Is Vancouver A Fringe Of The China Property Bubble? – “It sounds like a criminal or insane or whatever you want to call it, a total misallocation of capital.”

Possibly. If so, what are the implications? Could run up even further, could blow up in a spectacular fashion. See this interview with Jim Chanos, currently short China, from FT.com, 1 Feb 2011.

Quotes:
“China is in a very major property bubble”
“70% of their GDP is in fixed asset investment.” … [and this is NOT from infrastructure development. For instance, high speed rail is only 2% of that 70%.]
“At the peak of the bubble in the US, fixed asset investment was 16-18% of GDP, of which 6% was property.”
[The bubble is affecting tier 2 and tier 3 cities as much as Beijing and Shanghai.]
“Prices relative to incomes are in nose-bleed territories by Western standards.”
“A lot of the property that is being built is not affordable by about 99% of the Chinese population”.
[Interviewer: “So it sounds like a criminal or insane or whatever you want to call it, a total misallocation of capital.”]
“One of the bull cases is that this will deflate gently, and that the Chinese economy will seamlessly move to a consumer-led burgeoning middle-class economy… The problem is that consumers are less and less of this economy, as the property bubble has gone on.”
“Anytime you take something that is 70% of your economy and rein it in, history tells us that usually the risks are to the downside… but, who knows, they might do it.”
“The Chinese bankers do see problems, you can see it in their pronouncements.”
“The Western investor is getting a lot of opportunities to buy into this boom, and we’re taking the other side of that trade.”

“There are lots of things that people say about China that, when you examine the data, falls apart”.

58 responses to “Is Vancouver A Fringe Of The China Property Bubble? – “It sounds like a criminal or insane or whatever you want to call it, a total misallocation of capital.”

  1. Chanos is a very smart guy… Ignore his POV at your financial peril.

  2. The Chinese angle makes the Vancouver bubble very interesting to me. Who knows what/when something will happen in that economy. It’s a centrally-planned system that reports bogus numbers as a matter of course. But they’re also sitting on huge reserves, not a ton of debt like the U.S.

    For Vancouver, I wonder if the desire from the Chinese to have a place to escape to in the Western world is so strong that those with the means will continue to pay whatever they need to to get a foothold in Canada. If that is the case, who knows how long it could continue. There are a lot of Chinese, and even with a majortity in relative poverty, there are still many of them getting relatively rich off of the ever growing economy over there.

    The added danger for Vancouver is that you’re getting the wrong sorts. Communist Party thugs who have been embezzling money out of the system, or glorified mobsters. Hope that isn’t the case.

    • Snat’s why would the Chinese not buy in more affordable Canadian cities, if their only goal is to get out of China?

      • There are a few reasons:
        1. Vancouver is closest to China for those (usually head of household) who need to fly back and forth frequently. The person usually still works or runs business in China to make money to support the family in Canada.
        2. Vancouver has an established Chinese community. I know you get that in Toronto, Calgary etc. too but people generally move to areas where they already know someone.
        3. Moving to Vancouver gives them a sense of pride within their circle of acquaintances. A lot is about ‘face’ for the Chinese. Moving to Vancouver is like telling others: “See, I’m rich enough to emigrate to an expensive place like Vancouver.”
        4. Milder Winters.

      • Because the infrastructure such as shopping, restaurants, communities etc. are well established in Vancouver. In addition, Vancouver is the closest major Canadian urban centre in terms of travel time and distance.

        Even within Greater Vancouver, these new immigrants are choosing established Chinese communities to buy into such as Richmond, Vancouver West and Vancouver East.

      • “Because the infrastructure such as shopping, restaurants, communities etc. are well established in Vancouver.”

        This is one of the most retarded arguments from the bullish arsenal. ckung, have you ever been to any other cities in Canada or anywhere else? Try Toronto for much better restaurants and shopping, etc. Montreal ditto. Almost any US city of comparable size has great restaurants and shopping. And go to Europe and you will find … great restaurants and shopping!!! + history, great beaches in the Mediterranean, great skiing in the Alps etc. I have not been to Asia yet, but don’t tell me that they don’t have restaurants and shopping!

