Nov 2008: Benchmark prices drop again

Vancouver REBGV benchmark prices continue to fall

The benchmark price for a Single Family Home in greater Vancouver is now $666,525. Vancouver West is seeing the biggest drops in detached house and town homes.  Both of those benchmark prices are now down at least 18.5% year over year.  Overall the benchmark house price for Greater Vancouver has dropped $104,725 since May of 2008.  That’s a few free cars worth for those keeping track.  Thanks to cashisking and gadwin for pointing out these numbers.

Post any other interesting things you find in the stats package in the comments section below and I’ll update this post when I get a chance.

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Lilly: I'm with you, except instead of a garden I dream of a kitchen. Actually I frequently dream of the home I used to have. It wasn't large (maybe 800 Sq Ft) but it was just perfect for me. And the kitchen! It was so well organized that there was tons and tons and TONS of counter space, yet you were never any more then 2 steps away from what you needed. Like you I'm getting by renting. It's been very hard to swallow my pride and first accept a place on my own that wasn't what I used to have, then to move and find a roommate. But I suck it up every day like I imagine you do. I put my feel on the floor when I get out of bed and I do my best for that… Read more »


Lily Pad:

Eat right and exercise. Nothing else is as important! Drink wine with friends, laugh, watch good movies, etc,etc. And you'll still be dead in the end, and your toys don't count.

Oh, practical matters you meant. Stay out of debt, keep a job you don't hate, lose a job you do hate, but only after you find a job you don't hate. A job you love is a nice bonus, and worth less money, but can't be counted on.

Don't spend money on things you you can't afford, don't need or don't like.

Grow some laugh lines, not frown lines. Get old, wrinkly and happy. Cherish your sweetie, or find one. Dump the jerk if you need to.

Darn, I'm off practical matters. But these are the important ones.


Re: Post # 101

REBGV data on Units sold 1980 – 2008

Interesting statistics with respect to gross sales numbers.

However , we have to keep in mind that since 1980

— the population has grown ,

— we had a post Expo 86 boom based on offshore investment

— liberalization in lending practices

— that a per capita number may also be useful (ie X sales per 1000).

(This is not to say that no matter how you slice it, the numbers actually do reflect a very bad RE market).


Look for prices to go down even further. There is zero sense to buy in the next 2 years from the investors perspective when there are much sweeter deal down south and they havent even bottomed out yet. The world is in a recession = rock bottom for the tourism and less demand for Canadian resources. Even if property prices will drop another 50 percent; with a Grim world recession I'm curious if any investors will even buy given prices won't go up again till like 2015. And investors are even reluctant buy stock options and you are asking us to buy property? The only winners in this crisis are young couples or first time buyers that have equity. Condolences to those that bought in the last 2 years. Right now for many it's not about living it's about survivng… Read more »


"It’s bears like yourself who keep adjusting their purchase prices the end you will never end up buying because you always want it cheaper!"

It's bulls like yourself that keep holding their list prices high.. in the end you will never end up selling because you always want more money than the market will b-e-a-r! 😆


"77 Montery Says:

December 3rd, 2008 at 7:36 am

In looking over condo’s in Burnaby near Central Park, sub-$300K for a 2 bed concrete highrise with sub-$250/mo maintenance fee is fairly priced. Except now I’m adjusting my price-point downwards. I’m willing to pay $250/sqft downtown, but out in Burnaby I’m willing to pay $125/sqft."

It's bears like yourself who keep adjusting their purchase prices the end you will never end up buying because you always want it cheaper!


I had asked how far back one must go to get a November with less sales, 'inventory' on chipman's blog rocks the casbah and put the numbers up, here they are, thanks inventory … you have to go back to 1988!!!!

REBGV SFH+TH+APT Unit sales (Nov 1980 to 2008)


1980 362

1981 397

1982 437

1983 279

1984 378

1985 480

1986 455

1987 671

1988 672

1989 1140

1990 3352

1991 2242

1992 2786

1993 2434

1994 2256

1995 1830

1996 2870

1997 1837

1998 1595

1999 1866

2000 1791

2001 2674

2002 2650

2003 3115

2004 2594

2005 3064

2006 2416

2007 2952

2008 889


Western Separatist Says:

December 2nd, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Well said, Anger Ed.

Too bad Disbelief totally missed your point.

Realtors do not cause prices to rise. Buyers do. Rinse. Repeat.

I completely understood his point. I was merely saying that his point was refreshing from all the garbage that some Realtors and developers have been spouting lately. You are the one that totally missed my point.

Starving Artist

I posted a comment on one of this guys's videos:

And got this Youtube mail:

How about a bet!!!

I'm going to have to disagree with you about the city of Vancouver. My prediction is a 4% swing up or down in the next 4 months. You choose your prediction and the winner has to blog about it on Youtube. What do you say!

