Thursday Numbers

293 listings, 92 sales. sell/list of 31.40%. Inventory climbing to 8,450, with over 90s at 2,351, or 27.82%.  Last year we had bad (should I say “buyer favourable”?) sell/lists well into January.   Is it different this time?

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159 Comments

Filed under Daily Numbers

159 responses to “Thursday Numbers

  1. Priced Out

    Last week the sell/list was very similar to your last year’s numbers for the same time-frame. This week, I’m starting to see a difference. The sell/list is starting to become more bearish compared to last year.

  2. BOBBYBEAR

    Darn it Rob….we are going to get 1000+ rise in inventory in 1 week coming up?

  3. e

    nothing unusual. remember we had 1000 inventory (in december)

  4. Dmello

    Jan 17th 2007 — 914 sales / 2324 listings = 39%
    Jan 17th 2008 — 907 sales / 2716 listings = 33%

  5. Mightymouse

    The only real difference this January is the Doom and Gloom all over the MSM and the crashing stock market. I sold all my gold and mutual funds yesterday.

  6. Popeye

    Rob says: “Last year we had bad (should I say “buyer favourable”?) sell/lists well into January.” 
     
    Saw on Craigslist a huge inventory of 500 plus rentals. My guess is that there is a rush to rent them out and, failing that, these units will be on the market for sale in early spring, adding to the stock. Interesting to watch.

  7. ceejay

    Sell low buy high, mightymouse 🙂

  8. WoW

    Thx Rob. Trend is not that defined YET…appreciate the daily numbers, its tough for us blogaddicts to go a few days without them – real physical withdrawl symptoms!

    Last spring I thought things were going bearish…as we went into the late innings of the spring, the market seemed to be showing fatigue…then the BoC raised rates, and drove those folks into the mkt who had 90day low rates pre-approved….SINCE THEN the market has been pretty flat (I don’t think prices, generally, are any higher than they were last Sept (anybody add anything to this?)), and now we see what I interpret to be a stronger supply response and a weaker demand response to the general environment…so will be interesting to see if this Spring is different. If it isn’t, I will likely capitulate and buy – this will mark the TOP of the market, and perhaps I will get my picture in the paper or something akin to that!:))

    Enjoy your Friday everyone.

  9. rentingsucks

    Don’t forget that the CMHC also secretly loosened their lending standards around that time too. I’m not sure exactly when it happened but at some point the rules were relaxed so you could allot 44% of your gross income to a mortgage (previously 32%) if you had no other debt and a good credit rating. Also at some point 30-40 year mortgages were introduced. I have suspected this is why we held steady last year instead of going down the dumper.

  10. WoW

    Ya, not sure how much more they can take out of the goody bag and put on the table….who knows…

  11. Annon

    I think this year will be a surprise to some … Usually RRSP season is when all mutual funds go up in price due to increased demand. If we see some sell off now and other people not having money to actually buy RRSP this year because they are cash strapped. Can’t be a good thing. I mentioned if TSX is falling below 12000 last week here but got no response. Looks like we are close to half way down. Lets hope the bulls can stop it and move it up soon enough.

  12. vomitingdog

    Woah! Mightymouse. I hope you’re at least 75. The whole point is not to panic. If stocks go down just keep buying when they’re down. They’ll go back up eventually and then you’ve bought more when they’re cheaper. The stock market is even harder to time than the real estate market.

  13. blueskies

    vd:
    i agree,
    buy n’ hold
    thou shalt not panic
    people dumping equities now
    are getting rid of solid holdings due to fear,
    canada’s fundamentals are still strong…..

    we got oil, gas, water, wheat et al
    what do the Americans need?
    bingo!

  14. Annon

    Interesting comment from vomitingdog. My wife asked her RBC financial adviser to sell all her mutual funds and then buy GICs. Her adviser then told her that she will need to sign some paper and instructed her to find a closest RBC branch. This has never happened before. In the past, a simple phone call is all that was required. So much for being a financial adviser. They are supposed to serve clients’ best interests. There is nothing wrong with risk aversion. My wife’s account now has wider open loss if not because of the adviser’s unwillingness to simply just sell the mutual funds first.

  15. Priced Out

    Sometimes you have to ignore your mutual fund statements. Mine won’t be sold for 30 years, so I just try to forget about them. Any potential down-payment money is in 2 year GICs.

  16. Annon

    “…we got oil, gas, water, wheat et al
    what do the Americans need?…”

    While that may be true, US has a lot more industries that produce much more export income than us, which seem to be mostly farmers that are really bringing cash into the country.

  17. -A-

    The list/sell ratios are as useless as horoscopes.
    It’s like looking at the back of a watch.

    The crash is coming, but nobody can know for sure the exact time.

  18. Dmello

    Ambac has just been downgraded.

    http://tinyurl.com/37xmjw

    Fasten your seatbelts, its going to be a bumpy ride!

  19. Mightymouse

    Yeah, I’m not too savvy on stocks etc… I just bought em about four or so months ago. I figured I should step out of my shell and adventure a little 😉 So I took about 3% of my net worth and told my RBCDS advisor to invest it in something a little more risky. When he said the word ‘gold’ I figured ‘hmm… I’ve heard that mentioned a few times around the blog. Why not!’ So he stuck half the cash in XGD (gold stock) and $4500.00 in DYN005 (some mutual fund). I made about a 35% return on the Gold and lost $7.00 on the mutual fund (it didn’t really change much).

    I didn’t want to loose all the money I made on the XGD and seeing all the red numbers this week made and inexperienced investor like myself feel the need to cash out. I’ll buy back in in a little while after the turmoil settles down 😉

  20. robchipman

    -A-

    You’re starting to see the picture, but you’re still a little confused. The stats, and any permutation of them, tells you what’s happened. They don’t tell you what will happen. They are, as most realize, a rear view mirror. You are free to draw whatever inference you like, and govern your acions accordingly.

    I think you’re overly concerned with predicting where the market will go rather than objectively watching where it is. Thats why you dispute facts and concentrate on a single outcome.

    Stick around, though, and you’ll catch on.

    Priced out/mighty mouse / blueskies:

    I hate mutual funds and mutual fund statements. I’ve also done well lately on base metal companies (common stock in solid miners) as well as some pretty smart looking manufacturers. The common theme in both companies was management that really want to compete (it doesn’t hurt to have a lot of gold reserves, either). Don’t get me wrong – I’m pretty much a neophyte at picking stocks. I am very curious: how bad do you guys think CIBC can get? What’s the downside?

    VD:

    I think you’re right about buying into the trough rather than trying to time the market on an exact basis. Long term that should work just fine.

