FFFA! mortgage rates and buyer fatigue

It’s that time of the week again!

The end of the week is when we do our regular news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend. Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-Young Canadians pessimistic about owning
-10th best large city in Canada
-Inventory graph updated
-Canada plans limits of mortgage insurance
-Feds ok $50b for private mortgage guarantees
-40 most expensive on the sunshine coast
-Tough challenges for Richmond sellers
-Debt man lectures on debt
-The price of luxury defecation
-Something rotten in the state of Denmark

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

154 Responses to “FFFA! mortgage rates and buyer fatigue”

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    backwardsevolution Says:
    1

    Re your Denmark story – ouch!

    “Denmark’s $590 billion mortgage industry — which is about twice the size of Denmark’s economy — in 2003 started giving borrowers the option of deferring amortization for as long as a decade. The interest-only mortgages were popular, and have since grown to account for 56 percent of all outstanding home loans, according to the Association of Danish Mortgage Banks. The central bank has criticized the loans, arguing they inflated a housing bubble that plunged Denmark into a recession.

    The mortgage industry wants the government to approve a plan that would allow homeowners to treat their property debt as two separate loans. The move would give lenders the freedom to let borrowers roll over debt within an 80 percent loan-to-value threshold into new interest-only loans. Only debt exceeding that limit would be amortized. Without the proposed change, borrowers would need to start amortizing the whole amount.”

    The dikes are about to burst. Wanted: more fingers!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    2

    One glaring flaw in the Moneysense survey is that it ranks each incorporated municipality as though it were a stand alone urban area. So the District of North Van ranks 8 and the City of North Van across the street ranks 24 among “small cities”.

    CoV is ranked as a big city, Burnaby across the street is ranked as a medium size city, and New West across another street is ranked as a small city (3 places below Whitehorse). And Surrey across the bridge is ranked as a big city again.

    Clearly the comparisons have to be done on a metro basis to be meaningful. But do note how poorly most metro Van municipalities rank whatever their category.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

    A judge is ordering a family to vacate and sell their condo within 30 days! The family violated strata rules and racked up $20,000 in strata fines for making too much noise, slamming doors, spitting on neighbours and throwing a bucket of water at a woman when she was sitting on her balcony with her cats. The case made it to the courts and now the BC Supreme Court is ordering the family to vacate and sell within 30 days. What happens if they can’t find a buyer within 30 days? The way the story is worded in the Vancouver Sun, it almost sounds like the owners will be sent to jail for contempt of court if they can’t find a buyer within 30 days! There must be some contingency for a slow real estate market. But do judges even know that condos have gone illiquid and may not be able to sell within 30 days. I guess if the owners want to avoid jail time, they will be motivated to sell so they will have to reduce their price. This one will be priced to sell!

    “The pair was ordered to vacate and sell their condo within 30 days. If they fail to give up the condo, the judge said, they will be arrested for contempt.”

    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/metro/Surrey+mother+ordered+sell+condo+after+breaching+injunction/8135092/story.html

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    4

    “But do judges even know that condos have gone illiquid and may not be able to sell within 30 days.”

    I’ve got a hundred grand that says they can sell it today.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 0

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    5

    Sorry, I didn’t notice it was Surrey. Fifty grand.

    :-)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 58 Thumb down 1

    Many Franks Says:
    6

    @backwardsevolution: The Little Dutch Boy is wondering what the hell you put him in Denmark for.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

    A man in Alberta is selling his house for bitcoins!

    http://business.financialpost.com/2013/03/21/canadian-bitcoin-house-for-sale/

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

    Many Franks Says:
    8

    For those who haven’t been following, Jim Flaherty has been taking an absolute drubbing in the popular press over the Manulife mortgage meddling mobilization:

    Jim Flaherty adds $150B to national mortgage, then lectures on evils of too much debt
    Under attack, Jim Flaherty defends mortgage meddling
    …and many others.

    Say what you want about the actual impact of this, but the papers smell Irish blood. (It’s peaty.)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    9

    Q Says: “The pair was ordered to vacate and sell their condo within 30 days. If they fail to give up the condo, the judge said, they will be arrested for contempt.”

    Remember it is a news paper reporting this. Take accuracy with a grain of salt. Likely the judge ordered them to vacate and put the place up for sale within 30 days. A little different from ‘sell’. But who knows maybe they pissed the judge off and he/she wanted to stick it to them.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

    Democrass Says:
    10

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 24

    Anonymous1 Says:
    11

    Almost April and no correction in the low end SFD. Building Lot prices remain at record levels. When and if those start going down in price will I know that a true correction has arrived.

    I’m not interested in condos, townhomes, or >$1 Million homes.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 10

    Just looking... Says:
    12

    Re: pessimistic young Canadians:

    The story seems to imply that the main driver of Un-affordability is the “new” (aka old) rules around credit availability.

    It was odd to me that lower prices was not mentioned as a possible solution. This is like complaining about high gas prices and saying the solution is to get credit card companies to increase credit limits and give gas buyers a slight break in their interest rates.

    In both cases the long term effect is that the consumer pays more and the banks win. Some media outlets have begun to question this, but most don’t really give much attention to the downside of an over-inflated RE market. Hopefully they will come to their senses.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 0

    Just looking... Says:
    13

    I just thought of a possible solution: the VCI ThinkTank. Once a week, pump out a new analysis as a press released dry week. CP mostly just re-publishes press releases anyways. There is easily enough intellectual horsepower to do this. Just need some folks willing to out themselves in a public forum. A couple hundred buck could incorporate a not-for-profit…I’d chip in for costs, but I’m not an analyst.

    The news people are hungry for stories about RE – that’s why they reprint all the RE industry bs: it’s a volume game. Throw enough $h!t at the wall and some will stick.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

    It was odd to me that lower prices was not mentioned as a possible solution.

    But of course we all know why. Home ownership rates are 70% in Canada, and probably higher for media editors (who decide what gets published) and politicians (who make the rules).

    Few people are immune to the “get rich without actually working” meme.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

    Apocarypse Mao Says:
    15

    @12 Just Looking.

    Reminds me of some comment I read in the MSM about Mayor Robertson’s affordability task force. Something to the effect of ‘everyone wants prices to come down without prices actually coming down.’

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

    Barb Rennie Says:
    16

    Did anyone notice the announcement from Flaherty that Canada will be vigilantly going after international tax cheats? Is that not huge? The last few years the government has been turning a blind eye to immigrants living in multi-million dollar homes driving luxury cars declaring income at poverty levels collecting every social services available to their kids and grandparents. In fact, I hear that tipsters will be rewarded. If this indeed becomes practice, you will see these immigrants giving up their permanent residency or citizenships rather than paying annual taxes. That is what is happening in the United States right now.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 70 Thumb down 3

    Burrrp Rennie Says:
    17

    Drive-In cinemas don’t exist anymore.
    Horny young people need to buy shoe box size
    condos to get laid.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

    JustSaying Says:
    18

    Are there any “ethical hackers” among bears?
    Did anybody consider to expose real estate database to the public?
    IMHO it is unethical to withhold an information about RE prices from buyers.
    Bring Zillow to Canada!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 4

    Anonymoose Says:
    19

    If you have a real estate agent, they can give you access code to MLS site that gives you more detail; how long homes were listed for, price drops, and final sales prices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

    As expected, Top Headline at major Chinese newspaper MingPao today:
    “CRA To Crack Down on Tax-Evading Astronaut Families”
    – major rewards given for successful tipsters
    – astronaut families getting anxious, worried that Canada is following US footsteps to crack down on international tax evasion.
    via google translate

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 83 Thumb down 1

    space889 Says:
    21

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 22

    Many Franks Says:
    22

    Unfortunately the CBC seems to have done an exceptionally poor job communicating Andy Yan’s recent stats.

    Downtown Vancouver condos left empty by foreign owners

    Nearly a quarter of all condos in some parts of downtown Vancouver area are empty or occupied only part of the year by non-residents, according to data from the 2011 census data.

    That’s a hell of a strong headline and first paragraph, from which a casual reader might easily misunderstand that “nearly a quarter of downtown Vancouver’s condos are owned by foreign investors.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

    CANADIAN BUDGET: Employment Opportunity Edition

    Need extra income to pay that mortgage?

    Please report to your nearest retraining camp to have your mismatched skills realigned.

    Flaherty, Harper & friends “… plan to leverage billions in spending on military equipment into making Canada an arms exporter.”

    As I point out, Canada is currently ranked 15th in arms sales, so there is lots of room to the upside.

    Press outlets are starting to amplify the story; I have charts and a few choice quotes here:

    http://www.chpc.biz/2/post/2013/03/canadian-budget.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    Burbs Boy Says:
    24

    Just Saying: hack MLS

    As much as I hate to say it… they collect, collate, and store the data. It is their data to do what they wish with. There is access to the data but you have to play their game and use their sales channel. Companies have used Marketing crap like this for years.. and one by one they are crashing as the new information age destroys existing models. MLS will be no different and it won’t need hackers to make it happen… there is gold in them thar digital hills that some entrepreneur will capitalize on sooner rather than later.

