Friday Free-for-all!

Feels like it’s getting close to Holiday time!  Let’s do our end of the week news roundup and open topic discussion for the weekend.  Here are a few recent stories to kick off the discussion:

Debt laden BC homeowners warned of interest rate squeeze
Unemployment falls in canada, rises in BC
Global crisis? What crisis?
Housing set to juice economy in the spring
National vacancy rates increase
The real estate gamble
Canadas inflation rate rises
TIME Person of the year: Ben Bernanke
US taxpayers at risk with mortgage giants

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

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@Garth: Ach, that is difficult. There's a lot of subterranean stuff on Craigslist on the West Side, but there are a few apartment buildings in Kerrisdale. I don't know about piano, though.

You might be able to work a deal with a musical family – maybe post something on Craigslist offering music lessons for a family member along with rent? Dunno; in that situation it is harder.

If you don't mind the work, there are a number of co-ops advertising, and I think in general they'd be more open. Phoenix Court in Kits, Marpole Terrace, etc.

other ted

89 mckracken thanks for replying to my post, more antectodal evidence I can now use to refute the people who insisted it was worth spending millions if not a billion to fix that road.


: I am looking for <$1400/month for 2 bedrooms, but might be able to go a bit higher. I prefer Kerrisdale or adjoining areas. My main difficulty is that my partner needs to be able to teach piano lessons at home. I fear that this may be worse than having a dozen cats when it comes to finding an accommodating landlord. We were lucky with the current place as one of her students offered it to us to rent. Unfortunately it is full of mold.


Read what this joker posted online:- "The unemployment rate in Vancouver may seem high but it's misleading, because there are A LOT of rich immigrants in Vancouver who are "unemployed" but sit on a lot of money they brought in from other countries or money they saved up. My parents for example are "unemployed" but spend their unemployed days taking cruises, traveling, and enjoying life with their saved up money…. "Unemployment" in Vancouver sometimes means "early retirement." My old neighbors are Americans who immigrated from Hawaii (they swear that Vancouver is more beautiful than Hawaii so they want to retire in Vancouver) and one of them is "unemployed" while the other "works" at a chocolate shop. Real Estate…I don't think it'll crash after the Olympics…it won't continue growing at such a staggering rate as the past 8 years and will… Read more »

P. McCrackin

@other ted:

Ted: You are more right than you know! From a guy (me) who drove that highway every weekend for 25 years, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the old highway; it was the nuts driving on it, not the highway that was always the problem. Widening it has only provided an opportunity for the nuts to drive nuttier!


Assuming that a "homeowner" is current, doesnt the bank or mortgage company automatically permit renewal at the current rate regardless if the mortgage is underwater or not?

One thing that they could also do a la Fannie/Freddie is put a cap on the amount which the CMHC will insure. In the states, if you mortgage was over that (ie. Jumbo), your rate was higher. Although this cap varied from state to state.


@Nonymouse – "What happens when the mortgages come up that were 5/35 upon renewal?"

Or 0/40. It's a good question and the same question that we've all been asking about when rates go up. Once people are in, they're in, they won't have to worry about the downpayment again, obviously. But on renewal, they're subject to the rates at that time. So, by 2012, mortgage rates could be a few points higher, which equates to a few hundred maybe thousands, all relative on the amount borrowed. So what happens to those who then, can't afford their payments? Stay tuned.

The changes in downpayments and amortization periods is going to even further reduce the number of potential buyers. Squeezing the illiquid, debt laden, undiligent sheeple and will open the door for the rest of us.

I'm looking forward to this.


I was going to comment on a story in todays 'Sun' but then I read the next one and decided that it wasn't worth the effort. What a shithole !!!!! Vanshitstain is the kind of place your mother warned you about.

In the immortal words of 'The Joker'

"This town needs an enema".


The last sentence should read : Thumbs up or thumbs down… my bad – I got overtaken by emotions!


"Do you believe?" TM Most people want to… they're scared, confused and trust no one. But they want to… so badly It is smuch easier to believe good news than bad. People want to believe they're making good decisions. They've been told to save for their retirement and RE seems to be the only way to make any money these days. If not that, at least they won't lose it to the rampant inflation, right? Did you look at what banks offer theses days? 1% term deposits??? WTF??? So ordinary, hard working people go and buy overpriced properties enslaving themselves for life just so they can feel a little better about their future and their kids future perhaps. Flippers and speculators I cannot feel sorry for. But the rest of them are desperate slaves ready for the slaughter – while… Read more »


If 10/25 get announced we could see the last bit of gas thrown on the bonfire.

What happens when the mortgages come up that were 5/35 upon renewal?

Interesting times.


"We have sentimental equity. "


Good job eating that if/when you lose your job.


If a editor with Wall Street Journal thinks like this …

… what to expect in Vancouver? Well nothing, the home i rent got 2 offers under asking price, but owner holds the price!


the voting is entirely reader driven. readers can vote + or – entirely by their whim. just like a democracy.


Question regarding the voting mechanism of this blog: is it being misunderstood and misused? Look at my comments above- should they really be grayed out if more people have a different opinion than those who agree with them? Is this feature meant to dismiss opinions not popular with the reading public or just dismiss those posts that are not related to the subject of the discussion?

I think something is broken here…


@Garth – What's your price range for a two bedroom, and do you have a preferred location?

I found my place with relentless sifting, and constraining the top end on the search results on Craigslist. There are indeed an overwhelming number of places targeted to the top 15% of wage earners.

Some neighborhoods, it's best to get on a good pair of shoes and just walk looking for For Rent signs, because any good deal doesn't hit Craigslist.


10/25 here we come.

it may be well after the (stupid) horses have bolted, but at least it will stop the remaining slow horses (or foals) from doing the same.


Some good news for the holidays! Could it be that our letters actually reached this guy? Flaherty warns on mortgage rules CTV says Ottawa is considering raising the minimum down payment for home buyers as well as reducing the amortization period in order to stop some consumers from taking on too much debt. And, if they don't change the mortgage rates, there will be increases due to steepening of the long-term term structure of interest rates. Treasury Yield Curve Steepens to Record The difference between 2- and 10- year Treasury note yields widened to the most ever as investors bet an accelerating recovery will fuel inflation and damp demand for government debt as the U.S. borrows record amounts. The yield curve touched 281.4 basis points before the Treasury announces Dec. 23 how much it plans to auction in 2-,… Read more »

patriotz… In an interview with CTV Question Period, to be aired next week, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says the measures will be taken if there's evidence of excessive demand in the housing market. There's that "if", again. He says the likely measures the government will take is to increase the size of the down payment from 5 per cent “to a higher figure” and to reduce the amortization period “from a maximum of 35 years to something less.” Really heavy thinking required here. Last week, the central bank warned that when interest rates rise to normal levels, up to 10 per cent of households could face difficulties in meeting monthly payment requirements. Just maybe, is he getting the message that he can have a mild bust now (except in BC, which will be getting a meltdown), or a big bust… Read more »

Starving Artist

I like how every MSM article refers to the recession in the past tense, have you noticed that? Hook, line, sinker.


The impacts of the recession on fine dining in Vancouver&hellip ;

[…] Update 12 Dec 2009 (hat-tip to garth at […]


@Garth: I am pretty sure I can accurately profile the lovely little landlord that posted this one on CL. I hope he rots.


"Has the wind changed direction finally?"

Not so fast.

I was talking to a group of highly educated professionals who were bemoaning the fact that young people, with their poor lower level wages/salaries could never HOPE to get into the local RE market.

NO ONE suggested that prices may (will) have to "adjust downward" to reflect that.