March 21 Market Update

Are we topped out yet in this market?   Let’s take a look at the latest weekly numbers from the VREB courtesy of Marko Juras.

The verdict is…   maybe.  The market doesn’t seem to be getting much hotter anymore, but it is still way over this time last year.  Sales are up 41% and listings down 30% from a year ago.

Mar 2016
Mar
 2015
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 193 447 696
734
New Listings 304 619 946
1448
Active Listings 2564 2576 2597
3769
Sales to New Listings
63%
72% 74%
51%
Sales Projection 1073 1068 1040
Months of Inventory

5.1

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180 thoughts on “March 21 Market Update

  1. If you research the properties that have the greatest difference between list and sale price what you find is that only a few real estate agencies are consistently involved with these activities.

    A listing is suppose to be reasonably accurate in the physical aspects of the property. But should that also mean the asking price should be reasonable too?

    Should agencies be responsible for intentionally creating an environment to mislead buyers into overpaying for a property? In otherwords could a buyer sue an agency for not setting a reasonable asking price that led them into overpaying for a property?

    Estate agents are sales people they are not licensed auctioneers.

  2. Our land system is based on trust. That allows some in our society to exploit that trust for their personal gains. Money launderers require anonymity to ply their trade either with alias names, different spellings of their names or using nominees to buy property and transfer funds.

    BC is very lax when it comes to verification in real estate transactions. Perhaps it is time to change the way we register titles to properties. Instead of a name we need finger printing and/or DNA testing.

    In my opinion, this simple change would make it possible to track criminals in Canada and those from other nations. If you’re a drug dealer trying to hide money in Canadian real estate then you don’t want to be finger printed or your DNA taken. You’ll go to another country without that requirement.

    Nominees and Numbered Companies pose another challenge, but again it is the ability to track the ownership of the property quickly and easily that will foil those who want to abuse Canadian laws.

  3. Bman, single use zoning was used to create suburbs. If you don’t like suburbs, it’s a free country; move to an area you like better. Most of us like our suburban neighbourhoods with restrictive zoning. And don’t sound so entitled in your ‘me attitude’, every generation has its issues with the previous generation; for example, we baby boomers had to pay the bills from two world wars with high taxes; we didn’t complain and whine, we moved forward and created our communities. New communities are being created constantly, I’m sure you can find one that suits your desires and expectations.

  4. HAM buying up the town. What happens when the wheel stops spinning ? Lay down your money, take yer chances folks. Ball park numbers but it drives home the point, a one trick pony in any market eventually breaks a leg and has to be shot.

    Chinese Buy One-Third of Vancouver Homes: National Bank Estimate

    “Vancouver has long been a target for housing critics who say offshore buyers, many of whom purchase homes as investments and leave them empty, are pushing prices beyond levels locals can afford and creating ghost towns in neighborhoods. ”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-23/chinese-buy-one-third-of-vancouver-homes-national-bank-estimate

  5. Saanich zoning bylaws are the worst in the CRD. Totally restrictive on businesses and not pragmatic whatsoever.

  6. @LeoM – There are enough other regulations and bylaws in place in Oak Bay that would inhibit heavy duty mechanic guy’s plan to set up shop on Monterey Road. Single use zoning is a relatively new concept that came into widespread practice after 1926. The purpose was to separate land uses. Some of Victoria’s most famous and beautiful landmarks such as Mayfair Mall, the world famous Hillside Shopping Centre, and the elegant Tuscany village are products of zoning.

    Anyway, whether or not you agree that a rigid separation of uses is a good thing (I think it’s bullshit), it seems now that zoning has evolved into a tool for maintaining the character of minimum set-backs, ample parking, and big ol’ lawns.

    As far as generational “entitlement” goes, are we talking about baby-boomers here? I hope it is not 30 somethings and under, given that we actually have to pay our student loans back, and we are the beneficiaries of baby-boomer induced government cut-backs in the 90s to pay for the years of deficit spending that benefited, you guessed it, the baby boomers.

  7. Zoning rules are good, they restrict entitled people like CS. Try moving to an unregulated area CS, without zoning, like Coombs. Friends bought there several years ago, a beautiful large lot, away from the busy, noisy areas. A couple years later a guy bought the property next door, clear-cut the lot, then started a home based business working on big rigs and excavating equipment. Noise, diesel fumes, dust, smells, and daily crap followed. If you don’t like the rules in Oak Bay CS, then move to someplace else that suits your beliefs. Don’t move into an area like OB then try to force it into your entitled personal version of utopia by whining about restrictive zoning. As Totoro says, it’s a democracy, voters get to decide what’s right in their neighbourhoods by electing like-minded representatives. Langford is going in the exact direction you espouse and its full of your like-minded representatives CS, so are many other neighbourhoods outside of the core; so find one you like, then move.

  8. Zoning is good in that it creates well-paid make-work positions for municipal employees. But that’s about all it’s good for. I wouldn’t have a problem with setting some land use policies to calm the minds of worried residents, but let’s be honest — nobody is going to open a tire factory on Oak Bay Ave (As I understand it, much of Oak Bay developed prior to the single-use zoning that become prevalent in the 30s and beyond, no doubt contributing to the charm).

    Zoning has encouraged uniformity (yawn), an over-abundance of parking (ever gone to a public hearing and listened to people bitch about parking?), and the stupidest of all building requirements: minimum set backs. I understand that zoning is here to stay, but it has done nothing to contribute to attractiveness and/or character, and it needlessly adds to building costs.

  9. You obviously haven’t read Lemkin and don’t know what you are talking about.

    One of us has read Lemkin.

    You might want to look into the latin roots of the word and try reading his essays as you appear to have misinterpreted something: http://www.preventgenocide.org/lemkin/freeworld1945.htm

    We have a democracy. Municipalities get to elect their own councils. These councils must consult their electors when determining zoning through the official community planning processes. Subsequent councils generally must follow the OCP. The process seems to work just fine imo. Downtown Victoria and James Bay have pretty high density. OB doesn’t and probably won’t – just like certain areas of Vancouver don’t.

    What doesn’t seem to work well is the City of Victoria’s permitting process for secondary suites and new construction.

    You are free to buy where you want – look up the rules first. I personally choose to buy in areas that appeal to me due to lower density. I’m in favour of carriage houses but I am not in favour of higher density that changes the residential character of a neighbourhood. Densification will increase land values eventually.

  10. JJ, thanks for the update on condo sales/ listings. It will be an interesting segment to watch this spring. I’d be surprised if we don’t see an uptick in prices given the apparent supply and demand factors (although nothing like the detached market).

  11. @ DavidL
    Mount Washington may be picking up a bit. I’ve heard that as well. But there is still tons of inventory. 10% of the units in the building I am sitting in right now are listed on MLS. Plus there is at least one FSBO in the building. Makes sense that it would be picking up. Last couple of years were limbo-land. No one wanted to buy (too much uncertainty) and no one wanted to sell (got to be a better time to sell than the season that never was!)

    It’s plausible that there is some mainland spillover. After all if you are selling Van to move to Vic you should easily have spare change left over for a condo at Washy!

  12. @ Leo M

    CS, you would be welcomed by the mayor of Langford.

    Oh no thanks, Leo. I’m very happy as a property owner in OB seeing my net worth escalate without the slightest effort on my part, due to the restriction on land development which the Oak Bay municipality imposes for the benefit of those who have already bought and at the expense of those who will buy in the future.

  13. CS, you would be welcomed by the mayor of Langford. I’m sure you will be very happy living in Stu’s neighbourhood as it grows to Manhattan proportions.

  14. I think there is BS with zoning for sure. All of Farfield is spot zoned. There are almost no single family homes there. A zoning free for all though? No thanks….

  15. But speaking of the first nations of Canada, these are the only ethnic groups in Canada with an above replacement birthrate, so whatever the suffering of the first nations at the hands of the settler nation in the past (and that suffering was certainly great), the first nations are now the one group that cannot conceivable be said to be experiencing genocide. At least not in terms of population, although it can be argued that they are still targeted in more or less subtle ways for cultural assimilation, which Lemkin held to be a form of genocide.

  16. Vicbot, you are undoubtedly correct that foreign investors drive up RE prices when supply is limited as it is in Victoria and Vancouver very largely because of zoning that prevents an adequate supply of development land.

    But those foreign investors will either have to become Canadian landed immigrants or citizens if they are to occupy their property long term, or they will have to rent the property to Canadian residents or they will have to sell the property to Canadian residents. So in the longer term, the net effect of foreign investment is bound to be small.

    However, if we can fleece a bunch of foreigners while they’re speculating in our housing market, I’m all for it.

  17. By my reading of Mr. Lemkin’s terminology the only group in Canada with any sort of claim of genocide by the Canadian government are its indigenous peoples.

    I concur.

  18. @ LeoM

    @CS
    Zoning laws exist for very good reasons, to prevent stupid stuff from happening.

    In saying that, your are merely repeating what I said. But you mistakenly infer from that, that zoning laws are necessarly a good thing even if they strangle the economy, and impoverish home buyers, which is nonsense.

    How many people do you think would live in Manhattan if the place had been run by the Oak Bay Municipal Council? Packing people into core urban areas is the key to rapidly growing cities generating wealth and employment. Preventing people packing tightly into an urban area ensures stagnation and genteel decline.

  19. “The idea of blocking foreign ownership or taxing them with high taxes is a non-starter due to the international treaties and reciprocity laws”

    That’s not what the experts are saying about globalization. While other countries including Australia, US, and UK have brought in new restrictions, Canada has remained on the of most lax jurisdictions in the world.

    https://www.biv.com/article/2016/1/local-economists-have-solution-unaffordable-vancou/

    “Local economists have a solution for unaffordable Vancouver. Two separate proposals target non-resident real estate investors … Compared to the United States, property taxes in Canada are low while income taxes are high, making Vancouver doubly attractive. The currently low Canadian dollar is also a factor.”

