The Middle Class is Priced Out

The CBC has an article looking at the situation for middle-class home shoppers in Vancouver BC.  They’ve noticed that incomes have dropped since the 70s while prices have risen.

So if you’re middle class in Vancouver you’re either priced out forever or something is going to change.

From that article:

Lawyer Nathan Hume and health researcher Angie Chan live with their two young children in a rented two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver.

With two good jobs, they had hoped home ownership in the city would be within their reach. But sky-high prices in Vancouver have left them without any options.

“We have a number of friends who are in the same situation as us — highly educated, they’ve got good jobs, they have young kids, and they’ve all left the city,” said Chan.

Hume says it is likely they could get a mortgage to buy something, but they don’t think that’s smart, when it would mean foregoing savings for retirement and their childrens’ education.

Any readers here have friends who have moved away from Vancouver simply do to house price dynamics?  Any of you considering a move away based purely on the cost of housing?
Read the full article at the CBC web site.

100 Responses to “The Middle Class is Priced Out”

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    Whybuywhenucanrent Says:
    1

    My wife and I make approx $250K between us. We can’t buy nor do we want to at these crazy prices. We are renting a $2.4M house on the west side for 1/3 the monthly payment that a mortgage would be. No maintenance, no stress, we are very happy.

    Not sure why everyone is so obsessed with owning, it is overrated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    2

    @Whybuywhenucanrent:

    You can’t buy with $250k/yr?

    BS.

    You choose not to, but that’s different from can’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Whybuywhenucanrent Says:
    3

    We can’t buy on the west side which is where we want to live. Do the math. We could buy a $1M shithole somewhere over a bridge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    RentersRant Says:
    4

    Here is the thing, this is going to sound harsh, but I am AMAZED at how many people I meet that don’t seem to have passed business math (future value calculations) 099.

    The very insightful key in this article is: “when it would mean foregoing savings for retirement and their childrens’ education.” This is uniquely wise! Could they outlay the cash – sure. But could they wisely AFFORD it, no.

    And I know $250k income sounds extremely high but if you don’t have a government public service pension that guarantees 65% or more indexed from the day you retire (TEACHERS!!!)you should have saved in the range of $1.8 to $2.5M (yes with an M) if you want to have any sort of non-poverty stricken retirement. (Meaning retire 58-60, do some traveling and don’t worry about expensive health aides. Live a good life without fear.)

    This of course includes a commitment to your children that you aren’t going to relegate them to a the lower split of the class cycle we are now experiencing by not paying for their schooling. The reality is that for the next generation, if you don’t have a university degree (and a good school) you are going to suffer some serious financial hardship. Trying even getting into UBC even today! It’s not going to get any easier!

    So as a renter, and a saver, sure I am getting screwed by F with negative real rates, but because of my income I will come out okay.

    But what about the entire generation of kids that don’t have chance at paying for University (gone are the days you could work a part time or even full time job an make it happen – good luck trying to tuck away $120K in today’s dollar for a basic degree. Sure you can get a loan, but then you are toast.).

    Harsh I know, but my kids (who will be brilliant thanks to my wife genes) will need someone to pour their Starbucks. And it’s the kids of the 500k+ mortgage holders of today that will pull a mean double, double tall, short, grande (sorry if I got that wrong – not a coffee drinker).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    ReadyToPop Says:
    5

    So if you’re middle class in Vancouver you’re either priced out forever or something is going to change.

    Something is going to change. The middle class is the bulk of the market.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    6

    i left 5 years ago after (a) wanting to broaden my personal and professional experience overseas and (b) being totally frustrated in feeling hopeless in trying to save money fast enough to buy a single family home somewhere within reasonable (45min) driving time of the city and have a mortgage we can manage. we are a family of 5 looking for single family north van on a budget which can afford 750. figure we’re short 300-400k. will stay overseas for another 3-4 years where we can save and see the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    [Canadian housing bubble enters world stage, again]
    Marketwatch: March 14, 2012, 12:02 a.m

    “Canada’s housing market flirts with bubble”
    After a brief dip, home prices have shot up; incomes haven’t kept up

    Rising home prices over the past decade, combined with mounting household debts, have fed concerns that Canada’s housing market has formed a bubble that’s about to burst.
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/canadas-housing-market-flirts-with-bubble-2012-03-14?pagenumber=1

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    8

    One of my field’s top postings recently became available so now I’m typing this from a mid-town Toronto office. My income is moderately dependent on the general state of the economy and I make good money, a deadly combination in Vancouver’s near future. It became obvious last year the situation is deteriorated well past any question of competence or tenure. When it hits the fan Vancouver businesses will be forced to do anything possible to stay solvent.

