Thursday, February 22, 2007

the soapbox (again) with a different look

I'm very busy right now. Labour has been going on for 30 hours. Just sent home from the hospital because babby is not ready yet. Time to try to get some sleep, and back to the hospital in the AM.

It will be a few days or more until I can give any attention here, so have your say in my absence. Just keep it civil please.

Possible topics of discussion:

The Budget.

Um, real estate in Vancouver.

Too tired to think, so over to you...


/dev/null said...

My thoughts are with you both. Ours took four days and it was still worth it (my wife claims). Hang in there and do your best to get her some sleep.

Real estute said...

What an exciting time for you and your wife. You know, its these kids that are fueling the move-up market from condo to SFH. Although, I do sometimes wonder how many children these days will grow up in a condo/apartment style home, given our RE prices.

aetakeo said...

Oh, I also had the crazy long labours. Don't either of you get discouraged: the only way this ends is with a baby!
Is your wife VHB? Quit the blog just before she went into labour? *hee hee*.

TQN said...

All the best to both of you. been there, done that...err twice, so I kinda know what you go through, it's all worth it. And dont worry a bit about the RE vancouver, it will be more expensive because we all just get a tax cut!

Ulsterman said...

Good luck to you and your family.

Here's an article i found in MarketWatch's "Most E-Mailed" section.

The link is at the end for the full mail:

"On the economic front, we are overdue for a recession. The last one occurred in 2000 and 2001. Business expansions don't last forever. The boom-and-bust pattern of an economic cycle has not been repealed.
An inverted yield curve almost always points to a deep business slowdown. The Fed publicly claims there's a 40% chance of a recession. However, a model of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is essentially forecasting an outright recession.
Double-digit corporate earnings growth will be a thing of the past. Companies should consider themselves fortunate to experience single-digit growth.
The housing industry remains on the verge of a massive collapse. In our estimation, this real estate debacle is only in the top half of the second inning of a nine-inning ballgame.
Sentimentally speaking, our indicators are flashing major warning signals. At extremes, sentiment can indicate a peak or an important low. This contrary indicator is presently at an extreme level. Unfortunately, it's a very bearish one."

Of course, this is NEVER impact the indestructible BC market...

van-realestate-crash said...

Just be there for her! You caused it remember.

Sometimes it's like real estate crashes, they take longer than expected.

Lou campo said...

Another underlying factor is that Mortgage Financing is starting to tighten up. I know of two deals that fell through due to the inability to secure financing. Inventories will rise and sales will decrease and the glut of downtown condos will create a huge over-supply and prices will fall, dramatically. The % of pre-sold condos is decreasing and speculators are trying to rent or sell or bailing out and forfeiting their deposits. Once the snowball gains momentum then we'll see a dramatic rise in listing perhaps by October/November. For those looking for a steal and who sold 6 months ago at the peak, hang in there and wait , not necessarily for a massive downturn, but for the unfortunate foreign investor that is losing his shirt in San Diego and Florida and Sinapore and is starting to panic about the ripple effect in Vancouver and is astute enough to take a loss now before it gets crazy. Relieve the poor schmuck of his anxieties and pick up his over-priced condo for 50 cents on the dollar which is what it truly is worth

Warren said...

lou thanks for double-posting that rant on Chipman's site, it really helps. (end sarcasm)

On the other hand, I think your argument is weak at best. How about a link or some stats on recent changes in Canadian mortgage financing.

Cecil said...

There's an article about VHB's blog-stopping over at the Tyee:

quack said...

hi warren, how 'bout some stats to refute? if either one of you come up with stats, i'll be happy. i know, he said it first so he should have to give data first, so why should you, eh? so far, you haven't added anything, nor have i so i'll go back to sleep now.

Ulsterman said...

Just read the Tyee report on the demise of the VHB and, though i was loathed to bring up vhb's departure yet again, i felt obliged to highlight this apparent contradiction:

At one point after his departure, he responds to Freako's comment with:

"Freako suspected it was most likely that his cover was blown. But the VHB responded, "none of the above. Just personal/professional life will be too busy to continue."

However..., he then says to the Tyee interviewer:

"Also, people vastly overestimate how much time things took. It really wasn't hard to cut and paste a newspaper article or to add one or two more data points to an existing spreadsheet and then post the graph."

Sorry, but this isn't some looney-left conspiracy theory about vhb being abducted by the Masonic, Area 51, Illuminati Cameron Muirists Disciples, no, it's a flat-out contradiction that demonstrates that his announced reason for leaving so suddenly is completely bogus.

On another note, it appears that the local bloggers appear to have lost their appetite to continue the conversation. I suppose apathy has prevailed.

posters will come back said...

