“I’d been brainwashed by this market into thinking that paying for a million-dollar home means getting a total dump” … “When housing is so unaffordable that you drive out people who hold up the fabric of society, what’s going to happen?”


“Vancouver has become a hotel.” – Bing Thom, architect

“A family from England’s Midlands region arrived in Vancouver last July. The professional couple came here for work and set about looking for a house to purchase for their family of four.
After viewing a series of overpriced properties on the city’s east side, they plan to give it three more months. If they still can’t find anything, they consider Ontario.
K. Singh says her family lived well in England; both she and her husband make white-collar salaries. But in Vancouver, they have had to adjust their standard of living. Another family – friends of theirs who moved from England at the same time – have already returned.
“I had heard rumours. I wasn’t entirely surprised, but I was taken aback by the intensity of the situation, really,” Ms. Singh says. “I didn’t think it would be this bad. Some of our friends decided to go to Australia and they didn’t have the same battle.
“We are ordinary working people. All our taxes are paid – all kosher. When you do that, you don’t usually have a huge amount of money to begin with. We suffered a hit because of Brexit and the pound fell drastically.
“I worry about where society is going, because when it gets to that level [of unaffordability] and you drive out the people who hold up the fabric of society, what’s going to happen?”.

Ms. Singh says her family is too large for a condo and she has friends and family that want to visit from England, so she needs a house, but nothing fancy. She doesn’t think that’s a tall order.
“You’ve got two sets of people in this world,” she says. “There are the people who want to get what they can for themselves – nothing will ever be enough for them.
“I fall into the second bracket: you just want to pay the bills, have a bit for a rainy day, live comfortably with family, and have friends and family to come and stay.
“That’s not too much to ask, is it?”

Daina Lawrence found an east-side house for her young family after eight weeks of searching.
“After we went through the process, I realized that I’d been sort of brainwashed by this market into thinking that paying for a million-dollar home means getting a total dump,” Ms. Lawrence says. “I came to think of that as normal – which is brutal in hindsight.”

– two anecdotes from ‘Mouldy mini-mansions, pricey average homes: Vancouver house hunting is a wild ride’, Kery Gold, G&M, 25 Aug 2017 [hat-tip The Auteur]

32 responses to ““I’d been brainwashed by this market into thinking that paying for a million-dollar home means getting a total dump” … “When housing is so unaffordable that you drive out people who hold up the fabric of society, what’s going to happen?”

  1. What did everyone expect. Total supply of detached in Vancouver is 47K according to stats can. That is it for the total lots. While attached constantly increase in numbers detached supply is set with an increasing population. So what exactly do we expect to happen? When the population was 500K it was 47K, now the population is what, 650K it is still 47K. When the population s 800K it will still be 47K and probably less depending on how many we knock down.

  2. “In Kitsilano, for example, only one in 10 homes are selling, so that’s a buyer’s market. In Kerrisdale, only about 4 per cent of homes are selling.”

    Umm. In what order of things is that not a rush to the exits?

    Kitsilano oversupplied by 900%. Kerrisdale oversupplied by 2400%.

    Brown liquid running down the leg of Kits Specuvestor oversupplied by 10,000%.

    • Sorry, two basic questions:

      1. Are you seriously saying that the only way supply demand is balanced is to have a 100% sale ratio? Cause market research shows that 20% to 25% is a balanced market and over 25% is a seller’s market. So based on your logic, a seller’s market is still 400% oversupplied.

      2. The data doesn’t include condos, you might want to check what that number looks like with condos included cause I can gurantee you it is not 1 in 10.

    • if it’s a rush to exit, why is pricing not crashing, but slowly adjust?

      • What data are you using. It is crashing.

      • Really? What data are you using that suggests it is crashing? Basically any listing below 1.5 million is more expensive today than it was on this date last year. The higher end properties, over 3million is dragging the overall picture down but no one making local money can afford those anyways.

  3. Vancouver BC, Victoria BC, and most of the west coast Canada towns on the seashore are nothing more than ponzie schemes waiting for the last sucker to hold the market crash bag. Go read up on Vancouver, Victoria, or any other city or area on the Topix Forum (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) and other web sites. The smart people would save up all their money and wait for the markets in anything to crash and then buy it all up for cheap, then sell them off at the next economic recovery. Don’t engage in insane bidding wars with stupid and eventually poor people. Do the Contrarian Investment Strategy for any type of market. .

    • Yes, please, stay the hell out of this market. It has worked wonders for everyone in the last decade and half.. oh wait……

      Actually seriously, do stay out of this market, we don’t need anymore buyers, there are enough as it is. Believe it or not a lot of long term investors want there to be a sharp downturn so we can pick up properties. But… no luck so far.

    • those forums is dime a hundred. stay away from those, you might eventually own your real estate someday.

  4. “I fall into the second bracket: you just want to pay the bills, have a bit for a rainy day, live comfortably with family, and have friends and family to come and stay.
    “That’s not too much to ask, is it?”

    no, not at all. you can always ask, but , get real, the market is what it is for another matter.
    on top of it, i want to travel to europe once a year to visit family, it’s also not too much to ask, isn’t it!

  5. white_angelos_boggy_blobosphere

    hey, i just moved to vcr from somewhere normal … http://tinyurl.com/yayluumt

  6. Wonder what the whiny Singhs did in their white collar jobs back in Ye Olde England. Something completely useless no doubt. Bet they were singing the blues there too – which is why they’re here. There’s a lot of land in Canada, but they want to park their white collar job butts in Vancouver because they’re so special. And live in a condo – with their massive family of four?Where they can’t entertain in style? Are you crazy?
    They would definitely be looking down their snotty noses at our East Van property.
    Whiners. Please do go to Ontario. Good riddance.
    Again, what vitally important white collar jobs did these whiners hold back in Old Blighty. Curious that they’re not interested in going back there. Not good enough for these white collar whiners.

