Calls For ‘Activism’ Regarding State Of Vancouver RE Markets – What Action, Exactly?

A number of thoughtful readers have made suggestions, increasingly so in recent months, that we all somehow attempt to “do something” regarding the state of Vancouver’s housing market.
‘mjw’s personal anecdote [7 Oct 2011] about two UBC professors leaving for Alberta as a consequence of housing prices, concludes with “I think that some sort of activism is needed to highlight and make people aware of the game that is being played out.”
Recent suggestions by ‘Vesta’, ‘jesse’, ‘Gord’, and others, were discussed in a thread headed ‘Consequences, Intended and Otherwise‘[14 Sep 2011].
Today at VREAA, Vesta again calls for some kind of action, and talks of “a small group starting to coalesce”, of “someone in this city very involved in politics and very concerned with what is happening”, and again asks people to “write/phone City Council, MLAs, etc”.

Initial thoughts:

Thanks, Vesta.
We think you know that we are pretty much on the same page as you in hoping that the housing distress can be resolved. We would very much like to see Vancouverites being able to get on with productive activities that are not hobbled by excessively draining RE costs. Housing costs are at the very least a distraction, sometimes a disaster.
We do believe that getting the word out, educating, is the very best form of activism.
But, other than describing what we see, what is the desired ‘message’? On this we are unclear.
Our concerns are that a great deal of coming distress is ‘baked into the cake’… There is no way we could hope to ‘educate and extricate’ the City of Vancouver from this mania without a great deal of pain.
We can educate those who will listen such that they try to get out early, but only a very small minority would ‘escape’. And, realize that every ‘escapee’ would have to sell to someone who then takes the subsequent fall… so there would be no resultant net gain for the group.
Understanding the nature of speculative manias, we see no way forward but for a flushing-out of all speculation from the system. This will result in a price crash of 50%-66%, and general (temporary) mayhem for the economy and the society. Many will be devastated by that outcome. As we wrote some time ago, a real estate bear market will be Vancouver’s defining social and economic event for this decade.
There simply is no way of landing this bubble ‘softly’… there never is. Never.

Having said that, what is the very best overall outcome we could hope for?
How do well meaning citizens who understand what is going on direct the ‘action’ of any proposed ‘activism’?

We are very, very strongly opposed to any actions that would further ‘socialize’ the risk of being in the housing market. We would see such action as bordering on criminal. Such mispricing of risk has been an important cause of our bubble in the first place. We are strongly opposed to ‘bail-outs’ of any kind. In fact, we believe that the government should back even further away from back-stopping speculation, by tightening CMHC-backed lending. Buyers and lenders have to take full risk for their actions. So, please, no suggestions that public money be used to attempt to bankroll a soft landing in any way: such action would further punish the prudent (and, by the way, would be doomed to fail before it even started).
But, this may not be very helpful: we’re telling you what we don’t want.
What do those calling for ‘action’ suggest we call for?
– vreaa

76 responses to “Calls For ‘Activism’ Regarding State Of Vancouver RE Markets – What Action, Exactly?

  1. So prices fall by half – my guess is that all the sniveling renters out there still wouldn’t act and buy something anyway – so what does it matter?

    How many readers of this blog could actually pull together a downpayment of more than $100K? My guess is not very many.

    • so true.
      How many could scrape 10K together?
      Also not many

    • Presto, Hardy -> You really have no idea.
      Look no further than the last anecdote; a couple with a paid off $1M duplex.

      It is hard for some to imagine that there are people in this city who can easily afford to buy (by all modern standards of ‘afford’) who choose not to because they see the speculative mania for what it is.
      Some of them will even be cash buyers at 50%-66% off.

    • Presto -> BTW, in one way we agree with you: Vancouver housing would still be overpriced at 50% off.

    • Buy low sell high. I think you’ll be disgusted with how much cash is available waiting to buy. (And by cash I mean investments. I heard they aren’t the same thing.)

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      Who the hell needs a downpayment of 100k, haven’t you heard of cashback mortgages?

