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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patriotz
Member

Ottawa plans to replace the immigrant entrepreneur program it shelved last year with a new system aimed at identifying and speeding the path for “high value innovators,” Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says.

Translation: bring on the suitcases of money. Told ya so.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-to-target-high-value-entrepreneurs-with-new-immigration-program/article2363479/

jesse
Member
@patriotz: This sounds like a fail even before the program starts, but the requirement to work for an existing firm for a year is an interesting change. The entrepreneur class has dwindled to a trickle mostly because almost all enrolled in the program failed to produce a sustainable pattern of job creation after their requisite business ownership duty expired. In the ’80s and ’90s there were businesses I remember known to simply be a front for immigration fulfilment. As soon as the time was up they sold, often to another immigrant “entrepreneur”. It will be interesting to see how the program is structured but I know a few immigrant forums will be full of discussions on how to game the system. For example working for a firm with “significant business interests in the country of origin” would pay an immigrant… Read more »
real_professional
Member

MUST READ!

The Canadian housing agency’s vulnerability to mortgage defaults has soared nine-fold in 20 years, approaching levels reached by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the U.S. at the height of the housing boom. Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. says its finances are secure unless the country plunges into deep recession for several years.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/ghost-of-fannie-mae-haunts-canada-as-exposure-worsens-mortgages.html

registered
Member
registered

2 jesse Says:“It does appear, though, that the government has decided an unguised “pay for entry” path is a bad idea.”

‘Appear’ is well chosen because I don’t recall seeing the notion discounted. Given the numbers I crunched a while back on what it means to the Feds in terms of interest free loans, eliminating it would be surprising. Far more disconcerting is, even with numbers entering not seen in generations, this was considered a problem:

“The bar was always being raised. They were requiring more documentation … They wanted financial statements and then required audited statements and then reviews of statements by particular auditors.”

Heaven forbid Canada perform due diligence to protect itself. Apparently full background checks on claims aren’t fair to people who never lived in or contributed to this country.

jesse
Member

@fixie guy: “Apparently full background checks on claims aren’t fair to people who never lived in or contributed to this country.”

I interpreted that more as a statement the government saw a problem and was trying to fix it but found the onus too great. Now they’ll try the same thing with similar results.

Let’s hope we don’t get all the government we pay for.

jesse
Member

@real_professional: Other finance ministers read Bloomberg. More fodder for Jim Flaherty’s G20 summit roast.

vangrl
Member
vangrl

Nice thread going on Rob Carrick’s facebbok wall, regarding his question:

“Should chartered banks be cutting mortgage rates a time of rising personal debts?
If you have been thinking about buying a home, are the lower rates enough to push you to make the leap?”

http://www.facebook.com/robcarrickfinance

Jeffrey’s comments at the end are especially amusing, seeing as he works for RBC

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@real_professional: “Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. says its finances are secure unless the country plunges into deep recession for several years.”

The funny thing is with the problems in Europe and the inevitable slowing of China Canada will be in a deep recession in the near future. Recessions happen no matter what government does. It would be breaking new ground if we didn’t go into recession. Based on CMHCs own statement they have admited at some point CMHC either has to get the debt off the books or it will collapse.

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

@vangrl: Jeffrey’s comments are priceless!

N
Guest
N

@Anonymous:

“Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. says its finances are secure unless the country plunges into deep recession for several years.”

The CMHC is nearing its credit cap. Even a guy with no job and five maxed out credit cards will say his finances are secure when applying for additional credit.

Sheesh
Guest
Sheesh

24 Hours, the free transit newspaper, had a huge spread yesterday on homes in Richmond and Kerrisdale that house women from China who come to Canada to have “passport babies.”

