Friday Free-for-all!

Hey, it’s springtime in paradise!  It’s also the end of another work week and that means it’s time for another news roundup and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.  Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

It’s looking like a day for a 16k party
RE/Max: Housing off to a strong start
Who’s in charge of regulation?
Expect no housing moves in budget
CMHC to dramatically curtail growth
Risks of CMHC mortgage cover
What now Mr. Flaherty?
Affordable housing, why bother?
10 story wooden condo tower
UBC housing action plan (VIDEO)
People don’t like a driving tax
No springtime for chinese property market

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

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[…] to throw every spare penny into paying off the mortgage sooner. They are both accountants.” – TPFKAA at 25 Mar 2012 3:39pm Share:TwitterFacebookRedditStumbleUponDigg This entry was posted in 05. Where do Buyers get the […]


@MM: “People here have been brainwashed with a 50′s style dream of living in a nice house in a spotless suburb and driving to work in that shiny new car. Sorry, but that’s not how real cities look.”

Maybe not cities but plenty of towns still look like that. The problem isn’t the dream, the problem is where you try to live it! Big city living is highly over rated. Move to a smaller town, save lots, work less, have a better lifestyle and retire in comfort. What could be better than that? I’ll give you a hint – it doesn’t involve: multi-hour commutes or living in a shoe box, and never seeing the sun.


@jumpin in:

The real estate price will likely decrease because of the Evergreen line. Many people who live in Poco don’t want a skytrain. Otherwise, they would live in Surrey.


This is probably not coming soon to a city near you, because people here, while very nice, don’t have this capacity to laugh at themselves, so we will have much more depressing versions of the same thing.


“they also intend to move out 5 years later in order to buy a house so they can have kids while she goes on maternity leave”

Are they scared someone will hear them making the kids? Is that why they have to wait until they are in a detached house?

People here have been brainwashed with a 50’s style dream of living in a nice house in a spotless suburb and driving to work in that shiny new car. Sorry, but that’s not how real cities look.

Guy Smiley

@ Maykaya

Hahahaha. Can’t afford staging? Go take some pictures at Ikea! You think they might try harder to avoid price tags. And two kitchens in an 875 sq ft apartment? How novel.


@Patiently Waiting: well, that how they make it. unlife you chicken sh$t, jealous of your rich sister for life; grow some hair on your balls, will you.


Now that Central-Canadian movers and shakers are being hit with an affordability crisis in places like Toronto, presto….policy response!


@bubbly: “10 story wooden condo tower”

How much you want to bet that they call it: “The Torch” 🙂


Oh my…

Look at this listing and click on “view additional picture”…

Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! please tell me they got this Realtor for free…

Patiently Waiting

@Anonymous: More about Angela Calla from an old Garth Turner blog post.

Is it just me or does she look ten years older than her age? 😛


I have a sub-prime story for you: My in-laws recently bought into a townhouse development that completes in April. Their gross household income is around 100k. I just found out the details of the purchase: Price of unit: 540,000 Downpayment: 108,000 (20% to avoid having to pay CMHC insurance) Mortgage amount: $432,000 Now for the sub-prime part: Downpayment came from 3 sources: 1) 25,000 came from parents’ HELOC. 2) 80,000 came from a line of credit from a major Canadian bank (WHO THE F*** GAVE THEM THIS MONEY AND WHY???) 3) 3,000 came from their own savings. So, while boasting that their mortgage payments are *only* 1800 a month, they also intend to pay down their line of credit at a rate of $1,000 a month for the next 6.66 years, as well as make interest only payments on their… Read more »


@Patiently Waiting:

The 29-year-old started saving aggressively in her mid-teens and by 20, was able to purchase her first piece of property. From then through 26, she bought a new property each year while still living at home.

That’s some leverage she’s using and all of it in real estate. Did she mention to the viewers that she’s totally screwed if the market corrects?

