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2010 Olympics Business News for the Vancouver and Whistler regions of British Columbia. Plus, Alberta, the rest of Canada, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana & California

OlyBLOG Features:


Bedbugs in Vancouver Hotels

According to BeyondRobson.com "UBC (University of BC) has 'em. The West End has 'em. Hotel Vancouver has 'em," and that's just for starters.

Some people in the know feel it could have a serious impact on 2010. I'm not so sure about that prediction, but check out the reasoning behind it and see for yourself the pain and mental anguish bedbugs cause in Vancouver and Whistler.

If this is a legitimate problem, and according to the info in the links below, it is, then why is it taking so long for our civic leaders to do something about it? Who in their right mind would want to come here for 2010 if they have to risk being eaten alive?

BeyondRobson.com

TheTyee.com

Discover Vancouver

BedBugger.com


2010 Olympic Tides Have Turned

Vancouver Sun Readers Lash Out Angrily at Newspaper

It is hard to go against the grain, so consequently much of what I have written here since 2004 and in my book, LeverageOlympicMomentum.com has been difficult for many people to understand and accept.

But as you can now see respective of the angry backlash towards journalists, editors and publishers at the Vancouver Sun, a CanWest publication, the tide has turned and average people all over our province of British Columbia and in Canada are starting to figure out what readers of this blog have known for a long time ...

The Olympics business model is broken.

It is an oligopoly that has created hard times for people in Olympics Host regions for way too long. Protests regarding Beijing 2008 respective of Tibetan persecution have opened the eyes of many people, and now that The Vancouver Sun has chosen to side with Olympics organizations instead of our community, people are fighting back and lashing out at the omnipotent publisher and accusing them of selling out our community.

Starting on April 26, 2008, and over the course of a few days, a long list of readers lashed out at The Vancouver Sun and writer Derrick Penner because of a real estate article concerning our region.

In a “Comments” section below the Sun article, readers accused the newspaper of deceiving people and misrepresenting the real estate market in our region.

One reader angrily wrote – “The Vancouver Sun is contributing to financial ruin of many BC families who have overstreched (sic) themselves with unrealisitic (sic) mortgage tools (40 year mortgage etc).” Another of many readers wrote, “What a bafflingly biased report. I'm shocked that the Vancouver Sun is not forced to print "advertisement" on the top of the page containing this information.

Plus, responses like, “What a terribly biased piece of reporting. The SUN should be ashamed to print useless reports like this. Where are all the non-biased interviews and opinions? Oh wait, I understand now... I just had to scroll down a bit further to see the giant add for Wall center False Creek. I guess we know who paid for this one.” And also, “I cannot believe the lack of journalistic integrity here. Inventory levels in Vancouver have risen by over 25% to unprecedented levels. Sales are down 5-15% depending on where you look.

The following angry comment is possibly the most profound and damaging of all to the Vancouver Sun. It will make everyone who reads the region’s largest rag think seriously about the TRUST they put in the newspaper, “Shame on you, Vancouver Sun, for deleting over 30 comments that were posted here! One has to wonder why,” … and from another poster, “Hey, what happened to the rest of the comments? There were, like, 50 of them here yesterday. Overwhelmed by the negative reaction? Embarrassed? It's bad enough to write a piece of drivel, it's worse to pretend to encourage reader interaction and then delete it when it is critical of your reporting. Wow. Just, wow.

On a side note, being censored by The Vancouver Sun is nothing new to us here at OlyBLOG.com. Jeff Lee, official 2010 Olympics reporter at The Vancouver Sun banned me permanently from posting to his blog. He literally refuses to allow his readers to see my perspective, so he censors me outright. It is frustrating, but short of taking them to court there isn't much I can do about it.

Since 2004, in OlyBLOG.com, and in other publications, I cautioned readers often that Vancouver and Whistler would experience a serious backlash. In fact I wrote last year that when The Vancouver Sun finally went online to allow comments regarding their articles that it would be a bloodbath, and judging by the responses here, my prediction was an understatement.

The whole idea behind writing my book and blog was to warn Vancouver residents that if they blindly followed the propaganda emanating from our government, Olympics organizations, and local mainstream news media, it would cost you dearly. Unfortunately, most people failed to listen, and those now stuck with obscenely inflated mortgages, property taxes, and an unmanageable cost of doing business in our region are paying dearly for it, and will do so for the rest of their lives.

Most people still have a difficult time understanding and accepting that the information they see and hear from mainstream news media is designed to play on their romantic perception of the Olympics. And most people have a very hard time accepting that they were misled so easily.

You are not fools, but instead were treated maliciously.

You were misled because you are trusting.

Large corporations took advantage of you while local news media not only looked the other way, but they played a direct and critical role in the deception.

Newspaper and television companies made a fortune selling full colour double spread Olympic frenzy condo ads to greedy developers while you paid the price.

Basically, we all want to believe that the warm and fuzzy feelings we have of the Olympics from our youth are still accurate. We want to believe the Olympics is an ethical organization, and that they would only bring wealth, prosperity and good karma to our community.

No one wants to believe that Olympics organizations are corrupt, and that local newspapers and television would be an integral part of the scam, but the truth is, they are, and many groups work together to convince residents in Olympics Host regions that we should unconditionally give our tax money and time as volunteers in the name of amateur sport.

Unfortunately, the Olympics have not been about sport for many decades. It is about money, primarily real estate money, and the drive to artificially inflate real estate prices, which drives up taxes that are used to pay for the 2010 Games.

Many businesses in Richmond BC are being forced out due to Olympics related tax increases that are increasing by 300%. I warned people for years it would happen, and I went to local newspaper and television companies in an effort to convince them to warn you too, but when they realized I was implicating them in the charade, news media panned me.

Only the bravest, and those WITHOUT a direct vested interest gave me a platform. Business Edge, BC Business Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and CityTV interviewed me and published my perspective of the Olympics, and I thank them, but in reality, it wasn’t enough to prevent the catastrophe we are now experiencing regarding obscene land prices and rising taxes.

Even RONA building supplies, a company ironically that is an official Olympics sponsor is bitterly complaining that they can no longer afford to keep their stores open because of skyrocketing taxes driven up by the 2010 Olympics.

When it hits an official Olympics partner you know the train is off the rails. I’ve mentioned a few times in OlyBLOG.com that it is odd that Rona does not include the Olympics rings more frequently on their advertising. It seems maybe they too are embarrassed for being taken in by the IOC and VANOC. Here’s what the owner of the Rona on Elmbridge Way shared with a reporter for the Richmond Review, “Owner Mack Foster is facing a massive property tax hike due to skyrocketing real estate values in the oval-anchored neighbourhood, and may be forced to close. Rona paid out $68 million to VANOC to support our 2010 event, and now they can’t even afford to stay in the city hosting the speed skating oval." Foster also told The Richmond Review, “Let me tell you, if I had forward sight, if I had realized this, I would have never re-signed my lease.

Last year Foster paid a tax increase of $29,951, but this year the increase is $207,029. He added, “It’s almost so bad there has to be a solution. No business can sustain this kind of situation,” he said. “Some of the businesses will disappear this year, some will disappear next year. But all of them will disappear in three years.” Many types of businesses are suffering under the same tax increases.

In one sense though my warnings have been successful, because in all past Olympics regions, local residents only realized what had happened after the fact, after the destruction was done, and after the big fat post Olympics tax bill arrived.

OlyBLOG.com, and my book, LeverageOlympicMomentum.com, represent the first time in history that information like I share here has been published before the Olympics Games hit town, and before the destruction is done.

