Sunday, December 14, 2008

Little Prairiegirl

My wife and I have been blessed with the addition of a little prairiegirl to our family. To say that life changes after having a baby is a absolute understatement! Especially when she likes to have her days and nights reversed. It's supposed to get better though, so we'll get through it, I'm not too worried. However, my blogging may suffer even more than it has lately - if that is possible!

Real estate related, December is turning out to be another slow month. SFH sales should probably come in around 120 - 130 for the month. The average and median sale price are currently hovering around $510k thus far. Of course, any high priced home sales will immediately skew that number.

Monday, December 1, 2008

November Sales Numbers

The VREB has posted the November sales numbers on their website.

I made $41613, tax free, by having not bought a SFH in Victoria in October! Shhhh, not too loud though. I don't want the tax man to find out!

Our months of inventory continues to rise to stratospheric levels. It may soon be showing up on NORAD's radars!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Softening Prices

It looks like this blog has taken on its' own life and become a gold blog. Very interesting, and everyone seems quite opinionated.

The pace of sales of SFH in Greater Victoria has picked up in the latter part of this month. However, it is still historically very slow. We're now looking at around 120 SFH having sold in November. Prices have certainly softened as well. I'm calculating the average selling price for SFH to come in between $530k and $535k. This number would drop the price back to the February 2007 level. The median for the month should come in around $500k.

Total housing inventory for the region has dropped this month. Today, this website states there are 5033 properties for sale. On October 29th, there were 5281 properties for sale.

It will be interesting to see how Tony Joe spins this month.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quotable Quotes

Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist, "Homes sales are unlikely to fall much further... That being said we expect home sales not to decline much further." November 15, 2008, Times Colonist.

Tony Joe, Victoria Real Estate Board President, "While we cannot predict the future or remain completely immune from the larger economic forces now at play in the world, we believe much of the recent doom and gloom pessimism regarding the housing market is unwarranted, at least as far as the Victoria area is concerned. Yes, the market has slowed down but we can liken that to some air escaping from the balloon; there is no indication at present that the balloon itself is in danger of bursting. The fundamentals remain strong..." November 15, 2008, Times Colonist, page E9.

Perhaps both of these gentlemen should look at Novembers' sales thus far. I'm estimating that fewer than 100 SFH will have sold in Greater Victoria by the end of this month. Last November there were 310 SFH sales. Not one house has sold in Sooke or Colwood so far this month.

However, the headlines will of course read "Sales slow, prices rebound" as the average SFH selling price thus far in November is near $600000, the median near $550000.

Kiddies, if your mom or dad is a realtor, go easy on them this Christmas. Times are going to be tough for a while longer.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

October Sales Numbers

I'm a little late with the sales numbers this month. It's been a busy week...

How the VREB can put a positive spin on this past months numbers is beyond me. Sales were abysmal! The VREB will positive spin anything - if there was 1 sale, with a selling price of one million bucks, the headlines would read "Prices hit a new record, sales soften". Go figure.

Here's the usual graphs...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October's last two days

Victoria's home sales have gone off the cliff this month. My estimate today is similar to what I had after the first 10 days of the month. It looks like there will have been 150 - 170 SFH sold in October in Greater Victoria. Within the past 4 years, the previous lowest monthly sales was December 2005 with 183 sales. It looks like the average sale price will have rebounded from last month - I'm estimating it to be around $570000. The median looks to be between $480k and $490k.

I've heard condo sales have been very slow as well. What's the word on the street?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Week Ending October 11

Due to the recent changes on the website, I'm no longer able to closely track housing inventory numbers as I have in the past. I guess, as a consumer, the changes aren't too bad. I like the mapping, however, it would be nice to be able to search within a defined region.

I am following sales more closely these days. Based on the first 10 days of October, sales have dropped off the side of a cliff. If the trend continues from the first 10 days of the month through to the end, we will be looking at around 150 to 175 SFH sales. The three previous Octobers had 344, 312, and 299 sales, respectively. Median sale price is running around $470000, the average is around $560000 (this due to a $3million home selling in Oak Bay).

Tuesday is our big day in Canada - get out and vote! We have all seen this video on TV or the Internet already, but I think it would be good to give it another view.

Have a great long weekend, and let's remember to be thankful for all of our blessings.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

September Sales Numbers

That's the last time the average selling price of a single family home in Victoria sold for less than it did this September.

VREB has posted the sales numbers for September. They can be viewed on their website.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Another crazy day. Do you think our city of Victoria will ever get to PANIC mode? People do seem a little tense about the recent happenings. Housing is no longer a given, and with so many blue hairs in our city, the stock market is a definite concern. Hopefully people near retirement age have done their financial planning and thrown most of their savings into something secure.

One day until October. I'm still guessing around 280 SFH sales in September, with a median just below $500k and an average around $550k.

