31% of apartments for sale are vacant

This is kind of amazing.

yvr2zrh posted this analysis of the percentage of property listings for sale that are vacant:

Across REBGV 19% of listed SFH are vacant and 31% of attached/apartments are vacant. So – 50% as the comment from Jesse is higher than actual but not completely out of reach for apartments. Some variations are noted.

SFH Vacant stats (number/%)(in order or highest to lowest)
Richmond 175 – 24%
Van West 148 – 23%
North Van 55 – 21%
Port Coq – 22 – 21%
Whistler – 39 – 21%
Van East – 87 – 20%
Burnaby – 71 – 20%
etc . . .

For Apartment/Attached, the following are the vacant properties
Whistler – 177 (42%)
Maple Ridge – 94 (34%)
Van West – 522 (34%)
New West 110 (33%)
Van East – 169 (33%)
Burnaby – 261 (31%)
Richmond – 298 (31%)
North Van – 115 (30%)


So, even if you have people who just want to hold back, why would they when there is cash outflows to carry the property and the future outlook is for price decreases?

Those who just hold off selling, where they are actually living in the unit, and are waiting for prices to increase, are bound to die living in that unit.

Later today, I will post my predictions for the 2013 market based on my model. What is really helpful is the MOI/monthly price change graph. That has been a really good indicator of price movements. Thus, I will post the projected MOI movements for 2013 and then we can see where the prices fall. It is important to know that listing volumes are down from last year. This is sufficiently so that we may see 2013 inventory intersect the 2012 inventory possibly at the end of the Spring and then track 2012 for the rest of the year.

This will be interesting to watch because once we are down 10-15% from peak prices – how can they continue to say things like prices are flat and this is a soft landing? I would say any decrease of 20% from the peak is not good as you immediately remove even more move-up buyers and put 1000′s of people underwater immediately.

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gokou3
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gokou3
3 years 6 months ago

Great stats, yvr2zrh, although you should include in your post on your definition of “vacant”, which if I understand correctly include tenant-occupied (rental) units.

Old School
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Old School
3 years 6 months ago
Immigration is a key demand component for housing. But as we have been seeing recently, the “Net non-permanent residents” category is taking up a bigger and bigger share of total immigration to BC. This is a change from 5 years ago (source link posted last topic). That’s probably good news for all those vacant housing owners who are thinking of renting out their space because the non-permanent group usually start off as renters, at least in normal circumstances (whether they can afford asking rents is another issue). Perhaps I am wrong and they instead buy even at current rich price-to-income… Read more »
G
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G
3 years 6 months ago

Is there stats on the ratio of accepted price compare to listed price for the past few months?

patriotz
Member
3 years 6 months ago

“you should include in your post on your definition of “vacant”, which if I understand correctly include tenant-occupied (rental) units.”

You must be a fun guy on long airplane trips.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
3 years 6 months ago
@Patriotz comment #143 yesterday: “It is obvious from the list of topics that it is aimed at sociological/anthropological fields and is completely irrelevant to an area such a finance where you have hard numbers on asset prices and earnings.” Sociology and anthropology are NOT IRRELEVANT to the study of real estate bubbles. A real estate bubble is fundamentally a SOCIAL phenomenon. Think about the herd mentality of the masses of people who bought real estate because they think the price goes up forever. Think about all the social tension that results between renters and owners and between different races due… Read more »
patriotz
Member
3 years 6 months ago

“Sociology and anthropology are NOT IRRELEVANT to the study of real estate bubbles. ”

Of course they are relevant to why people buy for excessive prices but they are not relevant to whether the prices are excessive. That’s strictly a matter of numbers.

Many bubble deniers claim that you have to look at the psychology of the buyer to see whether there’s a bubble or not. You don’t – you just look at the prices.

Makaya
Member
Makaya
3 years 6 months ago

@zhr2yvr

Great stuff as usual.
Let’s be clear – Listing volumes are slower than last year. Inventory will not rise this year as fast as last year (and thus, we may even cross over last year’s inventory rather than massively surpassing it).

