Last Week’s Numbers/ Updates/ Predictions

On Friday we had 51 new listings and 101 sales, for a sell/list of 198.04%.

Thursday we had 59 new listings and 114 sales, for a sell/list of 193.22%.

Monday we had 45 new listings and 54 sales for a sell/list of 120%.

Current inventory is 8,593, of which 2,924, or 34.03%. 

I promised an update on the property on King Albert, and I can share this: we received multiple offers on the property, with several above list price.  Inspection revealed a problem with the drainage system, and the buyers did not proceed.  The seller has had the perimeter drainage system inspected and has updated the Property Disclosure Statement.  The property is still for sale, and is still generating activity.   New pictures are up on Aaron’s website.  I think this listing is emblematic of what we’re going to see in the near future: buyers and sellers with equally strong opinions of value colliding over a property.  Both are increasingly well informed, and since many buyers and sellers can afford to leave the market urgency becomes less important (the higher the prices, the more buyers can truly justify renting, and the safer holding appears to sellers).  The new year will be very interesting.  Which brings us to…the fun stuff!

Predictions for 2008!  I took a look at last January and found a few for 2007.  I’ve only posted ones with recognizable handles (Blogger changed some posts to “anonymous” during the course of 2007).  Like 2005, most of us were wrong in 2006, but there’s no reason for that to stop us.

Tulipmania: “2007: Single detached -38% attached -43% condos -52%” (Tulip was, however, the closest for 2006 predictions).

H.Lovil: “I think 2007 will be the year of the big change in psychology. I already see it when talking to realtors…they are looking for buyers, as much as listings. A year ago…they couldn’t care less about buyers…list it and it will sell. Now they tired of listing and bargaining the seller into a realistic price”.

This is too funny said: “My Prediction 100% decline in 2007 back to the year 1805 prices. and in 2008 they will pay you $500 to take a house (minus realtor commission of course)” 

Freako wrote: “Oh, and my 2007, what the heck, GV SFH down 15%.”

This is all lighthearted – predicting the future is very tough, but its still fun if we don’t take it too seriously.  I’ll start it off.  2007 will see a continued increase in sales prices, but we’ll be in single digit territory YOY, and volumes will be 15% off 2007 levels across the REBGV.  Over to you…”:-)

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143 Comments

Filed under Daily Numbers, Uncategorized

143 responses to “Last Week’s Numbers/ Updates/ Predictions

  1. WoW

    Thanks Rob.

    My prediction – early 2007 sees single digit YoY appreciation – BUT BUT BUT, lower prices than Aug/Sept peak. And progressively lower they go, until late summer when its flat out lower, YoY.

  2. Boater

    I’d say around 10% increase for downtown Vancouver in 2008. I still have lots of faith in the Vancouver real estate market.

  3. tqn

    “I’ll start it off. 2007 will see a continued increase in sales prices, but we’ll be…”

    Rob, did you mean 2008? Thank you for all the data provided during the year.
    Happy new year to all.

  4. jesse

    I’ll say 0% price change YOY.
    Sales down 25% from 2007’s level.
    Inventory up 25% from 2007’s peak.

    Note my predicted sales levels are not low by historical standards. Just be wary of how good things have been in the past 5 years for RE sales.

    Happy New Year, Rob. All the best for ’08.

  5. Newcomer

    Panic. 30% price drops. People predicting that we will all be poor for ever. Smug gloating and righteous finger pointing when people loose houses and cars. Big gains for the NDP.

  6. VHB

    For 2008?

    REBGV benchmark price increase, 95% confidence interval is: (-12%,+3%)

    With US heading into recession, the ‘Vancouver is different’ sentiment will fade. How long can we maintain an economy based on building, buying, and selling condos to each other? Oh wait – we have a forestry industry to sustain us. Whoops, not no more . . .

    Still looking forward to seeing condos back to 2005 prices (inflation adjusted) by 2011 or so.

    I have a pile of cash, secure job, flawless credit, a sweet lease on a nice rental condo, and a bird’s eye view on the greatest global housing bust of history.

  7. Pearl

    Monthly yoy values will stay above 5% though the balance of 2008.

  8. M-

    My predictions for 2008:

    Prices:
    0% YOY by August
    -8% YOY at the end of the year

    Volume:
    20% below 2006 levels.

    Inventory:
    25% above 2007 levels.

  9. paulb

    34% over 90’s wow…

    I would guess single digit gains for REBGV SFH. Vancouver area condos to be in single digit negative numbers by late summer.

    Fraser Valley YOY negative by April with growing inventory.

  10. vanreal

    detached houses in the city proper up 15%.
    detached houses in the suburbs up 6%
    detached houses in the valley down 5%
    condos downtown up 8%

  11. vanunreal

    detached houses in the city proper up -15.123%.
    detached houses in the suburbs up -6.456%
    detached houses in the valley down -5.789%
    condos downtown up -8.000%

  12. WoW

    Anyone think we’ll see another Vancouver Sun front page article this spring with big red downward arrows (or thereabouts)?

  13. -A-

    I suppose the most qualified people to forecast would be those who are in the housing industry and have economics degrees, but then again, guess who wrote this book, and when.

    Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?: The Boom will not Bust and Why Property Values will Continue to Climb through the End of the Decade and How to Profit from Them.

    The fact he was terribly wrong is of no consequence to Vancouver (not yet) , but still let the bulls review the reasons for the bullish forecast, and see if you can spot the similarities.

    (Newsflash, will be given a slight head start)

  14. Snick

    -A-,

    I think David Lereah should buy himself a new suit.

  15. Vanr

    15.2% increase.

    Also, Olympics will be one year closer. 🙂

  16. Strataman

    Happy New Year Rob!

    Next year arrrggh! anybodies guess but here goes?
    REBGV SFH +8%
    REBGV Condo’s -8 %
    FV SFH -4%
    FV Condos -15%
    Inventory high over 12000 most of the year.
    Sales slow poor year.
    Unemployment edges up to the 5-6% range.
    Canadin buck hits 1.10+ a couple of times and finishes DEC 08 below par! 🙂
    Have a great night everybody!

  17. blueskies

    -10% YOY Dec/08 condos DT Van.

    TSX up 7% this year end(07)
    next year …….double digit loss or gain?

    775 days to you-know-what

  18. Disbelief

    I am thinking a return to more normal pricing cross the board where condos (never seen as much of an investment IMO) taking the hardest hit -10% by Q2. SFH in the eastside and FV taking a good harsh return to reality -10%…. I don’t see a real rise in ’08 . This market is so out of whack that really nothing short of an incrrease would surprise me. Cameron Muir on the news this morning saying that RE ’08 on the rise by 5-6%… If that doesn’t scare anybody. He’s usually blowing smoke up anybody’s ass that happens to be near…

  19. Snick

    I predict…

    SFH $ -18%

    Condos $ -21% ……..both by the end of 2008

    Inventory will be at least DOUBLE.