      • Bubbly, the primary infrastructure they are looking for are CHINESE restaurants, shopping and community. Vancouver has some of the best Chinese restaurants outside of China in the world. In addition to this, the ability to obtain chinese goods and food products at a reasonable cost as compared to other Canadian cities. We also have the largest Chinese communities outside of China as well. All of these factors make the move to a foreign country much less intimidating and easier to transition to.

        But hey maybe I am just retarded as you say for thinking this way or maybe because I am of Chinese ethnicity and maybe have a bit of insight on this matter.

      • ckung, you are obviously suffering from tunnel vision.

      • Bullshit on Vancouver being closest and therefore winner of all that embezzled Chinese cash. Despite the media reports, Chinese buying represents a tiny tiny part of Vancouver’s property market. However, the insatiable _belief_ that this is true probably has a lot to do with Vancouver’s market excess.

      • Bubbly, and you too Rocketguy, stop embarrassing yourselves.

      • 4SlicesofCheese

        Lets say everything you guys say is true about Chinese immigrants, how they only have their eyes on Vancouver, and they all buy real estate the second they step foot here, expensive or not, Richmond, Vancouver, wherever. Lets say thats all true.

        So what, for every chinese buyer, rich or not, there are many more locals that are not rich, that have crazy mortgages, even with decent wages they struggle.
        Unless you have blinders on, the economy is not stable, being tied so much to the united states economy and with our dollar so high, how secure do you feel about your job really. Like good jobs not min wage.

        I am a young person. I make over 60k alone, my wife has a decent wage. The only thing we can afford are teardowns. So we bought in Taiwan and rent here. ckung, I am chinese descent I have a unique perspective as well 🙂
        Alot of people are being very short-sighted. They just think I made a killing in real estate, so what, you buy back in the same market where does your money go. Your kids will have to buy in this overpriced market eventually. With wages not going anywhere and if prices really continue to go up then whats going to happen to them?

        I have no idea how people have been buying at current prices, but eventually first time buyers are gonna dry up if prices go up forever, and thats what all you guys are banking on right. Continued appreciation? Or why would you feel comfortable giving up most your pay for something you can rent for cheaper?

        Wont someone think of the kids!!!

    • Right now the Vancouver bubble is, at least in part, fueled by easy money from those in the right business or with the right connections in China. If the easy money slows or stops, you will see people liquidate some of their RE holdings. The truth is that without the easy money, these people will quickly get a taste of the economic reality that most Canadians face every day. Except for multi-millionaires, living on ones savings in a costly place like Vancouver is no fun. Also, not many of the ‘investor’ type immigrants have the qualifications or skills to become high-earning professionals in Canada.

    • You’ve a point there. China is the 2nd or 3rd largest source of refugee applicants in Canada.

    • G&M is silent on the missing Toronto realtor and his client, since their last report of 25th. News is buzzing underground that his client is likely the same person who owe C$70M to banks in China, and disappeared in 2007 with C$35M.

  3. Future Headline “Chinese Investors flee Vancouver for Property Deals in Mainland China.”

  4. The Chinese ran to California, Miami, Phoenix too and look what happened there. Stupid Canadians think they are immune to collapse? Check out our lousy BANKS:
    Royal Bank ($624 billion assets) ; $4.8 trillion total derivatives ; $4.3 trillion OTC derivatives

    TD ($432 billion assets) ; $2.4 trillion total derivatives ; $2.1 trillion OTC derivatives

    BMO ($387 billion assets) ; $2.7 trillion total derivatives ; $2.0 trillion OTC derivatives

    Scotiabank ($429 billion assets) ; $1.3 trillion total derivatives ; $1.2 trillion OTC derivatives

    CIBC ($344 billion assets) ; $1.2 trillion total derivatives ; $1.1 trillion OTC derivatives

    • so, they have more derivatives than assets? most of those you cite are OTC, which means they are swaps. Now we learned CDS is stupid and no hedge because if the shirt hits the fan, your counterparty runs away (or goes bk), but i would expect any bank to hold a lot of interest rate swaps, they could conceivably make the bank protected from rising rate defaults (if they were not already so protected with CMHC).

