The city houses ate

Vancouver Zombie Walk

In Vancouver these days, $430,000 will get you a 557-square-foot box in the sky with a monthly charge of about $400 for fees and taxes. Like this.

In Detroit however, $465,000 will get you 9,638 square feet, looking like this:

Description: Historic Boston Edison-significant home built for Walter O. Briggs (founder Of Briggs Manuf. & owner of Detroit Tigers). This light colored stone English manor was designed by architects Chittenden & Knotting In 1914. Currently known as “Stone Hedge” this lavish home is finely detailed w/paneled & tapestry walls, elaborate crown & dentil moldings, Elevator & a porte cochere leading to the garage & carriage house. 9 fireplaces.

I was reminded of this bizarre state of affairs as I listened to a caller to CBC radio in Vancouver dis me as some Eastern dude who could not possibly know how different it is in that delusional city.  “There’s a shortage of land between the water and the mountains,” he said, “so people are basically flipping each other houses.” That’s not all they’re flipping. VanCity’s becoming one of the most unliveable places on the continent. Can Detroit be so bad?

The topic of the show was, as far as I could tell, how socially repugnant it might be to rent. After all, when everybody has red shoes, except you, life’s a bitch. These days there’s nothing – and I mean, noth. ing. – which people talk about other than the value of homes. This seems even more cacophonous as sales slide and it becomes evident something’s happening. Denial is a drug, and the withdrawal will be painful.

Here’s a city that real estate is destroying, even as its citizens revel in windfall gains and the newspapers publish fat stories about the latest government property assessment numbers. Mainstream media pump house prices as good news. Monthly real estate board stats (if they’re hot) get the same treatment as a virgin birth (what an awful thought). Local star realtors tool around in exotic rides and expect to be treated like Lady Gaga. Vancouver has taken the title from Calgary as the most materialistic, self-obsessed, wealth-conscious and socially unattractive city in the nation. And it was a tough fight.

Let me remind you of the latest ‘affordability’ numbers. With a 25% down payment and current lick-the-bottom mortgage rates, it takes 86% of an average family’s pre-tax income to buy the average Van bung. That’s pre-tax. In practical terms, it’s 106% of the money people actually bring home – just for a house. The median SFH is well over $1.1, while it requires ten times household earnings to purchase the average property. By global standards, that’s almost off the chart.

This is why smart people from Toronto, folks making two hundred grand in finance jobs, have told me they’re refusing transfers to BC. I mean, what’s the point of being a VP when you have to park realtors’ Bentleys at night to afford a west side mortgage?

Worse, real estate is making Vancouver racist. Read this blog for a few days. The sense that cash-laden Chinese immigrants are buying the entire city is palpable among those who are neither. HAM gets confused with the cultural real estate horniness of the area’s massive native-born Asian population, and suddenly a convenient straw man’s been created. Truth is, of course, skin colour and real estate greed and not correlated. But this is not going well.

And nowhere else is the wall being built higher between young and old, or the middle class and wealthy, than here. If you are 30 and have a regular job, there’s no way you will ever own a house, unless it’s miles distant. Boomers’ adult kids learn the home they grew up in is unattainable. Families of average means see entire neighbourhoods of non-descript structures fall into the hands of those who can, or dare, pay a million or more for each. A society’s rapidly emerging in which there is no middle. Just extremes. Bitterness. Disappointment. And some nights, destruction.

It’s unsustainable. Now, as sales unravel and volumes fall by as much as half in many areas of the city, it’s possible to see a reduction in prices of 40% by the time an equilibrium is found. This will not destroy the wealth of those who bought a decade ago, but it’ll slaughter the innocents – the virgins who believed Global TV, CKNW and the mayor.

A year ago I said, Sell Canada, Buy America. Prices always revert to the mean.

This will be good for Detroit. Reality for Vancouver.

249 comments ↓

#1 dylan on 03.14.12 at 9:12 pm

another great post

#2 Chaddywack on 03.14.12 at 9:13 pm

Happy Birthday Garth!

May your granite never crack and your stainless steel never tarnish!

#3 TurnerNation on 03.14.12 at 9:14 pm

First?

#4 Dave on 03.14.12 at 9:17 pm

Second from Cabo!!!!

#5 Randy on 03.14.12 at 9:18 pm

Wondering if piss poor municipal and state finances will make American properties a little bit more expensive going forward…if property owners have to pay more services and massive under-funded public pensions…

#6 Shane on 03.14.12 at 9:22 pm

Garth, where do you see commercial property values going in the GTA over the next few years

Shane

#7 Van guy on 03.14.12 at 9:24 pm

What does the fees and taxes include? That link above for the condo shows a maintenance fee of $199. Plus tax that would be $223.

Property tax. — Garth

#8 Amazed on 03.14.12 at 9:31 pm

Great post :) enjoyed
Reading it!

#9 45north on 03.14.12 at 9:32 pm

Can Detroit be so bad?

On Sunday, I was in Detroit. It was bright and sunny and I was walking along 16 Mile.

there were no zombies

http://kunstler.com/blog/2009/10/marching-toward-zombieland.html#comment-panels

#10 waiting on 03.14.12 at 9:42 pm

“There’s a shortage of land between the water and the mountains,”
I’ve been hearing that same line since I moved here 30 years ago, and in those years have seen valuable farm land removed from ALRs, (thank you Vander Zalm) and watched the mountain views gradually disappear as buildings go higher and zoning changes create neighbourhoods that are more dense. I think that sums it up, Vancouver has become more dense …

#11 Paully on 03.14.12 at 9:43 pm

Hey, today is my birthday too! Happy birthday Garth!

#12 truth hammer on 03.14.12 at 9:47 pm

I think the term racist is much confused. The liberal politically correct call everyone who doesn’t see thing their way ‘racist’…….these ad hominem attacks and the anti democratic gag laws against free speech are in place to enfore the liberal ideological bent.

Restricting residential housing stock to nationals and disallowing non Canadians to speculate is our residential markets is just common sense. But yes…sadly it goes against the liberal socialist values of rescuing all those third world types from themselves by giving them our Canadian heritage for nothing. I suppose if your a pseudo intellectual elite whop inherited grandma’s money and have none of the cares of an unwashed citizen…you wouldn’t consider this argument……because it’s inheratnlty ‘racist. Asking our government to restrict housing stock to nationals against the interest of foreign nationals is not rascist ! Those of us who are insisting that this be so are nationalists and standing in a line of a long list of other countries who already have these laws in place including some of our largest trading partners…Russia, China, India, Brazil to name a few.

What surprises me is how obvious hypocrisy seems to be allowed to exist in full view of the same people who perpetuate the myth of the ‘one world village’. Don’t we have laws already in place to protect certain things and industries deemed to be in the national interest? What about tech…what about potash….what about water etc all the things that can’t be sold to outside interests? The precedent exists to protect the living standars od both the people and the nation.

Lets have a discussion on rascism…..and why we’ll at it, let’s move the center of the universe from Rosedale to mainstreet.
.

#13 Jon B on 03.14.12 at 9:49 pm

Ventured to the core of downtown Van this afternoon. Cold. Rainy. Gloomy. Numerous parking lots in the process of becoming residential condo towers. All I can say is that when she blows, there will be some good vulching to be had.

#14 JSS on 03.14.12 at 9:49 pm

“A year ago I said, Sell Canada, Buy America”

Garth –
Does this also apply to U.S. large-cap dividend stocks?

US dividends do not qualify for the dividend tax credit. — Garth

#15 $$$BPOE$$$ on 03.14.12 at 9:49 pm

As I have stated before Real Estate in Vancouver is a sport. Many who post on this blog have no idea of how valued Vancouver is, they make pale comparisons south of the border where real estate is anything but a sport. Everything in todays blog represents everything I have been saying with one exception. Prices will never falter. The renters of the last 10 years have been totally destroyed. Years and years and a life thrown down the drain on rent payments. The renter could of been a KING but thought prices never go up forever. In fact they do. Vancouver usherd in a new world and a new order. Vancouver lords over the world as a beacon of freedom and safety for money from around the globe. The home buyers made out like bandits and will continue to do so. This is not a place for paupers who pull in 200k a year it is for the creme de la creme who pull in 200k a day.

#16 Tim on 03.14.12 at 9:49 pm

Bullshit,
it has nothing to do with race, the argument is rich foreign immigrants- regardless of where they come from who speculate and own multiple homes and who continue to operate their businesses offshore and thereby not contributing to the local economy. The fact that the majority of them are Chinese doesn’t matter. As for those that were born here, many couldn’t afford real estate if they are working in Vancouver and doing something legal, as the salaries don’t come close to allowing them to buy with cash

See what I mean? This is real estate rage. — Garth

#17 thinker on 03.14.12 at 9:50 pm

The bare naked ladies once dreamed of “If I had a million $$$’s, I would buy…” well that song would not get you a SFH in Vancouver is what I shouted back to them at an intimate concert last summer in Whistler.

So basically, Canadians are throwing A MILLION DOLLARS these days as if its nothing? How did this happen. Even a high level bay street guy making 200k, it would take him 10 years of paying taxes, no eating and sleeping on park benches every night to see 1M in his bank account. Just think about that, a person earning 200K! Modern Finance allows to enjoy it all today, but we are taking about 1 Million Dollars! Maybe its time for the barenaked ladies to make a comeback.

How did we start to believe we are millionaires? The CRE property around Vancouver is toast. Empty, Empty, Empty…So you realize that no one actually has any cash after paying the mortgage, business is not seeing any uptick. We are all creating our own park benches with our boxes.

#18 McExpat on 03.14.12 at 9:51 pm

I find it sooo sad that young people have been duped into this whole mess. I have seen what a real estate bubble does to people in their thirties/forties. It is sad and disheartening to know you pissed all that money away and are in negative equity.
People need to learn it is more important to have a LIFE than a house. I will never, ever be house poor as long as I shall live and will teach my children that what makes a home is the people residing inside and their individual happiness.
Negative equity is like being under house arrest….you lose your options. Money should be about FREEDOM and not about things. Once people realize this, maybe, just maybe, we will get some balance in things.

#19 Canadian Watchdog on 03.14.12 at 9:53 pm

Ok folks I’ve extracted some GTA sales data from Realty Sellers http://tosolds.ca/ I can’t guarantee the accuracy of this data but I’m posting it anyway to compare it to TREB’s coming mid-month sales report. If it turns out to be accurate or close enough, I’ll be posting real-time GTA sales from hereon.

Total GTA Homes & Condo Sales 2,632

Homes Sold from March 1-14

GTA Sales 1796
Median $499,900
Average $603,157

416 Sales 548
Median $599,000
Average $775,264

Condos Sold from March 1-14

GTA 836
Median $314,945
Average $336,408

416 Sales 515
Median $333,000
Average $356,623

Details can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1o2oIbBn3KocxoMmLs6ajoVTMMzG9r1UNvM-8IoAihEo/edit

#20 Rich on 03.14.12 at 9:57 pm

Long time reader, first time commenter.

As an American who fled the tyrannical regime of George W. in 2003, I morphed into an economic refugee by 2008. Now, as I stay in Canada, I wonder if I have left one disaster only to be waiting for another disaster here.

If so, I am beginning to run out of countries to flee from!

#21 Puzni on 03.14.12 at 9:57 pm

Being from Vancouver can tell you first thing how close to home this article hits. For average working joe closest house would be Maple Ridge which is 45 km east of vancouver and I doubt I could even afford to buy there. People living there and commuting downtown take west coast express which is almost $217 monthly pass, but avoids traffic headaches.

BC stands for Bring Cash!!!

#22 kc on 03.14.12 at 10:01 pm

what is it called when msm starts to show foreclosures on the news?? here is Kelowna.

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120314/bc_okanagan_real_estate_foreclosure_120314/20120314/?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

#23 Dan in Victoria on 03.14.12 at 10:10 pm

Got em across the pond too
Hi I’m 24 years old and tired of renting….

http://www.usedvictoria.com/classified-ad/WANTED-more-info-on-0-down-payment-mortages-or-first-time-home-buyers-info_16885383

#24 John East side on 03.14.12 at 10:11 pm

It’s enough to make you want to pack up and move out of Vancouver. Crazy pace to live.

#25 Burnaby Renter on 03.14.12 at 10:13 pm

Detroit city, here I come!!!

#26 Van guy on 03.14.12 at 10:28 pm

Is it that bad in Detroit? The wiki link shows the lot is 256 acres. Are they missing a digit on the price? Mmmm something must be wrong here.

That link describes the historic neighbourhood. — Garth

#27 Gandalf on 03.14.12 at 10:29 pm

Don’t stress out about crazy Vancouver RE prices, the next NDP government will do all the heavy lifting to sink this market. Just be a little patient!

Read this:

http://www.bivinteractive.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5523:fear-of-ndp-government-prompts-business-to-leave-bc&catid=14:daily-news&Itemid=46

They sunk the market in the 90’s and they’ll do it again!! The job exodus will soon be underway and the economy will be toast!

#28 The Real Jimbo on 03.14.12 at 10:33 pm

#12 truth hammer…

I completely agree.

#29 Katz on 03.14.12 at 10:34 pm

On the good side of things, this whole mess will make telecommuting more widespread.

#30 Lorne on 03.14.12 at 10:37 pm

325 GANDALF
So you obviously would prefer the bubble continue and the wealthy continue to be rewarded by our “Liberal” crooks. Fortunately, the majority seems to disagree with you!

#31 Ralph Cramdown on 03.14.12 at 10:37 pm

Vancouver habituees can’t even imagine Detroit. Picture a city built around cars, with less than half the population it was (over)designed for. Sure, there’s some potholes, but you can get from anywhere to anywhere else quickly and on freeways. And the only bridge is the one to Canada. I don’t think anyone has to listen to traffic radio, ever.

#32 Bottoms_Up on 03.14.12 at 10:39 pm

Garth, most of the people I know in Ontario (late 20’s to mid-30’s) that have bought houses in the past 1-4 years, carry a mortgage of no more than $300,000, with household incomes of over $100,000. I think there is something to be said for entry-level housing and what people are willing to pay.

Yes these homes are distant for the most part, but I think these families will be OK as long as they hold their jobs, even if mortgage rates jump and/or prices collapse.

You hit the nail on the head with the whole moving to Vancouver thing. In Ottawa I can be in a townhouse with attached garage relatively close to downtown, enough land to grow veggies and BBQ in the summer. Making a parallel move to Vancouver would see me in a 400 sqft condo, or renting someone’s basement. NO THANKS.

#33 Katz on 03.14.12 at 10:43 pm

Garth, I was just thinking, how much in royalties would you require for Garth Turner garden statues?

Made of gold? — Garth

#34 Nick on 03.14.12 at 10:47 pm

Watch out Vancouver for next years!!!

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/14/china-warns-of-property-chaos/

#35 phil on 03.14.12 at 10:50 pm

Most people are used to the knee jerk reaction yelling of “racist”, and most people dont care anymore. The simple fact is that the majority of the Vancouver market is driven by asian money. Vancouver is a majority Asian city. No disputing that. Now, you are just splitting hairs by saying they are all not new immigrants. The majority have come in the last 20 years. So fine, you are technically correct that they are all not new immigrants, but they are recently arrived, but the impact is the same.

