Friday free-for-all!

You know the drill…

Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

200 Responses to “Friday free-for-all!”

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    Canadian banks reduce many of their mortgage rates by 0.1 per cent
    http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_

    Anyone has an idea of the tendency for the sales in August?

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    Enough is enough wit that crap "First!". It's not funny any more.

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    Was it ever funny? :)

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    CanuckDownUnder Says:
    4

    So the Realturds(TM) are saying sales are down in BC because of the beautiful weather and the HST:

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/08/19/blame-it-on-th

    Yet sales in Calgary are down 42% despite the lack of HST as well a summer which has been by all accounts miserable, there still hasn't been a 30C day this year.

    Calgary isn't "lagging" the country, it's leading the country. It's now been 3+ years since the real estate peak that couldn't even be revived by 0.5% interest rates.

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    @Lana: Sales are about the same as July. They are, relatively speaking, on the weak side but not outright collapsing like they were in 2008. Low rates still have some impact IMO.

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    Talk about the flip-side to Vancouver, 72% of homes in the US require less than 28% of median household income to service total housing costs (debt payments plus taxes etc…) -and still they can't sell!! Right now the avg. Vancouver SFH is around to 80% of median income!!

    The least affordable city in the US is NY City where the median house price is ONLY $426,000 (vs. median income of $65,600 – this includes all burroughs) – that is almost 1/2 of East Vancouver SFH. $450k is still a high price for a SFH on a worldwide scale – and here we are talking about NY City with population of 10M+ (=1/3 of the entire population of Canada in that small area) – one of the highest population densities in the world. Look at the example of the nice SFH house in Queen's, NY that the article provides as indication of "least" affordable in the US – very nice 3 bedroom colonial house asking $559K (and it probably can't sell) !! That's termed the "least afffordable in the US" – that's about 40% cheaper than similar house in East Van.!!!!

    See the other examples of so-called "unaffordable" in the US – less than HALF the price of Vancouver (in great, "worldclass" cities like San Francisco, LA etc…).

    http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/real_estate/1

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    So, The Liberals trying to derail the will of the people by having their bum boys dragged through the byzantine court sytem eh? The fact is that more people voted against HST than voted for the Liberal movement in the last election. The fact is they're trying to ram it up our asses whether we like it our not. The fact is that everything from the inflation numbers to the crash in RE sales and the closing of hundreds of small bbusinesses is leading straight back to the HST. Can they have it both ways or are we just fucking sheep that will allow these Liberal social engineers to displace democracy for the sake of their own idiotic social fantasies of granting the windfall profits to the coffers of the special intrests while the rest of us work to pay for it.

    The Liberal media is also attacking the will of the people on a national smear campaign, calling us the assholes of the world because we have collectively seen through the Tamil Tiger migration as a LIberal machination…similar to what they were doing when they supported the Tigers war games in Sri Lanka. Ya right….its Canadians who are the assholes. I don't think so.

    "Poll shows Canadians are nasty, anti-immigrant SOBs"

    This is supposed to make you feel guilty because you didn't react with welfare cheques at the first sign of the Tiger ship breaking over the horizon.

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/08/20/ke

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    Eighth!!!!!

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    @ Jesse

    Thank you :)

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    Cranteeny Bitchezz Says:
    10

    @vanpro: Yeah but they don't have rich asians, rich baby boomers, WINTER OLYMPICS, mountains, the beach and 200+ days of rain per year in the US. It's different here(TM)!

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    Topic change: what is the average per sq.ft. construction price in Vancouver?

    Actually, let me amend that: what is the average per sq.ft. construction cost in Vancouver for a well-built house? I feel I should be specific about that after seeing some of the building defects in this city…

    I saw in the latest Froogle Scott entry on VREAA that reno costs ran him about $10k/week for a competent and professional crew. Does that happen to apply to new construction? If it takes seven months to build a house, would that give you a $300k cost?

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    No Longer Looking Says:
    12

    I found this rent reduction interesting:

    http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/pml/apa/1909161

    First of all, the rent was sort of affordable for a grocery store clerk already. I live near this area of purpose-built rental buildings and have watched the FOR RENT signs skyrocket. A couple of years ago, you would have had to line up for these buildings and cross your fingers. The CMHC stats for apartment rents are going to get interesting.

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    We don't really have "the beach" either. Our beaches are merely sea-side sandboxes compared to real beaches such as the ones in california or barcelona.

    By Vancouver standards, even Toronto has beaches.

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    @No Longer Looking: looks like a perfect bear den.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    15

    @Lana:

    Looks like August sales will be even worse than July was, around 2100-2200.

    Blame it on yard work and wealthy Chinese enjoying the Shanghai Expo.

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    Anoymous Says:
    17

    I honestly have no idea why some of you whiners still live here. You complain about the weather, the beaches, the others who live here, the price of real estate, lack of things to do here, that Vancouver isn't a world-class city, etc, etc, it's a never ending list. Seriously, just live somewhere else. You'll be happier for it, and so will the rest of us.

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    bums up2 Says:
    18

    I'd love to move; I hate this shit town. But I do have a life here: friends, family. It's unfortunate but like many people I'm trapped slogging it out here and can only dream of retiring somewhere nice.

    Fortunately my girlfriend may have to move in order to take advantage of her shiny new Master's degree– thanks to Vancouver's crap job market. So I may still escape yet.

    Fingers crossed!

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    fixie guy Says:
    19

    @ Anoymous

    You're mistaken. Most aren't complaining about Vancouver per se, just some of the putzes who live here and seem incapable of any perspective that doesn't put them at the pinnacle of the food chain. The weather I can take.

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    Cranteeny Bitchezz Says:
    20

    @Anoymous: Yeah sounds easy but where else in the world can I find a high paying corporate head office job, affordable living costs and an awesome lifestyle?

    Hey I know, if all the whiners are bugging you so much that you need to post your whining little rant then why don't YOU get the fuck out?

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    Cranteeny Bitchezz Says:
    21

    @VRENGD: Did I mention the WINTER OLYMPICS? Yeah we had 'em and TO didn't, suck it TO.

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    Cranteeny Bitchezz Says:
    22

    Felix Salmon gives a shout out to Vandirty in his latest piece over at SeekingAlpha:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/220931-why-the-ho

    Anoymous, SSB, Dave, Geezer and all you other knuckle dragging realtards can just skip this one, you wouldn't understand all the big words and there's no pictures.

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    Beatbox Says:
    23

    I see comments comparing Vancouver to NY housing and comparing Vancouver to San Diego/San Francisco, Seattle, Hawaii… and so on and so on. Look, Uberbears, guys comparing us to those places, why don't you move there? If the deals are so much better to be had (and they are, especially with 30 year FIXED mortgages for less than 5% nowadays) then up and go.

    I guess my real question is: Why do you stay? If everything sucks here (weather, stoney beaches, high taxes, poor wages, etc.) then why do you stay and make yourselves miserable? If the answer is "family" then why not convince your whole family to up and leave? A whole boatload of Tamils made a much more arduous journey to leave a place they weren't happy with, I'm sure you could do the same. And if it sucks so much here, and is so unaffordable, then why do people keep coming? BC leads all provinces in population growth with 13% of the national growth in the past year.

    This isn't a snide comment. It is not a rhetorical question. I really want to know why you stay when the you post a "grass is greener" type comment. Please enlighten me.

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    Tony Danza Says:
    24

    @Anoymous: Let me guess Anoymous, you've been living in Vancouver for what 5, maybe 6 years? It's usually the neophyte idiots like you that are first to spew the "why don't you move if you don't like being a debt slave for the rest of your life making half what you could elsewhere".

    Don't bother "refudiating" my claim unless you back it up with some proof.

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    Tony Danza Says:
    25

    @Beatbox: Why do you stay?

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    SuperSmartBull Says:
    26

    @Beatbox: You know why bears stay? 2 reason. One, they know that moving is risk, and bears want to avoid all risk, that is why they miss generational chance to make big $$$ on housing boom. Two, they know deep down inside angry bear heart that if they move they will be unhappy Debbie or Doug Downer in new place too. Move to NYC? Too much crime and dirty and summer heat. Move to Cali? State is bankrupt. Move to TO? Leafs.

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    Anonymous Says:
    27

    @realpaul

    Read the National Post article again, you shit-spewing imbecile. Your reading comprehension skills are stunningly low, much like your iq. If at least you were somewhat clever, or funny maybe…

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    I don't think one has to leave Vancouver. One just doesn't have to buy real estate in Vancouver right now. It's not a requirement to own a place in Vancouver; at today's prices, it's cheaper to rent than own.

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    Wonder if this will be the case in Vancouver (It' different here – TM)

    Death of the 'McMansion': Era of Huge Homes Is Over

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Death-of-the-McMans

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    jimmy –

    i very much hope so

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    @realpaul: #27 Anonymous is right – you did pull a rather spectacular reading comprehension face plant. The editorial you link is an indictment of perceived government immigration policy failure, not a guilt trip for the Canadian public. Care to give it another try?

    And I know that this is a Friday free-for-all, but is this even a relevant topic for VCI?

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    Best place on meth Says:
    32

    @SuperSmartBull:

    >>>that is why they miss generational chance to make big $$$ on housing boom.<<<

    You hit the nail on the head there, maybe you're getting smarter after all.

    Yes, it was a once-in-a-generation housing boom and it will be 20 years before real estate in this town goes up again.

    Welcome to the bearish camp.

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    Anoymous Says:
    33

    I just find it bizarre that people would wait years for real estate prices to come down so that they can buy a permanent home in a city which is, seemingly, so inferior to just about anywhere else in the world. I was hoping somebody could explain the apparent contradiction.

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    @shikko: My former neighbours when I lived in East Van had their old house demolished and a new one built. The new one was built and ready for occupancy (landscaping excluded) in 4 months.

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    "people would wait years for real estate prices to come down so that they can buy a permanent home in a city which is, seemingly, so inferior to just about anywhere else in the world"

    At today's prices, Vancouver would seem to be relatively inferior to other places. If there's a 40% haircut, then okay, IMHO, Vancouver would seem like a better place to buy.

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    RichAsian TM Says:
    36

    It's back to school time bears! You know what that means?

    All the rich asians are going to buy condos for their kids that are going to university. Rich asian kids don't rent or live in dorms. They all own condos.

    Get ready for sky rocketing sales, bears. The back to school condo sales rush is on!

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    Best place on meth Says:
    37

    @Anoymous:

    No contradiction at all.

    The point is that Vancouver is a fine place to live, however the cheerleaders justifications for our sky-high prices don't match up with the city's standing on a global scale.

    In other words, it's a pleasant backwater with New York prices.

    Any questions?

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    VanRant Says:
    38

    @RichAsian TM: Is that you Kite? Real Estate business must be slow, I heard Mc D is hiring.

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    fixie guy Says:
    39

    It seems the marketers are posting all the old double-speak at double-speed. "Why don't you move?" "Asian high school students are coming"? Maybe VCI needs an astroturf index to track industry panic.

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    Anoymous Says:
    40

    @Jimmy:

    "At today’s prices, Vancouver would seem to be relatively inferior to other places. If there’s a 40% haircut, then okay, IMHO, Vancouver would seem like a better place to buy."

    The beaches will be more tolerable if it weren't so expensive to live near them? Something like that?

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    Beatbox Says:
    41

    Interesting that such an open ended question of mine quickly got down voted by 7 people. It was directed at those who compare Vancouver to elsewhere and the vast complainers on our weather and other things. Instead of answering they downvote. That's just sad. I guess it really is just a culture of entitlement.

    @TonyDanza I stay because:

    a) I am already settled here.

    b) I own my own home and have for 23 years (purchased 1987)

    c) I don't mind the weather.

    d) I enjoy all the amenities near me (restaurants, beaches, trails, skiing: downhill and cross country, access to the ocean)

    e) My family has been raised here and my children all live within 45 minutes except one who lives in Austin, TX)

    f) I know everyone in my neighbourhood except the quiet family down the street who no one seems to know.

    g) I've gone to the same barber for 20 years and everytime I go it's a great feeling to get a great cut at a great price with a rousing political discourse at the same time.

