Iconic Burrard Street Molson Coors Factory Now A Speculative Land Play

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A syndicate of Chinese investors seeks to turn one of Vancouver’s last protected industrial sites, the iconic Molson Coors factory, into “a great sea view apartment development” according to investment documents.

In November 2015, Molson Coors confirmed to Postmedia News the sale of its three-hectare site at the foot of Burrard Bridge to a mystery buyer, for an undisclosed price. Postmedia reported that the sale wouldn’t close until early 2016 and experts estimated the price could have been about $190 million.

Property documents still connect the site to Molson Inc. The site is zoned industrial and protected in that usage by Metro Vancouver’s board and Vancouver city planners, Vancouver’s assistant planning director Kent Munro told The Province on Wednesday.

Munro said the city doesn’t know who the Molson site buyer is and “no one has come in and talked to us.”

Both the city and Metro Vancouver see the site as important for long-term industrial job creation.

Munro said Metro Vancouver would have to approve a residential rezoning before Vancouver council did the same through a public hearing.

“Last year Molson spoke to us before they tried to sell it, about (rezoning) potential, and we gave the same answer,” Munro said.

“It’s in Metro Vancouver’s regional context statement, and the City … don’t have any plans to change it.”

A spokesman said Mayor Gregor Robertson has not received “any new applications” for the Molson site.

But in online advertisements at vansky.com, a Chinese-language site for investors in the Lower Mainland, Sun Commercial Real Estate apparently announces residential plans for the lands with an ad that includes pictures of the brewery site.

“Sun Commercial real estate brewery project recruit shareholders, 330,000 feet of great sea view apartment development,” says an English translation of Sun Commercial’s materials. The plan says small investors are required to contribute $150,000 and “VIP customers” must invest $100 million. However the VIP contribution is already “full,” documents say.

The plan is “zero risk, high return,” the translated Sun Commercial document says, and “existing brewery investment project in full swing … almost nearing completion.” …

In one deal advertised online, Sun Commercial reported buying a Cambie property across from Oakridge for $19 million in July 2013 and selling it for $26 million in October 2013, after holding it for just three months. Kevin Sun is director of Qiji, one of the companies connected to the deal in legal documents.

– from ‘Sea view apartment development’ on tap for Vancouver’s Molson site, Sam Cooper, The Province, 14 Jan 2016 [hat-tip to ‘hello …anybody listening’]

So, a (large) wager based on the belief that the City zoning for this site can be changed or that a greater fool can be convinced that that will be the case. A “speculative land play”, as Sam Cooper puts it in the video. Hats-off to Cooper and The Province for the investigative journalism. – ed.

Addendum:
Here is a Sept 2015 article by Sam Cooper, profiling Julia Lau, apparently one of the players in the Molson speculation.

179 responses to “Iconic Burrard Street Molson Coors Factory Now A Speculative Land Play

  1. rod_jonsson_pmd

    a change i must make
    to verse i must take
    such fun it could be
    to live in a factory … oh wait … pffft!

  2. No, this couldn’t possibly happen because it is all locals leveraging themselves up the hilts buying this stuff. No foreign money is at play in Vancouver at all, people who make an average of 50000 a year could somehow band together to buy a 190 million dollar property. Sure.. pigs can fly too.

    • That’s trollish.
      We don’t see anybody anywhere saying it’s ALL locals leveraging themselves up.
      Besides, one would suspect that at least some of the 330,000 sqft of condos will be targeted at locals swept up in the mania.
      You could say the deal is premised on the presence of leveraged locals.

      • Wait, you mean you are acknowledging that foreign capital is at play in the Vancouver market?? That doesn’t sound like you from what I read of your posts from the beginning.

        But ok, better late than never. You do also know that Vancouver house was primarily marketed in Asia right? Locals didn’t get a chance to buy until months after it went on market in Shanghai. I think agents know who their primary market is.

    • rod_jonsson_pmd

      ok, we get that 1/5 of the global labor pool was held out of the modern economy for 30 yrs and then reintegrated … there is some good real wealth created … but it turned fullblown steroidal when they expanded credit faster and more recklessly than all other majors … thems that found $190M to put up are finding their assets marking down big … illusion of wealth on steroids on the fade, dude – as will all else related

  3. “zero risk, high return”

    Brian: get in on this, man.

  4. #FromTheAddendum,Or… #IsThatYouInspectorClouseau?…

    “Just over a month later, on June 19, Lee was found lying dead in the trunk of a car in Burnaby, with a plastic bag over his head. Integrated Homicide Investigation Team detectives looked at the case and eventually decided that Lee likely committed suicide…”…

    [NoteToIllustriousEd: Worst case of suicide since Salvador Allende…]

  5. Didn’t the local realtors said the same thing when some Chinese investor group bought up a bunch of Cambie corridor houses at $3.5M instead of the going rate of $2.5M? They trouted out city councillors too about how this wouldn’t work and that’s not things work here, and they wouldn’t get the density, etc, etc, etc….well look at that stretch now, massive construction and massive profits.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar played out with this deal. And really? Are citizens of Vancouver really going to tolerate an actual working industrial plants with all the attended pollutions right in the middle of the city? Is that also really the best use of land as well?

    • How people forget about that guy. So many people ridiculed him including the city of Vancouver and now he is holding some of the most prime rezoned real estate in the cambie corridor.

      These people are pretty smart. They have money and they can just sit here and wait. Like that guy, they are saying, this is ok, you may not let me do anything now, but the odds are in my favor and I can wait you out. In the end, the guy with the money will always win because it’s either that or let’s just let some of the most prime real estate in Vancouver sit empty.

  6. The Chinese are nothing if not patient. They had to wait 99 years to kick the British out of Hong Kong. They build entire ghost cities for the future. The Molson site is comparatively minuscule. But it is choice real estate; not Wailing Wall choice, but worth gambling on; and there are many gamblers. The founder of Fedex gambled at Vegas to meet payroll. Dealing with City Hall is comparatively safer. Bring up the Head Tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act; point out the increased tax base; and Bob Wong’s your uncle.
    These industrial breweries are an anachronism by the way. Who drinks that piss? Brewing should be mom&pop decentralized. Walkable. And there should be pig pens on every block to consume all the spent yeast as well as scraps from people’s homes instead of hauling it in diesel trucks. That would be a green city. Have BBQ’s at slaughter-time. Salt some hams. I’d be all in. Pork fun city.

  7. Fishy land deal, I eagerly await the hilarity as it tries to get rezoned. I can’t think of any barriers, but if anyone does, be the First to let us know!

    • vreaa,

      Some great marketing jargon in this piece to add to your running list of bubble phraseology. In addition, of course, to the tried and true, “property ladder”.

      – “Partial hedge”
      – “Foothold”
      – “Once you get out of the market, that ship has sailed”

      And in describing Vancouver’s market: “Idiosyncratic”. Love it!

      • What ever makes you happy El Ninja. Apparently a lot more people think like me. Renting is a great option until someone kicks you out or your wife really wants that certain open concept kitchen and you have this really terrible issue whereby you can’t because, well, you don’t actually OWN the place. It’s not yours. So the most important asset of your life, the one that affects you the most, you want someone else to control it? How does this make sense exactly? Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it buys you the ability to control factors that can screw up your life.

      • “The most important asset of your life.”

        You know what that is, Brian? It ain’t four walls and a ceiling. It’s your health. It’s your family. It’s what you do for others.

      • Sorry.. but the four walls and a ceiling keeps a family stable. Stability means a lot to a hell of a lot of people. Try moving your family every year and see how good your family likes it and what it does for your health. You are right, health and family are more important but that’s why stability is paramount to maintaining it. Of course, there are people who value freedom over stability, but there are also many who think the other way around. Hence why you get those who think that renting is a good alternative and some that don’t. You may like going to 20 different countries and trying out living there but to me that just makes life less stable; I travel to just as many countries but only for vacation that is all. I have a sneaky suspicion that Vancouver has a few more folks who are like me as is the case with many cities that have a large asian population.

      • Once again, you have totally missed my point. There’s nothing wrong with owning as a concept. Depending on your life circumstances, it can make perfect sense. I never said otherwise.

        What I’m saying is that choosing to rent does not equate with being a poor spouse or parent, as you have implied repeatedly in your blather about “stability”. You can be perfectly concerned with your family, while recognizing that owning might not make the most sense for you at any given time. Playing up the spectre of “getting kicked out” is just a sleazy sales trick.

        Btw, “stability” is NOT simply avoiding the risk that the owner will ask you to move out. Stability is much more than that. It’s having capital left over to build a balanced, sensible investment portfolio. It’s not exposing your family to the financial burden of unforeseen repairs, or to a**hole neighbours you can’t easily move away from, or to the risk of bad rezoning. The list goes on. Stability is in the eye of the beholder. Define it as you will, and go ahead and live by it, but don’t hold yourself above others.

      • Because after all, it is a fact that those who rent typically move every year.

      • @canis, are you seriously comparing the control of renters vs owners? I kicked out a tenant once because I had to sale a property, nearly wrecked his family life, felt terrible about it but had to be done. Sometimes the one months rent doesn’t quite cover the hassle.

        @el ninja, of course, there are people who prefer to rent vs those who prefer to own. I am simply saying that Vancouver has a lot more who prefer owning because of its stability. i don’t buy your argument of the repairs, etc when I have owned 60 year old places that are better than what is built today. When I was a renter, I felt controlled. Sure there might be the odd asshole neighbour but he can’t do anything to me in my own place. You can’t argue that renting gives you more control when you can’t even dictate how your home should be. It gives you more freedom not control. But regardless, what I am saying is that while you view renting as a suitable alternative, in many cultures especially Asian, it is not. So this so called premium to ownership is a hell of a lot more than you think.

        The reason why renting is also looked down upon is because the average wealth of owners is usually more than that of renters. So…. Take it for what that is worth, people with money tends to look down on those with out. Money still talks in this world.

      • Brian you constantly distort and caricature the views of those who disagree with you. It’s uncivil. You have an anecdote about having to evict a neighbor to sell a property. It’s absurd to universalize this — or the experiences of your “friends” — to imply that if you rent, you’ll have to move every year, which is what you implied in your post above. I have anecdotes about renting apartments and houses for years at a time. (My own experiences, and those of others.) I also have anecdotes about neighbors who made our lives miserable in a house we owned. It does depend on what you value in the place you live. It also depends on what is for you the best thing to do with the money that might otherwise be devoted to a downpayment and mortgage. When you express an absolute, inflexible demand for one specific kind of house, and then universalize that demand to “Asian culture” — you’re feeding the bubble.

      • @Canis. Ok fair enough, I wasn’t exactly trying to be civil at your humourous dig.

        El Ninja constantly dismisses the premium of owning as a small premium. What I am trying to say is that in many people’s eyes, that premium isn’t small. The reason why asian cultural keeps on coming up is two reasons. 1. Demographic studies show that we are going to have about 1.25 million east and southeast asian people in Vancouver by 2031, South Asian will apparently increase to about 600K. In 1980 we had a fraction of that. So in 50 years, you have introduce a big demographics swing into Vancouver. Part of the swift rise of housing prices in my opinion is associated with this shift. 2. Surveys show that half of the current millionaires plan to leave China. That’s a lot of millionaires. Surveys also show that we are in the top five of their preferred destinations along with London, New York, Melbourn, LA. That isn’t good news for our market when you have so many rich people coming to your city when we have already seen what 60000 millionaires managed to do to our detached market. You are starting to see the migration of this massive wealth in the last decade.

