Friday Free-for-all!

It’s time for our end of the week news round up!  Here are a few stories I’ve noticed lately:

-RBC: Vancouver affordability improves, but “still exorbitant”
Personal bankruptcies jump 13.5% in February
Big MAC sale sells out the Beasley
Woodwards crumbling or supposed to be like that?
Intrawest eyes asset sale to pay down debt
Auction tries to kick-start BC vacation property market
Hawaii foreclosures soar 503% in March

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

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buff_butler
buff_butler
11 years ago

Supraboy:

lol. That was on the topic post. 😛

Get some sleep dude; tommorows another day.

patriotz
11 years ago

deathspiral:

So, yes there were lots of poor people at that time, but the society of the poor was functioning on a very differant paradigm. Being poor was cool, unlike today.

You are really making the same point as me, There were social networks, as well as institutions for the mentally ill, in the 60's and 70's that averted homelessness as we know it today. The few truly homeless really stood out back then.

As I have already noted, the social networks for Asians still exist, in a quite similar form really, which is the reason why you see so few homeless Asians today.

Supraboy
Supraboy
11 years ago

Has this been reported on the news?
http://www.beyondrobson.com/news/2009/04/woodward
This is regarding the concrete falling from the Woodwards development.

TUT
TUT
11 years ago

#61

Read it again, please.

deathspiral
deathspiral
11 years ago

#59&60 speaking of dull, circular and repetative, I see you've both agreed to agree, and to say nothing.

TUT
TUT
11 years ago

#59

I totally Agree. Not only stale but utterly repetitive. It seems that most contributions are going in circles. Bears expecting the opposite than bulls but not much substance in the arguments.

May be a wider look at what is happening around the globe will bring to this forum a more balanced measure of things to come, which IMHO will affect out lives far beyond the RE realm.

Renting versus owning, being over or underwater, making or loosing money by playing the investment games and many other controversies may become a moot points if other basic necessities go unfulfilled.

Unfortunately that's not a remote possibility anymore.

hughz
hughz
11 years ago

Wow, this blog has been a little stale as of late – no offense intended, guys.

But, unfortunately, with comments 57 and 58, I am sad to say it's reached an all time low. Vote them down, down, down, I say.

jamey
jamey
11 years ago

Chinks OWN vancouver get that straight. They will be the new native people here.. Its happening in vancouver. Their homeland population is pass a billion and with mass unemployment there, they are heading this way to Vancouver bypassing all the other countries. It seems so strange as its SOO farr from their homeland

Franco
Franco
11 years ago

You guy ignored one important factor which supporting Van RE market for the yrs come;

Chinks' purchasing power and their willingness to scarify their lives for a house.

Vancouver is the exemption because it has 55% Chink population whose immense wealth can support Van RE for at least 50 yrs.

deathspiral
deathspiral
11 years ago

patriotz: #46,Patriotz, having lived on the sidewalks of this fair city ( and many others) in the 1960's I can attest that there were plenty of homeless and otherwise disenfranchised people around at that time. The entire society of poor at that time was a differant scene though and it didn't seem that the streets were as hardened as they are today. There were always lots of crash pads around the city. Communes were a very big scene by the late 60's and thousands of hippies and wannabe's fled the city for the hinterland and islands. There was a curcuit of communes all over N. America where you could go if you were into the hithhiking culture, which many were. It was nothing to hithhike around the continent with the weather, and many did just that, me included. The US… Read more »

deathspiral
deathspiral
11 years ago

JustAnotherBear:

#50, actually we do know whats in that black box. It's called TARP money. Everyone seems to have convieniantly forgot that all the banks have been flushed up with billions upon billions of 'stimulus' cash. CITI is another example of sudden profitability that took the market by storm. It's a joke to see the media get wrapped up in this when if you listen to a non MSM analyst they'll tell you exactly whats going on. personally I think it's all part and parcel of the governments larger campaign to sell 'hope', optimism' and 'confidence', otherwise it's all bullshit. I really hope they all give themselves a big bonus. LOL

snark
snark
11 years ago

read on: I didn't know anything in life was 100% guaranteed. What line of work are you in?

read on
read on
11 years ago

"How safe is your job? Really, how safe is it? "

100%, but I realise I'm one of the fortunate few who can say that.

Brittanny
Brittanny
11 years ago

How safe is your job? Really, how safe is it?

Brittanny
Brittanny
11 years ago

The price that people are willing to pay will decline as their income/employment/opportunity declines.

Was just at Daytona beach Fla., average price: $83 sq/ft.

I know Vancouver is not Florida, but $83 sq/ft compared to $400 – $1000 sq/ft? This is just not sustainable given the economic situation.

