friends...not sure how playing in a city park versus a fenced back yard is different?

There's the problem right there. Our parenting standards have changed so much over the last 30 years towards hyper-vigilance and overprotection. When I grew up it was totally legitimate and normal for me and my 6 year old friends to wander the neighbourhood. Now sending your 6 year old outside to play in a public park without adult supervision would be considered beyond the pale by many folks. If you subscribe to the belief that public places are too dangerous for kids then that makes condo living with family challenging - i.e. your kids will never get outside except when you go with them.

Thus the prevalent culture of parenting fear leads straight to the need for the SFH in the suburbs with the white picket fence.

Just Jack said...

If the developers could not make a profit then they would stop building. That would cause a shortage and prices would rise and once more builders could build and make a profit.

The lowering of standards by the city only allows a miss-allocation of resources. Where you build a building because its profitable even it you don't fully sell out the complex.

If you can convince city council to allow smaller units that's extra gravy and increases profits.

In contrast, the city council should be looking at the long term implications of micro suites. Because after the developers are long gone - the city is left with a legacy of what could be almost unsaleable units for the next hundred years.

As it is now, developers have no desire but to build as many units in a complex that they can squeeze out of city council. If it were not for the Health and Safety regulations by the Fire Department that set a minimum condo size, I'm sure we would see the developers pushing for 150 square foot suites, height relaxations and ten year tax holidays to build "affordable" housing because they can't make a profit on a 400 square foot condo.

Well maybe they shouldn't be building condos then.

CS said...

If you subscribe to the belief that public places are too dangerous for kids then that makes condo living with family challenging...

The cost of providing safe public recreational spaces, free of drug addicts, prostitutes, drunks and loitering adults of questionable character, is one of the things municipalities should consider when negotiating terms with condo developers.

dasmo said...

Hey, I'm an adult of questionable character who likes to drink!

Leo S said...

And what are the costs of building up. Its clogged road systems, reduced retail stores, higher taxes, pollution, reduced tourism, higher costs of goods and services, increased policing, inner city schools problems and over management by the city.

I don't buy it.

Traffic congestion is better when people can live within walking distance to work. Lower density means longer commutes. Lower density means it's hard and expensive to build effective public transit. Lower density leads to more and longer car trips, not less.

Reduced retail stores, higher taxes? Why?

Pollution: it's the exact opposite. Far more efficient to live in a condo than a SFH. More efficient to heat and cool, less grounds to mow and fertilize, less need for the million home maintenance products that SFH owners buy. Less space encourages less acquisition of stuff.

Increased costs of goods doesn't make sense either. It's more efficient to deliver to dense centres rather than spread out ones.


Policing, over management, schools. Where's the evidence that these costs are more per capita with increasing density?

caveat emptor said...

A very thin house

8' 3" might be going a little far, but make this 12 or 15' wide and it could be an appealing alternative to a condo that would still increase density

Just Jack said...

Have any of those costs I mentioned decreased in the last 14 years?

Are you paying more in taxes, utility fees and user fees than 14 years ago. How about the cost of policing has it decreased? How about the quality of education has the Fraser Institute graded schools higher 14 years later. How about traffic congestion in the streets. Have we solved the homeless problem or has it become larger? Are there more retail stores or theatres down town today. How about garbage on the streets. How about the feeling of safety walking the streets after 7:00 PM.

So when do these benefits of higher density start to materialize?

dasmo said...

At least the prostitutes are gone from downtown now...

Leo S said...

Have any of those costs I mentioned decreased in the last 14 years?

So you're saying since taxes have increased at the same time that more condos were built, these two things must be related?

n.y.k. said...

-- "I don't buy the argument that kids can't be raised in a condo and I never will...I grew up in a condo... I would just go outside and play in the park with my friends...not sure how playing in a city park versus a fenced back yard is different...Personally, I would have no problem dropping $425k on a 950 sq/ft two bedroom...in Canada we are spoiled"

LOL. Wait until you have kids.

As a downtown parent who frequently takes kids to city parks, I can explain some of those park/backyard differences you're not sure of.

I encounter homeless people, drunks, drug addicts, aggressive panhandlers, mentally ill and transient youth with their stray dogs in city parks. They use the parks as their bedrooms, living rooms and toilets. I'm careful to search the playground for liquor bottles, broken glass, dog shit, used condoms and needles before letting the kids play.

Every single one of those things I mentioned is something I've had to deal with this year.

Marko said...

The condo doesn't have to be right downtown at the Falls. I made reference to a condo next to South Park Elementary School in James bay...you could also buy an older condo in Cook Street Village (if you can find one without an age restriction)...are there really all the problems you note in a kids park like the big on one on Cook Street next to the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club?

When I go to downtown Vancouver I don't see baby strollers on E Hastings and you don't see that many in Coal Harbour but you do see quite a few in Yaletown and some in the West End.

koozdra said...

Parents of millennials may be helping to skew housing prices

dasmo said...

What park is that?

Marko said...

Right at the corner of Cook and Leonard....I think technically Beacon Hill Park. I always see a ton of kids playing there.

koozdra said...

