Village starts to dig itself out of hole

Good news! Now that shops and restaurants have opened up in the former Millennium Water Olympic Village housing development it’s no longer the creepy ghost town in the middle of the city!

Not only are there signs of life down there, the city actually looks like they’re starting to shrink the big ball of debts they acquired when they took responsibility for the project.

This progress is hard won and comes thanks to a number of efforts including:

-The city lowered property tax for businesses
-In February 2011 prices were dropped 30%
-In August an additional $5k in incentives offered to buyers

The city isn’t saying how much they still owe on the village, but the debt at the end of 2011 was $462 million.  Most of the extra expenses are from repairs for building deficiencies and marketing costs.

It looks like there is now just over 25% of the condo stock that remains unsold, but the receiver has put a block of rental units up for sale.  The buyer will be required to maintain those units as rentals for 20 years.

“The purpose and benefit of the sale of the rental buildings is to generate cash to repay the loan payable to the secured lender [the City of Vancouver],” said a statement from Ernst & Young. “It is particularly advantageous to undertake such now while interest rates remain low, the rental buildings at The Village on False Creek are fully leased and there remains an active pool of potential and interested buyers.”

The receiver also got permission from the court to put the project into bankruptcy, if needed, a move that it says is not being contemplated right now but “gives … the flexibility to consider the option of generating value from SEFC’s operating tax losses.”

Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

My brother lives a block away from the PNE and said that he was very surprised to find that there was parking still available since it started on Sat. Normally, in past years, free parking around his area fills up immediately, with people driving around looking for spots. So far, that has not been the case this year. So either people are paying $25 to park in the lots or they are not attending.

fixie guy

@93 YLTNboomerang Says: “Wow, this needs to get headlined as realtor desperation.”

Or headlined as MSM desperation. Why the hell are a realtor’s musings on economics even in the WSJ? Do they print as authoritative a pharmacist’s pronouncements on the stability of Canadian socialized medicine, or tap car lot managers for erudite analysis of global automotive markets?

Self-promoting BS like “Founder of Bennett Property Shop Realty” is meant to impress? The threshold for selling critical thought has never been lower.


@vangrl: Wow, this needs to get headlined as realtor desperation. This Bennett character is so frightened for her housing equivalent to a used car dealership that she has paid for a press release to make her “everything is going to be ok” view look like a credible piece of news.

Anyone want to fund/write a vancondo release? 3-600 bucks depending on how wide a distribution. I bet if written well enough the local rags will pick it up off the wire and print it as news.



I think they got their timing wrong in that article:

“But unlike Canada, where interest rates remain at historic lows, Australia has gone through a period of modest monetary tightening. Still, house prices there have softened by just 5% since peaking in June 2010.”

The monetary tightening was pretty much wrapped up by June 2010, they did raise rates again by 0.25% in November that year but since then have cut rates by a total of 1.25%.

Prices have stagnated or started creeping back up here, RP Data has Sydney prices up 3% in the last quarter, up 1.4% nationally. We’re just about to hit the spring selling season, we’ll see how the market reacts to a flood of properties hitting an already bloated market.


@gordholio: Everyone is slowly realizing that the prices wont go up forever and the craziness has an end. It is so unaffordable that made people think twice on getting a mortgage or simply they cant afford it without a big down payment. Just, not worth it, maybe on a 70% crash… yes.


N Says:
August 20th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

For me, it appears to be loaded but keeps jumping to the top for about three minutes. If I leave it for about that long, the problem goes away. This makes me think that some element, such as an ad or an interlaced gif or something of the sort, is not fully loaded.

This is the case for me as well.


