Friday Free-for-all! Happy New Year!

It’s the end of another work week and that means it’s time for the first Friday Free-for-all of 2017!

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:

Lonely homes
Is rent higher in YVR or Toronto?
BC reviews homeowner grants
Best place on earth for free salt
Realty Check?
Sales fall, prices inch down

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

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[…] anecdote from commenter YVR on asking prices […]


“Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren calls for faster, gradual interest rate increases”, BNN

“Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren on Monday called for the U.S. central bank to step up its pace of interest-rate increases from the once-a-year pattern it has pursued since 2015, warning of inflation risks if it does not.”

“”I expect that appropriate monetary policy will need to normalize more quickly than over the past year,””




If you read the article, you’ll see that what he means by a “job” is someone selling through Alibaba, like through Ebay or Amazon. Seems to me he’s really trying to take market share away from these US firms.


What’s the name of the US firm that specializes in selling to China and Asia that’ll be losing market share?


Chinese state tabloid warns Trump, end one China policy and China will take revenge

Combat roach

It is cultural problem. Traditional culture doesn’t imply snow shoveling but rather prefers salting or sanding streets in case of ice and snow. Hiring third-party contractors to clear up the street or just waiting for someone else to do it is also acceptable. Any attempt to blame fellow citizens of not fulfilling their snow shoveling duties should be considered racist therefore not appropriate to discuss.


B.C.’s job growth is unequal and unsustainable: Report

>>> according to article 83% of new jobs in BC located in Gr Vanc where most of the activity is driven by the real estate sector. so, any meaningful and prolonged slowdown in this industry equates to a perfect storm for the many that not only have much of their net worth tied up in RE but also draw much of their income from real estate or construction related business


>>> more on the “it’s different here” theme…

Don’t expect the housing bubble to burst: expert


What is it with these people who think (or at least say) that low transaction volume is a sign of a strong market. It’s like they’ve never read anything about markets.

Combat roach

Crapolla… they are like the global warming or pandemic disease. Can’t escape them.


Retirement weather in Vancouver, were people golfing today.


wheels in motion already…

this company actually has a chaffeur driven Bentley to drive residents around in style and word is that the waiting list is several years long

Funky monkey

I thought this was wacky when I saw all these land assembly’s for sale. Note in the article get a foreign buyer with no knowledge of the area is the goal.


“…the area is only zoned for building rental housing or ownership condominiums priced at 20 per cent below market value.”

>>> there is probably more going on here than meets the eye and the comment about targeting a clueless foreign buyer is just a smoke screen. someone higher up on the food chain has likely greenlit this nearly 10 block strip of e broadway for some other purpose.


You know, somehow I think that if this was greenlit by the powers that be then they wouldn’t be passing the message on to these homeowners so they could jack their prices up a million over assessment.

It kind of takes away from the whole point of snapping up properties at somewhat reasonable prices and then making a killing on developments.

This kind of sounds like one moron convincing several morons that they can create a land assemblage and make a killing.


Every month a realtor send me listing and sales for my building where I rent. It is a newish building in downtown Vancouver so suites are almost identical to compare sale prices to. Here are the last 3 sales for almost identical suites:

March 2016 $1.32 million
June 2016 $1.36 million
Nov 2016 $1.15 million

From June to Nov that is over a 15% reduction or $210K in 5 months. Imagine being the person who bought in June and just received the same flyer with the recent sale price. Ouch. If he/she sold today after transaction costs they would be down by $280K and that assumes they could get the November price which is unlikely.


Or if they have 20% down, their equity would be down 75%.


There’s the real burn. And they still owe a million dollars. It’s the leverage that makes it scary.


Yup and with transaction cost they have lost 100% of the DP at 20% down. You have to wonder what happens to people like this when the mortgage comes up for renewal. Maybe the bank renews but at what rate? You cannot switch lenders with negative equity. Talk about a captive customer.


