‘Poor’ Parenting – B.C. Liberal Housing Minister Rich Coleman – “My advice to my teens, start saving for the down payment.”

Under the B.C. Liberals, who are actually quite conservative, the gap between the super-rich and the rest of us has become a yawning chasm. For most, it has become harder to make ends meet. This demands fundamental change, not a softer tone. …

… B.C. Liberal Housing Minister Rich Coleman is laissez-faire about it: “My advice to my teens, start saving for the down payment. That is your future if you can build up that equity.”
With million-dollar homes, stagnant or declining wages and big student loans – good luck, kids.

Last week, Premier Christy Clark built on this train of thought at the leaders’ debate. “You know what you need to be able to afford a house? You need a job,” she said. Yet, unemployment is up everywhere but the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

– from ‘Anger Brewing in unaffordable BC’, Garth Mullins, 24 hrs Vancouver, 23 April 2017 (with quote augmented based on Frances Bula tweet)

Meanwhile, who would benefit from the fruits of all that hard work?….

From Jan 2016:

Surging real estate values added $2.3 million to B.C. cabinet ministers’ personal wealth this year alone, as the government says coming measures to ease housing affordability won’t include any that lower prices.

One minister saw her four properties jump $765,000, more than five times a minister’s salary. Another saw gains on a portfolio of eight homes. On average, ministers made $103,000 – more than an MLA’s salary, according to a review of public records by CTV News.

It’s natural for those ministers to welcome their own wealth boost, but they have to realize how their eye-popping gains translate into tremendous hardship for young people trying to get into the notorious Vancouver property market, said UBC professor Paul Kershaw.

“We can’t start with the presumption that housing price increases are a good thing. Housing prices that have outpaced incomes is remarkably bad news. It’s turned Vancouver into a generational ghost town,” Kershaw said, referring to how hard it is for young people to buy in neighbourhoods where they grew up.

– from ‘Surging real estate makes $2.3M for B.C. cabinet as affordability worsens’, Jon Woodward, CTV Vancouver, 25 Jan 2016

Goya’s ‘Saturn Devouring His Son’ (1819-1823):

45 responses to “‘Poor’ Parenting – B.C. Liberal Housing Minister Rich Coleman – “My advice to my teens, start saving for the down payment.”

  1. Yes, because saving for a down payment on a house while you’re still basically a child is normal. Right when you should be focusing your limited earning power on education (and on having fun), these misguided hypocrites come along to say, “buckle down, kid”. This is more than a financial misallocation, it is a misallocation along developmental and sociocultural lines that will carry with it hidden costs to individuals and society.

    Reminds me London mayor Khan — or was is Vals in France? — who smugly informed his people that terrorism was now simply a “part of life” in big cities. i.e. don’t press for change; just get used to it. Patronizing on one hand, acquiescent on the other, and utterly unacceptable all round.

  2. While i agree wholeheartedly about the social effects of this and I would tend to agree that the minister’s comments here are a bit out there, may I ask this simple question:

    What would you do if you were the BC Liberals? It is the overwhelming perspective of the bears on this board that this market will take care of itself. So it that is the case, I would simply tell the government hands off and let it run its course.

    I love all the blame that bears place on the Liberals yet most every one of the bears would say that there isn’t much to worry about in terms of the trend. It’s inevitable this will crash without government influence. So my opinion is.. if you believe in your call so vehemently, then let it ride and the government is doing exactly what it should (other than make comments like Rich Coleman’s above)

    Btw, I am a big fan of generation squeeze because I do believe you need government intervention to cool down the market. But I am pretty sure if generation squeeze subscribed to the bear’s way of thinking they wouldn’t have much to worry about. Just rent until it all comes down.

    • “the government is doing exactly what it should”

      Provincial / municipal governments artificially inflate prices through all manner of subsidies to owners — interest-free loans, tax credits, special incentives, property tax deferrals, and so on. Add in a number of significant federal supports and, no, the government is not “doing exactly what it should”.

