FFFA! Late breaking edition!

Whoa! Is it Friday already?

We almost forgot.

But if it’s Friday, that means it’s time for our Friday Free-for-all!

This is our regular end of the week news roundup and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.  Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

CMHC to increase insurance premiums
A little math
Housing and debt, don’t worry!
Boom expected to cool, crash
Statscan rearview: RE makes us richer
Inflation rises in January
Party over for high end housing?
Canadian dream a ‘myth’

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

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@75: “The problem is now we’re stuck with low rates. We cannot raise them without bankrupting the families holding all that debt. ”

What do you mean “we”, white man? Can you say “current account deficit”?

Bull! Bull! Bull!

febuary is 4% below 10 year average. apparently this is significant?

i wonder if people understand what average means.



What slowdown?


That’s a long time now. Had a friend who sold exclusive cars for years. No more. He was the last to go for a mandarin speaker.

So far, Mainland money is still purchasing the West side. I know I’ll get voted down but that’s what I hear.

Son of Ponzi

Ni hao,
Talking about irony.
One guy in my Mandarin class is a 3rd generation Chinese.
But does not speak Mandarin.
He works for a luxury car dealership, where most of the buyers are speaking Mandarin only.
He sees the Mandarin speaking salesmen getting most of the deals.
He says most deals are in cash.
Strange times, indeed.

UBC in crisis mode

How Vancouver RE industry will spin the low sale numbers of February, the weather?


The following column makes uncomfortable but necessary reading for anyone with holdings of Vancouver real estate Vancouver Home Prices to Suffer With End of Investor Immigrant Program



Can’t blame China when Britain and US has demonstrated just how well gunboat diplomacy and military supremacy works in getting what you want? China is learning and practicing the way of the west, you should be happy.


Thanks for posting the Toronto Star article. Here’s my comment: Demographics and Boomers. This article and Statscan failed to address the elephant in the room. Those aged 50-60 now outnumber those aged 20-30, or 30-40, or 40-50. What effect should this have on the numbers? – Less debt. With a higher percentage of our population nearing retirement we should be seeing more mortgages paid off, retirement funds topped up, … instead we see the opposite. – Digging into the numbers finds more families living mortgage free. Wait a minute, if more families are mortgage free, who’s holding that large increase in mortgage debt? Yikes. – None of this matters cause rates are low. The monthly servicing cost of all that mortgage debt has not changed much. The problem is now we’re stuck with low rates. We cannot raise them without… Read more »


Pimco sees 30% slump in Canada’s housing market in time, cuts holdings

Ed Devlin, who heads up Canadian investing for Pimco, told the Financial Times he expects a drop in the residential real estate market of up to 30 per cent over the next two to five years.

To be clear, Mr. Devlin is not forecasting a sudden crash, but he joins a chorus of voices, from Deutsche Bank to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, in raising red flags.

30% in as little as 2 years is not a “sudden crash”? Okey dokey. The US average fell about 35% in 6 years.


Follow up to my last post: ZANU stands for Zimbabwe African National Union. It is the political party of Mugabe. Okay, so the article is saying Mugabe is on China’ payroll.


@ it doesn’t look good #68: That zerohedge article offers a great example of something I have commented about before: China as an ascending hegemonic/colonial power. Quotes from that article worth paying attention to: “Zimbabwe’s central bank that it would accept the Chinese yuan and three other Asian currencies as legal tender… China is planning to set up a modern high-tech military base in the diamond-rich Marange fields… The website speculated that China could be positioning itself for future “gunboat diplomacy” where its military presence would give it bargaining power against superpowers like the US. It would also be safeguarding its significant economic interests in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa… A sizeable number of Chinese troops are reported to have their boots on the ground in the Marange diamond fields, which have since been cordoned off as a high… Read more »


@kabloon @ 67: Thanks for that Toronto Star opinion piece. Some other great quotes from that op-ed address stagnant income growth and parents’ pessimism for their children: “According to economist Andrew Sharpe at the Centre for the Study of Living Standards, who cites data from the 2006 census, median real earnings of individuals working full-time on a full-year basis between 1980 and 2005 increased from $41,348 to $41,401 (in 2005 constant dollars), a paltry $53 over 25 years. Over the same time period, labour productivity in Canada rose 37.4 per cent. Economic theory would suggest earnings growth should track labour productivity growth, but this evidently did not happen over that quarter century… For the first time since polling began, parents think their kids will be worse, not better off, financially. It sounds like people see the end of progress around… Read more »


Pimco takes more bearish stance on Canada
Mar 2, 2014
Pimco, the world’s biggest bond investor, has slashed its exposure to Canada – one of its top country holdings – as it predicts home prices will start to fall this year amid broader concerns that it could be the next global housing bubble ready to burst.”

“Pimco’s flagship $237bn Total Return Fund, managed by Pimco founder Bill Gross, halved its exposure to Canadian debt – which includes provincial bonds – to 2 per cent of its portfolio in the third quarter from almost 4 per cent a year earlier, according to data compiled by Morningstar.”

““I’ve been talking with clients and writing about how the housing market is overvalued,” said Mr Devlin. “The change this year would be that I actually think it starts this year.””

it doesn't look good

Analysis of the StatsCan report from Eugene Lang (BMO Visiting Fellow, School of Public and International Affairs, Glendon College, York University) and Frank Graves (President, Ekos Research and Associates): http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/03/02/closer_reading_of_statscan_report_troubling_for_middle_class.html “…First, most of this net worth increase is due to phenomenal inflation in home values. The median value of residences was up almost 50 per cent since 2005, which includes the period in which Canada was in recession (when, other things being equal, one would expect house prices to flatten or decline). Anyone who thinks these increases are normal and will continue indefinitely believes in Santa Claus or still holds stock in Bre-X. The part of the StatsCan study that hasn’t gotten much attention yet is more worrying. Mortgage debt, for example, is reported to be up $650 billion since 2005. Total debts on lines of credit have almost doubled… Read more »


one business that must actually make money in vancouver……making ‘For Lease’ signs


“Internet trolls fell into the so called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).”

you know who you are – step up and get an appointment with the clinic.

Son of Ponzi

My Mandarin class is all Caucasions from all walks of life.
Even a Relator and a mortgage broker.
Will have a field trip to Parker Place in Richmond to see how the locals go about their business.
Everybody is hyped.
Stay tuned.