      Caveat, I used to own a lot of TD, did great, sold all but 100 shares, (at a nice profit) but have been slack jawed at the strength since the bottom. Doesn’t add up.

  5. I bought a 950 sq ft townhouse in Burnaby for $320K in 2006 – just closed on selling it for 398k – after all my costs; I probably made $40K net.

    My mortgage interest payment was basically my rent and I made a greater return that my sad mutual funds.

    I am sorry you renters – but I think I did well. Of course this is not a prediction on how prices can change in the future – but, man, I feel good. And I have to say that I am glad I did not listen to all the BS gloom-sayers like you guys.

    Do I think my former townhouse is worth north of $400K (or even north of $300K) – nope, it was a tiny place where I could not even swing a kitten. But I did well and am now planning on renting…

    Oh, in case you ask, it was bought by mainland Chinese couple – an initial deal fell through when, again mainland, buyer had balked at bringing money to Canada (exchange rate too high).

    I hear you guys…..I am just glad I did not listen to you four years ago!!!!!

    • Maroon, you should call yourself Moron – even if you were paying the lowest possible interest rate, you could have rented an equivalent townhouse and save $700-$800 every month. Put that and your 5% downpayment in a ING savings account in 2006 and you would have made at least the $40k without any risk.

      And I bet that you didn’t account for any maintenance and repairs you had to do on your townhouse.

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      If you are glad you “did not listen to all the BS gloom-sayers like you guys.” Then why did you sell? Should have held on for two more years, your return would have been much higher right?
      And now you plan on renting? After feeling sorry for all the renters? That does not make any sense.
      I’m glad you made money but don’t think everyone else was sitting on their asses and not investing elsewhere.

    • Maroon you got lucky if the government did not make money free in 2008 you would have probably lost money on the house, you are smart to sell and rent. think of how much money you would have made if you had put all your down payment int stocks right at the market bottom in march 2009 and then sold those holdings now probably be up 50% 🙂 Personally I am glad you made money, but don’t confuse luck with skill.

    • capital gains: 80k
      real adjusted cost basis (2006-2011): 345k
      real gains: 53k
      tax expense: 20k
      realtor expense:24k
      moving expense: 1k

      net on disposition: 8k

      They call it forced savings for a reason… 😛

      • What do you mean by real adjusted cost basis, is that the purchase price of the house in 2006 increased to account for inflation between 2006 and 2011.

      • @ams, you are 100% correct, though in this case the capital gains may be exempt (tax expense) increaseing the bottom line by 20k

      • buff_butler would not not be fair to deduct the cost of maintence, insurance, and property tax from the sale price of the house? That probably adds up to the 20k you were thinking is the income tax on the sale on the tax which is expect because it is the principal residence.

    • Let me have a crack at this:

      Let’s say you took your 10% down payment ($32,000) in 2006 and had invested into the stock market instead, you might have made about $8,841.00 (5% compounded over 5 years).

      But you bought a condo and paid $1650/mos in mortgage payments (incl. $50/mos in prop tax). Your mortgage balance after 5 years would be about $254,901.78 . So your equity after the sale is about:

      $33,098.22 (principal payment: $288,000 – $254,901.78)
      +
      $78,000.00(cap gain: $398K – $320K)

      $17,500 (Realtor’s commission)
      =
      $93,598.22 (Net gain)

      Since you had to pay rent anyways (lets say $1250/mos for a similar place?) you come out well ahead of the guy that rented and invested that extra $400/mos in the market:

      $27,849.18 ($400/mos @ 5% compounded)
      +
      $8,841.00 (Downpayment: $32,000 @ 5% compounded)
      =
      $36,690.18

      Well done! You made $56,908.04 more than the renter/stock investor.