      • Wait, in the words of the all wise El Ninja… “These are known factors”, there has been nothing that has changed since the start of this blog that favours home owners am I right?

        If anything, CMHC insures far less homes than previously. Provincial government has introduced the foreign buyers tax. So what policies can you name that have helped home owners since the start of this so called bubble?

      • So in other words, given that these are known factors like you so eloquently stated, we should still expect a crash even without these measures being taken out. Am I right? If so… what issue do we have with the Liberals specifically then?

      • Unknown factors: sustained, “emergency-level” interest rates for almost ten years now (biggest factor by far), changes to the Home Buyers Plan, B.C.’s brand new interest-free loan plan, to name but a few — all post-bubble formation.

      • Again, back to my original question, what has the BC government done since the formation of the so called bubble to favor home owners? Other than the interest free loan and a rise in home owners property tax rebate which amounts to about 600 bucks a year, there isn’t much they have done to help them. The interest free loan only helps a very small subset. What I am trying to get is, it’s useless to be mad at the BC Liberals because in my opinion they have probably done more to contain this so called bubble with the foreign tax than help it. You can’t expect them to influence interest rates policy, that’s not their jurisdiction.

      • @vreaa, yeah that’s what I thought your position is. That the market would correct itself. Really, at this point I think neither side should make excuses on government policy.

  3. I don’t​ know if you guys have seen the electoral breakdown by region, but it’s not like the BC Liberals are overrepresented in areas that​ have high prices. There’s a big province out there just waiting for you to explore.

  4. Brian: The Libs aid and abet foreign ownership and money laundering. They could provide info via land registry to the CRA for taxing flippers and speculators, but choose not to do so. Their “free” loans to FTB goose the market. They could simply track foreign ownership stats but choose not to do so. Also include the property tax deferral for owners over 55. All this and more favors home owners.

    • I will let Ninja and the other bears on this board answer your questions on how much of an effect foreign ownership have on this market. I differ from their views and partially share yours. I am only pointing out that bears calling out this provincial government is interesting because none of the policies that this government has enacted after the so called bubble started has had much of an affect on the upside. It is their view that foreign ownership isn’t the main factor. It is mostly interest rates and local people speculating. From that perspective, what you mentioned wouldn’t matter all that much. But again, that is not my view clearly.

    • But I thought bear said it would still crash because no government can hold back market forces? And in fact, it will be a bigger crash?

      So what’s the big worry if everything will simply reset back to where it should be? Unless time is an issue?

  5. …and of course it’s in the interest of the government to encourage home ownership. A less-mobile citizenry is a more easily-taxed citizenry.

    • Because voters will never ever rebel at the voting booth and demand stuff like balanced budget legislation and tax cuts?

      • Sure. You can do that. But when you don’t own real estate, it becomes easier to vote with your feet, too.

  6. 1319 28th Ave E: bought one year four months ago for $1.43M – a Builder’s Special from 1911. Mindlessly, brutally, senselessly remodded and hot rodded – character beaten out – horrendous layout. No real words here like permits; foundation work; replumbing; rewiring – but there is some Italian marble. Bring your piss pot up those scary stairs to the “potential” attic bedroom. Better like it hot because you will absolutely bake in that aerie.

    No garage and a backyard that has zero privacy. All this for $2.345M.

  7. @El Ninja – so how many people have left the province? From my limited sample of friends who are born & grow up in BC, only 2 left for US permanently. So yes, you can vote with your feet, but very few people choose to do so. Certainly you haven’t, despite the high RE prices and the crash that’s never coming. Why haven’t you simply vote with your feet and went somewhere better? Or most bears who have been bears for the last decade?

    Gauging VCI, seems like bears just prefer to get angrier and nastier at foreigners, and anyone who disagree with their views. Except for YVR2ZHR(?) and another Chinese hating “chef”, no other bears there is voting with their feet, despite repeated threats to do so, and constant bash of how ruined Vancouver is by the Chinese.

