The first one’s free

Joe checked the screen on his phone one more time and nervously glanced from side to side. He should be here by now. Joe needed his fix and he needed it bad.

A truck rolled by belching blue exhaust under the streetlamps and Joe spotted movement in the doorway across the street.

Could it be?


Carney stepped out from the shadows and strolled across the road, his hands pushed deep in the pockets of his merino wool trench coat.

“Looking for something Joe?”

Joe fidgeted with the cell phone in his hand and his eyes dropped to the sidewalk. “Come on man, you know what I need”

A small smile played on the corner of Carneys mouth. “Ok Joe, this week we have a two for one deal, but don’t take too much, this stuff can be dangerous and any day now I’m going to up the potency.”

Joe eagerly held out his hand “yeah ok”

Carney raised an eyebrow “yeah ok?”

Joes hand shook. “yeah, you say that everytime”

Carney shook his head in disgust. “yeah, I guess I do but that doesn’t make it any less true. An OD on credit isn’t a pretty thing Joe”

Joe looked up with a glare “just give me the stuff man”

Carney passed the bag over and shook his head. “one of these days this stuff is gonna kill you, but there’s nothing I can do about that. All I can do is warn you. Good luck Joe.”

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Hey give the guy a break, Tony Clement said it’s true and who you gonna believe?



“micro-economics – not macro”

Correct, my snooze.

But as far as the market is concerned you either buy or you don’t. People decide to spend their money on a basket of things and you can’t say that they can afford X and can’t afford Y. Of course if they are consuming more than their income, i.e. living beyond their means, they can’t afford their consumption in aggregate.

painted turtle

May be we should decide on an open house every sunday, and all go there to low ball at -40%.
Since none of us know each other, it is going to be even more fun.

MLS®: V967434 looks like a nice first candidate: super overpriced and easy to access by transit.
For Sale: $878,000
Row / Townhouse
Floor Space : 1421 sqft
Title : Condominium/Strata
Location : 186 W 16TH AV
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1Y7
Open Houses this Saturday & Sunday Oct. 13th & 14th 2pm-4pm both days.
I will go.


@I_LOVE_ING: It is a percentage so it doesn’t have to include the entire population to be accurate. As long as the sample is large enough it is accurate. The claim in your second sentence is simply false. If the sample is biased, it doesn’t matter how large it is, it will not give a valid result. Here’s a thought experiment: Assume you wanted to estimate the incidence of HIV (per 1000 population) in Vancouver (proper). Assume further that you hired an enterprising young survey technician who, working prodigiously over the course of a year, was able to survey 600,000 Vancouverites. If you were I_LOVE_ING, you’d be pleased since that is an exceptionally large sample (more than 90% of Vancouver’s population)!! I, on the other hand, after poring through the individual surveys, became very troubled when I realized that not a… Read more »


Very Interesting article from Globe and Mail:

Global outlook turns darker.

The rest of the world is ratcheting up already intense pressure on Washington and Brussels to head off another global economic crisis, as the outlook grows ever dimmer.

The gravest threats to the increasingly fragile recovery lie in a divided United States and a wounded euro zone, according to the growing chorus of voices that are urging governments to act quickly and decisively to deal with crippling debt and fiscal problems.


@Rememberingsatv Says: “The vacancy rat for apartments doesn’t include stratified buildings. Just purpose built rentals p we 4 units. So vacancy rates in condos (stratified ownership) won’t show up in the numbers.” That is true for the numbers I have been quoting. But the CMHC Rental Market Reports do provide some statistics on rentals in condo buildings. This is from the 2010 report: “While the purpose-built rental market reported lower vacancy rates, the secondary rental maket moved in the opposite direction, reporting higher vacancy rates. The vacancy rate for investor-owned rental condominiums increased to 2.2 per cent in October 2010 from 1.7 per cent in October 2009, mainly due to the addition of more than 3,500 rental condo units to the supply. Nearly one-quarter of the apartment condominium stock is rented out by investors, a slight increase compared to last… Read more »


@Looking Now: What city/area are you looking at?



It is a percentage so it doesn’t have to include the entire population to be accurate. As long as the sample is large enough it is accurate.


The vacancy rat for apartments doesn’t include stratified buildings. Just purpose built rentals p we 4 units. So vacancy rates in condos (stratified ownership) won’t show up in the numbers.



‘Cmhc rental statistics are completely meaningless, most large property management companies decline to participate in their phone survey.’

That doesn’t make sense. Why would the vacancy rate in certain buildings be one level and a different building in the same city be wildly different. You would expect that the levels be nearly the same. If they weren’t the rents would shift to bring the overall profitability of the buildings into line which would cause the vacancy rates to be similar.

Also comparing Vancouver to Toronto or Abbotsford should be valid as the same methods are used to collect the data.


Cmhc rental statistics are completely meaningless, most large property management companies decline to participate in their phone survey.


“Overall, the stock of purpose built
rental apartments declined by
more than 1,000 units over the
past year. Some rental buildings
may have been converted to
condominiums, while others have
been temporarily taken out of the
rental pool as they undergo
renovations and repairs.”

