The Coming “Housing Prices Crashed Because Of The 2011 Riots” Meme

Scott Peterson, reporter, on ‘Vancouver riot cost’ from 16 Jun 2011“Another thing here that you can’t really put a price tag on is the damage to the City of Vancouver, and the goodwill as a place to do business, after all the goodwill that was built up after the Olympic Games, this is certainly going to return the reputation of a no fun city in the sense of this crack-down.
It doesn’t look good internationally because we’ve seen headlines from like ‘The Guardian’, to ‘Al Jazeera’, even, and, in Hong Kong, these headlines get around the world.
And, another caveat here, the Bank of Montreal waded in this morning with a report saying that after the 1994 loss, the first time around, Vancouver housing prices corrected by 26%… [first announcer “Really?”]… So, a little bit of a co-incidence here and maybe a little bit of foreshadowing, considering how Carney was out there last night talking about how overvalued Vancouver house prices were.”

It is interesting enough, from the ‘socionomics’ perspective, that a CBC report on the riots should include mention of property prices.
More interesting is the inevitability of the coming meme.
Vancouver’s speculative mania in real estate is ripe for implosion, and, at some point would have collapsed under its own massively over-bloated size. The mania is the cause of its own collapse; no other cause need be invoked.
There is now a very high chance that the coming collapse will be blamed on the 2011 riots. This is a fallacious logical link, but just watch people march it out. It serves a psychologically defensive purpose, too; a primitive attempt at protecting one’s own opinion of oneself.  “If it were not for the unpredictable fluke of those damn riots, property would have continued up, and I would have been right” is easier to stomach than “I was wrong”. This is a sub-category of  the “Hoocoodanode?” defence.
Any statement, in the coming months or years, attempting to link housing price collapse to the 2011 riots (in a causative rather than co-incidental fashion) will deserve scorn and ridicule. We’ll collect any such statements in the ‘Hoocoodanode?’ sidebar, and we may even start a separate category, if warranted. – vreaa

48 responses to “The Coming “Housing Prices Crashed Because Of The 2011 Riots” Meme

  1. Froogle Scott

    Rioters = people less invested in a society, or at least capable of being less invested for an evening, when fueled with booze and testosterone.

    Interesting that the typical riot shot or ‘riot pose’ adopted by the young male participants, is one with arms thrust upward and outward in a V, as if proclaiming some kind of victory, or drawing power from the carnage behind. Ergo, these are people who spend most of their time walking around feeling powerless?

    The boutique and upscale display window, the BMW or Hummer, is the magnet for trashing, upscale consumer goods the key item for looting.

    The riot appears to be a fun event for the participants, but also something that helps define them, assert their individuality — ironically, while part of a mob. The Canucks fail to make them feel good about themselves, so they take matters into their own hands. Surreal to see “Kesler” and “Luongo” and “Sedin” running around inside the Bay and outside smashing and looting. If the real Luongo can’t get it done, I’ll just do it myself.

    A few disparate thoughts, perhaps held together by the notion of ‘investment’ — the various meanings of that term, the lack of it, and perhaps the distortion of its meaning by the broader Vancouver society. We feel invested if we own a house or a condo, or earn enough to buy $500 hockey tickets, or designer handbags and shoes, or fancy automobiles. As the society has become increasingly focused on consumerism and sensory experience, on houses and home renovation, and the price of admission to that society climbs increasingly higher, the notion of what constitutes a healthy society in which everyone can feel invested becomes increasingly murky.

    I don’t think the rioters are ‘dispossessed’ in any real sense of that word, but I do think that a riot of disaffected, bored bottom-feeders in a consumerist hierarchy tells you something about the nature of the broader society.

    • Your ‘disparate thoughts’ ring true; some great observations and associations; thanks.

    • You’ve justifiably qualified for a “Distinction” in the Gifted’Amateurs’ category at the next annual convention of LicensedCulturalMorphologists, Froogle… WellDone!


    • “bottom-feeders in a consumerist hierarchy”

      those hooligans must be from from Surrey, BC

    • Good comment – condemnation is definitely called for, but rings empty without any attempt to understand or explain

    • The riot appears to be a fun event for the participants, but also something that helps define them, assert their individuality — ironically, while part of a mob.


