A Couple of National Post Stories

Two interesting stories in the National Post yesterday and today that are sure to spur some discussion.  Garry Marr wrote yesterday about Realtors’ commissions . Today, Jacqueline Thorpe writes that the credit crunch may be easing.

It was interesting to note that Phil Soper, who was quoted by Garry Marr, previously was with Royal LePage, but seems to have moved to Brookfield. If Brookfield recruited him, I think it serves as a compliment to Mr. Soper.



Filed under National Post

19 responses to “A Couple of National Post Stories

  1. patenttranslations

    Then I guess the Post knows better than the WSJ. That’s encouraging to see.

  2. jesse

    I remember a good analogy of a business area that is over-saturated with “amateurs”. Go to a school playground and watch 10 year olds play soccer during gym class. They follow the ball, don’t think too strategically, and generally the flow of the game is bad. Some of the kids with a bit more experience get frustrated because aspects of the game obvious to them are lost on those who don’t know any better. In the end the game is pretty close to scoreless and everybody’s shins hurt.

    Translate that to an industry like RE agency, where a whole bunch of amateurs have recently entered the business. They don’t really understand the business that well and will make mistakes some of the pros just laugh at. During these times the career agents will have to put up with the amateurs and this translates to: unreasonable commission structures, unrealistic commitments and expectations, unhappy and jaded customers, to name a few.

    In order to get the amateurs off the field there needs to be a bust, where many people start losing money. The good ones with struggle through and they wait for the bad ones to leave. Marr can complain all he wants — welcome to the business cycle! In many ways, if you’re a decent Realtor, you want significant market carnage to bankrupt the crappy Realtors.

  3. jesse

    As for Thorpe’s article, looking at a very narrow window to show that credit conditions are better is a bit foolish. The reason credit is so tight is that nobody knows what anyone’s collateral is really worth and this uncertainty demands a premium that shows up as higher spreads. As asset prices drop and writeoffs continue, there is more confidence that we are closer to (but not necessarily at) the true valuations of the collateral.

    What the banks and many investors are hoping is that the writeoffs they have had to do recently will reprice things at a floor rate. If asset prices deterirorate further, indicating the floor was not really the floor, watch for spreads to go crazy once again. Remember that credit spreads normalized in the early Fall, only to fall off the wagon again in December.

    Things will eventually settle down again but I think it won’t be in the next few quarters.

  4. A Looser

    I find it interesting how whenever there is a murder in this city, there is some real estate angle. Quite often its a real estate agent who is the suspect or victim (or both). Must be a stressful profession.

  5. blueskies

    In many ways, if you’re a decent Realtor, you want significant market carnage to bankrupt the crappy Realtors.

    very Darwinian but required…. i’m waiting for the market to roll over and crush all the speculators…..

  6. blueskies

    there is some real estate angle.

    the best agent in an RE office branch is called “top gun”……


  7. WoW

    Wonder what the listings/sales ratio is today>>>

  8. blueskies

    to make real estate data easier to manage for buyers, sellers, owners and renters.

    RE site:



    This aint over yet by a long shot. Maybe just starting.


  10. blueskies

    Wealthy may be next in line in home crisis

    say it ain’t so…


    this is so Vancouver

  11. TDK

    The issue from sub-prime has just started. It’s going to spiral downwards for the next 3 years. Longer if that crazy Bush dude tries to save the market. The faster it falls, the faster the recovery.

  12. Dmello

    The credit crunch is only beginning… just wait until Ambac and MBIA get their ratings cut in the next couple months. Then we will all see just how ‘insured’ 2.4 trillion of debt really is. CIBC had to sell $1.5b in stock and write down $2b because of ACA’s downgrade. When Ambac and MBIA fall they could easily take CIBC and other banks with them.

  13. Domus

    Rob, the lady writing about the credit crunch is living in lala-land.
    Today was the confirmation that things in the US have gotten worse. Even Jim Cramer on CNBC has slammed monoline bond insures, saying they will go belly up. Merrill Lynch has just written down 15 billon (yeas billion, with a b) sour loand to new RE owners.

    Things are going belly up, credit is disappearing, corporate bond spreads (as a difference on gov. bonds) are increasing again, after a couple of weeks of flattening. All in all, it will be difficult to finance house buying for at least the next few months. I think longer.

    Vancouver lives on credit.
    You do the math.
    If I were you I would sell some RE. This is for real.

  14. bearette

    Yes, the credit crunch is easing just as the market dumps another 300 points. Nothing to see here.

  15. $fromA$ia (everybodys a RE tycoon)

    I am going to hybernate a little longer. I don’t smell blood yet.


    Another note of interest is that many of these high powered “financial experts” are really a bunch of brown nosers who moved up the ladder. Great talkers. Very poor thinkers.


  17. anonymixer

    …Go to a school playground and watch 10 year olds play soccer during gym class…

    I just have to share a joke;

    At recess, a teacher notices a kid standing all by himself at the edge of the soccer field while all the other kids are playing. The teacher asks the kid if everything is alright. The kid says “yup”, and the teacher moves on.

    A little while later, the teacher notices again that the kid is all by himself while the other kids play on the other side of the field. The teacher approaches and asks the kid if he is sure everything is ok. The kid says “yes”. The teacher asks why the kid is all by himself and the other kids are playing together. The kid replies:

    “Because I’m the ficking goalie, udiot.”

  18. Rjamer

    I have been reading you`re blog for quite some time now and certainly enjoy it Rob.. I do not like to see people taking drive-by verbal shots at you personally as you have this blog that is read by many people ,,which I am sure would be missed if you got ticked off,,and decided to to shut it down,,as it were.. I have been major league R/E bear for a 3 years now.. I live in the Okanagan and believe it or not ,, there are people here that think their houses will keep going up because of the the Olymipics!! You would think people that are that stupid should not be alowed on the streets,,but that is another story.. Keep up the good work!!!

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