    Now I’m renting a QUIET detached in better shape and double the floor space of my Van wood frame townhouse, for $100 more a month. My drive is typically 15 minutes. The detached bungalows in my decent area start in the mid $300s. Off-road paths for the fixie are a kilometer away. It’s been sunny and 15 for the past few days. People hold the door for you here instead of pushing you aside through the one you just opened. The ~20% raise made it a no-brainer.
    The only real regret is food. So many grocery stores here make Safeway look good. The Van business mix is biased towards small mom and pops which naturally results in significantly more restaurants competing for your dollar. The loss of decent $10 sashimi is a small price to pay.
    Oh, and London Drugs of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    ZRH2YVR Says:
    9

    Well – interview with Swiss Company was earlier this week. Likely departure in Summer. Work at the top of my field, about 15 years experience including 10 internationally. Just not sure I have the patience to wait out the house price / income adjustment. So- Could be gone by mid -summer. I would say that the primary reason for leaving is house prices. Secondary is that income and lifestyle is much better as well as professional opportunities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    10

    @RentersRant:
    “Harsh I know, but my kids (who will be brilliant thanks to my wife genes) will need someone to pour their Starbucks. ”

    That would be the kids who spent a fortune of someone else’s money (either parents’ or borrowed) to get a useless liberal arts degree. Meanwhile the kids who learned a trade which has been in chronic shortage for decades will be cashing in.

    Sure going to university is worth the expense if you learn a profession which makes real money, but seldom otherwise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @patriotz: Doris Dunget aka Tanta had a Masters in English. She figured out the finance stuff later.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    vangrl vangrl Says:
    12

    All these stories of Canadians being priced out.

    the young couple in the video are smart and won’t buy because they know the fundamentals are out of whack.

    If all non-owners wanting a house just refuse to buy, prices would decline soooo fast.

    just don’t buy, put on a buyers strike….so simple.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Mar-2012
    Total days 22
    Days elapsed so far 9
    Weekends / holidays 4
    Days missing 0
    Days remaining 13
    7 Day Moving Average: Sales 112
    7 Day Moving Average: Listings 264
    SALES
    Sales so far 1075
    Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA) 1451
    Projected month end total 2526 +/- 485
    NEW LISTINGS
    Listings so far 2522
    Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA) 3437
    Projected month end total 5959 +/- 404
    Sell-list so far 42.6%
    Projected month-end sell-list 42.4%
    MONTHS OF INVENTORY
    Inventory as of March 13, 2012 15640
    MoI at this sales pace 6.19

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Not much of a name... Says:
    14

    @VHB: Another option for the computation of MOI is to use sales from the previous 30 days and the current inventory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    15

    @vangrl:

    >>>just don’t buy, put on a buyers strike….so simple<<<

    It's simple only if you have a city that's NOT full of pliable, easily brainwashed retards.

    This is not the case in Vancouver where the dumbest people on earth just can't say no.

    In this city a crash can only happen when we literally run out of people who can qualify for a mortgage, as is happening right now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @patriotz:
    to get a useless liberal arts degree

    I like what you usually have to say P, but you are talking crap here.

    I have a “useless liberal arts degree” and earn 6 figures. So do lots of people I know.
    An Arts degree is no more useless than any other non-professional program.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    jumpin in Says:
    17

    We are making $200,000 and rent a 1.5 million house for the cost of the interests the bank would charge us to buy it. Besides, we would never buy it, because the value is 95% in the land, i.e. the building has faults that could cost tons of money 20 years down the road. I have a feeling this year our rent will barely cover losses due to inflation. We often consider leaving Vancouver, but somehow we believe this situation will reverse to normal, eventually, so we are betting it is worth staying.

    We know several families with less income than us that are trying to leave. Only dinkys are fine staying here. And they lecture us, with no clue what having kids mean (they confuse taking care of a kid with taking care of a cat or having a weekly hobby).

