Monday Numbers, and more again…

Monday was, again, a bearish day for supply (what a concept – if supply goes up, its bearish:-) )  There were 255 new listings and only 87 sales, for a sell/list of 34.12%.  That sell/list has to make the bears sing (maybe just growl with delight?).

 A theme we’ve touched on before is the question of why, in a market that looks so over-valued, would a smart investor buy.  I won’t hazard a guess, but nature of the question implicitly rejects the first answer that will spring to many minds: if the investor is smart he’s not buying because he’s stupid.  The greater fool theory is limited in that respect. (Its worth pointing out that dismissing someone merely because they disagree with you on something is childish.  We really have to critically evaluate why someone does something before we pass judgement).

Case in point:CAP REIT is purchasing a bunch of Transglobe rental properties. Why? CAP is Canada’s largest residential landlord, so we can assume that they know their business. Generally a sale involves two parties working on different win scenarios (they aren’t zero sum games). It may seem obvious to many why Transglobe sold, but not so obvious why CAP bought. Ideas?

Privacy legislation has been a recent them in comments. My feeling is that observance of privacy legislation is not as simple as it seems, even with the help of qualified legal counsel. Case in point: Richmond recently passed a bylaw to combat metal thieves. It appears that the bylaw may be struck down, in part due to concerns reaised by the Privacy Commissioner. This isn’t the first time privacy concerns have gotten in the way of bylaws that are, one would assume, drafted by competent legal help. I’m not saying privacy legislation is evil; I’m just pointing out that its a complex challenge to a lot of people and bodies, and can easily challenge qualified legal minds.



Filed under Daily Numbers, Investment Approach, Privacy

82 responses to “Monday Numbers, and more again…

  1. WoW


    Haa (ha ha ha)

    Spillover from Alberta?

    Thanks for the #s Rob – and yes, I will be buying a house one of these days, and you can put the sold sticker on the sign as my agent – but you’ll have to wait a while!:))

  2. c0c0

    “Its worth pointing out that dismissing someone merely because they disagree with you on something is childish. We really have to critically evaluate why someone does something before we pass judgement.”

    Touche! Blogs are interesting, they stimulate your thinking whether you agree with other bloggers or not. A great learning source. What you choose to do with the information that is posted here is up to you. Best to consider blogs as a large friendly debate, rather than a school yard fight.

  3. coco


    In addition to sales slowing down in the fall, do you think sales have also slowed due to sellers pricing their properties too high?

    I noticed some properties in my area priced 100k or more than anything that has ever sold in the neighbourhood. It sits for months and slowly they start reducing their price. Seems painstaking, as some of the sellers truly wish to sell their homes.

  4. abc

    “A theme we’ve touched on before is the question of why, in a market that looks so over-valued, would a smart investor buy.”

    I am decidedly against buying now, and probably not for a few years. However, I will suggest some possibilities why an investor might buy:

    1. If you are from a country where your property rights may not be respected, then putting money into Canada may be prudent. Declining property values are not such a concern as protecting capital.

    2. If you are affluent and extremely concerned about inflation, then putting some (small) percentage of your money into RE may be viewed as a way of protecting the purchasing power of your capital.

  5. Jay

    Rob, thanks for the numbers. A few said the downturn had begun. I’m not saying it has but it sure looks that way. What’s different from last January? TONS! U.S. crash, our dollar, realizing many local RE buyers over-extended themselves etc. I really think people have woken up and the U.S. housing/mortgage issues helped. It seems different this time and it looks like the downturn has begun…

  6. Northern Ally

    Re: Cap Reit – TransGlobe deal, it sounds like it was a good deal for the buyer in this case, too.

    They bought 748 suites with currently 100% occupancy for about $120,000 per suite (total sale $94.6 million). The average interest rate they’re paying is only 4.73%. Who wouldn’t buy rental suites at those prices and those rates?

    I don’t see how a sale of this type relates to an average family trying to decide whether or not to buy a house for $750 k.

  7. joe blfzk


    Could’nt help noticing that you asked why a “smart” investor would buy now, but failed to use the same term to describe the investors who are buying now.

  8. abc

    “Case in point:CAP REIT is purchasing a bunch of Transglobe rental properties. Why?”

