June 19 Market Update

Also weekly numbers courtesy of the VREB.

June 2017
June
 2016
Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4
Unconditional Sales 96 331  586
1174
New Listings 189 542  849
1319
Active Listings 1939 2000  1992
2289
Sales to New Listings  51% 61%  69%
89%
Sales Projection 915  997
Months of Inventory

1.9

Well the 2000 listing level was short lived.  A good sales week drove it back down a smidge and we are now 15% below last year’s sales rate with 15% fewer properties on the market.

Despite some early signs of softening like more price changes, it seems the number of over-ask sales aren’t slowing down.   Looking at a few days of sales in the past years, the percentage of over-asks (defined as more than 1% over asking price) is higher than ever.  You can see a big difference between a hot market like now and last year, to a balanced market (2015) and a slow market (2013).

In other news, the two part series on shadow lending is an interesting read.  A bit light on comparative data to previous years (there is always some fraud, but is it systemic?)  but I believe that the shadow lenders are the biggest risk to the market, and one that is very poorly understood.   The big lenders are well capitalized and regulated, but if more and more of the market goes to alternate sources, that won’t make a lick of difference.

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277 thoughts on “June 19 Market Update

  1. @Barrister, I’m curious why you said this “How many hours a day does Dasmo spend typing on here? You are sounding like Hawk maybe you should get yourself a favorite chart as well.” Maybe I can apologize if deserved or clarify a misunderstanding….

  2. Here is a recent FP article about rental basement capital gain, it definitely sounds much more strict than before: under 15% usage could still be charged, and kitchen in the suite is counted as structure change. Plus CRA can tell the usage and history of your rental by your past rental income and utilities deduction % report.

    http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/beware-the-big-tax-hit-that-could-be-lurking-in-your-basement-if-you-decide-to-rent-it-out/wcm/d9d02a88-dee8-496d-b75f-b374618d2be3

  3. Ento:

    Have you also calculated the fact that you have to pay income tax on the rent in those numbers? Well I am asking, is there also any increase in insurance costs.

  4. Thank you Ento:

    I have passed on the advise. My friend is also calculating the number of years to pay off the capital cost of 100k since he is worried that interest rates might rise substantially and shallow up a lot of the rent.

    He also spoke with a close friend that is a senior person with CRS who said that they have formed a special group to ensure capital gains are collected on rental units contained within principle residences. He was told that rental suites have become so prevalent that there is simply so much money on the table to be gotten. I dont know how reliable that info actually is since I have not spoken to the person. But there is some logic to it now that rental suites have gone from the rare to the common. I can see it being politically a popular tax to implement particularly since it does not even require any new legislation. Moreover it only is implemented against some people and even then only on the infrequent occasion when they sell a house at a profit.

    I will let you know what he decides to do.

  5. @Barrister

    I had a careful conversation with our accountant on that exact question. She said that the law hasn’t changed, but the new reporting requirement was mainly to crack down on a lot of tax cheating and blatant fraud that had been going on related to principal residence exemption and the like.

    In her view, having a suite at 15% of total living space in a principal residence new build, where it was well-integrated into the house, would not create capital gains liability. She advised against having separate hot water and hydro meters, mind you, which would suggest that the suite was solely for revenue purposes (in our case, we are likely to reclaim it for elder family members within 5-10 years).

    I didn’t run the numbers, because yes, it’s a cash flow thing for us, as well as a family use thing. But at $210 per ft^2, the estimated suite cost is indeed around $103k. Ratehub tells me that the difference in payments at 2.59% (our rate) is $411/month, or 4932/yr. We figure on something like $1250 a month rent (close to UVic; should not be hard to rent), or 15k annually. So yes, it takes about 10.2 years with these numbers to break even with the suite cost, were it solely for rental purposes (102900+4932x=15000x, solve for x). This also does not including either rent inflation (+ revenue) nor maintenance costs or empty months (- revenue).

  6. According to this court case as reported on this blog, a suite in a principal residence may generate a liability for capital gains tax even if it is not rented. Moreover, failure to pay the capital gains tax when the property is sold may result in application of the gross negligence penalty on the unreported taxable capital gain (which is equal to 100% of the income not reported).

    I find it difficult to believe therefore that one could not claim a capital loss on a suite if a house with a suite is sold at a loss.

  7. I’d be willing to bet we will hear more about it going forward. They didn’t get everyone to report the sale of their principal residence for nothing.

    Yes, it will be interesting to see. There’s nothing like disincentives to creating/keeping rental stock when vacancy is at an all-time low in our fair city!

  8. @Grace “I dealt with three family members things when they died and vowed to not give that task to my children.”

    That’s the right thing to do. We are going through this with a family member who moved into a care home. Towards the end there was dementia, but that stuff was accumulating for decades.

    Why not set a limit? If you haven’t used it in “x” number of years, get rid of it. It’s much easier and less costly for the occupant to get rid of a box every week than it is for people who don’t live there and usually have jobs, families, etc. to try to work it into their busy lives. If they live in another city, it is nearly impossible. I don’t even know what we are looking at for time in my situation: certainly dozens, if not hundreds, of hours.