    Spend some time reading what the experts who actually study this for a living are saying:

    Low interest rates + unrestricted speculation in Vancouver/Toronto (with low Cdn$) + in-migration from unaffordable larger cities + Builders too focused on tiny condos & luxury estates + Uptick in Boomer Retirees going to snow-free Victoria = Lack of supply of affordable homes for Victoria families.

    (in case you’re interested in why prices are going up)

  20. @CS
    Zoning laws exist for very good reasons, to prevent stupid stuff from happening.

    There is no inherent right for anyone to be entitled to live in the ‘core’. That’s an extreme view of someone from the ‘entitled’ generation. I would love to live on the waterfront in Uplands, but I can’t afford it and I accept that without any feelings of entitled remorse.

  21. @ Nan

    @ CS “Houses are pretty much like the stuff we import from China and elsewhere”

    No they aren’t. This statement shows me how little about the actual issue you understand. You think China selling us consumable goods like iphones and sex toys (that last a couple years) is somehow the same as us selling them rights to occupy Canadian lands into perpetuity?

    You misread my comment, Nan. I said houses are a manufactured product like the stuff we import from China, which is correct.

    But yes, there is an element of land that goes with any house or apartment, but in a country larger than China, why are we so reluctant to sell a few square feet? Except for the monopoly prices that apply to urban land due to zoning laws, the land value associated with most houses would be rather small.

  22. Rubbish Totoro. You obviously haven’t read Lemkin and don’t know what you are talking about.

    But reverting to Sweethome’s remark:

    I think my government should protect those like me over enabling a select segment of the population to reap huge profits from real estate transactions.

    This is getting things exactly backwards.

    In a society committed to free market capitalism, the government has no business intervening in the market to aid certain actors at the expense of others.

    However, intervening in the housing market to aid certain actors at the expense of others is exactly what governments do by way of zoning laws.

    In a truly free market, every lot in Victoria could be subdivided or developed as the owner pleased, without let or hindrance by the government. Under such a regime, large lots in Oak Bay, Gordon Head, etc. would be subdivided, yielding an abundant supply of lots for new houses. Every acre or half acre lot in the Uplands, for example, might profitably be chopped up into half a dozen or more lots. And with no limit on building height or lot coverage, we’d have ten, twenty, fifty or one hundred story apartment buildings down Oak Bay Avenue.

    The result? Home prices, instead of being determined by land scarcity value, would be determined by construction cost, which at $150-250 per square foot is almost exactly where it was in the Year 2000.

    So actually, Sweethome, what you need is not protection by the government from the market but protection of the market from the government.

    True, most people would probably opt for some kind of land market regulation to prevent pig farming in Gordon Head or whorehouses on Oak Bay Avenue, but what we have now is outrageous government intervention that enables existing land owners to gain monopoly prices for real estate.

    The craziness is exemplified by Oak Bay, which not only won’t reduce minimum lot sizes but actually raised the minimum lot size for some zones, e.g., RS4. Thus, although most of the houses on my street are on 50′ lots, 100′ lots cannot now be subdivided. Of course it raises the tone of the neighbourhood, and keeps out a lot of young families who make greater demands on the system. As it is, we are surrounded by homes on a quarter of an acre of so that are occupied mainly by elderly couples or widows, who produce less garbage, sewage, etc. than families and keep the population density down to a few hundred per square kilometer.

  23. Globalization has made RE just another commodity and therefore, it is subject to international supply and demand. Victoria and Vancouver are considered a good quality RE commodity. Just like our B.C. high elevation grown fir lumber is a top quality international lumber commodity.

    Foreign ownership of local RE is just a fact of life and always has been. These discussions and rage about foreign ownership are old news, the Dave Barret NDP government tried to stop foreign ownership in 1974, but could not.

    We have international treaties of reciprocity. If we stop Americans from buying RE then the USA automatically blocks Canadians from buying their winter condo in Florida or Hawaii or Arizona. If we stop landed immigrant Chinese from buying RE then we also block all other legal landed immigrants from all countries.

    The idea of blocking foreign ownership or taxing them with high taxes is a non-starter due to the international treaties and reciprocity laws, so it’s time to stop the blame-game on this blog and just accept that foreign ownership is now, and has always been, a fact of life in Canada.

    Real estate is an international commodity because Canada embraces globalization. It’s that simple.

  24. @ CS “Houses are pretty much like the stuff we import from China and elsewhere”

    No they aren’t. This statement shows me how little about the actual issue you understand. You think China selling us consumable goods like iphones and sex toys (that last a couple years) is somehow the same as us selling them rights to occupy Canadian lands into perpetuity? I have some beads here I think you might like.

    There is actually a great Simpsons episode that covers this exact thing. Bart sells his soul to Millhouse for $5 so he can buy a silly rubber dinosaur that he quickly washes down the drain. He spends the entire episode trying to get his soul back. What will your kids have left after their i-phones break when they can’t afford to buy anything within 1 hour of Victoria?

    Not only that, but the foreign demand probably doesn’t create that many net new jobs – what it certainly does do is make sure that those jobs are paid more than top dollar, which probably just contributes to misallocation of resources over time. Those construction, realty, legal, mortgage broker jobs would still exist because homes are needed for all the Canadians that don’t have a home yet.

    First time home buyer age has been increasing – we are at 35 today up from an average first time buyer age of 30 for current owners. This is pretty pervasive evidence that more and more housing is being pushed further and further out of reach of local demand from first time Canadian buyers. If FDI in residential real estate wasn’t a thing, most of those RE sector jobs would still exist and those houses would still be getting built and sold. Only they would be to Canadians at lower prices.

    http://www.news1130.com/2014/04/04/first-time-homebuyers-in-canada-are-getting-older-poll/

  25. I understand genocide as it was defined by Raphael Lemkin

    I would disagree. Mr. Lemkin would, I expect, be quite surprised and perhaps insulted to find that someone is claiming he was talking about immigration policies in a country with lower than replacement birthrates. By my reading of Mr. Lemkin’s terminology the only group in Canada with any sort of claim of genocide by the Canadian government are its indigenous peoples.

    Given that any other “national group” of Canadians is comprised of immigrants the basis of your argument must be either that white immigrants are some sort of national group with special rights, or first generation immigrants have fewer rights than other immigrants.

    As for birthrates, well that is personal choice and there is no government program limiting such choice. Having lots of children is not as important to most in a post-industrial country for various mostly economic reasons. The availability of both contraception and abortion are subject to personal choice. Those who are subject to genocide have such choices removed, not added to.

    Back to the topic at hand. I’m not sure what issues are posed via foreign ownership in Victoria. The historical stats do not support this being a significant driver in our market. It appears from a couple of posts back it has not changed much though and that it is other Canadian buyers that are coming here in greater numbers. Maybe this has changed suddenly. Marko would be in the best position to evaluate this.

    I’m not sure if we are experiencing unnatural pressure in the market. This is the second such market I’ve lived through. I bought in 2003 when prices were skyrocketing and regularly going for $100,000 or more over assessment. We didn’t have this blog back then so I don’t have a written analysis of all the relevant factors to refer to, but it appears to me that RE is cyclical and tied to affordability mostly. Interest rates were higher back in 2003 and we could afford less partly because of this reason. They are lower now. Leo’s affordability graphs show that prices have been, until recently, more affordable than many times in the past.

    Of course, with what has happened in Vancouver and TO it is also possible that we are experiencing a permanent shift in affordability such as has occurred in Europe and other countries.

  26. @ Sweethome

    The Vancouver Island Marmot is Canada’s most endangered mammal. It is a distinct species that lives only on the Island

    Oh sure, I’m all for conservation of the VI Marmot. I assumed that people wanted to breed them in captivity and then export them by the million. But, certainly, we should not export animals from the wild.

    I think my government should protect those like me over enabling a select segment of the population to reap huge profits from real estate transactions.

    I tried to explain how governments could do that by : (a) not allowing ever loosening of lending standards, while allowing banks to create essentially unlimited mortgage credit (backed by the addition of billions to the national debt — details on request) , and (b) ensuring a supply of building land through rezoning to meet demand at a reasonable price.

    For which recommendations I am called a racist by some. Very strange.

  27. But…. I don’t think foreign ownership is at all linked to immigration. We need immigration! I think we need urban containment so our paradise doesn’t turn into hell…. Langford is brutal…. I spent a year in hell. Sucked. We need forests and natural areas. Chewing them all down to make more subdivisions and roads is not the way to go…. the problem is we are not building family friendly density….

  28. how much did 1340 Bay Street go for? House looks to be in bad shape, narrow lot, etc. Could give a benchmark for low end lot value.

  29. @ Intro

    :CS misunderstands genocide.

    Introvert misunderstands arithmetic.

    I understand genocide as it was defined by Raphael Lemkin the Polish Jewish legal scholar who defined the term. How does Intro understand it, I wonder.

  30. @CS, you misunderstood me. When someone brings up the notion of controlling foreign ownership the racists chime and cheer YES KEEP THE OTHERS OUT…. Thus making a reasonable discussion tainted with a racist label. I for one am not a fan of stupid real estate prices even though I own….Vancouver is broken….

  31. … since about 1994, when the US and its vassals and tributaries decided to genocide their own people through policies leading to sub-replacement fertility rates combined with mass immigration.

    Um, I’m with mooselessness on this one. CS misunderstands genocide. And the view is abhorrent.

  32. Eastdown was a seriously nice house, not surprised. Two years ago would maybe have sold for 690-720.

  33. @CS: “How come there’s a ban on the sale of marmots?”

    There are parallels between the marmot population decline and what is happening to long-term Vancouver Island people in this housing market. The Vancouver Island Marmot is Canada’s most endangered mammal. It is a distinct species that lives only on the Island. This is from the Marmot Recovery Foundation website:

    “The boom and bust population dynamics of predators and prey may have been much more extreme over recent decades, exacerbated by the constraints of an island environment. In years with greater numbers of predators and fewer prey, this could have shifted “unnatural” pressures onto marmot populations.”

    It is not quite the same, but there is definitely now an “unnatural” pressure on long-term Victoria residents such as myself who did not purchase real estate years ago. I feel like an endangered species, and I think my government should protect those like me over enabling a select segment of the population to reap huge profits from real estate transactions. Let’s make sure everyone has the basic necessities before some people amass obscene luxuries.

