Friday Free-for-all!

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

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:

Surprise! No Rate Increase.
Alberta down, who’s next?
Always running out of land
Global boom continues
Hamilton prices see biggest jump
Van RE stranger than fiction
Actual reporting happening
Paul is back with the numbers!

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

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VanRant
Member
VanRant

Now that Xun “Sunny” Wang is guilty of immigration fraud and with over 1000 clients. I guess there is going to be a lot of for sale signs in Richmond.

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

“Canada urgently needs to pivot back towards sound money principles and adopt policies with respect to the real estate market that puts the interests of all Canadians, including future generations, first. Most importantly, the next government in Ottawa has to stop relying on a buildup of household debt as a means to keep our economy going. There is no point in chest pounding over central government balanced budgets during a period in which financial risks are merely being moved onto family balance sheets.”

Harper economics: running on debt and easy money

https://canadianinsider.com/blog/harper-economics-running-debt-and-easy-money

(Aug. 11, 2013)

“Three-quarters of all Canadian mortgages are insured by the federal government, up from only 30 per cent in 1988. Ottawa guarantees a total of $900-billion worth of mortgage insurance.”

After decades of stoking mortgages, Ottawa in a mess of its own making

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/after-decades-of-stoking-mortgages-ottawa-in-a-mess-of-its-own-making/article13705668/

UBC in Crisis mode
Guest
UBC in Crisis mode

A few months ago I said “minority conservative government after the election”. Could I be wrong?

Go, Mulcair, Go.

southseacompany
Member
southseacompany

“Toronto one of the world’s priciest cities, but pay levels lag, study finds”, Globe & Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/hamilton-hot-blast-furnace-hot-housing-market/article26394519/

“The annual study by the Swiss bank, which looks at prices and wages around the world, pegged Toronto as the globe’s 12th most expensive city in which to live, excluding rent, though pay levels in Canada’s biggest centre lagged at just 15th.”

southseacompany
Member
southseacompany

“Why Yellen Blinked on Interest Rates”, New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/18/upshot/yellen-blinks-on-interest-rates.html?_r=0

“It has been seven years of zero percent interest rates. What’s another two or three months among friends?”

“It’s clear that the Fed officials think that the economy is well on the path toward healing and that neither a modest interest rate increase nor a volatile stock market will wreck it. Inflation may have been persistently below the central bank’s 2 percent target the last few years, but it is on track to steadily rise in the year ahead.”

Bo Xilai
Member
Bo Xilai

Portland, Oregon Proposes 25K Residential Demolition Tax

Can anyone ever imagine Vancouver or Surrey ever doing the same here?

http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-33756-permalink.html

bullwhip29
Guest
bullwhip29
bullwhip29
Guest
bullwhip29

@ #6
it would only add to the cost of doing business but not act as a major deterrent (like the fines for illegally knocking down trees in the darkness of night)

elvince
Guest
elvince

@bullwhip29: Better than nothing. Add this to empty-house taxes and/or just plain increase of capital taxes, maybe some other means of taxation I’m not thinking about, and you’ll eventually get quite bundle from foreigners.

For locals, the goal of that whole invasion should be to at least fill the city treasury with foreign money. Keep the taxes low and services high while funding those services with foreign money. This is kind of the political holy grail: tax those who can’t vote to give to those who can.

If they’re gonna invade the country legally, at least make them pay for it.

bullwhip29
Guest
bullwhip29

@ #9

a vacancy or pied-a-terre type tax makes more sense if you intend on targeting foreign investors only but i doubt the folks in charge have got the stones to actually follow through on such a proposal (nor will they have a feasible plan to implement this without having to deal with numerous privacy issues). imho too many high up on the food chain have a vested interest in keeping the property market bubble fully inflated. perhaps locals will be tossed some crumbs one day in the form of some sort of break on transfer taxes, prop tax grants and the like.

pricedoutfornow
Guest
pricedoutfornow
I found this article to be pretty accurate with the regards to the real estate situation for young families in Vancouver. And I’m thanking my lucky stars that I never bought a “starter” condo (1 or 2 bedroom) when I was young and childless. Now that I have two children living under my roof (different age groups, different sexes) I am so happy that we were able to find a 4 bedroom house for rent at a reasonable (for our wages) price. And all those people who said to me when I was 25 and single “Why are you RENTING (ew) why don’t you BUY your condo??” are now stuffed into small condos with a couple of kids because they believed the hype that the market always goes up, and they would be able to upgrade no problem. Sadly this… Read more »
space889
Guest
space889

Why not make the demolition fee $50K? $100K? Or just plain ban demolition period.

