Friday Free-for-all!

It’s the end of the week again.  It was a bit of a mixed bag this past week so here are a few negative and positive stories:

B.C. exports expected to fall 23%
Canadian forest sector losses continue to climb
Canada, Australia, the U.K. seen first to recover from recession
Bank of Japan Raises Economic View, Keeps Interest Rate at 0.1%
Another fear gauge returns to normal
U.S. economic indicators rise in April
Vancouver’s landmark Bentall 5 building sells for $300 million
B.C. MLS sales price to slump in ’09, climb ’10: CREA forecast

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

-Dave

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[…] house prices fall for the ninth month in a row -CMHC predicts falling housing market across Canada -Rental increase met with demand to lower rent.  Success. -Will ‘rookie’ homebuyers save the market? […]

Vansanity
Vansanity
11 years ago

Hovering:

Sounds like they cheaped out on everything including the earthwork/excavation. I have checked out a few places myself and find the lack of quality quite shocking but worse yet is the floorplans. It's like no thought went into the floorplan at all, no thought at what would be moved into the rooms eventually.

For example, I keep seeing these "master bedrooms" where a queen size bed takes up nearly the entire room. You can barely walk through the room at all, it's suffocating!

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

18000 empty condos held by foreign investors in Vancouver.

http://tinyurl.com/pnh3ww

Hovering
Hovering
11 years ago

wow late posters/blogers/on this site.. I checked out 2 open houses this weekend in Kitsilano. Way out of my price range but we were walking by. The first place shocked me with the fake wood floor, cheap carpet and obvious defects (handrail on the stairs had a "creative" bend to it to get around the fact the workmen had miscalculated, doors were already sticking, gouges in wood "repaired" with putty, windows that would not open etc..) I was reminded of a "Holmes on Holmes" episode where he said tat if you could see mistakes on a visual inspection there was guaranteed to be more serious mistakes hidden elsewhere. The wierdest thing was a "court yard" in the side of the house that you couldn't access from the inside (no door). The realtor proudly explained this "selling feature" by saying that… Read more »

No Longer Looking
No Longer Looking
11 years ago

Scrapbooking? Isn't that a hobby? 😕

Here's a tip: never go to the Eat! Vancouver festival. It bites. 🙁 I usually avoid stuff like that. You pay to get marketed to. I feel like an idiot.

Anyhow, it was one of my rare trips into Downtown Vancouver. What's with all the empty storefronts in Yaletown? Are those businesses that closed or was there never anything in those fairly new buildings? This is embarrassing with 2010 around the corner.

Pain and Wastings is worse that ever. I even saw empty storefronts on West Hastings.

(note: I'm unable to access this site with Patiently Waiting so I'm retiring that name and replacing it with my current status.)

patriotz
11 years ago

oneangryslav:

The article does not mention any children living at home, and they appear to be old enough for their children (if they have any) to be adults.

So why are they living in a 5 bedroom house?

oneangryslav
oneangryslav
11 years ago

Sorry, the link to the NYT story can be found here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/25/business/econom

oneangryslav
oneangryslav
11 years ago

From the NYT:

"In Woodbury, Minn., Rick and Christine Sellman are struggling to persuade their bank to reduce their $2,200 monthly mortgage on their five-bedroom home.

Mr. Sellman, a construction worker, found some work putting in asphalt driveways last summer, but he is now receiving unemployment. Ms. Sellman’s scrapbooking businesses shut down last summer. Since then, they have slipped $19,000 behind on their mortgage.

“We were always up on our house payments,” Ms. Sellman said. “You work so hard to keep what you have, and because of circumstances beyond our control now, there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Wait a minute, Ms. Sellman! It was definitely within your control to understand that once easy credit was no longer available that your scrapbooking business would be amongst the first to fail.

The Pope
11 years ago

excellent! Thanks patriotz. All existing user accounts should work again now. We've been inundated with spam registrations so new user registrations will have email confirmation.

patriotz
11 years ago

The Pope:

I'm back. 🙂

The Pope
11 years ago

We seem to be having a problem with user accounts. Anyone who was unable to log in, please try now and let me know if you are able to.

patriotzed
patriotzed
11 years ago

cashisking:

I bought my first place in 94 in Toronto

For you West Coasters, that first purchase was very close to the nominal bottom of the early 90's bust.

Nice going.

Also note the the real top in Toronto in 1989 was very near the real top in 2008. Toronto can't hold a candle to Vancouver in the current bubble:

http://cuer.sauder.ubc.ca/cma/data/ResidentialRea

cashisking
cashisking
11 years ago

Wife and I work + investment income … my investments (pretty conservative) more than cover the cost of renting after tax – I also have a little to reinvest after that … Wife and I both have v good incomes … I bought my first place in 94 in Toronto cashed out of my last place 1.75 years ago …

rubberduckie
rubberduckie
11 years ago

I don't need to have a 4000 sq.ft. house, but I think a gas fireplace in the bathroom would be delightful! Imagine getting out of the shower to a nice toasty warm room, or laying in the soaker tub with it on.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

West Van Rentals are surprisingly cheap.

