Couple Moving To Vancouver Ponders Rates – “My girlfriend & I have decided to move back and settle in Vancouver. We have put this move off for years due to the insanity that is Vancouver real estate … however, nesting instinct is taking over and we certainly aren’t getting any younger!”

“I have been following your site from over here in the UK for almost a year now. Both my girlfriend (who is Canadian) & I have decided to move back and settle in Vancouver. It’s been a very tricky decision as we will both be leaving secure jobs and I personally believe that Vancouver will be spending the next 3-5 years recovering from the most incredible 10 year credit binge. We have put this move off for years due to the insanity that is Vancouver real estate … however, nesting instinct is taking over and we certainly aren’t getting any younger! Needless to say, we won’t be taking out an $850k mortgage for what look like new 1:1 scale model houses and will settle as mere 2nd class citizen renters to begin with.
Anyway, the real reason for this email… I see there is real potential that the BoC will lower interest rates. As you may know, the base rate over here in the UK is dictated by the Bank of England and has been kept at an historical low since ’09 (0.5%). However, base rates don’t necessarily correlate with that what is paid by the home-owner … the latest over here is that LIBOR has increased and home-owners are going to get stitched (perhaps even those on capped rates!).

[See‘Mortgage timebomb’: RBS and NatWest make first move with rate hike for 200,000 customers – Halifax could be next’, MailOnline, 2 Mar 2012]
If Canada were to join the sub 1% club, what is the likelihood that the national banks would pass this lower rate on?… will homeowners get the better deal or will it the banks use this as an opportunity to raise capital against an increasingly dodgy looking uninsured (non-CMHC) lending book? As sentiments change and exposure to risk increases, banks could very well end up closing their doors to other banks. Record low base rates would only offer some protection to the homeowner at this point.
Also, if the amortisation period is being lowered along with interest rates, central policy could very well be to help stem the influx of fresh meat into the housing market whilst protecting the financially feckless… but for how long could this façade be played out for?
Not sure if my assumptions are relevant over in Canada, but I hope it at least offers an alternative perspective on the subject of rates and the consequences that are already playing out over here in the UK…”

– from ‘FotheringtonSmythe’, via e-mail to VREAA, 4 Mar 2012

This is an anecdote that supports one aspect of the bull argument – that people will keep coming to Vancouver despite very high RE prices.
As for the question about rates, perhaps readers can add their thoughts.
We personally believe that the market is so overextended that, at some point, it will implode regardless of how low rates go. – vreaa

63 responses to “Couple Moving To Vancouver Ponders Rates – “My girlfriend & I have decided to move back and settle in Vancouver. We have put this move off for years due to the insanity that is Vancouver real estate … however, nesting instinct is taking over and we certainly aren’t getting any younger!”

  1. Why do you feel the need to buy? Lowered rates or not, this is some of the most overpriced real estate in the world.

    Can you not “nest” while renting? I sold my house nearly two years ago in favor of renting, and it’s turned out to be a very smart move. No annual property taxes, no repair bills, no non-stop slaving around the house, and best of all, no exposure to the crash that is just now beginning.

    • I have renters applying for my places saying the owners have decided to sell and MUST find another place. It’s a real inconvenience if you have a family and not have the certainty that next year you may have to move not by CHOICE!

      Buy what you can afford! That’s my motto!

      • Thanks for the anecdotal evidence that amateur landlords/speculators are dumping their houses now that the market is flattening. Advice to those moving to lower mainland, including those with one-two small children: rent an apartment in a professionally managed building, at least for the time being. The highly speculative market in houses and condos makes renting from individuals hazardous, in all kinds of ways. If you must, do so with caution.

  2. Basement Suite

    You are correct that the BoC will lower rates, and that mortgages will consequently be even lower. You will get a mortgage with a 1 handle soon, rather than a 2 handle as is common now. Free money is apparently not free enough. The Bank of Canada won’t be happy until the target is 0%, because they are f***king idiots just like their step father Bernanke.

  3. I think we all agree that prices are insane. But what’s the remedy?

    • Basement Suite

      We simply need higher mortgage rates so the idots who want to buy a million dollar shack, can’t. When will that happen? Not until 2020 at my most optimistic estimate. I suspect much longer than that for anything approaching normalcy because the idiots in charge think free candy is the cure to the obesity epidemic.

