Watershed? or Dam-Collapsing? – Mainstream Media Quoting Vancouver RE Bear-Tweets, and Predicting Shrinking Realtor Numbers – “What they’re used to is not what real estate is typically like.”

“Warning: Some viewers may find the following footage distressing…”

“There’s a cottage industry emerging on Twitter, with various accounts and followers seeming to take delight in the financial woes besetting Metro Vancouver homeowners hoping to sell their homes, or selling their homes at crushing losses. … Here’s a look at five examples highlighted on Twitter of homes in Vancouver and West Vancouver where the owners took a bath, or are at least one foot away from a nasty fiscal scolding…”
– from ‘Five examples of Metro Vancouver homeowners losing big in a plunging market’, David Carrigg, Vancouver Sun, 7 Feb 2019

Now you notice? -ed.

“The softening housing market could lead to tough times for some realtors, especially those who have recently entered the profession, said the president of the Fraser Valley real estate board. “I think it’s going to be tougher for the more-inexperienced realtors, those who are three or four years in,” said John Barbisan. “What they’re used to is not what real estate is typically like.” The 35-year veteran said agents will be forced to be more like “consultants than auctioneers” as they help to connect buyers and sellers. …
According to the council, there were 25,987 licensed real estate professionals in B.C. as of Dec. 31 — a 36-person drop from Sept. 30, although still slightly higher than June 30. The dramatic increase in the number of licensees — from about 21,000 in 2012 to 26,000 in 2018 — seems to be slowing.”
– from ‘Sales slump could signal tough times ahead for B.C. realtors’, Glenda Luymes, Vancouver Sun, 8 Feb 2019

We can recall when BC Realtors crossed the 10,000 mark. Seems a fair bet we’ll go back below that number once all is shaken out. -ed.

35 responses to “Watershed? or Dam-Collapsing? – Mainstream Media Quoting Vancouver RE Bear-Tweets, and Predicting Shrinking Realtor Numbers – “What they’re used to is not what real estate is typically like.”

  1. “Realtors”? I thought they were called “advisors” now. Lol.

  2. “agents will be forced to be more like “consultants than auctioneers”

    Holy crap. Their $30,000 fee was not for consutation; just for yelling out prices until a gavel drops?

  3. This “profession” requires no knowledge of finance or economics.

    It exploits asymmetrical information at the expense of consumers, in collusion with the state.

    Its incentive structure is flawed, favoring turnover over price optimization.

    It runs on fake enthusiasm, fake quality, and fake money.

    It has taken the human need for shelter and shamelessly spun it into “the most important investment you’ll ever make.”

    It works hand in hand with the banking, construction, and home design / decoration industries to market a never-ending, keep-up-with-the-jones’s culture of consumerism.

    The list goes on.

    The fewer of these “advisors”, “consultants”, or whatever they’ve now been rebranded as, the better.

  4. Where’s Arnie?

    • Jack Handy moment:

      I was reading this article and it hit me for the first time: 25 years (let alone 30) is a very, very long time to trade for any possession.

      Who the hell wants to be accountable to some bank — to be a debt slave — for a quarter century?

      People are so brainwashed they actually scramble to sign up for this.

      Is it not curious that 25 years happens to be just about the length of most people’s working lives? So, you work nonstop during your 30s, 40s, and 50s (gotta keep up with those mortgage payments) and then maybe you have a couple “mortgage-free” years before you retire… old. (Don’t get too excited, though. Property taxes will continue indefinitely.)

      Do you see how this charade works?

      Here’s an analogy:

      I will sell you a wooden chair for $1,000, because you’ll borrow the money and have 25-years to pay it back. You’ll pay just a few cents a month!

      It doesn’t matter if you have the cash upfront, because the vast majority of chair buyers are taking out long-term loans to buy theirs, and they are driving the market.

      Like chairs, or any other good, the price of housing reflects the supply of money going into it.

      We need a complete societal reset. It shouldn’t take more than a few years to buy shelter.

      If we were collectively unwilling to play this game, housing costs would fall dramatically — probably near the cost of replacement, as land is essentially limitless.