    When we moved recently I realized that I was moving boxes I had not opened in over 10 years. Then I felt sorry that they were an eyesore for all those years for no good reason. I am much more ruthless now. As a result, while a tiny home is too tiny, I realize I don’t need as much space as I thought I did. After all, one can only be in one room at a time.

  9. “You cannot claim a loss on a principal residence.”

    Not on the part of the property that you live in. But I was speaking of a suit.

    Are you sure you cannot incur a capital loss on a suit? If not, how can one be taxed on a gain? Or is there no such liability?

  10. There is no capital gains tax. We, on the blog, have only ever heard of one person who has paid the tax. If everybody were paying this tax, everyone in the city would know about it.

    I’d be willing to bet we will hear more about it going forward. They didn’t get everyone to report the sale of their principal residence for nothing.

    And should the property be sold for less than the cost of purchase, then a capital loss could be claimed on the suit, to set against capital gains of any source, e.g., stocks or bonds.

    You cannot claim a loss on a principal residence.

  11. @CS
    “According to the BC Assessment Authority, it is generally the value of land that appreciates, whereas buildings depreciate.”
    I agree with you entirely CS, the reason for the appraisals is so that CRA “doesn’t” consider the land appreciation has anything to do with the suite.

  12. Does anyone know what price the house that just sold on Norfolk Rd fetched? The number maybe 3255.

  13. @3Richard

    “and if there was any increased net value then that should be what any capital gains would be based on”

    That’s perhaps what CRA would say, but it seems nonsense to me. According to the BC Assessment Authority, it is generally the value of land that appreciates, whereas buildings depreciate.

    In any case, if you are prepared to declare any supposed capital gain on a suit, then you should claim a depreciation allowance on the suit as long as you have it (Class 1, I think, or 4% of the residual value per year).

    And should the property be sold for less than the cost of purchase, then a capital loss could be claimed on the suit, to set against capital gains of any source, e.g., stocks or bonds.

  14. Good advice from Grace! (Get your things in order as much as possible so that the kids don’t have to deal with all the jars of screws, old car parts and mouldy out of date life jackets in the basement:)

  15. @Barrister

    As far as your friend building a suite, here’s what I would recommend.
    Have his house appraised prior to commencing the suite. Appraise the house again immediately after completing the suite.(My bet is, that the second appraisal will be less than the cost of the suite plus the original appraisal.) Of course this is for the benefit of RCA and if there was any increased net value then that should be what any capital gains would be based on. The idea that RCA bases the capital gains on a % of the floor area is ridiculous because in almost all cases a suite only will add nominal value to a home.
    As to whether he should build the suite in the first place, in my opinion it is all about cash flow. Suppose he builds a 1 bedroom suite for $100000. If the $100000 is on a LOC at say 3% it is going to cost him in interest approx $250/mo. If he rents for $1000/mo he nets $750/mo. a good reason to build the suite. However it is going to take 11 years to pay off the original amount. If he only lives in the house 5 years he is probably going to lose as the increased appraised value likely won’t make up for the short fall. So, to summarize if it’s cash flow he wants it’s a good idea, but if it’s increased equity he wants he’s going to have to live in the house at least 10 years.

  16. My latest accomplishment was to get rid of all the automotive stuff. Oil, filters, various fluids. Just another set of things I’ll never need again.

    That must feel nice. Leo, I would never have taken you for someone who did his own oil changes.

    Also how many years of rent to pay off the capital gains tax if you sell the place.

    There is no capital gains tax. We, on the blog, have only ever heard of one person who has paid the tax. If everybody were paying this tax, everyone in the city would know about it.

    Maybe this will change going forward, but I doubt it.

  17. We just moved and did a major downsizing. Cut our expenses and living space, possessions, in half. Our children are grown so we definitely need less space. It feels wonderful!

    Probably one more downsize to an apartment in ten years or so…..depends on health etc. Always good to stay just ahead of the next life stage. I do not want my girls having to deal with our stuff.
    I dealt with three family members things when they died and vowed to not give that task to my children.

  18. Pretty disgusting how Immigration Canada has been getting fleeced by the Chinese students. Christine Duhaime put out a play by play.

    I could only imagine what happens to those depending on them to pay their mortgage when IC actually wakes up and does their job.

    “@cduhaime

    Ug. My neighbour told me she takes cash under the table to form fill student visas from China (undisclosed consultant) with “stories”

    to deceive Immigration Canada into approving visas. Her success rate is 95%. She said it’s funny, deceiving on taxes & immigration.

    She also said Immigration Canada should have detected her work years ago b/c she recycles the exact same 10 stories for China visas.”

  19. Ento:

    I am wondering how many years of rent, after tax, to pay off the extra cost of putting in a suite? Also how many years of rent to pay off the capital gains tax if you sell the place. Just approximate. A neighbour is thinking of putting in a suite and is struggling to get a grip on how long before he breaks even. He is of the opinion that you dont get a lot more for a house in his hood that has a suite so he is debating if it is really worth it at his age.

