Macleans Wakes Up – ‘This is how Canada’s housing correction begins’ – “We’re not ready for what happens next”


Kirk Marsh first noticed the mood start to turn in Vancouver’s housing market a year ago. As a real estate investor who buys homes and condos then fixes them up for resale, Marsh has an excellent vantage point on the market. Since giving up his old job in tech three years ago to flip real estate—“Sitting at a desk was killing me,” he says—Marsh has bought and sold six detached homes and condominiums across the B.C. Lower Mainland. “It’s not like TV shows where you see them making $100,000 or more each time, it’s just not like that,” he says. But he’s done well, always able to find buyers and come out ahead.

Or that’s how it used to be. “Today, everything has stalled,” he says.

While visiting open houses over the past year looking for his next flip, Marsh watched the frothing crowds and bidding wars steadily dwindle away. “There’s just nobody showing up at the open houses now,” he says. “Especially downtown. Usually you’d see a group of very aggressive people coming out.” But he’s also keenly aware of the slowdown because he’s trying to unload a renovated two-bedroom condo in New Westminster, just east of Vancouver. The unit, with an asking price of $569,000, had been sitting on the market for two months as of mid-December, with almost no interest.

– excerpt and image from ‘This is how Canada’s housing correction begins’ by Jason Kirby, Maclean’s, 3 Jan 2019

The whole article is worth the read, and nails many things…
Pretty much what we’ve been warning of on these pages for …oooh… more than a decade.
You can only tell who’s been swimming naked when the tide goes out (and that includes entire countries).
Regarding Kirk, starting flipping three years ago was extremely late to the Lower Mainland party and he should count himself very fortunate if he gets out alive.
– vreaa

43 responses to “Macleans Wakes Up – ‘This is how Canada’s housing correction begins’ – “We’re not ready for what happens next”

  1. Wasn’t it MacLean’s whose cover once featured a house “blasting” off into space?

    The irony.

    And, yes, Kirk showed up to Vancouver’s frat party (there is no more apt a description for the city’s market over the past 10 years) at quarter to midnight.

    Now the only people left are the drunken losers passed out in the bushes.

    And Arnie.

    • There is still a link to the blast-off cover story on the front page of VREAA.

      Wouldn’t it be cool to have the contradictory Macleans covers at the top of the page: “Hooray for everything”, then “O FUCK IT WAS ACTUALLY A BUBBLE O SHIT O FUCK NOBODY KNEW”

      • MSM feeds into, and off of, the collective psyche du jour. Back then it was all about easy riches. Real estate ‘mojo’. Playing to people’s ego.

        Now they’re playing to fear. .

        Whatever sells.

  2. white_angelos_balanced_outlook

    vancouver is a nice place and certainly has it’s charms … otoh, i’ve long felt those charms are wayyy oversold … to convince ppl they’re living better than they actually are … all that bpoe nonsense … it works best on ppl who make themselves susceptible, who want to believe … ppl with an inferiority complex to service … if it were legitimately that superlative, drug money, money laundering would not be permitted to ruin it … not a chance … with the facade lifting, we’ll see the extent of the wreck … after a long clean up, maybe things can return to how they once were

    • And truth is, it was once kinda, sorta cool. I’m talking 70s, 80s. Always a little self-inflated, never really amazing, but cool.

      2000s onward, Vancouver got drunk off its own Kool-Aid and its been downhill from there.

  3. The biggest toll in all of this won’t be financial but cultural. I can imagine a spike in divorces, suicides, boomerang kids (staying at mommy’s until she dies), homelessness not related to drugs, etc…

    • I’ve long said this exact same thing. The financial aspect is one thing. The sociocultural and public health fallout will be another.

      There will literally be blood in the streets.

      From inebriated drivers. From fights. From suicides. Hell, even from murders.

      All because of the stress and anxiety that are going to result from this mess.

      • This is correct.

        The last 10 years have been a circular circle jerk of optimism, enthusiasm, equity, jobs, asset appreciation, improved balance sheets, consumer spending, car leasing, upgrading, busines starting, extra kid having, general everythingiswonderfulness.

        Unfortunately that type of self-reinforcing spiral can go in either direction.

        And right now it has a very long way to fall.

    • LOL at Phil Soper quote at the end.

      That one may not age well.

      • “The future for Canadian housing remains bright, perhaps too bright.”

        – Phil Doper, CEO of Royal LeFucked

        Thanks for the chuckle, Phil. You shameless manipulator.

  4. white_angelos_balanced_outlook

    facade lifts a little more … see the kind you’re dealing with (i.e. communists that killed 80+M) … most ironic that peon canadians be convicted for smuggling drugs into china … https://tinyurl.com/ybb4cwn4

    • Wonder how Trudeau is going to react on this one.

      • With “admiration for China’s basic dictatorship.”