      • blamo you forgot the following in your caculation:

        1) condo fees
        2) and owner’s insurance
        3) Land Transfer tax on the purchase
        4) lawyer fees when the property was purchased
        5) Maintenance money that may have been spent
        6) Your estimate of $50 a month in property tax is too low

        Why don’t you factor those missing numbers into the price.

      • ams, I can’t be bothered.

        😉

        However, I will highlight that the capital gains for “Moron” were tax free. Meaning he gets to keep it. All of it.

        The cap gains for the renter/stock-investor *is* taxed, at about 20% ($7,338.00), leaving him or her with about $29,352.

        Of course, some of that could have been in a TFSA but the 20% tax savings will come very close to covering the additional fees you mention.

        He did well. Close to 300% on his initial investment. The people who are criticizing him are haters.

      • blammo you also missed the following items.

        with the 5% down payment example he would have had to pay CHMC fees which are not included in your calculation.

        Also with 5% down he would be highly leveraged so the return on equity should be very high. Try calculating the what he would have made if he leveraged against the stocks he would have bought on margin, lets say he bought an extra 60% of the down payment of $32,000 or $51,2000 also your estimate of the $400 a month should be leverage up to 640 to make it comparable to the house.

        I know you can’t bother doing the calculation but I could not help point out the missing things.

      • Ha-ha, ams, of course there are several other possible scenarios. I will say though that if he or she levered up in stocks they would have almost assuredly lost instead of gained as most people cannot handle the stress of levered, liquid investments going against them. The volatility usually gets them to sell at exactly the wrong time.

        The key advantage for most people is the RE is not liquid. It is actually to their advantage that they can not emotionally buy or sell with a click of the button.

        Anyhow, I appreciate your comments, I think we can both agree that this person made out pretty well. They may not know exactly why or how but they have been fortunate so let’s wish them the best.

  6. Evidently, as regards RE, we are all Children of the Yellow Emperor. An on topic Quote O’The Day….

    “Mr. Schlangen, who deals in higher-end properties such as vineyard estates, estimated that 95% of his deals last year were all-cash, up from about half in previous years. “The deals that are consummating, these are buyers who feel they got a great deal,” he said, noting a surge of buyers from China.”…
    [WSJ] – Cash Buyers Lift Housing – Bargain Hunting Boosts Prices in Depressed Cities; Broader Asset Rebound Spreads.

    http://tinyurl.com/6kepjf5

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      I thought China buyers only want to buy in Vancouver and nowhere else.
      This is quite a shocking revelation.

      As for the rest of the stuff getting picked up with cash, maybe those are the smart people that waited, and saw all the signs of a bubble.

      At those prices I can buy with cash.

      • Maybe the vineyard estates have better restaurants and infrastructure than Vancouver. I know that it does not make sense, but apparently, it’s a good enough argument for bulls.

  7. I neglected to add, that one Florida RE investor profiled in the WSJ RE feature appearing above literally purchased a 1M+ Miami beachfront condo for his…. wait for it…

    Dog.

    Accordingly, had Nemesis sub-edited the WSJ leader it might have read:

    Cash Is King As Miami RE Goes To The Dogs

  8. I was at a birthday part on the weekend, one of the people is putting up his condo for sale because he wants to move to a different neighborhood. we got talking about real estate and he said that his agent told him that the Chinese government is telling their people they should invest in Vancouver and that investing in Vancouver is an authorized investment.

    I pushed back on that idea and said that China instructing their citizens was pretty far fetched.

    • ams, what you heard is correct. To slow down their real estate bubbles in first tier cities, domestics investors can now invest in foreign real estate with relaxed forex restrictions.

      • #29 can you provide any sources to backup your claim? Articles, reports, policy statements?

        I do understand why a wealthy Chinese would want to diversify beyond China but why focus all the diversification on Vancouver, when there are great deals elsewhere in the world.

        I don’t buy the argument made by ckung and ATP in earlier posts. Because if their argument is true then the Chinese are stupid with their money and their spend and I do not belie that this is the case. Don’t you need some real understanding of money and economics to get rich in China or is it just connections that make you money in China and then you have a fool with a pile of money.

