Friday free-for-all

Here’s your open topic post for Friday June 1st:

– REBGV sales stats for May 2007 available soon.
– Olympic size taxpayer subsidies for developers.
– Loonie and mortgage rates going up.
– Business council of BC economic outlook (pdf).
Flipping the truth.

What are you seeing out there on the streets and sidewalks of Vancouver? Post your news, links, rants & anectdotes here!

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markx
markx
13 years ago

"Just where are all those new jobs supposed to come from? "I was referring to jobs created in the past year or two, mostly in construction and forestry, including pine beetle salvage harvesting. We can expect rent to go up at least for a year or two, as rental demands tend to lag employment changes.

Warren
Warren
13 years ago

markx:But my impression is, the Liberals seem tougher in that aspect, not giving in to demands even when the public treasure is not that tight.Depends what you consider "not that tight". The liberals inherited a budget in pretty severe deficit. I have family members in unions and I've been in one myself. But as a taxpayer I had no problem with the liberals giving them nothing. Times have been better lately and the unions were rewarded with an increase and a signing bonus.Now, the MLA pay & pension hike is another story.

patriotz
patriotz
13 years ago

due to increased employment rate while population stay stableI find that highly improbable given the dire state of the forest industry, the high C$, and construction employment that has nowhere to go but down.Just where are all those new jobs supposed to come from?

beta
beta
13 years ago

Loonie and mortgages rates going up reflects a strong economy overall. As the US dollar is declining against other currencies, don't infer too much from a rising loonie. Ditto re. rising rates as absolute indicators of economic strength.

markx
markx
13 years ago

Loonie and mortgages rates going up reflects a strong economy overall. Given that the strength is mostly in western Canada, we can expect rents to go up with wages, and likely outpace wages by a large margin, due to increased employment rate while population stay stable. This is actually a strong case for bulls on the fundamental side. Too bad Chipman can only give the "many people have made money in RE" stuff.

markx
markx
13 years ago

"If I recall correctly, teachers had a skirmish with the Dosanj NDP government before the shift of power. There may even have been a strike. "Teachers did had a skirmish with Dosanj NDP, (last minute deal). Support workers for schools had a full week strike. But my impression is, the Liberals seem tougher in that aspect, not giving in to demands even when the public treasure is not that tight. Overall, public union membership is not as big a deal in Liberal's time as NDP's time. In the 90's, it feels like being a member of a public union, whether it's teachers, school cook, hospital cook, or other staff, is extremely desirable, compared to any non-union career.

Drachen
Drachen
13 years ago

satvWasn't that a Scooby Doo episode?

Warren
Warren
13 years ago

Are the deals really that good to drive to the US? All the time and gas makes it seem not worth it for an out-of-the-way trip. I have stupid relatives who do that and I doubt they are really saving money.I agree. I remember a lot of the same talk when the C$ made a run from the 65 cent range to the 85 cent range.

freako
freako
13 years ago

"Between a pay raise for teachers and nurses, and a Britannia Beach housing development, I choose the later."If I recall correctly, teachers had a skirmish with the Dosanj NDP government before the shift of power. There may even have been a strike.

freako
freako
13 years ago

"Shanghai exchange currently down 5.3% (intraday, Monday 4 June 2007).That's about 12% off all time (recent) highs.China could pullback 50% in total, over months."Hit limits of 10% for the day, total drop now 15% since Tuesdays peak. However, other markets are shrugging it off.

patriotz
patriotz
13 years ago

Somehow Sullivan ended up as Mayor of VancouverI think it had something to do with having one opponent called "Jim Green" and another called "James Green".Just like the NDP being funded by major public unions, the Liberals are funded by private businessThis is a common misconception. In fact the NDP gets by far the majority of its funding from individual donations. If you don't believe me, check the Elections BC website.If contributions were limited to individuals, the Liberals would be hurt far more than the NDP. The Doer government in Manitoba did just this some time ago (and was recently re-elected), but apparently this reasoning was lost on Glen Clark, who didn't.

rentah
rentah
13 years ago

Shanghai exchange currently down 5.3% (intraday, Monday 4 June 2007).That's about 12% off all time (recent) highs.China could pullback 50% in total, over months.At some point, the US markets (and the TSX) will move down with the emerging markets.When the Chinese stocks crash, the top will be in for Vancouver RE.(Note: I say this not because I believe that Chinese folks rich from stock winnings are buying Vancouver homes (very small effect), BUT rather that the China peak will represent a turn in global liquidity).