      • white_angelos_balanced_outlook

        don’t have high hopes but let’s see, maybe he can htfu … the ccp run the biggest slave plantation in history … it almost went bust … then they happened upon a way to get idiot westerners to willingly transfer their ip … for what? … sell your future for a few $s now … can’t compete with slave wages if you give them your ip – dopes! … remind me, which western leaders have figured this out and are trying end it?

  5. 4131 Lillooet: panicking idiot taking a bath. Bought four-and-a-half months ago for exactly full assessed – $2.154M. Now listed at $1.749M. Good location; double lot.
    Meanwhile, the Eppich house is listed at triple assessed – $16.8M.
    When you consider that a ‘63 Ferrarri sold for $70M US, the price of an Arthur Erickson original looks like a bargain – a nice W.V. cottage.

  6. Criminal:

  7. I’m not coming up with too many hits of Maclean’s being eminently prescient on Canadian housing market predictions. Maybe someone can point me to the link.

  8. Maclean’s magazine is a turd, like almost all magazines – an ad-filled turd; a biased, fake news, brainwashing tool for the gullible. Shit on a stick.

  9. white_angelos_balanced_outlook

    ladys and gentlemans … especially at major turns, ‘news’ follows the market … dig it up for yourselves

  10. 2255 30th Ave E: bought 13 years ago for $565K. Assessed at $1.75M. Listed at $2.5M.

  11. 1520 32nd W: bought 10 years ago for $2.3M. Assessed $4.7M. Listed $8M by Melissa Wu – not your run of the mill clown.

  12. 2078 Broadway: bought 21 years ago for $253K. Assessed at $1.366M. Listed at $3.368M. Oh the joys of land assembly.

  13. Exactly as I predicted: Million-dollar+ houses in dumpy East Van were a freak historical anomaly.

    Article: “The sub-million dollar detached home is back in Vancouver”

    https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/the-sub-million-dollar-vancouver-detached-home-is-back

    I’m surprised to see a negative take for once. The MSM is slowly coming around to reality.

    This is significant, as most people lack independent reasoning, and take their cues from the media.

    But here’s the irony. Peoples are STILL way behind the curve on this. Within a few short years, these homes will sell for 350K, and “sub-million” will seem like the good ol’ days.

    • white_angelos_balanced_outlook

      small but built when, by today’s standards, top materials and good craftsman were widely available … that one’s still standing straight after 90+ yrs … can’t trust anything from the recent boom for longevity … expect to find a lot of money pits out there … yet another by-product of the insanity

      • Yes. Anyone who’s built or reno’d in recent years knows that materials have degraded significantly relative to times past. Especially wood.

        Add to that:

        – Frenzied ‘quick-flip’ construction schedules / corner-cutting
        – Influx of inexperienced tradespeople chasing bubble dollars
        – Horrendous taste re: design / architecture. Not helped by “Chinese specials.”

      • white_angelos_balanced_outlook

        some were legit tear-downs of course, but many perfectly fine houses framed with dense old growth timber, plywood construction, hardwood floors (try getting that now) … demolished, replaced with butt ugly mcmansions … most won’t last 30-40 yrs

  14. Jee-zus!

  15. Man… Money laundering quietly leaving?:

    4448 Chaldecott Street, Vancouver
    Dec 10:$5,990,000
    Jan 21: $4,680,000
    Change: – 1310000.00 -22% ( Sold April 2018 for 6.06 M$)
    A: $5,060,000 (Sold April 2018 for 6.06 M$. Could easily be a 2M$/year loss if you include all the fees and taxes)

    • 7546 Elwell Street, Burnaby
      Oct 5:$2,188,000
      Jan 23: $1,655,000
      Change: – 533000.00 -24%
      A: $2,110,000 (Bought 1.86 M$ in Jan 2018)

  16. Chaldecott: bought stupid. Paid way too much for a non-subdividable lot; not south-facing; “custom-build” – there’s an extra mil in the toilet right there.
    Pretentious interior. They deserve to be spanked. The lords of the manner should be banished to the depressing basement rental. Rent out the top.

  17. Interesting twitter chain:

    • white_angelos_balanced_outlook

      assessed got nothing to do with it … failure to understand true reasons for prices going up … both of which are no longer … all common sense was lost going up … ergo

  18. Cursed street?:

    5088 Blenheim Street, Vancouver
    Oct 9:$3,680,000
    Jan 25: $3,163,800
    Change: – 516200.00 -14%
    A: $3,205,000 ( Bought Feb 2016 for $3,450,000)

    3656 Blenheim Street, Vancouver
    Jul 10:$2,280,000
    Jan 25: $1,898,000
    Change: – 382000.00 -17%
    A: $2,014,900 (Bought May 2016 for $2,380,000)

  19. 5088 Blenheim is flanked by 35th Ave. The traffic is not horrendous, but it is relentless. Living by a stop sign sucks.
    3656 Blenheim – scraper on a very small lot. Square footage given is false. There are hundreds of square feet of the headbanger attic that cannot legitimately be counted.
    Looks like the wannabe renoflippers barfed up a cheap deck. Permit?
    East West facing properties are 90% of the time less desirable than those facing South.

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