Friday Free-for-all! Let’s go weekend!

It’s that time of the week again… 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:

Mort. Insurance fees hurt 1st timers?
1/3 new owners use cash from family?
Rates. How low can they go?
Sunshine coast 2014 market summary
No gold watch for you!
BC LNG projects threatened by glut
Economic hit spreads beyond oil patch
Does oil price affect Vancouver RE?
Low rates hurting investors?
Salesman predict decade long boom
Divergence between TSX and financial services
John Bairds new job

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


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In Yaletown, the MOI is under 2. I’m also seeing flyers on lobby doors and bulletin boards asking if anyone wants to sell. As Paul said, the market is on fire.

Shut It Down Already

Sorry for the off-topic post, but does anybody know the current MOI numbers for the various boards?


There’s one primary value difference between the DTES (same Hep C rates as Botswana!) and Surrey (Murder Capitol of Canada!).

I’ll leave it to you to figure out what it is.


Bashtard economic theory = miss a 15 year bull run and lay the blame for their poor judgment on chinese people and MAC marketing instead of themselves

Maybe if the bashtards spent less time bashing home owners and more time making $$$ they would leave this pathetic forum and they too could hold hands with PaulB and buy a place to call their own….


New Listings 349
Price Changes 93
Sold Listings 314


“Geez…maybe learn to read news sometimes, it was covered extensively when those suite first came out, even on this blog I think.”

Space I think it’s you that needs to do some research, if you think Whalley is more desirable than East Hastings.


In theory, everyone wants less regulation/bureaucracy. But if you really want to see what that looks like in practice, take a trip to China.


All those people build their own little cottage industries and then find a way to profit off them. Atlas Shrugged has been on my reading list for years and I’m scared to read it because it might just suck me in to join the Tea Party.

Credit where it is due. I actually think our Provincial Bureaucracy is fairly well run. The municipal (at least Vancouver) and Federal governments are brutal. I deal with these levels day in and day out so it’s an informed opinion. The Feds are gross. It’s sad that the Conservatives haven’t changed the bureaucracy at all. They haven’t even tried.


@patriotz – For crying out actually go do some fing research. Power stations run 24/7 and yes, they pollute a lot. However, Beijing didn’t get its blue sky for intl viewing by shutting down power stations, it got it by shutting down heavy and medium industries and restricting car uses. Those pollute way more than power stations and they are private companies or private individuals. China is going nuclear power at a much faster rate than most people realizes. A lot of coal plants have been cleaned up when they are under gov’t control. However, most power plants aren’t under direct central gov’t control. Just like its hard for Ottawa to force BC govt to do something against its will, it’s no different in China. The local govt that owns the power plants don’t always listen to the central govt… Read more »


– I would add personal taxation to that too…but yeah, red tape and beaucracy are getting out of control. But then how else would all those civil servants, accountants, lawyers, lobbists and politicians justify their high salaries when they don’t actually do one bit to advance the wellfare of the general public.

But part of the blame is also on the public for wanting everything and protection from everything. Seriously? Dog walking certificate training course and license? Geez…eventually anything you do will require at least 1 year post-secondary certification course and licensing and regulating bodies, along with a few thousand pages of rules that realistically no one except lawyers and the like will read for $100+/hr.


The crux of my argument has less to do with taxes and more to do with bureaucracy, at least for Canada.

My main belief is that the tax system and the rules for running a business are too complicated and that is hindering new business starts and it hinders new investment. It’s a big problem.

I’d like to see a graph showing ‘pages of tax rules’ or ‘laws’ against the last 50 years. I bet that graph would start in the lower left and end in the upper right with few dips along the way.


Dave, the U.S. corporate tax rate only seems high because everyone else has been cutting like mad – including Canada. What has it gotten us?

The reason investment is low is because consumer demand is low. Consumer demand is low because working-class wages are low. Unless average wages grow with inflation *and* productivity, the economy is unsustainable. There are a couple of ways to delay the economic downturn which inevitably comes with lagging wages:

1. Send the wife to work.
2. Borrow money.

Why do you think Harper and company don’t want to stop the debt orgy before the election?


Spaceman, Hollywood productions are moving here primarily for the taxpayer-funded bribes. BC gives out $283 million per year. Just another example of excessive pro-big business policies.

BTW, I’ll bet you can build a lot of transit for $1B every four years!


StupidityCheck, I am well aware that profits are at record levels and I didn’t take exception to that. Profits and new investments are different things altogether. Profits are being spent more on retiring shares than on new ventures. Again, investment is linked to productivity and wage growth. The lack of investment is a big problem.

