A sustainable housing market.

Many people have pointed out this CBC news video about a couple of recent sales in Vancouver and VREAA has a good breakdown transcript of the story and some opinions on it.

This story has everything you need to kick off another year of real estate mania in Vancouver BC: a dilapidated tear-down selling for half a million over asking price, hundreds of thousands in profit for holding a house for a couple of months, whispers of wealthy foreigners and a grinning salesman hoping it never ends.

So what do you think? Can the multi-year rise (pretend 2008 didn’t happen) in Vancouver house prices carry on indefinitely? If you’re bearish on the local market are you starting to doubt your outlook? Does the current market have you thinking about moving to a different economy or just taking on a giant CMHC backed mortgage and buying here? How is the Vancouver real estate market affecting your day to day life and outlook?

243 Responses to “A sustainable housing market.”

- ♦ ↓ ↓ ↓ Click here to leap to comment form ↓ ↓ ↓ ♦ -
    blueskies Says:
    1

    an irrational market can remain irrational
    longer than you can remain solvent…..

    YVR RE is completely irrational
    you jump in at your own peril…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    JordanClark Says:
    2

    This market is insane, the longer it goes on the worse off everyone here will be in the long run. The prices just flat out don't make sense, there is no justification and people need to realize huge debt comes with real risks. People who got in at the right time might be better off but they do so to the detriment of the younger generations, who will be relied on to pick up the economic torch some day. What will happen when they aren't there or still up to their eye balls in debt?

    We've been waiting for years and have pretty much given up on greater Vancouver. The market here will collapse some day, but that whole process will probably take many more years, people here are extremely stubborn about the eternal value of real estate and will take nothing before reducing prices.

    My kids start school this year, we need to be in a home with a yard, and stability. The condo life sucks. Luckily I'm a dual citizen so I'm in the process of sponsoring my wife and moving down to Washington State. I wish this was an easier option for more Canadians/Vancouverites because I think it would offer great relief to so many other families.

    We'll buy a nice 3-4 year old house, 4-5 bedrooms, 2500+ sqft, nice 8000+ sqft yard, on a nice cul-de-sac within a few blocks of school for maybe $300k. From saving all these years we can put 50-75% down, pay it off in 10-15 years while still making significant retirement contributions. I'll be able to retire in my 40s.

    Adios Vancouver.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @JordanClark:

    people here are extremely stubborn about the eternal value of real estate and will take nothing before reducing prices.

    Like they weren't stubborn in the US, Ireland, etc?

    RE prices are always determined by the buyers, not the sellers, because someone always has to sell (including builders of new stock), but nobody has to buy. RE busts happen because the market runs out of buyers at current prices. The reason prices usually fall slowly is that buyers (and the governments that enable them) are slow to get real.

    And I don't care how soon prices become reasonable because I don't plan to live in the city long term and have no aspirations to buy. I do think that if reality doesn't return soon Vancouver will see the biggest hollowing out of the middle class in Canada since Montreal after the PQ victory in 1976.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Bizznitch Says:
    4

    http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Locals+boug

    So much for rich Asians snapping everything up left and right by the thousands!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Vancouverite Says:
    5

    Count me among those who have had enough.

    I was born and raised in Vancouver. I am at the very top of my very high earning profession here, like my husband. We own a SFH on the west side (it is respectable by Vancouver standards but pretty modest by the standards of any other city) and we are almost mortgage-free. While we would like to buy a bigger house since our kids are getting older, we won't. This bubble is certain to burst sooner or later and we work way too hard to throw our money away competing with buyers who are up to their ears in temporarily cheap debt. We know how long it takes to save $100K.

    Although our extended families are here, we are actually giving serious thought to moving elsewhere in Canada or even to another country. We could sell our house today and buy a nicer house in a nicer neighborhood mortgage-free, with lots of cash left over for savings. There would be some initial sacrifice professionally, but we'd probably earn more in the long run. Even if we didn't, we don't really care if it means a better life for our kids.

    Which brings me to my biggest concern, Vancouver's future. There is almost no significant business left here that is not connected to real estate in some way. Why would you bother trying to make a better widget when you could make more money more easily by developing, constructing, or marketing $1m townhouses? Even if you wanted to make a better widget, why would you do it in Vancouver, where it is difficult to attract professional talent because of the exorbitant cost of living? When this real estate bubble collapses, and it will, I think it is going to be disastrous for this city, which has put all its eggs and then some into one basket, and for its people, many of whom depend upon rising home equity for their spending and have forgotten what actual work and business looks like. I think I might like my family to be somewhere else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    if rich asians immigrated to Canada and bought a house, they will be under the first time buyer or locals category and not in the

    3% "buyers from outside Canada" category. Many of the buyers I met when I was checking out open houses in Vancouver are immigrants from Asia and not foreigners. And they prefer to live in Greater Vancouver than Victoria.

    I rented for 5 years in Richmond waiting for house prices to correct. Everytime its about to go down, the gov't will intervene. As long as mortgage terms in Canada are lax and rich immigrant's money continue to flow in, I don't see any sizable correction in housing prices especially in bubbly vancouver. I gave up on Vancouver, move to Toronto and bought a house. Adios Vancouver too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    "A-Sharp" Says:
    7

    @LY:

    I've stopped trying to predict the housing market…

    and begun trying to predict debt growth/decline, which is not any easier BTW. As long as debt continues to grow faster than income, everything will feel fine.

    If we shoot the Debt-income % to 170 this year, we could see house prices rise by 10%. This is within the outliers on the realm of plausibility.

    If debt levels flatline then we will see prices drop.

    The truly scary thing is that 2010 showed very moderate house price growth (canada wide) and still showed high debt growth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    That CBC article ignores that particular prop was listed well below market. We see these all the time on the west side; it's almost a strategic play to drum up a fear and greed fueled frenzy just in time for the spring buffalo jump. The media are more than willing to abet.

    Don't fall for it. When was the MSM ever in tune with an impending crash?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @JordanClark:

    The condo life sucks. Luckily I’m a dual citizen so I’m in the process of sponsoring my wife and moving down to Washington State. I wish this was an easier option

    There is an easier option – RENTING

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    That CBC article ignores that particular prop was listed well below market.

    Exactly. Tear down houses (lot value) in Vancouver West have been selling for 1.5 Mil since 2007. This is nothing new. Just a staged news story that sucks in the masses to thinking prices just went up 30%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Ridiculous Says:
    11

    if 1.6M = 3x the annual family income of the family that bought that place and the cost to rent a comparable property >$10,600 month, I guess it was a good deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @jesse: Assessed value was $1.35M.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    #5 Vancouverite,

    Great post. Your comments on the difficulty of attracting professional talent ring true to me. As someone who has to do this in his job it gets harder and harder every day. It is also tragic the number of young, bright people who gave up jobs in more traditional industries such as teaching, engineering or even law to go into Real Estate on the promise of greater riches. Where will they be when the market has crashed and Real Estate is a dead end for a decade?

    We have been very short sighted in this City. It cannot be said enough. The pimps and bulls should enjoy their last days while they can. However all of us are going to have to live with these short sighted policies for decades to come.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @jesse: The US media predicted their housing bubble collapse years in advance giving everyone lots of warning..

    Oh. They didn't?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Mr 4 / bad luck re 4 Says:
    15

    Could this be also about CBC saying to Global:

    " we can buy advertising business , just as well as you"?

    Or:

    Are the CBC reporters as retarded as the global/ cknw/ 24hrs etc etc?

    This to me looks like a staged event.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    16

    @LY:

    if rich asians immigrated to Canada and bought a house, they will be under the first time buyer or locals category and not in the 3% “buyers from outside Canada” category.

    And in 2009 there were 5,558 such people (including dependents) arriving in BC, which is probably about 1,500 households or so, or about 1/5 of 1% of existing households in metro Vancouver.

    http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/data/pop/mig/immLand

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    17

    @jesse:

    When was the MSM ever in tune with an impending crash?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/08/opinion/08krugm

    This is the way the bubble ends: not with a pop, but with a hiss.

    Housing prices move much more slowly than stock prices. There are no Black Mondays, when prices fall 23 percent in a day. In fact, prices often keep rising for a while even after a housing boom goes bust.

    So the news that the U.S. housing bubble is over won't come in the form of plunging prices; it will come in the form of falling sales and rising inventory, as sellers try to get prices that buyers are no longer willing to pay. And the process may already have started.

    Of course, some people still deny that there's a housing bubble. Let me explain how we know that they're wrong.

    Of course it's debatable whether the New York Times is really "MSM". :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @patriotz:

    And in 2009 there were 5,558 such people (including dependents) arriving in BC, which is probably about 1,500 households or so, or about 1/5 of 1% of existing households in metro Vancouver.

    That's flawed logic, because you are assuming that immigrants are buying in the same year that they arrive. How do you know that's the case?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    The RE is not affecting me in anyway yet, but this rainy foggy never ending wheather is making me depressed. Last time we had some sunshine was last year around December 28. I dont know what people find attractive here, especially during winter it sucks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    20

    @Troll:

    That’s flawed logic, because you are assuming that immigrants are buying in the same year that they arrive.

    No I'm not, I was simply pointing out the actual number of "rich immigrants", which is much smaller than most people think.

    It was the previous poster who was talking about purchases by such people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    21

    18 Troll Says: "That’s flawed logic, because you are assuming that immigrants are buying in the same year that they arrive. How do you know that’s the case?"

    That's flawed logic, because it implies buyers from 'other years' are hidden in the 2009 stats when the data clearly shows mid-5K is peak for any year going back to the mid-Nineties. The latter is interesting in itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    What a great fear mongering pump piece by the CBC. As other posteres have mentioned there was no mention of lot size or anything. It looked from the vid that it was a 50 foot lot. They have been going for $1.5 million for a long while now. What was more disturbing was the other house that flipped for a $300k profit in 3 months, that one left me scratching my head. Things get more irrational closer to the pop, but I do have to admit that I have given up on this city. It's a whore to RE.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @patriotz: Point is, just as bulls are guilty of overstating the effect of foreign money, bears are guilty of understating it. Those stats of immmigration rate or number of foreign buyers doesn't really tell us much. What we need to know is how much money not derived from local incomes is pouring into Vancouver RE and particular sub-markets. That would settle the debate immediately. Until then, bears and bulls will continue to point to numbers that suit their bias, neither painting a convincing picture.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @fixie guy: Have you compeleted your homework yet and learned the difference between real and nominal? Or how interest rates work? Or anger management?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    pricedoutfornow Says:
    25

    How has RE affected me? Well, for one, I have a whole pile of cash that could potentially be used for a healthy downpayment, if prices were what they were in 2001. If I were to drop that on a downpayment today, it wouldn't get me very far. Plus the cost of carrying the mortgage would make my living costs go up by over $1000 a month (more when interest rates rise!). For another thing, every family gathering with my SO ends with questions from the inlaws as to why I haven't bought yet, why am I throwing money away on rent. No matter how often I explain I'm actually SAVING money, they just harp on about how "Real estate always goes up." Talk about zombies. I do wish I had a dog though, which would be a million times easier if I had a house with a yard. I can't wait for this bubble to pop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Vansanity Says:
    26

    @pricedoutfornow:

    I'm in the exact same boat. My inlaws saw that piece on CBC and they called up in a panic, "oh my God prices are going up again, what are you waiting for?" I told them, hey, if you want to buy us a place for $1M I won't stop you. In other words, put your money where your mouth is, cuz I have, that's why it's in the bank.

    My wife and I ideally would like to have a place in East Van or Burnaby but we refuse to live "house poor" as some of our friends and family do. I haven't convinced my wife to move away, but the longer this goes we might eventually take off and move to sunnier pastures. You know the saying the grass is always greener, well when it comes to real estate and money and Vancouver to the rest of the world, it might be true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Troll: "Assessed value was $1.35M."

    And it was listed for just over $1MM. The property was in pretty rough shape, though. I doubt the assessment accounted for its sorry state. The lot was wide and bordering a park. The Realtor knew what he was doing.

    Mission accomplished. I tip my hat to him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    28

    24 Troll Says: "Have you compeleted your homework yet and learned the difference between real and nominal? Or how interest rates work? Or anger management? "

    Good questions Dave, and wonderfully illustrative of your complete lack of argument. I point out (again) the trivial flaw in your reasoning, you (again) dodge it and respond with an unrelated ad hominem. Better yet, one that childishly tries to spin my insistence on real, inflation adjusted numbers as the opposite. Or better yet as somehow fundamentally incorrect, yet another challenge for demonstration you can't meet.

    And come on, rational adults shouldn't be angered by the adolescent and disingenuous posturing? Sunny basement view suite pal, and have a great day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @fixie guy: Hey dipshit, I'm not dave. My name is TROLL. DEAL WITH IT.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    30

    @pricedoutfornow:

    If you had a dog, it would also provide you with more intelligent conversation than your typical Vancouver home owner – like those pinheads who keep asking you why you haven't bought yet.

