Empty condos and the speculative market.

A few of you have already pointed out this article, but it’s worth a read if you haven’t seen it.

It’s a problem when Vancouver condos sell but the lights stay off

There are a number of ways you could address the problems created by a speculator driven housing market, but no move to do so yet.

Here’s one point from Sandy Garossino about the kind of units we’re building downtown:

“I think we are creating a form of housing that is perfectly suited to speculation. It couldn’t be more suited to speculation.

“They are completely interchangeable, one suite is like another suite. This is the kind of thing that drives easy trading. It’s not completely liquid, but it is a lot more liquid than say a house on a lot. So, from a policy standpoint, what we should be doing is looking at the kind of housing that speculators don’t like.

“The public policy from my perspective should be to cool that market, because it’s driving market confidence. Market confidence should match market conditions.”

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I remember a George Carlin comedy segment regarding “Condos”, it went something like this; they needed a “con and they wanted dough” so the criminals created “condos”.

Real Turd and Co.

@51 Ford Prefect: These posts are getting downvoted mainly because they’re not relevant to this blog.

TESTING, TESTING to see if I am downvoted. Real estate buying and selling is relevant to this blog.

Now is the best time to buy a home.

Very Little Gravitas Indeed

@51 Ford Prefect: These posts are getting downvoted mainly because they’re not relevant to this blog.


why are you attacking someone who wants to remember innocent victims by making invalid comparisons. if you want to attack them do it for something valid, like being off topic.

no one wants to hear your anti-american rants. seeing your colonial mentality displayed in such a public way is unpleasant for everyone.

Short'em High

@UBC in Crisis Mode#50, Re: “public sales database”.

Many have tried to create open web sites with Canadian RE sales and description data but because data is likely derived from the MLS, a “lack of license” allegation and pursuit of damage claim from CREA lawyers always puts a stop to it.

Write your MP and tell them that you support the Competition Bureau and want to see CREA’s private monopoly on publicly vital RE market information broken.


Ford Prefect

Groundhog: 48: I find it odd that the well informed people who frequent this site can not understand the point made by Susan Sontag, amongst others, that if the US is going to appoint itself the world’s policeman it should not be surprised to receive blowback.
It is hard to believe that the readers here can not imagine themselves on the receiving end of a US drone attack and the reaction/rage of the victim’s relatives and fellow countrymen.

UBC in Crisis Mode

Housing sale history database

What about set up a free database and public can provide sale’s data? After a while the database has enough info to search for (e.g. by street name, etc).

Short'em High

@good-format#43, Is a change/sales perspective available? What were the top 10 change/sales ratio months since March 2010? How far back does your VCI daily data go?

’s post of VCI daily numbers starting from March 2010 did not include changes, so calculating a top 10 list of changes/sales isn’t feasible starting there. Did you get a chance to compare your data with the sold and listed columns in ’s data? Would you mind posting your copy of your VCI dailies as did?

FYI, ’s (sold,listed) daily VCI data is here: http://vancouverpeak.com/Thread-Historical-Dailies



I also found it a bit disturbing when I watched one of the broadcasts and I think it was Brian Williams who talked about how sick the technique of exploding one device, then a short time later when others rush in to help, a 2nd device exploded injuring responders. The US uses this technique with their drone attacks.

I too will be quickly voted down for this one.


Oh, come off it.

Don’t you find it interesting that a foriegn OR domestic terrorist attack in the US is such a cause for concern, yet the US blows the shit out of anyone who doesn’t “measure up”?

Panama City, 1989, anyone?

(Low comment rating, my ass).


Just past half-point of month.
So far
April 2013 vs 2012:
Sales:1276 vs 1713 (-25.5%)
Lists:3297 vs 3711 (-11.2%)
Ratio:38.7 vs 46.2%



Where were YOU when the US blew the crap out of Baghdad?


April is the first month this year that we had more price changes than sales.

So far, total price changes is 1387.
total sales is 1276




New Listings 299
Price Changes 142
Sold Listings 121


Not much of a name...

@Guy Smiley #37

The amount of inventory coming online in North Van is amazing. Three towers under construction on Lonsdale with two more in the works (Onni). There are three towers going in the Seylynn area (by the Holiday Inn at the bottom of the cut) and three proposed for Lynn Valley. This doesn’t take into account four lowrises in the Lower Lonsdale area under construction or the building that is happening along Marine Drive.

I went into a sales centre (Remix) a few weeks back and they appeared to only have sold about 1/3 of the units all while construction has started and to be completed by early 2014. Needless to say, the incentives are coming.

I can’t see how prices can hold in North Van.



Nobody goes there any more cause it’s too crowded.


We need to remove the government altogether from housing and let free market principles reign. The answer is NOT a tax on speculators or regulation on building code.

Only the Federal government can get rid of mortgage guarantees, but either the Federal or BC governments can implement tax policies to discourage speculation.

Not that I’m expecting them even from an incoming NDP provincial government – they don’t want to get blamed for the bust.

Guy Smiley

@Not much of a name…

Thanks. Not as high as i had heard, but nothing to sneeze at. Seem to be alot of condos under construction in the north, i sincerely hope they all have similar difficulty unloading units.

Short'em High

@Not much of a name…#33.

When read as a covenant “100K price drop guarantee[d]”, they were right and then some! It definitely dropped by at least 100K. LOL!

Yesterday’s poster @Reality should read your post and get some reality about their idiotic Surrey multi-unit Fonzi Scheme rental idea.

I’m still waiting for that hilarious mental incompetence legal defence on a pre-sale agreement: “Your honor, my client is so stupid they shouldn’t even be allowed to have a credit card or driver’s license, let alone sign property purchase agreements without trustee supervision.”

Not much of a name...

@Guy Smiley

The strata fee in that particular unit is $476/mth. It does seem a bit higher than other buildings around. Not sure why.

Guy Smiley

Not sure if it is true, but i heard the Kimpton had outrageous ($600/mth and higher) strata fees. What could be included for that rate? Room service? Valet? Massage?

Not much of a name...

I just got an update from one of my favourite condo buildings in North Van, The Kimpton. This is the development that was offering the $100k “Price Drop Guarantee” back in October. Fast forward six months and a unit came through as a sale yesterday.

Original asking price – $750k
Listed price in Jan – $650k
Sale price – $575k

That’s $175k in six months.

Joe Mainlander

At Markoz.

Key point is, you can’t build without financing, and you can’t get financing without pre-selling the majority of a proposed building’s units.

What’s easier to pre-sell; 60 units at 1200 sf each, or 120 units at 600 sf each? If your waiting for families to come along an pre-buy, you’ll be waiting a long time. In the last 10 years, you could burn off 120 – 600 sf units quickly, usually, 5 or 10 to a buyer. Maybe faster if you marketed them in HK or Mainland C.

Times are a changing now. It’ll be interseting how the industry adjusts if the pre-sale thing fails to work anymore.