Friday Free-for-all!

It’s the end of another week and that means it’s Friday Free-for-all time!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Assessments and sales
Canada in ‘serious trouble’?
Optimism Fading?
Rent vs. buy math
High debt a way of life
Oil brings doubt
Chinese investors not afraid of ghosts
Realtor Hunger Index at 68%
Prices down in Yuan

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

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whats happening in vancouver lately

Shut It Down Already

Patriotz, you should really warn those nice folk at WiTricity before they waste anymore money on their foolish inductive charging ambitions.


Thousands of Chinese-Canadians lured back to Hong Kong by better job prospects than Vancouver can offer


“But what about someone that hasn’t got several hundred thousand in the bank?”

If you have less money then buying would be an even bigger mistake.

“For these people, Missing the boom in housing is a catastrophic life event.’

Missing the boom? Do you mean missed the boom? The boom is in the past not the future. Can’t change that now. It would be like picking last weeks winning numbers on your lottery ticket this week and expecting to win.

“If even real estate crashed, youre still looking at $1 million dollar houses in Vancouver.”

Better to buy a $1 million house for $1 million after the crash than pay $2 million today for a house that will be worth $1 million in the future.

Garth's Post

Sure it works for Garth…renting that is. Thats because he has a big portfolio.

But what about someone that hasn’t got several hundred thousand in the bank? For these people, Missing the boom in housing is a catastrophic life event. If even real estate crashed, youre still looking at $1 million dollar houses in Vancouver.

Whistler or bust?

From Garth’s Website. Very well written: If you lack a life and come here often you’ll notice something. So many people live in extremes. Homeowners dis renters. Maples hate Yanks. Metalheads trash stocks. Renters mock the mortgaged. Millennials envy/loathe Boomers. And the poor Asians get whipped. Realtors, it seems, are the worst. Either business is getting harder, or their brains have been Re-Maxed. Or both. When it comes to extreme thinking, they’re the champions. Here’s an example, from a poster who calls himself ‘I Love Real Estate’, a realtor in the tony middle of Toronto. Yesterday he submitted this: “People find so many ways to rationalize all the terrible negatives that come with renting. There are so many, many pains in the neck that come with renting: Privacy breaches during background checks. Maintenance delays. Hidden charges for water and garbage/recycling… Read more »

Whistler or bust?

#117 – Only in Vancouver.

That starter home should be $400K.

Whistler or bust?

“Just looked up the assessed value of the Condo I rent in Coal Harbour, down $51k year over year and now $103k less than when we moved in back in 2011”

The place we rent dropped from $2,029K to $1,857K. It is a 3 bedroom condo/townhouse. That is a pretty big drop, $172K or 8.5%. Not sure if it was just over assessed last year but the drop is equivalent to about 40 months of rent.

PS – Have not had a rent increase since 2005 (when we moved in)

Bo Xilai


yes – all very good and important questions – and i have no answers – i leave it to the electrical engineers to sort out – that’s what they get paid for-( they have already done in it South Korea with OLEV technology).

Hated physics in High School – was never good at it – still don’t get it. that’s why i am in business – much easier and let the brain boxes do all the hard thinking and slogging – we just make the decisions and the profits. thanks


Looky here, this sold just 1 month ago for 814K now relisted


#106 – ya I agree, I was being facetious. Their calender has no bookings


@133: “they are also looking at electric inductive charging built right into the roads for long distance travel.”

Sorry, you lost me there. You might not know much about electricity but I do.

What’s the distance between the pot and stove top on an induction range, or the LIM and reaction rail on the Skytrain? What do you think is the required tolerance for the latter?


#103: “Real estate has become far more globalized than it ever was before and it is valid and fair to have a discussion about the globalization of real estate markets.”

Of course discussing it is valid and fair. I talk about offshore ownership myself.

What isn’t valid is forming conclusions without evidence. RE prices peaked in the US in 2005. Did offshore ownership peak at that time? No. Ditto Ireland, Spain.

Germany is open to foreign ownership of RE. Yet there was no bubble there. How come?

And so on.


good posts on automated driving. some policy planning consultants folks i know at ICBC have already submitted major internal reports on this. its all brainstorming strategy and not official yet. my understanding from them was that ICBC is not relying on GPS self-navigating cars, but have the existing road networks ( the paint in lane markings and the street lights and traffic lights act as sort of transponders to communicate with the cars). their take is that the first takers will be the fleet operators – municipal trucks, police cruisers, delivery drivers, canada post, door to door sales etc etc. they already represent over 50% of all mileage on the roads. they are also looking at electric inductive charging built right into the roads for long distance travel. this technology is going to be a real game changer in everything… Read more »

Bull! Bull! Bull!

patriotz will be the first person on this blog to buy self driving car. just like how he bought a house.

if we could eliminate all of patriotz’s hot air we could solve global warming.


