Realtor Opinion – “These prices are the reality of our city, and the people who “over pay” for their purchases will rest easy knowing that if you buy and hold, property is the safest investment in the world!”

“Things look pretty out of control, that’s a given. As crazy as the market in Vancouver seems, what we have to accept is that any piece of property is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it, and not some calculation/forecast made sight-unseen for the purposes of taxation (for example). These prices are the reality of our city, and the people who “over pay” for their purchases will rest easy knowing that if you buy and hold, property is the safest investment in the world!
We can certainly keep shaking our heads at the perceived Madness of the prices paid, or we can try to shake off the feelings of “Wow, this is just nuts! When does it end?”, and get in while a Basement suite is still AFFORDABLE at $589k!
“The end is in sight” doesn’t apply to something that never has an end. There are deals out there that appear better than this one, by almost any measure, so get the deals while we can, because the dreams of those like myself who grew up in Vancouver, of owning property and living our life out here, are only going to get more “Dream” and less “reality” by the day!
Good luck to all land-owning hopefuls!”

– comment at VREAA posted by ‘Adam Janusz, RE/MAX Select Realty’, 13 Mar 2012 11:36am

A Vancouver realtor’s volunteered opinion on the market, circa March 2012.
Archived here for posterity.
– vreaa

113 responses to “Realtor Opinion – “These prices are the reality of our city, and the people who “over pay” for their purchases will rest easy knowing that if you buy and hold, property is the safest investment in the world!”

  1. Complete this sentence:
    Buy now or ___ ___ ___ ___ !!!!11!!

  2. Of course, what somebody is willing to pay for your real estate tomorrow is not necessarily the same as they’re willing to pay today…

  3. one must overpay to rest easy. plus, buy and hold makes it safest. i feel evangelized. spread the word!

    • Interesting ‘evangelist’ association because I had that too; it sounds like something you’d hear from a door-to-door proselytizer. There’s an exuberance about it.

  4. Just came back from the bathroom. I had to barf after reading that garbage. Oh how I dislike them realturds…. I really really do.

  5. Adam, kudos for walking into this den of bears (realists) and having the nuts to comment.

    But dude, you’re nothing but a parrot, quoting the scriptures of Re/Max. This bubble is imploding from the periphery, and it has been doing so for many months now. This is not a normal market. It IS a bubble, and all bubbles deflate from the outside in.

    Your blurb was repeated ad nauseum throughout the United States in the middle of the last decade as the madness ended and values began to plunge. What you say is NOTHING new. There is currently very little supporting the pricing obscenity here in the best rainforest on earth, and that can be seen as the inventory grows higher each and every day.

    Cut to the chase: There is *no one* left to buy. The Asian hordes never really materialized, and the Chinese who did arrive are now getting out after playing their little price-bumping game. Mortgages are only becoming more restrictive with each month that passes. Those who *could* afford to buy and were ignorant enough to do so, already did. The economy is stagnant. The general cost of living (including rising property taxes) has crushed disposable income. So who does that leave, Adam?

    The local pyramid scheme has been driven, like all RE pyramid schemes, by speculation and mania, which in turn is fueled by greed, real estate industry advertising-backed media, and typically bogus realtor jargon such as yours. A basement suite in East Van for nearly $600,000? You know in your soul how terribly wrong – and terribly unsustaniable – this is.

    And dont forget, Adam, you are a REALTOR. You are a salesman. Nothing more. You are not a financial advisor, nor do you have a better grasp on this issue than the economists worldwide who now call Vancouver the most *overpriced* market in the world. Not the most expensive – the most overpriced. That means the crap that’s sold recently – such as that basement suite – is not in any way worth the cost of admission.

    As this comes apart, as it’s already doing in the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan, Vancouver Island, etc, how will you feel knowing you’ve tried your level best to push the last remaining greater fools into buying mouldy boxes they cannot hope to afford, only to lose that shack to foreclosure? How will you feel, Adam?

    I am, BTW, a renter. I *was* a home owner, but traded away my life of house servitude in 2010. Best decision I ever made. I would not even consider buying in again until values have dropped a minimum of 50%. I figure that’s a couple of years away.

    In the meantime, Adam, my “dreams” have nothing to do with home ownership. Being a slave, hating my life every day as I fight to somehow pay off a $700,000 tear down – is not in my makeup. I’m 100% certain you’ll find that a comon theme going forward.