  20. vanreal

    something seems wrong. why are the over 90’s so high when the sales have surpassed listings consistently for the past 2 weeks?

  21. Peter

    Could it be because some of the sales are from properties that are not even listed?

  22. blueskies

    a great new years’ rant!

    i wish i had said that 🙂

    http://tinyurl.com/2dhk36

  23. Newcomer

    The over 90s only seem high as a percentage because the total number of listings is low.

  24. Priced Out

    “Could it be because some of the sales are from properties that are not even listed?”

    I wonder if developers are only listing some properties as they sell. They are holding a lot back IMHO.

  25. blueskies

    wonder if developers are only listing some properties as they sell.

    that’s what i thought, “ghost listings” …
    but it seems that is against the rules so it doesn’t happen.

  26. $fromA$ia

    I enquirede on a listing (split level home) last september.

    Agent said it was sold. Listing was $628k

    Same house back up on the market again asking $605K.

    Did the Agent lie?

    It’s in Richmond on Camsell csnt.

    Rob, you tell me me is this yellow slip level home still owned by the same owner. If so the second last agents a liar.

    JEFF if Rob doesn’t respond please look into this for me.

  27. Snick

    That is exactly what is going on.

  28. Snick

    “Agent said it was sold. Listing was $628k”

    It may even have had had MULTIPLE OFFERS (like, for example, Aaron Best’s shack on King Albert in Coquitlam)

    DID it sell? Hmm…possible. Some “twenty-somethings” may have come along and bid it up in their eagerness “to get into the market” because, after all, “the Olympics are coming”.

    But, when Uncle Bob, who is “an honest realtor” heard about this, he almost had a hemmorhage. He told them, in no uncertain terms, to back out, using “the Notwithstanding Clause” if necessary.

    Even though they really couldn’t do that, they used the “subject to inspection” clause instead. That paved the way for Bob to get into the act. He told the other realtor, (“the crooked one”) to bug off. The house had a cheap “coat” of paint on the exterior.

    Rather like a cheap “suit”.

    It should have been oil on top of oil, rather than a top coat of latex.

    Then, (as you may have guessed) it was relisted as “NEW!” for a lower price because the market has downshifted.

    At least that’s what Bob said.

  29. News Flash

    We will see another year similar to 2007.

    Vancouver Condos and SFH up 10% by end of June. Finish the year up 12%.

    Rents up another 10% to 12% as well.

  30. blueskies

    Rents up another 10% to 12% as well.

    ain’t gonna happen… crapload of speculators need to find someone to subsidize rent wise…
    gonna be a lot of bagholders wishing they never heard of RE….

  31. blueskies

    $1500 MUST RENT, call now, 1 brd & den

    http://tinyurl.com/yux9j2

    like i said…gonna be interesting 🙂

  32. blueskies

    professional RE ad: craigslist

    Listing Price: $2,100,000
    next of this property is a beautifully PARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    enjoy the Park!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Just Listed Today, Be the first one to buy!

    Immaculate, luxirious, top quality and custome built executive home.

    like shooting fish inna barrel 🙂

  33. Skeptic

    SFH’s up 12% by June, then down 4% to end the year up 8% overall. Bears post that the down 4% bit is a signal but 2009 spring is strong also.

    Rents up 15 – 20% in anticipation of the olympics 🙂

    By June, Snick chooses a new alias to post under due to bear forecasts not coming true. Buys new suit to smarten up image.

    -A- graduates from university, gets first job, leaves the blog because of work commitments.

    Domus and Blueskies continue to post that the end is nigh.

    Satv takes an English course and we begin to understand what he is saying.

    US dollar spikes to $1.20 CDN but ends the year at $1.15. Gold price hits $950 US.

    Happy New Year to all.

  34. domus

    Well, I never learned to play the timing game but here go my predictions:

    1) I expect the beginning of the year (January to July, say) to be still in “happy” mode: realtors will say Vancouver is different, we don’t have credit markets’ issues like the US, we have immigration and the Olympics. Prices might even go up, probably even by 5 or 6%.

    2) Come the end of July, the ship will take the hit: credit will have dried up good and well, low expectations and fear will set in when people realize Canadian RE is not better than US RE. I then expect a small retrenching of prices, say an adjustment downwards towards zero.

    Here are some numbers YOY in Dec 2008:

    Vancouver West SFH: +2%;
    Vancouver West Detached: -2% YOY;
    Vancouver West Condos: -4% YOY;

    Fraser Valley will be the same as above minus 4%.

    I don;t think there will be large losses in 08, but it will be the inflection point for prices.
    I expect a large (LARGE) fall when 2009 comes: prepare your cash and your paperwork. By the end of 2009 you may get some amazing deals.

    Happy new year, to all.

  35. Snick

    “Buys new suit to smarten up image.” -Skeptic

    His image is suitable enough.

  36. blueskies

    from HBB:
    sez it all ……. to keep his house:

    “‘When it comes to renting, it’s just cash in the trash,’ he said. ‘You can’t win no way when you’re renting.’”

    “‘I’m going to modify my lifestyle,’ he said. ‘I shop at the dollar store; I buy in bulk and on sale. If push comes to shove, I may have to get a roommate.’”

    “How will he celebrate his birthday this year? ‘I’ll be working, the same as on Christmas,’ he said. ‘It’s time and a half on the holidays. I’ll take the money. Renters have a different mentality; they can party.’”

  37. Strataman

    Hey all I found the place newsflash bought!

    Brand new 2-B.R. suite with gorgeous views in SPECTRUM 4 Tower
    Available: NOW – Move on Jan 15, 2008 or before and get ¼ month rent credit (25% of your first month rent is on me)
    I have reduced the rent to $1685/month without utilities or $1895/month including all utilities for a qualified tenant. This is an unbeatable sweat deal in this tower
    http://tinyurl.com/35ctwc

  38. blueskies

    (25% of your first month rent is on me)

    the generosity is overwhelming, i’m touched
    sweat deal indeed!

  39. Strataman

    I would guess his second mortgage payment is due on th 17th and he needs a renter to help him out, so if he doesn’t eat and gives the renter 25% off that month he might make it! 🙂

  40. Skeptic has been drinking

    Skeptic:
    -A- graduates from university, gets first job, leaves the blog because of work commitments.

    Got one wrong so far, I won’t graduate in 2008.

