March Update

March numbers are out and things aren’t getting any better out there.  Let’s look at the headline numbers for sales, inventory, and new listings.

In short:

  1. Inventory is at a record low.  We’ve never seen a March with this few listings available for sale.  Nevermind the dregs.
  2. New listings are about average.   A bit below average perhaps for this time of year but not catastrophically low.  With all the stories about how people are afraid to list their houses, it’s good to keep some perspective.  New listings were significantly lower every March from 1996 to 2005.
  3. Sales are down 17% from last year, but still abnormally high.  We are off the huge sales pace from last March, but it’s the second highest on record.  Last seen at this level in March, 2005.

It all adds up to months of inventory at record lows and the resulting predictable effect on prices.

With current residential MOI at 1.3, we are well below the previous low point.

I don’t want to be accused of hiding the current price movements behind processing, so let’s see the unadulterated picture of how prices are reacting to the low months of inventory.

Without smoothing of course, monthly prices are a variable mess, and routinely increase and decrease by many tens of thousands of dollars from month to month.  As usual we want the signal not the noise so we look at the last year of data to discover the trend.

With the current trend lines:

  1. the median single family home is increasing at about $7,600/month.
  2. the median townhouse is increasing at about $2600/month.
  3. the median condo is increasing at about $3300/month.

That’s bad news for everyone given the rate of increases are more than many monthly salaries.   Of course this can’t go on forever and eventually the market will slow down.   But for what reason?  One of the ways it might slow down is if the foreign buyer tax is expanded to the whole province and the Home Partnership Program is cancelled to stop goosing the market for first timers.   Another way is if confidence in the market bursts (due perhaps to an exposure of market fraud that’s been at a low boil in the news).   Or it might just burn itself out when buyers come to their senses and can’t reach any higher.

One thing that might help us dig out of this mess is more supply coming online.   We don’t talk about this much but looking at the data, we are getting close to twice as many units under construction right now than in years prior.   That supply is going to help with market conditions, but remember a good chunk of those will already be gone in pre-sales.

What do you think?  Will new supply rescue us from this market misery?  Or will the demand side withdraw first?

The HHV Meetup is happening on April 7th at 6PM at the Penny Farthing. I have a reservation for 20 people which is about as many as are signed up.  If you can no longer make it, please remove your name from the list or email me so I can adjust reservations closer to the date.  Thanks!
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473 thoughts on “March Update

  1. Vicbot is spot on, buyers need to consider that when the correction does come they may have to ride out the storm in their dregs. I’m hoping to avoid that situation by buying something I’m happy with in the first place.

  2. Haha, Marko. No I don’t work for the government and don’t get flex days. Wish I did though! I work as much as you. If you knew me you’d also know that I’m not a fan of hipsters and don’t have the luxury of a kayak, but that’s besides the point.

    Totoro, I can’t beat it or you can’t? I do. Perhaps you should work harder, and not assume what you can’t do is not possible.

    To others apologies for being so prickly. Not a market timer though. I’d buy on the verge of a correction if there was something decent available, because long term I think it’s going back up.

  3. Agreed, great info numbers hack. My concern is that the foreigners have bought in through the seed money/syndicated mortgages to get these condo projects off the ground via numbered companies and get first dibs on the units then flip to the locals.

    Not something they would broadcast if they think they are the first ones in here getting a sweetheart tax free and flip deal. Again, there is no investigative journalism in this town to dig into this as they don’t want to piss off the advertisers.

  4. Wouldn’t work. No garage to store kayaks, snowboards, and other hipster equipment.

    🙂

    Rook has been blessed by the vision of 3 (!) Alfas which all started for their owners that morning and were moving down the street unassisted by a tow truck.

    Jerry, I’ve only lately noticed your delightful sense of humour. Cheers to you, sir.

  5. In the midst of all the affordability doom and gloom let us not overlook the little miracle mentioned earlier. Rook has been blessed by the vision of 3 (!) Alfas which all started for their owners that morning and were moving down the street unassisted by a tow truck.

    It is perhaps not commonly known, but in any given country at any point in time there is only ever 1 Alfa which is serviceable.

  6. My employment has brought me to Asia for a better part of three decades now…

    Really found that post insightful. Thanks for writing.

  7. Having my coffee, and ran by this. Interesting.

    54% of Canadians think home prices will never fall: CIBC poll

    More than half of the country believes home prices will never fall, according to a new poll from CIBC. Despite lofty valuations in the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets, 54 per cent of respondents to the CIBC poll say housing prices will rise indefinitely, while only 40 per cent think prices will decline over the course of the next five years.

    According to the poll, those high prices are keeping homeowners on the sidelines, with 62 per cent of respondents saying they’re reluctant to sell their home, lest they become buyers again. Home prices in Toronto are up more than 30 per cent over the course of the last year, and prices in Vancouver have risen more than 14 per cent.

    Those who are looking to sell are largely of the Baby Boomer cohort, with more than two-thirds of respondents older than 55 saying they plan to downsize to a smaller home or condo. CIBC says boomers are motivated to sell not just due to the ease of maintaining a smaller home, but also as a boost to their retirement savings.

    What’s less clear is who exactly they’re going to sell their home to: 52 per cent of the millennial generation either don’t believe they’ll ever own a home, or are unsure if home ownership is in their future. Of those in the younger generation who are already in the housing market, more than four of every five plan to sell, with 63 per cent complaining the mortgage and housing costs are making them cash-poor.

    http://www.bnn.ca/54-of-canadians-think-home-prices-will-never-fall-cibc-poll-1.720189

  8. @Entomologist it’s going to be a tough time to start. Having left the harbour and being close to the eye I would recommend taking your time. If you can’t do that prepare for the side hustle…. like taking the HPO exam. Marko can help with both maybe;-) My builder is peppered with requests all day everyday day now. There are people with lots of money that you will be competing with so be prepared to be jumping into a shark tank….

  9. @ Marko

    My employment has brought me to Asia for a better part of three decades now. We track the RE industry in China, Asia and North America as some of the products we manufacture go into homes. At the last 3 oversea investment expositions in China, I can tell you exactly how many people were flogging Victoria Real Estate…ZERO.

    Out of 300 exhibiters, only 3 were trying to pre-sale Canadian Real Estate. One from Westbank in Vancouver, one from Montreal, and one from Daniels in Toronto. That is all. The anecdotal breakdown would be 60% SE Asia/Dubai Projects, 25% Europe, 10% Australia, and 5% from North America.

    The wealthy now are not the corrupt politicians or dirty money, but business people in their 50s to 60s that have garnered considerable wealth. There is not no need for these people to park their assets overseas when all they need to do is open a bank account with a European Bank/HK/Singapore Bank.

    Hence, the VREB stats shows this. Why fly half way around the world to make 25%/annum on RE when they could fly 2 hours to SE Asia or 5 hours to Dubai and make the same return or higher return? The good news for Canadians is that Canada is passé and investors view it as being a hostile environment. Also Victoria’s developments are 100 units more or less, they would NEVER come here to market because the average size of the projects being sold is 1500 units+/project, the economics are simply not there.

    Finally proximity and culture are as important. If I am a business owner, would I want to lie on beach in Thailand with 80 daily flights back to China or Canada where half the year you are buried in rain/snow? Food and culture are more easily identifiable in SE Asia and the international schools/medical care/amenities are second to none.

    Our long-term forecast is that China in less than 20 years will become the world’s leader in renewable energy. Coal+Cars are the biggest culprits of pollution and this will be reduced by at least 50%. Which means energy consumed/person will be lowest in the world. It will be really livable and perhaps even an urbanite’s utopia.

    That is just what I see from ground level here. Just a humble Victorian’s insight from the Asian perspective.

  10. I agree too, problem being I thought 12 months ago was also a bullshit time to buy as well.

    12 months (ok maybe 14) ago I said it was a good time to buy despite the bidding wars.
    It’s no longer so clear but the “bullshit” wasn’t referencing the prices which may well go up another $100k this year. Just the conditions suck.

  11. Leo S- ‘So why didn’t prices just keep going up in 2008? If incomes don’t matter, then why did we have 6 years of flat? Did foreign buyers suddenly discover Victoria in 2016?’

    In 2015 there was a stock market crash in China which marked a time when the yuan was being devalued quickly. I think Steve Saretsky explains it well in his article regarding this global phenomenon that we are not void of here in Victoria as well.

    http://vancitycondoguide.com/tracking-chinas-real-estate-binge/

  12. How can you be sure these condos aren’t currently being marketed in China as we speak? It happens in Vancouver all the time.

    I am involved in a lot of the larger developments in Victoria such as Bayview, Era, etc. and I am just not seeing it. Go on FaceBook and look up “Promontorians Unite – Residents of the Promontory, Victoria BC.” It has a total community vibe. People are posting almost daily, people are meeting up in the building for various activities, etc., etc. There are very few vacant units.

    I am not seeing these hollowed out buildings in Victoria based on both being involved in buildings and pulling Form Bs (discloses how many units are rented, etc.)

    I am not denying a problem in Vancouver, I am just not seeing it in Victoria. Vancouver is a totally different animal. Pre-sales in parts of Vancouver right now are $500 per square foot more than similar re-sales which makes zero sense at all. Obviously there is massive speculation going on, the 15% foreign buyer tax doesn’t apply to pre-sales (yet another item the development industry has been able to lobby), etc.

    Here in Victoria pre-sales have typically sold at a 10 to 15% discount to similar re-sale market hence the reason I bought five from 2009 to 2015. Right now that spread is like 0 to 5% discount but I wouldn’t say people are paying more for pre-sales than re-sales, quite yet.

  13. Marko:
    Rook – As I was walking in VicWest yesterday I walked passed some Chinese speaking men standing beside white Mercedes suv’s taking photos over the fence of the ‘dockside green’ land. I know I know, this could easily be a family excited about a new condo or perspective condo purchase. But I also think it could point to speculation in the pre-sale market.

    ‘You are 100% off track here as this site is still in very preliminary stages and probably a year or more from pre-sales actually being made available.

    Right now there really isn’t much in terms of pre-sales. Encore, Escher, Legato, etc., all sold out a while ago. You have the Wade and 989 Johnson and not much else.’

    How can you be sure these condos aren’t currently being marketed in China as we speak? It happens in Vancouver all the time.

    http://vancitycondoguide.com/vancouver-pre-sale-condo-ponzi-scheme/

  14. Agreed that even with money it’s a total bullshit time to buy.

    I agree too, problem being I thought 12 months ago was also a bullshit time to buy as well.

  15. Anyone else have recent home-building experience? I’m trying to find a good builder for a reasonable price. Like, $200 a ft^2 or so for a contemporary home. I guess when land spikes in price, lots of tear-downs actually do get torn down.

    Send me an email; I have some suggestions.

    Would be kind of a tough time to start….almost impossible to find a framing contractor that isn’t booked for 3-5 months out. I’ve talked about an absolute shortage of trades on the blog back in 2012-2013-2014 and now we are really screwed. Absolute shortage + a boom.

    My personal observations regarding the huge spike in prices in Langford is lack of skilled labour. The land is there (Westhills, Royal Bay, Happy Valley, Skirt Mountain, Bear Mountain, etc.) but most developments can’t keep up with sales as they are behind on construction. People are buying houses in the Westhills with a yearlong completion.

  16. As others have already responded, because what’s available is for the most part garbage. Inventory is low so properties that have no business selling in normal market conditions are all that’s available because investors bought and flip everything else. You’re a real estate agent, you know the shit that’s out there. When something decent does come up, there’s a shit-load of old geezer’s at the open houses. I haven’t seen any other young people at open houses since last October, oddly around the time they initiated the ‘stress test’.

    Gotcha. Thanks. Agreed that even with money it’s a total bullshit time to buy. Also interesting observation about the people at open houses you’ve seen. I haven’t seen any effect of the stress test so far but maybe taking the younger buyers out of the market just didn’t matter because there were enough others to take their place.

  17. Yes, Wolf has a good point in that it is a very frustrating time to buy due to low inventory.

    long term real estate gains can easily be beaten on the stock market

    This appears to be untrue in Victoria assuming 20% down and a 7% long-term appreciation rate as has occurred vs. 6% long-term in the stock market unleveraged. Leverage and equivalent to rent shelter benefit and tax exempt capital gains tip the scales heavily in favour of a primary residence vs. stocks as a first investment.

    It seems that you’d be up about 50k per year on invest vs. buy compounded over the first 10 years at least on the 160k in a 800k house vs. a 160k stock investment, not accounting for any tax differential due to income taxes on funds invested outside of a TFSA or RRSP or any rental income from a suite.

    But you can do the math yourself: https://househuntvictoria.ca/resources-2/

  18. Sure, if you’re rich. That wouldn’t be ‘hard working’ to get ahead now would it? And wouldn’t it defeat the purpose of living with mom and dad to save cash for a home?

    There is no way backpacking for three months is more expensive than paying $1,200 to $1,500 per month for 5 years.

  19. I don’t actually get Wolf at all.

    Some of the quotes from Wolf

    Tell me, Marko, did you leave the Vancouver Island Health Authority and become a Realtor to help people, or did you simply tire of earning peanuts from the BC government?

    You’re telling these people to work harder. The majority of people are not in your family’s position. It’s not bemoaning about people who can’t afford to buy, it’s bemoaning about people who should be able to buy based on their life choices/income yet cannot due to speculation, etc.

    Nowadays you have to have an advanced degree just to get an entry level position that pays enough to cover the rent. Bachelor’s degrees don’t get you very much anymore, and have become the new high school diploma. You can speak ill of millennials all you want but they work much harder than you did for less.

    Middle government management and has been priced out of a desirable SFH in the core. Feels he/she should be able to afford that SFH core home so he/she can enjoy the life choice of flex Fridays (or Monday) puttering around the yard. Has a bachelor’s degree at minimum.

    Is annoyed that other individuals choose to live with their parents, work 50 – 70 hours per week, make sound financial decisions such as obtaining free sandwiches from mom and subsequently are in a position to acquire multiple properties. Preaches Garth Turner’s advice of buying stocks versus real estate.

    That is what we know so far.

  20. I honestly think people are missing Wolf’s point, whether or not it’s prickly!

    There’s literally nothing but dregs out there and he doesn’t want to live in or ride out the next market storm in a dreg, no matter what the cost is. I guess you could say spend 1.5M then but that doesn’t really solve the problem of selection either.

  21. No need to be so prickly, Wolf, people here are pretty friendly if you are too. There’s no shame in saying you could buy now but think the timing is very bad and the market is on the verge of a major correction or crash.

    …Mind you, this does make you a market timer. Lots of people have failed to time the Victoria RE market properly before, and suffered as a result.

  22. “personal development just go backpacking around the world”

    Sure, if you’re rich. That wouldn’t be ‘hard working’ to get ahead now would it? And wouldn’t it defeat the purpose of living with mom and dad to save cash for a home? Gee, totoro’s kids are now working at Thrifty’s until they’re 40. Yes I’ll take a paper bag with that for 5 cents.

    “Any bets on how long Wolf here lasts before capitulating?”

    I’ll be lurking as long as I’m looking for a house. Leo S posts some good numbers here that I like to get my eyes on. Plus all of you are such a wonderful group of people. Once I purchase I’ll quietly mosey on back into the bushes.

    “I don’t actually get Wolf at all. He/she has enough money to buy a SFH in the core and is convinced that real estate never goes down. And yet doesn’t want to invest because…. why exactly?”

    As others have already responded, because what’s available is for the most part garbage. Inventory is low so properties that have no business selling in normal market conditions are all that’s available because investors bought and flip everything else. You’re a real estate agent, you know the shit that’s out there. When something decent does come up, there’s a shit-load of old geezer’s at the open houses. I haven’t seen any other young people at open houses since last October, oddly around the time they initiated the ‘stress test’.

    “Frustrated with too little inventory couched in amorphous concern for others who can’t buy because mom cut off the free lunch program… as she well should the leeches.”

    From the people I know it’s partly an issue of “can’t buy” but also a “will no longer buy at this time.” Yeah, I’m also concerned for what this may mean for the next generation; it takes a long time to fix issues like these in my opinion. By the way, mom didn’t cut off the free lunch program. I politely declined when I realized I was independent, you know, well before 30. She’d probably mail me a ham sandwich if I asked, would you like me to forward it to you?

    “Sure. But if real estate only ever goes up then surely any price, no matter how high, is a good deal.”

    In the long run it does (in my opinion) but there are bumps along the way. I believe we’re in a bump. It’ll go back down and eventually come back up so that in the next 5, 10, 20 years maybe there’s a 10-20% overall return (numbers approximate for illustrative purposes) – similar to what the US market will likely be at in 10 years relative to their crash. While short term real estate gains like those experienced last year are hard to match, long term real estate gains can easily be beaten on the stock market. Most people aren’t smart enough though, which is why so many people invest in real estate. It’s the easy money, not smart money.

  23. Info used to claim that “lots of chatter” on HHV meant the market was about to tank. Look out below!!

  24. Leo, if I remember right, Wolf was concerned about the lack of inventory & ridiculously over-asking offers (eg., >$1M for a non-updated box in a small lot, close to a busy street)

    Sure. But if real estate only ever goes up then surely any price, no matter how high, is a good deal.

    By the way, is this a record for number of replies to one post?

    Quite possibly. This is why I need to post at least twice a week!

  25. And yet doesn’t want to invest because…. why exactly?

    Frustrated with too little inventory couched in amorphous concern for others who can’t buy because mom cut off the free lunch program… as she well should the leeches.

  26. Yes dividing the world up into only bulls and bears seems a little too black and white 🙂

    Leo, if I remember right, Wolf was concerned about the lack of inventory & ridiculously over-asking offers (eg., >$1M for a non-updated box in a small lot, close to a busy street)

    Sort of like my parents during WWII in Europe – they had money but nothing was stocked on the shelves to buy. (no I’m not comparing RE to war!)

    By the way, is this a record for number of replies to one post?

  27. I don’t actually get Wolf at all. He/she has enough money to buy a SFH in the core and is convinced that real estate never goes down. And yet doesn’t want to invest because…. why exactly?

  28. I don’t know, black and white thinking appears to be a fantastically effective reality shield as far as I can tell. Almost like a superpower.

  29. Holy crap we have yet another bear. Welcome Wolf. Any bets on how long Wolf here lasts before capitulating? Wolf here doesn’t seem as raving as Hawk so I give it 6 months at the absolute maximum. Likely by the end of the summer Wolf will be done.

  30. That’s what the Malahat is for. ….:)

    You’ve got me there. 😀 Done that a few times over the years, though I’m rarely on that road. Police can be sneaky on those parts.

  31. No I just think you all missed it. Introvert was being ironic. You know, making a point about the shaky logic of doing massive renos on your average 1950s house (‘raise’) vs building anew (‘raze’). It was snarky- but clever; pretty much typical Introvert.

  32. when you confused raise with raze

    Meh, I thought the there was an error when I read it too. Raising a house to create multi-family is less common than razing a house to do so these days as far as I can tell. There was a confusion as to intent, not grammar.

    As far as “personal development” just go backpacking around the world.

    Agreed, and what my kid is actually doing right now on funds he saved up himself.

  33. There is now an Alfa Romeo dealership in Victoria. There is Maserati coming to the lot on Douglas where Audi is moving to and Tesla was outbid on a lot in the last year as well. The city is changing a bit.

    I guess. What isn’t changing though, is people’s unwillingness to drive over about 40km/h on the road. If I had an exotic, I would find trying to use it in a city like this to be inhibiting. Traffic far too slow, stop and go everywhere – there’s really no open roads anywhere where you can safely open the throttle. Long winded way of saying – what’s the point?

  34. Anyone else have recent home-building experience? I’m trying to find a good builder for a reasonable price. Like, $200 a ft^2 or so for a contemporary home. I guess when land spikes in price, lots of tear-downs actually do get torn down.

    Nice to meet a few faces the other day, btw. I love you all that much more now!

  35. There is now an Alfa Romeo dealership in Victoria. There is Maserati coming to the lot on Douglas where Audi is moving to and Tesla was outbid on a lot in the last year as well.

    The city is changing a bit.

  36. I just saw 3 different Alfa Romeo cars driving to and from an appointment around downtown today, 2 of which were driven by kids. Is there a convention in town today is there an increasing amount of money driving around here?

  37. “and those two people have totally different writing styles.”

    I was just about to say the same thing! Wolf appears to be skilled at using commas and avoiding sentence fragments.

  38. Wolf, the bears are so paranoid these days as soon a new bear or opposite opinion shows up they are tagged as impersonation. I was accused of being Deb because she used quotation marks.

    It’s quite sad actually and shows how they privately are shitting bricks or they wouldn’t be here all day. They would be out mowing the lawn or something like most homeowners,not trying to attack someone for a different opinion that every banker CEO agrees with. Marko’s just here to scoop business not for your well being. Max leverage and greed does that to people.

  39. Wolf looking for stats and someone with appraisal experience, sucks you can’t help out.

    Not sure why you guys think Wolf is Just Jack. They are not the same person, and those two people have totally different writing styles.

  40. That would be “strait.”

    Sorry introvert, you lost all credibility with me when you confused raise with raze. I just can’t take the spelling advice seriously anymore. It’s like when you catch the pastor cheating on his wife, the sermon just doesn’t connect in the same way.

  41. Living at home, mom making lunches or not, is really common sense. Five years of living at home plus investing is a $100,000 down payment not including what you would have put aside if you were renting. As far as “personal development” just go backpacking around the world.

  42. Wolf looking for stats and someone with appraisal experience, sucks you can’t help out.

    Nice to see you join our little family.

  43. Barrister, it was me that made a reference about moving Victoria to be near the hospital. It just sounded ironic to me that you’d say that the socialists want highrises, but then you’re enjoying socialized medicine! 🙂

    Anyway I understand the need to be in Victoria for that reason – my aging parents often have to go to various specialists including the heart clinic, cancer clinic, orthopedic surgeons, and we’ve been the lucky ones to live close by (whereas upisland folks have to commute by bus to see specialists)

    The Island still doesn’t have the population & tax base to justify the cost of building all the same medical infrastructure in all the new suburbs or towns. So if our housing is jumping 50% in 2 years because of speculation, and driving people further away, they are stuck dealing with long commutes for both work & medical care.

  44. No Gwac, real estate agents hoard all the stats and won’t release them to the public. That’s why people come here. I don’t think the end is necessarily near. There may or may not be a correction upcoming but, even if there is, home prices will still be higher 10-20 years down the road, in my opinion. It’s a safe investment if time is on your side. I believe the US has almost recovered from their housing crash already. From my firsthand experience however, if there is a correction, it will be swift as all you really need is a swing in buyer sentiment, and the catalyst for that could be a multitude of things.

  45. “Too bad Leo doesn’t like to verify IPs”

    You could suspect anyone here of impersonation. By all means please check my IP but sorry folks, I’m new here. Did someone else rag on Marko for getting packed lunches from his mom or something? Hilarious if that’s become a trend. 🙂

  46. But it’s not like we don’t have an example across the straight.

    That would be “strait.”

    If you don’t want to densify then clear cut.

    Or you could do what Langford is doing, which is both. “No trees left standing” is the city’s motto, and where the trees used to be people shall now live 890 per acre.

    And some still wonder why the core is more desirable.

    I am beginning to see signs of just jack back on the board….could it be.

    What the hell are you talking about? I assume you think I’m someone else? No, I’ve never posted on this website until last week.

    Too bad Leo doesn’t like to verify IPs when we’re trying to find out whether someone is identity-hopping.

  47. “Just Jack I mean wolf”

    What the hell are you talking about? I assume you think I’m someone else? No, I’ve never posted on this website until last week. I lurked for several months prior. Funny how when multiple people have a similar dissenting opinion to your own you lump them as one. Typical bully tactic by the rich to control the poor (i.e. try to convince everyone else that the dissenting opinion to your own is a single outlier). Have you considered that perhaps my views (and whomever this “Just Jack” character is) are more representative of the population of Victoria?

    I agree with you on the correction part, which is why I said earlier that the housing market is a one-way bet, although it’s possible to have a massive correction like the U.S. did in 2007/2008.

  48. Just Jack I mean wolf. Wrong is still wrong. A correction does not make you right if the market goes up 100% and the correction is 20%. Sorry all my socks are clean so I will be just fine with a correction if and when it does come.

  49. Caveat Emptor

    The majority of the city already has kids. Just to be clear I am talking about greater Victoria. This artificial debate that people keep having where they pretend that Victoria ends at the municipal. boundary is in my opinion counter productive. It reminds me of the old days in Toronto before they amalgamated and people would come up with stats that showed the city of Toronto was 300,000 people.

    Also to be clear, I am not in favour of mass numbers of vacant homes being held by speculators either. Those empty homes represent ust one more house that someones grandparents are not living in.

    There was also a reference, obliquely directed at me that I returned to Canada in order to enjoy the benefits of socialized medicine. While it was true that I most recently moved from California the fact of the matter is I only spent four years in the US and that was after I had retired. I spent my whole working life in Toronto were I paid taxes. Thanks but I have earned my medical care a number of times over.

    Marko, exactly what is the problem with clearing out a few more thousand acres of non agriculture land in order to develop smaller towns and cities in BC? I assume that you are aware that there are a lot more trees in Canada today than there were a hundred years ago?

    Anyway, hope everyone has a good day. I am afraid I am off to a funeral.

  50. Hardworking professionals have already stopped buying. Open houses are pretty much all grey-haired folks who have trouble getting up the stairs to the front door. Some of these people might be investors others maybe are not but eventually, once the prices get even higher, there’ll be a point where even investors will stop buying. These investors will be the same ones who spark the selloff when things tighten up and they’re no longer comfortable with the risk. The best everyone can do right now is to not buy in, both literally and figuratively. Yeah, Hawk might be wrong 3,600 times in a row but that’s the beauty of his position. He can be wrong 99.9% of the time but when he’s eventually right folks like Gwac will get smacked across the face with a sock filled with shit.

