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vreaa@hotmail.com

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  1. This article makes it appear that you epitomize the image many have of Realtors – that it is all about the money, that Realtors really don’t care, that they are overpaid, arrogant, self absorbed, greedy, and unprofessional. I know many who aren’t, but this article makes the whole anti-Realtor movement seem reasonable. The Competition Act is going to change a lot of things whether you currently think so or not, and one of the things I hope changes is that the Wall Street version of Real Estate is altered and that some soul comes back into the business. There isn’t a corporate conscience to hide behind and it isn’t really all about the money. When I grew up, Vancouver was just another city, beautiful, wonderful to live in. I would move back, but the costs are now prohibitive. I have family in West Vancouver and Point Grey, but it isn’t possible for me to move there, my daughter to attend university there, and for it all to happen. It is becoming hell for average people who don’t have money, who just want a home. No matter how you try to paint the picture from a business point of view, not all of life is about business and money, and some people simply can’t afford to live there. You may find that out one day if the public is turned off by your money money money approach and they decide to seek genuine, sincere human business interaction elsewhere.

    • The west side real estate market has been driven by Chinese money. The flow will cease if and when immigration controls are tightened up including student visas. We have had a rise of 20% this past year when the rest of the world, the US, Europe etc is struggling. It is a classic bubble folks and the macro indicators signal a big downturn. There are stories that half the apartments bought as a safe haven, by overseas investors, are empty.

      • The Knight Frank Global Cities Index rates cities around the world based on Economic Activity, Political Power, Quality of Life and Knowledge and Influence. I guess they feel those categories capture vibrancy of the city and its sustaining power. Vancouver is not mentioned, maybe Knight Frank didn’t assess Vancouver but San Francisco comes in 16th in the world, Sydney 15th and Toronto 9th. Interestingly Vancouver may score poorly in 3 out of 4 categories, and even quality of life.

  2. pls don’t miss “German Guy” comment about David Wolf on Rob’s blog at

    Thu, Feb 4, 2010 | 9:20 am

    Mr. Wolf’s view on housing is totally depended on where he is employed. Smart boy

  3. Hi! Everything you are writing makes sense and I am holding off buying. Do you have a feeling on the timeline now and how one would know when the best time to buy will be?
    Thanks

  4. OF course it will crash here, prices aren’t justified by the fundamentals. Why would I be stupid enough to pay $350K for a smaller apartment than the one I’m renting for a thousand a month.
    But why are you comparing Latvia, a third world country to Canada?

  5. I was a work today and realestate came up. The guys, all nearing retirement were on my back to buy a piece of property. It always goes up you know. Their properties have appreciated like crazy. There is nothing but money to be made….I say that my husband and I can’t afford a house cause with our $120 000 income we only qualify for $300 000 mortgage…they can’t believe that…they know that we are well paid compared to most people. They say that we should live off of one of our incomes and bank the second till we have a good enough downpayment to get in…I explain to them that even if I banked 36k a year, in ten years I would only have 360k (neglecting interest) of course…they say that can’t be right…no, no I must be wrong…people are buying they say…I try to explain to them that we are planning on buying when the price drops about forty percent…they laugh at me…that will never happen they say….I say “when my parents bought their place the listing price was 225k and their offer which was accepted was 100k” ….they say that it was the eighties and that is never going to happen again…

    I stopped arguing at that point…old dogs you know…but it made me think…my parents renovated their house….one day they were driving around and they happenned upon a construction site where a condo tower was being built…on the site was a twelve person hot tub with a hole in the bottom. My dad asked the foreman what had happened to it. The foreman said that a carpenter working on the site had dropped his hammer off the top floor and it had fallen into the hot tub punching a whole in the bottom. They had ordered a new one for the building, but hadn’t gotten rid of this one yet. My dad said he would give the guy 500 bucks for it and take it off his hands…The foreman said no way…said it cost 5k brand new and that my dad’s offer was an insult…my dad thanked the guy for his time and left…six months later…my dad drove by the site and the hot tub was still sitting there…he found the foreman and said “I’ll give you 500 bucks for it”… the foreman, knowing it was the only offer in town, took it.
    It doesn’t matter what you are selling…could be a hot tub with a whole in the bottom….could be a crack shack in vancouver….It is only ever worth what the buyer is willing to pay for it.

  6. Hi,

    I’ve been to your site many times. I really like it. I’ve added you to my blog roll. Would you consider adding my site to yours as well?

