Wednesday, April 28, 2010

OK bears you need to read this...

Are Vancouver RE bears jerks?

Most aren't. But some definitely are. Or rather some are, some of the time.

As I head round the bear blogs, I see the usual hope for change, but I also something else. Anger and bitterness, the result of years of waiting outside the gate and watching your dream move further away every day. It is understandable.

However the result is anger, towards everyone and everything.

Like hoping the buyers suffer losses, hoping they are foreclosed or the City and Province go bankrupt. Enough already... they are your neighbours. So they got sucked into the vortex, that doesn't make them criminals.

And if things work out as bad you want...sure you can say 'I told you so' to all your buddies at work, as you all pack your things up and head out the door to try and find another job.

Or I read them say what a terrible city Vancouver is and how stupid Vancourites what the hell are you doin' here??? Obviously they don't have roots in this city.

I suspect a lot of the REALLY belligerent bears are relative new-comers. (6 years or less). Some of the most rabid I met were from the big T or Brits. they sold their expensive property and moved here for the easy life and have found to their disgust that prices here are even higher, salaries are a lot lower, and they have had to down-size.

Hey, I want prices to drop too. But I don't want Armageddon and mass unemployment. I want the CMHC shuttered. But not so I can buy a cheaper house, so we don't go bankrupt as a country when the bubble bursts, which is a little more important than whether I own or not.

Some people have trouble looking past their nose.

And as to rich off-shore buyers. Yes it irks me. Yes I am pissed off when no-taxed money competes with my over-taxed savings but consider this....

There are Millions of Canadians who own prime water-front property in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala etc which the locals can only dream of.

Desirable property has become an international commodity and there ain't nothing we can do about it. We should at least use local taxes to make sure they are not left empty without a penalty and use that extra money for social housing. But we cannot stop it...we do it.

Think on this: Friends of mine..Husband and Wife are blue-collar workers who just bought a waterfront home in a poorer Central American country to spend their retirement winters at. They bought it from a local lawyer and his family, who apparently, with the down-turn, couldn't afford to own it any more.

How would we like it if a heavy duty mechanic and hospital clerk from Taiwan came and bought our prime property? Maybe not so much.

So lets all chill out. Lets not hope people lose everything just because they made, what we consider, is a foolish decision. But let us lobby for change.

People stopped the Government bail-out of Canwest.
People complained so much, the CHMC has been reigned in.
Mark Carney and our MPs need to hear from us on interest rates penalizing savers and encouraging speculation.

Or we can just gripe and get bitter and hope the sky falls in. Enough said.


  1. Seeing as how we had a great big housing stimulus package - call it "no speculator left behind" - I'd say that the vast majority of people now at risk are average people who got sucked in. Thanks government!

    That was some quick thinking when the market started to tank in 2008 and the developers and speculators were caught unprepared. Way to save their skins! I wonder what they'll speculate on next?

    We are going to have a massive f'ing recession, because instead of a few greedy people going bankrupt, everyone will get burned. Just like in the US. Except in our case it was explicit government policy to bounce the housing market and talk up recovery and suck in as many people as possible.

    That is the Conservative policy for you in a nutshell - a massive transfer of wealth, from the many to the few, with government assistance. It works the same in every country.

  2. It's time for some bitter medicine to change the way these people think. If that takes a run in the toilet for awhile in all aspects of our economy, then so be it.

  3. Who gives a crap if bears or bulls are jerks? It's not a popularity contest. Check the emotions at the door if you want the truth.

  4. I don't think most bears are actually hoping to watch underwater mortgate-owners suffer. Rather, the bitterness comes from knowing that their recklessness is going to hurt us all - including those of us who didn't spend foolishly.

  5. I think the theme you're looking for is "People are Jerks"

  6. Hold on!!! People (Bears) are bitter because they are sick and tired of being branded "losers". Rationality in this city is assumed to be gutless. The more the debt, the sharper the entrepreneur you are. I per se, wanna see a few people wiped out and nothing would give me more joy than see them going. These are the same people who call me a jerk and gloat about how smart they are to buy 4 properties and how I would never be able to buy. And trust me, there are a zillion of them as everybody today is a local Donald Trump. Call me whatever you want, I dont give a rat's ass.

  7. I think a lot of bears have a sense of entitlement. When I hear most bears complain it's about prices in Yaletown, Coal Harbour, Kits or Kerrisdale. I never hear people complain that real estate is unaffordable in Richmond, Coquitlam or Surrey.

    Even with our high prices, there are lots of affordable options throughout the Lower Mainland. If you want to live in a premium area, then get ready to pay premium prices. Like it or not, that's always going to be the case in this City.

  8. I try not to be too pissed off and I certainly don't want Armageddon and mass unemployment.

    I am not, however, in favour of non-residents buying real estate, period. Whether it is blue collar Canadians buying RE in Guatemala or off-shore Asians buying RE in Vancouver. Why? Wealth is unevenly distributed and capital is infinitely mobile. Families are not infinitely mobile.

    If Canadians buy RE in Guatemala and run up prices so that native Guatemalans can't afford to live there, what can those Guatemalans do? Bulls would say that if they can't play in the big leagues they should just stop whining and move somewhere more affordable. Fine. But what about their extended families, friends and jobs? Those can't be moved like capital (unless you have lots of capital). So they are forced to stay and face a declining standard of living or leave families, friends and the place they grew up behind.

    Bulls call that kind of thinking "entitlement", I call it basic human rights.

    MarKoz here - always forget my password

  9. Just saw this: I never hear people complain that real estate is unaffordable in Richmond, Coquitlam or Surrey.

    NOPE. It's unaffordable there, too.
    Plus, you spend extra on the commute if you work in Vancouver, and that is a non-negligible cost.