      • higher mortgage rates don’t necessarily mean lower monthly payments. As rates go up prices come down, rates down prices up. How does this help a family who need to borrow at the higher rates?

      • Basement Suite

        Of course higher rates don’t mean lower monthly payments, the stated objective was to lower insane prices. Higher mortgage rates mean higher monthly payments, ergo prices MUST come down because greater fools can no longer make the payments on a million dollar crack shack. There can be all the theorectical ideas people want to have about how to pop this bastard with fancy policy and finger wagging for people to be prudent while handing them buckets of free candy. But higher mortgage rates are a sure fire bet, in a universe where rates would actually climb, but that is not our universe.

      • Basement Suite

        P.s. But to your question: Even if monthly payments required for a home remained the same, prudent people would benefit, because we could pay off our mortgage early and therefore pay a substantially lower overall price. When the insanely high prinicpal is nearly the entire amount paid over the lifetime of a mortgage thanks to free money, there is nothing to be gained by paying it off early. You are stuck paying the maximum amount for that shack even if you are willing and able to pay it down fast, it doesn’t help you. When interest rates are non-zero, you actually have an incentive to be prudent and pay it off faster, and you would be rewarded for that with a lower overall cost of your home even if the initial monthly payments are exactly the same. That is no longer our world.

    • I’m seriously loving the new Formula1.

    • Complaining isn’t one of them! =)

    • get rid of stuff that failed. privatize cmhc. dissolve boc. i.e. tell all the lenders they are on their own because their backstop is getting yanked.

      • Yeah. Let the market price the risk.

      • Robert Dudek

        Sounds good in theory, but in the current state it would lead quickly to a major depression in Canada. No one with any authority is willing to go down that road, so why even bring it up.

    • The Bank of Canada could lower rates but I think it would be a real mistake if they did. What credibility would they then have with the public after having lectured everyone on taking too much debt for the past two years as they held rates low? Making rates lower yet just incentivizes risky borrowing behavior.

      The biggest issue to my mind is those people who might get money at 3% or a bit less on a five year locked in today and then actually face a near doubling of monthly payments after renewal. The odds of todays low rates holding until 2017 seem pretty damn slim to me. Six percent as a best rate is much more likely and thus payments double more or less.

      What are the odds incomes will double in the same time period? Not good. It seems to me that a period of delevering in Canada such as we see in America will in fact be putting downward pressures on wages and salaries.

      Anyone foolish enough to load up on a big fat mortgage now will be screwed every which way to Sunday by the time renewal comes around. There is a tremendous amount of stress building on homeowners that is all but impossible for most to see, let alone imagine.

      And that stress will manifest in a high level of indebtedness facing off against flat incomes, lower home prices, falling sales and much higher unemployment.

      If that situation runs flat into rate hikes or a serious stock market correction we will not hear the end of the wailing and gnashing of teeth for a decade as Canadians end up trapped in underwater mortgages exactly like their American friends. Actually, it is going to happen anyway.

      Just try warning people though. They will call you an idiot and ignore you.

    • Witness what happens when a derivatives market dictates the value of the actual market. What’s the phrase for a promise without collateral? Hope and a prayer?

      There has to be a slow capital writedown, probably absorbed by the flippers. The greatest concern of citizens should be exactly who is going to bailout the speculators? They couldn’t have friends in the government, could they?

      The system was designed to leave the consumer and the taxpayer holding the bag. Everyone else got paid. Liquid titleholders with cashflow will maneuver. Everybody else should be prepared to dollar cost average the last seven years. Make government look at their own debt and keep their noses out of it. This is between the bank and the borrower. We weren’t party to the contract.

      • No special consideration is made for speckers and flippers. Those folks are just regulars. You can be fairly sure that any insiders of note have already bailed out or safely shifted wealth ahead of the wave. If you listen to Turner you are getting the straight goods. Get liquid or be stuck for years with an asset that falls in value. A simple message. Most just don’t get it.

  4. Craig Sterling

    Welcome Fotherington-Smythe: I’m Canadian, my wife is British and we’re not getting any younger eiher – we live in UK and we’ve been looking at YVR. Please tell yr girlfriend (if she’s from YVR) to go/come back and have a deep look around. I grew up on N Shore (W Van) and I could not BELIEVE the prices when I came back in April 11. Wife, son and I are going to YVR again in August but this time it’s for holiday only as we’re more or less set on Ottawa, Toronto or Montreal as places to live…

  5. oneangryslav2

    “We simply need higher mortgage rates so the idots who want to buy a million dollar shack, can’t.”

