CRA plans increased ‘lifestyle audits’ in Vancouver

The CRA suspects some people in Vancouver might not be paying tax on all world-wide income and are going to be taking an extra hard look at big spenders who aren’t big tax-payers.

Over at the Globe and Mail Christine Duhaime a lawyer who focuses on financial crimes explains how it works:

“They all follow what we call the same typology. … They all want an expensive Lamborghini or a Ferrari, they want a really expensive house, they send their kids to the most expensive private schools they can get in Vancouver,” she said. “So when you try to find money launderers, that’s what you look for. Who went to the Ferrari shop? And that’s what they mean by the ‘lifestyle audit.’”

Ms. Duhaime said while many people think of money laundering as something done by drug dealers, in fact the activity is more often associated with white-collar crime and usually involves tax evasion.

Will going after tax cheats have any effect on the overinflated housing market in Vancouver?  Read the original article here.

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[…] –CIBC goes negative on bond yield –Lower mainlands wide open areas –CMHC: Low risk in TO condos –More helicopter money? –Four reasons prices keep soaring – […]

[…] shared this graph of  whats happening lately in the listing vs sales ratio. This is a sharp difference from the last […]

Rocker Guy

Updated the spreadsheet with two new datapoints from Paul for July. The new listings are just being dumped on hard and are way way off the median for July.

Chart of New – Sold:


Earlier, some commenters on Reddit had rightly criticized me for making conclusions from just 9 days of data in July. However, we now are sitting at mid month and I think the data is starting to matter.


doesn’t matter.

Floodgates to temporary immigration are wide open.

1000 people per day. watch rents soars. I’m not a bull troll but you guys are griping for straws here.

rents are soaring because of this. changes to immigration were made last October…look what happened to housing prices!

The 10 year visitor visa is key. half million more residents for Canada every year. add in all the students (and they’ll get the renewable 10 year visa after their studies) and you have this gong show.

Im amazed at how many of you miss the core reason for this spike in rents and prices.


Ah yes, that will soon move the population density from 12th lowest in the world (one tenth of US population density) to, maybe 13th lowest in the word. Now that you point that out, it makes sense that we have the highest property prices in the world.


Immigrants come here to live in Vancouver or Toronto. And when there, to live in a detached home.

They don’t travel to live in condos or townhomes. They could do that back in motherland.

Funkey monkey

Rents are directly tied to income. Rents in Vancouver will never cover the cost the mortgage. I am talking about detached housing. We need high paying jobs to cover high rents. Simple Math.


Rents are tied to what foreign students will pay. They are here to get their PR. Not an education. I have extended relatives from overseas here as foreign students and they are all here to get PR.

They are from wealthy families as you don’t get a student visa if you are land poor overseas.

Trust me on that.


I don’t think analyzers have looked at the role of foreign students enough.

Royce McCutcheon

Oracle, I don’t think it’s just about a straightforward influx of people who are creating increased demand for basic shelter. I don’t think you can rule out that spikes in rents are also influenced by the present dynamic in real estate prices, where increasing owners may be letting their otherwise-rentable units sit empty or on AirBnB.


AirBnB is definitely a factor. I know two people (one owner and one renter) who are the only permanent occupants of three bedroom places. They rent the other bedrooms. One uses it to pay her mortgage, the other uses it to pay her rent.


Airbnb is not n every north American city and prices were going up before Airbnb became popular.

It’s a red herring. The fact that people keep falling for thesered herrings tellae that nothing will be done about the real problem


Nope. Prices when up a lot this year. They were going up about 3% per annum before that.

Another factor in rising rents is that newly formed households, who bought in the past, cannot afford to buy, so they rent instead, and at the same time, renters who left the pool of renters when they bought are staying in the pool of renters.


Is there a reason why you are so interested in the ratio and not inventory?


Listings are up, too. Not normal for June-to-July.


This means more listing less sales or less listing more sales ?


This looks like an early august-september spike. Will need another month to know.

Curious why the discontinuity from dec to jan from one year to the next? Is there that much of a listing boom in jan? (forgive if I’m misunderstanding the chart)


Liar and general scumbag Gordon Campbell is out of a job:

Fear monger

He can always become a realtor.
Fits right in.

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He’s shaking his red mittens in despair.

Whistler or Bust?

Best Premier we have had in the last 40 years.


If that’s an acknowledgement that Dave Barrett, who left office 40 years ago, was better I can agree with that.

He was right about a few things (carbon tax and HST), but Gordo ignited the consumer debt explosion and wholesale sellout to the wealthy and RE industry that Christie is continuing. IMHO the only worse premiers were Vander Zalm and Christie herself. And that doesn’t mean I thought Glen Clark was good.