markx
markx
13 years ago

I read the Georgia Straight article. I find that it makes too many sensational accusations. It's no secret that the BC Liberals, and Gordon Campbell in particular, are backed by RE interested group. The largest campaigne contributor was association of independent contractors, if I remember correctly. Just like the NDP being funded by major public unions, the Liberals are funded by private business, and BC don't have all that many big businesses. All I know is, BC liberals helped inflate a RE bubble, provided strong job market for people outside the public unions, and got a huge amount of market housing built. On the other hand, NDP would likely have given Unions and the likes of APC a big fat raise. Between a pay raise for teachers and nurses, and a Britannia Beach housing development, I choose the later. At… Read more »

Patiently Waiting
Patiently Waiting
13 years ago

Somehow Sullivan ended up as Mayor of Vancouver. I wasn't paying much attention at the time (and don't live in Vancouver) but somehow it happened.

satv
satv
13 years ago

ghost become bubble.there was a story of a realtor in 19th centuary.when his client approach to him to sell his house realtor had a look at his house and it was like love at first site,that realtor loved that house so much and plan to buy that house for him self.but he was not able to afford that house because that was so expensive.so what to do now how can I afford that realtor banging his head over night and creat an idea.he list that house through his source,but in the same time he install music system inside house. when ever some one go to see that house, while showing that house to his client,some how he use to turn the music on.that music he played was sound of devils,client got more scare when he manage to turn the lights… Read more »

Drachen
Drachen
13 years ago

ratholeNot chinese stocks! :)Seriously though, Europe should be more insulated if you want safety (Not England or the Scandinavian countries though). Try Poland or either of the former Czechoslovakias. If you only have a little money just do your research and get a good mutual fund that's well hedged.But don't take my advice if you have lots of money, pay a professional.

solipsist
solipsist
13 years ago

"Mind you, nobody has high expectations for Sullivan anymore."Who did? Ever?

patriotz
patriotz
13 years ago

Mind you, nobody has high expectations for Sullivan anymore.Anymore?

rathole
rathole
13 years ago

Hi,If you guys are preparing for a real estate market correction and the US currency is also currently going down at the same time. Where do you guys recommend to invest someone's savings while they are waiting for the bubble to happen?Thanks,Rathole

Patiently Waiting
Patiently Waiting
13 years ago

Raising peoples expectations too high is dangerous, especially when so many people are about to come here see the city first-hand. As a politician, Sullivan should know this. Mind you, nobody has high expectations for Sullivan anymore.

jesse
jesse
13 years ago

digi: that is freaking hilarious! Sam should refer to himself as "Vancouverbashi" sorta like this guy.

digi
digi
13 years ago

did anyone catch the article in the globe about Sam Sullivans press conference announcing that vancouver once again won a most liveable city award? The problem was that it was from 2005.Ah, Vancouver – we're slow but we're special.

Uncertain Buyer
Uncertain Buyer
13 years ago

I am still lurking on all of these Blogs. Even though I am a home owner I do feel that we are in a RE correction. These Blogs are full of interesting articles, info, etc.One question. What's up with VHB??? Is anyone a signed in member? What's going on in there?

patriotz
patriotz
13 years ago

Well he does talk about using a rent-vs-buy calculator which will take this into account, but that doesn't make the section on "positive cash flow" any less bogus.It borders on bizarre to neglect imputed rent as a benefit of owning, and in the very next paragraph say that investment property is a good investment if rent exceeds expenses. Indeed the parameters for owner-occupancy are more favourable due to tax advantages.

Drachen
Drachen
13 years ago

patriotzIf you read to the end of the article he does mention that you need to plug rent into your calculations…

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SoldTooSoon
SoldTooSoon
13 years ago

No mention of prices, but from the CBC site,a BMO analyst is willing to concede that the "underlying trend in housing starts is starting to grind lower." Starts since Jan have been alternating up and down over the previous month.

macho slob
macho slob
13 years ago

Is anyone NOT baffled by satv?

