East Van condo prices crashing?

I found this shocking bit of info over at Rob’s blog posted by Awum:

Here’s something I was wondering about. I heard anectdotally that Vancouver east side condos seem to be on a downhill slide as far as price goes. This morning I was reminded of http://www.landcor.com/market/housing_price_index.aspx to check it out, typed in Vancouver East, apartments, pushed refresh graph. Waited. Looked at the graph. Wow.

East Vancouver Apartment Price Graph

Other areas really don’t show so much weakness (I looked at a few) but Van East apartments looks like its in bust mode already. Looks like a 15% drop in HPI from peak. That’s a big deal.

Now before anyone accuses me of going all “Chicken Little” over this one piece of data, let me be clear about my point: The only reason for this drop in HPI that I can ascertain is plain old supply & demand. Too many properties for sale, not enough buyers with the required $$.

I have to admit I was very suprised to see that graph as well – I’ve always looked to the MLS Housing Price Index which doesn’t show any such correction underway. I tried to find information on the Landcor site on where they get their data and why it would vary so much from the MLSlink data and the found this page on their site which is heavy on buzzwords, but light on specifics:

The accuracy of Landcor™’s AVM is further enhanced by the quality of our data. We update our copy of BC Assessment Authority property information on a weekly basis. There are typically between 3,000 and 9,000 property information and sale changes each week. Our competitors in BC and across the nation typically update data stores once a month. Landcor™ has the most up-to-date information on property in BC.

So are East Vancouver apartment prices crashing as shown by the landcor data or are they remaining fairly steady as shown by the MLSlink data? I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between – It’s pretty tricky to ‘benchmark’ housing based on all the variables, but I’d be interested in hearing your opinion on this data.

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Disclaimer from Landcor's site

Landcor™ Data Corporation provides these reports as a courtesy, for general information purposes. Because the British Columbia Government and its agencies provide the data to Landcor™, we do not control the accuracy of this data. Furthermore, these reports are based on information available as of a particular moment in time.


BC Assessment data -> Landcor

Michael Randallbard


"On the other hand, we’re tops in interprovincial migration"

So is Florida with ten times more people moving there daily than here. New Jacksonville condos now selling for about 60,000.00

Michael Randallbard


"One of my friend just sold his 590 sq.ft. unit for 215K and the assessment value of that unit was around 180k"

Thats a pretty big jail cell

Ugly, Stupid Barry

Umm that’s got to be the worst statistical analysis I’ve EVER seen. YOUR rent has gone up 23% therefore RENTS have gone up 23%. Do you realize that when your argument is laid out it sounds insanely stupid? Drachen, I post anecdotal evidence, because that's about all I've got. Statistical measures of rents in this city are hard to come by, and the few examples I've seen only show average rents – which includes long-term tenants, and usually doesn't accurately reflect current new-tenant rental prices. As far as I know, everyone here already understands the limits of anecdotal evidence. It's a data point, not cast-in-stone proof. We post it to inform one another of what we see. Consequently, everyone here posts anecdotal evidence without qualifying it as such – its limitations are already obvious. If I post anecdotal evidence that… Read more »


The maximum allowable increase this year is 3.7% and they have to give you three months notice after 12 months. If anyone is looking at Yaletown and the area I just counted over 10 nice 1 bedrooms under $1400 on Houshunting.ca 198 AQUARIUS MEWS 1 BR, pkg. views, pool/gym, concierge $1400 May 1 YALETOWN ELAN Brand New 1 Br, w/d, hwd, prkg, $1375. 1 BDRM+DEN avail May 1, 193 Aquarius Mews, ns, np. Pkg avail. Gym, pool, concierge, strg. $1325. Open house Apr 6 501 Pacific, 1 bed, full appls, in-ste lndry, 1 prkg, hw flrs. Np/ Ns $1250. May 1. Rancho 939 Homer, 1 br + sol, 7 appls, 1 pkg, amens, balc, $1400. 888 Hamilton, crn 1 br den, 822sf, 6 appls, 1 prkg, $1400. 1 BR apt dble f/p, h/wd flr, lrg balc & strg, cat ok,… Read more »


To all those who have been renting the same place, you do realize there are laws in place that limit rate increases?

If you moved today, how much will you have to pay for the equivalent unit?

We just moved last month and our rent went up 50%. Granted, we paid a premium for a larger suite (still) in yaletown with an original owner running through an established property management company.

I've been watching Yaletown prices for years and there is no doubt about it, they've gone up. That said, we're still covering under 30% of the mortgage+taxes+strata if we were to buy today.


Pass the popcorn, please..


just signed a one year lease in Yaletown 1 bed/den with a 600 sq. ft. patio 1 park 1 storage $1800/month

looked at some interesting stuff

and more good stuff to choose from


More anecdotal rent information. I've lived in the same unit for >3 year. 3 Bedroom unit at eastern edge of Vancouver. Rent started off at $1200/month and rent today is … $1200/month. Rent increases? What rent increases?


….I should add that is still well less than half the monthly cost of owning the the place….I've done the calculation many times.


Since we seem to be doing a survey on rentals, my wife and I have been in a very nice, 950 sq ft, 2 bedroom in the west end for over 4 years. rent 4 years ago $1600/month, now $1664 – I recon thats 1% increase per year.


