BY JOANNE LEE-YOUNG- Vancouver Sun -Tuesday, October 02, 2007
A wide range of housing and financing options are fueling home sales in the Vancouver area even as prices continue to rise. People are overpaying more than ever before with even more risky financing options that will enslave themselves and their family to the bank for the rest of their lives. Apparently lenders are being 'generous' now so they are just giving away money. No need to repay, just ask for the money and - poof - there you go - pick it off the money tree.
The sale price of a typical single-family home in Vancouver hit $726,268 in September, a 12-per-cent increase from the same month a year earlier (family not included - and who could afford to have a family at these prices).
At the same time, 2,776 sales were recorded on the Multiple Listing Service, a 10.2-per-cent increase from sales in September 2006. Un-freakin-believable - who is buying at these prices?
"There is still very strong consumer demand due to the economy. Rising wages mean that buyers are confident and this is underpinning the market," said Cameron Muir, chief economist at the B.C. Real Estate Association. "There is also a strong mix of housing stock. This variety is helping buyers at the lower end get into the market." If by "lower end" you mean households that make in excess of $100,000 per year then yes Cameron you are right. Cameron, could you please send me some data that clearly shows how BC residents have gotten 50% raises over the last 4 years? I'd really appreciate it, thanks.
"Six out of 10 sales are multiple-family dwellings [such as attached houses and apartments]. There are also more financing options. Down payments are down to five percent, which can be put on a credit card," said Muir. I can't believe I just read that. YES, CAMERON MUIR (cheif economist of the BC Real Estate Association) IS ADVOCATING PUTTING YOUR DOWNPAYMENT ON YOUR CREDIT CARD - Pay 22% Interest. Cameron, please stop by my office for a little lesson in financial math as you obviously missed some basic math instruction while you were getting your economics degree.
Attached house and apartment sales accounted for some of the brightest spots in the September figures.
Blah, blah, blah, . . . insert cherry-picked sunny data points here . . .
Across the region, benchmark prices for typical attached and detached properties increased at about the same rate this September compared to last, clocking 10 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. However, while the number of attached property sales jumped 27 per cent in September, the number of detached property sales rose a more modest six per cent. I'm calling the adverb police for the use of the word "clocking" when referencing price gains in anything. It isn't a NASCAR race folks.
"There is a great deal of choice in the market for a range of consumers today," president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Brian Naphtali, said in a statement.
Eighteen per cent of residential listings are above $1 million; and 37 per cent are between $500,000 and $1 million; and 45 per cent of residential units for sale remain priced below $500,000, he added. Is $500,000 to be viewed as 'inexpensive' Brian? My view of inexpensive and yours greatly differ. Since I'd have to make well in excess of $100,000 / year to stretch myself into the bottom quartile of homes in the area I don't really think that 1/2 A MILLION DOLLARS is a tiny bit of money - for a bloody townhouse mind you.
Prices of detached homes in Port Moody led all regions in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The percentage increase in the benchmark price of a typical home there jumped 33 per cent to $778,423 in September compared to the same month last year. "This is no surprise. There is a larger proportion of houses in Port Moody that are newer. There are more recent additions to the housing stock there and many are fairly luxurious and well appointed. When these get sold back into the market, it can skew the numbers and be a bit of an anomaly," said Muir. Just like those anamolous credit card payments Cameron?
Meanwhile, in the Fraser Valley, the average price of a typical family home reached the highest level ever in September, even as buying and selling activity tapered off after a busy summer (typical family not included). September's record-setting average price for a detached home, at $535,572, was 8.5 per cent higher than the same month last year. Take your basic family income, add two suites, a foreign homestay student, and lots of overtime for the wife and VOILA, we can afford a house. Unsustainable anyone?
The number of Multiple Listing Service-recorded sales for the Fraser Valley in September decreased by 25 per cent from August. Meanwhile, the average townhouse price saw a more moderate increase of 2.8 per cent compared to last year. Hmmm. . . . that wasn't too rosy now was it?! The average apartment price increased by 12 per cent.
"In September, the communities of Surrey, Langley and Mission reached their highest average prices on record for a single family home and in August that happened in North Delta and Abbotsford," said president-elect of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board Kelvin Neufeld in a statement.
Rant off. More to come later.