2009 Farewell Free-for-all!

Well, well.. what a year it was.  Canadian house prices took a leap from a shallow recessionary dip fueled by dirt cheap interest rates, financial stimulus and speculation.  Now instead of ‘bubble talk’ about the Vancouver market, we hear the federal government making some fuss about the potential of a national housing bubble – even in places where house prices aren’t 10x the local income.  Here’s the last open topic posting for 2009, but the first for 2010.  Hope you all have a great year!

Time for Canada to take away the housing punchbowl
How big a mortgage can you carry?
Its different in Seattle
Nice home, wheres the rest of it?
From Boom to Bust, how Ireland did the noughties
USA: 10 years, no gain in house prices
Renters win as vacancy rates rise
Chinese RE bubble may lead to US style slump
Five bubbles set to burst in 2010

So what are you seeing out there? Any predictions for the new year? Resolutions? Post your thoughts, news links and anecdotes here and have a great weekend and an excellent new year!

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[…] (and who is quite probably neither rich nor asian) on vancouvercondo.info 2 Jan 2010 at 2:54 pm and 6:04 pm – “Happy new year you scum sucking renters!!!!!!! I hope 2010 brings continued misery as you […]

[…] (and who is quite probably neither rich nor asian) on vancouvercondo.info 2 Jan 2010 at 2:54 pm and 6:04 pm – “Happy new year you scum sucking renters!!!!!!! I hope 2010 brings continued misery as you […]

[…] who calls himself ‘richasian’ (and who is quite probably neither rich nor asian) on vancouvercondo.info 2 Jan 2010 at 2:54 pm and 6:04 pm – “Happy new year you scum sucking renters!!!!!!! I hope 2010 brings continued […]

Mansur al-Hallaj

@Meat Robot: "but years of patience will finally start being rewarded for the prudent" I am starting to suspect that the whole underlying concept of the Western civilisation has been to rip off and fleece the prudent till they die or flee. As long as some humans feel entitled to more, nothing can change. So, as much as I anticipate the bright outcome you mention, history teaches that it is less probable than either of the following: – no change at all (which may mean war in the long run); – cancellation of debts*; or – money reform This is the way it was done in Rome and Greece: read Plutarch, Tacitus, Livy for examples of financial acrobatics, government scandals, and social turmoil. It's amazing how nothing has changed since then. ———— * Julius Caesar invaded Rome and became what… Read more »


"Also amusing are the companies full of geezers who seem to think that people my age should work for half their wage"


Retrain? Move to a new industry? Move to a new location? We all have choices in life. Less whining, more proactive changing.


#62 @scullboy: Nice call. I am pissed off and stressed out. I'm living in a cramped space, trying to raise a family, and watching the price of anything reasonable go up by more than I make in a year, every year. This is all backed by government credit, which I believe will bankrupt the country or something close to it, so that my family can look forward to crappy schools, hospitals, etc, when the free money party eventually ends. There are few good opportunities in this country because the irresponsible have been bailed out. Most of our economy is based on rent seeking and leveraged speculation. The big banks offer 1% interest when core inflation is 2%, nevermind food which is 4% or transportation which is 5%. I can tell you one thing, I am definitely not paying for this.… Read more »

Mansur al-Hallaj

@scullboy: For $1500/mo I am renting a house that the owner wants to sell for $1M. I am saving a good deal, and I am not going to buy anything here: what sane person would want to add headaches of taxes, maintenance and bank slavery for the rest of their lives?

Of course, if someone sits on 100% downpayment, it's another story, but I am the average Joe. And no, I am not even close to being pissed off or stressed.

No Longer Looking

I was born and raised in Vancouver, then lived in Halifax for several years. What Scullboy says is correct. I'd still be living there but got pressured by family concerns. I regret moving back.


I'm not stressed or pissed off. I rent a nice place for an affordable amount of money (20% of income), and save 1/3 of my income as well. Life here is good. I like skiing and hiking, and travel quite a bit too (2 trips to Europe this coming year). Sure I won't (not can't) buy a house at these prices, but my life is not defined by ownership or not. If I can never buy here,that's fine by me – I'll just retire somewhere warmer (although in 30 years it may well be warmer HERE)- which I'll probably want to do anyway, to be honest.

Happy renter.


@oneangryslav: I get why you might see my posts that way but frankly I am constantly suprised how much better my own life is now that I left Van. It's a very subjective experience to be sure. There are a number of people in Halifax that I know from others cities who have had the same experience. What can I say, I write about my own experiences. While one might have choices in van real estate they now seem to be reduced to "rent something of dodgy quality or sell yourself into slavery. " if I seem surprised it's because it seems like there are now more choices in smaller cities, at least for me. Instead of banging my head against the wall looking for work, I'm able to network far more easily here because everyone knows everyone else and… Read more »



They are all the same people.


scullboy, supra, arit, & richasian are all douche bags!!!


@scullboy: I generally enjoy your contributions, but lately they have had an air of "thou doth protest too much" about them. You're sounding like the yin to Supraboy's yang.

