Friday Free-for-all!

It’s that time of the week again! This is when we do our regular end of the week news round-up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend. Here are a few stories to kick off the chat:

Vancouver home resales plummet
Young families fleeing BC
CMHC forecasts moderate slowdown
Canadian prices falling steadily
Canadians invade Costco
Home inspectors regulated
US market recovering?

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

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] “About to sign lease on 1 year new house built by Asian owner, 1800+ sf, pulled off MLS recently due to no buyer. Now about to be rented to yours truly at ~35 years Price-to-Rent ratio after talking down rent by $100/m. [Thus 420 monthlyrent:price ratio. -ed.]Landlord still has a couple houses near completion. Who knows what happens to the tenant if the landlord goes bankrupt?”… “I’m moving from a 1Br+den 670 sq ft condo at 283 months (23.6 years) rent, to (the aforementioned) 3Br newer house at 415 months (34.6 years) rent. Definitely makes more financial sense to rent than buy. Viewed a 3Br 1000sq ft newer condo few days ago at 305 months (25.4 years) rent, but passed (interesting to note that property manager is a realtor, guess managing client’s property might be what’s keeping them busy… Read more »

Just sayin

jesse – I agree. I can see Westside houses down at $500k, while downtown 2-bedrooms maintain $500k.


@Just sayin: $470/sqft, last sold in 2007 for about $611K. Indeed when a market in net tanks, not everyone bears the burden evenly. Something for Vancouver, in net, to keep in mind.

[…] oneangryslav2 [at VCI 17 Aug 2012 3:17pm] points out, the Post story is a little misleading. Lenore Newman is both an East Van resident and […]

Vulture Fun

@Muff Diver Mike: Maybe, but IIRC there was a time during the crash in the US when rents went up because suddenly there was a wave of people who realized the advantages. It seems reasonable to expect the same here. I think landlords who offer decent places will be rewarded while all the slumlords burn. There’s going to be a big shift in what’s considered acceptable. 400 sq ft is fine for a dog, but no human outside of a jail cell should have to deal with that. I’m starting to feel a little superior being a renter…and lucky as hell.


“A successful rebranding of the Olympic Village has turned it from a virtual ghost town into a bustling new neighbourhood”

The rebranding was meaningless. Dropping prices by 35% from what they were asking might have helped sell them though. They could have done that for virtually free and saved Rennies rebranding fees (paid for the second time).

They are paying Rennie more than standard MLS fees for selling a 700 unit condo project. Normally sales and marketing for a condo project would be far less based on scale. And this one is huge at 700 units. Only a government run project could come up with so many expenses.


“What’s the current use of the property?”

Being flipped!

Just sayin

Muff Diver Mike – that was directed at you. Isn’t the current use rental? or if not, aren’t the current owners just occupying another residence? Isn’t it a zero sum game?

Just sayin

“I think rents will drop because more rental inventory will be available due to vendors unable to sell.”

What’s the current use of the property?


Sorry to have to say this, but, yaletown must be one of the world’s largest dog toilets.

Muff Diver Mike

@Vulture Fun:

I think rents will drop because more rental inventory will be available due to vendors unable to sell.

Just sayin

patriotz – you could have this place in a good neighbourhood of Phoenix for about 250 times rent.

Just sayin

Ok so there might be a 100 times rent dumpy area of Phoenix that an example has been found. I’m also sure that in Detroit we can find some 2 times rent houses. I therefore can’t wait for Yaletown to be 100 times rent as patriotz believes it’s “worth”.

Any other estimates on how much Yaletown is going to? I want it as cheap as possible 🙂


SFHs on Anderson Creek in Maple Ridge — the very fringes of suburban development in the Lower Mainland — are listed for over 600k. That seems insanely overpriced to me considering how far out from anything these new suburbs are. I would expect a big discount in price if I had to commute that far — even 100k seems high to me.

Interesting read on the growing pains of new greenfield suburbs:



‘BC’s biggest asset is its natural beauty.’

I like the outdoors a lot but you can’t eat beauty. Take away the industries that use nature rather than observe it and BC would be one of the poorest places on the planet.

Canada is a highly trade dependent country and energy contributes one third of our export revenues. If a rational cost-benefit analysis shows the pipeline isn’t worth it, fine. But odds are this debate will be won by the side with the most meaningless yet hysterical rhetoric.


I like all these 300, 400+ price-rent ratios but they seem to be for either higher end “luxury” properties or quite the opposite: lower-end crackshacks slated for re-development.

Price-rent is not a good gauge for underutilized properties like, say, a westside bungalow itching to be torn down and turned into one of… them. If you want a gauge of the magnitude by which prices are inflated and slated to drop, look at price-rent of non-luxury condos, or of lower-density properties away from the city core. Just trying to look at this objectively — and don’t get me wrong, there looks to be significant over-valuation — but it helps to get some numbers as a baseline now, and compare to the types of price-rent ratios that put in bottoms in parts of the US as to when to gauge the “bottom”.

Vulture Fun

@ScubaSteve: If you’re correct, I’d be on the hook for $38,400, assuming I broke the lease tomorrow with 4 years remaining. So, worst case scenario, I’m losing about the same as landlord would in 4 months. Sounds like I’m still coming out ahead.

Vulture Fun

@ScubaSteve: That’s an interesting point which I had not considered. I’d love to hear from anyone else who could confirm or deny this. I do think that rents will not drop in lockstep with price drops. I’m sure you’ve seen the chart comparing the two, with prices taking off like a rocket, and rents just trundling along with inflation. As discussed earlier, rents are based on income not credit.


@anon: “Where do i claim my prize?”

Alas there is no prize. Using SFH as a gauge for price-rent is not entirely correct; I would use condos as a baseline gauge, and your comment exemplifies why 🙂

Bag it and tag it

@Just sayin: 156. An investor doesn’t care what the neighborhood is like, just that someone is willing to pay the rent…and apparently that’s the going rent ffor such a house in that hood.


That project, will probably be providing one of BC’s real industries once real-estate tanks. Diversifying our oil sales will be beneficial to everyone that is Canadian. Look what happened to our softwood industry when we only sold to our neighbors down south.

Best place on meth


This is the Detroit of Vancouver and the price to rent is about 400.


@Just sayin: Okay, I’ll play. What’s the “Detroit of Vancouver”, and what is the price/rent ratio there?



A successful rebranding of the Olympic Village has turned it from a virtual ghost town into a bustling new neighbourhood…

What a ridiculous claim. What’s made the place more busy recently is the opening of stroes/bars/restaurants, not any freakin’ “rebranding”! Did Bob Rennie write this piece himself?!?


Off topic…

BC’s biggest asset is its natural beauty. Let’s protect it against the silly Enbridge project… Here is an awesome video answering Enbridge misleading animation of the northern gateway pipeline.