    Rachelle

  7. VREAA, why don’t you have a subscribe option?

  8. VREAA:

    Hey, as you know I am very bearish on Vancouver real estate…I am moving to Fort Nelson in the new year. I have been looking at Vancouver RE for so long that the prices in Fort Nelson appear reasonable to me. I have looked at the cost to rent vrs. cost to own…$1100/month to rent, $800/month to own…and I am concidering buying a place up there. Your thoughts?

    [t's request for opinions frontpaged 14 Dec 2010 -vreaa]

  9. Here’s an interesting price drop for you. I saw this on a website called hoodsurf.com that I was unfamiliar with but might make an interesting resource for you. It doesn’t seem to have an ‘agenda’ in terms of being pro or con the market but I haven’t looked at it too closely yet. Anyway, here’s the price drop link:

    http://www.hoodsurf.com/2011/01/06/dropping-half-a-million-from-asking-in-arbutus-ridge/

    • Coco -> Thanks, we’ll follow the site, and list it in the sidebar.

      PS – Is there really anybody out there who doesn’t have an ‘agenda’?
      And should we even expect anybody to not have an agenda?
      Consider the realtors writing Flaherty this week.
      And the bears writing Flaherty this week.
      It’s okay to have an agenda, it’s probably just better to be open about it.

  10. Just another example of the feeding frenzy here in Richmond – a good friend of mine was willing to accept $95o,000 about three months ago for his 45 year old house on a 60 x 120 lot. That deal fell through, luckily for him, as he just sold for 1.4 million. That’s a $450,000 increase in three months. The 21 yr old kid never left his car that was parked in the driveway as the deal was negotiated with help from the realtor. He was on the phone the whole time with his parents in China.

  11. Pingback: ‘Feeding Frenzy’ in Richmond – “45yr old house; 60 x 120 lot; Willing to Accept $950K 3mnths Ago; Sold For $1.4M; Buyer 21yr old Kid In Car, On Phone To Parents In China” | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

  12. Can someone confirm a sale recently, last week in Dunbar. A bungalow at 4035 west 28th was listed at 1.9 million and sold for 2.6!!! I thought I saw it somewhere but can’t remember where. It was listed as a building lot. Ashame..as it looked like a nice home for a reno. I remember when these homes were 1 million and we thought that was expensive then!

  13. Pingback: $695K (35%) Over Ask Dunbar Tear-Down; 52×130 For $2,683,000 | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

  14. restuarant unemployee

    vreaa,

    someone posted a link to this saying ‘oh go to 4:00 mark for the story’

    but i found the link to the actual story, no need to see any other bibble

    http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Canada/BC/1258521056/ID=1845368165

  15. http://www.small-cabin.com/forum/1_873_1.html#msg11012

    “Fast forward 4 years and now we can not wait to retire there for 6 months a year and in Nicaragua for the other 6 months….We are just waiting for the kids to finish high school. We have 15 years until earliest pension date (55 years). That plus CPP (Same as social security in the US) and the value of our home in the least affordable city in Canada, is way more than we will need with this cost of living.”

  16. Hi,
    Just saw these condos in Coquitlam which are desperate to sell..

    http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=10423121&PidKey=-1009332495

    With a maintenance fee of $342/mth already when it’s brand new, I wonder who would be buying them :)

  17. 属于农民党他妈的

    yeah this is coquitlam towncenter’s little korea/china town

    when i was a kid there were bears and deer in the woods that these buildings were built on – sweet trade, eh?? they have been in a state of development for over 20 years now – the oldest one, the squat one that used to be pink, is looking the worse for wear and extremely dated. the monolithic scale of the one building looks like a stalinist/brutalist pre-form concrete wet-dream.

    if you want to see a weirder mall than Aberdeen Center, have a walk through Henderson Place Mall – same types of stores – just be sure to find a parking space with an empty spot on both sides.

  18. Tetteh Greenspan

    We are Real Estate Agents who provide Good Services to Many Potential Costumers Internationally and Domestically in Ghana. We Sale Houses, Plot/Lands, Rent and also Lease Houses beginning from One to Ten Bedrooms and so on in Good and Secured Locations. We Sales Completed and Uncompleted Houses,Plots,warehouses,stores,offices and more.

