Monthly Archives: February 2016

Pretty Freaking Nuts, a Ridiculous Joke – “For it to go over $4 million is remarkable. I had five offers. These were local buyers.”


“The house at 3555 West 1st Avenue was built in 1912, is 3,400 square feet and sits on a standard 33 x 120 foot lot without a view,” Vancity Buzz notes. “The selling price of $4.23 million is about $1.6 million above the lot’s assessed property value.”
For his part, real estate agent Brandan Price is incredulous. “For it to go over $4 million is remarkable. I had five offers,” he said. “These were local buyers just looking to make a shift who wanted to move into this area.”
“They were willing to sacrifice lot size to move into this area.”
Maybe, but things seem to be getting out of hand and part of the “problem” may indeed be demand from investors attempting to find a home for capital they’ve moved out of China. As Thomas Davidoff with UBC’s Sauder School of Business told Vancity Buzz: “These prices are getting pretty freaking nuts in my opinion.”
“As a proposition for someone who’s going to live in that house and what you’re getting for four million plus – that is a ridiculous joke and that is not something that’s going to work for people who just make a living in Vancouver,” Davidoff says.

– from “This Is Pretty Freaking Nuts”: Vancouver Home Sells For $735,000 Above Asking Price; Zerohedge, 29 Feb 2016


Vancouver Housing – Change Will Not Come From Policy

“If by cool you mean actually reduce the value of people’s major asset, their home, clearly we were not interested in taking that step,” said de Jong [BC Minister of Finance, and owner of 8 properties in Abbotsford]. …
Critics say the budget amounts to half-measures from a government that’s stuck between not wanting to intervene directly in the housing market and needing to look responsive to public frustration. …
“It [the tax break on new homes] will probably be effective to some extent but I don’t think you’re going to see a dramatic change,” added Ken Peacock, B.C. Business Council’s chief economist. It would be “very difficult” for government to change the housing market prices, he said.

– from ‘B.C. budget offers help to buyers of new homes’, Vancouver Sun, 16 Feb 2016

The announced tax break on new homes will have no effect on the market and no effect on affordability. If anything, it will juice the market further by a small amount – it will simply increase prices of said homes by the amount of said tax break, as (largely local) buyers continue to extend themselves into as much BC RE as they can afford, drunk with the certainty that riches will ensue. Only the cold hand of Mr. Market will eventually stop this trend. – vreaa

“The slums money makes are far more depressing and disgusting than the ones the absence of money creates.”

“I’ve made it a rule of life never to dislike people simply for what they have — dismissing them for being rich is as unpleasantly irrational as dismissing them for being poor. Neither wealth nor poverty have innate characters; they are both prone to their own turpitudes. But over years of travelling, I’ve discovered the contrary truth that the slums money makes are far more depressing and disgusting than the ones the absence of money creates. And Berkeley Street is a self-made money slum.
I also believe restaurants are a force for good. Nothing polices a street like a neighbourhood bistro, or evokes community and civic pride as a theatre of free assembly. They are society’s social workers, its romance, guidance and business advisers. But it is an incontrovertible truth that the tasteless stew of Berkeley Street has been created by restaurants.
There’s Novikov, with its oriental and Italian kitchens and meat-rack bar; and Nobu, which has gone from being one of the earliest fusion restaurants into an embarrassing playground of entitled youth and socially hapless sportsmen. Then there’s the newly opened Sexy Fish — packed and, as anecdotal gossip has it, with an average table spend north of £1,000. Most recently, Alan Yau has opened his long-anticipated, turgidly gestated restaurant.
As we walked down the road towards it, there was the honk of imperviously parked Mercedes, blacked-out Range Rovers and furious cabbies. The pavement is thronged with manically smiling young women who, while not actually prostitutes, have the look down pat, with smartly streamlined faces and angry mouths, sucking the life out of cigarettes, black eyes sliding over the ranks of young, stateless men dressed in awkward collections of branded expense, guarded and manoeuvred by platoons of doormen, bouncers, bodyguards and muscled maître d’s.”

– from AA Gill reviews Park Chinois, Mayfair W1, Sunday Times UK, 10 Jan 2016

“A vacation city for the world’s rich.. its citizens transformed into modern serfs.”

“Recruiting talent to this city is easy, but retaining it is not. The engine of startups and innovative businesses are its people, and when highly educated folks making six figures still can’t afford to live in your city (and it takes over an hour’s commute to get to downtown from slightly more affordable areas), you simply don’t have the conditions to grow a knowledge economy. Businesses like the one I work for typically move to more welcoming ecosystems, and so too with them will go the people that make up the vibrancy of the city. Indeed since 2012 British Columbia has experienced a net migration loss of young people, largely speculated to be directly a result of housing prices. …
A massive capital injection from abroad makes Vancouverites feel wealthy, while the city is in no real terms wealthier. Talented people continue to leave and with them the future of our city.”

– from The Decline of Vancouver, by Saeid Fard, March 2015 [hattip Zei]

Crackshack at $2.4M? – It’s In The Value of The Land! (‘Value’ as a TRADING CHIP, that is…)

“With a $2.398-million asking price, the fixer-upper built in 1930 might seem overvalued.
But in Vancouver’s crazed real estate market, that price would likely be a bargain. The new listing is priced more than $1.1-million under the recent average price for single-family detached houses sold on the city’s west side.
From the street, it looks like a bungalow, but there are two bedrooms upstairs. A mountain view to the north would be possible if a developer were to demolish the home and build a two-storey house. The listing created a sensation on social media last Friday, quickly turning into a stark symbol of just how expensive Vancouver housing has become – a teardown, with the main value in the land.”

G&M, 3 Feb 2016