Friday Free-for-all!

It’s open topic and news round up time!  Here are a few stories I’ve noticed as we shift into 2009:

Metro Vancouver home equity takes a huge hit
Worse numbers to come
2008: What a year that was!
TSX loses 35% in dismal year
Hiring climate in Vancouver area turns chilly
Forest sector loses $230 million in 3rd quarter
Electronic Arts: Job cuts to 10% of work force
A quarter century of ‘leaky condo’ crisis
Falling Canadian house prices still better than USA
Best prediction of 2008: Garth Turner on real estate
Five tips to keep your credit healthy in 2009

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

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MrBear: What I am seeing unfold as we speak is simply the gap filler in between the dots, or fills in the blanks of what never made sense to many VCI posters. The BIG picture ,past present and future is now getting clearer and clearer. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to be a "nattering Nabob of negativism". In a perfect world, if the RE market and stock market rose based on sound fundamentals ….and people had work …and had a decent standard of living and we could address the needs of those who slipped throught the cracks , hey,…. W-H-O could argue with that? I saw the early 1980's crash, it was the same specuvestor lemming mentality, (though condos were not yet a major variable). The post Expo 86 boom was simply scared money on the run.… Read more »

Patiently Waiting

One thing I'm watching for is developers becoming landlords. In some cases they might make whole buildings as rentals. We've discussed this before here. The numbers are not good for renting but it might be the least of all evils. At least, they'll get some income over the hard times.

Mind you, they'll need to have a grasp of market rents. Onni doesn't get it yet, as they are charging about the same as the specuvestors. And they are not renting, as these are still available (posted previously):

These are the dregs, the left-overs, the ones that wouldn't sell. Onni needs to get a clue.


boy, this thread is 5 pages long already. somebody start a new thread.

Vancouver Sun column on the olypmic village

Microsoft layoffs?

They only relatively recently opened their richmond center too… they were supposed to hire up to 800 people, but i don't know how that went. i distinctly remember seeing one mls property for a richmond apartment with text "…close to Microsoft".

The Ant

I’ve looked at those MLS data the past 3 months. I compare it with the listings in the market, I haven’t seen any crashing yet. Prices are still sky high. Stats are for losers.

So you compared the stats on sales to the units that haven't sold and that tells you prices haven't dropped?!?

Riiiiight, We'll just ignore those nasty MLS stats and believe you that the market is fine.. Afterall, the real estate ads say its always a great time to buy and someone put a leaky condo for sale on craigslist asking $1 billion dollars.


#254, NO -LYMPICS Says: "However, some VCI posters have claimed that there are too many NEGATIVE views on VCI. However the truth IS the truth, the facts ARE the facts." You are right about all of that, but there is another important point to consider; the VCI posters you are referring to are conflating 'negative' and 'bearish', which is simply a projection. People who are hoping for the market to climb see people who expect the market to drop as being 'negative'. I'll put my money on rational analysis over hope any day. It has worked out for me reasonably well so far. I can assure you, though, that MrBear is a positive bear. Heck, I think all us bears are happy right now, even if we perhaps engage in a bit too much schadenfreude. So be happy! Pray for… Read more »


"I would not say that the rents should increase in Vancouver because the rents in Toronto are higher – that is really bad conclusion."

Yeah I shouldn't bait like that. I knew what you meant 😉


Re: Rental markets: It time to either re – write the rule book or draft another one. Dumb specuvestors advertising for tenants on CraigsList are simply treading water…a desparate grab for cash. They are hoping this " rent" money is sufficient bridge – financing while betting the market will turnaround. —Prediction based on the aforementioned: These units will have a revolving door of ownership, (foreclosures, auctions, court – ordered sales etc), leading to unstable scenario for the renter. People will migrate to rental units that have historically been rental units. Owners of many of these units are well established, likely debt/mortgage free or close to it, know the ropes as landlords, and can best weather the economic storm. Vacancy to them is simply "lost income", but not a tipping point to bankruptcy or foreclosure. These established landlords may be willing… Read more »


#247, asalvari: I'm not certain, but a 'junior one bedroom' rental means an independent apartment, does it not? Because the offer referenced in #242 is one bedroom of a two bedroom apartment, and I personally would pay quite a premium to not live with someone like Mack who doesn't even have the smarts to put down the toilet seat when he photographs his bathroom for craigslist. Yuck.


#250 Jesse

I would not say that the rents should increase in Vancouver because the rents in Toronto are higher – that is really bad conclusion. For example I could compare Vancouver with New York, and get even more compelling comparison?

I would say since condos are way more cheaper in Toronto, that Vancouver prices should come down a bit. But that would be exactly what everybody else is saying on this site.. heh..