    And, I am working and paying my way, so when I do graduate, it won’t be my first job.

    Happy New Year

    -A-

  41. Strataman

    http://tinyurl.com/2jkpsv
    Thats a$500.00/month drop in 1 week newsflash? 🙂

  42. Newcomer

    And he’s still asking about 100 bucks more than he’ll get.

  43. 2008

    -REBGV SFH up 8%
    -REBGV condo up 5%

    -rental vacancies increase 4%

    -Skeptic loses his cushy job of sitting under Rob’s desk nodding his head.

  44. Disbelief

    The sweat in that sweat deal is the panic if he doesn’t rent it before he has to walk away….

  45. Johnnyrent

    The lighter side of predictions…..(with apologies for the US link): http://piggington.com/in_for_a_surprise#comment

  46. Snick

    Disbelief
    December 31, 2007 at 7:51 pm
    “The sweat in that sweat deal is the panic if he doesn’t rent it before he has to walk away….”

    Dunt yoo just hat bad spelng?

    It reminds me of my “friend” practising his French two years ago in Montreal…

    “Doe yoo haaave sum toilet?”

  47. Dude

    2008 will be a year for YoY loss. Not gonna be huge, but will be the start for the snowball effect.

  48. domus

    …yes, slow motion train wreck is starting just about now in beautiful Vancouver

  49. Priced Out

    http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/ssb/recreationandarts/cards.html

    For a bit of holiday fun, check out these South Sea bubble playing cards. People never learn. So many are making the same mistakes of three centuries ago. Lots of amusing scenarios on these cards, and some interesting art.

    They got what they deserved for speculating on the slave trade.

    Happy 2008!!!

  50. Disbelief

    Strataman
    December 31, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Hey all I found the place newsflash bought!

    Brand new 2-B.R. suite with gorgeous views in SPECTRUM 4 Tower
    Available: NOW – Move on Jan 15, 2008 or before and get ¼ month rent credit (25% of your first month rent is on me)
    I have reduced the rent to $1685/month without utilities or $1895/month including all utilities for a qualified tenant. This is an unbeatable sweat deal in this tower
    My comment was relating to this SWEAT deal…

  51. blueskies

    OK it is the beginning of a new year…..

    we need to see some “pent up demand” right quick if we want this party to continue……

  52. Strataman

    Disbelief “My comment was relating to this SWEAT deal…” I would imagine it IS a SWEAT deal for him! 🙂 Interesting he wants to charge $200.00 for utilities considering (if he truly means utilities as opposed to cable TV and such). average condo utilities are less then $50.00 monthly. I think it might be a way to get around the rental tenancy act. There would be no official record such as an invoice to prove the tenant was there?

  53. M-

    I think he’s thinking that “utilities” = “strata fees + utilities”, so he’s being generous, or something…

  54. Anonymous

    there is a 5-10% loss

  55. Jeff

    $fromA$ia:
    That house listed at $605k on Dec 21.
    It was terminated on Nov 30 at $628k after 94 DOM.
    It was purchased in May 2007 for $501k.

  56. WoW

    Pent up demand – ya, guess we’ll see massive multiple offers ramp up again!!!

  57. dyugle

    I predict that the top was set in 2007 and the market will decline about 10%.

  58. Priced Out

    In the next year, we will see depreciation in the outer areas and slight appreciation in “blue chip” inner areas. Overall it will be flat YOY.

    I’m playing it safe with my prediction.

    The fun begins in Spring 2009.

  59. blueskies

    and besides “pent up demand” you’ll need strong population growth and significant wage increases…… not to mention a much stronger version of Kool Aid

  60. $fromA$ia

    Jeff, I love you. JK thanks.

    In april the cheapest mortgage rate jumps to 6.19% from what I have now pre approved at 5.79%

    In a couple more years, people comming up for remortgage will have to deal with higher rate probability to lock in with forcing more downward pressure on a market that is overdue for correction.

  61. $fromA$ia

    Kudos to Rob for not deleting Jeff’s comment.

  62. $fromA$ia

    BlueSkies read Jeffs comment to the house I was looking at.

    Theres some good potential large CRACK.

  63. blueskies

    … listed at $605k on Dec 21.
    …….terminated on Nov 30 at $628k after 94 DOM.
    …..purchased in May 2007 for $501k.

    and the only thing that drove the wishing price up was sheer speculation…….
    nothing happened between May and December to justify a $125K boost in price

  64. $fromA$ia

    Blueskies have a look at the split level asking $588k on Mara crescent, Richmond.

    Originally asking $628 as well I think.

    Jeff can you clarify?

    Took a wall out and left a single supporting beam in the living room. Doesn’t look safely secure in my home inspection knowledge.

    The hardwood floor has so many touch up finish pain eye sores as well as the finish where the hardwood meets the top of the stairs.

    Sigh, how can you ask primo dollars for a pie shape lot, a structural situation that I would recommend further prof. investigation, and such a lousy finish to the home.

    Did I mention old conventional furnace and no suitability!

    PIGS, pure greed with nothing to offer to a potential (unknowing thirdworld immigrant sucker) client.

  65. blueskies

    i’ve seen few SFH in Richmond and what bugs me is when they pave the front and back yard completely… aaaaaargh!!

  66. -A-

    Not a good idea to buy now in Vancouer.

    If it is a bubble, we all know that it will end with a bust.(ouch)

    If it isn’t a bubble and in fact the price appreciation has been propelled by one of the fundamental drivers being misaligned, then clearly, a well functioning market economy eventually will bring the misalignment back into alignment.

    If that is the case eventually the price adjustment will reflect the misalignment (ouch).

    Unless of course we opt for a command economy, and find some way to achieve full employment, with no inflation, and some way of increasing wages by multiples, while interest rates get frozen, and land rezoning may have to be prohibited to keep supply low.., and we may have to encourage women to become more fertile, and increase the birth rate as well. (dream on)

  67. $fromA$ia

    Reproduction is out of the picture -A-, our government has opened the flud gates, it’s immigration as the asnwer.

  68. blueskies

    The relentless upward valuation of the Yuan will support top end real estate prices anywhere in North America that wealthy Chinese want to buy. Toronto, Vancouver, Hawaii, Manhattan,SF maybe LA.

    we are famous (or infamous)….
    from a peak oil blog

  69. -A-

    “Reproduction is out of the picture -A-, our government has opened the flud gates, it’s immigration as the asnwer.”

    I’m not so sure immigration alone will do it, the flood gates were opened a long time ago, and population growth rate doesn’t seem to be picking up much speed.

    One aspect of immigration that is often overlooked is the ethics of it all. We raid third world countries of their limited educated young professionals, whose skills are badly needed in their own country, and then we employ them here as cab drivers, and security guards, and pay them minimum wage-here I go again with the moral hook.

