2012 Tax Assessments now available

An Observer points out that the most recent property tax assessment values are now available on the BC Assesment website:

If you’re curious about the assessed value of your property, your neighbors property or that cute little tear-down you’ve got your eye on you can find it here for the next couple of months:

http://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/

Property values are assessed in July, so these assessments represent the tax market value at that time.

Since prices have been falling in Vancouver since last summer we’re at an interesting stage of the market cycle – basically most property that’s selling right now is selling for ‘less than assessed value’ so watch for that phrase to pop up a lot in new listings.

Another point to keep in mind since it always seems to pop up in discussion of property tax: In Vancouver taxes are based on a balance across properties.  This means that just because house prices go up, that doesn’t mean tax income goes up.

The only important thing is your homes value in comparison to neighbouring homes – the total tax load is split up between all homes, so if all home prices drop by 20% across the board all tax bills will remain the same (unless the city decides they need to bring in more tax money).

129 Responses to “2012 Tax Assessments now available”

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    Name taken Says:
    1

    Trying to talk sense into those assessment clowns is useless. They arbitrarily filter out stuff that does not fit their desires. Like for example dismissing sales that were done under pressure by the court. I wonder what will they say when the market gets flooded with sales that are forced- how will they dismiss those sales as not part of the market then?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    2

    Early risers can catch Phil Sopor of Royal LePage on Canada AM 7:15 local time. He gives the standard “soft landing” pitch where he admits that prices have been outpacing incomes but claims that prices will stay flat and incomes will catch up. But he makes an exception for – you guessed it – BC Lower Mainland. Even the shills are giving up on the BPOE.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    4

    Yesterday, there was a discussion here about an observation of a large number of vacancies in the West End. SDR and data junkie both scoffed at the idea that people who might potentially rent in the West End are instead opting to rent (or perhaps buy) in other parts of Metro Vancouver, as far as an hour outside of the downtown core.

    SDR said: “i don’t buy that move “one hour away” either.
    tough to picture somebody trading West-End lifestyle with one in Aldergrove. The people who lived in West End are more likely to move to Montreal, Toronto even Calgary then Fort Langley and such.”

    This comment received 25 upvotes and only 2 downvotes. I can’t believe the mentality of this blog sometimes. It’s like the readers of this blog truly believe that Vancouver is the best place on Earth and that if somebody couldn’t find a place to rent right downtown Vancouver, they’d be so put off that they’d pack up and leave the province for Alberta! Is that what people on this blog think? Is this a bull blog in disguise?

    I am someone who has looked to rent in the West End but found a very low vacancy rate, very high rents, and most buildings don’t allow pets. So I opted to rent in New West instead. New West is an hour outside of downtown, especially if you are driving down Kingsway to get there. If you take the skytrain from downtown, it’s going to be a 30 minute skytrain ride from Waterfront to Columbia, plus time for walking/bussing to and from the skytrain–that’s an hour long trip. Ditto for Lougheed area, Brentwood, Metrotown, Richmond. There are all these town centres along skytrain lines that do offer essentially all the same urban amenities that you can find in the West End, plus newer housing stock, and CHEAPER RENTS! The only thing I feel like I am missing out on by not living in the West End is it would be nice to be able to walk to English Bay or any beach.

    What’s all the hype over living in the West End! I am just shocked that the people on a VANCOUVER RE BEAR blog think that if someone can’t find rental housing right in the downtown core that they would opt to move out of province rather than an hour outside of downtown. Moving to Alberta is a non-starter for a lot of people. I have gay friends who moved to the Lower Mainland to get away from the homophobia of Alberta. I think New West (and probably even Aldergrove) is way more gay friendly than Downtown Calgary. Try walking down the street in Calgary holding hands with someone of the same sex. Then try it in New Westminster. Tell me which one you feel more comfortable in.

    But I am getting a bit off topic with this gay thing. The point is there is a heck of a lot more to this urban region and this province than the West End! There has been an element of City of Vancouver/Downtown Vancouver snobbery operating throughout this entire real estate bubble and it has even infected the bears. It’s like the C of V or Downtown are holy ground and people can’t fathom the thought of living in the burbs. The suburbs have a lot more going for them than people realize. I find there are more job opportunities in the suburbs too. It’s just mind boggling how people are so obsessed with living right downtown or right within the City of Vancouver that they are willing to pay these insane rents/purchase prices.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 23

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    5

    A bubble is when prices are out of proportion to rents and that is the topic of this blog.

    Rents are higher in some locations because renters (i.e. the demand side of the rental market) have decided that the amenities of those locations are worth it. Rental vacancies indicate that the owners are asking above market rents – whether they be in the West End or anywhere else. That’s all.

    Rents are just a matter of consumer preferences. Someone who is willing to pay a higher rent to live in West End is not “obsessed” with anything, just expressing a preference. It has nothing to do at all with the view that prices are out of proportion to rents and are going to go down- in the West End or Langley or where ever.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 2

    Name taken Says:
    6

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 16

    Name taken Says:
    7

    Anonymous #4, people who don’t have a car don’t see anything around them and have no concept of what live is like just one hour drive away. I know this first hand as I lived in West End without a car for many years and I spent more time in Europe and USA than in all of BC outside of downtown Vancouver. Reality is that anybody who thinks Vancouver is nice and special is delusional. It is an ok place with its fair share of problems.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 7

    Anonymous Says:
    8

    @Patriotz:

    You are missing the entire point of my post (#5). You’re like the RE bubble text book sometimes, regurgitating definitions.

    I am not talking about renting versus owning and I know what a real estate bubble is, thank you very much.

    When I said people are “obsessed” with living downtown or in the C of V, I was talking about renters and homeowners alike. The obsession I am talking about is that people (renters and owners alike) think that the price premium on the West End is worth it relative to places like New West, that are an hour away. Of course, some price premium for living downtown is justified. But what I am trying to say is that the price premium you pay in order to get the urban amenities of the West End is out of whack considering you can get essentially the same urban amenities in New West for a much cheaper price. Apparently, I am not alone in my thinking as evidenced by the large number of vacancies in the West End. People are looking at the rents there (or ownership prices, if you want to talk about that) and saying I can get more value by living in New West or Metrotown–I can get the same urban amenities for a cheaper price–and I can probably get a newer, larger residential unit too!

    There is a tendency to oversell the amenities of Vancouver proper and be totally dismissive of the options of living in suburbs an hour away. This tendency has played right into the Vancouver real estate bubble. This is the obsession with Vancouver I am talking about–it is an obsession that both renters and owners are prone to. It was reflected on this blog yesterday when SDR wrote that most people would choose to live out of province if they couldn’t find housing in the West End. That comment got 25 upvotes, even though it is a totally ridiculous statement. A great number of people who might like to live in the West End if only they could afford it, can also find happiness an hour outside of downtown. New West is just fine for me, thank you, I don’t need to run off to Alberta because I couldn’t find a rental in the West End.

    It seems like you are almost implying that my post is off topic. This is way more on topic than last night’s discussion on education and health care.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 20

    Anonymous Says:
    9

    One more thing about renting in New West vs the West End. New West is closer to my job than the West End is. I know a lot of people who live and work in New West. As I just discussed, there is a price premium on renting and buying downtown. The price premium for living downtown is supposed to reflect the convenience of living in a more centralized location–close to jobs, shopping, amenities, friends. Well I have all of that right here in New West. If I lived in the West End I would have a longer commute to my job.

