Category Archives: opinion

The architect and the economics professor

Bear Vancouverite pointed out this debate on CKNW:

I wanted to share this with you guys: a debate between Tom Davidoff and architect Michael Geller. Davidoff is a UBC economics professor in the Sauder School of Business which some here have (wrongly) accused of being in the RE Industry’s pocket. In this debate Davidoff’s position is that:

1) The rich who own huge homes are being subsidized by the rest of us
2) We should get rid of the Home Owner’s Grant (Michael Geller brings this up too)
3) We should encourage more density in super low density areas like Point Grey
4) We should not gentrify low income areas to increase density if we can increase density in wealthy areas
5) We need to curb demand using tax policy ( Speculator’s Tax)
6) Housing needs to be in line with local incomes

I’ve seen other interviews with Davidoff in the past and I believe he considers our housing overpriced, manipulated by wealth and speculation, and would like to see prices more in line with local incomes.

The one aspect that he believes that I think have offended some people here is he believes “everyone wants to live here”.

https://omny.fm/shows/steele-drex/on-vancouver-housing-geller-v-davidoff-heavyweight

How do you talk about foreign buyers without being racist?

A growing issue in Vancouver real estate is that of foreign buyers. Statistics Canada claims that non-resident foreigners own 7.6% of the value of homes within the city of Vancouver.

Now clearly it is possible to talk about this issue without devolving into racist generalizations and hate, but some commenters on this site have a very difficult time doing so.

There are a number of parties that have no interest in changes to the current market and these parties are served best by angry racist rantings.  What better way to distract from the issue at hand and paint any discussion of foreign buyers as racist?

So good job you knuckle-heads, those that profit in a run-away housing bubble thank you!

 

No plan to prohibit foreign buyers

Bullwhip29 points out that BC Finance Minister Carol James has no plans to prohibit foreign buyers in BC.

Foreign buyers who want to buy residential real estate in Metro Vancouver pay a 15 percent tax.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Carole James has no intention to outlaw foreign buying of B.C. homes when the NDP government introduces a series of policies in the next couple of months to address the high cost of housing.

James has said that there will be no ban like the one that exists in New Zealand.

B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver, on the other hand, has demanded an outright ban on foreign buying of residential real estate to curb demand. And he wants James to introduce this in her upcoming budget.

Read the full article over at the Straight.

Mostly wrong for more than a decade.

A comment from Ulsterman to kick off the new year:

Well, it’s been almost 15 years of being wrong about this market. Yup, believe it or not back in 2003 people thought prices were too high. Yes, it’s comical now, but at the time when you watched a Commercial Drive condo go from 80k to 115k within a year, people were worried about buying at a peak….

Anyhow, 2018 certainly looks like there are many factors aligned against rising prices:

1) SFH prices have already been falling
2) rates are rising
3) more restrictive lending
4) a kinda/sorta foreign buyers’ tax
5) the upcoming stress test
6) insane debt levels

What i have learned through bitter experience is that the LM market can be incredible resilient, so i won’t get my hopes up for a really significant drop in prices, but i genuinely do think SFH’s will be cheaper a year from now. Will it make a difference to me? Unlikely.

Good luck to all of you in 2018!

Houses being sold at a loss

Southseacompany points out this article claiming speculators are leaving the local market and selling homes purchased in the last two years for less than the purchase price:

Dozens of homes in Metro Vancouver bought in the last two years are currently listed to be sold for a loss as speculators appear to exit Canada’s hottest real estate market.

An industry insider sent ThinkPol sales data for single family houses in the Lower Mainland showing roughly 40 properties that are currently listed for prices lower than what the sellers originally paid for them.

As the property purchases were made within the last two years, ThinkPol was able to validate this data using information published by BC Assessment.

price read the full article here