He needed to increase their rents from around $1,100 a month to at least $1,800 per suite. He needed the rent increase, he said, to get his $1.6-million investment back.


“Why smart money is still investing in Canadian houses: Don Pittis”, CBC News

“Many people have warned that low rates are creating problems in our financial markets and even in our society — including real estate prices unrelated to incomes — and eventually something is going to break. Maybe a bubble will pop. So far that has not happened.”

“Perhaps the metaphorical peasants, in this case young Canadians who want houses, will one day rise with their metaphorical pitchforks and torches. But until something significant changes in the global economy, or until the government takes some action to make housing a bad financial investment, money will likely continue to find its way into property, and prices will rise.”


And, of course, nobody expects any significant changes in the global economy. If there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that nothing ever changes and that today’s assumptions are a safe bet for tomorrow’s income.


and it will rise.

Calgary and Kelowna the next hot spots for HAM. Add in corrupt developer/immigration supported gov and you will see prices rise.


A note to CRA: Please start audit with this guy, Edison Washington (aka Qiang Wang).
“purchased at least 10 Vancouver properties worth an assessed value of $152 million, according to land title documents.”

Best place on meth

Seize the properties and deport him.

Don’t let any more of them in.


Looks like our court systems is swap with all these cases involving banks/investors in China suing dirty Chinese nationals here in Vancouver. Just send them back to China and let them deal with it.


Im sure someone at rev canada will be bought out.


“CIBC sells negative-yield bonds for 1st time”, CBC News

“Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has become the first Canadian bank to sell bonds with a negative yield, and it had no problem selling the debt even though it’s guaranteed to lose money if held to maturity.”


The CIBC bonds are doubly appealing because they are what’s known as covered bonds. That means they are backed by Canadian mortgages, so investors in the bonds have the right to theoretically make a claim against those mortgages in the unlikely event the bank ever defaults on its loans. That gives investors two layers of protection, both from the bank’s creditworthiness, and from that of the underlying assets — the mortgages themselves.


It should be mentioned that the bonds are Euro denominated, so the bank is taking on currency risk if it lends out the proceeds in CAD (i.e. carry trade). You don’t get something for nothing.


Offshorers influence some prices in Van or Toronto, but not enough to move the entire market.

One realtor last week declared the tony Westside to be “a buyer’s market .

Latest Quotes by our village idiot

Truth be told

He manages portfolios, some of which are proceeds of HAM. Leases space at the ScotiaBANK tower (he is a banker), likes to make money fro himself (explains why he was a politician before)…and has a cult like following.

Im more concerned about those followers who believe his BS. lol


Interesting read from Schiller. He goes a bit far, but having lived in Tokyo and some other large cities, I continue to be struck by how little of Vancouver’s land is used and how easily you could increase the population of the CoV by many multiples. Don’t even get me started on the suburbs and the Valley. I was out in Fort Langly this weekend, a vast expanse of green with no amenities where cookie-cutter houses are selling for a million dollars.


“More and More Investors Think Central Banks and Governments Will Bring Out the Chopper”, Bloomberg

“Helicopter money was first discussed by Milton Friedman back in the 1960s, when he made the case that central banks could simply print money and have it rain down on the populace in order to boost consumer spending and inflation”

“In Canada, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party won the 2015 federal election pledging to invest in infrastructure and run deficits in the process, a break from Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party, which had balanced the budget ahead of the vote.”


The article implicitly and incorrectly connects JT’s policy, which is Keyensian, with the monetarism of Friedman, who rejected Keynesian policies.


More self serving BS analysis by the CMHC

It says risk is low in TO condos as most are presales. Obviously their dumb analyst hasn’t been on any craigslist or other sites and read people trying to sell their ‘preslaes’ for a premium.

A lot of these people are flippers.


A presale isn’t a sale, it’s just someone putting down a deposit and promising to complete the sale when the unit is completed. If prices go down or the “buyer” can’t get financing, the sale will fall through and the developer will dump the unit.

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Kind of like a call option in stocks.


Like at futures contract more precisely, i.e. there is an unconditional obligation to buy. If you own a call option and don’t feel like exercising it, it simply expires.


More like selling a put option but having to pay for it!!


Except with pre-sales you often can’t just walk away from contract when it expires. Not only would you lose deposit but they can sue you for not completing your end of the deal.


