Tale of two cities

TRUNK modified

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. And all real estate is local.

If there’s one thing last year taught us (or should have), it’s not to be complacent. The economy lost serious altitude along with oil. The dollar crashed. The central bank flipped out and cut rates twice. Debt raced higher while incomes didn’t. And people voted in an accidental prime minister just to get rid of the last bum.

Our stock market was among the world’s worst performers. Our currency was at the bottom on the heap. We lost 36,000 jobs in the last report. The economy was in recession. Yikes.

And yet Vancouver detached house prices rose by 24% year/year in December while for 2015 as a whole sales increased 48%. Compare this to an inflation rate of 2%, and wage gains in the area of less than 1.5% – and see what a bubble truly looks like. This is a market riding a wave of debt, facilitated by voracious lenders whose risk is being wiped away by a federal agency called CMHC.

When looking at the number of $3+ million homes selling recently in YVR, Bloomberg had this to say yesterday: “It’s one of the starkest examples of growing imbalances in Canada’s household sector that includes record indebtedness, inflated home valuations and over-investment in condominiums.” The world thinks we’re nuts. We are.

Worse, this mania is being exaggerated, fed and institutionalized by the BC government. The province’s BC Assessment office has become one of the most aggressive real estate-pimping outfits in the country, valuing properties at the extreme leading edge of the market. No wonder. The more housing is worth the greater the potential property tax bill municipalities can collect. And yet, perversely, homeowners (and the sycophantic BC media) cheer every bump higher, since it makes people with big mortgages feel rich.

The latest numbers are stunning. Total assessments for Vancouver jumped almost $100 billion, or 16%, in just one year. East Van (where the poor people huddle around barrels of burning newspapers) rode a 28% rocket higher, beating out the lousy 23% increase on the Westside (where the rich dentists live). Says the assessors, “Increases of 15-25% will be typical for single-family homes in Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, Tri-Cities, New Westminster and Squamish. Single-family market movement in Whistler, Pemberton and the Sunshine Coast is less dramatic, with typical increases in the zero to 15%. Typical strata residential increases throughout the region will be in the five to 10% range.”

In fact for the entire province, where houses are now worth a collective $1.34 trillion, values soared last year by almost 1% a month. Bizarre. Unsustainable. Dangerous – in a country where the economy expanded by only 1.5% in an entire year, our trade with the world plunged into deficit and the national currency lost almost a fifth of its value. This is what house lust does. It foments delusion, pushing people to take on greater amounts of debt as they grow increasingly blind to the augmenting risk.

The most interesting thing about bubbles? You can’t see out of them. Thus people trapped inside the Nortel bubble, the Alibaba bubble, the Be-X bubble, the US sub-prime bubble or the East Van bungalow bubble think they’re being smart. Until they aren’t.

So, from the best of times to the worst. While the City of Vancouver’s houses became $100 billion more inflated last year, the Calgary real estate market shed $3.5 billion in actual sales. It was probably more, but these realtor-generated numbers are the only ones available. They show what happens when confidence leaves town.

Sales levels declined by about 7,000 while the supply of houses for sale increased 30%. There have not been this many unsold homes in Canada’s energy capital since the lights went out in 2008. The months of available inventory bloated by 76.3%, making this officially a buyer’s market. That would be great, except the buyers have stopped buying – fewer than 900 trades happened in all of last month. Meanwhile, “Economic conditions aren’t really expected to change much in 2016,” says the local real estate board, which can clearly see the writing on the wall.

Two years ago, Calgary was Vancouver.

Two years ago house sales in Calgary were growing by about 1% a month. Prices romped ahead almost 9% from year-before levels. . “Two consecutive years of elevated levels of net migration, combined with an improving job outlook and confidence surrounding long-term economic prospects, supported the demand growth,” said the board’s chief economist.

Of course, people in Richmond or Richmond Hill, Mississauga or West Van, believe a Calgary will never happen to them, because it’s all about oil. But it’s not. The key components are confidence and jobs – both dependent on economic growth even more than cheap money.

Let’s finish with a letter from Saudi Arabia, where Dean recently started reading this pathetic blog:

I was only a mere boy when I purchased my first home, a 22-year-old oil patch worker putting in 3500 hrs a year, out of town 25 days of the month, making cool money.  Thinking renting was a total waste and being reassured by the bank that I was correct I purchased a brand new condo in a low rise outside Edmonton. It was the fall of 2008 and prices had come down but surely everything was going back up soon so I snatched it up quick! $252,000. Zero down! 910sq/ft all to myself!

Worst decision of my life.

Lost my job six months later. Luckily I had savings and made the tough call to move back home (slept on the couch for about 5 months) while renting out my brand new, devalued place. I used this opportunity to enroll for post-secondary, thus lessening my risks of this happening again with another oil bust, I sure am happy to have done so now!

Anyway, fast forward about 6 years and this oil patch worker is now a fairly well-paid industrial engineer, salary, funded pension, double time overtime, now it’s time for granite and grandeur, right??

So I’ll float two mortgages for the short term, then have renters in the condo paying for the mortgage and everything should work out perfect? Not. Sadly a family emergency – my mother passing (funerals aren’t cheap), father’s health failing (of course he has zero financial backup) – and I’m back to funding two mortgages, and supporting a dependant father to boot.

All this rambling is to say I now see the point you keep nailing into people’s heads every single post (blog reader of only a couple months now). You are doing a great service.

Actually, Dean, I’m just trying to save people from themselves. And it ain’t working.

253 comments ↓

#1 Not tonight honey on 01.05.16 at 5:58 pm

Gulp! Cowtown property assessments posted today….ouch!$%*#

Ps. HNY Garth & everyone!

#2 Mike in the Okanagan on 01.05.16 at 6:07 pm

I thought CMHC now only covers up to $1mil? If average prices are well in excess of that are the banks on the hook if this all goes south?

#3 Victoria Real Estate Update on 01.05.16 at 6:08 pm

SFH SALES IN 2015 WERE BELOW GREATER VICTORIA’S LONG-TERM AVERAGE

. .Total Single Family Home Sales. . .
. . . . . . .Greater Victoria. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . (Compared To 2007). . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2007…******************
2015…**
————————————————-
. . . . – 4%. . . . . . . . . . . .0%

(source: Victoria’s R/E board)

It turns out that 2007‘s SFH sales total is equal to Victoria‘s long-term average. 2015’s total was 4% below that.

BELOW AVERAGE SFH SALES, DESPITE RECORD-LOW (EMERGENCY) INTEREST RATES

Interest rates were a lot higher in 2007 than in 2015.

At the end of 2007, Canadian 5-year fixed rates were at 5.89%. By the end of 2015, they were at 2.42%.

This huge drop in rates should have resulted in a massive increase in SFH sales in 2015 over 2007’s total of 4464, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Victoria’s housing market managed only 4285 SFH sales in 2015.

SLOWER SFH SALES IN 2015, DESPITE POPULATION GROWTH (COMPARED TO 2007)

It’s important to include population growth when comparing the number of sales from one year to another.

Those employed in the housing industry rarely factor in population growth because it always makes recent sales numbers look weaker.

VICTORIA’S HOUSING MARKET PRODUCED NEAR RECORD LOW SFH SALES TOTALS IN RECENT YEARS

The following facts are simply astounding:

* 2012 had the lowest SFH sales total since 1984.
* 2013 had the second lowest SFH sales total since 1984.
* 2011 had the third lowest SFH sales total since 1984.

(source: Victoria’s R/E board)

Note: these numbers were not adjusted for population growth.

It’s simply shocking that these sales totals were produced while emergency interest rates were in effect.

Imagine how low the above totals would have been if rates had been in the 5% range.

REAL ESTATE BOARDS RARELY GIVE AN OBJECTIVE ANALYSIS

Be careful where you get your housing market information. Those who sell houses have a vested interest in keeping house prices high. They want you to buy – NOW!

Those employed in the housing industry rarely give an objective analysis of the situation. They often use comparisons that make recent sales data, for example, look as strong as possible and leave out important information that would put things into proper perspective.

#4 Island Girl on 01.05.16 at 6:14 pm

Well just got my property assessment and it’s down 4% from last year. It’s now technically worth what we paid for it…and our realtor thought it was a deal at it’s assessed price last year (which was less that it was listed at), thankfully we stuck to our guns and only offered what we were willing to pay.

It’s now worth less than it’s assessed value in 2011.

#5 ALBERTASTROPHE on 01.05.16 at 6:16 pm

It is really something, sad and sobering, how stressful and tense everyone is getting here.

#6 ROCK BEATS PAPER on 01.05.16 at 6:16 pm

Great post Garth.

On bubble blowing, it is definitely the central banks who have caused its manifestation. We now have the “everything” bubble. But do not take my word for it.

Here is recent Dallas FED head, Fisher on CNBC today:

Fisher: …I voted against QE3. But there’s a reason for doing this. Let’s be fair to the central banks. We had a horrible crisis. We had to pull it out. All of us unanimously supported that initial move under Ben Bernanke. But in my opinion we went one step too far, which is QE3. By March 2009 we had already bought a trillion dollars of securities and the market turned that week. To me, personally, as a member of the FOMC, that was sufficient. We had launched a rocket. And yet we piled on with QE3, but the majority understandably worried we might slide backwards. I think you have to be careful here and frank about what drove the markets. Look at all the interviews over the last many years since we started the QE program. It was the Fed, the Fed, the Fed, the European central bank, the Japanese central bank, and what are the Chinese doing? All quantitative easing driven by central bank activity. That’s not the way markets should be working. They should be working on their own animal spirits, but they were juiced up by the central banks, including the federal reserve, even as some of us would not support QE3.

#7 not 1st on 01.05.16 at 6:18 pm

Garth, why not give the residents of cowtown a little credit. When the economy wobbled, they pulled in their reigns and will be better for it in a few years.

More than I can say about delusional vancouver and toronto.

#8 BG on 01.05.16 at 6:24 pm

There is a huge difference between Calgary and Vancouver.

Calgary was a one trick pony in the middle of nowhere with limited appeal and a harsh weather.

Vancouver is a NO trick pony in a great location with mild weather and perceived as highly desirable.

How will any meaningful correction be triggered in Vancouver when the city is an unprofitable place to live and yet the Real Estate market stays on fire?

#9 Frank on 01.05.16 at 6:24 pm

So if it’s about jobs, what is going to kill jobs here in Vancouver?

#10 Royal Bank moved .10-.15 on 01.05.16 at 6:25 pm

Rob Carrick [email protected] 2h2 hours ago
In case you thought #mortgage rates can’t rise. Mainly small hikes here, but check out the variable rate. #housing
+0.15% variable and +0.10% fixed.
They are in the business of making money, the house buyers are in the business of losing moneyz

#11 Mark on 01.05.16 at 6:25 pm

“I thought CMHC now only covers up to $1mil? If average prices are well in excess of that are the banks on the hook if this all goes south?”

The federally chartered banks aren’t writing much high LTV business that’s CMHC uninsured. However, the provincially regulated credit unions are basically a free-for-all, and will make a lot of “grandmas” that stick their money in them “for the higher yield” extremely disappointed.

As I wrote in previous comments, I expect a good chunk of the Credit Union sector to become insolvent, and governments will likely make the Bank Act institutions acquire the business, at no loss of deposits, as a quid pro quo of CMHC bailouts.

“It’s now worth less than it’s assessed value in 2011.”

Typical in most of Canada these days. Since the 2013 apex, most are lucky to even be break-even on 2011/2012 purchases, even after a few years of payment into equity which, at best, only covered transactional costs.

the Calgary real estate market shed $3.5 billion in actual sales

Which means literally over a hundred million dollars out of the hands of Realtors on commissions alone (figure ~3%), not to mention whatever the lawyers, home inspectors, surveyors, etc., were collecting for their professional services.

#12 Conrad on 01.05.16 at 6:25 pm

“It turns out that 2007‘s SFH sales total is equal to Victoria‘s long-term average. 2015’s total was 4% below that.”

But sales-to-list is high, prices are moving higher at the moment so why does this matter so much to be posted daily? Maybe the number of sales was temporarily above average in 2005-2007. But I don’t get why this matters now if the market conditions are tight and prices are rising.

I think the Victoria market is overvalued but you need some better arguments man

#13 Randy on 01.05.16 at 6:28 pm

I invested in B.C. real estate in the early 90’s. It took me over 15 years to recover my monies.

#14 april on 01.05.16 at 6:30 pm

#4 Island Girl, this means nothing unless you say what your location is.

#15 Smartalox on 01.05.16 at 6:33 pm

BC Assessment’s complicity is really surprising. Even more surprising is the fact that the city of Vancouver relies on the Provincial government to collect its property taxes. Could you imagine the city of Toronto relying on the government of Ontario to collect its taxes?

It’s no wonder the level of responsibility exercised by local governments is so poor – elected officials never have to answer for tax hikes.

Another little-spoken cause for alarm is BC’s practice of letting seniors defer paying property tax bills (with minimal interest) until they sell their homes. With little incentive to fight over-inflated assessments if no bill is due, the rising tax liability eats away at the equity in these properties.

When the time comes to sell, the effect may end up being worse than that of the infamous ‘reverse mortgage’.

#16 jeff on 01.05.16 at 6:34 pm

over and over again you continue to say “pathetic blog” hence the sarcasm. i have been a reader for around 3 months now and i can say that reading this everyday has really helped. My main goal is to develop more knowledge so i can start investing in stocks. Garth, if you could give me a few pointers and lead me in the right direction that would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
jeff

#17 Victoria Real Estate Update on 01.05.16 at 6:34 pm

Note that, as always, I have cited the sources I used in my previous post.

I’ve noticed that at least two commenters have recently said something about my comments not being factual, which of course is false.

This has happened in the past and will probably happen again in the future.

One of these commenters again tried to say that wealthy buyers from China were buying up properties in Victoria. As I’ve said before, there is no evidence to support this claim. It sounds like a line that a realtor would use to make a sale.

The fact of the matter is that in 2014, only 1.6% of all sales in Victoria were to foreign buyers.

Even if there was a big increase in sales to foreign buyers in 2015 (there probably wasn’t) but if there was, it wouldn’t be something that would be able to prevent a major housing price correction from happening in Victoria.

How do we know this to be true? It’s simple.

Claims that HAM was behind Vancouver’s price run up have been around since before 2008, however, that didn’t stop house prices in Vancouver from doing this:

In 2008-09, house prices in Vancouver fell at a rate of 14.2% per year (for 10 months) until interest rates were suddenly slashed from near-normal to emergency levels.

