June 12 Market Update

Andy7 asks, “If there is consistently about 20% of inventory left over each month or an extra 1,097 homes over a year, why are we having such an inventory crisis? Shouldn’t inventory consistently grow if it’s not being used up each month? Where is all that unsold inventory going?”

The answer is that listings for unsold inventory either expire (a typical listing contract is for 90 days) or they are cancelled by the seller.   These properties are typically the dregs and are overpriced for the market.   Either they continually relist (some properties are for sale for years) hoping for some schmuck buyer to come along that wants to pay more than market value, or they wait until the market catches up to their price.

At first glance if we look at the number of off market/cancelled listings in the last few years, it seems to make sense that they have been decreasing lately as the market appreciated and fewer properties linger unsold.

However if we look at the percentage of listings that tend to drop off the market, it has been remarkably consistent through some wildly different market conditions.

About 15% of properties listed end up not selling every month, with a pretty clear seasonality.   Few expired listings at the start of the year with everyone waiting for the spring market, then an increasing number later in the year peaking from December to January.

Also weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

June 2017
June
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 96 331
1174
New Listings 189 542
1319
Active Listings 1939 2000
2289
Sales to New Listings  51% 61%
89%
Sales Projection 915
Months of Inventory

1.9

2000 listings even!   Still some 15% fewer properties on the market compared to this time last year, but sales rate is down 22% so the gap is closing.

It seems there is a bit of a panic in Toronto amongst the mortgage brokers as credit dries up.  Banks hobbled by CMHC, B lenders hit by Home Capital’s exit, and private lenders tapped out.  This is going to be interesting…

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212 thoughts on “June 12 Market Update

  1. Which is still being anal…

    They’re anal about everything. Especially sub-sections of subdivisions of a city that has 13 different municipalities.

  2. @Leo

    Sorry delayed response. I would say most are utilizing the bank of mom and dad to avoid high ratio premiums, OR finding alternative options. I’ve had clients pickup and move to Alberta after not being able to find anything reasonable here. I’ve also had clients buy land, plan to sit on it for a while, and eventually build.

    The market is definitely pushing people to search for alternative options – private financing not really being one of them.

    Most private lenders won’t exceed 65% loan to value on a first mortgage in Victoria, and the cost of these loans is so ridiculous one really needs a compelling reason to go that route.

  3. @Leo

    Can you plot a Victoria-Vancouver graph going back to 1990? They track each other perfectly until 2008. So my argument is that the Vancouver bubble is likely much bigger.

  4. If the worst someone could do on Helps is call her out because she rents a room from someone who is violating a land use bylaw then crap! I think I might vote for her next election!

  5. Looking at the Teranet Price Index, it’s very interesting when you create a Victoria-Vancouver comparison graph. In 2008/2009, the two markets suddenly diverge

    More or less this chart

    Can update it for recent data, but its not just vancouver, most of the country increased signfiicantly since 2008 while Victoria remained stagnant. That said, Victoria appreciation rate was higher than the rest before that, so it evens out.

  6. From Tues TC:

    “Currently, STVRs are allowed only in areas of downtown with transient zoning and in occupied single-family homes, but only for renting out one or two bedrooms.

    STVRs are prohibited in an entire condo with no transient zoning; one- and two-bedrooms within an occupied condo; entire homes and secondary suites, including garden suites.”

    “The moves are part of staff recommendations going to Victoria council this week designed to limit STVRs “ to the greatest extent possible” through mechanisms such as zoning and housing agreements. ”

    So, airbnb in a suite of a private house in Victoria is regulated as “prohibited” today. I don’t know how could a proposal to limit more of STVR would enable them.

    Again, it is not about one person, but since you mentioned, Helps’ landlord airbnb is a Not room only type, but a suite in the house. So she is not following the bylaws .

  7. It’s a much bigger conflict of interest that the media outlet that is trying to tar her gets most of its ad dollars from the real estate industry that would be negatively affected by AirBnB regulations…. the regulations that are being tabled would theoretically NOT benefit her landlord….

  8. Looking at the Teranet Price Index, it’s very interesting when you create a Victoria-Vancouver comparison graph. In 2008/2009, the two markets suddenly diverge. I didn’t know how to paste it here, but maybe someone my tech savvy could put this up. Victoria appears much less overpriced.

  9. totoro “Speculation on Ms. Help’s relationship when she has clearly stated she is not in any relationship, common-law or other, and that she does not run or benefit financially from an Airbnb, is pretty low.”

    That’s the thing — I don’t think she has said that she’s not in a relationship with her landlord now or in the past. From what I understand, all she’s said is they are not common law. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that. And it’s common sense that if there is/was a relationship there, there would likely be some financial spill-over, if simply the proceeds from the AirBNB are used to take her out for dinner etc.

    Lisa was very wise to recuse herself from the AirBnB meeting, but she would have been wiser I believe to disclose a little more about her situation, to nix all this speculation.

  10. Someone made a comment to the effect that the airbnb proposed regulations would negatively affect the real estate market. Can this be further clarified why? Will there be suites that will be forced to shut down indefinitely due to x, y, and z?
    Perhaps there are many answers to this question based on personal experiences.

  11. Looks like the price of land in the core is dropping. 68 Government Street slashed for the second time for a $50K loss.

  12. “Victoria BC today seems to be run by the mods from VibrantVictoria. Not surprised at the witch hunt then, they are extremely anti-Helps…”

    You mean those guys who orgasm every time they see a hole in the ground with a guy in a hard hat ?

  13. “It’s just a blog”
    “No, it’s a blog with grammar correction.”

    Passive aggressive 2,
    Forthright and Direct 0

  14. would it be good to let the same type of landlords running airbnb rental as replacement for professionally managed hotel services? Thus we do need regulations enacting against suites airbnbs.

    If there was not an adequate level of service there would be no users – it is a commercial market with public ratings like hotels. I’ve found Airbnbs to be better managed and equipped than anything but top notch hotels. And for us they offer space for family and the dog which is way better than a couple of hotel rooms for about half the price. Plus they are regulated already. The only bit missing is complaints because complaints trigger enforcement.

  15. would it be good to let the same type of landlords running airbnb rental as replacement for professionally managed hotel services?

    Housing is a need. Airbnb is a convenience at best. Not the same thing at all.

    Also as far as I know the new AirBnB regulation that is proposed will not ban AirBnB in private homes. They will just require a business license and prevent renting out entire homes the owner doesn’t live in. Helps’ landlord is free to continue renting her rooms.

  16. If I was anti-Helps and tried to smear her, I would apologize.

    But the fact was, although we don’t know her personally, we always like her so far and would have voted for her if we lived in Victoria, like we have voted for Weaver for the past two elections.

    For me, it is really not about a person, but about the matter of regulating private condo/suite airbnb business.

    If “Thousands of amateur landlords are a piss poor replacement for professionally managed long term rental stock,”, would it be good to let the same type of landlords running airbnb rental as replacement for professionally managed hotel services? Thus we do need regulations enacting against suites airbnbs.

    Agreed that more rental units should be built to help rental shortage, and if we did have hotel shortages, more hotel should be built, too. rather than depending people running airbnb from their suites.

  17. Next time let’s not go 50 years without building rentals and we won’t have a crisis.

    Yes.

  18. 100% agreed with you Totoro that the rental housing situation is not the responsibility of private home owners and it irks me to see this argument that no regulations should be enacted against suites because it might decrease rental availability.

    Thousands of amateur landlords are a piss poor replacement for professionally managed long term rental stock. We built tons of rental units in the 60s and we are starting to build a lot again now. Next time let’s not go 50 years without building rentals and we won’t have a crisis.

  19. Victoria BC today seems to be run by the mods from VibrantVictoria. Not surprised at the witch hunt then, they are extremely anti-Helps…

  20. Speculation on Ms. Help’s relationship when she has clearly stated she is not in any relationship, common-law or other, and that she does not run or benefit financially from an Airbnb, is pretty low.

    As far as I can tell, and I don’t know her personally, but by her track record she has spent countless volunteer hours working in her community and has put a lot of effort into being Mayor. Who in their right mind would run for office if they could be smeared around social media based on someone else’s actions?

  21. That bridge is just an incredible awful ex. of the ineptness of Vic council at wasting taxpayer $.

    You realize it was under Dean Fortin that this decision was made right? Nothing to do with Helps. Once it was approved the blame lies squarely with PCL

  22. Hey did you notice the reply from Kerry Gold wondering where you got the nominal foreign sales?

    Thanks I did not. Twitter app didn’t notify me for some reason

  23. Or they may simply be friends with no financial connections, except the campaign donations (“in kind”).

    Never mind any donation, a landlord and her/his tenant definitely have a financial connection. Her landlord/friend could use Help’s suite as a Airbnb rental as well to make more money, than rent it to her.

    Who knows if the income from the two airbnb units is used to subsisdize Help’s rent or not, from her loandlord/friend’s point view?

  24. Hawk – Mayor Helps story continues.
    Doubling down: 2nd Air BnB suite now operating in Mayor Helps’ home, bringing income to over $5,000/mo.
    http://victoriabctoday.com/doubling-down-2nd-air-bnb-suite-now-operating-in-mayor-helps-home-bringing-income-to-over-5000mo/

    There may be more to this whole story than Lisa is admitting to. And I think people are so riled up about this because the mayor is suggesting people take in the homeless without pay, yet she is living on a property with 2 illegal AirBnB suites that are generating a significant income, while Victoria also undergoes a vacancy crisis. The optics definitely don’t look good for her. And there is some uncertainty around the nature of her relationship with her landlord — yes, it’s not common law, but it may be a relationship, which could implicate that she does benefit financially from that income as a result. Or they may simply be friends with no financial connections, except the campaign donations (“in kind”).

  25. I’m in favour of laneway houses in specific areas. There does seem to be the problem of paperwork and expense, particularly for owner-builders. That should be addressed.

    You can’t ask people what is not permitted by law, can you?

    No, but you can change the laws in certain areas.

  26. “I personally think separate suites are a better thing to promote than boarding uses for the quality of life for all involved.”

    What about laneway houses? Does anyone have any experience indicative of cost, ROI, time of construction, permit problems, etc.

    Potentially, laneway housing could provide a huge increase in relatively low cost, self-contained, accommodation allowing privacy to both landlord and tenant.

  27. I think people are being asked to rent out rooms. What is the difference vs. a suite

    Right, don’t the current regulations allow people use their home bedrooms, but not their home suite, for short term/hotel-like business? You can’t ask people what is not permitted by law, can you?

