Vancouver Price Drop

Documenting Vancouver real estate price movements

Desperation Meter – September 19, 2012

The Desperation Meter is a formula I’ve come up with that determines a desperation score by weighting events like price drops, relisting under a new MLS and open houses and re-weighting them by how recent the event occurred.  I’m going to try and make this a regular Wednesday feature.  Some highlights

  • The only region to appear more than once is Vancouver East which made the list 3 times
  • 6 of 9 listings are listed below assessment

#1 ) Address:34463 ROCKRIDGE PL, Hatzic, Mission

March 09 F1202886 $499,000 $0 0%
April 13 F1202886 removed
May 04 F1211519 $489,900 $-9,100 -2%
June 29 F1211519 $469,900 $-29,100 -6%
July 28 F1211519 $464,900 $-34,100 -7%
August 01 F1211519 $459,900 $-39,100 -8%
August 03 F1211519 $458,900 $-40,100 -8%
August 09 F1211519 $457,900 $-41,100 -8%
August 10 F1211519 $456,900 $-42,100 -8%
August 15 F1211519 $455,900 $-43,100 -9%
August 17 F1211519 $454,900 $-44,100 -9%
August 22 F1211519 $453,900 $-45,100 -9%
August 24 F1211519 $452,900 $-46,100 -9%
August 29 F1211519 $451,900 $-47,100 -9%
September 01 F1211519 $450,900 $-48,100 -10%
September 06 F1211519 $449,900 $-49,100 -10%

Assessment: $494,000

Desperation Score: 56.2

I’m all for speculators, flippers, people living a lie on credit and debt and greedy developers pumping out poorly made units as fast as possible all getting crushed in what is likely to be a healthy cleansing but there will be lots of people like this that will be financially ruined.  Sure, they probably overpaid by a very good margin but this is a 2000 sqft family home with a yard in Mission and they are now listed almost $100K and 20% below what they paid for it 5 years ago…  So you see 14 price drops including 9 in August and almost all for $1K and although I joke about million dollar price drops on imaginary gains on some listings, in this case it is likely that each of these $1K drops are coming out of the current owners pockets.  One reason I started this site is because I hoped the information on it could be shared enough that maybe it helps some first time buyers or people looking to upgrade avoid making a huge financial mistake. 

Huge Value! This home was purchased in 2007 for $540,000! Lavish rancher with loft in exclusive Rockridge Estates! All your daily living needs are met on the luxurious main floor without the bother of negotiating stairs! Enjoy the spacious kitchen overlooking park-like backyard on tranquil greenbelt, dining room, living room, office, the Master Bedroom boasts ensuite with soaker tub and shower! Extra space upstairs with bedroom, bathroom and games room. In-floor radiant heating, oversized double garage and large driveway, secure gated neighborhood with low $40 per month strata, make your move today!

#2 ) Address:1537 E 5TH AV, Grandview, Vancouver East

March 09 V923259 $895,000 $0 0%
April 08 V923259 removed
April 12 V942434 $793,000 $-102,000 -11%
June 07 V942434 removed
June 09 V955548 $789,000 $-106,000 -12%
June 15 V955548 $759,000 $-136,000 -15%
June 30 V955548 $729,000 $-166,000 -19%
July 24 V955548 $699,000 $-196,000 -22%
August 11 V955548 $679,000 $-216,000 -24%
August 24 V955548 $629,000 $-266,000 -30%
September 07 V955548 $609,000 $-286,000 -32%
September 18 V955548 $629,000 $-266,000 -30%

Assessment: $686,000

Desperation Score: 42.1

Blue tarp realtor, here is some advice since I don’t think raising the price is going to work.  People are not buying this home, they are buying the lot, right?  The pictures are a joke, the blue tarp is a joke and lets be honest, the house is a joke.  Improve your listing 100% by getting rid of the pictures of the house.  Go to Google Maps Arial Street View and take a screen shot and draw a border around the property lines – I imagine you’ll need to get someone to help you with this.  Now people will understand they are buying a lot, not a blue tarp that has more value than the entire home it is draped around.  Of course this change will still probably not manage to make this sell.  Come on, a 3000 sqft lot in a place where you’ll often find people passed out on your steps or forced to entertain squaters that have taken over your shed?  In most cities this is the type of place that lists for $20K and still doesn’t sell but you had the sense of humour to list it for $900K.

