Friday free-for-all!

It’s friday and you know what that means.. It’s time for our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread!  Here are a few recent stories to kick off the chat:

The recession is over in Vancouver
Developer selling units at 35% off 2006 presales price
Vancouver really needs to sell some condos
There may or may not have been a meeting
Smokin’ deals at the Electra
Mortgage terms explained for regular folk
Office vacancies continue to climb
Vancouver takes the lead!
Developer shuts down over migrant worker complaint

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

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Marko Juras

"life experience"

– 8 years of university education.

– 4 years experience working at Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA).

– I have worked for my father who is a builder/developer since I was 15 and have written 20+ page contracts for millio dollar homes homes under construction.

– I have bought a pre-sale condo, my girlfriend lives in a leaky condo and I have had to deal with her strata.

– I've grown up in Victoria so I have a variety of personal contacts in government, business, RCMP, etc.

Basically what I am trying to say – it is going to take a highschool student longer to work through the modules if they have never even heard of strata, have never bought or sold a place, paid taxes on a place, never done had exposure to college or university, etc.


@Marko Juras: What do you mean by, "life experience"? Do we not all have experience in life?

You're certainly a clever marketer!

The next Bob Rennie?

Marko Juras

The course is 20 modules. In a full day of studying I could do 5 modules. Time span wise the course took me 2 months just because I was working full time and doing my Masters through UBC. For someone with a highschool education and no life experience I can see 2-3 modules per day being more realistic thought.



@Anonymous: UBC has parceled off a lot of the UEL as leasehold. No, UBC has parceled off a lot of UBC proper as leasehold. Contrary to what a lot of people think, UBC has no ownership of or jurisdiction over the UEL. It's an unincorporated area of Metro Vancouver. The provincial government is responsible for local services. And the undeveloped part is leased to Metro Vancouver as Pacific Spirit Park. An odd setup. But again, I don’t know who owns that firehall. UBC does. UBC had their own fire department for many years, on the West Mall next to the computing centre. A while back they reached an agreement with the CoV to contract out fire protection. So they built that public safety building on Wesbrook. They also moved the RCMP office from its old location on Allison near U… Read more »


@Marko Juras: That's great that you're playing the zero-sum game of lowering commissions! That way, other REALTURDS© have to cut their commissions, too. Then, eventually, you'll all be starving because of you!

It's just like what Wal-Mart does… except that you yourself are both Wal-Mart and the poor, exploited countries.

And please tell me, in how many weekends did you finish your real estate licensing course, exactly? What is "a few"?

(I give you kudos, kid, for researching your audience.)


@Marko Juras:


When you are moving to Vancouver, and if not, can you offer your services remotely?


@House: Yes, I agree. The customer must feel s/he is getting what was paid for!

(Unless the customer is an unrealistic douchebag, of course!)

No More Gordocracies
Marko Juras

Hello, Marko Juras from here. I just noticed a large amount of traffic to my site from this thread. I am not very popular among my colleagues in Victoria; however, I think my business model is the way of the future. I just helped a buyer into a $735,000 home today listed at $770,000. Another $8,800 cash back for my client; I pocket a cool $3800 for about 15 hours of work. This was way more work than my typical buyer so far, I had to show this client 8 homes. I know poor me, I only made around $250/hour. I had two clients last month who already knew the homes they wanted to offer on, literally hours of work with more than fair compensation for myself, and 70% back to the buyer's equals some decent cheques. One buyer… Read more »


@logic: UBC and the surrounding area is either (a) University Endowment Lands (UEL) or (b) Musqueam Land. COV has no ownership nor authority over (eg: ability to tax) any of it, although they would dearly wish to.

Bankerman's question was about property assets owned by the COV; not about taxation authority. UBC has parceled off a lot of the UEL as leasehold. A leasehold is a real interest in property that can be sold on the open market. But again, I don't know who owns that firehall.


Those who are quoting Gandhi, please spell his name correctly – "Gandhi". Ghandi makes the 'd' sound like in 'sound' which makes it an abusive word in many Indian languages.



Recipe for Vancouver: Housing Bubble Perpetual Engine

Thanks for the link! Truly interesting.

It seems to me that it's precisely because of China's real estate bubble that perfectly good buildings could be wasted like that… not because they're trying to keep the party going…




In 1939 there were 10 million Americans working in manufacturing. In 2008, there were……12 million!


@Anon: 1. Wasn’t manufacturing the one advantage the allies had over the axis? If I recall correctly Germany and Japan had the advanced technology, America had the factories. Fastforward 2010….where has all the manufacturing gone?

In 1939 there were 10 million Americans working in manufacturing. In 2008, there were………14 million!

The percentage share of manufacturing jobs has fallen from a peak of about 19% of the workforce down to 10% now. But on the other had, with improved manufacturing processes and automation, those manufacturing employees are much more productive than they were in 1939.


Recipe for Vancouver: Housing Bubble Perpetual Engine


and by "either" I mean a mix of the two.



UBC and the surrounding area is either (a) University Endowment Lands (UEL) or (b) Musqueam Land. COV has no ownership nor authority over (eg: ability to tax) any of it, although they would dearly wish to. 🙂


@logic: They do have a firehall out there; don't know who (City or UBC) actually owns it though.


@Anonymous: Even if the prop tax number is 50% off it has a small effect on the calcs. Save your oh-so-witty "ass" quips for better arguments.


"They rig home inspections"

Any buyer who doesn't arrange their own independet inspection is a moron.



"Really? Where did I fuck up, that seems out of line."

You pulled the number for property tax out of your ass?


The listing agent fills a role and can add some value but not $10,000 plus worth.

The buyers agent is a joke. There is a reason the buyers agent is paid by the seller. That is who they are really working for. They are there to simply make a deal not make the best deal on behalf of the buyer. They rig home inspections, put pressure on to make offers and give poor misleading advice just to make a deal go through.


@shawnchong: A good agent is one who convinces you he was worth every penny.


@Devore: Cap rate doesn't include finance costs only NOI. In any case $220/mo on 440 sqft. Ouch.


@bridgeman: Brokers fill a role, but are overpriced. There, you happy? There is always a need for brokers, especially for complicated or very specific purchases. But you cannot deny that with the amount of public information available, and the relative ease of putting it online in a useful format (see Zillow), the need for brokers for "everyday" things quickly disappears. Certain specialized knowledge (like, for example, being very "plugged-in" into some area, like condo construction) can bring value to a buyer (by pointing out hidden construction issues), but those people would be far better off working as consultants rather then agents anyways. Lets face it, buying or selling the average house is not rocket science. People have somehow managed to do it for centuries. There are plenty of guides and resources for those new to this to get the job… Read more »