Friday Free for All!

It’s time for our open-topic link round up from the past week – here’s a few stories to get us started:

April REBGV listings grow dramatically
-Coco closes her daily economic news blog
-Caps owner has ‘no plans’ to build condos
Coal Harbour is a weekend ghost-town
-Richmond RONA closing on Olympic tax hikes
-Forestry slump bites Prince George prices
-Live in a shipping container in Whistler
-Immigrants to Canada struggle financially
-Carney: ‘a lot of strength‘ in this economy
-Bank of Canada needs more power
Soft landings are for the Moon
-US prices drop at fastest rate ever
US foreclosures up 112%

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news, links and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

update: The Sun finds some missing comments

note: any conversation on real estate or economics is allowed, please keep it civilized. when posting articles please only quote pertinent points and link to the original instead of pasting the entire article here. Thanks!

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Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

GDP still hasn`t gone negative.

That's the biggie. Recession now officially overdue. What if it doesn't come after all?

Patiently Waiting
Patiently Waiting
12 years ago

Wow, I thought the whole idea of living downtown was to save on car expenses. One nice thing about housing crashes is the property rich will lose the most wealth. All housing will fall roughly the same amount, so we will see some major pain for those who will lose a million or so in equity. Meanwhile, at the Quattro in Surrey: "At least half the buyers intend to live in the suites they purchased," he said. http://tinyurl.com/3zbowo And out in Abby, new leaky townhouses at Junction Creek: http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/rfs/668683520.h… "Avoiding buying in this townhouse complex, JUNCTION CREEK, at all costs. I did and I got ripped off royally. They leak, they are supposed to be new, they were never repaired properly and now some of them have burned down! The developer and the realtor DO NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCTS!… Read more »

Strataman
Strataman
12 years ago

"suburban jerks in Canada are this wasteful of electricity:" Don't be discriminatory now; Urban Jerks are no better! I'm troubleshooting in a huge Yaletown strata right now full of Hummers, Porches and the like, kept and used constantly just for image as opposed to commuting! Surveying the parkade I would say well over 85% of the vehicles are gas guzzling status symbols. Most of them are leaving now; to drive to their corporate parking downtown a few blocks away. (Don't want to get their Gucci's dirty). By the way I walk to these customers with all my tools (electronics) in a back pack!:-)

Patiently Waiting
Patiently Waiting
12 years ago

I should be appalled by the violation of his rights and I usually oppose the War on Drugs, but I can't make myself sympathetic to this clown. I mean, how can we hassle China when suburban jerks in Canada are this wasteful of electricity: http://tinyurl.com/6nn2ec "I'm now on medication to keep calm because my temper was getting up," he said. "I was on sleeping pills for a while because I couldn't sleep. It's affected my health." He said his electricity costs were high because his home has a 40-by-20-foot electrically heated outdoor swimming pool, an electric sauna and "three kids who don't turn off a light and leave TVs playing all over the house and wear clothes once, then put them through the wash." ———– Get ready for the sob story articles when guys like this are foreclosed on. How… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Also don’t forget that the loonie soared in value vs the USD in a relatively short period of time with no fundamental explanation, it could plummet just as quickly.

I think there is a very compelling reason why the loonie has moved towards par – rising oil and gas prices. Energy products are our largest export group (at least in Feb) and I believe there is a good correlation between changes in energy prices and our exchange rate.

And, according to a story tonight on bloomberg, the commodity "bubble" is not quite over yet thanks to electrical shortages in producing nations.

Given the huge capital that these countries need to build their productive infrastructure, I think Bob's buyers are going to have some competition for mortgage money over the next year or two. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&a

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551

Raincouver
Raincouver
12 years ago

.

The problem is that the high CAD is the only protection we have against US-generated inflation. Inflation in Canada would be disastrous on the interest rate front.

patriotz –

Quick question. Do you have idea where 'inflation' is coming from?

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

Do you think the economics of shipping oil etc to China or anywhere other than the US make sense at historical prices? Well yes. We've been shipping coal to Japan and Korea for decades now, and its value/shipping cost is way lower than for oil. Anyway I think the US will be buying all our oil exports for the foreseeable future, even if their total consumption drops. They'd much rather keep buying from us and reduce their imports from Venezuela and the Middle East, for reasons that I think are obvious. Also don’t forget that the loonie soared in value vs the USD in a relatively short period of time with no fundamental explanation, it could plummet just as quickly. The fundamental explanation is oil. And anyway, a lower CAD is positive for exports, as everyone knows. The problem is… Read more »

Raincouver
Raincouver
12 years ago

.

Japan succeeds because it has an amazing work and education ethic. The same goes for Germany and the belt of Protestant countries in northern Europe. This kind of culture will take you a long away.

Yeah, sure. It's taken us to where we are right now. You've suggested hive-mentality and Prussian group-think as a model for humanity. Very original.

Back to real estate….

krrish2
krrish2
12 years ago

Tony, You forgot to transfer jobs from residential construction to non residential construction projects where construction industries are heading towards 2020. Bdk, The sun did not add your comment because you are not a DJ. Alexcanuck, I have heard at chipos site that Mish,Mohican,and Garth Turner are home owners,They are small agent for banks they advice people to invest in bounds or stocks where in case of leverage people are having 100% hair cuts but in housing sectors every one is able to survive even in a case of crash. misanthropic curmudgeon, "I haven’t been a perma-bear, but I’m genuinely scared here, and want to know. inquiring minds have the same questions" what question?why don't you explore your thought instead of being lip tight btw why your english is better than anybody else?is it because you write to short or… Read more »

Raincouver
Raincouver
12 years ago

.

alexcanuck, that was an amazing blast from the past…

Premonitions of a bubble on the verge of popping do not ruffle those who are bullish on real estate. In Miami, Ron Shuffield, president of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors, predicted that a limited supply of land coupled with demand from baby boomers and foreigners would prolong the boom indefinitely.

