A Real Estate Economy – “Real estate inflation in the Lower Mainland in 2016 is greater than the entire provincial GDP — the actual goods and services produced by all British Columbians”

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Whether we like it or not, B.C. has basically become a real estate economy. The BC Assessment office recently released numbers for 2017 showing that property values ballooned by a staggering $332 billion — 25 per cent — last year. This figure is more than five times the economic value of all goods-producing industries in 2015 combined and nearly double the size of our entire service sector that same year.
Not surprisingly, 90 per cent of the increased values from last year’s property gold rush were in the urban land bubble in the Lower Mainland, which increased by $298 billion in 2016. Real estate inflation within this tiny area, representing just two per cent of B.C.’s land area, eclipsed the entire provincial GDP — the actual goods and services produced by all British Columbians in 2015.
But is this real estate wealth actually real?

– excerpt and image from ‘We’ve Let Vancouver Become a Playground for Plutocrats’, Mitchell Anderson, The Tyee, 31 Jan 2017

No commentary required. – vreaa

71 responses to “A Real Estate Economy – “Real estate inflation in the Lower Mainland in 2016 is greater than the entire provincial GDP — the actual goods and services produced by all British Columbians”

  1. Stock and flow. But I’m no economist.

  2. RE “wealth” has emerged out of thin air, and into thin air it will vanish.

    • [VancouverSun] – City of Vancouver manager fires chief housing officer

      …”The City of Vancouver’s chief housing officer and head of the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency Mukhtar Latif has been fired, city manager Sadhu Johnston confirmed Tuesday.

      Latif had led the city’s housing teams since 2013, steering policy and projects during a housing crisis that has squeezed renters and homeowners alike. In 2014 he was appointed chief executive officer of the newly-created VAHA, with a target to create 500 affordable homes in three years and a mandate to deliver 2,500 units by 2021.

      To date, VAHA has not opened a single affordable housing unit.”…

      http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/vancouvers-chief-housing-officer-fired-from-job

  3. rod_jonsson_pmd

    decent shot we see double digit mtg rates within 5 yrs … lehman 2 is upon us … CBs gone wild wasn’t a durable solution to lehman 1

  4. Canada should change the Constitution that owning a detached home in Vancouver is given by rights, no exception.

  5. According to the REBGV, there is downward pressure on prices when the sales/listings ratio drops below 12% for several months. It’s currently at 21%.
    Even if another Chinese investor never graced our shores, prices will continue to climb. Spend some time in Kerrisdale. Those of Chinese origin are the overwhelming majority. They’re not moving away and when the kids buy, they’re not going anywhere either. Go to Richmond, or Henderson Mall in Coquitlam. The only non-Chinese are the cleaners and security. Our Chinese brethren are in full force, and they are procreating – adding to the billion plus.
    The Vietnamese, Filipino, and the house-building beavers – the Punjabis – they’re not going anywhere either. They’re also procreating – overtaking the Chinese. The only thing that’s going to really bring down prices – aside from even more punitive taxes, is an earthquake, or global financial collapse, the latter being more in the cards.
    And, regarding interest rates – they are going to stay rock-bottom. More banks are implementing negative interest rates to depositors. Cash is not king. Bitcoin and other crypto currencies are gaining traction.
    Interesting to note that in this week’s East Van REW, there is literally just one East Van house advertised – the rest are listings on the West Side.
    Rather than conjecture on prices, pick actual listings from my neck of the woods – fabulous East Van. Think the price is dropping on a quality property? I’ll analyze it for you.

    • This post is chock-full of gems. Everything from fawning to foreigners (the Chinese “brethren” who “grace our shores”) to financial ignorance (“the only thing that will bring down prices is an earthquake”) to outright fantasy (East Van is “fabulous”).

      A wonderful specimen of the self-important, cognitively dissonant dogma that has parasitized the brains of so many in this mid-tier, globally irrelevant city of ours.

      Saving for posterity.