    In other words, I have roots and they don't cost me anything financially… but I am also an old fart, living mortgage-free, with adult children. I bought at a much more affordable time and have lived through ups and downs. The current price of my home is of no interest to me. It's costing me $4600/year in taxes and that's it.

    Were I to be young again, starting out in this market, I'd be elsewhere. Vancouver is not affordable. My 26 year old son in Austin owns his home (purchased for $196,000 last year and he makes $70k a year). My other son (24) and daughter (21) rent here. There's no way I'd let them purchase anything at this time (not that they could). Both are thinking about leaving. They have dual citizenship so moving to the states is no problem.

    I have two investment properties here (both purchased over 10 years ago) and 6 rental properties thoughout Texas (DFW and Austin). Yes, my wife is from Texas. Hence the interest and experience there. We also own a vacation home in Ajijic, MX. I wouldn't even consider for a moment buying property in Vancouver at the current valuations. Now you know a lot about me and where I am coming from.

    I simply wanted to know why others who complain so much don't do anything about their status. Is that worth a silent down vote?

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    Absinthe Says:
    42

    @Anoymous: The beaches aren't a selling feature. The city is lovely. It's just not, in any way, New York – and there are many other lovely places.

    For me, it's not that Vancouver sucks. The boosterism sucks. We're transitioning, and we're doing it awkwardly. We're like the kid who grows a peach fuzz mustache and then tries to buy his own booze – not self-aware enough to see we're not fooling anyone.

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    Absinthe Says:
    43

    @Beatbox:

    Bears certainly have left. So have non-bears who wanted to buy and found Vancouver too steep. Other bears are fine with renting and have jobs or networks here: in my industry, you're as good as your network. Moving is restarting. You don't just flush and start again in another city without very good reason.

    Your remark about family is odd to me. I have older family here who bought before the boom, others with pensions tied to their remaining years in their local jobs – remarkably different than the situation the Tamils were fleeing, yeah? A paper real estate boom barely affects them. They're here. So those of us who put family first will stay here.

    And even if we did leave, I'd still be watching. This RE situation here has gone beyond being the elephant in the room to being Godzilla on the coast.

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    Royce McCutcheon Says:
    44

    @Beatbox:

    My wife and I – both in health research – have decided to have a crack at setting up here because we felt it was somewhat worth taking a professional hit in order to 1) have closeness to people we care about and 2) to stay in Canada and, especially, in an area where we grew up. We're here because we are Lower Mainlanders. I don't mean that in the sense that we're straight out of a leaky-shoebox-lovin' condo ad, stacking fresh-cut flowers in the front basket of our mint Vespa scooter. I mean it in the sense that we are actually OF this place. For better or worse, this place will always be HOME. I learned how to ride a bike when I lived in family housing at UBC, I grew up listening to Robson & Larscheid call Canucks games, I've enjoyed everything from Expo 86 to the celebration of the recent hockey gold, and my heroes are people like Terry Fox and Doug Coupland. My wife has similar bona fides. We’ve spent time in dozens of countries between us and we return here because it is in our blood.

    But even with us personally loving it here, we reserve the right to mock the “best place on earth” tag. Just because WE are acclimated to the craggy beaches, hefty rainfall, and lack of cultural and industrial infrastructure, doesn’t mean we’re incapable of seeing the insanity of pricing our real estate way ABOVE places like Hawaii, NY, etc. We know that outsiders who don’t have Vancouver in their blood are unlikely to feel like we do, so we think the hype is reprehensible. And even though we personally are not in the real estate market, we can’t simply ignore real estate in the Lower Mainland. Why? Because it’s clear that this incredibly delusional and out-of-whack market has the ability to impact the majority of people in this region (not just those who invested directly in real estate)! THAT is why we express anger and frustration and why we deride this place. The vitriol you’re witnessing towards Vancouver – and Lower Mainland real estate in particular – is a symptom of the Cassandra complex that’s developed in people in this city who can think rationally. We see the HUGE amount of misallocated effort and money wrapped up in this market and we see the hurt that’s coming down the road, yet we’re pretty much powerless to affect the situation. Some of us may personally benefit from a massive correction and are gleeful, sure. (There’s a very decent chance that my wife and I will benefit hugely in the time ahead – and even if a correction takes a long time, we love where we rent.) But if things get bad enough, many might also have to leave (for us, research funding has already started to be cut BEFORE a massive correction has occurred). And we take no pleasure in seeing people we care about – or the city we love – struggling to move forward.

    So, regarding why we stay here even after ‘grass is greener’ comments, it comes down to simple personal math: [(Being ‘of’ the Lower Mainland) – (Poorer work circumstances)] > [Better working circumstances somewhere else]. Some days the equation flips. Once that happens enough times, we’re gone. Till then, most negative comments are just blowing off steam in an obviously frustrating situation.

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    Royce McCutcheon Says:
    45

    Apologies for the novel. Was recently talking about this with someone else and seeing the topic again stirred up the blood.

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    Tony Danza Says:
    46

    @Beatbox: I think you have an irony detection deficiency.

    And for the record I voted you down because your original post had a high douchebag quotient to it. Your follow up post is no better, you sound like an entitled prick.

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    Tony Danza Says:
    47

    @Royce McCutcheon: Nicely done Mr McCutcheon.

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    SuperSmartBull Says:
    48

    @Best place on meth:

    Yes, it was a once-in-a-generation housing boom and it will be 20 years before real estate in this town goes up again.

    That is not only interpretation of comment, bear. In boom we had 10+% appreciation. Even Bull can see this is not sustainable. Show one bull who is predict that. However, bitter bear fantasy is hoping for 70% crash to take pain away and give another chance to make big $$$. That is fantasy, like life is better in NYC. Expect flat, slight correction then new green shoot growth. Prices will still be too high for bear.

    Vancouver is wonderful city. No one here have peach fuzz mustache. Beaches are not that rocky. When Canucks win cup in 2011 this city will be perfect. Now that they bolster blue-line expect big thing. Plus we have dragon boat race. NYC? I don't think so.

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    Teddybear Says:
    49

    @Beatbox:

    The same questions just like on RET. Booooriiiiing! "Why do you stay"… right… Well, not everyone is born a nomad, or not everyone can get a working visa in the States… If our provincial government took good care of Canadian citizens, nobody would have to leave the province in order to live a decent life, have a normal paying job, and have a house. Houses priced 15x annual household income are extortion!

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    Teddybear Says:
    50

    This is copy/paste from Marco911's post on RET, as an answer to the question "why stay". It is lengthy, yet quite comprehensive IMO:

    "I've already gone through the process to denounce my Canadian citizen ship and move south of the boarder.

    My brother is moving into the home in Langley. I haven't decided if I'm going to put it up for sale. He actually purchased and is building a home in High Point (nearby). Once it's built I will probably end up selling the place but we'll see. With my family being up here I will visit a few times a year so I'll be around every now and then.

    It's not just the prices that makes Vancouver a waste of time. If you're wealthy, prices do not have the same effect as it would for someone who's middle class or the person trying to fight to be the stereotypical middle class although for the average person, I have no clue why people struggle like mad trying to survive here.

    I'm moving not because Vancouver is BAD, but because there are other places that are BETTER.

    This is going to sound like a small factor but Vancouver prides itself on being this nature city. The Grouse Grind now doubled their fee to take the gondola down the mountain and hikers are no longer permitted to walk down the mountain and it is being strictly enforced.

    While a $5 increase to $10 doesn't seem like big deal. Consider that people are already strapped for cash in this city. A family of 3 have to pay $30 to take a hike in their own back yard. Many people, which is sad to say, can't afford it and they are not able to go.

    I hate how this city kisses the ass of so many people on bikes. Closing down roads, all these special rules. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving the environment and enjoying the outdoors on a bike but it's so ironic.

    The amount of traffic congestion created by creating all these bike lanes actually cause more pollution from idle traffic than the small increase in cyclists. It's just another ploy to make it look like Vancouver is green. The only green I see here is the bags of marijuana that are passed around like hot potato at a kid's birthday party.

    There are so many drug dealers in this city that most of us have actually become oblivious to it. This is one of the biggest issues I have since people usually assume I'm involved in some sort of illegal business due to the cars I drive. Just yesterday, I'm parking in DT Vancouver and this guy pulls up behind me, brand new M6. Gets out dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, on his cell phone swearing like crazy, displaying his cool tattoos and under 30.

    Sound familiar?

    I feel bad for the commuters that have to drive everyday. They can't afford to live in Vancouver so they live in Surrey or Langley or Abbotsford. Now traffic is so bad they may as well just quit. This whole city is under construction. While the city needs the updates, it reminds me that I have never seen a city so poorly planned for the future and the system in place to fix it are causing massive problems. Lucky for me, it doesn't have an effect on me but what about everyone else?

    Property theft is another huge problem in Vancouver. This is probably related to the fact that if you're not rich enough to live in an $800 sq/ft condo, you're probably doing drugs in the ally behind it. There is a lot to like about Vancouver but it's turning more into a place to visit and NOT a place to live.

    It's like Vegas. Vegas is an awesome place to visit. I go a few times a year and I love every minute of it. I'm not blinded by the glamor and the fun of it all; I know it's not a place I would want to call home. In fact, if I had to live there I'd hate it.

    Vancouver is the same. For those who want to take a trip, it's great. Do some outdoor activities, take in some restaurants, walk around and explore the city. As a place to live, it's hell for so many people but they're too brainwashed to see the truth. If that works for them that's great. Struggle your whole life to have 800sq/ft of space you can call home. When you're ready to retire, maybe you might own it, that is, if you didn't refinance to pay for the $100,000 levy to fix the shoddy build quality, or refinance to buy a car or pay for your child's education.

    For the wealthy, this city is livable, for everyone else, it's wishful thinking. Ironically, being the former, I can't stand it here."

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    BigMomma Says:
    51

    I just figured it out! SuperSmartBull is Bob Rennie disguising himself as a guy who can't speak proper english.

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    I agree with beatbox. A lot of posters here talk about Vancouver like it's some kind of hell hole. If I felt that way I would move. I am bearish on real estate but that doesn't really have any effect on my opinion of the city. I like it here, and that's why I stay. Pretty simple. And let's not forget, bubbles happen everywhere.

    Having said that I certainly don't agree with the bull argument that Vancouver is more expensive because it's so great. I mean that is true to an extent but yes, there are other cities that are just as nice that aren't as overpriced.

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    @vibe:

    :Having said that I certainly don’t agree with the bull argument that Vancouver is more expensive because it’s so great. I mean that is true to an extent but yes, there are other cities that are just as nice that aren’t as overpriced."

    That's the point! I love this city, I think it's fantastic but like any other it has it's shortcomings. I think the Bulls get confused when the bears dismiss the argument that this is the greatest paradise in the WORLD hence you should pay through the nose for it, economics be damned. The bears say why that's not true and the Bulls say that you hate the city so leave.

    I don't hear too many bears saying that they hate the city, I usually hear comments as to why it's not the "Greatest place on earth" Which is the most idiotic , moronic stupid slogan I have ever heard, not to mention that it makes everyone here sound so ignorant and stupid.

    it's a fantastic city but not even close to warrant a $1million dollar house on the EAST SIDE. It's simply a bubble. No way in hell this city is worth that kind of scratch.

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    Tough to have a good discussion when everybody is thrown into either the hardcore bull or perma-bear camp. Some people already mentioned that they're bearish on Vancouver RE but love the city. Clearly some bears also hate the city. I'd imagine there's a range of perspectives on the bullish side as well, though they're all labelled as industry shills. This whole bull/bear debate is getting pretty tiring because nothing really new is being added. The numbers have been crunched, arguments made, people have placed their bets, now we just wait to see whether it turns up red or black this year.

    Personally I'm bearish on RE, but still love the city for what it is. It doesn't the flash and personality of lots of world cities, but it has lots of qualities that I admire and appreciate in a city in which to raise a family. It's clean, peaceful, stable, diverse and tolerant, and has some decent employment prospects. Plus it has some of the best skiing in the world. Sadly, I think few cities in the world have all those traits.