-224 units taken out of the rental pool alone at Little Mountain from 2007-2009 due to misguided government policy of redevelopment and privatization.


@100 looking now, what has the reaction been like? I’m in a similar situation as you. What areas are you looking at?


From the 2008 CMHC Rental Market Report: “Rental Apartment Vacancy Rate Approaches 20-Year Low Following two years of vacancies below one per cent, the vacancy rate moved lower still in 2008. The average rental apartment vacancy rate dipped to 0.5 per cent, from 0.7 per cent last year. Rental apartment vacancy rates at or below one per cent were recorded for many communities in the CMA. The lowest apartment vacancy rates were in North Vancouver (0.2 per cent) and the City of Vancouver (0.3 per cent). Vacancy rates were higher in suburban and Fraser Valley centres further away from the metropolitan core. Low apartment vacancy rates reflect solid demand for rental housing and a shrinking stock of purpose-built rental units. New rental construction in the Vancouver CMA has been low for many years, with builders focusing on apartment condominium… Read more »


Hi Looking Now: I definitely think you’re pulling the trigger way too early. My personal feeling is that the “discount” you get now will double or triple (or more) in the next year or two or three. I’m no economist, and I don’t pour over numbers like some of the seriously dedicated souls here. I’m just a guy who sold his house two years ago in favor of renting while the bubble played out. I’ve since spent a lot of time researching and looking at the factors that created this fat, greedy blob we call a bubble. Today, I truly believe that getting out when I did was one of the best moves I’ve ever made. You can buy today at a small discount, but you’ll very likely sit there for months and years as your new home devalues much,… Read more »


So far every single day this October has been worse than the equivalent day in October 2011 for sales. As the chart shows, the first 6 days of sales (2012 vs 2011) are:

92 – 128
135 – 145
90 – 120
67 – 97
73 – 94
119 – 159

Nothing to celebrate here. Another huge MoM sales drop coming for October 2012




‘Note that the vacancy rate for 3 bedrooms in City of Vancouver reached 0.0% in October 2006!!!’

Sheer lunacy. I’ve never been in the market for a 3 bed but my experience looking for a decent sized 2 bed downtown was really negative.


Okay, here is a link to the Fall 2008 CMHC Rental Market Report Vancouver and Abbotsford CMAs showing vacancy rate in City of Vancouver hit 0.3%!!!

Go to page 15 of the report, table 1.1.1, 12 lines down:

City of Vancouver (Zones 1-10):

Bachelor Oct-07: 0.4 Oct-08: 0.4
1 Bedroom: Oct-07: 0.4 Oct-08: 0.3
2 Bedroom: Oct-07: 0.7 Oct-08: 0.3
3 Bedroom: Oct-07: 2.3 Oct-08: 0.8
Total: Oct-07: 0.5 Oct-08: 0.3



Thankss. It looks like a pretty solid report and the values for Abbotsford make perfect sense so I’m forced to accept the results but I stand by my statement that the numbers downtown are sheer lunacy.


I wish CMHC kept an archives of these reports. This is from the 2007 report, same table:

City of Vancouver (Zones 1-10)

Bachelor Oct-06: 0.3 Oct-07: 0.4
1 Bedroom: Oct-06: 0.3 Oct-07: 0.4
2 Bedroom: Oct-06: 0.4 Oct-07: 0.7
3 Bedroom: Oct-06: 0.0 Oct-07: 0.5
Total: Oct-06: 0.3 Oct-07: 0.5

Note that the vacancy rate for 3 bedrooms in City of Vancouver reached 0.0% in October 2006!!!


Think I figured it out. Just needed to shift that week down 1 day. Okay, here is the updated sales chart for October!



“All that said can anyone provide a link for the vacancy rates for Vancouver that were posted by @joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs? Those numbers seem too low to be true.”

The numbers I provided were from the CMHC Housing Market Information series Rental Market Report — Vancouver and Abbotsford CMAs. The only ones currently available on the CMHC website are from 2011 and 2010. The older data is from back issues that I have downloaded on my computer.

The link for the 2011 issue:

From page 16, Table 1.1.1 Private Apartment Vacancy Rates (%) by Zone and Bedroom Type Vancouver CMA

12 lines down in the table:

City of Vancouver (Zones 1-10):

Bachelor Oct-10: 1.2 Oct-11: 0.6
1 Bedroom Oct-10:1.3 Oct-11: 0.7
2 Bedroom Oct-10: 1.2 Oct-11: 0.8
3 Bedroom Oct-10: 1.1 Oct-11: 2.2
Total Oct-10: 1.3 Oct-11: 0.7



Go take Econ 100 again.



hey VHB. Thanks for the 2010/2011 stats. I am putting them into an image for everyone. However, can you confirm the stats from 2010? It appears Oct 11th, 2010 was thanksgiving, but you have it listed as Oct 17th. Did the stats get shifted? Not sure how to correct it. Can you confirm? Thanks.