  6. I have been personally looking for a detached home for several months, I honestly haven’t noticed a drop in ask prices, while an ask price is just an ask price, the new listings are actually priced a lot higher than previousely sold listings in December and January, some are priced 30% higher, right now from what a few brokers I spoke with seem reluctant to admit, most are playing the waiting game, will home buyers give up and start buying at the new higher prices and continue the upward trend? Will those properties listed at the new much higher prices remain unsold and be forced to adjust prices? No one knows ofcourse, I think its still too early, perhaps a more realistic picture will emerge when March ends, with all the media attention surrounding this subject, the negative coverage isn’t exactly encouraging potential home buyers such as myself make that leap of faith.
    I think if Chinese investors really did have a difficult time sending money overseas the Toronto market wouldn’t be going up as fast as it is, as of now they clearly just moved to buying in Toronto maybe not just because of the 15% tax but for the same reason people such as myself are relluctant to buy… the prices have gone up too much, too fast in a very short period of time, it just doesn’t feel as safe an investment at the moment

    • Ultimately, the “waiting game” isn’t one that local buyers will be a part of– the sellers only win if foreign buyers come back. It’s an exceptionally small number of local buyers that can afford houses at these prices– and would they even want what they could afford? I’m such an example: I’m in the top couple % of income, and I could afford an entry-level house in Richmond. But it’ll be a piece of crap, that I couldn’t be proud of. I’d rather have a condo or townhouse.

      As for Toronto rocketing upward, keep in mind that the new Chinese restrictions have only been in place for a month. Money that left China in 2015 was happily buying up until very recently.

  7. M- you took the words out of my mouth, right now i can afford a detached home that I won’t be proud of, I’m also with you on how its probably too early to see the effects of the new restrictions on cash flow in China

    I just moved back from Dubai after being away from Vancouver 14 years, I saw the value of realestate go up about 500% between 2002-2008 then crash 30% to 50% in less than a year in 2009, there was a small rise after that but prices never really went back to old highs, even to this day, i have to admit its flat out wrong to compare both markets period, for Starters Dubai had and still has absoloutely no shortgage whatsoever in supply of detached, semi-detached or condos, also the city has plenty of wealthy residents who can easily afford the prices being asked
    I think the only thing in common is that both markets experienced a rapid increase in prices
    I think a correction not a crash would be healthy and benneficial for both buyers and sellers. The rising property taxes don’t just hurt residents they hurt businesses as well.
    I know some current home owners might angry with what I’m saying but a correction is not bad, a crash is bad, bad for all of us

  8. M and Chad. What do you mean by the word afford?

  9. El Ninja is highly intelligent. Insightful too. Looking forward to reading more.

  10. So here is a question. There is a hard clamp down on FX exchange in China itself. However, has HSBC been impacted by this? Cuz a lot of foreign students and wives that are coming here are using HSBC to transfer RMB in a Chinese account to CAD in a Canadian account. If that conduit is not affected then I don’t quite see any slowdown in the ability of money to come out.

    As well, the FX clampdown I think only applies to individuals getting USD, but not necessarily corporations, especially import / export corps. So what’s to prevent a Chinese domiciled corporation buying a house here for its owner? Most really rich people do have a corporation and got rich by running a biz.

    As for smurfing, there are 300M+ rural villagers in China. Assuming just 10M sign up to be a smurf for a fee, that’s a potential $500B USD FX room for outflows.

    Lastly, what’s to prevent people basically transfer a few million RMB from ICBC bank branch in China to the one here and doing the RMB -> CAD exchange here? I don’t think China can mandate a FX limit in Canada for Chinese citizens.

    • My neighbour’s business partner is located in China, and since the new rules came in, they haven’t been able to get money out of China for legitimate business purposes in Canada. While it affects their business, my neighbour (Canadian born/raised) is ecstatic about it, since he feels the clamp-down might actually be effective, and he’s hoping for falling prices.

      As for the smurfs, there’s now a 30% (and $7K) fine if people are found to be using their FX conversion for unapproved purposes.

      Assuming that there are many fewer FX transactions happening now than before, this means that Chinese regulators will be able to review transactions more effectively. If I were a smurf, I’d be concerned about being fined– I might receive a hundred dollars from smurfing, but I would have a potential liability of almost $25K (previously the liability was non-existent). So the “cost” of using smurfs may well rise considerably higher than it used to be.

      FX conversion is allowable to exchange money for the purpose of overseas study, family visits, and tourism.

      If funds are transferred out of China, no matter the currency, if it’s more than ~$10K, it needs to be reported to the central bank.

      With regards to FX conversions outside of China, I don’t know how that works, or if it does at all. I was under the impression that the CNY was not convertible outside of China. Perhaps HSBC is treating the CNY accounts as being “in China,” and making the conversion + overseas transfer appear seamless to the user in Canada?

      • With regard to your neighbor, doesn’t the FX clampdown affects his business in a negative way? Is he cheering for both a housing price crash AND his business partner going belly up and he takes over?