    • “…kudos for walking into this den of bears (realists) ”

      what is real for Vancouver Gordo?
      Mostly I hear about scenarios that are unreal from bears “realists”

      • F1: Honestly? I figure a $500,000 dump in the middle of soggy downtown Langley gets real at maybe $200,000. The same thing is East Van? $300,000. West Side of Van? $500,000.

        What do you think, F1? A Vancouver Special on some blah street in the middle of blah Burnaby…at what price point do you think an average wage earner, paying, say, 10% down, can safely get in with a good chance of *not* being burned as this thing unravels?

      • Gord: +1, I agree with your values.

      • honestly Gord – that’s your reality. What is everyone elses? That is, what has the market looked like for the last 12 years? At some point this “bubble” is around for so long you kinda gotta label it something else, right? I read the avg duration of a real estate bubble is 4 years. Question…when is a bubble not a bubble, but reality? 20 years, 25? LOL

      • “when is a bubble not a bubble?”

        So if a bubble becomes too big, it’s no longer a bubble? LOL

      • “So if a bubble becomes too big, it’s no longer a bubble”?

        not the size, the duration.

      • that’s right. i forgot communism actually succeeded.

      • Not sure why you object to Gord characterizing himself, & bears in general, as ‘realists’ F1. You yourself have said you expect a 10-15% correction followed by a flat period which is at odds with the over-exuberance exhibited by Adam. By the way, according to the IMF price corrections following real estate bubbles are generally in the order of 20-25% so not far off what you expect.

        At the end of the day everyone thinks of themselves as a realist – when has anyone said “I believe X because I’m an irrational fantasist.” A bubble (detachment of an asset from its fundamental value) will exist until it doesn’t. During the existence of the bubble it is ‘reality’ but that doesn’t mean it is not a bubble. The idea that because a bubble exists a really long time it can’t be a bubble is just a restatement of the ‘new paradigm’ argument.

        For a new paradigm to exist there must have been a significant change in conditions relating to the asset. Your argument is that immigration keeps house prices rising but for that to be true we’d have to have significantly more immigration than ever before which is not the case. And if immigration was the reason for the rises of the last 12 years why is it that you think prices will now go down and stay flat? Are we entering another ‘new paradigm’? Or maybe you’re just a realist?

    • reality check

      Gord, just because you want something real bad doesn’t mean it will happen. If house prices start to drop, it will just fuel another buying spree well before it reaches the 50% off mark.

      • ” it will just fuel another buying spree well before it reaches the 50% off mark”: like in Vegas or Phoenix I guess… And who are those buyers supposed to be?

      • reality check

        There is always demand makaya. if prices fall significantly then would be buyers will rush in. the only way this won’t happen is if interest rates shoot way up and if that’s the case then inflation will have kicked in.

      • “if prices fall significantly then would be buyers will rush in”

        I think homeownership in Canada is somewhere around 68%. Where would all those rushing buyers come from? And why didn’t they show up in the US when the market started to tank?

      • “Where would all those rushing buyers come from? And why didn’t they show up in the US when the market started to tank”?

        immigrants.
        our per capita immigration is much higher than US.
        And Vancouver, Toronto per capita is sky high above any other US city.

      • Between 2000 and 2010 the population of Las Vegas grew 35.1% & Vancouver grew 16.4%. Between 1990 and 2000 the population of Las Vegas grew 66.3% & Vancouver grew 24%.

        Maybe you should give that ‘reality’ thing a try F1…it’s not as comfortable as your ‘irrational fantasy’ world but it makes you look like less of an ass.

      • I should have mentioned, the populations of Vegas and Vancouver in 2000 were virtually identical so the whole ‘per capita’ argument is bunk.

      • reality check

        The US market crash was due to a huge over building of supply and then trying to sell it all to people who couldn’t qualify for a mortgage using conventional practices. This is not the case in vancouver.

      • It’s not?

      • Las Vegas reality is not Vancouver reality.
        Or is Vancouver the new Vegas?

      • Actually, it can be argued that our bubble is far far worse than that of Las Vegas.
        See:
        http://wp.me/pcq1o-1Zy

    • Some things… frankly… are just too tempting for some writers to resist…

      Mr.McLaren (aka ‘F1’) – “[it’s] not the size, [it’s] the duration!…

      …hehehehe…

      http://tinyurl.com/7dw72qr

  6. The realtor has a good point. At the end of the day, isn’t this just supply/demand economics?
    Why bother wasting good barf? The market economics will shake itself out over the long term, for better or worse, depending on your point of view.