  7. 3107 21st Ave E: A lottery # flip. A lootery. A case of legal theft. No doubt a little old lady got screwed by a smiley rodent.
    Sold July 28, 2017 – only one month ago for $1.2M – $185,000.00 below assessed. A blind donkey could have “sold” this for $1.2M.
    Just listed at $1.649M – a $449,000.00 bump in one month. One month!
    Legal robbery.
    People get criminal records for shoplifting while this skank rodent gets away with screwing a seller out of a fortune. Had to be collusion between the agent and buyer.

  8. white_angelos_enduring_echoes

    pffft! … curiously convivial coverage … http://tinyurl.com/y7zets78

  9. white_angelos_enduring_echoes
  10. You cannot say “it’s different this time,” in investing or housing markets. I have to say that the potential teardown of a 7 year old half duplex for its redevelopment potential really blows my mind. I am old enough to know the frugal mentality of those who lived through the depression of the thirties, and the appalling waste of newer construction would be a shocker for them.

    http://www.realtylink.org/prop_search/Detail.cfm?areatitle=&ARPK=&ComID=&agentid=&MLS=R2125962&rowc=7&rowp=6&BCD=GV&imdp=10&RSPP=5&AIDL=244&SRTB=P_Price&ERTA=False&MNAGE=0&MXAGE=200&MNBT=0&MNBD=0&PTYTID=3&MNPRC=700000&MXPRC=2000000&SCTP=RS

    • white_angelos_enduring_echoes

      the cb’s have turned housing, which once was utilitarian shelter, into ‘investments’ … and per v, it’s the one asset class where everyday ppl are provided regular access to extreme leverage in order to participate … took a while but the tide has clearly turned – multiple signals … this will be interesting

      • white_angelos_enduring_echoes

        conjecture … ppl that could have done that job, that used to live in vcr, all left … ergo when all those ‘investment’ ppties need repairs, maintenance, additions, etc. enjoy ludicrous prices … i’ve seen such things as $30k for a composite roof on a 1200sf single story bay area sfh – 10 yrs ago

      • That’s free market. When the wages rise high enough then people will come back. It is the fastest way to balance a market.

      • white_angelos_enduring_echoes

        or asset prices crash bringing cost of living back in line with local wages … i’d argue cb’s and govt have prevented a free market from operating … persistent negative real rates and systemic dismantling of lending standards isn’t normal nor long-term sustainable

      • Sure, I guess if asset prices come back to earth then they can come back. Btw, I am a proponent of a rate hike believe it or not. Cause I would love to see the people on this board’s reaction when vancouver doesn’t actually crash even with an interest rate rise. We see 0.5%, now let’s raise it another 1.5 first and see what happens.

      • white_angelos_enduring_echoes

        +4% before it begins nearing any neighborhood of normalhood …

    • [ColonialTimes] – Times Colonist anchor tenant in mixed-use redevelopment

      …”The new owners of the Times Colonist building have unveiled plans for a mixed-use development on the site. The Times Colonist will remain as its anchor tenant.

      Merchant House Capital, which has closed the deal on the property at 2621 Douglas St., intends to reconfigure the existing building into an “urban campus-style mixed-use environment” that will eventually feature residential units at the rear of the site.

      …Times Colonist editor-in-chief Dave Obee called the sale a good deal for both the neighbourhood and the paper. “We run a newspaper, not a building-development company.”…

      http://www.timescolonist.com/business/times-colonist-anchor-tenant-in-mixed-use-redevelopment-1.22489332

    • [CBC] – B.C. lawyer suspended over $25 million in offshore transactions

      …”A B.C. lawyer with nearly 50 years experience has been suspended for six months after allowing more than $25 million in offshore money into Canada through his own trust account.

      Donald Gurney, 74, received and disbursed the money on behalf of several clients over a six-month period in 2013, without providing any legal services related to that cash.

      A decision from the Law Society of B.C. said he failed to ask the clients where the cash was coming from, who the lenders were or why the clients were using the money in the first place — all “red flags” he should have addressed.

      In processing the transactions, the West Vancouver lawyer “breached his duty as gatekeeper of his trust account” and posed a “serious risk” to the public interest, according to the society’s panel.”…

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/donald-gurney-lawyer-suspended-1.4281461

  11. http://theprovince.com/news/local-news/radical-disconnect-as-average-metro-vancouver-earner-reaps-72000-a-year-and-pays-1-4-million-for-a-home/wcm/1f4d8a8b-f966-4bdd-b4fa-33339df114b0

    Yep, it’s autumn of 2017 the problem is just getting worse. Even worse, I am sure by now a lot of people have left the city to seek cheaper shelter elsewhere. The scary part is that the net migration out has not affected price much. I guess that is what happens when you have a ton of immigration in from housing crazed countries in the world.

    • white_angelos_enduring_echoes

      perhaps or perhaps not … you’ll only truly know in retrospect … but who cares about the price … the place is killed … meanwhile, more fun courtesy of cb’s gone wild … http://tinyurl.com/y94835wz

    • I don’t know if you can say the place is killed. In some respects I prefer this Vancouver better than the one 20 years ago. The natural beauty is the same but certainly a lot fancier nowadays. Also if you are attracting wealthy people from the world there must be something good with this place. Though every time I go to the East Coast I kinda wish Vancouver was warmer in terms of personalities. I am kind of conflicted. But in reality, whenever a city becomes fancier you almost always lose the human touch and the warmth and certainly it gentrifies the city. Look at San Fran for example.

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