Friday free-for-all!

It’s the end o’ the week!  Lets do our regular round up of recent economic news.  Here are a few stories I’ve noticed lately:

CIBC: Canadian employment quality ‘nose-dived’ in last 6 months
Olympic rental market swamped with thousands of empty homes
Real estate industry could face millions in fines for not lowering fees
CREA will keep MLS locked down for now
CMHC needs to review policies
Is a condo a good investment?
New US program to allow ‘owners’ to ‘rent’ their homes from bank
Wells Fargo bets on housing recovery
A put option for your homes value

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

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Can anybody in bear land help me with some links detailing the foreign buyer myth in Metro Vancouver?


I bet a lot of waiters are making more than the median income in B.C. Once the market turns the realtors will start trying to get their old jobs back.


Just after i heard the news report about the EA job cuts on CKNW, they went straight to a Vancouver Job Shop commercial advertising some crappy little job. That appears to be the pattern: good jobs disappear by the 100's and 1000's to be replaced by single-digit hires of low-paid employees.

Yet still the 750,000 – 1,000,000 houses near me in Burnaby keep flying off the shelves.



Yeah, but the former realtor could possibly be making $1000/week (tips and wages) if he's working full time. He probably declares about 10% of his wages or $30-40 week in tips, so his cash income is very good. There are many, many worse paid jobs in this city.


@patriotzed: "For food, which is 0% taxed under GST and HST, and for all exports, there is no net GST or HST cost in the price structure."

You're missing the point. If a good is suddenly taxed that was not taxed before, that leads to a decrease in demand unless costs can be lowered to compensate. With efficient markets, lowered costs will rarely happen because there is nowhere to cut costs enough to offset the tax gains.

With real estate the ability to lower costs through reduced land prices is always possible so the net effect of increased tax has a much better chance to be muted, if not eliminated entirely.


#117“Balloon” Update:

Drove by the Scena sales center near Kingsway and Nanaimo on Saturday and there were balloons tied to every lamppost and realtor’s car. More distressing is that there was a lineup out the door for presales! Clearly the market has not died yet.


I was there!! The realtots paid me 100 bucks to stand in line for a couple of hours.


I posted this early, but here's a better link.

roughly 100 (previously i said over 100. oops) jobs in Victoria and Burnaby affected. The Kodak Burnaby office is right next to EA.


"Cassiar and hastings was the only intersection on the trans Canada."

Hmm…who knows, although it ONCE WAS the only major intersection in the COV without left turn lanes (with SIGNALS) back in the 1960's!

It was so dumb!


…er, back to that earlier Electronic Arts posting, Deborah Hope on Global confirmed that "1500" (!) positions were due to be axed. A "significant" number of them in Burnaby.

Poor slobs.


"Channing Tatum called."

I laughed and laughed when I heard that name a few weeks ago. Some TV show or other… People tell me it's an actor's real name.

So Hollywood.

And, so sorry to be so "off-topic".

other ted

Real Paul you beat me to it. I read the article about California based electronic arts laying off 1500 people. Ouch I imagine a lot of them will be out of the Burnaby office. So ends one of the myths, electronic arts never lays off always growsn. Now if people can get into there head myth number two in vancouver real estate in Vancouver never goes down.

Myth number 3 I found out for myself when I moved to Calgary.Cassiar and hastings was the only intersection on the trans Canada.

Now that I think about it Vancouver is a city of myths. Well one down many more to go.

Slim Pickins

Wow, the economy is tanking because pigs fly! Isn’t that convenient!

Ever get the feeling that someone is trying to pull the wool (or pig skin) over your eyes?


Is this why the government is so intent on keeping canadians in the dark about the H1N1 virus? Is it all about hotel reciepts. Its the same that was speculated about why they let SARS get so out of control.


Electronic Arts just posted their earnings numbers… net loss. Plans to lay off 17% of workers (1500) saving them will save $100 million. Don't know how many will hit the Burnaby office, but that is their largest studio.


Electronic Arts cuts another 1500 as the vid game biz continues to crater. This had got to be a real screwing for the many Yaletown hipsters with big mortgages and pre sale contracts ready to explode.


Hey Supratard: Channing Tatum called. He's heard what you've been doing with that G.I. Joe action figure and he asked you to stop. G.I. Joe doesn't like spelunking apparently.. God I hate you, and every idiot like you. You go running around town thinking this really is the best place on earth for whatever reason, and it so plainly isn't. I have no idea how this town manages to function but I' starting to suspect it runs by convincing idiots like you that this is a town full of high rollers and you're somehow special. You claim wealthy people are pouring into this town but you don't have a shred of proof to back up your claim. People are eating in restaurants. Big fucking deal. If the Chinese community were that wealthy they wouldn't be shopping in those cheap ass… Read more »


I was just reading a Vancouver Sun article about a guy being sentenced for a car accident that killed some people. They describe the guy this way:

"Hughes, a former Vancouver realtor who was most recently working at Joe Fortes…"

So that's where realtors go.



As long as buying a condo in Vancouver remains an easy way of getting Canadian permanent residency status for all Asian "investors" this market will do just fine. And don't forget the free healthcare for their extended families and elderly. Don't believe me?

Sad but true.



I agree, as much as many or most overweight people are costing the rest of us more money to support their medical bills if we're to consider them targets for extra payment we should also consider;

Speeders (although they at least give back, perhaps more than they take because high speed traffic accidents are one of the leading sources of donated organs)

Promiscuous people

People who travel extensively


Airline pilots

Doctors and Nurses

Heavy drinkers


The elderly

Well the list could go on until it encompasses nearly everyone… Everyone engages in some kind of risky behaviour that increases their chance of getting sick in one way or another.


"Balloon" Update:

Drove by the Scena sales center near Kingsway and Nanaimo on Saturday and there were balloons tied to every lamppost and realtor's car. More distressing is that there was a lineup out the door for presales! Clearly the market has not died yet.


Sure they fucked but will they ever admit it? Of course not.


health Official admits that vaccine PR push is just a scam to cover past mistakes. The majority of people will remain un vaccinated after the peak season is long gone. Gov fears fuck up will leave them with 50 million doses in the warehouse. Typical canadian efficiency.


More competition coming for condo holder flippers as rental towers built in west end.


"Over 100 jobs gone at Kodak Burnaby"

There is AN UPDATE TO THAT…100 people worldwide, so, not just in Burnaby.



And IMHO fat people SHOULD pay more MSP than me.

Nobody should pay any MSP fees at all, and most provinces don't have any. It's not an insurance premium in any real sense but just a head tax. And I'm not in favour of charging people in any way for behaviour which is considered by those in charge to be medically risky, that's an open door for the medical system to be swamped by a raft of user-pay (or co-pay as they say in the US) charges.