    As for today's question: has my bearish outlook changed because of a handful of desperate, impatient whackjobs who just have to buy something today at any price?

    Hell no.

    Sales are still weak and listings are strong. With a home-ownership rate of 70% the remaining pool is quite shallow.

    This little news story just may encourage more sellers to come to market, as I noted last week several west side sellers have just increased their prices and made sure they have 8's in them as they've bought into the rich Asian hype.

    We'll see if there is a mini surge of buying prior to March 18 and then nothing but the sounds of crickets chirping thereafter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    my post is just in response to an article posted by Bizznitch and his comment "So much for rich Asians snapping everything up left and right by the thousands" just because house buyers in Victoria from "out of country" constitute only around 3%.

    I am making a clarification that purchases by immigrants whether rich or not would be under the Canadian house buyers category and conclusion by Bizznitch is inaccurate.

    If 1500 rich investor households came to BC in 2009 and they decided to buy houses in Vancouver West, North and west Vancouver for themselves and for investments, thats quite a lot. How about purchases by rich non-investor immigrant class from China?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    The problem with bears on this blog is that they all have one track mind : RE prices are about to crash any time now.

    While this may be one of possibilities, nobody seems to think of other alternatives.

    First, comparing Canada with US and Ireland or Spain is simply not credible. A more reasonable comparison would be Australia, with similar resource economy and RE prices, same debt levels, house ownership and average income. Yet, mortgage rates in Australia are in the range of 8 to 10% compared to our ridiculous 3% and no pop there yet. Why?

    And please don’t tell me: wait, they are about to pop. They aren’t!

    I have looked in many parameters of RE in this city and my outlook is “Muddle through for the foreseeable future while interest rates severely lag inflation rates and RE prices stagnate for 10 to 20 years at those levels“

    We have already this situation in UK with interest rates at 0.5% and inflation running at 3.2% last year, same in Canada, interest rates are at 1% yet inflation is close/above 2%.

    I think this muddle through scenario is what our government is aiming for and it has worked very well in other counties in the past, look Germany, Holland, Belgium, France etc. RE goes sharply up in 4 to 8 years then it stagnates while there is inflation in evth else,including wages for 10 to 15 years.

    One think people underestimate here is the huge leverage our government and CB has to keep RE stable. Yes, the US failed, but our government succeed spectacularly in 2008 in arresting the crash and reinflating the market.

    What makes you think that they can’t do it again and again?

    Canada is borrowing cheaper than US and Russia and China are buying our bonds big time. Our borrowing capacity is huge. There in little limit to things our government can do. Just like they are tightening lending conditions by increments to stabilise the market so they will loosen once things start going down.

    I have to hear yet one valid argument as to why the government can’t keep this thing stable, given all the financial ammunition they have and policy tools at their disposal.

    I hear bears now that the government has tightened a bit , getting all excited about our government popping the bubble. This line of thinking reeks total denial.

    Why would our government want to pop the bubble? What do they have to gain?

    When consequences are unknown, any government will go to extraordinary lengths to keep the status quo. So will ours.

    I don’t think prices will crash from those levels, nor will they be much different in 10 to 15 years, but your wage would be much higher. It is called a soft landing for housing, painful for bears but very probable imho.

    My main difficulty with this is how to best position / adjust to this new environment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    AlmostPerfect Says:
    33

    @Troll: Hi Dave, it is clear who needs anger management lessons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    It absolutely will not continue.

    You know how people say that there never is a "magic formula?"

    Well there is a Magic Formula when it comes to Real Estate. It's the relationship between rates and prices. As rates neared zero, prices exploded as the idiots all rolled in to push affordability back to extremes. Well now the formula is about to invert.

    A rising interest rate environment will put an end to the madness and there will be many regrets from those who think they can question the laws of basic economics.

    And the only thing that can prevent a rising rate environment is another economic downturn.

    The Asian investor is real enough to be a psychological factor but won't prop up the market in the least. It is a requirement for bubbles. And yes it is a bubble.

    There is no viable scenario for Vancouver Real Estate to keep appreciating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @LY:

    Go and frequent a Victoria Housing blog. Everyone spews the same bullshit about rich Asians buying everything up. "Everyone around the world wants to live in Victoria."

    that's the point, they believe the same thing, stats say different.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Will it continue forever?

    No, but I think the market will bifurcate, if it hasn't already. The West Van crazy sales will continue, but the ordinary buyer will have been locked out and sellers of would-be starter homes will be slow to drop their prices to match so sales will tank on the "lower" end. There will continue to be a lag in the price decline actually showing up in the monthly average price as a result.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    37

    @DaMann:

    Rich Chinese don't want to live in Victoria – too many dying people there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    The best part of the original write up was "pretend 2008 didn't happen". That may be the most idiotic statement I've seen from bears who I already think are inbred (have thought so for over 5 years).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    #32 French,

    Soft landings almost never happen. Rarely if ever are rapid and exponential asset rises followed by a period of going sideways. This is the lesson that most of us Bears expect to be learned again in Vancouver.

    Over time prices revert to the mean and long term economic fundamentals return. Canada is more like the US, UK, Ireland and Spain than we are unlike them. Yes, our gov't started juicing our market much later which is why it has held up. The only real difference is time.

    And Australia's bubble is on its last legs. This is now self evident to anyone following the situation.

    Our gov't is not trying to "pop" anything. What they are trying to do is "suck and blow" at the same time. They cannot take on anymore gov't risk the mortgage area in regards to the CMHC so they need to back that down slowly. They also realize that most demand has already been pulled forward so there is little to be gained by stimulating this sector.

    We will see. However nothing you have said is new.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Damann "Go and frequent a Victoria Housing blog. Everyone spews the same bullshit about rich Asians buying everything up. “Everyone around the world wants to live in Victoria.”

    I am sure there are also some rich Asians buying properties in Victoria. But I believe majority of them would be buying in the Greater Vancouver area. Whether they are enough in number to push housing prices much higher, I don't know. I can only speak in terms of my past experience house hunting in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam, of which many prospective buyers are Chinese immigrants.

    Housing prices in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing is even more insane than Vancouver. I won't be surprise if new immigrants from China will find Vancouver houses still cheap at these ridiculous level in comparison to where they came from.

    I am a long time bear but I am also a realist. I have given up trying to predict when housing prices would drop and stay down.

    It is time to provide a permanent shelter to my growing family and take out my cash from the bank earning a mere 1% GIC rate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    mattymatt Says:
    41

    Attn. french: your statement: "I don’t think prices will crash from those levels, nor will they be much different in 10 to 15 years, but your wage would be much higher."

    How much higher? Enough to afford the price of a house in Vancouver. Don't dream! Wages aren't much higher than they were 20 years ago… Actually I know that most positions at Air Canada haven't seen wage increases for 8 years… actually wage reductions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    mattymatt Says:
    42

    #32 French

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    43

    35 DaMann Says:“Everyone around the world wants to live in Victoria.”

    "Everyone around the world wants to live in California" is how family there rationalizes the 'temporary' market softening in that state. The real estate industry world wide has done a spectacular job selling the fantasy of a no-effort road to fabulous riches.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    VANCOUVER_RE_SUCKS Says:
    44

    Let's poll how many would have said:

    I wish I bought a property a few years ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Royce McCutcheon Says:
    45

    @AG Sage:

    Any post using the word "bifurcate" deserves a response. :)

    A question: has the sort of split you mentioned happened with real estate markets in the past? I can accept the idea that higher end properties may lose a smaller % on prices, but has there ever been a market that saw the bottom drop out on the lower end while the higher end went unscathed?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymouse Says:
    46

    @Best place on meth:

    "With a home-ownership rate of 70% the remaining pool is quite shallow."

    That's 70% Canada-wide, isn't it? I doubt the rate is 70% in Vancouver.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    #41 MattyMatt,

    This is the fundamental Bull flaw. They have to believe that wages will catch up and sustain Re values. This is how fundamentals will come back in line over time.

    However there is no evidence that this is happening or will happen. It is even more likely that affordability will be further eroded with rising taxes, energy prices and other inflationary costs.

    Meanwhile interest rates will rise. Anyone who stops to do the math on the impact of a simple 2 or 3% rise in rates on monthly payment will know that wages will have to rise exponentially to catch up.

    Do we even need to discuss Demographics and the retiring boomers?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    scullboy Says:
    48

    There's no way to predict when the RE bubble will pop, only that it will pop eventually.

    That being said, it must really suck being a bear in Vancouver. You hear the same tired, make-no-sense argument everywhere (and really, do Vancouverites talk about anything other then RE?). The market gets more and more stupid, people make crazier and crazier bets. Bears watch the whole thing go on around them, which a bit like being the only sober person in a bar. It's no fun at all.

    As I said before even if there were universal agreement the top ended *today* it will be many years before things get back to normal.

    You're going to end up with more and more desperate families as taxes and costs go up and salaries stagnate.

    Vancouver will miss out on a whole generation, as the local young people pack up for somewhere more affordable and other young people stay away because it's too expensive. Work will dry up because Van's becoming a one – industry town.

    The high dollar is killing the film and tourism industries, forestry's been dead for years and really is there anything else big enough to sustain Van?

    I think we've already seen the stratification (pun intended) of Van into 2 classes: Home owners and renters. I suspect purchasing a home has hollowed out the middle class; nowhere in Canada is the phrase "House poor" more appropriate then Vancouver. What will happen to the city with all those house poor folks go from being house poor to being just… poor?

    Nobody can say for certain but oh, boy am I glad I am watching from a continent away. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    #40 LY,

    Markets are incredibly complex systems. It is impossible to guess a bottom. However long term fundamentals do hold. It is just a matter of time.

    The important thing to remember is that Vancouver is so far out of line that even a drop of 20-30% would still leave it higher than a normal 3 – 4 times wage to price ratio.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    #48 scullboy,

    Why does it suck being a Bear? Any smart Bear knows better than to sit on the edge of their seat waiting for a crash.

    Better to be wrong for a few years and right for decades than the reverse.

    What I think must really suck is being in the Re industry and knowing it is all coming down shortly and you will need to find a new career. Now that must really suck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Mortgage Burner Says:
    51

    Better to be wrong for a few years and right for decades than the reverse.

    ************

    Lol – bulls have been right for a decade now, with over ten years of price increases and bears have been wrong for a decade…nice try

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @VANCOUVER_RE_SUCKS:

    Let’s poll how many would have said:

    I wish I bought a property a few years ago.

    I take it you think the answer would be obvious. Just because prices were lower doesn't mean any of us wish we bought. In my social circle my wife and I are are the last people who don't own our home. Instead we've travelled to a dozen countries, maxed out our TFSAs and the kids' RESPs and still had 25k per year to invest/save (we can even diversify and buy LIQUID investments) for anything else we please, maybe even for a house one day. The way I look at it is my retirement will be well funded and my kids well taken care of, what do I care if I own a home or rent it. So if you're asking would I trade all of that so that I could own a house the answer is easy, no.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    53

    @scullboy:

    Doesn't suck for me, I have no intention of ever buying real estate in Vancouver.

    I am however enjoying watching this one-industry city commit greed induced suicide.

    This Ponzi scheme is mere entertainment from my viewpoint.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Royce McCutcheon:

    From what stats I have looked at for Vancouver and other places, the higher end properties lost the largest amount when the price drops. That was eveident even in 2008. Westside and West van lost the most amount in % terms. They go up the largest and fall the largest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    One of the cliches of Vancouver that makes it an oh so desirable place to live is that you can both ski and golf in the same day. Well, looks like today I can do neither. It's pissing down rain on the North Shore mountains (a common occurrence this winter it seems) and it is pissing down rain in the city.

    But I'm sure despite the weather rich Asians will have already skied this morning, will hit the links for a quick nine this afternoon, then buy a few houses after dinner.

    Lotus land indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    scullboy Says:
    56

    @Junius:

    It sucks being a bear because when RE goes tits up in Vancouver, it's not gonna be like Passover, when some households are spared. EVERYONE is going to suffer. When the entire homeowning class in Vancouver figures out they aren't as rich as they think, they are going to be forced to cut down hard on everything. That's going to cut into everyone else's life. When the locals stop shopping, all those retail jobs go tits up (as will some local entrepreneurs). They'll stop eating out, which will clobber the food and drink industry. The ripples will be felt far and wide in Vancouver.

    And while a given bear might not suffer personally, it's not fun consoling a friend who lost a job or who is facing foreclosure and possibly a marital crisis because of the unfolding economy.

    So like it or not, as a bear you're going to feel some pain even if that's only pain by proxy.

    BPOM: While I understand what you're saying I question the entertainment value of being at ground zero when the bomb hits. Darling, the best view is up high and far from impact, preferably sipping something alcoholic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymouse Says:
    57

    @Best place on meth:

    "This Ponzi scheme is mere entertainment from my viewpoint."