I truly wish I would have had more cooperation from newspapers like The Vancouver Sun so we could have prevented the suffering many people are now experiencing in our Olympics region, but I’m not going to complain, because we are still almost two years away from hosting our 2010 event and there is plenty of time to send a strong message to Olympics organizations and their corporate partners and sponsors that we will not sit idly by and watch out community implode.


It might be too late for Beijing 2008, but not Vancouver 2010.

There is still plenty of time to take back your community.


There is still plenty of time to let Olympics corporate sponsors like HBC, Visa, and RBC know that they will no longer be allowed to make a fortune off of our community’s back.

There is still plenty of time to use the internet to let them know that if they do not immediately contribute substantial funds to our struggling community that we will spread the message around the world and show people everywhere how we are suffering, and more importantly, how Olympic partners, sponsors and newspapers contribute to the carnage.

There is still plenty of time to tell people around the world how plans for the 2010 Olympics have created a nightmare for the poor and mentally ill people in our city, and how plans for the Olympics by greedy real estate developers have driven people out of their homes and forced them to live in the streets as a byproduct of the Games.

There is still plenty of time to email people like Oprah Winfrey and ask her to come here to see how the Olympics machine has created heartache and despair for thousands of people.

There is still plenty of time to send a message through YouTube to newspapers and television companies around the world, and warn them that the same thing can happen in their Olympics Host regions.

Don’t let this Olympics opportunity of a lifetime slip away.

Do something about it today and tell the word how our region is suffering because we were too trusting.

Let people know that the Olympics business model is broken, and that it no longer works in the manner of its intent, and that our governments have to quickly enact new legislation to protect our community from greedy Olympics enterprise.

Let the world know that you are still pro-Olympics, but that you are not going to unconditionally support a corrupt and woefully outdated business model that will cause your children’s children to suffer and pay for it for generations.

Let the world know you are Pro-Olympics with a twist, and it is possible to be Olympics neutral, which means you are not anti-Olympics, and that there is an ethical way to manage an Olympics event without hurting people in an Olympics region.

Let people across Canada and around the world know that you think Olympics sport is still good for youth, and let Olympics ATHLETES know that you will support them, but they have to stand up to complain and also quit looking the other way.


Let the world know you support an ETHICAL Olympics.


DO NOT boycott Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010,
or London 2012, at least do not do it directly.

Instead, boycott Olympics sponsors and media.

Here’s why . . . You missed the opportunity to let your politicians know you didn’t want the Olympics in your region years ago. If you didn’t want the Olympics to come to town you should have voted NO in the plebiscite during the Bid stage, but you didn’t do your homework to find out that politicians and local media were lying to you. If you boycott Beijing or Vancouver or London you will only further hurt people and small businesses in your region. The damage in this respect is done, so now you have to figure out a way to make things right without cutting off your nose to spite your face. How? Follow the money.

Instead of an Olympics boycott send a message to all Olympics sponsors that if they do not immediately start pumping huge volumes of money into your region and to start making ethical Olympics decisions in ALL Olympics regions . . . that you will BOYCOTT OLYMPICS SPONSORS.

You can start by writing your local newspaper and television companies and all the Olympics sponsors. They all have websites – use them.

Not sure where to start - check out actor/activist Mia Farrow's blog for a long list of Olympic Corporate Sponsors. Mia, and Eric Reeves have been fighting with China and Olympic organizations regarding the Genocide in Darfur for a long time, and they also agree that the best course of action is to follow the money.

Put the IOC on notice that you won’t allow
your community to be abused any longer.


Tell Olympics sponsors that you are gong to take back your community, and if they don’t respond IMMEDIATELY – then, as Nike said, JUST DO IT.

Local residents in Olympics Host regions, YOU, hold tremendous power through social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube.

Residents in past Olympics regions never had this tool, but you do.

The 2010 Olympic tide has turned.


Further reading . . .

Businesses Forced Out By Olympics

Rona Closes Stores Due to Skyrocketing Taxes

Vancouver Sun 15 Real Estate Myths - article with hidden comments


After running the 15 Myths article The Vancouver Sun received dozens of angry comments from readers. It seems The Sun was so surprised that they removed the angry posts, but after readers threatened to complain to the CRTC, they reluctantly put the comments back online.

They didn't put all the comments online however, plus, they also placed the article where it is virtually impossible to find. It still doesn't show up when you use their search engine. The bare bones article can be found, but the comments are missing.

Sneaky to say the least, and without question unethical.

Normally, I wouldn't include all the comments from an article, but because the Vancouver Sun has already removed the critical comments once, and because they have now buried the article's comments making them hard to find, I decided to include the entire list here in case they remove it again.

More importantly, it is necessary to run the entire list to illustrate that most people who made comments criticized The Sun, and that very few actually thought the article was worthy of journalistic integrity or merit.


100 comments as of May 17, 2008. . .

PeterSat, Apr 26, 08 at 02:13 PM Your list missed one myth: Vancouver prices are high because Vancouver is now a "World Class" city. This is marketing non-sense created by the real estate community. Where are the world-class banking, stock exchange, high-tech, and entertainment industries? And how about world-class salaries to go along with the new world-class status? All non-existent.

AndrewSat, Apr 26, 08 at 03:08 PM On the bright side of things: I am on a mailing list which notifies me of new listings, listing changes..etc in the under 650K in Richmond. For the past several months it has been the usual new listing or two every few days, but today I was delighted to see three very nice price reductions!

JohnSat, Apr 26, 08 at 03:19 PM Why not have an economist on your panel of experts who doesn't have a conflict of interest. The Vancouver Sun is contributing to financial ruin of many BC families who have overstreched themselves with unrealisitic mortgage tools (40 year mortgage etc). Over a 100% return on investment in 5 years for every property in Vnacouver - Look at history.

Happy Renter in North VancouverSat, Apr 26, 08 at 03:42 PM The greater fool theory prevails... I remember stock investors buying technology stocks in 1999 were also "extremely sophisticated"... about this "space". There will soon be a "greatest fool" who buys at the very top.

MarkSat, Apr 26, 08 at 03:50 PM What a bafflingly biased report. I'm shocked that the Vancouver Sun is not forced to print "advertisement" on the top of the page containing this information. Among the more humorous contentious points is that they don't even answer whether 3 out of the 15 "myths or realities" are either a myth of reality. It is unfortunate that more people don't know how to read graphs to interpret data. This report is nothing more than a promotional pamphlet for the realty industry. I'm counting the days until the Vancouver Sun runs as its headline "Vancouver Housing Market Crashes, House Prices Fall" Cheers, I'm looking forward to buying your foreclosed property.

BBCSat, Apr 26, 08 at 05:20 PM Economies run in cycles, there will and is going to be an adjustment in the Real Estate market. Of course individuals and companies that invest or have a vested interest in real estate are NOT going to say other....duh. Take a look at the MLS....the change is happening as we speak. With regards to Canada, BC and Alberta will feel the effects of the US eco. / Global eco. last and it won't be as sever as eastern Canada but don't be fooled......we will feel it. A correction is much need for our economy to reach a balance.

foursqureSat, Apr 26, 08 at 08:01 PM What a terribly biased piece of reporting. The SUN should be ashamed to print useless reports like this. Where are all the non-biased interviews and opinions? Oh wait, I understand now... I just had to scroll down a bit further to see the giant add for Wall center False Creek. I guess we know who paid for this one.

RJSat, Apr 26, 08 at 08:13 PM Some of these comments are a bit harsh. I do think more articles should be done giving advice to first time home buyers in this crazy market. I got into it just as it started in the condo market. I just about doubled my money in five years. I am not sure how first timers are going to be able to ride the wave.

