FFFA! What does the blog think?*

It’s that time of the week again!  Free-for-all time!

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

Vancouver bubble does its own thing
VancouverPriceDrop is back
Buy or Rent?
A Vancouver Calculator
Locals bid up prices, blame outsiders
Latest stats, 21 months since peak?
Singapore headed for Iceland style meltdown?

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

*The blog doesn’t think. The blog is made up of comments from thousands of different people, some of whom agree with one another, some who don’t.   

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A source said the government is acting based on data that show that, 20 years after arriving in Canada, an immigrant investor has paid about $200,000 less in taxes than a newcomer who came in under the federal skilled worker program, and almost $100,000 less than one who was a live-in caregiver.

In the past 28 years, more than 130,000 people have come to Canada under the investor program, including applicants and their families.

Canada should send them all back and also take some money back. Those crooks and scumbags are just a burden to the system while being a socially-irritable factor.

Go back to reading school

“foreign students who aren’t immigrants pay at least 3.5x the normal tuition rate”

Obviously he was not talking about “foreign students who are not immigrants”. He was clearly talking about the Canadian resident kids of non-resident dads who are economically supported by the non-resident dad and whose family uses public services and received ”
low income” benefits but pays no income tax and lives in a $4,000,000 house.

Interest Only

@ YVR: Reductio ad Absurdum

Re read my posts – then rub together your two brain cells and you might be able to figure out what I am saying.


BC Household Debt Per Capita Growth Rates (Quarterly YoY%) – Chart

BC Average Weekly Earnings (Quarterly YoY%) – Chart

BC Employment To Population Ratio (Monthly) – Chart

When you find where all this money to pay for million dollar homes is coming from, you let me know.


@BEd – foreign students who aren’t immigrants pay at least 3.5x the normal tuition rate. One friend who was doing economics in SFU was paying ~$3K per course!!! That’s close to what a full time SFU local student pay for 4 or 5 courses at SFU. So no, they aren’t getting free education. They are paying through the nose for that piece of paper and the universities here are making lots of $$$ off them. That’s why UBC wants to reserve 25% of the spaces for them.

On this note, maybe posters like you should go get some upgraded continuing education on topics such as research, math, logical thinking. It looks to be seriously lacking in debates on immigration and education.


@crikey – UBC started this transformation towards business model back in the 90s when Martha Piper(?) was the president. I remember the joke that when they introduced the slogal “Imagine!”, it really meant imagine university as a money making business, not a higher learning institute.


@Professor Farnsworth – The inside joke is that those who comes to Canada for undergrad study are the ones who can’t make it, even with money and bribes, to Chinese university or even HK university. So they buy an undergrad degree in Canada/Australia, etc. If you go talk to a lot of the exchange students, they will pretty much admit that they can’t make it through the Gao Kao (national univ entrance exam) to make it into a 2nd tier or 3 tier university.

Many Franks

Cue the Vancouver Sun and SCMP with some of the inflammatory garbage that has tarnished the whole HAM premise for me. (These appear to have been published just before the immigrant investor program was announced to be closing.) Is Vancouver ready for 52,000 more wealthy new immigrants? This cites and quotes the SCMP article on the same theme… Exclusive: Vancouver facing an influx of 45,000 more rich Chinese Both articles are full of qualifiers and caveats that erode the image of 45,000 cash-stuffed Lamborghinis screaming out of the Port of Vancouver next week but let’s not let details get in the way of inflammatory headlines. As is pointed out elsewhere, we don’t have statistics on HAM. The real estate industry benefits from pumping the story and its pumping is amplified a hundredfold by the local psychology, and has for decades… Read more »

fixie guy

@16 PizzaEater Says: “Bingo! The only incentive is to NOT have the data.”

According to Harper, who encourages everyone from CSIS to American entertainment industries peering into your orifices, that kind of Census question is just too darn intrusive.
Canada is still sleeping.


Bear Vancouverite

I appreciate your comments on education but I suspect your sample pool is rather biased. From my perspective in Asia, universities in the west outside of Oxbridge and Ivy are considered subpar. They are primarily for the kids who couldn’t make it into the top schools back home, and don’t want to be ashamed in front of their peers attending a low ranked school.

There is an allure to settle in places like Vancouver, and sending your children to study there is part of the process. But overall there is great pride in Asian education, and the obvious benefits as seen in the expanding wealth here.