If those numbers are close, as a renter I'll have made $20k since last September, as last year's median was $520k. Shucks, that more than pays for this previous year's rent! Maybe a new show for TLC should be Renter Ladder (not Property Ladder), featuring renters climbing the real estate market ladder by not having bought!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Roller Coaster Continues

This downward portion of the coaster is a little scarier, isn't it? There appears to be uncertainty all around us. Having started our little family, life decisions take on another magnitude of seriousness. The best thing to do may be to hunker down and work hard. Who knows what tomorrow brings! I think it's better to be optimistic, while being realistic, in decision making. I refuse to live in fear all the days of my life.

Regarding non-real estate related comments - it's all good with me. Just keep them family friendly and no personal attacks, please. I think that real estate, the economy, even politics, are intertwined. So go ahead - carry on!

It looks to me like real estate listings continue to increase for Greater Victoria. On September 2, after the month-end drop-off in listings, there were 4836 listings. Today, there are 5109 listings on this realtor's website. That's an increase of 273. 5109 is the highest I have recorded for this year.

As for sales, I'm watching SFH sales more closely these days. It looks to me like the average price for September will be very similar to August, as there have been a number of million dollar homes sold. However, median sales price should be lower than last months'. The number of sales should be higher than August, yet lower than September 2007. If the current trend continues, I'm guessing we'll see around 260 - 280 SFH sold in September for Greater Victoria.

Sorry, I have no idea what's going on with condos and townhomes. Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

August Sales Numbers

VREB has released the sales numbers for August 2008.

Comments have already started on this site. H/T to HHV and Roger as they have beat me to the punch.

However, here are my usual graphs.

Check out the months of inventory graph. We are so totally into a buyers' market!
More to follow in the coming days!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Is Summer Over?

It sure feels like it. The weather network says that next weekend should be above average temps - I hope so. As for the real estate market, summer is definitely over.

From what I'm seeing, sales of SFH are way down. I'm estimating August sales for SFH to be around 240. From 2005 - 2007, August SFH sales were 350, 328, and 399 respectively. I'm estimating the average sale price for SFH in August to be $560k - $570k. Last year it was $576k. Median should come in around $525k, higher than last year.

I follow SFH much closer than condos or townhomes. I'd guess condo sales will also be below previous Augusts, with a slight month-over-month price decrease. Townhomes, also lower sales, but a steady sales price.

This realtor's website has 5049 properties currently for sale in Greater Victoria. I recorded 4915 properties for sale at the end of July. VREB inventory numbers should increase by around 150, to approximately 4700. August 2007 had around 3350 properties for sale.

What are you seeing in your neighbourhoods? My street block has 6 for sale signs. That's the most I've ever seen here at one time.

Have a great long weekend! Back in September with the monthly stats!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thursday Freebie

Lots of discussion and comments over the past week - good time to have a create a new post.

Front page of the Financial Post website right now has the following four articles.
- Canadian Housing in "Sustained downturn"
- Construction plans plunge, StatsCan reports
- House sales slip, prices stable
- Housing slump hits home

Also, from the Globe and Mail - Victoria's market is 30 to 35% overvalued.

Wow, everyone is so negative all of a sudden. Go figure! Have they been reading those bear blogs???

Saturday, August 2, 2008

July Sales Numbers

2008 will certainly mark the beginning of the bear run. In July, sales continued to decrease, inventory remained high, and prices have rounded the corner and are dropping. The VREB stats can be found at their website.

Median sale price of SFH dropped for the 4th consecutive month and is 2.9% higher than July 2007.

Median condo sale price is the lowest since August 2007. Sales are 31% lower than July 2007. If this does not have the condo developers getting worried, then I have no idea what will.

Townhome sales are an anomaly. Median sale price was the second highest on record, however, sales are down 50% from July 2007.

Months of inventory of all properties jumped over the 7 month mark. This is the highest of all data I have access to (dating back to 2005).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

CMHC "Housing Now" for June

CMHC has released their "Housing Now" production for June for Victoria and can be found here.

This house has finally sold. I don't know how many days on the market. Original asking price - $1049000. Sale price - $767000. That's still too much. MLS 245596. More power to them. There was a greater fool.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Interesting Websites

I've added a couple of interesting weblinks to the right hand side of the blog. You may have seen them on other sites or in the commentary.

- The New York Times Rent vs. Buy calculator. Thanks to QL.
- Walk Score website - Find a walkable neighbourhood. It's fun to play with. Thanks to Housing Panic.
- Garth Turner's website. I don't agree with all that he says and stands for, but I have been reading it almost daily. He doesn't sugarcoat the current economic and housing situation.

Also, check out MLS 248177. This house just sold for $422000. That's $93000 off the asking price!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Too little too late

"It's a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has already run down the road." Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., on today's announcement from the Government of Canada.

The new regulations certainly won't hurt the impending housing collapse.

Also, CMHC released their numbers for June housing starts for Vancouver Island.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

June Sales Numbers

Well, we're a little late to the show, so grab yourself some popcorn and a seat, and enjoy the ride!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


As a child, time passed by so slowly. I was always told, the older you get, the faster that time goes by. It's true.

I've had a lot going on, so it's come down to prioritizing. The blog has slipped on the importance list. It's nice though how it carries on without me. Please do feel free to continue to use the blog as a forum even as my postings have become less frequent.