    With the rate that housing markets move at it would be more entertaining to watch paint dry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    VancouverFiveOh Says:
    58

    @MortgageBurner – who's been bearish for TEN years? No one I know. Fundamentals started to tank around 2006ish, so maybe four or five years is a better number.

    As for me, I have been bearish since 2006. I'm a logic and math type and that has served me well in my profession but perhaps not so much when it comes to housing. I could have flipped a bunch of west side homes by now, right?

    Count me among those who are seriously considering leaving Vancouver. I was born and raised here but am tired of this city and it's "best place on earth" attitude. I'm also tired of the rain. Today sucks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Dan in Calgary Says:
    59

    @Mortgage Burner, "Lol – bulls have been right for a decade now, with over ten years of price increases and bears have been wrong for a decade"

    Yeah, prices have been going only up for more than 10 years.

    Yeah, real estate is non-cyclical.

    Yeah, there are no reversible market factors (such as changes in mortgage rates, lending criteria) that could possibly perturb the real estate market.

    Yeah, the Govt of Canada remains just as committed to maintaining the infinite expansion of easy credit as they have been for a decade.

    Yeah, bankers are stupid and won't adjust credit policies to reflect new risk realities.

    Yeah, there are no new risk realities.

    ROTFL, believe it if you like!

    @BPOM, "This Ponzi scheme is mere entertainment from my viewpoint."

    That's also my sentiment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Royce McCutcheon Says:
    60

    @DaMann:

    Yeah – I think I've seen that point made here too (by you perhaps?).

    I was just curious if there was an example in any RE market recently where that bifurcation scenario had occurred. Doesn't seem like that split would be possible, since I'd guess that the real estate market was more of a continuum.

    I wonder, if we did witness anything approaching that outcome, whether it'd be proof that the middle class really was dead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymouse Says:
    61

    @VancouverFiveOh:

    "I’m also tired of the rain. Today sucks."

    Why not move to Montreal? It's only -21C there today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Dan in Calgary Says:
    62

    @VancouverFiveOh, "I was born and raised here but am tired of this city and it’s “best place on earth” attitude. I’m also tired of the rain. Today sucks."

    I was born in Vancouver, left and moved back in 1975. I spent more than 30 years of my adult life in Vancouver, leaving for Calgary in 2007. Vancouver's rain was an irritation to be tolerated as long as the city had charm, class and a friendly, laid-back kind of atmosphere, with a small enough population that one could actually enjoy what Vancouver offers. But that all changed, particularly beginning when the Olympic hype started. Then the rain became intolerable. Today Vancouver is mere hype.

    I prefer Calgary with its two seasons ("construction" and "winter"), monotone brown landscape (brown grass in summer, mud-covered roads and vehicles in winter) to Vancouver. No regrets! As long as we can keep too many Vancouverites from moving here, it will remain friendly and fairly laid-back with a quality of family life that is vastly superior to anything Vancouver has to offer. Our mountains (Kananaskis, Banff, Jasper) are far superior to yours, lol! We have golf courses too, where you can play under a SUNNY sky. We can nearly always see the sky. Did I mention we have a functioning road system?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    game changer Says:
    63

    “This Ponzi scheme is mere entertainment from my viewpoint.”

    Spoken like a true young bear that fails to realize how interconnected society is today. Let me guess, still in grad school, or fresh out, with no real knowledge of how life works.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @scullboy: "EVERYONE is going to suffer."

    No not everyone. It's not a myth that some readers here can buy their chosen property in cash. They just don't have to.

    Bears make money off other people suffering. It's what we do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    /dev/null Says:
    65

    @VANCOUVER_RE_SUCKS: Let’s poll how many would have said:

    I wish I bought a property a few years ago.

    I almost did but I'm glad I waited. Instead we both moved to part-time work – me to finish my degree and my wife to spend more time with our kids. With a mortgage we couldn't/wouldn't have done that. Now we can actually afford a house instead of that condo we were looking at, despite the run-up in prices. So we chose to invest in increasing my employment income (and raising our kids) versus real estate. So far I'm happy with the decision.

    Don't assume that bears are just sitting around with their life on hold because they haven't yet purchased a home.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    VancouverFiveOh Says:
    66

    @Anonymouse: I was thinking more like San Diego. I was down there last week for work and it was beautiful. Seriously, I think we can all admit that while Vancouver may have the best climate in Canada if you don't like snow… it leaves a lot to be desired when comparing against world wide locations. That said, I actually like Montreal too – it's a fun town.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Australia tops English-speaking world, but check out HK:

    "The median home in Australia costs 6.1 times gross annual median household income, according to a report by Belleville, Illinois-based consulting company Demographia, examining affordability in the third quarter of 2010. U.S. homes were most affordable at 3 times median earnings. Hong Kong is the priciest city, with homes costing 11.4 times income."

    "Home prices in Hong Kong have surged more than 50 percent in the past 24 months, powered by interest rates at a two-decade low, an expanding economy and an influx of buyers from China."
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-24/australi

    Canada must be getting dragged down the ranking by house prices in Nunavut or something because Vancouver is, what, over 9 times median income?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    VancouverFiveOh Says:
    68

    @Dan in Calgary: Where in Calgary would you recommend? I've visited often but never got a sense of one neigbourhood versus another. Keep in mind, I'm 37, married and first kid on the way. My wife's parents are in Red Deer so Calgary is a real possibility for us. Thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    69

    57 Anonymouse Says: "With the rate that housing markets move at it would be more entertaining to watch paint dry."

    Still an interesting comparison to make. Fresh off the Excel grill:

    http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/574/dhiavsvanh

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patient renter Says:
    70

    In the 90's when I moved here, Vancouver was a great place. Relaxing, easy going lifestyle, you had the pick of accomodation and it was in line with average wages.

    Now, in my opinion, it has become a playground for the rich.

    Yes, -21 in Montreal, but I bet the sun is shining!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @french:

    The RE is not affecting me in anyway yet, but this rainy foggy never ending wheather is making me depressed. Last time we had some sunshine was last year around December 28. I dont know what people find attractive here, especially during winter it sucks.

    There've been plenty of sunny days this month, maybe if you stick your head out of mouldy basement you would notice. If you're really hating the weather so much, move?

    And real estate IS affecting you, whether you like it or not. High prices mean high debt, mean less spending on the real economy and jobs to support it. An economy of people selling houses and lattes to each other, while paying mountains of interest to the banks is not sustainable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Dan in Calgary:

    Right, in last few years Vancouver beside being wet & gray become just another mainland China shithole but at the west-part of the planet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Troll: You're still assuming it makes any difference whatsoever. It didn't in 2008, it didn't in previous RE busts, in Vancouver and elsewhere, new rich money that was supposedly driving the market and "making it different here" did not prevent price drops along with neighboring markets (or even greater drops than other markets).

    You have yet to tell us why these Asian buyers matter, and how. But you sure keep talking about them like they're the second coming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Junius:

    Soft landings almost never happen. Rarely if ever are rapid and exponential asset rises followed by a period of going sideways. This is the lesson that most of us Bears expect to be learned again in Vancouver.

    Japan had a soft landing. Of course, they're still landing two decades later.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    scullboy Says:
    75

    @Jesse:

    You've missed my point, I think. A real estate crash is going to be about more then just house prices, and bears do not live in an isolated environment. With crashing real estate prices comes a collapse in civil society. Marriages break down. People lose their jobs through no fault of their own. There's lots of misery to go 'round.

    Yeah some people here will be picking up cheap real estate but IMO that's like having the pick of homes after Armageddon…. it's a cold bit of comfort.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Dan in Calgary Says:
    76

    @Vancouver FiveOh, "@Dan in Calgary: Where in Calgary would you recommend? I’ve visited often but never got a sense of one neigbourhood versus another. Keep in mind, I’m 37, married and first kid on the way. My wife’s parents are in Red Deer so Calgary is a real possibility for us. Thanks."

    If we could afford it, we would live in Lake Bonavista. Right now we're in the NorthWest and find that quite acceptable. People tell me to avoid the NE and SE. I don't have much interest in inner city. So I would say NW or SW. If you're going to buy a house, try Mike Fotiou because he regularly posts market stats and reasonable opinions on RE:

    http://www.findcalgary.ca/

    I don't know him, never met him, and don't own a house. If you're going to move here, try renting. We pay < $1700 for three levels (top floor: 3 BR, 2 baths; main floor: office/den, LR/DR combo, family room, large kitchen with dining area, 1 bath; <i>walkout basement: large utility/laundry, rec room, two BR, 1 bath. Nice low-maintenance yard. 2-car attached garage. Bright, clean and probably no more than 20 years old. To see possibilities, try rentfaster.ca. If you rent via a property management company, be very careful. Read all of the fine print before signing any kind of agreement with them. We had a great house lined up and bailed when I clued into a certain "scam" aspect of how they do business.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Dan in Calgary Says:
    77

    @scullboy, "With crashing real estate prices comes a collapse in civil society. Marriages break down. People lose their jobs through no fault of their own. There’s lots of misery to go ’round."

    You are absolutely right and have discerned the most important issue relating to the current RE madness. This escapes most people. It is happening, and it will happen with increasing frequency. There is currently and will be a lot of misery.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    CelicaMan Says:
    78

    @scullboy: I will argue the point about the film industry. I just had lunch with a friend who is a carpenter in the film industry, he said this year is going to be busy. He said 2010 was slow due to the games being in town and logistics being thrown awry. California has become such a fiduciary basket case, it seems like the actual film making has hightailed it out of state.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Ha ha ha Says:
    79

    People that are tuning 65 in Canada (2011) 340,000

    Total population in Canada (2007): 33,115,000

    Total population in Great Vancouver (2007): 2,249,725

    People that are tuning 65 in Great Vancouver (2011):

    340,000 * 2,249,725 / 33,115,000 = 23,098

    Many of those retirees must sell their properties.

    Those number are estimated based on available data and error is believe to be in 10% range.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Dan in Calgary Says:
    80

    @game changer, "Spoken like a true young bear that fails to realize how interconnected society is today. Let me guess, still in grad school, or fresh out, with no real knowledge of how life works."

    Well, I agreed with BPOM on his "entertainment" remark. So presumably your comments apply to me too? Well, nope they don't. Finished grad school a long time ago. Have travelled extensively in the Third World (and not on "comfort" trips). Have seen more of life than anyone really should have to remain sane, although some do question whether I actually remained sane, lol. btw, I may be old enough to be your father or grandfather, perish the thought. In fact, from the sense and tone of your post, it's almost guaranteed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    I find it amusing the level of denial amongst some you. We have all heard the yammering about asians being a non-issue in the local real estate market and it's dangerously false.

    I have lived in the Kits/Dunbar area for over 25 years and have seen it go from 90% Caucasian to 70% Asian in the last 10 – 15 years.

    Don't believe me? Ridiculous you say? Bordering on discriminatory some of you protest?

    Go to any school, particularly private, on the west side, take a walk through UBC one morning on a school day, go skating at Kerrisdale arena on a Sunday afternoon and then tell us all how rich asians are a non factor in the VRE market.

    Existing home owners love it as it increases profits for them in terms of inflated prices but in the long run it means the end of a culture that was the envy of the world for many reasons but the biggest one being tolerance.

    Not something valued in mainland China and as we have begun to see with the recent protest of a hospice in the neighborhood is just the beginning of the undoing of a democracy centuries in the making.

    Please no retorts or protestations accusing my first hand observations as nothing but sour grapes or racism. These are things that are happening and as long as real estate provides a profit anyone involved is happy to turn a blind eye to the sale of a culture.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Bob in China Says:
    82

    #80 Dannyboy

    Thanks for the useless senile post gramps…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    83

    @scullboy:

    >>>With crashing real estate prices comes a collapse in civil society.<<<

    Come on now, Vancouver had a 50% crash in 1981 and our civil society kept right on rolling.

    Just enjoy the show.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    81 Patrick

    I have to agree with you. We have had strong offshore asian investment and immigration for almost 25 years now, and bears continue to deny its impact.

    Two decades of political correctness has made the average Canadian think that to acknowledge the quite clearly visible impact of an ethnic minority (or majority as it is in Vancouver and Richmond)is somehow racist.

    I laugh at my good friend's brother who bought in Dunbar in 2006. Recently, he has been ecstatic that house prices are going through the roof in Dunbar. I asked him how all that offshore investment in going to impact his quality of life and the livability of his community. He did not quite understand.

    I told him he can look forward to a loss of community and "neighbourliness," as those rich investor asians have no intention of occupying those homes, contributing to the neighbourhood watch, participating in block Halloween parties, watching your house while away on vacation, or adhering to tree bylaws before they clear the land for a monster home. I also told him be prepared to send your kid to boarding school in Switzerland unless he wants to be left behind in the schools in his neighbourhood.

