Building permits plunge

As the economy falls so do building permits in Vancouver, which plunged in January to half the previous years number… ‘experts’ say the industry may be turning a corner.  Article in the Globe and Mail:

That grim news means that Vancouver is now projecting to get only half of its normal $25-million in fees related to development this year – a scenario that’s being echoed to some degree in other Lower Mainland municipalities.

But Vancouver’s finance committee chair and many people in the development industry say the region may be turning a corner.

“The February numbers will inform us more and so will March, but we may have seen the worst of it,” said Councillor Raymond Louie, who is monitoring the numbers for signs that the city should tighten its budget belt even more.

There is a sign of hope: Development consultant Bob Ransford said the company he works for will be putting in an application to develop 900-1,300 units in Vancouver’s Collingwood Village on the far eastern side of the city. That site, now single family homes that have been assembled by the Waterfront Group, would become part of the dense new neighbourhood that has been developed there over the past decade.

“We know it will take some time to get it approved, but they’re optimistic that that the market will return,” said Mr. Ransford. Although the company isn’t making any construction commitments, even putting in an application requires paying significant fees to the city.

Mr. Ransford and others familiar with the development industry say they are hearing through the grapevine that there are signs of life in the housing market. More people are starting to appear at presentation centres and “people are writing deals,” said Mr. Ransford.

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Don'tcha love stats?

Global news this evening

February 2009 RE sales are up 94 % from January…but yet at the same time at a 25 year low.


Job numbers come out again tommorrow, analysts expect another 665,000 jobs lost. If this si the 'whisper number expect it to be MUCH higher as it always is.

"The Labor Department's monthly payrolls and unemployment figures aren't due until Friday, but on Wednesday market watchers get a look at the monthly employment survey from payroll firm Automatic Data Processing and a tally of February layoffs from consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Analysts expect the ADP report to show private-sector employers cut 665,000 jobs."


So much for the myth of Chinese investment brilliance


I almost crashed while driving on the trans canada today when a radio ad for the "Luzon" (nice name- Loser perhaps)came on.

It's a box like building on arbutus and 12th in Kits. Ugly.. empty.. near a few recent shooting locations I seem to recall..

But hey the ad had angelic background singers so it must be worth it!


jun: #27 Jun, I'll agree with you on one thing. The Canadian dollar is in freefall again and in the past this has generated buisness for real estate speculators from off shore. In the past it has been primarily the strongest currencies , the US buck and the UK pound countries which have had chier citizens come to take advantage of the Cdn Peso. This time however these same denominated currencies are having national economic catastrophes of thier own and most are getting thier asses kicked in those countries whereas in the past it was Canada specific downturns that made Canada seem like it was priced in third world terms. I have seen the break in hold outs during the long recession of the 80's when the hold outs capitulated and sold at a loss like everyone else. When all… Read more »


remember the city relies on building permits to generate some income so if there’s ever a ridiculous house you'd like built now’s your chance….


People don't want to sell?

Of course that's their right.

On the one hand…They don't lose unless they sell.

However, they run the risk, (which all indications are), that the longer they hold on, the more they stand to lose.

An ever increasing glut of supply(inlcuding the 1000+ Olympic Village condos in over a year) as well as people either underwater , losing their jobs etc, seem to be more a reasonable prediction of what the future holds in the short term, so be pro-active and react accordingly.


"The so-called benchmark price of a detached home in the board’s area hit $653,342."

Nice, that's a 12.7% annualised decline m-o-m Jan-Feb.


Anon @ 2:35 – Paul's blog has his last installment of charts – up in the BC links here.


Got to love the board. Sales bounce back! But year over year compared to last Feb they are still down 50%!


Jun I will bet you $100 right now that this crash is only just BEGINNING. As far as people not selling or having to sell, it's because they think it's a new spring selling season, once they realize prices are still going down they will sell. In fact I think we are still in for a huge wave of listings. Downtown especially is going to get hit hard, a lot of amateurs bought over their heads and are bleeding every month, soon even their ignorant denial will change and they will dump their shoeboxes at what ever price they can get. Stick, fork , done. This market is finished and the pain is only just beginning. Can any optimist on here tell me why on earth they think the market will rebound when the economic conditions are at their worst… Read more »


February real estate sales bounce back from January lows

The so-called benchmark price of a detached home in the board's area hit $653,342.