  70. $fromA$ia

    JAjajaja, I love it. Moral hook my A$$!

    I look at it more as taking those who can afford to buy homes here and locking it into the country via a sale like Blue Skies. Unless he wan’t to take that money and buy a condo in Shanghai!

    JAJAJA BTW China will let you bring the money in but won’t let you take the money back out.

  71. $fromA$ia

    SATV, where are you my BLING, BLING.

    -A- wants to interview and educated cab driver as yourself.

  72. blueskies

    satv is AWOL
    leading bearish indicator

    satv is toast
    BBQ bull…tasty!

  73. -A-

    “-A- wants to interview and educated cab driver as yourself”

    educated? what would lead you to think Satv is educated?

  74. Whybuywhenucanrent

    My prediction:

    Fraser Valley stalls out, starts to slide. Inventory grows, prices down 10% from peak by end of 2008.

    Intermediate burbs–Coquitlam, Surrey, Delta, hold their own in prices, inventory climbs a bit, market no longer hot–days on market is up, but number of sales is still holding.

    Van East, Burnaby, North Shore, all rise about 5%. Inventory grows back to a standard sellers market, rather than the extremely tight market we have now.

    Downtown condos start to slide. Not because demand is down, but because foreclosures start to loom. People have to get out, so supply opens up. Demand is still good. Prices down average of 20% from peak, sometimes 25% in buildings with lots of specuvestors. Same for Lougheed Highway condos. (Other condos slide, too, but not as much–Metrotown, Whalley, Fairview, down 10% from peak).

    Vancouver West up 15% for the year, inventory “tight” instead of “very tight”

    Remember–if you want to make a fast buck in ’08, Wbwucr recommends shorting a bank–I predict a 50% drop in finance industry stocks by end of 2008.

    Financial crash will be much more exciting than the RE crash. This year. RE crash won’t hit the steep part of the curve until summer 2010.

    Happy New Year everyone! Best wishes to ya’all.
    And again,
    Whybuywhenucanrent!

  75. If RE is not down by 20% before April, I’ll eat my shoe. All size 10 of it. With ketchup & mustard. Happy New Year.
    Here’s why: And when our neighbour gets a paper cut, we bleed……I mean haemorrhage
    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article3111659.ece

  76. Priced Out

    prettywoman,

    In order for your prediction to come true, credit would have to be shut off very suddenly, and drastically. The beginning of April is only 13 weeks away. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but if it does…yikes.

  77. Priced Out

    Has there been a recent increase in “rooms and shares” listings on the local Craigslist? It seems so. Every day there are 100-150 listings in this category. Yes, I did find duplicate listings (desperation), but only a few. It seems like many people are either renting out a room to make ends meet or its flippers renting out individual bedrooms rather than whole apartments (trying to make the numbers work).

  78. coco

    The Chinese Shanghai Composite surged 96.7%, inflating two-year gains to 355%. China’s CSI 300 index, which includes stocks on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, gained 162% this year. The Shenzhen Composite was up 420% in two years. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 37.1% this year, with 2-year gains of 81.2%.

    (Overdue for a correction? What will happen to Asian investment properties here if the stock market there takes a big hit? Since savings accounts in China are paying low interest rates and stock market returns are so high, investment in the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock markets are at record levels. The average person has all or most of their money invested in the market.)

  79. coco

    Will too much debt and risky investment cause a global economic slowdown?

  80. Anonymous

    $fromA$ia said,

    “China will let you bring the money in but won’t let you take the money back out.”

    Are you talking about foreign investors? Certainly with mainland Chinese immigrating here, money must be able to come out. Please explain.

  81. blueskies

    laugh o’ the day

    craigslist renter rant!
    priceless 🙂

    http://tinyurl.com/28eg6f

  82. robchipman

    Vanreal/peter:

    Over 90s climb when sell/lists are high because new stuff sells before old stuff. Sales don’t get reported without a listing (i.e., you can’t report a sale that you haven’t listed). I suspect that increasing over 90s combined with dropping inventory and high sell/lists indicates a tougher buyer, to begin with, who is more informed about current values. I think it also indicates dropping demand, even if the demand isn’t dropping as fast as supply (with the result that the demand drop is disguised).

  83. YOU SAID: “Priced Out
    January 2, 2008 at 12:52 am

    prettywoman,

    In order for your prediction to come true, credit would have to be shut off very suddenly, and drastically. The beginning of April is only 13 weeks away. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but if it does…yikes….”

    My answer: Yes, priced out. There is already a cash/credit shortage, from what I’m reading. People who easily qualified for mortgages just months ago are being refused today, as lenders are tightening up.

    Why do you NOT think that a 20% decrease can happen in 13 weeks? Look back. Did a 20% INcrease NOT happen within mere weeks?

    A basic townhouse just doors down from where I lived was listed at $70k MORE than the highest-selling priced (identical) one, 3 months earlier. This was a modest T/H in the $265k range in late 2003.

    So, I went to the open house to ask the realtor how she could justify asking $335k within 10 weeks. Her answer? “Market conditions.”

    Well, guess what, it SOLD at asking price. Thereafter, another one on the block went for $347k, then another for $433k. ALL EXACT SAME IN AGE, QUALITY, CONDITION, SIZE. That’s the one street I paid attention to.

    All these original owners had paid $199k-$208k just 4 years earlier. So, I hear that the higher RE goes up, is the deeper the price cut can/will be. Rob, Jeff, comments please!

  84. -A-

    The debate went on endlessly as to whether on not the Monetarist Theory would actually work.

    The monetarist asserted that by simply printing money you could avoid recessions and depressions.

    Others argued that, you could spur demand by making money easily available, and you could also expand your exports by devaluing the currency, however they warned it would only be a masking tape solution, inevitably it would lead to inflation, recession and eventually stagflation.

    It looks as though the monetarist got to try their theory, and it looks likes the critics were right.

    It will be a good time to buy when demand is exhausted, and the Monetarist Theory is finally discredited just as the Fiscal Stimulus Apostles have been carted to the mad house.

  85. -A-

    Paul thanks for the numbers.

    We know what the supply is like, (although there is a lot of unlisted and new construction)

    What we don’t know is the demand. Is there any left?

  86. blueskies

    So, I went to the open house to ask the realtor how she could justify asking $335k within 10 weeks. Her answer? “Market conditions.”

    price compression… we ran into a lot of this
    in the West End……..

    don’t buy…… let the speculators twist in the wind.

  87. WoW

    ROB – do you think Vancouver prices will scale to new, all-time highs, this spring?

