Wednesday, September 19, 2007

the soapbox (again) and (again)

I haven't dragged out the soap box for a while, I don't know why...but I'm dragging it out now.

I don't necessarily rate the popularity of this tawdry little blog by the number of comments it gets, but I don't seem to have been striking any chords lately, and I'm wondering what you want to talk about. Or are y'all as talked out about real estate, exchange rates, etc. as I am? Are you all waiting with bated (or baited as the case may be) breath for this monster to finally fall flat on it's face, or do you even care any more? Que sera, sera, or whatever.

Does our soaring loon affect you in a positive way, or a negative way? Are we actually seeing a decline in the value of our hoarded cash? Ought we to be using the Euro or Yen as a benchmark against our dollar - rather than the US green back? Do the US Fed, and BOC have a clue? or are they just flailing like I am?

Comments please, I'm getting lonely...


Anonymous said...

Rest assured, we're still lurking and enjoying the blog as usual -- but it's hard to muster anything new when it's all been said. Vancouver's crazy and things are changing elsewhere, but I think there are lots of us waiting for the other shoe to drop, having said all we have to say...



Just waiting for things to start happening. There is so much building going on in Victoria I am wondering who is going to buy all this stuff?

I feel I am just waiting for something to happen.

PS: Read your blog twice a day!

formerprairiedog said...

I am a day trader and blog lurker who has been waiting for 'the downturn' both in the housing and stock markets for nigh on 2 years now. The lowering by the Fed yesterday has seemingly again staved off that which seems so inevitable. I think the msm is still candy coating the gravity of what we are facing. Maybe Chomsky was right in suggesting that a certain percentage of the population - I think he said 80%, I feel more like 95% some days - are just stupid bloody sheep who are easily led about and think what they're fed.

Alternatively, greed has blinded most folks to the technically defined mania we are in the midst of.

I read this blog daily, too. Gives me hope, passively cavorting with the other 5%ers. I don't tend to provide feedback as I don't generally feel that I have anything of value to contribute to the topic, i.e., new points that haven't already been enunciated by others.

Anonymous said...

I ready it daily as well. Keep it up. Talking about the same things over again are great too.

It's great that the loonie is rising. This makes the fall so much harder. When real estate is gone, there will be nothing left. It's gonna be a hard and fast hit.

Anonymous said...

I check in every day and enjoy what is here, but rarely write.

I just wish something would "give" as I have been waiting for the last 12 months to rebuy something somewhere.

aetakeo said...

I'm still reading! I have to agree, though: it's hard to muster something new. I do like to check in here, because every once in awhile, I start feeling like it might actually be different here: the house of cards is going down everywhere else! What the hell is wrong with us?

I like your series on the houses - curb appeal/curb appall.

Here's a story for you:

A coworker in a white collar workplace has a place in N.Van. Small one bedroom: good for her mid 20s, not so good if marriage/children are in the cards. She's got $110/month for groceries AND transportation in her budget. So she buys a bus pass. Leaving, what? $10/week for food and cleaning supplies and toiletries?

Good diet plan, I suppose.

Clarke said...

I read regularly, but like most, seldom have anything of note to add. Just waiting for the crash....

Gianni33 said...

I'm on the same boat as the other posters... I don't really want to check the MLS or Chipman's numbers everyday, but I do check from time to time. It's like looking at the clock every 5 minutes when you're bored. It makes the time go that much slower. I'm waiting for the crash but like everyone else, this boom keeps going and going and I'm getting of tired of checking my watch every 5 minutes. Nothing new to add, the time bomb keeps ticking but it's starting to look like the fuse is broken.

subprimal said...

There’s a slowdown in comments everywhere, here and at and Condohype. But people, like me, we’re still reading. Something’s gotta give soon in this market. The U.S. economy is imploding, the Canadian currency is on the rise, nobody I know can qualify for a mortgage and they’re all working professionals with what almost everyone would call “good jobs.” I’m stunned like the rest of them. I predicted a crash by now, but it hasn’t come. But nothing lasts forever. The sky will fall, it’s all a matter of when.

Anonymous said...

A watched kettle never boils. We were thinking of buying one of the rental pool condos near Kelowna. We still have not heard back if we can get a mortgage or not. Dealt with the Bank for over 10 years and we have good credit (my husband is an ex-banker). Anyway, our banker still has not gotten back to us. We know her very well. 6 months ago when we were going to borrow the same amount of money to move up into a larger house in the Uplands (and my husband was making less money) we had a call within hours - ahd "Sure! No problem". Now it has been 3 weeks.

Things are sure changing.

si fu said...

Like the rest of you I am waiting for the coyote to stop running furiously and accept the pull of gravity. So far the RE market has been reality-resistant.

I usually check this blog and a couple of others like it at least once a day. Keep up the great work!

solipsist said...