    We recently tried to hire someone (with a PhD) from Montreal. He asked if it was OK with our company that he would work remotely, since he could not live with his family in Vancouver on the salary we are offering. I went to check with our HR dept, and was told it is OK since there is already another employee doing the same from Halifax…

    But some media will try to convince you that the current situation is normal and sustainable ;)

    No everyone is willing to buy a home, but there is one thing missing for families in Vancouver: rental townhouses with 3 to 4 bedrooms and a collective yard.
    For buying, independent townhouses (i.e. no strata) like in Montreal would be great too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Bailing in BC Says:
    18

    @patriotz:

    My brother has a masters degree in Philosophy and makes more money than god restructuring government private enterprises. The fianace stuff you can pick up if you’re smart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Bailing in BC Says:
    19

    Sorry “finance”. Brother is the smart one, I am the “illiterate” one ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    20

    @jumpin in:
    “For buying, independent townhouses (i.e. no strata) like in Montreal would be great too.”

    Ottawa has lots of them too (actually separately titled duplexes for the most part) but to buy something like the place I rent for $1700/month would cost over $400K. So I’ll keep renting. Note this is in a trendy area, the burbs are less bubbly. But I like trendy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    21

    @Bailing in BC:
    So what is the economic value of his philosophy degree? How much could he make being a philosopher? Which was my point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Not much of a name…: Hi. the intent here is to give a spot estimate of the MoI *now*, not at the end of the month. I use a 7 day moving average to get rid of some of the day-to-day volatility. I could use a 30 day MA as you suggest, but that would mean losing some of the higher frequency week-to-week trends.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    23

    Anyone who’s been following the bond market has noticed the slow but steady climb in the 5 year rate from its Christmas low of 1.17% to todays 1.65% – an increase of 48 bp.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/GCAN5YR:IND/chart/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @patriotz: It’s the act of learning critical thought, writing, and thorough research that is being taught. The subject matter is less relevant.

    If you mean many people don’t “get” the endgame of university education and end up prepared for little more than vocational pursuits (and there’s nothing wrong with that), I can’t argue too much that they didn’t properly leverage their university education.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    chilled chilled Says:
    25

    I love these money topics, apparently the internet is rife with smart, extremely well paid world travelers.

    For the record I make a million dollars a year, travel the world as a high paid consultant, my wife is a supermodel and I have 6 masters degree’s. There, I got that cleared up.

    Anyway, the Realturds® have now decided fear mongering is a valid marketing strategy;

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/online-house-listings-expose-sellers-to-assault-break-ins-treb-says/article2368525/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    26

    In the long run, people with liberal arts degree tend to end up earning more money than those who are in trades. Well at least until recent years. But with this current economy that is much more short-sighted, globalized, polarized and out-sourced… I am not so sure anymore.

    Maybe everybody should become a plumber and flip houses on the side. It would be sad if the Canadian society really came to this…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @chilled: OMFG!

    “Easy access to information online is a huge safety issue,” said Von Palmer, the real estate board’s chief privacy officer. “There is a real possibility of break-ins and assaults; you only have to read the headlines to imagine what might happen. You hear stories about realtors getting attacked and killed. Can you imagine if we put that information out there about consumers? You can only imagine the headlines.”

    TRANSLATION

    “You got a real nice place here mac, it’d be a shame if anything were to happen to it. We can protect you for a small fee, make sure nothing unseemly happens to your real nice family. Think about it mac, you’re a smart guy, I know you’ll make the right choice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @jesse: And why is it that the people who actually study finance so often get the big picture stuff so horribly wrong, ie: Bear Stearns, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    procrustes Says:
    29

    @ReadyToPop:
    “Something is going to change. The middle class is the bulk of the market.”

    Sadly, it looks like this isn’t true.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/12/vancouver-income-inequality-study_n_1334796.html?ref=canada

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Has the 5 year Canadian Government bond finally bounced of the bottom? If so, it is all down hill from here for the Canadian housing market.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/GCAN5YR:IND/chart

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    yossarian Says:
    31

    @procrustes: From your link:
    Racial polarization has also deepened, as neighbourhoods where white and native-born residents remained the majority enjoyed the lion’s share of the income gains, while areas with the greatest share of visible minorities and immigrants were much more likely to see their fortunes decline.

    In other words, just because there are more minorities in Vancouver doesn’t mean they have a lot of money. Stop blaming minorities for your housing bubble when locals are to blame.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    32

    @procrustes:

    It’s not surprising to see Vancouver is becoming ghettoized, but this statement flies in the faces of the worthless cheerleaders who always say that immigration will support high real estate prices:

    He says immigration also appears to be part of the story, noting that “new poverty is very significantly tied up with recent immigrants

    Maybe in the future there will be plans to build a Great Wall around Dunbar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    33

    @Anonymous:
    “In the long run, people with liberal arts degree tend to end up earning more money than those who are in trades.”

