Friday Free-for-all!

April 17th, 2015

Whoa! Where did the time go?

It’s the end of another week and that means it’s time for another Friday Free-for-all!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-IMF cuts Canada on oil slump
-BOC warns of housing correction
-$43 million discount
-Teranet goes up
-Calgary goes down
-Faith based financial advice
-Cheap condo goes under asking
-2015 Bowen / Gulf island stats
-$1 mill sunshine coast sales

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

A couple of weeks ago VCI commenter Corrupt in Canada linked to a story over at VanCityBuzz reporting that BC NDP MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert was upset the provincial government was on the verge of reneging its promise to revitalize and expand St. Paul’s Hospital.

Three years ago Premiere Christy Clark pledged half a billion dollars to improve the hospital, but nothing has been done to this date.

In the original article VanCity Buzz reached out to the BC Ministry of Health who had this response:

Government remains firmly committed to revitalizing St. Paul’s Hospital. St. Paul’s Hospital is an important part of the network of hospitals in the Lower Mainland, serving a large and growing population from downtown Vancouver, and from across the region. We are continuing to work with Providence Healthcare on the best way to revitalize the hospital for the communities it serves. We must make sure that this fits within the future long term vision of health care in the region and across the province, focusing on more comprehensive community services and a partnership between Lower Mainland hospitals.

We must also ensure that St. Paul’s Hospital can continue to serve the community while the revitalization project is underway.

So we know that most of you will be utterly surprised that Providence Health Care just announced that St. Paul’s will be closed and a new facility will be built in East Van.

Shocked even!

The west end MLA took his disappointment over this announcement to twitter:

St. Paul’s Hospital proved it’s worth during the Stanley Cup riots. Viaduct, bridges, + Skytrain all closed. No way out of downtown. downtown Vancouver needs an emergency room, especially in an emergency. In an earthquake all exits out of downtown may be closed.

Of course there may be a much better use of the land the current hospital sits upon: CONDOS!

Plus new hospital in East Van just has to drive up property values there right?

Win-win.

 

It’s that time of the week again… Friday Free-for-all time!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-Mort. Insurance fees hurt 1st timers?
-1/3 new owners use cash from family?
-Rates. How low can they go?
-Sunshine coast 2014 market summary
-No gold watch for you!
-BC LNG projects threatened by glut
-Economic hit spreads beyond oil patch
-Does oil price affect Vancouver RE?
-Low rates hurting investors?
-Salesman predict decade long boom
-Divergence between TSX and financial services
-John Bairds new job

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

 

Hot American Money?

April 9th, 2015

If you’re looking for someone to blame for high house prices (anyone but locals!) you’ve got a new scapegoat: Americans.

The Province has an article saying the falling CAD means that US buyers are responsible for the biggest surge in the local market over the last year.

Asian buyers make up about 60 per cent of foreign buyers of Metro Vancouver real estate, according to a story published by the Financial Times on Good Friday.

But buyers from the U.S. accounted for the biggest surge in the Vancouver market in the past year, the story said.

The article also said the Vancouver market is unique because record prices seem to have little impact on buyers’ enthusiasm.

Read the full article here.

An article over at the Financial Post by Garry Marr asks if recent hikes in mortgage insurance fees are targeting first time buyers.

The move by Genworth Canada, which matches an increase announced Thursday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. will raise insurance costs by 15% for those Canadians with the highest debt-value mortgages allowed by Ottawa.

Of course lets keep things in perspective here – that 15% increase may result in an extra cost of about $5 dollars a month.

You’d have to be really stretched for that to be an issue.

Rob McLister, founder of ratespy.com, said insurers are padding their margins and doing it for loans that usually result in the least amount of money recovered during defaults.

Read the full article here.

Well hello there!

Looky here, it’s the end of another week already and you probably already know what that means…

Friday Free-for-all time!

This is our standard end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

But first a note. Many news sites have moved to a subscription model which limits views of articles (hello Globe and Mail!). This is a bit of a downer for a news and link round-up feature since you might use up your monthly limited article views on articles that don’t interest you beyond their headline.

So with that in mind we’re switching most of our FFFA links to the original VCI comment that pointed them out.  This means you get the context with selected quotes or excerpts to decide if you want to follow the link to the original article and you can see who here originally pointed out the article, but it means you need to click an extra link to read the full story.