        How do you so much about the details of the FX clampdown and penalties? I don’t recall those details being widely reported?

        Regarding smurfs, a lot of those smurfs are rural with minimal education (like only to middle school or some cases even less), and likely to be fairly poor. I’m not sure how much the penalties and such really matter to them or to central gov’t. The Chinese central gov’t aren’t all powerful super police state, nor is it interested in arresting hundreds of thousands of smurfs and put them into jail if they can’t pay up. I think they will likely want to go after the organizers, but then those people also tend to be well connected locally. In a lot of places, especially southern part of China, well connected locally is far more important than well connected to central gov’t.

        I have no idea about how those HSBC super accounts work either. Local bankers who have heard about it was shocked they don’t have to file Fintrac reports about the money transfers. I’m guessing it’s probably organized something like an Amex charge card or like using say TD Interact card in US to withdraw US$?? I really have no idea. RBC and BMO also offer similar service but they are very limited in the amount that can be transfer per day so very few people use them.

        You can exchange RMB locally at almost all currency exchanges. Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange definitely does as we use their service to get RMB every time we go to China.

        I think some Chinese bank branches in Canada now even offers RMB mortgages too. Though I haven’t checked recently.

      • More details about the restrictions: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-03/few-chinese-sell-yuan-first-day-new-year-after-barrage-new-capital-controls

        As for my neighbour, his business is currently stable & profitable– they just can’t get capital out of China to fund an expansion.

        I hear you about the smurfs probably not knowing what they’re getting themselves into.

        One other rumour that I’ve heard is that SAFE has told banks that they must not let more money out of the country than they bring in during a month. i.e. each bank must be net-neutral or better come the end of the month. How true is this? I don’t know, as it didn’t come from mainstream media, and reportedly the banks were told not to publish it. But I can always hope it’s true.

      • I heard about that SAFE directive as well. I guess it’s a way to clamp down on capital outflows without having to issue an explicit public directive / policy on it. Frankly, no economy can sustain annual capital outflow in the range of 8% – 12% GDP that’s not going into actual sound investments. I’m not sure if it is sustainable even if all the outflows are going into sound investments.

  11. While I doubt that the entire real estate wealth is real as it all must be sold at this price in order for it to be realized, there is nowhere that says this has to all happen today. In fact, inventory levels especially the “good” stuff that Arnie is referring to are snapped up rather quickly. Of course, difference is that whereas previously the crap also moved quickly, now that is stagnant. Moral of the story, don’t buy crap. Buy prime properties but that has always been the case. If anything, the low level numbers on prime listings tell me market is actually moving quickly right now, but again, only for prime listings. They are starting to move close to their assessed value which I think everyone would agree is the peak. If anyone wants examples, I can pull some up.

    As for the FX stuff, that is certainly going to have an effect but more on the middle class. Besides, if it was really that bad then you should see Toronto cool down too. There are other ways of moving money out of china than cash. People who have the money and means will always find a way. It is more the middle class that don’t have the means who will be stiffed.

      • I’ve heard that the selling down of FX reserve is also tied to RMB internationalization efforts, as well as not having so much “wealth” tied up with USD alone – ie . not putting all eggs in 1 basket type of thing, especially with more anti-China hostility in US and calls for a weaker USD.

    • I find that there is a large acceptance of mediocre at a high price by the locals. As well, there is almost a blind acceptance of anything “green” regardless of whether it is actually green, or cost effectiveness.

    • Westside detached crumbling. As I predicted, they have been the first to fall, and they will fall the hardest. This is fun to watch.

      • Really??? What data do you have to support this, cause I still can’t buy a bungalow on a small street in a semi decent neighbourhood that isn’t falling apart or doesn’t have a shit load of issues for under 2 million…. same as last year… Did you predict this part too? Cause your so called crumble is real useful right now. Can you find me a listing please? Cause I would love to see one.

      • Btw, I am not picky at all.. I am looking at mostly 50 years and older houses and 33 foot wide lots. So basically the bottom end of the westside market essentially.

      • Ain’t you getting tired of dancing around to the same song for so many years and still be priced out? A small condo in Chinatown now costs 400k-ish. Soon, Hope will price you out , too. Fun to watch? yeah, it’s painfully so !
        Please bring on the “trajectory 64.59%” crash calculation too; this one is actually fun to watch. eh Vreaa!

