FFFA! Whispering Villagers Edition

Hey! It’s that time of the week again! You made it to the weekend, 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:

Dog days for RE experts
Who paid for the news you read?
Sales sink in Greater Vancouver
Consumer debt growth slows
Whistler prices plummet up to 68%
Realtor hunger index at 64%
Offshore accounts leak
Whiterock approves $250 suite fee
Flaherty: the anti-Robin Hood

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

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“That’s a really good point and another strong similarity between Stockton and many BC Municipalities.”

California has a legislated cap on property tax mill rates. When prices go down, property tax revenues go down.

BC on the other hand requires municipalities to balance their budgets every year and they are required to set whatever mill rate does this.

Also, municipal pension in BC are paid by the provincial government, not individual municipalities.

Bottom line is you are not going to see municipal bankruptcies in BC. Higher property taxes, yes. Which is another reason to be bearish on RE.

Short'em High

@an observer,

Regarding your inventory graph of 6 month old properties on VancouverPriceDrop, I assume you are using the street address as the duplicate detection key rather than the listing id. If you have street addresses, have you considered doing a heat map with Google Maps? It would be interesting to see if there are particular parts of the Lower Mainland which are hopelessly clinging to last year’s assessment as present market value. One question such a heat map might answer is if these absurd multi-year listing owners would be sensitive to higher rental vacancy rates or not


#146 – You should be used to being confused, you’re an idiot.


#145 That’s a really good point and another strong similarity between Stockton and many BC Municipalities. For example the city where I live the community center manager makes $120K per year with pension, a city park manager makes $110K for managing a petting zoo with pension. All jobs in a free market that either would not be required at all or would be pair $40-$50K tops with basic benefits.

I can’t believe a overlooked that glaring similarity. Thank you for pointing that out. The situation is far worse than I had imagined.

Short'em High

I am looking for historical property tax rate data for GVRD or at least Vancouver back to 1999. From the few news articles I’ve found on historical property tax rates, local municipal governments have tax rate policies not at all aligned or related to the ordinary national inflation statistic, CPI.

I would also like to read any insights people have on devising an aggregate property tax rate number that is sensible to apply to the available aggregate price indices like Teranet and MLS HPI.

Thanks in advance for your data resource links and thoughtful comments.


Correction. Ben Rabidoux’s piece actually is a headline on the “Canadian News” section, not just “RE” section

The title reads “Canadian Real Estate market continues to weaken. Soft landing will be difficult to achieve”

Interesting to see the “Chinese MSM” are now bypassing the “Great Firewall of RE Industry” and publishing actual news.


Ben Rabidoux’s piece on “Signs of a Canadian housing downturn are everywhere” has now appeared on major Vancouver Chinese newspaper’s RE section Headline http://t.co/MBNZZ6GmbF (in Chinese)


Cognitive dissonance… I’ve just received 2 emails. One from a realtor (I’m on his mailing list): Hello Everyone! March’s price band analysis revealed an increase in home sales, and less homes for sale than usual for many Vancouver neighbourhoods. This has resulted in more balance between the number of sales and listings in the market in the last two months, and a slight appreciation in benchmark prices over the last 30 days as referenced in the “Area Grid”. Though March’s improvement in home sales can be seen as further stabilization of the Greater Vancouver market, the numbers are still well below our current 10 year average. And the very next email was from Vancouver Price Drop: In January of 2008 we had just over 3000 of these old listings and this peaked near the middle of 2009 at 8671 before… Read more »


So what are you saying? That Harper supports rich, white, anglo oligarchs ?
I am confused.



I and all my friends voted for the Harper government in the last election. Not in the next election!

They are taking Jobs away from the young and giving them to foreign workers. 191,000 came in 2011 and out of those, 29,000 became permanent. The others go underground once their visa expires. This in addition to the 285,000 regular immigrants that came to this country.

Enough is Enough. Our jobs gone, Housing prices thru the roof, etc…. 2 more years of this BS.



