Friday, December 21, 2007

All the best

We hope you all have a great next couple of weeks, celebrating whatever you choose to celebrate.

We've put our credit cards away. We've retired much debt. We see the writing on the wall for this bubble real estate market and this bubble economy.

Remember to drink a toast on New Year's Eve to prudence, rationalism and economic sanity.

We've learned much from your contributions over the past 11 months. Here's to our continued learning from one another into 2008.

Open thread for your topics.


roger said...


I want to say thanks for hosting this blog. There is always a lively discussion and we all have the opportunity to learn from each other. Wishing you all the best for 2008.

There have been numerous discussions in the past about income and spending stats. An interesting Website is Canadian Business- Moneysense and today I found an article called The all-Canadian wealth test I think your readers will find the article interesting.

For the past few months we at MoneySense have been drilling into government documents, manhandling spreadsheets and pounding numbers to build a detailed model of personal finances across the country. Our goal is to help you see how your income, your net worth and your retirement savings compare to those of other Canadians.

Anonymous said...

Yes, hhv. Thanks for hosting this blog. I come here to get some perspective on the craziness out there right now and to give my husband a break from me freaking out on him.

I am feeling a wee bit grinch like this morning, must be the Christmas stress and lack of Christmas drinks, but is anyone else hoping that the smug looks on the bull's faces get wiped off and soon?



I am with you. This blog relieves stress in our household. I have stopped bugging my husband for a bigger house since I have an outlet for my frustration.

Looking forward to meeting everyone at the Bengal Lounge someday soon!

Happy Holidays!

Had Enough

talus said...

+1 from all. This is a great outlet for information, rants and raves.

We too have locked up the credit cards and retired all our debt. I sleep better (in our rented house) knowing I'll live to afford a house another day...and very likely pay less for it : )

Here's to profitable New Year!

vg said...

great blog here as usual HHV,hope you and your missus have a Merry Christmas.

always great input from all on here,even jmk. ;)

bchousingbubbleblog said...

I second the call for the Bengal at -10%.

Just think, the day VREB announces the $540,000 average house is only months away....

bchousingbubbleblog said...

I second the call for the Bengal at -10%.

Just think, the day VREB announces the $540,000 average house is only months away....

Anonymous said...

Posted this at PB's site, but I'm so baffled that I'll re-post it here too:

So... this morning's T/C (Dec. 22) reports that Coventree is considering halting operations or selling itself; Sherry Cooper of BMO is calling for a "tough" economy in 2008 and problems for anyone invested in the broad markets; David Dodge saying that the credit crunch is going to be "messy" as it corrects; BC consumer confidence is the lowest in Canada and confidence has dropped nationally, with few people saying that now is a good time to buy a house.

However, a big article with the requisite pictures of construction cranes says that Victoria's economy will stay "hot" through 2008 because we're building condos, everyone wants to move here and the Olympics are coming.

I guess I'm stupid and can't see what everyone else sees in this town, but there seems to be a disconnect happening here.

In the meantime, here I sit in my office with the roof leaking for the third time in the last six weeks due to our lovely weather for which everyone is coming...


Anonymous said...

Not to mention that Harper says that the government won't bail out the commercial banks on the ABCP fiasco, and the banks are balking at cleaning up the cess-pool themselves.

Oh, but BC has lower mortgage rates than the rest of Canada, and they won't be going up. Because we're "speshal".


Had Enough said...


You are lucky. I would love to sell our Oak Bay house and rent but with 4 kids, 4 cats and a dog who would rent to us. I would not rent to us.

Good choice. Now that Christmas is soon over I am locking up the credit cards.

Have a good one!

talus said...

had enough,

We really didn't have a problem finding a suitable house in the neighborhood we were looking for. It might take a little looking to find a house suitable for your family size/needs/wants but I'm sure it's out there.

I still watch the rental market to see what comes online and I'm starting to sense a bit of desperation in the landlord community.

Case in point - this Bear Mountain Condo renting for $1100/mo (there are a bunch of them listed on Used Victoria).

Of course I don't know what the owner paid but similar units have an asking prices starting at $299,000.

My quick math tells me that $1000/mo rent will cover about 200K worth of a 25 year mortgage. I wonder what the condo fees are for this shoe box?

PS - check out the size of the kitchen sink in the Realtors pictures. Hope you don't eat off anything bigger than soup bowl. Not like it matters - it will be a 20 min drive to the nearest store anyway.

vg said...