    That being said… I would love someone to hack and wikileak the MLS :)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

    @24
    We do have quite a few “Anonymous” members here don’t we? ; )

    Ok, now Top Headline from another major Chinese newspaper SingTao:
    “Anti-Tax-Evasion Program Offers Significant Rewards; Immigrant Families will be In Trouble”
    – a Chartered Accountant said, this new anti tax evasion rewards program will have Major impact to immigrant families, especially ones from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

    (I wonder if some accountants will rat out their clients (anonymously of course) to rake in some nice bounty)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 56 Thumb down 1

    Sold2Soon Says:
    26

    It was a pleasant surprise to see the Vancouver Sun actually comparing two $4 Million dollar properties; one in Vancouver and one in Roswell, Georgia. And what a stark comparison it is!

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/real-estate/Real+estate+Vancouver+Roswell/8135113/story.html?cid=hot_photo

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

    I’ve been following some condo prices in the FV since it’s a low price market for first time and young suckers er I mean buyers. In a nice building with units in the 1200sqft range prices have dropped since Nov 1, this is less then 5 months ago, 5-11%. In a few other buildings I follow I have incomplete data but the floor has basically fallen out, there is nothing stoppimg price drops. Some might not care about the FV, but as things deteriorate there it will work it’s way towards Van proper.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

    coast capital customer Says:
    28

    I went to coast capital savings to see how much of a mortgage I can get. I’ve been banking with them since I’ve had my paper route in my early teens, and have the direct deposits from my full time job for the past 7 years going into my account there.

    Before they can give me a firm number on what I qualify for they asked to see my Tax Assessment form. Pay stubs are not good enough. This echoes things I’ve heard since the Finance Minister tightened rules. They don’t want to see how much you make, they want to see how much income you’ve paid taxes on.

    Of course people will say the groups who have black income pay cash. Yeah, sure some do, but a lot don’t.

    The reality now is that astronaut, drug dealers, black market tradesman all can’t get leverage.

    Leverage. It means someone can turn $200k into $1M, or more. If black money was levered and now it isn’t, that’s a huge hole in the market.

    And with VMD’s links it seems that astronaut are going to have to blast-off soon or face a big tax bill.

    I’m not going to pretend that I know what caused the crazy price appreciation in Vancouver, but it seems that all the claimed causes are being eliminated: drug industry, astronaut families, investment immigrant program, HAM, CNY, Olympics, CMHC, easy credit.

    A perfect storm is brewing for this city. Don’t forget your umbrellas.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 87 Thumb down 1

    JustSaying Says:
    29

    #21 @space889
    That’s funny that you took a salary info as an example.
    Because my salary IS publically available information.
    You can look it up at Vancouver Sun web site.
    I wonder why US home owners are not filing complains about Zillow which makes this “private info” available to everybody.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    JustSaying Says:
    30

    #24 @Burbs Boy

    I’m not sure why you think I was referring to MLS database. I’m interested in BC Assessment data or whatever other government authority has a histical data about actual sales in the region. That’s kind of data we need to track actual price changes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    Coast Capital is not overseen by OSFI, they are complying under BC regulations. They had claimed they would pretty much align with B20, but they don’t have to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    gokou3 Says:
    32

    “I wonder if some accountants will rat out their clients (anonymously of course) to rake in some nice bounty”

    I can’t see why any personal tax accoutnants will NOT rat out their clients (double negatives). How much can they make per T1 return? How much can they potentially get if the client gets busted?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    33

    What makes you think that people with undeclared foreign income would be disclosing it to local accountants in the first place? “Mt. Accountant, just between you and me I make $200K/year in China. Don’t tell the taxman.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

    @33 patriotz
    I wouldn’t be surprised if some accountants and mortgage advisors are complicit in their clients’ tax evasion. Many even brag openly about duping the government to receive low income benefits while living in mansions and driving 100k+ cars. We can expect certain public displays of wealth will be toned down following the tipster rewards program. Not gonna be positive for local luxury car dealerships.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 1

    Bull! Bull! Bull! Says:
    35

    VMD is right as usual.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

    Best place on meth Says:
    36

    “As expected, Top Headline at major Chinese newspaper MingPao today:
    “CRA To Crack Down on Tax-Evading Astronaut Families”
    – major rewards given for successful tipsters
    – astronaut families getting anxious, worried that Canada is following US footsteps to crack down on international tax evasion.”

    Well, if anyone would know who these offshore tax cheats are it’s our local, law abiding Chinese community.

    Let the phone calls to CRA begin!

    Rewards for everybody!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 3

    chilled chilled Says:
    37

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    March 22nd, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    What makes you think that people with undeclared foreign income would be disclosing it to local accountants in the first place? “Mt. Accountant, just between you and me I make $200K/year in China. Don’t tell the taxman.”

    ++++++++++++++

    Exactly! I think one would be hard pressed to find an accountant willing to participate in any sort of tax fraud. Accountants aren’t realturds, they are educated and follow professional codes of conduct.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

    Just checked, WorldJournal Chinese newspaper also put the tax evasion tipster program on its front page headline.
    The fact that ALL major Chinese newspapers simultaneously chose the topic of international tax evasion to be their headline article speaks volumes about the importance/prevalence of this issue.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 84 Thumb down 1

    eagle eyes Says:
    39

    Once a few stories float around within the immigrant community that a friend of a friend they know got in trouble due to tax evasion, the Chinese will be fleeing the Country. Richmond will be a ghost town with unwanted homes and dim sum restaurants shuttered, and Vancouver will have sea of real estate signs and (god forbid) no more lamborghinis on the road.

    Are there any blog dog Chartered Accountants here who can answer whether the fear is actually founded? Do permanent residents, immigrants, or citizens actually have to pay CRA tax based on worldwide income or is it proportional to days of residency in the country? If so, most of these people would have maximum tax rates in Canada and it will put a dent in their massive fortunes! But how does CRA tax wealth from corruption?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

    Democrass Says:
    40

    Canadian residents are taxed on their world wide income. Non-residents are not taxed in Canada.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    Democrass Says:
    41

    Here is a lesson on the residency requirement in Canadian tax law in a nutshell from the most recent Supreme Court of Canada decision on the issue:

    As Sharlow J.A. in the Federal Court of Appeal explained, the principal basis for imposing income tax in Canada is residency (para. 52). Professor V. Krishna in The Fundamentals of Income Tax Law (2009), noted, at p. 85, that the policy reason for this is to ensure that a person who enjoys the legal, political and economic benefits of associating with Canada will pay their appropriate share for the costs of this association. For an individual, factors such as nationality, physical presence, location of family home and social connections, among others, will be considered in determining residence. While the Income Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 1 (5th Supp.) (the “Act”), contains certain deeming rules with respect to residency, generally residence is a question of fact.

    Fundy Settlement v. Canada, 2012 SCC 14, [2012] 1 SCR 520

    http://canlii.ca/en/ca/scc/doc/2012/2012scc14/2012scc14.html

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    42

    Re: tax evasion tipster program:

    I report three, husba report three.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 73 Thumb down 3

    Anonymous Says:
    43

    MLS®: V984752
    For Sale: $2,888,888

    Someone should inform this owner that HAM started packing up yesterday evening…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

    eagle eyes Says:
    44

    Democrass Says:
    March 22nd, 2013 at 5:34 pm
    “Canadian residents are taxed on their world wide income. Non-residents are not taxed in Canada.”

    How about non-residents with real estate property in Canada? receiving OAS/GIS? returning once a year for health care? children under 17 going to school in Canada? how is this line drawn?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

    Just looking... Says:
    45

    But I thought that all wealthy immigrants were humble contributors to Canadian prosperity! They are investors who drive the opportunity in our economy and deserve the esteem of all Canadians. Surely there is no need for rash and divisive or even racist actions like the enforcement of tax laws. Is there?

    Back in reality: its interesting that an accountant would be so blunt in saying this will have a bog impact. The response of the Chinese language media makes it seem to me like tax evasion is just an accepted part of the culture for some imigrant communities. When I worked for the Vancouver Parks Board a while ago, I always had to bite my tongue when folks would drive up in their Mercs and then pull out their Leisure Access cards to go swimming (reported family income below ~$20k/yr – not enough to support even the maintenance on an older Merc, much less a newer one).