  88. robchipman

    -A-

    The monetarist theory won’t be discredited (which is not me saying that its correct, btw). As you point out, the debate has gone on endlessly. Some of us have watched it longer than you.

    I don’t think, however, that the people who actually execute monetarist policy ever argue that it will avoid recessions or depressions.

    Are you a Ron Paul supporter, by chance? 🙂

    prettywoman:

    You’ve got a point. Looking at the whole market I don’t think we can say that it ever went up 20% in 13 weeks, and we might be able to argue that it won’t drop 20% in 13 weeks, market wide, either, but we can’t ignore that the whole market is made up of individual properties. In your scenario a few things could have happened: the comparable could have been underlisted, or sold under market, and the next listing could have pushed the envelope. The 2nd sale shows a 20% gain but the product of both sales is somewhat less (and depends on where you put the baseline, of course). That said, 1f we can drop 50% in less than a year (and we’ve seen that happen), how impossible is 20% in 13 weeks? Clearly its on the extreme end, but not unthinkable.

    I’m not seeing the same kind of rejections for mortgages that you report. I’m not seeing the same sort of impact on mortgage funds as we’re hearing about in other credit markets (again, based only on my observations). I think 20% down in 13 weeks is unlikely, therefore, but I will allow that its not unthinkable.

  89. spectralshift

    Random speculation is always fun! I got a laugh from Tulip’s comments + being accurate in 2006. Reminds me of how rare top-earning mutual funds manage to stay on top over the long term. Also reminds me of how fringe predictions are outside of the ability of humans to accurately predict risk…

    In any case, I’ve put a 25% chance for -5% or worse (about 1% for it to below 15%), about a 55% chance for -5% to +5% and a 20% chance to +5% or better (about a 3% chance for it to be higher than 10%). This puts me more optimistic than VHB, with only a slight preference towards the downside.

    But that’s no fun. Can’t claim bragging rights with ranges!

    Here’s my most likely scenario – Spring involves lots of inventory being listed and sold and the market upticks for a while. Listings starts beating out sales and inventory increases notably. Sellers start to feel the pressure. The market reverses slightly in the late summer, reverting to the start of the year and lulls into next spring. I expect a decent amount of churn to continue through all of this. Inventory at end of October/mid November to be around 15,000 (and then shrink as listings expire, ending around 10,000 or so in December). Price indexes for november 2008 to be within 2-3% of December’s 2007.

    Wheeee, boring results… And no, I have no reason to believe this.

  90. Annon

    This is a comment by Debora on Mish’s blog:

    “I think Vancouver’s real estate prices have topped now, people just don’t realize it yet. My Realtor has gone from an average of 5-6 sales per month down to 3 starting with the summer and he says there has been practically nothing since November. My understanding is that there have been fewer sales, but the prices have not fallen yet and in some cases they are still up a bit, but the market has halted.”

  91. jesse

    “People who easily qualified for mortgages just months ago are being refused today, as lenders are tightening up.”

    I think this is true in parts of the US but not Canada. A friend of mine is a Canadian mortgage broker and according to her loans are still easily available, though conditions are a bit tighter than 1-2 years ago. I would not be surprised to see a slow march to tighter lending conditions through the year. Things could tighten faster if one of the more cavalier lenders goes belly-up. I don’t know how leveraged some of these guys are but I would not be surprised if one or two of them are a bit, er, cash poor.

    I agree with Rob that -20% aggregate over 3 months is not likely for ’08, though it is possible that some specific lower quality stuff may be in for some big “discounts”, possibly to the tune of -20%. Keep your eyes open.

    On a related note, check out paulb’s graphs. YOY inventory rises in the suburbs.

  92. Annon

    To confirm my earlier comments on why there seems to be a labor shortage. My response is that retails have over expanded. Here we are seeing:

    Headline: Starbucks Shares Fall to New Low

    http://tinyurl.com/27mnfo

  93. Annon

    Also, Blackstone could go under this year. It’s a 5 B company and yet it took on hundreds of billions in debt for buyouts …. a tiny drop in asset value and cash could lead to insolvency.

  94. robchipman

    Annon quoted Debora from Mish’s blog:

    “…My understanding is that there have been fewer sales, but the prices have not fallen yet and in some cases they are still up a bit, but the market has halted.”

    I’m not sure what area Debora is talking about, but in the REBGV the numbers are as follows:

    November 2007, total sales – 1,067, 540, and 1276, for a total of 2,883 (detached, attached, apartments, respectively)

    November 2006 – 904, 404, and 1368, for a total of 2,676.

    Jan-Nov 2007 – 14,116, 6,482, 15,555 = 36,153
    Jan-Nov. 2006 – 13,475, 5,998, 14,347=33,820

    Looks like more sales in 2007 than in 2006. We may have reached a top on prices, but the market hasn’t halted yet.

  95. domus

    “Looks like more sales in 2007 than in 2006. We may have reached a top on prices, but the market hasn’t halted yet.”

    But it will stop, just like it has always done in the past century….the big question is `when’??

  96. jesse

    “My understanding is that there have been fewer sales, but the prices have not fallen yet ”

    Sales are up. Maybe the sales mix has changed and could be that there are more Realtors that are sharing the pie so fewer sales per. Could also be that specific Realtor had a slow streak. Nov-Jan are slow months regardless.

    If the market turns down I don’t think it will be a brick wall (it’s not like Sacramento or Miami had zero sales), though I’m sure some areas will feel the pain.

  97. domus

    Interesting post about rent/price ratio at

    http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/

    I wonder what are the long-term numbers in Vancouver.

  98. blueskies

    from the Province….don’t do it! wait til spring…

    http://tinyurl.com/398eut

    The U.S. housing meltdown and cooling of the red-hot housing markets in parts of Canada have many investors thinking now is the time to jump into real estate.
    It might be a little early to act.

  99. Skeptic

    From the same article, “1 – 3 rate cuts in first half”

  100. jesse said:
    January 2, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    “I think this is true in parts of the US but not Canada. A friend of mine is a Canadian mortgage broker and according to her loans are still easily available, though conditions are a bit tighter than 1-2 years ago…..”

    QUESTION: If ” conditions are a bit tighter than 1-2 years ago…..” doesn’t that automatically mean exactly what I said, in that those who would have qualified before, DO NOT NOW???

    Sorry, not shouting, just making my point!

    ROB: You’re the man! You said: “That said, 1f we can drop 50% in less than a year (and we’ve seen that happen), how impossible is 20% in 13 weeks? Clearly its on the extreme end, but not unthinkable……”

    Rob, could you possibly post some info on that 50% drop, please? I’m guessing you refer to 1982. My realtor pal has sold properties for almost 40 years. He vividly recalls it being as though he woke up one morning and prices had been slashed significantly.