  34. @CS if you read my previous posts, you’d see that I pointed to:

    high interest rates, foreign investment, unnecessary densification, generational shifts (baby boomers & millennials), builders too focused on Luxury market, etc

    This isn’t and never has been about racism, or whether someone “likes” high density living.

  35. @ Vicbot:

    it’s hard for a few 100,000 middle-class families to compete mega-millions of $$ and mega-millions of people coming from somewhere else. You get bulldozed.

    This is a bit like saying that if General Motors sold more cars in China, the cost of a Chevrolet in Victoria is bound to rise. But in fact markets respond to increased demand by increased supply, often with resulting improvements in efficiency leading to lower not higher prices. The same could be true of housing, except that city zoning bylaws limit the supply of building land.

    Objecting to endless densification is understandable, but densification is the key to increased economic competitiveness and is one of the reasons that the Asians are beating us in many sectors of the economy: they live at far higher densities in their most productive urban centers.

    And if, like me, you don’t like high density living, you have the option of moving from Vancouver to Victoria, or from Victoria to the Western communities or up Island. You may not be able to take your job with you, but that is the challenge for dwellers in small communities, it is to build their own economy through entrepreneurship.

  36. @ Vicbot

    Prices started skyrocketing when foreign investment came in.

    Does anyone have any concrete evidence to back this claim? People have been talking about floods of Chinese money into BC real estate since the time Hong-Kong reverted to Red China, and probably before then. But what percentage of Vancouver or Victoria RE is owned by Chinese investors? Does anyone have an actual number?

    But in any case, it is obviously incorrect to attribute all or even a large part of the last 16 years rise in RE prices to foreign investors. Restore the mortgage rate from today’s 2.5% or thereabouts to the Year 2000’s 7.5% and you’d return RE prices to pretty much what they were in 2000. So obviously those darned Chinese aren’t really to blame for the rise in price and perhaps, since the question of racism has been broached, it is fair to say that there is an element of, shall we call it, anti-foreignerism in worrying so much Chinese investors.

  37. @ Mooselessness:

    and you can ban it, like the sale of Vancouver Island marmots.

    How come there’s a ban on the sale of marmots?They’r surely just the kind of pet every kid in China would like. Seems we’re killing ourselves by banning the export of every neat thing we’ve got to sell.

  38. @nan “instead of a bunch of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo about density plans” and “Debt to GDP is a capstone vanity metric … Day to day it is meaningless, especially if you can’t afford suitable housing for you and your kids” …

    Totally agree (and support all your original points on immigration/taxes as well!)

    It’s tragic what’s happened to middle class families in Vancouver.

    Prices started skyrocketing when foreign investment came in. That brought along densification. It was twisted into insane levels in Vancouver. Now the middle class can’t afford to have kids, let alone a home!

    We need to be careful of people who to try sell unlimited densification as if it’s synonymous with sound environmental policy. Or accuse you of being anti-environmental if you don’t want 100 new pint-sized condos.

    (my family and I were recycling and riding our bikes before it became cool.)

    Limited densification – some affordable secondary suites and townhouses – was necessary. There was a ton of land around False Creek and East Vancouver to meet the needs of local buyers for this.

    But city planners quickly got overwhelmed by foreign investment and “densifiers.”

    Because it’s hard for a few 100,000 middle-class families to compete mega-millions of $$ and mega-millions of people coming from somewhere else. You get bulldozed.

    Sadly it’s happening in Victoria too.

  39. @ Dasmo

    Problem is as soon as you say it the racists …

    What’s racist about promoting RE sales to Chinese citizens, Dasmo? This is, surely, a puzzling view.

  40. give me one good reason why foreigners SHOULD be able to own residential real estate in Canada

    For the same reason we sell foreigners maple syrup, whale watching tours, and boxed sets of Degrassi Junior High — they give Canadians money in exchange. That helps Canadians and it also helps our economy, because much of that money will be spent locally.

    Now, we might think that these reasons are outweighed by the drawbacks of foreign ownership. In that case, you can either try to mitigate the drawbacks with regulations or taxes, or you can decide that no mitigation is effective enough and you can ban it, like the sale of Vancouver Island marmots.

    But the reason many people and governments like sales to foreigners is clear.

    Update: ahh, one minute too slow.

  41. @ nan

    can you give me one good reason why foreigners SHOULD be able to own residential real estate in Canada?

    Actually I gave you one, but you evidently weren’t attending.

    Houses are pretty much like the stuff we import from China and elsewhere. It’s a manufactured product, and the manufacture of housing is one of Canada’s largest industrial sectors, if not the largest. So Chinese millionaires buying houses in Canada create jobs that we urgently need.

    Moreover, for the reasons I stated, but which were evidently not sufficiently well stated for you to understand, the sale of matchwood and stucco or concrete and steel boxes to Chinese investors need have no negative effect on housing affordability for Canadians provided that city governments manage the supply of building land competently through appropriate land rezoning.

  42. @Nan, perfectly reasonable topic of discussion….Problem is as soon as you say it the racists join the choir and drown out the reasonable topic. Kinda like me bringing up AirBnB on VV. the Real Estate pumpers get up in arms and start accusing me of being a socialist….

  43. @ CS – instead of a bunch of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo about density plans, suitability plans, zoning and dumb councils, can you give me one good reason why foreigners SHOULD be able to own residential real estate in Canada? What utility does selling a house to someone who doesn’t live here or someone who does but pays no taxes have to Canadians beyond the one direct beneficiary (the seller) and the ancillary benefactors (realtors, lawyers, city council)?

    @ Michael – none of that makes any sense. What you wrote sounds like hearsay you picked up from a Realtor at a party after a couple martinis. They haven’t paid their taxes in Canada, Canadians don’t receive “enormous benefits” (what do you even think those are? See above). And Debt to GDP is a capstone vanity metric based on thousands of sub metrics and millions of stakeholders. Day to day it is meaningless, especially if you can’t afford suitable housing for you and your kids.

    Besides, the reasons for why Japan is in the situation they are in are many. Foreign investment is only one piece of their debt to GDP puzzle. Even if it wasn’t, I am not talking about all FDI, only that in residential real estate. Same question to you – can you come up with a single reason why someone who lives and works in another country should be able to own a house in Canada while keeping a Canadian working family from owning it?

  44. We have had 276 houses listed for sale in the core districts since the first of March compared to 237 listed in the same time period one year ago. House sales were 113 sales last year compared to 164 in the first half of March this year.

    However, condo listings are down from 223 for this time a year ago to 150 so far this month. As for condo sales in the core for the first half of March there were 60 last year and 113 this year.

    Are condo prices the next to go ballistic?

  45. much to Mooselessness’s approval, no doubt

    @CS: You can say my name three times in a mirror if you like, but I’m not interested in making HHV a place to debate creepy views on genetic purity and fertility. I’m confident people can read your posts below and recognize them for what they are.

    For the record, I also believe that governments should allow and promote increased density.

    And my strongest opinion about foreign investment is if there’s a lot of dumb money sloshing around, governments should grab as much of it as they can with targeted taxes in order to better fund services for locals.

  46. separate the negative (unrestricted investment of untaxed foreign wealth) from the positive (immigration).

    I think you’re overlooking the positives. They’ve already paid the taxes on their money where they earned it and now Canada receives the enormous benefits of their investment. Similar with Canadians buying vacation property in foreign countries. Without immigration & foreign money, instead of our meagre 85% debt/gdp, we’d be up $hit creek worse than Japan’s 230% debt/gdp (at least they know how to work).

    I have to agree with most of what CS said below. Sometimes he says some pretty smart $hit 🙂

  47. it was the fact that no one could seem to separate the negative (unrestricted investment of untaxed foreign wealth) from the positive (immigration)

    While I don’t dispute your contention, I don’t understand it.

    What’s wrong with foreign investment in Canadian real estate? Construction is a huge part of our economy. If foreigners buy RE here, that must create jobs of which we have no surplus.

    As for tax evasion by foreign investors, the problem is not that foreigners invest here but that CRA fails to catch those who evade applicable taxes.

    True, foreign buyers increase demand and therefore drive up prices. But that’s hardly a problem incapable of solution. We just need to increase RE supply, which can be done in any city simply by changing the zoning laws to allow increased density. There may be an upper limit to density, but we are nowhere near any such limit.

    As for the suitability of what is built for family living, that can be ensured through suitable zoning.

    So the only problem we have with increased density is bad city planning. And the only problems I can see with foreign investment in RE are (a) potential failure by CRA to gather applicable taxes, and (b) aggravation of the problem of inadequate residential accommodation supply by the diversion of some supply to investors accumulating empty residential units, thereby compounding the problem of necessary and continual rezoning.

    Briefly, the main problem is zoning designed to maximize RE values not accommodation supply. That problem is abundantly clear here in Victoria. In OB for example the council will slap a preservation order on some moldering pile occupying an acre of ground instead of allowing several new SFHs to occupy the site, or a small, architecturally appropriate condo. Then they fail to allow sensible high-rise development on OB Avenue which would allow a doubling of the municipalities population over, say, ten years.

    We are, as someone recently stated, ruled by really stupid people. Dumb councils are strangling our urban economies and impacting the fertility of the nation (the latter negative effect much to Mooselessness’s approval, no doubt).

  48. I guess I started this immigration discussion so I’ll try and keep it under control a bit.

    “This isn’t about immigration. It’s about unchecked tax evasion and policies that benefit 10-year visitors (plus historically low interest rates & unnecessarily high densification).”

    This is pretty much exactly right. It isn’t about immigration. I wholly support immigration – immigrants make Canada Canadian. My entire family immigrated over the last hundred years and we’ve all done reasonably well for ourselves.

    What it is about is turning a discussion about something as destructive and negative as unrestricted foreign investment in residential real estate into a conversation about racism. This is what destroyed Vancouver – it wasn’t immigration, it was the fact that no one could seem to separate the negative (unrestricted investment of untaxed foreign wealth) from the positive (immigration).

