Okay, so we all know that anecdotes are just stories we tell each other, and we won’t pretend that they necessarily reflect broad experience. Sometimes, however, stories can say a lot, particularly if they are first-hand accounts. And anecdotes do serve to put a human face on group experiences. By nature we enjoy gathering around the town well (or the office water-fountain, or the coffee shop, or the kitchen table, or ‘down the pub’). And, once gathered, we enjoy sharing our own ‘war stories’ and swapping gossip.
This site aims to serve as a repository for accounts of what people are experiencing and observing regarding Vancouver’s remarkable RE boom. As of the start of this blog (February 2008), the boom was still ongoing. It has affected our city profoundly, and touched everyone who lives here one way or another. Some really remarkable stories have appeared on Vancouver RE blogs over the last few years, but they are scattered in such a way that makes them difficult to retrieve and review. VREAA is an attempt to collect these stories in one place.
Anecdotes found on various blogs or in mainstream media will be posted by vreaa as a string of front-page threads. Post your own anecdotes in the comments section of any recent posts. Some of those comment anecdotes will then also be ‘frontpaged’.
The best anecdotes are of the ‘This happened to me’ or ‘I’ve done this’ or ‘I’m going to do that’ sort. Equally good are the ‘I personally know somebody who did this’ sort. Beyond that, stories become less reliable as an indicator of what’s actually happening out there (‘I’ve heard that some people may be doing this’). VREAA will be loosely moderated. ‘Logging-on’ is currently not a requirement, but please at least leave a ‘handle’ when you post.
There are already a number of very useful Vancouver RE blogs that are linked in the side bar, and this site will not attempt to replicate or replace any of them. Our focus here will be on accumulating an archive of stories about the human effects of this RE market.
If you come across good Vancouver RE relevant anecdotes at other sites, please post them here (always with source noted, and, if possible, linked).
Let vreaa know if there are any feasible changes to this blog that could improve it.
Owners, Renters; Flippers, Realtors; Bulls, Bears; Neighbours, Brothers-in-law; Immigrants, Emigrants; Winners, Losers; Boasters, Sulkers; Believers, Skeptics.
All stories are welcome. Return to the front page. Post an anecdote.

-vreaa (vancouver real estate anecdote archivist)

February, 2008

14 responses to “About VREAA

  1. You may want to correct your e-mail address.

    Thanks for the note.
    vreaa@hotmail.com should now be working.

  2. I note that you wish to accumulate an archive of human experience and specifically invite comments about immigrants and emigrants, but it is disheartening to learn that in times of challenge, people treat ethnic groups as scape goats (see blog dated April 10, 2010 by a west coast woman). The sentiment expressed in that blog harkens back to an earlier time in Germany when certain groups were vilified based on misinformed ideas about wealth, access and contribution. Please read the 1st COMMENT to the Apr. 10th blog.

  3. Sylvia ->
    Many thanks for both of your comments.
    As you say, we “wish to accumulate an archive of human experience” here at VREAA, and it is in that spirit that, for better or worse, the anecdote that disturbs you has been collected. The author of that story believes that their Vancouver neighbourhood has been detrimentally effected by wealthy immigrants from China.

    From the perspective of racial scapegoating, we share your concern. There is a risk in any society that economic distress leads to scapegoating, often along visible ethnic lines. If you are a broad reader of VREAA you will know that one of our central concerns here is the social effects of this housing bubble. We are anticipating that things will, unfortunately, get worse economically before they get better. Let’s hope that Vancouverites will be capable of dealing with those challenges in ways that are less primitive than blaming along racial lines.

    We also disagree with ‘West Coast Woman’ from the perspective of the housing market itself. The extreme escalation in Vancouver RE prices has largely been caused by local speculation and local buyer panic. A significant number of locals do, however, believe that wealthy foreigners, in particular from China, underpin this market. That is one of the core false beliefs that has caused locals to bid up the market. It is less the immigrants themselves and more the local beliefs about immigrants that has added fuel to the RE fire.

