Friday Free-for-all!

We’re a little late and lacking with this posting.

Please cut us some slack,  we were replacing our doorknobs with levers and got trapped in the bathroom.

-links will end up here

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

(please limit external links to one per comment to keep your contribution from being held up in moderation)

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
CarlK
Guest
CarlK

Last night CBC’s Doc Zone “Condo Game” featured the condo industry in Toronto with several references of Vancouver’s condo market with a candid and refreshing perspective. Here is the link: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/ID/2419796099/

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

Bowen Island residents upset over ferry cutbacks.
Many live there and work on the Mainland.
Some say they must sell.

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

Condo Games in Richmond.
The similarities to Toronto are striking.

YLTNboomerang
Member
Some of the assumptions made in the FP’s family finance article today are staggering: http://business.financialpost.com/2013/11/21/condo-payments-eat-up-over-half-of-this-womans-income-should-she-sell/ In the base case for keeping the 5% down (borrowed from RRSP) condo, the, cough cough “advisor” assumes the condo will appreciate 2% per year (above inflation) for the next 30 years… He even concedes that by selling she could save $500/month. What happens if the condo price stays flat as all the window lickers are hoping for? What about the case price decline, even minor? Heck, price increase @ inflation is already bad for this lady: “She does have a way out. Lisa could sell the condo, pay off her loans, and walk away. She would be free to rent equivalent space and save perhaps $500 a month. She would be mobile, could easily take jobs in other cities and would be free of… Read more »
Hovering
Guest
Hovering
They are tearing down another old house near me today.. No doubt some developer (or more likely a bunch of guys with some tools and a white van) will throw up as big a house as they can possibly fit on the lot and try to flip it. The house will be built too fast, by amateurs, during the rainy season, it will be huge but ugly and will have no yard to speak of since they will cram either a large garage in the back or a “laneway house” (which the new owners (if any) will try to rent out for an unrealistic price). I rent a tiny place in Kits. I thought I’d propose a challenge: Take a look around your humble Vancouver abode, wherever it may be, and see how many new construction projects there are. Let’s… Read more »
Softy
Guest
Softy

“If the market craters (as I expect)”

What evidence currently exists that this is likely to happen whithin a reasonable period of time?

Why has the condo market gone flat for five years after a huge price boom and relentless building? Why will houses be any different?

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

Wow, how can so many Realtors fit into one office?
http://newcoast.ca/our-realtors

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

#5
“no hard hats”.
Turbans are o.k. 🙂

oneangryslav2
Guest
oneangryslav2

@Softy #6

“Why has the condo market gone flat for five years after a huge price boom and relentless building?”

There is a concept in economics that is known as ceteris paribus. It may help answer your (what I hope is a) rhetorical question.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

#1

That documentary should scare the crap out of anyone thinking of buying a condo or anyone who already bought one.

What a pile of crap, those towers look like they were built to Chinese standards.

Naming Problem
Guest
Naming Problem

#7 – that is hilarious. They clearly are very selective and only work with the highest quality real estate professionals. It’s a nice personal touch that all their email addresses are at gmail or hotmail.

As for how they all work out of one office? I’m assuming bunk-desks and motorcycle helmets with bluetooth headsets so they can all be on the phone at the same time without disturbing each other.

Hovering
Guest
Hovering
#6 evidence you ask ? according to stats can http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/famil05a-eng.htm the average family gross income in Canada from 2007-2011 was between $93,000-$95,000. For the sake of argument lets call it $100,000. Generally speaking most financials sources I can find recommend spending 3 times or perhaps 31/2 times your gross family income on a property in which to live. For the sake of argument lets say it’s 4 times (though I wouldn’t spend this much). So an average family in Vancouver (a working couple with or without kids) should be able get a place to live for $400,000. good luck with that. I, and a growing number of people I know, recognise that the cost of housing has grown out of whack with income. History shows that this has happened time and time again in housing. I sold my home in… Read more »
Hovering
Guest
Hovering

#8

I agree. nothing wrong with turbans. Some of good friends and colleagues of mine swear by them.

I did not mean to suggest the builders in the white vans in my neighbourhood are inherently subpar.

they might have PHds that we as a nation idiotically refuse to allow them to put to use here (let them take some required courses then challenge the exams I say).

However it is noticeable that the house builders in the last year or so have, in my view, changed from developers with signs and trucks with logos to what looks to be a bunch of guys (whatever their race) with a white van and some tools. I am not entirely sure they are building crap houses.. I just suspect it and would be very careful before I would buy such a house.

crabman
Guest
crabman

“What evidence currently exists that [a market crash] is likely to happen within a reasonable period of time?”

Over the short run, there is no evidence. MOI isn’t that high and people are still buying. That’s why we’ve implemented our Plan B and expect to move next summer.

But over the long run, fundamentals will matter. With our insane valuations, the market must either slowly drift down for several years (your hoped-for soft landing) or crash. Either way, buying now is a really bad idea.

“Why has the condo market gone flat for five years after a huge price boom and relentless building?”

Because most Vancouverites are financially illiterate, the city puts the RE industry before all else, the local media is sponsored by realtors and developers, etc.