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    Bear abroad Says:
    55

    I am a BC bear in hibernation. I left the country in 2002 to work abroad in such tropical locales as Bermuda and Caymans. I grew up in BC and I do love the place (although I do notice that Vancouverites have gotten a bit too full of themselves). I made a choice a few years ago that my lifestyle and freedom are more important than buying a slice of my hometown. I will likely move back in about 5 years and I expect that I will be purchasing real estate at discounted prices. And if they don't go down, then OH WELL!!! I will not move back unless RE goes down at least 30%. There are lots of great places in the world and in Canada where real estate can be purchased at a fraction of the cost. I can make a list of many friends that have purchased RE recently and i'm gobbsmacked by how much debt is flying around. The ugly truth is that none of them make near enough to support their debt levels. The salaries/economy in Vancouver is just not strong enough to support the prices that people are paying. The grind down will likely take years and the pain will be felt by all.

    In the meantime I shall be enjoying life in the tropics (tax free) and will continue to be entertained by the Vancouver real estate circus from afar. GLTA.

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    fixie guy Says:
    56

    @ Royce McCutcheon; great post. Too many complaining about not jumping on board with the nirvana perspective ignore the obvious, that for years Vancouver's pricing has been justified by claims of being the #1 place in the world to live, often accompanied with outright disparagement of any other city. There simply is no way to rationally counter that fantasy without pointing out where Van is bested, at which point you're accused of being a hater and challenged to leave. It's schoolyard logic, constantly repeated.

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    Whitebear Says:
    57

    http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1282332496.php

    Why deflationists are wrong.

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    @Anoymous: Anoymous Says: "I just find it bizarre that people would wait years for real estate prices to come down so that they can buy a permanent home in a city which is, seemingly, so inferior to just about anywhere else in the world."

    Agreed. We're here now to be near extended family. It's fine to sit on the sidelines while saving a nest egg, having kids, etc, but there's only so much utility in savings, and beyond a certain point you need a higher income. Life moves on. There's no sense in waiting around.

    But moving away from everyone to establish yourself is another one of life's wrenching changes. I try to only do one of those at a time. It will almost certainly happen though, and probably by that time the market may be crashing but it will be too late. My hopes of living near extended family were dashed in 2009.

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    Renting Says:
    59

    The reason Bears don't leave is because rent is fair value for what you get in Vancouver.

    Vancouver is a nice place as are many other cities. There are plenty of things about Vancouver that are great and plenty that are not. Some real estate pumpers make Vancouver out to have the economy of New York, the beaches of Miami, the weather of San Diego and the culture of France. If all that was true then yes housing prices would be justified (and rents would be higher as well). Sorry when a house in Surrey sells for 4 times that of Phoenix something is wrong.

    If owning was the only option or rent was priced similar to ownership costs many people would leave. Fortunately rental markets are efficient.

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    Charlie Parker Says:
    60

    @DaMann: I'll go out on a limb but if you were to look the number of occupants per house in the City of Vancouver proper, you'd be hard set to find an actual "single family home". True SFHs exists in the suburbs and are priced accordingly. Again this is likely all been discussed before, but it's really hard to assess the value of SFHs when it's they're really functioning like a multi-unit residence. So if you think of a $1Mm house on the east-side with a basement suite as "two townhouses", I'd say that's not "bad" price-wise.

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    Teddybear Says:
    61

    If I were a bear who hated Vancouver, or Kelowna, or whichever other city in RE bubble, I definitely would not hope to buy a house in it. And as DaMann has it right. If I point to the city's shortcomings, does it mean I hate it? No! And for me, Vancouver would be the best place on earth if I could have a little house and a backyard, and a few cherry trees.

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    @Teddybear:

    If our provincial government took good care of Canadian citizens, nobody would have to leave the province in order to live a decent life, have a normal paying job, and have a house. Houses priced 15x annual household income are extortion!

    And how is that provincial government fault? Maybe people should have done their own math, instead of expecting others to have done it for them.

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    Renting Says:
    63

    "So if you think of a $1Mm house on the east-side with a basement suite as “two townhouses”, I’d say that’s not “bad” price-wise."

    Not bad based on what? 500K is a lot of money for a townhouse in below ground basement originally built as a cellar that you can rent for $700 per month including utilities and cable.

    The problem is everyone is so used to high prices they think 500K is nothing now. It wasn't that long ago you could buy a full west side house for 500K. Look around and see what you get for 500K outside of the BC.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    64

    @Absinthe: #42

    >>>For me, it’s not that Vancouver sucks. The boosterism sucks.<<<

    Vancouver suffers from low self esteem and then projects that outwardly into wild bouts of cheerleading, much like the entire USA.

    We're so afraid that the rest of the world might not think we're incredibly amazing and world class that we have to constantly shout it out in the most crass manner imaginable, and if you don't get on board the bandwagon the people here get extremely irate and tell you to leave.

    There is a touch of fascism to this behaviour, but mostly it's kind of like every 2 bit rapper out there who has delusions of grandeur about themselves and thinks they're the greatest thing to ever grace the planet.

    Hopefully people here will grow up some day.

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    I’d love to move; I hate this shit town. But I do have a life here: friends, family. It’s unfortunate but like many people I’m trapped slogging it out here and can only dream of retiring somewhere nice.

    Fortunately my girlfriend may have to move in order to take advantage of her shiny new Master’s degree– thanks to Vancouver’s crap job market. So I may still escape yet.

    Fingers crossed!

    This post got a +11 rating earlier in this thread. If my comment didn't appear to apply to you then just think for a minute that maybe it wasn't directed at you. Plenty of posts like this appear on this site and usually get a positive response.

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    fixie guy Says:
    66

    "This post got a +11 rating earlier in this thread. If my comment didn’t appear to apply to you then just think for a minute that maybe it wasn’t directed at you. Plenty of posts like this appear on this site and usually get a positive response."

    So? I love Toronto, many hate it. I like my home town, many would blanch at the thought. Water off a duck's back. Couldn't care less about opinion. That's the point. Here that attitude is heresy. For most people a city is a place you happen to live. For Vancouverites, certainly far more than elsewhere, it's almost a core component of personal identity.

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    @DaMann:

    That’s the point! I love this city, I think it’s fantastic but like any other it has it’s shortcomings. I think the Bulls get confused when the bears dismiss the argument that this is the greatest paradise in the WORLD hence you should pay through the nose for it, economics be damned. The bears say why that’s not true and the Bulls say that you hate the city so leave.

    There are idiots on both sides. The irrationally exuberant who call it world class and best place on earth, and the perpetual complainers who can't stand the rain, or find an infinite litany of nit pick complaints about the city, like there is a city anywhere on the planet that is perfect and has perfect weather. Really, if you really TRULY hate it that much, leave, otherwise you're just a hypocrite.

    Figure out what is important to you, work to minimize the impact of the negatives, and stop whining like a spoiled brat who's not getting everything he wants handed to him. I hate the new bike lanes too, and boggle at the (non-)logic every time I see them, but in the grand scheme of things, they're mice nuts, and will go down with the good ship Robertson in due time. Meanwhile, I've arranged my life such that I take advantage of the things I think Vancouver does right, and the negatives don't affect me much, so I don't have to complain about them every day to anyone who will listen.

    Most people seem to realize no city or province or country is perfect, and they either live where their heart is, or where the money is.

    I moved to Vancouver from Calgary for economic reasons, yeah, really, and no I am not a drug dealer or pot grower. And while I miss my friends and family in Calgary, I am in no hurry to get back, because I've lived in many different cities and continents in my life, and Vancouver is a pretty good place to call home, although I'd give my right nut to live in an Austrian alpine town and speak German again.

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    And I've owned and rented multiple places in Vancouver, and with each move it's been getting better, amazingly, (renting currently), so whether I own or rent has little effect on the quality of housing available to me. Maybe one day I will be willing to commit enough capital to buy a place again when it makes sense to, and see whether I can make some money on real estate. So far it's been a wash, but I haven't been approaching it from the investment angle either.

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    What I don't get about all this Vancouver "hate" is why landlords in the city buy in and accept perpetually poorer and poorer rental yields. Sure they may love the place but who cares? By buying, they aren't enjoying the property and the city because they don't live in the property itself, unless they get joy living vicariously through the renters. From what I can see, they buy for greed and fear of being priced out.

    Paint any picture you want of why Vancouver is the bestest place on earth, and why many want to live or own in the city, but looking at the city's many investors — who make up a significant portion of ownership in the city especially in condos — it should be all about the numbers. And they just don't work out from what I can see.

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    Beatbox I voted you down because I hate the take it or leave it attitude. Sorta like telling someone that they are easily offended. Really fun to say but I would not expect a positive response from such a comment. Why do you expect a positive response from your original comment?

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    Tony Danza Says:
    71

    @Devore: No wonder you're in no hurry to go back home, Calgary, meh.

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    New Listings 127

    Price Changes 80

    Sold Listings 63

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    Beatbox Says:
    73

    Ok, so maybe this would be a better question:

    Why have there been 1000's of buyers over the past few months? Clearly this board is full of people who "Love Vancouver but don't like the real estate prices" or people who "Love Vancouver but like to rent rather than buy" or people who "are indifferent to Vancouver but feel trapped here so would rather whinge about prices". Fine. There have also been more than quite a few who have just recently moved here and bought at your inflated prices.

    Why?

    What do you think they see that you don't understand? Why do you think there have been Chinese buying here (and you cannot deny that they have). Why do you think some recent renters became first time owners despite holding out?

    If Toronto has better salaries, Calgary has oil and jobs, Phoenix has better weather, Miami has better beaches NY has better entertainment, etc. etc., … what is it that attracts people to Vancouver?

    In other words: Why is Vancouver consistently ranked so high in various surveys and how did it become "The Best Place on Earth"? And how do you think people rationalize paying these prices?

    Yes, I am trying to get you to think from another point of view. I'm curious what some of you might say.

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    @paulb.: Slow sales day. People must be catching up on yard work after 2 days of rain.

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    In the category of "whaaa?", here is a house in North Van that listed for $699k a week ago and, according to MLX, sold for $825k today!

    Did the buyers just time-travel in from 2009, and think over-ask was still the norm? They must've REALLY like those icicle christmas lights. Or, the listing realtor under-priced it on purpose.

    MLS# V846143
    http://www.realtylink.org/prop_search/Detail.cfm?…

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    Renting Says:
    76

    Beatbox:

    Why were people buying condos in Miami up to 2005? What did they see? Why do you think some of the most seasoned stock investors lost their fortunes during the late 1990's investing in tech stocks? Because they were both bubbles and during a bubble MOST people get sucked in. They believe the story of future riches based on past performance. In a true bull market there are only a few that participate and make a fortune.

    I think if you read up on bubbles you would understand better. The masses usually get it wrong.

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    Cranteeny Bitchezz Says:
    77

    @Beatbox: Why were tens of thousands of locals and foreigners buying condos in Miami, Phoenix, Seattle, Las Vegas, New York, Dubai, etc… right up until and after prices plummeted?

    Because they're the greater fools? Greedy, unimaginative, piling on?

    It's only going to be different here until it isn't.

    BTW all of your strawmen have been dealt with here countless times over the last few years, why not head on over the RET and comiserate with your compadres?

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    fixie guy Says:
    78

    "Why have there been 1000’s of buyers over the past few months?"

    Presumably for the same reasons thousands were purchased in cities across the country. Either they're all 'the best places on earth' or adults use other (and individual) criteria when making 25+ year commitments.

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    Dan in Calgary Says:
    79

    @Beatbox, regarding "This isn’t a snide comment." …

    Well, I've thought about it, especially in context of you bringing Tamil refugees into the discussion, and I've decided, "Yes it certainly was a snide comment."

    and regarding, "Yes, I am trying to get you to think from another point of view."

    Oh f*ck, now you're being arrogant. You've let your success go to your head.

    Hmm, I suspect you're insincere … you're a troll.

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    Royce McCutcheon Says:
    80

    @Beatbox:

    I can’t speak to foreign buyers because I’ve had no direct contact, but I do have a theory for why local people are still buying. It’s simple really: as much as this site is a bear echo chamber at times, everywhere else persists in being a bull echo chamber for real estate. Outside of my spouse, a couple friends who’ve owned for >5 years and are settled, and a couple friends outside of the market who are just coming on-line career-wise, all I hear is maniacally positive commentary, even with mounting bad news. I hear the same tropes we’re all familiar with again and again and again:

    • You’ll come out ahead because prices always go up (especially long-term!)

