Hot Asian Money (‘HAM’) Tales – “One buyer bought a house for $22M after viewing for just 5 minutes. He’s bought 10 houses here and has told his agent to keep on looking.”

unicas at RE Talks 22 Mar 2011 2:00pm“This house [on the westside] was listed for 1.99 mil, got 18 offers, and sold for 2.8 million. Some buyers told their agent to add 80K on top of next best offer regardless how much it is. The strange thing is the buyer requests completion in 2 weeks but offer to allow the seller to stay free for 8 more months? Anybody knows why?
Per today’s Ming Pao, one buyer from Fujian province bought a house for 22 million after looking at the house for just 5 minutes. He already bought 10 houses here and told his agent keep on looking. Another guy was quoted to have just bought 7 houses on the Westside. Including 3 in Shaughnessy.
There is a war going on between Chinese buyers to outbid each other. In the same article, it says one buyers pass by a house being renovated and asked the owner if he wants to sell, the owner says yes, the buyer paid 500k deposit on site.”

62 responses to “Hot Asian Money (‘HAM’) Tales – “One buyer bought a house for $22M after viewing for just 5 minutes. He’s bought 10 houses here and has told his agent to keep on looking.”

  1. Huh, a Bubble? What, there is no bubble here…. That’s the new norm, buyers walking around in houses for 5 minutes, and paying 20% more than the last buyer did. Welcome to the new Vancouver Nasdaq.

  2. Perhaps thevery rich mainland Chinese are very afraid of what is going to happen in their own country and that impact on their wealth. Just a guess.

  3. What can I say. If locals don’t want to pay this price, let’s have the foreigners buy it. I guess we’ll have to move east.

  4. (Assuming that these stories are true) NOBODY uses his OWN money like this!

    • good point.
      Im guessing a lot of this money is from easy loans, some kind of business setup with the ‘parties’ help or party members that have ‘helped’ setup a business.
      why dont we just let f**king nazis come and buy everything.

      • I used to live in a corrupt central-east European country. The state-owned enterprises used to be managed by political nominees, often former communists, always well connected… So these people were “managing” companies where they did not have any stake, and no motivation to manage them well. Instead, they used the companies to take out loans with company assets or production as collateral and then funneled the borrowed money to their personal accounts abroad. By the time their “host” company went bankrupt, they were rich owners of Caribbean or Mediterranean real estate.
        Criminals at home (almost never convicted), “entrepreneurs” abroad.
        I am quite convinced that stuff like this is very common in China. The opportunities and incentives to steal are just too huge.

    • I’ve heard that some of it is profits earned overseas (meaning u.s. or canada) by their companies that they don’t want to repatriate back to China. This behavior definitely smacks of a “if I get even pennies on the dollar out of this, I’m way ahead” mentality.

    • Bubbly/Sage, et al… You would definitely enjoy the following book [a ‘Nemesis’ highly recommended ‘must read’]…

      Shadow Elite: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market – Prof. Janine Wedel [George Mason University]

      Publishers Weekly, starred review, December 7, 2009
      “This fascinating, authoritative wake-up call should satisfy any American who wants a handle on the republic’s most successful agents of corruption.”

      Financial Times, January 3, 2010
      “A clarion call against some insidious threats to a healthy democracy.”

      James K. Galbraith, Author of The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too
      “Of huge value. With an eye that sweeps from Poland and Russia to Cambridge and Washington, Janine Wedel has reinvented the study of public administration for an era of blurred roles and secret networks. Shadow Elite is a must-read for all who care about the future of government—even the possibility of decent government—in the age of flexians and truthiness.”

  5. Completion in 2 weeks and free rent for 8 months means they are going to flip it. Chinese president done in 2012 and with a new president in power house cleaning will be the order of the day. There is a lot of corruption in Chinese government and this corrupt money is coming into Canada to bid on houses at whatever price because it wasn’t their own hard earned money. If it were a legit Chinese businessman or worker they wouldn’t be buying houses in this manner. What kind of person would buy houses as if it were a shopping spree?. The only other group that I see who could buy houses in this manner is organized crime.