    • That’s pretty insulting. We sold our Connercial dr condo in 2010 and are holding onto our crystalized non- taxable capital-gain and as a result have $300k in our pockets. We have no intention of throwing our money away by buying back into this market. We happily rent 3/4 of a nicely renovated bungalow with a cute yard in the same area for $1,450/mo. Less than 1/2 of what it would cost in monthly payments to buy, even with a huge downpayment. So my point is, that you can’t assume that someone who is renting is doing because they can’t scrape a downpayment together.

  2. Presto, in response to your Genuine Expression Of Curiosity: I have over $100K for a downpayment ready to go, treading water in conservative investments and GICs (got an escalator two years ago that’s about to hit 3.5%; considered it a crappy deal at the time, but here we are).

    Rent costs me just under $12k/year for a top-floor place I like in a great neighbourhood. I’m expecting price drops to vindicate my decision to rent for the last 2-3 years plus however long it will take to come down — it would take a very small percentage drop on an average condo (let’s say $400k) to match $12k/year minus condo fees, mortgage interest and upkeep.

    As my downpayment increases, as the market looks worse, and as higher interest rates inevitably approach, I become better and better situated to buy. But I won’t do it until it makes sense.

    Call me a liar if you like…

  3. The best action to cool things down would be at the federal level (tighten CMHC, or fiddle with PR capital gains exemption), but I think that’s really unlikely with these clowns. I would suggest a land transfer tax to try to cut down on flipping, but it didn’t seem to help Toronto any (though maybe if it was ~10% instead of ~1%, or if there was a bonus LTT on non-primary residences).

    So maybe come at it from the other side: security of tenancy and rent controls so people don’t feel that they have to buy to get stability in their lives.

  4. For what it’s worth, I can scrape together 100K and still have 40K kicking around for a rainy day fund, well maybe a little less after the recent market drop. I live super cheap right now as I am single, rent with a roommate (600/month), dont own a car (work provides me with one, and I live by the skytrain) and make a very healthy wage for someone in their mid 20’s. I think it is extremly important to save young as the miracle of compound interest makes it very worth my while. I still eat out often and go on vacations (going to mexico in a week) and generally live pretty well. It is easy for me because many of my friends are students or dont have great jobs, so I end up doing things for fun that dont cost much money. Believe me or dont, it makes no difference to me.

    As for activism, I dont see much that can be done at this point. Preventing the bubble would have been all but impossible as the government like it when housing goes up, and now that we are so high, prices are coming down under their own weight anyway. I do my best to educate myself and those I care about. Of course, dont be too pushy about it, but if they are interested, I let them know what I know so they can make the right decision for them. Other than that, prices are coming down and in the interest of saving everyone as much trouble as possible, a slower crash is better. Anything done at this point would just make the crash faster and harder, which causes a lot more grief. As a potential buyer a fast hard crash is up my ally, but I dont mind waiting another year or so if it can give a few families a bit of a chance to save themselves.

    • BTW, with negative real interest rates (i.e., inflation rate > risk-free investment rate), the “miracle of compound interest” is actually making your (risk-free) savings shrink exponentially.

  5. Presto, seriously, your comment is so incredibly ignorant. But I don’t blame you directly. It’s been slammed into our heads over the course of many years that renters are second rate. That ownership is where it’s at. From the real estate industry to the MSM to politicians, the question isn’t whether you should buy, it’s how *much* you can buy.

    But Presto, *this* sniveling renter does so by choice. I sold my SFH and am now renting because 1) It’s much, *much* easier on the pocketbook, and 2) Because it frees up so much time. Dude, I traded lawn-mowing and upkeep for cycling and photography, and life’s never been better.

    I don’t know where this magical $100,000 figure you cite came from, because certainly most people buy homes with downpayments much smaller than that, but I can assure you there are many sniveling renters out there with far more than a hundred grand to their name, yet they *choose* to rent.

    In fact, I’ve maintained that even a 50% pullback – which I believe is in the cards – wouldn’t necessarily convince me to get back in.

    I’m curious though – how many sniveling *owners* have a spare hundred grand kicking around? Especailly those who’ve bought in the last few years.