    True, but that does not mean that the same person will get a higher net economic return from a BA than from learning a trade. Especially when you factor in the cost of the education and take its present value going forward.

    Remember the statistics look backward and university costs used to be a lot cheaper than they are now, plus fewer people had university degrees in the past which made them more valuable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Yaya: “the people who actually study finance so often get the big picture stuff so horribly wrong, ie: Bear Stearns, etc.”

    They got it wrong, but so too did their shareholders and customers. Sounds like they were made for each other. Disclosure: long BS

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymouse Says:
    35

    @chilled:

    Why should the seller’s phone number be included in the listing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @yossarian: ” just because there are more minorities in Vancouver doesn’t mean they have a lot of money”

    True dat, also works both ways, that it’s becoming hard for me to malign an immigrant who happens to be richer than his rich neighbours. The only thing I can do is assume his money is “dirty”. If it weren’t that would cause my moral compass to spin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    chilled chilled Says:
    37

    @yossarian:

    “In other words, just because there are more minorities in Vancouver doesn’t mean they have a lot of money. Stop blaming minorities for your housing bubble when locals are to blame.”

    Please stop this racial stereotyping. We all know the Caucasian minority is not to blame.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    38

    @34 jesse: I hope that post was meant in irony and you know it’s pure crap. If not, please, please read up on the role of ratings agencies in the market’s collapse. Toxic assets were so deeply buried beneath arcane financial instruments even their originators can’t peel out the ‘real’ worth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @patriotz:

    “Sure going to university is worth the expense if you learn a profession which makes real money, but seldom otherwise.”

    I don’t agree. I have a degree in English lit. — not exactly the key to a profession that makes real money, but that degree has been invaluable in getting visas and jobs on countless occasions. A degree allows you to be considered as a professional in many situations beyond a narrowly defined chosen profession. It is akin to a type of passport to travel in the professional world.

    That said, I will note that, at least outside of Canada, for “passport” purposes, a degree from SFU would be accepted just as readily as a degree from UBC. So while I would recommend a degree to people who haven’t settled on their career, I wouldn’t suggest worrying to much about where it is from.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Navin R. Johnson Says:
    40

    Much of what used to be considered middle class have fallen into the lower class as far as income to the cost of living.

    There is only one thing that will change everything….and that is deflation and hurt for a few years….a freaking cleansing. This doesn’t count for just housing….everything

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    jumpin in Says:
    42

    @chilled
    “For the record I make a million dollars a year, travel the world as a high paid consultant, my wife is a supermodel and I have 6 masters degree’s. ”

    I do not get your point… are you telling us that here bloggers are lying?
    This blog is not Second Life…

    Why don’t you believe that people with a good income are refusing to buy in Vancouver?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Laibach Laibach Says:
    43

    @yossarian:

    …areas with the greatest share of visible minorities and immigrants were much more likely to see their fortunes decline.

    In other words, just because there are more minorities in Vancouver doesn’t mean they have a lot of money. Stop blaming minorities for your housing bubble when locals are to blame.

    Aren’t Vancouver West (recently) and Richmond with the highest child poverty in BC? Must be something wrong with statistics.

    btw. Not sure what’s your point (minors = HAM???) but locals could be minorities too I guess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @chilled:

    “Anyway, the Realturds® have now decided fear mongering is a valid marketing strategy;”

    That’s not new! Fear is their core business model.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    45

    @RentersRant:

    I don’t know where you went to school but full year tuition at UBC might run you $6k or $7k. My kid brother goes there right now doing a comp sci degree which my father has funded out of an RESP. Now there’s a lot of things that have become unaffordable but relatively speaking, education isn’t one of them (yet). You’ll of course need to adjust if you’re coming in as an out of province or international student.

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    patriotz patriotz Says:
    46

    @Anonymous:
    In 1974 a year’s tuition at UBC was $462. Adjusted for inflation that’s $2,020.41.

    There was also much more assistance in the form of tuition reductions and grants. And there were more opportunities for students to get good paying jobs in the summer.

    On the other hand there were no universities outside Vancouver and Victoria so more students have the opportunity to attend university in their home cities today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    oh my goodness, poor vreaa is going to headline very single complaint here…there goes his entire week! hope he is making money out of his blog.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    48

    @chilled:
    got to agree with you, all the bears here, at vreaa’s blog, and garth’s blog are making 7 figures incomes, highly educated, and married with super models. another common theme: they cannot afford vancouver as all are priced out!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    49

    @Anonymous:

    >>>they cannot afford vancouver as all are priced out!<<<

    I can honestly say that even if I made $10 million a year I still wouldn't buy a house in Vancouver.

