The recent VREAA post on Don Campbell’s interview at BNN [28 Oct 2010] resulted in a response from REIN member and blogger Chris Davies: ‘Bubble Blogging = Masturbation’ at chrisdavies.ca, 3 Nov 2010. Read more about Chris here. In his post Chris says some fairly rude things about Garth Turner, denigrates what he calls “bubble blogging”, and then addresses the VREAA post thus -
“Which is why when I read a truly rediculous [sic -ed.] post from VREAA which took the time to transcribe one of Don Cambell’s spots on BNN, I was inspired to write this post.
Just how bored do you have to be to sit and transcribe a BNN interview? Really?
And is Don such a threat to you, Vancouver and investors across the country that you need to try and dismantle his points?
It’s easy to make a list of ’15 fallacies and misconceptions’ with no support, and no concrete advice.
Here’s the point for the bubble bloggers out there, those who write just for the ego boost of an inbox full of comments or seeing a traffic spike.
Guys like Don and I don’t care if prices go up or down, or sideways. What we’re looking for is how can we use it to make money, and improve our families quality of life, plan for our own retirement or help others. You can make money with real estate in any economy, and many of us have done it in the past and will continue to do it in the future. My family has been managing buildings for Don and investors like him since the early 1980′s.
If there’s a bubble blogger out there who would like to see how it works, give me a call. If you’re just wanking to the tune of ‘the sky is falling’, just stay home.”
Open reply to Chris:
[Intro: Readers to insert own masturbation joke here: Examples: "Why so tough on masturbation, Chris? Bad experiences?", or, perhaps use "..sex with someone I love", etc, etc.]
1. VREAA documents beliefs and actions relevant to the Vancouver RE market. That’s the whole point of VREAA. It’s a chronology of actions and opinions. REIN’s position is noteworthy at this point in the bubble. As is yours, Chris, regarding price action being irrelevant.
We don’t archive and address Don Campbell’s points because they are “a threat to (us)” but rather because they contain common misconceptions currently held by lots of people in Vancouver.
And we “dismantle” his arguments because, well, they’re dead wrong, and may even be dangerous to some. (Like you, we like to “help others“.)
We take the trouble to have the interview transcribed because videos on the web can simply disappear, and, as archivists, we’d like to save details of different opinions for posterity. [No giggling, Chris. 'Posterity' means 'all future generations', not 'butt']. We guess it’s disturbing for RE pumpers to see their flaccid non-arguments transcribed in black and white.
2. You state “It’s easy to make a list of ’15 fallacies and misconceptions’ with no support, and no concrete advice.“
If you were a regular reader of VREAA, you’d see many sound arguments supporting these conclusions. We are in a large RE bubble. Fundamentals don’t support current values. (We particularly disagree with Don Campbell’s statement “You can not analyze a housing market by looking at the housing numbers, you can only analyze the future of the housing market looking at the economic fundamentals, which is jobs and in-migration.“)
If we were asked, our concrete advice would be for individuals to consider not buying RE in the Vancouver market, and, to a lesser extent, we’d give the same advice for the whole Canadian market.
We note that you have not attempted to supply evidence against even ONE of the ’15 fallacies and misconceptions’ we found in the Don Campbell interview. (“I’m a good guy just trying to make an honest living” doesn’t qualify as an argument). Perhaps you’d like to try?
3. You state “You can make money with real estate in any economy.“
Please clarify: When you say “make money with real estate” do you mean buying real estate or managing real estate? You state “My family has been managing buildings for Don and investors like him since the early 1980′s.”
Okay, great, you make money in property management. I have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever. Property managers will likely continue to make money in any market, agreed. Property always needs managing. But let’s not confuse making money from property management with making money from investing or speculating in RE.
Remember, people are reading your blog, and watching Don Campbell on BNN, trying to make their own decisions about whether to buy real estate, often whether to buy a personal residence. We wouldn’t want them to be confused in that decision by comments about how it’s always a good time to be a property manager.
So, to the point, Chris: Are you currently buying properties?
4. Regarding price direction, you state: “Guys like Don and I don’t care if prices go up or down, or sideways …“
We believe it is very dangerous to make light of possible price drops, and that, for many Canadians, RE will prove to be a spectacularly bad investment going forward. Future returns are very dependent on entry-price points, and from that perspective it doesn’t get much worse than it is right now.
Besides, note that Don’s interview doesn’t even acknowledge the possibility of significant price drops. The whole interview treats the risk of any price pullbacks, even 10%, as remote. Don states that even the most overvalued markets are simply going to “plateau” or “be flat”. We disagree strongly.
We’ll keep your “I don’t care if prices go up or down” opinion on record. In fact, we’ll add it to the ‘Bull Hubris’ sidebar along with its confident cousins.