Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Yours for just 300 easy payments

Consider this promotion offering a Toyota Camry with a new home.

No, the developer isn't just being nice giving you a free Toyota Camry. You'll just end up taking out a bigger mortgage and paying off your car for 25 years (or more).

Here is what the Toyota looks like in the first year of amortization.
And this is what it will look like once it's paid off.
Reclaimed by nature.

**Correction: The offer is for a 3-year lease. The same concept applies - the cost is added to the mortgage and you end up paying for 25+ years to lease a car for 3.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Latest Market Figures?

One of the benefits suggested of using a REALTOR when buying or selling a home is access to sales information. As a buyer recent sales of comparable properties can be used to help determine a fair price for a particular property. However how can one be sure ALL the information is available? Consider the following from workingtogether.ca about some Edmonton apartments:
Prices int his building normally range from $199,900 to $214,900 for a 2 bedroom and $178,900 to $188,900 for a 1 bedroom. He is asking us to sell these first 10 units at $155,000 for a 1 bedroom and $165,000 for a 2 bedroom.

We WILL NOT be reporting these sales to the MLS system so that these sales don’t bring down the values of the buildings.
So in the future when showing these apartments from this building REALTORs do not have to mention those pesky discounts sales. God forbid a buyer making an informed decision with an accurate sales history! That could bring down the value of a building!

Edmonton: On the Ground

This post is simply a compilation of resale and rental availability of three condo conversions in SW Edmonton.

September list price on the right in brackets.

There are 13 units available on the MLS.

COMFREE: 20296 $185,000 1/1

COMFREE: 18541 $189,000 2/1 ($209,000)

COMFREE: 15923 $196,800 2/1 ($196,800)

COMFREE: 15116 $218,000 3/1.5 ($218,000)

COMFREE: 17824 $220,000 3/1.5 ($235,000)

COMFREE: 14871 $220,000 2/1 ($215,000)

COMFREE: 20982 $223,000 2/1

COMFREE: 15508 $239,900 3/1.5 ($239,900)

COMFREE: 12879 $249,900 3/1.5 ($239,000)

8 rentals found on this site Edmonton Furnished Suites

Some more rentals here, here, here and here -not sure if they are current

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Calgary Home Sales

This article in the Calgary Herald discusses the state of Calgary resale market.
The number of single-family resale homes changing hands in Calgary this month has climbed over the 1,200 mark -- pretty typical of this time of the year, say industry experts
However from Mikes Stats, there have been 934 SFH sales between Feb 1-22. The article appears to be discussing the same area as these stats as it mentioned inventory over 4700 while Mikes stats show 4794.

By the end of this month sales will most likely exceed 1200 (1231 at current rate) and it is technically true that passing 1200 is 'typical'. However in previous years it was typical to pass much higher numbers as well, such as 1800 and 1900. Sales are down considerably even compared to long term trends and there is nothing typical about that type of slowdown. However reading the rest of the article does not give one the impression that sales are weak. Actually it does the opposite.
Jensen says the industry experienced a slower market toward the end of December -- which wasn't unexpected because of the holiday season -- but January was a solid one for activity.

He expects February to be a continuation of that pattern.

January sales were down 28% YOY and February may be down 35%. To me that does not appear to be a continuation of 'solid activity', although I do see a pattern.

Previous Year Sales from Bob Truman's site. **Estimated due to change in criteria.

2006 Feb: 1804**
2007 Feb: 1942

2008 Feb 1-22 : 934 (Projected total 1231 at current sales rate)

And from What's New
Feb 21
Feb sales are down 17% from the 7-year average.
Is it funny or sad that the article quotes the president of the Calgary Real Estate Boar, another REALTOR and shows an ad for REALTORs?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Calgary: Are homes selling quickly?

From Bob Truman's what's new page (emphasis mine):

Feb 20
With 4690 single family homes on the market, we have more than double the inventory compared to Feb 2007, yet prices continue to rise and the time required to sell a house has gone down dramatically. Over the past week, it took an average of 37 days for a home to sell. In January, the average was 50.

This may be pedantic but I would like to point out that there is a difference between the Days on Market (DOM) and the time required to sell a house. Sales are low and inventory is high so how could homes be selling faster? Here are a set of factors that may be impacting Days on Market:

  • Days on Market does not account for the time if a home was previously listed on the MLS. Sometimes homes are relisted so that they appear "fresh".
  • Days on Market is calculated from the set of homes that actually sell. Homes that remain listed are not included.
  • In December the portion of newly listed homes is smaller because there are relatively few new listings in November and December and many remaining listings from spring/summer. In February there is a higher proportion of newly listed (and relisted) homes.