    • ams,

      To a large degree, they are somewhat ignorant about our real estate market. They have limited access to real information about our real estate and see our market through simplified terms. Also, throw in a bit of misconception/misrepresentation on how great everything is in Vancouver and it is not too hard to convince some of them to buy here.

      From what I have been told from friends and colleagues of mine who lived in China as well do business in China, connections is key to making money in China.

  9. Pingback: Housing starts flatline; Remax discusses past real estate performance; CREA updates 2011 housing forecast; China raises interest rates | Financial Insights

  10. People who think foreign buyers will help maintain valuation at unheard-off bubble level deserve to loose money.

    • At the present time, these investor immigrants and their families seems to have created an anomaly in our market. Eventually, our market will succumb to the correction of our market. The only question is when? China itself has a huge asset bubble and I think we may have to wait until it pops before ours pop. The inevitable will be very, very ugly.

  11. oh man. I am starting to doubt the path of beardom for the first time… Everything that ATP and Ckung say about the desirability of Vancouver are true (coming from a guy who has known more mainland Chinese, Hongers and Taiwanese than Canadians by far in his time here). The bragging rights, the existing community of Chinese, the Chinese speaking stores, two highly respected universities… everything makes it desirable and less intimidating, and it is the closest Canadian city – not a factor to overlook, as most of them travel frequently back and forth.

    I have known the adult children of factor owners, property developers, government officials… come to think of it, a large proportion derived their “easy money” incomes from property rents in China and from consumption in North America fueling orders for their factories… others from importing scrap steel, lumber and raw materials into China; one from owning a retail chain.

    To all those idiots who think that all Chinese money is “triad” or dirty money, think about which country has been the workshop of the entire world for a decade? Who else do you think benefits from all those workers working 14 hour shifts for a dollar a day apart from us consumers here?? Educate yourselves, go talk to your wealthy Asian neighbour, visit China, and keep your ignorance to yourselves. Does “MADE IN CHINA” sound familiar? But I guess in your worldview only Walmart pockets your $5; the workers and their bosses in China all worked for free because… because… you’re so special?

    Of the wealthy Chinese I have known, only one or two were gossiped about by others as having a “special” position in government. For those who don’t know, bribery is the way the wheels of business are greased in China, and it is simply a fact of life that many government officials above a certain level are incredibly wealthy. (Triad connections not necessary). Needless to say, so are all the bosses of the many SMEs that sprung up after Deng Xiaoping’s relaxing of the rules against private enterprise in 1992 and captured the emerging markets before their profits went astronomic following the transfer of production for Westerners from Taiwan and Hong Kong. No triad membership required.

    These sources of “easy money” may not be sustainable in the long run, but for now, if the Chinese government is encouraging investment in Vancouver RE, (as mentioned in the next thread), I cannot help but suspect there is an ulterior motive. This river of wealthy migrants may have a long, long way to flow yet. (No racial overtones here; do not make the mistake of confounding a statement about a culture or polity or the individuals within those with a pre-judgment about an ethnic group. Heck, I even married an ethnic Chinese to prove how un-racist I am).

    It may not be against the national interests of China to relieve some of its population pressure and gain a de facto increase in living area for its people, all the while expanding a pool of bilingual and bicultural Chinese nationals that will serve business well in the long run… and maybe even a slow, peaceful de facto annexation of a corner of Canada…. or is that too far-fetched?

    I just hope this doesn’t get all nasty and racial like in some places in Europe. My kids are mixed, and it would be nice to keep on carrying on with this whole racial harmony thing that we got going on here in our multicolored preschools, which by the way I think are the most charming and loveliest feature of this city. It’s so cute, the way they don’t give a monkey’s ass about each others’ colours!

    Whiteys should not be so scared at their world changing; I hear the fear in every third posting on these RE sites. Maybe it’s because they know they stole this place, and what was stolen once can be stolen again… but I digress. (oh yeah. I should repeat I am not being racist. I was even BORN white to prove how unracist against whites I am.)