  51. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/07/no-longer-just-london-britain-encircled-property-sharks

    Sound familiar? Very similar as to what is happening in Canada’s two largest (English speaking) cities – and now probably here in the Canadian Riviera. Foreign buyers laundering money in real estate (money that could be from ill-gotten/criminal sources). And, now spreading to other parts of the country. In England – spreading now from London to other cities. In Canada – they started in Vancouver, then spread to Toronto, then possibly- Victoria and Calgary. Then… who knows? whatever place ends up ‘desirable’ on their target list next.

    The most sought after cities in English speaking western countries, with stable governments and safe societies, such as Canada, along with Australia, NZ and the US/UK remain popular for foreign buyers. Falling currencies in Aust/NZ, Canada and the UK only exasperate the situation for these countries. The difference for Canada and Aust/NZ is, most of the foreign buyers have been Chinese, whereas in the UK it’s much more diverse – Chinese, along with crooked corrupt Russian oligarchs, and rich Middle Eastern oil barons, and essentially, crooked corrupt ultra-wealthy people from anywhere (even Africa). The UK isn’t doing enough about foreign buyers either. However, at least they just started this… A new registry of who the foreign owners of real estate are… and according to the article supplied by Deb, Australia is also doing more.

    https://en.crimerussia.com/oligarchs/uk-to-unmask-owners-of-expensive-houses-bought-via-offshores/

    Canada needs to do much more about restricting foreign buyers and we need to start a registry similar to what the UK just did, to find out who owns what. It’s already too late for markets like Toronto and Van – most Canadians are now priced out of these places. Question is, have foreigners set their sights on Victoria in a big way? I think, only a small number of foreign buyers here would have a big impact. We need more data on who and what is buying Canadian real estate before it is too late, but I fear – it’s already too late, and our politicians appear impotent on the issue. Why on earth is it fair that overtaxed Canadians are being priced out of house and home in our most desirable cities by foreigners who can earn vast sums that aren’t subjected to heavy taxation or regulation like we are? The CRA audits and chases after you for the smallest most ridiculous things, yet largely ignores the foreign element, actually using it as an excuse to monitor Canadians more (ex. having to disclose the Personal Residence on Income Tax as of 2016).

    Meanwhile, interesting on this site how the Chinese foreign reserves are rising again… albeit it slowly, they actually didn’t fall that much in late 2016. Some say this is what really had an impact on foreign buyers in Van, but I think the tax did have an impact (however, it’s not enough)

    https://betterdwelling.com/flood-of-foreign-buyers-nope-chinas-fx-reserves-rise-again/#_

  52. “I was at a wedding in Vancouver in March and my friend, 30, got married to his now wife, 29. They both live at home. He is a very successful realtor/small developer and she is a successful lawyer. I am guessing given he flipped a $2.7 million dollar house the year before that they could have gone out and bought a home 1-2 years ago for $2-$3 million, but it is a cultural thing for them. Some cultures enjoy the close family component.”

    Success is more than just strong finances. Why is your initial justification always related to money?

    “Actually it is. It’s called learning independence and self sufficiency while not relying on mommy to make your dinner and tell you you’re a good boy. The ones I knew who stayed home too long turned out to be losers, alcoholics, and can’t hold a job.”

    Agree 100%. Marko’s mom probably still makes his lunch!

  53. “You might consider that for some retired people not having families with screaming kids and out of control teenagers moving into one’s neighbourhood as a bonus. ”

    Sure. And there are probably hipsters who consider wrinklies walking around their neighbourhood to be a cause of urban blight.

    That said, I think a significant majority of people see the benefit in a neighbourhood that includes a range of ages.

    For those retirees who do want kidfree neighbourhoods, there are developments that cater to that very “need”. Let’s not turn our whole city into that zone.

  54. I think whether a kid is successful depends on if the kid has a long-term plan. Plenty of kids without any plan have moved out to be independent, but then ended up poor or unhappy. On the other hand, some kids that have stayed home longer while working on a business startup or their BSc or Masters have done really well for themselves.

    Good to see the Australia news.

    Agree on the need for density in designated areas – as Marko said if we’re going to have migration into BC, we need more cooperation instead of throwing problems over the wall.

  55. ICYMI, we can now just change the name to Victoria in this Steve Saretsky article. Victorians buying over priced condos from the foreigners who will pay zero tax. What a scam.

    Vancouver Pre Sale Condo Ponzi Scheme

    ” Further, once assigned to a local buyer at a higher cost, it’s easy to avoid capital gains tax as nothing ever registers in land titles office.

    It’s the perfect speculative system. Pay deposit increments of 5%, if the market tanks, one simply walks away from the 5, 10, or 15% worth of deposits. If the market continues to boom you flip it for an easy profit and dodge capital gains tax. Good luck tracking down an international buyer living in China, he’s long gone.”

    http://vancitycondoguide.com/vancouver-pre-sale-condo-ponzi-scheme/

  56. “People make moving out to be this big deal of responsibility and growth”

    Actually it is. It’s called learning independence and self sufficiency while not relying on mommy to make your dinner and tell you you’re a good boy. The ones I knew who stayed home too long turned out to be losers, alcoholics, and can’t hold a job.

  57. Some cultures enjoy the close family component.

    Yep, while I’m not from one of those cultures, having my mother in law living in the suite is awesome. Great for the kids, great for us, and she seems to like it too.

    The smart person is living at home, banking and investing an additional $1,200-$1,500 each month.

    Sometimes I think about society’s different perceptions of money depending on where it goes. If someone living in a small 60s apartment for $800/month moves to a rented condo for $1300/month they are moving up in the world, and “good for them getting a bit of a nicer place”. If that same person stays in their $800/month apartment and buys a new iPad every month they’re a wasteful lunatic.

  58. It’s funny how on here people complain about rampant development, and on VV people complain about rampant NIMBYism preventing development.

    The NIMBYism is 100% hilarious. Last year I was doing a listing presentation and the seller was complaining at nauseam about a rezoning proposal someone down the street was doing (wasn’t going to affect him at all in my opinion) and then 10 minutes later is complaining about how his daughter can’t find a place to rent and it is a disaster in the rental market.

    It’s like the NIMBYs can’t hear themselves talking sometimes.

    I drive a lot to make a living. Do I like the massive increase in congestion around Victoria? It has probably added 20 to 25 minutes to my workday compared to 6-7 years ago. Don’t like it, but what other options do you have. If you don’t want to densify then clear cut.

    I wish those anti-density would at least say, “Ok, we are not in support of this 200 unit building downtown; however, to add 200 units of housing stock in Greater Victoria we have XYZ proposal.” I would be down with anything. If someone said I am anti this development and I am going to write Treadu to lower immigration quotas I would be happy with such a response even if I didn’t agree with it.

  59. Financially it can make sense but look at the long-term social implications. These kids (and subsequently their kids who have to stay even longer) will likely be messed up, in my opinion. People need space to grow, physically and mentally.

    If my parents had something larger than 801 sq/ft where I could enter and leave without my mom asking me as to where I am going each time I would have probably stayed longer.

    I was at a wedding in Vancouver in March and my friend, 30, got married to his now wife, 29. They both live at home. He is a very successful realtor/small developer and she is a successful lawyer. I am guessing given he flipped a $2.7 million dollar house the year before that they could have gone out and bought a home 1-2 years ago for $2-$3 million, but it is a cultural thing for them. Some cultures enjoy the close family component.

    People make moving out to be this big deal of responsibility and growth….great you now know how to log into a BC Hydro account to pay your bill (s). Pat on the back. The smart person is living at home, banking and investing an additional $1,200-$1,500 each month.

    And how would living at home prevent physical growth? Odds are you would eat healthier and the gym doesn’t move irrelevant of where you live.

  60. It’s funny how on here people complain about rampant development, and on VV people complain about rampant NIMBYism preventing development.

  61. Barrister, I agree that out-of-control screaming kids isn’t paradise but maybe I should take you on a tour of the empty neighbourhoods in Van to see how bleak it is not to have multiple ages/demographics living there! 🙂

    As for the “socialists who want a forest of highrises,” Victoria could easily model itself after places like Sunshine Coast in Oz where there are designated high-rise & low-rise areas. Not sure who you’d like serving your Murchies tea, but if they’re all living in Langford they’re not going to afford the time or $ to come downtown. (without rapid transit like Skytrain they’re screwed)

    You and I are both retired & probably have things in common but gated communities aren’t for me: it’s pretty sad when humans have to put walls between each other after years of class warfare.

    All of us can be hypocritical at times, but doesn’t it seem strange to want to be rid of the proletariat but then move back to Victoria for gov’t funded medical care? There’s that saying “socialism for the rich but capitalism for the poor.”

  62. Yep, no subprime in Canada, no foreigners with hot money from who knows where backing all big condo projects, no debt problems, no rental problems,high wages for everyone, no traffic problems, no growing homeless problem either. Victoria is a fucking paradise where no one ever loses…….says the guy who only got into the market because of a 50% crash. AKA a hypocrite.

  63. How Canada lost its mind over real estate.

    http://www.macleans.ca/economy/realestateeconomy/how-canada-completely-lost-its-mind-over-real-estate/

    “RMG Mortgages, a division of national independent lender MCAP Corp., recently sent an email to brokers in Ontario encouraging them to close deals with clients with low credit scores. Each approved loan earned the broker an entry into a draw for an NBA March Madness prize pack.”

    “I’ve been bombarded with calls from existing homeowners looking to tap into their home equity,” says Adam Farber, assistant director of investor relations at a private lender called Corwin Mortgage Capital in Toronto. And they’re using the cash to purchase investment properties. “Everyone is doing this on the speculation that prices will only go up in value.”

  64. Leo:

    Actually do we really have that many empty houses at the moment?

    Cavaet Emptor:

    You might consider that for some retired people not having families with screaming kids and out of control teenagers moving into one’s neighbourhood as a bonus. Parents are remarkably delusional when they seem think that everyone will find their little psychopaths charming and delightful.

  65. @caveat. Bingo. Although it is surprising that owners don’t realize how negative runaway prices are for a city. I guess the $ signs trump all. But it’s not like we don’t have an example across the straight.

  66. Leo not sure what they stopped saying

    They said Seattle doesn’t crash, it just rises then plateaus and they pointed at the past decades when it had done just that. And then it declined 30%

  67. “The community group HALT in Vancouver was a good example of homeowners & renters banding together to address affordability issues. https://haltvancouver.org/

    “I thought that there’d be similar community spirit here in Victoria – for renters & homeowners to work together on affordability & form a group, but there seems to be too much antagonism so far. I could be wrong but it’s sure looking like that.”

    Give it time. Prices haven’t been high here long enough for the neighbourhoods to hollow out like West Side Vancouver. James Bay, Fairfield and even Oak Bay are full of people who bought just a few years ago when those areas were still pretty accessible to slightly above middle income families and to anyone who had climbed a few rungs on the property ladder.

    Right now homeowners are experiencing the upside of high prices (wow I’m rich!) but not yet the downside (families can’t move in, empty houses owned by international investors).

  68. The thing that people need to realize is that there is so many foreign buyers and other people buying with cash that it doesn’t matter about the income gap. The people buying most of them are retired or not working. It doesn’t matter to them that the price is what it is.

    So why didn’t prices just keep going up in 2008? If incomes don’t matter, then why did we have 6 years of flat? Did foreign buyers suddenly discover Victoria in 2016?

  69. Victoria will continue to do its thing. Goes up than spends 7 or 8 years sitting doing nothing.

    They said the same thing in Seattle. Then they stopped saying that.

  70. All you have to do is pull the titles to a few of the addresses and you can see who is on title and you will get a pretty quick summary of where the money is coming from.

    How would one do this? How much does it cost?

  71. The thing that people need to realize is that there is so many foreign buyers and other people buying with cash that it doesn’t matter about the income gap. The people buying most of them are retired or not working. It doesn’t matter to them that the price is what it is. There are a few out there’re that are definitely taking a big mortgage out to buy and they might suffer if it crashes but some won’t. Also in the 80’s the foreign influence was not even close to what it is today. The foreign capital is playing such a huge role that its completely different from the 80s. I know of two condo buildings being built downtown right now that are financed by foreign money. All you have to do is pull the titles to a few of the addresses and you can see who is on title and you will get a pretty quick summary of where the money is coming from. Say what you want about this but it’s true. There is so much going on behind the scenes with foreign money that it’s funny to me that people pretend that it’s not impacting real estate in Victoria.

  72. Gwac:

    The tree huggers are definitely there but so are the socialists who want a forest of high rises. If i was fifteen years younger I would be looking for a hundred acres out of town. But each to his own. But there are people like Marko who really would rather be in a condo downtown but have had to settle for living in a custom built SFH.

  73. Leo:

    Thank you for the numbers on SFH over 2 mil. The patter as you said is lesws meaningful because of the low numbers. With the exception of around Christmas when a number where taken off the market only to be relisted latter, theinventory seems to be running a lot higher than other segments.

  74. The window of opportunity has simply shut right now. This isn’t like any time before. Agree with Hawk or not the debt bubble is real and huge. Rates have been rock bottom for years. Cracks are appearing in our crooked mortgage infrastructure. Prices have now detached from reality. Wages have no where near caught up. Our economy is reliant on building condos. Globalism is under more and more scrutiny. The have nots are getting pissed. It is different this time. This isn’t 2002-2008 that is for sure. What comes at the end of this run?

  75. Hope not Barrister. So far So good. Too many socialist tree huggers to hopefully keep the place a paradise.

  76. Gwac I guess we agree that foreign capital is influencing prices. What we don’t know is how a tax might impact that.

  77. Hawk Victoria has kept up with inflation that is it over the past 9 years so no it is not a bubble.

  78. Victoria is a bubble like everywhere else as 20% gains are not normal.It blew up 50% in the 80’s but can’t happen here again because it’s a paradise now but wasn’t back then ? Your logic is whacked but what’s new.

    “Can’t happen here” attitude with record debt everywhere including Victoria means it has every chance of doing the same as everywhere else. We all borrow from the same banks with the same lending rules. Victoria is no different.

  79. GWAC

    Give the developers a chance and they will turn Victoria into another arm pit like Toronto and Vancouver.

  80. Gwac:

    betting on a crash is not prudent but on the other hand I would be reluctant to assume ever increasing prices at this point.My point is perhaps that there is a bit more risk than some people assume and it is important not to over extend.

  81. Local. I came to Toronto with a thousand dollars in the bank in 1990. I was told I would never own. I rented a room in someone house 30% of my income for a room. I than watch all hell break lose over the next 5 years. Was able to buy a place at 50% off only because the happened to be when I got the money together. I live through and it’s the same thing happening all over again. Average family income is less than Victoria but housing are 100% higher. Going to blow and those idiots paying 2m for a shack have lost their minds. Toronto is not Vancouver. It is one big armpit. Victoria is a fucking paradise compare to those 2 places. That why I will keep buying some properly price vacant land over the next 10 years here

  82. Local fool hawk and I is nothing more than amusement for me.

    LOL Never mind then, you two carry right on. My apologies for interrupting. 😀 😀

    Curious to know if you’d like to share any specific thoughts about Toronto. Don’t know how closely you follow it – bulls and bears are making the same arguments over there as they do here…

  83. Hawk do not worry. I will be fine in any downturn. Thanks for the concern.

    Local fool hawk and I is nothing more than amusement for me. Could not care what direction real estate goes it will not impact my life one bit. Not selling my places they are going to my either my dogs/ spca or maybe my kids if they behave.

    Toronto is going to blow btw. It will be fun to watch. Victoria will continue to do its thing. Goes up than spends 7 or 8 years sitting doing nothing.

  84. Hawk what are we at, day 3600 at being wrong?

    You must realize your argument above, at its core, is without substance. “Your track record of predicting about what the market will do has been poor, ergo you will continue to be wrong.” Had this blog been around in the early 80s when he sold out just in time, you’d be much more interested in his viewpoints – but really, that wouldn’t be much more sensible either.

    It’s no more logical to say that “because the last 20 years of smoking hasn’t given me cancer, that means cigarettes are safe.” In other words, saying he has been wrong before is not really saying anything to debunk what he opines about the future, must less prove anything.

    Hawk has no idea what will happen next – but neither do you.

    I do happen to think that the growing body of circumstances right in front of us with respect to stagnant wage levels, precarious employment types, imbalanced debt ratios and geopolitical realities are getting to the point where sooner or later the music will stop. I also think that many of these indicators are not only growing, but accelerating. When the beneficiaries of this mess (banks) are cautioning our leadership consistently and calling for policy intervention in the market, that does not scream, “the market’s future is looking up”.

    Can it get worse? Oh yes. And if you plan to grow your portfolio of RE, go right ahead. You yourself have acknowledged quite recently the reality of RE in this country, though granted you focus on Toronto. But really, what’s happening there IMO, has the same causes as what’s happening in Vancouver and Victoria. One day, our market will be looking bright again. I’m sure of it. I’m pretty sure though, that “one day”, isn’t today.

    PS: Money seeks a place where it won’t be taken from its owner by an overbearing government, and also where it can make gains. If “stability” were the name of the game, do you think the Chinese stock market would behave as it does, Bitcoin, soybean stocks etc? Just saying. Van RE has been incredibly volatile…

  85. One more day closer to seeing you go under gwhacked. 70% of those who go bankrupt have good credit….then they don’t.

  86. Safe haven capital flows in all those items and will continue

    Depends. The anger is rising. Toronto will get a foreign buyer tax soon. Maybe we’re next.

    Anti money laundering crackdown will likely come from the feds a bit later.

  87. China can’t get money out easy anymore. Wardrums are beating, US warship group stacking up on Korean peninsula tonite. Yep let’s go buy Canadian real estate ASAP. Unless you make $800K a year you’re on margin.High risk to lose big.

  88. Safe haven capital flows in all those items and will continue. Can’t live in a gold bar if you need to get out of your country.

  89. Gwac, so you’re saying foreign capital should flow into SFHs? 95% of vacouverites would think that’s fcked up. Put that capital into stocks or bonds or gold instead.

  90. Hawk

    Only loading up on what I can afford and wait out if
    We see a correction.

    Keep hoping for that correction. How is that worked out so far.

  91. Gwhacked obviously has more margin than brains to think 50% from here is a given and he’s loading up on more in the bottom of the 9th inning . Those are the types that implode in the biggest ball of flames.

  92. Barrister

    Capital follows stability. Where would you put your money as a foreigner in this fucked up world.

    People calling for a crash over a 10 year period are not exactly wise to follow. Ya eventually they may be right but at what cost.

  93. While everyone seems to beat up on Hawk, I do believe that he makes some good points. It does not mean that a crash is inevitable but it is certainly possible.While there are always a number of economic factors at play there does seem to be a bit of a disconnect between incomes and house prices. One might be well advised to remember that Canadian mortgages are much more vulnerable to mortgage rate increases than in the US where the vast majority of mortgages are for a 30 year term and, hence, unaffected by rate increases. Canadian mortgages are relatively short term.

    The other factor is that while interest rates are set by the Bank of Canada, rates do not exist in a total international vacuum. If the spread between rates in the U.S. and here widen then there is
    serious capital flight which cannot be ignored by the Bank of Canada.

  94. I am still seeing virtually no or a least very few sales in the over 1.8 mil range. Does anyone know the months of inventory on houses above 1.9 mil. I am wondering if we are in for some major price drops in the upper price range?

    Too few listings and sales for MOI to be meaningful as seen by the wild variations. This is SFH over 1.8M in Victoria and Oak Bay.
    Aug 2016 10.50
    Sep 2016 4.50
    Oct 2016 2.20
    Nov 2016 11.50
    Dec 2016 20.00
    Jan 2017 3.50
    Feb 2017 5.25
    Mar 2017 6.50

  95. Plumwine:

    It is easy to forget that a mere three years ago a number of the Upland knockdowns were selling for 600 to 800k. Thought of buying one and building but the wife was not really thrilled about the feel of the neighborhood. Absolutely no regrets about passing on it.

    I am still seeing virtually no or a least very few sales in the over 1.8 mil range. Does anyone know the months of inventory on houses above 1.9 mil. I am wondering if we are in for some major price drops in the upper price range?

  96. “Well, time will tell. Check back in in 10 years. This blog will probably still be going and we can compare notes.”

    Haha, no thanks, I won’t need to come back in 10 years to win a debate with some anonymous blogger to feel good about myself. I’m sure you’ll be here though.

  97. I am still rooting for Hawk’s vision…. so that, I can buy one of Mattrick’s Uplands houses under 1M….

  98. I’m right there is a bubble about to pop, a serious housing crisis and you’re out to lunch denying it exists. That’s all that matters. Your paper profits mean fuck all until you cash out.

    BOC too chicken to raise rates a quarter point or it will tank the whole economy and someone pays you to look at charts ?

  99. Hawk

    My credibility is I have been on the right side of this market. You have not and have been whining for years about some crash.
    I own more than 1 property and worked very hard for both of them. I am also looking for another lot. I do not feel bad because I busted my ass to have what I have now. Hard work and not blaming others pays off. Try it.

  100. The westshore is just as hot as the core. I guess everyone should move out to sooke?

    Why not? Many families live there, is Sooke not good enough for first time buyers?

    2015 – Core SFH: “too small, too old. Bulldozer bait”
    2016 – Westshore SFH: “too far away, too many drug problems. Langford craphole”
    2017 – ???

    Excuse after excuse, totoro summed up their attitude perfectly.

  101. Leo

    Yep they should move to sooke if that is what they can afford and want a house. Nothing wrong with that. We have limited land near the core so as the population grows. Those that are at the bottom of the housing ladder need to move further. Other way is build 30 or 40 story condos and families start doing that instead of sfh.

  102. Your kids’ll be working at Thrifty’s well into their 30s

    Well, time will tell. Check back in in 10 years. This blog will probably still be going and we can compare notes.

  103. How is the first week in April looking so far?

    A bit better. 376 listings, 245 sales. But listings are always up start of the month.

  104. Leo there is not a housing crisis in Victoria. There is a crisis of not being able to live in the core.
    People need to get over that and move further away from the core like most of the population in Canada does.

    The westshore is just as hot as the core. I guess everyone should move out to sooke?

  105. Says Intorovert the spelling nazi who offers zero. Another Golden Head price slash again today but look it up yourself troll.

  106. http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/millennials-should-move-in-with-parents-to-prosper-say-financial-experts-1.3183511
    “It’s the only thing they really have to move forward.”

    Financially it can make sense but look at the long-term social implications. These kids (and subsequently their kids who have to stay even longer) will likely be messed up, in my opinion. People need space to grow, physically and mentally. It’s also “the only thing they really have to move forward”, which is a signal to me at least that there’s a major problem here. On a large scale this’ll lead to population decline in the West.

  107. Totora, “I say work hard and live at home and invest your money until the numbers work to move unless you don’t get along with your folks or they live in an area where there is no work.”

    Yeah, if you want to raise dependent children, which it seems you do. People shouldn’t be living with their parents into their 30s. People move to go to school, find work, have a relationship, etc and that should happen well before 30 if they’re “working hard” as you say. If some of this hasn’t been achieved by 30 they’re not working hard enough. Wonder what you propose for the people who live in an area where there’s no work. Your kids’ll be working at Thrifty’s bagging my groceries well into their 30s to save for their down payment and with the few well-paying jobs in Victoria you may as well pack their bags for them to move to Alberta.

  108. Gwac credibility now zero.

    Says the guy who keeps predicting the crash that never happens. Now that’s credibility!

  109. gwac says he looks at charts all day for a living but ignores all the charts in the McLeans article clearly showing how we are so far past the US crash levels it isn’t funny. Yep just work hard kids and you can be blind to reality too.

  110. Leo there is not a housing crisis in Victoria. There is a crisis of not being able to live in the core. People need to get over that and move further away from the core like most of the population in Canada does.

    Well I suppose that would hinge on how you define “crisis”. I can’t imagine what your criteria is, but this problem is not limited to Victoria proper. I think some posts earlier in this thread demonstrate that rather conclusively. There are plenty of people uninterested in the core but still want to buy – there is little available, and what is there is experiencing price gains unmatched in most places in the world.

    Would you say then that there is no housing crisis in Vancouver or the GTA, other than people wanting to move in the core? Is Hamilton experiencing ~20% YOY gains only because everyone wants to live in downtown Hamilton?

  111. Dasmo:

    I certainly agree that the cost of living in Victoria has definitely gone up particularly the housing component. Not as bad as Toronto or Vancouver but a definite increase.If I was starting out I am not sure that Victoria is where I would want to be. I saw the same thing happen and Toronto over the years and frankly it only got worse with the passage of time.

  112. I find it ironic that you preach to work harder yet you’d be proud of your children to be “such bums”. Which is it: work hard or leech on others-

    You are right that we do not see eye to eye. I say work hard and live at home and invest your money until the numbers work to move unless you don’t get along with your folks or they live in an area where there is no work.

    I’d be really happy if my child propose a plan like Marko’s. I’d know they were willing to give up their short-term comfort and defer the gratification of having their own place, which is preferable to living at home, for the long-term goal of greater self-sufficiency.

    I see helping a child secure economic self-sufficiency through offering them a place to stay while they are in school or saving for a down payment as a sensible thing to do. Costs us little, we like them around, we travel a lot so they can look after the place, and they want their own places so it won’t be forever. Seems like a good strategic investment in future independence which becomes more important as prices rise above wages.

    1/3 of 18-34 year olds still live at home now. The number has been increasing recently. http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/young-people-living-at-home-1.3599364

    And my views are not all that unusual.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/millennials-should-move-in-with-parents-to-prosper-say-financial-experts-1.3183511

    “…it’s better for the economy and for debt-plagued millennials if they move home and save up. She says, typically, new grads don’t have the cash to invest and are working low-paying jobs because they haven’t launched their careers yet. So, “the only lever they have is the housing lever. It’s the only thing they really have to move forward.”