  49. If most of you would simply link to a specific website or blog (looking at you Totoro ) then either I can bookmark it after you link it (I did that when someone mentioned the CCP blog years back) or Leo can gather them under a banner of links theoretically further sorted into categories?

    Great idea. A collection of “best of” topics that apply to the local market. I find that a lot of what you read online about picking good rentals (10% rule and such) just doesn’t apply in Victoria. Seems you have to consider mortgage paydown to come ahead with a rental in Victoria.

  50. “65 sales in 24 hours”

    Talk about panic buying. But why? Rates aren’t about to take off. Sheep following the sheep. Lots of decent houses within 20 minutes of the core with no line ups .

    Agree with Vicbot. Its about tax evasion and money laundering. Rich immigrants only paying $1400 a year tax where working immigrants pay $10,000. Hongcouver blog on SCMP.com has excellent article on it.

  51. I find the archives hard to search too. Not sure if Leo has a better way to do it.

    Housing maintenance costs have been posted about a number of times. Don’t use the one percent rule – doesn’t make any sense when the same house in Victoria costs $300,000 more than if it was located in Vernon. You need to do an inventory of the lifespan of various components in order to accurately estimate costs.

    We average about $100/month per unit on repairs and maintenance, but our places are renovated and won’t need major component replacements for many years. This year it is going to be a bit more because of re-painting and water tank replacements.

  52. @Marko says “65 sales in last 24 hours”

    Funny, I looked at the listings in my price range/area over the past week and thought there was virtually nothing to buy relative to the likely sale price. For that many sales to have occurred, people aren’t being very selective. It seems like musical chairs and they just want a place to park their bottom before the music stops.

    I have had a few regrets in the past couple of months where I did not act quickly enough and the house went to someone else. I know now if I see something, I have to decide immediately, but I still don’t have enough confidence that the rising market will cover the cost of a flawed house. Some discretion is still required.

    What if the market stops rising and your new house has water damage to the roof, a lot that is sinking into a ravine, or a bad renovation that caused structural damage? I have seen houses like this in my search and some poor sucker bought them (don’t know what the home inspector told them or if they had an inspection). Right now they are probably ahead, but will prices rise another $200K to cover such problems for current buyers?

    If you are just an “average Joe” buying the most house for you mortgage approval, how would you cover a major repair cost? Or aren’t there any “average Joes” in this housing market?

  53. The “condo solution” to the “housing crisis” is overrated.

    Here in Vancouver, the city encouraged the building of tons of condos and they are not an affordable solution for family housing as it turned out.

    There are bidding wars here now even for old condos and it’s common for “in town” 1 BR 600 sq. foot or less NON luxury condos to go for $600,000 a piece. None of those 1 BR condos are suitable for raising a family.

    There are a few new townhouse developments being built in Vancouver Proper (Marpole for example) that are suitable for families but those go for $1.5 million or more – hardly affordable on a typical Vancouver income. But then it’s not high incomes that are driving this market?

    Further, the supply of single family homes has been so reduced in Vancouver proper and bid up so much (particularly by offshore buyers) that developers can’t even afford to buy them up for higher density housing.

    It’s sheer insanity and Victoria has as long, long way to go, believe me. You guys are just seeing the start!

    And yes, I do believe that wealthy offshore purchasers who house their low income family members in their investment homes should pay full Canadian income taxes (and not qualify for the principal residence exemption from the capital gains tax when they sell although it could be hard to enforce).

  54. The “condo solution” to the “housing crisis” is overrated.

    Here in Vancouver, the city encouraged the building of tons of condos and they are not an affordable solution for family housing as it turned out.

    There are bidding wars here now even for old condos and it’s common for “in town” 1 BR 600 sq. foot or less NON luxury condos to go for $600,000 a piece. None of those 1 BR condos are suitable for raising a family.

    There are a few new townhouse developments being built in Vancouver Proper (Marpole for example) that are suitable for families but those go for $1.5 million or more – hardly affordable on a typical Vancouver income. But then it’s not high incomes that are driving this market?

    Further, the supply of single family homes has been so reduced in Vancouver proper and bid up so much (particularly by offshore buyers) that developers can’t even afford to buy them up for higher density housing.

    You know there is a problem when developers and doctors are being priced out by big money coming to buy BC property from low tax jurisdictions.

    It’s sheer insanity and Victoria has as long, long way to go, believe me. You guys are just seeing the start!

    And yes, I do believe that wealthy offshore purchasers who house their low income family members in their investment homes should pay full Canadian income taxes (and not qualify for the principal residence exemption from the capital gains tax when they sell although it could be hard to enforce).

  55. “Demographia … sets out to promote urban sprawl.”

    Nope, it advocates better use of existing land, not urban sprawl.

    There’s a difference between “necessary densification” & “unnecessary densification.”

    As in the example of 30,000 uninhabited condos. Who does that really benefit, except city gov’ts at property tax time.

  56. Demographia is a shill for the oil and gas industry so sets out to promote sprawl…. Densification is not the problem, People without white skin aren’t the problem….

  57. While there have been posts and comments containing useful information over the years here, the vast array of subjects broached (and sometimes discussed) can make it very hard to go back find. Totoro is fond of mentioning past post topics and I agree – I remember your and Leo’s cost of home ownership discussion, but I don’t have the time to comb through a month or two of comments to pick out the agreed conclusions.

    It would be nice to have some sort of ‘Best Of’ or comment summary permalinks from the home page so we can refer to information someone has already posted.

    If most of you would simply link to a specific website or blog (looking at you Totoro 😉 ) then either I can bookmark it after you link it (I did that when someone mentioned the CCP blog years back) or Leo can gather them under a banner of links theoretically further sorted into categories?

    I wonder if anyone has a useful primer (or would care to write one) on a first time home buyer mortgage search? Again, I recall DavidL talking years ago about mortgage renewal and changing lenders, but again, it would be handy to have the insights and the resulting conclusion summarized and readily available to us. Note that that discussion probably wouldn’t 100% help me with picking a mortgage in the first place.

  58. “Don’t anyone go thinking their grandparents didn’t use or create a few loopholes when they arrived here.”

    This isn’t about immigration. It’s about unchecked tax evasion and policies that benefit 10-year visitors (plus historically low interest rates & unnecessarily high densification).

    eg., Professor David Ley of UBC
    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/blame+politicians+metro+vancouver+housing+price+crisis/11797902/story.html

    (Believe me – a “person from elsewhere,” LOL! My parents were immigrants who came to Victoria from Europe in the 60s. They faced discrimination but built a successful business and paid taxes like everyone else. We helped strengthen the local economy – who cares where people come from as long as they make their community a better place than the way they found it. )

    If you don’t believe the studies, why don’t you drive around some of the ghost-town neighbourhoods in Vancouver and see what effect that has on entire communities. No, local middle-class families are not buying the $2M tear-downs, and no, they’re not benefiting economically.

  59. 65*31. I predict 2000 sales this month!

    Sales/list rates up near 80% are usually not seen until late in the year. So crazy.

  60. @ Mooselessness

    I’ll happy welcome thousands of newcomers to Victoria over the company you keep.

    More liberal kneejerk.

    I don’t want to stray too far from the subject of housing, although housing is an important factor in population policy, but let’s at least understand that the policies of Western governments during the last several decades have had the effect of progressively replacing the pre-existing populations of Western nations by people from elsewhere.

    The policy has two components:

    (1) Suppression of reproduction (e.g., the war on teen pregnancy, non-enforcement of anti-abortion law under the government of Pierre Trudeau, the award of the Order of Canada to the abortionist Henry Morgenthaler during the government of Stephen Harper, high housing costs due to loose lending rules, etc.), and

    (2) Large scale immigration which fills the gap due to the failure of the existing population to fully replace itself.

    So however loathesome liberals find it to have the consequences of their own policies exposed, the fact of Western population replacement by people from elsewhere is a simple arithmetic reality.

  61. @ mooselessness

    “Genocide their own people”? Wow, did someone bump the thermostat in here to “white supremacist”?

    Would you prefer me to refer to governments that introduce policies that result in the replacement of their own people with people from elsewhere, which amounts to the same thing as genocide.

    As for example, in the city of London, where the English are now a minority, or the city of Leicester, my father’s home town, where the English are now a minority, or Birmingham, England’s second city, where English children are not even the largest minority in the city’s elementary schools.

    And this has nothing much to do with whiteness. Canada, a multi-racial society, has a fertility rate not much more than two-thirds the replacement rate (and falling), but a high immigration rate, and is thus engaged in the gradual replacement the present population of whatever color, with people from elsewhere.

    So if anyone “bumped the thermostat” it was someone with a liberal’s kneejerk reaction to any question of the benefits of of unrestricted immigration.

    Not that I actually questioned the benefits of unrestricted immigration. Perhaps as Michael believes “the shortening of some bloodlines” particularly those of the indolent, is a good thing.

  62. Sure, a couple loopholes need to be closed… but don’t anyone go thinking their grandparents didn’t use or create a few loopholes when they arrived here.

  63. @ Michael

    Countries who try to protect their indolent citizens from competition never works out well.

    You’re referring, evidently, to the experience of all countries since about 1994, when the US and its vassals and tributaries decided to genocide their own people through policies leading to sub-replacement fertility rates combined with mass immigration. But a stretch of 20 years doesn’t provide much of a track record upon which to judge the policy.

    Prior to 1994, all but the settler states in the New World, Australia, NZ etc., which needed to build up their populations rapidly in order for their elites to retain control over the territory (i.e., avoid displacement by alien elites, e.g., as in England, by successively, the Romans, the Anglo Saxons, the Vikings, and the Norman French), had extremely strict controls over immigration, the level of which was negligible except following defeat in war.

  64. @ Vicbot

    Here’s how it happens…

    What’s reported here are apparently flagrant cases of tax evasion by foreign residents or foreign owners of Canadian RE. But the G&M offers no useful statistics. For example, they say

    … one in three multimillion-dollar homes bought recently in Vancouver areas popular with foreign buyers is registered to a homemaker, student or corporation – one indicator of how the identity of the person who actually paid can be hidden.

