Naval-gazing time! (and a troll poll)

Bored of real estate? Let’s talk about this website instead!

First off, we heard you on some of the issues browsing this site on an ipad. It was unusable, but now should be much better. We fixed a bug that would not let you vote or view hidden comments on mobile devices. One thing still missing are time stamps and comment numbers, but we’ll go with ‘functional’ for now.

And speaking of hidden comments, it would appear that some people are personally offended by the community voting system in place here. For those of you new to the site, here’s how it works: instead of active moderation each comment can be voted up or down, one vote per reader. Highly rated comments are highlighted and comments with a total negative vote below -8 are hidden. Those comments can be unhidden to read and then voted back up if you want.

When the brilliant Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive went on hiatus someone was unhappy with their recommendation of this site and has been posting this comment around:

I am strongly opposed to the recommendation by Vreaa to move to VCI (Vancouver Condo Info) to post commentary as it is just a hack site of sheep speaking to the same tune as one another and offering little in the way of genuine creative commentary on the Vancouver Real Estate situation. I will admit I have posted there once or twice but I really don’t consider it a useful or intelligent venue for discussion as its focus is popularity centric and voting counts for more than honest dialogue. The conclusion I have come to after only a few brief visits is that you must fall in line with your peers for validity or be cast out and down-voted into oblivion. That is self defeating in my opinion and does not represent true democracy (unless mobs of one-dimensional sheep are considered to be democratic all of a sudden) and it does nothing to foster genuine debtates or discussion. VCI gets my veto. Two very big THUMBS DOWN for that site. I encourage readers to move on to “The Greater Fool” or other open discussion forums that welcome more varied opinion and have a host with an actual personality.

On this site that comment currently has 20 up votes and 15 down votes. I don’t know about you, but I find that a bit ironic 😀

So we obviously can’t please everyone, but our goal is to please the majority of the visitors to this site.

With that in mind (and the recent spate of crap-flooding trolls) it’s poll time!

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Any other thoughts on this site, compliments or complaints? Leave ’em in the comment section below!

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What the again

Re post #104 anti-chmc

Your post actually made me think the CHMC is a good thing if as you state that without it only the upper class could own a home

There has to be a method that allows average earners buy a home without allowing speculators to take advantage of the CHMC program


My post #120 has received quite a few downvotes…I guess you can’t help the doomed. For those who upvoted me, i kind of figured out why Surrey an North Delta have been going up recently. There are several hundred thousand people of Punjab origin in these 2 cities. Read on –> Last year, the government of Punjab in India was initiated a plan to institute a law that would tax Non-Resident Indians (NRI’s)on their land holdings in Punjab. A 75,000 Rupee tax per acre for any land within 75KM of a ‘major’ city. Needless to say, many people here are selling their land holdings there and buying here. The government of Punjab has put the names of all landowners online…in Punjabi though. People fear that their names will be listed in the English language soon and CRA will become aware.… Read more »

midnite toker

Bloomberg News, sent from my Android phone

The Canadian dollar reached a 12-week high versus its U.S. counterpart as a surge in metal prices boosted commodities and renewed confidence in global growth. The currency flirted with parity against the greenback after economic data from China and Germany suggested export demand was recovering. The Canadian currency had weakened earlier in the day following a report that showed new home construction slowed in April. “Base metals have been on a run in the past few days; you get a move like t […]Read the full story at


“So short em high, are you short the C$ on Friday am or not?”

Short em high only talks about his trades when hind sight is 20/20. He will tell you on Monday what his call was on Friday. My bet is he nails it again. At least in fantasy land.


Makaya: Let me clue you in with 2 points: 1) A friends parents recently moved to Canada and they bought a house on arrival. They are not counted in the stats because they came in on the “Supervisa. Research it if you don’t know what it is. the are going to stay here 2 years and then go back for 6 months and then come again for 2 years. They will not be counted by census data. 2) Another friend came here as a foreign student years ago. Got into the internet business. He started a small company and set up a sibsidiary in India. As a result of the “Intra-company” transfer, his 3 younger brothers are living here. They have bought 2 houses. they can stay here 5 years at a time before renewal. Oh, they are not counted… Read more »


So short em high, are you short the C$ on Friday am or not?

Some Guy

I think Troll has a fair point that sales activity has strengthened more than we (or at least I) expected/hoped (although it is still very weak) over the past month or so. But my sense visiting open houses last weekend is that we’re nearing the end of the upward trend in sales and things are heading down again. In previous weeks I was seeing lots of activity, but this time, crickets (literally, at one house). Obviously that’s reading a lot into some anecdata but I guess we’ll see – Aggregator’s nice chart (@113) also seems to suggest we’re nearing the spring rollover point for this year. Agree with Makaya that some downward price movement may be pushing sales up a little. One house near me sold recently after listing for 10% less than it was listed for in the fall.… Read more »


@Troll sales are also beginning to gather steam.

Think really hard troll. What expired on March 31 and what affect would that have on resale activity? Remember REBGV stats is 4/5 of Van’s total residential market.



Great chart, I think the rolling average is the way to go to show sales. Would be interesting to layer the years on top of each other.

LOL, ‘high horse’? Really, what is it with you people?

I only bring up the numbers because it’s interesting to me that over the past few months prices have risen, inventory growth has slowed, and sales are also beginning to gather steam.

