Friday Free-for-all!

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

This is our standard 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:

Mayors letter to Premier on housing
Mayor pitches affordable housing idea
We lack the facts
Vancouver Realtor Hunger Index 38%
4 proposals for housing affordability
New West addresses affordability
Did it work in Toronto?

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

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Corrupt in Canada

Assume the position downward dog and get ready to take it up the Caitlyn Jenner.


@Softy – I’m not sure Shanghai ever fit that description of no economy. It was an European enclave/preserve for sure but I think it also had a very strong vibrant economy during that time too, with a lot of commerce, trading, etc. Also, isn’t Cristy trying to make education a mainstay industry in BC by exporting our cirriculum to BC highschool degree granting schools in China, and opening up floodgates and reserved university (and maybe even highschool) seats for foreign students? Not to mention the legion of English language schools in Vancouver? As for other industries, well, when the goal of 90% of the companies founders is to get bought out by US tech ASAP, there isn’t much you can do to grow a strong industry base. But hey, we do have Hootsuite, Craiglist, PlentyOfFish! All world class IT companies… Read more »


@Bull! Bull! Bull! – But Patriotz and bears here have said that rental price in Vancouver is cheap!!! Cheap they says! It’s only house prices that are out of whack. How could this be??!!


Here is a comment from the GM article posted by Bull: There are a number of things that government can do to slightly ease the housing situation in Vancouver for a few people, for a while. But a wholesale, long-term solution that does not wreck the city’s economy is just not possible. Vancouver has a very weak economy, built on real estate in a context of an acute and irremediable land shortage.. It has a community of small startups and a few mid-sized firms in technology and communications, but nothing that compares with the big concerns in Seattle or California. Its traditional industries, mostly resource based, are all in trouble. Basically, the BC lower mainland is not suited to support a large, productive population. For such a population to thrive, the region would have to have a large stable industrial… Read more »

Bull! Bull! Bull!
mls watch

Another new trend is an increase in the volume of private capital originating from Asian markets. This has been led by a group of large Chinese developers – although Singaporean and Malaysian players are also prominent – that invest mainly in residential projects both regionally and globally, and whose products are aimed largely at buyers from mainland China.

mls watch

China’s property slump continues to deepen against the backdrop of reduced demand, excess supply and earlier credit tightening measures aimed at curbing property speculation. While policymakers have taken a number of steps recently to spur bank lending, including lowering financing costs and easing mortgage restrictions, prices continue to decline in the majority of major centres.

Canadian home sales and price trends are relatively stable, though tight supply and strong demand continue to fuel bigger price increases in a few high-priced markets. Low borrowing costs are maintaining affordability in the face of high home valuations. However, soft employment and income gains are expected to temper home sales in 2015, particularly in oil-producing regions of the country.


@158 – Maybe you shouldn’t have just strolled in like you are some bigshot and sit down at a table and expected to be treated like a celebrity? Normally, I think you are supposed to flag down the hostess or waitress and wait for them to direct you to a table?

Most Chinese, especially HK, restaurants treat Caucasians better than Chinese cuz they know Caucasians tend to tip more, and frankly a lot of them just like Caucasians better.

Now if you are a mainlander who went into HK restaurants and don’t speak Cantonese then I totally believe you would get no service. Happens to us all the time.


same happened to me … went to a restaurant in Richmond to try some authentic food. I sat in a table and was ignored, servers passing by, then I left. Great integration. But that will never make the front page of newspapers, as opposed to someone not being understood in McDonalds because they don’t speak english.


On money laundering. From a commenter: “And investing their money in foreclosed properties, rehabbing them, and flipping them. I worked for a subprime lender, 98% of his investors were Chinese and 90% of them ended up with federal charges of money laundering and other things as well.” No, I’m being serious. Wealthy Chinese citizens are purchasing buildings in Canada as a way of money laundering. “Yup. And the thing that annoys me is the ones who bought their houses for $189k years and years ago act like they earned the millions they are able to sell for now. The Premier doesn’t want to do anything to the market because it might hurt current homeowners. How would it hurt someone whose house was $800k last year and $1.6M this year if the value dropped back to $920k next year?” Not really…… Read more »


The article made it to reddit. The comments are amusing. “And investing their money in foreclosed properties, rehabbing them, and flipping them. I worked for a subprime lender, 98% of his investors were Chinese and 90% of them ended up with federal charges of money laundering and other things as well.” “Was gonna say this. I live in Vancouver. Really stoked that offshore investors can completely ruin the housing market for the locals.” “Look right out side of America and you’ll see the shining example of unaffordability: Vancouver BC. The average detached house on a 40 foot plot is well north of a million.” Well north is understating it a bit. Average price of a detached home in Vancouver hit $2.23M What’s worse is employers pay less in Vancouver than other places. A software dev making $125k USD in… Read more »