25×122 / 3050sq.ft. lot just half a block to Commerical Drive on 5th Ave. Fantastic location. Duplex property with RM-4 zoning. For sale by court order. All measurements are approx. Buyer to verify. Property sold as-is where-is. Restore the duplex home (circa 1912) or build new. Vibrant community. Easy transit connect to UBC, downtown. Call to discuss your new home opportunities!

#3 ) Address:855 BLUE MOUNTAIN ST, Harbour Chines, Coquitlam

April 16 V943444 $949,000 $0 0%
April 18 V943444 $899,000 $-50,000 -5%
May 09 V943444 $879,000 $-70,000 -7%
Open House: May 20
Open House: May 27
Open House: Jun 03
Open House: Jun 10
Open House: Jun 16
June 18 V943444 removed
June 22 V957843 $799,900 $-149,100 -16%
Open House: Jun 23
Open House: Jun 24
Open House: Jun 30
Open House: Jul 01
July 23 V957843 removed
July 25 V963611 $799,000 $-150,000 -16%
August 08 V963611 $779,000 $-170,000 -18%
August 28 V963611 $749,000 $-200,000 -21%
Open House: Sep 09
September 12 V963611 $729,000 $-220,000 -23%

Assessment: $738,000

Desperation Score: 39.3

As I mentioned in the Weekly Drop posting, this is in a nice spot in Coquitlam so too bad their incredible greed has probably cost them a lot of money

Prime Harbour Chines. Quality custom design & finish materials featured throughout this fine family home. Located on large nicely landscaped private lot. Freshly painted inside and out with many recent upgrades and renovations. Beautiful maple kitchen w/island and comfortable family room leads to huge new vinyl deck covered to enjoy year round. Spacious Master bedroom fit for a King has walk in closet and warm hardwood floors. Luxury main floor bath offers granite counters & jetted tub to relax. Bonus: Brand new basement kitchen, bath, recreation room w/separate entrance great for home office or mortgage helper, Truly one of kind home & property must see to appreciate. Ready to move in and enjoy now! Open Sun Sept 9 2-4pm

#4 ) Address:1881 DUTHIE AV, Montecito, Burnaby

May 16 V950500 $1,228,000 $0 0%
Open House: May 19
Open House: May 20
Open House: May 27
May 26 V950500 $1,199,000 $-29,000 -2%
Open House: Jun 10
June 12 V950500 $1,148,000 $-80,000 -7%
Open House: Jun 17
Open House: Jun 23
Open House: Jun 24
June 20 V950500 $1,078,000 $-150,000 -12%
Open House: Jul 08
July 12 V950500 removed
July 14 V962071 $998,000 $-230,000 -19%
Open House: Jul 22
Open House: Jul 28
Open House: Aug 05
Open House: Aug 12
August 22 V962071 removed
August 25 V968016 $989,000 $-239,000 -19%
September 12 V968016 $979,900 $-248,100 -20%

Assessment: $752,100

Desperation Score: 39.0

Another nominee for lazy realtor of the year.  “Open House Saturday 2-4pm”.  Thanks, really makes me want to show up to this place that is still listed for over 30% above assessment

Open House Saturday 2-4pm

#5 ) Address:518 E 1ST ST, Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver

July 15 V962307 $895,000 $0 0%
Open House: Jul 15
Open House: Jul 21
Open House: Jul 22
July 25 V962307 $875,000 $-20,000 -2%
Open House: Jul 28
Open House: Jul 29
July 31 V962307 $850,000 $-45,000 -5%
Open House: Aug 04
Open House: Aug 05
August 09 V962307 $838,000 $-57,000 -6%
Open House: Aug 11
Open House: Aug 12
August 15 V962307 $825,000 $-70,000 -8%
Open House: Aug 19
August 22 V962307 $815,000 $-80,000 -9%
Open House: Aug 25
Open House: Aug 26
September 05 V962307 removed
September 09 V970178 $795,000 $-100,000 -11%
Open House: Sep 09
Open House: Sep 15
September 19 V970178 $785,000 $-110,000 -12%