I haven’t seen that tax graph before but US corporate taxes are quite high from everything I have read. The debate is how to shift those taxes lower by removing loopholes and increasing personal taxes.


space889, it’s reassuring to hear other people talk about small business startups. I have seen those numbers and I find it quite scary. It’s the lifeblood of the economy the same way you need first time home buyers to maintain the real estate market. I run my own company and I find our system to be ridiculous. I have taken graduate level accounting courses, yet I struggle to understand what the hell Revenue Canada is on about half the time. The dummies tell me I must run GST through a company of mine, we do that, and then magically they audit me because my GST filings for that company were abnormal. They recently did a test of Revenue Canada and they gave out incorrect advice something like 25% of the time. So, the people who make the rules don’t even… Read more »


Dave, here are actual US Corporate profits and taxes as a percent of GDP. Profits are at record highs and taxes at record lows.

And as patriotz said, China has plenty of foreign reserves that they could use to clean up their act. I also think the second largest economy in the world can’t continue to behave like some small Banana Republic.


@96: ” unless you are advocating that biz should be subsidized by the state. ”

For crying out loud, it’s the state owned and subsidized industries such as power generation – which still comprise a very large % of the economy – which are the worst polluters in China.

China has a pollution problem for the very same reason the USSR did (and its successor states do). Communism puts growth ahead over everything else and will not tolerate any challenges to state authority.


@patriotz – Uhm…what’s the population of California vs Alabama? Also, most of what California had in terms of tech didn’t start in the 2000 or even the 90s. It started in the 60s and 70s. So there is a legacy of over 50 years of tech startup and it had gain a critical mass. However, just like an oil tanker can’t turn on a dime, the tech startup hub isn’t likely going to be killed overnight by creeping red tape and taxes built up. Things take time. Take a look at Hollywood production, a lot of productions are moving elsewhere (eg. Vancouver) due to high costs in California. Same with tech startups, it’s not going to crash overnight but it certainly isn’t what it used to be. If you look at start up in general in US there is an… Read more »


@patriotz – uhm…no, it’s because the enforcement simply isn’t strong enough but that has been slowly changing as people are getting rich enough to worry such issues. Just like the 70s in North American when smog and acid rains resulted in a lot of environment protection regulations that exists today. Unfortunately there are even bigger issues in China that require immediate attention like the corruption cleanup. Without cleaning that up substaintially, no amount of environment regulation/free equipment will make any difference. also, it is the company/polluter that’s responsible for complying with the environmental regulations and buying the equipment/etc, not the country. The rich and highly profitable multi-national comopanies have the money and know-how to manufacture with Western environment standards but they choose not to. So it seems more like a general greed issue than a Chinese issue. Frankly, Canadian mining… Read more »


@93: ” excessive govt regulation and red tape kills entrepeural activities. It’s a pretty common fact.”

Then how come California, which everyone agrees is one of the most regulated and high tax states, is the startup capital of the US and pretty much of the world for that matter? Washington state is pretty regulated too.

How come Alabama isn’t leading the pack?


@StupidityCheck – btw, excessive govt regulation and red tape kills entrepeural activities. It’s a pretty common fact.

Another fact, if business aren’t valued then you wouldn’t get large numbers of vibrant small biz startups cuz they wouldn’t get the funding and help to get started. Instead, what you end up having is a small class of oligopoly with very low new start ups – like Europe, Japan, Korea, where the economy is dominated by few large firms and very few new startup biz. Small biz have generally been the net creator of innovations and jobs, not big biz.

Regulations past a certain point, and I think way past that point, is design solely to protect existing and shut the door on new entrants, and/or to justify and enrich the beaucratic system.


@89: “How exactly do you expect those 3rd world countries to buy the expensive top of the line environmental equipment and afford the regulations?”

Well in the case of China, how about using some of that $3.3 trillion in foreign reserves? They don’t have any problems with spending that money to import Western technology from planes to trains to what have you when they want to.

The Chinese don’t spend money on pollution control because doing so would make their products less competitive.


The system hasn’t glorified capital in any way. Corporate investment has been low and corporations are sitting on a lot of money. In the US, taxes are so high for corporations that they won’t repatriate foreign profits, which is reducing investment in North America. The things you say about China are true, but there are a lot of factors at play. It’s not black and white by any means and you simply can’t ‘stop trading with them’. You also can’t expect a developing country to have the same environmental and worker protection laws. People are more worried about putting food on the table and rightfully so. I think we need to be less arrogant and condescending of the developing world. Their own people will demand these things when it makes sense to. It’s already happening. Every unit of margin supply… Read more »


– People are paying $1200+/month for microsuites in Downtown East Hastings! The worst area code in Canada where druggies and used needles come free to your front door. Geez…maybe learn to read news sometimes, it was covered extensively when those suite first came out, even on this blog I think.

If there are people stupid enough to pay that much there, I doubt there is a shortage of idiots or green environmental minimalist loving milleniums who will pay $1K/month for a microsuite in Surrey to make a statement about how much they care.