    I do wonder why they need tipsters, though. Surely a target list could be generated using family income tax returns and comparing it to place of residence. Then look at vehicle registrations by reported address. You could then cross-reference vs land title to try to spot owners. Just look for lifestyles that make no sense vs income reported. Isn’t this as simple as setting up a few pivot tables?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 46 Thumb down 1

    New Listings 169
    Price Changes 106
    Sold Listings 121
    TI:16398

    http://www.paulboenisch.com

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 101 Thumb down 2

    Democrass Says:
    47

    “How about non-residents with real estate property in Canada? receiving OAS/GIS? returning once a year for health care? children under 17 going to school in Canada? how is this line drawn?”

    The person you describe is not a non-resident of canada for tax purposes. People like this, who have a “habitual abode” in two different countries will be treated by tax law to be residents of Canada for tax purposes.

    The tax treaties between Canada and its treaty parters have tie breaker rules to determine where a person is resident for tax purposes if he is a resident in both countries. The treaty analysis comes down to a determination of where a person’s “ceter of vital iterests” is. People like the one you describe will have a hard time arguing in court that they are non-residents of Canada. The only connection they likely have to another country is a business and real estate. But that is probably not enough. Especially, when you consider the policy underlying the residency requirement:

    that a person who enjoys the legal, political and economic benefits of associating with Canada will pay their appropriate share for the costs of this association.

    If your family is in Canada, your centre of vital intersts in Canada.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

    Is it just me….or are listings really low?

    What happened to the 300 a day listings from days gone by?

    Has seller speculation left the building?

    Looks like a breaking point of some sort.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

    Barb Rennie Says:
    49

    So, if an immigrant stays in Canada for a certain amt of years, the kids get a Canadian education, family becomes Canadian Citizens, then elects to return to say Hong Kong, China, or Taiwan and declares non-residency, they will then not be subject to pay income tax in Canada? Doesn’t seem fair. Basically they would have sucked Canada of education costs, medical care costs, enjoyed all the benefits of a family’s developing years, then leave? Talk about wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

    My quick analysis shows sales growth inline with past years; at least so far sales are not growing as they did in 2009. More evidence that things are going to be soft for the next while.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

    Show Me The Number Says:
    51

    Many moons ago, I was at one of the big 5 banks negotiating for a mortgage. Out of blue, the loan officer said,
    “if you have any stock options valued over $200,000, our private wealth unit can help you set up an offshore account to minimize your options tax.” According to the officer, the bank offered this service to help its clients “minimize taxes”.

    it’ll be interesting to see where CRA will eventually collect the majority of the evaded taxes from. Perhaps our local law abiding Swiss community will help the government in this regard.

    another note of interest, the international tax evasion program is one of the top most viewed news items on the Globe and Mail website. I don’t think the views were from the Chinese.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

    Anonymous1 Says:
    52

    Inventory not rising like a correction happening.

    4 more days left in March.

    Lucky to be at 16500 on April 1st.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

    Best place on meth Says:
    53

    @xyz

    “Is it just me….or are listings really low?”

    Very low, and it’s only in the last 2 weeks that listings have fallen steeply.

    We’ll have to see in a couple of weeks if potential spring sellers were waiting for the HST repeal.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

    Best place on meth Says:
    54

    @jesse

    “My quick analysis shows sales growth inline with past years; at least so far sales are not growing as they did in 2009″

    Do you mean month over month compared to last year?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    Bpom, yes

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    Show Me The Number Says:

    March 22nd, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Many moons ago, I was at one of the big 5 banks negotiating for a mortgage. Out of blue, the loan officer said,
    “if you have any stock options valued over $200,000, our private wealth unit can help you set up an offshore account to minimize your options tax.” According to the officer, the bank offered this service to help its clients “minimize taxes”.

    ——————————
    It is not illegal to minimize taxes. That’s what high priced lawyers and accounting firms are paid to do within the tax act.

    It is not illegal to have offshore bank accounts or investments.

    It is illegal not to report all world wide income.

    CRA is going after people not reporting all their income.

    Of course, CRA is always looking for people not declaring all their income such as:

    waiter/waitress cash tips

    construction/renovators/repair technicians who charge you less if you pay them cash

    rental income from basements

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

    Guy Smiley Guy Smiley Says:
    57

    @ Barb Rennie

    Same goes for every Canadian kid who was born here, enjoys a subsidized primary, secondary and post-secondary education and subsequently emigrates for better wages to the US (or anywhere else abroad).

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

    Lifetime Renter Says:
    58

    The question is why now is the federal government accelerating the squeeze on rich immigrants? First changes to the investor immigrant program and now threats of going after tax evaders. If Flaherty were to make an honest explanation to these wealthy immigrants, it would go something like this: “Thank you for all that money you brought to this country. It certainly helped enrich the people I represent. Particularly the bankers and developers. But we no longer want that money. Things have gone too far and the property bubble your wealth helped me create needs to be dealt with. But I need to do it without raising interest rates and that’s where you come in. Reducing demand from folks like you is easy. You may be rich but not of the rich that concern me and you have no political voice. And it’ll be popular as there is a wealth of resentment towards you in places where the bubble is the worst. And as hard times hit it’ll be good to have folks like you as scapegoats rather than have people aiming their anger at me and my friends, the bankers and developers – especially the bankers. Here’s hoping you’ll understand.”

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    59

    “It was a pleasant surprise to see the Vancouver Sun actually comparing two $4 Million dollar properties; one in Vancouver and one in Roswell, Georgia. And what a stark comparison it is!”

    The worst part about buying the Vancouver place… once you move in, you get to look across the street a see a $4M dump that looks just like the one you just bought. All I can say is it’s a good thing that rich people have very poor eyesight.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

    Total days 20
    Days elapsed so far 16
    Weekends / holidays 6
    Days missing 0
    Days remaining 4
    7 Day Moving Average: Sales 121
    7 Day Moving Average: Listings 205
    SALES
    Sales so far 1853
    Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA) 486
    Projected month end total 2339
    NEW LISTINGS
    Listings so far 3787
    Projection for rest of month (using 7day MA) 821
    Projected month end total 4608
    Sell-list so far 48.9%
    Projected month-end sell-list 50.8%
    MONTHS OF INVENTORY
    Inventory as of Mar 22nd, 2013 16398
    MoI at this sales pace 7.01

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 2

    Anonymous Says:
    61

    “The question is why now is the federal government accelerating the squeeze on rich immigrants?”

    Why now? Because the gig is up! There’s no more free money to be made from rich immigrants – they’ve stopped coming. Now it’s time to screw them over the ones that did come for a bit more juice, the same way the Gov screws over every other taxpayer: “Hey, there’s a taxpayer, let’s fuck it”.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 8

    Groundhog Says:
    62

    year sell list sell/list
    2001 2315 3805 60.8%
    2002 3392 5168 65.6%
    2003 3304 4272 77.3%
    2004 4371 5709 76.6%
    2005 3938 5083 77.5%
    2006 4033 5767 69.9%
    2007 3582 5456 65.7%
    2008 2997 5674 52.8%
    2009 2265 4385 51.7%
    2010 3137 7004 44.8%
    2011 4080 6797 60.0%
    2012 2874 5843 49.2%
    Mean 3357 5414 62.0%
    median 3348 5565 65.6%

    Nothing bullish about March 2013 #’s. Yes new listings have slowed, but keep in mind inventory is already at a record high level.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 3

    barb rennie Says:
    63

    How will the Canadian Government be able to expose tax cheats doing business in another country? It may be easier in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but China….good luck. Maybe someone has experience in this department? There are so many ultra-high end properties sold to asian money in the last few years, yet I don’t believe for a moment they are paying Canadian income tax on worldwide income. Must be loopholes that only expensive accountants know about.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

    “Same goes for every Canadian kid who was born here, enjoys a subsidized primary, secondary and post-secondary education and subsequently emigrates for better wages to the US (or anywhere else abroad).”

    Presumably his parents paid the taxes that provide the subsidy. The only true subsidy comes from the parents of the 70,000 or so kids hat attend private school, as they end up paying for both public and private education.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

    @barb rennie Says:
    65

    >How will the Canadian Government be able to expose tax cheats doing business in another country? It may be easier in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but China….good luck.

    it’s simple. they’ll look at the tax cheats finances and ask them to prove where they get their money from. if the tax cheat can’t or won’t do that, the government will simply guess their income and income sources charge them penalties, back taxes and interest based on that.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

    real_professional Says:
    66

    oooh closest we’ve come to a 100% list sales/list ratio in a while, and yet it is only 71%.

    Stay tuned folks – we are currently in the sticky price phase of the correction. Momentum is dead, prices are holding close to assessment but far from the assessment or listing price +20% days.

    Interest rates aren’t dropping further. The domestic economy is weak. Cyprus is the new Greece. Finance minister calling executives to intervene in mortgage pricing. CAD/USD interest rates spread a-closing! History in the making folks.

    We’ll have a Trudeau in 24 Sussex drive and stagflation. The 2010’s are going to be the new 1970’s.