    • Wealthy Asians and/or drug money make it different here!

    • We’re running out of land!

    • etc.

    I hear these ideas from young and old. I’ve heard them from people in blue collar jobs and from people who are worth millions (from secretaries to surgeons). From 4th generation Vancouverites to immigrants. People keep buying because the myth of miraculous Vancouver real estate is incredibly entrenched. Its roots go DEEP. And, incredibly, I think the 2008 experience actually REINFORCED the myth; many locals have pointed out to me that “while everywhere else dropped, the Lower Mainland bounced back super-fast – and then went even higher!” I think a lot of people haven’t ever heard an opposing opinion regarding real estate. Seriously. I am continuously met with shock when I say there is no way I would buy now or in the foreseeable future. I’ve had people express genuine concern about my future because of my opinions. (Aside: friends of my parents who’ve heard my opinion [always expressed in a very reserved way] seem to be the most concerned. They’ll actually follow up with my folks to try to get them to lean on me to take the plunge. *sigh*)

    Beyond feedback from family and friends, the media has beaten the ownership drum HARD. And in the same way that news reports on suicide have been shown to spur more suicides, news reports on the stunning, pee-your-pants-in-excitement awesomeness of real estate have helped push our bubble even further.

    For those who were long-time holdouts and eventually bought, I think the pressure got to them and tipped their personal math. (Pressure/need to own) > (Rational thinking regarding current market prices). They may still think the market is due for a correction at some point, but the powerful negative associations attached to not-owning (renting) may have driven the choice.

    Now, I personally think that people will pay a premium to own. I would guess that for a majority of people this is the case and that this thinking will spur people to buy even if the “investment” numbers don’t quite line up.

    But I really think most of the buyers you’re seeing today are still very much oblivious to what’s beginning to unfold. Absent a POV other than “buying RE = yay!” – and having a sense that buying is just what you’re meant to do once you reach a certain age – I think we’ll see people continuing to buy for at least a little while longer (basically until reality becomes bad enough to purge any lingering denial).

    Christ, I’m verbose today. Sorry.

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    Joeblow Says:
    81

    @Royce McCutcheon:

    "Housing bubble in Canada" and "all bubbles must burst" on the front page of the Canadian Business magazine! This is it. When mainstream media picks it up it's truly over.

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    @Beatbox: "And how do you think people rationalize paying these prices?"

    There are many many reasons why people will pay a premium to LIVE in Vancouver. This has been established by the data showing high price-income and high price-rent ratios in the city. There are equally as many reasons why people will pay a premium to OWN over rent, known as the consumer surplus.

    The consumer surplus AKA "owner's premium" is not some unique phenomenon to Vancouver. That is, while price-income and price-rent ratios are high because the city is desirable, the price-rent ratio is the ultimate arbiter on fundamental price. On this measure, Vancouver is not in some alternate reality — its property market competes for returns with all other economic activities and by that universal measure, prices are significantly overvalued.

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    Joeblow Says:
    83

    Regarding Vancouver being "the best place on earth", the whole idea is ridiculous. How can you compare different cities unless you have lived in each of them for a few years? How many people have? Who then do they survey? Complete BS if you really think about it.

    I have actually travelled around the world extensively and lived in several countries and I can tell you that while Vancouver is a nice place, it is far from being among world's best. I can agree to some extent that it may be the best place in Canada, but that's only because elswhere is virtually unlivable due to severe climate.

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    Fear plays a big role, specifically the fear of being "priced out forever". Realtors love to repeat that phrase, even though it is a logical impossibility. What people should be afraid of is taking on a huge amount of debt to buy an overpriced asset. But nobody is willing to believe that real estate prices can go down, because the implications of that are truly dire. Which it will be once the crash gets underway and the real estate, construction and mortgage industries collapse.

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    @Joeblow: "while Vancouver is a nice place, it is far from being among world’s best."

    I think this meme is irrelevant. Look at the prices and compare to the rents, ESPECIALLY of condos. Regardless of the city's hubris or place in the world's rankings, justified or not and irrelevant of how you perceive its relative worth, Vancouver property is experiencing a massive bubble. Claiming it is something or not vis a vis its peers avoids the "fundamental" issue and is why the facts and logic Beatbox presents, while perhaps true, are not going to keep prices high.

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    "I’ll go out on a limb but if you were to look the number of occupants per house in the City of Vancouver proper, you’d be hard set to find an actual “single family home”.

    On my block in Vancouver, out of about 30 SFH, there only THREE (mine and 2 other) houses that I am aware of which are actually occupied by only a single family. Most have 2, some have 3 and at least one has 4 families living in the SFH, but that's the way it is when the price of housing is so high in Vancouver.

    I'm just waiting for some of these homeowners to apply to build a laneway home.

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    exWestEnder Says:
    87

    Beatbox – I grew up in Quebec & Ontario, lived in Vancouver for 12 years, then moved to Paris. I loved Vancouver but left because the hub & I got sick of the RE hype, of being far from nearly everywhere else, and of the provincial narrow-mindedness that spawned the 'Best Place Anywhere!" boosterism.

    I also love Paris (most days). It's got history, glorious architecture, and culture out the yazoo. We have a charming apartment in a 150 year-old building in the centre of city, right near the river. No one feels the need to convince you that Paris is the only city in the world worth living in. It's quick & cheap to travel by train & by plane. The cafe & bar culture here makes Yaletown look like the Metrotown food court. Etc, etc, etc…

    But the world-class downsides of crowds, pollution, and lack of space mean that, for now, we still plan on moving back to Vancouver, someday.

    The reasons why:

    1. Because we can. It seems many on this blog forget that not everyone can legally work in other countries (I can work in the EU only because I married a German). So the US is not an option for me nor my husband.

    2, Easy access to the outdoors. And not just any outdoors, but crazy extreme outdoors with giant trees, snow-capped mountains, fast-moving rivers and an honest-to-god ocean that despite Realpaul's trash-talking IS swimmable and is right-freakin' THERE.

    3. Mild winters, and humidex-free summers

    4. To be able to live downtown & walk to work (which is well-nigh impossible in my current city, at least for office workers like myself).

    5. Skiing at Whistler can be done as a day trip. (It takes us about 6 hours to get to the Alps).

    6. Lots of big parks and facilities (pools, seawall, etc), that are CLEAN and UNCROWDED.

    7. Great-value food scene that you can often enjoy without having to reserve weeks in advance.

    8. Rich-Asian bashing aside, immigrants & different cultures are accepted and generally welcomed (at least they are when compared to virtually anywhere in Europe).

    9. The green lushness – I'll never forget how bowled-over I was by the verdant growth in the city itself. You don't see that in Toronto or Montreal.

    10. Did I mention lack of crowds yet?

    11. I don't need nor want a large home.

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    exWestEnder Says:
    88

    Oops, should have said "because of the RE hype" not "hub"!

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    Best place on meth Says:
    89

    @Royce McCutcheon:

    >>>I’ve had people express genuine concern about my future because of my opinions. (Aside: friends of my parents who’ve heard my opinion [always expressed in a very reserved way] seem to be the most concerned. They’ll actually follow up with my folks to try to get them to lean on me to take the plunge. *sigh*<<<

    It sounds like you're describing wild eyed members of Jim Jones' Peoples Temple cult.

    Sick.

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    Anonymous Says:
    90

    "despite Realpaul’s trash-talking IS swimmable"

    only if you think hypothermia is a good idea.

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    Inventory is dangerously dropping again ~!!!

    Oh My God…I hope we don't have a price run up and bidding wars again :(

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    Anonymouse Says:
    92

    Why have there been 1000’s of buyers over the past few months?

    Because stupid people do stupid shit all the time. Doesn't mean they're right.

    Whether you're a bull or a bear, I have to think anyone can see (even without the benefit of hindsight) that the last few months were a horrible time to buy (from a financial point of view at least).

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    No Longer Looking Says:
    93

    @Royce McCutcheon: I gotta say, Royce is 101% correct. Totally agreed. I've also had people question my well-being as a renter.

    Two more points I've noted lately:

    1) Renting is equated to giving money away. They don't see that it is money exchanged for a service. That service can even include a handyman/gardener. Also, they won't consider strata fees, taxes, interest in a similar way.

    2) New immigrants seem obsessed with showing they "have made it". That kind of pressure must be horrible. I've met a few in career transitions classes. Poor souls lost their jobs while massively over their heads in real estate, and will do everything they can to hold on to their status symbol. No rich parents to bail them out.

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    Anonymouse Says:
    94

    I agree with a lot of posts today re: reasons for staying in Vancouver so I won't bother with my own story. However, I will say that people hating Vancouver because of:

    1. Grouse Grind charging an extra $5, and

    2. Bike lanes

    Is pretty lame. Talk about trivial.

    1. First off, there are a kajillion hikes in this (alleged) shit town, virtually all of which are free and also better hiking. The Grouse Grind obsession is a perfect example of the herd mentality in this city.

    2. If something as innocuous as a BIKE LANE makes you hate the city you live in, you either:

    a) have some serious issues and are probably easily irritable about pretty much everything

    b) have too much time on your hands. Get a hobby. Maybe try riding a bike or something so you can learn to appreciate the effort our city is making to get people out of their cars.

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    Panda Bear Says:
    95

    BC is actually toilet bowl of world.
    http://www.vancouversun.com/mobile/iphone/story.h

    Best place on earth? Is toilet bowl best place in home?

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    bridgeman Says:
    96

    "Vancouver suffers from low self esteem and then projects that outwardly into wild bouts of cheerleading, much like the entire USA.

    We're so afraid that the rest of the world might not think we're incredibly amazing and world class that we have to constantly shout it out in the most crass manner imaginable, and if you don't get on board the bandwagon the people here get extremely irate and tell you to leave."

    As an American living in Vancouver, I had to laugh at this. Americans dont generally suffer from low self esteem, especially as it relates to loving America. Nothing makes you appreciate the United States more than living in Canada or any other country. I cant tell you how little Americans care about the rest of the worlds opinion. We cheerlead because we love our country, nobody gives a sh*t about canada there. And if yiu are canadian and that bothers you, you need to take.a long hard look at your life.

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    Surprised Says:
    97

    W@bridgeman:

    Americans don't care about what other countries think? This is a shocking statement. I would
    have never known. Yup, sarcasm.

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    We're running out of land….according to Vancouver Sun article:

    “That’s why, even if the economy collapses, house prices don’t tank,” says Jock Finlayson of the B.C. Business Council. “You get some drop, but it’s typically modest because there’s a growing population and there just isn’t a lot of land.”

    —————————————–

    There are two million reasons for high prices in Vancouver

    City’s housing affordability problem boils down to too many people on too little land

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/There+millio

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    Anonymous Says:
    99

    I think you're equating arrogance with high self-esteem. The original comment must be implying a Freudian, subconscious level type of American low self-esteem. Studies show that tough guy bullies actually suffer from low self-esteem and take it out on others. Americans do not care what the rest of the world thinks? Just try saying something bad about America/ns, and watch the tough talk begin. Case in point, bridgeman.

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    Also, article quotes Mr Muir re: cream of the crop immigrants

    ————————————–

    “When the economy is performing weakly, immigrants still come,” Muir says. “This not only bolsters our population, but also housing demand.”

    And: “Our immigrants tend to be the cream of the crop,” Muir says, citing statistics showing 55 per cent of Canada’s investor immigrants come to B.C., mostly to Metro Vancouver.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Are things that bad that the real estate pumpers are reinforcing the:

    a) we're running out of land

    b) cream of the immigrants

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    102

    @bridgeman:

    Nobody cares what an American thinks, buddy.

    That's why I pointed out the stupidity of your people and their extremely low self esteem.

    These poor qualities seem to have leaked across the border into Vancouver, but thankfully not into the rest of the country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    bridgeman Says:
    103

    "Nobody cares what an American thinks, buddy."

    I know, its awesome! I like being able to say whatever I want.

    "That’s why I pointed out the stupidity of your people and their extremely low self esteem."

