Crawl Across the Ocean

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Close That Barn Door

A decent article in Macleans on the housing industry, other than it is about 1-2 years too late.

Some quotes,
"Kassam is just one of thousands of people getting buried in the rubble of Vancouver’s collapsing prices; a dream market has turned into a nightmare, faster than anyone thought possible.


"economists are warily backing away from their sunny predictions, and grappling with a question no one has posed for 20 years: how bad is it going to get? It's becoming increasingly likely that the answer to that question will be 'even worse than you imagined.'


"'No one even came close to realizing the impact of this crisis,' Kassam says. Back when he signed the pre-sale agreement, he was following the news, and 'they said the real estate market was slowing down, but they were only predicting maybe a one or two per cent drop in property values—nothing to this extent.' But Kassam has learned that you shouldn't always believe what you read in the papers and what the economists say on TV."

The article, (and I meant it, it is a good article, by media standards), goes on to set up American economist Robert Shiller and a housing futures market as the ultimate sources of wisdom on the fate of the housing market. And while these are certainly sources to take into consideration, personally, I think it might have been worth nothing some of the local folks who did see all this coming.

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  • Yeah, the whole "we didn't see it coming" is driving me nuts. I sought out VHB way back then, and knew nothing, really, about economics - but I knew something was hinky. Since then, I've been getting an education.

    Seems to me, with Shiller saying Vancouver is the most bubbly city in the world, (and with, y'know, his index being an industry standard), that they can't claim no one saw it coming, that it was all fringe bears on the net, either.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:56 PM  

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