    Their press releases state that they want to diversify their geographic base to include more of western Canada. Also, in conjunction with the transaction, they are *selling* properties in Ontario and Quebec. So I would not view this as a vote of confidence in RE, rather it is part of a strategy to reduce geographic risk. They also explain that the want to expand into markets with increased growth potential. Perhaps by increased growth, they are saying they feel rents are cheap relative to housing prices. I don’t disagree with that either.

    Note that they will only have abut 5% of their portfolio in BC after the transaction and 5% in Alberta. So I can understand them feeling they are underweight in the west.

  9. abc

    Joe, I guess I’m not a very convincing residential RE bull. lol 😉

  10. The Original Joshua

    Inventory? Close to 12K?

  11. /dev/null

    For reference, a year ago the sell/list was ~45% and inventory was mid-11k. I think there’s a whiff of something different in the air this year (perhaps just the garbage?) but I don’t see it in the numbers…

  12. fish

    Caution on the numbers…looks to me from a quick perusal of the mls that a lot of listings came off today.

    Guess they ran out end of Spetember and it took a day or two for the red, hot mls boys to get round to pulling them off.

    Rob could you give us the total inventory and over 90s to see this is true or not.


  13. Annon

    Paying anything over-valued is in general a bad thing. There are many examples that investors can still make money from over-paid items. In these cases, they are not stupid. The greater fool theme may or may not be the case that investors can still make money from over-paid items. But I would say unless investors already know the specific use of the over-priced items, they should NOT buy things over-valued. But even if investors are able to make money from over-paid items, it does NOT at all change the fact that the items are over-paid. I have managed many turnkey projects and there are always times where some of the items are over-paid just because of time/location/meeting requirements issues. So all this means we are really using the money gained elsewhere to compensate for the loss here and what we are really aiming for is the overall gain. Another example is that one family needs a house and they can’t wait and they are able to buy the over-priced house, so they go for it. Their overall goal is to have a nice house for the family, and therefore market value isn’t an issue here. When you remove all that special circumstances, the bottom line is still …. unless you know what you are doing, one must in all case NOT buy anything over-valued.

  14. Annon

    Rob, could you please remove the first entry. I made correction in the second post. Thanks.

  15. jesse

    “Generally a sale involves two parties working on different win scenarios (they aren’t zero sum games).”

    Small point: the transaction itself is zero sum. I agree that what one does with the money afterwards is not zero sum.

    Now that I think of it, even the transaction is not “zero sum” due to property transfer taxes, closing costs, and agent fees. But I digress.

  16. robchipman


    I mean not zero sum in that both sides can take positives away. One side winning doesn’t mean the other side loses.



  17. Johnny33

    I’ll agree that the numbers look very similar to last year’s bearish numbers, so I won’t read too much into them. But right now we’re experiencing a lot of uncertainty in general, with the rising C$ vs the falling US$, a lot more interest rate fluctuations (is it going up/down? Who knows?), fluctuations in the stock market, and the real estate slowdown in Alberta (I wouldn’t call it a crash just yet). Inflation is going to be a real problem in the near future, and if the minimum wage does indeed get bumped to $10/hr in BC, a lot more businesses are going to feel the squeeze.

  18. Chooch

    You still don’t seem to grasp privacy legislation. It is about the collection of personal information such as name, date of birth, SIN, marital status, etc. Privacy legislation does not apply to other information, which we can call “confidential information”. The stories you have linked to relate to public bylaws that place an obligation on private enterprises to collect personal information (i.e. names, d.o.b., addresses) for the purpose of passing it on to police. Bylaws themselves are public laws (not private contracts) drafted by local governments. Local governments draft such types of law knowing they are to subject challenge by the public upon which they are imposed. That is the nature of a democracy that affords its people civil liberties and protection from government.

    Private contracts are a different matter. Under privacy legislation a person may voluntarily consent to their “personal information” (name, address, etc) being released to the public for a stated purpose (i.e. selling their home). Similarly a person may agree to the disclosure of “confidential information” not subject to privacy legislation. In the Board’s Multiple Listing Contract (see 11A.(iii)) there is provision for full disclosure of “personal information” to realtors, the public, government, etc. In other words, the Seller has expressly consented to his or her “personal information” being disclosed for the purpose of selling his or her home. That would really only involve their names, addresses and residency as no other “personal information” is required. Also in the Board’s Multiple Listing Contract (see 9A) “information relating to the property” may be disclosed to persons interest in the property (prospective buyers, government, appraisers, etc.). And so you see, your Board understands and draws the distinction between “personal information” and “confidential information”. These provisions are drafted with purpose understanding the law. It is open to Board to impose policy that reduces the scope of its contractual rights and what is permitted by statute. If you really do have an interest in this subject, you will look at the law and not simply state it doesn’t matter because the board says…..

