Friday Free-for-all!

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

This is our standard 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:

Surprise! No Rate Increase.
Alberta down, who’s next?
Always running out of land
Global boom continues
Hamilton prices see biggest jump
Van RE stranger than fiction
Actual reporting happening
Paul is back with the numbers!

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

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Does Stephen Poloz have any idea what he’s talking about?

“The lower Canadian dollar has helped limit the fall in the inflation rate below the bank’s 2 per cent target by boosting prices for imported goods…”

“The floating currency is helping to reduce the disinflationary risks that have come with the cut in our national income…”



“Canadians are becoming less confident about the strength of the real estate market…

Who cares for Canadians and their confidence, as long as Chinese are confident about the strength of the real estate market and keep the show going, at least in BC?


“Maybe we should stop worrying – and learn to love zero interest rates”, The Telegraph, UK “The world looks set for a decade or two of ultra-low interest rates – so we might as well make the most of it” “Scrap any thoughts about September. It now looks as if it will not be until the New Year at the earliest that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time in more than nine years. Or perhaps it may come in March? In this country, Mark Carney has warned us repeatedly to expect a rate rise, and yet it never seems to happen.” “Increasingly, zero rates look like there are here to stay. They have been at those levels for close on two decades in Japan, and probably will be in the UK, Europe and the… Read more »


“Only in Vancouver: Parody condo proposal inspires petition against it”, Vancouver Sun

“It’s called The Canvas at Georgia, and it might be the most ambitious and controversial development in the history of Vancouver real estate … if it was only real.

The brilliantly executed parody website promotes the construction of a condo tower that will be “built upon the solid foundations of the Vancouver Art Gallery.””

“The parody condo website has inspired a petition against it.”


@HAM – I would have more faith in your report if you people can actually tell Asians apart….


– you mean when I donate six figures to these councillor’s campaign fund, they wouldn’t do what I want them to do???

I’m shocked…shocked…

cuz that never happens


last week we had signs of slowing in the luxury market in Australia, New York and the U.K.

could it be?


“Fall in Housing Optimism Erodes Canada Consumer Confidence Index”, Bloomberg Business

“Canadians are becoming less confident about the strength of the real estate market, keeping a broader gauge of consumer sentiment at almost the lowest level this year, data from weekly telephone polling show.”

“The share of survey respondents who said home prices in their neighborhood will increase in the next six months fell to 31.5 percent, from 32 percent last week, the fourth straight drop. Another 18 percent said prices will decline, the most since April.”

“There’s some debate about whether Canada’s surging home prices are a sign of strength or trouble. Household debt rose to a record 164.6 percent of disposable income in the second quarter, Statistics Canada said this month, as record low mortgage rates spur borrowing.”

Vancouver Tolls

Hearing word that Metro Vancouver wants to toll all crossings between 6-9 am only at double the rate. Wants workers to take transit. The non working class would be free to use the crossings at other times thereby helping the retail and tourist side of the economy.



@65: ” Even Ms Christiansen will still pay the bank each month due to the fees on her loan.”

It appears here that the actual cost of borrowing, which is the actual interest rate, is being broken down into a theoretical “interest rate” and “fees”.


“Fraud, fools, and financial crises: Robert Shiller”, The Guardian, UK “Because we can be manipulated or deceived, free markets can persuade us to buy things that are good neither for us nor for society” “Most of us have suffered “phishing”: unwanted emails and phone calls designed to defraud us.” “Routine phishing can affect any market, but our most important observations concern financial markets – timely enough, given the massive boom in the equity and real estate markets since 2009, and the turmoil in global asset markets since last month.” “As too many optimists have learned to their detriment, asset prices are highly volatile, and a whole ocean of phishes is involved. Borrowers are lured into unsuitable mortgages; firms are stripped of their assets; accountants mislead investors; financial advisers spin narratives of riches from nowhere; and the media promote extravagant… Read more »


“Sydney property prices faltering as new home ‘tsunami’ hits”, Sydney Morning Herald “A home-building frenzy that is shoring up Australia’s economy as the mining boom ends may also be what finally takes the steam out of one of the world’s most expensive property markets.” “Housing and home prices have been the biggest beneficiaries of the central bank’s 10 interest-rate cuts since November 2011 to a record low that made mortgages the cheapest they have been in five decades. Economic growth has remained below historical rates and capital spending and confidence have sagged.” “A surge in supply as economic growth sputters may temper those gains. The economy, trying to navigate a transition from a mining boom, expanded 0.2 per cent in the June quarter, the slowest pace since 2013, while wages climbed 2.3 per cent from a year earlier, matching… Read more »


“Could negative rates be next on the Fed’s policy menu?”, CNBC

“Last week, the Federal Reserve spooked markets by preserving the monetary policy status quo. Yet a few central bank watchers were more surprised by a new idea the central bank seemingly suggested: a negative interest rate.”