  4. There is nothing wrong with multiple sources of information on the internet for real estate but your site is promoting nonsense.

    Your posts regarding the recent Bosa pre-sale in February were completely slanted to give the impression that Bosa orchestrated hype over the pre-sales. Nothing can be further from the truth. Pre-sales, before there is even a hole in the ground, started in Hong Kong more than 30 years ago. They are masters at it. It has become a useful marketing tool and heats up the interest when the market is active. That is called capitalism, in case yo think you live in communist Russia. The reason people advertize to pay someone to line up is to hold a place in line for sale day. Investors with hundreds or millions of dollars to invest in real estate don’t want to stand in the pouring rain for days on end so they pay somebody to do it for them. There is nothing conspiratorial about that, just common sense. They have better things to do with their time.

    And why would Bosa claim that they are sold out when they aren’t? Its pretty hard to sell real estate when you tell everybody its already sold. Duh!

    Your whole premise for some conspiracy is absurd. Of course they want to create hype. That is why they hold pre-sales. Its a free market. You don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. Personally, I would never buy a pre-sale for that very reason. Too much hype. But, we do live in a free country after all; at least for now, until some socialist NDP nut job takes over.

    This a very lame site if that is all you have to complain about. There wouldn’t be hot markets if it weren’t for buyers driving up the prices. If there is smoke there is fire. In this case, its all the Asian buyers. We live in a free country, thank God. Nobody is forcing anybody to buy. And, there are lots of condos for sale out there right now so you have lots to choose from anyway. If you don’t want to fight for a pre-sale you have lots of other options. There are thousands of condos on the market right now.

    • Alain Carre -> Thanks for the comment, but please re-read those posts. We headline the condo pre-sale line ups not as evidence of conspiracy, but largely as evidence of buyer mania. The main point is that when people are lining up around the block to buy whatever… condos, gold, tulips… run in the opposite direction.

      • “The main point is that when people are lining up around the block to buy whatever… condos, gold, tulips… run in the opposite direction.”

        a blast from the past. good job, vreaa!

        whenever i need a good laugh, i come here. it’s funnier than peter russell.

  5. “…I now know many things about buying a new condo that I can pass along to you. Since you are unlikely to read these things in the condo ads or the real estate section, I’m happy to share….”


  6. Today’s Globe and Mail discusses Canadians moving abroad. The numbers are significant enough that one asks the question of how this affects our economy and housing market. And the bigger question is why? I am one of those Canadians and I’m moving overseas (again!) because of the lack of job opportunities particularly in Vancouver.

  7. Hello,
    I agree about real estate being overpriced in Vancouver, but what is your take on areas such as Maple Ridge? If prices were to go down, would remote areas such as Maple Ridge typically be the first ones to take the plunge before Vancouver gets hit?

    • zei -> Welcome.
      Usually, a bubble like this deflates from the outside in, and that seems to already be happening, with Vanc Island, Kelowna, outlying LML, perhaps even Richmond, already soft if not outright crashing.
      In the end we expect about the same amount of deflation in all areas… the forces that allowed the speculative mania will disappear and areas will revert to longer-term growth trend lines (perhaps even as low as an inflation tracking trendline).

  8. A like what VEAAA are doing. But in the final analysis nobody really knows the direction of the real estate market or the Can $ rate of exchange. I do agree though that all the fundamental signs point to a big correction. I don’t wish it, but it seems so. I put my money off the table and sold last year. Those buying their first homes could be hurt badly in Vancouver. I would not advise buying into this market, just rent, and wait.

  9. Here’s an anecdote. Most properties bought 10 years ago are worth more today. Aren’t you guys tired of your analysis being wrong?

  10. Well I guess that’s a resounding, “yes”.
    Come and join us here… and we will give you even more abuse than Mr. Market is giving you….


  11. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on business electricity
    rates. Regards

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