Friday Free-for-all!

It’s the end of another work week and that means it’s time for our regular weekend news roundup and open topic discussion thread.  Here are a few links to kick off the chat:

Time to panic on the housing market
Very few expiries means a quick return to the 15k party.
We’re at the highest inventory for this time of year in years
Tighter mortgage regulations expected
Do banks need to boost risk?
Housing prices flat or falling
House prices drive away staff
Alarming rise in homeless families
Here’s the fake GVREB press release
Seattle (down 32%) was supposed to be immune to price drops
Irish tiger left lots of empty homes

 

And just one more reminder:  If you register for an account, you must use it to leave a comment here or it will be deleted.  There have been a number of new registrations lately that have not added any comments.  We don’t want to force you to participate in the conversation, but a number or fraudulent registrations preceded our recent site problems.

Please just leave a single on comment topic if you want to keep your registration active otherwise it will be deleted.

Thanks, and let us know what are you seeing out there.  Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

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VMD
Member
As I’ve alluded to on Feb 29, where “According to RBC mortgage adviser Jason Wang, he is warning that 5 year fixed rates may be on the rise soon, and that better rates nowadays only allow 60 days preapproval, some only 30 days” – Canadian Mortgage Trends just posted on Mar 1st re: [The Scramble for Insured Quick-Closes] “Several smaller lenders are now running promotions on insured quick-close (IQC) mortgages, specifically those with 5-year fixed terms.” “Quick closes” are mortgages that must close within 30-45 days—sometimes within 60 days. “Insured” means the borrower must pay a default insurance premium—which is routine when you put down less than 20%. A greater number of IQC promotions have started popping up within the past week. Those specials generally entail either: lower rates (e.g., ~10 bps extra discounting), or slightly higher compensation for brokers… Read more »
ewman
Guest
ewman

That “it’s different here” Seattle article is awesome. Seattle is actually down -37% in real dollars (inflation adjusted).

VMD
Member

[Friday funnies: Property developers are hiring security guard to…]

“Remember last year when property developers started to cut prices, what those owners who previously bought the apartments did? Yes, they went to smash things at the sales office.

So developers in Hangzhou have to hire more security guards to fend off the “enemies”.

In order to avoid existing owners to go on war against the developers, they now have learned to sell the new flats rather more secretly.

One even hire people to smash the sales office “so that there is nothing else for existing owners to smash”. (!!??)

http://www.alsosprachanalyst.com/real-estate/property-developers-are-hiring-security-guard-to.html

patriotz
Member

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/realestate/real-estate-for-499000.html

SEATTLE

WHAT: A three-bedroom, one-bath Craftsman

HOW MUCH: $499,000

SIZE: 2,460 square feet

PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT: $202.85

SETTING: This house is in the North Admiral neighborhood in the western part of Seattle on a small peninsula between Elliott Bay and the Puget Sound. The architecture includes Tudors, Dutch Colonials, Victorians and Craftsmans; more contemporary houses dot nearby bluffs and have better views of the city skyline, the bay and the sound.

Three blocks away is the neighborhood’s commercial strip, California Avenue, which has bars, banks, cafes, restaurants, grocers and the Admiral Theater, a 1942 Art Deco movie theater and concert hall. Several parks are within a mile, including the 53-acre Schmitz Preserve Park with its old growth forest and walking paths, Alki Beach Park and Hamilton Viewpoint, which overlooks Elliott Bay and the city skyline.

vreaa
Member

‘South Surrey Building Blitzkrieg’

Thoughts and Images by Gord Goble

http://wp.me/pcq1o-3L0

A very nice photo essay.
Gord was concerned that this may be too “preachy”, but we say “Hallelujah, Brother!”.
If you know the truth in a time when the majority don’t, it’s okay to shout it from the roof-tops, or, like a song-writer, to sing it again each night, in different variations.

“I brought a song into this world
Just a melody with words
It trembles here before my eyes
How can this song survive?

I brought it to the tower of gold
In my coat of many holes
I came unarmed, they’ve all got knives
How can this song survive? ”

– Ron Sexsmith, ‘This Song’
(Now there is something about Vancouver that really is world class…)

i.see.debt.people.in.trouble
Guest
i.see.debt.people.in.trouble

Interesting read. This could be GVR area sometime down the road.

“Foreclosure scout discloses ‘dirty tricks and blatantly illegal practices’ of his job” pastebin.com link:

http://pastebin.com/KrnzPYjH

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@patriotz: then why didnt you move there? why have to move all the way across the country. oh by the way, got job yet?

