The envelope, please

Why would I be wearing my dress camos, formal squirrel hat and $3,200 alligator Luccheses?

Well, that’s simple. It’s Awards Friday here at The Greater Fool – a wildly irregular event where we celebrate those things that make you wanna genuflect, drool slightly and mutter ‘I am not worthy’. There are several categories, of course. Today we present the coveted Squirrlie in three.

For Media Manipulation and Yellow Fever

So, do you remember that helicopter full of “Chinese realtors” who buzzed hapless, sleepy little prissy While Rock BC earlier this week (where they actually paint their stupid rock)? Sure you do. It was a weird trip, what with cameras and reporters from CTV, CBC and Global on board, along with some ethic media scribes, as ‘Air Realtor’ swooped and dived while the Chinese swooned and awed.

The six o’clock news was breathless. Global declared flat out that the Chinese think of the Lower Mainland with its million-dollar shacks just like Canadians consider Phoenix with its 50-80% housing price collapse. “Cheap.” And CTV actually drove a sat truck out to the edge of the ocean so a poor wind-shipped reporter could stand there and say, “It seems the real estate secret is out, and it’s now gone half way around the world…”

The story line: Mainland Chinese real estate gobblers have turned their voracious mandibles on the little community, and soon there’ll be nothing left for the regular people who must be content with seven-figure cheques for their white trash hovels. Or something like that. Judging by the comments on this disgusting blog, it was all enough to prove BC real estate is being swallowed whole by the yellow peril.

So, the Rodent goes to The Key Marketing Group of Vancouver for managing to piss off the locals, pump up an urban myth, take real estate marketing to a new height and, in 2:12 of air time foment a xenophobic rebellion.

Too bad it was a ruse. The “Chinese realtors” that Key promoted to the media and on its web site were actually local Vancouver real estate agents and brokers. The two featured in Global’s report – Lu Wei and Chris Chan – work and live in Burnaby and downtown Vancouver, for Regent Park and Coldwell Banker. And the helicopter ride was not about showing Mainland Chinese investors other parts of the Lower Mainland to consume, but rather just to flog a single new 17-storey condo in White Rock which Key Marketing was hired to promote for presales.

Yeah, just a stunt to sell another concrete building full of 652-square-foot boxes starting at $400K. But in its wake, racial divide, swelling anti-Chinese resentment, brewing social unrest and incontrovertible proof our media can be bought with a box lunch and a thumpa-thumpa ride.

For Defence in the Pursuit of Mammon

Was it only a week ago that Capital Economics issued a credible report forecasting a potential 25% decline in Canadian real estate values? Goes to show you how fast a big bank can squeeze into its tights and dash onto the field.

As you may recall, that report looked at the debt loads Canadians are carrying at record low interest rates and ran a few numbers. They were ugly. The conclusion: “We predict that nominal house prices are likely to decline by a cumulative 25% over the next few years, in the same ball park as the recorded declines in the US and other countries. Growth in future personal disposable income per worker will not close the large gap between house prices and income within any reasonable length of time.”

Exactly. We already know how this one will end. But at RBC, that’s not the story line. So, they changed it.

This week the Royal issued a report pooh-poohing the effects of higher mortgage rates (the Royal raised the cost of a five-year home loan on Tuesday) claiming that the real estate market will be “stable” for the next two years. Actually, better than stable. House prices will rise 0.5% in 2011 and 1.3% in 2012. No, not 1.4% – 1.3% precisely.

Here’s how RBC economist Robert Hogue explained it: because real GDP will increase from 2.9% in 2010 to 3.2% in 2011. And that blistering pace will be enough to offset higher mortgage rates – which the bank estimates will jump a full 2.5% by the end of next year. That would take five-year money to something over 7%, and almost double payments for renewing VRM borrowers.

“The net effect of these forces is expected to be close to nil, thereby leaving resale activity largely flat.” Well, on his planet, anyway. The fact is, real estate’s moved by consumer sentiment. The combination of rising rates, shorter mortgages, massive debt, price inflation, decrepit Boomers and a range-bound economy promise something entirely different will happen.

But Robert Hogue is now out there on the record, Goggleable forever. A martyr to the cause. May he enjoy his Squirrlie and his 40 RBC in-branch mortgage specialist virgins.

For excess (my fav)

I told you about the blog dog whose idiot sister bought a house in Cape Coral, Florida a few years ago for $305,000 – its highest price point ever (like Toronto and Vancouver now) – only to see it collapse to $99,000. She bailed, broken, after four years of wasted payments, only to go to Vancouver and buy once more – at the top.

I thought you might like to see the house – quarter acre, indoor pool, upscale street:

And here is the price of that home over the last 10 years.

Real estate always goes up, right? They’re not making any more of it, after all, especially in a place with a nice climate and distant ocean views. Hey, do the damn Chinese know about this?

The Squirrlie is given with respect. Since there, but for the grace of Buddha, go we.

241 comments ↓

#1 Sid on 02.10.11 at 11:49 pm

Bravo, by far the most hilarious post ever!

#2 Soylent Green is People on 02.10.11 at 11:50 pm

I adore pic of the squirrel, he looks great on the moon. You can always count on a nice animal pic to bring the anti Harper boiling blood down a notch or two.

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Corporate Welfare Bums are fighting back, and they go the money to do it

Now almost 40 years later, people are starting to take notice. When Stephen Harper called Canada ‘a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term’, he left out the word ‘corporate’. Intentionally, no doubt, since he was then heading up the corporate funded National Citizens Coalition.

The social welfare state was good for Canadians, and while the corporate welfare bums are suggesting it was that, that caused so much deficit and debt, the fact is, it was them.

And now that the corporate welfare bums have a leader in Stephen Harper, we see that they have created a record deficit and debt, which is being blamed on ‘the economy’.

But the mess the economy is in, was because of gambles taken by the corporate welfare bums.

http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2011/02/corporate-welfare-state-vs-social.html

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#3 Medic on 02.10.11 at 11:51 pm

They say you can never catch precisely the high or the low of a cycle, but that lady in Cape Coral certainly did, unfortunately for her. I wonder if the seller pocketed the cash or just upsized.

#4 Ayn Rand on 02.10.11 at 11:52 pm

I too did not think there were Coldwall Banker RE agencies in China – could tell they were local. Great investigation and letting us know.

I pass on your words of wisdom to many folks, even pass along your books.

Keep up the public service.

#5 604genX on 02.10.11 at 11:57 pm

Greater Vancouver Area will crack 12,000 listings on Friday. We started the year with 9,435. That’s a 27% increase in less than 6 weeks. We’re on track for the highest listings and lowest sales in 10 years (except for 2008). A double-whammy. F and his CMHC tinkering be damned.

There is a whiff of fear in the air…..those poor real estate agents will now say anything to revive this thing and pull it out of the nosedive. Apparently RBC, TD and other Big Banks are terrified too.

Let’s get this party started.

#6 Reality on 02.10.11 at 11:57 pm

If i had a dollar every time someone told me i was wrong i could buy my way to the the top of this blog comment. Am I wrong?

#7 Reality on 02.10.11 at 11:59 pm

YES!!! LMAO renting!

#8 Signpost in the bushes on 02.11.11 at 12:05 am

…”If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken,
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.”…
Kipling

#9 Another Albertan on 02.11.11 at 12:06 am

Pure gold, Garth. Pure gold.

Everyone else’s mileage may vary.

#10 kc on 02.11.11 at 12:06 am

Amazing what you discover when the surface is scratched. Gotta love publicity stunts to promote condos. Nice digging Garth.

I must have heard the radio wrong about the “olympic condos” as someone stated last posts, 30% off… not 50%. However, I bet that if you hold off buying for a few more months that 50% off will become true.

#11 McSteve on 02.11.11 at 12:08 am

Even before it was a discovered as a hoax, the story made me laugh. A handful of “Asian Real Estate professionals” taking a ride in a helicopter hardly marks a watershed moment in history. There’s a company up the road from me that will take you on a ride for $200 something an hour. Split it 5 ways and it’s even cheaper.

I saw a van full of Asians driving by my house in a WASP suburb of the GTA today. Were they tycoons? Mega investors?

Or maybe they were just some people driving around in a van.

#12 Reader8 on 02.11.11 at 12:08 am

To those who are speculating that Chinese are buying up Canada, relax, they aren’t that stupid. Let me tell you where they love to buy as real estate investments:
– Hong Kong (now bubbled)
– Taiwan
– Singapore
– Japan
– Australia
– California
– Florida
– New York
– London
Those who buy in Canada do so mostly for children attending schools here.

#13 Dan on 02.11.11 at 12:11 am

Go Asians!

#14 tiger_baby on 02.11.11 at 12:12 am

why the xenophobic reaction??

since when do people start to fear customers who are willing to pay double of what something is worth?

just make sure you are not trying to out bid them … and in a couple of years you can buy it for half price!

#15 mid-Ontario on 02.11.11 at 12:13 am

It was a weird trip, what with cameras and reporters from CTV, CBC and Global on board, along with some ethic media scribes, as ‘Air Realtor’ swooped and dived while the Chinese swooned and awed. – Garth
————————————————
Hopefully, a retraction will be aired very soon.

On a more serious note for us all, what happens in Egypt will affect our RE quite a bit in 2011.

If they win, look out Saudi Arabia, If there is a fight look out all oil shippers. A higher oil price would start the RE ball rolling down the hill to the cliff edge.

#16 Reality on 02.11.11 at 12:15 am

That chart is an accurate inverse of the Vancouver RE market. Infinite returns on infinite growth regardless of realities restraint…ahhhh life is sweet in this land of bubbles and unicorns.

#17 Timing is Everything on 02.11.11 at 12:16 am

How about calling it a ‘Squirrlie’?…Kinda like a ‘Genie’

Agreed — Garth

#18 DontHateMeBecauseIRent on 02.11.11 at 12:18 am

I love you!

#19 Reader8 on 02.11.11 at 12:19 am

Back in 2009 I asked some friends who bought in California what they were thinking, they had only one thing to tell me, because the Chinese were buying up California and Florida and they didn’t what to be priced out forever. Indeed, a lot of Chinese were buying in US. At one point a wealthy Chinese bought over one thousand units all over California. And look at what’s happening now, the market still tanks. My point is, wealthy Chinese don’t earn their millions by being stupid.

Look at the Canadians’ debt level and you know who are actually swimming naked.

#20 Alex on 02.11.11 at 12:20 am

Kick-ass post today. Seriously. Kick-ASS.

#21 Steve Mate on 02.11.11 at 12:22 am

Is the GDP argument by Royal Bank that higher GDP brings higher wages, and therefore more buying power for real estate? Because over the last 5 years housing prices have gone up, wages have not, so there is a mighty gap to fill to bring those two in line again. Unless I’m missing something, it seems like a pretty ridiculous argument to make.

#22 Chaddywack on 02.11.11 at 12:24 am

What a scam! Thanks for the investigative snooping Garth. I think we should all be emailing Global about what was just a cheap marketing ploy (like they’d care anyway).

Seriously though, a close friend of mine’s parents own a $2 million dollar house in White Rock. She mentioned that they are now listing it because their realtor told them that “747s filled with Chinese buyers are landing every day looking to buy expensive real estate!”

#23 Dan in Victoria on 02.11.11 at 12:25 am

2 Faced. Love it.

#24 Debtfree on 02.11.11 at 12:25 am

That’s too funny local realtors . They should do the same thing in the OK . I loved the guy with the mao hair do … how far did they have to go to find that ? The older I get the funnier this gets . When I was a kid the white rock was really white then spray paint .. Now they have to paint it … if it’s to be white again. Boundry bay was always nicer and cheaper . still is.

#25 Captain Jack on 02.11.11 at 12:27 am

http://weilurealty.com/en/blogs/real-estate-blog/white-rock-avra-on-helicopter/

#26 Carp on 02.11.11 at 12:30 am

I lived in Vancouver for over 13 years. Some folks are fine with the outsiders coming in but I saw a good amount of people unhappy with the cost of bringing up a family.

My friends that had cash antied up and so far are winning – I’ll report back next year.

Friends that didn’t and hit the 70K mark … like cops, nurses, firemen, city workers, etc couldn’t even live close to work and felt why do I work for this city?

I asked why to you stay? Cause at least I have a job …

I could have stayed in Vancouver but choose a better life somewhere else for my kids and family. Now, in Carp/Ottawa I live in a small town where everyone knows your name and downtown Ottawa is 20 minutes away.

I lived in Yaletown and I barely knew people in the building ….

#27 It's Time on 02.11.11 at 12:33 am

That’s clears it…Chinese are not stupid….The realtors think we are stupid…..

What do you know ????? Many among us are indeed stupid….

#28 nonplused on 02.11.11 at 12:34 am

More evidence the moon landings were faked.

There are no mortgage specialist virgins. They be passin themselves off as “inexperienced” to their 1000th John!

Neat that you can get price charts on single houses now. Maybe we can start doing technical analysis on them. Buy on a rising wedge formation, but watch out for the dreaded head and shoulders reversal! Or in the case of Calgary, the double top.

The Chinese did just buy a big chunk of Canadian real estate in the Cutbank Ridge area of BC & Alberta. But the part they are interested in is 10,000 feet underground.

#29 wetcoaster on 02.11.11 at 12:34 am

Awesome post Garth. The Squirrel will soon get an Order of Canada Medal.

#30 I pity the fool who drinks soy milk on 02.11.11 at 12:38 am

GT,
The last 3 blog entries have been like manna from heaven to me. My wife and I have never been home owners and may never be, preferring a certain kind of minimalist life that so far hasn’t included notions like “pride of ownership” and “equity loans”. Of course, renting a home with a newborn baby has garnished widespread scorn and ridicule from friends and family (and a certain RE team that always has a property they are SURE I would be interested in). I have spent many sleepless nights reading this blog on my macbook through bloodshot, squinty eyes between diaper changes and burpings. I am hopelessly addicted. I can give up Guinness for Lent, (irish stimulus spending be damned) no problem, but when this blog ends badly, as all things do, I will raise a pint in your honour, gentle sir, and toast a man.

#31 Rich Renter on 02.11.11 at 12:39 am

A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.

#32 EJ on 02.11.11 at 12:43 am

When looking to buy something, never let yourself be influenced by someone with a vested interest in the sale. It’s the first rule of negotiation. Why are people still listening to these fake reports from banks, brokers, and RE cartels?

Seriously, ignore them and do your own research. Their only goal is to milk you for all you are worth. They do not care if you profit or face utter ruination after the deal is done, as long as they have your money. Why else would they dangerously advise taking on the maximum debt load you can possibly obtain? It’s because there is max profit for them if that happens and they do not have to face the consequences if it all goes bad later. That steaming bag is left in your hands.

#33 Western Canadian on 02.11.11 at 12:49 am

I kind of hope the market does tank like Garth predicts. I own a couple of properties, so my personal wealth would be impacted in the short run but the opportunity it would bring could be worth it.

Its like in 2008 when my stock portfolio got killed, I was down about 40% but it didn’t matter, im 27 lots of time to recover, and in fact I borrowed about $20,000 on a credit card at 1.9% for 12 months to buy stock and it worked out amazingly.

Buying probe mines at 7 cents (now at $1.60), bank of america at $5 (sold at $30), teck cominco at $4!!!

It was freaking awesome. All the stupid retirees and the over leveraged morons selling at the absolute bottom. I mean seriously, people, you thought teck cominco was going to go bankrupt! Idiots

If the same thing happens in the real estate market it could be great, start plucking up properties left and right.

You see Garth, I don’t care if the market does tank. Smart, driven motivated people will find ways to make money. If prices fall 30% awesome. If they don’t oh well there will be other opportunities.

Garth, you think everyone who disagrees with you is either biased, uneducated, or dumb. But you’re way off base.

I don’t believe prices will fall in Calgary the way you describe, maybe another 5-10% over the next couple years with rising rates, but that’s it. At the same time I don’t really care if they do, it just means different business and investment opportunities.

“If you want to be something in this world than be it, no one gives it to you, you have to take it”

#34 Western Canadian on 02.11.11 at 12:52 am

Sorry typo from my last post that I just noticed.