. . . . . Vancouver House Prices. . . . . .
. Percent Below July 2008 Price Level . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. .0%. . .*. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
– 1%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
– 2%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
– 3%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
– 4%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
– 5%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
– 6%. . . . . . . . . . . *. . . . . . . . . . . .
– 7%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
– 8%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
– 9%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-10%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-11%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
-12%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . * . . .
—————————————————————-
. . . . . .July. . . . December. . . . May. . .
. . . . . 2008. . . . . 2008 . . . . . 2009. . .

(source: Teranet’s index)

In 2009, Vancouver’s (crashing?) housing market was rescued by emergency rates.

HAM didn’t make Vancouver’s housing market immune from a recent major price correction that was stopped by emergency interest rates.

Again, there is no evidence that HAM suddenly came on to the scene in Victoria in big numbers in 2015 like some realtors claim. Even if that was true, HAM won’t prevent a major price correction from happening or continuing to happen in Victoria.

Victiria’s major price correction has been temporarily put on hold by record low rates, but Canadian 5 year fixed rates will begin moving higher almost immediately.

House prices fall as rates rise. That you can count on.

#18 Vancouverite on 01.05.16 at 6:35 pm

Vancouver is the epicentre of rich inmigrants and foreign money inflows aided by the foreign student and supervisa immigration programs.

Thats is why these 2 cities (Vancouver & Toronto) sfd homes keep going up in price.

SFD prices are up approx 20% year over year rising close to $1000/day in some areas, each day for the last 365 days.

If youre one of those that denies the causes, then good for you. You will be waiting for a 15% correction next year that will bring proces down to 2016 levels.

And Oh, if that elusive 15% correction does happen (NO ONE FORECASTS A CRASH – wonder why?) prices will come back down to 2015 levels.

And SFD prices correlated with incomes in Vancouver? Forgettaboutit!

#19 Freedom First on 01.05.16 at 6:36 pm

I want to be as financially bullet proof as possible. I also want to be as physically, mentally, and emotionally bullet proof as well. I have the luxury of being able to focus on these things for decades now. I have had no Boss for years, no co-workers for years, and I always live alone. I can drop anyone I do business with in a heartbeat, and I keep toxic people from entering my personal space. I read that 50% of people are considered toxic. I was surprised. Seems low.

I also enjoy the company of women, but no one gets a key. Too high risk. In divorce, men get slaughtered. No worries. I can look after myself.

007FF

#20 For those about to flop... on 01.05.16 at 6:36 pm

One thing I’ve noticed about this blog the last couple of days is that the relaxed ,retired type is on here during the day and the pissed off ,just got home from work and I had a s__t day people are here in the evening.
I hope everyone had a good day at work because it’s no ones fault on here if you didn’t .
Peace

M41BC

#21 Victoria Real Estate Update on 01.05.16 at 6:39 pm

#4 Island Girl

Thanks for sharing that with us.

You seem honest when talking about your situation.

I doubt many of those waiting for lower prices in Victoria would wish you bad luck with your purchase.

#22 Vancouverite on 01.05.16 at 6:40 pm

And I’m inside a T&T Supermarket store where there is a vendor offering shipping/money services to Asia. Asked him of i could bring $100,000 over from a company bank account. He said ‘we can do’.

There you have it. No bubble. Place to park money.

#23 Karl hungus on 01.05.16 at 6:42 pm

Alberta is pooched? Edmonton house prices still up 1.9% for 2015. Doomers can go crawl away now…

#24 Zorba on 01.05.16 at 6:45 pm

Is Canada in jeopardy to lose AAA IG status,Garth ?

#25 acdel on 01.05.16 at 6:46 pm

This doom and gloom about oil prices is just fear mongering. Let’s see, hmm, already tensions between Iran and Saudi and it’s only early Jan, many other oil nations are being clobbered, what could possibly go wrong?? I am no fool to predict that it will rise to previous high levels but I am also realistic enough to realize that new technology to replace oil is a few decades away if not more; especially in cold countries.
China’s numbers are whatever they wish to present to the rest of us; most of us know that they are over representing their numbers and it will not end well; mean while each of us still need to fill up our cars, oil for heating our homes, diesel for transports, natural gas for industry and heat our homes, that is not going to change anytime soon without bankrupting our economy. Comparing Alberta RE to Van or Tor in the present situation is just plain silly!

#26 pinstripe on 01.05.16 at 6:48 pm

I keep in touch with the old geezers on the wet coast.

they keep reinforcing that the movement of laundered money is picking up the pace in bc and many units are bought with CASH. one person would buy several units and even a penthouse all for CASH. more times than not the units sit empty.

#27 Godth on 01.05.16 at 6:49 pm

You need to be positive and kind Garth. Too much negativity won’t be tolerated, who are you to crush peoples dreams anyway? If you keep telling me things I don’t want to hear I’m just going to ignore you. If you want people to listen to you be nice, you really need to adjust your attitude.

#28 Sometimes Lucky on 01.05.16 at 7:03 pm

Just got my BC Property assessment for my place in the Kootenays it now shows historical values.
2016. $355,000
2015. $384,600
2014. $417,300
2013. $421,900
2012. $421,900
We’re not all smoking up BC Gold like in YVR.

#29 Squidly77 on 01.05.16 at 7:04 pm

Karl Hungis, are the edmonton prices you quote supplied to us by realtors. Thought so.

#30 Entrepreneur on 01.05.16 at 7:04 pm

“this mania is being exaggerated, fed & institutionalized by the BC government. BC Assessment office…most aggressive real estate pimping outfits…valuing properties at the extreme leading edge of the market.”

Is this the devil at play??? Looks like it.

Is Victoria Real Estate Update an angel??? I think so.

It is not nice to fool people but I guess they have the affluenza excuse to carry on.

#31 family beagle on 01.05.16 at 7:06 pm

Received assessment for southern BC ranch…
Up 1.2 %

#32 Toodles on 01.05.16 at 7:10 pm

What future do my kids have in the 604?
Garth years ago you said that 604 wouldn’t ‘run out of houses” Well it seems they have. Your refusal to acknowledge foreign capital influx as driving this market is equally misleading as realtor franken-numbers. Show me the data that 604 is only 5% foreign? No Victoria numbers, please. Thank you.

#33 Estrella on 01.05.16 at 7:11 pm

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/business/fraser-institute-government-debt-1.3390032

Canada’s interest on its debt is more than what it pays for primary and secondary education.

T2 plans on increasing that debt.

I think that’s why this must be the worst of times.

#34 Veronica Koroleva on 01.05.16 at 7:14 pm

Good one, Garth! The world thinks we are nuts, at least now the world knows about Canada!!!)))

#35 tundra pete on 01.05.16 at 7:14 pm

#2 Mike in the Okanagan

No chance. Banks will never be on the hook for anything. CMHC (the taxpayer) will be on the hook. CMHC is to protect the banks from the stupid.

You will know when it happens because T2 will send out a sacrificial lamb to make the announcement that, “due to unforseen cicumstances” ,or “we were unable to see this coming”, and a tax increase will be necessary to cover the unexpected losses at CMHC.

#36 Apocalypse2016 on 01.05.16 at 7:15 pm

Organized mobs of refugee rapists causing chaos in Europe.

More fleeing migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean in the past year than 3 Titanics.

Western nations, including the Trump States of America, are getting incredibly tense and reactionary.

Economies everywhere are tanking.

Fascism will walk through the front door in 2016 and be warmly welcomed.

The beginning of the end is here.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-05/germany-shock-after-monstrous-attacks-rape-1000-men-arab-or-north-african-origin

#37 Doug t on 01.05.16 at 7:17 pm

Here in victoria my assessment is up $6500 – I don’t appreciate it – it does nothing positive for me or many others here. It is ridiculous the way the media and realtors act like cheerleaders in this zit ripe market – when it pops many will be left covered in the mess that erupts out of it. But hey people are greedy, blind and narcissistic so you get what you deserve

#38 S.Bby on 01.05.16 at 7:17 pm

I find BC Assessment valuations tend to lag behind the real market; for Vancouver detached houses anyways. I mean, how can they keep up when prices increase so fast?

#39 For those about to flop... on 01.05.16 at 7:18 pm

#14 Smartalox on 01.05.16 at 6:33 pm
BC Assessment’s complicity is really surprising. Even more surprising is the fact that the city of Vancouver relies on the Provincial government to collect its property taxes. Could you imagine the city of Toronto relying on the government of Ontario to collect its taxes?

It’s no wonder the level of responsibility exercised by local governments is so poor – elected officials never have to answer for tax hikes.

Another little-spoken cause for alarm is BC’s practice of letting seniors defer paying property tax bills (with minimal interest) until they sell their homes. With little incentive to fight over-inflated assessments if no bill is due, the rising tax liability eats away at the equity in these properties.

When the time comes to sell, the effect may end up being worse than that of the infamous ‘reverse mortgage’.

///////////////////////////////
Hey Smartie,you made some good points.
I was reviewing the bc assessment for the house I live in and it went up 20 % from last year.
When I turned the sheet over to see what a person would have to do to over turn this decision one sentence caught my eye…
“Please note that the burden of proof rests with the complainant to provide EVIDENCE in support of their position that the assessment is incorrect .”
Now I’m no legal eagle but if you can’t access the data how you supposed to prove that the data is wrong.
Does anyone know of anyone that has overturned their assessment?
I mean what are you gonna do walk in there and say “y,all cray cray!”
Peace.

M41BC

#40 IKnow on 01.05.16 at 7:21 pm

DELETED

#41 Dennis (the Island) Hopper on 01.05.16 at 7:23 pm

Been living in a rental on the soggy Wet Coast for the past several years even though we can comfortably buy what ever we want (using Garth’s Rules of Thumb, of course).

Almost pulled the trigger on buying what looked like a great house in the fall, but friends of ours said they wanted it so we backed off.

Long story short, now they have problems with the house. Water is leaking in and it looks like it’ll be a $40K touch to tear off the front and seal it all up. And that’s assuming there’s no mold to deal with.
Meanwhile, house prices on the Island are still dropping. Ouch!!

Yeah, we dodged a bullet. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than smart. Houses on the left coast are only temporary structures waiting to be reclaimed by the rain forest. Seriously. Maintenance costs out here are crazy.

#42 Linda on 01.05.16 at 7:24 pm

#8 BG – you are correct, there is a huge difference between Vancouver & Calgary. Vancouver is in an earthquake zone (major fault line). Should ‘the big one’ ever occur all that housing is likely to be wiped off the map. Isn’t it odd how people build in areas where disaster is most likely to strike & pay a premium for the privilege?

#43 S.Bby on 01.05.16 at 7:27 pm

New Vancouver slogan: “Even the rats want to live here”.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/rats-vancouver-cold-winter-1.3386918?cmp=rss

#44 ben on 01.05.16 at 7:29 pm

Can we cut Vancouver out of Canada because these idiots are the reason we can’t raise rates. Just take them behind the wood shed.

#45 Cory on 01.05.16 at 7:32 pm

This is why this country and this generation are in trouble:

http://mixedupmoney.com/2015/11/24/40-things-you-can-do-once-youre-debt-free/#more-467

Blind leading the blind. The most ridiculous flakiness blog I’ve ever read…and the comments….,haha!! Amazing how people will think so they will feel good about themselves.
Celebrate paying off your debt by getting a mortgage? Or apply for one? WOW JUST WOW.
But therein lies the delusion….none of them think a mortgage is debt.

Now she’s going to teach others…..good God.

#46 OXI in GREECE on 01.05.16 at 7:32 pm

#35 Apocalypse2016 on 01.05.16 at 7:15 pm
Organized mobs of refugee rapists causing chaos in Europe.

More fleeing migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean in the past year than 3 Titanics.

Western nations, including the Trump States of America, are getting incredibly tense and reactionary.

Economies everywhere are tanking.

Fascism will walk through the front door in 2016 and be warmly welcomed.

The beginning of the end is here.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-05/germany-shock-after-monstrous-attacks-rape-1000-men-arab-or-north-african-origin

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Fascism in 2016? Dude….its been here for decades. And don’t worry…..none of that stuff EVER happens in Canada.

#47 Trading Naked on 01.05.16 at 7:39 pm

I’m waiting for “Freedom First” to tell Dean to ditch his parents. Can’t have any dependents, y’know.

I’d add some things about having hacked capitalism to create my own job security, but I won’t out of respect for the people who tell me (unprompted) that what I do is really cool.

#48 prairie person on 01.05.16 at 7:39 pm

I don’t get it. Why has the north part of the peninsula toward the airport and Sidney jumped in price? A lot of those places have more than an average lot. To listen to comments on this blog, you would think we were sinking into the slough of despond but the figures that are coming out don’t support that.

http://www.timescolonist.com/business/north-saanich-sees-biggest-jump-in-property-values-1.2144116

#49 WillD on 01.05.16 at 7:39 pm

I’ve been sitting on the sidelines in T.O. waiting for houses to comeback to a reasonable valuation. I’ve been waiting a long time. At this point I’m looking back and wishing I got in the market? I’ve been wrong for 4 years. It weighs on you.

#50 Roial1 on 01.05.16 at 7:40 pm

WOW! SO nice to see Vancouverites willing to support all of the rural areas with their tax increases to the point where we can sit back and enjoy the benefits of country living at a reasonable reduced tax rate .

#51 ROCK BEATS PAPER on 01.05.16 at 7:40 pm

#31 Tomales

It is no coincidence that Sydney, San Francisco, Vancouver and Hong Kong have had a bubble.

Popping it us easy with proper regulation. That is how Singapore rolled over. Hong Kong and Sydney have crested, and we are next.

I doubt it will be different than the 90s after the Japanese bubble rolled over.

#52 Freedom First on 01.05.16 at 7:43 pm

#27 Godth

Thanks for the laugh! You’re a riot! stfu!

#53 Dumbo Rules on 01.05.16 at 7:46 pm

Bubble? What bubble? What we’re looking at is the nastiest outcome of all from wicked stupid fiscal policy…stagflation. Consumer debt and consumables skyrocketing while the underlying economy has collapsed. Nice going Poloz….Dumbo is truly the king of pain.

http://www.bnn.ca/News/2016/1/5/Producer-prices-drop-for-fourth-consecutive-month.aspx

#54 worthog on 01.05.16 at 7:47 pm

Industrial Engineer, There’s still a job market for those!? See you at the retraining center again soon.

#55 pwn3d on 01.05.16 at 7:48 pm

I’m so glad back in the day nobody convinced me that housing was overpriced. I bought because that’s what I wanted. Best financial decision I’ve ever made or ever will and it’s not even close.