Thank God there are idiots who buy into the MSM rhetoric of owning or being priced out forever. Rising dividends in my pocket, at a lower tax rate, financial freedom before age 40, but hey y’all can show off you own a million dollar bungalow. LOL.


Wow Kim, that’s amazing! How old are you now, what do you do for a living, and when did you start investing? What were your main investment choices too if you don’t mind me asking. If you have any great stock picks for 2017 please share because you obviously have a remarkable ability to pick winners. I’m curious to know all this because to achieve financial independence before 40 is simply… incredible.


Hat’s off to Kim!

If you haven’t read it, you might like Lot’s of good sense in there.


I’m 36, a professional and have been investing since my late 20s since I finished schooling. Wife is a home maker. We are upper middle class but not the CEO type. I have 4000 shares in VDY, 1500 shares in VFV and small amount VDU. Paid me over 850 bucks in divvies today (some tax free). I also hold very boring stocks, nothing fancy like CNR, ENB, FTS, 1000+ shares of TELUS, BCE, TD, loblaws, Royal etc. Basically all the companies that you use ever Day and even hate for gouging you. I hold many US blue chips and am well diversified and don’t time the market. I look for value. For instance GM was dirt cheap earlier this year with a PE of under 4 and I scooped some up last year. Now up over 25% not even including… Read more »


I’m with you, dividend income is the way to go. With price to rent ratios where they are, I’m happy to just collect my tax advantaged dividends to live off of, and pay my very reasonable rent


If equity is <20% at renewal of an uninsured mortgage standard practice is to require refi to an insured mortgage. If borrower doesn't qualify things get ugly.

Lenders will renew an insured mortgage without caring about equity, but as noted above if borrower wouldn't qualify for new insurance the lender can charge posted rate since borrower can't switch.


<blockquote.If equity is <20% at renewal of an uninsured mortgage standard practice is to require refi to an insured mortgage.

What would standard practice be for mortgages over $1 million which CMHC will not insure? There has to be lots of those underwater with houses over $1 million easily down 20% + from peak.


“Banks rush to bond market ahead of rates rise”, Financial Times

“Banks have flooded the market with debt in the first days of the new year, propelling a record pace of bond sales as companies seek to lock in borrowing costs before interest rates rise further.”


Love the adjustments Pope – hat’s off. If I may so presumptuously suggest one further adjustment… and that would be to put an end to sock-puppet theatre. One IP, one handle. Thanks.

UBC in Crisis Mode

It seems that newly sold SFHs on Van West are now listed lower than the new assessed values:

5387 CYPRESS ST VANCOUVER, listed $5,288,000 (don’t know how much it is sold for).
Assessed: $5,566,000


I wonder if this will become a required norm. If enough stuff is listed under assessed, people are likely to start saying, “Well, I’m certainly not paying over assessed. Why should I? Nobody does.”

That would be significant because the mark of a good purchase would become how much of a discount you got. If your friend at the office got a 300K discount, you’d feel pretty foolish buying something with only a 50 or 100K discount.


Step one is selling below assessed. Step 2 is “short sale” where it is sold for less than the mortgage.


So I drive by 57th and Oak often and there’s this newer build definitely under 5 years. Address is 1010 west 57th. I notice it’s been on the market for years. Not sure if it has actually sold but it was going for 7 million a few years back. Still on the market for 7 million but the kicker is there’s a sign asking for developers to buy and develop this land. The house is barely 5 years old, with a nice little laneway, likely never lived in (main house or laneway). And our wonderful mayor touts sustainability and all this green BS. It’d be funny if it weren’t so sad and such a waste of labor and materials.

Buynow or Getlaidnever

That is a beautiful house wit 10 BR, 10 baths, 5 kitchens,


But location.


Good point. It underscores the nonsense of Vancouver’s “Greenest City” claims. Literal and figurative rubbish! According to gov’s own data, when demolished, the average house generates 50 tonnes of waste to landfills. Green? Yes, the colour of good money!