  21. Dyugle

    Richard Russel the publisher of Dow Theory letters says that a bear market has started and he expects it to end when stocks are cheap. Cheap is defined as when the P/E equals yield. In the Real Estate world that would be the same as rent equaling 2 times your mortage payment. Now that is cheap. CIBC has a current yield of 5.12 and a P/E of 7.23. But as the forward earnings will be worse than the trailing earnings the P/E will increase requiring further price decline to get to cheap. CIBC may cut its dividend which would also cause it to fall further. So CIBC is a little bit tough to value right now. Look for an entry after people stop looking for a bottom and the BOC is almost finished cutting rates. IMHO

  22. -A-

    Rob: If you continue to back peddle as you have recently, you will begin to lose your posse.

    You could find yourself arguing with fewer bears- still an obvious intellectual challenge.

    Conversely, you could find yourself arguing with the bulls-obviously less challenging, but not much of a stimulating old yarn… you know…Vancouver the best place on earth, no land, retirement destination of kings and queens, (the queen part might be true).

  23. Dmello

    CIBC had to write down it’s $2b worth of ACA guaranteed subprime assets. They still hold $4.6b worth of subprime assets most likely guaranteed by Ambac or MBIA.
    Things are getting interesting now because its no longer just subprime. Once these insurance corps get downgraded, that places many non-subprime securities at risk…. $2.4 trillion worth to be exact.

  24. Annon

    Well, isn’t Bush desperate now with his stimulus package? Such a joke. So much for his elite team of top strategists, economists, and analysts… Sure, the market will eventually go back up given a number of years. Ironically no one dares to say that Nasdaq will be back in the 6000ish range any time soon. It’s not even mentioned. So are the bulls going to say “keep your Nortel which were bought at 100 and in 30 years, it will be back”?

  25. coco

    Hi, everyone

    Just returned from Las Vegas this morning. It takes 12 to 13 months to sell a house there. I have never seen Vegas so dead. I was there after 9/11 and it was no where near as dead as this. Very few visitors, super aggressive sales people, realtors, etc. I heard a guy on a cell phone state “It’s a morgue here.” I would have to agree.

    Retail sales, wow, what a slump. Spring stock is arriving and the stores are not able to clear winter stock. The stores have more merchandise than floor space, jammed packed full. JC Penney offering 70% off, plus an additional 15% off if you use your JC Penney credit card, still not too many people buying much of anything even with an 85% discount.

    Spooky….recession like, but definitely a economic slowdown there. Although, you read articles how bad things are getting in the U.S., it was much different being there in person and seeing it for yourself.

    Realty check….419k for 3904 sq. ft. house with a pool.

    Went to a popular show…got third row seats the night before. Yikes…use to be several days, weeks or months when times were good.

  26. coco

    Canfor closing two more mills, affecting 435 workers in Fort Nelson, B.C.

    http://tinyurl.com/3c75db

  27. coco

    Canada Dollar Falls for Third Straight Week on Growth Concerns

    http://tinyurl.com/2456mc

  28. coco

    ACA the CIBC insurer has until midnight tonight to raise emergency capital, otherwise CIBC will take another large subprime loss if this insurer goes bankrupt.

  29. coco

    QLT announced the restructuring Wednesday evening and said it is cutting 115 jobs, or 45 percent, of its Vancouver and North American workforce.

    The restructuring plan includes selling the corporate headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia.

  30. coco

    An income-draining carbon tax is the last thing B.C. needs

    http://tinyurl.com/228gwn

  31. coco

    Those list/sell ratios looking a little weak, while I was gone.

    When I returned the landlord is now in panic mode to put up this place for sale soon. Must be stock market jitters or those recession headlines. I guess the “you can stay forever” lines were just a bunch of fluff. Interesting though…as several people in our area are also going to put there places up for sale in the spring too.

  32. robchipman

    Dyugle:

    Thanks for that insight.

    -A-:

    Don’t delude yourself. You have a hard time reading and understanding, let alone arguing. You’ve consistently misread or ignored what I’ve said in order to buttress your moralizing. Don’t confuse that with intellect.

    You’re involved in a bear/bull contest where you win when the market does what you predicted. I’m involved in a market where individuals win when they generate a profit. I’m confident that you’ll recognize that one of these days. Until then you get filed under the heading of “pesky”, not “bright”.

    Coco:

    Nice to have you back. Thanks for the Vegas numbers. That’s what a down market looks like.

  33. Domus

    According to DataQuick, the median price in the Bay Area is back to March 2005 levels:

    http://tinyurl.com/28vw37

    And, yet, I thought they also had mountains and ocean…..

  34. Annon

    Well, I have to admit, Vancouver has the best sashimi in the world. It was the best of the best because it was fresh, tasty, and cheap. It’s now just the best because it’s no longer as cheap as before. That sashimi thing is at least one advantage Vancouver has over San Francisco.

  35. Annon

    Rob: “….I’m involved in a market where individuals win when they generate a profit…”

    I am involved in a market where my family win when they generate a profit or when they avoid losses while the market declines. My in-laws told me that they care more about avoiding losses than making money. Should the stock market remains moderately low for the remaining of the year, who’s to say risk aversion is a wrong thing? Should gas price drop below $80 / barrel, I think we will see many job losses from Alberta. And then we will see who’s still cheerleading.

    Contradicting facts:
    1. BC is so fundamentally strong
    2. Politician is urging no transit rate increase (so if at current rate people are finding it expensive, wait until the time when tax payers to have pay more to maintain the lines resulting from Olympics)
    3. BC is going to spend another 15 billion on expanded transit system because it’s much needed for the growth. Is it really much needed for the growth or needed to create jobs to keep the economy from sinking? If already we are not able to sustain current system, can we kid ourself of the need for expanded system?

  36. Snick

    Rob,

    Why don’t you do a reprint of your magnum opus re: “the case for fundamentals”?

    It would be interesting to compare your views then with your “NEW!” views now.

    Be sure to include any “negative” comments that were directed your way, so we can all see how “foolish” many of those people were.

  37. Snick

    “Is it really much needed for the growth or needed to create jobs to keep the economy from sinking?” re: transit/Annon

    Annon,

    I don’t think a band-aid such as this will do much.The HUGE mega-projects in the early 1980’s in this province hardly did anything to lessen the ugly recession at that time.

    This time will not be any different, IMO.

  38. Al

    ” I have never seen Vegas so dead”

    I don’t know about Vegas, but I spent vacation in San Francisco and it feels as a happy city.
    San Francisco’s homes are so old and outdated, but prices are still much higher than Vancouver’s.

  39. Snick

    Vegas is a DUMP. Why anyone would live in such a hole is beyond me.

