Thursday, May 14, 2009

There must be a pony around here...


Ahh... the credo of the eternal optomist as adopted to the real estate industry. You could walk into a house and be up to your knees in manure and a real estate agent would cheerfully tell you... "Gee, this place must come with a pony."

Once again the Real Estate pollyanna's shill about the return of good times, the underlying message the same as always... Don't be left out, you better buy now!

The latest is the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver telling us that the Greater Vancouver housing market "has entered a more moderate and balanced state," with sales and benchmark prices both up in April compared to March.

And don't kid yourself, the local real estate community is doing everything it can to whore values higher.

The industy is eagerly pointing at 3% mortgages and homes being up to 15% more affordable than they use to be. The carrot is dangled furiously at people who wanted to buy in the past, but could not. "Now," the pollyanna's proclaim, "they can."

As we have documented here in the past month the crucial first-time buyers are being relentlessly prodded into action.

The pollyanna's hook their prey and trumpet that the Federal government will let them raid $25,000 from their RRSPs, tax-free, to buy a home. The Feds will also donate $750 to help them close. Then real estate industry creates media releases about young buyers rushing into the market in this, perhaps the best (and last) time, to buy into the market.

Even the mighty CKNW, the radio station that bills itself as "BC's News Leader and the station you turn to in an emergency", has turned to pimping for the real estate industry. Surely you have heard the sickening PSA's that tell everyone that 'now is the time to buy'.

For shame. It's peer pressure at it's manipulative best.

And what about the real news? The economic winds are not blowing kindly.

The public service abounds with rumours of slumping revenues, pending cuts in spending, and a much bigger-than-budgeted deficit.

Watch for a new provincial budget on the heels of the BC Liberal election majority that cuts services, raises taxes and slashes funding to municipalities.

What is it they say? Shite rolls down hill? Municipalities will, in turn, cut services and raise - wait for it - property taxes. And the hikes will be significant.

All of this comes on the heels of yesterdays news that bankruptcies in B.C. are soaring and that heavy job losses are taking their toll on individual residents. B.C. has the dark distinction of having posted Canada's third-largest increase in consumer bankruptcies, behind Alberta's 99.8-per-cent increase and Newfoundland's 88.9-per-cent rise.

Mark my words, if the economy does not perform the Immaculate Resuscitation investors in the stock market are being hoodwinked into believing, all those being sucked into buying now are going to be very, very bitter.

Maybe they can console themselves as they hunt around their new house looking for the pony.



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