It’s that time of the week again, this is when we do our regular end of the week news roundup and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.  Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Winter freeze for Vancouver sales?
RET better than a new condo?
Calgary & Edmonton beat Vancouver
Don’t bet on inflation for home prices
Rent Vs. Buy
Everybody must get stoned
West Van waterfront acreage $20.00
Rona sales struggling
Shadow inventory?
Mr. Christie you make good condos
Really low sales

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

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“Is there really a demand for such high-end properties? What do “most” Vancouverites pay in rent, anyway?”

I am not sure there is that much demand. I think a lot of these rents can be negotiated down. I pay $2200 per month for a newer waterfront 2 bed + den condo downtown. It was advertised at $2700 per month and I offered $2200 (the amount the previous tenant was paying). They took it. I have now been here 3 years with no rent increases. I often see similar places advertised from $2500 to $3200 per month. Even the ones at $2500 seem to sit and get reposted on CL for a month or two so I doubt the ones at the higher end ever get rented for that price.


@patriotz: re: BCA “best estimate”

BCA’s estimation methods aren’t exactly transparent. Recent sales in the neighborhood? What houses are included in the neighborhood, and how recent are the sales that are included to make an estimate?

The problem is BCA doesn’t simply go to Teranet and adjust the base year assessment accordingly. BCA also provides avenues of appeal and everybody appeals what they don’t like. It goes back and forth.

I think my point was that BCA might “estimate” July 1 2013 prices according to whatever reduces their workload on the estimated number of appeals and estimated strength of political pressure. Municipalities also have a vested interest in stable and increasing tax value. In 2008/2009, prices generally recovered before July 1, so BCA didn’t have to break any bad news to the infinite RE appreciation crowd. 2013 will be different.


@More Data Please:
BC Assessment doesn’t have any choices. It has a legal mandate to base its assessments on its best estimate of market price on July 1 of each year.


Rents are so high because of demand… Foreign students and TEMPORARY Foreign workers are sometimes living 6-7 to a house, 4 to a townhome, etc… They are used to living in tight quarters so it is normal to them. What happens is employers (franchisees) like Tim Horton’s recruit Foreign Workers and pay them less than minimum wage. A place to live is provided by the franchisor…it is usually a house owned by the employer. So the owner gets cheap labour and a mortgage on Real Estate paid by these workers. Plus, the home functions as a tax deduction 🙂 Before some smartass comes on here asking for statistics, i’ll tell them in advance good luck with their future. Oh, for those eating at Indian and Chinese restaurants staffed by foreign workers/students working at < than minimum wage: Toilet paper is… Read more »

painted turtle

For a SFH, Vancouver West, 3 bedrooms or more, everyone I know pays $2800-3200, without utilities. You are in competition with students. If they can fit 3 in the bedrooms and 2 in the basement suite, at $700 each, that’s $3500. And they rent month to month = easy to terminate for the landlord. You might be able to get the house for $3200 and sublet the basement suite for $1000. Yes, people are ready to pay that much rent in Vancouver, or commute to the suburbs, but for a family, that means having a car or two, and hiring a baby sister, so might not be much cheaper in the end. Other example: Staff housing at UBC charges $2200 for 3 bdrm apts. Private rentals are much more expansive there. Now you can find shared houses for less. But… Read more »


I have no idea what “most” vancouverites pay, but I pay 1140 a months for a nice 60s (dated kitchen, but clean and spacious) 1 bed, 10th floor apt. in the west end.


@Patiently Waiting:

I was thinking the same thing myself-we’ve been in the market for a larger rental for awhile now (no rush). I keep coming up with 3 bedroom townhouses in the west for $2700-$3600/month, coal harbour townhouses for $7600/month, commercial drive for $2700….meanwhile we’re looking at $2000/month or less (and feeling very poor, though to me $2000/month rent is a big chunk of change). I never knew people in Vancouver were able to pay such huge rents! Is there really a demand for such high-end properties? What do “most” Vancouverites pay in rent, anyway?


Western Capitalist sleazy crooks don’t pay their fair share of taxes

“UK lawmakers will quiz executives of Starbucks, Google and Amazon on Monday about how they have managed to pay only small amounts of tax in Britain while racking up billions of dollars worth of sales here.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/uk-lawmakers-will-question-google-starbucks-amazon-execs-in-tax-dodging-probe-2012-11#ixzz2Bydy4uTS

Vote Down The Facts


It’s unfair to say its a secret when the reality is its just irrelevant information.


