Vancouver Sun – ‘Metro Vancouver families trapped in starter homes’

“Erin Welch and Valerie Griffiths are trying to find a bigger place so their family of four can move out of their 850-squarefoot condo, but like so many would-be home buyers in Metro Vancouver, they are finding it nearly impossible.The couple, who would prefer to stay in Mount Pleasant – close to their workplaces and daycare for children Tate, 5, and two-year-old Lydia – say even with a $600,000 budget, they may have to leave the city to find affordable housing.”
Vancouver Sun, 17 Sep 2015

182 responses to “Vancouver Sun – ‘Metro Vancouver families trapped in starter homes’

  1. Vancouverites want to stay in Vancouver, and suburbians want to move into Vancouver, add in population growth and immigration, is it any wonder that Vancouver prices is skyrocketing?

    Btw, 850 sq ft is positively huge to many recent mainland immigrants and probably quite a bit cheaper than same size condos located in similar neighborhoods in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.

  2. 850 sq ft 2 bedroom condo within any sort of distance of city centre of beijing costs at a minimum a million canadian dollars. And that’s the concrete shell btw. This gives it some sort of perspective.In Hong Kong, an 850 sq ft condo with the proximity to downtown of mount pleasant would be 1.5 million. 600K is not a lot of money for a budget frankly, most of the people I know looking for places (and I know quite a few) have at the minimum a 600K downpayment with 200K combined incomes. I don’t get how this is news anymore. Single detached houses are not driven by local incomes, this has been the case for the last several years and it shows no signs of slowing down. Go to any large lots in Vancouver Burnaby and Richmond and see who are looking at those 1.5 million dollar properties, give you a clue, mandarin is the only language heard in the house. It’s only gotten worse over the last year.

  3. Actually, in China, your stated square footage includes proportionate shared of common area as well. So 850 sq ft might really only mean ~700 sq ft actual space inside the concrete shell. The other ~150 sq ft are areas taken up by stairwell, elevators, entrances, common area, amenities, etc.

  4. And by the way, why are we taking Beijing, a major political and cultural capital, and Hong Kong, a global financial center and travel hub, as points of reference? Just because Vancouver has a large Asian population? Get over your “wealth migration” theory. As if wealthy Chinese had two choices in life: buy in China or buy in Vancouver. And as if Chinese money were even a significant driver anyway (as opposed to locals’ massive borrowing and speculation).

    The appropriate comparisons are other mid-tier cities like Seattle and Portland.

    • Well actually, you are technically correct, they have a few options, but those are all equally expensive. See Melbourne, Sydney for example. Seattle isn’t an option for them, neither is Portland. I don’t get how you can say there is no wealth migration when immigration canada has basically admitted that it has let in 60000 millionaires to vancouver from both the iip and qiip as per Ian Young’s research. That is more wealth based immigration than the entire US combined during the same period. Chinese people have a few options, 1. leave money in China (bad) 2. Move money out of China and leave their family in china (also bad) 3.Move money out of china and leave their wife and kid abroad (good). For 3. you have to have a city that actually speaks mandarin which neither Seattle nor Portland is. So really you are down to Vancouver, Toronto, and San Francisco where you find entire cities where you don’t have to know english. I have worked with high networth individuals from China who show up in Vancouver and I can allow him to roam around without knowing much English than your basic hello and sorry. His comment was literally, this place is awesome, I can get around using mandarin. So in reality, they don’t have that much more options.

      When you say asian money is not a significant factor. You are also technically correct, because most of the market is condos and attached housing; asians don’t care much for that. However, in detached housing, especially luxury housing, they are a huge factor. Consider that most established real estate agents estimate for properties over 3 million, 70 to 80% of the buyers are from Asia. Combine that with a lack of supply of single family homes, then you have your perfect cocktail on why Vancouver detached has gone through the roof. Notice how the attached part hasn’t followed, cause that part is actually driven by low interest rates. Again, if asian money isn’t at work, why is Vancouver’s detached houses going up at such a higher rate than attached houses especially given that they have always been tied to each other historically (even going back 30 years like you have suggested). You just can’t explain it using incomes and interest rates.

      • You’ll recall that I debunked the claims you made using Ian Young’s stats, which clearly show a decrease in immigration numbers to Vancouver. Your response was that they were sneaking in through Quebec.

        I agree that Chinese money has probably been a factor in certain pockets of the market. Where I disagree is that buying now is a wise decision.

      • I wouldn’t call it a debunking when your so called decrease is from 6000 a year to 3000. That’s still 3000 millionaires a year that are letting in. I think the total number of detached home listings in smaller Vancouver right now is about 300. The other part that you clearly forgot about Ian’s stats is that there is a large amount of skilled immigrants from China coming in. Now, in China, you can get legitimate degrees and qualifications if you have enough money. So the new trend is that many of them are coming here as skilled immigrants. That is impossible to tell for immigration officials because the degrees and qualifications are actually quite legit except they can be purchased. So I think the issue is that if a rich chinese person wants to come here, he will find a way, no matter what the government’s policy. I think I have clearly demonstrated that they want to come here. Remember, we are about 50% asian now and we were only something like 8 to 10 % 30 years ago. So the trend isn’t helping at all.

        I should probably clarify, I am a bull only on the detached listings. I am actually a bear on the attached market. If you consider detached to be a “pocket” like you describe then sure, I don’t neccessarily disagree. But I wouldn’t consider an entire class of real estate to be a “pocket”.

    • “….why are we taking Beijing, …. ?”

      There is a story that the famous movie director, Zhang Yimou is unable to obtain a Beijing “fukou” and is restricted from purchasing a property there. The authorities even clamp down on the locals who already own their first or second condos from further speculative buy. No idea how successful are these measures.

      More relevant is that money laundering through underground network continues at over 6 trillion yuan a year. You wont read it at the mainstream media any time soon. But what transpired at China SFC (Securities and Funds), CITIC Securities and other hedgefund brokers is an eye-opener, and to date about 80 people are implicated in insider trading and transferring ill-gotten funds offshore. China’s own “Warren Buffet” is said to be instrumental in laundering on behalf of her clients through her investments companies (HK & Cayman). Afterwards, she allegedly would report them to the authorities and when her clients do their time, she keeps the loots.

  5. Just to bring you guys back to earth. Metro Vancouver 2.5 million
    Beijing municipality 25 million

  6. hey, coal harbor may be no paris but it’s still pretty good … it’s got views of a sort of pristine-ish north shore, a long-span 3-laned suspension bridge and a remarkably original variant of sidney place … don’t think you can get that in paris

  7. I thought Vancouver was supposed to be super expensive. What is this about?

    http://www.numbeo.com/property-investment/rankings.jsp

    See pretty much every major city in China on that list. So when people ask about why it makes a difference that we are 50% asian, that list is why. Because eyeballing it tells me that much of the top 100 on that list is in Asia. So people are used to ridiculous income to price ratios already.

  8. its funny how condos near the world famous vancouver convention center are more expensive then condos near the Eiffel Tower

    bet that Eiffel Tower thingy doesnt have a really cool raindrop sculpture

    • Actually, like many people, I have been to the Eiffel tower and while it is interesting and the light show at 11pm is quite cool and the boats that run along the seine is interesting the first couple of times you take them; if you ask me whether I would rather live beside the eiffel tower or Canada Place, I would much rather have the mountains and the water. Eiffel tower is one of those ok been there done that, now move on places for me. I didn’t even want to bother lining up and getting on top of that thing. From all my travels, as far as places to live, only San Fran I would rank above Vancouver. This includes all the cities mentioned in this thread, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei, Paris, New York.

      • Your argument for Vancouver over Paris presents a false choice, in my opinion. You say Vancouver wins out for you because of “mountains and water”. But mountains and water are ubiquitous in coastal B.C., and many other places beyond Vancouver, where you can live for a fraction of the cost. Paris, on the other hand, is one of a kind.

      • I guess. But I think you are missing my point. My point is that there are many who would much prefer to live in Vancouver than Paris, unlike what the original poster assumes. Vancouver has much more than just water and mountains, but that would be pointless to debate because it is a matter of opinion. But to simply assume that everyone prefers Paris to Vancouver is very erroneous as well. Just because Paris is unique does not make it livable.

  9. @El Ninja – I have a little doubts about those listings. I can’t find the exact address via Google Map and I can’t blow up the Bing map to see where exactly they are located. But below are some of my suspicions:
    1 – I have a feeling that they might be priced super low or there is some gotacha there. Fifth ring road apartments of 80 to 100 sq m or 700 to 900 sq ft are going for 3M RMB. So for an apartment that looks to be inside No 3 Ring Road, maybe around No 2 Ring road to be only 600K RMB more than 5th Ring road apartment is suspicious. 5th Ring Road is equivalent to at least Surrey, more likely Langley distance from downtown core.
    2 – The 800 sq ft quoted is not the actual unit space as I have stated. It includes your share of common space, so the actual usable space might is likely only about 75% to 85% of the quoted square footage at best. You have to take that into consideratino as well.

    As well, the average office worker salary is only about 7000 – 10,000RMB per month in Beijing I think. So even assume above average pay of 20,000 RMB or 240KRMB/year, those tiny condos are about 15x income. Granted with 2 people earning that much, it’s only 7x. But living expenses are super high in Beijing, especially with kids. An average baby stroller is like $500 CAD over there. Fruits and veggies are pretty much the same price as here.

    • See my post from numbeo, I think that sums it up the best. We are no where near expensive when doing an apple to apple comparison using apartments only. I think the stats bear that out. But then again, I hate condos, so too bad for me.

