Friday Free-for-all!

It’s summer and it’s the end of another work week, what’s not to like? Friday is the day we do our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend, so let’s hop to it! Here are a few recent stories to kick off the chat:

BCREA predicts lower prices in 2012
Debunking the drivers of Vancouver RE prices
Vancouver prices never go down
Mayor blames wealthy foreigners
What’s happening in Richmond?
Paulb starts tracking market trend data by area
BC Ferries proposed service cuts to pay for executive salaries
BC Casinos to shift away from money laundering services
The end of free money for Wall Street?
Buying now cheaper than renting in 37 of 50 US cities

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

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@Eddie: I noticed this yesterday for the very first time. Was quite disappointed! Did the math and it wasn't worth buying them anymore vs the Tropicana OJ on sale. 🙂

flip flop

@ meth says "You either do something right or you don't do it at all. Is that so fucking hard to understand?" By that logic, the best course of action is no course of action, if the end does not justify the means. Or, if the old system isn't better than the new system, you don't spend the money to go back to it. Be a hater, but don't be stupid. You need to remember that this is a closed system. Dollars removed from one area have to taken from another, everything else being equal. That's why economists use perfect models for decision making. The sooner we move to a significant VAT, the sooner we can start seeing releif in the income taxes we pay. This country would be far better off if we just abolished the tax code and… Read more »



" I’m beginning to wonder if this is only the start of incentives across the very crowded field of condos for sale?"

Back in 2008/2009 they were offering cars.


Great full page ad in the Vancouver Sun yesterday for the The Village on False Creek. "2 bedrooms from $539,900"…"Take Everything on this page home"..when you move in today…a kayak, one year of skytrain travel, a bicycle, a gourmet cookware set, one year of travel on aquabus, modo car share membership for your day trip to Seattle, a patio barbie, coffee for a year, one year's worth of groceries and flowers, a pair of trainers to jog the seawall…limited time offer….take the package or $5000 (if only you will pay a few hundred thousand more than any of these units is worth!). Rennie is pushing hard to sell these lousy deals before this market heads over the falls without a barrel (is that a crashing sound I hear?)– poor us, the taxpayers, saddled with this loser. I'm beginning to wonder… Read more »

Best place on meth

Here's a downtown realtor with not much to do because of the "summer doldrums", but everything is fine and there's nothing to be alarmed about, it's a normal thing.

Things will surely pick up in the fall and lets just remind everyone again of those offshore buyers, particularly the ones from China. They're surely still lurking, waiting to snap up many, many properties.

"Lots of units for sale, please make an offer. Please call us. Lots to choose from. Call. Please."

Li Kai Worthing

Li Kai and I are in love


More incredible shrinking packaging (inflation)…

Minute Maid frozen juices are down to a new smaller size that only makes 1.18 litres vs 1.42 litres of the older cans. I was shocked as these things have been the same size for decades! Price is the same of course.

Li Kai Shing

Where is everybody?

Must be out putting in multiple offers on condos

Obvious sign of intelligent readers, except meth man,very cranky lately…maybe buy some Asian midol


@Chem Guy: It's because of posts like this that I continue to read this wonderfully crazy, idioTsyncratic blog. 😉

Best place on meth

Five Rules to Remember When Dealing with Real Estate Agents

Chem Guy

Some definitive proof that China's construction industry is starting to tank! I work in the industrial chemicals sector and there has been a massive demand shift in the last month. The US is a major global manufacturer of MDI and TDI (isocyanates used to make polyurethane) with about 90% of production for export to China since domestic demand fell off in 2008. Polyurethane is used primarily in construction therefore China's "build bubble" has still been driving demand. Go read the MD&A of BASF, Dupont, or Huntsman and you will get a clear idea of how much China is driving their operations in the gulf. Anyway, long story short, production has been turned down 25-30% at the three major MDI/TDI plants in the US due to demand falling off in China. Some new domestic supply coming online in China plays a… Read more »


excellent article if it hasn't been posted already, enjoy


Michael Pettis: China growth to slow rapidly to about 3% in the coming decade Why do I say we will be talking about 3% growth soon? Two reasons. First, I am impressed by the bleakness of historical precedents. Every single case in history that I have been able to find of countries undergoing a decade or more of “miracle” levels of growth driven by investment (and there are many) has ended with long periods of extremely low or even negative growth – often referred to as “lost decades” – which turned out to be far worse than even the most pessimistic forecasts of the few skeptics that existed during the boom period. I see no reason why China, having pursued the most extreme version of this growth model, would somehow find itself immune from the consequences that have afflicted every… Read more »