  40. robchipman

    annon:

    Risk aversion isn’t bad. Return of investment, versus return of investment, is a worthy goal. But, at some point in time you have to grow wealth, especially if you’re not born into the stuff. When I say that I’m interested in making a profit, its to draw a distinction between myself and -A-, not to downplay risk avoidance or capital preservation.

    I’ve said investment real estate is overpriced at current levels. I’ve said we’re due for a correction, and that a crash is possible, and have said so for a long time now. I’m not sure how anyone can call that cheerleading.

    BTW, how long ago was oil under $80/barrel? How was Alberta doing then?

    Snick:

    No need to re-print anything. Everything I’ve written on this or the old blog is still up and accessible. If I said it, why don’t you actually quote it? I suspect that you’re suffering from a dose of selective memory.

  41. Annon

    Rob, growing from $60 to $80 per barrel is not quite the same as falling to $80 from $100. When it reaches $80 from low, Alberta makes more profits. When declining from $100 where costs have soared, $80 isn’t quite the same, is it? Or am I missing something here?

  42. -A-

    Rob

    Do you honestly think we can’t detect your quick paraphrasing of articles from Wikipedia or what you just heard on the radio?

    You are just a fast talking slime, and you have been told many times, and not just buy me.

    As I said before, you have above average intelligence, no morals, and your clichés reveal you are too lazy to get in depth knowledge.

  43. Annon

    Rob, I wasn’t saying you were cheerleading. It’s anyone who cheerleads now. My point is to urge more caution in this whole investment thing. Who wouldn’t want more growth especially in this inflationary monetary policy our central bank seems so dedicated in enforcing. It is a guarantee that no growth = loss in this environment. I understand that side of it.

  44. Snick

    “I suspect that you’re suffering from a dose of selective memory.” -Rob

    Yep. You’re just like “O’Brien” in 1984.

  45. Snick

    “You are just a fast talking slime…” re: Rob/-A-

    Even a paramecium has more brains. Slime is too generous, -A-.

    The word “psychopathic” also comes to mind.

  46. robchipman

    Annon:

    “My point is to urge more caution in this whole investment thing.”

    Read you loud and clear, and agree.

    “Who wouldn’t want more growth especially in this inflationary monetary policy our central bank seems so dedicated in enforcing. It is a guarantee that no growth = loss in this environment.”

    That environment is certainly part of the problem, no? The whole sub-prime thing started with people wanting better yeilds so badly that the debt got polished and sold as low risk, leading to more liquidity as a solution. Now that inflation isn’t the leading target (its mentioned now way less than recession), I think its safe to say that its danger is possibly greater. When we aren’t looking it will sneak up on us. We’ll (hopefuly) avoid a bad recession only to find that inflation is officially running about 3% (despite $3.00 gas, $1 million dollar houses, climbing food bills and more taxes).

    Snick/-A-:

    Make your arguments. Quote me back to myself, rather than quoting your memory of what I said. See how that works out for you.

    As for 1984, I think you’re exaggerating your understanding of Orwell.

  47. -A-

    You are right Snick, sometimes I do get too charitable with the slime.

  48. -A-

    Rob, you know Snick and I are two different people.(although I do agree with his intelligent points of view)

    We don’t post under different names as you have in the past, when you thought by going to a different computer in your office, it would show up as a different IP.

  49. -A-

    Orwell…. here we go.
    Rob has his Coles Notes out.

  50. Snick

    “As for 1984, I think you’re exaggerating your understanding of Orwell.” -Rob

    Sure. Whatever you say.

  51. View

    to Wow

    Last spring I thought things were going bearish…as we went into the late innings of the spring, the market seemed to be showing fatigue…then the BoC raised rates, and drove those folks into the mkt who had 90day low rates pre-approved….SINCE THEN the market has been pretty flat (I don’t think prices, generally, are any higher than they were last Sept (anybody add anything to this?)),

    I listed in Burnaby in late spring ’07 and it took several months to sell. I was worried as things seemed slow. When I look @ MLS information provided from my realtor there have been no increases in price in BBY of comparables. I did eventually sell in late October. My realtor says the market is currently “static.”

  52. Cympl

    “I sold all my gold and mutual funds yesterday.”

    Thanks, I just bought them.

  53. Domus

    “I’ve said investment real estate is overpriced at current levels. I’ve said we’re due for a correction, and that a crash is possible, and have said so for a long time now. I’m not sure how anyone can call that cheerleading.”

    Rob, to be fair this is the very first time I hear talk about a `possible crash’.
    In the past 6 months you did aknowledge the possibility of a correction, but my understanding (based on your wording) was that a temporary downward adjustment would be not too painful.
    I might have missed a few posts, but frankly I don’t think you ever mentioned a major, long-lasting correction or a crash.

    I have been ridiculed in the past for holding on to my conviction that Vancouver’s real estate will crash. Someone said I was a loser, or a bitter renter or other fantasy stories.

    I hold to my prediction: timing as yet uncertain, crash mostly certain. In real terms we are looking at at least 30% peak-to-bottom. The patient people around will pocket some very good deals (just like with the TSX in a few days).

  54. WoW

    Hahahaha – love it…Domus – we are on the same page. Is it just me, or do the bulls seem….well…LESS convinced of their argument? I mean, even Rob seems to have turned 180 (well, perhaps 120) degrees in such a short time – is this the END of the bull run?

  55. Snick

    “I mean, even Rob seems to have turned 180” -WoW

    Yeah. Imagine that! Even a phoney like him!

  56. -A-

    Rob says:
    “-A-:

    Don’t delude yourself. You have a hard time reading and understanding, let alone arguing. You’ve consistently misread or ignored what I’ve said in order to buttress your moralizing. Don’t confuse that with intellect.”

    Other posters have a comprehension problem with your prolific prose as well.

    And therefore, the basic exercise in logic for you is to figure out why? And also :Why do people question your integrity?

  57. Rob, Welcome to the bears’ den!

    I noticed that nobody else answered your question about CIBC’s future.

    Strange that I’ve been saying for months that if any Canadian bank bites the dust, it will be CIBC. First, Enron, now this for CIBC.

    However, my SO insists that “the day ANY Cdn big bank goes under, it’ll mean CANADA is broke!”

    Have you ever heard such nonsense?
    Talking about nonsense, did you notice media photos of George Bush laughing it up with the Saudi Arabian prince (or King )in the news?

    Looks like the USA bombs these Arab countries, then turns around and kisses a&*e with the same folks to raise money to bail their banks out of possible bankruptcy. That’s diplomatic for you. It is now a Kuwaiti or Saudi that’s investing 6 billion in Citibank? Wasn’t it 19 Saudi nationals that caused 911?

  58. BOBBYBEAR

    lot of amateurs here….the stock market boom from 1920 to 1929…and somebody said sell in 1927…what is wrong with that?