    You ask any reasonable person in the GVRD who pays commission in a residential real estate deal and they will tell you it is the seller. Whether a buyer’s agent is his/her agent or a sub-agent of the seller’s agent does not change this perception. Yes, a subagent is really acting, indirectly, for the seller and shares commission with the seller’s agent whereas a buyer’s agent is acting for a buyer and the buyer is responsible for his/her commission. Bottomline is the commission is built into the selling price and rightly or wrongly the perception is that it is paid by the seller as it comes off of his proceeds of sale. Perceptions are important. In a private deal without realtors it is not unusual for a buyer and seller to calculate the standard listing commission and split it on the understanding that it is a cost to both parties.

  19. coco


    There was a lot of expiries in my neighbourhood too.

  20. The unthinkable"Renter"

    Over ripe tomatoes make good fertilizer, so does urine.

  21. fish


    not sure why Rob didn’t report inventory- it is his blog and he can put out whatever he likes – though he risks us cancelling our subscriptions 🙂

    Anyway..the numbers I saw were running up until today, so this is the usual end of the month listings drop, which will probably relist pretty soon – minus those who decide to wait until the Spring boom.

    This is VERY similar to the pattern in hot US places like Orange County. The numbers were steady even as sales volume fell, then listings dropped as people waiting for the buyers rush in Spring, except the buyers never shoed up, and inventory then started to rise and prices started to fall.

    Here is a snapshot of whre they are now:

    And I would say it is just starting in OC…though of course Vancouver is different.

  22. blueskies

    I’ve just run across a good slogan on HBB!

    DEJA MOO. ( = “we’ve heard this bull before”)

    I can only imagine the linguistic gymnastics that will appear on this blog when “MOI” is the subject “du jour” as DOM is now being slowly beaten to death, strangled, shot and pissed on …


  23. robchipman


    Its not a csae of me not grasping privacy legislation. I’m not even disageeing with you on what privacy legislation is for and what it does. I actually didn’t think we were discussing that. I thought we were talking about why the Board releases DOM info in one setting but not another.

    -I’m telling you that the Board says that after consultation with its legal counsel and the Privacy Commissioner it has to restrict publication of sales prices, and that members can’t disclose that information prior to completion. The Board claims that the information is the personal and private information of the seller and buyer, and claims that this position is supported by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

    You’re free to disagree with the Board in whatever way you like, but don’t chalk their position up to my lack of understanding of the legislation. Again, I haven’t shared my understanding of the legislation with you (its irrelevant, frankly).

    My point with the links was to show that legislation and its application is complex, and can’t be pre-judged by even an extremely competent lawyer (you claim the opposite). Private contracts are indeed different from municipal bylaws, but the examples, and your dismissal of them begs the question: if a good lawyer can draft a contract that will never contravene some sort of legislation, why doesn’t the same lawyer draft a municipal bylaw in the same manner? I think its unlikely that a lawyer can create perfection in either scenario. You seem to be saying that the good lawyer can’t always draft perfect legislation but can always draft the perfect contract.

    I think (and you can confirm) that you’re drawing a distinction between personal information and confidential information. You’ve clearly said that name, address and residency are personal information. You also say that the Board collects other information, and conclude on that basis that the Board draws the same distinction that you’re drawing. I’m guessing, (and you can confirm this) that you would not consider the selling price (and other things that aren’t name, address and residency) “personal” information, but instead “confidential” information. Do I have that right?

    If I do, then I’m pretty sure the Board does not agree with your distinction (they’ve stated the opposite in writing) and I’m pretty sure that BCCREA does not agree either(see the Blue Brochure for proof).

    Again, this does not speak to my understanding of privacy legislation. I’m simply pointing out that you appear to have a different understanding of privacy legislation than the Board and BCREA have. (If you are, in fact, the Privacy Commissioner, put me out of my misery now, and tell the Board that you don’t care about all the stuff they tell us to keep private).