I think Cecil's link is the vhb story

Ulster what is your theory?

Jesse said...

"it's a flat-out contradiction that demonstrates that his announced reason for leaving so suddenly is completely bogus."

On RET forum VHB says, "Actually, the comments are the most burdensome part."

No contradiction. Sounds like typical scope creep. An issue comes up so VHB must decide what to cut from his schedule. He could have kept the blog going and let the quality slide, passed the torch, or stopped. For whatever reason he chose option 3.

"Sure we could have made albums and toured and all that other stuff, but this way it's poetry."
- Joey "the Lips" Fagan, the Commitments

bc_cele said...


I hope that you will be posting about your new bundle of joy shortly.

One thing I find a bit amusing is how some feel that there is something very nefarious at play when it comes to the VHB. True, he was a driving force here in the BC housing scene, but I think many forget how much the commenters contributed. In fact, it tended to be the case that the VHB would create a topic and then everyone else would breath life into the post.

If the bubble blogs die, then it is the posters that are to blame, not the VHB. It's time to cut the umbilical cord and carry on.

rentah said...

Agreed, bc_cele.

VHB was a great blog, but I suspect another framework for bear discussion could be similarly useful, now that VHB has set a precedent.
None of the other sites are really stepping up.
I kinda tried an 'in the spirit of VHB' thread at RET
but I really don't think RET is the best venue.

Ulsterman said...

Jesse quoted vhb as saying that it was the comments that made maintaining the blog so time consuming.

"On RET forum VHB says, "Actually, the comments are the most burdensome part."

I agree with bc_cele that in fact vhb didn't comment that much. There was a crew of usual suspect that kept the whole enterprise humming along. vhb's comments where relatively rare and usually added to refocus the direction of debate or clarify some point.

I'd also like to add that i wouldn't even be raising the "vhb departure" issue if any of the remaining blogs had become the substitute forum. It is certainly perplexing the absolute lack of interest. It appears that none of the blogs appears to be able to generate a self-sustaining momentum of commentary.

the pope said...

Solipsist: Super-mega-ultracongratulations! I hope you take some good time with the family and come back to posting refreshed and recharged.

I don't think its for lack of trying, but nobody else is VHB. I'm running a Monday question topic I received by email today and would love to hear everyone's thoughts regarding warning others against buying right now.

solipsist said...

Thanks all!

It's a boy! 8 lbs. 15 oz. from a 110 lb woman.

Wow! 3 1/2 days in labour. I'm so glad it wasn't me doing it.

Today i said to my wife "frack it - let's buy a house", but after 1 minute of thought, we said no freakin' way.

Weird what a babby will do to your mind. Maybe that explains the upsurge lately - it's the Year of the Pig, and there are tons of babies being born.

I'll be back at it (posting) when I recover from a week of no sleep.

Stay tuned...

Ulsterman said...

thank you Pope. i felt a whole new burst of enthusiasm to visit your site and see 29 comments with many of the usual-suspect contributers. Anyone else who has been wandering alone in the wilderness should head on over to for some R&R.

Solipsist, congrats on the new addition to the family and i commend your blogging efforts - even if i will probably frequent the most used site from now on.

fun and mental said...


congrats, though i hate to tell you, you probably won't recover your sleep for another 6 months or so

Jesse said...

"I agree with bc_cele that in fact vhb didn't comment that much. "

If you bothered to read the thread you would realise that VHB was stating that it was the comment moderation that took up all his time, not his actual comments. RTFT.

vineland said...

Congratulations Solipsist! That is so exciting! Glad you and your wife got through it, Wow 8.15lbs. is a BIG first-time baby!

Take Care and enjoy, and I agree with Fun and Mental, your sleeping days are gone, even when they do sleep through the night, wait for 6am wakings and the like. But who cares?!? you're happy and life would be boring without him. What did you used to do with all that time... blog?

Which leads to my next comment, I think poor VHB had twins or some major new-life event and cannot commit to his hobbies (the comments would get out of hand if he only half dedicated himself to it), new babies have ways of disrupting life all out of proportion to what you would expect.

VHB said he already had a little one a loooong time ago (in the spring or summer if I recall), so it might be another baby. He is now responsible for the toddler who spills milk all over his keyboard and needs Daddy's attention while Mommy has gone away and came back with a little wailing bundle (or two). Toddler jealousy knows no bounds!

This was my first thought when I learned VHB was gone. There are things that are impossible to anticipate, but not tragic, that end a hobbie. Yes, he can get back to it when his kids are in school, but by then, the drama should be over and he may even own a place.