The flipper-free building

Local developer Ian Gillespie is experimenting with the idea of building a downtown condo that is affordable to a couple making minimum wage. The tower would be located on Cordova between Gastown and the Downtown Eastside. To keep costs down it will feature simple finishes, no parking, and owners would do their own maintenance instead of paying strata fees to cover repairs. To try to keep out speculators and flippers they will require the units to be owner occupied.

The 108-unit project is a collaboration involving Vancity credit union, Habitat for Humanity and a Downtown Eastside housing group. Habitat will get four condos suitable for families in the building and will choose who gets them. Another eight units, to be managed by the PHS housing society, will go to local community workers.

The remaining 96 condos will go to buyers who will have to prove that they plan to live in the units and who agree to do some maintenance themselves instead of just paying standard condo-maintenance fees. According to the material submitted to the city, nearly three-quarters of the condos will sell for less than $300,000, and more than half will be affordable to people making between $29,000 and $36,000 a year. That’s the income of an individual earning $15-$19 an hour, or a couple in which each partner makes the $8-an-hour minimum wage.

One interesting point: one of the reasons they can build this condo development for cheaper is because the land got cheaper:

The land, previously owned by developer Robert Wilson, was repossessed by Vancity last year. He had purchased it for $7.9-million in July, 2007, shortly before the city’s real-estate market deflated. It’s now assessed at $5.4-million.

Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.

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uhm…aren’t those dirty money (in Miami) generated in the US

Miami is a long time haven for dirty money from Latin America, especially Colombia (drugs) and Venezuela and Ecuador (oil). And of course Cuba pre-Castro.

Go rent the Godfather Part II some time.

Mr. Market doesn't care where money comes from. Economic fundamentals always prevail.


The 'Translink Tax' is actually 32.5 cents per litre.


Here are the projections for July with only two days left. I hair better than 2008 for sales seems likely. YAY better than the worst year ever. That's a boom, right?

item sales listings sell/list

days elapsed 19 19

average 110 200

days left 2 2

projection 2306 4203 54.9%


Regarding gas prices here, in Metro Vancouver we've got the "regional gas tax", which funds TransLink, at 15 cents/litre. That goes a long way towards explaining the discrepancies between gas prices here and elsewhere.

Also don't forget Campbell's carbon tax, which started at 2 cents/liter, and is now 4.45 cents/litre.


@Hovering: You can find the answers to your questions here.


@patriotz: uhm…aren't those dirty money generated in the US and through illegal activities that doesn't report taxes anyways? I'm talking about money that are generated through registered corporations in China. So it's legal income but dirty in the sense that it only comes about because of the bribes, etc to be paid to gov't officials. A lot of business immigrants require that money to live but don't want to pay both US and Chinese income tax on it. It's a lot easier to get away in Canada of not paying Canadian income tax on it. In fact it's common knowledge that a lot of Chinese here (HK, Taiwan, Mainland, etc) using various schemes to receive social benefits (eg. welfare, GIS, housing/childcare subsidies, etc) in Canada while not reporting assets and incomes to CRA in Canada. That's very different from drug… Read more »


what's the average income in vancouver ?

average family income ?

I wanted to look around the world to see what that could get you elsewhere

what is the approved rational ratio

a house should cost 4 times annual income ? 3 times ?

let's say 5 times ?



McLovin Says: July 28th, 2010 at 8:01 am Things I have noticed: 2. The forum is slowly being taken over by crazies who don’t want to talk about real estate. 3. Chilled hates women and has probably never kissed one he didn’t pay. 4. Realpaul is a very bitter nutbar who may also be posting under Chilled or at minimum plays video games with him. =================================== Count me in. Realpaul and Chilled are pretty much the only reason I still read this blog. The only thing I don't like is the constant references to "realwhores". It is degrading for hard working sex workers to be associated with realtors. I pay half of my salary into taxes, why the fuck is everyone bothering me to donate to "charities"? What is the government doing with my money? What is a charity anyways?… Read more »

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@Recently Bearish:

2300 sales this month would be 44% lower than last July and 5% higher than 2008.

MOI should increase from 5.9 to 7.3 after expired listings are factored in at the end of the month.

Let's hope that August brings 1500 sales.


Watched the Global report…. 600% ….800%……1000% higher than the stated rate of national inflation in fee hikes ( taxes disguised as anything but) across the board. Gas taxes and prices the highest in North America…..does this have anything to do with the 21% annual increase in civil servants making more than $100,000 per annum? Tell me it ain't so Ma!!!!!!!!