    Therefore, my prediction isn’t so crazy, is it? I have friends who don’t believe this market could go anywhere but UP. But when I question them further, almost all of these dreamers LOST big bucks in that downturn. Some lost their houses. And these were not teenagers speculating. They were well-educated, high earners.

    Just think, when you stick a pin in a balloon, it does not S L O W L Y deflate. It POPS with a bang. Sorry. I guess I feel so bad for the innocent families who could be affected, but the speculators get no sympathy, especially those who gloat.

    One couple can hardly afford the condo they bought. But they bought an extra house anyway, to rent out. They ‘are guaranteed a big profit every year…., so they’ll then unload both at nice profits, and move up to their dream house in 2 years.”

    OUCH!

  101. -A-

    “My realtor pal has sold properties for almost 40 years. He vividly recalls it being as though he woke up one morning and prices had been slashed significantly.
    Therefore, my prediction isn’t so crazy, is it?”

    Prettywoman, the standard reply from realtors and those who have drank the kool aide is that it can’t happen again because interest rates won’t hit low 20% anytime soon.

    What they conveniently neglect to bring up is that affordability is even worse now than it was then, and more applicable, is the current situation in the US where they have full employment and low interest rates, yet the bottom is falling out.

  102. WoW

    WoW, it appears the bears have awoken (there are more of them here, and the bulls seem (to me, and perhaps I’m biased:) to be a bit more defensive than usual).

    That Province (quality newspaper, geared towards the beer and cigarette set) said it out loud, in black and white: Vancouver prices have stalled. Hmm, interesting times!

  103. Annon

    Thanks Rob for the actual numbers. I guess we have yet to see numbers that confirm the slowdown.

  104. domus

    The phenomenon of vanishing mortgage brokers in Washington state. This is remarkable as it is happening faster than I would expect and is next door….

    http://tinyurl.com/yp86ot

  105. Brittany Spears

    1982 – Abbotsford (McMillan area – affluent east side)
    I listed 7 homes for $149,900 (vendor was speculating and had paid 129,000. They all had mortgages of approx. $80,000.

    Within 4 months and a race to the bottom, all were listed for $79,900.

    They were all forclosed on.

    I think today there are obviously a different set of circumstances regarding interest rates ( 19% in 1982).

    But, in my opinion, that race to the bottom had nothing to do with high interest rates. It was alot of GREEDY buyers speculating and FEAR entered the market.

    1982 was my first and last year being a realtor.

    I sold my house Dec. 2007 and am currently renting a house with a rock solid one year lease.

    16 years of rising prices? I have never seen a cycle without a correction that lasted more than about 7 years. Bubble? Nope. More like the Hidenburg.

  106. A Looser

    Oh the humanity!

    Thanks for the story, Brit.

  107. Omigod, ” A”, everytime I hear ” those who have drank the kool aide “, I think about the Jim Jones/Guyana suicides. I completely agree that affordability (or lack of!!) is the key issue.

    No point comparing 6% mortgages to 18% ones. the bottom line is the DOLLAR amount that has to be doled out each month. If BC’s median GROSS income is in the $50k range, how can anyone afford $36k in annual shelter payments? That is interest-only on a $600k loan/mortgage at 6%.

    We aren’t adding on property taxes, ‘surprise’ repairs, heat & other utilities, food, clothing, car, blah, blah….

    It’s a sorry situation. In Japan, interest rates were lowered to zilch, yet the RE market collapsed 2 decades ago, along with their stock market index, which fell by 75% and never regained ground.

    “Not here,,,,,,, the Olympics,,,,, this time is different,,,,,they ain’t makin no more land in BC where everybody in the world wants to live, blah, YAWN, blah….”

    Well, in essence, if Florida’s RE market is down, (with some new Miami condo projects raffled off at half-price just weeks ago), and Arizona’s is collapsing……..Aren’t those the sunbelt retirement destinations of 300 million Americans?

    Hmmm, so Florida has a population of 18 MILLION people, and those good folks were not able to hold up RE prices there……….

    I guess that Victoria’s 300 THOUSAND, and Vancouver’s very wealthy, LARGE population will do the impossible and keep RE afloat forever.

    I sell snow & bridges. I’m also a contractor who builds castles in the sky on spec. What can I sell you of these, today?

  108. Newcomer

    Have you guys seen the cover of Maclean’s? It shows houses with the words, in very large letters, “Buy? Sell? Panic?” (Bottom of the page, http://www.macleans.ca/). I haven’t read the article, and I am sure it is Pablum that concludes that there is no reason to panic, but just having that kind of thing on a front page is going to have a massive impact.

  109. Rob, I am sure it has been asked before, but that picture at the top of the site, doesn’t the E. Hastings street sign kind of signal a direct contrast to your tag-line of “The Best Real Estate Anywhere”?

    Is that deliberate?

  110. M-

    Newcomer: I’ve read the Macleans article in question– it’s a gaga-over-real-estate article. The usual bullish cr@p about why it’s up-up-up from here. I think perhaps this sort of magazine cover/article indicates a certain amount of emotion about real estate, and may very well mark a top of the market.

    From Mish’s blog (globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com), “Time Magazine went gaga over real estate on the June 12th issue, right at the very peak of the bubble. Congratulations must go out to Time Magazine for that fine achievement.”
    Time cover page: http://tinyurl.com/2tvdxz

  111. Strataman

    Interestin listings up for condos substantially! Check Pauls daily stats! Imagine listing on the holiday week, why wait for spring! 🙂

  112. coco

    All things are leaning towards stagflation. Not sure why a realtor would think that prices can’t fall because we don’t have the 20% interest rates of the past when stagflation last occurred.

    Consumers have record debt levels, little or no savings to fall back on. Oil has hit $100.00 a barrel and this will increase the cost of transportation for everything. As this eats into the consumers pockets, along with rising utilities, property taxes and rising everything else, the consumer will be stretched financially. With less disposable income to spend, this will effect retail sales/manufacturing which will eventually ripple into job losses.

    The higher the prices rise, the harder on the consumer. Do you really think a Vancouver resident that has 68% of their income going towards their home/mortgage can handle more increases in the prices of food, gas and everything else? Not to mention, if there job is threaten due to a slowdown in consumer spending.

