FFFA! bikes, bankruptcy, business & bankrates

Hey, will you look at the time?

It’s the end of another work week, and that means its time for our regular Friday free-for-all!

This is our end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Poloz: steady as she goes
Canadian housing market in danger
The Canso race car analogy
Vancouverites get worked up
Duncan mall in foreclosure
Detroit files for bankruptcy

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

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Kooday Webmaster

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Womera shop

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>This all smells very fishy.

treating the home with ozone will get rid of the lingering fish and mothball scent.


Seems like a really expensive way to launder money and the paper trail is on public record. Doesn’t make sense.


frank 92:

My countryman from Shanghai make real money this way. Many more come. Buy houses.

A Canada importing company buy stuff in China but my countryman pay cash there in China for the company. Stuff come to Vancouver port. Countryman come to Vancouver to study or business. Importing company pay them their cash back here in Canada Dollars.

Then my countryman buy house with cash. Buy 2 more with cash. Then sell because he wants money in bank.

Many more countryman coming. thank-you Canada.


Sorry that should have read:

Several were HAM owners selling and all bought and listed for within a year for slightly higher.


Something is up with these HAM purchases. I put a link to a comment on another bolg up about a week ago about a sale in West Van with the MLS number, and how the HAM buyer relisted it 6 weeks after buying it and sold it to another HAM for pretty much even after expenses. Over the week-end I went to several open houses on the North Shore and Van West. Several were HAM owners selling and all bought and listed for within a higher for slightly higher. I asked the Realtors and the story was identical. The kids don’t like it here so they are moving back. All had expensive security systems installed with TV monitoring. This all smells very fishy. I wonder if this is a form of money laundering. Come in with hot money, buy and… Read more »

West Coast Woman

Thanks patriotz for correcting me on the details. I couldn’t remember the specifics of the tax, but I still do remember the look on Harcourt’s face.

frank is right as well. It was the ‘grey power’ threat that killed the tax. There was a rally scheduled at the Oakridge auditorium (the day after I saw Harcourt) that was expecting some 10,000 seniors to show up and protest. These were not the boomers, but instead their parents’ generation who had just reached retirement and didn’t feel they had the funds for additional taxes on their already paid for family homes. Many of these folks had supported Harcourt and that’s why the comment made to Harcourt had the effect it did.


Somebody gonna get a hurt real bad:


The original 1800sqft old timer is assessed at $1,157,000 (lot value) and sold back in Feb 2012 for $1,255,000 to… a builder!

The builder must be a bit nervous as rather than build the house they drew up the plans and are advertising the lot for sale as “Ready, Set, Build!” the inflated price of $1,399,000 includes the lot and plans for a 5,272sqft monstrosity.

I guess the builder hasn’t seen that there are 11 other brand new spec monsters listed for sale in edgemont and that the market is toast. 28 houses for sale in Edgemont and 11 of them are builder spec monsters languishing on the market, one for 3 years already!

These guys are going to learn their lessons the hard way – through bankruptcy


Here in California, most properties are assessed a 1.25% yearly real estate tax based upon the purchase price. The tax may only increase 2%/year, ensuring that taxes don’t increase beyond what is tolerable for folks aging in place. So on my ~900K home, my real estate tax is 12K/year. When living in Vancouver, my similarly priced condo, my tax rate was only in the 3,500K range if I remember correctly. A steal but hardly benefiting the local tax base. I really don’t see how allowing foreigners (such as me) to park their cash in the form of Vancouver property benefits the locals one bit. As a matter of fact it may even have the reverse if they ‘don’t work’ and pay no or little taxes all the while using local services as well as the health care offered to them.… Read more »


Well, since every demographic study makes the terrifying point that there will be fewer and fewer “working families” (as a % of the population), plans like this must resurface from time to time. It will be interesting to see if we ever have a government brave enough to push one through…



I also see more homes being sold in the east van area. It may not just be condo’s and the areas where prices have stagnated over the last year. I think there are people who who felt they needed to get in before they lost the low rates.