  113. I don’t really care how the CPI is calculated. It has no effect on me at all… it is an arbitrary number that can always be close to 2% via substitution and removal. Real inflation is that you get kicked out of your two bedroom close to town for $1500 and now have to be far out of town and pay $2000 for a one bedroom. Who cares what the CPI states?

  114. I find that, after consideration, that I agree with you that land ownership is a matter of national policy and that ownership should be restricted to citizenship. Switzerland has successfully created such policies and we should certainly at least examine their model.

    But I also believe that the official cost of living index is more deceptive than reflecting any reality.
    If one simply examines the ever increasing amount of taxation when has a better indication of diminishing purchase power. Combine that with the serious drop in the Canadian dollar and there is a clear picture of decreased purchasing power. technically purchasing power is a different calculus than inflation but perhaps the more relevant one for the average Canadian.

  115. No housing crisis in Victoria ? LOL These pumpers will defend this bloated pig all the way down. Gwac credibility now zero.

  116. Leo there is not a housing crisis in Victoria. There is a crisis of not being able to live in the core. People need to get over that and move further away from the core like most of the population in Canada does.

    If you have a better way to calculating inflation I am sure the bank of Canada would like to hear.

  117. @Gwac: “Canadian need to grow some balls and work hard like their parents did. Disgraceful what is happening to this country.”

    You have a complete disconnect from modern day reality. Back in your day you could walk into a decent paying career with a high school education. Land was plentiful and populations were much less. Nowadays you have to have an advanced degree just to get an entry level position that pays enough to cover the rent. Bachelor’s degrees don’t get you very much anymore, and have become the new high school diploma. You can speak ill of millennials all you want but they work much harder than you did for less. The only thing disgraceful here is your better-than-you attitude.

  118. Totoro “I never said all. I said many”

    That’s just your unsupported opinion which you’re entitled to. “Many” would be a much smaller number than you tried to represent earlier. Like how you back off once the facts are presented. You and I obviously don’t see eye to eye, Totoro, but I welcome the discussion. We actually aren’t all that different. At any rate your comments always give me a good laugh.

  119. @Leo S: thanks. I thought you guys were blocking my comments because I called Totoro a predator. Not really feeling the love here with my ‘community-ism’ comments but I welcome the debate.

    This is my comment from early this morning that was stuck in moderation:

    Totoro, I find it ironic that you preach to work harder yet you’d be proud of your children to be “such bums”. Which is it: work hard or leech on others- or do you preach both? I don’t care to devolve this into a discussion about parents funding their children’s home purchase (or back-door funding it by paying for their living expenses or education). I’d support my children too. I didn’t ‘disparage’ Marko for living at home, I simply stated that not everyone has that option, or the assistance options that you’re providing to your children. You’re telling these people to work harder. The majority of people are not in your family’s position. It’s not bemoaning about people who can’t afford to buy, it’s bemoaning about people who should be able to buy based on their life choices/income yet cannot due to speculation, etc. It’s funny that you don’t have time for complaints yet you have time to lurk on HHV; why’s a guy/gal like you on here for anyways, it’s not like you need to monitor your rental investment anymore. Or are you watching for a market drop to take predatory advantage?

    What am I? I’m probably not too different from you, just younger and better looking. I worked hard for everything I have today (just like you). I did so from scratch without help (probably just like you). I worked and paid myself through an education and, like most here, I’m just looking for a moderate, middle-class place for me and my family to call home. That kind of stability shouldn’t be out of reach for young, growing families.

  120. “Never said they shouldn’t. My point is tit for tat only makes everyone poorer and if there country is open to Canadian buying. We should be the same. How many Canadians own Florida, Arizona and California homes. Not seeing them complaining”

    “Socialism makes everyone lazy and expecting the government to take care of them. Canadian need to grow some balls and work hard like their parents did. Disgraceful what is happening to this country.”

    Let’s get real here. If anyone is lazy its the speculators. You encourage and defend foreign home buyers because you don’t want to see the real estate party end in BC and have to get a real job. And those states you listed are not complaining because property is dirt cheap in most of them. If 1970’s shacks were selling for a million in them Americans would be calling for the military to be sent in.

  121. My point is tit for tat only makes everyone poorer and if there country is open to Canadian buying. We should be the same

    Why? Is there a housing crisis in Florida? I expect they’re quite happy with the foreign investment. If they weren’t they are free to place restrictions on foreign buying. Since when did we forget that sovereign countries have the right to make laws and act in the best interests of their citizens?

    I don’t think our housing policy should be based on an idea of playground fairness.

  122. Dasmo that is not how inflation is calculated.

    What’s more important to your cost of living? The CPI or the price of what you actually buy?

  123. @Wolf

    I believe your comments are being stuck in moderation because you created an account but then are commenting without signing in. Try signing in and you shouldn’t have to complete the comment form with your name/email.

  124. No sign of inflation? My cheap parking spot has gone up 30% in the last few years, rents up 50% houses 40%. My drywall quote 40% more than last year…. but yes, my phone cost the same as last year….

  125. BOC mandate is to keep inflation between 1 an 3 % while keeping economy positive. .
    Very simple. Rates are going nowhere.
    No signs of inflation going over 3%. Governments responsibility to control the housing market if needed in certain regions not the BOC.

  126. Hawk BOC will not raise rates because they want a weak dollar. Since the non real estate market is not doing so well. BOC has their hands tied since they want to grow exports.

    Wouldn’t some of that be predicated on the expectation that a Trump administration would enact inflationary policies? Just on that part, I think the jury’s still out on whether that will end up being true. I would think that the BOC could only take that so far in terms of holding rates to the floor. While Canada is an exporter of raw commodities, we also import a great deal of the things we consume.

    So, I don’t know what the balance is. Funny thing is, I’m not sure Poloz does either.

  127. These are emergency rates, the emergency is long over with people blowing their brains out on BOC produced debt. Poloz is a joke.

    “In March, total hours surged 1.1 per cent, the biggest monthly increase since Canada emerged from the Great Recession in 2009. In fact, Canadian workers combined to work the most hours ever last month.

    “We think it is time for the Bank of Canada to acknowledge that the economy is doing better than expected,” Marion says. “If we are right, expect to see rising odds of a rate hike in 2017.”

  128. Hawk BOC will not raise rates because they want a weak dollar. Since the non real estate market is not doing so well. BOC has their hands tied since they want to grow exports.

  129. Time for Poloz to get off the Prozac. 40% of BC GDP is real estate related, that’s not healthy. Toronto is a gong show. Pull the pin and let the chips fall where they may. The central banks created this shit, they can end it.

    Pressure is growing for the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates

    Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz insists the economy is weaker than it appears, but that argument is now in trouble

    http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/pressure-is-growing-on-the-bank-of-canada-to-raise-interest-rates/

  130. I’d be interested to see the stats actually

    Stat is wrong. It is 43% in Vancouver and 14% nationally (which may be underreported given it was an inquiry by insurers). My guess is Victoria is closer to Vancouver. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/secondary-suites-most-common-in-b-c-says-study-1.3202889

    are you so sure these people are “middle class

    Never said all. I said many. Given that not everyone is in the top 20% of income earners – which is a weird way to assess anything imo – ignores net worth – and 70% of Canadians own their own home, it stands to reason that many who are renting out a secondary suite fall in the large middle income band. Those with very high net worth may not choose to rent out a suite, at least in my experience this is the case.

  131. As Dasmo said, it’s communityism, not socialism.

    There are huge concerns about affordable housing in Hawaii because of the effect of outside buyers on limited land. (similar issues to Victoria & Van)

    They don’t complain as much in Florida or Arizona because housing is cheap because of enough land or swampland and (ironically) cheap foreign labour (those “pesky illegal Mexican roofers”)

    Interesting article on the pre-sales condo Ponzi scheme.

  132. Leo

    Never said they shouldn’t. My point is tit for tat only makes everyone poorer and if there country is open to Canadian buying. We should be the same. How many Canadians own Florida, Arizona and California homes. Not seeing them complaining.

    Socialism makes everyone lazy and expecting the government to take care of them. Canadian need to grow some balls and work hard like their parents did. Disgraceful what is happening to this country.

  133. Americans should slap the same tax that BC slapped on Americans to anyone from Vancouver

    Why shouldn’t they be allowed to? If a city in the US was concerned about high income Canadians distorting their market then they should be able to restrict ownership.

  134. I found both Leo’s & db’s posts informative – yes we need to think globally, and yes this is exactly why markets become distorted from local fundamentals.

    eg., long story short: a few years ago we thought about buying a US vacation house, but we didn’t – and one reasons was that we talked to many of the locals who were working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet – we realized that foreign buyers (like us) had already made things more difficult.

    Sometimes you have to look in the mirror. Your “wants” might be so unnecessary. I’m not saying every foreign buyer is selfish. Just that sometimes we justify our “wants” by saying we “need” to have a banana tree in our yard, or the Pacific at our doorstep, when in fact we can so easily make friends and buy a banana from the locals & share a community picnic area by the beach.

    So sometimes people need a push with a foreign buyers tax.

    (also db: sometimes posts might appear antagonistic because it’s a blog & people have to write short messages, which might seem blunt)

    Interesting studies on how liberal & conservative brains think differently, eg.,
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/calling-truce-political-wars/

    (btw, sorry I missed meeting you all last night – we just couldn’t get there last night, partly because it was my better half’s birthday 🙂 )

  135. It’s not socialism, it’s communityism. Speculation in residential real estate can be unhealthy for the community and it is now officially spoiling Victoria. Foreign investors can invest in REITs or other corporate entities. It should be hands of residential real estate ASAP. House we got kicked out of is empty so far….

  136. Question is how many are using Canadian properties to launder money. Since we’re the money laundering capital of the world it isn’t hard to figure out why the Liberals have done zero, and NDP plan to dig in deep. Probably many are Lib donators or friends of.

    NDP promising action against real estate-related money laundering

    Housing Critic David Eby says, if elected May 9th, the NDP will set up a task force to investigate money laundering and tax evasion. “buying luxury properties through numbered corporations and offshore trusts.”

    He says he doesn’t understand why the Christy Clark government hasn’t already taken action.

    “We have had so many red flags in our real estate market about the source of funds, who is actually buying property and where the money is coming from…. Between the tax avoidance, allegations of tax evasion and links to criminal conduct –both locally and internationally– I do not understand why this provincial government still refuses to delve into these issues.”

    http://www.news1130.com/2017/04/05/ndp-promising-action-real-estate-related-money-laundering/

  137. Busy on here this morning. If I can buy a second property in the US, an American should have the same ability and right and follow the taxation rules that apply.

    Americans should slap the same tax that BC slapped on Americans to anyone from Vancouver. Not going to happen but they should.

    Also applies to other counties. Mexicans can buy here I should be able to there

  138. Buying any vacation property is a displacement was the point

    It wasn’t. The point was: using income disparities between countries to distort local markets is harmful and should be controlled.
    We have the perfect example in Vancouver of what happens when it isn’t controlled

    Why don’t you just deleted my postings. They are obviously of no benefit to anyone…

    In my head this was said in Eyore’s voice 🙂

  139. Leo S

    Why don’t you just deleted my postings…

    They are obviously of no benefit to anyone…

    Thanks

  140. No need to argue folks, the ponzi scheme is about to collapse soon. Once the public finally learns they’ve been duped by the foreigners buying in early to all these BC projects, making 30% tax free and flogging them to the local sheep, they will wake up and rebel.

    Too bad the local rag is too worried about advertiser dollars to dig deep into the foreign financing for all these projects. The fool pool is showing extreme levels of FOMO which will end in a river of tears and regret.

    Vancouver Pre Sale Condo Ponzi Scheme

    It’s the perfect speculative system. Pay deposit increments of 5%, if the market tanks, one simply walks away from the 5, 10, or 15% worth of deposits. If the market continues to boom you flip it for an easy profit and dodge capital gains tax. Good luck tracking down an international buyer living in China, he’s long gone.

    http://vancitycondoguide.com/vancouver-pre-sale-condo-ponzi-scheme/

  141. Leo S you are just plain antagonistic

    No he isn’t. You said exactly the same thing to me when I challenged your points of view. At this point I think it’s safe to say you say that to anyone who disagrees with you. These people aren’t antagonistic – more accurately, it is you who are easily antagonized, even if there’s no logical basis for feeling that way.

  142. This sucker is about to implode upon itself based on simple debt loads. Easy credit will soon end via some catalyst that effects global interest rates then the hoarders will become dumpers overnight.

    Canada’s housing bubble looks disturbingly familiar

    On several key metrics, Canada’s housing market has far surpassed the U.S. at its peak

    As David Rosenberg, the chief economist at Gluskin Sheff told BNN Thursday, “This bubble is on par with what we had in the States back in ’05, ’06, ’07. We have to actually take a look at the situation. The housing market here is in a classic price bubble. If you don’t acknowledge that, you have your head in the sand.”

    http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/canadas-housing-bubble-looks-disturbingly-familiar/

  143. Leo S

    you are just plain antagonistic… did you have a cup of coffee this morning ?

    Buying any vacation property is a displacement was the point.. you started it.. but your logic is flawed.

  144. Then you better not buy any vacation property outside of Canada because you are doing the same to others

    Fine. What gives me the right to go into a low income country and buy up their housing? I have no problem with countries making rules like that to protect their citizens. Of course if there is no shortage of housing then they can relax those rules.

    better not buy vacation property in Qualicum Beach either…or Shawnigan or heaven forbid Winnipeg

    I wasn’t aware those are in other countries.

    The world is global

    Precisely the problem that markets across the world are experiencing. And many are moving to correct it with foreign buyer restrictions and taxation.

  145. Totoro, I find it ironic that you preach to work harder yet you’d be proud of your children to be “such bums”. Which is it: work hard or leech on others- or do you preach both? I don’t care to devolve this into a discussion about parents funding their children’s home purchase (or back-door funding it by paying for their living expenses or education). I’d support my children too. I didn’t ‘disparage’ Marko for living at home, I simply stated that not everyone has that option, or the assistance options that you’re providing to your children. You’re telling these people to work harder. The majority of people are not in your family’s position. It’s not bemoaning about people who can’t afford to buy, it’s bemoaning about people who should be able to buy based on their life choices/income yet cannot due to speculation, etc. It’s funny that you don’t have time for complaints yet you have time to lurk on HHV; why’s a guy/gal like you on here for anyways, it’s not like you need to monitor your rental investment anymore. Or are you watching for a market drop to take predatory advantage?

    What am I? I’m probably not too different from you, just younger and better looking. I worked hard for everything I have today (just like you). I did so from scratch without help (probably just like you). I worked and paid myself through an education and, like most here, I’m just looking for a moderate, middle-class place for me and my family to call home. That kind of stability shouldn’t be out of reach for young, growing families.

  146. On the topic of vacation properties…If that is your opinion,..

    Then you better not buy any vacation property outside of Canada because you are doing the same to others…
    Hmmm, make that…better not buy vacation property in Qualicum Beach either…or Shawnigan or heaven forbid Winnipeg…

    ad infinitum…

  147. Just going off the limited information you gave… if they’re so focused on when to sell based on appreciation their primary motivation is apparently not as a residence.

    You didn’t say duals, you said “from the US” so I stand by my point. People without permanent interest in Canada don’t need to buy houses.

  148. Leo S

    You have an axe to grind obviously.

    The individual I referred to has 2 domiciles as the kids school here while the father runs his US business. They are 1/2 cdn 1/2 US. Thus they deal with residency restrictions…

    But as usual, you can only see things from your limited experience. The world is global, US FATCA rules make it difficult for duals. If you understood the US, you wouldn’t persecute so readily.

  149. My friend pointed out that his neighbors from the US had bought here quite a few years back (like 2000) and had no compelling reason to sell this 2nd house for the following reason. It’s appreciation didn’t warrant a sale.

    So they bought a vacation property in Victoria? At the risk of gwac calling me a socialist, I think they should start by banning that for non permanent residents. Definitely a misallocation of housing

  150. Totoro: “So the 40% of the 70% of the population of Canada that have suites are either overextended or well off profiteers? How about it is just a logical choice for many normal middle class folks? Like working harder for any goal.”

    Not sure where you came up with these numbers (I’d be interested to see the stats actually) but are you so sure these people are “middle class”? I don’t imagine you’re middle class. I was a bit surprised to see that I’m not middle class. Of course people usually just see the 5 people who have more than them and not 100 who have less.

    http://www.macleans.ca/economy/money-economy/are-you-in-the-middle-class/

  151. I thought I might share this observation as I had a discussion with a friend a week ago about perspectives.

    To set the table properly, let me refer you to the 4th chart above depicting Median Prices for Jan 1 2008 at $502,000 (so lets round it to 500,000 for simple math)

    My friend pointed out that his neighbors from the US had bought here quite a few years back (like 2000) and had no compelling reason to sell this 2nd house for the following reason. It’s appreciation didn’t warrant a sale. This got me to thinking that we often become so localized in our focus that we do not take into account what is relevant to foreigners.

    For example.
    1) If a US citizen bought the Median House on Jan 1, 2008 at $500,000 – the exchange rate at the time was $1US to $1 cdn., and thus $500,000. So today’s Median value of $677,000 factored back into $US at current exchange rates of $1.34 cdn. is equal to $505,000…(ie No appreciation to speak of for a US investor)

    2) If a British citizen had done the same on Jan 1,2008 at $500,000, the cost would be 250,000 BP (as the exchange rate was $2 cdn per 1 BP.
    Yet today that same house would be $677,000 factored back into BP at the current exchange rate of $1.65 cdn per 1 BP would result in 410,000 BP. (ie. increase of 64% in their currency terms)

    So what does the above tell us?

    We need to see things from a global perspective, not just local…(particularly if you are putting dollars ahead of quality of life as a measuring stick).

  152. @3Richard Haysom – Google Actuarial Tables. Fair point, the bank always gets its due.

    And second, third, or fourth on thanks for organising the meet up. Cheers!

  153. The fascinating thing about buying a home is that you pay the bulk of it off with ever depreciating dollars. Whereas your rent is paid with current monthly value. (I wonder if people know what I mean by this?)

  154. Yeah I really want to spend my friday nights mingling with the over 60 crowd at the Penny Farthing…NOT.

    Got so say when we got in and saw the table full of octogenarians we got a little unsure where the HHV meetup was…
    But it was the table over from them 🙂

  155. Thanks for coming out folks. Good time, I think we managed to keep the fights contained to only two or three at a time rather than the whole table. Should do again sometime. Thanks Local Fool for reminding me to organize this.

  156. I think a better term would be a bum, or leech. Basically getting by on the goodwill of others.

    May my kids grow up to be such bums.

    you know, there’s more people on this planet than just yourself.

    Thanks for the information.

    I wonder, what will you teach your children when they’re looking for their first home and the prices of today are far in the rear view mirror?

    I expect them to be priced out of the core. It is the main reason we bought multi-family. Each of the kids knows that they can buy a fractional share financed by us and have a separate place to live in Victoria at an affordable cost if they choose to and we’ll rent it out and manage it for them if they travel. Extended family, including my parents, also have a place to come if they need the assistance. Works in our favour to have kids close to us as we age as well. We’ll see how it unfolds.

    Will you tell them to stop whining and work harder, even though they worked to have an education and saved for years,

    We’ll match their down payment and co-sign if they want to buy their own place. My eldest (18) is currently doing the math to see if it makes sense for him to defer another year and save and invest based on this. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with.

    If we can’t provide this option in future I’ll tell the child they can live at home for free and save for a house. If they don’t want to do this then it a math question and I’ll help them figure how to save or make more money if they ask for the help. I don’t have much time for complaints. If there are real barriers like disability I’ll do what I can to help with this.

    I find it ironic that you are disparaging Marko for living at home while saving for a down payment or finding a way to afford a house, yet bemoaning how people don’t think of others, especially those who can’t afford to buy.

    What are you going to do besides complain?

    Or perhaps you’ll just let them live in your house for free until they’re 40?

    Have zero problem with this if they are saving for a down payment or otherwise need the help.

    Don’t misconstrue me for an armchair socialist

    What are you?

  157. Thank you for organizing a very pleasant and successful evening. Everyone was both cordial and charming.

    I second this. Enjoyed your arcane sense of humour, Barrister. Don’t think I agree that you’ll be dead in 5 years. You seem pretty full of life to me. Agreed, my g/f is definitely crazy to be with me, but she loves me anyways. Good thing she never reads the stuff I post on here.

    Thank you Entomologist for explaining your profile picture to me. In fact, I seemed to be the only one that didn’t know what it was. Dasmo, who knew that Rotterdam air was so horrific?

    Thank you to Leo for organizing, enjoyed speaking to you and your wife.

    Next time though, I won’t sit next to the fireplace, under an overhead heater. It must have been 45 degrees where I was. Thank goodness the car has A/C for the ride home… 😀

  158. Thank you for organizing a very pleasant and successful evening. Everyone was both cordial and charming. Civility was really maintained and the views expressed were both interesting and often informative.

  159. Wolf: “I’m a high income earner in a high income household, invest in my own stocks (and do considerably well), have a large deposit in hand, and can afford a SFH in the core.”
    Totoro: “Great. You should be fine.”

    That’s part of the problem. People only seem to be looking out for themselves. Don’t misconstrue me for an armchair socialist but, you know, there’s more people on this planet than just yourself.

    With regards to the homeowners saying we can own a home if we work harder: I wonder, what will you teach your children when they’re looking for their first home and the prices of today are far in the rear view mirror? Will you tell them to stop whining and work harder, even though they worked to have an education and saved for years, or will you simply provide them with a down payment? The latter seems a bit hypocritical, wouldn’t you say? Or perhaps you’ll just let them live in your house for free until they’re 40?

  160. Bummer. I have to bail on the meet up. Was looking forward to this – I expect a full report back!

  161. I think the purpose of a SFH is for use of a single family, as the name implies.

    You might want to buy in Oak Bay if you want the label to match, or maybe Broadmead is better as they police their bylaws pretty strictly. Secondary suites are permitted everywhere else in SFHs I think, and carriage houses are in many areas too. Increasing density increases affordability and rental stock so most municipalities allow this now based on sound public policy. New homes zoned for SFHs in many areas come with legal suites.

    There are both obviously.

    So the 40% of the 70% of the population of Canada that have suites are either overextended or well off profiteers? How about it is just a logical choice for many normal middle class folks? Like working harder for any goal.

  162. I suggested stocks or mutual funds as one possible alternative.

    And I suggested renting to you instead of buying as a possible alternative.

    Problem is you don’t know anything about my circumstances and I don’t know anything about your circumstance to make such suggestions.

    The reasons I buy condos run deeper and there is a lot of side hustle income associated with my purchases. For example, I’ve sold 14 units at 834 Johnson in the last few years. Why? Because I own a unit in the building that I rent out , I served on the strata council as the treasurer, most of the owners know me as a result and when they need to sell a unit I am high on the list of agents. The condo has been cash flow positive every month for 5 years + appreciation + principal repayment + 14 units sold. I can’t make those kind of returns in the stock market. Everyone had an opportunity to buy the unit for $198,900 in 2009 but at the time the sky was falling and I took what I thought was an acceptable risk. It’s not like the unit wasn’t exposed to the open market and I was handed it on a silver plate.

    The reasons you want to buy versus rent probably also run deeper than just a roof over your head.

  163. Those have nothing to do with each other.

    Obviously they do. But I’d love to hear your explanation why a larger population doesn’t lead to higher land prices in central areas.

  164. Marko: “If I was in my early 20s again as dire as the situation may seem you could navigate yourself into a SFH with a lot of what I call “side hustle” type stuff.”

    I think a better term would be a bum, or leech. Basically getting by on the goodwill of others. Bet you wouldn’t have that girlfriend long with this plan!

  165. Remember that the city is getting bigger. That means that, for the same rent/price, you’re either going to have to move further out or downsize.

    Those have nothing to do with each other.

  166. Marko: “Rent, instead of buying?”

    You asked how you were supposed to finance your retirement other than owning multiple homes. I suggested stocks or mutual funds as one possible alternative. Don’t really see how renting comes back into play here unless you missed the point.

  167. “It seems like you are saying that people should be prohibited from buying anything but a SFH with no suite and stocks, and stating that anyone who has bought a second house (9% – mostly vacation places), or a house with a suite (40% in BC) is somehow immoral or wrong”

    I think the purpose of a SFH is for use of a single family, as the name implies. It’s not called a “dual family home” (i.e. a duplex). Too many people convert SFHs into, essentially, duplexes as a way to help with the mortgage. Some of these people probably have no business owning a home while others are landlords trying to maximize profit on their rental home. I have no issue with investing in condos and townhomes.

    “You state both that landlords are well to do and that landlords are overextended – which is it?”

    There are both obviously.

    “There is an attitude among many that, “I deserve a house and I deserve it now.” The reality is that if you work hard, you’re patient, and you’re smart, it will happen.”

    I agree with this, but you have to admit that the markets in Vancouver, Toronto, Victoria are a bit detached from economic fundamentals. People who did work hard, were patient, and are smart are being pushed back from this goal. It’s not just the no-good lazy folks who can’t afford it anymore. Imagine if when you did all these things and were about to buy the market spiked 50%. Would you still consider people to be so entitled?

  168. There is an attitude among many that, “I deserve a house and I deserve it now.” The reality is that if you work hard, you’re patient, and you’re smart, it will happen. Blaming other people or external factors does not help.

    If I was in my early 20s again as dire as the situation may seem you could navigate yourself into a SFH with a lot of what I call “side hustle” type stuff.

    First of all, I would stick it out with parents as long as possible (side hustle). If my parents didn’t live locally I would get a place with a roomate.