Re-diculous Sat, Apr 26, 08 at 08:15 PM Vancouver Sun, you've sold any journalistic integrity yo had to the highest bidder, the local real estate industry. You've become their mouthpiece to defeat any notion of possible lower prices, because once that notion tkes hold, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy - shame on you!

the expatSat, Apr 26, 08 at 08:37 PM Wait until a recession hits officially in the US; then buy. Buying now will lead to one thing... negative equity! WhinersSat, Apr 26, 08 at 09:27 PM Every time a real esate related column is published the forum posts are full of people whining about the market. Complaining the city is no good, the prices are inflated, and people are stupid to buy. These armchair quarterbacks will be renting forever and if they don't like it here move away. Keep on waiting for prices to drop and the sky to fall.

LiberaceSat, Apr 26, 08 at 10:02 PM Wow. I was unaware that real estate agents/mortgage brokers had such a huge share of stock in the Vancouver Sun Company. Anyhow....keep the nonsensical dribble coming and expect a 30-50% reduction in real estate prices in Greater Vancouver over the next three to five years. Condos will be hardest hit.

KathySun, Apr 27, 08 at 12:48 AM None of these commenters has had any factual information to add, just a lot of hysteria over the general sentiment that the sky is about to fall. Well, the Sun article showed us the basic facts from the the property information records. All else is speculation. Kudos to the Sun for cutting through the vested interests and bringing us the real goods.

John GeeSun, Apr 27, 08 at 06:56 AM Fools. Perception is reality. Got it. Line up, buy up, but don't tell a soul you want to get out until you are.

OzSun, Apr 27, 08 at 12:03 PM You know, I honestly think it's a good time to take your profits and go rent for a few years while prices shift downwards, but at the same time, I applaud the Sun for actually publishing the comments of all these Chicken Little types who think making money in real estate is somehow evil, and that telling people how makes the Sun a mouthpiece for realtors. Seriously, anyone who didn't see these high prices coming three years ago, or saw them coming but didn't move heaven and earth to take advantage of them, is the real fool. I sold everything I owned to raise enough to put down a tiny deposit on a tiny bachelor suite in a crappy part of town - and it only took two years to turn that into a 4BR townhouse in the burbs for no raise in my mortgage. So I'm a fool? Hell no - if prices drop, I'm still well ahead of the game - unlike those 'noble' people who didn't plan ahead, kept renting, and now groan at The Sun for offering them advice on how to move up.

DANSun, Apr 27, 08 at 12:06 PM And what if you who commented negatively about the information in the article are wrong? Someone did research which carries more weight than speculation. Are you so angry because you are not in the market?

JonahSun, Apr 27, 08 at 12:07 PM I think this article has real value. I just think maybe the sun needs to consider for the future that using 'research' from someone with a vested interest in an up market, might not be the kind of look they're going for if they want to be perceived as unbiased. for what its worth, I don't think the article is wrong. I think prices will keep going up. It happened in sydney before the last olympics - and afterwards too. Just don't overextend yourselves trying to get your piece, is the best advice of all.

EdSun, Apr 27, 08 at 12:45 PM There is better analysis being done for free on the local real estate market by a little known financial planner who happens to agree with many of the "hysterical" commenters here. Lo and behold he has data to back up his arguments too. The Sun would do well to get a clue from an unbias source like him. Google - langley financial planning blog uberpost - to see what I mean.

MonbiotSun, Apr 27, 08 at 02:57 PM An assessment of the local real estate scene that fails to mention that inventory is about 25% higher than last year and sales are down is sort of like an article about Iraq that fails to mention that there's a war going on there. Well, not that bad, but it does make you wonder, as the above posts do, what side the Sun's bread is buttered on. A rising real estate market is good for no one except realtors and people who move away.

JohnSun, Apr 27, 08 at 07:37 PM # 16 The Vancouver Sun has a vested interest in the continuation of the Real Estate Party - REALITY !

BBCSun, Apr 27, 08 at 08:05 PM Whiner wrote: Every time a real esate related column is published the forum posts are full of people whining about the market. Complaining the city is no good, the prices are inflated, and people are stupid to buy. These armchair quarterbacks will be renting forever and if they don't like it here move away. Keep on waiting for prices to drop and the sky to fall. Who is whining? I feel that the general thread of the comments opposing the article are asking for a more unbiased source of information. It is irresponsible of The Sun to publish something that is soooo bias. I am an owner of a 1.5 million dollar property in Vancouver and am concerned about the over valuation. Sure on paper I look like a millionaire but that is only if I sell my 'pot of gold'...in the meantime I am paying out the *as in property taxes for a over valued piece of property. The economic climate is shifting and there is no unbias information that deals with that very real aspect of Real Estate. The sky isn't falling but it would be refreshing to get an accurate and unbiased weather forecast for once!!!!!

3 steps...Mon, Apr 28, 08 at 02:50 AM Step 1 - Fire the moronic author of this article. Step 2 - Fire the editor for allowing such conflict of interest "journalistic" hype to be published week after week. Step 3 - Get it through your thick heads, Real estate agents are NOT unbiased "experts".

condohypeMon, Apr 28, 08 at 03:15 AM I don't like to throw around accusations of bias because it begs the question of what would constitute "objective" reporting. It doesn't make things easier that Vancouver real estate is second only to religion as one of those topics in which all sides claim to know the "real" truth. What frustrates me about the Sun coverage is how unwilling it is to acknowledge the uncertainties in the market and the level of risk involved in buying in. Reading these articles, real estate always comes across as a can't-lose proposition available to everyone. Yeah, everyone except those unable to spare 80% of their income to own a home. Even the most bullish investor will tell you that there is risk in this market.

EltonMon, Apr 28, 08 at 04:20 AM The funniest part of the article has to be this part: "...Generally though, British Columbians, and Lower Mainlanders in particular, are pretty savvy about their property, the experts believe, with so much information out there about real estate, between Real Estate Weekly, the real-estate sections in newspapers, the realtors' Multiple Listing Service posted online and Home and Garden TV...." Reading the hype in the New Homes section of the Vancouver Sun makes you real estate savvy! Good thing I have a subscription. Everyone has access to the Real Estate Board's MLS service so that means we are all experts. I feel better now.

History Will TellMon, Apr 28, 08 at 05:15 AM Keep the reference to this piece handy. Something tells me it will be worth some serious chuckles in the next few years. Like the 'Fence Sitters Will be Sorry piece. http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/articles/2008/04/09/ toscano/820theywillbesorry040908.txt) from the Voice of San Diego. Do these people not realize this stuff is now 'on the record'!?

MIKEMon, Apr 28, 08 at 06:31 AM Just want to add my voice to the outcry against this false journalism. Its now obvious who the Vancouver Sun works for. Thanks.

BridgeSellerMon, Apr 28, 08 at 11:30 AM It would be hard to imagine a more biased article on RE, seriously. Lazy, irresponsible writing. As for people who think that asking Cameron Muir for his "expert" opinion equals doing research - please, check the source. That's like asking Bush how the war in Iraq is going - hey, he's President, he's just gotta be right! Now, if I was to look at the article as a glass half full, I guess I'd have to say thanks for the laughs... especially the bit about Lower Mainlanders being real estate savvy. That was pure gold!

frankMon, Apr 28, 08 at 12:06 PM Your article was an insult to the intelligence of your readers, Truly disgusting.