    • Fair enough. I’m not familiar with Beijing so won’t delve into this. My point is that, even if there are other places in the world that are more expensive than Vancouver (which I don’t think there are on a bang-for-buck basis), that doesn’t mean that prices in Vancouver are justified, much less likely to rise. We should not be looking at outliers, we should be looking at averages and ranges from a large sample.

      • I can accept that actually. But I wouldn’t call 200 cities outliers. I think one reason why people are so focused on vancouver is they fail to do an apple to apple comparison. The stats from that site clearly shows that when we use an apartment only comparison, there are approximately 200 cities with worse ratios than Vancouver. But for some reason everyone cries about this city.

  10. If you attended that CFA Van RE lunch then you would have heard the presenter pretty much lay out the top destination choices for wealthy in China and Vancouver ranked pretty much no 1 thanks to:
    1 – Those global livability and best places to live lists – Vancouver is the only place in Canada that shows up in the 2 major lists
    2 – Canada’s shut down of IIP and other immigrations programs which ironically makes Canada even more attractive.

    As well, you will be surprised at the amount of free advertising Vancouver gets in Chinese TV & Movie drama. You know how there is that Youtube video about how Vancouver never plays itself in Hollywood movies/TV? Well, in Chinese TV, Vancouver plays itself and is in a lot of major popular TV series.

    Lastly, a lot of immigrants from China come from the big tier 1 or 2 cities where they can sell their condos for $500K to $1M CAD and basically take that money here as down payment on a housing unit here. Now, these aren’t the super wealthy either. They simply got their houses for free when China reformed the housing market back in the 90s – either buying the company dorm for very low costs, or as compensation when their existing dwelling was demolished. They came here not as IIP but as regular immigrants.

    • So, the bulls’ investment thesis has come down to tired “liveability” rankings and Chinese TV shows? I am so… underwhelmed.

      • It’s been working, so why not. Seriously though, surveys have shown that a large percentage of wealthy chinese want to immigrate to other countries. So having a constant advertising stream in front of a lot of rich people is a pretty strong case for future purchases in the region. If you were promoting real estate in a particular city you would probably do it too.

      • It is not a bull’s investment thesis, merely telling you what is happening in China and why/how Vancouver have such a disproportionate standing/brand in China, and why so many rich people want to come to Vancouver, despite it being really a nobody city in the world.

        To give you 2 personal example. When I immigrated to Canada in 89, my uncle who has never ever travel outside of China, or even his home province, don’t know a word in English knows that Vancouver is the warmest place in Canada and it doesn’t snow much in winter, and a couple of other facts. My wife’s decision to come to Vancouver was because she read some favorable reviews on Vancouver on a Chinese Internet forum about immigration destinations.

  11. do any Chinese come to Vancouver for work as skilled immigrants …
    wages are higher and opportunities are better in China than Vancouver ,
    you would think that class of immigrants would steer clear of Vancouver

    • Seriously???? Wages are higher and opportunities are better in China? Maybe in a relative terms to cost of living perhaps, but wages are definitively not better in China. Median incomes are much lower in just about any city in China maybe with the exception of Hong Kong.

  12. What, this couple has daycare for two kids in Mount Pleasant??? They should consider the,selves extremely fortunate!

  13. YVR Housing Analyst (@YVRHousing)

    Dealing with “I got mine” incumbency is one of the most difficult problems facing this city. In many ways, unless a popular bloc is formed to highlight the externalities of current land use, this is an intractable problem.

    • Royce McCtucheon

      “Dealing with “I got mine” incumbency is one of the most difficult problems facing this city.”

      Hammer to nail’s head. Bam. Right on.

      Even before sorting out the root causes of price increases, this is the issue. With so many people’s personal financial well-being wedded to continuous real estate price gains despite already stratospheric pricing, it feels like taking crazy pills trying to have a meaningful discussion about sustainability and what is “right” for the region long term.

      Not only will people mock you for being “wrong” on real estate (my net worth, centrally located detached home, and lifestyle achieved by renting as compared to what I could have done buying a townhouse sure don’t make me feel wrong), but somehow I am the entitled one for calling out the relentless, exclusive focus of government policies on price increases. The defensiveness amongst some existing owners in response to questions about how ridiculous the current situation is and the potential negative effects (I’ll keep banging the brain drain drum, for example) reveals the greatest sense of entitlement I have seen in relation to this topic.

      Frankly, the degree of “I got mine”-ism is bordering on psychopathic for some at this stage. Which I suppose is a natural outcome given that we’re talking life-changing sums of money hanging in the balance, and no one is going to be keen to hear that their seven figure windfall is potentially poisonous to their neighbors.

      • @Royce, absolutely it is a huge problem. NIMBYism is even worse though. I think now most people would agree that what we need is more larger family oriented townhome communities in Vancouver proper, particularly on the westside where the environment / facilities are top notch. However, west side property owners, particularly those with detached homes are dead set against any sort of large scale development. Whenever there is any news of a zoning bylaw change, many owners voice concerns regarding the quality of life, crime, etc. But in reality, developers buying up single family homes and turning them into multi-family communities are actually good for their property values because it increases the cost of land. So it’s not neccessarily a case of I got mine but rather NIMBY, equally bad and sometimes even worse.

      • Royce McCtucheon

        @Brian: I think “more larger family oriented townhome communities in Vancouver proper” may be a fine idea, but density won’t solve the fundamental problem, which is the insanely high cost of real estate. The region has built and continues to build units to accommodate people at a rate faster than the region is seeing people move in. Creating more townhouses on the West side will not make things more affordable – it’ll maybe cause a shift of where people are massively overpaying for real estate.

        The simple fact is that the current cost of living is massively detrimental to younger people in particular. In the world I see, some young people are incredibly mortgage-poor (and having less kids as a consequence, which is probably not great for our tax base long-term). I work in health sciences and I see more and more talented people with ties to the area leaving or failing to return (in my field and others). If the people don’t have ties, they almost never come.

        All the conversations about root causes don’t mean squat if more of us do not acknowledge that this is occurring. Or if we, as VREAA correctly pointed out long ago, cannot acknowledge the significance of this mis-allocation of resources into the housing sector (buying and selling houses to each other or citizens of convenience is a terrible basis for an economy). We have increasingly hollowed out the talent base in this region for about half a decade in particular. To me, boutique solutions related to density in certain neighborhoods is tantamount to dancing the Titanic deck chair shuffle.

      • Royce McCtucheon

        The solution that will foster a sustainable community long-term is simple: real estate needs to be attainable at a much lower multiple of incomes. (Note: I am not advocating a decline in West side detached houses so that they can be bought by someone with a median household income.) Obviously, wages can’t be doubled overnight, so that means the solution is a decrease in house prices. I believe this can be attained by walking back the amount of insured mortgage dollars allowed to be in force (CMHC or otherwise), as well as other manipulations that have been put in place (home buyer tax credits, RRSP rule changes, etc.). Loopholes related to foreign money investment can also be closed (cancel programs, increase punishments for violations, increase scrutiny, etc. – where there is a will, there is a way). Basically, I’d be happy to see governments walk back their interventions in favor of high prices (it is disingenuous in the extreme that so many characterize such efforts to reduce the government footprint as INCREASED government intervention).

        Little to none of this will happen of course, as no one proposing such measures will be elected. But the payoff for doing nothing is going to make this an increasingly poor place to live. Unless changes are made, quality of life here will be strained. Young families challenged with toddlers in condos are going to be even more challenged as the kids grow. And some boomers sitting on massive real estate windfalls will bemoan how far away their grandkids have moved and the reality of multi-year medical specialist wait times, since no one will move here to practice.

        I care a lot less about the root causes at this stage than I do about increasing the number of people who realize that the current situation is actually very destructive – and, for those experiencing “wins” in this market, I want it to be clear that they are cannibalizing the future of this region to see that happen. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I can’t stop bullish on-paper real estate millionaires from pissing on my head, but I sure as hell can call them out if they try to tell me it’s raining.

        The whole situation is a mess. There’s a very good chance that I will join other friends and leave soon (many of whom earn enough to be contributing over six figures in taxes each year, for whatever that is worth).

      • So I hear ya Royce. I don’t like this one iota more than you do. I am a bull not because I enjoy the current situation but because our government will refuse to do anything with it. I would love for housing costs to go down and i can buy my dream home in Kerrisdale but I know full well that won’t happen.

        But I have a big problem when people think that it is all because of lower interest rates that we are in this mess, massive amounts of asian immigration especially when you allow the rich millionaires to immigrate to your country is just as big a cause. So even if governments decided to try to lower the market they must stop the movement of money into Vancouver.

      • “So even if governments decided to try to lower the market they must stop the movement of money into Vancouver.”

        That would be a noble goal, but would have the effect of catching a few unexpected HNW individuals in the net.

        I’m having a hard time passing judgement on an immigrant with a fortune in tow when we have a fair number of born-and-bred rich folk already. I seem to get the impression the indignation at international wealth transfer stems from wanting to preserve an existing and rather comfortable wealth pyramid.

        Colour me a bit cynical.

  14. @3rd Rock – Brave lady…hope she has really good body guards 24×7, cuz I don’t think all of her clients would take this kind of backstabbing and say, “well I was a bad person so it’s karma”.

  15. @Brian – the wages depends on what you do. A lot of intl companies have global pay for many positinos meaning your income in Shanghai is the same as it would be in NY/London, etc. Other professions like doctor which might have lower official salary tend to have a lot of grey $$ as well.

    Last, income inequality is huge in China. The median/average is so low because many jobs are pretty much basic minimal wages at like $500 CAD / month. The average office workers is in big cities is up to $1600 – $2500 CAD / month now. And professionals like IT can make $30K to $50K CAD/yr.

