If this anecdote doesn’t make you sit up and think, nothing will. The Vancouver RE market is perversely distorted, and this is profoundly unhealthy for our society. – vreaa
vanhattan at vancouvercondo.info December 28th, 2010 at 4:41 pm– “Here is my situation. I moved here in 2005. I could not find a ‘decent’ place to rent that would accept a very well behaved dog so we decided to buy a condo of a whopping 889 square feet. We hated the condo and paid more than 3x what our gorgeous home with 22 foot ceilings, 1/2 acre treed lot with more than 3x the square footage cost. (sold our 3,000 sf home for 330K, bought our 889 sf condo in Van for 377K). The purchase and shock of living in this shit hole almost cost me my marriage. F*ck, even the dog hated the place. So we sold 15 months later for 488K. Never saw an uneducated unemployed dog make a 100K+ in one year but that is what our dear Buster did as we would not have purchased except for him. Purchased another condo, this one a more reasonable 1050sf brand new condo with great views, great neighborhood. Still nowhere as nice as our old ‘home’ but at least manageable. Purchased for 700K. The latest comps put our place at 900K+.
Ok so here is our situation. Have a huge desire to get back into a real house again. Have been searching for over a year now. Have been looking at complete sheet boxes going for over 1.5 million that before I moved here I would NEVER have even considered even looking at much less buying and LIVING in. This is what we found one recent weekend: Falling down complete sheet boxes with more than 30+ people showing up in the first 10 minutes of an advertised open house. I am NOT racist in the least bit but have to say that 80% of the lookers were of Asian decent. Guess what???? The damn place sold for 100K over asking at 1.6M the very SAME day!!!!!!!!!
I got so depressed I went home almost in tears. My new path forward?? Here it is: Put the place on the market this spring for 200K under current valuations per a comparable sale one month ago. This is still 100K more than what we paid for it but being 200K below the most recent comp should sell in a weekend. Guess what. I am getting the F#%k out of here. We should be able to easily get out of here with 250K more in our pocket than when we arrived. I figured if we had rented the same places vs. buy we would have paid about $150K over the same period. So we will walk away from the best city on earth living essentially rent free with 100K to spare. What are we going to do next? Move back to the USA to the most expensive housing market in the country and still be able to buy a real house with actual quality and real architecture for 50% less than what sheet holes cost here. This metro area also actually has jobs that pay on average 3x what they pay here.
Bottom line: even though I have been very lucky with this real estate market in Vancouver, I can’t believe what places are still selling for. My opinion is that prices will continue to go up as long as the Asians keep moving here en mass buying any sheet hole for above asking price. My estimate is that China still has a couple of years left of their bubble before it bursts so Vancouver will probably still go up and up and up for another couple of years.
I am out of here. I want to stay, but simply cannot afford it. I am not bragging but I make 5x the average wage of the average resident and can’t for the life of me figure out how anyone makes it in this town.
So am I a bear? Am I a bull? Neither. Just a very discouraged Vancouver resident who simply cannot believe the prices of the crappy 2nd world real estate here. I simply cannot afford to live here and I make more than 200K/year!!!!!!!!! My quality of life is worse than when I made 65K/year before I moved here! Really folks. This city is insane. I am getting out. I have loved Canada and loved Vancouver, except for the housing situation. I will always have fond memories of the place and will leave being a Canadian citizen but have reluctantly thrown in the towel. I would much prefer to live in Canada than in the US as our values are much more Canadian but I also want a better quality of life.
So perhaps we will return but only if the real estate prices return to earth. From where I sit this is still a far way off.
Humbly, a soon to be former Vancouverite.”