Fast meets slow: Two markets collide


There’s a strange thing happening in the Vancouver real estate market right now. Even as some rush to buy while interest rates are at rock bottom, others are trying to figure out how to get out of a presales purchase agreement they may have rushed into.

At least one local law firm is marketing themselves as condo presales litigation specialists.  Harper Grey represents clients that are being sued or fear being sued by a developer. From their site:

Harper Grey LLP represents individuals and groups of pre-sale purchasers who signed contracts for major lower mainland condo projects including:

33 Pender – Vancouver
Aria 2 – Port Moody
Aura Townhomes – Surrey
Axis – Burnaby
Cosmo – Vancouver
Donovan – Vancouver
Espana – Vancouver
Esprit 2 – Burnaby
Fairmont Pacific Rim – Vancouver
First on First – Vancouver
Fitzsimmons Walk – Whistler
Ginger – Vancouver
H & H – Vancouver
INvue – Kelowna
Mariner – Vancouver
Millennium Waters – Vancouver
Patina – Vancouver
Quattro – Surrey
Silhouette – Burnaby
Sophia – Vancouver
Tangiers Townhouses – Revelstoke
The Breeze at Airdrie – Calgary
The Exchange – Vancouver
Three Harbour Green – Vancouver
TV Towers – Vancouver
Watermark – South Surrey
Watermark Beach Resort – Osoyoos
Westwood Village Edgemont – Coquitlam
Whitetale Lane – Coquitlam
Woodwards District – Vancouver

That’s quite the list.  It’s fascinating that even with the recent rebound in the market developers are still finding it easier to sue pre-sales buyers rather than release the unit back to the market to find a new buyer.  Do we have more inventory that buyers out there?  I’m guessing no one told those rushing to buy that homes are a place to live first, a source of wealth second.

Thanks to Stanislav and Arit for pointing out the links.

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Oh drachen, you're so silly.

Why would supraboy worry about silly things likeath, logic and economics? Didn't you know everyone wants to move to Vancouver because you have canada's largest population of lady boys?

I mean come on. Van and Richmond streets are crammed with Mercedes and bmws filled with fat German tourists looking for some of that sweet lady boy action. Why do you think supra and his friends hit Earl 's and Cactus on Fridays? They get all dolled up and sit giggling in a booth, hoping some rich European tourist will sweep them off their feet.

Hey, it certainly explians a lot of his insider knowledge when you think about it.


@Supraboy: Yes yes Supraboy, if you know the market so well where's your Data? Growth models? Comparative markets? Any economics model that actually suggests these prices are sustainable? Nothing? I thought as much. So, here's a little free advice; When, in a debate one side is clearly right and the other clearly wrong (ie not a debate on moral issues but one on substantive issues, such as real-estate markets) but it is not obvious which side is right there is an easy way to tell which is right. Listen to the arguments coming from each side. Does one side provide logic, science, mathematics and/or factual data while the other side provides only FALLACIES? If so the correct answer in 99+% of cases will be the side of the argument with an actual substantive argument. For additional certainty, follow the money… Read more »


Nothing wrong with made in Korea is there? I would expect them to have more experience with rapid transit than we or bombardier does anyway (?).

There's a massive discussion forum for the canada line at skyscraper page forum anyway. Plus a good dose of bullishness.

Re: young pharmacists – yes, good high pay in the beginning. Anyone know the rate of rise?

I wouldn't be surprised if half the fresh grads didnt have student loans either.


"In fact, the cars don’t even have any manufacturer’s nameplates, contrary to usual practice – no-name transit. Were they trying to hide something?"

Not true. There is a 'made in Korea' plate on the inside of the cars on the end wall. I noticed this because I had assumed they were built by Bombardier, and was a little surprised to see Korea there.


Sorry, create a Canadian Housing Bubble page. Everyone else has one according to the list of links on the wikipedia housing bubble page and ours is one of the biggest or maybe it can only legitimately be called a bubble after it's popped?

Australian property bubble

British property bubble

Bulgarian property bubble

Danish property bubble

Dubai housing bubble

Indian property bubble

Irish property bubble

Japanese asset price bubble

Polish property bubble

Romanian property bubble

South Korean property bubble

Spanish property bubble

United States housing bubble


Surely it's time for someone to create a Canadian Housing Bubble for this link:



Re: Canada Line

Sorry….it uses a technology that most of the world chose not to use.

You are confusing the Canada Line with the Skytrain, which is a proprietary system which only a few cities use.

The Canada Line cars are of generic design. In fact, the cars don't even have any manufacturer's nameplates, contrary to usual practice – no-name transit. Were they trying to hide something? This piqued my curiosity, so after a little digging I found that the cars for the "Canada" Line were in fact made in…


Starving Artist

There is no escaping fundamentals:

It is not different here.