Patiently Waiting

“(My parents) would much rather me stay at home and save than to not have anything to show for the rent I was paying,” said Angela Calla, host of CKNW’s The Mortgage Show. The 29-year-old started saving aggressively in her mid-teens and by 20, was able to purchase her first piece of property. From then through 26, she bought a new property each year while still living at home. … No bubble to see here, move along folks. … The average age of first-time homebuyers has also dropped since 2007 and now hovers around 30 with some are as young as 21, said Tracie McTavish, Rennie Marketing Systems president. “These are more the first-time investor,” he said of the many young people who had pre-registered for the Marine Gateway development at the foot of Cambie Street. “Their intent is… Read more »


It’s been a while, but here are the monthly MOI calculations for each of BCREA’s sales regions. Feb 2012 MOI is shown, with Feb 2011 shown in brackets for comparison. BC Northern Inventory: 2092 Sales: 287 MOI: 7.3 (10) Chilliwack Inventory: 1616 Sales: 133 MOI: 12.2 (8.3) Fraser Valley Inventory: 7475 Sales: 1195 MOI: 6.3 (6.0) Greater Vancouver Inventory: 14753 Sales:2572 MOI: 5.7 (4.1) Kamloops Inventory: 1852 Sales: 153 MOI: 12.1 (10.5) Kootenay Inventory: 2511 Sales: 97 MOI: 25.9 (20.6) Okanagan Mainline Inventory: 5325 Sales: 367 MOI: 14.5 (16.3) Powell River Inventory: 239 Sales: 24 MOI: 10.0 (9.5) South Okanagan Inventory: 1644 Sales: 98 MOI: 16.8 (19.5) Northern Lights Inventory: 221 Sales: 47 MOI: 4.7 (10.3) Vancouver Island Inventory: 5285 Sales: 440 MOI: 12.0 (11.4) Victoria Inventory: 3108 Sales: 482 MOI: 6.4 (6.4) Provincial Totals Inventory: 46121 Sales: 5895 MOI:… Read more »

Tick Tock

RE Depreciation reports…. this will become a boomimg business for those who are able to provide them, 1 thing you can count on is that they will be associated with contractors/tradesmen who will benefit from their findings, there are no shortage of older complexes which will require significant work over the next decade on, once these reports are handed back to strata councils throughout 2013-2014, this will only add to the oversupply of units for sale. If i were a condo owner i would get out while the gettings good.



The mantra since the early 80’s has been “Everyone is replaceable!”

When you replace tradesmen with drug-addicted monkeys you get exactly this. If you had paid just a fraction more to hire qualified people, your condo might actually be a liveable space and last longer than ten years.

Penny wise, pound foolish.


@oneangryslav2: I agree that presales buyers enable crappy construction, but that’s just shocking for a brand new building. I’ve seen handyman basement suite renos that look better, and the painting is atrocious!


Here’s an interesting link to a website which should be called, “why spending $400,000 dollars on a pre-sale condo during the world’s greatest high-rise condo bubble makes you nowhere near as smart as you think you are.” “Why must we go around scraping the excess foam off? Didn’t we pay $400k for our unit? Didn’t we take on a huge amount of debt and use up our savings??? Doesn’t decent workmanship come with the price?” While I’m not defending the shoddy workmanship (to which the pictures at the like easily attest), what the hell did you expect? You bought at pre-sale condo during a condo building boom, fer chrissakes! With that much building going on at the same time, there just might be a chance that a few of the people being paid to put these places together may… Read more »

[…] local observer Says: March 25th, 2012 at 8:58 am […]

Initia Nova

These types of reports are common in Both Alberta and Ontario (don’t know about the other provinces). Overall, I think they are a good idea since they give the condo boards an idea of how to plan out the buildings over the long haul. Yes in some cases it may hurt owners if their condo has upcoming spending, but at least there is transparency which is a plus for potential buyers.

local observer

Re depreciation reports Legislation came into effect December 13, 2011 stating strata corporations of 5 units or more must have their first depreciation report done within two years, i.e. by December 13, 2013. The main purpose of the depreciation reports is disclosure. The document will provide an excellent determinate of future risk. Even is the report itself doesn’t force the strata to rethink their planning strategy and increase fees owners (and prospective buyers) will have an insight into their future financial planning, being able to know when major costs may arise. While one would think that planning for the future is a good thing, many condo owners think (hope) they’ll be able to sell before any special assessment for things like a boiler repair comes due. With a specific and detailed report listing future costs and when repairs/maintenance should be… Read more »


Anecdote Alert I know a 27 year old female who has a boy friend, not a husband, not fiance, just a boy friend. The two of them are shopping for condos around the lower mainland. Not only are they young and unmarried, but they also just recently started proper employment. The female has only found full time work in her career path for less than a year and she is in a profession that makes between $50 to $80k/year. When asked why they want to buy a condo that they don’t plan on living in, the response was “I always dreamed of owning an investment condo”. It gets worse. They believe a condo is “cheap” because they only need a $70K down payment to secure a condo (their figure). It gets worse: In order to make the down payment, they… Read more »


Wrong analogy.

It’s “hang the other guy and I won’t hang you” (prisoner’s dilemma).