We See Asians – “The Ponzi scheme is running out of local buyers. The media craze about Hot Asian Money is creating ethnic tensions in my surroundings.”

These comments from a recent thread at greaterfool.ca archived here to record observations, and the current tenor of sentiment and discussion. -vreaa

moloko at greaterfool.ca 1 April 12:55am and 1:09am“I live in Vancouver’s West Side and I can tell you that almost every house that’s listed is selling over asking and to mainland Chinese. Apartments on the other hand are not flying off the shelves like the houses are, nor are the townhouses.
It’s a drag to see such a beautiful neighbourhood change so drastically:( beautiful old heritage houses being knocked down to build ugly modern boxes that take up the entire lot. It certainly is not the Shaughnessy that it used to be. I believe that “old timers” and “locals” are just taking their money and running now.” … “I’m not saying the market isn’t going to crash in Vancouver, I’m just saying that right now that letter feels pretty “dead on” if you’re living on the West side of Vancouver. It will correct, It’s just unfortunate that the correction is being delayed once again.”

Joe Clarke at greaterfool.ca 1 April 2011 1:08am“He is right. I live in Coal Harbour, one of Vancouver’s more elite neighbourhoods. It’s Asian, Asian, Asian owners as far as the eye can see. The numbers are simply overwhelming. You can pooh, pooh all you want. Canada’s population is soooo infantismally small compared to the populous wealth in the BRIC countries (well, ok – China alone trumps us in spades) – our housing market, starting with Vancouver will be distorted for decades.”

Veej at greaterfool.ca 1 April 2011 1:13am“I watch the BC lower mainland real estate like a hawk. It peaked in sales volume and price in April 2010 and began a steady decline into December 2010. Port Moody dropped over 18% from Dec 2009 to Dec 2010 for example. In December 2010 two relatively major events took place. A) Flaherty announced the changes to CMHC which were the ammortization period down to 30 years and the CMHC no longer insuring HELOC loans to use your house as an ATM to buy whatever the hell you want, and the real big one… B) The Minister of Immigration re-opened the door for the “Immigrant Investor Program”. … “Do you think this has anything to do with it? Vancouver and Richmond absolutely took off after that date.”

Left Vancouver and Happy at greaterfool.ca on 04.01.11 at 2:07 am“You need to take the blinders off regarding Vancouver and maybe spend a few days there going to open houses to see for yourself who is attending them. Let me know if you hear an English spoken. Even 4 years ago when my wife and I went to a few open houses for new towers in downtown Vancouver – the realtors basically turned their backs on us whenever we tried to talk to them, so they could talk to the foreign buyers instead. They had next to no interest in trying to sell a unit to us. While we weren’t ushered out, we may as well have been though. And it wasn’t like we didn’t have the money to buy, we were earning $160K/yr at the time…”

Runawayscreaming on 04.01.11 at 2:08 am“Whatever happens with the bubble in China there seems to be no end to the dirty money flowing from China to Vancouver real estate. The damage is done and appears to be getting much worse. PRC Chinese have now purchased a substantial area of the west side of Vancouver, which is most of the geographic area of Vancouver. Wealthy, corrupt offshore Chinese are displacing people who earn their income in Vancouver. Legitimate businesses are fleeing Vancouver because of the real estate bubble and unemployment in Vancouver is rising. Indeed local fools are contributing to the devastating Vancouver bubble but it is very obvious on the ground that upper-class robber baron ne’er-do-well’s from the People’s Republic of China are having a tremendous impact. Vancouver is the first Canadian city to create refugees out of its own citizens by inviting wealthier people from China to replace them in the “Best Place on Earth”.

