Something fishy with Kelowna stats?

In Kelowna and Vernon, this year’s real estate sales may be less rosy than we have been led to believe, according to the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board’s (OMREB) published statistics.

The OMREB statistics can be found on their website:

In my review of the OMREB statistics, I came across several numbers that quite literally do not add up. These incorrect numbers were also repeated in their media releases.

I noticed that the YTD dollar sales figures in many categories do not match the sum of the monthly figures. In almost every case, I found a rather large discrepancy (as much as 11.23% in the case of Central Okanagan Townhouse sales). The YTD sales numbers give the impression that the sales this year (in dollars) are much better than the monthly sales numbers indicate. I noticed that almost every month this year had this problem, but that it did not occur in the 2009 statistics.

I’m sure that this discrepancy is just an error and that they’ll correct it immediately, so as to give an accurate picture of the market to those considering buying or selling a property. Because we’re nearing the end of the year, I would not be surprised if the incorrect November YTD sales figures are not exceeded by the real December YTD dollar sales figures.

I’m not sure how OMREB will be able to correct the numbers, short of re-calculating the YTD numbers for the entire year. As an alternative they could show December dollar sales as zero (or negative), to allow the numbers to match, but that might make the December month-over-month and year-over-year numbers look really bad, in addition to making the slump in sales compared to 2009 more obvious.

Providing the correct YTD dollars sales numbers is especially important in this declining market, because this year’s incorrect (inflated) YTD figures will make next years comparative sales look worse than they should.

The numbers that I am using can be found within the OMREB statistics. For example, on page 8 of the November 2010 Central Okanagan statistics report, the Residential Total Current YTD sales are shown as $1,315,905,989, yet the sum of all the monthly totals from their 2010 reports add up to $1,244,919,850.00, which is a difference of $70,986,139.00, or 5.70%.

In the Central Okanagan, the discrepancies are:
Grand Total Current YTD Sales
– Published number is 5.48% above the calculated number
Residential Total Current YTD Sales
– Published number is 5.70% above the calculated number
Residential Current YTD Sales
– Published number is 5.61% above the calculated number
Apartment Current YTD Sales
– Published number is 4.01% above the calculated number
Townhouse Current YTD Sales
– Published number is 11.23% above the calculated number

In the North Okanagan the discrepancies are:
Residential Total Current YTD Sales
– Published number is 7.82% above the calculated number
Residential Current YTD Sales
– Published number is 8.33% above the calculated number
Apartment Current YTD Sales
– Published number is 5.50% above the calculated number
Townhouse Current YTD Sales
– Published number is 5.94% above the calculated number

I considered that there may be some collapsed sales, waterfront property, late reported sales, changes in sale price, etc, which may have influenced the monthly numbers, so I compared the 2010 figures with the 2009 figures, using the same methodology, and found that there is not the same consistent level of error that I find within the 2010 YTD numbers. In fact, I did not find any error in the 2009 YTD numbers, other than a few small math errors, which did not affect the YTD numbers vs. the sum of the monthly numbers.

In many cases, I noticed a consistent upward bias to the published YTD numbers throughout the year. For example, in the North Okanagan, published Residential Sales numbers YTD compared to the sum of the monthly numbers are:

January – 0.00% higher
February – 4.66% higher
March – 7.47% higher
April – 6.94% higher
May – 8.49% higher
June – 9.56% higher
July – 8.81% higher
August – 8.18% higher
September – 7.56% higher
October – 8.55% higher
November – 8.33% higher

Perhaps the published monthly numbers are lower than they should be. (I cannot see why they would be in a declining market; I suspect that the OMREB would want the numbers to be as rosy as possible). Another possibility is that there has been a change in the YTD calculations since 2009. Yet another possibility is that there is some recent systematic bias that makes the YTD numbers appear larger than they should be.

I’m curious as to how the OMREB intends to resolve this. At the moment I’m not sure which of their published numbers I should trust.

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Jaroslowsky: “I think things are going to get a hell of a lot worse. We still have a trade deficit today despite the fact that commodity prices are incredibly high."

He hits the nail right on the head. Canada is living beyond its means despite historically high commodity prices. Irrefutable evidence that the country as a whole is running on a bubble economy.

And remember again, what looks bad for Canada as a whole looks a lot worse for BC.



As soon as these overpriced mortgages start to default in record numbers and the Canadian public wakes up to the fact that it’s on the hook to the tune of billions of dollars, there will be a huge political push to remove this perverse “insurance”.

No there won't. The political push will be in the opposite direction – to maintain government guarantees on mortgage lending to keep house prices from falling further. Just like in the US.

But just like in the US, it won't work in the long run.

CRASH JPMorgan-Chase

Google Maps Foreclosure Listings

1. Punch in any US address into Google Maps.

2. Your options are Earth, Satellite, Map, Traffic and . . . More. (Select “More”)

3. The drop down menu gives you a check box option for “Real Estate.”

4. The left column will give you several options (You may have to select “Show Options”)

5. Check the box marked “Foreclosure.”


Here are Larry's numbers for today.

