From ‘Tight market sparks bidding wars in hot neighbourhoods‘, Vancouver Sun 12 Feb 2011 – “Miri Malkin and Gabi Kabazo, the parents of three children under 4, are living in a Yaletown condo while they look for a house in Vancouver in the $800,000 to $1-million range. The couple are pre-approved and plan a 40- or 50-per-cent down payment. They’ve been looking since May, but have yet to put in a bid because all the houses they’ve looked at are either fixer-uppers or don’t have enough space for their family. They would prefer to live in Vancouver rather than move to the suburbs.
“It’s very frustrating,” Malkin said. “We’re willing to pay but we can’t find anything.”
The couple, who moved to Vancouver from Israel in 2004, were looking in 2008 but didn’t buy because they thought prices might come down. One Arbutus townhouse they looked at was priced in the $700,000 range and is now listed for more than $1 million.”
“News of bidding wars in an overheating Vancouver market comes on the heels of a TD Economics report that identifies B.C. residents as most vulnerable to interest rate hikes, a housing correction or an economic downturn. The province’s average household debt-to-income ratio of 160 per cent is the highest in the country and matches levels reached in the U.S. just before the financial crisis and housing bust.”
[It probably goes without saying that, if we were in this couple's position, we'd sit tight in the current rental or, perhaps better still, rent a SFH in one of our target areas. That way, when prices collapse, we'll know even more about where we want to eventually buy. ... The Sun perhaps deserves some kudos for at the very least printing a few words of reservation (citing the TD warnings). It continued the article, however, with old stalwart Tsur Sommerville again assuring us that a crash is impossible in Vancouver, and, whatever the outcome, "It’s just sort of what variant of expensive we’re looking at.” -vreaa]