On another note, only a complete and utter fool can look at numbers like these and say YVR has been going down for 3 years.

Next up will be YYZ. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it will be the best year for prices and sales ever. Will 2016 be the same? Too early to tell for sales but I say prices will go higher. All this world turmoil means people will want to buy more real estate or renovate.

#56 Godth on 01.05.16 at 7:50 pm

#40 Dennis (the Island) Hopper on 01.05.16 at 7:23 pm

The mold will turn into moss and seal up all the leaks. See, I just saved them 40K.

#57 waiting no more on 01.05.16 at 7:54 pm

I just received my Vancouver pty assessment.
After 3 years of $492k (2012, 2013 and 2014) and then
a staggering $98k jump in 2015, it has dropped $33k to $556k – this is for a city of Vancouver prepaid leasehold land with approx. 70 years left.
I talked to someone over the holidays who works for a local property assessment appeals board – they said a lot of the complaints are from people who want there assessments to be HIGHER (maybe to get more when they sell, or to help qualify for bigger mortgages.)

#58 winkie on 01.05.16 at 7:56 pm

1200 Sq Ft SF rancher with finished Bmnt in central Abbotsford – Assessment #’s
2016. $270,000
2015. $282,300
2014. $281,800
2013. $281,000
2012. $283,400
where’s the boom?

#59 common sense on 01.05.16 at 7:57 pm

#54 PWN3rd

I so agree with your comment “people will renovate.” With Netflix, Stay Vacations, etc.. whatever disposable income one had left (what little there is) will be likely plowed back into their home where they can see the results and have the illusion it is adding value for them.

#60 Brian Ripley on 01.05.16 at 7:58 pm

re: Vancouver “…see what a bubble truly looks like…” Garth

Today I updated my Vancouver Housing charts with the DEC data:
http://www.chpc.biz/vancouver-housing.html

At the bottom of the page I have my “Double Double” chart showing the price doubling action of Vancouver’s SFDs…

..the new trend from the April 2008 high to December 2015 now projects that another doubling will occur THIS YEAR in December 2016. The previous double took 5.5 years; this one will happening in 8.7 years if the bulls can keep this momentum up.

By the way, despite sales dropping into seasonal lows, average prices in all sectors (SFD, T-house & Condo) are all at fresh highs.

Overheard at a New Year’s party… “There is no sense in repairing the problems in my old house because the next owner only wants the lot.”

I suppose we will get the GTA data tomorrow.

#61 BS on 01.05.16 at 8:00 pm

Roial1 on 01.05.16 at 7:40 pm
WOW! SO nice to see Vancouverites willing to support all of the rural areas with their tax increases to the point where we can sit back and enjoy the benefits of country living at a reasonable reduced tax rate .

Doesn’t work that way. In BC assessed value is only used to decide who pays what in each individual city or municipality. If all properties go up in a particular city equally there is no tax increase (other than the city budget increase which is typically ~3%). Only properties that go up more than the average in that particular city or municipality will have an increase over the ~3% budget increase.

#62 Daisy Mae on 01.05.16 at 8:06 pm

“…..That would be great, except the buyers have stopped buying – fewer than 900 trades happened in all of last month…..”

*********************

“Trades”. Good description. People buying and selling to each other….absorbing all the associated costs for doing so and thinking they are so smart. We are so dumb….

#63 BS on 01.05.16 at 8:07 pm

I talked to someone over the holidays who works for a local property assessment appeals board – they said a lot of the complaints are from people who want there assessments to be HIGHER (maybe to get more when they sell, or to help qualify for bigger mortgages.)

Assessed value has no impact on mortgages or sale prices. That is what appraisals are for. People are just stupid. They are arguing to pay more property tax. It would be like asking CRA to count something as taxable income when normally it is not counted as taxable income. Just dumb.

#64 cramar on 01.05.16 at 8:08 pm

Again I ask the obvious question. With 36,000 job losses, the oil patch decimated along with related manufacturing jobs, and trade with the world “plunged into deficit,” how can the country’s economy “expand” at 1.5%??

Something is rotten in Denmark.

#65 richard leblond on 01.05.16 at 8:10 pm

I’m very sorry but it won’t be a buyers market in Calgary until prices have drooped by 60%. give it 4 or 5 years.

#66 Big Dipper on 01.05.16 at 8:10 pm

Where do you see more democracy in a party where every MP must be pro-choice, for example? — Garth

—————————————————–

Another misplaced attack on the Liberals. This time on their fundamental pro-choice position.

Unlike the sleazy CPC, the Liberals have always stated their unequivocal pro-choice position up front – and for all to see.

The CPC is firmly pro-life, but goes to great length to hide it. The CPC fought against lifting the prohibition against assisted suicide tooth and nail. At the last CPC conference they past a resolution stated their objections against any, and all, right to die legislation.

Most Canadians remain unaware just how Evangelical, Bible thumping, evolution questioning (it`s just a theory), climate change denying (only God can change the climate) this party really is. If Canadians knew they would have punted them out a long time ago.

The Liberal party states it is pro-choice. This means that a segment of the Canadian population will not vote for them. The Liberals place principles before power.

No such principles for the pro-life CPC who duck and weave to hide their Evangelical Christian agenda to avoid losing power.

No MP (or citizen) should be told what to believe, especially on an issue of morals and faith. — Garth

#67 Scumop on 01.05.16 at 8:10 pm

This is a good time to look for opportunities. When the cash squeeze comes to shove, and the financially beat are on the street…

Bankruptcy counselling. Make sure you get paid up front though.

Credit counselling. Same caveat.

Open a pawn shop, get goods at 5c on the dollar, sell on economic recovery. Need a warehouse, but even that space could soon be cheap.

Tent sales. Everybody needs a place to live.

Resell old lottery tickets. Point out the odds of winning are roughly the same as for current tickets. 20 picks for $5.

Coffee and snack service to panhandlers. They don’t want to risk losing a prime location to a competitor any more than a slots player wants to give up his seat at a machine he just knows is going to pay real soon. Can probably get $5 to $10 a cup. Your cost: 50 cents if you diy.

#68 Victoria Real Estate Update on 01.05.16 at 8:15 pm

# 12 Conrad

What?

Read what I wrote again and try to understand what the point of my post is.

Then try making an intelligent comment based on your understanding of my post.

You are almost as bad as prairie person.

#69 Shiny on 01.05.16 at 8:16 pm

Okanagan assessment(near Penticton) is down by 3% from last year. Highest assessment was 2008 at 10% higher than current.

#70 For those about to flop... on 01.05.16 at 8:16 pm

#58 winkie on 01.05.16 at 7:56 pm
1200 Sq Ft SF rancher with finished Bmnt in central Abbotsford – Assessment #’s
2016. $270,000
2015. $282,300
2014. $281,800
2013. $281,000
2012. $283,400
where’s the boom?

//////////////////////////
The ” boom” in Abbotsford is when someone kicks your door in looking for a grow op.
Sad but true…

M41BC

#71 Harbour on 01.05.16 at 8:16 pm

In September, Statistics Canada announced people aged 65 and older outnumbered children aged 14 and younger in Canada.

Statistics Canada wrote, “It is a gap that will likely increase in the coming decades, driven by aging baby boomers.”

This milestone is important because it’s the younger generation that generates income to pay taxes that provide services seniors will need – like health care.

The trend does not come as a surprise.

In 2011, census data showed for the first time there were more people aged 55 to 64, typically the age group where people leave the labour force, than aged 15 to 24, typically the age group where people enter it.

The numbers mean that going forward we will have fewer people working and generating income to support more retirees whose life expectancy is longer than ever before.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/01/04/statscan-hiring-census-2016_n_8913136.html

#72 everythingisterrible on 01.05.16 at 8:17 pm

#44 ben
Hope you’re not from an equalization payment province. If so, you’re welcome.

#73 BC Guy on 01.05.16 at 8:20 pm

The BC government has created this massive housing bubble by encouraging businesses and government services/offices to set up in Vancity and Victoria, closing government offices everywhere else. Called centralization.

The BC government has also created the bubble by SITTING ON CROWN LAND AND SELLING MINUTE AMOUNTS TO SPECULATORS WHO FLIP FOR MASSIVE PROFITS. If the BC gov release a few hundred thousand acres of crown land for purchase by individuals for a reasonable price, it would ease the congestion and speculation. Anywhere within a 4 hour drive of Vancouver, raw land is easily $100-$300k/acre. Simply outrageous and unaffordable for the average Joe-bag-of-donuts.

And of course, the BC government also gives huge tax relief to the extremely large land-holders if they simply have a few herd of cattle. They get the “agricultural tax rate” which is a fraction of what you or I would pay.

The BC government favours the 1%, has been in power too long, and yet, they got re-elected last time because voters in Vancouver loved to see their property values increase year over year. Time for a new government in BC.

#74 Chaddywack on 01.05.16 at 8:25 pm

And my coworkers are trying to encourage me to buy a relative’s house in East Van that went up $250,000 over last year. They think I’m crazy for not doing it…….

They tell me I’m going to be renting forever because Vancouver is not based on fundamentals but unlimited amounts of money from China……I wish I had a crystal ball.

#75 BobC on 01.05.16 at 8:25 pm

Smoking man,

Does the 3:30 ramp work well enough to use it?

#76 Sebee on 01.05.16 at 8:31 pm

Didn’t I hear something about an earthquake, the “big one” being due out in the west?

#77 Sebee on 01.05.16 at 8:32 pm

…seems like that type of geologically active zone shouldn’t be so lusted over.

#78 I like cookies on 01.05.16 at 8:33 pm

I’m pulling the trigger. After renting in Vancouver for many years, I’ve managed to land a stable job working for a California company (loving the exchange rate on my paycheque), so I’m packing up and heading off to a nice rental steps from the beach up the coast. My townhouse rented yesterday, sight unseen, to the first person who inquired, and no wonder — $1750/month for 3 bedrooms, in the city proper with a view over a park and the river, *and* it allows pets. I didn’t even have to vaccuum!

#79 Tale of two cities - Realties.ca on 01.05.16 at 8:36 pm

[…] Source: http://www.greaterfool.ca/2016/01/05/tale-of-two-cities/ […]

#80 Rexx Rock on 01.05.16 at 8:42 pm

The high prices in houses in greater Vancouver reflect a strong and vibrant economy.Strong wage growth and confidence in peoples employment make all this happen.Its all comes down to what people can afford to service the debt of a mortgage.Obviously this great news that prices are skyrocketing just like San Francisco and London.Embrace it everyone,its a good thing.Vancouver is the land of milk and honey until it ends.

#81 Dean-of-Arabia on 01.05.16 at 8:55 pm

#54 worthog

Industrial engineer aka Power Engineer, but most people aren’t familiar with the latter term.

Never to late to go to school either :)

#82 Leo Trollstoy on 01.05.16 at 8:57 pm

Vancouver and Toronto home prices (and debt) appear to be able to ride without end. I can’t wait to see how this all ends.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-11/morneau-said-to-tighten-mortgage-rules-to-cool-toronto-market

#83 dosouth on 01.05.16 at 8:59 pm

It is interesting that BC Assessment (apparently not politically aligned) states when assessed prices go down that it doesn’t affect your taxes as “Mill rates…etc” kick in. Yet with these over inflated new assessments in our mail, much taxes will certainly follow.

Oh no, now the Gen Xer’s & Millennial whiners will think they have more disposable income and so more toys and renovations. Heck our house which is still under construction, was appraised at the end of Oct. by BC Assess (end date for this years) has the place at more than we have invested in it.

Well I guess it’s time to ratchet up our LOC’s and buy all the crap we didn’t want but need now….or not…ugh!

#84 I Pissed My Entire Life Away on 01.05.16 at 9:05 pm

My friend just got a tax increase of 20% on his house in Shaughnessy. Fortunately for him, his house also increased by $150,000 in the last twelve months.

Lucky? The taxes are real. The equity gain illusory. — Garth

#85 gladiator on 01.05.16 at 9:05 pm

Since CMHC insures mortgages of up to 1m, as a taxpayer, I do not care how much higher houses go over this level.
It’s the banks who take the risks if the buyers do take mortgages, or it’s the buyers in all-cash purchases.

Why worry? Vancouverites cannot afford houses at current levels, so it’s not like the situation will improve if prices stop going up, or even drop by 10-20%.

IMHO, it’s all too evident that HAM is driving a big part of this, as the money makes it into Canada and houses are bought via locals. Yeah-yeah, there is no documented evidence of this etc., but I wouldmlike to see evidence that locals with proven local sources of income are buying the vast majority of 2m+ houses without CMHC insurance. Anyone?

#86 OXI in GREECE on 01.05.16 at 9:11 pm

Vancouver is a NO trick pony in a great location with mild weather and perceived as highly desirable.

How will any meaningful correction be triggered in Vancouver when the city is an unprofitable place to live and yet the Real Estate market stays on fire?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Mild weather? Have you ever lived here? Its below 10 degrees celsius 7 months of the year. Its cloudy 9 months of the year and raining. yes yes we had a couple years it was nice (global warming right?). But for the 25 years I have been here it has been rain rain rain – much of the time in the summer – I know this because I used to ride horses and the shows were cancelled in the summer cuz there was so much rain. I remember in 2011 it was May 25 and SIX DEGREES out. My wife and I was so pissed at how cold it was for so long we dropped everything and went to Utah biking just so we could “warm up”.

So if you call sub 10 degrees for 6 months “mild” you my friend must be a VIKING !!

#87 rawdiswar on 01.05.16 at 9:13 pm

#81 Dean-of-Arabia

I’m actually going back to college in the fall for Power Engineering. Formerly a mining geologist. Trust me, that sector is dead in Canada for a number of reasons.

Seems like if you can get to 2nd class Power Engineer you’re good, but now I’m not even sure that is a solid career path anymore.

What’s a good ol’ boy to do?

#88 Toxic? on 01.05.16 at 9:13 pm

#19 Freedom First on 01.05.16 at 6:36 pm

“I can drop anyone I do business with in a heartbeat, and I keep toxic people from entering my personal space. I read that 50% of people are considered toxic. I was surprised. Seems low.”

#52 Freedom First on 01.05.16 at 7:43 pm

#27 Godth

Thanks for the laugh! You’re a riot! stfu!

#89 Oceanside on 01.05.16 at 9:20 pm

#4 Island Girl on 01.05.16 at 6:14 pm
Well just got my property assessment and it’s down 4% from last year. It’s now technically worth what we paid for it…and our realtor thought it was a deal at it’s assessed price last year (which was less that it was listed at), thankfully we stuck to our guns and only offered what we were willing to pay.