Well the Holidays are over…. The 3 weeks of snow could be used as an excuse that affected the economy , whether it be RE or other consumer purchases December, due to the weather and the holiday season may have held back the floodgates of bad news. However, I predict the floodgates will begin to open in January 2009 However, some VCI posters have claimed that there are too many NEGATIVE views on VCI. However the truth IS the truth, the facts ARE the facts. I have found it very hard to find any "island " of positive news. This global economic situation has created a global low tide that has affected all ships, I have not heard of any ships defying gravity suspended at the old high water mark. Forewarned = forearmed. Knowledge is power. Adding a "negative" label… Read more »


from #251

We thing the Victoria Real Estate Market will do well in 2009 and we are not alone. The most important part of all of this is for us all to keep a positive attitude and ignore all the people that complain.

can i complain about your spelling acumen bill?….


” Prices are still sky high. Stats are for losers.”

ASKING Prices are still sky high…. agreed!

Stats are for losers… you will ignore stats at your own peril….

huge line ups at the polar bear swim at English Bay therefore real estate prices

will go up…… 😉

How stupid can you g

real estate market to get new rockets in 2009 get details:

Yes, you won't believe what you read, but keep it in perspective, it is written by a highly trained professional with a realtor license.

This writer must be the product of a Maggie and a Rob.


"I paid approx 1150/month for a junior 1 bedroom rental located at yonge and davisvile. 2001 yes, its not a mistake."

There should be little doubt which city, Toronto or Vancouver, has a better yield. It's a wonder why prices in Toronto aren't higher. Or is your argument that Vancouver rents are bound to increase?


"I told you to go check out Chinese restaurants in Richmond for yourself. Make sure it’s on Monday when everyone’s snowed in, we should expect the restaurants to be dead empty. You’ll be surprised when you have to wait in line for a table."

How does this prove anything? That now is a great time to invest in a restaurant, given the lineups and all? Try this for an experiment: poll the people in the lineups and find out how many are planning to buy real estate in the next 4-6 months.


"but again, the problem is: If those so called ‘people’ need to sell come out of the woodwork."

Again, it doesn't matter because potential buyers always have alternatives — renting or staying put in their existing property. It only complicates matters by trying to guess motives of sellers. Even if every property for sale lowered its price by 10% it wouldn't matter. Without capital gains "in the bag" the fair price is still way lower.

Show a decent return on equity from cash flows and you'll find a buyer lickety split.



I am not sure what the current rate is for your case, but hell I would love this price and accommodation 2001 toronto.

I paid approx 1150/month for a junior 1 bedroom rental located at yonge and davisvile. 2001 yes, its not a mistake.



This site has been a good resource for education. Anyone has got benefit from it would have responsibility to feedback. What I am try to do is to provide more helps as I have got from the site, to young people with less experience in the society – it's our role as being a well-behaved citizen, on either the virtual web or the real life.



You are more than welcome to use my words. But be careful, I am an ESL student.

I like the "Bitter is a complex taste". In Chinese proverb, it says: "良药苦口利于病,衷言逆耳利于行" (my interpretation: good medication is bitter, but it resolves the illness; good advice is harsh to hear, but it helps in life).


Hey CZ, the 0 down 40% thing is ridiculous, I can’t understand why people would go zero down. Do you think they would end up walking away from their house? If housing prices is worth less than the mortgage, I think the right thing to do is default. Not that easy. Canadian law is different from the US, which is recourse in most provinces (including BC, Alberta is different). This means the creditor has the rights to go after the debtor's other assets, not only the collateral (aka the house). My dad was saying to me that the only idiots going zero down for 40 yrs are those buying cheap 200k-400k condos. He said those are rookies and fools that are afraid of “missing out.” True – they are called "greater fools". MSM and CHMC have great contribution to this,… Read more »


That would almost make a good contest ^



Often when looking arround for rental pricing in subareas of a city I'll look for one well rounded posting and then search by phone number to get all listings by that person to see how reasonable the price is. I found this good for rent vs own equivalencies.

I found this very interesting. I think its the same posting over and over again. The asker has dropped price by ~10%. I don't know what yaletown should rent for just a room though. Any ideas?

I'm sure there's far worse examples of distress but craiglist cuts off at the end of november 😛


Oh, sure. Now there has to be a bit of reasonable discussion involving Supraboy, including solid replies by scullboy and CZ. Do you guys live to make me eat my words?

Lily pad

realpaul: Thanks.

My conclusion from your explanation is that it is near impossible to buy a foreclosure but one can quite successfully buy a court ordered property.

Am I close?


Weary: I've achieved peace regarding Supraboy by ignoring all his posts and those posts that reply to him. It makes these threads much quicker and more insightful reading, I highly recommend it.

#225, ulsterman: Please post here more often. A little sanity is a wonderful thing.

#219, Patiently Waiting: Thanks for pointing out the vacancies on that Hollyburn site! I currently live in one of their buildings, and they definitely did not have anywhere near that number of openings when I was last looking at it a year ago or so. Wow, nice to see them suffer a bit. Couldn't happen to a better company.

Everyone else: Happy New Year, and take it easy on the "Rich Asian" crap. That's really getting tired as a stereotype/slur.