Friday Free-for-all!

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

BC Housing starts leap up from record lows
Vancouver 2nd quarter resale house prices up -barely
RBC: Housing in BC becoming more affordable
Homeless make camp after Granville shelter closure
BC Post razor-thin surplus
Budget officer predicts 100,000 job losses this summer
CIBC Predicts return of bulls after summer
RBC sues former Calgary employee for inflating RE values
Canadian exporters still hurting
Rambling thoughts on Canadian house prices
US markets may return to normal in 2012
Why not to expect second half recovery

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

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Based upon this famous graph I think we're at about Autumn 2007 in Vancouver, based upon a 10% decline –

Which is 18 months behind the USA. Sounds about right.


Maui prices down almost 50%. Blood running in the streets. Financial mayhem. read all about.

Isn't that where all the rich people go to retire. How can there be so many foreclosures. Can it happen here. You betcha!!!


Bearette: I'm waiting to buy myself. Prices have come down around 10% and although things have been selling this spring it is mainly due to low short term interest rates. Unemployment is rising and the likely hood that interest rates begin to rise IMO is high. Affordabilty is only sorta there with the low rates and double income. With job losses mounting and rates likely to rise, my money is betting that a longer real estate bear market is on the way. We'll see I guess, stranger things have happened, but everything that I see points to the end of the boom in BC RE. As for what the end of the boom will look like I have no idea…lower prices, stagnate prices or something else that I never even thought of…who knows. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens… Read more »



I've been MIA from the Van real estate scene and these blogs for quite a while. Busy with life. Still a bear circa 2005 and Vance's blog, still waiting. But I need some schooling to get up to date. Anyone willing?

Are prices really up in June? Is this truly a mini bull market in an ongoing bear market, or are we at the end of the bear run and should I be ready to jump? I've got dry powder counting on post Olympic lows… but you have to be ready to adapt. What's the sentiment here from longtime bears? Are you holding or folding?

All I want is to get the lowest price possible for a N. Van SFH in the next two years. Are we there yet?



What just happened (the US) was more like a return to normal…. Thingshad inflated prices, then they deflated, with a bit of overshoot perhaps

Prices in the US have not gotten back to normal yet, never mind overshoot. Real house prices, price/income and price/rent are still above historical norms in almost all US markets, which is why Robert Shiller (among others) is predicting that US house prices will continue to fall for over a year, particularly in cities like Seattle and New York that were late for the bust.

And historical norms are just that – not market bottoms during recessions.


I also agree with an earlier post re: Campbell…..

He will do a Bill Bennett ( ie who quit after Expo 86 ) and not seek another term. I've never voted NDP but Campbell and his ilk don't warrant the " anybody but NDP " free ride.

His legacy seems to be "taxpayer" as cash cow for mega projects that 99% of the population never has a say in .

I'll bet Campbell regrets his " election every 4 years " legislation….but he is still free to resign any time.

Geronimo !

I'll predict a new Provincial Liberal leader shortly after the 2010 Olympics are over.


Re: "Future buyers" ? ; Check the demographics My own observations seem to lay out the following picture: Current SF homeowners, in metro Vancouver, by and large and regardless of ethnic background, are in their mid to late 50's and older . In the next 10 -15 years, when these people pass on or downsize, what demographic group will be able to sustain market prices ? Those in their 30's to 40's, again regardless of ethnic background, seem to be buying multi-family units. Will there be less demand for SF, and more demand for multi-family as 2 ( both young and old ) groups compete for the cheaper(=) downsized product ? As I've said in previous posts, too many monster houses, which historically end up as rooming houses. I don't think the current FTB have the same desire to buy… Read more »

No Longer Looking

Crediting or blaming "Rich Asians" for the price of real estate is a form of dangerous racism. There was a time when people openly talked about "Rich Jews" and look what happened. What happened over the last few months, is we finally created our own true Sub-Prime class. Not having much of this was something that made Canada different from the US. Well, no more. We have finally managed to squeeze these marginal buyers into home ownership they can't possibly afford in the long-run. In theory, our sub-primers could last 5 years or whatever is the term of their mortgage. But they don't have any skin the game and have no other assets. So they will walk as surely as American Sub-primers walk once they realize they are paying back-breaking mortgages on over-priced and declining properties. Now where is that… Read more »


observer: #24, I call the ethnic shopping crowd at the open houses 'family day'. Everybody takes the kids, the grandparents and the dog for a day out. They go to open houses, cheap dim sum and then for a walk in the the mall. They don't buy anything they just walk around. It's just a cultural thing, its the same in Asia except its for the free air con. These are not 'park', 'picnic' 'fishing', hiking' or exercise' people. they are basically mall rats. Its a third world thing. You see that none have shopping bags and none are buying houses either. If you look at the stats from every area the bulk of sales have been sub-500K, meaning FTB's. The myth of the rich Persian is a joke, so is the joke about the rich Chinese. The sales stats… Read more »


The mythical foreign buyer, immune to the pangs of economic woes will save our RE market. I've heard this one before. I think it would only be true if we get a jump in immigration of wealthy immigrants. But things are in a steady state right now as far as I know. Besides, this economic downturn is pretty much global, so I doubt if anyone will be immune. Vancouver is a good place (certainly not the best but not bad either), but what do these immigrants do after they arrive. If our economy isn't diverse and robust enough, basically it is a dead end for the immigrants and their children. Hardly the foundation for continued growth. So just keeping on building the condos. Encourage the RE based economy to the detriment of everything else. Eventually the condos will go empty… Read more »


Quality FTB's are pretty much spent, but, 70% of current shoppers/buyers are asian.20% are persian/foreign mixed.

These stats are not able to be found because of racial issues, priv protec etc, Realturds will tell you at open houses who is looking and who is buying, specifically on the West Side & North Shore.

