Friday Free-for-all!

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! The weekend is here, time for the free-for-all post. Lets round up some recent news links to kick off our regular end of the week open topic discussion thread:

Sales across BC drop 42%
North Shore home sales drop sharply
Surrey builds the most
Calgary the #1 place to buy
BMO seeks 34 in mortgage fraud
The ups and downs of asking rents

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

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@Best place on meth:

“Fraser is the new Main! ”

Stupid agent, that’s so last year.

We’ve now moved on to “Knight is the new Fraser”.

Wake me when we're at "Renfrew is the new Nanaimo".


Just thought I could share this one:

The suite was on MLS for months to no avail (almost half a million), and has been up for rent, for a couple of months too. The owner first asked $1900 p/m and now it is somewhat better – $1695 p/m.


@fixie guy:

West False Creek was not ‘planned’ in the same sense as the OV. The City obviously had much greater control of the latter.

You don't know what the hell you are talking about.

West False Creek was planned literally from the ground up by the CoV.

Check your facts before you come out sounding like an ignoramus.


@Anonymous: Good question! But I did as Hovering suggests and indeed there are a lot of listings for decent prices. Here's an example:



"type “millenium” into craigslist and giggle at all the rentals available there."

How can there be so many rentals if few of the units have sold?

fixie guy

@ patriotz

"False Creek West (south shore of False Creek between Cambie and Granville) was civic planned too. "

You have got to be shitting me. You see no difference in the sense of the word 'planned' between all of WFC, an area in which I've worked for 10 years, and the Soviet housing blok at OV?

West False Creek was not 'planned' in the same sense as the OV. The City obviously had much greater control of the latter.


@Best place on meth:

I hope your friend never gets another offer.

Truly, I do.

Actually, I hope that one day his friend receives an offer for what it is [actually] worth.



Sechelt is just another ‘Surrey by the Sea’…what a shithole. Places like Gibsons etc ( and don’t get me started on the ‘islands’) are so jampacked with fuck ups, rejects and savagery that certain parts are like micro-asylums. Keep the ultra lite on a blowsy hill top for a fast escape.

I can't lie, I totally LOL'ed at this.

Keeping an Eye on Th

Ha ha, too funny, or maybe too sad.

Used to be “buy now or be priced out for ever” it looks like it’s going the other way; sell now or be forever priced in.

“Now with fat mortgages at low rates, no wonder sellers are sticking with high prices, mooning reality. They’re trapped.”


anon 207

Greed and stupidity is a recipe for disaster. Speculation= Greed + Stupidity


type "millenium" into craigslist and giggle at all the rentals available there.

interesting to watch the prices drop

ghost town


One of the doors to the Olympic Village London Drugs space was open today and some kind of construction is going on inside. Currently looked like an empty shell with some metal studs, so a long way from opening.


The Froogle Scott Chronicles: Mortgaging Our Souls In Paradise –

Part 8: Renovation Nervosa Finale

A fascinatingly methodical account of the final phases of this Vancouver renovation, with details regarding pitfalls, emotions, and expenses.

"After fifteen months, our renovation has evolved from a start-and-stop, homeowner-managed undertaking into a bigger, more complex, increasingly expensive project run by a general contractor. We’re learning about renovation and construction the hard way, and even harder lessons are still to come." – Froogle Scott

"Brace yourself. On first reading Froogle’s latest episode, I found myself on more than one occasion spontaneously exclaiming out loud, or grimacing & ducking, or writhing in vicariously experienced psychic pain." -vreaa

Best place on meth


I hope your friend never gets another offer.

Truly, I do.

The Insider

@VHB: Urban Fare and London Drugs have never planned to open in the OV in 2010, perhaps because they anticipated this debacle or perhaps because even the most optimistic projections suggested the area wouldn't have the needed density for some time. In any event they will both open while it is still "dead" there (just as London Drugs has already done in the DTES) on the theory that it is necessary to establish a presence in a supposedly up-and-coming area before others do. I don't subscribe to that theory myself, but London Drugs apparently feels burned by not having moved into Yaletown early, before Shoppers established itself. It has a particular sensitivity about this issue.


On people starting to regret not selling..etc…

A friend of mine listed his house and got an offer that was 10% off asking. He was whining about how insulting it was, said he told the buyers to stuff it. I told him that he should have taken it…he bought years ago and even at 10% off would be getting a winfall…he gave me that lecture on not selling for less than it's worth, and RE only goes up.

Two weeks later he is talking to one of our other friends about how he thinks he should have taken the offer…I hate to say I told him so!


@Devore: By "deals", I meant hadn't they signed with the developer (or whoever) an agreement to operate a business in these new buildings? And by not doing so are they not violating some agreement? But you're right, I haven't actually got a clue how it's all supposed to work out. Maybe they are just paying the rent on these empty spaces, scratching their heads about WTF to do next. Are there no signs of life in the retail locations, ie "coming soon" signs, or "now hiring, apply at this website"? We drove by there last week…ya it's got to be the quietest place in Vancouver. On another note, another retail/residential flop seems to be the King Edward Village (though they do have Save On Foods). The rest of the place is "For Lease". Surprised a Starbucks hasn't moved in since… Read more »


@Bizznitch: A quote from that Globe and Mail article: “The big concern is we’re continuing to push pricing in the new sale market, and as you look at the rents the investors are able to charge, they certainly aren’t moving higher at the same rate,” said Ben Myers, executive vice-president of tracking firm Urbanation. “You have to wonder what happens next.” What an understatement: they [rents] certainly aren’t moving higher at the same rate,” My brother rents a relatively new (4 years old or so) place on Queen's Quay for about $2.50/sq ft. a month, which is $30/sq ft a year. Given that the owner purchased it at least 4 years ago (maybe even longer if it was a pre-sale), the owner may be making positive cash flow. Of course, I haven't included condo fees, which are pretty high as… Read more »


"A lot of people are very upset they didn't sell six months ago."

Read more:

Nice to see this blog on-topic. 🙂




They will be just like the fast ferries…bet you that as soon as it is politically advantageous to do so, the OV will be sold for a hugely discounted price to an insider who will sell them for a huge return…just like the ferries. And once again, the taxpayers get screwed!

Best place on meth

A real Black Swan event would be Chipman actually selling a property or doing something that is even remotely productive instead of just yapping at people on his website.

I just noticed he's got a service called the "hands-on-package".

That might explain what he's been doing with his time.



I didn't realize HELOCs were treated differently from refinancing by CMHC. I thought they were the same since they're both loans backed by real estate. I should check my facts before spouting off next time… my bad.

But anyway that doesn't change my main point, which is that Vancouver homeowners have been treating their houses like ATMs, just like they were south of the border, and with exactly the same consequences to come.


@realpaul: welcome back 🙂


@oneangryslav2: The point of Taleb's book is that these "Black Swan" events are much more common than we think and the models all underestimate(d) the probability of such events occurring. There is a perfect storm brewing. Not all the elements are in place yet, but the clouds are forming.