Friday Free-for-all!

It’s that time of the week again, lets do our regular end of the week news roundup and open topic discussion thread for the weekend!

Here are a few links to kick off the chat:

-Doors shutting on first time buyers
-How many realtors is enough?
-Vancouver RE plunges
-Families leave BC
-Housing affordability?
-Moodys warn on Canadian debt
-Sales/list Sept 2010-2011
-Great new source for data
-Toronto sales drop 12.5%
-Kleptocrats flee china
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So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

225 Responses to “Friday Free-for-all!”

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    Where am I… Is this real life..? ok now… I have two fingers..no..four fingers… I can’t see anything… arRHHH!! I feel funny… had I been trolling this forum?
    last thing I remembered? why I was having a cool-aid drink that the awfully nice realtor made for me.. Wait a minute…

    sorry jesse, I always knew you were right. It’s just that I have this inferiority complex condition.. I get this uncontrollable urge to cynically, forcefully disagree with all the facts.. so that people will stop and pay attention to me… for once…

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    ScubaSteve Says:
    2

    Updated September sales graph. Comparing this month’s sales/listings to 2011 and 2010.

    http://i50.tinypic.com/2j5yrg4.gif

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    How many realtors is enough?

    This is how it looked south of the border: http://ow.ly/dx5nP

    The REALTOR® bubble has popped there, it will pop here too.

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    Re: “Kleptocrats Are Fleeing China”

    More than a million public servants have sent large sums abroad.

    Stealing like this is the norm in post-communist countries. Most often, politically connected “experts” are nominated into top management positions in state owned enterprises where they keep signing business “deals” with phantom entities until the companies are completely hollowed out. The less sophisticated thiefs simply take cash and flee.

    Politically, there is no will to do anything about this because 1) Most of the thiefs are insiders, 2) It is (supposedly) believed that this looting is an inevitable part of the transformation to market system (that is what one politically active sociologist form Eastern-Europe once told me)

    These thiefs then come to a foreign country and spend money like it has almost no value – because they did not have to work for it. You know what I mean…

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    Anecdote:
    Chinese realtor asking “Can any mortgage expert enlighten me: Which banks can still allow mortgage application to go through without requiring proof of income (and also not self-employed) ? Higher down payment requirement is ok. Btw, assume the applicant is not a recent (<5 years) immigrant"

    - that realtor had contacted RBC, BMO, CIBC, HSBC. However he was told it may or may not be approved (case-by-case basis).
    - a BMO mortgage advisor recommended him to try BNS
    - another recommended RBS
    - looks like realtors are finding potential (local/non-HAM) buyers/investors having difficulty getting mortgages approved, since they don't want to report their overseas income.

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    Eric Lascelles, chief economist at RBC Global Asset Management, approves of most of the rule changes, but said there is a risk that they are being overdone to compensate for ultra-low mortgage rates.

    “I wonder if the drop from 30 to 25 years amortization might be regretted in a decade when interest rates have normalized and 25-year-olds are being told they cannot make mortgage payments past the age of 50, even though they expect to work until 65,” he said in an e-mail.

    What a tool. Not only does he think that this is a bad thing rather than a good thing, he isn’t correct in the first place, since the borrower can refinance at some time in the future when part of the principal has been paid down. Or simply when they sell and buy another residence, which is something very likely to happen over those 25 years.

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    From Mish:
    Baby Boomers and Strategic Defaults

    22% made the mistake of tapping retirement accounts before walking away and another 16% considered doing so but decided against it. 63% never considered it.

    I wonder if the stats will be similar here. Declaring BK before drawing on RRSP’s is the smart thing to do, since they are protected in bankruptcy.

    If you follow the link “Foreclosure Stats” at the bottom you will see that some of the leading states for strategic defaults are recourse. So much for the argument that this is a deterrent.

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    @patriotz: ” I wonder if the stats will be similar here.”

    Your wondering interests me very much patriotz. May i wonder this alnog with you? Perhaps we can have a heated discussion about this hypothetical situation? Its been my experiance that such discussions are time well spent.

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    @zotitap:
    “Perhaps we can have a heated discussion about this hypothetical situation? Its been my experiance that such discussions are time well spent.”
    Okay, who went and pissed on zotitap’s cereal this morning?

    Yes, zotitap, statistics don’t matter one bit. It never makes sense to study or pay attention to them.

    It is a much better use of your time and money to listen to frenzied word of mouth, Global TV, local Used House Salespeople, and the Vancouver Real Estate Board. Just ask anybody trying to sell property in Vancouver today.

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    Dan in Calgary Says:
    10

    From the “Vancouver RE Plunges” link above, I found another link to Vancouver housing market primed for correction: BMO, and there I learned there was absolutely no problem at all with price stability in Vancouver, because all we need is historically-low interest rates and wealthy immigrants continuing to pour into the city:

    “BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri says a correction in Vancouver will likely be less severe than previous ones”, explaining that “if interest rates stay low and wealthy immigrants continue to pour into the city, prices could stabilize sooner than in past downturns”.

    Whew. Crisis over. Time to move on.

    Language is wonderful. Guatieri’s comments evoked in my mind an image of planeloads and shiploads of immigrants carrying suitcases of cash overwhelming Customs and Immigration as they clamoured to be first in line to snap up RE bargains. I wonder if he was able to keep a straight face while he was talking to the reporter.

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    @Crikey: You’re right, someone pissed in my corn flakes, so I missed breakfast. But than you for giving me a straw man and false dichotomy for me to eat this morning.

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    School started three days ago and I already got 3 detentions and 2 spankings by my mom. They tell me to stay schoolin’, not trollin’. Maybe they’re right.. Maybe that’s why I don’t got no friends..

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    Not much of a name... Says:
    13

    @patriotz: It seems that 25 year olds did just fine prior to 2006 when amortizations were the same as they are now. It’s amazing how many people have a short memory.

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    guys I am on meds now. can’t believe I said all those horrible things.
    I won’t say anything unless I have something good to say now. If I forget my meds, I might log on as Anonymous. So please vote him into oblivion. Peace!

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    Well bears, looks like the low sales trend has legs and the inventory is remaining elevated. Just as I predicted. This will lead to further price weakness, though no crash or falling off a cliff. Pleaes don’t extrapolate one month of data into an annualized total.

    Next thing to watch for is to see if we’ve got a lot of potential buyers on the sidelines. Let’s see if we get a sales bump as prices fall as ‘bargain hunters’ swoop in. If they materialize then we’re looking at potentially a long slow period of stagnation or prices drifting slightly down. If these buyers don’t materialize then this is a much more ominous sign for the near future.

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    fixie guy Says:
    16

    @15 Troll Says: “If they materialize then we’re looking at potentially a long slow period of stagnation or prices drifting slightly down.”

    Or a dead cat bounce. Maybe collapsed markets elsewhere can offer guidance.

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    NOMURA: In The Last Two Days, China’s Stimulus Policy Has Changed

    The Chinese government announced on 5 and 6 September that it had approved 25 subway lines and 13 highway projects in June, July and August. Since April, it has also approved several other infrastructure projects including several airport and energy projects. The government also announced the investment amount approved for most of the projects, which total RMB848bn. We estimate the amount approved for all approved projects (including those for which the government did not announce a specific investment amount) totals about RMB1trn, which is 2.1% of 2011 GDP. The average construction time for these is estimated at four years.

    This isn’t unexpected — China’s recent rollercoaster-like slowdown was just too fast and steep for their policymakers. I’m no macro guy but that’s a lot of money.

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    Not much of a name... Says:
    18

    @Troll:

    Next thing to watch for is to see if we’ve got a lot of potential buyers on the sidelines. Let’s see if we get a sales bump as prices fall as ‘bargain hunters’ swoop in. If they materialize then we’re looking at potentially a long slow period of stagnation or prices drifting slightly down. If these buyers don’t materialize then this is a much more ominous sign for the near future.

    Why would “potential buyers” swoop in when prices are essentially the same as they were a year ago (according to the REBGV HPI)? What has changed in the year? Why would these people not wait for further price reductions?

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    @fixie guy:

    I think a good gauge of market stability is looking at the number and percent of first time home buyers in Greater Vancouver. If the level is healthy, then the market will support itself and I wouldn’t expect too much of a price correction. But, if first time buyers stay out of the market, then prices will decline until they come back. I haven’t checked those numbers for a year or two, so I don’t know where it sits.

    The market is slow right now and I don’t expect much to happen until next spring. If we have a weak Spring 2013 market, then the whole year will likely be poor. I actually think the current slow market and likely price correction over the Fall will bode well for next Spring in that lower prices and sideline buyers will come back.

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    joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs Says:
    20

    Hong Kong not allowing foreigners to buy real estate at two new developments. If Vancouver did this, it would be called racism.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-06/hong-kong-to-restrict-sales-of-apartments-at-two-sites-to-locals.html

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    Anonymous Says:
    21

    @Dave: Dream on. I’m in the ‘first time buyer’ camp, with an excellent income (120k/year), decent DP, and I have no interest in buying into this market. Many of the people in my generation are shunning home ownership, and appreciate the flexibility and freedom that renting provides. We’re also acutely aware of the fact that we can rent for significantly less than buying in Van.

    Also, many of my friends that tried to make a go of it in Vancouver have left for Alberta, or gone to work in the US. Better pay, cheaper housing. This isn’t just anecdotal, as the migration statistics are starting to bear this out, as well.

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    fixie guy Says:
    22

    @19 Dave Says: “I think a good gauge of market stability is looking at the number and percent of first time home buyers in Greater Vancouver.”

    I take it you mean that as ‘potential’ first time buyers. If they have access to mortgages it might be a valid point. Big question mark there.
    The first timers who already bought however will be among the most vulnerable. That combination of lowest down payments, highest leverage, early-career wages and future obligations like child rearing will put them squarely in front of the bus.

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    @Anonymous:

    A lot of people make that choice and a lot of people don’t. The reality of the last 4 years is that first time buyers have been active in the market, which is in contrast to your anecdote. Let’s see how the numbers look over the next six months.

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    @Dave: “I actually think the current slow market and likely price correction over the Fall will bode well for next Spring in that lower prices and sideline buyers will come back.”

    A rational conclusion unfortunately applied to an irrational situation.

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    @Not much of a name…: “Why would “potential buyers” swoop in when prices are essentially the same as they were a year ago (according to the REBGV HPI)? What has changed in the year? Why would these people not wait for further price reductions?”

    I know a family whose landlord is selling their long term rental next summer. They have a downpayment and decent income, but have been holding off for prices to fall to a more reasonable level. The landlord selling is forcing their hand somewhat, and they are toying with the idea of buying and settling for a smaller discount now so they can have the stability, rather than go through the uncertainty of having the home sold out from under them and then renting again. There can’t be many reluctant knife-catchers like them, but there will be some.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    26

    @joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs:

    It’s all part of Hong Kong’s new “anti-locust” policy.

    We should adopt something similar here to avoid all those messy extraditions of kleptocrats.

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    Not much of a name... Says:
    27

    @Dave:

    The reality of the last 4 years is that first time buyers have been active in the market,

    How do you know? You state in a different post that…

    I haven’t checked those numbers for a year or two, so I don’t know where it sits.

    I would question how many first time buyers are left if home ownership rates have risen to about 70%.

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    @TPFKAA: …especially if the owners of rented-out properties rush for the exits and start listing homes, it may flush out the last renters with money and force them to participate earlier into the price decline than planned.

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    @fixie guy:

    I think that’s a hard case to make. You are implying that ‘vulnerable’ means market correction. First time buyers are always going to be more ‘vulnerable’ than long time owners, but it doesn’t follow that they are vulnerable in the strict sense of the definition. Our banks are conservative and have become even more so with the recent mortgage changes. People aren’t being given money unless they can support their mortgage payments. The only things that will make new owners vulnerable in aggregate would be an economic crash or significantly rising interest rates. In the case of the former, I think that’s quite unlikely here in Canada. We did quite well through the 2008 downturn and another crash of that magnitude is very unlikely. In the case of the latter, our banks now qualify people on the 5 year rate, which helps to mitigate the risk of rising rates, which I view as being unlikely in any case. We are stuck in a low interest rate environment until debt is stripped from the system (or US economy). That is years and years out from now.

