Another BC condo project stalls

Yet another BC condominium project has entered recievership, but this one isn’t in the lower mainland. The Willows in Lake Country, Okanagan has left about 78 pre-sales buyers waiting to find out what’s going to happen with this condo project thats currently near 75% complete. The developer in this case is Victoria based Divergent Environments and the receiver is BDO Dunwoody.

This year hasn’t started off with the greatest track record when it comes to pre-sales. Problems at the Willows makes at least five BC housing projects that have failed in the last few months. The Eden group canceled two projects in November and then saw the Sophia go into receivership last month. February also saw two Chandler Development projects, H+H Yaletown and Garden City in Richmond go into receivership and on Friday we got news that construction has been halted on the Abbotsford condo tower Brio.

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Don Key Puncherelli

I am one of the people that bought in the willows. They said the finish date would be April 2007. Burt Chapman is the biggest sack of monkey sh!t the world has ever produced. He is one of those smiling realtors, I have learned a lot of this experience. Lesson number one, realtors (though not all) are worse than lawyers. Lesson number two, the guy with the biggest smile in the room has his c0ck in your @$$.

My money is in trust so we wil see what happens. Where is sympathy in the dictionary?


Here is the receiver report on the Sophia project. Makes for very good reading. Tonnes of insight into Vancouver real estate with complete frankness. I enjoyed reading it.

The points that I picked up out of it was that the Eden developer was inexperienced and got a bit panicky during the marketing stage and sold a lot of the units at a discount, and that as usual the best units went to his friends, and the consultants working on the project.

This whole pre-sale thing is so corrupt. The architects, consultants and others get first crack at the best units.

Reminds me of my telecom boom days when the pre-ipo pricing was given to 'friends/family' and john q public had to pay the market price.

We all know how that ended…


Scullboy, patriotz, thanks for the comments. Have to agree with you guys.

But, I just can’t help thinking about who would be buying those multi-million dollar homes everyday for weeks that I see on Paul’s numbers? I don’t think they are the wannabees and poseurs (maybe, some who have pooled their resources). And, maybe, like your family scullboy, (regarding buying those works of art) they don’t see the property to be under-or over-valued, just valuable, or even just what they fancy. Money is a non issue to them and they don’t buy for the express purpose of making money. But, it’s no coincidence they buy into assets that at worse will protect their money.

Maybe, if you can shed light on these buyers, I’ll have a better insight into what’s driving this market.


The class divide in Vancouver is drawn along generational lines. I'm in my late twenties and I'm priced out for a studio suite, let alone anything remotely resembling a house. I have more education, work experience, and money in the bank than either of my parents did at my age but I have no chance. It's a painful, frustrating reality. Had I been born ten years earlier, my situation would be very different. Now I look at this city and see that I'll probably have to leave it if I have any hopes of being able to have a family. In Vancouver, having kids has become some sort of luxury option only available to the wealthy. This is how hard it is for me and I am relatively privileged given that I did well in school, I have a decent… Read more »


Patiently Waiting:

Thanks for the head's up. I was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia…. went to Jr. high with Ashley MacIsaac and senior high with Julian from the Trailor Park Boys. Seriously. 🙂

I know about the pitfalls of life in NS but may because to get around it. My family still own a couple of oil companies there, which means both a source of employment, and free home heating as a benefit :).

You don't really get anywhere unless you're related to the right person, vote for the right person or sleep with the right person…. and sometimes (brrrrr!) all three…

That being said there are pockets of work to be had that are fairly reliable and the cost of living is sooooo much cheaper out there, it certainly makes a move worth considering.



Thanks for pointing out the employment realities of Halifax. Obviously there is a reason RE is cheaper there. Having said that. If you have no mortgage and a wad of cash in the bank does it really matter?


BOP – Maybe true, but the problem with bubbles (as opposed to plain old inflation) is that they *pop* leaving the last fools in taking the losses. If you're going to hop on a bus I think you probably want to keep an eye out for the *next* bubble and not hop onto the bus with all the flashing red warning lights.