    I’m going to grow out my pork-chop side burns, get an orange leather jacket, and drive around in a new-old Pontiac Firebird. Neil Diamond a-playing!

    —-

    Side note, Canadian laddered 1-5 year corporate bonds yield to maturity 1.85%. TD high interest savings account 1.5%. 10 Year US treasuries 1.86%…. Why take on duration risk? It doesn’t make sense to me. We are either in a deflationary spiral or on the cusp of rates-a-rising.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 7

    Real, what’s the 30 at? If it’s a cusp I’ll need more digits on my calculator :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous1 Says:
    68

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 15

    Anonymous1 Says:
    69

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 16

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    70

    “Canadian residents are taxed on their world wide income. Non-residents are not taxed in Canada.”

    Second sentence is incorrect. Non-residents with Canadian income are taxed on their Canadian income only.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    71

    “if you have any stock options valued over $200,000, our private wealth unit can help you set up an offshore account to minimize your options tax.”

    As an experienced stock market investor I can tell you that your Canadian tax liability has nothing to do with the location of the account where the stocks are held, so I have no idea what this person is talking about.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

    FlipFlop Says:
    72

    @JustSaying

    What we need is the equivalent of a VIN number for any registered property.

    If the property is registered for sale, the information becomes publically available. Property owners are given a PIN number that allows them to login an add pictures, comments, and reference files (inspections, permits for work that was done, etc).

    All information contained within becomes the property of the next owner when the title transfer happens.

    Any information deemed relevant or important, becomes a mandatory discolsure at the time of sale, and the information is captured in the property profile.

    A complete history of days on market, ask price, sell price, etc is easily viewed in the profile. Cost of maintaining the system gets built into the property tax system.

    No more multiple MLS numbers, as realtors and sellers try and hide the history of the property and get credit for selling properties in “0 days on market”.

    Our government needs to step up and protect consumers, and create some accoutability for sellers and their representatives.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    73

    What do you think a land title is?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    FlipFlop Says:
    74

    But it needs to be public, and setup where an owner can utilize it like an mls listing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    #66 real_professional:

    “Cyprus is the new Greece…blah blah…CAD/USD interest rates spread…blah blah”

    Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

    ArthurFonzarelli Says:
    76

    Gary Mason in the Globe and Mail Saturday Edition today, solves it for us all. Thank God !! No problem with vacant condos purchased by global “cosmocrats” (huh?) creating desolate urban oases of glass, empty Gucci stores, and impeccably manicured “realistic-looking” greenspaces. A host of different measures suggest foreign-purchasers aren’t the cause of the insane 10yr+ runup in Van RE, including CMHC registries and property tax filings. And even if they do pump up our RE beyond local affordability and these measures are wrong, who cares? Fuck it. I’m Gary Mason.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/the-great-unoccupied-condo-scandal-get-over-it/article10251782/

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    78

    Crashcow:

    That’s what happens when you’re born with a silver spoon and spent all your life in academics(advertising included)…few hurdles….yet….

    ….where’s the real life experience??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Joe Mainlander Says:
    79

    House prices doubled in Winnipeg in the last ten years, too. No offshore asians buying there.

    This boom was driven by cheap money and hope. Empty investor held condos are a result of that, not a cause.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

    More bad news for realtors. This is from the Toronto Star:

    “Rogers Communications is expanding into the real estate business.

    The mobile and cable giant has applied to become a licensed real estate brokerage right across Canada and is aiming to relaunch its five-year-old website Zoocasa.com in May as a unique, one-stop-shopping site for homebuyers.

    It’s aimed at going far beyond U.S.-based property listing services such as Zillow and Trulia which have revolutionized house hunting south of the border by providing critical data that can help potential buyers assess the value of a property from the comfort of their home computer…

    The move by Rogers is sure to rattle traditional realtors and real estate associations which have been fighting hard — even against Ottawa’s Competition Bureau — to maintain their almost exclusive access to rich Multiple Listing Service data and push back competition, especially given the softening housing market.”

    http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2013/03/22/rogers_to_step_into_the_real_estate_business.html

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 0

    …and here come the spec-build listings in Strathcona!

    Seven (!) spec-builds just got re-listed after several months’ hiatus. Five of them are the doomed Strathcona Gateway. (They’ve condescended to lower their prices 4-7%, after years on the market.) The other two listings are a duplex on 600 block of Prior St, which has signs out front but no realtor.ca presence yet.

    There’s probably that many more waiting in the wings (Crawford Row, and a few still under construction on Union St.) It’s shaping up to be a fun season.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    Non-resident Tracking Gaining Momentum Says:
    82

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Foreign+ownership+debate+demands+data/8142738/story.html

    “…stratospheric prices are being heated up by real estate investors and speculators. Many are wealthy non-Canadians simply looking for a safe place to park their money.

    …untold Metro Vancouver homes sit largely empty, without residents who would be contributing more strongly to the neighbourhood, the wider economy and the tax base.

    …, B.C. politicians have shown no willingness to gather accurate data. As elected officials who are supposed to answer to voters, their inaction seems irresponsible.”

    Please take a moment and forward this article (or similar) to your MLA, before the May 2013 election. As the article says, let them know their inaction is irresponsible and unacceptable. Your MLA’s web site and email can be found by postal code, constituency, or name at this handy site:

    http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

    Re #80:

    Last time I checked Zoocasa, it wasn’t up to par with Zillow. Will it start providing “proprietary” MLS data that are now hidden from the public’s view?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    oneangryslav2 Says:
    84

    “This boom was driven by cheap money and hope. Empty investor held condos are a result of that, not a cause.”

    Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

    House prices doubled in Winnipeg in the last ten years, too. No offshore asians buying there.

    This boom was driven by cheap money and hope.

    Why can’t it be both cheap credit and foreign money? Winnipeg and Vancouver have both doubled in 10 years, which is explained by cheap credit. But why is Vancouver still twice the price of Winnipeg?

    As I’ve said before, the influence of foreign money on Vancouver prices is undeniable. The only question is how much of an effect it has had. And the Sun actually got something right for once – we need to see the data before we can answer that question.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

    Turkey Says:
    86

    @Non-resident Tracking Gaining Momentum,

    Riiiight. Who’s Douglas Todd, again?

    Although he was raised in a family of staunch atheists, Douglas Todd has gone on to become one of the most decorated spirituality and ethics writers in North America.

    (from his Sun bio)

    He is a graduate in Religious Studies from the University of British Columbia, and attended Claremont School of Theology / Claremont Graduate University, in southern California, in 1977 and 1978.

    (from his Wikipedia bio).

    …Douglas Todd is the Sun’s go-to guy for soft morality. We may need facts on foreign ownership, but he’s certainly not adding any to the discussion. Worse, he’s mired in the same preconceptions he laments in his article.

    In my opinion, Gary Mason’s article nails it here:

    Mr. Yan’s analysis, based on 2011 census information, didn’t specify where the owners of all these unoccupied condos were from, but that didn’t stop many from jumping to the conclusion that they were all from Asia and that something had to be done to stop it.

    Bring on the fact-finding mission. Even if it does nothing except prevent commenters with names like yours, I’ll be delighted.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

    Don't make eye contact Says:
    87

    Vancouver has more than doubled in 10 years. Here is a first hand account of the insanity of this bubble:

    Relative bought a house in Shaughnessy in 2005 for $2M, they sold in 2010 for $6M, the house was flipped again a year later for $8M. It was flipped again for $10. It is currently listed for $12.8M. No development and no renovations.

    This is the house:
    http://www.ecorealtyinc.ca/listing?id=259254384

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

    i'm as cynical as the realaturd indistry Says:
    88

    To me, the debate about if foreign money is driving the market or not is irrelevant.

    Just as the real estate industry’s agenda is to push prices up, my agenda is to push prices down.

    And if the foreign ownership story captures the public’s imagination, then I say go with it. It’s simple, plays on people’s emotions, and they are interested in it.

    Will a crack down on foreign owners effect prices in Vancouver? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. Worst case, it will do nothing except cause people to believe that their isn’t going to be a rich Chinese willing to buy their place so they should just cut the price to a level that locals can afford sooner rather than later. Best case, it will drive out hot money.

    The only potential downside that one can argue is that it distracts the public from the real problem, which i presume people think is easy credit. Well, all the sane people from Finance Ministers, BOC head, financial advice folks, etc. have been telling people to stop the debt addiction and it hasn’t worked yet. The debtaholics will have to hit rock bottom before they listen to sense. You can’t talk sense into them. You’ve tried for a decade and it hasn’t worked.

    So there is no downside to advocating the foreign money story, only upside.