  20. Our build will be 3000 ft including 480 for the suite, so 2500 for us. Room for our family plus a guest bedroom. The master ensuite seemed a tad large, but the designer tells us we’re on the very modest side of things by modern standards. The main concern is building something that works for us, but that could also be salable if needed, if something bad were to happen to us.

  21. Richard: Careful what you wish for; you might discouver that you end up on the list of things to get rid of.

  22. “Nothing more satisfying than getting rid of things”
    I wish I could convince my wife of that!

  23. Yep after living a bit in 800ish I almost felt I went too big. But then again the step family is visiting in a few weeks for a few months. It’s going to be a little crazy. Tent is going up in the back yard! We are also having another dragon due in August so with four of us and five of them….

  24. I, too, love getting rid of things, and only keeping stuff that I really care about and/or really need. I constantly shake my head at my parents and parents-in-law (boomers) who both keep entire basements filled with clutter.

    Yeah I think the hoarding tendency increases as people get older. A friend just talked about moving his mom to assisted living and spent days going through her stuff and painfully arguing with her to throw away most of it.

    My latest accomplishment was to get rid of all the automotive stuff. Oil, filters, various fluids. Just another set of things I’ll never need again.

    Can’t wait for autonomous uber then I’ll sell the car and turn the driveway into a garden.

  25. The 4 of us live in about 1050sqft, top half of the house. Plenty big enough.
    More space means more room to acquire bullshit, and there’s already more than enough of that.
    Nothing more satisfying than getting rid of things

    Same, except tenant lives below (as opposed to MIL).

    I, too, love getting rid of things, and only keeping stuff that I really care about and/or really need. I constantly shake my head at my parents and parents-in-law (boomers) who both keep entire basements filled with clutter.

  26. The 4 of us live in about 1050sqft, top half of the house. Plenty big enough.
    More space means more room to acquire bullshit, and there’s already more than enough of that.
    Nothing more satisfying than getting rid of things

  27. Plus garage/studio for another 500. It’s efficient. It’s my large tiny house!
    I’m living in just over 800 and doing just fine….

  28. RE Tiny house. I hear you Leo. Glad I’m building 2000 sqft and not 200. As LeoM points out there are a lot of costs to building that won’t be much less. The step family might be able to do it. They have spent the last year traveling the world with three young kids so they are atypical.

  29. It helps I’m not that dedicated. I do something between half and 2/3 of the lawn every year, if I remember. Seems to be fine. The moss in the back is soft too I’m not too concerned about getting rid of it completely.

  30. Me too, I call them my muscles. https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.coring-aerator.1000546750.html

    Funny you say that. A few years ago I bought this very aerator at Home Depot and began aerating my lawn. It ended up being four hours of back-breaking effort (this device is too short for me) that left me couch-bound for most of the next day. Basically, my lawn is too expansive to do manually.

    I even looked into buying my own gasoline-powered aerator, like the pros use, and they’re minimum $2,500, which is weird because they’re not much more complicated than a push lawn mower that costs $300.

    Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful summer’s day!

  31. LeoS asked: “I do wonder what would it take to make a mini home into a garden suite? What would a garden suite have to cost all in to make it a feasible option?”

    Building code compliance is the #1 requirement and that means a concrete foundation with footings at least 24″ below grade. Then it must be secured to the concrete foundation, then sewer line to code, then perimeter drains to code , then electrical to code, then…, then…, …

    As for the cost: just the concrete foundation with sealant, slab floor, perimeter and storm drains, and connections for sewer, water, and storm drains, for a 400sq.ft. Garden suite will cost about $25,000
    For example; It will use about 25cu.yds. of concrete at $220/yd and the rule of thumb is double the concrete cost for the labour of building the forms, organizing the pour, and removing forms, plus 15% for materials. So just the basic concrete work will cost about $13,000. All the other excavations, pipes, permits, etc will add at least $12,000 more.

    The entire “Tiny House”/ “Mini Home” concept is not well throughout, it’s really just a fantasy in an urban area. Maybe somewhere beyond Sooke or an acreage in Mill Bay, but not in any city.

  32. Ha ha, Hawk… re. 2133 Windsor… Yes, if they hired me that dump would sell for sure 😉 I’d deflect attention away from the fact it’s tiny and worn down, on a 4 way stop and bus route.

    Instead… it’s near the beach! Casey’s Market, and in one of the toniest of ‘hoods round here surrounded by all kinds of opulent Samuel Mac Mansions, not too far, but far enough from Oak Bay Ave, and where you can see the stars at night 🙂 If you have any dosh left over after the hefty mortgage, why not join the nearby Victoria Golf Club? (will require another mortgage). You can also then dine w/ ol’ Hawk in opulence at the OB Hotel 😉

    No need for any Chinese interpretation… reality is, it needs yet another big reduction.

