Despite fewer listings than the same time last year, and with agents working within the challenges of COVID-19, property sales in Greater Victoria for July showed a significant increase on two fronts.
The Victoria Real Estate Board reported sales of 979 properties, which amounts to a 38 per cent jump from July of 2019, and a 21.2 per cent increase over sales in June of this year.
Board president and local agent Sandi-Jo Ayers provided an explanation for the 2020 comparison, if not the year-over-year numbers.
“If we look at the numbers alone, June and July were unseasonably busy months and the number of sales this month are on the higher end of our market for a typical July,” she said in a release.
“But we are not in a typical season. We cannot derive an ongoing trend nor forecast by looking at [July] activity, because we know the market is subjected to unusual factors amidst a health crisis. Our spring market was delayed because of the pandemic. It is likely that our spring demand moved into summer, now that folks are moving around our community more freely. Time will tell if these factors are resulting in a very compressed cycle of activity or if this trend will persist in the fall.”
The sales of single family homes in the region last month drove the major increase over last year, with 559 sales – a major 61 per cent climb over July 2019. Condo sales showed a modest 11 per cent increase over last year, with 239 units sold.
The number of active listings at the end of July was 2,653, 10 per cent fewer than at the same point last summer and a shade under the 2,698 listings that were active as of June 30 this year.
Ayers said the market is continuing to produce a long-term, low supply of inventory, “which puts pressure on our market and prices.”
“Though we had a good number of new listings come to market this month, many of those listings were snapped up by buyers,” she says. “Our average active listings for July over the past 10 years is 3,767 but our current local inventory is more than a thousand properties less than that. We have a lot of demand for single family homes – without the numbers to meet that demand.”
The MLS Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria core also continues to go up. In July that number reached $910,400, up nearly $50,000 from last year and roughly $14,000 from June 2020. The Victoria core benchmark value for condos was $529,900 in July – $9,000 higher than last July.
For more information on market trends, visit vreb.org.
LACKIE: Real estate market going through 'recalibration' of supply, demand – Toronto Sun
Article content continued
Buyer confidence is always the wild card. We have seen this time and time again, but most recently in the early days of the pandemic: the market ground to a halt and the buyers brave enough to venture out were looking for deals.
That momentary seize up was a blip, it turned out. Once people realized that the pandemic discounts weren’t holding, the market fired back up again.
If you look at the actual TRREB data, as Ackerley did, you will see that in spite of new listings more than doubling since Sept. 1, the number of sales once averaged out to account for the wild summer has stayed relatively consistent.
So, the main thing to watch now is what happens with the inventory balance on the condo market. We need to see how long it takes for this surge of new listings to slow and eventually absorb.
“It’s true the landscape is different, but rest assured, this market is very strong for many reasons, increased population, diverse economy, stable political system, etc. The market is going to rebound. This sort of thing has happened so many times in the past where something causes the market to stall, the media scares everyone, then there’s a period of adjustment, and by the time the masses figure it out, prices are [on the rise] again.”
Only time will tell, clearly, but I think we’d all do well to take a beat before declaring impending calamity on the real estate front.
In the meantime, you may have questions and if our chat is any indication, Rob Ackerley surely has answers. Shoot him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org – I know I will be.
Brynn Lackie is a sales representative at Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.
Boeing Prepares Deeper Cuts From Executive Ranks to Real Estate – BNN
(Bloomberg) — Boeing Co. is thinning its corps of vice presidents and winnowing real estate holdings, including a splashy outpost near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as the planemaker works furiously to counter plunging aircraft sales and mounting costs for the grounded 737 Max.
About 170 midlevel executives, 70 of them based at Boeing’s commercial airplane division, are taking a buyout offer that includes a year’s salary, according to people familiar with the matter. The first of the vice presidents and senior managers to accept the terms will leave the company Oct. 2, followed by a second wave later in the year.
The cuts go deeper and wider than the 19,000 jobs pared earlier this year when the coronavirus pandemic sent air travel into an unprecedented collapse. Stemming the cash outflow has become a paramount concern for Boeing, and the company is also wringing savings from investments in futuristic technology as well as its businesses and organizational structure.