RockMon, Apr 28, 08 at 12:33 PM I cannot believe the lack of journalistic integrity here. Inventory levels in Vancouver have risen by over 25% to unprecedented levels. Sales are down 5-15% depending on where you look. There is an unprecedented number of buyers who are taking out 40-year mortgages. Prices have already flattened all over the Fraser Valley. Condo projects have stalled and banks are demanding more money down for existing project, all the while starts continue to be absurdly high. Canadian financial institutions have turned off the money pipe. Canada is on the brink of a recession. The world is in a credit crisis and we've entered an enormous deleveraging phase. Not to mention rampant inflation. And you wonder why people don't want rising prices? You think Real Estate will go up the next two years? I'll bet any money it wont. Perhaps the Sun should consider that, if prices do continue to rise forever, more and more bright young people will leave for more sane ground. The economy here will eventually be crushed (there is nothing here save Real Estate), and the longer this goes on, the worse it will be.

NewsSavvyMon, Apr 28, 08 at 12:37 PM Regarding: "[Lower Mainlanders] are pretty savvy about their property, the experts believe, with so much information out there about real estate ... the real-estate sections in newspapers..." How about during previous cycles? Was The Sun a source for unbiased real estate information before the 1981 crash??? "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.) The market crashed by about 50% over the following year. How many people had to walk away from their houses becasue they belived what they'd read in the newspaper?

hughzMon, Apr 28, 08 at 12:57 PM Rather than talk to "economists" from BCREA, why didn't they consult any of the economics or finance profs at SFU and UBC? I wonder how many of them have bought into the BC real estate market recently...

JoJOMon, Apr 28, 08 at 01:04 PM Driving to work this morning... up Hudsons Street... I noticed 10 houses for sale between 57th and 47th avenue!! People are stupid if they think these prices are going to last... the market is crashing. Detached houses are moving very slowly!

forsquareMon, Apr 28, 08 at 01:17 PM Myth 16: Real estate prices are still rising in Greater Vancouver. FALSE! - just wait for April's MLS stats to come out.... so far average detached prices and median homes prices are down nearly 3% this month. Average price is currently back under $899,000!

JojOMon, Apr 28, 08 at 01:18 PM Just something to ponder. Did anyone read that article about the Aquilini groups proposal to build a 23 story commercial tower in Downtown Vancouver?Apparently, the aquilini group had to pull the plug on the idea, as there was no commercial interest in the building... interesting... **Wasn't there an article in the Vancouver sun a few months ago saying that the commercial vacancy in the downtown core was at an all time low? Now, how can the proposal for a 23 story commercial tower dissolve if we have such low vacancy rates?? The article a few months ago made it seem as if businesses are clammering for new space. Who is telling the truth here? If vacancy rates are so low, shouldn't we be building more commercial space?

ScottMon, Apr 28, 08 at 01:19 PM The story does read more like an advertisement. 1. Buy before Albertans beat you to it. 2. Your home is worth more than assessment. 3. Real estate always goes up. 4. Buy your home now because it is spring. 5. If you are going to sell renovate first. 6. You don't need a swimming pool to sell. 7. ? This can't be right!?! 8. All houses appreciate equally. 9. People don't 'flip' condos. 10. Buying a money pit is a good thing. 11. Location doesn't matter. 12. If you already own buy more. 13. Make sure you use an agent. 14. Don't worry about the bank. 15. If your not rich you will be!

calMon, Apr 28, 08 at 01:42 PM Condohype said: "What frustrates me about the Sun coverage is how unwilling it is to acknowledge the uncertainties in the market " The uncertainties exist in your mind. Go back to reading your negative blogs. "...and the level of risk involved in buying in. " No risk, no reward.

KevinMon, Apr 28, 08 at 02:17 PM The Sun forgot to address the important factors that mean the market Is only going to keep up: - The Olympics - Everybody wants to move here - We're running out lof land - Buy now or be priced out forever - Rich foreign investors - This time it's different Everybody please ignore the past 30 years of Vancouver real estate history, and the Sun's/CMHC's/Realtors well documented abysmal prognostications printed before each previous downturn. My realtor told me that this is a new paradigm and we've now reached a permanently high plateau where financial valuation metrics are meaningless. Now if you would please excuse me;I must now head down to my realtor's office with my 40-year mortgage to cash in on my real estate lottery ticket!

hughzMon, Apr 28, 08 at 02:25 PM CAL said: "The uncertainties exist in your mind. Go back to reading your negative blogs. "...and the level of risk involved in buying in. " No risk, no reward." No risk = no reward is the kind of truism the RE industry pumps out on a daily basis in Vancouver...the point is that RE at the moment most likely entails more risk than other assets with similar returns.

BewilderedMon, Apr 28, 08 at 02:26 PM Why didn't the Vancouver Sun put this graph in: http://www.nvcondos.realpagemaker.com/aPage.jsp?aPageId=32 Inventory is taking off kike a rocket like never before and sales are falling. This data is straight from the real estate board.Given what is happening in our own market and the U.S., the market is slowing down quickly. At least that is what my realtor is telling me when I ask him why my house has not old yet.

TomMon, Apr 28, 08 at 03:34 PM What cracks me up is at the foot of this article, below the comments is a Google ad titled "BC Foreclosure Listings". Expect to see a lot more of these in the next couple of years! As for the graphs each spike has a downturn immediately afterwards. We are currently at the top of the spike. The prices won't go to 10 years ago prices, but they will stop rising so fast and will then adjust to a more sustainable level. Buy now and you risk negative equity, apart from the fact that is a 500 sq ft condo you'll grow out of within a couple of years really worth $350,000? The other fantastically bad bit in this article was that you should charge rent at a 10th of your property price. With ave condos at around $400,000 does that mean renters should pay $4000 a month!! Way to destroy a city and drive out the people who keep it running.

RE-ALISTMon, Apr 28, 08 at 04:22 PM I'm in agreement with almost all of the criticism from the RE realists above. There are so many points to make about this article it'd require a two page-spread retort. Here's a sample: The article states: "12. Buying an additional property to rent out is a solid investment" and judges this to be a "Reality". It then points out that "The rule of thumb used to be that you would aim to charge a rent that was one per cent of the purchase price ($1,000 a month for a $100,000 condo, for example). " SO, why does the article not then go on to point out that the current ratio for Vancouver, instead of 100:1 is between 300:1 and 500:1 ? Perhaps because this would lead to people concluding the truth, namely that property prices in Vancouver are more than THREE TIMES what they should be based on historic norms. There is a crash coming, and The Sun can be blamed for keeping its readers woefully uneducated in this regard.

KarlMon, Apr 28, 08 at 04:33 PM You cant win if you dont play

moniqueMon, Apr 28, 08 at 05:31 PM Can anyone give me some price figures of a good condo (close to UBC). I live in Europe and have no idea of your market, but I intend to buy or to rent close to UBC, something nice, modern, etc...What are the best zones in VANCOUVER?

Buy my condo!Tue, Apr 29, 08 at 01:05 AM I am selling a condo because I am getting transferred. When giving the listing out, my realtor tried to low ball me for a fast sale. I priced it competitively and less than recent sales on a lower floor. To date I have no offers and only excuses from my realtor that the market is slowing, that it is changing, there are more listings and that I need to reduce the price. I've paid property taxes, strata fees, mortgage payments and I have to pay a realtors commission so I don't want to lose money on this purchase. I feel like I live in a different city than what was described in the article because people are not lining up to buy my place. The realtor tells me that it is too expensive for an owner user and investors want presales where they don't have to pay for the condo for 3 years. Anyone have relatives in Alberta that want a downtown condo?