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    Not much of a name... Says:
    30

    @TPFKAA: Sure there will some in a similar situation where they feel that now is the time to buy. However, your example I don’t think fits into what Troll was describing as the “bargain hunter” waiting to “swoop” in.

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    @Not much of a name…:

    30% of activity. That’s still strong. If it drops to 10 to 15%, then you have a case to make.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/real-estate/Metro+Vancouver+prices+remain+high+home+sales+slow/7196807/story.html

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    Anonymous Says:
    32

    @Troll: …..Next thing to watch for is to see if we’ve got a lot of potential buyers on the sidelines. Let’s see if we get a sales bump as prices fall as ‘bargain hunters’ swoop in….

    With both home ownership and debt both at all time high levels, how many ‘bargain hunters’ can there be out there?

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    Anonymous Says:
    33

    @joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs: “Hong Kong not allowing foreigners to buy real estate at two new developments. If Vancouver did this, it would be called racism.”

    Na, in Vancouver it’s call Cam Goodism.

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    @Not much of a name…:

    Why would these people not wait for further price reductions?

    Because not every buyer subscribes to bear logic, we’ve seen it time and time again in the Vancouver market. This is a big blind spot for many bears, hoping for rationality in an irrational arena. Seeing how the market behaves after a 5-10% drop will give us a lot of insight into sentiment and availability of cash/credit.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    35

    @Dave:

    That’s very nice that the first time buyer segment remains constant at 30% of the market, but does it really matter when total sales are down 30-40% from a year ago and down at 14 year lows?

    Net result is still 30-40% less first time buyers.

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    Not much of a name... Says:
    36

    @Dave:

    30% of activity. That’s still strong. If it drops to 10 to 15%, then you have a case to make.

    But, but, but…

    The article said that the 30% level of activity of FTB is stable. Does this mean that the level of FTB a year ago was at 30%? If so, then that means that the FTB activity has also dropped a considerable amount. Not good.

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    @Anonymous:

    With both home ownership and debt both at all time high levels, how many ‘bargain hunters’ can there be out there?

    home ownership and debt have been at all time highs for years, so that’s really a useful indicator of short/medium term market movements is it?

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    Check out the CKNW audio Vault from sept 6 @ 12:45pm.It has one of REBGV guys on spining the latest numbers.
    http://www.cknw.com/news/audiovault/index.aspx

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    @Best place on meth:
    going on right now:
    Hong Kong protests over “patriotic chinese national education”
    total lockdown on news of this protestby Chinese government.

    - signs read “don’t brainwash our children” “protect our children”
    - they can protest all they want, but who can fight against being assimilated into the Collective?

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    Anonymous Says:
    40

    @zotitap: I totally agree. There is a lot of good hypothetical wondering on this blog. In fact, they’ve been wondering for years what will happen “when the market crashes”, like “will wage garnishments take a big chunk out of the economy?” and that kind of stuff. Very interesting!

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    @Best place on meth:

    Take what you want from the number. It is what it is. If you are trying to make a case that people can’t afford to buy, then I would expect to see that in the first time homebuyer numbers. As long as first time home buyer activity is strong, like it is at present, then I really don’t expect to see much in the way of price decreases. That’s not to say we aren’t going to see declines over the next half year. We will. But, my expectation would be for moderate decreases with a pickup or stabilization in the Spring market.

    If the first time home buyers were in that 10 to 15% range, then I would have said that I expect all of 2013 to be a down year.

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    Not much of a name... Says:
    42

    @Troll:

    Because not every buyer subscribes to bear logic, we’ve seen it time and time again in the Vancouver market. This is a big blind spot for many bears, hoping for rationality in an irrational arena. Seeing how the market behaves after a 5-10% drop will give us a lot of insight into sentiment and availability of cash/credit.

    I guess how you describe a “bargain hunter” is different from me. That’s why I posed that question. I really wouldn’t classify someone who is buying at price reductions of 5-10% a bargain hunter. Maybe it could come down to semantics, but in my head I see those types that you describe as swooping in waiting for further declines.

    I guess it’s back to the wait and see.

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    @Troll:

    I don’t subscribe to the irrational buyer theory. Stick with the affordability theory and you will be right far more than not.

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    @Anonymous: Truly, vancouvercondo.info is a wonder full place!

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    Anonymous Says:
    45

    @zotitap: Yeah, for example, it makes me wonder what these people DO for a living, … if anything.

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    Anonymous Says:
    46

    Dave, in 2008 when the great recession took place, the GOC pumped billions of dollars into banks, took housing debt off their balance sheets and dropped rates to historically low levels. They also extended amortization. All in an attempt to stabilize the rapidly declining housing market. It worked. Unfortunately, we are mirroring the downturn, without the desire on the part of the GOC to amp it up again. I believe they know they went too far, and are trying to do the right thing, now, and deflate the asset bubble. Carney’s comments about housing being an inherently unproductive place to invest was very telling.

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    The troll index says it’s a low sales day today…

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    This isn’t the stock market. Prices won’t drop overnight. In my new townhouse complex on west side, we have about half of units that people were trying to flip. Sellers don’t want to lower prices (I suspect they were bought by the developer when no presale buyers bought those units). It’s been almost a year and they still refuse to lower prices. Inevitably, if the developer runs out of money, building things with no one buying, they will be forced to drop prices.

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    @Anonymous:
    anything’s better than trolling.
    looks like you forgot your meds today.
    I can recommend you my shrink, best out of the dozens I’ve had.

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    Poll: Death Penalty Extradition Says:
    50

    @VMD:

    Canada should allow death penalty extraditions for serious financial crimes to former/current communist jurisdictions in those cases where Canadian officials are certain of the facts. EG: Theft by fiduciary or insider trading of cross listed company etc.

    Vote up or down.

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    Anonymous Says:
    51

    @Makaya: I’m not so sure. The comment foreclosure rate right now is only 24,3%, which is not so far from the longterm average.

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    Patiently Waiting Says:
    52

    Mayor Robertson seems deeply concerned about the lack of community interaction in Vancouver. Have mayors of other cities had to write something like this?

    “The housing crisis hurts, too. Too many people live in substandard housing, or move out of the city and away from friends and family, compounding their isolation. And for those who do stay, simple social activities may be priced out of reach if most of their income is spoken for by next month’s rent or mortgage payment.”

    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/Tackling+isolation+starts+home/7205266/story.html#ixzz25oIehA2Z

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    ScubaSteve Says:
    53

    11,000 realtors in Vancouver, and 1,500 sales a month. That means 9,500 realtors have nothing better to do but troll on here and get foreclosed on.

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    joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs Says:
    54

    @Patiently Waiting

    Mayor Gregor Robertson is the ultimate hypocrite with that article. He has ZERO CREDIBILITY on the affordable housing issue and social isolation.

    Robertson signed off on the redevelopment of the Little Mountain Housing Project in 2009 when he allowed the demolition permits for that site to be issued. This resulted in the demolition of 224 units of good quality affordable rental housing. In addition, Little Mountain was a tight knit community in which neighbours looked out for each other and watched each other’s kids. 200 families have been displaced all across the Lower Mainland, severing ties between old neighbours, friends, and family. Many former residents say they are feeling very isolated after having been displaced, esp. those who were forced to go to distant suburbs like Surrey. Mayor Robertson is complicit with the redevelopment of Little Mountain by issuing the demolition permit. Mayor Robertson is complicit with the broader gentrification of Vancouver, making the city unaffordable to local people and forcing people to leave neighbourhoods they’ve lived in for decades. MAYOR ROBERTSON IS A HYPOCRITE AND HAS NO CREDIBILITY ON THIS ISSUE WHATSOEVER!!!!!

    That article makes me want to puke because so many hipsters eat this shit up and actually think they are being progressive by voting for Robertson and Vision Vancouver.

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    Saw a 5-minute “infomercial” on a Chinese TV station last night, touting – you guess it – Moda, a pre-sale highrise by Polygon at Metrotown, Burnaby. They must have been selling this building for over 2 months already. Back on opening weekend, I drove by on Saturday afternoon and saw a 20-ppl strong lineup waiting to get in. I looked inside and it wasn’t crowded at all. I suspected the lineup was just for show. And now, 2 months later, they are still selling.

    Of course, nearby Silver is not sold out yet either and when I checked them out last month, they offered price cuts of ~$20k per unit.

    And then, we have a 5-tower development at Station Square coming in a month or 2. The tallest tower is going to be 70-stories high!

    Glut, anyone?

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    @Patiently Waiting: “Mayor Robertson seems deeply concerned about the lack of community interaction in Vancouver. ”

    I guess people can only ride their bikes so far? Bwahaha

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    Anatomy of one flip

    Oct 2008 – $734900 – 4 bed – 2 bath

    Feb 2009 – $649000 – 3 bed – 2 bath – A new realtor we hired told us that closet in the basement doesn’t count as a bedroom

    Apr 2009 – $619000 – 3 bed – 2 bath – Ok, let’s take a $30K haircut

    May 2009 – The home is off the market (bought?)

    Jun 2011 – $1178000 – 6 bed – 1 bath – It’s official now: the closet in the basement is a bedroom now. We also chopped the rest of the basement into few bedrooms as well. One of bathrooms did not survive in the process.

    Mar 2012 – $1388000 – 6 bed – 2 bath – We are back on the market after a 6 months vacation. And now we have an extra bathroom for just $110K!

    Jun 2012 – $1210000 – 6 bed – 2 bath – Well, it was actually a $30K bathroom.

    Jul 2012 – $1197000 – 6 bed – 2 bath – Papers bring bad news, time to more active. Is 1% discount ok? No the ad starts with capitals: “ATTN!! Hot 180 degree spectacular…”

    Sep 2012 – Still on the market:

    http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12094179&PidKey=-312401746

    This city is funny…

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    Best place on meth Says:
    58

    @C.Junta:

    Elvis the realtor seems confused and conflicted, or he’s just pre-programmed like most used house salesmen to use his top 10 marketing phrases.

    “This is not a tear down property. This is an excellent renovated property to hold / build later”

    Build later?

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    Not much of a name... Says:
    59

    @Dave:

    Take what you want from the number. It is what it is.

    Is this like the real vs nominal debate? 30% less FTB compared to a year ago is still 30% less. It doesn’t matter what percentage of the overall sales that they make up.

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    Anonymous Says:
    60

    @C.Junta: Although it’s not ‘in’ Malibu, it is ‘on’ Malibu. Just for fun, I found this gem for the same price that is actually in Malibu:

    http://www.stephenudoff.com/?page_id=848

    Which one would you rather call home? What a Fuc@ing joke this city is….

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    @TPFKAA:
    “especially if the owners of rented-out properties rush for the exits and start listing homes, it may flush out the last renters with money and force them to participate earlier into the price decline than planned.”

    What’s going to happen when the rental property is sold?

    1. It gets bought by a renter, which frees up their old rental, or
    2. It gets bought by another landlord, or
    3. It gets bought by the owner of another property, which is sold. Go to 1.

    Landlords selling their properties do not change the balance of rental supply/demand.

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    Anonymous Says:
    62

    http://nowdevelopments.com/1010984

    Some heavy developer discounts on these units that were originally marketed to the Main street hipster, one speed bike, crowd. You know, the ones with no bloody money to afford gearing on their bikes….or brakes…LOL!

    This. Is. Going. To. End. Badly.

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    /dev/null Says:
    63

    @Not much of a name…: That’s exactly correct. Dave considers nominal FTB to be the proper measure, and you’re still stuck talking about real FTB. Apparently you just don’t get that you have to inflation-adjust the FTB numbers.