    2 years early but genius call

  59. No need to get personal

    Thanks to everyone here for such fascinating analysis and commentary, and thanks to Rob for posting the numbers and hosting the discussion. This and the other Vancouver RE forums are the best way to keep a finger on the pulse of the market.

    The only thing that bothers me while reading is the escalating personal attacks. Yes, it hurts to be wrong, and yes, it hurts to lose money or opportunity. But as nobody can know what will happen until it does, anyone can be wrong, anyone can be right. Half of the time you’re right because you’re lucky or wrong because you’re unlucky. Can we leave it at that?

    There’s no need to get personal. It’s not like you’ll run out of things to talk about without bringing in the insults!

  60. coco

    About recessions…they sneak up behind you in the rear view mirror, you don’t know your in one until it has already happened.

    I heard a comment on TV from a Canadian economist, he said Canadians are too complacent about our economy in general. If the U.S. goes into recession it is just a matter of how and when it will effect the Canadian economy, it doesn’t mean we would avoid a recession completely.

    CIBC…Manulife is coming in the back door by investing 500 million, Manulife is rumoured to have a hidden agenda on buying the bank in the future. But….I guess that depends on how large future subprime losses get and the fire sale buyout price.

  61. Concerto

    Rob

    I suggest you are going to have to edit out the poison as the side show is turning into the main act – and it is getting really tiresome wading though the poison to get to the debate.

  62. ceejay

    Good score on the gold, mightymouse. Dropped this week, and with a likely big cut in the US federal reserve rate coming..probably another chance to get in soon and ride the US dollar depreciation/gold appreciation thing. Talk about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing: I played gold in the fall, made some money, and invested it in….E-trade 😦

  63. coco

    Regarding U.S. foreclosed homes….

    It takes 18 months for a home to hit the auction block by the time it goes through the foreclosure process. You are actually seeing homes that went into foreclosure in 2006 being auctioned currently and conditions have deteriorated since then.

  64. Mightymouse

    Ugh Ceejay, sorry to hear about E-trade!

    For anyone who doesn’t know their stock price is down because of their investments in mortgage backed securities!

  65. -A-

    ”Rob
    I suggest you are going to have to edit out the poison as the side show is turning into the main act – and it is getting really tiresome wading though the poison to get to the debate.”
    Concerto:

    Please enlighten me, give me with one piece of information you have found on this blog that has any value and why.

    Rob’s drivel is useless information, his gibberish makes it fun. If you have taken any of this seriously, you probably buy and read the tabloids in earnest.

    How embarrassing is that!

  66. -A-

    http://seattlest.com/2008/01/17/the_next_market.php

    The Next Market Bubble is Here Already

    The mass insanity of the housing bubble over the last few years has pretty fully revealed itself by now. One need only visit our good friends over at Seattle Bubble to read about the increasing devastation. On Jan. 15, Tim posted the big news: according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), King Co. finally posted negative year-over-year median closing prices on housing. According to the same report, active listings are up in the YOY comparison (51%) and pending sales are down (by 33% YOY), both records. In other words, the market is flooded, demand is down, and housing prices are falling.

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

    I need to see some crack…

  68. blueskies

    CIBC

    Canadian Imperial Bank of Cowboys

    http://tinyurl.com/yrx64d

    The smartest guys in the room ………

  69. -A-

    Blueskies, none of this would have happened had Aaron,and Rob been on the board at CIBC.

  70. BOBBYBEAR

    In the U.S. it may be more accurate to look at this as a credit bubble……rather than a real estate bubble. Much more than real estate involved.

  71. Concerto

    -a- said: “Please enlighten me, give me ……. one piece of information you have found on this blog that has any value and why”.

    Hmmm…… you seem to be including your own contributions ?

    Perhaps Rob can just email his info to the people who would like to see it……………..now that would be GREAT !

  72. Strataman

    bobbybear “Much more than real estate involved” I would agree with this and add that because of the large depedency of the entire world on US consumption this has become a global credit bubble, unlike anything we’ve seen in the past. Even China the so-called emerging superpower depends almost soley on American buying power. Their sales to all the other countries in the world pales by comparison. I think honestly we could be in for a global meltdown as the greenback based world economy is left with rapidly depreciating value of said greenback. Real estate is probably just collateral damage, and Vancouver is no island as is constantly pointed out! (World class city!). We can’t be both a world class city and also immune from the troubles of the rest of the world! 🙂

  73. BOBBYBEAR

    Predictions are obviously dangerous. Reasonable projections may be useful.

    If I saw a person standing in the middle of a highway with a truck 1000 feet coming at a high speed towards this person, what would your prediction be?

  74. Strataman

    bobbybear “If I saw a person standing in the middle of a highway with a truck 1000 feet coming at a high speed towards this person, what would your prediction be?” Well you would think they might get out of the way, but on the other hand if that same person saw three or four persons run over and dead because of said truck, it appears that if that person was from Vancouver, they would say ahh the truck will turn for me! 🙂
    Rob; “Is it different this time?”
    Well correct me if I’m wrong but was there a lot of frontpage news LAST January, about a credit crunch? Did anyone last January say that CIBC was going to lose big time on US paper loans? Was the TSX down 6+ % in the first two weeks of trading Jan 2007? The BC lumber industry was in what state last year?(Better worse by a factor of 10)?
    Believe me its very differant or tell me why it is no differant! 🙂

  75. -A-

    Concerto

    Perhaps Rob can just email his info to the people who would like to see it……………..now that would be GREAT !

    He won’t.

  76. Domus

    I tend to agree that personal attacks are pointless. Let’s go back to talk about RE.
    I think we are going towards interesting times: Vancouver will start seeing flattening and, then, drop in volumes in the not so far future. The drop in volumes will not be followed immediately by drops in prices: it takes time for that to happen. The first to lower prices will be developers, not private sellers.

    Within 18 months from now prices will start going down as well. In 30 momths from now, many patient savers will have the opportuinity to buy things they could only dream of right now.

    I also expect a slaughter among investors: many will lose their shirts.

  77. BOBBYBEAR

    The markets are similar to a living organism. Cycles. Secular ones. Booms. Busts. Panics. Panics to buy…panics to sell. The Fed may cut 75 points? Interest rates collapsing again? Gold going up? Stocks going down? Is the Fed right? AAA bonds suddenly not AAA? Billions of them. Hundreds of billions. Depression or reinflation?
    WHAT IS GOING ON?

  78. Snick

    Domus,

    I think you are correct, although I believe the unravelling can occur faster than most people realize. And, it probably will occur faster than your timeline.

    For example, remember “the pause” in summer/fall/early spring, 2005-05? Prices started dropping quite dramatically in many cases.