    I leave such stupid purchases to the chumps of this pathetic, hollowed out ghetto.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    50

    “In the long run, people with liberal arts degree tend to end up earning more money than those who are in trades”

    That may be true but I think you have to compare at the same type of individual. Lets face it, smart motivated people are more likely to go to university over ending up in a trade in Canada. But those who are smart and motivated who do go into trades usually do very well. They end up starting their own businesses or move up the ranks into senior positions with larger company’s and make much more than most university art degree grads. They also get a 5 year head start on making money over spending it on tuition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    SunBlaster Says:
    51

    It takes brains and education to make good money, its the same brains and education some people use to choose not to buy now because its obvious to them that RE is going downhill from here. These people are minority, and its ok, because the system is designed for the rest of population.

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    The mayor’s Housing Affordability task force issues its recommendations:

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Vancouver+housing+affordability+task+force+weighs+with+recommendations/6289993/story.html

    Serendipitously, one of the recommendations is for fee simple row housing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Bailing in BC Says:
    53

    @patriotz: So what is the economic value of his philosophy degree? How much could he make being a philosopher? Which was my point.

    How much would he make being a philosopher? Well if by that you mean a person learned in philosophy then the answer is lots. It’s not like he has a degree in philosophy and then he made millions being a super model or a professional sportsman. The degree (although not that specific one) was a requirement for employment. Some businesses are looking for well educated people who have not had their thinking fixed by a degree in finance.

    I completely agree however that “the statistics look backward and university costs used to be a lot cheaper than they are now, plus fewer people had university degrees in the past which made them more valuable.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    bob bobberson Says:
    54

    I want li kai shing back. You clowns ruined it

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    li kai shing Says:
    55

    I am back. Buahhahahahahagaha. Take that
    clowns!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    RippedtoShit Says:
    56

    Some of you are a bunch of McLosins. Well, not quite as bad, but close.

    Just grab a hold of yer panties and hang on for the ride of your life – downhill – this market is sinking at every turn, that which we diligently waited for has begun, and will pick up steam as the months progress.

    I comment Meth for sticking to his guns and making some great comments.

    I think what McLosin does on Saturday nights for extra cash is disgusting. At $20 bucks a pop, he can’t be pulling in that much either. But I guess if you love what you do, its hardly work at all. Still, its dirty work.

    RJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    li kai shing Says:
    57

    Two face: get out of my face clown.
    Joker: WHICH ONE?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    gordholio Says:
    58

    Was just listening to the Team 1040. They regularly bring in the anchor from the dinner hour CTV news broadcast to preview the big stories that night. Tonite, apparently, is a feature on the annihilation of the Okanagan real estate market. I have no idea how they’ll spin it, but he sounded serious/grave during the interview.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    59

    @gordholio: When losses get as high as they have in the OK, then it’s news.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @WFT?: “Serendipitously, one of the recommendations is for fee simple row housing.”

    Already exists, albeit sparsely. Is it “affordable”? Nope, because it would be a new construction and land prices are nuts. Great idea but will only be useful when land prices are in the pooper and developers need to attract discriminating buyers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    gordholio Says:
    61

    Anonymous: Yeah, of course this is ridiculously late. I was up there a year ago and saw it first hand way back then. Streets swimming in For Sale signs.

    Still, if this feature shapes up like it sounded it might, it’s one more body blow. They’re coming in rapid succession these days.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    li kai shing Says:
    62

    Shut up. No one cares

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    OK making news again? Finally some good bits to watch. I was worried I was going to run out of popcorn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Bloomberg: Asian Buyers Buoy New-Home Demand in California’s Orange

    Connie Wang paid about $960,000 last June for a new four-bedroom, four-bath house in a sprawling swath of Southern California that’s home to Disneyland and Pimco. Now she may buy a second as an investment.
    “You know why Orange County is doing better?” said Wang, a native of Taiwan who splits her time between Shenzhen in southern China, where she oversees a toy-manufacturing business, and Irvine, California, where she raised her three children. “It’s because all my neighbors are from China and Taiwan, and they all bought their homes in cash.”…

    Demand has kept property values from declining as much in Orange County as in other regions. The median home price was $392,000 in January, down 39 percent from the June 2007 peak. That’s less than the 49 percent decline across Southern California and the 51 percent slump nationwide, DataQuick said.
    By the time Wang bought her property, prices had rebounded 20 percent from the post-peak low, in January 2009. That compares with a 15 percent increase across Southern California.
    “In Asian-focused communities, prices have held up phenomenally well,” said Eric Sussman, a senior lecturer at the Ziman Center for Real Estate at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Culturally speaking, Asians tend to have a much longer-term view than Americans do. They look at real estate as multigenerational, not short-term focused. That’s why they are making purchases during times when others may shy away.”

