Friday Free-for-all!

It’s Friday! If you’ve been here before you probably know what that means, if you’re new here.. Welcome! It’s time for our regular end of the week news round up and economic open-topic discussion.  Here are a few stories to kick off the weekend:

Vancouver house prices show steepest drop nationwide
BC real estate market now ‘balanced’
Housing industry creates bewildering statistics
Vancity abandons interest rate increase
Olympic rentals for fun and non-profit
Canada scores B+ on economic report card
BMO expects recovery to be better than expected
US jobless numbers take a jump
Canada will lag US recovery
CHEK-TV employees raise money to buy station
Sub-primal in Canada
Uberbear doom n’ gloom for stocks?

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

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What is the current true value of Vancouver RE.

You would need to know what the current Asian is willing to spend!

Vancouver is no longer a Local market!

Foriegn people from foriegn lands(mostly asian) have more$$$ than local buyers!



thx … still don't know how to post


Regarding the Wall Street Journal, did you know that you can read all of their articles for free, even if they are behind a pay wall? Just type the name of the article into Google and voila…


Did anyone read WSJ – Weekend Journal

Front page and all of page 2

"The New American Dream: Renting"

It's time to accept that home ownership is not a realistic goal for many people and to curtail enormous government programs fueling this ambition. BY Thomas J. Surge.

Should be the new post Pope.


pat: i really don’t understand why skytrain stations don’t have gates? Because the system was designed that way. Skytrain was designed to have small trains running at short intervals and small stations, and turnstiles or other entrance controls do not fit into this model, because you would need more space for the entrances and more waiting space to avoid missed loading of trains. And do note that Skytrain was designed with no (that's right zero) input from local planners, but was a turnkey system supplied by an Ontario government corporation, UTDC (which eventually ended up being owned by Bombardier). This decision was made unilaterally by the BC Socred government of Bill Bennett over the objections of local governments. BTW it is not just the Skytrain that is like this, for example the Calgary LRT is barrier-free (and offers free rides… Read more »


read on:

In Europe almost everyone does this. Who in London drives to Heathrow? Or in Paris to CDG?

In Europe the trains go to the airports, not the city transit (Heathrow being a rare exception as it has both trains and the tube).

That's the reason they are so well utilized. You can fly into, say, Amsterdam, and get on a train for anywhere in Holland. They're not just taking people downtown, and they are designed to take luggage of course.

I think ridership for the RAV line will be well under projections, and note that local taxpayers (not the BC government) are 100% on the hook for any ridership deficit.


i really don't understand why skytrain stations don't have gates? i am sure tons of ppl don't pay for fares (or those multiple doors buses like 99 or 98)! translink is saying they're running out of money? yet, they have such a loose system.

other ted

woops correction to last post "developed but still not fun" should be "developed but still fun"

other ted

real paul thanks for your posts and I agree with what you say. I went several years ago to samui as it was being developed but still not fun. Not sure how it is now but at the time loved it. Tried phuket as I never have been there before and I will not go back. girlbear $120 a night is expensive. My parents just paid a bit more than that a night for the hilton in hawaii as part of a package. And there are $700 a night hotels in phuket too. Anyways I was just pointing out the marketing and hype about real estate I found overseas don't have more details. But I was quoted outrages prices and idiot tourists I mentioned it to found nothing wrong with those prices. If you find it a good deal that… Read more »

Bilbo Bloggins

Some of the posters are getting confused about subprime. Let's make sure everyone understands the definition. Subprime refers to loans given to borrowers with less than ideal credit. Simply stated, these folks don't get the "prime" rate. Instead, they get something that's worse that prime. Subprime has nothing to do with zero downpayment or interest only payments. The general consensus is that subprime was not as big of a issue in Canada when compared to the US. Now that may be true, but subprime is only part of the problem. There are also a huge amount of loans made out in the ALT-A and OPTION ARM categories. These are going to be nasty as the bulk of these are set to reset sometime after 2011. My understanding is that ALT-A are sometimes called liar loans. The borrower has good credit,… Read more »

No Longer Looking

Another story from the CBC about the same stress study:… " * 40 per cent said they felt stressed and/or overwhelmed by financial concerns. Among those who earn less than $30,000, that number rises to 51 per cent. * 25 per cent said they have delayed or cancelled a dentist appointment as a result of financial worries. The figure is 34 per cent among Canadians who earn less than $30,000. * 16 per cent of those polled said they skip meals to save money, with the figure rising to 28 per cent in the lowest income bracket. * 23 per cent said they are losing sleep over economic worries, with the figure rising to 33 per cent among those without a university degree. * 14 per cent said they had delayed or stopped buying their prescription medications because money… Read more »

No Longer Looking

Talk about stimulus 😮 85% of Canadian money laced with cocaine:

"I'm not sure why we've seen this apparent increase," Zuo said in a summary of the study. "But it could be related to the economic downturn, with stressed people turning to cocaine."