    Instead of swinging for the fences with the first purchase I would get creative and buy something like this -> http://cityzenresidences.ca/ (has transient zoning). During the summer I would AirBnB to make extra cash (the side hustle) and those nights I would crash at my parents’ house, girlfriend, whatever.

    Etc., etc….the ball gets rolling.

  169. So far I’ve been surprised at the level of animosity some homeowners here have towards home buyers – accusing prospective buyers of “blaming” them, or scoffing at buyer concerns, or saying that buyers aren’t “pulling their socks up & getting a higher paying job.” eg., “I’ve done it why can’t you, you whiner” Really? Crikey.

    I have no animosity towards homebuyers. But people need to realize that not everyone gets to own a home. If you want to own a home, it’s going to take some hard work. Maybe it’s a little more difficult now than it used to be, but the market is cyclical and that will change soon enough. Five years from now everyone on here will likely be complaining how much their property dropped.

    There is an attitude among many that, “I deserve a house and I deserve it now.” The reality is that if you work hard, you’re patient, and you’re smart, it will happen. Blaming other people or external factors does not help.

    Remember that the city is getting bigger. That means that, for the same rent/price, you’re either going to have to move further out or downsize. That’s just reality. And again, the rental market is cyclical and will change soon enough. It’s only a few years since landlords were giving away free months, and that will happen again.

  170. It shouldn’t, however, be considered an investment in the way that you’d expect a large return 5, 10, or 20 years down the road.

    It seems like you are saying that people should be prohibited from buying anything but a SFH with no suite and stocks, and stating that anyone who has bought a second house (9% – mostly vacation places), or a house with a suite (40% in BC) is somehow immoral or wrong for doing so because they’ve contributed to increased prices and this is impacting you now that you are looking to buy.

    I’d agree though that higher than inflation appreciation does impact first-time buyers disproportionately – as it has been for 67 years on average – but the effects are growing over time.

    Sure, a rental suite satisfies the basic need of shelter as well but low-income families get stuck in the cycle of paying rent to well-to-do landlords and aren’t able to save for a deposit.

    You state both that landlords are well to do and that landlords are overextended – which is it? There was just a seven year flat period in Victoria in which a landlord, or any homeowner who bought recently, could have had experienced negative equity if they had had to sell their place.

    Rental property, imo, in Victoria is not a great investment now. Prices are too high and cash flow is too low. I guess people are banking on appreciation for any recently purchased investment properties in Victoria. Seems too high of a risk, but it is legal.

    At least Totoro had more selection back in 2012.

    Yes, there was more inventory – not sure how much. There will be again and there was always a better time to buy in the past. I wish we could have bought in 2000 instead because we’d have been a lot better off, but we were a low income family renting and saving our money for a down payment.

    I’m a high income earner in a high income household, invest in my own stocks (and do considerably well), have a large deposit in hand, and can afford a SFH in the core.

    Great. You should be fine.

    If you want to beat inflation by investing, invest in stocks, or are you only comfortable investing in sure-things that other people depend on?

    How do you know what people are invested in? Most people without pensions diversify because nothing is a sure thing.

  171. Just to finish my comment, at HALT Vancouver, the group (which includes homeowners & renters) works to find solutions to concerns like affordability, zoning, speculation, etc.

    So far I’ve been surprised at the level of animosity some homeowners here have towards home buyers – accusing prospective buyers of “blaming” them, or scoffing at buyer concerns, or saying that buyers aren’t “pulling their socks up & getting a higher paying job.” eg., “I’ve done it why can’t you, you whiner” Really? Crikey.

    I hope things get better.

  172. Wolf

    Stocks are a liquid asset. I can buy and sell them at a moment’s notice. I don’t even have to put pants on.

    Which is why RE agents are the worst. They take a huge commission, take days to sell your place even in a hot market and expect you to wear pants.

    I generally wear PJs when buying or selling stocks/ETFs, but I’ll defend to the death Wolf’s right to not wear pants.

    Maybe Leo S can corner the niche market of pantless RE transactions.

    HouseHunting

    3028 Earl Grey St V9A 1W7 $765,000 $460,000 66.30%

    Wow, I missed that one. That’s a lot for that area. BUT.. the assessment was wrong. It was assessed as a 3 bed 1 bath house and sold as a 4 bed 2 bath home. The assessment was artificially low.

  173. gwac, the rapid price growth of 20%-50% is also an issue here, independent of actual prices.

    We’re seeing the same patterns in Victoria as in Van & Toronto – not necessarily for the same exact reasons, but the price increases are similar. The sad thing is, as TallGuy said, it seems that Toronto is the popular topic in Ottawa, but Victoria & Van have had similar problems.

    With the examples that househunting gave, and others’ experience in similar markets, I’m not sure what signs some people are waiting for in Victoria to show that rapid YOY price growth is a sign of speculation.

    The community group HALT in Vancouver was a good example of homeowners & renters banding together to address affordability issues. https://haltvancouver.org/

    I thought that there’d be similar community spirit here in Victoria – for renters & homeowners to work together on affordability & form a group, but there seems to be too much antagonism so far. I could be wrong but it’s sure looking like that.

  174. We bought our house in spring 2012, 5 years ago. Timing was a bit lucky, in retrospect, but since we’re not planning on moving or selling anytime soon, it’s a bit irrelevant (right now we’re worrying about construction costs, which would be better in a bear market).

    I combed the old HHV blog from early 2012 for some discussion topics for tonight’s brouhaha. We laughed, we cried, we blogged.

    HHV: “It’s like a new BMW! … If you didn’t buy a Victoria median house last January [2011], you would have saved yourself a cool $51,000, about enough to get yourself a BMW 3 series with a whistle and still have a $1000 to impress the ladies with!”

    Marko: “I’ve managed to rack up 166 trades in my Questrader account in the last 12 months. Fun hobby when things are going well.”

    Dasmo: “Saw an opportunity and took it. Bought for 10% under assessed value so I don’t think I overpaid. 2.99% 4 year fixed with a 25% down payment. Just signed the mortgage docs today. Certainly I did not buy because I sense an increase in value is going to happen but rather there was an opportunity in a neighbourhood that I wanted to live in. I negotiated a price that I thought reflected it’s 2012 value”

    Just Jack: “While the buyers a half dozen years ago still have an option of selling at a profit today, the investor of today is unlikely to make a profit as interest rates rise over the long term.
    So, anyone buying real estate today, unfortunately are in it for the long term.”

    Leo S: “When interest rates are this low, why not finance at 80% or even higher and why not for at least 5 years?
    Depends on your confidence in your investment returns. To beat paying down your mortgage at 3% you’ll be wanting to guarantee at least 4% return on your investments. That’s not much, but for a 100% guaranteed investment it’s good.
    Also, since many mortgages will have limits on lump sum payments, you minimize your risk if interest rates were to jump up.
    Maybe I’m too timid, but once we have a mortgage I’m dumping everything in until it’s gone.”

    A Simple Man: “the situation in Oak Bay is a lot worse than people suspect. I hear it all around me – people are really struggling. I have said it before, but now it really is becoming commonplace to hear complaints about the cost of living.” [in 2012??]

    Patriotz: “There is massive empirical evidence that price/rent of over 150 (give or take a bit to adjust for local taxation and other factors) is not sustainable in the long run.
    There is also massive empirical evidence that house prices must track incomes in the long run.
    It’s really that simple and people who claim otherwise are trying to run a con job. ”

    CS: “Basically, Greece had a corrupt government that bought votes by spending money the knew they could never repay. In the process the scammed creditors and drove the country inexorably toward bankruptcy, but not during the term of the government responsible.
    So yes, much though you may wish to close your eyes to it, global wage arbitrage is forcing global wage convergence, which is why real incomes in North America have been flat or downward for years past, and why unions are largely powerless to negotiate wages. ”

    And best of all:

    Rhino: “Who the hell wants to live in Oak Bay, its full of old people ….
    Yeah I really want to spend my friday nights mingling with the over 60 crowd at the Penny Farthing…NOT.
    It obvious the market makers in Oak Bay are old people with more money than brains.”

    Seeya soon!

  175. “I think prices dropped something like 15-20% from 2010-2014, from memory. So you’re completely wrong about that.”

    I realize home prices declined in the early 2010s but go back to a Victoria home from, say, 1910. That home costs more today than if you purchased it new at that time, inflation-adjusted. This is particularly evident based on the homes that have been selling recently in Rockland and James Bay. Same applies to homes built closer to present day.

    “Why the hell do you own stocks.”

    Stocks are a liquid asset. I can buy and sell them at a moment’s notice. I don’t even have to put pants on.

  176. An interesting comment that I read on Reddit was (I’m paraphrasing):

    It was just a consequence of being the “Best Place on Earth” when Vancouver’s prices were going through the roof, but now that it’s happening in Toronto it’s a crisis.

    Seriously, in Vancouver is was studied, studied, studied, FBT, ignored. Now in Toronto all levels of government are meeting about it and ALL of the big banks are throwing out warnings.

    Ah, the hypocrisy.

  177. “Unless these properties were renoed to perfection, or there Assessments were way off – then something is seriously amiss here and defies logic.”

    Exactly.

    According to some words of wisdom: No problems here, move along, move along, just go rent & find another job.

    Funny how the RBC CEO just said the Canadian RE market is affected by “speculative forces” but some people still argue “it’s not happening”

    The RBC CEO has called for a ” “multi-faceted solution, which addresses supply constraints and speculative forces … 20% house price growth … is concerning and unsustainable … we believe that if this issue goes unchecked, it could drag on consumer spending, locking up too much capital unproductively, and potentially becoming an inhibitor to Canada’s future economic growth”

    In other words, consumers cut back on all their consumer spending if their mortgages are too high = economic downturn.

  178. Wolf

    Simplistic view due to taxes/maintance/fianacing/ insurance/ tenants not paying and a whole other whack of stuff. Lets assume you are right and real-estate is riskless investment. Why the hell do you own stocks. You should leverage yourself and buy only real-estate That would be the smartest thing to do since it is the only thing you can buy and leverage 19 to 1 and it only goes in one direction according to you over time.

  179. Completely disagree. Look at any time in the history of Victoria: the price at that moment in time is lower than at some later time.

    If you look at inflation-adjusted prices, as you should be doing, there have been some big drops. I think prices dropped something like 15-20% from 2010-2014, from memory. So you’re completely wrong about that.

  180. “Real estate is not a one-way bet, as many Canadians are going to find out within the next few years.”

    Completely disagree. Look at any time in the history of Victoria: the price at that moment in time is lower than at some later time. It’s all just an issue of time. Sure, short-term it may go up or it may go down but if you hold onto the property long enough it will go up, as it has for the entire historical record of Victoria and many other major Canadian cities. Real estate is and always has been a one-way bet in the long run given the current legislation. I thought you would’ve known this by now but I guess you’re not as bright as you think you are. I suppose you’ll try to convince me that things could and will change in the future, but I don’t see how that happens given increasing population (globally for that matter) and a finite amount of land (especially on an island).

  181. Option 2. Yes. Of course. Switching to a higher paying job is completely doable and easy. There are so many out there (how many realtors are in Victoria again?) And it won’t involve any kind of financial investment (oops, there goes your down payment).

    If you’re not earning enough money, here are some ideas:
    A. Do more overtime.
    B. Get a side job. Set up a landscaping company to cut lawns at the weekends. You’ll get some tax breaks too like income splitting. Make some stuff at home and sell it in the weekend markets. Work as a freelancer online doing proof reading. Take the skills you have from your day job and set up as a part time consultant. There are lots of opportunities out there.
    C. Make sure all your money is invested and earning income at all times.
    D. Make sure your partner is working too.
    E. Speak to your boss and ask for a raise.
    F. Do some training so you can more easily justify a raise.

    I’m not trolling you. But no one said that life is easy. If you want to get ahead, working harder (and smarter) is one sure way to do it. The housing market is not going to shoot up forever, and by working hard now you can put yourself in a good position to take advantage later.

  182. @Bingo

    RE: 4113 Quadra, I noticed that too. The plywood bedroom window adds a touch of class. Grow-op chic!

    Even if it is worth fixing, you can’t fix that it is on a shitty part of a shitty street. I won’t be surprised to see 444 Davida go for $550k after sitting on the market forever and being relisted at a lower price.

  183. Different identities, sure, but they always come back….

    Hah!

    It shouldn’t, however, be considered an investment in the way that you’d expect a large return 5, 10, or 20 years down the road. That’s what the stock market is for.

    Wrong. Anything that can and often does go substantially up in value over a period of time is an investment. Victoria real estate is an investment.

    It sounds like you want, and are able, to invest in real estate, but you’re peeved at what the real estate market has to offer for the money you’re willing to invest.

  184. It’s clear from this blog that people have very different attributes and that’s good. That’s what keeps this blog so interesting, and that’s what makes the world go round. Hawk for example (sorry to keep picking on you bud!) seems to have a good handle on stocks. I have a dismal record on the stock market and infact anyone who bid the opposite of me would be wealthy indeed! Anyone want any stock tips?!
    I have done nothing but lose money on the stock market so no one will ever convince me to go back there. I’ve learned and realized I’m no good at it. Real estate on the other hand (which clearly is an investment) is something I am very familiar with and understand well. Besides selling, I design, build, renovate etc. I have done well with it.
    So each to their own expertise, but it’s unrealistic to expect others to do well at whatever you are successful at. So truck on everyone, keep doing what you’re good at!

  185. Option 1. Rent a cheaper place.
    Option 2. Earn more money.
    Option 3. Do both.

    I feel like you’re trolling me here. Or are you really this disconnected?

    Option 1. Will require moving further away, pay more for car maintenace, insurance, gas, and value your time at $0.00 since you’re going to spend so much more time in your car or a bus (if you don’t have a car). You might save some money, but you’ll probably break even financially and spiritually.
    Option 2. Yes. Of course. Switching to a higher paying job is completely doable and easy. There are so many out there (how many realtors are in Victoria again?) And it won’t involve any kind of financial investment (oops, there goes your down payment).
    Option 3. You do the math.

    You’re assuming that real estate prices will always go up. That has never been the case. Keep saving now, and your opportunity will come.

    Prices are going up, and historically have at 7%. Are you not paying attention?

    You really are trolling me. Say you save $300 a month. For a $650,000 Westshore home, you will need to save for 9 years for 5% down and 36 years for 20% down. For the privilege to spend 1.5 – 2 hours every day in your car.

  186. Anyone else notice 4113 Quadra?

    Looks like a teardown, it’s on Quadra proper, was on the market over 50 days.. they had to drop the price.. but somehow it still sold over original ask?!

    Maybe the house is worth fixing (so it’s worth more than just land value).. but I can hardly see how it’s worth it to fix up dump of a 60s house you paid 575K for. I didn’t see inside but I think it’s safe to bet it needs to be gutted. The yard is a mess too (bunch of gravel in the back).

    I thought it was still overpriced when they dropped it to 475K and was certain it’d sell for less than that. Nooope.

  187. @gwac – Fleet St. was in no way about the land, unless there was a pot of gold buried in the yard. Assessed at $729,000 and sold for $1,100,000.. come on..

    Here’s the top 5 “WTF” Sales of the Year:

    Address, Sale Price, Assessed Value, % Over Assessed
    3351 Doncaster Dr V8P 3V7 $1,200,000 $800,000 50.00%
    3957 Fleet St V8N 3P1 $1,100,000 $729,000 50.89%
    3716 Blenkinsop Rd V8N 1Y4 $851,000 $562,000 51.42%
    960 Dunn Ave V8Y 2Z4 $980,000 $638,000 53.61%
    3028 Earl Grey St V9A 1W7 $765,000 $460,000 66.30%

    Unless these properties were renoed to perfection, or there Assessments were way off – then something is seriously amiss here and defies logic.

    To illustrate the point, here’s a scatter plot of what I’ve tracked so far this year on Sold Amount vs. Assessed:

    https://fusiontables.google.com/embedviz?containerId=googft-gviz-canvas&q=select+col3%2C+col4+from+1SvVWy6ekdz6uuiaoiq29LlzPkNRE5aMDlkaJmsUM+order+by+col3+asc&viz=GVIZ&t=SCATTER&rmax=250&uiversion=2&gco_forceIFrame=true&gco_hasLabelsColumn=true&gco_tooltip=%7B%22isHtml%22%3Atrue%7D&tmplt=8&width=1000&height=750

    The exceptions are pretty evident…

  188. @James Soper – Glasgow.. haha.. I wish. I would have got more for my duplex 😉

    @VicBot re: She gets helpful comments but a lot of needlessly judgmental ones too.

    Thank you! So very true. FYI, I know we are not uneducated and I know we will be okay regardless of how it goes. 😉 So the judgemental comments, they may sting but they mean very little to me as it is tough to properly judge those you don’t know.

  189. Renting now vs already being in a place is a big difference. My brother is in the same one bedroom he has been in for 20 years ha! He pays ridiculously cheap rent…. One of my employees had to move out of town and pays almost double what he was paying before after getting the boot from his place (Landlord cashed out). When we were getting the boot our landlord they offered us their “other place” that was smaller for only $2700/month. Lucky us we had our own house to move into which is also much smaller. Side note, Storage space is also getting tight. Unfortunately we had to kick out our tenants who had to skip town since they couldn’t find anywhere else to rent in their budget. I gave them three months notice so they had lots of time….

  190. “Ha. This kind of attitude really worries me. Wolf has obviously never lived through a real estate crash”
    Dude, real estate crashed in the US in 2007/2008. I remember it vividly.

    “Option 1. Rent a cheaper place.
    Option 2. Earn more money.
    Option 3. Do both.”
    People can’t easily do option 1 and 2 and therefore option 3 too. Rents are going up and wages are not. Man you sound like a double.

  191. I’m just a lowly renter AG who invests his extra cash and is doing very well thank you. You seem to always forget that point whenever you trip over your own bullshit as the guy in the Uplands with the max leveraged mortgage/landlord who can’t afford to pay it out. Sounds like a house of cards ready to implode.

  192. We get it, he bought a few condos and got lucky.

    Hawk, why don’t you share your recent experience in the real estate market here? I’m sure it would be instructive for many readers. No one is stopping you.

  193. I do not take what he tells us as boastful but someone who is using his experiences to educate others. Learned a lot from him. Hate to see him not participate here.

  194. In today’s market, the cost of renting DOES NOT ALLOW for enough extra money to “save up” and buy a place.

    Option 1. Rent a cheaper place.
    Option 2. Earn more money.
    Option 3. Do both.

    Not to mention the rising cost of housing will outpace any savings you accumulate, decreasing the percentage of your down payment

    You’re assuming that real estate prices will always go up. That has never been the case. Keep saving now, and your opportunity will come.

  195. “People have the right to make there own choices on what they feel comfortable investing in. Those that have done well in the past few years should be proud for their risk and not attached which is what is happening.”

    But do we have to hear it over and over ad nauseum? We get it, he bought a few condos and got lucky. We get he was a respiratory tech and they wouldn’t make him boss at 21 so he had a fit and quit then wasted 4 years at university. If I was a salesman in this town this would be the last place I’d be spilling my personal beliefs and disclosing all my assets. Just sayin.

  196. If you own, more of your cash is going into equity.

    Not really. As I mentioned, the costs of home ownership are quite high. Many renters in Victoria are effectively being subsidized by their landlords. If you get lucky with your market timing, sure you can build a lot of equity fast. But you seem to forget that the real estate market can (and does) fall too.

    Real estate is the easy way to get rich and that’s why people pile on.

    Ha. This kind of attitude really worries me. Wolf has obviously never lived through a real estate crash.

    If you are over-leveraged, or become a forced seller at the wrong time, real estate can utterly destroy your net worth. Remember the ‘jingle mail’ in the US?

    Real estate is not a one-way bet, as many Canadians are going to find out within the next few years. Stop complaining, and start saving so you can buy when the moment is right.

  197. If you really want to live in a SFH, why don’t you just rent one of those suites? If you want to buy a SFH and live in it yourself, start earning and saving more money. When the market cools off (as it always does), you’ll be ready to afford what you want. It’s pretty simple, really. Less whining, more action!

    This is the real disconnect that I see in home owners who purchased years ago. In today’s market, the cost of renting DOES NOT ALLOW for enough extra money to “save up” and buy a place. Not to mention the rising cost of housing will outpace any savings you accumulate, decreasing the percentage of your down payment, if you ever had one.

    Unless you’re in the same place you’ve been renting for 3+ years and your landlord isn’t raising your rent the customary 4% every year, or you are middle income DINKS, your rental costs are a significant portion of your income.

  198. Richard,
    Sorry dude but I don’t meet agents from Calgary for lame beer bets. Sounds like you’re desperate for business if you need to meet anonymous people off blogs.

  199. “I provided an example of an alternative since Marko suggested he’d be destitute in old age if he didn’t own multiple homes. Not the case.”

    People have the right to make there own choices on what they feel comfortable investing in. Those that have done well in the past few years should be proud for their risk and not attached which is what is happening.

  200. “If you rent, you have a lot more cash available to build equity.”

    If you own, more of your cash is going into equity. Real estate is the easy way to get rich and that’s why people pile on.

    “Why because you said so…..People can buy whatever they feel comfortable and legally able to buy….Deal with it.”

    I provided an example of an alternative since Marko suggested he’d be destitute in old age if he didn’t own multiple homes. Not the case. Maybe he should’ve stayed with the Health Authority and he’d have a pension?

  201. Richard I guess I’ve seen too many of those 1000 word posts to be amused anymore. My comments weren’t actually directed towards you so apologies if it sounded that way.

  202. @Ksoul.
    Sounds like you live on Glasgow. That street is crazy. Hopefully you find something reasonable, it sure is hard when people are being unreasonable.

  203. “Buy stocks and mutual funds, not homes”

    Why because you said so…..People can buy whatever they feel comfortable and legally able to buy….Deal with it.

  204. Owning you build your own equity and stability, renting you build someone else’s.

    If you rent, you have a lot more cash available to build equity. There are lots of ways to build equity, for example by investing in stocks or starting a business. If you have the discipline to save the extra money, you’ll be fine. If you spend the extra cash on trips to Whistler, you’re in trouble.

    There are lots of ways to get rich besides investing in real estate.

  205. “As far as these anti-investor comments what am I personally suppose to do? I have no pension and who knows I might live to 85 or 90 and require a ton of expensive medical care. If I don’t have multiple properties paid off that I can start selling off at 65 I am totally screwed.”

    Buy stocks and mutual funds, not homes.

    “I am totally opposed to property not being occupied and there should be a large vacancy tax but I don’t get what the difference is between a renter or owner-occupier? It is being utilized for shelter.”

    You probably understood the difference when you made the switch from renter to owner (or perhaps you didn’t gain this insight if you lived with mom and dad). Owning you build your own equity and stability, renting you build someone else’s. Yes, they’re the same from a ‘the unit is filled’ perspective, but there are longer term implications that you don’t consider. Not everyone lives with mom and dad into their mid 20s while they get on their feet.

  206. AG, I’m aware of the costs of home ownership, and with rent where it currently is, a landlord should be cash flow positive. You forget to consider the appreciation of the home in your comments.

    Appreciation is not cash flow. Besides, rising prices can easily turn into falling prices, as they have many times before. If you put your capital at risk, that’s the bargain you make.

    When you include the cost of financing, I think many rental units here are cash flow negative. Rental yields in Victoria are pretty low in general.

  207. Vicbot;
    Seriously, why don’t you read my post instead of obviously skimming it before you go off on your diatribe. I found it funny even though, I quote; “whether or not I agreed with him/her”.
    One of the great positives in aging is learning not to take life so seriously and finding humour in just about everything, in things you both agree and disagree with. It makes life so much easier and fun to deal with.

  208. AG, I’m aware of the costs of home ownership, and with rent where it currently is, a landlord should be cash flow positive. You forget to consider the appreciation of the home in your comments.

    Rental suites are keeping some people who over-extended afloat. That’s all I was trying to say.

  209. AG, Sure 69% of households own their own home but how many of those have rental suites in the basement? Probably the majority

    Wolf – that would count as 2 households, one renting and one owning.

    Besides, are you really saying that rental suites are a bad thing? Can you imagine the housing shortage if there weren’t any rental suites? If you think we have a housing crisis now, eliminating rental suites would amplify it 100-fold.

    If you really want to live in a SFH, why don’t you just rent one of those suites? If you want to buy a SFH and live in it yourself, start earning and saving more money. When the market cools off (as it always does), you’ll be ready to afford what you want. It’s pretty simple, really. Less whining, more action!

    Fact of the matter is you probably don’t want to rent but don’t mind being on the other side with the cash rolling in.

    You strike me as someone who has no idea of the costs of home ownership. There are significant costs in maintaining any rental property, especially a SFH. Sometimes it’s worth it, other times it’s not. If you can afford to be a long term investor, and you’re careful about choosing your tenants, you’ll probably come out OK.

  210. Fleet st is not the box but the land. We are seeing what 7 years of nothing and people expecting lower prices explodes into when the market takes off. It is not pretty for buyers and it is not over with anytime soon.

  211. Have to wonder with the number of real estate agents nearly matching the number of listings if we’ll see a downturn for Realtors.

  212. Introvert, I’m not disingenuous and I don’t consider a home an investment in the same way I would a stock. A home is an investment from the standpoint of building up equity and stability for the exclusive use of your family. Basically what LocalFool said.

    AG, Sure 69% of households own their own home but how many of those have rental suites in the basement? Probably the majority. Yes, investors have always been there through the ups and downs (even though the overall trend has always been up) but the origin of the problem pre-dates those ups and downs in my opinion. People to rationalize their actions with this way of thinking, yet you fail to enlighten me on why you personally would rather buy than rent. Fact of the matter is you probably don’t want to rent but don’t mind being on the other side with the cash rolling in.