“The money revolution being perpetrated by the world’s central bankers: Don Pittis”, CBC

“By repeatedly cutting interest rates and buying up bonds, the world’s central banks have been gnawing at one of the founding pillars of capitalism, and so far, warnings have fallen on deaf ears. Effectively, central banks are changing the meaning of money and by doing so they are taking us into an unknown, and potentially destabilized, future.”

“In Canada, the distorting effect of low interest rates has been obvious. On Friday, we learned of another stunning 12-month increase in the price of houses, which rose at the fastest pace since before the financial crisis.”


All i got to say is buy or get a secure rental in place. If renting, start planning to move to the USA.

Rents are about to skyrocket. Not a myth. Floodgates are open into Canada.


It wouldn’t matter if that were true. Have you seen the size of this place?


Posted on GT blog:

Deny HAM all you want.

You said this 3 years ago:

“Making things worse is the urban myth that foreign money’s been responsible for jacking Van prices.”

“How will it end? That’s easy. Prices will indeed fall considerably, and stay low a lot longer than many owners will stay solvent. People will look back at 2010 and 2011 – when speculation was rampant, realtors cried ‘buy now or buy never’ and a yellow peril was invented to whip the locals into a buying frenzy – in awe.”

Your comment is awaiting moderation.


Anecdotal info… Our landlords are selling our place (yes, we’re fucked, we know) and had by appointment showings Friday and an open house Sunday. The tally of ethnicity of people attending? 3 Asians, 2 Indians, 19 Caucasians. Only 1 was looking for a possible investment, many were renters in tiny places, a couple were being renovicted. Many were older boomer couples or singles. All spoke good English so feel confident saying foreign money not at play here.


Meant that to say the younger were renters in tiny places… Predominantly though the people who came were Caucasian boomers.

I\'m with Stupid ^

Shut up you traitor! (Is what some people would say here)


Interesting! May I ask what part of Vancouver or the Lower Mainland are you in?


Fairview/ false creek south


condos are the only thing locals can afford. we know that.

now tell us how old your building is.

HAM doesn’t buy condos older than 8 years.

Best place on meth

Why 8?

What’s the significance of that number?

Combat roach

Perhaps designing toilet bowls and pisoars in the shape of 8 would be a good local business move? Many would upgrade shitter, to always take a lucky leak or lucky dump.

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Good feng schway with a figure 8 crapper as long as it’s facing the right way.


“Steele and Drex: Is a Vancouver housing bubble-burst just around the corner?”, iNews880

“LISTEN: Market analyst Ross Kay explains Vancouver’s impending housing bubble burst”

8 minute audio

Best place on meth

China’s ‘Fox Hunt’ Achieves Excellent Results

Well, this is according to china, which also recently reported 6.7% GDP growth.


While you can never make too much out of one day of data, it does look like listings are starting to rise. They have a ways to go before reaching the dizzying heights of around 20k that they hit in the last major correction, but I have to wonder: have we finally hit the top? Are we about to see a deluge of new listings and a plunge in prices? There sure seems to have been a lot of speculation in the last 6 months.

Popcorn time.


It’s just Monday.


Mondays tend to be bigger listing days. Yes, probably too early to rub hands together or twirl waxed moustache a la Snidely Whiplash, but always a good time for popcorn…

Shut It Down Already

Some here have been on a popcorn-only diet for at least 8 years. Check out some of the comments below, from a time before the dumb racists took over:

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Hooray, Shut It Up is back……said nobody, ever.

Shut It Down Already

Ever wish you’d spent all these years doing something more productive with your life?

Combat roach

Year 2016, Vancouver dominated by Chinese criminals and dirty money yet there are still motherfuckers around pulling a race card shit. Moron…

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100% of these tax cheats are from which country?

Let’s hear it!



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Damn, you were so close – but that does bring up a relevant follow up question.

The people who hate black people the most come from which country?

I\'m with Stupid ^


Shut It Down Already

South Africa?


I think if I see one more Mazerati or Lamborghini with an “N” sticker driven by a kid wearing hot designer sunglasses past a (normal acting, decent to talk to) homeless guy sitting on the sidewalk at 12th and Granville asking for money for food, I think I’m going to cut off my right hand. I can’t stand this anymore. Sorry for the emotion. But it is just crazy. I didn’t see this kind of scene 15 years ago and now I see it every day. Different people, but same scene.


And yet, there are people in parts of the world going hungrier than the homeless guy, people who are cold, people who are dying from the heat, people dying of curable illnesses, while you and I sit comfortably by. Inequality happens on a much bigger scale than the one you are observing. If it’s freaking you out, don’t worry so much about the rich kid, and focus on helping the homeless guy. You can sign up for shifts at Union Gospel or any other places anytime.