I meant I sold teck cominco at $30 (stupidly i might add), Bank of America never went past $19 as I recall.

#35 Hoof Hearted on 02.11.11 at 12:58 am

How did you photoshop the astronauts onto the planets of the squirrels…amazing

#36 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.11.11 at 1:02 am


“. . . for their white trash hovels on this disgusting blog, . . .”

White trash? Yes. Hovels? Hmmm, dunno. Disgusting blog? It’s all RE pawn (porn?), so yes, guess yer right there!

If there really are squirrels on the moon, then all the conspiracy theory buffs were right — NASA covered a Safeway parking lot with gremlin dust, filmed it on a scratchy projector and PRESTON MANNING! — Apollo 11 never happened!
*
#231 Dan in Victoria — Yes sirree, store their goods while taking and using ours. With Petro-China now having set up in Alta., and with all the natural resources sitting under the Arctic (of which Russia owns 49% or thereabouts), it sure makes for an interesting decade or two.

#2 Soylent Green is People — Thanks for the update on Harper and the CPC.

It only takes one small incident happening somewhere in the world to set off an unintentional chain reaction thruout.

This is why poster #15 mid-Ontario — “A higher oil price would start the RE ball rolling down the hill to the cliff edge.” has it correct — an incident like this in the ME or an unexpected FF in North Korea to divert attention away from what is taking place in the ME, and this also includes the elimination of the border between us.

The US drives our logs away anyway, they need water for the south plus the oil sands, so Harper has just given us to America.

He was right when he said “You won’t even recognize Canada when I’m through with it”.
*
From The Horse’s Ass Bernanke says US on verge of total collapse.

3:18 clip Obama — Shipping US jobs overseas so corporations here can make higher profits.

3:13 clip “Iran became an Islamic State in 1979 and have never attacked or invaded anyone. None, Nada… zip… bugger all.” wrh.com.

Hyperinflation “When governments cannot borrow, hyperinflation is frequently the result.” Two min. clip Retired Greeks on breadline. Hyperinflation?

No Border The headline gives a clue. After us, Mexico then the NAU / SPP takes effect.

Shrunk ‘Twas to be expected. No credibility.

Vicious Cycle The original figures are skewed.

Brothers In Arms — dubya and Obama. Both are worse than nothing.

US$500 Billion This will put a dent somewhere.

#37 NFN on 02.11.11 at 1:05 am

You’re telling me the lady in that video (1:09)…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBosNbCdrFE&feature=player_embedded#at=72

…has a paying job here in Canada that doesn’t involve scrubbing toilets? Something tells me she’s going to end up like the mom in “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps”, except she won’t have an education to fall back on.

#38 Hoof Hearted on 02.11.11 at 1:06 am

25 Carp on 02.11.11 at 12:30 am

I lived in Vancouver for over 13 years. Some folks are fine with the outsiders coming in but I saw a good amount of people unhappy with the cost of bringing up a family.

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

My observations is basically a communal orgasm via the media…the feeling of wealth..via RE ….and with it sheer and utter shallowness.

With both NDP and Liberal leadership campaigns going on concurrently , there is shameless pandering to Asian and South Asian communities , yet the NDP and Liberal candidates from both parties are almost exclusively Caucasian.

The whole thing is a sell- out, a fiscal Soddom and Gomorrah

#39 Thirty something on 02.11.11 at 1:08 am

Just sent my email to Global to remind them how much they suck!

#40 another rich renter on 02.11.11 at 1:16 am

So how does one go about suing the media on this shameless farce? seriously?

#41 Tre on 02.11.11 at 1:20 am

They have no boundaries/ethics when it comes to real estate just disgusting.

#42 dirtyoilbanndit on 02.11.11 at 1:21 am

Could you imagine paying 10 times the price to live in vancouver over florida?

Has anyone been to vancouver? the place looks poor compared to even Calgary……

#43 Gerry B on 02.11.11 at 1:29 am

Great post, Garth!

Slightly off-topic… excellent Vanity Fair article on the Irish property bubble, and the consequences of its bursting:

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/03/michael-lewis-ireland-201103

The Irish govt (and hence its people) are now on the hook for ten of billions in debt, the result of its rapacious banks’ insane real estate lending.

#44 Bailing in BC on 02.11.11 at 1:29 am

A house in Squamish just dropped it’s list price to $799k

Previous price? $888,000… and that’s when I knew that the Asian invasion was bunk!

#45 Cognizant on 02.11.11 at 1:34 am

I’m a renter in the GVA. Here on the ground, there is definitely a whiff of desperation in the air. I’ve been saying this whole thing will blow up in our faces for a while now and everyone thought I was crazy. But there has been a mood shift over the last several months and I find people aren’t looking at me with that “oh he’s nuts” look anymore. I think the athletes village is a watershed for everyone and it is a public story that can’t be ignored. Everyone knew this thing wasn’t sustainable but the inevitable is just too horrible to contemplate so we tried to believe it would never end. We are about find out that it isn’t different here after all.

#46 Jane on 02.11.11 at 1:37 am

Hey Carp,

Is Ottawa really that much cheaper than Van? We too are thinking of moving our family there. How long have you been there?

#47 Tim on 02.11.11 at 1:39 am

Just be glad they were not the pilots of the helicopter! Those of us in the Lower Mainland know what I mean…

#48 Mountain Girl on 02.11.11 at 1:41 am

I know it’s terribly immature, but I can’t stop giggling over the White Rock Squirrelie. Come on! That is hilarious!
Hey, Pity the Fool – we’ve one-upped you, brother! We’ve had two kids in our rental. Oh, the horror!

#49 Tim on 02.11.11 at 1:54 am

Olympic Village Condo Prices cut up to 50%- CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/02/10/bc-olympic-village-plan.html

Only 30% more to go lol!

#50 Utopia on 02.11.11 at 2:00 am

I know that squirrel!

It’s the Banff crasher squirrel. On the moon no less.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e81RaPGKum8&feature=player_embedded

Now about RBC and the estimate that housing prices will increase marginally for the next two years…..that seems a bold statement to me.

Absolutely every major condition now points to a correction and we are already witnessing the early signs in the form of seven months of slowing sales and rising spring listings.

Are the Banks just trying to put on a bold face? Well, one thing that they do have in the absence of solid evidence of price growth and market stability in the future is wide access to the media.

That is of course where much of the current sentiment is birthed and formed. We all know this too.

Ask yourself, how many people have you tried to talk to about the risks of buying real estate when it is topping? How many were prepared to hear what you said? How many more doubted what you were relating before referencing conflicting information they had gathered from the six-o-clock news? Most, correct?

Like Garth mentioned, Robert Hogue has gone on the record with his estimates. That is the news. That is what gets widely reported and disseminated and that is the advantage in the public relations divide between ignorance versus blissful positive feelings of sentiment that favours more buying despite ominous signs pointing to trouble.

Deeply indebted Canadians be damned. Extreme levels of home ownership…get outa here! Rising interest rates…what, us worry?

The Bank has business to attend to and loans to make. They are not impartial at all and therefore the version of reality that they are peddling is tilted towards the growth of their own business and prospects they have for the future. And it is about putting the banks business in the best possible light. RBC is a public company. Would you expect any less of them.

Shares do not rise on negative growth prospects now do they? That is most of your answer right there.

So take the RBC report with a fat grain of salt. US banks reported similarly rosy projections leading up to the massive correction there while insiders bailed out and sold off positions. Hell, they continued to make rosy predictions right up until days before the credit crisis hit. There is responsibility for you.

So what am I saying? Only that the RBC report represents hope more than reality. I see it as imaginative fluff and a feeble attempt to mask a harsh impending reality for many Canadians. They are beholden to shareholders in short and not to the wider general public who is accessing their reports in the major media.

This real estate market of ours is a correction awaiting an event to set it off. It is a problem waiting to be triggered. It will not be Egypt that sets it off. Nor will it be a double-dip recession that seems to be a diminishing threat now. But that does not mean it will not come and my own sense is that the simple forces of supply and demand will dictate what happens next.

There are not enough qualified first-time buyers in a time of rising interest rates, excessive debt burden, constricting rules surrounding lending regulation and a growing concern in many households that buying is becoming risky.

Supply is about to overwhelm demand and the moment that serious cracks begin to appear in the markets and prices begin to fall then this charade will be over. That is when public sentiment will shift profoundly from certainty to insecurity. Exactly as it did in the States.

And like the US, there is no stopping the fall once it starts.

#51 Tim on 02.11.11 at 2:00 am

This should be picked up by CBC. The Vancouver Sun certainly wouldn’t write about it

#52 LS on 02.11.11 at 2:04 am

Property taxes going up nearly 8 percent in Seattle

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/435247_propertytax10.html?source=mypi

By CHRIS GRYGIEL
SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF

King County residents will receive their 2011 property tax bills next week – and people in Seattle will see their levy go up nearly 8 percent.

For the owner of an average home, that translates into about $323 in additional property taxes.

Countywide, the total property tax collections are up 3.33 percent this year over last year, mostly because of voter-approved levies, King County Assessor Lloyd Hara’s office said Thursday.

“Taxpayers may be wondering how their property values can go down, but their property taxes go up, I know this seems counter-intuitive,” Hara said in a statement. “Several factors can cause this to happen. The most common is that voters in their area have approved a property tax measure, typically a school levy.”

In Seattle, the new rate will be $9.66 per $1,000 of assessed value. For the owner of an average home ($453,300) that translates into a tax bill of about $4,378. In 2010, the rate was $9.04, which resulted in a bill of about $4,054.

In November, Seattle voters easily approved a $48 million, three-year schools levy that allowed the district do things like replace old textbooks and deal with future funding cuts.

Hara’s office said the total property tax collections for all purposes in King County will total $3.5 billion in 2011. About 53 percent of property taxes supports schools, cities, fire districts and other local taxing districts get 27 percent, King County government takes 18 percent and the Port of Seattle receives 2 percent.

#53 john on 02.11.11 at 2:09 am

Robert Hogue is correct, we are going to see stable prices for the next few years, why you always talk about prices going up or down, there is something called sideways…I have never heard about any ordinary people saying the word “Crash” before the US experience, and now this word is on every mouth all over the world as if the crash can happen everyday and for every country, wake up people…stop claiming your all experts that whenever anybody talks, all I hear is Crash Crash Crash, I never heard anybody saying this word before, even top economist, and now its on everybody mouth….

#54 Utopia on 02.11.11 at 2:11 am

#29 I pity the fool who drinks soy milk

Glad to see you came back Soy. Sorry again for being harsh last time I wrote to you. It is just in my nature some days.

#55 Jeff Smith on 02.11.11 at 2:12 am

>#26 It’s Time on 02.11.11 at 12:33 am
>That’s clears it…Chinese are not stupid….The realtors
>think we are stupid…..
>What do you know ????? Many among us are indeed
>stupid….

Honestly, don’t care if you are stupid or not. Just want your money. Please bring more money and invest in real estate in Canada. It’s good for us. Why? Because every condo building that gets put up with your money creates many jobs in related sectors; lumber, bricks, faucets, stoves etc., firemen, etc. And then when you think you are smart and assets prices are going up, we are gonna pop the bubble and you will see those condo are only worth 1/2 of what it was before. So we basically stole half of your money to benefit our economy. Hahahaa!

PS: The US pulled this off with their securitized mortgage debts. Guess who the biggest loser in that scam was? hahahaha!

#56 Jeff Smith on 02.11.11 at 2:15 am

>#29 I pity the fool who drinks soy milk on 02.11.11 at
>12:38 am

Hey man, exactly why is soy milk bad for you? Please explain!

#57 westCoastRoller on 02.11.11 at 2:15 am

Just in from Vancouver…..
Olympic Condo Prices Down by 50%

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/02/10/bc-olympic-village-plan.html

#58 westCoastRoller on 02.11.11 at 2:19 am

Best quote from the Olympic Village team… real estate always goes up… why is this happening to me… its not fair!!

The receiver’s plan is not such good news, however, for people who have already purchased.

Isabello Sarmiento’s family will watch new neighbours move in who will have paid a lot less than they did.

“[My family] probably feel a bit robbed or a bit cheated,” Sarmiento said. “Usually, as the years go on, the prices go up.”

#59 beaker on 02.11.11 at 2:26 am

I think this idiot sister is brilliant – she knows exactly when to buy right at the top and sells at the lowest price. I’ll just do the opposite. Keep us informed on her progress.

#60 Utopia on 02.11.11 at 2:30 am

Meanwhile in Egypt….

I read tonight that UBS Ag is predicting a 25% loss in Egyptian Pounds over the next month. The Egyptian Central bank has stepped in aggressively to shore up the currency. There are going to be limits though to how much will be spent to protect the value of the Pound.

As the crisis continues and the countries resources become strained from a combination of new commitments to wage increases in the public service, from significantly reduced national revenues (primarily tourism) and from the costs associated with protecting the Pound from speculative forces, something will have to give eventually.

The country is now contending with a host of negatives that could impact it’s balance sheet for many years to come. Add in the expected flight of capital and just the hint of the US withdrawing it’s funding commitments and you have the perfect financial storm brewing.

Egyptians, sadly will all be the poorer should the currency face a serious loss against the dollar as purchasing power falls.

#61 Lynn on 02.11.11 at 2:36 am

Can I be the chic who holds the award trophy?

#62 Chris in Langley on 02.11.11 at 2:37 am

Great post Garth, again.

I drove into Vancouver on Tue. with my 13 year old son and we were having the talk about decisions. I’ve been stressing this for years…how every decision has a cost. Everything costs something, be it time, energy, money, relationships, etc.

So I shared with him the simple math you mentioned a couple posts ago regarding the average yearly household income in Vancouver in comparison to the cost of an average house, and how much it should cost in order to be affordable.

We also did the math on Langley and it’s not real hard for him to get.

My point…thanks for the great insights and clear thinking. You’re insights have brought a lot of comfort to me and my family.

It’s too bad my wife and I haven’t been able to get through to her brother and wife. They’re in Surrey and are going to get wacked.
We brought up the topic a couple times and they looked at us like we were crazy!

#63 Don on 02.11.11 at 2:45 am

#29 I pity the fool who drinks soy milk

I hear yah, and will also toast man who speaks the truth. Thanks Garth!

#64 Peter Pan on 02.11.11 at 2:46 am

And the helicopter ride was not about showing Mainland Chinese investors other parts of the Lower Mainland to consume, but rather just to flog a single new 17-storey condo in White Rock which Key Marketing was hired to promote for presales.

———————

Told you yesterday it was a staged event… You get to smell a rat when you live in the lower mainland long enough.

#65 Egg Management Fee Man on 02.11.11 at 2:53 am

The fool that follows is the greater fool… Therefore, my utmost respect goes to the person who posts a comment first on this blog (and does not follow anyone but Garth). First! First! First! Indeed!

So in other news… Not much has changed in Vancouver since the Komagata Maru incident… Still afraid of the immigation and immigrants. Still afraid of others stealing your opportunities. Still afraid to sh*t or get off the pot… Those who post here and moan and groan about others buying – just ask yourself – what did I do when I had the chance to make my life better? What did I do to create my opportunities? Did I seize the moment, or did I sit back and do nothing – afraid to fail. William Shatner said it best in his song, “Has Been” when he talked about others who laugh at others failures, though they have not done sh*t. Do you fit in that category? Does Garth fit in that category? Ask yourselves.

#66 BC Bring Cash on 02.11.11 at 2:58 am

Harper blabs about being a CONservative. However I believe he is nothing but. PC party is long dead. By providing more and more funding for the private sector through tax cuts, economic action plans etc. his government is nothing more than a Plutocratic regime run by the private sector lobbyists. (period). No need for a translation here. Where is his passion for the working people trying to feed their families? Does he give a rats ass about child poverty in his home land? He is worried sick about Middle East politics of course. Why not show the same enthusiasm for the well being of the people that gave him the so called mandate to govern.

#67 Jody on 02.11.11 at 3:00 am

I suspect governments around the world will soon introduce strict capital controls on corporations and individuals. We can’t have all that money leaving the country now and getting out of reach of greedy government filth.

I’m am utterly amazed at how affordable real estate has become in the US. Canadians who think it won’t happen here truly have thier head up their ass.

