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#61 spanky123

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 06:39 AM

Like most stats you have to read into the numbers. Although those hoping for a quick and painful market correction may be disappointed, the reality is that in some areas and with some types of accomodation, prices are softening. The trend to higher inventory and slower sales turnover will mean that this will continue for some time.

Condos seem to ne the hardest hit and no doubt that is why we are seeing so many projects either delayed or in financial difficulty.

#62 UrbanRail

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 08:41 AM

Real estate remains hot
Average price sets record at $630,295
Carla Wilson, Times Colonist
Published: Friday, May 02, 2008


Yeahhhh! Another 30 years and I will be able to afford my own house in this city. Seriously though, it sure is depressing. I am part owner of a house, in other words I share the land title with my parents, and my brother and sister so that helps a bit. But for hundreds of families they arent so lucky.

I cant remember, but I heard a while ago, that the average person would have to make an annual salary of $60,000? just to afford a down payment.

Regardless, this government and this city isnt doing enough to help those need proper housing.

#63 Mike K.

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:23 AM

I cant remember, but I heard a while ago, that the average person would have to make an annual salary of $60,000? just to afford a down payment.


You're right, but the $60,000 would be net income after taxes. So in reality in order to afford a home in this region you should be making well over $100,000 gross. But that's not all that difficult for a married couple to achieve hence why houses just keep selling to local professionals.

What about the zoo? What our world famous subway system?


Love it.

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#64 Number Six

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:26 AM

That cynical blogger seems pretty short on life experience, or at least perspective. Victoria certainly has it's problems yet people still want to move here from other parts of the world. It sounds like the bitter rantings of someone who has been promised the "Canadian Dream" but can no longer afford it. I can understand their anger (and have rambled on about affordability in other threads) but the demographics are conspiring against them.

If I were 20 years younger I would reconsider my priorities. If owning a home was absolutely necessary I would seriously consider moving to a less expensive area. My best friend did exactly that 10 years ago ... moved to Winnipeg, bought an older home in a well-established city neighbourhood for half the price of a suburban Victoria home and proceeded to raise a family.

The alternative is not to chase the Canadian Dream of home ownership. It can be difficult not to when it's marketed so heavily but there comes a point when its not worth the pain ($400K mortgages, stress, etc.). I barely made it back into Victoria housing (condo) market myself and I have sacrificed a lot of personal freedom to do so. I often wonder whether it was really worth it. I love Victoria but do I actually need to own a piece of it?

#65 gumgum

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:36 AM

That blogger's got a huge following. Look at the amount of comments!

#66 UrbanRail

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:37 AM

Welcome to Victoria!

The city of those with a lot of bread or nearly dead!

#67 UrbanRail

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:53 AM

That cynical blogger seems pretty short on life experience, or at least perspective. Victoria certainly has it's problems yet people still want to move here from other parts of the world. It sounds like the bitter rantings of someone who has been promised the "Canadian Dream" but can no longer afford it. I can understand their anger (and have rambled on about affordability in other threads) but the demographics are conspiring against them.

If I were 20 years younger I would reconsider my priorities. If owning a home was absolutely necessary I would seriously consider moving to a less expensive area. My best friend did exactly that 10 years ago ... moved to Winnipeg, bought an older home in a well-established city neighbourhood for half the price of a suburban Victoria home and proceeded to raise a family.

The alternative is not to chase the Canadian Dream of home ownership. It can be difficult not to when it's marketed so heavily but there comes a point when its not worth the pain ($400K mortgages, stress, etc.). I barely made it back into Victoria housing (condo) market myself and I have sacrificed a lot of personal freedom to do so. I often wonder whether it was really worth it. I love Victoria but do I actually need to own a piece of it?


I dont think refusing to build affordable housing in this region helps. Attracting the retired and rich to this region is great, but you need people to support them, ie sevice industries. Wages havent caught up with living costs in the past 20 years. People in the service industries are paid very low wages and are expected to pay very high rents (it just went up an average of $40 a month) and other costs.

#68 spanky123

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 10:57 AM

You are quite right urbanrail.

Every week I hear of young professional families who are moving out of Victoria due to the cost of living. For the most part they are being replaced by retirees or part time home owners who want a place of their own when the visit Victoria a month or two a year.

The unemployment rate in Victoria is very misleading as much of the employment growth in the past few years has been in the service sector where wages are usually very low. The real wage growth in Victoria has actually been flat to negative over the past few years which reflects this.

#69 Mike K.

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 11:34 AM

Just like southern California and San Fran, this is an expensive place to live and raise a family. It has been for the last 50 years and will probably be that way for a while yet.

Even when/if the big one hits, the pent up demand for slightly cheaper real-estate and redevelopment opportunities will keep prices high, so those waiting for a tragedy to help them get into the market are going get more than one jolt.

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#70 yodsaker

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 12:56 PM

Prices will level off but that's because there's a lot of over priced junk for sale right now as everyone who owns a junker tries to get rich.
When I came here in '94 the previous boom had just ended but 2-bed stucco-clad cheeseboxes were still asking 289K when they should have been about 219K. Eventually they got reduced or taken off the market.
This city is still and will remain a destination as the boomers age. Lots of people age 50+ don't want to go south because of the medicare issues and the lunatic politics so where to go to get out of the winter? That's right.
Good houses properly priced will continue to sell and increase. The junk will fall in price and pull down or level off averages. Remember average prices can be skewed easily by one or two megaprice sales. Look at the median for a truer indicator and that's still rising.

#71 Number Six

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 01:54 PM

I dont think refusing to build affordable housing in this region helps. Attracting the retired and rich to this region is great, but you need people to support them, ie sevice industries. Wages havent caught up with living costs in the past 20 years. People in the service industries are paid very low wages and are expected to pay very high rents (it just went up an average of $40 a month) and other costs.