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    What’s with some of the homes that sits there for months not selling and all of a sudden they increase the prices.

    I know it’s a marketing strategy Dan Kennedy teaches to raise prices when you can’t sell, but do they really think it’s going to work in this market, when supply is increasing?

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    Reposted without link breakage. Please downvote the last one. (Hell, downvote this one too if you like.)

    @joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs: I voted for a mix of Vision and COPE councillors, and probably will again. As a pragmatist, and not a party member — what’s up with the hate-on?

    Little Mountain is a good example, since both the federal and provincial governments have their grubby fingerprints all over it. A lot of the political wrangling predates the current city council. (Bless you, Frances Bula.) Don’t the provincial and federal governments warrant a blast of capital letters as well?

    Second, should shit-eating hipsters have voted en masse for the NPA instead? It’s a shame that we lost some COPE councillors during the last civic election (Ellen Woodsworth, for example.) But, you can’t argue that Vision/COPE haven’t been the more progressive choice, as advertised. (I’m not sure how to split Vision/COPE apart, here, if it’s relevant.)

    Finally — In my opinion, the city is powerless to really “fix” Vancouver’s affordability problems during a housing bubble. They can nibble away at the edges, for example by using their zoning powers to discourage redevelopment of SROs. But, it would be stupid for them to try and tackle the bubble head-on, and it’s a great relief that they’ve avoided the temptation so far.

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    Love this blog, had to chirp in on the ‘hypotheticals’ of the day with anecdotes.

    My social group is mostly 100k/yr co-workers and 30k/yr friends. Of my 15 co-workers all but me have bought, many in the 2007 mania in Victoria. None will have to sell but all took mortgages for as much as they could get and will be paying out 40% of take home for the next 25-35 years.

    The 30k/yr friends would love to own, but accept that it’s impossible in this market without moving west out of Victoria and a couple trips through the Colwood crawl usually puts that to rest (for the smart ones anyway).

    I won’t be buying, I like winter travel and early retirement too much. So the ‘next wave’ of first time buyers in my world at least is when housing drops to where the 30k-40k salary can purchase, a 10% correction would (and has) gone unnoticed to anyone who doesn’t have an assessment to look at each year.

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    This has nothing to do with RE but still an awesome Friday diatribe. BPOM has some serious competition here…

    “They Won’t Magically Turn You Into A Lustful Cockmonster”: Chris Kluwe Explains Gay Marriage To The Politician Who Is Offended By An NFL Player Supporting It

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    Vote Down The Facts Says:
    69

    @patriotz: “Landlords selling their properties do not change the balance of rental supply/demand.”

    They do, temporarily, if they keep their property vacant while trying to sell it.

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    Tax Policy NOT Powerless. Says:
    70

    @Turkey:

    I call your bullshit and raise you.

    Gregor “Panderson” has the power to enact inflation indexed land use taxes that will make the money parker/launderer/kleptocrat class flee to other jurisdictions get get their inflation indexed portfolio allocation. The City has a fixed amount of land and it is good public policy to ensure that shelter land is not pressured by the portfolio allocations of some crooks who desperately need the business end of a firing squad.

    Instead of busting heads, Panderson’s crew puts up a feel good land use contest encouraging idiot proposals like narrow streets and building floating condos tethered to balloons. Panderson looks nice for the camera but I would rather have an oafish looking ass-clown like Rob Ford running things if it would get some action on this.

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    Just a question. Did Global even acknowledge the REBGV stats for August? We all saw the CTV clip but Global just did nothing. Something is definitely wrong there – -

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    @VMD:

    Its a drug dealer.

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    V953048 – - Anyone have any insight on 2681 McBain in Quilchena in Vancouver. Massive lot just sold for almost $600,000 under assessed value. This is definitely an outlier but it is a possible typical situation you will get in a slow market. Old person, wants to sell – can’t wait any more – just takes huge reduction in order to move property. This sets the bar lower . . still. This is a 6,000+ sq ft lot which just sold for approx $1.5M. A new low.

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    Anonymous Says:
    74

    @zotitap: Zotitap, what’s your personal best Foreclosure score? My PB is -38. I’m aiming for -50. I also give myself a good pat on the back if I get some variation of the “go-buy-a-condo-and-then-tell-us-all-about-it” joke, or the “high troll-index means slow sales day” joke, or if someone calls me a “realturd”.

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    @Anonymous:
    I don’t know, by the way, did you have your meds yet?
    I just came back from the shrink and bumped into “Van”, I think the other anonymous patient there looks like you.

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    Anonymous Says:
    76

    @Zotitap: Sure, I have my meds. What I do is pretend to swallow, and then spit them out when the nurse isn’t looking.

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    @Zotitap: You’re not the real zotitap. You’re a fake zotitap. Let’s wonder this together.

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    ScubaSteve Says:
    78

    @ZRH2YVR:

    Global producers own in West Vancouver. Soon they will run a story about how Vancouver was voted the best place on earth to live, and talk to people rollerblading on the seawall at stanley park who will say “I love it here, it’s great”.

    That’s REAL reporting.

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    Anonymous Says:
    79

    @zotitap: When the market crashes and all the homeowners disappear to Guatemala and the population shrinks by 50%, how much will rents go down? I wonder.

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    YLTNboomerang Says:
    80

    @Brian: Woa, hold on a sec, “the isn’t the stock market” followed by “half our complex are trying to flip”??? You’re right, housing ain’t the stock market but many folks out there see crap returns on stock markets and instead are flipping houses so in fact treating homes like the stock market. What gets me is these folks would never lever up in equities but have no problem with only 5% down. Of my 300k in equities right now only 90k is borrowed as this is the risk I am prepared for and unlike the flipper, I’ll apply the same ratio to home ownership.

    Half the complex are flippers…and I’m guessing you don’t mean dolphins…can a bubble stare you in the face any more obviously???

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    Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs Says:
    81

    @Turkey

    The Little Mountain redevelopment is something I know a great deal about.

    “both the federal and provincial governments have their grubby fingerprints all over it.”

    Absolutely true. Actually most of the blame for the Little Mountain fiasco lies with the provincial govt as BC Housing is a provincial crown agency. This whole redevelopment is the brain child of Gordon Campbell and Rich Coleman. The provincial government were the ones who opened up the Relocation Office in 2007 and started displacing people en masse. And as I’ve said before, it’s all about creating housing for drug addicts. The plan was to sell the land to a developer (Joo Kim Tiah, Malaysian billionare/play boy) and reinvest the proceeds of the sale into supportive housing for drug addicts. The federal govt is complicit as it paved the way for redevelopment/privaization by transfering title to the land for all public housing in BC from CMHC to the provincial govt.

    “A lot of the political wrangling predates the current city council.”

    Yes, that’s true also. It was Sam Sullivan and the NPA who came up the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and the Province that led to this whole mess.

    “Don’t the provincial and federal governments warrant a blast of capital letters as well?”

    Absolutely, yes, they do deserve a blast of capital letters. In fact, I reserve the bulk of my vitriole for the provincial govt/BC Liberals.

    But I have a special kind of disgust for Vision Vancouver. Most poor people and working class people understand that parties like the Conservatives, the BC Liberals, and the NPA are our enemies. But Vision Vancouver is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Vision Vancouver came to power in Nov. 2008 on a promise to end homelessness in Vancouver and there was an expectation that they would tear up the MOU regarding Little Mountain that the previous NPA administration adopted. Vision Vancouver did not do that. They sacrificed Little Mountain. And Kerry Jang was one of the lead people who intimidated the last few Little Mountain residents to leave. You’d be surprised at what I’ve heard about him. Vision Vancouver thinks that as long as they put up some bike lanes around the city they can came off as progressive, even radical. The green agenda trumps the social justice agenda. And largely they have the public fooled as people see Vision Vancouver as left wing and friends of the poor and working class…they are anything but. If Mayor Robertson really cared about affordable housing and social isolation, don’t you think he would have something to say about foreign ownership of property in Vancouver. Real estate that goes unoccupied and used simply as an investment vehicle leads to empty neighbourhoods and isolation for those few houses on the block that are lived in. But of course, it would be the Vision Vancouverites who would be the first to scream racism toward any calls to restrict foreign ownership. They don’t care about the working poor who have lived here all their lives.

    “Second, should shit-eating hipsters have voted en masse for the NPA instead? It’s a shame that we lost some COPE councillors during the last civic election (Ellen Woodsworth, for example.)”

    No, they should not vote for NPA. Progressive voters should vote for COPE. I wholeheartedly agree that it was a tragedy that we lost Ellen Woodsworth. She and David Cadman were the only ones on City Council who meaningfully criticized the Little Mountain redevelopment.

    “In my opinion, the city is powerless to really “fix” Vancouver’s affordability problems during a housing bubble.”

    I agree with that for the most part. That’s why we need a NATIONAL public rental housing program like what virtually every other developed country in the world has.

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    @Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs: Yup. I can add two more examples.

    The question of noncompliant billboards (mostly owned by Pattison) briefly showed up during the last election campaign. I hate to link to city caucus, but here. The billboards are still there, and Geoff Meggs wears the blame for this one.

    Take the food-security/urban-garden push as another example. Vision has actually accomplished a lot here. I suspect Andrea Reimer gets the credit, though I’m not sure who to blame for the tax-break mechanism that got us here.

    Surprise, council’s flawed. I don’t see how we go from there to blaming Vision for social isolation or high housing costs. Both are collective failures that are bigger than this council.

    On the subject of foreign investment, the mayor’s line is basically “we need substantiated data.” (Here is a mealy-mouthed version. He says the same thing more bluntly in a video clip I can’t find right now.) Seems totally reasonable to me, given the only hard numbers we’ve drummed up here suggest foreign investment isn’t driving Vancouver real estate.

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    Anonymous Says:
    83

    @Anonymous: “When the market crashes and all the homeowners disappear to Guatemala and the population shrinks by 50%, how much will rents go down? I wonder.”

    How much have rents dropped in Detroit? Oh ya, to zero! Vantroit isn’t far behind.

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    Anonymous Says:
    84

    @Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs: “Most poor people and working class people understand that parties like the Conservatives, the BC Liberals, and the NPA are our enemies.”

    So, it’s time to stand up agains crop circles and cattle mutilation! Act now! Put on your tin foil hat and get our there!

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    Anonymous Says:
    85

    ZRH2YVR Says:
    Just a question. Did Global even acknowledge the REBGV stats for August? We all saw the CTV clip but Global just did nothing. Something is definitely wrong there – -

    Maybe they couldn’t find someone who wanted to come on and talk about it

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    joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs Says:
    86

    @Turkey

    “I don’t see how we go from there to blaming Vision for social isolation or high housing costs. Both are collective failures that are bigger than this council.”

    I wasn’t blaming social isolation/high housing costs entirely on Vision. I agree these are collective failures. I have pointed to how the BC Liberals/federal Conservatives/NPA also had their hands in the Little Mountain development. I am simply stating that it is hypocritical of Robertson to try to position himself as someone who cares about social isolation and high housing costs when he and his party have been **PART** of the problem.

    “Seems totally reasonable to me, given the only hard numbers we’ve drummed up here suggest foreign investment isn’t driving Vancouver real estate.”

    I disagree. I think HAM is one component that has driven up real estate prices in Vancouver. We don’t have the numbers because there is no mechanism by which we could get that data. But since I’ve been talking about it so much today, the Little Mountain redevelopment is one significant example of foreigners buying up real estate in Vancouver and displacing the locals. The developer who bought the land is Holborn Properties, owned by Joo Kim Tiah, an immigrant from Malaysia. During the displacement of the residents, BC Housing kept insisting that one of the conditions of the sale for the developer was vacant possession. So here we have a billionaire from Asia buying up real estate in Vancouver and being part of a process that involves the displacement of 200 families from Little Mountain (including a lot of non-white families who were displaced, so it’s not racist to point this out–it’s racial minorities in Vancouver who are often the ones who are displaced by foreign investment in real estate).