    It isn’t in the BoC’s mandate to worry about housing (bubbles). It is really up to the Finance Minister to put the brakes on this bubble by 1) Not raising the CMHC limit beyond the current ($600 Billion) and/or 2) raising down payment requirements to 20% and cutting maximum amortization to 25 years.

    Bingo! Bubble popped. So why hasn’t Flaherty taken the appropriate steps yet? Probably because he understands as well as anybody how dependent the Canadian economy is currently on housing and ancillary economic activities.

    • Basement Suite

      “It isn’t in the BoC’s mandate to worry about housing (bubbles).”

      Yes it IS: they want to keep it alive, they are in fact worried about it in the wrong way, weakness in housing is a stated reason for their considering further CUTs.

      “Bingo! Bubble popped. So why hasn’t Flaherty taken the appropriate steps yet? Probably because he understands as well as anybody how dependent the Canadian economy is currently on housing and ancillary economic activities.”

      Do you work for the BoC? That’s exactly the stupid thinking that has perpetuated this thing. Oh the pain of popping it, better never pop it then, in fact better cut further to ensure it stays inflated. That is just the utter foolishness that is in charge right now.

  6. We’re renting an acreage in a Langley for $1,945 per month. The property was acquired by the landlord for $1.7 million. It’s on the edge of commercial/industrial. The house is updated and the total property is about 2 acres (totally private). We could never afford to buy this property. It’s really nice. I’d rather be a “second class” citizen in a really nice house than a pauper in an owner occupied home that’s a dump. We could buy up to a $1 million home for cash (no mortgage), but why should we?

  7. CanuckDownUnder

    Here in Australia the banks have decided to make their own interest rate decisions independent of what the RBA does. They raise a lot of funds from overseas and borrowing costs are going up.

    Official rates were “supposed” to be cut in February but the RBA held, a decision they repeated yesterday. The first time around all the banks put up variable mortgage rates between 6 and 15 basis points. Since the decision yesterday only one of the minor banks has moved so far, putting rates up 10 basis points. The first major bank will make a decision on Friday, the rest will decide after that.

    • Craig Sterling

      same in UK, CanuckDownUnder – Halifax just whacked the mortgage rate up despite BoE keeping rates low because its (H-fax’s) rates internationally are rocketing… one to look for in Canada?

  8. The CAD:GBP exchange rate won’t do you any favours right now. A few years ago it was around $2.30, but it’s been floating around $1.60 for a long time. Will it ever get back towards the 2:1 range, I wonder?

  9. Craig Sterling

    Anonymouse – doubt it. My best forward projection is 1.70 for a while then down again, settling around 1.50 in abt three years time…

  10. Hey there is affordable property for anyone even in Vancouver, but you need to “compromise” to live in Canada’s version of paradise.

    This is not the right argument to make; instead look at the forest from the trees and it’s obvious the earnings don’t support current valuations. Financing markets don’t care how warm the winters are.

  11. The only ‘remedy’ to the current dilemma is large price drops.

    • that’s not realistic vreaa. Better we seek realistic solutions rather than expect the sky to fall.
      I like the CMHC rule change idea. There has always been high ratio mortgages so less than 20% down is not the cause of the recent spike. Greater than 25 year ammortization is something new. If Flaherty changes CMHC rules to limit mortgage to 25 years this might eliminate some buyers – but how many?

      • It may seem a bit off-key but there isn’t much room to manoeuvre between 20% equity and 10% equity. If they raise minimum 10% there is reason to think they would also need to raise minimum DP without MI to 25%.

      • It could be part of it, but CMHC rules don’t alleviate the root cause, but it gives the illusion of less demand by raising monthly requirements and cutting more people out of the market. The root causes are accelerated growth without limits. The two culprits: city tax assessments; and commission based sales. The city cash cow came to water and they won’t let it go. They will be the last to re-valuate properties realistically. Consider how assessors tier valuations—they don’t. It’s a free for all.