    I think part of what is happening here is that the urban geography of Metro Vancouver is changing. The downtown is becoming less relevant for the functioning of the economy. Due to high real estate prices downtown, more and more employers are locating in the suburbs. Ironically, the condo boom downtown has made the downtown area more residential in character. So it used to be that people lived in the suburbs and worked downtown (of course there were always exceptions to this–always some people living downtown and working in suburbs), but increasingly people are living downtown and working in the suburbs. The real estate bubble and other forces have altered the urban geography of Metro Vancouver. Downtown isn’t quite so central anymore. Really, New West is more central than Downtown in many way. Physically, the location of New West is closer to the geographic centre of Metro Vancouver than Downtown is. It’s far easier to get to Surrey, Langley, Coquitlam from New West than from Downtown. But New West is still pretty close to Vancouver. It’s in the middle. Downtown Vancouver is on the way to having its productive economy hollowed out and to being transformed into some sort of tourist/consumption/shopping/real estate spectacle. The productive economy is moving to Surrey, the Fraser Valley, the tri-Cities. New West is more centrally located for the productive economy than the West End is. In terms of the productive economy, the West End is pretty much on the margins.

    So the economic/urban geography of Metro Vancouver is shifting. Prices/rents are going to have to shift as well. The gap between rents in the West End and New West will have to narrow because in many ways New West is overtaking the West End as a central location. Perhaps, this is overstated, although there is a great deal of truth in what I say. I suppose people will still be willing to pay a premium for living in the West End because it is near the beach and you do get some excitement living downtown.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 20

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    10

    anon: “The obsession I am talking about is that people (renters and owners alike) think that the price premium on the West End is worth it relative to places like New West, that are an hour away.”

    It’s not an “obsession”. People who are willing to pay more to live in the West End don’t have anything wrong with them, they just have different preferences than you.

    name taken: “There is a clear bubble in West End rents as I pointed out yesterday”

    You cannot have a bubble in rents because the use of rental accommodation can’t be resold. That’s the case for any service that is used and paid for in real time. A bubble means the market is being driven by speculative expectations.

    Rents high relative to incomes are not a “bubble”, it just means that renters prefer living in a particular area, i.e. get a higher utility from it and are willing to pay a higher % of their incomes for it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 9

    southseacompany Says:
    11

    CBC News: Vancouver’s hottest property values dip in 2012

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/01/02/bc-property-assessments.html

    With video. Realtors claiming the new low prices will ‘definitely’ mean more first time buyers coming out in the spring.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    12

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 25

    Anonymous/Name taken: “I am a big ideas person and a very smart person”

    Yup, we can see that. it takes you just 20 posts to explain that you moved to New West from West end and that you like there. Ok. We got it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 7

    Clockbike Clockbike Says:
    14

    #4 Anonymous
    As one of those upvoters from yesterday, let me explain myself by saying I endorsed that comment as a hater of economic dislocation. Regardless if you’re moving from West Van to Aldergrove or vice-versa. When people who grow up in a community have to move from that community, I take issue.

    However, I’m not going to make some grand claim that prices should be controlled to allow people to live in their community. Because that’s how we got into this problem to begin with.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

    Anonymous Says:
    15

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 19

    Anonymous Says:
    16

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 27

    No Noise Says:
    17

    It looks like Immigration Canada is ranking in-demand skills/training as more important than big $$$ for new immigrants now:

    “In a year-end interview, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney described the coming Web-based “Expression of Interest” system – to be in place by 2014 – as the culmination of more than five years of reform. It will be an invitation-only route for economic immigrants where prospective arrivals advertise their skills and qualifications on a Canadian government database that will be perused by employers looking to hire more than just temporary workers”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/kenney-sees-new-immigration-system-as-way-to-attract-skilled-workers/article6840232/

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

    Patiently Waiting Says:
    18

    Its interesting how often New West gets discussed here. That alone tells you it is rising in importance. I hope this rising importance doesn’t result in rising rents. It has a lot of services for vulnerable populations who form communities there thanks to relatively affordable housing.

    I agree it is a diverse, tolerant community similar in some ways to the old West End. It just seems a little more interesting than the soul-less suburban sprawl surrounding it on all sides.

    So far its not going upscale. Don’t bother trying to find fine dining. They can’t do better than the crappy Boathouse. Cultural amenities are hokey, but kind of cute.

    I’m watching the new Quay but not with much optimism. If those trendy places in the Quay survive a while, it would be a sign of a more affluent population. The problem is you can only do so much with a riverfront that lets off nasty stinks, is surrounding by derelict parking garages and is clogged with big trucks.

    The City of New West is taking a huge gamble with the new civic center they are building on Columbia Street. I fear it is badly time and destined to be a white elephant. I hope I’m wrong.

    A lot of people would like to pave New West with superhighways for their car-commuting convenience and turn what’s left into glass towers. Best of luck to the ROYAL CITY (Rennie can kiss my ass).

    As for the West End, a generation of tenants is going to the great rental building the sky. Boomers aren’t replacing them because of their obsession with home ownership. While not in a bubble, I predict rents will go down in the West End as the old housing continues to decline and the downtown core loses importance.

    The pop of the bubble will devastate downtown/westside Vancouver more than anywhere. What do they have for an economy once the HELOC money disappears?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

    Anonymous Says:
    19

    @Patiently Waiting:

    Thank you for writing something that deals with the substantive issues I was writing.

    I can’t believe how much grief I’ve been getting on this blog. You’d think someone on a Vancouver real estate bear blog would get more positive reaction for arguing why real estate prices (and yes rents too) in Downtown Vancouver are too high.

    You said: “As for the West End, a generation of tenants is going to the great rental building the sky. Boomers aren’t replacing them because of their obsession with home ownership. While not in a bubble, I predict rents will go down in the West End as the old housing continues to decline and the downtown core loses importance.”

    I completely agree with that. But watch out. Patriotz might not like how you are using the word “obsession” here.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 16

    FP: OSFI guidelines needs work
    Jan 2, 2013
    “OSFI not transparent on revisions to corporate-governance rules”
    – “Just as undue complexity in managerial structure undermines organizational capital, so too does a lack of critical thinking capacity on the part of too many senior executives and board members to fully understand and effectively address the complexity of the global financial system in which their institutions participate. ”
    – “Nor do the draft revisions focus on the metrics and incentive systems that continue to encourage contributions to short-term performance, rather than the long-term health of an institution (or the sector)”
    -“OFSI’s decision to keep the comment process “under wraps” does little to inspire confidence in its willingness to address them here in Canada or influence the broader global financial system.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    BREAKING NEWS BNN:

    “VANCOUVER HOME SALES PLUMMET 31% in DECEMBER FROM YEAR AGO”

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 53 Thumb down 0

    Re West End vacancies.
    Just got an email from a old friend that used to run a IT school in Vancouver. Most of his students were from overseas, mainly Japan. He had to close the school because it dried the intake from Asian countries. He said most of students returned home and no new ones arrived because of economic crises. Most of these students were living in downtown core.
    He himself moved to Japan as well because could not find a job here. So he is teaching English in Tokyo.

    I believe there is more people moving out of Vancouver/Province recently but the data will show up in year.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 0

    painted turtle Says:
    25

    @anonymous
    May I suggest that
    1) You see the value of concision, especially on a blog.
    2) You find yourself a name to avoid confusion.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

    Name taken Says:
    26

    Jacob, your post #13 attributes to me a quote that I have nothing to do with. I did not claim to be a smart person, just that you are confused on certain topics, which you continue to prove with that post.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

    Name taken Says:
    27

    @patriotz:

    “You cannot have a bubble in rents because the use of rental accommodation can’t be resold. That’s the case for any service that is used and paid for in real time. A bubble means the market is being driven by speculative expectations.”