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    Just got an email from the “Village on the Creek” (olympic village):

    “28 HOMES SOLD IN THE LAST SIX WEEKS
    Did you know there are less than 180 opportunities left to call The Village home? In fact, just in the last two weeks alone 11 homes were sold!”

    At this rate, they can sell off their remaining stock (the non-rental ones, of course) in 38.5 weeks. Assuming no decline in sales activity, that is.

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    ArthurFonzarelli Says:
    88

    I cant believe Global didn’t even run a story on the monthly stats. I called it two months ago that REBGV was going to keep saying the market is “relatively flat” until it reaches a double digit YOY drop. Which os probably a statistical ompossibility with the New New and Improved HPI. Douchebags the lot of them.

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    patriotz patriotz Says:
    89

    @Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs:
    It doesn’t make any sense to criticise CoV mayor and council (of any party) for not having a stand on foreign ownership when they don’t have any power to do anything about it. If a council was elected on a stand of restricting foreign ownership it would inevitably be refused the necessary powers by the provincial government (even the NDP I think, as it would want a province-wide policy) and simply look stupid.

    The electorate as a whole doesn’t seem to have caught on to this since the issues of foreign ownership and speculation get talked about the most during civic campaigns, not provincial or federal campaigns where the governments elected really do have the power.

    And IMHO the provincial and federal parties don’t want to talk about it anyway, since they have surmised that homeowners (who comprise 70% of households and likely more of those who vote) don’t want any policy that would bring down house prices. Even more so going forward from today as a US-style bust appears more likely to any rational observer.

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    New Listings 295
    Price Changes 128
    Sold Listings 54
    TI:18516

    http://www.paulboenisch.com

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    @paulb: 54? Troll index was right!

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    Vancouver Says:
    92

    “What’s with some of the homes that sits there for months not selling and all of a sudden they increase the prices.”

    It’s because prices go up, so they need to adjust to the latest market value.

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    Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs Says:
    93

    @Patriotz

    “It doesn’t make any sense to criticise CoV mayor and council (of any party) for not having a stand on foreign ownership when they don’t have any power to do anything about it.”

    City councils frequently take stands on things they have no power over. For example, Vancouver as a “nuclear weapons free zone”. City of Vancouver has no authority over Canada’s defense policies. City of Vancouver/Mayor Robertson could at least take some position on the issue of foreign ownership. If we don’t have the numbers then maybe politicians at all levels can push for a means to get the numbers on foreign ownership.

    “If a council was elected on a stand of restricting foreign ownership it would inevitably be refused the necessary powers by the provincial government (even the NDP I think, as it would want a province-wide policy) and simply look stupid.”

    I think any party that wanted to put limits on foreign ownership, perhaps only in certain geographic areas like Vancouver, would have a significant political base in Vancouver and Canada. Canada needs a left wing populism (nationalism?) that represents the public interest of Canadians as opposed to international capital/money launderers who want to park their money in Vancouver real estate.

    “The electorate as a whole doesn’t seem to have caught on to this since the issues of foreign ownership and speculation get talked about the most during civic campaigns, not provincial or federal campaigns where the governments elected really do have the power.

    And IMHO the provincial and federal parties don’t want to talk about it anyway, since they have surmised that homeowners (who comprise 70% of households and likely more of those who vote) don’t want any policy that would bring down house prices. Even more so going forward from today as a US-style bust appears more likely to any rational observer.”

    Very good points. I agree.

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    +414 climb in inventory over this short week! September is here and this runaway freight train is gaining momentum.

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    HAM Solo Says:
    95

    4 selling days into September, we have already had 2 of the only 4 days below 70 sales in the past three Septembers, and 4 of the 13 days above 290 listings. (Hat tip Scuba/Paul B for data)

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    today’s sale/list ratio: 18.3%
    september S/L ratio so far: 22.8%
    sept 2011 S/L ratio was: 39.5%

    our S/L ratio last few days is in the range of first 2 weeks of January. Frigid sales before summer even ends..

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    54 sales ? Good luck with your Wednesday open house strategy.

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    @patriotz: “And IMHO the provincial and federal parties don’t want to talk about it anyway, since they have surmised that homeowners (who comprise 70% of households and likely more of those who vote) don’t want any policy that would bring down house prices.”

    Jason Kenney talked about it referring to Quebec investor immigrant loopholes causing prices to rise in his buddies’ neighbourhoods. CMHC caps on $1MM+ mortgages, changes on income declaration for mortgage approvals, and the moratorium on skilled worker applications, all seem to be pointing in the direction of doing “something”.

    The provincial government allowed HST rebates on most homes except for higher priced ones.

    Not to say the government wouldn’t do anything practicable to avoid a severe correction over a “soft landing” but from what I see they are aware of the problem, and the feds at least seem to understand the previous status quo would be worse than implementing Basel 3 and clawing back mortgage amortizations, though the latter I expect is viewed as a temporary measure until rates rise at which point they’ll extend it back up in name of “debt relief” for underwater homeowners.

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    @Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs:

    “Canada needs a left wing populism (nationalism?) that represents the public interest of Canadians as opposed to international capital/money launderers who want to park their money in Vancouver real estate.”

    This could have been lifted from the platform of the British National Party in the UK, which is often called right wing but is instead socialist. Indeed it’s gains in recent elections came from disaffected Labour supporters.

    Right wing and left wing really have no meaning beyond use as name-calling.

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    Anonymous Says:
    100

    @ZRH2YVR: The fact that this city would assess a standard 50 x 125 lot at $2.1 million tells you everything you need to know about how far this market is going to fall and why.

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    ScubaSteve Says:
    101

    Updated sales chart

    http://i50.tinypic.com/osen3l.gif

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    McLovin Says:
    102

    Speaking of Olympic Village, just headed over there for a bike ride with the kids. I must say it has changed a lot in 6 months. It is happening and very busy. I think the turning point was Terra Breads going in. Now that it has Urban Fare, LD and the pub it will be a full fledged community and I for one am happy.

    I still think the quality and design of the units is poor and the prices ridiculous but that’s for the buyers to deal with. Its nice that there will be another new community in Vancouver.

    PS – LOVE THE SALES NUMBER – Even the masses are starting to realize this ship is sinking fast!

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    ScubaSteve Says:
    103

    As we can see from the sales (chart http://i50.tinypic.com/osen3l.gif), here is the comparison from the Tue-Fri after labour day:

    —————–

    2012
    - 291 sales / 1276 listings = 22.8% sell-list

    2011
    - 420 sales / 1202 listings = 34.9% sell-list

    2010
    - 383 sales / 1036 listings = 37.0% sell-list

    —————–

    As we can see, this year listings have basically kept up with last year, but slightly higher. Meanwhile, sales have plunged. If this keeps up, sales will be down 30.7% YoY, which is almost exactly how much sales were down YoY from Aug/12 to Aug/11.

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    If we maintain the +140/day inventory climb that we averaged over the last 3 days, then reaching 20K will need 11 days. There’s still 15 business days left in Sept so there’s a chance we have our long-awaited 20K party this month!

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    Best place on meth Says:
    105

    Does anyone have an updated inventory chart showing the sudden and violent jerk upwards since last week?

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    Chipman rarely posts anything and I almost spit up on myself when he went “out of his way” to make a post that Inventory has “decisively peaked and the decline has begun”. Is he even watching what’s going on at all?

    http://www.robchipman.net/2012/09/07/inventory-has-peaked-in-the-lower-mainland-inventory-decline-begins/

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    plumber Says:
    107

    @zrh2yvr

    2681 McBain is a “T”, bad feng shui. That’s why the 30% off assessed.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    108

    @Ray:

    Chipman’s hit his head on the instrument panel a few times during those hard landings on the airstrip up in nowheresville.

    It’s probably best not to read his ramblings, nobody else does.

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    Vancouver Says:
    109

    Come on guys. Inventory did peak. It might get back to 19k… but that’s it for the year. Realtors know.

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    HAM Solo Says:
    110

    Definitely the story through 2012 so far has been the fall off in sales volume. I think we could see a little revival in purchasing activity in the back-end of the month… But the question in my mind is if the buoyant markets and economy encourage increased new listings by investors or empty nesters who are waiting for the right conditions to exit.

    We are already seeing new listings ahead of Sept 2011, which was fairly active. Is Sept 2012 the start of a listings boom?

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    @patriotz:

    Landlords selling their properties do not change the balance of rental supply/demand.

    Real estate is people selling houses to each other. It’s not ramen noodles or t-shirts. I don’t think some people get the implications. This is not an engine of sustainable growth.

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    @Vancouver:

    Dude, my dick peaked last night and that’s it for the year but who knows it, except maybe realtors?

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    19k, 20k, 24k? We’ll never know what the real number is until REBGR opens up the MLS system. Given the way the HPI is bring spun I see no reason to particularly trust their definition of inventory. The definition of sales is a little more concrete – that’s one we can enjoy.

    BTW, this market may yet rise from the ashes. It has done it before. Time to stick the boot in while the market is down by writing to the federal Ministry of Finance and/or CRA pushing them to:
    1. Clamp down on pre-sale contract flippers who did not reprt the taxable capital gain from the transaction.
    2. Clamp down on people with “mortgage helpers” collecting reantal income and never reporting it on their tax returns.

    These are two major sources of speculation that allowed this bubble to go on far too long. Time for these clowns to pay.

    The Feds clearly want to be strategic in their policy initiatives and not use the blunt instrument of interest rates. Removing these two segments of the market would cool things down (and really put a fork in it).

    Write those letters bears!

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    ZRH2YVR Says:
    114

    @plumber:

    I’m going to say – you probably have it right. However, this is very psychological. It’s not every Chinese person who cares about this – but MANY MANY do. Many of you many know my parents sold in Richmond last March. After 4-5 weeks of “T-Street” comments, with many people even turning around on arrival, they sold for just under asking to a Chinese person who did not care. It reduces your buyer pool but ultimately, it does not really decrease the true value of the property based on fundamentals (not like we have any of those anyway).

    This old lady probably had so many agents coming by and placing these thoughts in her head that this was a T-Street so price had to go down. Finally, after such a slow market, and thinking the T-Street did her in, she caved.

    Property has a non-Chinese selling agent so read into that what you want.

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    @ZRH2YVR: Hi friend–care to revise your August prediction about inventory this fall? I still think we will make 20K….

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    With the drop in the 7day MA for sales to 73, total projected sales for the month drops to 1382. That, along with the fast inventory gain gives us a 13 handle on the MoI. Be aware that this is very sensitive, but si la tendence se maintient…this is gonna be an epic month.

    Sep-2012	
    Total days	19
    Days elapsed so far	4
    Weekends / holidays	3
    Days missing	0
    Days remaining	15
    7 Calendar Day Moving Average: Sales	73
    7 Calendar Day Moving Average: Listings	319
    SALES	
    Sales so far	291
    Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA)	1091
    Projected month end total	1382
    NEW LISTINGS	
    Listings so far	1276
    Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA)	4785
    Projected month end total	6061
    Sell-list so far	22.8%
    Projected month-end sell-list	22.8%
    MONTHS OF INVENTORY	
    Inventory as of September 7, 2012	18516
    Current MoI at this sales pace	13.40
    

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    Guy Smiley Guy Smiley Says:
    117

    T-schmee. I think the McBain sale reeks of a starving realtor.

    The troll index seems particularly high due to the absolute idiocy of the posts recently. zotitap? was that supposed to be patriotz in reverse but you couldn’t quite work it out? and posting back and forth to yourself as anonymous. And fuck-off van, your inane comments suck ass.

    I miss li kai shing and some of the trolls who at least showed a little wit.

