Tag Archives: property

Friday Free-for-all! December is here!

Hey!

If you’ve been keeping track of the days in the work week you know what time it is – 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:

Rent Vs Buy in BC
Rent Vs Buy south of there
Blame Canadas Big Bubble
Toll the border?
Abandoned homes up for grabs?
Realtor Hunger Index
Sunshine Coast Stats
London asks UK for foreign buyer tax

So what are you seeing out there?  Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

Olympic Village: Problems in Paradise

Remember when the area of False Creek that houses the Olympic Village was an semi-industrial wasteland?

Then we all pitched in and built an enormous number of high end condos at taxpayer expense.

Now everything is awesome.

…With the exception of a few problems.

It’s a busy Vancouver neighbourhood, that according to residents is riddled with problems reminiscent of the Downtown Eastside.

Police have been called to one building 215 times since May and that is more than 30 times a month, more than one call every day.

On Friday a cab driver was robbed in broad daylight and threatened with a needle.

The Olympic Village was marketed to families, retirees and young professionals. Some social housing was always on the table but condo owners say they did not bargain for this.

“I’ve seen an unfortunate drop in the cleanliness in the area because of random pets that people have,” says one resident. “There’s definitely a lot of garbage that has been left on the street, and graffiti, some people sleep on the stoops outdoors.”

“It’s become quite strange.”

Read the full article here.

Goldman Sachs latest to warn about Canadian house prices

Ah, Canada.

Are we careening towards a sharp correction in house prices across the country, or are we just comfortably ensconced in the new value of property?

A Goldman Sachs report is the latest voice of warning about overbuilding and overpriced houses in this country.

Adding its voice to a growing chorus of concern, a report from Hui Shan, an economist at Goldman, late last week warned: “what goes up can keep going up, but then tends to come down.”

Ranking high-growth property markets in the last four years, Canada comes fourth behind Israel, Norway and Switzerland, according to her research. But unlike some other markets, construction activity has been trending up for years and has not shown signs of slowing down in Canada, she explained.

“If the elevated level of homebuilding persists in coming years, the risk of overbuilding will increase substantially. And if the ongoing housing boom is followed by a housing bust, the price decline can be quite significant given the excess supply of housing at that point,” she said.

On the bright side for some, they are predicting that prices could still see some upside before correcting.  Read the full article over at CNBC.

Buy a house, get residency

Spain is the latest real estate bubble country to consider giving extra residency privileges to foreigners who buy property.

If they go ahead with this plan they would join Portugal, Hungary and Ireland.

Greece is also considering a similar measure.

The Spanish proposal is the cheapest so far, requiring only a $200k real estate purchase:

The Spanish government is considering offering residency to foreigners who buy property worth about $200,000 or more. With discounts as deep as 50% along the Mediterranean, a 1,100-square-foot three-bedroom beachfront apartment in Alicante goes for $130,000. Or how about a 1,200-square-foot four-bedroom with a view of Barcelona’s skyline for $175,000? A few miles inland, a two-bedroom house goes for $90,000.

The idea is to attract buyers for an estimated 700,000 empty homes scattered across Spain’s landscape, the remnants of the nation’s dramatic housing boom-and-bust. The offer is aimed at Chinese, Russians and Americans, who are usually limited to a three-month tourist visa in most parts of Europe.

Full article in the LA Times.

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.