Zoocasa shuts down

Zoocasa was supposed to be the Canadian answer to Zillow – making real estate transaction information more available and driving down the cost of buying and selling a home.

Well, as space889 points out that experiment has ended. Rogers is shutting down Zoocasa.

The move by a multibillion-dollar telecommunications company into real estate sent shock waves through the industry, particularly once Zoocasa began offering buyers and sellers a 15-per-cent rebate on the commissions they paid to their agents, sparking ire among some in the industry and putting pressure on other brokerages to lower their fees to compete.

Read the full article here.

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Is it just me, or does it seem possible we could be on the cusp of one of the largest asset bubbles in modern history? I’ve been waiting for the bubble to pop for many years now, and the more I watch the run-up in Canadian real estate prices, the more I’m starting to think that we’re living through a tulip-mania’esque event. Maybe one day I’ll be telling stories to my grandkids about how there actually were people paying over $1 million for Vancouver crack shacks. I’m sure they will think I’m old and crazy even though it’s true.


Marco #43 said, ‘ the high end has always been out of reach to most locals.’ The problem is that the foreign money is increasing the proportion of properties that can only be afforded by much greater than average income. And, the effect is perculating out to other markets. e.g. Local sellers in West Van get much more than normal for their properties, and buy elsewhere (like Victoria), beating out local bidders there and raising price norms there, which perculates forward elsewhere. Meanwhile banks are happy to lend other buyers more money to try and compete. In other words, this is far far worse than just the ‘high end’ being unafordable to average people. When most properties in the city are ‘high end’ for the average family, that is no longer ‘high end’ —- that is the norm. #46 said,… Read more »


To further my comment above,

When interest rates rise, is when I believe we will see more transparency in the real estate world, meaning more call for a Canadian version of Zillow.

As well with falling property taxes the Government will then take more serious consideration to the notion of taxing foreign investment, to make up for their losses.


[…] –FOR SALE: City Hall –Going? –Going. –Gone. –Is that an elephant? –Bogus Analysis –Dichotomy –Who wants data? –BC majority now expects drop? – […]


@31: “I don’t think he (Mulcair) understands the first thing about HAM or foreign investment–he would likely characterize the debate as ‘racist’, although we don’t know because he’s never said anything about it” Mulcair is a former Quebec cabinet minister and most of his caucus is from seats formerly held by the BQ. Whether federalist or separatist Quebec politicians are very sensitive to perceived federal intrusion into provincial affairs. All provinces take the position that control of RE ownership is their jurisdiction and he’s not going to get into a fight over that, particularly when there are far more seats to be lost in Quebec than to be won in metro Vancouver. That said the NDP claims to be in favour of more equitable taxation and they might be in favour of changes to the federal tax system to discourage… Read more »


“The Federal government has the power to end this bubble (obviously, since it created it). NOW is the time to make it an issue.”

Hahaha! The Federal reserve has the power to end asset bubbles by raising rates to a more normal level. This will start happening in September. The Canadian Federal Government will eventually have no choice but to raise rates as well. The UK will follow. It’s about the Bond market.

The high end HAM and other foreign investment purchases will continue, but hell the high end has always been out of reach to most locals.


Bull! Bull! Bull!


>The Federal government has the power to end this bubble (obviously, since it created it). NOW is the time to make it an issue.

tired of waiting for the bubble to burst on it’s own patriotz?

if the government is in control of price appreciation, why would they cause a crash? the best thing for them to do is engineer a soft landing.


@macs – Because that’s only the density option allowed by the city? I’m guessing the developers and city don’t believe condo high rises are viable on Oak/Cambie more than 6 blocks away from the nearest Canada Line station or a direct quick bus route to it.

Maybe there is also too much protest from the neighborhood and I’m guessing those area to tend to vote and donate to city civic parties.

But yeah, condo towers make more sense on arterial roads for densification.


“5 things you should know as you start your workday”, Financila Post


1. The greatest threat to the economy is housing: Bank of Canada

“And thanks to low interest rates — a ploy by the Bank of Canada to get businesses spending on projects and people — a large number of Canadians have taken out variable-rate mortgages. If rates were to suddenly rise during an economic rough patch, the logic goes, many of these homeowners would be forced to put their domiciles on the market, causing prices to plummet.”

“The risk is not so much that the Bank of Canada will hike its key lending rate — that will probably not happen until Canada’s economic outlook improves — than that the banks will independently hike rates in response to a foreign-made financial crisis. “


#30 Pushback: I think a lot of condo owners hoping to upgrade after 5-8 years have found out that it was all BS. The market has split between the super-rich and those who scrape the payments. Add renovictions, terrible rentals, etc. for locals. I think the differences are being highlighted and there is more awareness asking, “where the hell is that money from ?” Who can pay a few millions and even buy over asking ? There is no affordable housing for families. Townhouses that are close to $1M are out of reach when $500 maintenace fees are added. Why are townhouses only built on main arteries ? Whole blocks of Oak and Granville are being bulldozed. For kids is dangerous and not healthy so much emission fumes from vehicles. And noise ! Why are not they built elsewhere, like… Read more »


“Mapped: Where in the world are house prices growing fastest?”. The Telegraph


“House price winners and losers by country”


“RBC Survey: Strong belief among B.C. residents that home prices will fall”, The Province


“B.C. residents strongly believe housing prices will drop and are more nervous than other Canadians about the economy, according to a new RBC survey.”