As far as costs go you're getting about the same amount of land per $1 as you would in Richmond. I heard West Van was one of the first areas to be hit by mass foreclosures….

Whatever the reason there have never been so many nice houses available for rent, in West Van, than right now.

Check for yourselves if you have any doubt.

deathspiral
deathspiral
11 years ago

Anonymous: #32 Anon, it's not homophobia to 'out' someone as having no character or personal ethics. Anyone gay or straight who lies his way through his personal life to the people he is supposed to be responsible for is obviously incapable of telling the truth to the general public. Boobie is obviously a low life scum and a pathological liar. He 'suddenly' became a queen, lisp and all when the art gallery poofboy started blowing him. He's even a phony gay. personally I think he's a sociopath. Yes I have 'issues' with dip shits like that. You may have mistaken your 'instant politically correct' button for the one that turns on your brain. No one said anything about 'bashing'. Meanwhile, the unemployment stats are being skewed by the 'early retirement' offers that many workers are being offered. These 'retirement' packages… Read more »

goldie
goldie
11 years ago

Further to Patriotz's point above, I believe the federal tax break on building rental apartments that existed in the 60s (hence the prevalence of East Berlin-style 3 1/2-story walkups in many inner cities) ended in 1970 or 1971.

I have lived in a couple of "accidental" rentals in my day: buildings that came to market coincidental with a market crash and went, reluctantly, to rental for a few years. But for the most part it's hard to find purpose-built rentals erected post-1970.

I was under the impression that the first condo project was in Calgary circa 1970 (I believe in Lynnwood), though it's possible that was the first one in Alberta.

patriotzed
patriotzed
11 years ago

other ted: Before the 70’s I don’t even think it was possible to find a condo. Condos were legally authorized in 1966 with the passage of the Stata Titles Act. But very few condos were built then, for two reasons: one, banks were reluctant to lend on them, and two people just didn't want to buy them. People thought it was crazy to buy an apartment. If you wanted to buy something, you bought a house. Ordinary people could afford to buy houses then (how shocking). And house prices increased little from year to year, so there was no pressure to get on the "property ladder". Condos did not become popular until the 1970's. That was because of the imposition of rent controls ("hard" rent controls that continued across tenants, not the "soft" rent controls that we have now). Developers… Read more »

Northeast Canuck
Northeast Canuck
11 years ago

"West Van has tanked on the rental front. Even Craigslist has nice estate size properties that’re 4,000 sq ft+ new on huge lots for $3,800."

I've noticed this as well. I am looking to rent on the north shore and have been amazed that prices in North Van are quite significantly higher than in West Van.

Why? What's happening there?

other ted
other ted
11 years ago

Patriots or Patriotzed not sure if your the same guy. Its funny you mention homes are getting bigger, that was one of the reasons bulls gave me why home prices went up. I don't believe it. I see a lot of 300sq ft condos. Not only are condos the size of closets. Before the 70's I don't even think it was possible to find a condo. I think homes have been getting smaller. In Calgary they are little boxes nothing more. Stat can prove anything, hence they prove nothing. sq. ft / person could increase even with home decreasing. Its simple no one lives with their families anymore the nuclear family is dead. We have an entire generation that lives on its own.

scott
11 years ago

cashisking: Can I ask what line of work you are in to be able to afford rent like that? Are you from a wealthy family? That's my entire monthly family income!

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

deathspiral: knock off the homophobia dude. It's got nothing to do with why he's a shill. Do you have 'issues'?

deathspiral
deathspiral
11 years ago

squeak again..: #26 SQ, lets see, listen that sad f*&k up Bobjob rant his self absorbed total BS for 30 minutes, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, no still 'not'. I am surprised anyone listens to that little puke. After pretending to be a Dad to his two kids ( and never doing a good job because of his queeny persona he stays in the closet, not doing a great job of hiding his flaming queen persona which had suddenly popped right up after getting into the releationship with the art gallery boybitch he lives with now, Anyway his lovely and obviously very patient Japanese wife finally can't take the embarrasment of Boob running around getting blown by the boy and she kicks him out. Boobie then becomes his flaming queen persona that we see today leaving the kids in the lurch to leave the… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

$6500 rents a lot of house.

go to macdonaldcommercial (dot) com and check out residences for rent.

The Casa Mia Sister house can be had for that, several big houses on Marine Drive for $3500. Pt Grey Road $3,500 etc.

Some of these houses have such curb appeal that you would never guess it was a rental. Of course some rentals are run down but so are some owner occupied residences….

A 4,000 sq ft pink house West of Arbutus can be had for under $4k.

West Van has tanked on the rental front. Even Craigslist has nice estate size properties that're 4,000 sq ft+ new on huge lots for $3,800.

patriotzed
patriotzed
11 years ago

squeak again..:

People dont have 10 kids anymore.

But of course the irony is that houses have been getting bigger as families have been getting smaller. People had a lot more kids in the 50's, but new houses were much smaller than those built today. The average household size today is far smaller than it was then. Instead of two kids to a bedroom (yes Virginia a lot of people actually lived like that), you have two bedrooms per kid.