Category Archives: supply

Full-blown crash mode?

Way too early to call this one, but Whistler or Bust points out the steep crash in December prices at the National Bank home price index. This one is interesting because it only measures sales of the exact same property to get it’s numbers.

If you go to and click Vancouver you’ll see a chart that shows the recent dip, which looks like one of the steepest declines on the index so far.

Some realtors have stated that January sales are not looking very good so far and Paul Boenisch posts daily numbers here that are showing listings bumping up in the new year, but not too much on the sales numbers so far.

Paul also has a new website up at if you’re looking for help buying or selling particularly on the north shore.  That’s a shout out to a realtor who has consistently shared daily sales stats for years and years for your amusement and edification. Cheers Paul!

Developers upset over surprise foreign buyer tax

Real Estate Developers are upset about the foreign buyer tax, arguing that the only real way to make homes more affordable is to increase supply.

Also it would be great if we could increase real estate affordability without lowering the price of anyones real estate.

A month before the tax was announced, Anne McMullin, president and CEO of UDI, e-mailed the Premier warning that any taxes aimed at curbing demand would not make Metro Vancouver more affordable without the stimulation of more supply. And, she added, increasing taxes might severely undermine the value of people’s homes “perhaps even destabilizing our industry, which represents 25 per cent of British Columbia’s economy,” she wrote.

Some experts point out that the foreign buyer market was already showing signs of ‘fatigue’ so the tax was completely unnecessary.

Experts cannot say whether this downturn in foreign owners will remain a long-term trend, but immediately after the Premier announced the tax on the morning of July 25, industry insiders were warning it could badly hurt one of the province’s most important economic drivers.

Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.

Can it happen here?

Ulsterman commented yesterday sharing an exchange with a local radio host.  Will the current price drops end up the start of something bigger or a rehash of 2009?

I sent an email to Lynda Steele on CKNW because she stated that she was confused by the local market. Some say prices are down, and yet others say they’re going up. Then they quoted the BC Assessment report that came out today and is warning that assessments will be up 30-50%. I explained in my email that since prices peaked in Spring 2016, they had since made a fairly significant correction.

She responded and asked if i were a realtor. I replied with:

No, i just take a keen interest in the local market but i have no “official” expertise. But neither do i make my living from encouraging people to buy or sell a house, so I have no vested interest either. It’s always a good time to buy or sell according to BC Realtors, so when i hear they are guests on radio shows I don’t put much faith in their advice.

My understanding of markets before corrections is as thus. First sales collapse (check), sellers desperately hang on, refusing to make significant discounts – price stickiness ( check), eventually some people have to sell (job losses, moves, divorces, debt loads etc) and this sets the new price – already happening in the single family home market.

By Spring there will be a tsunami of houses hitting the market as people try to beat the price drops and of course buyers figure this out and wait for lower prices, compounding the problem for buyers. This has happened in all markets that have corrected, from the US, to Ireland, to Spain. Vancouver will feel the pain too. With all the new mortgage qualification rules, foreign buyer taxes, so-to-be reduced AirBnB gravy train, rising interest rates etc, I think you’d be foolhardy not to just wait and see before buying. There’s almost no upside potential, but a massive risk of watching hundreds of thousands of equity get wiped out in months.

Imagine someone who has moved from a condo to a townhouse over the years and just recently leveraged to the maximum to buy a house this Spring. Maybe they put $500,000 down and borrowed a million. With the already-happened 20% correction they’ve watched $300,000 disappear. It won’t take much more before a decade of equity accumulation is gone. Leverage is wonderful when prices are rising, but it’s brutal when they go down.

Vancouver House Prices Plunging

Get your hankies out, the unthinkable has happened.

Sellnoworbepricedin4evah shared this article at CTV news about Vancouver house prices ‘plunging‘.

It’s apparently gotten so bad that some houses are now selling for under one million. Horrors! What will become of housing in Vancouver!

Sutton West Coast realtor David Hutchinson has been tracking plunging prices and found several detached homes listed below $1 million, some of which had been recently renovated.

“If you want to sell, you have to be priced sharply, and you see a lot of price drops,” Hutchinson told CTV.

And even with price drops, he added, he’s seen many sale prices lower than what sellers are asking for. He said he knew of one home in the west side of the city that was initially priced at $3.9 million, but when it didn’t sell, the owners reduced the price. They kept reducing it in small increments, but eventually they couldn’t wait any longer, and had to drop the price by nearly $1 million.

Another home on West 8th in Kitsilano was listed for $2.5 million, but could only fetch $1.6 million.

“There’s not this crazy deluge of offers coming in like before, when you could price it below the market value and wait for all the offers to come in. That’s not happening anymore,” Hutchinson said.

“Buyers are being a little more picky now and you didn’t see that before.”

You know what this means right? Deal Time!

Anybody looking for a tear-down in a bad neighborhood for just under a million?

Read the full article here.

Get a job.

Some people wonder how people make ends meet in a very expensive city with very low wages, but there’s plenty of economic opportunity beyond grow-ops, you just need take advantage of one our exceptional local specialties.

Of course you could go to the source of the money fountain and flip condos or become a realtor, but if you don’t have the time for a 6 week course here’s another opportunity: Condo Lineups.

If you can be the manikin who pretends to be very excited about a new local development you can earn $1800 in less than a week, that works out to about $15 an hour less expenses!

This tiny job posting speaks volumes about the Vancouver real estate market. Developers have convinced speculators that demand is so high, there’s enough room for the average person to make an extra few dollars flipping condos to regular folks. Now that regular folks aren’t fighting to buy pre-construction, this may be the first sign that speculative capital is drying up.

Read the full article over at better