    Then, things ballooned up again around March-April, 2005. Why? Because it wasn’t “done” yet.

    Google: “Timing the RE Market” by Robert Campbell. Scroll down to see his interesting graph under the “chapter preview” section.

    This RE market has seen what is known as a “double top” in the stock market.

    Now, we are done.

  79. WoW

    I have to side with Snick on his agreement with Domus but differing view on timeline.

    Question – how many RE agents does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Answer – none – they will all tell you it is burning brightly.

  80. DeeDub

    If I saw a person standing in the middle of a highway with a truck 1000 feet coming at a high speed towards this person, what would your prediction be?

    That the person would get their *ss out of the way, of course. Which is generally NOT how market participants react – which should be a substantial clue that market behavior is rarely, if ever, rational.

    In turn, that should be a clue that basing market expectations on rational processes is itself irrational.

  81. blueskies

    we went to a couple of open houses at the Coopers Point building FCN

    at the second open house the realtor was there with the owner(speculator?). after 10 minutes of looking around,admiring the view and asking questions about the hood, the realtor spoke to the owner and then asked for our info sheet back. he scratched off the existing price ($529) and wrote in $519. we suggested that we could hang around for another 20 minutes to see if there would be any further drops.

    got a good laugh from the realtor but the owner was not smiling….

    hmmm?

  82. exx

    I met with my bank’s financial advisor yesterday and the discussion quickly turned into real estate. He asked me when I was looking to buy and when I said most likely in 2-3 years, he, to my surprise, said it was a very wise decision. He went on to list all the reasons that this market is going downhill, all of which we’re already well aware of.

    I also just took a walk through the West End… For Sale signs galore.

  83. Mightymouse

    Just for the heck of it… Last years numbers:

    “Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    There were 231 new listings and 83 sales today, for a sell/list of 35.93%. Of the sales 5, or 6.02%, went over list.

    There were 43 price changes, of which 8, or 18.6%, were increases.

    The 14 day rolling sell/list was 40.78%.

    There were 8,777 active listings in my target area today, of which 2,844, or 32.40%, have been on the market at least 90 days.”

  84. Peter

    The real estate price probably won’t drop until the next election and another party takes over.
    ~blink, corruption, blink~

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

    Sigh, still no Vancouver CRACK. 😦

  86. M-

    A coworker is planning on selling her downtown unit in the spring. She doesn’t really understand the fundamentals, but she’s spoken with friends and family from Hong Kong, and they’re convinced a crash is coming, and they’re all planning on listing their units this spring.

  87. Anonymous

    “She doesn’t really understand the fundamentals, but she’s spoken with friends and family from Hong Kong”

    She works here and doesn’t understand fundamentals….but she’ll listen to friends and family who don’t live in Vancouver???

  88. M-

    Her family lives here and is heavily invested in real estate.

  89. Snick

    “Sigh, still no Vancouver CRACK.”

    If you want crack, ask Rita McNeill.

  90. Snick

    “Her family lives here and is heavily invested in real estate.

    If they wait until spring, they’ll be “divested” of real estate.

  91. Newcomer

    >>She doesn’t really understand the fundamentals, but she’s spoken with friends and family from Hong Kong, and they’re convinced a crash is coming,<<

    That raises something interesting. People claim that Vancouver RE is being propped up by foreign investors. They also claim we are immune to the global crash that is underway. It can’t be both. Anyone who reads the international news is aware that property is on the rocks in Europe and the States and that there is no way that the “bubbliest city in North America” can hold out. Cash is king in a recession, so look to smart international buyers to try and turn Vancouver properties into cash in the coming months.

  92. Anonymous

    M-
    January 19, 2008 at 10:17 pm
    “Her family lives here and is heavily invested in real estate.”

    So the rich folks with foreign money are getting nervous about Vancouver real estate valuations?

    What happened to:
    We’re a world class city
    We have the Olympics
    Our prices are cheap compared to other world class places like NYC, London, Oslo?
    We’re landlocked
    They’re not creating anymore land
    Everyone wants to live here

  93. -A-

    Peter says:
    The real estate price probably won’t drop until the next election and another party takes over.
    ~blink, corruption, blink~

    You are joking right Peter?

    Whether right wing or left wing, politicians derive their power from mass deception. (Just like marketers of inflated RE, and mortgages that don’t make sense)

    Do you honestly think the NDP would intentionally do anything to end the widely believed illusion by (“The Little Kings”/working stiffs) that the price of their ( “Castle”/shoe box), cannot drop in value?

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

    -A-“Mass deception?”

    Excluding Rob, I think RE agents are pushing the market as well.

    ~ I was told that a home was sold and it really wasn’t. It was listed again the following Q1 for $23k less.

    ~Was told I missed the boat. (Market$ are cyclical so blow me.) Actually I caught a ride on that baot and the proceeds are in my GIC. Thanks.

    ~Was told that RE only ever appreciates.

    ~Was told Vancouvers different and running out of land.

    ~Was told that native land lease property was a worthy buy.

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

    RE agents want a sale for commission as well as want to propell the market forward. So do mortgage brokers, appraisers, home inspecters etc etc.

    What can I say, is it positive thinking? Let’s be rational here. This group doesn’t want to talk about fundamentals. They just want to know what you can max out at and lock your balls in a vise for 40 years and tell you it’s ok cuz everybodies doing it.

    OK, I shut up now.

  96. beach

    For those of you looking to better understand fundamentals, I came across an interesting report from Morgan Stanley this week which provides an overview of the European Housing and Mortgage markets. The report is dated (May 2007) but still a worthwhile read.

    http://www.europe-re.com/files/00034800/MS%20Housing%20Report%202007.pdf

  97. Popeye

    Psst, strataman, where are you?
    You seem to know a lot about investors or speculators who loaded up on condos and practically control the building, as I recall. Any thoughts that they will rush to the exits this spring? Your views and prognostications would be appreciated….Thanks.

  98. Domus

    What’s up with Seattle? Last time I checked it had taken a big drop m-o-m (as well as y-o-y)……

    San Francisco has taken the worst monthly hit since the 1980s, prices down even y-o-y in the Bay Area.

    How about our Seattle cousins??

  99. -A-

    $fromA$ia (everybodys a RE tycoon)

    Desperate people will do desperate things, including spinning the truth.

    Most of the RE agents will end up with minimum wage jobs after the crash, so they will do anything to keep the myth going.

    Think about it, almost every industry has a deficit of workers, yet there is a huge abundance of realtors. Given that the money on average is at best measly, I can only conclude that the skills required are minimal just as for those of used car sales on Kingsway.

    What is worrisome to me is that these low grade workers are assisting people in making life altering decisions.