From the UK: “If we want to make property affordable to the young, it’s time to bite the bullet and raise interest rates”, The Telegraph “The UK housing market has been grossly overinflated by low interest rates, freezing out the young” “Many savers, particularly elderly ones, continue to complain about the low interest rate environment, and how it has damaged their income and even wealth. At the same time, many of those trying to get on to, or climb, the housing ladder, complain bitterly about the way high asset prices, which are a by-product of the low interest rate environment, have locked them out.” “So here’s a proposal: the Bank of England should simply bite the bullet, stop worrying about the damage to growth, and jack up rates, say to 3pc or even higher. At one and the same… Read more »


We are not alone;

“These Are the 13 Cities Where Millennials Can’t Afford a Home”, Bloomberg

“Soaring home prices and stagnant wages combine to make home-buying in some cities a pipe dream for young adults”

“Millennials have been priced out of some of the biggest U.S. cities, with residential real estate prices rising even as wage growth remains elusive. ”

“The biggest disparities are on the West Coast. Take the three Californian hubs of San Francisco, San Jose (the heart of Silicon Valley), and Los Angeles (where a developer is trying to sell one of the biggest homes in U.S. history for a record $500 million). The typical young adult in those cities doesn’t even make half of what’s needed to afford a home. “


Westside realtor:

This won’t end unless immigration is reduced.

Otherwise, you will live in an asian city one day…

I can’t even read the store signs in richmond…had a bad experience when i wasn’t served in an asian restaurant,,,never went back to another one.


And its well known that Chinese have 2 names….one for China and another name on a passport they use for immigration (the names used in canada).

Naive Canadian officials…hahaha


China jumbo jet passengers let into Canada without going through immigration and customs…

wonder who brought in the billion dollar worth of diamonds….

and who got bribed…..


If you’re not corrupt, good luck winning here..


#141 BrainDrain Something that made Canada different was the idea of fairness and community. Salaries were lower and cost of living higher than the U.S., but it was acceptable since the social system prevented huge inequalities. And it made for a better society, were everyone had a fair chance and with strong communities. All that was built is being destroyed, everything is for sale. And fairness The houses will go and new ones built instead, but organic communities are hard to grow again. This is much bigger than choosing between a condo or a detached house. Brain drain will only accelerate now that it’s clear no leader wants to act. All propaganda about affordability is useless when you have contacts outside Vancouver in similar professional stage doing much better, living in better houses, while Rennie tells to buy a shoebox… Read more »

Shut It Down Already

144, parents lending downpayments to the kids obviously wasn’t required years ago, as the loosening CMHC policies at that time achieved the same end result (that is, pumping more cash into the system and decreasing affordability). I bet you know of more people who had their downpayment “loaned” to them by their folks than you know offshore buyers.


Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal

A partial list of the retracted articles suggests most of them were written by scholars at universities in China.


@144: Garth is as useless as Westside “Realtor”, stop wasting time reading what either one of them write.


@141 BrainDrain
I’m down in TX for internal meetings this week but will be having lunch with an ex colleague tomorrow. He works for a global company (not oil) headquartered in Houston, $16B revenue last year and 13,000 employees. They have an opening that he figures is custom tailored for me with full sponsorship and was just waiting for me to “be in town” due to anti poaching he agreed to on his departure. The only question will be whether the pay increase offsets loss of my wife’s income though with housing down here, I can buy a place outright with no mortgage!


What to do Garth ? — “First, nothing. The market will tip under its own weight as the population becomes even more pickled in debt…. so we’re now at the bottom. Up from here with predictable consequences.” That’s nice, let locals compete with tons of nonstop HAM money, let them get picked in more debt ! Let’s not try to cool the insanity ! Let consequences be more catastrophic ! Are we at the bottom again ? Another prediction ? Predictions are useless if HAM is not accounted. — “Second, stop trying to do something. With every ‘break’ given to make housing more affordable, it gets less so.” Hate to agree but it’s not a free market. — “Third, shutter the Bank of Mom. More than any other single factor, this inter-generational transfer of housing equity is sustaining price levels,… Read more »


Meanwhile in GarthLand: — “In YVR, this is turning into an obsession … He demands the province (a) create a speculation tax aimed at foreigners (Chinese, natch)” Notice who’s really obsessed denying HAM day after day. Look in the mirror. Notice who’s pushing race in the conversation, where there was none ? — “Nor will taxing the Chinese or anybody buying a $5 million house make it any easier for the #DontHave1Million Millennials to secure a detached house.” At least get some extra revenue for the province, what’s the downside ? Notice who brings the race again ? — As this blog has shown a few times, based on available data, foreign buyers are skinny market players – maybe 5% of YVR sales and just 1.6% in Victoria. What data ? That’s the problem, there’s no data and no one… Read more »