This honest account of the market quiet from realtor Jeff at Rob Chipman’s blog 24 July 2007 5:29pm -
“Times are certainly changing. My phone didn’t ring at all today. I currently have 6 active listings on MLS, another 1 that should get processed by tomorrow, and possibly another 3 listings to hit within a week.
I was chatting with one of my colleagues today who has 26 active listings and she told me that she was doing a lot more showings last year while carrying 8-10 at a time.
From a Realtors perspective this is bleak. I had to laugh earlier this week when a prospective client thought it was “bleak” that I suggested $449k on his property that he bought for $138k in 1999 and it traded in 1992 for $131k. Greedy pig!”
Anecdotes about Vancouver construction quality often involve disbelieving visiting foreigners. Are locals blinkered in this regard? This from Partisan Spectator at Vancouver Condo Info July 11th, 2008 at 1:29pm -
“My relative, a professional construction engineer from Poland with 40+ years of experience, was here visiting my family for the first time (his first time in North America). Once he saw a few construction sites (SFH, lowrise and highrise ones) he wholeheartedly LOL about house quality and the building code. He could not imagine people throwing away massive amounts of money to get a house that has a warranty for max 10 years. He and his family are living in an apartment building that was built about 140 years ago. For the whole lifecycle, the roof has been replaced once about 20 years ago, and there was no structural repairs. Sewer is still original and will be replaced in 10 years. Water pipes were re-done about 30 years ago. The 4-storey building still has the original stucco that have been painted every 6-7 years and the original wiring. Inside the apartment, all doors and hardwood (oak) and stucco are in the same shape as 140 years ago. Anybody can say something similar about their dwelling in Van? “
This from Drachen at Vancouver Condo Info on July 11th, 2008 at 12:26pm -
“Psychology seems to be shifting too. I just had a chat with a friend of mine who sold last spring (after I pointed her here (Vancouver Condo Info) and to several other blogs). For a year she’s been enduring, “You’ll be priced out of the market forever.” and similar comments from friends and family. Now she says for the first time some of them are starting to say, “Hmm, maybe that wasn’t such a dumb move after all…” Another friend who was so confident in the market a year ago she bought a second condo is panicking over whether she can sell it in time (it needed rain shielding and is waiting on a couple more fixes before it can be certified). She’s hoping to have it on the market by mid July. Both of those represent a 180 turn in psychology from a year ago, if this is normal we’re about to see that “rush for the exits”.
This from pricedoutfornow at mohican’s Langley Financial Planning blog 10:02 PM, July 09, 2008 -
“The party’s over. My landlord called today, panicking because the neighbour has dropped her asking price by $20k or so. (Two open houses in a row, no bites). He wants out of our one year lease so he can sell, he offered to sell it to me (ya right). Rush to the exits, don’t get trampled!!! Renting from amateurs sure sucks at times…”
Many renters who under more normal circumstances would have been owners have found the RE market in Vancouver singularly challenging. They have had to be philosophical about their predicament. And they are now getting some relief from signs that change is afoot. These anecdotes from Joshua on Rob Chipman’s blog July 08, 2008 at 10:23pm and 10:26pm -
“I’m 37 and a renter, never owned. Whaddya know, life got in the way – grad school, kids, more grad school, finally got kickass job, looking to buy but … prices outta control… wish I’d got my new job 5 years earlier but what can ya do? I’m waiting for prices to correct, and they will… in the meantime, I’m not too worried. My rent is less than half the cost of owning, I’m banking the rest, there are plenty of ways to build wealth, but buying in the current market is not one of them.”
” Was out in the yard (of the house I happily RENT)… neighbour’s boyfriend’s buddy was yakkin – hey this place I saw at blah blah blah, it was like 539 a couple months ago, now its 499, its awesome… Other neighbour leans across the fence – ya, prices are droppin, you should wait a year… Other guy – totally, I hear ya…the word is out, its on the street.”
This exchange reported by blueskies at Rob Chipman’s blog July 7 2008 at 10:47am -
“Ran into an ex-neighbor in my favorite coffee shop this AM -
me: sell your place yet?
xnabe: no, kind of slow right now
me: i see there are 6 others for sale too
xnabe: yea,but i can wait
me: what are you looking for?
xnabe: we want one in H&H
me: something will come up i’m sure
xnabe: you guys were pretty smart getting out a year ago
me: thnx but we were warned
xnabe: you knew this was going to happen?
me: yea, we had two years warning so we dumped it
xnabe: you are kidding! right?
me: nope just watching California market screaming GET OUT!
Suddenly there are people talking about ‘getting out’ of pre-sale assignment contracts in Vancouver developments. Flippers are in trouble and headline prices haven’t even dropped yet. This story of an ‘owner’ vs developer standoff from cuba108 at RE Talks on 2008 Jul 07, 9:55pm -
“I have a client who has purchased a pre sale with a clause preventing him from assigning his unit until the developer has sold all the inventory. Though the sales people have told him that he supposedly has one of the most desirable floor plans and that they would have no trouble reselling it, permission to assign was denied. He was prepared to assign at a substantial loss, pay the developer for the extra commissions involved and some other concessions, to no avail. They also pointed out that not only would he lose his 15% (90K) they would sue for the balance plus interest. Developers realize the market is about to TANK! He is now so angry he is going to list his unit at 25% under market, with the condition it is assigned when the development is sold out (if ever). If nothing else he may bring sales to a stop until someone bites. Fortunately he has the money and the stones to carry this out, but I’m afraid the majority of pre sale purchasers ( Woodwards anyone? ) are hooped.”