        You think that properties are local? They are so local that our best properties aren’t even marketed locally anymore. Most luxury highrises in downtown get marketed in asia first. Agents go to China to court buyers of luxury properties. They know locals can’t afford most of what they sale. The whole purpose is to court this class of millionaires who plan to leave china to establish their second home. Don’t believe me, go to an open house in vancouver or burnaby for a listing above 1.5 million and see what language gets spoken.

      • Royce McCutcheon

        @Brian: I agree that the premium on stability shouldn’t be trivialized. I feel the error in your thinking is that you think that is what those advocating renting today are doing. I don’t trivialize it and the other renting families I know – high earning people in many cases, for whatever that’s worth to you – don’t do it either. Moving with your family can be a big deal even if it’s every few years (instead of yearly).

        You said: “You can’t argue that renting gives you more control when you can’t even dictate how your home should be.”

        What is not acknowledged is the destabilizing nature of buying in today’s market – and the control a massive mortgage exerts on your life. Buying family friendly stuff today puts many families on the wrong side of a life-changing sum of money if the market corrects even slightly. To maintain high earning in the event of job loss, rate increases, etc. might necessitate taking a second job or a job involving travel. It can affect family well-being by axing all sorts of activities and protective saving/investing because people are mortgage-poor. EVERY family I have spoken to in the last few years that rents right now because they were (essentially) born too late to responsibly buy in this market has said some version of “moving sucks, but the down side of a crash is much worse on a personal level”.

        I’m obviously not suggesting that everyone needs to adopt this value system. But you can’t deny that there is a very clear argument to be made related to renting being a means of exerting MORE control over your life and how it is lived than buying would be. By renting, my family has comfortable afforded spacious detached houses in nice neighborhoods while simultaneously saving for educations, retirement, vacations, etc. If we had bought these places, we would have been struggling to put food on the table. I have far more mastery (control) over my own life by renting.

      • Brilliantly said, Royce.

      • @Royce, yes, I agree with you on this. I am not saying that owning is not without risks but what I was arguing against is that people on this board trivialize the risk of renting. What I am trying to point out is that unlike what El Ninja suggested, people who buy are not financially illiterate. Just because many of the same people place a huge premium on owning over renting doesn’t mean they don’t understand the value. I don’t get why you have to rent to be financially literate in this market. Who are we to judge this. I am simply pointing that to a lot of people, particularly the majority of the buyers in this market and the cultures they come from, renting is far more risky than what a large mortgage is because the size of the mortgages these guys are taking on are not that large compared to the assets they own abroad. One metric that I do use is to measure price of houses versus the incomes of the people who do buy. My research shows that it is ridiculously low because most of these people have far greater incomes than what the stats show, you can’t possibly believe that westside homes are bought by people with 25K a year income. So to them, the risks of not being able to pay the mortgage is not that large. So until this ratio becomes large enough then you can’t honestly say we are overvalued because if buyers aren’t local, how do you use local incomes as a metric?

      • Royce McCutcheon

        Grumpy back and forth aside from the usual suspects aside, my point was that I think you’re mistaken if you think the risk is trivialized by most renters. It’s not. It only seems trivial in comparison to the down sides of owning. Moving with a family undeniably sucks.

        Also, this is problematic to me: “I don’t get why you have to rent to be financially literate in this market.”

        If you want to argue differing values/priorities drive the decision to purchase, then that’s fine. I agree. But that isn’t a financial decision, is it? From a purely financial POV, I think there is a lot of room for argument/ judgment. I’m not saying you can determine who is right per se, but this is quantifiable stuff with different strategies to be debated. Buying when rents and owning costs are so mismatched – in a world where these are very rarely (if ever?) decoupled indefinitely – is open to debate in pure financial terms.

        I mean, if I buy gold wedding bands at a time where many metrics suggest that gold is massively over-valued, it’s kind of hard to objectively judge my decision to have a wedding or get married at that time, but you sure as heck can call me out and debate me if I call my ring purchase a wise financial investment.

        As to west side home purchases, the obvious international driver aside, I am aware of many local participants in that market and certainly in the wider lower mainland within the $1-3M range, though mostly in the $1-1.5M range. Those in the higher part of that range are typically a combination of inherited wealth plus early market participation (around the turn of the century). For those in the $1-1.5M range, being in my 30s, I know many people participating on local incomes that are in the range of $125k-300k). Take some equity from a condo purchased in 2005, add 50-100k from an inheritance, tack on earnings from a basement suite, and they’re stretching into a detached place for $1.3M. I also know some who are slightly older who are selling into those price ranges and buying near Oakridge, etc. Yes, we are talking above average income earners. But we’re not talking about gazillionaires either. A doctor and a cop. Two in middle management. A lawyer and a teacher. Etc. (Similar profiles exist for the people I know electing to rent.)

        It’s unwise to underestimate the influence of foreign money. But it’s also unwise to think there isn’t massive local participation even at pricier ranges (which ignores the fact that 9/10 real estate transactions in the lower mainland are still for less than $1M). Lots of people are borrowing a lot of money and fear of being “priced out of the stability of owning forever” is the most common sentiment I’ve seen in relation to this decision.

      • @Royce, sure, but that is exactly what I am saying. For many who are buying, this isn’t a financial decision. What I don’t get is, why is El Ninja dragging this back into a financial realm. For none financial decisions, what I look at is people’s ability to afford it. For the assets that I analyze (detached in the four areas I have previously mentioned), the buyers, note I don’t ever say locals, I say buyers because many of them aren’t local, can afford it at this price. If we are to look at their price to income ratios, it is not bad because most of their incomes are hidden. What I am saying is pretty simple, if these buyers continue to be the chinese millionaires like they have been for the last few years, then given that this isn’t a financial decision for them, I don’t see how you can say this market is unaffordable. Because for the buyers who actually buy, this market is very affordable compared to their real incomes. As for the 9 / 10 transactions, those are usually the attached properties which I think are in fact overpriced. But again, notice how my arguments are concentrated to one segment which has detached from historical norms. When we examine the market, we need to look at how the buyers are managing to pay for this massive overvaluation that you guys are all saying. I still don’t see how you could, without some kind of inheritance which still relies on the sale of a property to a foreigner, actually have this type of valuations like we see today.

        The other thing that you might want to consider is that using historical norms are only that, history. Where else in the world have you seen such a massive demographic shift from one culture to another like Vancouver. Don’t believe me, just look at the demographics of 1980’s vs what they are projected to be in 2030. I think Vancouver housing price valuations has much more to do with immigration than to do with local incomes or economy.

    • Btw, ever notice how so many of these terms are based on fear and shame?

      – “Buy now or never” — or end up a low-life pleb who will be forever “paying someone else’s mortgage”.
      – Get a “foothold” in the market — or fall to your proverbial RE death.
      – “The ship will sail” — leaving you stranded and optionless in life.
      – Don’t “stay on the sidelines” in the RE “game” — what are you, a wuss?

      Even the seemingly innocent “property ladder” has judgmental underpinnings. I mean, if you don’t climb it, what are you, incapable? Lazy?

      And of course, in Brian’s world, if you don’t buy a detached home at absurd, stratospheric prices, you are a reckless head of family. Never mind that you will be committing yourself and possibly your children to years of debt slavery, relative immobility, and foregone investment opportunities. It’s just another variation on the sleazy shame-based language employed by realtors, and gleefully adopted by the analytically-challenged sheeple in their chatter about RE.

  8. I’ve been over the Burrard Bridge countless times: on foot, by bicycle, by car. I identify primarily as a cyclist. You’d think I’d like the concrete bike path dividers. No, they’re atrocious; a carbuncle on a beautiful bridge. I’d prefer to see cyclists banned altogether – we should simply scoot over to Cambie. That bridge is awesome for cycling. Or, ban vehicles – turn the whole bridge into a bicycle/pedestrian route. What exists now is ugly – a home handyman kind of mess.
    If (when) zoning is changed at the Molson site, the value of the “sea view” residential properties would increase even more massively with a quiet bridge. Of course, the city wouldn’t be interested in the construction bonanza and permit fees and huge bump in property taxes such a development would provide.

  9. It was fascinating reading about Julia Lau and the body and the Porsche. Imagine – someone making that kind of crazy money still trying to get a discount on a car. Realtors: pillars of society; give blankets to the needy; win lots of medallions; get president’s awards.
    I remember one amusing fellow I knew – lost his waiter’s job for “borrowing” bottles of wine. Yes, he was a bit of a cad. Then, he got his agent’s license and magically became someone you could trust. No way would he con some lol (little old lady) out of her house. No way.
    I’m embarrassed to admit that 30 years ago I attended an information sessions put on by an agency to explore becoming one of those trustworthy individuals. I did not fit in – like being a satanist at an evangelical meeting. But it made me wonder why many agencies held these potential licensee sessions. Follow the money. Part of the program was to write down the names of potential clients. No, not those goofs you knew who hoped to buy someday, but the aunties and grannies who had the actual goods to sell – to provide grist for the agency mill. It didn’t matter if you were successful as an agent. The important thing was to give them hot leads.
    I’ve often wondered about the attrition rate of agents – the churn – and how much cash flow that generates. It is a monumentally inefficient industry. A handful get rich and the rest drop out or hang around smelling the droppings.
    I’m fascinated by this industry and utterly repelled. I wound up reading many many of their publications as a kind of inoculation against their trickery. A good way to understand it is to take whatever they say and assume the opposite, or realize there is an angle by deception, or omission. As an example, I noticed an ad for a place in Renfrew Heights in a choice location – 3254 E 27th Ave @ exactly one mil. The description was only three words: excellent building lot. I had a look. It was in fact an excellent building lot, but the house was also excellent – in some ways better than new. The place could have easily sold for an extra quarter mil. But, odds are the agent wouldn’t have “pulled a double ender”.
    The clown who was the agent for our house said the neighbors were great. They seemed good at first. We were neighbourly. Buddy disclosed some elements of his operation and mentioned they were planning to build a deck. Later he amended that to saying they were replacing a deck that was there before. That raised a red flag. He also said they were planning to sell their house. That was a ruse. As winter turned to spring his business ramped up. They were a nightmare. They were running two businesses out of their house – one industrial. It was very difficult to shut them down, but I was able to use what he’d disclosed earlier. We went to war. I called his main client (a multiple franchise) and asked if they were in the habit of hiring unlicensed contractors. That forced buddy to go to City Hall to get a license which registered him, but, of course, zoning did not permit him to work out of his house. A great point of leverage was his new deck. When he came back from vacation he had a stop work order on it. Good neighbours? How about hatred. I had to literally stand in front of him with a camera and take pictures of his activities, to the inspector, before action was taken.
    Unable to continue his business out of this super prime residential area, and hating me with a white hot rage, he finally did sell and moved his horrible family and operation to the Valley. Hurrah. But, the experience probably took a couple of years off my life. It changed me forever. Was it worth it? I didn’t have a choice.

  10. Some people, Durrell writes, just lie there and let life play upon them like the tepid discharges of a douchebag. Others stand up for their rights. What is enshrined in property rights is quiet enjoyment – not some blue collar jackass grinding away in his garage; moving industrial materials at all hours; polluting the air with toxic solvents (toluene, xylene – I can smell that poison a block away); parking utility trailers in the alley; fixing things in the street. There was no respite in our yard. Parking was one of the most effective ways to combat this happy hard worker – I think I nailed him with about 14 parking tickets during our battle.
    Insult to injury, letting him get away with a deck, which would affect our view, would have been preposterous. The most important view window is the one over a kitchen sink. Ours happens to have views all the way to the Golden Ears and Mount Blanchard. It’s dramatic to watch them glow – yes, golden, when the setting sun catches them, or when they’re white with snow. You can see SFU on Burnaby Mountain, and Capitol Hill, Brentwood, and other mountains even farther away. We have killer views. Worth fighting for. Insert a jackass drinking beer and barbecuing – and that’s the view.
    Dislodging this turkey was one of the happiest moments in my life. The person who bought his house has been great. Educated. Working on a doctorate. Ironically, he said he planned to enclose the deck which the turkey had built. Already had an estimate. He didn’t ask if I was okay with it; just assumed. He assumed incorrectly. He said it was going to be glass – as if that was some kind of magic inoffensive material. If, in fact, he offered me 100K to let him get away with it, I wouldn’t take it. That’s how much I value the view. The value of his house would bump more than that if he had that extra living space. You have to be wary of the “good” neighbors.