Niteowl
Niteowl
13 years ago

Is anyone else baffled by satv?

mold city
mold city
13 years ago

Yeah, c'mon guys – Vancouver real estate has never and will never go down in value. It's the investment that can never lose – like the Canucks. The Canucks will never be beat by another team and Vancouver real estate will never drop. Go Vancouver!

satv
satv
13 years ago

EARTH (land)worth more than STARS**********STARS IN THE SKY Stars always shine no matter what,star in the sky are priceless and very hard to get over there.******MOVIE STARS are also very expensive but only for director.not for public all people pay same amount to watch their movie's.But it is very hard to see them and be close to them.EARTH(LAND)is only close to genral public,the only part of nature people can own,use,and live on it.develop according to our need make land more worth living than the stars and movie stars.Thats why it is always up up up5 year ratio for west vanattached 90.5detached 90.8Apartments 126.5MORE TO COME

rentah
rentah
13 years ago

tulip: I sympathize: the Shakespearian wheel 'turning', and somehow everybody getting their just desserts, would be great.Alas…

tulip-Mania2
tulip-Mania2
13 years ago

Rentah: I know you are right. Somehow I can't help hoping for moral justice.(I should have taken Chemistry instead of Phil, during those early formative years)

rentah
rentah
13 years ago

tulip:Alternatively, rather than Lereah being held accountable (which would be sweet), it's far more likely that he'll just fade away unpunished, or perhaps even be feted as an ongoing RE guru. In his own mind he is probably telling himself the story that he's now called the top accurately, and there'll probably be a cadre of uninformed morons around him who believe the same.Other examples of this phenomenon are folks like Abbie Cohen (still wealthy and employed) and even Greenspan the 'maestro' (who basically held a liquidity party and left before anybody has had to pay).Frustrating for bearish observers, but more proof that the universe is not obliged to play fair.ulster:Great piece, thanks for the link.Nice to hear that other have been sane and bearish since 2001.

Ulsterman
Ulsterman
13 years ago

An informative link to a recent commentary by Will Hutton in the UK, a respected economist. He given a few reasons why the UK market is going to collapse. I'm sure there are some parallels with Vancouver.Will Hutton, London Observer, May 6th 2007I've pasted an interesting follow-up comment from an informed reader below:MarkinChinaMay 6, 2007 4:58 AMA very good article. I first became concerned about overheating in the housing market as long ago as 2000/2001.The reason for my concern was that I was buying a house after returning from overseas. I saw one house which I missed due to the sale of my own house falling through at £115,000. 3 months later I saw a house in the same road, same type, slightly better condition but further away from the centre, and it was selling for £139,000, and achieved this… Read more »

tulip-Mania2
tulip-Mania2
13 years ago

I honestly believe what Mr. Lereah et al, spewed during the hype, was so blatantly, contrary to basic truths that a legal case could be made. It’s one thing for construction helpers turned flippers to sell the hype, but for people who pass themselves as “experts” to explain away an obvious credit/RE bubble in terms of supply and demand etc, is plain immoral.I can see a round up around at election time just like Enron, Delphi etc, Local experts, be awareTick Tock, Tick Tock

freako
freako
13 years ago

"We strayed from [economic] fundamentals, and we’re paying for it."Hmmm. When people were kind enough to point that out to him, he called them Chicken Littles. And he wrote a book refuting the concept. What an asshat.

Jade East
Jade East
13 years ago

Aw screw it I'm going for it, I can't wait forever.http://vancouver.craigslist.org/rfs/325287707.html

johnnyrent
johnnyrent
13 years ago

Here's some interesting grist for the mill from the Chicago Tribune <a href="http://tinyurl.com/2uadglhttp://tinyurl.com/2uadgl<br />Many of us know that the continent's number one real estate booster, David Lereah, has resigned his position as chief economist and spokesperson for the National Association of Realtors.What may come as a surprise are his remarks post-resignation which represent a profound about face replete with dire predictions. As evidence, his last official appearance for the NAR is a speech to realtors in Washington DC. Asked for a hint of the thrust of his speech, Mr. Lereah said "I am going to say, look, guys, we all have to face the music,’ Lereah said. ‘We strayed from [economic] fundamentals, and we’re paying for it. It’s not an all-out bust, not a crash in real estate, but it is a recession. This is going to cleanse the markets… Read more »

exvancouverite
exvancouverite
13 years ago

Condos don't need parking?It's great that Rennie is so concerned about buyers' well-being – they can save up to $55K by not having a parking stall. Who needs transportation anyhow? Over at RET they say assignments are now 'available' at W. Been meaning to snap one up.It used to be a running joke at the old VHB site that W would represent the height of folly in this current Vancouver bubble.Who knows anymore? The way the dice are rolling, that box in ghetto-town might 'appreciate' three or four times over by the time the Olympics roll around.I've given up prognosticating. We've officially entered the RE twilight zone and all bets are off now.

