Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Casting Call and an admission

Ms. HHV just got a job in Vancouver. It's a huge step for her in the financial world. I couldn't be more happy for her and us.

I am traveling from late March to early June. It will be for work but hardly paid. More on that later.

I'd like this blog to keep going for selfish reasons and cause I think it serves a much needed purpose in Victoria.

I can let it be dormant.

I can leave an open thread for three months.

Or you can be a guest blogger.

It's up to you.

The deadline to contact me is 3 weeks from now. If no one takes the challenge, then I'll leave an open thread which I give 3 weeks before it gets A) too long or B) too boring and this blog dies a slow and painful death...

Anyone is welcome to contact me via the email link. My only request is you maintain some semblance of balance compared to the MSM.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I nominate VG or olives, seeing as they are such frequent posters and generally in line with HHV's blog entries ;-)

Anonymous said...

Congrates. I came to Victoria last year from Vancouver - for a job. After some time, I found myself begin to feel boring and isolated here. Vancouver is much more fun, Victoria can only competes with it for RE price.

vg said...

congrats to you and your significant other HHV,moving up the ladder is always an exciting moment in one's life. Hope you can afford something there but if this is any signs it won't be long til you can find a low ball deal.


2 more Vancouver developments have gone into receivership.


http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/02/27/bc-condosintrouble.html

vg said...

appreciate the mention anonymous, I may consider it or take a turn at it but then I might have to turn into a nice guy and bite my tongue alot. ;)

I nominate olives as she is more level headed but lets see if some others want to step up. I think it would be good to keep it going.

Tim Ayres said...

Tim Ayres:

Wow, congrats on the upcoming move, and good luck. I'm still here, obviously. Sorry for the non-active participation recently - I've been quite busy this month with work and have had a few visitors from out of town. I enjoy the discussion on this blog and would hate to see it go dead.

boomer said...

RE>2 more Vancouver developments have gone into receivership.


http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/02/27/bc-condosintrouble.html


From the CBC story:
"The receiver has discovered that 23 condos in the Chandler Development Group projects were allegedly sold to insiders at prices well below market value, Bowra said."
------ I wonder how common this is in the new condo market generally (and in Victoria?)
More than just slightly unethical, this is beyond even the normal shoddy practices you expect from condo marketers,and should be illegal, if it isnt..

olives said...

I am no blogger.

How about a joint Vic/Vancouver one HHV?

care_bear said...

I'm a religious reader of this blog and I'm currently a pretty big Victoria real estate bear. I would love to provide some posts and I think I've got some decent ideas. I would prefer to stay away from the overly inflamatory exchanges that sometimes occur in the comments for example. Specifically, I think there's a need to provide some up-front information to perspective buyers and sellers in this market. There's a lot of people about to lose their metaphoric shirts and I hate to see this happen. I have nothing to do with the real estate industry and in term no vested interest. I would suggest that several people provide some 'guest' posts to this blog and see where it goes from there...

Anonymous said...

I put this on the PBs blog.

People were saying today that tourism is way way up (42 new cruise ships coming in).

I thought tourism was way way down???

Any info. would be appreciated.

Care_Bear. I agree. I know people who have stopped reading and contributing to this blog because it was just getting too nasty, too personal and loosing credibility.

roger said...

HHV

I want to congratulate your wife on her promotion and wish you all the best with your move to Vancouver. Why not change the blog title to HouseHuntBC and keep the blog rolling?

To start you off here is a news update on Vancouver. Prof. Shiller says that "Vancouver is the most bubbly city in the world." Read the details here

vg said...

"Care_Bear. I agree. I know people who have stopped reading and contributing to this blog because it was just getting too nasty, too personal and loosing credibility."



Really ? I think both blogs get the same type of discussion and the Vancouver blogs can get the same or worse. I say we have way less nut bars then the Vancouver blog too. A little heated discussion is OK when one is clearly out to disrupt the board or gloating posts about how rich they are,those types deserved to get flamed. Maybe count me out, I'm too honest and will call a spade a spade.


On a side note,seeing alot of $700,000 homes for sale the last week,who has that kind of bucks for 3900 sq ft lots and some granite ?

greg said...

If Shiller felt that way in 2005, I wonder what he thinks now?