I grew up with many Asians who were born here, they are much less scared of calling a spade a spade, and they are not happy about what has happened here. It affects every born Vancouverite when we import such large scale amounts of rich foreigners.

#36 The Thing in the Basement on 03.14.12 at 10:53 pm

40% of Greater Van pop foreign born (2006 census)

http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97-557/p29-eng.cfm

Wonder what the new ratio will be.

Toronto is 45.7 per cent. — Garth

#37 Elmer on 03.14.12 at 10:55 pm

But most people who own homes today bought them many years ago, when they cost 3x median income. So why is it relevant that they now cost 10x income?

That is plain wrong. Check annual sales numbers vs total households. — Garth

#38 Terra No-more on 03.14.12 at 10:56 pm

What makes you think alls well in Toronto financial’s? Stock volumes are down, cost cuttings up and they’re not moving as much physical matter around. Heck much of downtown Toronto has re-zoned residential.

#39 DC on 03.14.12 at 10:57 pm

thing is detroit city has pockets that are great and other pockets that are very bad. If you go to the suburbs, things are a safer and for the most part even cheaper. in rochester hills you can get a solid 2-3 bedroom house made in the 80s for 200-250. Its just hard to get a job; you need some decent skills and education, its hard to cut it as a sales force member.

#40 Steven Rowlandson on 03.14.12 at 11:07 pm

It is hard to believe people would pay $430 grand for 557 square feet of living space…. They must be crazy
to pay so much for so little. Totally Cuckoo.

#41 Dr. WAYNE on 03.14.12 at 11:09 pm

Vancouver has taken the title from Calgary as the most materialistic, self-obsessed, wealth-conscious and socially unattractive city in the nation. SURPRISE … it’s always been this way, even back in the 70s.

#42 GregW, Oakville on 03.14.12 at 11:13 pm

FYI, Shopping for a new vehicle? (hopefully with better gas milage) and looking for the best price!

My brother told me I should ckeck out this ‘carsmart.ca’ place in Totonto he used 7 years ago.

As it turns out they can get me the best price for what I have decide to replace my old vehical with.
The local dealers can’t even match his price.
(I need to wait a few weeks to get the color I prefer from whom every I were to buy though.)

Just something to keep in mind if your shopping for a new vehicle. http://www.carsmart.ca/

And Happy B-D to you Garth!!!

#43 Canadian Watchdog on 03.14.12 at 11:16 pm

Let’s get the Asian immigration facts out of the way. According to CIC, in 2010, the percentage of Asian permanent residents immigrating to Canada was 72.1%. In 2009, it was 59.1%, and 2008 48.8%. Full stats here http://i40.tinypic.com/rivmuq.jpg

Not what the chart says. That is source immigration to BC, not Canada. — Garth

#44 Led on 03.14.12 at 11:22 pm

what does HAM stand for?

#45 Jsan on 03.14.12 at 11:26 pm

“#35 Nick on 03.14.12 at 10:47 pm

Watch out Vancouver for next years!!!

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/14/china-warns-of-property-chaos/

===================================

Yes, it kind of looks like the Chinese built house of cards is beginning to shake. So let’s see if I got this right, building entire empty ghost cities in an attempt to artificially stimulate an economy can’t be sustained forever?

We are seeing more and more articles like these. It was only a couple of years ago all of the articles were about how the powerful Chinese economy could not be stopped. Sort of like the Canadian housing bubble. It appears unstoppable until it turns and than it becomes obvious to everyone just exactly how irrational it really was after all, don’t all middle class people buy million dollar houses? A decade ago, middle class people were afraid to pay 300K for a house, today they think nothing of paying (borrowing) 2 or 3x that amount. This is a clear example of herd mentality. One does it and the rest fall into the false security of it being a safe, normal idea. Only when they eventually snap back to reality are they stunned to realize what a foolish decision they have made. Basically they have crippled themselves economically for life. This is happening from coast to coast.

“Chinese banquet is nearing the end”

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinese-banquet-is-nearing-the-end-2012-03-14

.

#46 Jane on 03.14.12 at 11:27 pm

Renting is just as bad these days in Vancouver. Have been looking for a 4+ bedroom house west of Main preferable 3000 and under. Until late February, there were consistently 250 houses this size on Craigslist, many of them just sitting. At then end of February, numbers rose to 280. Anything 3000 or less, people start to show interest. Have seen lots of houses and all but one were purchased in the last 6 months to a year by Chinese owners and were being rented by Chinese agents.

#47 Makaya on 03.14.12 at 11:32 pm

At some point, we have to stop being hypocrites. Saying that foreign speculation has not had a role in the state of the Vancouver real estate is a lie.

Anybody that raises the question is unfortunately called a racist… Why isn’t it possible to have a serious and reasonable discussion about foreign speculation in Vancouver, regardless of its origin?

I mean, could have this person (link) have bought, with her husband, 6 units of a new condo development just on a Vancouver wage?
http://vreaa.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/i-buy-three-and-my-husband-gonna-buy-three-yaletown-speculator-2004/

Why also ignoring the anecdotal evidence that a lot of ill-gotten money from Chinese corrupt officials has been invested in Canada’s real estate, especially in Vancouver?It’s been well documented…

It starts like that:

Last week the Bank of China published a report entitled “How corrupt officials transfer assets overseas, and a study of monitoring.” The report quoted statistics based on research by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Since 1990, the number of Communist Party and government officials, public security members, judicial cadres, agents of State institutions, and senior management figures of state-owned enterprises fleeing China has reached nearly 18,000. Also missing is about 800 billion yuan (more than $120 billion).

http://www.worldcrunch.com/corruption-china-how-public-officials-took-120-billion-and-ran/3355

And then laundered in Macau:

Macau’s success is not built purely on the Chinese love of gambling. It is also fuelled by a stampede of nervous money fleeing the mainland. A look behind the scenes at Macau reveals a lot about Chinese corruption, and also about how scared many Chinese businessfolk are about the political climate back home.
(…)
A government official who has embezzled state funds, for example, may arrange to gamble in Macau through a junket.
(…)
“There are many ways to launder money, more than we can think of,” says Davis Fong, an associate business professor at the University of Macau. Some bypass junkets and instead use pawnshops and other stores, where they buy an item with yuan and promptly sell it back for Macanese pataca or Hong Kong dollars—less, of course, a generous cut for the shopkeeper. No one can quantify how much money is laundered in Macau, but it’s “such an obscene amount of money you would die”, one resident avows.
(…)
According to the Hurun Report, a wealth researcher, some 14% of rich Chinese say they have already left the country or are filling out paperwork to obtain a foreign passport.

http://www.economist.com/node/21541417

And recycled overseas (from the Time):

It takes considerable time for an official to gain a large sum of money by corrupt means and then organize to smuggle it out of the country.
(…)
Next, when a corrupt official prepares his flight, he usually first sends his wife and children overseas while staying behind in China as a so-called naked official. To have such “naked” yet unexposed officials makes for a second failing.
(…)
In addition, China has not signed extradition treaties with the U.S. or Canada, the two most used destinations, so once the official has run away, the chance of catching him and putting him on trial is close to zero.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2079756,00.html

You mentioned last week about this Chinese student that bought cash a house in a bidding war in Toronto. Funny that nobody asked about how she can get so much cash out of her country when Chinese citizens are officially restricted to “export” a maximum of $50K per year. If what she’s doing is illegal in her country, why is it morally acceptable (and even encouraged) to benefit from that money here?

Call me a racist if you wish. I’m just skeptical when I hear that foreign speculation has had no or limited effect in the market, especially in Vancouver.

#48 truth hammer on 03.14.12 at 11:36 pm

STOP THE PRESSES——REAL ESTATE AFFORDABILTY SOLVED BY BC LIBERALS.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/looks+welfare+recipients+north+find+jobs/6301902/story.html

Vancouver, it has been decided is officially a ‘playground for the rich’. The poor and those destitute will be ‘sent north’ to get them out of sight. We don’t want our rich speculators having to brush shoulders with the impoverished citizenry when we’re trying to sell BC as ‘the best place in the world’.

Northern BC is Canada’s new ‘Gulag Archipelago’ where undesireables and the malcontent are to be sent so as not to poison the new society. Can’t afford to buy….send ‘em away. Bitching about pricing and embarrassing the government by doing so……gone. There will be no talk of affordability from HAM…ergo a political problem goes away as well….brilliant…Machiavellian…but brilliant. Has Kevin Falcon been soul surfing the soviet era?

Didn’t we see the warm up to this when the liberals dispersed the welfare crowds out of downtown for the Olympics. They transferred thousands of welfare recipients out to far flung communities so as to get them out of sight of the world press. The welfare buns were told that their files had been transferrred and if they wanted their cheques they’d better get out of town.

There’s a new term coming to mind…..lets decide which we like best….Liberal Fascism….Liberal Totalitarianism. I can’t mention ‘his’ name for fear of rebuke by censor…but one of our late great leaders often quoted Stalinism as a baseline for Canadian society. You can’t get the red out of the Libs it seems.

#49 Tom from Mississauga on 03.14.12 at 11:36 pm

Yesterday’s Hi Ho Silver guy and the G bugs must be licking their wounds again tonight. Where are their narcissistic doomer postings about the world ending?

#50 earlymidlifecrisis on 03.14.12 at 11:37 pm

It’s not just the real estate issue, a good chunk of people in van have always hated Chinese. I’ve lived here since ’89 and have seen my fair share even in that short time. And you left out unfriendly. Vancouver is the worst city Ive ever lived in that dept and its not just me, almost everyone Ive ever discussed it with agrees. Except for the fact it doesn’t drop below -10 in winter and its not polluted like TO it doesn’t have much going for it. The rain sucks worse than the refusal of people to smile back. CBC has been doing a ‘priced out’ segment all week that’s kind of interesting. Today was whistlers housing price cap controls. Very doubtful I’d ever buy here again, its ridiculous for what you get. Maybe that’s why it’s so unfriendly here? i was thinking about the previous blog where it mentioned that the source of the boomers riches is the source of the youths debt. Would that affect the governments eagerness to cool off the housing market too drastically?

#51 Ted on 03.14.12 at 11:39 pm

Good luck with that Garth. I am sticking with the condo for 400.000 reasons and location. This is a really stupid comparison. Only the walking dead live in Detroit and greater fools

#52 Tim on 03.14.12 at 11:49 pm

RE# 27
BC is worse off as a province thanks to our former crook Premier who sold us out to the developers, removed good paying jobs from hospital workers, and increased the debt in the province. You know, the one the right wing Economist referred to as the “mean-spirited” premier…

#53 Vancouver Mt. Pleasant Renter on 03.14.12 at 11:49 pm

I think many people in Vancouver are frustrated because the purchasing power of their hard earned money has been on the decline for many years. Therefore it takes more earnings to purchase less. Vancouver’s sell of a quality lifestyle over other Canadian cities is rapidly diminishing.

#54 Tom on 03.14.12 at 11:49 pm

I moved to Vancouver from eastern Canada in 1979. Bought our first condo when we married in 88 and sold it in 89 to make a 5k profit…wife was pregnant with the first one so we moved into a rented house. Ran a number of business and went bankrupt on the last one in 2003. Today I’m renting at $1800 a month in a great neighbourhood where houses start at 1.5 million.

We gross $250k a year. My investments in the market have done ok and we have $300k in liquid assets; took 9 years to save/invest to get to where we are today. We’ve had lots of great trips, the kids are lucky that their parents have paid their University education and we don’t stress over money.

One problem of course is that my wife still wants her own home and I get that.

Today the weather here was cold and raining; that’s a normal Vancouver day. We still love the city despite the rain; the people have changed but that happens and of course if we don’t like it we can always move (anywhere really with my passport).

The reason I don’t own real estate here is because of either not having the money for a down payment or when I did have the money felt the prices were too high and that the market would come off. I admit I’m the wrong guy to ask about real estate; had I bought back in the 90’s we would have done well.

What seems odd to me is that a couple earning $250k a year with solid jobs, no debt and $300k in liquid assets will not buy real estate when mainstream thinking would tell us to do so.

We may have a tough choice to make if prices don’t get to a level that make sense to buy. We’ll miss the city but we can always visit.

#55 Steven Rowlandson on 03.14.12 at 11:52 pm

As a general rule I am not worried about the 200 grand a year or day crowd finding a place to live. There is always something for them to buy. It is the people like me and those I have worked for and even younger men entering the work force that are forced to work for what the labor market is willing to pay that have a big problem. They are priced out of the country they were born in and work in… At some point this has got to trigger economic and political reaction to the excesses of the so called market and the irresponsible governments that allowed such excesses through their policies. Perhaps the political ideas of the last 300 to 500 years need to be replaced with something that is more interested in morality and putting the national interest ahead of globalism and political correctness.
Affordable housing for working men is part of that national interest therefore the price increases since the late 1960s must be expunged. Consider it part of the price that must be paid to get Canada growing on its own again.

#56 disconnect on 03.14.12 at 11:54 pm

some fun with math. if 30% of folks retiring have a pension, how many retiring couples will have at least one pension?
well if 30% of men and 30% of woman have one, you get
=0.3 +0.3 – (0.3*0.3)
= 0.51 or 51%
actually if only 20% of men, but 40% of woman have a pension, you get
=0.2 + 0.4 – (0.4*0.2)
= 0.52 or 52% (yes, a bit higher. think if 60% of woman and 0% of man, thus 30% of folks have a persion, then 60% of couples would have a pension, but only one pension per couple).
Now of course, not all retired folks live as a couple, but sometimes siblings live together or friends move in with each other, etc. So, I’m guess’n a bit, but close to 50% of retiring households should have at least one pension.
For anyone that cares, the fastest way to calc the above is to determine the percent of couples with no pension, then subtract that from 100%
eg. 1 – (0.7 * 0.7) = 0.51 or 51% (1st case above), or
1 – (0.8 * 0.6) = 0.52 or 52%

#57 Bill Gable on 03.15.12 at 12:09 am

I thought Mr. Turner showed much restraint on CBC today – so many DUMB statements….and Mr. Turner, you were very patient, and even with the semi literate CBC host.

People here in Dumbcouver are delusional.

You can only try to help these folks….but sadly, few people seemed to get it.

I was happy that at least one woman explained the beauty of renting in this market.

My fellow boomers have zippo savings, nothing, but debt. (* I have one dumbo ex-friend, who bought 5condos and all the furniture were bought on HELOCS. All of the condos are dropping like a stone….he’s so DONE.)

That was his retirement plan. He has 3 cars and likes to buy Rolexes.

The for sale signs are exploding. U G L Y.

If I hear “we are running out of land in Vancouver one more time, I am going to hurl.

Wait til the idiots in Yaletown find out that all the glass, in their little boxes, will fail in 5-10 years. The Wall Centre Hotel has to be retrofitted, costing millions.

People have their head in the sand.

