Friday Free-for-all!

The end of August is upon us, what will the numbers bring?  Will there be sunshine, will there be rain?  Whats happening here at home and economies around the world?  Its time for our weekly news round-up, here are a few stories I’ve noticed this week:

-Vancouver Sun: Bring on the real estate collapse!
China’s Olympic sized Bust
-Will Vancouver be ready for the worlds attention?
Economy grinds BC liberals
18 earthquakes off BC coast in the last week
-Sawmills getting beaten to a pulp
Canadian tourism gap expected to widen
Zoom airlines shuts down
Where did the summer go?
-Harper: We may be in a ‘technical’ but not ‘real’ recession
UK prices falling at fastest rate in 18 years
US builders get creative to lure buyers

So what are you seeing out there?  Post your news, links and thoughts here and have a great long weekend, you’ve earned it!

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Believe the quote is real or don't. I'm done with you.


Why reference it if you can't back it up? Are you astro turfing for Casey?


Pay your money, bdk, and you can see everything I see. You're fortunate I gave you that little tidbit. Now stfu.


the rennie story is as fictitious as the secret casey story that no one else has seen.


Without the link it's kind of hard to believe Rennie would say those things. Most of the language sounds like it came off the VC.i boards.

Again, not very plausible. Although the numbers are right…


bdk – Look up Doug Casey. While he does offer some free commentary, the bulk of his offerings come by way of paid-for subscriptions. Now, I'd like to be able to email the pdf to everybody who reads this blog, but that would be impractical as well as illegal. So, you're just going to have to trust me on this that he wrote it, or seek confirmation elsewhere.


Yaletown Sofa, of course, I called this one when I saw them takeover the space the Starbucks was using on Denman St. Pretty obvious. I am looking as for the Sofa So Good hidden on 8th to go under as well, matter of time.


Post the link or else Rennie never said it.


Here's a quote from a subscription newsletter from Bob Rennie, the link is confidential.

"I simply cannot believe anyone who would be stupid enough to pay $370,000 for a C building downtown which will rent for $1350…

when you subtract strata fees of $200 and the various day to day expenses the buyer is making a return of 2% if he owns the unit outright and pays no property management fees but otherwise it is a loss and there aren't anymore rich people coming who weren't here in the 1990's other than some temporarily overpaid construction workers"

Don't ask for the link HEY the OLYMPICS! RICH PEOPLE!


Would like to post the link to the Casey comment, depresso, but it comes from a subscription newsletter.


"just slimey sales dudes"

Correction: slimy out-of-work sales dudes.


Is the Yaletown sofa story part of the credit crunch or real-estate downturn? Or both?

I'd say that the business was ok but they needed money and couldn't get any. I always thought they were franchised because some seemed to have much more invested in them then others.

BTW, I bought a sofa there once, and I felt dirty afterwards, but the product quality seemed good, just slimey sales dudes.


HSBC says super-rich clients moving into cash


Deliverator, could you post the URL to the article by Doug Casey?


Yaletown Sofa closed all stores suddenly? What's this about?!


Doug Casey on Vancouver Real Estate:

"Spain, described above, was one example. Vancouver,B.C., was another, as hundreds of thousands of wealthy orientals moved there, at first just to get a Canadian passport and have a foreign bolthole. And then many stayed because it may be the nicest city in North America. Although, I’ve now got to say, if you have property there, it’s an excellent time to hit the bid."


"For those prices I would at least expect a daily cleaning service, wouldn’t you?"

I'd suggest checking out hotel room rates in Munich during Oktoberfest or another such festival in another city to see an example of what is likely to happen. BTW in Munich there is a network of homestays as well that is brought into service to fill the swell of tourists. I'd expect Vancouver to be the same but won't be anywhere near as experienced or professional about it.


"maybe $200-$300/night for 2 weeks isn’t that unreasonable for some?"

we'll have to see, but I haven't seen anything to suggest that our hotels will be so insufficient (especially considering it's Whistler & Vancouver) that visitors will be pushed to pay so much. For those prices I would at least expect a daily cleaning service, wouldn't you? I didn't watch any of the Beijing Olympics, I don't know anyone who cares all that much about the Olympics (sometimes a specific sport, but not the whole thing).

Keep an Eye on the R

Given the volume of information that is out there, does a reasonably intelligent person conclude?

a) Maggie is a imbecile

b) Maggie a liar

Patiently Waiting

The S&P/TSX closed 471.51 points lower, or 3.4 per cent, to 13,299, as oil fell $5.64 to $109.82. It was the second-biggest one-day point drop of the year, after Jan. 21's 605-point nosedive.


My comment made Maggie Chandler's cut. Yay!


Looks like Maggie finally went through her inbox and posted some comments – but only the bullish ones of course.

I posted a trollish reply (#2) just to see what she'd say.


"But how does ‘the market’ see the Olympic effect now?" It sounds like one of those situations where you could rent out your flat during the Olympics but you don't have to. $50K for Edgemont "Olympic" Village may be silly but maybe $200-$300/night for 2 weeks isn't that unreasonable for some? There is POTENTIAL one-time income (net expenses and risk) on the table that is available right up to the Olympics. In my estimation it won't amount to more than a few $K on average and probably lost in the noise in terms of fairly priced valuations. No clue what's priced in now. Whistler vacation condos are a different story and probably a better example of the "dividend conundrum" at play, with the added wrench that you need to rent it out or sell or you've lost money; impugned rent… Read more »


Jesse, Rentah: thanks for your thoughts. It is fun to think about. I *truly* wish we had Vancouver put options to buy. I would leverage up every penny I could to go long hard and deep into Van RE puts!! Rentah: I expect that there is a large chunk of people who a) knew that the Olympics are not going to have a long run positive effect and b) thought they could get out and sell just before the Olympics. I think that these people will indeed start to bail now as things become clear that we are not going to make it to 2010 before things crash. However, I really think that there is a hard core of people who truly believe in the 2010 hype and will not be disuaded of it until, oh, late 2010 or so.… Read more »