Tuesday, February 20, 2007

flogging a dead horse



So, how many ways to say the same thing, and how many times to say it? I wonder if this has anything to do with the recent departures of VHB and uncertain buyer from the blog roll. It can be difficult to come up with new material, and to keep it engaging.

There has been a surreality to RE world-wide in the last few years, and especially in Vancouver. I began by squawking about the state of things on RET a couple of years ago, when that forum was a virtual bullring. I wasn't much of a matador - more a picador - at the time, and freako was one of the only others there saying that things were goofy. Then VHB posted a link to his blog, and I began to have more impudent confidence in my own view. At first, VHB had no comments, and not so many visitors, but that began to snowball. VHB came up with the historical graphs, analysis, etc., and I spent less time at RET. I was tired of the same tired bull thing. Maybe that is part of Why Vance bowed out - he got tired of it too. I have had an easier time of it because I'm just making fun of things, but even that gets tired. I can't see myself turning to gloating or such when/if things do go my way, but I will be commenting on it. I wonder what else will come along to defeat it, or bolster it (the market).

The new provincial budget (released today) had quite a bit in it to bolster the market. The exemption for Property Transfer Tax was raised to $375K, the homeownwers' grant ceiling was raised to $975K, and income tax was cut by another 10% (on top of the 25% cut of the first Liberal budget). The Minister o' All Things Monetary also said that BC had 40K new immigrants/migrants last year (no mention of how many left. ie. net migration), and what a "magnificent province" this is. She actually remarked on the housing affordability situation. A surplus in the neighbourhood of 2.2B was also projected. It's a developers'/private health care providers' budget from what I heard. Those are just the highlights that I heard and retained to memory. I'll look into all that further if mohican doesn't take care of it first.

There was also a discussion on CBC's Almanac about the housing situation featuring Tsur Somerville. I was not able to catch much of that unfortunately. You can listen to it here, but you need to have RealMediaPlayer on your machine (I don't - it is spyware IMHO).

If any of you spot any road-kill, let me know. I need something else to flog besides old, dead horses. Good News Bears kinda stuff is my hope. (grin)

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

VHB is not a guy. She is a woman that is why she would not do interviews in person or phone.

Still I wish she had not stopped blogging.

aetakeo said...

Since my handle is inscrutable, I find that more often than not it's assumed that I'm a guy - unless I say "my husband", which leads to the assumption I'm a straight female. I am a straight female, but I still find the assumption interesting. I dunno about VHB, but anything is possible - since on the internet, no one would know Vance was a dog.

Anyway, regarding today's budget speech: the thing that chilled me was a statement that the government was going to support the FTB get into the market. I haven't researched what they mean, but I'm somewhat fearful; is this a "rabbit" as VHB would mention? Given the call-in on CBC, there are still a LOT of RE-lovin' BC residents.

patriotz said...

Gordo and friends are not fools, they know it's last call at the Balmoral, and they're putting as many beers on the table as they can.

Just leads to a bigger hangover.

Ulsterman said...

Ulsterman here having sign-in issues:

Is it any wonder that "Given the call-in on CBC, there are still a LOT of RE-lovin' BC residents", what other vehicle is there for average shmoes to think that they have the midas touch? Listen to many bc residents talk and you'd think that they're Warren Buffet.

99% of bc residents still think real estate is a sure thing. I would have too had i not stumbled across vhb.

Most people i talk to still have the "gotta get in before it's too late" mentality. And who can blame them? If all you ever saw was the msm, what else would you believe?

solipsist said...

Anonymous said...
VHB is not a guy.


For your edification, here is VHB's very first post from March 2005.

Inaugural Post
I am an observer of the housing market in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

I currently rent an apartment. My wife and I would like to buy a house someday, but the housing market right now is, well, crazy. Nuts. Bubble-y, as it were.

I will be posting statistics and thoughts about the Vancouver housing market here, from the perspective of a potential buyer.

A big shout out to Housing Bubble, who inspired me to start this blog.

More to come later.

solipsist said...

VHB might be a lesbian, but I don't think so... (see above).

aetakeo - asumptions can take us down the garden path, and I generally do not try to decipher gender in handles. I did assume Vance was a male homo sapien, but he led me there.

I missed that part about helping FTB's. That is chilling. patriotz nailed it as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks for posting ulsterman. It seems that more than you are having log-in troubles. Is someone hacking the blogs that are contrary to the spin?

patiently waiting said...

"will not charge first-time buyers of homes up to $375,000 anywhere in the province the property transfer tax, saving them up to $5,500. That will cost the province about $63 million over the next three years." (vancouver sun)

OK, I guess I'll have to buy my dream condo now.

Seriously, this just reminds me of everything else that comes on top of the excessive price and why I can't (or at least shouldn't) buy right now.