#58 $$$BPOE$$$ on 03.15.12 at 12:09 am

The homeowners have secured their childrens future. Their children are safe. It’s time for the renters to pack up and move away from BPOE. We don’t have enough space for everyone. I’m worried about the renter,this person is very depressed. I want the renter to live a happy life. Please move to a more affordable area of the Country and buy yourself a home. Seattle has cheap homes if you don’t mind the rain

#59 Colin Laney on 03.15.12 at 12:14 am

CBC

Part 2 of our series “Priced Out” focused on why housing prices continue to go up and up and up.
http://www.cbc.ca/onthecoast/episodes/2012/03/13/priced-out-2/

Part 1
Today was the launch of a new series on Vancouver real estate called “Priced Out”. We looked at renters and whether they’ll ever be able to buy anything in Vancouver’s hot housing market.
http://www.cbc.ca/onthecoast/episodes/2012/03/12/priced-out/

#46 Led

HAM stands for: Hot Asian Money

#60 Deano on 03.15.12 at 12:16 am

You know, I was on a little road trip this past weekend. The wife and I motored down through Pennsylvania…stayed in a little town called Bellefonte. Wow. What an incredible little town. I’ve never been in a town so beautiful in N.A. One thing my wife said struck me, “geez, kinda makes Niagara on the Lake look like crap”. She was right. This supposed jewel of Ontario is nothing compared to Bellefonte, or many other towns around the US. For fun, I thought I would compare real estate prices when we got home. Hmmm. Something seems out of whack. The prices in Bellefonte were a fraction of the the NotL prices.
I certainly don’t agree with GT on everything, but this latest post rings true. Forget the Van/Detroit comparison (thought it is muchos fun), look at comparable little towns in Canada and the US, maybe even more telling.

#61 John G. Young on 03.15.12 at 12:17 am

Hi Garth,

As with your recent comparison of properties in Toronto and Florida, I find that showing what the same money will buy in Canada vs. the US really drives home how insane the Canadian RE market is now.
Thank you for this blog, and apparently it is (or was) your birthday, so all the best for the coming year.

#62 S on 03.15.12 at 12:22 am

#12 truth hammer on 03.14.12 at 9:47 pm

I guess you would be in favour then of other countries disallowing Canadian ownership of their real estate (?) which Canadians own a lot of. Worth remembering is also that just slightly over a century ago most of this country belonged to someone else…
Hey, if the ever demonized foreigners want to pay top dollar for something they can never take back with them then there is a lot more where that came from. Or is it their sticking around that bothers you?

#63 not 1st on 03.15.12 at 12:25 am

Is this a recovering euro-nation? one that wants sucker people into a 100 year bond? It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad, especially those people saying europe is fine now.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investment-ideas/breaking-views/britains-100-year-bad-bet/article2369559/

#64 Burnt Norton on 03.15.12 at 12:27 am

#16 Tim on 03.14.12 at 9:49 pm

“…As for those that were born here, many couldn’t afford real estate if they are working in Vancouver and doing something legal, as the salaries don’t come close to allowing them to buy with cash”

Tim, dude, why fret over who gets what depending on where they were born? Where is it written that anyone is entitled to a home near where they grew up? If living within one’s means entails a reality check about what cities / neighborhoods are on their housing shopping list then so be it.

I expect that there will always be economic forces (real and imagined) over which “local” Janes & Joes have no control and yet are significantly impacted by. Why be so emo about it?

Sway like a poplar in the wind, my friend.

#65 renters rule on 03.15.12 at 12:34 am

BPOE — I hope you have all of your wealth invested in Van RE.

However, I suspect not, as you are a RE pimp I am thinking, not an investor….

#66 F on 03.15.12 at 12:37 am

Happy Birthday!

A close friend just sold his Victoria condo for the price he paid for it in 2007 plus the costs. He purchased a beautiful, brand new show home in Duncan for $475,000 with HST. That house was on the market for 1 1/2 years, originally priced at $799,000 without any HST! The builder took a major haircut.

My friend also told me 2-3 months ago the Victoria prices had dropped 30% across the board for SFDs so he was very happy to get what he got. The purchasers were from out of country….. South America.

#67 John Prine on 03.15.12 at 12:39 am

#42 Steven Rowlandson on 03.14.12 at 11:07 pm
It is hard to believe people would pay $430 grand for 557 square feet of living space…. They must be crazy
to pay so much for so little. Totally Cuckoo.
——————————————————————-
I totally agree, we are in Vancouver for a few years and are renting a 565 sq ft condo in North Vancouver. The owners live in China and paid $540,000 for the place two years ago, granite and stainless steel but cheaply built. there was only 1 small towel rack in the bathroom, fortunately I found more at Rona for $16.99. Would NEVER buy in one of these newer condos for many reasons but the workmanship is terrible, I feel sorry for the strata owners in 7 or 8 years down the road and the monthly fees they will have to pay to keep these things together.

#68 Carpe Diem on 03.15.12 at 12:40 am

Racism … now that’s one for the books. Anyone that can drop cash or not on a home in Vancouver, good luck. But from my experiences with plenty of folks around the world r, there is plenty of Racism to go around and in all directions.

#69 VancouverJoe on 03.15.12 at 12:41 am

To #15 $$$BPOE$$$ “… it is for the creme de la creme…”
Does it mean “the greediest of the greed”?

Actual Vancouver’s downtown picture after hours:
—————————————————
Wet, noise, dirt, panhandlers, prostitutes, noise again, crack dealers and their clientele,
police, crime, massive nose rings, purple-green haircut, dirt…, “could you spare change?”, gays, zoo, …

Anyone wants to live there?

#70 Mackie on 03.15.12 at 12:48 am

Why is it that when gold and silver go down all the haters come out? But when they go up, all is quiet?

Nobody hates the metals. We just find you amusing. — Garth

#71 Aussie Roy on 03.15.12 at 12:52 am

Aussie Update

Where has Aussie Roy been, it’s grape harvest time and this years vintage is looking great. So a short update today, Garth I needed my fix, just had to make time today to read your wise words.

Aussie price falls – are only just starting.

These days it’s cheaper to buy a home in the playground of New York’s rich and famous, The Hamptons, than it is to buy in most Australian capital cities. Home prices in New York’s beachside retreat fell 13% last year, and are expected to tank again this year. Today, the median sale price in The Hamptons, the home of Madonna and Lady Gaga, is US$780,000, which equates to $726,828 in Australian dollars. For this money, you’d be lucky to pick up a fibro cottage in Brisbane or a pokey townhouse in Newtown.

http://www.thebull.com.au/articles/a/26400-aussie-property-slowdown-has-just-begun.html

Never was a bubble in Australia, what makes you think there is one now?.

Well how about.

Top 10 median price drops in percentage terms for 2011

1. North Booval (QLD) -46.3% (houses) to $154,000
2. Mittaggong (NSW) -45.1% (units) to $225,000
3. Jolimont (WA) -44.4% (units) to $342,000
4. Carey Bay (NSW) -42.6% (houses) to $266,001
5. St Kilda West (VIC) -41.8% (houses) to $1,455,000
6. Port Augusta (SA) -41.5% (units) to $120,000
7. Golden Beach (VIC) -40.9% (houses) to $85,750
8. Rainbow Beach (QLD) -40.8% (units) to $219,750
9. Acacia Ridge (QLD) -40.8% (units) to $298,500
10. Eagle Farm (QLD) -40.4% (units) to $786,500

Source: RP Data

http://www.news.com.au/money/property/property-prices-battered-in-parts-of-australia-amid-heavy-discounting/story-e6frfmd0-1226297242759

New home buyers and investors shun housing market

Title says it all.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/new-home-buyers-investors-shun-housing-market-20120313-1uxgp.html

It’s what happens when you have to pay so much of your income to a mortgage.

The number of people in western Sydney who find it “very difficult” on current incomes doubled in the past year from 6 per cent to 12 per cent, the study of both workers and job hunters by research firm Acid Test for CareerOne found.

Those who find it merely “difficult” in western Sydney also jumped to 24 per cent.

http://www.news.com.au/money/cost-of-living/worried-west-living-in-a-financial-limbo-land/story-fnagkbpv-1226298890947

No bubble in Australia. Want to a house?, have I got a deal for you. – LOL.

#72 Canadian Watchdog on 03.15.12 at 12:54 am

Not what the chart says. That is source immigration to BC, not Canada. — Garth

Correct I meant BC.

#73 raincouver on 03.15.12 at 12:55 am

Amazing comparison of RE. I found an example a few years ago … a chateau in the south of France, the same price as a Kitsilano old-timer. The Vancouver comments were … I’d rather buy the place in Kits. wtf?

Like Garth asked … ‘Can Detroit be so bad?’

Maybe.

But, can Vancouver be that great?

Not on your life.

#74 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.15.12 at 12:59 am

-
“. . . how socially repugnant it might be to rent . . . the most materialistic, self-obsessed, wealth-conscious and socially unattractive city in the nation.” — Isn’t it great to be a social outcast? To go against the grain, and enjoy it at the same time by renting?

There’s an awful lotta folks who rent their entire lives living in Europe, because that is part of their culture. Are they worse off for renting? Not so much.

“But this is not going well. A society’s rapidly emerging in which there is no middle. Just extremes. Bitterness. Disappointment. And some nights, destruction.” — The young, boomers and racists are doing exactly what TPTB want — destroying each other. No doubt Global TV, CKNW and the mayor will get their just desserts in short order.

#15 $$$BPOE$$$ — “Prices will never falter.” — And politicos will never lie, Bre-X, Nortel, Dome Petroleum, Enron etc. will remain fiscally safe havens and there will never be a megaquake. Good thinking.
*
2.7 mln. unemployed in UK, but those are official figures; Pension changes all over; Egypt looted by US. One reason to stop oil / gas supplies to Israel, further inflaming the situation; Holland Losing its fiscal marbles? Ending Taxation Which means re-invigorating the world’s economies, or bringing in a new one world currency; Culture of Manipulation a.k.a. Nuking the Stats; Walmart Cutting food prices? US Retirement mirrors Cdns. retirement (not enough saved).

GS With Or Without You; Turning the Screw Further links in; Mass Resignations Incl. a nice chart; Mon., March 19 may be a curious day for finances. Then again, maybe not; Does this go with this? Or this — Doomer Talk; Penny Stocks Net returns can lead to a better life; Platinum is not a bad place to start; Jerry Maguire rides again; Excess Regulation Same as here.
*
Beast Burger Decadence of ancient Rome is showing; 3:27 clip Plasma sphere in sun’s corona, and Death Star; Squatters Yep, they still exist; US E-voting Gone in 48 hours; Link in Something is brewing, and it isn’t tea.

#75 Devore on 03.15.12 at 1:01 am

Immigrants are coming!

http://www.news1130.com/news/local/article/341005–immigrants-out-of-big-cities-due-to-affordability-study

Oh well, maybe just advancing in the other direction.

#76 Suede on 03.15.12 at 1:03 am

#21 Puzni

BC stands for “Bring Credit”!

#77 Soylent Green is People on 03.15.12 at 1:08 am

.

Keep Canada Connected: Stop Severe Cuts to the CBC

But just as a community is coming together around new opportunities for the CBC, a few MPs have singled out the CBC for severe cuts in the impending budget. These cuts threaten many key CBC services, like those in rural and remote regions, and they will damage our digital economy.

We have to let the government know that these severe cuts are unacceptable. They will destroy the opportunity for the CBC to connect all Canadians with new ideas and services that can stop us from falling behind in a new era of news and culture.

http://reimaginecbc.ca/connected

.

#78 The Real Jimbo on 03.15.12 at 1:12 am

Immigration would be fine if we all enjoyed a level playing field. Instead we have to send our kids out into the real world earning minimum wage while the new neighbor’s kids dip into the $123 billion untaxed, embezzled, offshore fund. And we know that $123 billion is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

How can Canadian kids compete for houses?

http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2011/06/16/report-corrupt-chinese-officials-take-123-billion-overseas/

#79 Tom on 03.15.12 at 1:12 am

60 $$$BPOE$$$

Mayby I’ll by your parents house someday and I’ll let you keep renting the basement.

#80 H.A.M. on 03.15.12 at 1:16 am

Everybody no like my Asian ass, but everybody love my cash.

#81 wollyone on 03.15.12 at 1:18 am

62nd………………

#82 Led on 03.15.12 at 1:33 am

thanks Colin

#83 John on 03.15.12 at 1:35 am

I think I’d take the Vancouver condo, that Detroit house would be a maintenance nightmare, and oy the yard upkeep. Plus, it looks like a typical haunted house, yard and all. I would sh%t my pants if I had to sleep in that place.

#84 NoName on 03.15.12 at 1:36 am

DELETED

#85 The Real Jimbo on 03.15.12 at 1:38 am

#51…

“Yesterday’s Hi Ho Silver guy and the G bugs must be licking their wounds again tonight. Where are their narcissistic doomer postings about the world ending?”

Answer: Garth sensors and deletes the majority of posts that are counter to his “anti-gold” views unless you are really, really nice to him and wish him “Happy Birthday” or say “Nice Harley, dude”. Several friends of mine who have told me they’ve given up posting here because they are just deleted, no matter how rational their pro-gold views.

And if this post, by some small miracle, isn’t deleted, you should know that extreme volatility is normal with gold. It’s part of the game. Seasoned gold people are not surprised by it. Mocking the volatility and cycles is kind of like saying with alarm, every evening, “Ha ha! See! The sun you were counting on to grow your crop is GONE”.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Garth!

Yesterday I deleted 11 posts and allowed 300, many of which were intensely critical of my position. Nobody gets censored unless they are insulting, personally abusive, bullying or ad hominem. Sadly there is no one group of people who consistently exhibit those qualities than PM investors. — Garth

#86 Watcher on 03.15.12 at 1:43 am

Happy B-day Garth!

Curious… i have noticed you have never responded to any of BPOE’s drivel. I think its time for him/her to go sell a house.

I vote banish BPOE
Cheers

#87 Devore on 03.15.12 at 1:48 am

#21 Puzni

Maple Ridge which is 45 km east of vancouver and I doubt I could even afford to buy there. People living there and commuting downtown take west coast express which is almost $217 monthly pass, but avoids traffic headaches.

It’s still a long commute. $217 isn’t that much, a regular transit pass (1 zone) is $82. Problem is it’s a commuter train, so if you work odd hours or miss it because you’re doing overtime, how do you get home?

Still, it could be worse, you might be in Squamish.

#88 Junius on 03.15.12 at 1:56 am

Prices in Vancouver could be down 60% within 36 months, things could get that bad.

Easily.

Hey, Smoking Man, you have corn in your brain if you think the GTA real estate prices will keep rising, that is idiotic. I suggest you get yourself a monkey (a nice cuddly one), it will help you see things in their proper light – this market is set for an EPIC CRASH.

NOW.

#89 gtrz4peace on 03.15.12 at 2:03 am

BPOE – You must be punking everyone with what you say!
Your “elite community” where people make $ 200K a day is a sitting target for the disenfranchised middle class whom those people have ripped off — now in the US and soon to be here. And there are just not enough guns, drones, or gated communities to keep the the “Best Place on Earth” when everyone gets pissed enough.

A strong community needs all types of people and income levels — after all, who will serve your “master ruling class” their McBurgers?

We move to Vancouver a few years ago and are disappointed to see a Cosmopolitan, progressive city becoming the “playground of the rich.” That would be the same rich who have destroyed economies and the environment in the locales their companies operate in?

Watch events in the US, the “1%” super society myth is toast and that spirit will spread here, especially to Vancouver where many US citizens settled who know how to organize, and how to be heard.