You could always go the regional root. I know it is pointless to keep up a blog in a town you don't live in anymore, but if you take a regional perspective, that is less of a problem. Again, for this I would reference Patrick.net.

What Patrick has done on the blog portion is he has given some of the posters authoring rights on the blog - they post and moderate some of the topics, without overriding anything else. Is that an option with blogger? I know it is with Wordpress.

If anyone wants to visit my blog or Victoria's Truth if the end result is the end of HHV, feel free.

Some day we all buy/move/change opinions - no blog is forever.

Can't say I will keep blogging on this topic either, after I finally take the plunge.

Now if I was getting ten thousand google ad hits every month and it was paying the bills, continuation past life changing events would be no problem.

But focus on Victoria once in Vancouver? Hmmm, let's see what happens.

hhv said...

I'm not moving to vancouver. I'm going to the ceiling of the earth for 12 weeks and won't be able to blog while I'm away.

Ms. HHV will be off to pursue her career in Van without me for at least the first 6 months or so.

I'd like to keep this going, but may just let it be dormant if interest wanes.

Anonymous said...

Please leave it up, hhv. We'll miss you while you are gone, but I think the guest blogger idea is a good one. I also would like to see guest posts by vg and olives, also from roger. There are several other regular posters who I think would be good (Billy TwoBaulz comes to mind, I'm sure there are others), and I know greg has his own blog but maybe he would take a turn or several as well? I love this blog, my only complaint is that you don't post often enough hhv ;)

homewardbound

roger said...

HHV,

You are leaving when things are about to get interesting.

- Listings have been piling on this month and Early March inventory should be higher than it has been for years.

- I have seen a number of haircuts on PCS and lots of price reductions

- It looks like fewer sales this months as well. Monday's news release from VREB will tell the tale

- Lots of negative economy comments in the press by Harper, Carole Taylor, major banks and our friends in the US.

- US housing continues to plummet and maybe, just maybe, a few prospective buyers might think it could happen here.

- If you look at VIREB stats for January you will see there were fewer sales than in December. This is an interesting turn of events.

Please keep posting for the next few weeks. We will miss you and with PB moving to the darkside there will be few Bear blogs left.

Billy TwoBaulz said...

Hey there HHV,

As with the others, first of all congratulations on your moving and shaking, and I wish you all the best in your new endeavours!

I also would be interested in seeing guest posts by the various folks that hang out here, in the event that you slow down/retire. It would be a cool way of keeping this URL alive and avoid the splintering and new blogs associated with the shutdown of an existing one (cf. the trauma of VHB shutting up shop).

Certainly I also agree that the likes of VG, Olives, Roger, Patriotz, Freako, would all be fun guest bloggers. Oh, and 6-whil diesel man!

vk said...

BREAKING BEAR MOUNTAIN NEWS
Quigg is suing Bear Mountain/Len Barie

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Skirt Mountain condo developer sues Bear Mountain

LANGFORD, BC -- Victoria resident Ben Isitt has obtained a Statement of Claim filed on February 20, 2008 in the Vancouver Court Registry against the Bear Mountain Master Parternship (BMMP), LGB9 and Len Barrie, CEO of Bear Mountain. The applicant, QMP Developments Inc. ("Quigg at Bear Mountain"), is a holding company associated with Vancouver developer Robert Quigg, who Langford mayor Stew Young described as "'the' developer in Canada right now" in a May 2007 interview. Quigg had planned to build 1000 luxury condominium units on Skirt Mountain, valued at $1.4 billion.

In the lawsuit against Bear Mountain, Quigg's company QMP alleges that Len Barrie made false and negligent representations including "that a new Bear Mountain interchange was being built by BMMP to connect to the Island highway, and that construction would be complete on the interchange by the end of 2008."

The lawsuit alleges that BMMP and LGB9 breached contracts signed on 7 July 2006 and 1 June 2007, by taking "steps to develop the Skirt Lands and the Skirt Parcels, including clearing the lands...without consulting with QBM or obtaining QBM's first approval." QBM had "sole and exclusive options to purchase" these lands (near the Skirt Mountain summit), the suit claims, however in mid-February BMMP began logging the area. BMMP and LGB9 were also late in transferring eight hectares of nearby lands to Quigg ("The Crusher Lands"/Goudy Lands) and failed to provide Quigg with "full access to BMMP's list of real estate purchasers, potential client data base, and other relevant marketing information." The lawsuit alleges that Len Barrie "has wrongfully interfered and intentionally taken steps to cause a breach of the Agreements."

