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 post for the weekend!

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Vancouver sales decline 32%
Vancouver drags down national numbers
Time to panic
Vancouver market cooling too quickly?
Last September was a different season
Realtors forced to change jobs
What did Billy do wrong?
HPI vs the San Diego bubble graph
Policies will not make housing affordable
House rich, lifestyle poor
Condos best rented, not owned

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

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It’s “Lougheed” NOT “locheed”.


“Any idea if sky-train helps the values? ”

The massive bust of the early 80’s took place just after the first SkyTrain line was announced. The areas along the route took just as big a hit as anywhere else.

Yes SkyTrain does tend to increase values, but that has already been priced in today. That is, properties along the Evergreen line are already 10-20% (or whatever) higher than elsewhere, and if prices fall elsewhere, they will fall too. Maybe even more.


A friend was at the Station Square grand opening around 4PM and was told that the 1BR + 2BRs were “sold out” and only Studios & Penthouses were available. He was given a brochure but they would not give him the pricing on the remaining units. Needless to say, he did not believe that they were actually sold out and they were likely holding back units to “release” at a later date.



There is some sense to allowing smaller down payments of, for example, 10% for FTBs, but a max insured amount of 500 K, or even as low as 300 K, would not be unreasonable. That would cover FTBs making sensible purchases. It is ridiculous for a person to claim that, at the same time: they are in a position where buying a million dollar house makes sense; and they need government help to get the financing.


Any idea if sky-train helps the values? I’ve got a 2 bdrm unit that’s close to upcoming evergreen line station in Coquitlam, can’t decide if too sell it now or wait till 2014?

Seeing how there is bunch of 80’s units around locheed station under $200k something tells me sky-train doesn’t make much positive effect on values.


I do own shares of Encana, Enbridge, and Nexen. So you could technically say that I own some of the companies that is being affected.

Of course I’ll benefit if the government allows the take over. I’m not interested in short term gain though.


“our industries”: Do you own any of the company? If not, why would you think you have any say in the matter? Because you live in the country where the company is domiciled? You want to own a Canadian company, then buy it…


Listings peaked long ago, the market is picking up steam daily.

Record prices around the corner, the sell out in Metrotown proves I am right.

Aaron is Best.


Saw a tidbit in the news today about anonymous institutional investors are getting turned off by Canada’s rejection of Petronas, BHP, and CNOOC takeovers.

Man this might actually be good as it’ll lower the demand for our dollar and let Carney raise interest rates without killing industry.

And seriously, international hedge funds want to buy our industries, how does that benefit us long term?



“The earnings gap between recent immigrants and Canadian-born workers has increased since 1980, when men who were recent immigrants and had some employment income earned 85 cents for each dollar earned by Canadian-born men. By 2000, this earnings ratio had fallen to 67 cents, and by 2005 it was 63 cents. A similar trend has been seen among recent immigrant women, who by 2005 were earning 56 cents for every dollar earned by Canadian-born women. This earnings disparity was larger between recent immigrants and Canadian-born workers with university degrees.(97)”


Talking to Vancouver house builder today, says we’ll still make $ on the house set to complete this Dec, asked if they are looking to build another…. Nope prices are headed lower it will be a few years before it makes cents. This coming truthfully from an honest friend.


“Stats Canada has long considered immigrants among the poorest people in the country, along with single mothers. Rich immigrants are the exception.”

Not to Stats Canada. 🙂


“As Pradip Rodrigues said, competition is now so intense that even new immigrants are finding it impossible to make ends meet.”

Stats Canada has long considered immigrants among the poorest people in the country, along with single mothers. Rich immigrants are the exception.


It has been interesting to hear the various thoughts as to what the next tightening could be. I think we could use more tightening and think that the reduction of the CMHC mortgage insurance to a lower amount would be the best next step. I would go for $750,000. That’s still a serious amount of money but it would really take the liquidity out of the Vancouver market until the prices revert. As for maximum Loan:Value for non-cmhc- I think that 20% is fine. To really see where the market is however, we should reduce the maximum CMHC loan value to a lower amount. However – Looks like Conservatives have stopped tightening as if they do it again, it will be too close to the next election. What can you do really? We have a credit fueled market. Credit has… Read more »


Anthem got rezoning approval for Station Square back in June 2011. They may have been signing pre-sale contracts since then (maybe even before), as this is common marketing practice. Many of those ‘buyers’ may have signed on before the ‘soft market’ made the news this spring.

Then again, perhaps Anthem cut it’s prices. I didn’t see any prices mentioned.

Apocarypse Mao


Another condo project ‘sells out”

“Big Metrotown condo development sells out”

Anthem/Beedie had been pushing Station Square big time in the local Chinese language media. Then again, it’s hard to know what ‘sells out’ really means.

More Data Please

@G: re: Station Square sold out.

Google Translate Excerpt:

“…many Chinese residents, Saya Di said, building a 40-story apartment building, there will be no marked 4,13,14,24,34 floor, and other ethnic Chinese considered unlucky number of layers, so the actual 35-storey, completion in the fall of 2015.”

All lucky layers! Cannot lose! Completion year 2015, not the unlucky 2014!

Sellout is not surprising considering that “CMHC Gaming” is still giving highly favorable credit of 5-10 times funds on hand. Macau Baccarat casinos give only credit equal to funds on deposit in the gamblers bank. CMHC Gaming is now the preferred venue.


@Patiently Waiting:
Goes for us palefaces too. Who do they get to sell all those timeshares in Mexico and the Caribbean?


“If you have 20% down CMHC insurance is not required no matter what the price.”

Not by the government. But the banks can require it, or demand a larger down payment. Which they are already doing in markets which they consider to be on the way down.

Romeo Jordan

Blog Dogs, I was in the suburbs yesterday, where I sold a house four years ago…prices (asking) are 30% higher than when I sold (guess I sold too early)…prices make NO SENSE….things are not moving, the ask prices are high, and I imagine now with the new lending criteria, sheeple just don’t have the debt availability to hit the ask. I think prices will (at a minimum) fall back to where they were four years ago (when they seemed high to me), and this will deflate egos and balance sheets alike. I do think it’s underway, I do think we’ll see 19,000 (from PaulB), and I do think this market continues to take body shots. I love rain on the weekends these days….I imagine that open house traffic is way way down. Hopefully the realtors are offering cleaning services while… Read more »


Ultimately the risk comes from giving loans to people who would not be deemed credit worthy without the CMHC. I think any cap needs to be in relative terms, for example no CMHC insurance over a price to income ratio of 4. After all, if 5 is considered extremely unaffordable then 4 is still pushing it by traditional measures. Go ahead and insure someone for $1million, I don’t even care if they only have 5% down. They just had better make at least $250k/year (consistently) and be able/willing to prove it.

Patiently Waiting

@Anonymous: Its about how they are influenced. The use of familarity and trust, along with social pressure, within tight-knit communities.


@Jack: “I was suggesting to also reduce max price of home from $1 million down to $500,000.”

If you have 20% down CMHC insurance is not required no matter what the price.


125 Anonymous Says:

October 21st, 2012 at 11:27 am

@Jack: “Go to 25% minimum down payments”

The banks will already lend with 20% down so the government has not control after that. Going to 20% simply eliminates CMHC insurance

“Go to 25% minimum down payments AND have CMHC reduce the maximum insurance from $1 million down to $500,000”

I was suggesting to also reduce max price of home from $1 million down to $500,000. This will take the risk out of the government (and taxpayers) and we can see if banks would like to take mortgage risk on their own. I notice some houses previously listed over $1 million are now listed at $999,000 or lower.