Thursday, March 13, 2008


I'm going away to wander the countryside for a week or so with my wife and baby mohican. Baby mohican seems to be growing up quite fast - where do the days go?

Enjoy these pictures that I took while on a walk in my neighbourhood. All of these pictures were taken within 4 city blocks of each other and here I thought there was no more land left. Boy was I ever wrong!

Sorry about the quality but it was taken in low light with my camera phone.
There was another large vacant lot that was being cleared for 153 condominiums with the sales centre just getting setup. There was another 100+ lots being prepared with no for sale signs.


Fencesitter said...

I guess we live in the same neighborhood!

I don't think Compass is selling very quick, they seem to keep releasing new, very small phases.

Another one just down the road is "Sunset Grove", which has even been doing radio ads on CFOX "for only $31/day, you could own your own home". This one has an interesting plan, a mix of apartment, townhouse, and split-level townhouses (they call them coach houses).

The section just north at 70th and 194th is a nicer area to walk around though. It's so quiet with the spaced out houses compared to everywere else around. I feel sorry for those people having to deal with being surrounded by high density.

Do you have any idea what is going in at the south side of 72 at 196th? They've had that cleared for a long time, with no signs up.

Fencesitter said...

Also, have you noticed the trend of selling bare lots now rather than completed houses?

It seems to be increasing, along with the number of developments that are actually listing on MLS, rather than their own advertising. This will lead to a false increase in inventory levels reported by the FVREB.

patriotz said...

Also, have you noticed the trend of selling bare lots now

In other words, the lot owners are bailing first. This makes sense, as the opportunity costs of holding lots are higher (no rental income) and the price volatility of a lot is higher (because it accounts for almost all the variation in the price of the completed house).

Rats leaving the sinking ship, IOW.

Tony Danza said...

Also, have you noticed the trend of selling bare lots now

The exact same occurred in the early 80's bust. Developers can't unload the product that is nearing completion, or completed, and are getting nervous or (more likely) are unable to secure financing to develop bare land.

I remember friends of ours buying a building lot in North Van just before the bust for about $75k. Three months later the neighbouring lots were trying for $30k with no buyers. Things are going to get fugly.

Unknown said...

Hey Tony,

Are you talking about the bust in the 80s or 90s? If so, was it similar back in those days as today where real estate agents and marketing firms where indicating no crash and that Vancouver RE can only go up?

Anonymous said...

Here are sume nuggest to mull over. In short yes, they all said the exact same things back then too. Almost to a T.

A flash from the past :

1. "Price stability, rather than decline, would be expected for most of the housing stock . . . since underlying home ownership demand remains strong due to continued high immigration." (Frank Clayton, January 18th 1981 in the Sun. link The market crashed by about 50% over the following year. )

2. Renaud said he thinks that the trend to prices for houses has been broken by a temporary lull and that by [next year] or so prices will be equal to or greater than peak prices. (Claude Renaud, VP of Mortgage Insurance Canada on April 14, 1982. link The market took 26 quarters (over 6 years) to regain its peak in real terms.)

3. "To those who are waiting for Vancouver house prices to collapse, I can only advise them not to hold their breath . . . Unless there is a major recession or significant depopulation, house prices are unlikely to drop significantly." (Jerry Jackman, VP Royal Lepage, November 18, 1988 in the Vancouver Sun. link In 1989, prices started to drop - with an eventual 30% or so drop. Real prices did not attain these heights again for 58 quarters, or around 15 years.)

4. "We are definitely in a transition market in areas such as the West Side, Vancouver East, and Burnaby . . . it is too early to tell if the market will stall." (Jerry Jackman, April 20th 1989 in the Province. link Prices did not recover in real terms until 15 years later.)

5. "It is unlikely that prices will decline significantly." (JJ again, July 18th 1989 in the Sun. link)

6. "The whole world wants Vancouver because everybody is moving here now and everything points up, up, up." (Realtor David Goodman, December, 1989 in the Sun. link The market did not reach these heights again for 15 years.)

7. " . . .no one is panicking over the west side housing market and he insists that it has simply 'normalized'." (Jerry Jackman, January 27th 1990 quoted in the Sun. link West-side prices fell by 40% in the next 2 years.)

8. "I can't see prices reversing themselves there [in the west side] because it is still a very desirable place to live." (Same as above.)

9. "The market is entering a more 'normal' phase." (REBGV president Brian Calder, Feb 2, 1990 in the Sun. link If normal means that it takes 15 years to recover, then 'normal' it was.)

10. "A BC Central Credit Union newsletter released Tuesday said BC's housing market is currently experiencing a contractionary phase but the worst of that phase should be over by late summer or early fall." (BC Credit Union economist Richard Allen quoted in the Sun, July 5th 1995. link The decline in the late 90s was slow, but it took 28 quarters to bottom out and 33 quarters to recover to the previous peak. Some 'phase', eh?)

