Vancouver: Getting better or worse?

Pete McMartin has an editorial over at the Vancouver Sun about the ‘amenity paradox‘ – that is that the attributes that make a city attractive to live in eventually erode liveability.

“It’s funny that you should mention the Amenity Paradox,” said author and urban planner Lance Berlowitz. “I was thinking about that very thing last month when I was in Barcelona. It’s one of my favourite cities and I’ve been there many times, and local people I know there were complaining that they can no longer afford to live in the city, that it has become too tourist-oriented, that, like Paris, it has become a caricature of itself.”

That is not the case in Vancouver. As much as our Chamber of Commerce would convince us of our global significance, we are not anywhere near being in the league of Barcelona, Paris, or even Toronto, for that matter. And we have a long way to go in terms of becoming truly urbane.

Wrote Bob Ransford, consultant and bi-weekly columnist for The Sun on urban design:

“We are quite delusional about what we are in Vancouver. We’re a small regional city that has seen a population spike, changing quickly some of our old ways. Those old ways were not that impressive. We’re like the 14-year-old — neither an adult nor a child, but we think we’re pretty special and we pretend we’re more gorgeous than any other teen — yet we’re terribly insecure.

So what do you think? Is Vancouver getting better as it grows more mature or are we still an adolescent insecure city in many ways?

Read the full article here.

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More bubble talks.

“If we are in a bubble, as I’m convinced we are, then we can’t get out with a soft landing,” MacBeth said. “We have to have a hard landing, and a hard landing means that we have to go back to the trendline that was in place before the bubble started to appear.”

In this case, MacBeth says, a hard landing means prices could decline by between 40 per cent and 50 per cent, causing an economic recession.

World Wide Wet

china is a sick, diseased, and dysfunctional country. if that was the end of the story, we could live with it. but it’s not. china also has some power and a huge inferiority complex. that makes it dangerous and a threat.

canadians especially like to think the world is a good place and that if we are nice then everything will work out. it’s not, and it won’t. unless measures are implemented, action is taken by knowledgeable and capable people things will go to shit. we stopped sars because we were vigilant. we have to be vigilant against ebola. and we have to be vigilant against china.

we aren’t perfect and pure, but we are able to criticize ourselves, have open discussions and improve. they don’t.


I guess western democracies aren’t going to be standing with/behind these peaceful protestors who aren’t even numbering to 100K yet.

Guess China need to step up to the plate and import some water cannon vehicles and ship them ASAP to HK!!!! But they better get the higher qualify US/EU made ones…not the cheap knock offs made in China.


Joe O or the feds can pressure CMHC to lower the amount they will insured to the Canadian average price of $400,000 and that will cool the Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver market instantly.



Unilateral truce/ceasefire declared. Not fair to other readers to read our attacks.


Financial Post; “Finance Minister Joe Oliver says Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver distorting housing numbers”

“Joe Oliver, the federal finance minister, downplayed fears of a housing bubble and emphasized three of Canada’s largest markets continue to distort national housing numbers.”

“Mr. Oliver said it would be difficult for him as finance minister to cool off just three Canadian cities and leave the rest of the country unscathed if he was to further tighten the lending environment. “That’s one of the challenges. There are some markets flat and some are experiencing some decline,” said Mr. Oliver. “We are examining all the issues and we are keeping it very much in mind.””



In the age of vaccination I think we’ve forgotten how major epidemics used to be a fact of life.

The flu epidemic around the end of WWI killed more people than the war did. You can go all the way back to biblical times to hear talk of plagues.

Given modern transportation I don’t think you need to resort to any conspiracy theories to explain the diseases we’re seeing today.


It keeps getting worse. Zero hedge reporting 80 potential Ebola cases in Texas and one potential case in Hawaii.


I’m not quite ready to start panicking yet, but I think we’re almost at that stage now. Read the news stories about this new enterovirus that seems to be causing paralysis in some children in BC and Alberta and the US. It’s a virus that is related to polio and the symptoms are sounding an awful lot like polio and polio would usually strike this time of year so this is something to really pay attention to. Then I read the Wikipedia page on polio, a disease that was almost eradicated, and I see it says this: “On 5 May 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC,[13] due to the renewed spread of polio – the outbreaks of the disease in Asia, Africa and the Middle East were considered “extraordinary”.[14][15] The… Read more »


RBC just increased its Fixed rates:
5Y: 3.14 -> 3.24
4Y: 2.99 -> 3.14


TDSB committee votes to stop Confucius Institute

Canada’s largest school board is joining a handful of other academic institutions in taking steps to sever its ties to a language and culture program controlled by the Chinese government.

About time.


@Word on the street,

ham/reality check/YVR Realtor/Oracle

Your Surrey building lot is about to become worthless. Clearly you are scared shtless.

–> Not really. Bought that with equity gained in the runup in prices. If prices crash 100%, then easy come easy go..


#127 – the RCMP HQ property is one of the plots that the Feds sold to Canada Lands and the three Native bands that also took possession of the Jericho military lands, so yes, it will be developed. I have no idea how many “high value” condos we can support but the amount being built is staggering. There is also a full city block for sale at 47th & West Blvd. ($28million) for yet more condo development. The land at the west end of the Burrard Bridge has been ceded to the Squamish (I think it’s the Squamish) for years now – the original plan was for five towers of housing for natives but funding was not forthcoming so I don’t know what will go up.


Hilliard McBeth back on the news:

“Housing market a bubble set to burst, investment expert says, Hilliard MacBeth sees signs of an overstretched market”, CBC

With Video.

Heard Herd selling

There’s a ridiculous amount of development land in Vancity, it’s not evenfunny, bunk to anyone who argues on that

Joe Mainlander

@#124 There’s also the 8.5 Ha RCMP headquarters site in Oakridge that will become available now that the headquarters is moving to Surrey. Canada Lands will, no doubt, want to develop that too. Once they deal with the Indians.

Speaking of Indians, they have a small but prime site south end of Burrard Bridge, not subject to Vancouver Zoning process. Only what they can negotiate for servicing.

Then there is the Imperial Oil lands in Port Moody. Had a put a big chunk up for bids a year ago. Not heard anything there.


I think it’s important just to give a thank-you to PaulB who continues to post the daily stats. Thank you Paul. Many of us continue to read this daily. We may not post as much as we used to but we are sitting quietly in the background. I think we have an interesting 12 months ahead of us and having these daily posts is really appreciated.

Westside Realtor

At our office we are facing an flood of sellers looking to list.

Interesting times.

Word on the street

Remember when they said we are running out of land. Well 30 hectares of prime Westside land are about to come to market for complete redevelopment. This should be fun to watch the Westside NIMBYs try to prevent 21 hectares in Jerico from being redeveloped into multi family housing. But that is exactly what is going to happen.


Vancouver ranks last place for incomes of those with bachelor’s degree or better. From the Vancouver Sun:

“The national median income in 2011 for those with bachelor’s degrees or better, according to the figures Yan received from Statistics Canada, was $50,981.

In Metropolitan Vancouver, it was $41,981: exactly $9,000 less than the national median.”

Word on the street

ham/reality check/YVR Realtor/Oracle

Your Surrey building lot is about to become worthless. Clearly you are scared shtless.


#116 and #118 – its called seasonality. And learn English.


If you don’t like it GTFO. Problem solved.

Mick Murphy


Facts are stupid. You live in some fantasyland that will never come true