    As for activism, I’m of the belief that the individual can accomplish a lot if he or she is dedicated. Speak up. Take your blog comments and send them outside of the blogosphere. Call your local politician. Write letters to the editors of local mainstream media outlets asking why they continue to slant their reporting and run deceitful RE industry press releases as “news.” Complain to the CRTC. Write your local real estate broker and ask them point blank *why* you’ll be priced out forever if you don’t buy now. Make your thoughts known. From my own personal experience, I can tell you people *do* listen.

  6. Thanks Gord! (And Jesse and Host). Rock on.

    At the risk of being a nuisance, I’ll paste in what I wrote on another thread earlier today, in response to the host’s query about what kind of activism one might undertake.

    I’d also recommend uniting in whatever way you can with neighbours or people across the city who share your views. Vancouver can feel very atomized.

    First earlier post:
    These stories related by MJW above (I’m grateful you took time to post) — outrageous prices, outrageous speculation, outrageous rental conditions, and people leaving — are exactly what I’ve been posting about in the last few weeks to the VREAA.

    I like also this professor’s call to activism!

    VREAA host — I’ve spread the word about this blog to various people, including someone in this city very involved in politics and very concerned with what is happening. He wrote to us (a small group starting to coalesce) two days ago that “There’s lots of interesting information” on the VREAA site. Hope he spreads the word further. Thanks again for the host’s efforts and so many commenters’ to bring some perspective and sanity to what’s happening here.

    And a couple of weeks ago I was suggesting here that people write/phone City Council, MLAs, etc. I hope people do.

    Finally, I’d mentioned that Israel had taken it to the streets about unaffordable housing, and I think I mentioned protests in New York too (I was referring to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations). Terrific to see there will be an Occupy Vancouver! I’d like to propose anyone who might want to participate actually occupy absentee-owner houses.

    Second earlier post:
    Hey host! Thanks for your reply.

    I agree with you that education is the best form of activism. I realize that you and other commenters on this site have a far firmer grasp of the history and economics of speculative manias than I do or could hope to achieve. With all the reliable information, knowledge and wisdom on this site, the seeds for change are already being planted. I honestly didn’t know so many other people in Vancouver found this whole situation as nutty as I did till I started reading your blog. There’s strength in numbers (pun intended).

    Sometimes I think a lot of hoo-ha is one good way to spread the word (a rally/march/act of civil disobedience that actually gets newspaper coverage). The sixties activist Saul Alinsky said nothing gets done without confrontation. It’s a very, very different situation, but Rosa Parks refusing to sit where she was supposed to sit on a bus sparked a lot of good changes. How about a Vancouver graduate student who’s had to move from basement to basement 4 times in 2 years (see latest postings at UBC website — including one that talks about speculative manias and densification!) finding the biggest fanciest unoccupied house in Shaughnessy and moving right in?

    As you wrote above, “There simply is no way of landing this ‘softly’… there never is.” (A financial advisor we know says the scariest phrase in the language to him is ‘soft landing.’ He echoed you exactly in suggesting that “soft landing” always means something more on the order of ‘total catastrophe.’)

    “Having said that, what is the very best overall outcome we could hope for? How do we direct the ‘action’ of any proposed ‘activism’?”

    Excellent questions. It seems to me too like any outcome of this bubble is going to be devastating for some, though let’s hope reforms arrive in the aftermath.

    As for directing the action of any proposed activism — I’d just say encourage people to do whatever they think might work to spread the word, perhaps encouraging public protests (about unaffordable housing) that could further spread the word locally and nationally. I understand from reading this blog that bubbles have a life of their own, and that they’re going to float/pop whither they will, but unaffordable housing in general/unstable and miserable rental conditions are eminently protestable in the meantime.

  7. For some fun I thought it might be fun to draft some poster/flashpoints that could be guerrilla-distributed around the city.

    My idea — superimpose:
    Picture of Japan price graph 1985 until 1995
    Picture of San Diego price graph 2000 until 2010
    Picture of Vancouver price graph 2004 until 2011

    At the bottom the text:
    Go on. Tell yourself Vancouver is different. Because it’s all you have left.

    Or:

    Picture of various houses with sales price at peak in green, sales price now in red.Then show the Vancouver house with current green sales price at peak with a “forever alone” face.