Thanks for all of your comments, and accolades. I knew that you were all out there, but wondered if there was something that you wanted to talk about that I was missing. Sometimes I think about shifting the topic of conversation (or at least, writing), but I did name this blog for (un)real estate, and didn't want to cheat anyone.

I sometimes think that the market will only change once we stop paying attention to it. I also wonder what we will talk about once house in East Van. are selling for $400k or less. That might well seem as unreal as the current paradigm, but will certainly be much more palatable. I might have to change the name to Schadenfreude, WTF happened to the Vancouver market?

I understand that there is often little to add - I only really comment on other blogs when I have had a couple of glasses of something, and am feeling nihilistic - read: a drunken lout...

Alternatively, greed has blinded most folks

Last night there was a piece on the CBC (TV) called "Gimme Shelter" that covered the subprime mess in the US, the lesser subprime phenomenon here, etc., and they interviewed the Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio - where 1 in 10 houses are in foreclosure (in the "black neighbourhoods, it is closer to 1 in 3), and he practically spit as he talked about greed. He also said that it was a massive fraud, and was very, very pissed off about it. The foreclosed houses are rotting, and being stripped of copper, aluminum, and anything else of value, and it was said that all of those houses would have to be demolished - at a cost to the city of some $100 million. You may be able to view the piece again on the "Internets", but I'm not certain about that. Check to find out.

LesserApe said...

Probably the most interesting thing to come up in the last couple days is the long term interest rate increase in the US. I was actually betting back in February that long term interest rates would fall as the fed had to cut rates to save the economy from the housing bust.

Instead, you have the Fed cutting rates, and the long term rates increasing fairly dramatically. My hypothesis is that it's because investors recognize that the US doesn't care about the dollar, and the Fed would rather deliberately cause inflation than risk a recession. And who wants to hold long term bonds in the collapsing currency of a country that's encouraging inflation?

The irony is that, if mortgage rates are truly set based on long term bond rates, this cut could reduce the short term liquidity crisis, but exacerbate the housing decline.

I really wonder if, in 10 years, this will be seen as the key event that really kicked off the fireworks.

greg said...

solipsist -

I have a youtube posting of that CBC story from the National on my site in the videos section, if anyone wants to see it.

I thought the story was just brutal; that's what I like about the CBC, they didn't pull any punches.

Anonymous said...

I read the posts every second day, too, waiting for the beginning of the firework. Meanwhile I got bored. I also realized that even if prices drop by 50%, my neighborhood will still be out of reach. I kind of gave up on Vancouver market, and bought a small house in the Rockies. After spending the summer there, I think this is one of the best things I have done in my life. I am so glad that I did not commit myself to a huge mortgage to buy a shoe box in a landslide zone.

I recently refused to rent an apartment because it had dark brown kitchen cabinets and a granite countertop: after going to so many open houses, I cannot stand the uniformity of the condos interior design. They give me stomachache.

I am still interested in watching the big collapse though. It is as exciting as a thriller. Even if we already know about the scenario.

Anonymous said...

We watched the 'Gimme Shelter' show also.

And I have only one thing to say about it. WHAT! Subprime? In Canada?

Subprime in the States yes but isn't Canada different?

All I've heard people spout over and over again is that we won't be affected like the States because we don't have subprime in Canada.

Now a national news show comes out and uses the words Canada and subprime together.

I'm just glad someone finally said what we have known all along.

Love the blog by the way. I read it regularly. It keeps me sane when I'm about to be pulled in to the madness.


Anonymous said...

i also wanted to chime in that i still read your blog every other day or so. Just waiting like so many others out there. Both my girlfriend and i make reasonable salaries and can't qualify for a mortgage like so many others. Just need to be patient, however hard it may be from time to time. Keep up the good work....

Sam said...

I'll add my voice to the chorus of regular readers who aren't commenting much due to us being in coyote-gravity-waiting mode. It's the same with my partner and I, we both make above-average income but won't even bother speaking to a mortgage broker for another couple of years. We're renting in Victoria and saving and investing money every month, building a "war chest".

Love the blog and read it regularly. Thanks!

anonymous said...

I agree with the 1st post. Lurking and Enjoying your blog.

solipsist said...

Thanks again for the comments. I got some good snorts of laughter from some of them, and it's good to know that there are still a few sane people in this town - The Greatest Town West of Burnaby(TM).

Anonymous said...

Vancouver may be still hot, but look at Calgary - average price for SFHs:

Jan-07 $432,877
Feb-07 $448,557
Mar-07 $479,914
Apr-07 $474,250
May-07 $487,523
Jun-07 $496,890
Jul-07 $505,920
Aug-07 $485,914
Today $470,845

The top was in July, and prices are down 7% already! Further price depreciation can be expected, since the inventories are at all time high.
Vancouver is next!(?)