Category Archives: opinion

Sold Out!

Hey! A opening day presales condo in Vancouver SOLD OUT!

Marine Gateway, and the 415 pre-sale units that sold, is big news because at a time when listings are soaring and sales have been falling off a cliff, the pre-sales at this development have bucked the negative trend.
In fact it has completely turned that trend on it’s head.
Hmmm.

Let’s put that into perspective.

A sell-out of pre-sale condo unit offerings hasn’t happened in Vancouver in over six years.  As Global TV noted in this story, you have to go back to the Woodward’s presale in 2006 – before the collapse of the world financial markets – to match an opening day pre-sale sellout of a condo development.

Either the market is on the upswing again or Rennie is back with his marketing magic…  Although he does seem to have lost the ‘be bold or move to the suburbs’ thing.

Check out Whispers from the Edge of the Rainforest for an examination of this sell-out.

Foreign demand keeps prices from falling too far

Jesse pointed out this article bloomberg: Asian Buyers Buoy New Home Demand in California’s Orange County.  It turns out we’re not the only place that get’s the hype about suitcases of cash:

“You know why Orange County is doing better?” said Wang, a native of Taiwan who splits her time between Shenzhen in southern China, where she oversees a toy-manufacturing business, and Irvine, California, where she raised her three children. “It’s because all my neighbors are from China and Taiwan, and they all bought their homes in cash.”

And you know what ‘doing better’ means?  It means house prices dropping by ‘only’ 39%.

Demand has kept property values from declining as much in Orange County as in other regions. The median home price was $392,000 in January, down 39 percent from the June 2007 peak. That’s less than the 49 percent decline across Southern California and the 51 percent slump nationwide, DataQuick said.

Pretty good news eh?

CMHC and the rental housing market

Over at the The Star, our mayor has helped to write an opinion piece asking that the CMHC provide more loans for rental housing construction:

For most of us, housing is our biggest expense. One out of every five dollars we earn goes to build, buy, rent and run our homes. Facing high home prices, large personal debts, and an uncertain economy, fewer Canadians can buy a new home today than in the past, and they are choosing to rent instead.

Unfortunately, in many cities finding an affordable place to rent is nearly impossible. The most immediate problem is supply. Vacancy rates under 3 per cent push rents up. In Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, it’s 1.4 per cent.

Vacancy rates this low force our young people to move out of the city, threaten seniors on fixed incomes, and have a negative impact on local businesses.

That’s why this spring’s federal budget must put Canada’s rental housing market on solid ground, by pursuing low-cost, high-leverage policies that get jobs on the ground and build housing Canadians can afford.

It’s like magic, creating jobs and homes.  What could go wrong with a ‘low-cost, high-leverage’ policy like that?