Friday, September 21, 2012

CBC National: Vancouver Housing - Bubble or Bust


Last night on CBC's The National, Vancouver's overheated market was profiled.  Above you can watch the full segment.

As you watch it, however, you might be interested in this update to the story.

One of the key interviews is with Philip Chan, a realtor who also developed and built a house at 2575 West 7th Avenue in Vancouver which he currently has for sale.

Chan is trying to sell a new 1,700 square foot unit in this house which is part of a triplex. Originally the unit was listed for $1,790,000.

As the CBC piece outlines, Chan cut the asking price to $1,570,000...

... a price cut the National notes amounts to a drop of 12%...

Chan describes the $200,000 price drop as an adjustment, a classification CBC pounces on as a "sugar coating which attempts to cover the reality that prices are tanking".

Chan disagree's and argue's that it can't possibly drop much more.  The story then cuts away to Garth Turner who explains that the market can - and will - drop a lot more.

At the end of the piece, CBC tells you about a confident Philip Chan who doesn't believe the market can drop much more below the 12% it already has for his property.

What the story doesn't tell you is that Chan's property has in fact already dropped - a lot more.

As you can see here, the property's asking price has been cut significantly below that $1,570,000 asking price and is now on the market for $1,373,000...

Even more interesting is the fact this lower price is not recent.  As noted on Observer's excellent website Vancouver Price Drop, this property was profiled in the 17th position in the Observer's Weekly Drop segment for September 10th.

At the end of the CBC segment (and what they described was a 12% drop in the value of his property), Mr. Chan is quoted denying the market can drop much more.  He asks, "how much more can it drop?"

Well... that drop is now 23% and still no buyers in sight.

Why CBC was hesitant to profile how dramatic the collapse is becoming is unclear.

But one thing you can be sure about is that there is no doubt Mr. Chan is a lot less confident now than the CBC story would lead you to believe.

(hat tip s Says on VCI)


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Please read disclaimer at bottom of blog.


  1. Chan is just inflating the asking price, trying to set a high anchor. Some idiot will buy it for 1.3-1.4 million, of that I am sure.

  2. Here's the thing. Phil could have originally listed the house at $10 million dollars. Then it would be a what, a 85% drop? So again let's not confuse people asking outrageous amounts for a triplex (WTF!!) with the price dropping below historical pricing for similar listings. Phil's asking price dropped 23% not the market trimmed mean. Observer does a real good job showing the assessment info and past purchase price, there are people obviously getting cooked.

    Who on earth would pay $1,750,000 to BBQ with 2 of their closest complete stranger neighbors?

  3. Ya, he was originally trying to sell the triplex at $1000/SF... too greedy. Even now it's almost $800/SF. There are lots of better choices for multi-family units at this $/SF.

  4. Well, it makes him look like a fool! Why would anyone trust him and his knowledge on the market after watching this?!?

    He was probably playing it up and he has his pride. And dropping 23% indicates failure!

    Plus, when was it ever listed at $1.57 million?

    I see $1.79, 1.69, 1.38, then 1.37 million according to the Weekly Drop website page.

  5. If you listened CBC TV carefuy, the Chan's
    listed price shown included tax.
    $1.373M + 12l% HST = $1.53776M
    So, he reduced price by $20~$30M since CBC inteview?
    Btw, I know this realtor, he has some more detached home deveopment in the area.

  6. sorry, some typos above.
    12% HST

  7. Nope, the numbers still don't add up plus there is an HST rebate. Also, I happen to keep all the old descriptions and that comes in handy for times like this. Absolutely no mention of HST included in the price back when this was listed at $1.69M+

    "Brand new front unit with south facing yard. Feels like a half duplex. Great spacious floor plan with 1,721 SqFt living area, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and a heated garage with 1 underground parking and a unique turn table parking feature! This home, built by a German builder features quality luxury finishes and excellent craftsmanship & woodwork throughout, such as high coffered ceiling, Wainscot panelling in living room, and rich hardwood wide plank flooring. A gourmet dream kitchen features double thick granite slab countertops and stainless steel Viking appliances. Strata Plan shows 1,629 SqFt. Under 2-5-10 Warranty, easy to show. Must see to appreciate!"

    -An Observer

  8. Good work whisper, our state broadcaster is clearly not doing its job.

  9. If your monthly debt load is increasing or your bank accounts are dwindling this is a indicator that you are in over your head.

    The used house sales people down play the fact that the Vancouver market is down on average 12% or 120 thousand gone buy buy on 1ml.

    How long does it take you to make 100k clear?

    The whole take your chances vibe from the CBC segment reeks of the same crap Lotto pushes, less the play within your means bit.

    People who have to sell,the eldery and those who have made money and want to get out concerned about the current downtrend and economic indicators, forced sales due to job losses,divorce,illness,relocation,lack of greed,global slowdown will continue to steer house prices down.
    Vancouver is no different.

  10. Yawn. Whatever happened to journalism? I guess it's online now with bloggers like you, Whisperer. Just make sure you don't get sued by big interests. In the old days, you'd have an editor and publisher with clout and dough to stand behind you. Now you're alone. It's disgusting.

  11. OMG, strata for 1.3mil?!
    A buyer will get no land, only a hundred kilos of plywood.

    This is a guinness book record - the most expensive plywood in the world:-)

    Actual recent history of this piece of wood:
    2575 W 7TH AV
    04-Jul-12 $1,689,000.00
    04-Aug-12 $1,398,000.00 -18%
    08-Sep-12 $1,373,000.00 -19%


  12. To quote Philip Chan, "you might get hurt or you might win.". He forgot financially ruined! I still can't believe that you can sell a unit in a triplex. Vancouverites don't want live like rodents!