mad vancouver at greaterfool.ca on 04.01.11 at 2:09 am“Vancouver is beyond sanity. Next to my place, Polygon is selling 2 bedroom condos for 1.3 million $, condo fees at $700 a month! And there is not even a nice restaurant or shop in the neighborhood. Waiting for Hot Asian Money to snap them. No line up so far. Not even a few cars.
If only Chinese are buying in Vancouver, it proves one thing: the Ponzi scheme is running out of local buyers.
Nevertheless, the media craze about HAM is creating ethnic tensions in my surroundings. It is frightening. The place feels dislocated, like a camp site in a shopping mall, nothing left of a town, of a community, or of a local culture. Everything is about money. A giant Monopoly game.
It seems some buyers in Richmond have recently realized it is THE place where not to be in case of an earthquake… Tremors are felt in their wallets…
Either the China’s economic dream falls flat, and the tide will recede here, or I am gonna have to run away from that madness. My formerly treeded neighborhood has been completely destroyed by condos, in less than 5 years, and the local school has a new immigrant population. Fancy cars driving everywhere, students and broke retirees speculating… I feel completely out of phase, and I am far from being the only one. Lot of anger in delusional Vancouver.”

23 responses to “We See Asians – “The Ponzi scheme is running out of local buyers. The media craze about Hot Asian Money is creating ethnic tensions in my surroundings.”

  1. I remember seeing some stats about 2 – 3 years ago – Americans owned 40% of all condos in Coal Harbour. The rest was owned mostly by locals. If the Asians are dominating today, it must have happened over a very short time.

  2. I noticed that there is a lot more Asians in West Vancouver recently. On the streets and at the open houses!

  3. “Apartments on the other hand are not flying off the shelves like the houses are, nor are the townhouses.”….

    Yes. Or as Mrs. Cutcliffe was wont to say… Do the math, boyz n’ girlz [ok, I know it’s Sunday morning – so, if you either don’t care for science/mathematics or haven’t had enough coffee yet to get your synapses firing you might want to skip the rest of this post)!…

    [WikiPedia] – Bifurcation Theory

    “Local Bifurcations – A local bifurcation occurs when a parameter change causes the stability of an equilibrium (or fixed point) to change. In continuous systems, this corresponds to the real part of an eigenvalue of an equilibrium passing through zero. In discrete systems (those described by maps rather than ODEs), this corresponds to a fixed point having a Floquet multiplier with modulus equal to one. In both cases, the equilibrium is non-hyperbolic at the bifurcation point. The topological changes in the phase portrait of the system can be confined to arbitrarily small neighbourhoods of the bifurcating fixed points by moving the bifurcation parameter close to the bifurcation point (hence ‘local’).”…


    Sweet, eh?… But the real ‘payday’ is the application of bifurcation theory to quantum systems; e.g ‘quantum chaos’ (see also: blue sky catastrophe – not be confused with Zorba’s ‘FullCatastrophe’)… and, of course, general relativity’s ‘event horizon’ (better known in RE circles as the cosmic whirlpool of negative equity).

    [WikiPedia] – Interacting With An Event Horizon

    “An observer crossing a black hole event horizon can calculate the moment they’ve crossed it, but will not actually see or feel anything special happen at that moment. In terms of visual appearance, observers who fall into the hole perceive the black region constituting the horizon as lying at some apparent distance below them, and never experience crossing this visual horizon.[7] Other objects that had entered the horizon along the same radial path but at an earlier time would appear below the observer but still above the visual position of the horizon, and if they had fallen in recently enough the observer could exchange messages with them before either one was destroyed by the gravitational singularity.[8] Increasing tidal forces (and eventual impact with the hole’s singularity) are the only locally noticeable effects.”


  4. “Vancouver is beyond sanity…”…

    Well, it’s all relative – isn’t it… 😉

    [ChinaDaily] – Big brands cash in on China’s bling obsession

    “Gone are the days when luxury meant owning a colored TV set or dining out at a western fast food eatery such as McDonalds; Chinese consumers are now eyeing high-end luxury goods with ever more money in their once flat pockets. Zhao Zhongxiu, professor of economics at University of International Business and Economics in China, said luxury is about an artistic way of life and there is a rich cultural connotation embedded in each of the luxury brands. “However, many Chinese consumers who are crazy about luxury actually lack an understanding of it,” Zhao said. Tong Minqiang [ Hangzhou Mansion General Manager – a high-end shopping center in Hangzhou City, east China’s Zhejiang Province] said China is still at an immature stage of luxury consumption, as part of the sales boom is being driven by conspicuous consumption. “This stage of immaturity is to continue for the next 10 to 15 years before the Chinese people cultivate a deeper understanding of luxury goods and, hence, adopt a more rational perspective on luxury consumption”, Tong added.”