    When you say “If you really do have an interest in this subject, you will look at the law and not simply state it doesn’t matter because the board says…..” I have to ask: are you purposely misreading and misrepresenting what I’ve said? I think the law is paramount. But I also think its important to recognize that my understanding of the law, as well as yours, as well as the Board’s, is of little import. In regard to privacy legislation, it is the opinion of the Privacy Commissioner that matters, unless we’re prepared to take the PC to court or have legislators change the law in Victoria/Ottawa.

    We may be well advised to become conversant with the law, but offering our opinions on it when much better ones can be had is simply foolish. That is why I’m not comparing my interpretation of the law to yours. I care that my Board takes the time and effort to find a way for me to do my business without angering the Privacy Commissioner. (So far they’ve done that. I can give you sale prices prior to completion, as well as DOM, without breaking privacy laws).

    You seem to want the Board to adopt your legal opinion and disclose more information more readily. It seems clear to me that your problem is with the Privacy Commissioner, not the Board (if the PC wasn’t a threat, wouldn’t we just share the info more easily? After all, we already share it without obligation, and are obligated to share it in some situations).

    In terms of commission, you could well be right. Most people may percieve that the seller is paying the commission, and you are certainly right that perception is important. Your saying that is ironic, of course, because during sub-agency it was precisely the incorrect perception on the part of buyers that they had an agent that lead to today’s system of agency. When you say that under sub-agency a buyer agent is “indirectly”working for the seller, you’re incorrect. There’s nothing indirect about it. In sub-agency there is no buyer’s agent at all unless dual representation is occurring. There are only two seller’s agents and an unrepresented buyer. Again, unless there is dual representation of some sort occurring, you can’t be two mutually exclusive things. Think it through.

    I’d disagree with your statement that “…rightly or wrongly the perception is that it is paid by the seller as it comes off of his proceeds of sale”; ask a few buyers and you’ll get different answers. Ask some younger buyers who weren’t exposed to sub-agency and you’ll get some different answers. Again, your statement is a little ironic, because it was the idea that the seller was paying the commission with money that the buyer gave him that justified the position that both the buyer and seller deserved their own agents. The common perception was that the seller “claimed” to be paying the commission, but that the buyer was footing the bill on an equal basis; you, yourself, actually recognize this when you say “In a private deal [the]buyer and seller [understand] that [the commission] is a cost to both parties”.

  24. robchipman


    No inventory just because I was busy. Right now (6:14, Tuesday) its 11,382.

  25. coco

    Generous financing and plenty of choice keeps housing market moving (Vancouver/Fraser Valley)

  26. coco

    Record home prices in Fraser Valley

  27. coco


    At what dollar level do you see home sales slow down? Million? 800k?

    How many million plus are selling lately?


  28. coco

    Someone stated long time ago, they thought this market would come down from the top. Maybe they are right?

  29. coco

    Looks as if people are battling it out at the lower end price range and raising the bar because of it.

  30. satv

    “would a smart investor buy”.

    if you can replace that with smart “buyer” will buy,I would say”yes”…..if you want to know why?.I would say to save $88.000 this year on detached.

  31. satv

    Such RE glut will never happen here in Vancouver.
    Such RE glut will never happen here in Vancouver.
    Such RE glut will never happen here in Vancouver.
    my buddy “Chief” 9/6/07 1:26 PM over

    hey guys rob display lisiting number for his area so keep that in mind.

    2007 is heading for second largest sales in canada @ more than 101,000 thats 5% over last year.
    Such RE glut will never happen here in Vancouver.
    Such RE glut will never happen here in Vancouver.
    Such RE glut will never happen here in Vancouver.
    Such RE glut will never happen here in Vancouver.

  32. Anonymous

    “There are also more financing options. Down payments are down to five percent, which can be put on a credit card,” said Muir.

    This is comforting, and I always thought a CMHC insured/High ratio mortgage required DP from non borrowed sources. Way to go Cam!

  33. Chooch

    Yes, lets get back to what started the discussion. Your poor readers are bored to death. I believe it is a business decision of Realtors/Board not to list DOM on public sites. Enough said.

    With respect sub-agency, I use “indirect” because the subagency relationship with the owner is established through the owner’s original agent. There is no direct contractual relationship between the owner and the sub-agent.

    I’ll let you get back to debating what’s around the corner.

