Thursday, December 14, 2006

the soap box

I regret that I cannot post today.

I am instituting the soap box - like VHB's rain barrel. Say what you like, but please be civil.



Anonymous said...

Let me kick off today's soap box by mentioning this CREA release showing that prices are falling in most Canadian big cities. I know this drop is month over month, which tends to be more volatile, but it's just more evidence that we've passed the peak and are heading down the other side of the cycle. And in Vancouver, these cycles tend to be steep on both sides.

"In Greater Vancouver — home of the most expensive housing in Canada — the average price dropped by almost $29,000 to $519,294 in November. The number of sales dropped by 21 per cent."

Thanks, Cecil.

Anonymous said...

No problem for the Matt Good link - be nice if he posted more info about the place and possibly his reaction to getting more information on RE.

An update showed up on the Vancouver Sun site

Which says that Rental vacancy in Vancouver is less than 1% - now I may be wrong but I believe this is measured on actual apartment buildings not condo rentals or those that are privately held.

I have spent the last 3 months looking at rentals and right now, am living in a house with a few friends (love the cheap rent!) - but from what I've seen there, there's lots of rentals on CL, MyHomeVancouver, Rentsline, and ApartmentRentals

The problem here is all those sites show ads for incredibly overpriced places between the new places piling up trying to charge over $1200 for a studio and some for $1600 if its furnished (what is with the cheap IKEA furnished rental thing? people have their own furniture and there can't be THAT many high paid single execs coming to Vancouver like that for YTP and Hudson etc). And the craptacular places that haven't done any improvements think they can charge the same! Why would I pay $1200 for East Vancouver when I can pay that for downtown? But thats just too much...

In any case, I think the low rental vacancy rate may be due to more people saying screw that to the private rentals and filling up on the apartment rentals and those that don't want to buy taking on a cheap place for the time being.

Spring is gonna be interesting!

Arwen said...

Globe and Mail today, Report on Business suggests that 33.4% of all Canadian asset wealth is in real estate; and that real estate has been the only place the middle class has grown in net worth since '99.

It also says 95% of Canadians own a home, which I find amazing.

the pope said...

I'm starting up a 'leaky condo repair' picture database at If you happen to go by a condo with scaffolding, tarps & exterior repairs happening, snap a shot and send it with the address and any other info you may have to

The idea is to put together a database of leaky condo repair photos that you can search through if you're interested in a specific building. Most realtors will give you full info on a building, but if they don't tell you and you find a picture of it covered in tarps then theres a problem there.

Catherine said...

Solipsist- Sorry about the dog. I have a 16 year old canine myself. a cairn terrier. He's still hale and hearty, but I dread the day....

RE: Housing - Wonder if the terrible winter we're having will affect sales? It looks like we're in for another set of gale force winds here. It's the 5th windstorm by my landlord's count. And then there was the SNOW....

BTW: I've bought and sold 5 home over the years in 3 Cdn cities. But I'm sitting this round out- until the prices get reasonable. I live here only because my industry is here (tv). There's only one other place that has a significant amount of tv work in Canada & that's Toronto. But I stay here because my contacts are here.

So you could argue that there is an increased value to me to being here. But that value doesn't extend to paying double for a house. I'm waiting now to see what the next year brings. I have a lot of friends who have overextended, just because it seemed that prices would never drop and they needed to get on the roundabout. I maintain that prices will drop and I'll wait for them to do so.
BTW: Real rental costs can't be going up too much - every house West of Burrard that's renovated has a new suite put into it.

And I agree with the comment that there are very few people who truly want to rent a furnished apartment. Sometimes realtors cite the film industry- well one guy (usually the star) out of 200 crew is doing that. The rest of us live here....

Anonymous said...

One of my employees is a 64 year old ex realtor(40 years in the business). He claims that he has seen these peaks and troughs from the ground level a few times. Prevailing wisdom "back in the day" was Canada Real Estate trails the US by about 6 months. He says the counter argument has ALWAYS been: "ya but Canada is immune this time because of ___".

Anonymous said...

He must have been a crappy realtor to still be working for someone else at age 64.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:13, "He must have been a crappy realtor" That's a mean spirited comment. You say "work" like it's a bad thing. We are a philanthropic organizaton. Have great life-pal.

2expensive4me said...

Catherine: I'm in the same tv industry and it looks like there is a lot of work in Toronto. Obviously it depends on what sort of work you do in the industry, but it sounds like they (generally) offer better pay and housing is alot more reasonable. You can buy a decent semi-detached home downtown for under $400k!

I have the same issues with having most of my contacts here, but I also have friends that have moved back east and are encouraging me to move there as well. I got a job offer on my last visit there and am seriously considering it.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice the "Four Blocks of Hell" headline on the front page of the Sun earlier this week? Those four blocks of the downtown eastside are only about one block from Bob Rennie's Woodwards. Derrick Penner to the rescue in today's business section with a spin piece entitled "Four Blocks of Hope?" I guess calls were made...

patiently waiting said...

My listing on Craigslist:

"We're a young working couple looking for a reasonably priced New West condo. The housing market is cooling rapidly and it appears that hundreds of new condos will be dumped on the New West market next year. If you're planning to sell anyhow, this is a good time to get out before the crash.

We can close the deal quickly:
- we are renting month-to-month so no time contingency
- we have financing arranged
- we'll live in it (what a concept) so no worries about rental restrictions (indeed, they're prefered)
- will pay approx. $180/sq ft. (may vary slightly based on condition) up to $150K max

Some restrictions:
- no leaky condos (we have an agent who knows New West condos)
- we have a cat and are under 40
- must have private balcony and decent appliances (don't care about stainless steel)
- one parking space
- no carpet
- my wife must like it
- if you're a flipper, don't expect us to pay for your mistakes.

Insuite laundry would be ideal. We are wary of buildings built in the 1980s-1990s. Willing to consider any New West neighbourhood including Downtown, Sapperton, and Uptown.

If you're desperate, don't sell to some scumbag lowballer investor. Sell to an honest working couple like us who are simply looking for an affordable home.

We're in no rush, so if you don't want to move for a few months...don't worry. Happy holidays."