Friday Free-for-all

It’s Friday! Lets do our regular end of the week news round up and open topic post.  Here are a few stories to kick off the discussion:

The BC Deficit that wasn’t supposed to be: now 3 Billion?
How to sell the Harmonized Sales Tax
HST will hit condo maintenance fees
Mega homes to return to Surrey?
Demographic shift to explain high prices
No children housing policy illegal?
Rumour: BMO in trouble
Traders still buying old GM stock
50% off sale bring boom back to Miami
US jobless numbers take another leap
Frustrations over US mortgage relief

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

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Thanks John,Chief.

drugs “R” us: You are the first person on the blogs who can see what's coming to serve you.

1. Laneway housing in near future.

2.Shipping Containers in future.

0.If you buy now.

Remember one thing:Vancouver is not a New York or Florida.



#143, you are ( as you say) the only honest civil servant. Thank you for renewing my faith in the system.


realpaul: " I mean , you can’t lay off your brother in law can you?" I agree with your point but disagree with its simplistic and stereotypical view. This 'civil servant' saw this shit storm coming 3 years ago, quit a job in the private sector paying 40% more than I make now. I got the job on my own merit and have absolutely no connections from within. I'm proud of that because, yes, it is somewhat unusual. There is definately lots of nepotism within the public service. No out and out 'cooked' hiring practices, but subtle systems have evolved to deliver undeserved advantages to those who don't necessarily warrant them. I perform a much needed service, I work as hard as I did in the private sector and truly believe that I made the right decision for both myself,… Read more »


Sub-Prime risk is actually increasing. Its funny how us humans can get used to chaos and eventually even get bored with it, so much so that we fail to recognize it as a problem anymore. I say that because the problem that started the whole mess globally is alive and just as nasty but we've 'moved on' and are drinking another flavour of kool aid. Is this how mass extinction starts?

" Oh, so we only got hit by a tsunami AND a comet today. Thats not so bad, I was expecting two comets and the tsunami didn't get this far down the cul de sac".

stop the madness

138 X realpaul Says: Reply to this comment

August 24th, 2009 at 5:48 pm

stop the madness:

I guess you need to read the article linked to nat post.


Article is about ONT, not BC. And even there, they say 8% (ONT PST) on 500k = 30k, so their math is retarded too.

And it makes it clear int he article that it is talking about new builds only in terms of the HST.


Looks like VANOC and IOC are in a bit of a pissing match over a few million in cost overruns. I am getting tired of the BS that the 2010 games are on time and on budget. Pull any number out a hat. IOC can ignore VANOC's pleas, the scam re Olympics is that the host country's taxpayers are always stuck with the overruns. What is intriguing is that the Provincial Budget comes down this week, early indications are a lot of cuts, and maybe BC told VANOC to F Off, which makes sense if the suffering is to be spread evenly. People seem to forget that the Vancouver Trade and Convention Center is actually part of the Olympics, as it will serve as the Media Broadcast Center. Its OVER budget by approx. $500 Million. Of course Campbell will deny… Read more »


stop the madness: I guess you need to read the article linked to nat post. And by the way, heres another posit for the unbelievers and intellectual shirkers Aug. 18 op-ed piece by Warren Buffett in The New York Times. In "The greenback effect," he described why the Fed is doing all of this money printing, though he doesn't explain the root cause of what he thinks "necessitated" it in the first place. Let me do so: The root cause is the Fed, which created the housing bubble, aided by the abdication of responsibility on the part of regulators, which led to the near collapse of the financial system. Nonetheless, Buffett did point out where we are headed in terms of dealing with the massive deficits that have arisen from the bailouts: "Legislators will correctly perceive that either raising taxes… Read more »

stop the madness


only to new-build RE. and I think you'll find 7% of 500,000 = 35,000

math is good.


Who sent the e-mail? The CIA?


BTW, The HST will add an additional $30,000 dollars to a $500,000.00 real estate purchase. That does not include the taxes ( added hst) on transfers, PPT, lawyer/notary,commissions +++++++. Everyone should be at the rally on the 19th and be signing those petitions and getting your angry letters off to your MLA's. I have noticed much to much complacency. The media is playing it down. Bill Good was pooh poohing the disgruntled this AM. YOU ARE GETTING ROYALLY RIPPED OFF AND YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD.


Real estate crash foreast in China. I got this as part of an e-vestment letter today and thought that the ratios in China may interest the 'China Uber Alles' cheerleaders on this blog. Maybe the Chinese are running themselves into a wall. "The Shanghai index just laid a horrible egg. Wall Street fainted and investors world-wide took to the hills. How could this happen? Loan growth at China’s central bank fell by 80% in the last 30 days. After a spate of frantic buying this spring, China has stopped stockpiling raw materials, which it bought for pennies on the dollar. The Baltic Dry Index has plunged 25% since late July. The massive amounts of cash that Beijing has pumped into its economy has not been properly absorbed. It has hemorrhaged into speculation. That’s why, although profits for China companies are… Read more »


Hovering: Re: options. Isn't there always somebody on the other side of every trade? If 48,000 contracts put options changed hands, From the article: "Trading had picked up noticeably on Thursday in the December $40 and $45 puts, with 3,400 contracts traded and data indicating that more than three quarters of those trades hit ask-side — suggesting buyers were dominating the flow, Ruffy said." Don't something like 90-95% of all options expire without being exercised? In other words, those buying options don't make money 19 out of 20 times. What is frustrating about options is that you can be right about the general direction of a stock's price, but still lose money. The article noted that as of the last sale of the $45 December put option, the underlying stock would have to fall about 12% for the buyer of… Read more »


Option bears eye Bank of Montreal puts before results

this headline apparently translates to: a lot of people (about 34 times as many as normal) are betting that BOM shares are going to fall. It dropped something like 3% today.