  34. Disbelief

    Wow, the powers that be just want this wave to keep going. Eventually it will hit the beach and with great thanks to Mr. Muir and others it will be a tidal wave. With great devastation…. Anyone with any sense can see it. That web of disillusion that such spinners is becoming translucent by the month. When I bought my second house I put down $20,000 on a H/R mort. I had to prove where the money came from and sign it. This is going to be very bad for a lot of ignorant people.

  35. blueskies

    Cam Muir sez: Just charge it!

    Banks sez: Is that really your money?
    Where did you get from?
    How long have you had it?

    Now entering a new era of Responsibility!

  36. Geezer

    I was interested in the numerous reports of the RE “collapse” in Alberta so I thought I’d check out an Albertan blog site to see what is being said.

    I was surprised to read this post from “Wealthyboomer”. Perhaps the sky is not yet falling in Alberta.

    Home sales volume steams toward new record
    Mario Toneguzzi , Calgary Herald
    Published: Friday, August 17, 2007

    The total dollar volume of residential MLS sales in Calgary has hit $9.4 billion so far this year – a 27-per-cent increase from the same period last year, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

    And sales continue to climb, heading for a yearly record.

    CREA says that overall sales in the Calgary residential market until the end of July were 22,559 – an increase of 3.1 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

    Last year, the local residential resale market had its highest ever sales at 32,912 units, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board.

    And with another five months to go this year, the total dollar volume also appears headed to break last year’s record of $11.4 billion. That peak was a 44-per-cent hike from the $7.9 billion registered in 2005.

    CREA statistics show the average residential MLS sale price in the first seven months this year was $414,508 (single-family home and condominium combined) in Calgary, which is a 23-per-cent jump from the same period last year.

    New listings in Calgary have also increased by 26.7 per cent from a year ago and were 34,075 units at the end of July.

  37. fish


    So there was a large drop (400) in inventory even with the recent bearish numbers due to expired listings.

    That makes sense. End of September seems like a nice round number to end a contract at.

    They were likely listed for at least 3 and more probably 6 months before expiring…so the over 90 will drop a bit too.

    Lets see when they relist.

    Remember the first thing to drop in the US was sales numbers, then the inventory went up and now the prices are falling over double digits in the previously hot areas.

    IF we follow this pattern, we are now at stage one.

  38. Johnnyrent

    Is SATV Borat in disguise? He does not apparently understand English, logic, reason etc. or if he does, he’s either on drugs or he’s into single malt in a big way.

  39. fish


    The numbers are rather confused.

    “single-family home and condominium combined)”

    Read my post in the previous thread about how meaningless this is. You have to compare apples with apples, square foot for square foot.

    “New listings in Calgary have also increased by 26.7 per cent from a year ago and were 34,075 units at the end of July.”

    What does that mean- total listings on the MLS?? Total sales?

    Reads like carefully collected and presented statistics.

  40. satv

    let me correct my self .
    2007 is heading for second largest sales in b.c. more than 101,000 unit +5% yoy.

  41. satv

    hey jeff !how you doing?,I thought you’re gone for long vocation and no plan to return back,and I had release second part of where is jeff ?-2 after you,but I have found you here’anyway nice to see you here’;……

  42. blueskies


    Are you old enough to remember Alberta and the NEP in the early eighties?

    Do you see any parallels with the current royalty situation now simmering in Alberta?

    Would you feel confident enough to buy right now anywhere in Alberta?

  43. Popeye

    · Most of the stuff snapped up in the last 2 years has been by the “real estate never goes down” crowd. My guess is that 60% of the new developments alone was sold to speculators. But now, it seems, more speculators are needed to keep this insane boom going. In last Saturday’s Vancouver Sun Homes ads, there were 40 (yes forty) pages of almost-glossy ads. The question then is: Is there a glut come crash? Well, we’ll see. For when the tide goes out, as Warren Buffett is wont to say, you get to see who’s been swimming naked, and it looks like darn near everybody has been caught skinny-dipping down at Liquidity Beach.

  44. Jeff

    yep… Jeff is back…

    this market continues to surprise me… got back to higher prices, lower supply of both listings and buyers, and now still trying to figure it all out.

    the end must be near since the little house on Richards finally sold out to development… looks like even the little old lady on main street knows its time to sell.