    He was speechless after that. He never really saw his home as part of a community and took for granted the pleasantries that come with an integrated and close neighbourhood.

    Careful what you wish for Vancouverites. The very lifestyle you so cherish is being eroded as you cheer ever higher prices and more offshore buyers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    VANCOUVER_RE_SUCKS Says:
    85

    To all the bears, what are difference you investing on stock market versus on the house market?

    the answer is: the return rate!!

    They all involve risks. but investing on the house market is consider lower risks and high return rate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @patrick: "as we have begun to see with the recent protest of a hospice in the neighborhood is just the beginning"

    Tell me, patrick, how many applications for recovery houses and higher density housing have been denied in the posh west side neighbourhoods in the past 30 years? NIMBYism isn't limited to selfish expats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    exWestEnder Says:
    87

    We moved to Paris (France) to see if it could possibly hold a candle to The Best Place on Earth. My partner got a transfer to the Paris office in Sept 2008. We moved in November, and man, we were we ever grateful that, as renters, we did NOT have to sell in that particular RE market.

    So now we're enjoying all those French clichés: 7 weeks vacation, job security, cheap wine, amazing food, and a city where Lotsa Stuff Happens. And let's not forget the mind-boggling travel opps ("Hey hon, Expedia.fr has a special – let's go to Venice this weekend").

    This certainly is the reward for years of enduring the "poor renter" stigma.

    To be fair to Lotusland, Paris is more expensive (esp rent), WAY more crowded, and has even tinier dwellings and….lower incomes! Plus, the region has also seen a property bubble in the last 7 years or so, despite stagnant income. The papers fret how families can't live in the city anymore etc…And they really do have lots of rich foreigners (like oil-rich Saudis) who prop up prices (in the certain neighbourhoods).

    But whatever. Same old, same old. We aren't planning to buy in Paris either. If our wanderlust fizzles and the Van property market ever returns to earth, we can come back knowing we already have a generous down payment….if we want to buy.

    On the other hand, when I remember the rain I might opt for putting it towards a farmhouse in the south of France instead….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    88

    @patrick:

    We have all heard the yammering about asians being a non-issue in the local real estate market and it’s dangerously false.

    What do you mean by Asian?

    If you mean "offshore buyer" or "investor immigrant" we have posted the numbers which show that they cannot be significant metro-wide, although they might be in a few neighbourhoods.

    If you simply mean "any resident of Asian origin", well no shit Sherlock, almost half the metro population fits that description so of course they're significant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @patriotz: It's not just investor class. Skilled worker applicants are more than willing to go into massive debt because the Chinese, by and large, do NOT rent.

    Roughly 29,000 Chinese arrived in Vancouver in 2009. That's below average – 2005 saw roughly 40,000.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Patiently Waiting Says:
    90

    I have almost a million reasons to cheer for high real estate prices. They are the dollars my parents house is "worth". I will inherit the house which my parents own outright.

    But I remain a bear because I hate what's happening to this city culturally, feel sad for families who are struggling because of this, regret what this is doing to the economy (and my chances of getting decent work), want to see every real estate agent and mortgage broker humbled in a serious way (eat shit sandwiches, assholes), and logically know this can't go on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    91

    @jesse:

    Yes, but the proposed hospice was of far lower density than the present high-rise, in an area that has no (repeat no) SFH and is in fact – shock – a university campus. That's the inverse of people complaining about high-intensity uses in a low-density neighbourhood.

    I certainly don't remember anyone in the West End, Metrotown, etc. protesting any similar facilities in their neighbourhoods.

    The protest from the UBC condo owners was based squarely (by their own admission) on their prejudice against ill people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    92

    you are obviously a sourgrape!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    #56 Scullboy,

    You said when Re crashes, "EVERYONE is going to suffer."

    So why does it suck to be a Bear. Doesn't that mean it sucks to be everyone. What are you saying? That all Bulls will remain delusional and high which is a preferred state of mind.

    I assume that Bears have made more provisions for the storm. It will suck for all but less for those who are prepared.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @patriotz:

    The protest from the UBC condo owners was based squarely (by their own admission) on their prejudice against ill people.

    Fan said 80 per cent of the residents of her 18-storey building are Asian and are strongly opposed.

    “Units here are worth $1 million,” she added. “We put our life savings into this.”

    She said residents are worried the hospice will have a negative impact on their property values.

    Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/business/Angry+Asian+c

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    95

    @Laibach:

    You mean this part?

    Dozens of angry Asian residents of a posh, University of B.C., highrise building aim to stage a placard-waving protest rally to protest a 15-bed hospice being planned next door.

    “We cannot have dying people in our backyard,” said rally organizer Janet Fan, Wednesday “It’s a cultural taboo to us and we cannot be close to so many dying people. It’s like you open your door and step into a graveyard.”

    Speaks for itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @patrick:

    "These are things that are happening and as long as real estate provides a profit anyone involved is happy to turn a blind eye to the sale of a culture."

    If the culture is being sold it's because of the long-standing official govt policy, supported by all parties, of multiculturalism. Immigrants didn't arrive and demand that the culture be changed. Canadians through their votes asked that the resident culture be put on the same footing as apparently all cultures on the planet.

    That's where the idiocy lies. You could have high levels of immigration AND a high level of assimilation, as happened historically in the US and today in Singapore. Canada has opted for the former and turned its back on the latter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    97

    89 obvious Says: "Roughly 29,000 Chinese arrived in Vancouver in 2009. That’s below average – 2005 saw roughly 40,000."

    Nice try. Between 2006 and 2010 BC Stats shows the Greater Vancouver region from Langley to Bowen to White Rock grew 175,504, or 35,101 per year. That's total, immigration and migration, for and from all regions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    VancouverFiveOh Says:
    98

    @patrick, @maggie: completely agree that being PC means you cannot mention anything negative about the impact the massive immigration into Vancouver over my lifetime has had (born in 74). I raised in Richmond so saw it first hand. I went from Grade 7 with no recent immigrants to Grade 12 where 50% of my grad class was recent immigrants. Such demographic changes in such a short period of time are bound to cause friction. We should acknowledge that and be able to have an open discussion about the positives (exposure to other cultures, population growth drives economic growth) and the negatives which you mentioned above (different culture may mean a different neighbourhood, impact on housing).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymouse Says:
    99

    @Ha ha ha:

    "Many of those retirees must sell their properties.

    Those number are estimated based on available data and error is believe to be in 10% range."

    You're also assuming that Vancouver's demographics are exactly the same as the national average, which may or may not be true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Laibach Says:
    100

    @patriotz:

    That too, but it isn't the only reason however she added "Residents are worried the hospice will have a negative impact on their property values."

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    painted turtle Says:
    101

    The real estate mania had a great positive influence on our lives. When we moved to Vancouver in 2005, as a 35 year old professional couple with 2 kids, we did not question our future: 1) Find good/secure jobs 2)Buy a house with a yard and be in debt for ever. This was supposed to be the way to happiness.

    Well… by the time we both had a full time job, house prices were too high. So we looked for a great rental solution (took some time). Now the kids are old enough they do not really need a yard anymore. We realized that since we are renting, we are making more money than needed. We could both put a break on our workloads and spend more time on hobbies we first thought would have to wait for retirement age. We can take care of our health, spend time with our teenage kids, take extended vacations, live a slow life. We also save money, and can look for ethical investments rather than being obsessed with ROI. We are now exploring exciting career moves/education we could have never thought of before. Somehow, it feels like being in my mid 20's. By the time house prices will go down, our kids will be grown up, and the need for a house will have vanished. Anyway, mobility/freedom is our lifestyle, and I am happy we did not give up on that.

    So I would like to thank everybody who bought a house in the last six years for preventing us from entering a system we do not believe in, especially since we were about to be lured into making a wrong step.

    People who confuse wealth for happiness might no understand us, but fortunately, not everybody must have the same philosophy of life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    A lot of emphasis has been put on Mainland Chinese immigrating or investing in Vancouver RE as the cause of our massive RE price increases. As much as I scour the internet trying to find hard data on who is actually buying the property in the GVRD, the only research that I can find is the "Urban Development Institute" which seems as if it is a RE cheer leading organization. They tout that almost 30% of home buyers are from mainland china, but this is my question: without the rest of Vancouver buyers (current residents), are the incoming Chinese investors a large enough market to sustain the market as expensive as it is today?

    Some of my numbers:

    Price to income ratio : (approx)$800,000/50,000(Van-median) = 16 (long run avg 3-4)

    Price to rent ratio: between 20-25 (long run average 15-16)

    P/E ratio (to compare different investments): over 30

    My argument: Even if Chinese investors are buying 30-50% of real estate, they do not have the ability to sustain the Vancouver market forever. When either interest rates rise or income levels fall below home affordability, we will have a large collapse in the Vancouver RE market. This is classic bubble formation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    103

    @MB:

    Well, pretty soon 100% of real estate purchases will be by mainland Chinese, because nobody else will be left to buy.

    Let them have at it, I'd like to see them left holding the bag.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    vomitingdog Says:
    104

    FWIW:

    House in Douglas Park that sold for: 1.611M:

    2 Storey w/Bsmt, 3 storey

    Lot Acres: 0.13

    Lot Sqft: 5,548

    Frontage: 45ft

    Depth: 122 ft

    House across the street that sold for 1.350M (approx 300K more than six weeks before):

    2 storey w/ bsmt, 3 storey

    Lot Acres: 0.9

    Lot sqft: 4,026

    Frontage: 33 ft

    Depth: 122 ft

    For fun, comparables from the past:

    Sold: November 5, 2010 for 1.2M, 33ft by 122 ft lot on the same 900-block

    Sold: Oct 1, 2010 for 1.235M, 33ft x 122 ft lot on 800 block

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    105

    @vomitingdog:

    There must be oil deposits in that park.

    Slant drilling should do the trick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Royce McCutcheon Says:
    106

    @VancouverFiveOh:

    Did you go to the same school through that whole time? Because I thought Richmond high schools were split into junior and senior programs for a long stretch there. And if it was 2 schools, did the latter one have a different catchment? Senior schools typically cover bigger areas (and may have including neighborhoods that were predominantly Asian?). Also, did the latter school offer stuff like AP courses, etc.? Because that also could have skewed the student pop., since those schools often draw district wide. If any of this is true, it might completely explain why you saw what you saw without indicating some sort of “Asian Invasion”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @chip: "You could have high levels of immigration AND a high level of assimilation, as happened historically in the US and today in Singapore"

    I don't know how much you travel to the US but "assimilation" goes only so far. I can go to parts of SF and be surrounded by ethic Chinese to the same degree as parts of Vancouver, and in many cases the ties to the US are as fleeting as those in Canada. You can try to assimilate a group of people but a fair question to ask is, assimilate to what exactly?

    Europe has tried all types of assimilation, mosaics, etc., and have significant race issues. Political parties are getting large % votes based on anti-immigration platforms, whether explicit or not.

    Complaining about a rich and supposedly selfish ethnic group usurping the well-heeled areas of a city isn't anything new. I remember reading and hearing similar comments about Jews in Toronto and London UK (not to mention mainland Europe in decades past), and Chinese in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia. You can read articles going back generations expressing similar observations and views all over the place. Plus ca change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @vomitingdog:

    Thanks for doing the digging. So essentially the sensationalized CBC piece on the house for $1.6 million is about right. They just listed it lower to incite bidding wars. The house for $1.3 million is about right too ( no idea if the other comparables were teardowns or "liveable")

    45 foot wide lot for $1.6 million is pretty standard of the last year or so. So essentially a pump piece on the CBC.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    109

    As all the talk about rich Chinese reaches a fever pitch, it's time to reflect on Tom Vu's all time best quotes, starting with #7.

    “A lot of people will tell you, ‘Don’t come to the seminar. It’s a get-rich-quick plan.’ Well, tell them it is a get-rich-quick plan because life is too short to get rich slow.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    VANCOUVER_RE_SUCKS Says:
    110

    Most of the richest guys in the world involve or somehow involve in the real estate.

    Real Estate is the fastest way to become rich especially in Vancouver.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    pricedoutfornow Says:
    111

    Another thing I've been thinking of when considering the "mainland Chinese argument": IF there really were ONLY (or a great majority) of rich foreigners coming here to buy properties, then we would likely be hearing of a huge slowdown in the mortgage industry. Because rich foreigners do not need mortgages (or so the myth goes-they come here with suitcases of cash!) Another piece of data would show that there were virtually no CMHC-backed mortgages coming out of Vancouver. And Vancouver would be the wealthiest place in the country because us locals don't buy houses, thus, we don't have much debt. But no, what do we hear? We're just as indebted as everyone else in the country (or more, not surprisingly). That tells me that the rich foreigners buying properties is irrelevant and we, the indebted will eventually bring down the market.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @VANCOUVER_RE_SUCKS:

    Or you can look at it another way. THE RICHEST guys in the world, call it top 10, had nothing to do with RE. Funny how it's easy to spin the bullshit isn't it?!?!?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @VANCOUVER_RE_SUCKS:

    "Most of the richest guys in the world involve or somehow involve in the real estate.

