Tag Archives: vancouver

West side a fragmented market

I think this comment from zrh2yvr is worth highlighting, so I’m pasting it into the submission page!

OK – Some more interesting data – Again just the facts.

Van-West Detached, a market which seems to be suffering, can be described as three markets. One where there are over 350 units for sale in excess of 3.2 million with MOI of over 18 months, 185 units for sale at 1.9M or less with a MOI of 3.8 months and approx 340 units for sale between 1.9M and 3.2M with MOI at 6.7 months.

For units priced at under 1.9M, there is a severe lack of inventory which could be a reason for lower sales volumes. One has to wonder however, what will become of this high-end with properties for sale over $3.2 million? They are selling only at a slow pace but at 18 months, I would say many sellers would be happy to just wait for thay buyer.

Meanwhile, inventory is creeping up. Just like Richmond however, it is creeping up only in the low-mid range of the properties. The number of properties for sale with an age of up to 10 years has not changed since January (approx 230 units). However, in the range of 10-115 years old, overall, inventory is up by 80 units or 17%. In the tear-down category (those with age of 999), there are 9 more units or 11% so this could also be seen to have increased.

What is this saying? I would say that until the top starts to fall, there is not much down side in the Van-West market. Not much upside either as on the higher-prices, there are many many choices.

When looking at MOI, Given that sales of the higher-end properties have been picking up, we are seeing MOI for the new inventory decrease where now there is only 13 months for homes up to 5 years compared to approx 17 months in January. This is not a great level and is truly one to put downward pressure on prices. One has to wonder how many of these properties are held by speculators or builders who need to sell.

Finally, what areas are we seeing with deterioration in MOI?

Oak – Now at 10 compared to 5
Kerrisdale – Now at 10 compared to 7
South Granville – Now at 14 compared to 12
Cambie – Now at 9 compared to 6
McKenzie Heights – 8 compared to 6

Shaugnessy has highest MOI still but has improved to 16 from 18.

The most important ares with low inventory and tight MOI are:
Kits – 3.7 months now compared with 3.4 previous
Dunbar – 4.4 months now compared with 6.2 previous
Point Grey – 5 months of inventory same as previous


So overall, we are seeing the market change. The foreign buyer and the top-end buyer are not in the marketplace in sufficient numbers to acquire the high-priced inventory that is for sale. Limited numbers of units for sale under 1.9M are creating tight supply, but also low sales volume. However, ALL inventory increases have occurred in the lower priced ranges and are not evenly distributed throughout the entire market. It is not clear what we will see next. Perhaps it will be recent low-priced land plays coming back on the market as they realize there is too much competition on the new-build market. Perhaps we will see some high-end builders having to reduce to clear their inventory.

Either way – it is going to play out slowly until there is a change in the credit markets that changes the access to credit for all buyers.

Ye’ olde rent vs. buy argument

Donald pointed out this discussion over at the SeattleBubble blog about 10 reasons NOT to buy a home:

  1. Renters don’t have to fix leaky plumbing, pay for a new roof, or buy major appliances.
  2. The moment you sign the closing papers, you lose ~10% of your home’s value.
  3. Better job offer in another city? Hope you can afford to sell…
  4. Lousy neighbors move in next door? Too bad, you’re basically stuck!
  5. Your down payment and equity are anything but liquid.

Read the rest of the list at SeattleBubble.com.  One interesting thing to consider is this list is based on a theoretical situation where home prices are at reasonable levels and supported by local economic fundamentals.  In a hot housing market where prices only go up and people fight for the right to overbid on a teardown in a bad neighborhood it’s always a good idea to buy instead of rent.  Always.

Friday Free-for-all!

It’s Friday!  Take off your pants and do the happy dance!

Agh! No, wait!  Metaphorically.  Please sir, put your pants back on, this is a family restaurant.

Anyways, it IS the end of the week and do you know what that means? It’s time for another end-of-the-week news round-up and open topic discussion thread.  A little thing we like to refer to as the Friday Free-for-all!  Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Canada prices up, Vancouver falls again
Inventory graph (March 29th 2012)
The boomer trigger
New budget slashes $5.2 billion
Ottawa to toughen CMHC oversight
This rant brought to you by Gordholio
TD: don’t worry about the banks
Banks tighten condo lending on bubble fears
The 3-inch condo is here
Vancouver seeks more market housing
Storm clouds form over Vancouver market

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

CMHC and the rental housing market

Over at the The Star, our mayor has helped to write an opinion piece asking that the CMHC provide more loans for rental housing construction:

For most of us, housing is our biggest expense. One out of every five dollars we earn goes to build, buy, rent and run our homes. Facing high home prices, large personal debts, and an uncertain economy, fewer Canadians can buy a new home today than in the past, and they are choosing to rent instead.

Unfortunately, in many cities finding an affordable place to rent is nearly impossible. The most immediate problem is supply. Vacancy rates under 3 per cent push rents up. In Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, it’s 1.4 per cent.

Vacancy rates this low force our young people to move out of the city, threaten seniors on fixed incomes, and have a negative impact on local businesses.

That’s why this spring’s federal budget must put Canada’s rental housing market on solid ground, by pursuing low-cost, high-leverage policies that get jobs on the ground and build housing Canadians can afford.

It’s like magic, creating jobs and homes.  What could go wrong with a ‘low-cost, high-leverage’ policy like that?