Portland residents can have fun live in old, old, old, old houses as people find it just not worthwhile to demolish and build new, but at the same time also likely not able to continuously renovate the existing tired housing stock to keep up with the times.

vangrl
Member
vangrl

speaking of demolitions

“Zhang was burned to death and his house gutted in Monday’s incident, which followed a prolonged disagreement over terms of compensation for the demolished home.”

http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/chinese-officials-detained-after-housing-dispute-turns-deadly-1.2569374

elvince
Guest
elvince

I’m not sure what the point of demolishing perfectly good houses is anyway. The east coast is full of perfectly good houses that were built before vancouver was enven founded. Europe is full of 300+ years old houses (more than 3 times the age of vancouver) that are great.

I say quit building shitty houses in the first place and demolition won’t even be a problem.

VanRant
Member
VanRant

The next bubble in China about to burst…

Kyle Bass, said that Chinese bank assets rose about 400 percent since 2007, and are now about $31 trillion against an economy with a gross domestic product of $10 trillion.

“When you run a bank expansion that aggressively, that quickly, you’re going to have some losses,” he said, adding that “the scary thing about that” is a “likely” 10 percent asset loss in that banking sector would amount to $3 trillion.

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/15/hayman-capitals-bass-chinas-real-problem-is-its-banking-sector.html

vangrl
Member
vangrl
space889
Guest
space889

@elvince – Wood houses in a wet climate tend to rot or at least go mouldy. If we weren’t in an earthquake zone then brick/concrete which lasts much longer would be much better for long lasting values.

However, with all things, eventually there is a limit to how much you can upgrade/modernize something before it is simply easier and cheaper to just tear it down and start from scratch.

As for shitty quality, the problem is people are complaining about the prices of shitty quality product, how do you expect them to afford high quality stuff that is going to cost way more?

Funkey monkey
Guest
Funkey monkey

#17 space I don’t think you have any idea what you are talking about. Other than your last comment.
New builds are all about the basement suite and laneway house.

patriotz
Member

@10:

Instead of having a “vacancy tax” per se you simply levy all houses with an income tax commensurate with the most resent purchase price. If the owner is already paying this, fine. If not, pay up. Kills many birds with one stone.

But municipalities don’t have to power to do this. Senior governments don’t have the will to do it and I doubt that will change even if the party in power does.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

@13

“The use of thugs and strong-arm tactics in housing demolitions is relatively common in China, where local governments are heavily reliant on land sales to top up their coffers. Corrupt officials can pocket generous kickbacks through collusion with real estate developers, giving them even more incentive to force out incalcitrant homeowners.”

And once they’ve pocketed enough generous kickbacks and burned enough peasants to death, they can move to Vancouver, launder their money and enjoy living in a $3 million west side house while declaring no income.

Krusty will welcome them and their money with open arms.

elvince
Guest
elvince

@space: Vancouver’s climate isn’t any harsher than Montreal’s -30C winter to +35C summer, or Spain/France’s Mediteranean climate. The east coast is also quite damp 6-8 months/year. Even if water was the problem, there’s no reason the same house built in Vancouver wouldn’t last at least half as long. If it gets too humid, add a dehumidifer or heat/AC the place, it’s gonna get dry.

Unless it’s too ugly to make anything with it (think Van Special), then it’s stupid to bulldoze a house. Either the construction itself is crap or it’s just an excuse to buid basement suites and laneway houses.

Tiger
Guest
Tiger

China Air-pollution is the worst in the world no wonder Chinese want to come and live Vancouver

Air Pollution in the World: Real time Air Quality map

http://waqi.info/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3239920/How-polluted-city-Map-shows-minute-harmful-smog-levels-world-reveal-health-risk.html

vangrl
Member
vangrl

I hope this proposal passes!

“Real estate agent Joanne Giesbrecht spoke at the hearing and told city council she was in favour of the Heritage Conservation Area (HCA). She said since 2006, a new market was driving prices in Shaughnessy because of its big, central lots. As a result, Shaughnessy properties were in big demand, but for their lot size, not the houses.

Annie Gao said she’d been advised by her real estate agent that she’d be allowed to tear her First Shaughnessy house down, which is why she bought it. And then the city banned demolitions, interfering with her plan.

“This proposal will lower the value on the whole area,” said Ms. Gao, echoing a common theme among the “no” side.

“My house smells because it’s over 100 years old,” she said, explaining why the house had to go.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/real-estate/vancouver-one-step-closer-toward-demolition-ban-for-first-shaughnessy/article26435755/

History
Guest
History

the irony of Chinese pollution vs Canada relatively pollution free, is that the Chinese wouldnt vote Green unless yo talkin US greenbacks. I mean their brains arent capable of comprehending an abstraction like coming to Canada because its clean, and therefore rewarding the Green Party in this election because of superior environmental values. Sorry if this offends anyone, but i dont think the Green party will win any votes from Chinese escaping Asia because of unlivable conditions… maybe a few votes, but not many

vangrl
Member
vangrl

great comment on that Heritage proposal article 🙂

“In China, one can just pay off the local council members.

This must be creating confusion for newcomers… Or not, depending on the outcome.”

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