#68 Devore on 02.11.11 at 3:03 am

Here’s how RBC economist Robert Hogue explained it: because real GDP will increase from 2.9% in 2010 to 3.2% in 2011. And that blistering pace will be enough to offset higher mortgage rates – which the bank estimates will jump a full 2.5% by the end of next year. That would take five-year money to something over 7%, and almost double payments for renewing VRM borrowers.

So a 1% increase in GDP will offset a 20+% increase in debt servicing costs, at a time when Canadians’ savings rate is barely above 0 (and negative in BC)?

Well, isn’t that some miracle of modern economics!

#69 bcweatherman on 02.11.11 at 3:06 am

Garth… You provide a nightly chuckle… that one was totally hilarious..

#70 Jeff Smith on 02.11.11 at 3:13 am

Rates going up? …. don’t worry about it, you worrywart!

http://www.moneyville.ca/article/936263–3-ways-to-deal-with-rising-mortgage-rates?bn=1

#71 Mean Gene on 02.11.11 at 3:13 am

Man who stand on toilet high on pot.

#72 The Bigger They Are .....The Harder They Fall on 02.11.11 at 3:21 am

A classic post. You are totally correct about the bank economists. I’ve worked over 20 years for one of the big 5 and I know for a fact that they get their hand slapped if they are perceived as being too negative. The stuff written this week by the senior economist at CIBC was complete garbage.

#73 Bilbo Bloggins on 02.11.11 at 3:30 am

Just like when we were kids, our parents would tell
us that the Boogie Man is coming for us should we
not eat our veggies.
Now the Boogie Man is a rich asian flying around
in a helicopter. Only now his purpose is to flog real
estate.

#74 Reader8 on 02.11.11 at 3:44 am

Here is a Queens University professor’s take on the new home market at BNN:
http://watch.bnn.ca/#clip416055

#75 Gord In Vancouver on 02.11.11 at 3:48 am

For Media Manipulation and Yellow Fever

Another fine post, Garth.

Although CBC or CTV could’ve also been easily deceived by Key Marketing, Global BC should still issue an apology statement. If this oversight isn’t addressed, can we continue to take anything Global BC says seriously?

#76 Tuco Ramirez on 02.11.11 at 4:44 am

If there are so many rich Asians why can’t we sell them a few hundred units in Millenium water?

#77 Brian1 on 02.11.11 at 5:36 am

I don’t know what we would do without you. Even if Harry Dent turns out to be right he still would not have contributed as you have. Wake up Harry.
I think that that squirrel is a lot like you; gumming up the works, only your name would be Rocky and I would wish to be your Bullwinkle.

#78 Brian1 on 02.11.11 at 5:46 am

I think that since the second world war we have always been five years behind the states. That is because Canadian soldiers returned home one year later than the Yanks. They had a headstart fueling the baby boom generation and at thirty times the size of our economy. We are due for a housing correction that could be even greater than the American experience and no amount of nepotism and cronyism will save this economy.

#79 blase on 02.11.11 at 7:23 am

I live in Korea in a city of 1.6 million people. People with gobs of money are quite happy to live in 1500 sq. ft apartments, beautifully renovated inside. Why? Because from their front doors, they can walk to restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets, department stores, and parks. You don’t need to have a car here (but most do, and no rust-buckets here, 2 years old is considered old). Oh, and the “condo-fee” on an apartment is $150/month, and that includes 24 hour security guards as well as utility fees.

When I first came here 7 years ago, I wondered how people could live in these little boxes in the sky. Now I wonder how people spend 20 minutes driving to a convenience store, or an hour driving to work every day like many do back home.

The whole idea that the quality of your life is dependent on your house is hogwash. The average house in the 1950s was smaller than the size of the average Korean apartment today, and I bet people were closer as families in the 1950s in their tiny houses. People would be a lot happier if they didn’t get into debt, lived below their means, scrimped, and if they learned how to live on 1 salary (even if both parents work).

#80 Pr on 02.11.11 at 7:25 am

Here a example (french)of financing available for you where they dont make any verification of your sources of revenue. Yeah you say what you want. http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=bl4wqceab&v=001Etp3ZLRMl6cf7soyR7iBI5Yq-kKDvRxZ11HJkKEttiSIXX_ukFXElJxUPRMaM6HWsnHjGAbZF3gunyQSArv4-HmO1NXGEqPxkx-YJ6XuYrZbua0rk71B6w%3D%3D

#81 Moffatman on 02.11.11 at 7:37 am

Alright,so the chinese realtors were uncovered,but did you check to see if the comment about a half dozen deals being done after the ride is correct?

#82 Mike on 02.11.11 at 7:38 am

Prof. Shiller, who helped develop the widely followed Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller for the U.S. housing market:

it makes more sense for most people to rent and put the savings in a diversified portfolio. “People should think of buying a home as risky.”

Source: Canada is ‘a purely random success story’: Shiller
Finanacial Post, Feb. 8, 2011

#83 Montrealer on 02.11.11 at 8:45 am

Great post, especially for a Friday! Good way to end the week :)

#84 Moneta on 02.11.11 at 9:02 am

Here’s how RBC economist Robert Hogue explained it: because real GDP will increase from 2.9% in 2010 to 3.2% in 2011. And that blistering pace will be enough to offset higher mortgage rates – which the bank estimates will jump a full 2.5%
———–
When everyone was amazed that the US consumer was still consuming and still boosting GDP, I got curious and went to look at the numbers.

What has been driving consumer spending in the US? Gasoline, health care, financial services and energy costs.

All the fun stuff.

#85 Moneta on 02.11.11 at 9:05 am

All the fun stuff.
————
I guess the 5,000$ per year that was going into I as renos shifted into C as consumer spending.

Of course that was never mentioned.

#86 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.11.11 at 9:09 am

My new favourite house price index, the “Obama Home Index” went down again:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5046-S-Greenwood-Ave-Chicago-IL-60615/50904051_zpid/

Zillow now values his 6200 sqft mansion in Chicago at $780k.

And, in the GTA, that gets you one of these:
This grow-op looking bungalow
OR
This rooming house
OR
This $789k tear-down that rents for all of $1310/month(about 1/3 of the mortgage cost)!!!

#87 jennifurr lee on 02.11.11 at 9:27 am

As a helicopter pilot I am ashamed of this use of a great machine. A far better use would be to use it like they did in Indonesia with Bre-X geologists. Maybe throwing a few realtors, shills and marketing types out of the chopper over White Rock might beautify the beach and keep TV reserved for reality shows which are more educational than real estate porn.

My $0.02.

#88 Zimmerp on 02.11.11 at 9:30 am

You can take that chart and it always looks the same regardless of the underlying commodity.

Whenever the public becomes involved thinking they will get rich the chart is always, always the same.

If you take the time to look – you will find countless examples. Just do a little bit of research. And here is the funny part – it is always different this time.

Oh yeah, after the implosion everyone says – “We Should Have Seen It Coming”.

I have no idea when this market is going to adjust to more normal levels, but when it does there are going to be a lot of people who get screwed.

It is just how it happens. And it as happened for hundreds of years over time. You see, the human greed and stupidity level never goes away. Regardless of the generation.

Anyone remember Bre-X?

#89 fancy_pants on 02.11.11 at 9:32 am

The reason Canada is 5 yrs behind the US on a RE collapse is the US dropped rates as a reaction to their RE crash, we dropped rates as a reaction to their action. Their action was as water to a fire, our action was fuel for a fire.

Oh, and have you heard? The Talking Heads are the new old gig in town, singing “Burning Down the House”

Watch out you might get what you’re after
Cool babies strange but not a stranger
I’m an ordinary guy
Burning down the house

Hold tight wait till the party’s over
Hold tight We’re in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house

Here’s your ticket pack your bag: time for jumpin’ overboard
The transportation is here
Close enough but not too far, Maybe you know where you are
Fightin’ fire with fire

All wet hey you might need a raincoat
Shakedown dreams walking in broad daylight
Three hun-dred six-ty five de-grees
Burning down the house

It was once upon a place sometimes I listen to myself
Gonna come in first place
People on their way to work baby what did you except
Gonna burst into flame

My house S’out of the ordinary
That’s might Don’t want to hurt nobody
Some things sure can sweep me off my feet
Burning down the house

No visible means of support and you have not seen nuthin’ yet
Everything’s stuck together
I don’t know what you expect staring into the TV set
Fighting fire with fire

#90 Moneta on 02.11.11 at 9:35 am

Hey Carp,

Is Ottawa really that much cheaper than Van? We too are thinking of moving our family there. How long have you been there?
———–
We moved to Ottawa 2.5 years ago. Ottawa has always been known to be more expensive than Montreal but when we moved we felt the opposite. We were getting more bang for our buck here.

Taxes are lower but you don’t get the 7$ per day daycare. IMO, it all evens out in the wash.

I find that peopole here are more down to earth than in Montreal. Less exceses. I can see this in cars. With the same income, households will be driving Hyundais in Ottawa and BMW SUVs in Montreal.

We met a couple from Vancouver who moved at the same time as us. They refused to pay 1 million for a house ovedr there and decided to wait it out here. In the mean time, the Feds are planning to shrink by attrition while computer systems are in dire need of upgrading so there will be jobs in that area for a while.

Sale prices on our stree have gone up 25% since we moved here so we have been getting a whiff of the frenzy. And over the last 2 years, I have been noticing the typical signs of excess that I saw in Montreal, popping up here and there.

A lot more houses have been getting interlock which is really expensive in Ottawa because there is a lack of blue collars here and these stones are usually shipped from Montreal. Last summer our neighbor installed a pool and this ladnscaping that came to 25% of the value of his home and kept on bragging about his 0% mortgage.

I think no place is immune but it still does not compare to Montreal’s West Island where people were intalling acrylic skating rinks in their basements, tiling their garage in slate from floor to ceiling so they could wash their Cayenne in the winter, getting washing machines for every floor in their house and getting a dog and 2 days later going on a trip and getting it babysat at a Pet Hotel for a few hundred bucks.

But everyone I talk to seems to own a condo or a house which they rent out.

#91 Junius on 02.11.11 at 9:41 am

#52 john,

You said, “Robert Hogue is correct, we are going to see stable prices for the next few years, why you always talk about prices going up or down, there is something called sideways.”

No John. Sideways is something that never happens. Never. This is why people use the word Crash.

#92 Adam in Montreal on 02.11.11 at 9:47 am

Re: #78 blase on 02.11.11 at 7:23 am ( http://www.greaterfool.ca/2011/02/10/the-envelope-please/#comment-82935 )

Great post! I agree completely. One of the major benefits of renting involves “location”. I live in a great neighbourhood just minutes from downtown Montreal with ample public transit. I’m pretty much “waterfront” with bike paths and nature walks just outside of my door. And it’s affordable, leaving me room for other investments.

Last time I checked (a month ago) purchasing a home today would double my monthly housing costs, excluding that inevitable 2%-4% of the value of the home in annual maintenance costs. I would end up in suburban hell-land at least a one hour commute (on a good day) from my downtown job. And there’s no way I would just pick-up and head to centreville Montreal to attend the Jazz Festival or the numerous other wonderful events that go on here after schlepping home for more than an hour after work.

Renting often is a lifestyle choice and not just a financial choice. When you get luck, it’s a positive choice on both fronts, and today, that is the case.

Had a conversation last week with the Xwife, who owns in suburbia and she once again reminded me I was foolish for throwing away my money on rent. Her property taxes cost her $3,500/year so in 10 years, she will “piss away” $35,000 to drive on the same roads, go to the same libraries, and have access to the same services that I do, and my rent includes a portion of the taxes. She shut right up.

#93 john m on 02.11.11 at 9:50 am

Great post Garth :-)

#94 Renting in Milton on 02.11.11 at 9:50 am

A colleague of ours is putting in an offer on a house in Camebridge Ontario this week. He’s tired of renting. 1400/month for a high-rise Apt. Houses are fairly cheap there compared to 45 minutes down the road in Milton where we rent the top floor of an old Century home on a nice street with MANY SQUIRRELS for $1100/month. I was searching MLS website in Cambridge and was surprised at how many places were under $200,000. Since my commute is already an 1.5 hours to downtown Toronto where I work, Cambridge is ou. Of the question for My boyfriend and I. I didn’t even bother to tell our colleague to wait a little longer because hey’ e made up their minds. I was searching other areas around Halton and Halton Hills/Georgetown and Barely any hits for property under $250,000!!!!!! We’re basically screwed for ever affording something comfortably in our area unless this correction happens. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and trying to save as much as possible. Isn’t easy when cost of living is excellerating at such speed. On another Note….My Boyfriend’s Baby Boomer Parents Own a nice place just 10 Minutes north of us worth around $850,000 or more and are strapped for cash since his Father suffered a stroke and can’t work anymore. Battling with the insurance company for Long Term Disability. They don’t want to sell their house and downsize either. Cost of Oil for their furnace is about $300/month alone…. I worry for them in the meantime because if this correction happens, they might not be able to sell their house. Perfect example if what Garth talks about Daily.

#95 robert james on 02.11.11 at 10:02 am

#80 Well I suppose a person could ask one of the Chinese realtors if there were a half dozen deals done after the helicopter ride but if he said “Yes, there were a half dozen deals done”,, how many people would actually believe it?? There have been condo lineups that have been staged with people being payed to stand in line so why stop there?? LOL

#96 South of 49 on 02.11.11 at 10:15 am

#51 LS: Maybe I should move to Seattle. Paying the first installment of my 2011 taxes is on my honey-do list today . I checked the numbers and in my Ontario town, the rate is about $24.15 per $1,000 of assessed value. What saves us is that the average home is assessed in the range of $70,000 to $120,000 (local forest industries have gone bankrupt). An ex-NHL player has his house on the market for $1.5 million (you do the math!).

#97 MikeT on 02.11.11 at 10:25 am

In that clip, I heard “has invited Vancouver’s top mainland China realtors”. Also, Global displayed the agencies those realtors were from.
Thus, they are realtors from Vancouver, catering to wealthy Chinese from mainland China, and looking for properties for their clients.
No one said the realtors came from China…
What’s the issue?

#98 Smoking Man on 02.11.11 at 10:25 am

What the chart shows is from 2002 to 2005 the price of that home tripled in two years
Of course that would be a bubble considering there is no real industry where that home is located.

Now you are trying to suggest that will happen in Toronto, lets see 5% increase a year. In the same time frame. I can easily say it’s different here.

Nice try.

#99 grantmi on 02.11.11 at 10:33 am

Maybe the wealth Chinese investors can snap up THE VILLAGE (ex-Olympic Village) before they start their march back to the winners podium!!

http://bit.ly/hINjbX

What’a Crock! (Nice Job Gregor!) Thank god I’m not a Vancouver Tax Payer!!

#100 Ben on 02.11.11 at 10:36 am

My boss just bought a winter getaway in Phoenix.
$45K – 1200 sqft, dble att, 2 bdr, 7 yrs old, hardwood, ceramic tile. He says, a coat of paint and she’s good to go.
Frigging unreal…… $45K is a downpayment in Canada

#101 tired vulture on 02.11.11 at 10:47 am

I am not agaist Realtor’s worthless job elimination….but I am in favor of huge decrease in fees!…at the end RE agents give nothing to sociaty in terms of value.

#102 Moneta on 02.11.11 at 10:50 am

More on Ottawa…

I’ve had many conversations with well to do Ottawans and it’s always the same arguments that come up.

Here is the recurring one:

– Because of pensions, a lot of RICH people here.

One guy gave his 60-year old mom as an example. I asked him how much he’d inherit if she passed away tomorrow. The answer was nothing but her house and its mortgage… and he did not know what the mortgage was. I could tell by his expression that he had never looked at it this way or maybe he thought I was heartless.

The other issue is one of attrition. If a huge mass of boomers retire from civil service but are not replaced that means there will be a decline in the workforce. And trust me, many are not even 50 yet and talk about that “R” year everytime they meet eachother. It has replaced the talk about the weather. LOL.

The retirees might have a guaranteed pension but it will give them probably 70% of what they were getting which is quite cushy but still not that great if you’ve still got a 100K mortgage, which is quite a few. Don’t forget that on a macro level, that is 30% less being spent in the economy.