    • I agree with this part. However, even those salaries are not comparable to what IT professionals make in North America. I have a friend who was educated in North America with about ten years experience; he decided to work for Microsoft in China a couple of years ago; they are paying him about 75K US as a mid level manager. Even in Vancouver, that is too low for top firms to pay for a mid level manager. However, it is high when you compare living expenses as it is supposedly cheaper to live in China. I was simply saying to Ted that it is not true that China has higher pay, that is a myth.

      • hmm…I thought MS had a global pay policy…..

        As they say, truth is somewhere in between. I think there are very select cases where pay is better in China, but that’s like 1 to 2% of all jobs, not the norm. By and large, pay is not higher in China for similar position. However, for a lot of Chinese (non-CBC), the lack of language barrier in China means better opportunities and pay for them back home. So that’s a factor as well.

        Either way, massive immigrations doesn’t bode well for a cheap SFH in Vancouver. I don’t understand why bears can’t accept that point, population increase within a fix boundary is going to push up the prices of SFH. As far as Vancouver is concern, there is no more land unless they start in-filling Burrard Inlet or Fraser River. Funny how a lot of bears talk about availabilty of land and stupidity of lack of land argument, while at the same adament about wanting a nice SFH house in their choice areas which often end up being Van West, West Van, etc. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

  16. There are lots of skilled immigrants that come to Vancouver but a lot of them, if they don’t have children, tend to move back after a few years cuz the job opportunities is so lacking here, the pay is bad, their degrees and experiences in China don’t count and since most of them are highly paid professionals/managers back in China, it’s not just worth it for them to start from bottom and try to work their way up.

    In fact, this very scenario is explored in a recent popular Chinese TV series about families where the dad is in China, the daughter is here in high school, and the mom flies back and forth. One of the side plots is a highly skilled immigrants family where the guy is middle level manager who immigrate to Canada as a regular skilled immigrant to make a go here, and ends up going back to home at the end of the series cuz life for them is just so much better in China. So, apparently the lesson is that if you have $$$$$$$ move to Vancouver and keep making $$$$ in China. If you don’t then stay in the China.

    Btw, parts of the series are shot on location in Vancouver where Vancouver gets to play Vancouver!!!!

  17. The city has incentive to allow massive developments since they get a lot of revenue from development charges. However, they don’t in this hot RE market is telling. There are resistance from neighborhoods, RE companies, campaign donors, etc. Basically, every special interest group that’s getting rich off this RE market, except the average Joe family.

    Easying up on the densification rules would help create a massive supply that would put a dent into housing units available for the average family.

    Take Cambie cooridor for example, especially King Edward to Queen E park. Most of the developments are 6 floors, wooden frame constructions. These are prime real estate area and frankly I don’t see any reason why the street level buildings can’t be 10, 20, 30, or even 40 floors tall. If the city want, they can rezone from Cambie to Heather into high density starting with say 12 storey buildings on Cambie and move upwards to 20 to 40 floors towards Heather street. That move alone would probably create hundreds of millions in development revenue for the city, and increase the housing stock probably by a factor of 10x. The city can take that $$ and put it into a housing trust that builds family sized units for housing co-op or similar housing options for the average family.

    • Remember Space, it’s NIMBY.

      • Yeah…

        actually come to think about, all those “I’m not a racist, just hate the Chinese” bears on VCI are basically just doing a broader form of NIMBY as well….

      • Well, more like Not In My Rented Backyard. 🙂

      • VCI is a bit of a joke, there are many racists there and there is a ton of bitterness over what could have been. But I don’t see a lot of bears on VCI, if anything, it appears that they are past the acceptance stage and now are sitting in their rented basement with nothing better to do than whine as they realize this market has past them by. At the very least the people here appear to be more successful and can debate reasonable arguments based on marco economic principles, most of which has merit. Reading VCI is like reading the who’s who of people that were voted most likely to succeed in highschool and now have failed miserably. That’s ok, let them whine. I would suggest that you stop wasting your time with them.

      • hahaha…you made my day with that comment about VCI….
        and yes, unfortunately, our housing market is at a point where even with a 50% crash, SFH and a lot of duplex would still be out of reach of the average 2 income professional working family, without bank of mom, in nicer areas. Never mind the flood of Chinese $$$ that will swarm in and buy up pretty much everything.

        When SHTF in China, my wife thinks it is far more likely the “rich” will simply take out all their money out of China, leaving a pile to stinking debt, obligation, and mess to the peasants & gov’t to fix, while they will be living here enjoying a nice, abeit low profile, life. Sadly I’m inclined to agree with her….

      • 50% falls short. It’ll be more like 70%.

      • @El Ninja, keep dreaming.

  18. Hopefully those VCI jerks don’t start migrate to this blog/forum. This is about the last place left on Van RE where there can actually be a cordial discussions, where even if opinions/believes differ, at least people still respect each other.

    • it has been a nice discussion … there are key differences but also useful parallels between japan ~ 1990 and china now … people were complaining about global hot money purchases then too … not so much afterwards … of course the japanese aesthetic is a paragon … hey how bout this aesthetic? pffft! … http://tinyurl.com/qh7td3a

      • 1.3billion vs 127 million. Huge difference in population. Also, one is a democracy one is a dictatorship, I don’t see the parallels frankly. The rich in Japan stay in Japan and invest abroad, the rich in China can’t wait to get out.

    • The difference in population is not significant when you consider that a majority of Chinese are at a very low-income level. The number with “Japanese-level” wealth is relatively low. Whether they actually move or not isn’t the point — their money is moving. I think the parallel is very strong. The 80s were all about “Japanese money” in RE, now it’s Chinese, which is equally destined to subside. Probably more likely to subside, considering the Chinese economy is not as strong a wealth generator as Japan’s was / is.

      • What are the numbers that support your claim. Here are some
        Chinese GDP: 10,360,105,247,908.3 USD, Japanese GDP: 4,601,461,206,885.1 USD.

        Chinese GDP Growth: 7.4 percent
        Japanese GDP Growth: -0.1 percent

        I’d like to know what basis do you have for your claim of the following: “considering the Chinese economy is not as strong a wealth generator as Japan’s was / is”. So one economy is growing at a much faster pace than the other in just about any category you look at. Maybe in the top end like you claim Japan is currently stronger, say in a category of the number of millionaires. But I fully expect that number to change in 10 to 15 years given the growth numbers here.

        Also, “Whether they actually move or not isn’t the point — their money is moving. ”

        Completely disagree with this. If you have a house that you live in versus a house that you invest, you would behave very differently. I would sale a house that my family lives in just because it declined 30 to 40 percent. I would however, bail if this was an investment. Vancouver is a city of their second home, mostly lived in by their wife and children. I don’t think it will sit so well with your family that you uproot them.

      • The key as I and Brian point out is whether they will stay in China or not. We are of the believe that when SHTF they wouldn’t stay in China but take $$$ out while leaving a mess back at home for others to resolve.

        The Japanese on the other hand stayed home and repatriated a lot of $$ home. That’s a very important point here. So far, most Chinese people think the rich who didn’t get their wealth from pure luck/hard work will take their $$ out, and there are a lot of them. Frankly, the best way to escape a debt mountain problem is to move out of the country as well.

        If the Chinese $$ ends up flowing home then yes, we could have a nice little crash in the wealthy SFH market. However, it wouldn’t be 70% cuz I think a lot of duel income professional families like 2 doctors/lawyers/etc will be taking on that $1M or $2M mortgage to buy that $5M Dunbar house that’s now say $4M, with $2M from existing equity they have.

      • China’s total GDP numbers are “impressive” until you look at them on a per-capita basis. Then they’re disgraceful. Most Chinese are poor. China has achieved significant growth in recent years, yes, but remains well behind Japan and western democracies in standard of living, innovation, and economic development.

      • @El Ninja – You nail it. “80s were all about “Japanese mone in RE.”
        Given that China’s population and GDP are roughly 10 times and more than double of the former, it will take longer to subside.

        Educators will tell you that “Education is not an end , but a means to an end.”
        Take this guy who has two PhDs, in responsible positions as then-president of Shanghai Exchange and current assistant chairman of the CSRC. Which part of the “insider trading and leaking information” he does not understand?
        http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/16/csrc-official-zhang-yujun-the-latest-target-of-beijings-stock-probe.html

      • @ El Ninja / 3rd rock, sure, if you want to say that we are in a Chinese investment cycle that can last much longer than Japans I can’t say for sure whether this will be the case 20 years later. But if this cycle is indeed 30 years (remember, the asian money started back in 2005 and we are nowhere near any sign of withdraw yet), then that is pretty much an entire professional life time for some people. I don’t suggest you wait 30 years for a crash that may or may not happen.

        Btw, there is a huge difference between Japan and China, Japan is a democracy. Given that neither of you probably has lived under a dictatorship I would suggest that you are not in a place to comment on whether the money will be going back. I think if you did then you would understand why people would not want to move their money back into China.

  19. do Chinese move to Vancouver for their kids education, because Vancouver has a pitiful education system and Chinese hate unions, do they know about the BCTF , and private schools in Vancouver are poor compared to other developed countries

    • They care, but it is still a western education. Here is the thing though, it is difficult for them to go to a place like say Sweden, because it doesn’t feel so welcoming for them. Vancouver is a city of immigrants, especially a city of Asian immigranfs, they feel right at home here. Again, think about where they can go and still speak Mandarin. We are on top of that list.

