Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April's numbers

As always, Larry Yatkowsky is out with the averages for the month and the height of the spring market sees Vancouver’s detached average home price slip to $1,152,091 from March’s 1,176,642.

Meanwhile we couldn't help chuckle at the front page of the 24 hours newspaper today:

Faithful readers will recall our post about the Vancouver Province/Sun conglomerate when they took paid real estate advertisements and present them as actual news stories with little or no indication that what you are reading wasn't real news.

That's what the faux news-style ad is all about.  Creating the impression, at first glance, that what you are reading is actually 'news'.

As least this one clearly says "paid advertisement."

Are the BC Liberals as desperate to mislead as the real estate industry now?

Finally Business in Vancouver ran a story today that demand for luxury homes is down 29% in Vancouver.
Upper-End Market Trends 2013 said a total of 287 luxury properties – which in Vancouver are defined as those listed over $2 million – were sold in the city, compared with 404 sales in 2012’s first quarter.

“The pace has shifted in Greater Vancouver’s luxury housing market, reflecting the obvious pullback in foreign investment,” the report states.

“Higher prices, a softer Chinese economy, financing and immigration regulations have all contributed to softer demand.”

Weren't the bobbsey twins just telling us the other day that this wasn't the case?... that 'nothing had changed?'

Time for more fake real estate news stories, we reckon.


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  1. lol. Really enjoy your newspaper /media commentary.

  2. average of 1.152m??

    I watch the daily sales average and either that figure is wrong or the 1.152 is wrong, but there's no way they're both right.

  3. So now we have a triple top formed for detached houses per Larry's charts. There is obvious resistance at that price level and the odds of a breakout higher are slim to zero in this environment.

    I really don't think the outlook can get more dismal against a backdrop of slowing economies around the globe.

    China and Hong Kong pose a serious risk to future housing investments in the city but technically speaking the writing is already on the wall for Vancouver.

    So will prices plummet from here?

    I remain convinced that a stock market correction will be the decisive factor and it now looks like one is impending before the month of May is out.

    The recent rout in precious metals is warning us of a much more serious correction in the broad indexes. All drivel about conspiracies aside, it should be obvious that the smart money is raising cash by divesting itself of commodities while they still remain high.

    I would not touch any PM's until this has been resolved one way or another and feel certain that both gold and silver are still going to see more significant declines in the future as falling equities markets are virtually never supportive of rising precious metals prices.

    Are not miners sold as stock? Why would they rise if the impending correction is telling us in no uncertain terms that deflation remains the real threat to our collective economies.

    I conclude therefore that Vancouver real estate will not be able to achieve a soft landing as credit withers and an asset deflation of very significant proportions now threatens the economy which will see us entering a recession in the coming year.

    I had initially been more hopeful that prices would be ratcheting down by now thus softening the blow that is inevitable.

    That has not been the case though as buyers have kept pushing prices up against the resistance levels. It tells me that the correction in home values will be quite sharp when it finally arrives and many people in the city will be losing their homes.

    Sorry to be a bad news bear but it is going to get ugly soon. The damn fools who would not listen to the common sense approach to exercise caution buying when valuations were so out of line with historical precedents will now be the fodder for the machine as it spits them out one by one.

    For anyone else still watching as this car accident slowly unfolds it is probably time to think about getting into cash and doing it fast. (This is my personal opinion only. It is not investing advice. We are all on our own where personal finances are concerned).

    So that is my outlook. Gold and Silver will keep falling along with copper, oil and a host of other commodities sensitive to the lack of expansion in the global economy. Housing in the bubble economies of Canada and Australia are going to be sideswiped as commodities prices continue to be rationalized further pressuring the markets and employment levels.

    There are precious few safe investment alternatives to cash itself meanwhile and we will all need to keep that idea fresh in our minds with the way these events are playing out today. It may be too late to start saving now but it is not too late to liquidate certain assets and raise cash for a better opportunity that is coming down the road.


    1. Excellent assessment. I agree completely.

    2. How's your gold and commodity stocks doing, Farmer? Up up and awaaaay... NOT

    3. Who said I owned any gold or commodity stocks at present? I am a gold bear.

  4. So does the news story in BIV finally signal that the media is willing to accept and even discuss in public (surely someone will label as xenophobic at best, if not simply racist) that investment from China has had a material effect on Vancouver house prices - particularly in Richmond, the Westside of Vancouver and West Van?

    Also, what to think now of Garth Turner's article on the role of asian money in the Vancouver market and, while I'm thinking about that piece, why was it never discussed that Mr. Turner's comments on the Vancouver market were based on statistics on the Victoria market - no wonder the numbers on which he based his argument didn't match the reality of what has been happening in Vancouver.

    1. It's hard to take GT seriously after his 1998 book urged people to sell their homes prior to the coming collapse and to load up on North American auto maker stocks.

      How wrong can one person be?

      Having said that, I do believe his "stuck clock" prediction of a housing market correction, even if it is 14 years later.

  5. I have a hard time reconciling the numbers with what I observe around me. Perhaps fewer sales but at higher prices? All I see is inventory languishing for months.
    Regarding GT: I read his blog for comic relief and he does have some good general advice, but he only sees and hears what he wants to and I find he is not open to others opinions. I talked to him several years ago when I was looking for a fee based financial adviser and I found him somewhat arrogant. I didn't think he was a good fit with me and did not pursue anything with him.