    Maybe I’ll googlesketch a few and post them. Others can do the same. Then facebook them or whatever the kids are doing these days. Also, hashtag #VancouverBubble on twitter if you can. Lots of backchannel about vancouver and bubble but no unifying thread. Spread the words.

    • Careful with posters and “guerillas”. A certain someone may threaten you with legal action.

    • Pamphleteering is so passé/dull… How about forming a local chapter of HedonistsInternationale [the ‘cheeky’ anti-gentrification FleshMob terrorizing Berlin EstateAgents’ OpenHouses], instead?…

      “Bopping around in the buff in the living room of this apartment in the formerly communist East Berlin district of Friedrichshain, the demonstrators quickly drew the ire of the estate agent conducting the viewing. “Get out! I’m calling the police,” he screamed, trying in vain to grab one of the naked dancers as techno music boomed.”

      [TheLocal] – Berliners strip naked to protest rising rents

      http://tinyurl.com/29ac9av

      • Sorry Nem, that’s not my thingie

        My protests, unfortunately, reside on the complex plane.

      • Aldus Huxtable

        The fleshmob protested a rent of $1,009/mo for under a one bedroom under 700sqft with all ‘modern amenities’ of granite and cherrywood. Our Vancouver equivalent will be very busy donning tearaways if that’s the price/sqft

      • Aldus Huxtable

        ..we are allowed to have issue with.

  8. Some great ideas; an ‘educational’ campaign is a good one.
    If posters such as those were broadly distributed, they could increase awareness, and the social media idea is good, too.

    This may seem like a conservative suggestion, but I’d suggest that any such posters are posted in such a way that they don’t contravene laws.
    Many readers will recall the “Vancouver Housing Bubble Ready To Pop” poster and “Guaranteed Bubble Pricing” sticker campaign of April 2010.
    It that case, realtors claimed that laws had been broken. This took momentum from the campaign and distracted attention (although there was arguably also a useful ‘Streisand effect’ – see posts 4.May.2011 and 6.May.2011 in that regard).

  9. Protest at Open Houses so that buyers know there is a bubbble. Disseminate flyers at Open Houses. Protest condo marketing events or condo lineups.

  10. KNOW YOUR PLACE
    SHUT YOUR FACE

  11. Matt: Brilliant. Could you rephrase? Haiku perhaps?

  12. We are very, very strongly opposed to any actions that would further ‘socialize’ the risk of being in the housing market. We would see such action as bordering on criminal. Such mispricing of risk has been an important cause of our bubble in the first place. We are strongly opposed to ‘bail-outs’ of any kind.

    But this is exactly what is going to happen.

  13. If the problem is lax credit and group-think, then that’s what should be attacked:
    – spread the word that current CHMC no limit policy is setting up government/tax payers to bail out speculators and the banks
    – make a few “emperor’s new clothes” type comments, get people thinking about how crazy prices really are and the size of debt they are taking on.

  14. CMHC: bailing out banks’ moral hazard since 1946

    If you think Vancouver’s not in a housing bubble you’re not thinking hard enough.

    Rich Chinese immigrants will keep house prices high.
    Because only 22% of immigrants to BC are from China.

  15. [Picture of crackshack teardown bungalow with big $1.2M price tag]
    Large caption:
    “Tell a big enough lie, and keep repeating it; people will eventually come to believe it.” – Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda

  16. [Co-opt Shepard Fairey’s Andre the Giant poster but change from ‘OBEY’ to ‘PAY’; show images of Vanc RE (SFH crackshacks, Yaletown ‘VANHATTAN’ towers) bearing the ‘PAY poster image)]
    pay

    • Isn’t the internet wonderful?
      There is a site that allows one to create your own Fairey. (!!)
      Within minutes, Vancouver’s ‘PAY’ was created.
      small pay
      (full size version added to main post above)
      Perhaps we need a monochrome version, too…
      let’s see…

      here’s a monochrome version

      …but perhaps the style is passe, Obama having bombed and all…
      perhaps we need our own iconic image.
      Perhaps we need to keep looking…

  17. ‘VANHATTAN’?
    No, ‘LAS VANCAS’

    (with image of Vegas foreclosure, Vanc crackshack, and/or Vegas/Vanc bubble charts)

  18. I’m enjoying this TREMENDOUSLY. Look at all this creativity! Terrific posters! Nude-ins at Open Houses! Can Vancouver achieve “world-class” protests, on a par with Berlin and other world capitals? I say yes! (Half tongue in cheek, but only half — this is all inspiring!)

