Historical Free-for-all!

This site began in June 2006.  For this weeks open topic Friday Free-for-all, let’s take a look back at some of the stories we’ve covered.  In the last 3 years we’ve seen the US market bubble crash hard – Case Shiller recently recorded Phoenix as the first US city that has dropped more than 50% from the peak.  Here in Vancouver we’re a couple years behind the US, but the economic indicators haven’t been that uplifting lately.  Let’s look back at a time when we could laugh at the bubble:

First Post! Think like a MILLIONAIRE!
Stretching the loon – tips for first time buyers
MLS realtor-speak translation guide
Sydney Australia vs Vancouver BC
Types of potential buyers
-CMHC giveth zero down 40 year, then taketh away
-Housing market fantasies for Bears and Bulls
What is sticker-flicker?
Vancouver house price drop shopping spree!

So what are you seeing out there, and what have you seen?  Any moments of nostalgia for the heights of the bubble days?  Wish you’d bought in 2006?  Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

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Thank you for your informative post. Also to other posters here who so generously share their knowledge. This is one of the few forums in which there is intelligent discourse on the subject of real estate. In my lifetime, people have stopped attending church and now manifest their tendencies to idolatry in the form of granite counter tops.


Anonymouse: #51 Anon, 1)After the process of foreclosure has wound through the courts a judge issues an order to sell the property in question. The offers are sealed and acceptance by the court is based on the court ordered independant appraisal. This is based on a foreclosure judgement not a realtors sales pitch that a foreclosure proceeding is active or that a tax lien has been filed. Realtors are such scum, less than 1 in 100,000 would understand the proceedings. 2) If a divorce has remained unsettled then the claimants can apply for a court ordered sale. 3) If the public trustee ( shudder) is involved they will apply to the courts for the right to sale a property under the supervision of the courts. Say for example a person would have died intestate ( no will) or a minor… Read more »



Can someone tell me what a 'Court Ordered Sale' means? This a result of a divorce or something?


Ps. love the blog/comments 🙂



I agree; when you look at the amount of money that the US (and other governments) have printed recently, it absolutely pales in comparison to the amount of wealth that has been destroyed over the last couple of years. I agree with patriotz; this is not a repeat of the 1970s, for many reasons.

Remember, history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes…


Housing starts hit record lows, while new inventory hits record highs. Market shows no signs of 'green shoots' as earlier reported by deniers.



More double talk and wishful thinking from the CMHC today. "OTTAWA — Housing starts are expected to decline this year but recovery slightly in 2010 as the Canadian economy begins to recover, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation." Ans Patriotz, I feel zero sympathy for those whose personal debt now exceeds their own ability to service it. We have see the debt service ratio go from outrageous to unbelievable, but now the savers and the taxpayers are supposed to subsidize it? Wow I'm living in an upside down world 'o madness. Isn't the personal debt ratio something like 130% of disposable income in BC. Nobody can ever pay back 130% entirely, you could only make payments, as debt slaves. I think the call for 6% ties in with what I posted about pressure on the historically low yields forcing… Read more »


Sounds like a rental support group in here. "Hi everyone… I'm a renter because I refuse to live 'house poor'." 🙂 Back to the reason we're here. http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2009/05/19/canada-h… "Canada's housing market to fall by double-digits in '09: CMHC Rising unemployment have made potential homeowners reluctant to jump into the housing market. In addition, shrinking housing prices have made homebuyers hesitant to put their abodes on the market…Alberta and British Columbia are the two provinces where home values have experienced the biggest drops compared to their most recent annual peaks. CMHC now expects the average price for a home in Alberta to reach $322,500 in 2009, down 9.4 per cent versus a peak value of $356,235 in 2007. In the case of B.C., house prices will fall to $403,700 in the current year compared to a pinnacle valuation of $454,599 in… Read more »


patriotz: So funny how everyone knows better than the long bond. Until leverage decreases, inflation is not a worry, save the government going Weimar.


realpaul: My opinion is that we are seeing the set up for another rise in rates due to the undeniable inflation created by huge amounts of cash flooding the system. I do not think it is possible for rates to rise even as far as 10%. The reason is the huge level of consumer debt. If rates rose that much consumers would simply have no money to spend because their debt servicing costs would skyrocket. Also wages can't keep up with inflation any more. Result would be a collapse in demand and deflation. Essentially the deflationary effect of higher interest rates today is far more leveraged than in the 70's and 80's because of this. It took 18% interest rates back then to bring inflation to a halt. I think today they can't go any higher than 6%. But even… Read more »

Patiently Waiting

"It can be damned humiliating."

Hombre, is that just the fact you were laid off, or did management bungle the process and make it worse?

Isn't it funny how little you care about real estate now? 😉 I'm still sticking around in the background, but I'm only interested on an intellectual basis (especially reading patriotz's logical posts which helps me stay sane:)).

Take it easy.

Mold city

hombre: My condolences man, I've been laid off before due to lack of work. It sucks. Keep positive, keep in touch with friends and be thankful you're smart enough to have stayed away from heavy debt.


I see price reductions all the time in the Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge areas.

