Occasionally we have some commenters here who seem to be pretty sure (or at least proclaim to be pretty sure) that Vancouver is hell on earth.
We suspect this isn’t entirely true, because most anyone you meet here has the ability to move away to a number of other options yet they hang around.
But one recent comment references the fear that Vancouver will become ‘hell on earth’ by slowly crushing the economy into two strata:
Soon there will be two classes of Vancouverites.
The service class will live in 200 square foot mini-apartments, twenty such units per building, working for 50,000 dollars a year, paying 2,500 a month in rent, and paying a big chunk of their paychecks on taxes at the provincial and federal levels to pay for schools, hospitals, universities, and the coast guard. They will service the rich class and take the bus to get there.
The rich class will live in 7,000 square foot rectangular box houses, worth three million each, ridiculously crammed on 45 foot lots, their BMWs and Bugattis parked out front. Each household will claim poverty status, claiming to be earning just ten thousand dollars a year. That way the wives and kids and grandparents in those houses will not have to pay anything for their healthcare and education. It is all paid for by the income taxes of the suckers in the service class.
Meanwhile, unknown to Ottawa or Victoria, the businessman head of those rich homes is earning a million dollars a year in China, in activities that are often associated with phrases like “rule breaking” and “money laundering”.
That allows them to own another three houses and condominiums in Vancouver, places that are empty, places the government thinks his kids and nephews own because he put their names on the deeds.
Vancouver is turning into hell on earth.
Original comment from a Globe and Mail article referenced by Yunak.
Syruptrap.ca shares the sad news that another Luxury condo tower is to be torn down and replaced with a small independent bookstore:
Beloved Pinnacle Towers developer Jerry Gotham lamented the announcement in a Facebook post on Monday.
“Pinnacle Towers has been an integral part of the local community for the last seven years,” wrote Gotham.
“I am sad to announce today that the new owners, book lovers Daphne and George, will tear the building down in order to build a small independent neighbourhood bookstore.”
A frustrated Gotham told press that he wishes there was something he could do to save Pinnacle Towers.
“This 40-storey luxury condo development — the marble baths, the helipad, the green roof — was my life. To see it all come down like this is a damned shame.”
Several members of the community gathered in front of the demolition site on Monday to protest the announcement.
“This tall, expensive glass building is an important part of the cultural fabric of this city,” said Sheila Barthelby, creator of a “Save Pinnacle Towers” petition on Change.org, which as of Monday morning has garnered over 200 signatures.
This seems to happen so often these days. Read the full article here.
Ulsterman dug up this blast from the past: a posting from this here site in 2006. At that time we recommended Vancouver real estate as the easy road to riches. If you followed that advice you’re probably reading this now on a solid gold iPad while you recline on silk cushions with your feet in a bath of Diva Vodka.
YOU can GET RICH in REAL ESTATE!
Are you ready to become so INCREDIBLY RICH that you no longer have to adhere to the standards and conventions of ‘civilized’ society? Are you TIRED of eeking out a day-to-day existence while you can smell THE REEK OF WEALTH all around you? Would you like to be able to walk through the mall without any pants and be so EXCESSIVELY WEALTHY that no one can utter a word about your pantless state, lest you unleash your personal squadron of vicious attack lawyers destroying their lives and reputations?
Well NOW you CAN!
Yes! Thanks to the MIRACLE of BOUNDLESS increases in PROPERTY VALUE you can now become a MULTI-MILLIONAIRE by investing in real-estate. And the best thing about it? This process requires NO EXPENSIVE COURSES OR SPECIAL EQUIPMENT. You don’t need any special skills or knowledge – In fact, you don’t even need a brain! THAT JUST HOW EASY IT IS!
Here’s how its done:
1) buy real-estate
2) sell real-estate (for more than you bought it for)
3) repeat and profit!
This SIMPLE MONEY-MAKING PLAN will see you swimming in your own personal GOLDEN BATHTUB filled with 50 dollar bills within a week. Within a month you will have SO MUCH MONEY coming in that you can hire people to MAKE MONEY FOR YOU. Within a year you will be so RICH, so INCREDIBLY WEALTHY that you will be able to buy yourself a SOLID GOLD SPHERE THREE HUNDRED MILES IN DIAMETER!
You will have the power to BUY AND SELL other people for your own amusement. Earth will be your playground and all that hear your name will COWER IN FEAR. So what are you waiting for? GET RICH NOW!
Why am I sharing my MONEY MAKING SECRETS with you? Because I care. I know that you personally have the RIGHT STUFF to dominate the globe and I want you to SUCCEED. And just to show you my generosity, my utter lack of personal greed or selfish motivation, I have just the thing to get you started. It’s a small leaky condo on the east side and it can be your stepping stone to UNLIMITED MIND-BOGGLING RICHES.
Remember, it’s never too late to take this advice! It’s entirely free and worth every penny paid! Stop slumping and start Trumping!
RFM has updated the Realtor Hunger Index over at VancouverPeak.
The VANCOUVER REALTOR HUNGER INDEX is the percent of realtors who earned no commission income for the stated month. For August 2015 the VRHI was 49%. How does this compare? The 18-year average for August is 50%. At 49%, the 2015 August VRHI was higher than 8 years and lower than 9 years since 1998.
Despite turmoil in the speculative equity markets, an ‘official’ recession in Canada, oil prices that are plumbing the bottom of the barrel, foreign money-laundering investigations by the Canada Revenue Agency, corrupt politicians, greedy realtors, rapacious real estate marketing firms and a plethora of other factors that should cause a collapse of the Vancouver housing bubble, continued lower-than-average inventory and strong demand forced already high prices higher, especially in single family homes, where the HPI increased a whopping 17.5% from August 2014 to $1,159,600. Endlessly-low interest rates (and clueless BOC leadership), a flood of foreign investment money and knee-jerk buying by uninformed and delusional buyers, the August sales rate is extraordinary! And unsustainable. My official opinion of all this is available 24/7/365 for US$0.05! Call now! Operators standing by! However, for a more detailed and scientific analysis of the market dynamics of this firestorm, consult the DSM-5! (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, offers a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders.)