Boeing is shedding assets “like King Midas in reverse,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with Teal Group.
The biggest and most controversial of the cost-saving measures mulled by Boeing would be to build the 787 Dreamliner at a single site, most likely its South Carolina factory, and close a second final-assembly line in Everett, Washington.
The decision on production amid a steep plunge in wide-body jet deliveries is expected to be announced as soon next month, according to two of the people, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
Au Revoir Chateau
Boeing also is jettisoning holdovers from the days when it was flush with cash. One example: a lavish executive retreat, modeled after a French chateau, in the countryside near St. Louis. The Boeing Leadership Center is closing indefinitely, with 81 workers from chefs to waiters losing their jobs, according to a WARN report.
Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun and Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith warned in July that the company faced a shrinking market that’s likely to remain depressed for years. The Chicago-based company could see a staggering $23.3 billion cash outflow this year, according to an estimate by Melius Research analyst Carter Copeland, before the resumption of Max deliveries starts to fill the company’s coffers in 2021.
Smith, who’s orchestrating the shakeup, said in August that Boeing needs to be “clear-eyed about the market” and how to mitigate its risks.
Boeing signaled last month that a new voluntary exit offer would take workforce reductions well beyond the 10% it initially targeted. The package was aimed at the commercial aircraft and services businesses, the most damaged by the pandemic, as well as the corporate operation, which employed 37,862 people at the start of the year. Fewer employees in the company’s defense, space and government business were eligible for the buyouts.
Boeing is trimming research and development spending in part by phasing out Boeing NeXt, a two-year-old unit focused on futuristic concepts from flying cars to a supersonic business jet.
Aurora Flight Sciences, among the highest profile of the ventures, remains a wholly-owned subsidiary with work proceeding “full steam ahead,” a Boeing representative said.
But the company has tapped the brakes on the Autonomous Flight Research Center it had planned to open this year in MIT’s Kendall Square Initiative in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near the university’s campus.
Boeing is trying to sublease about half of the 100,000 square-feet space it had secured, said Peter Conway, director of research for Boston-based Lincoln Property Co., which doesn’t represent Boeing or the landlord. Aurora no longer plans to move its Cambridge-based team to the building, Boeing said.
The company plans to decide by year-end whether to maintain or monetize its stakes in three ventures:
- Aerion, which is developing a supersonic business jet
- SkyGrid, which is making an air-traffic management system for drones
- Wisk, a joint venture with Kitty Hawk Corp., an autonomous flight venture backed by Google founder Larry Page.
“It’s a different world now,” said Stephen Perry, an investment banker who specializes in aerospace and defense deals at Janes Capital Partners. “They’re all cash-draining businesses in the short run, with an uncertain future.”
Boeing, Perry said, needs to focus on its core businesses because it’s “in a fight for survival.”
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Montreal startup uses AI to set real-estate prices – Montreal Gazette
The pandemic has been devastating for so many businesses, but it has also provided opportunities for other entrepreneurs. Take the case of Montreal brothers Mark and Jordan Owen. Both saw their lives significantly altered by the COVID-19 crisis.
Mark, 28, was working for a local real-estate development firm and business had ground to a halt in the spring. Jordan, 26, was in a master’s program in real-estate development and city planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and had come back to Montreal in March because all in-person classes had been cancelled.
That’s when they had the idea of starting up a company to produce reusable masks. They founded Bien Aller, named in honour of the Quebec COVID catchphrase “Ça va bien aller.” They created the firm with a friend, Sean Tassé, who had been laid off from his job at a construction-management firm because of the pandemic.
Six months later, they’ve sold about 300,000 masks and they’re still producing them at facilities in Montreal and South Korea. Then the Owen brothers, Tassé and another friend, Benoit Thibeault, had a notion for a more unusual startup. The Owens’ background in Montreal real estate had them thinking that what developers and brokers could really use is a more reliable way to set prices for houses and condos that are going on the sales or rental markets.
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