YLTN @ Work

Speaking of cuts, here is a good place to start:… Yes, I know it is Vancouver and not provincial but do we rea Ly need a police force that pays the best in the country? I don't think they do the best job in the country. It also makes me when you think about the US and how being a police officer is a very respectable position because like teachers down there you re not paid that much so do the job because you really want to serve your community. Up here, totally different. My buddy, an engineer of ten years just took a job paying 85k per year and 2 weeks vacation – no overtime. Clearly he should have been a traffic cop. Dont give me the BS of cops putting their lives at risk either, only very… Read more »


@fixie guy: "that does raise the question of how we would know who to tax making over $200K/yr"

Quite. According to Bush2, you can never adequately tax the rich because they're smart enough to avoid them, so why bother. Ask your high income neighbours about the miracle of the "sole proprietorship".

Best place on meth

@fixie guy:

Easy, nail them at the gate when they first arrive under the Immigrant Investor Program.

$25 million payable upon entry, non-refundable. Or if you want to cut them a break then make it $20 million.

fixie guy

165 jesse Says: "…if the rumours are true and nobody is declaring all their foreign-derived income, a significant increase in income taxes for those making above $200K/year would be rather popular."

Of course, that does raise the question of how we would know who to tax making over $200K/yr if they're not declaring income. =D


All i know is that when i look out the window in vancouver, realtors and police officers are making more money than MDs, … Contractors are fully employed, engineers are struggling to find work… “successful” small business owners are feeling the pinch yet there are more BMWs on the road being driven by people who have not worked a day in canada.

Does this makes sense? History tells us that there are rarely “new normals”


@fixie guy: "it’s one in which others pay for the services they receive."

Well if the rumours are true and nobody is declaring all their foreign-derived income, a significant increase in income taxes for those making above $200K/year would be rather popular.


@Anonymous: 157 therein is my biggest rub with the no campaign. The argument that HST is a net positive doesn't explain the new expense item on the income statements for many people. Selling it as anything other than a tax rise makes people scratch their heads.


@Anonymous: 161: Sorry it has to be said that you are delusional. There will be unintended consequences of this vote but that does not mean the Libs secretly wanted yes. I don't need a degree to understand that.

Your resorting to intellectual elitism is a weak argument. Maybe it shows that public education funding needs to increase substantially. But if your argument is true that BC is 55% full of idiots I'd say we're in a "stupidity trap" and making "good" policy decisions like the HST paradoxically makes the province stupider.

fixie guy

154 jesse Says: "What tax system would be popular with the Chinese voters then?"

The arguments posted here suggest it's one in which others pay for the services they receive.



"Do you really think Liberals are laughing? I don’t. There is little doubt they wanted a no vote."

That is what they want you to think. You have been sucked in. They have just been given the mandate to raise taxes. They couldn't be laughing harder. When they cut social programs, raise fees, etc they just blame the NDP and its followers for getting rid of the HST all the while keeping the 12% tax.

Just like the Conservatives didn't want an election last spring. They sucked in the Liberals to get the election and the majority they wanted. This also sunk the Liberals so they pretty much should have another majority to follow.


Gordholio 61:

Only a few, but some pretty acerbic comments on the Vancouver Sun editorial!

And justifiably so. The editorial included on the The Editorial Page for Friday Aug 26, represents the Newspaper's view.

"The EDITORIALS that appear in this space represent the opinion of the Vancouver Sun newspaper…The positions taken in the editorials are arrived at through discussion among the members of the newspaper's editorial board, which operates independently from the news departments of the paper."

In short, it appears that the editorial board felt compelled to increase revenues for the paper by kowtowing to one of their largest ad contributers.

I'm surprise they haven't filtered out the feedback!


"Have you ever gone west of Bute"

How about you? Looks like you are spending Sat night alone on the computer.