The Big Difference

What a difference a few months can make in the Vancouver real estate market. Inventory is high and prices are falling, no longer are we seeing the bidding wars of the past. In fact, it’s starting to look like reverse bidding wars as sellers compete for sharper pricing to snag the last of the boom-buyers.  We’re starting to see some big asking price discrepancies on similar units in the same building.

Girlbear pointed out this first example in Arbutus walk:

MLS V837889 vs MLS V839019 – both penthouse units.

847 sq feet asking $494,900 vs. 950 sq feet asking $439,000.

Anonymous pointed out this second example down near gastown:

MLS V831995 vs. MLS V831904 – both 5th floor townhouse units.

1,236 sq feet asking $548,000 vs. 1,202 sq feet asking $649,000.

Buyers who bought before the big run up in prices can afford to sell at a much lower price and still make money compared to those who bought more recently.  I guess this is what they mean when they say ‘buy low, sell high’.

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@doubladay: It will be interesting to check if this company makes any political donations to VV.


@ Realpaul If you get in an accident and itis your fault…eg you rear end someone… ICBC offers the claimant( ie:person at fault) the "option of repaying the amount that ICBC had to pay to cover the repair of the other car, and injuries, and any other costs of the accident… Back in the day there was not this option…you cause an accident and you lose your road star discount, or your premiums go up…pretty basic…now you can choose to either have your premiums go up or you can pay for the damages up front… This is a get out of jail free card if the cost of the accident is less that what your insurance would go up if you were to claim an accident…obviously you don't get the benefit! I would like to say that I don't support… Read more »


Q: Why does it cost over $220000 to build a laneway house?

A: It doesn't; that's just how much one company wants you to pay.

This is a profit margin, a building method, and a media-blitzed environmental hype-dream of a reputation that will soon disappear.


A #114, whddya mean 'it's illegal to have a monopoly in Canada'? Ever hear of ICBC? How about 'BC Transit? or BC Hydro'. We've got momoplolies up the ying yang in this country. Mostly staffed by ass licking blood sucking shit eating civil service parasites demanding outrageous wages and benefits for doing sweet f**K all. Crown Corporations are the nexus of nepotism and the unionist wet dream farm where even assholes can't get fired no matter how much they fuck up or the number of children they molest. I heard a good one today. ICBC is now demanding that claimants repay the cost of their accidents either in one up front lump sum or in outrageous installments which add up to more than usury laws supossedly limit. The insurance premium you're paying isn't worth jack shit. You pay insurance premiums… Read more »


My sister wanted my parents to build a l;aneway house for her to live in on their property. My dad built the house so she assumed he could help her and her husband build the laneway, thus saving labour costs…she did an extensive cost survey including all supplies needed for construction of the proposed 850 sqft, two level laneway…hardwood floors, granite counters, and she found some cute carriage doors that are manufactured in the states…total supply cost came in under 50k. These laneways were on display at last years home show…average cost of 180k…the only reason I can think of the high price is perhaps to get permits the only company allowed to build them is the one listed and maybe they have a monopoly on it? seams unlikely given it is illegal in Canada to have a monoploy…



"No pain, no gain" your mother was squeaking vigorously when I invited her to meet me at the laneway last night.

patient renter

I know someone getting a laneway house built around Joyce Skytrain and it's only costing $130, 000 or less….


I don't understand why these Vancouver laneway houses are so expensive. A friend recently bought a new home from a developer and for about $30-40K more over a standard 2 car garage you could get a 450 sq ft loft over your garage, seems more reasonable. This isn't in Vancouver though, but come on $330 per sq ft to build that's bs. Shame on people for paying that.


Evan at 150K-200K+, it still seems the laneways make sense.

The land's cap rate will increase but its overall price shouldn't increase by much more than the cost of the laneway house itself. Basically you've turned an SFH into a mini townhome complex but the land cost stays about the same.


Uh oh bear bar, this talk about laneway lady is perfect reason why bear not understand investment, just bitter renter. This why no bears live on Park Ave. Why not do bear gospel price to rent on laneway? Very good ratio bears. Land already bought. Maybe you don't like renter in backyard? No pain, no gain bears. No one going to hand you free Dunbar SFH because you are patient and use fancy math. Keep waiting for 3x magic bears, ratio never that low again. Debt service too easy.



