Friday Free-for-all!

Well it’s back to school time and the air is getting a chill to it.  What’s happening in our local housing market and economies around the world?

-Drop in home sales causes economic problems
-Economic problems cause drop in home sales
-House sales in Vancouver ‘went off a cliff
-August ’08: slowest month for real estate since 1998
Yaletown Sofa closes outlets, seeks new line of credit
-Buyers see hope in Lower Mainland real estate crash
Victoria prices slide, listings at 12 year high
-Bank of Canada holds interest rates steady
TSX slides on oil price drops and economic fears
-Whistler shipping-container home plan collapses
-is the Florida market nearing bottom?

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

note: any conversation on Vancouver, 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. Pasting a link will automatically create a clickable hot-link. Thanks!

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Nice move arit. Great idea. I will go and procure myself a google account to log in. Would Van Condo like to host such a Bear Bible? What say you VC?



You can't rent your investment and you can not borrow risk to invest in stock market but in real estate you can buy millions of dollar mortgage because some or whole part of borrowed money justify by number of people living in side,sorry your girl gone wild but as a owner she is smart buyer it could be possible that you were trying to convince her to invest in stock market.

#224 if you find another girl make sure you don't repeat your mistake.

house mouse

Those bob cats better not move into my house.

Stock Message Board

This blog is EXACTLY like a stock message board. There are pumpers, and there are bashers, but the most logical post i've read was the one that talked about P/E ratios of real estate. Which should be the ONLY way you talk about RE if it's an investment. If you can't rent your place out for at least what the mortgage is worth, then you are buying completely based on speculation and not real value. Warren Buffet never invested in something he didn't understand, and I don't understand the value of a property if you can't rent it out for MORE than what the mortgage is worth! I am sooooo glad my ex bought a place with her fiance last year three months after we broke up. She's LONG on the housing market, but the last 4 years have been… Read more »


A few posters talked about cost of construction affecting real estate prices in the coming years. I believe, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, that right now it costs around $120-$150 per square foot to build a condo with above-average finishing in Vancouver (this doesn't include cost of land.) This weekend I saw some ads for condo projects in Langley and Abbotsford advertising 1br units for around $150k. I think these projects more accurately reflect the cost to build. This may be the direction the market is headed in for few years, i.e. developers start marketing more affordable condos that even the "average working joe" can afford.


I don't expect an interview on the Bill Good show however were I ever to be invited as a high-priced expert, I would say that sales are falling off a cliff because prices are too freaking high, and sales will continue to fall off a cliff until prices are freaking reasonable.

Nothing has changed,

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Problem: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sales have fallen off the cliff:

Let’s do a diagnostic:

Interest rates:

Real rates are still at record lows, possibly below zero

Can’t be interest rates-check


Some good paying jobs are disappearing, but still unemployment is low

Can’t be unemployment-check

Best place on earth:

I still hear this, nothing changed there-check

Land scarcity:

Well you know what they say: “ Vancouver is hemmed by mountains , ocean, and the USA”

no change there-check

The Olympics:

There coming in 2010, no change there-check

Grow ops

No change-check

Rich Jet set all want to live here

I still hear this, no change-check

Oh well I can’t figure it out, perhaps a highly trained professional on the Bill Good Show might be able to explain it.



Hey, I am a taker! Your idea is right-on. We have already started to scatter info here and there. We talked building materials and insulation, leaks, condos. But we did not save the information anywhere.


Please see if you can open this link

If it works for you, and you approve of it, we could all store our information there, in the

"Vancouver Bear Bible 2008". That way we can have a central knowledgebase to benefit from.

care to try it out?

Let me know if you cannot access it.

Thanks in advance,



Thanks Strataman! So one can remove the superfluous kitchen and just leave the hookups buried in the wall? (Properly finished and blocked, of course!) Are interior walls ever removed completely to give one big room? Two single bedroom units to become one double size living room with kitchen expanded and two "stock" bedrooms. One would need the correct mirror image units to begin with, natch. Any known published or online resource for this idea?


alexcanuck "Would it be feasible to combine two adjacent shoebox units in a strata building into one livable place?" Yes that is possible and done quite often. I have worked with 5 such combination's. Generally the strata's will allow total inside remodeling as long as you stay away from various utility risers within the units, such as gas,sewer water and fire systems.If you want to relocate your access points to utilities such as that you will be required to submit engineered plans, which have to include a study of the complete building system. One set of units did that and they paid well over $40,000 for engineered drawings and performance guarantees accepted by the strata. They also had to deposit $50,000 with the strata for 10 years the assumption being if a building system fails the problem will be assumed… Read more »


What I find so incredulous about our local economists is their apparent aversion to examining the most basic of economic principles; supply and demand. Why haven't they ever commented on an all time record number of units under construction, combined with an significant supply of un-rented completed units, against a long-standing anemic rate of population growth? How could they possibly assume that the supply of first time buyers would never dry up when all of them know that the affordability envelope had long since been pushed beyond the breaking point. The degree to which speculation has fueled this boom would be no surprise to them, nor would the fact that prices became totally detached from achievable rents some years ago. Why then, when virtually all of them were predicting a significantly lower level of appreciation, could they not project waning… Read more »


