The economic miracle in China has led to the creation of many ‘fake’ replica cities; Paris, London, Jackson Hole, etc. Despite features like a 1/3 replica of the Eiffel Tower, a modified Tower Bridge and Route 66 these ‘duplitecture’ cities are missing something according to this piece over at ABC Nightline.
Is it Joie de vivre? Culture? or simply population? Apparently if you build it, they won’t necessarily come right away.
Tianducheng, or “Sky Capital City,” is a real estate development modeled after the city of lights, right down to a version of the Eiffel Tower that is one-third the height of the real one.
“I think [it’s] a little strange,” Rachel Ni, who moved to Tianducheng six years ago, told ABC News’ “Nightline.” “I don’t like it here.”
Unlike the real Paris, laundry hangs in full view everywhere in Tianducheng, even on trees, and the fountains are dry. Many apartments are empty, and few stores are even open for business.
“I live here because it’s cheap. In Hangzhou, this is very, very cheap,” said Ni. “The environment is good, especially for the baby.”
Is it jealously that made ABC find a negative angle on this? Replica theme park cities sound great, think of the savings on travel budget! Just imagine if we could have a replica Interlaken in Stanley park, a tiny NYC on the east side or Honolulu in Poco… Read the full article and view the video here.
Short term AirBnB style property rentals are not permitted in Vancouver and the city can levy fines up to $10,000, but apparently there are still some of these short term rentals available.
“The difficult and complex thing comes when we move forward with prosecution,” Toma said, explaining that the city needs to connect the property owner to an online short-term rental listing without the help of a specific address.
Toma said a few cases against short-term renters are pending. Fines in those and other cases are up to the prosecutor, but staff recommend they recoup investigation expenses at minimum.
City staff are contemplating new tools to deal with the nuisance aspect of short-term rentals at the same time as assessing the industry’s impact, Toma said.
“We do have such a tight rental market,” Toma said, adding that she hoped staff could craft a smart and enforceable regulation that would also “find that sort of a sweet spot” for those sharing their home to meet their mortgage payments.
Of course there is one kind of short term rental that is currently allowed in Vancouver, but it comes with a few catches:
Bed and breakfasts are allowed in Vancouver, but under certain conditions. Homeowners need to live in the residence and they can host a maximum of four guests in two bedrooms, among other regulations. They also have to pay a one-time development and building permit fee, get a business licence and pass a safety inspection.
Read the full article over at the province.
A local filmmaker is documenting some of the abandoned and condemned houses in Vancouver and making short films about them:
And so for the past nine months, Fieldwalker has been entering abandoned multimillion-dollar properties equipped with a DSLR camera and drone, shooting them from every angle he can before they’re gone forever.
So far, he’s filmed five properties in Point Grey and a few in the south Cambie area. Many of them sit behind blue fences, the telltale sign a backhoe is on its way.
Fieldwalker said accessing the properties is simple: “We just go up to them and shoot.”
In one film posted to Fieldwalker’s Vimeo page, the viewer is brought inside a 3,430 square-foot Point Grey teardown on Drummond Drive, which last year sold for $17.5 million.
Here’s a look at that $25.8 million property on Belmont:
Belmont Avenue | $25.8 Million from Corbie Fieldwalker Studio on Vimeo.
Read the full article over at the Vancouver Sun and view more videos over at Corbie Fieldworkers site. Hat-tip to Bullwhip29 for the link.
What time is it? It’s time for yet another Friday Free-for-all!
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:
–BOC rate hike?
–Boomers overexposed on RE
–Condos finally hot again
–Bad ending to housing surge
–Hyper-mega-bull called it
–middle class housing projects
–Fintrac fine for Canadian bank
So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!
CMHC has surveyed condo owners in Vancouver and Toronto and found that the number of owners with multiple units is growing.
…the total number of investors in the two regions who say they have purchased at least two condo units in addition to their primary residence has risen nearly 13 per cent over the past two years. Nearly a quarter of condo investors told CMHC that they owned least two units, with close to 10 per cent reporting that they owned three or more condos.
Buyers are looking for both rental income and appreciation, with some interesting math:
Among condo investors in Toronto and Vancouver, half told the federal housing agency that they had bought their investment unit for rental income. Of those, 56 per cent expect the value of their condo to go up, while only 8 per cent thought that it would go down. The share of condo investors in Toronto who expected their unit to increase in value fell to 60 from 64 per cent from a year earlier, while the share in Vancouver who expected their condos to increase in value rose to 50 from 41.5 per cent.
A slightly larger share of investors in Vancouver reported paying higher prices for units than in Toronto, although the survey found that the reverse was true of rents, which were higher in Toronto. Nearly 16 per cent of Vancouver landlords reported charging less than $1,000 in rent for their condos compared with fewer than 5 per cent in Toronto. By contrast, nearly 50 per cent of condo landlords in Toronto said they charged more than $1,500 for their units, compared with 33 per cent in Vancouver.
Read the full article over at the Globe and Mail. So how many condos do you own and how many are you thinking of buying this year?