  19. How about this…

    Lass Vancas

  20. I agree with Veera regarding the ultimate consequences for Vancouver.

    That said — perhaps it is worth trying to advertise to young people and/or first time buyers the situation and keep them out of the market. Yeah – other people will buy and get screwed, but maybe they will go intot the situation with more capitol and be less screwed.

    Little things could be done, but they won’t correct the over-leveraging that has already happened. UBC could build on their land and rent out to staff & faculty. The city could promote building non-condo townhouses/brownstones.

    In terms of housing policy, things can be done. But they cannot deleverage the people who are gonna get screwed.

    But CMHC & mortgage policy can be changed to slow down the bubble & speculation. Speaking of socialized risk — the CMHC rules mandate an automatic taxpayer bailout. The government guarantees allowed the banks to lend like drunken sailors. Let’s say CMHC could not guarantee any loans over 400K. That would change things very quickly.

    However, Vancouver needs to deleverage. A soft landing is unlikely.

  21. As a thought experiment, what would happen if prices roll back to where they were 5 years ago? I’m sure everyone thought things were fine back then, “normal” even. Why would it be different now? What actions have people taken in the meantime, if they think going back to 2006 “normal” would result in disaster? It’s really not that long ago.

    • Yeah, it’s interesting isn’t it… People can’t imagine more than 5% or 10% price drops, but, why not?

      Of course, going back to 2006 prices or beyond (even 2001-2003 range, very likely, in our opinion) means that almost everybody who bought in the last five years would lose all their RE equity, which makes that possibility ‘unimaginable’. It’s a very primitive psychological defence.

  22. I don’t get why you all have to protest. Out of all these ideas the education one seems the most reasonable. The logic that has been thrown on this board at least makes some sense even to the most ardent of people who believe that this housing market always goes up.

    I actually believe that the market is quite balanced at the current rate, renters and owners both have a lot of rights. I have no idea why you would want to tax primary residence, those people are not speculators. We already have capital gains placed on any additional properties and they are treated as investments anyways.

    Let the market play itself out and definitely do not do US style bailouts if it does crash. It is only fair that people put their chips on either side of the table and live with the risks and rewards. God knows that the government won’t bailout the savers if the housing market goes up say another 30%, so the other side shouldn’t be bailed out either.

    • “Let the market play itself out and definitely do not do US style bailouts if it does crash.”

      If a crash happens, the banks willbe immediately bailed out by the taxpayers via the moral hazard CMHC guarantees. It’s the Canadian “TARP.”

    • “I actually believe that the market is quite balanced at the current rate, renters and owners both have a lot of rights.”


      Logical fallacy. Collapse one issue into another, and find the second acceptable, so accept the first, too.
      What have “rights” got to do with a “balanced market”?

      Opinion: Property prices in Vancouver are overvalued by a factor of 2-3.
      We don’t see that as ‘balanced’. Market prices are currently tipped in favour of sellers. Buyers get very poor value; sellers cash out big-time at buyers expense. That is NOT a ‘balanced’ market.

      • Yes, but what does that have to do with the relationship between renters versus owners which is what I meant by balanced. I think both sides have good rights that are protected by the law and frankly don’t see why anything has to be changed.

        Buy sell side will be sorted out by market, no need to worry about it. I am a capitalist by nature, and I dispise of things like bailouts (eg US style bailouts, corporate welfare, etc). The market will always sort itself out, just need to let people know the facts and let them decide for themselves.

      • Okay, a semantic problem.
        Keep in mind that what you mean by ‘balanced’ is not what 99% of people refer to as ‘balanced’ when discussing the housing market.
        ‘Fair’ may be a better way to refer to what you are describing.

        And note that the ‘activism’ that almost everybody is referring to here is mainly aimed at educating the public.