It’s now worth less than it’s assessed value in 2011.
————————————————————
Just got ours in Nanoose, $641,000 in 2013 and now $535,000. Hmmmmm….

#90 Yeah baby who luvs ya on 01.05.16 at 9:25 pm

STAGFLATION = BUY GOLD

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investment-ideas/stagflation-may-soon-be-upon-us-so-golds-time-to-shine-has-arrived/article28027998/

#91 hope & ruin on 01.05.16 at 9:30 pm

#15 Smartalox on 01.05.16 at 6:33 pm
BC Assessment’s complicity is really surprising. Even more surprising is the fact that the city of Vancouver relies on the Provincial government to collect its property taxes. Could you imagine the city of Toronto relying on the government of Ontario to collect its taxes?
__________________________________________

oh god….don’t give Wynne any ideas. She would love to get her hands on some of that dough.

#92 Mark on 01.05.16 at 9:31 pm

“Industrial engineer aka Power Engineer, but most people aren’t familiar with the latter term.”

Nope. “Industrial engineering” is a program that is offered by various Canadian (CEAB-accredited) engineering schools. Basically its a mixture of management training, electrical, mechanical, and maintenance engineering.

“Power Engineering”, OTOH, is typically concerned with the operation of steam boilers and power generation equipment related to the same. Typically a technical school course.

“The term “industrial engineering” was coined almost 100 years ago when engineers began to develop techniques to improve production systems in factories. ” — description of “industrial engineering” on the UWaterloo website.

“The BC government has created this massive housing bubble by encouraging businesses and government services/offices to set up in Vancity and Victoria, closing government offices everywhere else….”

If there was any legitimate shortage of rental stock or land supply, lower value uses and people would be forced out on account of very high rents. But as it stands, renting is very affordable in Vancouver relative to owning. The excessive multiple of rent to housing prices in YVR and Canada more broadly can only be explained in terms of excesses in finance — both on the willingness of lenders to lend against inflated valuations, and borrowers to borrow.

#93 observer on 01.05.16 at 9:32 pm

ALBERTASTROPHE on 01.05.16 at 6:16 pm
It is really something, sad and sobering, how stressful and tense everyone is getting here.
=================

Why should we feel sorry? They made load of Cash. I worked in Alberta for 1.5 years making 125 dollars per hour with tons of overtime.

Unlike most. I banked my cash and invested in the USA. Can’t help it if people can’t control their spending. I seen this with y2k, dot com and etc people making tons of money. After the bubble burst they were left with nothing. All had the same mentality . That things will keep on being good, none understood supply and demand

#94 the Jaguar on 01.05.16 at 9:36 pm

Everyone knows B.C. stands for ‘bring cash’. It’s an outlaw province. Wasn’t there a study or survey some time ago that confirmed B.C. was the most separatist province of all? More so than even Quebec? Guess they want to keep all that BC Bud for themselves. Keep it. It’s for losers. If you live next door to the place you understand there are really four elements. The B.C. interior, which owes its success to the influx and interest of people from the prairies. Vancouver Island, home to the oldest population in the country, most from elsewhere. The rest of the Vancouver Island inhabitants are straight out of the movie ‘Deliverance’. In some areas there isn’t even electricity. Don’t mean you people in Victoria, and of course Nanaimo is just a Hell’s Angel’s hangout. Then there are the ‘Island’ types who live on Salt Spring, etc. A real mixed bag there, hard to know where to start. And finally the lower mainland, which is divided not into a melting pot, but a cultural mosaic. Too bad the ‘mosaic’ doesn’t get along all that well. They do share the common goal of being in a race of desperation to grasp that last bit of land value to fund their retirement years. They sure haven’t saved for it. One big leap of leverage and they are home free. We’ll see how that works out. Personally, I just see a big blow up ahead. Or maybe the ‘big one’ will come along first and Calgary will be ocean front property.
Glad to hear Billy Bob escaped the towering inferno and that he is being sprung to a new adventure..

#95 dutch4505 on 01.05.16 at 9:38 pm

my Canadian brother in law just received his bc assessment for his Vancouver suburb house. up about 220k or approx. 17%. plans to get an increased line of credit for a new truck and house renovations. why not…… prices will always keep going up. right???

wish he would see the movie…..”big short”. what happened to us in the USA may happen in Canada

#96 Smoking Man on 01.05.16 at 9:49 pm

#75 BobC on 01.05.16 at 8:25 pm
Smoking man,

Does the 3:30 ramp work well enough to use it?
….

Huh?

#97 Nemesis on 01.05.16 at 9:52 pm

“This is a market riding a wave of debt, facilitated by voracious lenders exogenous inward capital flows” – HonGT [FixedItForYa – “And Yet It Moves”]

#JamesHongExtemporizes*On… #HisVancouverPropertyPortfolio’s… #RecentTaxAssessment… #*IncludesBonusFeature!… #FormerWestSideHabituéKurtRussell…

https://youtu.be/QjK1djROT6M

#98 Dean-of-Arabia on 01.05.16 at 9:53 pm

#87 rawdiswar

PE is a great field to work in, while the jobs might not be there like they have been in the past few years there are still enough to go around.

Getting a 2nd class is a sure fire secure career no matter what the economy does.

Best of luck!

#99 Estrella on 01.05.16 at 9:55 pm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/rbc-set-to-raise-mortgage-rates/article28028210/?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=Referrer:+Social+Network+/+Media&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links

Rbc pulling the trigger on mortgage rates. AND so it begins.

And North Korea has some sort of announcement it will release at 12:30.

5.1 sisemic activity near a nuclear test site.

This is getting scary.

#100 Nanaimo Bar on 01.05.16 at 9:56 pm

RBC raise mortgage rates

http://bit.ly/1mAn8VM

#101 family beagle on 01.05.16 at 9:57 pm

Inertia for my belief that YVR RE demand is shepherded by civic assessments. Govt needs this, just as a low dollar begets more sales tax. BC will float on taxes and a few one trick ponies until bdnz finds a way back. Photo: snot love, it’s relief

#102 Millmech on 01.05.16 at 9:58 pm

#86 Rawdiswar
Try to pick up painting,carpentry skills,plumbing since most 4th class also do the facilities maintenance too.On the back of every pay stub document all the work outside of your 4th class field,that way in a few years you could challenge that trade ticket be it carpenter,plumber etc.A lot of 4th class cross over into hvac and controls(electrical).

#103 acdel on 01.05.16 at 9:59 pm

the Jaguar # 94
Love BC and I agree with your assessment of it;but man, it is a beautiful Province, do not worry about Alberta, we will get through it as we always have. It sounds like Billy Bob took that chance and made it!

#104 ww1 on 01.05.16 at 10:04 pm

#71 Harbour :
“In September, Statistics Canada announced people aged 65 and older outnumbered children aged 14 and younger in Canada.”

Sorry but that number just does not mean there will be less people working that retired people. The Stats Can announcement is at best incomplete. Most of those people 65 or older will be dead in the next 15 years and the remainder pretty much all be gone in the next 30. On the other hand, the children aged 14 and younger have a long time ahead of them with a very low death rate. The ratio of old vs young might shift a bit but we are a long way from having a lot of 80 year olds living off the efforts of a few 20 somethings.

#105 Smoking Man on 01.05.16 at 10:06 pm

#98 Nanaimo Bar on 01.05.16 at 9:56 pm
RBC raise mortgage rates

http://bit.ly/1mAn8VM
……

Thats because BOC is cutting in Jan.
Big report out at 8:30

Padding it before forced to drop.

Balance of trade, most important stat to BOC these days.

#106 spraif on 01.05.16 at 10:08 pm

rawdiswar,

GL with power engineering. Not so sure how good of an idea that is given that everyone and their mother is trying to become a PE these days. New grad jobs are extremely rare and the very few PE positions that pop up typically ask for 10+ years of experience.

Heard an anecdote that a 3rd class position had over 500 applicants.

#107 WUL on 01.05.16 at 10:09 pm

Mr. Turner:

This morning as I read the contrasting articles about real estate in Vancouver and Calgary, I said to myself that Garth will tell a tale of two cities today. Either I am prescient or simply precious. My mother thinks the latter.

It is no great trick to find bad news about Calgary’s economy these days but here are two articles that you can tuck away for your future pithy analysis.

Lafleur (Cowtown commercial real estate) and Cournoyer (Cowtown luxury real estate) were both dancing down the wing when they were crushed into the stanchion between the player’s boxes. Both are in the quiet room now following the concussion protocol.

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/relentless-economic-downturn-sees-commercial-property-values-come-down?__lsa=e2ad-ee0d

http://calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/luxury-home-sales-plunge-in-calgary-resale-housing-market

To what extent are Canuck REIT ETF’s exposed to downtown Cowtown? Hey, that will be the title of my next country and western tune. “Downtown Cowtown”. Miranda can record it.

#108 Chris in Nanaimo on 01.05.16 at 10:15 pm

So what’s everyone buying with their TFSA allowance this year?

On the one hand Garth is saying minimise Maple, but on the other hand it’s all on sale! I’m supposed to buy when it’s cheap…..right….? :-)

#109 TurnerNation on 01.05.16 at 10:19 pm

Heard comment from a millenial (Don’t trust anyone under 30?) His friend “made 50k flipping a house” so looking to get in.

The kids are alright?

#110 mark on 01.05.16 at 10:21 pm

My B.C. property assessment came in, my property tax assessment doubled from 18,000 to 36,000 dollars.
No joke. Its way north in b.c. and my future retirement shack.
:)

#111 Aggregator on 01.05.16 at 10:26 pm

Might I remind everyone that there was another key player that helped fuel America's subprime crisis.

(Jan 2005) Sickened By Fraud, A Real Estate Appraiser Turns In His Pencil

"I have only practiced real estate appraisal in the state of Texas, but in my 53 years of being on this planet, without a shadow of a doubt, real estate appraisal is the most corrupt 'profession' I have ever seen," says a disgusted Burnitt. "It is my belief at this point it is no different in any other state."

"I have lost every single 'good' client I have ever had for the same 'reason,' laments Burnitt. "Sooner or later, I do an appraisal that doesn’t 'make value' and that is it, I’m fired. Time and time again. During the so-called "re-fi boom" loan officers absolutely demanded that I either lie or inflate an appraisal for them. When I tell them I can’t do that, it is unethical and illegal, they just hang up the phone and call my competition."

It was later revealed during the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that banks and lenders would black list names of appraisers that would value properties too low or at fair value, that is, they ONLY hired appraisers that would inflate properties.

Think of it this way: In a typical real estate transaction, how many parties (including govt) would be against an inflated property value when their profit, commission or revenue depends on it?

#112 rawdiswar on 01.05.16 at 10:35 pm

#98 Dean-of-Arabia
#102 Millmech

Thanks for the input guys, if all goes well my long USDCAD position will pay for 2 yrs of school, plus some!

Will graduate as 3rd class, then willing to go anywhere. And I mean anywhere.

#113 Bram on 01.05.16 at 10:39 pm

#15 Smartalox on 01.05.16 at 6:33 pm
BC Assessment’s complicity is really surprising.

They are independent from any government.
To see what your RE is worth, they simply have to look at neighbouring properties that sold last year. The land part is the easy part: very easy to compare to other lots based on square footage and location. The building part is harder, but also the less important one, as it is lower than the land value.

If your assessment is up, it is because sale prices in the neighbourhood are up, not because BC Assessment is trying to inflate prices. They couldn’t care less if it is up or down.

Even the city does not care if it is up or down: they adjust the property tax so that they cover their chosen budget.

The party that stands to gain from high sale prices (not assessments) is the Provincial Government though: They are swimming in all that money from the property transfer tax lately.

bram

#114 Dirt Dog on 01.05.16 at 10:41 pm

#39 For those about to flop… on 01.05.16 at 7:18 pm
While I understand that that you were in for surgery or some health related issues and you have a surplus amount of time on your hands, as noted by the number of times you like to post, promote your, gender, month/year born,sexual preference, and province .
It appears you know dick all about the appeal process. All the info one needs to appeal is available to anyone. I would suggest you spend some of your “time” to do a bit of research rather than “Bashing” the process.
Hugs

#115 JSS on 01.05.16 at 10:44 pm

#92 Mark is correct with the terminology of what an Industrial Engineer is.

One of my degrees is in Industrial Engineering. It is majority mechanical engineering, with a mix of electrical, civil engineering, as well as manufacturing, and operations management.

My job titles have been as follows: project engineer, plant engineer, asset management engineer, facilities engineer, maintenance engineer, and project manager.

I’d say 90% of my job has always been capital project management of facility upgrades, from justification through to consultant selection, tendering, construction management, and close out.

I don’t recall ever having a problem getting a job with this degree. My starting salary around twenty years ago was $39K.

#116 acdel on 01.05.16 at 10:50 pm

#106 spraif,rawdiswar,

GL with power engineering. Not so sure how good of an idea that is given that everyone and their mother is trying to become a PE these days. New grad jobs are extremely rare and the very few PE positions that pop up typically ask for 10+ years of experience.

Heard an anecdote that a 3rd class position had over 500 applicants.

It depends on what Province; ,rawdiswar, call different companies and get their take on where the industry is heading. Personally, I think that it is a good choice, but do your homework.

#117 TurnerNation on 01.05.16 at 10:52 pm

Smoking man I didn’t see you at Duke devon tonight. Lots of know it alls at the bar (home owners).

#118 Freedom First on 01.05.16 at 10:55 pm

DELETED (language)

#119 portfolio tax on 01.05.16 at 10:56 pm

#84 I Pissed My Entire Life Away on 01.05.16 at 9:05 pm

My friend just got a tax increase of 20% on his house in Shaughnessy. Fortunately for him, his house also increased by $150,000 in the last twelve months.

Lucky? The taxes are real. The equity gain illusory. — Garth

====

Portfolio tax: taxing investment portfolio holding at the end-of-year market price value. Capital holding gain tax.

There are no taxes on portfolio capital gains which remain uncrystallized. — Garth

#120 Smoking Man on 01.05.16 at 10:56 pm

#87 rawdiswar on 01.05.16 at 9:13 pm
#81 Dean-of-Arabia

I’m actually going back to college in the fall for Power Engineering. Formerly a mining geologist. Trust me, that sector is dead in Canada for a number of reasons.

Seems like if you can get to 2nd class Power Engineer you’re good, but now I’m not even sure that is a solid career path anymore.

What’s a good ol’ boy to do?
…..

Robots will make everyone obsoliet.. The question what to do with all these redundant eaters.

Muarice Strong had a plan….

Learn to program, become a job killer for croutons, better than crumbs.

