Sunday, December 5, 2010

Visualizing Vancouver's Detached Housing Market -- Two Charts

It is difficult to assess the state of Vancouver's market because it has not been "normal" for at least a decade, if not almost two. Year to year comparisons using the last two years are almost random because of the record highs and mini crash of 2008.

I did up two charts to try to better see the state of things. The first is a circular graph. Note that December of one year connects to January of that same year, not the next year as it probably should. Just an artifact of the software.

Chart of Detached House Sales Vancouver 2006 - 2010
What does this tell us, if anything? The blue line, 2010, looks like the second worst year of the five, maybe the middle year, if we are generous. Except for the expanding finish it is putting on. The other thing I notice is that 2009 appears rotated around later in the year, as if the missing activity from early in the year got shifted to the end.  The blue line also looks to be trying to buck the usual year end slow down trend.

Detached House Sales Bar Chart 2006-2010 with average line

2008 was as much an outlier year as 2009 was in the other direction. 2010 starts out following the average line, but at the end we have a counter cyclic trend line, which if it holds up will make December an unusually active month for sales, comparable to 2009's numbers. I'm as big a bear as they come, but for those trying to get out of this market, there may still be time. (Especially with an 8 in the address.)


jesse said...

December 2010 sales look to be significantly less than November's. Your phase analysis indicates that seasonally adjusted data should be taken with a grain of salt.

GG said...

The underlying numbers are not seasonally adjusted, if that's what you are referring to. But I am looking at them seasonally, that's true. 2010 was the only year out of the last five where November exceeded October. That was the key observation I wanted to communicate with the chart. I thought the anomaly was interesting.

I'm leery of doing anything with partial numbers mid-month, because I am not familiar enough with Vancouver's data, for example what percent end up as cancellations taken out of the final tally. Add the holidays to that, and I'm just going to wait for the final numbers. But if they appear to be trending down, that would be a relief to know that reality may be settling in. So thanks for the note to that effect.

jesse said...

"I'm leery of doing anything with partial numbers mid-month"

Actually I wouldn't be. There is enough variance between accepted date and when the sale is booked (i.e. subjects removed) that if there is any buying frenzy it should be smoothed out. You can do a histogram on daily sales (data at in the forum) if you like. From what I've observed mid-month numbers give a high confidence in month-end numbers.

Also I think MOI is the thing to track as it is much more correlated to price changes than sales. On that front the Vancouver market is roughly flat.

GG said...

I tried to register at the VCI forums. Maybe you have them awaiting validation . . . anyway, I was going to ask there, but I'll ask here instead. Does anyone have access to Vancouver All Area December 2009s daily sales numbers?