    Andy7 – There def. does seem to be lots of price reductions here and in Van. Does this mean people are asking too much for their crap boxes? I’d say in both cities that’s likely the case. Lack of quality inventory was a problem in Van though I find it more pronounced here. People are such greed heads, It’s so rare to find those that aren’t, and I can’t blame most b/c we all have to get caught up in it. When you sell high you then have to buy high and we’re all architects of this stupidity – we all have to borrow/pay more b/c we are all bidding things up to the stratosphere – just look at TO.
    That’s why it’ll be nice when the market finally returns to more balanced and normal.

    CS – the UK property in Scotland was incredible. But do remember, that’s in the remote wilds of Scotland. I suspect that the ‘offers over’ part is a lot like what we have going on here sometimes, and more of a selling tactic than anything else? The Scottish system is set up like that, and most times I think properties sell well over the ‘offers over’ asking price there. That said, I’m not familiar w/ that part of the country being from Norfolk. In England, the system works much the same as here since the Scottish system is different.

    One thing that’s different in the UK than here is – realtor compensation is often much more reasonable than what most charge here. At a variable rate usually between 1-2.5%, depending on what you negotiate w/ your ‘estate agent’.
    Source: http://www.propertywire.com/news/europe/uk-estate-agent-fees/

  33. I don’t think the commissions are structured any differently Richard. Many of them will have a note “Buyers agent must make first introduction otherwise cooperating commission reduced to $500”

  34. @Leo
    Do you have any idea what the realtor commissions are for these deferred offered listings when the homes are listed below market value? Is the real estate commission structured differently from the standard listing?

  35. Have a guy from Canadian Property Stars knocked on my door. Holy f! Full of BS and won’t take NO for an answer…

    I hate those guys. Great rule of thumb: never buy anything from someone who’s selling it at the door (except Girl Guide cookies, if you’re into that).

    I use a different company for my aerating; and I call them.

  36. Several more getting whacked.

    3230 Cedar Hill Road flipper gone bad, slashed $40K to $849K. Kinda like Bearkilla losing $60K fantasy money yesterday in one swoosh.

    1196 Firbank Close in Broadmead slashed $50K but higher priced.

    894 Currandale Court in prime upper Quadra slashed $50K.

  37. “Have a guy from Canadian Property Stars knocked on my door. Holy f! Full of BS and won’t take NO for an answer, waste of time. ”

    I believe those were the same guys down in Fairfield a year ago, practically starting work on your house as you kept saying no, over and over. They were like meth heads without a conscience. Total scum.

    2133 Windsor Rd on price slash #2 down another $20K to $859K now. Maybe they need the HGTV guys to pump how great Oak Bay is, as the bloom is clearly off the rose. Maybe they could just hire Luke ? 😉

    The red flags in Vancouver looks like a crash is in motion.

  38. Mini home into garden suite is most likely just code level hook ups.
    In reference to their specific tiny home…. If no one likes a 14million glorified shipping container in their neighbourhood who would want a $10,000 actual shipping container on their street. Some design would have in helped their search for a location I’m sure of it. Their tiny home is a little on the shantytown side of the aesthetic spectrum.
    My sister in law is planning on the tiny home route. They are looking at Bulgaria. Probably less of an issue there. Except that they are a family of five!!!!

  39. That’s why I ignore the door. Unless you’re expecting someone it’s not worth answering.

  40. Have a guy from Canadian Property Stars knocked on my door. Holy f! Full of BS and won’t take NO for an answer, waste of time. Googled the company, fake reviews, subcontractors without insurance or safely equipment.

    Word of advice: If you opened the door, tell them you are renter, landlord too cheap to pay for it.

  41. @Vicbot. “Interestingly enough this kind of seller takeback mortgage is covered extensively in the realtor training material. Dozens of examples on that. Last time I asked Marko he said in 300 transactions he had never seen it so can’t be very common.”

    The vendor take back mortgage occurs in really depressed markets. It was common in Calgary after the 1982 housing crash and it occurs quite a bit in remote rural markets where the banks or credit unions don’t want to “own” property. It is used by sellers who desperately want to sell after they have tried all other conventional methods without success. For example, someone who has to move would rather have someone live in their house paying say 3-5% interest on an agreed purchase price with a nominal downpayment of say $10,000 than leave and have the house just sitting there empty, costing money for maintenance, surveillance, some utilities and property taxes etc.
    It can be a great way for unqualified first time buyers to get into the market, and, as opposed to private lenders, the interest rate terms are usually very attractive.

  42. @ Kalvin
    “Do these type of private lenders still exist today?”
    Absolutely those types of lenders still exist today. However they should be your lender of absolute last choice, if at all. Not only do they charge you significantly higher interest rates but they also charge a service fee for putting the loan/mortgage together. This fee can represent as much as 10% of the loan, which like the CMHC fee they tag it onto the loan and of course you pay the high interest on it as well.

  43. Another advantage to avoiding the CMHC fee by having a minimum of 20% down is that you can amortize your mortgage over 30 years as opposed to 25 years for all CMHC insured mortgages which will further significantly reduce your monthly payments. Yes, you will be paying off less principle every month but better to use the difference to pay down student loans or other higher interest consumer debt ie credit cards.

    @VICRENTER
    I received excellent term life insurance from Sun Life. Highly recommend them.