  7. The realtor is right. The bears just keep crunching numbers and say it does not make sense to buy. And they have been saying this for almost a DECADE! WOW! Has it been that long?

    Bears, here is something I will share with you as a homeowner. “It will NEVER make sense to buy unless you live in a perfect world. And we all know we don’t live in one!”

    • “It will NEVER make sense to buy unless you live in a perfect world.”

      I didn’t know the US were the perfect world… interesting!

    • So if it NEVER makes sense…why buy? Ever? Apart from being sucked in by the mania, that is?

      Homeowner, this is NOT a perfect world. But there is this thing called “common sense.” In 1999, it made “sense” to me to buy a $275,000 house in Delta with a 35% downpayment. That’s not even on the same planet as what we have now.

      This is no longer about housing. It’s about GDP. Greed. Speculation. Mania creation. Collusion. “Investments.” Driving prices higher and higher for the benfit of a small minority. It’s pure evil.

      *cough* Nortel *cough*

      • reality check

        first of all Delta hasn’t gone up that much in relation to everywhere else. Yes it is about other things than housing but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bubble.

      • “first of all Delta hasn’t gone up that much in relation to everywhere else.”
        or maybe it has… the average price for a detached house in Delta North was $517K, an increase of 17.1% over the past three years, which is comparable as anywhere else in the Fraser Valley…

        How much a house in Delta was worth pre-bubble?

        http://www.fvreb.bc.ca/statistics/Package%20201202.pdf

      • reality check

        or maybe it hasn’t. Delta is not and never has been that desirable a place and 17.3% might be a lot for the valley but not for the city

      • ” Delta is not and never has been that desirable a place and 17.3% might be a lot for the valley but not for the city”

        So the average SFH in Delta has been going up much faster than inflation, is worth today $517K, but just because it hasn’t reach the insanity of some other parts of the lower mainland, it shouldn’t be considered as in a bubble? (“Yes it is about other things than housing but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bubble.”)

        Interesting logic…

      • Oh yes, 6 percent appreciation a year is nothing. We here in the city make much more than that on our real estate every year, from now till infinity.

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      Perfect time to update about my friend who had an open house and not one person showed up.

      After 2 more weeks of nothing the realtor suggested another price reduction. To which of course my friend said no way. So he is left stuck with a place that is depreciating. Another unit in the same building going for 299 k, they are listing at 329> 319 currently.

      Another friend that already bought their new house, still has their townhouse up for sale. Originally listed at 460 after multiple reductions now at 399. Been on and off the market for a year and they got tired of waiting and just went ahead and bought the SFH before they sold the old place.

      Recurring themes
      -unable to sell.
      -multiple price reductions.
      -listing prices getting close to original purchase price.

  8. Wow! When a realtor admits that market fundamentals are upside down and that only blind faith remains… surely the end is near? Buying real estate under these circumstances is like getting into a car with a drunk driver behind the wheel; just a matter of time before it crashes.

  9. “These prices are the reality of our city, and the people who “over pay” for their purchases will rest easy knowing that if you buy and hold, property is the safest investment in the world!”
    ———-
    Safest Investment?… Can I get that in writing? Does his E&O insurance cover bad investment advice?

    • I wondered that too. Is that investment advice? Mr Real Estate best be careful what he tells clients at deal time, especially if there’s a witness.

      • Witnesses may not even be needed. The complainants lawyer need only Google the guys name and pull up all his mad commentary to get a taste of his point of view…..like the remarks above in today’s post.

        Archives are fantastic. There are more than a few Realtors who will soon be eating their foolish words. The best part is that there is no room for them to deny the comments they left on sites just like this.

        I honestly do not know how they can pump R/E online with such idiotic statements and yet still offer their clients and the buyers they court a duty of care. The lawsuits are going to really fly once the wheels fall off this cart.

  10. Of course it’s supply and demand economics. BUT the demand is going to fall when interest rates rise and when 30 year amortizations fall to 25 year amortizations. ALSO, there is a ceiling on the number of buyers in Canada. It’s not like we have a billion people lined up to buy. Our population is finite (regardless of immigration) AND we already have 68% ownership in this country. Unless we are expecting to sell to the mentally ill, those currently living in assisted living, the homeless, the drug addicted, those too young to qualify (18-20), the unemployed, those on social assistance and those who don’t want a house because they want to be mobile, we are not going to chip into the last 32% in Canada who don’t own yet.

