Saturday, March 28, 2009

Here are some West Vancouver list/sales prices

All this year, 2009. All SFH. Oiginal price in green, reduced price in black and sold price in red.

$1.098 List = $1.067 Sold

$1.168 List = $1.00 Sold

$1.549 - $1.298 - $1.198 Final List = $1.00 Sold

$1.375 -$1.250 List = $1.048 Sold

$1.379 List = $1.350 Sold

$1.980 - $1.588 - $1.498 = $1.395 Sold

$1.699 List = $1.510 Sold

$2.795 - $2.695 - $2.450 = $2.015 Sold

Some significant reductions in price and others probably wishing they had bought lower.

I stopped in at some open houses in West Van this week-end. Reasonable foot traffic, especially at the new listings which were priced sharply.

At one, older listing, the realtor was telling us there had been a reduction of several hundred thousand dollars from the original asking price. I asked him how he came by the original price since it was more than the assessed. "It was the fair market value at the time. Of course the landscape has changed a lot since then".

As I have said many times over the years (and I now see repeated on some sites), buyers rarely HAVE to buy- but sellers often HAVE to sell. A buyer could rent. But many sellers have to sell.. due to divorce, death, job loss, job transfer etc. It is this dynamic which will define prices in a falling market. How low do the 'have-to-sellers' have to lower the fruit to tempt the buyers into biting?

So I thought I would do a post soon on how I would value a house- if I was considering buying in this dropping market. Any interest in this?

In a rising market the strategy is simple buy as much as you can afford, bid strong and get on board asap.

In a falling market it is MUCH more complex. The asset is devaluing and while that may not upset long-term holders it is unpleasant to realise six months from now, that you could have bought a better/larger place for the same price or had a much smaller mortgage.