  20. Yes they do for the following reason. in China to be successful and have a good shot into a prestiage university – it will take about $1M CAD from K to 12 in terms of school support fees, after school cram classes, gifts to the teachers, and private tutors – quite often the kid’s teacher themselves. Apparently for a lot of public school teachers, homestay tutoring of kids in their class is the biggest source of their income now – easily $10K CAD / month per kid! So basically the teacher (usually the Language + Math + Science) will take 4 to 8 kids home after school and provide them with tutoring, dinner, and sleep. The parents pick them up for the weekend.

    A typical grade 1 – 4 student in China will be staying up to at least 10PM doing homework, homework, homework, 100+ arithemetic questions per day, at least 1 essay per week, practice writing thousands of Chinese characters. And off course to ensure a proper rounded education – they will also be doing things like arts & craft project to development their creativity, speech, presentation, poem, singing, etc.

    What do kids in grade 1 to 4 here do for homework at night?? Just no comparison….

    Hell, I was spending more time doing homework in grade 4 in China than garde 6 – 12 here, and including a good chunk of my university days.

    • So space889 you must have a really great job compared to all those stupid Canadian raised and educated kids, right?

      • Considering that 80%+ of engineering, compsci, and commerce are now composed of either immigrant or 1st gen of immigrant children, I would say yes, most good jobs are going to people who believes more in the Chinese system than the local everyone is special system.

      • Regardless, it is simply a comparison of two systems – Chinese and Canadian. If you are a parent with tens of millions of dollar then which system do you prefer your kids go through? Especially considering that kid will probably never have to climb the corporate ladder the hard way?

    • @space, having gone through both systems, I have to say that I prefer the western system. The Chinese system seriously focuses too much on practice and not enough on creativity. Case and point, I scored almost perfect on the GRE. How did I do it? I literally, and am not kidding, did about 30 practice exams. So by the time I got to the GRE, I was a battle hardened veteran of standardized testing. But does that make me any more useful in doing anything else other than taking that exact test at that exact format? No. In fact, I had to unlearn the reliance of practice and instead use my imagination and creativity when I started working in a real job. I am by no fan of the laissez-faire attitude but I think there is some merit in preaching problem solving and creativity rather than just simply piling on homework onto the kids and using the method of practice. Not to mention that there is probably not a ton of research to show that the homework that we do give to the students actually work in terms of making them acquire the skills that they will require in the future. I think there is a nice medium between the two systems but I don’t think either system has gotten it so far.

      • I saw a TED Talk video by the guy that started the Kahn Academy. He made a very good point about pushing kids into higher grades before they fully got the material, and that school has a standard pace of teaching and learning.

        His analogy was you go learn to ride a bike for 3 months and then evaluated and the teacher say ok, so you can ride a bit and not fall off on level roads, so you get a 75%/C+ for your bike riding skill. Now, you have to move onto learning riding a unicycle. Everyone would recognize that’s probably not going to end up well, but essentially that’s what existing school system do. I think he had a very good point there.

        As for education system, actually the Chinese school system is starting to move towards having more creativity/leadership/etc in the cirriculum, especially in private schools. However, the way they do it is usually adding those on top rather than replace some of the existing hardcore practice & drill method. You can’t really blame them though. For each top university opening, there is probably 5000+ qualified applicants. How are you going to select which one gets in? Standardized tests are about the most fair and easy way to do it.

  21. As for Chinese per capita GDP being pathetic, that’s really irrelevant to the discussion here because GDP is never ever distributed equally. What matters more is the percentage of concentration. If the top 5% of families in China controls 50% of the wealth, then that’s still around 10 million very rich households. How many households are there in Canada? Even with the higher per-capita income/GDP?

    • The comparison was to Japan.

    • And what percentage of Japan’s rich wants to permenantly leave the country vs the percentage in China? What’s the absolute number of Japanese wealthy with say $2M in assets vs China?

      Pretty much anyone in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou with a mortgage free condo that’s within 15 km of city center have at least $500K CAD in assets.

      As I said before on VCI, even in my wife’s hometown that’s equivalent to like Peachland, it’s common to see people lugging carry on suitcases full of money bricks to the bank and deposite it. One brick is 100K RMB = ~$22K CAD and the suitecase has like at least 100 bricks in it. I saw this in person btw, not heard it from a friend of a friend of a friend type of thing. And the guy depositing it isn’t even consider to be rich by the local standards. Cuz my wife and I were quite amazing at actually seeing suitcases of cash brought to the bank and asked the local next to us. His reaction was meh…just some regular joe who’s above average.

      • I am so unmoved by your “suitcases full of cash” attempt at intimidation. That’s not an investment thesis.

      • Try this for an investment thesis, one million suitcases of cash floods a market looking for a limited supply commodity, what should happen to the price of that commodity? Simple question.

      • Take your “thesis” to the nearest elementary school and they will think you are a genius.

      • You are so brilliant that you sound like a politician that posts no specifics except a theory that Vancouver is entirely based on speculation with little proof presented.

      • You seem to have time enough on your hands to scrolls through hundreds of past blogs posts. You will find detailed arguments in regards to price-to-income, price-to-rent, long-term averages, and other metrics in my past posts, and those of vreaa (whom I’ve said I agree with), and others. Have fun.

      • What intimidation? I’m just reporting what’s happening the country, and that having $100K CAD in cash to be deposit into bank is not even considered to be big $$ in China. This is what’s happening in China, and a lot of the wealther ones want to take their kids out of China so they have clean air, no 5hrs of homework every day every month including summer, and frankly have a nicer easy relaxing life.

        For whatever reason, Vancouver tops the popularity contest in China and they want to move here. Those are just the facts. Granted, maybe this mass migration might end and they all want to move home eventually. But I doubt that. Regardless, this is what is happening here and now in the high end SFH market that used to be dominated by old money, high income professional families, biz owners, etc.

        Burnaby duplex over $1M is now very common and are being bought by professional families making $150K – $200K+ in annual incomes. Who would have believe that 5 or even 3 years ago?

  22. Brian: “case and point”; the expression is “case in point”
    “the reliance of practice”; reliance on?
    “I am by no fan of the laissez-faire attitude”; by no means a fan of?
    “the homework . . . actually work”; works
    Repeating this exercise for Space889 is not worth the considerably greater effort that would be required.

    But the more fundamental question is: how can we release this once-fine blog from the deathgrip of a couple of fatuous bores?

    • While I will comment on the other posts later. Congratulations grammar police, I am sure you are just making millions off of your brilliant English skills. I am sorry, but can I ask how does my errors in English have anything to do with this discussion at all. Or are you one of those who sold in 2005 and have watched all your friends make millions. Either way, I could care less. But good job on the English, you should tutor some of my clients, they could use a fine English tutor. I heard they pay more than the usual for Arts Grads.

      By the way, the reason why this blog is in this state is because the claims from back in the day are err…. wrong. 50% crash in 2009, seriously, I would be embarassed to come back too if I made that claim.

    • Language change and evolve….someone like you should know that. I bet a lot of the expressions you are correcting Brian on started out exactly the same way a few decades back.

      And really, it’s generally recognized that English is one of the hardest to learn langugage. Probably because it is a mix of different languages and really just a big stinking pile of crap. Seriously, when you have more exceptions to the grammer and spelling rules than the rules themselves, that’s a big red flashing sign of bad design. If English is a programming language, it would be the poster boy of what not to do in every single system design & compiler course.

  23. To go to the original story, and provoke some alternative threads of comment:

    The headline is “trapped in starter homes.” The density zoning and supply of condo’s has indeed kept the price of condominiums in Vancouver in check for the last several years, and the better informed can provide the hard data to back up this claim. The price of town homes, half duplexes and houses have progressively done much better as demand hits inadequate or in the case of SFH declining supply.

    The more the city zones condos, and the more profit in building smaller profit, the higher the price of moving up. This trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. If the vaunted crash comes, will the hit be equal for condos, townhouses and houses. History would suggest the smaller and more numerous they are, the harder they will fall.

    Of equal concern if we are really serious about the cost of housing for people in Vancouver is the lack of provision of publicly owned housing. In Vancouver, 3% of the housing stock is publicly owned. In New York city, 6%. In Stockholm, 30%. Any time you fall short of an American social policy, you should take a hard look at what you are doing. The situation for renters in Vancouver is very difficult in terms of vacancy rate, quality of housing and price.

  24. Brian, you misunderstand my situation as you misunderstand so many things. My English skills have been the basis for a career that has enabled me to live comfortably in Vancouver and that I enjoy very much, though I can retire whenever I like on the money I have made owning Vancouver real estate (sold, but not too soon). Studies have shown that over a lifetime, those Arts grads for whom you express such contempt (what an angry person you are) earn as much as those with Applied Science degrees. My main concern with metro area real estate at this point in my life is that whereas as recently as the early 2000s, I could encourage a promising young person to move to Vancouver to work for the organization I do, today I cannot by any means recommend that. I wish that we (generally) could have an intelligent conversation on this blog, and in this city, about housing and real estate. (“Everyone in China is more rich, smart, hard-working and desperate to live in Vancouver than you are, so you’re all screwed” is not intelligent conversation, but it seems that that’s all your endless verbiage here boils down to.) I can’t blame all the problems on immigrants buying SFHs, partly because that’s what I was, and did. There are a lot of factors contributing to Vancouver’s very anomalous market, and a lot of factors (like that “I-got-mine incumbency” YVR pointed out) that keep us from talking rationally about a problem that the general public seems to agree is increasingly serious. (See the outraged responses to Peter Ladner’s column about how property-tax deferrals might be distorting the real estate market.) Shouting down everyone else who’s trying to participate in the conversation doesn’t help. It’s not your writing per se that’s the problem; it’s your thinking, and your tone of certainty that you know more about everything than anyone else.

    • Ok, first of all, I don’t think you understand my points at all. Most of what you say in this paragraph I am actually in agreement with.