    So we have low IQ's, it's not a crime. It doesn't make us worse or better people.

    "These poor qualities seem to have leaked across the border into Vancouver, but thankfully not into the rest of the country."

    Hmmm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    bridgeman Says:
    104

    "I think you’re equating arrogance with high self-esteem. The original comment must be implying a Freudian, subconscious level type of American low self-esteem. Studies show that tough guy bullies actually suffer from low self-esteem and take it out on others. Americans do not care what the rest of the world thinks? Just try saying something bad about America/ns, and watch the tough talk begin. Case in point, bridgeman."

    Nah, I would have just used the word arrogance if I meant that.

    Are you seriously attempting to apply freudian psychoanalysis to an internet comment?

    You considered my post tough talk? Have your testicles descended yet?

    And what kind of douchebag bigot would say bad things to someone from another country based on their nationality? I dont meet a nigerian and accuse them of internet trickery. I knew you werent really a prince!

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    Re-diculous Says:
    105

    Regarding the latest Vancouver Sun / pumper POS "There are two million reasons …" I guess with sales going over the cliff, desperation is rally starting to take hold… time to put the propaganda machine into overdrive!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    106

    Hahaha! I rest my case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    oneangryslav2 Says:
    107

    @Re-diculous: And here's the thing; the real cost of real estate in 25 years time (when Vancouver is expected to have about 3.25 million inhabitants) will almost assuredly be lower than it is today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    bridgeman Says:
    108

    "Hahaha! I rest my case."

    ok ill concede victory, i dont care. i suck, youre awesome, youre the best, im the worst, canadians are better than americans.

    basically all americans have two questions that dominate our thoughts and public discourse:

    1. does canada like us?

    2. where is canada again?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    bridgeman Says:
    109

    well, i thought of one caveat- ill concede vicory if you promise to never set foot in america again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    don't throw the hate down on Americans. Not only does it show zero class but it distracts away from one of the real problems: Canadians ignoring house price history south of the line.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    111

    The vast majority of Vancouverites live lives of quiet desperation. They don't ski, hike, bike, do the grind (yawn), walk Stanley Park etc. They go to Superstore, Costco, Cineplex, the pub, and possibly an exciting CAMPING VACATION! Be still my beating heart!

    They do mundane jobs and sit in excrutiating traffic as they drive to their suburban rental – be it a landlord or bank rental. I'm guessing they do it because they don't know or don't have the access to other opportunities. It's very difficult to uproot and move, so don't judge too harshly. The pumpers that say MOVE! need to spend a couple of moments in the real world where the rest of us plebs live with non-US visas, wives, and kids.

    The correction may be significant or it may be a non-event. Who knows? Certainly not the majority on this board (click here to vote this down manically) who have been wrong for ever – i'm included in this group BTW. I hope prices fall by a factor of infinity and beyond! but i wouldn't start looking all smug about a few months of sales and price data that correlate with your wishes. Didn't we all do this in 2008? This market has defied all logic and may well do again.

    Viva the price revolution!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Surprised Says:
    112

    @bridgeman:

    If you ever do wonder what the world thinks, the world hates you, well, at least your government, cept for Obama, cause he's a cool dude.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    anonandon Says:
    113

    @Amercans vs. Canadians

    Alls I can say is, even though I lives in Surrey, I's PROUD to be a Newfoundlandeer! Now can we pleeese get back to real estate?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    realpaul Says:
    114

    As anyone with any sense knows the 'land shortage myth' has been exposed as bullshit for decades. What we really have in is an incompetant planning department and incompetant and corrupt politicians. In the city there are thousands of hectares of land that has been improperly zoned….land is always mysteriously finding its way to market….except never onto the free market. There always seemes to be a major developers signature on the deed before the public has been made aware that the city has 'increased the land bank' for the needs of a specific developer.

    The land is being parceled out for profit and not for the need of the society. In the valley the case is the same….the reason land costs are so high is that the government holds back the supply of land to keep the prices and profits high…to the detriment of the people who live there.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/There+millio

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    Joeblow Says:
    115

    On the American vs Canadian debate, it's funny to watch from the sidelines. I am not Canadian and I'm not American, but have lived in both countries for a few years. My observation is that while the countries are almost identical at the first glance are in fact very different socially, politically and economically. As far as national pride, I can see that Americans at least have something to be proud of – the country's great past. As for Canada….sorry, but there is just nothing to be proud of. There is no culture, no national identity, government controls are worse than in Russia and freedom of speech can be compared to China. Economy is crippled by all powerful unions. Immigrants, including myself, have become a majority and locals are being marginalized. Any decent job in Vancouver ad says "must speak Mandarin". True, there is some beutiful nature here, but it does exist elsewhere. Nothing unique. So chill out guys. You national pride looks simply pathetic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Teddybear Says:
    116

    @realpaul: Great post(#114), realpaul.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Renting Says:
    117

    Quote from Tsur Somerville in Vancouver Sun article today:

    "70 percent of the land isn't developable, It's mountains or water or the United States."

    What??? Okay I get the mountains part although West Vancouver is pretty much built on a mountain, but the other two? 70 percent of the land is water? Tsur you are a moron. Land and water are not the same. And 70 percent of the land is the United States and not developable? Tsur just so you know the United States is developable and is not typically included in "the land" of Canada.

    I have heard some dumb quotes from real estate pumpers but this has to be the dumbest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    118

    @bridgeman:

    I haven't set foot in America in 10 years even though the shithole is 40 minutes away.

    By the way, are you going to watch the civil war from here or will you go back and participate?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Joeblow Says:
    119

    I just love the comment left by jailbird7 on the Vancouver Sun website re. Tsur Sommerville and his comments:

    "Just goes to show why a UBC degree is about as respected as a criminal record. To spout such nonsense is not only laughable but it is just embarrassing."

    What a disgrace to the academia!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    120

    Does anyone have a link that can confirm what Garth had to say in his last post?

    "I hear Van house sales dropped 62% in the last thirty days."

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    121

    @ joeblow : "Any decent job in Vancouver ad says “must speak Mandarin”. "

    You're a Richmond waiter or in the ..cough cough … "import/export" industry?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Teddybear Says:
    122

    @Anonymous: 111,

    I don't think the market defied the logic, it was the government intervention (and please, everyone, correct me if I am wrong) with low mortgage interest rates. Add a dollop or two of RE propaganda through media, and voila! – another RE "boom".

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Don Cayo in the Sun article calls 1.3 – 1.5% pop. growth unrelenting. Can he be serious? How can they write this nonesense and get away with it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    It was April 2008 when the last pathetic article like this one came out and the poor excuses for "journalists" at the Sun trotted out the usual hacks from the RE industry for that memorable masterpice entitled "15 myths of real estate". Promptly after that insightfull, well written and researched piece came out real estate in the lower mainland began its up to 30% plunge. The Sun/Province is a useless rag that I would'nt use to wrap fish in. Now that the RE market is tanking their only client, the RE industry, will stop the full page ads and the Sun/Province will stop quoting the useless blatherings from the one sided morons in the RE industry. Don Cayo, you need to expand your rolodex from 4 contacts, get your lazy ass out of your cubicle and do some real work for a change. Four years ago you were the the only columnist I could stomach to read in a local rag, now you're as big a sell out as the rest of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    125

    "I don’t think the market defied the logic, it was the government intervention (and please, everyone, correct me if I am wrong) with low mortgage interest rates."

    … and lower qualifications, and longer terms, and making tax dollars available for commercial RE. Harper opened the flood gates of federally backed liquidity to real estate on multiple fronts. Otherwise low interest rates alone would be enough to keep the market aloft, which I doubt is the case. Wasn't in the US.

    Most western governments, albeit via different routes, opened the same floodgates, my pet theory is in reaction to losing manufacturing dollars to continental Asian poverty wages. We're just stupid enough to believe we're different and will end up global laughing stocks, not for making the same mistakes but for lying about it. A big tip o' the ten gallon hat to to our retarded cowboy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    126

    @Anonymous:

    >>>Does anyone have a link that can confirm what Garth had to say in his last post?

    “I hear Van house sales dropped 62% in the last thirty days.”<<<

    Garth is blowing hot air this time, he's obviously not getting enough sleep.

    The last 30 days are about the same as the previous 30 days, maybe slightly lower. Anyone who's been watching Paul B.'s daily stats can attest to that.

    But Garth did make an interesting point about inflation shooting up thanks to the HST.

    There's a perfect excuse for another rate hike Sept 8.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Keeping an Eye on Th Says:
    127

    Tsur you are an eunuch, even Bill Slut and Bob Rainy have the balls to not to go as far as you to hide that they are RE Pimps.

    Land shortage? You are an idiot or a liar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    non Y masse Says:
    128

    @Surprised: how could ever you care about something that you don't know?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Joeblow Says:
    129

    @bogi:

    FYI, anyone can go to the Sun's page and leave comments after that ridiculous article. Let them know what readers think about this "journalism".

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Anonymous: I don't see an article for the sales vol drop over last 30 days but seeing as there was a 45% drop in July then I believe it..based on the measly numbers I have seen Paul post since Aug 1st.

    http://www.bivinteractive.com/index.php?option=co

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    giggling Says:
    131

    Oh yes, Vancouver real estate mafia and their eloquent spokespeople…

    For a fistful of dollars they will sell themselves to the overlords after abandoning their ethics, ideas and people.

    Where is Kick-Ass when you need one?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Californian in Vanco Says:
    132

    I lived in that mold-infested hell-hole of a place for about a year last year. I can say with confidence that this has got to be the most depressing place on earth, and NOT the best place on earth. The only thing great about Vancouver is the media and government propaganda that lures people to get trapped there. I have also never met more delusional psychopathic-ward type people in my life like the ones that live in that drugged out on marijuana and meth cultureless little town. Real estate for people there is like a cult much like Hitler, Moon, KKK or Heaven’s Gate cults were like. And just with every cult, there comes a day of reckoning. I feel this day is fast approaching. I encourage everyone living there to go on a 1-month (hell a day or two would most likely suffice) SUN VACATION, i.e. where there is actually sun, to realize how lunatic the place and the people in Vancouver are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Dan in Calgary Says:
    133

    I just read Californian in Vancouver's post regarding "I encourage everyone living there to go on a 1-month (hell a day or two would most likely suffice) SUN VACATION, i.e. where there is actually sun, to realize how lunatic the place and the people in Vancouver are" …

    And then I read Joeblow's comment that "FYI, anyone can go to the Sun’s page" …

    And then it clicked! Whoever gave the Vancouver Sun newspaper its name was making a joke! I can't believed I lived in Vancouver for decades without getting the joke. Perhaps it's because I was born in Vancouver and just never questioned the obvious oxymoron. Hey, thanks, Californian in Vancouver, thanks for sorting me out.

    Maybe it was a clever businessman wanting to promote Vancouver. Probably the same guy that promoted the Arrow Lakes region and other parts of the province as prime orchard and farming country in the early part of the last century.

    Vancouver Sun, lol. Too funny. Can't stop chortling.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Just rode the ferry over to GI, and honest to God just overhead some young-ish people talking about how they better buy a place fast cuz it was only going higher.

    Jesus.

    The bottom drink of Kool-ADE.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    other ted Says:
    135

    115 joe blow. I am canadian and agree with everything you say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @GB: That meant to say the bottomLESS drink of Kool-ADE

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Dan in Calgary Says:
    137

    Joeblow, regarding "I can see that Americans at least have something to be proud of – the country’s great past. As for Canada….sorry, but there is just nothing to be proud of."

    You're not fourth generation Canadian, or you wouldn't be uttering such foolish nonsense.

    In any case, you're patently ignorant of Canadian history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Left Vancouver last month for Toronto. Live in Vancouver for 5 years.

    After a month living here, I don't think I will ever go back and live in super expensive Vancouver. Resto food are cheaper. More job opportunities. It's sunny days most of the time. More places to go and beaches along the lake are a lot nicer than what Vancouver can offer. Best part of all, I can buy a single detached house in a good school neighborhood in Markham for the price of condo or micro mini townhouse in Burnaby or Richmond. But we will wait for next spring to look for one. No rush to buy.