In Ottawa it would go…

POP… what was that? Hey, what the heck happened to my pension?

#103 grantmi on 02.11.11 at 11:03 am

You see! This is the delusional levels folks get to when it comes to RE.

Stage – the Village Fool Condo!

Isabello Sarmiento’s family will watch new neighbours move in who will have paid a lot less than they did.

“[My family] probably feel a bit robbed or a bit cheated,” Sarmiento said. “Usually, as the years go on, the prices go up.”

Read more: http://bit.ly/hCNXFs

Real Estate – ALWAYS GOES UP!!!

Sorry Ms. Sarmiento (and her family)!! Welcome to the trick bag!! Get your helmet on… it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

#104 Bottoms_Up on 02.11.11 at 11:05 am

#241 DW on 02.10.11 at 11:15 pm
——————————————-
I got a hydro bill in the summer for ~$450. It was just sick (but I was running AC essentially constantly for 2 months).

Now in the winter it’s about $120 for 2 months.

#105 The American on 02.11.11 at 11:20 am

At #41: Dirtyoilbanndit, I do agree with you there. Vancouver looks almost cool from a distance. But, once you’re standing in the middle of downtown, you look around and notice the place looks tired and dingy. You notice the buildings are for more spread out than appears from a distance, and you notice most everything has an institutional look to it. It has no classic buildings whatsoever to add even a hint of charm.

#106 David on 02.11.11 at 11:22 am

BC Global News is, sadly, no different than any other media outlet. You got a 30-minute newscast to fill with entertainment. In Vancouver, the only game in town is real estate, so any content related to it will prove popular. Not rocket science.

And in the era of unaccountable journalists, getting free video content delivered at your feet, even if it is by a bunch of scumbags, keeps the production costs down. Win-win!

#107 Junius on 02.11.11 at 11:26 am

Those who think the market will now go sideways forget legendary investment analyst Bob Farrell’s Rule #4:

“4. Exponential rapidly rising or falling markets usually go further than you think, but they do not correct by going sideways.

Regardless of how hot a sector is, don’t expect a plateau to work off the excesses. Profits are locked in by selling, and that invariably leads to a significant correction eventually.”

#108 Calgary Renter on 02.11.11 at 11:29 am

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/encana-results-plunge-on-weak-prices/article1901819/

What do you think the encana deal will mean for Calgary in relation to timing, jobs and real estate?

#109 David on 02.11.11 at 11:32 am

Garth: How was that house price graph put together?Are there actually 10 sales data points (ie. the red circles) for that exact property over the period shown?!

Sale points are the dollar signs. — Garth

#110 Jan Etter on 02.11.11 at 11:41 am

#27 nonplused on 02.11.11 at 12:34 am
“Neat that you can get price charts on single houses now. Maybe we can start doing technical analysis on them. Buy on a rising wedge formation, but watch out for the dreaded head and shoulders reversal! Or in the case of Calgary, the double top.”

Zillow is great for that, try surfing the site sometime, there’s all sorts of useful information that you can’t get on MLS. Unfortunately, it’s only in the States! This is one example of what we could get here if the Competition Bureau breaks CREA’s monopoly.

#111 Lonely Limey on 02.11.11 at 11:48 am

From the place with the ultimate bubble – Dubai.

” house prices have already fallen around 60% from their Q4 2008 peak”

And they will continue to fall for the next 2 years.

http://tinyurl.com/6x64c7l

#112 The American on 02.11.11 at 11:48 am

At #51: LS, I think the article may have confused people. Yes, the LEVY is up 8%, but assessed values have all been corrected downward to reflect the new market values on residential real estate. Actually, people today paying less in taxes than when at the peak of market. We have NO STATE INCOME TAX in the State of Washington. We only have sales tax in our state, and it varies from county to county. In King County, where Seattle is located, I pay a sales tax on my goods of only 9.85%, not including grocery items of course. Not bad at all. So, the state has to get its tax basis from somewhere, which will naturally be from property taxes. In our county, it is roughly 1% of the assessed value (remember, the “assessed value” is almost always about 15%-25% lower than what the home will actually sell for in an open market). For example, in 2009 I was assessed at roughly $970M for my downtown condo. And, I paid $9,300 that year in property taxes. For 2011, my newly assessed value is at $785M. In 2011, my total tax bill is going to be $7,450. I’m certainly not complaining. Additionally, our state constitution does not permit the government in our state the ability to increase our property tax bill by more than 1% every year. The ONLY way we can increase our property taxes beyond that is with voter approval. So, clearly, we voted YES on the increase as a collective whole. Seattleites will almost always be in favor of a tax increase for levies with respect to additional funding for education, parks/recreation, mass transit, and roadway infrastructure. They typically don’t go for stadiums and “sin” taxes.

#113 The American on 02.11.11 at 11:59 am

At #75: Rich Asians won’t be buying at Millenium Waterfront (now called Village on False Creek) because those rich Asians stopped buying quite some time ago, for the most part. They’re clearly not stupid. The marketing companies have been using the “rich Asian” story for some time in order to keep Vancouverites believing everything was/is fine.

#114 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 02.11.11 at 12:03 pm

WHAT AN ASP!

Where does one start when looking through the still-smoking wreckage of US foreign policy vis-a-vis the career-future of the snake of the Nile, one Mr. Mubarak.

We all remember how Queen Cleopatra, of a by-gone Egyptian Empire, bought the farm in allowing herself to be bitten by a poisonous reptile whose name is Asp.

Talking about poisonous reptiles, the folks over at the CIA couldn’t get yesterday right at all, their illustrious boss speaking under oath at a Congressional hearing in Washington DC, uttering that Mubarak was going to quit that very day!

Did he? Not according to the Old Nile Reptile, who was seen on TV as saying he’d still be going by next September!

But this morning we get excited reports from that other bunch of asps in Egypt, the foreign press, saying that Mubarak has left the palace for some place else, a resort on the Red Sea!

So, the CIA, the White House, the US State Department and the American news media, ably assisted by the BBC and other soft-shoe media wannabes, don’t know what the Hell’s going on in the key Middle Eastern country, Egypt.

About the only group of snakes we haven’t heard from yet, is the Muslim Brotherhood.

I just hope the people of Egypt are stocking up on snake venom!

NOW…AN ANTIDOTE FOR A FAILED US EMPIRE?

Check out this from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney: Feb.11, 2011) — The International Monetary Fund issued a report Thursday on a possible replacement for the (US) dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

The IMF said Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, could help stabilize the global financial system.

SDRs represent potential claims on the currencies of IMF members…and can be converted into whatever currency a borrower requires at exchange rates based on a weighted basket of international currencies…SDRs could be used as a less volatile alternative to the U.S. dollar.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the IMF…believes they could help correct global imbalances and shore up the global financial system…

The goal is to have a reserve asset for central banks that better reflects the global economy since the dollar is vulnerable to swings in the domestic economy and changes in U.S. policy.

…The Fund also suggested that certain assets, such as oil and gold, which are traded in U.S. dollars, could be priced using SDRs…Oil prices usually go up when the dollar depreciates.

Supporters say using SDRs to price oil on the global market could help prevent spikes in energy prices that often occur when the dollar weakens significantly.

…Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said at a conference in Washington that IMF member nations should agree to create $2 trillion worth of SDRs over the next few years.

Talk about a whole bunch of Asps. They’re even at the IMF and on Wall Street.

Oil prices are up again, over $100 US . Gold is trending higher, the US dollar index is still trending south. And the US real estate market is still dead after all these years.

Asps indeed.

#115 Throwstone on 02.11.11 at 12:06 pm

“But in its wake, racial divide, swelling anti-Chinese resentment, brewing social unrest “….GT

Hmmm… wonder why?

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/02/10/bc-masked-man-migrant-released.html

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/936337–warrant-issued-as-mystery-deepens-in-kidnapping?bn=1

I wonder how the Canadian media spins these stories when their is no advertising budget hanging in the balance…..

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Multiculturalism+clearly+failure+Sarkozy/4261825/story.html

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/discussions/the-niqabs-place-in-canadian-courts/article1755505/?from=1903372

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/kirpan-ban-puts-canada-on-brink-of-multiculturalism-debate-no-one-wants/article1903372/

I don’t think multiculturalism is dead, its struggling a bit but it can also be nutured back to full strength. Think we should all be a little more Canadian?

#116 BPOE on 02.11.11 at 12:11 pm

Check out this Saturdays Vancouver Sun. Provides very balanced coverage to real estate pros and cons. Bidding Wars are heating UP!!!

The housing market appears to be heating up again in Metro Vancouver with bidding wars erupting on desirable properties

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/story.html?id=4259976#ixzz1DfNSncOa

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/story.html?id=4259976

#117 grantmi on 02.11.11 at 12:12 pm

#112 The American on 02.11.11 at 11:59 am
…. because those rich Asians stopped buying quite some time ago, for the most part. They’re clearly not stupid.

Well clearly one Asian is clearly not that bright! Ms. Sarmiento (and her family) just paid 30% (or more) over the current market value for her condo just recently!!

But she’s in good company! So did the Ex Mayor of Vancouver – Larry Campbell!

(Douhhhhhhh! Cue Homer Simpson here!!)

#118 tmg on 02.11.11 at 12:15 pm

#44 Cognizant

Where did you find a decent place to live in Vancouver. I’ve been looking for a westside house to rent for months now. Everything is owned by overseas Asians and none of them want to put anything into upkeep. I guess they’re planning to tear down and rebuild in a couple of years….but 1st they need to squeeze every last cent out of the place…seriously, $3600 for a house with an unfinished basement and no dishwasher. There are lots of “student” houses…how do you find something decent?

#119 BPOE on 02.11.11 at 12:18 pm

Where does Seattle come into all of this. Worst traffic in the US bar none. Weather sucks. Overpriced crap. I can’t get over how much the real estate sells for there. What a ripoff. I guess guns are cheap so that’s a plus. Anyone try driving on the I-5 on a Friday afternoon? I question if some of these posters have even been there. I guess if Starbucks is your idea of high culture and quality coffee then its great

#120 BPOE on 02.11.11 at 12:23 pm

This is just pure bull. The Olympic Village main problems were quality of construction and the whole issue of social housing and what that means. Does it mean a teacher who’s salary cannot afford to live in the City or are we talking Main and Hastings drug addicts? There was no clarification. There was even talk of putting a pub in the bottom of one of the buildings which would of been a mecca for the rubbies. As well the prices were out of touchwith surrounding properties plus very close to the poorest neighbourhood in Canada. This area is being bulldozed and transformed. Long story short Olympic Village wasn’t ready for primetime due to the above reasons. Otherwise offshor money would of bought this lock stock and barrell. One thing about the rich they don’t want to be around renters. Nobody likes bedbugs
*************************************

At #75: Rich Asians won’t be buying at Millenium Waterfront (now called Village on False Creek) because those rich Asians stopped buying quite some time ago, for the most part. They’re clearly not stupid. The marketing companies have been using the “rich Asian” story for some time in order to keep Vancouverites believing everything was/is fine.

#121 ??wth?? on 02.11.11 at 12:24 pm

#25 Carp

My wife’s aunt and uncle along with her cousins moved to VAN 20 years ago. They obviously bought at a good price and live a good life there.

Now as the cousins are all finished school, they have all had to move away because the cost of living, especially housing is out of reach for someone starting from scratch.

I have heard the same story from others who have raised a family in VAN over the past 20 years or so, that the kids have moved away so they can have a decent standard of living. This is sad that kids move away from parents because they can’t afford to live where they grew up.

Also, not that I am against immigration, but the immigration has really been noticeable the past 10-15 years or so in VAN and near White Rock. When we go to visit, I notice that the immigrants there don’t seem to integrate into a western way of living. In my opinion, they seem to live as they would back home with no intention whatsoever of learning english or dressing as we would.
This leaves a bad taste in my mouth because there seems to be an invisible wall between us and them. We are countrymen, but seem to be on different pages.

I make no apologies, but I strongly think that anyone who chooses to live here should become Canadian 1st. Its OK to keep a small part of your culture, but as Canadians we need to be on the same page.

What is going to happen in the future when a large percentage of our population thinks and behaves like they are living back home, but are citizens here? The Canadian birthrate is showing that we will have to keep on with mass immigration to sustain or system, so we will have to reckon with sooner or later.

I think those who brag about selling property to ‘rich asians’ or say things like ‘go asians’ are traitors and should be ashamed.

We will not be able to recognize this country by the end of the next generation if things keep going as they are.

#122 CrowdedElevatorFartz on 02.11.11 at 12:38 pm

@#74 Gord In Van
Sorry man , But I stopped listening to the Mainstraem Media years ago….. Right around the time
Entertainment Tonight climbed to #1 in the ratings.
The sheeple deserve what they want to read,see and hear.

#123 pablo on 02.11.11 at 12:42 pm

Toronto, Winnipeg top contributors as new-house prices rise: StatsCan
By The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – The New Housing Price Index rose 0.1 per cent in December, following a 0.3 per cent advance in November.

Statistics Canada reports Toronto and Oshawa, along with Winnipeg, were the top contributors to the increase.

Between November and December, prices increased the most in Winnipeg (up 1.1 per cent) followed by Halifax (0.3) as well as Toronto and Oshawa (0.2).

#124 pablo on 02.11.11 at 12:47 pm

Canadian household debt high, but still manageable, banks conclude
By Julian Beltrame, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Canadians are becoming increasingly exposed to a debt crunch but the situation has not reached crisis level and likely won’t, according to two of the country’s leading banks.

In separate reports Wednesday, TD Bank (TSX:TD) and the Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) took different approaches to one of the hottest topics facing households and policy-makers and came to essentially the same conclusion — the situation is currently manageable.

TD introduced a new index on debt Wednesday showing households in British Columbia are most vulnerable to a shock, such as substantially higher interest rates, falling incomes or a crash in house prices.

B.C. is followed by Alberta and Ontario as the only provinces above 100 on the index. Least vulnerable were Manitoba, the Atlantic provinces and Quebec.

But chief economist Craig Alexander says no region — including B.C. — is so vulnerable as to sound the alarm bells, partly because few expect a shock sufficiently serious to push many households into default.

“Despite the picture of growing vulnerability from coast to coast over the past few years, we do not believe that there is a household financial crisis in the making in any region,” he said.

BMO deputy chief economist Douglas Porter analyzed Canadians’ savings rate at a time when household debt compared to annual disposal income has climbed to a record 148 per cent.

The high debt is a reason for concern, says Porter, but the number ignores the fact that thanks to a “near-miraculous” recovery in stock prices, along with rock-solid house prices, household assets are also at near record levels. Assets to income rose to 420 per cent in the third quarter of 2010 and are still rising, he said.

And at the moment at least, debt service levels are actually falling thanks to super-low interest rates.

“The short answer is I don’t think we do … have a debt crisis, and a lot of the steps we’ve taken will help avert it,” he said.

Both banks cite Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s recent announcement to tighten mortgage eligibility rules as a step in the right direction, adding ballast to a housing market that is the prime reason for Canada’s high debt levels.

Porter said hikes to interest rates, which many expect will occur as the economy strengthens in the next few years, will also help Canadians increase their savings rate because of higher returns.
Quick turn the music over, they’ve changed the tune, gotta keep up with the band.

Thanks. But next time use a synopsis and a link. — Garth

#125 Slice on 02.11.11 at 1:05 pm

That Global “news” report is disgusting.

Can we not report them to the CRTC?

Can Global fraudulently reporting false news can be penalized?

I am going to the CRTC website NOW to file a complaint. Anybody else going to do the same?

#126 Slice on 02.11.11 at 1:08 pm

Okay I did it. I went to the CRTC website and filed a complaint against Global for that false news story. We shouldn’t have to take this sh*t any longer.

#127 Fools buy houses, wise men live in them on 02.11.11 at 1:09 pm

Now it is “The Village on False Creek”, it was “Millennium Water” or “Athletes’ Village”.

How about the other condo developments in Toronto or Vancouver?

“Fools buy houses, wise men live in them” – adopted from an old English proverb

#128 DW on 02.11.11 at 1:34 pm

In regards to the price drops in Florida and elsewhere. Here is how I see it. Certain areas (ie: heavy into sub-prime) are nearing the denial stage of the bust (near bottom). If so they will undershoot the trend for a brief time period, move slightly upwards then flatline for a long period of time as they did in Asia following the Asian financial crises.

