Monthly Archives: September 2012

“A colleague bought a SFH home in the spring in the hopes of flipping it for a quick profit. She now finds herself amongst the ranks of the accidental landlords. She is not happy.”

“A colleague bought a SFH home in the spring in the hopes of flipping it for a quick profit.
She pulled it off the market after the financing from a prospective buyer fell through. With the market having weakened significantly since then, she now finds herself amongst the ranks of the accidental landlords. She is not happy.”

– Manna from heaven at VCI 27 Sep 2012

‘Wealth’ That Isn’t Really There – “We live in a world where people have increasingly lost the distinction between ‘making money’ and ‘producing wealth’. Most people out there would be perplexed by the notion that there is even a difference at all.”

Andreas Conrad: [background] “I can’t do anything … unless I’ve sold.”

Announcer: “Andreas Conrad knows the market pain all too well… he’s trying to downsize, but can’t sell his duplex, originally priced at just over $2M, now $300K cheaper…
It’s been on the market for five months and Conrad says, without a sale, he’ll be forced out of retirement.”

Conrad: “For me now it means I will definitely have to go back to work… at the, at the end of the summer.. ah.. if nothing moves.”

Announcer: “This homeowner is just hoping his duplex sells, and fast. If it does, he’ll be back in the market to buy a condo right away.”

– anecdote extracted from ‘Vancouver residential real estate plunges’,, 5 Sep 2012 12:47pm [hat-tip Jeff Murdock]

Many Vancouverites are overdependent on their RE holdings for their financial health, and for their retirement plans.
This gentleman appears to have retired early based on the paper ‘value’ of his RE holdings, and already his plans are awry.
It is noteworthy that this is occurring very early in the down-cycle. We anticipate that many more will find themselves in similar situations once price descents become significant.
– vreaa

Here follow comments posted regarding this CTV piece, from CTV and VCI:

“Am I suppose to feel sorry for a guy who has a home valued around $2 mill and can not sell it and have to return to work. I do not know the age of this man but he looked like he wanted to retire early off his home.”
– leo, at, 6 Sep 2012 2:42pm

“Yeah, Andreas…people elsewhere have to actually work to make money, cuz their dwelling-place doesn’t actually generate income so they can retire at 50…”
kabloona at VCI 5 Sep 2012 6:57pm

“I saw that guy on CTV news too. Crying that he’s going to have to get a job soon if he can’t flip his crack shack for 2 million. He didn’t look old enough to be retired to me. I said out loud to the TV, “Good, you should get a job.” Why would anyone feel entitled not to work for a living? Why would anyone go on the news and expect sympathy that they might have to get a job to earn an income?”
Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs at VCI 5 Sep 2012 7:09pm

“I would like to be the first in line to order a latte from Andreas when he starts his new job.”
Best place on meth at VCI 5 Sep 2012 8:53

“Andreas seems like a perfectly nice guy to me; just having a hard time adjusting his expectations.”
Anonymous at VCI 5 Sep 2012 10:37pm

“We live in a world where people have increasingly lost the distinction between ‘making money’ and ‘producing wealth’. Most people out there would be perplexed by the notion that there is even a difference at all. There is no less admiration for someone who becomes a millionaire by picking the right stocks than someone who gets rich building a real business or producing a tangible service that creates real wealth.
In fact, given the choice, the overwhelming majority of people would rather get rich without working at all, which is a big part of why we currently have the most morbidly obese housing bubble in history.
Sadly, I don’t think people will wake up to the distinction even after the bubble bursts. Since so many people will be negatively affected (70% of home owning Canadians), expect to see a whole lot of resentment and bitterness at all the ‘lost wealth’ rather than a realization that it was never there in the first place.”

Yalie at VCI 5 Sep 2012 7:59pm

The CTV piece was also noteworthy for these two quotes:

Andrey Pavlov, SFU: “The time on the market has tripled since 2 months ago, so that’s a crash by any measure.” [We’d agree with the sentiment but disagree with the semantics. A crash will only be said to have occurred when prices plunge. -ed.]

Cameron Muir, RE Association: “It wasn’t too long ago that we had the greatest financial crisis since the great depression, followed by a global recession. If that wasn’t the tipping point or a trigger for a deflation of an asset bubble, I don’t know what is.” [In 2008 Vancouver RE was rescued by emergency low interest rates, which it sorely did not need. This delayed our hour of reckoning, but it seems now upon us. -ed.]