    • Ok, you have some sympathy from me about the previous guy doing industrial work without proper safety equipments and such, but you also sounds like uptight anal ahole too. You are spouting about property rights and yet denying your neighbor the right to fully enjoy his property because it blocks your view?? Yes, I know the permit issues and you can claim that. However, if you believe in property rights then bylaws like that are an infringement upon property rights, just like the 2nd amendment debate in US. You can claim you believe in something but then take offense when you are being inconvienced by the others exercise the right you believe in.

      btw, seems like other neighbors aren’t so uptight about this whole thing. So looks like you aren’t a nice neighbor either.

  11. No need to be churlish.
    “Nice” is for losers. Did anyone call Steve Jobs nice? No. They called him an a.hole. Thumbs up Steve – R.I.P.
    The word nice comes from the old French meaning ignorant, or foolish. That would be an insult.
    A.hole is a word like bitch. Bitches are great – tough. It’s an empowering word. If your boss is a woman, odds are the underlings will call her a bitch (under their breath). If your boss is a man, odds are the epithet will be a.hole.
    I don’t understand Mr/Ms Space’s logic about giving up some view, so that a neighbour can fully illegally enjoy their property. That’s insane. Vancouver is all about the views.
    Asking why other neighbours seemingly don’t have objections is a valid question, but this neighbour word is too nebulous – what counts is the neighbour on either side who is directly affected – not someone half a block away.
    And the original owner of our house sold, even though he had kids. Maybe he was too “nice” to object. I think they were quite friendly with each other. Of course, Mr. Happy Worker was very outgoing and friendly with neighbours. Could this be because he was getting away with running an industrial corporation out of his RS1 house? I think so, and as in so many of these circumstances, there was a quid pro quo.
    I like what Robert Ringer wrote about there being three kinds of people. The first type is the quintessential lawyer – not nice; probably an a.hole in any deal – but you know what you’re dealing with. The second, is the smiley friendly faker. Says that he wants what’s good for all parties, all the while scheming. The third type says they want what’s good for everyone and even kind of believe it themselves, but when the chips are on the table, they make a lunge for them. This last type was Ringer’s least favourite.
    I don’t pretend to be friendly and I am definitely not nice.

  12. U.S. Anti-Money Laundering Regulator Targets Shell Company Purchasers of Residential Real Estate
    http://tinyurl.com/h724kt6

    The United States is hunting down international criminals who launder money through real estate deals, with the Treasury Department ordering title insurance companies to report the identities of people paying cash for high-end properties in Miami and Manhattan.

    The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, an arm of the U.S. Treasury, said on Wednesday it is concerned that individuals buy residential real estate in cash through shell companies to hide their assets and veil their identities.
    http://tinyurl.com/jeezqbf

  13. It’s not hard to find the real international criminals – the, to paraphrase Russell Brand, walking talking discharges of wealthy powerful vaginas.
    When I was young
    We had to sing
    A bullshit song
    About a pirate queen
    “god bless our vicious queen”
    Who sent her pirates
    Around the world
    Ready to kill
    Pillage and plunder.
    And rob they did
    No country to small
    Big or small
    She wanted them all.
    Row upon row
    We stood at attention
    Singing this song
    About this greedy bitch
    Blessed by god
    To tear asunder
    Families whole
    To pillage and plunder.
    She robbed the world
    Country by country
    Stole the gold
    Gave paper money.
    Stole whole countries
    Nation by nation
    Left the defeated
    On reservations.
    Used the courts
    Used divine law
    Never enough
    For her fat craw.
    Owned the world
    Sea to sea
    Gave to her spawn
    Not to me
    Except this bullshit song
    “god bless our vicious queen”.
    Killed for spices
    Killed for gold
    Brainwashed children
    Around the world
    Hooked the unwilling
    On opium sold.
    At the end of a gun
    This vicious bitch
    Sent her thugs
    Blessed by god
    To pillage and plunder.

    • rod_jonsson_pmd

      pirate minstrel, aim to mind your meter
      poets know it, how to keep this neater
      spacemans got you and he crows it
      high-po critics always show it

      • The history of the world has been one of brutal land speculation and mental conquest – through jingoism, genocide, and voodoo religions. It has not been pretty poetry. If the syncopation or flow jars, so much the better – that reflects the disorderly conditions of life for people with no security of place or person.
        If it really offends your aesthetic sensibilities, feel free to stroke it – that might be a good thing – make it sing.

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        lol …
        better be a pirate than to join a navy?
        tell me how’s it this to become “not you it’s me”?
        might makes right is hardly novel observation
        draw a sword die by same, fitting consummation
        … pffft!

  14. Ian Young in Vancouver ~

    ‘Crowdfunders’ are targeting Vancouver real estate, tapping investors in Chinese community
    Projects linked to the ambitious new firms and their offshoots include a C$185m three-hectare industrial site (Molson Coors factory site in Kitsilano), as well as golf courses in Vancouver and the Okanagan

    At least two such companies, Suncrowdfunding Holdings and Canada Luxmore Crowdfunding, have recently emerged in Vancouver, the South China Morning Post has found.
    http://tinyurl.com/ju2xspd

    Ezubao, Lufax and P2P lending in China. Crowfunding is unregulated in China, as long as a lender’s customers do not complaint the authorities will typically not intervene in their operations.
    http://tinyurl.com/jew6er5

    • PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 January, 2016, 3:35am

      ~ Ian Young in Vancouver ~

      Canadian securities regulators review Vancouver real estate ‘crowdfunders’ after SCMP report
      http://tinyurl.com/hm39rw7

      Securities regulators in Canada are reviewing the activities of two Vancouver real estate “crowdfunding” firms, after the South China Morning Post reported on apparent efforts to create investor syndicates drawn from the city’s Chinese community to buy properties worth tens of millions of dollars.

      British Columbia Securities Commission spokesman Richard Gilhooley on Friday confirmed that the commission was conducting the review of Suncrowdfunding and Canada Luxmore Crowdfunding and their associated entities.
      ………………………..

      • Sun Commercial Real Estate (Suncom) is suing a realtor for C$5 million on defamation ground. They would get more if they sue SCMP and BCSC though. Oh wait, the latter two are not mandarin-speaking, so they are safe.
        http://tinyurl.com/zljzqey

  15. south of the border ~ Investment schemes that went terribly wrong –

    Luca International Group
    http://tinyurl.com/hr5md4t

    Arcadia, USFIA – Gemcoin
    http://tinyurl.com/jnkqfxe

    Gemcoin
    http://tinyurl.com/ocl2yxd

  16. Barbara Yaffe: B.C. strata councils in ‘critical’ funding state

    Owners ‘just don’t have the money’ for proper contingency funds

    http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/barbara+yaffe+strata+councils+critical+funding+state/11663067/story.html

  17. Shelley Fralic: Heads up, Metro Vancouver mayors: A revolt is brewing

    That something in the air? It’s anger

    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/shelley+fralic+heads+metro+vancouver+mayors+revolt+brewing/11660313/story.html#ixzz3xvRL2hTV

  18. UDI forecasters: Home prices will rise again
    http://tinyurl.com/j3o44t2

    UDI Forecast 2016 – 100 presentation slides
    China’s Impact: #18 – #24
    Gateway to Canada: #28 – #35
    #24: of the QDII2 enable capital flows into international property market, 7.5% ($24,787,500,000) will reach Canada
    Real estate has been the most stable performing asset: #38
    Home ownership as an investment / asset class will continue to grow: #42
    India’s impact: #43
    Low Interest Rates will remain at historic lows & low C$ has been good for LML real estate: #53
    http://tinyurl.com/zuzp5z3

    • Almost $25B wow….that’s a lot of $$$ injecting into the local RE market….

      • I love what they did with that single red line. Very informative infographic. Clearly, Van RE has nowhere to go but up!

      • You want to see some stats El NInja? Why don’t you chew on this. Last year, total sold detached volume in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby and West Vancouver was around 9000 listings, total dollars 18 billion approximately. Total sold attached listings 15000, total dollar value 9 billion. That is 27 billion dollars total volume in both the detached and attached markets in the four sub areas where immigrants primarily purchase property. So yeah.. imagine 25 billion dollars injected into this market, that is almost enough to basically buy out your entire volume of real estate transactions in one year. And last year was one of the busiest years on record for Vancouver Real Estate. So in a normal year, your volume and dollar amount won’t even hit 27 billion. So… foreign money has little effect on real estate eh? I hope what they are saying isn’t true because if 25 billion is injected every year, this market is going to be on steroids for a long time.

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        @bc … no comment on what was or was not injected – i don’t know … but this argument blows … for same reason as most gdp-like measures … i.e. suppose we sell each other our $1M houses = $2M in transactions … but it’s nothing … would be fun to know, how levered was $27B? … and if it did originate from china … well, in aggregate, more levered than if local

      • Money has been injected into all kinds of losing investments. Car industry, internet stocks, U.S. housing, Dutch tulip bulbs, the list goes on. It’s backward-looking and therefore meaningless in judging investment merit.

      • @El Ninja, sure, but if projections are that money outflows are to continue then it bears mentioning as the stats show that the vancouver housing market isn’t that big and isn’t enough to take on anything in the billions of injection. We are not talking about a large size market. Hell, if you injected 10 billion into seattle you probably get less of a response than you do here. So if the injection continues then the type of assets that this money usually buys are likely to go up. If it stops, then it is likely to go down, that’s not rocket science.

        @Rod, you described a perfect issue of illiquid markets. But last year 9% of all detached homes in the four areas I talked about changed hands. That is not a small number and in my opinion should be representative of the market. But leverage of money coming out of China is probably less levered than locals. Immigrants have to have a 35% downpayment or else it won’t be financed. Even at that level, only a couple of banks finance their mortgage. So… whereas locals can do it with 20% down. The difference, the locals must prove a income, immigrants don’t, they usually use some form of assets to prove it.

      • Btw, trying to stem flows of money out of china is like trying to patch a ship with holes in it with bandaids. You can have your policies, but as one of my clients recently said, we will find a way to get money out. It’s not difficult.

      • Even if injections continue, it’s still not a sound basis on which to buy property. Van RE is not a closed-loop system. For every buyer, there is a seller. And that seller is not necessarily keeping their money in the same market. Some (most?) of the proceeds is taken to other markets, or used to pay off mortgages, or to fund retirement, or any number of other ‘escape valves’.

      • Sure, your close loop theory does make some sense that not all dollars for the sellers stay in the market. First of all, we don’t need it to. There is fresh demand from the local buyers plus all the foreign injection of cash. Up till a decade ago the loop was working well but since then your wealth based immigration programs have brought a lot of cash to this loop.

        But this relates to one the earlier talking points of how we got to this valuation currently. I already demonstrated that your detached home prices can’t get here without foreign injection of cash. But in reality, there is another way. This is completely annecdotal. But I always wondered how in the world do these 30 year old local kids have 600K downpayments to support their above 1 million dollar purchases. You either have to be a genius and play the market well or…. more realistically have a parent who sold to a foreign buyer. So the loop isn’t completely closed but to assume that a majority of money leaked out somewhere else isn’t sound either. The fact that you have local buyers who can afford this price suggests that at least much of your sellers have not took the entire portion of their funds out of the market. Frankly, you don’t need a 3 million dollar retirement portfolios, give your kids half and keep half. I think a survey showed that 58% of home purchases had parental help of some sort.

