Saturday, March 28, 2009

Various Vancouver Real Estate items

Interesting items on various sites from around the net.

On Real Estate Talks, KopyrightKlepto keeps track of (and posts the results of) the daily R/E sales in Greater Vancouver. After a strong start to the month, sales are once again dropping off and listings are starting to increase.

March sales are averaging 101 per day, which is a decrease of 26% from last March. The number of active listings is at 15,907, an increase of 22% from this time last year. It is taking, on average, about 7.2 months for a property to sell right now.

Meanwhile over at the blog Housing Analysis, Mohican has posted the results of the CMHC Housing Analysis. The number of completed yet unsold units in the Vancouver market has shot up to 2,391 (last year at this time it was 1,384). There are 25,907 units under construction and due to come onto the market as the year moves along.

In the current economic climate, it's sizing up to an explosion of inventory on the market as the year moves along. Most observers expect a rush of promotions similar to the 'Onni Liquidation' last month. Things are expected to really heat up as spring moves along and developers scramble to move product before the market becomes flooded later this summer/fall.

Meanwhile over on, Garth Turner is once again moved to note the entrenched attitude of people across the country who somehow believe that their individual city is 'different' than the rest of the continent. Be it Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto or Halifax, people in each location think that land values in their individual city simply won't decline:

  • "In virtually every city, I hear the same thing when it comes to the one thing people want to throw money at, real estate. 'It’s different here.'

    It’s different in Toronto because that’s where all the immigrants go, so growth will be endless. It’s different in Halifax because of the huge stabilizing influence of the military. It’s different in Edmonton because of oil. It’s different in Ottawa because of the federal government. It’s different in Vancouver because of the sandwiching of mountains and sea.

    Of course, none of this matters. All markets will continue to decline, even after a minor feeding frenzy by unwary first-time buyers. This will happen even as equity markets lurch higher and lower, and then recover some time in the months ahead. It will happen despite billions of dollars in new government spending and tax cuts. It will even happen as mortgage rates dribble down to the lowest point ever."

Maybe it's because we live here, but this attitude is particularly entrenched in Vancouver.

I personally remain convinced we will see a minimum 50% decline in the price of condos from the March 2008 peak and a minimum 40% decline in the price of detached houses.

We should have some sort of online betting pool about when the tipping point will finally come.

According to the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index™, Vancouver is currently down 8.3% from peak prices. Only Calgary at 11.4% has dropped more.

Below is another excellent clip featuring Peter Schiff in an appearance on MSNBC last Wednesday. He touches on many of the key points we hilighted in our our recent Peter Schiff series. This clip is 8:36 long and as one commentator states towards the end, Schiff's comments are an excellent clinical analysis of the current economic crisis...



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