Young Canadians And Homes – “What happens if we all decide we can’t afford this shit?”


VICE: People often choose buying over renting because there is stability and community for family life. What changes when we stop buying houses?

Milevsky: We suddenly lose the stickiness of our labour force. It’s very important for Canada to have more than just high wages keeping us here. The last thing we want is to be a commodity labour market. What’s stopped us from doing that is the connections we’ve had to our community. If the younger generation sees housing as unaffordable and uninteresting they’re more likely to move internationally.
People may lose their anchor to a particular geographic location. I want my neighbourhood park to be clean and green and well maintained. If I just live their temporarily, do we lose our interest in the environment beyond our immediate needs? There’s also the transient nature of politicking. Who are your constituents if communities change?

Kershaw: If you opt out of home ownership, you opt out of the most secure opportunity for starting families and to have your kids in the same school, childcare, and community. Home ownership has also been a route to get access to the ground and playing outside. Renting in bigger cities is not having the kind of stock suitable for families. Big cities aren’t losing 20 somethings, it’s when the biological clock starts ticking you see a bit more of an exodus.
If renting is going to become a common practise for adults, systems such as childcare need to be improved. I’d like my child to be in the same childcare space for a few years. I don’t want to move around from neighbourhood to neighbourhood because I’m being evicted because my landlord can make more on other renters. We need to think about how renting can create that kind of security.

– from ‘What Happens if Young People Never Buy Homes?’, Samantha Power, Vice, November 27, 2016

50 responses to “Young Canadians And Homes – “What happens if we all decide we can’t afford this shit?”

  1. Sorry this is just hogwash. The cult of homeownership is an incredibly recent phenomenon. People cared about their immediate environment long before and still will long after. There are whole countries today whose home ownership rate is a small fraction of what’s considered normal in North America and they do just fine.

    The real change that could happen is that lower home ownership might force wages up. When your prospective employees are all tied down to their location by 6 or 7 figures of debt, you can offer them whatever you want – they don’t have a lot of choice. When they are all mortgage free renters and can leave for better opportunities, you’ll have to pay them more.

    • So true. Not to mention the greater facility with which an immobile citizenry may be taxed.

    • As someone who just signed on to the TN visa thing in the US, you’re absolutely right. Vancouver was OK for getting my foot in the door of Pharma research, but I’m easily tripling the amount of money I have left over after basic living expenses, health coverage, and taxes by moving where the jobs are in my field.

      I am so very glad I didn’t spring to buy a condo in the Lower Mainland even though I was there for four years.

  2. 2676 Venables: underpriced by $300K. Another case of a real estate rodent screwing old sellers.

  3. More “racists” flyers in Richmond –

    Looks like team BPOM on might actually got off their butts and moved beyond being keyboard warriors.

    To be fair, there is a problem with tax evasion going from pure tax evasion / dodging to some more gray loophole exploitation area. Personally, I think net net, the new mainland immigrants probably pay more in total tax (income tax, sales tax, property tax, fees, etc) than what they take in social benefits. There is also a LARGE retirement community in Richmond from the 90s HK migration. They include both astronaut families and actual immigrant families.

    • Do you have any idea how much schools cost? Police, military, health care? And the thousands of other government expenditures? How can you possibly make this claim? You’ve pulled it out of thin air.

      • School, police all come out property tax, not income tax. Most rich new immigrants actually prefer to go back to China for treatment, rather than using healthcare here. Why? Because it’s faster and quicker in China, rather than waiting days, weeks for doctor visit, tests, doctor visits again, more tests, and then more wait for surgery or whatever else treatment. The initial visits, tests, and expert referral are all done within 1 to 2 days and treatments usually begin within the week for these well monied people. Also, most of the wealth immigrants admitted are young and health, not old with health problems, so they use much less healthcare in general to start with.

        As for military and thousands of other govt expenditures, they are there whether these wealthy immigrants are here or not. So basically fixed costs.

      • Your ignorance is breathtaking.

      • From someone who’s truly ignorant? I’m not sure how much stock I would put in your response.

  4. If you want secure rental, it pretty much needs to be professionally managed.

  5. Mingpao published a news on a Chinese skilled immigrant who landed here a decade ago, and after earning a business degree in Vancouver, decided to return to China.

