Sunday, December 28, 2008


image from here

Great deals out there

Vince sent me an e-mail asking for my reaction to the article linked above. Thanks for the e-mail Vince, I appreciate all e-mails.

I thought it to be a well written article. It had well placed platitudes -

I have heard both doomsday predictions and rosy outlooks. From this, I conclude that right now people are looking for direction. They are looking for some semblance of where the market is going, when the opportunities will emerge and how to best act on those events. (sic)

biased factoids -

While I cannot predict the short term fluctuations of the market I can offer insight based on MPC Intelligence's experience observing and documenting Metro Vancouver's development market.

I can provide some simple facts about the current market that will better allow consumers to sort through the fact and the fiction in the months ahead.

fallacious mythology -

The Chinese proverb says, "May you live in interesting times." (I have dealt with that before) (sic)

acronymic company titles -

MPC Intelligence... (and they are, who?),

and generally unbiased positivity. Vapid writing for the vapid and vacillating venture capitalists who still have way too much money to lose.

From a Google search for MPC Intelligence - MPC Intelligence reminds our customers that we are here to help in every way shape and form. We are working near round the clock to deliver ..., and - MPC Intelligence assumes no responsibility for inaccuracies provided by the ... MPC Intelligence is not responsible for the privacy practices or content of ... I am always so encouraged when a marketing group has disclaimers in their headlines. "Near round the clock", no less... Hang on, I'm going to give them a call... OK, so Jennifer Podmore (the author of the Vancouver Sun "article"), is a Managing Partner of MPC Intelligence! Qu'elle surprise! Another great surprise - MPC Intelligence is not really available around the clock... I called at 12:45 AM, and was advised that their business hours are "from 9-5, Monday through Friday". MPC Intelligence - contact

So, Vince, I think that the "article" is another piece of shill from the Vancouver Sun. A pumper for the developers is trying to get you to buy. Why even read it? My own take is that, if prices have retreated by 15%, they have another 35% to go - minimum. And that is if there is not a depression. If that happens, see the previous post featuring Detroit "mansions" for three hundred dollars.

I will not eviscerate the "article" further, that would be unseemly.

See, I'm a "journalist" too! All it takes is Google!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Hi! How ya doin'?
Still there?
Ya, me too.

I have not written much lately, I've been considering where to go from here. I've had a lot of fun with the zany, the zowie, the zip and the zing. Jertains in my curtains, and zillows on my pillows... but the RE market is toast. That is not news anymore. Well, maybe it is - to some...

I got an e-mail yesterday from condohype alerting me to this article in The Gastritis and Mal-absorbed. I suppose I ought to be more charitable - given the Season of Blissful Consumption, and given that the writer, Timothy Taylor, gave a (favourable?) mention of condohype and vancouver (un)real estate - let's call it The Globe and Mail.

The upside to the bubble bursting: Sanity returns
The bloggers had it right - B.C.'s real estate market was due for a correction. At least we can stop obsessing about house listings
I could not agree more. Further, he writes;
...Meanwhile, bloggers are gloating. I'm talking about those real estate death watch sites such as Vancouver (un) Real Estate ( and Condohype (condohype.word- After the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver called off its 2009 conference and trade show two weeks ago because of the downturn, the blogger-in-chief of Condohype wrote, "Too bad the party's cancelled because that activity sounds awesome. In my book, it's an invitation to show up in my 'The Blogger Was Right' T-shirt with my dogs Case and Shiller. I'm devastated this can't happen now."

The sarcasm is perhaps a little undignified, but you can hardly blame them for feeling satisfied. They diagnosed market madness. And, with varying degrees of insight and eloquence, they were correct. That bull market really had distorted our view of certain things. It had changed us, or at the very least it had changed the way we relate to the places where we live.

It's nice to be noticed by such (an august) publication as the Gripe and Mewl, but I have to say that, well never mind, it's Crassmess, after all. Personally though, I think that the hypster's sarcasm is brilliant, prolific, and consistent, but never undignified. And Timothy, it's all lower case on the title for a reason. Do I feel sorry for flippers caught with their trousers down? No. I do, however, feel for the naive and ovine - whom were sucked in by the hype. I feel for those who have no idea what a recession is, let alone a depression, and have a huge mortgage with no equity, and will lose their jobs.

We were right - all of us; VHB, the pope, me, mohican,... Even Rob Chipman hedged his bets. You the readers were right too, and that is why you sought a different view. But gloating? Nah.

Now, where to go from here?

There is much to write about, always. Politically, I could dedicate to a career in print. I alienated a lot of readers in that though, because I expressed my very explicit views of Harper, and a good bunch of the Conservative Party. There is little gained from such rants though, it just tires me, and inflames others. Most couldn't give a hoot.

I could write about the coming depression, but that would just depress all of us, and waste a bunch of time that could be spent more judiciously - like canning fish, and salting pork, and stewing fruits, and pickling eggs, and learning how to plow with a dog in harness, or darning socks, or repairing boots, or distilling corn mash.

