FFFA! first free-for-all post of 2014

Welcome to the New Year!

You made it! And this being Friday, that means it’s time for our traditional Friday free-for-all, our open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

-this is where we post links when we’re not too lazy (or too holiday)

So what are you seeing out there as the new year dawns?

Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

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RC
Guest
RC

Read this post if you are still in doubt:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101307173

New York City’s prices are going through the roof! Up 27% year over year. Some of the condo prices make Vancouver look downright cheap!

It is what it is.

The world is awash in money. How else are entry level condos starting at $1 Million+.

Get in and retire. This ponzi scheme is going to the moon…and too big to fail. That is why you can’t lose. Investors are going all in because they know the Gov will come to their rescue if anything happens.

Buy Buy Buy.

Something tells me that Vancouver’s prices are set to skyrocket if this keeps up south of the border.

Downvote me all you want but deep down inside you know I may be right!

ILoveCharts
Guest
ILoveCharts

I dunno RC,

Read these two articles and tell me if you spot any differences:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_New_York_City
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_vancouver

tedeastside
Member
tedeastside

lol comparing Vancouver’s economy to NYC is like comparing a tiny mouse to a giant elephant, Vancouver’s economy is in the stone age

if you ever travel to a real city you can only feel sorry for vancouver,
a zero opportunity backwater rube town

patriotz
Member
Active Member

@1:

According to the Case-Shiller Index for New York (which is a metro index like all the others) prices were up 4.9% in the year ending Oct 2013.

David M. Blitzer, Chairman of S&P’s Dow Jones Index Committee said that while each index continued to show double-digit annual returns, “Monthly numbers show we are living on borrowed time and the boom is fading.”

http://www.housingviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/CSHomePrice_Release_October-Results.pdf

patriotz
Member
Active Member

Ottawa’s new foreign-worker rules drop ban on employers with criminal convictions

Employers convicted of human trafficking, sexually assaulting an employee or causing the death of an employee will be allowed to access the Temporary Foreign Worker program after Ottawa decided to back away from a proposed ban.

Canada, the new Dubai.

registered
Member
registered

@5: From your link:

““We heard from legal experts that these provisions were redundant and unnecessary as the new package of regulations also included a separate condition on employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a work place free of abuse,” wrote Pamela Wong in an e-mail Thursday.”

That doesn’t meet the most basic sniff tests for coherent reasoning. It literally makes Canadian employers responsible for policing the actions of foreign workers the government refuses to screen. It’s so anti-Canada and irrational there must be a larger story behind it.

bullwhip29
Guest
bullwhip29

Not a happy new year for many local homeowners who just opened up their BC Assessments. Yikes, Richmond westside SFH’s down over 10%. This will surely be troubling for some as many market experts are calling for a weaker market in 2014. Will everyone simply shrug this off once again? Will the usual cast of industry players and MSM deem this data to be “old news” as valuations were done at what they’ll undoubtedly tell everyone was another market bottom? Or will the hangover finally kick in for thousands of homeowners after they view these numbers (ie. the first major drop in recent memory) in black and white?

George
Guest
George
I have noticed that the media coverage of the BC property assessments have tried to spin this into a bullish story about high priced real estate and LNG. Vancouver Sun focused its story on price increases in Kitimat and the anticipated LNG boom, with its headline “Kitimat increases highest in 2014 property assessments”. Ditto for Globe and Mail with its headline, “LNG plans push up BC home values”. That Globe and Mail headline makes it sound like real estate prices are up all across BC because of LNG, as opposed to localized increases in Kitimat. The CBC took a different tack and focused its story about the property assessments on high end real estate, listing the top ten most expensive properties, with the headline, “Lululemon’s founder Chip Wilson’s home B.C.’s most expensive”. Chip Wilson’s Vancouver home on Point Grey Road… Read more »
aa4
Guest
aa4
When I worked in banking those annual BC assessments were the standard we used for making housing related loans, like refinancing. In some areas the majority of customers would come in every year or two and refinance out enough to pay off their credit cards which had built up since their last refinancing. Many regular folks would have built up 60k+ in cc debt during the preceding 2 years. It was like free money though, as interest rates were constantly coming down, the payments on the mortgage were actually less each refinancing! The one downside they forgot is the loans still have to be paid back + interest even if it is less percentage than before. By 2011 when people were coming in and the assessments were lower they were genuinely shocked. As they were figuring the usual appreciation through… Read more »
jesse
Member

“one would have no idea that property assessments are down”

I don’t think assessments will be down for the 2015 roll. Prices were up about over 3% the course of last year and price declines in the first half of the year, given the strength of the previous fall and winter, would be unusual.

The “heavy lifting” for price drops usually comes in the fall and winter months. That will mean if you’re looking for price drops for entertainment purposes, you should take some time to go grab some more popcorn. No rush. I’ll hold your seat.

bullwhip29
Guest
bullwhip29

@ aa4
January 3rd, 2014 at 8:26 am

My sister in law is a senior mortgage underwriter at one of the big five. Acording to her, refi activity was brisk to say the least for much of last year (with the exception of the last few months). She also mentioned that in many cases the discrepancy between current appraised values and the assessments done as of July 2012 had become more and more alarming as the year unfolded. No matter how you slice it, this big drop in the most recent assessments will throw a massive wrench into the plans of those who were counting on squeezing out a few more dollars to keep the hamster wheel in motion for a while longer.

a_softening_bear
Guest
a_softening_bear

I’m feeling very conflicted. On the one hand, it’s obvious that a soft landing is happening.