    Real Estate is the fastest way to become rich especially in Vancouver."

    Behold, the reason we are ill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    114

    Tom Vu quote #2,

    “Today I could relax and enjoy life around my mansion. Watch the waterfall in the front, the waterfall in the back…the waterfall inside the house. I get tired of hearing the water running.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @pricedoutfornow:

    Great points! Never thought of it that way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    VanRant Says:
    116

    @VANCOUVER_RE_SUCKS: Real Estate is also the quickies way to become poor. Remember 1981.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Patriotz,

    given the figures floating around about investment visas, I think you might be underestimating its impact, especially for the past few years.

    I don't think that's the reason for soaring prices in Abbotsford or Burnaby, but I suspect that the impact is significant in Richmond or the Westside.

    Basically, all that is required is that you forgo the interest (over 5 years) on 800k. You do receive your principal back. At the opportunity cost of 3% per year (I assume a risk-free rate, it's probably more) that's 120K.

    Notice that there must have been some sign of large influx through this door, as the Cons double the deposit amount not long ago. Why would you do that, otherwise?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Supersogs Says:
    118

    @ Patrick and all responses:

    Excellent points on the cultural change of Vancouver throughout the years as evidently assimilation has not caught up with immigration. I'd have plenty to say on that topic as I'm sure many do – but I'll save that for another day.

    While I do agree with you to some extent that the hospice issue is culture based, IMO this hospice matter at the end of the day comes strictly down to property values. The reason this case garnered so much attention is because the idiotic group decided to try and use the cultural race card to their advantage (while giving the Chinese community a black eye – in turn many Chinese Canadians are trying to separate themselves from the Mainland Chinese).

    I'd bet that residents in Yaletown would make a fuss too if something similar was to be proposed in their neighborhood. For goodness sakes the hospice was turned away from the previous proposed site for pathetic reasons too with little to no media fanfare (so students don't have to keep quiet and wreck beach???!) There just isn't as much media fire since the reasons won't be culture/immigrant fueled which I might add that group brought upon themselves.

    My point is this – don't get me wrong, I'm sure all they said bears truth to culture/superstition/etc – but don't let that take away from the fact that in the end it's all about money and property values. What do you think would happen if I went to tell that group that building a hospice close by will triple property values? I'd imagine it'd go something like this:

    1)

    “We cannot have dying people in our backyard,” said rally organizer Janet Fan (do they think UBC is their backyard???!!)

    "BUT YOUR PROPERTY VALUES WILL TRIPLE"

    "We cannot have dying people ONLY in our backyard. The front and sides are open too.

    2)

    “We believe that people dying outside will bring us bad luck,” she added. “I’m very angry and upset.

    "BUT YOUR PROPERTY VALUES WILL TRIPLE"

    "I'm very angry and upset we didn't buy multiple units"

    3)

    “Death is the Yin and ‘Live’ is the Yang,” it read. “If the Yin and Yang are near to each other, ‘Death’ will bring bad luck, meaning sickness and even death"

    "BUT YOUR PROPERTY VALUES WILL TRIPLE"

    "Noone really talks like this, and even other Chinese people are shaking their heads. However, if Yin is the hospice and Yang is my building that just tripled in value, then there is balance in our world."

    4)

    "living next to “death” would lead to failure of business, the loss of money, the break of marriage and family, and the healthy growing up of children will be affected.”

    "BUT YOUR PROPERTY VALUES WILL TRIPLE"

    "The above statement was if property values decrease. Values will go up? Then this will lead to increased business, healthy marriage, and the children being able to be bought into the best private schools and UBC – our backyard!"

    :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    119

    @domus:

    Well sure 1,500 new households/year can make an impact if they are clustered in certain neighbourhoods as I've already said.

    But I simply do not accept the idea that any kind of buyer, however motivated or however wealthy, can keep prices out of whack with rents indefinitely. Something has to give. It didn't happen in the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the US and I just don't see how it can happen here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    VancouverFiveOh Says:
    120

    @Royce McCutcheon: This was early 90s, pre-1997 exodus from Hong Kong. I did switch from Junior to Senior High though I'm sure this had no impact on my experience. This document only goes back to 1996 but you can see the huge growth in only a few years of the percentage of persons with Chinese ethnicity in Richmond specifically. If you think about it, it is truly amazing how fast things changed.

    http://tinyurl.com/4es6ond

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Ralph Powers Says:
    121

    Pope,

    With the great stats provided by Paulb & VHB would you be able to put something on the homepage, like the condo tracker that lists MOI, Total Inventory etc? I think it would be great to have something with the following info setup:

    MOI = X.XX

    Total Inventory: XX

    Data as of:

    Based on rolling 20 day periods.

    Cheers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Supersogs: "For goodness sakes the hospice was turned away from the previous proposed site for pathetic reasons too with little to no media fanfare"

    Do you know the reasons they were rejected? There have to be exogenous reasons to reject the proposal and there were such reasons (however superficial) WRT the previous sites.

    Falling property values is not a reason to reject the application, foremost because the hospice was on the long-term plan of the area. One's religious beliefs is not a reason either in this particular case. The state of being elderly or terminally ill is treated no different under the Charter than being a member of a specific race or religion. You don't see anyone complaining about living next to a black family because it brings them bad luck, even if that's what they believe. That's obviously racist. In Canada at least, replace "black" with "elderly" or "terminally ill" and there is no difference. In my view that's why there is so much furor, even from the within the Chinese community.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Supersogs Says:
    123

    @jesse: I agree – that is exactly why there was so much furor, even within the chinese community outside of that particular group.

    Their reasons were completely insensitive and hold no merit. Actually, it cannot even be considered religious and it's borderline cultural – for the most part its superstition. There are plenty of Chinese who live near hospitals who'd fall under the same "cultural beliefs" – but hey, last I checked you have to pay a premium to live close to VGH.

    My point is they created the firestore for themselves by using the culture card – but in reality, it was simply all about property values. As my post suggests, if they believed property values were to increase due to the hospice all this nonsense they presented would never have surfaced.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    VancouverFiveOh Says:
    124

    @Royce McCutcheon: As I consider your comment again, I just have to say… REALLY?!?! Really Royce? You're questioning my assertion that there has been a large amount of immigration to Richmond? Really? Were you there when Aberdeen was built? Yaohan? All the Chinese restaurants? The huge demand for Badminton courts? ESL classes? Really?!? The debate over Monster homes and Chinese only signage? Really? Have you walked the streets? Gone to the mall? REALLY?!? Does anyone here question this? Did I need actually to find hard data to back this up? REALLY!?!

    :) Hattip to SNL.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @jesse:

    "Europe has tried all types of assimilation, mosaics, etc., and have significant race issues."

    No. Most of the immigrants in Europe were brought in as temporary labour. They weren't expected to stay. It's only in recent years that some countries such as Denmark are seeking to assimilate immigrants, but they have a steep hill to climb because their differences are more religious than cultural.

    "Complaining about a rich and supposedly selfish ethnic group usurping the well-heeled areas of a city isn’t anything new."

    You're confusing me with someone else. But generally, I think the ethnic Chinese immigrant places more emphasis on work and education than resident Canadians, which is a good thing. The problem is that most immigrant groups are not rich and are instructed as a matter of Canadian policy to think of themselves as a group different from Canadians. The result is a balkanization of immigrant groups in our major cities, and politicians that increasingly treat ethnic groups as separate entities with their own issues.

    "Complaining about a rich and supposedly selfish ethnic group usurping the well-heeled areas of a city isn’t anything new. I remember reading and hearing similar comments … Chinese in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia."

    The Chinese ARE the well-heeled and have been there for centuries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    New Listings 270

    Price Changes 64

    Sold Listings 123

    10875

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    vomitingdog Says:
    127

    @DaMann:

    As you know, comparing properties is not that straightforward. I don't think either of the other two properties I posted were in as dire condition as the newest, high-priced tear downs. Unfortunately, it looks to me like prices are in fact being bid up, and by a lot, unreasonable amounts. It's unbelievable. I have a hard time believing it's local money or money borrowed on some HELOC.

    I think the next one that comes along, I will go to the open house and try to gauge what's going on. Although I think the usual suspects will be there: panicky mothers clutching their children and foreign buyers.

    As for what this market means to me… I don't know. Spouse and I are concerned we won't want to live here in 20 years… from a cultural perspective. Another blogger called it a mono-culture and that hit me where it hurts. Being a Montrealer predisposes me towards multi-culti with lots of exposure to European cultures. I'm not feeling that here anymore. Sorry if that pisses some people off. I guess that's the fun of anonymous blogging!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Royce McCutcheon Says:
    128

    @VancouverFiveOh:

    Heh heh. Amy Poehler = awesome. A fun fact (that’s roughly germane to this site’s topic): her Dad is a rental agent of some sort in Boston.

    I was honestly asking because I only half recalled a friend from there talking about the jr/sr. split and it seemed like a possible explanation if you lived in a neighborhood that was predominantly non-Asian (as the catchment for your schools increased, the ethnic background of your classmates changed, etc.).

    I have no doubt there's been a lot of immigration to Vancouver (and specifically Chinese immigration in Richmond), but I think it would be interesting to see year-by-year numbers for the Lower Mainland going back 20+ years. I've always taken immigration/foreign investors to be a given in the RE market here. But I also took that reality (and drug $, better weather, etc.) to be reflected in the fact that the Vancouver area cost more than other Canadian cities for a couple decades at least. http://cuer.sauder.ubc.ca/cma/index.html#

    That's where the foreign investor/immigration argument (in part) loses me as a root cause for the year-over-year increases we’ve seen since ~2002. Wouldn't we see a massive influx to the region (relative to previous years) starting around that time if it was the main cause?

    (Same for Vancouver’s drug $/ desirability / etc. – is there anything coinciding with the run-up? And if any of these variables justify present prices but there AREN’T any data showing an uptick around 2002, why didn’t prices start going up before 2002 and why did we see a dip in prices in 2008? Etc. Etc. Etc.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    January 2011 month-end projections

    Days elapsed so far 15

    Days remaining 5

    Average Sales this month 83

    Average Listings this month 234

    Projected sell/list 35.7%

    SALES

    Projected month end total 1669 +/- 73

    95% Conf Interval lower bound 1597

    95% Conf Interval upper bound 1742

    NEW LISTINGS

    Projected month end total 4675 +/- 118

    95% Conf Interval lower bound 4557

    95% Conf Interval upper bound 4793

    MONTHS OF INVENTORY

    Inventory as of January 24, 2011 10875

    MoI at this sales pace 6.51

    11K party: likely Wednesday, but with a big listing day on Tuesday we could go over the top!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    D. Rail Says:
    130

    @Anonymouse:

    @VancouverFiveOh:

    “I’m also tired of the rain. Today sucks.”

    Why not move to Montreal? It’s only -21C there today.

    Current score: -2 (to vote for this comment, please visit the site)……

    And, with apologies to Winston Churchill, in six months, it'll be +21 in Montreal, and in Vancouver, it will still be raining! Only moss thinks Vancouver has nice weather.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    131

    @Supersogs:

    My point is they created the firestore for themselves by using the culture card – but in reality, it was simply all about property values.

    You're missing the connection, namely that they are concerned about property values BECAUSE they think the hospice will make their properties undesirable to other Chinese buyers. They regard the use of the building as a hospice as a nuisance in itself, not the building per se, which falls within the existing plan as has been noted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @VHB: Look at that S/L rise and that MOI fall…shocking!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    D. Rail Says:
    133

    @Maggie: …..

    Careful what you wish for Vancouverites. The very lifestyle you so cherish is being eroded as you cheer ever higher prices and more offshore buyers. ……..

    What lifestyle? Oh yea: getting wet!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Keeping An Eye On Th Says:
    134

    The incredible over list sold price exemplifies the Vancouver Bubble quite well.

    As some on this board have pointed out, once you drill into the facts, somebody pulled a slick one and the media whether compliant of manipulated, went along.

    Why?

    During a mania, everything is believable. Check the history of the madness of the crowds.

    The frustration intensifies when analytical tools are employed in trying to make sense of the madness.

    Therefore don’t.

    This cannot be explained by micro economics, this is more about the religion of real estate in Vancouver.

    The pimps know this, they can make all kinds of claims, the Chinese, the mountains, the oceans, and they also know the choir will sing along.

    Naturally we know what happens over the long term when religion and economics clash.

    In the US when the bubble burst, some of the fools proclaimed

    St. Joseph to be the patron saint of real estate, and advised sellers to place a little statue of St. Joseph on the property to aid in the sale.

