Monthly Archives: March 2011

Realtor DashCam Gallery

“Take Realtors’ self-promo, for example… Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that a preponderance of these clips (I think it’s de rigueur for the genre) are recorded in their automobiles (often while driving)?”Nemesis at VREAA 31 Mar 2011, who refers to them as “cultural artefacts”. No, it’s not just you, we share interest in these clips, and have featured a few before. A collection is a good idea. Still-shots, links to videos, and occasional quotes from Realtor DashCams will be archived in this Gallery post, which will be linked in the sidebar. We will update with any new material that becomes available; please send along dashcams you stumble upon. -vreaa

“If you’ve ever been to Winnipeg, you realize that Vancouver is ten times better. Our average price should be 2.5 million dollars for an average house in Vancouver.” – Ian Watt, Vancouver condo realtor, undisputed King of the DashCam, 600+ uploads at his VancouverPenthouse youtube channel, previously featured at VREAA 9 Nov 2010. Great production values; Specializes in back-alley shoots.
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“I don’t see a bubble happening right now”- Barry Connerty, New West Realtor, self posted video at youtube, 15 Jan 2010
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“If you are waiting for the Vancouver real estate market to go down – don’t hold your breath.” – Lisa Gibson, Vancouver Realtor, self posted video at youtube, 18 Nov 2010


Lisa Gibson, making video, while driving, in rain, with eyes closed, 17 Dec 2010. [Lucky she’s not simultaneously using cell-phone, that’d be illegal. -ed.]
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Rob Balasabas, Vancouver realtor, self posted video at youtube, 2 Feb 2010
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Rudy Balasabas, Vancouver realtor, self posted video at youtube, 29 Nov 2009
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Roland Lewis, Vancouver realtor, self posted video at youtube, 25 Nov 2008
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Shamus Baier, Victoria realtor, self posted video at youtube, 8 Jul 2010
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“Hi, today we want to talk about how the low number of recent sales is affecting our market” [Victoria market, Sep 2010. -ed.]… “Sellers became quite panicked when they realized that their houses might not sell. I mean, people in Victoria are used to their homes selling right away… People are now faced with marketing their homes knowing that it may very well not get an offer, even though it’s in a good location, in good condition, priced well.” – Aaron Hall, Victoria realtor, self posted video at youtube, 20 Aug 2010 and 14 Sep 2010
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Updates; ongoing:


Darin Chamberlain, Vancouver realtor, self posted video at youtube, 13 Jan 2011. Daring into-the-sun shots; Broody, reality-cop-show delivery; Nice work.
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Dave Burch, Whistler realtor, self posted video at youtube, 12 Nov 2008. Yeah, you guessed it, filmed while driving the Sea-To-Sky.
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Kevin Hardy, Vancouver realtor, self posted video at youtube, 9 Nov 2009. Impressive. Agent Hardy makes a video while staying cool at the wheel, at moderate speed, in rain.
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Paul Albrighton, Vancouver loft specialist, self posted video at youtube, 6 Sep 2009. The dashcam avant-garde? Through the wheel camera angles, messing with focus, obscured view. Adventurous, but is it true to the story?
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More to follow…

“I had a client who was convinced that the Vancouver real estate market had finished it’s run and the bubble was about to pop. Now, prices are even higher and he cannot afford to purchase.”

From Lisa Gibson, Vancouver Realtor, self posted video at youtube, 18 Nov 2010“Hi, I’m Lisa Gibson, with MacDonald Realty, I help people buy and sell homes in Vancouver.
“Should I buy now or should I wait until the market slows down?” – This I get asked a lot. Generally, as most of you know, any of you who have waited more than a couple of years, have been outpriced by the market. So, I guess, overall the answer is, if it’s your home, you’re better off to buy when you can afford to buy, than [to] wait.”


From blurb accompanying the video:
“If you are waiting for the Vancouver real estate market to go down – don’t hold your breath.
Three years ago I had a client who was convinced that the Vancouver real estate market had finished it’s run and the bubble was about to pop. Three years later, prices are even higher and he now cannot afford to purchase.
The Vancouver real estate market has seen a steady increase for the last 10 years. This is in large part due to two factors: one, the fact that we have very limited land space in which the city can grow; two, we have a steady stream of immigrants from China who keep pressure on the market which in turn keeps our Vancouver and Richmond real estate prices from collapsing.
Generally, if you are buying a home it is always a good time to buy in Vancouver. Even if the market drops slightly, you are paying down a mortgage and building up your equity.”

This is always the story in a bubble, those on the sidelines look stupid until the whole things comes crashing down, then they look wise. Still, painful for the prudent in the meantime.
Also noteworthy for the “building up your equity”  and “(real estate always goes up (don’t hold your breath variant))” chestnuts.
-vreaa

Addendum: This honest impression from another Lisa Gibson video 18 Nov 2011[excerpted from video and blurb] - “How Do People Afford Homes In Vancouver? I don’t know! If I did, and there was some secret I would definitely share it here. I see some young people either getting money from parents, or the money is coming from overseas, or.. I just have no clue.. because they certainly are not making the money that can afford the prices that these homes sell for in Vancouver. [emphasis ours. -ed] Frequently I see young couples purchase an $800K plus home, in Vancouver or Richmond, and they are only in their early 30’s. I have no idea how they can afford it. I often wonder if they are just completely maxed out on credit.”

Seattle RE – Down 30% From 2007 Peak; Back To Sept 2004 Prices; Still Dropping

Down 29.6% since 2007 peak; prices back to Sept 2004 levels.
[from seattlebubble.com, hat-tip Don]

Our run up has been greater and our fall will be greater. – vreaa

Marketwatch Features Canadian RE – “It’s a crazy, crazy market”; “We just wanted to get in as soon as possible.”