Or

Learn fx, UCC is telling me. You have been dabiling in it.

You will be very happy after 8:30 am tomorrow.

Grasshopper.

#121 prairie person on 01.05.16 at 11:00 pm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/rbc-set-to-raise-mortgage-rates/article28028210/

And up they go.

As predicted here. More to come. — Garth

#122 paddler on 01.05.16 at 11:05 pm

#4 Island Girl the assessments over here are all over the place. I live north of Nanaimo. Some houses in my neighbourhood sold up to 18% over last years assessed value. Go figure.

#123 acdel on 01.05.16 at 11:09 pm

#113 Smoking Man\
Learn to program, become a job killer for croutons, better than crumbs.
Programming is exactly heading what Your words typed;
OBSOLETE! Smoking robotic man’s will take over the world!

#124 Smoking Man on 01.05.16 at 11:10 pm

#121 prairie person on 01.05.16 at 11:00 pm
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/rbc-set-to-raise-mortgage-rates/article28028210/

And up they go.

As predicted here. More to come. — Garth

Bahah.

No it’s padding for a rate cuts from Boc on the way..

Turn off your TVs, go into the back yard. Find your hidden jd mickies. Look for the meteor show.

You may find it, you may not..

If you listen to CFTO lesa la flam.

Your doomed.

#125 Millmech on 01.05.16 at 11:14 pm

Rawdiswar
Just don’t go into the food plants,I don’t eat processed meat(did a stint in poultry processing),will not touch vegetables unless I grow them myself.The rule still goes if you enjoy certain foods don’t find out how they make them.

#126 Silent the people on 01.05.16 at 11:16 pm

2016 will be hell! Sell, reap and watch….

#127 acdel on 01.05.16 at 11:21 pm

Ok, last post of the month!
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeau-sets-sights-on-free-trade-deal-with-china/article28029612/

We are F*** !

#128 portfolio tax on 01.05.16 at 11:22 pm

There are no taxes on portfolio capital gains which remain uncrystallized. — Garth

RRSP, TFSA account excluded.

As predicted here. More to come. — portfolio tax

#129 Prairieboy43 on 01.05.16 at 11:32 pm

Oil is the Economy.http://www.artberman.com/wp-content/uploads/NTGS-Presentation-15-Oct-2015.pdf

More pain coming. Increase Interest rates + Low Oil $$.

PB43

#130 Nanaimo Bar on 01.05.16 at 11:39 pm

#105 Smoking Man

Thats because BOC is cutting in Jan.
Big report out at 8:30

Padding it before forced to drop.

Balance of trade, most important stat to BOC these days.

——————————————————————-

I agree. Don’t worry, I am loaded with USD since my last trade at 1.3350. And the BOC rate cut should not be priced in. It should be a good pop.

#131 Victoria Real Estate Update on 01.05.16 at 11:44 pm

# 111 Aggregator

Nice to have you back posting here again. I enjoy reading your posts.

#132 Leo Trollstoy on 01.05.16 at 11:45 pm

I don’t recall ever having a problem getting a job with this degree. My starting salary around twenty years ago was $39K.

You’re likely highly employable. Thankfully it depends on the person and not the diploma. There are unemployables in every profession. The big clue is how difficult it is for one to find a employment. Some people never get a clue. Reality always punishes the dumb.

#133 Leo Trollstoy on 01.05.16 at 11:47 pm

I’ve never seen so many people so happy about paying more property tax.

#134 Clearwater79 on 01.05.16 at 11:48 pm

Just got my assesment for comox bc.
18% increase on lot value. Clearly bs.
Last 4 years have been 0 to 2%.

I’m listing the lot for sale tomorrow for assesed value and see if I get any offers.

Decided i dont like the weather on Van Isl and prefer the kooteneys.

Any thoughts or recomendations?

Currently a renter in calgary.

Happy new years to all.

#135 For those about to flop... on 01.05.16 at 11:52 pm

#114 Dirt Dog on 01.05.16 at 10:41 pm
#39 For those about to flop… on 01.05.16 at 7:18 pm
While I understand that that you were in for surgery or some health related issues and you have a surplus amount of time on your hands, as noted by the number of times you like to post, promote your, gender, month/year born,sexual preference, and province .
It appears you know dick all about the appeal process. All the info one needs to appeal is available to anyone. I would suggest you spend some of your “time” to do a bit of research rather than “Bashing” the process.
Hugs

//////////////////////////////
Huh? Too many hop pops?

M41BC

#136 Clearwater79 on 01.05.16 at 11:55 pm

Ps. As a person who grew up on van isl but lives in calgary I love these arguments about cakgary vs vacouver as a place to live. Keep them coming.

In case you have not figured ut out, the best place to live is whst you make of your currrent location. (Ie calgary has the best to offer in most kf north america).

#137 Mark on 01.05.16 at 11:56 pm

“You’re likely highly employable. Thankfully it depends on the person and not the diploma. ”

Actually Troll, certain fields in engineering just are severely out of favour. For instance, the fields of engineering related to telecommunications and IT have been severely out of favour since the dot-com bust. Mining engineering is significantly out of favour today and definitely was during much of the 80s and 90s. Petroleum faces a glut at this point, as does Chem. The OSPE tells us that 2/3rds of Canada’s engineering talent is unemployed or underemployed, and it is obvious through the data that it is a systemic problem with the economy — not a problem with individuals and their skillsets or other personal characteristics.

For instance, even minorly advertised computer/network engineering jobs are receiving 100+ applications. Someone up-thread indicated that the Class 3 Power Engineering jobs were getting 500 applications per position. You really can’t, with any level of integrity or honesty, point to anything deficient in the applicants when you have that much of a glut. At best, you can blame the individual for studying a profession not in demand, but that’s pretty much where the blame should end.

#138 Island Girl on 01.06.16 at 12:05 am

#14 April – Ladysmith…Hubby thinks our property taxes will be less this year but I think we in for another hike. I can tell you that with regards to property taxes Ladysmith is costly!

#139 Island Girl on 01.06.16 at 12:15 am

#21 Victoria Real Estate Update
I totally don’t expect my property values to go up or even stay at their current level. We only bought because after a year of looking for alternative rentals and knowing our rental was going to end up on the market soon we had to buy. I did feel a little bad for the elderly couple that sold to us though. They took a $95000 haircut when they sold. I figure house prices will continue to drop, but we budgeted for a mortgage of 3-4.5% so we’re ok I figure for the next bit.

#89 Oceanside – Ours was…
2012 – $318,000
2013 – $341,000
2014 – $331,000
2015 – $297,000
2016 – $285,000
And the previous owners paid $373,000 in 2007

#140 Kreditanstalt on 01.06.16 at 12:22 am

This new Liberal regime is just as unlikely to do anything to limit expansion of the supply of money and credit as was the last Conservative one.

Until that happens, only those with supreme overconfidence about keeping their jobs will be “buying” houses…

#141 NOTHING SURPRISES on 01.06.16 at 12:33 am

Approximetly two years ago I warned President Obama would face an unknown threat from the Middle East.

He now faces this.

Now like an out of control freight train is the greatest threat to the United States in its history – over-wellming debt.

.
A

#142 Gregor Samsa on 01.06.16 at 12:40 am

#64 cramar: When housing prices go up, they count that in the GDP (it also fuels things like construction which count as GDP). Government spending and debt also count towards GDP. Basically the 1.5% GDP is debt fuelled. Take Alberta for example. Lost in the oil gloom news is the fact that right now, today, Alberta is a construction hotbed. Cranes and towers and even hockey arenas are sprouting like mushrooms. I see new ground being broken on construction sites right now in Calgary.

As for the engineering discussion, the numbers I looked at several years ago showed that less than half of engineering graduates ended up working in engineering related fields, and out of that half employed, only about half of those were actually working as engineers (the rest were managers, project managers, techs, etc).

I don’t know why people think engineering is a sure thing. Engineers are the FIRST to go when a company / industry hits hard times.

The only sure bet is medicine. I’ve never met an unemployed doctor.

#143 JSS on 01.06.16 at 12:49 am

#132 Leo, you are absolutely correct.

A degree in Engineering or any degree is basically an admission ticket to a ride. Once you’re on the ride, it’s really up to you where you’ll go. The degree is basically a piece of paper that just shows that you have some I.Q. (intelligence quotient) because you passed a set of exams and went through a set curriculum.

But it’s the E.Q. (emotional quotient) that really dictates
where one will go in their career.

One of the harsh but early lessons in career life I learned was to listen more and talk less. In basic street terms it means to just shut the %^&* up and listen to those elder and more experienced. Was a good lesson for me, and helped build some E.Q.

#144 Vampire Studies GMST 454 on 01.06.16 at 1:01 am

39 – FTATF – I appealed mine one year. I compared it to other similar properties in the ‘hood and thought it was high. Now the arguement put forth by BC assessment is they are trying to pinpoint what the market value is. I was just concerned it wasnt comparable to similar properties. Fortuneately I had recently re-mortgaged and had an appraisal. They accepted that but increased
the value a bit for the time lapse.

Oceanside/Island Girl – Both my assessments were up about 2% this year. I am “happy” with them both as I feel they are somewhat under-assessed.

#145 TRT on 01.06.16 at 1:07 am

Wealth is relative.

Congrats to the homeowners! They are way ahead of the people that don’t have real estate. Maybe so far ahead that renters have no hope in hell of catching up.

For those that say the wealth is tied up…then it is also tied up in portfolios of stocks and bonds you may never see in retirement.

And this wealth generated for some with ZERO down! Try growing a portfolio with ZERO down!

Homeowners in Vancouver are truly the Lotto winners of our generation.

#146 Mark Two on 01.06.16 at 1:48 am

I just got my 2015 property valuation from BC Assessment. The assessed value is down 15% from 2014. But I live near Alaska. No oil here. Just lots of bears.

#147 Leo Trollstoy on 01.06.16 at 2:00 am

#137 Mark on 01.05.16 at 11:56 pm

Thanks for proving my point that employability depends more on the individual than the diploma.

#148 Frank on 01.06.16 at 2:03 am

Can we cut Vancouver out of Canada because these idiots are the reason we can’t raise rates. Just take them behind the wood shed.

Yeah, the national economy is just ducky but the BoC is worried about recent Vancouver home owners. That’s totally what’s going on right now. When do you start as Finance Minister?

For instance, the fields of engineering related to telecommunications and IT have been severely out of favour since the dot-com bust.

Bullshit, software developers are a hot commodity.

#149 Freedom First on 01.06.16 at 2:48 am

#88 Toxic

Yes. Thanks for the backup. Even though I knew I was right.

#150 No Canada, No on 01.06.16 at 2:51 am

Just removed to San Francisco from the US East coast.
Canada seems so lame with its housing bubble.

#151 Freedom First on 01.06.16 at 3:09 am

#118 Freedom First

Deleted
………………………………..

Not me. #118 is an impostor.

#152 Widening Gyre on 01.06.16 at 3:28 am

Starting 53:20 a discussion on property assessments. Boomers are getting the benefits of the price hikes while programs protect them from property taxes.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2681494578

#153 Tony on 01.06.16 at 3:45 am

Re: #23 Karl hungus on 01.05.16 at 6:42 pm

Until you try to sell your house and find out you have to drop the price between 20 and 30 percent just to get a low-ball bid even lower than 30 percent.

#154 Sovereign YVR on 01.06.16 at 4:05 am

#8 BG, #9 Frank

What will cause YVR RE price drops are a broad sector job loss recession as has happened in the past many times and that ignores where you live in Canada.

DP/mortgage rate and property tax increases will hurt but NOT deter buyers in YVR until, maybe, 2017 – thus prices will keep increasing.

Job loss or fear of job loss in a recession will deter buyers and thus prices will fall…and if the past is correct, quickly and not slowly over years.

YVR (or 416 for that matter) are not sovereign nations that can change monetary and fiscal policy. When they can do that, then MAYBE they can be rendered harmless from a broad sector job loss recession.

Many GDP and Job Reports to come in Jan to Mar 2016.

Dec. 2015 GDP Reports (Sep./Oct. 2015 data): -0.5% and 0%
Dec. 2015 Labor Force Survey (Nov. 2015 data): -0.2%/36,000 jobs lost

Do not expect Nov. 2015 GDP report on Jan. 29/2016 to be rosy if job losses that month.

This Friday, the Dec. 2015 Job Report numbers come out.

#155 Apocalypse2016 on 01.06.16 at 7:23 am

North Korea tests an H-Bomb. Now they can send it on a missile anywhere. Why won’t they? They have nothing to lose.

Trump trumps Cruz by playing the Canadian identity guard, guaranteeing his victory. Fascism on the way, war soon after.

Migrant catastrophe unravelling in the middle east and Europe. Charlie Hebdo provokes terrorists with its anniversary edition this week. Clock ticking on more attacks, and bigger ones.

Russia? Don’t be fooled by what seems like silence for now. Ukraine will be blow up again very soon.

Truly massive job cuts in Canada in retail and manufacturing, even government coming soon, only days away. Calgary imploding. Families everywhere in financial stress, making the same household income they were back in 1975, while anger turns to the rich getting richer.

Major labour disruptions coming to a province or city near you. Ontario jail guards and city of Toronto workers on the edge, first strike votes coming this week.

RBC raising interest rates. The beginning of a crush that will destroy the house horny everywhere. Vancouver greater fools ready to revolt against property taxes and HAM.

Oregon uprising just as Obama infuriates the gun lobby suggests possible US civil war in some regions may be in the offing.

2016 is not even 6 days old. And these are supposed to be the quiet days, LOL.

How do you like it so far?

Get ready.

#156 Smoking Man on 01.06.16 at 8:05 am

#130 Nanaimo Bar on 01.05.16 at 11:39 pm
#105 Smoking Man

Thats because BOC is cutting in Jan.
Big report out at 8:30

Padding it before forced to drop.

Balance of trade, most important stat to BOC these days.

——————————————————————-

I agree. Don’t worry, I am loaded with USD since my last trade at 1.3350. And the BOC rate cut should not be priced in. It should be a good pop.
……………….

Welcome to the millionaire club. Woo Hoooo Look at it Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#157 Haris on 01.06.16 at 8:16 am

Vancouver detached houses increased in value by 24% while the loonie dropped in value by a fifth. There seems to be an inverse correlation between the two. And more circumstantial evidence that it is foreign buyers who are driving the Vancouver housing prices.

#158 pbrasseur on 01.06.16 at 8:27 am

As it is rather common I agree with the diagnostic about the Canadian economy (we’re heading towards a brick wall, while increasing speed) but not with the solutions proposed by the new liberal government.

