Sunday, July 4, 2010

Speculation can kill...

The rampant housing speculation in this city has made it the number one industry, topic of conversation and has brought riches to some and misery to others.

There have been many examples in the blogs of locals who have bought multiple units, often with Government backed insurance (? Government blessing too) and have benefited, along with the RE-Industry from this speculation.

Clearly there is housing demand. Clearly the population is growing. So there is pressure on housing stock and prices. Since wages are not keeping up, a greater % of income is being spent by buyers to service their purchases.

The Government cares not one bit that buyers are having to spend 50,60, 70% of their after tax income on servicing mortgages for these bloated assets, but they will quickly run to act at the first sign of significant weakness.

Anyhow if you think that the system is rigged in favour of speculation, and that is causing those wanting to get into the market could be a LOT worse.

How about speculation that leads to starvation and death. And I don't mean the international arms-dealers (some of whom I hear are based in Vancouver)

We are a global economy and a suspender-clad trader sitting in an investment bank in New York, buying grain for a bet, is literally taking that grain off the plate of a poor person.

And if the bet goes wrong, Uncle Sam will be there to help pay the Investment banks losses. Nice to have

Our current political system is set up to protect powerful speculators, here and in the US.


  1. Have you guys looked at the weekly stats on Agent Wills site? Sales/list 70%, new listings off a cliff, overall listings down quite a bit, sales down a bit as well and overall average attached prices rocketing to new all time highs. Quite impressive.

  2. fish, you are gettign desperate. The crash is not coming in our lifetime. We have the best goverments money can buy. It has always been this way. Find an example in the history of civilizations where was different and did not end in complete disiaster.
    I have one word of unsolicited advise for you : If you cant beat them, join them - so go and buy a place and profit from the ponzi asset apreciation out there.

  3. Wow that article about food speculation is insane. It kind of made me realise that people who do that type of thing (speculate on things and cause others hardship) are essentially the ultimate example of lazy. They have money, and earn more of it, they drive the price of everyday goods up.

    They add no value to anything, they just ride it up and try to get out before the crash.

    The scary thing is, most of us do it. The entire stock market is largly speculative. Anyone with mutual funds indirectly contributed to the whole thing.

    But what else can you do? Inflation happens, so holding all your wealth in cash isnt very bright in the long run.


    Yep, 69% sell/list. 1000+ removed listings. MOI over 6.

    The MOI and removed listings are interesting. If things continue this way (strong s/l and lots of removed listings) then we could see rising prices again.

    One has to wonder though, where are all of these removed listings going? Did the sellers decide to not bother selling or are they just waiting for later?

    If they decide not to sell then it is likely their plan was to sell and buy another place. If they dont sell, they dont buy, (of if they sell, they buy) so there is a net 0 effect.

    I figure the most of removed listings will come back on the market at some point within the next 12 months.

    In order to really save the market more sales are needed. You can have sell/list of 1000% but if its only 100 sales and 10 listings every month then MOI stands at 130.

  4. davers, the housing market is slow enough to show the true reason prices rise or fall: a glut or dearth of buyers.

    I think you're right that de-listings do not bode well for future sales. The high level of de-listings shows frustration either with significant competition or with the quality of the sales agent. Those with bridge loans or two mortgages will likely set the market price going forward.