Friday, June 19, 2009

Anonymous said...
Who is buying? All I see is lay offs.

My response will be my week-end post:

This up-tick is sales was inevitable and to be expected with an historic low in mortgage rates.

It has stabilised the market. If it hadn't our banks would have followed the US banks into insolvency. The gradual drop has actually helped things, as it gives time for banks to tighten up and become more prudent with their lending and raise capital (both of which they have been doing).

It also allowed some people who were being stretched to breaking to refinance. Also a good thing.

I would be very surprised however if the whole BC market starts rip-roaring again though.

I still think we peaked late Summer 2007- early 2008. Since then the world has changed a lot. Our largest trading partner is having it's worst recession since the depression, large companies are down-sizing or going BK, and the credit bonanza that Wall Street created has gone taking many of the players with it.

To give you an example of how bad things are in California, a friend told me he was a co-owner of undeveloped land in Ca, that was listed three years ago for over $2.5M. They have been dropping the price, but no bids, until today when someone offered $250K.

We will find out soon exactly how 'different' it is up here.


  1. Hi fish, great blog. I am new here, just discovering.
    I think you are right, real estate in this place is a horrible investment right now but one has to be patient. I looked at a lot of houses and investment properties here and they simply dont make financial sense. On the other side money in the bank is also not paying interest. I am also suprised how media keeps hammering all day long here that it is the best place on earth, safest banks, envy of the world etc etc, it reminds me of soviet media channels, really. But if that can boost the canadian morale, why not, although I was thinking canadian were more humble somewhat...

  2. Fish did you see what happened to canwest's share price today down nearly 30%!

  3. Anon - I did....though 30% of 17 cents isn't a heck of a lot! I think the paying readership of the national post must be very small and it looks devoid of advertising. I feel bad for the employees though, there are some great writers like David Baines at the Sun, who have hung in there.

    BTW went to my local lunch eatery, which is usually crammed with tourists this ime of the year and it was empty. The owner was ++ worried. Recession, high dollar, flu were some of her reasons for the slump. The hotels nearby were ate 50%.

    She used to be pumped for the Olympics, but now admits it may have been an expensive mistake.

  4. I just heard on the radio that they are want to turn Jericho and Spanish Banks into a giant RV park for the Olympics. Wonder what the Point Grey owners will have to say about that :)

  5. There's been a lot of sales but no increase in price. In the blue-collar burbs, there is less action, or so it seems.

    So this uptick seems to be in the better areas (although not the upper crust). Good neighbourhoods with good schools, popular condo buildings etc.

    I'm still shocked at the people who I know, who I thought knew better, who become totally brain-dead when it comes to real estate. I'll just keep my mouth shut and watch with amusement.

    I'm torn between wanting to leave Vancouver out of frustration and staying to watch the drama unfold. This place is so screwed.

  6. I agree, patiently waiting, the uptick seems to be in better areas. Here in New West (Glenbrooke North/Queens Park) it seems like houses are selling within a week. However, I look in places like Surrey and I'm coming up with huge amounts of inventory and what looks like big price drops. For example, I looked at a condo to buy in Whalley in mid-2004. The price was $160k. I thought this was too pricey so didn't buy, then by 2007 the price was $240k. Today, it's listed at $188k. What a difference, maybe we will come back down to earth after all....just waiting for the areas across the river to slide too...

  7. I watch that part of New West too. My parents live there, and although I didn't grow up there, I have a few generations of family history in New West. Its been hinted to me that I will get parental help if I buy near them. No immediate pressure though because I'm being laid off and they agree with my bearish opinions.

    Its quite easy to sell a decent family house in a good part of New West right now. Just price it under a half million and it WILL sell. But there are some piggish greedheads who don't get that so their listings are sitting there for a few months.

    I simply refuse to cross a bridge to get to work. Been there, done that. I'd rather rent forever than buy on the other side of the bridge (unless I found work out there).

  8. Patiently Waiting, not sure if you would know, but how much would a house go for in New West-Glenbrooke North-prebubble era? It seems like a modest neighbourhood, shouldn't the average family be able to buy there? I see there are a few houses that are priced at $500k (on Blackman St) that are NOT selling, and they've been on the market for months now. Hmmm...if they were half that, I would definitely buy ;p

  9. pricedoutfornow: "Half that" is what they were before the bubble. In 2001, my parents bought a decent house in Glenbrook North for about $250K.

    There must be something wrong with that house on Blackman St. Its also not updated since 1959.

    One thing to watch for going forward is what happens with Pattullo Bridge. Traffic is such a curse on this otherwise nice area. If a new bridge is built that bypasses residental New West (crossing from Whalley directly to the Braid St. entrance to Hwy 1) it would be awesome, if possible.

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