Category Archives: BC

Leaving debt as a legacy

There’s an article in the Globe and Mail about the rising number of ‘Grandpa debtors‘ – people past the age of 55 who have debt problems.  There are a few reasons sited for this shift: easy credit, lack of emergency savings and relying on real estate as a retirement plan:

Real estate can also be a factor in some of these dire debt situations, Mr. Elyea said. Some older debtors head into retirement with $50,000 still left on their mortgages, and then start using their credit cards to pay them because their income has dropped and the CPP and OAS aren’t enough to cover the payments.

There’s also the trap of considering your home to be your retirement nest egg, said Mr. Elyea, which can backfire because of the unpredictability of the housing market.

“In our Tri-Cities practice [covering Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody], that’s where a lot of people bought houses at the height of the market when anybody could get financing, and now they’re all [valued] below what they paid for them,” he said.

If you do find yourself in a situation where your debt has gotten out of control, see a professional, said Mr. Eylea, whether it’s a bankruptcy trustee or a money coach who can let you know about your options.

Here’s the full article.

Shopping for deals? Vancouver Price Drop.

An Observer has started up a new Vancouver RE blog focused specifically on tracking price drops!

Right now at vancouverpricedrop you’ll find number of asking price drops by area and a ‘top eleven’ list of price drops in the Vancouver and Fraser Valley region.

These drops are all over the map, some have dropped asking price by a million and are still a million over assesment.  There are a couple that seem serious though with new asking prices several hundred thousand dollars under assessed value.

It’s fantastic to see a new addition to the Vancouver bubble blog crowd, especially one that is focused on specific data.  Looking forward to watching this one in the future!

Here’s that link again: vancouverpricedrop.wordpress.com

More racism debate in the Courier

The courier is getting lots of linkage from us as of late, but they’re playing both sides of this issue pretty well.  Is it racist to say that we should have foreign buyer restrictions or that absentee owners can kill a neighborhood?  Mark Hasiuk says NO.

Christy “Families First” Clark, a committed globalist, won’t restrict foreign ownership in B.C. Mayor Gregor Robertson, who slobbered over Beijing during a 2010 “trade mission” to China, won’t reform the tax code to accommodate the new normal. Which means foreign real estate investors pay the same rate (4.2 per cent) as local homeowners, not the business rate (18 per cent) they should.

Read the full article here.

West side a fragmented market

I think this comment from zrh2yvr is worth highlighting, so I’m pasting it into the submission page!

OK – Some more interesting data – Again just the facts.

Van-West Detached, a market which seems to be suffering, can be described as three markets. One where there are over 350 units for sale in excess of 3.2 million with MOI of over 18 months, 185 units for sale at 1.9M or less with a MOI of 3.8 months and approx 340 units for sale between 1.9M and 3.2M with MOI at 6.7 months.

For units priced at under 1.9M, there is a severe lack of inventory which could be a reason for lower sales volumes. One has to wonder however, what will become of this high-end with properties for sale over $3.2 million? They are selling only at a slow pace but at 18 months, I would say many sellers would be happy to just wait for thay buyer.

Meanwhile, inventory is creeping up. Just like Richmond however, it is creeping up only in the low-mid range of the properties. The number of properties for sale with an age of up to 10 years has not changed since January (approx 230 units). However, in the range of 10-115 years old, overall, inventory is up by 80 units or 17%. In the tear-down category (those with age of 999), there are 9 more units or 11% so this could also be seen to have increased.

What is this saying? I would say that until the top starts to fall, there is not much down side in the Van-West market. Not much upside either as on the higher-prices, there are many many choices.

When looking at MOI, Given that sales of the higher-end properties have been picking up, we are seeing MOI for the new inventory decrease where now there is only 13 months for homes up to 5 years compared to approx 17 months in January. This is not a great level and is truly one to put downward pressure on prices. One has to wonder how many of these properties are held by speculators or builders who need to sell.

Finally, what areas are we seeing with deterioration in MOI?

Oak – Now at 10 compared to 5
Kerrisdale – Now at 10 compared to 7
South Granville – Now at 14 compared to 12
Cambie – Now at 9 compared to 6
McKenzie Heights – 8 compared to 6

Shaugnessy has highest MOI still but has improved to 16 from 18.

The most important ares with low inventory and tight MOI are:
Kits – 3.7 months now compared with 3.4 previous
Dunbar – 4.4 months now compared with 6.2 previous
Point Grey – 5 months of inventory same as previous


So overall, we are seeing the market change. The foreign buyer and the top-end buyer are not in the marketplace in sufficient numbers to acquire the high-priced inventory that is for sale. Limited numbers of units for sale under 1.9M are creating tight supply, but also low sales volume. However, ALL inventory increases have occurred in the lower priced ranges and are not evenly distributed throughout the entire market. It is not clear what we will see next. Perhaps it will be recent low-priced land plays coming back on the market as they realize there is too much competition on the new-build market. Perhaps we will see some high-end builders having to reduce to clear their inventory.

Either way – it is going to play out slowly until there is a change in the credit markets that changes the access to credit for all buyers.