Friday Free-for-all!

Thus wraps up the first week of February 2010, which means it’s time to do our regular end of the week economic news round up and open topic discussion post.  Here are a few stories to kick off the weekend thread:

Global stock markets slide
Vancouver prices hit January peak
Unveiling the Fairmont Pacific Rim
Fixed or variable rate mortgage?
VREAA: Froogle Scott 3
Whistler debt woes mount
Our friend Bob in Seattle
Canadian building permits rise
They’re laughing with you, not at you
Boon or bust for the Downtown East Side

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

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
mino3
Guest
mino3

RE: Fairmont Pacific

Great timing. All we need in this day and age are symbols of rampant excess and luxury.

Boombust
Guest
Boombust

re: "Global stock markets slide"

After yesterday's drubbing, I see they are busy "adjusting" the unemployment numbers DOWNward.

Silly! Yesterday they were all a bunch of Gloomy Gus's but today…ta da! Things are soooooo much better after all!

I wonder how many other "mistakes" can be fixed in 24 hours?

patriotz
Member
"Fixed or variable rate mortgage?" Wow, something from the "experts" that actually makes sense. The ruling principal is that you have to pay to offload risk onto someone else. In lending, the longer the term, the more risk the lender is taking. The shorter the term, the more risk the borrower is taking. So on average, the shorter the term of the loan, the less the borrower will pay over the amortization. What the borrower gets for the lower cost is more risk of payment increase. Another way of putting it is that the markets are more likely to be wrong in the short term than in the long term. That is, if there's an unexpected rate increase you may beat the market by getting a 5 year term over floating, but at the end of that 5 years the… Read more »
vreaa
Member
The Froogle Scott Chronicles: Mortgaging Our Souls In Paradise – Part 3: Priced Out Forever? Vancouver Renters and Basement Suites see: http://wp.me/pcq1o-sv In the latter half of the 1980s I was a student at the University of British Columbia, augmenting my student loans by working part time as a bartender in one of the student bars. . . . One evening Mike, one of the food prep guys, told me that he and his mother had just bought a house on the East Side, traditionally the working class area of Vancouver. . . . I remember the price he and his mother paid: $90,000. -Froogle Scott In other times, and other places, renting was and is the norm. But during the kind of runaway real estate boom that Vancouver has experienced, just about everybody who can buy, eventually does. The… Read more »
Dave
Member

Unemployment is down across Canada and BC. Most Provinces were down except for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Canadian+gai

patriotz
Member

@Dave:

That's nice. Unemployment was down in the US in 2006 too:

http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServl

Connect the dots.

cik
Guest
cik

Apparently there's a huge backload at MLS. Any RE people care to investigate and comment? My RE sources who don't load their own listings say they've been waiting for a week and that the excuse being given is that there are 300+ to go in.

Cashing in on Olympic buyers ?!? or something more ominous?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Dave: part time jobs buddy, don't get to exited!

rp
Member
rp

"Global stock markets tumble: what's going on?"

They should put this on the end of every headline.

Gordon C.
Guest
Gordon C.

In the early 80's I was working in Vancouver. A friend offered me his two-bedroom rancher in Marpole for $135,000. At that time I was making $36,000 a year and interest rates were around 12 percent. I didn't buy, then house prices started going up and I was left behind. I gave up on ever owning a home and instead went back to UBC and later travelled through North America. If I had to do it all over again. I would do the same thing, except study a little harder and leave Canada for the states. I certainly would not want to be strapped to house payments in my 20's for 25 years. My payments would just be ending now.

Not much of a name...
Member
Not much of a name...

@Gordon C.:

Funny thing is, that house is probably worth over a million now and incomes are at about $60-70k.

Incomes have not kept pace with RE prices.

Same Same
Guest
Same Same

7 Cik

Yawn….

Yes, yes, the inevitable seasonal "flood" where listings are just catching up to their norm of 9-12k for the REBGV. The same amount during all of the boom years.

Nothing to see here – move along, or stay in your basement suite.

Wilma
Guest
Wilma

There is a scrolling add appearing in this blog when viewing on a iPhone, but the add does not say from admob or google. Is it from a wordpress plugin?

VRNGD
Guest
VRNGD
Fact1.Global stock markets slide Fact2.Vancouver prices hit January peak Too bad for R.E.Bears who did not buy but good for Stock Bears and Van R.E. Bulls. Spin:Economy pace is hard to reverse while oil prices crashed and employment rates went up. Stock market is leading indicator to carry the economy through but nobody can ever figure out about where to start,What could be the bottom or end of stock price.All you need to see is Green light even if the piller is standing on multiple casualities.So the stocks green lights will be ON starting Monday Feb 8,2010. Results:Vancouver real estate is going to countinue it's trends upwards,Economy pace will never reverse to nail down Van R.E. Interest rates will never accelrate on high speed,Unemployment rates will be countinue to sliding downwards,Oil prices got huge skyline to touch. Look out for… Read more »
VRENGD
Guest
VRENGD
I'm off to New York City for the weekend. You see, by renting my West Side house instead of buy it, I'm saving $3500 – $4000 every month (depending on how much repairs and maintenance the land lord has to do in particular month). I take that money and live like the rich man I am. I go to New York every month for a dose of art, culture and shopping. (Since I can't live in a world class city, I visit one often). Then I take $1000 or so every month to top up and annually max out my RRSP investments. The only problem is, all my friends are owners. They have no money to do anything! Bears don't live in basement suites. They live in houses and they live it up because the bears have the cashflow. The… Read more »
usnews
Guest
usnews
Anyone looking at the US Jobs data and wondering why the CDN jobs data is exactly the opposite should slap themselves or drink more coffee, cause you're not following along. The jobs data lies in the US could no longer be sustained in the face of growing eveidence to the contrary. The CDN government is using the same old tricks to skew the data for political points. Connect the dots indeed, the Cons are back in a hole in the national polls. The media in Canada is actually just a conduit for the advertisers. Hasn't EVERYBODY figured that out yet? Watch for revisions on the jobs data in Canada. Didn't anyone hear Carneys comments that Canada was still in recession and it would be a long time before any improvements became obvious? Hes distancing himself from the Cons statements so… Read more »
patriotz
Member