    ALL OUR PROPERTIES ARE LOCATED WITHING ACCRA AND KASOA, AMASAMAN, GBAWE, SAKUMONO, LASHIBI, BAATSONNA, SPINTEX RD, WEST LEGON AND EAST LEGON, ADENTA AREA, SCC OR GICEL ESTATE AREAS,Takoradi AND MORE.

    YOU CAN CALL MY MOBILE N0#: [removed. -ed.]

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    If anybody is interested to Invest,or do any businesses here too just contact .
    Thanks.

    • We’re leaving this spam comment up (1) as a testimony to the global housing bubble and (2) because the handle ‘Tetteh Greenspan’ is priceless.
      For the record, we are NOT recommending that readers buy real estate in Ghana, even though it is substantially less risky than buying in Vancouver.
      Do your own due diligence, in either case.

  19. I’ve wanted to mention this excelllent 1975 book to you for ages, here’s a link to;
    Vancouver, Ltd.
    Donald Gutstein, 1975

    http://tinyurl.com/3rtwapg

    “Who owns Vancouver? Who runs the city? How do developers, the corporate businessmen, the lawyers and the politicians relate to each other? This book carefully describes the power structure that made most of the decisions about what happened in Vancouver in the 1960s and early 1970s. Donald Gutstein reveals the tangled web of corporate ownership and influence, family relationships and social contacts that held the Vancouver business establishment together. First published in 1975, Vancouver Ltd. offers an in-depth look at the politics and economics of development in Canada’s third-largest city at a crucial time in its history.”

    It not only shows how we got where we are but at this point in time is a reminder that this was once a city with viable industries aside from real estate…

  20. I e-mailed Nicole Huen, the East-end realtor accused of enslaving her housekeeper… I asked if she would show me the cell where she locked up her slave if I wanted to tour her house which she has put up for sale… she replied… You can file this under delusional real estate agents:
    ———————————————–
    Please do not jump the result. It is not my home in the first place. We are just ask you to be patient and the truth will come out. Why not listen to the other side with hard evidence?
    What is our motive? Why should we risking our life and our kids for this kind of action? What is our benefit? On the other hand, what is her motivate? what will be her benefit? Why is she doing that when we threated her like a friend? The truth will come out and I just wanted you to show some respect; as we have been respect her when she stayed with us. Thank you for your attention!

  21. I think we should do a story on whether or not there will be a mass exodus of young people here

    [bill -> In case you haven't seen it, look at some of the young-people-are-leaving stories in the Avoiding Vancouver sidebar category - vreaa]

    • I am one of probably many young people who have left. I moved just across the water to Victoria and am amazed by the better, yet cheaper, quality of life – including but not at all limited to real estate. I still keep tabs on the Vancouver mania, more now from sick fascination than from any necessity. I couldn’t be happier, and I have no plans to go back to Vancouver.

  22. Vic BC WEB,

    Interesting, I am 30 and moved to Florida. Are many of your friends and work friends planning on moving? do you know others have moved or will? I lived in Victoria for 20 years, I know it well

  23. This is from June, but worth noting if you haven’t already.

    http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/rew/2464265874.html

  24. great infographic by buzzbuzzhome http://ow.ly/67Kqu on vancouver house price predictions by all the major players over the last 2 years.

  25. Interesting forecast here

    http://www.central1.com/publications/economics/pdf/ea/ea%202011_04.pdf

    “It has become fashionable to suggest that price
    levels in Lower Mainland-Southwest region of the
    province, and particularly Greater Vancouver, are set
    to correct substantially due to the significant price
    gains in recent years and a de-linking of home prices
    relative to income and rental rates. Central 1 does
    not subscribe to this view, but does expect price
    gains to slow considerably over the forecast horizon.”

    “In addition, speculative demand in the region remains
    low. The proportion of units re-sold within six months
    of purchase can be used a proxy for speculative activity.
    In theory, speculators look to gain through capital
    appreciation over a shorter time-frame relative to
    home-owner occupiers. In a period of higher speculation,
    which is generated by strong market activity
    and price gains, this proxy generally rises. However,
    this metric has exhibited a declining trend since
    early 2008, currently hovers near 2% and operates
    near normal levels. In contrast, this proxy surpassed
    10% in the late 1980s, and was closer to 6% in 2006
    when markets were overheated. The lack of excessive
    speculation suggests that we are unlikely to see a
    speculation-induced bust in pricing.”