Another stat to consider is the Month Of Inventory. This represents the amount of time at the current sales rate it would take to sell all the inventory.

SFH from Feb 1-20 (Mike's Site)
Sales: 827
Inventory: 4703
MOI = (4703/827)*(20/30)
MOI = 3.8 (buyer's market)

Monday, February 18, 2008

US comparison update

Below is a table of median single family homes across the U.S. with some Canadian locations thrown in. No adjustment was required in currency. Canadian info from January MLS reports. US data from CNN.

The U.S. median fell from 220K to 206K since last time I posted.

oungstown-Warren-Boardman OH-PA $72.60
Saginaw-Saginaw Township North MI $74.90
Decatur IL $75.00
Elmira NY $81.20
South Bend-Mishawaka IN $86.30
Ft. Wayne IN $90.90
Canton-Massillon OH $98.10
Erie PA $98.60
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island IA-IL $102.10
Toledo OH $104.00
Buffalo-Niagara Falls NY $105.40
Dayton OH $106.60
Springfield IL $108.60
Akron OH $109.10
Lansing-E.Lansing MI $109.60
Binghamton NY $110.00
Topeka KS $112.30
Rockford IL $113.20
Beaumont-Port Arthur TX $113.60
Wichita KS $113.80
Indianapolis IN $114.00
Waterloo/Cedar Falls IA $115.40
Cumberland MD-WV $116.60
Pittsburgh PA $116.90
Peoria IL $118.50
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor OH $118.60
Amarillo TX $120.20
Springfield MO $120.70
Rochester NY $120.80
Jackson MS $120.90
Chattanooga TN-GA $121.60
Spartanburg SC $121.80
Charleston WV $122.90
Grand Rapids MI $124.30
Memphis TN-MS-AR $124.30
Kankakee-Bradley IL $124.40
Gary-Hammond IN $124.60
Syracuse NY $126.30
Little Rock-N. Little Rock AR $127.50
Appleton WI $130.90
Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN $132.40
Louisville KY-IN $133.00
Detroit-Warren-Livonia MI $133.30
Saint Louis MO-IL $133.50
El Paso TX $133.60
Oklahoma City OK $133.80
Cedar Rapids IA $134.90
Shreveport-Bossier City LA $135.40
Omaha NE-IA $135.70
Columbus OH $137.20
Mobile AL $137.40
Corpus Christi TX $137.90
Lincoln NE $138.10
Fargo ND-MN $141.70
Sioux Falls SD $142.40
Lexington-Fayette KY $142.90
Montgomery AL $143.40
Champaign-Urbana IL $143.60
Bismarck ND $144.70
Columbia SC $144.90
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX $145.00
Bloomington-Normal IL $145.30
Kansas City MO-KS $148.20
Green Bay WI $148.90
Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land TX $150.30
Gulfport-Biloxi MS $150.40
Greensboro-High Point NC $150.70
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville FL $151.30
San Antonio TX $151.70
Des Moines IA $152.60
Reading PA $153.60
Knoxville TN $155.00
Ocala FL $155.10
Greenville SC $155.40
Birmingham-Hoover AL $156.10
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent FL $156.40
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner LA $158.20
Glens Falls NY $163.90
Atlanta Sandy Springs-Marietta GA $164.30
Baton Rouge LA $169.70
Yakima WA $170.60
Kennewick-Richland-Pasco WA $172.40
Jacksonville FL $177.60
Durham NC $178.10
Tallahassee FL $180.90
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach FL $181.10
Austin-Round Rock TX $185.70
Farmington NM $186.50
Hagerstown-Martinsburg MD-WV $192.10
Spokane WA $194.10
Albuquerque NM $195.90
Gainesville FL $196.70
Boise City-Nampa ID $198.00
Dover DE $199.60
Albany-Schenectady-Troy NY $199.70
Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater FL $201.60
Pittsfield MA $202.60
Charleston-North Charleston SC $204.50
U.S. Median $206.20
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord NC-SC $204.70
Springfield MA $206.40
Colordo Springs CO $210.70
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI $217.20
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis WI $219.50
Cape Coral-Fort Myers FL $225.30
Richmond VA $225.70
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NJ-DE-MD $226.80
Madison WI $227.70
Salt Lake City UT $229.10
Denver-Aurora CO $230.10
Salem OR $231.20
Raleigh-Cary NC $235.60
Tucson AZ $235.80
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC $236.00
Eugene-Springfield OR $237.60
Orlando FL $240.40
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale AZ $241.70
Portland-South Portland-Biddeford ME $242.10
Kingston NY $246.10
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA-NJ $246.50
Norwich-New London CT $252.40
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford CT $258.00
Worcester MA $259.00
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet IL $261.00
New Haven-Milford CT $268.80
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River RI-MA $273.20
Las Vegas-Paradise NV $273.50
Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice FL $274.10
Baltimore-Towson MD $275.10
Atlantic City NJ $278.80
Saskatoon* SK $284.50
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton OR-WA $290.50
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville CA $297.60
Reno-Sparks NV $301.30
Trenton-Ewing NJ $306.80
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA $338.00
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach FL $345.90
Edmonton AB $364.00
NY: Edison NJ $370.30
Boulder CO $371.10
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue WA $377.50
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA-NH** $380.70
Barnstable Town MA $382.30
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV $400.10
Calgary AB $410.00
NY: Newark-Union NJ-PA $435.80
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island NY-NJ-PA $457.40
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk CT $460.20
NY: Nassau-Suffolk NY $461.70
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA $509.70
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos CA $522.90
New York-Wayne-White Plains NY-NJ $523.30
Honolulu HI $625.30
Fort McMurray* AB $632.50
Anaheim-Santa Ana CA $657.40
Greater Vancouver** BC $742.50
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA $777.30
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA $845.30

