Saturday, September 29, 2007

September 29 Week Ending Stats

There are 3 more single family homes, 13 more condos, and 7 more townhomes listed on this Saturday over last.

Interestingly, for SFH, the only price ranges that have a decrease in listings today are those priced under $300k and over $700k.

Let's dissect the graph of the number of SFH listings in a price range as a percentage of the whole. Over the past year, the percentage of listings between $500k and $700k has been quite flat. The percentage of listings of homes priced over $700k is nearly a mirror image of the percentage of home priced between $300k - $400k and $400k - $500k. The gradual down slope of homes priced between $300k and $500k has levelled off this past month, which leads me to wonder whether external factors (credit crunch, American MSM, affordability) are having an effect on the lower priced homes. Sales plus delists are not exceeding new listings. Perhaps this is the start of things.

Case and point - a friend was pondering whether to get into the market. About three weeks ago, her realtor pointed out MLS#235514. The house was priced at $399000. In today's hot market, the house was going to sell that weekend. It's three weeks later, the house has not sold, and has had two price reductions, with it now sitting at $379000. How hot is this market? It's definitely cooling.

The Victoria Real Estate Board's September numbers should come out early next week. They should be interesting, but I'm not losing sleep over them. I'm guessing a decrease in SFH average price, an increase in condo and townhome average price. Listings will be up slightly to just over 3400, sales will be between 750 and 800, well above last year. What's your guess?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

CMHC "Housing Now" Report for August

CMHC has released their "Housing Now" report for August for Victoria.

Highlights include
- 70.6% decrease in starts between August 2006 and August 2007.
- 2% decrease in starts year to date from 2006.
- 31.6% increase in units under construction between August 2006 and August 2007.
- Langford (pop. 22500) has 799 units under construction.
- Saanich (pop. 108000) has 536 units under construction.
- Oak Bay has 15 units under construction.

Those last three points aren't really highlights, I just found them to be interesting.

CMHC's average selling price for SFH dropped for the second straight month. The difference between CMHC's average price, which doesn't include waterfront, acreage, duplex, and manufactured home sales, and VREB's average price is very evident for August. The sale of a $5million home certainly skews the average. That's why I believe that median sales price is a better indicator.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

September 22 Week Ending Stats

The increase in listings of SFH on that we saw last week disappeared this week. There were 31 fewer SFH listed this Saturday than last Saturday. The largest decrease was between $400k and $600k. 29 fewer homes in that price range. Homes priced above $700k, there are 5 more homes listed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Big Rate Cut

As everyone has heard, the U.S. Federal Reserve cut the overnight lending rate by 50 basis points, or 0.5%. The experts were somewhat surprised. I am surprised that they were surprised. Yet, their response was exactly what I had heard it would be, if there was a cut of that size. The experts are afraid of what lies ahead.

What does lie ahead? What does it bring for me and my family, the city and province I live in, and for Canada?

A person could theorize and hypothesize until the cows come home. Even with that, they could still not get it right. If any one person could predict what was going to happen, well, they'd be very rich. Perhaps that is why statements from Warren Buffet and the likes are well heeded.

I have no idea. That's why I started this blog. But here's what I could possibly see. Rate cut in the U.S. - U.S. dollar drops - CAN$ rises - CAN exports continue to fall (except oil) - things slow even further in export reliant regions of CAN - CAN economy slows - rate cuts in CAN - housing market????

I'm no expert. What do you think? Where will B.C.'s and Canada's economies be in 1 year from now? 5 years from now?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

September 15 Week Ending Stats

The number of listings available on for Greater Victoria increased this past week. This includes
- 39 more condos.
- 3 more townhomes.
- 32 more SFH.

The largest increase in listings of SFH by price breakdown was in the $300k to $400k range. There are 10 more houses on in this price range this week.

Even with the increase in SFH listings, the pie chart breakdown is still very top heavy.