      1. I think what is happening in Vancouver is terrible. I am not a bull by choice, I am a bull because I am very good at separating my emotions from my financial decisions. My income is within the top 5 percentile and I can only afford a old house in Dunbar after doing just about everything right in the real estate market over the last seven years. That is a problem. If I was living outside of Vancouver, I would actually be one of the “young professionals” that you refer to in your post. In fact, I get recruiting calls directly to my work line (no idea how they managed to dig that up) offering to fly me down to the valley on a quarterly basis. I think I can understand what you are trying to say quite well in terms of how hard it is to attract and retain talent here. My colleagues get poached all the time.

      2. The reason why I am here is because vreaa’s mantra is, don’t worry, the situation will fix itself. It is his belief that eventually when rate rises this will all just go away that keeps me here for my rebuttals. I am trying to present a case to the bears that no, the situation won’t just fix itself. It is a lot more than simply thinking that when the interest rates goes back to normal, housing prices will revert back in the form of a 70% crash. We need real solutions other than a hope and a prayer banking on the interest rates.

      3. I think if you want people who are talking about solutions, you actually should go to Foreign Investors in Vancouver Real Estate facebook page. There people have posted some interesting solutions to the issue. On vreaa, we have a bunch of bears, all be it less and less, comforting each other that this magical crash will happen some day, don’t worry. There is no solution really being presented. While vreaa is techincally right that there is a issue of shifting resources into real estate, he vehemently believes, since the inception which was sometime in 2008 that a crash of more than 50% will happen. Needless to say, hasn’t happened yet and the chances of this crash ever reaching his original prediction is pretty abysmal.

      4. Here is how I learned about this blog. A friend of mine who I told to buy a house on the dip of 2009 informed me afterwards that he decided not to after reading a bunch of news reports and blogs (this was one of them). He is eventually priced out of the market and now lives in a 2 bedroom condo which will become too small for his family; he gets constant complains from his own family why he didn’t buy back then. This blog has actual readers who come here seeking information. I am here to make sure there is a counter voice to people who might come here wondering if they should buy a single family home.

      5. I also have a side business whereby I provide advice and educational services to these immigrants and their children.. So I have a very first hand look at their wealth and their effect on this market. This is one area that the locals have only recently began to discover even though it has been going on for years. Btw, you really should read Ian Young’s research on SCMP, between his and David Ley’s book Millionaire Migrants, you will gain a full understanding of what I am talking about. I don’t think people can talk about solutions to our issues until they have read these.

      Btw, notice that when you post a real post with real information I will respond with logic and not insults.

      • Brian, please stop posing as a concerned citizen who is looking for “solutions” to housing affordability. You are a fervent speculator. You have bought in to the fantasy of ever-rising prices, and you can’t stop writing about it, as if doing so will make it come true.

    • One more thing, hate to sound like a jerk and not to put down your degree but:

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/collegeprose/2012/10/29/does-your-major-matter/

      Not sure if the studies that you were refering to got used for their ten worst and fifteen best lists.

      • I’ve seen this list before. I thought the “ten worst” list misleading the first time I saw it because a number of the majors listed are in the fine and performing arts (and the “applied art” of design), which are lightly populated and thus don’t really represent what “Arts” degrees pay. It’s worth pointing out that the “least worst” degrees are in History and English, more popular majors that demand the critical thinking and writing skills that employers look for. Economics and Psychology are other popular Arts degrees that didn’t seem to be on the “worst” list. On the other side, similarly, I would guess that some of the “best” majors are also lightly populated. Perhaps you can tell me what proportion, roughly, of Applied Science degrees are in biomedical engineering, or petroleum engineering. I’m also not sure how much these lists take account of additional factors, such as whether people with bachelor’s degrees take further degrees. Yes, you might have to go on to law school to earn the best money, but if an English or History degree increases your chances of getting into a good law school, then it’s worth something. Another external factor which the compilers of these figures may or may not have taken account of is gender. Women are heavily represented in Arts faculties; women, in general, are still paid less for comparable work than men and are more likely to have their employment interrupted. So the difference in earnings may have less to do with the value employers place on the degree, per se, than with the profiles of the people who undertake it. Other kinds of oversimplification run through any such simple comparison of degrees. For example, “If you take a degree in petroleum engineering — and move far, far away to make use of it — you will earn more money.” Agreed.
        I am familiar with the arguments of Ian Young and David Ley, by the way. I don’t argue with their accounts of what happened, but . . . it happened. Now what do we do?

      • I won’t comment much further on the study as it is a bit irrelevant to this board’s content but your assertion that biomedical and petroleum engineering is lightly proportioned is correct. That list however has some heavy weights such as Software Engineering, MIS, Computer Science, Stats, Applied Mathematics, etc

        “Now what do we do?” Depends on what you think the issue is. Is the issue that housing is too expensive or is the issue that detached housing is too expensive? Part of my problem is that no one bothered to define the thesis of what we are trying to figure out. So I agree with Royce that there is a fundamental issue whereby government is trying to push up the price of housing; whether it’s the CMHC, ALR, interest rates, or massive wealth immigration like David Ley and Ian Young figured out, it is all designed to boost the value of our real estate. You can take away the CMHC but I think private insurance could fill in that hole quite well. In fact, right now one way people are getting around the mortgage rules is by buying private mortgage insurance. You can raise the interest rates which I think will have a big effect on attached housing and might even have a bit of an effect on detached but it won’t be much Andrew Hasman, one of the leading realtors on the west side recently bemoaned that a building lot on the west side has hit 2 million while noting that most of the buyers are cash buyers, so interest rates don’t affect their purchasing power. You can also ban foreign purchases. But like I have stated many times over, purchases aren’t foreign, they usually have a proxy here who can make the purchases. This is why giving away so many PR’s is so problematic.

        My solution is to build more family friendly townhomes and 3 bedroom condo units. I think you pretty much have to cede the single family home market to the wealthy and the cash buyers. I just don’t see it abating, there is too little supply and too much demand coming in. Frankly, there has not been much foreign investment yet in Vancouver real estate, it has all been local immigrants who have bought using foreign money. Now, I am starting to see actual foreign investments over the last year or so whereby none-PR visitors are buying. Chinese families are starting to buy first and then figure out how to get here on the super visa which last them ten years. That’s what Mcdonald Realty, one of the leading real estate brokers in Vancouver figured out too. They have now opened offices in Shanghai at great expense; but they know this is coming that’s why they invested there. Also, these guys are actively marketing Vancouver in China btw.

        But no one said you need a single family home. The issue is that we need more family friendly places in Vancouver especially in the west side. The local government could do a lot in terms of zoning. And if this works, then maybe it will take some demand off of the single family homes and see if you can make a dent there. Kits has many multiplexes; since these immigrants are all looking for land, they aren’t really flooding to them right now. So this gives the locals a chance. But as far as I am concerned, that’s where I see a solution.

      • Saving Vancouver with bloviation.

      • Hey Blammo, going back in the records of this blog, saw some interesting exchanges between you and some bears. Did you sell your house last May when the supposed “top” was to have happened? Just curious.

    • Yeah, so I actually live in the house I bought, that makes me a speculator now? Btw, do you live in this city? Cause I actually grew up here and still live here. So I would say I have a lot more concern in this market than you do.

      • Born and raised. Left a few years ago in disgust.

      • No wonder the bitterness. Do you call everyone who bought here over the last five years speculators?

      • Not bitter at all. Don’t miss the city. There’s more to life than Vancouver. It’s not the “Best Place on Earth”, despite what locals want to believe. It used to be cool, though.

        And, yes, anyone who has bought Vancouver RE in the last five years has very likely done so on a speculative basis, and not for reasons of fundamental economic value.

      • Err… ok, so let me get this straight. I want a house to live, I bought a place to live, I am speculating? So what should I have done instead exactly? Rent and get booted out every year?

        Btw, if you are not bitter and you have nothing to do with Vancouver anymore, what in the world are you doing here?

      • Don’t try to bully me, Brian. You can’t stifle dissenting views by acting as some sort of bouncer. I’ve just as much a right to comment on this topic as you. And I will continue doing so. Deal with it.

      • Bully you? No, why would I do that, I quite enjoy how amused you get at my lengthy posts and how pompous you are assuming that you are the only one who actually understands economics. That’s ok, you sound like my best friend (real smart guy btw who finished high school in 2 years) who told me back in 2008 the same thing that you are telling me now, how broken our prices are to fundamentals, 180 price to rent historicals, 5 to 1 price to income. He was real arrogant in 09 when our market dipped by maybe 10%, now he is asking me what he should do with his money. It’s all good El Ninja, I don’t need to bully you off of this board. You are the only one who is still fighting for the cause that the great crash will happen. As long as you are here I at least have a counter opinion that makes some sense. In chinese we have a proverb that “you cannot clap with just one hand.” But make no mistake, this crash of yours better happen or you are going to look like every other clown back in 09 who famously declared a 50% crash. Time will tell won’t it.

  25. Hey Canis, since you are such a grammer police and English extraordiniar(sp?), maybe you could repost your reply in something that’s readable? Like maybe actually having some paragraphs and grouping of thoughts into coherient groups? Maybe also write so it is actually interesting to read, rather than a chore? After all you do use your great English literary skills to make really good $$ right?

    English is a required skill but having just that isn’t very useful. Just like having just pure math and nothing else. And to be truthful, I find most of topics I have to write papers on in English to be total and utterly bullshit.

  26. @Brian – As for recruiter’s call, it’s likely they got it from referrals from people you know, or they called your company and then went into the phone directory and look up your name.

