“A comment from ground zero and an industry player, me. I happen to live on the West Side of Vancouver and I am a mortgage broker so let me give you a first hand assessment here in Lotus Land.
I dropped by an open house yesterday for an 850 sq. foot condo listed at $540K to network with the Real Estate Brokers. (crazy that $540K buys you a 850 foot box)
First thing they asked me is if I was busy as they used my answer as a gauge of the market. Most mortgage brokers in my circle have seen their business drop 30-40% from last year. The two RE Brokers said that their embedded mortgage brokers in their RE office have been slow also.
It is getting significantly harder for mortgage brokers to compete against what the banks are underwriting as brokers are now racing to the bottom with rates. No wonder the banks got a finger wagging from the OFSI.
I asked the RE Brokers if the Asian money is still snapping up properties here on the West Side and they have said that has cooled considerably.
Although they did say lots of boomers are buying condos for their children to get them started in the game.
Maybe since we are all in the industry we could talk frank with each other and put all that Realtor sunshine talk aside.
Vancouver really only has 2 industries, Real Estate and Mining (ok maybe tourism), with China slowing down on buying real estate and commodities it would only make sense that inventories are rising and sales are drying up.
On a more personal note my wife and I have been contemplating buying a home since we had paper profits from her stock options and my stocks, but the downturn in the stock market has wiped a good $250K from our portfolio.
The market needs buyers like myself to perpetuate the next level but for now we are sidelined and watching.”
- Dave at The Economic Analyst, 5 Oct 2011 [Hat-tip to Ben Rabidoux for sending this along by e-mail (and to jesse who simultaneously reposted the comment on an earlier VREAA thread). Clearly an anecdote that captured our collective attention.]
So much here:
1. Mortgage broker who recognizes that prices are ‘crazy’.
2. Most mortgage brokers have seen business drop 30-40% yoy.
3. “Asian money” has “cooled considerably”.
4. “Inventories are rising and sales are drying up.”
5. One example of future demand being “sidelined” with stock market fluctuation.
All adds up to a cooling market.
Perhaps the top is in.