      • You know, if a $5M Westside house crashes 50%, that’s still $2.5M and out of reach of the average young professional / trades working family with no $$$$ gifts from parents. A 75% drop would mean doctors, lawyers, money managers, plumbers / electricians, etc can now buy on the Westside.

        However, if such things come to pass, I think condos & TH will also suffer catastrophic losses, maybe not 75%, but still a lot. At that point, I think a lot of families would be more worried about not being on the street than buying an uber cheap undervalued house.

      • Peak to trough will be approx. -60% or -70%, in real terms. At that point houses will not be “uber undervalued”; they’ll be fairly valued.

      • Here is my issue with you. People are always talking about peak to trough yada yada. But here is some perspective. Vreaa made her prediction in 2008, you did in 2015… neither of which were peaks. Let’s set aside whether this whole peak to trough comes true or not for a second cause I don’t even think this matters at this point. What you are saying is essentially useless to most people. They only care about… what is the price going to do relative to today’s price and how long I have to wait for it. 2 questions that I remember asking you very clearly at the time, remember that we had this conversation that was like a year and a bit ago. Your case isn’t even the most extreme. Take our belowed moderator’s case. Even if this thing comes true, people who have listened to her in 2008 are royally screwed. So am I supposed to call her a genius to having foresight?

        To a certain perspective you might even be right that the westside detached is crumbling but I would never notice it because when I search for listings under 2 mil I find a grand total of 5, and none of them would work as they are almost all on large streets or have issues. The weird thing is that 3 monthes ago you could actually do what I said which was buy a bungalow on a small street for just under 2 million. There weren’t a lot, but just a few went for under. That seems to be gone now.

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        there’s been a lot of new construction … you’d expect raw prices to be up but it’s not all appreciation … know of any metrics to index for that?

      • @Brian. How do you know vreaa is a woman? If you don’t know, you shouldn’t presume.

        Neither vreaa nor I have said we knew exactly *when* a correction would occur, only that lofty valuations made one likely.

      • “So am I supposed to call her a genius to having foresight?”

        Yep, genius crewed a lot of prospective buyers out of the market for the kind of misinformed information this blog has provided.

        “Peak to trough will be approx. -60% or -70%, in real terms.”

        Oh my, vreaa and ninja is the same person? here we go again! come on, you can even see past the bottom of your diaper. did you just buy another used cracked crystal ball?

        “If you don’t know, you shouldn’t presume.”

        Right, tell that to all the armchair economists.

      • @Ninja, no idea whether vreaa is a man or woman but read from other posters who might have conjectured. Anyhow, if he/she is not what I say he/she is, then he/she will stand up and correct me now won’t he/she. God that was annoyingly hard to type.

        As to your timing thing, you actually did when I pressed you but I do think neither you or her are quite comfortable at predicting time. But in reality, timing is everything now isn’t it.

      • Unless you know someone’s gender, you shouldn’t make assumptions. It’s obnoxious.

      • Testy testy Ninja, I am sure if vreaa so objects I would have heard about it by now. But good job Zorro of the board, calling for real estate crashes during the day and fighting for gender sensitivity during the night. Truly one of a kind.

  12. @ Brian

    I seriously doubt that you’re not that picky – good luck finding a quiet street, south-facing, with a house that doesn’t need a pile of work. And the newer houses are rubbish – bouncy floors; execrable layouts – all built to bare minimum code; often built by non-professionals with minimal supervision.

    If I’d had the cash I’d have bought 4525 Gothard when it was on the market three years ago. It went for $1.48M – last assessed at $2.4M. This magnificent house is valued at $10K – but it’s better than any of the crap thrown up today.

    And it’s on a double lot with panoramic views. Plus there’s the upside that it’s a 4 min walk to Skytrain, so there’s a fortune in redevelopment potential. You can stick the Westside.

    Better to reign in the Eastside than feel small in the Westside.

    • Dude, I never said I need a south facing lot. And I am certainly not looking for something new, just on a quiet street 33 by 110 minimum with a livable place (reno is ok as long as structure sound). I don’t think that is picky. That is a pretty standard list that any buyer would do. I do still have personal reasons to go to the westside and it is not really for investment. This is purely a lifestyle decision. I am sure you love your eastside but again I grew up in the westside and do want to get back there.

    • Treeless Eastside is a hole and always has been. Facts are facts.

      Westside is a mere shadow of its former glory. Gutted of young families, now a soulless exhibit of gaudy houses and luxury cars.