For example I don’t agree that more government spending (money we don’t have) for the purpose of stimulus is the solution and I don’t believe that more government mingling with the economy with more subsidies to businesses it chooses is a smart policy.

What government should do is to STOP mingling with the economy, for example it should pull back encouraging debt and consumption through CMHC. As it happens current household debt levels are largely a result of massive government intervention in the mortgage market, this is dangerous and needs to stop.

If money is not encouraged to go to consumption it will go to saving and investment, a good thing. When that happens lowering taxes will work because freed up capital will at last go to investment and businesses, nor sterile consumption and debt building.

But of course the liberals won’t go there, instead they will likely try to sustain consumption (and debt building) and they will grow the size of government and its debt. My bet is on Trudeau making the situation worse, not better.

#159 Ferrari321 on 01.06.16 at 8:29 am

Bre-X bubble? …

#160 SWL1976 on 01.06.16 at 8:29 am

#134 Clearwater79

Decided i dont like the weather on Van Isl and prefer the kooteneys.

Any thoughts or recomendations?

I’ve been living on the Island for almost 20 years and love it here, but I have always kinda wanted to live in the kootenay’s as well myself. I prefer the west kootenay’s as there is more of an arts culture they have a huge outdoors sence. The east kootenay’s is a lot more redneck and will leave you wanting more. Unless you prefer redneck vibe? I would also consider Revelstoke although it’s not really considered the kootenay’s, but is a thriving little town with access to the TransCanada which can be bitter sweet at times

#161 Smoking Man on 01.06.16 at 8:58 am

See you later CAD

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/adp-employment-change

Huge ADP numbers. I’m calling fudging, but what the hell. It helps my bets Long USD CAD.

Pressure on the Fed to spike.
Pressure on BOC to cut.

It’s a wonderful day to be a Gamblin Man.

#162 saskatoon on 01.06.16 at 9:23 am

#131 Victoria Real Estate Update

# 111 Aggregator

“Nice to have you back posting here again. I enjoy reading your posts.”

he’s back: chewing bubblegum and kicking ass.

excellent.

#163 robert james on 01.06.16 at 9:24 am

RBC raises rates on new mortgages,, http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/mortgages-real-estate/royal-bank-of-canada-raises-rates-on-new-mortgages-starting-jan-8

#164 The Other Chris on 01.06.16 at 9:30 am

Mark, where are you seeing that “even minorly advertised computer/network engineering jobs are receiving 100+ applications.”

Where I work, we’re not seeing that at all. And if you shift the search from “IT” people to software developers, it’s very slim pickings out there for talent.

#165 SunShowers on 01.06.16 at 9:50 am

No MP (or citizen) should be told what to believe, especially on an issue of morals and faith. — Garth

——————————————————

So you’d be ok with an MP with anti-miscegenation or pro-Residential School views representing you? What if they tried to introduce a bill that supports their views?

You may think those examples extreme, but several decades ago those were viewed as moral issues (as opposed to human rights issues), and in another few decades, Canadians will distance themselves from their pro-life and anti-gay past with as much shame and disgust as they do from their racist past now.

Invalid comparison. — Garth

#166 chris on 01.06.16 at 10:06 am

RBC just announced it increased mortgage rates

#167 Insight on 01.06.16 at 10:15 am

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/toronto-housing-market-caps-record-year-as-prices-top-1-million/article28030325/

Will the end never come, longest cycle I have ever seen.

#168 TRT on 01.06.16 at 10:24 am

Loving the loonie drop. 1.41 now (70 cents)

With 2 more rate cuts to come, it will hit 1.50 (66.6 cents).

Then what happens if the Bank of Canada goes negative? Armegeddon? Bring in more refugees? Who knows.

Oh, Alberta is toast. Unless they can get HAM to invest in houses there.

#169 fancy_pants on 01.06.16 at 10:27 am

#127 acdel on 01.05.16 at 11:21 pm

lol. guess who won’t come out on top of that threesome? better abused than neglected? masochist at the helm?

#170 45north on 01.06.16 at 10:27 am

The province’s BC Assessment office has become one of the most aggressive real estate-pimping outfits in the country, valuing properties at the extreme leading edge of the market. No wonder. The more housing is worth the greater the potential property tax bill municipalities can collect. And yet, perversely, homeowners (and the sycophantic BC media) cheer every bump higher, since it makes people with big mortgages feel rich.

the key word being potential. In reality municipal councils do not increase revenue in accordance with property assessment. a poster “Flop” pointed this out. So as property values rise so do sales so everything is good but as values drop so do sales. In the case of dropping sales there are fewer comparable sales so the model doesn’t work as well.

Right now valuation date is July 1:
http://www.bcassessment.ca/Services-products/Understanding-the-assessment-process/Key-dates

so if sales drop off my idea is to postpone the valuation date to August 1 which would add to the number of sales. However the key dates are written in stone. Figuratively speaking but it would require an act of the BC Legislature to change the key dates.

The only benefit to postponing the valuation date would be an orderly real estate market. Assessments would better reflect actual values.

#171 TRT on 01.06.16 at 10:40 am

Alberta Oil trading at $19/barrel (WCS).

Any lower and Alberta is toast. Maybe even a 33% drop in housing prices.

#172 Why RE in 604 will drop on 01.06.16 at 10:42 am

The amount of buyers looking to upgrade from anything attached or condo is smaller because the equity in their dwellings has not increased at the same pace as the lucky ones who co-signed ownership that includes a speck of dirt.

Get it? The attached owning crowd has run up and away and out of reach for those poor sobs with a boat anchor townhouse or condo.

The time to sell in a strong market was last year. Canada is teetering on the brink of recession and China is slowly unraveling.

Sure, 604 and 416 are safe heavens for the few rich and maybe even famous from overseas but the investment in a house valued in Canadian Dollars is less and less attractive.

2016 is the year of awakening when the bids are lacking in a market where many try to convert equity into cash.

Broad price drops coming in 2017 and bottom in 2018 with average declines around the 50% mark just like in Europe during the Great Recession.

Don’t buy until 2018.

#173 WallOfWorry on 01.06.16 at 10:43 am

Garth….what would you say to this interview with Fischer from the Fed who admits that the stock market rally from 2009 was largely driven by the central banks injecting liquidity into the stock market to generate the wealth effect but now admits that the market may now be over-valued?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnIYZiWlaUY&feature=youtu.be

#174 Mark on 01.06.16 at 10:45 am

“Bullshit, software developers are a hot commodity.”

No, the only ‘bullshit’ is that you believe the propaganda put out by the industry which simply wants to lower its labour costs (for obvious reasons) and curry favour for additional guest workers. The amount of software talent even sitting on the sidelines is enormous. Firms that claim ‘shortages’ routinely receive hundreds of applicants for a handful of jobs.

When software developers can come out of school, have a 100% chance of getting hired, and earn as much as pill counters or police officers — then you statement might start to have some truth to it. But that is nowhere near the state of things and hasn’t been the case since the demise of the Nortel hiring binge in the early 2000s.

#175 TRT on 01.06.16 at 10:50 am

Any bets to see if the PPT (plunge protection team) riggs the market after lunch? Unless they prop it up, its going to be a bloodbath on the Shanghai/Shenzen markets tonite.

#176 Calgary Rip Off on 01.06.16 at 10:53 am

Garth your blog goes on and on about areas in Canada. The reality is that really nothing has changed in mass percentages for market value of a house in Calgary.

Houses are not what they were in 2005 in Calgary. Unless they are, the sky is not falling and things are not falling. Oil has gone down and due to the greed and the cost of obtaining oil there isnt profit and hence the nasty layoffs. Still, drive in Calgary on any day and it is still wall to wall traffic.

Unless housing drops by 30% and interest rates go up to 14%, Calgary is and remains a RIP OFF.

#177 Mark on 01.06.16 at 10:55 am

“A degree in Engineering or any degree is basically an admission ticket to a ride. “

That’s all fine and dandy, but the evidence, in Canada, per the OSPE study, is that there are 3X as many ‘tickets’ issued than there are seats on the proverbial ‘ride’. Hence, many people are excluded, not because they aren’t talented or have high EQ/IQ/whatever-Q, but rather, because their particular skillset, often specialized, isn’t in demand at the particular time and place that they happen to be.

This is indicative of a very weak economy and a lack of access to capital on competitive terms, that business has this rich and ample supply of engineers of many disciplines available to it, but fails to appropriately utilize the resource.

The OSPE study is here to read. It does indicate that things have changed dramatically in Canada’s engineering labour market particularly in the last 20 years:

http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ospe.on.ca/resource/resmgr/DOC_advocacy/2015_REPORT_Underemployment_.pdf

Supply has obviously outstripped demand by such a significant factor that you obviously have a lot of very bright and talented people involuntarily forced out of the sector on account of a glut.

#178 Daisy Mae on 01.06.16 at 10:57 am

#57: “I talked to someone over the holidays who works for a local property assessment appeals board – they said a lot of the complaints are from people who want there assessments to be HIGHER…”

********************

Feeling insulted by perceived low assessments? Those people don’t understand how the system works. LOL

#179 Mark on 01.06.16 at 10:59 am

“I don’t know why people think engineering is a sure thing. Engineers are the FIRST to go when a company / industry hits hard times. “

Unfortunately true these days. A disposable commodity because there’s so many engineers that replacing them when the economy (inevitably) enters an upturn is very easy.

But in the more distant past, engineers were retained at all costs, even if it involved temporarily sending them, as office workers, into the field, to do the dirty work of techs and tradespeople. Plenty of innovation actually occurred this way, as office engineers saw first hand the real-world problems that technicians/technologists/tradespeople encountered with their jobs, and, when things improved, took that knowledge back to their office roles.

#180 fancy_pants on 01.06.16 at 10:59 am

I recall the cons were pretty smug about how great Canada was fairing out of the G8 back after the ’08 financial crisis. How do those shoes fit now? all chickens come home to roost?

#181 waiting on the westcoast on 01.06.16 at 11:03 am

#157 Haris on 01.06.16 at 8:16 am “Vancouver detached houses increased in value by 24% while the loonie dropped in value by a fifth. There seems to be an inverse correlation between the two. And more circumstantial evidence that it is foreign buyers who are driving the Vancouver housing prices.”

Correlation is not causation…

Stats in Van show that it is driven by local buyers (although foreign money is definitely having an influence in a couple of neighborhoods like Point Grey, Dunbar and West Van).

#182 Daisy Mae on 01.06.16 at 11:05 am

“No MP (or citizen) should be told what to believe, especially on an issue of morals and faith. — Garth”

****************************

Amen to that.

#183 Yuus bin Haad on 01.06.16 at 11:05 am

#61 BS – the only correct answer (read up on “mill rate” folks – it’s universal). And, fire your local Council – they have a spending problem.

#184 For those about to flop... on 01.06.16 at 11:06 am

#144 Vampire Studies GMST 454 on 01.06.16 at 1:01 am
39 – FTATF – I appealed mine one year. I compared it to other similar properties in the ‘hood and thought it was high. Now the arguement put forth by BC assessment is they are trying to pinpoint what the market value is. I was just concerned it wasnt comparable to similar properties. Fortuneately I had recently re-mortgaged and had an appraisal. They accepted that but increased
the value a bit for the time lapse.
/////////////////////////////////////////
Thanks V.S.for the reply.
I guess with it going up so rapidly they are going to get you in the end.
I have lived in the same neighbourhood for over a decade and when the weather is better and we’re all out doing yard work or washing our cars real estate and property values come up all the time.Houses in this east Van area are normally sold in under 2 weeks which gets everyone’s attention.
Most neighbours have no intention of selling and are in for the long haul but most of the ones that did sell even though they were liveable ,they were simply bulldozed.
Has to be new constitution to get maximum pop.

I guess 6 or 7 years ago people seemed happy that the assessments were going up as the area seemed under appreciated but the tide has turned and now a lot of people seem to dread that white envelope.

As I alluded to the main change I have seen was that the flippers are no where to be seen anymore because the land value is to high and that leaves more targets for the developers to bulldoze and build new.

#185 Leo Trollstoy on 01.06.16 at 11:11 am

But it’s the E.Q. (emotional quotient) that really dictates
where one will go in their career.

One of the harsh but early lessons in career life I learned was to listen more and talk less. In basic street terms it means to just shut the %^&* up and listen to those elder and more experienced. Was a good lesson for me, and helped build some E.Q.

Excellent observation. And a very important lesson for everyone and especially those who are less experienced in the workforce. Unfortunately not many clue in to this. Then they wonder why they’re unemployable. The dating phrase, “It’s not you, it’s me” applies. These people are easy to spot. They know it all and blame always points outwards. Reality punishes the dumb. And the clueless. Thankfully.

#186 Chris on 01.06.16 at 11:18 am

“I just got my 2015 property valuation from BC Assessment. The assessed value is down 15% from 2014. But I live near Alaska. No oil here. Just lots of bears.”

Let the bears pay the bear tax….I pay the Homer tax. That’s home-owner tax dad…. (one of the funniest Simpson’s lines ever.)

#187 For those about to flop... on 01.06.16 at 11:20 am

Record car sales in the U.S last year.
One F-150 sold every minute ,source CNN
It might be smoke and mirrors down there but their mirror has less cracks in it than Canada’s.

M41BC

#188 Mark on 01.06.16 at 11:25 am

“The dating phrase, “It’s not you, it’s me” applies. These people are easy to spot. They know it all and blame always points outwards. Reality punishes the dumb. And the clueless. Thankfully.”

Yes, very apt words for yourself Troll. You have absolutely no idea what’s happening in the contemporary engineering labour market, yet you come here and claim to be an expert. The experts, at the OSPE, did a study and found that there was a large number of engineers excluded involuntarily from quality roles in the labour market, with a severe lag behind most other professions. Not because of a lack of talent, but simply, on account of opportunities being very limited. Lots of engineers have always been quirky, but that’s actually a personality trait that is desirable in the certain quarters of the sector. (I’ve even heard of engineers being denied jobs in the software sector because they were determined not to be geeky enough, or they judged to be ‘too smart’ to work at what otherwise has been a lower-wage dead-end job).

So why don’t you stop running your mouth off on things you have no understanding about (nor willingness to learn about)? Its bad enough you come here to spread mis-truths about Canada’s RE market (ie: your claims that the sales mix doesn’t exist). But to spread it about the engineering profession shows just the sort of person you are — completely out of touch with reality. Take note of your own posts, please!

#189 Julie K. on 01.06.16 at 11:36 am

“Single-family market movement in Whistler, Pemberton and the Sunshine Coast is less dramatic, with typical increases in the zero to 15%.”