    She was recently here to renew her PR card (commonly dubbed Mapleleaf card), and received a bill of C$100,000. The bill was issued by a BC hospital where she checked into two years ago to give birth upon her return from China to Vancouver, and even though she was then without the MSP cover. One month after she was discharged from the hospital, she went back to China with her baby.

    • So, is there a way to make her pay rather than just skip town again?

      Also, if she is here as a skilled immigrant and even got a degree, shouldn’t she has MSP by default?? I thought it starts automatically after you are in province for 30 days? You just need to apply? I think there might be some missing info here.

  6. She is a parasite.

  7. The news report mentioned that she would drag her feet paying off the bill. But if this story made it to the news, non-residents who do not stay 6 months in a year to qualify for BC health care benefits.can expect the hospitals’ bills forgiven or negotiated. Already, a tourist who did not have travel health insurance and operated on in Toronto to remove a 10-15cm brain tumour, has had his bill of C$100,000 snowballed.

  8. How Vancouverites spend their money: Burlesque Dancer, Lawyer, Engineer, Muscian, Barrista

  9. 944 53rd Ave E: a stunner. It takes a concerted effort and a pile of cash to create something as repulsive as this – the quintessence of an unaffordable pile; a docked turd from Planet Mishmash. From the confusion of the exterior to the Darth Vader hot tub; from the mauve and magenta to the hideous afterthought laundry; from the concrete yard to the basement suites to chip away at the mortgage of this atrocity.

    Pity the agent that has to stand in the non-funtional kitchen with a living room suite – trying to flog it; smile plastered and pretending that this abomination is desirable. Unfortunately, people with the big cash readies usually have a modicum of taste.

    • 944 53rd Avenue E, Vancouver, South Vancouver
      Size: 5064 ft2
      Lot Size: 8575 ft2
      Year Built: 2003
      MLS®: R2119530
      listed price: $2.9m

      In the same price range, this house is brand new, size/lot: 4000+/7000+, and has a legal 1-bedroom suite.

      • Burnfield Crescent is a pig of a location: the high-pitched 24/day whine of Hwy 1; the lake level topography – no chance of a basement – will be inundated with a tsunami; lousy spot, below grade on a dead end street; 0 walkability …

        The house itself is also a pig. Evidently there is no lane access for a detached garage. The interior is a staged pimple.

        It’s as awful as 944 53rd – in a massively inferior location. New build doesn’t matter.

      • Agent looks like a real mutt too.

  10. Prices around Grandview Hwy and Renfrew are shocking thanks to zoning and lot assemblies. A crudhole like 2996 Grandview, last assessed at $895,600.00 is listed at $3,100,000,00. If the entire city were rezoned to allow more flexible use, this super nasty location would be worth squat.

  11. A truism of real estate is that every property is unique. Even in Levittown, or a tower, there are nuances to every domicile. Property is possibly the least commodified good you can buy outside of art.

    The truism everyone knows is location, but even here rules that are hard and fast are actually not. A property on a busy street is assumed to be worth at least 30% less than one that is quiet; but the people who bought their nightmares on Grandview Hwy are making out like bandits after suffering how many years of vehicular cacophony and pollution.

    There’s a big difference between buying to live in a place vs buying for investment – and what is your timeline. The DTES was a hellhole for twenty years. If you were young enough to hold on to a property there for that period of time – often with no rent – you could be rich now; or dead after waiting so long. There was one old lady who had a house on Richards St and held out forever – eventually getting a small fortune – but little life left to live to enjoy the cash.

  12. 632 20th Ave E is a curious listing – bought just five months ago for $1.2M – relisted for $1.18M with “sellers willing to look at all offers”. Either the first buyers are taking a bath, or it’s a typo, or there’s something very wrong with the property, or it’s a ploy to get some bids. Maybe there’s a buried oil tank, or a dead body.

  13. 368 33rd must be a joke – last assessed at $1.188M – listed at $5.88M.

  14. Very few choices available and prices still crazy. A family friend has upgraded thrice since 2007 from a modest duplex in the burb to a detached 2-storey in WPG. He has a good planning job with crown corp Health, and his fil owns a digital store chain.
    Juicy news since Lai Changxin’s departure circulating about the latest fugitive in town involving misappropriation of humongous sum through illegal crowdfunding. Missing since last April, he was thought to be in the U.S. Two months after his arrival in Vancouver, he got married. From the photo, the location appeared to be WestVan with Burrard Inlet in the background, and a female judge was present to solemnize the marriage. In another photo, the Lionsgate bridge was behind him and his belle.
    p.s. save b4 pics are pulled off.