    Anyways, the fact that you are being recruiting is a great sign. You should seriously consider taking up some of the offer to fly down to the valley. If nothing, treat it as a short weekend getaway with free flight! 🙂

    I’m kicking myself right now for not doing a Math double major back in the days. That’s seriously hampering my career mobility.

    • I know the salary is enticing but my family is here so I am not really considering moving, my company gives me a ton of flexibility on just about anything I want, so I am pretty happy as it is. Besides, I have a lot of other avenues to make money than simply my regular job, so I am not too concerned about that part.

      Space, are you a tech guy by any chance?

      • Stop circle-jerking, you two.

      • I started in tech, but I’m in finance now which still requires a lot of tech skills. So it’s good for me as I get to do what I want – finance and programming.

        El Ninja, sharing and circle time, isn’t that what the current elementary school mantra is? Get with the modern post-liberal agenda on proper behavior! 😛

  27. Canis: happy to see you here. This blog is in desperate need of balance. Brian and Space seem to enjoy talking to themselves in the mirror. They speak of one thing, and one thing only. China. And they do it ad nauseam. It really is tiresome.

    Financial literacy is sadly absent from the discussion.

    • @El Ninja, speaking of financial literacy, care to explain this gem of yours?

      https://vreaa.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/on-my-block-there-are-three-empty-million-dollar-houses-property-values-are-skyrocketing-it-is-a-disaster-for-people-who-want-to-live-in-vancouver-charles-hou-retired-social-s/

      You said Blammo missed the top in May 2014. Sorry, but our analysis at that point showed that detached homes were just starting another run exactly around that time. I hope blammo didn’t listen to your financial literacy cause a detached house in East Van has gone up 20 to 30% during this time, that’s about a 200K to 300K swing. I would hate to be the one who cost someone 300 grand.

      • The fact that prices have gotten even more absurd does not mean my position was unsound. It means that the collective psychology of the Vancouver RE market has decoupled further from economic reality, and will crash all the harder.

        My arguments are grounded in fundamental concepts of investment value. In all of your (very verbose) postings, there is no analysis, no substance, no evidence of measured thought. Just “wealth migration” and “limited supply”. It’s Kindergarten-level reasoning.

      • Actually, sorry wrong again, my analysis is based on a simple supply and demand projection of single family homes. You have zero idea of where this demand is coming from, you can’t even name it. You are just like all the so called experts scratching their heads at what is happening at Vancouver yet can’t even answer the simple question of how many detached homes are there in Vancouver. I on the other hand am closely tied to this supply and demand curve. So I think I am well qualified to comment on this matter. My friends and customers are the ones on the ground in this market. You don’t have a clue as to what is actually going on.

        Please use your analysis to analyze the fundamental investment value of a place like Monaco. You say I use kindergarten level reasoning when in fact I am the one who has been right all along in the market whereas your reasoning has cost people so much money that it is getting ridiculous.

        Btw, sound reasoning or not, results speak for themselves.

      • Actually do this one thing, based on your sound reasoning, what should be the average price of a single family house in smaller Vancouver at this time? Is it 5 times average dual income? 180 times average monthly rent? What is it?

  28. when you are doing well, you like to credit yourself … but when you are not, you like to blame luck or others … why is it rarely the opposite? … a deeply-rooted asymmetry in human nature that drives bubbles … taleb surely wasn’t the first to observe this but that’s where i got it … japan ~ 1990 was the end of a bubble and now we are likely at the end of a much bigger one … obviously not all of china’s modernization will regress entirely, but there are significant malinvestments to unwind … much of the (chinese) wealth that you see is an illusion that will vanish in the wind … i don’t know how much – but it’s a lot! … one by one around the globe the interventions to prop up asset prices and keep the bubble going have stopped working … if this is the new pattern, most people are not positioned for it … it means valuations and fundamentals matter again … continuing with what got you here won’t work going forward and will in fact be quite detrimental …. pffft! … http://tinyurl.com/phbl7db

  29. Worth a laugh – a comment from a friend:

    was looking at the housing boom in Vancouver.  I think it’s kind of like the research I was doing on the sun.  I think this boom is consuming the last of the over extended home owners with low interest rates at a hurried rate until they are all used up and spent……….. like the core of the sun.  Then in a flash, the sun blows up and shrinks to a tiny white dwarf.  Everybody dies

  30. @El Ninja – Just like your fantasy of a crashing prices and ruined financial and family lives of RE speculators? Seems like you are just different sides of the same coin as RE speculators?

    Actually, I do believe Brian do want to see some sensible housing policy that’s geared towards helping general working populations. Many of us do – regardless of whether we are RE bulls, bears, or just neutral on it. You can be a bull on RE and at the same time wanting sanity in housing which is a basic human need. As well, being a bull in RE doesn’t automatically means you only want ever higher RE prices. It used to be that RE investing means positive cash flow first and foremost.

    • I just love how now I’m the evil wisher of ruin. That’s rich. How about the families that have been ripped apart by the greedy speculators who have made the city unaffordable?

      Let me tell you something: If any lives are financially ruined because of a crash in Vancouver RE, and you can be sure that many will be, it will be no one’s fault but the individuals involved.

      But all hope is not lost. You and Brian can move in together and live happily every after.

      • If a crash happens in Vancouver Real estate, sure, it is no one’s fault than those who bought. And if people get priced out, it will be no one’s fault except the ones who didn’t buy. It’s a double edged sword. Until that day happens, you, my friend, are still wrong. When that day happens, you can tell me how wrong I am. Until then, good luck with your so called fundamental investment reasons.

        Good job getting personal. I thought you were above that Mr. High and Mighty. Guess not.

  31. @El Ninja – The reason China keeps coming up is because people keeps doing one of the following:
    1 – Blaming Chinese for everything that’s wrong with RE market and society in general. Ok granted, this might also be influence from VCI.
    or
    2 – Totally dismiss Chinese money as having no influence.

    The truth as they say is somewhere in between. That’s mostly my point, there is a great pressure from China for RE here, especially in high end SFH market. I believe that have a spill over effect on the rest of the market which are driven by low interest rate and locals. There is no simple this is it, one cause to the RE market.

    Now many people say well, China is going to totally implode, etc. Maybe, maybe not. China is way way overdue for a massive correction – there is no historical precedent where a country has grown as fast as China for as long as it has without a huge correction. But even when that comes, my believe is that money will be flow back to China like it happened with Japan. Rather a good chunk will stay out of China permanently, and that’s not good for Van RE.

    • Will NOT flow back to China.

    • wealth doesn’t have to flow anywhere … we’re in a credit bubble … that ends in a chain of defaults … it just vanishes back into the thin air it came from

      • I used to think that as well, but since 7 years on now from financial crisis and ongoing ZIRP with no end in sight…it’s hard to say anymore….

        Even that ultimate insurance asset gold is doing really badly.

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        s889 … yes of course, almost nobody believes the interventions will not continue to work and everything is priced accordingly… except of course, the interventions appear to have in fact finally stopped working – doh!

      • Hopefully you are right and things go the way I hope. But you never know. We are in uncharted territory. Maybe things will go kaboom, or maybe middle class is vaporized while the 0.01% get even richer and we end up with modern day serfdom.

  32. @El Ninja – as for your thesis being right, or eventually will be right, maybe you will be proven right. But until that happen, you are wrong and you missed a lot of gains. If you were a portfolio manager, you would have been fired by now. Not necessarily for losing money, but for being wrong in your predictions and not making enough $$.

    And I said earlier, the bear (myself included) believe RE market is ripe for fall back in 2008/2009 and has been waiting excitedly since. However, even if this market crashes 50% say 3 years from now. That’s 8 years! Lots of things have happened, and even if the crash comes, it might be of no help, and maybe even detrimental effect to my well being.

    • Actually, if El Ninja is so stubborn on his beliefs of a crash, he should be shorting the market. @El Ninja, just curious, do you hold any short positions on Canadian real estate?

      @space, I think you nailed it on the time. Even if this so called crash happens, it is far too late. For us to get back to even the 08/09 levels in single family homes would be very difficult, forget about a 50% crash from those levels. I saw something whereby vreaa once famously said it should go back to 03 levels. That actually requires at least a 75% crash, in some cases about 80%. In the US Real Estate crash, only the worst cities crashed that hard, namely Detroit. At this rate, I think the best one can hope for is the recent run-up on real estate would simply evaporate. But even that is hard.

      • Let me tell you a something, kids: you can’t short Vancouver RE. But yes, if I could, I would short the bejeezus out of it.

      • No grandpa, but you obviously think that the entire Canadian real estate market is overpriced. So you can’t buy short options on reits? Or, better yet, if you think a crash will happen, why not short the banks, cause obviously there is going to be hell to pay in terms of the defaults. Look at what happened to Citi during the US crash, the stock went from 60 down to 6, that was a nice ride.

      • Canadian banks are in a very different position than U.S. banks were. “Hell to pay”? It’s called CMHC insurance. The only ones with hell to pay will be taxpayers. Do you really not know this? How do you post with such smug certainty if you don’t understand even basic issues?

      • Wrong again, you are right on the guranteed mortgage part, except losses aren’t the only thing that can sink a bank. Should a 70% crash like yours happen, cash flow could also sink a bank. Banks rely on mortgage borrowers to pay monthly payments as part of their cash flow. So if many borrowers default and fail to repay the banks on a monthly basis, then you have a problem with cash flow. Why do you think that banks not only access the market worth of a property but also the borrowers’ ability to pay? If I have 3 million dollars and buy a 4 million dollar house, the bank still won’t lend me the million dollars if I don’t have a 200K income because they need to make sure I can pay back money on a monthly basis.

      • And how exactly does a decline in house prices impact your personal income?

    • “If you were a portfolio manager, you would have been fired by now.”