  100. Disbelief

    The Real Estate business is no different than any other business. I am in sales and have to be believe in your product no matter what the condition. You promote the hell out of it as your livelihood depends on it. Your real point of view will not surface….. After a few beers perhaps. The bears come here expecting Rob to admit that the wheels have come off the wagon… The bulls come (although they have been dormant- I thought it was the bears that hibernated) wanting reassurance that the biggest investment in their lives isn’t the knockout punch.

  101. Domus

    “The bulls come (although they have been dormant- I thought it was the bears that hibernated) wanting reassurance that the biggest investment in their lives isn’t the knockout punch.”

    If the aforementioned investment took place in the past 30 months, it is likely to be a major punch in the face. Just my two pence……

  102. BOBBYBEAR

    Personally, over the next few years, I am not looking for a crash in Greater Vancouver, but a moderation of prices.

    I define a crash being a large downward price reduction…say over 50 percent. A 10 percent downward move is not a crash.

  103. Priced Out

    If the drop is in the 30-50% range, is that a crash?

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

    PO, its relative to all the RE affordabolity introductions. As well as the % of home that now have mortgage helpers in them.

    With these extremes anybody will feel like 10% drop is a correction and 50% is a crash.

    I dont see a 50% drop likely though 20% is very reasonable.

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

    $500k home now $400k.

    That takes $600 dollars of your mortgage payment.

  106. Domus

    OK, here is what happens to a 700k home under different assumptions about the total price drops.

    Drop Price
    10% 630000
    15% 595000
    20% 560000
    25% 525000
    30% 490000
    35% 455000
    40% 420000
    45% 385000
    50% 350000

    I would say that anything above 25% is a crash: this is also roughly the stock market definition of crash.

    I think that, in real terms (including inflation), the drop in Vancouver will exceed 25%: my best guess at the moment is around 30% over 3 years.

    That would bring the (real-terms) price of a 3-bed townhouse in a good Kitsilano area to 490k by 2011.

    Soem will think I am day-dreaming: I think this might even be a conservative assumption about prices.

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

    30% is nice.

  108. Priced Out

    25% is a conservative guess. 30-50% is what I am thinking. 50% in a deep and long recession, which is quite possible. At 30% off, I’ll be looking at SFH in the near suburbs (Tri-cities, North Delta, New West). At 50%, I may even consider a condo after much research.

  109. Domus

    Shiller claims that overpriced areas of California, Florida and the south-west USA will see real drops in the order of 30%.

    Given the fact that, based on his judgment, Vancouver is more bubbly than any of those areas, I think that a 20 to 30% real drop is a given.

    It might be more: I have been surprised to see that the Bay Area + Silicon Valley are down more than 5% y-o-y. That area is more expensive (and desirable) than Vancouver: in addition, it has a truly diversified and booming economy, with IT, Finance, Industry and Agriculture. Population is 3 times the Lower Mainland.

    And, still, it went down like a stone……..

  110. TDK

    I went to five open houses yesterday. Totally dead. There is nobody even looking. At three of the open houses, I didn’t see another party while I was there and only one couple at the other two. Prices are coming down. All of the agents said the price is negotiable.

  111. blueskies

    bear market
    todays’ price is $550K
    every month you lose $5K in equity
    for 60 months straight.
    at which point your investment will be worth 100 X rent….. or back to fundamentals…….

    patiently waiting for the market to roll over
    and crush the speculators…….

  112. Domus

    Most investors who have entered the market in the past 18 months will lose substantial amounts of money.

    History repeating.

    I really am curious about timing though: when do we start seeing the initial drop in volumes?

  113. rjamer

    I can certainly see condo s getting whacked by 50% at some point.. I don`t think houses will get hit that hard,,maybe 20% to 30%.. People that are still buying these assignments must be insane.. Simply,, Unbelievable!!! I live in the Okanagan and of course they are building this condo crap here like mad too.. People see all the building going on and foolishly think the boom must be stronger than ever.. Of course,,when you point out to them that will just add more inventory to sell,, they get kind of blank look on their faces.. Oh well!!

  114. Domus

    rjamer,

    I agree with you. SFH will not go down as much. Apartments/condos will get seriously whacked.

    I think SFH might go down between 15 and 25% in real terms, not more than that. That’s still over 250k at today’s prices!

    Condos: that’s a different ball game. Drops in some cases might be of the 40% order.

  115. WoW

    rjamer – great point, and you would NOT BELIEVE how often I get that blank look, when you point out a basic FACT (RULE) of finance, economics, etc. – and let me tell you, the blank look quickly turns to a veiled anger – who are YOU to tell ME, who’s a RE genius and making $ in RE that perhaps there are other factors to look at other than buy some, flip it, buy even more and flip it, and so on and so on and so on and so on.

    Must be mighty good coolaid!

  116. blueskies

    i’m in love!

    http://tinyurl.com/2oc4zn

    somebody stop me before i kill again 🙂

  117. WoW

    Nice to feel warm and bearish, but ultimately its about the #s. Wonder if the decent weather brought out the buyers. Wonder if seller will start gettinig panicy and start to push more and more listings into the market, and swamp demand. Wonder if buyers will back off and sit on their hands. Will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

    Looking forward to seeing the weekend numbers….

  118. Domus

    Buyers? Who are they at this point?

  119. Snick

    WoW,

    It is ALL about psychology, rather than fundamentals. That is what drove the market up and that is what is now driving it down.

  120. WoW

    Snick – I agree (well, ultimately its about fundamentals, but I think we both agree on that). That said, in your opinion, IS the prevailing psychology shifting right now, or is it just us leading edge bears that smell it in the winds? If this is the case, when will the masses smell it, and what will it take for the psychology to dramatically shift?

  121. Domus

    Patience, I suggest.

    We might still be wrong and the turning point could still be away. We all know it will come and thye adjustment will be brutal: but I have been wrong too many times in the past about timing.

    I guess we just have to wait. I have a funny feeling the wind has changed though.

  122. WoW

    In my view, we need headline (screaming headline) negative vcr RE reports in both the Sun and the Province, followed by 2-3 days of negative commentary and sob stories on Global News….haven’t see this, so it hasn’t turned yet (well, this would mark a post-turn moment, but an acceleration to the downside, imho).

    any thoughts?

  123. rjamer

    For the flippers and speculators,, the right time to buy R/E again will be when Realtors become “Born Again Christians”.. Actually when I think about it,,the lawyer I use is a Born Again .. That is pretty scary!!!

  124. McLoven

    Vancouver is now virtually the only major city in NA and Europe that is still holding. How much longer can this insanity go on?