  6. Houses that can be bought this easily can be dumped back on the market just as readily. That’s what we expect to see happening the moment that the meme ‘Vancouver-RE-is-bullet-proof’ is destroyed.

  7. 1) Guy gets off plane from Hong Kong
    2) Guy gets driver/Realtor to drive around to properties for sale in affluent neighbourhoods
    3) Guy buys properties in cash without leaving the car
    4) Guy goes back to airport and flies home
    5) Another Guy flies in the next day…

    These stories were going on 20 years ago. Now it’s Fujian province. Here we go again!

    These are momentum plays, nothing more. Just look at the house.

    • A Penetrate Numerously

      and that’s why it will be so awesome to watch come crashing down

      unfortunately it will be a lot of actual Canadian citizens that pay the consequences/foot the bill, etc.

      blight, anyone?

      how much is california paying to drain and clean swimming pools on foreclosed properties?

  8. I think we are underestimating the power of drug money in this province. Yes, there is chinese money coming in, but most of the easy money invested in RE is drug money. It is the best way to launder crime proceeds.
    Our lax legal system makes this possible, and in this regard we are vastly different from the US where you get jail time and zero tolerance.
    BC is a paradise for the drug dealers. I am all for marijuana legalisation but if you follow our legislation process,you might get a better clue.
    Since almost 10 years, our parlament cant vote on a bill to toughen penalties for people cought cultivaing more than 5plants of marijuana.
    They started with bill C-26 1n 2000 which then it became C-15 and now S-10 which will go again into the garbage as new elections are looming.
    So 10 years trying to pass a bill through parlament for tougher sanctions for people caught with more than 5 plants and still nothing.
    Why do you think it takes so long?
    When motivated our parlamnet can pass lwas in one month.
    I think this might give us a better clue as to why we have such prices in RE and everybody keeps paying its morgage.
    The amount of drug money is huge in our province. All othe exlanations are a smoke screen as to the rel culprit: DRUG MONEY

    • I don’t doubt that there is drug money used to buy real estate, however, I don’t think that the drug money is stupid enough to buy anything at any price. Drug trade may be illegal, but it is still an enerprise with lots of risk and the money is “earned”.

    • Ornamental Tepee Usury

      i don’t doubt the drug money component of this, has anyone got a link to the stories a few years back of entire cul-de-sacs on heritage mountain in port moody being bought up by the gangs?

      at the same time, don’t discount the massive earnings reaped off the backs of virtual subsistence wage slaves in factories across china.

      the trade imbalances with north america for a week are far greater than the annual $5B drug trade in Colombia North.

      fuckers all around.

      • Ask and ye shall receive, Paradox/Ornamental/Bubbly…

        [MacLeans] – How B.C. became a world crime superpower

        For a more thorough treatment, however – I recommend this…

        McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld – Misha Glenny

        Truth be told… Estimates of the size of British Columbia’s ‘grey/black economy’ vary from about CDN6Bn to more than CDN25Bn p/a. Which is why, Paradox – apparent ‘political will’ is visibly lacking.

        Hint: BC’s BasiVirk fiasco had actually begun as a routine drugs enquiry… And we all know how that ended.

        Psst… ‘you know who’ is up to her nipples in it…

      • Restaurant Unemployee

        this is one of the reasons why i stopped smoking pot – it’s the same reason i don’t buy chinese goods anymore. i don’t like paying for my own society’s obliteration – i know that’s not why grandpa toiled in the wheat fields during the depression.

        it’s sort of like what the British did during the opium wars, mm?

        who would have thought keeping an asset bubble inflated would be a consideration for the continued prohibition of a little green plant that grows in ditches the world over?

    • Why would anyone profiting from drugs tie their money to an illiquid asset that can easily be seized? Doesn’t make sense to me.

      • Restaurant Unemployee

        we didn’t say they were intelligent,

        just clever, that’s all.

        “how’s that workin’ out for you? being clever?”