Burden of Proof

The following phenomenon sucks but I believe that it is true. In his book, Shiller mentions that we have come to depend on rising asset prices to increase our standard of living. First it was two earners per family and when that couldn't cut it, we became a bubble society. If we did not have asset bubbles we would experience a declining standard of living. For those of us who have missed out on the bubbles, that is exactly what we are experiencing – as our income and savings buy less and less. This is part of the free market ideology that has dominated North America (perhaps the world) and was translated into political policy in the USA by Bush's "ownership society." If this is the economic model of today and the future, what does it mean? Do we have… Read more »


BRAVO patriotz and scullboy!

Obviously, the rich are,nt rich because they're stupid.

Unfortunately, such simple logic appears to be far beyond the reach of some of the mental midgets on realestatetalks and Chipmans blog.

That "rich foreigners" shit is getting ever more difficult to cope with.


Damann, one of those people we discussed, the ones who look down on their tenants, came into our office stinking of perfume and was really rude and arrogant to the receptionist.

A few weeks later my wife and I were shopping and we ran into this same woman and she was working in a dollar store!

For some reason she wanted us peasants to think she didn't work????

Arrogance or Ignorance? I'm not too bright myself but I can't see what she's thinking looking down her nose at other people for.

No one is better than another. We're just lucky we weren't born in a country where our parents sold us into prostitution when we were 12 or a town where you are woken up in the middle of the night to see your entire family slaughtered.

Patiently Waiting

There are huge parts of the Vancouver area that are worse than "kind of shabby". Spend some time in South-East Vancouver, South Burnaby or many parts of Surrey. Very ugly, depressing places and, yet, you can find million dollars houses there. We lived in Halifax from 1996-2006 and had a lot of good times. We sold our two unit house when we left despite it being possibly cash flow positive. It was an old house and needed too much work to manage from afar. Bring in manager fees and regular repairs, and it was no longer cash flow positive. A couple of things to keep in mind about Halifax. Heating costs are very high, especially for older homes, so that takes a bite into the otherwise affordable real estate. Taxes will tend to be higher than BC too. Also, have… Read more »



I'm starting to think the same thing. Anywhere is "the best place on earth" if you have the money to enjoy it. I could buy a really nice home in a really nice part of town. Because so many people left for the West, they're dying for talented people. It's looking pretty tempting. Then again, so is Miami. Hell at this point NYC is looking pretty good, it's expensive but at least you can make money there!

I was hanging out at a friend's place in Burnaby by Renfew yesterday trying to cheer myself up. Honestly, I'm not sure where all the hype in Van comes from. Except for Yaletown, Coal Harbour and the West End, the city's kind of shabby. I'm not exactly sure where the whole "livabaility" thing coems from….



Friends just sold their overpriced house in the burbs and are heading back to Halifax. They will be buying a beautiful house cash and buying a boat. As well throwing a few hundred K in the bank. With price differences that big it just makes no sense. I don't care how beautiful Vancouver is, Halifax is no slouch. Hmmm no mortgage, boat and a wad of cash in the bank all for the price of a crummy house in the burbs over here ( that still had a mortgage).


Patriotz: AMEN! The rich do NOT get richer pay laying out a lot of cash. My dad is in the top… ooooo maybe 0.5% of earners in this country. The man's got piles of money and life the rest of his family, by and large he's *CHEAP*. I mean mind bogglingly cheap! I was talking to him the other day, and he mentioned he wanted to visit Vancouver for a week. He pretty much invited himself to stay at my place. "Uhhhhh, Dad" I said "I don't think you understand how I'm living out here. I''m with someone now, and we're splitting a 400 square foot apartment. There really isn't any room" "Oh don't worry, I'll just sleep on the floor." (!!!!!!) "Uh, Dad, I don't have that much floor space available". Seriously. The rich don't get rich or stay… Read more »


the rich get richer. I believe they have made Vancouver RE truly unaffordable

You couldn't be more wrong. The rich get that way by buying low and selling high. Is Li Ka-Shing buying Vancouver condos or selling them? Is he driving prices up or pushing them down?

The people buying today are the wannabees and poseurs, who are going to be the nouveau poor.


