Friday free-for-all!

Here we are, the end of another week!

And what do you know, there’s been some rain in the rainforest lately.  Well what a bummer.  I can think of a lot worse places to be- like down in the streets, or down in the sewer… or even on the end of a skewer.

Lets get to our open topic discussion thread for the weekend, here are a few links to kick off the chat:

How to protect yourself from a bubble
Money into REITS instead of condos?
City median income to average price
BC tax revenues drop
Greenspan: no stop without crunch
Zillow to absorb Trulia?

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

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chilled
Member
chilled

Without a lot of money invested in REIT’s I get around $250/mth in dividends within an RRSP trading account and a TFS trading account.

I’d be surprised to find someone in the Vancouver area, with hundreds of thousands invested in a rental condo, making this.

Ironic, isn’t it?

VanRant
Member
VanRant

From today’s Telegraph “China launches global ‘fox hunt’ for corrupt officials”

“We will hunt them down and bring them to justice wherever they try to escape and hide,” Liu Dong, the deputy director of Beijing’s Economic Crime Investigation Department, vowed earlier this week at the launch of a campaign dubbed “Operation Fox Hunt 2014”.

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

Any “foxes” in Vancouver?

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi
@space 228 @Son of Ponzi – The original skytrain tracks and trains are almost 30 years old now. How many still drives a car that’s 30 years old? Or still run 30 years computer programs? It has hit that time when major maintenance, repairs & renos are needed. Guess what? That is going to cost a lot of $$$$$$, way more than what people are willing to pay. I don’t know what happened to the 6 cars train idea. It was tested but don’t look like it’s been put into regular service. Maybe the old tracks can’t take the load. Canada Line operator say they can run a train every 2 minutes instead of 3. However a simpler solution would be to just run a shuttle train between Airport and Bridgeport and have the rest of the trains start from… Read more »
Yunak
Guest
Yunak

“We will hunt them down and bring them to justice wherever they try to escape and hide,”

Right, just offer some rewards for information and it will go easy, at least in Vancouver’s community. They all like “incentives”, it is part of “culture”.

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

If you drive over the Arthur Laing bridge into Richmond, you’ll see the new luxury shopping centre taken shape, on the right side.
Look closer and you’ll see that the west edge of the complex is just about 100 meter away from a major runway.
The jumbos will be landing and taking off right over the shopping centre.
I guess, ear mufflers will be provided for shoppers free of charge.

gah
Guest
gah

#4 – agreed that the short stations on the canada line was a terrible decision, but saying the whole system is a joke because it isn’t bigger doesn’t make sense. It will get bigger if it continues to be as successful as it has been.

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

# 7
Fair enough.
I guess success is defined by one’s expectations.
It’s been my experience that Vancouverites’ expectations with regards to public transit are quite low.
But then, when you live in the BPOE, what do you expect?

Oh Grow Op!
Guest
Oh Grow Op!

@6 – Why would the Earmufflers be free? Sounds like the perfect opportunity for a high fashion safety gear store. Versace ear muffs to go with your Hugo Boss paper dust/flu mask and face visor.

Dave
Member
I think Vancouver has done fairly well with transit compared to other west coast North American cities (i.e. Seattle, Portland, SF and LA). I think going forward, TransLink should try to be more incremental in construction, rather than building 10 stations at once. Obviously, the system will need to be expanded more into Surrey and Langley and then along the North Fraser. A lot of that could probably be incremental. The UBC line would probably all have to be done at once though. I think we have done well in the last ten years with infrastructure investment. Imagine if we didn’t have the new Port Mann and expanded Hwy 1, Canada Line or SF Perimeter roads. As pointed out above, the system is too focussed on downtown Vancouver. You should be able to go from Richmond to Surrey more easily.… Read more »
tedeastside
Member
tedeastside

you need earmuffs it was snowing yesterday in Whistler

space889
Member
space889

Vancouver’s Wealthiest neighborhoods and most expensive neighborhoods:
http://www.bcbusiness.ca/real-estate/photos-vancouvers-5-wealthiest-neighbourhoods-1

Fair to say that any identified housing bears lurking around these areas will be promptly rounded up, shot, and put down.
http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/bear-shot-killed-in-vancouver-area-park-1.1932186

space889
Member
space889

For fixed infrastructure like Canada Line, you have to plan for future capacity expansion. With underground stations in Vancouver, I don’t see how they can easily add new stations or expand existing ones without a lot of money and maybe even shutting line the down during construction. None of the Vancouver station platform can easily be lengthened for longer cars.

