Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Festivus for the Restuvus

Happy Festivus everyone!

Wanted to take a moment an hilight a post made yesterday over on VREAA.

This is 5575 Elm Street on Vancouver's west side:

This 5 bedroom, 6 full bathroom, 1 half bathroom, 5,101 sq ft single family home sits on an 8,114 sq ft lot and is described as such:
The perfect "10" Kerrisdale custom-built home by Loukas Designs with over 5000 sq ft luxury home. Large 50' x 162' lot. East-facing front to greet the morning sun. 10' to 11' ceiling all over, gourmet kitchen with carrera marble countertops, Sub-Zero fridges, Miele D/W, Thermador stainless steel stove, French doors open to huge west-facing gas-heated covered patio w/ built-in BBQ overlooks the blue swimming pool & hot tub. Total of 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, a media room & exercise room. Bsmt offers suite potential for nanny or the in-laws. H/W floors throughout, radiant heat, built-in surround music system and 3 car garage. The fenced backyard is a kid's heaven. Priced to sell.
On July 27th, 2012 it was listed for $4,880,000.

On December 9th, 2012 it's asking price was reduced to $3,990,000 and advertised as 'priced to sell.'

Priced to sell?  Hardly. It's assessed value is $3,545,000.

As VREAA notes, at 20% off it's original asking price it is still overpriced - particularly in a market where single family homes are now selling at below assessed value.

But it gives you an example of how much further our market has to go.

The first signpost along the path of reckoning in 2013 will be Chinese New Year.  This has sort-of become the orgy period of excessive property over-bidding in our market - until last year.

There will be many holding out with expectations that HAM (Hot Asian Money) will be returning in 2013 (we will discuss this more in a future post).

It it doesn't, the sellers will seriously re-evaluate things.

According to a contributor at VREAA (hat tip Canadian Watchdog), this home sold on May 31, 2010 for $3,079,000.  It is an example of our speculative frenzy that this purchaser could turn around and ask for $4,880,000 a mere 2.5 years later (an increase of 58%).

I would love to know what this home sold for in 2006 when it was originally built (if anyone knows, please advise and this post will be updated).

I sincerely believe even those with a bearish view of the market will be shocked to see how far values fall to eyes accustomed to 2011/2012 prices.

2013 will be the year many begin to accept that the values established over the past year are not coming back and that to sell, homes will have to be listed below assessed value.  As Global TV noted, the price increases of the last decade are long gone.

We will keep our eyes on this property as the New Year moves along.


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  1. 5575 elm street was sold for $680K in May 2003, then 2,980,000 in 2007

    1. By listed price it was 700% bubble
      By the sold prices it was only:-) 400% bubble

    2. in a normal market, with the rebuild, this should be a 850K place, max. major reality check is needed in this sick province.

    3. @Anonymous - Generally agree and interesting..So assuming RE should grow at approximately rate of GDP growth, and assuming CDN GDP grows at aprox 2% p.a.

      It's been 10 yrs in Jan since the 680k..

      This place should sell for aprox(1.02)^10 * 680 = $828k or so all else equal.

      Will it reset to this over next few years? Probably.


  2. Whisperer,

    Why do you always refer to the assessed value?
    Is it a good comparison point?
    As far as I know, it is just sort of neighborhood's average market price per sq f multiplied by footage, made a year ago.

    So, basically the assessed value just shows where the bubble was several months ago

    In my opinion, it always retards and misleads from reality, except at stable times. Am I wrong?

  3. I noted on VREAA's blog that the 'priced to sell.' part of the description was actually there even at the $4.88 million price point!

    An Observer