Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sat Post #2: Mania

If you have been outside in the wee hours of the morning in the Village on the Edge of the Rainforest you have noticed a definitive change in the weather.

Summer is not 'over' but the season has changed.

Just two weeks ago you didn't need to cover up at 2:00am.  Now a jacket is mandatory as a heavy dew morning dew is present. Fog shrouds lower areas in the morning commute.

The weather mimics what is starting to be felt in Real Estate.

The tide is turning... you can 'feel' it in the air.

Over at westside Realtor Larry Yatkowsky's website, you sense that shift.

He posts that according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV): “August marked the third consecutive month that home sale activity in Greater Vancouver was below the 10-year average for the month. In contrast, home listing activity in the region has exceeded the 10-year norm every month since the beginning of the year.”

Yatkowsky notes the assessment of the REBGV’S president. “MLS® statistics continue to indicate that we’re in a balanced market”!

Balanced market? Yatkowsky headlines the REBGV President's comments as 'The Pinocchio Spin'. His accompanying graphic makes clear the sentiment to be conveyed...

It's what we admire from Yatkowsky's blog.  He gives you his straightforward assessment even if it doesn't align with the Real Estate party line.

But while we can 'feel' the change in the air (and Realtors like Yatkowsky recognize it as well), it doesn't mean we are through the Mania Phase in our housing bubble yet.

One only has to cast eyes to Yatkowsky's turf, Vancouver's west side, to find evidence the Mania is alive and well.

The Globe and Mail newspaper just profiled the sale of this home at 3858 W. 2nd Avenue:

It's a 3,509 square foot house built in 1949 which sits on a smaller than average lot for the area (48 x 118 foot corner lot).  

The main floor contains two bedrooms, a living room with a gas fireplace, a dining room, kitchen and skylit solarium with vaulted ceilings and a walkout the deck.

The top floor houses an office and master suite with a walk-in closet and one of four bathrooms.

The self-contained basement has a nearly identical two-bedroom layout as the main floor, but instead of a sun room, it has a laundry and mudroom with access to the garage.

Promoted as a five-minute walk to the beach, the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and Jericho Tennis Club, as well as shops and restaurants - it's downside is that it is located across the street from some rental housing... somewhat taboo on Vancouver's tony, upscale westside.

In 1978 this house sold for $94,500.

In 1981 it fetched $255,000.

After sitting on it for 30 years the boomer couple who bought it in 1981 are ready to retire and - if they are like 70% of Canadians - will cash out on the bubble equity to fund their retirement years.

What did they ask for this 'mansion'?

It was listed for $1,999,000.

That alone shows you how wild our bubble has become.  But wait... there's more.

After a stunning 8 days on the market, the Boomer couple accepted an offer $501,000 over the asking price.

That's right... this house sold for $2.5 million dollars.

There may be a crispness in the air at night, but the dog days of summer daytime still burn warmly in the twilight of our Mania stage.

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  1. That is just sick. Man... Vancouver is just f*cked up.

  2. But it was listed under comparables. A low "asking" price is a strategy to foster interest and competition in the property. It's just another typical realtor trick. Larry is smelling blood and just trying to position himself to take advantage of the next phase in the market. Again, another typical realtor trick; get ahead of the pack.