Global says no to a tax revolt…I say 'where do I sign up'!!!!


@Recently Bearish:

Whew, that's good, wouldn't want to trigger another 400 bps rate cut (particularly from .75) and god knows what the CMHC would do with another $250 billion of taxpayer guarantees.

Oh wait, are these cheap shots in violation of the Morality of Government Spending Criticism Act?



Regardless I think dirty money probably just don’t like US

Ever here of Miami? That was in the US last time I checked. It has also seen a 45% drop in RE prices.


Maybe some blowback from the escalating tax regime that has been insidiously imposed on BC taxpayers under the guise of 'rates and fee creep'. At 6:00 on Global Vaughn Palmer will supposedly list the hikes in direct and indirect taxation that has been foisted on the BC taxpayer. I hope they do a forensic analysis on where the money is going, but that might ignite a political conflagration so I won't hold my breath for too much truth from a Global news cast. Still I would hope that even the bozo's out there have to finally be picking up on how the fund flow to public service entities is draining the public coffers to the extent that services can no longer be delivered because of outrageous salaries and perks. Remember this….everytime its announced that more money is going into healthcare… Read more »

Recently Bearish

@Recently Bearish

There is an important NOT missing from my last post – almost certain that the numbers will NOT be lower than those of 2008.

Recently Bearish

Reviewing Paul B & Larry's numbers (and VHB's tallys), it seems to me that there have been around 2097 sales so far in July, with 2 days left. If that number is roughly correct, it is almost certain that this month's sales numbers will be lower than those in 2008, but equally certain that it will be the 2nd lowest July sales in 10 years (and only marginally higher than that 2008 low).



Those SOLDs are killer. RE agents must be feeling the pinch this summer.


New Listings 141

Price Changes 132

Sold Listings 70


@space889: Plus, IRS agents carry guns.


@patriotz: well a lot of mainland Chinese people still rely on business in China to generate income so A and/or B does matter to them. Also I think Canada and US have a tax treaty which make things easier while I don't think China have a tax treaty with US. How much it mattesr I don't know since I'm not familiar with owning property in US and their income tax codes, just heard some horror stories.

Regardless I think dirty money probably just don't like US when Canada offers so much more safety and way more social benefits.


@space889: I say the same thing until my sister counter with “yes but if you are a rich guy and owns a house in US, you have to declare your worldwide income to the IRS and pay taxes on it. That simply isn't true. I mean that should be common knowledge in Vancouver, as people here have owned vacation properties in Pt. Roberts, etc. for decades. You are liable for US income taxes if (A) you are a legal resident of the US, or (B), you spend more than 181 days a year in the US, or (C) you are a US citizen (but the first $75K is exempt if you are non-resident). (A) and (B) are the same as Canada. Anyone who owns any property in the US (RE, stocks, etc) is also liable for US estate taxes (on… Read more »


Here is another piece of bubble news, from Hong Kong this time.

The land auction concluded yesterday with a transaction price of 10.4B $HKD, resulting in a price of $32000HKD ($4200 CAD)/sq feet.

Of particular interest is that the sq.ft price $4200 CAD/sq is 30-50% higher than all the home sales transactions nearby. My enquiring mind would like to know why a builder is willing to pay $4200 for just the raw land and somewhere nearby there are apartments avaiable for sale at 30-50% lower than the raw land price?

According to the news, the developer is betting that once the apartments are completed, there will be Mainland Chinese flocking to buy everything up. LOL.


@crabman: I say the same thing until my sister counter with "yes but if you are a rich guy and owns a house in US, you have to declare your worldwide income to the IRS and pay taxes on it. The IRS is a lot tougher and meaner than CRA. Plus US extradite criminals back to home country." 🙂 So that does kind of puts a big dampner on corruption money from China going to US.

Well there are also some other annoying restrictions for foreigner/non-PR to own a house in US too.

But for a million bucks difference, I would probably put up with that hassles. Or hell, buy in those coutries where US people love to retire too at even cheaper price. 🙂



Those stats were from May.

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Does this ever put the U.S government debt into perspective.

$13 trillion debt.

80 million houses in the country.

$13T would buy 72 million of them or 90%.

Think they're ever planning on paying it back?


@Whitebear: I can

a) stab myself with a large knife

b) stab myself with a small knife

c) not stab myself at all

I choose (c).