Friday Free-for-all!

End of the week, end of the month! Sales continue to be pretty strong, but Inventory is growing rapidly and we’re seeing lots of price changes recently. We’ll know what the end of the month price stats show soon, but for now lets do our regular end o’ the week economic news round up and open topic discussion thread. Here are a few stories to kick things off:

Sales to listings ratio whiplash!
70% of sales in BC to FTBs averaging $45k income?
Who’s to blame for the housing bubble?
Watch out for thieves at open houses
60 applications so far for the 128 OV rentals
‘Backyard cottages’ help with high cost of Seattle homes
Miami condos starting at $24 per square foot
IMF economist predicts bleak outlook for house prices
10 cities for retirement property steals

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

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patriotz

@ulsterman:

In the UK private companies successfully provide ferry services on modern, fast ships at competitive prices

The only ferry route within England that's really comparable to coastal BC is to the Isle of Wight.

http://www.wightlink.co.uk/

Check out those prices. Now consider this – the Isle of Wight is from 3-5 miles from the English coast – a bit further than Bowen Island and a bit closer than Langdale. Do those prices look like a bargain?

If you want a real shocker, check out the fares from Stranraer, Scotland to Belfast, which is about the same distance as Tsawassen to Nanaimo. Remember this route is wholly within the UK.

www(dot)directferries(dot)uk

jesse

@girlbear: "In order to remain competitive, the hours here absolutely must be longer."

So, again, why do people in your industry in Vancouver work more hours for lower pay? If they can earn significantly more in Toronto it seems like moving there is the answer, unless there are other reasons for them staying in Vancouver and accepting a lower wage. I'm asking why people choose this option.

I agree the high cost or real estate is likely not one of the reasons for staying (unless they're in the market already :lol:)

Chilled

@Run Buddy Run:

No, we don't think Vancouver is dumb, just some of its citizens. Case in point.

Run Buddy Run

While most of the blogger posters here are from Toronto,New York,and Portland.Still they think Vancouver is dumb.Hey you fucking fringing idiots, mind your own fucking bussiness in your own fucking cities.Get out of here you bitches, live in your own fucking backwater forever.It is fact that Vancouver welcome the world but it does not mean idiot trolls.Who the fuck is there to feel shame on your mother fucking decades old predictions,Fucking bastards,Fuck off.

crabman

@elvince: When they sell for the prices listed under "mortgage covered by rent", it will be time to buy…

squidly77

The future is now The rise of the machines

elvince

Did anyone check that out:
http://www.2300kingsway.com/smartBuy.html

They basically admit that even with a P/R of 230, those condos would still be bad investments. Wasn't rennie supposed to be a king at marketing crap?

Anonymous

So why do Vancouverites accept lower wages when salaries in other cities are higher?

Weed dude, weed.

It's a lot easier to put up with grey rainy days and substandard wages if you're high.

girlbear

@jesse: I should clarify. In my industry one is not paid a wage, per se, so it's not really a matter of accepting a lower wage. You are paid on how much biz you can get together, pure and simple. And given the size and economic scope of this city, it is an easier career in TO. In order to remain competitive, the hours here absolutely must be longer. The majority of the money is still out east, and in my lifetime will continue to be. I am not saying folks here don't do very well, they just do alot better there. Now, due to geography, my TO colleagues earn approx double what we do out here. Yet cost of living very different. We have a VERY difficult time attracting talent to our Van offices. They are very much deterred… Read more »

Chilled

@Absinthe: Absinthe Says: May 30th, 2010 at 9:16 pm @jesse: Dunno what industry you’re in, and it’s probably industry specific (financial might be crazier in TO?) – but I haven’t found workspaces in Van to be terribly laid back. We’re both tech sector and work life balance seems what you get when you decide to employ yourself. +++++++++++++++++++ A person at work may choose to be a prick, anywhere. The difference between TO and Vancouver is when confronted in TO, the issue is usually dealt with, over, or at minimum, not kept festering in perpetuity. In Vancouver, the aggressor will quickly dive into a shell of political correctness leaving those attacked appearing like the aggressor!!!! In Vancouver you really have to fear those appearing to be helpful, friendly and 'team' players. In TO, you know who your enemies are. Big… Read more »

jesse

@girlbear: "I think the lower wages are more to do with the fact that we are on the periphery "

So why do Vancouverites accept lower wages when salaries in other cities are higher? My experience is quite the opposite to yours. In my profession, hours in Toronto are longer but the wages are higher.

doubladay

The role of the public sector is to provide services at minimal efficiency, and completely obscure or distort any market pricing for the service, which may or not be needed in the first place.