Is everyone thinking negative on this website? I am seeing the market slowly balancing out. A lot of chinese buyers coming in because of our weak currency. I am not saying the price will not drop further, I think it will… However, areas like downtown vancouver, the price isn't going to go down too much further. A lot of nice units downtown, the owners just won't sell it. It doesn't matter the market is up or down. In fact, they won't sell it even more, if they have to sell low. What do you guys think? Just another side of the story a little bit. I still agree, be very careful going into the market or just stand on the side line and be patient. But i think good buy is still good buy out there. Especially it's rare and… Read more »


Anybody seen any graphs around with the latest February numbers?


BTW, I have spent time this morning forwarding the National Post article by Kelly McParland re the murder of Robert Djiekanski to more than 50 ( at last count) international news organizations around the world to remind them to bring this story back into the international headlines as the shame of Canada, and because I think it's important not to put my head up my ass and hope for the best. I hope they warn people in those countries that it is not safe to be in BC for the Olympics or any other time.

I ask you to please read the comments section of the article to get an idea of how other Canadians are reacting to this sordid tale of murder and conspiracy to decieve and subvert justice.


I think this is the end of the first phase. The vancouver RE is completely shot now. Give 15 days to get the info to the noninformed, and see what happens on the RE market.

I think we are facing at least one more if not two major layoff waves. Maybe after that we can say that the conditions are in balance.

This is good time to buy if you are crazy… to rephrase some of the re agents..



#22 I pulled that commentary straight from the National Post this AM. Kelley McParland is a respected and long term reporter at that paper. I am a bit surprised to see that "the comment is awaiting moderation", The full text of the article is also available at the link provided.

OK , how does this relate to real estate? How can the state of our country sinking into a police state of fanatic murderous lawless fascism not relate to everything.


Apartment Buyers Abandoning 6-Figure Deposits in New York City

read for yourself:

Coming soon to a World Class City near you!


obamatron 19 #

I can barely make out what you are saying…only until the very last sentence could I tell you are pro real estate


DaMann, you're brother's agent is wise in the ways of real estate. Listen to his advice. Cloverdale is the heart of the best place on earth.


I just can't fathom that the MSM and "economists" and RE agents and mouthpieces actually believe the bottom is in. Bloody hell, either they are all really stupid or really take lying to a whole new art form. I hear even the average Joe stating the bottom is in. It hasn't even bloody started. Now we have a dead economy, world wide doom and gloom, stock markets decimated and the job layoffs are just STARTING, and the bottom is in? How people are suckers for this I will never know. It seems no one knows how to think for themselves anymore. It's all "this person on the news says now is the time to buy" "my agent said the market is hot again" Are people really that dumb? Man this city is full of idiots I swear. Whew sorry about… Read more »


Huge stimulus plan making big difference in obamaland and coming here soon too. Everyone happy dancing hopey changy time. Stock market bottom arrived now that bush bad memory obama time rally here to come. Iraq all finished, Taliban defeated, everyone having fun. Good time to buy condo.


Seems when the going gets tough, realtor Lorne Goldman comes out of the woodwork..I've noticed this over the past few RE cycles.

On Global last night, Lorne was spinning another tale. Something about 100 sales last month ( Feb. )up from the previous months.

So what ?

What do those numbers mean ?

Price? Below benchmark?

Total listings?

Are these the last of the greater fools buying?

I just get this feeling BC will get walloped soon when the faux spring season arrives and goes.

Then the so -called experts will have shot their last wad of BS.


Kind of eerie.

A MAC's store shut down about one month ago.

Then this weekend a corner store a block away that had been around for decades on the site packed up an left.

Rogers Video shut down a store a couple of blocks away.


The industry shills are getting desperate, and resorting to "grapevine news" to pump up the market. Very sad indeed, as the ususal "economists" are no longer willing to stick their heads out.