I remember the NDP proposal well. It was a tax over $500K of property value which was a lot in those days. It was to be an EXTRA property tax , but this one going to the Provincial rather than Municipal Government. The reasons were several but here is the main one: The NDP realised there were some very wealthy people here, living in multi-million dollar houses, and paying very little in the way of taxes. They kept their money off-shore. Not just wealthy foreigners, even wealthy Canadians were shipping their money to the Cayman Islands and the like to avoid taxes. A lot of older people lived in very expensive houses too. They may have been locals or may have retired from Ontario just in time to use the Medical system the most in their life and they too… Read more »


“It was MIKE HARCOURT’s government, not Glen Clark’s”

Well some people would say that it was really Glen Clark’s government all along, but what job did Glen Clark have under Harcourt?

“that proposed a capital tax on homeowners based on a percentage (2% a year (?)) of the value of their homes.”

Don’t believe you. Have a source? Here’s mine:

Fifth, a new graduated school property tax surcharge will be applied
to high-value homes assessed at over $500,000.

This measure is forecast to generate additional revenue of $37 million
in 1993/94 and will be paid only by the wealthiest 2.5 per cent of


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A guy who could not survive this best place on earth, moved to zurich, still has interest in Van RE. Probably, the move to Zurich was a fake.
an old girl, probably mother of young children, taked her parents from homeownership to renters, post countless useless infor about van RE. Meanwhile, there are dirty diapers to change.
There has to be something special about Vancouver.
Call a realtor to change your life.


@VMD #66 Thanks for the response. I am seeing the same things as you but it would be interesting to see what the cause is. Are we seeing an uptick in condo sales as first-time buyers see their purchasing power decreasing with higher rates? Are we seeing the impacts of the price decreases in Van-West and Richmond bring buyers in from the sidelines? I really have to wonder what kind of person would go and buy a condo right now. This has to be one of the worst investments one could make and the cost of renting is so much less (especially if you consider transaction costs). It would be interesting if we started to teach all high-school kids the rent v. buy considerations. With so much available at all quality levels for condos, who would buy? This one really… Read more »



Interesting comments under that article:

“The life of the realtor is glamorized in this paper and everywhere else. The reality is that for 90% of the agents it is a life of living from one cheque to the next. Most die relatively young and near poverty.”

“As someone in this industry for 25 years – you can’t even begin to imagine how accurate this is – I have seen so many driving big Mercedes and filing bankruptcy in their 50’s or even later. It has been heartbreaking to watch so many nice people end up dying from heart attacks and poor after years in Real Estate. It’s a great career if you have another income to offset the down times and are a bit more frugal.”

Helicopter Ben

@WCW#78. And only a 6% tax solely on land would completely eliminate the need for sales and income tax according to this proposal:


West Coast Woman

P.S.: Given that Mike Harcourt has now stated that all single family zoning should be eliminated, and that our current expensive, unqualified and political Vancouver City Manager in Vancouver, Penny Ballem, was hired on his recommendation, it’s pretty obvious that the taxation policy he revoked was based on a philosophy he shared with the Deputy Minister that government should not only dictate how we live, but also decide how we spend our money – a philosophy also apparently shared by his protege, Mayor Robertson.

West Coast Woman

patriotz @ 62:

It was MIKE HARCOURT’s government, not Glen Clark’s, that proposed a capital tax on homeowners based on a percentage (2% a year (?)) of the value of their homes. He backed off the day after someone told him “It’s going to cost you”. (I personally remember the shocked look on his face when he realized the implications of that comment.)

Incidentally, this tax was not proposed to cool down the real estate market, but rather because the Deputy Minister of Finance at the time believed that people should not be allowed to inherit property or pass on wealth to their children.



That’s absolutely incorrect to say million dollars are moving.

I see 2 sitting in my neighbourhood that haven’t moved at all.

There was a recent one that was delisted a few months ago after not selling. I think the $million plus homes have slowed from my observations.

Helicopter Ben

Hey POLOZ, you moron. Learn your place. Canadian problems have nothing to do with anything. When it is no longer convenient for rates to be low in the USA, Canadian rates will move UP in lockstep. No domestic or foreign government gives a flying fuck about Canadian debt. Rates will go up and homedebtors WILL BE FUCKED!

POLOZ, my only wish for you is that you eat your own dogshit advice. Fact is you rent your home and you make a living as a parasite – collecting fees on Canadian taxpayer home loan insurance remarketing transactions.