    • “…quite balanced…”

      http://tinyurl.com/232hddd

  23. 2003 was the start of ridiculous IMHO but a more accurate point would be the date Van housing began its sprint from the typical 3x income metric.

  24. Build Tesla’s earthquake machine… http://www.excludedmiddle.com/earthquake.htm

    Start over.

    This may be a little radical 😛

    • A ‘vibrator’ that makes the earth move?
      Hmmm.
      I think folks already have these in abundance.

      • We ARE the vibrators. It’s a metaphor. Keepin’ wit the theme.

        (Wocka wocka)

      • This thread seriously needs a backing track… And thanks to Italy/Silvio… we’ve got one… [WarningToOceanographers: ‘Explicit’ Vintage MalibuMermaid Footage]

        “Unga Bunga Bunga (Berlusconi Mix)”

        PS, All – Did you like my Ascot/Pipe?
        http://tinyurl.com/4ykenqv

      • Ok.. it’s going to be ‘that’ kind of Saturday.

        Speaking of radical suggestions re: YVR RE activism… I have a GreatIdea! for a new Richmond headquartered DimSumSensation!/CulturalRevolution!…

        [DailyBeast] – Mao Will Serve You Now

        “at Red Scene, the waiters and performers are all dressed as Red Army soldiers, Red Guards, workers, and peasants. And the skit is showcasing the persecution of an evil landlord, who is being beaten and forced to wear a pointed dunce cap—a scene straight out of China’s Cultural Revolution, one of the most tumultuous times in the nation’s history. The epoch remains controversial for a huge number of Chinese who were submitted to such “criticism sessions”—or even knew people who’d been “struggled” to death—for being too bourgeois.”…

        http://tinyurl.com/3mu6sty

      • Today’s last… offered without comment (ChortleChortle)…

        [TimesColonist] – B.C. no longer ‘Best Place on Earth’ as slogan gets replaced

        “The B.C. government’s “Best Place on Earth” slogan has been consigned to the dustbin of provincial brand history. The decision to jettison the chest-thumping slogan has nothing to do with any change in the prideful phrase’s accuracy, said David Greer, communications director with the Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government.”…

        http://tinyurl.com/3eucolf

  25. terminalcitygirl->
    The exact trend line that prices may fall back to on the way down has been previously discussed. See here:
    Five Charts: Predicting Future Vancouver Housing Prices
    VREAA 11.Sept.2011

    Note the most radical suggestion, from ‘best place on meth’:
    “I’m wondering if you’ve considered a 6th possibility, that the entire past 1/4 century has been an aberration. Try putting a line under the 1976-86 period and see where it ends up.”
    [If prices were to fall back to that trend line, we’d be looking at 70% or more off. For the record, we don’t think prices will go that low.]

    • For condominimums, hey, stranger things have happened. If people ever start doing the calcs on how much those… things… cost I wouldn’t be surprised if the concept of owning a condo ends up being right up there with contracting the clap.

      • West Coast Woman

        You are absolutely correct. Condos are nothing more than a legal fiction created by government – what you’re buying is “airspace”, often in a building that a strata corporation leases from the property owner. The physical property owner has no responsibility for taxes, lease payments or maintenance – they just collect an income stream from the lease payments (which, of course, also increase over time). All risk and all costs for defective building workmanship or repairs are the responsibility of the strata owner – which usually ends up costing them many thousands of dollars through “assessments”. And what happens at the end of the lease? Too bad, so sad, your “equity” is worthless and the property owner gets to do whatever they want with the site.

        Why would governments create such a form of housing? It’s all about money – more property purchase taxes for the province, more capital gains taxes for the federal government and more property taxes for the municipal government. Plus it provides the illusion of economic activity.
        And, unfortunately, they’ve conned many people into believing that this is the only type of housing they can afford by overvaluing its true value in order to facilitate the collection of more taxes.

      • WCW -> Thanks for the primer.
        Is the arrangement you describe always the case?
        Does the condo owner always simply lease a part of the land through the strata corp? or do they, in some cases, own a portion of the land, again through the strata corporation?

