In Vancouver your basement suite can be a mansion

Someone at zero hedge saw the unoccupied units stats for Vancouver and decided to refer to them all as ‘mansions’:

There Are 66,719 Empty Mansions In Vancouver

Yan said most of these were concentrated in three areas: Coal Harbour, Marine Gateway and Joyce-Collingwood. Surrey came in second at 11,195, Burnaby at 5,829 and Richmond at 4,021. The focus has clearly been on the most expensive neighborhoods: the number of unoccupied units increased 25% in Richmond between the 2011 and 2016 census and by 28 per cent in Burnaby.

To take advantage of this multi-million mansion ghost town, in November 2016 the Vancouver city council voted to approve a tax on empty homes, the first in Canada. Based on self-reporting owners, the tax is a one-per-cent charge on homes that are not principal residences or are not rented out for at least six months of the year. The goal was to improve Vancouver’s tight rental vacancy rate of 0.6 per cent by encouraging owners of thousands of empty units to offer them up for renting.

Read the full article here.

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This is pathetic. I looked at Globe and Mail articles back to 2012. They were talking how the bubble looks ugly at that time. 2017: still in the ” ugly” bubble that never pops. They have been comparing with 1980 s one since. So I guess there is no hope…


Vancouver was clearly in a bubble as far back as 2005.

[…] –widespread mortgage fraud? […]


1 In 5 Canadian Homeowners Commits Mortgage Fraud, Says Top Broker
Another reason when this bubble burst, it will be ugly!


Toronto Has A Housing Bubble, BMO Says, So Let’s ‘Drop The Pretense’
First time a major bank is saying we are in a bubble and the government does NOTHING to stop it and let it grow til it pops!


Chasing the Canadian dream: The real force driving the housing boom in our big cities

“…real estate consulting firm Altus Group Ltd. in January found that immigrants — defined as someone whose country of origin is not Canada — are purchasing one out of every two new homes in the GTA…”

Abdul Lahazi

“The median employment income of immigrant tax filers who landed in 2004 was estimated at $16,800 in 2005 (one year after landing). The same cohort’s median income increased to $26,000 in 2009 and $33,000 in 2014.”

This study is seriously flawed. Immigrants can’t buy a house at that income level. But I’m not surprised at the results considering it is from a real estate consulting firm. They are getting offshore investors confused with genuine immigrants.

Donald T

you joke is not funny. the money not going to Toronto is back here to enjoy warm weather and dim sum.



“Immigrants can’t buy a house at that income level.”

Oh, yes, they can, as the numbers cited refer to declared income, and do not include undeclared income, either onshore and offshore. That’s why Point Grey abounds with immigrant homeowners whose “income” is insufficient to pay City taxes, while maintaining a 2000 calorie per day diet, even at McDonald’s.

Shut It Down Already

Half of all immigrants would have earned more than that figure by definition. That number alone won’t tell us how much more, however.


Hahaha, thanks, definitely worth a read! Some gems:

“Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for housing, admits the covenant the ministry had owners sign wasn’t clearly worded…However, NDP Housing critic David Eby questions why it had to happen in the first place.”

““The fact that this was done so poorly, so incompetently, frankly, really says to me that the government has done a half-hearted effort at best and maybe wanted this thing to fail,” Eby said.”

“It’s still unclear why so many owners did not end up living in the units they purchased.”

Could it be, because they were bought as “investments”, heavily subsidized by the Provincial Gov? Say it isn’t so! Investigation is surely needed!!


Complete nonsense. These are Airbnb asking prices. These stupid and lazy writers do a great disservice for renters.


Actually seems pretty bang on in the COV to me.


Are you aware that the study uses Padmapper numbers and the majority of those numbers are fro Airbnb? That being the case, what does that tell you about the asking rents for the non-Airbnb listings?

If you trust the numbers from the study, you have to conclude that the average price for unfurnished long term rentals is far below the number given.


go ahead and place ISO ad for decent apt, t/h on craigslist or wherever specifying the lower price range you indicated and see if you get any serious responses. btw offering personal services of any type in lieu of cash not allowed


That sounds like a lot of work. How about we type in the numbers instead:

Banned Oracle

It’s not nonsense. You keep coming here with a vested interest to confuse.