Scott
Guest
Scott

@Anonymous: someone’s got a crush on patriotz <3

VHB
Member
VHB

Here are the March norms

March
sell list sell/list
2001 2315 3805 60.8%
2002 3392 5168 65.6%
2003 3304 4272 77.3%
2004 4371 5709 76.6%
2005 3938 5083 77.5%
2006 4033 5767 69.9%
2007 3582 5456 65.7%
2008 2997 5674 52.8%
2009 2265 4385 51.7%
2010 3137 7004 44.8%
2011 4080 6797 60.0%
Mean 3401 5375 63.3%
median 3392 5456 65.6%

Makaya
Member
Makaya

Does anybody on this blog knows about Austin, Tx? I’ve just got an offer to relocate there from my company. Not quite sure if I should take it yet. Salary will be better, less vacations (which really sucks in my situation), more affordable housing, etc. I would be required to move within the next two months!
If you have been or lived there, how did you like/dislike it?

Thanks guys

Maverick
Guest
Maverick

@Makaya:

Austin is a beautiful city and the most liberal in TX. FYI, all the major TX cities are quite liberal and generally friendly. It’s not what you’d expect. Quite a lot of culture and friendly people.

Property taxes are high, but the cost of living is riduculously cheap.

And believe it or not, you’ll be surprised how green it is. Most people think TX is all desert and tumbleweeds, but it is very green, lots of parks and forests. Especially Austin. As much as Vancouver, really (actually moreso this time of year).

Not to plug a company (to each their own – evaluate your alternatives), but check out http://www.crossborderinvesting.com for some relocation planning info.

VanDweller
Member
VanDweller
@VHB: Hi VHB. I just reformatted your post (using the newly introduced PRE tag). Hopefully it’s easier to read Here are the March norms March . sell list sell/list 2001 2315 3805 60.8% 2002 3392 5168 65.6% 2003 3304 4272 77.3% 2004 4371 5709 76.6% 2005 3938 5083 77.5% 2006 4033 5767 69.9% 2007 3582 5456 65.7% 2008 2997 5674 52.8% 2009 2265 4385 51.7% 2010 3137 7004 44.8% 2011 4080 6797 60.0% Mean 3401 5375 63.3% median 3392 5456 65.6%
George Costanza
Guest
George Costanza

Believe it or not, George isn’t at home! Please leave a message at the beep! I must be out or I’d pick up the phone, where could I be?! Believe it or not, I’m not home!!!!

defaul
Guest
defaul

@Makaya: you should move there. need to free out space here, getting too crowded.

Scott
Guest
Scott

@Makaya: I’ve only been to Austin once, but I’d definately move there given the chance. It’s green with a great culture and lots of friendly people. True its hot in the summer, but AC everywhere and real easy to find a house with a pool to enjoy the weather. Great restaurants too! I’m headed there again in the fall.

Can you go for a visit before you make your decision to see if it suits you?

Burbs Boy
Guest
Burbs Boy

Makaya: Many of my co-workers are all in Texas (some in Austin), and although I have not been there I can report that to a person they are very happy in Texas. Many of them have relocated from various other places around the US (Virginia, Connecticut, etc). I have not heard any of them say that they regretted the move… more money, great weather, lots to do… two of them were just in Vancouver yesterday and mentioned that everytime they come here is is “grey and drizzlely”.. I had to explain that we get some really nice weather at times, but yes we do have to put up with a lot of rain at times as well…

betamax
Guest
betamax
Darren
Guest
Darren

@Makaya: It don’t matter who’s in Austin, Bob Wills is still the king

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Makaya: you should move there. your current landlord will kick you out in a few months anyway.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Burbs Boy: guns are cheap there. children are free to bing guns to school; everyone is happy in texas.

Tim
Guest
Tim

@Anonymous: You’re thinking of Surrey.

Laibach
Guest
Laibach

@Anonymous:

It must be sad to be you, life sucks.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Laibach: it must be sad to be priced-out. lives smell like death fishes.

Maverick
Guest
Maverick

@Anonymous:

Who is priced out? Not me. I just don’t make stupid financial decisions.

I do have a stake though – the impending RE collapse is going to hurt a lot of folks, including me (indirectly).

Allowing speculative mania to introduce huge price volatility is a huge mistake for long-term wealth generation.

Thusfar, the masses seem to believe it only works in one direction (up). Those of us who know better do wish it were popped sooner – because the longer it goes on, the greater the wealth destruction.

Even if you do believe the hype about HAM and foreign money – know this – a large % of it is always transitory. In every case.

WS
Guest
WS

@Mikayla

Ex-Vancouverite, current 10 year Socal’r here. Austin is the best city in Texas by far. Young, hip, cool, techy mid sized city still with a college town feel. A little weird and cool and lefty like Portland but not that bad. I would think the vibe from Vancouver and Austin would mix well. Not much of the Texas stereo-type there.
Personally I wouldn’t move to Houston or Dallas if given the choice but would go to Austin in a second and San Antonio after that.

Never really had a bubble and crash. Housing prices are fairly good, high property taxes, but no state income taxes.

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