Of course, that was before the 8% benchmark drop numbers, so maybe he means starting *this* month.



lily pad:

1. climate change

2. peak oil

3. credit bubble

4. global population growth

everything else fades into irrelevance

Lily pad

Just a question:

Some of us were so focused on the housing bubble we gone sidelined by the stock market bubble.

Is there any other danger out there that we should be looking out for now?


Interesting story re: City of Vancouver CAO Judy Rogers:

City Manager Judy Rogers serves two masters: VANOC and City residents

Quite the conflict eh ?

Didn't some smart lawyer pick up on this ?

Stinks more and more !


Phil #80, thanks for the video clip – it reminded me of the "angst" I felt over the last few years with the supidity going on in the local market and how I thought I was losing my mind as it did not make any sense to me.

"Viva the long overdue correction!"


Somerville conducted his own analysis of Vancouver prices earlier this year that compared the cost of buying a house versus the cost of renting a similar unit. He concluded Vancouver real estate was 11-per-cent overvalued.

Since the all benchmarks have now declined more than that, Somerville has been proven wrong.

Somerville said. "In all likelihood, prices are going to continue to decline, but it's not like I can tell you when they will hit the low point."

Wasn't that exactly what you were trying to do with that "study", Tsur?


"And don’t give me the 'but they won’t be able to borrow for years' crap, debt is not income and they will be better off for not borrowing, just like the alcoholic is better off for having been cut off"

Great point. Credit teetotalers for a dry Vancouver. Of course a bad credit rating is not the only millstone for the bankrupt.

Old Vancouver

Fortress halts withdrawals on Global Macro Fund… so tell me, are we going to be stuck paying for this crappy future lower-income housing project called the Olympic Village?


Phil #79: yeah that's freaking funny. I added it to the wiki but you also inspired me to drill into CBC's archives and pull out quotes from Kirk Williams on his famous "Realty Check" Q and A sessions. Some choice quotes are here. Here are two of my favourites from early March '08. Are we headed for a slowdown? Market watchers such as CMHC predict prices will continue their upward trend this year and beyond, although not at the rates we have seen. The market fundamentals are still sound: low unemployment, a strong economy and more people are moving here.Would I advise someone to wait for a market correction? That depends. People who have been waiting for the last several years have lost out on dramatic equity increases. All indicators are that price increases will slow down, largely because of… Read more »


"Montery, watch out in Central Burnaby, especially the places around Ron MaClean Park, most of those places that are 5 years old are all rotting."

I've been saying for years that this shoe will drop eventually. The results of shoddy construction in the bubble are going to be worse than the leaky condo crisis.


Re Bankruptcy: Have a family friend who played the stock market a lot, done so for years, and we used to chat often about his stock market plays. One day he pulls me aside and said they had recently declared bankruptcy after having lost a sh*tload in the stock market … ( he said he had lost $500,000 ). They owned a condo…but he said they came out quite well after the bankruptcy proceedings concluded. Apparently, the bankruptcy laws had been changed and they are allowed to retain a fair bit of their current assets including their condo, car etc. BTW : He is an Accountant ! This is what he told me, so it may be worth investigating further for those in that sort of unfortunate situation or see it looming . I think it is fair to say… Read more »

Lily pad

Thanks everyone for your support of my gardening dream. From now on I will call myself "Lily pad" because I will have a little pond over in the corner of my garden.


Montery, watch out in Central Burnaby, especially the places around Ron MaClean Park, most of those places that are 5 years old are all rotting. I've seen some places last year around there for a nice size 2 bed/2 bath for 340k only to find out its a leaker. Those are probably the type of places your seeing today which are starting to look more afforable, but they've got a long way to drop and even then I wouldn't touch them with someone else's money.


“I pity the fools if they bought with cash.”

I pity them more if they are levered to the gills with debt, Mickey.

You shouldn't. The more the leverage, the less the skin in the game to lose. The 0/40 crowd will walk and declare bankruptcy. They put nothing in and will lose nothing.

And don't give me the "but they won't be able to borrow for years" crap, debt is not income and they will be better off for not borrowing, just like the alcoholic is better off for having been cut off.



"Why would anyone click me down for answering an honest question in an honest way?"

I think the counter is wonky. Sometimes I click it once and it goes up 3. Sometimes I click up, and the thing goes down. wtf???

BTW, I agree with you 100%. I, too, need a garden but I also want animals. It's hard to get on with life while renting. We've had two houses sold out from under us and it's getting real stale.


anony: #82

i love gardening too!

also some real cranky types on board here….

you'll need a thick skin and a handle to

enjoy the ride down…..

somewhere out there a yard is calling your name……