Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association Annual First-Time Buyer Seminar Attendance Plummets

“The Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association presented its 19th annual free seminar for first-time homebuyers in Surrey on March 19. This event is the largest of its kind in North America, drawing aspiring homeowners from virtually all Metro Vancouver municipalities – and beyond.
Attendance over the years has averaged 800. One year, registrations were cut off three weeks before the event, as 900 eager people had already signed up. Last year, attendance dipped to a tad under 600.
This year, despite significant promotion and a top-notch panel of speakers, about 500 prospective first-time buyers registered. Moreover, an audience head count revealed less than 300 attendees.
Mind you, I believe a number of external factors contributed to the attendance drop – March break, heavy rain, traffic and a Canucks game. Also, it appears the wealth of information available at folks’ fingertips kept some of the registrants at home that night.”

– from ‘A world of advice’, Peter Simpson, The Vancouver Sun, 6 Apr 2013

Thanks to RG, who sent the above link to VREAA by e-mail, and who adds:
“The interesting bit is Mr. Simpson’s rationalization that the marked drop in attendance may be attributable to, “March break, heavy rain, traffic and a Canucks game” …
Seriously? … “rain” and “traffic” resulted in far less than half of the typical numbers of potential first-timers from seeking critical purchasing information? Wow.”

25 responses to “Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association Annual First-Time Buyer Seminar Attendance Plummets

  1. No country for FTB.

  2. Real Estate Tsunami

    Correct acronym Is FTHB.

  3. Maybe the real estate industry in Vancouver can lobby the government to allow smaller condos to get the ball rolling again.Perhap`s 100 sq / ft units , just the right size for the first time buyers,seeing as they won`t have any money to furnish these birdcages ,after paying all the taxes and toll`s etc…BPOE .L.O.L

  4. pricedoutfornow

    Who would want to buy now? I was looking at a 2 bed condo today, for sale in my building for $478,000. The realtor (well-known in our area) became VERY friendly with me when I revealed that my family is renting down the hall and considering something bigger (actually I was just fishing as to what is available in the area). Anyway, the two bed condo he’s selling (similar to the unit we rent), would cost someone $2093 per month in mortgage (25 years, 3.09%, 10% down) plus strata fees and property taxes. Meanwhile we rent down the hall for $1350/month (no strata fees, property taxes, obviously).
    I think the FTBs have done the math and realized it just doesn’t add up to buy now. You’d have to be pretty dim to do so and the old rhetoric about “renting is paying someone else’s mortgage” and “buying is building equity” just doesn’t have as much pull as it used to.

    • Is 25%/3.09/10% what passes for a standard mortgage now? I use 25%/5/25% as a rule of thumb.

    • I think the point was that even in today’s ULTRA low rates, it still doesn’t make sense.

    • So true, Pricedoutfornow. Renting today is just another way of harvesting gains off someone elses poor investment decision. It is the only genuine “short” on Canadian real estate in cities where a bubble was blown. But it is not a bad one. As your cost of accomodation can be just a fraction of the outlays required by owners there is naturally a transfer of wealth taking place from those who bought at the top to those who shunned the market and its high prices. This is a simple mathematical truth all things being equal. Ownership costs can easily be double renters expenses in Vancouver right now. The difference is theoretically profit if you save. If you do not save then the difference shows up as a higher disposable income and better standard of living.

      • Real Estate Tsunami

        Bravissimo, Farmer, Bravissimo!

      • Renting *is* shorting.

      • Cheers Tsunami! There had to be a silver lining for all the renters out there. Knowing you are taking the money of owners through the huge subsidy they offer is actually very satisfying.

      • Washed up Canadian

        Good comment Farmer

        Simplistically put, you may break even or save money that you spend on renting, if you house appreciates by at least by 6-7 percent each year, other wise you lose equity regardless. Same with larger down payment, you either lose some or all of that money when you lose equity, and most people do not factor into the loss of return if the DP was invested elsewhere.

        It is mostly about the “monthly” payment for most uninformed and unsuspecting buyers. And the RE industry exploits it to the full.

  5. Doesn’t every March have March break, rain, traffic and hockey games?

  6. 4SlicesofCheese

    Friends Facebook status, “We are giving away our house for UNDER market value. ”
    They just did a big reno on kitchen and floors a couple months ago.

    • pricedoutfornow

      Giving it away huh….reminds me of those Americans who protested when the developer of the subdivision they bought into sold the remaining units for “under market value!”
      Duh. If that’s the price that moves the product, that IS the market value.

  7. Washed up Canadian – Thank you for your comment! and to the blog in general, thanks to you as well. You can read this blog for months and learn and learn.

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