Tag Archives: US

US claims stolen Chinese money washed in Van RE.

Anyone who’s read this site for a while has probably noticed a couple of things:

1. A number of regular reader and commenters here blame wealthy Chinese ‘investor immigrants’ for the high cost of real estate in Vancouver.

2. The administration of this site disagrees and thinks that over-stretched house-horny locals and government insured lending on real estate are primarily to blame for high prices.

Yet we must admit this story has us thinking perhaps the truth is a blend of those two viewpoints:

U.S. alleges Metro Vancouver homes were part of scheme to launder money embezzled in China

Authorities allege that in the summer of 2011, shortly after they qualified for U.S. green cards, Qiao and Zhao began surreptitiously using accomplices to transfer millions of dollars into bank accounts in Wenzhou city, Hong Kong and Canada. At least two Canadian banks were used, HSBC Canada and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Zhao recently put the White Rock property up for sale for $689,000. Paulo Leung, a real estate agent with Regent Park Realty, said he had also sold the property to her in 2012 as an investment. He declined to say more. Both properties are being managed by Vancouver-based Chartell Properties. A receptionist there said they knew Zhao.

A search of property and title records conducted by The Vancouver Sun show that Zhao’s numbered company bought the properties outright. However, a few months later, it took out mortgages on both, totalling $1.1 million, that represented almost their entire market value. According to the U.S. indictment, a few weeks later Zhao and Qiao took money from their Canadian RBC account to pay for a Bellevue home.

Officials for the RCMP and Citizenship and Immigration Canada said they did not know if their departments assisted U.S. and Chinese investigators, and could not comment if they did.

Read the full article over in the Vancouver Sun.

Friday Free-for-all! Rates, Pop, HPI, Dip

It’s the end of another week, time for a long weekend!

And since it’s Friday that means it’s time for 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:

Banks in trouble if bubble pops
WTF is the HPI?
Cost of debt dips
High end sales dip just a blip?
Crash fears rising
US new home sales slide
China RE price drop trigger protests

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

Foreign buyers in the USA

Move over China, Canada has become the top foreign investor in US real estate.

A report from commercial brokerage Marcus & Millichap, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times, found that, “an influx of cash-laden foreign investors, especially from Canada and South America, are targeting assets in Tampa Bay for lower entry costs and higher initial yields.”

It’s all pointing to signs of limitless, massive growth opportunity.

While opportunities across the United States are, in fact, limitless for Canadian investors, the key to investing well is to identify hot spots others have not identified. Take Phoenix, Arizona, for example, where Talia Jevan Properties Inc.’s High Income Real Estate has been aggressively buying property.

“Phoenix became one of the most battered real estate regions in the country,” noted Harmel Rayat. “Nowadays, the region just finished securing $430 million in deals in 2013 alone thanks to higher occupancy rates, falling unemployment, and opportunities for strong population growth.”

Read the full article here.

High prices: sign of a sick or healthy market?

When you own something you might be delighted to hear that the price is rising.

Even if you don’t sell it to cash in, there’s a certain amount of psychological comfort to be found in owning something ‘valuable’.

So it’s not remarkable that many people are delighted by the rising cost of real estate in Canada.

But is this just the economic equivalent of a sugar high?  If all homes are rising in price you don’t really benefit from selling unless you leave the market or downsize to where the percentages are smaller.

Jonathan Miller, a US real estate appraiser posted an article comparing the US and Canadian markets.

He makes the point that sharply rising prices in US markets didn’t work out to be indicative of a markets health, rather they led to the inevitable hangover when the party was over.

Is it different here?

FFFA! Vacation! Debt! Soft Landings!

Yep, it’s that time of the week again, time for our regular end of the week news round-up and open topic discussion thread.

But FIRST! Thanks everyone for your patience while we were sluggish and inaccessible. It looks like we’re back in good shape, page load times are back to normal and we’ve changed a few things behind the scenes that will hopefully make for a more reliable site.

Here’s our regular collection of recent links to kick off the chat for the weekend:

Scotiabank: SOFT LANDING!
Have yourself a $563 holiday
New record for consumer debt
equity edges down and debt grows
Carney: Status quo
In Miami buyers pay for building
The Plunge-o-meter

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