  45. blueskies

    The question then is: Is there a glut come crash?

    satv’s incoherent ramblings notwithstanding, there is a glut already…. there are a LOT of places for sale.

    to keep it going we need buyers to step up and take one for the team…..

    show me the buyers!

  46. tqn

    any guess for sept 07 stats?
    I start: volume up 5% and price up 10% compared to Sept 06 for gvrd.

  47. Jeff

    where have the buyers gone?

    I was on vacation for July and August and apparently the last of the buyers came out then.

    I got back in September and I actually sold 3 places, but its quiet.

  48. coco


    The news your posting about Calgary is from August. Here is a September update from the same reporter.

  49. Anonymous

    “would a smart investor buy”.

    if you can replace that with smart “buyer” will buy,I would say”yes”…..if you want to know why?.I would say to save $88.000 this year on detached.


    You always say buy, but all you offer is rhetoric. If one thinks they know the answers, one should be able to give logical explanations and facts to support their case why real estate will continue to rise. The “I told you so” comments are getting boring.

  50. robchipman


    At what dollar mark do I see a slowdown? No idea. Remember, I’ve got a few miles under my hood, so prices of everything started striking me as unreasonable many years ago 🙂 Seriously, I have no clue. The cure for high prices is high prices, and that’s about as far as I’ll go. When that law is going to applied is beyond me.


    You can believe what you like, but you’ve still left a lot unanswered.

    -Why would we make a business decision to restrict access to information on one platform when we make the information freely available on another?
    -Why would we make a business decision to benefit one party ot the detriment of another when we act for both parties?
    -Why would we make a business decision to benefit one group of Realtors at a cost to another group of Realtors, when both groups have equal standing, equal voice and pay equal amounts of money for the service?

    In short, we’ve pretty much agreed that access to the information isn’t restricted. How can you even begin to argue that restricting access to the information is a business decision? You’re saying you believe that you know why we do something that you and I both agree we don’t do.

    When you say that under sub-agency “There is no direct contractual relationship between the owner and the sub-agent” you might be correct in some jurisdictions at some times. You’re incorrect if you try to describe our old system of sub-agency that way. The direct contractual relationshiup between the owner/seller and the sub-agent/perceived buyer’s agent was an integral part of the problem. Again, I have to wonder: do you really not understand what you’re commenting on, or are you willfully misrepresenting the history of sub-agency in BC real estate?

    Sorry if people are getting bored. One problem with the internet is that people can comment on all kinds of things and share all kinds of opinions(which is great) but they can leave incorrect impressions (which you’re doing about agency). Your opinions on agency are incorrect, and could cause some costly confusion to some people.


    Interesting comment. Let’s track and see if we really are at Stage 1.

  51. blueskies

    anybody here have a sense of humour?


  52. coco



    More U.S. housing cartoons here (9 pages of them)

  53. satv

    satv’s incoherent ramblings notwithstanding, there is a glut already…. there are a LOT of places for sale.
    oho if those places are not on sale then how we are going to see 38,100 +5% yoy,sales in Greater Vancouver this year???.then how we can calculate mom average that is going to cross$770,000 to $820,000 thats why we must get units on sale to increase all that magnitudes.

    “You always say buy, but all you offer is rhetoric. If one thinks they know the answers, one should be able to give logical explanations and facts to support their case why real estate will continue to rise. The “I told you so” comments are getting boring.”


    I have post data already in friday numbers some where,its not a case of boring,I would say”truth hurts”,and tellers have to buy the criticism.

    3 sales is big buck r.e. units are not a jeans or jacket,when you combined 3 unit average with number of realtors in bc you will find those numbers,yoy.


    I found your comment a better way of comunication it is good to ask or comunicate rather then put some one on toxication.all future question will be answer nicely with more logic.

  54. Tony Danza


    Don’t bother replying to Geezer, he’s just a sad lonely old bull trying to rattle some cages. I actually believe that Geezer and satv are one and the same, the depth of their arguments and lack of insight are strikingly similar. FWIW I’m sure we’ll be shielding our eyes from the nakedness of satv/geezer when the tide finally rolls out.

  55. joe blfzk

    Nice try Geezer.

    Either, you think that readers are dumb enough not to notice that your Calgary stats are 2 months old, or you’ve been asleep for a while.

  56. Geezer


    Thanks for the newer news report which is obviously more valid than one month old data. I’m still not convinced the end is nigh. Remember last October in Vancouver – “The sky was falling, the sky was falling”.