  5. Bai Wai Guo Ren Zai Ja Na Da

    “The Chinese nouveau riche, who are craving recognition, are simply treating the high-priced luxury products as a status symbol”

    yeesh. in all my years in the industry the only people i ever saw swig back expensive wine quickly were escorts.

    “new money is always crass” and that’s it – the old money is laughing at them.

  6. “I feel completely out of phase, and I am far from being the only one. ” – MadVancouver

    Doubtless, it’s merely a transient FengShui/YinYang issue… Which are, apparently, easily ‘sorted’ by friendly, neighbourhood NecroMancers™ everywhere… 😉

    [ChinaDaily] – Picking a burial site is a grave decision: Feng Shui master helps people locate an ideal spot for the dead… and the living!

    “”Mountains mean nobility,” he said. “The mountains behind should be grander than the mountains in the front. [Note from ‘Nem’: In all matters concerning the FengShui of Ladies, grander mountains to the front are vastly preferable to ‘mountainous behinds’] In the north, it can be hard to find a location with both water and mountains… Feng Shui masters believe that a grave’s characteristics, both good and bad, can influence a family for generations. If a family experiences some misfortune, it is considered appropriate to check the grave’s location and shape. “A good Yin home (residence for the dead) is much more important than a good Yang home (residence for people),” Wang said.”…


    • Afterthought, re: prior link – I’m sure it’s just an oversight, but Beijing Feng Shui practitioner and NecroMancer™ Wang Haohuain – by virtue of his fortuitous surname – is unquestionably in possession of a marvellous new FastFengShui ‘personal branding/franchise’ opportunity…

      I propose that he rename his practice, “YinYangWang’s”.

      PS to Editor – Please don’t report me to the PunPolice, again… my license is up for renewal.

  7. lol @ geomancy

    superstitious much?

  8. I just read some shameless exchanges over @vci. Kudos to patriotz. For those at a loss of civility, here are the data that you’ve been asking for.


    • Hilarious! ThankYou, DanTheMan…

      Ok – I had never planned to share the following anecdote (for fear of violent reprisals/retribution at the hands of Richmond’s PC Police ‘Ninjas’ or worse, having my DimSumPrivileges permanently withdrawn)… however, in the collegial/congenial spirit of theUglyChinese-Canadian’s blog I feel compelled to share it!… [perchance to play a small part in dispelling the myth of monolithic ‘Chineseness’/uniform ‘social harmony’ that contributes to so much unwarranted bigotry/hatred]

      OK, so here’s the story. At some point in the late 90’s, whilst ‘Nemesis’ was ‘in country’ in deepest/darkest rural SE England… I occasioned to attend an authentically “LavishDarling, SimplyLavish!” Champagne BirthdaySoirée hosted by the owner/occupant of a quaint rural vicarage (‘quaint’ in the UK RE sense means Grade II ‘Listed’ Heritage ‘shack’ with….. Grounds, Darling – Grounds. Large enough in this instance to accomodate a 16piece SalsaOrchestra and assorted Marquees/caterers). I’ll return to the shack in a moment, but suffice it to say that the party was as well attended as the Lansons/Veuve/&Bolly’s was profuse…

      Great crowd, too. An eclectic mix of academics, neer-do-wells, local ‘Squires’ and a smattering of ‘Darlings’… as well as, for some unkown reason, a collection of foreign exchange students (mostly musicians) including a youngish ethnic Han ChineseChappie from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

      We got to talking (Champagne is good for that and his English was vastly superior to my Mandarin) about ‘cultural matters’ and happened upon the topic of the OverSeas Chinese… More specifically, Vancouver and the ‘migratory patterns’ of the expatriate Cantonese pre/post HK handover. Whereupon this unassuming and altogether GentleManly concert violinist guffawed with laughter while uttering an unpronounceable oath in his regional dialect – the object of his derision, his fellow countrymen – more specifically, the Cantonese.

      His mirth infectious – I inquired as to a rough Chinglish equivalent of the expression and he informed me that, loosely translated, the idiom came out as, ‘WalkingCashRegisters’.

      Quite an epiphany.

