Category Archives: Holiday

Zombie strata

Everybody knows that real estate is the perfect investment, but how many of you are investing in cemetery land? After all they aren’t making any more of it.

As cemeteries run out of space, cities are scrambling to find new land for burials or maximize the land they already have, while some residents are seeking cheaper plots in the suburbs. Familiar housing terms like affordability and density are beginning to have meaning in both life and death.

“We are at, or soon to be at, a crisis in cemetery space,” said Vancouver landscape architect Erik Lees, whose company, Lees & Associates, plans cemeteries across North America. “The Lower Mainland is likely the poorest-served region of all the major cities in Canada.”

Some of the same factors that have driven up the price of housing in B.C. — including geography, zoning and population — have also led to rising cemetery prices, with the remaining 400 to 500 casket spaces at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery priced at $25,000.

Read the full article here.

Canadians are most likely non-resident speculators in the US

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the US has just released data on foreign buyers. Noticeably missing from the top five list is China, but at the very top of the top 5 US markets there’s one country: Canada.

That’s right, Canadians are the most likely foreign buyer in the US.

NAR stats show that Canadian and UK buyers are the most likely to buy property for occasional use. Going back to 2016, 80% of Canadian, and 61% of UK buyers were non-resident buyers. To contrast, only 39% of Chinese buyers were non-resident. This means Canadian and UK citizens are more likely to buy property and not move into it. Whereas 61% of Chinese buyers are likely to buy property for relocation.

To understand how impressive this statistic is, you have to look at the relative number of people. China has over 1.317 billion people, and Chinese citizens purchased 29,195 US homes in 2016. That results in 11,386 US homes sold to Chinese citizens for investment or occasional use. To contrast, Canada has 35.85 million people, and Canadian citizens bought 26,851 US homes in 2016. Since 80% of Canadians are non-resident, that’s 21,480 homes for investment or occasional use bought by Canadians just last year.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Read the full article here.

Replica cities lack something

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.

Happy New Year!

As 2014 draws to a close and we move into 2015 here’s hoping your future is a bright one.

Some of you will buy property this year, some of you will sell, some will rent and others will move away.  Whatever 2015 holds for you it’s always good to keep some perspective.

Whether 2015 sees rising or dropping house prices in Vancouver we hope both sides of the debate will treat each other with a reasonable amount of respect – we’re all just trying to get by the best we can.

Happy New Year and here’s to an excellent 2015 for all of you!

Goodbye 2013! Hello 2014!

Well here we are wrapping up 2013.

The Vancouver market continues to fluctuate in its flat range.

Owners are still paying more than renters, but can paint their walls whatever colour they want.

Renters are still more flexible when it comes to relocation and some of them have more diversified investments, but some of them just want to paint their walls whatever colour they want.

The Vancouver housing bubble is boring.

Not like some of the more exciting housing bubbles around the world.  Remember the Celtic Tiger?  Ireland had a giant boom, but now they’re tearing down brand new homes.

So what will 2014 hold in store for the Vancouver Real Estate Market?  A slump, a dump, a bump or a jump?

What do you think, are we in for an exciting year or another yawner?