        Bigger point I have is, we don’t need a closed loop. Say if even half of 24 billion comes here, that is still enough to chew up 60% of your detached supply in one of the biggest volume years in the history. As ownership switches from local to foreign / immigrants then the fundamentals of your market changes and price to income for example should reflect the real income of the buyers. But of course, we are then completely at the mercy of cash made outside of Canada but I don’t see how this is still news. We have been in this case for a while now.

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        @bc … don’t presume if inflows significant or not … but $27B in total transactions isn’t any smoking gun .. logic is wrong for reason already cited … also, cdn residential mortgage credit is >$1T and been growing yoy $60B-70B … if that were not true, or if that reverses, and things are still good, i would have to agree with you … last, if you thought local lending stds and leverage were wacky … china in aggregate 2X-4X total debt/gdp of cdn … so if presumed foreigners are a part of market, their 35+% quite likely more levered than anything local

      • @Rod, no one is saying anything here discussed can be a smoking gun. This is all speculation and percentages we are saying. No one can conclusively say for sure the market will go one way or the other. But the issue at play for me is how do you view a house. For me, not being in the housing market is like shorting it whereas others view it simply as a choice. If you view owning and renting as comparable then you are in the camp whereby if the housing prices sail out of reach you don’t care. But if you are in the camp whereby it is not, then you are essentially shorting the housing market if you don’t buy. I am not saying either is a better view, depends on your culture or views, you hold on or the other. For the group that is shorting, they don’t have to buy right now if they believe a crash will happen. But they will have to buy at some point the way a short position is in stocks to cover this “short” or need for ownership. What I am trying to show people is that demographically vancouver has shifted to more cultures that view not being in the housing market as holding a short position. They can be convinced to wait, but can’t be convinced to never own. If that is the case, then whether something is a smoking gun is irrelevant. In short positions, we are simply looking at percentage of chance something will happen and evaluate upside vs downside as both sides can work similarly to affect our positions.

    • from the ongoing trial of 2 kidnappers of a father and his 5yo son outside Richmond Wall Centre in 2013,
      http://tinyurl.com/jn9lyln

      the chinese media pieces in the missing parts:
      * because the victim’s trading company is registered in BC, doing business in China is more convenient.
      * the victim admitted helping Chinese officials to remit their funds offshore supposedly for “gambling”.
      * his service to these Chinese officials enabled them to circumvent China’s foreign exchange laws of US$50,000 annual ceiling. These officials require his service once or twice a year, to receive remittances before their departure from China, and to hand over the cash to them upon their arrival in Vancouver.
      * the victim denied he was assisting in money-laundering, but acknowledged that the money was illegal.
      * the victim eventually admitted he did collect a service charge from his clients.
      * the $300,000 (US$??) cash found inside the victim’s SUV on the day of the kidnap belongs to a certain Chinese official “Chen”; the victim had no idea how the chinese official managed to get approval to remit this sum of cash.

      The news headline is succinct. Hopefully, the Corrupt Officials and their money-laundering associates won’t see red and start a defamation lawsuit.
      http://tinyurl.com/gmxa2gj

  19. Reliance properties – privately owned. Gee, is that like Save-0n-Foods, BC’s Own (economic dictator), Overwaitea, Buy-Low (sell high), Cooper’s Foods (fake independent), Urban (buy-low, sell extra high) Fare, Western (dysfunctional) Family, car lots, radio stations, Metro (brainwash the people) News, agricultural machinery, leasing, selling, sticking those revolting billboards in your face …
    I remember Jim Treliving calling Pattison the “Billboard Billionaire”. And, in truth, it was that corporate takeover, with cash from flogging cars, that became the real grease for this obscene personal conglomerate. Billboards. Do virtually nothing. Watch the cash roll in. Take over other businesses. It’s a fun game, for the winner, but it destroys the lives of the losers – thousands of people. Start your own business and compete? Impossible. Just put on your uniform and kowtow. Fake a smile.
    Worry about foreign investment? Seriously?
    It’s extraordinary, the mentality of these predators. When is enough enough? look at the inserts stuck into that ad rag, The Courier. Billionaires stacking up their own companies against each other. Internecine. Like owning roosters or pit bulls. What fun.
    The most dangerous dictatorial ownership is that of food, water, and shelter.

  20. I have a name for all those foreign investors coming to Vancouver. I call them … customers. Would people here prefer to be like Detroit? No need to worry about getting on the property ladder there – better to get schooled on urban farming – that’s getting big with all the depopulation and razing of neighborhoods.
    I see people without a pot to piss in, lining up at Starbucks, sucking on a latte, or frappa, whining about how they can’t afford to buy. I remember being ridiculed about my car 15 years ago – no style. Still have it. It’s performed yeoman service for our family. Restaurants? We’ve eaten in one in 12 years. No style. Buying stuff? Pretty much all thrift shop. Buying from Greedy Jim? No way.
    In London, rich turds whine about über rich turds – great BBC doc on Basement Wars – building (burrowing) two floors down; spending millions of pounds on properties that are only occasionally used.
    I’m reminded of a news story from 25 years ago about Vietnamese refugees moving to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico (part of the guilt program the U.S. military industrial complex had about dropping half a ton of bombs for every man woman and child in that country before sticking there tails between their legs and running away). The entrenched residents had forever complained that there was no opportunity there. It was a backwater. Well, whaddya know – the Viets prospered.
    Life’s not easy. Then you die. In the meanwhile be on guard for all the billionaire bullshit. A dollar you give them is a dollar they will use to control you. Billionaires are control freaks. Look at Bill Gates – quacking about his foundation. What is a foundation? It’s a way to control money. He says he’ll give away his money by the time he croaks. Guess what? I’ll be dead too. Meanwhile his billions are increasing. Billy Boy – if you really want to help people instead of taking their money – stop – taking – their – money. Distribute all that cash now. Today. Yesterday. You’re promulgating the same bullshit the catholic church used for centuries to control people: “Your kingdom will be in heaven. Meanwhile, give us your stuff and eat shit while we parade around in dresses and funny hats and screw your kids.”

  21. gov't drunk on construction revenews

    Flashback: Spain
    http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/spain-real-estate-madness-continues-despite-burst-housing-bubble

    ‘Drunk on the Revenue’

    “It was a mania,” said Parlon, the former Irish government minister who now heads the Construction Industry Federation. “You could say the government was drunk on the revenue that was coming from all the construction taxes.”

    You could say the government was drunk on the revenue that was coming from all the construction taxes
    In other respects, too, the Irish are moving to deal with the overhang of vacant properties. On Dublin’s north quays lies a half-completed, eight-story skeleton of an office block. Anglo Irish Bank Corp. had planned to use the tower as its headquarters before the company’s collapse helped push Ireland toward the international bailout the country agreed in 2010.

    It was constructed by Liam Carroll, one of the country’s biggest developers, who has seen many of his assets seized by banks.

    The skeleton office block is “becoming a landscape photo for Ireland internationally,” Brendan McDonagh, NAMA’s chief executive officer, told lawmakers on Oct. 26. “Everybody who comes to Dublin to see us wants to see the Anglo Irish Bank building; they ask the taxis to bring them around,” he said. “It is a landscape eyesore and it needs to be dealt with.”

  22. I confess to being puzzled by the Irish. Was there ever a people so screwed over as the Irish? Well, yes, but they’re in the running for top place. In the midst of the Irish Holocaust (don’t call it the Potato Famine), the cold-blooded rich criminal bastards who controlled the land, kicked the starving off while collecting taxes and exporting food. Yes, food was exported to these vermin in Engalnd. And, yes, their privileged progeny – these vile vaginal discharges – still walk the earth, with their noses in the air.
    For these poor Irish, having their children sodomized by catholic priests is comparatively minor.
    Given the choice between Nazi gas chambers and starvation, I’d pick door #1.
    I’m puzzled by the Irish because they remain so nice.

    • Maybe because they decided not to live their life as a bitter complainer who feels everything is unfair and only if someone would make things fair. Instead, they decided to live the best they can with the lot they are dealt with and decide to live a happy life the best they can and enjoy the short time we have on this planet, instead of wallowing in bitterness all the time.

  23. To repeat, as Durrell wrote, some people just lie there and let life play upon them like the tepid discharges of a douchebag. If you want to be nice, that’s your prerogative. Go ahead and let you and yours get humped by the powers that be. Why be rude and complain?

  24. Weak people fear anger. The strong use it – like the Raging Grannies. What you feel is your issue. If you choose to ascribe those feelings; to project them onto others – if that floats your boat … Tant pis.

  25. Seeking Knowledge...

    I don’t post much, but wanted to add this to the blog. Just came back from a vacation to Shanghai to visit a friend and his family for a few weeks. We visit them every few years and we stayed with them every time in their house. My friend was born and raised in Vancouver and in 2005 moved his family to China for a lucrative opportunity and he has enjoyed life there since (go figure). Smog there was terrible (the index was up to 230 on some days while typically it’s only 20~30 in Vancouver). Had to wear those annoying N95 masks when we went out, but it didn’t seem like a big deal with the people we met. I’ve been to other cities in China many times so I’m not shocked. Just not a Vancouverite like me would like to live with.
    I told him about the crazy RE prices in Vancouver and wonder if he thinks the rich are still flocking over to Vancouver. His observations are that most have already bought places in Van and they are starting to eye places like London and in the US instead. I also asked him if corrupt money is still funneling out and he said Prez Xi has clamped down hard on this issue and there are less egregious acts of bribery uncovered. However, I bet there are still plenty of this going on hidden away because there’s a lot of money flowing around and I suspect a little bit of ‘incentive’ will get things done quicker there.
    Like people in this blog have said, Chinese love RE and Shanghai is almost as crazy as HK. A detached house in his ex-pat neighbourhood 20 minutes from the Bund has climbed to 5M+ and there are many new developments happening around the city. There were gaggles of RE agents (4 to 8 of them) standing around street corners and entrances to expensive housing complexes trying to flag down potential buyers driving on the roads – why have a for sale lawn sign when you can have the actual agent on your lawn?
    I asked him if he would like to move back here and he said Vancouver is nice, but he’d rather stay in Shanghai where he can afford nannies, drivers, Michelin star restaurants, spa’s, shopping, foreign private schools, while making big money. Things him and others like him can’t have or do in Vancouver.

    No hard stats here, just an anecdote from just one person.