    Still no sale.

    My money is on importing lots of little statues of St Joseph, there will be great demand in Vancouver.

    PS Extra Large shipment for Vancouver Island and Kelowna.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @chip: "It’s only in recent years that some countries such as Denmark are seeking to assimilate immigrants"

    If you've been to England you should know immigrants from the Empire were immigrating on a permanent basis in the early '70s. That's not recent at all. Holland has had immigration for a while now too and it's not overly popular.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Boombust Says:
    136

    "Spouse and I are concerned we won’t want to live here in 20 years…"

    Buh-bye!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    YLTNboomerang Says:
    137

    I'm born and raised Vancouver and have had the opportunity to live for a few years in Germany/Belgium/Switzerland/US. I've been back for about 6 years now and have been a renter since selling in 2007. Does the irrationality make me want to give up and buy? NO WAY! I learned my lesson once already during the dot.com boom when I thought "maybe things are different now and the old style valuations no longer hold?". Well, the result of that thinking lost me a fair amount on the market. Luckily I took advantage of the low rates introduced to spur recovery and bought a place in Van and swore I would not get screwed over by a bubble again.

    I see the market today (more than ever) as a bubble and thus will never buy here until things come back in line with fundamentals.

    We're happy renting and likely will do so when we move to Calgary in two years due to a planned advancement. I'll keep an eye on Vancouver real estate and who knows, I could maybe even buy a place for retirement in the future if prices normalize. As for will I buy in Calgary when we move there, it all depends on the fundamentals at the time.

    Regarding Vancouverite's comment, this is something that I have been preaching in my circles for years and in fact is something that came up on my last visit to HQ when a senior manager asked me "What is it that the majority of people in Vancouver do for a living? You guys have no industry out side of building and selling condo's.". My answer to him was: "exactly".

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Isn't true that what is being said about Vancouver was also true for what was said about Phoenix 5 years ago?

    "This market is HOT!!"

    "Rich people from all over come here to retire, the price will never drop"

    "RE in Phoenix has been a great investment"

    "360 days of sunshine"

    "But this is Phoenix!"

    If you don't study the past, you're destined to repeat it

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    I grew up in North Burnaby…went to the same high school as my mother did…comparing our annuals, there are virtually no ethnic students in hers, and almost no white people in mine…the neighbourhoods around the school have changed somewhat over the years. I was certainly priced out of the neighbourhood I grew up in. So were most of my classmates though.

    I moved to Fort Nelson three weeks ago…take possession of my new house on Saturday, not because I had a lust to own, but because it is cheaper than renting up here, and very affordable. Yes it is freezing cold, minus 10-minus 20 is typical for this time of year…but the snow is white and pretty and the skies are blue. The sun shines most days.

    The most noticable difference though must be the people. In Vancouver if your car doesn't work and you need help everyone has this "F@#$ you, you're on your own" attitude. Up here, everyone stops to help. People say hello to each other as they pass on the street. Imagine that!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Laibach Says:
    140

    It will be interesting to see something similar for Canada and track it down in next few years.

    http://trulia.movity.com/rentvsbuy/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/24/buying-c

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    chilled chilled Says:
    141

    Another British Columbia Realturd charged with a serious criminal offence;

    http://www.theprovince.com/news/Husband+among+thr

    What's that? About 8 in the last two years?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    I would say the size of the illegal drug industry is larger than the off-shore buyers.

    We have an up to $7 Billion drug industry in BC

    http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/doczone/2010/cann

    This industry needs RE to grow it's product. Either homes converted to indoor farms or rural land.

    Even if we say the estimate of $7 Billion is high and cut it in half, we are looking at $3.5 Billion. That adds up to the equivilent of 3500 x $1 Million homes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    BTW it always strikes me as ironic when old European counties like The Netherlands complain about immigrants not assimilating.

    They forgot the Millions of Dutch who have immigrated around the world, including South Africa – where they changed the official language, made the majority locals second class citizens who couldn't vote and kept all the wealth for themselves for 80 years! More like a plague of locusts that immigrants!

    Ah- nothing the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @obvious:

    Yeah, and don't forget 2006, when Vancouver saw 75,000 chinese people move into vancouver.

    Lets all pull numbers out of our asses! Feels great! It's better than farting!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @patrick: The white people are greedy. They will sell anything to make a profit. Slaves, opium, their houses, neighbourhoods, their country.

    It is all about money. The city has been sold to the chinese. Accept it. Just keep paying taxes so you can pay for their free healthcare, school and university. They don't pay any taxes because daddy works in China nine months out of the year and does file a canadian tax return.

    YOu just keep working and paying taxes and get in line behind the rich asians for the doctor that you pay for and they use.

    Yeah, it sucks. Move.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    crashcow Says:
    146

    I've had enough of this city. As I posted over at vreaa: San Jose here I come.

    Home Prices
    SJ: $400K for a 2200sf, 5Bdr, 4yr house
    V: $1M for a 1800sf, 3Bdr, old timer crackshack
    (+ Mortgage interest is tax deductible in US)

    Avg. Incomes:
    SJ: 76.7K
    V: 66.3K

    Universities:
    SJ: Stanford, Berkeley
    V: UBC, SFU

    Eng Companies:
    SJ: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Intel, Cisco, IBM, HP, Adobe, Hitachi, TI…
    V: EA, MDA, PMC Sierra, McKesson, Ballard, Westport, Sophos

    Rain Days (>0.2mm) per Year:
    SJ: 62
    V: 161

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    New Listings 287

    Price Changes 66

    Sold Listings 123

    More listings trickled in.

    10894

    Hey VHB,

    What was the Trifecta criteria again? ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @jesse:

    I was born in England. Immigration began heavily in the 50s. Despite the racism immigrants through the 80s generally wanted to be English. Today few do and it is no surprise for example that one third of British Muslim university students approve killing in the name of Islam. I was in London on 9/11 and I remember my local fire dept having to send two engines to the local council estate because the England-born youths of Bangladeshi origin were placing fake calls then stoning the firemen while shouting Osama, Osama. It's sad because all these bright kids should be encouraged to pursue opportunities in the West but the modern schools insist on denigrating Britain and it's history, leaving a cultural vacuum that these kids seek to fill with nonsense from abroad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    149

    Flaherty's new rules must be tougher than we originally thought.

    The crybaby/mortgage broker community can't stop whining about how awful it is. Read the comments – they're hysterical.

    http://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/canadian_mo

    Now there's a group of useless parasites that will hopefully go the way of the Dodo bird.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    January 2011 month-end projections

    Days elapsed so far 15

    Days remaining 5

    Average Sales this month 83

    Average Listings this month 235

    Projected sell/list 35.5%

    SALES

    Projected month end total 1669 +/- 73

    95% Conf Interval lower bound 1597

    95% Conf Interval upper bound 1742

    NEW LISTINGS

    Projected month end total 4697 +/- 121

    95% Conf Interval lower bound 4576

    95% Conf Interval upper bound 4819

    MONTHS OF INVENTORY

    Inventory as of January 24, 2011 10894

    MoI at this sales pace 6.53

    Hey Vanrod, you might wait until the sell list comes in over 50% before you start wetting your pants with excitement.

    The numbers so far this month don't portend imminent disaster to be sure, but neither are they all good and normal. They are weak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    151

    http://vancouvercondo.info/2011/01/why-does-ottaw

    Make that Tuesday, we're ahead of schedule.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Keeping An Eye On Th Says:
    152

    There has never been a better time to buy:

    "If you have been thinking of buying a home, NOW is the time to do it as there will be less people qualifying to buy a home after the March 18th, 2011 expected effective date!"

    There has never been a better time to sell:

    "Thinking of selling? NOW is the time to do it as there will be less people qualifying to buy a home!"

    Read more from the professional at:

    http://www.greaterfool.ca/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    chopper Says:
    153

    This house near Douglas Park was a tear-down, was it? What I think is happening on the West Side is developers are snapping up all the tear downs and building from the ground up. This has happened twice on my block in the past year. I wouldn't be surpised if it was a developer that bought this POS. Whoever the retard was that bought it could've done a lot better though.

    I was tracking a listing in point grey that was listed at least since Oct 2009 (that's when I first noticed it) It was a nice looking, large a brand new home listed at roughly $1.59 million. In Oct 2010 it dropped to $1.52 million and finally de-listed 2 weeks ago with no buyers. So the guy who bought the tear down could've bought a brand new home in an arguably nicer area for nearly $100k less! Go figure, just goes to show how disgusting the CBC is for running such a crap story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Patrick Says:
    154

    Does anyone think there is a connection between house prices in Vancouver and other parts or all of the lower mainland.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Patrick Says:
    155

    Does anyone think that if a 2000 sf home at the corner of 23 & Dunbar sells for 1.5 million then it's reasonable to say that the same home in the poshest hood in Burnaby would sell for considerably less?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Patrick Says:
    156

    Yes of course. No one can argue this as sales history proves it.

    So what came first the chicken pr the egg? Do lower prices in Burnaby dictate higher prices in Dunbar or do prices in Dunbar set the prices in Burnaby?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Patrick Says:
    157

    Ask any realtard and they will tell you, the high priced neighborhoods set the prices for subsequent neighborhoods. Ok.

    Is there a higher priced area than Point Grey/Dunbar/Kits? No.

    So it's reasonable to deduce that home prices are high from here to Chilliwack because of an expensive trend in Point Grey.

    Who is buying in this area over the last 10 – 15 years?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Patrick Says:
    158

    Vancouver home prices have been driven sky high by greedy

    Iittle Canadians and Chinese factory (slave) owners.

    Let's have a toast to the rebellion of the slaves in China because the Canadian government isn't going to help out it's slaves

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Renting Says:
    159

    Just doing some quick math on based on the CBC examples where real estate will be in 10 years.

    It looks like Vancouver West is appreciating at about 100% per year. Based on this a 1 million $ Van West tear down house today will be worth just over 1 Billion in 10 years.

    The mortgage payment on that baby will be will be over 500K per month with 100 Million down at 5%.

    Quick someone call the CBC lets do a story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @VHB: So your upper bound (whatever the hell that means) is 1742. The historical avg for a Jan in last 10 years is 1732. So even your flawed numbers still say its possible to be a perfectly avg january. These last days of the month will be relatively strong sales days, compared to whats in your sample. How do you like your crow? medium rare?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    161

    @Keeping An Eye On The Pimps:

    Translation: "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, mama needs her commissions!"

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Dan in Calgary Says:
    162

    @BPOM, "Come on now, Vancouver had a 50% crash in 1981 and our civil society kept right on rolling."

    In the words immortalized by California's ex-governor Jerry Brown, "Oh come on, that was then, this is now". We had a civil society then (sense of community, both self- and others-consciousness), so we had something that could keep rolling.

    Vancouver barely has a civil society now … individuality and self-absorption dominate. So there's nothing to keep rolling … rather just a descent into greater and greater social disorder. This was happening anyway, but economic malaise will hasten it.

    You'll see, soon enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    CRASH JPMorgan-Chase Says:
    163

    @Vancouverite:

    "Although our extended families are here, we are actually giving serious thought to moving to another country."

    Yes it's time to go because your Canadian dollar is now par with the USD not that that is any good. Word of advice to young people…STOP HAVING KIDS. Having kids in this overpopulated world is one of the most selfish things I can think of

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    painted turtle Says:
    164

    The CBC news report is not RE pumping…

    but pure sarcasm.

    It has so much of an April's fool news report.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @CRASH JPMorgan-Chase – Buy Silver: I think you're just jealous because no one will have sex with you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    166

    @frank:

    This (drug) industry needs RE to grow it’s product. Either homes converted to indoor farms or rural land.

    If there's been so much growth in demand for RE from the drug industry, WHY ARE REAL RENTS LOWER than decades ago?

    That little fact just won't go away, will it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    167

    In the words immortalized by California’s ex-governor Jerry Brown, “Oh come on, that was then, this is now”. We had a civil society then (sense of community, both self- and others-consciousness), so we had something that could keep rolling.

    You mean "California's governor Jerry Brown". He was then, he was now. :-)

    But I couldn't agree with you more. Vancouver in the mid-80's, after a 50% real RE crash, with 12% unemployment and abandoned building sites still scattered across the city, was a far more civil, law-abiding and together place than the city of today. Once the veneer of make-believe prosperity evaporates I think things will get nasty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    scullboy Says:
    168

    @Junius:

    It sucks being a bear on the way up and the way down. On the way up, you have to put up with that smug dick of a brother in law who thinks he's Donald Trump because he went neck deep in debt and is a paper millionaire.

    It sucks on the way down because that smug dick of a brother in law is also married to your sister, who now has several kids and several properties that are no longer saleable at the price she and her husband need to break even. It's up to you to comfort her, and it's not like you can say "I told you so" without being tagged as an asshole.

