Friday free-for-all

The end of the week is here again! Congratulations! You made it! Here’s your open topic post to discuss whatever’s on your mind. Here’s a few things I noticed this week:

-Vancouver police want easier access to Condo buildings
-Scotiabank: Canadian economy will slow for 3rd year in a row.
-BC government wants expats to return.
-RBC says BC housing getting more affordable.
US subprime mess keeps getting messier.

Whats the word on the street? The nitty-gritty? Post your links, news and anectdotes here!

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Very few I think. Remember that these are the people who grew up during the Depression and fought WWII. And indeed some are still around – I know some personally.My sister and her husband bought a house with 5% down for $45,000 about 30-odd years ago. When she died, I thought the house was paid for and that her husband would be financially OK. Not true. Every time their mortgage came up for renewal, they upped the mortgage. They had very little additional equity after 30 years.


Again, no sh*t, some of those houses were bought in 1948.I wonder how many of these have had big MEWs.Very few I think. Remember that these are the people who grew up during the Depression and fought WWII. And indeed some are still around – I know some personally.Boomers – that's another story.


"As a whole, parapsychologists are nice, honest people, while the critics are cynical, nasty people" (Ray Hyman, skeptical scientist)For 'parapsychologist', substitute 'MSM-RE-commentator'.


"freako: thanks for the analysis. "You mean vitriol?


freako: thanks for the analysis.


GREAT POST FREAKO!Deserves to be spread across RE blogs & forums everywhere.A breath of fresh air, compared to crap like "prices must be going up cause I saw tonz of traffic around an open hose"


Still, more than 93 percent of the 32 million single-family residences' valuations and loans in the study had positive equityOr seven per cent or 1 in 15 homes (not mortgages!) has negative equity! Stunning. Defies belief. Whoever could have conceived of this five years ago?Worthy of being featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not in the Sunday comics.And how positive was the positive equity in the remaining homes … e.g., how much of a market downswing would be required to double the 7% to 14%, or higher?Again, no sh*t, some of those houses were bought in 1948.I wonder how many of these have had big MEWs.


"Isn't this the result of limited income capping what landlords can ask for rent? "Sorry I meant squeezed downwards. Getting too myopic for my own good.OT:If you want something to rant about, check out this article:"About 1.1 million additional home foreclosures are expected over the next six years as adjustable-rate mortgages"At least. But then we get:""It's less than we spend on alcohol. It's less than we spend on the lottery and gambling," said Christopher Cagan, director of research and analytics, and author of the report Mortgage Payment Reset, The Issue and the Impact."Why are we spinning so hard that you need to reach for such desperate comparatives, Mr Cagan? "That's what gets the attention," Cagan said. "The traffic report reports the accidents. It doesn't report the normal traffic."Give me a f*cking break Cagan. When your industry has done the equivalent… Read more »


No, let the specuvestors head for the hills.


blueskies: Vancouver has a 50 week growing seasonSome folks push that up to 52 weeks by going indoors and using the right equipment.


freako: The one worrying thing is that rents are not being squeezed, and vacancies remain low. That is an enigma to me.Isn't this the result of limited income capping what landlords can ask for rent?


After all this city is a perfect spot for money laundering, scamming, illegal trade of counterfeit goods, drug making nad selling, pornography and real-estate speculation. Wow,nad selling???? I guess that it is more expensive to live there than I thought. I too, would be very afraid. Thanks for the much needed levity, that is rich and I just couldn't resist the grin that I got from that concept.patiently waiting,Maybe you and I both suffer from the grass is greener syndrome. Take the wife to that campy Atlantic Trap & Gill place on Davie if it still exists and have a donair:)Maybe that will help.freako,Dust off your gear and we will head to the hills sometime:)


Well that is your conclusion. It is an invididual decision. Others may happily accept the tradeoff.Well of course. I can remember when Vancouver was laid back, relatively unpolluted, reasonably free from breakins, reasonably easy to get around, and had unobtrusive street people. Oh yeah, it was affordable too.Now if you are willing to accept the deterioration in all these factors in exchange for cultural considerations – either lifestyle or ethnic – that's you're choice. It's not mine.Eagle Crest Estates in Queensborough.May I nominate this for the Real Estate Oxymoron Hall of Fame?BTW I can remember when Queensborough looked virtually unchanged from the 1920's, to the extent that they used it for movie shoots.