    • Thanks for that post – love the image of agents on the street trying to flag down motorists – just like pizza mascots waving sandwich signs.
      Mark Twain wrote of the weather: that everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it. The same could be said about agents – these monkeys in the middle.
      Froogle Scott’s post in his chronicles about his experience with agents was hilarious – and illustrative. Likewise, Michael Geller’s article: Reassessing the Value of Realtors – in the Courier, was spot on – commission structures are upside down.
      There are apocryphal stories of agents doing spectacular things – you see them on the net – like a dog saving a baby, or a cat ringing the fire alarm. Seriously? 99% of pets laze around eating, crapping, and licking their holes – just like real estate agents.
      That’s actually not fair – but if you aren’t savvy they will eat your lunch. And drive off in their leased Lexus.
      You must know your enemy – the agent, and it’s essential to know the game. If you don’t make the effort to learn – you deserve to be hosed.
      The essential elements in a transaction are cash, and legal documentation. The rest is excrescence.
      In the business, they say that agents who list – last. If there are no listings, everything grinds to a halt. Listers (selling agents) say they work for the seller. That’s a lie. They work for themselves. Before the signature is dry on a contract, they’re clamping your nuts and putting up barricades to fend off the other part of the unholy alliance – the buyer’s agent who, yes, also works for themselves and is trying to muscle in on the commission.
      To acquire a listing – even a crappy one – in Vancouver’s environment is a real coup. There’s no way the lister is going to willingly divide the gravy with an interloper.
      How to know the enemy? It helps to identify the players. My neighbour listed his house last year with a Tits and Ass agent. She was also a part of his circle of acquaintances. Trusting her, and letting “Mr. Happy” cloud his judgement, he only noticed after signing that the contract was for one year. A year?!! Immediately upon signing she flaked off to Cancun. And, when she came back, she still had the gall to try to beat him down on price. He had the lowest price listing in Renfrew Heights – on a quiet street with a view – in an area where prices were going up over 20K per month.
      Now, this no listing agent is described by the agency as a specialist in Renfrew Heights.

    • I have heard annecdotes like yours too. China is a huge country and frankly Vancouver isn’t their number one choice. We are like number 4 on the list. But because of its size you don’t need a consensus, just need to be on the list to have a huge impact.

      Your friend I am sure loves the money he makes in Shanghai. Just make sure he doesn’t get cancer before the age of 50 from all the stuff in china.

  26. I remember, when Realtylink published hard copy, how every issue had a graphic explaining the concept of dual agency. They made it sound so benign; so above board; this practice which is illegal in many jurisdictions because it is a blatant conflict of interest – even more nonsensical than pretending to be working just for the seller or buyer. To be a double agent is what every alpha agent wants to be.
    I benefitted from using a double agent. By not being saddled with a buyers’s agent, the lister, looking for a double ender, put the screws to the house seller. A buyers’s agent would have been blocked by the lister. It’s ironic because the owner of this house had a safe embedded in concrete; but just as the Great Wall was breached, not by force, but by subterfuge, so too did the seller get robbed by a double agent.
    Realtylink always had full pages proclaiming the benefits of using a realtor – those blanket donating doyens. Can you think of another industry that crows so loudly? The louder they crow, the more you know – it’s bullshit.
    We’ve gotten so much rubbish in the mail from agents: notepads, calendars, magnets, postcards, addressed letters saying they have a buyer. Hey, if you have a buyer, there’s stuff for sale – let them go buy something. The best is the postcards. They’re great for sweeping up rubbish. The most ridiculous was from a character called Doody – I shit you not – who sent “certificates” for a free evaluation.
    Listers are the predators of the real estate equation. Buyers agents are the hyenas. Listers call the little old ladies once a month to see if they’re ready. Good product is scarce. Our house has been for sale once in 51 years. We have kids. The odds of it ever being offered is pretty much zero. If a little old lady makes that fateful call, she will be facing a rabid dog. A well dressed, fancy riding, rabid dog. There are ways to beat it off but, unfortunately, they generally don’t have the tools.

  27. Really good post from Brian on “shorting” the housing market analogous to shorting stocks. It helped me get my head around this concept.
    I’ve read enough about the stock market to know that I’m not comfortable with it. I haven’t made or lost any money. It’s a wash. I do hear people quacking about how much they’ve made; not how much they’ve lost – and their cash always seems to be “tied up” in the market. When you read how Bernie Madoff made off with 65 billion over the course of 40 years, it doesn’t inspire confidence.
    And, on the mentality of our immigrants – they do not want to rent. Period. They want quiet detatched. They want a clothesline. They want to plant a garden. And they will do whatever it takes to get it. If they can’t swing that, they’ll step it down to a townhouse or condo, but renting is not on the table.

    • Baloney. I know tons of immigrants who rent. The cultural argument is just another marketing pitch.

      Renting real estate is NOT analogous to shorting stocks. It’s analogous to not buying stocks.

      • And if you were to ask them can you rent forever they would say yes?

        Try asking a chinese person in Vancouver this question, can you rent forever? If the answer is yes, then you are right. But if the answer is no then you are basically shorting. I am pretty sure what the answer is.

      • In China we have a basic rule of thumb, if you are a single male and you want to get married, better have a house and a car ready. I don’t think this is baloney, this actually happens. There was a recent tv show in china talking about “naked marriage” which is a marriage without assets before hand. Basically, it showed how impractical such a marriage is in china.

      • Interesting. I’ll have to share this with my happily married, happily renting, Chinese business partner.

      • And, no, you are not shorting. You are declining to buy. With shorting you borrow shares, sell them, bank the proceeds, repurchase them later, and return them to their owner. Your profit (or loss) is the difference between the sale and repurchase price. The mechanics are not the same.

      • Do share please. I would love to hear his opinion on this. One other thing that I am sure he knows is that it is usually the male side of the family that is responsible for providing this purchase. But minor details.

        How am I not shorting if I need to buy at some point. By definition of shorting is that you need to buy at some point to cover. If renting forever is not an option then how is that any different? What I am saying is that if indeed renting forever is an option then you are not shorting. But if it is not, then You could wait if you think the market will crash, but you will still buy at the bottom of that crash. We bought in 1997 when the market was doing terribly, we came here in 1993 and rented for four years but it was always we will buy soon. Market did nothing for 5 years but we still bought because renting forever wasn’t an option didn’t matter how the market was doing.

      • Do you pay dividends on stocks you don’t own?

        You are short.

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        off the deep end … 3 states – long, neutral, short … not owning = neutral … borrow house, sell it, hold the proceeds while owing the asset … that’s short

      • Of course you won’t get the analogy. But remember what I said, the biggest similarity between the two is the need to cover or buy at some point. You are all assuming this need is financial. What I am trying to say is if renting forever is not an option for some people, then this type of people MUST buy at some point. Everyone here assumes that if this blog is wrong then the default option is to simply stay and rent. What I am trying to say is to many people, this isn’t an option. If you must buy at some point, staying put is not neutral, it is the same as short.

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        @bc … analogy n/a for multiple reasons – fungibility/liquidity, financial vs non-financial asset … but since you brought it up … nobody has to buy anything, least of all to close out a spec position … otoh, i imagine there are some spec longs (eg. el_bc fin_min with 8 ppties) that must sell to close

      • “Then how is that any different?”

        There are some similarities to your example, but they are not perfectly analogous. Re-read my post above re: the mechanics of shorting stocks. If you still don’t get it, I can’t help you.

      • @El Ninja, you act like you have actually shorted stocks before when I doubt you have. I actually have, but learned to never do it again except to hedge. The psychology of shorts in a runup to the market is very similar the psychology of those who must buy a place in a run up of similar proportions in the property market. What does the 2015 runup look like to you… a bit like a short squeeze does it not? What happens when you have a lot of shorts that need to cover without volume to cover? Massive runup of the stock.

        @rod, of course I know there are differences on the analogy. I am basically trying to convey the psychology And no, it is not true no one has to buy at a particular location. You and El Ninja assume freedom is an asset whereas I assume that stability of being in a place for the next thirty years as a much greater asset. It’s a fundamental life choice. In my case, you have to buy at some point in the city you choose to be for the rest of your life.

      • Translation: Buy now or be priced out forever!

        Let me guess, you are a RE marketer?

      • Actually, how many people have been priced out of Vancouver already? Do you have any idea? Families torn apart like you said because of housing prices. If renting was such a great alternative why did people leave so that they get a chance at owning a place. I think the premium of ownership is a bit higher than what you have described. But of course, you claim to have traveled all over the world so owning a house is really more of an hindrance than an asset to you.

      • tired of your bickering

        Brian, the reason young Chinese men need “a car and condo” to win a bride, is because the Chinese culture has no problem with killing unborn females. So it is simply a supply/demand issue…too many young men, too few young women. The result, the girls that survive have MANY men to choose from, and they will choose those with assets. Simple as that.

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        @tired … dunno if that’s a chinese thing … inclined to see it as more of nutjob totalo-communist-socialist thing … 1st everyone let’s work in the fields to grow food … oops masterplan isn’t working … ok let’s try population control instead

      • tired of your bickering

        yes, the one child policy was in play…BUT, when that one child was discovered to be female, many would be aborted…not if male…and now the imbalances. but I do enjoy the fact that those females that survived to adulthood are now the ones who can call the shots!

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        yes indeed, mr t …
        but try the same in any patriarchal-opoly
        said outcome most likely it would be

  28. Holy crap – what would happen if I asked about puts and calls vis-a-vis real estate investing.
    The stock market is not my bailiwick, but let me take a whack at this short selling concept related to renting vs buying.
    Assume someone has a house they want to rent out or sell for 1mil. The renter says – I’ll take a slice of that asset – the part for me and my dog to live in for now. When the bubble bursts, I’ll buy your entire depreciated property for half a mil. Isn’t that like short selling?

  29. @El Ninja – so apparently El Ninja can’t speak Chinese, probably never visited China, but knows a few Chinese person (who may or may not be bananas) thinks he knows all about Chinese culture? While people who actually came from China, have relatives back in China, watches Chinese news, TV, etc don’t know squat about what China?? Wow…..

    Good thing you aren’t Chinese and live in Vancouver. If you had the fortune of being born in China and is in the mid-30s, I hate to think what your life would be like, unless you got lucky as a fu er dai.

    • I don’t purport to be an expert on China. Just someone who is capable of making basic observations and calling out bulls*t such as that spewed by you and Brian.

      • Did you ask your business partner about our bullshit? What did he say?

        You do know that there is a saying in old chinese that pretty much translates to “you aren’t anything until you own land.” That’s all the way down from the ancient times. So no, not culture bias there towards owning.

      • He said you were foolhardy for generalizing about a billion plus people.

      • That’s all he said? What province is this guy from? This is as generic of a statement as anyone can give. Of course everyone knows there are differences and we shouldn’t generalize a billion people. For example, most of that billion people can’t afford a home. We are mostly talking about the Chinese culture and the tenets it was built on. But do ask him about that old chinese adage, “手无寸土世代无依”. This was referring to old days when peasants were farming but you get an idea of the mindset of chinese. (translation, without control of land, you have nothing to stand on)

      • Here’s an ancient adage for you: “Putting sugar on bulls*t doesn’t make it a brownie.”

      • Do me a favor, translate it to chinese and I will ask around if anyone has heard it.

      • So basically you are taking something one guy, likely rich from the sound of it, and generalizing it to a billion people?
        btw, is your business partner actually Chinese Chinese? Or a banana?

        Care to explain why most single guys can’t get married in China without a condo then?

  30. rod_jonsson_pmd

    timely vignette while we’re on the subject (would cave to be like dave) … http://tinyurl.com/jpmdrqh … for a while there, seemed like they’re making all the right moves, better than our ponzi masters anyway … and now … not … but they’re probably not worse, right? … ps. fed probably just said oops today … it’s the backside of the credit cycle now … let’s see what they all do

  31. When I was around ten years old I read The Good Earth by Nobel prize winner Pearl S. Buck. That book has coloured my weltanschauung ever since; that and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Both relate to land ownership, as does the Canadian classic: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.
    The lust for property crosses all boundaries. If you are immune to it, you are an anomaly. I grew up on four acres in the boonies. Had my parents not sold that home, I might never have moved here. I remember a Nat Geo cover of a skyscraper with an arrow pointing halfway up and the words -where we live – scrawled beside it, or something to that effect. How can a space x by x in the sky evoke any nostalgia; a memory of home? Is it the smell of the high speed elevator? The row of doors in the hallway? The decor? What’s left is the view.
    My own children have grown up picking raspberries and cherries in our yard; along with the usual East Van triumvirate of peas, beans, and tomatoes. I can’t help thinking that the quality of their lives would be lessened without terra firma. Look at Don Corleone – the Godfather – croaking in his garden. That’s how I want to go – not standing in line at Stuporstore.
    If you remain single, like so many now, maybe it doesn’t matter.