      Your pomposity is striking.

  33. Never in the history of the internet has anyone said so little, in so many words, than the Bri-Space duo. Their verbiage is simply relentless. I’m passing the flyswatter to someone else for a while.

    • Strong words for someone who knows nothing about vancouver real estate. Hopefully no one lost money listening to you. Enjoy your day buddy.

  34. Remember Xander Feng in the House of Cards?
    Finally, after nearly two decades, FBI arrested “him” in the US over US$7 million cash import scheme o_O
    http://tinyurl.com/obq648q

    • Good he’s in US, not in Canada…..otherwise it would be a decade long court process to extradite the guy, probably costing the gov’t a million or two in legal fees.

  35. http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/douglas+todd+income+anomaly+depletes+metro+vancouver+base/11390940/story.html

    Fresh off the press from the Vancouver Sun, don’t say I came up with this story. How do you use fundamental financial literacy to explain this gem? Some of our best neighbourhoods are reporting household incomes below poverty rates. I wonder who these owners are that are doing this? So their price to income would be somewhere in the neighbourhood of what, 300. 20K income, 6 million dollar house. Right, it’s all local income supporting all these purchases. Btw, our government are seriously getting played like fools.

    • Kwan graduated from UBC. 0_o
      And one thought that such craps would spew out of only a CHIMP!!!

    • Well, she isn’t the worst. There is Moonbeam, mr. let’s restrict foreign investment after he himself sold his duplex. Also, get this our mayor’s girlfriend is famous Chinese singer Qu Wanting. Wanting Qu (pun intended) has been the subject of Moonbean’s fantasies for the last while. Great lips service is being paid to stem foreign money by this guy.

    • Nothing new there. But but but Harper ………. “Ottawa doesn’t want us asking about rotten yuan in Canadian real estate.”

      And to add insult to injury, the pair of husband-wife prolly are contenders for the much coveted “Maple Leaf Award”. It has been 34 days since defrauded investors handed them to Shanghai police, and now they are scrambling frantically to exit to safe haven. The size of fraud is estimated to be 43 billion yuan. They incorporated Pan Asia Nonferrous Metals Exchange in 2012, and quickly amassed the funds from unsuspected investors promising them 12%-14% annual return. They paid themselves and their friends each over 550k to over 650k on annual salaries, and tens of million yuan in bonuses.

      Any journalists here? It is worth your while to browse through this article. No English version yet.
      http://finance.sina.com.cn/money/nmetal/20150921/114423304251.shtml

    • Ah, Harry Dent, didn’t this dude’s stock get delisted? He is not the first and won’t be the last to predict a bubble. But he does bring an interesting valid point.

      He is right, bubbles will burst once people can’t afford it. But he presents no evidence on why it is that people can’t afford Vancouver Detached homes. He is very clever and only presented the detached case, because the attached curve doesn’t look that bad at all, see my previous posts on Vancouver condos being nowhere near the top of the list in terms of unaffordability, the detached one is where all the theorists are looking at cause it looks much more impressive.

      In my opinion, Vancouver detached homes will fall once the incomes of those who wants to live in it (not buy and invest and speculate and hold, but to live) cannot afford it. But I have seen no sign of this at all. The fundamental issue and I think even you might agree to this is that we use a 2 income fully CRA declared model to look at incomes. We all know that most of these SFH owner’s incomes are either not declared through the CRA (be it foreign or under the table, see my post above on this) or they have models whereby more income streams support the house than the dual income model that we use. That model is a very caucasian north american model that completely ignores the demographic shifts that is happening in Vancouver. You yourself says that if you need strangers in your basement to afford a home then you shouldn’t be buying, but again, that is a model stuck back in the 80’s. My parents only borrowed 30% of their house value 20 years ago to purchase their first house, they still had tenants to help with the income. Not everyone find tenants to be an affront to god.

      Really, what we are trying to figure out is this. Do people who want to live in these detached homes have the income to support these levels. I think anyone who has tried to purchase a place would say absolutely yes. Most of the purchasers come with at least 50% downpayment and have large foreign income / additional incomes to offset the mortgage. You don’t get 15 cash offers on a property if people are struggling to afford it. So from an economics perspective, they more than qualify for the price to income levels that we seek for a healthy market. It is because we are looking at income numbers from the CRA that we think people are stretched thin on the ground. Btw, if you are stretched so thin in Vancouver right now you won’t even get to buy, because bidding wars are all won with people with high downpayments and massive income abroad that don’t need financing subjects unlike those who rely on local incomes. But make no mistake, these people want to live here. This isn’t an investment to them.

      • This just keeps getting better. Or sadder.

        First it was Chinese people sneaking in from Quebec, now it’s tax evasion. You can’t make this stuff up…

      • Explain to me how that article I have listed above happened then? What, you really believe people who make 20K a year are buying up 6 million dollar houses? Tell me you are not that dumb.

      • I don’t doubt that many foreigners are evading Canadian taxes. What’s dumb is to consider it a basis on which to invest.

      • First of all, you are the only one here saying this is an investment. It may be an investment to you, but unlike you, there are many of us to which this is much more serious than an investment. I can get my investment decision wrong, hell, 50% drop in my investments won’t hurt me much cause I can make that money back no problems. But this, if we get this wrong, our quality of life is over.

        Here is a scenario that even maybe you can understand. There are only 23000 SFH’s on the westside, I need one of them (don’t ask me why, personal reasons). So, I must be able to accurately predict the trajectory of these places, not the entire market, but these 23000 commodities like you probably call them. So please save your macro crap for elsewhere because this is as micro as it gets. I know that we have let in a ton of people (hell a lot more than 23000) who can kill me in terms of making money (whether this money is made here or not, dirty or not, reported to CRA or not, I don’t care frankly). I also know that they are the ones buying up this 23000 commodity at a great pace. I know from personal research that this stream of these people are not ending, at least anytime soon. And all you ever said about it is that IIP immigration is declining. If there is anything that you need to know about Chinese is that they can fake anything, skilled immigrants are not all poor skilled workers who are looking for a better life, there is a ton of millionaires in that too. So I better figure out one of two things, 1, are their earning power going to diminish anytime soon, or 2. are they going to withdraw from here. Those are the two most pertinent questions to answer, not whether local incomes will ever catch up to these 23000 commodities, we know the answer already, it is a resounding no. When you look at a problem on this scale, you also got to consider what the hell happened in Monaco, does any of your fundamental theories worked there? If not, then why not? Because if I had the same problem in Monaco whereby I have to buy a place there against all these rich foreigners, I would be screwed looking at fundamental economics of income versus price.

        You keep on dragging this issue back to the general income of Vancouver which I don’t frankly care because I can beat most locals in terms of income already. If the movement of these 23000 homes are at all tied to local incomes I won’t need to ever worry. But they are not. So whether you call this investment thesis or whatever the hell else you want to call it, it really doesn’t matter to anyone looking to buy a SFH in Vancouer. Unlike you, there are those who actually chose to stay and not let their families get torn apart. We can make this work against this force of foreign money. But we have to get this right, not wait another ten years and then say, woops, guess macro economic theories didn’t work this time after all. Our quality of life is at stake here. This is not an investment for us.

        Remax recently claimed that 70 to 80 percent of properties above 3 million are bought by the chinese. A lot on the west side is getting above 2 million now, so I am pretty certain I know who is behind this drive. Btw, this isn’t an investment for them either. They are trying to figure this exact question out at this time, they have the same needs, to own a house in the best part of the city with the best schools.

      • Brian, you’ve made this personal, so I will, too: You are a douchebag.

      • Actually you can call me whatever you want if it makes you feel better. Btw, sure you are not bitter, did I hit a nerve on that families torn apart bit? Just asking.

        Anyone who has made a bid in the last ten years and lost against these buyers knows exactly what I am saying. I have been there done that. You havent. So again, you have zero clue as to what is actually going on here in Vancouver, so good luck wherever you are.

      • Actually, dipshit, you didn’t hit a nerve. I don’t have family left in Vancouver, but it’s not because of RE. It’s because my dad died. Siblings moved away long ago (90s) for career opportunities, as did I.

        You don’t have to live in a place to make an observation about it. I was born there, lived there, studied and worked there. I’ve been back for extended periods, have friends there, and read the news. Heck, I’ll be in town next week. Your “current residents only” attitude is an attempt to stifle debate, and I’m calling you out on it.

      • Wawawawa, cry me a river. You are just getting hilarious. So you get your observations about Vancouver from the news? No wonder you have such insight about the market, do you even know who is actually buying here or are your so called theories based on all stereotypes and generalizations. The good old 90’s, yeah, let’s base our observations on the 90’s vancouver. Sure that will work. Go take a stroll through any public schools on the west side and then tell me what you see; then tell me if there is no demographic shift going on in this city that you used to belong to. Nice try with the dipshit. Enjoy your stay here, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

      • Much like you knowing so much about the Chinese economy from living in… another country.

      • No you are right, I don’t. Problem is… my business associates… ummm.. do. What, you are going to tell me that you know a bunch of vancouver realtors now? Sure, do share what does your realtor buddies think of this market.

  36. This Canadian pair is know as DAN Jiu-Liang, and ZHANG Péng (aka ZHANG Zi-Nuò)

    • Here is SCMP’s report on Fanya Metal Exchange (aka Pan Asia, phonetically). No mention yet of the Canadian couple who run the show. Interesting that “FME gives warrants to retail investors and pays an annualized interest rate of 13.7%.


      http://tinyurl.com/o6bpz8d

      • So basically it’s like a bank where it takes a cut as the middle man?

        Didn’t read the story so not sure what’s going on here, but I guess it’s basically investor fraud where the people took the $$ and didn’t do any actual biz aside from paying themselves large salaries?

