– image from ‘Lamborghini collides with fire hydrant at downtown Vancouver intersection’, by Harrison Mooney, Vancouver Sun, 30 May 2017

What has this got to do with Vancouver RE? you might ask.
An excellent question, dear readers.
Ok, so the references are oblique, and we don’t fully understand them ourselves.
And, while we’re talking about elusive understanding, we don’t understand why anybody would spend a gazillion dollars to buy (lease?? test drive???) a car that is shorter than a fire-hydrant is tall…
I mean, think about it.. the fire-hydrants are looking DOWN on you when you drive past lying down in that thing…
Nostalgia for go-karts may have something to do with it.
We’ve never understood the appeal of these cars.. their engines sound like sewing machines..
Anyway, believe it or not, but this incident became a full article in what’s left of our city’s only newspaper.
Slow news day?
Back to possible RE associations:
Going too fast. Hubris. Unexpected obstacles. Superficially powerful but actually very fragile. Look at me I’ve got lots of money. Vulnerable. Walk away from deposit.
– ed.

34 responses to “Vulnerable

  1. This picture encapsulates Vancouver RE (and its destiny) beautifully. Good find, vreaa.

  2. AnneFrankOfGreenGables

    Underlying racism and xenophobia?

  3. Must be a slow news day on vreaa to have this make it. Which of this part is surprising, we are the super car capital of north america. Come to UBC parking lots if you want an exotic car show or any west side high school parking lot for that matter.

    Btw, how do you even explain that? In a city with the equivalent per capita income of towns I have never heard of, we have more super cars per capita than New York or San Fran. If it’s debt financing, well, the same low interest rates are everywhere else in North America. Hmm.. maybe there is something else here perhaps?

    • Yes, there is:

      – Spoiled international students funded by mommy and daddy.
      – Lots of drug money.
      – A local mindset that is uniquely superficial — rivaling only that of LA and perhaps Miami.

      • In other words, most of which not having anything to do with local incomes…

        Btw, where did you get the drug money figures from?

      • If you can’t see that there is a roaring drug trade in B.C. then your head is even further up your *** than I thought.

      • You mean similar to how your head is up your *** for not seeing how much foreign capital has shifted the market itself? Cause local people have the money to buy super cars AND own 2 million dollar homes all at the same time right.

      • “buy”.

        Lol. Leasing is a huge business in Vancouver. All appearance, no substance.


      • Right, cause leasing doesn’t take into account of ability to pay or fico scores or anything related to credit. Again, if Vancouver is the same as other places, why is the difference? Obviously as you point out, there is a ton of foreign money here. Hmm.. I wonder what that does to detached prices in a land constraint city.

  4. The only way this picture would be more prophetic for Vancouver RE is if the Lambo were totalled.

  5. The local market for cars is one of those “street” economic indicators that I like to observe. I have lived in Vancouver since 1986, in that time in the city I have noticed that higher end car dealerships (Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche) have increased substantially in number. Domestic brand dealers in Vancouver have not added to their numbers that I can see.

    The number of higher end and exotic cars observed on the street has greatly increased. The advent of leasing, increased credit availability and changing tastes can certainly account for the German luxury and near luxury brands. The much higher number of exotic Italian cars at 250k + does point to just how much new money has arrived in this city.

  6. In Calgary people are Actually Wealthy.

    Actually Wealthy people do not flaunt wealth. They do the opposite.

    Actually Wealthy people also do not fritter wealth away on flash or frivolity. They do not get bottle service and they do not transport themselves in leased exotic supercars.


    In contrast to the Actually Wealthy, I have never been fooled by Vancouver’s “I Wish I Was Wealthy” and “Watch Me Spend What I Borrowed From My House/My Bank/My Daddy” types.

    When I first came here in the 90’s my jaw was on the floor watching more Lambos and Ferrarris than I’d seen in my life go by me on Robson street every 10 minutes. I thought that these people must be rich and I came from a poor city.

    I had to live here for ten years before I realized that it is the opposite.

    I have friends here in finance, manufacturing, automotive, mining, shipping, technology, medicine, real estate, government, defense, aerospace, and the trades. My work also touches many industries here.

    One thing I know for sure is that there is relatively little Real Money here.