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    Anonymous Says:
    139

    @Joeblow: If that's the case, then fuck off and go back to where you came from. We don't need you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    140

    Re Tsur Somerville interview in the Sun:

    I saved that whole web page on my hard drive, and a year from now I will e-mail it to everyone at the UBC, the Vancouver Sun, the real estate board and a few other places.

    Feel free to join me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    No Longer Looking Says:
    141

    Today, while driving around the hood, a sudden moment of clarity punctured the normal haze in my brain. A way to maybe short the Vancouver real estate economy. Three words: Yellow Fence Rentals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Going through some Washinton state MLS listings today….strangely I think Bellingham may be just as, if not more, expensive than Seattle…

    Is that the "Vancouver Effect"? Or is B'ham another World Class City? ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    143

    "Three words: Yellow Fence Rentals."

    Shorter still: Auctioneer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    144

    @Anonymous:

    "The vast majority of Vancouverites live lives of quiet desperation"

    You wish.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    ulsterman Says:
    145

    @Anonymous:

    @Anonymous:

    “The vast majority of Vancouverites live lives of quiet desperation”

    You wish

    Hey anon, that way my post last night after a beers. I don't understand your "you wish" comment. Can you elaborate? Do you disagree with Thoreau or my comparison to Vancouver citizens?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    146

    @Anonymous: #140

    What's the point? It's not like these shitbag cheerleaders are accountable for anything they say.

    If there was a good lynching or firing squad in their future as a penalty for lying through their teeth then sure, I'd save everything for posterity as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Wealthy House Owner Says:
    147

    There are two million reasons for high prices in Vancouver

    City’s housing affordability problem boils down to too many people on too little land.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/There+millio
    What drives Vancouver’s house prices so relentlessly to levels four times higher than Winnipeg’s, and more than half again what Torontonians pay?

    It’s simple, says Tsur Somerville of UBC Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate.

    “If you want Winnipeg-level house prices here, all you have to do is tear down the mountains and fill in the ocean.”

    Well, that puts slow or stop to the steady influx of people — though the massive loss of amenities if our landscape were to be suddenly levelled might do that automatically.

    “Depending where you draw the circle,” Somerville says, “70 per cent of the land isn’t developable. It’s mountains or water or the United States.”

    Then, on top of this insurmountable geographic limitation, add the relentless population growth that, in good years and in bad, ranges from 1.3 to 1.5 per cent a year.

    “The higher the population of a city, the higher the house prices,” he says. “If we lose 70 per cent of the land, our metropolitan area of two million will have the same house prices as a seven-million metropolitan area. Because people have to commute the same distance.”

    The myths

    Does this mean there’s no truth to some, or all, of the pervasive myths? You know, the ones that maintain our housing costs are driven by rich immigrants looking to get families and/or mistresses out of Hong Kong or other Asian cities. Or by criminals laundering ill-gotten gains. Or speculators. Or empty nesters who reap big tax incentives to not budge from big houses on the best land. Or all that acreage tied up in parks and the Agricultural Land Reserve. Or the rules and fees imposed on developers. Or the property transfer tax on all home sales, and the HST on new ones. Or the civic amenities for which buyers pay through the nose. Or imprudent young buyers willing to take on massive debt. Or an inherent result of a good economy. Or ….

    One reader even suggests it’s the fault of public employees, who are so numerous and so well paid they over-invest in property. And an academic study on my desk argues it’s the high hidden cost of the city’s ubiquitous “free” parking.

    This short series will look at several of these myths, which collectively point one finger or another at most Metro residents, no matter which group we fall into. The conclusion is, in short, that many of them are, like all good myths, rooted in a little truth. But none come close to matching the impact of the Law of Supply and Demand.

    “That’s why, even if the economy collapses, house prices don’t tank,” says Jock Finlayson of the B.C. Business Council. “You get some drop, but it’s typically modest because there’s a growing population and there just isn’t a lot of land.”

    Maintaining demand

    What helps maintain this demand, says Cameron Muir of the Real Estate Council of BC, is that much of the population growth stems from international immigration, and it, unlike internal migration, tends not to follow the business cycle.

    “When the economy is performing weakly, immigrants still come,” Muir says. “This not only bolsters our population, but also housing demand.”

    And: “Our immigrants tend to be the cream of the crop,” Muir says, citing statistics showing 55 per cent of Canada’s investor immigrants come to B.C., mostly to Metro Vancouver.

    But for people already here and newcomers who don’t arrive with money, Finlayson notes, “Incomes aren’t that high here. They’re less than in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa or London, Ontario. But our houses cost a lot more. So people cope by getting less house. They commute farther than they would in another community. Or they get less space than they would settle for in another city.

    “They live in condominiums and raise children, which is not common in other parts of the country.”

    Or, in the case of a growing number of young people, they’re coping in a far more worrisome way, says Andy Yan, a planner and researcher with Bing Thom Architects.

    Yan has looked at what’s happened with housing in a few other high-priced cities.

    In Hong Kong, which ironically is seen as a bastion of free enterprise, 60 per cent of the people live in government-subsidized housing, he said.

    On the other hand, prices in San Francisco shot so high that demand has flattened or even decreased over the last 20 years, and huge numbers of the city’s workers live somewhere else and commute in daily.

    Two-thirds of Metro’s people also live outside the City of Vancouver, though we haven’t yet hit the downward pressure on price seen in San Francisco.

    Instead, Yan sees a lot of young Vancouverites, especially those who have an artistic bent and who thrive on the energy of a vibrant city core, packing up to leave for Montreal or Toronto simply because it’s cheaper to live there and pursue creative goals.

    “Because Vancouver is going through a very destructive real estate market,” he says.

    “High housing costs have a great way of killing innovation and creativity. Can the next Facebook or the next Apple computer really come from Vancouver if you’re too busy trying to pay the rent?”

    The upshot, he says, is that Vancouver is increasingly seen by the young as a nice place to hang out for a couple of years, but not a place to settle down.

    “That’s serious. You’ve got to think about what’s down the road. They’re not going to be here to support us, to pay for our social infrastructure and all of that.”

    dcayo@vancouversun.com

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    Post the link, not t Says:
    148

    Don't be a jerk, Wealthy Homoaner.

    Here is an article on being stuck:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1304919/P

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    re Van Sun article.

    Just what said there is untrue? I think the biggest flaw in the reporting is ignoring the most obvious and pertinent fact: if a city is as desirable as it claims its prices AND rents should be high. Hmm let's take a look at Vancouver…

    Prices? Win!

    Rents? Fail.

    Try again, Canwest. You can dooo eeett!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    On a related topic, check out BC's CPI (PDF)

    British Columbia’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.5% from June 2009.

    Low CPI generally means low aggregate wage growth. If BC's economy is recovering strongly, it should be borne out by higher inflation given current interest rates. I'm just not seeing it but maybe I'm looking at it all wrong.

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    If anyone travels to some major Chinese cities, be a dear and do the old "count the lights on at night" test on some apartment blocks there.

    At Least Half of Apartments in Shanghai, Beijing Are Vacant, Daily Reports

    Property. Safer than a bank. Safer than gold.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    It's so bad the Says:
    152

    “When the economy is performing weakly, immigrants still come,” Muir says. “This not only bolsters our population, but also housing demand.”

    And: “Our immigrants tend to be the cream of the crop,” Muir says, citing statistics showing 55 per cent of Canada’s investor immigrants come to B.C., mostly to Metro Vancouver

    It is not my intention to knock the immigrants, but the reality is that they mostly come from 2nd an 3rd world countries.

    They don't come from France, Germany , England, or the US. They come mainly from………..

    As for investor immigrants, please give us some details, or do they want to keep it quite that the bulk of invensting is in a "everything for a dollar" store, which gets sold off to another "investor immigrant" as soon as the time requirement is met.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    153

    @jesse:

    Total items CPI is up 0.0%, that's awfully close to deflation.

    BC is struggling and lagging the rest of Canada.

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    Regular Poster of VC Says:
    154

    Hi again,

    I recently suggested sending a reasoned email, based on logic, comparables, etc. to the marketing managers of real estate developments suggesting that the only "perk" that is important to sell the development is a lower price.

    The first email I sent was to a strata developer asking for more "up to date" pricing. The first one I sent I got a reply that "there is a lot of interest at the current prices", and if I wanted lower prices I'd better get used to the idea of buying an old unit somewhere else. I chuckled to myself, thinking, "she would be bragging about sales if the price was already right".

    A couple of weeks later, I revceived an email from her that she was planning to:

    1) include HST

    2) drop the prices by 10k (280k initial ask)

    This is a substantial decrease in price. Initially, these requests may cause them to be standoffish, but if you co-respond in good faith, you will probably be brought up at the next managers' meeting.

    She could have thrown in a "yaris and and all inclusive", but in this case, she started in the right direction. I believe that my quick email may have been a slight "balance tipper" that caused the developer to choose concessions that result in a change to the comparables.

    SEND THESE EMAILS!

    ARGUE REASONABLY with lots of quotes that can be brought in front of decision makes.

    Repeat after me:

    We do not want "perks" we want lower prices

    We do not want "perks" we want lower prices.

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    scullboy Says:
    155

    You know, it should really be all about happiness.

    I think a lot of the Vancouver – trashers are just pissed off because the RE marketing machine has been relentlessly pumping RE = happiness. They've spent 10 years telling Van residents they SHOULD be happy because of the Olympics, mountains, stanley park etc. Then they convinced residents that only Van homeowners are happy. People bought it hook line and sinker. Think of how many amateur landlords strut around and consider their tenants as landless peasants. In any other industry customer service is paramount but in terms of Van rentals, customers are supposed to suck it up and accept whatever mouldy residence they can find.

    It's going to take a good 5 – 10 years for the whole real estate bubble to unspool and during that time what defines happiness in Van is going to change considerably.

    Speaking as a guy who loved Van but left, I say figure out what REALLY makes you happy, then go and do that thing. I found several great employment opportunities, an excellent residence at a great price, good friends, a great sport (rowing) elsewhere.

    I guess I'm saying do what makes sense for you. If you live in Vancouver and you hate it, find happiness somewhere else. If you're a bear and you expect things to return to normal in Van any time soon, well…. you might want to take a second look. It's going to be years before prices fall into line, and that's the sad truth.

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    Newcomer Says:
    156

    It will be a while before we have a story like this in Canada, but Canada always catches up with the States sooner or later.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?stor

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    Logic or reason has Says:
    157

    "Hi again,

    I recently suggested sending a reasoned email, based on logic, comparables, etc. to the marketing managers of real estate developments suggesting that the only “perk” that is important to sell the development is a lower price"

    Not a good idea. Leave it alone. It will blow up on it's own, and it will be much more spectacular.

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    metalhead Says:
    158

    I agree, let it blow up on it's own.

    You sound like a beggar writing those letters.

    "Please, please lower your price!"

    Think they really give a shit?

    When it hurts, they'll lower the prices and the more that do it at the same time the more spectacular the blow up will be.

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    Some great stories on this thread and we'll be archiving them at VREAA over the next few days. The Sun article is interesting from numerous POV, not least of all Andy Yan's opinion.

    But one can't resist commenting on the Sommerville quote/argument:

    —-

    "The Land Is Water" and other bullish arguments

    http://wp.me/pcq1o-1eM

    Tsur Sommerville, of the UBC Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate, shows long term bullish insistence, largely based on the 'ongoing overwhelming demand' argument. It emerged most recently as the following convoluted statement [Vancouver Sun, 21 Aug 2010] -

    "Depending where you draw the circle, 70 per cent of the land isn’t developable. It’s mountains or water or the United States. The higher the population of a city, the higher the house prices. If we lose 70 per cent of the land, our metropolitan area of two million will have the same house prices as a seven-million metropolitan area. Because people have to commute the same distance."

