Two and a half years ago we headlined and sidebarred the story of a young Vancouver realtor named Keith Roy who was the subject of a National Film Board of Canada short-film documentary series. As we said of the films: “Keith, who works the Marpole area of South Vancouver, shows remarkable confidence and even more remarkable candidness as he describes his dreams & strategies, and tells us what it takes to muscle in as a RE ‘professional’. Dressing for ‘gravitas’, becoming a celebrity, poaching assistants, ‘taking it up a notch’, quick profits, bribing tenants.“ [For links to the documentaries and transcriptions thereof, see “I am Realtor. Nothing Realtorian is Alien to Me.”, VREAA 10 Dec 2009]
Fast-forward to the present and Keith Roy has apparently come to see the Vancouver RE market for what it is. And, to his credit, in the spirit of his aforementioned candour, he has penned a very bearish entry on his blog. He describes how he sold his own home 4 weeks ago, analyses the high inventory and low sales of Westside homes, and advises clients to “cash out”. He doesn’t make it clear what magnitude of price drops he’s anticipating [see comments section for more on his understanding and intentions], and he advertises for sellers when he probably should be ardently seeking buyers. Regardless, this is the first time we have seen a local realtor go this public with this bearish a prediction.
‘Time to Cash Out: Is the Vancouver real estate market heading for another crash?’, Keith Roy at keithroy.com, 4 July 2012 [hat-tip E.G.]
“I’m a REALTOR and I sold my own home 4 weeks ago. It wasn’t too big or too small. It’s only 6 years old and still feels new. I sold because in 6 months my home will be worth less than it is today. I think its time to cash out! Let me explain…..
To ignore the truth doesn’t change the truth. And so it is in the Vancouver real estate lately. Far too often the real estate industry, of which I am obviously a part, makes excuses for slow sales periods, declining prices and difficult negotiations. These excuses are self serving. The facts are simple; real estate is easier to sell when prices are going up, realtors are happier when more houses are selling and open houses are more fun when buyers come to look. However, the good times pass like the bad ones do. I would suggest that good times have passed in the Vancouver real estate market, at least for the foreseeable future.
Here is a great example of where the real estate industry loses the public trust. The headline of the June 2012 Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Newsflash is “Greater Vancouver housing market favoured buyers in June”. The opening line was a bit more accurate: “The number of residential property sales hit a 10-year low in Greater Vancouver for June, while prices remained relatively stable.” But what does “relatively stable” mean in a market as hyper sensitive as Vancouver where real estate is a hobby, sport, profession, retirement plan and cocktail party conversation all rolled into one?”…
“There is still lots of opportunity to sell your home. I’m just not sure how much longer it lasts. Prices have started to fall but demand is nowhere near the levels it dropped to in fall 2008. … If you are on fence about selling your home, thinking of cashing out, nearing retirement or need your equity to buy your next home, now might be the right time to call a REALTOR. Otherwise, I’d plan to hold on for another rough ride. I think 2012 will be another one of those years where Summer is better than Fall.”