  28. What should be actively prohibited and enforced are criminal activities and health and safety violations.

    The rest should be regulated based on complaints with significant penalties for non-reporting of income/non-payment of taxes. If you make the taxation side more significant that is a better way of regulating as there are prohibitive penalties under the Income Tax Act that make enforcement worthwhile.

    As far as the sharing economy goes, if taxed I am in favour. I’ve never taken Uber but I would given the negative taxi experiences I have had, and I would also like to try EatWith: https://www.eatwith.com/

    I stayed in an Airbnb last Friday. Far superior in cleanliness and amenities to a hotel, and slightly less expensive. If more people join in the prices will come down to the point that it is not as attractive to many vs. long-term rentals given the increased workload – as may have already have happened in Victoria.

    As far as the Mayor goes, is it any surprise that she is renting a suite in a home that has an illegal suite and Airbnbs? Maybe, but she has disclosed this previously and it kind of fits with her positions on other issues. I think the bigger surprise for me is that the Mayor of Victoria doesn’t own her own house.

    Finally, I think people are being asked to rent out rooms. What is the difference vs. a suite except more inconvenience and less renovation for the homeowner? It still results in greater parking issues potentially and greater density with a significant loss of privacy for all involved. I personally think separate suites are a better thing to promote than boarding uses for the quality of life for all involved.

  29. from victoriabctoday: “Yesterday, Lisa Helps told the Times Colonist this: Helps conceded that a suite being operated as an Airbnb in a residential area is contrary to zoning. “That would be taken up on a complaint-driven basis with the owner of the house,” she said.”

    What is this? She knows the rules as a mayor, but didn’t want to be the one to complain about her landlord, nor doing her job (wrt short term rental regulations) due to a landlord/tenant relationship? She is one of those hard working local people who need long term rentals, after all.

    Maybe airbnb suite owners should try to rent of their suites to city Councillors, so no one could vote on the regulations.

  30. “I wonder if that is declared income…”

    If anyone at CRA reads this blog, it’s declared now.

  31. As far as vacancy rates and homelessness go, private citizens should not be be asked to solve this problem -that is going to be ineffective.

    For vacancy issue, people are not asked to add a rental suite in their home, but should be regulated if they chose to have a rental suite, especially if they use it as a hotel like business.

  32. I’ve got news for everyone. Homelessness is insoluble. No jurisdiction of any size in the world has conquered it. The best we can do is continually strive for progress.

  33. hawk

    http://victoriabctoday.com/doubling-down-2nd-air-bnb-suite-now-operating-in-mayor-helps-home-bringing-income-to-over-5000mo/

    That ceiling height is definitely not to code for a suite: “Ceiling height is 6’ 3””

    Hmmm, what do the bylaws say about that?

    In a secondary suite the minimum height is 2.0 M (6′ – 7″)

    Not like I care. If people want to stay in a suite built for hobbits, that’s on them. My main concern would be enough drywall on the ceiling for fire code. I also didn’t see a single smoke detector in those pics. Doesn’t mean they aren’t any, but it’s not a good sign.

  34. Doubling down: 2nd Air BnB suite now operating in Mayor Helps’ home, bringing income to over $5,000/mo.

    I wonder if that is declared income…

  35. As far as vacancy rates and homelessness go, private citizens should not be be asked to solve this problem -that is going to be ineffective.

    Agreed. It’s a harebrained idea, for sure. But as someone mentioned earlier, Mayor Helps is willing to back off a proposal if it’s met with enough resistance—an admirable trait, and one rarely found in a politician.

    As for bike lanes, it seems Victoria has to be dragged into the twenty-first century kicking and screaming. I’m glad she’s doing it.

  36. plumwine

    Specking of Bowker collection, got an email this morning, it is 50% SOLD already…. http://abstractdevelopments.com/project/bowkercollection/

    This makes $1M SFH looks like a bargain.

    900K+ for a 2bed + den non-penthouse. Yikes.

    I don’t even want to know what the strata fees are (what with the i3 car share and concierge).

    Hmm, at Bayview One (in the Songhees) the strata on a 3 bed TH is $754. (similar purchase price)

    Maybe if I paid attention in school I could afford that ;).

  37. Government regulates lots things, like which tree you can and can’t cut in your own backyard, whether you like it or not.

    Yes, and enforcement for bylaw infractions is complaints-based due to cost and low levels of risk.

    There are already rules about this and the reason illegal suites and less than 30-day rentals still operate is that they don’t create a nuisance worth reporting for most neighbours. If they did they would be reported in greater numbers.

    I have an Airbnb next door to a house I own in a different city and it works just fine for us. The place is immaculately maintained and vacant half the time. Much better than the old long-term tenants who had loud parties and broken down cars littering the driveway. And I like my neighbours who own the place – I would just never report them, nor could I actually as this City has made short-term rentals legal with the payment of an annual fee despite having an extremely low vacancy rate.

    As far as vacancy rates and homelessness go, private citizens should not be be asked to solve this problem -that is going to be ineffective.

    I support more purpose built rentals geared to income and more coop housing. I also support paying taxes for more mental health and addiction services.

    Let homeowners rent out space in their homes and pay taxes and licensing fees for this. I want to be able to stay in Airbnbs around the world – it has worked out so well for us and we’ve travelled and spent money in many places we would not have otherwise gone to. I feel like the emphasis on prohibiting Airbnb is a bit skewed – low vacancy rates should not be on the backs of homeowners largely operating illegal suites, it should be shifted to government to address with legal purpose-built housing.

  38. Luke – “This whole attack on airbnb kind of reminds me of communism. People should be able to do what they want with their property, as long as the noise and nuisance bylaws are adhered to. If parking is a problem in your ‘hood w/ airbnb (and I doubt much different than w/ most perm. tenants), then deal with that issue.”

    Luke, do you have an AirBNB on your property?

    No offense, but I disagree with your opinion above. When you buy a property, you know the zoning beforehand and if it allows short or long term rentals or if it’s zoned commercial, residential etc and what purposes it can be used for. You can’t put a gas station just anywhere for example. If you want to AirBNB a place, then when you buy, make sure your zoning is right for that purpose.

    I have many friends that before they bought, they made sure the property had the correct zoning, so no issues for their short term rentals going forward. Now, if the city starts changing the zoning after you’ve bought, that’s a different story, but you’d likely be grandfathered in at that point.

    Living next to an AirBNB is hit or miss. Whole house rentals seem to be more problematic than a room being rented out in a house. Some guests are great, some not so much and keep the neighbors up till the wee hours of the morning (just happened to a friend of mine), or smoke (even when they’re not supposed to), plus it can be kind of creepy having random strangers looking into your house and yard. I guess the same could be said for long term tenants and owners, but to a lesser degree because at least you know them.

    Trust me, I understand the pull of AirBNB/short term rentals, and run one myself, but it’s zoned for short term rentals and was bought with that in mind. If that zoning changed, it would likely be sold.

    I do think the attack on illegal short -term/AirBnB rentals is warranted– I do believe it has taken a lot of long term rental stock out of the market because if it’s a good rental, it’s significantly more profitable to rent it out short term than long term, and owners also have the flexibility to block time off to use it for friends or family, and don’t have the hassle of dealing with the RTO/problematic tenants, so of course many owners are going to pull their long term rentals out and use them for short term instead.

    I also know people that are short term renting out rooms in their houses (illegally) in tourist towns, and if they didn’t short term rental, they would instead, have long term tenant(s) in there to help pay their mortgage. If they long term rental they bring in about $2,000 per month. If they short term rental they bring in over $10,000 per month. That’s not a typo. This is why the tourist towns are starting to crack down on illegal short-term rentals; it’s causing major problems to the housing stock.

    And it’s not limited to the tourist towns. I’m watching the same dynamic occur in regular towns too. Sure, it’s not the only issue contributing to this problem, but it’s a big one.

    Like I said at the beginning of my long winded 2 cents, if you have the proper zoning, short-term rental away. If you don’t, well then you’re kind of at the mercy of the zoning you do have.

  39. I don’t understand the attack on airbnb – people are just trying to help pay their mortgage or supplement their income, often meeting interesting people from all over the world while doing so. This is, after all, a tourist town.

    I think you misunderstood, no one is targeting home owners who let out one or two bedrooms to paying visitors. The rules are about (under 30 days) short term rentals in separate suite of a home or a condo, where the host has minimum interaction with the guests other than giving them the keys. With housing price so high and vacancy rate so low in Victoria, where do hard working local people find rentals, without proper rules?

    Government regulates lots things, like which tree you can and can’t cut in your own backyard, whether you like it or not.

  40. 2378 Cranmore reduced by $100k to $1.1m. Overshadowed by the four storey Oak Bay Lodge ol’ folks home. I guess that’s the reason it’s not selling? I’m wondering what’s going to happen to the Oak Bay Lodge once everyone moves to the new facility being built on Hillside near Quadra/Blanshard.? Another Bowker type development I’d bet.

    2001 Carrick – listed at $799k after selling in Feb 2016 for $603k. Good luck with that one as it’s on the corner of very busy Foul Bay Rd.

  41. That bridge is just an incredible awful ex. of the ineptness of Vic council at wasting taxpayer $. Imagine how many homeless they could’ve housed if they just spent a fraction of the cost repairing the old blue bridge instead, and keeping the railway on it, also being able to have light rail to Langford/or even Duncan. Going the ‘made in China’ route makes it even worse. They didn’t even support North American steel workers. Anything ‘made in China’ I approach w/ extreme caution.

    How many homeless would’ve been housed with over $90 million (savings for repairing the old bridge vs. building the new one) is a question for Helps? That’s what the savings would’ve been if they’d just repaired the old bridge instead (yes it’s ugly, but worked well for many years with ‘made in Canada’ steel). Yes, I know she’ll answer, ‘I wasn’t mayor when the new bridge was approved.’

    Now, Vic council wastes time attacking airbnb and forcing home owners to rent to permanents or, I guess the latest is – billet the homeless! Shocking. Incredible, after all the waste shown on that bridge, that they now attack hard working home owners.

  42. This whole attack on airbnb kind of reminds me of communism. People should be able to do what they want with their property, as long as the noise and nuisance bylaws are adhered to. If parking is a problem in your ‘hood w/ airbnb (and I doubt much different than w/ most perm. tenants), then deal with that issue.