*Used average price for Saskatoon, Fort Mac
**Used Benchmark detached price for Greater Vancouver

Friday, February 8, 2008

Ctrl+C Ctrl+V

Talk about media access! Royal LePage put out a press release Jan. 31 and it has been copied and pasted in many of Canada's major papers.

Canmore retreats hot property
Calgary Sun
...housing market uncertainty in the U.S. is prompting more Canucks to buy winter retreats in Canada...

Tight market fuels winter retreat boom
Globe and Mail
While a $650,000 condo or $1.4-million chalet in Whistler sounds pricey, their comparative affordability has Europeans buying, Mr. Soper said

Slick chalets replace weekend snow forts
Globe and Mail
“High levels of demand combined with limited inventory have pressured winter recreational property prices upward — a trend expected to continue well into the future,” said Lisa da Rocha, vice-president of marketing communications at Royal LePage.

Winter vacation properties in Canada a hot market
Edmonton Journal
...Canadians in search of winter recreational properties are casting a jaundiced eye on the subprime-tainted market south of the border. Instead, they are favouring properties in Canada, which is helping to drive up prices across the country...

Canmore condo prices soar
Edmonton Journal
"We expect to see strong demand from three types of purchasers over the next few years: baby boomers approaching retirement or inheriting wealth, professionals who are able to work from satellite or home offices and foreign visitors looking to get away from crowded cities, Hawker said.

Canadians nervous about buying U.S. real estate
Calgary Herald
... the uncertainty clouding the U.S. housing market now has many Canadians favouring properties north of the border.

Canadian winter recreational properties a hot market
Financial Post
Canadians in search of winter recreational properties are casting a jaundiced eye on the subprime-tainted market south of the border, according to a study by Royal LePage Real Estate Services.

Recreational market in flux
Toronto Star
Canadians aren't just looking south for real estate this winter, with recreational properties across the country seeing relatively strong demand, according to a report released yesterday by Royal LePage Real Estate Services.

Snow the hot ticket in recreation homes
Vancouver Sun
Canadians are homebodies when it comes to their winter recreational property desires, particularly in these times of U.S. economic turmoil, according to a Royal LePage survey.
The Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal and the Vancouver Sun are all owned by CanWest Global Communications. Here is an extensive list of CanWest Holdings in case you are concerned about media concentration.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

What the MSM is serving.

The article Women lead revolution in home ownership serves up the 'conventional wisdom' of home ownership with little analysis.

Atkinson fits the profile of individual Canadian women homeowners who are single, financially savvy and most likely to purchase a condominium, according to a new national poll released Thursday.

"I never wanted to rent because I figured it was a waste of money.

Seven in 10 Canadian women homeowners bought their properties as a "good investment," with 29 being their average age when they made their first purchase.

Michelle Atkinson, 26, who entered the real estate market 21/2 years ago, is part of an emerging demographic of women who are single, financially savvy and opting for condominiums.

"With more and more Canadian women marrying later in life or remaining single, we're seeing the emergence of the young, financially savvy woman who's taking on the commitments, joys and responsibilities of owning a home," said Joan Dal Bianco, vice-president of real estate secured lending for TD Canada Trust.

"Right across the country, they are investing in themselves and in their futures by becoming homeowners, and in doing so are strongly reinforcing their financial and personal freedom," she said.
Do not let these empty assertions from the financial industry influence you. Try to separate information from catch-phrases and then do the math yourself.