    Take a page out of the realaturd industry’s play book and tell convincing stories that evoke emotion and which people are ready to believe.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

    Democrass Says:
    89

    There is a new cheapest house in Vancouver listed at $509,000

    http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12837612&PidKey=1167234285

    Building Type : House
    Bedrooms : 4
    Floor Space : 1616 sqft
    Storeys : 2
    Built in : 1912
    Land Size : 30.5 x 66
    Bathrooms : 2
    Title : Freehold
    Location : 1701 SEMLIN DR
    Vancouver, BC V5N 4P6
    Walk Score® : 90

    It is not as good as the previous champion:

    http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12354317&PidKey=1036513323

    Building Type : House
    Bedrooms : 3
    Floor Space : 1260 sqft
    Storeys : 2
    Built in : 1990
    Land Size : 30.0 x 80
    Bathrooms : 3
    Title : Freehold
    Location : 1862 MARINE DR
    Vancouver, BC V5P 2R8
    Walk Score® : 48

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    RealityCheck Says:
    90

    VCI Posters here should pay attention to what’s happening in Cyprus. It doesn’t matter how small it is.

    The notion that you can take 20% of all deposits in banks is outright wrong.

    Why not institute a 20% mortgage on all properties that are paid off and owned by foreigners and 20% mortgage on all properties worth >$1 Million.

    me thinks that many in the ruling class are going to die after this decision. I think Cyprus is where the 1% will meet its match.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 11

    RealityCheck Says:
    91

    There will be a run on the banks in Cyprus when they open.

    There is a high possibility there may be a run on banks in Greece.

    This could become the Black Swan event that dominos out of control. They are trying to contain it but the damage is done. Greece is going to collapse.

    If greece collapses, who’s next?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

    “But why is Vancouver still twice the price of Winnipeg?”

    Have you been to Winnipeg?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

    Groundhog Says:
    93

    @RealityCheck

    Agree, what’s going on in Cyprus is far more important then I think a lot believe. Sure, economically it might not be large or have a direct impact on the world, but the social and political consequences of what is going on there will have ramifications throughout Europe which will impact the area very much economically. Who’s next? Well, Cyprus hasn’t put into motion the deposit expropriation measure yet, but France, Italy, Greece, Spain could all be in a similar position soon. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cyprus drops the Euro and goes back to the Cyprus pound. Can happen overnight. All the electronic money in the bank system is simply converted to pounds from Euros. Of course, the pounds will be worth much less and people with money in the bank will lose just the same as a 10% expropriation, if not more, but it might be more tenable politically.

    The amount of debt built up in Europe, and around the world is simply not payable. Only 3 methods are available to get rid of this: Inflation, wealth expropriation, default. In the end they all achieve the same goal, it’s just a matter of who pays the cost.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

    YLTNboomerang Says:
    94

    @77 Victoria

    That Huff post article pretty much describes IMO all the problems of Vancouver with its self righteous tone. If Vancouver has become a yoga pant wearing judgmental town as indicated by that article, enuff of it for me and good riddance!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    Short'em High Says:
    95

    @RealityCheck Says: “… a run on the banks in Cyprus when they open.”

    According to Cypriot banking web sites, business hours begin at 8:30 local time, which is 9 hours ahead of PST (Vancouver time). News sources also speculate that banks may have to postpone opening until Tuesday.

    Therefore, the best time to tune-in for placing bets should be around 23:30 Vancouver time on either Sunday or Monday, whichever it turns out to be – if at all.

    Once again we see the events of a debt tipping point unfold. A government finally has to notify the people that their prosperity is a lie and now it is time to pay up for years of living beyond actual means. In Vancouver this announcement may come in the form of the inevitable 2013 property assessment letter.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    C.Junta Says:
    96

    A few months ago, I had an opportunity to meet a taxman in person – a CRA guy came to perform an audit. The actual audit took about 15 minutes, the rest of the meeting (more than an hour) three of us (the CRA guy, my accountant and yours truly) had a nice chat over a cup of tea (the taxman said a lunch would be considered a bribery, and tea with cookies was fine). In the very end he asked if I had any questions. I dared to ask him about those astronauts’ families and what CRA was going to do with them. He nodded a lot when I mentioned poverty levels in West Van and Richmond, and his answer were basically as follows.

    “Yes, we are well aware of the issue. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do about it. Sometimes we catch them, but since the fathers do not live in Canada they don’t really break any laws.”

    I think the message passed to the general public (Canadian and Chinese) through MSM is just “don’t worry, everything is under control”. No real action behind it yet.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

    C.Junta Says:
    97

    For those lazy to digest tons of news: Cyprus – the short version

    The Cyprus Crisis Explained (Like You’re an Idiot)

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/cyprus-crisis-explained-idiot/story?id=18782212#.UU4LaxzFWCl

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    @N

    I heard a lot of ppl said that “Have you been to Winnipeg?”

    Like I met a guy who moved from Winnipeg to Vancouver last week, I asked him why did you move here. He would ask “Have you been to Winnipeg?”

    Could you explain more?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    Re: Winnipeg.

    Think of our Downtown East Side. Then think of all of Downtown being that way. Then think of it at minus 40 degrees. Now you’re thinking of Winnipeg.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’d like to know some more snapple fun facts about Cyprus

    Keeping up with the economic events is OK – but just for entertainment. It’s sad to see people changing their investment portfolio based on subjective, sensational news headlines. People thinking their subjective interpretation of current events can piece together the direction of the complex global economy. Let’s say you got lucky and predicted an economic data point or event, even then the stock market may not react as you expect because of irrational human behaviour.

    Simplify your investing. I’m not saying be Buy-and-Hold (terrible strategy) but use objective, quantitative rules to manage your risk. This includes looking both at fundamentals (P/E, P/income, P/rent, etc) and technicals (inventory, MOI, trend, sentiment, breadth, etc).

    Look, Cyrus *may* cause the next black swan – as could have a dozen other sensational things in the last few years:
    – It’s not even 3 months since the ramblings about the US fiscal cliff that caused many people to become bearish on US stock markets. Yet, the market ripped higher since then with many trend following systems telling you to stay long this entire time.
    – In the Fall ’11, a day after the US got downgraded, bond yields actually went down! Around that same time, respected research firm ECRI announced the US will soon be in a recession. S&P500 is up over 30% since then.
    – People like David Rosenberg, John Hussman, Kyle Bass, John Paulson, Mish, Zerohedge and many others have been using macros to stay bearish for most of this past 4-year rally.
    – A couple weeks ago, blogger ‘Short’em high’ was ranting here about shorting the CAD. I mentioned that was a bad idea as CAD monthly was on support and USD at resistance. Appears the bottom in CAD was March 6th, but time will tell.

    I can give many other examples of macros fooling people. “The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent” – Keynes.

    You all know I’m bearish on Cdn RE. I’m even long-term bearish on global stocks and think we may breach the ’09 lows in the next few years (based on long-term chart of the Dow channel), but that doesn’t mean I’m going to sell my stocks based on some news but rather wait for a break of support. As the great trader Ed Seykota says “The trend is your friend ’til the end.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 12

    Short'em High Says:
    101

    @crashcow Says:“… sad to see people changing their investment portfolio based on subjective, sensational news headlines…”

    Regarding Cyprus, all I said is when something will likely happen, not what will happen or if it will happen. But, obviously you’ve got it all figured out with a paint by number trend following prescription with both mandatory and forbidden time scale. Good luck with that.

    FYI, when CAD turned on GDP, my position was rapidly and automatically scaling out and reversing based on the fact that GDP is announced at specific time on a specific day. A similar initial price change on the previous day if it occured would not have changed my position significantly.

    If you thought about the fact that you (and most) are operating a $10M account rather than a $1B account, you would appreciate my comments more. Ed Seykota for one, has fewer options available when the market turns against his gigantic positions. That you would hold out his example only serves to illustrates where you have gone wrong. Obviously my remarks are tailored to those for which $100K is still money.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

    Vote Down The Facts Says:
    102

    Saying “something will happen” but not saying what is to say nothing at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

    - Remember in 2012, UBS tipster earned $104 Million Award From IRS? Expect foreign whistleblowers to step forward to CRA.

    – News article from popular newspaper in Taiwan “Liberty Times” already reporting about Flaherty’s anti-international tax evasion program today. The headline reads “Canada Cracks On Tax Evasion. Taiwanese Canadians Are Shivering in Fear” (Source: in Chinese). Interesting how Flaherty’s budget statement is making some people shiver across the pacific, lol.

    – Don’t forget, the 15% Tipster Rewards Program is just part of the strategy. What also instills fear in Astronaut Families is the new power given to CRA to “monitor all international financial transfers >$10,000″ , starting year 2015. Daddy might then need to explain to CRA where the money comes from.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 1

    @G

    There is a joke that goes, the word “Winnipeg” comes from the Cree word meaning “but the summers are nice.”

    I told that one in front of a guy from Winnipeg once, and he said it was completely untrue. The summers are awful — muggy, with mosquitoes the size of your head.