Finally, the suit alleges that Len Barrie made "pre-contractual representations" to Quigg "that the units that had been sold on the Bear Mountain Lands to date were sold at prices which were overstated by Barrie."

Quigg requests a court injunction restraining LGB9, BMMP, and Len Barrie "from taking further steps to alter the physical condition of the Skirt Lands, to further subdivide the Skirt Lands, or to dispose of or otherwise encumber the Skirt Lands, in whole or in part, without prior consultation with and approval by the Plaintiffs." Quigg also claims damages from LGB9 and BMMP for breach of contract and claims damages from Len Barrie for "inducing breach of the Agreements and misrepresentation."

-30-


For further information contact:

Ben Isitt, 250-382-8494


I wonder when the TC will cover this ????

vg said...

Agree we should keep this blog going at least thru the end of the year to see how this crucial year plays out.

On third thought, I would agree to a guest spot as in one thread topic every once in a couple months if we could get a group of us to chip in and take turns. As Billy said we do have at least a half dozen regulars.

I agree with Roger too,this is the most key time of the year if this market is going to finally begin to unravel as we all feel so strongly that it is and it would be a shame to see it disingrate at this point.

vg said...

Barrie getting sued eh ? hmm, a little over priced expectations it looks like. Can't be a good sign when the big boys are fighting over who's the king of the mountain. ;)


Interesting timing too as he's about to maybe buy into an NHL team. Looks like he caught Barrie with his head down.

Anonymous said...

Boomer,

To answer your question, very common and not just to insiders but to others needed to grease the wheels of progress as well!

Anonymous said...

The wording of the statement of claim in the BM / Quigg dispute leads me to believe that this is really nothing more than some high stakes poker to "force a hand" and get a more favourable deal.

I have to think that Quigg is looking at the interchange delays and prices in the market and thinking that they might lose a bundle by the time the project comes to market.

vg said...

"The wording of the statement of claim in the BM / Quigg dispute leads me to believe that this is really nothing more than some high stakes poker to "force a hand" and get a more favourable deal."



He may be trying to force a hand but he may be pissed he found out he may have been deceived on what the others were paying or what the progress of sales figures were.

Should be interesting to see how this one plays out.Could put Barrie in a tough spot if costs are hurting like everywhere else and the BM properties stacking up on the MLS.

Remember that perception is major when you want big money to buy in and any slight hints of legal hassles scare off potential buyers faster than anything.



"Finally, the suit alleges that Len Barrie made "pre-contractual representations" to Quigg "that the units that had been sold on the Bear Mountain Lands to date were sold at prices which were overstated by Barrie."

Billy TwoBaulz said...

I see it as perhaps Quigg seeing the writing on the wall stating "the days of free/easy money in RE are ending" and scrabbling around for excuses to get out. It's perhaps reminiscent of the manoeuvres that some private equity firms were engaged in recently to avoid completing the buyouts they'd agreed to in more drunken times (e.g. SLM, TXU). They were pulling out any old legalistic excuse for reneging on the deal, whereas the target companies were crying about how they had to finish the deal, it just wasn't fair, etc.

roger said...

Breaking News - Housing resales drop 6.3% in January

A predicted slowdown in the residential housing market has been proven out by January resale housing figures which show a drop in year-over-year unit sales in every part of the country except Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.

Home sales volumes dropped by an average of 6.3 per cent across Canada compared with January, 2007, at the same time a glut of new listings flooded the market, according to data released Friday by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Across Canada, home price growth slowed to 9.6 per cent year-over-year, the smallest monthly increase since April, 2007.

Lofty home prices continued to keep buyers in British Columbia and Alberta on the sidelines last month.

roger said...

Local condo news

Just a hole in the ground for now!!

Funding hunt slows Radius project

Construction on the downtown Radius project continues to be delayed while the developer looks for additional capital.

"Waywell and our current partners are too lightly capitalized for a project of this size," John Schucht, president of Waywell Development Inc., said this week.

Construction on the downtown Radius project continues to be delayed while the developer looks for additional capital.