    It should be up to strata councils if people don’t want short term rentals in condo/strata buildings. I can understand residents not wanting people coming and going in what is supposed to be a secure condo building.

    But in a house – is it up to individual home owners to help solve the housing crisis by making them rent suites out to permanent tenants instead of holiday makers? Will they do so if made, since they don’t want to now? Often, I don’t think so.

    Instead, I think it’s up to governments to give more incentives to developers to build rental housing (as we are starting to see more recently). Governments and other organizations need to get back to encouraging co-op’s and other forms of subsidized housing. Governments need to make it easier for UVic to build more student housing (as they have been so inept to do in the recent past). If a SFH owner wants to rent their suite out to holiday makers every now and then, so they can have it avail. for their own use from time to time, what’s the problem? Esp. if that SFH owner is present.

    What people forget is having a perm. tenant in your home often has many more downsides attached to it than having your suite avail. for your own use at times, and other times rented to holiday makers. It’s hard to find a good tenant, and hard to get rid of a bad one. After all, it is YOUR house that YOU worked hard for, not up to some communistic type gov’t to swoop in and tell you what to do or what not to do with it? Unless Canada is changing it’s name to Canadistan?

    I don’t understand the attack on airbnb – people are just trying to help pay their mortgage or supplement their income, often meeting interesting people from all over the world while doing so. This is, after all, a tourist town.

  43. @introvert, maybe you should change your name to analvert… picking out the difference between it’s and its is a bit anal… it’s just a blog 😉

  44. If the mayor recuses from any votes that have an impact on a donor, they might not have much left to vote on. This is why we should have donor limits.

  45. Oaklands must be losing it’s shine when you can’t sell a house in the $700K range and have to relist and drop the price $20K at 2547 Scott St.

    The Gorge area blind auctions are failing too like the Golden Head ones. 3253 Wascana Street relisted then jacked their price $50K. The greater fools pool must be depleting.

  46. 2001 Carrick is back on the market. Sold in February 2016 for $602,500 after sitting a little while and, I think, having to lower their ask. 15 months later, a new coat of paint, and a couple updated appliances the new owners are asking $799,000.

  47. I work out of town for a couple months at a time, then home for a bit. No way to get a stable, long term renter that way..

    Short term rental (targeted by cities) normally means rental under 30 days, so the proposed rules wouldn’t impact monthly rental.

    If they have the GIS mapping that we have here it would have been trivial to see this error.

    Look at 1842 Emery Place which was sold recently via a bidding war. Saanich GIS shows that their back fence (and shed ) is about 10 meters into city land. Not only that, if you compare GIS pictures between 2013 before the current owner moved in (and built the fence and shed) and 2015, trees disappear from the city land in that back yard. It was said that the owner even asked Saanich to pay for damage of the shed by dropped tree branch (probably from a tree they killed on the city land in their back yard).

  48. I was thinking of setting up an AirBnB for when I eventually buy a condo, but I guess not anymore.

    Why? Seems like you still can. The proposed measures are only outlined in a staff report, not adopted as far as I know. The bigger risk is your strata council, not the city

  49. You should be happy Auzz. The condo might not cost you $150k extra so you won’t have to hustle a side BnB business to own it….

  50. I was thinking of setting up an AirBnB for when I eventually buy a condo, but I guess not anymore. I work out of town for a couple months at a time, then home for a bit. No way to get a stable, long term renter that way..

  51. But take off the 20% to pay someone like spacehost to manage the airbnb and it seems like it would be about equivalent to long term rent.

    Plus, with the new short term rental proposal, these owners also have to get a business license and pay property tax as business type … …

    It is probably about the time to give back these units to our local long term renters, especially if we were asked to take homeless people into our homes to resolve housing shortage.

  52. Well, that proposal is actually less restrictive than the current bylaws so it will all depend upon enforcement I guess.

    Is there a current bylaw about Airbnb/short term rental in Victoria?

    I would think there are more chances that people complain to city about Airbnb suite than long term rental suite. Once we have a good bylaw, People who need to rent but couldn’t get long term rental should get organized, keep an eye on airbnb web site and pick them all out and let city know. City has to enforce when there are complains.

  53. Conflict or just optics, the correct response is to recluse yourself which she did. I don’t see the problem.

    Don’t mind helps overall. She has some whacked out ideas but she’s also not afraid to back down from them when people point out they are stupid. And they are getting a lot of things built which is good.

  54. Speaking of AirBNB, it seems like it has more or less stabilized so that AirBnB is the same as rent.

    Take the Janion. Those microcondos are selling for about $270,000 – $300,000 for the smaller ones (less than 300sqft so that’s north of $1000/sqft!).

    On AirBnB you can find them for about $85-$100/night. Inside AirBnB estimates about 55% occupancy rates for Victoria city units. So $1480 – $1740 / month.

    Can only find one listing for a Janion rental but it’s $1500/month furnished so in the same range. http://www.usedvictoria.com/classified-ad/Downtown-condo-2-month-rental_29546729
    Maybe that listing is just overpriced? $1500/month seems a bit crazy for a microcondo.

    But take off the 20% to pay someone like spacehost to manage the airbnb and it seems like it would be about equivalent to long term rent.

    Either way. $950 mortgage + $150 condo fees + $150 taxes (actually none at the moment due to tax credit) + $50 insurance = $1300/month. + $270/month in lost opportunity cost from your $54,000 down payment..
    Don’t see how it makes sense either way.

  55. A conflict of interest arises when the mayor is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity.

    I’d say this situation gives rise to a the potential for public perception of conflict of interest, but there is not a clear actual conflict of interest as there is not a direct personal benefit from the decision.

    Here is an overview of the difference between actual and potential conflicts of interest:
    https://www.ethicscommission.nc.gov/library/pdfs/NewsLetters/news09i3042006.pdf

    In either case the right decision is recusal, which was done.

  56. totoro — Doesn’t matter, it’s still a conflict of interest whether the donation was cash or in kind. I agree, Lisa was wise to recuse herself.

  57. I would say that’s a conflict of interest.

    I would say apparent rather than actual. Also, the contribution was in kind graphic design services. In any event, she has recused herself so it is a moot point re. conflicts. She should probably be applauded for that decision rather than denigrated.

    We support the proposal with two thumbs up

    Well, that proposal is actually less restrictive than the current bylaws so it will all depend upon enforcement I guess.

  58. totoro — “I don’t believe she is complicit in anything. Look up the definition. She doesn’t receive a benefit from this and is not in charge of what someone else does with their property, if they do this”.

    Apparently, the mayor received close to $20,000 in campaign donations over the years from her landlord, who runs an AirBnB. I would say that’s a conflict of interest.

  59. Via Garth on Canada rates: “the odds of a rate increase by the end of the year exploded from 22% to 72%. ”

    Looks like the jig is up. Toss in US rate hike today plus one more to come this year and 3 more next year, the fuse is lit.

  60. We wouldn’t mind neighbors’ rental suite with stable long term peaceful tenant, regardless it is legal or illegal. But we do mind if any of the neighbors using the suite doing Airbnb, for on-going people changing/parking/noise … issues.

    If I read recent (Tues?) TC article correctly about proposed Victoria restrictions on AirBnb/short term rentals, only condos in Transient zoning and one or two rooms in a owner occupied house can be used for airbnb (but they have to apply for business license and pay business type property tax ), other condos and suites in houses (either secondary suite or garden suite) are NOT allowed to have short term rentals.

    So Lisa Helps landlord’s airbnb suite would be forced to shut down if the city passes the proposal (that is probably the reason why she was recused). And here would be no “entire home/apt” type Airbnb rentals outside the Transient zone. We support the proposal with two thumbs up, and hope that Saanich and other municipals will follow suit, so these units will be rented to local people.

  61. @Introvert: I am aware of the difference between its and it’s. Autocorrect seems to be blissfully unaware of the difference; I’m afraid. Although not in any way relevant to the argument, you deserve the grammar police award today.

    I quoted Luke, not you.

  62. Suprising someone knows so much about Helps living situation but didn’t know they were recused from the Airbnb vote. Busy bodies need to keep up with the well known news.

    Intorovert,
    I missed the golden ahole on the gates to your part of the hood. 😉

  63. @Introvert: I am aware of the difference between its and it’s. Autocorrect seems to be blissfully unaware of the difference; I’m afraid. Although not in any way relevant to the argument, you deserve the grammar police award today.

  64. Try a Google map sometime Intorovert. It’s a block off Gordon Head Rd and McKenzie within a block of UVic. Bulls are getting desperate as the slashes stack up.

    You’re demonstrating that you don’t know where Gordon Head is.

    But whatever. You’ve never let facts intrude on your opinions.

    The psychos are in every hood.

    Evidently they’re in the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, too.

    For those who say Victoria has lost it’s charm…

    Another adult blissfully unaware of the difference between “its” and “it’s.” So sad.

  65. Sorry this is off topic, but my MLS portal is glitchy – could someone please tell me what 1265 Cherry Road sold for?

    Cheers.

  66. caveat emptor

    and maybe you should. Based on your contributions here you’d probably be a good candidate.

    Agreed. I mean, online posting isn’t a lot to go on, but Totoro has shown great levelheadedness and well thought out arguments. I can’t recall her resorting to any logical fallacies.

    Leo S would be a great council member as well. He relies on facts and numbers. I couldn’t see him pandering to popular opinion.

    Rest of y’all are crazy.

  67. Totoro

    Today, homelessness is highly correlated with untreated mental illness and addiction issues.

    Yep, take a walk through EMP then keep your eyes open next time you are downtown. You’ll see a lot of familiar faces.

    If a friend lost their job and needed a place to stay I’d help immediately (as many would, I’m sure). The type of person you would welcome into your home with open arms usually has a good support network (family, friends) and doesn’t end up on the street. Sure there is the odd exception, like someone new to a community, but that would be a tiny fraction of the homeless population in Victoria.

    The people I know that ended up on the street I would not take into my home. I wouldn’t let them stay in my garden shed. Why? Drugs, prostitution, risky mental issues (e.g. violent outbursts, suicide attempts). I’m not enough of a bleeding heart to put my family at risk.

  68. The landlord who happens to be one of Ms. Helps biggest campaign contributors. It’s murky.

    In in kind graphic design services, not money. Probably contributed to the reason why Ms. Helps recused herself. I don’t find it very murky, especially given that she is not voting on transient accommodation.

  69. I have neighbours with unlicensed suites. I could report them.

    Please don’t. 🙂 A crackdown on unauthorized suites would be a disaster in this housing market.