    Surprisingly, there is actually a good art scene there.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    Makaya Makaya Says:
    105

    Think of our Downtown East Side. Then think of all of Downtown being that way. Then think of it at minus 40 degrees. Now you’re thinking of Winnipeg

    Ok, former Vancouverite that moved last September to Winnipeg here…

    Don’t go too hard on Winnipeg, it is not THAT bad. I live in downtown and no, it’s not like the Van downtown east side. That said, there is a lot of social housing buldings and the average person you would meet in downtown Winnipeg outside of business hours is not somebody wearing lululemon pant on her way to the yoga class… My wife was shit scared at the beginning until she realized these “people” are actually “normal” and can often be very helpful when a mom is struggling with a stroller… Being poor doesn’t necessary mean being uneducated or being an asshole… Panhandling is a problem though, but you get used to it (there are quite a few in downtown Van as well).

    Regarding the weather, true it’s freaking cold, especially this year. Last year in late March, it was +20 and golfing season. We have yet to see positive temperature this year (-2 today). -40 (with windshield) only happened once or twice this year. But, on the upside, I do see the Sun more often now…

    Until a few weeks ago, I only had one idea in mind: getting back to Van asap. But I’m no longer in a rush and even changing my mind now. The cost of living is so much cheaper here and it’s great to see your $ going much further. But what makes the big difference for us now is the great people we have met here. Friendly Manitoba is not a myth… From my colleagues at work to my clients to the friends we have made otherwise, everybody has been very welcoming and supportive here, something rather different from our experience in Van.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still love Vancouver and would love to get back there once the right opportunity comes along. But I don’t mind staying here for a while, Think of our Downtown East Side. Then think of all of Downtown being that way. Then think of it at minus 40 degrees. Now you’re thinking of Winnipeg

    Ok, former Vancouverite that moved last September to Winnipeg here…

    Don’t go too hard on Winnipeg, it is not THAT bad. I live in downtown and no, it’s not like the Van downtown east side. That said, there is a lot of social housing buldings and the average person you would meet in downtown Winnipeg outside business hours is not somebody wearing lululemon pant on her way to the yoga class… My wife was shit scared at the beginning until she realized these “people” are actually “normal” and are often very helpful when a mom is struggling with a stroller. Being poor doesn’t necessary mean being uneducated or being an asshole… Panhandling is a problem though, but you get used to it (there are quite a few in downtown Van as well where I was living before).

    Regarding the weather, true it’s freaking cold, especially this year. Last year in late March, it was +20 and golfing season. We have yet to see positive temperature this year (-2 today). -40 (with windshield) only happened once or twice this year. But, on the upside, I do see the Sun more often now…

    Until a few weeks ago, I only had one idea in mind: getting back to Van asap. But I’m no longer in a rush and even changing my mind now. The cost of living is so much cheaper here and it’s great to see your $ going much further. But what makes the big difference for us now is the great people we have met here. Friendly Manitoba is not a myth… From my colleagues at work to my clients to the friends we have made otherwise, everybody has been very welcoming and supportive here, something rather different from our experience in Van.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still love Vancouver and would love to get back there once the right opportunity comes along. But I don’t mind staying here for a while and will feel definitely sad to leave those great people behind. Despite its shortcomings, Winnipeg is not the hell hole people people think it is. It’s actually not that bad at all.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 5

    Makaya Makaya Says:
    106

    Oups, i don’t know why my message was posted twice like that. Sorry guys.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    real_professional Says:
    107

    @75 Crashcow

    Actually I didn’t realize that I sounded ridiculous. I don’t realize that I sound ridiculous now either.

    The ignorant often find knowledge ridiculous. Case in point, Creationists find Darwinism ridiculous. Communists found Capitalists ridiculous. Likewise, you find me ridiculous.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

    slurker Says:
    108

    “Communists found Capitalists ridiculous.”

    And I find that statement ridiculous. If you’ve actually read Karl Marxs opus ‘Das Kapital’ you’d realize that he was a brilliant man who’s analysis of capitalism underpins much of the so called ‘modern’ economic theories. Now his remedies for the failings of capitalism might be somewhat extreme but no more so than the neoclassical nonsense that’s spouted as gospel today.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

    Chabar Chabar Says:
    109

    If CRA is seriously after those TAX cheats they should pay a visit to Langara College and perhaps talk to Mr. Li Yu.

    Many newcomers are failing to find work as rewarding as the work they can obtain in booming China.

    As a result, many are having to become taikong families, with one spouse, typically the husband, returning to work in China to earn a stable income.

    “The spouse working in China normally visits Vancouver once or twice a year. In many cases the wife will stay in Canada for three or four years, waiting for Canadian citizenships,” Yu writes, adding that the gap years are often jokingly called “sitting in immigration jail.”

    The ups and downs of their lives are contained in a research paper by Langara College Asian studies instructor Li Yu, who studied in Asia before earning his PhD at the University of B.C. His paper was published in the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association.

    http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2011/02/25/chinese-immigrants-why-they-come-why-one-third-return/

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

    Looks like do or die time for the bears.

    http://i.imgur.com/GR16Se3.png

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

    oneangryslav2 Says:
    111

    If you’ve actually read Karl Marxs opus ‘Das Kapital’ you’d realize that he was a brilliant man who’s analysis of capitalism

    Marx knew more about capitalism (its strengths and weaknesses) than all the geniuses at the Fraser Institute combined.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 25 Thumb down 8

    space889 Says:
    112

    I just flip through April 2013 issue of Vancouver Magzine’s cover story about Vancouver RE and it is unbelievable! Unfortunately it’s not online yet at http://www.vanmag.com so I can’t link. But maybe you can read it at your local London Drugs or something. It is simply unbelievable the extend they try to convince people that Vancouver RE is still cheap by global standards. Two things struck out at me.
    The first is a map of Vancouver, Burnaby and North Shores redraw with new neighborhood names like – Hanoi for most of Burnaby, Macau & Kew Gardens for UBC, Downtown Abby for Cambie from Broadway to 41st, and then North & South Yorkshire from 41st to Marine Drive, Queenstown and Gaslamp Quarter for North Van, and Brighton, Monte Carlo, Chamonix Mount Blanc for West Vancouver. Unbelievable!!

    The second is they tried to dispel the myth that Demography Survey tries to peddle that Vancouver is expensive by world standards. They gave these reasons why you shouldn’t trust that survey. One the survey only included 7 countries and excluded most of the world including Asia, Africa and South America. Second the backers of the survey is an ultra conservative right wing think tank that opposes any idea to moderate car use. As a counter example, they used data from a Serbia based crowd source website http://www.numbeo.com that shows on a price to income ratio, Vancouver is cheap, cheap, cheap, especially compared against world class cities.

    The comparison they did claim to show that a desirable house in 7 cities with higher price to income ratios – Phnom Penh, Rome, St. Peterburgs, Tel Aviv, London, Mexico City, and Melbroune – all require you to spend the same for less square footage, less lawn but more history. However there are three problems that really got my blood pressure up.
    1 – Vancouver is the second expensive at $2.088M while the most expensive is London 2000 sq ft 30th floor condo with landscapped roof in Zone 1 @ $5.616M. The Rome 1500 sq ft condo come close to Vancouver @ $2.077M while the rest range from $360K to $1.38M. So they aren’t comparing apple to apple based on similar price or housing.
    2 – The desirable house in Vancouver they picked is a 4 bed 2 bath house near King Ed Canada Line station and they describe it as TEARDOWN! Let’s just let it sink in for a minute. An example of a desirable home in Vancouver is a teardown on a busy main artery road!! WTF?!?!
    3 – They didn’t give exact how the income in the example they took is calculated or what is based on. The Vancouver home @ $2.088M is given a price to income ratio of 10.74!! That means the lucky family living in this desirable teardown home is making $200K/yr in family income!! That’s not an average family income, that’s more like the top 5% if not top 1% of family income in Vancouver. I have trouble believing a family making $200K/year will be happy to live in a teardown. The lowest PI ratio for other cities range from 10.08 for a $610K 970 sq ft condo in Melbourne to 45.45 for a 1.38M 5 bed, 6 bath furnished villa in Phnom Penh.

    I can’t believe this!! This is really taking manipulation and RE is cheap in Vancouver argument to a whole new level!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 2

    Speculators have left Vancouver and moved on to BitCoin!
    http://www.acting-man.com/blog/media/2013/03/Bitcoin.png

    Seriously, if we can just get these people to stop trading physical things that disrupt the economy or peoples’ lives, that would be a big improvement.