    It's funny, I moved to Vancouver looking for that whole laid-back Vancouver lifestyle, but I think greed completely destroyed it. From my own experience life in Van is a sort of eggshell thin veneer of traditional hippie dippie left wing bullshit, that's covering up a lot of greed, laziness apathy and … something I can't quite put in words, but the perfect example is a friend who posted a "sign this petition to ban oil tankers off the BC coast", and got extremely pissed off when I pointed out his Lexux SUV did not in fact run on hemp oil. :)

    I can't say I found Vancouver was an especially welcoming place, compared to other Canadian cities. My brother's been in Burnaby for the last 6 months. He moved directly from Halifax and he REALLY notices.

    I think if you're looking for an kind of community, you have to move to one of the smaller cities in Canada (or Montreal).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    asia man Says:
    169

    I really enjoyed these comments more than the CBC vid. Its quite scary, it doesnt remind me of the various bubbles I have seen it reminds me more of the news casts I saw of Reverend Jim Jones in Ghiana (sp) drinking the poison kool aid in the 70s and how dillusional people can become. There are alot of screwed up facts in the different comments people make like Tokyos supposed soft landing. If you call a 75% drop in Real Estate a soft landing I wouldnt want to see a hard one. All I can say is the likelihood of a crash landing is looking pretty high.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    I love Vancouver. I especially love the west side and west vancouver. I guess a lot of people do. I guess a lot of people in the world do. Maybe that's why homes are so expensive there? over 1 m? Demand greater than supply, price increase? Also you guys are all forgetting one very important fact that is going to increase home prices in the long run, no matter what: INFLATION. Inflation is a fact of life, and as long as there is inflation, as long as they keep printing money, there will be inflation, and home prices will continue rising. Yes, a million dollars is a lot of money. But is far less that what it was worth 10 years ago. It will worth even less in 10 yrs. So, if you don't own a house, then don't wait. the chances of prices rising? 50%. decreasing? 50%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Dan in Calgary Says:
    171

    @scullboy, "From my own experience life in Van is a sort of eggshell thin veneer of traditional hippie dippie left wing bullshit, that’s covering up a lot of greed, laziness apathy and … something I can’t quite put in words"

    "eggshell thin veneer of traditional hippie dippie left wing bullshit" is wonderfully and accurately descriptive!!

    @patriotz, "Vancouver in the mid-80′s … was a far more civil, law-abiding and together place than the city of today"

    It really was a much more together city then …. sigh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    172

    @CRASH JPMorgan-Chase – Buy Silver: Whatever happend to pumping gold and silver? Not working out so well is it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    173

    @patriotz: …

    If there’s been so much growth in demand for RE from the drug industry, WHY ARE REAL RENTS LOWER than decades ago?

    ……..

    Ok, I’ll try that one… Why rent when you can buy with nothing down, pay cash for the materials and labour to renovate, and when you sell, not only is all your cash washed nice and clean, it’s not even taxable. Wash and repeat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    174

    @andrew:

    … Also you guys are all forgetting one very important fact that is going to increase home prices in the long run, no matter what: INFLATION. Inflation is a fact of life, and as long as there is inflation, as long as they keep printing money, there will be inflation, and home prices will continue rising…….

    Yes! Just look at what inflation is doing to US home prices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @t: WTF does "ethnic" actually mean? Can't you just say "non-white" instead of bastardizing an adjective to emphasize people that aren't like you? Not to unfairly pick on this poster; the abuse of this word has become so common as to make it the new de facto definition. For the record, you are a member of an ethnic group, whether you are white, french, belgian, congolese or chilean. You are ethnically white. Unless of course your intended definition hails back to the days of social darwinism and the white man's burden of the british empire:

    "2. Pertaining to the gentiles, or nations not converted to Christianity; heathen; pagan; — opposed to Jewish and Christian. [1913 Webster]"

    but then, how can you tell from looking at their yearbook photos whether they are christians or not?

    saying "Ethnic people" is like saying "cultural people". Meaningless. It's just another a euphemism for the in-group to use to describe others not like themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    ANYONE have a sense of how January looks thus far in terms of price trends?

    ie. how will the month end stats look for pricing pressures, higher or lower?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    D. Rail Says:
    177

    @MB:

    ……

    “360 days of sunshine”

    ……

    I may be totally off base here, but I don't think that anyone has ever suggested that Vancouver has 36 days of sunshine let alone 360. I’d give the nod to Phoenix on that one (regardless of how much it's crashed).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Royce McCutcheon:

    >A question: has the sort of split you mentioned happened with real estate markets in the past? I can accept the idea that higher end properties may lose a smaller % on prices, but has there ever been a market that saw the bottom drop out on the lower end while the higher end went unscathed?

    California. Or, even more specifically, Los Angeles.

    The low end fell much harder than that top end. Possibly because crack shacks provided a lower entry point to playing the market. They bubbled the worst and fell the most, by percentage, that is.

    The high end held up much better, for example:
    http://www.mbconfidential.com/2011/01/other-south
    14-19% declines for the desirable bay areas vs. ~40% for the state as a whole.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Best place on meth: Holy cow, it's mad over there.

    Check this comment out:

    LS Mortgage Agent said in reply to TDbankbroker…

    Here's a question for you TDbankbroker – how many first time home buyers actually stay in their existing home for the 35 years to pay down their mortgage? Everyone knows that the way to get your mortgage paid down is to get onto the property ladder early and keep moving up until you have earned enough equity to eventually scale down and pay out in cash.

    Seriously. *Everyone knows* the only way you pay off a house is to live during a bubble, get in early and keep trading up, paying obscene interest and transaction costs, until you retire and downsize severely. What a plan! And these are the people who advise Canadians on the biggest purchase of their lives?

    Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars, and Loan Brokers are from Planet Debt Slave.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    space889 Says:
    180

    @Supersogs: Err…I don't believe they are mainland Chinese but rather Hong Kong aka Hongers. The reason? Well the way they speak English. Mainlanders would either not bother learn English or speak it with a different accent. As well mainlanders generally don't have as much superstition crap Hongers thanks to 40 years of communist rules which stamped out a lot of that. Most of these stupid superstitions are peddled by Hongers. As well if you look at the responses, a lot of the responses are like HK specific. So please don't mix up the different groups of Chineses – Hongers, Taiwanese, Mainlander with one brush in this case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    space889 Says:
    181

    What's with all the high RE prices stories on VancouverSun.com all of a sudden? On one hand it seems to say hey we are special, our RE prices is the best (highest) in the world. But at the same time doesn't it just ring alarm bells??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    182

    178 AG Sage Says:"California. Or, even more specifically, Los Angeles…..The low end fell much harder than that top end…"

    If this page is any indication:

    http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2010/02/decemb

    using San Fran perhaps it's because the top end rose much less. All three tiers are apparently returning to historical norms:

    http://www.socketsite.com/S%26P%20Case-Shiller%20

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Dignan M Says:
    183

    I over heard a co-worker talking about his neighbor who bought that house on Douglas park. The one in the CBC piece. I can confirm that they are from Canada, and not mainland China.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Chip: "immigration began heavily in the 50s. Despite the racism immigrants through the 80s generally wanted to be English."

    I suppose the line is grey then. I know of no immigrant family whose children do not grow up speaking anything but English as their first language. That is not the case in other countries, as I'm sure you're aware coming from Asia.

    England has had a long history of minority groups extending even earlier than the '50s, most notably Jews. There are minority sects who are insular to outsiders and from outwards appearances appear selfish. I see this with groups in Canada as well, and not just limited to non-whites and non-Christians. It may be becoming more prevalent than before but it's not anything new.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    185

    @Chopper 158

    So the guy who bought the tear down could’ve bought a brand new home in an arguably nicer area for nearly $100k less! Go figure, just goes to show how disgusting the CBC is for running such a crap story.

    It seems to be realtors+builder partnerships are buying up large lots, renting them out for a year to avoid an 12% HST claw-back and then building a spec home (fung shei etc.. ) for a realtor's mainland chinese client. You can't compare homes that are the same sq ft and age due to the specific requirements of the rich mainlanders. One house that seems a better value may not even appeal to the rich mainlander.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Whoops 185 was me

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Patiently Waiting Says:
    187

    "The average home in Vancouver, according to data from the third quarter of last year, cost $602,000 — or 9.5. times the $63,100 median income of households in the city, according to the survey results released Monday by the Winnipeg-based Frontier Centre of Public Policy. Only Sydney, Australia, at 9.6 times the median income, and Hong Kong, at 11.4 times, scored worse.

    So the policy factors that drive prices too high in relation to residents' incomes must be closer to home.

    David Seymour, a senior policy analyst for the Frontier Centre, and his collaborator on the study, consulting demographer Wendell Cox of St. Louis, finger "politically inflated land costs."

    "These land prices include the cost increasing influence of land supply restrictions (such as urban growth boundaries), excessive infrastructure fees and other overly strict land use regulations," they write."

    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/cities+world+class+th

    No mention of rich Asians? If land use restrictions are causing an under-supply of housing, than why are rents stagnant (even declining)?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    188

    @Patiently Waiting:

    David Seymour, a senior policy analyst for the Frontier Centre, and his collaborator on the study, consulting demographer Wendell Cox of St. Louis, finger “politically inflated land costs.

    Land costs are "politically inflated" only because house prices are politically inflated due to government guaranteed financing.

    Just at the cost of housing is determined by what buyers are willing to pay, the cost of land is determined by what its buyers (i.e. builders) are willing to pay. If land costs are high, that's because builders are able to make a profit paying high prices for land, and that's because people are willing to pay high prices for houses.

    Restricted supply of land (either natural or political) can result in high rents relative to incomes, but it cannot result in high house or land prices relative to rents (i.e. a bubble), because – drum roll – nobody has to buy.

    There has been a massive collapse in land prices in the US as the housing bubble burst. Was there a relaxation in land use controls? No. Nobody is willing to pay inflated prices for land any more because builders can't get inflated prices for houses.

    The "Frontier Centre" seems to be another right-wing think tank that is trying to make people think that land use controls lead to RE bubbles. Well I have a couple of words to say to them – Florida, and Ireland.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Patiently Waiting Says:
    189

    Frontier Centre of Public Policy is a self-described conservative-libertarian think tank. Would it be so hard for the report to mention their ideological bias considering its right on their website?

    Not only are they Winnipeg-based, but they appear to have no British Columbians on the board of directors or staff. They are all from the Prairies, apparently. They are just observing from afar through their distorted lenses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    190

    @fixie guy:

    Both LA and San Francisco metros have huge ghetto areas that had massive price increases (and subsequent crashes) mostly due to mortgage fraud. They started from a low starting point as traditionally they have been very cheap – not a proper comparison to metro Vancouver where no areas in the metro have been cheap.

    If you want something a bit more like Vancouver, San Diego declines have ranged from -30% in the high end to -48% at the low end. But the ghetto factor is still there to a lesser extent.

    http://piggington.com/cheap_home_prices_rebounded

    But do note that Canadian metros (Vancouver/Calgary in the 80's, Toronto in the 90's) have seen similar % declines in all areas in previous busts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    With real estate prices in Seattle 50% less than those in Vancouver and with better, higher paying jobs, I'd like to move.

    Does any one know about immigration to the USA, or useful resources that expain the process?

    I have a really big wad of cash because I have not bought in Vancouver. I wonder if I could use that for their investor immigrant program (if they have one).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @WFT?: They already have almost 10 percent unemployment…they don't want you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymouse Says:
    193

    @patriotz:

    "Both LA and San Francisco metros have huge ghetto areas that had massive price increases (and subsequent crashes) mostly due to mortgage fraud. "

    San Fran is ranked 6th most expensive city, at 7.2x median income. And that's post-crash.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    194

    @WFT?:

    If you can get an employer to sponsor you for a job then try that.

    http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/typ

    Are you sure you want to miss having a front row seat for the carnage here?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Disbelief Says:
    195

    Re U.S Immigration

    $550,000 will buy you a green card. It will be locked up for 5 years and that first $50k is gone the balance will be invested and at the end of 5 years you will get it returned plus or minus the profit made from the investment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Dumbest Says:
    196

    @andrew:

    What happened in the early 80 with inflation, interest rates and house prices?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    197

    @190 patriotz: I was hoping to find data tiered by value that showed both rise and fall. It makes more sense to view declines against appreciation to/from norm when trying to make the case, as AG Sage did, that high end properties won't feel as much pain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    stopped waiting Says:
    198

    Are you sure you want to miss having a front row seat for the carnage here?

