Category Archives: hype

Zillow coming to Canada!

Do you remember 10 years and 6 days ago when David Gibbons from Zillow commented on this site that they intended to expand internationally and Canada was definately on the shortlist?

Well Zillow is coming to Canada, sort of.

Looks like they’ll just be showing the same listings as the MLS – dare we hope for an independent source of long term statistics like price history?

More imaginary buyers

For some reason even in a hot market some salespeople feel compelled to make up fake buyers. You might remember the fake sisters posing as buyers for a news story.

Well a North Van Realtor has been found guilty of professional misconduct after a competing offer was presented from a buyer who doesn’t exist.

According to the disciplinary panel’s written reasons, Inglis testified at the hearing that the offer from a buyer with a last name of “Huang” had been left on the kitchen counter on the property –along with a real estate agent’s business card – at an open house, after he’d given a pre-printed offer form to an “Asian person” who asked for it. He told the council he’d altered the form to delete his own name as the buyer’s agent, and added the real estate agent’s name whose card had been left with the offer.

But that real estate agent told the panel he hadn’t been involved in writing the offer and had not had a client named Huang.  The discipline committee also noted Inglis gave a contradictory version of how he’d received the offer in a message he left for his co-listing agent, saying he’d been handed the offer in person. A handwriting expert called to testify said it was “probable” Inglis wrote the offer himself.

The committee concluded Inglis had changed or made up the offer to create the impression that his story about receiving offers on the property was true, then made “false statements” to both his co-listing agent and the real estate council about it.

When Inglis found out about the investigation, he called the co-listing agent and left her a phone message, according to the panel’s written reasons, saying, “So if you really want to get blackballed you’ve gone to the right person because trust me I wield a bigger bat than you do.” The message continued: “So you’re off my books as far as ever doing a deal. I will never, ever, ever process one of your offers ever. So you’re done.”

Read the full article here.

Calgary most liveable city in Canada?

The economist ranks Calgary as the most liveable city in Canada, Vancouver follows up in 6th place.

Every year, the research and analysis arm of the London-based publisher of the Economist magazine ranks 140 cities and scores them based on 30 different factors, boiled down to five categories:

  • Stability (based on local rates of crime, terrorism and military unrest).
  • Quality of local health care.
  • Local culture and environment (everything from weather to quality of local restaurants).
  • Quality of education.
  • Quality of infrastructure (everything from transit to electrical grids and telecommunications networks).

Melbourne was first seven years in a row before being displaced by the Austrian capital.

Not factored in on that list: cost of living or incomes. Read the full article over at the CBC.

San Francisco Prices on a Columbus Ohio income.

Vancouver seems to be getting a lot of attention right now for the disparity between house prices and incomes:

The median cost of a Vancouver home, adjusted for purchasing power parity, is US$672,000 — costly but still 15 per cent to 26 per cent below that of San Jose and San Francisco, the two most expensive housing markets, according to Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program, whose study accounted for the difference in buying power of a dollar across geographies and currencies.

What pushes Vancouver to the top of the unaffordability rankings is paltry wages. In Canada’s third-largest city, the median household earns the equivalent of US$61,036 a year — in line with Columbus and less than families in Omaha, Nebraska, Kansas City, Missouri and even Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a rural community of 59,000 known for cornfields.

fortunately the solution is simple: cut house prices in half or double up current household incomes. Read the full article here.

House prices make city ‘look bad’

When the city of Vancouver was trying to woo Amazon there was some concern that housing data would make the city look bad.

As city staff scrambled last fall to put together a proposal to woo Seattle-based Amazon to build a second headquarters here, they were faced with a major potential weakness: how to make the city attractive in the midst of a housing affordability crisis?”

“Internal email records obtained by the National Post through a freedom-of-information request show that the issue was top of mind for staff within the city’s economic development agency, the Vancouver Economic Commission, some of whom discussed leaving out certain housing data that could make the city “look bad.”

Read the full article over at the National Post.

As Dave puts it “Imagine if they were concerned about housing for locals.