    Yes you can have bubbles with stuff that you cannot resell. Bubbles are any kind of unsustainable deal making driven by emotion. Your “speculative expectations” is just one example of such emotion. There are other emotions that humans experience and some of those can drive bubbles too.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 14

    Domocrass Says:
    28

    Patrioz said “You cannot have a bubble in rents because the use of rental accommodation can’t be resold. That’s the case for any service that is used and paid for in real time. A bubble means the market is being driven by speculative expectations.”

    Is this always true? Can’t you have an education bubble where tuition prices are driven higher by the availability of credit (backed or promoted by government programs)to finance education?

    Credit financing of services can drive the price of the service higher and create a bubble, no?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

    Anonymous Says:
    29

    In peace with all, I just want to say one more thing about the New West vs West End debate before I go out and enjoy the sunshine in New West.

    You guys are quantitative thinkers who love statistics, right? I know a little bit about spatial statistics–statistical analysis of spatial/geographic patterns. Just like in regular descriptive statistics, in spatial statistics we have spatial measures of central tendency: mean centre, median centre, mode centre, weighted mean centre. These measures all look at average location of geographic phenomena, calculated from x,y (or also Z if 3D/topographical statistics) coordinates of observations/cases in a data set.

    If we want to look at the spatial distribution of the population of Metro Vancouver, we can look at the weighted mean centre of the population. The weighted mean centre is the ‘centre of gravity’ of the spatial distribution. If we apply this to the population of Metro Van, it is the average location of a person when you account for spatial variation in population density. Over time, the statistics show that the weighted mean centre of the population of Metro Vancouver/Lower Mainland has been moving east. As suburbs to the east of the City of Vancouver (Burnaby, New West, Surrey, Langley, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, etc) become developed and populated, more of the centre of gravity of the population is shifting east (as an aside: this means more of the economic activity in the region is shifting east). I do not have data at my fingertips now and I do not know precisely where the weighted mean centre of the population of Metro Vancouver is at this moment. But I do know for a fact that it is shifting east. That means, from a strictly quantitative/population perspective, western locales of Metro Vancouver are becoming more marginal over time. Western locales includes the West End, West side of Vancouver, West Vancouver. Now we can argue from a cultural/human perspective that these Western parts won’t become more marginalized because people find them desirable due to their intrinsic place qualities.

    I just wanted to make that one last point. As someone who grew up in Vancouver and who wanted to rent in the West End but was forced to New West due to high rents, I am part of a huge trend that is borne out in the spatial distribution of the population. The centre of gravity of the population of Metro Vancouver is moving east and is probably pretty close to New Westminster when you consider growth on the eastern fringes in Maple Ridge and up the Fraser Valley.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 19

    1142 sales in December. I guessed 1159. Sorry guys.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 48 Thumb down 0

    Groundhog Says:
    31

    http://www.rebgv.org/news-statistics/prices-hold-firm-home-buyers-and-sellers-conclude-2012-sidelines

    “Since reaching a peak in May, the benchmark price of a detached property has declined 6.5%”

    “Since reaching a peak in May, the benchmark price of an apartment property has declined 12.8%.”

    “Since reaching a peak in April, the benchmark price of an attached property has declined 4.4%.”

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 0

    @Groundhog, your forgot to copy Klein’s comment about those price decline:

    “We saw home prices come down a bit during the latter half of the year. During the same period, we saw fewer home sales and listings,”

    On an annual basis, the declines since May have been:
    – detached: 11.1%
    – apartment: 21.9%
    – attached: 7.5%

    I can’t wait to see what “moderate” decline means to him…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 0

    Rob Carrick on his facebook page

    “Are you prepared for housing prices to fall hard and take years to recover? It’s happened before.”

    pissed off commenters

    Mark the mortgage broker- ” I thought we already did this story, no wait that was the Mayans and the end of the world.”

    Kathi- “As a real estate investor it drives me crazy when articles generalize the Canadian real estate market with such a broad brush. I see I haven’t missed anything by not getting the online subscription to the G&M. Yes there are markets that are way over priced – Vancouver and Toronto for example, nothing new there. I do my research and invest based on economic fundamentals. I’m not worried at all, the sky is NOT falling.”

    Ben- “Your tireless negativity has me unfriending you today Rob Carrick.”

    Brian- “When enormous amounts of cash leaves the stock market where do think it goes? Housing!!!”

    Erin- “Rob Carrick – Why do you want to depress me when I just moved into a new home?!?!?!”

    Raghu- “We can’t compare housing vs stocks!! and I still feel Toronto real estate is stronger than Vancouver.”

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 1

    Best place on meth Says:
    34

    “Since reaching a peak in May, the benchmark price of an apartment property has declined 12.8%.”

    Something looks odd about this one.

    I think it may be a typo.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

    Big Q is whether we see a steep incline in total listings this January like we did in Jan/2012.

    There are three types of sellers
    1) acyclical need-to-sells: death, divorce, job transfer. These people need to sell fairly quickly. These are the ones who will drip drip drip the prices slowly down as they set the new market price. There is a constant flow of them–not enough to crash the market, but they provide gentle downward pressure as they take what they can get and they go.

    2) cyclical need-to-sells: unemployment or interest rates make their current mortgage unpayable. They need to sell or they get foreclosed on. I see no evidence this group is growing or will grow in the first half of 2013. When/if this group swells, that’s when you start seeing crashy kind of numbers. They need to sell, and they take what they can get.

    3) Momentum / LT sellers: These people hold a rental property that maybe doesn’t cash flow but have enjoyed the capital gains; are nearing a downsizing time of life; are looking to move to a bigger house. They could sell now or not. If they don’t sell this year–no big deal. Their question is: ‘do I get more for it now or in 2014 or 2015?’. Right now, a lot of these guys may have listed in 2012 and didn’t get their price. No biggie; will re-list in 2013. This group of people becomes a flood if/when a lot of them start realizing that the peak is in; that prices in 2015 will be lower than now; that now is their best exit opportunity. We may start seeing more of this type in 2013, but we must remember that the vast majority of people *still* think Van RE is a no-lose proposition. Remember, most people don’t read these bear blogs. The Q then, is whether this tide will turn.

    Overall, I think type 1 sellers will be the normal every-year flow. With high MoI, they will be the for-sure sellers and will pull prices down, slowly but surely.

    I don’t see any reason to think type 2 sellers will play a big role in the first half of 2013. For 2nd half, we’d need to see interest rate increases or a big UE spike. A big UE spike could be RE-related of course, but it’s not in the cards for the first half anyway. Type 3 sellers is where things will pivot. The ‘casual’ sellers will start to list more quickly and panic *if* they think the exit door is closing; if they think prices will be lower in 2 years or 5 years. That depends on mass psychology. Are we there yet? Will we be there in 2013? What do you think?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 1

    skippa_azza Says:
    36

    @vangrl
    Delusional buyers and sales people. They are still blinded by greed and irrational optimism. The market is in a slippery slope going into 2013 and I hope Jimbo will not make an about turn if the rate of decline accelerates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    random321 Says:
    37

    REBGV: “Prices hold firm as home buyers and sellers conclude 2012
    from the sidelines”

    And then continues to report a 1% MoM drop in benchmark price. Since when is 12% annualized drop in prices considered holding firm?