You’re both right. Stockton, like many parts of California, suffers from a heavy dependency on health and education services by low skilled and non- taxpaying immigrants, couple with a union-bloated public service to provide those services.

It’s a perfect storm of decline.


Anon 145 ; Re Stockton. That is the truth I go through there and stay with friends there three times a year. It was white unions that killed that town! It is beyond ridiculous what those Civil Service leeches got.


Yeah you are right anon321 we should force everyone to assimilate and if they don;’t we should forcibly take their children and put them in residential homes and sexually abuse them. Worked well for the natives.

Wait a minute weren’t we supposed to assimilate with the Native since they were here first?

I’m getting confused now.


Anon321- If you want to know why Stockton went bankrupt – the reason is the city employees who had the richest contracts in the US. All the greedy recipients spoke perfect English. It was not the make up of the inhabitants who are now left trying to pay for it. the City employees got life-time health coverage in the most expensive state in the US, after only two years employment. Your argument is the typical BS I read on the net. take two unrelated facts and tie them together and hope it sticks. this is why Stockton is bankrupt for your education: “In the 1990s, Stockton granted its employees some of the most generous and unsustainable labor contracts in the State of California. … Safety employees could now retire at the age of 50 … . Many safety retirees today… Read more »


So funny,
whites don’t engage in argument put forward but down vote you because they don’t want to face the truth in this country that majority of cheats, and scammers are rich, white and anglos. looking forward for more CBC revelations to confirm that.


One thing that puzzles me. Given that the Indians now expect everyone to call their film capital “Mumbai”, shouldn’t they start calling their film industry “Mollywood”?



I never said all the scammers are foreigners; the particular fraud I described was just one of several types I expect we’ll see. I used that as an example because (a) It happened frequently during the US bubble, and (b) it’s particularly relevant here due to the large numbers of immigrants in Vancouver. Having one foot in Canada and the other in a foreign country makes it so much easier to skip town when things go bad and leave your debts behind. Do I have proof this has happened yet? No, I’m simply making a prediction. Time will tell if I’m right or wrong.

For the record, when all the RE scams are finally unveiled I fully expect the majority to be home grown.


Sound familiar? In Stockton, Calif., which has just entered into Chapter 9 bankruptcy, 41 percent of the people do not speak English at home and 21 percent cannot speak it very well, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The problem facing immigration advocates is that once they admit that the quality and quantity of the immigrant population has an effect on the economy, their entire rational for replacing the native population goes out the window. They were able to successfully deceive the public in 1965 and 1986, but not any longer. The effects over the US economy can no longer be denied. How many more cities have to go bankrupt before it becomes obvious to everyone that immigration is not an intrinsic element of economic growth. It is more than a little ironic that in the name of free trade,… Read more »


Re: home inspector. I second Ted Gilmour. Not cheap, but very thorough. He’ll pretty much insist that you be there for the whole inspection. In my case, that was about 8 hours for a detached house. Worth the $$.


I upvoted Anon21 because I think that tax cheats in this country come from all different groups.

However, I also find it a bit more offensive when a recent immigrant cheats on his/her taxes compared to someone who immigrated 10+ years ago or someone who was born here. It seems extra wrong to move somewhere, presumably for a better life, and then take advantage of the system that provides that better life once you arrive. I say this as someone who immigrated here years ago.

My feelings aside, hopefully we throw the book at all tax cheats regardless of their personal history.


C.Junta Says:
Put this one on your list for the 15%


@ Yalie
This tax cheat and motherfucker fraudster and his scummy Liberal wife do not look Chinese or Russian to me. It’s more like white, middle age, Anglos. I bet that 99% of those 450 Canadian offshore accounts indentified are like him: rich, greedy, white and Anglos. Do you have trouble looking at that FACT? Do you think he and his wife will be punished for cheating the system? You are fucking naïve if you believe that anything will come out of this. You live in corrupt system.



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