The big drops in the US are yet to come, overall, it’s only about 36% done. Many places are just passing the denial stage of the ‘suckers rally’ (dead-cat bounce, bear market rally) and heading for the large, near vertical price drop. Some areas are further along, nearer the fear and capitulation stages & some even close to the bottom (despair).

As per some work on Kress I read back in around 92/93 the bottom would like not occur until after at least 50% of people with mortgages were underwater (now at 27 % nationwide). Some places will see drops as much as 90%, others, no where as severe. RE is always ‘local’.

Example of a relative in SanDiego, USA. Their house (paid off long ago) went to $ 700,000 and now is down about 60% (just below where it started) & is still dropping. When we were in Asia (he has 40 properties there) I recommend to sell & take the profit (March 2006). Three months later it peaked. I told him my target was a 70 – 90% price drop in his location (SanDiego,CA is down about 40% from the peak, thus far). I’m now tending towards the higher figure as the area is just now exiting the ‘suckers rally’ and should see some steep declines over the next 12 – 24 months. Guess I won’t get invited to dinner.

Overall prices won’t bottom (despair phase) until 2014 – 2018 – some places earlier than others (ie: sub-prime first as in FIFO). In the long term the US will be a good place to invest as crises = opportunity. I see the next bubble not occurring until after 2022 when the larger GenY group buys from the smaller GenX group. Also keep an eye on the retiring boomers, the leading edge turns 65 this year as this will have an increasing impact on RE values. Again note the market tends to head under the trend line for a short time but there won’t be anther bubble for quite some time so do not worry about ‘perfect timing’.

So we are at the stage (or past if a few sub-prime areas where significant price drops have occurred) where you should be on a jet researching locations for US properties you’re interested in. Between now (mostly sub-prime areas) and 2018 at the latest will be the buying opportunity of a lifetime as the prices correct slightly below the long-term trend lines. Also do a-lot of homework on the **MERs** situation (and how it relates to (say) foreclosures and titles) as it’s a quite serious issue. ** This process will also repeat here in Canada only it’s a few years delayed.

Try these links:
–> http://www.irvinehousingblog.com/blog/comments/despair-now-dominates-subprime-real-estate-markets/?source=patrick.net#blogtitle
–> http://www.zerohedge.com/article/frighteningly-obvious-truth-most-deny-–-us-housing-continues-freefall-nowhere-near-bottom?source=patrick.net#inner-content

For the Toronto market I seem to recall the last bubble peaking about 1989 (NAFTA?) and a housing crises lasting until about 2005 (from my viewpoint). Places bought in 1989 often didn’t get back to their previous ‘high’ until on or after 2002. SFHs in Toronto dropped about 40% and condos which were way overbuilt about 50-60%. This time around, the bubble is much worse – seems to be no shortage of condo developments in TO.

As for expected price drops follow the long term trends and factor in other economic, demographic and financial influences. When I gave price projections for RE in places like Florida and California for family in around 2004-2006 they simply couldn’t believe it yet it’s been 100% accurate (in hindsight). Use charts, mathematics and traditional methods and leave out ‘feelings’ and the like. It’s human nature to obscure history and science with useless feelings which taint the picture. Lastly it’s always human nature to downplay the severity of the coming drops and consequently the future buying opportunities (go back and read the headlines and articles for US R-RE from 2006 to see what I mean). Again Canada will go through the traditional ‘bust’ shortly and it will be much more severe than most expect.

DW

#129 mid-Ontario on 02.11.11 at 1:53 pm

Breaking news!!
Mr. Mubarak has stepped down.

yet to be reported.
“A private jet from Goldman Sachs just landed at the Cairo airport and several men are headed with cases stuffed with worthless OTC slips to peddle in the new democracy in the mid-East”

Global TV will report everything soon in the comprehensive way that only Global can.

#130 The truth on 02.11.11 at 2:00 pm

Canadian exports at record levels. Bodes well for jobs. No correction in RE this spring or summer. Hold off on the doomer talk till the fall. Just wait until the fall, listings will explode and then it will not end well … Lol

One month’s numbers after almost a year of record deficits. Grasp, grasp. — Garth

#131 jess on 02.11.11 at 2:10 pm

“Branded Journalism”
vnr’s
media link worldwide
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Fake_news
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMIh4yucVUc
==================================

The so called USA democratic free speech country ? Huh? Then Why block a Michael Moore film(451) in New Zealand?
=====================
I guess Egyptian got sick and tired of FAKE news
three security companies–
proposing to help it respond to Wikileaks.

…”emphasizes the national security ties and military background of the employees of the company
the presentation fleshes out what the companies proposed. Under potential proactive tactics, it lists:

•Feed the fuel between the feuding groups. Disinformation. Create messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization. Submit fake documents and then call out the error.
•Create concern over the security of the infrastructure. Create exposure stories. If the process is believed to not be secure they are done.
•Cyber attacks against the infrastructure to get data on document submitters. This would kill the project. Since the servers are now in Sweden and France putting a team together to get access is more straightforward.
•Media campaign to push the radical and reckless nature of wikileaks activities. Sustained pressure. Does nothing for the fanatics, but creates concern and doubt amongst moderates.
•Search for leaks. Use social media to profile and identify risky behavior of employees.
Of particularly interest, they describe HBGary Federal’s abilities to conduct INFOOPS, including “influence operations” and “social media exploitation.”

#132 Victoria on 02.11.11 at 2:13 pm

Okay why do they keep saying property is going up. We bought our house for $920,000 almost 3 years ago. We put in about $75,000 worth of work (and it still needs more). It is in a great neighbourhood on a great street. We bought it because we needed some space – with 4 kids. This was the going price in the neighbourhood – for a home that needed a facelift.

I want to sell and rent. I don’t want debt. I had two very well known and respected RE agents come by yesterday. How much could we sell it for? probably $940,000. MAYBE.

This is what is happening folks. I am sure we are just one of many many people. We did not buy it to make money and I know many people who bought homes at that time with the dream of selling them to make money.

If we sell now we will loose. Don’t listen to MSM.

#133 OttawaMike on 02.11.11 at 2:15 pm

#226 OttawaMike [email protected]:46
My points were:
1) Govt intervention, mortgage interest rate relief, home buyers assistance programs
2)Canadian economy picking up steam, increased consumer confidence, remissions from sales of the record priced commodities back into our economy
3)this will temper any price collapse and lead to a flat decade once inflation is accounted for. (your slow melt)

To which Garth replied:
There will be no government intervention to prop up the housing market. That’s a fantasy. Consumer confidence will not improve while taxes and rates rise, unless we have a flood of jobs. From where? If you want to stay my friend, stop making stuff up. — Garth

OK, How about this:
~Canada’s trade surplus was hit right out of the park in December @ $3 billion. Analysts expected $300 million.
~oil exports at all time record
~60k new manufacturing jobs since Oct.
~the marginal rise in the recently announced unemployment rate was actually good news since so many discouraged workers re-entered the workforce in Dec/Jan.
Here
~Many of the property virgins are locked or locking in for 5 years on their mortgages, kicking the spectre of higher rates down the road
~what is stopping our govt from offering home buyers relief as pre-emptive strike against a falling market?

You know I’m a big fan, Garth and I’m also a follower of Jeff Rubin’s musings butwhat gets to me about both of you is the steadfastness in your predictions.
Jeff called for $200 oil and 70% less vehicles on N. American roads by 2015.

You guys should already know from economics 101 that the morning session of the course is spent explaining why the last predictions didn’t pan out and the afternoon slot is reserved for rolling out the new predictions.

There will be no government assistance for housing. How can a smart guy like you be so stupid? –Garth

#134 Devore on 02.11.11 at 2:19 pm

#84 Moneta

I guess the 5,000$ per year that was going into I as renos shifted into C as consumer spending.

See, that’s fine, because GDP = C + I + G.

Keynesians only care about aggregates, the silly goofs.

#135 Mister Obvious on 02.11.11 at 2:23 pm

My RE agent seems like a good guy. He was actually the same person I bought my place from many years ago.

When I sold in 2010 I told him exactly what I wanted to net after the sale. This was after studying the market for a long time and coming up with what I believed was a fair and reasonable price. Let’s call that ‘X’. Simply put, X, in my pocket after the sale would make me happy.

Two weeks later, we completed a sale for 110% of X. Sales commission totalled 3.2%. Discounting legal fees etc. My net was:

110% * 96.8% = 106.8%

So its simple. I wanted to net X and, unexpectedly, I got 6.8% more than X. I thought I was happy.

But disturbing questions still nag in the night: Should I consider my agent a low-life, money-grubbing slime ball sleazebag? And if I do, must I also paint myself with the same brush as an accomplice in his crimes?

I should mention that there was a minor bidding war. Was that his fault? My fault? Should I have been overjoyed or ashamed?

I suffer great existential angst over this. Not.

#136 BigAl (Original) on 02.11.11 at 2:27 pm

Re – Ottawa vs. Vancouver (or Montreal).

Having lived in all three of those places, all I can say is Ottawa really wasn’t for me. A hum-drum town full of hum-drum people. Rather than being full of educated civil servants as one would initially expect, one quickly finds out that it is rather a vast sea of gov’t clerical staff with lifer jobs. The city, for me, lacked charisma, life, character, and diversity. Unfriendly and clique-ish people.
Lots of complaints, unhappiness there.
And, , ironically, their only bright spot, within themselves, seemed to be their collective hatred of Toronto. While most of the rest of the country ‘hates’ Toronto in a kind of tongue-in-cheek way, I found Ottawans to be downright neurotic in their own peculiar paranoia of the big city up the road. Honestly, it was truly bizarre.

#137 Another Albertan on 02.11.11 at 2:29 pm

#107/Calgary Renter:

In Calgary? In the short and medium term, likely a whole lot of zero.

AECO and Henry Hub are weak and will remain so for quite a while. (Where’s Eduardo from ~15 months ago with his $7 natty price target?)

Everyone else’s mileage may vary.

#138 Bottoms_Up on 02.11.11 at 2:34 pm

#125 Slice on 02.11.11 at 1:08 pm
————————————
Great! I love it when people participate in society.

I’ve written to the CRTC about the Dire Straights issue.

I’ve written to my MP (David McGuinty) about the HST and about the proposal to reduce competition in the cellular market by cutting out Globalive.

I’ve written to my local councillor about their proposal to reduce garbage pick-up to once every two weeks.

The only person I heard back from was Mr. McGuinty. Shame on the CRTC and my councillor (I won’t be voting for him again).

#139 Utopia on 02.11.11 at 2:38 pm

So, Olympic village condo prices will be cut by up to 50%. But don’tpasnic yet. This is just an exception. No worries for anyone else in the vicinity as the rest of the market is fully intact and very strong.

I even hear that lower mainland property prices are expected to rise further as the year progresses, that stability and market balance has broken out all over. Just ask Re/Max, RBC or Ozzie Jurock.

They will happily pump some sunshine up your ass.

Perhaps you read the article? There was a heart breaking few sentences at the end that really tore at my soul. Here they are:

“The receiver’s plan is not such good news, however, for people who have already purchased. Isabello Sarmiento’s family will watch new neighbours move in who will have paid a lot less than they did. “My family probably feel a bit robbed or a bit cheated,” Sarmiento said. “Usually, as the years go on, the prices go up.”

Cry me a river of tears. Tough break being a greater fool. I even shed a few drops in sympathy (NOT). Maybe the Sarmiento’s should sue the developer or the city for a refund.

Give me a break. Those poor foolish buyers. How can we help them survive the embarassment? Is there an empty hat in the house. Lets take up a collection for all the greater fools who bought too high.

Or should we instead save our sympathies for the many thousands of people who I hear live homeless on Vancouvers streets and camp rough in the local parks for lack of shelter.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/02/10/bc-olympic-village-plan.html#ixzz1DfsuPNIb

#140 Sotiri on 02.11.11 at 2:39 pm

Americans know now who created the housing disaster in US and they are working to correct it – see what Obama is proposing.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110211/ap_on_bi_ge/us_obama_housing

I hope our government is smart enough to learn before is too late. (in fact it is too late)

#141 April on 02.11.11 at 2:48 pm

#125 Slice
Good on you. I’m also going to write to them.

#142 Otto Doppelganger on 02.11.11 at 2:49 pm

Garth,

I hereby nominate falling knife catcher supreme and yard sale enthusiast Bonnie Lo of West Vancouver, who was so moved by the fire sale prices of the Olympic Village that she “…rushed to the…sales office”

She was further quoted as saying, “I’m always looking for good deals,” Lo said. “If they were 50 per cent off, I’d buy them all.”

Ladies and gentlemen, real estate in Vancouver is officially seen as one would view canned chickpeas or bananas…why would you buy only one when you can buy lots.

As if the prevailing market conditions that forced the hand of the receiver to sell at 30-50% off market price will magically reverse themselves after a decade of price gains.

I guess you can fool some of the people some of the time.

#143 Debtfree on 02.11.11 at 2:56 pm

They just don’t build them like they used to.

http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2010/04/12/25-story-apartment-tower-built-in-2001-now-a-teardown/

good solution for millinium.

#144 Slice on 02.11.11 at 2:59 pm

url if you wish to complain to the CRTC about that Global “Chinese Realtor” news broadcast:

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/RapidsCCM/Register.asp?lang=E

#145 Pat on 02.11.11 at 3:04 pm

#120 ??wth?? wrote:

“… I notice that the immigrants there don’t seem to integrate into a western way of living. … no intention whatsoever of learning english or dressing as we would.
… I strongly think that anyone who chooses to live here should become Canadian 1st. ”

WTF? Tell us about the Canadian dress code?

#146 Devore on 02.11.11 at 3:15 pm

#142 Debtfree

The McGuinty building has quite the history, and has been surrounded in scaffolding for much of its life.

There’s an amusing blog that mentions it repeatedly. They’re also obsessed with squirrels over there, do I see a pattern?

#147 NFN_NLN on 02.11.11 at 3:16 pm

> Hey man, exactly why is soy milk bad for you? Please explain!

Google Soy Milk and Estrogen, then get back to me.

#148 Devore on 02.11.11 at 3:19 pm

For the more politically motivated amongst us, there’s a convenient web site that has a lot of useful information. It will show you how your MP is voting, who is voting for what, and what bills are before out legislators (and at what stage).

http://howdtheyvote.ca/

Oh, and a handy dandy list of slackers and busybodies.

#149 Ben on 02.11.11 at 3:25 pm

#99 Ben on 02.11.11 at 10:36 am

I think my boss overpaid at $45K

Check these brand new 1800 to 2000 sqft homes in Arizona for under $50K

Unbelievable…

http://realestate4santan.com/search-by-price

#150 DW on 02.11.11 at 3:27 pm

“… For the Toronto market I seem to recall the last bubble peaking about 1989 (NAFTA?) and a housing crises lasting until about 2005 (from my viewpoint). …”

Should read:

“… For the Toronto market I seem to recall the last bubble peaking about 1989 (NAFTA?) and a housing crises lasting until about 1995 (from my viewpoint). …”

A final note on the bubble/bust. IMO, it’s generally the least desirable areas which will hit the denial-stage (bottom) first. Again FIFO. For instance areas with: no real jobs, very long commutes (bedroom communities like this are also very susceptible to rising gas prices), questionable areas (ie: houses in former industrial areas or dumps, apartment conversions often built & sold near the height of the bubble mania and so forth), areas where the majority of people are financially over-extended (little or no equity, other loans and debts, few assets, new neighborhoods..), and high amounts of sub-prime (risky) mortgages. Think of it as one huge ‘pump & dump’.

Usually the more desirable properties come along later during the bust cycles. It takes time to work up the food chain – middle class, people whom made good down-payments, established neighborhoods where equity was unfortunately withdrawn from the property, people with modest savings, professionals (also susceptible to a declining job market) and so forth. Investigate the on-going US bust and you’ll see it’s now moving into better neighborhoods & higher classes but generally started with the most risky sub-prime areas (sub-prime areas within NV, FL, CA and so forth).