What's all the worry about? The reverse tsunami will wash into Vancouver in a few months.

It started in Vancouver and it will finally end there. That's how it has always worked in the past.


Intrest rates have to double to get back to normal. All time low yields force governments hand. "As the latest Barron’s points out, the 30-year Treasury has fallen 20% year-to-date. Despite this sharp fall, however, the long-dated Treasury is still yielding 4.1%, or about 50% below its average yield between 1977 and the present. Therefore, if the economy shows the slightest sign of recovery, long-term yields are almost guaranteed to rise from the recent lows toward more normal levels. When yields rise, Treasuries fall! No rocket science there! But then again, with so many structural problems in the world’s economy, who really believes that the economy will heal any time soon? So suppose we stay in this trough for a while longer, and suppose the Keynesians continue to rule the world, a likely scenario, the government will spend, spend, and… Read more »

Jeff Barkley

This is a perfect time to add a little financial history to our lives 🙂 http://www.321gold.com/editorials/hoye/hoye051609… While it is long, this presentation for institutional investors puts this entire market into perspective. There have been serveral "great depressions" throughout history and there are several characteristics that have been repeated each time. Please forgive my crude simplifications. Each depression begins with an asset bubble of one type or another. The stock markets boom and regulation is removed after the wealthy twist politician's arms. The crash occurs in the markets as credit tightens and everyone loses approximately 45% in the initial stages. A huge bear market rally follows and calls of a bottom are made. Politicians and buisness leaders crow about how it is turning around and there will be a recovery in the second half of the year. Confidence swings skyward, and… Read more »



#34 P, In the late 80's and early 90's we were still getting 12 to 14% on T-Bills. It was like a second income. Cash is truly King at those points in time. My opinion is that we are seeing the set up for another rise in rates due to the undeniable inflation created by huge amounts of cash flooding the system. I would be a very happy camper if intrest rates resumed the long term average of 10%. Of course I'd be a much happier camper at 18.5.


Got the shock of the decade last week….yup, the pink slip, along with about a dozen others.

The only reason it was such a shock was because I thought I was safe. It's taken me this long to be able to confide in anyone other than my wife, and that's mainly because I can remain anonymous here as long as I don't elaborate on the details.

Thank god we're renting, and not stuck with a mortgage.

This may be my last post for a while, but just wanted to warn others who might feel just a bit too confident. The economy sucks, and don't rule out the unexpected. It can be damned humiliating.


Vancouver house price drop shopping spree!


This is excellent!!! I wish someone could update it to reflect the total drop to-date.


helltopay Says:

Theres nothing wrong with renting if you are putting the balance aside for diversified investments.


Screw "investments".

Just spend it well and live your life. It is short and goes fast.



Patriotz, I think that it was the 5 year note that hit 18%,

All durations got that high. I got about 18.5% (annual) on a six month GIC. Made a nice down payment. When rates get that high, cash is truly king.



Anonymous: #30 This type of noise was predicted on this board some weeks before the election; that the reality stream of bad news would start spilling out shortly after the election. I would expect a gusher of knee wobblers to gush out very soon because it wouldn't be politically tactful to wait for the effects of seriously bad news to overlap the Olympic running of the pigs. Get ready for a bloodbath;it would be the prudent thing to do if you were Gordo the Magnificent. I read on Garths blog someone had mentioned that a relative was working at EI and were so swamped that they have been ordered NOT to answer the phones. I wonder how the juxtaposition will be spun by the MSM which has hitherto been propped up by the deep pockets of the Liberal Party supporters.… Read more »


The pilot project allows public servants to take off 20 per cent of their normal workweek as an unpaid leave of absence.

Now where did they get that idea – why would that be the "Rae Days"? But that was under the NDP in Ontario!

"The initiative was mainly based around a forced twelve days of unpaid leave for all civil service workers"

Rae Days

That was 12 days a year out of about 200 work days – only 6% of work time.

How long before the "Gordo Days" become mandatory instead of voluntary? How about, say, March 2010? Wouldn't want to stir the pot before then would we?



Wouldn’t the same be true about deflation?

Yes, because interest rates can't go below zero.

The long bond rate is the market's predictor of future inflation. Right now it's expecting very low inflation.

Of course the market can make wrong predictions. In the early 60's it was predicting low inflation and was broadsided by the Vietnam War and the oil crisis. In the late 70's and early 80's it was predicting high inflation and was broadsided by Paul Volcker.


B.C. government asks workers to take time off without pay

The pilot project allows public servants to take off 20 per cent of their normal workweek as an unpaid leave of absence. For full-time workers, that represents one day per week.

Darryl Walker, the president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union, is concerned there won't be a corresponding reduction in workload.

Can anyone say "wage deflation"? Not 5 days after the election no less. This has a multiplied effect as when employees see wages cut back, they start saving even more in anticipation of further hardship. This is not the fiscal stimulus the government has been promising.


patriotz: "Inflation actually results in higher real interest rates because lenders are uncertain about future price stability."

Wouldn't the same be true about deflation? Is there any indication what the risk spreads are today?