Friday Free for all!

Spring thaw edition! It’s Friday so lets do our standard open-topic post for the weekend, here’s some stories I’ve noticed recently:

-Canadian housing boom ‘over’
-Vacant land sales soar in Fraser Valley
-Victoria prices 23% above ‘fair value’
-Calgary sales plunge by 35.9%
-The cash-back mortgage hustle
-EcoDensity and 18,000 empty condos
Merrill Lynch cuts 4,000 jobs on mortgage loss

So what are you seeing out there? Are we set to copy the housing boom hang-over the US is going through or does everyone want to live here? Post your thoughts, news, links, and anecdotes here and have a great weekend!

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Paul
12 years ago

More logic north of the border = less of a mess for canadian mortgage brokers.

MoneyBeat.com

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Excellent posts Tacoman and Patriotz, i too would like like to see the format that tacoman showed of Berkeley when Tony Danza 25k+ listings show up. 🙂

Not a Lereite
Not a Lereite
12 years ago

But I guess David Lereism has now become an accepted school of economic thought.

Thankfully this is not true. Note however that the popularity of his preachings (not teachings) has led to his opponents being labelled "leretics".

Tony Danza
Tony Danza
12 years ago

According to PB's stats we should see 15k+ listings by May 1. I predict inventory of 25k+ by this fall, with prices slightly higher as the FTB is dead and all we have left are FB's.

Tony Danza
Tony Danza
12 years ago

I didn't know people still read the Vancouver Sun.

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

“If economic theory holds, solid GDP growth should sustain the housing market.” Didn't work too well south of the border did it? GDP was growing just fine – until a year or two after house prices started falling. Note sequence. Every economic theory I've ever heard of, from Adam Smith to Karl Marx, says that the value of an asset to the owner depends on the income that it brings to him (in the case of housing, market price of rent). This has increased very little since 2001, so the value (as opposed to price) of housing has increased very little as well. Anyone who buys an asset for more than its value will lose money, unless he can unload it to a greater fool who will lose even more. But I guess David Lereism has now become an accepted… Read more »

tacoman
tacoman
12 years ago

Lurking around US housing blogs, I came across this simple, yet wonderful, web site:

Berkeley Housing Crash

I would love to see the housing data in any GVRD area presented like that!

The funny thing is that prices are quite comparable to here, and the map very much resembles Vancouver (or Burnaby)

tacoman
tacoman
12 years ago

The following is an excerpt of a comment from somebody in UK regarding this post in the "Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis": "BOE Foolishly Follows Fed Footsteps" . . In my home town, poky, shoddy flats that were bought 1 year ago for $500,000 are now selling for $250,000. They will half in price again (and again?) before its over. http://www.propertysnake.co.uk shows houses currently on the market at a reduced price (up to 50%). Don't be tempted – save your ammo. http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk has moved from being ignored, to laughed at, to attacked, to mainstream. And what you have to realize is that its only in the last couple of weeks that anyone has suggested there may be a "period of flat growth".(!) . . Based on this information, I see two points to observe in the near future: 1. How… Read more »

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago
mathamatical
mathamatical
12 years ago

Holy smokes, I counted 30 open houses signs along pacific today! If you're planning to sell you have a lot of competition. Don't worry the next plane landing will have the next wave of rich people to buy them.

JR
JR
12 years ago

Forgive the length of this post. For certain reasons I will not send the following to the Vancouver Sun under my own name. If anyone here wants to send it or any derivation of it under their own name, be my guest. Here it is: Dear Sir or Madam: Re: The Firm Foundation of Local Housing Market Your cheery outlook on our local housing market really should have been preceded with the word “Advertorial”. It hardly belonged on the Editorial page, unless your editorial staff have lost their ability to research and their sense of objectivity. Had the writer dug into fairly recent history, he or she would have discovered that this market is historically boom/bust in real estate terms. Surely the Sun is aware that no boom in any market continues forever. A quick look at Vancouver real estate… Read more »

Clarke
Clarke
12 years ago

I have said it before and will say it again….The Sun's proportion of advertising revenue coming from RE makes any sort of objective reporting on RE next to impossible. We will be well into crashing prices before the Sun acknowledges any problems.

As far as Michael Campbell goes, he is pretty much like any any local newspaper's business columnist. These people's commentaries are paid advertising for whatever business interest happens to be writing the cheque that week. In Campbell's case, he gets to be less creative than most due to his family obligations to write government press releases that masquerade as economic analysis…..