      Ok, back to the Vicarage – I won’t mention the village – but the ‘shack’, as it turned out, had been Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s temporary, pre-D Day HQ (replete with private AirRaid shelter since converted to warehouse delicate/vintage libations).

      Nevertheless, this was England after all… which meant that the plumbing was essentially NeoLithic and exactly as it had been when Ike was shagging his mistress Kay Summersby between buzz bomb impacts.

      Accordingly, I took great pleasure (you have to say that the way ‘Liz’ would for full effect and then pause a beat or two)… in ‘mounting’ the fabled EisenHowerMemorialToilet.

      PullChain, of course.


      • Oh yes, I nearly forgot…


      • bravo!

      • Bows… with a flourish…


        [UKIndependent] – Concrete traces reveal Eisenhower’s D-Day HQ: Historians have found the site of the Allies’ wartime command post in a Hampshire wood. David Keys reports

        “In the 14 months before D-Day, invasion planning HQ were set up first at Norfolk House, St James’s Square, London; then at Bushy Park, Teddington, west London, and finally in the woods north of Portsmouth.”


        And, as it happens – but was not widely known outside ‘village circles’ at the time of the preceding article’s publication [1994] – a certain West Kent Vicarage was similarly employed by Ike and his GeneralStaff subsequent to their ‘occupation’ of London’s BushyParkDigs but immediately prior to the establishment of the Portsmouth Allied Command Posts, ‘Sharpener’ & ‘Shipmate’.


  9. This whole issue has had my blood boiling all week. Free speech – nah, we don’t need that here. Our local economy after all is based on real-estate and very little else (worryingly).

    Nothing’s going to change in Vancouver until HAM decides to get out.

    I think the time is slowly approaching (inflation + discontent in the masses + tipping point = boom) :

    An article on the chinese housing market (reduced sales and prices with price curbs, property purchase limitations, land taxes)

    China may well start to ostensibly show it’s trying to deal with its corruption once their jasmine revolution starts:

    Then we’ll see if all these boys and girls with their beemers and mercs are looking so smug when Mummy and Daddy are up on corruption charges. (see today’s greaterfool.ca for explanation of where I’m coming from on this!)

    • Polly Pollyanna

      i’m fairly certain that a few ridiculous memes playing on HAM’s internal biases/prejudices/superstitions would do the trick nicely

      just sayin..

      • Polly Pollyanna

        there’s 15,000 years of first nations’ dead buried all over the LML – but we just don’t know the exact spots.

  10. Read the penultimate para
    Prospero’s Chairman, Li asserted that the current real estate investors from China made up of a tiny fraction of their population. He expects prices to continue to surge with more property buyers from China.
    Last para, of course, belongs to Bob Rennie.

    b.n.: don’t stone the messanger

    • Polly Pollyanna

      “Turning to the recent large-scale Chinese buyers into the market, pushing up house prices in Greater Vancouver, Liang Han stressed that the current production set to come to Greater Vancouver Chinese buyers accounted for only a very small proportion of China’s population, if not further relax visa visit Canada, will attract more many Chinese buyers have flocked to the Greater Vancouver real estate prices he expects will continue to rise.”

      that’s the penultimate paragraph

      well it was nice of them to inform us of their plans.

  11. http://www.bcrelinks.com/articles/vancouver-real-estate-forum-2011.htm
    2011 Vancouver Real Estate Forum
    Kelowna, Whistler, Victoria and Other Secondary Markets: Who is Buying and Who is Selling?

    Multi-Unit Residential Market: Where are the Values and Where are the Opportunities?

  12. The Asian invasion began in the 90s, but with the new investor class immigrant program, we will see more of this. I find it ironic that when Canadians bring up an issue of something being “Too Asian” we are labelled racist, but when the Chinese refuse to communicate in English or discriminate based on race, they are “protecting” their interests. Double-standards are the Canadian way! Some good news however, is that the Canadian gov’t is increasing the required personal wealth of $1.6 million and an $800,000 investment over 5 years. This will make it much more difficult for speculative credit-reliant buyers from mainland China to buy here. The less the merrier i say. This city is my home, not for sale to highest bidder…we just don’t have the economy to justify it. Revolution in real estate will be coming soon.

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