patiently waiting

streel – Yes, I know what your name means.I moved back to Vancouver for family/personal reasons and I do have mixed feelings now. There is no doubt about how my wife feels about this place (she brought up our old house in Halifax a few days ago).Think long and hard before moving back from Halifax. We miss so many things from there. Even the outdoor lifestyle is more accessible in Atlantic Canada. You can drive 15 minutes from downtown Halifax to some fairly remote trails and the Ocean is there too and cheaper. And it does have many decent restaurants, perhaps more per capita than Vancouver.Halifax reminded me of the old Vancouver I knew before it was "discovered" by the world during Expo 86. Coming back after a few years, I'm still getting over the continuing decline in the quality… Read more »

patiently waiting

If there is a big jump in inventory, why aren't I seeing it on the MLS?I've noticed new condo ads announcing 30% and 50% sold. Wow, impressive.I've been watching the final phase of Eagle Crest Estates in Queensborough. 25 new townhouse listings have been on the MLS since December and NOT ONE has sold.


The inventory of resale homes should start to hit record highs in the next few weeks.I would imagine MLS will get "creative" so as to not start a stampede.It will be interesting to see how the usual suspects will deal with the new inventory coming on stream.Will they pay actors to stand in line overnight?Will they start selling to "holding" companies which the developers themselves own?Will they cut the price and offer a $50,000 shopping spree?Free interest for 3 years? 5 years?No credit, bad credit, no problem?If the newspaper ad sales managers are smart and want to get the lion share of the advertising, they better start writing some stories quickly. Start with how the population of Vancouver….


warren: $50k in debt? See my post above about sucking it up by working part time and/or living at home to save money.What worked for you may not work for others. Living 'at home' doesn't work if the parents don't live near college/university, and for mature students it's often not possible for various reasons. I worked part-time the first two years of my BA, then realized that the job was keeping me from a 4.0 GPA to guarantee my choice of grad school. So I quit and relied on student loans thereafter.It's not as easy nor as simple as you paint it here.


Vintage and streel, good on you sorting out your differences. I do think your viewpoints overlap quite a bit. And it is a good reminder that this here bubble is NOT victimless. People do get frustrated and tempers will flare. Once again, I wish we had access derivates based on the GV benchmarks. A house came up that I am really interested in. I may still buy it in the end, but if derivatives were available, I'd buy it in a heartbeat and short the index for an offsetting amount.As for the subprime, its great for getting headlines, but you've seen nothing yet. Price declines and foreclosures will be the new media darlings. In about 6 months, foreclosures will hit newsworthy levels, and sometime after that, VHB will have his Oprah moment. IF that pain does not resonate in Vancouver,… Read more »


This subprime mortgage thing is a freight train that's barely out of the station. It's gonna set off the biggest US housing crash in history and will take us along for the ride.At least we are starting to wake up to the alarm bells, whereas folks in Calgary & Edmonton still have their heads firmly stuck in that oily sand.We're on the brink, and this is the BIG ONE!


bearette,Actually, a Bloomberg article last week suggested 1.5 million people could lose their homes, and the estimate seems to be growing, as the Globe and the Post info looks quite tame compared to Saturday headlines in US papers.


Back on real estate:Who else notice the giant US Subprime Meltdown 1&2 page features on the front of both the Globe and National Post newspapers this Saturday? Full of doom and gloom. Hundreds of thousands losing their omes. Loans harder to get. US predictions of full recession by the end of this year. Impact on Canada: tourism, export economy, fear. The Canadian MSM is catching on….


disclaimer: i love Vancouverwe spent 20 years in Calgary, good $ but lots of redneck a#holesbig suburban house, long commutecurrently live in YT but considering the East side SFH. Vancouver has a 50 week growing season compared to 90 days or less over the mountainsit don't get better than that!


freako said:I am with rentah on this one. I have always heard stories about a certain cities great hospitality, or in some cases rudeness. But when I travelled, I found that experiences often contradicted the stereotype. For example, not a single person was rude to me in Paris even though I never even tried to use my Grade 10 French. So what gives?I agree. "The grass is always greener…" seems to apply to a lot of what I read on local blogs. Complaining has and will always be a favorite Vancouver pastime.


runaway screaming:I graduated from a university professional program 10 years ago. Even then my average classmate had accumulated $50,000 in student loans. I don’t know when you went to school but it has become a lot more expensive in the last 20 years. Students these days may have to take jobs outside their chosen careers just so they can pay off their increasingly burdensome student loans.Dude I graduated debt free from SFU in 2003. I worked part time during school to pay bills, tuition, and managed to live away from home. My current employer of roughly 550 people has at least 30 open positions right now. We hire BCIT grads like they are going out of style.$50k in debt? See my post above about sucking it up by working part time and/or living at home to save money.So, overall I… Read more »


I guess as well, the fact that I am on the other side of the country allows me to be a little more objective about Vancouver. I don't have to face the crap everyday.