    • He fell in love at first sight in Vancouver with a woman originally from Shanghai born 1983, and registered their marriage 12 days later. Insiders revealed that C$120,000 is not overboard for this type of “marriage”. He has submitted 2 months ago (September) to Canada Immigration his PR application under spousal sponsorship.

  15. There’s a CTV report called “Prices plunging” that is such specious rot that it deserves redress.

    The highlight of the article is a house at 4248 Slocan that sold for $800K. It was last assessed at $875K. The “reporter” implies this means prices are dropping, but uses the weasel word qualifier “appear” – quite a stretch from the headline “Prices plunging”.

    This area is intimately familiar to me – I’ve walked, cycled, driven by thousands of times. Slocan should have sold for at least $1,000,000. An orangutan could have sold it for that. It is a busy street, but it’s on the high side; it’s a 5 minute walk to Skytrain – the redevelopment upside is massive. It has huge views to d/t. Why was it given away?

    It was not the listing of the real estate rodent interviewed – Hutchinson – pontificating about the drop, but some other character called Prakash Maharaj. This deplorable unknown has zero listings. He sold his one and only Slocan listing for easily $200,000K below lot value after hanging on to it until it was about to expire – just two weeks to go. This should be investigated, and not by the reporturd who wrote the original article.

    My educated guess is that he deflected offers as long as he could – kept it in his pocket – and profited from the inside job; that there will be a new house built there by one of his relatives, or it will be part of a land assembly. This is a seriously valuable location. It was a steal. Literally.

  16. Hutchinson also quacks about a property in Kits, 2735 W 8th, that failed to achieve ask of $2.5 and eventually sold for $1.6. Where exactly is this precious gem? It faces the ass-end of Safeway. That’s the view.

    The stunning revelation about this listing is that the contract was for ONE YEAR! Who slimes a seller in one of the hottest real estate markets in the world with a ONE YEAR CONTRACT? Values in Kits at the time were kachinging $50,000.00 plus per month; and some real estate rodent sticks them with a ONE YEAR CONTRACT. Haven’t figured out yet who this skank was, but you can bet they were smugly smiling after they got their claws into the seller’s privates by getting them to sign. If they’d had a lawyer, what would the advice have been.

  17. There’s a link in this fecal omelet of an article to a list of MLS numbers of properties in East Van priced at $1.1M or less. It’s educational to go through them to understand what constitutes poop in the market; or just go to Realtylink and punch in houses priced between $900K and $1.2M.

    The cheapest detatched in East Van right now is $925K. It is nasty. Work your way up and see if you can get off horror streets like McGill or Knight; that has a lane; see if you can find a house that’s not on a bog, or on a postage stamp piece of land, or at a T, or all of the above. Good luck finding one that’s not a floater.

  18. ~ 90,000 homeowners around the province getting sent warning letters about rising assessments this week
    ~ single-family homes in Vancouver, the North Shore, Squamish, Burnaby, the Tri-Cities, Richmond, and Surrey will have their assessed values increased by as much as 30 to 50 per cent
    ~ increases on residential strata properties, such as condominiums, will be in the 15 to 30 per cent range

  19. 2878 7th – a repellent Van Spec in a good location, but it flanks an alley. Bad. Bought for $620K in 2006 – listed at $2,499,999.00. Ridiculous. An absurd price for this ugliness unless you’re hoping for rezoning.

  20. The once-great comments section of this blog has been reduced to an archive of Arnie Carnegie’s masturbatory rantings. Sad.

    • Most comments fall under “bull” and “bear”. and the end-result is shutting down the conversation. Notice how the industry shrills behave much better than previously, less verbally abusive (could be cultural), after the media exposed them. The better posters are long gone, because they have no vested interest in your decision to buy or not to buy.

  21. 3308 Carolina – a vile Van Spec house renoflip. Bought 4.5 months ago for $1.46M, now listed at $1,688,800. – not an outrageous bump even for this house with no redeeming features. The good part is the quality of the Virtual Tour – all listings should have this. The About the Rodent also stands out. She took every course imaginable – unlike most of the other clowns in the business. You face this dragon and you’re dealing with someone with claws.

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