Hey! You made it to the end of another beautiful work-week!

Welcome to another Friday Free-for-all, 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:

FOR SALE: City Hall
Going?
Going.
Gone.
Is that an elephant?
Bogus Analysis
Dichotomy
Who wants data?
BC majority now expects drop?

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

Zoocasa shuts down

June 11th, 2015

Zoocasa was supposed to be the Canadian answer to Zillow – making real estate transaction information more available and driving down the cost of buying and selling a home.

Well, as space889 points out that experiment has ended. Rogers is shutting down Zoocasa.

The move by a multibillion-dollar telecommunications company into real estate sent shock waves through the industry, particularly once Zoocasa began offering buyers and sellers a 15-per-cent rebate on the commissions they paid to their agents, sparking ire among some in the industry and putting pressure on other brokerages to lower their fees to compete.

Read the full article here.

Most real estate professionals are honest and unless there is a signed offer in place would never use the threat of a competing offer in an effort to drive up a property sales price.

But just to make sure a few bad apples don’t spoil the bunch Ontario plans to crack down on phantom bids.

The scam involves a sales agent hinting to prospective buyers there are other bids as a way to coax them to bid higher.“You say, ‘We’re expecting another offer. I do have another offer. You may want to go back to your client and make sure this is their best offer’,” says said Joseph Richer, registrar of RECO. “You are suggesting there might be competing offers when there may or may not be.”

With the new rules, “You cannot suggest or even imply that you have an offer unless you have one in writing, signed sealed and ready to be delivered,” said Richer, while adding there have been very few formal complaints about phantom bidding over the years.

Read the full article here.

Posted in Canada, hype | 98 Comments »

Friday Free-for-all!

June 5th, 2015

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

This is our standard 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:

Mayors letter to Premier on housing
Mayor pitches affordable housing idea
We lack the facts
Vancouver Realtor Hunger Index 38%
4 proposals for housing affordability
New West addresses affordability
Did it work in Toronto?

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

Often when it comes to real estate stories in the local media the people interviewed are developers, marketers or realtors. These are all professionals who deal with the market every day, so it makes sense for the media to seek their opinion on housing stories.

But should they be driving the ‘affordability’ debate?

Architect and professor Avi Friedman thinks not.

“Builders will not initiate innovative ideas because they are profit motivators, so the city needs to act as a catalyst,” he told CBC Radio One’s Rick Cluff on The Early Edition.

Friedman also criticized the idea offered by many in the real estate industry, like marketer Bob Rennie, that Vancouver isn’t going to be affordable for everyone and that young people should consider moving to the suburbs.

“People who grew up and live in a city should be able to buy a home in their city. The fear is that, some of these young people may leave Vancouver,” Friedman said.

“Once you see the departure of young people from the city, they take along their potential … to start new businesses, to create a vibrancy that young people bring to a place.”

Friedman says it is incumbent upon the city and its leadership to foster and implement new ideas that will allow young people to stay and thrive in Vancouver.

Read the full article over at the CBC.

A recent poll by Insights West says that 73% of people polled believe that levying a tax on those who buy homes in BC but don’t live in them is a ‘very good’ or ‘good’ idea.

It also suggests this sentiment is strongest among residents of Metro Vancouver (77 per cent), people aged 18 to 34 (76 per cent) and those in the highest annual household income bracket (76 per cent.)

Mario Canseco, vice-president of public affairs at Insights West, says it shows that even homeowners, who stand to make a lot of money on the resale of their home as foreign ownership drives up prices, are concerned about the negative effect on the community.

For instance, 86 per cent believe that absentee homeowners are speculators and not really part of the community, and that number jumps to 92 per cent for those with higher incomes.

That’s despite a high number of homeowners (76 per cent) saying they believe when foreigners buy homes the value of their properties go up.

“To have (developer) Bob Rennie tell you that a condo is the best thing to do is kind of like having the CEO of McDonalds tell you that their burgers are nutritious and they are the only thing you can afford,” Canseco said in an interview.

They also addressed the racism angle by breaking down responses by ethnicity and asking if they feel that the debate on foreign real estate ownership in BC is inherently racist.

They only divide ‘ethnicity’ into ‘white’, ‘east asian’ and ‘south asian’ because … ?

Read the full article over at the Vancouver Sun.

Friday Free-for-all!

May 29th, 2015

It’s the end of another glorious week here in paradise! Let’s enjoy another weekend of world class premium quality lifestyle in one of the most exciting places on earth!

This is the Friday Free-for-all, 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, Bon Appetite!

Totally not ‘mind-numbingly boring’
Nuanced debate.
Look who jumped on the bandwagon
Entitled to what?
The terror of a speculation tax
‘Free market’ means what?
Don’t need data. You’re racist.

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

House-poor Canadians

May 28th, 2015

Southseacompany pointed out this article.  Seems like the more valuable our real estate gets the more house-poor Canadians become.

“Campbell says that many, like Edgerton and Camus, are surviving now, but the big question is what happens if there’s an unplanned setback — from a job loss to a rise in interest rates.”

“”If the housing market goes down and those individuals have to sell, we’re going to see a lot of houses on the market, which will further reduce the house market in general,”

‘Canada has among the highest home ownership rates in the world; owning a home is one of the ultimate Canadian dreams. And it’s perhaps why so many people choose to live house poor rather than sell their home.”

Read the full article at the CBC.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robinson has come out in support of a speculation tax on real estate purchases.

We definitely need taxation tools that discourage speculation on real estate,” a statement from Robertson says. “It’s clear that rampant speculation on real estate is driving up prices in Vancouver. Vancouver needs the B.C. Government to take action on creating a speculation tax and recognize that we need a fair and level playing field to make housing more affordable for residents in Vancouver, and throughout the province.

Read the full article here.

Friday free-for-all!

May 22nd, 2015

Guess what time it is?

Its Friday free-for-all time!

This is the open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

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

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