@63 “Negative interest rates are not going to happen on loans to consumers or any other risky borrower.” It already has. It is exceptional, but early days yet… “Denmark highlights naked truth about negative lending” by Richard Milne, Financial Times, Apr 8, 2015 “Eva Christiansen has become something of a star in Denmark. The sex therapist was propelled into the limelight not for her career but because of a loan she took from Realkredit Danmark, the country’s biggest lender.” “The reason? Ms Christiansen received a negative interest rate for her three-year loan, meaning the lender — part of Danske Bank — is paying for her to borrow money. The interest rate of minus 0.0172 per cent — which equates to her receiving about DKr7 each month from the bank — is just one sign of the “Through The Looking… Read more »


@ realist

Funny how some of the ideologues on this board still pump their party. I see right through them.
It’s not about what’s politically right in regards to what’s been discussed on this board as far as the Vancouver market…’s about gaining power.



Negative interest rates are not going to happen on loans to consumers or any other risky borrower. If the government tried to force such a thing it would lead to a Zimbabwe-style currency collapse.


And you might reasonably ask, what the heck do negative interest rates mean for RE? Good question!

So, don’t hold out hope of receiving a cheque every month from your bank for your mortgage. After all, there’s still the principal to pay down, which however does become effectively, but only partially, self-liquidating in a negative interest rate regime.


@59 southseacompany ““The zero rate trap”, The Economist magazine”

Ah, the British…they created British Columbia as we know it, no question. So, how do the brightest of them today see the world? Well, take Andy Haldane. He is currently the chief economist of the Bank of England. He has duly noted (he had to scramble to be sure) that we today “enjoy” the lowest interest rates in…5000 YEARS.

After consideration of this truly historic predicament, he has to come to a solution: abolish tangible money! Digital money can’t be stuffed in a mattress when negative interest rates are imposed. I am glad that such great minds are at the helm in these stormy seas!


@48 GreenSalad Says: “NDP, CONS…..LIBS whoever…..can tax the foreigners who want so badly to park their money here…..NOT canadians.”

Rule of law is taken for granted by Canadians, but not so by the rich international criminal class. On the contrary, rule of law is the fruit of many generations pouring $$$ into it (despite its imperfections), and so today does every Canadian taxpayer pour $$$ into the rule of law, not perhaps realising that that is the case, as it doesn’t appear as a separate line item on their income/sales/etc taxes.

If I choose to make a charitable contribution, it won’t be to rich foreign criminals. We spend quite enough on our own. Additionally, I want a tax receipt!


“The zero rate trap”, The Economist magazine “SO THE Federal Reserve didn’t push the button after all. All the speculation and the debate will now have to focus on October or (more probably) December for the first increase since 2006.” “Low rates mean that, if you can put together a deposit, mortgage payments are affordable. But sluggish income growth means it is very hard to pay off that debt. As Ms Rostom writes, “It is possible to imagine a world where younger households will reach 65 and still ” “Furthermore, by boosting asset prices, the low-rate regime has made older generations (the people that own the assets) wealthier; this is an intergenerational transfer. She adds that, “It seems that the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots isn’t just across income or socioeconomic categories – as some have… Read more »


At Nordstrom. HAM out in full force. Too much $$$ coming illegally out of China.

Vancouver is a place for foreigners. Good luck being a local worker.

Oh, prices at Purdys went up 10% across the board. Your salary?

Best place on meth

Try the vote compass

I found myself slightly left of centre which was no surprise, what did surprise me was that the Liberal party was more left than me, with the NDP and Greens slightly more left than the Libs.

I’m going to vote Green anyway.

Zero Down Forty

A recession means more monetary easing, more easy money, more stimulus to the housing market.

We had a recession back in 00-01. Remember? Governments lowered interests rates and CMHC standards. Home prices started shooting upward.

Another recession in 08-09. Governments opened wide the sluice gates, the US Fed and ECB started printing money, people gorged on even more easy money, home prices shot back up.

Recessions are what got us into this asset bubble mess in the first place.

Perhaps, as interest rates are so low now, governments may have no ammo left, but somehow they always find a way.