I have no idea what an Ed Hardy shirt or hat is. Maybe I don't find myself in the same social milieu as those who wear them. We all have choices, and the larger the city, the more choices. Hell, you even have choices in the Vancouver real estate game. I choose to rent and to develop friendships with those who are not are the Supraboy ilk (i.e. poseurs). Vancouver's not the "greatest place on earth", but it's a decent place to make a home…as is Halifax.


I love Supraboy and richasian, I really do. To me they are the beating heart of the young Richmond crowd. I've known loads of young Chinese guys, and those two are exactly like the guys I knew: NOt especially bright and desperate to be seen as prosperous. They'll do ANYTHING, buy real estate on bad terms, lease cars at rates they can barely afford, buy clothes on an almost maxed out credit card. Sooner or later it'll all catch up to them but in the meantime, they think they're high rollers. The weather out here is awesome, loads of snow yesterday which just made puttering around at home more pleasant. Today I had a bunch of friends in for dinner. For amusement after dinner I showed them this blog. They got a great laugh out of it. They thought the… Read more »


Patriotzed, i too read that article in the NYT. Given that the places are so cheap, i have toyed with the idea of buying one as a possible retirement option.

I don't foresee ever buying and paying off a SFH here in Burnaby before retirement and i like the idea of having a place where it's warm and sunny.

I realise that there are property mgt fees, exchange risks, tax issues to deal with. Is there some enormous flaw in my logic that i'm missing?

I lived in Florida for 6 months a decade ago and quite liked certain areas.

Bloggers, any opinions?


Supraboy: The Arabs you refer to are here for some type of competition / conference i believe. I was at the Roxy on New Years and the place was full (40+) of young Arab men wearing team United Arab Emirates jackets. So, i suspect they are not (as you seem to believe) new immigrants, and more likely here for a short time. I doubt they all bought condo's while they were here.


Mark Carney gets the "MORON OF THE YEAR AWARD"

"We will make money free to borrow,but don't borrow any because that may be foolish."


"Alot of people are going to be kicking themselves for not buying in this market"

"Visit remax.ca"

Just saw this ad on Global's 6:00 news.

Real Estate ethics – oxy-MORON

That's all I got to say about that.



Japan Return to '91 GDP Gives Markets Mega Risk Crisis

“Japan’s fiscal conditions are close to a melting point,” said Takeshi Fujimaki, a former adviser to billionaire investor George Soros and now president of Fujimaki Japan, an investment advising company in Tokyo. “My biggest concern is whether the Japanese government will be able to sell all the bonds at auctions,” he said, adding that such failures might send 10-year note yields climbing through 2.4 percent.


My feeling is that the correction will happen for different but related reasons here in Canada. Instead of being first precipitated by defaults, I think the buyer's pool is simply going to dry up (by way of increased interest rates/second dip economic malaise/prices hitting new monthly cash flow viability cut off points). Defaults and foreclosures will come as secondary effects as the RE market takes a tumble. Here in Vancouver, we could get some defaults first as rental condos go empty for want of tenants after the olympics. The only way to keep things going is to double up on the ponzi scheme and loosen lending standards even more, but it seems that the opposite trend is in the air due to the very real possibility that we will in fact get a US style crash if we keep on… Read more »

Want A Home, Not an

If you are not angry, you should be angry. The market in Canada is nothing short of an outright manipulative attempt to prop up an economy using Real Estate as the tool. The government has made a mandate to flood the market with Cheap and easy CMHC financing to try to stimulate a faltering economy. This is their way of making themselves and their policies look good!! This has hurt those that actually have savings and are cost conscious and has pandered to those that have none or very little savings and who could care less about the long term costs of taking on mortgages as such ridiculous levels. It has pandered to Realtors, house flippers and has hurt those who actually used to believe that like the last 50 years, if you saved hard you would be rewarded with… Read more »



but the detachment of risk from mortgage lending which lead to mortgage rates which were out of whack with the actual risk of default.

Bingo. The big problem in the US came when banks started to realize how long it was going to take to liquidate the assets they acquired in foreclosure. In Canada there has been nary a whiff of substantially increased foreclosure levels. Until that happens, even if people start missing payments, the bank in theory makes their money eventually, with back interest, and they are capitalized well enough to wait it out. It is very hard to convince a boardroom that these loans are anything but "can't lose" in the long run.


lenders made home loans to people to finance houses they couldn’t afford.

This is a very interesting statement that had a very deep dark effect on the US housing market. Then of course sub-prime and the liar loans and reseting mortgages.

That same thing has been happening here, all the same. When the mortgage rates increase we will have the same problem here but unfortunately we can't just mail our keys to the lender those people will have to pay for their stupidity.

If the price seems too much it is. It's not rocket science it just common sense.

Pied Piper

"Both lenders and borrowers became convinced that house prices would only go up," Bernanke said. "Borrowers chose, and were extended, mortgages that they could not be expected to service in the longer term. They were provided these loans on the expectation that accumulating home equity would soon allow refinancing into more sustainable mortgages. For a time, rising house prices became a self-fulfilling prophecy, but ultimately, further appreciation could not be sustained and house prices collapsed."


It's only a matter of time.

Gravity always asserts itself, even if the Vancouver Sun says it's different here.


Feeding trolls just gives them what they want.