Vancouver housing zeppelin

Even with all the recent warnings of a housing bubble that is no longer limited to just Vancouver and Toronto, you’ll still find lots of media coverage that dismisses bubble talk or explains it away as an ‘ownership premium’.

It’s not difficult to see why this is – there are thousands of people who’s incomes depend upon the housing market.

Whether its condo marketer Bob Rennie or a random realtor, they all have their day to day income tied to the health of the real estate
market and conveniently are given ‘expert’ status and quoted by the local media.

That makes an article opener like this all the more shocking to newspaper readers:

Is there a housing bubble in the Lower Mainland? Housing zeppelin is more like it. Bubbles, after all, are soft and cute and harmless. Zeppelins, conversely, hurtle into the ground, spewing flaming wreckage in all directions. And that’s precisely what we’re about to witness in Metro Vancouver.

That’s the intro to a rather dramatic editorial written by Gord Goble and published in a number of local papers.

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@Anonymous: …..What’ll it be this time? Yard work is not going to cut it. Situation in Greece? The flying spaghetti monster?…

Cam Good dumping somewhere else.



Didn’t take you long to fall into the “if you disagree with me you must be a realtor” rhythm, eh?



i looked up that richmond house you posted that just sold for $800k, and it is still listed for $868k on mls?

still, assessed at $1.1million and sold for $800k in WEST richmond is pretty crazy

Just Some Guy

@Anonymous: “what stopped him from renting?”

Nothing, really, he had quite a nice rental in Vancouver. A lot of people just prefer to own a place, I guess. Makes it a challenge to get talented people to work here.

Total days	22
Days elapsed so far	19
Weekends / holidays	9
Days missing	0
Days remaining	3
7 Calendar Day Moving Average: Sales	123
7 Calendar Day Moving Average: Listings	313
Sales so far	2447
Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA)	368
Projected month end total	2815
Listings so far	6026
Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA)	940
Projected month end total	6966
Sell-list so far	40.6%
Projected month-end sell-list	40.4%
Inventory as of May 28, 2012	18842
Current MoI at this sales pace	6.69

Couple months from now, media will begin using excuses like it did in ’08. What’ll it be this time? Yard work is not going to cut it. Situation in Greece? The flying spaghetti monster?


Interesting site that keeps track of price reductions.

But it doesn’t seem to capture all the listings (eg. some of the ones at VancouverPriceDrop blog aren’t here), and the “total listings” is only 562.

Is there any other site that’s tracking price reductions for GVA?


Copied from PaulB’s number. Thank you PaulB. Using good-format’s format. Date List Price+- Sold Xpired Inv Inv+- S/L% 12.04.30 316 179 124 17530 75 39 12.05.01 354 144 179 583 17122 -408 51 12.05.02 371 131 150 100 17243 121 36 12.05.03 339 159 121 61 17400 157 36 12.05.04 337 120 77 68 17592 192 23 12.05.07 353 177 90 128 17727 135 25 12.05.08 365 157 183 86 17823 96 50 12.05.09 337 145 183 60 17917 94 54 12.05.10 318 129 115 47 18073 156 36 12.05.11 262 132 81 78 18176 103 31 12.05.14 268 168 150 112 18182 6 56 12.05.15 287 174 95 100 18274 92 33 12.05.16 271 185 204 141 18200 -74 75 12.05.17 270 127 70 94 18306 106 26 12.05.18 328 106 135 80 18419 113 41 12.05.22… Read more »


@Makaya: In the post mortems the refrains will be, if it weren’t for the [job loss | transfer | lack of sales | special assessment ] it would have been fine.

Markets are only as strong as the weakest seller.



“…there is no hope that she will get anything remotely close to market value.”

I hate to nitpick, but whatever she gets is, by definition, market value. The writer is confusing market value with what the last sucker paid for it.


@b5baxter: Don’t forget about mid/late-nineties…I recall west side detached down 20-25%


@Makaya: it’s a very long time go…but, isnt it time to put your kids to bed?


@Anonymous: Irritated by all the bearish news surrounding you? How long has it been since you closed your last sale?


@Makaya: i have a big cane farm in vancouver, do you want to buy? only peabrains read garth.


@Just Some Guy:

What stopped him from renting?


Another interesting comment from Garth’s blog. Here in the BPOE, a friend of mine was just advised by credit counsellors to declare bankruptcy. She has a mortgage that is about 3.5x gross income and a $15,000 HELOC which she maxed out. She was hit recently by a $13,000 special assessment on the apartment and strata fees going up significantly. She’s a single mother making approximately the Canadian average salary but does have child support coming in. Credit score probably isn’t great with missed payments, etc. She was already in a spiral of death before the special assessment and‌ increased strata fees, but it’s added a certain suddenness to the situation. Apartment was listed in February. No bites and even if she received asking (which is over market valule) she would still be left with significant debt when all closing costs… Read more »


I’m hearing of price reductions starting on the east sides.

My prices are the same as always. If your interested, bring cash – no more freebies!



Your article is starting to have an impact. Look at comment #24 on today’s Garth blog post…


@Anonymous: Agree. What’s important is the perception shift…

midnite toker1

@patriotz: hey those panhandlers were probably just trying to come up with this months mortgage payment!


Is it safe to say that the price changes are downward prices changes? It is logical but weird things happen when you’re talking about the city that shall not be named.


@Makaya: These are minuscule reductions to insane prices and far less than what I suspect is coming.


Bulls logic… Here is an abstract of a conversation going on at RETalks about Vancouver West side. Very informative. I can feel some nervousness over there… Thread: Is it me or is the Westside getting creamed? Friday – May 25, 2012 7 new listings. 9 price changes – all decreases: Address – Old Price – New Price – Change in K 4460 W 6th – 2.748M – 2.640M – (108) 3760 17th – 1.698M – 1.598M – (100) 160 59th – 1.35M – 1.28M – (70) 475 38th – 2.99M – 2.78M (210) 5637 Baillie – 2.348M – 2.331M (17) 4452 Crown – 2.68M – 2.55M – (130) 1816 McNicoll – 2.498 – 2.35 – (148) 5276 Blenheim – 3.388 – 2.998 – (390) 3348 – 3352 3rd – 2.198 – 1.988 – (210) 1 sale: 2965 W 34th –… Read more »


I came across an even more complete history of Vancouver’s real estate booms and busts here:

Here is a quick summary of the collapse points:
1893 “precipitous drop”
1912 example given of 90% price drop
1930 example given of over 90% price drop
1956 smaller bust
1977 smaller bust
1982 index drops by about 40%
2012 ????