    Totoro, sure it’s an ‘investment’ in that you’re putting down a lot of money. It shouldn’t, however, be considered an investment in the way that you’d expect a large return 5, 10, or 20 years down the road. That’s what the stock market is for. Sure, a rental suite satisfies the basic need of shelter as well but low-income families get stuck in the cycle of paying rent to well-to-do landlords and aren’t able to save for a deposit. Don’t lecture me on economics; I understand inflation and the economy as much as you. If you want to beat inflation by investing, invest in stocks, or are you only comfortable investing in sure-things that other people depend on? Why don’t we just commoditize water while we’re at it? Your experience in 2012 may as well be 50 years ago. Victoria’s market has never been so far removed from fundamentals.

    As for the people that think I’m a dumb socialist that can’t afford a home in the core: I’m a high income earner in a high income household, invest in my own stocks (and do considerably well), have a large deposit in hand, and can afford a SFH in the core. The problem is that the majority of homes for sale (and not just in the core) are run down and vastly overpriced. At least Totoro had more selection back in 2012. Would anyone really pay $1.1M for 3957 Fleet St (a home assessed in 2015 and 2016 for $599K and $729 respectively)? That is just idiotic.

  213. Richard, I’m sorry but my reaction was the same as Hawk’s, and I showed the post to my family who has invested in multi-family housing for 60 years, and they also had that reaction.

    I realize it was a “comeback” to LeoM’s post, but why not just acknowledge the possibility that too many people really are buying single family homes to rent & it’s one of the reasons for price escalation? Instead it becomes a 1000-word diatribe.

    If my family – who’ve been landlords for 60 years – can see over-speculation in SFHs, why can’t others see that? Why are some berating people who do?

    I was taught to “never think you’re better than someone else just because you have more money” – everyone deserves respect.

    Unfortunately that respect towards others doesn’t seem to be prevalent now – and instead it’s “let’s become bloggers and bully you into submission & correct grammar until you think I’m richer & smarter than you”

    As KSoul said, ” I do not expect many of you to fully understand our situation as you don’t really know it.” She gets helpful comments but a lot of needlessly judgmental ones too.

  214. Leo;
    regrettably I’m not in Victoria for tonight’s powwow, but will be between May 2nd to May 16th so if for any reasons a followup meeting is suggested (if tonight’s is a great success), I would love to meet any of you folks no matter how few!

  215. 1864 San Juan Ave, also known as Grandma’s house, with all original 1974 features, including dishwasher, goes for $900,000 ($140,000 over asking). Get a load of those photos, if you can.

    From the ad:

    Pride of ownership is evident…

    No it’s not. And if I read this pathetic line one more time! Somebody buy these Realtors some thesauruses. We know it’s easy money right now, but put some imagination into it.

  216. Hawk:
    How come I haven’t read your persuading Ksoul not to buy or did I miss your post?
    Also I loved totoro’s rant so I guess I need a lobotomy, can you recommend a specialist?
    Totoro had me cracking up whether or not I agreed with him/her (somehow I think he’s a she!) Hawk I’m fixated by your opposing views and would find a face to face facinating, where do we stand on our bet anyway? My interpretation of my bet was that for you it was just further proof that it represented the peak.

  217. Employment numbers coming off the peak. Just about all are self employed. Looks like max employment levels for Victoria.

    BC adds more than 4,000 jobs in March: Statistics Canada

    However, Statistics Canada’s job survey Friday also showed the bulk of those new positions were created in the more precarious category of self-employment, which can include people working for a family business without pay.

    The report found that 95 per cent of all new jobs created last month were full-time. But it also found that 95 per cent of all new jobs were self-employed positions.

    http://www.news1130.com/2017/04/07/bc-adds-4000-jobs-march-statistics-canada/

    Via the Financial Post wage growth is dismal:

    “The data also revealed increasingly sluggish wage increases that are becoming a major source of concern for policy makers. The pace of annual wage rate increases fell to 1.1 per cent in March, the lowest since the 1990s.”

  218. @KSoul – Also this blog isn’t necessarily conducive to stress levels. Many have been driven from it, and those people weren’t in stressful situations! Good luck in your search.

  219. Hindsight is always 20/20 but a four month close would have made me very nervous in this market. Still done is done and there is no future in the past. To some degree the provincial first time buyer grant has served to push up prices at the starter home level and you are experiencing one of the side effects of that policy. Not the only factor but it did not help anyone wanting to make a laterial move in that price range.

  220. We linked arms and stared down the threat of incessant Youtube links on the forum.

    Can we rally now and fight off the point-by-point-rebuttals-using-1000-words-when-10-would-do menace?

  221. @LeoS

    The properties that have sat (which are so very few) are either absolute messes (we have asked our realtor about some) or some look like they are sitting when they are just waiting for conditions to be removed. We will figure something out, whether it be buying or renting short term, but we are waiting 2 more weeks as I said before. I have even reached out to someone about short term renting and got a positive response so we will see.

  222. @ Wolf: re:
    Perhaps it would’ve made more sense to find an alternative before selling your home. And you can’t really fault sellers for accepting (bully) bids higher than your bid; I imagine you sold your home to the highest bidder.

    The bully bid was not one that is higher, it is a bid that goes against the delayed offer date and throws a (generally) unconditional high bid at the seller to avoid competition. I have never said I faulted the seller for taking the higher bid. Not once. Me sell to the highest bidder? You assume my house was worth much after all the developing around me and the fact that I am in the part of the Westshore that did not see an increase in prices like elsewhere. I sold to a developer and no I did not rake in the big bucks and yes I got what I see as an okay price for our home, but no windfall by far. Again, read up a bit on my situation before saying we should have known better or that we are at fault. We sold to get away from the condos and crap going on around us, not for the almighty dollar or the bigger home. I do not expect many of you to fully understand our situation as you don’t really know it.

  223. @KSoul – Have you made any offers on the properties that have been sitting on the market for longer? The list prices are overpriced of course but you can make a reasonable offer in peace and negotiate a price without being in a multiple bid.

  224. Chris E:

    “Why on earth would anyone sell in winter into one of the craziest markets and try to upgrade into an even hotter market and buy in spring with limited time and no stable place to fall back on (family, friends, hotel, etc).

    I totally understand that horrible stress, esp with family and pets, but seriously, that was a really really uneducated and unplanned move. Live and learn I guess.”

    Have you even read what I have put? My entire road is being developed. I am surrounded by condos and am one of the last homes to be bought up. I have been listening to construction DIRECTLY next to my house for months and on my street for years. If you think for ONE second that we are uneducated, you are so very wrong. I really wish again that some people would take time to read and know the info before making such an rude and presumptuous comment. I like that you assume that everyone has someone to fall back on. When we sold our house, there was inventory and it was in our price range but due to our 4 month close we waited a bit. The prices up here have changed drastically in months and as you can see by others comments, that was not the norm in the Westshore. Maybe you should educate yourself on my situation before making such a rude comment.

  225. I was 21 years old at the time but I realized using online mortgage calculators that I was completely screwed at $75-80k/year

    Nevermind it’s not even true. 75-80k/year you would be just fine buying the condos that you want to live in anyway. Especially at 2009 prices.

  226. 6? Well, as a dedicated family guy, I’ll be late. Still interested in joining though.

    We pawned the kids off on grandma. Highly recommend it.

    Next time we could do later.

  227. “I was 21 years old at the time but I realized using online mortgage calculators that I was completely screwed at $75-80k/year.”

    This is where you lose people Marko, you don’t get reality. Many would kill for those wages even after university.

  228. “This has to be the best post of all time on HHV?”

    Umm nope. It mocks everyone’s opinion, so then we may as well have no discussion. Case closed, everyone shut up, no one’s allowed to express an opinion about the reasons for rapid price run-up.

    It’s a bullying tactic that sounds downright Trumpian.”

    Agreed Vicbot. It’s says “tough shit you missed out because I’m smarter” via a self centered, pompous, know-it-all post that’s so typical of totoro, the authoritarian on everything. Whoever can get through all that drivel and like it needs a lobotomy.

  229. I finally got fed up with my bank and decided to move my accounts. here’s the weird thing. I had two large LOCs to pay for my kids’ education and some credit card debt to pay out. Paid the card on-line, easy. So turned my attention to the LOCs. When I took out the LOCs, it took about three minutes over the phone, but to pay them off and close them, I have spent three days being bounced from one person to the next, questioned about my reasons, talked into a new LOC or a higher LOC and now a lower interest rate, put off by computer errors no one has ever seen, interest that can’t be calculated, people who aren’t answering their phones etc.

    The real estate madness is maybe only, at least in part, a symptom of an economy fuelled by bank-inspired debt. I’ve been looking at what’s happening in Canadian subprime and surprised by the companies advertising low-doc mortgages and stated-income mortgages and a new trend in second mortgages to get into the Vancouver market. somewhere I read that these “alternative lenders” now comprise 25% of the mortgage market. then these get packaged into MBS which, I believe, are not required to provide prospectuses (?prostecti) to investors because “who doesn’t pay their mortgage?”

    I guess we actually aren’t richer than we think. Wonder how it all ends.

  230. KSoul:

    I am sure that you have looked at them but there are a few listings in Sidney in your price range. I have to admit that I was surprised that there really is next to nothing in both Brentwood Bay and around John Dean.

    I do know people who live in Sidney and it is a beautiful and vibrant town. But from the sounds of it I am sure that you have already explored that alternative.

  231. 6? Well, as a dedicated family guy, I’ll be late. Still interested in joining though.

    Heads up to all – wind warning in effect for greater Vic today; so watch for downed trees, wires, etc on your way to the pub. It’s likely some parts of the city will lose power.

  232. If it is not shoddy lending practices it is pocket listings by realtors

    What are pocket listings?

  233. Why on earth would anyone sell in winter into one of the craziest markets and try to upgrade into an even hotter market and buy in spring with limited time and no stable place to fall back on (family, friends, hotel, etc).

    I totally understand that horrible stress, esp with family and pets, but seriously, that was a really really uneducated and unplanned move. Live and learn I guess.

    Does anyone remember that lady that started the ‘#donthaveamillion’ in vancouver? She thought they could time the market and sold their ‘small’ unwanted house in North Vancouver in the mid winter, then were completely priced out by spring and were forced to move to Surrey. Gamble and you can lose, why gamble in this obviously prices going to go way up and fast market. The core is soon to be for the 1%, forever, it will never go back to regular prices.

    Have you thought about Sooke or Duncan? You can get an OK house from 1980 for around $550k now… although by June those will be $650 at the rate things there are going up.

    We did that move in 2014, but we sold in May and bought in November, and it was super tight back then also, but we had backup places to stay and it took us over 6 months to find a place. The place is a piece of crap but in a great area.

    The only reason I would sell now is if the market started to flatten out for at least 8 months or so and it was prime nice weather, so May, and we were moving off the island to a much much cheaper place with a slow market.

  234. When read as a comeback the mocking everything is fitting. Plus it was also a fantastic summary of all the many things that suck about this market. It is the best post of all time!

    As far as advice goes for KSoul. Get on the rental track ASAP! It’s tough out there and five weeks is not a lot of time. What’s done is done. You need to find stable ground before you start house hunting again….

  235. “This has to be the best post of all time on HHV?”

    Umm nope. It mocks everyone’s opinion, so then we may as well have no discussion. Case closed, everyone shut up, no one’s allowed to express an opinion about the reasons for rapid price run-up.

    It’s a bullying tactic that sounds downright Trumpian.

  236. On a serious note the food is pretty good and the prices are reasonable. Comfortable pub overall.

  237. What time again for the meet up?

    @Barrister – the secret ingredient is Deer, fattened up on Rockland Marigolds and Rose Bushes.. and it is tasty.

  238. This has to be the best post of all time on HHV?

    And it is not just landlords that get blamed. If it is not landlords it is the Chinese. If it is not the Chinese it is the boomers. If it isn’t the boomers it is the rich parents and grandparents subsidizing their kids. If it is not the rich parents it is the Americans buying up Victoria. If it is not the Americans it is interest rates. If it is not interest rates it is poor City planning. If it is not poor planning it is our climate being too attractive. If it is not our climate it is tax policy. If it is not tax policy it is the tech industry. If it is not tax policy it is too little construction. If it is not too little construction it is people with equity buying a second home. If it is not people with equity it is crooked realtors and their bidding wars. If it is not bidding wars it is shadow flipping. If it is not shadow flipping it is shoddy lending practices. If it is not shoddy lending practices it is pocket listings by realtors. If it is not pocket listings it is people staying in their homes waay too long (how dare they stay into their 70s and 80s!). If it is not the elderly it is the hordes of millennials banding together to buy an investment property. If it is not the millenials it is lack of density. If it is not density it is nimbyism. If it is not nimbyism it is the commodification of housing. If it is not the commodification of housing it is pure greed and selfishness (undefined). If it is not greed it is globalization. If it is not globalization it is Vancouverites and Torontonians… well, you get the idea.

  239. What I don’t get is why some homeowners on this blog want to nitpick a person like Wolf’s comments.

    Seriously I’m a homeowner and my family has invested in RE for 60 years (multi-family buildings) so I’m not against investing.

    But I don’t go around broadcasting that until now because seriously – it’s nobody’s business.

    But Wolf has a valid point of view. Victoria has a severe low inventory of SFHs.

    It’s a valid question – why? (hint: a variety of reasons including over-speculation that gov’t & banks have expressed concern over)

    This isn’t a blame game. Any intelligent (and successful) person with any empathy towards other human beings would ask that.

    Instead, Wolf gets needless “advice” and insults like “the underachievers/unlucky need scapegoats”

    Wow, a new low in the intelligent debate department.

  240. Repetition comes with age I am afraid. Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow night. It will be interesting to see if people are more civil in person than sometimes they are when they are able to hide behind a computer.

  241. Didn’t you just use that one here a few days ago, Barrister? Or perhaps the repetition is the joke? That would be funnier than the actual joke.

  242. For those with a talent for stats. what is the months of inventory for houses priced above 1.8? I am being to suspect that the top end of the market has stalled but I dont have stats to support the my speculation.

  243. Local Fool:

    I recommend the Shepherd’s pie. it is very tasty. Apparently, I amtold, it is made the old fashioned way with real German Shepherd.

  244. Well said, Leo. As a “hoarder” in this loco market, we’re praying for the highly unlikely scenario that our renters give us notice so we can sell… but we couldn’t live with ourselves if we sold it out from under them with the vacancy rate what it is. The vast majority of amateur renters seem to feel this way, given the inventory numbers.

  245. A SFH is a luxury item right now in the core, not a necessity. All you have to do is travel to different countries to see that the NA SFH is not the norm and maybe that is starting to change in some areas of NA too.

    This by far has to be the biggest source of disagreement on the blog; the affordability benchmark is a SFH in the core which around the world is reserved for generational wealth or the top 1% of earners.

  246. It’s great to see people like Marko defend current market conditions by comparing our lives to the atrocities of the Middle East. Market’s not that bad, hey? Sounds like just another realtor trying to stoke the fire. Tell me, Marko, did you leave the Vancouver Island Health Authority and become a Realtor to help people, or did you simply tire of earning peanuts from the BC government? If you’re so concerned about Syria, perhaps you may donate or volunteer on the ground, but I bet not. The rest of us: we’re concerned with purchasing a home because we need it to survive.

    If you take a look at the Vancouver Sun database you’ll find plenty of respiratory therapists over $75,000 so no I wasn’t making “peanuts.” I was 21 years old at the time but I realized using online mortgage calculators that I was completely screwed at $75-80k/year. Instead of complaining about how life is unfair I stuck it out with my parents in a two bed/one bath for four more years while I worked, invested, did my master degree, and started my real estate career. Then instead of maxing out and buying something that would be instant gratification I started out with a 530 sq/ft condo with no parking spot and made calculated decisions that put me where I am today.

    I don’t have the skillset anymore to go to Syria and help, but I do volunteer my time helping families that are immigrating from Croatia and the hundreds of people I’ve helped with the owner-builder exam is well documented (including people on this blog).

    You don’t need a SFH to survive.

    As far as these anti-investor comments what am I personally suppose to do? I have no pension and who knows I might live to 85 or 90 and require a ton of expensive medical care. If I don’t have multiple properties paid off that I can start selling off at 65 I am totally screwed.

    I am totally opposed to property not being occupied and there should be a large vacancy tax but I don’t get what the difference is between a renter or owner-occupier? It is being utilized for shelter.

  247. KSoul, re. Plan B: some landlords prefer to choose tenants from ads posted by people looking to rent rather than post their rental and contend with the deluge of diverse responses. So posting an ad with your location/size/type requirements and a bit about your tremendous family and irresistible pets might not be a bad idea. I know this was suggested already for Plan A… best of luck either way.

    Happy pub night to those that attend tomorrow.

  248. There is not a supply problem, there is an investor/hoarder problem. Time for a 20% sellers property transfer tax on the sale of all housing units that have been used as rental properties.

    I still don’t get this argument. Granted I am in a poor position to make it since we now own (aka rent from the bank) our house. But I wasn’t any less happy when we rented. However I would have been extremely unhappy if we didn’t have a stable rental to live in. I have seen first hand the stress that it puts on families when they are threatened with losing their place to live.

    So a house “hoarder” is taking supply from a potential owner, but adding to the supply for a renter.
    Like I said before, if you can’t own, you rent. If you can’t rent, you’re homeless. No contest, more rentals are better. Fact is we have a crisis in rentals right now and the effect of that on people’s lives is worse than the crisis in resales.

    That said I would much prefer for there to be adequate purpose build rentals of all sizes including for families. Amateur landlords are currently a necessity but they are a poor substitute for professionally managed rentals. Especially in this market where many amateur landlords are turfing their rentals and kicking their tenants out because they want to cash in.

  249. We are currently looking in Westshore and this is where the bully offers and aggressive increases in housing prices have occurred.

    Yep, westshore is just as active as the core. The idea that the core is hotter was last year’s story.

  250. Is the pub still on for tomorrow?

    Sure is. See you all there. Better to discuss Syria over a beer than online…

  251. And by the way…just imagine what the Demand-Supply situation would be like if the 1 principal residence rule per family didn’t exist… 😉

  252. Wolf

    That is a pretty socialistic comment… (hoarding – the big bugaboo to garner votes)

    “People should only own one primary residence.”

    prior to the NEP (National Energy Policy- 1982 ) Pierre Elliot Trudeau (remember the jokes = PETRO-CANADA ie: Pierre Elliot Trudeau Rips Off – Canada)

    Each Canadian individual could own a residence (whether common-law or married).. total freedom…a right…Romeo and Juliet would each own their own land…

    -This all changed in the early 1980’s when the Income Tax Act was changed so that only one property could be designated as the principal residence exemption for each family unit and for each year after 1981.

    Of course this affected married couples (common-law wasn’t recognized so widely as it is now)

    So, regardless of the effects of rising interest rates, the squeeze and eventual reduction in rates never made up for the introduction of this socialistic rule which prevented the incentive to buy real estate…(I kid you not, we sold our 2nd residence and never bought back except to fund rentals).

    So individuals right to ownership (and risk-taking) were curtailed forever…it wasn’t just a boom-bust scenario as so many claim…(you can’t replicate that tax rule since it has no effect anymore).

    Ergo.. what I am implying is that the contributors to the 1982 bust in real estate were not only the recession, oil price collapse, commodity collapse, but in fact government policy which re-directed capital gain exemption from 2 houses per couple (ie, democratic) to one LARGEST possible property per couple and all the implications thereof…

    BWDIK… I just lived it…

  253. No, totoro, it’s people that think like you that are the problem. It started a long time ago when someone thought up the idea “hey, let’s INVEST in a home”. A home is not an investment.

    A home is the biggest investment most Canadians will make in their lifetime. Just because you don’t want to call it an investment does not mean that it is not.

    Buying a house remains a major long-term investment for most Canadians.

    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-402-x/2011000/chap/fam/fam-eng.htm

    Investment definition, the investing of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.

    Given that the average Canadian buys seven houses in their lifetime, and in Victoria they have been making 7% per year on average tax free, it is difficult argument to say it is not an investment. And 1/4 of homeowners are relying on home equity/appreciation for retirement. Not everyone has a pension and this is often their major investment.

    It is a place where you live and grow a family, because you need shelter to survive.

    And a rental provides survivable shelter too.

    What you don’t seem to understand, or at least is not evident from your post, is that for you to earn something (anything), somebody else has to lose something.

    What you don’t seem to understand is that inflation requires you to earn something on your capital or you are losing buying power with your savings each day. Unless you are entirely relying on a defined benefit pension plan which many Canadians do not have you’ll be in trouble if you don’t grow your savings.

    In Victoria house prices have exceeded wage inflation, but that is not the case everywhere. I am not in control of these factors and neither are you, but if you live in Cape Breton you’d find that you can afford a house and it might even get cheaper over time as wages increase because appreciation is lower than the rate of inflation in some spots. There is a convergence of factors that raise appreciation rates in certain markets largely due to desirability.

    If you feel like it is unfair that houses are appreciating or have appreciated maybe find a spot where this is not the case. I could complain about the people that bought at a cheaper rate than I did in 2012, like the ones that bought for half the price I paid 10 years prior, but what good does that do – except to play some weird blame game.

    Every time you buy a home and take it out of the market as an investment (whether you supplement with tenant income or not), everybody else has to pay a little bit more just to get a primary residence.

    Totally disagree. We need rentals in Victoria. Landlords take the risk and sometimes it does not pay off. And many get out after a period of time for this reason. Supply and demand both vary over time.

    What about those years when there was no appreciation and when vacancy rates were lower? Heck, some people here were still hanging in for a big drop. Meanwhile, they rented at a lower cost than owning and the landlord lost money if they had to sell. Different part of the cycle.People tend to confuse current conditions with forever conditions. They are not forever conditions.

    And I think you are a bit confused. People with a legal or illegal suite in their primary residence are adding to supply. They are not taking anything away from the market. In a city with a vacancy rate of .5% not adding to rental supply where reasonable seems illogical. Like promoting car camping while banning suites.

    they have to stick tenants in the basement to cover the mortgage, which completely defeats the purpose of owning a single family home in the first place. It’s called a single family home for a reason.

    If having a suite is not for you and you don’t have enough money yet for a SFH you need to do what it takes to have what you want. Maybe you don’t want to share space enough to move where you can afford a SFH. A SFH is a luxury item right now in the core, not a necessity. All you have to do is travel to different countries to see that the NA SFH is not the norm and maybe that is starting to change in some areas of NA too.

    The answer is not to rail against people who have tenants as prices rise, or against prices, or against Trump, or whatever. The locus of control is with you operating within what current conditions are, not what you want them to be.

    All those rental suites should move back downtown where they belong, and then maybe people wouldn’t buy more house than they can afford.

    Good luck with that. Lots of condos going up downtown but it appears to me that some of the more affordable rental options are actually the secondary suites. Not to mention that suites can house extended family. Adding more supply downtown might help, but it is not going to get rid of the demand for different types of rental housing near the university and other core areas.

  254. A home is an investment. Whether one considers it an investment is irrelevant to the fact that it is an investment.

  255. 1864 San Juan Ave, also known as Grandma’s house, with all original 1974 features, including dishwasher, goes for $900,000 ($140,000 over asking). Get a load of those photos, if you can.

    Good location, though. Close to the beach and schools. And Township Coffee.

  256. From what Wolf is saying, you might think that Canada is a land of renters. Well, it’s not. 69% of households own their own house. That’s higher than in the US, which is around 64%.

    There has been talk of ‘house hoarders’ on this blog before. I really don’t see any evidence for it. There have always been investors who own houses. They are there when the market drops, and they are still there when the market rises. Investors are only perceived to be a problem when people like Wolf need someone to blame.

  257. And now it’s about someone being able to “buy and build their own equity.” You are disingenuous: you do consider a home an investment.

    I think that’s debating semantics. Wanting to build equity in your own home is compatible with wanting you and your family to survive. You are building up your own money in your own home, both for you and your family’s exclusive benefit.

    Yes, I would say that this is an investment, but I don’t think this is what people envision when people say “RE Investor”. I don’t think that’s what Wolf meant, either.

    Buying a second home to rent it out however, is what most would consider RE investing. That is a person investing, or perhaps speculating to use others’ money to build that portion of their wealth for them. They probably don’t “need” the home in the same sense the first person does.

    There are lots of ways to build equity. Stocks, for example. In fact, stocks tend to outperform property over the long run.

    Agreed.

  258. every rental property you remove from the market to rent out takes away an opportunity for someone else to buy and build their own equity.

    There are lots of ways to build equity. Stocks, for example. In fact, stocks tend to outperform property over the long run. No one is stopping you from getting richer, if you have the discipline to do it.

  259. Wolf what a load of crap. We live in a capalist country a person can buy as many houses as they please. They take the risk and assume the reward or pain. Too many socialist in this city.

  260. every rental property you remove from the market to rent out takes away an opportunity for someone else to buy and build their own equity.

    Wolf, 14 minutes ago you said: “A home is not an investment. It is a place where you live and grow a family, because you need shelter to survive.”

    And now it’s about someone being able to “buy and build their own equity.” You are disingenuous: you do consider a home an investment.

  261. I think people should consider real estate investors in context. They’re not new, and no one was complaining about them a few years ago when landlords almost couldn’t give suites away. During a market in distress, they’re an easy target.

    I don’t think real estate investing is a problem; I think real estate speculation is. To me, those are different people with different goals, governed by an entirely different mindset.

    To be fair, I think that a market rising rapidly due to speculation will encourage more people to invest in RE then they would otherwise, and that investors can be made into speculators – but again, I think speculation is the actual cause of the problem and what needs to stop.

    Totoro, AG and whoever else can have their houses; they’ve probably had them for years. As long as they are decent LLs and human beings, I don’t think it’s much to do with anything.