    AND, it’s unbelievable how many new listings there are in the Fraser Valley. Also, I’m seeing PRICE REDUCTIONS on the listings that are being automatically sent to me by two different RE agents. Once you start seeing more price reductions (like now), you know its the end game.

    You can’t believe ANYTHING most RE agents tells you.

    • reality check

      The Fraser Valley and Vancouver are too different worlds. The Valley has always been overpriced and it should continue to fall for a while yet.

      • cuckoo. shouldn’t this be triggering a dissonance alarm? perhaps successfully deactivated. well done. mr. t > i pity da fool.

      • That’s right! There’s no relationship. It’s different here.

      • It’s different here!

      • “The Fraser Valley and Vancouver are too different worlds.”

        That’s right, Vancouver is running out of land, because it is surrounded by mountains to the north, USA to the south, the ocean to the west, and the Fraser Valley to the east. However Fraser Valley is not running out of land, because it is surrounded by mountains to the north, USA to the south, more mountains to the east, and Vancouver to the west.

    • “Our population is finite (regardless of immigration)”

      you mean notwithstanding immigration. If you include immigration our population grows each year by 250,000. How else do you think we’ve gone from 25million to 35 million in 40 years? Hint…250K each year for 40 years = 10million (or the exact population change I noted).
      You can’t be as naive as to think we don’t add new buyers with immigration, can you?

      • 4SlicesofCheese

        LOL

      • Yeah, the infinite supply of mindless and filthy rich immigrants who are stampeding to get their below sea-level plot of land in the wettest city of earth. We all know there’s no alternative to living in Vancouver regardless of price – it’s just a matter of time until teardowns on the eastside will be worth $5 million a pop while the valley goes to zero because it’s just so much better in Vancouver. In fact, they will be giving away houses in the rest of Canada but Vancouver prices will always go higher. Idiots!

      • http://www40.statcan.gc.ca/l01/cst01/demo33a-eng.htm

        Looks like 355k net increase, btw. Or about 1%.

        Nevertheless, for prices in the future to be greater than they are now, someone has to issue ever increasing debt to increasingly marginal buyers. (And there isn’t any sign of leverage being increased, so this is going to be difficult to achieve.)

    • So true Canayjun. Realtors are being much less than honest these days. With only a small effort any Canadian can quickly discover the serious risks to buying real estate at its peak. These so-called professionals are in the business full time though. They live and breathe real estate. To call them disingenuous is far too kind. Bare faced liars is closer to the truth. Most do know better and the honest dealers will not hide the truth from their clients. It is just as simple as advising that this is a risky time to buy and leaving the rest up to the purchaser.

      Like you say….you cannot believe anything most of them say. It is not even advisable to ask. Every seller has a clear agenda to sell product, not moralize or preach on the state of the economy.

      • While I agree with much of your analysis I don’t necessarily come to the same conclusions. Ex-Vancouver realtor PaulB thought he could outsmart the market, selling in the 2008/09 trough and possibly advising his clients to do the same:

        http://vancouvercondo.info/2009/02/vancouvers-best-realtor-leaving-town.html

      • blammo -> Did paulb actually sell at that point or did he just leave town?

      • Not many can time markets Blammo. All you really need to know is the basics such as when price appreciation has run out of control and gone parabolic. Like in Vancouver. After that it is anyone’s best guess as to when the worm will finally turn and prices start falling.

        One thing is sure; you don’t want to be holding an overpriced property when the change finally comes. It could be a long time before you find a buyer to take that burden of an asset off your hands.

        Keep in mind the long time line of mortgages and debt. When it comes to housing we measure the experience in decades. Where stocks or shares are concerned it is often just days.

        Being wrong on housing by a few years is no sin if you caught the primary trend and were right in your assessment. Better to be early than not to sell at all.

      • Agree, Farmer. One only has to get the timing vaguely right to get the trade right. Buy in the vague vicinity of a bottom, sell in the vague vicinity of a top… that brings one out way ahead of the crowd.

      • 100% true. The other side of the coin is that we just do our best to avoid buying at obvious tops and making an effort to get invested near technical bottoms. Nobody can predict the future but thankfully we do have plenty of history to work with to assist in making more sensible buying and selling decisions. I am usually in awe of the people who have the fortitude to play out the market to its last uptick (and win). I don’t usually have the nerve for it myself and most who try fail badly. Getting out with a fair profit seems reasonable enough to me without being burdened by all the risk associated with the gamble on which nose actually takes the race (I mean horses or course).

