ZRH2YVR is a regular poster who recently revealed that they will be leaving Vancouver for a job to Switzerland. Their story was headlined 28 Jan 2012.
On that thread, ZRH2YVR added this useful analysis [VREAA 29 Jan 2012]:
“Here are the economics of my renting since arriving and how this would have compared to buying. You know real estate always go up so this renting thing must have been a real bust.
Property info – 1400 sq ft unobstructed 270% view of English Bay south down granville street and up and around to the mountains east approx to My. Seymour. New building 2007.
Rent paid from move in to June 2012: $196,000
This is a true consumption cost and was well within our means.
Value of property in 2007 on move-in – approx 1.4M.
Value today – estimated – 1.4-1.5M . Let’s say 1.5M just to be conservative.
Cost of ownership – Assume 100% leverage and ignore investment opportunity cost.
Interest rate – Let’s sat 5% even though in 2007, it may have been more.
Strata and property taxes amount to approx $1050-1100 per month.
So – Cost of ownership over this period is $395,000. But wait – the property went up in value right? !!! Well
Purchase cost would have been approx $1,430,000 with all up front costs.
Selling at 1.5M and subtracting costs would net say- $1,450,000 – so there is a gain of $20,000. Fantastic . . . Offset this against the cost of ownership of $395,000 – that gives you net $375,000 (ignore taxes). Compare this to cost of renting of $196,000 – we are up approx $200,000 – Believe me we notice this!!!
So – – For all you property virgins out there – the numbers above may be outside your normal range but divide this by 3 for a $500K property and you will be in about the same place – – up by $60,000 over 5 years. I would never buy in the current market.
Now the funny thing is that in order for us to have broken even, the purchase price would have been close to $600K initially -and that is over 50% fall from where we are. Good luck to all of you. A house is a place to live first – invest second and anyone who is investing right now is completely out of their mind. You would have much more fun going to Vegas for a month – and would probably be better off.”
Notice how often different methods of calculating the fundamental values of different properties come up with a “over 50%-off” conclusion.
Add bad sentiment on the downside and you can see one source of our 50%-66%-off estimate.