  262. AG, yes that makes you a hoarder. While you haven’t technically reduced the housing stock (the property exists either way), every rental property you remove from the market to rent out takes away an opportunity for someone else to buy and build their own equity. People should only own one primary residence.
    If you think renting and owning is equivalent, why did you buy a home?

  263. Syria is entirely outside your control and stressing about it would be completely illogical.

    Not stressing a single second about kids being nerve-gassed to death would also be bad, I think.

    There are many local factors such as geography, a NIMBY living in every other house, etc., that creates real estate problems as well.

    I’m proud to call myself a NIMBY. NIMBYism is what makes (and keeps) nice neighbourhoods nice.

    … but I did see an old white guy driving a Lambo in Broadmead.

    Same. Pretty sure I saw the same dude a few weeks ago on Royal Oak Drive.

    I just love how the NIMBYs are the people that just got here.
    “I’m here! Let’s close up shop and not let anyone else in”

    Soper, you’re too late, I guess. You could have been over here with me, but no.

    And it is not just landlords that get blamed. If it is not landlords it is the Chinese. If it is not the Chinese it is the boomers…

    But the underachievers/unlucky need scapegoats.

    Best post ever on here

    It’s got to be in the top five.

  264. LeoM –

    I own several rental properties. They are all rented out. I’m a pretty good landlord – the houses are in good condition and any issues are dealt with promptly.

    If I hadn’t bought them, they might have been purchased by another investor and rented out. Or they might have been bought by someone to live in, in which case there would have been one fewer rental property on the market. Either way, I haven’t increased or reduced the housing stock.

    Does that make me one of your despicable ‘house hoarders’?

  265. KSoul, I feel for you. UVic has a faculty housing board if you go to faculty housing on the UVic website. It won’t be totally what you want, but it will get you out of a sticky situation. Then you can take a breath and ask yourself whether you really want to get back into a dysfunctional and overheated market, or whether you want to sit back, save some money, enjoy life and wait to see where things are going.

  266. No, totoro, it’s people that think like you that are the problem. It started a long time ago when someone thought up the idea “hey, let’s INVEST in a home”. A home is not an investment. It is a place where you live and grow a family, because you need shelter to survive. What you don’t seem to understand, or at least is not evident from your post, is that for you to earn something (anything), somebody else has to lose something. Every time you buy a home and take it out of the market as an investment (whether you supplement with tenant income or not), everybody else has to pay a little bit more just to get a primary residence.

    I feel for the woman who sold her house (I’ve also been out-bidded on several occasions) but at the same time, you’re in the same boat as everybody else. Everyone has been hearing about the heated market for over 2 years now, it’s not like nobody saw this coming. Perhaps it would’ve made more sense to find an alternative before selling your home. And you can’t really fault sellers for accepting (bully) bids higher than your bid; I imagine you sold your home to the highest bidder.

    The funny thing is people buy houses they can barely afford (because they want a single family home i.e. to not live in a townhome or condo) and then they have to stick tenants in the basement to cover the mortgage, which completely defeats the purpose of owning a single family home in the first place. It’s called a single family home for a reason. The short-sighted prevalence of rental suites and the fact that the old dinosaurs here don’t want condo developments downtown is a huge problem as well. Sorry to say folks, but Victoria is a-changing, and the towers are coming. It’s not a quaint retirement community anymore. All those rental suites should move back downtown where they belong, and then maybe people wouldn’t buy more house than they can afford.

    It’s great to see people like Marko defend current market conditions by comparing our lives to the atrocities of the Middle East. Market’s not that bad, hey? Sounds like just another realtor trying to stoke the fire. Tell me, Marko, did you leave the Vancouver Island Health Authority and become a Realtor to help people, or did you simply tire of earning peanuts from the BC government? If you’re so concerned about Syria, perhaps you may donate or volunteer on the ground, but I bet not. The rest of us: we’re concerned with purchasing a home because we need it to survive.

  267. Well if we’re not supposed to talk about the reasons for RE going up or down in value, then Leo might as well shut down the blog, and the BC gov’t really shouldn’t have introduced a foreign buyers tax after all, even though it cooled speculation.

    There’s a difference between finding “reasons” and finding “blame.”

    The reasons should always be up for debate.

  268. FYI, I have looked at the Gorge Barrister 😉 Great if I want a dilapidated, disgusting joke of a home for only.. $600k!!! It is everywhere and it is scary. When we sold it was very sudden. We had been expecting to be bought out 2 years prior when the development on our street was well under way. When we were not being approached we found a TON of homes in our price range. We thought that it would be nice to possibly move closer to town (not right in town, but closer) so our son could be closer to school (he goes in town as we didn’t always live in the Westshore). Even in December when we signed on the dotted line, we found homes that worked for our family for at least $70 to 80k less than now (their selling price, not asking). Now we see the good old ‘BC Box’ selling for $689k in Colwood, complete with septic tank or the one that may be scooped up by said bully offer (also an 84 BC Box with septic tank as Colwood is pretty much against sewer). We have looked for listings with one bathroom, maybe a fixer upper, how about a bit less space (maybe we could work that 1300sqft place??). However, they are still going for horribly high prices or they just plain do not exist. The inventory is horrendous (or should I say lack thereof). As I look at my most current listings it is gone from seeing a bunch in the high $400s to the high $500s to a whole lot of homes that are $570k and up (remember, the don’t go for asking generally). I think unless you are currently stuck in this market like we are, then you do not fully understand that there are not really truly options. We have given ourselves 2 weeks and then we look for a rental. This is not what we want at all as it is tough and will mean that our lives remain chaotic for a while still, but we have to do what we have to do. I feel for first time home buyers.. they should just run for the hills. I really just wanted it to be known that every suggestion that everyone has made (and are still greatly appreciated) are ones we have thought of or are dealing with. If my whole road was not a chaotic mess and I was not afraid of being ‘that house’ amidst condos, I would not have sold. I wish my crystal ball worked so I could see what this housing market would hold for me. Unfortunately that is not going to happen. So I think good thoughts as much as I can (some days are very dark) and I TRY to put on my happy face and hope that things pull through for me.

  269. Ksoul put the feelers out with parents at the schools etc for anyone wanting to sell and make a private deal. Ask your friends if they know anyone too. I’ve bought a few places this way. It’s hard to come up with a price but if you have a PCS account or four it’s easy enough.

  270. You left out Trump.

    Major oversight rightly corrected.

    fabulous glass of your favorite red

    Your accuracy is uncanny.

  271. totoro

    “As I see it real estate is cyclical. Prices have ups and flats and downs and overall have increased at 7% per year long term for the last 67 years. Well beyond any individual’s window of ownership or sphere of influence in Victoria.”

    Hear Hear !

    signed
    the lunatic …

  272. Totoro:
    I loved the rant! I think you pretty well covered everything! I hope you are sitting back now and enjoying a fabulous glass of your favorite red!

  273. Totoro, the braggart boastful house horder on this blog who has ‘subtly’ let us all know how many investment houses she owns in Victoria is giving a big virtual hug to the person she has prevented from buying a suitable home for their small family.

    We own our primary residence in Victoria which is a multifamily property keeping no-one from buying as it is not capable of being a strata. We pay extra property and income taxes and water and sewer fees and we lose part of our capital gains tax exemption. And we earned our money in Canada paying taxes on it.

    I’m looking forward to your explanation as to how providing housing for university students has prevented someone from buying a home for their family? As I stated here previously, we sold our rental house last year, but hey, whatever misinformation and scapegoating does the trick for you.

    And I just disagree with your premise in any event. The blaming of landlords for house shortages is ridiculous when there is a .5% vacancy rate. A full 30% of the population needs a place to rent and there is simply not enough purpose-built rental stock to fill the demand. The low inventory for rental and housing stock doesn’t have one cause and it won’t, imo, last forever.

    And it is not just landlords that get blamed. If it is not landlords it is the Chinese. If it is not the Chinese it is the boomers. If it isn’t the boomers it is the rich parents and grandparents subsidizing their kids. If it is not the rich parents it is the Americans buying up Victoria. If it is not the Americans it is interest rates. If it is not interest rates it is poor City planning. If it is not poor planning it is our climate being too attractive. If it is not our climate it is tax policy. If it is not tax policy it is the tech industry. If it is not tax policy it is too little construction. If it is not too little construction it is people with equity buying a second home. If it is not people with equity it is crooked realtors and their bidding wars. If it is not bidding wars it is shadow flipping. If it is not shadow flipping it is shoddy lending practices. If it is not shoddy lending practices it is pocket listings by realtors. If it is not pocket listings it is people staying in their homes waay too long (how dare they stay into their 70s and 80s!). If it is not the elderly it is the hordes of millennials banding together to buy an investment property. If it is not the millenials it is lack of density. If it is not density it is nimbyism. If it is not nimbyism it is the commodification of housing. If it is not the commodification of housing it is pure greed and selfishness (undefined). If it is not greed it is globalization. If it is not globalization it is Vancouverites and Torontonians… well, you get the idea.

    The shifting of responsibility and blame seems endless and it has all been promoted here over the years.

    As I see it real estate is cyclical. Prices have ups and flats and downs and overall have increased at 7% per year long term for the last 67 years. Well beyond any individual’s window of ownership or sphere of influence in Victoria.

    Victoria is still more affordable than Vancouver, but I wouldn’t bank on it being affordable to those just starting out any time soon and long-term I’d expect it to continue to appreciate. There is only the deal of the day in current market conditions. Past is sunk costs and future is a guess. Buy what you can afford when you can afford it or rent and invest instead – or move if that is a better option.

    I find it interesting that when prices were flat some people who held out for a drop are now complaining that they are priced out and trying to blame external factors for their choices. Unless your choices were limited by affordability in the past and now inventory, which is the case for many and for which I have sympathy, the person who is primarily responsible for your complaints is looking back at you in the mirror.

    Also, horder is spelled hoarder.

  274. I dont think I will move to North Korea because I dont like the official haircuts there. I am sure I could think of one or two other reasons if I put my mind to it.

  275. I’ve been keeping an eye on the Westshore lately, and it certainly appears the mania has spread out there. I’ve noticed houses going $30k to $80k over ask ($100k in one case). Doesn’t really seem contained to one area or type of house either. Everything from Wishart boxes to those little Kettle Creek joints seem to be getting bid up. Yikes.

    KSoul – we have thought about selling our place too, hence me keeping an eye on the Westshore (a place I never thought I’d consider living!) – then shit went crazy out there suddenly as well. You’ve got my sympathies – we could be in your situation too. Hope you find something soon.

  276. The most disingenuous hypocritical post I’ve seen on this blog in years goes to Totoro:

    totoro-April 6, 2017 at 2:01 pm – Ksoul – big virtual hug.

    Totoro, the braggart boastful house horder on this blog who has ‘subtly’ let us all know how many investment houses she owns in Victoria is giving a big virtual hug to the person she has prevented from buying a suitable home for their small family.

    It doesn’t take a math genius to calculate in general terms the impact house hoarders are having on the housing market in Victoria and most other desirable cities.

    I don’t have the skills to post an interactive spreadsheet to this blog, but these are the factors I would put into an online spreadsheet if I knew how to do it (my numbers are just for descriptive purposes; I don’t know the actual number of housing units or ‘families’):
    1. Houses in Greater Victoria 100,000
    2. Number of ‘families’ in Victoria 100,000
    3. Number of house/condo ‘investors’ in Victoria 10,000
    4. Average number of rental housing units owned per ‘investor 2
    5. Percentage of families who choose to be renters 15%
    6. Percentage of families who are first time buyers 5%

    Even without a spreadsheet I think most readers of this blog can do the mental math easily enough to see that if 15% of families (15,000 units) are willing renters and if investors are holding 20,000 units, then 5,000 families are scrambling to buy the limited number of places listed for sale.

    There is not a supply problem, there is an investor/hoarder problem.
    Time for a 20% sellers property transfer tax on the sale of all housing units that have been used as rental properties.

  277. But then again it’s the “New Paradigm” where economics don’t matter, until the inevitable ski slope hits. 😉

  278. Here’s an updated guess of where we are in the cycle using Van.
    No reprieve for the bears for at least another ~3-4 mths. Probably longer for Vic.
    Watch for Toronto peaking within a ~year (as it did in ’90).

    If the NDP get in, then it’s a full-scale dreaded 90’s repeat.

    Disclaimer: I’m probably completely OTL as this ship may not even slow down for another ~5yrs 🙂

  279. Vicbot

    Bingo, thanks for the link to the N Korea story – crazy!

    Absolutely crazy. Low wages, sounds like a decent supply of new apartments, no foreigners to blame.. so why is it happening?

    Another article states this:
    “there is a change in the perception of North Koreans who have started to see housing as a means of financial technology”

    They see housing as a way of getting ahead, an investment.

  280. She might want to look around the Gorge, some of the houses are small and a bit run down but since she is looking for the long term some of them have great potential for an addition and to slowly upgrade the house. In my opinion that seems to be an area that is up scaling and will be more desirable in a few years. But i dont claim to have a crystal ball.

    I presume the bully offers are a clear response to the auction deadlines.

  281. We are currently looking in Westshore and this is where the bully offers and aggressive increases in housing prices have occurred.

    This is one of the things about her situation that surprised me. To this point, I had generally thought of that area as more affordable as less prone to the kind of insane bids and predatory tactics seen elsewhere. It’s disappointing that this disease has spread to that area as well.

    Perhaps there will be parallels between here and Vancouver – when the houses are goosed to the max, speccers move to condos. I suspect that’s already happening.

  282. Ksoul, sympathize with what you’re dealing with. I’ve been worried about this kind of impact on people for a long time. You can only deal with 1 big issue at a time, so hopefully the rental search will yield results soon.

    Agree – in this market, it would be risky to buy for the short term, so you have to plan for what your family needs will be in the future. Everybody has different needs and choices (eg., a friend moved out of Sooke after falling asleep and totalling their car on the long commute from there, so it’s hard to know what the right options are)

    Bingo, thanks for the link to the N Korea story – crazy!

    Re: Syria & world issues: agree we need to actively “do” something (eg., donate time or $) – but also agree that everyone has a different, yet valid, reaction to things. If you’re stressed or angry or upset, allow yourself to feel that way (without taking it out on others 🙂 ) because it’s more healthy psychologically, and actually leads to positive change.

    Speaking of which: March for Science April 22 – Victoria is connected to other marches around the world – see you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/1564850710208960/

  283. It is a tough market to buy into for sure. It would help to have a bit more breathing room than you have with this tight deadline for leaving your house.

    It sounds like you also need to be prepared to exceed the over ask offers in order to get a place right now. Given that you have a healthy budget maybe that is something you are prepared to do knowing that house prices are increasing at 7k per month? I think that is where I’d land myself if I were in your shoes because it seems like this is market value right now and there is only ever the current deal of the day.

    Even if prices drop in, say, December, if you plan to hold for 25 years you are not likely to regret buying now long-term. With our market buy and hold, even buying at a high point, has worked for homeowners.

  284. You just lost your job, your partner has breast cancer and the ultrasound of your baby-to-be looks as though he will be born with a serious disability. Further, the building inspector discovered your home has a termite problem and a leaking oil tank – and will cost 100k to fix. Uh oh, is that a puddle of transmission fluid under your car?

    You needn’t be upset – all you need is a broader, more worldly perspective.

    Someone in the middle of your lane on a bike? You needn’t be upset – all you need is a broader, more worldly perspective.

  285. “It may be time to consider whether the West Shore is more suited to you budget than say Fairfield.”

    Just so you are aware, we were priced out of that area long ago. We are currently looking in Westshore and this is where the bully offers and aggressive increases in housing prices have occurred. Second, we are aware that things may need to be given up. When I say we want space for the kid it does not mean that we want a 2000 or a 3000 sqft house. We just want a house with a small bit of extra space. We have worked hard to be where we are and have a healthy budget to work with. We recently just lost a purchase at $65k over asking, another in a terrible area in Langford sold for $60k over asking. Again, I don’t think that anyone here can give me the proper advice as they only have bits. Also, we are aware of plan B, that is accepted but still daunting. We refuse to buy a home we just ‘fit’ in at these prices. We want a 25 year home and cant find it.

    Also, like I said before, even renting isn’t simple with pets and the kid. However, don’t think we are sitting here twiddling our thumbs and hoping for a miracle. 🙂

  286. James:

    Most of the NIMBY’s that I have run into are the long term residents who are pissed off by all the new arrivals who totally want to transform Victoria and turn it into Vancouver.

  287. Ksoul:

    I do sympathize with your quandary. My advise is to take a deep breathe sit down and take an honest look at your alternatives.

    First, time is not on your side at this point. I seriously think that you better make arrangements to rent. The fear is that prices will continue to escalate every month with the low inventory that is available. Truth is that no one can predict whether prices will be up or down by the fall. But it should be clear that the chances of finding the right house in the next few weeks is rather problematic at best. Time to have a plan “B”.

    The underlying problem, after you strip everything else away, is that you cannot afford what you want in a house. generally, the single biggest cost factor is location. This also probably the one that you dont want to compromise on. But it is important to really sit down and first figure out what areas you are realistically priced out of in this market. Your agent can help with actual sale prices for these areas since there are so many houses going over asking.

    It may be time to consider whether the West Shore is more suited to you budget than say Fairfield.
    I do appreciate the difficulty you are facing since I am rather staggered by the price increases in the last year alone much less the last three but the reality is that it is unlikely that prices will drop in the next few weeks and it is realistically possible that they will continue to climb and to climb substantially.

    Renting as an immediate solution seems the prudent coarse to take.

  288. There are many local factors such as geography, a NIMBY living in every other house, etc., that creates real estate problems as well.

    I just love how the NIMBYs are the people that just got here.
    “I’m here! Let’s close up shop and not let anyone else in”

  289. Unlike Leo S, I think it is quite logical to stress about innocent children suffocating slowly at the hands of a national leader. Not only to stress, but find something you can do about it.

    Do something about it, by all means. Donate to the Red Cross, MSF, what have you. That is a positive contribution. But stress about it? Purely negative. It will hurt your own mental state, it may hurt your relationships, and it helps no one least of all the Syrians.

    In fact I vaguely recall some research that showed that performing these ultimately empty gestures like expressing outrage on Facebook about an issue may satisfy people’s urges to
    do something and thus reduce their motivation to do something that actually has an impact.
    Similar to the concept of moral licensing: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/10/buying-only-ethical-organic-products-can-make-you-meaner.html

  290. Ksoul – big virtual hug. This will pass. You will find a place but it just might take a bit more time than you have right now. Have you considered a short-term rental and putting your stuff in storage using a moving company to reduce the stress?

    All those listings I posted are furnished or partly furnished, accept pets and are short-term. Could you see yourselves securing one and moving in until September or December on a lease? The landlord has an obligation to attempt to re-rent if you leave early even on a lease and at .5% vacancy chances are you will not be out the remainder of the term if you find a house to buy and move into before then. Alternatively you can probably organize your closing for the lease term end date.

    Also, what about an ad for a place to buy on CL and usedvic if you haven’t already. One of the posters here was successful with this approach. Put that you are willing to pay market value and specify what you are looking for. Worth a shot.

  291. Interesting to see a debate surrounding housing stresses compared to what is going on around the world. Watching the unedited video of the chemical weapon attack left me with emotions I can’t even describe. Unlike Leo S, I think it is quite logical to stress about innocent children suffocating slowly at the hands of a national leader. Not only to stress, but find something you can do about it. Can you alone fix the situation? No. But there are ways to at least act. Donate, protest, educate, help put pressure on world leaders. I think to not allow video like that to affect you in a real emotional way and to challenge your own perspective is sad. Especially when it was done yesterday! It’s happening right now, this isn’t footage from Nazi Getmany. I encourage everyone to watch a 2 minute video of the attack and let it sink in. Cry if you can. Hold your kids tighter and pray harder (if you pray) and be thankful for what you do have, not focusing all the time on what you don’t. That’s what I learned from it anyways.

    However, living in a city with an affordability issue is real and hard for some(not all) people. Apples to oranges.

  292. Richard

    Besides in reality you only have approx 2 weeks as few sellers will likely want to close in 3 weeks.

    Exactly. I’d definitely talk to your lawyer before trying to do a quick closing date. Even if a place is vacant and ready for possession you still have to get your proverbial ducks in a row.

    I know my lawyer didn’t want a closing date any closer than 2 weeks. Doesn’t mean they couldn’t do it, but we knew not to make (or accept) and offer quicker than that without talking to them first.

  293. Ksoul:
    I strongly recommend that you immediately look for a short term rental and put aside looking for a house for now. You only have 5 weeks to find a place and in this market that is way too much pressure you are putting on yourself and family. Besides in reality you only have approx 2 weeks as few sellers will likely want to close in 3 weeks. Take the stress off of youself and then once in your rental take your time and make the right decision without being under any kind of pressure, good luck.

  294. Richard

    One currency one interest rate that how is can only work or you have massive arbitrage. Borrow in one area, lend in the other without currency risk.

    One reason why the euro will break apart one day.

  295. Ksoul

    Good luck. I hope you find what you are looking for. Life is stressful enough without going through this

  296. One big problem we have in Canada is that we have one coast to coast mortgage interest rate policy. This has never made sense to me. I have always felt interest rates should be adjustable to respond to the economic situations of regions or Provinces. In areas where the economy is sluggish they should have lower interest rates to encourage activity and people to move there. Conversely over heated areas should have higher interest rates to cool things down (i.e Toronto/Vancouver).

  297. I am the friend that Local Fool spoke of and just want to put in my part here. First of all, we are not looking for a lot of house, we just want enough room for some space for our son to be away from us. Some may see this as spoiled or entitled but it is what we want in a long term home. Second of all, I am not on a different page than my husband, he has a tough time with smaller due to the costs of those too and the fact that we know that the chance of us moving out of this small home anytime soon is not very likely as we see this market as volatile and unsustainable. Some of what I said to Local Fool was in the heat of the moment and just feeling so very angry at this whole situation. Third, we understand that renting may be a thing but we have 2 cats, a dog and a teenage son to fit into all of this. It is not super simple to get short term with that and no, we do not have somewhere to send our pets to while we wander aimlessly. Some of the comments I have read have been so nice to see. I appreciate the support and understanding. Others should probably learn to not make judgement calls on who we are without the whole picture. The housing issue is not the only thing that has been happening in our lives that is stressful, so we would really like this one bit of stability. I recommend that people stay as far away from this housing market as they can because it is a terrible place to be. PS.. a second one of our listings went to a bully offer. Put on the market yesterday, sold by this am. We try to be as positive as possible.. on the daily. However, whenever we feel we have it all figured out, it all changes.

  298. It’s all relevant gwac, comparing to Toronto or Vancouver is not the point. Victoria is what it is, a city on an island that’s expensive to get on and off of. See the ferries cancelled today from 7 AM til 1 PM ?

    It’s expensive for what it is and CMHC agrees. Cheaper doesn’t mean eff all but keep on pumping.

    When normal inventories come back, and they will soon when they see other places do the same like Garth’s example in a hot TO suburb going up almost 4 times in 10 days, then you will see this implode. No one thinks the party will ever end, but it always does.

  299. Nobody is happy/content no matter what level of assets you have.

    I don’t think this is true. I am just fine with what we have and we are not super rich and our life is definitely not perfect.

    Some of not needing more is that we have met our basic needs now, and the rest is a learned attitude.
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/06/08/happiness-is-the-only-logical-pursuit/

    One of the keys is avoiding wanting more than you actually need and focussing on stuff to create happiness. I like this article:
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/22/what-is-hedonic-adaptation-and-how-can-it-turn-you-into-a-sukka/

    As far as the friend who sold and cannot rebuy, I really have sympathy for this person and there may be some helpful techniques that really can reduce her stress including negative visualization (what Marko may have been trying to point out but to be effective this should be a bit more personal like focussing on your good health by recognizing how bad health could impact your situation), and identifying what you can and cannot control and letting go of what you cannot control (what Leo S said) while putting effort into what you can control.

    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/02/what-is-stoicism-and-how-can-it-turn-your-life-to-solid-gold/

    For this family not having shelter sorted represents a threat to a basic need , similar to not having enough food. I think it would be tough for me to be in this position too, but the solution is to likely to focus on what you can do and compromise short-term by exercising some stoicism.

    Plan A is buy and plan B is rent. Both are tough in a low vacancy/inventory climate but are they doing all they can do? Maybe with buying they are? Maybe they can advertise in usedvic and on CL for a private sale or go door to door and reach out to their network of friends.

    And it is no doubt stressful that she and her husband are not on the same page as to what compromises are okay. I’d focus on getting to agreement on that. As time gets shorter maybe he will agree it is time to look for something that is a greater compromise for them.

    I think at this point with five weeks to go I’d be looking to store my stuff and seeking shorter-term furnished accommodation like sublets, and offer 50-100 over the monthly asking price to secure the rental. They are in the fortunate position of having home equity to do this. There are a number of summer sublets advertised now and the demand for these is lower and it will give them longer to buy or search for a better rental fit.

    Maybe one of these would work?

    http://www.usedvictoria.com/classified-ad/Pet-Friendly-Home-For-Rent-Short-Term_29120454
    https://victoria.craigslist.ca/apa/6070375591.html
    https://victoria.craigslist.ca/apa/6075112452.html
    https://victoria.craigslist.ca/apa/6064580853.html
    https://victoria.craigslist.ca/sub/6042602435.html
    https://victoria.craigslist.ca/apa/6047454550.html

  300. Exactly gwac. This has more room to run in the minds of speculators…. So much of this is obviously fuelled by this. Money follows growth. 30%/year is going to attract a lot of money. There has been increased demand from returning Albertans and Vancouver escapees but I think the scales are greatly tipped by the speculators following this growth. Look at the crazy flips happening…. The contrast is stark to but a few years ago and compared to the past run ups, the dollar values are staggering….