Increase in cost of new Calgary housing slows

Talk about spin. The article uses February YOY figures to give the impression that prices in Calgary are still going up. In fact they peaked summer 2007 and have fallen 10% since. Note that they report an insignificant fractional % gain from December to January to continue the deception. Prices always start falling months before YOY declines, typically around 6 months.

If you know anything at all about math you can see that the author of the article knows this and is trying to tap dance around it.

In fact Calgary seems to be shaping up for a major condo debacle, with SFH surely to follow. See Alberta Bubble for details.


"I have long since given up hopes of buying a property. Remember, the rich get richer. I believe they have made Vancouver RE truly unaffordable"

I found something all of us can afford!!! This is it everyone!!! V686341 Check it out.


I don’t really have a choice, my financial position dictates I must wait. How did it all come to this? “That’s your misfortune”. And mine. Sorry scullboy to foist Rhett Butler onto you, but then you’re the resident English Prof. I have long since given up hopes of buying a property. Remember, the rich gets richer. I believe that they have made Vancouver RE truly unaffordable. This is something, with time, more people will accept. The only real challenge left now is to predict the direction of the market. And DaMann, I can relate to your story. I couldn’t even afford that $230K property in 2004. Don’t feel too bad towards your 'friend', I’ve been told the same (many times). Those “fundamentals” exist only in classrooms. This is the real world of Canada. And yes, the US is not Canada.… Read more »


If anyone is interested in the ecodensity / affordability issue there is a hearing for the rezoning of 1754-1772 Pendrell Steet.

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Best Western Sands Hotel, Capilano Room,

1755 Davie Street


They won't get sympathy from the majority of us, but the way the BoC acts or reacts rather, they'll probably get a reprieve of sorts through our tax dollars, repaying the banks/lenders for all the losses… bollocks!


I think the reason I come here is that people understand my frustration and probably share it. Your home is supposed to be shelter and perhaps a way of salting some money away so that over the years your equity (not to say "investment") grows. I think there is some hidden truth in the last few posts. In Vancouver, there is no lower, middle or upper class. There are no blue or whete collar workers. There are no levels of education. There are only renters and owners. Whether we like it or not, that is the line that divides us. My ex from Toronto is Colombian. He and his family worked like hell to make it in Canada. They purchased a small business and worked VERY hard to make it float. They weren't too proud to work at jobs you… Read more »


Scullboy, thanks for opening up. Your post on jaybanks was humor! What gets me is how these new "real estate moguls" do the following: 1) Never account for mortgage or interest payments when reporting their profit (it's simply "I paid X and sold for X+Y) never seem to mention the time between purchase and sale where interst payments would have depleted their overall net gain, not to mention their property taxes, maintenance/strata fees and insurance premiums; 2) They never mention capital gains tax, obviously not on principle residences, see #4; 3) They don't seem to understand realized gain vs. unrealized gain, they just assume the money is theirs without a sale; 4) And last but certainly not least – those that sell their principle residences with profits only to realize that they need to live somewhere and guess what? All… Read more »


The main thing I'll take from the latest threads is not to generalize. I have no idea what my landlords financial situation is, and I don't care.

At this moment I know the rent I pay him is fair, and to buy this place would cost me twice as much a month. P/E out of whack…nothing else matters.

And for what it's worth, I work with blue-collar types that make >$100k with overtime, and I have friends with PhDs who make less than 30k a year, and doctor friends who are renters.

In Vancouver, what's more important is when you bought, not how much you make, nor your level of education.

In an rapidly appreciating market everyone is a genius, and in a depreciating market as someone else said before we'll see who is swimming naked.


I can't edit the above for countless spelling errors. That's what happens when one gets ranting.


"The rant came from when Scullboy made a comment about renters and owners being two classes. In fact the applicants for rentals downtown is a very bright and generally high paid group whereas some of the owners are simply children (even adults) of upper middle class families from elsewhere (eg.Iran,Korea) who don’t seem to do anything productive and are just babysitting their parents’ “parked” money by living in their unit. These kind of “owners” are not a better class of people." Bloody hell BDK. Spot on. The friends I refered to in the above post buying second places fall into the Iran/ Korea category. You said it so well. They have a nose in the air attitude now. They talk about their tenants like they're scum. What makes me laugh is one of them only just arrived in 2001 and… Read more »