Tuesday, September 3, 2013

August wrap up

It's that time of the month again.  The time when the VREB optimism bunny is jumping up and down because our sales have improved from dreadful to average.   So is the market picking up or is this just another bump on the road down?  Well let's take a look.

Sales first, where indeed things are looking up.  The best summer in 5 years!   Well that may be but 2013 is still the worst year in 5 years.  Perhaps next month the market will no longer be the worst.  Unless we hit more regulatory tightening we should surpass 2012, in which the slowdown didn't really hit until the latter half of the year.  There will likely be a minor hit when the last of the ultra-low pre-approvals expire, but I don't think it will have the same magnitude as the intervention last year.   On the other hand, the hounds are getting restless again and rumours of more OSFI tightening are starting to appear.

And prices?  Flat as a halibut.  The VREB is excited about as 12.5% increase in the townhouse median, but it's nought but noise.

But do we recall our skew factor?   Turns out when I wrote that last article I screwed up my X axis and left out the last couple months.   Those happened to be the ones where the skew factor increased even more (the VREB paid me off to leave those months out the first time).  It's pretty severe at the moment as it turns out.  Hard to say much about magnitude, but this could be hiding the actual decline in prices.  Thanks to Koozdra for continuing to provide the data to make this graph.

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