On the other hand, our dogma tells us that every bubble results in a crash.

How do I come to terms with these conflicting feelings? Maybe I should try to distract myself and others by claiming that a soft landing proves bulls wrong? What do you guys think?

UBC in crisis mode
Guest
UBC in crisis mode

Too much equity

OK, no increase this year. However, in the last 8 years the average increase of assessed value is 20%+ (Van West). I don’t see crash, just slow down (flat?).

a_bear_in_bull's_clothing
Guest
a_bear_in_bull's_clothing

I’m also feeling very conflicted. I was kicked out of the BullzBullzBullz forum for saying RE prices will land (ie decline), so nowadays I hang out at VCI. Am I the most bearish bull, or the most bullish bear?

SupremeBearPriest
Guest
SupremeBearPriest

@UBC in crisis mode

> I don’t see crash, just slow down (flat?).

BLASPHEMER! A flat market is impossible! Every bubble is followed by a crash! THIS TRUTH WE HOLD TO BE SELF EVIDENT! HOW DARE YOU CONTRADICT OUR SACRED TEACHINGS!

patriotz
Member
Active Member

@12: ” On the one hand, it’s obvious that a soft landing is happening.

On the other hand, our dogma tells us that every bubble results in a crash.”

Well then, which hand indicates it’s time to buy now?

aa4
Guest
aa4
bullwhip29: January 3rd, 2014 at 9:54 am 11 I guess some banks are willing to go on appraisals from their approved list of appraisal firms, versus only accepting the BC Assessments. I know many customers strongly disagreed with what they perceived as BC Assessment undervaluing their property. I think the move back up in Vancouver after the short fall would give people room to refinance out more, plus every year or two there is significant principal payments to take back out. But because the numbers are so big now, a small 3% move down in a 1m home is $30,000. The banks are obviously taking a risk throwing aside BC Assessment numbers and going on the strength of their trusted appraisers coming in with higher estimates. It would be interesting to know how big the discrepancy is getting between the… Read more »
Snake
Guest
Snake

THE SAPPHIRE(http://bccondos.net/the-sapphire)
1969 Westminster Ave, Port Coquitlam, V3B 1E7

Building completed 5 years ago now there is 8(lucky #8) property on foreclosure list anybody know what’s going on ?

# 107 – 1969 Westminster Av
# 108 – 1969 Westminster Av
# 109 – 1969 Westminster Av
# 111 – 1969 Westminster Av
# 112 – 1969 Westminster Av
# 209 – 1969 Westminster Av
# 212 – 1969 Westminster Av
# 307 – 1969 Westminster Av

Bilbo Bloggins
Guest
Bilbo Bloggins

Guys I have shocking confessions to make, after being bear for four years we just bought a place!! Anyway I think I am truly the last bear so let the collapse begin.

jesse
Member

Congratulations, Bilbo! Do yourself a favour and never come here again — it will only depress you.

UBC in crisis mode
Guest
UBC in crisis mode

Congratulations, Bilbo! Hope you got a good value for your purchase. No one can truly time the market.

gokou3
Guest
gokou3

So with many areas having assessments dropped 5% or so, many new buyers are now officially underwater.

crikey
Guest
crikey
@#13 UBC in crisis mode” “However, in the last 8 years the average increase of assessed value is 20%+ (Van West). I don’t see crash, just slow down (flat?)” Assuming that your numbers are correct, that is a very lame return of way *under* 2% over the last 8 years, for Van West — and in many cases an annualized loss. That is after one factors in annual property taxes, property transfer taxes, mortgage carrying costs, big repairs, general maintenance, strata fees, huge time/stress hassle (and often horror stories) of finding and dealing with renters, etc, etc, etc. So then in truth the return on an investment property in Van West over the last 8 years is total *shiat*, and often a loss. A principal residence doesn’t fare much better either. And all this is assuming that one can even… Read more »
southseacompany
Member
southseacompany

Van Sun today; “Vancouver-area property markets rallied to so-so sales year, according to annual reports

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/real-estate/Vancouver+area+property+markets+rallied+sales+year/9347317/story.html#ixzz2pN3rb3bG

“… total (sales) ranked 2013 only as the third-lowest for sales in a year over the last decade.

““Although our sales last year were among the lowest they’ve been in the last decade, we didn’t see significant price declines because our inventory also remained lower,” (Ron) Todson (president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board) said. “When both buyers and sellers take a breather it has a balancing effect on the market where neither has the upper hand.””

Brian Ripley
Guest
Brian Ripley

Vancouver real estate is in common with the S&P 500 with respect to risk: http://www.chpc.biz/2/post/2014/01/risky-business.html

Purchasers are generally more informed than vendors because they look at a broader range of properties and they ask more questions like what is the BC Assessment. Assessment drops follow actual price drops and buyer sentiment shift follows both.

Apologies if this post appears twice… my machine went offline when I hit submit.

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