Friday Free for All!

Easter Edition!  Here’s our weekend open-topic posting to discuss anything related to economics and the real estate market.  A few stories to get us started:

-Condo supply growing like crazy
-The disappearing first time buyer
-Oil, gold and the Canadian dollar drops
-Canada following US downturn
-More pain in store for Canadian banks
-Turner answers questions about ‘greater fools
-Condo marketer says Translink plan ‘prudent
-Vanoc opposes any Beijing boycott
Price of gas has Americans cutting back elsewhere
-BBC: LA’s subprime shanty towns

So what are you seeing out there this fine holiday weekend?  Post your news, links, anecdotes and comments here and have a great weekend!

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Van Man Don't be so quick to judge those holders of ABCP as stupid greedy investors. I sold my condo last year expecting the market to turn much earlier and asked my broker to put my savings in something guaranteed as I do not want any exposure to real estate. He put me in ABCP in July at 4.35% telling me it is a AAA guaranteed savings instrument (T-bills were offering the same at the time). I thought nothing of it as I wanted to park my $$$ for a couple months while I determined what to invest in – two weeks later I was frozen. I am not a naive investor and asked the right questions, but when told it was a guaranteed money market investment I felt satisfied, had it offered me a premium over T-bills, I would… Read more »


Damn Dan I find it interesting that someone who is so offended by ad hominem attacks as you seem to be posts exclusively ad hominem attacks without even the slightest hint of an opinion on the subject at hand. Mocking me and my opinions without providing any complementary (thanks for the correction Freako) arguments or data about the state of the local market seems to be just misplaced anger on your part. Are you angry because you're afraid of losing your shirt in the crash or do you have some personal issues on the go right now? Perhaps I went over the top on AP but I am just sick of the sub moronic level of brain activity that people like him pass off as a valuable opinion on Real Estate in this city. If gut feelings have value equal… Read more »


From blueskies' article: "She does not wish death upon Mom and Dad, but she can't deny, either, that she's looked far down that road to the day when they cash out and she, finally, can take her first easy breath of cashing in."

What a wonderful and uplifting read, indeed! Put in context of real estate, there is TONS of underutilised housing out there and more on the way. Prices will be sticky because sellers are not all that motivated. My parents' next door neighbors are in their 80s and still living in a 5 bedroom SFH.

It is almost ironic that the baby boomer generation was so good about paying down debt and saving for retirement through savings and pension contributions that there is no longer an incentive to sell their homes.


Hey, a listing was just posted for the Residences on Georgia, by, they call it coal harbour but it's right on the border of the west end.


That unit has a really nice layout.

******This Rental has nothing to do with me***********

Located in the Coal Harbour area at West Georgia and Jervis Street. It is near Robson Street, restaurants, shops, transit, Canada Place, Stanley Park and the seawall

* Residences on Georgia – 1 bdrm & den 685 square foot apartment

* Northwest corner, city view

* Marble, granite countertops and designer appliances

* Pantry off kitchen

* Insuite laundry

* Parking available for 1 vehicle, extra storage

* Building offers a Gym, Conference room and 12 hour Concierge

* One year lease required


from the Van Sun:

good read!


House Price Change 6-Month Annual Rate

Phoenix – AZ -28.21%

Los Angeles -26.70%

San Diego -27.17%

San Francisco -23.01%

Denver____ -12.76%

Washington -17.29%

Miami___ -27.59%

Tampa – FL -21.21%

Atlanta – GA -12.83%

Chicago__ -11.09%

Boston__ -9.89%

Detroit – MI -18.15%

Minneapol – MN -15.35%

Charlotte – NC -4.90%

Las Vegas -29.68%

New York -8.38%

Cleveland – OH -15.94%

Portland – OR -7.34%

Dallas – TX -12.12%

Seattle – WA -10.45%

Coming soon…

Damn Dan

Yeah, I guess you're right. Wish such a clear-thinking individual such as hisself wouldn't confuse a befuddled old fart like me. Gotta admit, I have a hard time following his impeccable logic and bomb-proof opinions such as of hisself.


By complimentary, do you mean “free” or kind of like “flattering”?

Obviously he meant "complementary".

Damn Dan

My opinion that RE is due for a correction is not based on gut feelings but rather research, many complimentary opinions

By complimentary, do you mean "free" or kind of like "flattering"?


No bubble eh? I guess she doesn't really look at the pretty graphs on her page:

Aside from the price graph (which only goes up, btw) the small graphs are also very interesting, especially when comparing Feb 07 to Feb 08. Why is there more blue, but not more red? 🙁


If You Don’t Buy Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

In B.C. we have a strong local economy and good job growth, coupled with strong market fundamentals and sustainability, which result in no real estate bubble.

there! you been told!


hughz "Do you have any links for this?" Sorry hughz can't give you that, however it was a contractor I know who was doing strata work on an emergency basis, thus had access to the unit from the property manager. It's true; I know the unit number and building but they (that contractor)would be in a mess if I told.It was confirmed by other sources.