I think it’s a bit too early to make that statement. Listings are definitely lower this year, but so are sales. At this pace, we would have the same additional listings in January this year as we had last year. The whisperer had a post on it today.

http://whispersfromtheedgeoftherainforest.blogspot.ca/?m=1

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
3 years 6 months ago
Patriotz, it is simply not true that you can determine whether or not someone is a bull or bear by whether they are using quantitative or qualitative methods. Lots of qualitative thinkers like myself are in the bear camp. Lots of quantitative thinkers are in the bull camp. The real estate cartel is always coming out with statistics, the much-criticized HPI, for example. Those people have been trained to think quantitatively and they pump real estate. I don’t see how the question of why people buy is irrelevant to this forum. It may be irrelevant to whether or not prices… Read more »
canadian
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canadian
3 years 6 months ago

yvr2zrh / others

where do you see the occupancy code. i could not find it anywhere?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
3 years 6 months ago
A perfectly reasonable comment (#148) by Ludvig von Mises that was voted into foreclosure by the quantitative groupthinkers of this blog: “If you focus exclusively on numbers you might well lose sight of “qualitative” change, such as change in values and attitudes which affect the market you are trying to predict. LVM is also bang on with this: “To predict the direction of the Vancouver real estate market based exclusively on your ratios and charts is impossible.” Patriotz followed up with a hubristic comment that essentially says he CAN predict the RE market based solely on charts and numbers. So… Read more »
Anonymous
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Anonymous
3 years 6 months ago

By the way, Patriotz et al.. all you quantitative group thinkers I keep criticizing.

I want you to know that I do think you are smart. I do think your quantitative analysis of Van RE is genius. I appreciate what you have to contribute to the realm of knowledge. Thank you.

I just wish you would recognize the limitations of quantitative methods and the value that others who are trained to think more qualitatively or who are trained in sociology/anthropology might be able to add to this discussion on Van RE. Jesse asked yesterday what’s my beef. That’s basically it.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
3 years 6 months ago
So out of good will, I am going to keep posting qualitative anecdotes and things that I think are interesting from a sociological perspective on our real estate bubble. You guys should love this. Chief Theresa Spence has admitted that the Attawapiskat First Nation has invested $20 million in 45 condos in Downtown Toronto. The chief says they did this because they did not want to invest in “settler banks” (great way to avoid the white man’s bank–just invest in real estate–ouch banks have their hands in that pie too!) and they expect Toronto condos to go up in price… Read more »
No Noise
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No Noise
3 years 6 months ago
I just want to sum up what I was trying to say in too many posts a couple of days ago re WHY RENTS ARE DROPPING. As long as there is this standoff between buyers and sellers and activity is way down – and with time the threat that the economy will suffer and owners want to limit their cash burn-rate, rental stock in the city will tend to be maximized, thus increasing supply, thus dropping prices. All those units which would otherwise sit empty because they expect to be sold, or are in the transition between last/next occupation, as… Read more »
Anonymous
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Anonymous
3 years 6 months ago

Regarding my post on the Attawapiskat First Nation being invested in Toronto condos. It turns out that is from a satire news website, similar to The Onion. So basically the whole thing is BS. Sorry. I was duped into thinking it was true.

No Noise
Guest
No Noise
3 years 6 months ago

@13 anonymous

btw I guess we can start referring to the Patriotz, Jesse’s, yvrz2rh as the QUANTS and us as the QUALS? I’ve heard the term quant used commonly in banking. However, while I have zero statistical ability (everything I’ve learned re economics/RE I’ve learned here on VCI) thus will never be producing graphs, etc, I think everyone should find value in both qualitative and quantitative info here from both bulls and bears, unless their data/arguments are flawed of course.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
3 years 6 months ago

@No Noise:

Thank you. It’s nice to know I am not alone in terms of being more of a qualitative thinker who frequents this site.

