Category Archives: economy

Luxury condo tower pulled on weak demand

It appears there might be a limit to ‘build it and they will come’. Southseacompany points out a recent development proposal that was pulled amid signs of weak demand.

“A proposal for a downtown Vancouver luxury condo tower that was scheduled to go to a public hearing next week has been abruptly cancelled by the owner.”

“A representative of the developer, Brilliant Circle Group, sent a letter to the planning department last week withdrawing the project. The letter, obtained by The Globe and Mail, explained that the decision “is due to the impact of the rapidly changing real estate market, which affects both the unit mix and the CAC evaluation.””

““Everything’s corrected and the luxury market is gone,” said Ian Watt, a realtor who specializes in higher-end housing. “Anything under $2-million will sell, but in the last two months, there’s been only one sale over $3.5-million.””

Read the full article here.

Realtor: Bubble correction is underway.

VCI Favorite Ian Watt says the bubble is deflating in Vancouver, with a correction of 10-15% in Coal Harbor condos so far in the last six months:

“Usually you’d have five to 10 sales a month, but we’ve only had one in the last six weeks. Everything above $2 million is pretty much dead; anything related to international money is gone right now.”

Prices have also declined for downtown condos in the $600,000 to $700,000 range, Watt said.

In relatively affordable Langley and Abbotsford, where a two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhome goes for between $300,000 and $400,000, it’s a similar story: seven or eight weeks ago, sellers would receive multiple offers. Properties are now sitting on the market for longer, said Tim Sawatzky, a realtor with 2 Percent Realty Valley.

Where it was once common to see lineups to buy condo pre-sales contracts, Sawatzky said developers in Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford are now offering a variety of incentives, such as a $20,000 “furnishing package,” or between $20,000 and $40,000 off the closing price when the building is completed. (When buyers purchase a pre-sale condo contract, they typically pay five to 15 per cent of the price up front and then pay the full amount after the building is completed.)

All sorts of cash incentives in the market right now if that’s your sort of thing.  Read the full article here.

San Francisco Prices on a Columbus Ohio income.

Vancouver seems to be getting a lot of attention right now for the disparity between house prices and incomes:

The median cost of a Vancouver home, adjusted for purchasing power parity, is US$672,000 — costly but still 15 per cent to 26 per cent below that of San Jose and San Francisco, the two most expensive housing markets, according to Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program, whose study accounted for the difference in buying power of a dollar across geographies and currencies.

What pushes Vancouver to the top of the unaffordability rankings is paltry wages. In Canada’s third-largest city, the median household earns the equivalent of US$61,036 a year — in line with Columbus and less than families in Omaha, Nebraska, Kansas City, Missouri and even Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a rural community of 59,000 known for cornfields.

fortunately the solution is simple: cut house prices in half or double up current household incomes. Read the full article here.

28% of Canadians say rate hike would cause bankruptcy

From southseacompany: this survey claims that more than a quarter of Canadians think that another rate increase would push them into bankruptcy.

The poll comes just days before an anticipated interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada and was conducted on behalf of MNP, a leading Canadian bankruptcy firm, between June 15 and June 19. The same poll found that 42% of Canadians say that if interest rates rise much more their financial well-being will be put in jeopardy.

The Bank of Canada has raised interest rates three times since last summer, and investors expect the central bank will boost its target for the overnight rate to 1.5% this Wednesday (July 11).

Read the full article here.