What I find even more interesting is that on a blog that obsesses daily over the numbers, that these facts have been completely ignored.

Short'em High

@#112,#113. Try this trend…

Data are monthly, currency adjusted, and current as of April 30th.



A few good days and you trolls are up on a high horse ready to call a bottom? See the real trend here

What matters next is if sales slope straight down coming out of spring like 2010. Better hope stocks don’t come roaring down with it too. That would only make it worse.


I don’t like using monthly numbers because they are skewed by the number of business days, one or two extra days can skew the numbers. I think a better measure is sales/day. For example you show increasing sales for 2012 from April to May, but if you break it down by sales per day, you get the following:

Apr. 1-15: 154 sales/day
Apr. 16-30: 144 sales/day
May 1-8: 133 sales/day

Falling just as I said.


Been on vacay in remote areas without internet..
to further Troll #103’s stats:

So far in May: 137/d vs 133 (2012) vs 160 (2011)
Apr 16-30: 127 (2013) vs 140 (2012) vs 159 (2011)
Apr 01-15: 115 (2013) vs 154 (2012) vs 147 (2011)

Look at May vs Apr sales in last few years:
2012: 2853 <- 2799 (inc)
2011: 3377 <- 3225 (inc)
2010: 3156 <- 3512 (dec)
2009: 3524 <- 2963 (inc)

The statement that "Sales are strengthening during a time that they usually begin to fall off" is incorrect. Sales almost always fall off in June (except 2009), not May.


@ Frank & Quinn

Amazing how quickly you become defensive with presented with stats you don’t like!

BTW, since you bring it up, inventory growth has slowed such that we will be crossing the line you mention tomorrow. Here’s last May 8th:

paulb. Says:
May 8th, 2012 at 5:56 pm 69

New Listings 365
Price Changes 157
Sold Listings 183

Buyer’s market on the horizon? Not likely with absolute sales at the level they’re at. But the trends are decidedly not pointing to crash.


Troll, you’re right that the market has strengthened a bit recently, but remeber that it’s improving from catastrophic sales level. I’m a bit puzzled by this resurgence in acrivity, as there is not objective positive economic data to fuel a better real estate environment (for the bulls that is). I’m wondering if this is not the result of sellers to move on pricing. As a side note, I shared a story here a few month ago of a very good friend that bought, together with his dad, 6 townhouses in a new development somewhere in the fraser valley. After countless of discussions, fact digging, statistics analysis, and a huge emotional roller coaster, he came to conclusion that I had a point and that he’d better sell his townhouses asap. The problem? In his area, only one townhouse has sold in… Read more »


from the graph….are those 1998 numbers corrected for population growth??


Garth is talking about the Buyer Protection Plan tonight. This was featured on CTV news tonight. You can get up to 5% of the purchase price of your home refunded to from a trust account set up by the seller if the real estate board’s statistics show your new home value went down by 5% in the first year. Tamara Taggart said she wasn’t sure if she liked the idea. I don’t like the idea either. If you wait a year, won’t prices be down more than 5% anyways?!

Quinn Queefs

Ahhh nice one Frank. Troll shot down quickly with a beautiful graph….*bang^ ^bang^ *bang*


Troll- before you panic everyone. Lets cross some of these lines first before we worry about a ressurgence of buying


“I would bet that at least 25-30-% of the people who have mortgages wouldn’t have had a chance on the open market without Gov backing.”

Oh, it’s way more than 25 to 30%. The vast majority of people who have had mortgages for the past 60 years would not have had mortgages if it was not for government intervention via CMHC. We just have to think about what it was like in Canada before CMHC was created in 1947. Before CMHC, most Canadians rented their homes because they couldn’t get mortgages. Interest rates were high and amortization was rarely longer than 10 years. Mortgages werefor the upper class. Canada has not had a “free market” for mortgages since 1947. So absolutely most people would not have mortgages in a truly free market.


Here’s some facts for the navel gazers to vote down:

Apr 1-15: 115 sales/day
Apr 16-30: 127 sales/day
May 1-8: 137 sales/day

Sales are strengthening during a time that they usually begin to fall off. MOI is also falling. Like it or not bears, this market is beginning to show some signs of strength. Not so simple to just dismiss as a bull trap.


New Listings 277
Price Changes 127
Sold Listings 172

Ford Prefect

Patriotz 96 and DaMann: no kidding! In 1992 my wife and I sought a $40k mortgage to purchase an interest in an office space we required for our own use. We owned a debt free property, had at least as much cash in the bank and had a great record of saving. Not one of the three banks we approached, Royal, Nova Scotia or BofM would give us the time of day. They wanted good secure jobs (always been successfully self employed) a ton of other security and a big chunk of equity toward the $40k interest. Needless to say we made other arrangements and it worked out well.


While the daily sales numbers are great (thanks PaulB!) it’s tough not knowing how prices are doing. Frankly, most of the pricing figures seem to be of limited use as it’s very tricky to find a way to compare apples to apples.

But does anyone have a sense of whether most sellers these days are getting less than ask and if so how much less?

Let’s put in another way – if I had a $1 million budget what is the highest list price I could expect might consider my offer? Less than $1.1?, $1.1?, $1.2?, other?

I know this isn’t scientific but I’m interested in what people think (bears and bulls)