The quiet suffering behind closed doors, as Canadians lose sleep and skip meals due to financial stress (or exposure to cocaine 😛 ):


NO -LYMPICS: Foreign ownership of land is forbidden by law in Thailand. You cannot own through a proxy or a spouse. If you marry a Thai ( M/F) they lose their right to own property. If you gift the money to a spouses family for a land purchase it can be confiscated or a forced sale withing 90 days will be ordered. Any complex leased by foreigners must also be held 51% by Thai nationals. You can be sure they are not paying what the asking price for foreigners is. It is a national obsession to rip off Farang ( foriegn devils) as the sport permeates every levell of society. It is quite common for foreigners to have their rights extinguished and assets usurped by a Thai through bribery or quasi legal coersion. There are many types of title in… Read more »


Fed shenanigans:

Just last week, when the auction results were announced it was trumpeted to great fanfare that there was "more than sufficient" bid-to-cover, "strong demand" and all the rest.

And now it turns out that 47% (!) of the bonds that were taken by the primary dealers in that auction have been quietly bought by the Fed and permanently secreted to its balance sheet.

And somehow, Mish is a deflationist…

Printing money leads to only one thing. The Gov't may be hoping that it finds its way into RE like it has for the last 20 years, but that game is up.


NO -LYMPICS: Oh, and I doubt the building codes could be much worse than some of what we have seen here in the last 15 years ! lol


NO -LYMPICS: From what I understand foreigners cannot own freehold to land in Thailand. They can, however, own freehold to the building on the land. Seems like semantics.

Anyhoooo, the point I was making was that I think the gentleman saying that apartments were listed in the millions in Thailand was misinforming Other Ted. I can find no such listings. Un,ess he meant in the millions in Thai Baht – which is a whole different story.

I am in NO WAY denying home ownership is more difficult there than in the US or here. I just didn't think the numbers were correct!



The "Phuket" example you provided is listed as "leasehold" ( as opposed to freehold ).

What are the building codes like in 3rd World countries?

Also: To get a real "apples and apples " comparison, what are the taxes, strata fees, capital gains implications etc. etc. ?


Phuket ? When I first came acroos VCI, I thought the RE run -up was simply North American based. Then it became clear this was a global phenomenon. It had happened in Spain, Ireland, U.K. , Dubai etc. etc. What the Phuket is going on ? I think this "rich asian" card is geting played a bit much…like this will be the salvation of every collapsing RE market.. Given the news that oozes out of China, there may be rich asians bailing out in the short term, investing elsewhere, , but only if they are still rich. RE has been a global con game, and each and every country wanted its piece of the action. In a previous post I had provided a link to an article that showed that the US Gov't has, since the early 1900's , in… Read more »


Re: Phuket

Just one example of it seems hundreds, possibly thousands….

$14mill THB = about US$400k, and that's the ASKING price. Pretty nice place IMHO. Even if it is in Thailand.


I was in Phuket a couple of years ago. Stayed at JW Marriott which easily compares to any 5* hotel in Hawaii.

My rate: about CAD $120 a night. (This included an insane breakfast buffet)

I reckon the hotel room I had would have gone for around US$700 in Maui.

So I thought the price was fair…

other ted

girlbear I don't believe houses are going for 3x either. That's my point the country is dirt poor and they are trying to peddle outrage prices to unsuspecting foriegners. How often if ever they get these prices is something else. I am sure some greater fools have bought at outrages prices.


realpaul: Fair enough.

But I still don't believe houses are going for 3 x Hawaii prices. I wasn't arguing the difference in lifestye and politics, just the dollar numbers being tossed out. 🙂



106, GB, there is no equivelant standard on which to compare living in Phuket and living in Hawaii. In Thailand you have no rights to ownership, no right to be in the country and no way to defend yourself should your existence be challenged.$500K in Thailand is no more secure than your next bribe at immigration every 90 days.


oneangryslav SkyTrain/RAV type system is not the choice of most of the world's cities. (Original system in much of metro Vancouver was on grade rail, up until the late 1950's) . Hence, if it defies logic and practicality, it is " by logic " a political decision. SkyTrain/RAV is ass backwards. IMHO, It is a taxpayer subsidy to big RE developer interests. It allows Local Gov'ts to develop new OCP's that displace current uses(light industrial/commercial) in favour of higher density residential. Now many will cheer this on the greener , more efficient use of land , but put this in light of this very VCI blog and its theme. Its all inter-related. We will continue to add to an oversupply of condos, and depend on greater fools to absorb this with Gov't assisted financing with CMHC etc. It was… Read more »

other ted

girlbear I was in phuket and I was shown apartments that I was told were in the 1.5million dollar range. Anyways 500k for phuket for a 3 bedroom home is still a rip off. Phuket is no hawaii. Yes spectaculare scenery but its still third world. The resorts are very modern feels like hawaii. Well hawaii with go go girls and hookers every two feet.