Saturday, June 1, 2013


Adios to a rainy, chilly May.

Larry has the numbers first as usual. All three categories showed a very small average price increase. The average prices are basically flat or down from May 11. Average detached AND apartment prices are down 4% over that two year period.

I have no doubt that if the real estate board's HPI continues to show the real numbers, they will show a drop for MAY.

Final MOI for May :

Detached:  6.4
Attached: 5
Apartment : 6

Clearly there was a little more strength in May than the preceding few months. The question is whether this will continue or if that is   the end of the peak buying season.


  1. Average Prices mean nothing. Sales numbers are what to follow. Inventory is still very high, and sales are low. Look for the complete ban of 30 year mortgages to be the final nail in the Van RE coffin.

    1. You are correct, the bottom of the market is dropping out--- in large part due to CMHC's gear-down. We should observe individual sales, at this point, if we want to get an accurate perspective of the overall direction of the RE market. However, it's difficult to do unless someone is willing to publish them.

      Regarding MOI: it is to some degree understated because (as far as I know) new homes and complexes are not included in the data. And there is certainly a lot of those.

      I'm not usually a conspiracy guy, but, it is the RE industry, so I do question if ALL the relevant inventory is included in the published results. Some guy from the Comox Valley has posted some inventory discrepancies on another site, so it's possible.

      But, then again, that is why actual transactions compared to recent comparables is the only metric that I would give a lot of weight to. Does anyone actually trust any data or statistics that is published by the RE industry?

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. I agree with both of you, I would say, a RE slow down is happening. There is no doubt about that. Our peak was 2 years ago. I don't need stats for that. I just have to wade through the price drops, the houses sold under assessed value, the lack of bidding wars. Also I have friends who are selling and are dropping their prices for detached and apartment, even in West Van , much beloved of HAM.

      So these stats, average, HPI, MOI are road signs. The direction is definitely correction. However when it really happens, we won't need road signs, it will be obvious.

      In the US the bearish blogs stopped poring over the minutiae of sales numbers a couple of years into the correction, because it was so obvious. Everything was hitting the fan...foreclosures soared, and banks and Fannie and Freddie (their CMHC) were in trouble, the RE industry was crying out for action from the government.

      When we have REAL downtown there won't be any bulls left trying to argue over it, the question will be ...'how can we reverse it' Like they are saying in the OK now.

  2. @Anon II
    "I do question if ALL the relevant inventory is included in the published results"

    The answer is no.
    Not all product uses the MLS as a go-to market place. This leaves you with the knowledge that if it was/is on MLS then that data set is recorded with a high degree of accuracy.
    If you are looking for a more encompassing data set you may wish to consider Landcor as an alternative.

    1. Thanks for clarifying that Larry. I agree Landcor is a useful resource for comparisons.

    2. Thanks for addressing my comments. My next question is whether or not the sales of non-MLS listings are included in the sales that are usually compared to the current listing, resulting in an inflated sales/ list ratio?

      Even though, I think averages in this market are difficult to interpret, I do appreciate the work you put in, and I periodically visit your site and mention it to others as a good resource.

    3. Anon you seem to be looking too hard for a conspiracy here. If a listing isn't on the MLS, it won't be included in the inventory numbers and the eventual sale of said listing won't be included in the numbers either.

      It's fine to wonder about the honnesty of the numbers coming out of the RE industry (see the Fraser Valley HPI for something that has pretty obviously been messed with) but you have to give them some credit. Even if they were adding sales not from the MLS, then they would have always been doing it and it wouldn't matter. The numbers are most valuable when compared to previous numbers, so as long as everything is staying consistent, it doesn't really matter what they are doing.

      Averages are indeed not the best way to monitor the market, but they come out very quickly and provide some insight as to what is happening with the market. I think the best method is the teranet method which compares houses sold years ago to the same houses being re-sold, but that lags behind by a few months so it's not the most current snapshot of market activity.

    4. Good comments Davers

  3. 498 new
    232 price change
    266 sold

    7630 detached
    9206 attached