    1. Yes. Larry's numbers are 'average sales prices'. The average of what is being sold, not the average of all homes. Averages are deceiving, as perhaps only higher end homes are being sold, while lower end is languishing.

      If one month, only Mercedes Benzes and BMWs were being purchased, the 'average sales price' for cars would rise. But, that would not mean that every car on the road raised in value.

  6. I'm going to be posting a chart probably later today showing $1M+ detached sales in each region by month comparing 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    I don't have April data yet but for the 1st quarter we're down 30% from 2012 and over 50% from 2011. Richmond is down 70%

    An Observer

  7. How about the Canucks as a bellwether for the local economy and housing market...

    People flat out refusing to pay the high prices of games...

  8. As for the lagging Canuck ticket sales as a bellwether for the Vancouver housing market I totally agree.

    Also, I was heading to the Whitecaps game last night, and stopped in one of those cheesy touristy souvenir stores to buy a coke (which I ended up having to chug at the gate when the staff found it)

    Anyway, there were these novelty shot glasses with a magnet on the back to stick to the fridge. When I read it, it said "Vancouver, so expensive I could only afford half a shot."
    When I looked closer, I noticed the shot glass was chopped in half.

    So now we're proud of that and letting the world know? What the hell is going on here?

    I think the BPOE has really jumped the shark as far as a good place to live now. We've become an oddity, to be gauked at by those who pass through.

    Now they can come home with a reminder of why they shouldn't think of moving to Vancouver, no matter house nice our mountains and ocean look.

  9. The moment I heard of the Liberal's newsvertisment, I thought of you Whisperer. This kind of thing really makes a negative impression on me now more than ever. All the real estate newsvertisements you documented and now the Liberals. Thanks for bringing this all to light and never backing down.

  10. More fake "news":

    scroll down the articles to "PUT 'EM UP:"
    How much did this realtor pay for his profile in Malcolm Parry's column?

  11. No integrity left in the media...I can't believe it??

    More Sleazevertising

  12. No respectability left in the media...i can't accept it??

  13. Falun Gong organ donorMay 3, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    There has been so much good stuff written in blogs like this one, greaterfool, VCI etc...

    It would be a shame to not use it at the appropriate time when things get really nasty in the RE world.

    There are recourse for those who believe they were duped by fraudulent or deceitful practices whether it be from marketers or RE agents, basically the ones who are the biggest pumpers because they do not physically produce anything but try to capitalize on it.

    As an example, if the hundreds of bloggers following the RE ponzi scheme chose certain individuals who they now know were malicious in their promotional methods, suing them through small claim courts for the maximum amount of $25k (depending on jurisdiction?) would send a clear message.

    the Canadian Consumer Protection Act - (by Province) is a resourceful tool to gauge how far some of these marketers are really allowed to push the envelope. RE agents is a bit harder because the industry has a lot of lawyers who assure they are 'legally' covered in their sales tactics. But, it doesn't mean there are those who won't push the envelope. Greed is a powerful motivator for unscrupulous individuals.

    I went through the process a while back when I refused to pay for a product that I was clearly not satisfied with and felt I was 'duped.' I was sued through a small claims court and after doing some basic research about my rights as a consumer, I counter sued for a minimal fee of $160. The end result was wonderful. Not only did the court judge rule in my favor, the individual who was the 'original plaintiff' criminally exposed himself further because it I was able to show in court he did not have the appropriate credentials to operate in the province he was offering his services.

    As soon as you can demonstrate as per the Consumer Act that there was misrepresentation by the individual who is trying to sell you something, you can pretty much call it a done deal.

    Just keep this idea in your back-pocket if. ever you need to as it doesn't cost much as opposed to getting a lawyer.

  14. Media-respect. = Oxymoron(s)


  15. Vancouver is on another planet when it comes to RE.

  16. Some apt sellers are bumping up the asking price from last yrs asking price of 225 approx but didn't sell, now asking up to 50 thous more in some cases [referring to White Rock and New West B C.

  17. sorry for re posting this on several sites but I'm still looking for answers and thought someone over here might be able to help.

    I have just been checking out the rebgv stats package.

    When I look at the “Listing and Sales Activity Summary” I see that they are comparing Feb-Apr 2013 to Feb to Apr 2012. I thought that this was an odd comparison and seem to recall that previously they were comparing year to date, so Jan-Apr 2013 to Jan-Apr 2012 (I could be wrong).

    So I decided to look back at old stats packages to see if they have changed what they compare but when I go back it seems that any packages older than 2013 only contain the news release spin and not the actual stats.

    Does this not seem strange that they cannot supply stats beyond 4 months? Has this always been the case? Does anyone have old stats packages so we can check if they have changed their comparisons on the “Listings and Sales Activity Summary”?

  18. Since they have stats between Feb to Apr-2012,
    they must have Jan to Apr-2013 as well?

    1. Sorry I'm not following your question. The April 2013 stats package makes reference to the number of sales between Feb and April 2012 but the stats packages from any month in 2012 do not contain any of the usual graphs and tables that are published when the stats packages come out. They only contain the first page of the package which is the news release.

  19. Anybody read the Province in Vancouver this Sunday? They had a big story about 'seniors' having to keep working in TBPOE to pay their bills and not 'outlive their savings' guy even mentioned his advisor suggests that if he doesn't get a job he might be lucky to realize "Freedom 75"