Ignore this weasels comments.


prices are double on airbnb


Right. And because most of the prices used in the calculation are from Airbnb, the actual prices of non-Airbnb apartments are much lower.


Look at Craigslist to see that this $1,900 is nonsense.


there are 1000’s of units rented out to two students paying $1000/ea. this is chump change compared to their monthly restaurant and bar tabs


Your guess may be true, but it does not change the fact that, based on the numbers reported, the average is much lower. You can’t have it both ways. Either the numbers including Airbnb are reliable, and the average for unfurnished long term is lower, or the numbers are unreliable and should be ignored.

Patiently Waiting

It’s not just Airbnb but ALL furnished listings. Yep, nobody is paying $1900 for an unfurnished 1 Bedroom unless it’s a brand new condo or right in the downtown core.


But thanks to this article, foolish speculators and would-be landlords will make plans based on getting more than 1900 for their one-bedroom (because everyone’s property is above average).

Patiently Waiting

Good, they can go bankrupt waiting for a decent tenant at this rate, or have their unit trashed after it becomes a brothel/drug den. You don’t want to rent from these kinds of idiots anyway.

Just me

Notice the brilliant idea of Trudeau. Base chilld benefits on income alone!
These guys are getting over $400/month tax free! And their millionaires almost twice over!

This country is really messed up. If you have wealth you pay no taxes and receive benefits to top it all up. Housing wealth is also effectively untaxable.

If you work for income, you are on your own. Thanks Justin!

Banned Oracle

Need a revolution to base taxes on wealth and not incomes.

Can start with 100% capital gains inclusion rate. Link home equity with child benefits, residential care homes, pharamacare, MSP, and GiS.

Just me

These are Christy’s constituents.

“Betting on volatile B.C. property market would make for a thin retirement for this couple”

Their jobs produce $7,800 a month after tax. They add $440 a month from the untaxable Canada Child Care Benefit for their two children ages 5 and 3, making take home income $8,240 a month. Their financial assets are $242,000 plus a Registered Education Savings Plan with $33,000 for their kids. It’s an impressive sum for a couple in their 30s.


– insurance costs seem way to low
– not a chance in he11 they will be able to build a new home w/ rental suites and a laneway house for $475-500k
– i estimate a good chunk of the equity they have in their existing home would be tapped to fund the construction; a correction of 15, 20, 25% or more could put family underwater
– as is the case with many families with kids, the expenses required to raise them, put them through university (and get them into this freakshow housing mkt) are being grossly understated; this said, I am sure assets of grandparents are being factored into their grand plan too (assuming they havent loaned it all to their offspring already)

Just me

This ain’t Brexit.

Look at the chart. The decline starts way before the Brexit referendum, and pretty much at the same time that Vancouver SFH stopped being bought.

Chinese money stopped flowing. Land prices tanked. Only HK is benefitting by Chinese money trapped in the country (as you squeeze a bubble on one side, it inflates on the other).

If the flows resume, we are back up shit’s creek. Unless we put in place serious controls of capital inflows.

Banned Oracle

8.2% of all homes in metro are occupied by foreigners/foreign students. That’s the most of any city in the world.

Any you guys are debating why rents are so high and increasing? With the most generous immigration policy in the world for these non residents, is it any wonder we have the highest prices?

This debate is finished. Time for solutions via policy.

Shut It Down Already

“That’s the most of any city in the world.”


Banned Oracle

Where’s your link it’s not?

2 can play that game. Enough now. you are one of three here trying to confuse the discussion.

GTFO of here.