  26. Wanted to share this link with you. Great source of news: http://www.renx.ca/Residential/

  27. Interesting Article from Calgary. Guess if you got broken eggs you make breakfast?? LOL

    http://blogs.calgaryherald.com/2012/02/06/calgary-single-family-home-prices-rise-more-than-100-per-cent-in-past-decade/

  28. Check out the Georgia Straight this week, March 15th, page 14, commentary by Gwynne Dyer.

  29. Michael Parker

    Interesting reading to be sure ……….and to be fair, most of what has been raised in this article has already been well voiced in Canada in one form or another. Surprisingly though, they do not talk about the Chinese Immigration policy as being a key contributor, not only related to the creation of the so called ‘balloon’, but also of its sustained legacy.

    The immigrant Chinese have almost single handedly created the top down driven portion of the market we now face. If they pulled out tomorrow, the market would retreat to a normal or sustainable market level – based upon all the influences the economists want to raise.

    The issue is the Chinese themselves. Does it appear Canada’s Immigration will change dramatically over the next few years. Does it appear the Chinese will stop wanting to get their money out of China. Does it appear the Chinese appetite for our clean air, environment and good schooling system will diminish or change. The answer to all of these is probably not.

    Therefore our high end market – particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, will continue be driven by Chinese attitudes. In Vancouver they already command 90% of the current West side sales. They also account for something like 80% of the re-sales – as the typical Chinese newcomers do not buy and keep a home for extended periods of time.

    This stated, the market has already seen a 10% retreat – higher in some other areas. The market demand though for lots over 50ft. and newer houses over $3M appears to be continuing, albeit at a lower lower volume, but not lower prices, than before the last correction. The real issue as I see it revolves around three issues.

    First the influence Chinese re-sales will have within this tenuous market – are they prepared to drop prices and sell at a loss? Most are not highly leveraged as most pay cash, so for the majority I’d have to say no. Second, what politically and from a legislation perspective is happening in China, which will either mollify current concerns about housing, investment, freedom, pollution, jobs etc. – or make things worse. Right now from locals I speak to, the feeling seems to run toward the latter.

    Finally, if the prevailing attitude in Canada (or worldwide) that we are slowly pulling out of this financial recession changes, then this will also have an overall impact on the broader Real Estate market and prices will adjust accordingly.

    So we are left to draw our own conclusions………………………………….which scenario to pick – or will articles like the one done by McLeans lend themselves to become part of a self fulfilling prophesy??

  30. vreaa, I don’t have time to log in my email. So I’ll just post my msg here.
    Read RiskArb’s comment on ASPAC / Sun Hung Kai project in Richmond, “Harbour Green”. They are the same developer for Coal Harbor Green I, II & III.

    http://www.realestatetalks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=41863&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=0

    “Eek! The Chair & Executive Director arrested
    So odd because Thomas Chan is highly regarded and reputation for being squeeky clean”
    – Highest profile Corruption charge ever
    – Thomas Chan, Executive Director
    – Kwok brothers arrested on Bribergy charges

    “Sun Hung Kai Loses $5.8 Billion as Kwoks Arrested”