*****

Ha! Now we know where we can go BC bargain house shopping!

Actually, the Sunshine Coast looks like a real steal…er…gem.

Quick search shows a SFH on a large lot, with ocean views, is under $400K. Equivalent home in North Van would be 3x’s that amount – West Van 6x’s!

Just imagine, the rest of your life on the sunny coast, perhaps beachcombing, with $$$ in the bank! And, as it exists today, Gibsons is only about 90 minutes to downtown Van (via BC Ferries).

With four (4) RFP’s recently issued for a fixed link between the big city and Sunshine Coast (so long BCF, been a real slice) — Gibsons is the next “it” town.

Further, if “deep pockets” Mr. Klaus Furniss gets his way (looking more and more like he will) with his proposed “The George” condo/hotel/wellness spa/convention development situated on the Town of Gibsons waterfront, he is floating idea of a direct, passenger only ferry ex downtown Gibsons dock (right below Molly’s Reach) through the pristine Paisley Islands, round the top of Bowen Island and direct into Canada Place. If nothing else, a most amazing commute (in contrast to sitting for hours on Hwy 1)!

Sure seems like Sunshine Coast might be the right “city” for many.

Peace.

#190 Bram on 01.06.16 at 11:41 am

#186 For those about to flop… on 01.06.16 at 11:20 am
One F-150 sold every minute ,source CNN

Ugh.. just what the atmosphere needs. A gazillion F150s being used for groceries and commuting.

Only in America, where 2300kg of steel is used to transport 80kg of cargo to/from McDonalds.

Elon, bring out an electric pickup truck quickly, please.

Bram

#191 For those about to flop... on 01.06.16 at 11:46 am

134 Clearwater79 on 01.05.16 at 11:48 pm
Just got my assesment for comox bc.
18% increase on lot value. Clearly bs.
Last 4 years have been 0 to 2%.

I’m listing the lot for sale tomorrow for assesed value and see if I get any offers.

Decided i dont like the weather on Van Isl and prefer the kooteneys.

Any thoughts or recomendations?

////////////////////////////////////////
A lot of people like Fernie or Kaslo but I know of
a hidden gem right on Slocan Lake called New Denver.
The lake is the perfect temperature in summer and the town has lots of character houses if your looking for a project.
I really like Nakusp as a place to retire as well,
Large enough to have supermarkets and restaurants but small enough to keep the charm.

#192 Ole Doberman on 01.06.16 at 11:47 am

Gartho oil continues to collapse through support again. While RBC raising rates?! It’s all turning into:

TURNER’S REVENGE

#193 Yaley on 01.06.16 at 12:08 pm

This blog loves graphs. Here’s one to ponder for active listings in greater Vancouver.

http://www.yattermatters.com/2016/01/vancouvers-record-high-prices-record-low-inventory/

#194 Millmech on 01.06.16 at 12:14 pm

Tick,tick,tick reminds me of a timer on a (debt) bomb, mortgage rates on the way to normalizing.Yup the albertans are coming to BC and since they’re starting over they will be willing to work for less than what we get.Expect downward wage pressure,upward debt pressure and being squeezed in between.

#195 Joe2.0 on 01.06.16 at 12:15 pm

Am in Mex at a 5 star.
Lots if wealthy canadians.
One client being the over see’er of mortgages in Vancouver.
As usual the housing market conditions entered the poolside conversation.
His reply was that major banks have it set up so that foriegners need to put a certain percentage down and there’s no due diligence as to the source if their income.
He said “his words” it’s been set up to very easiely launder money.
That’s what’s going on in Vancouver Toronto and other desirable areas.
He said its ridiculous because he can’t even afford a detached.

#196 crossbordershopper on 01.06.16 at 12:23 pm

another day, the dollar goes down below 71, on its way to 62.5, once at that level, you really have to evaluate your life. marginally taxed at 53% or go south and get paid in real dollars.
once 10% or 20% of the 265000 1% people get the wave, it will truely kill our country and society. Canada will be a place of old, poor, immigrant, welfare, sick bumbs. and yes the 50% surf’s who keep the wheel spinning because they dont know anything else but to drive on the 401 to work and then back every day of their irrelevant life.

#197 Yaley on 01.06.16 at 12:26 pm

Typically calling for a correction in Vancouver real estate, the author sees 2016 shaping up this way:

http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/barbara+yaffe+2016+will+another+strong+year+real/11632359/story.html?__lsa=e2a6-331b

#198 Dups on 01.06.16 at 12:29 pm

Our Canadian rupee is getting hit again against the US dollar… oh my.
I think I am tired of the current prime minister being such a child. He always has a smile on his face. What a joker.

#199 Leo Trollstoy on 01.06.16 at 12:31 pm

#187 Mark on 01.06.16 at 11:25 am

Thanks for proving my point that unemployables blame out and employability depends more on the individual than the diploma.

#200 RBC raising rates Friday on 01.06.16 at 12:36 pm

5 year fixed to 3.04% ouch!

#201 Lillooet, BC on 01.06.16 at 12:50 pm

Calling Alibaba bubble might be a bit too early.
I purchased a few hundred shares when it was below $60.
Alibaba will be the world No 1 retailer in a few years.

#202 gladiator on 01.06.16 at 12:52 pm

@191 Dups:

That was rude to the rupee.

#203 gladiator on 01.06.16 at 12:53 pm

post numbers changed, so I replied to @ 194 Dups

#204 gladiator on 01.06.16 at 12:53 pm

Damn it! it’s post 197 now!

#205 TK on 01.06.16 at 12:55 pm

Accidentally BC’s Real estate gained roughly same percentage what loonie lost (vs USD). That would suggest that gains in prices are driven by foreign buyers beside local histeria.

#206 Lorne on 01.06.16 at 1:02 pm

#128 portfolio tax on 01.05.16 at 11:22 pm
There are no taxes on portfolio capital gains which remain uncrystallized. — Garth

RRSP, TFSA account excluded.

As predicted here. More to come. — portfolio tax

…….
Unlikely to happen as there would then have to be a yearly Capital loss statement as well as not all portfolios make money every year. Do you see how complicated this would be? What would you actually pay tax on when you eventually sold….the difference between the last year’s price…or the total difference between bought and sold price, as is the case now? Just not going to happen!

#207 brett on 01.06.16 at 1:09 pm

We cancelled our Calgary Herald subscription a few years ago. Frankly there was not much in it other than newswire and postmedia articles that we could read on the web. There was just too useless paper and adverts much to cart to the re-cycle.

So we switched to buy it on Saturdays only. We stopped that for the same reason. And because of their ridiculous Home and Condo sections that took up much of the bulk of the paper. They were/are (in our opinions) nothing but adverts disguised as new articles wailing on about the joys of home/condo ownership.

All the while oil prices and home prices were falling. We did not see one article cautioning people not to buy while the economy was moving in reverse. Worse, some of their articles were nothing more that a slight rewrite of CREB ‘the world is good and real estate is better’ press releases. IMHO, this was, and is, a huge dis -service to Calgarians.

#208 Mortgage rates up Friday on 01.06.16 at 1:12 pm

Rate hike coming on Friday from TD and RBC, variable up 15 bps and fixed. All lenders will follow.

Glory days are over folks.

#209 A Canadian Abroad on 01.06.16 at 1:36 pm

#188 Julie K. “Sure seems like Sunshine Coast might be the right “city” for many.”

Have in-laws that live there. Keep in mind, it’s backwater stuff, no roads lead in or out of the Sunshine Coast and you depend on BC Ferries (weather, rates and schedules) to get you out of there (say… a flight from Vancouver, Vic or Comox).

Mind-numbing boredom as there isn’t much to do there at all, it’s either newly-wed or nearly-dead.

We don’t visit often due to that.

The weather is ok but COLD, snow yesterday.

Nice play to semi-visit, but…Have fun with that.

#210 young & foolish on 01.06.16 at 1:57 pm

Millennial Deep Thinking:

Please, someone tell me why I can’t have it all, NOW!

#211 young & foolish on 01.06.16 at 1:59 pm

My Grandpappy’s RE Proclamation:

“I’ve never owned a building that didn’t pay me to own it.”

#212 pwn3d on 01.06.16 at 2:00 pm

Check out the 5 year yield:
0.675 -0.036 -5.06%

It’s funny that people are saying rates are going up and it’s the beginning of the end of the market. It’s a slow period, give it a month or two, if rates stay like this they will drop for the spring market when banks are looking for new customers.

Not to mention variable which look to be cut again this month. Another record breaking spring is on the way.

Btw I find it odd that doomers are hoping for housing to crash. Why? I don’t hope that stocks crash, even though I have more RE than stocks. I don’t hope that wealthy oil workers lose their jobs or homes. Some of you people really need to evaluate your perspectives on things. One of the earliest things I taught my kids was that you never worry about what other people have, you work hard and make your own success. It looks like some people never got that lesson.

#213 hope & ruin on 01.06.16 at 2:06 pm

#187 Mark on 01.06.16 at 11:25 am
The experts, at the OSPE, did a study and found that there was a large number of engineers excluded involuntarily from quality roles in the labour market, with a severe lag behind most other professions. Not because of a lack of talent, but simply, on account of opportunities being very limited.
____________________________________

Mark and that ospe study. I bet you keep a copy bedside.

Do you remember all the weed out courses in university? The ones where the professor marked extra hard, barely spoke english and the exam looked like something off the desks of NASA?

Well the job hunt is the final weed-out course in the program. Looks like it worked this time.

Engineering is about problem solving. So, the problem is you can’t find a job and get experience. What’s the solution?

If 50% of engineering grads can’t solve this problem, maybe they aren’t good problem solvers? sometimes you have to get creative.

I would love to tell Mark the story of how I got my first “engineering” job, which was anything but. Only a few years ago too. Took some creativity. But I would rather not risk it in case I had to work with him one day.

#214 Arb Watson on 01.06.16 at 2:14 pm

Looks like cold weather has frozen the markets.

#215 bdy sktrn on 01.06.16 at 2:19 pm

meanwhile an Australian co is starting a new luxury product – a downtown van to vic foot ferry.

$160 return , sightseeing included. for rich tourists and the like.

local boaters know its a long trip by water – 3hrs each way for their fast(ish) vessel

this has been tried before, more than once, all folded.

it may fly this time. just a hundred and change in usd and more tourists than ever.

#216 WUL on 01.06.16 at 2:25 pm

My Cowtown ‘hood had its median assessed value decline 2.81% and the property tax for 2016 (if revenue neutral to Nenshi’s blue playpen) will increase 2.28%. A comparable home listed on my street for less than median assessment is languishing. In fact all listings are languishing on the market. I think a prompt sale would require about a $90 reduction in price.

I agree with the attraction of Kootenay towns. While I have never lived there, I have travelled extensively through the region. My wife will tell you that I fell in love with every town and announced at each one that I wanted to live there. In particular when we descended into Kaslo from the north after a vacation in the Slocan. Revelstoke is a pretty place but I think snow removal would be a bitch. A few years back, BC Hydro issued a warning to restrain kids from playing on the snowbanks because they were reaching the hydro wires. Friends in Calgary with vacation properties in Fernie (another dandy town) were paying $600 to $700 per month for snow removal. Both towns are an outdoorsman’s paradise.

#217 JimH on 01.06.16 at 2:28 pm

#209 young & foolish on 01.06.16 at 1:59 pm
“My Grandpappy’s RE Proclamation:
“I’ve never owned a building that didn’t pay me to own it.””
===================================
Actually, what he meant was, ““I’ve never owned a building that didn’t pay me to SELL it.”???

#218 JimH on 01.06.16 at 2:38 pm

#200 Lillooet, BC on 01.06.16 at 12:50 pm
“Calling Alibaba bubble might be a bit too early. I purchased a few hundred shares when it was below $60. Alibaba will be the world No 1 retailer in a few years.”
===================================
Sorry that you didn’t dump it when it topped $85…???

You’re going to get another chance to jump in at $60!

#219 bdy sktrn on 01.06.16 at 2:51 pm

assume the crash position. dow puking.

#220 S.Bby on 01.06.16 at 3:06 pm

This won’t fly:
http://www.news1130.com/2016/01/06/vancouver-calls-for-two-new-taxes-to-tether-soaring-house-prices/

But this will:
http://www.news1130.com/2016/01/06/rich-home-owners-making-more-money-through-tax-loophole/
This article states that the tax deferral program can be used by more than just seniors which is news to me.

#221 Not tonight honey on 01.06.16 at 3:11 pm

#214 WUL on 01.06.16 at 2:25 pm
My Cowtown ‘hood had its median assessed value decline 2.81% and the property tax for 2016 (if revenue neutral to Nenshi’s blue playpen) will increase 2.28%. A comparable home listed on my street for less than median assessment is languishing. In fact all listings are languishing on the market. I think a prompt sale would require about a $90 reduction in price.

=================================

Hi WUL,
Wondering how I find out where my calgary hood lands; may I ask how you accessed the assessment by neighbourhood info?

Cheers!
NTH

#222 Ole Doberman on 01.06.16 at 3:24 pm

Stock markets should be rolling forward with these low oil prices, savings all around right??

But why are they not – Gartho can you address this?

Atleast Calgary assessments are reflecting more honestly – guess you can’t cheat the people when oil is collapsed like this in a petro town, eh.

#223 S.Bby on 01.06.16 at 3:25 pm

Loonie tanking.
Stock markets dropping.
Oil tanking.
Yuan devalued again.
Gold up.
H-bomb test (maybe).
Van/Tor real estate the next victim?

#224 nubbers on 01.06.16 at 3:26 pm

I like the picture. I always wondered what snorfling looked like.

#225 S.Bby on 01.06.16 at 3:28 pm

This could be a big nail in the real estate coffin:

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/16/why-chinas-yuan-may-be-set-for-15-devaluation.html

China is mulling a 15-20 percent devaluation of its currency by the end of 2016 in a move that could spark a crisis in Asian markets, according to research firm IDEAglobal.

#226 WUL on 01.06.16 at 3:30 pm

Well that was interesting. It is a modern world. Just finished a video interview on the iPad for a contract with an oil sands outfit.

The interview was not with a person. In essence you are making a video in response to a handful of questions. I should get the position based on looks alone.

Yesterday I got some advice on acing a video interview from the University of Google and opted to wear my Harley Davidson T shirt and make my video from a beer parlour.

After all, I am in Fort McMurray.