    THAT is why we have this incredible imperative to Fake It Til You Make It.

    THAT is why we are obssessed with our little RE bubble.

    THAT is why nubile 23 year old would-be starlets patrol Yaletown in barely-there sundresses on weeknights, hoping to get “discovered” by a Local Property Owner.

    THAT is why we are obsessed with our own drug trade, and why it’s possible to meet respectable people who either partake or idolize or both the dealers and the poison that is pedaled to our children.

    Because the only way to live a good life on the west coast is to have an extremely lucrative and usually risky side hustle.

    Got you Master’s in Engineering and a good job? Good for you. You are poor.

    You’re a Lawyer and your wife is a family doctor? Good for you. You are poor.

    Did everything right, made smart decisions, and devoted yourself to your career and not living beyond your means? Good for you. You are poor.

    And now that a new set of silver tongued socialist power brokers have weaseled their way onto the throne of BC, where is the action plan for fixing the housing bubble that they railed about constantly during their campaigns?

    Not a word about it!

    Because not even the NDP and not even the Greens are stupid enough to fuck with peoples’ side hustle in Vancouver. Working man be damned. Working poor be damned. Single Moms be damned.

    Nobody would dare be idealistic enough to risk fucking up Vancouverites’ side hustles.

    • May I nominate Burnabonian for the Vreaa equivalent of the Pulitzer? This is a gem of a write-up. Hits the nail on the head, and sinks it in one blow.

    • white_angelos_chubby_equity

      dood! … duly conceded … sure would be damn hard going back to forests, fish and digging rocks out of the ground … bees want hollywoods north … you think a giant re/max sign on grouse?

  7. You do realize that most of the fancy cars are bought by the rich people, not wannabe rich, because the wannable rich can’t actually afford those super cars!

    Btw, if you are worth $10M+, a $250K car is like 2.5% of your net worth. It’s maintenance is probably about 10% of your likely $500K+ pre-tax income. Yes, it’s super expensive from your middle class perspective, but relative to the owner, it’s about the same % of wealth & income to maintain as a Acura, Toyota / low end BMW for a middle class family.

    • #MissedThePoint

    • 1) If you think that having $10MM in assets is the same as being wealthy, you are not wealthy

      2) If you think that a $250,000 car is not expensive to a man with $10MM in assets, you are not wealthy

      3) If you think that spending 2.5% of your net worth on a useless penis extension of a showoffmobile is not expensive, you are not wealthy

      4) If you think that spending 10% of your pre-tax income on a single impractical vehicle is not expensive, you are not wealthy

      5) You are not wealthy

      6) I am not wealthy either, but having met a small number of wealthy people in my life I can at least tell the difference.

      Thank you for illustrating my point to a T, Vancouver Man.

      • There are different classes of wealth. But if you think having $10M in assets is not wealthy, you are entitled to your opinions. But don’t expect the average person on the street or actual statistics to agree.

      • Burnabonian

        Vancouver Man knows what’s up.

        After all, I’m sure that he is not confusing Wealth for Nouveau Riche, Daddy Rich, Inheritance Rich, Home Equity Rich, Embezzled Cash In A Foreign Land Rich, or Scratch Ticket Rich. Which is to say that he shares a mindset with many of his fellow Vancouverites.

        Sure, Vancouver Man’s Lambo or Maserati has brake dust etched into the front wheels, and coasts down Robson blipping its’ throttle like it’s a lease…because it’s a lease.

        Sure, Vancouver Man could be described as a sentient fuckboy haircut in $600 jeans, making payments on a million dollar concrete shoebox in a boring neighbourhood, renting out his spare room on Craigslist for $1500/mo, complete with photos that manage to look sterile, claustrophobic, uninteresting, and greasy all at the same time.

        Sure, Vancouver Man brands himself as a cheese dick “day trader” or “consultant”, and sits in Milano’s at 2 in the afternoon on a weekday, unaware that day traders start before the markets are open which is well before any Vancouver coffee shops open. Unaware that actual consultants don’t spend hours a day scrolling through instagram and tinder on their $1200 Bro’s Gold iPhone, looking bored and clearly wishing there were better chicks to eye fuck.