      “the idiots are oblivious to the paradox of their uniform individuality.”

  2. Nicely said. At the most basic level, these kids saw nothing to lose this morning by behaving so badly last night – there’s no goal they’re reaching for that hooliganism might injure.

    A friend of mine on Facebook was cracking that the rioters last night will be easily identified by being the only 17 year old boys carrying $800- Coach purses…

  3. The photos make it look like for every “rioter” there were about 200 people standing around taking pictures with their cell phones. I take it the real troublemakers were a subset?

    • Yeah, we’d guess a very small number came purposefully to start trouble, knowing that another small group (a sub-set of the drunk, disinhibited 17-23 year old males) would happily come along for the ride. That’s all it takes.

  4. World-class rioting in a world-class city:

    Last night’s riots consisted of a small number of people smashing stuff for the heck of it.

    How many different times and angles can they show that car? Maybe they can do a chain of events piece where they show the various phases of the car as it was turned over, set afire, burned, doused, stood on, then eventually its carcass cleared. Then we can hold a candlelight vigil for the poor car and raise its license plate above the rafters at GM Pl errr Rogers Arena.

    Yeah. I don’t feel sorry for anything but the car. Will someone please think of the car!

    • Excerpted from that France 2005 link:
      “Only 163 vehicles went up in flames on the 20th night of unrest, 15 to 16 November, leading the French government to claim that the country was returning to an “almost normal situation”.

      Yeah, we’d say that was of a different order of magnitude.

  5. Ah jesse, I too thought the same about that car last night – how many angles and stages of destruction could they show, for how long could they drag that out? Sensationalist reporting at its best. And referring to the rioting hooligans as protesters! I wanted to reach through my TV and help Tony and Natalie give their heads a shake. Were they using that term on purpose or are they really that stupid that they don’t know the difference between a protester and a criminal? As per usual, I found the MSM largely irresponsible and manipulative in their coverage/ commentary of the events.

    Great comments Froogle, agree wholeheartedly.

    • This really isn’t much more than hooliganism, akin to pissed off Eurpoean soccer fans. Heck in Italy they throw flares and bags of urine at the other team’s fans on a semi-regular basis. I just don’t see this as a major event when compared to Vancouver’s peers (which is not Paris; maybe Dusseldorf, Birmingham, Glasgow, Milan, or Boston).

      • So this rioting is the new norm? Are you really suggesting cities with championship teams like San Francisco and New Orleans are abnormal for not rioting like the fuckwits in Vancouver, Milan (where the fuck did this come from?), Glasgow, Birmingham etc etc? Even the massholes in Boston didn’t break anything.

      • “Are you really suggesting cities with championship teams like San Francisco and New Orleans are abnormal for not rioting”

        No, I’m stating that other cities experience riots of the same scale, most of them in Europe, not North America. Milan is a good example, actually, having several football-related riots and at one point due to the calling off a match due to fans injuring players on the field. Many smaller-scale riots simply don’t get reported beyond national boundaries.

        Don’t get me wrong; Vancouver’s riot was large but so was the crowd. European cities tend to limit crowd formation for emotionally-charged events like football matches ahead of time (as did Boston apparently), precisely because rioting is a chronic concern.

  6. “Any statement, in the coming months or years, attempting to link housing price collapse to the 2011 riots (in a causative rather than co-incidental fashion) will deserve scorn and ridicule.”

    You’re phrasing this poorly.

    Sure, you’d deserve scorn if you tried to claim that “everything would have been just fine, forever, if not for those darn riots”.

    But it won’t be incorrect to point out that this was the trigger, if not quite the cause: the lit match in a tinder-dry forest, the snowball that sets off a sudden slide on a mountain slope pregnant with avalanches. A lot less than “cause”, per se, but a lot more than mere correlation or coincidence.