Assessment: $670,900

Desperation Score: 38.3

“Estate sale, must be sold.” – demographics point towards more and more of these estate sales helping bring down the market

Don’t miss seeing this well maintained bungalow featuring 2 fully finsihed 2304 sq ft on 2 levels. 3 bedrooms up/2 down & 2 baths (1) down & recreation room, wet bar & storage. Located on a 50×120′ nicely landscaped lot. Fenced backyard (safe for your little ones & pets). Very private & sunny backyard for your summer barbeques & entertaining your friends. Newly painted (June 2012) exterior & main floor, roof 2010, thermo windows thruout, enclosed porch for a quiet coffee in the morning while looking at your garden. Bonus: Mortgage helper 2nd kitchen plus 2 beds with private entrance with minor modification. Single garage w/lane access. Estate sale, must be sold. Bring your family-you would have to call this place home. PUBLIC OPEN: Saturday, September 22nd, 2-4 PM.

#6 ) Address:5625 LIMBERT RD, Agassiz, Kent

March 09 H1200878 $519,900 $0 0%
April 18 H1200878 $499,900 $-20,000 -4%
May 31 H1200878 removed
June 16 H1202542 $479,700 $-40,200 -8%
July 25 H1202542 removed
July 26 H1203102 $467,700 $-52,200 -10%
September 09 H1203102 removed
September 11 H1203735 $457,700 $-62,200 -12%
September 17 H1203735 removed
September 18 H1203827 $435,700 $-84,200 -16%

Assessment: $475,000

Desperation Score: 37.8

Peace and quiet on 8.8 acres! Warm, rustic and cozy 3 bedroom “Panabode like” rancher with basement log home! Vaulted ceilings with exposed beams! Spacious open layout! 3’rd bathroom roughed-in in basement. 200 Amp service. Massive wrap around sun deck with farm pasture views! A 26’x41′ workshop hidden away up the trail from the house. A secondary driveway is in place that leads to a fabulous view building site on a partly cleared level bench of land. Ultimate privacy! Nice sunny southern views from the existing home that get better the higher you go! Bring on the motorbikes and quads! Harrison Hot Springs, Lake and golfing is only 12 minutes away. This is the perfect recreational getaway or your view acreage opportunity!

#7 ) Address:1271 NEPAL CR, Ambleside, West Vancouver

March 29 V939764 $1,498,000 $0 0%
June 08 V939764 removed
June 11 V955853 $1,398,000 $-100,000 -7%
Open House: Jun 17
Open House: Jun 23
Open House: Jul 01
July 10 V955853 $1,298,000 $-200,000 -13%
Open House: Jul 14
Open House: Jul 22
Open House: Jul 29
Open House: Aug 19
Open House: Aug 26
Open House: Sep 02
September 05 V955853 removed
September 07 V969458 $1,249,000 $-249,000 -17%
Open House: Sep 09
Open House: Sep 16
September 19 V969458 $1,198,000 $-300,000 -20%
Open House: Sep 23

Assessment: $1,480,500

Desperation Score: 35.0

This beautifully renovated 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home sits on a gently sloping southwest facing lot with all day sun. Some of the many features include hardwood floors, a custom kitchen with hand-crafted, soft-closing cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, air-conditioning and large windows. Enjoy the lovely views of Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park and Georgia Strait from the wrap-around deck that is great for entertaining. A great family home with suite potential!

#8 ) Address:3686 E GEORGIA ST, Renfrew, Vancouver East

March 09 V928200 $1,188,000 $0 0%
March 28 V928200 removed
March 31 V940402 $1,088,000 $-100,000 -8%
May 07 V940402 removed
May 24 V952066 $1,188,000 $0 0%
Open House: May 26
Open House: May 27
Open House: Jun 02
Open House: Jun 24
July 09 V952066 removed
July 12 V961610 $988,500 $-199,500 -17%
Open House: Jul 14
August 28 V961610 removed
September 06 V969380 $988,500 $-199,500 -17%
Open House: Sep 09
Open House: Sep 08
September 18 V969380 $899,900 $-288,100 -24%
Open House: Sep 22
Open House: Sep 23

Assessment: Building Unfinished at time of Assessment

Desperation Score: 34.8

Just look at the price history and the fact that it has had at least 5 MLS numbers so far – smells of desperation