    [The argument is bizarre, and fallacious. Let's extend this: If we lose 90%, a population of 6ooK; if we lose 99%, a population of 60K; etc... By this reasoning, the smallest community perched on the minutest piece of the most undevelopable terrain in the world should also have the land prices of a large metropolitan area. But who'd want to live there? If you do buy the argument that geographical restrictions limit the growth of a young city (in this case, Vancouver), and it thus never develops the industry, the activities, or the appeal of the larger metropolitan area, why should its land prices rise to those of the metropolitan area? -vreaa]

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    There certainly are "myths" that need to be debated, such as:

    1. Historically, Vancouver house prices do fall significantly after huge price increases that lead to high unaffordability and then prices here have become more in line w/ standard affordability measures comparable to other cities in Canada (i.e. around 37.5%-40% of income for housing costs) after huge price run ups (see early 1980s after the crash and mid-1990's) – see RBC Affordability studies showing the historical numbers. http://www.rbc.com/…/house.pdf

    2. If immigration of rich to Vancouver has been so predominant and that normal business cycle swings do not affect these people, why did Vancouver prices tank so much in so short a time in summer, 2008 – fall, 2008 – i.e. 25% drop in price of benchmark West Side SFH – see the graph at the bottom of this page from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver: http://www.rebgv.org/housing-price-index

    And, in the past few years, immigration and population growth has been below historically high levels of the early 1990's. Vancouver had more than twice the immigration during the early 1990's (during the Hong Kong exodus – and those were rich Chinese). We are at about 1.7% population growth for BC right now which is low to average, historically. See BC population growth amd immigration numbers: http://www.central1.com/…/ec … 2%20BC.pdf

    3. There are far more densely populated cities with far less developable land (i.e. Manhattan, London, UK) that suffer significant prices declines after bubble pricing. And Vancouver house and condo prices have now actually caught up to and in some cases surpassed these city's prices (an unprecedented event) in absolute terms and relative to incomes and wealth. See also the latest Demographia 2010 Study ranking Vancouver as the most "Severely Unaffordable" city out of all worldwide cities it ranks (including London, UK, NY etc…), which is also unprecedented, yet our geography (as cited by Tsur Sommerville et al) has remained constant throughout time: http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf

    4. Comparisons to Other North American Cities:

    Here is some more data from the rest of North America (i.e. the US) that shows that stark contrast with Vancouver and how truly out of wack Vancouver house prices have become, even on a "worldwide" scale (keep in mind that the avg. sale price of a SFH in ALL of Greater Vancouver, from Maple Ridge to West Van is around $1.0M).

    These are examples of so-called "unaffordable" cities in the US – less than HALF the price of Vancouver (in great, "worldclass" cities like San Francisco, LA etc.).

    money.cnn.com/…/index.html

    5. What $1,0M buys in the US:

    Another example of the stark contrast with Vancouver, $1.0M buys mansions in the US, but in Vancouver it is a very mediocre home. See for example, the brand new luxury hi-rise 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath condo in NY for $1.0M, 1,350 sq.ft. – that's only $740/sq.ft.. In Vancouver, even in the downtown eastside (Woodwards) was going for as high if not higher (i.e. $800+/sq.ft.). Olympic Village condos are being priced in the $1,000+/sq.ft. and the Fairmont Waterfront luxury condos hit $2,500/sq.ft. according to Bob Rennie.

    http://www.cnbc.com/…/38453550

    6. Historical Vancouver House Prices Statictics:

    This is a great source for Vancouver housing market historical stats on prices, rents etc..from the Sauder School at UBC (where Professor Sommerville teaches and researches):

    cuer.sauder.ubc.ca/…/van_res.html

    Note the periods of significant nominal and real (ie. inflation-adjutsed) price declines persisted in Vancouver after periods of high unaffordability (i.e. after the early 1980's and early 1990's). So, Vancouver is not immune to the laws of economics.

    The Vancouver market has recently slowed down considerably – is this a sign the overheated, out of wack prices (even on a "worldwide"scale) are taking a toll and, in reality, Vancouverites (not rich foreigners) are the vast majority of buyers that are stretched to the max after a frenzy of irrational buying financed by ultra-easy money/credit? Then again, as the rest of the world and the US examples have shown, it is impossible to predict the timing of the end of a bubble….but when it happens it can be devastating.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    161

    @vreaa:

    Sewer Sommerville says: The higher the population of a city, the higher the house prices.

    Really, you fucking idiot?

    The population of LA, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and San Diego are far higher than Vancouver. Where are their high prices?

    Conversely, you worthless cheerleading moron, Abbotsford has a small population but very, very high prices. AND PLENTY OF LAND!

    Same with Kelowna.

    Why is that, Mr. Sauder School of Bidness economist man?

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    Newcomer Says:
    162

    I've lived in a lot of major cities (New York, Toronto, Rome, Tokyo, Paris) and I have never see a city with so much unused and underused land as Vancouver: lawns, farms, scrub lots, empty fields, parking lots, laneways, etc. And as you move away from the city itself into the valley and the south it is just plain rural. The notion that there is any kind of land shortage here is laughable to anyone who has ever visited a city with a population of more than five hundred thousand.

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    Here are the projections for August end of month numbers, given what we have seen so far this month.

    Days elapsed so far 14

    Days remaining 7

    Average Sales this month 104

    Average Listings this month 190

    Projected Sales 2186

    Projected New Listings 3996

    Projected sell/list 54.7%

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    We are on pace for the 2nd worst sell/list and sales totals cine 2000. (The worst being 2008.)

    Like in June and July, listings are running quite a bit lower than normal. This is pulling down the overall inventory number–and fellow bears, we must call this for what it is, which is not good for faster price declines. There's no putting lipstick on the overall inventory pig.

    Why are new listings so low? Understanding this will allow us to understand whether this trend will continue in the Fall.

    Here are some possibilities:

    1. The 'rush for the exits' by specuvestors happened in the spring. We 'stole' new listings from the summer with our super high listings in the spring.

    2. There hasn't been much mortgage stress–either because of income problems (job loss etc.) or because of mortgage rates (which have stayed low).

    3. The 'move up' market has frozen. This means that people stop looking and stop listing their house; supply and demand both move down.

    4. Hordes of people are taking their place off the market to wait until next year (or the fall) when prices will be 'better'. We should see evidence for that in the rental market, and this means that we can expect a big flood of new listings next year.

    Which of these makes the most sense?

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    Keeping an Eye on Th Says:
    165

    I recall watching an American TV show on housing just before the bubble burst.

    The debate was between the “it’s not a bubble, it’s different this time” supported by David Lereah and a group of mortgage lenders, and the other side who claimed” it’s a bubble the fundamentals can’t support these prices” argued by Shiller.

    The David Lereah argument was entirely the same as that being made by Tsur.

    The rest is history.

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    Keeping an Eye on th Says:
    166

    Addendum:

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/comple
    25 people to blame: check out the full list.

    Whose names will be on our list?

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    crashcow Says:
    168

    @VHB: Next month's activity will be very interesting to watch, especially listings. Like you said in point #4, I expect there to be growth in new and re-listings as sellers hope for a market rebound in the Fall.

    I don't see a Fall rebound in sales, although there is definitely less yard work. Of course, there is also the Sept 8th rate announcement. Sept should give us a good indication of our trend rate going forward.

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    Joeblow Says:
    169

    @Dan in Calgary:

    Dan, kindly elaborate. Accusing me of being ignorant is less effective than simply giving a coupe of examples and show me where I'm wrong. Got any?

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    realpaul Says:
    170

    The Vanc sun article of such ridicule is the bow shot of the whores….they plan to belittle all argument by labeling all contrary opinions as 'myth'. They must have hired the RCMP on this….deny deny deny deny until public opinion is taken in a new direction……its a childish response to realiity but then again they have the most to lose. I was wondering how they'd try to counter the facts….they were off the braodsheets for over a week without a peep and I suspected they were developing a media strategy….well here it comes. They have stated that they will issue a series of articles in the coming weeks using this Cayo whore and trot out all the usual suspects ,pimps, whores and liars. Of course the real estate boards and sales reps are going to be lining up……as well as the credit union pimps and developers reps from UBC and the national organization. What we will never see in the local rags is opinion other than what has been bought and paid for. As I have said before….looking for truth in the Vanc Sun is akin to looking for your breakfast in the toilet.

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    oneangryslav2 Says:
    171

    @Keeping an Eye on The Pimps: Here's an oldie but a goodie (from December 31, 2006)…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60CLQse27p8

    Why don't these shows bring these people back for a retrospective. The childish mocking of Schiff by Adkins and Morgan is priceless. Note the opening statement by seemingly coked-up Adkins:

    "You're going to see prices go up [in 2007] about 10%. Here's why: You're going to come into a regular, normal market and in a regular, normal market that about the kind of appreciation you get."

    How any idiot, especially one who passes himself off as a expert on the real estate market, can see that a there is something called a "normal" real estate, let alone that in a "normal" one prices go up 10% annually, is beyond me. I guess I can't stomach the thought of whoring myself out on television.

    P.S. Although Schiff called the housing market crash correctly, he's been wrong on other calls of his–particularly the strength of the US dollar and his call for hyperinflation.

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    Renting Says:
    172

    I wonder if Tsur has a book coming out? I was just looking at Amazon to see comments in 2005 before the US bubble popped regarding David Lereah’s 2005 book on real estate:

    ARE YOU MISSING THE REAL ESTATE BOOM?: The Boom Will Not Bust and Why Property Values Will Continue to Climb Through the End of the Decade – And How to Profit From Them

    ________________________________________________

    Here is the Amazon Review from 2005:

    "Although some economists believe that the real estate market may be headed for bubble territory, Lereah disagrees, arguing that continued low interest rates, a healthy boomer population, and the "boomer echo" of next-generation buyers should keep the market healthy for at least the next 10 years. But he says that in order to profit from this sector you should invest now."

    ________________________________________________

    Here is the review by two other real estate experts in 2005:

    “An invaluable book . . . Today’s real estate markets are booming and Lereah makes a convincing case for why the real estate expansion will continue into the next decade. This book should prove to be a truly practical guide for any household looking to create wealth in real estate.” —DEWEY DAANE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD OF GOVERNORS

    “An important book, whether you agree with the author (as I do) that housing will remain an excellent investment or are convinced that home prices are poised for a plunge, David Lereah lays out a compelling vision of housing as a continuing positive investment—and how you can profit from real estate if you already own the home you live in, are looking to move from rental housing to an owner-occupied home, or want to use real estate as an investment.” —DAVID BERSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, FANNIE MAE

    ________________________________________________

    And here is the review of an unknown reader who nails it in 2005:

    "For me, this was more comic relief than any scholarly analysis. The author has a vested interest in the bubble not bursting, and he's selling his soul with this book to prove it.

    He spins webs of demographics and interest rates, but he never ever addresses the core issues that determine housing values. What is lost here is that housing in itself creates no value, its value is completely predicated upon peoples ability to pay for it. Ergo, housing prices for the last 100 years have tracked income remarkably closely, that is, except for the last five years. Historically, the ratio of housing price to annual income has been 2.1, with very little variation. In many parts of the country, this ratio is now approaching 10.5! Can you say "major correction?" Further, the amount of leverage used to buy homes during this boom has been increased to absolutely unprecidented levels. Even during the last boom of the late 80s/early 90s, the standard was still 30 yr fixed and 20% down. Not anymore. Last year, less than 15% of borrowers put down 20% or more! Further, the 30 yr fixed has been replaced by the IO, or interest only loan. See now, we have the same borrower capable of bidding 30-40% more for a propery without any better credit or ability to repay. Neat trick, but sadly, Lereah at no point addresses any of these fundamentals.

    Our stock/housing pattern appears remarkably similar to the one Japan had 20 years ago. First the stock market busted. Right after, the real estate market rallied, and it busted too. The current Japanese real estate market is in a 14 year slide to date, and houses are going for roughly their 1980 value."

    _________________________________________________

    I am sure Vancouver is different because as Tsur states our land is water and the US which is not developable. Hang on, since the US is not developable why did their bubble pop? And Japan has some water if you draw a circle as Tsur does in his analysis. I guess we will have to check with Tsur. I am sure the Vancouver Sun will ask that question next week in part 2 of why real estate will never decline in Vancouver.

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    Dan in Calgary Says:
    173

    Joeblow, regarding "Dan, kindly elaborate. Accusing me of being ignorant is less effective than simply giving a coupe of examples and show me where I’m wrong. Got any?"

