For most people a home is the largest purchase they will make in their life. And it’s so complicated!
Now you could do a bunch of research or you could relax and let an expert tell you what to do.
Fortunately there’s a whole bunch of people that specialize in the finer points of buying and selling real estate and they form organizations to help you, the potential buyer/seller.
In the USA there’s the National Association of Realtors or NAR and they put out this great ad in 2006:
LOL on bad timing. In 2006 in the US only one of those options was a good move. And yes, that’s a real ad. Found it over at Burbed with thanks to gordholio.
The official REBGV housing market stats are now out. I’ll link to the version on the Paulb facebook page since he’s been so consistent with providing us the daily stats.
Get the REBGV full stats release here.
The funny thing about stats is that you can take the same data and spin it either way. GVREB has been doing a bang-up job of posting end of the month news releases in the style of the REBGV, but with a reverse spin. These use factual numbers and quotes, but come across quite different in tone from the official news releases. Here’s an archive thread at Vancouverpeak.com with the most recent one.
Get the GVREB news release here.
And some of you pointed out a few surprising stats. It looks like the most desirable areas are showing the most weakness right now.
VMD pointed out the following:
– despite Greater Vancouver area having a 12.9% increase in sales in Mar/12 vs Feb/12, the following areas showed Declines in sales MoM.
1. Richmond SFH – down 60% YoY
Y/M Sales %change
12/3 104 n/a
12/2 119 -13%
11/3 262 -60%
2. Van West SFH – down 46% YoY
Y/M Sales %change
12/3 152 n/a
12/2 177 -14%
11/3 279 -46%
3. Burnaby SFH – down 40% YoY
Y/M Sales %change
12/3 95 n/a
12/2 105 -10%
11/3 160 -40%
And Best Place on Meth pointed out the median prices have taken a month over month dive in those areas:
Median detached prices in the 3 bubbliest areas took a hit last month.
Van West: -$245,000 (-10.7%)
Richman: -$72,000 (-7.1%)
West Van: -$70,000 (-3.6%)
Honourable mention to Burnaby: -$27,000 (-3.0%)
Looks like a HAMPLOSION.
Spring is normally when the market swings into gear and sales and prices start to rise. Have these hot areas burnt themselves out?
The Pique has an article about some remarkable goings-ons just a little ways north. Some hotel condo units in Whistler are now selling for half their peak price.
Those who own a condo unit in a Whistler hotel are sitting on great potential, but at the moment the units are not showing great value.
Real estate consultant Denise Brown with Re/Max Sea to Sky Real Estate reported that a unit originally sold in the Four Seasons Whistler for about $1.1 million was recently resold for only $520,000.
The so-called Phase 2 units in Whistler have fallen victim to the globally depressed financial situation, said Brown.
“We’ve seen the prices come down significantly,” she said.
According to Brown, this segment of the real estate business is at the bottom of the cycle so prices are good right now. She said the people who are happiest in the condo hotel market are those who are in for the long-term and have made a lifestyle choice in purchasing a condo unit in a hotel.
Lifestyle. Got it? Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Lifestyle. Just repeat the mantra and you’ll be fine.
Then there’s this gem:
Kelly said this segment of the real estate industry has improved in the last six months but people aren’t willing to spend as much in Whistler as they were a decade ago.
“It’s not anything wrong with Whistler or that Whistler is worth less,” said Kelly. “It is just that people are prepared to spend less.”
It’s not that Whistler is worth less than it has ever been worth, it’s that some people paid more than it was worth.
The Vancouver real estate bubble is getting attention from outside Canada again. This time Mish is in Business Insider comparing current prices in massively overpriced Vancouver to what the same price gets you in post-bubble Ireland. The difference is rather large.
There are some pretty nice houses you can get in Vancouver for only $890k! Two of them are even potentially liveable and one has even had some upgrades.
The post-celtic-tiger property is pretty decent as well, and a fair sized discount from the original asking price of $6 million.
Now clearly what happened in countries like Ireland was that people who should not have been were extended credit. Lots of credit. And since property prices were rising they were viewed as ‘can’t lose’, until they lost.
Have we made credit too easy in Canada, or are we more sensible than that?
UPDATE: reader Anonymouse pointed out that Mish comparing a hotel to a single family home is not a fair comparison. In response Many Franks posted this link about home prices in Donegal from last September:
The average price of a new home in Donegal is estimated at €179,000, representing a drop of 43pc from peak values. New three- and four-bedroom semi-detached houses are cheaper than in most other parts of the country, with averages estimated at €128,800 and €155,000 respectively.
Second-hand homes are estimated to average €165,800, down 3pc from last April and a drop of 41pc from peak values. The cheapest second-hand apartments in the country can be found in Donegal, with the average price of a one-bedroom apartment estimated at €50,000, and €57,500 for a two-bedroom apartment.
This comment was left by Condo Paradise in the previous thread:
This rambling is addressed to all those who contributed to the insane property values we have here.
First, I would like to disclose some relevant info.
I own my 1000 sq, ft condo(no intention to sell) which I purchased new back in 1996 for $279,000. I don’t care what it is worth today because I enjoy living here. The building is situated in a very quiet neighborhood and consists of 120 suites. We have had very little problems with the structure as we are diligent with our maintenance and repair. Our strata fees are $300 – $400 /month and have a healthy contingency fund Over the years the demographics of the building has changed dramatically. We have 25% of the suites vacant.
This is where I begin.
Continue reading Condo owner against speculation