The thing you are ignoring is the cost of all of this from buying a self driving car to the infrastructure to automate it. An easier and cheaper solution is adopting services such as Uber that do not require you to find parking, etc. For people living in a city where trips are relatively short Uber can be cheaper than owning a car, paying for parking, insurance and be more convenient. You also have the option is using a combination of Uber and Skytrain for longer trips. Car sharing can also be used if a actual vehicle is required. An automated car will only increase cost of car ownership. The technology is a long way off anyway so why we are discussing it as some type of alternative to public transit is silly.

Bear Vancouverite

I should also add that there’s been some suggestions in modelling what happens if self driving vehicles simply returned home after dropping off its passengers.

Imagine a family of 4 with mother, father, and 2 children. Children are dropped off at school, parents dropped off at work, and car parks either at work or returns home. This wastes the resources to return home but saves on parking space. I’m not sure which is more wasteful in the long run, and obviously empty vehicles driving around the roads might make things even worse, so it remains to be seen how all this works out.

Bear Vancouverite

@108 ” Operation of any automated transport system requires a central operator with full control over all functional aspects of all vehicles and access to the system.” I don’t agree that this is true. Networked systems don’t need any central control system to achieve route planning. This isn’t about control, its about broadly available information and using that information intelligentrly. Individual vehicles can plan efficient routes based on GPS and surrounding traffic data. Most mapping systems like Google maps already provide very good congestion data. Most route planning algorithms are already quite efficient (GPS’es can already compute time to destination of each route based on congestion, distance, and road speed). Each autonomous vehicle, as long as its aware of the totality of traffic patterns, streets, and route opportunities, can individually plan its route efficiently and broadcast that into the networked… Read more »


@101: It is ridiculous to compare any privately operated transport system (whether that be in a warehouse, or transit like Skytrain) to the public roads. Operation of any automated transport system requires a central operator with full control over all functional aspects of all vehicles and access to the system. Some degree of automated control might be able provide some degree of higher thoughput on freeways under normal circumstances. But if traffic is already backed up, due to constraints at the exits, it’s not going to get you much. And the ultimate problem, which I already alluded to, is where do you put all those cars at the end of the trip. You can’t just turn them around in the other direction like Skytrain. If there’s any place in the world where the government would have enough clout of make… Read more »


“In post #64, East Enders made a very astute post about the globalization of real estate in places like NY, London, and Vancouver.”

That is not an astute post but a post by someone who doesn’t understand what is happening here and globally and has drank the kool aid. It is not globalization of RE but a global credit bubble. RE is at bubble prices in areas with no immigration in many areas of Canada and many other places in the world. For example most major cities in China are in a RE bubble bigger than Vancouver and there is zero immigration. Same for Southeast Asia. The one thing all these places have in common is easy credit and low rates.

Why Southeast Asia’s Boom Is A Bubble-Driven Illusion


“Let’s assume $7000 a month in rental income if he manages to fill up his VRBO schedule.” The problem with renting through VRBO is you are basically an inn keeper. Lots of extra expenses like cleaning, laundry, supply towels and bedding, furnishing the place, hydro, repairing damage, etc. Then there are the VRBO fees and time spent managing it. What happens if you want to take a 2 week vacation? Well I guess your place sits empty for those 2 weeks. These places mostly sit vacant anyway. The $7000 if true is gross rent, not net of all those expenses. Deduct off expenses and time spent on it and you are better off just renting the suites monthly which might get you $4300 per month for the 2 suites but so much less hassle and expenses. Only someone desperate to… Read more »


Here’s a very aggressive flip attempt, maybe someone with MLS access can tell us what they paid:

House next door sold for $1.5 mill last April. This house is actually assessed for less (pre-reno) now a little lipstick on this pig and they’re asking 2.268 mill.

Timed just perfectly for a softening west side detached market, this one should sit for a while.



“You will be a self-motivated with a network and speak and write fluent mandarin and English.”

In this context, the word ‘mandarin’ should be capitalized as it refers to the name of a language. I clicked on the link and I see the error appears on Weissach website as well. I always get a kick out of employers who post ads looking for employees who have language fluency but the employer themself can’t write an ad without making a language mistake (no matter how minor). I guess, for this employer, fluency in Mandarin is more important than being able to write a sentence in English with proper punctuation and grammar.


I’ve been off this blog for a while now. Happy New Year everyone. Leave it to Patriotz to write something that causes me to finally post here again. In post #64, East Enders made a very astute post about the globalization of real estate in places like NY, London, and Vancouver. They made some good comments about how Vancouver, even though its less important on the global scale compared to NY and London, there are certain attributes of Vancouver that make it desirable for global real estate investors, particularly those originating from China. I agree with the post. In post #75, Patriotz does what Patriotz does best: obfuscate as opposed to illuminate–and most readers fell for it because that post has 23 upvotes now and just 3 downvotes. His comment says: “Funny how this “global commodity” sells for twice as… Read more »