        Vancouver Man is the chotchy Vape Artist, sitting on the Cactus club patio a little too early on a weekday.

        Vancouver Man is stroking his Lumbersexual facial hair and confidently considering how the “space” on his HELOC is still growing faster than his expenses although he really should do something about that American Express bill which might have been around 30 g’s the last time he checked which was probably 3 weeks or maybe a couple of months ago. But anyway it’s fine because the assessments are due out soon and that’s when everything basically resets.

        These are the “Wealthy” of Vancouver.

        After all, Vancouver Man did have the original and sophisticated idea to getting his parents to help him mortgage a condo 4 years ago, so Vancouver Man has Earned what he knows that he rightly Deserves.

      • Sorry, dumb question time, I get you think Vancouverites are vain. What in the world does any of this have to do with housing again? Calgary is not vain according to you and it has a lot of “true” wealth apparently, I assume their real estate prices are doing well no? So if they produce real wealth, how in the world is it that we need a 50% crash in detached prices in Vancouver to get the calgary prices? You wouldn’t think a market that produces true wealth would trail one that doesn’t by 50% no?

      • @Brian, instead of growing wiser, it’s like you’re growing dumber. Vancouver is in a massive bubble; Calgary is not.

      • Yikes! Your Vancouver man analogy takes no prisoners!

  8. Yes, a tiny dent will be made in RE bubble – nothing that off shore buyers can’t fix quickly.
    Actulally, a tiny dent happened last summer and now it is fixed and all good (…sarcasm…)

  9. 3257 18th Ave E: fascinating to see a house that hasn’t been staged – the mess of lives in process. Two large packages of Costco butt wipe, a Shop Vac, an Asian-size bag of rice, and balloons in one room – and a room with two single beds divided by a dresser. Looks like a homestay. Purchased fewer than 45 months ago at $747K – listed at $1.199M – no poetry here.

  10. 3392 Dieppe Drive – a misleading address – it also sits right on Boundary Road. A thunderous location – one of the worst possible – it will shake your fillings loose. Listed at $225K over last assessed. Are you crazy?

  11. 2796 16th Ave E: action shot of a dingy kitchen with pots on the stove and dishes in the sink. Nice. Happy Birthday poster and drum set in another room. Neighbours will be thrilled when this turkey sells. At $2.2M -$569,300.00 over last assessed – that could take awhile. Bought for $425K 12 years ago.

  12. I am pretty sure there is an “N” at the back of that car.

    Probably owns a mansion on the west side also.

  13. A few years ago there were maybe twenty houses around Vanness and Boundary. Now it’s Wall Centre Central Park and it will be a flipping extravaganza. Like 5528 Ormidale – picked up as a pre-construction Apr/30/2014 at $611,260. Listed at $1.038M – with a stiff $523.96/mo maintenance fee.

  14. Who really gives a s#%t about how many high end luxury vehicles are driving around Vancouver at any given moment, it isn’t necessarily indicative of anything in particular. I might tend to agree that to a large segment of the population it comes off as kind of f$&k you I’m rich, and you’re not, and so what are you staring at my car for anyways?

  15. 3960 Nootka: a fascinating location – for sale for the first time in 75 years. The house on the pie-shaped lot kitty corner to it was penetrated 3 times by speeding vehicles that couldn’t negotiate the curve. Talk about a rude awakening. The owner put up huge concrete planters. Only car parts are getting through that barrier.
    You can actually see the fire station from this listing. Multiple times pretty much every day you can have the excitement of fire trucks stopping in front of your house, sirens blaring, as they make the turn. When that gets stale you get to listen to the frequent ambulances making yet another pit stop at the old folks home on 22nd; the usual cacophony of trucks, buses, and boneheads on motorbikes.
    Good thing there’s a big tree blocking the western sun. If you remove it to build your dream home, you will absolutely bake. Proximity factor – good. Desirability factor – low.

  16. 2843 20th Ave E: there’s character, and then there’s quirky. I like quirky. First time for sale in a lifetime. Owners are doubtless dead or at death’s door. Price should be much higher to keep builders away. It would be a shame to see this piece of Vancouver history razed. Rodent only has this one listing, so he’ll be hot to trot and push for a close.

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