Frank O’Brien is the senior editor at BIV Media Group. He is the editor of the Western Investor – edits 7 magazines and finds time to dig into important real estate stories for Business in Vancouver as well. His latest story (Feb 2019) in the Western Investor is a ‘must read’: “Oops, sorry about destroying the economy”. Frank asks serious questions of government, the media and all the naysayers. He remains bullish on real estate, bullish on Vancouver and tells us why.
Ozzie Jurock talks to Ralph Case – Ralph has been a licensed Realtor for over 30 years and a managing broker for over 20 years. He has experience as a sole proprietor and as a regional sales manager supervising Realtors for a public company with over 100 million dollars in annual sales. Ralph has personally helped hundreds of clients purchase residential, investment and recreational Real Estate and he understands that a specialist is critical to a successful transaction. A pioneer of selling over the Internet, Ralph has sold millions of dollars worth of Real Estate online. He co-founded JCIR https://jcir.ca to empower the average person who intends to buy or sell real estate. He also is an investor himself. Individually and with Joint Venture partners he has bought and sold over 4,000 residential units.
Q: You talk about podcast and OzBuzz…one is you interviewing a guest, one is a newsletter…I’m confused? Why sign up for email, if I can go to website? A: You make a good point, we are changing the buttons so that the Oz Buzz newsletter and Oz Buzz Podcasts are more separate. You can then go directly to either the podcast or the newsletter by clicking on the relevant button. However, by signing up and becoming a FREE subscriber, you get it a few days sooner.
Point Roberts: US Dollar diversification investment. 1100 sq ft 2 bed/1 bath cottage on one of the most desirable streets steps away from Maple Beach in Point Roberts. Wake up to the beautiful sunrise over Mt Baker while watching the tide roll in from your front porch. Price $299,000US. Rents well from May to Sept short term for $150US/night or long term.
WORLD OUTLOOK FINANCIAL CONFERENCE
1,200 people listened attentively as speaker after speaker predicted the future in their area of expertise. Of note was – of course – my speech (ha-ha), David Steele (on the opportunities in the North) but particularly Michael Campbell and Martin Armstrong. Martin forecast higher stock markets amongst growing turbulence and polarization around the world. He urged the crowd to watch for the elections in Europe this May, Canada this Fall and the US in 2020. They – in his view – would be divisive, non-compromising and foretell coming trouble. Whoever wins the US election will be fought to the death by the opposition. However, higher prices eventually as we will keep creating money. For the full download of the conference, including my speech, go to www.moneytalks.net. It is well worth the minor investment!
New immigrants spending 54% more on Metro Vancouver houses than locals:
Average assessed value of immigrant-owned homes higher than those owned by Canadian-born residents, finds Statistics Canada. Stats Canada said that recent immigrants pay an average of 1/3 more than homes owned by Canadian born. The report was published January 29found that home ownership was very high among immigrants in general and astoundingly immigrants made up 41% of the Metro Vancouver population in 2016 and owned 37% of homes.
As we said in Oz Buzz 18, the latest statistics show 59,800 international immigrants came to BC by the year ending at the Q3 (22,000 in Q3 alone!). Add these numbers to the above statistics and real estate will definitely recover in BC.
Major Point: Values grow where people go, and people keep coming to BC.
I pointed out the fact that in the buyer’s market, opportunities lie in making stink bids. Particularly with owners that must move, or assignments. But you must make offers. Maybe a lot of them. In life you do not get what you deserve you get what you negotiate. There will be more assignment deals now. Ads are growing on Craigslist and Kijiji. Some buyers who bought a presale two or three years ago now can’t close.
Major Point: Yes, it’s a good time to offer on assignments and get perhaps the price from 3 years ago. BUT! Make sure to have your assignment subject to your lawyer’s approval. Have her/him read the agreement and understand exactly when the original deposits and the profit are to be made payable. Never pay the owner of the assignment all the money. Put down a percentage and the balance on closing. Most developers insist on using their own assignment agreement, there may be an assignment fee (paid not by the buyer) and you may need permission. Do it right, get good advice and make ‘them thar’ stink bids.
CONSTRUCTION COSTS AND TOUGHER BANKS ADD TO THE WOES
Construction is slowing down. Neil Chrystal, president of Polygon Homes Ltd. said recently at UDI: “If the numbers don’t make sense, we won’t move forward.” He explained that with some projects, it’s better to wait, so that the final cost to the consumer allows developers to get the required number of pre-sales. Financing is harder to get as banks are less inclined to ‘bestow money’ these days. (We forecast that.)“We all need to go out and get pre-sales to get our financing, and financing is going to be tougher,” he said. “The big banks say, ‘We’re only going to be financing our Tier 1 developers.’ ” He added that “we started doing less last year, and we’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do this year.”
Major Point: Look below…the numbers tell a tough story.
THE NUMBERS, THE NUMBERS
Last month’s sales were 36 per cent below the 10-year January sales average and were the lowest January-sales total since 2009.