    • “very few people choose to do so”

      You are really out of touch. Thousands upon thousands of people have left Vancouver, and Canada generally, for greener pastures. Of a dozen or so of my closest friends from high school / university, only half of them remain. Those who stay are either well-off or unambitious. I myself left years ago.

      • http://vanmag.com/city/are-millennials-really-leaving-vancouver/

        Here is an article that puts the truth somewhere in the middle. I think young people are leaving vancouver, but they are replaced with young people who immigrate here from other countries (who may eventually leave vancouver apparently according to the article). So what you have is a phenonmenon similar to what we have on this board where someone like Ninja, who is born here and whose family has strong ties here has been replaced basically by Space and myself who are immigrants. So in reality, the net number of young people in Vancouver is probably not going down but it is the composition that have people worried. Because those who are born and raised here are increasingly being pushed out.

      • The article is about millennials. The exodus significantly predates this cohort. The so-called brain drain has existed for several decades, but worsened in the 90s and beyond. And no, immigration is not necessarily filling in the void. Growth in immigration has been falling for many years now.

        Those who do immigrate to Vancouver — what are they doing? Are they filling a plethora of professional jobs? No, they are either studying, living on mommy and daddy’s dime, or working crap jobs.

      • it’s funny that those could not make it here in this town, left for a crap hole somewhere else, still coming back to whine or bitch about it.

  8. 1244 23rd Ave E: a profoundly depressing Van Spec Dreck in a blah area. Best scraped and redeveloped – good price for this huge lot at $2M.

  9. Most of my high school classmates who got mommy & daddy biz back in HK and Taiwan all left after university. Most of them who were born here stayed.

    As for young people leaving, there are those who leave, but there are also a lot who came back after 5 to 10 years abroad.

    I see a lot of young people around town. I don’t know what they do. But then again, I don’t think there are many good quality high paying IT jobs in Vancouver, but apparently the IT industry is booming. So looks can be deceiving.

  10. Good to see scrappy Marc Cohodes back on Bloomberg after Home Capital shares plunged.

    • [G&M] – Housing talk gets louder and angrier in Vancouver

      …”Vancouver’s real estate market has attracted angry commentary from a wide variety of sources lately, and not just citizen activist groups rallying for affordable housing.

      A couple of weeks ago, U.S. economist Michael Hudson sold out the Rio Theatre to talk about the city’s gone-sideways housing situation, which he compared to “a feudal society.”

      Mother Jones magazine has a feature story about Vancouver in its current issue, Hedge City Blues: What happens when global elites invade your town?, which cautions that Seattle is next.

      This week, local filmmaker Charles Wilkinson is releasing his film on Vancouver’s crisis, No Fixed Address, which opens May 2 at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival. The film will also screen at Vancouver’s DOXA Documentary Film Festival on May 6…

      …B.C.’s economy, says Mr. Wilkinson, relies on the selling off of real estate instead of actual jobs, as a result of government inaction.

      “It’s reached the point where we don’t have much to sell, other than the land itself. So when the Premier crows about how she’s created all these jobs, in a bizarre and macabre way, she has – by failing to impose any restriction on the real estate market. And of course it’s unsustainable, because there are no jobs anywhere else. When you drive past all these communities in northern B.C., everything is boarded up. Resources are simply gone.

      “Jobs here are building speculative housing units.”

      He wonders where this selling off of real estate to the highest bidder will eventually get us. Every time a home is sold for millions of dollars to a speculator, that home is likely forever lost to the local income-earner.

      “Let’s assume everybody sells out and gets rich. What’s the plan – to build another city? But where am I going to go? This is my home,” Mr. Wilkinson says.

      “I don’t feel the government really cares much about my interests, or anybody else I know, so everybody devolves into, ‘every man for himself.’ And that’s the antithesis of community.”…


      • Can someone explain why is it that someone can’t make a bunch of money elsewhere and then choose to live here? Why do we call that person a speculator? Say if I wanted to sell my house and move to a nice beach community in Thailand. I would be pricing out the locals there too. Am I a speculator?