In 20 years in Asia I have never heard of a parent or child wanting to attend a second tier school in North America.


Tories’ new budget to close program giving investors path to citizenship

Well I thought I just saw a pig flying past my window. IF the same people aren’t able to get in by gaming other categories (and that’s a a really big if), my kudos to the Cons. And you won’t hear that from me very often.


@84: “How else can you explain the average of 83% pretax household income going towards housing”

Well of course it doesn’t. Nobody spends that much, never mind 83% being the average.

Price/income is Vancouver is really really high, yes. It was really really high in a lot of places in the US in 2005 too. Do some research on how the latter happened (it’s well documented) and you might understand the former.

Joe Mainlander

Re; High end home sales. To provide folks with a perspective of the significance of high end home sales on the Vancouver market, Remax reports that 1600 homes over $2 million sold in Greater Vancouver during 2013.


During 2013, according to the REBGV 28,500 homes were sold.


That’s about 5% of sales. Not sure if 5% of sales could have that much impact or trickle down effect on the other 95% of sales.


San Diego could further embarrass vancouver by posting SoCal’s weather forecast for this week, or even worse, a list of companies headquartered in California VS British Columbia


@87 So the investors who are buying multi million $ houses have a average net worth of $250K? And these newly minted Mainland Chinese immigrants worth 250K each with multi million $ houses on the Westside of Vancouver all eat at the Bread Garden in Metrotown? Got it. Makes perfect sense.

Interest Only

@64 Patriotz

Hi Patriotz: I knew you would respond I just thought it would be more fact based like the observation that the article suggests that the average minimum net worth of those from China applying for investor class visas only works out to $250,000 each.

That is the quality dissection that we have come to expect from you Patriotz, not condescending rhetorical questioning in response to someone voicing their opinion.

I hope you get back on your game.


Anyone who believes the termination of the investor class is going to stop capital flight from coming abroad is sadly mistaken. All a wealthly indivdual needs to do is call his developer or numbered company buddy/family and ask to be sponsored under the TFW program as a plumber or whatever meets CIC's skilled shortage list, and voila!… they're in.

The plan is to ramp up immigration, and that's exactly what they're doing.

would-be buyer

I am hopeful that putting an end to the investor class immigrant will go a long way in helping to correct this over-heated Vancouver market, however, we still need to remember that there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of Canadian real estate. I won’t be cheering until law makers start restricting foreign ownership or taxing it heavily.

David Lee

@ Turkey Here’s the thing: I’ve been a reluctant HAM believer for a long time. Reluctant in that I don’t want to believe it, but living in Vancouver, working in Richmond, and having only anecdotal data to go by, there is only one conclusion that I can come to: 1) the Lower Mainland is a washing machine for corrupt money, 2) where there is large amounts of HAM, there is poverty (according to the income data), 3) the people who are already here and who have been buying RE recently (at least since 2008), or who have not cashed out, believe what is happening at the margins (i.e. the most recent pricing sets the market) and believe they must get on the ladder as soon as they can or be priced out, 4) the real estate industry (including mortgage brokers)… Read more »


@ Turkey, “An abrupt cut-off would suggest half” I’m not sure what you’re referring to… you think the 2013 immigrant investor numbers will be half of 2012? Perhaps, but the number of the Immigrant investor class will soon be going to zero. As the G&M article states, in recent years Canada has admitted about 3,000 immigrant investors per year through the program – or about 11,000 including their spouses and dependents. In the past 28 years, more than 130,000 people have immigrated to Canada under this investor program. A large majority of them probable settled in Vancouver, some in Toronto, and a tiny remaining percentage elsewhere. There are many other types of immigrant classes, but none of them have the wealth of this class of immigrant. I have a feeling the impact of this on higher-end Van RE will be… Read more »



I sit corrected. The 2013 figures aren’t released yet, but it looks like the 2012 Investor Immigrant numbers were only slightly lower than previous years. An abrupt cut-off would suggest half.



Yes, the Immigrant Investur queue has been frozen to new admissions since July of 2012. Those in the queue prior to that time were still being processed… Until now.

If you think you can extrapolate anything from the last 18 month’s data, I think you are the one who is sorely mistaken.

left already living in San Diego

Here I go again:
Are you enjoying living in the best place on earth , skiing in the morning, golfing in the afternoon and sailing in the evening, all at the same day of course?