"Downtown prices have not been increasing on the 1998 and up stock. If anything the crappier units like Firenze have dropped this year and the good ones have held the rate."

Firenze probably has gone down because of things like this:

Elevator problem in F3

I believe it's in the F3 building.


"If RE prices fall significantly in the bust, they will buy houses without needing mortgage."

Many have already jumped in. Kids living at home and saving until their 30s has been around for many years now; it's nothing new, as is parents helping out with the DP. Note the BC savings rate is negative so likely there aren't enough piles of cash around to put a floor on the market. Of course if there is a crash the piles of cash that are around will make out just fine.


In my older West End building, rents (for new renters, obviously) have gone up well over 25% in the past 2 years.

I'm still a bear, so flame with care.


Ugly, Stupid Barry

"That’s approximately a 23% rent increase over 3 years."

Umm that's got to be the worst statistical analysis I've EVER seen.

YOUR rent has gone up 23% therefore RENTS have gone up 23%. Do you realize that when your argument is laid out it sounds insanely stupid?

First off, rents have increased, but not 23% or anything close to it. This is a not uncommon phenomenon (happened in all bubble zones in the states too) as landlords are squeezed by higher prices they push the limit on rents. On the way down however landlords are desperate to get ANY rent for their empty suite which is losing value AND costing mortgage payments each month, the rental trend inverses and returns to normal levels as the prices of RE are falling.


Ugly stupid barry, those are low rents. What area are you talking?

Downtown prices have not been increasing on the 1998 and up stock. If anything the crappier units like Firenze have dropped this year and the good ones have held the rate.

In Coal Harbour the units that were worth $2000 a month (and $330k resale) in 2004 are still renting for around $2,000 even though the units are reselling for close to double. Ambitious/rookie landlords try to get $2300 on Craigslist but they just keep getting reposted.

Some sites you can sporadically browse to verify this

http://www.bruceward.com http://www.downtownsuites.com http://www.prompton.com

Rancho, Southview etc. also have postings within their sites for rentals….

Ugly, Stupid Barry

Although it might not fit well in many Bear arguments, I think it's worth pointing out that rents have gone up pretty substantially in Vancouver the last few years. You might not have noticed it if you haven't been apartment hunting lately, but it is a fact. That 1% vacancy rate is very real.

I personally moved into a 900sf 2 bedroom three years ago that was renting for $1100/month. Two years ago, some friends got a similiar place in the same neighbourhood for $1200 a month. And last month I moved into a nicer but smaller 750sf 1+den in the same neighbourhood for $1350/month.

That's approximately a 23% rent increase over 3 years. A far cry from the 50% increase in condo prices, but still not comfortable.

Burden of Proof


The financial advantage of generations living in the same home is that the 20-30 somethings living with their parents have never paid rent. While we pay $25k in rent or more in mortgage payments, they have a huge stockpile of cash with which to buy low priced assets when the bust bottoms out.

Many of my East Indian and Italian friends have obtained graduate degrees and started professional parctices with zero debt because of this arrangement. They are now sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings and they are in their early thirties. If RE prices fall significantly in the bust, they will buy houses without needing mortgage.


My co-worker lives in White Rock and was expected to leave the rental unit he was living in. The landlord came back and asked if he could stay another year because the place can't sell. A year ago he would have been forced out but now the landlord is asking him to stay. Things are changing indeed.


A few months ago, I drove through my childhood neighourhood in Delta. It is now packed with East Indian families with four cars in the driveway and three generations in a single home. They have a completely different way of living from European Canadians (which is neither right nor wrong, just different).

Burden of Proof

Alberta is experiencing, in greater magnitude, the same trend that is evident in BC and Ontario over the last 2-3 months. YOY listings increases and sales declines.

Unless, this multi-month phenomenon has occurred before during the course of the current boom (and I don't think it has), the national market is certainly turning.

How long until we see people jumping from the windows of their leveraged, negative equity condos?

Burden of Proof

From today's Calgary Herald: The association's latest MLS data show unit sales for residential properties (single-family homes and condos) in the province decreased by 30.3 per cent compared with a year ago in February (6,602 to 4,601) while new listings increased by 44.9 per cent (from 7,800 to 11,302). New listings were at the second-highest level ever for the province. Email to a friend Printer friendly Font:****A number of factors are fuelling the phenomenon of soaring listings in Alberta, said Richard Corriveau, regional economist for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. "Now that price growth has come to a grinding halt, speculators are looking to get out of the marketplace," he said. "So people who had purchased in previous months are attempting to now get out of the market because there's no incentive to wait for future price gains in the… Read more »


Before anyone corrects me. I was referring to the parking lots attached to the old high rises in the west end that could have some infill, but not now I mean twenty years from now. Furthermore the low rise zoned areas can be rezoned. There is no shortage of land.

The surface lots and low rises all over yaletown and that area were meant to be separate ideas.

No.4 Road and Alberta in Richmond was 15 run down houses 7 years ago and now it's how many condo complex's? With 600+ units?

The whole running out of land B.S. is another intrinsically flawed theory that salesman/realtors spew.

That and the gold plated planes carrying uber rich immigrants into town.



Ok, ok bdk, we believe you already.

The only holdout is that weird krrish person and who the hell would take her serious?

I mean, with inventory starting to spike, could this storm get any more perfect?

It's about to get really exciting, as sellers start to panic.