I agree completely, however this issue doesn't appear to be on anyone's agenda. Housing for the homeless is (understandably) but I've not heard anything about housing for working / middle class families.

Even when/if the big one hits, the pent up demand for slightly cheaper real-estate and redevelopment opportunities will keep prices high, so those waiting for a tragedy to help them get into the market are going get more than one jolt.

You would think the threat of the big one would keep prices down however it doesn't even register in people's minds. *After* it hits we should be good for another 200 years ... a better time to buy. I think the bigger threat is sea-level rise ... real estate on an island becomes a riskier investment ... a sort of Mother Nature leasehold where every year brings you closer to the end of your term.

#72 LJ

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 08:15 PM

You just do what everyone else that lives here now has done before. You go somewhere where it is afforadable to live and buy a property. You live there for a while and maybe buy a rental property. You live there for a few years, build some equity, sell your house(s), and move to where you want to live. You buy the most expensive property you can afford, spend a few years building equity, then buy a better place, and so on and so on.

It's not rocket surgery, it's pretty simple stuff and has been going on for years in Vancouver and anywhere else where it is desirable to live.

The people that live here and rent hoping that prices are going to go down are never going to be able to afford to buy in Victoria, get over it. Prices are just going to get more and more out of reach. Even if the housing just goes up with the rate of inflation your wage that goes up will never catch up. A 10% raise on 50k salary is $5000, a 10% raise on a house price of 300k is $30,000, do the math.

Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#73 Caramia

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 09:49 AM

There is a housing subsidy a working family can apply for from the BC Liberal Gov. They decided that rather than building the housing they would just top off the rent of working class families with a straight up check. I don't know the details, but I know it is out there.

#74 yodsaker

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 12:16 PM



The people that live here and rent hoping that prices are going to go down are never going to be able to afford to buy in Victoria, get over it. Prices are just going to get more and more out of reach. Even if the housing just goes up with the rate of inflation your wage that goes up will never catch up. A 10% raise on 50k salary is $5000, a 10% raise on a house price of 300k is $30,000, do the math.


Exactamente.
An example from when I was serving my sentence in Toronto...
it was early 1985 and prices were low.

Two friends were living in a bsmt apt in Parkdale, hookers working outside the window, condoms on the grass etc. but the rent was cheap and they were saving "to live in the Annex". We bought a fixer for $82K and there was a duplex nearby going for $105K. Our friend was very handy plus had winters off on pogey because he worked for a swimming pool outfit.

But... in their opinion the neighbourhood wasn't good enough to buy into, "so we'll keep renting and saving" even though they could have cleaned up one unit and rented it while renovating the other with his free labour.

Well, Michael Wilson eliminated capital gains tax a few months later and within six months the $105K duplex was $200K, unimproved.
Well, our friends sure didn't have the money at that price. They stayed in the bsmt apt for 7 more years(!) while the T.O market went nuts. They ended up in a high-priced box with fat mortgage out in mall-land and needing two cars instead of having a subway and streetcar a block away.

Agree, Victoria is now mostly out of reach for renters unless mum and dad help out a whole lot. Buy at a fair price and at least you're in the game or rent and fund someone else's retirement.

#75 UrbanRail

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 01:00 PM

I can just see it now, the average house price will be 1 million dollars in 10 years.

#76 gumgum

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 08:22 AM

From Darron Kloster's article today:

SO YOU KNOW: The British Columbia Real Estate Association says sales through the Multiple Listing Service dipped 1.4 per cent to $4.1 billion in April, compared to the same month a year ago. Residential unit sales also declined 11 per cent to 8,623 units over the period. The average MLS residential price in B.C. reached $478,044, up 11 per cent from April 2007. In the first four months of the year, residential sales volume fell 1.8 per cent to $13.2 billion. Residential unit sales declined 13 per cent to 27,730 units, while the average prices are up 13 per cent to $474,993.



#77 tsusiat

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 12:07 AM

Funny how some posters think it is fine to rip off stuff from another blog, mock it and pat themselves on the back about their superior economic smarts, while telling poor little renters to "get over it".

Obviously the problems in the US and Britain could never come here, and geniuses like Robert Shiller must be crackpots, 'cause there is always a reason why it is different here.

Get over it, Victoria is nothing special in economic terms. The economy is not diversified, forestry is suffering, the US dollar is down and an economic ill-wind is blowing through international financial markets, while thousands of over-priced condos hit the market and inventory is higher than it has been in years.

Yep, those misinformed cynical real estate bloggers are all wrong, but if something bad happens, it will all be their fault! They should really shut up and stop spreading their cynical misinformation everywhere. Somebody might happen on one of those cynical web-sites first instead of the bear mountain site and get the wrong misinformed idea about Victoria real estate.

I find it funny that somebody here would even notice or take issue with those blogs, since of course they have no influence on what is actually happening in the super robust Victoria property market.

Bwahahahaha!

#78 G-Man

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:12 AM

I think the real estate blogs are funny, I hope they never stop spreading their cynical misinformation ;)

#79 Caramia

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 09:40 AM

Residential unit sales declined 13 per cent to 27,730 units, while the average prices are up 13 per cent to $474,993.


This actually worries me, being that I sit at the bottom end of the market. I suppose it is skewed by a few very high end units that have recently sold, but I hope that the trend doesn't continue.

#80 Baro

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 10:07 AM

I wonder how things will look in a few years. I'll be living almost rent free for a while until I've saved up enough to put a down payment on something.

I don't really know anything about mortgages. What are the rates and what % of the total price do they want for a down payment? I want a good mortgage, not some 60 year no money down disaster.

Say I wanted a little 380,000 unit somewhere in the city, what would I need to get it and what would my monthly mortgage be?

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