You said: “I think everyone should find value in both qualitative and quantitative info here from both bulls and bears, unless their data/arguments are flawed of course.”

I agree 100%.

VMD
Member
3 years 6 months ago
[Who’s losing in the housing slump? Real estate agents] 1/16/2013 “Home sales continue to plummet in most parts of the country, and with the decline has come a new reality for organized real estate: a drop in how much money everybody is making.” “It’s not just realtors feeling the pinch. Lawyers, renovators and even the government can expect to feel some sort of impact from a decline in sales. ” “..one of issue for agents is they get used to a certain sales level so any pullback seems catastrophic even if it just puts them back to where they were… Read more »
G
Guest
G
3 years 6 months ago

Thanks for the stats. But this vacancy stats means nothing if we don’t have anything to compare to, ie: last year’s vacancy?

No Noise
Guest
No Noise
3 years 6 months ago

@19 Anonymous

Your welcome. I suspect you have a lot of good info to add here – now pick a name so we can follow what you have to say over time. Otherwise we never know if it’s you or one of the many other anons.

Groundhog
Guest
Groundhog
3 years 6 months ago

@yvr2zrh

I’d be interested in knowing the % inventory listed by Real Estate agents. I know quite a few who have multiple properties. I know most bears have quite a bit of contempt for RE agents and their unprofessionalness during this bubble, but a lot of them truly believed the nonsense they were spewing.

I imagine as this is the industry where incomes will be pinched first from the declining market, that these will be one of the first groups that start selling aggressively.

VHB
Member
VHB
3 years 6 months ago

hey sociologist: drop the snotty attitude and watch the downvotes magically disappear!

Surprising that a contextually-sensitive sociologist would entirely miss that kind of dynamic.

Bring it with the anecdotes. Those are valuable. But please consider stopping with the “I’m the only one bringing anecdotes to the table” banter because it is condescending, not to mention not true.

VHB
Member
VHB
3 years 6 months ago

For the quant-minded, some numbers!

period sell list percent
2011Jan1sthalf 70 216 33%
2011Jan2ndhalf 110 260 42%
2012Jan1sthalf 57 271 21%
2012Jan2ndhalf 90 277 32%
2013Jan1sthalf 54 227 24%

So, if this January follows the pattern we can expect about a 50% increase in sales in the 2nd half of the month. This would mean we should average around 80 sales/day in the 2nd half of Jan2013. Listings might tick up a bit, but not by 50%.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
3 years 6 months ago

…..I imagine as this is the industry where incomes will be pinched first from the declining market, that these will be one of the first groups that start selling aggressively….

Where did you think those 60 listings per day are coming from?

ArthurFonzarelli
Guest
ArthurFonzarelli
3 years 6 months ago
A little math to help clarify what owners of vacant properties are experiencing. Let’s say fictitious property X is valued at $500,000 and let’s give it a cap rate of 5% ($2000/month rental income) – or $25K/year. Said owner must then be banking on AT LEAST a 5% nominal price increase over the next 12 months in order to recover lost rental income. After two years they would need about an 11% immediate price appreciation to recover lost rental income. My guess is that somewhere between 1-2 years (2-4 “selling seasons” (Spring/Fall)) of re-listing without getting their Spring 2012 peak… Read more »
Devore
Member
Devore
3 years 6 months ago
“Great stats, yvr2zrh, although you should include in your post on your definition of “vacant”, which if I understand correctly include tenant-occupied (rental) units.” Not sure why you get picked on for this observation, because it is a good question. When we hear “vacant”, the word has an accepted meaning. To later find it is used in another way makes us feel deceived. If the GVREB released vacancy numbers based on the presence of furniture in the living room, we’d cry foul, because vacant units that are staged get miscounted. In yesterday’s post ZRH said he gets the “vacant” flag… Read more »
RaggedyRenter
Member
RaggedyRenter
3 years 6 months ago

@patriotz

“you should include in your post on your definition of “vacant”, which if I understand correctly include tenant-occupied (rental) units.”

You must be a fun guy on long airplane trips.