So…I actually entered an Open House today. Just about two blocks from where I live in South Surrey. Girlfriend was with me. I asked her if I could please be me when we encountered the realtor. She said no. I said “Please?” She said “No.” So we look around the place. Detached home, 3000-sq ft lot, 2200-sq ft, 3-level dwelling. Back yard about the size of a really big living room. One of scores (hundreds?) of homes slapped up almost instantaneously in this area as developers tried in vain to catch the end of the bubble. Just the basics (low-grade plumbing fixtures, mildly rippled walls, etc, etc). Facing north with no hope of sun from October through May. As for privacy, well, let’s just say you could turn on a sprinkler and simulataneously sprinkle three neighbouring yards. Oh yeah, and… Read more »


WSJ: Australia vs. U.S.: Which is the Better Housing Market Model for Canada?

methinks calling aussie’s “soft landing” may be premature..


@Boombust: if you believe him, might as well believe in your girlfriend is prenant. by the way, it’s almost dec 21 2012 if you believe in that shit too. gosh, stupid bears believe in anything miserable.


I really enjoyed Garth’s presentation tonight. Literally standing room only (although not overflowing into the hallways).

He offered his usual views of why Vancouver is GROUND ZERO for the “current” bust…

I had a friend join me. Garth really struck a chord with him.

“I never knew it was THIS bad!”


Great site. I am glad to find it and learn I am not the only bear out there.

Ps if you are having trouble reading comments on iPad, try clicking on “click to hide slideshw” on the left of the screen

fixie guy

@74 paulb: Now see Paul, every time you post numbers like that VCI becomes a stack of red ‘foreclosure’ graphics. Some are starting to suspect intent.

Vulture Fun

@Bag it and tag it: Just like the price of Apple. Just like the March 2009 lows in the S&P500. Devil’s been busy…

Bag it and tag it

@VHB: Projection for the rest of the month: 666! That pretty much sums it up


Livable? Only if you ignore the high cost

While we don’t want to rain on Vancouver’s parade – especially during the current rare stretch of warm, dry weather – we must join the chorus who are questioning The Economist’s decision to name Vancouver as the world’s third-most-livable city.


Wow those numbers are very bearish! Listings projected above 2008 with sales currently projected slightly above 08 but I believe to be slowing down. Now if the grexit happens watch out below!!!


I’m about to leave to go and see Garth. I have plenty of problems with things the guy has said over the years, however he is the closest thing that Canadian housing bears have to political representation. No other political figure, past or present, left or right, has been willing to say there is a housing bubble in this country. He is also the only political figure I’ve seen question whether the CMHC is actually making housing more expensive, the opposite of its supposed goals.*

(* The only exception I can think of is one good quote from Elizabeth May a few years ago.)


Projected listings around 4500 is actually a big number. There is no sign that people are reluctant to list because of the ‘buyers market’. On the contrary, listings are near 10-year highs.

year	sell	list	sell/list
2001	2566	3315	77.4%
2002	2468	3287	75.1%
2003	3290	3693	89.1%
2004	2537	3986	63.6%
2005	3649	4366	83.6%
2006	2998	4500	66.6%
2007	3384	4408	76.8%
2008	1568	4331	36.2%
2009	3441	4544	75.7%
2010	2202	3750	58.7%
2011	2378	4685	50.8%
Mean	2771	4079	67.9%
median	2566	4331	75.4%
Total days	22
Days elapsed so far	13
Weekends / holidays	7
Days missing	0
Days remaining	9
7 Calendar Day Moving Average: Sales	74
7 Calendar Day Moving Average: Listings	202
Sales so far	1054
Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA)	666
Projected month end total	1720
Listings so far	2665
Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA)	1820
Projected month end total	4485
Sell-list so far	39.5%
Projected month-end sell-list	38.4%
Inventory as of August 20, 2012	18875
Current MoI at this sales pace	10.97

Anyone wanna take the ‘over’ on sales being over/under 1700 this month? 🙂


New Listings 245
Price Changes 126
Sold Listings 85



@Anonymous: This only shows the upbeat optimism in this market. Sellers are not content with assessed value because they know prices are about to shoot up dramatically.


@ReadyToPop: you and your wife should go. he will teach his followers how to buy condoms for 0 down.


@Vulture Fun: Only 11 out of 18? So, … seven listings refer to the assessment but then list at or over the assessed value!?