    Unlike many on this board, I don’t normally find the REBGV stats package blurb to be too offensive, but they’ve kind of crossed that line this time.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

    UBC in Crisis Mode Says:
    38

    REBGV: “Prices hold firm as home buyers and sellers conclude 2012
    from the sidelines”

    Which agency to complain to about REBGV’s misleading the public? And Global TV, CBC, etc.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

    RaggedyRenter RaggedyRenter Says:
    39

    I don’t see Burnaby/New West much less Surrey emerging to become the economic powerhouse succeeding Downtown in the near future. Most of the good jobs and economic activity are still in the downtown area.
    All that’s left in the burb are municipal jobs, declining manufacturing/warehouse jobs and service based jobs. Who knows, maybe New West will someday become the second Yaletown.

    I think Realtors will be our friend in the downturn. As the number of sales go down, they will force clients to list their properties at a reasonable going rate, thus chasing the market down.
    Why would you waste your time and effort listing a house for a million when you know nearby houses are listing for 800 and selling for 750.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 3

    @VHB, I agree listings growth is the big leading indicator to watch in the coming months. Some food for thought on listings growth:
    As mortgage term renewals come due in 2013 lenders are now requiring more solid proof of income and will be derating assessments. That means the 2013 term renewal vintage will be under additional scrutiny. Many may need to sell because the “official” income simply isn’t there.

    Maybe 2013 will see lower listings like 2009. Who knows. But the credit conditions, at least, are not moving my chi magnet in an auspicious direction.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

    HAM Solo Says:
    41

    @ VHB

    I like the way you look at the market in post 35.

    However, I think you are forgetting a very big need-to-sell segment which is developers. The big guys have bought land and built a tower that needs to sell units for a certain price to break even. A lot of the money they used to build the tower was borrowed. They may be able to pretend for a while … but if you have a January completion that is unsold by May, the bankers are going to be agitating to get their money back (particularly because the goofy CMHC actually insures these developer loans, so if they don’t get everything, they can still claim).

    I think new housing is going to get dumped onto the market in 2013 in a way that depresses the comparable valuation of existing homes. I am sure that if won’t directly move the HPI, because they won’t be same unit sales pairs, but indirectly it should have a big impact. Why would I pay $600K for dump A, when they are selling this new unit for $588K?

    And, of course the knock on effect of new development getting dumped is that the equity position of the developers will be impaired and so they either can’t (or won’t want to) reinvest whatever proceeds they get from sales into buying up building lots.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 0

    “Most of the good jobs and economic activity are still in the downtown area. All that’s left in the burb are municipal jobs, declining manufacturing/warehouse jobs and service based jobs”

    Disagree. I think % wise, the suburbs have similar % good-quality jobs as in downtown. EA in burnaby and Microsoft (plus other tech companies) in richmond comes to mind.

    It’s true downtown has the regional headquarters of the oligopolies (banks, utilities, etc) but it also has a large number of retail / service jobs and according to various anecdotes they are suffering.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    Groundhog Says:
    43

    @VHB

    Anecdotaly, I heard quite a few of your type 1 sellers over the holidays. A few job transfers, a divorce, a need to move from a condo to something larger.

    I am not sure if I am just more in tune right now to listening for people planning to sell their houses in the spring or if there actually are more people then usual. It seems to me there are more people then usual. One has already tried listing and then delisted in 2012, and a the rest will be new listings. At least one will need to sell quickly as they are looking to buy a house in the US due to a job transfer there, and don’t want to hold 2 houses.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

    HAM Solo Says:
    44

    BTW, I’m not entirely clear on the following point, but I have a feeling that new inventory doesn’t show up in our official inventory count here. Could someone enlighten me on how the number of for sale new units is counted?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    2012 VCI RE Prediction Contest Final Score
    OVERALL SCORE:
    #1: Jesse: 39 pts
    #2: The Ant: 26 pts
    #3: Absinthe:13 pts

    CONGRATS JESSE! WINNER OF THE 2012 VCI PREDICTION CONTEST!
    http://vancouverpeak.com/Thread-2012-VCI-RE-Prediction-Contest-Final-Score?pid=106#pid106

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

    Jesse has kindly agreed to organize the 2013 VCI prediction contest.
    Stay tuned for prediction categories and contest rules!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    I won, as it happens, by being the most bullish out of all participants. We all estimated drops too severe, though The Ant nailed the GVHPI to within 0.5%. Well done for sheer accuracy!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

    Muir on BNN

    -not concerned
    -consumers are “wait and see” which is reason for slowdown not fundamentals
    -doesn’t see any panic selling
    -pullback in demand met with pullback in listings

    lots of bubble talk on BNN today!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

    data junkie Says:
    49

    My opinion of Cameron Muir can best be summarized by the famous General Tommy Franks quote on the subject of Doug Feith.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    Whistler Condos Dec/12 HPI:

    3-mo-change: -6.7%
    6-mo-change: -11.7%
    1-yr-change: -9.9%
    3-yr-change: -32.4%
    5-yr-change: -39.1%

    ouch.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 49 Thumb down 0

    Hi @ham solo,

    Your addition of completed unsold units to my list is a good one. Bring on the MacBulk in 2013!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

    VMD, I believe Whistler condos include a fair whack of the “condo hotel” type as well, whose prices have been destroyed. It’s possible the drop is less severe on a same-sales basis for “normal” condos.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    southseacompany Says:
    53

    BNN Video link:

    “Vancouver home sales plummet again.”

    Love those headlines.

    http://www.bnn.ca/News/2013/1/3/Vancouver-homes-sales-plummet-again-.aspx

    “Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at RBC Capital Markets, says the bank’s research on housing affordability in Vancouver showed that prices in the city had become frothy.”

    “”Certainly the Vancouver numbers have been suggesting stresses in that market with affordability deteriorating and at some point a correction was likely going to have to play out,” he says. “It was a market looking like it was poised for a correction.””

    “He adds that while prices have yet to fall as dramatically as sales, the city could be headed for “double digit” declines in home prices.”

    ““You’re seeing a correction in Vancouver – a fairly sizable one…””

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 0

    “5-yr-change: -39.1%”

    Wow..why we don’t have this stories in the news??? or I am too naive to think like that.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

    New Listings 174
    Back On Market Listings 41
    Price Changes 38
    Sold Listings 28

    ALL LOWER MAINLAND
    HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE….YA I’M LATE BIG DEAL

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 80 Thumb down 0

    macafee is cool Says:
    57

    “New Listings 174
    Sold Listings 28″

    that is what is called start the new year with the bang.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 50 Thumb down 1

    Wakeup call Says:
    58

    I almost choked when Camerom Muir popped up on BNN after having to watch him on Global TV and read his garbage in the Sun…all in one week. Is this guy desperate or what?

    Although BNN usually tries to present a balane of opinions it was disappointing to let a guy who is payed by realtors not to be challenged a bit more.

    Sure hope Bnn sees fit not to burden us with an appearnce of Tsur. That would be hard to keep my breakfast intact.

    Anyway, I shall email them my thoughts.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0

    Girlbear Says:
    59

    Wow. Some of these assessed values are HIGH. A house I know that sold May 2011 for $4mill is assessed now at $5.5mill. No improvements on it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    now someone is debating with Ben on Rob’s facebook page….fun!… they don’t know what they’re in for

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    Brian – “@Ben, in regards to your 80’s 90’s Toronto house price reference to recovery time, the graphs only house prices. ok, i’ll give you a little insider info. When you see cycles in the graph you have to figure out why, to understand when it’s going to cycle. So what in our society cycles in ten years? War! So simply super impose the wars on the house price graph. I’d do it for you, but whad I look like? Your real estate agent! ”

    Ben- “@Brian
    With regards to your second, incoherent comment, I have NO idea what you are trying to say regarding war and house prices. But I think, from what I’ve deciphered from that bizarre comment, you and I are thinking on two very different planes. I’ll leave it at that.”