Does this change drive you crazy as an overbred purse dog or are you west-coast chill about it? As always your comments about this change are welcome.

OK! Now here are the links to kick off the chat:

-Did you short Genworth at the right time?
-There will be fewer hungry realtors this month
-All about those rates?
-Vancouver is the next… Calgary?!?
-Economy shrinks
-Over 55? Stop paying property tax sucker!
-Who ya gonna blame for this crazy market?
-What is the Difference between bulls and bears?
-An orderly correction please.

So what are you seeing out there?

Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent long weekend filled with bunnies, eggs and chocolate!

The term ‘Dutch Disease‘ refers to an increase in natural resource based economy crowding out manufacturing and other sectors. It’s also a stand in descriptor for taking all your winnings in a booming market and re-investing them in the same market.

When Oil prices were high, both the province of Alberta and the country of Norway benefited from a petroleum based economy, but they approached the future in different ways.

Brian Ripley over at CHPC summarizes Bruce Campbells take-away of the differences between these two economies approach to oil wealth:

Alberta’s so called “progressive” conservative governments; 7 consecutive iterations since 1971, have squandered their provincial energy resources leaving their treasury with a CAD 12 billion dollar debt and a 500 million dollar deficit.

Norway, a county of 5.2 million people (Alberta’s population is similar at 4.2 million), began their first successful North Sea oil drilling in 1971 and by maintaining sovereign control and creating partnerships with the private sector “… now sits on top of a CAD ONE TRILLION DOLLAR pension fund established in 1990 to invest the returns of oil and gas. The capital has been invested in over 9,000 companies worldwide including over 200 in Canada. IT IS NOW THE LARGEST SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND IN THE WORLD”

Read the full article over at CHPC.

Good news!

There was a big jump in full time jobs in February!

The bad news?

Some people think this is ‘unsustainable‘ because most of the jobs were in construction or ‘public sector’ and the recent drop in oil prices may have an effect on these parts of the economy.

Screenshot 2015-03-29 18.03.24

 

But in the meanwhile if you’re looking for work and want to know who’s hiring find your nearest construction pit or government office.

Read the original article over at wolfstreet.

Anyone who’s read this site for a while has probably noticed a couple of things:

1. A number of regular reader and commenters here blame wealthy Chinese ‘investor immigrants’ for the high cost of real estate in Vancouver.

2. The administration of this site disagrees and thinks that over-stretched house-horny locals and government insured lending on real estate are primarily to blame for high prices.

Yet we must admit this story has us thinking perhaps the truth is a blend of those two viewpoints:

U.S. alleges Metro Vancouver homes were part of scheme to launder money embezzled in China

Authorities allege that in the summer of 2011, shortly after they qualified for U.S. green cards, Qiao and Zhao began surreptitiously using accomplices to transfer millions of dollars into bank accounts in Wenzhou city, Hong Kong and Canada. At least two Canadian banks were used, HSBC Canada and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Zhao recently put the White Rock property up for sale for $689,000. Paulo Leung, a real estate agent with Regent Park Realty, said he had also sold the property to her in 2012 as an investment. He declined to say more. Both properties are being managed by Vancouver-based Chartell Properties. A receptionist there said they knew Zhao.

A search of property and title records conducted by The Vancouver Sun show that Zhao’s numbered company bought the properties outright. However, a few months later, it took out mortgages on both, totalling $1.1 million, that represented almost their entire market value. According to the U.S. indictment, a few weeks later Zhao and Qiao took money from their Canadian RBC account to pay for a Bellevue home.

Officials for the RCMP and Citizenship and Immigration Canada said they did not know if their departments assisted U.S. and Chinese investigators, and could not comment if they did.

Read the full article over in the Vancouver Sun.

It’s the end of another beautiful work week and if you’ve been here before you know what that means:

Friday Free-for-all time!

This is our traditional end of the week news round-up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-Burnaby new condo sales get tough
-Debt ridden couple want it all
-Housing market hints at declines
-Is it ok to panic?
-Consumer spending plunges
-Are Canadians spent?
-Local realtor anecdotes
-Blame the CMHC?
-Dollar-a-day mortgage deal
-Video archive of the Bubble
-How much profit?

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

VCI Network

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