      • I acknowledge that it sounds harsh and perhaps even unreasonable to point to large price drops as the only solution. But, consider what one is asking for as possible alternative outcomes:

        1. A ‘soft landing’ alternative (price plateau until, over years, fundamentals like income and rents catch up); this is the most popular suggested ‘solution’. For this to work you would need the following to occur, over many years:
        – landlords would have to accept ongoing very low cap rates on investments (in some cases negative cash flow), without appreciable asset price growth.
        – buyers would have to continue steadily buying at prices that are two to three times those determined by fundamental values, in an environment where prices are not increasing, year after year.
        [Our belief is that both of the above sources of demand would seize up at these price levels as they have been so dependent on the promise of ongoing price growth]
        – owners dependent on the value of their RE for future financial health would have to sit calmly and hold through years of weak price action [our thesis is that many would start to bail].

        or
        2. Hyperinflation without increased mortgage rates (can that happen?)

        or
        3. ‘New Monaco’ (Vancouver leaves fundamentals forever; resort/service economy fueled purely by funds from elsewhere)

        Any other ways the market could proceed without substantial price drops?

      • “Vancouver is the new Monaco” is not a good argument because Vancouver, unlike Monaco, has 2.4MM people earning local wages, most deriving relatively little from interests outside the region. Monaco ostensibly is populated by those who are “mobile”.

        I can assure you “mobility” in Vancouver is not as favourable.

      • Summer Olympics anyone?

      • “Hyperinflation without increased mortgage rates”

        Negative real rates. Sure but I think people don’t understand what negative real rates means; the US has them too but with lower house prices.

        ” A ‘soft landing’ alternative”

        That’s what they said in the US in 2006. It happened in certain specific areas. No metro region experienced an aggregate “soft landing”.

      • “2. Hyperinflation without increased mortgage rates (can that happen?)
        or
        3. ‘New Monaco’ (Vancouver leaves fundamentals forever; resort/service economy fueled purely by funds from elsewhere)”

        Hyperinflation…? I would have thought that needed more liquidity. So the banker lends us more, to buy the goods the banker is financing? Sweet.

        Vancouver is tax dependent, unlike Monaco. Sydney or Seattle might be better comparisons in some regards. ‘Soft landing’ is a curious phrase.

      • Hey Jesse, maybe China will grant Vancouver special rights as a tax free zone. Then those Hong-Kongers like Stanley Ho can team up with the Squamish band and run a fast ferry up the coast for a big gambling experience. It can be a cross between Monaco and Macau and Caucasians will only be allowed when they work the tables or sweep up after the revelry…

        OK. I admit that was a little racist. But screw them and their money too.

      • vreaa,

        4. widening prices across property class tiers. This is the “they’re not making any more land” argument. Condo and attached have been too closely priced to detached considering the supply potential difference of each. I see falling condo and attached prices while more and more claw for a piece of earth. At the moment I think condo are overpriced by about 40%.
        FYI, anything with 3 bedrooms in this city is currently selling like hotcakes

      • 4SlicesofCheese

        “FYI, anything with 3 bedrooms in this city is currently selling like hotcakes”

        Really? Can you show some sales examples or stats? Cause for those prices, 500k+ I would think families with kids would just move farther out into the burbs.

  12. @Canis, you wrote: “Thanks for the anecdotal evidence that amateur landlords/speculators are dumping their houses now that the market is flattening. Advice to those moving to lower mainland, including those with one-two small children: rent an apartment in a professionally managed building, at least for the time being. The highly speculative market in houses and condos makes renting from individuals hazardous, in all kinds of ways. If you must, do so with caution.”

    I can’t second this too strongly! Five minutes ago I walked by a bungalow that a multiple-SFH property manager had urged us to rent.
    He was the one who said the house was owned by “local investors” he identified as doctors. When I had asked him how long we could stay, he gave the infamous reply, “Depends on market.” He said he had many properties like this for rent all over the West Side.

    Guess what? It’s for sale! If we’d rented it, we could have stayed all of six months.

    I have decided I’m going to do something in the civil-disobedience line this spring to protest, among other things, what havoc speckers have wreaked on the rental market. Anybody up for joining me?

    • Does it involve throwing rotten eggs? Or cream pies?

      • @Farmer — you’re joshing, I take it.

        I am envisioning something more dignified that doesn’t involve damage to eggs, pies, property or persons, such as linking arms in front of a bulldozer.

      • No, I was serious. I like pie.

    • “I have decided I’m going to do something in the civil-disobedience line this spring to protest”… Vesta

      Well, Vesta… there’s always the Davos ‘look’. Launched to rave reviews this season – and for some reason, as demos go, this one attracted record coverage… You might want to discuss it with your partner first, though.