  9. Paradox, I’ve thought the same thing on more than one occasion. The problem with this assertion is that there’s no way to verify it is there?

    Hot off the presses, Shaw sacks 500 employees:
    90 jobs lost in Vancouver.

    • Ornamental Tepee Usury


      i knew something was wrong with the cable company when they installed my broadband THE DAY AFTER i called.

      i mean, i was shocked – prompt service??? what gives??? and now we know.

  10. I’ve been sitting on the sideline with all the cash that I got from the sale of my home and now I’m giving up! I will be jumping back into the market. By sitting around for a year and half, I estimate that the opportunity cost is around $600,000 – $800,000 (I should have bought back in the same market). This whole asian thing is real and there’s no stopping them. I know because I am friends with many of them. My kids are in the same school as their kids. I have to admit with my luck the minute I buy that’s when the market will reverse. Wish me luck!

  11. Wow! Did I hit a nerve? What type of forum is this when you can’t even express your views?

    • Troll, you are “expressing your views”, so GFY.

      • LOL! I just googled GFY. Wow, I definitely hit a nerve and now know what class of people you are. Yah, I’m rich and so what? I don’t make it into an us & them. I can tell that even if the market pulls back 40% , you won’t be able to afford nor act, but you’ll be complaining about something else or blaming someone else. You have a pathetic life … get some professional help! Oh yah, you can’t afford it!

      • Yawn! You are “rich” and I am “impressed”.

    • Restaurant Unemployee

      you can express your views

      but be prepared to be called on them

      there’s no place for a rigid class system in canada, and bubbles like the one we are witnessing will definitely crimp any aspirations in upward mobility for the children of these debtors, not to mention the debtors themselves.

      i’ll second a GFY, but not because you’ve hit any nerves – just because you’ve got a small wang, wang. otherwise, why would you be trolling and claiming to be repressed when we suss you out?

      • Restaurant Unemployee

        i just noticed you mentioned ‘class’ in your 2nd post, troll, so now i know what you’re all about.

        we built the skytrain to the airport so you could leave faster.

  12. chllax mang u did express urs and now they express theirs easy come easy go everybody has their say winka winka simply the best

  13. Restaurant Unemployee

    “This whole asian thing is real and there’s no stopping them.”


    “The less a man makes declarative statements, the less apt he is to look foolish in the future.” – Quentin Tarantino

    you are Japan, circa 1989 – nothing more – now stop fiddling with your junk.

    • Humphrey Bogart once said (and I paraphrase) – if you’re going to write more than 10 seconds of exposition into a master scene , you’d better put a couple of camels, f***ing – in the backgroud… 😉

  14. tommy kitagawa

    the money is coming from the enormous loans they have taken to create whole new cities, using this empty real estate as collateral and taking out bigger loans. there is enough commercial real estate in china to give every citizen his own cubicle. the evidence is in this article , but has been covered widely in the press end of last year. the developers, banks, and govt officials are all complicit in this house of cards. the CCP is well aware of this but scared to act as they are in too deep now.

    • Restaurant Unemployee

      faust would be proud

      get to high ground

    • You know how vindictive and unruly, predictably. Your family name isn’t going to help. Anyone wants you to believe they are ethically in the same school as the rest, are misguiding others. 良い一日を

  15. The business class can concentrate on our real estate, so long as they deposit $800k with Fed for 5 years at no risk and the principal fund will be return to them. If they pay a lump sum of $250k (interests for 5 years), they can forget about the $800k and need not complete the 2 years (out of 5 years) compulsory residency in Canada. Before the amount was raised to $800k from $400k, the 5-year interest was half of current value. This piece of info is certainly educational.

