Friday, July 5, 2013

This month's real R/E headline? Benchmark price of a Whistler condo has now fallen 41.2%

So it's a few days into a new month, and the yin and yang of real estate pumping is in full swing.

The yin and yang is an ancient concept referring to complementary opposites, such as light/dark or day/night.  But it also reflects the way the industry reports and spins the monthly real estate news.

In Vancouver the industry gushes that Vancouver area home sales are up nearly 12% from last year.

Nifty headline.

But what that headline doesn't tell you is that last month’s sales were also 22.2% below the 10-year sales average for the month and that those same June sales actually plunged 17% from the abysmal sales recorded in May.

Talk about spinning the news.  The reality is June 2013 was the worst June in our market since 2008. And, as Larry Yatkowsky notes, most median price categories were down last month.

But it gets worse.

Take a close look at the stat's package from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and you discover that the benchmark price of a single-detached house on Vancouver’s West Side is $2,070,200, a 6.1% decrease from a year ago.


But nothing compares to Whistler where we learn that the benchmark price of a Whistler condo has fallen 41.2% from five years ago and now sits at $222,800.

There's the real headline in all of this.

Analysts at Scotiabank are taking a close look at these stats from Vancouver and similar ones from Toronto and they aren't buying into all the headline hype either:
“Like Vancouver, last June was when the bottom fell out of the market via a 13.2% m/m seasonally unadjusted drop compared to May 2012 that made it among the weakest months of June over recent years. Thus, the sharp shift lower in year-ago base effects is now containing the year-over-year changes but still leaving behind trend weakness in the resale volumes and a much cooler market than prior to the Spring of 2012. Now with Q2 data, we are transitioning toward comparing against the much weaker volumes that began to emerge last Spring. I therefore don’t buy the hype that the correction is bottoming or reversing just because the year-ago pace of decline is ebbing.
The pumpers shriek the market is turning around and we're in the early days of a recovery. Hopefully they won't let the Yang kick them in the ass.


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  1. more like early days of the crash

  2. 10y bond up again to 2.71. Goodbye to the 2.79/5yr mortgage.....forever.

  3. Resort communities appear to be the canary in the coal mine. Mt. Washington reports total sales of 15 units in the past year and current inventory of 80 units, or over 60 months of inventory. No data on prices but I can not imagine that they are anything but down sharply.

  4. Only a 42% decline in Whistler so far? Seems so small. Give us 60% Whisperer or we won't read your site anymore. What is this anyway.....a crash for mere children?

    HaHa....just kidding buddy.

  5. I heard somewhere a few months ago it was almost down 60% there, but I can't recall where I heard that.

    1. The key difference here is that this is the industry's own 'benchmark' price which is now down over 40%.

  6. This makes sense to me. My significant other bought a condo with a sibling a few years ago for $225k (or around there). The assessed value shot up to $399k before the Olympics. Now sadly, it's back to about $225k (what they paid for it in 2001). Too bad, so sad, they've also had a rental loss every year from the damn thing, so in reality they've lost about $100k in the ten plus years they've owned it (actually my significant other sold out to the sibling not too long ago, so I no longer need to fret that the price has gone down). Suckers!

  7. A word of caution on the Whistler condo stats. The big price drops have only been on condo hotels. Regular condos are still very overpriced.

    For example, here is a 550 sq ft condo hotel.
    V980028 #636 4591 BLACKCOMB WY asking $127,900.

    A block away, here is a 609 sq ft condo.
    V967370 #104 4573 CHATEAU BV asking $355,000