  11. Canayjun, that’s the second time I’ve heard that today. Do you have facts/info from the FVREB?

  12. 4SlicesofCheese

    Who buys and holds?

  13. Ralph Cramdown

    Safest investment because:
    – it’s completely undiversified
    – the government can always expropriate to build an expressway next door, and not pay you market value
    – or they could build the expressway next door and NOT expropriate
    – abbatoir opens upwind
    – neighbour’s becomes a crack house
    – local industry shuts down and the economy goes to hell
    – halfway house opens up next door on the other side, to treat all the crackheads in the neighbourhood

    • and:
      – it can be totally illiquid
      – it costs you a fortune to own it (why bother with dividends, really?)
      – it depreciates

      Such a great investment…

  14. I have been a long time bull but it’s becoming pretty clear that the cracks are showing. Two years ago I laughed at predictions of a 50% drop in prices but it no longer sounds quite as unlikely as it did.

    I am tempted to try and sell my clear title home but I love living in it and I still think a decade-long, shallow decline in prices is still possible and I don’t want to sit on the sidelines renting during my twilight years, even though it’s beginning to look like the financially smart thing to do. If I was young I’d be looking forward to my first open house.

    I do worry about friends who have second properties (condos) that they rent out, if interest rates climb, inventory explodes and the number of renters doesn’t grow proportionately, things could go very badly for them.

    I’m fairly confident my home will be worth a lot less in the not too distant future but not confident enough to take the chance of selling at this time in my life. I do believe current price levels will eventually return but it could take decades.

    • Thanks for posting, axeless.
      We agree with your outlook.
      Your story is very relevant to all of us interested in the market, and we will headline it.

    • By the way, axeless: How do you think your contemporaries in similar positions to yours will respond when prices do start showing significant drops (15%, 20%, 25%, etc)?

    • I hear the angst, Axeless. I don’t want to read too much into your comments but I hear you talking about conflicting ideas that are competing for equal attention in your mind. You might like to sell yet still enjoy where you are. At the same time you agree you could lose significant equity if you don’t make your move…….but you don’t want to move.

      Try this instead. It will cost you nothing but a phone call to a Realtor.

      Put your place up for sale on the strict condition you do not have to vacate for 5 years. The buyer will become your new landlord, you will fatten your bank account considerably after the sale and your new expenses will be more or less fixed by a rental rate. No more repairs for you and no more worries about leaving your neighborhood.

      In five years time, buy it back again……..and low-ball it just for fun.

    • hey axeless. i smell a bullshit post. i don’t believe you are who you say you are. If you own a home free and clear then who cares how much it drops. It’s just a paper loss. It is not the same as the US, even though every bear seems to think it is. Yes there will probably be a correction of some sort but will it be in the neighbourhood of 50% absolutely not. We don’t have the same subprime exposure and interest rates are going nowhere in the near future. Europe is screwed and we’ll be lucky to escape a recession. Oh and vreaa of course you agree with his outlook, you’re the biggest bear ever.

      • Don’t be so sure about interest rates. The bond vigilantes feel differently than you do. Even Mr Ben Bernanke cannot control the outcome once the bond market starts demanding higher returns and that is coming. There is already cracks showing that rates may be on the upswing so get ready.

      • And in a recession, demand for overpriced housing will only increase.

  15. Hi axeless: I’m not really so far from my “twilight” years, and I have to admit there was a time I couldn’t concieve of renting as I made my way into them. But we sold our house because I’m a huge believer in the bubble, and we put the profits into paying for our current rental. It was hard to let go at first because owning real estate is what we were all taught to do, but I’ll tell you this: After you get accustomed to it, it’s tremendously liberating. Plus, I’m in much better shape financially, and I don’t feel compelled to spend weekends doing repars/renos, etc. The bonus is that I’m not all flustered at this time of year wondering how the heck I’m going to pay my property taxes.

    Would I buy again? If current price levels dropped by more than 50%, as I strongly believe they will, I might. But not before.

    Just food for thought. Welcome.

    • I am glad to read you post Gord. I just wrote along a similar theme and then felt guilty about suggesting Axeless buy back her own home in the future once prices have corrected down. She would thus get the benefits of selling at the top and buying in at a low point without ever having moved. Seems mean on the surface but what is the point of being a loser to a market that is functionally insane anyway? Who’s fault is it that prices are so far out of touch? This is just called rolling with the punches. You need to use your head to keep on top of this kind of game.