#90 I'll do anything for a listing - please on 03.15.12 at 2:11 am

A quote from a realtor I met, I asked him about the Maintenance fee in the building, and he said “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”
Gotta love realtors – Winninggggg…

Here is a local, unsponsored, no holds barred look at Vancouver real estate series, including the race thingee.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/03/15/Vancouver-Foreign-Ownership/

#91 Jane24 on 03.15.12 at 2:20 am

The answer to this one is so easy if the govt had guts.

Tax all non-residents 75% of their RE gains no matter if they are white, black, yellow or purple in skin tone. If they don’t live in Canada full-time paying taxes and adding to the economy then why should their RE gain be mostly tax-free.

I was told that in this situation the Canadian govt taxes profits at 25% only, if true it is not enough.

#92 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.15.12 at 2:57 am

So, Garth is stating that there is a “cultural real estate horniness of the area’s massive native-born Asian population”

The way I read this: Vancouver’s culture is now defined by materialistic house pumpers, and this ugly culture is a direct result of Asian Canadians “importing” the same speculative culture that has led to a massive housing bubble in Mainland China (or, at the very least, a massive disconnect in the ratios of house prices vs. incomes and vs. rents). Combine this speculative culture with easy money from the banks and CMHC, and you get the perfect storm of too many dollars chasing the same side of a bet.

Another way to phrase this: Vancouver has become one giant housing casino, where each subsequent purchase is the equivalent of “letting it ride” (or doubling down, depending on your preferred table game).

So, Toronto may be looking to build a giant casino at Ontario Place, but Vancouver already has the country’s biggest casino — one where the chips are homes and condos, and the only way to cash out is to sell and walk away (i.e. rent or move elsewhere).

#93 Eddy on 03.15.12 at 3:44 am

Van is beautiful
I moved here from Alberta
Won’t ever go back

Was that a haiku?

#94 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.15.12 at 3:46 am

@ #61 Colin Laney

CBC
Part 2 of our series “Priced Out” focused on why housing prices continue to go up and up and up.
http://www.cbc.ca/onthecoast/episodes/2012/03/13/priced-out-2/

The most shocking piece of this clip: the UBC professor recommending that the solution to housing affordability in Vancouver is for each property in the city be zoned for 4 total families to live there (1 in the main house / 1 in the basement / 1 in the laneway / 1 somewhere else – maybe a treehouse?).

Then he even did the math: ‘since it takes $1M to $1.2M to buy a house, dividing that by 4 gets you to $250k-$300k per family, which then allows 30-something families to live in the city’.

At another point in the audio clip, the argument was made that Vancouver housing has been a great investment for 100+ years (since it was British money vs. Asian money flowing into property)… and this seems to buy into the “myth” that the entire city is owned by foreign buyers. On top of that, I didn’t hear any points made about mortgage debts and leverage and speculation as a part of the story.

So, the impression that I was left with: if a UBC Professor that sits on Vancouver’s key housing committee is convinced that this is all just “normal investment that has been going on for 100+ years”, and that dividing every house into 4 parts is the appropriate answer to an average SFH price of $1M+, the city truly is doomed. You’ve got key policy makers that are drunk on the same kool-aid as everyone else, and who are proposing “solutions” to the housing affordability problem that are completely out-of-whack with the reality of what the population actually wants.

i.e. in the minds of the “experts”, basement suites are the solution — but for most Vancouverites living in basement suites, I’m pretty sure they’d say that the basement suite trend represents the problem!

#95 Eddy on 03.15.12 at 5:07 am

I get paid to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I don’t have to pay to travel on a surf vacation. I’ll rip over to the island for the weekend. The quality of life here is unparalleled. I can run the Sea Wall in shorts Friday after work. Go downhill mountain biking Saturday. Then hit Whistler to enjoy the 165+cm of snow they had in the past seven days (Look it up) on Sunday. If you’re an active-outdoors person, there isn’t a better place to live. Kiteboarding, mountain climbing, hiking, snowboarding, surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, the list goes on, are all at your doorstep. Garth, you could even get away with insuring your Harley for the full year cause there’s still clear, sunny days in the dead of winter where the roads are dry, aren’t covered in gravel and that filthy muck after a chinook wipes through Calgary. The grass is actually greener here. Not yellow.

Why people hate on Vancouver is beyond me. Cars are always clean. Not covered in a salty white crust 8 months of the year with rusting stone chips all over the hood. There’s beaches, mountains, and some of the most beautiful lakes in the world are within a 4 hour drive.

Yes. Houses are RIDICULOUSLY priced and any fool with a shred of common sense can see that there are far better and more rewarding things to blow a million dollars on. Family, travelling, enjoying life, education. Many people today define themselves, define happiness, and measure success with material possessions. No one says you have to buy a house if you live here. Rent. I rent a beautiful Yaletown apartment and a sick lakefront Okanagan condo for less than most peoples mortgage. “But you don’t own it. You’re not building any equity.” I’m not losing any either and I don’t want to own it. I just want to use/enjoy it. And I might get sick of living in dt van in a year at which point I’ll find a new setting. Maybe I want to try a different lake one summer. This kind of reflects my current view on women as well. One can draw a lot of similarities between women/marriage and houses/mortgage.
I’m not saying I’m never going to find a “house” and get “mortgaged”. I’m just saying I’ll wait until my life suites that level of commitment and I find my dream “house”. Let me tell you though I’m gonna need a LOT of “showings” before I know if I found the “house” I want to live in for the next 30 -40 years. But a guy needs a place to live, so until then I’ll continue renting and enjoying many different and desirable properties (some not so desirable but sometimes you’re just desperate for a place;) until I’ve experienced all I can and select the best possible “house” I can for my life.

I got carried away on this rant. Point is, no one can ever convince me that renting is bad or that Vancouver sucks. I’ve owned, I’ve rented, I’ve lived in Alberta, lived in BC, been “married”, been single… I’ve made my choice… For now.

Regards,
Single white male… renting in Van

It was 20 degrees in Toronto yesterday, sunny, while it rained in Vancouver and was 3 degrees. It barely snowed in Toronto this winter. I never put my boots on. And I’ve been riding for weeks. I suggest you travel more. — Garth

#96 Kip on 03.15.12 at 5:52 am

” Can Detroit be so bad?”

Yes, it can be that bad! With ridiculous unemployment, out of control violent crime, drugs and a current population of about 800,000 that used to be 2-million, yeah, it’s that bad.

According to you, Vancouver has a real estate bubble going on. I don’t know as I am in GTA but, I do know one thing, Detroit is hardly the answer or in any way a model for Canadian cities. You should move there and buy that house.

#97 tiny bottoms on 03.15.12 at 5:54 am

Last night i had a dream that 25 elves were riding around in a circle on the backs of giant turkeys eating slowly melting banana splits from DQ

#98 You Can't Hang Out With My Wife on 03.15.12 at 5:59 am

Ok, Garth “The Gandalf of Finance” Turner, I’m sure you know formulas, equations, case studies etc. about what happens when debt vs income gets to a certain level. You give examples of the impact of poor financial planning, in real time ie. the United Bipolar States of ‘Merica. I don’t know how much more you can do to warn Canadians of what’s coming, short of dancing naked on the set of CP24, during one of their Home Shows with Ann Romer (sponsored by Tony Sporano of Gigantic Classy Mortgage Inc.). But do you know what you haven’t factored in? (It’s not your fault there is absolutely no way to measure this!) It’s Stupidity. People are stupid. This is just of separate the winners from the losers. What you’re doing is letting more stupid people sneak on to our side. It may be noble to some but not right.

#99 House on 03.15.12 at 6:37 am

So Van is the Republican, Conservative heaven.

#100 Ryan in Victoria on 03.15.12 at 6:41 am

You cannot compare Vancouver to Detroit. Additionally, there seems to be a media contest as to who will be the outlet or journalist who can say “I told you so.” All these articles calling for doom and gloom: it’s fine if you’re right but what if you’re wrong? Prices may keep rising. What if you have scared someone out of buying and they’re stuck short because they held off? Either way the tone of the media on this is borderline toxic. Some people want to live in Vancouver and own a home…..

#101 Onemorething on 03.15.12 at 7:03 am

Sell Canada, AUS and China. Sell UK EUROZONE and dont buy anyting! USA 3 year to bottom 15-18% to go.

Banks tighten lending no probs have 25% down and banks will salivate for your dough.

Are we gonna see 10% rates – doubt it! Are we gonna see 1 in 100 qualifying for future mortgages – YES!

BUYERS MARKET in RE and at the BANKS!

#102 tiny bottoms on 03.15.12 at 7:21 am

Canadian homebuyers getting priced out of market

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/03/14/real-estate-overseas-investors.html

#103 Sp on 03.15.12 at 7:33 am

#91.

“The way I read this: Vancouver’s culture is now defined by materialistic house pumpers, and this ugly culture is a direct result of Asian Canadians “importing” the same speculative culture that has led to a massive housing bubble in Mainland China (or, at the very least, a massive disconnect in the ratios of house prices vs. incomes and vs. rents). Combine this speculative culture with easy money from the banks and CMHC, and you get the perfect storm of too many dollars chasing the same side of a bet.”

Why don’t you blame the US or Iceland housing bubble on the “Asian” speculative culture too? Or better yet, blame the Asian who have travelled back through time and caused the Tulip or South Sea Bubble too! Why not just blame Asian on all the woes you are facing.

We have some very smart and logical people on this blog.

#104 debtified on 03.15.12 at 8:21 am

DELETED

#105 neo on 03.15.12 at 8:24 am

As Apple approaches $600 a share today in parabolic fashion. Think about the monolithic group think that has taken over not only its stock but in our culture when it comes to the cultish devotion to their product. Now watch this “revolutionary” 1984 commercial again…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhsWzJo2sN4

Tempus Fugit…

#106 North o' TO on 03.15.12 at 8:25 am

found the listing for the Edison house:
here

#107 fancy_pants on 03.15.12 at 8:29 am

another link on priced out…
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/03/14/real-estate-overseas-investors.html

#108 truth hammer on 03.15.12 at 8:30 am

#64 S…you don’t read before you jerk? I offered up a list of all the countries who do not allow Canadians to own property……I should have also listed Australia….note that the countries I listed are Canada’s largest trading partners and still don’t allow foreign ownership rights. The arrogant ideological bent of the liberal navel gazers is stuck in the politics of the 1970’s is being distanced from the politics of every G8 country……including the ones who started the mess in the first place. The big question is…why is Canada so far behind the political times?

Question….why is it nescessary to allow foreign nationals to buy residential property in the first place? They are by definition unable to reside in this country past the expiry of their tourist visa. Let these foreign national -non Canadians…take everything they have purchased home in a container……no one says they can’t purchase material goods…….foreigners don’t belong in the residential real estate market. The housing stock…if as advertised in an extreme shortage should be limited to the people who need it.

Look at the hypocrisy…..real tards bombast about how Vancouver is locked in a perpetual shortage because of the mountains and the water ……so this is a scenario when you strip property rights from the citizens and make the few acres available the legal property of a foriegner who has no legal right to reside in Canada?

#109 blase on 03.15.12 at 8:51 am

Eddy,

Great post! LOL

#110 Ann "Pom Pom" Rohmer on 03.15.12 at 8:52 am

A measly $421,800 over asking for a Toronto Bungalow is chump change……

Report: Corrupt Chinese Officials Take $123 Billion Overseas

The 67-page report from China’s central bank looks at where corrupt officials go and how they get their money out. A favored method is to squirrel cash away WITH THE HELP OF LOVED ONES EMIGRATING ABROAD, schemes that often depend on fake documents.

http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2011/06/16/report-corrupt-chinese-officials-take-123-billion-overseas/

Yes, crony capitalism at its best

Should China’s capital be renamed ‘Bling-jing’?

Hong Kong, China (CNN) – If you look at China’s annual National People’s Congress, now in session, you might think this country is one of the richest in the world.

The NPC’s 75 richest legislators – from a total of 3,000 – had a net worth of more than $90 billion in 2011. To put that in perspective, that’s more than half of Greece’s latest bailout of some $170 billion.

http://business.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/12/should-chinas-capital-be-renamed-bling-jing/

This Toronto bungalow sold for $421,800 over asking. Yes, really

In this case the successful bidder is a university student originally from China with family money behind her, says Mr. Adelson. She assured the agents there would be no problem in closing the deal.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/real-estate/buying-and-selling/this-toronto-bungalow-sold-for-421800-over-asking-yes-really/article2362078/

Like I said, challenged people create a straw man to blame. — Garth

#111 The American on 03.15.12 at 8:54 am

Vancouver correction starting. 40% + drop in prices across Vancouver metro. Guaranteed.

#112 Young Old Fart on 03.15.12 at 9:00 am

Can Detroit be so bad?

Yes…:o(

Ever been there for a while? — Garth

#113 Herb on 03.15.12 at 9:01 am

#50 Truth Hammerer,

how come it’s always “Liberals” this or “liberal” that? How come you never mention “Conservatives”? Oh, got it, nothing to say.

#114 The American on 03.15.12 at 9:12 am

Here’s some prime examples of what’s going on in Vancouver. Talk about stupidity.

1.1 Million LOSS in West Vancouver
http://vreaa.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/failed-flip-1-1m-loss-in-west-vancouver/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-17/canada-courts-housing-bubble-imf-sees-as-risk-with-record-rates-mortgages.html

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Housing+prices+flat+falling+fourth+quarter/6227518/story.html

http://leadsandsales.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/vancouver-home-prices-falling/

http://nexuscanada.blogspot.com/

The “popping” sound is clearly upon Vancouver, and its no secret to the banks, the government, news media, and analysts. Word’s out. Vancouver done.

#115 guy from toronto on 03.15.12 at 9:13 am

hey tiny bottoms, that sounds like an awesome dream

you are lucky.

#116 ANONYMOUS on 03.15.12 at 9:15 am

Happy Birthday Garth? I didn’t know it was your birthday?
Okay, if it is, then “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”

—-

(“smart people from Toronto, folks making two hundred grand in finance jobs.”) == WOW !!! I’ve got to get me one of those !

All of the employers in the GTA tell me that nobody should expect to earn more than $50,000/yr, that its totally unrealistic these days for anyone to expect anything more.

#15: $$$BPOE$$$ – is he on drugs?

The average Toronto household income is $96,040. — Garth

#117 James on 03.15.12 at 9:15 am

So, two months ago you were saying that a 15% reduction in RE values will have disastrous consequences on the economy, and that those who expect or seek a greater RE price crash are morons. Now you’ve changed your song… you are full of hot air old man… At least learn to be consistent with your message, or you risk becoming a laughing stock of your readers… I already view you as a bozo whose drivel I read when I get bored and need a good laugh…

I suggested a 15% reduction in the national average should be expected, which is reasonable. This means some markets will be largely unaffected (Maritimes, for example), some less so (GTA, Calgary) and some whacked (Van). Nowhere did I suggest this will be an economic disaster, because it won’t be. I hope you enjoyed your final post, which said more about you than me. — Garth

#118 Rog on 03.15.12 at 9:44 am

I’ve been reading this blog for years now as I too thought the market was going to come down. Since then I’ve bought and sold 3 condos and made a decent profit. I would never buy a condo in Toronto right now. It just doesn’t make any sense. You have to do your own research. I was willing to take the chance and it paid off. I now own a bungalow and rent the basement out. I pay 500 a month and it’s ten times better than renting. Do your own research and do what’s right for you

#119 debtified on 03.15.12 at 9:51 am

#106 debtified on 03.15.12 at 8:21 am

DELETED
************************************************

LOL :)

Speaking of Detroit, (back on topic), my friend bought a foreclosed ~3,000 sq.ft. mansion in one of the suburbs (Sterling Heights) back in 2009. He was excited to get it for $270K. I thought it was neat because it has a private pond in the backyard, shared with four or five neighbours.

