“It’s very frustrating. We’re willing to pay but we can’t find anything.”

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]

4 responses to ““It’s very frustrating. We’re willing to pay but we can’t find anything.”

  1. 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.

    This is “fascinating”.

    So, four kids, living in a Condo in Yaletown and $400K in cash on hand? Their income must be north of $300K/year I would guess based on the little photo and that statement.

    Why would they comitt all their liquidity to this?

    This in the article also interesting:

    The scenario is playing out across Vancouver in hot neighbourhoods such as Mount Pleasant, Commercial Drive and Strathcona as buyers contend with tight supply, as well as with looming amortization changes and interest rate hikes.

    I find it interesting that they put “tight supply” first, with the changes in financing and the rising of interests only second and third in their rational on why people are bidding away like there is no tomorrow.

    This of course is Gold too:

    Two characteristics that were prevalent south of the border are missing here, he said: fast and loose credit, and a lot of speculative product.

    Right. I am now laughing and crying at the same time, mainly because I can’t make up my mind.

  2. last May, there were plenty of sfh in the 800k-1mil if they searched in E van, throwing back yards for free. there are still plenty brand new sfh at $1mil. i wanted to live in west vancouver but it was beyond my reach.

  3. Heh, I almost guessed this was the poster Arit from VCI, but I think he has all daughters…

  4. Oh, these are your knife catchers, Canada. They will see a 15% decline in prices and jump right in, then lose half their equity over the ongoing three years.

    Good times.

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