      • One news site stated that they transferred the money out of China to their HK company(ies).
        What sort of business that could afford them paying their Chinese investors/victims an annual interest rate of 14%. Flipping properties in London, Sydney and Vancouver perhaps?

      • Apparently, there are more than 400 such Exchanges in China that are not subject to any regulatory controls, such as the Securities and Funds Commission. Hence, the owners/operators can raise funds easily from the public, and the investors have no recourse once being victimized.

      • Well, on the diagram you posted, it said that the trader pays a custodian fee of 0.05%/day while the “exchange” pays the investors 0.03% – 0.037%%/day, so in theory IF the company matched the investors $$ well with trader’s order, they would get 0.0125% to 0.02% / day cut. So that’s why I said it’s kinda like a bank taking a cut as the middle men.

        Wow, 400 exchanges!!! I had no idea. The consumer protection law/regulations is a bit light in this area. Hard for gov’t to catch up with the changes that’s happening there.

        Also, as I posted before, a lot of Chinese in China, their mentality towards investing is different. To them, an absolutely safe investment (eg. equivalent to our CDIC insured GIC) should return 8-10%/yr. And they absolutely can’t understand why someone like myself living in a developed country hasn’t already massed a few millions investing in stock market already.

  37. There have been huge bubbles in places where people thought prices would never drop like NYC and Tokyo; Tokyo never recovered.

  38. Mingpao Toronto has a regaling tale dated September 25 about a newcomer who arrived in Canada not too long ago, but held a good job that paid an annual salary of C$300,000 to C$400,000. Earlier on she had obtained mortgage loans for 4 to 5 properties amounting to roughly C$3 million from one bank and she made prompt regular mortgage payments.

    Then, she applied for another mortgage loan of over C$1 million, increasing her debt load to around C$4 million. She submitted all the necessary documents together with her loan application, including her tax receipt and proof of income, etc. The bank found her documentation in perfect order, in fact too perfect. So the bank’s risk assessor decided to visit the company that hired her and came to the conclusion that it could not possibly pay her that kind of salary. Despite her proof of income was certified by an accountant, it had lost its credible value with the bank.

    The bank rejected her latest application for a mortgage loan, and took a series of actions. They froze her funds and terminated her existing mortgage loans, and banned her from future business. On top of that, the bank warned other banks and financial institutions about her; she would never get a mortgage loan at normal lending rate again.
    http://tinyurl.com/q9fm7k6

    • Some more actual details would be nice. The gist I got was the bank think there is something fishy about her employment income? But given she has paid on time with existing mortgages, it seems a bit harsh to freeze all her accounts, terminate all biz and put her on an industry wide blacklist.

      I think there are more juicy details that aren’t being reported here.

      Also, too perfect application and supporting documents?? Are we now at an age where errors on application forms and lying/cheating or at least fudging is expected now? That’s kind of sad too….

  39. A lot of mortgage, especially the subprime ones, are also insured. The difference is that instead of one time upfront payment, the insurance gets added to the interest rate, like a lot of HELOC/LOC, until some minimum threshold is hit. So the idea that US banks defaulted due to uninsured mortgages is not entirely true.

    As for RE crash not impacting personal income, are you kidding? 25% of our economy is tied to FIRE sector and a big 50% drop wouldn’t affect the general economy in a big way??? That’s a lot of cognitive dissonance working here.

    Lastly, banks’ stock depends on income and if RE crashes and no one can take out loans, there goes revenue and income growth and down goes your P/E ratio. Likely the bank will even experience contracting outstanding total mortgages. I’m sure you can work out what happens after that.

  40. I guess El Nina’s wife don’t have any nesting instincts or just a total puppet who hangs on his every word and believes.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there are couples who are divorced over the refuse to buy/being priced out issues. Frankly to 90%+ of the people looking to buy a primary residence, it is not about investments, even for those who manage money professionally. Most of the time, people buy cuz that’s just what you do, and / or you don’t feel like renting and you want to own and decorate and don’t need to explain / get permission from the landlord like a little kid.

    Yes, making $$ would be great but usually it is the fear of being priced out that’s the most important driver than making $$$. So far for the last 10 years, fear of being priced out is right so far. If prices keep going up for another 5 years and then crashes, it wouldn’t help most people who can’t afford it now, cuz prices will likely fall to where they are now 5 years out while take home inflation adjusted income likely wouldn’t increase that much for most people. So they still can’t afford while ensuring 5 or even 10 years of a lot of bitterness between wife and hubby.

  41. Btw, El Nina, you never obviously worked in the money management firm so don’t pretend you have any clue how it. Portfolio managers have at best 5yr of under-performance (lower than median fund class return) before they are canned, even if their fund is making $$. If their fund is losing money then their shelf life is even shorter, maybe even just 1 year.

    People don’t buy under performing funds, they sell! So if you don’t perform, you are canned. Unlike a lot of the other industries where the mediocre can just hang on and muddle through in the crowd for a long time.

  42. i don’t think there are many families in Vancouver…school board enrollment has been in steep decline for over a decade, so one could question the amount of families buying houses

    • My neighborhood elementary schools all have long wait list for kindergarten classes, enough to open up at least 1 if not 2 classes – assuming there is the space and budget. Most of the housing stock that’s not right on the big arterial street are still SFH, with maybe basement suites. Very little HAM though. And yes, this is in Vancouver – near Queen Park.

      • Brian – I meant Queen Eliz Park in middle of Vancouver…. didn’t realized I missed a few letters. 🙂

    • Space, correct me if I am wrong but the Queens Park that you speak of is in New West no? I have many colleagues who love that area. New West is actually quite a local area with beautiful character homes and heritage places. Thankfully it is somewhat spared from the HAM buying because you can’t easily tear down the places there. Sometimes it gets a bad rap of being full of crime but I see nothing wrong with it.

      Ted, families are not the main driver of single family homes in Vancouver unless you are financed by the bank of grandparents. But SFH does not comprise of the supply majority. The condos and townhomes aren’t out of reach yet so many families buy those.

    • Ted, at the end of 2008 and early 2009, I saw good choices going for 2006 prices. I don’t see any of those now, or perhaps I have not been looking hard. Beef prices etc have gone up by may be 30% – 35%, but last weekend was crazy high-end restaurants were packed with families. People in the know will tell you that Lower Mainland is the playground of the Prince of Dubai, the Prime Minister of LionCity and the elder sister of Xi Jinping, to name a few.

      RE forums and blogs are full of vested individuals. No one comment is right for everyone. No doubt, you already know that Freako, my bad, Patrioz has bought his dream home in Ottawa and so have a few others, “Good thing” Jesse just “locked in (his) variable rate mortgage” around 2010 July 20 (verbatim).

    • Brian – I meant Queen Eliz Park in the middle of Vancouver, didn’t realize I missed a few letters. 🙂

      As for New West, I have been to Queens Park and another park by the Coquitlam border. The environment looks to be pretty nice, family friendly. However, as you said there is the bad crime rap. As well, it’s a bit lacking in Asian restaurants and stores, and doesn’t feel quite as amenity friendly as say Vancouver. However, that could just be perception, not reality.

      Housing is cheaper by comparison but I think SFH homes and semi-detached duplex have gone up quite a bit in that area as well in the last few years. 😦

      • Hi Space, yeah, now I know where you are talking about. Believe it or not your area is one of the few areas that my wife wants us to look at purchasing for our next home. She doesn’t want to be in a HAM area but still wants the west side; by the looks of it, the area around Cambie between 16 to 25 is our best bet. This area has a lot of high income lawyers and doctors. However, the prices are still hovering around 1.7 to 1.8 now. It’s only a matter of time until it goes to 2.

      • Sorry Brian, you are a bit late, most of the newer houses (under 30yrs) or non-Van Special houses are already $2M+ now. There are a lot of new constructions going on in that area but most of them don’t seem to be hitting the market yet. But I don’t think they will be cheap considering the house they replace probably cost $1.8M+ to buy.

      • Royce McCutcheon

        I know that area well. Lived around there for years and still know people in that area. If there are high earners in that area, they are older. There may be some younger families, but – knowing the region very well for almost 15 years now – it is nowhere near what it was. It feels much emptier.

  43. if i was a multi millionaire i would be about 1200 miles south of that ice age rain forest vancouver ,

    • Even if you are not, you can still leave and head south to where it is warmer and houses cost less than 1/2 the price here. Assuming you have the marketable in demand skills.

      I guess the fact you are still here and complaining means you don’t really have an option to leave?

      Well, at least I have to say you are still better than BPOM and his minions on VCI.

    • Unless you don’t speak any English, in which case you better find a city that speaks your language down there. Good luck with that unless you speak Spanish or English. Or… You could end up in San Fran which might actually be even more expensive than Vancouver.

  44. This once-diverse blog has been hijacked as the personal chat room of two of the smuggest, narrow-sighted low lifes in internet history. Sad.

    • You are welcome to join the gain at VCI. i believe it is quite “diverse” there with top notch, fact based, objective discussions.

    • Or, could it be that the bears have…. gone into hibernation after years of sitting on the sidelines watching the market grow further and further out of reach. I don’t know, what do you think is more plausible. People usually stop talking after being wrong for so long, unlike somebody here.

      • Or could it be that nobody can stomach your verbal diarrhea.

        Have fun talking to each other!

      • You are not leaving are you? Cause that would be no fun. I get a kick at how flustered you get out of this.

      • Royce McCutcheon

        Hey Brian – the blog is (more or less) dormant. There used to be a lot of conversation here from all sides. It is now (more or less) down to you three for the most part (based on posts). Nothing else.

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