Friday Free-for-all!

May 1st, 2015

It’s that time of the week again!

Friday free-for-all time!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend. Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-How much is Canada overvalued?
-More on debt levels
-CMHC rates correction risk low
-Raise taxes?
-Everyone wants to live in… LA?
-Poloz: no risk of bubble
-Developer is corruption suspect?
-What if you could only get 5 mortgages?
-Yellens’ zombie economy

So what are you seeing out there?

Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

The city of Vancouver is looking at the issue of vacant homes and has expressed interest in building a website to allow people to report vacancies.

“We’ve all heard people asking why Vancouver is so expensive and telling us to look at all these empty houses. It’s a persistent question, so let’s get to the bottom of it and find out,” Coun. Kerry Jang said on Sunday.

Jang said he often receives feedback from frustrated residents blaming vacant homes and prospective foreign owners on Vancouver’s high housing prices, but the city is unsure whether those claims are justified and to what extent.

Jang said he personally is unsure whether those claims are true or not.
“That’s what we’re trying to find out,” he said.

Read the full article over at metronews.

Posted in BC, data, supply | 73 Comments »

Well! They could have told us this earlier and saved us a lot of time… Turns out desperate tweets won’t solve our housing cost problems.

Sociologist Nathan Lauster calls the current clash the “intergenerational drama of urban house ownership as a life goal.”

“It produces this sensation for a lot of people like you’re trying to make a home on quicksand,” says Lauster, who is part of UBC’s urban studies department.

“So you’re trying to do everything that you think is right, everything that your parents have done, and it’s still not going to be enough.”

But home ownership hasn’t always been the ultimate goal for a family. In Germany, for instance, renting is the norm.

And in Vancouver, in recent years, it seems people don’t just want a home, they want a perfect home, tearing down old stock to build new mansions, ripping rather than renovating.

“There are a lot of different ways to live. But a lot of policy and a lot of our intergenerational culture has encouraged only one way, and that’s the single family house,” says Lauster.

‘Dr. Zen’ in the comments section of that article has one possible fix:

Solution… leave Vancouver. You will not regret it.

Read the full article here.

 

Imagine this:

There’s a city in Canada that has a temperate climate – it’s not frozen half the year. It’s widely acknowledged as a beautiful place with access to nature and people are willing to pay some of the highest prices in the world just to buy a bit of real estate there.

And yet the citizens are some of the most unhappy in the country?

What gives you bunch of ungrateful louts?

According to Statistics Canada the entire province of BC is filled with a bunch of unhappy people. Not a single city in BC even cracks the top ten happiest places in Canada.

And our fair city of Vancouver? Well 33rd place isn’t really that bad is it?

Stop crying and move to Quebec already if you’re so miserable!

 

Friday Free-for-all!

April 24th, 2015

It’s the end of another work week, let’s get out in that sunshine and enjoy it!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend, here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-Home ownership still favourite investment
-Calgary new condo sales plunge 61%
-Bundle and save on realtor fees
-Blame your mom and dad for high prices
-Mother of Mayors girlfriend arrested in China
-Scary high ratio mortgages in Canada

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

If you’re someone who has your money somewhere other than Vancouver real estate you’re probably familiar with the TFSA.  And you probably know the limit has just been doubled to $10k a year.

Critics say this move only helps the wealthy and creates a future tax problem.

Joe Oliver says we should leave that problem for the PMs grand-daughter to solve.

On Tuesday’s The Exchange with Amanda Lang on CBC News Network, the finance minister told Lang that criticism of his recently unveiled budget is unfounded, arguing that the benefits for Canadians today more than offset any future revenue problems associated with it that may or may not ever come to pass.

The doubling of the TFSA limit to $10,000 per taxpayer every year was a core plank of Oliver’s balanced budget. But critics including the opposition parties and private sector economists have said the populist move will create a revenue problem for governments down the line, as more and more investments get protected from taxation.

So what do you think about the TFSA limit increase? A tool only for the wealthy or a bit of extra help for savers?

Friday Free-for-all!

April 17th, 2015

Whoa! Where did the time go?

It’s the end of another week and that means it’s time for another Friday Free-for-all!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-IMF cuts Canada on oil slump
-BOC warns of housing correction
-$43 million discount
-Teranet goes up
-Calgary goes down
-Faith based financial advice
-Cheap condo goes under asking
-2015 Bowen / Gulf island stats
-$1 mill sunshine coast sales

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

A couple of weeks ago VCI commenter Corrupt in Canada linked to a story over at VanCityBuzz reporting that BC NDP MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert was upset the provincial government was on the verge of reneging its promise to revitalize and expand St. Paul’s Hospital.

Three years ago Premiere Christy Clark pledged half a billion dollars to improve the hospital, but nothing has been done to this date.

In the original article VanCity Buzz reached out to the BC Ministry of Health who had this response:

Government remains firmly committed to revitalizing St. Paul’s Hospital. St. Paul’s Hospital is an important part of the network of hospitals in the Lower Mainland, serving a large and growing population from downtown Vancouver, and from across the region. We are continuing to work with Providence Healthcare on the best way to revitalize the hospital for the communities it serves. We must make sure that this fits within the future long term vision of health care in the region and across the province, focusing on more comprehensive community services and a partnership between Lower Mainland hospitals.

We must also ensure that St. Paul’s Hospital can continue to serve the community while the revitalization project is underway.

So we know that most of you will be utterly surprised that Providence Health Care just announced that St. Paul’s will be closed and a new facility will be built in East Van.

Shocked even!

The west end MLA took his disappointment over this announcement to twitter:

St. Paul’s Hospital proved it’s worth during the Stanley Cup riots. Viaduct, bridges, + Skytrain all closed. No way out of downtown. downtown Vancouver needs an emergency room, especially in an emergency. In an earthquake all exits out of downtown may be closed.

Of course there may be a much better use of the land the current hospital sits upon: CONDOS!

Plus new hospital in East Van just has to drive up property values there right?

Win-win.

 

It’s that time of the week again… Friday Free-for-all time!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-Mort. Insurance fees hurt 1st timers?
-1/3 new owners use cash from family?
-Rates. How low can they go?
-Sunshine coast 2014 market summary
-No gold watch for you!
-BC LNG projects threatened by glut
-Economic hit spreads beyond oil patch
-Does oil price affect Vancouver RE?
-Low rates hurting investors?
-Salesman predict decade long boom
-Divergence between TSX and financial services
-John Bairds new job

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

 

Hot American Money?

April 9th, 2015

If you’re looking for someone to blame for high house prices (anyone but locals!) you’ve got a new scapegoat: Americans.

The Province has an article saying the falling CAD means that US buyers are responsible for the biggest surge in the local market over the last year.

Asian buyers make up about 60 per cent of foreign buyers of Metro Vancouver real estate, according to a story published by the Financial Times on Good Friday.

But buyers from the U.S. accounted for the biggest surge in the Vancouver market in the past year, the story said.

The article also said the Vancouver market is unique because record prices seem to have little impact on buyers’ enthusiasm.

Read the full article here.

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