How do they whether you are first-time home buyer unless this somehow ties into that RRSP deal?

Yep, a whole $63 million for the whole province over three years. The last place I looked at was over-priced by $100K. HMMMM

bc_cele said...

Solipsist,

you beat me to the punch. I recall VHB mentioning that he had a wife on a few different occasions. Of course, that could be just subterfuge, but I think it is about as likely as him getting paid off by Bob Rennie.

bc_cele said...

Ulsterman said...
Ulsterman here having sign-in issues:

Is it any wonder that "Given the call-in on CBC, there are still a LOT of RE-lovin' BC residents", what other vehicle is there for average shmoes to think that they have the midas touch? Listen to many bc residents talk and you'd think that they're Warren Buffet.


The term for this is the 'self-serving bias'. It leads people to believe that they are skillful when they do something right, but just unforunately when they do something wrong (works in reverse for others BTW). Even though it is a pretty normal reaction, it drives me up the wall, too. People who bought houses that doubled in a few years weren't good investors, they got lucky doing what almost everyone else in the world is doing, or wants to do. So how does this make them so great?

Jesse said...

I'm glad to see BC is showing a surplus. I hope their revenue projections for forestry and natural gas are right.

Anonymous said...

VHB is a woman, or did work for a woman researcher. The data VHB published on line was a small part of the research.

Anonymous said...

Don’t get me wrong, I admired VHB work, and the intent was noble.
It is a failed attempt to avoid the bubble from getting too big.

The marketers won, the industry and consumer lost. The hangover is coming.

Aleks said...

Based on writing style, VHB is a guy. The automated Gender Guesser agrees.

ReductiMat said...

You fools. It's readily apparent that VHB is a part of the Illuminati. His work is now done and we can expect massive change in the coming days.

And to all you dicks who laughed at me for building such a big ark, we'll see who's laughing last. That said, it's starting to smell real bad in there.

Real estute said...

Geez, all this talk about the sex of VHB. I guess the local Real Estate scene really has lost it's appeal for discussion.

Ulsterman said...

Real estute said...
Geez, all this talk about the sex of VHB. I guess the local Real Estate scene really has lost it's appeal for discussion.

I agree Real Estute, we all need to stop bemoaning the demise of vhb and get analysing and posting. There were too many people (myself included) getting a free ride. It's time for people to post-up or shut-up!

If we all started posting on one blog we could easily have an active discussion going again. The sudden desmise in comments is a bit pathetic.

For the time being folks he/she/or it (i don't really care at this point) is GONE. Deal with it and let's make the blog(s) work.

Read the paper, the us blogs, the stats and share. You don't have to be a wizard with charts and graphs. Just put up a few numbers. Pose a few problems.

My anecodote for the day is that i've been watching a "for sale by owner" 1 bedroom on the NW corner of Oak and 12th ($296,000) for about 2 months. It's still there and the owner is sticking to their price demands.

One observation i have is the obvious price compression that's going on. One thing that keeps me up at night is that the 1 bedrooms that i was going to buy off of Commercial & 3,4,5,6,7,8 for 80k (2001)are now advertised at 275-300k. So they've virtually caught up with my South Granville neighbourhood. That's bizarre.

If the oak and 12 sells i let you know.

Rob said...

Maybe VHB was Aaron Best

aaronbest said...

Rob said..."Maybe VHB was Aaron Best"

Yeah maybe not! LOL!

patriotz said...

Listen to many bc residents talk and you'd think that they're Warren Buffet.

Well actually you wouldn't. Buffett correctly called the top of the RE market in 2005 and sold his second house in Laguna Beach, California.

I wonder how many of these geniuses will be bragging about selling at the top a few years hence.

Sensible said...

The BC budget had one very disturbing aspect to it: tax cuts and spending incentives during an economic boom is bad news in the long term.

Tax cuts and incentives lead to inflation and an overheating economy. When the economiy slows down, the government now has less room to stimulate the economy at a later date.

This is economics 101, Keynsian, and very scary to me that the provincial government would risk our future in order to dazzle voters.

aetakeo said...

Aleks - Gender Genie thinks I'm a guy, too, based on my blog entries. And I'm pretty sure that the 2 pregnancies prove the algorithm wrong.

Ulsterman said...

patriotz said...
Listen to many bc residents talk and you'd think that they're Warren Buffet.

Well actually you wouldn't. Buffett correctly called the top of the RE market in 2005 and sold his second house in Laguna Beach, California.



Actually, you would. By making this analogy i'm utilizing the common perception that to have invested successfully (as the bc real estate 'winners' have) is to have mimicked the actions of Warren Buffet - a successful investor. Whether they have the vision the get out ahead of the drop aka like Buffett is just being pedantic.