Monday, May 28, 2012

A trip down Vancouver's Memory Lane

It's memorial day here in the States, so I thought we should take a moment to remember the past. Thanks to b5baxter, we have the following housing inventory chart for the Greater Vancouver Area.

You may notice we are pushing record inventory again, but only for the last ten years. Up at the top is a little blob labeled 1998 when inventory was in excess of 22,000 a number that dwarfs the financial crisis inventory numbers. I thought given the holiday (okay, for me) we should cast our eyes back to that time. Perhaps to the blogs of that era. Imagine it's 1998. Mr. Cheng would like to sell you a Vancouver house.

He's a hard working fellow, on the cutting edge of technology. He's actually an engineer, but a more lucrative occupation has pulled him away from being productive in his trained field.

He not only has a website, he has a blog. (VERY cutting edge.)
May 28, 1999 -- Vancouver's house prices fall, bucking North American trend
Average house prices in Vancouver drop six per cent, while California homes appreciate 10 per cent.
Vancouver house prices have dropped a notch to being the fourth most expensive in North America, according to a Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. survey released Thursday.
The average price in April for a detached house in Vancouver fell to $357,029 causing the city to be overtaken for the third place by the $382,082 average in the Orange County-Anaheim area.

Better yet, it's a multi-lingual blog.

You see, something has been happening in the Vancouver housing market. Vancouver has always been home to many Chinese and Chinese immigrant descendants, but there has been a flurry of activity due to the turnover of Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland. But that turnover was completed in 1997 and very little actually changed in Hong Kong. It was a panic for nothing. Now the surge in overseas buyers has died out. And it turns out the value of a house is only worth what the next person will pay for it, or for what the bank and CMHC will allow the next person to leverage up to, or what the next person can afford to leverage up to based on the wider market's appetite for five year Canadian bonds.

This is memory lane, so let's take a peak at the prices, shall we. (click to zoom in)

Remember, this is only 14 years ago. If your kid was born that year, he or she is not driving yet.

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