The problem was he couldn’t sell the house he was living in so he rented it out. I advised him (he asked) to just sell it and take a hit (around $20K at that time). I said, just think of it as paying $290K for the new house which was still a great deal considering that the same house in Oakville would have gone for $1M (my sister sold her much smaller house in Oakville for $700K in 2011).

Now both houses are cheaper than back in 2009. He has since wasted $900 a month on the old house because his mortgage is higher than the rent he could charge. I am still advising him to sell and take a hit (I don’t know why he still keeps asking me for my opinion). He still hasn’t sold.

We were in the Caribbean last month. I paid for the whole trip because he doesn’t have any spare cash (he supplied the girls, though). I rent. He lives in a mansion.

#120 EdmontonJim on 03.15.12 at 9:52 am

More racism. From the latest CBC headline “Offshore buyers pricing Canadians out of housing market”.

I suppose it is frustrating being outbid by another person. But in a free market, thats the way things are going.

The report said that ‘they find prices here much cheaper than back home’ But that seems like a really silly statement. By that logic, they would be flooding the American market. It’s not that much nicer here, and the money they save can buy better health care than we’ve got.

#121 Angela on 03.15.12 at 9:54 am

Cool old mansion…but creepy wooden heads! I’d be putting them in the nearest fire place…

#122 CalgaryRocks on 03.15.12 at 9:54 am

There’s an interesting article about HAM in Toronto on the CBC web site.

Our house here will be paid off in October and we also have savings. Would moving to TO to start putting some HAM deals together be a good way to earn some quick cash over the next 5 years?

What is going to stop this money from coming our way and change the current trend?

#123 Phinny on 03.15.12 at 9:55 am

Good One to read the wife today.

We’re living in the West, but heading back East. To Windsor, actually. We’re giving up our oil careers, to do something more modest. My brother builds fences, for a living, for twenty-bucks an hour, and OWN’s a house, OWN’s his car, and has left over.

We don’t have a hope for that, here.

I can take investment risks (re:small business) in Windsor because I am not a mortgage-debt slave. And, I think small business, which may become big business, and the risk mentality and entrepreneurial spirit is what, in the long term, drives a sustainable economy. Not, as one so eloquently put, “sitting in the living room getting rich.”

That’s a ponzi-scheme. That’s the rest of Canada.

How bad, then, is Windsor, and it’s somewhat ruined neighbour to the south?

The Eastern Market makes the Granville Market look like a side-road flea market. The DIA is breath-taking. The Red Wings are not the Canucks, and we haven’t rioted in 40 years. No annoying hipster 40 year olds smoking weed on their porch five-times-a-day.

The rich, there, have earned it.
They’ve built factories. Put men to work.

They don’t tell you, in that airy, annoying, hippy voice how much ‘cabbage they made on their last house-flip.’

You can live down the street from your folks, and they get to see their rugrats grow up. You can take the bus from Prince Road to the Auto Show in about ten minutes.

East Hastings = Cass Corridor. I stay away from both.

Vancouver has nothing like Gross Point.

#124 The American on 03.15.12 at 9:56 am

At #71: VancouverJoe… Bigoted? You made an equivalent of people with funny haircuts/nose rings and gay people with that as being in the same caliber of class of people such as crack whores, prostitutes, drug dealers/users, and criminal activity. That was embarrassingly ignorant for you.

#125 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.15.12 at 10:02 am

#64 S on 03.15.12 at 12:22 am
“I guess you would be in favour then of other countries disallowing Canadian ownership of their real estate (?) which Canadians own a lot of. Worth remembering is also that just slightly over a century ago most of this country belonged to someone else…”
_______________
“over a century ago”
Dead wrong. My family has been here over 400 years.
And, I agree with you that foreign investors should be allowed to come to Canada. Freedom has no price.

#126 D.R.E.A.S. on 03.15.12 at 10:02 am

#119 James = Disgruntled Real Estate Agent Scum

#127 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.15.12 at 10:09 am

#71 VancouverJoe on 03.15.12 at 12:41 am

Stop promoting Vancouver.
First thing you know, Smoking Man will be moving there.

#128 TorontoBull on 03.15.12 at 10:10 am

its all quiet on the mortgage changes front recently. Any insights, updates, rumours?

#129 Tom from Mississauga on 03.15.12 at 10:19 am

#87 The Real Jimbo

Own Goldcorp myself and might be willing to add to it or maybe ZJG. Those that can’t keep it in context though I find hilarious.

#130 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.15.12 at 10:23 am

DELETED

#131 45north on 03.15.12 at 10:39 am

Junius: Prices in Vancouver could be down 60% within 36 months, things could get that bad.

3 years, well yes the housing market moves slowly, reminds me of the grist mill that grinds very slowly but it grinds very fine

because price-to-rent and price-to-income is so skewed, there is no return to the top, owners find out

1. their houses are not worth what they paid for them
2. rent does not cover the expenses

ergo they sell

Vancouver owners are now in the hold-out stage, waiting for spring, for summer, for the Federal budget, for the HST thing. They hold-out, sales decline, a year later prices decline.

by-the-way in Ottawa my neighbours house sold for $410,000. 40 days on the market. A little slow and a little low, but still it sold.

#132 Burnt Norton on 03.15.12 at 10:40 am

#97 Eddy on 03.15.12 at 5:07 am

I think you forgot to mention the ponies and lollipops that come with your Yaletown and OK condos.

Buddy, I’m a born and bred Vancouverite, lived in numerous other places for work and school, traveled widely, and now back in Van by choice.

Vancouver convenient for surfing? Get real, I just got back from SoCal, rented a place across the street from an uncrowded break. Here it’s a $75+ ferry ride and 3-6+ hour journey depending on S or N island.

Just for laughs, here’s the listing of the place I rented across from the beach in Cali

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Carlsbad/3870-Carlsbad-Blvd-92008/home/6895101

and here’s a listing in Van for around the same price

http://www.REALTOR.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=11656448&PidKey=897779744

It’s pretty obvious why everyone is laughing at us. Plus, I was mighty pissed to come from 25C breezy days back home to 1-2C and snow yesterday in Van (did you miss that?).

No doubt Vancouver is a great place to live, just put down the pom-poms, you’re embarrassing the rest of us.

#133 raincouver on 03.15.12 at 10:40 am

Kip #98 says…
According to you, Vancouver has a real estate bubble going on. I don’t know as I am in GTA but, I do know one thing, Detroit is hardly the answer or in any way a model for Canadian cities. You should move there and buy that house.

Sure, Kip. I’ll do that when you fork out $430k for that cavernous 557 sq/ft box in the sky. I hope you’re not suggesting that Vancouver is in any way a model for Canadian cities.

#134 truth hammer on 03.15.12 at 10:49 am

About time we saw the propaganda ministry for the liberal loonies brought down……..In the many years we all had to listen to the leftist bleatings of the CBC spew liberal propaganda over the air waves it is time we all realized how small minded these small minded people made this country. The liberals rewarded the conservative bashing autocrats with GG seats and uncounted senatorial plums. There was no opposition that the CBC didn’t take their hearty liberal strap to whenever anyone voiced an opinion other than the party line. Bring the CBC down a notch you say………..I say cut the buggers out by the evil roots and feed them to the pigs.

#135 Oxymoronic on 03.15.12 at 10:51 am

Whaaat? Some of these comments are getting absurd. Haha. “Nationals??”

Oh yeah, and, of course, “the commies” and “social democrats” are promoting some sort of Asian Invasion. You know, cheering on Asian capitalists. Those corrupt capitalists!!!

Not. Making. Sense.

A real capitalist economy and nationalist sentiment is a total oxymoron.
Globalization is a result of successful capitalists; opening markets and creating opportunities. Capital knows no borders and successful Capitalists know no borders either.

The main tenet of a true capitalist is We Are All Equal and Free to Make and Take Profit.

Obviously, a capitalist economy flourishes under dictatorship regimes – whether it be Conservative or Communist. Capital needs Stability.

Your Dear Harper abides by the tenets of a real true capitalist economy/markets. Bless Him.

That’s why those with the most capital may buy the most house(s). Those with the most capital buy the most resource(s). Best bribery. Etc.

A good Capitalist promoting government will remove Capital’s Conditions that favor ‘the social’ such as social healthcare, education, and all those other non-Capitalist excesses. Of course, more state police and prisons are imperative for a Capitalist economy to prosper – whether it be a Communist or Conservative regime.

And, of course, a Capitalist economy is all about free choice and free markets. Even workers have Choice. Choice is necessary. The workers who work for the lowest wage get the job. No borders and no political interference.

Seriously, some people here! Get with the economic program – the Global capitalist economy.
Opportunity! Choice! Honestly, who cares if your ‘landlord’ or corporation is Asian?! Maybe Asians are better Capitalists.

May the force be with you all and May the Best Capitalist(s) win. : D

#136 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.15.12 at 10:52 am

#115 Herb on 03.15.12 at 9:01 am
#50 Truth Hammerer,
“how come it’s always “Liberals” this or “liberal” that? How come you never mention “Conservatives”? Oh, got it, nothing to say.”
_____________
Conservatives in this country are liberals.
Don’t go by the name of our political parties.

#137 cb on 03.15.12 at 10:58 am

bpoe: Seattle kicks ass on Van. You ever been there? BTW it rains alot in Van as well. Don’t kid yourself- if we could move easily enough to a U.S. city like Seattle many people I know would chose it over Van. Lived in Van. for 10 years. No comparison IMO. And, BPOE, I hope values dont fall in Van. as well. My inheritance would be affected!

#138 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.15.12 at 11:00 am

#123 EdmontonJim on 03.15.12 at 9:52 am
“More racism. From the latest CBC headline “Offshore buyers pricing Canadians out of housing market”.”
_____________
Since when is the truth called racism.

#139 Calgary's OK on 03.15.12 at 11:03 am

#97 Eddy on 03.15.12 at 5:07 am

“I get paid to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.”

Enjoy while it lasts Eddy. I’d hate to be anywhere near “the most beautiful places in the world” when the Big Earthquake will level the place. Hopefully you have plan B for the scenario when the Lower Mainland including Richmond (that means airport too) will be under water, North Vancouver is going to slide into the sea and downtown Vancouver is going to be buried under six feet of broken glass. Call me paranoid, but that place is just too beautiful to last for a lifetime…. Of course there is no place on Earth that would be 100% safe, after all we live on the thin crust of the planet with fire raging inside and a wild weather above us, but from geological point of view Vancouver is just a disaster waiting to happen.

#140 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.15.12 at 11:05 am

#126 Phinny on 03.15.12 at 9:55 am
“How bad, then, is Windsor, and it’s somewhat ruined neighbour to the south?”
____________
Detroit is actually north of Windsor.

#141 dddd on 03.15.12 at 11:06 am

“I never put my boots on.”

we tossed our snowboots in the trash when moved from ont.
boots are for skiing, which i will do today, after driving a whole 15min to the hill LET IT RAIN!!!

#142 Van guy on 03.15.12 at 11:14 am

#116 The American on 03.15.12 at 9:12 am
____________________________________

I’m bearish too, but actually the bubble ain’t popping yet. Bidding wars galore in Van as listings rise. I think prices are up this month. It’s mind boggling I know. I scratch my head wondering why idiots would do this. East Van is pretty hot right now in certain areas. Other areas, quite steady.

#143 Smoking Man on 03.15.12 at 11:19 am

#90 Junius on 03.15.12 at 1:56 am
Junius You got me wrong ,I think ,you think I don’t long for a real estate crash in GTA. I would love one, especially for my kids.

I cashed out the remainder of all my investment properties last summer. If I did it today add another million to the stack. O well.

But the GTA suffers from the (Leaf Factor) We have a sports team that consistency losses yet I can still not get season tickets after 20 years on a waiting list.
The herd here is different, they don’t know how to invest, they got burned in 2008 and will never buy a mutual fund again, parents and kids only know one investment that’s Real Estate.
At the bottom of the financial meltdown you would think the herd here in Leaf land would have all listed, they did the exact opposite. I don’t know why, I just know they did it. Without a huge catalyst like huge spike in rates or big job losses why would the same herd change there thinking.
Junius I’m a bit nuts, ok a lot nuts, but no one calls the markets with the same accuracy is me. Everyone on here knows it.
As far as a monkey, I prefer hookers, duo’s even better.

And Garth
Happy Birthday, you are one day closer to death.

#144 Nemesis on 03.15.12 at 11:21 am

“Everybody no like my Asian ass[!]” – H.A.M. [#82]

ChortleChortle… Well, H.A.M. – if the illustrated ‘back pages’ of Vancouver’s GeorgiaStraight are to be believed… Asian buttocks have never been more popular.

#145 $$$BPOE$$$ on 03.15.12 at 11:24 am

Canada House at Olympic Village is about to go on sale. Arthur Erickson masterpiece. Looks beauty. Al around the Olympic Village which by the way was priced to high to fast , towers are being built. This will never end

#146 mr gadget on 03.15.12 at 11:45 am

Reports of the economic recovery in the US of A are somewhat exaggerated.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-obama-campaigns-overenthusiatic-job-creation-stats/2011/11/01/gIQApUHSeM_blog.html

#147 GregW, Oakville on 03.15.12 at 11:51 am

Hi #76 Nostra, Thanks for the link to e-voting haking story.

I wonder if the MP’s are paying attention or even care?

I understand PM H wants e-voting machines and machines countering the vote. But why does he??

#148 S on 03.15.12 at 11:59 am

#128 eaglebay – Parksville on 03.15.12 at 10:02 am

Too complex a subject to pick up on this forum. Lets agree that large swaths of this country were bought with “beads, blankets and promises”. Yet here we are today with many of us resenting a new wave of settlers willing to pay top price for the land in whatever currency we demand. At least their gun boats are not at the shores. As they say, Karma’s a bitch…
Congrats on the 400 years. Most of us cannot lay claim to this.

#149 John G. Young on 03.15.12 at 12:07 pm

#71 VancouverJoe

“Wet, noise, dirt, panhandlers, prostitutes, noise again, crack dealers and their clientele, police, crime, massive nose rings, purple-green haircut, dirt…, “could you spare change?”, gays, zoo, …”

And, apparently, “Vancouver Joe”.

There, now your list is complete.

#150 Kip on 03.15.12 at 12:23 pm

#136 Raincouver
“Sure, Kip. I’ll do that when you fork out $430k for that cavernous 557 sq/ft box in the sky. I hope you’re not suggesting that Vancouver is in any way a model for Canadian cities.”

Not interested in the Van condo sorry. Never been to Vancouver and I just said that Detroit is a bad model for Canadian cities and I have been there.

#151 Ret on 03.15.12 at 12:27 pm

How much is HAM and how much is CMHC backed BAM? Who knows, who cares?

