Monthly Archives: January 2010

Visual anecdote – ‘Character Home’ in Point Grey for $1,300,000

3804 W 10TH AV, Point Grey, Vancouver West

MLS V802328

33×122 lot, old timer, $1,300,000.00

“Good investment character home in Point Grey. Peaceful neighborhood for family.” [Actually, on a very busy street, and next to shopping intersection -ed.]

Update: Context care of Google earth:

“We have an income of $90,000 to $130,000 and a downpayment of $280,000 and I’m still not touching real estate in Vancouver. It is vastly overpriced.”

This from JJ John at 31 Jan 2010 2:07 pm

“My financial situation is this:

– A property in the UK (my original country before work then marriage brought me here a couple of years ago) almost paid off after owning it for 10 years – worth maybe $230,000
– Savings of $50,000
– No pension
– No investments
– No debt
– Self-employed income varies from 20,000 to 60,000. partner more secure up to 70,000 income

So we have an income of 90,000 to 130,000 and a downpayment of 280,000 and I’m still not touching real estate in Vancouver – vastly overpriced. Much better to rent for $1300 indefinitely. Like you I could buy in another country or another part of Canada (I even like Toronto) but I’d rather rent here. I like to think my frugal, but enjoyable, lifestyle of many years will pay off eventually but at this point I expect never to own property in Vancouver. Houses in decent areas are too expensive and I refuse to pay the ridiculous fees attached to condo ownership. I can see myself maybe owning a vacation property and just always renting in vancouver – if you want to live in a nice area in this city you either rent or mortgage your life away.”

“The very people who are crying about the increase in property taxes are the same people who had a part in generating the statistics for the appraiser to raise taxes in the first place.”

This from grumpy at 30 Jan 2010 at 6:15 pm

“I just got my property tax assessment. Its up by 21% over last year. This is hell of a way for the governments to engineer another tax grab eh? Don’t tell me that the BOC and Flaherty don’t know exactly what’s going on here. Several ‘New Canadian’ neighbours who are mortgaged to the hilt after of buying at the very top of the market (Vancouver) have asked me to help them appeal the assessments. I suspect that the reason is that they are now facing additional expenditures that they hadn’t calculated into their monthly budgets. Many of these people have no obvious source of income, so where does the money come from? I don’t ask. Nor do a majority speak a word of English, or work. But it is becoming obvious they are not paying cash, and are only ‘in the game’ on spec, with huge mortgages that eat their lunches for them every day, and it’s getting uncomfortable to be so hungry. As an ex-analyst I know how the appraisal process works, and I know I would be wasting my time appealing the assessments. The very people who are crying about the increase in taxes are the same people who had a part in generating the statistics for the appraiser in the first place. I suspect they have only purchased these properties because of the free money offered to people with no credit record and no job, to wait for a big payoff before selling. If I am right the bubble is about to burst based on unaffordable costs of ownership finally becoming a factor for the many who have ‘no skin in the game’.”

Visual anecdote – 1947 sqft in Point Grey for $1,288,000


4313 W 11TH AV, Point Grey, Vancouver West

MLS V806376

1947 sqft, 33×122 lot, old timer, $1,288,000.00

“It’s a really sad state of affairs that with $750K of liquid assets, and making more than 100k a year, buying a Westside home, responsibly, is still far out of my reach.”

This from manna from heaven at 29 Jan 2010 1:42 pm

“I still haven’t bought a place. However, I’m still making money and now have approximately $750k in liquid assets.  It’s a really sad state of affairs that with that amount of cash/securities and making more than 100k a year, buying a Westside home, responsibly, is still far out of reach. I’ve waited this long, so I guess I’ll just keep waiting. It has got to make sense some day.”

“How much do your neighbours owe on their mortgage?”

Many Canadian home owners have borrowed money against the increasing market prices of their homes. These title search examples are from Toronto. We’d expect there to be many such examples in Vancouver. -vreaa

From the Globe and Mail 28 Jan 2010 1:16 pm

No. 17
Purchased by Dave and Chloe in January, 2004
Paid: $1,284,912
Mortgage: $300,000 (five years, 4.89%)
In 2009, the couple took out a second mortgage for $600,000 (“on demand,” prime plus 7%)

No. 37
Purchased by Rebecca and Domenic in December, 2006
Paid: $1,129,948
Mortgage: $730,000 (five years, 5.25%)
In 2009, the couple took out a second mortgage for $500,000 (“on demand,” prime plus 6%). A third mortgage was secured in November, 2009, for $580,000 (“on demand,” terms unknown)

Purchased by Geoffrey (all names have been changed) in April, 2004
Paid: $1,440,059
Mortgage: $1,275,000 (five years, 0.24% below prime)
Monthly payment: $6,555.17
In 2005, Geoffrey took out a second mortgage for $4 million (five years, prime plus 5%), secured by 200-plus acres of property north of Toronto.

Happy Smiling Buildings? – Subtle Signs Of A Distorted Vancouver RE Market In An Olympic Children’s Book

Imagine that you are an artist illustrating a children’s book. The story involves three magical, animated creatures adventuring around British Columbia in preparation for a big sporting event. You decide to portray some creatures and objects as having human emotions, by giving them smiley faces. The story is set in places of great natural beauty: the seas, the beaches, the forests, the slopes, the campgrounds. The creatures (a ‘sea-bear’, a ‘sasquatch’ and an ‘animal garden spirit’) are rooted in folklore that reveres nature. The year is 2010, the world is preoccupied with the environment. . It would be natural for you to animate the mountains, trees, oceans, islands… right? Well, yes, maybe you would, if all else were equal. If, however, you were living in a society obsessed with its profoundly over-inflated real estate market, you’d be moved to animate the buildings. Yes, the buildings. See below for the animated entity scorecard. Trees 1; Highrise Buildings 27. Subtle point? Perhaps. But a preposterously distorted real estate market does effect a society in innumerable subtle ways. -vreaa

From ‘Miga, Quatchi and/et Sumi’: ‘The Story of the Vancouver 2010 Mascots’ by MEOMI (Vicki Wong and Michael Murphy) –

Entities With Smiley Faces Scorecard:
Seaweed 7
Starfish 1
Octopus 1
Mushrooms 7
Bridges 2
Trees 1
Highrise Buildings 27

Excerpt – “The glass buildings of Vancouver shimmered with light…”