    It’s all relative I guess.

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    @jesse: Hooray! Asian buyers will keep our prices from falling more than 39% !

    Why that’s not much more than a $400,000 loss on your average vancouver special.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    66

    @WFT?:

    Re:The mayor’s Housing Affordability task force….

    All very nice ideas but no mention of real problem which is speculators, not that it matters much at this point as the market is cooked and they should have been having these discussions 5 years ago.

    The city should be doing everything in their power and lobbying the province and Feds to do everything in their power through taxation and regulation to to once and for all finish off the people who have been driving up prices.

    Whether it be pulling CHMC insurance on any property the owner doesn’t live in, capital gains taxes on all properties sold for a profit, outright ban on foreigners buying real estate, 20% downpayments or anything else that would completely and utterly destroy all speculative activity in our real estate market.

    I don’t believe they’re serious about tackling affordability, like most politicians they just want to be seen as doing something.

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    Urbain Says:
    67

    @gordholio: I heard that as well… except they made it sound like it was this huge shock. The Okanagan has been in a dire position for some time and this is only now breaking news here in the Lower Mainland? That’s a little hard to believe.

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    @gordholio: Sneak peek: some idiot will bitch about how lenders are not lending because they’re “scared” of a 5% foreclosure rate. As soon as the dumbass lenders stop being little pussies they’ll be back because the Okanagan is an attractive place to live.

    Because lenders will lend to people simply because they’re buying in an “attractive place to live”.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    69

    @jesse:

    “Asians tend to have a much longer-term view than Americans do. They look at real estate as multigenerational, not short-term focused.”

    Yes, I’m sure Mrs “I buy 3, my husband by 3″ would agree that Asians don’t focus on short term speculation.

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    Anonymouse Says:
    70

    @Urbain: “The Okanagan has been in a dire position for some time ”

    .. and prices there are still extremely high.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    paulb. Says:
    71

    New Listings 238
    Price Changes 97
    Sold Listings 133

    TI:15701

    http://www.laurenandpaul.ca

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @Best place on meth: “short term speculation”

    They’re probably focused on long-term speculation at least initially. If they get cold feet or scared by short-term price movements and try to sell earlier than their game plan, well that’s something different altogether. :)

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    Urbain Says:
    73

    @Anonymouse: And they continue to fall, so I fail to see your point. Yes, they are still high, but that doesn’t say anything about the trend in general, which is downward. It’s not yet worth getting into the market up there, regardless of whether you’re buying a foreclosure or not.

    My parents and brother are up there and they have seen their ‘equity’ drop alongside that of their neighbours. Not that it has been an issue for them as my family has owned for years, they don’t have HELOCS to worry about, nor do they intend to partake. Prices up there continue their downward trend, a trend that has been quite obvious for a few years now, and it’s only JUST news here… that is the poignant idea here. Not that prices are still out of whack.

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    Anonymous Says:
    74

    @jesse:
    I told those bear Vancouver is different because of its predominate Chinese citizens living here .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    75

    @jesse:

    No doubt that those condo presentation centres in Richmond are packed with Asians because they plan on handing down their units to their grandchildren.

    Cause they’re all multi-generational in their thinking, you know.

    Long term, it’s all about long term.

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    Best place on meth Says:
    76

    The CTV piece on Kelowna was short but sweet.

    The best part was at the end when the sad looking realtor said something along the lines of “as soon as the world economy sorts itself out things here will turn around again”.

    Poor guy, he has no idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    @jesse:

    That’s story pretty weak. The fall and rise in Orange County isn’t much different from the rest of So Cal, and the only evidence for Asian buyers affecting things is an anecdote from a local mortgage broker.

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    vangrl vangrl Says:
    78

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/mortgages/Seminar+will+clear+first+time+homebuyers/6282567/story.html

    or
    Realtors will try and push more young folks into the biggest mistake of their lives

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Patiently Waiting Says:
    79

    The story below comes as no shock to me. My wife works in a carehome alongside many recent immigrants from around the world. She says lunchroom chat is often about how bad family housing is here and stories of better housing from friends and relatives in other parts of Canada.