Sorry to hear that. I think in the coming years many of us will be affected by stories of friends and family losing on real estate (and more). It will be a sad state of affairs. Sure, we may end up being able to buy houses at affordable levels, but at what cost to society? This bubble has cost us so much already. I just wish this bubble hadn't happened at all.

Can Never Think of a

Thought this was interesting…… … More than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of a million dollars are seriously delinquent, according to data compiled for The New York Times by the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic. By contrast, homeowners with less lavish housing are much more likely to keep writing checks to their lender. About one in 12 mortgages below the million-dollar mark is delinquent. Though it is hard to prove, the CoreLogic data suggest that many of the well-to-do are purposely dumping their financially draining properties, just as they would any sour investment. … “I’ve never seen the wealthy hit like this before,” Mr. Lowman said. “They made their plans based on the best of all possible scenarios — that their incomes would continue to grow, that real estate would never drop. Not many had a… Read more »



What happened to Chipman’s blog? It is no longer a blog – just property ads?

No real value in the discussion but the stats were good

The blog is still there but you have to click on "The Best Real Estate Anywhere" link on the left. Fooled me for a week or two too.


Here are the projections for July, after today's numbers for paulb.

item sales listings sell/list

days elapsed 5 5

average 121 243

days left 16 16

projection 2545 5111 49.8%

All I do is take the average over the first 5 days, and then multiply that average by the number of days left. Add it to the total so far, and there you have it.

This is a projection, not a prediction.



I know the owners – they are very nice people. Both employed, her part time (she has a disability). Yes, they need the money.

Unfortunately they didn't just drink the real estate Cool-aid, they got an intravenous drip. I know this is going to end bad and I feel really bad for them.

On Monday he mentioned that city counselors were going to pay a visit. I thought it might end up in the papers. Anyone see anything?


@Devore: Agree. it is NUTS how much they cost. The only reasons these are being built are a) gross overestimation of the rental demand. b) owners with big paper equity don't think 250K is expensive because hey it's free monopoly money. I wonder if the companies pushing this are making any political contributions? So anyway, I think this is a great idea in principle, but the cost is exorbitant. BTW. I agree with Anonymous–I think it's fine to have people living in 100sf places. If you mandate that everyone must have 500sf+ to live in, then you consign many people to be homeless. Yeah, you wouldn't live there Summer, but why do you get to impose your living style choice on others? How big are student dorm rooms? Heck those are 150sf for 2 people. The solution to most of… Read more »


@Spoonfed Generation Y:

"I would bank on the fact that they do not need the money, but who nevertheless underestimated the market value of the unit."

If I'm not mistaken, one of her first ads mentioned that they are also renting out their basement suite, along with the laneway house. I'd bet that they DO need the money, if they need to rent out 75% of their property in order to afford to live in 25% of it. Over-leveraged, just like the rest of new Vancouver homebuyers. Oh, but at least they can go to parties and brag about their $1.5million house they "own"!


CULT index still falling…



"That 100 sq-ft model disgusts me. How big is a prison cell again? No one should be paying money to live in one of those."

Two alternatives :

– They're homeless

– YOU pay for them to live in one of those

Which is it to be?


@VHB: Sure laneways are a great initiative, but the amount of red tape, requirements for all separate utilities hookups, and INSANE construction costs guarantee this will be a flop. They're basically prefab homes, they should cost well under $100k to put up.


That 100 sq-ft model disgusts me. How big is a prison cell again? No one should be paying money to live in one of those.

Best place on meth


I'm not sure the city will allow the 100 sqft model to be rented to the public as it doesn't include a sleeping pod.

Kid Fynnland


Kid Fynnland

Thnx for the numbers paulb. It is quoey out there. Must be July.



I saw the same money-grab schema but on smaller scale too many times. One would open and aggressively market a new bar/club/whatever just for the "elite" where some crazy membership is required and drinks are insanely expensive. Sucker and wannabe would hurry there and spend like there is no tomorrow just to get that feeling of "belonging to the elite". Of course it comes with price and it hurts a lot, but what can you do?

Haven't this city/business develop the same schema where lots of people think that they are chosen ones and blessed to live in such "special place" and pay whatever they've been told. Tragic, isn't it?