“RBC’s annual Home Ownership poll found that given current home prices and economic conditions, 55 per cent of B.C. residents said they would rather wait at least a year to buy a home, compared with a national average of 51 per cent.”


“Calgary home prices plunge in biggest monthly drop on record”, Financial Post


“Canadian home prices rose in May to a record high despite a drop in Calgary as weak oil prices continued to hurt demand in Canada’s energy heartland”

Son of Ponzi

The cauldron is reaching the boiling point.
This what happens when you keep sweeping things under the carpet.
You suddenly realize it’s the elephant in the room.
But then it’s to late.


From the UK: “Interest rate rise getting closer, says Bank of England policymaker”, The Telegraph


“The Bank of England is edging closer to a rise in interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis, as the UK economy remains on track to move back into inflation, according to a policymaker.”

“This means that “we are approaching the time when monetary policy will need to begin its journey back to more ‘normal’ settings”, he said.”


Comments on the Van Sun article I just posted: -Richmond is characterized as ‘hyper-diverse’ because most residents are foreign-born. I don’t think it qualifies as ‘diversity’ when most residents come from one country, China. -ironic that the article mentions ‘ethnically homogeneous megalopolises of Asia’. That’s right. Vancouver’s (or Richmond’s) new immigrants come from places that totally lack diversity and multiculturalism so this does not bode well for multiculturalism in Canada. Richmond is on track to becoming ethnically homogenous too. -The article seems to imply that before 1970, people called it Lulu Island and around 1970 when the big demographic changes started is when people started calling it Richmond. That is not true. Lulu Island has always refered to the geographic physical island that the political entity of Richmond is located on. Lulu Island also has a bit of New Westminster… Read more »


From the Vancouver Sun: The City of Richmond is the centre of a global demographic explosion virtually unprecedented in human history. Documentary film crews from Asia and Europe are among those trekking to this West Coast Canadian suburb to discover what happens when a once-sleepy, semi-rural municipality suddenly turns into a buzzing city of more than 200,000 in which more than six out of 10 residents are born outside the country. When a Fox News commentator caused an international uproar this year by claiming the British city of Birmingham had become a “no-go zone” because it was overrun by foreigners (he was speaking of Muslims in particular), it turned out only about one in 10 residents of Birmingham were born outside the United Kingdom. While there have been no race riots in peaceful Richmond, residents of the city have mixed… Read more »


@ Oracle #16 “The sheep will buy it. This is a ploy to split the vote between the liberals, NDP, and greens. This is how the cons win.” That is my read on the situation too. Every day, the corporate media has a new story about how the NDP are on the upswing and how the Liberals are stalled. It just reeks. This is the same media that for most of my life has shown heavy bias against the NDP, now all of a sudden celebrating the NDP. I am an NDP voter my whole life and with Mulcair in charge, I’ve never been less enthusiastic about voting NDP. I don’t think he understands the first thing about BC. His insistence that for every seat added to Parliament for the west, a seat be added for Quebec, despite the fact… Read more »


So the mayor is not attending Christy Clark’s yoga event and the First Nations are planning on protesting. It is a bit shocking to see so much push back against Christy Clark for this particular event. So she’s using taxpayer dollars to host an event to benefit a big Liberal donor. It’s just another day in the life of the BC Liberal government. It’s hardly the worst thing they’ve ever done, it’s not even in the top ten worst things the BC Liberals have done. So why the public push back on this particular issue? I think it’s because (dare I hope) people have finally had enough of the BC Liberals. There is the health ministry firings and the bald face lies the Liberals were caught in. Then there is Translink–it’s reached a critical point. There used to be a… Read more »


Post #3 is brilliantly written. It uses humour to summarize so much of the frustration people are experiencing. Also, that post has the power to convey to outsiders, people not from BC, what is going on. It’s so hard to explain how our province has been sold out to foreign investors to people in the US or other parts of Canada because they can’t understand what it’s like without living through it themselves. That post can give outsiders a little taste of the frustration we feel. Re-post that one for and wide.


“The Federal government has the power to end this bubble (obviously, since it created it).”

Come on, P, just say Vote NDP. It would be quite a trick though: pop the housing bubble in the midst of perhaps permanently lower oil prices while ramping up social spending in a budget that is just barely balanced.

Or perhaps that’s what you mean. The NDP will screw the economy and the budget (socialism will work this time!) and the rising unemployment and misery will crash the market.


And for anyone denying HAM,

Metro Vancouver has officially passed the 50% visibility mark if you include temporaries.

Wow. You white folks are the minority’ now. No turning back now. Got to say, it feels good to be in the majority.


Regarding Garth,

His aim is to make the less intelligent follow his blog. He is having some success but he has plateaued.

Pick and choose stats and his minions worship him. Great entertainment value.