    Its not just the high priced real estate that’s killing Vancouver, but the abysmal rental housing too.

    Even people from the third world know this place is a dump.

    http://www.news1130.com/news/local/article/341005–immigrants-out-of-big-cities-due-to-affordability-study

    Immigrants may be contributing to a growing population in places like Kelowna and Victoria because of the affordable housing problem in Vancouver.

    A UBC-lead study has found many of those immigrants spent 75 per cent or more of their income on housing.

    “[They are] following the job market but also I think housing dynamics play a role in that as well,” explains lead author Dan Hiebert.

    He says the quality of housing for immigrants in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal is poor; many have reported bugs, mould, broken plumbing and heating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Makaya Makaya Says:
    80

    From Garth tonight:

    Vancouver has taken the title from Calgary as the most materialistic, self-obsessed, wealth-conscious and socially unattractive city in the nation. And it was a tough fight.

    I know it but yet still feel sad about it…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Best place on meth Says:
    81

    @Makaya:

    Correct.

    It’s LA with shitty weather.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    82

    @Urbain:

    My point is that Vancouver is still many years away from sensible prices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    jumpin in Says:
    83

    http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/14/china-warns-of-property-chaos/

    Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that home prices remain far from a reasonable level and relaxing curbs could cause “chaos” in the market, indicating no imminent relaxation of cooling measures.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    YLTN @ Work Says:
    84

    @procrustes: IMO any report trying to match census income data with anything in the lower mainland is bunk due to too much undeclared income from the likes of offshore families, under the table construction labour and the drug trade.

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    Bull-Market Says:
    85

    No matter how you guys complain, it’s not going to help. Housing prices will continue to rise. Too bad. Suck it up or move elsewhere. Dow Jones is rocketing to new highs, what else is new. Economy’s recovering. You got one last chance to buy now or cry next year. I watched that video of the couple, one lawyer and one health researcher. They’re stupid, they should’ve bought last year. They can still buy now before another 20% increase in property prices. They had no balls to load up. Life sucks. You win some and you lose some.

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    Girlbear Says:
    86

    @Bull-Market: You do realize that the “new highs” have no volume behind them right? Meaning there is no institutional money backing this. These news highs do no matter until the real money gets behind it. Which it is not so far.

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    McLovin Says:
    87

    Hey Bull Market why are you drawing a parallel between the Dow and YVR housing?

    I have lots of blue chip US Multinationals that are doing a lot better than YVR real estate lately and I am a renter in Vancouver.

    What is your point?

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    McLovin Says:
    88

    Sorry Girlbear gotta disagree with you.

    The reason there is no volume behind them is the average American is shit scared and is completely out of stocks and may never come back. 2008 and then June 2011 of last year was a “generational washout” very few people own stocks any more. The average pension plan is 50% underweight on their long term average equity holdings.

    Lastly, the high frequency traders have gone to the side lines because there is not enough volatility for them to scalp their profits leading to lower volume.

    I am sure many will disagree and that is fine, that’s what makes a market.

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    Girlbear Says:
    89

    @McLovin: The “average person” never owned stocks. Google it for some history. This “rally” is not meaningful bc it is led by the small retail crowd, hence the low volume. It’s not the average person who is scared shitless – it is the portfolio manager who is. And rightly so. Yeah Greece is fixed. uh huh. and spain, and portugal, and italy…

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    Anonymous Says:
    90

    @McLovin: A lot of it has to do with the way financial transactions are being regulated in the states. Most of the volume is done through high frequency trading programs. The trading houses have their own systems that work of algorithms holding shares for sometimes less then a millisecond. They deposit lets say 20 million in a bank account as collateral, but since they trade so often there is no way to transfer money from account holder to account holder. So they just settle at the end of the day. This allows traders to hold huge positions without actually putting anything on the table. There has been days in the past were HFT has accounted for over 50% of volume sometimes even close to 75% of that days volume. So as regulation becomes more strict in the way that this algorithms can operate volume is going to suffer as a result. Some might have heard of the “flash crash” last year? These algorithms were to blame for what happened. But I agree with one of the other poster that there is no relation of the NYSE or any other index and Van home prices.