Re-diculous
Re-diculous
12 years ago

Anonymous 11:47

As for suggestions on newspapers – I personally have decided to skip RE related articles in the 2 local rags, although I sometimes may skim the first paragraph, determine if its the standard pumping crap and then skip the reast.

I do read the Globe and Mail and actually read their RE reporting, albeit from a national vs. local perspective. There is a very different tone in regards to RE reporting between the local rags and the G&M (which does not have a vested interest in the local RE industry)

exx
exx
12 years ago

19 open house signs on the corner of Richards & Pacific. With so much choice how do you choose ?!

-A-
-A-
12 years ago

How close to the bust are we?

In the same Vancover Sun "Advertorial", the pimps say:

"In other words, the collapse here may be a year to 18 months away.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, sales dropped 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2008 from a year earlier and the ratio of new listings to sales stands at a nine-year high."

AS one of the regular often writes:

Tick Tock,Tick Tock

Carioca Canuck
Carioca Canuck
12 years ago

There was 45 pages of REIC propaganda in yesterday's Calagry Herald "newspaper"…….heh.

If the RE market tanks (and it is starting to big time) they are done like dinner, and I for one, could not be happier……..

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

The Vancouver Sun can do the math.

You can write the truth and anger 100 or so bears, or they can do what they have always done and pimp for the RE industry and do so lucratively.

The banks, developers, and suppliers all make big money pumping up the bubble, and all of them take risks.

The banks know some loans will go bad on them, the developers will get stuck with inventory they will have to let go at fire sale prices, and a host of other people throughout the supply chain, will get burnt as well.

But the Vancouver Sun pockets the huge advertisement revenues up front. I also wonder who is on the board of directors, and the editorial board, and what business connections they have to RE and supporting industries.

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

ARE there any.. self correction.

Drachen
Drachen
12 years ago

Re. Me's article.

"If economic theory holds, solid GDP growth should sustain the housing market."

I can make an economic "theory" that says anything about anything. Theories are just hot air until you've got something to back it up. In PRACTICE his theory doesn't hold true.

I also notice that this story like so many of it's kind does not list the author's name. Either he's afraid it will impact his career or it's someone like Bob Rennie and he's afraid people will see through his BS if they knew it was someone connected to the industry.

Patiently Waiting
Patiently Waiting
12 years ago

Think about every house and condo in Vancouver reduced in value by 50%+. For us bears, it is a nice dream. But for many powerful forces, this is a disaster of unimaginable proportions. I mean, can we even dare calculate how many dollars will be lost.

This bust will be reported after its over.

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Is there any newspaper in Canada that one can trust?

If so, please suggest one. I like to read a paper now and then, but I find that after reading the paper I am just as stupid as before.

Suggestions?

me
me
12 years ago

speaking of thinking we're immune – did anyone read the over the top "pro real estate" editorial in the Sun yesterday

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial

I sent them a letter asking when exactly it was that they lost their journalistic integrity.

franko
franko
12 years ago

.

.

"nobody seems to have noticed because we're all house rich and happy with high paying construction jobs"

I think people are starting to notice big-time…hence the biggest inventory spike in years, soon to be followed by the mother of all crashes.

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

the Olympics (which won’t be so great either if the US is still in recession, fewer tourists). I think the Olympics themselves will be OK as far as projected revenues are concerned. The TV rights have already been sold, and the visitors to the Games themselves will be mostly the rich, who have been doing very well. The real issue is with the expected post-games spinoffs. It is becoming increasingly evident that the US middle class is in big trouble and is going to face big cuts in discretionary spending. This is going to be very bad for the tourist industry going forward. And I don't think Asia and Europe can pick up the slack, for they are heavily dependent on US spending too. Gordo's economic strategy has essentially been to try to turn BC into "party central" for the… Read more »

pricedoutfornow
pricedoutfornow
12 years ago

Anyone noticed that all the doom and gloom articles seem to be coming from out East rather than the West? I guess most British Columbians and Albertans think we're immune to any decline in the Canadian economy. "Recession?" we say…"No, that will only happen in the US, and maybe Ontario where there are manufacturing jobs. Besides, we can always sell condos to each other!" I wonder what kind of economy will be left in this province after the Olympics (which won't be so great either if the US is still in recession, fewer tourists). Someone tell me please! Forestry? No. Mining? Maybe but probably not enough. Tourism? Not likely. What's left? Our economy is swiftly going down the tubes and no one seems to have noticed because we're all house-rich and happy with high-paying construction jobs.