    But if you ever run for mayor or council* make sure your own dealings are squeaky squeaky clean as any vague hint of association with impropriety will be jumped on.

    *and maybe you should. Based on your contributions here you’d probably be a good candidate.

  70. I have neighbours with unlicensed suites. I could report them. I don’t because I figure if it doesn’t bother me why should I? It is not up to me to enforce the City’s bylaws and the City would soon be bankrupt if it attempted to do so.

    I draw the line at something that is criminal or causing a nuisance that the neighbour is not willing to address. So, for me, I don’t really care that Ms. Helps lives in a building with an Airbnb as long as she is not running it herself.

    I think it is up to the rest of Council to deal with this issue. I do agree that Ms. Helps is opening herself up to criticism by not actively opposing a bylaw violation, but perhaps she doesn’t agree with the bylaw. I don’t agree with a lot of the zoning restrictions in Victoria myself and it is my understanding that the City is looking at all sorts of changes to legalize existing housing stock and permit more multi-family.

  71. “Ms. Helps proposal is idiotic in the absence of some sort of realistic plan to get suitable housing built for these people in the near term.”

    Have to agree. It isn’t anything personal (I’ve liked her approach to some other issues), but for this one in particular, I’m appalled at the lack of definition of this whole billeting program – it’s warm-and-fuzzy lip service.

    It seems like an attempt to re-invent the wheel that has already been addressed by decades of debates about landlord-tenant policies, homelessness, and mental health. (ie., a waste of time & taxpayer dollars)

    Yes to connecting students with seniors (but they – of all people – still need a screening service – and is the city going to employ someone or contract out the screening)

  72. Well, that makes it clear that the reason the Mayor is recusing herself is because of the Airbnb run by her landlord in a different suite from hers.

    The landlord who happens to be one of Ms. Helps biggest campaign contributors. It’s murky.

    I actually support a lot of what Ms Helps is doing so I don’t want to tar and feather her, but nor can I jump to unquestioning support.

  73. If the City wants to regulate Airbnb then they should take some active measures, whether to legalize and licence, or prohibit and enforce. Decisions by Council are done by quorum. The mayor doesn’t decide policy on her own. There are eight people on Council, all it takes is five.

    Transient accommodation is already prohibited in Victoria except according to the requirements of Section 11 of the Zoning Bylaw. Sure it is not being enforced. Not sure if that makes it OK for the mayor to condone it

  74. Well, that makes it clear that the reason the Mayor is recusing herself is because of the Airbnb run by her landlord in a different suite from hers. This might not be an actual conflict, but it presents an apparent conflict. That means the remaining Council make the decision, although they seem to be dragging their feet.

  75. I don’t believe she is complicit in anything. Look up the definition. She doesn’t receive a benefit from this and is not in charge of what someone else does with their property, if they do this.

    Her landlord appears to be a single parent and all of them seem extremely involved in the Fernwood community. I’d be happy with such a neighbour.

    If the City wants to regulate Airbnb then they should take some active measures, whether to legalize and licence, or prohibit and enforce. Decisions by Council are done by quorum. The mayor doesn’t decide policy on her own. There are eight people on Council, all it takes is five.

  76. totoro – How do you know she recused herself?

    By reading the relevant minutes. For instance Committee of the Whole – Oct 27th, 2016

    “Mayor Helps excused herself at 9:33 a.m. due to a conflict of interest as her residence has
    an Airbnb suite.
    Councillor Lucas excused herself at 9:33 a.m. due to a conflict of interest as she is the
    General Manager of a hotel.
    Councillor Madoff assumed the Chair at 9:33 a.m.”

    “She doesn’t have an Airbnb so any conflict, if this is actually true, would be based on something else.”

    The Mayor disagrees with you. Whether this is a genuine conflict or an abundance of caution I don’t know. If the Mayor was in a strict tenant/landlord relationship with the airbnb operator then perhaps not an actual conflict.

  77. While I don’t care to participate in the witch hunt against the mayor it is a little odd as mayor to be living in a house offer unlicensed short term rentals.

    Also odd given her statements on the need to increase the housing supply. She is at least somewhat complicit in a business that has been fingered for decreasing our housing supply.

  78. How do you know she recused herself? Rumour again? She doesn’t have an Airbnb so any conflict, if this is actually true, would be based on something else.

  79. Totoro

    Thanks for clearing it up. I like the lady even though we are opposite sides of the political landscape. She is trying to make the city more liveable. She`s made a few mistakes but who hasn’t.

    Bnan the plan really is not what it is made out to be. It is to get people talking about the issue to find ways to help more than 3 people.

    More on Help`s airbnb. I have exactly no idea on what she has or doesn’t have and do not really care if she does.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/VictoriaBC/comments/6h8625/does_lisa_helps_have_an_airbnb/

  80. “Back in wartime people were moving to help with the war efforts and there was simply not enough available housing for workers.”

    Back in the wartime, the federal government created a crown corporation called Wartime Housing LTD. to build rental units across the country, and it continued after the war concluded. It built units in Esquimalt to house war workers. Following the war, it built more units to house returning veterans and their families. In the mean-time, these families were housed in converted army camps until suitable housing became available.

    Ms. Helps proposal is idiotic in the absence of some sort of realistic plan to get suitable housing built for these people in the near term.

    WTF is her office and council actually doing to get anything built? Wasting money on bike lanes ain’t gonna help the rental crisis.

  81. If Lisa Helps does not operate an Air B&B why did she have recluse herself on the AirB&B council debates for having a conflict of interest. Exactly what was her conflict? Does anyone actually know for sure?

  82. She doesn’t rent a room. She rents a suite in a house and does not rent out on airbnb and has repeatedly and publicly stated this.

    The owner of the house she rents a suite in apparently rents out another suite on Airbnb, The link to it is here: https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/611710?locale=en Nothing to do with Ms. Helps.

    Yet another reason not to run for public office. People are so happy to pass on negative misinformation even though it is illegal.

    This is not meant for troubled individual but people who work but cannot find their own room.

    Seems little point to it then. There is not a shortage of rooms for rent in Victoria as far as I can tell – lots advertised. There is a shortage of affordable separate accommodation.

  83. totoro

    The story going around not sure the facts is that she rents a room in her rented house on airbnb. Maybe total wrong.

    Her plan.
    This is not meant for troubled individual but people who work but cannot find their own room. People bitch but at least she is trying and floating outside the box ideas. I am sure 3 people on both ends will be found.

  84. Lisa Helps rents. She does not operate an Airbnb.

    I’m not a fan of the billeting plan. Back in wartime people were moving to help with the war efforts and there was simply not enough available housing for workers. People had the feeling they were doing their part with the war effort. I’d do this too, or if there was another reason like a natural disaster.

    Today, homelessness is highly correlated with untreated mental illness and addiction issues. Without providing screening and services it seems a bit reckless to ask homeowners to open up their homes. Without an economic incentive it is very likely to fail. I see no reason why I’d join this program and potentially be putting my kids at risk of exposure to serious untreated dysfunction.

    The idea of teaming up UVic students with seniors has some merit.

  85. Cadborosaurus, the problem I see is that a closely monitored focus group of 3 isn’t scalable to a larger operation. Homelessness today often involves mental health issues, and you don’t want to be advocating for your average homeowner to “just take people in” without some kind of training on how to deal with mental health issues if they arise.

    That’s why I think it’s both irresponsible and hypocritical for the city to recommend this. Hypocritical because they’re pointing to AirBnB as a problem, but then expecting people to offer their homes for FREE to solve the crisis? (AirBnB hosts legitimately making a profit while others have to compensate with free services) Sorry, but that’s take advantage of people’s empathy, and especially seniors, plain & simple.

  86. For those who say Victoria has lost it’s charm…

    If you don’t like Victoria anymore, then why are you still here? Want ‘charm’, maybe try Qualicum or Chemainus. While not big on charm, Kamloops gets much less rain and while it still has some crime you’ll find plenty of other ol’ retired folk there… It’s also much cheaper… for a good reason, obviously.

    As for the mandarin interpreter – maybe that’s desperation tactic, I’d agree w/ that. When I talk about the ‘international jet set crowd’ I mean those who jet regularly back and forth to Asia often earning money there but with their families living here (astronaut families). Many of these are manadarin speakers. Not everyone who speaks mandarin only and not English always jets back/forth, true – Richmond is a prime example of how they’ve isolated/segregated themselves with no need to learn English or integrate with the rest of Canadian society. But you have to agree it is odd to see that in these parts.

    Ask the hundreds of tourists on any given weekend evening crowding around the Victoria inner harbour while bagpipes play if it’s lost it’s ‘charm’ (I find bagpipes annoying btw). I think this is quite a subjective observation. It’s nothing like most North American cities, actually like a cross between a North American city and European city. I think it still has plenty of charm, with some awesome pubs/restaurants (plenty of ‘olde England stuff going on), Butchart gardens is still there in all it’s glory, along with the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific. We have awesome parks (did Beacon Hill Pk. suddenly disappear? No…). Some new buildings are going up all over downtown replacing parking lots and that’s not a bad thing. It will add more vibrancy to downtown bringing more ‘yuppies in. Yes, there are problems with homeless and druggies, and some crazies here and there, but all cities have these problems and ours is no different, but we have much less of this going on than Vancouver, for ex. Our murder rate is very low – some years zero, last year was one. I say, if you don’t like it anymore -maybe you should leave and go find somewhere you do like instead of complaining. Myself, I’ve found my paradise 🙂 Now, out to explore another new park…

  87. with the mayor’s invitation to 3 homeowners and 3 people needing a home to start a focus group discussion about their issues (I’m glad to hear she got 3 homeowners to volunteer for this yesterday!) there’s been one article circulating on Facebook about the mayor owning an airbnb. Does anyone know the actual details from this? I only saw one article that just gets copy pasted everywhere linking to an airbnb listing for someone that is not the mayor. is the airbnb in the mayor’s house? who owns the house? is there any fact to this? I was hoping Helps would actually make a statement about this to address it as the logistics appear pretty bad. so far all I see is people bashing the mayor for not taking in a homeless person, and she made a statement along the lines of “i would if I could but I have sensitive mayor-type confidential info in my home so can’t” which makes sense. the airbnb however does not make sense.

    local fool I disagree, this idea is socially forward thinking and I’m glad the City is exploring so many possible solutions to homelessness. if those 3 homeowners provide 3 rooms to 3 people in need, this was a success. A focus group is literally the cheapest and easiest thing for the city to facilitate, I don’t understand all the bashing. this probably costs taxpayers less than $500 and could link up homes for 3. Good deal IMO and I hope they do more out of the box thinking like this. It’s obviously not the only solution.