Yuck. So you’re saying we should give people the shaft and then say: sorry about that. Can I give you a nice hot coffee?

Oh, I’m sorry. I was assuming there was a direct correlation between numbers of 19 year olds driving $100,000 dollar cars and numbers of homeless people, as compared to their relative numbers 10 or 15 years ago. I guess you don’t share my assumption and would like me to produce data to prove it, right?

Shut It Down Already



Yes, perhaps I should have made myself clearer in my original comment. Apologies Newcomer.

When I said “I want to cut off my right hand. I can’t stand this any more” I was not talking about an emotional reaction feeling sorry for the pain of hungry or homeless people. Rather, I was talking about an emotional reaction to the fact that we are causing it, and by “we” I include myself, since I don’t know how to be effective in influencing public policy to fix this.

I’m pretty certain public policy (as opposed to accidents of nature, e.g.) has a lot to do with it though. I would love it if someone explained to me why this is not mistaken or is uncertain. I will try to be open.


I wasn’t commenting on public policy, I was just pointing out that there is a lot of inequality out there. I have lived in third world countries and worked a lot with folks in the DTES and so my perspective may not be self-explanatory, in short, while on the very large scale, the rich kid in the fancy car is loosely tied to the homeless guy, there are many more factors that lead to homelessness that you could have a direct impact on. Again, if you feel strongly about helping the very poor, forget about the very rich. That’s a distraction. If you focus your attention on public policies regarding the rich, the very poor will be left in the cold. If, on the other hand, you volunteered four hours a week, you would have a significant impact on the… Read more »


OK. I get what you mean. And I take seriously what you say about what will help people.And I am given pause. Also I acknowledge that the housing crisis in affordability and talk of bubbles and so on is a different set of economic issues from those arising for the very poor. The latter arise even when there is no bubble affecting the middle class, depending on what other social policies or cultural practices are in place I suppose. (I also think it is important rhetorically to keep the issues separate.) ______ Forgive me though,at the risk of being shouted down by other people on this blog for doing too much curve fitting, I have to stubbornly add: I think in Vancouver (though not other cities) the (extraordinarily) rich kid in the fancy car is very directly tied to the… Read more »


Wow, has the Republican convention assigned someone to this forum? If you want to help the poor, you should donate your time while letting the super rich pick your pockets? Find another sucker.


^^^ Wish I’d said what patriotz did


As I said, I’m not commenting on policy. Not everything is about policy. Going out and talking to very poor people and getting involved in the provision of services has more impact than making comments on a real estate forum. For a start, it lets you understand what the actual issues are. I’m all in favor of all the same pinko stuff that you are, but if you worked 80 hours a week campaigning for political change, it would still be too little too late for the actual people.


You sound like fecking Angelina Jolie. Why don’t we get the kid in the lambo to get his mom off welfare and his dad to pay his taxes and presto magico you have more funds for the homeless.

Do you mind if we try the system we have in place, fully funded, with the 0.01% who love it so much here pitching in to keep things the way they love it? Then you can get back on your high horse.

I\'m with Stupid ^

Holy Shit I lol’d


‘I\’m with’stupid’ was the guy in the car.


If those that should pay tax, paid tax. If we could cap gov. waste spending on luxury benefits for high officials, stop spending on luxury projects ie. the “Olympic hwy”, put in resources for young children in trouble ( it will be saved multifold in the future in policing, health care, prisons etc.) And yes, nobody who lives in a luxury home have any business siphoning the already strained system for any kind of welfare (that is paid by the sweat of the nape by honest Canadians). Stop money laundering. Rehires the “elite”tax experts at rev can. No, you cannot just look at the poor and only focus on them and not looking at those who have way too much – for 100’s of generations. Too simplistic. You many need a complete overhaul of your system, too many loop holes,… Read more »


“Is it fun to drive your Lamborghini through the tentcity with sick beggars at every stop sign?? Only psychopaths would feel just dandy.”

“It is a fact that middle class has been disappearing and income disparities have bit by bit increased in Canada for the last 40 years, it is not getting better. Canada could turn into a 3rd world if this trend is not stopped.”

Agree, and thanks.


Be thankful you don’t live on 1st, 2nd and 3rd between Pine and Fir like we did. You would have shot yourself.


Gotcha. Yes, walking around there is surreal.


–the really high end boutique car dealerships with limited and by appointment hours around there. I wish the old drum store was there instead of whatever car dealership is in circular glass building on the corner.



I\'m with Stupid ^

Wont a crash in house prices just make it more desirable?