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Friday Free-for-all!

The weekend! Here it is!

Let’s do another Friday Free-for-all, round up some recent links and kick off the open topic discussion thread for the weekend:

Supply problem?
Don’t panic, but be first if you do
A housing bubble you say?
CRA looks at flippers
the bright side of dead relatives
Big banks nervous
JT: Prices hurt economy
most sustainable on earth
ending homeless a dumb promise
worst city for the young and educated

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

Ten thousand empty homes

Bubble tea pointed out that back in March a study claimed that 10,800 homes were empty for more than a year in 2014.

They reached this conclusion by studying electricity usage, if it remained flat for 25 days the home was deemed to be vacant.

Of course many of these homes could have been occupied by paleo-humans who eschew electricity in favor of a simpler lifestyle.  How many condos in Kerrisdale are filled with families huddled under blanket, burning their own waste to keep warm?

The majority of the empty homes in 2014 were apartments — 9,747 — and vacancy rates were highest on the West Side of the city, with 9.4 per cent in the area that stretches from Kitsilano to Point Grey and 8.6 per cent in neighbourhoods that include Kerrisdale, Dunbar and Southlands.

Suggested reasons for the vacancies included a home was bought for investment, was under renovation, the owners were on vacation, the home was caught up in an estate sell-off, or it was being flipped. A home was deemed empty in a given month if the hydro data showed a flat consistent use of electricity for 25 or more days in that month for a year. The findings were not specific to neighbourhoods but separated into five large geographic areas. Basement suites were not included in the study.

Are 10,800 empty homes a negative thing for a city, and If you had unlimited power what would you do to change this situation?  Would you opt for incentives for owners to rent out empty homes or a some sort of system to try to prevent them from remaining empty?

Gentleman says “It’s not if, but when bubble bursts.”

CCEC Credit Union is a vancouver-based lender.

Their CEO has the delightful name of “Ross Gentleman” and is interviewed over at BNN where he says that the Vancouver housing market is in a bubble and it’s not if, but when it bursts:

He says they are seeing a number of people ‘trolling’ lenders looking for financing on speculative purchases.

He calls the upper end of the market potentially more volatile and says that CCEC is committed to more conservative lending and tends to focus mainly on primary residences.

Mayor warns property prices put Vancouver economy at risk

The mayor has released a statement reiterating his support for a house-flipping tax saying that without some sort of action the Vancouver economy is at risk:

Gregor Robertson says recent reports and recommendations from banks, organizations, real estate boards and economists has made it clear to him that it’s time to deal with Vancouver’s sky-rocketing real estate prices or the city’s economy could suffer.

On Sunday he released a statement amplifying his support for a house flipping tax as a measure to reduce speculation and a luxury sales tax to help, “rein in the excesses of Vancouver’s housing market.”

“First and foremost, housing needs to be for homes, not just treated as a commodity,” said the statement.

Read the full article over at the CBC.

Friday Free-for-all! June 3rd 2016

Yep, it’s another one.

As we wind down the work week and head into another weekend it’s time for another Friday Free-for-all!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread.

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Drastic measures to slow market?
Taxpayers send realtors on trip?
Dirt earns more than all workers
Houses hit all time high
Bubble Timeline
Replace income tax with property tax
Scotiabank concern over Vancouver & Toronto

So what are you seeing out there? Going to any open houses this weekend?  Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!