Further on the person note, a couple months ago I ranted on how perhaps it was time to get out of the rental market. Well, it looks like we've decided to give our rental suite another year. We'll just make room and organize a little better for when this little person arrives this fall. In a year's time, we'll re-evaluate again.

I have still been keep inventory stats. Listings continue to increase, not quite at the pace as experienced in May though. I have only 6 more condos listed on today than there were on May 31. There are 4 fewer townhomes. There are 96 more SFH. In comparison to last year, there are 282 more SFH listings.

According to this realtor's website, there are right now 4848 active listings in Greater Victoria. This is 230 more than on May 31. The numbers don't make sense. None-the-less, inventory is still increasing.

I got a good laugh out of a realtor's comments on today's market condition. This is a direct quote from an email -

"So I thought "what would I say today about the Victoria Real Estate Market if someone asked"?

My comments would be that we have a balanced market where we are indeed selling at the rate of 1 SALE to 5 LISTINGS or 20% success ratio!!! In Vancouver and Lower mainland the ratio is 1 Sale to 10 LISTINGS or 10%!!

So Victoria is still quite active and prices are staple - a balanced market!"

Go figure!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

May Sales Numbers

Sorry folks. No time. Here's my contribution.

May sales numbers according to the VREB.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

CMHC "Housing Now" for April

CMHC has released their "Housing Now" report for April for Greater Victoria.

There are currently 4618 active property listings, approximately 550 more than 1 month ago.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 24 Week Ending Stats

We live in some crazy times, and they keep getting crazier.

Oil hit $135 a barrel this week, and will go higher. Goldman Sachs is thinking $200 / barrel within 2 years.

Another Canadian bank, RBC, is proclaiming that the Canadian housing boom is over. We all know Alberta's market is slumping and Canada's is slowing dramatically. There are 17286 properties for sale in Greater Vancouver. There is an 11.2 month supply of homes in the US.

Victoria, of course, is no different. Sales have slowed. Inventory doesn't stop rising. Right now, we are at 4522 properties for sale in Greater Victoria.

On the MLS, today we have 154 more SFH listed than one month ago, 170 more condos, and actually 5 fewer townhomes. 2 out of 3 ain't bad!

In case anyone is interested, CMHC has released their 2nd quarter housing market outlook for Victoria.

Oh yeah, thanks for visiting this site and making it an active forum for comments. Let's remember to keep the comments civil and focused more on real estate. Thanks.

Friday, May 9, 2008

April Housing Starts

CMHC's release of April housing starts for Vancouver Island can be found here. Rising housing inventory shows no sign of slowing down.

Monday, May 5, 2008

April Townhome Sales Graphs

Just a couple of graphs showing townhome sales numbers and median sales prices over the previous years.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

April Sales Numbers

I see that discussion has already started on April's sales numbers, as published by the VREB. Listings are up, sales numbers are down. I think that the average sales price for this past month is a moot point. As long as inventory rises and quantity of sales decreases, we move into, if we aren't already there, a buyer's market. Prices then start to decrease. Sellers are still holding out at this point because they see their neighbour sell their house for near asking price, yet they don't see the five other neighbours that aren't selling their homes.

What I don't understand is this - I see sales prices via a realtor's PCS. Why are people buying homes for the asking price? If you are in the market for buying - start lowballing!!!

I'm also quite surprised at the number of $1+ million sales. I thought that the smart money was those who had money. Obviously not.

Anyways, here are my charts. More to follow.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 26 Week Ending Stats

Inventory is continuing to rise, however, not at the pace that it was in March. According to this realtor's website, there are currently 4070 active listings in Greater Victoria. This is around 200 more than at the end of March. In comparison, the month of March saw an increase of around 350 listings on their website.

Today, there are 137 more SFH listings on MLS than on the 29th of March. The greatest increase in listings has been for SFH priced higher than $700k. There have been comments on the incredible number of listings with asking prices higher than $1 million. Today, there are 248 of such listings. Crazy!

There are 20 more townhomes listed today than there were on March 29. The number of condos listed is basically unchanged.

I have to pick on this one $1 million+ listings. MLS#240724. Seriously, what are these people smoking? $1049000 for this POS? Yeah right!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Housing Boom is Officially Over!

Thanks to anonymous for mentioning this occasion on Craigslist.

Yes, according to The Globe and Mail, and specifically Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., the housing boom in Canada is now officially over. First quarter statistics are what helped him come to that conclusion.

Certainly, we are seeing this in Victoria. Inventory is ballooning and sales are the lowest in years.

Will we follow in the footsteps of our neighbours south of the border? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But the market is definitely not what it was in the previous 2 or 3 years.

Discuss away!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

March SFH Sales Graphs

A picture is worth a thousand words...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

March Sales Numbers

The Victoria Real Estate Board has posted March's sales numbers. Commentary on the numbers started in the last post. Please do continue. It looks to me like this year is going to the bears.

Following are SFH, condo, and townhome graphs for Greater Victoria. More are to follow in the coming days.