FFFA! Inspections! Supply! Debt! Marketing!

It’s that time of the week again!

Let’s do our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

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

Highest inventory in 8 years
When home inspectors miss the big stuff
Mac Marketing Manager resigns
Rennie paying blogger to flog village
Canadians borrowing less?
Rona to cut 200 admin jobs
Insiders ditching consumer stock
$400k per year for housing isn’t much

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

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@rp1: I had dinner once at Bill Gate’s house, and there’s quite a few guest bathrooms. It’s not an ordinary house for people like you and me though, it also serves as a place to entertain 150 guests at a time, so you can’t really compare that to a condo in which everyone has it’s bathroom.


#176 “Gee, I wonder what happens to a country that doubles down and ties the entire economy to a single consumer credit fueled employment driver instead of moderating and diversifying?”

More tax credits for jacuzzis? Borrowing money to sit in hot tubs is our “Economic Action Plan”.


Bill Gates’ house supposedly has 7 bedrooms and 24 bathrooms. WTF? The only explanation I could think of: “Sup dawg, I heard you like bathrooms, so we put bathrooms on your bathrooms.”

Short'em High

@gokou3. re: FIRE employment percent in Rabidoux presentation.

Yes. I saw that, but it doesn’t capture some important information. I suspect a great many people involved with US RE that were directly effected in 2007 simply found other jobs or were retasked by their employer because a robust and diverse economy will immediately absorb the productive capacity elsewhere without changing official figures. Many were also part time because of the rapid nature of the boom.

CBC has a remarkable documentary which interviewed some of the the “liar loan” approval officers. Those interviews suggest to me that there was lot of temporary part time and undocumented employment by those who were trying to cash in on the situation – probably while working their normal job.



I spent some time today thinking about the question as to why there aren’t many McMansion is the Seattle proper area, this after living many years there. I can’t say I can give a concrete answer, Seattle lots tend to be small for large houses and people don’t want their houses two feet from each other. I think for some reason if you want a McMansion your calling is to head over to the Eastside where they are more prominent. Also, I think the culture in Seattle is not one of projecting excess; nobody cares, go to Bellevue for that. I have a friend at Microsoft who makes upwards of $250k and he lives in a modest home in Seattle that is probably 2500sqft, drives a Subaru, this is very common. There are some pretty wealthy people in Seattle who… Read more »


Re: #194,

Here’s what Mr. Cameron McNeil said before chinese new year:


“To me, (Chinese buyers) are a leading indicator,” McNeil said. “What I mean is, when Chinese buyers are active, it is a little bit of a bellwether (for the overall market), and the Chinese are active.”

So, the leading indicator says sales dropped 70%. Bulls, don’t hate McNeil for jinxing it.

Short'em High

says: Chinese news headline 70% Vancouver RE sales plummet

It should be possible to measure the direct effect of this headline on Chinese nationals by comparing the daily site ranking from the “racist” site ranking engine Alexa on days before and after headline publication.

The rank of requests originating within China for MLS.CA is the second number in the list of three countries which have any measurable rank.



Here’s one last post tonight for ‘phiscal’ – this time in Sechelt. It’s another townhouse development that originally planned for 61 units to be built in three phases. It’s called ‘The Chelsea’ http://www.lenrobinson.com/the-chelsea-townhouses/ I walked through it during the building of phase 1 and they have nixed phase 2 & 3. After three years, there are three units unsold in this first phase. Unit 7 (FlrPlan A) – $289,900 Unit 16 (FlrPlan B) – $299.900 (orginally at $319,900) Unit 1 (FLrPlan C1) – $328,900 (presale must have walked) Whats really interesting is that there are 3 trying to resale their units. #8 (FlrPlan A) – asking $319,900 #9 (FlrPlan B) – asking $318,900 #15 (FlrPlan C2) – asking $329,000 I think #8 is really desperate – you can tell by the listing description: “This charming and flawless Townhome is move… Read more »


Re: #193

That article contains stats for % employed in FIRE + construction industries, too.


Impressive coverage. Does the English media know yet?
How to make that happen…


Feb 24 Front page Headline of top Mandarin newspaper [World Journal: Van Chinese New Year RE Sales Plummet 70%] – In Big Bold letters. Bad bad publicity for Vancouver RE

e-Paper Source (in Chinese)

Short'em High

@gokou3 Says: Ben Rabidoux’ US pre-crash GDP comparables

Yes, GDP is good to see. We will get an official GDP number this week!