That does not factor in all the energy and resources put into building the new house. Trees cut for lumber, metals mined, all the energy to manufacture, transport and build. It is comical they can claim to be the greenest city when in reality with the short cycle of building and tearing down housing Vancouver is the opposite. Probably the worst offenders worldwide.


You are certainly right. All in, the misallocation of resources, coupled with the attendant environmental degradation, is staggering.


There are all sorts of ways to clean dirty money when building. I’m guessing that is their target market. The current house on the lot was built in 2011.


You would have to believe that rebuilding would result in a higher price. As it stands, “This Executive home comes with a total of 7083 SF (6365 + LWH 718) and offers 10 BR, 10 baths, 5 kitchens, swimming pool, hot tub, 2 exterior BBQs. High end appliances, gourmet kitchen, wok kitchen, wet bat, home theater, central AC, HRV, private yard.” I’ve got to wonder what someone could build that would result in a higher price?

If I were selling something for 7 M, one inexpensive thing I’d do is proofread my listing.


Cleaning dirty money by rebuilding? Buildings depreciate. Sure you can clean money that way but you’re going to be pricing in a loss on the building.

Interestingly, the agent is not chinese. Guess they’ve given up trying to sell to locusts.


yes west side of vanc but not exactly the nicest area of town imho

in fact a place just steps from there was behind police tape this morning…

LS in Arbutus

So here is a question. If *we* can figure out that the market for SFH has given up 2016 gains, why is this not plainly reported in the media? It’s simply NOT hard to explain/ figure out.


Because it hasnt in the sub $1.2 million market where most average people live.


2017 numbers just out. Goal 300K immigrants top 3 in order from Phillipines, Korea and then China. Skilled workers extra, probably will be tougher to get in with oil patch slow down. However probably another 100K foreign students who are allowed to apply for PR status, probably reverse of above rode countries..

FYI I am an immigrant so obviously I am glad Canada takes immigrants but it seems like the pressure from these large numbers will keep RE from dropping too much.

This doesn’t include foreign investors who can buy whatever they want where ever they want even if not residents, they just have to pay the 15% levy on residential only Not commercial or multifamily.

Shut It Down Already

Hmm, a post about immigration keeping prices up which refers to “official numbers” but contains no link.

Hi Oracle!


Nope. Not me.

But let’s attack this guys for bringing the immigration numbers into the picture. Let’s bury the record high intake rates.

Let’s also delete any reference to foreign students, TFWs, and IMP’s.

And let’s ask ‘Pope’ to ban this guys IP.

Best place on meth

Why do you put pope in quotations?

Are you calling into question his papal qualifications or Vatican residency?


Why you worried about trivial matters? If you want sound real estate advice, read my posts. It will serve you better than the last 10 years.

I know I know the “it” should read ‘They’. :S


When looking at how immigration impacts housing, the absolute numbers can sound as if they will have more impact than they actually end up having. First, we need to remember that, in order to keep a steady rate population growth, the absolute numbers have to keep rising. When there were 20 million Canadians, 200 thousand immigrants was 1%. Now that there are 35 million, you need more people to have the same effect. When the dust settles, with attrition, births and deaths, we are looking at about a 1% increase in population. If you go back and look at growth rates, you will not find that a 1% increase in population is not remarkable and is not correlated with rising house prices. Looking specifically at Vancouver, which traditionally has had quite a high growth rate, but has dropped to about… Read more »


I’m calling a top for inventory this summer. 13,500. Yup, thats it. And i will also guarantee that detached prices will be higher by May than they are right now. Because the underlying forces haven’t changed.

The 15% tax failed to cause an implosion. Meanwhile, over the course of the year, another 50-70,000 immigrants will get their PR (Foreign students with big $$ already here), and another 50,000 will come in as temps to boost rents (more students, etc.).

The Newcomer from Asia or Mr Immigration Official in Ottawa patriots may try to confuse you but if you buy their BS, well …so sad for you.