The current pricing in desireable area's is still far too high for LOCAL buyers, which explains most purchasers ethnicity? I predict a very slow downward pricing over the next few years for detached houses in the most sought after area's.

Vancouver's prices are declining, unfortunately, very slowly!

Wait?, Watch?, Buy? You decide!


Bond yields seem to be heading lower recently, signaling possible mortgage rate cuts, presumably due to green shots becoming yellow weeds. It's an interesting cat and mouse game. Will the house get clobbered by a jump in mortgage rates or will it wilt away as unemployment slowly siphons off the pool of quality FTB's.


No Longer Looking:

Very astute reckoning dude. My banker pal says the same thing. The re-fi biz died after the interest rate squeeze was done and the FTB's have dried up as a finite commodity. Theres no one left to buy. Pyramids come crashing down when you run out of suckers. This is a case in point.

Funny thing was though how the desperate junior builders got sucked in. When the hype was at its most furious the ethnic builders who hadn't seen a deal for six months rushed back in thinking it was safe again. These are the guys who have joined the ranks of 'the greatest fools' because they're building inventory into a dead market. Building apps shot up just as the spring bounce crested, oops, too bad.


RickyG: You can pick up a standard contract form in most stationary stores. Can't find it there, go to a notary or lawyer, they'll give you one hoping you'll bring the completion filing back to them. You have plenty of sign blancks to stencil on a 'for sale' sign. You can buy 'house for sale' signs and arrows. Ads on Craigslist are free. Ads in the local papers can sometimes be useful, except most of the respondants will be real tards looking for FSBO's to list. Don't fall for that. Tell them you'll give them an 'exclusive listing' for 24 hours to bring specified clients over. make a deal for $1500 to 2500. Don't fall for the 'multiple listing bs'. If you've got a good product it will sell itself. If they balk , throw them out. Don't listen to… Read more »

No Longer Looking

This bull run in a bear market is over. Stats at this site indicate it peaked in June and is now quickly cooling:

Thousands to FTBs who had sat on the sidelines have now bought. They are only an FTB once. Now they have bought, the noise of crickets will now commence. Any slight increase in prices will be now be reversed.

Demand is now exhausted for a long time.

See, it wasn't so bad.


Hi, anyone have info on how to sell your own house with out an real estate agent?

it's a 4800sq ft home(8000sq feet lot) in Steveston built in 1993. how much commission would I save by selling it without an agent? is it worth it doing myself?


quick question,

where does the provincial government get the money from? I mean, if they are allowed a certain amount from the federal government's budget, and they collect another amount from taxes and what not, if they have a deficit, meaning they spend more than they take in, who finances that extra money? the banks?


Rates dropped almost 1 percent since January (but recently went up). That correlates to 8% increase in prices according to the model. Unemployment went up too as you say but I think unemployment takes longer to show up in prices because there is a lag (until EI benefits and savings if any run out for instance).


observer: Unemployment has been rising since January and prices have increased by about 5%. I think the correlation he established is over the long term.


If mike's model on housing blog holds up, the increase of unemployment from 7.6% to 8.1% last month will correlate to a 5% decrease in prices in the near future.


No Longer Looking: It was Vaughn Palmer the political correspondant that came up with the '2 -3 billion' deficit number yesterday on the CKNW interview yesterday. he's usually fairly astute but hard to the left in his reporting, so take what he says with an aspirin as well. The reporters were saying that Colin Hansens body language wouldn't shut down when they tried to hammer an exact number out of him. It was tacitly agreed that one billion is a dream and unrealistic. The deficit is currently much higher and its a matter of what is going to be cut not when. The public service unions got suckered when they agreed no to strike during the Olympics. The public sector is going to get a slashing and theres nothing they can do about. Thats why I spoke of a union… Read more »

From Victoria Blog t

Ten Truths about the Real Estate business that a "professional" would never dare tell you… taken from on online list with further discussion (see link below). The most important one, of course, is #10.. 1. “Your open house is really just a networking party for me.” 2. “My fees are negotiable.” 3. “Think you’ve had no offers? Actually, there’ve been several.” 4. “I’m not obligated to keep my mouth shut for you.” [ie: "If you are fool enough to tell me, I will let me seller client know exactly how much you are willing to pay"] 5. “Sometimes I forget whose side I’m on.” 6. “I know zilch about zoning.” 7. “I won’t let termites—or pesky inspectors—kill a deal.” 8. “I sometimes forget I’m not a lawyer.” 9. “My website is a dead end.” 10. “You can probably do this… Read more »

No Longer Looking

2 to 3 billion, eh? That was my gut feeling. I know a lot of people like to trash the cushy public sector, but I understand BC has had a lean machine (even under the NDP) since the budget slashing of the 80s. The cuts will have to come from real services, for the most part. Health and education can't escape these cuts.

"Next year the unemployed numbers are said to double."

Are you serious, over 16%?

I'm going to have to eat a lot less at restaurants. Its my one area of excessive spending right now. My plans for this summer are to spend some quality time with my BBQ. Mmmmmm homemade burgers and salads.


More real tards than sales. Bwahahahahahaha Maui reports 'dreadful market' with sales down 57% !!!!!! Ain't that where the rich people go? After all Conde Nast just voted it the best island in the world. "Halfway through 2009, Maui's real estate market is nearly 57 percent of the size it was in the same period last year. From January through June 2008, 989 single-family homes and condominiums sold in Maui County. For the same period this year, 560 homes and condos sold, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Realtors Association of Maui. If the same rate of sales continues through the second half of this year, there will be fewer house and condominium sales for the whole year – about 1,120 – than there are real estate agents on the island, about 1,300. Commissions, based on 6 percent of… Read more »