WatchingtheFarcePlayOutTue, Apr 29, 08 at 01:12 AM Monique, don't buy. Real Estate in Vancouver is seriously overpriced relative to average income, relative to median income, relative to possible return on investment, relative to basic long range satisfactoriness of living conditions. The creative and genuinely innovative types who contribute most to making the city enjoyable to live in are leaving because they can't afford to live here, having started to feel the pressure of rents inching up (though rents are still way way below what would secure a rational landlord a reasonable return on investment). Those who bought a few years ago are selling with greedy stars in their eyes at the thought of how much $ they might get. The media and government have supported the moguls thus far, but it is all about to come crashing down.

vanconTue, Apr 29, 08 at 11:05 AM Actually Jonah, prices in Utah and Sydney crashed after the olympics. In the Syndey suburbs they are seeing the median house price drop from between $100- to $450 per week since 2004! http://vancouvercondo.info/2008/03/shocking-real-estate-losses-in-sydney.html Try doing some research before assuming gains will continue, listening to salespeople is probably not the most objective source of information.

BillyTue, Apr 29, 08 at 11:09 AM To the Editors of the Sun: Are you picking up the general tone of the comments here? Your article was so poor, so lacking in balance, analysis or credible information that you should be embarrassed. People read your paper for information. With the miracle of the internets (check it out sometime!) people get their information from a variety of sources. There are a bajillion web sites dealing with real estate, how to value it, how to invest in it, how real estate markets have behaved over time. Web sites about economics, finance, investing etc. etc. Many, many people have become pretty well informed about these issues, and have some pretty well informed views of local real estate. Then they open the paper and get platitudinous pap that doesn't even scratch the surface of the issue, is actually misleading or provides a platform for developers to move product. My personal opinion is that real estate is hugely overpriced here and long overdue for a sizable correction. I have done a fair bit of analysis and research on this, though I am certainly no Cam Muir, so what to I know, right? It appears many others have come to the same opinion. Where was that view, which now seems pretty common, in your article? What about mentioning the 4 or 5 local real estate blogs? What about mentioning Garth Turner's book? What about the collapse in the states (12% decline nationally yoy, so far) and most other markets? What about simply sitting down and crunching through some numbers? You treated your readership like a bunch of dummies. No wonder you are getting the comments you are. Shame on you.

FionaTue, Apr 29, 08 at 11:11 AM You need to interview the guy at Langley Financial Planning. He calls a spade a spade and has the capacity to carry out a substantiative analysis. I shake my head when I see the "experts" paraded out in this piece. Mind-boggling.

AdrianTue, Apr 29, 08 at 01:18 PM To the writers of that piece, were the prices quoted by Landcor inflation adjusted? I couldn't tell if they were and wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't just to keep the hype machine going.

WinstonTue, Apr 29, 08 at 01:55 PM When I turn down your telemarketers next time they call me asking to sign up for a subscription I will specifically mention this article as part of the reason.

FishwrapTue, Apr 29, 08 at 04:09 PM Shockingly bad piece, no question. Missed the story completely, showed absolutely no understanding of where the market is right now, and worse, no ability to even ask the right people the right questions. You've killed what little credibility you had.

Ari TeliasTue, Apr 29, 08 at 06:42 PM My favorite summary of the situation: "Everyone is feeling rich from unrealized gains on borrowed money" Vancouver Sun - Your article is a disgrace. But you are not alone - all Main Stream Media are loyal to the hand that feeds it. Not to the public. Thank God for the Vancouver Real Estate Blogs, which I am not going to link here so I am not censored. Google Vancouver Bubble... Best regards -

BLRTue, Apr 29, 08 at 06:53 PM While there are truths in this article, this piece lacks integrity. In fact, most real estate articles in The Sun feel like they are commissioned by a Realtor Near You. What ever happened to journalistic integrity? Like other readers, I also recieve listings for 2 br downtown vancouver condos from 500K-700K, and nearly all listings within the past 3 months have been "price reduced." Even our vetran realtor (he is not so earger to admit this) has gone from 50 clients (last summer) to 10. It is very obvious to me there is a lot less demand locally and internationall in the Vancouver condo market.

Holding$$$RentingTue, Apr 29, 08 at 06:53 PM Don't listen to the nay sayers, their just jealous that they have missed out on the run up in prices. Don't worry if you can't afford it, the banks don't force you to prove your income anymore, and you can get one of those great new 40 year ammortizations for 103% of the mortgage to cover the closing costs and down payment. Take on as much debt as you can or you might miss out, this time it's different. I know what you're saying, that's crazy, I won't have any money leftover to enjoy life and I'll be paying for the house well into my retirement. Don't worry about it, you can take out a line of credit on your huose, a HELOC. All the banks have got them. That way you can get your granite counters and stainless steel appliances. What are you worried about, it's not like there's going to be a downturn, everyone knows that real estate only goes up and those problems in the states are all because of sub prime mortgages, which we don't have. BUY BUY BUY!

StevenTue, Apr 29, 08 at 06:54 PM The Ave. Price Graph shown in the article should show 'real' prices over time -- i.e. adjusted for inflation, so that actual prices changes are shown, aside from mere increases due to inflation. The price of candy bars went up a lot over 30 years, but that doesn't mean they're worth more today in real dollars. Who gave the Sun that graph to use? Muir? Some realtor? That's to be expected, but it's shameful that the Sun is either so gullible or so willingly disingenuous as to publish it. I can only suppose that those two sections full of real estate ads in the weekend Sun bring in a lot of filthy lucre.

sladeTue, Apr 29, 08 at 07:36 PM I fell for the hype in October of 07. Bought a presale in South Surrey, in less than six months the developer has cut the price, offered free upgrades and still has sluggish sales. My 15% deposit will go down the drain, as a matter of fact my loss is 1/2 way there now. Thankfully I am not a first time buyer, but it still hurts. The Sun and other mainstream papers should be thoroughly ashamed for these biased pro developer articles that may influence more saps like me to a bad decision. They would be better served with articles of the real estate carnage throughout the rest of the world and what we we can expect here shortly, but alas the readers don't account for half of their revenue, so forget that.Talk about free advertising!

JohnTue, Apr 29, 08 at 09:53 PM .... Do you get the sense that your article was......how do I put this politely....not well received by alot of people? Please provide a more balanced picture in regards to real estate in future.

kathyTue, Apr 29, 08 at 10:45 PM the truth is painful for a lot of folks and an emotional topic like real estate has always encouraged the kinds of views some have expressed here. These ill-informed people suffer from exactly the sort of herd mentality that causes booms and busts in the first place. The fact is, for decades now lots of people have found the city overpriced. Yet prices continued to climb. The plain, unglamorous facts shown in the Sun piece are not controversial, they are simple facts on the public record. Those who want to show otherwise would be more convincing if they provided some facts.

fionaTue, Apr 29, 08 at 11:58 PM Rob Chipman explains the essence of what he said was not conveyed properly in the article. See his blog. All you need to know about Vancouver housing is at Langley Financial Planning (google it). Ignore the opinions of the amature hour.

fionaTue, Apr 29, 08 at 11:58 PM Rob Chipman explains the essence of what he said was not conveyed properly in the article. See his blog. All you need to know about Vancouver housing is at Langley Financial Planning (google it). Ignore the opinions of the amature hour.

Reality CallingWed, Apr 30, 08 at 12:38 AM By every single historical measure (rents to sale price, income to sale price, average appreciation, etc.) the Vancouver real estate market is in the midst of a bubble that makes most of the US pre-busted bubbles look small-time. Most of us buy real estate with loans, which is a form of leverage. I've made a fair amount of money buying and selling real estate over the years because that leverage works great in a market that's going up. Leverage sucks when the price drops, even a little bit. Vancouver may yet go up a bit more, but sooner rather than later there's going to be heck of a "pop!" and this bubble won't be a bubble anymore. The tech stock analysts, like the real estate junkies, always said, "It's different this time." Well, it wasn't, and it isn't in Vancouver with houses. Get out or get burned, better to miss a little extra gravy than to lose the whole meal. Read up on San Diego, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco, etc. etc., or just the last time real estate tanked in Vancouver. This time is NOT different. And the reporter ought to be ashamed, what an incredibly poor piece of reporting. Maybe the next piece Derrick writes will be about how how sunny Vancouver is in the winter, with quotes from BC Tourism and a solar panel company?

