Category Archives: BC

Whistler Hotel Condo Prices Collapse

The Pique has an article about some remarkable goings-ons just a little ways north.  Some hotel condo units in Whistler are now selling for half their peak price.

Those who own a condo unit in a Whistler hotel are sitting on great potential, but at the moment the units are not showing great value.

Real estate consultant Denise Brown with Re/Max Sea to Sky Real Estate reported that a unit originally sold in the Four Seasons Whistler for about $1.1 million was recently resold for only $520,000.

The so-called Phase 2 units in Whistler have fallen victim to the globally depressed financial situation, said Brown.

“We’ve seen the prices come down significantly,” she said.

According to Brown, this segment of the real estate business is at the bottom of the cycle so prices are good right now. She said the people who are happiest in the condo hotel market are those who are in for the long-term and have made a lifestyle choice in purchasing a condo unit in a hotel.

Lifestyle.  Got it?  Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Lifestyle.  Just repeat the mantra and you’ll be fine.

Then there’s this gem:

Kelly said this segment of the real estate industry has improved in the last six months but people aren’t willing to spend as much in Whistler as they were a decade ago.

“It’s not anything wrong with Whistler or that Whistler is worth less,” said Kelly. “It is just that people are prepared to spend less.”

It’s not that Whistler is worth less than it has ever been worth, it’s that some people paid more than it was worth.

Big Mortgage BLOW OUT SALE!

If you’re sharp-eyed you may have noticed some ‘special offers’ on 5 year fixed rates.  BMO kicked off another low-rate war by once again offering a rock-bottom 5 year fixed rate of 2.99% and a new 10 year fixed at 3.99%.

Nobody wants to be left out of fun like that, so TD, CIBC and Scotiabank quickly followed suit and started offering a 2.99% rate as well.

How are customers responding?

Techar said reaction to BMO’s previous offer was fantastic. “We saw an increase in volume almost immediately and it continued for the whole two-week period.”

These deals are temporary and expire in a few weeks.  You’d almost think something was about to happen March 29th, but who knows?  Rumour has it more changes are coming to insured mortgage rules in Canada whether it’s higher down payment requirements or shorter amortization terms.

So is this a deal too good to refuse, or a trap for the gullible?

If rates start to rise, could it be a benefit to buy a home now?  Would these ridiculously low rates offset a drop in prices at a higher interest rate?

What about in markets whose prices have fallen for the last few years?  There are many of these across BC – The Okanagan has seen prices collapse by more than 30% so already.

And what does Mark Carney have to say about all of this?

“Canadian household spending is expected to remain high relative to GDP as households add to their debt burden, which remains the biggest domestic risk,” Carney said Thursday as he held the bank’s trend-setting rate to 1 per cent.

The Middle Class is Priced Out

The CBC has an article looking at the situation for middle-class home shoppers in Vancouver BC.  They’ve noticed that incomes have dropped since the 70s while prices have risen.

So if you’re middle class in Vancouver you’re either priced out forever or something is going to change.

From that article:

Lawyer Nathan Hume and health researcher Angie Chan live with their two young children in a rented two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver.

With two good jobs, they had hoped home ownership in the city would be within their reach. But sky-high prices in Vancouver have left them without any options.

“We have a number of friends who are in the same situation as us — highly educated, they’ve got good jobs, they have young kids, and they’ve all left the city,” said Chan.

Hume says it is likely they could get a mortgage to buy something, but they don’t think that’s smart, when it would mean foregoing savings for retirement and their childrens’ education.

Any readers here have friends who have moved away from Vancouver simply do to house price dynamics?  Any of you considering a move away based purely on the cost of housing?
Read the full article at the CBC web site.

Foreclosure tours come to BC

Remember just after the US bubble peaked? There were foreclosure bus tours in places like Vegas and Miami.

Did you ever think you’d see something like that in British Columbia?

Apparently it’s happening on Vancouver island right now.

This video clip from CHEK news shows people shopping for a good deal to flip or rent out now that there are so many owners going into foreclosure who were unable to flip or rent out their property.

Might be a tad early on that one.