“Where’s your link it’s not? 2 can play that game.”
Jesus fucking christ Oracle you are daft. The burden of proof is on the advocate. YOU need to support the claim YOU make. YOU lack evidence…. and any sense of shame. YOU GTFO…


how ironic that cities with highest percentage of unoccupied homes are all in china

Just me

From the Reuters article: There are also signs that overseas property purchases by individual Chinese, which aren’t included in ODI data, have also been impacted by capital controls. “There has been a perceptible reduction in activity from Chinese buyers on the ground in (London’s) Mayfair, but they have by no means disappeared,” Tim Macpherson, head of London Residential at Carter Jonas, said ahead of Thursday’s data. In Vancouver, Canada’s most expensive real estate market and a region popular with Chinese buyers, property sales plunged 39.5 percent in January from a year earlier, data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver showed. Agents advising Chinese buyers on overseas property say it remains to be seen how capital controls will impact sales in the long term, as many buyers have already moved money abroad. “The so-called ‘mainlanders’ who bought these high-value… Read more »

Combat roach

Right, it will take time to clean up the locust shit and bring housing back to some sense for those who are supposed to use homes to actually live in them.


too late, the horses have left the stable already. HAM may be buying less, but they arent selling what they already own. the measures required to bring things back to where you think they need to be will never happen. maybe trump will try one day, but i wish anyone else attempting to do this here the best of luck

Just me

And Reuters is even moe explicit.

Investment by Chinese firms in offshore properties — which has helped fuel sharp and often contentious home price rises from London to Vancouver — tumbled 84.3 percent in January from a year earlier, the commerce ministry said on Thursday, without giving the amount invested.

Just me

China Inc hits brakes on foreign property investment


B.C. financial group under investigation was aimed at young homebuyers

Abdul Lahazi

“His goal was to buy a condo.” How surprising ….

Combat roach

They should do whatever it takes to get rid of the all kinds of vermin and especially rats.

Van real estate buff

Feb 16, 2017 daily video review of VanRE news:


Price Change



BC Ferries vessel auction draws single bid

>>> i guess we’ll find out who scooped this up for scrap metal after the election…


i wonder if you could squat in false creek with something like that. i’d be interested in helping a kickstarter to fund buying an old ferry to park in false creek for ppl to live in.

Best place on meth

Olympic Village NIMBY’s would never allow that eyesore in False Creek.

Dock it next to Crab Park and turn it into a shelter.


13 pounds of horse genitals concealed in woman’s luggage; claimed it was for medicinal purposes


Speaking of million dollar mansions, on the west side the million dollar 2-bed 2-bath townhouse is now in the basement.

Combat roach

Sick. Very, very sick… What will be the next, treehouses in parks becoming penthouses with the view and selling for millions? Collective lunacy…

Just me

That address barely qualifies as West side. Really, it is a basement in the Main street hood.
Good luck living there, better buy good metal bars for the windows of your million-dollar abode.

Just me

The picture looks perfectly fine. But Main street, until recently, was burglary central. People living in basement suites (like the one advertised) used to tell me that they could not leave laptops on their desks because of the risk of break-ins. I did not mean to sound insulting, just stating what I know from former residents.
Perhaps times have changed, and I’d be happy to be proven wrong.

Funkey Monkey

Or rent it for 2200


More like $3000, but your point is still good.

Abdul Lahazi

This laneway house rents for $2,100 same sq ftg and it’s not in the basement.


Better Dwelling: Chinese New Year Sales of Vancouver Real Estate Down 78%.
Oh oh, better get the sisters at Mac marketing to make an appearance soon.

Just me

If you check it is clear that the vast majority of price increases are for condos below 700k or thereabout. Most changes are between 25k and 36k.
Essentially, sellers have simply increased their asking price by the amount of Christy Clark’s “Help to Buy” program.

The BC Libs have effectively increased prices and debt for buyers, which is a net loss for them. They get the same condos as before, but at higher prices and with higher debt.
Are people really so dumb that they don’t realize the scam of the BC Libs?

Bear Vancouverite

This is something that 10 years ago I wouldn’t have noticed or understood, but now its fairly obvious. Most people who feel housing is expensive won’t “get it” and think the First Time Buyer Program is a good thing. People who want housing to stay expensive “get it” just fine but can play the “this will make things more affordable” card.

This also reinforces the fact that loose credit is largely responsible for housing price increases.

Just me

I would be careful to qualify your statement as follows: “his also reinforces the fact that loose credit is largely responsible for housing price increases IN THE MARKET SEGMENT BELOW 750k”.

