FFFA! mortgage rates and buyer fatigue

It’s that time of the week again!

The end of the week is when we do our regular news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend. Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Young Canadians pessimistic about owning
10th best large city in Canada
Inventory graph updated
Canada plans limits of mortgage insurance
Feds ok $50b for private mortgage guarantees
40 most expensive on the sunshine coast
Tough challenges for Richmond sellers
Debt man lectures on debt
The price of luxury defecation
Something rotten in the state of Denmark

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

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Re your Denmark story – ouch! “Denmark’s $590 billion mortgage industry — which is about twice the size of Denmark’s economy — in 2003 started giving borrowers the option of deferring amortization for as long as a decade. The interest-only mortgages were popular, and have since grown to account for 56 percent of all outstanding home loans, according to the Association of Danish Mortgage Banks. The central bank has criticized the loans, arguing they inflated a housing bubble that plunged Denmark into a recession. The mortgage industry wants the government to approve a plan that would allow homeowners to treat… Read more »
One glaring flaw in the Moneysense survey is that it ranks each incorporated municipality as though it were a stand alone urban area. So the District of North Van ranks 8 and the City of North Van across the street ranks 24 among “small cities”. CoV is ranked as a big city, Burnaby across the street is ranked as a medium size city, and New West across another street is ranked as a small city (3 places below Whitehorse). And Surrey across the bridge is ranked as a big city again. Clearly the comparisons have to be done on a… Read more »
A judge is ordering a family to vacate and sell their condo within 30 days! The family violated strata rules and racked up $20,000 in strata fines for making too much noise, slamming doors, spitting on neighbours and throwing a bucket of water at a woman when she was sitting on her balcony with her cats. The case made it to the courts and now the BC Supreme Court is ordering the family to vacate and sell within 30 days. What happens if they can’t find a buyer within 30 days? The way the story is worded in the Vancouver… Read more »

“But do judges even know that condos have gone illiquid and may not be able to sell within 30 days.”

I’ve got a hundred grand that says they can sell it today.


Sorry, I didn’t notice it was Surrey. Fifty grand.


Many Franks

@backwardsevolution: The Little Dutch Boy is wondering what the hell you put him in Denmark for.

Many Franks

For those who haven’t been following, Jim Flaherty has been taking an absolute drubbing in the popular press over the Manulife mortgage meddling mobilization:

Jim Flaherty adds $150B to national mortgage, then lectures on evils of too much debt
Under attack, Jim Flaherty defends mortgage meddling
…and many others.

Say what you want about the actual impact of this, but the papers smell Irish blood. (It’s peaty.)


Q Says: “The pair was ordered to vacate and sell their condo within 30 days. If they fail to give up the condo, the judge said, they will be arrested for contempt.”

Remember it is a news paper reporting this. Take accuracy with a grain of salt. Likely the judge ordered them to vacate and put the place up for sale within 30 days. A little different from ‘sell’. But who knows maybe they pissed the judge off and he/she wanted to stick it to them.


” throwing a bucket of water at a woman when she was sitting on her balcony with her cats”

Doesn’t the judge have a sense of humour? That’s funny stuff! 🙂


Almost April and no correction in the low end SFD. Building Lot prices remain at record levels. When and if those start going down in price will I know that a true correction has arrived.

I’m not interested in condos, townhomes, or >$1 Million homes.

Just looking...
Re: pessimistic young Canadians: The story seems to imply that the main driver of Un-affordability is the “new” (aka old) rules around credit availability. It was odd to me that lower prices was not mentioned as a possible solution. This is like complaining about high gas prices and saying the solution is to get credit card companies to increase credit limits and give gas buyers a slight break in their interest rates. In both cases the long term effect is that the consumer pays more and the banks win. Some media outlets have begun to question this, but most don’t… Read more »
Just looking...
I just thought of a possible solution: the VCI ThinkTank. Once a week, pump out a new analysis as a press released dry week. CP mostly just re-publishes press releases anyways. There is easily enough intellectual horsepower to do this. Just need some folks willing to out themselves in a public forum. A couple hundred buck could incorporate a not-for-profit…I’d chip in for costs, but I’m not an analyst. The news people are hungry for stories about RE – that’s why they reprint all the RE industry bs: it’s a volume game. Throw enough $h!t at the wall and some… Read more »

It was odd to me that lower prices was not mentioned as a possible solution.