UPDATE, 1 Oct 2012:
Headlined property price has since been reduced to $1,599,000
[hat-tip Van guy].
Click on image to enlarge:

BNN Guest – “I know a lot of people say it can’t happen here. I do not believe that. You’re seeing sales down, you’re seeing listings up. It looks like Phoenix and Florida, circa 2006.”

“I can’t stress enough, when I look at the data, start with Vancouver, or look at the Toronto condo market, and it’s now spreading into the single family market elsewhere, you’re seeing sales down, you’re seeing listings up, to a degree, I haven’t seen, really.. it looks like Phoenix and Florida circa 2006. … I know a lot of people say it can’t happen here… I do not believe that.”
– from interview with James Hodgins, of Curvature Hedge Strategies, on Market Call, BNN, 27 Sep 2012 [Hat-tip to LazyCanadian at VCI.]

When a critical mass of people have said this on air and in print, does a bell ring?
– vreaa

Ah, Look At All The Lonely People – “With Vancouver’s sky-high housing prices, problems around affordability are creating resentment. There are a lot of people that just don’t feel welcome here.”

Vancouver may seem like a paradise, but behind the polite smiles, there’s evidence of loneliness, deep resentment and racial tension among some citizens.
Armed with these findings from two years of research by the Vancouver Foundation, Vision Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer is proposing to create an Engaged City Mayor’s Task Force. The 16-member force would devise plans to foster better relationships between citizens, and encourage broader participation in local government.
After surveying 3,841 people from more than 80 ethnic groups this year, the Vancouver Foundation found that one-third find it difficult to make friends in the city, and a quarter are lonely.
Many of the lonely people tend to be those living in high-density housing, and young adults who aren’t yet embedded in careers, Reimer said.
“There are a lot of people that just don’t feel welcome here,” she said.
With Vancouver’s sky-high housing prices, problems around affordability are creating resentment.
Over 60 per cent of residents aged 25 to 34 see Vancouver as “a resort for the wealthy,” with “too much foreign ownership,” according to the survey.
Frustration around housing is leading many to incorrectly place the blame on foreign owners from Asia, according to Reimer.
“There is a strong tension around race,” Reimer said. “We have to get ahead of that.”
Reimer said the task force would be composed of 16 volunteers from diverse backgrounds — half renters and half owners would be one division — and a likely focus of planning would involve encouraging neighbourhoods to get more involved in tapping into existing infrastructure budgets. The idea is to create public spaces “more aligned with what the community wants.”

– from ‘Lonely city: Vancouverites isolated, resentful; city council seeks answers’, The Province, 25 Sep 2012 [hat-tip joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs and others]

Handcrafted Spam


The following 18 comments all appeared on VREAA over a 4 hour period last night [26-27 Sep 2012], each on a different thread, and all from a commenter using the handle ‘Joe Manhas’. They all attempt to promote ‘’, a site that sells BC RE. Impressive work. The comments are distracting, particularly once one takes note of their motivation, and they have all been removed from the respective threads. But they are preserved here en masse as an example of what folks are doing to promote Vancouver RE related activity at this stage in the cycle. ‘Joe’ now joins ‘Fred’, up to now the only poster specifically cited on our spam filter. – vreaa

Submitted on 2012/09/26 at 10:19 pm
Sounds crazy, but Vancouver is one of the most livable cities in the world they say…

Submitted on 2012/09/26 at 10:23 pm
I understand that there are 5005 units coming downtown.. these developers wouldn’t be investing so much money into these projects unless they were confident that they could sell them…

Submitted on 2012/09/26 at 10:29 pm
What happen to the days when people lived within their means? Vancouver isn’t cheap however if you want a nice house, maybe you can spend a little less on the cars.. Tough to live a steak and champagne lifestyle on a beer – Mac N’ Chess budget..

Submitted on 2012/09/26 at 10:32 pm
Make sense.. we all love things that are free..

Submitted on 2012/09/26 at 11:37 pm
They say money don’t grow on trees… Not for these anymore..

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 12:30 am
The bubble is only bursting because the Government wants it to burst.. It’s not hard to slow down the machine when you got this wrench that that keeps tightening and tightening… Also when the government turns off the immigration tap, if only a trickle is getting through wouldn’t expect things to slow down? Once that wrench is gone and the tap is turned on full blast we’ll be back to a blazing hot market… Buy Now!!

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 12:34 am
Sounds like the property was bought to high and sold to low… Next time be a little more aggressive negotiating a better deal and work the deal harder on the selling side..