NO-LYMPICS, Drachen, all –

The Georgia Straight article you mention is archived/linked here:


Wow, Bear Mountain is having financial problems at the peak of the largest RE bubble in history? What happens when prices inevitably fall in the coming years?

"Incompetent" doesn't begin to describe it.


#44, thanks for the Len Barrie link…can't get enough of that Bare Mountain debacle… 😉



That is your self fulfilling fantasy of a blowoff top. At least it makes you happy. Too bad reality does not match your fantasy as property prices will continue to rise.


This is just a delay tactic to avoid shadow inventory from flooding the market at this point in time. This is also happening in the US where the second wave of foreclosures has been put on hold for the moment.

Ultimately, there will come a point when FTB's will compare what they can get by buying versus renting and it will be clear to most people renting is the better value given all the downside risks to buying at peak prices.

Since the market liquidity depends on FTB, the market will either correct downwards (even if rates stay low) or we will have to create a subsubprime market and tap into ever so more precarious tranches of low quality borrowers with the backing of CMHC.


40 – dude, it's an international airport….

Cater for your customers, many of whom are from countries where english and french aren't spoken…

It makes sense to have such announcements and signs in multiple languages – especially those of major tourist groups.


38 – only in english, no other languages.


As it should be. It should only be in English and French, as they are the two official languages. You head down a slippery slope when you put signage and communiques into other languages, as it diminishes the incentive to learn and/or speak the language of the country.

Besides, English is the international language if you are worried about catering to those arriving from the airport…

So, for once in this PC city, I think the planners did something right.


"The Canada line will see $14 to $21 million dollars in losses every year until 2025"


Same with Expo & Millennium lines. Cause they subcontract nearly all repairs to a private workshop @Dawson/Rosser.

It's good to have a brother in the Union who looks out for your back.


off topic again: YVR Train

if you ever get off at the terminal, you will note that all exiting and entering happens on the same side.

If the planners were interested in the efficient flow of passengers, they would have had exit on one side, and enter on the other. …rather than doing that…they have a loudspeaker declaring, "PLEASE WAIT UNTIL ALL THE PASSENGERS HAVE EXITED THE CAR BEFORE ENTERING"

…only in english, no other languages.


November 24th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Did ya see the story in the SUN a few eeks ago of a 24 year old pharmacist that bought a $500,000 condo.

WTF? ———————————————

Not that I am in any way defending this lunacy, but a 24 yo Pharmacy grad could be earning, say, 80k. Kick in no loans (mum and dad funded, there are lots of these kids), and a 100k DP pressie from mum and day, and you are left with 400k on 80k = 5x salary. While I would never do that, many would. Lunacy, but it has a certain perverse logic to it.


@Warren: Underground line always have higher operating costs than above ground line. Frankly I would prefer it down Arbutus by either using existing train track or build above it. It would be much cheaper and accomplish its main purpose which is rapid transit between Richmond and Downtown for the Richmond residents at a far lower construction and maintenance costs. Let's face it, that's was like 75% of the transportation reason to build the line. However building it down Cambie offers a lot more quick profit for developers than building it down Arbutus corridor. I think that's the real reason of building it down Cambie. There is no real reason why Arbutus can't be densify aside from NIMBY from the better connected residents there. As for the ridership stats, I have serious doubts about that. I have seen Canada Line employees… Read more »


Ya, sorry facts and numbers get in the way of your reality. You sound like the NDP.


Re: Canada Line

Sorry….it uses a technology that most of the world chose not to use. Whoop- de -doo re the ridership….one can pick any number and make it self fulfilling.

Obviously the taxpayer is on the hook to subisidize its losses for years to come.

The MAIN thing is a taxpayer subsidy to developers so that hi-density can be built along the line and displace existing zonings(commercial and industrial)….small business will suffer and die off. After casinos, the DCC's and high property taxes these " stroke of a pen " zoning changes garner local gov'ts massive revenue is like an ATM machine.


#31 realpaul:

Just like conveniently taking care of the homeless as Olympics coincidentally shows up….all BAD NEWS stories (such as EI stats and future homeless) will be buried , hidden , ignored etc.




Yes you are correct,….. it was the GS.

One has to assume this 24 year old pharmacist has student loans etc. to pay off…no mention of a spouse,…so again, WTF? Is this the norm ?

eeks !!!


#22 Forrest, BNN reporter Kim Parlle broke a story today that showed the unemployment has risen 150% in BC YTD. That also 50% of the people unemployed did not qualify for EI and as such have never been counted among the unemployed and further, an additional 50% of the unemployed in the past year are still unemployed and have run out of benefits and are not being counted as unemployed either.

It looks like there is a big hidden problem with the governments reporting of the facts.