Saturday, December 16, 2006

Good Rental Sites?

Just wondering if anyone knew of a good site for Rentals in BC.


You Can't Win Them All.

Yesterday I found out from my Realtor that a House in my neighbourhood sold for about 5% more than what I got for mine. It looks like the price may be justified, considering it was a show home, bigger lot, and custom finishing. I just cannot help but be a little angry.

When you hear this you start to think back and say to yourself, "Could I have done more to get a better dollar for my house?" "Did I sell to quickly?" "Should I have held out for more?"

Every situation is different and every house, though similar, attracts different buyers. Different buyers value different things.

I am still staying the course and renting for awhile to see what next year brings.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The slowing US Economy will not effect Canada??

There seems to be an opinion out there that the slowing US economy will not effect Canada. This article goes against that claim.

StatsCan shows October factory shipments hit lowest level in ...

"Statistics Canada said manufacturers shipped goods worth an estimated
$47.7 billion in October, down 0.1 per cent from September and the lowest level
since December 2004. The drop was less than the 0.5 per cent drop that markets
had forecast, but still showed that manufacturing is struggling with a number of
factors, including the high dollar and the weaker U.S. economy.
The slump in
the U.S. housing market and a restructuring auto sector led by the Big Three
carmakers has cut demand for everything from Canadian lumber, cement and
appliances to auto parts and assembled cars and trucks.
Analysts say the data
will be more grist for the Bank of Canada as it mulls interest rate cuts next

While our biggest customer is slowly moving towards a recession it would be hard not to think that this could not effect us.

If our economy starts to slow done because of what is happening South of the Border I am sure there will be an effect on our housing as well.

The Confusion - Why can't the media decide?

Is Housing slowing or is it gaining?? It seems to be a mixed bag ou there concerning Canadian Real Estate. Even once you get into the article the message is not clear. There seems to be a lot of speculation out there on what's going on.

I guess we will be seeing a lot of this in the media until it is quite evident on which way the market is going.

  1. Canada's housing market remains strong as 2006 closes, house ...
  2. Average resale home price drops $3,500 in November
  3. Real estate market has cooled, but still healthy, realtors told

Monday, December 11, 2006

Housing Blogs - A Tribute to my Favorites.

I just wanted take a moment to list out some of my favorite Housing Blogs. These Blogs address the Housing Bubble in Canada and the USA. I find them interesting, entertaining, and educational. It's fun to read them and see there are other "like minded" people out there sharing the same concerns about the Real Estate Bubble.

  1. Vancouver Housing Market Blog - This is my favorite.
  2. vancouver (un)real estate - Another favorite.
  3. Vancouver Condo Info - A good read.
  4. Calgarian Contrarian 2 - Another good Housing Blog from Calgary.
  5. Housing Panic - The Housing Bubble Blog with Attitude - US Housing Bubble Blog.
  6. Financial Planning and Personal Sanity

There are many others out there, these are definetly my favorite out of the Real Estate Blogs I have been reading.

News from my Realtor - Mixed Messages

I just got news, from my Realtor, that the owners of a house that I was interested in are very motivitated to sell.

Funny thing is I looked on MLS and they are still at the same price as they were in August. A lot has changed since August so you think a motivated seller would have lowered a little by now.

Are we going to see a lot of this in the future?? Are these motivated sellers going to hold out for higher prices for months on end?? Staying stuborn, even though thay aren't selling, because they cannot bare to reduce their price?

So if the sellers aren't lowering their price then what is it they can do to motivate me? Offer me a new set of knives upon completion?

Housing Headlines from this week - December 11, 2006

There you have it. The Media is starting to report of Housing declines all over Canada. These Headlines have been in the States for some time now. It seems like it has been only in the last Month the Canadian Media has started to show this side of the housing market.

I will try to do this once a week to see if there is a trend in the reporting.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I am actually starting to look forward to Renting.

Today I just helped a Buddy move some of my furniture, which he bought, from my house to his. Leading up to this day I was feeling a little depressed about giving up my belongings to someone else. As usual used furniture does not fetch the dollar it was originally bought for.

Well it's all done now and I am actually feeling pretty good about it. It's one less thing I have to move now and I don't seem to miss it. It almost feels liberating not to have that much "stuff" in my house.

It's going to be an interesting New Year. New Town, going from Home Owner to Renter. It's been 8 years of Home Ownership. I wonder if I will find Renting liberating as well? Time will tell. I am starting to look forward to it. It will be interesting to see if all the stress of Home Ownership is worth it. It's been a while since I have been someone's tenant.

IT was kind of interesting to talk to my neighbour who was putting up his X-Mas lights today. He is new to the neighbourhood, just sold his Condo in Vancouver and moved out to the Burbs into a house. All he could say was, "Wish I had stayed in my Apartment." "Looks like I am going to have to paint this House next Year." He doesn't look too happy. I wonder why?? I was ecstatic when I bought my house. Maybe the difference is I can, just barely, afford the mortgage. While he is in for almost Half a Million. Just an assumption.

So is it a Housing Bubble?? Or is the Housing Boom justified?

It seems like there are two distinct schools of though out there about the future of Real Estate in Western Canada.

One side says we are to expect more appreciation next year and the other expects a Housing Crash.

It should be an interesting year, in 2007, to see which side is correct. I know that there have been Housing Bubble Bloggers posting about declines for a couple of years now. The whole time the RE proffession have been there to brag about further increases.

Maybe 2007 will be the year that the Housing Bloggers have been waiting for.

If there is a decline will the RE profession address it?? Or will they continue to tell people it's a good time to buy? I find it interesting how it is a good time to buy when prices are soaring because you will risk being "Priced out of the market" But while prices are declining it is also a good time to buy because "You are in a Buyers Market and there are good deals to be made out there." It seems like it is always a good time to buy. I guess if I stood to make $15K-$20K off of a home sale I would be telling the public the same thing.

Why will Canadian Housing keep appreciating, while US Housing is declining?

This seems to be the spin you get when you bring up the situation in the US to a Canadian RE Professional. They always say that the American Housing slump will not effect Canada.

I disagree and here's why:

  1. Psychology - Just like it caused housing to double in the last few years it will cause it to come down. Why do people think the same fear of being "Priced out of the Market!!" could not be turned around and cause people to be fearful of purchasing declining homes??
  2. Our Exporting Industries - The US is the largest consumer of goods in the world. Sure China is there to consume as well. But our good economy is largely due to the American consumer.
  3. We don't have the same debt as the Americans do. - HAve I missed the Boat?? Last I looked I don't make a 6 figure salary and I'm sure most of us don't. So a $500K house is just not that affordable to the majority. If they are buying it then they are in just as much debt as the American home owner is.
  4. The rate homes appreciated. - It pretty much explains itself. Anything that appreciates that fast without any real reason is probably going to come back to normal. Sure housing may not come back to what it was a couple of years ago, it will still correct towards normality. Why are we so different in Canada?
  5. History - Just look at History. Previous housing booms corrected, so why should this be different?? If anything this time the Boom was even more extreme. So are we going to have a more extreme correction?? Will more people be burned this time and be more skeptical in the future??

We shall see next year. I personally have faith in society as a whole. I am sure more people, especially with the Internet, will wise up to what is happening South of the Border and learn from it. I could be wrong. I could be biased. But I don't think so.


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