    Team Ben!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

    Best place on meth Says:
    62

    North Van detached got creamed in December, down 2.4%

    The SFH prices today vs. 6 months ago column is getting good:

    Van west -9.1%
    West Van -8.6%
    North Van -7.1%
    New West -6.3%
    Burnaby E/S -6.2%
    Richmond -6.1%

    Very, very nice.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 58 Thumb down 0

    trash crash alert Says:
    63

    CRASH ALERT***

    US Treasury yields rising dramatically, 5 year note at 0.81%, highest level since May.

    When the price of money gets more expensive, this is not good news for those trying to sell.

    Further, this is not good news for 5 year Canadian mortgage rates, expect long term rates to begin rising ASAP.

    Vancouver real estate market is like a wild beast depending upon falling mortgage rates year after year to keep the ATM’s going – now it is all over – put a fork in it, it is done, kaput, all over. RIP.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 2

    The Vancouver ‘Realtor Hunger Index’ for December 2012 was 83%.

    This is the percent of realtors who went ‘hungry’ (‘earned’ no commission income) for the month using a simplistic formula: start with the total reported sales from the REBGV Monthly Statistical Report; assume 5% of sales were ‘double ended’ (one realtor kept the entire commission by ‘representing’ both buyer and seller), add to the number of ‘double ended’ commissions the number of split commissions (reduced by an assumed 15% ‘earned’ by realtors who handled multiple sales), divide the resulting number of commissions by the total number of realtors and subtract that fraction from 1 to yield the percent of realtors not ‘earning’ commissions.

    For comparison, historical figures using the same methodology are below (the REBGV website (http://www.rebgv.org/about-rebgv)) does not reveal the exact number of realtors at any particular time; based on my research, I used 11,000 for 2011 and 2012; 10,000 for 2010, 9,400 for 2009, 9,500 for 2008, 9,000 for 2007, 8,200 for 2006 and 7,800 for 2005):

    Month…..2005…..2006…..2007…..2008…..2009…..2010…..2011…..2012…..2013
    Jan……….64%……61%……67%…..68%……87%……68%…..72%……76%……
    Feb……….35%……40%…..47%……53%……74%…..59%……53%……61%
    Mar………16%……18%……36%…..47%……60%……48 %…..38%…..56%
    Apr………14%…….32%…..37%……44%……48%…..42%……51%……58%
    May………5%……..13%…..20%……47%……38%…..47%……49%……57%
    Jun………..8%…….20%……21%…..57%……25%……51%……51%…..64%
    Jul…………22%…..45%……28%…..62%……27%……62%…..61%……68%
    Aug……….22%…..39%……37%…..73%……39%……63%…..64%……75%
    Sep………..29%…..49%……49%…..72%……37%……63%…..66%……77%
    Oct………..34%…..45%……44%…..76%……34%……61%…..65%……71%
    Nov……….37%…..52%……47%…..85%……45%……58%……64%…..74%
    Dec……….50%……66%…..65%……84%……55%……68%…..75%……83%

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    65

    “Can’t you have an education bubble where tuition prices are driven higher by the availability of credit (backed or promoted by government programs)to finance education?”

    Sure, if you treat education as an investment rather than a pure service like rents or entertainment (i.e. which is not expected a have a future return). Then there would be an education bubble if the cost of the education exceeds any reasonable economic return – which is just what some people here have been talking about.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

    Rules for the VCI 2013 price prediction contest are located here:
    http://vancouverpeak.com/Thread-2013-VCI-RE-Price-Prediction-Contest–65

    There are 3 categories this year: region-wide MLS-HPI, region-wide average, and a regional SFD MLS-HPI for those wanting a bit more granularity.

    If you want to try your luck you have until the end of Friday Jan 25th to make an entry.

    2013 has all the makings of a pivotal year for Vancouver. It will be fun to watch it transpire with a big (now partially-eaten!) bag o’ popcorn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    UBC in Crisis Mode Says:
    67

    RFM says:
    “The Vancouver ‘Realtor Hunger Index’ for December 2012 was 83%.”

    Great public service, RFM. I hope CBC would learn from you. Let’s spread the RHI index!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

    news junky Says:
    68

    More problems on the Port Mann Bridge this morning. There was a 10-car pile up and the Ministry of Transportation has admitted that their de-icing solution was not strong enough and that there was a build up of ice on the bridge deck this morning.

    http://www.news1130.com/2013/01/03/accidents-causing-delays-on-port-mann-bridge/

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

    Bag it and tag it Says:
    69

    Ya gotta love the prease release headline: “Prices hold firm…”
    What a complete joke! 13% annualized drop on the composite…and have they looked at their 5yr price graph…it’s starting to look pretty nasty.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

    Worst time in 31 years to buy RE Says:
    70

    Good work VHB #35

    Another reason for selling that I would add is demographics. I supose it could be included in your group 1, but it entails more than just “death”…downsizing, funding retirement etc. Boomers are the biggest phenomina in several generations, and they have influenced markets since day one.

    So much for sellers, but what about potential buyers?
    Remember, nobody needs to buy. They can always rent.

    I think the lack of buyers will be the big story in 2013 because 2 consecutive years of price drops in a row will get the attention of potential buyers. When is the last time that has happened? This will not be a repeat of 2009 when global stock markets saw the biggest surge since 1988 and Asian buyers were lining up in Van west, Richmond and West Van. Even if buyers don’t read bear blogs, it is becoming imposible to ignore the media (despite Tsur’s and Cam’s best efforts).

    I think 2013 will be remembered as the point of no return.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

    “This all started from my post yesterday morning about going for a walk downtown and observing lots of vacancies in the West End. Again, I am writing about larger issues, trends in the economy and settlement patterns of the Lower Mainland. My choice to live in New West is just one case study to reflect off of.”

    We, well, I, understand that. But you have chosen to take offense with a supposed veiled insult to you, while repeatedly doing same yourself. How else are we to take your comment that West End residents are too obsessed (subtext = stupid?) with WE to see the great value in New West? It’s great that all the amenities YOU require you find satisfactory in NW, plus, of course, your job is there. This is about consumer preferences. Patriotz is not nitpicking. Rents are not in a bubble. They are higher, because of the demand accommodations in the area. Many WE residents can get by without a transit pass (certainly without a multi-zone one), without a car even. That’s worth hundreds of dollars a month. And they find the amenities and the lifestyle and atmosphere worth whatever premium remains after that equation.

    I get that the economic significance of Surrey and NW and Abbotsford is increasing. It is. Land speculation has driven industrial activities further up the valley and into tri-cities. But what you’re telling me is that over the next several years I can look forward to declining rents in WE and increasing rents in NW? The landscape of LM is changing, which means there will be more options for people. That’s all it is. Choices. Not obsession. More people choose A, A’s price goes up. That doesn’t make these people obsessed, or irrational, or stupid, for not seeing that B is cheaper and not choosing B. Because A and B are different, and serve different needs and markets and preferences.