Sharing the link here due to related discussions on the effects of Chinese investment on Vancouver’s real estate market. Perhaps some of the expecting mothers do a little house shopping while waiting for their due date?:
http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/News/local/2012/03/07/19472861.html

Yaya
Guest
Yaya
@vangrl: Oh good lord, please tell me that all of our esteemed financial institution employees aren’t as woefully misinformed as Jeffery: Taxpayers are not assuming the risk. CMHC premiums are paid by purchasers, not taxpayers. And As opposed to the US, our banks actually hold the mortgages they sell so it’s in their interest to make sure they only lend to the credit-worthy. Lower away CMHC insurance is to protect the banks so what does ‘actually hold the mortgages they sell’ mean? You’re foregtting that the property value almost alwats exceeds any mortgage amount. It’s one of the things we check for at the bank. 🙂 If only they had checked that in the US or other bubble countries! When has there been a black swan mortgage event in Canada? The US system is totally different from Canada’s. You can’t… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@patriotz:
Ottawa has been running a secret pilot program to screen immigrant entrepreneurs for a number of years in preparation for this change. The CBC produced a documentary series covering the Citizenship and Immigration pilot program’s rigorous proces of validation and quantification.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G6edX-xQG4&feature=related

Many Franks
Guest

@real_professional: Woah.

“I’m not losing any sleep over the taxpayer liability of CMHC insurance.”
– Craig Alexander, chief economist of Toronto-Dominion Bank. (TD)

Of course, it’s not clear that he didn’t mean “Taxpayer liability due to CMHC insurance means I can sleep easy knowing my employer has limited exposure.”

Makaya
Member
Makaya

It looks like Toronto has caught the “RE insanity virus” from Vancouver…

This Toronto bungalow sold for $421,800 over asking. Yes, really

As hard as it’s becoming to shock jaded Torontonians with bidding war antics, one young woman managed it last week when she beat out 17 rivals for a house in Willowdale.

The asking price was $759,000; her triumphant bid was $1,180,800.

Her prize? A pleasant three-bedroom bungalow that hasn’t had a whole lot of updating since it was built in the 1960s or so.

It’s ok, RE always goes up anyway. In ten years, her house will be worth $3 million. Or maybe not…

Makaya
Member
Makaya

@Makaya: I forgot to copy an important detail about the article…

In this case the successful bidder is a university student originally from China with family money behind her, says Mr. Adelson. She assured the agents there would be no problem in closing the deal.

patriotz
Member

@Yaya:
“Taxpayers are not assuming the risk. CMHC premiums are paid by purchasers, not taxpayers.”

This idiot does not even understand that insurance MEANS that the insurer is being paid by the insured to assume risk.

registered
Member
registered

@11 Sheesh: No wonder they call us Canatards.

vangrl
Member
vangrl

@Yaya

Yes Jeffrey does work for RBC.
Can you F’ing believe it? that scares the crap out of me.
And he’s still arguing over there, what an ass

vangrl
Member
vangrl

“In this case the successful bidder is a university student originally from China with family money behind her, says Mr. Adelson. She assured the agents there would be no problem in closing the deal.”

puke..

I’m starting to think that Toronto is looking worse than Vancouver lately…i know, hard to believe

bubbly
Member
bubbly

Casey Serin! Haha! I used to follow his disastrous saga in 2006/2007. Very entertaining!
I wonder how many Serins are in Vancouver.

Just saying
Guest
Just saying

Before you laugh at the Chinese university girl who overbid by $421K thinking how stupid she and her family are, her family may be a professional flipper. They bought several properties in the same area already by lower prices. Now by bidding this one up, they can sell their other holdings to some real greater fools (who probably also Chinese). The same thing happened in Richmond, Vancouver West and Burnaby last year.

Just saying
Guest
Just saying

Sometimes this kinds of scams were done by a group of people. They buy several properties, then by overbidding a couple of properties to create a buying frenzy so many real working class also jump in to buy. Then they sell their other holdings and move on. They will share the loss for the overbidding. I believe they moved on to Toronto this year. Last year they were here in Vancouver.

bubbly
Member
bubbly

@Makaya: A comment there:

TO is being Vancouverized.

Vancouverized 🙂

oneangryslav2
Guest
oneangryslav2

@Just saying: I don’t know why this post is being voted down. This is entirely plausible. Small cartels of real estate agents and/or developers were doing this in the US during the height of the bubble there. The most recent sale is the new comp, and if you can frighten the greater fool into paying way more than a house is worth (based on any conventional metric), then who’s to say that you can’t get somebody else to be frightened into spending way, WAY, more?!?

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