Maybe, I could just continue to post whatever suits my fancy. It might be about gay penguins. It might be severed Internet cables under the sea (and the perceived portent). Maybe you need an herbal cure for halitosis, or want to know about non-local effect. How to skin a rabbit, or pull a grouse's head through it's rectum. Maybe I will relate something that you have already read over at The Turner Report, or Greater Fool. I ripped this from there -

The Detroit house, on the left is going for $300 (three hundred dollars). The Vancouver house on the right is going for $998,000. Detroit must be the Worst Place on Earth, wot? They need some steenking Oleempics.

For now, this will remain vancouver (un)realestate (because it is still unreal), but in the future, it may morph into something like vancouver re-instated, and I will report on Bridge scores, or such. Who knows?

If you send me money, I might even be compelled to write more. If the Grey and Mangy wants to hire me, great! In the meantime, you can hook up for the RSS feed so to save a fruitless click - only to find nothing new.

Best of the season to all, whatever your affiliation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

cold comfort

From the Gloom and Mentira
Canada's stock market plunge... contributed to a 3.2 per cent drop in household net worth in the third quarter of this year, equivalent to ...$191-billion, Stats Can said Tuesday.

Stock prices were down by 18 per cent in the third quarter,...

“The...loss in... equities, combined with the related loss in the value of pension and life insurance assets..., was the principal factor “Also contributing were slower growth in residential real estate values and continued household borrowing. Total household assets fell 2.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2008.”
(slower growth? Hah!)
...the largest percentage drop in household net worth (in ten years)...

The numbers for the final quarter will almost certainly be worse, Patricia Croft... said....
Gosh! It is all happening so fast! Who'da thunk it?

I heard some bobble-head or another say last night that Vancouver RE prices will decline by 15%-20% in 2009. That would be on top of the ~15% haircut in 2008, I presume. Another fella said that price retreats will be in the same % as sales declines. That would be about 70% for Vancouver. 2010 will see another 30% off RE, and 2011, another 12%. Dare to Dream!

It is all happening so fast! Who'da thunk it?

Our fearless leader, who was so nonchalant about the economy until last week some time, had this to say today -
PM's economic flip: 'I've never seen such uncertainty'

Globe and Mail

OTTAWA — Stephen Harper has delivered his bleakest forecast yet for the Canadian economy, warning yesterday the future is increasingly hard to read and conceding the possibility of a depression.

"I'm very worried about the Canadian economy."

When asked whether a depression might be possible,...‘The truth is, I've never seen such uncertainty in terms of looking forward to the future,’ ...Harper says.

"It could be, but I think we've learned enough about depression; we've learned enough from the 1930s to avoid some of the mistakes that caused a recession in 1929 to become a depression in the 1930s." (emboldening mine)
This guy is so full of CRAP. Are you not thankful that it is his "hand on the tiller"? Garf. I really don't think that any lessons have been learned from the Depression - except how to better swindle people.

It is all happening so fast! Who'da thunk it?

Are you ready? Things are melting down faster than the Arctic.

Meanwhile, some Antarctic snow birds are having problems of their own. It seems that someone decided that two penguins are gay, and protested that they be given eggs of their own to hatch, as they have been stealing eggs of other penguins at the zoo in China.

Gay penguins... Who'da thunk it?

Oh, and I almost forgot, the Fed cut interest rates to between 0%-.25% today. The only route to kick-starting the economy now is lots and lots of overtime for the printers. Free money for everyone! (except in Delaware, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Nevada, Iowa, Indiana, Idaho, Omaha, and The Big Island, and anywhere prohibited by local statute. Some restrictions may apply.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

pity the fool

From the comments section:
"Pity the fool who bought this... Buying an asset which doubled in 3 years is nothing short of idocy..."(sic)

5164 Madeira Court
Asking price: $1,090,000
Selling price: $870,000
Previous selling price: $389,750 (2005)
Taxes: $5,240 (2007)
Days on the market: 36
Listing agent: Betsy Carstairs, Park Georgia Realty Ltd.

Even though this 1,972-square-foot house...sold for $220,000 under asking, the selling price was still $480,000 above what (was) paid for it about three years ago.

"Unlike financial markets, real estate is always a good investment," agent Carstairs says. What else is she going to say? The place has shed value in the week passed since it was sold.

...built in 1971, is in need of some (major) updating — brown carpets aren't for everyone — but it has attractive's on a dead-end street... It is fitting that it is on a dead end street, it is a dead end investment.

The new owners are "excited about the idea of giving this '70s-style home a facelift," ...Carstairs says. "They can't wait to roll up their sleeves and work together to create the home of their dreams."
(italics mine)

Now, that is just crazy. They were asking 3 times what they paid for this house three years ago, and got double - without doing anything to the place. The new "owners" will need to put $100K into the place while it is dropping in value. Will it go back to 2005 value? Oh, yeah. Will it go back to 2003? Oh, yeah. How low will she go?