Is there a way to access bc assessments for previous years ? It seems to me the best kept secret (previous assessments)

More Data Please

@Painted turtle: BCA Valuation Date July 1 So, here is an economic calendar for Canada Mortgage and Housing Casino players in BC: http://www.bcassessment.ca/public/Fact%20Sheets/BC%20Assessment%20-%20Key%20Dates.aspx Your comment about $100K drop in assessment suggests some interesting possibilities if 2013 prices break sharply downward. Would owners needing to cover their bad trades put political pressure on BCA to keep the assessments similar to 2012 even though prices collapsed by 10’s of percent by July 2013? What sort of spin would one find in the listings if the assessments dropped anyway? “Below 2013 assessment! This is really the bottom. Buy now!” “Strong 2013 assessment compared to others. Quality neighborhood.” What if BCA decides to compromise by, for example, assessing the midpoint between 2012 assessment and 2013 July market? Would they get complaints about excessive tax and demands for refund on taxes due to the dubious… Read more »

Painted turtle

and it was built in 8888….

wait until the assessed value goes down by 100k, then the real fun begins.



Warms my heart every time I see a listing description that has the phrase: “Price well under assessment” – in this case almost 10%.

Patiently Waiting

@Loon: If you mean Bewicke Ave, by Marine Drive, what a crappy spot for an expensive place. Partly commercial with heavy traffic, IIRC. Bad place to raise a family even it is on the North Shore.

Patiently Waiting

An absolute ton of high rent listings on Craigslist. I can’t imagine there is much of a market for rents of $3000, never mind $5000 or even over $10000. What are these owners thinking? Do these things ever rent and to whom?

International crisis over Syria: this is getting ugly fast and could pull all the great powers into a world war. Israel just fired a “warning shot” missile into the Syrian side of the Golan Heights after they numerous “misfirings” by the Syrian military. Scary as hell for all of humanity. Sadly, something else we can’t forget on this Rememberance Day.


Went to an open house yesterday on the north shore at Berwick Ave.
The development was disgusting to say the least, no privacy and asking 800K + HST for a 1700 sq ft duplex of questionable quality. The selling agent was an older persian looking guy.

The interesting part happened when we said good bye and walked back over the plank (yes a 2″ x10″ plank) that separated the property from the sidewalk. A woman walking her dog stared in horror as we made our way over, she said this is breaking all kinds of codes and the realtor should be ashamed.

She said she knew the bylaws well, why ? because of course she was a realtor too ! hah !


Ahhh…it’s a spoof.


“Or were you suggesting that Revenue Canada has the means to look at China, Russia, Swiss bank transfers?”

I meant that they have the means to look at bank tranfers into Canada. I thought that was obvious, but I guess not to you.


The perils of stashing your life savings in the couch because you distrust the banking cartel.

A 9 year old boy in the Ukraine found his parents’ life savings– $3300 US –hidden in the couch. The money was in US dollars and Euros. He laundered the money into Ukrainian currency with the help of an adult with a mental disability. He then used the money to buy lots of candy– so much candy he couldn’t eat it all and had to share it with his friends.




If that’s his mission, he’ll be at it for 100 years

The problem is huge. These astronauts are hiding accounts in double trusts offshore.

May I suggest that until we see a few 747s loaded with scofflaw being flown back to shanghai, that this is all just optics. This is the same party that has allowed the HD mining plan to import 2000 chinese coal miners.

More Data Please

Tax Evasion Contests in China http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/china-news/tax-evasion-in-china-exceeds-one-trillion-yuan-263590.html Some executives of state-owned enterprises and public companies were even “competing with one another to see who could evade the largest amount of taxes or establish the most connections with government officials… As many who read this forum will know, Canada’s tax law is based on worldwide income. By law, assets exceeding $100K held outside of Canada must be declared. CRA and foreign tax departments exchange information by tax treaty convention. Mulroney signed one in 1986 with the PRC: http://www.fin.gc.ca/treaties-conventions/china_-eng.asp Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the People’s Republic of China For the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income … Resident [aka ASTRONAUT] 1. For the purposes of this Agreement, the term “resident of a Contracting State” means any person… Read more »



Google is one of the worst for that I heard. It uses companies in low tax jurisdictions to avoid taxes.

They avoid taxes in the US by moving money to Europe and vice-versa. Other companies do it too.



If an individual did that they would be heading to jail. However I don’t see nay anger when multinationals do it. More money for CEO bonsues



“At present, there are no exit controls. At present, all that is required is a letter saying I’m leaving. Nobody checks to see if you’ve actually left.”

Please provide some proof. I’ve read papers where the CBSA raided a church or was it Sikh temple to deport a paraplegic. I doubt anyone would choose to stay and live off grid. Don’t think it’s possible. Bank accounts, car insurance, drivers license. They’d have to give up their independence .

“All this creates demand for rental housing and affects us.”
That might affect you negatively, but it brings in foreign capital and supports our service industry. But then again, where are the numbers?


Kenney shouldn’t get any credit yet.

He must ensure that those Temporary Foreign Workers and students whose Visa expires actually leave the country. At present, there are no exit controls. At present, all that is required is a letter saying I’m leaving. Nobody checks to see if you’ve actually left.

Result: many undocumented workers working in ethnic ghettos for ethnic businesses. Also the temp students program is a scam. More on that later.

All this creates demand for rental housing and affects us.