The fine Vancouver Real Estate Board notes that home listings continue to increase while home buyer activity remains below historical averages. 1,103 sales in January represented a 39.3 per cent decrease from the 1,818 sales recorded in January 2018. The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 10,808, a 55.6 per cent increase compared to January 2018 (6,947)
NOTE: The averages are meaningless… The rolling average ‘benchmark price’, which the press widely reports is never really current. The overall Benchmark price is down 4.5% – 8%. Yet, in West Van the average price is down 26% on used home sales (32% since Dec 2017) and in Burnaby 20%. Listings are 55% higher. True in all combined areas. But condo listings are up 108% and in other areas up to 228% higher. Please note the overall summaries (new and used homes). NOTE: The area you want to watch/research is USED homes. There were 8 new houses, 21 new condos and 16 new townhouses sold. There were 337 used houses, 538 used condos and 163 townhouses sold. But add them together the much higher priced new product distorts the price in some areas. So, look at the used number in the area you wish to buy in. Your realtor has great statistics. The Vancouver and FV boards are the best boards for great timely stats in Canada (maybe Victoria too). Then make your own evaluation. Some areas scream for stink bids. The declines of 26% in West Van SF homes and 24% in Westside condo prices…has absolutely NO relationship to the much-quoted price of -5.4% on NATIONAL TV.
First, we must understand that the numbers cover Maple Ridge to Lions Bay – which by itself makes it a ridiculous average. Or just a guideline that averages the $1 million price in Maple Ridge with the $3.3 million price in West Van.
Second, the rolling average Benchmark price is hard to understand and always lagging.
Third, and importantly … 90%- 95% of all sales are used houses and used condos. When you include the new homes (which are much higher priced) you distort the average further.
Fourth, if you separate used from new and SF from condos you get price declines ALL over 12% and most over 15% and some 26%! If you then take previous highs – like West Van used homes of December 2017 to now … you get a -32% decline. (April 2016 is reported only to get an idea of the previous highs.)
Stunner: Geoff Croll, President of British Pacific Properties hosted a Lunar New Year’s party at a fab new house on Chippendale to ace Realtors. He told us that BPP never reduced prices … ever … However, he did that day. The price on these smashing view properties is reduced by $300,000 to under $3 million.
Used Det Avg
Used Condo Avg
Condo listings are up 145%
Condo listings up 92%
Condo listings up 208%
Condo listings up 226%
Condo listings up 198%
Major Point 1: Sales are way down across the board. Active listings are way up! Fraser Valley condo listings are up 226% – more in other areas. Prices are hanging in there – on average. But not when you study the above USED sales – area by area. Only buy the absolute deal of a lifetime. And yes – again: Cash is not trash.
NOTE: From April on our numbers will look better… But only because we measure ourselves against the already falling market … so this year will look better…yet down more.
Major Point 2:Again,this downturn will continue… Markets become the stories people tell about them … and they are all negative now. As a buyer: Rejoice … realtors have time, multiple offers are dead, and owners look at offers! As the owner: Forget the 47% downturn! 53% of all houses are selling! Act to get your sale into the 53%! How? ‘Look at 21 ways to make your home sell faster’. Free at www.jurock.com
Brexit and Trump and Nanaimo proved three things: Polls don’t work!
People are fed up with the establishment everywhere.
People don’t trust ANY government
People do not trust globalization
Don’t trust massive migration
Lots of mini-Trumps
So, why do we care? A lot of European money will flee here. Canada is already the world’s third largest ‘most stable and secure’ real estate investment haven – after the US and Germany. Good for Real Estate – eventually.
NOTE: David Rosenberg: We are at the top of the ninth inning on the way to a recession.
NOTE: You will be (are being) taxed on things you didn’t know you had.
NOTE: TECH TIP WATCH FOR FRAUD – WARNING TO ALL EMAIL USERS! FRAUD!
My secretary received an e-mail purporting to be from me, ‘Ozzie Jurock’ and it read as follows:
“Subject: FWD: Billing Expense
Body: Could you please confirm if a payment can be processed to a consultant today? Let me know so I can get payment details from consultant shortly.
The fraudster not only knew my name, they also knew my secretary’s correct email! The way the email is written looks like it is from me and asks for an action from my secretary about money in my account. Of course, she checked with me and realized that it was not from me and then we noticed the actual sent email was from “email@example.com”. I related this to another company manager, and he has also received a false request like this for buying a gift card, what’s the account balance, etc.
Major Point: With the amount of emails and bills that we get in today’s busy world, it would be easy to answer an email like that with detailed information to this total stranger, so if the email seems off, always double check the sender’s email and with the person who apparently sent it directly!
After the World Outlook Conference I got several inquiries as to ‘where did you learn your public speaking?’ Well, I was absolutely terrified on stage in the beginning of my career. In fact, as president of Royal LePage my first few months were spent reading my speech (brrr). I subsequently bought a lot of books on the topic. Reid Buckley (I know, I know, not everybody’s cup of tea) wrote a book on public speaking, which I used for many years: “Strictly Speaking” I don’t agree with his view on using slides … but he has some very clear guidelines as to the structure and I have used his quotes often.
SONG OF THE WEEK
Roeksopp – ‘What else is there’
Muse – Map of the problematic
ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man –
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WANT TO PARTICIPATE?
Go to www.realestatetalks.com – Some 2,500 members (47,009 posts) talk real estate. Ozzie created this bulletin board in 1998!
If you are in a real estate related industry of any sort (realtor, appraiser, lawyer, home inspector, etc.) list yourself in Ozzie’s free British Columbia real estate directory at www.bcred.ca.
On air with Michael Campbell on fabulous MONEYTALKS every Saturdaysometime between 8:30AM – 10 AM. The Hot Property that we discuss there, is available by subscribing to the Oz Buzz Dispatch at Jurock.com
HAVE A QUESTION OR COMMENT?
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org with all of your questions, comments and concerns regarding the Oz Buzz publication.
LIVE LIFE LARGE
Is more important than
Anything else To feel better is the root
Of every desire
Nothing is more important than that
I feel good
I do not do anything I do not really want to do
I keep myself in a good a place of feeling good
I keep myself in joy
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