It’s a tough job to bust AirBnB listings in Vancouver

Short term AirBnB style property rentals are not permitted in Vancouver and the city can levy fines up to $10,000, but apparently there are still some of these short term rentals available.

“The difficult and complex thing comes when we move forward with prosecution,” Toma said, explaining that the city needs to connect the property owner to an online short-term rental listing without the help of a specific address.

Toma said a few cases against short-term renters are pending. Fines in those and other cases are up to the prosecutor, but staff recommend they recoup investigation expenses at minimum.

City staff are contemplating new tools to deal with the nuisance aspect of short-term rentals at the same time as assessing the industry’s impact, Toma said.

“We do have such a tight rental market,” Toma said, adding that she hoped staff could craft a smart and enforceable regulation that would also “find that sort of a sweet spot” for those sharing their home to meet their mortgage payments.

Of course there is one kind of short term rental that is currently allowed in Vancouver, but it comes with a few catches:

Bed and breakfasts are allowed in Vancouver, but under certain conditions. Homeowners need to live in the residence and they can host a maximum of four guests in two bedrooms, among other regulations. They also have to pay a one-time development and building permit fee, get a business licence and pass a safety inspection.

Read the full article over at the province.

Grey Pride Parade: The Vancouver thats Vanishing

A local filmmaker is documenting some of the abandoned and condemned houses in Vancouver and making short films about them:

And so for the past nine months, Fieldwalker has been entering abandoned multimillion-dollar properties equipped with a DSLR camera and drone, shooting them from every angle he can before they’re gone forever.

So far, he’s filmed five properties in Point Grey and a few in the south Cambie area. Many of them sit behind blue fences, the telltale sign a backhoe is on its way.

Fieldwalker said accessing the properties is simple: “We just go up to them and shoot.”

In one film posted to Fieldwalker’s Vimeo page, the viewer is brought inside a 3,430 square-foot Point Grey teardown on Drummond Drive, which last year sold for $17.5 million.

Here’s a look at that $25.8 million property on Belmont:

Belmont Avenue | $25.8 Million from Corbie Fieldwalker Studio on Vimeo.

Read the full article over at the Vancouver Sun and view more videos over at Corbie Fieldworkers site. Hat-tip to Bullwhip29 for the link.

Friday Free-for-all!

Welcome!

What time is it? It’s time for yet 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:

BOC rate hike?
Boomers overexposed on RE
Condos finally hot again
Bad ending to housing surge
Hyper-mega-bull called it
middle class housing projects
Fintrac fine for Canadian bank

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

Condos are hot again, buy two or three

CMHC has surveyed condo owners in Vancouver and Toronto and found that the number of owners with multiple units is growing.

…the total number of investors in the two regions who say they have purchased at least two condo units in addition to their primary residence has risen nearly 13 per cent over the past two years. Nearly a quarter of condo investors told CMHC that they owned least two units, with close to 10 per cent reporting that they owned three or more condos.

Buyers are looking for both rental income and appreciation, with some interesting math:

Among condo investors in Toronto and Vancouver, half told the federal housing agency that they had bought their investment unit for rental income. Of those, 56 per cent expect the value of their condo to go up, while only 8 per cent thought that it would go down. The share of condo investors in Toronto who expected their unit to increase in value fell to 60 from 64 per cent from a year earlier, while the share in Vancouver who expected their condos to increase in value rose to 50 from 41.5 per cent.

A slightly larger share of investors in Vancouver reported paying higher prices for units than in Toronto, although the survey found that the reverse was true of rents, which were higher in Toronto. Nearly 16 per cent of Vancouver landlords reported charging less than $1,000 in rent for their condos compared with fewer than 5 per cent in Toronto. By contrast, nearly 50 per cent of condo landlords in Toronto said they charged more than $1,500 for their units, compared with 33 per cent in Vancouver.

Read the full article over at the Globe and Mail. So how many condos do you own and how many are you thinking of buying this year?

Swimming in debt and bursting with confidence

Low energy prices are a bit of a bummer for a country like Canada, but we’re not worried, we’ll always have real estate!

According to weekly polling by Nanos Research, the share of respondents expecting higher real estate prices reached the most since December 2014 last week, or 38.7 per cent. That pushed the Bloomberg Nanos Consumer Confidence Index to 54.7 last week, the highest this year, from 54.5 previously.

“The main positive driver for the forward look on the economy was the view that the value of real estate would increase,” said Nik Nanos, chairman at Ottawa-based Nanos Research Group.

The only potential downside is that young Canadian families are ‘swimming in debt.  Read the full article over at the Financial Post.

Friday Free-for-all April 1 2016

It’s that time of the week again, the start of another beautiful weekend in paradise.

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:

Debt crisis?
The highest bidder
Hard times with a bungalow in Kits
Not in a housing bubble yet
The ones who don’t move here
Cash bonuses

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

Where’s the love Vancouver?

This city has lost more than a thousand people a year in the 25-44 age group since 2012 and it’s not hard to guess why.

One of those people has an editorial in the Vancouver Sun:

Sure, I managed to pay rent on a 380-square-foot apartment and eat takeout sushi once in while, but I definitely haven’t saved for retirement or been able to afford to give birth yet. I’ve spent most of my 30s on the west coast (land of economic opportunities?) while I watched my friends on the east coast (with less education than me) buy four-bedroom houses and multiple cars.

Sure, they shovel snow, but they also run across the street to borrow sugar from the neighbours. They trade gardening tips with the elders living next door. Their children play in the backyard. They are happy and connected.

In Vancouver I’m lucky to get a hello in an elevator.

Read the full editorial here.

Are you in that 25-44 year old demographic and if so are you thinking of leaving or in love with the city and never gonna go?

Friday Free-for-all! March 24th 2016

It’s the end of another glorious work week and that means it’s time for another glorious 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:

Where politicians fear success
Best neighborhoods
Smart or lucky?
Foreign money problem
Squamish?
Cracks in the market?

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

Blame government for housing bubble

House prices continue to spiral upwards as more 25-44 year olds continue to leave the city. So who’s fault is it?

One recent study says blame politicians:

Given their policies, Ley’s paper questions how politicians, particularly B.C. Housing Minister Rich Coleman, found it possible to argue in 2015 that Vancouver housing prices were “pretty reasonable” and that foreign ownership of property had nothing to do with government.

“Yet it most certainly did, for governments had for 30 years led trade and investment missions to Asia, and had used the tool of business immigration to draw in entrepreneurs and their capital.”

The inflated housing prices that have resulted in large part from new East Asian wealth are especially devastating for young and middle-aged Metro Vancouverites, Ley said in a recent talk sponsored by City in Focus.

A study by SFU researcher Andy Yan found that Metro’s university-educated adults earn the lowest wages on average in Canada’s 10 largest cities, Ley said. Many are “disillusioned” and leaving the city.

Read the full article over at the Vancouver Sun.

Friday Free-for-all! March 18th 2016

It’s the end of another week and that means it’s 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:

Ignorance not bliss?
Conrad Black, renter
Not a good renter
500 imaginary sq. feet
Fed keeps rate steady
How FTBs are doing it

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