Move in right away – brand new, energy efficient house by award-winning European builder with 2-5-10 warranty coverage. HST has been paid!! separate legal suite (2 bedroom) with its own entry, address and electrical panel (great mortgage helper or in-law/nanny suite). Floors insulated and sound-proofed. Security system and built-in vac included. All appliances included, blinds 3 decks, in-floor radiant heating, gas fireplace, separate double garage, landscaped. Large kitchen, with granite tops and gas range. Too many features to mention, call Realtor for details. Public open house Saturday Sept.22nd from 2 to 4 and Sunday Sept 23rd from 2-4pm.More photos at

#9 ) Address:1819 8TH AV, West End, New Westminster

March 09 V935944 $1,358,000 $0 0%
April 24 V935944 removed
April 26 V945560 $1,328,990 $-29,010 -2%
May 29 V945560 removed
May 31 V953526 $1,298,000 $-60,000 -4%
June 28 V953526 $1,228,000 $-130,000 -10%
July 17 V953526 removed
July 19 V962745 $1,168,000 $-190,000 -14%
Open House: Jul 22
Open House: Jul 29
Open House: Aug 12
Open House: Aug 19
August 16 V962745 removed
September 09 V969882 $1,148,800 $-209,200 -15%
Open House: Sep 16
Open House: Sep 23

Assessment: $1,013,000

Desperation Score: 34.6

Better than new (no HST). Built & lived in by reputable builder in popular West End. Great attention to detail. Extensive use of drop ceilings, wainscotting, baseboards, crown moldings, granite, maple HW floors, radiant heat. High end kitchen with S/S appliances,antique white & mahogany finish cabinets,large granite island.Massive family room overlooking professionally landscaped private yard with 2 car detached garage.Covered patio, year round use.Upstairs 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms,huge walk-in closet & ensuite in master.Great plan & layout of home.Fully finished 2 bdrm legal suite plus separate entry to cellar bsmt. An excellent family home.Close to skytrain,shopping,eateries & schools. OPEN HOUSE SUN SEPT 23RD 2:30-4:30PM

#10 ) Address:# 102 1330 GRAVELEY ST, Grandview, Vancouver East

March 09 V932583 $279,000 $0 0%
March 20 V932583 removed
March 22 V938508 $265,000 $-14,000 -5%
April 16 V938508 removed
June 06 V954575 $258,800 $-20,200 -7%
Open House: Jun 10
Open House: Jun 09
Open House: Jun 17
Open House: Jun 23
June 25 V954575 removed
June 27 V958748 $249,900 $-29,100 -10%
Open House: Jun 30
Open House: Jul 07
Open House: Jul 28
August 27 V958748 removed
September 02 V969035 $229,000 $-50,000 -18%
Open House: Sep 09

Assessment: $241,000

Desperation Score: 34.6

Beautifully updated 1 bdrm – Just 2 blocks to “The Drive”. Light, bright & spacious, with floor to ceiling windows, gas burning fireplace & a well-planned layout maximizing the space. Nicely updated including kitchen, laminate flooring, paint & tile. Enjoy in-suite laundry, additional storage locker, secured underground parking & bike room. Sorry no deck or patio, but you have full use of inner courtyard common garden – perfect for BBQing. Well maintained building with nice community feel. Both Fido & Feline are welcome – 2 pets per unit. Only 2 rentals allowed & already at a max. Perfect location close to all the shopping & restaurants that Commercial Drive has to offer plus Skytrain & transit.


16 responses to “Desperation Meter – September 19, 2012

  1. prairieperson September 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks. It helps to see these.

  2. gokou3 September 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Great work as usual. I wonder if you have considered putting in “# of different realtors” as a factor in your desperation meter. I think if the seller changes realtor 5 times, that would indicate he’s quite desperate. I understand it’s probably a manual process to retrieve such info though.

    • Diane September 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      Changing MLS numbers doens’t necessarily mean a change in realtors. They could just be trying to obscure the true price history, as well as the “days on market” indicator. A house that has been listed for “only” 10 days gives quite a different impression to buyers than one that has been listed for 6 months and has come down by $200,000

    • an observer September 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      I should be able to get realtor info although only moving forward, so no previous history. i think you are right that changing realtors is a desperation factor

  3. JoeQ September 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Very good work – also appreciate the hilarious commentary. 5 Stars.