    Bottom line is, no, I don’t get the same amenities and lifestyle in NW that I get in WE. And I don’t care that rent’s 30% cheaper. I’m quite comfortable where I am. But I am happy that you have that choice, that it works better for you, and that you have taken it. Because doing otherwise and sticking it out in WE would be… obsession.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 5

    Girlbear Says:
    72

    Love the “RHI”!

    Good work!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    73

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 17

    Anonymous Says:
    74

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 18

    bubble in whiny posters

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    76

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 13

    Why are you downvoting me?

    First off, I almost never downvote anyone as I like to hear divergent opinions (especially ones I strongly disagree with), and for the record I didn’t downvote you.

    Second – and please don’t take this the wrong way – if I had to guess I’d say you’re being downvoted because of your obsession about being downvoted. I think if you didn’t care so much about how others perceive you and just said what you believe you’d probably get more respect.

    By the way I appreciate your analytical perspective.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

    Best place on meth Says:
    78

    Ah, I see your angle now.

    You’re only here to try to discredit VCI.

    Very well, carry on then.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

    BLISTINGAGENT Says:
    79

    You can not really compare downtown Vancouver to New West (the lifestyle or the rent). It is like arguing about your favourite colour. Each offers different advantages and disadvantages and everyone has different preferences.

    That aside, there does seem to be quite a few places for rent in the West End right now. This is anecdotal and I have no idea how it compares to other areas. I helped someone relocate to Vancouver a few months ago and I had no problems finding them a pretty nice 1BR in the West End for $1050/mo (was actually offered every place I approached, no waiting lists or anything like that.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    “Why are you downvoting me? ”

    Like another poster has said, if you had spent 5 seconds to think of a name / handle your comments would be better received. Too many trolls here posting as “anonymous”.

    And ya, not describing yourself / your comments as “smart” and “insightful” would help too. Whether you are smart or not is left to others to judge, and to be brutally honest I can’t associate you with that word yet.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 4

    Anonymous Says:
    81

    @Yalie|

    I will try to chill out. Thank you. It’s good to know that someone doesn’t think everything I have written is completely out of touch.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 10

    Anonymous Says:
    82

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 30

    From what I have seen, there are many easy ways to get down-voted here:
    1) Post Anonymously – It is nice to know who posts what, anonymous is confusing and tends to be trolls.
    2) Post absurdly bullish posts.
    3) Post facetious bearish posts.
    4) Post repeatedly about the same thing so that no-one wants to read it anymore.
    5) Posts about being down-voted (like this one) is a sure way to be foreclosed.

    Try not to take yourself too seriously, remember this is the internet :-)
    If you really care, then get a login so we can recognize you.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 5

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17

    Anonymous Says:
    85

    Wow! Just got back to work after the holidays today to an announcement that three staffers are leaving. That makes about seven in the last six months. All have left/are leaving Vancouver citing housing costs and lack of advancement opportunities. All are mid-thirties. One moved to the interior and the rest were/are Ontario bound. Big impact on an workplace of only 35 or so people.

    I think the deflation is accelerating.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous, don’t take it personally. Stick around for the data, that’s all that matters in the end.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

    Keepin An Eye On The Pimps Says:
    87

    Wake up call says:

    “ almost choked when Camerom Muir popped up on BNN after having to watch him on Global TV and read his garbage in the Sun…all in one week. Is this guy desperate or what?”

    As you know Cameron Muir has been pulling numbers out of his anus for quite some time now.

    But an all consuming question for me has been:

    Who has been putting those numbers up there in the first place?

    I have now cracked the riddle!

    I think it’s Tsur!.

    But that’s OK, the longer these charlatans mask the pain, the worse the infection will get.

    Already the insomnia must be taking hold on those who had the brains to realize this was a bubble, but succumbed to the social pressure and are now forever priced in.
    Possible Options for the fools:

    Divorce

    Bankruptcy

    Live in poverty in hope for massive inflation, low interest rates and parabolic rise in wages.

    Pray to Saint Joseph- Patron Saint of Real Estate (that’s what they did in the States)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

    Bag it and tag it Says:
    88

    Just watching the Vancouver edition of ‘Waterfront Cities of the World’. They’re just talking about Real Estate the whole time!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    89

    Global has chosen to declare that prices are stable, citing the year over year numbers and completely ignoring the drop from the peak.

    Also some slimy Levy fellow echoing what Tsur said that there never was a bubble, Vancouver is an incredibly desirable place to buy real estate whether you live here or not, and the Chinese will be back in force soon because the change in leadership will blah, blah, blah……

    Of course, none of these lies and deceptions will make a lick of difference to the outcome.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 1

    From the Globe and Mail tonight:

    Why housing prices aren’t coming back

    Don’t you love that kind of headlines?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    91

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 16

    Damn, I forgot to paste the first paragraph:

    Numbers don’t lie – especially about Canada’s overheated housing sector. Increases in home prices in recent years have not been matched by underlying increases in fundamentals. The market is due for a severe correction.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

    Lovin’ this data for last 6 months. Time for more Gangnam style dancing around the living room.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    RaggedyRenter RaggedyRenter Says:
    94

    Kudos to jesse for winning 2012 VCI prediction contest. Your work on MOI-HPI correlation is unmatched. You were asking the forum if there’s any upside to the housing market, what are your thoughts on this:

    1. Somebody said home ownership rate in Canada is 70% but it is actually close to 50% here in Vancouver. Not sure if this is true but that means there are a lot of us renters itching to jump into the market. I know some have sizeable equity from selling a property or 12 years renting (ha!).
    2. Although the mortgage terms are tightened, rate is still near all-time-low, very enticing and very enabling. I don’t see this is changing in the coming year. So bigger mortgage is still comparably easy to get. It’s not NINJA mortgage, but more like 5-7x your income mortgage.
    3. Lower rates also enable owners to bleed less money. I knew some people who bleed money every month and they think it’s an investment just like money you would invest into mutual funds or the stock market. So there’s not a lot of pressure to sell as long as people can afford to bleed a little.
    4. Bears who frequent these sites are pretty informed but we’re in the minority. Majority of renters out there are people who have been waiting for close to a decade and are fatigued of waiting for the market to turn, the last market turn lasted less than a year, don’t you think psychology would drive these people into the market? Jump in at 20% off before it goes back up next year?
    5. Still no widespread foreclosures. At least not in the news. This would definitely spook new buyers, but so far, nadas.
    6. HAM, Asian buyers, boomer-financed kids. You can argue they are the primary market mover in 2012. They might not be big movers in terms of buying anymore, but they might even be less pressured to sell than others.
    7. We millenials aren’t exactly financially astute, nor selfless, nor debt averse nor have “found ourselves” but we are an educated workforce and pretty sizeable. What’s stopping us from stomping our feet and demanding our boomer parents to give us our early inheritance, or cosign our mortgage, or HELOC their house for our downpayment to that cute 350sqft Gastown microloft with our on-off boyfriend?

    These are real question, pls don’t downvote

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

    New Listings 227
    Price Changes 44
    Sold Listings 50
    TI:11959

    http://www.paulboenisch.com

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 112 Thumb down 0

    midnite toker midnite toker Says:
    96

    All this talk about different neighborhoods is silly. You think downtown is awesome? Go walk down granville around 9 pm on Saturday and tell me its still the BPOE.
    new west is nice, unless you drive through it during rush hour. Traffic is even worse in parts of coquitlam too and the skytrain wont be finished for another 3 years. Don’t get me started on the death bridge ….