  44. Of course the empty homes tax is a disaster. And it will be ineffective – there are so many workarounds and no way it will ever bring in the cost of administration. Completely foreseeable fiasco. I find myself repeating “not my circus, not my monkeys” when I think of it.

    STVR enforcement, other than complaints based, is the similarly economically untenable, albeit perhaps make sense to make an example to encourage compliance – unless there is a court challenge.

  45. That empty homes tax is going to be a disaster.

    city staff estimating costs of $7.4 million — up from $4.7 million seven months ago — the city does not have an estimate for how much money the tax will bring in.

    So they’re a bit dyslexic?

    Mayor Gregor Robertson told The Vancouver Sun’s Matt Robinson that at least $2 million would be raised by the tax annually (…). Davidoff was far more bullish, saying: “I don’t think $100 million (in first-year revenue) is out of the question.”

    Holy moly that is quite the range of estimates. $100M is insane there is no way they will be close to that

    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/dan-fumano-applying-vancouvers-empty-home-tax-may-cost-an-2-7-million-more-than-expected

  46. @Vicbot. Interestingly enough this kind of seller takeback mortgage is covered extensively in the realtor training material. Dozens of examples on that. Last time I asked Marko he said in 300 transactions he had never seen it so can’t be very common.

  47. I don’t know if this is the same as shadow banking but when a family member sold a property, instead of re-investing the money in something else, they provided a mortgage to the buyer at a high interest rate. If the buyer defaulted, the original owner would have gotten the property again, according to the way it was set up legally.

    I have no idea if this is common set up or not, and I hope nobody does this without lawyers involved.

  48. Looks like it’s already starting in Bearkilla’s hood where the prices are being slashed by the hour. Won’t be “long g” til his for sale sign is up.

    Condo listings going thru the roof. Everyone thinks the music is about to stop.

    1961 Sandover Cres in Dean Park takes a $60K beatdown to $729K.

    895 Brentwood Hts got a $30K slashing to $699.

    Both nice places. Crashes start in the outlying areas and work inward.

  49. One with the bank at 18% interest rate, and the second mortgage was with a private lender at 20%. The private lender was found through word of mouth of a wealthy Italian man who was known to lend out “cash” at a slightly higher interest rate. Do these type of private lenders still exist today? Who knows. If memory serves me correct, the house was $68,000 but I can verify.

    You know that reminds me, when we bought our house we had a significant down payment. Our mortgage broker floated the idea of instead of using it for the house, we should use the cash to get into the private lending game. He gave some examples of some cases where some lawyer needed cash for 6 months and how he was a high income earner and it was very safe but you could collect significant interest.
    Sounded fishy back then, still sounds like it now. But I imagine there is lots of it going on.

  50. Just head on down to the barber shop and ask Tony. He knows a guy. 😉

    Not good news for those hoping for the Asian express to keep their land values up. Looks like the head Anbang dude is in jail. Another sign the end is nigh.

    These guys bought out BC’s largest retirement home group. Real smart JT.

    One Of China’s Largest Real Estate Buyers Has A Lot Of ‘Splainin To Do

    “China’s massive international real estate buying spree just got another hurdle. Anbang Insurance Group, the Chinese behemoth that’s been buying landmarks across the globe, has lost its Chairman to an anti-graft campaign. While he’s not being accused of criminal activity, an investigation being led by the Communist government’s corruption watchdog will put a temporary halt on their real estate buying. This was likely a warning to other companies to consider lowering their leverage, and quit sending capital out of the country.”

    https://betterdwelling.com/one-chinas-largest-real-estate-buyers-lot-splainin/

  51. Leo S:

    Anyone want to live in a glorified shipping container for $14M?

    At 14M you’d think they could throw in the Lamborghini.

    Kalvin

    My parents bought their first home in 1981 with very little down. They had two mortgages. One with the bank at 18% interest rate, and the second mortgage was with a private lender at 20%. The private lender was found through word of mouth of a wealthy Italian man who was known to lend out “cash” at a slightly higher interest rate. Do these type of private lenders still exist today? Who knows. If memory serves me correct, the house was $68,000 but I can verify.

    My parents were similar. Bought first house in 1980 for around 50K (900sqft 2 bed). My grandparents helped out and they had some second mortgage thing done by the province or something? When I was talking to them about the BC HOME Partnership they said there was something similar back when they were first time buyers. Anyhow, more than one mortgage on 50K and they had help. Double digit interest rates though…

    They sold and bought a new build in 1984 using their equity from the first house and presumably other savings.

    Anna
    Answering your “who helped you?” question:

    My in-laws helped us buy our first place. They topped up our down payment so it would be a full 20% (FiL insisted it was absurd to pay CMHC if we didn’t have to, it also got us a better rate). We spent around 250K on a 2 bed condo. We buckled down and paid off our student loans and the in-law loan in 2 years, then sold the condo for more than we paid and used that equity to purchase a house. Our wages also increase over those 2 years which helped us feel more comfortable jumping into a significantly bigger mortgage.

