“At a BBQ at the inlaws’ place back in May, they and all their suburban friends were patting each other on the back about how awesome it was to own property that kept going up and up and up.”

“I just recently found out my inlaws are planning on selling their house in Surrey. In April, a near-identical place across the street sold for $520K. Another near-identical (neighborhood/cul-de-sac built by the same builder in the 70s) went on the market late June (just before OSFI and Flaherty brought in the new mortgage rules), sold last month for $450K.
Back in May, was at a family BBQ at inlaws’ place, they and all their suburban friends were patting each other on the back about how awesome it was to own property that kept going up and up and up. I said (because I’d had a few drinks, won’t do this again…) “Yeah, money’s never been cheaper in Canadian history and real estate’s never been more expensive but yet people still think real estate is still going up.”
It was like I’d said “pull my finger” then farted like a trombone solo. Dead silence, imagine a pin dropping in slow motion.
I’ve been half-assed trying to tell my wife’s parents that they should think about cashing out, y’know, on the house they bought in 1979 for $25K, since at least 2010. Oh, god forbid that anyone who isn’t a homeowner AND is under 40 could possibly know anything about financial planning.
Let me just say it’s gonna take a lot of willpower to not say “I told you so” as their house languishes on the market through to 2014 because “It’s worth more than $450K”, but hey, keeping my mouth shut is cheaper than a divorce lawyer. :->”

EinsatzgruppenVancouver at VREAA 2 Dec 2012 12:32am

The loneliness of the RE bear.
Wrong and ignored on the way up; vilified and ignored on the way down.
Only masochists need apply; and only those who value truth over social ease.
BTW, that property has already dropped more than 13% in market value.
– vreaa

20 responses to ““At a BBQ at the inlaws’ place back in May, they and all their suburban friends were patting each other on the back about how awesome it was to own property that kept going up and up and up.”

  1. Being right about the coming real estate metldown is a privilege, not a burden. Being outnumbered by a bunch of home-equity junkies who can’t see that their standard of living is about to smash up against the cold hard rocky shoreline of reality does not feel like a burden at all. It feels…. lucky.

  2. I’ve got a sister in law who parlayed through East Van and Yaletown, now in a teardown on a nice but non-view lot close to Horseshoe Bay. A year or two ago, I suggested selling and renting, but got the standard “we’d never be able to afford to buy back in.” When I was visiting last month, the BIL confided to me that the market has softened. I just said “I know. I don’t want to talk about it.”

    It’s such an odd neighbourhood. You can make a fair guess at people’s wealth by how recently they moved there.

  3. Great post. Really enjoyed it. There is so much truth in it for many of us who tried and failed to warn our self-obsessed families and friends. It was all for nothing. Most of us never got any more satisfaction than a group-hug from like minded bears by coming to sites like this where others were also feeling vilified as castouts (even when they knew they were 100% right all along).

    • If it’s painful biting your tongue now, just wait until the crap hits the fan, and you start getting blamed. Don’t think that will happen? The mortgage industry is already spoon-feeding a blame-the-bears argument to the media. (The government was spooked by all the bearish talk into tightening the rules at just the wrong time… blah blah blah… the market would have been just fine otherwise… blah blah blah… toopid bears… blah blah blah.) How long before your in-laws pick it up? A rubber mouth guard might be a good investment.

      • That was actually one of my favourites, RR. The bears caused the bust. Too damn funny. You know it is just a bunch of New-Age Hippie crap though. Try to ignore it. Those people are always saying things like “your negative talk is bringing me down, man”. What they really want is more dope and sunshine……not the truth.

      • Yeah, if we’d just got a few more people we really would be on Hale-Bopp.

  4. What can I say…
    12 days till closure… I tell my True Love…
    Patience… says I…drink your coffee and pre-pack.
    take profit… ya stupid commee… before the socialists steal it all…
    … say’s I… to self…
    … residential/business home next time… a cool Temporary C-Can structure…
    … then If land values go up and tax gets stupid… sell and move “land ship” to a better tax base(a better port) … it will be easy now… ain’t globalism grand…
    Gypsy Capitalist… hopefully shipping out of vancouver…

    • Thing is, Flaherty is right. It was better to choke off the housing excess now than to let this thing morph into an even bigger disaster further down the road. Our key markets were already setting off alarm bells and the euphoria was spreading. My only regret was the changes came late. Better late than never though.

    • I agree, too. It’ll certainly be interesting watching interested parties go from “he’ll correct it when he realizes his mistake” to “He can’t have MEANT to do this,” to …

  5. The Poster Formerly Known As Anonymous

    yep. I STFU about 6 months ago when it was evident the crash was coming and they would all find out soon… even when the topic comes up. Reactions generally range from ridicule to full-blown psychotic.

  6. The Poster Formerly Known As Anonymous

    Oh, actually, I did score 1/9. A lawyer friend sold 4 months ago!! Expects an epic crash. He thanked me for sharing all the stats and analyses gleaned from internet bear-dom and agreed on the prognosis.

    • Ha ha. I saved my realtor. Eventually all my ranting wore her down and she sold in the summer. Unfortunately my friends who really need to get the hell out I can only hint to and it is not well received.

    • I saved a friend I run with. He sold 6 months ago and frequently comments how his old home’s value just keeps dropping — and says thanks. The interesting thing is, my aunt actually BOUGHT a home two weeks ago. This was the biggest purchase she’s ever made and this was after we’ve been going head-to-head on Facebook for almost a year. I think she bought just to spite me. The joke is on her. So my grand score is a wash.

  7. On a bullish note some relatives of mine from HK are in town for a while. They liquidated their Vancouver real estate about two years ago. They are waiting for Vancouver prices to drop a bit more then buy back in. I didn’t ask why they thought prices were going to drop but apparently the stink has reached across the Pacific.

    Speculators never die, they just run out of money.

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