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

    Sorry, I have to copy the last two paragraph of the articles:

    Of course, different regions may have different results, but I believe a perfect storm is coming in the housing market. Canada will experience significant “secular,” or long-term, decline in house prices starting around 2015, when the population ratio is about to turn upward based on Statistics Canada projections.

    The extent of this correction will surprise many people. Once the cyclical decline in housing is thought to be over and everyone prepares for an upturn in the housing market, the long-term impact of demographics will make itself felt and it will not be pretty.

    And for the record, about the author: George Athanassakos is a professor of finance and holds the Ben Graham Chair in Value Investing at the Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    98

    ” Lower rates also enable owners to bleed less money. ”

    This is the one that bangs the gong. Owners shouldn’t be bleeding money at all.

    So your owner-occupier friends are willing to keep bleeding. OK. But why would an investor pay out of his pocket each month to carry a property that he sees declining in market price every month? Why would new investors want to get in?

    It’s rising prices which give investors the impression that they are still making money while still bleeding cash. Once they start bailing the snowball starts rolling.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

    Best place on meth Says:
    99

    Already a +170 increase in inventory on only day 2.

    Too easy.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 46 Thumb down 2

    Can’t wait to one day hear Sewerville & Muir say something along the lines of David Lereah’s confession:

    “I worked for an association promoting housing, and it was my job to represent their interests. If you look at my actual forecasts, the numbers were right inline with most forecasts. The difference was that I put a positive spin on it It was easy to do during boom times, harder when times weren’t good. I never thought the whole national real estate market would burst.”

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

    12K party tomorrow!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 1

    Good questions.

    “it is actually close to 50% here in Vancouver

    That is true but Vancouver has higher proportion of subidized and low income housing so the ownership rate will be lower. If you take out the non-market housing component my bet is the ownership rate isn’t much different than elsewhere. In any case it’s my belief it’s the change in home ownership that’s contributed to there being a marginal ‘ownership premium’, so if that trend reverses, coupled with a falling market making investors loath to enter, there isn’t much support for high prices.

    “rate is still near all-time-low, very enticing and very enabling. I don’t see this is changing in the coming year”

    Rates are low but it does look like the advent of short rates is approaching a 5-year time horizon. That means we could start to see some uptick in the 5-year rate over the coming year. There are constrictions on access to these rates, most notably with commission-based FIRE income and other stated-income (eg offshore and rental income) sources are coming under more scrutiny as well as the institution of stricter DSR rules. Low rates may be around for a while longer but that may not last through this year.

    “Lower rates also enable owners to bleed less money”

    This is true, it looks like there will be a large negative interest rate differential on the 5-year term 2008 vintage loans for most of 2013. I don’t see any major distresses due to rate resets in the next while but there will be distress from those who need to cover unexpected expenses for various reasons who will be cut off. They will either need to go alt-A or try to sell. On that front I see 2013 as worse than 2012.

    “don’t you think psychology would drive these people into the market?”

    There was a large run-up in the home ownership rate so I expect the pool of renters on the sidelines won’t be as significant as in the last decade. There is another factor to consider, one of “accidental landlord fatigue”, brought on by those who have moved up or combined houses and, instead of selling, have rented out their units instead. We know the law of probabilities will eventually wring out some casualties, all it takes is 1 or 2 bad experiences for the impetus to sell to increase. As time goes on I expect more of these landlords to want out, or worse be forced out by “unexpected” costs.

    “What’s stopping us from stomping our feet and demanding our boomer parents to give us our early inheritance, or cosign our mortgage”

    This has been occurring for as long as I can remember. A friend of mine had his parents co-sign his 0-40 mortgage in 2006. There would need to be hundreds of billions of dollars of money transfers and capital investment over the coming years to delay Vancouver prices from falling, and even then that’s only a delay. I’m convinced price-rent is the key measure to watch, and I see no plausible amount of cash transfer can hope to defeat this — there are better places to invest.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

    Waiting to exhale Says:
    103

    I find it somewhat baffling that some RE bears are still banking on the return of HAM to rescue the Vancouver RE market once again from a much needed correction.

    The extradition of Lai Chiangxing in the summer of 2011 has changed the mindset of most HAM. Vancouver/Canada is no longer perceived as a HAM paradise as it once was before Lai’s case. With the recent policy changes within the CIC and the apparent turn around with the US RE market; I do not see HAM returning to Canadian markets. If anything I see HAM flooding the US market not ours.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

    Anyone have the sales and listings numbers for the past decade of Januarys?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    Achilles HELOC Says:
    105

    An ode to hopeful home sellers of 2013 (with apologies to Hall and Oates)

    Because your list, your list, it will persist
    Because your list the buyers will resist
    Because your list, it shall persist

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

    Battle of Vancouver: Condo Front – Dec/12 Map update complete
    – Bear Forces forcefully claimed highly strategic Richmond
    – Bear Forces now control the entire pacific waterfront and YVR airport, cutting off Bull’s access to HAM (Hostile Asian Mercenaries)
    – North Vancouver Bull Forces are being decimated from 6 tanks down to 1. It may be next to fall.
    – Bear Forces however lost Langley & Burnaby East to Bulls.
    – Burnaby East was +5.8% MoM, +7.2% in 3mo. Likely just a transient counter-attack.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 1

    Many Franks Says:
    107

    @VMD: Let me just say that I’m thoroughly enjoying this.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

    southseacompany Says:
    108

    Here’s the Global video link: Starts with ‘blood bath for resi sales’, then goes to Muir, new face Levy (‘there is no property bubble, period’), and ‘prices are holding’ final line.

    “News Hour – New real estate numbers Thu, Jan 3 – The Greater Vancouver real estate board says both “home sales” and “new listings” fell sharply last month, but the prices are only down slightly. Jas Johal has the details.”

    http://www.globaltvbc.com/video/new+real+estate+numbers/video.html?v=2322961075&p=1&s=dd#video

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    @Makaya

    Great G and M article.

    Interesting the difference in analysis between this academic and a certain one from UBC.

    It might explain why the UWO Business School consistently ranks higher than the one at UBC.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

    Simple Says:
    110

    Looks like this sinking ship has begun to list.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

    VMD says:
    “Battle of Vancouver: Condo Front – Dec/12 Map update complete
    – Bear Forces forcefully claimed highly strategic Richmond”.

    Thanks, was there a map for SFH battle?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Group masterbator #44 Says:
    112

    @VDM

    Good work. Keep it coming!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    piklishi Says:
    113

    @53southseacompany Thanks for the link, I just watched a clown on BNN trying to make himself believe that there will be no crash. I am still laughing at Muir. One question that I have is what is going to say in 6 months when the bubble will burst? Or maybe we will not see him on interviews/newspapers anymore…

    I have this good feeling that the bubble is about to pop, I just know it, oh boy!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    @jay #111
    Yes, the SFH map will be coming either late night tonight or by tomorrow morning. I’ll have another battle of my own if I keep camping in front of the monitor for another 2-3 hours…

    preview: the Bears captured several more SFH zones in December

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

    Girlbear Says:
    115

    Was talking to a friend who bought a condo at Whistler for $290k a few years back. He said identical unit just sold for $150k in his building.