Just imagine paying $500/month in property taxes on top of the mortgage payments, new furnace and windows, new roof, new kitchen, new everything. This place has a great view, but is a bad deal, IMHO. The ones who bought it in 2005 hit the jackpot though...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008



I wrote about the pope packing it in, but it seems that due to popular demand, he is considering other avenues (an assumption that the pope is XY, and not XX). condohype has made an excellent comment today, and the pope reproduced the affair here.
Prior to sending a cease and desist regarding the language via our Legal staff, if the matter can be resolved internal it would be preferred.
RE: Identification of site management

Further to the changes as outlined below which we expect to be implemented immediately, we also request that...

...this email will serve as notification with respect to our requests and will be kept on file and further forwarded to our legal department. (bolding is mine)
That is threatening language, thinly veiled, in my view.

I was surprised by the pope's announcement, but at the same time, was not. I became somewhat bored with RE when the top was in, and now it seems a slow fall to bottom - like a feather from a humming bird. La-la-la. Big news would be the whole danged flock of humming birds falling from the sky like so much hail. Further, I have either alienated, or bored, many readers. Having these kinds of bombs dropped on you can dampen ones enthusiasm, and instill cynicism further. I too have had a letter with mention of libel, civil proceedings, subpoena, etc. - in regard to some anonymous comments that did verge on libel. I removed the comments, but did not alter my post. That satisfied the complainant, and the pope has done similarly.

It can be daunting to keep it fresh, and RE related, which his eminence did well. There has been so much financial and political intrigue too, it is almost useless trying to write about either - they are both so colossally fragged up. I'm just finding everything to be surreal, if predicted, these days. I have had a hard time keeping up - my toddler is a terror (in the best of ways), and demands and deserves a lot of attention. I often start posts that end up saved as drafts, because I lose the rhythm, and the post becomes senseless (this is one of those). Pages sit open for days awaiting comment, until the news is stale, and there are 10 new essays to write every day.

I seem to have misrepresented the situation with VCI this AM (as pointed out by Many Franks), and hope that I have done better in my redaction. It was really about the photoshop, and I rushed the writing. I was distracted.

All the best, your eminence, and thanks for all the laughs, news, and traffic.

Friday, December 05, 2008


What a week, huh?

The November RE numbers are out (as reported by CBC Newsworld a couple of days ago), and Vancouver is 70% down in sales, and prices (benchmark, if I recall correctly) are off 12.3% since May 08. Flippers in Paradise? More like a floppers with a pair of dice, and they've crapped out. Shucks.

OJ, oh, OJ. You are up shite creek now. Justice delayed is still justice - especially when meted out on such a cretin as you by your own doing. Up to 33 years. Try swinging the babes when you are 94, Old Jerk.

The picture up top is from here. If you want a trippy look at reality, check out (the Late) Terence McKenna. (the Late) Timothy Leary rated him as one of the six most important people alive. They are both toast now, and they both have, er, reputations, but if you have an open and adventurous mind, there are some interesting avenues of thought - far removed from benchmark prices, but strangely relevant to granite counter-tops (or counter-culture, at the least).

That vague reference is the best prologue that I can think of for a comment on what is happening to our poor, beleaguered, bewitched, and bewildered land of Canada. I've got to get away from that though, it only brings out partisanship and talking points, and sound bites from the six o'clock news. A great harm has been done to our country this week. Whether one supports this, or that, doesn't really matter. Precedents have been set, and we have no Parliament in what is about to become very desperate times. "The Big 3" have lined up at the trough, and asked for $6 billion, which they are going to get, with no Parliamentary debate what-so-ever. We just pumped $25 billion into the banks, and they reported profits of some 13.9 billion (needs citation) in profits. Down from the $19 billion of last year, and the year before, and the year before. My bank account is down to less than a grand (I spent a lot on lobster and cognac), can I have a top-up too?

We have not yet really noticed what is coming, but it is coming. Pay attention. Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. How is that for a platitude?

Here is the best picture of Our Dear Leader that I have ever seen. What a clown whore. (no image credit, but I am pretty sure that it is from Image Factory, which is, I believe, of the CBC)

I loved Question Period last week when the Opposition was chanting "leader, leader" after Prentice got up and spoke (in reasonably reasonable tones - even if he is full of shite). Harper looked like he was having an aneurysm, and some painful haemorrhoids at the same time.

Christmas shopping will be a breeze this year for the recently laid-off, there will be no money to shop with. Sorry kids, but we will have to sell one of you for medical experiments. The malls will not be too busy for those with money.

We are giving li'l solipsist an empty can to collect rainwater, and a ruler. I'll make a fancy box for it, and call it the Lower-Mainland Mini Meteorologist Mean Measurement of Precipitation kit (patent pending).

I smell a new cottage industry that The Dragons might be interested in.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

...and lies and videotape...

I have realized the futility of explaining fairness, decency, honour, the Westminster Parliamentary system, the constitution, history, and a whole lot more.

Just remember Goebbels' meme about repeating a lie often enough.

from here, by way of Garth Turner's.