  4. harbottle September 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    ahh..a shot of desperation each week is addictive. 🙂

  5. prairieperson September 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    The crumbling edge of real estate prices are always those who have to sell. Divorces, deaths, moves you have no choice about, lost jobs. However, people I know have a house in Van that got an offer of 850 but turned it down because the house “should” sell for 899,000. These are the kind of people who, when prices begin to slide, andit is obvious they aren’t going to bounce back, are going to sell in a panic. It’s an estate sale and more th an one person gets a vote. Going to be some angry sibs when they finally sell and see the difference between850 and whatever they end up getting. Seller psychology is interestingly crazy. It’s as if people are incapable of understanding that if you are in a situation with no buyers (check out ghost towns, mining towns where the mine has closed down, Detroit) houses are worth a fraction of what they once sold for (if anything). “I spent 100k fixing up this kitchen!!” Etc. Irrelevant. Of course, many people have the right to be angry because the industry has sold them a bill of goods.

  6. Claudia September 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    #6 has been on the market since March, yet there are no photos for the listing? The seller may be desperate, but their realtor clearly isn’t.

    I’m shocked that #9 isn’t listed at $988,888 because a lot of people are not even looking at properties above a million, since CMHC coverage is no longer available above that price point.

    • an observer September 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Regarding #6, I just pulled a picture from the previous listing and updated it. Google makes that easy! Reason there was no picture on the new listing is because it just got added to the MLS and often it takes a couple of days.

      That $1 million rule brought in by the fed had a huge affect on the lower mainland. Like you said, a huge number of potential buyers are eliminated if that property sells for over $1 million so the chances of that happening are slim. So, they’ll need to drop to $999K and then those previously $999K homes are not going to look good compared to this one and so they drop and so on and so on

  7. Bob Dole September 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Thank you for this. Time and time again MLS and realtors have locked up the system of data so no one can make an informed decision.

  8. weenerman September 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Ahh, Blue Tarp is the gift that keeps on giving!

  9. Tony September 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    When do you think the cleansing will be finished? #1 is down 20% from 2007. Do you see like a 50% drop happening, or how will you know its at a bottom?

    • an observer September 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      It will vary from location to location and probably be impossible to know when the bottom hits. Also, most of the asking price drops are still just people realizing that their initial prices were silly. That home in Mission has real losses and we’ll see more and more of that I suspect

      I believe a real drop in the HPI (if it truly is being calculated correctly) of 40% will be likely. Unlike economists who work for banks or the crea or realtors, I’m not just pulling the number out of mid air. A 40% drop will return prices to the historical trend line for Vancouver which of course is still higher than most places. It also makes price / rent much more realistic. Price / income is still going to be low due to lower wages and lots of astronauts who send the wife and kids to live in Vancouver while working abroad but I don’t expect that to ever return to whatever typical is.

      I also doubt it will be a straight line down to -40%. There will be bounces back up in price along the way and overall I think this will play out for 5+ years and possibly longer.

      If you buy once it becomes cheaper or as cheap to own than rent the same property then sure, you might not time the bottom but you can be reasonably confident that ten years later you will be ahead.

  10. Bo Xilai September 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Great site… Great commentary… Positively addictive for the Vancouver RE bears…

  11. Patiently Waiting September 21, 2012 at 4:43 am

    #3 Harbour Chines: Whoever owns this house watched way too much HGTV and should have never sought a HELOC. Streetview shows several large vehicles in the driveway. Whats worse is the big, showy front yard…and what must be a small backyard. Anyone who buys this house will either spend a fortune or endless hours on lawn maintenance just to impress the neighbours…who will quietly resent you (other houses on the street have modest yards).

    The insides of the house are also overdone and to the particular taste of the current owner. This owner is the kind of house-crazy, debt-foolish idiot who should lose their shirt, and nobody will feel sorry for them.

    They priced too high at the beginning considering there is no indication the huge lot is sub-dividable any time in the near future.

  12. Pierre September 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Very entertaining, thanks a lot for your good work.

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