    Does anyone remember when it was cheaper to buy then rent? How long ago was that. Now in many cases in DT Vancouver renting in 1/2 the cost of buying. P/E or P/R its all the same in the end. If fundementals get out of whack it always reverts to the mean.

    I currently rent a beautiful place for $4,500 per month. It is assessed at $2,050,000. My friends think I am crazy but lets do the math:

    Mortgage of $2,050,000 = $12215 month (I am using a 100% mortgage becuase of the opportunity cost of the $500K Downpayment – If I put that down I can’t invest it elsewhere)

    Strata fees $800 month
    Proprty Tax $700 month
    Insurance $50 month

    = cost of ownership $13,765 month
    cost to rent $4,500

    cost of renting = 33% of the cost of owning!

    Furthermore a 5% drop in the value of this property equals 2 years of rent!

    This is simply not sustainable and this massive gap will close and it will not be by rents going up! How many people can afford to pay $4,500 month? If my landlord raises the rent I will simply move into a newer unit for the same rent or lower. In fact, I am considering asking her to upgrade the floors and if she refuses, I will move out. There are tons of high quality new units in this price range and very few renters.

    When people compare us to H.K. or New York or London I laugh and simply tell them that this place would be $15,000- $25,000 per month in those cities and that is the major difference people don’t see. In those cities its very expensive to buy but the rents are also sky high.

    The crash is coming and Bob Rennie can spin all he wants in the end its fundementals. I predict 25% for houses and 40% for apartments over 3 years. The drop will come from falling prices and inflation of 3+% per year as prices fail to keep pace.

    Anyone buying real estate in Vancouver right now is the same person who was buying Nortel at $120!

    The end of this madness will come and it is just a matter of time.

  125. -A- Senior

    Hi Senior here,

    Sorry about Junior Rob, sometimes he gets a little bombastic, and occasionally, for entertainment sakes, makes liberal use of hyperbole, not realizing that some people have too much at stake on this bubble and can take things too seriously, as they see the nightmare approaching.

    But I had a good talk with him, and it’s safe for the bulls to come out to play now.

    If he gets out of hand, let me know I’ll go down there, and smack him one.

  126. WoW

    McLovin, great analysis, could you repeat it for my wife? I tell her the same things, but it would be helpful for her to hear it from someone else! If you could get it onto the front pages of the papers and local news, this would also be appreciated!:))

    Your analysis is how I make all of my investment decisions. Wrt to RE, I rent a $2mm place for about $3,000, all in. I’m looking for something better (an all-star place), and am willing to go up to $4,000 or a bit more per month. I’m looking for a more than respectible pad on the west-side (home for the wife and toddlers), and expect I can get a $2-2.5MM home (current market value) for that. Your math applies to my situation as well. I could afford to buy this place (not the monthly bill at zero down, I’d have to buck up the cash (yes, and face that little known concept, ‘opportunity cost’, which gets too little press)), but as I share your view, I’ll pay the rent and be that ‘poor little renter’, just look at that family, oh my, wonder if they have to use food stamps, how could they not own RE, I guess they can’t afford it, poor little family. Look at that BMW he drives, must be leased (not!:))…anyways, I think the comeupance for renters is near at hand…

    anyways, out for a walk, cheers.

  127. blueskies

    If he gets out of hand, let me know I’ll go down there, and smack him one.

    lock up his keyboard…
    this is what we are trying to do for satv/krrsh

    oh the blessed silence….

  128. BOBBYBEAR

    Well, if we do have a major bear market in the Dow which makes sense it can get quite ugly. Wow, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may continue to get hammered into the ground. Serious stuff.

    And those bond insurers will likely be going the way of the dinosaur. WOW.

  129. Anonymous

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080120/china_property_pullback.html

    AP
    China Real Estate Brokers Face Slowdown
    Sunday January 20, 1:53 pm ET
    By Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer
    China’s Real Estate Sector Faces Cutbacks As Once-Sizzling Property Markets Cool

    SHANGHAI, China (AP) — “After booming in recent years, China’s real estate market is finally beginning to feel the pinch from sagging demand and tighter controls.
    One of China’s biggest real estate agencies, Chuanghui Real Estate, has shuttered dozens of outlets in Shanghai and other cities, leaving behind angry customers and employees, following an ill-timed expansion just as the market was peaking.”

    But, we’ve been told that Vancouver is different!

  130. Anonymous

    Japan markets down to start the week:

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080120/japan_markets.html?.v=1

    AP
    Japan Stocks Fall on US Woes
    Sunday January 20, 9:22 pm ET
    Japanese Stocks Fall on Jitters Over US Economy

    TOKYO (AP) — Japanese stocks plunged Monday morning after Wall Street declined at the end of last week amid pessimism over the U.S. government’s plans to forestall recession.
    The benchmark Nikkei index lost 466.01 points, or 3.36 percent, to 13,395.28 points by the end of Monday’s morning session on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The broader Topix index, which includes all shares on the exchange’s first section, lost 39.80 points, or 2.97 percent, to 1,301.70.

    Tokyo investors have been concerned that a possible U.S. recession could hurt exporters’ profits.

  131. blueskies

    Mortgage Company Exec Jumps to Death

    MARLTON, N.J. (AP) — An executive of a collapsed subprime mortgage lender jumped to his death from a bridge Friday, shortly after his wife’s body was found inside their New Jersey home, authorities said.

    The deaths of Walter Buczynski, 59, and his wife, Marci, 37 — the parents of two boys — were being investigated as a murder-suicide, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.

    Prosecutor Robert Bernardi said Evesham Township police went to the couple’s home in the Marlton section of the township around noon after a male caller asked them to check on Marci Buczynski. Her body was found in a bedroom.

    Authorities would not provide further details on her death, saying only that she was pronounced dead at the scene and that the county medical examiner’s office would perform an autopsy Saturday.

    About 20 minutes after her body was found, officers from the Delaware River and Bay Authority Police Department received reports that a man — later identified as Walter Buczynski — had parked his car on Delaware Memorial Bridge and jumped from the span.

    Crews were searching for his body Friday night.

    Bernardi said a motive for the apparent murder-suicide was not immediately clear. The couple’s children were being cared for by family members, Bernardi said.

    Walter Buczynski was a vice president of Columbia, Md.-based Fieldstone Mortgage Co., a high-flying subprime mortgage lender that made $5.5 billion in mortgage loans and employed about 1,000 people as late as 2006.

    However, it has since filed for bankruptcy and now has fewer than 20 employees. The company had recently filed court papers seeking approval to pay about $1.1 million in bonuses that would be divided among Buczynski and other staffers so the company could wind down its lending operations and go out of business.

    without comment

  132. Newcomer

    McLoven, it’s interesting to see that my situation scales. I live in a place pegged at 700K and I pay 1600 in rent. Same multiples at a smaller scale, so it’s not just at the top or the bottom of the market.