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    I looked at a home in south surrey last June (I own a place in Burnaby but plan on moving there for a variety of reasons – I’m looking at next spring / summer to make the switch but go to see a few places to get better feel for the neighbourhoods). The address is 3312 144A ST and it is a lottery home from 7 years ago and listed at 1.95 million. I didn’t think much of it, really weird layout and other issues. Somehow it sold a month later for $1.85 million which was very surprising. Anyways….

    6 weeks later and I assume it is time for possession and lo and behold

    http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/rds/apa/3257239962.html

    Trying to rent it out for $5K/month… At 5% down and a 4% mortgage they would need to come up with roughly $100K and pay $10K/month and they immediately think renting it for $5K/month is a good financial move. This is going to be fun to watch.

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    Does anyone have any data correlating moi with price drops?

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    @ZRH2YVR:
    “Anyone have any insight on 2681 McBain”

    Listed $1995000 in June, $1599000 in September makes it a 20% drop. Apparently:
    1. His/her kids read this blog
    2. And he/she listens to what they say.
    Way to go.

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    @GNFINGR: See the 4th graph here, by Jesse.

    http://housing-analysis.blogspot.ca/2012/09/greater-vancouver-market-snapshot.html

    Very tight relationship between MoI and price drops. That’s why we obsess about inventory and MoI around here.

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    Romeo Jordan Says:
    122

    Let’s remember what Chipfart said so we can rub his nose in his idiocy in the coming weeks and months.

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    @VHB: “That’s why we obsess about inventory and MoI around here.”

    And sell-newlist too…

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    Enter the insane asylum if you dare. It’s part of my required community service to interface with “Real Estate Talkers”:
    http://realestatetalks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=128225&p=312573#p312573

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    Vancouver Says:
    125

    I watched that video and some expert dude named Cam or something said the market is fine.

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    Vancouver Says:
    126

    something about low interest rates and stable employment in BC.

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    History repeat itself
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNmcf4Y3lGM

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    Looks like this sold early this year for over 2.5 million or if someone could correct me…

    Rent me for only 3000.00 month

    http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/apa/3194813338.html

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    @oh oh:
    sure seems that way,
    “2429 McBain sold for 107% of the List Price!

    The list price was $2.4M
    107% = 2.568M
    even with 35% downpayment (minimum DP required for new immigrant / nonresident investor) @ 30 years, the monthly mortgage payment would be >$7000. The monthly interest payment would be >$4000, i.e. More than monthly rent income.
    We haven’t even included property tax and other expenses.
    Imagine how these “investors” would feel when their neighbor just sold at $600k below assessed price.

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    “unspoken rules of current RE market” (translated)

    Due to slowing sales but increasing number of realtors, realtors nowadays commonly offer significant commission rebates.
    eg. 10%-20% rebate to person who introduced/helped find the buyer.
    20%-30% rebate to seller/buyer is common nowadays (don’t be afraid to ask, but do put it in writing)
    40%-50% rebate to buyer is possible if you already know what you want, but just want them to help with price negotiation and doing paperwork.
    There are even some new realtors who refunded 100% of commission, just to get a sale in the records.

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    patriotz patriotz Says:
    131

    @604x:

    1. Clamp down on pre-sale contract flippers who did not reprt the taxable capital gain from the transaction.

    Actually a pre-sale flip is straight income rather than a capital gain (which is included in income at 50%). I think the problem with chasing these down is that they’re not in the land titles for CRA to troll – but someone has posted articles on this board about flippers being caught.

    2. Clamp down on people with “mortgage helpers” collecting reantal income and never reporting it on their tax returns.

    Many (most?) people with mortgage helpers don’t have any income anyway, since expenses exceed rent received. In any case they are required to file and there’s a penalty for not filing.

    The simplest and most effective way to track rental income is to bring in a renter’s tax credit for which the renter names their landlord and gives the amount of rent. Likely would pay for itself.

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    patriotz patriotz Says:
    132

    Why Brokers Study Chinese

    And the flaw in the HAM argument becomes obvious – why would they keep buying indefinitely in Vancouver when they can get much better value in a real word-class city.

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    Romeo Jordan Says:
    133

    The Chinese are idiots.

    The East Indians are idiots.

    The White Folk are idiots.

    They share the same common characteristics – emotion/fear and greed/group think/yaddayaddayadda.

    Overleveraged players will get smashed, that’s all there is to it…if your a reasonably smart developer who thought you’d get out when things cooled..well guess what, there is a long line up to hit the eject button and it ain’t moving (not at these prices).

    Interesting times.

    Yes, I revise my view, we could actually hit 20,000 this month (that said, I think it’s a number we don’t see until October.

    Chimpman is a fucking fool, I can’t wait for him to eat his words, I might send him some rocks to shove up his ass when he see’s how off the mark he was.

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    ZRH2YVR Says:
    134

    @VHB:

    Maybe. Not sure what my exact words were but I may have said that we have seen the peak.

    I would say that REBGV inventory could reach 19,000 by end of September. My current model is showing between 18,600 and 19,200. There is almost no chance we will hit 20,000. Including the Land/Multi inventory – would may hit 20,000 – which is the number tracked by Paul B. In any case, we may not exceed the number at end of June if we don’t keep up the very high listing rate.

    There has been a noticable change in the “change” in listings over last year. We were trending very far downward with this year being much slower than last year. However, we did spike the first week of September. The rate of listing is not close to 2008, but we should come in at the same pace as last year (at least).

    Historically, the high listing rate goes only through the first week of October. At that point, the cancellation and removal rate will get the balance remaining on the market to fall quite quickly.

    So – my prediction is that the June closing inventory of 18,500 will be exceeded this month (I may have always said that). However, I do not see that we will hit 19,500 – It’s just not possible at the current listing and sales rate.

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    Anonymous Says:
    135

    @patriotz: Because Vancouver is an Asian city.

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    Dan in Calgary Says:
    136

    @ScubaSteve, ’11,000 realtors in Vancouver, and 1,500 sales a month. That means 9,500 realtors have nothing better to do but troll on here and get foreclosed on.”

    Anyone have an idea how many realtors there were in, say, 10 years ago? I think that could give an indication of how many will survive.

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    fixie guy Says:
    137

    @132 patriotz Says: “…why would they keep buying indefinitely in Vancouver when they can get much better value in a real word-class city.”

    I’ll give them full credit, the shills thought this through years ago and long maintained “because it’s the best place on earth and Vancouver prices are chump change for HAM.”

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    Thanks for the info vhb.

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    @Dan in Calgary:
    got that:
    according to 2002 rebgv stats packages

    Aug 2002: “the REBGV is an association representing 6660 realtors”
    Aug 2012: “the REBGV is an association representing 11000 realtors”

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    Patiently Waiting Says:
    140

    @patriotz:

    I’d found this comment on a Toronto Star article:

    “When flipping a condo, the most important issue one should watch for is, CRA. Flipping a condo can be deemed not as an investment, but a speculation. Hence, taxed as a speculation. There are teams of auditors inside CRA watching each and every one of the final closings of these new condo buildings. Trump Tower is a perfect example. CRA has already started calling all these so called “investors” to supply supporting documents in their tax returns next year. The builder has been very supportive in furnishing their buyers’ contact infos to CRA. Don’t turn a little speculation tax into a full audit of yesteryears. It is not worth the risk. Happy HST !”

    http://www.moneyville.ca/article/1175064–things-to-watch-for-when-flipping-a-condo

    Also this was posted on VCI last year:
    http://www.richmondreview.com/community/116513228.html

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    Patiently Waiting Says:
    141

    @patriotz:

    I’d found this comment on a Toronto Star article:

    “When flipping a condo, the most important issue one should watch for is, CRA. Flipping a condo can be deemed not as an investment, but a speculation. Hence, taxed as a speculation. There are teams of auditors inside CRA watching each and every one of the final closings of these new condo buildings. Trump Tower is a perfect example. CRA has already started calling all these so called “investors” to supply supporting documents in their tax returns next year. The builder has been very supportive in furnishing their buyers’ contact infos to CRA. Don’t turn a little speculation tax into a full audit of yesteryears. It is not worth the risk. Happy HST !”

    http://www.moneyville.ca/article/1175064–things-to-watch-for-when-flipping-a-condo

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    Patiently Waiting Says:
    142

    Also this was posted on VCI last year:
    http://www.richmondreview.com/community/116513228.html

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    Robert Shiller (case shiller) says he would not buy real estate in Vancouver, its current trend he says is too much like San Fran, before the prices started to dump.

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    I’m not sure when things changed but a few years ago you could only be a realtor. Anybody who couldn’t make a living, couldn’t gain a clientel and could’t provide proper service levels had to leave. For example, you couldn’t be a bus driver/realtor. This was challenged legally and now realtors can hold other jobs at the same time. Hard to argue that people should not be allowed to hold more than one job and many of them secretly did at that time.

    The change encouraged a lot of people to take their real estate license however not devote themselves to real estate as a career. In my opinion these changes diluted experience and integrity in the industry. I think your best realtor is in it for a career, rather than trusting a part timer with a large legal, emotional and financial tranaction.

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    /dev/null Says:
    145

    @camper: Like all the high-powered, career-type realtors who stand on TV or place ads making claims about guaranteed profits from price appreciation? Claims that would get them incarcerated if they were selling stocks?

    Ya. They ooze integrity.

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    “In my opinion these changes diluted experience and integrity in the industry. I think your best realtor is in it for a career, rather than trusting a part timer with a large legal, emotional and financial transaction.”

    I will agree there are a handful of honest professional Realtors. In my experience about 1 in 10.

    The rest are worthless sales people. Actually that’s an insult to sales people. Sales people actually know something about the product they are selling.

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    @/dev/null:
    but the guaranteed profit is so titillating! ; )

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    @TNT:

    You can watch Shiller’s interview on Fish’s site:

    http://fishyre.blogspot.ca/2012/09/robert-shiller-hammers-vancouver-home.html

    He has been saying Vancouver is over-priced for some time, now he says the whole of Canada is in a bubble.

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    @McLovin: I kind of have to agree – 1 in 10 sounds about right to me too.

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    Anonymous Says:
    150

    @Romeo Jordan: oh, why so grumpy? wanna run away from your prenant g/f; or your shoebox is running out of space for the three of you? got panic that your shoebox losing value? rob chipman is one the best realtor outthere. you hate him so much for being right? get your head out of your ass, you will get smarter.

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    Patiently Waiting Says:
    151

    @Anonymous: Hi Aaron :)

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    @Patiently Waiting:
    A clip from the linked article:

    ‘Alban Wang… said it’s not his responsibility to tell the final buyer that he or she could be on the hook for paying the capital gains tax should the middle-man default.

    “It’s nothing with me,” Wang said. “I cannot say something to you. I’m only a realtor. I cannot tell you much.” ‘

    LOL! “I cannot tell you much”?!?! WTF is the reason for the commission, bro????
    But at least, ladies and gentleman, we have found ourselves the elusive “brutally honest” used house salesperson! However this is a good example of why honesty should never be equated with integrity/morals.

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    @Patiently Waiting
    Thanks for the article on CRA nailing pre-sale contract flippers in Toronto.

    @patriotz
    It looks like flipping a pre-sale contract is income AND the HST rebate is also cancelled – a nice double-whammy for speculators.

    TAXATION OF SPECULATORS
    This is a worthwhile topic to really put an end to the insanity of condo overbuilding in Vancouver and Toronto. Anyone have any ideas on how to end the speculation? I like my two suggestions because it is relatively easy for CRA to implement.

    Here’s another suggestion: Offer a tax amnesty to owners with a rental suite to step forward a report income before 2013 to avoid tax penalties. Anyone not doing this gets nailed with penalties when caught.

    This has an additional benefit of publicizing the issue and spooking other speculators considering avoiding taxes to think twice. This in itself will reduce speculator activity – CRA wins by issuing the press release announcing the policy.