    But what do they mean by “popular with foreign buyers”? That could be the entire municipality of Richmond, or just a couple of blocks somewhere.

    Likewise, no useful meaning can be attached to this statement:

    Land titles records on 250 houses bought in the past two years for more than $2-million in key Vancouver neighbourhoods indicate that 85 per cent of those new owners have Chinese names.

    What’s a “key” neighborhood? Could be China town, in which case the high proportion of owners with Chinese names would be quite normal.

    So we don’t know whether there are just a handful of cases, hundreds, thousands or millions (well presumably not millions). But given the diligence of the CRA in dunning Canadian citizens in good standing for the maximum amount of tax — and if possible more — we should be able to expect the CRA to go after Mr. Jing Sun for whatever he owes.

    But it should be note that Mr. Sun, for all his evident readiness to lie through his teethe to CRA, has injected hundreds of thousands into the Canadian economy in the way of private school fees and family support, etc., money mostly spent in the community, thus providing useful economic stimulus.

    But in any case, his Canadian-resident family members will likely either become landed immigrants at some point, in which case they will become taxpayers like the rest of us, or they will leave Canada, in which case, the rather cheap (by Vancouver standards) house that Mr. Sun purchased for them will return to the market for occupation by a Canadian citizen, the net effect of Mr. Sun’s purchase on real estate prices then being essentially zero.

  65. @CS
    They use the 10 year multiple visit visa. The kids are enrolled in a Vancouver school, and the parents make sure they spend just less than 6 months in Canada each year. That way they get free schooling (and other services) without having to pay any local taxes.

    The investor visa is still partially to blame, but its the 10 year multiple visit visa that is the real driver now.

  66. @CS unfortunately no they don’t become landed immigrants or pay local taxes. That’s why this is so messed up.

    Here’s how it happens:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/the-real-estate-beat/foreign-investors-avoid-taxes-by-buying-real-estate-in-canada/article26683767/

    Then Millenials, retirees, middle income Vancouverites & Torontonians leave the city because they can’t afford to stay. Where do they go? Smaller cities.

    This isn’t just about foreign buyers though – it’s about land use & allocation, baby boomers, etc. But the foreign buyer rules are making things worse.

  67. @ Vicbot

    Then you leave your wife & kids here to go to school (UBC, SFU, UVic, etc), while you run your business anywhere else in the world.

    Well, surely, if they come to live here year round and attend school, etc., they have to be landed immigrants? Or if they are not, do they not have to pay for schooling?

    See: Foreign students bring big money to B.C.’s school system
    http://www.theprovince.com/life/Foreign+students+bring+money+school+system/10183284/story.html

    In any case, after six months here, in any year, they are subject to Canadian taxation on world-wide income.

  68. I don’t think there’s much reason to fear foreign buyers greatly affecting house prices here, except possible at the top end, where a few dozen foreign point 0.001 percenters have bought trophy houses to visit once in a while. But such buyers soon realize the limitations of the local golf courses and ski hills, the paleness of our summers, and the wetness of our winters. Then they reverse their position resulting in a net zero effect on prices.

    But sure, if we can nick these people for a few thousand in special property taxes, etc. while they’re here, so much the better.

  69. too expensive for locals to afford it shortening the tenure of bloodlines on the land.

    Wouldn’t the shortening of some bloodlines be a good thing? Countries who try to protect their indolent citizens from competition never works out well. Besides, our country is still chock-full of 100k homes for us lazy 4th-generation immigrants, so I really don’t see what the issue is.

  70. “So it’ll be a while, I think, before most of the people on my street of mostly small well-worn houses are very rich people fresh from China”

    Maybe they won’t be filled with anybody. Vancouver is packed with vacant houses owned by foreign investors that no one lives in. This is a well documented fact.

    Many of those Chinese that are here and live in the best neighborhoods in Vancouver (who beat out locals for much of the best housing) are Chinese wives, kids and grandparents who pay no tax and benefit from the best government subsidized services YOUR money can buy. West Vancouver has one of the highest average house prices in the country and also has the highest rate of child poverty as reported by stats can because none of the uber wealthy foreign families that live there report any income.

    As far as timing, it took 15 years for foreign investment to destroy Vancouver starting in about 2000. Unless you have no relatives younger than you or prospects for your DNA to live on beyond your time, I would be concerned that eventually, your bloodline will be displaced by rampant foreign investment commanding unrestricted ownership of one of the best places on earth.

  71. “So you have millions of dollars and you invest in Canadian RE. Then what?”

    Then you leave your wife & kids here to go to school (UBC, SFU, UVic, etc), while you run your business anywhere else in the world.

    That’s exactly what’s happening.

    Why Canada? Because Canada has practically no restrictions on foreign ownership compared to other countries. And Canada has better educational systems compared to the countries where those businesses are run from.

  72. or is it a perception by “locals” who are diving in and driving up prices in anticipation of perceived outside influence.

    Maybe all we’re seeing is the tail-end of the Harper-engineered feel-good election boom, the result of cheap money and loose lending regulation. So the “locals,” who are the great majority of buyers, are paying high prices because the demand side is strong right now. In other words, they’re simply paying the market price without having much idea why that price is elevated (temporarily, perhaps).

  73. @ DavidL: Those are what I would call “unpinned alternative” solutions. They don’t reconcile anything to anything and aren’t really designed to do anything other than generate government revenue without slowing down foreign investment. The point of taxing worldwide income is to put foreigners on equal footing with locals on an after tax basis.

    Additionally, the prospects of paying 50% of your worldwide income to live in Canada (perpetually, as long as the house is owned) would lower demand for housing overall, lowering prices and making Canadians better off beyond the windfalls that accrue to the shortsighted current generation of owners who are all too willing to sell out their kids and grandkids for a deluxe retirement they didn’t earn. Where it doesn’t lower house prices, it would lower average taxes by supplementing the local tax base with the offshore one.

  74. There are millions of people and billions of dollars trying to get in and hide themselves.

    So you have millions of dollars and you invest in Canadian RE. Then what? It seems all you can do is pack-up and go back to singapore, HongKong or wherever. I mean, your business is back where you came from, unless you bought a gas station here or something. But what multimillionaire is going to fiddle around here with some little business like that?

    Anyhow, there’s much more and better RE for foreigners to buy in London, New York, or if you gotta come to Canada, Vancouver and Toronto, than in Victoria. So it’ll be a while, I think, before most of the people on my street of mostly small well-worn houses are very rich people fresh from China.

  75. Is the recent surge in real estate prices mainly due to outside influence (people from Vancouver, Toronto, other countries, etc.) snapping up properties, or is it a perception by “locals” who are diving in and driving up prices in anticipation of perceived outside influence. It’s hard to know …

  76. A couple of weeks ago, CBC had a good article about how other countries limit foreigners owning real estate in their country.

    Foreign home buyers: How other countries limit money from abroad
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/real-estate-housing-foreign-buyers-1.3479508

    A few highlights:

    • Hong Kong has a 15-per-cent surcharge on homes purchased by non-permanent residents.
    • Switzerland uses quotas to limit foreign-owned real estate and can forbid foreigners from selling a property for a fixed period of time,
    • In the UK, the taxman takes up to 28 per cent at the point of sale on foreign-owned residential property.
    • In Australia, the Foreign Investment Review Board charges $5,000 just for the right to make an offer on a place costing up to $1 million, and $10,000 for each subsequent million-dollar leap in purchase price. Foreigners who buy vacant residential land have to build on it within two years.

    Lots of interesting approaches to this issue …

  77. I agree with you Nan. Although I wish I had the contract to do the investigation. I think it would be necessary to extensively travel through out the country asking peoples opinions in some the best hotels in Canada. After 11 months of extensive research, I could produce a 50 page report that would agree with anything the government wants. (Triple spaced – of course)

  78. I wonder if the half million comes with restrictions of what can or can not be investigated. So much depends on how a foreign purchaser is defined. Depending on what definition stats can is working under, you’ll get a different answer.

    Or the more likely outcome is that you’ll get the answer the government wants you to get.

    Or a definition along the lines of voting in an election.

    National voting is available to Canadian citizens who reside in Canada or have been abroad for shorter than five years.

  79. They won’t find anything with $500,000. There are millions of people and billions of dollars trying to get in and hide themselves. $500,000 worth of a decent audit firm is about 2500 hours or a year’s worth of time for one person. I’m sure stats-can has similar $200/ hour rate internally. On top of that what will more than likely happen is that that $500,000 turns into $250,000 with the rest going to overheads, etc. What can they do with $250,000? Nothing. If they had committed $10,000,000, they might find something that could change the way things are moving. $500,000 worth of bullshit surveys is just lip service. They had to do “not nothing” so they did.

    I don’t know why they even care about the data though. Does leaving foreign ownership levels unknown prevent us from having a rule against it? I don’t think it should because it’s undesirable. Whether it is happening now or might happen in future seems academic to me – foreign ownership of residential real estate is undesirable because it makes housing too expensive for locals to afford it shortening the tenure of bloodlines on the land. On average, if you don’t get priced out, your kids will or their kids will. The consequences of all this untaxed mobile capital flowing here is eventually the same as being conquered.

    If I was Trudeau, I’d push for taxation on worldwide income as a consequence of owning residential real estate in Canada. Made $10,000,000 last year in China and want a house in Vancouver? Well, file your taxes on the $10,000,000 in Canada, pay your $5,500,000 and then we’ll talk. Foreign capital is welcome here to invest in productive business, but unless foreigners want to pay taxes on the personal incomes they use to bid on real estate, they shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy the privilege afforded by our great country or make a mess of the real estate markets and the lives of every other Canadian who wants a house and dutifully pays their taxes.

    Everyone who works and lives in Canada should be able to own a place to live. There are plenty of other markets for speculators to make a mess of that have a far lesser social impact then locking out entire generations from affordable (price/ income affordable, not monthly payment affordable) housing.