  32. HSBC Halts Mortgage Options To Chinese Nationals Buying U.S. Real Estate

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-28/hsbc-halts-mortgage-options-chinese-nationals-buying-us-real-estate

    But fear not for all the big banks have scrapped mortgage caps for borrowers with no local credit history.

  33. Baby sex selection is pretty rampant in India too and there is no 1 child or 2 children or any birth control policy there either. Also, only about 30% of Chinese Han population (minorities are excluded) are actually under any kind of strict 1 child policy. In the Southern part, that rule is flouted pretty openly. I have met a lot of female foreign students here that have a younger brother.

    As well, looking at the issues with food, environment, etc, what do you think China will be like if there is no children control policy at all?

    Not saying 1 child policy is harmless, but let’s also be a little bit realistic and have some facts, rather than hyperbole and hysteria.

    • You not only want to regulate markets, but the number of children people can have… Something of an autocrat, are we?

      • Because having unlimited population growth with no resources to feed, house, cloth, educate them is a much better choice??

        btw, prior to the current decline in birth rates, Korea & Taiwan, and probably a few other over-crowded Asian countries have birth control policy too – set at 3 or so.

        You know what your biggest problem is? You have never ever been really poor and so you think every problem in the world can simply be solve by the magic wand of democracy and liberty.

      • Yup. You’re a commie.

      • Let me for once say something in El Ninja’s favor. Despite all the animosity on this board I quite understand his stance. I was listening to some really successful traders on wall street who ranks freedom as their number one asset. Few people think of things this way. The ability to drop things and go and travel is actually a very big asset. Just because I don’t care for it doesn’t mean that everyone doesn’t. I think if your perspective is of that, then this housing market makes absolutely no sense to you. Some people value the freedom to live anywhere anytime and to them, renting is a far better option.

        I think while it is hard to generalize for all Chinese people, the majority of chinese do not share this opinion. Which is also why culturally they much prefer ownership. However, is this always going to be the case? I don’t know, maybe 50 years later their values will change and they will value freedom more just like the westerners do currently and then the ratios that you see will adjust as the cultures adjust. But this process will be very gradual and by the time this happens I think everyone here will al be dead already.

      • I don’t doubt that there are cultural differences at play. I also never said that Asian money wasn’t a factor, perhaps even a significant factor, in certain pockets of the market. But taken alone, it does not explain current market conditions in the greater Vancouver area, or much of the country for that matter, and it is not a sound basis on which to invest.

      • Who is talking investment. I am saying that I need a place to live and that place happen to coincide with the segment that is being impacted significantly by asian money. I don’t get why you still think people are “investing” in this market. Very few people are in fact doing that. People who are buying it whether for their primary home or for their wife and kids are all after a place to live. You just happen to have a lot of wealthy people looking at very few properties in the exact segment you are talking about being severely impacted by asian money. And guess what, most of these people looked at other segments and it just doesn’t work for them which is also why I don’t give a damn about those other segments. Only thing I am concerned about is, I have to buy this property within a reasonable amount of time, and if I don’t think it will go down, then I should probably buy now. Why do you think I keep on asking you for a time frame on your prediction. Because if your prediction is this market drops 50% over the next 3 years (2 years 9 monthes for you soon) then it is useful, but if it is, market drops some percentage at some point in the future it is useless.

      • First of all, this is the VANCOUVER Real Estate Anecdote Archive, not the Point Grey Detached Archive, or whatever other pockets tickle your fancy.

        Second, you speak as though Vancouver were the only market available to wealthy Chinese. Far from it. There comes a point where people decide to go elsewhere. Prices cannot rise endlessly. It’s impossible for any asset to grow at above-average rates forever. You have no practical means by which to assess when and to what degree that growth will stop or revert.

        You are gambling. Nothing more.

      • Err.. no, I am looking for a place to live. How hard is this concept for you to understand? I am not speculating, nor investing. I am simply looking for a house to live, get it? Tell me my alternative. And tell me what I could do if the prices went up another 25% and how much money did I just lose.

        And if the places I need to live happen to be in a certain segment which I keep on alluding to in just about all my arguments, then why wouldn’t I only be concerned about it. I am the one who carefully frames my arguments around a segment because I think arguing over the entire market is useless. It is too diverse with a completely different set of buyers are different segments. Isn’t that the point of analyzing.

      • So, you are willing to pay current prices for the sole privilege of “not getting kicked out by the landlord”? There is no “investment” component to your interest? Very, very doubtful.

      • Err.. as hard as it is for you to fathom, yes. You don’t have the same mindset of course you wouldn’t understand it. Think of it as the burden of proof and where it rests. For you it is, I have to be convinced for it to go up for me to buy. For me it is, I have to be convinced for it to go down to not buy. And there are an awful lot of people in my case.

        Premise is this, you know you are going to be here for a long long time. So it’s a matter of time to buy. So unless I am convinced the real estate is crashing say 50% in the next three years I will likely buy. Put it this way, for me not to buy the line has to be I am absolutely convinced real estate is going down by more than say 25% 3 years from now in the segment I want to buy. And from what I have seen, there isn’t enough proof that this will happen if there is even any signs at all. If there is reasonable doubt that this won’t happen then of course I am buying because if I am wrong and the market went up 25% then I am done. I had a friend who sat out this market since 2008; he is convinced that it will go down. He recently bought because his wife basically gave him an ultimatum, buy or we are divorcing. You think real estate is a joke to the chinese? It’s no joke. This isn’t an isolated case.

        The other issue is that you assume we are screwed if it goes down 50%. But that isn’t the case at all. If you are to take most people I know their families’ combined incomes and ability to afford then a 50% crash on a 1.5 million house isn’t that much. Most of their families have incomes of over 400K (add in parents income, spouse, rental, etc). Again, goes back to what I said earlier about income to support a purchase. All of our ratios are trying to answer if the house is too expensive for the buyers to afford but we have no way of truly calculating the buyer’s true ability to afford it so how can we say the ratios are right.

      • So, you are buying out of fear. Sounds wise.

        P.S. Your friend should look for a different wife.

      • Anyone who thought that Brian was here to engage in intelligent debate will by now have realized the depth of their error. It should be clear that his true purpose on this blog is to enact one big, public exercise in self-rationalization. Here is a guy who boldly committed to Van RE following a rather sad confluence of factors (poor understanding of investing, lack of intellectual humility, “angry wife”, etc.) and, now that a seed of doubt has been planted in his mind, spends his days repeating himself, over and over, in a hopeless bid to make it all right.

      • Dude, you make me laugh. You commenting on vancouver real estate is like me commenting on google stock. You can’t even name who the buyers and sellers are in the market. You know why, because you have no clue. Notice how I only stick to micro segments because I actually do know the buyers and sellers in this segment, know their motives, understand the forces at play for that segment. Also notice how I don’t comment on other segments and also use stupid macro concepts. Again, as anyone who actually has analyzed stocks know that public data is only skin deep. So in reality, if you can’t even name who the buyers and sellers are in the segment, you really shouldn’t run your mouth off. It would sound about as dumb as the armchair analysts who claim this stock is overvalued or that stock is undervalued without knowing how the underlying business operations actually work at that particular company, who the company does business with, what their value drivers are, why they have their relationships the way they are. The true analysts actually dig deep into the company and figure out info that isn’t skin deep or can be summarized using macro economic concepts and make recommendations that way.

        So please, enlighten us, give one segment of this real estate market and analyze the buyers and sellers in this segment. You can’t do it which makes the value of your “rationale” about as useful as those armchair analysts for stocks on message boards.

      • Btw, the find another wife part is even more ridiculous. Seriously, don’t even pretend like you know anything about China or Chinese just because you ran past some dude on some place far away or some business partner of yours may be Chinese. Most chinese girls, unless they are incredibly progressive you better own a place. This isn’t like you divorce one and marry another, the next one probably will ask for the same thing.

      • If most Chinese women are as you claim, then I feel sorry for you Chinese guys. Instead of valuing you, the person, they value your house. I don’t care if it’s “culture”, or “tradition”. That’s messed up.

        And who says the new wife has to be Chinese? Or are y’all racist like that?

    • Singapore

      Hong Kong

      • China’s 2-kid policy kicks in 2015 October. However, despite of China’s previous 1-child policy, it had always been a 2-child reality:
        slides #17 to #22
        * There are no sanctions for couples who have multiple births.
        * Wealthy couples turn fertility medicines to have multiple births in their first births.
        * Ethnic minorites are formally excluded from the policy.
        * If both parents are only children, they are allowed to have more than one chid provided the children are spaced >4 years apart.
        * In most rural areas, if the first child is a girl, couples are allowed to have another child.
        * Families who have children with mental or physical disabilities are sometimes allowed to have another child.
        * Children born outside of China do not count in the one-child policy.
        * In addition to the exceptions permitted by law, some couples simply pay a fine or “social maintenance fee” to have more children.

      • It is getting old, the western power turn a complete blind on inhumanities by sheiks on their own people, but target the fareast on human rights to wrangle a political opinion. At least, China has not ventured into the realm of social engineering:

        SDU: state subsidized matchmaker to promote marriages among university graduate singles

        SDS: state subsidized matchmaker to promote marriages among high-school leavers, or primary-school leavers

      • wow, you know more about this stuff than even me!

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        ok yes-yes-yes … but you are just parroting an official narrative – other powers are just trying to weaken us … of course they are … but they also tend to be the best critics … what do you really think? … haven’t met many nationals willing to be openly critical of their own govt … maybe it’s a cultural … in the west, you can be openly critical … up until it starts threatening the power structure, then the sky falls on you … blah-blah-blah on an obscure blog is inconsequential … eg. i’m fully aware my tax $s create chaos and killing everywhere there’s a nice patch of oil the sociopaths can’t get there hands on … your turn

  34. On this topic of female infanticide – as atrocities go, it’s at the top, though it’s not endemic to one culture.
    Imagine the hierarchy of atrocities; this atrocity one-upmanship. American bombing of Japanese citizens? Check. Pol Pot in Cambodia? Check. Idi Amin? Check. Papa Doc and the Tonton Macoute? Check. Rwanda? Check. Serbia and Croatia? Check. Belgian King Leopold in the Congo? Check. …
    As I teach my children about their world, it’s hard to be optimistic. I don’t bullshit them and I don’t sugarcoat it. There are a lot of nasty humans.
    The Tokugawa period in Japan was a peaceful period; and when the Cold War ended there was a chance to have a humanistic new world order – a peace dividend. It was not to be. It’s not fun for the atavistic freaks; and there’s no money in it for the banksters.
    Can China have an Arab Spring? Has the Arab Spring even been successful? When I watch one of my heroes – Anthony Bourdain – in Istanbul, or in Iran, I think, man, I’d like to be there (except for that Ramadan stuff). But I get a real sense that those people have a shared destiny – not atomized like the West.
    Just as an aside – though I think all religion is bullshit – the “best religion” is Islam. To get down on the ground five times a day is great for your knees and lower back; very relaxing. Their call to prayer is pretty cool too, though I wouldn’t want to live next to a mosque.
    Back to the Chinese: to have 25 million “little emperors” – these males who will never have wives because of antedeluvian preferences in the one child policy – that’s a scary thing. To know that the only booty they’ll ever get is paid for. That’s tragic.
    And it’s probably more than 25 million because so many Asian women gravitate towards white men and vice versa. My weltanschauung was moulded when I was ten – reading The Good Earth, by Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck. She made me love Chinese women.
    It’s good to mix. Like brilliant word artist Jenny Holzer writes: random mating is good for dispelling sexual myths. It also makes the world a safer place. I’m a mix of five nations. My wife is none of those. How can our kids go to war with anybody? I’m always incredulous by people who are proud to be a particular whatever – let’s say Italian. If you were born Italian why should that make you proud. I’m part Italian. I sing in Italian. So what. I’m also part German (remember those Nazi bastards), part Russian (mortal enemies of the Nazis except for buying Mecedes and Beemers), part Scottish.
    I remember seeing an Asian guy with a Black woman at a coffee shop. That is so rare. I felt like giving him the thumbs up. Go for it. Mix and mate.
    Look at that crazy artist millionaire David Cho. There’s no way he’ll wind up with a Korean. They remind him of his mother. Ditto.

