Friday Free-for-all!

It’s that time of the week again, time for another Friday Free-for-all!

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:

Destroying Vancouver?
How to gloat gracefully
Define ‘bubble’
Zero down again please
CAD down the drain
Housing and oil, that enough?

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

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[…] hat-tip to southseacompany for the […]


– blah, blah, blah, blah, price drop, price cut, things are dropping, this is the start! I see the green shoots of a RE crash!!!

Maybe you should learn to keep your mouth shut until those imagined green shoots actually become something concrete.


– Right, cuz if only China didn’t exist, all those greedy capitalists & corporation would have set up shop in some other dirty poor country while observing the highest standards for environment, labour rights, and quality.

It’s just for some reason, China prevents these corporations from protecting the environment, respecting labour rights, or build quality products. These corporations really want to do all those things but the evil commies don’t let them!


” Stephen Harper spoke with Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz Monday about the latest upheaval in financial markets ”

Bound to happen when that’s the only guy Poloz can find who actually gives a rat’s ass about the economy.


At least his PhD was studying currency. Actually that could be a bag thing too. Economies don’t always move according to theories. In theory, our dollar should never have gone to par without major economic disruption in Ontario and Quebec. But it didn’t happen. In the same way, the low dollar isn’t going to do much to stimulate our economy in my mind. What we have seen for the last 3 recessions in North America are slow recoveries. I think this reflects our transition away from a manufacturing economy. It takes much longer for workers to become trained for jobs that are in demand. It now takes years for economic recovery instead of months. I think Canada is currently in a stagnant period. Most of the new jobs created in the last 12 years were related to oil. Some of… Read more »



Poloz is just carrying on his behaviour from the previous government:

The Prime Minister’s Office announced that Stephen Harper spoke with Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz Monday about the latest upheaval in financial markets.

The brief statement was only two sentences long, but the release comes in the middle of a federal election campaign in which the Conservative Leader is presenting himself as the best option for managing the economy…

The notice made no mention of Finance Minister Joe Oliver, who would normally be the government’s main point of contact with the Bank of Canada.

Appears he thinks the best way to keep his job is to cater to the new PM. He should get the boot, but the BoC governor can’t be sacked during his term of appointment.


Southsea… glad to see that export group send a message to Poloz. They want him to raise rates. They basically said the exact same thing I did here last week, which is that further cuts do nothing for our exports, but a lower dollar damages a lot of importers and consumers. I think rates at this level and our dollar in the 60’s are definitely not good things. Obviously the economic slowdown has been caused by commodities. No amount of interest rate cuts are going to raise that market from the dead. While a slightly lower dollar helps our competitiveness, we’ve lost way too much too quickly. Cutting rates will further prop up the housing market, but that’s a dangerous game. If the underlying economy does not catch up to that price valuation, then we’re set up for a correction.… Read more »


“Interest rate cut may deliver ‘hammer blow’ to consumers: experts”, Global News with video

“The Canadian dollar will spiral even lower. It will make life more difficult for seniors who rely on fixed incomes as well as for low-income households who face disproportionately bigger burdens paying for things like food and clothing.

It could seriously dent consumer confidence, yet encourage even more borrowing, adding fuel to overheated housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto.”


Look at the listings, many places that would have been torn down and sold as new Monster homes, are back on the market. Same older home, even a few empty lots. It’s like they changed their mind and aren’t bothering to build.

Most of the reduced listings are the brand new houses that were built in the last few years, you know the kind, the ones with the black gates.

Reduced 1.6 million

would-be buyer

I should add that the house beside ours that was knocked down and built anew by its Chinese owners (they do not speak English, but I don’t know if Mainland or local) sits empty. Someone visits it occasionally for an hour or so (we know this because they set the house alarm off every time and it alerts our attention), but there is no one living in it. The house across the street from us sold 6 months ago at least and a sold sign is still erected on the lawn. No one has lived there in almost a year. Densification policies at its finest!



I’m pointing out Offshore buying trends, not how we compare to New York City.

I’m also talking about our most expensive properties on the West Side and West Van. Our luxury market.

would-be buyer

@67 I live on the westside and a house went up for sale for $2.6M a block a way and it was swarming with BMWs and Audis with Chinese buyers (obviously cannot tell if mainland or local). I saw only 1 Caucasian older couple (but I did not stick around long), which I assume are down-sizers. In my hood the madness continues.