    Different market, and yes we all know Whistler is dead, but interesting nonetheless.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

    Inquisitive Says:
    116

    How much negative equity until and office worker moonlights as a prostitute?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    RaggedyRenter RaggedyRenter Says:
    117

    @Waiting to exhale
    If you’re referring to my post, I didn’t expect HAM investment but I didn’t expect there will be any capital flight out of Vancouver either. I was the first to brought up the theory Lai Changxing being deported here would deter HAM investment. Somebody has to play the devil’s advocate and discuss all possibilities, not just ones that would support the bearish argument. Cheers mate :)

    @Jesse
    Excellent answer. That and these two posts from Ben pretty much covered all the exits. Number 8 is particularly jarring IMO.
    http://theeconomicanalyst.com/content/10-canadian-housing-and-economic-trends-watch-2013-part-1
    http://theeconomicanalyst.com/content/10-canadian-housing-and-economic-trends-watch-2013-part-2

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Here are the January norms:

    		
    year	sell	list	sell/list
    2001	1225	3395	36.1%
    2002	2248	3626	62.0%
    2003	1966	3810	51.6%
    2004	1954	3039	64.3%
    2005	1697	3360	50.5%
    2006	1924	3471	55.4%
    2007	1806	4067	44.4%
    2008	1819	4675	38.9%
    2009	762	3700	20.6%
    2010	1923	5147	37.4%
    2011	1819	4801	37.9%
    2012	1577	5756	27.4%
    Mean	1727	4071	42.4%
    median	1819	3755	47.5%
    

    Here are sales and listings in Jan 2012:

    3-Jan	45	259	17.4%
    4-Jan	65	288	22.6%
    5-Jan	30	231	13.0%
    6-Jan	76	217	35.0%
    7-Jan			
    8-Jan			
    9-Jan	43	376	11.4%
    10-Jan	94	351	26.8%
    11-Jan	59	266	22.2%
    12-Jan	48	232	20.7%
    13-Jan	55	218	25.2%
    14-Jan			
    15-Jan			
    16-Jan	65	428	15.2%
    17-Jan	82	324	25.3%
    18-Jan	57	273	20.9%
    19-Jan	100	234	42.7%
    20-Jan	98	250	39.2%
    21-Jan			
    22-Jan			
    23-Jan	73	307	23.8%
    24-Jan	117	330	35.5%
    25-Jan	62	218	28.4%
    26-Jan	95	176	54.0%
    27-Jan	94	214	43.9%
    28-Jan			
    29-Jan			
    30-Jan	123	292	42.1%
    31-Jan	112	278	40.3%
    

    And here is Jan 2011:

    4-Jan	88	267	33.0%
    5-Jan	76	250	30.4%
    6-Jan	40	165	24.2%
    7-Jan	86	177	48.6%
    8-Jan			
    9-Jan			
    10-Jan	98	266	36.8%
    11-Jan	44	261	16.9%
    12-Jan	73	186	39.2%
    13-Jan	74	200	37.0%
    14-Jan	58	171	33.9%
    15-Jan			
    16-Jan			
    17-Jan	119	292	40.8%
    18-Jan	90	272	33.1%
    19-Jan	129	257	50.2%
    20-Jan	79	247	32.0%
    21-Jan	75	225	33.3%
    22-Jan			
    23-Jan			
    24-Jan	123	287	42.9%
    25-Jan	101	234	43.2%
    26-Jan	142	270	52.6%
    27-Jan	130	250	52.0%
    28-Jan	115	270	42.6%
    29-Jan			
    30-Jan			
    31-Jan	136	273	49.8%
    

    I think the numbers so far in 2013 are leaning bearish, but they’re certainly not OMG bearish; at least not yet.

    Give me a couple 300+ listings days in the next week and we can start calling it bear season. But with only a bit over 200 listings per day it’s not a hugely bearish start to 2013 yet.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

    Landbaron Says:
    119

    @Girlbear

    While still a bit of room to move, Whistler is starting to look somewhat attractive at these prices.

    Alpine resort living just over an hour away from a major city…hmmm

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    120

    …It might explain why the UWO Business School consistently ranks higher than the one at UBC…..

    Yep, time to retire Tsurd. Incompetent or stupid or both is no way to go through life son.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    macafee is cool Says:
    121

    anon: ” Incompetent or stupid or both ”

    or corrupt.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    HAM Solo Says:
    122

    @ VHB

    Midweek New Years day may explain relatively slower start to 2013 than either ’11 or ’12. Downtown is still a little empty and with school out, some holidays may be still going on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    Hi Ham. Yes, the timing of new years could matter. That’s why I’m reserving judgment until next week. I’m just a bit surprised that many seem exuberant about listings days in the low 200s. We need to see listings 300+ if this is going to be a bear’s picnic of a January. And we ain’t seen it yet.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

    Honey, I am Baaaaack!

    Assessed value: $14,337,000 It did not sell in the last few months, now back with the same price: $23,800,000. Where is Lai Changxing when we need you?

    http://www.realtylink.org/prop_search/Detail.cfm?MLS=V983132&REBoards=All&From=MLS

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    Can someone please enlighten me? The CBC article on the Decemeber results states the following:

    “The board strips out the price of the most expensive homes in calculating its monthly average, the December index.”

    Is this new? I don’t remember them carving out the high end of the market when things were going up, were they? Is this more manipulation of the HPI? I’m not too much of a tin hat kind of guy, but as an accountant, something really doesn’t smell right with this.

    Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/01/03/business-vancouver-real-estate.html

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    West Coast Woman Says:
    126

    Since this post was about new (2013)Tax Assessments, I will gladly report that our westside (Quilchena) house assessment WENT DOWN $263,000, or about 11.8% from the 2012 assessed value! Last year we had an “extraordinary” assessment, with the valuation up between 50-60%, along with a large increase in taxes.

    So after 10+ years of increasing assessments, assessed values are finally starting to come back down to reality. Hopefully our taxes will come down a bit as well, since we do not plan to sell for many years.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    Dec 2012 vs 2011 SFH sales stats:

    Richmond: still sinking
    Sales: -29%
    Ratio: 54% vs 73%
    HPI: -6.5% (-4.2%,-4.0%,-4.2%,-3.7%) (YoY % change of past months)  

    Vancouver West:
    Sales: -21%
    Ratio: 51% vs 70%
    HPI: -5.5% (-8.4%,-7.7%,-6.5%,-3.7%,0%)

    Vancouver East: what happened to the hottest market in early 2012?
    Sales: -43%
    Ratio: 87% vs 127%
    HPI: +0.2% (+0.5%,+1.9%,+3.2%,+4.8%,+5.5%)

    Burnaby: HPI going negative YoY in 3..2…
    Sales: -42%
    Ratio: 103% vs 98%
    HPI: +0.4% (+1.5%,+2.4%,+4.2%,+5.2%)

    Coquitlam: another ‘hot’ market in early 2012.
    Sales: -39%
    Ratio: 94% vs 135%
    HPI: +2.9% (+2.6%,+2.8%,+3.6%,+3.7%,+4.3%)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    128

    ……While still a bit of room to move, Whistler is starting to look somewhat attractive at these prices.
    Alpine resort living just over an hour away from a major city…hmmm……

    I assume that major city you’re referring too is Squamish because there’s no way, unlike what a Whistler Realtor would tell you, that Vancouver is ‘just over an hour’ away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    129

    ….Hopefully our taxes will come down a bit as well, since we do not plan to sell for many years…..

    The taxes you pay is based on the assessment but scaled by the mil rate. You’re taxes are not going down, no matter what happens. Ever!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    asalvari1 Says:
    130

    Re: taxes@Anonymous

    God, I cant believe how many relatively smart people do not understand the taxes. They can spend millions on property and cant figure out property taxes.

    I did try to explain to them couple of times, eventually giving up on this impossible task.

    I think that most of the people here has same experience…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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