  301. Hawk

    Toronto is a ticking time bomb. Victoria SFH core are 800k less than Toronto so do not get all excited that there will be a huge crash here. 1.6 core vs 800 core. See the difference Hawk. Victoria was more expensive at one point.

  302. LeoS:

    I do, but if the argument is that there is massive foreign buyer influence then I would like to hear why it’s not showing up in the data. I just dont really buy the argument that foreign buyers in Victoria are going to great lengths to conceal their identities just to avoid a potential future expansion of the tax. It’s not a coordinated group like that.

    I’ve stated this before: the data is incomplete. It is not specific enough and it can be obscured. It is foolhardy to believe that the BC Liberals or ANY Real Estate Board provides complete and transparent data.

    And some buyers are likely hiding their country of origin: David Eby of the NDP has stated that they would implement a province-wide foreign buyers tax and that they would make it retroactive.
    https://www.biv.com/article/2017/3/ndp-would-expand-bcs-foreign-buyer-tax/

    Whether or not the NDP are actually elected, it would be advisable for a foreign buyer to conceal their home country in the event that they are elected or in the event that the growing outrage in other areas of BC where the increased cost of housing (Greater Victoria, Fraser Valley, Kelowna, etc) forces the Liberals to take more action.

  303. Even North Korea isn’t immune to RE speculation

    As for anecdotes: saw a Lamborghini cruising Broadmead with a Vancouver dealer plate frame.

    Silver haired white guy. Obviously the silver scourge is here! The Vancouver boomers are selling their houses en masse, buying exotic cars and Victoria real estate! It’s common sense and occam’s razor says it must be true! Sell a middle income home for millions, afford a nice house here and a 6-figure car! Probably always wanted to retire on the island!

    Of course I jest.. but I did see an old white guy driving a Lambo in Broadmead. Since the nearest dealer is Vancouver a Vancouver plate frame isn’t surprising (whether the owner is local or not).

  304. “You don’t have kids yet Marko. One day you will understand.”

    Doesn’t have a dog either, but that might not end well.

  305. “This bubble is on par with what we had in the States back in ’05, ’06, ’07,” he said. “We have to actually take a look at the situation. The housing market here is in a classic price bubble. If you don’t acknowledge that, you have your head in the sand.”

    Glad to see gwac has finally woke up that a crash is very possible and his bear bashing days are now a moment in history. 😉

  306. You’re obfuscating – and you know it. My comment to you was more global than that

    My comments are more global as well. Essentially, my point is selling a home to buy a bigger home and than going on medications to control stress and anxiety is not healthy. Take a step back and put things into perspective.

    And yes, as homeowners, renters, etc, we should fight it instead of accusing people who can’t get into the market of “appreciating what you have.” Those are 2 different things.

    First problem is homeowners and renters aren’t on the same page to start. Perfectly illustrated by many examples on this blog. For example, Barrister is anti rental towers downtown because he doesn’t like city congestion. Fair enough, he is entitled to an opinion, but the problem is this relegates more renters to overpriced basement suites.

    There are many local factors such as geography, a NIMBY living in every other house, etc., that creates real estate problems as well.

  307. There 2 separate arguments going on here (as Dasmo alluded to)

    1 is about the RE business: speculators, cronyism, hot Vancouver $, hot foreign $, flippers, irresponsible lenders. We know they’re affecting the market in BC & across Canada.

    We need to be concerned because law-abiding, tax-paying citizens are being hurt by it. The RE market was never meant to be a stock market.

    And it doesn’t matter if these things happen in Vancouver or Victoria – it affects the Victoria market when Vancouverites get sick of their worse situation & move out.

    2 is about First World Problems. Yes we’ve all got to put things in perspective, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight corruption in our own back yard.

    New Point #3: I’m glad people from Calgary & Vancouver contribute to this blog, because we need more outside perspectives.

    Don’t think that because we live on an island that we’re immune to global & domestic speculation. Speculators don’t give a shit about the city when they’re holding & trading houses like gold or stock.

    All they need is an angle to make $$ – and their angle with Victoria (BC’s 2nd largest city) is UVic, retirement holding properties, and a BC gov’t that turns a blind eye.

    And yes, as homeowners, renters, etc, we should fight it instead of accusing people who can’t get into the market of “appreciating what you have.” Those are 2 different things.

    It’s good to read anecdotes from Local Fool & others.

  308. I think when health fails that attitude changes.

    +1

    I worked in sales years ago too, and as awful as I was at it, even I knew that an attitude like that wasn’t going to get me far. Actually, it didn’t…ergo I am not in sales anymore.

    I mostly work with rational buyers due to my business model…..Leo can verify in our database if you would like buy you won’t see my name often on the buying end where the property is going 50-150k over asking.

    I am not a “these colours are awesome and I can really see your child growing up here,” type person.

    I am an anti-sales person……listing presentations amount to, “doesn’t matter who you really list it with, it will sell for market value and I can do it for a bit cheaper.”

    I bought my car using PayPal….that is how much I value “sales.”

  309. Selling a home and stressing about re-buying a house because the kid needs more space is a genuine issue?

    You’re obfuscating – and you know it. My comment to you was more global than that, in that I was rejecting your apparent notion that genuine issues in a society – not any one person’s in particular – can simply be whitewashed by comparing whatever the situation is to something worse elsewhere.

    Going to my specific example though, I suppose that is for the bearer of the issue to determine, not you. I don’t think she’s seeking an iota of sympathy; she wants to share to let others know what it’s like. I think there’s value atm in doing so.

    Personally I don’t really care what your attitude is towards buyers or sellers in this market, or people in general. I imagine though that some prospective purchasers looking for an agent might be less inclined to contact someone with a “who cares about people’s plight in this market” attitude.

    I worked in sales years ago too, and as awful as I was at it, even I knew that an attitude like that wasn’t going to get me far. Actually, it didn’t…ergo I am not in sales anymore. 😀

  310. Nobody is happy/content no matter what level of assets you have. The reason there is always more or something different to want just around the corner. I think when health fails that attitude changes.

  311. “Selling a home and stressing about re-buying a house because the kid needs more space is a genuine issue?”

    You don’t have kids yet Marko. One day you will understand.

  312. Said by the man with the three car garage and massive new house.

    If it was about having a massive house I would have FOMOed and just bought a massive house in 2012/2013 when I could afford it. Instead I bought a building lot in 2013. The alternative property was a pre-sale 19th floor unit at the Bayview Promontory. Then I sat on the lot for 8 months while I figured out what I want to build. Then I took my time building it to save on costs. Two years later I had occupancy and the total cost of lot plus construction was significantly less than what you average 1970s Gordon Head box sells for today.

    When you get stressed out and FOMOed you typically make bad decisions. When you don’t really care where you live and you remove the emotion you tend to do better financially. Did I ever think I would live in Saanichton (was renting at the Bayview One at the time). Nope, but I thought it made since financially. In some ways I was wrong and should have bought a 950k home in the Uplands in 2013 but you can’t predict everything.

    Even I had gone 19th floor pre-sale Promontory it would be up $300,000-$400,000 and just as happy. For me it is not about the big house but about making the soundest financial decisions.

  313. BNN

    Gluskin Sheff Chief Economist David Rosenberg is joining the growing chorus of calls for government intervention into the Toronto housing market. In an interview on BNN, Rosenberg, who correctly called the U.S. housing bubble in 2005, said the massive deviation from historical norms has him drawing comparisons between the two situations.

    “This bubble is on par with what we had in the States back in ’05, ’06, ’07,” he said. “We have to actually take a look at the situation. The housing market here is in a classic price bubble. If you don’t acknowledge that, you have your head in the sand.”

    Rosenberg warned unchecked increases in home prices are becoming a social issue.

    “It’s not an equity, it’s not a bond — it’s where people live,” he said. “Where home prices are in Toronto, they absorb 13 years of average family income. That is completely abnormal. We’ve never seen this before.”

    Rosenberg said he’d be singing a different tune if price increases were running in line with any of the usual economic fundamentals, such as job growth, rising incomes, or nominal GDP growth.

    “We’re out of equilibrium, and when we’re out of equilibrium, or there’s some sort of market failure, are there grounds there for government intervention? I think even the most ardent libertarian would say ‘yes,’” he said.

    Rosenberg said there are a trio of levers the government can pull to cool down the market. Authorities can address supply, which he said has already been “kiboshed.” Interest rates can be raised, but Rosenberg doesn’t believe the Bank of Canada will do that. Or new policy can be drafted to address the prevalence of speculation.

    “These are not prices driven by the local fundamentals — this is the foreign buyer coming in,” Rosenberg said. “Toronto has really emerged as a first-class city, not just politically, not just culturally and economically, but also in terms of being a major financial centre. But if you’re going to ask me at this stage, ‘do we need to approach taxation of this capital coming in differently to curb the demand?’ [That’s] absolutely right.”

    Rosenberg said the meteoric increase in home prices means the impact of a correction would not be as frightening as it would during periods of more normal market conditions.

    “There used to be time when you’d think ‘wow, a 30 per cent decline in home prices, how terrible that would be.’ That would just take you back to where we were a year ago.” End of BNN story

    Ontario should have follow Christy a year ago. Now they have a bigger uglier mess to deal with.

  314. “Marko Juras said ” Now I deal with people freaking out because they can’t get a home with a two car garage and rec room. Seriously….”

    Said by the man with the three car garage and massive new house.

    This reminds me of that line “let them eat cake”.

    Agreed Anna. Just a week ago Marko was pumping out a Youtube video by one of the top agents in Victoria screaming into the camera that Victoria is cheap comparing us to Beijing, London, etc etc and we need to buy, buy, buy !! The hypocrisy is getting so pathetic…again.

  315. Marko has a great point.
    Appreciate what you have versus what you don’t have.
    Who says you can’t do anything about the world’s problems? That we can affect its outcome?
    If we all thought like that then the world would be full of problems.

  316. doesn’t mean that there aren’t genuine issues here that need attention.

    Selling a home and stressing about re-buying a house because the kid needs more space is a genuine issue?

  317. The problem with your reasoning Marko, is that you could use it to nullify and dismiss virtually any problem out there. For example…

    You just lost your job, your partner has breast cancer and the ultrasound of your baby-to-be looks as though he will be born with a serious disability. Further, the building inspector discovered your home has a termite problem and a leaking oil tank – and will cost 100k to fix. Uh oh, is that a puddle of transmission fluid under your car?

    You needn’t be upset – all you need is a broader, more worldly perspective. At least you still have your wife. At least you have a home that isn’t bombed out by a genocidal dictator. At least your family is not in Darfur, hunted by the Janjaweed tribe who will kill you on site, enslave your child, and sell your terrified wife on the open market. At least your disabled child will be allowed to live, love and be loved. At least your wife might get medical care. So many in the world would kill to be as lucky as you. Do you have any idea what the children in….

    Anyways, you get the point. Trying to argue “petty first world problems” by comparing them to some of the worst travesties on the planet is just silly and ironically myopic, and doesn’t mean that there aren’t genuine issues here that need attention.

  318. Marko Juras said ” Now I deal with people freaking out because they can’t get a home with a two car garage and rec room. Seriously….”

    Said by the man with the three car garage and massive new house.

    This reminds me of that line “let them eat cake”.

  319. People stress out because shelter is a human need…. But you are right. Attitude is most important.

    Basic Survival Skills in order of importance:
    Number 1: Attitude. More than any other skill, your attitude determines how successful you are
    Number 2: Shelter. …
    Number 3: Water. …
    Number 4: Fire. …
    Number 5: Food. …

    Beyond basic survival a families shelter has the greatest effect on ones lifestyle and living standard… It’s of huge importance so pushing it off to “first world problems” is not right in this case. This ain’t bitching about the price of a latte. This is a family facing a huge setback. It would be very frustrating to see house flippers, bully offers, speculators and foreign buyers all in the way of this basic need.

  320. Has your friend been paying attention and watching the unedited videos as to what is going on in Syria right now? I have and it really puts out real estate “problems” into perspective very quickly.

    It is logical to focus on your own personal housing situation because it is either completely or partially within your control. Syria is entirely outside your control and stressing about it would be completely illogical.

  321. Marko, people stress because of FOMO. It has nothing to do with Syria or ICU emergencies, or the latest sad car accident. It’s panic buying promoted by your fellow agents and the developers that this is going to the moon and you better get in now or never.

    It’s their current narrow minded window of life, not someone else’s unfortunate situation. Shall we bring in the starving in Sudan too ? How about Kim Jung is about to nuke us too ? You’re talking bullshit again.

  322. This is the same person I referenced several days ago, who is facing significant distress due to the market conditions. The road she lives on is being re-developed. Her and her family initially had no intention of selling, but did not wish to be sandwiched in.

    Has your friend been paying attention and watching the unedited videos as to what is going on in Syria right now? I have and it really puts out real estate “problems” into perspective very quickly.

    All we WANT is an extra space for the kid.

    I lived in a 2 bed/1 bath 801 sq/ft top floor of a bungalow with my parents until I was 25; the kid will survive without extra space. Unfortunately, the kids in Syria being caught up in chemical attacks will not.

    The one thing to this day that I cannot understand about real estate is why on earth people stress out like crazy……having worked in my early 20s in ICU environments people need to chill out. I remember as a RT student doing chest comparisons on a 18 year old and the intensivist brought the family into the room while I am doing the comparisons…..he died. Now I deal with people freaking out because they can’t get a home with a two car garage and rec room. Seriously….

  323. This is an excerpt from an conversation thread I had with a local friend who sold their home, and is looking to buy another (locally). This is the same person I referenced several days ago, who is facing significant distress due to the market conditions. The road she lives on is being re-developed. Her and her family initially had no intention of selling, but did not wish to be sandwiched in.

    I think this demonstrates why so many would be sellers are not – this buyer’s angst is palpable. Shared with her permission. Thank you Ksoul!

    ARGH. Someone submitted a bully offer on a house we liked. My realtor was talking to us about these bully offers.. he thinks they are horrible. He said it may be someone from Vancouver with more money than sense’ – the house was an 84 BC Box. Funny thing is.. for the price they most likely paid, they could have owned similar closer to town. 3 of the damn places in our listings are suited. Out of 12 listings we got since yesterday.. only one worked for us and that is where the pos [expletives] a**hole stepped in.

    I ask her about the possibility of renting

    We’re not talking about that yet. [Husband] will decide when and I am aware it is a possibility. But the horror stories I hear from renters is not helping either. I am stuck in a shit situation – I am regretting the sale of my home, because I have nowhere good to go.

    I suggest to her dropping some of the wants/conditions:

    That is the problem.. we have dropped a bunch. All we WANT is an extra space for the kid. I told [husband] f**k it.. lets just get a smaller home and live closer to town.. we see those. But he won’t. [Son] doesn’t care either. I am a bit frustrated with [husband’s] inability to see past what he feels we should be able to get. The tough part is.. we know that whatever house we pick, we have to have for a multitude of years, because this market is crap.

    I warn her – “This is exactly how the process works. A bunch of standards/conditions. Slowly, they drop off one by one. As time goes on, the most cherished ones are forced off, then it still doesn’t work because there’s nothing in that price range, then, you’re “forced” to pay way, way more than you ever insisted you would.”

    Yeah.. we won’t do that.. we have our price and if that is the final straw.. we have to rent. We know that, because this isn’t a 5 year home, or a 10 year home, we wanted a forever home. But we won’t be those idiots – over extend.. pay too much for crap – hence why we were not interested in going against a bully offer. Our realtor didn’t recommend it either. He really encourages us to not just give into something that we don’t like or to pay more than we can do.

    And their hunt continues. Every offer they make goes up in smoke, including over-asking offers. Their move out date is in 5 weeks, and so this must be resolved before that time. They are feeling both desperate and hopeless, which is a recipe for some people to make very rash decisions.

    Folks, if you can avoid playing in the sandbox at the moment – then don’t. Nothing lasts forever – and there is nothing wrong with strategic renting. This market is severely unbalanced. Personally, I would rather “waste” thousands, or tens of thousands in rent then being locked into an overpriced asset for decades that I would be dissatisfied with.

  324. Some sort of correction would be healthy. With the inventory as it is and the fire fully stoked I don’t see anything but more pain this spring. Even if it’s just the conditions around buying. I think we will have a ratcheting up of regulations coming down the pipe because of this. This is also dangerous in that such regulation will most likely further screw people over the long run (like the HPO). There are always unintended side effects with meddling. I think we need to steer our economy away from selling out a fixed resource to non residents and the rampant speculation and flipping in real-estate. We should be developing things, solving things, manufacturing things, fixing things, inventing things….. But, Real estate is big money so I don’t see that happening….

  325. Barrister, that’s where crashes usually start. The well off see the insanity and try to ask insane prices and some get lucky. The serious ones start dropping their prices to get the hell out.

    Meanwhile the lower echelon sheep think it will never end because it’s the best place on earth or some silver tsunami bullshit. Well , some of the wealthy get it, not all.

  326. RBC says stop the insanity to keep the fools from losing their shirts when it tanks. Too late for that, blow off tops always end very ugly.

    RBC CEO sounds the alarm on housing; urges governments to act ‘reasonably quickly’

    The chief executive of Canada’s most valuable company is sounding the alarm on runaway house prices in Toronto and Vancouver.

    “I’m increasingly concerned by the unhealthy combination of factors that have driven the market to the current point of strain,” RBC CEO Dave McKay said in his opening remarks at the bank’s annual general meeting in Toronto on Thursday. “Long-time persistent supply and demand imbalances in the GTA and Vancouver, low interest rates, and speculative activity. All of these factors are mixing to push prices up to unsustainable levels, stressing household balance sheets and locking many people out of the housing market.”

    http://www.bnn.ca/rbc-ceo-sounds-the-alarm-on-housing-urges-governments-to-act-reasonably-quickly-1.716943?hootPostID=d43adce255bc26b283171c098d8cec6c

  327. Has anyone noticed that about a third of the houses in South Victoria (James Bay, Fairfield, Oak Bay and Rockland are now price near or over two million. More importantly they dont seem to be selling.
    While the multi million dollar houses always took long to sell, in past years there was only a few of them.

    Is it possible to have a price collapse start at the top?

  328. Question for those who know: Who are buying pre-sale condos?

    In Victoria mostly owner-occupiers and local investors. For example, at the Promontory approximately 50 of the 177 units are rented. I know about 20 of the investors including myself and for the most part local.

    As I was walking in VicWest yesterday I walked passed some Chinese speaking men standing beside white Mercedes suv’s taking photos over the fence of the ‘dockside green’ land. I know I know, this could easily be a family excited about a new condo or perspective condo purchase. But I also think it could point to speculation in the pre-sale market.

    You are 100% off track here as this site is still in very preliminary stages and probably a year or more from pre-sales actually being made available.

    Right now there really isn’t much in terms of pre-sales. Encore, Escher, Legato, etc., all sold out a while ago. You have the Wade and 989 Johnson and not much else.

  329. Leo S and others don’t appreciate anecdotes

    I do, but if the argument is that there is massive foreign buyer influence then I would like to hear why it’s not showing up in the data. I just dont really buy the argument that foreign buyers in Victoria are going to great lengths to conceal their identities just to avoid a potential future expansion of the tax. It’s not a coordinated group like that.

  330. In other news, I just came across some information today that someone within the Liberal party is disgusted at the party’s attempt to bury news of current RCMP investigations and other controversies surrounding Christy Clark, Rich Coleman and the other cronies. Apparently this insider states that the party is blatently using mental illness, homelessness and addiction to win the election.
    An announcement from the Liberal Government will be released this Friday from Victoria. (Fridays are typically a good time to bury)
    Get ready to watch this corrupt government buy some more votes.

    This from Ashley West

  331. Question for those who know: Who are buying pre-sale condos? As Vancouver has seen a huge push with foreign cash to land on pre-sales as 15% tax does not apply, I have a feeling we will be seeing that push here as well as new towers/developments go up not only downtown, but out in Langford as well.

    As I was walking in VicWest yesterday I walked passed some Chinese speaking men standing beside white Mercedes suv’s taking photos over the fence of the ‘dockside green’ land. I know I know, this could easily be a family excited about a new condo or perspective condo purchase. But I also think it could point to speculation in the pre-sale market. I truly believe we can’t talk about supply in this city when new supply gets outbid by speculative money from China and 30% discount from USD.

    Leo S and others don’t appreciate anecdotes. I agree that anecdotes do not prove a point, but I do believe they can point in a certain direction, especially when we can’t rely on numbers from gov’t or the real estate board.

  332. A good listen regarding how Canada is known as an easy place to launder money.
    https://omny.fm/shows/the-jon-mccomb-show/time-to-close-the-doors-to-dirty-money-in-canada

    From Christine Duhaime, US and Australia also easy money laundering targets. She states that in both countries government is taking steps to combat it, unlike in Canada.
    http://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/2085287/scheme-wealthy-chinese-get-us-visas-busted?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral#add-comment

  333. Leo – just a note about construction levels of “Apartment and others” that number most likely includes rental units under construction. At last count there is about +/- 1500 rental units under construction in Greater Victoria. Take those out of the mix and we are at or below traditional construction levels. The construction of rental during this particular cycle is a real difference maker in the number of strata units available on the market – ie no supply of strata units because developers are opting to focus on building rental

  334. Maybe the ‘silver tsunami’ downsize started.

    I doubt that’s much more than a background effect, if any. If boomers en masse are suddenly cashing out of their detached homes and buying condos, I don’t see much of the former coming onto the market – which I would expect to see if your supposition was accurate. Further, you’ll have to expand your phenomenon to include all of greater Vancouver and Toronto as well. However, there is no detached supply in either city, yet condos are so hot birds are having to use oven mitts to pull worms out of the ground.

    The other possibility is, that this is the last remaining affordable housing class for those looking to enter the market. Speccers know this, buy them up, those already in cannot afford to move anywhere else, speccers hold onto anticipated gains, inventory plunges…detached mania 2.0.

    Problem is, unlike the detached segment, once condos get away from buyers, there will be nothing left to bid up or for buyers to get into. Unless Vancouver starts speculating on tents…

  335. I just noticed we are approaching the levels of construction we had back in 2006-2008.

    A sign of the late game in the housing runup? Last time the increased construction lasted about 2 years before the housing market topped out. Now we’re almost a year into it.

  336. 1596 Longacre Dr—is this a flip?

    Correct. Sold last fall for $756,000, almost $100k over ask.
    Now listed for $1,089,900, with extensive interior updates.

  337. HOT, HOT HOUSES: Forget all those conspiracy theories about what’s behind the crazy Toronto real estate market. Here are the real reasons why house prices are soaring – and why they’ll stay high

    Love this excerpt Local Fool. Thanks for posting. Everyone always think’s it’s a new paradigm and it’s different this time.

  338. Is this realistic in today’s market? When home owners are using their home equity to outbid first time home buyers? Are home owners adding to the rental market or just turning a prospective home owner into a renter?

    I see it very simply. If a family can’t afford to buy a house they are renting. If they can’t afford to rent they are homeless. Hence why I think most government efforts should be directed at supporting rentals rather than supporting people getting into the market.

    The reason that rental prices have gone up are that housing prices have gone up

    Rents are up because demand is high. High housing prices do not translate into high rents. Let’s assume vacancy rate was 10% and house prices doubled overnight. Could a new investor charge more rent? Nope, the renter would just leave for another place. But with low vacancy rate they can charge more rent.
    The connection is a bit more tenuous in that if house prices are high more people are forced to rent and thus lower vacancy rates, but again it’s the vacancy rate that forces rents up, not house prices directly.

  339. I was a bit hard on “Introvert”…… but I do get annoyed from time to time.
    (I still owe him an apology)

    There is no need to apologize, Deryk. I was the one who was rude to you.

  340. Owning a condo is actually like owning a house on leased land. As the lease matures and there are fewer and fewer years left the value of the house decreases significantly.

    The land value for condos increases over time and, like houses, the structure depreciates. The land component vs. structure is smaller for condos so the values might not rise as much over time as structural depreciation impacts the value. Leased land devalues almost to zero prior to renewal. Only the depreciated structure value is left and sometimes not even that if renewal is uncertain. That is why condos on leased land are significantly lower in value than those on fee simple after more than half the term has expired.

  341. Richard makes an excellent point about the life expectancy of high rise buildings and one of the perils of owning a condo. Any type of house or condo is a depreciating asset similar to a car but with a longer life expectancy. Generally the house goes down in value. What increases is the land. The problem with high rise condos is that your portion of the underlying land is pretty small. This is something that you will not see explained in the “Condo Life” magazines.

    Just to add to the problem high rise buildings have a lot more expensive maintenance components than say a townhouse. Elevators are the obvious ones but water pumps and heating systems are factors that people really dont think about until they break or require expensive maintance.

  342. CONDO’S DROPPING VALUE OVER TIME:
    There is a hidden malaise in multi-level condo buildings which few ever consider. Owning a condo is actually like owning a house on leased land. As the lease matures and there are fewer and fewer years left the value of the house decreases significantly. Highrise condo’s or high density low level projects similarly hit a devaluation point as the structure ages and the life expectancy of the building comes into play. Building maintenance and repairs start to become prohibitive as the building reaches this point.
    There is a condo development in Calgary built in the 70’s (one of the first condo’s ever built) it it 16 storeys and looks perfectly fine externally. However the units have monthly condo fees approaching $800/month which tells a whole different story. These units if built today would be selling for $650K with condo fees in the $350/month range, instead they go for under$250K and falling. At some point noone is going to buy them. There is an expiry date on highrise buildings and noone ever talks about it.

  343. Legalizing living your in yourn car is the stupidest thing to come out of City Hall. They want to go through this stupid idea than let them only do it in the parade after 10pm and out by 6am.