      Grew up there. Couldn’t pay me to go back.

    • West side is.. how should I put it … a little bit quieter now than what I was used to… There seems to be less people there. But still a very nice area.

  13. 2787 32 Ave W – check out the laundry room. Now that is a sexy space.

  14. 2831 3rd Ave W: a crazy old house – total slug paradise in the no lane back yard – a mouldy dismal pink pile. A dank dark rothole of a property. Yours for $400K over last assessed.

  15. 5725 Holland St: one of the wackiest interiors ever – so much so wrong, starting with the garbage location flush with 41st. Overpriced by over a million – if you are flush with cash and clueless, this could be your next home. It’s not so offensive when basic houses are ugly, but to take so much money to create this abomination – omg.

    • With that Holland St house, it’s listed by Michelle Yu. The gangster’s realtor. The arrangement of the concrete in the backyard makes it look like the garage was a poorly-planned afterthought.

      • Wait, no, sorry, it’s Layla Yang who’s the gangsters’ realtor. Not Michelle Yu.

      • Dude Layla “Dongbei Gangster” Yang is really a piece of work. Though if you know mandarin and hear that famous recording of her threatening someone I doubt it is much of a threat. I mean that shit gets said over the playgrounds in china all the time. But regardless, I doubt she is clean anyways.

  16. How many decades does one person have in their working life when they want to buy a house to raise a family? So far, the bear’s call for a crash has been going on for 8 to 10 years now. Even if we are at the top now, how long before house price falls to fairly reasonable and even more important, affordable? Another 3 to 5 years? That’s about 12 to 15 years from this housing bubble talk started. Assuming this is top!

    If not, then even longer timeframe, time enough for kids to grow up and graduate high school.

    • You make two assumptions. One, that owning a home a prerequisite for raising a family. Two, that Vancouver is the only place to do it.

      • As someone who left Vancouver two years ago for a better job and much better cost of living to income ratio despite being in a city many still consider expensive, I have to agree. Vancouver is great. I love the place. But it’s not the _only_ place one can raise a family and be happy. If you really can’t see yourself living anywhere else but “The Best Place On Earth” and don’t already own real estate, I feel sorry for you.

      • Let’s start with the second point first. Vancouver isn’t the only place to do it. But if I want to move somewhere else, I have to move my family, my parents, my in laws etc. I don’t consider it a very good arrangement for families to be split up. That is not an easy move. Housing costs in my opinion is a very small price to pay even if it is in the millions for families splitting up which I consider the worst price of all. Not everyone are like me. I think Space is thinking that for people who are like me and have followed this blog then they are in trouble.

        Now if my first point holds, then renting wouldn’t actually be terrible except that over the last two years rental markets have gone to shits. You have people getting kicked out, etc. I think fundamentally we have a disagreement based on the concept of stability versus freedom. A house is a liability to someone who values freedom but it is one of the biggest assets for someone who values stability. Think about it this way, if I am planning to live there for decades how do I accept a place that I have no say on how it is configured or I could get kicked out if my landlord sells? Like I said before, monetary liabilities is not the most concerning point but rather the happiness of my family is. Freedom is only of value to people who desire it. More people than you think would value stability over freedom. But you are right on that for people who don’t want liabilities then owning is a terrible option.

  17. 4445 Walden St: a fascinating listing; a story in pictures – not staged – real life. From the Lenin banner proclaiming worker victory (good luck with that), to the decent book titles on the plywood shelves, and Salvation Army furniture. A rice cooker on the counter and Skyflakes on the table suggest an Asian resident

    Bought for $210K over 20 years ago, now listed at $1.2M – same as last assessed – $500/sq’ for this micro lot of 2,400 sq’.

    The real estate rodent with two large dogs gives the age of the house as 67, but e-value indicates 107. Who is lying? She and her fellow husband rodent have all of one listing. Buy this place and you’re paying for a lot of dog chow. Guess what the two of them have to talk about. Their one stupid listing. Guess what they bother other dog owners with at the dog park. Trying to get another listing. Steer clear of Ugh and Ugh at the park.

    The property next door with a new micro house at similarly skinny 4451 sold 3 years ago for $1.375M – now assessed for over $2M. Madness.

  18. I have been following Langley for several months, the properties that have been sold pretty much seem to be going for ask or near ask prices, I think they might actually be going up, the newer listings are just crappier and more expensive, no other way to put it
    What I gathered from others posting who are following East Van seem to feel the same way.