dancegirl
dancegirl
13 years ago

Freako:I laughed so hard, tears came to my eyes. Great post! Puts my last year of market watching into perspective.

blueskies
blueskies
13 years ago

"Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,"Meaning: Cam Muir got his pink slip. hahahahahahaha!! great juxtaposition loved it!

Ulsterman
Ulsterman
13 years ago

Three financially unsophisticted colleagues of mine have all bought condos in the past 4 weeks at the asking price. They al had the financial resources to buy several years ago but didn't because of fear. By that i mean they felt like buying was something for "adults" and despite being in their 30's they always perceived of themselves as "kids". It's hard to describe, but they just sat there and watched prices rise for years.The very fact that they've bought NOW makes me have some hope that prices are soon to stabilize or correct.I don't want them to lose money and be caught by this market, but i feel like these are those "last folks to the party" types. I also kept my comments to myself and congratulated them on their purchases as it appeared pointless to warn them of… Read more »

tennis77
tennis77
13 years ago

I have been holding off buying. I just can't belive the insanity of prices. I thought things would have started to decline in the GVR region, but it just keeps going up, especially West Side Van. What the hell is going on?

rentah
rentah
13 years ago

SOL.(Smiling out loud).Thanks freako!

freako
freako
13 years ago

"Count me currently as one bear that's beginning to feel light-headed and punch-drunk as a result of the relentless barrage we're getting/….. there seems no limit."I don't know if schadenfreude is your thing, but reading the U.S. housing news can be very satisfying."Perhaps THAT'S what Bob meant!.."We were on the topic of song meanings last year. Speaking of Bob, was convinced that A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall was about innocence lost in Vietnam. But the song was written in 1962, when the escalation of the conflict was but a twinkle in Kennedy's eye.I presume meaning could be read into anything. Maybe Hard Rain is really about the housing boom?"Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,I've stepped in the middle of seven… Read more »

jesse
jesse
13 years ago

"With no debt and no down payment they say they'll lend $498,032.78"I think this is a bit light too. The brokers in Vancouver assume you have a basement suite or sublet so they tack on another $100K without blinking. Truth is if you pauper yourself you can afford a pretty nice house even today. Problem is, 1) if you lose your job you are screwed and 2) mortgage payments do not substantially fuel the local economy (though MEW does), which leads to problems down the road.

freako
freako
13 years ago

" just plugged those numbers into the ing "how much can I borrow" calculator – With no debt and no down payment they say they'll lend $498,032.78. Thats a hefty debt load! "As I posted earlier, according to Fun&Mental, those guidelines are not used. Add about 35% to that amount.

digi
digi
13 years ago

..I should say: hefty debt, but it still won't buy you a house in Vancouver.

digi
digi
13 years ago

If a family earns 120K/year with no debt, what can they borrow?jesse: I just plugged those numbers into the ing "how much can I borrow" calculator – With no debt and no down payment they say they'll lend $498,032.78. Thats a hefty debt load!

rentah
rentah
13 years ago

I still can't believe that grown men with fancy degrees continously spout such simplistic (and wrong) arguments…..and get paid obscene amounts to do so!Agree re fundamentals/markets.Count me currently as one bear that's beginning to feel light-headed and punch-drunk as a result of the relentless barrage we're getting/….. there seems no limit.$2Million+ homes on the westside sold 3 or 4 months ago that are standing empty.Isolated examples of 40% in 6 months spikes.I'd ask if my emotional state was "Sign of a top?" but I'm beginning to get sick of my own repetition.Perhaps THAT's sign of a top.—Then this occurred to me:"Now when all the clowns that you have commissionedHave died in battle or in vainAnd you're sick of all this repetitionWon't you come see me, Queen Jane?Won't you come see me, Queen Jane?"Perhaps THAT'S what Bob meant!..Perhaps 'Queen Jane' =… Read more »