Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sweet Justice?

The start of a new month and the chatter on the local real estate boards is about another month of collapsing sales.

One contributor to the VCI comments section notes that the market for condos in Vancouver-West have all but crashed. Vancouver-West includes all the condos in the downtown core.

As we noted at end of July the local market research firm, MPC Intelligence Inc., counted 6,659 condo units being put into the marketing phase between March 1 and July 1, 2010. This compares with just 1,937 that were on the market in 2009 and 5,066 in 2008.

So have have sales of new condos performed in August?

The worst August in the last 15 years was 2008 in which only 24 new condos sold. Previous to that the worst year was 1994 with 32 sales.


As of August 30th only 16 new condos had sold! A stunning new low is about to be set.

Another contributor to the comments section makes a hobby of tracking townhouses in Coal Harbour and False Creek North (waterfront townhouses).

A particularly keen observer, he keeps track of the total time a property has been on the market, even when it is re-listed with a new agent.

He advises that the average number of days listed for all townhouses in this area is a stunning 358 days on the market.

He also advises that the worst performing property has been on the market now for an astonishing 927 days.

927 days!

The property is 1439 Howe Street.

And our intrepid source also provides us with the history of this unit. It has has never been lived in since being built at the end of 2007. From the listing:

"GORGEOUS NEW TOWNHOME AT the award winning POMARIA, a concrete building, which is LEED certified and has received the UDI award for the best highrise in 2007. Unique 3 storey, 2 bedroom and den with its own private entrance, 200sq.ft rooftop deck with outdoor fireplace, barbeque hookup. Geothermal heating and cooling Loft style, double height ceilings on main floor, floor to ceiling windows, Luxurious interior with spa style bathrooms, and gourmet kitchen, GREAT BUILDING with the convenience of a 24 hour concierge, health spa, gym, steam room & guest suite."

The property was Initially listed on February 11 2008. Asking price: $989,000

On March 4 2008 the price was reduced to: $969,000
On April 17 2008 the price was reduced again to: $899.000
The property was re-listed on July 31 2008 for: $799,000
Then, on July 21 2009, it was relisted again for: $699,000

The market, as you all know, then started to reflate. Rather than move the property, the condo was re-listed June 10 2010 with the price jacked back up to: $759,000.

On June 24 2010 that asking price was reduced again to: $749,000.

Do you weep for the trials and tribulations of this seller? Our diligent VCI observer notes that the unfornate owner has already paid $20,000 in maintenance fees alone with no rent on a place he has never lived in.

Perhaps it is sweet justice, but another contributor to VCI provides further information.

The property was purchased on February 4th, 2008 for $749,900.

That means our poor, languishing owner turned around and re-listed his $749,900 condo with pie-in-the-sky dreams of flipping it for a quarter-million dollar profit.

Now... it languishes with an asking price of $749,000a and $20,000 in maintenance fees having been paid and two years of property taxes... a significant loss.

The silver lining? The VCI contributor reveals that the owner will save a fortune on commissions.

The owner is the listing real estate agent.

Ya gotta love it.



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  1. Bwahahahahahaha. I knew real estate agents held 2-3 units on their own. Here in Edmonton, it is the same thing....real estate clerks (like my cousin) bought at least 1 unit if they had a chance to get in at a lower price than everyone else did.

  2. I know someone who owns a couple of units in that development who got one of the first picks of the units and developer friendly pricing, a relative of the developer. A lot of developments work that way. If you are some schmuck off the street attending an open house be very wary of the wolves with their pearly veneers and nip & tuck disguises.

  3. The guy across the street from me in Burnaby is trying to sell his half duplex and he is also a RE agent. The place has had a sign outside several times this year and the guy is obviously playing these same silly games with his property. What is it with these guys anyways? They just can't be straight up with anything involving proprty.