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    good-format Says:
    91

    Copied from PaulB’s number
    http://www.laurenandpaul.ca

     Date      Listing  Price(+-)  Sold   Inv     Inv(+-)  S/L(%)
    Mar 01       313      94       123   14,912      5     39.3 
    Mar 02       251      97       163   14,919      7     64.9
    
    Mar 05       338     134       118   15,069    150     34.9
    Mar 06       298     114       163   15,161     92     54.7
    Mar-07       260     114        71   15,305    144     27.3
    Mar-08       237     106       152   15,345     40     64.1
    Mar-09       229      76        69   15,454    109     30.1
    
    Mar-12       306     119       120   15,588    134     39.2
    Mar-13       290     122       146   15,640     52     50.3
    Mar-14       238      97       133   15,701     61     55.9
    
    Total-Cur  2,760   1,073     1,258             794     45.6
    5 day-avg    260     104       124              79     47.7
    Total-Est   5880   2,321     2,746   16,651   1,824    46.7
    

    Historical March Sold and listing

    Year    Sold   Listing	S/L(%)
    2001    2,315   3,805   60.8
    2002    3,392   5,168   65.6
    2003    3,304   4,272   77.3
    2004    4,371   5,709   76.6
    2005    3,938   5,083   77.5
    2006    4,033   5,767   69.9
    2007    3,582   5,456   65.7
    2008    2,997   5,674   52.8
    2009    2,265   4,385   51.7
    2010    3,137   7,004   44.8
    2011    4,080   6,797   60.0
    
    Avg     3,401   5,375   63.3
    Median  3,392   5,456   65.6
    

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    Urbain Says:
    92

    @Anonymous: Fair enough. I didn’t get that from your original comment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    VultureBoy Says:
    93

    @Girlbear: I ignore the market and pick stocks. For decades now 100% market… You have huge advantages over money managers, eg, long time horizons, ability to buy thinly traded stocks, no fear of losing your job due to your trading choices… there exist those who have inside information, so avoid short time horizons.

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    RippedtoShit Says:
    94

    Dummies.

    The pension funds are dramatically overweight bonds/safety and underweight stocks (growth and value companies).

    The pendulum swings both ways, and I am hopeful/of the view that it is at the early stages of swinging back. Chumps.

    Watch for listings to start rising once the budget comes down.

    Idiots.

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    Tick Tock Says:
    95

    @ Vangrl

    We could all pitch in and get their hopes up by pre-registering!

    I just did

    http://www.gvhba.org

    Preying on the 1st timers, pretty low.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Bilbo Bloggins Says:
    96

    @jesse:
    Connie darling, your $900+K wouldn’t buy a handyman special on Main St.
    Don’t even think about stepping foot in Hongcouver without at least $2.5M you poser.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    fixie guy Says:
    97

    81 Best place on meth Says: “It’s LA with shitty weather.”

    Why so harsh on LA? Not my city of choice either but no one can deny the extraordinary global influence of its culture via Hollywood. Vancouver’s global influence is Lion’s Gate?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    98

    @patriotz:

    I agree with what you say but it was intellectually dishonest of RentersRant to claim that tuition costs over 6 figures for a basic degree. Anyways like many other things, the decision to get a certain type of education should be based on value received. I do agree that trades are looking much better relative to college degrees since opportunity and tuition costs are much lower with trades yet wages are on par or higher in a lot of cases.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    vanhattan Says:
    99

    Count me in on a Vancouver real estate causality. Before I start I have to say that I am very thankful to be even more fortunate than most but Vancouver simple did not add up anymore. I was living in a nice 2/2 condo downtown…yes, probably better than most but we wanted to live in a single family home again. My income was just north of 200K/year and I simply could not understand how 90% of folks could afford Vancouver. We simply could not find a decent house that we could afford on the west side or in west vancouver. In addition, good jobs were/are scarce and I was paranoid of buying up with no real job prospects should my job go bust. So after much soul searching tossed in the towel and packed up for another expensive enclave, San Francisco this past summer. Got a job making the same amount and actually found and purchased a VERY NICE home for roughly 1/2 the comparable cost in Vancouver. No exaggeration. Add to this to the fact that EVERYTHING is cheaper here…from gas to food to clothing, etc. Sure, it was stressful, but we are super glad we made the choice as our standard of living is now far superiour than what we could ever imagine. All this in one of the pricier metro areas in the US. Compared to Vancouver, SF is cheap. Oh, better weather, still have the ocean and gigantic trees/redwoods, etc.

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    anorexia…

    [...]Vancouver Condo Info » The Middle Class is Priced Out » Vancouver Condo Info[...]…

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