I have a gut feeling we won’t see a major correction d/t is stupid?

not stupid but misguided….

more along the lines of "wishful thinking"

the over supply problem would be swiftly taken care of at $300 sq/ft(pent up demand :-)) while at $700 sq/ft the market remains stagnant.

w/o easy cheap credit this pig won't fly!


"They found an 8!!! eight bed massage parlour in Spectrum"

Do you have any links for this? If true, all I can say is I am not surprised, but glad that I didn't live next door.


Scullboy "You can buy your own portable dishwasher and washer dryer for one of those apartments and still be way ahead on living expenses compared to, say renting a shoebox in Spectrum" Nope your wrong! 🙂 They found an 8!!! eight bed massage parlour in Spectrum c/w bins of new condoms, bins of USED condoms, fun stuff thinks they are paying their rent!


Scullboy, are you sure about your numbers? it seems to me the west end rent prices are way too high and it if weren't for international students they'd be vacant. Exhibit A 1 bedrooms for $1500, with no concierge,no free gas f/p and stove, no restricted floor access, bedbugs etc. I can site several examples where it's cheaper to rent in the newer buildings in the west end. The George and The Lions are two examples where you can rent a 550-590 sq ft unit for $1200-1350. meanwhile 1460 Barclay they want the same price and have filthy persian carpets in the hallway and really basic suites. For two bedrooms it'll cost you $2250 to rent a 2 bedroom at 1111 beach but you can rent in one of the nicest buildings in vancouver, Parkwest 2 at 583 beach,… Read more »

Patiently Waiting


Totally agree with you.

I think the realtors (TM) will be shocked when the bears come out of hibernation and demand NO GRANITE OR STAINLESS STEEL. Not only because it is cold and impersonal but because it represents real estate that is cramped and overpriced.


Interesting, in this article the MSM presents both sides of the argument rleated to Canadian House Prices


Just a couple of thoughts on the "drab" West End: 1) THe trees and flowers and plants have all been there for a while, so it's lovel most of the year. Yaletown is all steel and glass. It's nice in it's way but the WE has a very comfy "lived in" feeling. 2) As far as I know, most of the people there are renters and have been for a while. They seem to be some of the last holdovers of the pre bubble frenzy. They're still easy going. You never hear the terms "Strata" "special levy" or "flipped it for 15K in 4 months, dude" there. I'm not sure I'd put a premium on newness, especially in Van. The older buildings have units that are much larger. You can buy your own portable dishwasher and washer dryer for one… Read more »



"Your “gut” has been wrong for years"

Well, that's wrong on several levels.

1: My opinion that RE is due for a correction is not based on gut feelings but rather research, many complimentary opinions and the complete lack of an intelligent counter argument.

2: If I may use an analogy it is not "wrong" to say, "The sun will come up tomorrow morning." for 12 hours and then suddenly when the sun comes up it's right. That's pure lunacy. I am right now, I was right yesterday and I will be proven right when the market does finally correct.


No, but believing that your gut feeling has value greater than reasoned contrary opinion is stupid.

Your "gut" has been wrong for years – yet back you come and come and come – with ever more batches of "facts" explaining why it will be different this time.

Lighten up, dude. This is a west coast blog, not the Jerry Springer show.


I get what Jesse is saying. Although all nice and shiny now, the towers in Yaletown will become thought as all drab and dingy as much of the West End is perceived today by some.

What else explains the rent differentials between the two? The WE has better access to the beaches and Stanley Park, a generally nicer vibe from the residents, and rents which are somewhere in the range of 25% cheaper (depending on how you price in things like W/D, underground parking, etc.).

Given how quickly and homogenously the towers have gone up in the past few years, we'll probably have a severely outdated skyline in 20 to 30 years time. Fads and fashions exist in architecture, not just popular culture.


"Even then, there are people out there (some of them retired 'immigrants' from the US) who consider downtown Vancouver living attactive."

There was a time when the 30 year old buildings in West End were new and demanded an additional premium. Yaletown has the location and newness cachet; the newness will disappear and with it the newness premium.


"That’s a tautology. Oversupply of anything is due to prices being pushed higher than market clearing level due to speculation, hoarding or price fixing."

🙂 I don't anticipate market clearing for a while yet. Another round of a game of chicken.


"Vancouver has had the most expensive housing in the country for well over 20yrs. I think everyone here agrees that isn’t going to change anytime soon. Why it’s more expensive then Toronto where wages are higher is best left for the academics.

In relative terms bby is cheap compared to vancouver"

I completely agree, but I wouldn't leave the why to academics because the academics that follow real estate trends are not usually the ones interested in human behaviour.