Recently we posted an updated spreadsheet compiled by YLTNboomerang that tracks downtown waterfront townhouse listings and price changes (here’s the original post). Monterey just wrote in that he’s doing the same thing for downtown westend condos listed under $650k and he’s made that data available to all of us here in this excel spreadsheet.
Here’s Monterey’s comments on this data:
First, I want to thank fellow blogger YLTNBoomerang who inspired me to create this list. I live in the west end, and am interested in a two bedroom apartment. I don’t want to buy something and spend the rest of my life paying it off, so I have been looking at price ranges that I would consider affordable. $500K tops, plus a little cushion to follow the imminent downward trend, and my upper monitoring range is $650K.
Apologies if this is too low for some of you. If you load the spreadsheet, don’t get freaked out if Excel warns you about macros. No, the spreadsheet is not infected. If you want, you can enable or not the macros, it won’t affect the spreadsheet in any way. If you’re curious, I was attempting to automate the data gathering in the hopes of presenting a finished product to everyone here. Ideally you would have been able to supply the URL from the MLS site for the region you were interested in tracking, all you had to do was run the macro once a day to create the spreadsheet. I stopped because I think my ADD kicked in and decided it would take more time to develop the scripts to do that work than it would for me to run through it each day. But hey, if there are any developers out there who want to take a crack at it, be my guest!!
Here’s some commentary on the more extreme examples ou there in the marketplace…
1) V718784 – Apt #601 listed Jul 6 for 429K. Same building V734316 – Apt #501. Two items of note here: Typically a floor above fetches $2000 more; I’m always suspcious of units that are stacked one above the other for sale at the same time. Tells me that possibly that corner or side is leaky. V734316 I figure is in denial that the special assessment is going to hurt a lot. So he finally caves in, and tries to list at the same price as the guy above him. But the problem is, you’d think if V718784 wanted to really get out fast, the price would be lower than (moderately respectable) $487/sqft. But since the lowest priced unit on the list at $357/sqft hasn’t moved in almost 2 months, maybe these two sellers should shoot for $300/sqft?
2) V712796 – A motivated Seller! Well, perhaps desperate. First listed on May 31 for $469,900, and after four price reductions, still on the market today at $445,000. I take it back. This seller is greedy and absolutely refuses to GIVE it away. The real kicker? The place is empty. That, or those are photo’s from when the owner bought it before moving a tenant in there! I figure I’ll be watching this one all the way down to about $256K (a generous $350/sqft).
3) V735829 – Brand new listing: 825sqft for a pricy 498,800, which works out to an above average $604/sqft. Hm. Oh, look, same building 8 floors below him sold after 44 days on the market at a listing price of $499K. And THAT person only sold after dropping from $518K. Is this proof in the assertion that prices in Vancouver are dropping? I dunno, I’m just a analytical sort, not an economist.
4) V716758 – An interesting story on this one. When I started on May 6, this one was listed at $499,900 and disappeared the next day. No idea how long it had been listed. It re-appeared on Jun 18 at 519K. Classic case of “Hmph, not selling at this price, I’ll mark the price up and people will have to get in before they can’t afford it anymore!” That didn’t last long. A month later, a price reduction to original listing price. Must not have had any nibbles because three weeks later there’s another 10K price drop. Any takers? Anyone? $578/sqft, c’mon, it’s a good price! Dropped another 30K mid-september and is now priced at the lower end of the $/sqft range. Not gonna move till it hits $350/sqft I bet.
5) The Barclay – Wow. What can I say here? The developer is either brain-dead, stubborn beyond all hell, or just plain unimaginably greedy. Has been on my radar since the day I started, and all of their units have not sold. In fact, they raised the prices on their townhomes $36K back in the end of May. What was already a pricy $680/sqft, jumped to an eyewatering $723/sqft. MOST EXPENSIVE square footage in the west-end! For a reno’d wood-frame ex-apartment building? No. Sorry. If anyone gets a haircut, I wish it most on this developer. Nay, I wish a long painful wretched existance in financial purgatory where he can be looked up in disdain by the tennants whom he probably forced into some equally despicable Hollyburn apartment. I vote this complex most likely to suffer a “mysterious fire” soon. Hopefully in the next 3 months — right around Christmas time when the poor sods who are living there now can get sympathetic help from strangers.
6) Last, but not least… MASS EXODUS FROM THE PALLISADES! 17 units so far went up for grabs at 1200 and 1288 Alberni street. 10 units available still! Priced in the mid $500/sqft to $650/sqft. I wonder what disaster has befallen this specuvestor infested pair of buildings. After being featured in TV movies, you’d think that would make it immune to price drops. No, my friends, the greed is well at hand in this asian-inspired building (1288…Good luck building!). Most investors are slowly dropping their prices. I like the example of V735627: Started out at $599K in May, and here we are in September asking $499K now. This seller is obviously chasing the market down… AND their translator hasn’t told him that potential buyers have to be made aware of any special assessments. C’est la vie! I predict the Pallisades, which is a fairly high quality building, to plateau around $375/sqft for 4 or 5 years after the market stops freefalling.
There are other interesting stories in the data if you are willing to look. Keep an eye on the SqFt tab as that will tell you the history of each address in the Westend since the start of this project if you check out the notes in the various columns. The price/sqft column is auto-formatted to indicate if a listed price is above (orange) or below (light green) the average price/sqft for all those properties that are not sold (s). (r) indicates a relist. This tab also lists other data: median price/sqft, min/max price/sqft, etc. Did you know that the average size of a 2 bedroom place in the west end is 898 sq/ft?
The SOLD tab lists all those properties I’ve assumed have sold, and have therefore removed from the ForSale tabs. If a property comes back on the market, I can reconstruct the price history from the SqFt tab and put it back int he ForSale tab. Makes for very interesting snap-shot view of price/listings movement for a single property if you zoom out and look at the entire spreadsheet!
I’m uncertain if I can continue this project. On Oct 2 the MLS website will be moving over to their google-maps based version. I like it because you are no longer restricted to a artificial boundary, but on the other hand, it makes this list invalid because I can’t focus on the WE anymore. In any event, the evidence is clear: the prices they are a’coming DOWN DOWN DOWN baby.