    As for how much the market will fall. That’s not incredibly important to me. What is important is that it will fall sharply. The thing is, if the average (or median or whatever) price drops 30%, careful buyers will be able to find individual properties that have gone down 50%, and which will ultimately go up a long way too. Some will drop less. The bottom line is that essentially nothing is a good deal now. In two or three years, there will be good deals in abundance.

  133. Snick

    “…in your opinion, IS the prevailing psychology shifting right now…” – WoW

    Yes, it is. Most sensible people know that the local RE market has peaked and is now gathering downward momentum.

    Of course, others don’t realize this…

    The old saying prevails, “There are those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and the ones who say “What happened?”

  134. anonomight

    If you want crack, ask Rita McNeill

    aka – Eat A Big Meal

  135. coco

    Cleveland cannot keep up with foreclosures.

    In 2007 Cleveland spent $7-million demolishing abandoned homes, compared with about $1-million in 2005. By some estimates, the city would have to spend at least $70-million to tear down all the vacant buildings.

    So far in 2007, at least 20 homes go into foreclosure in Cleveland everyday.

  136. coco

    S/B

    So far in 2008**, at least 20 homes go into foreclosure in Cleveland every day

  137. WoW

    Snick, Rob has not indicated this realization by sensible people, nor the gathering downward momentum – are you SURE?

  138. -A-

    Rob has gone into exile under an assumed alias -Satv.

  139. BOBBYBEAR

    If the markets head south…..means slower growth and harder times……after lowest unemployment rates in over 30 years…..surely this will begin to reverse….job loss means harder to own with shakey mortgages…OUCH

  140. Considering

    McLoven has it right:

    > Vancouver is now virtually the only
    > major city in NA and Europe that is
    > still holding. How much longer can
    > this insanity go on?

    > When people compare us to H.K.
    > or New York or London I laugh… > In those cities its very expensive
    > to buy but the rents are also sky
    > high.

    This comment is spot on. Vancouver’s fundamentals will inevitably lead to a large correction.

    Its not just rent/purchase ratios, but also the fact that Vancouver has plenty of land for new high-rise development (unlike the world’s major cities) and that Vancouver’s construction costs are much lower. There is simply nothing to support the inflated prices we have seen recently except speculation.

    With the current events in housing and stock markets worldwide, I predict a downward ride from here. The slide may start slowly, but its hard to imagine any further upward trends.

  141. ceejay

    Its reasonable to assume prices will soften, but decsions to sell, and to add to the inventory are not just psychological. Some speculators may dump at the first sign of trouble; others may be reluctant to sell if they are unwilling to accept any kind of loss (see “Concorde effect”). The inertia of resident-owners is much greater (proximity to jobs, schools, adversity to moving as moving sucks, etc) and that piece of the market can overcome negative market conditions if the owner has the wherewithall to tolerate negative equity for a while. No, I don’t think catastrophic price pressure will come from the supply side – if it happens in Vancouver it will be because of the credit side i.e. if Banks can’t tolerate negative equity and financing won’t be available

  142. coco

    TSX takes a 482 point hit from the opening bell.

    Wall Street Journal article states we are in for the worse recession in 25 years. (80’s style if your old enough to remember)

  143. coco

    See you later in the week, I’m off out of town again.

  144. Snick

    “Wall Street Journal article states we are in for the worse recession in 25 years.” -Coco

    I have been saying the same thing to people for quite some time.

  145. OMG TSX down over 500 points or 4.19%. This is a real mess

  146. Make that 600 points. Ouch!

  147. Mightymouse

    OMG TSX down over 600 points!!!

  148. Mightymouse

    Oops… Paul you beat me to it, I didn’t refresh the page 😉

  149. Newcomer

    Considering:

    >>Its not just rent/purchase ratios, but also the fact that Vancouver has plenty of land for new high-rise development (unlike the world’s major cities) and that Vancouver’s construction costs are much lower.<<

    True. I heard an interesting comment on the ski lift yesterday. Looking from the top of Cypress, someone said that downtown Vancouver looked like Manhattan. Another person said that was true but, in reality, while the buildings in Vancouver look tall from a distance, that is only so because they are all equally short. Buildings in large cities such as NY are six times taller than Vancouver buildings.

    So when they say that we have run out of land in the downtown core, the truth is that, if we were to start really using the vertical dimension, there is still room for massive expansion.

    Anyway, space arguments are accademic with global markets crashing, speculators will start to panic any second now. RE prices here are going to fall off a cliff.

  150. alex

    Hi all. Been lurking for a couple years here, Rob’s old blog and the sorely missed van-housing.blogspot.com. ( Is anything going on inside that? I haven’t signed up to see.)

    We called top in the spring, sold our townhouse and are renting and waiting. The stock market is crumbling as I type, this is not a drill. I’ve watched this developing for a while now, this is a major event, this will be referred to in 20 years as the XXXXX XXXXXXXXX of ’08.Repeat, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
    For an excellent site on why and how we are entering a worldwide financial crisis see Nouriel Roubini’s Global EconoMonitor at http://www.rgemonitor.com/blog/roubini (Free reg. required) No simple easy answers there, if you want simple see the Vancouver Sun. For an understanding of what is really going on you will have to spend some time and exercise those brain cells. In 20 years they may refer to the great buying opportunity of December ’08, but not January! FWIW, I’m not an extremist, I discount loony raving all the time, but this one is real, and it’s NOT different here/this time. Good luck to all,good fortune to some

  151. Snick

    Thanks, Alex. I now feel vindicated. Rob? Over to you.

  152. robchipman

    Snick:

    Your position has been, traditionally, that the market is collapsing. That hasn’t changed for, well, a few years now. As long as you stick to the position you’re bound to be vindicated eventually, and let’s face it, you’re nothing if not consistent!

    My position has been, traditionally, that the market changes. It goes up and it goes down. Its a simpler position to justify than yours (it corresponds to actual facts), but it allows me to be right a lot more often than you.

  153. ObserverX

    “right a lot more often” – don’t you mean 100% of the time if the claim is that “It goes up and it goes down”?

  154. Snick

    “That hasn’t changed…” – Rob

    You’re right. I haven’t changed my views. Never did.

    Better to be a Cassandra whose prophecies DO come true than a phony “false-prophet” like yourself.

  155. robchipman

    Cassandra:

    You’re overlooking the obvious: I don’t prophesize. Therefore I can’t be a false prophet. Of course, the other obvious conclusion is that if you’re right, eventually, given enough time, then you’re wrong most of the time.

    Sorry I couldn’t indulge your ongoing fantasy! 🙂

  156. Viola_Usef

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