Friday Free-for-all!

Let’s do our end of the week news round up and open topic discussion on all things economic and real estate.  Here are a few stories I’ve noticed lately:

Canadian Dollar hits highest point in 11 months
Vancouver still waiting for stimulus money
Richards presales price drop pays off
Ritz-Carlton back on again
Beware the counterfeit games merchandise
Special cages to encourage free-speech
US Housing industry crawls out of hole
RBC: BC economy to recover in 2010

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

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el nino

Heard on the news el nino is expected this year. possible effect on vancouver 2010 olympics is "The Pacific Northwest states, on the other hand, tend to experience dry, mild but foggy winters and warm, sunny and early springs." meaning no snow!


@Anonymous: I am referring to the social propensity of poor people swinging to the left in desperation. The actual fact, contrary to what some people might think, and contrary to what the NDP would like, is that support for the NDP is higher during good times and drops during times of economic distress. This time last year the BC NDP was running neck and neck with the Liberals. What happened? The recession. The Liberals enjoy a much higher credibility than the NDP on economic issues. Look at these polls from Mustel, it's unmistakable: Also note that the popular vote of the BC NDP (% wise) reached its peak in the 1970's under Dave Barrett, a time when working people were still getting increases in real wages and as a group were arguably a lot better off than today. Contrary… Read more »


@patriotz: #121 P, no I am referring to the social propensity of poor people swinging to the left in desperation. The insidious tax creep has many Canadians becoming less affluent. These people will find themselves courted by the leftists seeking more government succour than is afforded by their own income. The higher the taxes go the more Canadians are finding themselves drifting below the poverty line. This segment becomes vulnerable to socialist propaganda. WOW, this is a nefarious thought. The Great Gordonski is doing the NDP a favour by slicing another pound of tax flesh off the BC voter! I never said he was a bright spark. Yhe political pendulum will swing back as always past its maximum arc and we will find ourselves overcompensating for the vicious tax policy of the current regime. It could be possible to see… Read more »

bums up2

Hey that's a fake bums up2 up there. Must I change my name o yet another SATV-mocking one? I'm out of ideas. 🙁

read on


read on

137 – yes, the sheep and math innumeratures are out in force.


went to two openhouses today, 2 bed condos, 1 in burnaby 1 in new west. both were well attended, realtor said 2 offers on the one in new west, and the other seemed to have a couple of offers too. didn't really ned to get buzzed in because people were coming and going…

i don't know… things seem pretty busy….

No Longer Looking

Little, the buildings are in New West and Coquitlam. Of course, that's not everyone's cup of tea. 😉


Exactly, though it wasn't when I moved in because rents went up!

read on

3 beds for 1200 is a steal, and reasonable in the extreme. i'm not surprised you cant find similar deals.


re: observer

I sure hope you're right. It only makes sense, hopefully this place will begin to follow some sort of reasonable course soon!

re: no longer looking

Where are these buildings? I have only been on craigslist searching, and nothing seems reasonable.

re: Farley Mohawk

I rent the main floor of a house. My rent has been the same for a few years – $1200.00 for three bedrooms, fenced in yard, utilities included, decent east van neighborhood. My rent hasn't gone up once, but trying to find the same deal, or something even close is proving very difficult. I am glad to hear that there are positive stories of rents coming down, but as someone looking, things are bleak.


re: recession ending I am aware of an outplacement firm in Vancouver that has never had so much work this year, and is hiring people left and right to assist with all the layoffs they they are booked to do in the upcoming months. The layoffs are in many sectors, white collar, professional and blue collar and in fairly high numbers. And apparently it has been very challenging for these people to find new work. It feels like there are dark clouds forming on the horizon. All I can say is that I am very grateful to be a fully employed, unencumbered renter, debt free with a very healthy emergency fund and RRSP. This peace of mind is worth more to me than any show of status of being able to call myself an owner and living a life of… Read more »


Welcome to Kanada Komrads.

