Friday Free-for-all!

Whoa! Where did the time go?

It’s the end of another week and that means it’s time for another Friday Free-for-all!

This is our regular 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:

IMF cuts Canada on oil slump
BOC warns of housing correction
$43 million discount
Teranet goes up
Calgary goes down
Faith based financial advice
Cheap condo goes under asking
2015 Bowen / Gulf island stats
$1 mill sunshine coast sales

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

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Bear Vancouverite

Sorry, to clarify: “Er, wait a minute, if they were “HAM” why did they need mortgages?” When I say “HAM” vs locals I mean new immigrants vs longtime residents (the latter may include first generation descendents of immigrants or immigrants who have established roots here). Also, wasn’t it already discussed in years past that even HAM would use OPM (Other People’s Money) when and if they could? @space “Regardless, this fits what I’ve been saying for awhile now, the under $2.5M dollar market isn’t really driven by HAM. It is driven by high income locals (eg. those Financial Facelift couples) willing and able to take on $1M to $2M+ mortgages. A couple of doctors/lawyers each making $200K+/yr can easly support a $2M mortgage at current rates.” I think we are talking about 2 different groups of buyers. The buyers the… Read more »

@#241 & @#243

From a Vancouver realtor’s blog, a news entitled,
“Immigrants from China ranked second highest in number, and this helps to push the housing market”
China recently released a “China International Migration Report 2015”, in which it pointed out that the United States was the top choice, and Canada being their second preferred destination.


ha ha ~ thanks for the education!


@252: “Patriotz, I am surprised you think 1/3rd isn’t a significant market factor.” I did not say that. I said it was not a great many, considering how broad the definition was. Here is what was actually said: Macdonald Realty said 33.5 per cent of the 531 single family homes sold by its Vancouver offices in 2013 went to people who the company said were a mix of recent immigrants and Canadian citizens 178 houses to someone with a Chinese connection, not just recent immigrants. Lower than I would have expected myself. That is hugely out of whack with the claims (right on this thread) that 80% of buyers are recent Mainland Chinese immigrants. “As you have said a million times… prices are set by the marginal buyer. 1/3rd is one hell of a lot of marginal buyers.” As I… Read more »



That last quote is “80 to 90 per cent of the buying in West Vancouver” (not the West Side). It appears to be from Kurland.

It doesn’t reconcile well with this preceding quote: “Of homes in the $4 million and higher category (in West Vancouver), agent Clarence Debelle of Royal Pacific Realty estimates some 75 per cent went to buyers with ties to mainland Chinese money.”

You can see people are basically giving their gut feelings, not hard numbers.


New Listings 298
Price Changes 56
Sold Listings 178


No doubt in my mind that most of the nuttiness of Van RE is due to essentially “free money” right now. CMHC backed loans of ridiculous proportions and low interest rates. You really only have to look at ALL major centres in Canada to see that they all rose significantly since interest rates cratered. Having said that, to discount foreign ownership as a contributing factor to some degree I think is a tad naive. Even if foreign ownership is negligible, what is the harm in enacting some kind of foreign ownership laws? We collect more tax and maybe it will reduce some of the demand and pressure on prices. I would think having a city full of people with spare cash to spend in the economy on entertainment etc would be far more beneficial to the economy than a few… Read more »


The 1/3rd to 1/2 of buyers from China is consistent with my experience. I’m a numbers kind of guy and I like to base my opinions of things on real data rather than assumptions. But, there is no reliable way of collecting this data, so we’re left with anecdotes or some other proxy. The official numbers are something like 3%. Clearly, that’s nowhere near reality. One proxy we can maybe used is comparing real estate prices in non-HAM markets like Squamish, Victoria and the Fraser Valley to prices in HAM markets like Vancouver and West Vancouver. The trend here is pretty obvious. The ‘local’ markets are stagnant and the ‘HAM’ markets are strong. That’s not a proof of causality of course, but it is potentially a market proxy. The more proxy measures you can come up with, the better you… Read more »


6-year-old girl in Port Coquitlam dies after being struck by new driver

A 40-year-old driver with an ‘L’ learning license was driving on Sunday, April 19 when she allegedly lost control of her Honda SUV at the intersection of Shaughnessy Street and Lions Way. Her vehicle veered into a busy sidewalk and struck four pedestrians, including six-year-old Kianna Moreau.


Patriotz, it’s in the last quote. —————————————– Space, And I think this is the last time we should communicate, just pass by my posts, it shouldn’t be hard. As you said, you don’t respect me nor do you seem to allow opinions to be stated without freaking out, so to avoid frustrating other readers lets not interact. You don’t know what I’m worth nor do you know my yearly salary. I will tell you, no I can’t afford a 5 million dollar house. I’ll also tell you that had the West Side not gone so ballistic in the last few years that I could have gotten into a West Side house right now, probably not a very big house but a decent character house in the Kits area. And if I chose, I could get into a pretty nice East… Read more »


China’s graft-busters release list of 100 wanted fugitives in Operation Sky Net.
The CCDI said the names on the list were only a fraction of those targeted in its global hunt.

