Monday, July 5, 2010

Nothing to see here... move on.

The turning of the real estate market in Vancouver continues unabated. Listings are up, sales are down... even the CREA came out in the middle of last month (June 16th) with a press release confirming this fact from May's sales.

And just like in 2008, the R/E machine cranked up the P/R offerings as to why this should not concern you.

Last month the angle was all about 'Hot Asian Money' (HAM). The spin was 'HAM' was pouring into town and this would support property values - ergo no need to drop your asking price.

Stories appeared everywhere promoting this angle, but it appears reality is having it's effect.

If you are a faithful reader of this blog, you have seen postings about the ever-upbeat downtown realtor, Ian Watt. Watt posts regular youtube blurbs constantly pumping the market. During last year's downtimes, Watt regularly chided buyers for following negative press about the market.

So should we expect a similar tact this time around?

Perhaps recognizing early on a similar pattern as the start of last year's downturn, Watt has posted this latest blurb telling potential sellers that they have to recognize the turning market and bring down their asking prices:

You know the market has to be turning significantly when you see such a blurb by Watt. Which means we should be seeing the next move by the R/E P/R cabel in response to this turn of events.

And right on que comes this article in Saturday's Vancouver Sun.

Authored by real estate bull (and developer) James Shouw, we are chided to stop focusing on declining sales numbers and increasing listings as red herrings that distract you from the real issue (although somehow this point is never relevant when sales are booming, listings are few and prices are climbing).

Shouw's position?

"Real estate numbers are transitory, but value is forever, the only 'news' that matters: the metropolitan population increases 50,000 annually."

Schouw basically throws realtors under the bus dismissing them because they focus on those headlines that focus on a year-over-year decline. While that concerns realtors who are primarly focused on volume, this news shouldn't concern real estate owners.

"As a developer, I'm primarily concerned about value. As a real estate broker, I'd likely be more concerned with volume. Value and volume can fluctuate in parallel, or in opposition, depending on underlying market dynamics."

It's a variation of the 'buy now or be priced out forever' mantra. Land is running out, people continue to move here, so don't worry... values will fluctuate but real estate will always go up.

Look for this theme to be repeated all summer long to counter a falling market.



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