  16. All I’m saying is 250,000 immigrants per year does not mean 250,000 house sales. How many of the 250,000 are children, who apparently don’t buy houses. How many can’t afford to buy a house? How many are going to live under ONE roof together. 250,000 immigrants does NOT mean 250,000 extra house sales a year. Now that’s REALLY naive thinking to think they will ALL buy a house.

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      250,000 immigrants means 250,000 extra house sales a year.
      That seems to be common sense to F1.

      • “250,000 immigrants means 250,000 extra house sales a year.
        That seems to be common sense to F1”.

        who said this? I think it was Canaujun.
        250,000 immigrants/year produces a heck of a lot of house sales but not 250K

  17. Gord

    I only have anecdotal evidence. I’ve been getting hot sheets from two different RE agents here in Langley. I’ve seen a large increase in the number of new listings sent my way as compared to January. I’ve also noticed two of the ones sent my way today had PRICE REDUCED on them. It’s only two out of four listings sent my way today. And the price reductions are on listings that are quite old.

    • I am expecting the listings to accelerate sharply Canayjun. What you are seeing now just confirms my beliefs. It is well known that a serious correction on stock markets could jolt home prices. The problem for anyone with an investment background is that they will also realize that any jolt from these high price levels will not likely see a rebound for a long, long time. The fact that Vancouver is in a bubble is well known and so whatever triggers the decline is less important than the fact the decline has actually begun. It will not likely end until market balance is achieved. Some people call this reversion to the mean and it is normal for a correction off a bubble to fulfill that requirement. So there are those people with an understanding of the dynamics who are looking at this spring as the last best chance to get out. It is no secret that stock markets are overbought now and that positive sentiment has run far ahead of fundamentals. There will be a correction. Few doubt that. What is unclear is how sharp it will be once it comes. Lets just say it won’t be good though.

  18. Farmer

    I agree with everything you say. The signs are there if people are willing to open their eyes. That’s all they have to do: open their eyes.

    I think it makes for a much better discussion if people based their comments on analysis, rather than irrational notions that 250,000 immigrants per year is going to keep our house prices growing at the rate of 10% per year. If half of the 250,000 per year actually buy a house (and I’m being generous with that number), they only amount to 1/2 of one percent of adults in Canada who can afford to buy a house. How is 1/2 of one percent going to cause house prices to go up 10% per year for ever?

    Anyway, I’ve watched the hot sheets from two RE estate agents in the Fraser Valley for the past two years. I’ve seen houses that have been listed for 2 years. I’ve seen price reductions in smaller numbers last year, a growing number of price reductions in the last few months. AND, everything is related with regard to RE in the lower mainland. What’s happening in the Fraser Valley is totally relevant to what’s happening in Vancouver.

    Denial makes today tolerable, but it doesn’t make the fiction into truth.

    • These pretzels are making me thirsty

      There is denial, delusion and childish argumentativeness in posters like F1. Not very mature. Either that or he is a REALTOR.
      I skip him ever since he comparing Lions Gate bridge to Golden Gate bridge.

      • landmarks pretzel, landmarks. Some dimwit on this site stated Vancouver did not have landmarks. Stanley Park, Lions Gate, Pan Pacific define this city as do Central Park, Golden Gate and Sydney Opera House. Want to find yourself a city without landmarks try London, ON, or Regina, or…hate to say it, Montreal.

      • For the record, here’s what formula1 actually said (VREAA14Feb2012):
        “I’d say Canada Place is on par wth Sydney opera house. Stanley park on par with Central Park. Lions Gate Bridge as distinctive as Golden gate bridge. And new BC Place is fantastic and sets us miles ahead of any of the aforementioned.”

      • the sky isn’t falling … the sky isn’t falling

      • 4SlicesofCheese

        Next time someone says they visited Central Park ask them if they stayed for the pitch n putt!

      • For the record, here’s what formula1 actually said

        for the record – my reference was to these places as landmarks.
        anyone brain dead enough to comment that Vancouver has no landmarks has blinders on. Add to this BC Place and Science Centre. Why not pull up that poster quote vreaa? Mother bear protecting one of her cubs?