Garth at doesn't think BOM is doomed but someone sure does. Bank earnings come out this week.. we shall see.


drugs “R” us:

Re #126 It's actually not to big a stretch to assume that market value rents will be out of reach for the poor. N-O posted an ad recently about a yard house ( similar to a laneway) in Richmond was asking $350 p/m for 10×10 '100 sqft' no kitchen, no room for furniture. This already the maximum for a welfare recipient.

I saw a british doc about prostitutes running their business out of shipping containers conversions. The girls looked pretty beat up but the cans were not bad.


Mish has posted an excellent video presentation by the Australian econonist, Steve Keen. He looks at the historical relaitonship in the USA and Australia between debt and indicators of economic well-being, particularly employment. Really nice done. I wonder if somehow here knew where to get the data to create similar charts (such as those he uses in his powerpoint presentation) for the Canadian (or British Columbia) economy. One very interesting point he makes near the end of the presentation is his suggestion to change the nature of residential real estate appraisal. He argues that real estate should be appraised on the basis of rental return, his example being 10X annual imputed rent. Moreover, he would make it illegal for banks to lend more than 10X annual imputed rent. Hmmm…I wonder what this would do for the real estate market in… Read more »

drugs "R"


What do you mean by "subsidized middle class"? Are we living in some bizarre parallel universe here?

I just saw an episode of House Hunters last week where a young couple were looking for a house and they had a hard time choosing from three beautiful homes in $150K range each. I didn't catch where this was, all I know it was in US…

I so wish someone would round up people like you , stuff them in shipping containers (great idea, btw) and ship them back where they came from.

I can't believe I just said that, but you really pissed me off, moron.


Not a condo owner… but keep in mind its a continual infrastructure upgrades in multi family even if it is well built.

Strataman can verify this, but my understanding (from various parties living in them) is that the plumbing (hot and cold water lines) have a limited life in multi family buildings and need to be replaced every 20-30 years. In SFH they last much longer.

bums up2

Alright Strataman I'm sufficiently paranoid about construction quality– but is there a way to check for these types of things without tearing open walls though? Can an inspection reveal these defects?

Thanks John,Chief.

"RE prices in Vancouver will be determined by RE fundamentals" What fundamental? Service to any kind of fundamental most likely creats crisis between previous Buyers,Developers,and Government, there is no authourity that can yeild to any type of fundamentals other than market forces itself.Governments buyers,and Developersfundamentals protect each other from falling down.EYEWITNESS sees when prices shows slide there were only 6,000 buyers to purchase Vancouver Real Estate and when prices shows upward trend there were more than 40k buyers in 2005 40k in 2006 and more than 45k in 2007.Since the prices start showing upward trend again,We have flood of buyers throwing multiple offers while there was nobody to catch more than $300,000 per million discount to purchase of property from motivated sellers last year, even bears don’t believe in slides.Basically Vancouver Real Estate is always in line with fundamental. The… Read more »



Of course, if the predicted El Nino front does materialize and make it warmer here in February, we could actually look like a great place. That fact, coupled with the snow making machines on Whistler, means that VANOC might just pull off the "best place on earth" show. I shiver at the thought, and hope that we just get our usual crappy February. I will be doing my rain dance that month 🙂

And yes, for the record, I am anti-Olympics. I do not buy into this motto of "the Olympics are here, so lets stop complaining and just make it the best darn event possible." I will not put on a happy face for two-weeks which will cost me a lifetime to pay off….


“2010 will attract an estimated 250,000 people, and Olympic broadcasts will beam images of our fair city around the globe…”

Because nothing is as attractive as downtown Vancouver in February. The slate-gray sky and blattering rain will be great advertising.


(RE prices in Vancouver will be determined by RE fundamentals,)

What an absurd Low-intelligent,and idiotic utterance it is.

Van RE is solely depended on inflow of Chinese money and local Chinese. More and more Chinese top-ranking officials and elites regard Vancouver as a safe heaven for their money earned either from bribe, under-the-table deal or business.

Also,close to 50% of west-side single houses are Chinese owners and over 65% east-side and Burnaby properties respectively are Chinese household. Are you smarter than those clever Chinese who are good in making and hoarding money?


Re VanMag article: Tsur Somerville, of the Sauder School of Business at UBC, takes much the same view. “Prices have fallen, interest rates are low, and if you’re secure in your job and have a decent income and a good idea of what you’re looking for, then yes, buying now makes sense.” He warns, though, against thinking that Vancouver is “magically immune” from further economic malaise if the U.S. fails to recover soon. Over the long term, Somerville believes, a house will appreciate more than a condo. “The issue of overbuilding is much more of a danger on the condo side than the single-family-home side. The commodity that’s in short supply is land.” =============== The authour of this article seems pretty naive. He implies he bought in Dunbar. He either has an illegal suite now made legal or soon will… Read more »



#114 CM, the author of the article is a great drinker of the bath water kool aid. No wonder he forecasts nothing but blue skies. LOL. Ozzie Jurock has no intrest in anything that doesn't relate to suckering the gullible into his cheesy seminars. Given that the mag is underwritten by real estate developer ads I wouldn't take it too seriously.


No Longer Looking: #115 CM, The real estate market in Sydney was in decline in the lead up to their Olympic fiasco and continued to fall through and after the games. It has proven to be a fallacy that the Olympic Games wrecking ball has any benefit to a local economy long term. Beijing is another good example. The 40 billion spent there sent the economy into a death spiral afte the games were over. In fact tourism droppped percipitously in every year. We would have been much better off to spend the 6 billion on internals for seniors housing, school books, hospitals etc etc than to piss the money away on a drunk. The stated infrastructure plays though not as sexy would have proved up just as many man hours for labour and provided far more long term economic… Read more »