    I think it’s still too early to see a clear picture Do you all think February is going to be worst? Funny so far out of all the brokers I spoke with all except one seem confident they will have a very busy summer, the one who told me he expected prices to drop in December seems to have changed his mind now.
    It’s scary given how fast prices go up I just hope playing the waiting game isn’t going to end up being a huge mistake, only time could tell

    • I personally follow market trends because I have access to the mls database through my contacts and realtor. I can tell you that the map is all over the place. Low price condos for some reason are getting bid up like hot cakes which I think is insane. SFH in most areas are stabilizing, seeing a lot more bids. My realtor tells me that he has been involved in quite a few multiple offers on sfh lots over the last while and have lost them all to better and cleaner offers. But I can’t say we are out of the woods yet because not everything is getting bid on (see my comment about bad lots). Though I suspect the best time to buy has probably passed and that was definitely in the late october time period when there were very little multiple offers and you could low ball people and get a desperate seller to bite with subjects to boot. For me, the signs of a heating market isn’t the price, it is the number of offers and whether the offers are subject free. Subject free offers in my opinion is a true tell tale sign that the market is heating because the only thing I hate more than overpaying for property is if I am buying a place blind. I’d rather overpay and have the assurances than to buy it blind.

      • “The best time to buy… was in late October”.

        Your attempt to convey expertise by citing not only a specific month, but a *time* of month, does not fool anybody. You’re such a BS artist.

      • “Though I suspect the best time to buy has probably passed and that was definitely in the late october time period when there were very little multiple offers and you could low ball people and get a desperate seller to bite with subjects to boot. ”

        Brian nailed it.

        “Your attempt to convey expertise by citing not only a specific month, but a *time* of month, does not fool anybody. You’re such a BS artist.”

        If you don’t know, you don’t have to talk; no one would say you are mute.

      • Trailer park Fred takes a break from swatting flies to share with us his astute commentary.

      • Not taking a break at all, I was swatting a fly that never go away, did you not see? There is too much honey in Vancouver, these flies just stick around.

      • Coming from you I would take that as a complement. But this is why I say it helps if you are constantly deciphering local data. Then you would actually know what I am talking about. I think if you talk to most unbiased real estate professionals or anyone who was actually active in the single detached home market they would agree with my statement.

        Btw, since Arnie loves listings, here is one for you all. 2735 West 5th just sold at 2.6 million, listed at 2.4 mil. Now this house is actually very nice inside, I was even considering this one. But 2.6 mil????? It is common knowledge that the assessment was done using July of 2016 property prices which was around the peak, this one went over assessed with no subjects. Gurantee you this doesn’t happen in late October. So much for a crashing market where everything was going 20% below peak value. I would love to take this one at 2.1…… this crash is really helping me out…

      • yes – late October,2004

  19. Careful, Ninja’s going to get their panties in a knot.

  20. 2735 5th Ave W: You considered this?!

    It’s only a 3bdr and two of them are in the attic. Developed attics are minefields of trouble – the ventilation is rarely done right – a reroof is big bucks.

    There is no view unless you enjoy looking at the ass end of commercial buildings, graffiti-covered dumpsters, and parking lots.

    There is no garage. There is no mortgage helper. There is no privacy in the backyard – it is completely dominated by other buildings. There will be no sun back there.

    There is some nice work done in the kitchen – though ergonomically dysfunctional; and cosmetics (lipstick on a pig), but it’s not a gut reno – no word of electrical and plumbing.

    It has some good furniture – always wanted Eames chairs – but none of that comes with the deal.

    Big thumbs down on this one.

  21. The sales to listing ratio in the West Side has dropped to 13% – almost into downward pressure territory – but we’re not even in prime selling season. Other locales are rocking with the ratio in the twenties. Strathcona is stratospheric. Mount Pleasant is super hot.

    Check this crazy craftsman renoflip: 1249 11th Ave. Bought just over a year ago for $900K – now listed at $1,888,888. It is literally a few hundred feet from the noise and pollution of Clark Drive.

  22. Latest Garth post – get ready for a housing tax next year, and maybe even enough to balance out the budget? I wonder how many locals will get nailed by this.

    Also, apparently buyers are now responsible to withhold a portion of the money for capital gain taxes of non-resident owners, and is liable for the taxes, EVEN if the buyer was lied to?!!! Wow…

    How soon before we hear some sob stories about that. Basically turning all buyers of SFH into part-time detectives.

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