    [I acknowledge that you make a good point… it is possible that the riots act as a psychological trigger for a phenomenon that was waiting to happen, one way or another, regardless. We’ll only really take those to task in future who try to infer that housing would not have popped were it not for the riots. Point taken. – vreaa]

  7. Why not? The bubble was inflated with easy money and astronomical amounts of bullshit. It makes sense if bullshit also takes it down. 🙄

  8. granite countertop

    … oh well, I’ll be an ass.
    VREAA, is this the “valid thought” you’d “weight as improbable”?

    But then didn’t expect it to get this bad either.
    Be interesting to see the # of listings/sales/drops for today & the near future.

    [granite -> You’re not at all being an ass for taking me to task… you were correct, I didn’t expect this. – vreaa]

    • winning

      I would argue it was improbable but not impossible, so what the heck, you both were right.

      Now house prices not ever returning to fundamentals… improbable… but not impossible.

      • granite countertop

        This will be a theme of the blog going forward: a bit of satisfaction for being right overwhelmed by sadness at the destruction.

        Latest reports are that nobody died, I’m thankful for that. And how about that cleanup? Enhartening to see us citizens take it into our own hands to clean up the mess.

        An interesting parallel occurred: A handful of truly obnoxious speculators encouraged by a large crowd of homebuyers created this bubble. What citizen effort will be required to clean up this mess afterwards?

  9. Ban EA!! They lied to us!!

  10. From a Stifel Nicolaus (US sell-side) report on US housing/homebuilders (which was generally negative):

    The Bruins effect? We believe that the market tends to be forward looking, and perhaps it’s not coincidence that 47% of the monthly permits gain came from multifamily in the Northeast. Bruins, Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox… Let’s be honest, Boston has become the championship Mecca for professional sports over the past decade and that’s got to be
    an alluring draw for young professionals, which just might be driving the sharp rise in Northeast multifamily permits. So in large part the market’s ability (or at least apartment builders’ ability) to foresee Tim Thomas’s iron wall of goaltending may just be the real reason behind the reason the data looked “good” today. We applaud the Bruins and
    Tim Thomas, but note that the World Series is a long time to wait for another catalyst. (Although it has historically been quite rewarding to buy the homebuilders in November.)

  11. A bear market ushered in by loss to bears would be somewhat fitting, actually.

  12. Riots = madness of crowds: bubble = madness of crowds

    To most rational people, progressively, this is indicative of the overall view of Vancouver in general whether you are a resident thinking of leaving or a non-resident thinking of coming. The riots are the catalyst for popping Vancouver’s property bubble as a wave of rationality and risk aversion sweeps over the global public. Selling isn’t just obvious now – Vancouver is a definite short.

  13. Face it…Canadians….ask most people around the world where they want to immigrate to and they will tell you “America”. The United States for all of it’s big world issues and downfalls is still a wonderful place to be. Canada in a word, is only a second prize for most people. It’s like winning a blender instead of a car. Granted, Canada is beautiful (But that’s thank’s to God!) It is a hyper-expensive country that has absolutely no excitement. Boring television programs and a lame movie industry. It costs a fortune for a drink & meal out on the town, and speaking of towns/cities in Canada -with the exception of Toronto & Montreal- are boring as hell. There is no vibe or energy. You rely on American culture and entertainment as though it were your own. Even your famous actors move to sunny California and get U.S. Citizenship. The boredom speaks for itself when frustrated hockey fans can destroy thier own city and consider that entertainment. That indicates how boring the country really is. Canadian’s are wimps when it comes to challenging thier government and have no backbone when dealing with important issues. You are burdened with high taxes and union domination. This week alone, your national postal service is on strike, your national airline is on the verge of strike and your very own people who proudly wear team colors are destroying your infrastructure-on TV no less. While at the same time, Canadian’s are too busy pointing out the faults of the United States (no matter what happens in Canada) when in actuality, in the same scope, in the United States you are a non-issue. You are really not on the radar. As important as you think you are and as much as you run across the border to relish in snapping up electronics and groceries and tanning your white asses on our shores, you are really not on on the world stage. Yes, the olympics in 2010 was very nice-God only knows what would have happened if Sidney Crosby did not score for Canada in that final hockey game-you would have made it three riots instead of the current two. I think what really pisses people off is that Canadians (Esp. Vancouverites) are so cocky and self-congratulatory and they do no wrong. I think all that prior boasting is what is surprising people so much. Canada has alot to be thankful for and that is why all the immigrants with money can buy real estate right out from under you and send the natives scurrying to the countryside trying to buy something they can afford. In a nutshell a perfect analogy would be this: The United States is the TV and Canada is the couch. Now stop crying and whining and after you clean your room (that you destroyed) you can come out to play again.

