All posts by VCI Admin

Friday Free-for-all! Feb 26 2016

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 for the weekend.

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

BOC raises flag on debt
Local buyers pay $750k over ask
70s vancouver tourism ad
January sales hit 6 year high
A short or long term rental?
Shorter border line-ups
Inflation up, spending down

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

The 140 sq ft apartment

‘Microlofts’ aren’t a new thing, but they seem to be getting smaller.

Enter the ‘Nanosuite’.

UBC has announced they will will be building 140 square foot apartments for student housing.

That’s still bigger than living in a van, but not everyone seems enchanted with the idea.

Reaction was mixed.

“I think they’re pretty cool,” said international economics student Raj Singh, 19.

“They have many things that you might not get in campus residences, for example a private washroom. But I’m like a really messy person, so if I were to move in there, it would be a disaster.”

“They’re very small,” said economics student Chun Lok Tse, 18.

“It’s kind of strange to not have a table and a bed at the same time. I’ve seen the prices online, $675 a month. For not a lot more you can get a better room, which shares a kitchen with three other people. I’d much prefer those to these.”

His friend Kennedee Fung agreed.

“Where I’m from in Asia, houses are famous for being small,” she said.

“And this is even smaller than the ones we usually live in. So it’s kind of ridiculous.

“I really don’t like the idea that you have to pull down your bed every time you want to work or sleep, I think that is quite a hassle. Also there isn’t much storage space.

“Although you have a kitchen and a bathroom, as an international student, you have suitcases, and you wouldn’t know where to put them.”

Read the full article over at the Vancouver Sun.

Get outta town.

What happens when house prices keep going up and wages don’t keep up? Well, apparently you get young families shoved further and further out of the city:

“It’s getting to the point where you have to leave and find another job and maybe relocate,” she says. “I have friends who were lucky, they purchased three months ago and bought a home off the highway in Abbotsford for $475,000, and there’s no backyard. This is what it’s now become.”

Expensive housing is making it harder to find employees, not just in the office and restaurant business, but in the tech world as well:

“I just went through this. I asked a guy, ‘Would you come work for us?’ He lives in a $1-million house in Calgary and he’s a senior engineer. And he said, ‘there’s no way I’m moving there. I lived in Burnaby in the nineties, and I couldn’t buy that house again.’

“It totally shuts down the conversation. They say, ‘I know house prices. You guys can’t pay me enough.’”

Read the full article over at the Globe and Mail.

Friday Free-for-all!

It’s the end of another glorious work-week in paradise and that means 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 for the weekend, here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Thumb-twiddling pays $47 / hour
Premier warns on shadow flipping
No God-given right to live here
BC parents delay birth
Down in USD?
Unsolicited offers?
Credit fueled bubble
Shark jumped

On a side note, we’re curious.. why spend time manipulating comment voting when it has no effect on the comment?  And why do so many of you only want to discuss racial stereotypes?

There have been a number of requests for IP bans, even though they are more of an inconvenience rather than something fully effective. that said we’ve thrown a poll in the side bar, so vote away on who you want to ban!

B.C. Budget aims to fix real estate woes

There’s a new budget in BC and it includes some changes aimed at the real estate market.

For the first time the government has decided to start collecting data on foreign buyers and are offering a break on property transfer taxes for new construction under $750k.

The changes will see buyers save up to $13,000 from B.C.’s property transfer tax if they purchase a newly built home, condo or townhouse valued under $750,000, as long as they are Canadian residents who live in the home for at least a year. The tax break starts today.

It’s designed to boost the supply of new home construction and give people a helping hand to enter the market, said Finance Minister Mike de Jong. But it won’t cool the market enough for those who say they can’t afford to live in the Lower Mainland.

“If by cool you mean actually reduce the value of people’s major asset, their home, clearly we were not interested in taking that step,” said de Jong.

The tax break will be offset by a one-per-cent increase to the property transfer tax, to three per cent, on luxury homes that sell for more than $2 million.

Critics say the budget amounts to half-measures from a government that’s stuck between not wanting to intervene directly in the housing market and needing to look responsive to public frustration.

Read the full article over at the Vancouver Sun.