Anonymous said...

Once the market slows a tad the above texts will be re written word for work.

But you get the gist. They had no damn clue what the hell they were talking about.

patriotz said...

Well I wouldn't know about that. What the usual suspects think, and what they want the public to think, need not be the same thing.

Do you think that the people who wrote "Pravda" believed what it said?

Fencesitter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriel said...

I am in San Francisco right now and maybe I'm not reading the Real Estate prices in San Francisco properly, but it seems that the Condos around here are about the same price as Downtown Vancouver. I certainly wouldn't mind living down here. It rained and I got soaked yesterday and I was still warm. I walked all over the city. I'll definitely consider moving here someday.

Dave said...

Wow....I have been following the walnut grove area of langley for nearly two years and tracking inventory for detached houses. Normally there is around 80 something listings. Last May 24th there was 103(highest since I started tracking)but it quickly fell back to normal levels. Today there is 125 and it has been rising quickly.
I really feel a change coming this year.

Unknown said...

Thank you damann for your input I really apprecaite it. I will pass on your input to other people. My friend just told me his buddy put up two places for sale in Yaletown. He had a open house on the weekend and not a single person showed up. Crazy, a year ago there would have been a lineup with bidding wars for the unit.

For a first time buyer I'm finally starting to see a shed of light come my way.

Paul said...

What's going on out there in Finance land? Must be a huge blood letting.

Dave said...

128 detached houses in Walnut grove today. keep them coming

Pondering said...

Huge numbers of the Chinese public are engaged in the market, some speculating with their life savings. With Tuesday’s drop, Shanghai is down nearly 40 percent from its October high.

“There was an urban myth that the stock market would not go down until after the Olympics,” said David Webb, a shareholder activist who is an independent director of the Hong Kong Exchanges, “and how much has it gone down?”

Radley77 said...

Hi Mohican,

I really enjoyed your article on the returns of value vs. growth stocks the other day!

I was wondering if you knew where to find units under construction and starts data for the Calgary area, (similar to your last post)?


Deb said...

can someone tell me about long term recession etc.

Let's say that all of us who have investments take a hit, maybe a big one, but we hang in there and wait it out.'

Based on history, what usually happens? Do things turn around, and if so, how do they do that? What causes the financial situation to change.

thanks if you can help me grasp this.

Fencesitter said...

Just recieve a flyer about another development starting at 194th and 64th, called Waterstone.

It will be 'luxury' condo's for the clayton market, with some neat looking water features. They are providing big incentive to buy, with introductory rates of only $540/month or only $10K down. They fail to mention in the ad what the actual cost is, or what your rate will be once it resets after one year.

Also, all of their calculations are based on a 40yr amortization as standard. Who wants to bet this one will never actually complete?

tulip-Mania2 said...

tick tock, tick, tock

Robert Reynolds - HMR Insurance said...

Let's say that all of us who have investments take a hit, maybe a big one, but we hang in there and wait it out.'

i think this depends on your investment style. Personally I Dollar Cost Average into my mutual funds every 2 weeks. as the market falls the stocks essentially go "on sale" and my average cost per share drops.

history dictates that the market will always recover (assuming enough diversification) so if my average cost per share was $100 before the crash and i keep buying in over a few years my average cost per share at the bottom might be $75 per share. given enough time the market will come back to its previous high of $100 per share and I will be up 25% even though I'm right back where I started.

that is assuming i keep buying in and the recession/depression isn't so severe that i have to sell my investments while they are still in the red.

macho slob said...

Hurry back Moh!

The housing bust is about to start.
Surely, ya don't wanna miss it.

freako said...

Personally I Dollar Cost Average into my mutual funds every 2 weeks. as the market falls the stocks essentially go "on sale" and my average cost per share drops.

We've had this debate before. The concept of DCA is fundamentally flawed, and a favorite "trick" of commissioned mutual fund sales man to lure you into perpetual buying of their funds.

patriotz said...

There's nothing flawed about investing when you have the money, and if payday is when you have the money, you're going to get DCA.

Any other strategy would involve market timing.

vicrealstats said...

For you Victoria watchers, check out Victoria Area Flippers In Trouble.

It's my version of Sacramento Area Flippers In Trouble using Victoria Content.

I plagiarized the style for continuity.

Comment there under the intro post.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Strataman said...

don't open shakadal he's a trojan seeder

Swirlyman said...

patriotz said:
"Any other strategy would involve market timing."

No, absolute or trailing stop-loss strategies do not involve market timing, and may or may not be combined with DCA. I view stop-loss strategies as essential to manage risk by limiting losses to a predetermined percentage.