Friday Free for All!

It’s the end of the week again, but this week is a little different with a focus on some of the more bullish developments this past week. Here are a few stories:

B.C. businesses slightly more optimistic: CFIB survey
Olympic ticket sales put 2010 Games in ‘positive cash position’
U.S. home sales climb at fastest pace in last 10 months
U.S. bank bailout plan ignites stocks surge on Wall Street
Entertainment software delivers $1.7b boost to Canadian economy
Richmond-based Kin’s Farm Market to expand
Immigration boosts population growth: StatsCan

So what are you seeing out there?  Post your thoughts, anecdotes and economic news here and have an excellent 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 into your comment will automatically create a clickable hot-link. Linking to more than one external link within a single comment may cause your submission to get held up in the spam filter.

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Value Finder:

Loved reading your experience and seeing how much it matched up with mine. By the way, just finished moving this weekend. Absolutely love living in a ++$1 million dollar condo for a pittance. I have hard-wired ethernet in every room, geothermal heating, a main ensuite that feels like I'm staying at a 5-star Westin, the best kitchen I've EVER seen outside of a restaurant, and a view to kill for.

patriotz, thanks for the note about foreclosures and tenant rights in BC being different than the US. That's the last lingering concern I had about renting this specific overpriced unit.


We have the lowest standard of living of any developed nation. We have lower wages than any developed nation We have higher personal ( direct and indirect taxes now over 70%) taxes than any developed nation. We have high inflation ( forget about the CPI crap issued by the gov) on everything not related to hedonics. Our Dollar is always in the crapper good times or bad. Tourists go to Germany, France, Britian etc etc with high labour costs etc, why do we have to discount our buck to -50% to attract people to Canada. They make movies around the world why do we have to sell our services for 1/2 off or companies won't do buisness here? The list is a long one questioning why the CDN Peso is the lame duck of the western economies. We have always… Read more »


depressionwatch: If the government were intentionally holding down the CAD we would see inflation, or more precisely higher inflation than our trading partners, as a result. This is exactly what has happened in China as a result of their artificially low currency peg against the USD. Loose monetary policy in the US resulted in rampaging inflation in China. The fact is that for decades consumer price inflation in Canada has been about the same as the US and we have seen lower asset price inflation than the US, i.e. a smaller housing bubble (I will remind everyone one more time that BC is not representative of the rest of Canada). A related point is that China and Japan, and other exporters to the US, have been intervening to keep the USD high against their own currencies. They have no interest… Read more »


patriotz: #151 patriotz , you see I don't believe for a minute that the 'market ' keeps the CDN buck down. Whenever the CDN dollar shows any strength the CDN government starts selling it down with overnight trades in USD that suckerpunch both currency and interest rates that keep the dollar from rising. The rising oil price was what kept the CDN government from thier old game. They didn't have enough cash to bet against the rising price of oil and that subsequently forced them to intervene less often with outright sales and threats of lower rates. It's all a scam to keep the CDN dollar in the toilet to export cheap on the backs of Canadian buisnesses for the benefit of a few lazy Easterners. The sick CDN buck keeps buisnesses from growing thier productivity through technology and equipment… Read more »


Patiently Waiting:

So I can see why the politicians keep the dollar down.

The politicians aren't keeping the dollar down, the market is. It's pretty much all about oil. Oil price drops over 60%, the CAD drops 30% against the USD.

We should be thankful. High oil prices, and the resulting high CAD, benefit only Alberta and Saskatchewan. The rest of the country gets hurt both by high energy costs and the high CAD which hurts exports.

Well of course the recreational property market in BC gets hurt by low oil prices (less Alberta fun money), but I prefer a real economy to building houses and flipping burgers for rich outsiders.

Patiently Waiting

The low dollar seems to work for many people. Lots of jobs and businesses depend on it. And the costs of hamburgers in Europe are of concern to few Canadians. So I can see why the politicians keep the dollar down. I'm not saying its a great economy, but it meets the short-term needs.

On another note, Detached are down 28% yoy in this weeks numbers at Agent Will's site:

Not only that, Detached are down 3% over three years. I know these are highly volatile numbers, but I believe this breaks new ground on the down side.



I am just really tired of having to pay 65% more for a Big Mac in Britian, 77% more in the Euro zone and 25% more in the US

The UK pound is now worth 1.77 CAD. That is a historic low for the pound. Compare with 2.43 five years ago.

The Euro and USD are now worth 1,65 and 1.24 respectively. That is 3 cents more today for the Euro than 5 years ago, and 7 cents less for the USD.

The Euro is worth 9 cents more against the USD than 5 years ago.

Obviously the UK pound is the sick man of this group.


patriotz: #144 patriotz, against what indeed. I am just really tired of having to pay 65% more for a Big Mac in Britian, 77% more in the Euro zone and 25% more in the US all because of a dip shit Canadian Peso which depreciates first and fastest against every other currency. I was in Indonesia recently and watched with some amusement as the CDN Peso depreciated against the Rupiah. When our Dollar is falling against currencies that don't have running water, flush toilets or lace up shoes to back them up you really start to ask yourself why is the Canadian buck always in the crapper? I know that they say that the Canadian government doesn't directly manipulate the dollar down for trade reasons by I don't buy it. If we have an economy as strong as one is… Read more »

read on


Many landlords have cashflow problems. Renters now are paying rent at the end of the month. Renters are no longer paying on the first, but the 31st. When forclosure happen near the begining of the month, renters may be short changed.