  80. $500,000 allocated in the budget to statscan to investigate foreign purchasing in Canada’s real estate market. This is going to get very interesting with all parties focusing in on the issue

  81. @Halibut – no unfortunately they only had a 1 hour open house and I wasn’t around at the time. They seemed to have really improved the place so it would have been nice to see it. I did see the place on Adanac that sold for $701k. I definitely think Kings was worth $50k more, however the baseline of $701k for Adanac is crazy. I did get home to see the one at 2508 Shakespeare, closer to Bay, so not as good a location. Only a 3300 sq ft lot, noise from Bay but newer house. Quite interesting to see how they made the master bedroom into a suite, using the sliding glass door as the entrance door, put a door in the hallway that could be locked and separate the back two rooms from the rest of the house but the laundry room seemed to be in the master bedroom closet along with a double kitchen sink. Even the linen closet had a small sink which I still can’t understand but someone had a reason at some point I suppose. The main kitchen skylight was over the cupboard which made no sense. The ‘studio’ (it was small and I guess a former garage) had a shower, toilet, sink and the realtor said she would put in a small kitchen and rent it for $650 a month. A newer build which is appealing. $679 asking, assessed $536.

  82. Speaking of Kings – Marko, how much did your duplex in Quadra village sell for? It looked like a nice place.

  83. Densification creates high paying construction and construction related jobs. As long as you keep building home prices will remain high.

    If you can somehow sell off a quarter or a third of new construction to investors that will never live in the property or never rent the place on a month to month basis, then this will create jobs for people to move here or move out of their parent’s home and buy a home. it will also cause the vacancy rate to plummet and rents to rise. Making more people want to buy.

    Henry Ford designed a car to be sold at a price his workers could afford. He created his own demand. We do the same with the low interest rate. The kid hauling re-bar at the construction site is the next buyer in the condo complex.

    But what happens when all this “ghost” inventory returns to the market? Imagine over 30,000 never lived in condos hitting the Vancouver market tomorrow. Or if those renting their condos out with airbnb have to pay a licence fee of $5,000 to $10,000 to operate as a hotel in the city?

  84. Mooslessness, you have to make the originators of the loan accountable and responsible.

    If a CMHC insured loan goes sideways, CMHC will go over the loan application to see if there is any errors. If there is misrepresentation then CMHC doesn’t pay out.

    CMHC and the lenders rely on these originators so that they can make a profit. A little larceny keeps the wheels rolling along and the government bank account full.

    But the lender rarely goes after the originator of the loan to be compensated for the loss. You can’t be compensated through the originators Errors and Omission insurance if you sue for fraud. And fraud is almost impossible to prove in court. And even if they are successful how is the lender going to collect when the originator has gone bankrupt.

    The lender writes off the loss and the cost of your checking account goes up by a penny.

  85. The university peer-reviewed studies seem to have the most realistic real estate info (& also this web site), because the only skin in the game is not being embarrassed by your peers (& exercising your debating skills).

    The buzz word with cities (including Victoria) is now “Densification”. But these city planners don’t realize they’re not acting in a vacuum. Add federal or BC gov’t incentives & lax tax regulations, & you just add fuel to the fire – artificially “increasing” the local population with vacationers and businesspeople that want a 2nd home.

    I used to think the Demographia studies were useless (“increased densification leads to higher land costs” – Duh!), but now I understand them in a different light, after what’s happened to Vancouver.

    2016 version: http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf

    “It is important to remember that the ‘scarcity’ that drove up land prices is wholly contrived – it is a matter of political choice, not geographic reality …
    Quite apart from the economic foolishness of it all, it is morally wrong for legislators to be enriching some (established home owners) while impoverishing others (first home buyers).”

  86. did it really sell for 459k 2 years ago and now slap a boat in the yard (google image), outside paint and 50k in renos and presto 751k

  87. Kings sold after 4 days on the market. In order for a deal like that to go through, the buyers should have a 30 to 35% down payment.

    This is not a game to be played unless you have deep pockets.

    I am surprised that the agents have not moved up the asking prices in these areas and types of homes. My guess is that they fear that would put an end to these auctions.

    How many of you would have bid on Kings if the asking price was $779,000?

    But at an asking price of $659,000 there is the faint hope that your bid might be accepted. Then it is just a matter of the agent skillfully getting you to raise your offer incrementally.

    Another hundred grand is only another $400 a month. Are you going to let this home go to someone else just because of $400? Buyers from Vancouver and China have discovered Victoria and they have a lot more money to buy real estate. This might be your last chance before what happened to Vancouver happens here. Get it over with and buy the house because in twenty years from now, what you paid will be meaningless.

    But will it?

    In order to buy today, you are giving up something in the future. That something is a paid off mortgage by the time you reach retirement. Because if you are paying the maximum debt service for a home today, you will have to reduce your consumption of other things unless you want to continuously re-finance the home and use the property as an ATM machine. This is the never never plan to a paid off mortgage and home ownership.

    Ahhh come on – it’s only $400

  88. 1982 Kings sold for only ~450k a little over a year ago, so I kind of doubt it went for $751,000.

  89. If you want to avoid most of the bidding wars, then I would suggest that you not make any offers on properties that have been listed for less than 10 days.

    After 10 days, the number of over asking price offers drops off substantially. Then you can make your offer with clauses for a building inspection, appraisal, financing, etc.

  90. @StepbyStep 1982 Kings went for $751,000 according to the realtor’s website.

    Did you end up walking through it Sunday?

  91. It’s near impossible to find any person that doesn’t have some bias in the game.

    Is there anyone that both bear and bull could agree on as being unbiased?

    Because that unbiased person would have to have a tough skin against the knives thrown at him from both bear and bull.

  92. I have a reasonable amount of sympathy for the argument that new regulations need to be introduced carefully because Canada has become hooked on housing and construction and a shock could badly hurt the economy. But that’s a whole different argument from “everything is fine, no new regulations needed, thanks!”

    I think some pain and pullback is going to be inevitable if we’re going to protect taxpayers and the economy from damage. Two straightforward measures would be (1) requiring lenders to take some loss when a mortgage defaults, even when the mortgage is insured (like every other type of insurance); (2) requiring a Notice of Assessment when applying for a mortgage, to help reduce fraud. I suspect lenders would implement (2) on their own if (1) happened.

  93. Cooper is the biggest flip flopper ever and not to be believed. A few years ago she called for a major correction then we found out she just sold her Toronto mansion mere weeks before. Previously she was the biggest pumper. She must have bought back in and now back in full pumper mode. Fundementals my ass.

  94. Cooper has a senior position in a mortgage firm. Whatever her personal understanding of the issues, we can be sure she’s not publishing in the Globe to make her company’s business worse.

    If the concern is “high housing prices have led many people to take on too much mortgage and HELOC debt, given the risk that interest rates could rise and/or prices could decline” then I don’t see how non-mortgage holders are relevant. And the balance sheet point assumes that the housing prices will never go down, which is the whole point under discussion.

    That leaves the claim that only 8 percent are overdebted. I’d want to hear more about that. Is that high historically? What counts as overdebted; we’ve heard lots of reports about people who could not handle a few extra hundred bucks in monthly expenses. What would the figure rise to if interest rates rose by 0.5 percent?

  95. I gather Sherry Cooper has no idea of what she speaks of, being an eminent financial services economist 😉

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/a-government-imposed-housing-correction-is-the-last-thing-canada-needs/article29316032/?cmpid=rss1

    amongst the tidbits:

    While many are concerned about the record level of household debt, it is important to keep in mind that roughly 25 per cent of Canadian homeowners have no mortgage at all. Among the rest, only an estimated 8 per cent or so are seen to be overindebted. As well, household balance sheets have improved over all as household wealth has grown faster than indebtedness.

  96. Here we go, down the drain – the former BMO head economist who retired and keeps seeking jobs in the bottom feeding part of the financial industry has a shill-like article in the Globe, stating that housing markets in Toronto & Vancouver are built on fundamentals & are an industry in the positive economies of Ontario & BC. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/a-government-imposed-housing-correction-is-the-last-thing-canada-needs/article29316032/ .

    p.s. I enjoy the banter/goading – don’t delete it. It’s kind of like the family dinner table getting interesting when old eclectic uncle Henry visits and stirs things up!

  97. This place has become unrecognizable. Would the moderator accept our authority to just delete whatever he personally finds unreadable tripe? There would be about six postings on this thread that would remain.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Unless you are all five year olds. In which case, congrats on mastering syntax.

    And carry on.

  98. I don’t like to delete comments but when all we get is endless attacks and trying to goad people it doesn’t add anything. This isn’t YouTube. Don’t worry all grammar corrections are welcome. I don’t even mind people changing names as long as they don’t use it to be annoying.

    This all sounds very sensible. But a little goading is good; it adds some spice!

  99. I can see why owning a home must appear to be an unpredictable venture when you can’t stick within a budget or estimate expenditures with any accuracy.

    You are speaking from your experience, I am speaking from mine. I can and do stick to a budget, one that includes a contingency fund and averages the long-term costs of repairs and maintenance over time.

    Again, this is not magic. Here is how it is done: http://www.moneysmartsblog.com/estimate-budget-home-maintenance-costs/

    Hopefully this helps you dispel the black hole myth for yourself. If you have an over-consumption issue that is a different matter and one within your control. It is not some evil force out there working against you.

  100. Don’t have a coronary Vicinvestor, I said I have personal experience and positive results doing it over my lifetime. Didn’t say you can or anyone else can.

    Market timers exist and they make huge money. I’m not your advisor so don’t ask me what to do with your cash.

    Sounds like a lot of bulls lately who just bought and cheering on their new hot stock. We’re not Vancouver, get over it. It’s the last man standing, when it goes so does Victoria. Night all !

  101. There is no estimated calculation to something you can’t predict. On top of that visits to Home Depot etc is like going to Costco, you always find something else you need, at least guys do. That’s why we’re called consumers, we need shit we aren’t expecting to buy on top of what we came to buy.

  102. 1971 Neil St for $782,000

    Wow. That is a big jump up from one year ago for a home like this on the Saanich side of Foul Bay.