  344. Disposal of human feces, for starters. Noise complaints. Fire hazards (open flame) from candles and portable stoves. Vehicle engines left running all night. Use of loud generators in residential neighbourhoods. Carbon monoxide poisoning. Consumption of alcohol and drugs inside cars. Care and control of a vehicle while impaired. Drug trafficking in and around vehicles. Fatal drug overdoses. Hoarders and other people with serious mental health problems living inside cars. Car cities – the new “tent city” – popping up throughout Victoria. CarBnB. Extra wake-ups for bylaw and police. A national incentive for every predatory criminal with a vehicle to travel here. Those are a few concerns off the top of my head.

    The nuisance and noise bylaws are still in force, as is the criminal code, so some of that is a bit exaggerated. I’m more concerned at setting the vacancy rate threshold at 3% – that is way too high imo and could result in an everlasting car camping community in Victoria. I’d be okay with 1% vacancy rate max. I didn’t realize they were setting it that high! When was the last time Victoria had a vacancy rate above 3% – five years ago?

  345. Deryk, good you clarified because I was totally confused by the whole “raze” thing 🙂 Usually people would say “tear it down”

    By the way, from James’s Province story: could this be the weirdest reason for a 29-year-old to buy a pre-sale condo?
    “They had branding that could have been by a Main Street brewery. It was all cool and that robin’s-egg blue colour with trendy typography.”

    My parents would have disowned me if, at 29, I had spent hundreds of thousands of $ because of “robin’s-egg blue”

  346. I was a bit hard on “Introvert”…… but I do get annoyed from time to time.
    (I still owe him an apology)
    I think my sugar levels must have been low or perhaps it was because I had not had my coffee yet:)
    Sorry.

    I still believe that we need more rental units built to increase supply. Buildings like the ones that are being built by St Vincent de Paul for example near west saanich road near Royal oak. Also the Baptist church is doing some great work building housing. I’d like to see much more of these. I believe that the government supports these kinds of projects quite well. (I saw a pie chart of the funding and governments are kicking in a fair amount on these projects.) If we could have many many more of these types of projects then I think it would help a lot with vacancy levels. The beauty of these kinds of projects is that they are “separate” from the speculative, private, luxury condo market. If we had enough of this kind of supportive housing… then the wealthy building investors could do whatever the hell they liked with building for profit units. We need more housing for the average Jack and Jill.

  347. I’d say 200% that’s right bears they’ll pay you to take them.

    In that case, I’ll change my mind and start buying today. 😀

  348. As per Steve Saretsky, they are multiple bidding on known leaker condos in Vancouver. This is going to end so much worse than I thought. Marc Cohodes 50% to 80% call is starting to sound very plausible.

  349. I am just guessing here but I have the feeling that most young Canadians thinking about or with a young family do not aspire to live in a condo.

    I would rather live in a house or townhome, sure. But I would buy a 3 bedroom condo in a nice, walkable area if they were even in the realm of affordability.

    Take a look at the prices for 3 beds in the Wade:
    https://www.buzzbuzzhome.com/ca/the-wade/units/condos/g

    That’s for a unit with less square footage than my current 2 bedroom condo. And really, that’s a less expensive unit that’s located in the core. When you consider these costs, it’s not wonder people are flocking to the Westshore.

    Aside from land costs, how are the construction costs so much more in the core than in Langford? Even taking into consideration the land costs, most of the buildings in the core are taller than the ones in the Westshore, which should negate the land costs, yet their units cost 50-100% more. Aahhh, I don’t know why I’m rambling, I’m just a middle income fool who can’t compete.

    I’m better off renovating my current condo to fit 3 bedrooms but I’m willing to bet that the city and my strata would throw a fit and the associated road blocks. Plus I may have to write that pesky HPO exam…

  350. Local Fool;
    Amazing how in 1988 11% interest rates were considered low! I had one mortgage go to 20.25%, $1,499 monthly payment on an $82,000 mortgage, can’t forget it!

  351. Here’s one for you…#4-508 Pendray St. How ’bout a house at 1980 sq ft., bigger than it’s microscopic 1742 sq ft. lot in James Bay? When house hunting, I looked at this last year when it was for sale and it sold in days in Feb. 2016 for $925k. Now, they’ve just listed it for $1,230k ! Mind boggling to say the least if it sells for that. I guess the smells wafting from neighbouring ‘Nourish Kitchen & Cafe’ drove the present owners nutty…

  352. I feel that one of the problems with rental inventory is that places that were once used as monthly rentals are now being used as airbnbs.

    Until those are regulated/taxed the inventory issue will remain.

    It is such a small percentage of housing stock (less then 1%) and a solid chunk of this <1% would not long term rent if AirBnB was not an option.

    I have clients that AirBnB their basement suites, but wouldn’t rent otherwise as they have retired parents visiting for months at a time during the course of a year. Just one example.

    Beyond that there won’t be any buildings going forward with such zoning.

  353. The following was published in the Toronto Star in July of 1988, about 1.5 years before the real estate market there went bust.

    HOT, HOT HOUSES: Forget all those conspiracy theories about what’s behind the crazy Toronto real estate market. Here are the real reasons why house prices are soaring – and why they’ll stay high

    Friday, July 15, 1988
    MICHAEL SALTER

    “Absolutely everyone from cab drivers to chief executives has a story about Toronto’s crazy housing market. Politicians and tenants’ groups have declared a housing ‘affordability crisis’ – again – and have called for a tax on speculators’ profits to cool down the frenzy. Dark words are muttered about how foreign money is to blame.

    In fact, the price explosion has occurred for simpler reasons. Mortgage rates are low… Residents of this huge, rich, expensive urban conglomeration have taken somewhat hopefully to calling their city ‘world class.’ But the price of being world class is ‘Manhattanization.’ Torontonians are getting a taste of the housing problems of the world’s major cities.

    Owning a house is now the investment of choice for most of the middle class. Because inflation has outpaced wage gains for most of the decade, salary earners feel they can gain ground only by possessing property. The equity in a house provides – tax free – a major portion of most people’s retirement nest egg. To cope with the high costs, it’s become standard practice for house-poor owners to build and rent out a self-contained apartment.

    For many Torontonians, the North American dream of home ownership has already faded, and they’ve joined the ranks of renters, probably for good. Those intent on owning will find themselves forced to think small.”

    Hmmm. Sound familiar?

  354. There are so many catch 22’s in many of these arguements.
    If you don’t have investors/speculators many if not most of these highrise condo projects wouldn’t be built. Before one of those projects gets off the ground, financiers/banks will only fund the project when there are usually 60% presold. Since these projects take so long to build most of the presolds are bought up by the “investors/speculators” as the home owner is looking for something short term or immediate. There is risk to putting a downpayment on something that sometimes is never built or delayed for years. So regrettably these dubious investors/speculators are an integral part of getting these buildings built. As per a previous comment, we need pension plans and unions putting up funds to build these buildings.

  355. I feel that one of the problems with rental inventory is that places that were once used as monthly rentals are now being used as airbnbs.

    Until those are regulated/taxed the inventory issue will remain.

  356. I am just guessing here but I have the feeling that most young Canadians thinking about or with a young family do not aspire to live in a condo. A few may but most will want a garden space to share with their children. A townhouse, with garden, would probably be acceptable but you show me a new townhouse being built in the price range young people can afford. If there are any out there I bet you will see the investors salivating over the doorstep.

  357. “Why punish someone that wants to create a rental? Rental availability is much more important than the availability of housing to purchase ”

    We need both rentals & properties for purchase. It’s not either/or.

    Our biggest problem is limited inventory. That’s pushing up prices for both renters & buyers.

    We cannot take inventory away from buyers (which is what happens when an investor purchases a SFH to rent, eg., as part of their retirement “portfolio”; he/she doesn’t create it out of thin air – it subtracts from inventory).

    We have to solve the problem by (a) discouraging investors from taking inventory away from buyers, (b) building more purpose-built rentals (like they’re doing more now, as Marko pointed out), (c) building more duplexes/townhouses/rowhouses/3br condos for families.

  358. New “investors” are just forcing up the rents to cover their high risk bet to make above the mortgage payment.

    What happens when landlords try doubling the rent like they did in Toronto ? This is when bubbles blow up.

    “Tenants of at least two west-end Toronto condominium apartments have seen their rent double as of July 1, while politicians and experts are weighing in on the growing rental affordability crisis in the city.

    Graham Farquhar lives in a 430 square foot one and a half bedroom apartment with his roommate in west-end Toronto with no balcony, no real view and said he received notice Sunday his rent had doubled from $1,650 to $3,300 per month.”

    http://globalnews.ca/news/3355767/toronto-rent-doubles-rent-control/

  359. But right now there are just too many pigs at the trough buying up multiple properties in order to speculate on future gains.

    Agreed. Problem is when that practice becomes as pervasive as I believe it has, it just sets things up for an ugly outcome further down the road.

    Real estate lately has become a bit of a “something for nothing”, “get rich quick”, “wealth without work” scheme. In the long run there never has been such a thing. Never will be.

    For those who time it right, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime. Most think they can – most of them are wrong. Those who are right – most of them are little more than lucky. Believe it or not, RE will lose its sexiness and for a time, probably turn into a pariah.

  360. Why punish someone that wants to create a rental?

    The reason that rental prices have gone up are that housing prices have gone up. The reason that housing prices have gone up is that there is either too much demand, or not enough supply. Removing flippers and landlords from the market corrects that. That house will be filled regardless, might as well fill it with someone who’ll care about the house.

  361. Here’s a great new retirement strategy, load up on debt to purchase real estate!

    “They include a case study of a client named Paul who parlayed equity in his downtown condo into 20 similar properties in the same area, resulting in $10,000 a month of positive cash flow. In this case, he carries $5 million in debt for a portfolio that’s 50 per cent financed”

    http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/is-borrowing-to-invest-in-real-estate-is-a-better-way-to-fund-your-retirement-this-author-says-yes

  362. I don’t agree at all. Why punish someone that wants to create a rental? Rental availability is much more important than the availability of housing to purchase in my view.

    Is this realistic in today’s market? When home owners are using their home equity to outbid first time home buyers? Are home owners adding to the rental market or just turning a prospective home owner into a renter?

    What’s different today, than a decade ago, is how prevalent the practice of buying multiple rental properties (hoarding) has become by home owners due to ballooning equity.

    One solution may be to remove high ratio insurance for those buying rental properties. In my opinion, without that protection, lenders would reassess the risk of the mortgage and charge a higher interest rate. That would begin to level the playing field between home owner versus speculator because at this time the game is rigged towards home owners speculating on real estate.

    Another solution may be to make all of the gains made on non primary residences taxable. Remove the profit incentive and speculation would likely disappear. But right now there are just too many pigs at the trough buying up multiple properties in order to speculate on future gains.

  363. “There is no housing shortage problem, there is a speculator problem.”

    Exactly LeoM. Houses are being bought and sold like penny stocks with zero inspections which will come back to haunt them in spades.

    Rates have to go up bigtime to save the multi-billions in pension funds which are starting go under.

    Collapsing pensions will fuel America’s next financial crisis

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/collapsing-pensions-will-fuel-americas-next-financial-crisis-2017-03-14

  364. “Introvert” is obviously an idiot. I meant “Raise”. I wanted to “Raise” my house. If I meant “Raze” as in knocking it down, I would have spelled it “Raze”.

  365. Maybe it’s because you’ve been spelling raze wrong and the city can’t understand you.

    You realize that a house can be raised right?

  366. If a person owns more than one house/condo then when they sell a property they should be taxed heavily with a 20% property transfer sellers tax

    I don’t agree at all. Why punish someone that wants to create a rental? Rental availability is much more important than the availability of housing to purchase in my view. If you can’t afford a house to buy it’s frustrating. If you can’t find a rental that’s affordable and stable it could be devastating.
    Sure tax vacation homes and tax empty homes but I don’t think discouraging rentals is a good path.

  367. For the small guys (individuals), who are nearing retirement, why should they put a large % of their wealth into the stock market when it is already at historic highs? Why not leverage this into RE? Put their eggs into more than one basket?

    Kind of the opposite really. Most individuals own a house. Putting their other investments into a REIT is doubling down on real estate and is putting all their eggs in one basket.
    Not so relevant in a DB pension plan but many plans are DC and managed.

  368. Everyone has problems…

    Following this blog for years and the increased level of people not being able to enter the housing market has gone up proportionately with the increases in the value of RE over the last 3-5 years. There are POVs blaming QE, foreigners, supply, planning etc… These are all valid and quantifiable to a certain extent.

    But HHs must also realize that outside of this, there are some bigger forces at play. For the fortunate few that work for public institutions and have a DEFINED BENEFIT retirement plan, you have nothing to worry about when retirement rolls around. For others in the private sector who are not as lucky, there is a real crisis (larger IMO than the housing) that will have to be reckoned with in the next 10-20 years. How to fund retirement?

    An simple article summarizes what is faced by the majority of retirees in Canada.
    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/finance/the-problem-with-pension-plans-272398911.html
    A survey by Investors Group earlier this year found more than half of Canadian workers don’t know what their pension benefit will be, even though more than a third will rely on it as their primary source of income — indicating many people working today may face some tough choices when they retire.

    This pension crisis is non only Canada, but it is something that every developed nation is facing:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pensions_crisis

    So faced with this reality, people with retirement in their horizons scour the investment landscape and look at what gives them perceived INCOME REGULARITY, LOW RISK, and some upside…and guess what…it is REAL ESTATE.

    The explosion in REITs in Canada in unprecedented. Who is the biggest landlord in BC? You guessed it, the BCIM or the pension arm of BC government. From Coal Harbour to Eaton Center, these firms have interests in nearly every major development happening in Canada and BC today. RE to them is an investment in search of the largest returns.

    For the small guys (individuals), who are nearing retirement, why should they put a large % of their wealth into the stock market when it is already at historic highs? Why not leverage this into RE? Put their eggs into more than one basket?

    This is what is happening today. This is going to continue to happen unless the workers demographic pyramid changes as per the wiki article. YES, younger families are not going to be able to afford the high price of entry into RE. But what good alternatives are there? What are some policy solutions to this?

    We don’t need some BS rhetoric blame game, we need some policy solutions. They are not hard to find, but need some real political courage to execute. And for people thinking for “isolationism”, just google it and see how that has worked over the span of history.

  369. Solution… let’s actually build condo’s that appeal to families – larger than 2 bedrooms? Row houses that aren’t strata? Rooftop garden beds?

    Cultural problem…..most young families would prefer a Happy Valley home with 10′ of backyard versus a two bedroom condo in the core.

  370. I saw a house in westhills sold for 100k over asking the other day. Hold onto your hats bears.

    And one in Kettle Creek today for 76k over asking.

  371. There is no housing shortage problem, there is a speculator problem.

    The provincial government should implement an additional property transfer tax on sellers. If a person owns more than one house/condo then when they sell a property they should be taxed heavily with a 20% property transfer sellers tax. The more complex and ugly the tax, the more effective it will be at eliminating the commoditization of housing by speculators.

  372. Langford for example is encouraging some beautiful rental buildings and other building complexes…. creating some exciting and vital neighbourhoods.

    Exciting and vital? People generally choose Langford because they can’t afford to live somewhere nicer.

    I’ve been wanting to raise my house for the past twenty years and make it into a duplex and yet I’m not allowed.

    Maybe it’s because you’ve been spelling raze wrong and the city can’t understand you.

    I believe that as autonomous cars become the norm, people will leave the core of our cities and move into the outer ring of the cities. (Into areas like Langford and Sooke.)

    Um, no.

  373. I’ll bet you a 6pack that April’s average and median prices will be higher than those of March in the Single Family Greater Victoria.

    Month Sale Price, Average Sale Price, Median
    Nov 2016 $808,123 $694,000
    Dec 2016 $769,148 $659,950
    Jan 2017 $790,239 $678,000
    Feb 2017 $845,323 $735,000
    Mar 2017 $819,913 $729,000

    Only in two of the last 10 years has the average price fallen below that of March. The same with the median. But never in the last 10 years has BOTH the average and the median been lower in April than in May of the same year.

    So the odds seem to be in favor of April’s average or median prices for houses in Greater Victoria to be higher than March. Not worth betting unless you are giving odds like a 6 pack to a Macallan 18.

  374. When the agents want to bet you know its a market top. All those VREB charts look like blow off tops. Townhouses starting to curl over. Look out below.

  375. Hawk,
    I’ll bet you a 6pack that April’s average and median prices will be higher than those of March in the Single Family Greater Victoria.

  376. “Meanwhile, in the real world, prices are just starting to gap higher.”

    In the real world Single Family Greater Victoria average and median prices are down along with sales from last March. Looks like the beginning of the downhill slide has begun as Vancouver did a year ago. Peak Victoria indeed, suckers. 😉

  377. lots of price slashes the last month as they try to get the hell out

    I guess prices are crashing on Planet Hawk.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, prices are just starting to gap higher.

  378. Must have been priced $100K under market, lots for sale in Gangford, and lots of price slashes the last month as they try to get the hell out.

  379. I saw a house in westhills sold for 100k over asking the other day. Hold onto your hats bears.

  380. I like the area in Langford around the main centre. (Near the roundabout). I know of two new rental buildings that have gone up just off the main road….built by the same people, and they are planning a third rental building as well. Excellent quality.
    Yes…they are not cheap. (Building costs are high) But it does allow those who can afford to pay more to move out of other buildings which then becomes available to those who can’t afford the brand new places. There are interesting coffee shops and places to eat opening up around that area and I feel it has a nice feeling of community overall.
    I believe that as autonomous cars become the norm, people will leave the core of our cities and move into the outer ring of the cities. (Into areas like Langford and Sooke.)

  381. We will have affordable housing again when all those condos and houses that were bought on speculation return to the market. My guess is that there are a lot of landlords that have houses and condos that have a negative cash flow. Unlike investors, speculators only hold for a short term. And if the market stalls or falls this inventory comes rushing back onto the market.

    No speculator wants to get caught holding a half dozen or so properties that are not appreciating and have a negative cash flow.

    The good news is that you can now rent out that rusting 55 chevrolet in your back yard as an airbnb.

    https://youtu.be/OaFYcai1vK0

  382. If people look to the government to solve the housing problem be careful what you wish for, they are the ones that caused the problem in the first place. They are the ones that brought in the minimum 5% down, allowed 35 year mortgage amortization, added all kinds of incentive gimmicks i.e allowing RRSP’s for downpayments allowing apartment buildings to be converted to condominiums, etc.etc. All these things added fuel to the fire and are the predominant reason for the astronomical prices of today.
    What we need is pension plans following a moral compass and investing in good, diverse, quality apartment rental buildings as opposed to shopping centres and office buildings. We need unions building affordable accommodation for their members as they do in Germany. We need to encourage the concept of cooperatives. Finally we need to STOP saddling our youth with monstrous educational debt.

  383. Solution… let’s actually build condo’s that appeal to families – larger than 2 bedrooms?…Vancouver and TO do not have enough diversity of housing, and now – neither does Victoria.

    Apparently some people think there is limited or no profitability in making the larger units – don’t know how you’d get around that without a change in the market, or a subsidy. The latter I think is a bad idea unless it was purpose built (ie CRD housing). I would say there is an acute need for that here and in the lower mainland.

    Diversity of housing – let me twist it a bit if I may and just say “adequate supply” for market demand. Historically, at least as far as I know, all three of these cities have had adequate supply for everyone. Notice how acute “supply” issues have suddenly popped up in many areas of the country, most especially in the two largest ones and their periphery markets. If there was huge scale population increases, I could say okay, more supply is needed. But that so far, isn’t really happening. Alberta migration IMO, does not come close to explaining market activity here.

    So I’ll join you in being a broken record – and say “it’s the speculative demand”. When that goes away, I have a feeling people will be surprised how much inventory there actually is.

    I’ve only seen the NDP say they support “stronger action on housing speculation”. At the time I saw that, there was no further details. They might have more out now.

  384. How about more options for Canadian families…?

    There is one more, we can sleep in our cars now!

  385. All the new condos (density) in the world isn’t helping Vancouver, and a few years ago people were warning of a dangerous oversupply of condos in the Toronto market. Now look at what’s happening. Half of them are being bought by speculators and bidding wars among the units are everywhere in both cities. Prices are exploding, genuine buyers are having to fight amongst each other while vastly overpaying for the little morsels of crumbs that have fallen off the side of the table.

    The problem is, again, with what has happened in Van and TO – and now we have a chance to not repeat the same mistakes – they don’t have enough options between tiny condo’s or unaffordable SFH.

    Solution… let’s actually build condo’s that appeal to families – larger than 2 bedrooms? Row houses that aren’t strata? Rooftop garden beds? (I see the new ‘wade’ condo is going to do this). How about more options for Canadian families that can now no longer afford detached SFH (like Europeans have more options, why don’t Canadians?) I know, I sound like a broken record – but Vancouver and TO do not have enough diversity of housing, and now – neither does Victoria. When one travels to Europe, one realizes that families there do not insist on owning detached SFH (and many would never dream it possible), but unlike Canadians – they at least have alternative options.

    How to stop speculators? That will require new laws making housing only for housing. Does the NDP propose to do this?

  386. I see many neighbourhoods all over Victoria where there are run down houses and poorly used blocks. It looks like the wild west. (Some have been mentioned in this blog over time. ) There is the space available. Langford for example is encouraging some beautiful rental buildings and other building complexes…. creating some exciting and vital neighbourhoods. Victoria and Saanich always seems to be lagging. I’ve been wanting to raise my house for the past twenty years and make it into a duplex and yet I’m not allowed. At the same time the city will approve garden suites which will cover valuable garden space and remove trees to make room for the garden suite. THERE IS NO PLANNING!

    Can’t say I agree about Langford, but at least they’re trying (perhaps too fast) to do something about the housing crunch there. Can you tell me where anything beautiful is there??

    You are quite correct there is a ton of run down houses and ‘hoods in Vic. So much more could be done to ‘densify’ area’s along key corridors – like Quadra, Burnside, Fort, Shelbourne.

    It must be frustrating for some living near Beacon Hill Pk/Dallas Rd now the Victoria council may allow sleeping in cars. Another reason to be glad to be in OB. As I peer into my crystal ball this morning… the purple smoke clears, and I see that area becoming future ‘tent city’ for cars/RV’s if that happens. All over Dallas Rd/Cook St there will be parties in the cars and no enforcement for ticketing them anymore. Guess that’s what happens when you have an inept council that can’t do proper planning for a housing crisis. It’s what happens when responsibility for housing falls on municipal government’s and there isn’t a National coordinated strategy or legislation in place to deal with housing issues. Sometimes I think, Canada is too large – and the Federal Gov’t is way out of touch with what is happening in some far flung area’s like Victoria.

  387. https://betterdwelling.com/city/vancouver/vancouvers-foreign-buyer-tax-didnt-stop-real-estate-sales-china-did/#_

    This is more related to the last topic but food for thought. Even if the foreign buyer tax does not get implement province wide, according to Bloomberg, it looks like declining numbers of Chinese are able to get their capital out of the country? Since many of our ‘foreign’ purchasers here in Victoria are American that won’t affect them though (I hear downtown condo’s are favoured by yankees). Does anyone have any stat’s on the origins of foreign purchasers here?

  388. So Dasmo:
    When our wonderful NDP government was elected here in Alberta, our Energy Minister told laid off unemployed workers to seek work in BC. Yes, this is what we elected. So until our government is replaced, regrettably there won’t be any let up to the real estate/housing woes as hordes of Albertans flee to your fine Province!

  389. In the short term inventory will do nothing to prices but it will make some people lots of money. Longer term it can make a difference but for now the doors to paradise have closed. It’s ok, the people serving your coffee will be sleeping on the street in their cars in front of your house….

    We need another oil boom to suck out the population. It’s the only chance for prices to decrease and for some normalcy to enter the market.

  390. I firmly believe that supply is one of the keys to help the housing crisis.

    In the end, a city will need more supply as it grows. So I don’t disagree. However in this particular case, I doubt more supply will make much difference in the short term. If there is relatively high speculative demand in a market, new supply is viewed by those folks as fodder to make money with.

    All the new condos (density) in the world isn’t helping Vancouver, and a few years ago people were warning of a dangerous oversupply of condos in the Toronto market. Now look at what’s happening. Half of them are being bought by speculators and bidding wars among the units are everywhere in both cities. Prices are exploding, genuine buyers are having to fight amongst each other while vastly overpaying for the little morsels of crumbs that have fallen off the side of the table.

    There is a Globe and Mail article out right now regarding the housing bubble – we won’t solve this problem by “growing more tulips “.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/bmo-on-toronto-housing-bubble-1637s-answer-wasnt-more-tulips/article34574513/

    “…with prices screaming higher by 20 per cent to 30 per cent per year, any moderate increase in housing supply will be swallowed whole in the great maw of raging demand. Do you think that the best response to the Dutch Tulip Bubble in 1637 was to cultivate more land and grow more tulips?”

  391. I firmly believe that supply is one of the keys to help the housing crisis. Governments should be actively involved by allowing higher density and more financial support for co operative housing and church groups etc.
    I see many neighbourhoods all over Victoria where there are run down houses and poorly used blocks. It looks like the wild west. (Some have been mentioned in this blog over time. ) There is the space available. Langford for example is encouraging some beautiful rental buildings and other building complexes…. creating some exciting and vital neighbourhoods. Victoria and Saanich always seems to be lagging. I’ve been wanting to raise my house for the past twenty years and make it into a duplex and yet I’m not allowed. At the same time the city will approve garden suites which will cover valuable garden space and remove trees to make room for the garden suite. THERE IS NO PLANNING!

  392. Good to remember also (I presume) that some of the units under construction are not on empty lots or new subdivisions; rather, they are on tear-down properties. Therefore they don’t represent new additions to inventory at all.

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