WatchingtheFarcePlayOutWed, Apr 30, 08 at 12:40 AM Why did you take away the previously posted comments without any apologies for your unethical journalism that was pointed out by them?

hughzWed, Apr 30, 08 at 02:30 AM What happened to all the previous comments? Too critical, perhaps?

JBWed, Apr 30, 08 at 10:06 AM Where did all the comments that were here yesterday go?

AndrewWed, Apr 30, 08 at 10:14 AM So where are all the other (say 30-40) comments which were very negative on your article, and provided many facts to counter it.?.....how convenient of you to simply delete them. Perhaps you could not stand the embarrasment of your article being seriously panned.

BridgeSellerWed, Apr 30, 08 at 10:48 AM Shame on you, Vancouver Sun, for deleting over 30 comments that were posted here! One has to wonder why. Kathy, do your own research before believing the pap that was served up in this article as relevant data provided by people who have a vested interest in pumping the market (Mr. Muir, I'm looking at you). Look at net migration to the Lower Mainland (anaemic, contrary to what most think) , home sales data (slowing dramatically), and inventory data (highest number of homes for sale we have seen here for years), for starters. Hmmm... increasing supply, slowing demand. What does economics 101 tell you will result in? Vancouver RE is a roller coaster, cyclical just like everywhere else (have a look at price charts for the last 30 years), we've been going up and up; it's sure been thrilling, but what's coming is obvious... For a great place for fantastic data from verifiable sources, google Langley Financial Planning and Personal Sanity (not my site, by the way).

BridgeSellerWed, Apr 30, 08 at 11:05 AM Shame on you, Vancouver Sun, for deleting over 30 comments that were posted here! One has to wonder why. Kathy, do your own research before believing the pap that was served up in this article as relevant data provided by people who have a vested interest in pumping the market (Mr. Muir, I'm looking at you). Look at net migration to the Lower Mainland (anaemic, contrary to what most think) , home sales data (slowing dramatically), and inventory data (highest number of homes for sale we have seen here for years), for starters. Hmmm... increasing supply, slowing demand. What does economics 101 tell you will result in? Vancouver RE is a roller coaster, cyclical just like everywhere else (have a look at price charts for the last 30 years), we've been going up and up; it's sure been thrilling, but what's coming is obvious... For a great place for fantastic data from verifiable sources, google Langley Financial Planning and Personal Sanity (not my site, by the way).

TerryWed, Apr 30, 08 at 11:09 AM Kathy: Interesting choice with the 'decades' comment. Vancouver has been this overpriced before in the early eighties, but that was followed by price cuts of up to 50%. It was only a decade or so ago that prices dropped by around %20 (Thats a loss of much more than $100k at todays median house price). The fact is that the 'facts' shown in this article ARE controversial. Did the Sun really just delete a hundred or so negative comments here that clarified some of the 'facts'?

CrabmanWed, Apr 30, 08 at 11:15 AM One plain, unglamorous fact is that affordability in Vancouver is at an all time low. The odds of continuing price increases in light of this fact are pretty slim. The odds of a major correction, however, are significant.

billyWed, Apr 30, 08 at 11:26 AM Hey, what happened to the rest of the comments? There were, like, 50 of them here yesterday. Overwhelmed by the negative reaction? Embarrassed? It's bad enough to write a piece of drivel, it's worse to pretend to encourage reader interaction and then delete it when it is critical of your reporting. Wow. Just, wow.

StevoWed, Apr 30, 08 at 12:00 PM The Sun piece presented biased analysis, not facts, which is precisely why it was not well received. Prices continue to climb here but are falling in the US, and we're not immune from the same factors here, as will become apparent to all in time. Their sub-prime mortgages are failing en masse because prices are dropping, not vice versa. A few short years from now, people will look back and wonder why anyone would pay outrageous sums for tear-down houses, or high-density condos in unlikely places like Whalley or Abbottsford. Everyone thought the dot.com boom would go forever, at the time.

JRWed, Apr 30, 08 at 12:06 PM If the Sun had intentionally set out to prop up a market showing signs of weakness, it could not have done much better than "Myths and Realities", or its "advertorial" on real estate earlier last week. In February, March and April, inventory has spiked to levels not seen at this time of year for some number of years, now at 15,000 in the GVRD. Sales are declining, price increases are abating, sales to listing ratios are significantly lower than the norm for spring and there are some lower mainland communities with eight months of inventory or more. Your paper has reported that already, 50% or more of downtown/false creek condos and townhouses are owned by investors. Despite this, and as you have also reported, the GVRD is constructing an all time record number of new units. This, against a backdrop of relatively anemic population growth; a surprise to most, but the statistics are readily available to you. To your credit, you did show a chart of GVRD prices over time. It clearly shows that we are in unprecedented territory in both length of time for a run up in prices and the degree to which they have run up. It also shows at least four periods in the past where high peaks have been followed by sharp declines. At no time does it show a high peak followed by a plateau or a gradual slope, as some pundits now predict. Local economists and vested real estate interests rely upon our lack of subprime mortgages as one key reason why we will avoid a correction, despite our well documented history of corrections, the average being 28%. What these folks fail to understand or are unprepared to articulate, is that the root cause of the debacle down south was that prices rose too high too fast and eventually crashed under their own weight. There wouldn't be a subprime problem if prices had continued to increase. Moreover, the markets hardest hit in the US are those characterized by rampart speculation and over-building, just like here. Did anyone in your editorial staff compare income growth and rental rate growth to price increases? Had it, an enormous disconnect between prices, incomes and rental rates would have been obvious, as would the utter lack of sustainability of current conditions, which more than one impartial economist has repeatedly pointed out. Simple economics suggests that we are due for another correction and perhaps a very significant one. While as your paper derives much advertising revenue from the real estate industry, and most of the talking heads you rely upon have a vested interest in keeping this bubble inflated, some decidedly less cheery dots exist for those who care to observe them. One wonders why an organization presumably dedicated to impartial reporting routinely fails to connect them.

PopGoesVancouverWed, Apr 30, 08 at 01:07 PM Yes it's true Vancouver housing has always commanded a premium in Canada (and in some way to other major cities around the world). Even in a downturn, you won't be getting Vancouver homes at Winnepeg prices. However, the current run up is not justified by any long term trend. Income in Vancouver has barely kept up with inflation over the past 4 years, and yet housing prices have doubled. Real Estate prices inevitably follow household incomes. Psychology is changing in the market now, sales are decreasing and inventories are rising. That's what started off the US's housing problems. The hardest hit were the cities who rose the most beyond the long term trend. Vancouver will be one of them when Canada experiences the same. By the way, last time houses had a significant run up (1981), the correction from 550,000 (inflation adjusted figure) took 20 years to see again. Two years later (1983) houses were worth almost half. First time buyers and investors better prepare themselves, it's not different this time.

WinstonWed, Apr 30, 08 at 01:27 PM What happened to all the comments from yesterday??? I guess this space is for positive comments only.

PETERWed, Apr 30, 08 at 01:27 PM I found this article to be completely lacking in journalistic integrity, as did many of the other commenters whose comments have now been removed. And how many others, like myself, posted critical comments that were never published? I'll say it again in the hopes it gets posted this time: Even if the analysis were correct, it wouldn't hide the very clear agenda of the Vancouver Sun to spin rapidly escalating house prices as an overall positive development for the Lower Mainland. A recent editorial made this very clear. This agenda conveniently serves their own privileged position in society, that of their main advertisers, and that of the sources they cite. The real story here is not about housing prices, it's about the Vancouver Sun and their vested interests. Who's going to cover that story?