    Still, when interest rates rise, the simple existence of the wealthy Chinese (that have been collecting all those dollars that YOU spent on every item that said “MADE IN CHINA” which basically means everything you ever bought) will not help local purchasers who overstretched. Unless, they can all find buyers who can afford to bail them out, which as even the bulls and realtors agree, leaves only the mainland Chinese. Though as we know, there are a lot more where they came from.

    This will be interesting. A three horse race: will local strugglers be forced into lowering prices or foreclosure, or will the Chinese arrive in time with wads of cash? Will the rate developers are building new condos outstrip the arriving buyers? Place your bets now! oh wait… I already did, Sh*t.

    There is no consolation prize for me though, if the Chinese keep on coming and I lose my $100 bet. I am far too priced out of the market, I missed out on all the $150k pre-sale flips that some locals make “just for fun” and pretty much spew when I think about how hard I have to work to earn a fifth of that sum. And if they keep coming and make this a leisure colony, the only jobs left will be in the service industries. Not a bad living, I am sure, but to live here among the sickening contrasts in wealth could be too much to bear; I for one would be off to a simple life in a backwoods village, family in tow.

    Unless…. any Bulls out there want to loan me $100k for a downpayment, so I can get in on the ladder? I will return it in three years time with the exact percentage gain from the appreciation added to it. Any takers?

    • TPFKAA,

      Thanks for a balanced perspective.

      These are interesting times, indeed. Being someone who moved to Canada from Hong Kong twenty years ago, and having witnessed my own family and many of my friends and relatives move back for lifestyle and economic reasons (some even before 1997, the dreaded year which drove them to decide to move to Canada in the first place), I am very interested to see whether recent immigrants from mainland China will “Love It or List It”. A lot will depend on the future social and economic development in China.

      One point that’s frequently neglected in the discussion on immigration is that most immigrants only tend to “hedge” (i.e. make money where they’re from and support family or live part-time in Canada) while they financially can and even then only for so long, before seriously looking into making a choice to either stay in Canada or go back to where they’re from. My anecdotal view from my own Chinese perspective is that those who choose to leave their adopted country are likely gone for good. This is by no means applicable only to Canada. None of my friends from mainland China, with doctors and university professors and restaurant owners amongst them, have ruled out the possibility of one day returning to China, social and economic conditions permitting. Those of us who choose to stay are subject to the same economic reality that all Canadians face, and I’m not shy to admit that I’m more than a touch bearish on the Canadian economic fundamentals over the next decade. Our economy is not diversified enough. Demographics are not in our favour. We have a sense of entitlement towards our social benefits that is not mathematically realistic. Something has to give and something will, whether we like it or not. Whether immigration will help cure our economic woes remains to be seen.

      • “A lot will depend on the future social and economic development in China. …Something has to give…” – ATP…

        Indubitably. Albeit, I – for one – hope you [et al] choose to stay… 😉

        Thematically related to this thread, the following three pieces – all from the UK – are a harbinger of things to come…

        Plutcrats with shovels (and new $psf record set in Hyde Park)… Potemkin villages… and Blighty Tears A Page Out of Canada’s HNW Immigration Book…

        [Bloomberg] – Londoners `Mine’ for Space Under Luxury Homes as Neighbors Fume

        “The amount of money being made in the rest of the world is astonishing — confidence is more than just coming back to the London market,” said property entrepreneur Nick Candy, who along with his brother Christian masterminded the One Hyde Park development that opened last month. Six apartments sold there in November and December for record prices of about 6,000 pounds a square foot, he said, without giving their size. ”

        http://tinyurl.com/4ussuoo

        [BBC] – Dumbarton uses fake shop fronts to beat downturn

        “A town in the west of Scotland is to install fake shop fronts to disguise high street stores left vacant in the economic downturn. West Dunbartonshire Council believes the £20,000 pilot scheme will “improve the look” of the area and is a better alternative to boarded up shop fronts.”

        http://tinyurl.com/48bg4l8

        [FT] – UK entry rules set to be relaxed for the super-rich

        “The government, which has already exempted “high net worth individuals” and entrepreneurs from the new cap on non-European migration, is determined to increase the flow of wealthy immigrants. The UK attracts only a few hundred individuals each year on such grounds, compared with 3,000 for Canada… Under the proposals, investors bringing in £10m would qualify for permanent residency within two years. Individuals with at least £5m would qualify in three and those with £1m would qualify after five years. At present, anyone on an investor visa has to stay at least five years before being eligible. ”

        http://tinyurl.com/4avdthx

    • TPFKAA there are many problems with the model where China is the workshop of the world and everyone consumes what China produces. This model will not last for the following reasons.