#227 Bram on 01.06.16 at 3:31 pm

The stock market proverb “In May, go away” would have served you well on this year’s TSX.

https://www.google.com/finance?q=INDEXTSI%3AOSPTX&ei=CHmNVsGLEci1iQK4wL-QCQ

#228 WUL on 01.06.16 at 3:40 pm

#219 Not tonight honey on 01.06.16 at 3:11 pm

I accessed the Calgary property assessment info on the interactive map on the digital version of the Calgary Herald.

WUL

#229 good fight in Surrey on 01.06.16 at 3:44 pm

Mr. Turner you put up a good fight but the force is stronger in this one…
http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rds/reb/5377785367.html
NO DOWNPAYMENT – NO PROBLEM (BUY TODAY)
If you DO NOT HAVE RRSP’s you can get an RRSP loan and then buy a Home.
There are a few minor rules, but nothing that most people can’t live with.

Until these crooks are out of business the bubble will continue!!!

#230 WUL on 01.06.16 at 3:47 pm

#219 By all means tonight honey on 01.06.16 at 3:11 pm

Sorry. I could have included the link.

Herewith:

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/whats-the-value-of-homes-in-your-neighbourhood

#231 IKnow on 01.06.16 at 3:50 pm

#176 Mark on 01.06.16 at 10:55 am
“A degree in Engineering or any degree is basically an admission ticket to a ride. “

That’s all fine and dandy, but the evidence, in Canada, per the OSPE study, is that there are 3X as many ‘tickets’ issued than there are seats on the proverbial ‘ride’. Hence, many people are excluded, not because they aren’t talented or have high EQ/IQ/whatever-Q, but rather, because their particular skillset, often specialized, isn’t in demand at the particular time and place that they happen to be.

This is indicative of a very weak economy and a lack of access to capital on competitive terms, that business has this rich and ample supply of engineers of many disciplines available to it, but fails to appropriately utilize the resource.

The OSPE study is here to read. It does indicate that things have changed dramatically in Canada’s engineering labour market particularly in the last 20 years:

http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ospe.on.ca/resource/resmgr/DOC_advocacy/2015_REPORT_Underemployment_.pdf

Supply has obviously outstripped demand by such a significant factor that you obviously have a lot of very bright and talented people involuntarily forced out of the sector on account of a glut.

——————————————————

Agreed with you Mark.

There’s a conspiracy about over producing engineers to keep labor cost down and profit high for engineering firms.

Medical doctors in contrast are protected by their association to keep supply = demand.

#232 Bobs ur uncle on 01.06.16 at 3:50 pm

134 Clearwater79

And all others talking kootenays – the one question I have is do you like snow? Cause you’re a bit isolated in the kootenays in the winter time. Driving winding badly plowed roads isn’t a recipe for a good time. Look up the highway avalanche closures around Revelstoke for example. If you’re cool with skiing/sledding close to home all winter, you’re set (at least until climate change screws it for everyone), but if you are picturing regular drives or even flights to the big city year-round, not ideal. I think Fernie would be the compromise, as you can get to Calgary fairly easily year-round.

Also, FYI, Revelstoke is a total sausage party, so don’t go there as a single hetero male. Slim pickings. Tho if you’re a single lady looking for your pick of sled-heads and snowboarders – you’re set…

#233 Iconoclast on 01.06.16 at 3:52 pm

With the release of the Fed minutes, the focus is on the internal uncertainty.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-06/fed-mouthpiece-reads-liftoff-tea-leaves
(Zerohedge pointer to the WSJ article behind paywall)

Is this the beginning of a walkback from the rate hike?

#234 Dollar Freefall on 01.06.16 at 3:57 pm

USD now 1.41 CAD. In three weeks, it will go to 1.45 CAD. By April it will be 1.50 and sinking. Don’t sell your USDs then, it will go up further once the magnitude of our recession becomes apparent. Another rate cut here, one or two more raises in the US, talk of QE here, and the CAD should go all the way to 1.66 if not higher. Hold on to your USDs in 2016, and you will be happy come 2016 to have done so!

#235 Smoking Man on 01.06.16 at 4:12 pm

#117 TurnerNation on 01.05.16 at 10:52 pm
Smoking man I didn’t see you at Duke devon tonight. Lots of know it alls at the bar (home owners).
…………..
Duke is a shrine for pretenders. Bottom Line is were the brains hang out.

Going downtown on Thur night, A few Pops with my old tax farm traders. Location not disclosed.

Working on a good post tonight. Brilliant Professer gets the boot. Discausting.

#236 jess on 01.06.16 at 4:13 pm

puerto rico

The ironic pillage of tax haven Puerto Rico by offshore hedge funds
January 6, 2016 0 0 Capital Flight, Corruption, Tax Havens & Financial Crisis, Finance Curse, Enablers and intermediaries, Secrecy, Blog

“Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory in the northern Caribbean which, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, is

“a territory appurtenant and belonging to the United States, but not a part of the United States within the revenue clauses of the Constitution.”

=====================================
How Hedge Funds Deepen Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis

Vulture investors have descended on the commonwealth, taking advantage of a debt crisis that has impoverished citizens and created massive unemployment.
David Dayen

http://prospect.org/article/how-hedge-funds-are-pillaging-puerto-rico

======================================
http://www.taxjustice.net/2016/01/06/ironic-pillage-tax-haven-puerto-rico-offshore-hedge-funds/

“This reminds us of a section from Treasure Islands, revealing how long-established this kind of corrupt practice is:

“Economist Michael Hudson described how he was hired in 1989 by a Boston money management firm to organise a sovereign debt fund investing in the government bonds of developing nations. Huge risk premiums then meant that Argentine and Brazilian dollar bonds were yielding almost 45 percent, while Mexican bonds were yielding 25 percent. In its first year the fund, incorporated in the Netherlands Antilles [then a prominent U.S. corporate tax haven], became the world’s second best performing of its kind. Hudson found out what was happening. “The biggest investors were political insiders who had bought into the fund knowing that their central banks would pay their dollar debts despite the high risk premiums,” he said. Some of the biggest investors were people in top positions in central banks and governments. “We realised who has all the Yankee dollar claims on Latin America,” he said. “It was local oligarchies with offshore accounts. The dollar debt of Argentina in the early 1990s was owed mainly to Argentinians operating out of offshore banking centres. The major beneficiaries of foreign debt service were their own flight capitalists, not bondholders in North America and Europe.

#237 Russ on 01.06.16 at 4:16 pm

I guess it’s no surprise that so many people do not understand the BC assessment role and impact to their own situation.

A few years ago I got a large assessment jump, ~30%, due in part to one of these “area reviews”. I phoned the local assessment office, filled out a form and had the total reduced to the normal +2%.
The next year my land portion assessment had a 7% increase whereas the neighbour’s increase was 2%. Another phone call from me and another reduction for me. One more year, same thing.
Subsequent years my reduction continues and my neighbor gets an increase.

I can only assume they are happy about it.

It’s all visible on the city’s website, zoom in for the property report function:
http://maps.nanaimo.ca/nanaimomap/

BTW, the B.C. tax option for seniors is not much different in principle than an RRSP. Tax deferral. It simply becomes a line item on the city ledger and is clear upon death.

It’s too bad other provinces do not treat their boomers this fairly.

#238 salonist on 01.06.16 at 4:22 pm

toystool

“Reality punishes the dumb. And the clueless”

#239 Bram on 01.06.16 at 4:37 pm

#227 good fight in Surrey on 01.06.16 at 3:44 pm
NO DOWNPAYMENT – NO PROBLEM (BUY TODAY)

Ugh, that ad is pretty bad, yes.
Also, using RSP to buy a house is not nearly as attractive as the government makes it out to be.
You have to pay it back, pretty quickly too.
So counting on that money to help you buy is silly.

Bram

#240 doing victoria on 01.06.16 at 4:39 pm

i live in a townhouse coop in victoria. assessment for the entire complex went up from 6.6 mil to over 7 mil this year. but get this, the housing value, that is deteriorating by the day since it is old and getting older, went up a mil, but the land went down 700K. make sense? do not trust bc assessment, they are a crown corp and feed off the numbers they would like to see. remember only this… that house you own, is only worth what a greater fool will pay for it.

#241 Nerf Herder on 01.06.16 at 4:42 pm

All this Kootenay talk is making me giggle… There are no good paying jobs there. Trust me, as I left for this reason.

Mill closures in Invermere. Mine closures in Fernie. At least the West Kootenay has millions in (currently) unregulated pot growing.

They also have overly inflated property prices in correlation to the wages/income of the region. It’s only a good option if you are cashing out of YVR, and want to retire in a small town.

So now you know.

#242 Ole Doberman on 01.06.16 at 4:51 pm

I think we’re on the cusp of another 2008 – oil price collapse, now housing assessments going down – next will be liquidity. Same thing all over again thanks to the NWO:

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/stock-markets-all-over-the-world-crash-as-we-begin-2016

#243 Aggregator on 01.06.16 at 5:00 pm

#192 Yaley

What that chart is showing is more homeowners hoarding their homes with expectations of rising prices. This is all part of a bubble mania, where supply is hoarded and prices rise to extreme levels until nobody can afford them, like in Hong Kong now with sales crashing 30% yy in December, or during the Dutch Tulip Bulb mania.

Look at the qualitative perceptions: Within the last few months CMHC said Vancouver is not overvalued while De Jong just raised the homeowner grant to $1.2 million. This is the type of asymmetric idiocy you see before a bubble deflates. They're terrified (especially when they know there's fraud involved). So they have to lie and intervene to maintain public confidence. That's how serious it is.

What the govt doesn't realize is that by intervening — they're telling speculators that they stand ready to prevent falling prices, thus, speculators react by bidding up prices even higher since they think they can't lose. That's why you get parabolic price rises that look like this. It's a catch-22 that eventually leads to an untenable situation.

Van is now in the stage of euphoria, where the numbers take over and overconfidence (Van Sun poster) goes unabated until prices get so high that nobody can afford them. At that moment is when everyone tries to sell, only to realize there's no bidders.

Getting into Canada's housing market is as wide as the Trans-Canada Highway. Getting out will be as narrow as a moose trail.

#244 old gringo on 01.06.16 at 5:34 pm

I sure feel better knowing what happens in Asia does not affect Canada or its markets as mentioned by several bloggers on this site.
The CDN pain is just starting and within a year should be starting to see some values appearing, till then “ouch”.

#245 Smartalox on 01.06.16 at 5:57 pm

Further to my post about deferred property taxes in BC:

It looks like some ‘seniors’ (55+) are gaming the system – deferring their property taxes at 0.85% interest and investing those sums for 5% and 6% (net) gains.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/property-tax-deferral-michael-geller-1.3391775

Garth, I thought that this guy’s strategy would make you proud!

#246 conan on 01.06.16 at 5:57 pm

They call him Ele-nova.
Famed swordsman of Africa.
Women melt in his presence.

#247 Bobs ur uncle on 01.06.16 at 6:18 pm

239 Nerf Herder

Pretty much agree on all points – tho it seems the discussion was mainly retirement not trying to move and find a job – which is definitely not for the faint of heart or for those looking to strike it rich.

#248 Ronaldo on 01.06.16 at 7:22 pm

#171 Why RE in 604 will drop on 01.06.16 at 10:42 am

I believe you are correct in what you’ve just stated. I also believe that there are many who did buy a property with dirt which would be considered a teardown, are trapped because the are unable to afford the cost of reno-ing or rebuilding and are strapped to the gills with a very large mortgage. I know of some in that situation. They have stated that they cannot sell because they cannot afford to repurchase something suitable. I believe we are at the top of the roller coaster.

#249 Walter Safety on 01.06.16 at 8:13 pm

# 66 Big Dipper , What is your fascination with death about?
Oh ,I get it , no people no problem.

#250 Enthalpy on 01.07.16 at 12:17 am

good salary and full pension industrial engineer, eh?

hes extremely rare and lucky. quite the turn around in 6 yrs from when his misfortunes began. … …

#251 learningfromyou on 01.07.16 at 8:38 am

When gas price goes up, the retail stores increase their prices because they claim that production and transportation of the goods are more expensive.

When gas price goes down, they just keep the current prices without changes, if you ask them they could answer that the contracts made for transportation were made when the gas price went up, so the consumer has to live with it.

Yesterday the gas price close to home was 101.9 cents. Oil price when down and today the gas price is 111.9

These folks at the gas station increase their prices regardless of the Oil price in the market.

The government is a bad regulator because they drink from the same cooler, more price, more taxes for them.

Just another example why I never found a government truly and fully representing their people, but they ask the people to help them get elected, after that you can even get pepper sprayed if you complain to loud.

#252 Chris Severn on 01.07.16 at 12:24 pm

Predictions for next year:

1. Stocks continue to fall with some modest gains. Look for a decrease in Canadian Chartered Bank stocks as a result of losses in credit cards and mortgages. Also, due to the “greater idiot” theory and the fact that about 80% of the people who invest in the stock market are lemmings, look for people to start selling perfectly good stocks representing solid, well managed companies, for below market value, because they see the market sliding.

Advice is, as always, with regard to the stock market: Buy companies that you like. Have at least ten reasons why you like the company, and be able to argue them with someone giving you resistance. Buy these companies during stock market slumps, when people who own their stock are selling the stock in a panic, as the market slides, even though they have no idea what the company does, have not read or researched its financials, do not understand what it sells or buys or whether or not it is profitable, and couldn’t tell you a single thing about the company if their lives depended on it. Once you have your chosen company at a good price, hold onto it forever.

Real Estate and the Dollar: Will move inversely to each other. If real estate prices go up, the dollar will go down, and vice versa. Here’s why: Real estate prices depend on low interest rates. Raise the rates, and you decimate the market. The dollar’s value depends on high interest rates. Keep rates low when everyone else is raising their rates, and people will move capital out of your country.

Ontario: is going to become a “have not” Province. We have a 300 billion dollar debt. We add about 10 billion a year to this. If we wanted to pay this back, we would have to run a billion dollar surplus, each year, for three hundred years. Ontario never runs budget surpluses. Our Provincial government cannot pay its bills and likely will never be able to. Expect a Federal bailout at some point and some very tight restrictions on spending thereafter, along with the end of the phenomena in Ontario where Government jobs are the best jobs and the private sector is risky part time temporary work (this is done with borrowed money, not actual taxes collected from the decimated, hobbled Ontario Private sector).

Suggestions: Buy stocks. They are going to be cheap for a while.

#253 Still in Vancouver on 01.07.16 at 2:22 pm

And while confidence is lost in the Chinese stock market, millions more to head to Canadian real estate as a safer asset, and the BC Government is working the pom-poms hard. The party continues to infinity in the Vancouver RE market! There’s just too much money in this world chasing down too few homes in YVR.. no end in sight, ever.