  113. coco

    Personal Savings rates around the world for 2006:

    France 12.1%
    Germany 10.5%
    Belgium 10.3%
    Spain 10.3%

    Austria 9.7%
    Switzerland 9.3%
    Italy 8.7%
    Portugal 8.4%
    Sweden 8.3%
    Poland 6.8%
    Netherlands 6.4%
    United Kingdom 5.0%

    Korea 3.9%
    Japan 3.7%
    Canada 2.3%***
    Norway 1.3%
    United States 0.4%

    Czech Republic 0.0%
    Denmark -0.2%
    Australia -0.5%
    Finland -2.5%

    For the first three quarters of 2007 Canada’s personal savings rate has fallen to 1.3%.***

    British Columbia’s personal saving rate (which measures the ratio of saving to after tax disposable
    income) improved slightly (to negative -5.1%) in
    2006, but remains among the lowest in the
    country. PEI was the only province with a
    lower saving rate in 2006, and Nova Scotia
    and Saskatchewan were the only other
    provinces with negative saving rates.

  114. coco

    When you pass away, you can now pass debt onto your heirs.

    LaBuick introduced a 50 year mortgage today.

  115. coco

    Canada’s 2-Year Bond Rises as Economy Faces Potential Slowdown

    http://tinyurl.com/24ju6w

  116. coco

    B.C. real-estate owners can expect to see a big jump in their property values when they receive their assessments this week, according to figures released on Wednesday.

    http://tinyurl.com/24xa94

  117. beach

    regarding listings, how many properties have signs up but are not listed on MLS? I know of at least one property in kits that has been up for sale (via remax) for almost a year with no MLS listing but they still have s ign out front. are there other properties like this?

    Second, I think the decline in Vancouver prices will follow a similar pattern to the US: First condos (easier to move out), then New homes (price may not fall but extra features are added in so quality increases while price stays the same), and finally existing home sales (not very liquid and people like to follow the “smarter neighbour” theory).

    blueskies, great article from the province.

  118. Peter

    beach,

    There are signs with no mls listing for many many houses.

    – They are not making more land since the birth of the Earth.
    – Olympic started in Athens, how’s the real estate doing there?

    The concerns that I have is that real estate boom is the worst thing that can happen to a economy. It drains all the credit out of the system and inflat access values to a point that all other businesses will suffer.

    Here is why. Imagine, there used to be 100 people who will spend $20 each dining out. 100 x 20 = $2000. Now, all of them own real estates. It’s a zero sum game. All the money they “lose” will be in the pocket of the real estate developer. The local restaurant will suffer unless the real estate developer goes out and spend $2000.

    I think the gov should heavily regulate real estate development to a point like how the utilities industry are regulated.

    I sincerely hope that this real estate boom burst before hurting other local businesses.

  119. Dude

    Peter,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. A real estate boom is the worst thing that can happen to a city. If fact, it is better to be a city where real estate is under valued. As a city, we want our resources allocated to industries where we produce products and services where we could export. Don’t worry, the bust is coming. There is absolutely not doubt! History will alway repeat itself. Cities with big booms ends with big bust. It’s just a matter of time.

  120. blueskies

    from pauls’ site:

    rebgv condo jan 2/08

    Number of new listings 94
    Number of sales 37
    Sell / list ratio 39%
    Highest sold over list % 1%

    suddenly my coffee tastes really good!
    thnx paul much appreciated

  121. WoW

    Cool, I was feeling the effects of withdrawl, thanks Paul!:))

    That said, until, say, mid-Jan, its still holiday season for the RE mkt.

    Surrey, Langley, Abby, Mission, Whiterock, etc. – wonder how things will hold up this spring, I see loads of for sale signs out that way…

  122. An

    Beach: “regarding listings, how many properties have signs up but are not listed on MLS? I know of at least one property in kits that has been up for sale (via remax) for almost a year with no MLS listing but they still have s ign out front. are there other properties like this?”

    What’s the address?

  123. coco

    U.S. crude hit a high of $100.05 today, breaking Wednesday’s record high of $100 even.

  124. robchipman

    Peter/Dude:

    That’s a very interesting view of economics. I can’t imagine it will go unchallenged for too long.

    Coco:

    “All things are leaning towards stagflation. Not sure why a realtor would think that prices can’t fall because we don’t have the 20% interest rates of the past when stagflation last occurred”.

    All we need for prices to drop is for demand to drop faster than supply. Interest rates may contribute to demand drop, but other things can contribute as well, meaning we could see price drops without marked interest increases in interest rates (might be tough, but it could happen). The key is that real estate prices and interest rates don’t move in lock step. Prices can drop without high rates. A bad economy that doesn’t respond to rate cuts will result in lower incomes, and probably result in lower re prices. Every time gas and food prices go up that means a dollar less that can be paid for something else (re included). The cure for high prices (in everything) is high prices (in everything). Isn’t stagflation another way of saying rising prices combined with stagnating or falling incomes?

    Greg:

    Hastings and Victoria doesn’t creep me out as much as it seems to creep out others. Within walking distance you have the Cultch, Commercial Drive, Koko’s, Antique Warehouse, Gourmet Warehouse, and some great Vietnamese and Salvadoran food.

    Maybe its a glass half empty vs glass half full thing. Some say that Hastings and Vic is a dump. I say that if its this town’s version of a dump, then a) its not too bad, and b) its got pretty good scenery and c) some people obviously haven’t travelled much. Some say its terrible that parents have to comb the schoolyards for condoms and needles (and I won’t disagree), but I think its a testament to the area and its residents that they take the time and effort to do that task for themselves when others won’t. To ignore that kind of self-reliance and community spirit and instead dismiss the residents as hookers and drug addicts is to embrace the negative in life. Like the song says, darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable, while lightness has a call that’s hard to hear. So, yes, the juxtaposition is intentional.

    -A-

    Denial isn’t a river in Egypt. When you say “…the standard reply from realtors and those who have drank the kool aide is that it can’t happen again because interest rates won’t hit low 20% anytime soon…” aren’t you at least ignoring what I’ve actually written here various times? Next time you’re walking by the library pick up Kuhn – you’ll probably recognize your behaviour 🙂

    Prettywoman:

    I am referring to ’82. I was helping build houses at the time and my boss had gone from building 1 house at a time to building 14, and owning 28 vacant lots besides. I remember the discussions about exiting the market, the offers that were turned down, the various definitions of how much money would be lost by accepting a lower offer, and how he eventually went broke, how we finished each of the 14 houses one after another with a 2 man crew, and the poor Realtor holding them open, weekend after weeked. It was fast, but not an actual overnight affair.

    Remember, prices went up 100% the prior year, and actually fell less than 50% the following year (up from about $75,000 to $180,000 and then dropped to about $110,000) Pain was acute for a lot of entrants, but many holders simply saw prices rise markedly over the course of two years (buy at $75 in ’80, with 25% down, sell for $110,000 in ’82; you figure out the leveraged return). That said, that crash left a mark on the collective psyche that endures. It was one of the common obstacles I ran into when selling investment properties in ’04 and ’05, and often came from very experienced people.