    • rod_jonsson_pmd

      imagine the megalolicious quals one must have to believe they know best for 1B others, enforce it at gunpoint, say oops (at least to oneself), then try something more absurd … most definitely full retard … very rare person who can find their way into such positions and remain sane … don’t see any today … we’re in something much worse than the one child policy … expecting fullblown flail-fest as this thing unravels everywhere

      • Imagine being a parent with enough money or food for 1.5 adult and 1 kid but have 2 adults, 2 young kids, and 1 infant to feed. You are welcome to bash Chinese gov’t all you want after having to make that choice day in day out for a few years.

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        of course, that is the pretense … well, at least there is one … and it’s better than ethnic cleansing … a benevolent has the humility to admit they do have the answer … a sociopath believes they are chosen to decide for everyone … do you harbor any doubts about your decisions as parent? … what if you are wrong? … scale that 1B … no sane person presumes to know the way

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        correction: “… do not have the answer …”

      • Whatever, obviously you believe every problem can be solved via a magic wand, and never had to make any actual difficult decision, the luck of plenty.

    • hahaha… dude, that isn’t that bad of a deal actually. I might check this out. Let me do the math for you, this house will probably get bid a bit higher than this. Say 2.6 mil, costs about 175 / sq foot to build 0.7 FSR you are looking at 2800 sq ft or so plus laneway house. So building cost about 700K. 3.3 mil I have a brand new spanking house in one of my favorite areas. North south facing which the chinese love…lord byng catchment which is ranked in the mid 20’s. This isn’t that bad of a deal actually.

      Problem is for locals banks won’t finance this except with at least 40% down. So unless you have a million bucks of cash sitting somewhere (not borrowed because that counts against you) you can’t buy this house. Banks won’t finance houses that have such low assessed value compared to the land without at least 40% down. So likely, chinese buyers or locals who just sold something larger.

      Like my analysis? You really should get to know this market better if you want to comment on it.

      • Analysis is far too complimentary a word to describe what you wrote.

        Here’s what your “analysis” boils down to: “I haven’t the first clue how to judge what this property will be worth in the future. I am just speculating that a rich Chinese guy will come along and speculate even more aggressively than I did.”

      • Put it this way, if 50 multi-millionaires want what I build then it is worth a lot different than 50 people who make an average of 100K a year. You just have to figure out who will buy this property in the future and their price to income ratio is. For the 50 multi millionaires, you are looking at a ratio of maybe 3 to 1. 50 people who make an average of 100K a year, 30 to 1. How do you value something when you don’t even know who is going to buy it and their alternatives.

      • Okay, so we have agreed that you are not investing. You are speculating. There is a world of difference.

        Your speculation hinges entirely on a growing appetite for these properties among foreign millionaires. But you have no sound means by which to foretell if and for how long their appetite will continue.

      • I don’t need Vancouver to be the only place for wealthy chinese to live, there are other places, but guess what… none of them are cheap. You live in San Fran, is San Fran cheap? Is Melbourne cheap? Is Singapore Cheap? Is London Cheap? Give me a cheap place on this list. There is so much money coming out of china that we don’t need to be number 1, just need to be on the list. UDI said we have 24 billion dollars, that is a pretty large number.

        Again, unlike you, people who live in Vancouver actually need a house to live in. No one has a sound way to foretell but Singapore once upon a time was not teeming with chinese people, but they came over time. So.. if Vancouver turns into a second Singapore, I will give you one guess what price our real estate will be. And also, you have no idea whether this will happen or not. But I must hedge against the risk that this will happen. Again, this isn’t speculation and investment, people don’t come to this blog to make investment decisions. If they did, they would probably come after vreaa for the posts in 2009 which may have actually got some people not to buy.

  35. Re. 4453 W 14th – to pay $600. plus per square foot to the owner agent – one of these two parties is insane.
    And I don’t understand this east west divide. I spend a lot of time on the west side – was there yesterday around Angus and 54th. Hated the house; hated the area – it was noisy; and boring; and where do I get my BBQ duck?
    Back to W 14th – is there a view? No. No view? Our house sits on terra firma as high as a 50 story building. You can stick the west side. School catchment? That’s anachronistic. How many tutors could you hire with the money you piss away on a property like this?
    Building a .7 property, I reiterate, is not the greatest idea – quantity vs quality. Using the city’s formula, a .6 build gives you 326 square feet more above ground than the .7 – that’s much more valuable space – and will cost you less to build. I’m partial to the “Mohawk” style building. You lose some space to stairs, but it’s nice to be that high – I’d put the kitchen up there.
    That lot looks like it could be built slab-on-grade – that’s a big saving. Probably 80% of the houses I see would have benefitted from either a raised foundation or a crawl space.
    Meanwhile, East Van rules.

  36. BCSC alleges fraud and illegal distribution against two B.C. residents and purported pharmaceutical company
    http://tinyurl.com/jtmewyw

    Chinese fugitive was owner of 2 B.C. registered companies involved in illegal issuance of securities worth US$65 million
    http://tinyurl.com/jzen6zj

    Huang Dong (aka Winter Huang) was a Chinese fugitive?
    http://tinyurl.com/hahvaq6

    • Richmnd, B.C.

      [MingPao] Per company registry and house title registry of “Pegasus” chairman, Winter Huang’s houme equity had multiplied by 10-fold in the past 10 years, dating from 2004 to 2013..

      The record shows:
      In 2004, Huang’s address was a SDF in Fraser Height valued @C$380,000.
      2 years later, he moved to another SDF in the same neighborhood valued @C$710,000.
      By 2010, his address was at Broadmoor, Richmond, an SDF valued at over C$1.32 million.
      Then in 2012, he bought a C$4.7 million house in Shaugnessy, and sold it the following year for C$4.85 million.

      According to BCSC’s material, Huang’s alleged fraud case in illegal bond issuance started from 2008.

  37. “Follow the money: Evidence submitted at fraud probe points to concerns about Vancouver real estate market”
    ~ By Sam Cooper and Dan Fumano,
    ~ The Province
    January 30, 2016 1:34 PM
    ……………………………………………………
    another dead body in a parked car

    http://tinyurl.com/zsd3um3

  38. One of the easiest ways to forecast the future prosperity of this area is to look at the car dealerships going up. Mercedes, AUDI, Porsche, et al, don’t build without thorough market research. Vancouver is premium.
    If I were looking to buy in this region, on a budget, I’d, hate to say it, pick Surrey, esp. near Gateway.
    In Vancouver proper, houses near Nanaimo Station, or 29th Ave Station have the upside of eventual re-zoning. It’s not logical that land around these two stations should escape major development – simply not logical. You look at Joyce/Collingwood – towers everywhere. Is there a demand for this type of property? OMG.
    I’ve found myself killing time in Coquitlam for the past couple of years. Check out the towers there. It’s a frenzy of building. I spend time in Henderson Mall. The only white people there are usually the cleaners and security – it’s all Chinese. Would they prefer to buy in Vancouver?
    In many ways the Eastside is preferable to the Westside – number one being access to Highway One. We often drive to the Westside and it’s an ordeal – total drag – a grinding bore.

  39. Re. fracas on what Chinese women require before committing to a partner. A Chinese woman might love you for you, but odds are she’s going to want babies – unlike many of today’s Euroesses and North Americanas. A stable home represents security. She might demand a lot upfront, but she will also give her all down the road. And in the collective psyche of China, there is still a real paranoia of scarcity – recent memories of famine – and not just with Mao Tse Dork.
    An acquaintance of mine married a Vietnamese woman. He had to make a show of giving some of his assets to her parents. It paid off down the road.
    There’s too much made of romantic unions. If you partner up for love, bully for you. When you’re making babies, you better have assets.
    This race thing is curious. I remember hearing how tough it was for educated Black women in the U.S. to find partners of their colour. Blame the psychotic for profit criminal system. Why would they want to hook up within their race? Most places are not as colour blind as here (though I remember an Indonesian acquaintance of mine being pulled over by the gonads and asked if he was a member of a gang). It’s a hassle in most parts of the world to be a mixed union; both in the public and private sphere.
    The Japanese used to be quite racist about intermarriage. Now it’s normal. Jewesses used to look for a nice Jewish boy. Not happening much now. My observation is that Indians still hold on to the old ideas – not just within race, but in the supposedly non-existent caste system. It’s still very rigid.

  40. @rod_johnsson_pmd – Things Chinese people are tired of hearing:

    • rod_jonsson_pmd

      tired or not, that’s beside the pt and avoiding the question … what do you think of the criticism, answered in a way that does not point the finger elsewhere … you already know what i think of some grave issues created by my govt

    • rod_jonsson_pmd

      @space … not trying to give you a hard time … just bounce an idea … root of innovation is socratic questioning … ask any westerner what they dislike about their govt – it’s easy to get a lot of answers … ask a chinese national the same – typically don’t get a lot … until this changes, i conjecture we have seen peak china … trace that rising arc over the past 30 yrs to the reversal of a very serious policy error … however, going forward, there are big challenges … one, they’ve completely mismanaged the credit cycle and will need a mechanism to clear mistakes and shift paths … two, culturally there isn’t yet a solution for competing on innovation … things are better now only because it got so bad in the first place – oh the opportunity cost of policy error! … the problem of numbskulls in charge has definitely not been fixed … http://tinyurl.com/hc3mlax … pffft!

  41. Skimming through comments of El Ninja and Brian about renting vs buying is actually kinda fun. I am from Taiwan originally, married a 4th gen Japanese girl and have a son. I rented in Burnaby for about 12 years, she rented it with me for about 8 years. Do you know why we didn’t buy a place at that time? Because we have no money! Simply put, we were flat broke. That was when real estate was so cheap compared to what it is now, about 8 years ago. We didn’t have 20% of down payment for an 1 million dollar home in Burnaby (now it’s 2 mil +, if you didn’t get outbidded, you could get one). Would we buy 8 years ago if we have some money from the parents? Of course yes. Why not? Every one of my friends, white or not, would buy if they have money. Would I buy it now since the real estate price has gone insanely wild? If I have money for it, I would. If I don’t have enough money, I buy in Surrey or cheaper area. If I have a couple million dollars for down payment, and I am qualified for one million dollar mortgage, I would buy in Westside. Vancouver, London, Sydney… are very expensive for sure. Compared these cities with Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul.. Asian cities, Vancouver at this point is still a huge bargain. For 3 millions dollar, you get a brandnew huge 4000 sq. ft. house on the westside, in downtown Taipei, you would only get an 800 to 900 sq. ft. (amenity area included) condo. Guess how much would one earn in a month in Taipei? My buddy working at a not so shabby company gets paid $40000TWD which is only about $1600CAD. In China, you get paid even less, but condos are more expensive. There ain’t no houses in Beijing and Shanghai for average joes to buy, only for high ranking officials, top movie stars and business tycoons. You see now, average joes would shed out millions for a condo there but they pay the same for a detached home on the westside. That’s why they are flooding Vancouver real estate market.