Vancouver East & West*

New Listings – 18

Back On Market Listings – 0

Price Changes – 10

Sold Listings – 29

Vancouver All Areas*

New Listings – 88

Back On Market Listings – 6

Price Changes – 29

Sold Listings – 74

*Attached & Detached – Date: 12/09/2010 Time:17:48 Pacific


@Dave: "QE was all over the internet by the time I was talking about it here."

Thanks for the clarification. We need to be clear what qualifies as soothiness.


For FFA tomorrow if it wasn't already posted: Global risks rising: Bank of Canada



If people laugh off everything you say it's because it's easier than sorting through the 99% crap you throw out Dave. The boy who cried wolf and all that. Maybe if you thought through your positions for more than a few minutes this wouldn't happen to you.



"I was talking about Quantitative Easing on VCI about three years ago."

Google says no.

But you enjoy lies don't you Dave.

I defy you to point to the place where you talked about quantitative easing. It doesn't exist prior to 2010.



I agree. QE was all over the internet by the time I was talking about it here. My point wasn't to say that I was early in predicting this. I wasn't.


@Dave: "QE was used before I was born."

I knew you were born yesterday. 😉

Anyone who knows Ben Bernanke's nickname would have no trouble predicting QE a few years ago. And just so we get the timing right, QE1 was looking a shoo-in as early as August 2008 and there were rumblings from FOMC and Treasury speeches even before that. That's over 2 years ago now.



And what, you think they are doing it to slow the economy?

QE was used before I was born.

Deloris Clitorious

Dave, Ok, so your blog is a mess, just find another hobby.


Six weeks later, the bond program looks more like a water pistol than a cannon—and the reasons explain the immense and strange challenges of steering monetary policy in the aftermath of a financial crisis when short-term interest rates are already near zero.

Markets Defy Fed's Bond-Buying Push


They are doing it to keep the curve flat and to spur economic activity.

Ya OK Dave. Keep the curve flat. Right.

I was talking about Quantitative Easing on VCI about three years ago. I predicted it was coming and like usual, I was attacked for it. But low and behold it happened. It would be fun to dig up those posts.

Not only did you predict it, it was actually your idea. That is what Ben told me over lunch yesterday. He got the idea from your post on the VCI blog. Without you Dave the world would be done.


@Troll, "Here’s another prediction. In 6 months you’ll still be a raging idiot, no matter what happens to rates."

Oh, pleez, give it up. My 11-year-old daughter comes up with better insults than that.


@Best place on meth: Here's another prediction. In 6 months you'll still be a raging idiot, no matter what happens to rates.


@Best place on meth:

Dow – 11,500 to 12,500

Gold – $1,350 to $1,550

Nat Gas – No idea.

Keep rolling on the floor. We both know which one of us is truly laughing.



I am bullish on the US as well. I just think it's going to be a slower recovery this time around. I think things will be looking better in a couple years.

And yes that will mean higher interest rates.

Best place on meth


I wouldn't know where to start with you, NostraDavus.

You've already predicted everything so I'll just keep rolling on the floor with each and every hysterical post.

Hey Dave, before I let you go would you mind giving me the closing levels for the Dow, gold and natural gas 6 months from now?

Thanks a bunch.


@Dave: "Until they do, both short and long rates will remain low"

But for how long? Weekly unemployment claims in the US have fallen significantly in the past month. The recently announced increase in depreciation allowances in the US positive for private investment. For the tens of millions of people looking for full time jobs that's good news and I think bond yields are agreeing.

When people think "slow recovery" they think Japan a la decades in length. I think that's woefully pessimistic; the US has been successfully de-leveraging for a few years now. With their property prices relatively low I see residential investment starting to pick up in a year or two. Then it's off to the races. I'll leave it to the imagination what happens in that scenario.


@Best place on meth:

Got something to contribute? Please point out what I have been incorrect on, other than a typo. Weak sauce dummy.

fixie guy

#71 Best place on meth Says:"It’s like listening to Sarah Palin talk foreign policy."

Maybe Dave's hoping QE would prop property prices as well as it has in the States?



Yes, they will as long as inflation remains low. I think we are in a prolonged economic downturn and it will take time for the US to pull themselves out of it. Until they do, both short and long rates will remain low, whether by QE or not.

I think our economy will continue along just fine, but our growth will be constrained by the high dollar and the slow US economy. I see positives in that though. I think this will force many of our companies to diversify outside of the US a little. BC has done well already, but hopefully that will continue.

Best place on meth

Dave, Troll,

Thanks for all the laughs today.

You stupid motherfuckers have caused my sides to split with your hilarious analysis of the bond market.

It's like listening to Sarah Palin talk foreign policy.

Kudos, asshats.