Another look at the CMHC.

Starving Artist

@Farley's right: "the number of gangs operating in the province has jumped from less than 10 a decade ago to 129." Gosh what bubble/laundering would that correlate with… The funny thing is, our high loonie hurts the drug dealers as it's mostly an export industry. 7% of BC GDP, jesus!

No Longer Looking

Little, I've been watching listing and vacancy signs in a couple of low-end apartment areas. These are renting mostly for under $1000. Buildings that had NO VACANCY for years are all of a sudden advertising multiple apartments for rent. They have apartments available in two or three sizes (from Bachelor to 3 bedroom). This is a huge a change. It indicates buildings with 5%+ empty units. Rents must be coming down one way or another.

Farley's right
Farley Mohawk

A counter-example from the real world:

I rent a 2 BR detached bungalow near Commercial Drive. Rent has stayed the same @ $1450/month for the last 3 years. This year it dropped 50 bucks to $1400.

Not exactly the high end.

Dave's friend
bums up2

Or another building down the street that's 60+ bigger and has a view ASKING $1,425.

bums up2

Take a look at what new units are going for downtown today!

Take a look at what the top property managers is saying about Vancouver ($1.7 a sq ft to rent downtown)

There's one listing on craigslist for a ten year old building asking $1,650! HAAHAHAH

Too funny, meanwhile you can rent a new one for $1350 at tv towers.

Or Shangri La for $1,600.


@Little: If the lower end keeps on increasing while the upper end decreases, at some point they will meet, which doesn't make sense. So presumably if the trend continues, there will be a trickle down effect. Just a matter of time.


I regress. Rents are coming down, but only on the exceptionally high end of the scale. All that means is that a $1700.00 one bed may go for $1500.00. Big deal, the lower end is still up. It is the same thing with houses – a house on my block that was listed for $1.4 sold for 950K, that is a huge drop, but one a couple of blocks over for $650K sold over asking for $690.


@realpaul: Is the downward spiral in the Canadian economy based on the fact that the citizen is seeing his wage packet decrease and thusly more susceptible to leftist politics that will further drain the budgets and increase taxes? The GST was introduced by Brian Mulroney's Conservative government in the 80's, and was opposed by the NDP. The HST, which is the provincial counterpart of the GST, has been opposed by the NDP to date in every province in which it has been introduced. Now in fact I support the GST/HST and think the NDP has been wrongheaded in opposing them, but the plain fact is that the Canadian left has opposed them from the word go, and to try to associate the introduction of the HST in BC with some sort of "leftist" agenda is just absurd. Are you implying… Read more »


@Dave: his topic was raised as a question above regarding affordability to an existing home owner renewing their mortgage after interest rates went up. Pardon me if I'm confused why you're using personal situations to justify high prices as it is ignoring some important conditions. It's not personal affordability of current buyers that determines future prices. It's important for readers here to take a big step back and look at all houses and potential buyers, not just the ones currently being traded. It is flawed to narrowly concentrate on personal financial situations of those who can (by definition) afford prices today, while ignoring the dearth of those who cannot afford them in the future should prices fail to fall further: prices people can afford today is little indication of price others can pay later. "You lock in at the rate… Read more »


@other ted: Inflation is skewed. Most products have not gone up that fast. Wages stayed the same since 1980 in Vancouver, in real terms they decreased. The main driver of inflation was housing. Completely untrue: 1. House prices are included in CPI only exclusive of land costs (because land is not consumed), and almost all of the rise and fall of house prices is due to land costs. 2. Rents are a much bigger factor in CPI. Much of Canada, including BC, had rent controls in the early 80's. 3. The early 80's RE bubble took place only in BC and to a lesser extent Alberta, and thus had a minimal impact on CPI, which is computed nationally, in any event. CPI went up in the 80's because consumer prices went up. I can remember a 75 cent bus ride… Read more »