Vancouver Sun – “The prevailing wisdom that Vancouver has a housing bubble should perhaps be reconsidered.” [Huh?]

“Housing bubble fears over-inflated”
“Savvy shoppers can still do relatively well in Vancouver by searching for the right unit in the right location”
“..the situation facing homebuyers seems somewhat less dire than at first glance. … Those seeking shelter, both physically and from high prices, can still find relatively affordable units and decent bargaining conditions if they are careful, knowledgeable, flexible and ready to shop around.”
“…the prevailing wisdom that Vancouver has a housing bubble should perhaps be reconsidered. Certainly normal metrics, like the ratio of average price to income, are extraordinarily high and could well be in danger territory. But, existence of more affordable geographic pockets in the Lower Mainland where buyers’ conditions prevail, and softness among apartment and townhouse dwellings, suggest that some markets are much less inflated.”

– excerpts from article by Robin Weibe, Vancouver Sun, 26 July 2011, here noted for the chronological record.

So suddenly the ‘prevailing wisdom’ is that ‘Vancouver has a housing bubble’?
Huh? We must have missed the transition in the prevailing consensus from ‘no-bubble’ to ‘bubble’ there somewhere.
In fact, we’re absolutely sure that the prevailing opinion of market participants remains: “It’s different here; fundamentals are irrelevant; outside money will continue to buoy us up; we are impervious to any significant price drops”. How do we know this? Well, if even 10% of participants actually knew we were in a bubble, and understood what that actually meant, we’d have already had a rush to the exits, and we haven’t had anything like that, have we?
So, there may have been a little bit more public superficial bubble-talk, but the vast, vast majority of participants don’t really see this as a bubble.
Ironically, there will only be a consensus that Vancouver had a price bubble at the very bottom of the market, years hence (which will then be the very best time to buy RE). Only then will all speculative excesses have been wrung out of the market.
Regardless, Robin Weibe’s article shows that the local MSM, despite an occasional good critical article recently, by and large is still asleep at the wheel. There are no pockets of good value in the LML. Far from it; housing is 2-3 times overpriced in all areas. When the tide goes out, all boats will fall. – vreaa

20 responses to “Vancouver Sun – “The prevailing wisdom that Vancouver has a housing bubble should perhaps be reconsidered.” [Huh?]

  1. “Those seeking shelter, both physically and from high prices, can still find relatively affordable units and decent bargaining conditions if they are careful, knowledgeable, flexible and ready to shop around.”

    And if those properties in the “premium” price category see contraction, those “affordable” options will go unscathed? Riiiighht… Has this author not witnessed and asset bubble implosion? Plenty of recent examples. In such a situation all correlations go to 1.

  2. vancouver sun, i dissapoint.

  3. The prevailing wisdom of the elites is that there is a bubble. This is why a lot of the bull commentators are pretty quiet these days. They don’t want to be known as the next Baghdad Bob.

    The masses, on the other hand, won’t see the truck until it hits them.

  4. Whether Vancouver is in a bubble or not the pricing compared to Eastern Canadian cities is outrageously inflated. If you want to make some money sell your house in Vancouver and move to Ontario to make a quick 100 grand.

    • they don’t want to move to move to “the inhospitable hinterlands”

    • “If you want to make some money sell your house in Vancouver and move to Ontario”

      for most Vancouverites death is preferable.

      • Yes, many are that deluded.

      • actually, you are speaking entirely of the chinese – they are the ones that can’t handle the weather.

        the ontarians that have moved here (there are tens of thousands) in the last few years are mainly of the starving hipster variety, and can be found all over the city trimming their ironic mustaches and buying dirty 2nd hand keds.

      • Ontario is worse then death? srsly? yeah the pacific northwest is nice but get a grip. Haven’t you all had less then 2 days of sunshine above 80F this summer? At this point my relatives in Seattle are afraid they will grow moss.

  5. Wow, Robin Weibe speaks in Orwellian almost like Bernanke. Total slime.

    • lol the difference is Bernanke is cunning, she’s just hired help

    • How the fuck do people with masters degrees get away with calling themselves economists?

      • Prepare yourself for a shock: people even without masters degrees can get away with calling themselves Chief Economists.

        Case in point: Cameron Muir, the Chief Economist of BCREA.

        Click to access 2006-11-15_Chief_Economist.pdf


        No mention of a master’s degree.

        In comparison, the last Chief Economist that I had lunch with was a winner of the John Bates Clark Medal.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bates_Clark_Medal
        That’s a whole different level.

      • CanuckDownUnder

        You’re joking, right? Do you really think having 5-6 years of tertiary education in the subject isn’t enough to qualify them for the title? The Governor of the RBA only has a master’s degree (from UWO even!), maybe you should go edit his wikipedia page since it says he’s an economist.

        A better question to ask would be “how the fuck do people with realtor qualifications get away with calling themselves professionals?”

      • They are paid to do economics. It’s that simple. Whether they are any good or not is the issue, but additional qualifications add only a minimal guarantee. Once someone is working in a field, you really ought to look at what they have done.

      • Surprisingly, Matt, the following Gentleman – albeit, an accomplished Zimbabean Shona Economist – has no Masters… (he skipped that, and went straight for his WitchDoctoral)…

        http://tinyurl.com/3hdhgbo

        PS – There was a time when ‘Nemesis’ used to ‘down a few’ at the LSE’s student union, but that’s only because their undergrad co-eds were notoriously ‘easy’ (well, that’s Fabians for ya). You really had to ‘work it’ at Kings, though (Strand & Waterloo).

      • Canuck down under, fair enough but a quick perusal of Glenn Stevens wikipedia entry tells me that he has substantial experience working as an economist. On the other hand, who the fuck is Robin Wiebe and what has he done besides get degrees from a couple third rate universities? And what self respecting economist is going to talk stupid shit like he does? I can appreciate that there are lots of exceptional individuals that have accomplished far more without lofty qualifications however don’t give me the exceptionalist bullshit that a post-graduate university education is worthless.

        Nemesis, LSE students are godless hooligans who think it’s a laugh to riot down the Strand. http://goo.gl/QOf0F

      • CanuckDownUnder

        Matt – Aren’t you the one implying that a post-graduate degree is worthless? Or at the least that holding one in economics isn’t even enough to call someone an economist.

        Let’s debate the ideas, not the credentials of the person. Although I will immediately make myself a hypocrite by pointing out that Robin Wiebe spent 18 years working for CMHC. Maybe that’s the type of economist who will talk stupid shit like that. 😉

        http://www.conferenceboard.ca/topics/economics/staff/robin_wiebe.aspx

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