"I don't buy the argument that kids can't be raised in a condo and I never will"

It's not that they can't be raised in condos, it's that they won't have to. When our property market follows what happened in the states we'll have plenty of houses to go around. We'll stop looking at housing as a financial instrument. People who bought into the micro condo craze will lose money.

Did you think the government could insure sub prime mortgages and keep these bloated prices afloat forever?

Marko said...

It's not that they can't be raised in condos, it's that they won't have to.

They won't have to I guess if they don't mind a long haul commute.

I remember a year ago a friend of mine posted on facebook a photo of Bear Mountain from the top of Finlayson with a caption, "such a beautiful area that has been clear cut," or something along those lines. Ironically enough she lives in a newer subdivision on a 7,000 sq/ft lot, just not Bear Mountain.

If the population is growing, which it is, and the average family wants a single family home with a yard I really don't see how we can get around massive clear cutting and long commutes? Maybe I a missing something.

Oak Bay isn't getting any bigger.

caveat emptor said...

"When our property market follows what happened in the states we'll have plenty of houses to go around."

So the big crash will ensure that everyone gets a nice big house with a yard? A pony too, I hope.

dasmo said...

I meant what park is the dog shit, drug needle, booze bottle filled park?

koozdra said...

"Oak Bay isn't getting any bigger."

Didn't save California. They were running out land there also.

As property values nationally start to slide and mortgage origination continues to fall, I wonder how long the banks will be content in keeping their helocs as interest only.

Combine that with an interest rate increase, which everyone is so certain will never happen, and you got yourself a stew going.

koozdra said...

"So the big crash will ensure that everyone gets a nice big house with a yard? A pony too, I hope."

Nope, a lot of people will be majorly fucked. "but they told me housing was the best investment of my life" -The Canadian sub-prime generation

dasmo said...

Wishful thinking. But if it happens I'm buying as much as I can. I think I'll go for commercial though.

CS said...

"... drunks, drug addicts, aggressive panhandlers, mentally ill and transient youth with their stray dogs in city parks. They use the parks as their bedrooms, living rooms and toilets"

What the Heck do we have municipal governments for if they cannot make down-town public places safe for children. There is a huge shortage of jobs, especially for those past 50. So there must be plenty of late-middle aged grandmas and sturdy old guys of good character to police public space.

The idea that parks should be the preserve of the deranged, the depraved and the derelict is preposterous.

koozdra said...

"Wishful thinking"

This... is wishful thinking.

Real House prices Canada vs US

dasmo said...

No... That is...

StalJ said...

You already missed that boat Koozdra. There was lots of property that went for a third or more off peak...houses too.. from 1711 Haultain all the way to swanky Swanwick ranch. You got to stay open to the signs of when to switch sides. Don't be a blinder-wearing bear or bull :-)

dasmo said...

I believe I called it when I said rates will go down when y'all were saying they could only go up. So far It looks like I'm the nostradamus of this group....

Just Jack said...

I suppose I'm inferring that if there are any savings from going vertical they are absorbed by the municipal government and never passed onto the citizen. The logic might be that going high density is more economic. The reality is different. For example, garbage is collected every two weeks now - that should have been a savings to Victorians. However, the number of workers on the trucks are now double what they were before. And our garbage collection is more expensive and without the biomass added to the dump, the dump is filling up faster.

A friend of mine has just graduated with honors in Economics and he believes that densification and user fees are the future. And by the text book they should work. But we're dealing with municipal governments and unions that have agendas that defeat any savings being passed on to the population.

There should be a public vote at the end of a Politicians or crown corporation directors tenure. It they have not performed well then they should forfeit their pensions.

koozdra said...

Dammit Janet!!

When It Comes To Canada’s Housing Market, Janet Yellen Is In The Driver’s Seat

"the Fed’s control over the bond market can be, at times, comparable to a dog on a leash."

DavidL said...

Parents of millennials may be helping to skew housing prices
http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2014/05/29/parents-of-millennials-may-be-helping-to-skew-housing-prices-1/

dasmo said...

More non-news... Shoot, Around the time all my friends were buying homes I think I was the only one that didn't get money from the bank of mom and dad. That said, My dad did help me get the loan in other ways...

koozdra said...

"bank of mom and dad"

People borrowing their down payments. Then government insuring the rest of the 95%. Nothing wrong because the commodity is one that never drops in value.

koozdra said...

Why are we wasting our time with 5% down? Why not 0% down?

Let's skip the pretense. Is there really a difference?

Houses always appreciate (at least in Canada) so what's the big deal?

They shouldn't be winding down the CMHC, they should be ramping it up... for the good of the economy.

DavidL said...

@dasmo
More non-news...

This kind of story is showing up more and more in mainstream media. Therefore, this is "news" as it is shapes the public perception about purchasing real estate.

Leo S said...

But if it happens I'm buying as much as I can. I think I'll go for commercial though.

That's exactly what happens. The well off buy up more property while the average Canadians end up in trouble. Or are you trying to pretend you are the average Canadian?

Leo S said...

>> So far It looks like I'm the nostradamus of this group....

"Most academic sources maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus's quatrains are largely the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations (sometimes deliberate) or else are so tenuous as to render them useless as evidence of any genuine predictive power."

Yep, sounds about right

dasmo said...

lol :-)

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