Schucht said the Radius has tenants for 50 per cent of commercial space, and 50 per cent of residential space has been sold.

The $160-million Radius will comprise 348,000 square feet of residential and commercial space, covering almost a full city block bounded by Blanshard, Herald and Douglas streets and Caledonia Avenue.


Real Estate in Victoria is getting real interesting in the last few weeks.

roger said...

Vk said

Quigg is suing Bear Mountain/Len Barie

This must be a misunderstanding. Did Quigg not get this press release

The weakening U.S. economy means more, rather than fewer opportunities for the team at Bear Mountain Resort, outside Victoria, British Columbia.

The U.S. market is slumping, but that has meant opportunities for us. We have found that many alert real estate buyers are bullish on Canada, especially the West Coast. Victoria, with its solid economic fundamentals, strong real estate market, and superb West Coast amenities, looks very good to a certain type of American buyer. Even with the two currencies nearly at par, they see value in Canada," says Sproule

Phones at our Presentation Center have been ringing off the hook and our Web site has seen a significant increase in traffic.


The lawsuit will probably be dropped once Quigg gets the updated Web site hit report for February.

Billy TwoBaulz said...


"Waywell and our current partners are too lightly capitalized for a project of this size," John Schucht, president of Waywell Development Inc., said this week.


I just ran this through the Reality Check Translator Model 6000 and got this:

"I have bitten off more than I can chew, thus demonstrating that I conduct business in a very haphazard and poorly planned manner."

Billy TwoBaulz said...

it also gave the following alternative translation:

"I unwisely agreed to undertake a major project without bothering to check first whether I had anywhere near enough money. Turns out I don't."

vg said...

or it might have said:

we anticipated higher presales after seeing the massive website hits from the BM site that we would scoop up the huge leftovers of US/Saudi buyers with dollars falling out of their wallets wanting a piece of the rock at any cost before it's all gone. Party on Garth !

vg said...

"A predicted slowdown in the residential housing market has been proven out by January resale housing figures which show a drop in year-over-year unit sales in every part of the country except Saskatchewan and Newfoundland."


Who predicted this slowdown ? off with their heads and feed him to the bulls for breakfast. Cam Muir and Pastrick say you are wrong wrong wrong. We are going up 8-10 %percent so get frigging used to it and suck it up, no more of this slowdown nonsense.

BTW we even take Visa,Mastercard or even American Express for those sitting on the fence. ;)

vg said...

One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is the price of gold about to possibly break $1000 for the first time. Gold is always a barometer of the world markets fear factor and inflationary pressure as wellas the US dollar going down the tubes.

Just another cog in the wheel of this coming recession. Got gold ? I don't yet but may soon as the junior markets haven't really responded to the record prices only the senior stocks. Any thoughts ?

greg said...

A good place to talk about economics is here.

Billy TwoBaulz said...

VG, I agree about the junior miners (at least that they haven't reacted yet). Dominic Frisby is a comedian by trade, but also a precious metals pundit (yeah, I know, sounds incredibly dodgy) and he is bullish on the junior miners.

You can read all his articles at http://www.moneyweek.com/file/37815/dominic-frisby-.html

or http://frisby.notlong.com

He likes OYM and Beartooth platinum and a host of others. PZG is another you might take a look at.

I did well recently by buying into XGD (major miners) at less than $70. Maybe a little late for that. CEF (Central Fund of Canada) is another I hold - good as a bullion substitute.

Questrade now lets you buy allocated gold directly from the Mint and either hold it with them, in or out of an RRSP, or have them mail it to you. Also, Scotia are the main bank dealing in bullion in Canada, and you can buy over their desk, but it's a real pain in the ass gettig someone on the horn at Scotia who knows WTF they're talking about with bullion. ScotiaMacotta is, I believe, the goofy-sounding name of their bullion arm.

roger said...

In an earlier post I gave a link to the Globe & Mail article Housing resales drop 6.3% in January

This article has generated a lot of interest across the country and you can read comments from other bears here

vg said...

thanks billy,mucho appreciated.

Reading a couple of TA sites I follow and they are coming out with stock market crash warnings over the next couple of weeks so beware if we head down below the January lows,it could get real ugly. Just at the warning stage for now but it is not looking very friendly out there,pray we get thru this week OK.