    Anyone know anything about lobbying CRA and government to do something like this? Simple letters from multiple people or is there a better way?

    BTW patriotz, I don’t see a national rental rebate as feasible – the costs of the rebate far far outweigh the income gained for CRA. And there is no way in hell the Harper government is introducing tax breaks for renters after all this. The only people getting tax breaks will be CMHC guarantee recipients who can’t repay the debt. Sad but true.

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    zotitap zotitap Says:
    154

    Thanks to “Van” for the shrink referral, I’m on meds now and deeply regret all the dumb and mean things I’ve said in the last few days.
    I have disgraced my family with my dimmed wits and shall be institutionalized from now on.

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    @zotitap:
    your welcome
    don’t forget to take u’re meds!

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    Anonymous Says:
    156

    @604x

    This is a worthwhile topic to really put an end to the insanity of condo overbuilding in Vancouver and Toronto.

    That’s the dumbest statement I’ve ever heard, and I’m a bear. Supply is what helps to bring prices (and rent) down in the long run.

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    West Coast Woman Says:
    157

    To ZRH2YVR @73:

    2681 McBain was probably the best deal anyone would find in that neighbourhood in this market. Original owners, immaculate condition – a well built house that could last another 100 years – unless it ends up in the landfill like so many others in this neighbourhood.

    The neighbourhood spec builders and many Asians wouldn’t purchase it because it was at the end of a T-steet. About two weeks ago I was viewing a new build in the area and started talking to a Caucasian couple at the open house. I told them about the McBain house and their first reaction was “yeah, but it’s at the end of a T-street so it has little resale potential”. I was shocked at that comment and replied that it was a much superior location with much less traffic (probably less than 20 cars a day drive down that street) than the one we were viewing. Regardless of whether the T-street thing makes any sense, it WAS the reason for the reduced price as the long-time older owner simply couldn’t take care of the house anymore and was motivated to sell.

    Two houses in the 2400 block McBain sold a couple of months ago in a crazy bidding war. One was purchased as an “investment” by an Asian man living across the street. It is the one now being rented out. The one next door to it (which wasn’t even listed) was purchased by someone who “lost” the bidding war; it is now back on the market for about $2,670,000 – about 150,000 more than they paid for it. Another house across the street at 2408 McBain is another slightly renovated flip – purchased last year for about $2.2 million, it’s now back on the market for about $2.6 million!

    To 604x:

    Here’s a suggestion – CRA has a tax fraud tip line. You can phone, fax, or submit a tip via the internet. You can report things like houses being flipped when no one’s living in them, or single family houses being demolished to build big spec houses with basement suites and/or laneway cottages (converting single family houses to multi-family properties). All you need is an address and an MLS listing to get the ball rolling …. Once the speckers and flippers get dinged with INCOME (not capital) gains, they may be a little less likely to continue their activities. . .

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    ZRH2YVR Says:
    158

    @West Coast Woman:

    Thanks – - it’s amazing how the T-Street issue can creap up. It’s such a farce and it’s really psychological. Eventually, if it is priced right, the buyer will move and take it. In this case, it was a serious decrease in price. I think my parents were really lucky. The property behind them, which was identical size lot and faced the opposite side t-street took a 30% discount. My parents ultimately sold to someone who liked the house and did not care. Wow – - it certainly was a steal in today’s market. However- those other McBain flips are destined to go bad.

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    Proud and extremely rich Chinese home owners Says:
    159

    @Anonymous:
    Why don’t they agree Van is a Asian city,no not 100 correct,it should be a Mainaland Chinese city,which has a important value to Great China.

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    4444 4444 4444 4444 Says:
    160

    @Proud and extremely rich Chinese home owners:

    Not very smart on your part, you have annoyed to many people, and now I will have to put a curse on you as I have on Richmond RE

    You also will now have bad luck for 44 years.

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    Bearacha Says:
    161

    @4444 4444 4444 4444: …and your mamma lives on a T-street

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    Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs Says:
    162

    Can someone explain what a ‘T’ street is and why does real estate on these streets sell for a discounted price?

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    oneangryslav2 Says:
    163

    @Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs: A dead-end street that runs into the house. Look at 912 Windermere Street. Everytime I drive East along Venables in the evening I wonder how many pairs of headlights shine into that house every evening.

    https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=3200+venables+vancouver+bc&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x548670d7f5a56611:0x2367b9055075ef7f,3200+Venables+St,+Vancouver,+BC+V5K+4J5&gl=ca&ei=FvJLULOMI4zQigLI0oDADA&ved=0CCEQ8gEwAA

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    @Anonymous

    As the saying goes, in the long-run we’re all dead. Speculators have been driving up this market for almost 10 years – and pushing it hard since 2006. Supply/demand remains secondary to herd mentality. Sure it’ll end eventually, but CRA can and should bring this to an end now by clamping down and eliminating the spec’ers. Then we’ll finally see a reversion to norm or perhaps something uglier.

    The psychology of buyers is the problem – buyers are obsessed with ownership and rationality doesn’t exist. Simple supply/demand economics failed years ago. Anything that undermines this obsession with real estate will lead to a burst bubble – that includes widespread belief that CRA will audit your ass if you’re a spec’er.

    @West Coast Woman.

    Thanks for the tip but I think something bigger than pot-shots at local neighbours is needed. A full, national policy change announcement from CRA will be required to truly impact the overall market.

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    @Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs
    Living at the top of T street is a major no-no in Chinese Feng Shui.
    It’s called “lu-chong” (“road” “conflict”).

    Here’s a little intro by our favorite jurock:
    http://www.jurock.com/fengshui.html

    another link: Feng Shui Tips – The Impact of Roads in Feng Shui

    there are many forms of lu-chong, some bring good luck, some bad luck. Road width, Road traffic (dotted vs solid yellow vs double yellow line), road direction, up/down hill, height of house, corner lot, which side of house impacted, all matter.

    developers/house builders fly in famous FS specialists from Asia to help pick lots, assess building plan, and solve bad Feng Shui problems. I sat beside one a few months ago on a flight to Asia. He just finished assessing building lot Feng Shui in White Rock for a wealthy immigrant family.

    Properties with bad T-street FS are shunned by the people who take FS into consideration. They can go at -20% discount (in Asian neighborhoods) compared to ones without bad “road conflict”.

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    @Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs:

    Living at the top of T street is a major no-no in Chinese Feng Shui.
    It’s called “lu-chong” (“road” “conflict”).

    Here’s a little intro
    http://www.fengshuiweekly.com/feng-shui-tips-2/feng-shui-tips-the-impact-of-roads-in-feng-shui

    there are many forms of lu-chong, some bring good luck, some bad luck. Road width, Road traffic (dotted vs solid yellow vs double yellow line), road direction, up/down hill, height of house, corner lot, which side of house impacted, all matter.

    developers/house builders fly in famous FS specialists from Asia to help pick lots, assess building plan, and solve bad Feng Shui problems. I sat beside one a few months ago on a flight to Asia. He just finished assessing building lot Feng Shui in White Rock for a wealthy immigrant family.

    Properties with bad T-street FS are shunned by the people who take FS into consideration. They can go at -20% discount (in Asian neighborhoods) compared to ones without bad “road conflict”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    (sorry about the double post, the 1st post was held up in moderation so tried to delete one link.. still held up..)

    T-Street Feng Shui part 2:

    Ways to ameliorate the FS problem:
    (just look at the pictures)
    1. make fence or plant hedges/trees (height matters, not too tall)
    2. water/pond (but wrong size can bring ultra bad luck!)
    3. Feng Shui mirror
    4. A pair of stone lions (male on left)
    5. Move main entrance to the side of house.
    6. design a vestibule at front entrance (to moderate the conflict “chi”)
    7. Certain plants (ones with pointy/spiky leaf)

    big “science” (and big industry) indeed.

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    Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs Says:
    168

    If Feng Shui affects real estate prices in Metro Vancouver doesn’t that right there confirm the Asian influence on our real estate!?!

    So many people keep saying that we don’t know if HAM/foreign investment is a factor in propelling real estate prices to stratospheric heights–we don’t have the data.

    But if a house’s Feng Shui affects its re-sale value, doesn’t that strongly suggest HAM is indeed a factor in our real estate market.

    I know. I know. Not all Chinese people are recent immigrants/permanent residents still with one foot in China. Many, many Chinese were born here. So Feng Shui can be considered a part of Canadian culture because Chinese-Canadians adhere to it. But I think that since Feng Shui is such a huge factor that it influences real estate prices at least suggests that money rooted in China is part of what has fueled our bubble. Numerically speaking, Chinese are still a statistical minority in Metro Vancouver and not an overwhelming majority in Richmond either. So Feng Shui shouldn’t have such an influence on our real estate, if it was just local Chinese-Canadians believing in this. A house with bad feng shui should still fetch the same price as a house with good feng shui by selling to a person who is not a believer in feng shui. If it is affecting market prices it means a significant proportion of the capital underpinning this market is Feng Shui-believing Chinese.

    This also conflicts with what I learned in my social science courses in university. Academia portrays immigrants and racial minorities as economically disadvantaged. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve heard leftist academics talk about “white economic power/white privilege”. If feng shui is affecting real estate prices in Metro Vancouver, clearly there is a great deal of Chinese economic power/Chinese privilege. Why can’t we have a civilized discussion about this???

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    @Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs:

    “I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve heard leftist academics talk about “white economic power/white privilege”. If feng shui is affecting real estate prices in Metro Vancouver, clearly there is a great deal of Chinese economic power/Chinese privilege. Why can’t we have a civilized discussion about this???”

    I think he ‘leftist academics’ were talking about the way we screwed the natives (metaphorically and literary in residential schools), how the first Chinese came here soon after the first white settlers but could not vote until 1947 and Canadian-Japanese who fought in Europe in our Army came back to find their land expropriated and their families in internment camps and they didn’t get to vote until 1949.

    Thems the facts, whether they come out of the mouth of a leftist professor or a right wing PM like Harper apologizing for internment.

    Then there is now. Do the HAM have too much influence on our market with their easily-attained untaxed money?- YES. Emphatically yes.

    End of story. No need to try and rewrite history – just deal with is wrong now and lets try and fix it, and accept the past for what it was, warts and all.

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    @Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs: “But if a house’s Feng Shui affects its re-sale value, doesn’t that strongly suggest HAM is indeed a factor in our real estate market.”

    “It is not a case of choosing those [faces] that, to the best of one’s judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those that average opinion genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be. And there are some, I believe, who practice the fourth, fifth and higher degrees.”

    (Keynes, General Theory of Employment Interest and Money, 1936).

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    Anonymous Says:
    171

    @jesse:
    Cant click enough on this.. brilliant !

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    West Coast Woman Says:
    172

    To 604X @164:

    I’m not really talking about taking pot shots at neighbours, but instead using reporting tax fraud as a means for getting CRA to conduct a project to audit all these transactions.

    Put simply, CRA usually won’t act until they perceive there is a problem that is resulting in significant tax leakage. The best way to get them to see this is by putting specific examples in front of them. Once they get a significant number of reports, they are more likely to initiate a national or regional project to audit all similar transactions.

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    good-format Says:
    173

    House Crash Evidence

    The following unit is listed for sale for $379,900. This is worse than 2007′s price.

    http://www.homesmapleridge.com/11282-COTTONWOOD-MAPLE-RIDGE-BC/V963750/REBGV_REM566

    Worse units (none-corner) were sold around $398,000 5 years ago without basement being finished.

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    good-format Says:
    174

    Copied from http://re.olvius.com/?ajx=handler&handler=REReports&report_ID=200&order=2

    #12 11282 COTTONWOOD DR, Maple Ridge
    04-Jul-12  $425,000.00
    26-Jul-12  $389,900.00
    25-Aug-12  $379,900.00
    

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs:

    If Feng Shui affects real estate prices in Metro Vancouver doesn’t that right there confirm the Asian influence on our real estate!?!