      • f1 -> Your goading is pathetic; give it up.
        Regardless, nobody around here needs any protection.
        .
        For anybody interested in the whole ‘landmarks’ exchange, see here:
        VREAA 14 Feb 2012

    • Love the last line of your post. So true! By the way, I know a few new immigrants well. They are struggling. They are focused on learning English and navigating our crazy system while trying to land elusive jobs, not shopping for homes. Like you, I also cannot see how immigration will boost prices as most newcomers initially rent. It takes most of them years to save down payments before they can buy in and become homeowners themselves. There seems to be a real misconception that everyone coming to Canada is already wealthy but I don’t think the statistics support that. The whole HAM issue has also been overplayed but in any case we need to keep in mind that immigrants are coming here from places other than China.

      Afghanistan is just one example. Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Pakistan and Bangladesh are others. Quite a number are refugees and arrive with little or no Canadian work experience and have only a poor education.

      If anything, immigration supports rental markets. I do not believe it is having a major impact on home prices though. Not at these lofty levels.

  19. it will never make sense to buy when you live in vreaa blog! the world is much bigger than this blog, people!

  20. too much debt

    “property is the safest investment in the world!”

    Sure it is, ask anyone in Phoenix, Las Vegas or Miami. I am sure they feel that way after six years of price declines. Don’t worry the Titanic was the safest ship in the world, it was unsinkable, how did that one work out. Be afraid very afraid.

    I also have a problem with anyone calling your principal residence an “investment” If you put 5% down and amortize it over 30 years, your million dollar house will cost you almost twice the purchase price in the end. Not to mention the house is a depreciating asset and you will have repair and maintenance in addition to property taxes. An investment pays you every month, not the other way around.

    • “An investment pays you every month, not the other way around.”…Owning a home pays you every month in the equivalent rent that you’d be paying to live there. So, you could say that its a poor investment, but its still an investment of sorts.

      • agree.
        Owning a home is a horrible way to “invest” for profit. Much better vehicles out there.

  21. Farmer..you obviously don’t live or frequent Vancouver westside very often.
    I obviously don’t either but I go to Vancouver every 2 months or so, and also have family and friends who live there. Everytime I go, it’s HAM. I have walked by homes for sale and literally in front of me, wealthy asians pullup. I have gone to open houses and it has been all asians speaking their own language. Where my family is – most of the street is HAM – new homes, a few asian boxes of the 90’s and only a few original character homes left. The HAM issue has NOT been overplayed there.

    • Quite right Calguy. I sometimes forget I am on a Vancouver blog when I get here. My remarks were more general in nature and referred to national stats. You are correct though, I have not been to the West side in a very, very long time although I know it well (geographically) since I grew up there. I am guessing most of my neighbors are long gone, having sold out to the big bucks offered by Chinese investors. But Vancouver is still relatively unique where investment out of Asia is concerned, is it not? We don’t really see that same dynamic playing out right across the country. It seems to be a Vancouver and Toronto phenomenon.

    • I’ve always been surprised by the number of folks at this site who seem to think that HAM has had only a marginal influence on Vancouver RE prices contrary to what I know and see every month I’m back there. Perhaps, not living in the city opens one’s eyes and ears to what is actually happening all over the GVRD. Even my friends in South Delta talk about how they want to see the HAM invasion down there to get average prices above $1 million so they can sell and leave with their retirement nest egg monetized. Vancouver RE is entirely a symptom of the Chinese financial bubble.

      • Agree Airdales. I do not think there is a marginal influence in Vancouver at all. I know better. It has been that way for years and the influence is growing. I was merely referring to aggregate numbers across the country.

    • yes because vancouver is cheap in relation to china. It is not cheap in relation to local incomes apparently but don’t be fooled there is a lot of money in vancouver. My aunt is selling her westside house and that will free up 3 million dollars of which my two cousins will each get a million to spend on the east side of the city.

      • “is selling and will free up”? Hurry . . .

      • “is selling and will free up”? Hurry . . .

        before 1M doesn’t buy you east Vancouver anymore

      • Yes, exactly, those poor cousins will be PRICED OUT FOREVER. Looks like some of that “lot of money in Vancouver” is about to be vaporized. I’m not sure I can stand to watch this.

      • Ergo, China will soon be outsourcing to Vancouver.

      • Vancouver is no longer cheap compared to major cities in China. In fact, an immigration consultant told me that Asians now consider Vancouver very expensive compared to just about all other alternatives.

        Yes, there are lots of millionaires in Vancouver because of the RE bubble but you also have the highest number of low income families, highest child poverty, and a middle class that is absolutely screwed.