Best place on meth

Thanks for the heads up, Nostradumbass.

Would you happen to know who’s going to win the Superbowl?

Shut It Down Already

Why accuse Newcomer of dishonesty? The only admitted liar here is you, remember?

No Money Down

I have concluded inventory and price changes are determined by sale numbers only.

I posted this on VCI on Dec 7

2016 REBGV Annual sales: 40,000 (est) or 123% of Average

Predictions based on Annual Sales Only (2007-2015 correlations)
2016 Peak Inventory: 10, 130
2016 End of year Inventory: 7,500
2016 Y/Y change in HPI : +18%
2016 End of Year HPI (Dec 2016): $896,600

Note that 2016 data were not used to develop the correlations.

No Money Down

These are the actual end of2016 values:
2016 Peak Inventory: 10, 070 (Sep 27)
2016 End of year Inventory: 7,133 (Dec 29)
2016 Y/Y change in HPI : +17.8%
2016 End of Year HPI (Nov 2016): $897,600

“The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver ends the year at $897,600. This represents a 2.2 per cent decrease over the past six months and a 17.8 per cent increase compared to December 2015”

UBC in Crisis Mode

Very impressive. I guess the foreign money effect is associated to the sale numbers. What would have been the price change if the 2016 sale is not 40,000 but 35,000?

No Money Down

So Oracle, based on 2006 – 2015 correlations, a peak inventory of 13,500 would be consistent with total annual sales of 19% below the 10-year average.

The predicted annual change in HPI is -2%.

You may be right. We’ll know in 12 months.



No Money Down

465 18th Avenue was listed for $998,000 and sold for $975,000. This home was on the market for 79 days.

A couple of points:
1. Assessed at $1.23M, sold for 21% below assessed value.
2. It was on the market for 79 days and the best the buyer could negotiate was a price reduction of 2.3%?


465 East 18th Avenue. In Vancouver that direction matters, a lot. I wonder when (or if) we’ll see a “West” address go for under a mil.


Well it isn’t that far East. I live in the 0-100 block of East 45th. Tear downs listed for $1.5 M. In the spring some were getting close to $2M. “465” is only a few blocks East of me. When you get that close to theEeast/West dividing line, it really depends how fast the particular area is gentrifying.

LS in Arbutus

So essentially if we assume $975k was its value last December, and prices ran up 26% to $1,230k, now they’ve come off 21% back to the original $975k. (That is 21% decline is equal to the 26% increase because of the different base (denominator) you start with.) My point, it seems like any gains made last year have been given back. And… no one is buying much, particularly at the top end. The only thing that seems to be saving this market, at the lower end anyhow, is low inventory. But it’s not the case with 7 months of inventory in SFH on the west side…. spring should be VERY interesting.

No Money Down

Yes the news this week in MSM was on the spectacular increases in Vancouver assessed values. Many current sale prices and listings are well below (10%-25%) assessed value.

I have posted a few examples over the last few days. These are not cherry picked.

Assessed $4.17M
Sold 27 Nov $3.6M (14% below assessed value)

Assessed $1.68M
Sold 28 Nov $1.375M (18% below assessed value)


“Yes the news this week in MSM was on the spectacular increases in Vancouver assessed values.”

Yes but by the end of the year after prices have continued to decline the news story will be how much assessed prices are down. Could be more than 30% by June 2017 when they do the assessments. The same people will still be whining just for a different reason.


This house would’ve gone for around 700k back in 2012. You would’ve been better off just holding US cash. And investing in the US index would have given you a far better return.


Here in North Burnaby prices dropped quickly by 10-20% for SFH’s but have for the past few months leveled off along with a total collapse in sales. We are certainly in a stalemate.


Can you believe there is no condo in Vancouver for less than $300k! And stupid bears just want to be freeloaders.


I can believe that you’ve made a lot of gains on paper and rather than ride off into the sunset, you keep returning here trying to boost what little self esteem you have.


moonbeam sbhould raise 15percent tax and handover to thefree loaders.

