Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The falling knife

On Monday we told you how Eugen Klein, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), called May's negative real estate sales numbers a signal we were entering "a stabilizing period."

Most readers of this blog probably covered their mouths and coughed "horsesh*t" as they read that line.

Yesterday it was Tsur Sommerville's turn and his analysis was a little more bang on,

In the Vancouver Sun, Sommerville said he latest Metro Vancouver real estate numbers are "very clear signs" of a slowdown in the market.
"We're getting this consistently now. We're in a market that's much slower than what we're used to and I think that will transfer into much more sluggish prices, at best."
Much more sluggish prices, AT BEST, is right.

The negative feedback loop has now cycled into full gear and each day it seems the gloom and doom is making the mainstream news and permeating public consciousness.

Naturally the real estate industry will bend over backwards from portraying these conditions as anything near 'negative'.

Cameron Muir, chief economist for the B.C. Real Estate Association, maintained that the market remains balanced.
"Overall, the market remains in balanced territory, which means no particular advantage for either the buyer or seller. We won't see much upward or downward pressure on the pricing side."
Plunging sales combined with soaring listings... how could that influence prices?

Unfortunately for the spin meisters, the reality is reflected in quotes like that from realtor Larry Yatkowsky:
"On average, about a 150 or 160 homes in Vancouver are reducing their price every day in the hope of catching, getting ahead of the train and maybe get out before they can't."
Who would want to play catch in this market?

Who would council someone to play catch in this market?

All I can do is sigh and shake my head.


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  1. Cameron Muir is a paid shill, so I understand that he must speak the Party line, and consequently pay little attention to his amusing soundbites.

    But why is Tsur Sommerville, an academic, so willfully ignorant of these powerful and obvious market trends? This makes me question the integrity of my alma mater, UBC.

  2. Tsur S. is a "Director, UBC Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate" I believe there is some grant funding coming from the R/E industry to this position. He knows who butters his bread.

  3. Who in their right mind would go to Cameron Muir for real estate advice? Wrapped in a bunch of statistical baffle gab is the continual reminder that it is always a good time to buy.

  4. Who signs Tsur's paycheck?
    'Nuff said!

  5. Hehe, hopefully a UBC scholar did not create the page... "sponsers"?