    Confirms? Sorry, I didn’t know it was ever in doubt. Every buyer and sale has influence on the market.

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    patriotz patriotz Says:
    176

    @Crikey:

    ‘Alban Wang… said it’s not his responsibility to tell the final buyer that he or she could be on the hook for paying the capital gains tax should the middle-man default.

    “It’s nothing with me,” Wang said. “I cannot say something to you. I’m only a realtor. I cannot tell you much.” ‘

    LOL! “I cannot tell you much”?!?! WTF is the reason for the commission, bro????

    The reason for the commission – which is paid by the seller – is that he sold the property.

    Sales people are not in the job of giving tax advice nor are they competent to do so, whether they are selling RE, gold, comic books, stocks, or whatever. That’s the job of accountants and lawyers. And the burden of following the rules on taxation is ALWAYS on the investor.

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    patriotz patriotz Says:
    177

    @good-format:
    “Needs some TLC.”

    5 years old and the place is already falling apart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    178

    @604x:
    “BTW patriotz, I don’t see a national rental rebate as feasible”

    I don’t see a national rebate either but some provinces have them and that is something that one could reasonably expect a new NDP provincial government to do. Remember that there is a provincial as well as federal income tax and there’s a payoff for the province in getting rental income reported too.

    Ontario has one but only low income people get it. If you gave it to everyone – with it tapering down to $100/year or something like that as income goes up – you are getting every renter in the province to rat on their landlord at a pretty low cost.

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    Guy Smiley Guy Smiley Says:
    179

    Under section 116 of the Income Tax Act, when a non-resident disposes of taxable Canadian property, the purchaser “is required to withhold 25 per cent of the purchase price…until such time as a certificate of compliance is obtained by the non-resident vendor.”

    It’s hardly tax advice to inform a buyer of this clause. If a realtor that is representing either buyer or seller in this case are unaware of this, it is incompetence. If they know it and neglect to inform the buyer of it then i’d call that simple misconduct. I agree with Crikey – for the commissions paid there should be higher expectations.

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    Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs Says:
    180

    @frank:

    “I think he ‘leftist academics’ were talking about the way we screwed the natives (metaphorically and literary in residential schools), how the first Chinese came here soon after the first white settlers but could not vote until 1947 and Canadian-Japanese who fought in Europe in our Army came back to find their land expropriated and their families in internment camps and they didn’t get to vote until 1949.”

    Academic discourse on white economic power/white privilege is NOT only talking about HISTORIC wrongs. It is NOT past tense. Anti-racist ideology that is so prevalent in academia is saying that racial hierarchies that position white people at the top are operative in the present-day. I’ve come across this so many times in my years in university. There is an unwillingness to recognize privilege/economic power of non-white people/immigrants in the present day and there is an unwillingness to recognize the poor white people even exist. “Middle class” and “white” are terms used almost interchangeably. The dominant view is that racial minority/immigrant = underprivileged and white = privileged in the PRESENT DAY.

    “No need to try and rewrite history – just deal with is wrong now and lets try and fix it”

    I am not trying to rewrite history. If you look over my post that you responded to, it is entirely in the PRESENT tense. I am talking about the present day. You are the one bringing up history. There is a subtext to your post that implies I am ignorant of history. I am very aware of all those attrocities against non-white people in Canada that you mentioned. You forgot to mention one. For the first half of the 20th century, ethnic Chinese people were not allowed to own property in Vancouver. I bet that this is part of the reluctance to talk about restricting foreign ownership in Vancouver today. It could be seen as trying to return to those days when Chinese were not allowed to own property in Vancouver.

    As far as dealing with what is wrong now and trying to fix it, we are not going to be able to do that unless we can have a civilized discussion on how race relations/class relations have changed in the 21st century. It’s the academics and the politically correct who are stuck in the past with their inability to recognize how in the present day SOME non-white people have a great deal of economic power and SOME white people are poor. But I think that political correctness has such a grip on our society and our political/social discourse that this is going to be very hard to do. As soon as you bring this up you are accused of racism or being ignorant of the wrongs of whites in the past. My fear is that multiculturalism is starting to fail. My fear is that if we can’t have a civilized discussion about these issues, then these issues will be vented in an uncivilized/violent manner. I reject any form of violence that is why I try to discuss these things intelligently and respectfully.

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    Painted turtle Says:
    181

    Googformat: damaged by a grow op?

    Regarding the race debate. I recently met a lot of stereotypes in the academia too (“immigrants are poor”, “white are responsible for all the sufering in the world”)).
    The most extreme I heard, and made me jump, from white people who felt guilty for being white, was: if the Chinese take over this city, so be it, it will be a nice revenge after all the bad we did to the First Nations people.

    How f…k is that argument, frankly ?!?!?!

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    McLovin Says:
    182

    6 Story wood frame in Surrey. Can you imagine the noise?

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/real-estate/First+story+wood+frame+housing+comes+market/7208943/story.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs:

    Thankfully the whole racial crap in this world will come to end in several generations with immigration and inter-marraige and the such.

    The point is that ANY group who comes to any city with external money, which is un-taxed (or taxed lower), maybe nefariously obtained and used to provide a safe haven investment while they goo back and make more money- will disrupt that society.

    It doesn’t matter whether that group is Chinese Mainlanders, or white SouthAfricans or Albertans- the effect is the same. It is just that one group is more visible and so attracts more attention.

    I remember over a decade ago when all the property in Whistler was being bought up by Americans and locals were complaining that it was unfair as the US had a lower tax rate, the US dollar was stronger and they hardly used their properties and rarely rented them out.

    Same as now, except no-one could spin it racially, and bring is BS about left wing academics!

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    Patiently Waiting Says:
    184

    @frank: “Thankfully the whole racial crap in this world will come to end in several generations with immigration and inter-marraige and the such.”

    This may be the case in urban North America. But for the world? No bloody way.

    BTW now that Canada has cut-off diplomatic relations with Iran, where does this leave our local Persian population (who mostly live on the North Shore)? Remember the TD Bank was closing bank accounts and mortgages of Persians who are *Canadian citizens* apparently because they still have ties to Iran.

    I know Persians who oppose the current Iranian government but nonetheless have personal and business ties with Iran and still (understandably) have an emotional attachment to their homeland. The current geo-political situation in the Middle East could certainly have an effect on Vancouver real estate.

    Isn’t it a bit weird how just one bank took the action on Persian account holders? Testing for the other banks, I suspect.

    Here’s a story from the summer:

    Nevertheless, TD informed the family that two lines of home equity credit for $250,000 must be paid off in 60 days, or the bank could foreclose on family properties, according to the family.

    The family was told it must pay back mortgages to the bank next year, they say, which means they will have to refinance with other banks.

    “We felt angered and discriminated against,” the family’s son said, “because we have been Canadian citizens for 14 years. . . .”

    Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/business/Bank+discriminates+against+Iranians+says+family/6909585/story.html#ixzz25zYMRKnD

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @VMD: man what an f-ed up race

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Patiently Waiting:

    Patiently – I suspect TD took action because it has large US holdings and wants to be seen to be following the US line on Iran. The US recently fined Standard Chartered for not towing the line.

    I agree this is a very unfortunate situation. The government egotists fight it out and the small people have to pay the price.

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    @VMD: i call bs. No one likes t street lots because cars point their lights at your house.

    Also, why is it that honkies seem to know so much mor about fs than any chink ive ever met? Honkies are the ones that think about fs because of their desire to satisfy the mythical HAM.

    As for the 20% off in asian neighbourhoods, thats just plane bull shit. Prove me wrong you know nothing loser.

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    @RomeoJordan
    “The Chinese are idiots.
    The East Indians are idiots.
    The White Folk are idiots.
    They share the same common characteristics – emotion/fear and greed/group think/yaddayaddayadda.”

    AMEN, Brother. Racists are just idiots on the other side.

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    The toping of landlord Tax Evasion always seems to creep up…

    Found this link in case anyone wants to report a known Evader :)

    https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/bscs/l3adz/internet/initial.do

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    UnagiDon Says:
    190

    “Construction at Forefront of Slowdown in China”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/business/global/10iht-yuan10.html

    Li Hongzhi, a Chengdu real estate broker, said prices had dropped 5 percent from a year ago. But the number of apartments changing hands has fallen much more steeply, often a sign that sellers are wary of accepting even lower offers from buyers.

    Mr. Li said the number of completed transactions in the city for already completed apartments had slumped 30 percent in July compared with the previous month, after the national and local government tightened restrictions on real estate speculation in a bid to improve the affordability of housing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Patiently Waiting Says:
    191

    Vancouver Boomer Homoaner loses job

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/video/video-how-a-vancouver-womans-finances-crumbled-when-she-lost-her-job/article4528255/

    Cue: sad music

    Lost middle-management job in 2009.

    After a grueling search, she found a job in 2012 at only a third her previous salary. OMG how much was she making before, or is she a sandwich artist now?

    Back to 2009:

    First thing when she was laid off, she reduced her credit card limit from $20K to $5K. Sounds good in principle BUT what if you temporarily need credit to go back to school. You could switch to a low-interest card and help finance retraining.

    So what does she do next? She raids her RRSPs :( STUPID STUPID STUPID

    So her severance runs out, and she discovers she can’t cover her mortgage on EI. Instead of selling her place, she borrows money from her brother to maintain payments. Yeesh, that’s gonna do wonders for their relationship.

    She only had two years left on her mortgage, so she would have had hundreds of thousands of dollars in her pocket if she sold. And her main concern now is she has about eight years on her mortgage.

    This would have been the perfect chance to sell her place, collect tax-free gains, rent a cheap apartment, and use money to go to school or move to a place like Calgary.

    I bet her new job, which she grasped onto in a panic (no doubt), could disappear anytime. Sadly, all I see for her is financial ruin and foreclosure. And now with less RRSPs for her old age, which is going to be a very lonely existence with apparently no partner and alienated family.

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    @Patiently Waiting:
    Vancouver unemployment rate creeping up:
    Apr 2012: 6.2% (7.3% Canada)
    May 2012: 6.4% (7.3% Canada)
    Jun 2012: 6.4% (7.2% Canada)
    Jul 2012: 6.8% (7.3% Canada)
    Aug 2012: 6.8% (7.3% Canada)

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    Vancouver board to lay off dozens of staff, close school, drop 10 days
    Sep 06 2012 G&M
    “The Vancouver School Board says it’s poised to lay off dozens of staff, close at least one school and shave up to 10 days from the school year, citing an $18.1-million shortfall that it blames entirely on the provincial government.

    The Vancouver board – the second largest in British Columbia – is the latest district to threaten layoffs and school closings. Last week, the Richmond board warned that up to 100 teachers, assistants and administrators could lose their jobs. In Prince George, officials have voted to close six schools.”

    quality of public eduction in Vancouver will become more and more worrisome..

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    Patiently Waiting Says:
    194

    @VMD: Yep, the fan is on and the stinky stuff flying toward it again.

    Hey, all you bored and broke realtors reading this blog, go find Evelyn Schellenberg and persuade her to sell her shack. WIN-WIN all around.

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    Keeping An Eye On The Pimps Says:
    195

    Finally a conclusive answer from impartial experts, research done by an authoritative research team at the Province.

    There is no bubble, declares Sommerville, and as if that wasn’t enough, Muir weighs in.

    “I would expect to see sales pick up before the end of the year, at least on a seasonally adjusted basis,” Muir said.

    Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/business/Real+Estate+burst+bubble+that+wasn+there/7208209/story.html#ixzz260WLEXVW

    “You can’t burst a bubble that wasn’t there,” said Somerville. “But you can have prices above where they should be and it not be a ­bubble.

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    /dev/null Says:
    196

    @Keeping An Eye On The Pimps: And, again, let’s all recall who sponsors Tsur’s Department:

    http://cuer.sauder.ubc.ca/sponsers.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Tsur is such a twat.