Excerpts from ‘Housing Booms North of the Border‘, marketwatch.com, 29 Mar 2011 [hat-tip Don] -

“Alex Kuzhel, a 27-year-old, first-time buyer, closed on a two-story home north of Toronto this month, after losing out in several bidding wars. He put down just 5% on the C$400,000 purchase price, all that he could afford. He and his wife earn more than C$100,000 a year. In addition to his 30-year mortgage, he is paying down an outstanding student loan and a car loan. “We just wanted to get into the housing market as soon as possible,” he says.”

“David Madani, Canada economist at Capital Economics, an independent research consultancy based in London, says Canadian housing prices could be in for a 25% drop in the next three years, a correction he says is warranted by the now-inflated ratio of house prices to income. House prices have risen to almost 5.5 times disposable income per worker, well above the long-term historical average of 3.5, he says. “We’ve been through a fairly hefty housing boom over the last 10 years, and the next three years is going to be an unwinding of that,” Mr. Madani says.”

“One of the things buoying Canada’s market is a global trend that has seen Asian—particularly Chinese–buyers snap up homes in places from Europe to Australia and to Canada, particularly on the West Coast. Chinese buyers have stampeded in to Vancouver and to Toronto, two of Canada’s hottest markets.Cam Good, a real-estate marketer in Vancouver, said he has sold 700 homes in the Vancouver area so far this year, 60% of them to Chinese immigrants. “That’s probably consistent for the whole market,” he said. “They’re the biggest group for everybody.” Mr. Good has seen so much business out of China that his company, The Key, opened an office in Beijing last month and is planning another. One of his strategies is to arrange chartered jets to bring potential buyers from China.”

“In the hottest markets, like Toronto, bidding wars are common. On a recent day, half a dozen agents for would-be buyers converged on a quiet residential street in the Toronto borough of East York. A 1,200-square-foot, semidetached home, listed at C$449,000, sold for C$526,000 that night. “It’s a crazy, crazy market,” says Sylvia Smith, a realtor with Re/Max Premier Inc. in Toronto.”

“The debt-to-disposable-income ratio for Canadian households rose to 148.9% last fall, according to Canadian government statistics, surpassing American borrowing for the first time since 1998. At the same time, the Bank of Canada has recently pointed out that the amount of home-equity loans has risen as much as 170% in the past decade and now represents about 10% of overall household debt.”

“Canada’s market is not in the midst of a bubble,” says Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

[We’ve pretty much heard all of this before, some of it looks like ‘churnalism’ (the Cam Good paragraphs seem verbatim from CTV or CBC or the Sun or the Province… where exactly…?). But the Alex Kuzhel anecdote is new (and thus it scores the bold typeface). Twenty-seven yr old FTB; “wanting to get into the housing market ASAP”; 5% down; $400K mortgage; other debts; now infinitely leveraged to RE (net-worth less than zero, ‘value’ of condo $420K). Bubble is alive and well. Imagine if/when that TO condo crashes 40%, they’ll be about 200K in the hole. We barely need to point out that the Kuzhels are another example of speculators disguised as fresh-faced, clean-scrubbed, well-meaning young citizens. Gamblers!
And Sal Guatieri is still wrong. We’ll archive his statement (again) in the Bubble-denier sidebar. – vreaa
]

Spot The Speculator #32 – “I feel working for a living is a waste of time after reading this. 200k gain in a little less than a year, it’s insane.”

From a thread started by eyesthebye at RE Talks 28 Mar 2011 1:24pm -
“An easy 200K flip. 45 east 48th Ave.
Purchased in June/2010 for 665K; no recent work done.
Now on the market again for 849K.
Less than one year later – easy money.”

Taipan 2:05pm – “Its gambling isn’t it!? That’s not investing it’s plain and simple gambling.”

eyesthebye 2:27pm – “On the contrary, it looks like Vancouver real estate is the opposite of a gamble.”

FuturePorscheOwner 4:51pm – “I feel working for a living is honestly a waste of time after reading this. 200k gain in a little less than a year, it’s insane. Does anyone have a million dollars they want to lend out? I wanna buy a crappy vancouver special.” [Speak to your bank manager, they’ve helped out thousands of others! -ed.]

The sentiment expressed by the last commenter, that honest hard work for regular income is a “waste of time”, represents one of the most sinister effects of a broad speculative bubble on a community. – vreaa

US Housing Prices 1890-2010: Tracking CPI And Nothing More

from The Atlantic, 24 Mar 2011

“One argument I hear a lot is that foreign demand for local real estate has grown substantially in recent years, and that such foreign demand will be supportive of prices in the future.”

We have long suggested that foreign buyers of Vancouver RE are largely unsophisticated momentum driven speculators, who, along with similarly unsophisticated local specs, will be prone to dumping their RE holdings when prices head south. ‘No Money Down’ at vancouvercondo.info 25 Mar 2011 9:09am pointed to a 2006 San Diego Professor Piggington post on the phenomenon; so pertinent to the Vancouver RE market today that we reproduce it here :

The Dumb Money
Rich Toscano December 20, 2006 – 8:45pm piggington.com
One argument I hear a lot is that foreign demand for local real estate has grown substantially in recent years, and that such foreign demand will be supportive of prices in the future.
Unfortunately, this argument puts the cart squarely in front of the horse. Investors from other countries are well known to be the very last participants to arrive at the scene of a financial bubble. They are the last to hear about all the riches to be made, the last to buy in, and the last to realize that the party is over.