    ********

    yawn…been waiting for the supposed carnage for years now…and you all be waiting for many many more years for any hint of a downside

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    finally someone said Says:
    199

    http://imgur.com/ZFL6b

    Vancouver Real Estate needs its own meme.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Vanrod:

    They have 90% employment. Tons of jobs, especially in my field. I've seen the postings for seattle. The jobs are there and they pay 30-50% more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @stopped waiting:

    I'll follow the carnage by visiting this blog. I'll gladly leave this city to the Rich Asians.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @space889: Is it the last hoorah? The pumping is always the most furious just before the end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Drachen Says:
    203

    @WFT?:

    "I’ll gladly leave this city to the Rich Asians."

    They may be rich now….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Patiently Waiting:

    They are all from the Prairies, apparently. They are just observing from afar through their distorted lenses.

    Yes, a view of the bubble from inside the bubble is just so much clearer?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    stopped waiting Says:
    205

    Is it the last hoorah? The pumping is always the most furious just before the end.

    *****

    yawn..been hearing this since 2007…and look another 4 years have come and gone…

    ___________

    “I’ll gladly leave this city to the Rich Asians.”

    They may be rich now….

    ***

    And they will continue to be rich…constant immigration from asia and half of the investor class choosing to reside in vancouver…

    I am sure they will help you pack your bags to leave…especially since they already have 5 more people waiting to take you place

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    206

    @stopped waiting:

    What, there are 5 more rich Asians waiting to come to Vancouver?

    For fucks sakes, let them in! We can handle 5 more people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Realtor1 Says:
    207

    I agree

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    SUPERSTAR Says:
    208

    What's with all this mainland china buying Vancouver talk? I hate to break it to all of you, but the buying is being done by a bunch of pale faces, with their inheritances.

    White people have the money in this city. At least for now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patient renter Says:
    209

    @Superstar

    Don't you think that it's a little coincidental that the top 3 most unaffordable cites according to the Demographia report are:

    hong kong

    sydney

    vancouver

    Is it not a little more than a coincidence that there are a lot of people from Hong Kong in sydney and vancouver. It's the rich hong kongese who have decided that sydney and vancouver are like home away from home.

    We need to make it harder for foreign countries to buy here and then raise the interest rates.

    Then, bye bye bubble.

    But, it won't happen because the people making decisions have a vested interest in prices staying high.

    Our leaders don't give a shit that average folks can no longer afford a home. They want the economy "strong' so they can get voted in again AND they are all home owners. Never underestimate the power of greed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    210

    209 patient renter Says: "It’s the rich hong kongese who have decided that sydney and vancouver are like home away from home."

    Or maybe they're just attracted by (temporary) solid appreciation in a (temporarily) low-return global economic environment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    211

    @patient renter:

    We need to make it harder for foreign countries to buy here and then raise the interest rates.

    We don't need to do either.

    Just get rid of government guarantees on mortgage lending. 50% price drop overnight.

    Which of course the government won't do. They know that 50% drop is coming, but they're trying to drag it out as long as possible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    plumber Says:
    212

    @patriotz

    50% drop coming? when?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @fixie guy:

    Re: Tiered Case-Shiller

    Ah, that's it. Thanks. Interesting how the middle and the composite are right on top of one another. Predict the movement of the middle tier, you can predict the market?

    Historic norm is the right term. SF has traditionally supported a high multiplier. The market bottoming out still leaves the market open mostly to the top 30th percentile. Vancouver may very well be the same.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymus Says:
    214

    patient renter Says:" leaders don’t give a shit that average folks can no longer afford a home"

    Home ownership is not a god given right

    Can you afford to rent?

    If not, move to Saskatoon.

    Living in Vancouver is not a god given right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    215

    @Anonymus:

    >>>Home ownership is not a god given right<<<

    Neither are low interest rates, taxpayer backed insurance and 35 year mortgages.

    But the cheerleaders sure do whine if any of these are about to be taken away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Anonymus:

    What if rich Chinese starts buying in Saskatoon like crazy and average folks can no longer afford a home there? Where to move then?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    217

    @Prca:

    Rich Chinese never drove prices up here, locals did.

    Someday people might actually grasp this concept.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    #172 @Anonymous: "Whatever happend to pumping gold and silver? Not working out so well is it?"

    Gold and silver are in a bear trap. I haven't bought any, but I'm considering it. Obviously this is pure speculation, but I don't see any way for governments to pay their liabilities or balance their budgets, period. I think they will print to infinity, and beyond a tipping point people will go nuts. The world has not learned or changed a single thing as a result of the crisis. We simply shovelled all the bad debts onto governments. Is it rational to expect a massive worldwide currency crisis?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Anonymus:

    What a pompous, yet oh so unanimous attitude in Vancouver these days. One of the reasons why the place has gone in the shitter.

    You ARE right in one aspect. Home ownership is not a right but as BPOM so perfectly put it

    "Neither are low interest rates, taxpayer backed insurance and 35 year mortgages.

    But the cheerleaders sure do whine if any of these are about to be taken away."

    It's true! You don't like home prices? Get the F@@# out of the city.

    But but but how can you raise rates and take away our long zero down mortgages, that's government interfering.

    This city has lost the plot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymouse Says:
    220

    @patient renter:

    "Our leaders don’t give a shit that average folks can no longer afford a home."

    The rate of home ownership is 70%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymus Says:
    221

    Best place on meth Says: " Neither are low interest rates, taxpayer backed insurance and 35 year mortgages"

    So what is your point dummy? Those same rules apply to Saskatoon and Regina and Winnipeg and Halifax and there is no bubble in those cities. you can buy decent home for 300 large and btw you are not going to be starved of Sushi and Lattes in those cities.

    If you can't compete in Vancouver move your ass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Hmmmm... Says:
    222

    @patriotz: That is exactly it… if the banks had to lend their own money they would lend on 3-4 times income, certainly not 8 to 10 like they are doing now on our backs. Now that HELOC's are not CMHC backed watch them pucker up and be prudent in a hurry come April 18th. We are in a credit bubble not a housing bubble. In relation to interest rates over the last 10 years home prices are flat. When rates go back to normal levels house prices will as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymus Says:
    223

    DaMann Says: But but but how can you raise rates and take away our long zero down mortgages, that’s government interfering."

    Sure, but that is policy that is out of your hand regardless who is in the government. But you can do something if you move. And you can move to the provinces where unemployment currently is 5% and where you can AFFORD nice lifestyle like home ownership, vacations, paid vehicles ….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    buffates Says:
    224

    Realtors offering free trips to vegas if you close a deal with them…wow!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Matthew-Rasmussen-R

    Matthew Rasmussen REALTOR® If you or anyone you know uses my services for either the successful purchase of a home or sale of a current home this year you will receive a FREE Trip for 2 to LAS VEGAS for 3 Days! Trip includes airfare and accomidations and can be redeemed anytime in 2011. Trip is subject to Terms and Conditions. Contact me for more details

    January 15 at 12:25pm · Like · Comment

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Demographia Says:
    225

    Rich Chinese never drove prices up here, locals did.

    Someday people might actually grasp this concept.

    *******

    You are so right.

    Of course there is no correlation between RE prices and the influx of affluent asians into Vancouver from 1986 onwards, because those affluent residents from Hong Kong didn't start to immigrate around the world in anticipation of the 1997 Chinese takeover or anything.

    You can discount those REBGV graphs which show a nice rise in prices from the mid 1980s onwards.

    You can ignore that prior to the influx, prices reflected that wonderful bear ratio of three times average income (good luck waiting for that to materialize again).

    And you can ignore that fact that Vancouver has paid a premium of five times average income for 25 years now, roughly from the time that the cultural milieu and demographics started to change in the city.

    And of course, you can be sure that the existence of premium prices in Vancouver for 25 years is solely attributable to the continuation of the cheap, easy credit environment that we currently find ourselves in, because its not like interest rates have been higher in the past or lending practices more restrictive or anything.

    Have locals fueled the rise in prices? Of course. Have affluent asians also influenced the market for 25 years, and continue to do so? Of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    226

    221 Anonymus Says: "…you can buy decent home for 300 large…"

    Six times income for a city like Halifax is reasonable? You want to look at the Sauder data for some of those markets before the next bubble-free declaration, otherwise risk sounding like a bag of hammers.

    Ooops.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymus Says:
    227

    fixie guy Says:"You want to look at the Sauder data for some of those markets before the next bubble-free declaration, otherwise risk sounding like a bag of hammers."

    I don't have to look at the Sauder data dummy, I live in one of those cities. Cross the Rockies sometimes, don't be afraid. we have plenty of Starbucks places to visit as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @fixie guy:

    Or maybe they’re just attracted by (temporary) solid appreciation in a (temporarily) low-return global economic environment.

    Maybe they just like assets priced in a currency that has steadily appreciated against the US dollar over the last decade? And hey, makes a nice home away from home too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Anonymouse:

    ownership == unaffordable debt;

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Uh oh…

    Paul B late with the numbers…

    Means bullish day…

    Vanrod may be right

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    New Listings 234

    Price Changes 56

    Sold Listings 101

    10988

    Often listings trickle in throughout the evening. I will check back later and see if we hit 11k.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @UHOH: "Paul B late with the numbers… Means bullish day…"

    :lol: FAIL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymouse Says:
    233

    @Prca:

    "ownership == unaffordable debt;"

    My point was that you shouldn't be surprised if the government steers its policies in a way which favours the majority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Renting Says:
    234

    My point was that you shouldn’t be surprised if the government steers its policies in a way which favours the majority.

    Kind of like the US? It ain't working there…

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Renting Says:
    235

    @Demographia:

    Of course there is no correlation…

    The real estate bubble was global. How may rich asians helped Iceland properties triple?

    The Rich Asian mantra is real estate marketing and nothing more. The bubbles around the world were driven primarily from locals including Vancouver. It is cheap easy credit otherwise known as a credit bubble. The bubble will pop here just like it did in Iceland and most other places.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    236

    #227 Anonymus Says: "Cross the Rockies sometimes, don’t be afraid. we have plenty of Starbucks places to visit as well."

    I've lived across this country, bumpkin. Why do you think I have so little patience with the local RE BS machine?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Renting Says:
    237

    Those same rules apply to Saskatoon and Regina and Winnipeg and Halifax and there is no bubble in those cities. you can buy decent home for 300 large

    300 large for those cities is a bubble. Check what you can buy a house for across the border in a variety of much more attractive cities. Those prices are over double that of Phoenix which by most people standards is considered a much nicer place to live.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymus Says:
    238

    Renting Says:" Check what you can buy a house for across the border in a variety of much more attractive cities."

    Now you Bears are talking like Bulls. Bulls talk: "Have you seen prices in Honkong, London, Tokyo…compare them with Vancouver and Vancouver is cheap"

    Renting Says:" 300 large for those cities is a bubble."

    Why, not many lululemon stores in those cities? People make as much money in those cities as in Vancouver. Don't you know about price to income calculation? Aren't you a bear? Check the stats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @11,000 coming:

    it’s not normal to get this excited over these things, but… boy, am I feeling festive! Merry 11k eve, everyone!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Renting Says:
    240

    Have you seen prices in Honkong, London, Tokyo…

    You are comparing first tier cities (London, Tokyo) to a second tier city Vancouver.

    My comparison was Saskatoon and Regina to Phoenix. If anything Phoenix (at half the price) is superior in every respect to those two.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymus Says:
    241

    Renting Says:"My comparison was Saskatoon and Regina to Phoenix. If anything Phoenix (at half the price) is superior in every respect to those two."

    Why?

    Phoenix has NO water, no Oil, no Wheat, No Minerals

    on other hand Toon and Reggie have ALL of that in abundance.

    Unemployment in Arizona is 15% in SK is 5%. case closed.

    What I find interesting that people in Vancouver (Bears & Bulls included) are completely delusional in their views of the world

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    D. Rail Says:
    242

    @Anonymus:

    ……

    Phoenix has NO water, no Oil, no Wheat, No Minerals

    on other hand Toon and Reggie have ALL of that in abundance.

    Unemployment in Arizona is 15% in SK is 5%. case closed.

    ………

    Ya, and to top it all off, it's really, really cold in Phoenix – wait, do I have that right? Duh!

    Of course, in Sask., you can watch your dog run away for a week so it's got that going for it eh!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @scullboy:

    The very reason WHY it won't crash. Too many will be affected.

    Some places are more expensive than others. Vancouver happens to be one of them. So does San Francisco. Some places are very desirable places to live and in turn cost more. Not many people want to live in Winnipeg. I bet it is affordable to live there, though.

    There are affordable homes in the Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver.

    Prices in Vancouver have plateaued. I don't think we are going to see any ridiculous appreciation like over the past ten years.

    Compare it to cars: you can spend $60,000 on a car or $30,000. You decide what you are willing to pay and what you can afford. I don't hear people going to Mercedes dealerships warning that their prices will drop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

VCI Network

  • Take a Peak.

    The Vancouver Peak Discussion Forums are now open for collecting stats, sharing data, etc. Please register at the new site and let us know what you think.
Leap to comment form