  52. I know I’ve asked this here before, but I now forget the answer that I received from someone or other a few months ago. So: anyone have a suggestion as to where to shop for term life insurance?

  53. I just saw a local realtor’s ad for a house that said it is in “coveted Old View Royal”. I love the marketing strategies of Realtors. If they only worked in the Sears marketing department.

  54. Here’s a comparable that the sadly departed Info would surely like:

    The Balblair Estate comprises Balblair House, with water view, magificient conservatory, 17 acres of gardens, stabling, etc., a beautifully updated gate lodge, together with about 1645 acres of crofted land and common grazings.

    The price: less than a run-down OB bung, i.e., in excess of 600,000 pounds or C$900,000.

  55. My parents bought their first home in 1981 with very little down. They had two mortgages. One with the bank at 18% interest rate, and the second mortgage was with a private lender at 20%. The private lender was found through word of mouth of a wealthy Italian man who was known to lend out “cash” at a slightly higher interest rate. Do these type of private lenders still exist today? Who knows. If memory serves me correct, the house was $68,000 but I can verify.

  56. I recently read an article that described a pipeline of credit that starts in the financial ADVISOR’s office at the bank. The advisor tells the prospective client that they can only legitimately loan so much, (LTV rules, income verification, credit scores etc. ), but the advisor wants to make the sale, so he/she says “I have a guy…”, makes a call and connects the client up with a subprime lender who will loan the rest of it. The client, who trusts the advisor, follows up and voila, the advisor gets the commission, the sub-prime lender gets the interest and the poor punter, blithley ignorant of the financial precipice they’ve just walked off, leaves with a very expensive piece of the dream.

  57. “Her actions since the recent election, however, have revealed her true self: a self-serving, desperate politician so shameless in the pursuit of power she is willing to jettison nearly every position the BC Liberals hold dear … Clark is epitomizing the absolute cynicism that people hate about politicians, damaging her own party and colleagues”

    Here, here.

    What we want is the old Christie, her true self, epitomizing the absolute cynicism that people hate about politicians.

    But hang on, that’s what we still have. So no prob, then.

  58. Barrister, this article sums it up. There are different levels of shadow lending but like all bubbles the sharks are circling the weak and will lie to make the high interest mortgage happen no matter what the roadblock.

    “Toronto mortgage broker Geoff Carnevale says an increasing number of investors want in on the returns mortgage lending can provide, even if that means extending loans with 12% to 15% interest rates to people who really shouldn’t be borrowing. “If my client has loose credit and a second mortgage for 12%, that’s a death sentence for someone living paycheque to paycheque,” he observes. But mortgages are ubiquitous if the price is right. “There are always people looking to make a buck and [who] don’t care about the other person.”

    Such is the desperation that some mortgage brokers will help disqualified buyers bolster their prospects by offering to connect them with people who will create phony salary documents. One Toronto realtor, speaking anonymously, tells of a broker acquaintance who offers such a service. If the buyer can put down a third but can’t show enough income to qualify for a loan, the broker will arrange for fake employment statements that show sufficient income. The cost? Between $2,000 and $4,000. “I always say I don’t want to be involved,” she adds.

    Carnevale, who heads the Ontario Mortgage Brokers Association, knows his profession is rife with such tales. “It’s not just brokers supplying those documents,” he adds. “A lot of lenders know what’s going on.”

    http://www.canadianbusiness.com/economy/shadow-banking-mortgages/

  59. “I think the bigger risk is fraud. If people are putting 20% down to get a traditional loan but much of the 20% is borrowed through a shadow lender, then the risk is much higher.”

    The shadow banks are lending out the down payments. That’s a huge recipe for disaster when the defaults start rolling in. These guys aren’t as nice as the banks who may not want your house, the shadow guys will.

    This will be the credit crisis catalyst that really sets this off, especially in light of the ghost collateral stories coming out now in Vancouver. You can bet some are here too.

  60. Barrister, two of the Uplands mansions have slashed their prices around $150K each today after several months or more on the market. It’s going to take $500K slashes to get the sales. Many more “new listings” just relistings showing up daily. Condo listings at year high as well.

  61. The number of properties in the Uplands is now up to 18 and as near as i can tell almost no sales in the last few months. The number of houses in Rockland have shot up to eight. Too early to tell if they will sell but at least three of those houses have been on the market for months. i dont know how much you can trust the VREB’s days on market since a number of the same houses keep reappearing as “new” listings. The Phoenix effect?

  62. @Barrister. Hard to find a good article on it. The betterdwelling piece is very alarmist and light on details (the shadow lending outstanding debt has been half of the bank debt for a very long time). https://betterdwelling.com/canadas-1-1-trillion-shadow-banking-sector-now-half-large-banks/

    Bank of Canada defines it as low risk http://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/fsr-december-2016-chang.pdf

    I think the bigger risk is fraud. If people are putting 20% down to get a traditional loan but much of the 20% is borrowed through a shadow lender, then the risk is much higher.

    Percentage of risky high ratio loans is down since last fall when they introduced the stress test, but sales aren’t down. So where did the extra money come from? Could be more parental contribution to get people above 20% down, or could be other sources.

