Friday Free-for-all Spring Break edition!

Spring Break! And it’s that time of the week again, time to do our regular news roundup and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.  Here are a few stories to kick off the chat:

CREA predicts sharp price drop in BC
Canadian prices to ease this year
Vancouver to push down national avg.
Should you sell your condo today?
Inventory rocket still rising
Is there a Dr. Kevorkian for condos?
Economists warn of overheating market
Van sales jump 61.4% in February 2012
Toronto has highest condo asking price
Casey Serin
Big Discount Mortgage Blow-out sale!
Buy Britney Spears house for $4 mil off
Possible Condo Glut coming
Buy a nice house, forget about retiring
Vancouvers demographic timebomb

And of course it’s spring break time!  Is this the week to get out of town and explore the world or are you sticking close to home?  Is it vacation time lounging by a pool or is it just a hassle to find childcare and another week of office drudgery?  At least the sun occasionally shines, spring is in the air!

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

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I Want to Stay!
My journey into Vancouver’s real estate racket, and dark nights of the soul about selling out my artist friends. First in a series.
By Luke Brocki,


@patriotz: ….Truly the city where reality and reason take a holiday…..

Well, if your body can’t get away from the rain for a holiday, you might as well let you mind wander to sunnier pastures.


“Owning is impossibly expensive, but land is somehow and irrefutably a good investment.”

Just another variation on “RE never goes down”. Totally at odds with evidence and theory.

Truly the city where reality and reason take a holiday.


Here is a Tyee/CBC collaboration penned by Luke Brocki. The gist:

“Renting is working for me. Owning is impossibly expensive, but land is somehow and irrefutably a good investment. So, I’m going to make decision that flies in the face of reason and go house-hunting.”

It’s a familiar refrain, but when it’s written down in a short essay, it really does look absurd.

For those who can wait, it’s possible that Vancouver is going to become a renter’s mecca. Maybe then we’ll stop losing our creative class to Saskatoon or debt serfdom.


@SourLemon: Look at % employment in construction.

fixie guy

@178 SourLemon: Does the definition of FIRE industry include construction and direct spin-offs like home improvement retail (Rona, etc.), forestry, etc.? Part of the impact of the US crash on BC was destroying the demand for lumber.


@Best place on meth:
“I guess the mayor must have bought his house in the 80′s.”

As did I, and I paid well under 20% of my income on it for a long time.

The mean does not tell you much about the margin.


RBC Financial Markets Monthly report suggests potential for mortgage rule tightening by March 29 Budget.

(page 3) “…This may reflect expectations that the Minister of Finance will tighten mortgage lending rules again in the March 29 Budget that will adequately slow growth in mortgage demand.”


Haha, holy shit. From castanet:

“‘In Noosa this week, new three and four-bedroom homes that last sold for $1.5 million are now in the hands of receivers and have price tags of between $395,000 and $450,000′”

His take:

“While the real estate market may be slow, I think that the tide is turning over here”


Amazingly, based on the information from stats can, the FIRE industry only increased by about 2% from the 2001 levels. In 2001 FIRE/GDP was 18.9%, in 2010, that number is 20.8%.

Although alot has changed since 2001.

2001 being in the midst of the tech bubble bursting and 2010 being near peak of the Canadian RE bubble.



Stats Canada information for 2010: FIRE GDP is 20% (.257/1.2340 of national GDP. I would assume that your 27% figure is BC only as the business tax year for 2011 is over yet and Vancouver has to be more than 27%.



@Best place on meth:

“For most of us, housing is our biggest expense. One out of every five dollars we earn goes to build, buy, rent and run our homes.”

Actually, I think that underestimated the number a little. Didn’t someone post a link to an article here a week or so ago, which claimed that housing and housing-related economic activity, was responsible for 27% of GDP? I can’t recall if that was BC only, or for all of Canada.



Most inventors who bought presales over the past 3 or 4 years have lost money and are holding for better prices. I think a lot of them are trying to rent furnished in order to make it work. The furnished suites end up sitting empty. At some point they will have to bail.

This is why I think that when the crash finally occurs, vacancy rates will rise, rather than fall. There are tens of thousands of suites sitting empty right now.

jumpin in

@Best place on meth: “One out of every five dollars we earn goes to build, buy, rent and run our homes”

I’ll bet you a measly $10,000 his house’s value has increased by over 50% since he bought it.


@ZRH2YVR: ” I think the end of June market update will be the one where the market picks shows its true colours and at that point we will probably all see that the Emperor has no clothes.”

My best guess is prices peak in June. If this market is anything like 2008, sales will start faltering in April and inventory growth will remain strong well into the summer. It’s still unclear to me there was any preceding trigger for weakness in the spring of 2008. BC was starting its recession around then and banks would have been starting to get skittish with goings-on in the credit markets.

How about 2012… from what I see clawing back credit is a big risk for current prices.

Best place on meth

@Many Franks:

I tried to read Gregors article but couldn’t get past the second sentence due to uncontrollable laughter.

“For most of us, housing is our biggest expense. One out of every five dollars we earn goes to build, buy, rent and run our homes.”

I guess the mayor must have bought his house in the 80’s.

Best place on meth


Nobody cares what Chipman has to say, not even his mom.


@Anonymous: “A perfect example are the many units being rented out at the Olympic Village”

I’m not sure if you’re referring to the City of Vancouver renting these out — they have rented out an entire building — or private holders. I expect more than a few of the latter as well.



Do like I do; knock ’em over. (The sandwich boards, not the Realturds®)


@Loving Being Abroad:

If you ‘love being a broad’ buck up, pay for the operation and get it over with while you are in Thailand!!!!


@fixie guy: “vocational”

Ouch. Because it’s true.


i wish you could post pictures on here, right now there are 4 realtor sandwich boards on the corner of my small block in Kitsilano. I’ve never seen that before and I’ve lived here for many,many years….so exciting!


Chipman out with his latest opinion. After dissing VHB for being wrong and he was right on RE prices forma few years ago, now he say:

“As is becoming the trend, the sell/list is higher near the end of the week. The long rumoured meltdown isn’t happening yet, and interest rates are staying low.”

The day before he said inventory build up was looking good for bears.

Gotta cover yer bases!


@Anonymous: …What you are describing is flipping a house. Yes we know that is done all the time. You don’t even have to renovate to make money. It has nothing to do with money laundering. You have a great imagination though….

Good comeback.