The Richmond’s stations are easier for renovations. The new one at Capstan likely wouldn’t need too much disruption since it should in theory be built around the existing tracks – similar to the main street renovation going on now – hopefully.

space889
Member
space889
@Dave – I can’t say for certain that Vancouver is better than those places you mentioned. Seattle has metro lines and buses than connects surrounding cities and also a Seattle-Tacoma express bus. Portland’s light rail is pretty well planned out as well when I took it. LA has very good transit system in terms of buses and subway line. The thing people don’t often realize is just how big LA is – the greater LA area is a county made up of 88 cities. Also remember that USA was and still is a car centric/highway city. So lack of transit service is a reflection of that. Vancouver has done well in a lot of areas. My gripe are basically: 1 – Gas taxes aren’t used for transit. 2 – Usual government waste and unreasonable union demands/work place rules that wastes… Read more »
Dave
Member
San Francisco fought back against freeways the same way Vancouver did, but the BART line isn’t well loved. High real estate prices have enabled the City of Vancouver to be wasteful. I think the model of DCC’s and amenity contributions is a big problem. A lot of people think it doesn’t affect them because developers are seemingly footing the bill. But, it just gets passed on to the end consumer and it’s a big factor in our high prices. There is no free lunch. I think we’re going to see some serious changes with TransLink in the next couple years to address NIMBYism. The Province wants to take some of that power back and rightfully so. I think the Canada Line was a good capital investment. The price per distance was low for a buried line compared to other cities.
space889
Member
space889

@Dave – hopefully you are right and Translink get better, but I doubt it…politicians are always more about the next election and their own pensions and corporate buddies than actually doing the right thing.

Also, what’s going on with Compass Card? Is it like 1 year overdue now for public adoption??

space889
Member
space889

@chilled – I think most of REIT’s distributions get counted as return of capital, rather than dividends. Most REITs don’t have actual GAAP profits and keeps trumpeting operating cash flow.

So yes you are getting cash back and they are buying stuff at better yields than the actual condo owners. However, you have to realize that REITs aren’t actually paying down their mortgage or bonds, they just roll them over so they have a constant 50/50 or whatever ratio of debt to equity. Unlike the retail investors who gets a mortgage and is paying it down.

Not saying direct RE is a good investment right now but you can’t just look at the yield without knowing the details….like those AAA CDOs and MBS they used to sell….

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

@Dave.
As you seem the be the resident expert on public transportation in the Lower Mainland:
Given that the Canada line is already at capacity, how do you propose we will transport the many new commuters that will occupy the massive new developments in North Richmond and on Cambie Street?

Brian Ripley
Guest
Brian Ripley

I just posted a piece on Oil, the BDI and the state of our exports.
http://www.chpc.biz/history-readings/oil-and-bdi

It’s a follow up to quip I made on BNN yesterday “If Canadian real estate investors are betting on nominal inflation in housing prices in Calgary – it’s a pretty good bet. (not so much in Toronto or Vancouver)”

re Friday-Free-for-All: How to protect yourself from a bubble?
One possibility: If you are making a leveraged bet on continuing price rises in housing, it would be prudent to match your amortization to your wage earning contract.

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

# 10
Imagine if we didn’t have the new Port Mann and expanded Hwy 1, Canada Line or SF Perimeter roads.
———————–
Imagine if we didn’t have the massive immigration to the Lower Mainland, caused by misguided govennment policies?

onenagryslav2
Guest
onenagryslav2
“Given that the Canada line is already at capacity…” Your question rests on a faulty premise; the Canada Line is nowhere near design capacity. During rush-hour there are 3.5-minute headways, with only 16 of 20 trains running. (Yes, 4 two-car trains are almost always idle during rush-hour.) With no increase in train or platform length, the Canada Line could safely run enough trains to accommodate 2-minute headways (intervals between departures), which amounts to about about 10000 passengers per-hour per direction (pphpd). So, why don’t they? Cost, pure and simple. With Translink’s current budget constraints, they would have to reduce service across other areas of their system in order to free up the funds required to pay their P3 partner–InTransitBC–to increase service on the Canada Line. Indeed, the maximum design capacity–90-second headways with three car trains and expanded platforms (there are… Read more »
Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

# 21
In the real world, design (ideal) capacity is always subject to constraints.
Thanks for confirming my assertion.

onenagryslav2
Guest
onenagryslav2

#22, I suppose the simple answer to your “real-world” question posed in #20 is:

Add more trains. Simple.

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

Oh, I forgot.
We’ve got all the LNG reserves.
The trillions in revenue from gas exports will easily pay for the extra trains needed.

patriotz
Member
@15: “I think we’re going to see some serious changes with TransLink in the next couple years to address NIMBYism. The Province wants to take some of that power back and rightfully so. ” Gordo took the power back to appoint the Translink board a decade ago (the NDP had originally set it up with municipal representation). Today the municipalities are only involved with taxation which is just a way for the provincial government to make all the decisions but let the municipalities take the rap for paying for them. At no time has any municipal government had veto power over transit improvements. There was a well publicized fight between CoV and the Bill Bennett government over the original Skytrain (CoV wanted about a mile along Commercial underground), which CoV lost. “San Francisco fought back against freeways the same way… Read more »
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