Category Archives: economy

The ‘right price’ keeps changing

Yesterday we heard from a Vancouver Realtor about why condos aren’t selling.

They’re overpriced.

And now there’s this article in the Vancouver Sun Buyers on the Sidelines as Market Slows.

Its all about the market slowdown – we’re now seeing the lowest number of sales since 2000 in Vancouver.

Nice houses that are priced right are selling within days, some in bidding wars. But anything priced too high or considered undesirable is apt to sit idle in this market, which is, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, witnessing the lowest total sales for the region since July, 2000. The Board reported 2,098 property sales in July, a drop of 11.2 per cent compared to June. It’s a drop of 18.4 per cent compared to July, 2011.

There are many anecdotal stories around the Lower Mainland about houses that have sat on the market for months, priced too high for the more price-conscious market. A six-year-old West Vancouver home on a 21,000-square-foot lot overlooking Capilano Golf & Country Club was originally listed at $3.695-million three months ago. The owners have reduced the price by $400,000 and it still hasn’t sold.

“There is a lot of product but it’s not selling for the price that people expected or hoped for,” says real estate finance expert Tsur Somerville, who is director of the University of B.C.’s Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate. “People aren’t buying at the prices that are being set.”

Well here’s a funny thing about ‘the right price’ in a correcting market: it keeps changing.

I live in a BC market that is several years into it’s correction and I can tell you that the places that are selling are moving only at prices that are lower than the ‘right price’ a year ago and far lower than the ‘right price’ several years ago.

Housing crash implications for banks

If you haven’t seen it yet, you should really check out this post by Ben Rabidoux over at The Economic Analyst.

This report was put together mid-June and things haven’t gotten any better since then.

It’s a lot of stuff you already know, but some data you may not have seen and it’s jam packed with beautiful charts.

Check out the how the BC economy has grown in construction, but flatlined outside:

And there’s this little data point as well:

Before diving into the data, consider this fun anecdote: There are currently over 5,000 homes in Vancouver metro area for sale for over $1 million according to MLS.ca.  In comparison, the NAR reports that in April, just over 7,000 homes sold in the entire US were sold for over $1 million.  And this despite the fact that the US population is 135X greater than the metro Vancouver market, the average personal disposable income in the US is 20% higher than the Vancouver average ($37,100 vs. $30,800) while US per capita GDP is higher than the average for all of BC.

Do yourself a favour and read the full post over at The Economic Analyst if you haven’t already.

 

 

 

 

Business Confidence dips again, now at 3 year low

It’s not just Vancouver house sales that are heading down.

Business confidence in Canada dipped for a fourth month in a row and is now at a 3 year low.

This according to a survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The last time it was lower was in July of 2009, when it stood at 58.6.

CFIB chief economist Ted Mallett says the index’s current position in relation to gross domestic product puts it very close to the zero-growth mark, suggesting Canada’s economy is nearing a standstill.

On Tuesday, Statistics Canada reported the economy had grown a disappointing 0.1 per cent in May, leaving the pace of the recovery at slightly below two per cent on an annualized basis.

The CFIB says confidence declined in July even in resource-rich provinces like Alberta, which saw a drop of three points to 70.3.

So taking out a home equity loan to fund your underperforming small business?  Maybe not such a good idea unless the revenue is there.

7 Canadian banks get negative outlook

Standard and Poor’s have downgraded their outlook for 7 Canadian banks from stable to negative.

And what has motivated this downgrade?

High housing prices and consumer debt.

Now you can bet that S&P are aware of the CMHC and the backdoor bank bailout, but when things get this out of balance there is a spill-over effect.  If you can’t pay the mortgage you probably aren’t paying the credit card bill either, and there’s no CMHC buying up credit card debt.

“A prolonged run-up in housing prices and consumer indebtedness in Canada is in our view contributing to growing imbalances and Canada’s vulnerability to the generally weak global economy, applying negative pressure on economic risk for banks,” the rating agency stated in its decision. “Growing pressure on banks’ risk appetites and profitability arising from competition for loan and deposit market share could also lead to a deterioration in our view of industry risk.”

The seven Canadian banks with a negative outlook are:

-Bank of Nova Scotia
-Central 1 Credit Union
-Home Capital Group Inc.
-Laurentian Bank of Canada
-National Bank of Canada
-Royal Bank of Canada
-Toronto-Dominion Bank

Full article in the Globe and Mail.

 

The incredible sinking Richmond

Inventory posted this update to detached sales in Richmond and it’s astounding.

We’re not at the end of the month quite yet, so this number will rise, but we would have to have an incredible amount of sales to not have July 2012 register as an all time record low number of sales.

Here’s the comparison for July detached sales all the way back to 1995, we’re currently sitting at about half of the low normal level:

Richmond Detached July

1995 = 108
1996 = 117
1997 = 122
1998 = 86
1999 = 113
2000 = 96
2001 = 183
2002 = 154
2003 = 209
2004 = 129
2005 = 170
2006 = 97
2007 = 175
2008 = 92
2009 = 221
2010 = 107
2011 = 123
2012 = 54 (-56%) ***July 29

Just what is happening there to the south of Vancouver?  Have houses in Richmond fallen out of favour with buyers for some reason?