Need to sell a houseWed, Apr 30, 08 at 01:30 PM Derrick Penner presented a very biased, one side and inaccurate view of the market. I am trying to sell a house and am faced with a lot of listings competition, no buyers and a realtor telling me to drop my price. Don't believe me? I challenge Derrick Penner to have one of his friends pretend to list his house and listen to what the realtor has to say about the market. They will give you a host of reasons why you won't get yesterday's prices. Derrick, I challenge you to go undercover and do this story. He will have to get a friend to fake the listing as realtors will do a title search to make sure you are the owner. Derrick can change his name and pretend to be a relative sitting in on the meeting. This is the story I want everyone to hear! But please don't publish it for 3 months though. I have to sell my house first.

Ari TeliasWed, Apr 30, 08 at 02:19 PM What happens to all the comments from yesterday? Censored? Why don't you guys make a NEW article which contains ONLY the comments from Yesterday? Regards, Ari BobWed, Apr 30, 08 at 02:20 PM It's funny that kathy made that statement after the editors erased the proof. The Vancouver Sun should have written "this has been a paid advertisement" at the bottom of this ridiculous advertisement!

BobWed, Apr 30, 08 at 02:21 PM Dear Vancouver Sun, A very interesting piece with some strong data points but I find it remarkable that you rely so heavily on the opinion of realtors or their related associations. For example, you appear to conclude that it is an outright myth that "Real estate prices in Greater Vancouver can't keep going up, they're too high already." The nonsensical realtor's comment "if the numbers make sense to buy, and you can look out to the downside, buy" aside, you make the excellent point that almost 80% of the average person's income would be needed to afford the average home. As this is pre-tax earnings, it means that most Vancouver residents could simply not afford to buy their home at today's prices. But you should have talked about cap rates, which today are often below the risk-free rate of return. Why does a risky asset yield less than a risk-free asset? Because a) people expect a capital gain, b) most investors don't bother looking at cap rates, the most basic valuation metric in this asset class. Think of tech stock buyers in 1999 and early 2000. They bought simply because they expected a capital gain, not because the fundamentals supported the price paid. And no, just because there was demand for Nortel at $124 did not mean it was actually worth that much. Yet, at $124, was it hitherto possible that it would go much higher? Sure it was. It's just that it didn't. Do you realize how horrifically wrong the perma-bull former chief economist of the U.S.-based National Association of Realtors David Lereah was until he was finally fired a year ago? In 2005, he wrote the book "Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?: Why Home Values and Other Real Estate Investments Will Climb Through The End of The Decade", and in 2006 retitled it to "Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust". If you think he was merely a bit unlucky, know that in June 2000, he wrote "The Rules for Growing Rich: Making Money in the New Information Economy". It may indeed be that GVRD home prices will continue to rise but, if the U.S. situation is any metric, realtors and their chief economists will not temper their enthusiasm until well after prices have turned down.

PaulWed, Apr 30, 08 at 02:21 PM If the Sun had intentionally set out to prop up a market showing signs of weakness, it could not have done much better than "Myths and Realities", or its "advertorial" on real estate earlier last week. In February, March and April, inventory has spiked to levels not seen at this time of year for some number of years, now at 15,000 in the GVRD. Sales are declining, price increases are abating, sales to listing ratios are significantly lower than the norm for spring and there are some lower mainland communities with eight months of inventory or more. Your paper has reported that already, 50% or more of downtown/false creek condos and townhouses are owned by investors. Despite this, and as you have also reported, the GVRD is constructing an all time record number of new units. This, against a backdrop of relatively anemic population growth; a surprise to most, but the statistics are readily available to you. To your credit, you did show a chart of GVRD prices over time. It clearly shows that we are in unprecedented territory in both length of time for a run up in prices and the degree to which they have run up. It also shows at least four periods in the past where high peaks have been followed by sharp declines. At no time does it show a high peak followed by a plateau or a gradual slope, as some pundits now predict. Local economists and vested real estate interests rely upon our lack of subprime mortgages as one key reason why we will avoid a correction, despite our well documented history of corrections, the average being 28%. What these folks fail to understand or are unprepared to articulate, is that the root cause of the debacle down south was that prices rose too high too fast and eventually crashed under their own weight. There wouldn't be a subprime problem if prices had continued to increase. Moreover, the markets hardest hit in the US are those characterized by rampart speculation and over-building, just like here. Did anyone in your editorial staff compare income growth and rental rate growth to price increases? Had it, an enormous disconnect between prices, incomes and rental rates would have been obvious, as would the utter lack of sustainability of current conditions, which more than one impartial economist has repeatedly pointed out. Simple economics suggests that we are due for another correction and perhaps a very significant one. While as your paper derives much advertising revenue from the real estate industry, and most of the talking heads you rely upon have a vested interest in keeping this bubble inflated, some decidedly less cheery dots exist for those who care to observe them. One wonders why an organization presumably dedicated to impartial reporting routinely fails to connect them.

Ping YuWed, Apr 30, 08 at 02:24 PM The Sun's article was written for society's lowest common denominator (bottom of the food chain). I see that it resonated (made sense) to you. How's the view from down there?

TommyWed, Apr 30, 08 at 02:27 PM This article seems to be a puff piece for the Sun's main source of ad revenue. Shame on you for deleting all the meaningful comments!

DerekWed, Apr 30, 08 at 02:28 PM The Rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject or we might delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. You must have a javascript enabled browser to submit a comment. MORE LIKE KEEP IT PRO REAL ESTATE OR WE'LL DELETE IT SINCE WE DON'T WANT TO UPSET OUR MAIN SOURCE OF ADVERTISING REVENUE CuriousWed, Apr 30, 08 at 03:13 PM How come many user comments were removed from this article? Is this a case of media censorship... by the media on the people? Vancouver Sun, you need to embrace your readers as opposed to silencing them.... a lot of them have more insight into this topic than you do!

mk-kidsWed, Apr 30, 08 at 03:31 PM Dear Vancouver Sun, I'm very interested to know what happened to all the comments from readers on this article that were posted here yesterday? Where did they go? Some very insightful & frank opinions were shared, people clearly took some time to think about your article & formulate their responses. As Vancouver Condo Info posted on his blog, I hope the comments are missing due to a technical glitch you are working to solve & not because you have chosen to censor public sentiment that clearly disagreed with your publishing RE propoganda as "news".

Krrish2Wed, Apr 30, 08 at 03:49 PM Almost in decade-In vancouver rates of pay has increased three time higher,fuel-energy cost is up three times,grocery prices are up three times,gold prices are up three times so does the average home prices in Vancouver up three times,unemployment rates are down,interest rates are low,low,low and another cuts are on the finger tips, immigration and migration showing no sign of slow down,no more land in vancouver.no downturn in decades to come in vancouver bc bpe.

Watch DogWed, Apr 30, 08 at 04:30 PM It seems the sun/canwest had a hard drive failure over night. In any case I have made a backup copy to share with the CRTC and the rest of you interested readers. The story is also missing the link to the PDF data that you can find here. http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/pdf/MythsandRealities.pdf

Joe PublicWed, Apr 30, 08 at 05:58 PM Why are all the comments removed?

DaveThu, May 1, 08 at 12:12 AM My gosh! April 1'st came late this year.