    Regards,

  31. It makes me really sad everytime I hear someone makes an argument that it is cheaper to rent than buy, If I mention that historically buying has been a better option than renting I know a lot of people will jump out and say but now it is diffrent, Debt to Income ratio etc….., real estate is overvalued 10% plus. Just think of it this way when you own over years your payments will become less (10 years later) but when you rent you rent will be the same or most likely higher 15 years from now. if you buy a place for $500,000 and have a good rate mortgage and your payment is $1800 a month, $800 goes towards principal and $1000 towards interest so add $200 a month for property taxes and $100 for insurance and $100 a month for maintenance, so not counting the money that goes towards principal you really are throwing $1400 a month in the pot. It will cost you $1500 to rent that place so yes you are paying $2200 a month but what it really cost you is $1400 a month. Over time let’s say 15 years you are paying a lot less interest so at some point you are paying $200 a month in interest plus expenses and then you are mortgage free. Can you ever be rent free when you rent ? now also look at the strong possibility that you property has appreciated quite a bit in a long run. you will here a lot of negative coments about buying versus renting. Do you realy think landlords that own multiple properties and are doing financially well will post comments like buy and don’t throw your money away in rent. Not likely they are more prone to get you to think that renting is cheaper and belive me may be in very short term it is but in long term it is not. Look at what percentage of inheritance that people get is from real estate compare to other investments. Please do not let the so called experts convince you that it is a better option to rent. Buy within your means and upgrade when tou can do without stress, do the sacrifice live in Langley for a few years if that is the only place you can afford, it is not the end of the world. I can make another 10 arguments that you should buy and thare are a lot of affordable properties in town if you are willing to relocate for a few years. I did it and that was the best thing I did. Live for today and also consider the future when you will need to live off your investments. Real estate in long term is a great investment. There are two types of people in this world, one that does it and the other type is the one that can come up with million reasons why they shouldn’t or can’t do it. Take the leap at something you can afford and ride the waves of real estate you will come ahead in the long run. Yes I agree Real estate is overvalued in Vancouver West side, Richmond and West Vancouver but there are other municipalities that prices have not gone up much in the last 2 to 3 years just go ahead an d find it. I have read most articles articles written by experts regarding real estate in vancouver, Keep in mind in reports and stats there are a lot of referance to vancouver west side when they talk about vancouver, don’t be fooled by that. If you buy a propery for investment then the timing is more crucial since you are most likely try to make a profit in 3 to 5 years, but if you buy to live go ahead and take a chance 8 out of 10 you come ahead if you plan to hold on to it for a while. Wish you all the best and stay away from people that are negative they bring you down, look at best poosible outcome and worth possible outcome and then make your decision.

    • How did your logic work out for Americans? Spaniards? Irish? etc…

      • Bubbly, if you are mortgage free it dosen’t hurt too bad when the property values drop like the countries you mentioned. you are talking about snap shot of the last 5 years. Real estate in Canada has crashed in 80’s and 90’s but it has always bounced back. Real Estate values in those countries you mentioned will bounce back.

      • I don’t know about you guys but the chart I see comparing the 90’s correction to the current one in the US is pretty damned ugly. Have a look at how the two periods stack up against one another.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cshpi-peak.svg

      • Shawn, it’s just the same old tired argument that real estate always goes up no matter what. So I ask you again: How did it work out for Americans?
        Hundreds of banks are bankrupt, millions of people are underwater on their mortgages, many have lost their homes, trillions of dollars have been spent on various “stimuluses” and all you have to say is that values always bounce back so it’s ok to do the same shit that caused it all over again. Are you a realtor?

      • Question for Shawn:
        In real terms (corrected for inflation), how long did it take for someone who bought a home in Vancouver at the top of the 1980-81 peak to break even after the subsequent crash?
        Do you know the answer?

  32. For sale by owners try to sell for even more than homes listed by Realtors, certainly for the same.Sellers can sell their own homes without commission included, but choose not to. The government should make a deemed portion of commission taxable because homes for sale by owner include the commission portion. Com-free – keep the commission. Well, then, pay tax on that portion.

  33. Vreaa , It took almost ten years for the for the prices bounce back after the early 80’s crash. If you had Talked to them late 90’s or now they are happy that they bought and held on. To answer people’s question no I am not a realtor. I would love to be a realtor but my wife and my 3 year old don’t want me to work on weekends.

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      80s runup and crash pales into comparison to our current situation. The pain will be that much greater.

      I am not against real estate, I own in another country, but buy now in Vancouver at your own risk.

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      As you can see from the chart.

    • Shawn -> Thanks for the reply.
      Actually, your answer is a little off.
      It took 25 years (yes, no typo, until 2006) for a house bought in Vancouver at the 1980-1 peak to again reach its (inflation adjusted) peak price.
      Seems incredible, but there it is.
      See this chart, care of mohican.

      And, as 4slices says, the current run-up is far more severe and far broader than that which we experienced in the early 80’s; the outcome with be that much more severe, too.

      • Verra, I strongly disagree with your data, what you are saying is true for Man

      • Sorry Vreaa, ignore my last reponse my computer’s is acting up. What I was trying to write was that provinces like Manitoba and others had been flat for twenty years till early 2000’s. I am not saying it is a great time to buy investment properties, all I am saying is buying a property make more sense than renting and stay away from Vancouver West side or any areas that have appreciated more than 6% a year for that last 3 years. Buying an investment propery right now is a risky business and I only suggesst it to advanced investors and not beginners, It is a wrong time to learn investment in real estate 101. I know people that are investing in real estate right now and they have been doing it for many years, you don’t learn it by reading books or reading blogs, you learn it by doing it over many years and learning from your mistake. now matter how advanced you are you will still make mistakes and loose money on some deals. but the ones that have mastered it win more than they loose. DO NOT TRY TO LEARN TO INVEST NOW, WRONG TIME. IF YOU HAVEN’T MASTERED IT BY NOW WRONG TIME TO LEARN.