    Well, you got up my nose, didn't you, and I took you to task, and now you want me to justify myself? Does that somehow surprise you, that you got up someone's nose with your comment? Silly me; I supposed that was your goal!

    Your ignorance was self-evident in your broadly offensive statement about Canada, which included Canada's history. And now you want me to educate you? ROTFL. Your broad claim merited only a broad rebuttal.

    But let me try a more positive approach, and appeal to you to look for yourself, because examples of what's "good" and "great" about Canada abound, especially in stories from the past. Go to the library. Read something. Learn something about Canada. Speak to people whose families have lived here for many generations. Speak to people whose families came here in the 1800s and early 1900s. Like the history of the United States (which you somehow approve of) Canada's history is a story of hardship and overcoming. Many, many Canadians of different cultures have a great deal to be proud of, especially for their ability to "endure", to build, to create, and to serve others. (Others have lots to be ashamed of).

    I insist, however, that the burden is on you to educate yourself, assuming you're interested in something other than a verbal p*ssing match.

    (P.S. I didn't call you "ignorant" as your retort suggests. I said you were "patently ignorant of Canada's history" … that means you are "unknowledgeable" or "uneducated".)

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    oneangryslav2 Says:
    174

    @crashcow: Here's an update in the "My sister's house in Coquitlam is on the Market" series:

    To recap–relatively nice 4BR, 2BA house in a good area of Coquitlam–Harbour Chines. It's been on the market since about June 15th. There have been multiple showings and a few open houses, but not a single offer yet.

    It turns out that the one problem (according the the real estate agent) is the kitchen–no stainless steel appliances, no marble counters, and it's a bit too small. In a market that's slowing down, this is the type of issue that will prevent your house from being sold. Had the house been up for sale prior to the April 19th mortgages policy change, I'm sure it would have sold.

    It turns out that the real estate agent believes that September will draw out more potential buyers. His reasoning? It's too nice out, so people are enjoying the weather. If his attitude is indicative of that of the rest of his colleagues, we could see a surge of new and re-listings in September.

    We'll see…

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    fixie guy Says:
    175

    oneangryslav2, not enough kitchen and too much sun? Recommend your sister find a new realtor. She can tell this one not enough brains and too many excuses.

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    Keeping an Eye on Th Says:
    176

    @oneangryslav2:

    And I would add that Tsur pimping RE is more egregious than Lereah, at least Lereah had the balls to be out of the closet; on the other hand Tsur , plays the unbiased academic.

    Shameful,

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    @VHB: "1. The ‘rush for the exits’ by specuvestors happened in the spring."

    I doubt it. From what I have seen there were significant de-listings in the downtown area where investors make up a huge portion of total sales. I know of people who pulled their places off the market and have tried to rent them out instead.

    2. There hasn’t been much mortgage stress

    Yes. Rates are significantly lower than this time in 2008.

    "3. The ‘move up’ market has frozen."

    Yes. Low sales, high inventory, and de-listings are not independent of each other.

    "4. …taking their place off the market"

    Sure and I'm not convinced all of them are renting them out. I wouldn't be surprised to see an influx of short-term tenancy in downtown units (common for some Asian investors) or them just being kept dark until 2011. Getting renters is a pain if you want to list the place in 6 short months, compared to the income.

    The truth is the majority of properties that have been listed aren't selling. Why?

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    oneangryslav2 Says:
    178

    @oneangryslav2: I should really proofread prior to clicking submit. Let me try this again:

    "How any idiot, especially one who passes himself off as a expert on the real estate market, can say that a there is something called a “normal” real estate [market], let alone that in a “normal” one prices go up 10% annually, is beyond me. I guess I can’t stomach the thought of whoring myself out on television."

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    @VHB: Another way to look at it is from the POV of those directly involved in the REIC. Low inventory isn't necessarily a good thing. It's all about the sales — for Realtors, developers, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, banks, etc. Fewer listings doesn't increase sales when new speculators aren't appearing; how can it?

    From that perspective there is what amounts to an ongoing recession in these industries. I also think the Olympic GDP boost is still showing up in Vancouver as money sloshes around for another few months. This is a waning effect and I wouldn't be surprised if that's part of the reason Vancouver and FV have fared better than other parts of the province. I think given how severe the housing recession is in other parts of the province there will be a shift in government spending away from GV/FV in the coming months. Any look outside of the Lower Mainland shows much more severe conditions than even 2008.

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    oneangryslav2 Says:
    180

    @oneangryslav2: Ha! And there's another mistake, but I won't fix it. Anyone need a copy editing job? :)

    My sister and her husband have had the same realtor since 1992, which is when they purchased their first house and they've been satisfied with his work to this point. September should be interesting.

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    Just saying Says:
    181

    Wyng Chow, a former real estate reporter for The Vancouver Sun, is accused of receiving a "secret benefit" from a property developer. Chow was fired from the paper in December over this issue, after 32 years at the publication.

    http://www.hidelinkonline.com/index.php?q=aHR0cDo

    " However, Graham claimed that all reporters know that certain

    things are unacceptable, including making up facts for stories,

    stealing someone else’s work, and writing about someone who is

    providing a financial benefit to the reporter. "

    Just saying

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    Teddybear Says:
    182

    Just came back from several open houses in Vancouver DT, and noticed that some realtors are pulling an old trick: at 1255 Seymour St the realtor was not in the lobby, so crowds would gather in front of the building and wait for realtor to come downstairs. The intention obviously is to create a sence of "urgency" as if there were crowds of people looking to buy 650k for 860 sq.ft condo. There were a few Chinese coples, one guy did not even want to go upstairs. He was just laughing at the price and sent his wife up. We did not want to go, no point of heckling the realtor now, will come back in a month or so though.

    Across the street – another open house, at 1228 Seymour, falsely advertized as 2 bdr. (it was one bedroom and den) priced at 509k with property assessment of 375k, there was only the realtor in the suite. The realtor played "I don't know how much money is in the contingency fund, and I don't know how much is the most recent property assessment". Funny, since the MLS # is in the low 82's.

    They are still fighting inevitable very hard.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    183

    @Teddybear:

    It's not $650K, its $649,888. It may only seem like $12 difference to some, but that $12 will attract Asian buyers to the listing like bees to honey. Or bees to laneway houses.

    http://www.mls.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId

    Sarcasm off now. Seriously, don't Chinese people look at this type of pricing and just laugh at the desperation and stupidity of the seller and agent?

    The must be getting insulted by now.

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    George the Third Says:
    184

    $650,000 – $649,888 = $112.00 not $12.00.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    George the Third Says:
    185

    Just the math.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Devore Says:
    186

    @George the Third:

    $650,000 – $649,888 = $112.00 not $12.00.

    Whoa! Big money! Big money!

    I never understood the strategy either. I can see retail stores doing it, so they can say such and such is under $x dollars ($x – $0.01), but how does that work for something you are paying 100s of thousands for? I find it insulting actually.

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    Sour Grapes Says:
    187

    @Best place on meth: As a non-Chinese Asian, it always irritates me when people say "Asian" when they mean "Chinese". (It's particularly irritating when a Chinese person says it to me.) Not all of Asia is into numerology, and of those who are, not all of them see anything significant about the number 8. I may look a lot like the Chinese majority in Vancouver but they know I'm not one of them – the least everyone else can do is keep in mind that I'm not one of the horde, either!

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    Teddybear Says:
    188

    @Sour Grapes:

    Ah, I think it has become ridiculous. At this time and age we, Canadian residents, should be able to call it as it is, without fear of offending anyone. Why should anyone be offended by their own race or ethnicity, or when others acknowledge it…

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    Best place on meth Says:
    189

    @Sour Grapes:

    As a non Chinese non Asian who's not into numerology married to a non-Chinese Asian also not into numerology with a non Chinese half Asian child just learning to count on fingers, I have only one thing to say.

    Time for a new topic.

    Pope?

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    The Pope Says:
    190

    @Best place on meth: Writing it now, but it's not monday yet is it? Are you so excited you can hardly sleep?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    191

    @The Pope:

    It's Monday in Asia.

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    from Victoria Says:
    192

    I used to hear all the time from our RE agent in Victoria – someone just called from Germany and they want to buy property – Cash! He said it about 3 times to us. He also said it to the press (Times Colonist if you can call it press). He was the President of the RE Board – yup someone from Germany just called me today to buy property – cash!

    I wonder what he is thinking now.

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    Anonymous Says:
    193

    I love how it advertises stainless steel appliances and right there smack in the kitchen (great location, NOT!!) is a white washer/dryer combo. Liars.

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    Andy Harless Says:
    194

    What housing bubble?
    http://blog.andyharless.com/2010/08/what-housing-

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    crashcow Says:
    195

    Just got an e-mail from one of Ozzie's henchmen..

    What is going to happen to Real Estate?‏

    Find out at…

    Outlook 2011

    Real Estate Conference

    PREMIUM TICKET PACKAGE – $147 *(+hst)

    …or, I could just read the hard data and news presented on this blog daily and come to a much much more accurate conclusion…for free! hmm…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    other ted Says:
    196

    Just finished reading a ridiculous article in the Sun trying to adress myths as to why real estae can't go down. the two year old that must of wrote it says its because we are running out of land. I can't think of any other city with over a million people that has a lower population density. That has to be the biggest myth that keeps on getting repeated.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    197

    @George the Third:

    By George, you’re right, $112 it is!

    Please disregard my entire post!

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    Anonymous Says:
    198

    @Just saying: ha ha turds.

    This blogger said Winnie Chung is wanted in Taiwan for frauds related to sale of a Vancouver house without the owner's consent
    http://gb.udn.com/gb/blog.udn.com/alpineatks/4344

    Mad,mad,mad Vancouver real estate.

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    Blue Acorn Says:
    199

    @exWestEnder: @exWestEnder: Well said. We have the similar experience like you guys. My wife and I have lived in China, Hong Kong, Taipei, London and LA, and have travelled to many places (she's a travel writer). Vancouver is one of the most humanistic places. No it's not perfect, especially for its lack of meaningful culture and a strong creative industry but Vancouver is a very livable space. It's a bridge between the old world (Europe) and the new world (N. America) and the East and the West. Vancouverites are not the easiest bunch to befriend with but overall they are accepting. The food scene is great and the outdoors are awesome.

    However, its housing price is purely not justifiable. It's so high that it's hurting the city's future. Young and economically actively people can't afford to live here. When most of the disposable income is sucked up by rent/mortgage payments, there is very little left to be spent on other things: travelling, cultures, fashion, eating out, etc. This can't be good for BC's economy. Right now, we are renting in Kits. Most people on my block are either folks who bought at least 10 years ago or earlier, or their parents put down a big down payment for them, or senior doctors, or lawyers (partners) or hockey players. We are the only renter here and my wife has told me a few times how she gets the renter treatments: not being invited to neighbourhood parties etc. I shrug most of the time and insist there's nothing wrong with renting and we can't afford to buy a bungalow for $1.6M and even we do it doesn't make financial sense. Cities like NYC, Hong Kong, London and Paris have a huge financial service industry, cultural industry and bubbling creativity. Vancouver is a great town but is not the best place on earth. There is not such thing.

    No we don't need a big place: just somewhere around 800-900 sqf will do as we have a kid. But we are not prepared to pay $600K for one in Vancouver and we don't want to travel 2-3 hours a day to work. So we rent. And yes, Vancouver's housing price needs to drop for about 30% to make sense. We belong to the median income bracket ($85K – $100K) and if we can't afford to buy a decent size condo, this can't be a good sign?!

    The three levels of governments have a lot to do to grow the economy sustainably, rather than pumping the housing market up. The Feds can limit the amortization period to 20 years, the province can build better public transit and encourage investments to creative industry to make the city even better, the cities can change zoning to increase density, especially for the west side, and all along major routes permitting high-risers (like 20 stories and up). The price will come down immediately (but not collapsing) with the minimal negative impact to the economy.

    So, what do you guys think our governments should to do to manage our housing market and our economy better as the direct consequence?

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    fixie guy Says:
    200

    Nice post Blue Acorn. Pretty much spot on. However, while that might be the median income for your neighborhood it's well above Vancouver's. 30% is very optimistic.

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