      Energy prices will rise and so shipping stuff from China to North America will become expensive.

      Attitudes in North America are changing people are going to spend less and save more.

      I have seen reports about demographics in China that claim that by 2020 china will enter a period where there are more retirees than workers, but every country is facing this problem. So who knows if that will mess up china or not.

      I am neutral on China, I don’t know if the this century will be a second American century or a Chinese century.

      I do know what my current financial situation is and I can calculate with mathematical certainty the impact of 5% to 35% drop in prices on my financial well being should i buy a house at the current inflated prices.

      Scenario #0 I buy now and prices go up, the bubble gets bigger and the risk of the correction increases with each day.
      Scenario #1 I buy now and prices go down and I loose a lot of money.

      Scenario #2 I don’t buy now and prices keep going up, no problem I move out of Vancouver.
      Scenario #3 I don’t buy and prices go down, so I have a larger down payment, I buy something that I really like and I pay a lot less interest to own it.

      I have placed my bets on Scenario #2 and Scenario #3

      • I thought about this too and also arrived at your exactly same Scenarios. And I’m also placing my bets on Scenarios 2 & 3.

        I’m actually very happy with this situation: rent for a bit, if Vancouver RE returns to sane levels, we stay and are happy. If it doesn’t we move down to Seattle (say), make more money, and have a lower cost of living. That’s a pretty happy outcome too.

  12. Afterthought…

    [UK Telegraph] – Underground world hints at China’s coming crisis

    “To understand how far ordinary Chinese have been priced out of their country’s property market, you need to look not upwards at the Beijing’s shimmering high-rise skyline, but down, far below the bustling streets where nearly 20m people live and work.”

    http://tinyurl.com/6b58cq4

  13. And todays last… for those who enjoy connecting the dots viz. epistemic communities of transnational capitalist elites and anomalous local RE markets… (with a subtext right out of anomic strain theory/Nemesis’ speciality)…

    [Atlantic] – The Rise of the New Global Elite

    “…a transglobal community of peers who have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home. Whether they maintain primary residences in New York or Hong Kong, Moscow or Mumbai, today’s super-rich are increasingly a nation unto themselves….”

    http://tinyurl.com/35obpcf

    • I enjoy your links (and your avatar), keep it coming.

      • Thank you, Blammo. When I find ’em, you’ll see ’em here first. As for the Avatar?… Believe or it not, that is actually ‘me’ (under the SFX) in a rare cinematic outing…

        Speaking of links, I think we can say that YVR’s RE market has now officially bifurcated…

        [CBC] – Olympic Village condo prices cut up to 50%

        “Vancouver’s troubled Olympic Village condominiums are getting a new name and lower prices in an attempt to spur sales and recoup at least part of the city’s investment in the project.”

        http://tinyurl.com/62cztnu

      • Yikes! I nearly forgot – here’s your plucky comic relief, Blammo/VREAA…

        http://tinyurl.com/6y3s9bu

        Surprisingly apropos, eh?

    • Yes, an intriguing image. Looks something Matthew Barney could come up with…

    • Yep this is all a predictable result of free capital flows and goods across borders without the free flow of people.

  14. Global BC: Mainland buyers in White Rock

    75% of buyers in White Rock in the past 6 months, are immigrants from mainland China.

    Key Marketing Inc’s sales office manned by 6 sales agents in Beijing, will open next month, and already it has sold 50 houses.

  15. Pingback: “He said that his agent told him that the Chinese government is telling their people they should invest in Vancouver.” | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

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