      Imagine the amount of wealth that could be productively redeployed in new businesses, education, personal pursuits, charity, etc. instead of lining the pockets of bankers, bureaucrats, and real estate “advisors”?

  5. agree, and I think your thoughts in the last paragraph you wrote are most significant. the opportunity cost (lost?) of purchasing RE in YVR is tragic.

  6. white_angelo_bets_one_dollar

    a whole economy founded on flipping your house to criminals … what could go rong? … ps. when push comes to shove, the banksters will ease, again … no one has the stomach for the alternative … but, credibility and confidence are on the line … as this is lost, look out

    • “a whole economy founded on flipping your house to criminals … what could go rong?”

      LOL.

      Regarding banks propping up housing prices now that they are in freefall, the problem with divorcing price from fundamentals is that it tends to be driven by sentiment and animal spirits. Which are unpredictable.

      Look at $150 oil becoming $30 oil. There was always plenty of supply, but the world was EXCITED! Because there was MONEY TO BE MADE!

      Then when oil fell out of fashion, and everyone realized that there was money to be lost there too, it was too late to prop it up. No matter how badly they wanted to.

      Investor fatigue is a son of a bitch.

  7. Hey Arnie,

    I miss your trolling. Please post a house for us to look at.

    • Every time poor Arnie goes to post something there’s a price reduction and he ends up looking stupid. It’s frustrating. Besides, right now he’s got his nose buried in the thesaurus looking up synonyms for ‘rodent’ and ‘cockroach’ and ‘swamp’. He calls it skills upgrading. He’ll be back soon.

  8. Raging Ranter, you were missed.

    • I’ve been lurking, just not posting. You’ve been holding down the fort admirably. Where have all the bulls gone? They used to fill these threads with hundreds of posts. It would appear the herd has been culled. The tiniest hint of a correction has sent them scurrying. I assume they’re drowning their sorrows in drink. If they can afford it. Just imagine when the real pain starts. So far, all we’ve seen is the end of the bull market. The actual bust hasn’t even started yet.

      • Glad to hear, RR. It’s been quiet ’round these parts. As you say, the Raid has been sprayed and we’re left only with Arnie buzzing dozily on the floor.

        I’m surprised how easily the bulls got spooked. I would have expected them to still be here, taunting, “see, bears, the market hasn’t crashed, it’s only gone down a bit… you were wrong!”

        You are correct. The real action is yet to come.

  9. 2108 28th Ave E. Skinny 28’x122’. Scraper bought 2 years ago for $1.045M.
    “Modernist” turd thrown up. Listed at $2.795M. No suite(s). Seriously?
    Looks like a dental office inside.
    Usual blankets and toilet rugs so casually meticulously placed by Turd Stagers Inc.

    • And there he is. We were wondering when you’d show up.

      Arnie, all the other perma-bulls have left. There’s only you left. You’re like the last fly still alive after the room has been fogged with Raid. Enfeebled. Disoriented. Buzzing around and around in circles on the floor. Or in your case, posting multiple listings of dumps nobody cares about.

    • Interesting listing. My opinion is that’s an Airbnb house and the seller learned the hard way that you can’t have a whole house as a STR. Why have 6 bedrooms in such a small house? The seller had swinging parties in it? The location for transit and is great though. Selling a 3M$ dollar house in a 1M$ neibourhood is quite a challenge in this market.

      The sad thing is that spec builder would have been much better off buying 2136 E 30TH AVENUE and building a fourplex instead.

  10. Now we are firmly here, in a downturn. So how long and how deep are the next questions ?

    • I think vreaa’s initial guess of a two-thirds drop, peak to trough, is entirely realistic. Maybe more.

      As far as timeline, who knows. U.S. experience was: steep fall for one to two years, followed by continued declines for another five or so years. Vancouver’s been in a bubble for arguably 10-15 years, so the unwinding could take a while.