I think the increase in listings this past week is the beginning of the traditional run-up of inventory in the fall months. With the associated decrease in sales during fall, the months supply of inventory will increase. The September sales numbers will be very interesting.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Slow Growth, Cool Market

Front page of today's TC had articles regarding Victoria's economic growth and real estate market. HouseHuntVictoria has insight on the related article in The Globe and Mail.

Victoria's economic growth to slow - rather significantly as well. 2006 had growth pegged at 3.7%. 2007 is forecasted at 2.8%.

Real estate market expected to cool over the long term - Victoria's current market is 10% above trend, according to Scotia Economics' Adrienne Warren. Quote from Cameron Muir "... it is reasonable to expect that when this current cycle is over that home prices will moderate for a while in order to give household incomes a chance to catch up with the pricing regime."

Does this mean that I may not be priced out forever?! Is today maybe not the best time to buy? Perhaps the future is better than the present for getting into the market. I'm surprised by Mr. Muir's statement. He may be starting to see the light.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

July New Housing Price Index

Statistics Canada has released the New Housing Price Index for July.

Once again, Victoria is showing some of the slowest month over month and year over year new house price gains. For the period of July 2006 to July 2007, Victoria had a 1.1% change in the new house price index. Tops was Saskatoon at 51.4%.

"For Canada, the pace of growth in new housing prices slowed for the 11th consecutive month in July. It went from 7.8% in June to 7.7% in July.

Saskatoon set a record high year-over-year increase for the fifth consecutive month. Prices in Winnipeg were 15.7% higher than in July 2006 in the wake of land shortages and development costs. New housing prices in Edmonton continued to increase at a fast pace with a year-over-year increase of 38.4%, due to hikes in land values from developers."

Go figure.

August Housing Starts

CMHC's housing starts report showed significant decreases in month over month and year over year housing starts for Greater Victoria. August 2007 had 110 housings starts. In comparison, July 2007 had 236 and August 2006 had 374. The number of housing starts for the year to date has 2007 only slightly behind 2006.

Does this signal anything? Is construction slowing down? I don't believe that one slow month represents a trend. With any new project coming online, next month's starts could be equally impressively high.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

September 8 Week Ending Stats

It's September. Fall is coming, the kids are back in school, and housing inventory should start to increase as the number of sales continues decreasing.

There was a slight SFH inventory increase this past week. The biggest changes are 5 fewer homes priced between $300k and $400k and 7 more homes priced between $500k and $600k. As of today, 72% of all single family homes listed on have an asking price of $500000 or higher.

I know this isn't a Calgary or Alberta housing market blog, but I love watching the average sale price posted on CREB's website drop. Calgary's average sale price has gone from $491k on August 23 (the peak was around $507k) to $477.5k today. That's nearly $14k in 16 days! I wonder how many Albertans will be scurrying to purchase our properties as their bubble bursts!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

August Sales Numbers

HHV and Roger beat me to the punch for commentary on the VREB's release of the August sales numbers. Check out their blogs for some great insight.

All that's left is for me to bore you with some graphs, and an update to the football score.

Median single family home prices. Ouch, how the median in Victoria is dropping. The rest of the Capital Region District is really having to take up the slack.

Looking at sales of SFH in the past two years, the number of sales is higher this year. Median price appreciation continues at double digit or high single digit gains.

Condo sales numbers continue to be strong. However, the median price appreciation has been marginal the past couple of months.

This summer has been hot for sales of townhomes in Greater Victoria. The median sales price has been flat the past four months.

And finally, the Bears have scored a touchdown this month. The average sales price for condos and townhomes were lower than the six month rolling average. Without the sale of the $5million+ home in Oak Bay, average price of SFH would also have been lower than the six month average. Score: Bulls 26 Bears 10.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

September 1 Week Ending Stats

Short entry today. SFH inventory on up slightly this past week. Townhome and condo inventory down slightly.

Tuesday should bring us August sales numbers. I'm guessing active listings will decrease to between 3300 and 3200 for the month. MLS sales to be above last year - between 750 and 800. Generally, I think sales prices will be down a little, not much. Any other guesses or predictions?