His rearview mirror is basically an admission that he f’ed up and he’s looking for reasons why. That is a very very weak admission. A reader who didn't know better gets the impression that he called it right. Here is a cross post of my recent RE Talks post on this very article: We have tried to dissect Pastrick's model in the past. I have always been of the opinion that he does little if any proper fundamental analysis (ie. price to rent etc), but rather tries to correlate/extrapolate a number factors to future price movements. He may well think that these factors are "fundamentals" but they really aren't in the direct sense. Clearly he has zoomed in on recent economic condition and prevailing interest rates as key determinants of future RE prices. The problem is that he sees these… Read more »

Patiently Waiting

Rent before you commit to buying. You can test a building or a neighbourhood. For stratas, you probably will get some more insight into who owns and what problems they face. Personally, I doubt I'll ever buy a condo.

I will buy a piece of land, even if it just has an old shack on it. When the market crashes, building or renovating will be a lot cheaper.


Listen to Bearette. (206) Some good thoughts there. Possible future topics? To start it off: Would it be feasible to combine two adjacent shoebox units in a strata building into one livable place? Or would that simply not fly under strata law? For either investment or residence purposes, what makes for a good building? Some buildings will become hellholes, leaky and moldy, filled with drug labs, flophouses, "escorts" and crackheads. Absentee, cash-strapped owners resolutely voting down any attempts to change matters. Any decent people fleeing and being replaced by more lowlifes. Others will be great, with families, good maintenance, courtesy and blockwatches . It will take years before it is obvious which is which. What are the clues, and are any buildings clearly set on a path already? Any advantage to buying an entire floor for investment? Strikes me you… Read more »


.i do not regard realtors as professionals only they do.

is it not a vocation ?

real estate boards do not provide a public service they service only themselves and there paying members.

care to dispute that ?

its the one rotten apple that makes them all look bad.

the boisterous and nauseating ones and the ones that spin spin spin.

the ones that claim more affordable homes will hurt the economy where as in Calgary's place unaffordable homes are strangling the economy as no one can afford to live here

no doubt Vancouver will end up the same way.

do you know that realtors and spec buyers make up less than 1% of any given cities population


Matt, "I’ve wondered the same thing on this blog and received an equivalent amount of emnity in responses." I've never seen anyone be rude to you. I have seen some very thoughtful and earnest replies to your comments (ie from jesse). Your own comment in this thread is deliberatlet provoking, so you're hardly reaching across the fence yourself. I tend to assume touchy people are overleveraged and panicked, but maybe your just naturally rude? "Lately though it seems that the posts have gotten less arrogant from the bears as I think a few of them are beginning to clue in to the reality that economics does not discriminate by a buyer’s personal buying strategy. " You have an amazing capacity to completely miss the point. The primary thing Vancouver Housing Blog/Financial Planning & Personal Responsibility/Vancouver Condo Info (the 3 main… Read more »


#176 islander you have it backwards..its your dislike of anyone who dose not believe in your delusions that real estate always goes up.. you simply do not like posters that post bearish comments or opinions regarding real estate and any time your opinions are opposed you feel like you have been personally attacked..

try posting a pro canuck comment on a flames blog the day of a big game and see what you get thrown back at you

in other words know where you are


bearette — good points. These guys are standing on the deck of the Titanic and quibbling about how fast its sinking and if their fellow passengers are 'nice' enough. The "hater" post below, for example, hypocritically reeks of fear, loathing and flopsweat, and such types are better ignored.

I don't have ready answers to your questions, but I'll start thinking along those lines and doing some research, particularly as I expect to buy within 3 years.


Patiently – LOL. Great article and pic, thanks.


Yes, like Beramax says, it is well and truly over. I think it's funny we're still arguing about how over it is. There is no point. The bulls will fight it right up until their foreclosures. Lets ignore them, they are now utterly irrelevant. It would be truly interesting, I think, and more educational, if us long-standing 2005, VHB-era bears started talking amongst ourselves about how best to take advantage of just how over it is. I think that would be way more constructive. And useful. Let's just shut out the noise of bulls-in-denial and focus our energies on strategizing amongst ourselves — sharing advice and tips about how we are going to carve up the Vancouver real estate market carcass between us and to our best advantage. Topics like how to low, low, ow-ball. How to buy without a… Read more »

Patiently Waiting

Bobcats squat in foreclosed Cali house. 🙂

Patiently Waiting

Fish has East Van MOI at 72 weeks.

Up until now, East Van has been strengthened by buyers who were priced out of West Side/North Shore. It had been a strong area, and now its the weakest. This is BIG.


Who cares, it's over. Get it? Time to start looking for a new job. Tim Hortons and Walmart are always hiring.



you did not produce any relevent point other than that your sister is realtor same as paul who published fake numbers.