Category Archives: opinion

Eliminate character to avoid affordability 

There are some old homes on Vancouver and some people think we shouldn’t be tearing down 1000 of them each year.  The city has some heritage and ‘character’ protections in place, but these have the unfortunate side effects of slowing the relentless rising of house prices:

“The real data on the house next door is that it reduced the value by 15 per cent,” said Jackson, whose neighbour’s house was re-listed and sold for less money after the city determined it has “character features” on the exterior. 

Read the full article here

Interest free loans get expensive

Bullwhip29 points out an article that says the BC first time buyer loans program will likely cost the government twice as much as they claim.

“The Ministry of Finance estimates that for every dollar of loan proceeds under HOME, taxpayers will lose about 19 cents in administrative costs and foregone interest. This estimate ignores the cost of default losses that may arise if borrowers are unable to repay their loans.”

Read the full article here.

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.