“It seems to me that people in Van don’t have a strong appreciation for the amount of wealth that is actually coming across the ocean. I could only dream of the wealth that I have seen and it honestly churns my stomach.”

people observer at vancouvercondo.info 19 Jul 2011 8:34pm
“It seems to me that people in Van don’t have a strong appreciation for the amount of wealth that is actually coming across the ocean currently and in past years. We can really only look at anecdotes here since it is not observed through income.
I am heavily exposed to the current wave of asian immigrants – i could only dream of the wealth that I have seen and it honestly churns my stomach. Simple examples of new immigrants whom, on first glance I would never have known had that kind of wealth. The current wealth is much greater, and deeper than that from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
1. family of three, wealth generated offshore (which is why there are semi-annual trips and wire transfers): two condos paid cash, looking for another house now –
2. renter family I knew (new immigrants), thought they were lower – mid income, purchased house, cash for $900K, father is a a helicopter parent. family background in Asia – super rich. Wife has clearly said, she dresses down in Canada to not be noticed, in Asia everything is top tier Chanel, Gucci, etc. family drives a typical car here.
3. Couple in building, seemed like a blue collar worker. Turns out they were recent immigrants from China that go back for business reasons a couple times a year. Turns out they bought 3 units in the building for cash, renting out two living in one.
4. Girl I went to school with- realized she was wealthy, didn’t know how much – just bought a maserati (daddy’s money) – still owns a place in Van but generally travels the world
This just scratches the surface. It makes me sick, but this is real wealth and it is here. Some try to hide it, others do not. when you look out on the street, and you see the Pradas, LVs, Chanels etc on girls in their mid teens and 20s, the maseratis, ferraris, mercedes slks driven by kids – remember that is real money, and those are purchased – not leased. It is play money for a lot of them, and it makes me sick and tired, but it is real.”

Following on this and another recent anecdote: Envy is not a sin, folks, it’s a normal human emotion; one of the emotions that makes the world go ’round. If your dog dies, you experience loss and grief; if your friend sells his inherited house for a $1.8M tax-free profit, you experience envy. Don’t be ashamed about this, it just happens. If you then calculate that, given your income, and your disposable income, and your savings, and current interest rates, it would take you ‘x’ years to accumulate $1.8M after tax, where ‘x’ years is greater your working lifetime,… well, then, who wouldn’t experience envy?
This will all go on until the bubbles implode. Then a whole different mix of equally powerful emotions will be at play. – vreaa

17 responses to ““It seems to me that people in Van don’t have a strong appreciation for the amount of wealth that is actually coming across the ocean. I could only dream of the wealth that I have seen and it honestly churns my stomach.”

  1. With all due respect to this anecdote, other cities have way more wealth than a few thousand in migrants. Travel through tony areas of big American cities to see for yourself.

  2. Welcome to the new GlobalVillage of transnational capitalist elites… (hint: you’re not on the ‘guest list’ for this private banquet – but, one way or another, you’ll be picking up the tab.)

    For the Curious&Scholarly – here are two recent papers from the United Nations University – World Institute for Development Economics Research [UNU – WIDER] that address these issues… some HeavyLifting required…

    WP/02 Global Capitalism Theory and the Emergence of Transnational Elites

    WP/05 Globalization and the Emergence of a Transnational Oligarchy

  3. Uh, technically, envy actually *is* a sin… one of the seven deadly.

    Not to mention, one of the Ten Commandments tell us not to covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his maidservant, nor his Maserati, nor his $1.8 million tax-free capital gain.

    • ‘Technically’ we’d ask you to ‘operationalize’ the concept of ‘sin’.
      Is hunger also a sin?

      • hunger is a virtue bestowed upon us peons from way up nigh

        for dinner tonight

        i am scraping the jar of peanut butter
        eating a pot of spaghetti with no sauce
        and the last 2 eggs in the fridge


      • Sin!… Just typing it brings a naughty smile to my visage! Well, wouldn’t you know it, but a funny thing happened on the way to the forum… In the days ‘o antiquity there was this moral philsopher/’habitual-slacker’ Whose day-job was carpentry but whose real passion was economics/social justice… and He had a curious take on that whole topic…

        “Woe unto you, Scribes & Pharisees”…


        Well, at least I’m not a Pharisee… 😉 But what I’d really like to know is, where in Dante’s Schemata ‘o Damnation do unscrupulous adherents/practitioners o’ TheRealtyTrade fit?


        There’s got a to be BoardGame/franchise in this somewhere…

  4. Having lived and travelled in cities around the world I would say that Vancouver is not exceptional in regard to having a segment of very wealthy individuals. One of the cities that stands out in this regard in my mind is Sao Paulo brazil. Observed pockets of crazy, crazy wealth in that city that is really hard to imagine if you have not seen it yourself. Saw people hiring helicopters to go out to a night club. Also, 3rd word poverty like I’ve never seen before too. Some expensive enclaves but also huge swaths of desperately poor shantytowns. I wouldn’t say that spotting extreme wealth in vancouver has any bearing in long term pedestrian RE values in any way. In fact, extreme wealth here is more troubling to me than it is reassuring.

  5. The Chinese ‘growth to infinity’ fairytale continues … until it stops, like the Japanese one did.

  6. Dropping cash on an extremely high cost, rapidly depreciating asset is not the behavior of someone who will, or does not expect to, have that money for long. Just my 2 pennies.

  7. 4SlicesofCheese

    I know filthy rich HAM personally, have you ever seen someone driving a lambo go eat 99 cent lamb skewers and drink 2 dollar beer, or go to an all you can eat hotpot. It is quite funny actually.

    But so what, none of that matters, those people will still be rich after the correction, no point worrying about them.

    The people you should be focusing on are all the Mainland Chinese with little to no money. They are just like any average local Canuck.

    Have you been to Crystal mall? For every rich HAM there are 10 normal/struggling Chinese immigrants.

    Yes there are some insanely rich Chinese that dress down, and yes, there are some that are insanely rich and you wouldn’t be able to tell cause you can’t buy class. You think the majority of them are rich?

    They will be affected just like anyone else, debt does not discriminate.

  8. China is still a miserably poor police state. Many of these oligarchs stole their wealth from the people of China through simple croney capitalism and would be considered criminals in this country. Mao murdered millions a scant few years ago; people were starved simply because they were smart enough to wear glasses. China will never be as rich (per capita) as Canada. We are morally superior. Feel better?

  9. Does anyone have figures on how much HAM money in total dollars has been injected into the local housing economy? Since income distributions are not normally distributed, even a small number of buyers could equal a huge impact on across-the-board prices.

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