    Tony Danza,

    Guess this sad, lonely old bull really rattled your cage eh? 🙂

  57. Geezer

    Hey Joe, you must have read Coco’s post, either that or you really are awake – but your timing is suspicious.

  58. YLTWNboomerang

    Just finished reading today’s Sun, can’t believe the quote of Cameron in the business section; downright irresponsible:

    “There are also more financing options. Down payments are down to five percent, which can be put on a credit card,” said Muir.

    I’m not kidding, you can’t make this stuff up! I tried to find an online copy of the story but failed, anybody else? It is by Joanne Lee-Young

  59. blueskies


    coco posted this yesterday:

    methinks Mr. Muir is reaching or scraping
    the bottom of his wish barrel……

    party is over as of Aug 16 2007

  60. coco

    Bank of Canada injects 520 million to add liquidity

  61. coco

    Mortgage lenders in subprime traffic jam

  62. joe blfzk


    Yea, I read Coco’s note.

    SO WHAT?????

    Any misleading info deserves to be exposed.

  63. coco

    So many subprime job cuts on a daily basis now. I gave up reporting them all.

  64. coco

    Something like 46oo layoffs the last while.

  65. coco


    So your saying the sky is falling is seasonal?

  66. coco

    “Down payments are down to five percent, which can be put on a credit card”

    Must not watch Suzie Orman, Maxed out, Til debt do us part. As these shows have many examples of couples who put their downpayment on a credit card and got into financial doo doo big time.

  67. Tony Danza

    Yes Geezer your 1 bullish news report to coco’s 20 the sky is falling reports really has rattled me. Maybe I should tap my credit card for that Newton condo…
    (rattle rattle).

  68. All Wet

    Sorry Rob:
    I normally like your evenhanded approach but the Cap Reit thing is all about a shortage of rental units and hence the acquisition by a large holding entity.The actual properties purchased are mostly run down holding properties that had been sadly neglected by Transglobe. Rentals are scarce because of the “housing boom”. People are buying and converting as well as knocking down rental units. So landlords can just hold and raise the price. Any correlation between the “health” of the housing market in BC and this acquisition is fictitious and misleading.
    The current RE market is largely fuelled by demand (ie. greed and fear.) And this acquisition is just another illustration of potential greed. Time will tell whether the sub prime fallout will have an effect on BC’s market as well as the impending (note I did not say possible) US recession will affect our “red hot” economy.

  69. robchipman

    All Wet:

    CAP Reit made the purchases, Transglobe sold them. I simply asked why, in a market that looks over-valued, an apparently smart investor would buy. I don’t think I made any connections between the acquisition and the health of the housing market here. You’re detecting an agenda on my part that doesn’t exist.

    Here’s the real agenda: ask a question that might promote some interesting discussion. Northern Ally made a good point: cheap price per unit. On that basis it makes sense for CAP to do what it doesn’t make sense for an individual to do. Can we determine the premium that individuals will pay for strata titled properties vs. non-strata titled properties?

    You’ve pointed out another interesting point: will these places be converted? Reno and then re-rent at higher rents? Just hold?

    Another interesting point is this: if there is a shortage of rental housing, why? And if existing stocks get run down, why?

    Rentals aren’t scarce because of the housing boom (at least imho). They’re scarce because of housing demand. We have increasing supply. Its getting consumed (whether by owner occupiers or renters). Everyone needs housing. Not everyone needs ownership. Don’t confuse the two. Housing demand is by far the more important.

  70. Geezer

    Hey Joe,

    I guess you read Coco’s post but didn’t bother to read the one of mine he was referring to. If you had you would have noticed that the publication date was front and centre. How is that misleading? Unless of course you don’t know what month it is.

  71. Geezer

    Coco wrote “So your saying the sky is falling is seasonal?”

    No, but if you read this and other blogs you will see many posters seem to think “the sky is falling” is a permanent condition.

    FWIW, lots of folks here seem to subscribe to the seasonal variation idea. Rob often points out that he doesn’t buy it though.

  72. Geezer

    Tony Danza wrote:
    “Maybe I should tap my credit card for that Newton condo…”

    Sounds like a plan to me. If your credit card is already tapped out I know a guy called “Big Tony” who can probably arrange some financing for you.