Who the buyers are or where they came from is a minor detail and largely irrelevant as long as CMHC policies continue to distort the RE market.

#152 René Kabis on 03.15.12 at 12:36 pm

Garth,

That is a beautiful mansion you’ve posted. But the upkeep must be a b*tch.

Still, old heritage homes like those really make me sad when they’re sold off just to be torn down like this one: http://www.theprovince.com/costly/6161491/story.html

This is one home that, if I had the money, I would fight to preserve. Not because I would have money to burn, but because (especially in a city like Vancouver, with not much history) heritage buildings are one of the few things we can truly grace our descendents with.

Still, if I ever win the lottery (which I play only for sh*ts and giggles, btw), I may just keep an eye on this place. If it doesn’t get torn down, I might just vulch it once the crash is mostly over. As I mentioned before, upkeep will probably be a pain in the arse; but then again most anything worth preserving ain’t gonna be cheap.

But then again, just think how well this place could rent out for weddings and other special events if it were brought up to snuff. The rent alone could pay for the taxes and upkeep.

#153 fancy_pants on 03.15.12 at 12:43 pm

Spain housing issues:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17378665

#154 Eddy on 03.15.12 at 12:54 pm

It was 20 degrees in Toronto yesterday, sunny, while it rained in Vancouver and was 3 degrees. It barely snowed in Toronto this winter. I never put my boots on. And I’ve been riding for weeks. I suggest you travel more. — Garth

Good for Toronto. I’m very happy for them. That’s quite an accomplishment. I don’t get paid to work there though. Travel more? Are you crazy? Can’t afford to travel. I live in Van remember. Why is it assumed that cause I promote Vancouver I hate Toronto?

Burnt Norton – Calm down buddy. Just trying to throw some positivity around these blog comments in Vans favor. So negative all the time. Every place in Canada apparently sucks. That SoCal link was awesome. I’m considering moving there now to live a life mimicing Uncle Charlie’s (srs). I need a roomie… Oh, by any chance, do you have a half man from a previously failed marriage that needs a place to live?

Anyway, I will discontinue shooting rainbows and lollipops outta my ass. I don’t even want more people moving here. I hope they keep leaving. Vancouver sucks. I’m afraid I fell into the, “my Dad could beat up your Dad” arguement when self-promoting my current city.

Nobody suggested you hate Toronto, merely that you are ignorant of it, and yet have an opinion. Very Vancouver. — Garth

#155 new_era on 03.15.12 at 12:58 pm

No Vancouver is not like Detroit. They have/had real hockey teams and can back it up with several stanley cups.

How can you even compare. Vancouver Wannabe’s

#156 Canadian Watchdog on 03.15.12 at 1:02 pm

CFB Gagetown braces for non-military layoffs: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/03/15/nb-cfb-gagetown-layoffs.html

Keep going Harper, we need even more.

#157 Eddy on 03.15.12 at 1:03 pm

#142 Calgary’s OK

Front row seats at Canada’s ground zero for a housing collapse AND a giant earthquake? Wouldn’t miss it.

Just like when I used to wake up to 3 feet of snow from the night before, kids will now be yelling, “Earthquake day! School’s cancelled. Hooray”

#158 EdmontonJim on 03.15.12 at 1:03 pm

People seem to get confused about value vs. price here.

There is no denying that Vancouver is a city in demand. And the cost of housing would not be such as it is if there were not a scarcity of housing.

But rising house prices are never a good thing – not even for incumbants, for the following reasons:

1. As people run out of credit, they consumer spending drops, and the local economy stagnates, pushing up unemployment.
2. The unemployed are forced to leave or are pushed into crime.
3. The lack of services and rise of crime reduces the desirability of the city
4. Rich people stop moving there, decreasing the liquidity of higher-end homes, and further depressing the local economy.
5. However, the push of money into other parts of the country raises the economic activity elsewhere, driving inflation.
6. The government finally raises interest rates to combat inflation, pushing the over-leveraged into insolvency.
7. Vancouver is left as a city with big houses, an empoverished population, rampant crime, and a diminished economy. No one wants to live there anymore, the housing shortage has become a surplus, and housing prices plummet.

In other words, Vancouver becomes Detroit.

#159 cory on 03.15.12 at 1:11 pm

#56 Tom

Good post Tom. You are in an odd situation. To have $300K is a lot of cash, yet you cannot buy a house for cash and you still need a sizable mortgage for your dream house. I don’t envy you. I would definately move where your $300K goes a long way. There are so many nice places to live in Canada. I would leave and never look back.

#160 Ian Baxter on 03.15.12 at 1:12 pm

Wow interesting times! Presently renting in North Vancouver after selling our house in 2008. Remember that little dip in house sales….. A couple of observations in the hood, 2.4 million house across the street is still for sale dince coming on to the market last June 2011. Secondly, a condo in the Mother-In -Law condo sit is for sale $30,000 less than she paid 5 years ago. My challenge is keping the wifr happy without rushing out to buy now. Please honey 1 or 2 more years…..

#161 Eddy on 03.15.12 at 1:13 pm

Nobody suggested you hate Toronto, merely that you are ignorant of it, and yet have an opinion. Very Vancouver. — Garth

Garth. Not once did I express an opinion of Toronto. Mine was more of a Calgary/Vancouver comparison… cause I’ve lived many years in both. Thus making my purposefully ignorant opinion, a little less so. I’m sure there were many places in the world that had even better weather than Toronto yesterday… just as irrelevant.

#162 betamax on 03.15.12 at 1:14 pm

#69 John Prine: “Would NEVER buy in one of these newer condos for many reasons but the workmanship is terrible”

Agreed. We’re renting a newish 2-bd condo, granite and stainless, and the workmanship is deplorable. After we moved in I gave the landlord a list of things to fix, which were promptly done. The place is fine for us now, great location and view, but it’s easy to predict some very expensive assessments coming down the pipe.

#163 Wage Slave on 03.15.12 at 1:15 pm

49 Makaya on 03.14.12 at 11:32 pm:

I liked your post, Makaya. I don’t know anything about Vancouver first hand, so I have no opinion on it as city or in terms of what is happening to real estate there. So I appreciate your effort to make a case for foreign investment being a factor in rising prices/decreased affordability using reliable sources of information, rather than spouting off your own opinion or relying on some crazy person’s niche blog.

126 Phinny on 03.15.12 at 9:55 am:

Having grown up in the Windsor area, I can vouch for most of what you’ve said, Phinny. I’ve visited Detroit a lot over the years and have never had a bad time. I’d purchase in the city, or in the suburbs at least, in a minute if I were still living there. And I have to second your DIA recommendation–it’s a world class gallery.

#164 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.15.12 at 1:17 pm

Detroit to become a model city.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/detroit-urban-farms-sustainable-living

#165 Cato on 03.15.12 at 1:27 pm

The delusion of Vancouver is the same delusion seen elsewhere in the Province and its pathetic. It breeds an attitude of superiority which saps the drive to improve and be better than you are.

Think of this for a moment. What area in the world is better positioned for trade and has more resources in its own back yard then BC. The province should be the land of opportunity, able to provide a cradle to grave social policy that would be the envy of even Norway. Instead we have shameful record of child poverty, a crumbling medical system, lack of opportunity for youth and a level of soft corruption that would make even italy blush. And don’t forget we are one of the drug capitals of the western world. You think the riots in Vancouver had anything to do with a hockey game? This is what happens when young people feel frustrated, ignored and disenfranchised.

Overpriced real estate is just a part of the problem the province faces. The scenery isn’t bad but it takes more than looks to make it in the world today.

#166 TRT on 03.15.12 at 1:28 pm

Mobile phones in Canada:

With the new ruling, expect cell phone prices to go up dramatically over the coming years. Expect the new companies to dissapear. Buy Rogers, Telus, Bell stock on the dips.

Foreign Investment in RE:

Even the cbc is dooing stories on it now.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/03/14/real-estate-overseas-investors.html

Regarding your wages:

Friend has joined the dark side…he’s gonna set up a company that provides just-in-time workers to companies that need it. Plumbers, Electricians, Accountants etc.. With the upcoming changes to the skilled immigration program, he will be able to apply to get in workers to staff his firm. Companies can then request what they want!

Companies get the benefit of lower wages, no pension plans, and no benefits. Hate to be a non-union tradesperson right about now.

Enjoy it…coming very soon ;)

#167 coastal on 03.15.12 at 1:28 pm

“It’s unsustainable. Now, as sales unravel and volumes fall by as much as half in many areas of the city, it’s possible to see a reduction in prices of 40% by the time an equilibrium is found. This will not destroy the wealth of those who bought a decade ago, but it’ll slaughter the innocents – the virgins who believed Global TV, CKNW and the mayor.”

Don’t forget the arrogant agents all around Victoria too who are consistently pumping every sale as “solid sale prices” in 1940’s post war crap shack neighborhoods.

Case in point, when the filthy rich in Victoria have to sell the El Primo estate property in town for HALF the price than just a few years ago, is the writing not on the wall in CAPITAL letters ? Where is the HAM to rescue this mega rich guy who built a copy cat property a mere few miles away ? It’s over.

Old Price. $19,250,000

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=11471038&PidKey=-2020347428

New Price. $9,985,000

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=11471038&PidKey=-2020347428

#168 Junius on 03.15.12 at 1:31 pm

Garth,

Great post on Vancouver however only the minority are listening. Personally I have stopped trying to persuade the locals as the smarter ones have now clued in and the delusional aren’t going to get it until the crash is well under way.

Speaking of which, the numbers tell the true story. Record listings for this time of year and sales are anemic. Meanwhile if you spend anytime downtown or around the City you see more “For Lease” and “For Sales” signs then you ever have on commercial real estate. A clear sign of where the economy is.

Here is the chart on residential real estate:

http://vancouverpeak.com/groups/inventory-graph/forum/topic/inventory-graph/?#post-2310

#169 HIRF on 03.15.12 at 1:31 pm

#21 Puzni, #78 Suede

BC stands for “Buffoon Country”
or perhaps for “Before Crisis”.

#170 Junius on 03.15.12 at 1:37 pm

#148 BPOE,

You said, “Al around the Olympic Village which by the way was priced to high to fast , towers are being built.”

Most of the Village remains empty now. We are now officially 2 years post the Olympics. Where are all the buyers? They haven’t even finished the London Drugs and Urban Fare.

Meanwhile the condos being built around the Village were financed several years when enough speculators believed your hype to get the financing done. Wait until they are done and see how many units are filled. It is a dead zone.

#171 Junius on 03.15.12 at 1:42 pm

#49 Makaya,

You said, “Call me a racist if you wish. I’m just skeptical when I hear that foreign speculation has had no or limited effect in the market, especially in Vancouver.”

There is no question that there is foreign speculation in Vancouver. It is hard to gauge the actual numbers but on a percentage basis it is clearly small – below 10% based on most numbers reported.

The impact is much, much greater psychologically. The belief that there is a never ending amount of HAM that is getting ready to flow into Vancouver gives the RE industry, the speculators, flippers and whack jobs like BPOE something to create fear amongst people. It drives the psychology of “buy now or be priced out forever” that has created and sustained the largest bubble in the country and the last large one to burst on the planet.

#172 Smoking Man on 03.15.12 at 1:43 pm

Note good news for bubble heads

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/03/14/real-estate-overseas-investors.html

some extarcts, if your identiy rides on their being a crash in TO don’t read.

“There’s a lot of anger among Canadians who earn money here that they’ve been priced out of the market. There is some degree of anxiety about how people are going to compete with these hyper-inflated prices.”

Overseas investors are snapping up properties in Canada’s largest cities, driving up prices and pushing ordinary Canadians out of the housing market, observers say.

“If you want to live in central Toronto, you’re going to have to live in a condo or be a millionaire. That’s the reality. … It’s not a bad thing. It’s the way cities evolve.”

Looks like some one killed the fat lady

#173 betamax on 03.15.12 at 1:45 pm

Garth, this one’s for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjF1bG5LUcs

#174 Junius on 03.15.12 at 1:50 pm

#60 BPOE,

You said, “It’s time for the renters to pack up and move away from BPOE. We don’t have enough space for everyone.”

I have 7 employees who work fro me in Vancouver. 1 of them is an owners but they can barely manage their mortgage payments. 6 of them rent and feel priced out forever. All are paid quite well, certainly in the 2nd tier tax bracket so you do the math. All are educated and between the ages of 26 and 35. They are the future business leaders, job creators and tax payers. All of them are thinking on leaving Vancouver. All of them.

You have the equation backwards as usual. Without these people our economy will die. It already is dying. You are such a fool.

#175 Beach Girl on 03.15.12 at 2:06 pm

Smoking Man

And Garth
Happy Birthday, you are one day closer to death.

___

Funny. But Happy Birthday. It is sad when you go to the gym not to tone up, loss weight or get laid, but to delay death. Are you going to be in your Birthday Suit. Dare you to post that. LOL.

#176 Waiting on the sideline on 03.15.12 at 2:06 pm

61 Colin Laney

#46 Led

HAM stands for: Hot Asian Money
====================================
It should be BAM – Black Asian Money (Not HAM) as those millions are coming to Canada through money laundering schemes (Black Money). FINTRAC (Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) has the authority and responsibility to check the sources of these millions and ask questions about the legality of these transactions. Did anybody see any report from this analytical center recently on transactions coming to Canadian housing market. Or we are OK with any black money flowing to Canada?

#177 Debt Free and Liquid on 03.15.12 at 2:09 pm

When I mentioned that houses are no longer affordable to the average young person in Victoria, my investment advisor said that all those young people who can’t afford houses now, will be inheriting them from their parents. To which I thought….those young people could be waiting a long time.

#178 Van guy on 03.15.12 at 2:10 pm

Nobody suggested you hate Toronto, merely that you are ignorant of it, and yet have an opinion. Very Vancouver. — Garth

And Toronto loves Vancouver eh? You guys hate us for higher RE prices and for our better hockey team. Wanna see playoff hockey? Go to Ottawa.

#179 45north on 03.15.12 at 2:20 pm

Smoking Man: At the bottom of the financial meltdown you would think the herd here in Leaf land would have all listed, they did the exact opposite. I don’t know why, I just know they did it.

a year ago, I told a young man at work “don’t buy”. To illustrate the serious nature of my warning, I wrote out a mock mortgage agreement on a post-it note. A year later he signed the real thing.

#180 eagle eyes on 03.15.12 at 2:24 pm

Happy Birthday Garth!

I can safely say that Vancouver is absolutely the most ridiculously crazy overpriced sham of a city to live in. In Ditchmond, BC sales have slowed down yet the sale price continues to shock. Where do they find these lunatics to pay these absurb prices? Did they release them from the mental ward? Someone just paid $723,000 for 36 yr old 1300 sq foot home on a 4000 sq ft lot. And how about 1.2m for a 6 yr old home on a 3900 sq ft lot. Both of these sales were in Steveston, by the old fish processing plant. Please someone wake me up from this nightmare and make it stop!!!

As in the CBC series “Priced Out of Vancouver”, I quote the question, “When Vancouver real estate is so high and all the young people move away, who will take the low paying jobs? Who will pour my coffee?”

In Vancouver, I feel that I am the 1% – the 99% of the people who live in Vancouver are millionaires.