  63. Leo:

    I would consider buying it if they drop the price down to land value minus demo costs. This “new” 1990 architecture is just horrible and looks dated as soon as it is built.

  64. An interesting recent observation as to what helped buoy the RE market in Calgary through the current recession,

    “More Calgarians tend to be in the workforce, nearly 75 per cent at last count, and even when the unemployment rate got high, 66 per cent of residents still had a job, higher than in any other major city.

    Housing, restaurants mostly stable

    That relatively high employment rate explains why the housing market, at least for mid-priced homes, remains stable. While the average home price dropped nearly 12 per cent between 2014 and 2015 and has yet to recover, that was influenced by price drops in the most expensive homes.

    ‘What I’ve seen is the mid-range, the $375,000 to $500,000 proprieties, have been selling and keeping our market afloat,” said Len Wong, a Calgary Realtor with Re/Max.

    Wong said that people buying those homes don’t tend to work in the oilpatch and were more likely to have hung onto their jobs.”

  65. @Leo:

    Where are the shadow lenders getting all this capital to lend in the first place? Is this all private equity? Tell me that CHMC is not involved either directly or indirectly with these loans. If they go bad is the taxpayer on the hook for any of it? Do you know of a good article where I can read up on it?

    Thanks

  66. That’s why I’m asking you to give $43 right now

    I think the NDP asked my wife for some whacky uneven amount like that as well.

  67. What happened to the $13 million from their greasy palmed developers and insiders ? These Libs have no shame.

  68. What do you think of this email I got from the Libs today – why are they telling me “we could be back at the polls in weeks”? Is that hellish scenario true?

    “The NDP are planning to take power with the support of the Green Party, and implement an agenda that’s dangerous for jobs, families, and communities throughout B.C.

    In this uncertain and unstable situation, we could be back in another election anytime.

    That’s why I’m asking you to give $43 right now – one dollar for every BC Liberal MLA we elected in May. Your gift of $43 or $5 or $300 will help us elect more MLAs so that we can offer a stable, responsive BC Liberal government that will keep our economy strong, keep creating family-supporting jobs, and address urgent affordability issues.

    We could be back at the polls in a matter of weeks. Please help us with whatever you can afford to be ready for the road ahead – so we can keep working for the British Columbia we all love.”

  69. Crisis ? What crisis ? Keep on buying ya fools. 😉

    Canada Has World’s Fastest-Growing Private Debt: Report

    Canada stands alone today in risking a debt-fuelled financial crisis.

    Here’s a distinction the Great White North could do without: For the first time ever, Canada is taking on new private-sector debt faster than any other developed country.

    In fact, the country stands alone in facing a possible financial crisis due to the vulnerability of its borrowers, says a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/06/22/canada-has-world-s-fastest-growing-private-debt-report_a_22528503/?utm_campaign=canada_newsletter

  70. The pain continues. Oak Bay starter house slashed 40K to $749K at 2434 Dryfe St. Looks like Oak Bay has peaked and the Pacific buyer is going to need some meds.

    803 Sea Ridge Pl in Cordova Bay slashed $120K. Ouchers.

  71. “I am a BC liberal and today speech was a joke.”

    Christy is the joke and always has been, nothing but a opportunist photo op queen with zero substance. She’s so desperate shes going to copy the NDP and call a snap election in the summer and make us watch all the shit for another 6 weeks. That will just piss everyone off to go through this again and she’ll get smoked as the Libs don’t show up to vote for her and those who didn’t get out to vote for NDP will make sure they do.

  72. “Victoria lacks some big-city amenities like high-end shopping and thriving nightlife. And the city is reachable only by air or boat. The Victoria International Airport has no direct flights to Europe, Asia or the eastern U.S.”

    Thus why we’re cheaper than Vancouver and New Westminster. We’re small potatoes for the WSJ crowd. Just a pump article for the agents who see the end is nigh.

  73. Regarding the WSJ article, you can read it without subscribing by clicking through the link on this tweet: http://bit.ly/2sYm5WI

    I had a long call with the author about the market for the story, then sent her over to Jason Binab for a tour of the city. I figured better to be toured around in a Lambo than a Leaf!!

  74. New Wall St Journal article about Victoria
    http://www.cheknews.ca/wall-street-journal-promotes-affordable-victoria-lifestyle-340248/
    “In Sleepy Victoria, Canada, a Housing Market Wakes Up
    The capital of British Columbia experiences a surge in demand, as buyers flock to its laid-back atmosphere and gentler prices”

    Also in the Tyee: https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2017/06/22/BC-Liberals-Opinion-of-Clark/
    “Her actions since the recent election, however, have revealed her true self: a self-serving, desperate politician so shameless in the pursuit of power she is willing to jettison nearly every position the BC Liberals hold dear … Clark is epitomizing the absolute cynicism that people hate about politicians, damaging her own party and colleagues”

  75. Leo

    The liberals keep it up and they are opening the door for the crazy right wing conservative party….