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 12:41 am
Your poorer than you think? People in Vancouver have made huge money in real estate.. Do you think all those millionaires around Vancouver made it by working 9-5.. We’ve had an incredible run.. still big money to be made..

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 12:46 am
Your House Is A Big Fridge, a place to store stuff?? Its a place to live and a place to retired after it builds equity for 20 years… Houses go up in value over time, fridges depreciate..

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 12:48 am
Sugar Coat sorta… As they say what goes up must come down… the flip side is also true what goes down must come up.. Buy Now ..

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 12:55 am
The sale of you own person home is one of the few tax free opportunities we have as Canadians, downsizing, upsizing or other, just remember not to do it too often as the government might see this as a business of re-selling property apposed to selling for personal reasons..

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 12:58 am
know the rules, play by the rules.. if your going to break them don’t get caught

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 1:04 am
If don’t like “Honda” can you take a Toyota instead?

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 1:10 am
I agree.. the government is intentanally killing the market.. what ever happen to the Adam Smith theory of letting the market take care of it’s self… Too much government interference ..

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 1:17 am
I bet in the 3 house sales the profit was enough to take ten trips.

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 1:24 am
In for the long haul… Real Estate in most places is for the long haul.. Vancouver real estate market has given the average investor (with money) to make huge gains in short periods of time. Huge money can be made on the down slide as well. By now

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 1:29 am
Vancouver as a safe, long-term place to park some money when it comes to real estate. We owe a lot to those around the world that have help Vancouver residents become millionaires by buying holding and selling..

Submitted on 2012/09/27 at 1:40 am
As rough as the stats might show, Vancouver will rebound.. this is the time to buy while real estate is cheap…

Globe and Mail Columnist Uses ‘Home Of The Week’ To Advertise Sale Of Her Own House

“The Listing:
90 Massey St., Toronto
Asking price: $599,000
Taxes: $3030.95

Over the years I painstakingly improved the house – insulating the attic, building firewalls, rebuilding the front porch, updating appliances, painting and landscaping – but all my work was minor compared to the change in the neighbourhood. Since the mid-2000s, the Bellwoods Park area has gone from shabby chic to super chic, establishing itself as the beating heart of downtown Toronto’s rapid west-end gentrification.

After more than half a decade of being the proud owner of this magical city house it’s time for me to move on. Like the neighbourhood, my life has undergone massive change in the past few years, all of it for the best. My partner has a son from a previous marriage and we recently had a baby of our own. His work is based overseas and I’m spending more time abroad. As a freelance writer I need a home office cut off from the hubbub of family life. As much as I hate the idea of leaving 90 Massey, a more suitable home must be found. I’m saying goodbye to my urban worker’s cottage and hope to do safe in the knowledge that the next owners will love to the place as much as I did. Honestly, how could they not?”

– from ‘Home of the Week: A worker’s cottage built for family life’, Leah MacLaren, G&M, 20 Sep 2012

“In what seems to be a pretty significant conflict of interest, Globe and Mail columnist Leah McLaren has listed her own house for sale in The Globe and Mail’s Home of the Week section.
In the article, McLaren waxes poetically, in 700 or so words, about her “charming red brick Victorian row house.”
By doing so, it would seem as though she is abusing her position of authority in the press to further her own economic interests: selling her house. Unless, of course, her home happened to be the most interesting home for sale that week.
Though she admitted the shameless self promotion on Twitter, the journalistic faux-pas has not gone unnoticed by her audience.”

– from ‘Globe and Mail columnist Leah McLaren tries to sell own house in column’, Michael MacDonald,, 26 Sep 2012

We’ve seen some bald-faced conflict-of-interest behaviour here in Vancouver through our RE bubble, but we can’t recall anything quite like this yet happening here.
– vreaa

Betwixt Madness And Insanity – “I travel for work to BC every week and I’ve got to say the prices on houses I have seen in Vancouver are next to madness and insanity.”

“i’m from Winnipeg and my wife live in vancouver. I travel for work to bc every week and i got to say the prices on the house i have seen in vancouver r next to madness and insanity. I can’t even phantom how anyone in their right mind would willing to be slaves for the rest of their lives just so they could be in vancouver.”
Joe nguyen, at VREAA 25 Sep 2012 6:55am

We’d agree. Prices are far removed from fundamental values.
There will be a reconciliation of this difference ahead.
– vreaa