FFFA! That was February 2013

Well, well, will you look at the time?

It’s Friday already!

And that means it’s time for 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:

Sales plunge, prices fall
The Price Graph
The Inventory Graph
VHB daily sell/list stat data dump
A $10 Million price drop
You can still get a cash-back mortgage
What’s the deal with foreign buyers?
Heroic gov victorious over bubble
Flaherty worries for US style mortgage war
Time to short the banks?
US foreclosure timelines in years
Bubble Fatigue

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

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hermes imitation

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It occured to me that one of the main arguments for real estate investment is ‘What else would I invest in? My mutual funds have only lost money.’ (The other one being because it only goes up, even if it goes down it goes back up.)

Jump forward and assign current mutual fund sentiment to real estate ‘investment’. ‘Why would I buy a condo? They just lose money.’

It takes around three attempts at making money with something before you start to get capitulation and people who will swear off real estate as they have the markets. First was probably 2010, next is now or ‘the dip’, and then perhaps next year’s ‘bottom’. If the markets have taught me anything, when you are wondering how much lower it could possibly go, you are about to find out.


“Kwok brothers arrested!?! That is huge news. ”

Actually, this WAS huge news, about a year ago.


“Advertisement is for Three Harbour Green . . . Really. .
Does anyone have any insight that this is actually sold out? It just can not be possible .”

It does not look like it is sold out on the Aspac website. On one site it is listed as Three Harbour Green “Now Selling” and on another it says “over 50% sold”. According the an article on Nov 26th 2012 in the Vancouver Sun “Approximately 30 per cent of Three Harbour Green’s 81 homes remain for sale.”


HAM Solo

@ The Shadow Kwok brothers arrested!?! That is huge news. This is like one of the five or six major families in Hong Kong. Kind of like the equivalent of Galen Weston or Jimmy Pattison getting locked up. I think maybe spring summer of 2013 is going to get interesting in China. It is becoming clearer and clearer that the house of cards is wobbling. If we see TSHTF in China, and the formerly western-friendly parts of the establishment getting thrown in the slammer, I think there could be a real rush to the exits by wealthy Chinese (perhaps co-inciding with a pretty serious stock market softening). I am a bear, but that pick up in some high-end property sales in Vancouver could have a little to do with unravelling in China. See the CNN story below on the world’s… Read more »


Advertisement is for Three Harbour Green . . . Really. .

Does anyone have any insight that this is actually sold out? It just can not be possible . .


Richmond Detached Inventory Mar 10

2005 = 558
2006 = 346
2007 = 553
2008 = 542
2009 = 674
2010 = 502
2011 = 557
2012 = 904
2013 = 918

Vancouver West Detached Inventory Mar 10

2005 = 453
2006 = 365
2007 = 376
2008 = 446
2009 = 685
2010 = 450
2011 = 523
2012 = 826
2013 = 896

Village Whisperer

“They claim in their advertisement on B4 in Van Sun from Saturday March 9, 2013 that “All tower and townhome suites are SOLD OUT”. ”

Anyone able to post an image of this ad (or email a pic – village_whisperer@live.ca)?


The Aspac development is probably the Richmond project, River Green. It’s a massive project and its supposed to be 2 phases when fully complete.


>>where did they get the “$4000 a month furnished” pricing?<<

Their monthly mortgage payment?


: the units that were made available for sale have sold, hence “sold out”. About as deceptive as a limited availability door crasher.


US deficit $1 Trillion.

Revenue $2.5T. Spending $3.5T.

How are the possible ways to get out of this while keeping the majority of voters on your side whether by lies, propaganda, or otherwise?

Canada’s deficit is small by comparison. IMO, to determine what happens in Canada, we have to look what happens south of us. I can see the following happening:

1) US awarding less contracts to Canadian companies.

Feel free to add more…


“Here are a couple of recent listings:”

It looks like every freaking house bought on the westside in 2011/2012 was for a flip. Was anyone buying a house to live in? These 2 examples are actually the smart flippers who are dropping their prices to try to sell ASAP. The dumb ones are holding out to try to break even or are renting them out waiting for better times to sell. Good luck with that. We won’t see these prices again for 30 years or more.


“A house is where you live and hopefully enjoy life, not an investment. But the current housing bubble”

If you consider an asset to be in a bubble that means you consider it to be an investment. Otherwise, there are no metrics to tell you whether it is fairly valued.


and where did they get the “$4000 a month furnished” pricing?

me thinks they were talking to the quacks at “Rent It Furnished”.com


I’m thinking a break-up and neither partner thinks it’s a good time to sell, but neither can afford to live there alone.

Short'em High

Says:Renting a bedroom in an owner occupied $4000/mo suite…

Good find! I encourage you to do some investigative journalism. Ask the landlord if he would consider a rent closer to the cost of a bedroom in a bed and breakfast. Since the owner will have free run of the kitchen and bathroom, wouldn’t $600/mo be more fair? How did he arrive at the price of $1600/mo?

How the owner got themselves into this bizzare predicament would be really interesting to know. Is it the classic one? “I got bad advice.” Also, when did they buy it and why? This one is so beyond “accidental landlord”, it merits further study.

bon jovi

if TW is 1bd + den and owner is already using one bdr then are you getting just den and shared kitchen for 1600?? This is Saturday Night Live material 🙂

Ford Prefect

Short’em high 130: summarizes my interest in the housing bubble. I have no interest in real estate per se. A house is where you live and hopefully enjoy life, not an investment. But the current housing bubble, especially in BC,is the most “Extraordinary Popular Delusion and Madness of Crowds” that I have ever experienced in a relatively long life.

I first read “Extraordinary etc” about 40 years ago and found it fascinating then and still do. And am no wiser now than then as to why people buy into assets that are clearly, loudly, blatantly overpriced. But they do and perhaps that is as far as we will ever get into the question of why people do the things they do.



“This suite wouls normally rent for over $4000 fully furnished. Rent is reduced as upper bedroom is used by the owner.”


or… Only $1600 because I actually live here and you are just renting one of the bedrooms from me

Short'em High

@An Observer Says: …$220K loss …$300K in losses… Your examples indicate 10-15% loss of capital IF (big if) they can sell at asking prices. Understanding the actual mental process of those buyers would be priceless. Arguably prices were making new highs, but what further upside did the buyers think was possible? Consider charts of a gold standard, the French Riviera RE prices: http://www.wardeproperty.com/blog/index.php?/archives/27-French-Riviera-Property-price-report-in-full.html Even if this was the scenario for Vancouver, those charts don’t indicate another leg of price doubling or even 25% more after the first doubling. The buyers of those losing Vancouver property examples surely must have believed their properties wouldn’t even decline by 1%, let alone the current 10-15% with no bids yet. In 2012 there were already examples of 50% losses in RE from many places in the world. So, had those buyers read only headlines… Read more »

An Observer

Here are a couple of recent listings:

V988498 in Kitsilano bought for $1.3 million in February 2012 ($251K OVER asking) and listed now for $1.148 million. A nice $220K loss after transactional fees if they get asking

V994722 in Point Grey bought for $2.23 million in September 2011 now listed for $2.06 million after $438K in price drops. Close to $300K in losses after transactional fees if they get asking. Best thing about this listing is the description:

“Land house on 5726.95 sf. Beautiful renovated and live in condition. Welcome to first open house March 9th (Sat) 2-4pm. “


“They claim in their advertisement on B4 in Van Sun from Saturday March 9, 2013 that “All tower and townhome suites are SOLD OUT”. ”

What is the development?