Friday Free-for-all!

It’s the end of another week, time for a long weekend and then it’s back to school and back to work. Let’s do our regular end of the week news roundup and open topic discussion thread! Here are a few links to kick off the chat:

Does ‘liveable’ mean ‘unaffordable’?
Home prices US vs Canada
Bubble, Bubble, There’s a Bubble.
BC Conservatives propose phasing out PTT
Housing industry waiting for HST plan B
CIC launches consultation on immigration mix
Canada.. the incredible shrinking economy?
Court ordered sales at the high end
Canadians can’t save an extra $25 a week?
More in BC carrying debt into retirement
32% of Canadians counting on Lotto win for retirement
The two-tier US housing market

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

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@bubba: …Oh yeah..GAS prices.

When we left BC gas prices were about $ 1.32 per litre…..

Canadians, Vancouverites in particular, are getting raped at the gas pumps! I just spend the last few weeks in WA where gas was about $0.90/l. Why is gas almost 50% more expensive in Vancouver? Oh ya, to pay for Moonbeam's green vision!

I tried to go to Point Roberts on Saturday but the 2 hour line up for folks going down for gas put an end to that plan. Wake up Moonbeam!


As a bear it is known its the buyers that set the price causing the bubbles not the boomer or other generation sellers

No generation is to be blamed for this bubble or the economy but I do notice the younger generations ALWAYS like to blame their parents and grandparents for all the problems.

The boomers were the ones who used to say do not trust anyone over thirty

Come on

"Here’s another simple, easily proven and unpopular fact to vote down, by far the largest recipients of CMHC’s near trillion dollar backing are first time buyers, meaning Gens X and Y." That may affect things in the future, but until real estate crashes CMHC has actually collected a nice sum of $ from first time buyers and ZERO of our current national debt is related to this. And you have to ask the question who is MOST to blame? The boomers who bought most of the houses, made the rules, loaned the money, gave the insurance and created the bubble or the people who took the bait as first time home buyers? All I see is boomers when I look at highly paid executives in banking and the recent politicians from Gordon Campbell to Steven Harper and BOC chief Mark… Read more »

fixie guy

122 Come on Says: "Over your lifetime you boomers have collectively run up Canada’s debt to obscene levels. In other words you have spent more than you have paid." Did no one actually look at the spending by distribution, directly from the federal government, posted below? Point to the part that went into my pocket. Here's another simple, easily proven and unpopular fact to vote down, by far the largest recipients of CMHC's near trillion dollar backing are first time buyers, meaning Gens X and Y. Ultimately you'll be the largest drains on the budget in history. You have to love the entitled complaints from some that, after having worked and contributed for decades, some selfish Boomers still have money left they're holding back from you. No suprise:… I'm starting to see another, perhaps critical, benefit to high immigration… Read more »


@Come on:

Over your lifetime you boomers have collectively run up Canada’s debt to obscene levels.

You mean we've been running the country since we've been born? Gee, I didn't know that. And the first boomers became seniors (the age group which receives the most government benefits) just this year.

The first boomer PM was Kim Campbell and the only other one is Stephen Harper.

Come on

@fixie guy:

"A Boomer understands just how much money we’ve pumped into taxes over our lifetimes"

Over your lifetime you boomers have collectively run up Canada's debt to obscene levels. In other words you have spent more than you have paid.



Looking over in North Van, there was a downward trend in pricing for a period but I have watched all the lower priced properties get snapped up, knocked down, and mega-houses built. Developer buys for 800K and lists a monster for $2.2M. There are four of these listed right now and they all are at 250% of the original knock-down price.


My " understanding " is that the value of the new house should be equal to the value of the lot(old RE evaluation bromide)

If true, and $800,000 tear down (aka lot value) should build an improvement worth $ 800,000 = TOTAL of $1.6 Million

To ask $2.2 Million implies $ 600,000 profit .

Not sustainable.

In the 1980's, many Hong Kong Asians got smart and hired contractors, not buying from speculators.


@Best place on meth: They're already throwing their money away, how much worse could it possibly be?

Best place on meth


>>>the kid has a place and he doesn’t have to worry about landlords<<<

Worry about landlords? Doing what?

People don't want their kids anywhere near landlords?



Surely if the parents have the money and want their children to gave the very chance in life then why should they let them take care of themselves? It's their choice.



Wow, here's one for the Real Estate Idiocy Hall of Fame:

Real estate lawyer and Moneyville columnist Mark Weisleder says owning can be twice as expensive as renting, but he believes with a four-year horizon buying is better in the current environment. “If the parents have the money it makes more sense to buy, because the kid has a place and he doesn’t have to worry about landlords,” Weisleder says.

Can't let the sweet young things look after themselves, can we?