Abdul Lahazi

‘Airpocalypse’ in China as smog levels reach historic levels.
They make a mess of their own country and then move here.

No Money Down

Cheapest House in Vancouver?

Listed for $898k (142 days on market)
Assessed $1.34M
33% below assessed value.


Remember, the author Rob Lister works in the subprime mortgage broker industry, CMT is his site, and since the RE price reversal last Aug, and especially the Goo changes, has been heavily censoring the forum. It’s over Rob…. do yourself a favour and change careers, i recommend 50% of the broker workforce go into INSOLVENCY consulting, since you put ’em there. The government’s ongoing crusade against lenders is already proving costly. Regulatory tightening over the last year has raised conventional mortgage funding costs by at least 25 bps, say lenders we’ve spoken with. A ¼ point rate hike may not sound like a lot, but that’s $2,300 siphoned out of families’ pockets on a typical mortgage—over just one 5-year term. If you’re a new buyer making an average down payment on the average Canadian home, regulators have just penalized… Read more »

Best place on meth

What a drama queen this parasite is.

He makes it sound like a gradual normalization of interest rates is a form of rape.

Poor baby, everyone should get free money for eternity.


The debtor “babies” get the money for (nearly) free, but that money is not free. It is being paid for dearly by savers, in the form of foregone interest on savings, estimated to be one half trillion $USD by American savers alone since the Great Financial Crisis


This observation is the basis for a very deep objection I think. It’s not merely an issue of unfairness to savers in favor of spenders. It’s an issue of being shortsighted about the range of life styles (and economic contributions associated with them) necessary for a healthy economy. Some kinds of lifestyles and career choices naturally lead people to be savers (or spenders as the case may be) quite apart from whatever their personalities or psychological quirks are, . Policy makers shouldn’t base decisions as if everyone in the economy functioned best (and made their ideal contribution) by spending big and taking risks. They should support both styles, not punish the savers.


You raise deep questions about what an ideal economy would be; or at least, what a sustainable and humane economy would be. I think you also answer why this is not addressed: policy makers believe that the economy functions best by spending big. Such policy serves financial interests perfectly…debt is a highly profitable business.


read the comment thread that speaks about Vancouver Real Estate. There is a difference of opinion whether offshore PBOC driving the market, or the homegrown Sub-prime mortgage doing the deed.

Bear Vancouverite

Both are part of what drives the market. In no particular order let’s look at all the potential (and likely) factors: – low interest rates / easy credit – CMHC – shadow lending (arguably part of easy credit) – pent up demand from delayed household formation – empty homes – short term rentals / airbnb – foreign money – mortgage helpers (trend towards basement rentals and laneway homes) – property tax deferrals (allowing people to stay in homes they cannot afford) – mortgage fraud (getting mortgages that couples would not normally qualify for) – abuse of primary residence capital gains exemptions Let’s just put it this way. If you take away CMHC and force banks to take on more lender risk I am sure that will have significant impact. I bet if there was a magical way to completely deny… Read more »


Good list.

And as an overheated market is chaotic, any one of the factors can have a major impact in both directions. I really feel that this market is beyond guidance and, sooner or later, must collapse or transform. And I don’t see a likely mechanism of transformation in the near term.


Typical troll response.

The primary reasons are high immigration (incl temps) and foreign money inflows.

Nice try. Must be nice posting on a salary.


Let’s sort something out, because it keeps coming up. What do you use the word, “troll,” to mean?

I’m getting the sense that you might mean “plant,” which is to say, someone pretending to be an ordinary member when if fact they are an operative of an outside power. And you seem to think this outside power is paying for it

If that is the case, who is it that you think is paying to influence the readers of VCI?

By the way, you can find out what “troll” means here:


Changes to B.C. camping reservation system mean it’s time to start planning

>>> another item on the growing list on things that now have to be monitored more closely due to folks abusing the system and exploiting loopholes…