@66: “I know we’re not New York, but we certainly have the same Luxury buyers as they do…”

I think that’s stretching things. They don’t call New York the capital of the world for nothing.

“New York City real estate continues to sell for astronomical prices”

The article (in New York Times) is really about luxury properties in Manhatten. NYC and the metro are a lot bigger than that.

Compare apples to apples. This district just outside NYC limits is comparable to Vancouver West Side or West Van. Walking distance to LIRR train to midtown Manhatten. Look at estimated sale price, rent.


“Exporters to Bank of Canada: Thanks, But No Thanks on Rate Cut”, Bloomberg Business

“The head of Canada’s largest exporters association has a message for Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz: don’t do us any favours.”

“Speculation Poloz will cut interest rates again as early as Wednesday is fueling the Canadian dollar’s precipitous fall and may be doing more harm than good, says Jayson Myers, chief executive of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. Exchange rate volatility is putting a chill on business decisions and renewed talk of lower rates is stoking worries about the economy’s health, all of which is bad for confidence, he said.”

“That’s on top of a growing chorus of economists and investors warning historically low rates are distorting the economy by stoking an already hot housing market and will do nothing to help embattled oil producers.”


“Rob Carrick: Eight reasons why a Bank of Canada rate cut is a bad idea”, Globe & Mail “For eight years, the Bank of Canada has been trying to encourage economic growth by lowering interest rates. It’s so not working.” “Here are eight reasons why the Bank of Canada shouldn’t cut rates any lower.” “1. The dollar will fall even more 2. It’s bad for seniors 3. It’s bad for consumer confidence 4. It’s going to hurt savers 5. Young minds are being warped:We are raising a generation of young adults who believe that interest rates are as dangerous as puppies and kittens. 6. It encourages more borrowing 7. It provides cover for banks to pad profits at the expense of clients 8. It would recklessly stoke the housing market: As far as housing is concerned, low rates are… Read more »


Word from the streets…I know of 2 fund managers selling west van house’s. ..I know of a well to do Vancouver real estate agent who was buying tear downs last spring so her husband’s construction company could have work…several of them went back on market recently. …not renovated. they smell fear and getting out. I know other things as of recent and damn glad I was outbid 3 times last year


I know we’re not New York, but we certainly have the same Luxury buyers as they do…

“New York City real estate continues to sell for astronomical prices, but there are signs the market is heading back toward earth.

Bidding wars, brokers say, are less frequent. Few open houses have lines out the door. And asking prices, while still lofty, are increasingly moving down, especially for luxury properties.

“I have seen more broker incentives and price reductions in the last few months than I’ve seen in the last three years combined,” said Leonard Steinberg, the president of the real estate brokerage firm Compass. “The market got carried away with itself in the first half of 2015. Some people went in with crazy pricing expectations.”



Me too. Again, first time in a a very long time that I’m seeing reduced prices, and so many houses that are just sitting for 5+ months.

And I’ve been wrong for years as well. So there ya go! but I think things are slowing on the Offshore side.

Locals buying because they think they’ll be “priced-out forever”, are probably still buying, unaware a bit of pressure is coming off the more expensive areas.



thank you for posting

remarkable. The authorities appear to be cracking down on every conceivable loophole. (the domain name trading, for instance)

imo, Gold is being primed for a big move in the Chinese new year.

Whistler or bust?

A couple of random things I would like to share. I know a couple who bought a crap westside house in 2004 with the woman’s mom. Mom lived upstairs them in the basement suite. They paid $1 mil for it and it is now apprised at $3 mil. They are low to average income earners and they acknowledge they are sitting on a “lottery ticket”. They are waiting until it hits $4 mil before they sell. I ran into a someone by chance who works for TD and handles international money transfers. He said that it has completely dried up. He said they have gone from $150 million to month to $5-10 million. He offered this up out of nowhere as he was sitting beside me at the bar and was obviously bored. I have been wrong before but I… Read more »



“Corrupt Chinese can buy the entire city, live here without paying taxes, claim low income benefits and no one will bat an eye.”

Funny or not, you pretty much summed up the city in few words.

Shout it out

Corrupt Chinese can buy the entire city, live here without paying taxes, claim low income benefits and no one will bat an eye.

Just don’t try going to the mall if you are a legally blind Muslim. The city will be after you with torches and pitchforks.



My understanding is that Dublin real estate is back to double digit increases. Maybe that will soon happen in the North? I can understand your wife wanting to go back now before it’s Groundhog Day over there.