      [Forgive me. Puleez! – Warning: PG-13]

      http://tinyurl.com/723h5gg

      • Nem, my first thought had been that the best way to attract local media coverage would be to have a half-naked woman involved. Um, that won’t be me, and I think might detract from the seriousness of what I want to convey, but you and I were thinking alike. I do hope a slightly more Steinem/Pankhurst/Tiananmen bulldozer-staredown kind of combo would still be newsworthy.

    • There is only thing TheMoney truly fears, Vesta…

      Laughter.

      This is what you want…

      http://tinyurl.com/3uxg8tv

      Prior to its Victorian ‘re-invention’/relegation to the realm of children’s amusement – Punch&Judy was a ribald adult-oriented entertainment… robustly satirical, racously anti-establishment… And supremely effective.

      The perfect inexpensive medium for public mockery of archetypal villains; whether they be public or private.

      Add .org to punchandjudy for further references…

  13. More evidence the market may be tanking:

    Got home after my walk to find a flyer stuffed in my mail slot. Text: “TREAT YOURSELF TO A FREE ALASKAN CRUISE FOR TWO. SELL OR BUY YOUR WEST SIDE HOME WITH DOUGLAS DANG, AMEX BROADWAY WEST REALTY.”

    Just in case anybody reading this blog would like a free Alaskan cruise.

    Maybe I’ll tell the owner of this house. He lives in Saudi Arabia and a free Alaskan cruise might look very attractive after all that heat. On second thought, where would I move to? Oh right, that’s a problem.

    To the kinder, gentler, wiser F1: Please, if you’re tempted to regress, don’t write and tell me I’m a sour priced-out renter. Remember, I’m a renter by choice.

    • Maybe they should be offering a free flight for two to Ireland to spend a weekend in that nice Donegal hotel that just sold for 899,000 dollars. Better yet, a trip to Greece. Nothing lifts the spirits more than throwing around wads of cash while the locals riot over taxation on restaurant tips, eh?

    • Free Alaskan cruise departing from the port of . . . Seattle!

  14. Garth Turner has been constantly ranting about Flaherty canning the 30 year in the next federal budget. Maybe he knows some inside scoop. If he wasn’t sure about this, he wouldn’t mention it in his posts. I guess we will see on March 29.

    Many also thought that this spring would be the time when true correction would be in full swing. But last month proved that this market just doesn’t want to decline. Even after months of slower activity and higher listings, prices stayed fairly flat. Richmond looks to be in the most trouble but still not much discounts on the homes that are selling. I remember in 08 people were in panic and then prices went down. At that time the US just popped and we were supposed to follow. Instead, well I don’t need to explain. The fear of 08 was forgotten and the “it’s different here” looks true, for now at least. All I can say is, ” damn”.

    • Van Guy, you do not seem to be able to see the obvious. We are at the inflection point now. This is the Wily E Coyote moment. It is like suspended animation (or perhaps suspended disbelief).

      Housing prices are already falling in cities across the country, restrictions from the Federal Government beckon, rates will certainly rise in the future and in the meantime we have run out of first time buyers.

      Nobody is left to buy. Even the banks get that and are in bail out mode. They have planted and harvested to the maximum of their ability and taken the largest share of consumption out of our economy. Almost all of it is tied up in mortgage debt and lines of credit. Screw the rest of the consumption economy…the banks took it all.

      So it’s over baby.

      This is the last hurrah and anybody who did not have the God damned common sense to get out last fall is in for a nasty surprise as spring approaches. As I mentioned earlier…have you noticed all the signs flapping in the breeze lately?

      • I’d like that to be true. But bidding wars continue in Van. FTB are not in the market for Van sfh. I know the market isn’t as hot as it has been in the past. Somehow new waves of buyers keep entering the market and keeping prices steady. For now at least. Ive always been bearish on RE, maybe too bearish and missed out on a good flip. Damn!

    • Prices trail inventory swelling and sales dropping. If the market is unfolding, it’s not going to be immediately obvious if you’re looking at prices – I watched in the states and people insisted there wasn’t anything untoward even as inventories built and sales flagged.

      I mean, it’s possible, of course, that the market insanity will continue. But I might be a sign … I’m a longtime bear who is capitulating – we hope to leave the city and have made applications to other places.

      I think, of all ridiculous things, that that 10K new-build FTB program is what finally was the straw for me. This Province cares about developers and the rest of us can go pound sand.