  16. There was an expression of interest to bid for the highspeed train in the US a while ago, and currently Huawei’s ongoing bid for London’s underground mobile network. This one is for “globalization”:
    “A host of evidence over the past several weeks shows that Chinese authorities are more determined than ever to police cellphone calls, electronic messages, e-mail and access to the Internet in order to smother any hint of antigovernment sentiment. In the cat-and-mouse game that characterizes electronic communications here, analysts suggest that the cat is getting bigger, especially since revolts began to ricochet through the Middle East and North Africa, and homegrown efforts to organize protests in China began to circulate on the Internet about a month ago”

    • Laureate Money Punters

      the psychology behind neurotically patrolling people’s conversations is fascinating. have you ever noticed that whenver you’ve met a man that’s nearly 7feet tall, he’s almost always incredibly personable and easy going? i wonder why that is.. generalizations save me time.

      it’s ultimately futile, as well – the resources that the ruling classes are willing to expend in order to preserve their stations would probably go quite far to relieving a great deal of the misery on the planet, thus endearing them to the huddled masses and preserving their memory for eons. what good is it to be revered if you have to wait till you’re dead, though?


  17. Folks, part of it might be Asian money, but part of it is just, heck, Vancouver is a great place to live and people are becoming more aware of it ( thanks Economist and Forbes surveys). I worked my ass off to earn money in Europe, and saved up enough to buy a house- in Vancouver. I still live in Europe, but I’m “long” Vancouver- political stability, bank stability, food security, fresh water security, good natives and immigrants, climate stability. C’mon guys, don’t blame the Chinese, realize the long term prospects of Vancouver and you’ll understand why so many of us foreigners/Expat Canadians see it is a very positive place in a highly uncertain future.

  18. Pingback: “I worked my ass off to earn money in Europe, and saved up enough to buy a house in Vancouver. I’m ‘long’ Vancouver- political stability, bank stability, food security, fresh water security, good natives and immigrants, climate stabili

  19. As regards ‘HAM’ – VREAA readers may well enjoy the following (and sadly, terminal episode) of BBC WorldService’s (or ‘Auntie’ to those of you familiar with BushHouse and environs) ‘BusinessWeekly’ … the relevant piece features, “presenter Justin Rowlatt [who] also visits Beijing to find out how owning a property helps men find a wife. He hears how spiralling property prices could fuel social tensions.”…

    The following link will open the BBC iPlayer and you can find the story @ 12:50 in (although some readers may also enjoy the first piece on the true cost of implementing/prosecuting the Libyan ‘NoFly’ zone)…

    Note to fans of Auntie – over the past month more than 650 staff @ WorldService have been handed redundancy notices in the interests of ‘austerity’/coalition government imposed spending cutbacks. Until recently, WorldService, Blighty’s ‘gift to the world’ was funded by special allottment/dispensation under the auspices of the Foreign&Commonwealth Office – henceforth, WorldService will be competing with other BBC output for a share of the UK LicenseFee (which has been declining, in real terms, for years).

    • Yesterday, more than half a million Londoners demonstrated against Britain’s Conservative led coalition government’s poorly targeted spending cuts/’austerity program’.

      Accordingly, and with a view towards current developments in the MapleSyrupRepublic, some of you may find the following piece by Andy Worthington, ‘On the Anti-Cuts Protest in London, 500,000 Say No to the Coalition Government’s Arrogant, Ideological Butchery of the British State’ a useful primer/context for what to expect next from Ottawa (regardless of who ‘wins’)…

      [CommonDreams] – On the Anti-Cuts Protest in London, 500,000 Say No to the Coalition Government’s Arrogant, Ideological Butchery of the British State

    • Ornamental Tepee Usury

      nem, you always have so many great links

      Justin Rowlatt seems to have focused specifically on China and his take on things is hysterical – have you seen “The Chinese are Coming!” – they have released 2 episodes and i hope they do a few more.

      lately i have been reading about chinese bauxite operations in Ghana, and if you know your history of Ghana, these poor people are just getting pillaged.

      in tanzania, there are chinese setting up large chicken farms – imagine the audacity, coming to a 3rd world country (from your own 3rd world country) and aggressively competing with the completely impoverished locals. they interview a cobalt/copper miner who has to dig the stuff out with his hands. he just looks at Justin and calls them “crooks.” it all reads like something out of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, or at the very least, like a Cecil Rhodes adventure. the common refrain heard from chinese on these issues (neo-colonialism) is “WE’RE PAYING THESE INGRATES, AREN’T WE???” (not very well, considering)

      if i hear one more story about Sino oil companies wanting to employ chinese labor on canadian soil i am going to Ottawa.

      things to think about. people ought not to be so naive.