      What is interesting is that random communities outside Vancouver (e.g. small town Van Island) have seen massive (25%+) price increases as recently as last year. No change to local economies and in some cases population is declining. So what explains it? Is it ripple effect? Bandwagon speculation? I’m inclined to think that they are just mini Vancouvers, with a lag.

  11. Hi all,

    I am also in the 65+% drop camp, as that is at least how overvalued we are from long-term trends. I think the tide has turned on foreign-earned money and local speculators and money laundering here in BC, and with the proof visible now that Vancouver real estate CAN go down in price, it will be a lot harder to reinflate the bubble. So, I think we’re in for a long painful grind downwards, perhaps 5 years or more before we get to a fair enough value to want to buy in.

    But bigger picture economic situation in Canada, I’ve been wavering between an outcome of massive inflation or of deflation. I’m now thinking grinding unstoppable house price deflation with simultaneous everything else high hidden inflation (i.e the kind the govt can deny existing to keep interest rates at zero, but that everyone else feels – huge increase in money supply with strangely no increase in CPI).

    I’ve recently read Danielle di Martino Booth’s excellent book Fed Up, and from the disastrous situation the Fed faced in the GFC, it’s clear that desperate central banks will do anything at all, no matter how destructive longer term, to avoid where we were all headed in 2008. So, I now think that the BoC/govt of Canada will also soon be in nearly as desperate of a situation, and will be willing to do absolutely anything to avoid shorter-term pain. Et voila, ZIRP/NIRP and QE galore here in Canada, with related long-term financial destruction, CAD dropping like a rock, and massive inflation. I’m hoping in that window to buy a more reasonably-priced house with land for some personal resilience, and then have its debt inflated away somewhat 🙂 But, there’s also the possibility that by then we will decide to instead take our money and leave Canada for greener pastures.
    There’s also a series of articles by Aussie economist John Adams, about 6 possible scenarios/outcomes for our global financial system. I’ll have to dig up the links and post them when I get a chance. (But now I’m off to work, having recently decided to raise our household income in advance of trouble, by taking a full-time job).
    JCH

    • I agree with everything except the idea of the BOC swinging a big stick like the US fed did

      I don’t actually believe that the BOC will have the option of NIRP, or anything other than status quo when it comes to the money supply.

      The reason is what you mentioned: If Canada gets out of step with the US, we risk devaluing the currency massively. The implications of that would be much worse than just cascading foreclosures amongst homeowners who chose to overextend themselves.

      As I have said here before, I think that Canadians naturally tend towards and quiet suffering.

      Homes, jobs, retirements, marriages, and futures will all quietly melt away with little fanfare or reporting, just like the hundreds of billions of dollars of artificial paper wealth they were based on.

      Welcome to the suck.

      • Hi Burnabonian,

        Yes I agree that the BoC alone could not likely get to NIRP, but I’m also getting a very bad sense about both the US and global economies. The US is massively overindebted at all levels, corporations have been stupidly loading up on cheap debt with never a thought for the future (beyond the C-level execs’ expected tenure), and the everything bubble is impacting everyone’s lives. The same insane debt levels are true in many other countries, both developing and developed.

        So, I expect the US is now done with raising interest rates and QT, or mostly done. Neither of these things can be unwound/reset back to normal any more, without massive impacts that the Fed is not willing to own. The same is true of the BoC and the other CBs in other countries – they have essentially thrown in the towel on fiscal responsibility (which would involve austerity) and will do whatever it takes to delay (they think they can avoid), the next depression.

        This is how I get to NIRP – I’m just not confident that both the Fed and BoC are smart enough to NEVER to go there. I think it’s a natural progression from where the world is today – although it has not worked in Europe, the level of arrogance of the BoC and Fed makes me think that “it’s different here” – “NIRP will help, we know it will”! But I sure hope you’re right, that ZIRP will be the limit of our financial meddling.