      • Shawn:
        That chart doesn’t show my data, it shows the data… real housing prices in Vanc were flat 1980-2006 (meaning inflation adjusted, I’m sure you understand).

        Secondly, it is always the right time to learn how to invest: whether it is always the right time to ‘invest’ or not, that is a different matter. Wise investors are now on the sidelines regarding Vanc RE.

      • Wow! Thanks for the chart, boss. That one could be an article on its own just to bring some perspective for the current bunch who are so intent on owning despite the warning signs.

        I always say it was 81 when I was first house hunting in Kits. Must be getting my dates mixed up but that could just be old age. The chart reminds me it was actually 83 at the bottom of the market. Nobody was selling for a period then and anyone with ambition could buy with vendor financing and take-over mortgages were a snap with the vendors backing.

        Banks were in no damn mood to lend then. I recall it well. Prices had crashed, gold had crashed and unemployment went through the roof. The mills were all on the brink of failure or in bankruptcy and small towns were seeing 16 and 18% rates of unemployment.

        Right about then the big bucks from America showed up. Some of our prize BC logging and mining companies went for pennies on the dollar and the timber rights ended up in the hands of US owners. Too few in the city seemed interested in ponying up the bucks needed to buy those outfits or save the jobs. The provincial government was hamstrung too and deep in debt as it always is. They could not help when really needed.

        So what we really saw as an outcome of a period of credit excess was a massive shift of wealth from the hands of Canadians and into the stronger hands of Japanese or American and European companies. We lost a huge chunk of our resources in the exchange.

        It will be the same this time around. That is what the game is all about. It is why I say you need to own mines and resources even if it is only as a shareholder. Values should be growing, even outstanding over time, once the dust clears on the excess consumption stage.

  34. Bubbly,

    Why are people only looking at extreems. The housing problem in US which lead to finacial crisis is not about real estae only. It is foul play by many organizations including the financial institutions, wall street, mortgage brokers , Security backed mortgages and many others. By product was that real estate took a big hit among other things. If you look at the reports by congress you will see. Bunch of people taking parts in actions which should have been illegal and damaged a lot of things including real estae does not imply that real estate is a bad investment forever. look at the fundementals that lead to the mess that was created in US. I also replied to your coment if I am a realtor in my previous post. I suggest you look at real estate in us in the last 60 years and not just last five years. A lot of people should have gone to jail for practices, Don’t just conclude that as a result real estate is bad investment.

    • I didn’t conclude that real estate is *always* bad investment. But timing matters. US prices have been going down for 5+ years. How long until prices bounce back and the investors from 2006 – 2007 break even? 5 more years? That’s way too optimistic. More like 10. Or like in Japan – practically never.

  35. You could buy a house in Kits for less than $100,000 up to 1979. Prices doubled by 1982, and then crashed. So if you bought in 1979 for $100,000 your house was worth $150,000 by 1984. Real estate then did very little until the Hong Kong boom, and that took off in the mid 1990’s. We had stagnation again until 2004 or so, but prices have compensated for that slow period since 2004. But to rise 20% or so in the past year or so when real estate elsewhere is on the skids, is a real puzzler. And when you don’t understand, you should be cautious. The odds are there is a correction going on.

    • Yes, that is also my recollection, Rick. Kits houses were indeed sub-hundred thousand in the Seventies and most had the usual expectations of future price growth which were still the normal ideas for growth. Even then though, those prices seemed high. Nobody expected the energy crisis or inflation off-the-charts to arrive though. The world ended by mid 81 and nobody has ever felt quite the same since.

      A guy I went to school with and a few friends bought a West-side church sometime around then. Maybe mid Eighties. It was on a huge lot with parking and the price was an absolute bargain but it just languished forever. They got it for a song. Seems nobody else was willing to buy a church and tear it down in those days. God was watching perhaps. They made a million.

  36. Did anyone see the CNN videos about Vancouver? Apparently 600,000 people live downtown.

    http://business.blogs.cnn.com/category/future-cities/

  37. VREAA, I’m exploring my options on selling my house in Richmond. I’m inclined to try the realtor-less route. Any suggestions on quickest and cost effective other than traditional method of hiring a realtor who gets about 7% commission? Thanks!