@N: I'm not quite sure whether the deferred taxes are senior or junior to mortgages, so consider both possibilities: 1. If the deferred taxes are senior (which back taxes are normally), that means in all likelihood the property must be mortgage free upon entry to the program, since all mortgages require that taxes be kept current. It also means that there is little chance of taking out subsequent mortgages. 2. If the deferred taxes are junior, the mortgages would have to get paid off first, which means that if the equity goes negative the province doesn't get all (or any) of its money back. You must have, and maintain, a minimum equity of 25% of the current BC Assessment value (other appraised values are NOT accepted), after deducting the UPPER limit of all outstanding mortgages, lines of credit and other… Read more »



Can't the province get its money back whether or not there is equity, so long as the auction price of the house is higher than the taxes owing?



"So then what has equity got to do with it (original question)?"

It has to do with whether the province can get its money back, of course.


@fixie guy: Fixie, i know what you mean. I am a boomer who has taken nothing but paid. I am also half way down the boomer pack, so I know there wont be anything left when my turn comes. However there are two inescapable facts: 1) Imagine you have a dentist who worked all his life in Toronto or Hong Kong, it hardly matters where- just another jurisdiction. Now he has come to BC for the good life. He brings his sack of money and buys a big house and sits back. He gets to keep $36K of dividends a year tax free , and gets to defer his property taxes for twenty years or more. So all he contributes into the provincial coffers is the PST and a reduced MSP premium. Instead he gets free excellent healthcare and drugs,… Read more »



So then what has equity got to do with it (original question)?



"Equity" means the market value of a property minus the total of ALL liens against it, including unpaid taxes.


Oh yeah..GAS prices. When we left BC gas prices were about $ 1.32 per litre. However in Alberta, the average was about $1.15/litre even in the Cities of Calgary and Edmonton. In one small town, Airdrie, we saw prices at $1.12 per litre…but at the local SafeWay, they had a deal with 5 cents off per litre if you buy minimum of $35 in groceries..effectively reducing the cost to $1.07 cents per litre. When back in BC the news discussed the annual Labour Day RIP-OFF, whereby the gas prices traditionally jump , which we saw prices at approx. $1.38 per litre. They say various Gov't committees can't find any evidence of "collusion". (Maybe the Monty Python sketch nudge nudge wink wink…?) Then I read the Translink c*cksuckers are looking at another tax grab via tax on shipping containers ? In… Read more »


@patriotz: patriotz: It is called d-e-s-p-e-r-a-t-i-o-n. Re: Albertans….no offence..but they tend to have a lot of disposable income…often more money than brains. Seems every one of them has a house, $30,000 + vehicle… and a 5th wheel RV. I am sure there are contractors so desperate they will take literal minimum wage to keep busy, as any general contractor in a recession tries to keep his trades " busy " so they stay as a team and hope for a rebound: BC anecdotes: In early 1980's … (BC recession)Grandparents needed a major deck replacement. Grandfather was a contractor, but too old to do the work….his youngest son….approx. 40 at the time…said he couldn't come near the price of the lowest bidder. In 2000's….. Family member had a home built in a new White Rock subdivision. A couple of years later,… Read more »

Li Kai Shing

I tink there is an obvious solution for the adopted homeland of BC that I now own a large percentage of. I have a good friend from an North – East African country that wishes to leave and find a safe exile….err…"investment opportunity" where he can launder and buy citizenship….err…" help the local economy " . He was a Colonel, and once lead a large population . He has counted several US president and the CIA as on his Ramadan list. He is currently in hiding…err "incognito". By my calculations, with his $ 40 Billion in hard -earned cash, thus impeccable investment savvy…he could easily slide in and fill the void created by shrivelling HAM $$$ … target neighbourhoods with spot speculation pay 25% over list…..and maybe even have free beer,pizza and nacho night to keep the VCI troglodyte whiners… Read more »

fixie guy

102 Frank Says: "The only thing that is self-evident is that we cannot afford the very lavish benefits, mostly aimed at seniors that we boomers have set up for ourselves, and expect the next generation to pay for ."

Thirteen cents of every tax dollar collected goes to the elderly. Those lavish benefits 'we'set up are being paid out now to others. You claim to be a Boomer but write like a Millennial. A Boomer understands just how much money we've pumped into taxes over our lifetimes, especially those like me who never took a dime out. We also understand all but a tiny fraction aren't old enough to qualify for senior benefits yet.



Why would equity matter? Surely the government is even in front of the mortgage company in the line of payees?



The point is that as long as the properties don't get into a negative equity position, there is no cost to the government. The seniors do pay interest on the deferred taxes.

I don't think it's a good idea in principle as I've already said, but you can't compare it to seniors benefits which actually do represent a current expense. Which includes the extra homeowners grant which seniors get.


Is this not age-discrimination when seniors can defer taxes notwithstanding the amount of equity?