On the same weekend Peter Simpson writes about the need for industries to adapt to modern times, bigshot developer Robert J. Macdonald rants about “Marxists, Leninists, Trotskyites, Maoists and Castroites” as the cause of the real estate collapse.
In a speech straight out of the McCarthy era, Rob Macdonald told the crowd at the Urban Development Institute’s annual luncheon that the future of B.C. real estate hinges on not electing the NDP in May:
These people destroyed our industry. And they would destroy us again in a heartbeat. This history is worth remembering, because now we have a lovely Carole James leading the NDP, who is the new smiling, shiny puppet of the left-wing ideologues. And so my friends, we are fast approaching a fork in the road on May 12th. Where either a continued bright future, or a return to the dark times is a possibility.
Remarks like these earned grand applause from the audience of real estate business folk. The role of inflated prices and over-supply was seldom mentioned. Well, that’s not entirely true — Bob Rennie told The Province that “supply” favours price increases by the end of 2009.
Meanwhile, newly built condos across the city sit empty, more units are coming to completion, and rents undershoot ownership costs by about 50 per cent. Incredibly, this scenario doesn’t faze Polygon’s Michael Audain. He blames the correction on “consumer confidence” as if it’s some kind of mental disorder. Apparently if people were more confident, there’d be demand for cash-flow negative properties.
The insanity must stop. This is hurting Vancouver. It is so hard to accept that real estate prices will eventually settle to historical norms? This isn’t bad for the development industry. Vancouver real estate will still be the most expensive in Canada.