Category Archives: opinion

Downtown condo sales prices drift down

An anecdote from commenter YVR on asking prices downtown:

Every month a realtor send me listing and sales for my building where I rent. It is a newish building in downtown Vancouver so suites are almost identical to compare sale prices to. Here are the last 3 sales for almost identical suites:

March 2016 $1.32 million
June 2016 $1.36 million
Nov 2016 $1.15 million

From June to Nov that is over a 15% reduction or $210K in 5 months. Imagine being the person who bought in June and just received the same flyer with the recent sale price. Ouch. If he/she sold today after transaction costs they would be down by $280K and that assumes they could get the November price which is unlikely.

Free money can be popular

Despite widespread criticism of the BC governments plans to make teaser loans to first time homebuyers (worst idea everrrr) Kirk Lapointe points out that not everyone thinks its a bad idea.

I would wager that for every Christmas dinner gathering of finger-wagging and tut-tutting about the fiscal irresponsibility and market impact of the Clark manoeuvre, there were a dozen families seriously discussing if this was the time – perhaps the last real window – to get the kids into a home in the same city.

Politics ain’t always about what makes the most sense.

Read the full editorial here.

Realtors expect decline in 2017

Praising a forecast market correction in Vancouver as a return to sanity:

Vancouver’s long-awaited housing correction may be around the corner: prices are headed for a double-digit decline in 2017 as buyers drop out of the market, according to the head of Canada’s largest real estate services company.

“Home prices had gotten so out of whack with the growth in underlying wages and salaries that there had to be a correction,” said Phil Soper, chief executive officer of Royal LePage, a unit of Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. “And it’ll happen in 2017.”

Royal LePage is preparing a formal forecast for release in early January based on data from Brookfield, which also runs the nation’s biggest property valuation company. Those appraisals are used by banks, insurance companies and mortgage underwriters.

Read the full article here.

BC teaser loans panned in media.

The new first time buyer teaser loan program announced by the BC government has met a suprisingly negative reaction in the media, but some online polls show voters approve.

This move seems designed to undo some of the federal ramp back of housing market fuel. Bearvancouverite points out this might help developers who are seeing people backing out of presales agreements.

This might be exactly why Christy did it. Developers were panicking that presales won’t close because mortgage qualifications would be so different in the next few years, they need to dangle a carrot to make sure speculators don’t just walk away and first time buyers can be convinced to take over presales from flippers.

Scoop points out why this program should be referred to as a “teaser loan” as made popular in the US housing bubble:

Definition of “teaser loan” from investopedia: An adjustable-rate mortgage loan in which the borrower pays a very low initial interest rate, which increases after a few years. Teaser loans try to entice borrowers by offering an artificially low rate and small down payments, claiming that borrowers should be able to refinance before the increases occur.

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/teaser-loan.asp

Let’s all call start calling this new program what it is: Christy’s Teaser Loan Program.

The Tragedy of the $1.2 Million Dollar House

There’s an absolute injustice happening in our fair city. Honest home owners who by no fault of their own now find themselves in the position of owning a home that is assessed at more than a million dollars.  People who have struggled and strived to achieve home ownership only to have the $570 property tax grant torn from their weary hands!

A greedy government is intent on charging these poor home owners property taxes without giving any of it back! The province cruelly raised the cutoff from 1.1 to 1.2 million earlier this year, but what is that? Less than 10 percent! Some assessments are up more than 40 percent! What are these poor homeowners supposed to do- sell and cash in on a hugely inflated market?

Fortunately there are freedom fighters who are advocating for the downtrodden and calling for a rise in the cutoff for the homeowner grants.  Pray that they succeed, because you know if the government succeeds in it’s evil plan to retain this $570 home owner grant they’ll only waste the money on caviar, cigars and saving people from fentanyl overdoses.