=========================
Ha, never thought I see the day patriotz sniping someone because they patriotz-ed another post.

VMD
Member
3 years 6 months ago
Burnaby city hall may legalize secondary suites 1/16 not sure how big the impact will be as it’s difficult to enforce.. “Suites should be there to provide affordable housing,” Johnston stressed. “If the process gets too expensive it kind of defeats the purpose.” “..In the past, the city’s legal department has also advised there are liability issues with legalizing suites that have not been built up to B.C. Building Code standards, he said. And if city hall were to demand all existing suites had to be up to code, many wouldn’t pass inspection.” “Dan Mulligan, Burnaby’s assistant chief building inspector,… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
3 years 6 months ago

more and more useless stat from silly bears. why dont you guys joint the “idle-a-little-no-more” or the “juice-only-strike”, and you can make some noise for a few days.
For whatever it is, silly bears are just another bunch of “occupy 2012”.

Bull! Bull! Bull!
Guest
Bull! Bull! Bull!
3 years 6 months ago

more useless numbers from VHB…. I don’t even read his posts anymore.

the poster formerly known as anonymous
Guest
the poster formerly known as anonymous
3 years 6 months ago

Off topic warning:

This is of only tangential relevance to real estate if considered superficially… but if the implications are accurate, the impacts will be profound.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-16/guest-post-really-really-big-picture

This is bearish for Van RE because it will accelerate credit contraction, raise non-housing costs of life significantly, and result in loss of jobs in the near term. It may well be bullish for Edmonton and Fort Mac real estate.

vanpire
Guest
vanpire
3 years 6 months ago


“I’d be interested in knowing the % inventory listed by Real Estate agents. I know quite a few who have multiple properties. I know most bears have quite a bit of contempt for RE agents and their unprofessionalness during this bubble, but a lot of them truly believed the nonsense they were spewing:

I always thought any listing that’s older than a couple of days and STILL has no pictures and an insulting description (“everything must be verified by the buyer if important” etc.) must be owned by an agent…

vancouverguy
Guest
vancouverguy
3 years 6 months ago

Have you guys noticed the recent line by the real estate industry types saying that the market will be on pause until “wage inflation” catches up?

Well, then we hear headlines about teachers getting wage freezes/cuts, doctor getting wage freezes/cuts and now this from the feds today – Vic Toews saying police office will be getting wages freezes/cuts.

Rather than “wage inflation”, I think the more realistic way that the housing market will get back to fundamentals is through a good ol’ fashion price crash 🙂

BulbsForSale
Guest
BulbsForSale
3 years 6 months ago

“When we hear “vacant”, the word has an accepted meaning. To later find it is used in another way makes us feel deceived.

The vacancy code is describe in comment #5 and it means that nobody lives there. Isn’t that the accepted meaning of ‘vacant’?

I dont’ see what the issue is.

Vote Down The Facts
Guest
Vote Down The Facts
3 years 6 months ago

“everything must be verified by the buyer if important”

Why would you find that insulting?

SDR
Guest
SDR
3 years 6 months ago

does anybody knows if properties listed with http://comfree.com/ are visible in MLS database?

RealityCheck
Guest
RealityCheck
3 years 6 months ago

Many buyers of new units leave their units empty when completed rather than rent them out to the odd damaging tenant. They don’t want this risk. However, this only applies in a rising market.

If the market plateau’s/falls, then vacant units must be sold because the numbers don’t work out, unless the owner thinks another boom is just on the horizon.