      • [Telegraph] – Expats warned of illegal home crackdown in Thailand

        …” Expats who own land illegally in Thailand could be deported under tough new laws being drafted by the government.

        Thai ombudsman Siracha Charoenpanij said earlier this month that he was drawing up “carrot-and-stick” legislation to protect the country from illegal foreign nominee ownership.

        Under Thai laws, foreign nationals are not allowed to own residential land. They can, however, buy apartments so long as no more than 49 per cent of a development is owned by foreigners. They can also purchase detached villas, but while they can own the house, they cannot own the land the house is on and are only able to lease it for 30 years at a time.

        To get around these restrictions, some have entered into complicated structures whereby a company is set up to purchase the land. A Thai national holds the majority of shares in that company, but in reality may have no financial interest in the company and may own it on behalf of the foreign buyer.

        It is these such “nominee ownership” arrangements that the government now wants to crack down on, and Charoenpanij has also proposed a reward – of 20 per cent of the land’s value when sold – for those providing information about illegal ownership. His plans also include penalties for lawyers or consultants who advise foreign buyers on nominee structures.”…


      • Stupid Thais, how dare they tell me what I can and can’t buy in their own country.

      • rod_jonsson_pmd

        @brian, this was certainly true in the past, i noticed a high % of affluents had made their $s elsewhere … definitely a long standing feature of yvr … otoh, hard to ignore cb policy and deterioration of lending stds have completely warped everything

  11. No fire sale yet @Bentall!
    “Chinese authorities have halted all of the Anbang’s overseas investment deals, according to the reports.”

    • Why do you sound so surprised? Didn’t I tell you not to look at price / income? I do see the same thing, the higher the price, the lower the income. Besides, they probably learned all the tricks from their rich neighbours cause god knows rich local elites never dodge taxes right? Rich people are all the same, no matter what race / colour, they didn’t get rich by giving the government all the money.

      • If you are laundering ill-gotten gains from abroad then, no, you are not the same as everyone else. You are a criminal. Most local wealth comes from legitimate businesses that are known, tracked, and taxed. How much of the Chinese money coming in is legit? Little of it, I would venture.

      • Seriously? Cause we know that the mossack fonseca files found no local rich canadians there right? How do you know what is legit in china? I worked for a high tech firm, a pretty big one in the city and one of the directors once told me that potentially we have to bribe people on the ground in china. This is what you call a “legit” big company here in north america talking. So.. I would save your judgement of what is legit and not legit to yourself. Besides, look at it this way, even if the money is dirty, it not like fintrac and cra is doing much about it. Here is the deal, it is money, our government is hooked to it. We have a prime minister who wants more of it. Money is money, I love how we always sound so righteous about what is dirty and not dirty, particularly the US.

        One other thing, the system we have in place is designed by the local elite to benefit the local elite. Make not mistake, the local elite designed for this city to be sold to asia the way it is when they sold the expo lands and invited Li Ka Shing here.

  12. 7215 Dumfries: a repellent piece of Van Spec Dreck – looks like a character out of Angry Birds. There’s a confluence of a couple of streams around here. Best case scenario – it sinks and floats off to Burnaby. Astoundingly appalling interior – no concept of ergonomics. Yes, there is an illegal suite.

  13. 5887 Battison: a freshly squeezed piece of shining white shiite. Agent screams that it is AMAZING, an INVESTMENT, and that there is the POTENTIAL for an ILLEGAL SUITE.


  14. 6935 Culloden: ad says Custom Built – that’s a lie. It’s a standard piece of Van Spec Dreck. More garbage. Another depressing illegal basement suite.

  15. 535 11th Ave E: half a house for $2.080M – $662K over last assessed. But is has a rainfall shower head.

  16. 5821 Latta: best agent picture – sitting on a toilet – summarizes the client relationship.

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