This is important, as that market segment is genuinely populated by locals on credit. Higher markets segments are not, or not in the same proportions.

Bear Vancouverite

Both of us posted links showing foreign buyers getting loans with no income verification as long as they have 35% down. If you remove that credit facilitation those buyers will suddenly have even LESS access to cash to pay for overpriced homes. How can you argue that foreign buyers are using bank loans and then argue against credit being the the largest part of the problem? Even if 50% of foreign buyers are “buying all cash” (a figure I highly doubt), if you cripple the other 50% who are relying on credit you are going to see a huge decline in that part of the problem. Btw, I don’t believe that foreign money is buying with all cash, at least not the smart and greedy ones. If I had $10M cash and wanted to spend that $10M on an asset… Read more »

Just me

“How can you argue that foreign buyers are using bank loans and then argue against credit being the the largest part of the problem?”

I don’t. I agree that foreign buyers are taking advantage of loose lending standards at the high end of the market. The difference is simple, though: if you remove cheap credit at the low end, locals will be priced out altogether. If you remove cheap credit at the top, buyers will simply have to substitute credit with their own funds, or funds borrowed abroad.

On balance, I fully agree that credit is important also at the higher end. But those two ends of the market are likely to have very different responses to changes in the extension of credit.


” if you remove cheap credit at the low end, locals will be priced out altogether. ”

Are you claiming that foreign buyers will buy everything if credit availability is lowered? Then why aren’t they buying everything now, since they’re supposedly able to outbid all the locals?

Just me

Foreign buyers are still present and active. Just in fewer numbers, because of the serious curbs to capital outflows in China. Is that sufficient reason or you need more detail?

Bear Vancouverite

If you remove credit from the low end I believe it will definitely impact the high end.

Right now many home owners I talk to justify prices by invoking two beliefs: their house is worth 5 $500k condos to a developer or $2.5M to a rich foreigner. I’m eager to see what they think when/if $500k condos drop to $250k.

Just me

If they drop….you clearly have not been here for more than a handful of years. This is a suburb of Shenzen.


Who is to say the down payment wasn’t borrowed abroad! !!


sure, as this applies to housing of that category. for the pig farmer turned billionaire (or student) looking to park $30, 40 or 50 million in funny money, it makes no difference whatsoever. surely there will be grand palace on massive acreage (formerly a blueberry farm) out there somewhere which will sell for $88.888M in due course and the MSM will be all over the story like a dirty shirt… one important question remains, however. will it sit vacant or be listed on airbnb?

Best place on meth

You’ve summed up very nicely in just a few words the many reasons why Vancouver has been turned into a shithole.

And it isn’t because of the Dutch.

Just me

For those with a short memory span, this is what Christy Clark had to say about house prices back in June 2015.

[…] there was the premier’s push back in June 2015 to the call from Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson for a tax on real estate speculation.
“Using any method of new taxation with the goal of driving down the price of housing could have the unintended effect of hurting current homeowners across the region,” replied Clark. “That could put some homeowners with large mortgages into negative equity.”

I am really curious to know how Christy will try and bribe homeowners in the new budget. You are guaranteed she will promise further political support for high home prices. Budget is going to be released soon.


She’s already bribed existing and wanna-be homeowners:

“First-time homebuyer loans triggering real estate bidding wars”

“While government intervention in the real estate market put a chill on prices this summer, it looks like the new loan initiative is heating up prices again.”


Show me a statement from the NDP where they specifically state they will drive down home prices? No political party will state this. It would be poliical suicide.

Just me

Yet, the likelihood that the NDP will reverse this course of action is, by definition, a lot higher. The BC Libs have actually taken a strong stand on this. If you vote for them, you vote for this policy. As simple as that.


“Show me a statement from the NDP where they specifically state they will drive down home prices? ”

Who needs one, when we have it from Dave that the NDP will do just that. And the rest of the RE industry apparently agrees, since they think it’s worth their while to fund Christy and her party. Follow the money.

Best place on meth

Show me a statement from the NDP that they are committed to protecting homeowners “hard earned” equity.