@Gordon C.:

I certainly would not want to be strapped to house payments in my 20’s for 25 years. My payments (for a house bought in the 80's) would just be ending now.

Don't you understand that if you have bought in the mid-80's your house payments would have dropped below rent within a few years and would be substantially below rent now, as the mortgage approaches its payout date. You would have gotten a free house and more.

Whether a house, like any other asset, is a good investment depends on how much you pay for it, and the price was right in the mid-80's. Fundamentals matter.

VRNGD
Guest
VRNGD

@VRENGD: I know you can't see my Car with loud music infornt of Coal Harbour and yeah Flag is up like Van. R. E.

If anybody like to feel proud then go for walk around Robson and Pacific Blvd,and BC Place.

Absinthe
Member
Absinthe

@patriotz: I agree with your assessment of Gordon C's post on one level – but really, renting in your 20s, even if you could buy, makes sense to me. You're more free to go to school or travel and the like. And maybe less likely to trash it with ill advised house parties.

He might have gotten it paid off by now to sell and be quite well off, but he may have also then missed the experiences of youth. I feel the same way about my kids, actually. A different kind of investment, of course! If I'd had 'em earlier, I'd be almost done by now, but I would have missed a lot of living.

patriotz
Member

@Arwen:

I agree with your assessment of Gordon C’s post on one level – but really, renting in your 20s, even if you could buy, makes sense to me.

What makes sense to me is what makes money, and buying a house 25 years ago would have made you a lot. And let me stress that's even if you still own it – the house would have been putting income in your pocket year over year.

Waiting until, say, 1990 would have changed the parameters substantially.

But to each his own.

http://cuer.sauder.ubc.ca/cma/data/ResidentialRea

cik
Guest
cik

Same Same,

How many economic cycles have you been through?How many houses you owned? I'm on my 5th.

I live in Shaughnessy, I have winter and summer properties. My kids go to private school.

I'm a member of a westside golf club and tennis club.

I would love to sell my house here but I would never get all the money and headaches I've put in. Plus my wife laughs at me when I bring it up.

Shake your head son, the Van RE meltdown is coming.

Westside Wannabe
Guest
Westside Wannabe

21

Lol – we are all millionaires or Rhode Scholar economists on this site and all of us have "seen the RE meltdow before" in past economic cycles…

"I would love to sell my house here but I would never get all the money and headaches I’ve put in."

What? Did you just buy your house? Did you do major renovations worth more than the value of your house?

If you bought anytime since 2002, with the exception of Spring 2008, you are up and most likely you would be able to recoup any investment in house upgrades if you sold today. I trust that if you are on your 5th house, you bought before then…

Makes me think that while you may be on your 5th house you have learned nothing along the way…

squidly77
Guest
squidly77

I see now why people are so anti-VANOC

———–

Opinion is growing that the $10-million Canada pavilion in downtown Vancouver is an "embarrassment" to the country — and a "rinky-dink" effort by the 2010 host country.

"It looks like a temporary tent," said North Vancouver resident Alastair Campbell, in town to take a peek on Wednesday.

"I'm very disappointed. It's not very impressive. It seems the federal government forgot they had to have a pavilion," he said.

"It was done at the last minute. To showcase this to the world is embarrassing. They've let go a major opportunity. It's being upstaged by other countries and provinces. This is really rinky-dink."
http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/2010wintergam

Starving Artist
Guest
Starving Artist
You know, I was in the interior last week and I had the thought that I wonder how much of Vancouver speculation is being driven by professionals that live in BC's smaller towns and cities, where there aren't that many investment opportunities. Any anecdotal evidence to support this? Also, anyone got a historical graph of consumer spending in BC? The BC Stats site only goes back about a year (at least the free stuff I was looking at). I'm curious if it paced RE valuation at all. I'm sure it went up a fair bit even from HELOCs etc. I just read Shiller's book and he says a classic bubble feature is that people don't cash in and actually enjoy the "paper wealth" they think they have. It would also be a pretty good predictor on how cash-strapped our province… Read more »
Starving Artist
Guest
Starving Artist

Also re: market slide… seems to me it's priced about right now, with potential to undershoot.

http://www.multpl.com/

wpDiscuz