  38. Also any reputable agency or websites that provides advertising in China for homes for sale in Vancouver BC?

  39. 2502 West 36th V952283
    Was listed for months, multiple realtors, just sold recently at 4.1 Million (asking was 4.888) not even a month ago now I just see relisted at 4.9 Million, sale fell through or crazy flipper?
    Wondering if you think its worth investigating

  40. Verra, in your comments on your site I see you predicting prices going down to what it was in 2000, which is roughly what it was in 1994. So that would mean that prices have not gone up in almost 20 years. I find that very hard to imagine considering how much the price of everything else has gone up in 20 years which will not be the same as it was in 1994.

  41. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-09-10.asp

    Hey VREAA,

    I’m surprised this story hasn’t come up yet on your site.

    It has a clear subtext to the Vancouver Real Estate Market as it describes at arms length the Chinese Immigrants who enter Canada on the investor program, send their dependents to live in Vancouver, buy property and otherwise enjoy the best this city has to offer, while the breadwinner returns to China to keep the Yuan flowing to Canada while avoiding the Canadian Tax Man.
    If Minister Kenny is serious about this, and it’s not just some populist PR, this could be a further harbinger of doom to the real estate mania. The Chinese buyers have already tailed off substantially since the Canadian Government put a hard cap of 700 as the number of “investor” immigrants allowed to apply for residency per year.
    This news could lead to these recent immigrants dumping their investment properties as they are forced to either legitimately stay in Canada (not likely as they aren’t willing to pay tax on their global income) or pull up shop and find another country to live in.

  42. Heard on virgin radio this morning…the market is “weird” lately…you need every advantage you can get to sell your home.

  43. Hey VREAA, remember Philip Chan the realtor who was profiled on this CBC report. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/09/20/bc-housing-bubble-garth-turner.html
    He was commenting on how the market had “adjusted” and he had recently reduced the asking price on a property he owned by 220k. ….it looks like that same property is still on the market but for another 197k less than what he was asking in the September 20 report. ……..AND he’ll through in a new FIAT 500!!

  44. Pingback: “How much can it drop?” – $412K (23%), plus one car, and counting… | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

  45. Hello VREAA, I went out for lunch with a few old university friends yesterday. One was a lawyer, one a public company financier, one a real estate marketer, one a cop,and of course, one of whom was a Real estate agent.

    Needless to say, the conversation ultimately led to the fact that we all hate our jobs! When it came to the police officer friend’s turn to gripe, he expressed that after 10 years on the force he was finding his work becoming particularly mundane. In fact he had taken to framing houses on the weekend with a carpenter friend of his in return for free help with a renovation he was doing at his own residence. He said he really enjoyed the labor/results aspect of the work versus what he deals with at his 9-5. But when he began saying that this framer buddy of his and he wanted to build a few houses out in Port Moody and sell them I damn near pulled out his pepper spray and gave myself a good spritzing.

    I did my best to casually offer a warning of dabbling in the dark arts of amateur development… but hell, whats the worst that could happen.

  46. Pingback: “A lawyer, a public company financier, a real estate marketer, a cop, and a real estate agent walk into a diner…” | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

  47. Hi vreaa, thought you might be interested in this in case you haven’t seen it already. Looks like the prof at UBC is changing his mind again.

    http://www.theprovince.com/business/Vancouver+home+prices+could+drop+cent+next+year+says+expert/7435812/story.html#ixzz2ABNBdZT9

  48. For the last few years I’ve been hearing that 40,000 new immigrants are moving to Vancouver EVERY YEAR! And they are going to buy every square inch of of available land. I’ve always been skeptical of this mainly because not every new Canadian is a working adult who is rich.
    Anyway, I’ve been looking everywhere for an official report on this and can’t find one.
    The closest thing I can find is a 2009 report stating that: ” the region’s 2006 population of 2.2 million will grow by 1.2 million residents to reach a population of 3.4 million by the year 2041″

    But my math tells me that’s only 34,285 a year (1.2 mil / 35years)? Do you know where I can find the official report that states 40,000 immigrants are moving to Vancouver every year?