  73. coco

    Tony Danza,

    I post information that is of interest. I would not consider myself a bull or bear, just financially prudent. Most people on the blog know I’m looking for a property to buy and would not overextend myself in case the market does dip.

    I never put all my eggs in one basket, whether stocks or real estate.

  74. All Wet


    I wasn’t imputing motive on your part as an honest realtor or on Transglobe who is a good professional property manager. You are in fact right about the numbers as to why Cap did it. But my point is that there is a shortage in rental BECAUSE of the housing “boom.” OK: more people buy houses= higher values & taxes (operating costs) and higher construction (maintenance costs) BUT rents do not go up as quickly. So it’s not profitable to rent so people buy rentals and jack up the rentby evicting longterm tenants to splash some paint on or recarpet (i.e. “renovate”) or demolish and build freehold property to resell or convert. I bet you $ to doughnuts the proportion of immigration for our Mac jobs in this “hot” economy is smaller to what I just postulated which brings us full circle to greed.

  75. Tony Danza


    I find your posts (or the articles that you post at least) informative, I only used Geezer’s the sky is falling descriptor of your posts to highlight the fact that bulls will take one piece of positive information and spin it in the face of 20 pieces of information that refute their thesis. That is if they even have a thesis. Obviously bears are guilty of this as well.

  76. robchipman

    All Wet:

    You’re describing a change of tenants. Buy a beater, get rid of the low paying tenant, reno, get a new tenant who pays more. That’s a time honoured approach to building wealth in real estate, and works in all markets…as long as there is housing demand. Ownership demand (which pushes prices up) isn’t required.

    If you get rid of the tenants to flip, you still need housing demand. If the buyer isn’t going to live in the place it becomes rental supply. If the buyer is going to live in the place they’ve either a) left another place here, which contributes to rental supply, or b) are coming from outside this system, and are just contributing to housing demand. It boils down to the same thing: there isn’t enough housing supply, so the higher payers get the product.

    What’s the solution? Long term you have to make owning rental housing more attractive. The market isn’t doing that without substantial risk (witness the criticisms of investing into the “bubble” vs. stocks, for example). Taxation changes? Perhaps tax deferred exchanges? Preferential treatment of rental income? Who knows. There are lots of dangers of unintended consequences. What is clear is that in a market like this it makes no sense to build or buy rental housing unless you are a) very risk tolerant and banking on continued capital appreciation b) get the units at a great price c) are some sort of long term holder.

  77. All Wet

    I would agree with you and further say that this market is creating a dangerous ( and relatively new for Canada) phenomena = growing homelessness.
    Since this is low priority for all levels of government we could become more and more like the US here…. a less caring society. Sadly.

  78. robchipman

    All Wet:

    Funny you should bring homelessness up. I disagree that this market is creating it, or that its new. I say that because when I came back from the US in ’86 one of the things I noticed was that we did not have the numbers of working poor or homeless that the US had, and I was pretty happy about that. Within a few years the problem had occurred here in spades, at elast in terms of homeless people (I still think that the States has us beat in terms of working poor, but that’s another story). The problem predates this market, and occurs in more places than the Lower Mainland.

    I remember listening to someone on CKNW talk about what a good leader Jean Chretien was (and this was soon after he became PM), and a squeegee kid came up to do my windshield. The juxtaposition made me wonder: if we’ve got good leaders, why do we have our people sleeping on the street? The latest stat, that $89k per year puts you in the top 5% of tax payers, strikes me the same way. Its a helluva way to run a railroad when, in the midst of huge demand for commodities, lots of Canadians can’t pay rent and only 5% of taxpayers earn in excess of $89,000.

  79. All Wet

    Well let’s agree to disagree because your “evidence” is anecdotal. I can tell you from my perspective that eh amount of rental units are actively being diminished BY this market. I guess from a realtor’s point of view you don’t really want to buy into that cause and effect……let’s us sleep better at night. But there us so much speculation and foreign dollars and money laundering (hence the panic to bring in ant-money laundering legislation) coming into our “best place on earth” province that the little people are being squeezed out of their homes. Just ask the RTB people why their applications have doubled and tripled over the last 2 years. It’s not because only 5% of the population are paying taxes! BTW how many of those 5% taxpayers actually pay their entire due?

  80. The unthinkable"Renter"

    Ha, Big Toney? Doe’s he own the No. 5?

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