RealityCheck
Guest
RealityCheck
3 years 6 months ago

Regarding Wages:

The only people getting raises are the small business people that can have a gazillion deductions and as a result a low income. This gets than all the gov benefits (MSP, Child benefits, free gym passes, etc).

the salaried employees keep seeing their taxes rise and no way of reducing them…

bobdoe
Guest
bobdoe
3 years 6 months ago
I noted someone commenting on real estate commissions. The data is grouped in Statcan’s free cansim gdp tables, if you drill all the way down to “ownership transfer costs” under residential. Q3’12 is the latest data. As you can see, Q3’12 is down only 6% from Q3’11 and follows a record Q2 in 2012. Data goes back to 1981 if you choose to look it up. http://www.statcan.gc.ca…click on CANSIM… bottom right under popular picks. Table 380-0068 Gross fixed capital formation, quarterly (dollars x 1,000,000) Survey or program details: National Gross Domestic Product by Income and by Expenditure Accounts – 1901… Read more »
vanpire
Guest
vanpire
3 years 6 months ago
“everything must be verified by the buyer if important” Why would you find that insulting? Because it usually follows the “all measurements are approximate” clause, which suggests the “Real Estate Professional” is too lazy to whip up the measuring tape or look up the measurements if available, snap up some pictures and perform any work whatsoever to help and sell the listing. Which makes sense, because any listing in any condition in any neighborhood would have sold for most any price imaginable for a long time. Not anymore, it seems. And yet they still refuse to perform any work in… Read more »
gokou3
Guest
gokou3
3 years 6 months ago
Re: #28 Devore Ya, not sure why I got picked on – maybe I didn’t phrase the question in more politely as I was getting lazy at late night – but whatever. I didn’t want to make ASSumptions as I did’t think the definition is as clear-cut as some might think. For example, new-builds that are never lived in are defined as “vacant” per comment #5 instead of being placed in a separate category say “new build”. Re: #36 BulbsForSale That’s exactly my point. If I didn’t comment it in #1, you may not have seen a response in #5.… Read more »
gokou3
Guest
gokou3
3 years 6 months ago

Re: #41 bobdoe

Nice stats. So if the market merely goes back to 2006 level of activities, the realtors will collectively take a 20%+ cut in commissions.

Vote Down The Facts
Guest
Vote Down The Facts
3 years 6 months ago

“Because it usually follows the “all measurements are approximate” clause, which suggests the “Real Estate Professional” is too lazy to whip up the measuring tape or look up the measurements if available”

I always assumed it was some standard legal disclaimer, nothing to do with lazines. As a buyer I’d want to confirm all that information myself anyway, so I wouldn’t find it at all insulting.

slurker
Guest
slurker
3 years 6 months ago
@Anonymous #7: All human activity is by definition sociological events including real estate bubbles. Your argument that is a fundamentally a social phenomenon I believe is incorrect. First merely defining a real estate (or any bubble) is done in respect to the historical and fundamental value and not through any kind of social metric. I claim that any social metric cannot correctly identify a real estate bubble or ANY bubble for that matter since a bubble is defined in respect to some fundamental value (as agreed on by all the participants, in most cases money) that can be ascribed to… Read more »
Manna from heaven
Guest
Manna from heaven
3 years 6 months ago

My apologies if already posted, don’t think it has been.

One of her clients is trying to sell a house they bought for $6.98-million in 2009. They initially listed it $15.5-million in September of 2011, then pulled it and relisted it at $12.98-million in March of 2012. It is now listed at $13.898-million with an assessed value of $8.778-million.

“Like art, it is hard to value. The assessed value is too low for a unique property,” said Sydney.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/west-side-vancouver-sellers-holding-out-for-deep-pocketed-buyers/article7381772/

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
3 years 6 months ago

….“everything must be verified by the buyer if important”

Why would you find that insulting?..

Ya, I have a car for sale. You can figure out what model it is, how many miles are on it, the colour and where I live yourself if you care. Otherwise you can pick it up now.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
3 years 6 months ago

….If the market plateau’s/falls, then vacant units must be sold because the numbers don’t work out,….

Didn’t you hear? ‘Losing money’ is the new ‘making money’ The new long term RE investment strategy: hold long and maximize losses.

Brook
Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Keep in mind some have likely had tenants vacate the property in order to attemp selling without the clutter of a renter.

A more common practice in slow markets; if it doesn’t sell after a few months then you find a new tenant, often at a higher rent than a previous tenant.

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