Tag Archives: real estate

Three unaffordable real estate markets, number 3 will shock you!

Vancouver has just been ranked the #3 least affordable housing market in the world behind Hong Kong and Sydney according to a survey by Demographia.

This is the second year in a row Vancouver ranked third after hitting second place in 2015. The city has been ranked with the worst housing affordability in Canada in all previous Demographia surveys since 2004.

Demographia reported Vancouver’s year-over-year price growth was equal to a year of household income in the city. It also mentioned the city experienced a “modest” net domestic out-migration in 2016, meaning more people left the city than moved in.

Which city do you think those people that left Vancouver are moving to: Hong Kong or Sydney?

Read the full article here.

Vancouver Down, Toronto Up.

House prices never go down in Vancouver, except when they do.

But what about Toronto? The city that seldom thinks about BC?

Prices are up 11.8 per cent from a year earlier.

“In fact, there’s anecdotal information that suggests that foreign investors … are now turning to other cities that are not as expensive as Vancouver, because even that market’s gotten out of reach for wealthy foreign buyers.”

A separate report from real estate agents showed a 2.4 per cent monthly rise in sales in October and a 14.6 per cent surge in annual prices as buyers rushed to get into the market before tighter mortgage rules could take effect.

Taken together, the data showed Canada’s market cooling in most markets outside of Toronto, where a building boom and rising household indebtedness have spurred fears of a U.S.-style collapse if borrowing costs, already rising, spike further.

“Almost all seems to be well in Canada’s housing market, with most regions enjoying moderate sales activity and price gains, Alberta’s hard-hit market stabilizing, and Vancouver’s zany market returning to earth,” Guatieri said in a research note.

“However, accelerating prices in Toronto and its surrounding areas will only increase the chance of a correction if interest rates rise too sharply … and the chance of that happening is now somewhat higher under a new U.S. president.”

Read the full article over at BNN.ca

Friday Free-for-all! August 19th 2016

It’s that time of the week again, 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:

How to deal with 200+ comments
Canada a real estate nation waiting to crash
Industrial market nothing like residential market
Housing Action for Local Taxpayers
Auditor warnings on real estate ignored for 20 years
Subprime lending is booming
Working for free in Vancouver
Is real estate market in free fall?
Agent: best time to buy in 2 years
Absorption rate at 25%
Sold as percent of inventory by day
Vancouver moves ahead with affordable housing

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

Foreign buyer tax hurts blue collar immigrants in the Fraser Valley?

Business in Vancouver has an article predicting that the BC Foreign buyer tax will hurt blue collar immigrant workers in the Fraser Valley, which is weird because we were under the impression that the tax was on the Metro Vancouver area and the valley was exempt:

Rob Philipp, chief executive officer for the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), said that while the new tax is aimed at high-end buyers, it’s only going to hurt the working-class immigrants who are trying to move to the region. He called the Fraser Valley’s immigrant population “the engine that drives us.”

“The people who are buying on the west side of Vancouver, they don’t really care about an extra 15% tax. If you’re buying two-, three- or four-million-dollar homes, they want into the market regardless.”

Philipp said the new tax also dampens the incentive for skilled out-of-country workers to settle in the region.

“As a province we’re trying to recruit really specialized professionals – doctors, nurses, certain types of engineers,” he said. “And those are people who are spending $800,000 to buy a place out here and now they’re thinking, ‘Well, I have to spend another $120,000. I’m not going to do it.’”

The other odd thing is that if skilled out-of-country workers actually ‘settle in the region’ and file a Canadian tax return they are exempt from the foreign buyer tax, so we’re curious how it would dampen incentives to move here any more than paying $800k for a house out in the Valley would.

Read the full article here and please correct us if we are mistaken about how the foreign buyer tax actually works.

Some thoughts on the Vancouver foreign buyer tax

Yesterdays surprise announcement of a 15% tax on purchase of real estate by foreign buyers has some people cheering, some jeering and some people scratching their heads. Here are a few thoughts pulled from yesterdays thread:

Franko sees it as a positive for affordability:

The province taxing foreign buyers.
The city taxing vacant properties.
The CRA going after tax evaders.
It all would have been unthinkable a year ago, but the biggest hit by far will come from China clamping down on money fleeing the country. HAM is soo over….and it will lead the stampede to the exit.

Patriotz is a little more sceptical:

Christy wants to eat her cake and have it too, i.e. be seen to be “doing something” in Vancouver while keeping the floodgates open and directing the money to Abbotsford and points east – which is where her greatest electoral support is. And get extra revenue from foreign buyers who just have to buy in the taxable area.

MarKoz points out the obvious:

Foreign speculators could avoid paying the tax by getting friends or family who are permanent residents to buy on their behalf. Or the tax may lead to inflated housing prices in cities such as Victoria, Kelowna or Toronto.

LS in Arbutus says maybe not so easy to avoid the tax:

I wanted to point out that there are anti-avoidance measures in the legislation. An Anti-Avoidance Rule is typically a statutory rule that empowers a revenue authority to deny taxpayers the benefit of an arrangement that they have entered into for an impermissible tax-related purpose. Soooo I guess you can still gift your wife/kids money to buy a house, but you generally much more shenanigans than that would be caught in this type of rule. They are very wide sweeping these rules.

bullwhip29 points out how lucky some politicians are that the tax only applies to one area:

as luck would have it, mike de jong has all his eggs located just outside of greater vancouver and wont be affected by any of this (or least not in a negative way)

No matter what your thoughts are on this issue you’ve got to agree it’s pretty much the big news story in the Vancouver real estate market lately and it’s likely going to take a while to see what sort of effect it has on the local and related markets.