        One point though – I think spoiled, entitled Canadians are not going to take bankruptcy laying down – “it’s not our fault – you told us real estate could only go up!! We demand to be made whole!”, with the screaming louder and louder, until pandering politicians agree on various bailouts to help the “unlucky”, at the expense of anyone with savings and financial stability and common sense. This is why I think we may have to leave Canada — to have any hope of not having our children’s futures taxed into oblivion. But again, I hope I’m overly pessimistic about the situation, and that everything will be fine 🙂
        JCH

    • white_angelo_bets_one_dollar

      that cb’s may be merely incompetent would be the most charitable conclusion possible … otoh, we could/should say the main reason cb’s exist at all is to backstop the big financial gamblers when their bets go bad … for this, we need to bring back flaying, no? … result of this much moral hazard is completely mispriced risk … trying to apply common sense won’t work, at least not in the short term … even the best minds are struggling … however … if some assets are mispriced up, others must be mispriced down … find some of those and buy some of those … but only what you can afford to wait on … size your positions, manage them, keep liquid, keep flexible and glta

      • Yes, I agree about completely mispriced risk and moral hazard, and this is what makes me have no confidence in CBs to choose the right thing which would involve short term pain for longer term gain. Doing the right thing would collapse our entire financial system in the shorter term.

        Not sure about some assets being mispriced down though – the everything bubble has floated ALL boats, leaving nothing underpriced AFAIK. I did feel in the fall that gold had some potential though, so took 20% position in my US IRA. Don’t own any in my Cdn accts though.

  12. We’re at the dawn of 2014 prices…

  13. 3442 Quesnel: Scraper 5 years ago for $1.95 M.
    New-build assessed at $4.7M.
    Listed at $6M.
    Dysfunctional hamster kitchen layout.
    Work triangle? No.
    Ping pong from stove to fridge? Check.
    Six burner stove?
    So stupid. Put in by builders who have never cooked an entire meal.
    Sharp edged morgue slab eating island? Check.
    View over sink obscured? Check.
    Black-out curtains for restful sleep? No.
    Gym and three car garage with lift? Stupid.
    Suite? No.
    Laneway house? No.
    Toilet Rug Inc. staging.
    Toilet rugs? Just one. Remarkable restraint.
    Laundry room? Must be a stacker in a closet somewhere.
    Stupid orange EAT sign?
    Yes, those get a lot of use. So stupid.
    Massive mirrors and wall hangings to create illusion of space. Yes.
    Steps, steps, and more space-robbing steps? Yes.
    Better to have put in an elevator than car lift.
    $1.3M over assessed.
    Really?

  14. JCH is right. The everything bubble has floated all boats. There may be some attractive, off-the-radar investments available somewhere, but overall, valuations are currently high for asset classes across the board, including stocks, RE, all things “tech”, even art, wine, and such. There are bubble in corporate debt, car loans, student loans, home loans.

    The exception being precious metals which are still cheap considering risk of future collapse.

    JCH is also right that, to appease the soon-to-be downtrodden “investors” in real estate, the state will turn to massive wealth confiscation in the form of inflation and / or higher taxation.

    One thing to be aware of: If you become a non-resident of Canada for tax purposes, CRA will deem your assets to have been “disposed” the moment you become non-resident, even if you don’t actually sell any of them. You will then be on the hook for capital gains tax.

    They get ya’ no matter what.

    But still, might be better to pay the tab now in the hope of avoiding still-higher tax rates in the future…

    Question is, where do you go? USA is becoming socialist and as you point out, is also highly indebted and may suffer similar fate to Canada.

    Europe? Socialist.

    Asia? Dunno.

    Latin America. Could have attractive pockets. Relatively unstable, though.

    We’re kinda stuck…

  15. Vreaa, am stuck in moderation on this thread and also the most recent one…

  16. JCH is right. The everything bubble has floated all boats. There may be some attractive, off-the-radar investments available somewhere, but overall, valuations are currently high for asset classes across the board, including stocks, RE, all things “tech”, even art, wine, and such. There are bubble in corporate debt, car loans, student loans, home loans.

    The exception being precious metals which are still cheap considering risk of future collapse.

    JCH is also right that, to appease the soon-to-be downtrodden “investors” in real estate, the state will turn to massive wealth confiscation in the form of inflation and / or higher taxation.

  17. That’s an interesting video

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