Friday Free-for-all!

It’s that time again. Let’s do our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend. Here are a few recent stories that caught our eye:

Market cools as HST bites into Vancouver prices
The embarrassment of admitting you prefer renting
Wealthy on paper, couple needs more real dollars
Politicians may not make the best developers
The era of 5% commissions may be gone soon
TD changes their mortgages to lines of credit
Best to buy when interest rates are dropping
Real estate as intertwined as financial markets
Depression 2.0
That lovely place in the Hamptons is far cheaper now

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

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doug r


I guess that's why they're contemplating voted for that loon Angle. Fed up desperate people will do strange things.



The real issue is that sitting tenant rent controls (as we have in BC) are irrelevant to the market rent, since the market rent by definition is that of properties that are on the rental market, and such properties have no controls on rent.

Simply use the asking rents of properties on the market against selling prices and you have irrefutable evidence of the size of the bubble. That the sitting tenant rent controls appear to be moot, as you've pointed out, is further evidence but not necessary.

That Mr. Klump cannot see this, or pretends not to see it, is irrefutable evidence of how dumb he is, or how dumb he thinks the public is, respectively.


@fixie guy: "serve mostly to isolate tenants from dramatic short term swings"

I agree on this; thanks for clarifying. (I think I had your comments confused with someone else.)

fixie guy

@ jesse Says: "If you have evidence to support that rent clamps are activating, post it here."

Why would I do that since I've written the exact opposite? The controls appear to be irrelevant long term and probably serve mostly to isolate tenants from dramatic short term swings and make them feel like the province is doing something substantive for them.

Re: Calgary, Sauder data shows its rent index as almost constant since the early Eighties save for a small increase starting around 2007. If I recall correctly Alberta and BC led the country in wage growth for the past few years but I don't put much weight on that since the main industrial growth has been real estate so its permanence is far from assured.


Some of the rebuilds on west-side are too shoddy to even mask – China buyers are now looking at structural condition (sure sign that buyers plan to hold for a while).

Message to builders – if on a seven figure lot; investing an extra 100K, for quality, in downish market, can help push the product.



This is WHY I left academia, c*cksuckers


@fixie guy: "Has Vancouver been bubblier over the last 25?"

From my experience, almost no rental property is increased at the rent control limit. If you have evidence to support that rent clamps are activating, post it here. Rents in Calgary have increased because salaries there have increased substantially faster than Vancouver's.

Rent control is a red herring. A look at condo yields in both cities shows how much worse a deal owning property in Vancouver is on a cash flow basis. On a condo that depreciates rapidly, that's a sure-fire recipe for losing money.

fixie guy

patriotz Says: It makes no difference to the earnings, yield or total return on any asset what the prices were before you bought it. Yes, if you ignore all prior knowledge and posit some bizarre artificial world in which Calgary and Vancouver in in 1999 were 50% of true rental-justified value, or ignore that real wages haven't increased +200% in ten years, or even the earlier parts of this thread discussing the past decade's real rent growth. Certainly there is a blinkered, improbable view in which the real price increases these graphs demonstrate say nothing but it takes a one of almost complete ignorance of prior conditions. Most choose not to use it. Those who view historical data as an indicator of normalcy, graphs of inflation adjusted increases have much to say. Maybe you missed that real values, accounting for… Read more »


206 Best place on meth

Ya have to wonder why they don't show the basement suite. Is this John Wayne Gacy's ex – house?

Best place on meth

The desperation of the amateur landlords has reached hysterical proportions.

Seriously inquiries only? Seriously?

Are there even windows or are those just vents?

A. Einstein

Well said trips

This is the problem with you people, alwsys engaged in cerebral ONANism.

The only one that make sense is my 2nd cousin patriotz.


"@A.Einstein: “Given that other academics have concluded that we only use 10% of our brains”

And which “academic” is this? This is one of the largest incorrect myths going. Any high resolution MRI scan can tell you that."

he meant vancouverites only use 10% of their heart. the other 90% is black with greed.


@fixie guy: The fact that Teranet doesn't publish data before 99 in Calgary doesn't stop us from looking at average data from the past to look for general trends. From that we can see using data from 99 onwards does not "offset" the results between Calgary and Vancouver.


@fixie guy:

One more time, past prices – and that includes start, duration and rate of increase – have nothing to do with whether housing or any other asset is in a bubble. It's determined by present price and future earnings and interest rates, i.e. present price versus fundamental value. It makes no difference to the earnings, yield or total return on any asset what the prices were before you bought it.

fixie guy

@ painted turtle

"The Ascent of Money" is a hugely entertaining TV series and the book currently can be found for around $10.

painted turtle

A very interesting (and instructive) interview of

a Harvard prof about:

the financial crisis

history of bubbles

the current state of the economy

the China-America symbiosis

real estate markets


Well, I have to give kudos to at least one realtor.

Inquired (via e-mail )of a few central BC real estate firms re: a holding I am thinking of selling.

Only ONE realtor replied. However this party is well known for hustling and getting off their ass, even though lisitngs can be miles apart in such rural locales.

Kept their promise, and viewed the site and gave me a market appraisal, which, believe it or not, was more than I thought it would be.

He did say the market was slow, and that listing it now wouldn't be adviseable (which I knew, hot times are Spring and early Fall)

A. Einstein

197 logic

I'm dead you dipsh*t, I am texting from a black hole


dear dimwit,

You sound very much like someone who has been denied tenure. A bitch for you, but most likely a blessing for your students.

A. Einstein

188 logic

Some students do complete in less than 4, due to overloading and summer semesters.


My undergrad students used to call them " Asians "

fixie guy

@190 jesse

I like Teranet because it's a sales pair index and closer to the Case Shiller. For whatever reason their spreadsheet has nothing for Calgary prior to Feb 99.

A. Einstein


are you a log-ger wannabee?

Obviously, the on line black-hole is censorship by parties that won't admit I am caling a spade a spade. They wasted time manufacturing tenure for others and in the meantime wonder why they can't afford RE.

You should have gotten a union job…ie janitor after High School…you'd probably own 2 houses by now.

Look at me, I didn't patent E = MCC , and I used to be a F'n patent clerk.


IMHO disallowing legal representation under any circumstance would of course lead to disaster. Can anyone imagine a situation where the ICBC's of the world got to decide who was deserving of damages or not? Members of the public needs a representative to translate the bizarre and byzantine legal system, designed by lawyers, into lay English….and advocate on their behalf in a world which has been designed to be unwelcoming to the general publc…it is not always a matter of winning vs losing. There are litigious commercial , civic/moral issues that contain a myriad of concerns, trancending dollars and cents….or winning scores. In our rule of law based on precedence, the system would quickly be skewed by decisions where the original reason for contention was swayed by the monetary consideration of any potential result. Fiends like ICBC would find fertile ground… Read more »


@domus: I thought 1 percent already had access to MLS? I see there listings on there all the time. I haven't been following this closely, but I can't figure out what has changed with this agreement


@A.Einstein: "Given that other academics have concluded that we only use 10% of our brains"

And which "academic" is this? This is one of the largest incorrect myths going. Any high resolution MRI scan can tell you that.