    Some might say eating out is cheap and things are less expensive. True. For some stuff, like pine apple cakes but who cares. Groceries are really not much cheaper than what we pay here. If you are vegetarian, you are in luck, veggies are cheaper in Asia. As for meat, they are a bit cheaper in asia $2.5/lb for chicken, $3.5/lb for pork, $4/lb for beef, fish are more expensive in Asia. A frap from Starbucks is $5 here, same price as in Asian cities. Dining at a good restaurant is $20 a person here, same price over there. Eating out at nightmarkets is cheap but then it’s less sanitary and you probably have to stand and eat. Clothes from H&M are cheaper here than over there. Cars are 2 times the price there if you buy Mercedes or BMW. For Civics and Camries, they are about same prices. Living standard wise though, I pick Vancouver (or Surrey) any day.

    Should one continue to rent instead of buying at this point? If one can afford, go for it. If not, keep on renting until he/she is financially capable of. In some sense though, renting is actually contributing to inflate real estate bubble. I got a lot of friends who buy condos with 20% down, and financed by renting it out. That’s why we keep on seeing condos popping out like weeds because there are tons of people who can’t afford to buy but only to rent.

    I did say bubble in the last paragraph. How is it not a bubble? When house prices are tripled, quadrupled in a rate that nobody has ever seen in human history. Of course it’s a bubble, an enormous one. Would it pop? So renters can buy. That leaves to our government. Our government has let this happened by not restricting buying and selling real estate 10 years ago. In Germany, nobody makes money on real estate. Germany is probably the only country who is backing the entire Europe financially at this point. Germans have extreme strict policies on buying and selling real estate. They thought this through long time ago by creating a country where its citizens’ job skills are the uttermost important factor in their economy, not real estate.

    How about raising interest rate? Again, it’s our government’s job. At this trend, the rate goes up only .25 per time, if it ever did. What it does to real estate is minimal right now. Could it go up through the roof like the early 80’s? Ha, you might be better off guessing the lotto max numbers.

    For the real estate prices in Vancouver to drop half, well, we probably need to create nuclear wars in Beijing and Shanghai first. Then maybe that would rock our housing market a bit, hopefully that won’t backfire and create bigger flood of Chinese coming to buy. In the mean time, people who want to buy in Vancouver but can’t afford, should move to Surrey, Langley, Mission..etc. Seriously though, would you want to live in the west side where the neighbourhood is half empty and your kids go to the same high school where their Asian peers driving lambos around showing off like movie stars? I hated those kids when I was in high school. Not because of jealousy, it was them being snobbish and mean to those who were less fortunate. Often, they also spend money like there is no tomorrow, such as flashing their Luis Vitton goods all the time. I mean, Come on, this kind of peer pressure does not do any good to average kids. A great place to live, to establish a family should have great surrounding neighbours that have same living standard as you, and actually occupying the home, taking kids to schools, inviting you to their bbqs or even just saying Merry Christmas to you.

    Well, either to buy or rent, I wish everybody good luck finding a perfect home. At the end of the day, I only live once and the money don’t come when I was born and when I am gone I can’t take it.

  42. @El Ninja, no one gives a **** about who you are think is lame or not. Chinese people is one of the most traditional races. Second generations of immigrants like myself are not racist but many parents would definitely have a problem if you married a non-chinese. For one thing, they have problem communicating. You can’t change that. It’s a choice between harmony and freedom which many of us choose harmony because guess what, it works fine the way it is. So unless you want to go to war with your parents, it is best to just marry a chinese girl and get on with it. If they have certain requirements like having a house, that’s fine as long as your parents are willing to fork over the money to pay for such a feature. This is also why most chinese parents don’t have a problem providing down payments for their kids. The alternative is that you marry someone who doesn’t need a house but who is also not chinese.

    • Birds of the same flock usually last together longer as well…

      Maybe El Ninja is just pissed cuz he’s got yellow fever but no Chinese/Asian girl is willing to get serious with him once they get past the initial hot interesting fun romance period and actual seriously living & money/financial issues started.

    • That would explain why he is in places with large Asian populations. San Fran has a large asian population I hear.

    • Speculating (erroneously, by the way) on people’s personal lives doesn’t help your case, but hey, whatever makes you feel better. Me, I’ll stick to the facts, and to calling out your bullsh*t.

      • FACT: people would have made so much money doing the opposite of whatever you have been calling for during the last decade. No bullshit there. 2 years 9 monthes El Ninja. Detached up again. I don’t even want to track how far from today’s prices you have to reach for you to be correct based on your prediction 3 monthes ago. Right now, to hit a 75% drop based on November prices of a detached home in Vancouver you would have to go down like 80 to 85% of today’s price. Basically you need to go from like 1.5 mil to 300K for your prediction to be correct. Even a 50% drop today wouldn’t work for your predictions to be true.

  43. @El Ninja, one more thing… still waiting for that segment analysis Mr. Qualified Vancouver Housing analyst. Or are you going to use macro like every other armchair stock pickers on random message boards?

    • “I’m not racist”. This coming from a guy who just devoted an entire paragraph to defending race-based spouse selection.

      Dude, don’t dish it off on the previous generation. Either call it out for what it is, and distance yourself from it, or admit that you’re part of the problem.

      Re: “segment analysis” on Vancouver RE. This is akin to analyzing individual stocks during the dot com boom. The entire market is crazily overvalued, and the entire market will come crashing down. Pick any neighbourhood in Greater Vancouver, and I will show you overvaluation. But, sure, I’ll give you some analysis when I have some time. Unlike you, I have no pressing need to self-rationalize, so I’ll get to it when I get to it.

      In the meantime, you never answered MY question: do you, or do you not, work in real estate? Fair question.

      • I dearly wait your analysis. I need to self rationalize? No, I just don’t want people like you running your mouth off without even knowing anything about the actual market. Even the dotcom bubble, analysts still must present why they think a stock is way overvalued and not just based on market valuations but based on things like, this company will never reach the customers they say they will, etc. In the stock world you just don’t brush everything with a broad stroke.

        Are you calling me a racist? Just curious what your definition is.

        Oh and most importantly for your question. I don’t work in real estate per se based on strict definitions, I work in tech as my primary position, background is engineering actually. But I do have access to just about every tool that someone who works in real estate does because my side business is settlement / education / basically helping people from china settle into Vancouver. Think of me as a personal settlement advisor. But of course, it’s hard to say that I have nothing to do with marketing real estate because I do know many many agents because my clients well, they all need to buy places cause god knows they don’t rent.

      • “I just don’t want people like you running your mouth off”

        This coming from the most prolific, obnoxious poster this blog has ever seen. Someone who has nothing to say, except “China”, and yet could fill a library with his repetitious babble.

        The dotcoms were overvalued because their earnings power never attained the expectations implicit in their stock prices. Exact same thing in Vancouver RE.

        “Think of me as a personal settlement advisor.”

        Quelle surprise!

        Well, folks, there you have it. Here is a guy who personally profits from continued speculation in RE. You might as well ask the barber if you need a haircut.

        Brian, you don’t have a leg to stand on. Good thing your “advising” is a side business, because when this bubble bursts it is going to go down faster than a Tsingtao on a hot summer day.

      • Well… Mr. Not so obnoxious but obviously wrong poster. Prove your knowledge of vancouver real estate and post some actual relevent details to this market please. For all your macro bullshit that you spew that has been wrong for a decade, you post very little that is relevent to this market. Btw, China is far more relevent to my segment than whatever crap you have posted. Go ask anybody who actually has looked at that segment and they will tell you. But sure, I know nothing about this market and someone who isn’t even here knows all about it.

        Also, I’d like to know how I benefit from rising housing prices. These people bought in 09 when the prices were going down. But sure, if you really think this is the way it works have it your way, shows how little you actually know of what is going on.

        I don’t need a leg to stand on. I’d rather be standing on piles of cash. But that’s ok… you made millions haven’t you.

  44. There’s a DVD called called Born Rich – subtitle – Travails of the Lucky Vagina Discharge Club. It tells the sad tales of Trump’s spawn and Johnson and Johnson’s swimming jism.
    They are a repellent crew – hanging out only with their own financial bracket and pontificating on such weighty subjects as prenuptials. One of them whines that he wishes he were indispesible. Get my violin. I think this was the same smoker jackass that threatened to sue to keep this vid from being released.
    Aristocunts. Acturd protoplasm. Ambulatory blood clots. Scion shit. Slave masters.
    Think “BC’s Own” are going to hook up with you – you are dirt to them – no matter what your race.

  45. Looks to be another tax grab on the way under the guise of “environmental leadership”.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/stephen-hui/bc-climate-action_b_9116512.html

  46. @rod_jonsson_pmd – Actually, if you ask a Chinese person in Chinese about how they feel about the gov’t, you would probably get way more earful of complaints than you would here with a local about the gov’ts here. This is almost regardless of whether the person is poor, middle class, or rich. Heck, sometimes even the corrupt officials have many, many legitimate complaints. As well, you will there are more political / policy oriented discussion in news print, TV shows, online in China than here. There is censoring, not always by the central gov’t which is actually much less powerful than people in the West imagines. People in China right now do get more worked up about politics and policies than the latest celebrity news, but that is slowly changing and gliding towards more interest in celebrity gossips and sports.

    As for one child policy and other human rights issues, you will likely find that many Chinese do not like the policy but in general agree it is the best of potential disaster A vs disaster B vs catastrophe C. The biggest gripe right now is probably that the restrictions are being loosened too late. But again, given the high cost of raising kids nowadays, most families can’t afford more than 1 anyways, and they have much bigger issues to worry about – healthcare, education, pollution, hu-kou system, bribery, etc.

    Lastly, about the criticism, the problem is that the criticism don’t come from someone who want to see China succeed. They are used as a political weapon and any solutions offered by West are simply unrealistic in terms of costs and practically. It’s like getting constructive or even harsh criticism from a teacher who want to see you succeed and become better because s/he knows you can, or getting same criticism from a bully/jerk who just want to annoy you, see you cry, and backstab you.

    • rod_jonsson_pmd

      yes, i can see your perspective … however agree to disagree on 2 things … one, rationalizing past policy errors isn’t helpful … the leadership (east/west whatever) are nuts and/or have no idea what they’re doing … a detached, objective review will lead to that conclusion … in which case, plan your time, efforts and strategies accordingly … two, criticism can be valid regardless of the source or it’s motives … often those with the bad motives offer the best info … hey, you guys are so outrageous it made zerohedge today – full retard – lol! … hope you can enjoy … because maybe “this is as good as it gets” for a very long time

  47. GVRD housing red hot! Sales up 30+% yoy, Vancouver SFH price up 40% yoy, even condo price is up 19% yoy!! The only thing that went down? Inventory down 38% yoy. So I guess one can take comfort in the fact that housing inventory has fared much much worse than stock market.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/affordability/tight+metro+vancouver+property+markets+push/11692620/story.html?__lsa=1f11-3e5c

    • Saw this a few monthes ago. I posted here before that I really respect Saied Fard’s perspective. I think he has it fully on. Every policy that we have is to ensure that housing values go higher. Interest rates, wealth migration, lack of control on foreign investments, etc. We really don’t care where the money come from, if it is clean or dirty, as long as it is spent here, who cares.

    • And yet we have people bitching and complaining on the foreigner for following and taking advantage of the rules, instead of where the blame where it really belongs, the corrupt politicians and voters who keep voting them in. I guess it’s easier to blame others instead of oneself for one’s misery. Hence, why some people succeed while others just forever wallow in self-pity.

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