TedThu, May 1, 08 at 09:55 AM Come on Vancouver Sun quit cheerleading for the real estate industry! jesseFri, May 2, 08 at 04:47 PM I have a critique with #3: the statement "Real estate prices in Greater Vancouver can't keep going up, they're too high already." is a weasel statement. Saying "can't" is saying that something is 100% certain. The real crux of the statement should be around whether prices are LIKELY to go up or down from here, not whether they absolutely cannot. If you look at almost ALL indicators -- poor affordability, record low rental yields, relatively low population growth (yes), anaemic wage growth, historically low unemployment that has nowhere to go but up, rising for sale inventories, and historically loose credit that is unlikely to continue, to name a few -- they all point to either prices needing to come down significantly or wages needing to rise significantly in order for the market to balance itself. Check with your boss to see the chance of the wage growth thing working out and draw your own conclusions. PS editor: thanks for re-instating the comments. stellaFri, May 2, 08 at 07:09 PM You are smoking some major fantastic weed if you think this market is going any higher.....you might want to cut your losses and find a new job now...this correction could ultimately end up being -40% and could play out over 5-7 years....

Maurice CardinalFri, May 2, 08 at 07:45 PM Kirl LaPointe, editor of The Vancouver Sun has a blog, and on it he recently asked how newspapers could create better blogs. The comments on that blog reflect the comments on this blog and in a sense answer why the real estate market in Vancouver is so insane. You can read them here http://www.themediamanager.com/3/post/2008/04/how-can-newspapers-create-better-blogs.html#comments

alexcanuckFri, May 2, 08 at 08:30 PM Looking forward to the rebuttal article tomorrow. (not holding my breath, though)

Mike WesleyFri, May 2, 08 at 10:10 PM The Vancouver real estate market has performed exceptionally well over the last few years, creating a lot of wealth for many people. There is not doubt that values are high compared to any other city in Canada and most in North America. Naysayers have been calling for the demise of the Vancouver real estate market for the last 7 years, so what makes you so sure that the big correction is now imminent this time around? And yes, the article in the Sun was not very well researched, but I bet they sold a lot of papers that day.

Van_Dude_69Fri, May 2, 08 at 11:50 PM Gone are the days of real journalism and this article's just one more nail on the coffin of the greatest assets ordinary people have "the reporting of truth". Thank God there's the internet ehh. Anyone with a high school diploma can refer to their history books (no need for economics class for this one) can just look back at the great depression all the way to the 80's & 90's real estate crashes to know that one is coming. Anyone expecting a 2nd New Paradigm can line up for some Global Crossing, Enron, Bear Sterns... well you get the point. A word to ANYONE, I mean ANYONE that has purchase real estate recently (last few years) and expect/hope that many of us "gloom & doom" are wrong; please read up on the daily news reports of real estate around the world, we are in the mist of a drastic downturn (Vancouver is one of the last major cities ON EARTH that hasn't yet seemed to had a significant decrease). Know that if you didn't have a lot of money down on your home you run the risk of spending the rest of you natural lives paying for something that will drop in price and may not recover in value for what could be the next 20 years. None of us who complain about this idiotic article is rooting for an economic disaster. I personally don't like to see people force to vacate their homes and live on the streets because they no longer can afford the payments on the home (like in the U.S. right now). Heck if we're really looking forward to screwing the public over then we would be cheering everyone who's looking to buy a home to do so. That way when it does go down, we'd be right their to scoop up their properties like many of the foreclosure auctions occurring in the States. Anyways... sorry for being so long winded... BUT YOU'VE BEEN TOLD!!!

sinsin, Sat, May 3, 08 at 02:03 AM I read this "article" last weekend, and thought I'd add my voice to the chorus of those who want to know wassup Vancouver Sun? Are you journalists or the lackeys of local real-estate barons? Or are you would-be barons yourselves? Anyone with a modicum of sense can tell this "Front-page news" is just marketing shenanigans. Makes my skin crawl a week after reading it. Other commenters ask for shame. I demand AN APOLOGY TO YOUR READERS.

Leah, Sat, May 3, 08 at 11:23 AM Stop trying to spin real estate. We are not THAT stupid.

Real E$tate $ale$, Sat, May 3, 08 at 09:41 PM Myth or reality? If you write something about the Vancouver real estate market that does not predict a coming cataclysmic crash, every bleeding heart renter in the city will cry foul? Answer: Reality. Would a renter make this statement? Answer: Myth.

Terry, Sat, May 3, 08 at 11:39 PM Myth or Reality? The Vancouver real estate market was recently rated as the 2nd most 'overpriced' market in North America by Forbes. The #1 most 'overpriced' real estate market in North America was L.A. which has since seen price declines and a dropping dollar making us the Number 1 most overpriced market in North America.

Little Timmy, Sun, May 4, 08 at 12:01 AM I've written several comments about the journlistic integrity of this article and none of them have been posted, yet some moron calling himself Krissh (comment 7) said incomes have tripled in ten years and you'll publish that?

Glen, Wed, May 14, 08 at 04:26 PM A comment about rising prices...what has kept the "ramp up" of prices continuing is the affordability of money from the lenders. If we only had 25 year amortization mortgages and not the 40 year that is being offered now, then less people would be able to afford the higher price homes and prices would fall...simple as that. The real evil here is the money lenders - and who has the most to lose is prices fall? The money lenders hold the paper on your house! That is what caused the problem in the US...the lenders tinkering with what the average person can afford. When you can't afford a home with 40 year amort they'll come up with 50 or 60 year or what has happened in Japan...you pay interest only and never pay down the principle...Japan has already been bailed out because of their fiscal irresponsibility. Yes, the slow down is already occuring, as one blogger mentioned "economics 101"...there is tons of inventory and less demand...the big condo project sales have stalled...the "investors" from Alberta are all trying to sell their condos by assignment without any luck, because they can't sell them to another "investor from Alberta" and people who would actually live there either can't afford it or don't want to live in a 400 sq ft closet...No the sky isn't falling, but prices will.

Maurice Cardinal, Thu, May 15, 08 at 07:01 PM What you say is true Glen, but you claim lenders are the primary culprits. They certainly have much to gain, or lose, but if mainstream news media reported an unbiased story people would have access to correct information from which to make good investment decisions. As it is, most people in Vancouver don't have a clue what is about to befall them. It happens exactly like this in most Olympics regions, and we are no different, but did you ever see local news media tell this story, or caution buyers to consider ALL the influences? Instead of giving people a heads up they sold hundreds of thousands or maybe even millions of dollars of double page full colour condo ads to developers and real estate marketers. Feeding the frenzy without balanced reporting is irresponsible and hurtful to our community.



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Own the Podium?

The official creed (guiding principle) of the Olympics is a quote by the founding father of the modern day Games Baron de Coubertin. He said, "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

The Olympic motto consists of three Latin words Citius, Altius, Fortius, which means, "Swifter, Higher, Stronger." The 1924 motto is meant to encourage athletes to embrace the Olympic spirit and perform to the best of their individual abilities.

No where does it imply that winning the most gold medals for your country is part of the agenda. In fact it implies exactly the opposite.

The IOC maintains that it doesn't actively encourage countries to collectively win the most gold medals, but on the other hand they also don't institute anything to ensure that the Games are not turned into corporate money grabs.

In fact, IOC sponsorship and partnership business models encourage a win-at-all-costs mentality. It is the reason they have doping, fraud and bribery scandals.

The IOC invites young people to compete in the Olympics using the original Creed & Motto. But when it comes to delivering on the promise they fall incredibly short.

The Olympics today isn't as much about sport as it is about money and profit.

Priorities changed over the years and so too should their Creed & Motto.

If athletes go for the gold, and the IOC goes for the gold, and corporate sponsors go for the gold, and governments go for the gold, and considering that you will have to foot the bill for their gold, why should you be edged out of the race?

Move to the starting line.

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