  88. Funny – I’ve had a totally different experience. This is what recent visitors have commented to us (from US, England, India, South Africa, Vancouver, North Van, Burnaby, Maple Ridge ) – what they say they “loved” …

    (their words, not mine – they either stayed with us or were attending conferences in Victoria)
    – Views of the islands and Port Angeles
    – Beaches with casual atmospheres & BBQs, eg., Willows Beach
    – Small town feel but still all the big box stores
    – Talking to people living here from a variety of places around the world, so many different accents
    – Strolls around Inner Harbour, Harbour Ferries, Songhees
    – Chinatown
    – Rockland area with mansions & Craigdarroch Castle

    Some negatives:
    – I asked a few what they thought about the homeless situation, and they said “every city’s got that”, especially when you have the best climate in Canada (If you’ve ever driven through the downtown Eastside, you know what I mean by zombie apocalypse.)

  89. I agree with you Hawk. Victoria in no longer the little bit of Ye Olde England. It’s a North American City like so many others.

    That’s going to affect tourism as there is little point for Americans to come to Victoria unless the exchange rate is in their favor. They may as well vacation in Bellingham or Seattle or any of the many other cities along the West Coast of North America. The City has lost its charm.

  90. Has anyone noticed with the new bike lanes how the traffic is less congested than ever before?

  91. Well, I guess Detroit is the place to be because crime rate there is extremely high.

    That’s confusion if the inverse. World class -> crime is not equivalent to the inverse (crime ->world class).

    E.g. Hard drug users often using marijuana does not mean the inverse statement holds (marijuana users tend to use hard drugs holds).

  92. As well as the spontaneously combusting tickle-me-elmo at Toys-R-Us. Perhaps it’s not the worst thing for him…

  93. “Someone once asked here if Victoria is losing its charm. Yes, indeed it is.”

    It’s been happening the last decade or so but no one wanted to admit it. Just turn a blind eye and keep quoting the postcard quotes of the Garden City.

    The day Home Depot and the new condos in Golden Head got lit up is the final red flag this town has changed for good. The psychos are in every hood.

  94. “That’s not in Gordon Head, genius.”

    Try a Google map sometime Intorovert. It’s a block off Gordon Head Rd and McKenzie within a block of UVic. Bulls are getting desperate as the slashes stack up. 😉

  95. Teranet is not propaganda, it is a reputable repeat sales index. May numbers are just at the end of the run-up in Toronto so won’t reflect the downturn yet.

    Sharp decreases in average prices are often due to a cut in high priced sales, the overall market will react a bit more slowly

  96. I guess Detroit is the place to be because crime rate there is extremely high

    Not the point. The point is world class cities come with world class problems.
    Think of “world class” cities. London, New York, Dubai, Hong Kong, Toronto etc. Any of these top of list for where to raise a family? Not to me.

    Victoria is not a world class city. It is growing but still a very nice place.

  97. I’ve read the article and I can tell you that my family and friends in the greater Toronto area are scratching their heads with this one, especially those that are house hunting at the moment. Home prices have gone down.

    I don’t think the teranet index uses the same formulas to arrive at its conclusion. Doubtful it’s just pumping.

  98. @ Leo. Well, I guess Detroit is the place to be because crime rate there is extremely high. Sorry, I don’t agree with your comment.

    HOME PRICES UP A RECORD 2.2% IN MAY

    I’ve read the article and I can tell you that my family and friends in the greater Toronto area are scratching their heads with this one, especially those that are house hunting at the moment. Home prices have gone down. There are a lack of bidding wars and many homes are sitting weeks in the GTA and Golden Horseshoe area. I have two realtor friends in the gta who have informed me that it’s very, very slow and haven’t seen this 2.2 % price increase. Many homes have lowered their asking homes 40k on average. I’ve also noticed many price reductions in Victoria as well (Hawk is on top of that).

    This article seems more like a propaganda article and is not reflective of what’s going on in the RE market, at least in the gta for sure.

    And as for the home that will accommodate a mandarin interpreter, I see that as a sign of desperation, not a selling tactic.

  99. HOME PRICES UP A RECORD 2.2% IN MAY

    In May, the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index™ was up 2.2% from the previous month, the largest May gain in the 19-year history of the index. This monthly advance took the composite index to an all-time high for a 16th consecutive month. For the first time in 12 months, home prices were up on the month in all 11 metropolitan markets surveyed. They were led by three markets: Toronto (3.6%, a record for any month), Hamilton (3.1%, matching the record of June 2014) and Victoria (2.5%). Other strong gains were recorded in Quebec City (1.9%), Vancouver (1.5%), Halifax (1.4%) and Montreal (1.1%). Rises were healthy, though more moderate, in Ottawa-Gatineau (0.8%), Edmonton (0.6%), Calgary (0.5%) and Winnipeg (0.4%). Though all 11 markets were up on the month, not all could be said to show the highly visible trends of Toronto (16th straight monthly gain), Hamilton (15 straight months) and Victoria (13 of the last 14 months).

  100. Intro – interesting, but I’d chalk that one up under ‘failed protest’. The apocrypha suggest that both Fidel and Khrushchev banned it at one point for being too capitalist.

  101. Was listening to CBC Radio on the weekend. Learned that the board game Monopoly originated as a protest against land ownership. It was created to demonstrate that people who own lots of property end up leaving everyone else destitute.

  102. Another failed blind auction in Golden Head at 3929 Ansell Rd. They jacked it up $60K. Flippers are getting roasted.

    That’s not in Gordon Head, genius.

  103. Huh. I still love Victoria. It doesn’t feel dangerous. I can bike or drive all around the city easily, and recent transport initiatives (protected bike lanes, Mackenzie interchange, McTavish? New bridges?) mostly make sense and will make the city even nicer. I’m not saying every project was well-handled or there couldn’t have been better alternatives sometimes, but overall this is a pretty awesome place to live.

    Lived in much bigger cities, fancier places, smaller places, and this place is great. Incidentally – just checked SeattleBubble, and median prices there have reached over $US630k. That’s Can$836k at today’s rates. And crime, traffic, you name it – it’s worse in Seattle.

  104. “The more world class a city becomes the more crime it has. ”

    Not sure that’s much of a rule. Hong Kong’s murder rate is 0.2 per 100,000; New Orleans, 45; Baltimore, 51; St. Louis, 60. Canada’s overall rate: 1.8, about the same as London England at 1.6.

    Maybe Canada’s low homicide rate is part of the attraction for Asians seeking to invest in N. America. Victoria’s homicide rate in 2013 was zero.

  105. Now tell me, how am I supposed to convince an outsider this us a “world class” city? A great place to raise a family?

    The more world class a city becomes the more crime it has. And world class cities are never where you want to raise a family. They are where you go to make money or spend it. Also why I suspect we’re not quite there yet.

  106. I read about the mayor’s consideration for residents to open their homes to the homeless. I have also just read that a used needle was found taped on a railing in a downtown parkade and another needle was found tucked beside a seat on a transit bus. There’s been higher incidents of road rage in Victoria. Then there was the tent city issue a while back. There’s been violent crimes in what is supposed to be prestigious areas of Victoria (re: machete incident). Now tell me, how am I supposed to convince an outsider this us a “world class” city? A great place to raise a family? This is information that is readily available online for anyone to see. You can’t hide it. I’ve been told by visitors that Victoria has changed. The streets were so clean and now there’s garbage, needles, vagrants everywhere. And why are homes so expensive under these conditions? This is what I’m being asked and I don’t know how to answer. Every place has problems. But these issues are serious for the size of this city and population. Someone once asked here if Victoria is losing its charm. Yes, indeed it is.

  107. Anyone going to the open house at 1607 San Juan this Saturday?

    See ya there… just down the street. Let’s see what bearkilla’s sweet million dollar place looks like

  108. Anyone going to the open house at 1607 San Juan this Saturday?

    No price slash yet. They’re waiting for a bidding war I’m sure. Probably upset there hasn’t been a bully bud yet for their sweet sweet piece of GH.

  109. @ Nan

    “An efficient economy is supposed to allocate resources in a way that encourages desirable behavior. I don’t think the Canadian economy is doing that very well at the moment.”

    No but who said we had an efficient economy or that our ruling elite want an efficient economy?

    What the ruling elite want is to go on being the ruling elite, using their power to gain income with minimal effort.

    So what do you get? A high immigration and low interest rates to create property developers heaven, while savers are robbed of the value of their money.

    What we have is not an efficient economy, but an elite that is efficient at lining their own pockets, and in the process creating inequality among the generations and widespread disaffection.

  110. Same thing goes for everyone attached the real estate at the moment. Realtors, mortgage brokers, lawyers, etc. Debt =\= after tax earnings.

    And no, I don’t believe in private school either.

  111. Congrats to that builder for running a successful business but no doubt about it he would make less if people were paying for his services with what they earn after tax instead of what they can borrow out of free money that magically appears in their house.

  112. Oak Bay new build can’t catch a bid either. 2127 Fair St slashed twice now, down $100K. Lots of price slashes outside the core, too many to list.

    Like they say it always starts from the outside and works it’s way inward.

  113. “Imagine going to school for 10 years and learning a unique and valuable skill that allows you to command a [high] income only to find yourself in a perpetually worse place financially than someone who took a … 4 year degree program who has a run of the mill … position … who was able to buy 5 years earlier and make an additional 400k tax free”

    I don’t have to imagine. But I made my choices and you made yours. I don’t see the need to whine about how much wealthier than everyone else you think you should be when you’re already in the 1%. Perhaps you should instead be thankful that you bought when you did, having already made a 35+% return.

    Also, for you to scrape by and make ends meet, perhaps you should consider taking your children out of that useless private school that nobody in the real world cares about?

  114. What’s wrong with Fairfield these days ? 840 Maddison St still can’t find any love. No luck at $1.2 million, so they jack it up to $1.3 million, now down to $1.28 million. Something tells me another slash is coming but deeper.

    Condo listings keep on climbing to year high. Are the millennials chickening out or have Ma and Pa put the brakes on the HELOC ?