      • Well, Jesse – at least you’d have fun (theoretically) acquiring an STD. And chances are, an inexpensive broad spectrum antibiotic would efficasciously deal with any ‘after issues’. On the other hand, even the most durable ‘building envelope’ arrives too late to help most condo ‘owners’ – and I’m reliably told that they ‘interfere’ with the pleasures of condo ownership.

        I know I’ll regret this, but I’d always thought that the old SunTower bore a remarkable resemblance to… ah… something vaguely phallic. Just think, if some WilyDeveloper came along, polished the copper roof and converted the whole SheBang into a trendy multiple unit DesRez… They could call it the ConDoMe [throw in a water tank at the top and you’ve got a reservoir tip, too].

        http://tinyurl.com/3tov8uq

        NoteToEd: It’s Saturday. Forgive me. Please!

  26. let occupy a park, set up tent city, trash some garbage cans in china town and demand free housing – free KEG streak and free cruiseship now!

  27. It’s kind of funny because I often hear about condo owners complaining about atrocious condo fees yet this reflects the true cost of operating a building.

    I’m not sure you’re all aware but rental buildings are buildings too, except we can’t charge our residents an enormous increase if we need money to fix stuff. When we don’t have the money to fix things we are called “slumlords”

    Condos are the biggest joke on “traditional renters” you’ve all been tricked into paying rent to the bank, unlimited “rent increases” for the true cost of repairing the stuff that breaks, unlimited property tax increases and dealing with your fellow “tenants in common’s” social problems…

    Funny how changing the name of something, makes it entirely different. (No it doesn’t)

  28. what do you propose? Showing up at city hall with signs that read,
    “sell me at home at 50% it’s true value”
    “I’m entitled to my entitlement”
    “homes for white people, immigrants out”

    Nobody will give a frying fluck about your inability to afford Vancouver. There are people living on the street. Do you think anyone cares that you’re priced out while others are still in the game? This is human competition at it’s basic level. Vancouver is for the strong, the fit; this city separates the wheat from the chaff.

    • “Vancouver is for the strong, the fit; this city separates the wheat from the chaff”

      Okay..The enlightened one!

    • …”the strong, the fit”…

      The racially pure. The MasterRace?

      7 years after the echoes had stopped reverberating…

      There wasn’t much left to celebrate in Nuremberg. Or Dresden.

  29. “Vancouver is for the strong, the fit; this city separates the wheat from the chaff”

    And the rest of Canada, or for that matter, the world are the lesser mortals.
    The unbelievable BS never ceases to amaze me. Seems more and more like an infectious mental disorder.

    • Hardy — if you’d read this blog carefully, you’ll see that the majority of commenters are concerned not about buying mansions at a lower price, but about unaffordable housing for EVERYONE in Vancouver.

      My own former street, as I’ve said here, used to be a healthy demographic mix — renters, owners, tradespeople, teachers, musicians, nurses, retired farmers even were part of the mix. Now it’s skewed toward the very wealthy. You talk about an obnoxious sense of entitlement. Is it obnoxious though, to believe, in a country that prides itself on its fairness and progressiveness, that it should be a matter not of elitism and entitlement but a principle that affordable housing should be available to all — everyone from “the people living in the street” that you mention to, yes, the medical experts in their fields that are not coming to UBC because even they find the price of housing here ridiculous.

      It’s also unjust of you to suggest that people writing into this blog are saying “Homes for white people, immigrants out.” I’m not only an immigrant myself, who’s spent the last dozen years teaching immigrants — I also see many immigrants who are very frustrated with the housing situation here. Again if you read this blog carefully, much of the ire about investment has to do with speculation that makes it very difficult for people who *have* to live and work here to find housing.

      Your comment about Vancouver being “for the strong” and separating the “wheat from the chaff” strikes me as rather Ayn Randish — and also comic, given how many government programs all of us benefit from in BC. Don’t you get free medical care and inexpensive education too?

  30. Pingback: Bull Hubris?… Or Appropriate Owner Confidence?: “Fundamentals don’t apply to Vancouver. Real estate has detached itself from economic reality long ago. It has reached escape velocity to break away from economic gravity. It is a beautiful case study.

  31. Buy low sell high. You are doing it wrong.

  32. Pingback: Activism? A Reader’s Posters – “You’re Poorer Than You Think”. | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

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