Mayor warns property prices put Vancouver economy at risk

The mayor has released a statement reiterating his support for a house-flipping tax saying that without some sort of action the Vancouver economy is at risk:

Gregor Robertson says recent reports and recommendations from banks, organizations, real estate boards and economists has made it clear to him that it’s time to deal with Vancouver’s sky-rocketing real estate prices or the city’s economy could suffer.

On Sunday he released a statement amplifying his support for a house flipping tax as a measure to reduce speculation and a luxury sales tax to help, “rein in the excesses of Vancouver’s housing market.”

“First and foremost, housing needs to be for homes, not just treated as a commodity,” said the statement.

Read the full article over at the CBC.

Friday Free-for-all! June 3rd 2016

Yep, it’s another one.

As we wind down the work week and head into another weekend 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.

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

Drastic measures to slow market?
Taxpayers send realtors on trip?
Dirt earns more than all workers
Houses hit all time high
Bubble Timeline
Replace income tax with property tax
Scotiabank concern over Vancouver & Toronto

So what are you seeing out there? Going to any open houses this weekend?  Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

Mayor explains why Vancouver is so expensive

Lots of young people like to complain about high housing costs here, but do you know why Vancouver is so expensive?

The Mayor explains:

“…Our cultural scene punches above its weight and routinely draws international attention to our theatre, music, comedy, and visual arts. In its first year, we had Canada’s largest public New Year’s Eve celebration. Hundreds of thousands of people year over year come out to watch one of the largest Pride parades in North America.

Patios stay open later, our craft breweries are exploding in popularity, and our food trucks are globally revered. Car-Free Day on Commercial Drive and Khatsahlano Fest on West 4th pack thousands of families on our streets every summer. The PuSh Festival, viff and the Folk Fest get capacity crowds and have lineups onto the street.”

We are pretty much just like London, New York and San Francisco. Read the full write up by the Gregor Robertson over at the Walrus.

Friday Free-for-all! May 26th 2016

It’s the end of another work week and you know what that means…

It’s Friday free-for-all time here at VCI. 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:

Housing market concerns at BOC
Broker Economist on concerns
Vancouver ‘freakshow’ market
Peterborough up 24% YOY
Save for 23 years
4 out of 10 caught short on money
lack of compliance on money laundering
high cost of ultra-low rates

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

18-34 year olds more likely to live with mom and dad

It used to be that most parents would provide their kids with food and shelter until they left high school. Some would stick around home while attending higher education, but most would move out on their own and start taking responsibility for themselves.

Then a funny thing happened in the economy.  Stuff changed. Incomes declined while the cost of living went up.

For the first time in modern history 18-34 year olds in the US are more likely living with their parents than on their own, with roommates or with a romantic partner.

A big reason is a decline in economic opportunities. As the cost of living has escalated and wages have stagnated, young people face mounting student debt and daunting barriers to renting or owning a home, creating obstacles to cohabitation and marriage.

The trend is led by young men, whose fortunes have been declining since the 1960s. While they have always lived with their parents in greater numbers than young women, this setup became the dominant living arrangement for them in 2009. In 2014 35 percent of young men lived with parents, while only 28 percent lived with a spouse or partner (for young women, the percentages are flipped: 29 and 35, respectively).

read the full article here.

Friday Free-for-all! May 20th 2016

Oh yeah! 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:

Gov terrified of popping bubble
CREA: Market ‘topped out’
We don’t need no education
How to pop the bubble before its too late
BC Real estate watchdog leaving
continued acceleration
Anyone want to sell under market?

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

Vancouver market now a national problem

Most people in Canada don’t care about the Vancouver housing market, but that doesn’t mean they would be unaffected by a bursting housing bubble here.

Canadian Business argues that what we need is a national regulator to deal with risks in the financial system:

In 2013, the International Monetary Fund called on Canada to create a federal entity with a clear mandate to monitor threats to the financial system. The IMF earlier this month scolded Ottawa for so far ignoring its advice.

The Vancouver house-price surge is exactly the sort of thing the independent agency should handle. It is a national issue: everyone knows who will be called on to clean up the mess if it bursts. The banks would feel it and likely would curb lending. CMHC would feel it because it has insured most of the mortgages Vancouverites have used to buy their inflated assets.

Unfortunately as a politician anything you could do about the housing market would most likely be political suicide. Owners are voters and nobody wants to see the value of their home drop.  Read the full article here.

Burnaby Breakfast on Housing Affordability for 1st time buyers

A while back NDP MLA David Eby held an ‘emergency meeting‘ on the Vancouver housing crisis.  (Presumably called a ‘crisis’ because the 25-44 age group is leaving Vancouver faster than they are arriving.)

But you should not be under the impression that the BC Liberals are sitting back and doing nothing about the housing situation here.

Not only have they announced new real estate rules to address many of your concerns, the minister responsible for housing will be attending a Burnaby North Breakfast on Friday May 20th about housing affordability for young first time buyers.

Tickets are only $20 and all proceeds go to support the Burnaby North Riding Association. If you are unable to make it, there is a convenient link to make a direct donation on the bottom of that page and there’s nothing that says donations are limited to developers only.

Vancouver real estate a ‘currency exchange ponzi scheme’?

Polozi Scheme posted this link to a post at Ross McKay real estate consultants with the theory that the Vancouver real estate is a ‘currency exchange ponzi scheme’.

A investor seeking to remove Chinese Yuan from China and have it converted into a foreign currency purchases a home in Vancouver. The investor once having the currency exchange authorized and completed for the purchase to take place then offers the same opportunity to another investor who is willing to offset any costs the original investor incurred through paying a high enough price for the same home that then allows the previous investor to “break-even”. This pattern is continued over and over again causing the selling price to raise higher and higher at no risk to the investor, while at the same time offering higher and higher amounts of currency to be exchanged on the rising home price being paid.

At no time is the price paid reflective of fundamental value of the real estate being traded but is being established for ulterior purposes that are not related to normal house price growth.
At some point in time the scheme ends as the last investor is converting so much currency that the benefits exceed even the need to “break even” and the home can be sold at a net loss. When that moment is reached the appearance of sustained house price growth ends and the scheme ends moving the scheme somewhere else.

Read the full posting here.

Friday Free-for-all! May 13th, 2016

Lucky you!

It’s Friday the 13th and that means it’s time for another Friday free-for-all, or regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread.

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat

Normal interest rates are history
Canadian rates to rise?
Why does this government hate free money?
Negative discretionary income
Vancouver, stay or go?
Freak show housing market
One heck of a student loan
Loonie sinks

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

Bubble? What Bubble?