You also want to investigate HOAs and related/equivalent fees. No point buying into a great condo ‘deal’ at the bottom if you’re the only one left paying the maintenance fees for the entire building (in the 1920s a-lot of people got into trouble with co-ownerships in the US)! Also the MERs situation (US), no point paying for a property only to find out no one knows whom actually owns it!

In near Toronto I would see the furthest commuting areas getting hit very hard such as Stoney Creek (and developments towards Niagara Falls), Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Milton and so forth. Often these homes are larger and the looming 48% (some saying 400% in 2012) hydro increase, rising gasoline prices (long commutes to the real job markets), increasing taxes and so forth will hit these areas very hard.
Note: Also some of these areas are very reliant on job-market areas which generally ‘tank’ during busts — like the automotive industry (who doesn’t have a new car these days? = little pent up demand). During the 1989-1995 bust as I recall, Magna was near (or in?) bankruptcy and if you watched the cars on the road the majority seemed to be rusty-wrecks (not to mention all the wheels coming off trucks on the 401). The auto and other ‘cylindrical industries’ and those jobs and communities linked to it will get hit very hard.

Remember RE is NOT like stocks. Usually listings go way up (big RED flag!!), then the MARKET BECOMES ILLIQUID (need to sell before this!!!), then (would-be) sellers generally chase prices all the way down. IMO, it’s best to make a large cut at the beginning of the bust should you be caught in bust then a series of small and ineffective price reductions all the way to the bottom. Taking the loss at the start is generally much smaller then near the bottom.

Lastly remember generally a home is a place to live. An income producing property much produce (surprise) **INCOME** greater than the carrying expenses. “Profit” is basically based on the price you sold it for (minus related expenses) minus
the purchase price and carrying costs (ie maintenance, taxes..). So often I have to listen to people talking about how much money their property ‘made’ when they have not even sold it.

DW

#151 Devore on 02.11.11 at 3:29 pm

Oh, to comment on my own comment, the “slackers” link in my previous post is rather instructive. If the opposition doesn’t like the Cons running the country like a dictatorship, rather than a minority that they are, perhaps they should start by actually showing up? Maybe?

#152 Canayjun on 02.11.11 at 3:40 pm

So the Olympic village condos are coming on the market at 30% less than their original prices.

#153 Canayjun on 02.11.11 at 3:50 pm

We sold in late 2009, for a good price. This is what I’ve learned about landlords, after dealing with 4 landlords for my adult son, 2 landlords for my adult daughter, and 2 landlords for my husband and myself.

1. There are many, many first time landlords out there now. And they don’t know how to be landlords. They just want rent cheques.

2. About half of the landlords we have rented from are first time landlords.

3. 3 out 4 of the first time landlords we have dealt with admitted they were under water on their properties. All of them had gotten an evaluation from a RE agent.

4. The three (out of 4) who admitted they were under water on their mortgage cannot afford to supplement a potential sale of their property to satisfy the bank. So they are stuck with the property until its price goes back up to a point where they can sell and satisfy the bank.

The only worry I have as a renter is whether they can make their mortgage payments and not end up in foreclosure.

We are now renting a 1.7 million dollar property for $1,900 per month. It’s an average (updated) house with 3 or 4 acres. I doubt it’s worth the 1.7 million the owner paid though, because he bought at the peak.

#154 VMT on 02.11.11 at 3:52 pm

… while in the US the situation seems to have been changing:

Housing is a buy

Any comments on that, Garth?

#155 Patiently Waiting on 02.11.11 at 3:53 pm

Great work Garth . . . I knew the moment I saw the Global Clip that it was a bogus marketing gimmick by local chinese realtors . . . the part about the heli tour netting them 6 sales . . . buying condos by air was particularly funny . . . what a crock. Global news should be ashamed of themselves . . .

#156 The American on 02.11.11 at 3:54 pm

At #142: Ahhhh yes! So glad you found this article. This was known as “The McGuire Apartments.” This was not a condominium project. In fact, I lived in this at one point about 7 years ago. I hated it then and would constantly give the management a piece of my mind about the lack of quality in finishes and the horrible management. What’s so funny about it, is this was built by the Carpenters’ Union using the Carpenters’ Union’s money for the purposes of creating an annuity stream to fund the Carpenters’ Union for generations to come. I guess it goes to show how horrible Unions are when it comes to delivering a quality project. I’m glad the piece os sh*t is getting torn down. In fact, I have a partial view of it out of my window right now. However, they haven’t started demolition yet. Good riddance.

#157 A Voice of Reason on 02.11.11 at 3:57 pm

“We will not be able to recognize this country by the end of the next generation if things keep going as they are.”

Must be what Aboriginals were saying when European colonists landed here. I might remind you that unless you are Aboriginal you are the product of immigration too.

#158 wetcoaster on 02.11.11 at 4:03 pm

This is now getting pathetic. The Vancouver Sun now wants you to tune in Saturday for the big expose on…..drum roll please :

Real estate bidding wars resume

February 10, 2011 The housing market appears to be heating up again in Metro Vancouver with bidding wars erupting on desirable properties. A home near Main Street and 23rd Ave. in Vancouver recently sold for $25,000 over the asking price.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/story.html?id=4259976#ixzz1DgJDpyH9

Main, you mean close to junkie town ? This is effing disgusting. Big header on the top of the page.

#159 Peter on 02.11.11 at 4:16 pm

We need to change our system of government in order to ensure competent administration of our country. Yes, democratically elect members of parliament, but ministers in charge of major government departments need to be vetted by parliament and if not experienced or competent then the government will need to hire outside to fill the positions.

I am tired by the mediocracy/theocracy of the Harper regime. With that in place we might not have had 35 year mortgage amortizations and no down mortgages.

#160 Livingthedream on 02.11.11 at 4:22 pm

Metro Vancouver buys park land for $4.3 million
-the newly acquired land encompasses Poignant Creek, and may provide a home to rare and endangered species, such as the mountain beaver and the Oregon snail,

Squirrley should be happy with this news ! His cousins now
have an additional 165 acres to roam. Glad they got this done as several helicopters have been hovering over the site , assunming its Global 1 staging more offshore real estate investors.At least it will keep the “beavers” safe, and I’m all for that. You can never have too many around.
As for the Oregon snails, hope they cleared immigration. They likely snuck in on the bottom of a cargo container, so they can stay.

#161 The American on 02.11.11 at 4:24 pm

At #118: Truth is Seattle has better weather than Vancouver, traffic is bad here in rush hour, but it is by far not nearly the worst in the country (check your facts). Sounds to me like you’ve never been here, actually.

As for real estate prices here, they’re much better than in Vancouver. Vancouver is a city that still builds buildings with 8′ ceilings and provides sub-par construction with minimal standards of quality. Also, there’s not differentiation in architecture in Vancouver, making for an incredibly boring city experience. Everything there is already dated with what appears to be a curtain of nasty green and soiled glass.

As for Starbucks… take it or leave it. Seattleites rarely drink that char-broiled crap. We much prefer the scened of a bohemian coffee shop. We support our industry here, including:

Starbucks, Tully’s, Torre Fazzione, K2 Skiing, Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Drugstore.com, Nordstrom, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, Costco, Union Bay, Tommy Bahama, Cutter & Buck, Real Networks, Sur La Table, Holland America, Alaska/Horizon Airlines, Port of Seattle.

Those are just a few. I can go on, but you get the point. What industry does Vancouver to support, justify, and sustain prices? NONE. Zip, zero, zilch.

Seattle has some traffic, but ask any Seattleite, and they’ll take Seattle traffic over Vancouver’s any day of the week. Vancouver severely lacks infrastructure from a real highway and freeway system to efficiently direct traffic to/from/around its center core. Additionally, Vancouver is too cheap to even anti up traffic light for cross street traffic, creating one hell of a mess most all times of the day. Really, Vancouver could use some improving.

Add to that The Olympics to the West, The Cascades to the East, Mt. Rainier/Mt. Everett, and a host of other volcanos, Puget Sound to the West, Lake Union to the North, and Lake Washington to the East, and the setting in Seattle is stunning. Floating bridges, smart highways being implemented, link rail system, street trams being built, and a new Seattle waterfront along the downtown area are all happening even as we speak. Seattle is the city where it is at and the city of the future. I CHOSE this place (and could have chosen anywhere to live in the world) because this is where it is all going – not where it was. Vancouver has the Bay/Sound and some “mountains” next to it (really, they’re more like large hills). Vancouver has no night life, limited shopping, limited restaurants/bars/pubs, and a host of other issues that will be tough to overcome. There’s no soul there, and most everyone I know wouldn’t trade Seattle for Vancouver on a friggin’ bet.

http://smashingusa.com/top-10-worst-american-cities-for-traffic/

#162 Internal Exile on 02.11.11 at 4:32 pm

As a Vancouverite the “helicopter stunt” makes me actually feel physically ill. It’s a perfect example of the the amateur hour-style PR and spin-control that people here eat up on a daily basis. It’s blasted at us 24/7 from “news” sources.

And then people here wonder why no one takes us seriously and think we’re a bunch of pot smoking delusionals.

Barf

#163 canali on 02.11.11 at 4:35 pm

tune in tomorrow to the Vancouver Sun: bidding wars still going on…here is a teaser it seems:
http://www.vancouversun.com/business/story.html?id=4259976

#164 The American on 02.11.11 at 4:36 pm

At #118: BPOE, by all means, please feel free to check the climate difference between Seattle and Vancouver. In every month, Seattle receives less precipitation than Vancouver, Seattle receives less snow than Vancouver, Seattle has higher temperatures every month than Vancouver, and Seattle has more sunshine hours than Vancouver. Where do you get your information? LOL Here’s the links. Check for yourself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver

Yeah, kind of hard to get out of that mistruth you spoke too, right?

#165 .9999 Silver on 02.11.11 at 4:38 pm

hey … from friends who worked the Olympic money grab.!
The athletes at the village were joking about how well they could hear the snores of the athletes next door, as well as the “quality” of the build.
Do you suppose word got out about what a piece of overpriced crap they were. And if the estimated price dropped 50% do you suppose they will drop your property assessment bill 50%……………the value of the property tax bill is based on an estimated not bill of sale, assessment by “BC Assessment” a private real estate funded company. Shows what they know as experts. Experts also provide guarantee’s with their product.
best of lug from the pump and dump capital of canada.
.9999 Silver

#166 BC Bring Cash on 02.11.11 at 4:41 pm

Can someone out there please help me? I want to know what people in Winnipeg are saying to justify the fact that this time is different here in the Peg? As has been said it certainly is not the mountain views, warm beaches or the balmy breezes. Is it because the Peg is geographic centre of North America?
I talked to local woman in Revelstoke BC awhile back and she was so exited that the bloated value of her house was going up because we are going to get a Ski Hill. Now as the locals are buying homes from each other the justification must be, its different here because we have the Ski Hill. WTF. Revestroke is roughly halfway between Calgary and Vancouver, a long haul overland from any major international Airport. I guess that Revelstrokers along with their RE windfall are also going to buy and sell lift tickets to each other to get ever richer the fast and easy way.

#167 CrowdedElevatorFartz on 02.11.11 at 4:46 pm

@#143 Slice
Thanks for the link. I “logged” a complaint with the CRTC about the biased real estate reporting in TV, Radio and Print.
Disgusting.

#168 Mr. Plow on 02.11.11 at 4:48 pm

#124 Slice…

No.

#169 edmonton mortgage broker on 02.11.11 at 5:02 pm

#165 BC Bring Cash

stayed at a bed and breakfast 3 yrs ago in Revelstoke, fell in love with the place and could not believe what real estate had been inflated to there, in the middle of nowhere! Developers had grand plans to build private chalets on the hills with heli pads for all the elite who would be parking their helicopters there.

flash forward to this year, stayed at the same bed and breakfast. there’s no grand chalets, no heli pads, and the biggest employer in town is the EI Ski Team. (that’s employment insurance btw). think i’m gonna see if i can make the team, i hear they have a few openings.

fwiw, the pow in revelstoke is 2nd to none. 30cm of fresh on top of 30 cm the previous day. you need a snorkel so you don’t choke to death on pow.

#170 poco on 02.11.11 at 5:08 pm

#160 The American
have been to Seattle several times in the last year –love it there–you forgot to mention one thing

“Ride The Duck”–it’s a hoot–best value for your dollar there is—the driver kept us in stitches for over 2hrs

for those who don’t know –it’s a WW2 amphibious vehicle converted to a bus–gives you a tour of seattle (both on land and water)–got to try it if you’re there

#171 john m on 02.11.11 at 5:08 pm

#112 The American on 02.11.11 at 11:59 am

At #75: Rich Asians won’t be buying at Millenium Waterfront (now called Village on False Creek) because those rich Asians stopped buying quite some time ago, for the most part. They’re clearly not stupid.<<<<<<<< ohhhhhh negatare…in fact apparently Harper and Obama's meeting this week on border security was triggered by the large number of helicopters full of Asians violating airspace over the peace arch border crossing…apparently they were trying to find a spot to land on the beach at White Rock (high tide) to capture some of that prime real estate :-)

#172 grantmi on 02.11.11 at 5:12 pm

#152 Canayjun on 02.11.11 at 3:50 pm
We are now renting a 1.7 million dollar property for $1,900 per month. It’s an average (updated) house with 3 or 4 acres. I doubt it’s worth the 1.7 million the owner paid though, because he bought at the peak.

Where in Canada are you renting a $1.7M home for $1.9K Canayjun??????????

#173 doctore on 02.11.11 at 5:20 pm

How many chinese millionaires are there?

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/293790

About 477k, almost half of germany. I don’t think there are enough chinese to make much of a difference.

#174 bill on 02.11.11 at 5:24 pm

WTF? Tell us about the Canadian dress code?

its quite simple really in the east one wears a toque at all times .in the winter snowshoes are a must .
in the lower mainland a gortex jacket and some flippers insure seamless blending with the ”old canadians’
New albertans would be wise to don a stetson and switch to cowboy boots.
in newfoundland just by a round and your in.
hope this helped.

#175 HouseBuster on 02.11.11 at 5:25 pm

Just noticed that there are a huge amount of listings on Craiglist for Milton.

Does this mean something? Yes, I think so.

#176 Timing is Everything on 02.11.11 at 5:27 pm

Garth…Just 4 U….Easy now…

http://images.wikia.com/marveldatabase/images/7/78/Sqlgrl5.jpg

http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/13925/284444-85059-squirrel-girl.jpg

#177 Alex on 02.11.11 at 5:29 pm

I wrote Global directly, just as I’ve done with a dozen or so media outlets recently that seem to favor infommercials over news. Took me less than five minutes to convey my level of disgust. I urge anyone else who’s seen enough of this garbage to take five minutes from their own day and do the same.

#178 Timing is Everything on 02.11.11 at 5:48 pm

Oh ya Garth…She is real…maybe she can hold the Squirrlie…

http://tinyurl.com/6hy7dby

Sorry Lynn @ #60

#179 Herb on 02.11.11 at 5:54 pm

#25 Carp, #89 and #101 Moneta, and #135 Big Al (Original),

Having lived here for some years, let me add a few points on the virtues and vices of Ottawa:

1. House prices definitely are lower than Van or TO, but property taxes are a good bit higher.

2. Heating and cooling must be factored into housing costs – the weather both in summer and winter is brutal. (I once figured that I could save $5,000 a year in taxes and energy costs by moving to the West Coast. Didn’t because of family ties.)

3. The local transportation and traffic systems are a joke. The choice is between being sardined in infrequent buses, or stuck in cars during extended rush hours. The dispersion of built-up areas and distribution of the population are sufficient explanation, which leads into the next point –

4. City Council and administration are firmly in the hands of developers, meaning that decisions are not made for the common good and that taxes have only one way to go. Although there are great plans and a slew of municipal beatitudes (an “inclusive” and “caring” “city of neighbourhoods”, for instance) the qualities that should matter – rational, reasonable and affordable – are not known.

5. The main attractions are federal cultural institutions (NAG, NAC, museums) and attractive scenery along the waterways.