The cost of these services is stripped from the most productive in the private sector, weakening the incentive for further production and reducing market-directed private investment.

Absinthe

@jesse: Dunno what industry you're in, and it's probably industry specific (financial might be crazier in TO?) – but I haven't found workspaces in Van to be terribly laid back. We're both tech sector and work life balance seems what you get when you decide to employ yourself.

bridgeman

"The weather here sux. If anyone thinks this is the BPOE then they have never actually travelled anywhere."

Does BPOE stand for Best Place On Earth or Big Pile Of Excrement?

girlbear

@jesse: Jesse, I respectfully disagree. In my industry, and a few others friends are in, the gig is a lot tougher here. Having to be up at the crack of dawn in order to deal with eastern clients, and then staying in the office until standard westcoast hours. My Toronto colleagues DO NOT pull the hours per day that I do.

Plus, in my industry for sure one is at a disadvantage being so far from where the money base is.

I think the lower wages are more to do with the fact that we are on the periphery rather than that we accept lower wages due to lifestyle advantages.

Absinthe

@Jeff: Coming from Ontario, I wouldn't put down those 100 year old houses as having less value than the plywood and hope new-build boom boxes out here. As long as you inspect for major deficiencies, they're usually pretty solid little homes. The average family home in TO is at ridiculous price levels; the average family home here is at slightly higher ridiculous price levels. But TO was affordable for much longer. I think that's why we're not really into Toronto's woes – when it comes to housing foolishness, TO's the new kid busting onto the scene. And hey, given Vancouver's rivalry with TO, we don't want to give away our First Prize Crown for Insanity to our dear sibling to the East – because we do housing crazy rather spectacularly, and it's bloody time we got NOTICED. *g*. Considering how… Read more »

Veej

Junius,

Long gold and short silver? That is horrible advice. Name a time that gold went up and silver did not follow in the last 12 years. Silver has more upside than gold. That is like being long DOW and short S+P.

jesse

@LY: "I am moving to Toronto this July because housing is cheaper, more job opportunities and better schools."

The work environment is quite different in Toronto for the most part. I think people accept lower salaries in Vancouver for a reason.

girlbear

Interesting to note: I think for the first weekend ever, the number of Bull comments might be almost even with the number of Bear comments on this blog.

Now, as a confident Bull, why would I even think to seek out a bearish blog to post on. Pretty sure it would not even cross my mind.

Careful Bull, your slip is showing…

jaywo99

@Best place on meth:

188 units under $300K…. great deal considering it includes a Supersonic Jet. Says 1 minute away from Gastown and Chinatown.

http://www.2300kingsway.com/location.html

Anonymous

@Jeff:

"Besides, one week doesn’t give us any real statical measure"

Try telling that to those here who obsess over the daily numbers.

Anonymous

@ulsterman:

"AND they don’t charge extra to reserve. Making an online reservation is just expected."

Of course it's expected – it's the 21st century.

Another example – order tickets online, and print them yourself? That'll cost you $7, for saving the company from needing to pay the overhead of a physical box office and mailing real tickets to you. How's that work?

In the UK companies see the value of being able to scale down their physical operations and migrate to online services, and they pass these cost savings onto the consumer. In Canada they call it a "convenience charge" and, as far as I can tell, you all just bend over and take it.

Anonymous

@Jeff:

Jeff, you must agree with the groupthink at all times – otherwise you'll get modded down, even if your post is factually correct.

Kid Fynnland

Ly: toronto weather a big negative? Have you looked outside all week?

The weather here sux. If anyone thinks this is the BPOE then they have never actually travelled anywhere.