  115. @nan I hear you. Hard to get sympathy I think as for the vast majority that income just isn’t relatable (certainly several times my income). But I get your core point. The percentage of wealth generated by real estate appreciation is obscene in comparison to incomes. People making the 1% of income without home equity should be in a better position than they are. A million dollar house is nothing special in many areas anymore and that’s quite bizarre.

  116. Or Imagine looking at the high school dropout who became a builder that now lives in the uplands making 500k a year….

  117. @ Wolf: “You know things are bad when the 1% start complaining. God help us all.”

    Imagine going to school for 10 years and learning a unique and valuable skill that allows you to command a 1%er income only to find yourself in a perpetually worse place financially than someone who took a non technical 4 year degree program who has a run of the mill management position with government who was able to buy 5 years earlier and make an additional 400k tax free in that 5 years? (not that there anything wrong with working for government or non technical degrees)

    The highly educated individual will have to earn $800k pre-tax (nearly a million!) just to catch up on the $400k the early buyer benefited from. For most folks even with 1%er incomes, this would take 10 years to fill the gap. By that point, who knows what equity related opportunities may have presented themselves to the early buyer that might not have been available to the 1% income earner.

    An efficient economy is supposed to allocate resources in a way that encourages desirable behavior. I don’t think the Canadian economy is doing that very well at the moment. When house prices outstrip local incomes, the wrong people benefit from the wrong things and the result is an open assault on the ability of the people on the wrong end of that run up that live here to continue to live here, regardless of their ability to provide a benefit to the community, which is very important to acknowledge I think.

  118. “Bearkilla, if you paid attention in school you’d know how to spell ‘paid’.”

    That’s what you get for $100K a year. Flunked out of spellcheck class. 😉

  119. When I was in my 20s it was impossible to buy a house in this town and yet I still did despite all the stupid bears saying it would be a foolish mood. I didn’t win a lottery. I worked hard and payed attention in school. As for taking in vagrants… no chance in hell.

  120. I guess the good news is that Mayor Helps will stop running a Air B&B and take in homeless people instead. Or will she actually lead by example?

  121. gwac should have room for a few of them. He can give them the kick in the pants they need to quit mooching off the system. 😉

  122. “Maybe we are on the ‘radar’ of the international jet set after all??”

    Since when is someone who speaks Asian only a “jet setter” ? Only in Luke’s fantasy land mind.

  123. “Victoria Mayor wants people to billet/take in the homeless.”

    IMHO, a mayor putting that forward, and potentially having that succeeding, represents a major social and policy failure on both levels of government. The problem with homelessness, especially amongst our most vulnerable citizens, is not due to people not “opening their doors”. And it’s not the solution, either. Comparing the current rental crisis with the goingons in WW2 is just ridiculous.

    Let people sleep in their cars. Strangers open their doors to the homeless. Good grief. How about we remove bylaws restricting aggressive panhandling to ensure that folks have enough spare change to buy food?

    A person on this blog recently said something to the effect of, “Victoria is so broken”. No kidding. To an outsider looking in, this must seem like some kind of comical tragedy, a slow motion train wreck – watching us go through this nonsense.

  124. Another failed blind auction in Golden Head at 3929 Ansell Rd. They jacked it up $60K. Flippers are getting roasted.

  125. If they get a million for Windsor that will be a new benchmark for land that is for sure.
    2011 I was looking in the area for a crapper like this. I will tell you that this probably would have been on the market for around $600,000 then. We looked at a crappy place on Lorne Terrace for close to that.

    @Luke (Mandarin Interpreter present) is marketing 101…. Better add at least $150k to that blind offer. No conditions.

  126. “Victoria Mayor wants people to billet/take in the homeless.”

    Yup I just read the story.
    http://www.cheknews.ca/victoria-mayor-considering-asking-residents-house-homeless-people-spare-rooms-337135/
    “She is asking for three people currently living in vehicles, on couches and in woodsheds and three people who might be willing to open their homes to join a focus group session … Helps wrote that in Victoria in the 1940s during the Second World War, Victoria housed homeless people who moved to Victoria to help with the war effort. ‘They didn’t call it the ‘sharing economy’, they didn’t charge anything, they just opened up their spare bedrooms and invited strangers in,’ Helps wrote.

    Does she even fathom the depth of the complexity there?

    First, what type of screening are they going to do that’s different than what landlords already do? (to protect personal safety & property)

    Second, the city is blaming vacation rentals for the monthly rental shortage, and then they ask private citizens to compensate for other people’s profits from vacation rental income with rooms for free?? Third, she’s drawing parallels with WWII.

    Bizarre reasoning. Where are AG’s monkeys when we need them?

  127. @ Wolf

    Because in my family, that $320k is $207k after tax. Less investing for retirement and kids education @ $50k/ year, less household costs, childcare & mortgage @ $84K/ year leaves $73k/ year for additional mortgage pay down/ house renos & maintenance. We started the mortgage owing $600,000 + another $100,000 for renos which brought us up to about $700,000 to pay. 700,000/ 73,000 is about 10 years of servitude and that is enough for us. Maybe we’ll let it go longer but only if we decide to hold some leverage and invest more.

    I would guess that the typical person that lives in $1,000,000+ houses didn’t mortgage $1,000,000 to pay for it. I suspect many bought a starter house pre 2001 for $300,000 or less, now have mortgages of 1/3 that and can buy $1.2MM houses with $900k down made up of $200k in paid equity and $700k in free equity their “investment” has “generated” over the last 15 years. A 300k mortgage on a $1.2MM house is pretty easy for a family in their 40’s and $100k income to swing. Much less so to mortgage $1,000,000 + for a family in their 30’s making 2-3x that who doesn’t have any equity (i.e. didn’t win the house lottery via timing/birth year). Taxes and income security are the biggest factors. Taxes are crazy high over $120k/ year, there is no income splitting in Canada for employees and high paying jobs although nice while you have one, are much harder to replace if my family loses one of them.

    My family feels beyond privileged to have been afforded the opportunities we have been afforded, but in Victoria even our average priced house is costing us what feels like a very large amount of our lives at our current income level. If I was only born 5 years earlier…I’d probably own my house outright and I’d probably be focused on figuring out an early retirement!

  128. This is the first time I’ve seen this locally… a Mandarin Interpreter will be present at 2133 Windsor Rd in South OB. Only 1033 sq ft. Listed for $899,900. Maybe we are on the ‘radar’ of the international jet set after all??

    They’re confident that they’re going to get offers as well…

    OPEN HOUSE Sunday June 18 2-4pm (Mandarin Interpreter present) Reviewing offers Noon, Monday June 19

  129. Thanks Chris for that Census mapper – does give one more of a picture of what’s happening locally, with % of people who have a mortgage anyway. It illustrates what I already thought- that people in the ‘burbs tend to have more debt than those near the core (in the lower density SFH area’s). The picture in high density area’s (condo’s) near the core in both Vic & Van correlates with low density SFH suburbia, and that’s not surprising either.

    We can see from comparing Vic and Van that an interesting correlation for low density SFH ‘hoods occurs…
    In Vic: Langford/Colwood appears much like Langley/Surrey & Maple Ridge for mortgage levels. While Uplands and South Oak Bay it would appear, actually have some of the lowest mortgage levels and highest home values, and they float along with Vancouver’s west side and West Vancouver.

    In Van, a difference from Vic is that people often are declaring poverty level incomes in some of these richest area’s (In Van, for ex. many ‘international’ people living in big homes in high end ‘hoods near the core earn lots of money outside of Canada but pay virtually no income tax here, while enjoying the best of the benefits of what we Canadian sheep have to offer them). In Vic, I don’t think the picture for international types is quite the same as Van. However, we still have the correlation going on between these established ‘hoods. Vic being on an island probably helps get us off the radar of many of these ‘international jet set’ types.

    When National debt statistics are sometimes spewed off as likely to cause collapse in housing prices and our economy – since, apparently almost everyone’s living pay check to pay check and has no savings, this is also now shown to not be entirely true across the board. We can see that in the wealthy core SFH area’s many live comfortable and have little debt, while enjoying the highest home values. Those living ‘pay check to pay check’ most often living in far flung suburbia, or high density condos if in the cores. I see little reasons for any large ‘collapse’ in housing prices in these established SFH core areas in Vic or Van. Ex. locally the stat for Uplands was over 75% not even having any mortgage! While most of Langford has almost 80% having a mortgage.

    We can see that in any major downturn in the economy or upturn in interest rates these people in SFH near the core’s will weather the storm just fine thank you very much. Any downturn in Canada may even benefit the ‘international’ jet set crowd even more, since they earn $ outside Canada. This is why we are not seeing, nor will we likely see a Toronto style collapse in housing prices in Vancouver or Victoria. Even in To – I’d bet – the established SFH area’s near their core will weather the storm much better than the endless cookie cutter fields of bland suburbia where there’s been way too much stupid speculation.

  130. Why would someone who makes $320K/year buy a home worth a measly $750K, and then delay their RV and boat purchase because they’re not comfortable with their mortgage? Makes no sense unless you’re saving up for a yacht.

  131. Victoria Mayor wants people to billet/take in the homeless. Nice thought but good luck with that project.

  132. Mukluk

    Just do pay attention in school and make 320k/year, kids.

    You owe me a new Filco. Mine is now covered in coffee.

  133. Interestingly, I have seen WAY LESS high ratio deals since the premiums were increased – and this is a trend that’s being noticed at the lender level as well.”

    Which explains the decline in sales from the last year peak. Condo sales will slow next as the sheep get whittled down, and as credit continues to tighten with interest rate surprise by fall with Canadian economy doing better and US/Canada bond rates rising. Subprime rates going up is a huge red flag. Equivalent of junk bonds beginning to tank.

    Just another market top sign when the Bearkilla’s starts spouting the Trump BS of “my brain is bigger than yours, which is why I am so rich”. When your place is worth well over $1 million then come back and tell us. Right now you’re just average at best with too many toys losing value by the day.

  134. I’m also wondering where Michael went. Guy was a bit of a fascist, but he had a good nose for the local RE market.

  135. Where is Marko?? I miss his insights. I remember he said he sold his condo, and always do opposite of the tread.

    He is galavanting around Croatia probably driving high performance electric cars.. Back sometime in July.

  136. Interestingly, I have seen WAY LESS high ratio deals since the premiums were increased – and this is a trend that’s being noticed at the lender level as well.

    So are people that used to do high ratio deals going elsewhere (private?) or are they borrowing more money from their parents?