Some on list is (no surprise) living in Vancouver.

say whaaaa?

So I haven’t chimed in for a while, but it’s interesting that we have as the majority posters: a member of the wu mao spamming non-stop, a shill for someone who doesn’t even live in the lower mainland (spamming non-stop), and an actual local feeding the trolls. Yawn.


@244: “The 1/3rd of all buyers having a link to Mainland China”

Which would include someone like Gregor Robinson. That’s a very broad category, and 1/3 of all buyers doesn’t sound like a great many to me.

“and the 80% of West side sales were to chinese buyers”

I don’t see this in your post.


– and you know that stat because ?????

What is a tie anyways? Just cuz they were born in mainland China? It must mean they are evil evil evil corrupt?

Most mainland Chinese born people I know are Canadian citizens working and paying taxes locally. Are you saying they shouldn’t be allowed to buy houses?

Or that it’s their fault the house prices are so high you can’t buy?

Did they break some Canadian moral code by willing to pay more money than you to buy a house and henceforth deserve to burn in hell?


– Question for you is even if all HAM disappeared overnight and no one hot foreign money comes, is that going to make that $5M house any more affordable to you? Or make any kind of difference to your desire/entitlement that you should be able to buy a SFH in a neighborhood simply because you were born and raised there?

My guess is no. You will simply be outbid by high income professional couples making $250K, $300K, $400K, or even $500K+/yr. Or maybe even Indian/Fillipino families that lives 3 generation or extended families under 1 roof and pool resources to buy a house.



“Asian buyers accounted for roughly 90% of sales of properties costing $5 million and more.”

in no way means that they bought 0% of homes below $5 million.

The 1/3rd of all buyers having a link to Mainland China, and the 80% of West side sales were to chinese buyers is what is interesting.

Joe Mainlander

@#241 If you quote RE agents, your not thinking, you’re letting them think for you. Analyze what they say, and be informed. “Asian buyers accounted for roughly 90% of sales of properties costing $5 million and more.”” Out of the about 16k homes listed right now on MLS in all of Metro Van, there are only 324 over $5 million. That’s 2%. Hardly a factor. “global outflow of Chinese capital hit a record of $18 billion in 2014” Outflow to Canada’s housing market due to cheap money/CMHC hit $1.3 trillion that year..that’s 72 times the amount they claim is going out of China. And all that 1.3 trillion has gone specifically to housing. “Of homes in the $4 million and higher category, agent Clarence Debelle of Royal Pacific Realty estimates some 75 per cent went to buyers with ties… Read more »


FYI those were all from different articles & took me less than 10 minutes to find googling “chinese buying Real estate Vancouver”


Ya no way the Mainland Chinese are affecting the West, North and East Van prices, what were we thinking.. “No one knows better than real estate insiders how money flooding in from mainland China is driving up prices in Vancouver, the second-most unaffordable city in the world. Shanghai-based Dan Scarrow, of Macdonald Realty Ltd., has followed the money and is among the few real estate executives speaking candidly about the transformative impact of Chinese wealth on Vancouver. Our analysis last year indicated that roughly one-third of buyers in Vancouver had some connection to mainland China,” Scarrow said.” “Vancouver, with its sizeable Asian population, has always been popular with Chinese real estate investors, but thanks to the strength of foreign currencies against the Canadian dollar, there is growing interest from other international buyers. Detached house prices have been supported by the… Read more »

Joe Mainlander

I believe every neighbourhood is significant in this market, not one, and I use the fact that WS SF sales are between 1.5k-2k/yr in a Metro Vancouver market that has seen 40-50k sales/yr to point that out the context within which they sit.

Even more important to point out the Canadian context within which they sit, where home prices have doubled to tripled in the last decade in all 26 major Canadian centres.

When gasoline has been poured on the whole forest and it’s been set alight, there’s no point focusing on a few trees.

And that ‘forest fire’ IS something to worry about.


– well he is right, any problems from this change will not be his problem to solve, nor likely his kids who are probably all in the top 10% or 1% by income/wealth.

It will be up to Milleniums and their kids to resolve this problem and pay back the debt they racked up.


@Oracle – Check the mortgage payment formula at the link below:

Play around with Excel or online mortgage calculators and you will see that interest paid does not increase linear with interest rate increase.

But I guss that might be hard for you to understand if you never took first year calculus.


Okay, okay…here’s one more about the TFSA….


“Amid criticism that it favours the wealthy and will saddle future governments with a tax leakage problem that could cost billions, Finance Minister Joe Oliver defended his budget’s plan to almost double the TFSA limit on Tuesday, saying we should “leave that to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s granddaughter to solve….

On Tuesday’s The Exchange with Amanda Lang on CBC, the finance minister told Lang that criticism of his recently unveiled budget is unfounded, arguing that the benefits for Canadians today more than offset any future revenue problems associated with it that may or may not ever come to pass….”

…Let ’em eat cold camembert and broken crackers….