      • Truly, Ornamental Tepee Usury (or should that be, ‘Alternate Yeomen Usurper’) 😉 ….

        In that spirit it is only fitting that such flimsy frivolity {albeit, in these perilous times, well deserved/needed } as ‘Nemesis’ could find today – all courtesy of the YellowEmperor’s subjects – should be shared here, now, for all to enjoy…

        First up – our Quote’OtheDay… is won, hands down, by Chinese President Hu Jintao (whom I am astonished to discover is similarly ‘open minded’ in matters of human reproductive biology)…

        “It is necessary to go deep down and get immersed with the reality” – Chinese President Hu Jintao

        [Xinhua] – Chinese president urges CPC members to excel in promoting ‘social harmony’

        Evidently, CPC officials are doing their very best to satisfy President Hu’s directive to ‘go deep down’. So much so, that regional Party ‘Disclipine Chiefs’ are now competing with one another to ‘immerse themselves’…

        [Xinhua] – Discipline officials under scrutiny after phone numbers go public

        “TAIYUAN, March 24 (Xinhua) — Wang Min, discipline chief in the north China city of Yangquan in Shanxi Province, has answered 67 phone calls and received 26 text messages from strangers in the past two days since his personal cell phone number was made public.”

      • Not to be outdone by Party Disclipline Chiefs… in a hasty attempt to ‘save their bacon’, ranking officials of the Ministry of Agriculture – apparently rattled by persistent rumours of rural bestialty – have embarked upon a brave new enquiry of their own…

        [Xinhua] – Probe into pork problem

        “The working group dispatched by the State Council was quoted as saying that anyone involved in the tainted pork will face severe penalties.”

        And last up, a visual treat… as Chinese techno wizards unveil an amazing new keyboard technology rapidly gaining popularity with lonely geeks/nerds, everywhere!…

      • Oh yes, I nearly forgot – at the risk of flogging a dead donkey…

        When it comes to, ‘social harmony’ – Hu’s yer Daddy!

  20. It would seem that, as regards ‘social harmony’, the ‘cracks’ in the Chinese Wall are becoming rather more conspicuous…

    [TheEconomist] – The faithless masses – A lack of trust in officialdom triggers panic buying, and a rare ballot-box backlash

  21. Today’s final contribution… and Zen respite from headline fatigue… once again, courtesy of our very good friends to the West…

    [ChinaDaily] – Use of govt cars to be monitored during ‘Tomb-Sweeping Festival’

    “GUANGZHOU – Discipline inspection authorities in this capital city of Guangdong province will watch closely for improper use of government cars during the upcoming Tomb Sweeping Day. A recent local TV report suggested some officials used government cars to pay respects to their ancestors over the weekend ahead of the traditional Tomb Sweeping Day, or Qingming Festival, which falls on April 5 this year. Several government cars found parked near the Yinhe Cemetery [were removed] on Sunday, according to the report…”

    Which last ties in rather nicely with the following illustration of Nanjing Police impounding an illegally parked, gold-plated [NakedOfficial’s?] automobile…

    [ChinaDaily] – For Nanjing Police, All That Glitters Is Not Gold

  22. Flogging a Dead Horse


    sometimes i lose these new postings on old threads..

    i think between the two of us we could set up a rather interesting news/info website..

    it’s amazing the focus on yield re: livestock and agriculture – so much so they’re willing to risk poisoning the populace.

    the entire concept of ‘voting’ for your one party is cute.

    and the gold car..

    they are repeating the worst excesses of the Kuomintang era – and they will reap the same results, at some point. maybe not today, or tomorrow, but eventually.

    i have some reproduction notes from the American Bank of Shanghai from about 1925 i believe, $500,000 shanghai dollars! lol..

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