Repairs: 1234 W. 7th Ave

Here’s a shot of a dapper white plastic balcony cover at 1234 West Seventh Avenue in Fairview. Looks like this one is getting some attention to its decks on the front. The clean white with wooden framing is a nice change from the dark green mesh or blue tarps you usually see on condo repairs. If we had a sunny day this would also provide shade to these suites.

send your leaky tarp covered condo pictures for the repair photo album to:

How do you afford your rock n’ roll lifestyle?

Apparently the Koret in gastown sucks. This according to Matthew Good, whose blog has a great rant about Vancouver Real Estate:

This building is just a gong show, I can’t believe people in this town pay these sorts of prices for new places like this. My flat is so cheaply built you’d think a 12 year old did it. And it’s not just here, it’s a problem all over the city. No one can afford to buy because most simply buy apartments to flip in an attempt to make money, driving prices up and out of the range of young families that aren’t pulling in half a million dollars a year. One of these days Vancouver’s real estate market is going to crash, and when it does I’m going to build a giant float shaped like a cock in an ass and throw a parade.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going out to buy some Matthew Good CDs so he can afford to buy here. I’ve always maintained that if we can’t house our rock stars in style then there’s something seriously wrong with this town.

(apologies for mixing cake with matthew good)

Canadian industry sagging.

Paulb just sent in a link to this article in today’s Globe and Mail with the bad news that we’re producing a lot less than we could be.

Canadian industries cut back their use of production capacity to the lowest point in three years in the third quarter as demand for autos diminished and the residential construction market cooled.

Industries operated at 84.2 per cent of their capacity, marking the third straight quarterly decline and the first time since the third quarter of 2003 that the rate’s fallen below 85 per cent, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.

The report comes after a spate of gloomy news on the economic front. Canadian exports to the U.S. are falling and labour productivity has declined for the past two quarters. Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge said Monday that North American growth through to the first quarter will be weaker than he’d thought.

“Not a great picture on Canada in the third quarter,” said Stewart Hall, market strategist at HSBC Securities (Canada) in a note.

The Canadian dollar is dropping against the US dollar, which in turn is looking not-so-hot against the Euro. This could potentially help us with favorable export conditions, but:

“Gains in exports were not enough to offset the slowdown in demand for automotive products and the cooling residential construction market,” the report said.

So if you care about Canada and our economy it’s time to get out there and get shopping. It is the gift-giving season after all, so grab your credit cards and get buying. If you’re trying to figure out what to give me, I could use a new car.

Fed keeps interest rates flat

In their attempts to balance a housing market slump and a dropping US dollar, Bernanke and friends at the Fed have opted for status quo, keeping rates unchanged for the fourth straight time.

The ‘rock and a hard place’ they are stuck between is this: Do they lower interest rates to try to re-inflate the real estate market and slumping car sales, or do they raise interest rates to ward off inflation fears and prop up a dollar that has taken a tumble lately.

For now they are going with the ‘wait and see’ approach.

Out with the porn, in with the condos.

One of the oldest theaters in Vancouver is likely being torn down to make way for a new condo project. The Venus theater on Main st. is the oldest theatre left in Chinatown. It was built in 1912 as The Imperial and originally showed live theatre shows . For the last 25 years it has been operating as a porn theater, but its about to make way for a new erection: a nine story condo tower is in the planning stages.

David Porte says his company looked at any heritage value the theatre had, but concluded it had been so badly renovated over the years it didn’t have much architectural merit left.

“We looked at it, investigated it inside and out,” he said. “Certainly inside it’s fairly grungy, and architecturally there’s nothing left inside. Whatever there may have been is long gone, and the exterior, the pink stucco, sort of speaks for itself.”

With the current flacid state of our market this could be just the thing to perk up some interest among young buyers eager to spread their wallets wide. Could this be just the tip of a much bigger market penetration leaving lenders and marketers turgid with profits?

I just hope the buyers don’t get f***ed.