"South Florida," he said, "is working off of a totally new economic model than any of us have ever experienced in the past."

That was just 3 years ago. Look at it now.

Thanks for the 'history' lesson 🙂

Tony Danza
Tony Danza
12 years ago

^ that was me

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

I know the US has some problems but I really believe that they will at least make a partial comback. May not be the world leader in years to come but they will be back. As for Canada I think our only glimmering hope right now is Oil. This is where history comes in handy. Everyone thinks the economy was really bad in the US during the last depression, but it was much much worse for Canada. If the US is going down Canada is economically doomed, it's the curse of a resource rich economy. Do you think the economics of shipping oil etc to China or anywhere other than the US make sense at historical prices? Also don't forget that the loonie soared in value vs the USD in a relatively short period of time with no fundamental explanation,… Read more »

chip
chip
12 years ago

Mine are 2007 estimate figures and from here: http://start.csail.mit.edu/mirror/cia.gov/library… publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2186.html Last updated in late March. It could be a difference in defining public debt: eg, inclusion of state and municipal or not. Yes, borrowing is a mostly domestic concern for the Japanese. The buyers of its debt are local pension funds, the postal bank (the world's biggest bank) and other banks and govt-run institutions. They are forced through coercion and otherwise to fund the national government's liabilities. But I'm not sure I would want to be holding these bonds considering the overall debt load, weak growth and aging population. In other words, the ramifications of Japan's debt crisis are magnified on the domestic level, whereas the US has outsourced much of the risk. Sure, the US could see a major withdrawal of investment but this begs the question of where… Read more »

misanthropic curmudg
misanthropic curmudg
12 years ago

depends on what you define as excessive ….

http://tinyurl.com/6plbrm

Plans were then drawn up for what will be the world's largest and most expensive home: a 27-story skyscraper in downtown Mumbai with a cost nearing $2 billion

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

Your numbers regarding relative debt/GDP for the US and Canada are way off my sources which show them currently about equal, with the US rising and Canada falling:

http://www.budget.gc.ca/2007/bp/bpa2e.html
OECD

Note also that Japan's government debt, while high, is entirely internal, which means that borrowing and debt service is a domestic issue for Japan. It is the opposite for the US of course.

chip
chip
12 years ago

"Given they (Japan) are dealing with demographic issues that are only just arriving on North American shores their economy is doing quite up well."

Depends how you define "well" I guess. Public debt as a share of annual GDP is 194% in Japan. In Canada it's 64% and in the US it's 37%.

And it probably comes as a surprise to some, but Japan's economy is quite inefficient. Sure it has some star exporters, but on the domestic front the country is very different.

Japan succeeds because it has an amazing work and education ethic. The same goes for Germany and the belt of Protestant countries in northern Europe. This kind of culture will take you a long away.

alexcanuck
alexcanuck
12 years ago

Check out this bit of history.
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2005/0
Bulls will like it too, lots of links to some really good sounding reasons why "it's different this time". Krrish; you can even find some things to paste in that WON"T sound nonsensical.

Mish, written in '05 just as the US bubble was peaking.

-A-
-A-
12 years ago

.

.

Pretty much a foregone conclusion, the inventory will continue to swell, while the sellers hold on to the kool aid induced stupor dished out by Muir and Co.

Finally the bubble blows up, and once again, the illiterate followers of the Bill Good show will confuse cause and effect.

By next spring they will think it was the economic slowdown that caused the crash.

homeless
homeless
12 years ago

DaMann, is your place sold yet? my parent's place sold last week for a little under ask. 28 seperate parties for first open house, one offer. gone are the multiple offer days. for my advice to sell, i'll either look like a genius or a fool in the coming months.

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Vansanity said.

"3) As much as we Canadians believe we’re different from Americans,"

I think this is a big blind spot for many people, and part of the "perfect storm" of bubble psychology thats been driving things here an overestimation of uniqueness.

Raincouver
Raincouver
12 years ago

I hear the point that if we provide too much for the homeless it’ll attract more but it’s still cheaper to help them than to put them through the legal system and have them in jail.

Au contraire. Look at our neighbours to the south…there's plenty of money being made in the prison industry. Buy shares of Wackenhut, there will always be profit in societal dysfunction.

Don't let compassion blind you. Perhaps you're hoping to live in a sane world, then you might be SOL.

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Much of the cost of the homeless is borne by the individual whose car or home is broken into to support their addiction. Some of that is passed on to insurance, but none is supported by taxes, hence not the governments problem. Welcome to laissez faire capitalism! Overall societal costs far higher, but shortterm and simplistically attractive. "Get a job,you bum!"

(I took it as that you were joking)

bdk
bdk
12 years ago

Sorry, that might not be obvious that I was joking.

I hear the point that if we provide too much for the homeless it'll attract more but it's still cheaper to help them than to put them through the legal system and have them in jail. Doesn't one homeless person cost between 40 and 50 thousand dollars per year?

Seems to me that was the stat thrown around in the always true Vancouver Sun.