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

# 13,
was being sarcastic.
I think not wearing a hard hat is a big deal.
I have no idea how they get around WCB.
Your post is bang on.
Here in Richmond, they just even the lot with sand and then pour a 10 inch foundation on top.
The focus is only on the cosmetics. So that they can charge 1.5 million.
Oh, I forgot, the house comes with a 10 year warranty. What a joke.
I just bought a $20 pillow at Costco that comes with a 20 year warranty.

elvince
Guest
elvince

@#15
Do you mean they don’t dig up? Like, the house has no basement?

YLTNboomerang
Member
@Naming Problem #11. They do not pick the realtors, the realtors pick them: Compensation Plan We have several plans available from just hanging your license to 100% with a monthly fee, and several other optional plans right down to 70-30 splits backed by various office services and support. Please contact us for more detailed information. We would be happy to have you come into our office, meet us, and discuss your requirements and aspirations. Thanks for finding this firm as I will join as a wall hanger when I finally decide to purchase. BTW, when I decide the time is right I am going to get my realtor license to save the commish and get MLS access. My buddy got his license (never sold a house, just day trades online now) and I checked out his study books and it’ll… Read more »
Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

# 16
That’s right. No basement.
Remember, this is Richmond which is built on a flood plain.

BWilson
Guest
BWilson
CMHC just released their monthly housing stats package for October. For Metro Vancouver completed, unabsorbed units dropped by 30 from September to 4174. I think the reason for this decline was well below average completions. Completions during the month were only 1114 which is about 15% below average (mean) completions for October in 2010-2012. Still, new and unsold units are up a healthy amount year over year. Completed Unabsorbed October 2013: 4174 October 2012: 3732 October 2011: 3071 October 2010: 3342 What I find interesting is that for the second year in a row, starts are outstripping completions by a fair amount. From CMHC’s 2012 year end package (for Metro Vancouver) 2012 starts: 19,027 2012 completions: 16,958 Difference: +2069 Units u/c @ YE 2011: 20,649 Units u/c @ YE 2012: 22,908 Difference: +2259 So, the numbers don’t exactly line up… Read more »
elvince
Guest
elvince

@Son of Ponzi: This is nut. Everywhere in Canada, even in Vancouver, the ground can freeze. Every episode of freeze-unfreeze will move the ground below the concrete slab and eventually crack it.

Even if nothing really bad happens (earthquake, flood, whatever), the simple cycle of weather will destroy the foundations of that house. Plus, a basement is like free storage space for your crap. If square footage of land is what cost so much in vancouver, why not double its usage by digging a basement to store your crap?

Digging a basement for a 30×40 house is like 30 to 50k$. Even if it was double that, it’s just dumb not to do it for a 1.5M$ house.

HAM Solo
Guest
HAM Solo
BC Foreclosure Filings for week ending Nov 22 Month to Date / (October 2013) Vancouver: 54 / (117) Nanaimo: 21 / (28) Victoria: 21 / (33) New West: 16 / (44) Kelowna: 15 / (33) Total BC: 182 / (350) Countrywide Cup – Foreclosure Lenders League Table Month to Date / (Oct 2013) TD: 25 / (38) Royal: 21 / (28) CIBC: 21 / (31) First National: 11 / (24) MCAP: 8 / (7) Scotia: 8 / (31) Activity picked up a bit this week after some quiet days. A lot of the noise in the filings must be due to court schedules. For instance New West does practically nothing all month and then we have 13 filings this week. In broad strokes, the picture in Vancouver is much better than in October, with about 3-4 foreclosures/day vs 6 last… Read more »
space889
Member
space889

I thought it’s common knowledge that you can’t have basement in Richmond…dig more than 1 or 2 foot deep and you will need a water pump to continuously pump out the ground water.

Also, basement area is counted in the total allowable sq ft for a house…you aren’t gaining extra space. Maybe a crawl space you can get away with it….

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

HAM Solo,
I think the banks don’t wanna kick people out of their homes before x-mas.
Publicity nightmare.
Just wait for the new year and spring, and they are going to tighten the screws.

oneangryslav2
Guest
oneangryslav2

Just finished watching that CBC condo story and feel not an ounce of sympathy for the “owners”.

The “condo queen” attorney–Ms. Loeb–claims that even real estate attorneys can’t decipher the minutiae of today’s pre-sale contract. There’s a really simple solution to this problem and it is entirely market driven. If you (as a potential buyer) don’t understand what it is you are buying, then DO NOT BUY.

Over time, developers that write understandable and fair contracts will prosper and those that don’t will go out of business.

gordholio
Member
#5 Hovering: Wanna see what it looked like in my neighbourhood in extreme South Surrey last year about this time? Go here: http://vreaa.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/gord-goble-postcards-from-the-rubble-of-our-future/ Interesting that it looks just about the same today. Maybe worse. And the (sloppy) construction continues unabated, even on Saturdays/Sundays (and in the summer, ’til 8 or 9 at night). I put aside potential nausea yesterday and checked out the price of one of these places. Nice enough looking SFH, I figure maybe 2400 sq ft. Corner lot so traffic on two sides. Enough back yard for a hot tub enclosure and nothing else but a wonderful view of the kitchens and bedrooms of all the sardine houses surrounding you. Slapped up in a couple months, along with a ton of other units in every direction. I’m sure if I’d gone inside I would have seen the… Read more »
wpDiscuz