  137. I dont understand the high level of intolerance between people here.

    I don’t understand it too. Every month or so, there is a “debate” on how crappy this neighborhood v. that neighborhood. Yet, they want amalgamation. Why would OB and Langford want each other mayor? Who else in CRD wants Lisa Helps to be their leader?

    Forget 888 on listing price, just put an Elephant in the front lawn instead. 2740 Dufferin (most will call it a tear-down…) sold for $1M under 1 week, $100k over asking.

    Where is Marko?? I miss his insights. I remember he said he sold his condo, and always do opposite of the tread.

  138. Hey Leo,

    That article you posted about Toronto brokers is laughable. Why do people need private funds for ‘alternative purchases’?

    Mostly because they’ve been turned down by the completely reasonable and somewhat stringent qualifying standards set by mortgage insurers and the OFSI.

    Brokers need to get onboard and encourage a stringent lending environment to ensure the stability and long term viability of the market.

    Whining about Home trust, expensive private funds, and new insurance premiums and qualifying standards isn’t helping anyone and quite honestly, it doesn’t make sense to me.

    Interestingly, I have seen WAY LESS high ratio deals since the premiums were increased – and this is a trend that’s being noticed at the lender level as well.

  139. I can make it on one tank of gas from Calgary to Vancouver, 95 litres, driving eco-friendly, keeping my RPM’s under 2000.

    I keep my RPMs under 2000, too. But I’m going 130 km/h on the Coquihalla, which can’t be very eco-friendly.

  140. Wolf

    I don’t have depreciating vehicle/recreational toy debt either but I think some of you are neglecting that you can often get 0% financing, so you’ll end up paying marginally more than sale price in the long run.

    0% financing without a cash incentive? Any time I’ve seen 0% it’s followed by * or **. The small print states effective APR of 6% due to the 2-3K incentive for cash buyers.

    That being said, I bought a new vehicle under 1% interest (not 0). No cash incentives at the time and it cost me < $500 interest over the term. It was well worth the cashflow to pay that interest and it was a low depreciation vehicle. Would have turned out great had I not ended up with accelerated depreciation due to an accident. Pretty difficult to sue for that in BC unless you are willing to realise the loss.

    Leo S

    I believe the rule is don’t pay more than 1/10 your gross annual household income for a car. It’s a depreciating asset anyway.

    Good rule of thumb. There’s a trade-off between purchase price and maintenance. So depending on the particular vehicle/brand I had an age/mileage limit. My favourite idiom is: “If you can’t afford a new luxury vehicle, you can’t afford a used one.”

    My main thing is not buying something with deferred maintenance. I’ve done it factoring in the price of fixing the obvious issues (good vehicle cheap so you can afford the obvious repairs) and in my opinion you are much better off buying the one owner vehicle owned by someone who had no issues paying for regular maintenance at a higher price.

    Best scenario: one owner vehicle, old guy with no debt who has vintage cars and is just upgrading his daily driver.

    Worst scenario: Teen who is selling his dream vehicle because he couldn’t afford the gas/maintenance.

    3Richard Haysom

    I have a 2010 GMC Sierra half-ton with 75K on it (original owner) it’s yours for $14,000, not a scratch on it!

    Sounds like a great deal (assuming 4dr 4wd). I bet you could get more than that on usedvic with very little effort. Too bad I’m not in the market for a newer truck.

    When I was in the market, used trucks with under 100K were expensive and rare. It’s a safe bet there is still a shortage of good used trucks.

    Also, I’d take a 2010 GM over a Ford any day of the week. That damn 5.4 and the cam phasers. 2011 the Coyote came out. I haven’t heard anything bad about it (yet). Seems ithe 5.4 phaser issue was mainly due to poor maintenance. I’ve known people with no issues, but I wouldn’t want to roll the dice on a used one with unknown history. The GM 4.8 and 5.3 are both good. Almost bought a 6.0 GM off an old guy. Kicking myself I dragged my feet on that deal. Guy was a car nut and definitely took care of it.

    If I do upgrade the truck I know an old guy with an aluminium f150 with the 2.7EB who is maybe upgrading. Torque like a diesel and fuel economy of a crossover.

  141. @gwac, build is moving along. Full of the usual suffering associated with building a house. It’s biggest problem right now is some over engineering going on late in the game causing some irritating extra costs. Disadvantage to non standard building and earthquakes. The easy button on the computer says build it crazy… I guess I need to craft an update to the blog….

  142. @Nan
    “4x the average family income in Vic and i wouldn’t dream of owning an RV or a boat until my mortgage is much smaller.”

    I’m on your side, but with a family income that high you should be mortgage free after 3 or 4 years. I’m curious what you think the average family income is, because it sounds like you think it’s lower than it is.

    Take solace Nan that the people who’ve changed their spending habits because they “made” lots of money on their house(s) will likely feel the pain when that wealth is stripped away. They’ll be left with vehicles and toys, and the bills.

  143. @Leo S
    It’s gas, extremely fuel efficient. I can make it on one tank of gas from Calgary to Vancouver, 95 litres, driving eco-friendly, keeping my RPM’s under 2000.

  144. @ bearkilla- i assume you probably bought before the run up. Just assuming a few things but earning 100,000 per year and paying for a 300k house gives you lots of room do do other things. But a 700k-1mm mortgage on that same income is another league entirely. All the extras you described would be eaten up and more by the extra principle payable on the same house someone might have paid less than half for 15 years ago.

    Before you spout off about how having a good income can get you all that and how valuable your education was, Please tell me what your income actually is and how much of that million you actually paid for that house because that is incredibly material to accurately evaluating what you said.

    For context, I bought a bit later for about 750k and also now have a house “worth” over a million. My income is about 4x the average family income in Vic and i wouldn’t dream of owning an RV or a boat until my mortgage is much smaller. If i had paid 300k for my house, id own it and be blowing money on all kinds of dumb stuff, like you. But unless your timing was great or you make way more than i do (which I doubt) I think the fact that you made a ton of money on your house has a bigger impact on your spending habits than you think it does.

    Also, do you have anything in your rrsp? Or does your pension have that part of your life covered too? In that case,you have been dealt the trifecta of victoria living: early real estate purchase and 2 run ups, secure government job with a good income and a retirement pension. None of these things had to do with what you learned in school.

  145. “To people with decent incomes these things are all easily attainable.”

    To people with debt these things are attainable through income. To people with cash, these things are attainable with a cheque book.

  146. Meanwhile, in Langford:

    Loblaw Companies is asking customers who purchased four-litre Foremost milk jugs from two stores on Vancouver Island to return the products because they may contain sharp metal objects.

    The company says anyone who bought the milk from the Real Canadian Superstore in Langford or Duncan should take it back for a full refund.

    http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/sharp-metal-objects-found-in-milk-jugs-sold-at-two-vancouver-island-stores-1.3456505

  147. I don’t have depreciating vehicle/recreational toy debt either but I think some of you are neglecting that you can often get 0% financing, so you’ll end up paying marginally more than sale price in the long run.

  148. To people with decent incomes who established themselves a decade or more ago these things are all easily attainable.

    Fixed that for ya.

  149. A lot of assumptions on this blog are flat out WRONG. For example my house is worth just shy of 1 million dollars, huge lot, just shy of 4000 sq ft. I own a boat, an RV, a very large SUV and two other cars. I do still have a little bit of a mortgage left but no debt on anything. Most of the folks I know are in the same circumstances and you know why that is bears? Because we have good incomes. We paid attention in school.

    I guess when you live in a poor neighborhood like Gordon Head and deal with those riff raff things like cars and boats seem expensive. To people with decent incomes these things are all easily attainable.

  150. Anecdotally, in my social circle in the past 2 years, 2 families sold and traded up to put their kids closer to ‘better’ schools ( out of the Tillicum/ Craigflower catchment area). Two others bought places because they moved here from out of town ( within the last few months). The rest of the real estate deals ( ~10) have been for investment purposes ( ie improve & flip). Out of those 10, there is only 1 person that is still holding onto that property because they just bought it, but the intention is to eventually demo, rebuild and sell for a profit ( Using parents HELOC to help finance this). One person is responsible for 4 out of the 10 deals and has made out well. So much so that they quit their day job to focus on being a general contractor.

    It may just be a function of my social circle, but it is crazy to me that more properties have been bought and sold for monetary investment purposes rather than need/ want puproses.

  151. Yeah, it’s nice to have something under warranty with all the bells and whistles, but that’s a lot of debt on a depreciating asset.

    Dealers build the cost of the warranty into the price, so it’s not as if customers are outsmarting car companies.

    Yes, debt on a depreciating asset is incredibly dumb—yet so many don’t see this.

    All (and I mean all ) my debt is on a strongly appreciating asset: my property in Gordon Head. And I’m renting out the basement suite to boot, which means even more moola accruing (for very little effort, I might add. But don’t tell Leo; it makes him mad).

  152. Diesel? 70K+

    You pay extra to poison your fellow humans.

    I’m thoroughly disappointed with how much vehicles cost.

    I believe the rule is don’t pay more than 1/10 your gross annual household income for a car. It’s a depreciating asset anyway.

  153. The people I know with new vehicles, boats, RVs have used their HELOC.

    Mayor Lisa Helps and other city staff being part of the AirBnB problem makes me sick to my stomach.

  154. BINGO; I have a 2010 GMC Sierra half-ton with 75K on it (original owner) it’s yours for $14,000, not a scratch on it!

  155. Introvert:

    I bet Langford residents, paradoxically, are the most indebted. It’s why one sees motorboats and brand new $60,000 pickup trucks on every second driveway of these new crappy houses.

    Looking at that census mapper map it seems like a solid theory.

    Young guys driving new trucks always makes me shake my head. Yeah, it’s nice to have something under warranty with all the bells and whistles, but that’s a lot of debt on a depreciating asset. A run of the mill 4dr half ton is going to cost around 50K after tax. Start adding options and it’s easily 60K like you stated. Diesel? 70K+.

    I’m surprised any average family can afford a minivan these days. Even an un-optioned base model Odyssey or Sienna is 40K after tax. Start adding basic options and you are up to 50K in no time (and with little to show for it).

    I guess it all comes down to monthly payments. They can “afford” the payment.

    In case you can’t tell I’ve been pricing vehicles. I’m thoroughly disappointed with how much vehicles cost.

  156. It would be interesting to know what the stat’s are for debt levels locally… If it could be broken down even into the different parts of CRD.