    Then again, perhaps the BitCoin millionaires are coming! We certainly have the ethos for them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    Vote Down The Facts Says:
    114

    space, 2000sq ft in the Shangri La is way less than $5m

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    HAM Solo Says:
    115

    Spent some time this evening in Kelowna with friends. It is turning into a gong show. Friend of mine who is a financial advisor says half of his clients, especially anyone related to construction trades is working out of town, oilsands or something in Alberta. Lots of general businesses doing poorly. Small businesses asking for payment up front for services like painting, even conference organizing. Everyone has a story about people who haven’t paid a big bill. Investment advisors accounts getting smaller on large cash withdrawals for “situations”. Did I think jobs at the credit unions are safe because they are hearing stories. Big White ski condos down 50% + in prices, with losts of stories about friends who bought chalets with HELOC downpayments. Pub was so empty on a Saturday night, the servers outnumbered the customers most of the time. Welcome to Canada’s answer to Las Vegas circa 2007.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 57 Thumb down 1

    Short'em High Says:
    116

    @rp1,

    I’m not much of a “tea-leaf” chartist but, for what it’s worth, additional equally valid linear envelope trend lines can be drawn to suggest an ongoing downturn in Vancouver RE.

    http://postimg.org/image/l10nm7ud9/

    So, if prices stay flat for a month, your long term trend line will be broken forever and without fanfare or indication of how to draw any upward sloping envelope support line to replace it. Furthermore, if there is a third up-leg, it will have to start below the line you’ve drawn and from some as yet unknown minor bottom which bulls will pray hasn’t fallen further than it did in 2009 from peak.

    Properly framed, your trend line in fact suggests the bulls are actually the ones in a do or die position to make a convincing bottom in the next few weeks or, failing that, a still lower minor bottom that doesn’t look worse than 2009.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

    At Jurock’s website

    http://www2.jurock.com/hotproperty/tips.asp

    “Finance Minister tells banks their business”. He is puzzled why finance minister told Manulife to withdraw their rate. Here is his major point:

    “Major Point: Mr. Finance Minister … what do you know that you are not sharing with us? It can’t possibly be mortgage rates. Are you expecting a major collapse and want to save your bacon?”

    Major collapse???

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    118

    “Regarding Cyprus”

    There are essentially two difference between the situations in Cyprus and Iceland:

    1. Cyprus is populated by Greeks, Iceland by Vikings.
    2. Cyprus is in the EU and EMU, Iceland isn’t.

    That’s all you need to know to understand why Iceland took the right solution (which of course imposed far greater losses on bank depositors than the “theft” everyone is screaming about in Cyprus) and Cyprus can’t and won’t.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 9

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    119

    “The desirable house in Vancouver they picked is a 4 bed 2 bath house near King Ed Canada Line station and they describe it as TEARDOWN!”

    Anyone with a functioning brain can understand that in economic terms this property is not a house at all, but the site of a future high density development.

    VanMag was always pretentious and sappy but now it’s downright twisted and evil. Just reflecting its readership, I guess.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

    Space, I think the author was on the foreign investor panel last Wednesday. He ripped the Demographia survey, which I think is valid to do, but I loled at the ignorance to price-rent and price-income. Comparison to Hanoi… smart readers here should know why that’s flawed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    advoc8 Says:
    122

    “Staying put: Baby boomers not selling, skewing Canada’s housing market

    Sales, listings likely to decline as aging homeowners opt to stay right where they are, decreasing impact of demographics

    By: Susan Pigg Business Reporter, Published on Mon Mar 18 2013

    Demographics are expected to have a profound effect on Canada’s housing market in the coming years, resulting in less housing turnover as well as fewer sales and listings, according to a new report by Scotiabank Economics.

    But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    “Contrary to some dire predictions, population aging will not fuel a demographically-induced sell-off in Canadian real estate,” Scotiabank economist Adrienne Warren told a conference on global housing trends Monday.

    “Today’s seniors are healthier, wealthier and living longer than prior generations. They are increasingly likely to own their own home and to live in their homes for longer.

    “Many will not need to tap into their principal home to finance retirement,” she said.”

    http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2013/03/18/staying_put_baby_boomers_not_selling_skewing_canadas_housing_market.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    RealityCheck Says:
    123

    Caucasian Boomers are not going to sell their SFD homes in droves. Here’s why:

    1) the majority of the price of the SFD home is in the land. In Surrey, you get a dump for $525,000 or you get a really nice house for $725,000. Would you downsize to a dump for that cost??

    …and no, these boomers won’t move into tiny condos or townhomes.

    2) the majority won’t be able to move to the USA in the winter months. Why? Because here in Canada we are digitizing medical records and health insurance for Canadians in the USA for the over 65 age group is going to get ridiculously expensive. End result: Caucasian boomers stay here.

    Asian and Indian boomers will not downsize as several generations will live together. The homes will only get bigger if regulations allow. In the winter, the over 65 crowd here goes back to the motherland for the winter (healthcare cheap) .

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 15

    Wakeup call Says:
    124

    It will be tough, impractical, smelly? for boomers stay put after they die, as all of them will. Even if their beneficiaries move in and stay put, they may be stuck with more properties than they need or want.
    Anyway you slice it, it will increase supply and reduce demand no matter how many ifs and buts Tsur and Cam try to confuse us with.

    Ain’t demographics cool?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

    southseacompany Says:
    125

    @117 G : re: Jurock site.

    I noticed an eye-catching link on Jurock’s sidebar: “Where in the world to invest for new ‘Dubai-style growth’?”

    http://askanexpert.ca/?p=550

    Turns out the next Dubai is….northern BC.
    Burj Kitimat. Has a nice ring to it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    Keeping An Eye On The Pimps Says:
    126

    “Contrary to some dire predictions, population aging will not fuel a demographically-induced sell-off in Canadian real estate,” Scotiabank economist Adrienne Warren told a conference on global housing trends Monday.

    Straw man argument, there will likely downsizing, and even if it’s not to the extent that it will sink the market, previous bubbles have popped baby boomers or not.

    Furthermore, there won’t be many boomers adding to the demand side of the equation.

    But on a much more important point: Garth Turner the other day pointed out the Adrienne looked hot in a hair band, sorry Garth.

    I can’t agree.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    127

    “previous bubbles have popped baby boomers or not.”

    Most notably the early 80’s bust in BC/Alberta and the early 90’s bust in Toronto while boomers were in their peak buying years.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

    addair Says:
    128

    RE: post #124

    Yup, demographics is cool.
    It’s the only fundamental that is based entirely on fact…no guessing or arguement required.

    No need to wait for boomers to die to tilt the playing field.
    Poor health usually forces at least one member of an elderly couple into assisted living facilities years before a call from the grim reaper, making it too difficult to “stay put”.

    Several generations of Asian and Indian boomers living together
    also reduces demand.

    It’s all good stuff!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

    get armed Says:
    129

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    @get armed Says:
    130

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    space889 Says:
    131

    @patriotz – regardless of how much of that $2M is in land redevelopment potential, the fact they are describing a teardown as a desirable home in Vancouver is a major problem in my view! Add in the fact that they claim the price to income ratio on that home is 10 means that a family making $200K+/yr, likely in top 5% of family income in GVRD, should be happy and desire a teardown is also a major problem. I simply can’t see how any normal people can really claim with a straight face that this means Vancouver is cheap! Or even paid shills because it is getting beyond ridiculous.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    132

    “It’s the only fundamental that is based entirely on fact…”

    Prices and rents aren’t facts?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    133

    Cyprus has a tentative deal. The sky isn’t falling. When will people learn? Brinkmanship is game the politicians play. Fiscal gap, debt ceiling, sequestration, etc, etc. We’ve seen this countless times before.

    It’s just infotainment pron for the uninformed. Not surprising a huge segment of the vc.info doomers hysterically latch on to these things.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

    Anonymous1 Says:
    134

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    Battle With An Idiot Says:
    135

    Fellow Bears,

    I must apologize in advance for the lengthy comment, but I sure could appreciate some help here.

    Had a stubbornly long debate and argument with a realtor (used house salesman) the other day, and even when confronted with rational economic arguments, fundamental analysis, stats, and historical cases, she was unable to see the light and fell back on her own personal experience and did the tangential dance to the extreme. She also fell back on the same tired arguments – “you have to lives somewhere, why pay rent” why aren’t the feds going after consumer debt since it has such a high interest rate; Canada has the best banking system in the world; banks will only lend up to 43% of your income, etc”

    My personal favourite – She claimed Statistic Canada stats (debt to income ratios) were manipulated and subjective and only the real estate boards put out completely objective stats because their was no interpretation attached to the bars and graphs provided by the boards. Of course, when pointed out that the boards issue press releases with “words” that describe the stats, she denied such things took place (literally, showing the Fraser Valley Real Estate Boards press releases was met with denial)

    By the way, when told she was a salesman, she was aghast, and said she was not. He was much more important because she was a “facilitator”….