Here's a great indicator of Victoria's economy : Future Shop

Me and the missus were out shopping for a gift tonite and went to the Blanshard St store, place was very dead for the last Saturday before Christmas. They didnt have what we wanted so we had to go to the Langford store and they had it.
Talking to the salesman he said it has been the slowest Christmas EVER in Future Shops history and they were bored the whole last couple of weeks and tonite was the busiest all season and it was pretty dead in there. He then said it's the effects of the economy and that it's clearly slowing down.

Now if you were to want a barometer of where people are spending their cash then electronics is always a given as the number one choice and if they are hurting then can you imagine the rest of the economy ?

Now put this together with this TC article and there is a whole lotta BS'ing going on out there in order to say that we are insulated ?? No way Jose, I was shocked when I heard the guy say it and we talked it over a couple of times that it's the talk of the store,sales guys are goin to sleep cause no one is spending the bucks and that is even out in big bucks Langford !

Guess our theories of you can only buy so many big screen TV's etc til the card is maxed out is beginning to show up. Whats next ? Sleep on that one bears. :)

olives said...

Merry Christmas Everyone

"Crisis may make 1929 look like a Walk in the Park":

Anonymous said...

Had dinner last night with several of the "movers and shakers" in the property development business in town.

NOBODY thinks that 2008 is going to be a good year for local real estate or development despite what they have publicly said recently. Lots of re-zoning and business development proposals going forward but only because timing is right at least to get the paperwork done.

If you read between the lines on the Moneysense article you will note that the only reason why personal net worth is increasing is because of real estate values. Any decline in real estate prices will clobber consumer spending and net worth and make the early 80's look like the good times.

Paul said...

Hi Guys!

The Vancouver numbers are up on my new webiste.

We have daily, weekly and monthly numbers for the entire REBGV. Updated every day. It is not perfect but will improve with time.

Also inventory charts for each sub area in the REBGV. These go back 3 years each. If your interested please come by. It will be interesting to see where the inventory goes in the new year.

Come say hello on my blog.

Anonymous said...

All the best Bears, and Bulls for that matter, after all it is the season.

Ahhhh, the Future Shop index. More valid than most I bet.

I'm off to Winnipeg to experience Christmas in the snow and will be check in with friends in the commercial real estate business.

'08 is going to be very interesting indeed.

roger said...

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse;
The For Sale sign was stuck in the lawn with great care,
In hopes that the buyers would soon be there;

The Realtors at the open house had all been fed,
While visions of commissions danced in their heads;
But the first buyer who saw the house on a map,
Said "I won't pay this price for a real piece of crap".

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
It was another buyer by the name of Mad Hatter!
He had made a lowball offer with savvy and flash,
Tore open his briefcase and showed them the cash.

He said the asking price was far too high,
"It just isn't worth it" while heaving a sigh,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But this way under list offer from a buyer to fear.

With a building inspector so thorough and quick,
I knew in a moment, that I was feeling quite sick.
More home inspections that all sound the same,
I whistled and shouted and called them by name;

"Now ROOFER! Now, GARDENER! Now, PAINTER a mixin,
New carpet, new vinyl new hardwood we're fixin.
To the top of the stairs! To the top of the wall!
More work needed before the buyers will call!"

And then, in a twinkling, I heard VREB's news,
After fretting and worrying, this I could use.
As I lifted my cell phone, dialed and soon found,
That the bubble had burst with a big banging sound.

Their eyes how they twinkled! Their faces so merry!
New buyers now had a lower mortgage to carry.
The sellers all asked how low will prices go,
The real estate agents replied "we really don't know".

As I compose this real estate Christmas prose,
We all know that 2007 is about to close.
Next year the prices will surely fall,
So let me say;


solipsist said...

I have been pondering this for a bit, and have talked it over with Mrs. solipsist. Speaking of Vancouver, historical mortgage amounts in relation to income would indicate that mid-$200g's would be a fair price for a home. Prices are 3X that.

There are a lot of boomers holding a lot of property as retirement hedges, and they are nearing the end of the time that they will be holding.When they start selling off, prices will return to a more normal mean, in my drunken opinion. Thus, I say forget about -10%, -20%, -30%, I'll start thinking of it around -40%.

Stagnant population growth, age attrition, and many other factors will surprise us all, I think.