JustAnotherBear
JustAnotherBear
11 years ago

Wells Fargo's profit looks too good to be true:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&a

Quote:

"Look at Wells’s Dec. 31 balance sheet, and you’ll see a $109.8 billion line item called “other assets.” What’s in that number? For that breakdown, you need to go to a footnote in Wells’s financial statements. And here’s where it gets comical.

The footnote says the largest component was a $44.2 billion bucket that Wells labeled as “other.” Yes, that’s right: The biggest portion of “other assets” was “other.” And what did this include? The disclosure didn’t say. Neither would Bernard.

Talk about a black box. That $44.2 billion is more than Wells’s tangible common equity, even using the bank’s dodgy number. And we don’t have a clue what’s in there. "

JustAnotherBear
JustAnotherBear
11 years ago

Bloomberg is running a nice article about how Oklahoma City learned from its banking crisis in the 80s and managed to keep its jobless rate at 5.6% – the second-lowest of any U.S. metropolitan area. Quote:

"“We’re growing at a nice clip; it’s very slow, very steady and very solid,” said Mayor Mick Cornett. “I will admit that when I saw what was going on in Phoenix and Las Vegas years ago, I was envious. But I call that crazy growth.” "

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchiv

squeak!!!
squeak!!!
11 years ago

Here is something to nibble on (or choke on):

http://www.mint.com/blog/finance-core/a-visual-gu

Ulsterman
11 years ago

Comparing a big, world-class sophisticated city like Vancouver to some hick, backward small town places like San Diego and…what was that other place called?…San Francisco? is just silly. Vancouver is soooo different.

patriotz
11 years ago

deathspiral:

When those cheques run out get ready for a big change in the homeless landscape.

Maybe, maybe not. Unemployment rose to over 12% in 1983 (and stayed there for years) and we had virtually no homelessness as we know it today.

Another thing to think about – if people are no longer able to pay current rents, what happens? Are landlords going to let their properties sit empty?

read on
read on
11 years ago

Damn, maybe I should have taken that job in SF last year… (if said job stills exists, that is).

deathspiral
deathspiral
11 years ago

Someone was saying on an earlier string that you can't compare SF to Vanc because you couldn't find an apartment for $350K in SF. Sorry to burst that bubble dude. April 16 (Bloomberg) — San Francisco Bay Area home prices fell a record 46 percent in March from a year earlier as foreclosures drove more than half the sales in the region. The median home price fell to $290,000, 56 percent below its mid-2007 peak, San Diego-based MDA DataQuick said today. A total of 6,325 new and existing houses and condominiums sold in the nine-county area, 29 percent more than in March 2008. Prices have fallen for 16 straight months and March’s drop tied with January and February as the biggest year-over-year decline in MDA records dating to 1988. The scarce availability of jumbo loans, which aren’t sold to home… Read more »

deathspiral
deathspiral
11 years ago

Hawaiian unemployment doubles in the previously 'bulletproof state'. The neverending numbers of visitors to the islands has collapased. The stete now extends unemployment cheques to cover 59 weeks of unemployment. Will we get to that? 59 weeks of EI? Don't count on it. Like in the 70's and 80's the number of dispossesed shot up dramatically when the EI rules allowed less weeks that the 60's. The number of EI weeks available is half what it was in the 80's. When those cheques run out get ready for a big change in the homeless landscape. How will the government cope with this mass unemployment problem during the Olympics? Is that why they've closed the schools?

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2009041

techdeath
techdeath
11 years ago

More bad news for the tech space. 8400 contract workers toast Toshiba expects bigger loss, contract job cuts Posted 4/18/2009 9:16 PM ET E-mail | Save | Print TOKYO (AP) — Toshiba Corp., Japan's top chipmaker, Friday said its net loss for the last fiscal year will be bigger than forecast due to a large write-off, and warned that more contract jobs will be cut. The company will cut 3,900 contract workers in Japan by March of next year, according to spokeswoman Hiroko Mochida. That is in addition to the 4,500 Japanese contract workers it previously said would be cut by last month. Toshiba now estimates the net loss for the year to March 2009 at 350 billion yen ($3.5 billion), sharply up from 280 billion yen forecast earlier and its biggest loss ever. It would also mark Toshiba's first… Read more »

realpaul
realpaul
11 years ago

jesse: #38 Jesse, you sort of answered your own questions in a round about way. But I can add afew points FYI. a)appraisal is an apples to apples process of balance, comparison and adjudication of all factors ( location , construction materials, site influence, maintenance costs, upgrades and recent comparable sales). b) you can't 'willfully ignore the surroundings' as these 'site influences' affect value in an absolute way. You can ( must)find similar comparables which also have comparable negative site influence and develop an algorithm as to how much of a discount would apply over a wide number of given subjects in the sample. c)You cannot use the comps from within the same complex when there aren't any. What things sold for in the past do not represent current market value. Therefore you must determine how much of a discount… Read more »