#181 Devore on 03.15.12 at 2:26 pm

#97 Eddy

Why people hate on Vancouver is beyond me.

It is beyond me too, because hardly anyone is “hating on Vancouver”. That’s only something Vancouverites believe. Best place in Canada? Highly arguable. Best place on earth? Not even close. Is it a pretty good place? Yeah.

Maybe if there was less navel gazing and less aspirations to the best place on earth title or belonging to the world class city club, Vancouver would be a more tolerable place to live in, despite the prices. Vancouver should be happy to just be Vancouver. No one living in New York says they’re in the best place on earth, certainly won’t put it on a license plate, they just say it’s New York. It speaks for itself.

I’m gonna echo Garth’s comment: travel more.

#182 Junius on 03.15.12 at 2:27 pm

Good article on how the Banking business has moved from a core of the community to predatory over the past few decades. In light of the Goldman Sachs articles there are lots of these. See below from London Banker:

http://londonbanker.blogspot.com/2012/03/your-bank-fiduciary-or-predator.html

#183 betamax on 03.15.12 at 2:27 pm

Garth: “Worse, real estate is making Vancouver racist.”

I recently heard a realtor claim that, in just the last year, the Chinese had pushed the Vancouver market into bubble territory. LOL. According to their logic, many years of double-digit run ups in prices were perfectly fine, but recent HAM purchases caused a bubble.

In reality, the recent run up in prices, HAM-based or otherwise, is just the sickly sweet icing on a toxic cake that’s been years in the baking.

Sure, local and immigrant Chinese have participated in the bubble, but so has virtually everyone else.

The reality is that RE pumpers have promulgated the myth of unlimited foreign investment to keep the sheep (of all races and stripes) lined up and paying far too much. Similar stories were told in Florida during the peak of the bubble: “1,000 new immigrants per day” etc.

The myth of foreigners with loads of money & no common sense is regularly evoked in housing bubbles to justify what is otherwise obviously unjustifiable.

Unfortunately, the buyers themselves re-bleat the same myth to justify their assumption of crippling burdens of long-term debt. They have to believe, or they wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

But eventually the subsequent correction proves the myth to be nothing more than rationalization, and everyone wonders how the now-clearly ridiculous (remember eyeballs and click-throughs?) could have once passed for common wisdom.

Won’t be any different this time.

#184 Junius on 03.15.12 at 2:32 pm

#175 Smoking Man,

Good find. This is the line that gets me “That’s the reality. … It’s not a bad thing. It’s the way cities evolve.”

Not it isn’t. Cities evolve by adding high end jobs and creating a productive core of industry. When speculation leads you end up hollowing out industry and crowding out entrepreneurship. We are so stupid.

#185 TRT on 03.15.12 at 2:39 pm

Spring 2012… less than a week away!!!!!!!

So when is this correction happening?

Fall? 2014? 2020?

It seems that the majority of posters here have drank the KoolAid. It’s supply and demand!! A question for you – Didn’t that Chinese Girl-Student set off alarm bells in your minds? Didn’t think so.

#186 Canadian Watchdog on 03.15.12 at 2:44 pm

#175 Smoking Man

Oh isn’t that ironic. Canadians complaining about Asians outbidding them when they were exploited to provide cheap goods for the west, now everyone envies them for their success. I’m amused how Canadians don’t like competition and are starting to realize the money they spent on all those cheap goods is being returned in the form of capital flight, i.e. inflation en masse.

Canadians will need to learn how to shut up, go to work and economize.

#187 Burnt Norton on 03.15.12 at 2:47 pm

#157 Eddy on 03.15.12 at 12:54 pm

LOL…and your point is?

You post a rant (as you yourself called it) on how great Vancouver is and I’m the one who is supposed to calm down? Not so much pal. It’s not my problem if you mistook my post for an ad hominem attack. I merely point out the self-evident truth that all the same old tired Vancouver rah-rah conjecture and anecdotes cannot compete with raw data and macro analysis when it comes to appraising RE valuations and predicting the direction of volumes, sales and prices.

Peace man. Have fun out on the water. One day you might discover that there is more to life than kitesurfing and “sick” waterfront condos for rent.

#188 $$$BPOE$$$ on 03.15.12 at 2:48 pm

Junius, the community you talk about is DEAD. it is past and finished. Vancouver is one flavour now and that is creme de la creme. I understand this is not everyone’s flavour. Not long ago a neighbourhood could have teachers, postmen, the baker and store clerk along with the businessman and the maintenance worker. That City, that reality you talk of is utterly dead. A new order has arrived. Things have changed forever. Your Tier 2 tax bracket people have no place in BPOE. This was all created be design yet people like yourself will never get it. Vancouver transcended the common man and that’s a FACT!

#189 Victoria on 03.15.12 at 2:52 pm

I still ask myself why this HAM or BAM is not coming to Victoria. You would think they would have an impact here.

#190 blobby on 03.15.12 at 2:55 pm

(ponders how much the CREA has paid CBC to pump property in a desperate attempt to convince people that if they dont buy now – they’ll be priced out by those pesky foreign investors…)

#191 Victoria on 03.15.12 at 3:00 pm

Debt Free and Liquid,

I heard that argument from a RE agent too inheriting from their parents? Well most people have more than one sibling so houses are usually sold off and the proceeds are split. Also, homes are sold to be able to put people in nursing homes or even retirement homes.

My friend’s MIL just passed away at 92. Her nursing home care took up all the money that was left. This lady was quite comfortable but with low interest rates they had to dig into capital for her care – first a nice retirement home in Oak Bay for 7 years and then as she declined more and more care. This is more common that not. Especially when old people are having to live off capital. I don’t think the Baby Boom Generation will age any better than the previous generation did. They probably think they are but in realty ….

#192 Devore on 03.15.12 at 3:13 pm

#138 Oxymoronic

Obviously, a capitalist economy flourishes under dictatorship regimes – whether it be Conservative or Communist. Capital needs Stability.

This is an interesting comment, because it’s actually true.

The best thing government can do to promote business and economic growth is to provide stability and predictability. Not zero taxes, zero regulation, zero labour or environmental protections. Stability and predictability. Business people need to be able to look to the future and plan their expenditures. Hire people, build infrastructure, build supplier and distribution chains.

What they shouldn’t be doing, is lunging to and fro, enacting all manner of wacky, bizarre, and arbitrary laws and regulations and edicts. Only people to benefit from this chaos are politicians and their friends, those in the know and well connected who always seem to know which way to zag.

#193 tkid on 03.15.12 at 3:14 pm

At the bottom of the financial meltdown you would think the herd here in Leaf land would have all listed, they did the exact opposite. I don’t know why, I just know they did it.

Most folks don’t understand the financial market. They’ll invest in it while things are going good, but they don’t understand what they are investing in. So when the market goes down in a huge way, they will leave the market.

Talk to them about coupons and yield and dividends and their eyes will glaze over. They cannot touch or feel financial matters, but they can do so with a house. If they get told their financial position must improve they have no idea what you mean or how to achieve it. Tell them their house must improve, and they will immediately talk about getting the driveway redone, installing new carpet, or revamping the garden.

Market goes down and the financial headlines are alarming? Cash out of the market and invest in a product you understand because at the end of the day 10,000 shares in Suncor cannot beat having a roof over your head.

[Cue the gnashing of teeth from the Hon. G. Turner.]

#194 jess on 03.15.12 at 3:16 pm

49 Makaya

Tax havens give EU commissioner the runaround
13.03.12 @ 13:40

By Andrew Rettman

BRUSSELS – The EU commissioner trying to stop tax cheats from hiding money in Switzerland is puzzled why Austria and Luxembourg are standing in his way.

Algirdas Semeta told EUobserver that bank secrecy makes it impossible to say how much potential tax income is being lost even as EU countries cut wages and public services amid the financial crisis. But it is likely to be big bucks: Switzerland currently hands over €330 million a year in tax payments to EU countries, while its banks manage €1.5 trillion of private wealth.

If it goes through, Semeta’s bill – the so-called “amended savings tax directive” – would dynamite the status quo.

It would expand the definition of “interest” payments, making it hard to hide behind complex financial products. It would bring in a “paying agent upon receipt” rule, obliging trust funds and other shady structures to say who really owns what. And it would lead to “automatic” exchange of information on how much people have stashed away in Switzerland, as well as Andorra, Liechtenstein and San Marino. …

http://euobserver.com/19/115576

=

Swiss “Tax Evasion Advisers” Hid Assets, Used Kids BloombergBusinesweek

#195 Van guy on 03.15.12 at 3:21 pm

#170 coastal on 03.15.12 at 1:28 pm

________________________________

That’s a beautiful home but HAM won’t buy in Victoria. The original price was a outrageous price to begin with. They were trying to milk the cows. At half the price, that’s more down to earth.

#196 titosantana on 03.15.12 at 3:34 pm

Is it just me or are the same people posting over and over, back and forth . Wow this blog used to be good and informative. Now its been hijacked by a few losers who have nothing better to do

#197 Kevin on 03.15.12 at 3:37 pm

Most know that according to Stats Canada, the household debt to income ratio has fallen a tad in the 4th quarter of 2011.

So what segment of household debt is slowing?
Here is consumer credit growth
http://tinyurl.com/72orgt9
Here is mortgage credit growth
http://tinyurl.com/7tzf9y3

Has Canadian consumer credit tapped out? And is the only reason why mortgage credit is growing over 7% year over year, is because of more and more highly leveraged buyers?

Then let’s take a look at home equity positions.

Home equity positions are declining
http://tinyurl.com/89qxwta

Down from a peak of 71% in 2007 to 66.8% as of the 4th quarter of 2011. And this is a time of low interest rates and when the average house price has increased from about $300,000 to $360,000 in Canada in that time period. One would think that with low interest rates, people would pay off more of their mortgage and along with rising prices, equity positions would be rising. But they are not. And we should remember that people are not borrowing against their homes like they used to when we look at consumer credit growth, so home equity is not falling because of that reason. I believe the drop in equity is a sure sign that they are more highly leveraged buyers entering into the housing market. And the more highly levered buyers that enter into the housing market, the more vulnerable the market is susceptible for a hard landing.

#198 Van guy on 03.15.12 at 3:39 pm

Who is the one we should blame for these?

too many other hot sales today to shake one stick at.
If this market is tanking it must be condo – detached is just as hot as ever.

2758 24TH AVE E
Asking $899,500
Sold $973,000
6 days on the market

341 23RD AVE W
Asking $1,479,000
Sold $1,580,000
4 days

4380 Ross Street
Asking $749,900
Sold $895,000
8 days

6436 Vine
Asking $1,498,800
Sold $1,638,800
8 days

301 17TH AVE E
asked $1,098,000
sold $1,243,800
stardard lot

854 14TH AVE E
asked $999,000
sold $1,100,000
3696 lot

250 21ST AVE E
asked $897,000
sold $1,101,000

1833 36TH AVE W
asked $1,650,000
sold $1,950,000
standard lot

There’s more to this. Character homes in the commercial area going for 1.4 mil.

This ain’t HAM folks. Blame WHITE people. Yes. WHITE!

#199 dddd on 03.15.12 at 3:46 pm

“They are the future business leaders, job creators and tax payers. All of them are thinking on leaving Vancouver. All of them.

You have the equation backwards as usual. Without these people our economy will die. It already is dying. You are such a fool.”
————————————————————-
this is complete bunk of the highest order.
MOST of the business leaders in van now are the best and brightest from across canada, as was the case 5, 15 and 20 yrs ago. in 1991 i moved here from the east and the houses were IMPOSSIBLY expensive, cost of living was crazy high too. i know many who left since then, either transplants or natives, and few or none fell into the top tier of skills or drive. for everyone that leaves 2 smarter, more driven ppl replace them, always has been , don’t see it changing.

further those who salivate over vcr getting “whacked”, “creamed” or whatever – i detect a little jelaousy…
when the big hit does come , after the pieces are picked up, guess which will still be the most in demand, choicest, nicest place to live in the country – winnipeg of course :)

i will bet $500 that east van lot values drop by no more than 15% tops – and this will only happen if the national average fall that much or more.

#200 new_era on 03.15.12 at 3:56 pm

truth hammer on 03.14.12 at 11:36 pm

STOP THE PRESSES——REAL ESTATE AFFORDABILTY SOLVED BY BC LIBERALS.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/looks+welfare+recipients+north+find+jobs/6301902/story.html
===========================

I love this article. We should create a sling shot and launch all these people north. Or just create concentration camps for the poor as the rich HAM kick all these poor asses out of their own homes and up north to contend with the polar bears.

Of course lead by our governments.

Humm and you kind of wonder why people are starting to hate HAM. It not racist. Its survival. They want to kill and boot the locals out and the locals are trying to get their voices heard and fight back from HAMS $$$ attack on Canadians.

Off course the politicians wants to silence local Canadians and deflect local voices as racists. But at the end of the day anger will build between the have and the have nots.

#201 ca on 03.15.12 at 4:16 pm

Uh-Oh

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/real-estate-sales-tumble-in-vancouver-kootenay-region/article2370422/

#202 Uh Oh Canada on 03.15.12 at 4:33 pm

Grew up in Vancouver. Lived in Toronto for 6 years. Now in Montreal. Favorite place? Montreal hands down. Vancouver has the nature going for it- and that’s all. Don’t miss the rain. Love the winters here and the access to many a free ice rinks and free cross country skiing. Although this year the winter was barely anything. Most Vancouverites suffer from a superiority complex.

#203 Steven Rowlandson on 03.15.12 at 4:40 pm

Here it is, the MSM are talking about foriegners driving up real estate prices to the detriment of canadians.

http://finance.sympatico.ca/home/contentposting_reuters/offshore_buyers_pricing_canadians_out_of_housing_market/5ca7e9d4

#204 The Real Jimbo on 03.15.12 at 4:41 pm

I believe it is Asian money that is pushing house prices up. I believe gold is a good investment because there is money being created too much out of nothing. It is a currency bubble. Simpel as that.

#205 B on 03.15.12 at 4:44 pm

Vancity just lost another homegrown family. Won’t be looking back. After 28 years I got the experience to assure you all, it aint the ‘best place on earth’. nuff said

#206 new_era on 03.15.12 at 4:54 pm

There you go garth, the house in detroit might be nice but does it have pets like (rodents, cockroaches, lice etc..) most of the vancouver houses

http://www.theprovince.com/business/Vancouver+study+High+cost+city+housing+hardship+immigrants/6301718/story.html

#207 Mike on 03.15.12 at 4:59 pm

Top dead center on G&M’s website right now:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/real-estate-sales-tumble-in-vancouver-kootenay-region/article2370422/

#208 Timing is Everything on 03.15.12 at 5:11 pm

Eddy and Garth. FYI…

http://tinyurl.com/2ftah3m

#209 Q on 03.15.12 at 5:21 pm

So, another birkenstock wearing, pot smoking, granola sucking, leftist wingnut called you delusional….for not recognizing that Funcouver is a “special place”? Granted the scenery is great (I lived there for 20+ years and still have an office there), skiing is usually good, the boating is great and the sushi is fab & cheap. On the downside, you have to contend with the worst traffic in Canada, parking is all but non exsistent, latte shops are the only growth industry, moss is the provincial flower, Robson Street is considered “high brow”(nothing but discount shoes & burritos),you have to root for the Canucks, they make beer out of wheatgrass, panhandling is considered a profession and foreign beatles ate all the wood. As far as aesthetics….two words…Surrey & Coquitlam. They elect only used car dealers, juice vendors, tulip growers and other assortments of wingnut to public office. Yup…they’re special alright. Regarding the old addage that land is scarce there, if it wasn’t for the retarded concept called the ALR (protecting land you can’t grow rocks on) ….they’d be able to build enough boxes to house all the HAM left in China….and then some.