    • Don’t hold your breath. I spoke with a hedge fund manager last week who plans on bringing his foreclosure investment model north once the foreclosure wave starts in earnest in Canada. These guys buy SFH’s on masse and then rent them back to families who are trying to put their lives back together after taking on too much debt. Cash returns in the US for this investment are 10% plus as most homes are purchased at 50% less than build cost. Given generally much higher rents for SFH’s in Canada and the lack of family size apartment stock, expectations are that returns will be much better in Canada when the downward part of the cycle is well established. Just saying.

  15. West Side Survivor

    I still see tons of Asian families buying up homes here on the west side. Sold signs are popping up pretty regularly. The bidding wars appear to be more of an anomaly now, but the prices don’t look like they’re dropping.
    As long as offshore investors keep dumping crazy money into the west side of Vancouver, it won’t stop. Mortgage rates don’t appear have any impact.
    Now this is based on what I’ve physically seen in my neighborhood, but the only people I see at the open houses are off-shore investors. The news media portrays it as a very low number in Greater Vancouver, but I would bet that offshore money buys 70% of houses in Point Grey and Dunbar.
    And the locals just can’t compete.

    • That’s funny because the government pulled the skids on the investor immigrant intake last year.

      Saw a $600K Lambo in Richmond the other day. I can guarantee you it was not “HAM”. Anecdote that. Black swan?

      • there are Vancouver home buyers from abroad that never show up in the immigration stats. Parents got their citizenship sometimes decades earlier and they’d always lived elsewhere. There are many Chinese or Hong Kong who are now buying here as “Canadians”, not immigrants. Thus the investor immigrant rule change isn’t effecting pricing – one wealthy subsection subsides and another takes their place.

  16. Then they are truly the *greatest* fools.

    Really, what the hell are these “Asian” families thinking at this point? Where is the logic?

    • Owning a house that may be 200% over valued is less risky than keeping cash in China. It appears that the Chinese peoples distrust for their own government is so huge, they are willing to park money in hard assets anywhere outside of the mainland.

      If this is the case or not, I don’t know. I think it is absurd we don’t have hard stats about who is purchasing RE here. The fact alone that no one appears to be pursuing a way to verify who is buying makes me believe that there is pressure not to know. Perhaps the foreign buyers are significant enough that they rather not be outed? Perhaps the foreign buyers are so insignificant that they make but a fraction of buyers?

      Price crash or not, what the Canadian RE industry needs is much more transparency.

  17. FotheringtonSmythe

    @Gord – I think I have been misunderstood… Completely agree, we don’t intend on buying and will rent until the market cools somewhat. I just hope that the correction is more rapid and you don’t have a prolonged Mexican stand-off between the buyer and seller. Still, the rental market does seem quite normal in Greater Vancouver.

    @CraigS – Thanks Craig. My girlfriend grew up around the Vancouver area though she did leapfrog around the country due to her father being in the military. Her parents finally settled in Winnipeg, however options for my line of work in Manitoba is severely limited… I understand that places like Toronto do have a more established software industry, though we do have sentimental, ‘fluffy’ reasons as to why we want to return to Vancouver too.

    @Anonymouse – absolutely, I was in Whistler in ’06 and got just over $3CAD to the £. We were in Winnipeg over Christmas/new year and were getting about $1.50CAD at the cash machine! A fine illustration of how successful the UK govt. plan has been to devalue the pound (compounded by a strengthening CAD)… Most of our money is tied up in non UK stock, though a weaker CAD would obviously still help out.

    I honestly can’t see the UK reversing their debasement policy and therefore the exchange gap will only widen. The govt. here need to scrabble together a reasonable manufacturing sector and make exports more competitive. The Canadian govt. may very well go down a similar route in devaluing the CAD in what is quoted as a ‘race to the bottom’ to maintain a competitive edge, though I’m not placing any bets on this :)…

    • @FS – you’re right, UK government will debase the currency for all it’s worth in an attempt to build MF competitiveness – and savers suffer. Meanwhile BoC can do what it likes: but an economy based on the resources the whole world needs is never going to be as badly off as the W European markets – that’s the “hard-headed” reason we want to come back.

      I have many soft and fluffy reasons for returning to YVR, but the mortgage we would need – even putting down $750K+ – is a bit eye-watering, to be honest. Let’s see where we all end up! CS

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