    I bet Langford residents, paradoxically, are the most indebted. It’s why one sees motorboats and brand new $60,000 pickup trucks on every second driveway of these new crappy houses.

  157. John Dollar said Mayor Lisa should do more to limit AirBnB rentals in the city of Victoria.

    Unfortunately John, I’ve heard a rumour that Mayor Lisa recuses herself from all AirBnB type discussions and votes because she is active in the ‘sharing’ community with a property she ‘shares’. Not sure if it’s all true but it would explain a few things if it’s true.

  158. My marketing BS alarm goes off big time with “home sharing”. Well crafted wordsmithing there. Doing the world good are they? Excellent marketing hands down.
    I like the product. 100% think it should stay. Think existing bylaws are compatible. Pushing to have communities rezoned to allow for their dominance in the market is 100% BS….

  159. JD

    Not arguing the logic just the ability to change things with that transient tag already in place.. You cannot ban it in existing buildings but you could make it more legit. Charging taxes and so on. The city did that to get taxes when times were tough.

    All these place would have to be grandfathered unless each building voted to get ride of the zoning.

    I think Toronto is going down the right path.

  160. John I think that would be hard since some buildings are zoned transient.

    There are about 20 buildings in the downtown core that are zoned transient. At an average of 30 suites each that’s a lot of Airbnb’s. And that doesn’t include the condos that are not zoned transient but are used as vacation rentals too.

    We have Hotels in this city that have employees. We don’t need to provide cheap alternatives to tourists while losing city and provincial revenues from Hotel rooms. At the same time tightening up the vacancy rates and skyrocketing rents.

    If you’re a tourist and won’t come here because of the costs of the Hotel rooms then don’t come. We should only cater to the rich tourists. The poor ones can go to Nanaimo.

  161. “Interesting proposed rules on AirBnB. Aren’t those rules already in place? BnB zoning requires one lives in the residence.”

    That’s why AirBnB sometimes gets a bad rap with city governments. AirBnB would be considered just the same as VRBO if it wasn’t for some of the aggressive marketing tactics used, eg., they give ROI brochures to RE agents promoting the conversion of apartment buildings or houses into virtual hotels.

    But AirBnB wants to go public with an IPO. So they do this to grow the company quickly for their shareholders. This isn’t a “new high tech” company – it’s just a company with savvy salespeople that want to make $$.

    By the way, great sleuthing Leo S! It’s useful, though, that she showed the percentages from a BC-wide point of view – but it needs clarification.

  162. It would be interesting to know what the stat’s are for debt levels locally… If it could be broken down even into the different parts of CRD. It appears this stat is not available though.

    Debt levels are probably much higher in other jurisdictions nationally, esp. where there’s been too much speculation in RE like in Toronto. But, also across much of Canada many parts are quite disadvantaged, so I would not be surprised if they had higher debt levels on average, as in these parts people struggle, which then skews the stat’s Nationally. I don’t think a lot of people around here have as much debt as the National average. Victoria seems very established and with much affluence. No way to know either way for sure of course, since these National stat’s aren’t broken down to a localized level, are they?

    Then, there are also the stat’s missing about those with assets, those with wealth (again, probably not broken down locally). You can talk all day about how lots of Canadians have debt and are poor, I know it’s true as I see them every day around town, sifting through bins, etc (as a Mercedes or other high end car drives by). Lots of Canadians live pay check to pay check. However, if you miss talking about ‘the other half’, so to speak, who have been much smarter and prudent with their finances then you aren’t getting the whole picture. There are also those who appear wealthy on the outside, but reality is different, but they’ll never tell you that. Then there are those who appear to live a modest life on the outside, and do – perhaps living in a small modest rancher and driving a Hyundai, but their portfolio is worth millions when they die (then you wonder what was the point of that?). So many variables with this topic as well…since everyone handles their finances so differently and then rarely talks details about it with others, which includes the statisticians.

  163. Leo S

    Mistakes happen no big deal.

    Agreed. Mistakes happen and that in itself is not an issue, it’s what you do to fix the mistake that counts.

    She was off by 400-500%. That deserves a correction.

    Of course welcome to modern reporting. Gotta get your version out quick to gather the most clicks!

  164. 3Richard, in the last post, you attributed a quote to me that was actually John Dollar’s (I actually said “people have often said, “Did you see that crazy driver? Wouldn’t you know, Alberta plates.” 🙂 )

    @Local Fool: “Any differing views on what’s causing the rise?”
    This is just an anecdote from friends in Vancouver – so take it for what it’s worth – but it’s in line with what lawyer Christine Duhaime has been saying.

    From what they’ve seen with continuing high demand & short DOM, foreign buyers are getting around the tax with “corporation” loopholes – especially when they have large family networks that are working with local RE agents & lawyers.

    Also, while foreign buyers come from everywhere – US, UK, Germany, etc – one distinction with the buyers from China is that they’ve never seen a downturn in RE because it’s the first generation to ever own RE (and back home, they still can’t own the land) – so they (or their families) are willing to sit on the properties ad infinitum – as several Vancouver RE agents put it – they intend to “never” sell if they’ve established a base in Canada.

    I’m not saying that the market won’t go down (it always does, there’s always a breaking point), but it’s another reason for it to be sticky. Sticky for how long? Anyone’s guess.

    When I saw some of this same stuff in 1994 (with the wave of Hong Kong immigration, with the same sentiments), there was a downturn. It lasted a few years.

  165. John I think that would be hard since some buildings are zoned transient. One beside the Blue Bridge.
    Not sure of any other ones.

    I think Toronto has acted in a very appropriate manner with where the spirit of aribnb was suppose to be.

  166. “Even if the Victoria market corrects by twenty per cent that just means we go back to were we where a year or two ago.”

    How many just bought their first homes in the past 2 years ? Thousands will get killed with just 20% and massive debt borrowing. 40% will be a nuclear bomb. Clean off the glasses ole chap.

  167. Local,
    BNN is getting painful to watch when the guy announcer tries to shoot down the prediction which is backed with data after watching the Home Capital fallout. I think he just doubled down like all the other fools and reality is hitting him in the gonads. BNN has a history of protecting the corrupt so shouldn’t be surprised.

  168. If Toronto’s Airbnb regulations were adopted here it would drop condo prices by a hundred grand and downtown rents by $500 a month.

    Come on Mayor Lisa put down that hookah pipe and do something for the people of the city instead of the developers and Airbnb operators that don’t pay their fair share of taxes.

    BAN THE BNB

  169. Even if the Victoria market corrects by twenty per cent that just means we go back to were we where a year or two ago. Albeit that some home buyers will be hurt but not a major disaster overall.

    Thank you for everyone’s information on the tech sector. I suspect that one of the factors in keeping house prices high is the comparatively high wages that are paid in the tech sector (as opposed to tourism). If the sector is growing like people here have stated than this, partially, accounts for the higher home prices.

    Some people prefer living in the suburbs others in a condo downtown. Some people have their social life turn around coffee shops while others prefer dinner parties or barbecues at home. others just prefer quiet isolation. I dont understand the high level of intolerance between people here.

  170. Interesting proposed rules on AirBnB. Aren’t those rules already in place? BnB zoning requires one lives in the residence. Does TO not have transient zoning etc? To me it’s simply about enforcing the existing bylaws not making new ones. I personally know someone who makes way more money and has way more flexibility renting their suite as an AirBnB. They make $2500/month for a studio suite that would at most get $1500-$1700. At least they live there so this is a lawful application. They like that they can use their suite for parental visits this way. However, this equation is without question affecting the market. Why rent a house for $2500 and have responsibilities when you can rent it for $4000 and have none?

  171. “We’ve never had a YOY price drop of more than 5% in the last 35 years. Victoria real estate is a stubborn bitch.”

    Just the type of idiot who says something can never happen because it hasn’t. 35 years ago debt levels were nothing and it tanked 50% in some areas, 40% on average. This is the mother of all debt bombs for the inexperienced like Intorovert.

    Canadians have been refinancing to delay bankruptcy

    https://jugglingdynamite.com/2017/06/12/canadians-have-been-refinancing-to-delay-bankruptcy/

  172. Gordon Head is the definition of cookie cutter. Maybe it’s ok as long as the cookies are expensive enough to keep the riffraff out?

    The cookies here aren’t as squished together as the ones in Langford. And we have parks and playgrounds. Lots of them. Big ones. Almost as if it was planned.

    As for riffraff, GH has its share of it.

    Enjoy the ride down Intorovert. As Madani says, [blah, blah, blah]…

    We’ve never had a YOY price drop of more than 5% in the last 35 years. Victoria real estate is a stubborn bitch.

  173. “In a speculative housing bubble, once prices stop going up the whole reason for speculating in the market disappears,” Madani said.

    They really put the screws to him in that interview. Prices don’t have to keep going up in the immediate term to satisfy speculators, though. If the dynamic is entrenched enough (I think Vancouver is an example of this, whereas less so than in Toronto), then any downturn is just viewed as an opportunity to jump in and buy more. I guess it creates the bull trap we all know about. Indeed, Better Dwelling is reporting that VanRE detached is rising now for the 3rd consecutive month.

    https://betterdwelling.com/city/vancouver/vancouver-detached-homes-see-higher-prices-third-month-row/

    Any differing views on what’s causing the rise?

  174. Enjoy the ride down Intorovert. As Madani says, once you remove the spec players the bubble market will tank just like any bubble market wether stocks or tulip bulbs.

    Canadian home prices could fall 20-40% over next five years, warns Capital Economics

    The hot housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto appear to be on the verge of a severe downturn that could hit Canadian economic growth, says Senior Canadian Economist at Capital Economics David Madani.

    “I see a correction of between 20 to 40 per cent in the Canadian housing market – over five years,” Madani told BNN in an interview Monday.

    Madani says the current hot housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto are in a speculation-fueled bubble that appears to be on the verge of bursting. And once home prices take a breather, the housing markets will begin a severe correction, he says.

    “In a speculative housing bubble, once prices stop going up the whole reason for speculating in the market disappears,” Madani said.

    http://www.bnn.ca/canadian-home-prices-could-fall-20-40-over-next-five-years-warns-capital-economics-1.774787

  175. Gordon Head is the definition of cookie cutter. Maybe it’s ok as long as the cookies are expensive enough to keep the riffraff out?

  176. Amusing how Introvert looks down his/her nose at Landford [sic] from the suburban wasteland of Gordon Head.

    Not all suburban wastelands are created equal. Happy to amuse.

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