Details and comparison data for 18 years at: http://vancouverpeak.com/showthread.php?tid=64
Every so often it’s fun to play a game of compare and despair with the price of Vancouver real estate.
Buzzfeed has just discovered this and posted a list of 9 castles that cost less than a Vancouver condo.
I’m betting none of those castles is walking distance to a coffee shop.
Home buyers may be eating a lot of Kraft Dinner but Realtors are doing fine. From RFM over at Vancouver Peak:
The VANCOUVER REALTOR HUNGER INDEX is the percent of realtors who earned no commission income for the stated month. For June 2015 the VRHI was 34%. How does this compare? The 18-year average for June is 39%. At 34%, the 2015 June VRHI was higher than 8 years and lower than 9 years since 1998.
The lowest June inventory in nine (9) years and strong demand forced already high prices higher, especially in single family homes, where the HPI reached a stratospheric $1,123,900. Fueled by continuing historically low interest rates, a flood of foreign investment money and panic buying by uninformed and delusional buyers, the June sales rate is extraordinary! And unsustainable. And prices are unsupportable. For a complete analysis of the market dynamics of this firestorm, consult the DSM-5! (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, offers a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders.)
Details and comparison data for 18 years at: http://vancouverpeak.com/showthread.php?tid=64
The BC Housing Minister has clarified whether or not his ministry or the government will collect data on real estate buyers:
“I don’t believe we should be in the market place,” Coleman said, referring to his ministry, “and we have not had any request to go and do this work … There is no initiative at this time in government to go and interfere in the market place in regards to housing.”
The collecting of any data is not necessary because housing cost are actually pretty reasonable when you look at it right:
“I believe that the market place adjusts. If you notice over the years, it has fluctuations up and fluctuations down. If you look at the mean cost of housing across British Columbia and you compare it to other major cities worldwide, the reason it is attractive internationally is because it’s actually pretty reasonable compared to other cities like London, Singapore, Tokyo,” Coleman answered.
It’s actually a VERY favourable comparison. Initially we thought he was asking us to compare Vancouver housing prices to London house prices, but then we realized he was actually asking us to compare the mean cost of housing across the province of BC to a city like London.
Other than the differences those two things are very much alike.
Read the full article over at VanCity Buzz.
Reader tedeastside either hates Vancouver or he wants other people to.
Regular visitors here know teds comments have a certain reliable tone to them, but yesterday’s got creative and inspired people to riff on it:
to those proud vancouverites who mention vancouver in the same breath as New York or London probably thinks the following
Shangri-la = Empire State building
Robson Square = Rockefeller center
Nat Bailey = Yankee Stadium
Steam Clock = Big Ben
Olympic Cauldron = Eiffel Tower
VAG = the Louvre
Robson street = Champs-Élysées
Gassy Jack = Statue of Liberty
North Van Sulfer piles = the Pyramids
This of course got some pointing out that Vancouver can have overpriced real estate and still be a decent city, but where’s the fun in that?
Continue reading Vancouver, New York, London & Paris
Many Franks pointed out what has to be the most bizarre ‘financial facelift’ feature yet over at the Globe and Mail.
You think you have money troubles? Look at these poor people!
[Eric] earns $200,000 a year working one day a week in a medical clinic. But his real love is teaching, which he does one day a week at a university; this earns him $100,000 a year.
“It is financially possible for them to do the things that are important to them, although by doing so, they will run a cash flow deficit of $50,000 a year until the children leave home,” Mr. MacKenzie says. Over time, their annual deficits will add up to more than $1-million in additional debt.
They are living rent free in a relative’s house (they pay taxes, utilities and upkeep) and “regret not having bought a house years ago,” Eric writes in an e-mail.
Eric and Ilsa are fortunate because their parents are willing to put a home equity line of credit on their own home to extend them the $1-million they need to build, and to finance their annual deficit, the planner notes.
Some of you are under the impression that Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz does nothing but sit around all day eating Doritos and watching The West Wing on Netflix, but you are sadly mistaken.
He also issues reports that freak out Realtors.
Consumer debt loads and house prices that could be as much as 30 per cent overvalued are the two biggest risks to Canada’s economy, the Bank of Canada warned in its semi-annual Financial System Review on Wednesday.
Yeah, but “up to 30 percent” includes zero percent over-valued too you know? Surely not everyone is overpaying for Canadian real estate.
The bank says it’s about 95 per cent sure that house prices have been overvalued by an average of about 10 per cent since 2007. That’s based on a new forecasting model the bank says it created, which incorporates existing data from private banks and other government institutions.
Huh. 95% Sure? really? I bet it’s all a’cause of those wealthy foreigners right?
And a lot of those inflated house prices are coming at a cost of rising debt loads. About 12 per cent of Canadian households are considered to be extremely indebted — which means they have a debt-to-income ratio of at least 250 per cent. That ratio has doubled since 2000, the report notes.
But that’s ok because younger buyers are building equity right?
Young homeowners, the bank added, have become even more vulnerable to negative shocks to income and to higher interest rates.
Wow. What a buzzkill.
*For those who followed the foreigner link we would like to offer our sincerest apologies. If you are a glutton for punishment, here’s a video of our prime minister singing Guns n’ Roses “Sweet Child o’ Mine“. If you watch the whole thing you earn a cookie! If you cut it off at 3:33 you have to go to work at a Tim Hortons in Fort Mac. You have been warned.