    We are looking to buy again but, similar to other posters, are thinking about boosting our budget over the $1.5 million mark and seeing whether this lifts us out of the craziness. If it doesn’t we may just stay put for a while.

  103. Then you’re not being honest about houses being bottomless pits.

    Not really. A lot of the costs can be estimated prior to purchase based on the age of major components such as furnaces, roofs and windows. Don’t buy something that needs a new roof unless it is a great deal because of this or you plan on living in the home forever. It is not some magical money pit – there are accurate ways to estimate such things and there are also stats on average homeowner expenditures.

    Leo is a good source of information I think if you don’t believe me. He was very pessimistic as to the costs in time and money of home ownership prior to buying and I believe he has kept an accurate record of both since purchasing. If he is agreeable to it he could post a good estimate of hours/money vs. appreciation experienced on initial investment less lost opportunity cost on down payment plus the cost to rent instead of own. With the recent appreciation I have no doubt he is significantly net positive.

    In our case repairs and improvements are part of the entire ROI calculation. There is no bottomless pit because you account for your time plus amounts expended and deduct this from the net at the end of the day after accounting for the other costs of ownership vs. what would have been spent on rent or invested otherwise.

  104. Ok Hawk & your “Patience, gut feel, and a sense for irrational exuberance”

    Gut feel is random & there is zero evidence it correlates with eventual market outcomes. Really? Gut feel? You go on stating academic studies, economic reports, etc & then base your decisions on your feelings & emotions? Ok, tell me then, where should I park my $$$? If I have $250k in cash (which I do), where does Hawk’s gut tell him to put it?

    You know how many ‘experts’ call market tops & bottoms every day? Too many to count is the answer. Even those who by pure chance/luck correctly time the market once, fail in their subsequent predictions. Man, even professor Shiller doesn’t talk with the conviction/confidence you demonstrate.

    And when I say we’re catching up with Vancouver, I’m taking about Victoria prices getting back to their historical spread with Vancouver. And if you don’t think rich Vancourites & immigrants aren’t coming here, please go look @ who is buying.

  105. 1800 sq ft home and 6000sq ft lot almost 800k. Marko 2 years how much would this have gone for??

  106. “Suited two homes and renovated multiple homes. Certainly no stranger to the process and costs involved in renovations or ownership.”

    Then you’re not being honest about houses being bottomless pits. Used to be you got $50’d to death, now it’s $100 every time something breaks down. If you’re paying someone to do it you can double it or more. Ongoing fix ups etc cost real money that is never recovered. Several times a month and that eats into ones monthly budget, especially if one is carrying a large mortgage like most are these days.

    Vicinvestor, as I said it’s worked for me, I don’t need stats to prove it, I’ve done it. Patience, gut feel, and a sense for irrational exuberance is the key. When they’re lining up you best be cashing out.

    Playing catch up to what ? Vancouver which is a huge city with a completely different economic make up ? 150K over paying is now the norm ? If you truly believe it is, then you should be doing what Jack says and loading up the boat to the max.

  107. Wow that is interesting Mr admin. The more interesting thing is that people think posting on here impacts the market.

  108. I don’t like to delete comments but when all we get is endless attacks and trying to goad people it doesn’t add anything. This isn’t YouTube. Don’t worry all grammar corrections are welcome. I don’t even mind people changing names as long as they don’t use it to be annoying. Some of our most valued contributors used to post under multiple names…

  109. Vantoria you are devolving into a troll and aren’t adding anything to the conversation. I’m deleting useless posts of yours from now on.

    What is considered “adding to the conversation” is very subjective. The same applies to what is considered a “useless post.”

    I hope our benevolent website administrators will continue to censor posts only rarely as thus far I think they have done.

    I would also hope that we can continue to use shaming as the primary means of discouraging identity-hopping. Identity-hopping on a blog shouldn’t be considered a crime, but I think it should be called out.

  110. @Hawk: you cite academics, economists, etc to support your bearish viewpoint. However, then you go on to claim that market timing works & you have done it successfully in a consistent fashion over the years. Please provide research evidence that market timing works? Every book or academic resource I read disagrees with your viewpoint & story.

    Btw, I don’t disagree that RE is mad in Cananda but Victoria has had little growth in 7 years. So it’s not insane for it to play a little catch up esp. If there is Vancouver/foreign influence.

  111. You obviously have a pristine house where everything is brand spanking new, and nothing ever breaks down, busts, cracks, or you have zero desire to do minor renovations to make something nicer, etc.

    I have posted quite a bit on costs of ownership, maintenance and renovations etc.. here. Perhaps that was before you joined. We have lots of experience with this. Suited two homes and renovated multiple homes. Certainly no stranger to the process and costs involved in renovations or ownership.

    Why are you so negative about it all? It seems like perhaps it did not work well for you as you sold during a down time? That experience does not negate the overall wealth generation experienced by those who have bought in the core of Victoria and held over time. Nor do the costs of ownership outweigh the returns, albeit with some level of risk as who knows what the market will do short term.

    Why is this such a polarized debate when we have the stats and data available to make a firm conclusion about past performance? Past performance is nowhere near the rate of appreciation currently experienced and there have been some downturns coupled with interest rate risks, but overall 4% on the purchase price where only 10% was paid down is a pretty remarkable rate of return – particularly as you normally have to pay to live somewhere anyway.

  112. dasmo, what ever you do, DON’T read this.

    Soon After We Sounded The Alarm, Canada’s Regulator Warns Local Banks Are Underreserved To Energy Losses

    “One answer was revealed today when Bloomberg reported that if one includes untapped loans in the form of undrawn revolvers and other committed but unused credit facilities, Canadian banks’ exposure to the struggling oil-and-gas industry more than doubles from the current C$50 billion in outstanding loans generally highlighted by Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and the country’s four other large lenders in quarterly earnings calls and presentations, to C$107 billion ($80 billion).”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-21/soon-after-we-sounded-alarm-canadas-regulator-warns-local-banks-are-underreserved-en

  113. It’s so clear that Fairfield is on the verge of a massive 80% correction back to market fundamentals. The average family in Victoria can only afford a $185,000 home, and it’s been 16 years since he market went literally insane and now it’s about to crash and burn back to fundamentals. Garth is right!

    Sell your Fairfield home ASAP tomorrow! Or it will be worthless in a couple weeks!

  114. Interesting how an up market is bringing out the nastiness. I would have thought a down market would do this.
    The Victoria market is an interesting market. Does its own thing and not really correlated with other areas. It was the worst housing market since 2009. The last 7 years inventory rose to almost 6000 units. Market went down maybe 10% from the top. People assumed it would go down further with 7 to 8 months of supply. Never did in the core. All of sudden 6 or so months ago inventory kept going down and price really did not budge. Than all of sudden a full fledge panic has happened where people are fearful of missing out. I scratch my head at what has happened in the past 6 months. Interesting to see if 7 lost years of gains will be made up in a year. Just my ramblings. I find price action in commodities and such very interesting because of irrational actions.

  115. dasmo you’re the king A…. same with your posts, how many times can one read about your great deal in Fairfield.

    BTW zerohedge shows the real charts of what’s happening wether bull or bear. I know, the truth can be scary when you’re up to your ass in alligators.

  116. “RE is not a bottomless pit in my experience as an owner.”

    You obviously have a pristine house where everything is brand spanking new, and nothing ever breaks down, busts, cracks, or you have zero desire to do minor renovations to make something nicer, etc. Home Depot is a regular weekend pit stop if you’re a real homeowner unless you’re a tightwad with no creative flair.

    “It is really difficult to accumulate piles of cash without being in the RE market imo”

    You have only experienced an up market and never a down by the sounds of it. Every month you can save over and above what you would have put in a house, is a major plus to the cash savings or investments.

    “One sure thing is the repeat put-downs from opposing viewpoints are a waste of time.”

    Agreed, when one can’t have a different opinion when people are insanely throwing away $150K fighting 100 other people for a dumpy house in need of $100K then what’s the point of this blog ? Butt slapping each other day in and out on here without cashing out or loading up on more real estate, is getting very lame.

  117. One sure thing is the repeat put-downs from opposing viewpoints are a waste of time.

    Definitely a lot more emotion in the comments than when the market was flat/down.

  118. Whew…. Glad I have retained my asshole status. I do read half your posts Hawk. I’m just not a fan of zero hedge and blind negativity. You gotta see things as they are not as you whish them to be…I mean wish….

  119. I’m not short anything so how can accumulating piles of cash not putting it into a bottomless pit every month put me in a position to go insolvent ?

    It is really difficult to accumulate piles of cash without being in the RE market imo, unless you have your own business perhaps. For the average person who works for a salary the cheap leverage combined with the capital gains tax exemption give greater returns when the market rises than anything else that I’m aware of.

    I do agree with you that renting and saving your money is a no-risk way to get ahead as well, just not as far or fast as owning a leveraged home during a market upswing.

    RE is not a bottomless pit in my experience as an owner. You just need to purchase and be prepared to hold through different market cycles. What you put into a home in Victoria in time and money has had very high ROI historically. Even though prices appear to be rising quickly I think long-term this will still be the case.

    Is there going to be a better time to buy? Maybe. Maybe not. One sure thing is the repeat put-downs from opposing viewpoints are a waste of time.

  120. Extremist ?? For having a different opinion that coincides with every major money manager and economist outside of Canada ? You kill me dude.

    Market timer ? Why not ? It’s worked great for me several times in my life.

    Solvent ? I’m not short anything so how can accumulating piles of cash not putting it into a bottomless pit every month put me in a position to go insolvent ? These bull excuses are getting so lame.

    Fundementals don’t matter? Jeezuz, now that’s fricking scary. That’s what they said before the dot com bomb exploded in their faces.

  121. @Hawk: you’re an extremist & a market timer. You were probably singing the same song back in 2010 re: Vancouver house prices. Had you bought in Van, you’d be a multi-millionaire now. Yes, Hawk, fundamentals are off but the market is no longer tied to local fundamentals.

  122. Hawk, the market is probably irrational, and probably will correct at some point. However, you don’t win any prizes if it takes years for your correction to occur.

