Frances Bula header image 2

What to do while B.C. housing market is in a coma?

February 2nd, 2009 · 7 Comments

That’s the subject of my Globe story in today’s paper.

I should note that, while the construction industry is grappling with what to do while the housing market/office market/economy seems to be, some people are breathing a sigh of relief that things have slowed down. Gives everyone a chance to collect their wits and attempt to think about things, instead of just fleeing in front of the bulldozer every day.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • VHB

    I’m not sure ‘coma’ is the right analogy. When it ‘wakes up’ it’s not going back to what it was in 2003-2007. Back to ‘normal’ means back to 2003 prices, see. 2003-2007 was the anomoly, not what is happening now.

    Just have one look at this picture to make it a bit clearer.

    If that’s not enough, have a look at this set of numbers from California, where median prices are down over 50% from peak. California–you know where people have higher incomes, way better weather, and movie stars who live there, not visit there for a few rainy weeks.

    If anyone thinks we’ll see 2007 pricing again just after the Olympics, the only word that comes to mind is delusional.

    Believe me now or believe me later.

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    You have to wonder about whether Brent Toderian was yet another muppet who had no brain and almost lost his way to the Yellowbrick Road…

    How anyone with even half a pea can think this is a good time to do anything in real estate, except sit, is beyond me.

    Listen to the Aquilini Group’s David Negrin…this freeze will not turn around until after the Olympics.

    That’s why the Aquilini’s are where they are: They now their business and they hire intelligent people.

    Any agent or developer who is telling you that we will turn around by this fall, is selling you a pipe-dream in the hope that they might promo the market out of it’s funk.

    Ain’t gonna happen…for too long the consumer got screwed.

    It will remain a buyer’s market for a very long time.

  • T W

    The development industry is not the only industry (mining and forestry being others) wrestling with the prospect that a funadamental economic shift is underway globally and the past is not a clue to the near future. So far, those who believed that the economic “boats” would again be floated by an economic recovery face some drastic decisions. The development industry is in the same dilemma. My bet is on the fundamental change scenario, not the continuation of past conditions.

    Other views ?

  • VHB

    “My bet is on the fundamental change scenario, not the continuation of past conditions.”

    Depends what you mean as ‘past conditions’. We are not going back to 2003-2007 conditions anytime soon. 2003-2007 was the anomaly; not what is happening now.

  • jesse

    “Gives everyone a chance to collect their wits and attempt to think about things”

    The chance to think has passed. The destination of the construction and real estate industry has already been programmed into the ship’s computer.

  • T W


    Vancouver is/was an attractive property development location provided there were pools of investment and private funds bubbling away in the financial centres of the world, especially Asia. The structural change I refer to is when those pools dry up or vanish.

    Vancouver is still an attractive place for investment and living and always
    will be but the river of development capital that flowed to Vancouver will soon become a mere trickle. 2003 to 2007 was the exception, not to be repeated in our generation.

    Any views ?

  • Tom2092

    I think developers, members of the Boards of Trades and Commerce , many business people etc….hope that the current ‘credit crisis’ is just the trough in the business cycle. Not so. The sky is falling.
    While Vancouver is still an attractive place to live, not only will we see most development come to a standstill within the next year. There will also be a flight of capital – especially back to Asia where their economies are better able to withstand the meltdown, and an accompanying fire sale of investment (speculative) properties such as condos, townhouses etc.
    Many will get relief from inflated housing prices and high rents late this year and early next. Assuming one has a stable job, the cost of ‘living’ will plummet.