7. The economy is the federal government and anything that serves it and its workforce.

8. The population is not a reason to move here – but I don’t know any major city where it would be.

#180 mid-Ontario on 02.11.11 at 5:55 pm

#131 victoria
Okay why do they keep saying property is going up. We bought our house for $920,000 almost 3 years ago. We put in about $75,000 worth of work (and it still needs more)… I had two very well known and respected RE agents come by yesterday. How much could we sell it for? probably $940,000. MAYBE.

This is what is happening folks…

If we sell now we will loose. Don’t listen to MSM.
——————————————————-
According to most on this blog, you will lose even more the longer you wait.
I am sure it cuts into quality sleep time.
Good luck.

#181 BrianT on 02.11.11 at 6:08 pm

#160American-It sounds like you like Seattle, but realistically a very small % of people with the finances to live anywhere on this planet would actually choose Seattle. The place is very cold and very wet.

#182 Tiffa on 02.11.11 at 6:13 pm

#43 Bailing in BC
“A house in Squamish just dropped it’s list price to $799k

Previous price? $888,000… and that’s when I knew that the Asian invasion was bunk!”

_________

Squamish is completely schizophrenic right now, hey? There’s a glut of new listings, including “new” listings that have been on the market for a year, with substantially dropped prices. At the same time, new condo units are appearing everywhere… witness the sad case of Aqua, the massive, ugly condo/townhouse development *in the estuary* that is now bank-controlled with dropped prices and is surrounded by foreclosed lots that still won’t sell.

We live at the edge of downtown, renting a place next to trees and trails, but that over the last year has become surrounded by new construction. Who is supposed to be buying/living in these places?? There is so little industry and work here, to actually attract new residents. The neighborhood’s too loud for us these days, so we’ll be looking to move to somewhere better (which we can easily do, as renters, and there’s so many rental units around right now we’re likely to pay less than we do currently for more space).

I fear for the place. I really do. It’s not going to be pretty, and people I care about are going to suffer when the air’s let out.

#183 HouseBuster on 02.11.11 at 6:26 pm

#171 grantmi – i think it’s 1.9K just for the basement..lol

#184 Timing is Everything on 02.11.11 at 6:38 pm

Most Sustainable Cities Ranking. Kinda interesting…

http://www.corporateknights.ca/report/2011-most-sustainable-cities-canada

#185 CandleFish on 02.11.11 at 6:45 pm

A couple of years ago I shared a flight home to Kelowna from Phoenix with a fellow – a carpet layer by trade – who’d just bought a home there. He was tickled pink because he’d only paid $130,000. I wonder what that home is worth today?

#186 Alex on 02.11.11 at 7:00 pm

#184 CandleFish: True enough, but I wonder what his Kelowna home is worth today…

#187 OttawaMike on 02.11.11 at 7:06 pm

#25 Carp, #89 and #101 Moneta, and #135 Big Al (Original),#178 Herb

Every one of those posts has some true observations IMHO but Big Al(original) gets the Bingo. I couldn’t have said it better.

I arrived here 20 yrs ago from Toronto and experienced (lack of?)culture shock.
I almost headed back to T.O. a couple of times but persevered. It is home now and the city has become something slightly more than a cultural backwater with its live music, sports and theatre scene.

Ottawa’s real charm lies in its easy access to outdoor pursuits. Wilderness, decent skiing, skating, bicycling and you don’t have to compete with 6 million other locals for access to it all.

Bottoms up,
Your choice – Get a bigger garbage can or keep facing above inflation prop. tax increases.
I feel for you if you have small kids and produce large quantities of garbage but do we really need all those garbage trucks(regular,green,recycle) coming by weekly?
BTW, Did you hear Ottawa is taking back to city staff after years of contract pickup? Our city services are deemed an essential service with a no strike provisions unlike Toronto. I say better to keep the money in town then send it to the waste management corps. shareholders, CEO’s and Tony Sopranos.

#188 Victoria on 02.11.11 at 7:08 pm

mid-Ontario

I totally agree with you. I wish my husband would. People say well stay in it for 15 years. I always find that funny logic. Does anyone know where they will be 20 years from now. I hope happy and healthy, still married, great kids. However, we don’t know what the future will bring.

Cheers!

#189 Victoria on 02.11.11 at 7:11 pm

Canayjun,

Please let us know. Our problem is that we are 6 people, 3 cats, 2 dogs and most places in Victoria say NO PETS. Can’t say NO KIDS (they do more damage than pets anyway) but the sentiment is there.

I wish it was Victoria.

#190 ballingsford on 02.11.11 at 7:11 pm

Jane on 02.11.11 at 1:37 am
Hey Carp,

Is Ottawa really that much cheaper than Van? We too are thinking of moving our family there. How long have you been there?
**********

Ottawa is still expensive, but not as crazy as Vancouver. If you are used to paying Vancouver prices, then you’ll think things are cheap here. Just do an MLS search for Ottawa, Kanata, Barrhaven, and Orleans and check it out yourself.

Don’t tell anyone thought, because we don’t want everyone moving here and stopping the bubble from bursting in this area.

This is just between you and me. ;)

#191 Hoof Hearted on 02.11.11 at 7:12 pm

Re: White Rock

The background info is this.

Many outlying areas of Metro Van are populated by people who do NOT want hi -density……ie say 3-4 storey max.( ie Ladner, Tsawassen, White Rock etc.)

The majority of White Rock residents are against Hi rises..it was a very contentious issue. I have a close family member that lives a few blocks from these White Rock towers.

One of Vancouver more prominent developers , as per the norm , has infiltrated White Rock and influenced the Local Council, which should respect its citizens wishes ( famous last words ) .

The methodology to sell out is as follows:
Local Gov’ts are increasingly desperate for visual signs of economic progress to help fill City Coffers…and delay tax increases on the existing constituents.

Like lost virginity, you build one hi -rise…this opens the door for more developer gang- bangs.

Hwever, my understanding is the White Rock towers are a BUST, they under-estimated the market demand .

However, the developer had bought enough land on the same block (in business district ) to build 5-6 more hi – rises.

So..what you are seeing is a Local Gov’t co-opted, but some sort of justice via the whole deal backfiring.

White Rock has some Asians….but its high percentage Caucasian enclave that can be a force to be reckoned with.

#192 norespect on 02.11.11 at 7:19 pm

“Damn Chinese”. Garth this is an extremely rascist comment. You have censored many others for less. How can you castigate the Chinese in this way…”Damn Them” you say? Are you promoting murder, you want to send them to hell? Your positions on rascism against Asians and name calling right thinking commentators are clearly confused. You’re an extremist liberal radical censor one minute and a outright rascist the next. Pick a side G-Man. You’re either a extremist wacko liberal hater or a right thinking person, but you can’t be both.

#193 Flase Facade on 02.11.11 at 7:21 pm

I am from Vancouver. I saw the news on Global and remember their names.

Cam Good (Scam Good) from the Key Marketing
Lu Wei (No Way) from Coldwell Banker

Here’s your credibility for the RE “industry” if you call it that. What a joke!

#194 pjwlk on 02.11.11 at 7:22 pm

#91 Adam in Montreal: “…so in 10 years, she will ‘piss away’ $35,000 to drive on the same roads… …that I do… … She shut right up.”

Yes, I’ve learned that women hate when you confuse the issue with logic…lol

#195 Morry on 02.11.11 at 7:51 pm

@#183 Timing is Everything:

good find. makes for good reading and something to think about.

#196 Morry on 02.11.11 at 7:54 pm

#176 Alex :please post where we can let global have it! Is it an email address? snail mail?

#197 Morry on 02.11.11 at 8:03 pm

#160 The American. Glad you like Seattle. A fairly pleasant city. You will gets lots of arguments about which city people might prefer over one or the other . Have you walked the perimeter of Vancouver!!! You can walk for miles along seashore!!! NAda of this in your Fair City. There isn’t more than 2% of Urban Designers/Architects/City Lovers that would name Seattle over Vancouver.

Your Freeway has CUT the city in HALF and as far as many are concerned.. ruined it forever. But as i say, I am glad you love your city. But just leave the comparisons alone.

I know which I would prefer….

#198 poco on 02.11.11 at 8:11 pm

#101 Moneta–“the retirees might have a guaranteed pension, but it will give them probably 70% of what they are getting , which is quite cushy but still not great if you’ve got a 100k mortgage.”

remember on that 60% or 70% the retiree no longer pays into CPP–EI–Union dues–many get reduced medical and dental and much more–reduced gross amount=reduced taxes—how many deductions on your pay cheque?
that 60 to 70% can work out to the same or even more take home pay upon retirement
after retirement you then have to rely on COLA for monthly increases

#199 jess on 02.11.11 at 8:14 pm

the plot thickens…

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/10/lobbyists-chamberleaks/

#200 Live Within Your Means on 02.11.11 at 8:18 pm

Was in our Stupid Store today. Cashier was talking to a customer he obviously knew. Applaud cashier that he’s a hard working chap, but is mentally challenged. He’s worked there for many years. Was talking about RE here in Dartmouth/Hfx. and how so many he knew had their homes on the market for 3/6 mos with no takers. His home was on the market but would not reduce it to the extent others have. Said he’d rather wait 5 yrs. Lady said nothing & neither did I. She was anxious to get away.

I don’t follow the market here as we won’t be selling ours in the short term. Neighbour next door is planning on selling next spring/summer to move back to PEI. They have a large home. Their son, DIL & 2 children moved to PEI due to work and their daughter, SIL, 2 grand kids live in Victoria. Totally understand.

#201 Morry on 02.11.11 at 8:23 pm

Seems to be my day to post ;-)
I have just come from having lunch with a friend who is involved with real estate/ housing / development. He was on walking on clouds. He reports that he has had the two best years in terms of earnings – ever. He deals mostly with new comers to the city from Mainland China. He cannot keep up with the work and projects. New Houses, remodelling of recently bought mansions, smaller bungalows etc etc… and even Condos. i asked about the looming 40% Haircut. He said no way. He has clients who in addition to buying the big homes are also purchasing condos and apts in various parts of the city for relatives, friends etc. There are folks who purchase condos so that their family members have places to stay while they are studying here etc. In his opinion it is driving up prices throughout the city.

So will this come to a bust? No way he said. It may slow down a bit short term. But it will make properties more expensive for lower wage owners.

Let me be clear. I have no vested interest in seeing houses go up so much. Nor do i like the cultural transformation that is coming. But as he said… you have no idea of what is coming. He deals and socializes with what he has come to see is something totally different from the experiences and social scene of his past 30 years of living in Vancouver.

Are take on this: The high end of the market is totally smooth as he sees it. Because of the way this end of the market is capitalized and funded, along with and capital gain being tax free! It is business for them he said. If there are spikes in the market it will be a the lower end where wages cannot sustain the hikes in mortgage rates. And yes there will be 25 drops… short term.

… then again he could be a BC Bud smoking Lotus eater. We will see.

#202 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.11.11 at 8:25 pm


2:09 clip Four new models of Trunk Monkeys (last one is good).

There is still life in the American business psyche. The Glazer family, owners of AIG bought Manchester United for US$790 mln. a few years ago, by transferring all their debts onto the club, which had been debt-free and perpetual money makers for donkey’s years.

Now it appears the Glazers will net double what they paid (see link). With tomorrow’s game against Manchester City, also owned by Middle East interests and debt-free as well, this may well be the beginning of the battles of the ME taking place on two soccer fields in Manchester.
*
#192 norespect on 02.11.11 at 7:19 pm

“Damn Chinese”. Garth this is an extremely rascist comment.”

Disagree. My better half is Oriental and I am Caucasian. To us, people who view opinions like these as ‘extremely racist’ are not level-headed thinkers, only seeking an immediate reaction for something that really doesn’t matter, in the larger scheme of life.
*
Speaking of Harper handing over Canada to the US, here’s Monsanto.

Global Trade war and Agriculture investments.

Power of the People Now that Mubarak is gone (although his replacement may end up being worse than him), here are 11 countries ripe for change. 4:15 clip Switzerland has frozen all Mubarak’s assets.

About Right “This is not going to stop with Cairo! And here is where trying to stage a coup against Ahmadinejad last year comes back to bite the US Government really hard!” wrh.com.

Loophole It never ends, although one day it has to. GS + JPM — Sherrifs of Nottingham.

9:20 clip US behind Egypt mess, courtesy Ron Paul.

Iceland “Iceland has the right idea. The bankers who scammed the world with the fraudulent mortgage-backed securities ought to be in jail awaiting trial, not bailed out of trouble by looting the people.” wrh.com. Where are GS and JPM? They will be hung by their balls as well!

‘Net Police Commonly referred to as Big Brother.

Infighting DC sues Arizona; Arizona sues DC. Who will win? Arizona.

Soros and Obama “George Orwell was not only a brilliant writer; over the years, he has proven to be a prophet.” wrh.com.

WH Although this is the US, I wouldn’t put anything past that sneaky SOB Harper to pull a similar stunt here.

Obama “Wall Street screws the economy with fraudulent mortgage-backed securities, the government lets them do it, then helps the banks confiscate homes to cover the losses when the fraud collapses, and now Obama wants to “solve” the problem by making homes harder to buy for those Americans who still have jobs? Time to Cairo his ass!” wrh.com.

IMF Dollar alternative.

#203 Alex on 02.11.11 at 8:30 pm

Morry, I simply went to the Global TV website, selected “Contact Us” (in tiny letters at the bottom of the home page), and filled in the form. I of course chose “Global BC” from the drop down list as my target, and “Complaint” as my “Type.” Thinking back, I should have found a more direct way of getting my complaint to a higher-up, but I was in the midst of working at the time.

#204 Live Within Your Means on 02.11.11 at 8:40 pm

Just watched Roy Orbison’s Black & White concert on DH’s 8 ft screen in his new man cave downstairs. He’s a scrounger. Didn’t cost him a cent – just his time. Did buy a surround sound system on Jijji (sp?) originally $800 for $200. Chap even traveled to bring it to our home. Lots of desperate, in debt folks out there.

#205 Cellar Dwellar on 02.11.11 at 8:45 pm

@#197
Seattle vs Vancouver.
I have to agree with you. Seattle has always seemed a tad dreary to me BUT the city does know how to party unlike this uptight, anal, “no fun” burg.
Vancouver does have skytrain ( airport to downtown core 20 mins. Downtown to Surrey 35 minutes). Seattle has ???? what? the 50year old monorail for 10 blocks???? Pikes market? The Space Needle?
Sorry, but I’ll take Granville Island and Stanley Park any day.
As long as you like where your at, comparisons are moot.

#206 AG Sage on 02.11.11 at 8:54 pm

>Previous Thread:
>#51 Jeff Smith on 02.10.11 at 2:20 am
>I love it to have more Chinese money invested in Canada. I think we should keep this gas bag going as long as possible. And you are not helping Garth, really!

I’ve been thinking this lately too. What a great way to steal an awful lot of money. As amusing as the thought is, the side-effects kind of bite in the end.

>WTF? Tell us about the Canadian dress code?

I picture a certain Monty Python song skit, myself.

#207 The American on 02.11.11 at 9:17 pm

At #181: BrianT, tell that to the richest man in the world and the 3rd richest man in the world, (and the 13th, and the 23rd) and so on and so on. LOL Again, where do you people get your information? Cracks me up really.

#208 The American on 02.11.11 at 9:30 pm

At #197: Morry, you’ve clearly not been to Seattle. The freeway BY DESIGN cuts the city to provide easy and direct access to the core. There are several bridges that link both sides over the freeway. It is called “Freeway Park” and it is quite beautiful. I doubt Canadians would even know it exists as your city hasn’t figured this out yet. Instead, Vancouver just sits there like a blob with side roads and stop lights for MILES just to get you to its core. You think that is good urban planning? I don’t think so, nor would any urban development committee. Yes, I’ve walked the miles of shoreline around Vancouver. Actually numerous times. Its nice for sure. Stanley Park is a nice place. Seattle has something very similar. It is called Discovery Park. I doubt you’ve been there or understand what that is either.