    As Keynes once said, “The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”

  123. Dasmo , you can still have the asshole title. I just have an opposite opinion that may be wrong now but not for much longer. Economics rule, emotions are fleeting.

  124. @ Introvert

    only to see prices start to skyrocket (again)

    Skyrocket?&*#!

    Some rocket, some sky. We haven’t yet made it back to the 2010 high.

  125. Vantoria you are devolving into a troll and aren’t adding anything to the conversation. I’m deleting useless posts of yours from now on.

  126. Well Vantoria we certainly know that you haven’t been buying for the last decade.

    Why not!

  127. Bulls and bears are living in their echo chamber, no matter what the data or market shown.

    Now the price gap between the core and westshore opened up, with the Hwy1 project finally in sight. What is stopping people from buying there? Or empty nesters cash out their home, and move into a newer houses over there?

  128. 1) Interesting that Hawk is looking at basement suite ads. I guess a bear has to keep tabs on that market segment to try and upgrade occasionally. To each his own.

    2) Basement suite listings tend to increase around march / april as university winds down and properties change hands. Even then, it’s pretty simple to rent out a place so I don’t think anyone is worried.

  129. With all the recent sickening bull speak on here I almost wish for a crash… I would rather listen to Hawk…I mean click past Hawk then click past Vantoria…I mean VictoriaVv’s posts any day of the week…. And I thought I was the asshole around here….

  130. Introvert, you are the only person on this blog that has consistently been bringing up a housing crash. Year after year after year.

    And yet in all these years, you have NEVER bought!

    The one thing you’re not is a bull.

    Impress us all – buy something!

  131. Introvert, you don’t have to be renting to be bearish on real estate.

    If you’re so gung ho on real estate – why are YOU not buying? Or are you a bull without the balls too!

    Lots of talk but can’t do the walk. Go out and buy something!

  132. “Even if we only get ~20,000 more 60-79 year-olds like the gov’s forecast, that’s alot of new housing demand from this group alone in the coming 10yrs.”

    Very funny. Using those charts – If you take the 50-69 year olds in 2016 and age them 10 years into the 60-79 cohort you add about 500 people (or 0.5%). Barely a ripple, not a tsunami. People are just getting older.

  133. About the rotating IP addresses, we understand Vantoria is VictoriaVv, right? I figured this was her “forever name,” adopted after the pseudonym mess. Myself, I have no problem with the return as long as Vantoria sticks with this account. I’m interested to see what she decides to buy.

    I can do a whole song and dance about why they’re obviously the same person, but I thought we were just being polite and giving her a second chance.

  134. I just spent a fantastic week skiing at Mount Washington. Many condos (at Deer and Bear Lodge) and other real estate that had been stagnating for the past 2 or 3 years appear to have finally sold. Granted that the recent sale of the ski hill operations and the “return of snow” may have both helped – but I also think that the current buying frenzy in Victoria may have spilled into these recreational/investment properties at Mount Washington as well.

  135. “Too expensive for what it is…” That’s the opinion of victoria that I lean toward. It’s a nice place and all, but it seems you can get much better value by driving north for 30 to 45 minutes.

    Same with Vancouver. Take away the natural beauty, and you’ve got one boring, ugly city with bad architecture. I don’t get the hype.

  136. Get off your ass and buy something, you gutless bull.

    Looks like the market has crossed some sort of threshold, causing Just Jack to finally go berserk.

    Renting while unsuccessfully predicting a housing crash in Victoria for coming up on a decade only to see prices start to skyrocket (again) will take its toll on a person.

  137. @Vantoria

    You seem to be rotating your VPN IP’s and using an invalid email address when posting to this forum. These practices don’t add to your credibility ….

  138. By topping out what was meant was the trend towards improving market conditions. Obviously not prices but I guess I should have spelled that out more clearly.

  139. The bulls and bears create some drama & shit, but it’s the gorillas, gophers, & greyhounds that you really have to watch out for 🙂

  140. AG,
    It’s irrelevant who is displacing Victoria families or youth, wether it’s Vancouverites or Victorians, or HAM. All the past booms have seen people leave this town. Remember a very short time ago you couldn’t even find people to work at Timmie’s as the youth had all fled.

    I’ve known several families over the years that have found Victoria a nice place but too expensive for what it is, and have headed for cheaper pastures up island or the interior.

  141. “Just a matter of time til the Victoria families flee as they have done in past boom peaks. ”

    Actually it seems more like Victoria families are getting displaced by Vancouver families, at least to some degree.

  142. U.S. Real Estate 25% to 60% Overvalued: Analyst:
    http://fortune.com/2016/01/11/real-estate-bubble/

    Hamtons home prices crushed:
    http://wolfstreet.com/2016/03/17/luxury-home-prices-in-hamptons-end-of-wall-street-wealth-effect/

    And in Canada, CBC asks:

    Are young homeowners doomed if housing prices drop?
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/young-homeowners-house-prices-drop-1.3310858

    Ten Reasons It’s A Terrible Time To Buy An Expensive House
    http://patrick.net/Ten+Reasons+It's+A+Terrible+Time+To+Buy+An+Expensive+House

  143. You get tired of wannabee bulls who are too afraid to follow through.

    Shit or get off the pot.

  144. Hawk, you crack me up, I’ve said over and over my property assessment is up 500k, I’m not happy about that.

    I do agree with you though about the crash that will happen tomorrow, like seriously, it’s gonna all blow the f*** up tomorrow bro!

    And doing female disparaging insults just Jack? Let’s stick with talking about housing data, no need for getting personal 😉 or are you just mad you ain’t on the winning train?

  145. Just a matter of time til the Victoria families flee as they have done in past boom peaks. Seems to be a lot of basement suites for rent all of a sudden. I wonder how many new property kings will be paying the extra $800 to $1000 for a few months til some starving student moves in with his buddies, that’s if they haven’t left for good. Kinda blows the family budget in a hurry.

    Vantoria sounds like the “decorator”. Must be leveraged to the max , sounding very desperate.

    85% of ‘miserable’ families ready to leave Metro Vancouver over housing costs: poll

    “Angus Reid estimates that a staggering 150,000 struggling families are seriously thinking about moving away from Metro Vancouver to avoid the region’s housing costs and transportation issues.”

    http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/06/85-of-miserable-families-ready-to-leave-metro-vancouver-over-housing-costs-poll/

  146. Just Jack, already own house in Cadboro Bay, I don’t want prices to go up, already probably house went up 500k in assessment this year alone, not happy about that.

    And am looking for investment properties here also, lots of opportunity out there.

    I just like to mock bears (and bulls). Look at the data! Just Jack, you have never been right.

  147. @Michael, wow, 20k or more rich retirees alone in the next few years?!

    The core can’t even handle 50 out of town buyers without prices going up 200+k, what will happen when 20,000 more show up!

    Yeah, we “topping” out. Hahhahaha

  148. What’s your problem Vantoria?. No one is stopping you from buying.

    Get off your ass and buy something, you gutless bull.

  149. @reasonfirst

    steeper at 70? And there are more people heading into those years.

    The best way to see how many more ‘old people’ will be in Victoria over the coming decade is to simply use the gov’t projections from Leo’s recent demographics blogpost (2016 vs 2026).

    I think their numbers are too conservative, but either way you can see there will be far more 60-79 yr-olds over the next decade. I don’t think we’ll see much boomer die-off affecting the market until they’re well into their 80s.

    Even if we only get ~20,000 more 60-79 year-olds like the gov’s forecast, that’s alot of new housing demand from this group alone in the coming 10yrs.

  150. Love how the posts on this site are not just data driven. Like the admin could have posted the data and let the discussion happen, but no, has to add a bear slant, the “topping” out.

    This is no “top” it’s literally 2 months into moving upwards slightly after 10+ years of going down, and even the last post showed we are way below the 50 year inflation adjusted, and affordability is still hear historic numbers.

    I guess this blog was a place for bears to complain, but now that there are some people that actually look at numbers, go to open houses, and see value out there everywhere, it’s more balanced and entertaining.

    I’m realistic. When I said Carloss place was a deal and would sell for over asking, guess what, it did. I can see a little reno and a flip at 880k by June or July when the market actually will start moving up even more.

    I for one was hoping it would remain a little sleepy town where prices never move for decades… Sadly, now I have to pay property tax on an extra 500k.

  151. @Vicbot: totally agree. The market is completely decoupled from market fundamentals. Being rational & prudent has cost people lots of $$$. I have a family member who has used extreme leverage (like no $$ to enjoy life despite making a professional income) to become very very wealthy from real estate. Meanwhile, those who didn’t leverage & were rational, are left with nothing. But, IMHO, the last 15 years in Vancouver have been an aberrant market that may never repeat itself again.

  152. StepbyStep added this article to the previous post, and I thought these were important observations:

    http://www.theprovince.com/business/blame+politicians+metro+vancouver+housing+price+crisis/11797902/story.html

    “Politicians decided to ‘reboot a troubled regional economy through an infusion of activity from the growth region of the Asia Pacific,’ UBC geographer David Ley says in a peer-reviewed paper. ‘The inflated housing prices that have resulted in large part from new East Asian wealth are especially devastating for young and middle-aged Metro Vancouverites, Ley said in a recent talk sponsored by City in Focus … Many are ‘disillusioned’ and leaving the city.”

    The sad thing is that we are also that “collateral damage” that the politicians created, with international migration to bigger cities having spillover effects.

    Victoria always had people coming in from other parts of Canada to retire. But now – added to that – people of all ages are leaving Vancouver and Toronto for lower-cost places to live, including retirees who never thought about leaving their home cities, but now they have to.

    Because who can pay $20,000 per year in property taxes?

    Then add low interest rates to the mix.

    Real estate isn’t a “market” with the usual drivers anymore – it’s Puppet Theatre and the government is holding the strings.

    I don’t know how people can change that.

  153. Just keeps getting crazier and crazier. Glad we got in when we did, looking for a house at this point was getting to be so frustrating. I’m glad we feel we didn’t over pay either (not over asking).

    I’m really interested in just watching the market and seeing how its continuing.

Comments are closed.