Hey, it’s that time of the week again!
Friday Free-for-all time!
This is when we do our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend. Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:
–Canadian house prices flatten
–Is it really non-mortgage debt?
–Surrey discovers murphy beds
–Zero % loans for suckers?
–HPI & Teranet Disconnect?
–Burnaby grows up
–Jim will intervene
–A major correction?
So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!
After last years abysmally low number of home sales, some people will be glad to know that sales have climbed.
Unfortunately that hasn’t done anything for prices.
The REBGV has released their october stats package and the composite benchmark price for all properties has actually dropped slightly from where it was a year ago, dipping a tiny half a percentage point.
The Province see this as a big rebound for the most expensive real estate market in Canada.
Dropping prices on condos are being blamed for pulling down home costs in Vancouver.
..because what could be worse than more affordable housing?
Prices on all housing types are falling with forecast for more price drops, Royal LePage is forecasting a 3% drop overall in 2013 but the largest drops so far are being seen in the condo market, which have fallen 3.6%.
“Buyers are waiting for that big decrease to happen but I think if they’re going to keep waiting for that, chances are they aren’t going to see it,” said Todd Talbot, realtor and host of W Network’s Love It or List It Vancouver.
That’s because industry experts say some sellers aren’t interested in making significant price reductions, and are taking their homes off the market.
“They don’t have to sell,” said Brendon Ogmundson, an economist with the BC Real Estate Association.
“You don’t find a lot of extra listings unless people need to sell quickly because of some financial catastrophe, and that simply isn’t in the cards, so what we’re going to see is normal demand and supply dynamics.”
Now I’m curious – what’s you best guess. Does the BCREA economist really believe that prices are set by people taking their property off the market, or by the properties that are sold?
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:
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).
Remember when a million dollars was real money?
It’s always fun to compare what your Vancouver home dollars will get you in less fortunate countries.
A commenter by the name of mortgage posted this delightful contrast.
Here’s what $2.5 million will get you on a major street in the Cambie corridor, walking distance from the world famous ‘Oakridge Center Mall’. This 1948 beauty is located near the vibrant heart of Vancouver, where the sun always shines:
Somewhat south of there is a place called Beverly Hills California. If you take your $2.5 million down there you’ll find something like Dudley Moores old digs:
..but you wouldn’t be walking distance to Oakridge Mall. They have a Zellers.