But of course we all know why. Home ownership rates are 70% in Canada, and probably higher for media editors (who decide what gets published) and politicians (who make the rules).

Few people are immune to the “get rich without actually working” meme.

Apocarypse Mao

@12 Just Looking.

Reminds me of some comment I read in the MSM about Mayor Robertson’s affordability task force. Something to the effect of ‘everyone wants prices to come down without prices actually coming down.’

Barb Rennie
Did anyone notice the announcement from Flaherty that Canada will be vigilantly going after international tax cheats? Is that not huge? The last few years the government has been turning a blind eye to immigrants living in multi-million dollar homes driving luxury cars declaring income at poverty levels collecting every social services available to their kids and grandparents. In fact, I hear that tipsters will be rewarded. If this indeed becomes practice, you will see these immigrants giving up their permanent residency or citizenships rather than paying annual taxes. That is what is happening in the United States right now.
Burrrp Rennie

Drive-In cinemas don’t exist anymore.
Horny young people need to buy shoe box size
condos to get laid.


Are there any “ethical hackers” among bears?
Did anybody consider to expose real estate database to the public?
IMHO it is unethical to withhold an information about RE prices from buyers.
Bring Zillow to Canada!


If you have a real estate agent, they can give you access code to MLS site that gives you more detail; how long homes were listed for, price drops, and final sales prices.


As expected, Top Headline at major Chinese newspaper MingPao today:
“CRA To Crack Down on Tax-Evading Astronaut Families”
– major rewards given for successful tipsters
– astronaut families getting anxious, worried that Canada is following US footsteps to crack down on international tax evasion.
via google translate

@JustSaying – Those data are collected by RE Board members and compiled by them, why should they be required to disclose those information for free? If you want to know those info, you can either buy it from them if they are willing to sell, or collect it yourself. Go to the title office, talk to the seller/buyer and ask them for it. I don’t see why it’s ethical to force private company to disclose their priorietary info that they spend money collecting and analyzing. To make an analogy, is it unethical for your employer to withhold all employee’s salary… Read more »
Many Franks

Unfortunately the CBC seems to have done an exceptionally poor job communicating Andy Yan’s recent stats.

Downtown Vancouver condos left empty by foreign owners

Nearly a quarter of all condos in some parts of downtown Vancouver area are empty or occupied only part of the year by non-residents, according to data from the 2011 census data.

That’s a hell of a strong headline and first paragraph, from which a casual reader might easily misunderstand that “nearly a quarter of downtown Vancouver’s condos are owned by foreign investors.”

Brian Ripley

CANADIAN BUDGET: Employment Opportunity Edition

Need extra income to pay that mortgage?

Please report to your nearest retraining camp to have your mismatched skills realigned.

Flaherty, Harper & friends “… plan to leverage billions in spending on military equipment into making Canada an arms exporter.”

As I point out, Canada is currently ranked 15th in arms sales, so there is lots of room to the upside.

Press outlets are starting to amplify the story; I have charts and a few choice quotes here:


Burbs Boy
Just Saying: hack MLS As much as I hate to say it… they collect, collate, and store the data. It is their data to do what they wish with. There is access to the data but you have to play their game and use their sales channel. Companies have used Marketing crap like this for years.. and one by one they are crashing as the new information age destroys existing models. MLS will be no different and it won’t need hackers to make it happen… there is gold in them thar digital hills that some entrepreneur will capitalize on sooner… Read more »

We do have quite a few “Anonymous” members here don’t we? ; )

Ok, now Top Headline from another major Chinese newspaper SingTao:
“Anti-Tax-Evasion Program Offers Significant Rewards; Immigrant Families will be In Trouble”
– a Chartered Accountant said, this new anti tax evasion rewards program will have Major impact to immigrant families, especially ones from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

(I wonder if some accountants will rat out their clients (anonymously of course) to rake in some nice bounty)