    Jesse:

    November ’07 – 9,444 licensees.

    October ’06 – 8,861 (I don’t have Nov ’06’s number handy).

  125. robchipman

    An:

    “What’s the address?”

    The fact that you have to ask that question from someone who has actually seen the physical address is an excellent reason to list on MLS. An exclusive listing has a much harder time competing in the internet age.

  126. AmPa

    Rob,

    What does the inventory mean? We are well in to the 8000’s. That is very low inventory , would you not agree?

    The over 90’s is higher, but here is my take on it: a certain portion of homes on listings are not really on the market. i.e. due to a combination of being over-priced and sellers being inflexible or unmotivated, they have a low chance of selling. These listings just serve to clutter the market statistics and eventually show up in the over 90’s. So in a hot market like ours where the sell/list ratio is very high and inventory is being depleted fast, the over 90’s stay put and their ratio with respect to the total inventory increases.

  127. blueskies

    We are well in to the 8000’s

    year end phenomenon, everybody is on holiday

    going forward the number of listings should increase into the 9000’s and then 10,000’s and etc. some patience will be required.

  128. beach

    I spoke with the realtor this morning and apparently this property will be relisted on MLS next week. The property is a duplex on Arbutus (north of Cornwall) that originally listed for $2.3M and is now under $2. Each unit in the duplex is 3 bedrooms and approx. 1250 sq.ft. typical rental price for units like this are ~$2,200 – $2,500 / month on this street.

  129. $fromA$ia

    B.S. Kudos for posting that Province article link. (It’s not Ameracan!)

  130. WoW

    What are people out there hearing at cocktail parties – is there as much banter about how much everyone is making on their houses, or do you sense some leading edges of fear out there?

  131. jesse

    “doesn’t that automatically mean exactly what I said, in that those who would have qualified before, DO NOT NOW??? ”

    Actually not necessarily. Longer amortizations and other “innovations” are more common now and have offset the higher rates. What lenders care about is whether you can make monthly payments or not and longer am periods allow for this.

    FWIW, I don’t see much in the way of financial “innovation” for 2008. The funny thing about financial innovation is how it is very possible to “de-innovate” in times of hardship. True innovation has staying power and I think the term is kicked around without too much thought. What it comes down to is you are borrowing someone else’s money, no matter how you package it.

  132. WoW

    GOLD – are people talking about it? Or would you rather have RE?

    thanks.

  133. robchipman

    AmPa:

    I think you’re right on both counts (inventory is low, and a lot of over 90s aren’t serious).

    Blueskies:

    Last year we had slightly lower numbers (high 7k as I recall), so it is partly seasonal. Will we see 12k again? Likely. 16K? I doubt it. I don’t see the combination of factors to force sales. If prices soften sellers may just leave the market.

    WoW:

    Assesments are arriving in the mail right now. I’d expect cocktail party chatter to run along the lines of “Guess what? I’m officially a real estate millionaire now”. That should last for a while (feels good to say, after al, even if you’re not selling) but it will be tempered by fears of higher taxes.

    Jesse:

    I agree. Tough to see what else lenders will do to make things easier.

  134. -A-

    Rob:

    “Greg:

    Hastings and Victoria doesn’t creep me out as much as it seems to creep out others. Within walking distance you have the Cultch, Commercial Drive, Koko’s, Antique Warehouse, Gourmet Warehouse, and some great Vietnamese and Salvadoran food.”

    I wonder if Rob would let any member of his family walk by themselves at night from Hastings and Victoria down to Victoria and Powell and perhaps a little tour around Franklin, toward Commercial Drive?

  135. WoW

    Hi Rob – I agree (cocktail party chatter) – the headline on today’s Vancouver Sun (Demand still Strong) won’t help either (bear’s viewpoint). That said (am I grasping at straws here!?)), there were similar headlines in the US, London, Spain and Alberta before the cooling hit (is Alberta officially ‘cooling’, or could the recent pullback be seasonal only?).

    How much more demand could there be at these prices…then again, I thought the same of Nortel at $100, and it went up another 20% from there, so who knows.

    I plan to move my monthly rent (that I pay) up about 35-40%, and rent a very substantial/very decent place when my lease runs out, and a fraction (say, 40%) of full ownership cost of carry. My risk is:

    capital appreciation continues at a rampant rate and I’m ‘left behind’

    my capital at work declines (depreciates) substantially (always a risk, I’m an aggressive investor and am very significantly invested in gold, and other hard and soft commodities)

    my potential reward:

    my capital grows at a resonable rate

    house prices move up modestly, not at all, or decline

    my wife doesn’t change the locks on me for still being a renter (this one is a long shot!:))

    looking forward to watching events unfold.

  136. exx

    http://tinyurl.com/3brkp7

    Regarding property tax assessments “…One economist says you shouldn’t worry about your home being taken away, even if you’re living on the financial brink of ruin.”

    …And Muir says you should never forget that the bank doesn’t really want your home. “Because the banks aren’t in the business of real estate. They certainly don’t want to take your home back. They’ll bend over backwards to try and work something out that’s amicable to both parties.”

  137. REBGV stats for Dec are posted:

    http://www.nvcondos.ca

    Also some commentary on my blog:

    http://paul-northvancouverhomes.blogspot.com/

  138. A Looser

    Nikkei -701

    Yikes!

  139. WoW

    only a partial day of trading in Japan – look for more directional trading tomorrow – that said, a poor start (record decline) for first day of trading -other Asian mkts off around 2.5%. IF the China stock market takes a big it (its an expensive mkt), would capital from this part of the world decline (ie. less dollars to spend on Vcr RE?)?

  140. WoW

    Mkt decline/weak US jobs/housing/Fed minutes – yet commodities move higher – stagflation?

  141. Thanks for the answer Rob about the E Hastings Street Sign. I agree with your general point of view. That said, I wouldn’t say the particular area you mention is worthy of the superlative right above the street sign pic at the top of this page – so I still think a mixed message is being sent – whether consciously or subconsciously. Cheers.

  142. Annon

    A sidetrack topic. The US presidential election. If a candidate shells as much as 17 mil from his own pocket, shouldn’t the voters be concerned? Would anyone with that much money care for the citizens of the country that much? I would seriously think about what he would really do if elected the president.

    “… Romney, a self-made multimillionaire who poured more than $17 million into his presidential bid, sunk $7 million into Iowa advertising to emerge as the caucus leader for months….”

    http://tinyurl.com/38gmzq

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