  22. I thought there were already a lot of Asians here to begin with. How do you know the ones you see are new arrivals? Did you talk to them? Granted some of them are new arrivals, with new money, but some of them are just immigrants from years ago who are moving, just like non-Asians trade up or trade down.

    • This is my point exactly, just because some is ethnically Chinese and is buying a house doesnt make them new imigrants, Chinese people have been in Canada basically as long as Europeans….

  23. My realtor called me a couple of days ago. He does not appreciate the extent of my knowledge about the market, finance, economics, global capital flows, credit markets, asset inflation, leverage, oh – – and the concepts of net present value. He also has probably never read a real estate blog. His intelligence is also likely not even as high as VREAA’s dog (if there was a dog . . ).

    He basically went on at me for about 30 minutes about how he can stand to see me throwing my money away on rent and that my wife and I need to get ourselves into a little “fixer upper” in the north shore. There are so many you can get for under a million. He went on to give me all the realtor speak – – – But I do not argue because it’s not possible. Funny thing – he rents – thinks it’s great. Also said HAM not here any more – things are dead. Very difficult to move a house in Richmond right now and mid to high end not really selling. This must be a bad sign because he has never admitted such. Even 5 months ago things were as “busy as ever” even while stats would show otherwise.

    This city is delusional and to use a partial quote from the recently departed Goldman exec . . “A visitor from Mars . . . . would wonder if we practice some type of voodoo economics in Vancouver and the entire city is brainwashed” . . . – – Well – to top it off – tomorrow I am representing my firm at a gathering of Real Estate professionals. I am the speaker to introduce the main speaker. Given that I will likely be moving out of the country soon – perhaps I should wear a t-shirt / hat at the beginning with that famous Che Guevara-esque picture which says “PAY” . . ….

    Well – Off to work in BPOE – – – – Sunshine? Who needs that !!!

  24. reality check ->
    Do you really believe yourself when you say “If you own a home free and clear then who cares how much it drops.”? I suspect you are badly underestimating how important market prices are to home owners. Do you think they are going to watch hundreds of thousands of (tax free!) dollars of imagined home wealth evaporate without experiencing any effect?
    I’d say your claim is completely incorrect.
    There are far more people in this town whose future is dependent on the paper value of their current RE holdings than you can imagine. When prices start dropping many will come to market, to attempt to realize those paper ‘gains’. This will result in lots of supply. That’s how bubbles burst.
    And, as price is you only need a small number to crash the market. How many home owners need to come to market at the same time for a market to crash? 5%? 7%? 8%? It’s not much.

  25. Pingback: “Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of money in Vancouver. My aunt is selling her westside house and that will free up 3 million dollars of which my two cousins will each get a million to spend on the east side of the city.” | Vancouver Real Es

  26. Pingback: “I have been a long time bull but it’s becoming pretty clear that the cracks are showing. Two years ago I laughed at predictions of a 50% drop in prices but it no longer sounds quite as unlikely as it did.” | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote A

  27. THE SERVANT’S OF HOPE SOCIETY

    The Servants of Hope Society is a faith based men’s recovery house located on the east side of Vancouver. Founded by Sean in 2004 with a vision of men helping men through servitude and the overcoming of addiction. As unconventional as it sounds there has been a very good success rate for the house.
    After spending 30 years struggling with addiction, never finding the answers to recovery, living in depravation, hitting bottom after bottom, hopeless and never thinking my life would change, I found faith through the help that I received from strangers and the kind acts that they showed. After 2 years of sobriety I felt that the only way to continue in my sobriety was to give back to others in need. The house has now been open and active for the last 8 years. On April 4 th 2012 I will be clean and sober for ten years
    Bringing the message of hope and recovery to the Downtown Eastside. The success of the last 6 years of outreach involved HUNDREDREDS of people getting together with minimal financial and material support. We were still able to feed and meet the needs of over ONE THOUSAND people THIS year. The majority of the people involved with helping this cause had a history of substance abuse and a high percentage of those people came from the Downtown East side

    The Servants of Hope is a non profit charity that has been helping the people of Vancouver’s downtown east side for the past 6 years. Alongside hot meals and warm coats they serve up a sense of hope and a chance at a new life. Below is a video link from Christmas 2012 over one hundred people came together to feed the homeless and do outreach we served over one thousand people that night

  28. Pingback: Renting Realtor Wants Renter To Buy – “He went on at me about how he can’t stand to see me throwing my money away on rent and that my wife and I need to get ourselves into a little “fixer upper” in the North Shore. Funny thing – he

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