Why shorchanged? As mentioned earlier in the thread, a renter's rights do not change under foreclosure, so the landlord's cashflow problems (whatever that means) are nowt to do with the renter.


Anonymous: Regarding the scoring system – It's a work in progress. We get flooded with so many comments here that it's valuable to have a system to highlight the useful ones and diminish the garbage.

The problem is that it becomes a popularity contest. I'm working on a system that would make downvoted comments diminished, but expandable if you want to read them, but it will suffer from the same issue: people will vote down comments from readers they disagree with as well as comments from trolls or spam.

I would suggest again that people can make the rating system more useful by not voting down comments they disagree with, but instead replying with a counter-argument. Save the downvoting for gibberish and trolls. There's no need to provide free-speech for that.



Many landlords have cashflow problems. Renters now are paying rent at the end of the month. Renters are no longer paying on the first, but the 31st. When forclosure happen near the begining of the month, renters may be short changed.



The Cdn dollar and it US counterpart can be expected to tank,

Against what? You think the Euro zone, UK, Japan or China are in any better fundamental shape than Canada? I don't.

You could well see the CAD and USD return to parity, but all this has happened before, etc.


#140-141, burn the trolls. I like the fact that we can make them gone gone gone and gone.

depressionwatch… World leaders dump on Obamas stimulus plan. This is bad news for the dollar and N,American economy going forward. The failure to attract massive international investment will cause the recession here to become a depression. Once the quantatative easing reaches a tipping point and foriegn governments don't buy our debt then we can only expect massive tax increases and spiralling higher intrest rates. The Cdn dollar and it US counterpart can be expected to tank, so get your travel in now before the CDN peso is worth nothing in foriegn exchange. Surrey's burned out Quatro project is still a bust as financing is a no go. Buyers agitating for a return of deposits now a law suit. They are going to find out that the money has been spent and thier deposits are no more. Sethi and company should… Read more »


I like the scoring system in that one can get a feel of the opinions, thoughts of the readers, it is a feed back and inter active.

But one improvement could be not to make the letters so small that one cannot read them.


I hate this "scoring system". I agree with the majority here, but why oppress and make illegibly small the posts of those you disagree with? It is completely against the notion of free speech and freedom of opinion.


#136 I would call it common sense to not buy when housing is that high, or anything for that matter. The beauty of common sense is that it is so simple: Can I afford it? If not: dont buy. I think people have been watching too many hollywood tv productions about lavish stupid lifestyles and have assumed they too can live like a movie/tv star. They have assumed life is a party – all the time. There is only up, no downs, therefore many have been gambling (they call it investing) the markets. But… when you gamble.. dont you lose sometimes? Did not their mom teach them that? Did they always win as a child? Did the schools tell them their work was "great" all the time even when crappy (to increase self confidence)? I feel like I am from… Read more »


oh yeah slappys! time to fibre up your' re potfolio's with

"mac bulk"

Renter beware

#57 Here is hollyburns website:

Before renting from Hollyburn, ask the landlord for references from previous renters. If that is not available, ask the landlord for some references of current renters.

This is a renters market. If the landlord (particularly Hollyburn) won't give it, walk. There are lots of units on the market now.

Value Finder

To mflat #78: I could not agree with you more. My wife and I just moved last weekend from a yaletown 730 sf 1 bdrm/1bthrm paying $1700/mo, what would sell for just under 1/2 million last summer, into a huge 1150 sf upgraded 2 bdrm/2bthrm for $2100/mo, that in 2007, the same unit 10 floors below sold for over $930,000. We did exactly what you talked about in tracking the Prompton listings and I kept a master excel spreadsheet that tracked the original price with the price reductions and after 6 weeks of tracking, over 1/2 the listings were price reduced. I have rented in Vancouver since I moved here in 2001 and everytime I moved (5 times total) it was like I was going to an interview for a job and I had to have my cheque book with… Read more »


Watch out for the stealth blimps the realtors have deployed around Vancouver to locate FTBs for condos. I've seen quite a few of them flying around Yale town late at night trying to find drunken renters to beam up to their "presentation centers". Don't be fooled by their free champagne and pizza and 35 year amortizations with teazer rates! It's a trap!


ted:You are surefire really really disappointed buddy,You're totally ill informed who knows nothing about the result of mac scams. by the way you have start getting multiple ideas now,nope?.Anyway,presale units does not add it's prices to resale market unless owner take possession of the properties then sell it to next buyers.I think you should try your luck over there but we had one poster here who has returned back his contract after two days of purchase,when Macs team ask him to pay more for a unit for which he already paid more than the posted prices through multiple bids.


Anonymous: their discription of indexes is type of properties that processed through mls only, but other sales, and orignal prices are not included in computerized math.

Are you a liar or an idiot? Based on your writing style I'm guessing the latter, but perhaps it's some cunning plan to hide your deception. Of course the index I refer to is only the benchmark of everything sold through the MLS – units sold directly by developers are showing even bigger losses. Mac marketing is running radio ads for units at "hundreds of thousands below their original price".

Translation: The market is tanking hard and a turn around is a long way off.

If you don't believe this, please go buy as many of these 'discount' condos as you are able. The developers would appreciate it.


If it turns out many investor presales don't complete, then they probably won't show up on mls listings because the developers will try to liquidate them.

So we may end up getting a shadow condo glut.