#210 Westernman on 03.15.12 at 5:24 pm

Soylent Green is People@#79,
Let’s hope they do more than slash the CBC’s budget… that worthless liberal socialist propaganda agency should be thrown on the scrap heap and outlawed.
It should have been done long, long ago…

#211 Smoking Man on 03.15.12 at 5:26 pm

Have an old resume up on workopolis set to not avalable leave me alone. Little old code smith

Usally get 2 or 3 head hunters a week bugging me. Well this last two weeks getting about 5 a day

Anyone else notice this?

#212 mac on 03.15.12 at 5:30 pm

“Vancouver has taken the title from Calgary as the most materialistic, self-obsessed, wealth-conscious and socially unattractive city in the nation.”

YES. YES. YES. AND YES.

#213 mac on 03.15.12 at 5:31 pm

“The sense that cash-laden Chinese immigrants are buying the entire city.”

YES. YES. YES. I only had to add the period in at the right spot and then, voila, you’re spot on.

#214 Watcher on 03.15.12 at 6:03 pm

Sounds like BPOE is pumping for Bob Rennie, perhaps BPOE is Bob Rennie! I live in the OV as a renter, the craftsmanshit of the buildings is horrible, these were rushed in order to meet the Olympic deadline, no way would i dare buy here…. the sales center is a morg, sorry BPOE this Village is not selling good luck with Canada Place

#215 Timing is Everything on 03.15.12 at 6:08 pm

#209 new_era

Did you actually read the studies? Vancouver ain’t that ‘special’.

“Researchers examined the plight of 600 immigrants and refugees in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, and found half living in substandard spaces, unable to afford better.” – The Province

‘Homelessness Partnership Strategy Study’

http://mbc.metropolis.net/media.html

#216 TRT on 03.15.12 at 6:10 pm

#201 Van Guy

This is expected. But people on this blog won’t believe what is reality.

the reality is 550,000 people a year get here anyway they can…and buy here.

I’m related to two extended families that just got their visas and guess what?? the talk is about selling land in India to buy houses in Surrey!! And no…they are not in the investor class!! hahaha… the naivety of most posters.

A temporary worker i know just bought a condo on Scott Road for those that know the area… again hahaha… but temp workers don’t have money ;) … i can just see the bewildered look on bloggers faces.

#217 TRT on 03.15.12 at 6:17 pm

#177 Junius

Why you calling people fools when the joke is on you?

I would hate to have you as a boss…what gives you the right to pry into your employees private lives like that? It’s an abuse of your position.

As for your position, expect competition. I know many people gone overseas to do their Law degrees (Ireland etc.).

#218 NoName on 03.15.12 at 6:18 pm

Financial crises of 2008, was a BLACK SWAN of financial industry in us, and what is about to happened in Vancouver it will be black swan of Canadian RE, after collapse it will be so obvious why it happened. More we learn from what happened down south, it seem to cloud our judgment more and more, somehow we can understand why it happened in states 5yrs back but somehow we can’t understand that will, and is happening here. People in Canada have to wakeup to the fact
what comes up must come down,
ofcourse, this could be disproved, by giving “it” very high upward force,and “it” will end up in a ‘HYPERBOLIC’ orbit.
Invest in silicon (appl, goog, amzn, etc), not in gold…
(this is not investment advice) i am just an electrician…
sorry my bad english me only canada 14 yrs…

Garth you have to admit that my earlier post was funny…

Just like a wedgie. — Garth

#219 R. Olausen on 03.15.12 at 6:31 pm

Consider that Canada and specifically the nicer parts are a “purposed” country, say like Switzerland 70 years ago. Slightly farfetched but I do believe real-estate held up better in Bern than Dresden.

#220 coastal on 03.15.12 at 6:32 pm

#198 Van Guy,

I heard it cost him close to $30 million to build it. I know the HAM doesn’t really like Victoria but you would think someone flithy rich with a nice yacht would take a bite by now.

#221 Bigrider on 03.15.12 at 6:34 pm

City tv news tonight , an article on how foreign investors are driving up prices for real estate. In the preview I just saw on CTV news commercial break, they show nothing but Asians looking at condo models inside sales centers.

You sure asians aren’t making things insane..there sure are a hell of a lot of them.

They’re the new Italians. — Garth

#222 JO on 03.15.12 at 6:38 pm

Meridian Credit Union is offering their regular 5 yr fixed closed mortgage for 2.98 % and the 5 yr closed variable at Prime less .25 %
JO

#223 futureexpatriate on 03.15.12 at 7:02 pm

Good Lord, how creepy does a house have to get before no one will buy it any ANY price?

That mansion looks like Kubrick should have shot “The Shining” in it.

Think they’ll take $10,000?

#224 futureexpatriate on 03.15.12 at 7:04 pm

At least you don’t have to share the Yaletown condo with the dead.

#225 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.15.12 at 7:04 pm

Observations on the confusion of life . . .

One Sunday morning George burst into the living room and said,

“Dad!, Mom! I have some great news for you! I am getting married to the most beautiful girl in town. She lives a block away and her name is Susan.”

After dinner, George’s dad took him aside.

“Son, I have to talk with you. Look at your mother, George. She and I have been married 30 years. She’s a wonderful wife and mother, but, she has never offered much excitement in the bedroom, so I used to fool around with women a lot.

“Susan is actually your half sister, and I’m afraid you can’t marry her.”

George was brokenhearted. After eight months he eventually started dating girls again.

A year later he came home and very proudly announced, “Diane said yes! We’re getting married in June!”

Again his father insisted on another private conversation and broke the sad news.

“Diane is your half sister too, George. I’m awfully sorry about this.”

George was livid! He finally decided to go to his mother with the news his father had shared.

“Dad has done so much harm. I guess I’m never going to get married,” he complained.

“Every time I fall in love, Dad tells me the girl is my half sister.”

“Hee hee,” his mother chuckled, shaking her head, “don’t pay any attention to what he says.

“He’s not really your father.”
*
#150 GregW, Oakville — G’day Greg. This robo-call nonsense should be fun, once all the dirty linen starts airing in public. Maybe Harper wants to increase his 38% majority next time, by rigging the votes like dubya did in the US?

Smoking Man — Another day closer to death”.

Remember it well! The Floyd’s DSOTM, song is Time and that that is the last line. Recall all the alarm clocks and bells going off at the beginning? That was Alan Parsons (from The Alan Parsons Project) concept. Nicely done!

#226 Herb on 03.15.12 at 7:08 pm

#213 Westernmoron,

the best thing I can say in defence of the CBC is that it is the polar opposite of your hero, Rush Limbaugh.

The defence rests.

#227 Junius on 03.15.12 at 7:09 pm

#221 NOname,

Neither the Financial crisis nor the Re: bubble bursting in Vancouver qualify as Black Swans. The Financial crisis was forseen by people who understood the role of debt in the financial system such as economist Steve Keen. The Re bubble in Canada and Vancouver in particular has been foreseen by many for years.

#228 Junius on 03.15.12 at 7:11 pm

#220 TRT,

I don’t pry. These discussions come up all the time. Especially around raise time.

FYI – these people are not lawyers. They are in Media and New Media.

#229 jess on 03.15.12 at 7:11 pm

Senator Grassley calls Attorney General Holder’s Bluff
Posted on March 14, 2012 by mitchgreen | 9 Comments
By William K. Black

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/03/senator-grassley-calls-attorney-general-holders-bluff.html#more-1746

Here is the Senators letter
http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/3-9-12-grassley-to-holder-1.pdf

#230 Junius on 03.15.12 at 7:14 pm

#191 BPOE,

You said, “A new order has arrived.”

Yes, I can see the picture. People have become zombies. Tell me something I don’t know.

#231 Junius on 03.15.12 at 7:16 pm

#217 Watcher,

BPOE is not Bob Rennie. I know Rennie well enough to say that he is far more realistic on matters. He gets it. BPOE – not so much.

#232 Junius on 03.15.12 at 7:20 pm

#202 dddd,

You said, “MOST of the business leaders in van now are the best and brightest from across canada, as was the case 5, 15 and 20 yrs ago.”

This is just silly. How many head offices are in Vancouver? How many successful start-ups? How many Fortune 500 (or 5000) companies are there?

Sadly, very few.

The Vancouver business community is very weak compared to Toronto, Calgary and Montreal never mind the big US cities like NY, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, etc.

#233 Onemorething on 03.15.12 at 7:25 pm

#224 Bigrider on 03.15.12 at 6:34 pm

City tv news tonight , an article on how foreign investors are driving up prices for real estate. In the preview I just saw on CTV news commercial break, they show nothing but Asians looking at condo models inside sales centers.

You sure asians aren’t making things insane..there sure are a hell of a lot of them.

They’re the new Italians. — Garth

THE MSM at it’s Best!

#234 Timbo on 03.15.12 at 7:30 pm

http://vimeo.com/38500767

grab your popcorn and pull up a chair. Realestate for
ransom is on the air.

#235 Westernman on 03.15.12 at 7:33 pm

Herb @ # 229,
I think it’s safe to say that in this case the defense has a fool for a client…
Reading your comments reminds me of a saying coined in the old Soviet Union … “useful idiots ”
That describes you perfectly – only without the ” useful ” part…

#236 Onemorething on 03.15.12 at 7:40 pm

#194 Victoria on 03.15.12 at 3:00 pm

Debt Free and Liquid,

I heard that argument from a RE agent too inheriting from their parents? Well most people have more than one sibling so houses are usually sold off and the proceeds are split. Also, homes are sold to be able to put people in nursing homes or even retirement homes.

My friend’s MIL just passed away at 92. Her nursing home care took up all the money that was left. This lady was quite comfortable but with low interest rates they had to dig into capital for her care – first a nice retirement home in Oak Bay for 7 years and then as she declined more and more care. This is more common that not. Especially when old people are having to live off capital. I don’t think the Baby Boom Generation will age any better than the previous generation did. They probably think they are but in realty ….

This is a very good point!

My father 84 & Mother 80 live in the same house in the GTA since 1954. Worked, saved, house paid off in 1957.

Company Pension + CPP reasonable however without a strong return on bank accounts, operating capital has been a half or a third of what they are used to.

Matched to a much higher cost of everyday goods (hidden inflation), increased taxes etc. this is the fate of those left in the “SILENT GENERATION”.

Like I said to my father, you started out in the depression and end with it! You’ve seen it all in Full Circle!

#237 Blue Monster Lover of Cookies on 03.15.12 at 7:40 pm

Garth, slow down, skip a night now and then. I can’t keep up! To many comments!
At least DA is gone, thank god.

#238 Bigrider on 03.15.12 at 7:48 pm

Vince gaetano on CP24 with Anne Rohmerright now monster mortgage owner/slash broker.
Garth your response to me in 224 ” they are the new Italians” let me tell you Vince is King of the Italians and a” monster “house pumper.

He just said that the market will remain string because the dream of Home ownership is everyone’s.

#239 Blue Monster Lover of Cookies on 03.15.12 at 7:49 pm

A voting system would be good to be able to filter comments. Get SM to work on that (when he’s sober).

#240 Bigrider on 03.15.12 at 7:53 pm

Is it Anne Rohmer is such a house humping, granite licking, crack, I mean hardwood addict

#241 Bigrider on 03.15.12 at 7:55 pm

Hey Garth , just found out that a do nothing housewife,47, an acquaintance of my wife, has just become licensed as a mortgage broker. On her facebook.

Other than wipe bums, this women has done nothing in the workforce other than now.

Entrance exam must be a toughy

#242 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.15.12 at 8:18 pm

-
2:56 clip US threatening India over Iran’s oil; 2:45 clip Man getting US$1200 / month. except he is in jail; Iran “Proof that the global banking system is a fascist dictatorship.” wrh.com; GSloses US$2.2 bln. after Op-Ed piece; Occult Economy Can’t be any worse than what we’ve got now; Irrational Govts. and markets alike; Bill Still Banks still control m$m; Another Whistleblower? From JPM; A Further 2% Could be time to Apple stock owners to reap the benefits; Breadline Malaria and HIV making comeback in Greece.
*
4:21 clip Wag The Dog. m$m caught faking news, and passing it off as real; Kony is dead Stop Obombney instead; 9:45 clip Police State USA; Mandatory HPV Vaccine for boys (Gardasil); Agenda 21 on Steroids UN world land gab; Fracking causes ‘quakes; Kissinger Iran hasn’t invaded anyone for a century or two, so who are the ringleaders here? 2:18 clip Who is tracking us online? Monsanto’s Roundup Killing human kidney cells; Obloodyhell Vanity, thy name is Obama; 2:53 clip Police State UK, same as PS US and PS Canada; The Cold War beginning again.

#243 raincouver on 03.15.12 at 8:22 pm

Garth says to Eddy…
Nobody suggested you hate Toronto, merely that you are ignorant of it, and yet have an opinion. Very Vancouver. — Garth
——-
Very well said. I was born and bred Wet Coast … and the people here that like to pretend that Vancouver is the Caribbean of Canada are delusional. It’s part of the VD (Vancouver Delusion) syndrome mentioned on this blog.

Even better are the ones saying … I can go sailing in the morning and skiing in the afternoon. ffs. Has anybody looked at the wages in this town? It’s preposterous.

Btw Garth, Eddie doesn’t need to travel more, he just has to look at weather reports from Environment Canada – freely available to anyone willing to look.

#244 Smoking Man on 03.15.12 at 8:27 pm

228 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.15.12 at 7:04 pm

You got to stop those jokes, your going to put me in the hospital, started laughing my guts, then smokers caugh kiked in. Thought I was going to die.

PINK FLOYD nothing better before or in the future.

#245 Blue Monster on 03.15.12 at 8:49 pm

I’ve quit eating carbohydrates and especially sugar. So my new name is now only Blue Monster Lover.

#246 Daisy Mae on 03.15.12 at 8:50 pm

#168 CATO: “You think the riots in Vancouver had anything to do with a hockey game?

***********************

You make good points. Vancouver is a port city. It should be thriving. I was born/raised in Vancouver and what it’s becoming is sad.

Regarding the riots, the mayor closed off Granville to traffic? And what did the city expect would happen? Naturally the kids would gather…bring their booze…and riot. Stupid decision.

#247 Blue Monster Lover on 03.15.12 at 8:50 pm

That wasn’t supposed to post. Damn!

#248 cramar on 03.15.12 at 11:29 pm

Well Garth, a few days late, but HAM and the $1.2 Toronto bungalow just make the CTV National News! The house looks very similar to houses we have been looking at over the past year in southwestern Ontario for $135,000-$150,000 range!

#249 betamax on 03.16.12 at 9:05 pm

#232 Junius: “I don’t pry. These discussions come up all the time.”

That was obvious to everyone but TRT. His post says more about his psychology than anything else.