Here is what I’m getting at, if you are interested. The USA is more diversified than Canada by magnitudes. What I am after is the percentage of employed persons directly effected by the US 2007 slowdown. Judging by the lag in the time series cited, that percentage of RE related employed persons is much smaller in the US than the percentage of employed persons who will be directly effected in Canada by a similar slowdown.

The realtors that post reassuring but obviously worried remarks like those earlier in this thread are extremely telling about just how precarious the situation is. Of course, it won’t be just realtors who will be effected very shortly.


Elvince, we are noted on the west coast for having lots of fibre in our diet; therefore,you can never have enough toilets. Don’t forget, too, they are marketing to retirees and walking a great distance to a toilet is such a pain in the u know where.

Those units actually have two full baths and 1 half bath (sink and toilet). So,they list them as 3 bathrooms, but it still mean 3 toilets.


“I live on the east coast, and around here a 3bed 3bath would be laughed at.”

It’s not that odd. A main floor bathroom, a master bedroom ensuite, and a bathroom in the basement.


Q says, “If somebody wanted to live in a New York brownstone why would they live in Gibsons?”

Well, the listings says they are just “inspired” by New York – because there is not a brick in sight – all made with good BC wood on the outside. On the inside – good chip board? I bet they aren’t as quiet inside as a New York brownstone, tho…LOL.

Maybe the realtor is at his wits end trying to find superlatives to sell these babies. Trying to give them a certain ‘cache’ – appeal to Americans? Problem is there really aren’t that many Yanks around these days on the coast – not like there used to be.



“Some are 3bed & 3bath”

Is this normal in Vancouver? I live on the east coast, and around here a 3bed 3bath would be laughed at. First question to come up would be “who the fuck shits that much?”.

I’ve lived in a 200 years old house (the walls were made of stone, crazy beautiful imho) and a 120 years old house, so tearing down everything that’s 50 years old seems kinda odd to me, but that whole “We need a bathroon here, here and there” attitude makes me believe the builder had really bad colon problems.


If somebody wanted to live in a New York brownstone why would they live in Gibsons? Gibsons is the kind of place you go to get away from the rat race. Gibsons and New York are total opposites.


Okay, phiscal, you talked be into it. Here is one example of the RE situation on the SC. This is a new TH development in Gibsons. It was finished in 2011. http://islandvistagibsons.com/ 8 townhomes built in two blocks: 1/2/3/4 & 5/6/7/8 Units 1 & 5 presold in 2010. Both 2bed/3bath end units with same sf – 1582. Realtor’s site had Unit 1 listed at $389,000 and Unit 5 at $377,000. Don’t know why the difference. Maintenance fee listed as $147.56. The rest of these “New York Brownstone inspired” units are empty and unsold. Vary in size from 1562 – 1587 sf. Some are 3bed & 3bath. The asking price for #2,3,4,6,7 – $395,000. Asking price for #8 – $399,000. They’re in a good location – close to a direct route to the ferry and close to the action in lower… Read more »

li kai shing


painted turtle

Went to an open house today. Vancouver West. 3 empty new townhouses. No one in sight.
The Realtor looked bored-depressed. I went around the complex to have a look and he did not even bother getting out of the unit to speak to me. So I left in slow motion. He looked at me through a window. No reaction.


Grow up Romeo Jordan.

Goof’s like you stifle alternative opinions on this blog.

Just go away.


Re: #167 Short ’em high:

ben rabidoux has many posts regarding your question of FIRE industries as % of GDP. Here’s one of them:


US peaked at 2006 at around 24.5%. We are at 27% now.

Romeo Jordan

Mike Steward,

You are a fugging calc sucker, if there ever was one.

I’ve met you. You are a total douche.

You know it.


2008-09 was a learning experience for our market. Simply, there was nervousness back then that won’t be the problem this time around.

Ha ha. A learning experience of what happens when governments drop interest rates to 1% and allow $0 down and 40 yr Am’s? That is all ancient history. If these measures weren’t in-acted YVR prices would be at least 30% lower.

There is nothing to save them this time and you know it Mike.


Skook: Yes, more info on sunshine coast please, that’s my retirement ‘escape from vancouver’ plan.