I only use Seattle as a comparison as a real city with a real economy and infrastructure and GDP to sustain home values, yet we were affected by the housing bubble too. Vancouverites are out of their mind if they honestly believe they are not being affected today and won’t continue to be negatively impacted (severely impacted) in the near future with respect to home values. We all find the lack of logic in the argument “we’re different” quite laughable, and Vancouver has quickly become THE laughing stock of delusion and denial with most everyone I know, not to mention senior economists, banks, media, and real estate analysts. I’m not sure what you hear there, but get out a little more, and you’ll find nobody believes it will end well there.

#209 Renting in Rosedale on 02.11.11 at 9:33 pm

#25 Carp, #89 and #101 Moneta, and #135 Big Al (Original), # 179 Herb,

I grew up in Ottawa, and lived there off and on as an adult. Its “OK”, but I much prefer Toronto.

Bottom line, Ottawa’s a pretty dull place. Don’t miss it. People are smug, but I never could figure out why. Everything seems attenuated – no extremes. No great wealth, but no great poverty either. No remarkable achievements, but satisfactory. No impressive civic leaders, but no Rob Ford’s either. No great University, but UofO and Carleton are passable. No mountains, Great Lakes, ocean, but the X-Country skiing in the Gatineau hills is nice I suppose.

etc.

#210 squidly77 on 02.11.11 at 9:51 pm

Damn Canadians, damn the brits and damn those yankees, is that racist ?

#211 a prairie dawg on 02.11.11 at 9:54 pm

Amen and pass the humble pie. Nothing like real numbers to convince the deluded. yo

#212 BrianT on 02.11.11 at 9:58 pm

#207-Einstein: You might as well tell us everybody wants to move to Omaha because Buffett hangs out there.

#213 Milhous Plumbers on 02.11.11 at 10:12 pm

Justin Beaver is now looking for RE and talking faith – oops.

AND

Say there Cairo..

Russia got rid of the Czar and ended with Stalin.
France murdered the King and got Napoleon…

#214 Get Real on 02.11.11 at 10:14 pm

# 135

Unfortunately, most Canadians are like that.
“We’re different”
(read-better than you) is nothing more than collective insecurity.

#215 City Slicker on 02.11.11 at 10:16 pm

The video does have somewhat a misleading angle to it. But I think the wealthy Chineese might be the 2 guys walking in front of Chris Chan when boarding the chopper. Of course Chris Chan and Lu are commentating which kinda give the audience the impression they are the wealthy realtors, and they happend to be Chinese too, concidence? Hard to say for sure. But they never interviewed the other 2 that boarded the helicopter. Maybe thats how it was staged if someone came forward with questions. Hard to say for sure what this was all about, a real estate pump in one way or another.

#216 Canayjun on 02.11.11 at 10:18 pm

To: Grantmi or Victoria

After we sold our house and began looking at rental ads we found that about 85 to 90 percent of ads say “no pets.” BUT, some landlords will negotiate with you, depending on how many and what type of pets you have. Landlords don’t like big dogs, they don’t seem to mind lap dogs so much. They don’t mind cats so much either. In BC they can charge a separate pet damage deposit from the regular damage deposit, so you pay two deposits instead of one. And even if they say no pets, some landlords will take a good tenant with pets, over a bad tenant with no pets. People are really, really paranoid about ending up with a grow op in their rental house here.

We opted to rent an acreage, because we wanted a good yard for our two lap dogs (and cat who catches all the mice).

This property was a real, extreme, gem of a find. It looks like nothing on the outside. But the inside is completely updated. It’s spacious and has a really great floor plan. Our fenced property is about 1 acre. The rest of the property is not fenced, is not occupied, and is not used. Our nearest neighbour is about 150 feet away. The property is worth a lot because commercial development is only about two blocks away. And this area is slated for future commercial development (5-10 years from now). But for the next few (2-3 years) it’s still residential, so we’ll be here for awhile.

So even though it is 3-4 acres, we are only paying $1,900 a month, because the rest of the acreage can’t really be used for anything. Which is great for us, because all we really want is a big yard for our dogs. We were really, really lucky to get this place. But…at the same time, not too many people around here could afford to pay this much for a house here (BC – Fraser Valley). Most people are opting to rent for around $1,400 to $1,600 per month in the BC Fraser Valley.

$1,400 to $1,600 doesn’t really get you much house wise in the Fraser Valley $2,000 per month is really the threshhold to something pretty nice. I don’t miss owning a house. We were really, really lucky to get this place.

#217 Boombust on 02.11.11 at 10:19 pm

“I only use Seattle as a comparison as a real city…”

Come off it. It’s just another ugly Amerikan town.
Nothing too impressive, believe me.

#218 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 02.11.11 at 10:20 pm

To “the American” – thank you for your views. You might wish to explore these further:

Google “Vancouverism” for the city’s approach to planning and architecture, and explore emporis.com for
some of Vancouvers old buildings.

Port of Vancouver handles twice the tonnage of Seattle
and Portland combined.

I’ve never heard of anybody moving from Van to Seattle
for the weather.

#219 I pity the fool who drinks soy milk on 02.11.11 at 10:31 pm

Dan,
There’s nothing wrong with soy milk per se, at least when consumed in moderation. (so far as I know). I was quoting a certain “other” Mr. T, who also has pity for fools who do something just because it’s trendy. (like leveraging yourself up to your eyebrows for G & S.) I chose a poor handle, in my defence, my decision making ability is unusually poor lately. (new father)

#220 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 02.11.11 at 10:31 pm

Hmmm, apparently more foreign-born prefer Vancouver to Seattle

http://www.migrationinformation.org/datahub/gcmm.cfm#map2

#221 poco on 02.11.11 at 10:33 pm

#201 Moory–ya must be the day to post–oh ya Friday
Sorry but i have to call bullcrap on your so called “friend” who says all is well with the high end market–or is it just you getting all us dawgs excited again “buy now etc etc etc
suggest you pick a few mls numbers from the westend area and have your friend check a little history on them–you’ll see that the market ain’t so hot
here’s a couple i mentioned in a previous post

mls-v838390–listed jan10-3.9m—now 3.3m
mls-v863389–listed july10-939.5k–now849.5–lots and lots just sitting –no takers–condo market goes first

Morry –get yourself a new friend/realtor and do a little research and maybe you can post some truths about the housing market
and it’s not the pot it’s just bull

#222 Hoof Hearted on 02.11.11 at 10:36 pm

#202 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad

I respect your input..

However, unless you are the sign of the second coming of you know who……..

What is the size of your firm…ie how the hell can you keep up with all those responses ????

Our firm has extrapolated that you need an entourage of at least 8.75 F/T equivalents to reply as you do.

#223 Hoof Hearted on 02.11.11 at 10:50 pm

#208 The American

50+ % OF MY FAMILY IS AMERICAN, based in the Eastern US as post WW II diaspora refugees.

However 99.9% of Canada is apparently based on trying to be ” NOT American “.

Canada,as part of this faux differentiation , appears to avoid the association via active lack of such transportation venues.

Aka…gridlock is better than an “on par” US inner city transportation system.

Vancouver’s eternal ” gnashing of teeth” is the Georgia Viaduct… a minimalist intrusion into the City under the American model…….and is actually on the table as being ” Demolition bait” …with a hidden agenda which is to use civic land it stands on as revenue generation aka another hi rise project.

#224 Utopia on 02.11.11 at 10:59 pm

For anyone still interested in the dramatic events unfolding in Egypt, you might find the Al Jazeera reporting fascinating to watch.

They have a continuous live stream running that is addictive once you start watching and listening and have done a tremendous job reporting on the ongoing story.

Try the “live” English feed at:

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

#225 jess on 02.11.11 at 11:03 pm

Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad

For Ms. Joly, it is now putting pressure directly on the banks and multinational companies that locate their profits as they see fit and maintain the utmost secrecy on their accounts.

How? By forcing them “to present the activities and results of each of their subsidiaries, country by country,” said eight organizations of civil society in different continents (including Tax Justice Network Africa, Earth-fixed CCFD, France Oxfam, Christian Aid , Latindadd).

They have launched an international campaign in Dakar, “Stop Tax Havens”, which aims to challenge the leaders of the G20 countries “so that at next summit in Cannes in November 2011, they finally put on the table measures concrete action against the financial secrecy. ”

http://lapresseaffaires.cyberpresse.ca/economie/international/201102/08/01-4368162-les-paradis-fiscaux-des-armes-de-destruction-massive.php
===============
cuts to the poor, adding up to £7 billion.
Yet the magazine Private Eye reported that one company alone—Vodafone, one of Britain’s leading cellphone firms—owed an outstanding bill of £6 billion to the British taxpayers. According to Private Eye, Vodaphone had been refusing to pay for years, claiming that a crucial part of its business ran through a post office box in ultra-low-tax Luxembourg….

http://www.thenation.com/article/158282/how-build-progressive-tea-party
=======
Ireland –
“treasury management companies”
Treasury management subsidiaries who are key conduits in the global intra-firm movement of funds are often located in tax havens or in countries with tax haven type features.

#226 Moneta on 02.11.11 at 11:14 pm

Renting in Rosedale on 02.11.11 at 9:33 pm
#25 Carp, #89 and #101 Moneta, and #135 Big Al (Original), # 179 Herb,
————
I have to agree with all of your comments.

But dull is fine for me at this point in my life. When you’ve got kids, peace and quiet, a good book and a good night’s sleep are more appealing than all the city attractions.

My husband really had to get back into shape and he now bikes to work. Hasn’t looked this slim in years! He could not have done it in Montreal while maintaining the same lifestyle.

Ottawans complain about traffic and the bus system but compared to Montreal they don’t know how good they have it.

I like the fact that I will save loads of money by sending my kids to public schools unlike Montreal where I’m fairly sure I would have paid for private.

Right now in Montreal, everyone we know is living big, trying not to fall off the treadmill. So much energy wasted for nothing. The system is fubar and I’ve decided to stand back. Like I said, dull is fine with me for a few years.

#227 Herb on 02.11.11 at 11:54 pm

Moneta #226,

no need to apologize for living in Ottawa. We all have our reasons for living here (or anywhere else).

I know the satisfaction your husband must feel. Used to cycle to work from April to October myself (11 km one way), saving half an hour off the bus time each way and all of the fare.

#228 Herb on 02.11.11 at 11:56 pm

#224 Utopia,

what do you think of this take on Egypt?
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MB09Ak01.html

#229 two dog on 02.12.11 at 12:35 am

Wow.

Folks we have hit the wall. I am renter and have been for many years…..

Three years ago I was faced with the decision of leave Victoria or give up my pet. Rental accomodations were non-existant and if you had a place, you better hope they weren’t gonna sell.

Good luck trying to find a landlord or (what we now see as a new indebted person/ family) to rent to if you had a pet. PFFFT!! Nevermind a dog or say a “Pitbull” or cross or two of them. Sheesh you were the nuisance. No house for you. No aptartment. No accomodation.

Now, they starting to open up to cats and a few are saying yes to dogs. Soon the masses will say yes to a “{ Ihave to large dogs, I take care of them and I will sign a 1 or even maybe, two year lease. At that point, because I have been a reliable “renter” I will FINALLY be able to leave in peace at an semi-affordable rate, here in the capital city of Broke British Colujmbia.

Yuppers. I hope its’ more than a haircut!! I’m thining I can see the Mullet.

Have a great weekend folks!!

#230 Morry on 02.12.11 at 12:55 am

#221 poco:

1) i had a real conversation with a real person and reported his views. He has been in his buisness for 30 years. I did not take sides if you care to parse the sentences carefully and with intelligence.

2) But based on on what he told me ( and as i have known him since University Days) I know which side of the argument will influence me in the next 3-4 months.

cheers
Poco P0c0

#231 Victoria on 02.12.11 at 2:39 am

Canyjun,

Thanks so much for the info. I will keep looking.

Have a great weekend!

#232 Utopia on 02.12.11 at 11:20 am

#228 Herb

Utopia,what do you think of this take on Egypt?
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MB09Ak01.html
———————————————————-

Thanks Herb. That is one odd analysis of Egypt and the regime there. I read it through and just found too many errors in judgment and wrong conclusions. The article must have been written by a person who has never set foot in Egypt and really has only the words of others to guide him.

#233 The American on 02.12.11 at 11:42 am

At #220: Dark Sad Monster Bunny… LOL You’ve completely missed the point. The “foreign born”, aka the Chinese, only go to Vancouver because Canada allows ANYONE ol’ Tom, Dick, or Hairy into your country if they have $500M to anti up. That’s a rather elitist and pathetic policy not based on anything other than government taking in easy cash. Clearly, the government there could care less if the “foreign born” actually give a rat’s all about Canada at all. As is evidenced by many of the comments in this blog, it is clear many of the Chinese don’t care about the cultures of Canada or they would try to assimilate more than they have. I’d prefer to live where you actually have some standards for legal immigration and an understanding the immigrants are CHOOSING your country – not just because it is an overnight easy fix to establish residency. Seriously, again, where is the cognitive thinking around here?

#234 The American on 02.12.11 at 11:58 am

At #218: Vancouver’s Port does hav more tonnage than Seattle. Seattle’s port has more container volume than Vancouver’s. Depends on how you want to measure it. The port wasn’t really the example, though, was it? It was only an example of one of the many diverse industries we have to sustain a real economy. Again, what is Vancouver’s?

#235 The American on 02.12.11 at 12:10 pm

AT 205: Seattle has Link Rail that takes you directly from downtown to SeaTac Airport. Our rail system is underground in downtown, starting at Westlake Center. It is the only mass transit system of its kind in the world, combining both Link Rail and Buses in the same tunnels. The system, once leaving downtown, moves above ground and rides along the street for a few miles, and then it elevates off the ground (much like the SkyTrain) after leaving the Beacon Hill area. Link Rail is being rapidly expanded along the I-5 corridor and East toward Redmond/Microsoft/Bellevue/Kirkland. Additionally, Seattle is in the process of implementing street trams, much like what are found in Amsterdam. The first has been completed a couple of years ago. It is more commonly referred to as the “SLUT” South Lake Union Trolly. They sell the t-shirts, I rode the SLUT.

#236 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 02.12.11 at 1:05 pm

Sorry American, Port of Van handles more TEU than Seattle as well – 2.5M v 2.1M (and that was a record for Seattle) and Vancouver does more than triple the overall
tonnage.

And Canada doesn’t “assimilate”, we have “multi-culturalism”. I wont offer an opinion on which is preferable.

So I could say you are missing the points. For whatever reason, like it or not, these are factors in Vancouvers
favour.

#237 The American on 02.12.11 at 3:21 pm

Dark Sad Monster Bunny, as I’ve asked many times now, what is the driving force on industry to sustain Vancouver prices? BTW, I am not including Tacoma’s port, which is even larger than Seattle’s. Our area has more than Vancouver in way of port size. Additionally, Vancouver’s port SHOULD be large – it is the only damn on on the West coast of Canada.

#238 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 02.12.11 at 6:05 pm

Sorry American, I forgot to include Tacoma. I also forgot to include the fraser port authorities, now almagamated in Port metro Vancouver. Tacomas port is about 3/4 size of Seattles in both containers and total tonnage. The two combined do handle slightly more containers than Van, but are still only 1/3 total tonnage of PMV. Value of
goods handled is also on a similar scale.

Yes, Vancouver is the port for almost half of a commodity
rich country. Now consider the effect that can have on
business, both domestic and foreign. Has that been any
different in the past for Vancouver?

And microsoft cant change that…..

#239 The American on 02.12.11 at 6:38 pm

But for the Port of Vancouver, you still have not answered my question. I’m done wasting time with yiu You must be a realturd or mildly stupid.

#240 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 02.12.11 at 8:31 pm

If your question was why is Vancouver RE so pricey, I have never claimed an answer. I’ve simply stated some of the reasons for Vancouvers being, and its possible
attraction to some. Van RE is no more unaffordable than
many other cities at points in the recent past – Sydney,
LA, SF and for that matter maybe Seattle (see demogrpahia studies). Experience says it will correct.

I am sorry you feel you have wasted your time. I supplied you some facts from which I thought you might learn something or research further. I notice you are now making personal attacks.

#241 The American on 02.12.11 at 10:57 pm

Dark Sad Moster Bunny, yes you are right… I should not have said I felt you were “mildly stupid” or a “realturd.” I took it to a personal level that wasn’t necessary. I don’t even know you. I’ll check myself moving forward.