    I’m keeping the article from today’s post, and in a couple of years time – when we are in the middle of the crapstorm – I’m going to put it in his mailbox with “so why do you still have a job” written across it…

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    Anonymous Says:
    198

    “Employment growth in the ­Greater Vancouver area in the first ­seven months of the year, according to Muir, has been 3.5 to 4 per cent ­higher than the same period last year.”

    This is a new claim by the RE mouthpieces. It doesn’t square with the numbers VMD posted earlier. Does he mean unemployment is rising between 3.5 to 4 percent slower than last year? That’s some pretty weak hopium, Cameron.

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    Romeo Jordan Says:
    199

    Someone cue the Muppets.

    I went to four Open Houses on the westside this afternoon. Was driving along with a friend, saw a bunch of Open Houses with the UHS mercedes outside and all the arrows pointing the heaving throngs towards these special products, and NO one (not one that I saw) had any visible traffic or cars parked, indicating a dearth of panicked buyers worried about being priced out forever.

    So, as I said, I dropped into a small handful to see for myself. We (me and my buddy) were the only ones at each of these random stopovers. All the realtors were aware that the market had changed. They pointed out assessed and indicated the price was in line with this…when I told them that prices were now going below assessed none disagreed, and all indicated the seller was motivated and willing to negotiate. None of them told me that they would only accept offers at 5pm on Tuesday, etc….and they looked downbeat (I kid you not) as I guess spending a couple of hours a couple of times a weekend at Open Houses by yourself (when you were previously the kingmaker and collecting tens of thousands in commission each weekend) is not germaine to having a positive outlook.

    I still think it’s many more months of this before the thick heavy stick of the market pounds a new reality into the masses (and maybe longer than that)…i think the speed will be predicated on how quickly prices fall and how quickly listings grow/sales slow….

    ZR2, I’m hoping listings do surge, let’s see what the coming weeks bring (19000 next week?).

    McLovin, as always I hope you had a great Saturday night at your cash and carry job.

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    patriotz patriotz Says:
    200

    @Patiently Waiting:
    “So what does she do next? She raids her RRSPs :( STUPID STUPID STUPID”

    It’s not stupid, it’s smart. Any year in which you don’t have income you should take as much money as you can out of your RRSP to the extent that you remain non-taxable. Remember you’re going to have to take it out eventually and face taxes on the withdrawl and clawbacks on OAS and other benefits.

    That’s not to say you should just take it out for the sake of blowing it, of course. But much much better to take money out of the RRSP than borrowing it. Better than taking it out of a TFSA, too.

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    Yellow Helicopter Says:
    201

    Hi all,
    I have been watching a house at 518 east 1st street, north Vancouver, for a couple of months. It was listed for $895k (insane!) and had progressively dropped to $815k. It’s now gone, and I presume sold, as the owner had moved into a nursing home and so I doubt they would have just taken it off the market. Could anyone please help /
    let me know what it sold for? Many thanks!

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    Mill Bay Bound Says:
    202

    Could someone please remind me what the price to rent ratio should be?

    I believe people have posted something like rent if the value of the house is less than 100 times rent?

    Any help would be most appreciated!

    I am looking to move to Mill Bay on Vancouver Island, and looking to rent a 3 bedroom house for about 1500 a month, and want to know if that is too much. It seems from a quick search on MLS that 3 bedroom houses are going from 400 to 600k in that area.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Keeping An Eye On The Pimps: Just how ridiculous do those 2 clowns sound? To paraphrase your post…

    There is no precipitation in Vancouver, declares Sommerville, and as if that wasn’t enough, Muir weighs in.

    “I would expect the sunshine to pick up before the end of the year, at least on a seasonally adjusted basis,” Muir said.

    “You don’t need an umbrella if there’s no rain,” said Sommerville. “But you can have water falling from the sky and it not be raining.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @McLovin:

    6 Story wood frame in Surrey. Can you imagine the noise?

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/real-estate/First+story+wood+frame+housing+comes+market/7208943/story.html

    I don’t understand how a wood frame construction reduces land costs. Is the province subsidizing as part of this B.C. Wood First Act?

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    patriotz patriotz Says:
    205

    @Mill Bay Bound:
    “I believe people have posted something like rent if the value of the house is less than 100 times rent?”

    Give it a little thought and you will first see that’s backwards. You should rent if price is above a certain multiple, not below it.

    As to the multiple 150 is about the historic norm, 100 is really cheap (houses were about that much in the mid-1980′s).

    Sounds from your numbers that price/rent is 300 or more. That’s a serious bubble and I don’t think it’s going to stay that way because the Island north of the Malahat is already into a serious bust.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    “The pattern among Chengdu’s construction cranes is evident across the country. As summer fades into autumn, Beijing is stepping up investment in a bid to rescue the economy, but consumers, businesses and debt-burdened local governments in China are showing little interest in spending money again.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/business/global/10iht-yuan10.html?_r=1&hp

    The chart on the left gives construction as a percent of GDP in China, the US and Spain. Anyone know what Canada’s is?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Mill Bay Bound, the price to rent ratio is a tool that can be used to help influence the decision between buying and renting.

    Sounds like you just want to rent and are looking for what the market rate is. To do that you just have to find comparables and calculate what the average rent per square ft is.

    Markets set price of rent and price. Ratio of the two can help you decide to buy or rent.

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    McLovin Says:
    208

    RJ : “So, as I said, I dropped into a small handful to see for myself. We (me and my buddy) were the only ones at each of these random stopovers.”

    Did you guys roll up on your Big Wheels?

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    ScubaSteve Says:
    209

    Quattro is the biggest sh!t hole in Surrey. OMG. That 6 storey looks like a dump. I drive by that garbage every week and the whole complex is pure trash. It will end up being the projects of Surrey, guaranteed. It’s right across from a strip club, liquor store and ghetto crack houses.

    Even worse is all the signs littering the neighbours with for sale signs. They are only 75% sold out and people start moving in Thursday? That sucks for them. Good luck selling the other 25% in this market. They will lower the prices and screw everyone in the building over.

    CRAP HOLE!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    ScubaSteve Says:
    210

    @logic:
    Tsur is such a twat.

    Agreed. This guy has his head firmly up his ass. Back in 2009, he claimed that 2010/2011 would be stagnant years for RE, and of course, we know how that went. Now when things are clearly going downhill, he claims the opposite? Is this idiot determined to always be wrong? Seriously what the heck. How can these economists be so blind?

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    YLTNboomerang Says:
    211

    @Yellow Helicopter: It re-listed for $795K (V970178). With an assessment of $670,900 it is still way overpriced. It is probably relatives of the senior that are trying to sell however their greed is going to cost them as listing over assessment in this market will never move a property. Speaking of assessed values, I am looking forward to the news reports next year when the next assessments come out and have gone down for the first time in almost 10 years!

    My prediction is the place will go for $380,000 which is the proper assessed value I feel.

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    YLTNboomerang Says:
    212

    What is the deal between Romeo Jordan and McLovin? Why the hate? McLovin’ what did you do to piss off Romeo? Romeo, why are you animated, a chill pill may be in order.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Yellow Helicopter Says:
    213

    @YLTNboomerang – thanks, much appreciated. Totally agree with you about it being overpriced! The realtor told me it had been ‘valued’ earlier this year as part of the senior / her kids assessing her estate, and the number they got was that it was worth $870k. I had already seen the official assessed value via the online site so I just politely nodded. And here we are, months later. Problem is that so many houses in north van have sold above assessed for so long… So am hoping this is finally the turning point. Anyway, also can’t wait for the new assessed values to come out! Thanks again.

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    Just looking... Says:
    214

    Random anecdote for you folks:

    Was at the in-laws this weekend in Richmond. They had a friend of theirs over who is a well-connected realtor in the Chinese community.

    She said nothing priced above assessment value was selling. Prices off 15% from peak.

    This is someone who was invited to one of Harper’s trade missions to China, so in a position to know if an influx of HAM was just waiting to be unleashed. Aggressive sellers are driving prices lower to attract the few buyers in the market.

    Hopefully this trend continues.
    JL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    McLovin Says:
    216

    YLTNboomerang: Yes I guess it has gone on a little long.

    I will accept the terms of your 5+(1) brokered peace agreement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    217

    @Yellow Helicopter:

    “I have been watching a house at 518 east 1st street, north Vancouver, for a couple of months. It was listed for $895k (insane!) and had progressively dropped to $815k. It’s now gone, and I presume sold, as the owner had moved into a nursing home and so I doubt they would have just taken it off the market. Could anyone please help /
    let me know what it sold for?”

    Not sold, it was re-listed Friday for $795K.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    218

    @McLovin:

    “6 Story wood frame in Surrey. Can you imagine the noise?”

    Can you imagine the flames?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    If we get another week like last week, we will be on pace for sub-2008 September sales. Pause and think about that. In the middle of the biggest financial crisis in 75 years, more houses were sold than now. Wow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @jesse:
    Thanks for the timely post! the bulls and pumpers are touting how the impending QE3 (well, it’s been impending for quite a while) will prevent Vancouver RE from dropping and it might trigger another round of “relentless appreciation”.

    With interest rate already at near historically low levels, and with tighter CMHC/OSFI rules, can someone explain in what ways and magnitude a potential QE3 will impact Vancouver/Canadian RE price? Thanks

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    HAM Solo Says:
    221

    @ Anonymous 198

    I hang with a few well connected Vancouver business types and I can tell you that, although it shouldn’t in theory be happening, employment in Vancouver is going to pick up in the short term. The reason is that there are a lot of new construction projects going on, including 6 (count ‘em) new commercial highrise towers downtown (we haven’t had a year with more than 2 new towers for a decade). On top of that, although I think there is no chance of the units ever being sold for anywhere near the anticipated prices, there actually are a large number of new residential condos already in construction (especially near transit hubs) compared to the same time last year. Add to that the navy contracts, and, funnily enough, there actually ought to be job growth. At least for a period of time until the big construction projects start to wind down. Note that all this job growth is either funded by the government or by rather dumb hubris-type money such as REITs, or CHMC insured bank-loans to property developers. As such it is job growth of the lowest quality.

    However, I’m not sure you can say the same thing about INCOME growth. Because at the same time, the average used house salesman must be taking home about 40% less money than last year. On top of that, one feels that the self-employed sector that includes contractors, small-time property developers and so on, must be starting to hurt, too. And the people I know who run retail stores are hurting and probably will cut staff soon if they are not doing it already. So the bulls might crow about job growth, but I’m not sure that will make even a meaningful dent in the collapse of the RE market. Perhaps it will contribute to a month or two of moderation before we get back into full on crash mode.

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    Anonymous Says:
    222

    @Best place on meth: ““6 Story wood frame in Surrey. Can you imagine the noise?”

    Can you imagine the flames?”

    I think the development is called: “The Torch” :)

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    Anonymous Says:
    223

    @Anonymous: “I think the development is called: “The Torch””

    Or: ‘Pine Beatle Lodge’

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    [...] “My social group is mostly 100k/yr co-workers and 30k/yr friends. Of my 15 co-workers all but me have bought, many in the 2007 mania in Victoria. None will have to sell but all took mortgages for as much as they could get and will be paying out 40% of take home for the next 25-35 years. The 30k/yr friends would love to own, but accept that it’s impossible in this market without moving west out of Victoria and a couple trips through the Colwood crawl usually puts that to rest (for the smart ones anyway). I won’t be buying, I like winter travel and early retirement too much. So the ‘next wave’ of first time buyers in my world at least is when housing drops to where the 30k-40k salary can purchase, a 10% correction would (and has) gone unnoticed to anyone who doesn’t have an assessment to look at each year.” – Lee at VCI 7 Sep 2012 1:23pm [...]

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    [...] think renting it for $5K/month is a good financial move. This is going to be fun to watch.” – an observer at VCI 7 Sep 2012 10:29pm [...]

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