    • Amen

    • And ask many people around the world who the most hated, most arrogant assholes are and you will get a very different response. I heard that you guys only let Canada exist so that when you go backpacking in Europe you can pin Canada badges onto your luggage so you won’t have to endure all that hate.

      Still, I have to agree with you on many points, especially the boredom.

    • Yawn…ironic that you sound exactly like the “cocky and self-congratulatory” Vancouverites you so despise.

    • Those are all fair comments, Bill… albeit they lack ‘nuance’ from the perspective of someone

      • Not necessarily true for most Canadians including the seemingly weird (but actually better) Quebecors, but Vancouverites/LML certainly have their heads up their rear end.

      • Sorry, ‘FatFinger’ – as I was saying… Someone used to helping out ‘UncleSam’ when the ‘GoingGetsWeird’. Or ‘Britannia’, for that matter. We Canucks have a long history of cheerfully volunteering for duty as ImperialCannonFodder, you know. It’s the neighborly thing to do – ‘FriendlyFire’ notwithstanding.

  14. To be the contrarian, I do believe our speculative manic bubble need a cathartic moment to pop it. This was it. At least it hurried it along.

  15. Anonymous; Jim; others -> To clarify:
    Trigger/’Last Straw’, okay; Cause, definitely not.

  16. Word of the week: catharsis. Hadn’t heard that in what seems like years. Now I’ve heard it a few dozen times since Monday.

  17. 4SlicesofCheese

    My friends facebook status:

    “Back in sh (Shanghai) and first thing i see are chinese news paper are posting the mess in Van”

  18. Burn some cars to grill some HAM!

  19. Gregor Robertson the mayor sez

    ” only a few people caused the riots”….only a few people Mr. Mayor? Right ! that’s why it’s all over the world and they had to use riot gear and tear gas! because it’s only a small amount of people. The vancouver denial is strong as usual

    please see this link to see how false that is

  20. A very intelligent post, excellent points. Well put and articulated much better than I’d ever be able to.
    There’s a lot angry people out there who probably don’t even know why they are really so angry (or people simplify it as envy or jealousy when social exclusion is closer to the mark) but I think you hit the nail on the head so to speak.

  21. Pingback: The Disinvested – A Few Disparate Thoughts On The Vancouver Riots |Froogle Scott comment headlined

  22. Bubble’s are psychological in the first place. If people think riots bring prices down, let’s go with that.

    Vancouver; dangerous, riotous, with dying-people hospices on every block.

  23. BC is the economic and social opposite of Alberta. Victoria, Vancouver, and most of the other BC towns are anti development, anti oil/gas, anti business in general. However, BC is pro tax (hst, carbon tax, income tax, environmental tax, etc) and poverty. BC is going to become the next Newfoundland poor province since Newfoundland is going up while BC is going down. BC and the policies out of Victoria is annoy Asia, South America by turning down billions from oil gas sales because the enviro nuts are worried about sea bacteria, while taxing everything a lot more to suck the pathetic low wages out of BC people to make them poorer. Alberta has a smart culture and BC is populated by mental midgets, especially Victoria the capital.

  24. Oh one more thing. Look up Topix.Com “On Victoria” and ” Is Victoria a nice place to live?” blogs and you will get a true sense of how “F” ed up Victoria, Vancouver Island, and the rest of BC really is. Now, BC must be the only Canadian province with a talent to snatch poverty from the jaws of success and wealth, failure from results, defeat from victory, etc. Most of the BC people and their chosen representative politicians are are too stupid for their own good. The only wise BCers are those with the Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan mindsets. Prosperity above all else. All else are just blockages..

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