  49. Mansour al-Hallaj

    What would you say about the following theory: Before selling houses at a major loss (tens of thousands), people will sell off their other “possessions” at a smaller loss. In other words, before we see a significantly higher number of “House for sale” signs, we’ll see Craigslist and local free papers swell with cars for sale, leases to pick up etc. Same for all other kinds of “possessions”, including some investments. If houses are so dear to Canadians, they will shed all else first. I don’t mind being wrong. Thank you.

  50. Look at this little puff video… A little much I think? That’s a lof millions for deep cove..

  51. http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/reb/3383941832.html Penthouse suite, 2 bedroom and den, over 1,000sf in Olympic Village. Priced reduced by $370,000 for immediate sale

  52. Seeking knowledge...

    Saw this in News1130:
    “Tsur Somerville of the Sauder School of Business says the signs don’t show a collapsing market. “They’re more suggestive of a leveling out, but looking at a period where the housing market is at a slower, calmer place.”

    Somerville says that should give people the chance to look around without major stress. “There’s not a lot of pressure or worry that somehow if you miss a house now, that there won’t be any next month, or prices will be out of your reach.”

    Somerville says it would take a major change in interest rates or an economic shock for the housing market to plunge dramatically.”

    Does anyone have a list of Tsur’s past predictions and a score card on how those predictions panned out?

  53. In response to a Globe and Mail article regarding CMHC using automated computerized systems that use computer models to appraise properties, it is important to know that these systems are not that reliable. Think about it, single family dwellings are very unique, and even if there are two similar homes of similar age, one home may be highly renovated while the other is in original condition. In Vancouver, this could create a huge variance in the appraisal price.

    CMHC went to computerized models for two main reasons:
    1. It’s cheaper to use a computer to “guessimate” a properties price than to hire individual appraisers to drive by and look at the property.
    2. Computer models are also faster than sending a person out to look at the property.

    When sales are high and completion/subject remove dates are approaching fast, this system is effective and more efficient. It’s also relatively safe because housing prices were increasing.

    But now that prices are declining, you will find that these systems aren’t as great and many homes will be worth less than what CMHC has them for book value. So when someone has 5% down only, its the taxpayers that have to shell out this cost to cover.

  54. The Vancouver company that I have worked for for over 20+ years recently started having difficulties retaining young talent. After few years with our office, usually at the time when kids are on the way, these young professionals tend to move to the interior or to other provinces. Some of my senior colleagues seem to be perplexed by these relocations, however from my perspective this phenomenon is not surprising. In water cooler chit-chats I sometimes offer the following comparison. 20 years ago the starting salary for a junior professional in my field was in the mid-40s; this is exactly what my starting salary was back then. For about 4-5 times this salary one could get a decent house within 45 minute commute range, or a very nice 2 bedroom condo downtown. Since then the entry-level salary in my field increased to mid-50s, clearly not keeping up with the run-up in property prices. For decent accommodations, these young professional that we are trying to retain now have to fork-out 10-15 times their salary. No doubt that they are leaving – after all they are well educated and understand that the interest rates will not stay low forever…

  55. ozzie just posted this of facebook

    Ozzie Jurock
    Noted Vancouver housing analyst Frank Schliewinsky is predicting a near collapse in MLS condominium sales across most of Metro Vancouver this year, with sales falling by as much as 50 per cent from a depressed 2012. http://www.westerninvestor.com/index.php/news/bc/1158-qcondopocalypseq-now-forecast-for-vancouver

  56. I wonder if this lawsuit would go ahead if the marke kept on rising…

    from CBC “Former PM Kim Campbell sues Vancouver condo developer”

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/03/15/bc-kim-campbell-hotel-georgia.html

  57. the Daniel Fontaine’s column today in 24 hours is a perfect description of Vancouver

  58. Hi VREAA.

    I stumbled on an interview with Warren Buffett where he talks a bit about the US housing bubble and bubbles in general. This might be interesting to some of your readers that haven’t seen it.

    Salient bits:
    [2:04] The only way you can have a huge bubble is to have, sort of, a mass delusion and we had one.

    [2:12] It is the nature of humans, when they are making money effortlessly, and they see their neighbour making money effortlessly … People want to get on the bandwagon. Rising prices become the narcotic that induces people to do things that in saner moments they’d never dream of.

  59. CanuckDownUnder

    Welcome back vreaa.

    A 3500′ positive externality of Vancouver RE construction:

    Wooden Igloo Project from Johnsonville on Vimeo.

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