    I pointed out a couple of simple points but do not have the links:
    – the 400 year old analysis of RE that shows that RE appreciates at the rate of inflation and the annual ROI is simply the rate of the inflation (ANYBODY HAVE THAT LINK?)
    – the 163% price to income ratio where every dollar earned, we spend 1.63 where 70% is mortgage related and 30% is consumer debt related
    – the insignificant capitalization of CMHC’s $600 billion liability

    In her mind, real estate has only every benefited people. When asked what about the 1/4 underwater in their mortgage in the US, she responded that everyone did short sales; that the banks wipe out the difference between assessed value and what they own; give the owners back that money after the sale so no loss to the homeowner; and that you only have a blip for 2 years on your credit.. As a result, there is no risk, and real estate always goes up.

    ANY THOUGHTS ON SHORT SALES IN THE US?

    This is a typical example of her logic:
    _____

    So the question posed is “what if I wait for a year to purchase my new house. Prices are falling aren’t they? Won’t it be cheaper if I wait?”

    Well actually, probably, no.

    If we are dealing with a non-cash buyer they are going to have to finance their purchase with a mortgage. So if you do a quick com- parison of what the monthly payments would be for a purchase today and a proposed purchase a year from now if the anticipated 1% increase in fixed term mortgage rates actually occurs.

    They are:
    Purchase today:
    Purchase price
$300,000
    5% down payment (15,000)
    Net amount due $285,000
    CMHC Fee 7,838
    Total Mortgage Amount
$292,838
    Payments based upon a 5 year rate of 3.29%, and a 25 year amortization are $1,430

    Now if they consumer decided to wait for a year in anticipation of a price drop of 10% in real estate values this is what the purchase would look like:

    Purchase price
$270,000
    5% down payment
(13,500)
    Net amount due
$256,500
    CMHC Fee
7,054
    Total Mortgage Amount $263,554

    Payments based upon a 5 year rate of 4.29%, and a 25 year amortization are $1,428
2 Dollars !! That is the difference in what most people are worried about – what their payment is going to be!! Less than the cost of a Tim Hortons coffee!

    Now is a great time to buy. Lots of inventory to pick from, some of the lowest interest rates in history, and the ability to get into a home at a reasonable monthly cost that is as cheap as paying rent.

    If you have to live somewhere it is always better to be in your home, building equity in your property, not in your landlord’s property.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

    Groundhog Says:
    136

    @Anonymous

    What is the deal? Has it been approved by Cyprus parliament? If it does get approved and it involves losses to depositors, how does that fare for banks in other Eurozone countries? Who in their right mind would keep deposits in banks in Spain, Greece, and Italy?

    Glad the problems solved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Groundhog Says:
    137

    @Anonymous1

    Recordbreaking for the month or ever?

    For some reason I doubt what you are saying, maybe because I’ve been hearing similar things since November. Maybe this time is different.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    138

    She also fell back on the same tired arguments – “you have to lives somewhere, why pay rent”

    Because it’s cheaper. That’s the bear case in three words. Seriously.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

    patriotz patriotz Says:
    139

    “If it does get approved and it involves losses to depositors”

    The banks are insolvent and cannot pay back their depositors. If the banks fail, insured depositors become creditors of the Cyprus government and uninsured depositors become creditors of the bankrupt banks.

    Just like in Canada and the US as a matter of fact. Well not quite just like, the Cyprus government might not have the resources to pay off the insured depositors because they can’t print money like we can.

    But why can’t people understand that in a situation like this it’s absurd for all depositors to expect to get all their money back?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    Groundhog Says:
    140

    @Battle With An Idiot

    Here are US and Norway home prices going back to 1890 you’re looking for
    http://www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/letter/2012/el2012-19.html

    I’ve also seen charts with Australia and the Netherlands going that far back, same thing.

    Sounds like the salesman you’re dealing with has all her talking points down pat.

    Aside from all the math and everything involved in rent vs. buy comparison, some people just don’t get that renting has it’s pros, and ownership has it’s cons. As a renter I don’t have to deal with any repairs and maintenance of the house itself and appliances. Dishwasher breaks? No stress whatsoever. My utilities, internet, cable, are all taken care of by someone else, I never have to deal with customer service reps. Don’t like my neighbourhood? I can move with little costs involved. I can go on and on, but the main point is that renting is relatively stress free and much more flexible compared to owning. There’s value in that.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

    Groundhog Says:
    141

    “Because it’s cheaper. That’s the bear case in three words. Seriously.”

    Much cheaper. I used to think the “forced savings” argument of homeownership was a valid one. For spendthrifts, it forced them to save money. Financial innovation has ruined that with the availability and proliferation of HELOCs.

    If someone is trying to make a long-term financial case for ownership, there isn’t one right now.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    142

    In her mind, real estate has only every benefited people. When asked what about the 1/4 underwater in their mortgage in the US, she responded that everyone did short sales; that the banks wipe out the difference between assessed value and what they own; give the owners back that money after the sale so no loss to the homeowner; and that you only have a blip for 2 years on your credit.. As a result, there is no risk, and real estate always goes up.

    I think that the rules around the credit blip being only 2 years changed and I am pretty sure the banks do not give you back the original equity because hey, lets all go with short sales then….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    I’ve just heard that Rennie has applied to the City to reduce SOME of the remaining OV condos by 20%. Has anyone seen any substantiation of this in the media?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous1 Says:
    144

    Groundhog, it is different here.

    Where in the world can you go to a first world country, leave your spouse and kids there that will get free health care, free education, and free child benefits because of low income. Furthermore, both sets of parents and grandparents can come along. The husband can continue to work overseas and avoid Canadian Taxes. After 3 years all the adults except the husband can apply for citizenship.

    After 3 years, the family can go back to their motherland and choose to come here if they want to. It’s all economics.

    So it is different here because there is no other country on the planet except Canada that allows for this.

    I was thinking of starting a company in India whowould recruit families with a net worth of >$10,000,000. Give them a presentation and let them know what they would gain by immigrating to Canada. The money in India is not in the banks or stocks. It’s in the astronomical land prices.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

    Groundhog Says:
    145

    @Anonymous1

    “Groundhog, it is different here.”

    Perfect

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    Anonymous Says:
    146

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    midnite toker midnite toker Says:
    147

    Wow How long does it take the average condo buyer to save $30000?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    148

    @battle with an idiot
    @groundhog
    I love the why rent when you can buy argument that realtors make. I just throw this one back at them: why buy food when you can grow your own? The answer to that (rhetorical) question seems obvious, but when you think about it the answer is the same as why you would rent over owning in this market. I get shelter for cheaper than owning and I don’t have any of the hassles or risks of owning.

    My parents bought a home when interest rates were 20+% and every renewal they made rates had dropped and the debt they purchased in 1970s dollars was being paid off with much higher 1980s incomes. We’re at the opposite end rates and incomes now.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    149

    Went to several open houses in east van. A lot more busy than i expected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    @133 Anonymous

    “A huge segment of the vc.info doomers hysterically latch on to these things.”

    There are a few posters here that resemble the macro gibberish of mish & zerohedge – just note those handles and skip their posts. This site has some high quality posters that make it worth reading (including paulb, VHB, b5baxter, VMD, zrh, etc).

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

    “Much cheaper. I used to think the “forced savings” argument of homeownership was a valid one. For spendthrifts, it forced them to save money. Financial innovation has ruined that with the availability and proliferation of HELOCs.”

    That’s a good point. For the undisciplined, a house can be a the opposite of forced savings. I know a few people who owe absurd amounts of money because they were able to borrow against their house. And when prices go down, they will have less than zero.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    Anonymous Says:
    152

    Today, in one of the east van open houses, the home was empty, but the filthy carpets (cream colour, or dirt, i could not tell) were still in place. there sat mrs RE agent, chatting with Chinese investors. no one else. the SMELL of mold was SO strong, I closed the door after a one second peak, and left. Mrs RE ran after me: “come in, we are open!” I replied ” sorry, but the smell is….” She did not look surprised ” ok!” she said, going back inside to take care of HAM.
    She had not even made the effort of ventilating the tear down before the open house… wtf?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    specuskeptic specuskeptic Says:
    153

    @N “That’s a good point. For the undisciplined, a house can be a the opposite of forced savings. I know a few people who owe absurd amounts of money because they were able to borrow against their house. And when prices go down, they will have less than zero.”

    Anyone in the market for a boat, a Bimmer, or any number of luxury items will also be rewarded for their patience…..

    Perhaps we’ll see open house/garage sale combo-events.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Landbaron Says:
    154

    @149

    I too went to some open houses over the weekend, no more busy than any other sunny March day. Mostly looky loos out for fun like myself.

    I also noticed a lot more open houses than years past and realtor signs filled the street corners! I actually think some of them were moving others to have a better street view.

    I’ve never seen so many desperate realtors and I’ve been in and out of real estate for (only) 13 yrs. Right now I’m out…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

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