    I may be assuming the conservatives in BC are right wing maybe they are left also….

  76. I am a BC liberal and today speech was a joke.

    I wondered how Liberal voters might react to the Liberals declaring they want to out-NDP the NDP.

  77. Luke, yes I can’t figure out why it sold $256k over ask. Very curious. Maybe it had good bones and a lot of bidders who were willing to pay for the neighbourhood/lot size? For the one on Eastdowne, maybe the T intersection didn’t help. Hard to figure this market out.

    Gwac, I also can’t figure out why Clark would go through with this. If she was somehow trying to “force the NDP/Greens to vote down a speech that would implement the same things they were going to do” – it seems so blatantly manipulative that nobody would buy it. Not exactly leaving a good impression.

    Interesting about the chanting. What’s next in this saga? …

  78. I am a BC liberal and today speech was a joke. Nobody can possible believe that. Liberals let the NDP screw things over for a couple years. Replace Christy and regroup, than force another election after the ndp show what a farce the are.. This speech was idiotic….and a waste of time.

    Maybe I am missing something..

  79. Well we either have 3 left leaning parties in BC or 2 and 1 up to something…. I go with Christy is up to something…

  80. I’m surprised anyone halfway qualified would want to run for mayor of any city in BC. Victoria is one of the higher paying mayor positions and it’s what, 98K?

    I’m definitely not qualified to be a mayor (on so many levels) but there is no way I’d do that job for that wage.

    To me you either really want to help the city in question (bleeding heart) or you have an ego and want to ‘be in charge’. Helps probably falls into the bleeding heart category, I’d assume Atwell falls into the latter (though I have no evidence to support that). Jack Mar would fall into the former group with Helps.

    I’d rather make less and not have my personal life paraded as news. (Remember Atwell and the affair stuff?)

  81. Vicbot – I just had a walk by the house on Pacific Ave that just went for $1,256,500 which was $256,500 over asking! Shocking! It was nicely landscaped, but actually almost overgrown. Nothing special at all with a duplex right beside it. The house looks like it needs lots of updating too. It looked to me like it was probably an estate sale? Binab listing – that guy is a shark, he sure knows how to create a stir, but he also knows the neighbourhood really well as he grew up here.

    Wonder what it was about that house that made someone want it so much? A similar house, on only a somewhat smaller lot, that was arguably more updated sold at 2586 Eastdowne, just across the road, for just $975k in March 2017.

  82. Anyone hear the chanting coming from the inner harbour just now?

    ‘Chrusty Clark has got to go- hey hey, ho ho! Chrusty Clark has got to go – hey hey, ho ho!’

    Even the band couldn’t drown it out! Now, how much longer to wait to watch her roast? 🙂

  83. The situation where insanity is richly rewarded can’t persist forever.

    It surely can’t. On the other hand, forever is a long time.

  84. I’m not really trying to shut it down. I’m expressing my distaste of the subject in a childish an humorous way…. I am engaging in it in the end.

  85. This is for Introvert – I meant “critique” not “critic” 🙂

    Anyway, just because someone is criticizing Helps doesn’t mean they’re angry, offended, illogical, misunderstanding, irrational, or character assassinating. At least on this blog I haven’t seen it.

  86. Dasmo, I can’t even vote for her (she’s not my mayor), but I still don’t understand how any critic on this blog was ever “character assassination.”

    Leaders get into trouble when we don’t call them out on their loopy ideas.

    To be honest, I’m shocked at how some people try to shut the conversation down, as if someone can be either Good or Bad, but can’t be a combination of things.

  87. Not really. I think most of her ideas are loopy. Making a tent city in topaz park for one. Although y’all are softening your approach it’s still the same character assassination. I gain more respect for her that she continues to put this stuff out there. I would like to see you run a successful mayoral campaign and willfully accept the mess she stepped into. We have a housing affordability crisis, a drug addiction problem, a homeless problem, a major bridge project derailing and a somewhat useless sewage treatment mega project on the books. Now add in some unscrupulous social media mavens spreading fake news and trying to paint her as an unethical person…. I didn’t vote for her but now I might delay my move long enough so I can in the next election. No one who is jumping on this was a supporter before so I don’t think this will result in her losing ground. She has gained a new supporter in me.

  88. gwac,
    Warren never did any DD on Home , they admitted it, it’s a pure cash deal to flip for profit. Basically a loan shark deal as Cohodes has stated.

    $30 million fine via OSC, admitting guilt of lying to investors for 2 years will taint this company as it continues it’s path to insolvency. I wouldn’t call lying to investors for 2 years “impressive”. They are in damage control right now and for the foreseeable future.

  89. and except people who disagree with Lisa … 🙂

    Dasmo, I think you’re referring to VV & BC Today, not this blog.

  90. Quite a few foreclosure applications in Vancouver today. Victoria and New Westminster have only one each.

    Which is what you would expect as New West and Victoria are more similar to each other than Vancouver.

  91. Hawk that guy came on board 2 months ago is trying to right the ship. He laid out the positives and negatives. I think we can know assume the assets are ok with BH endorsing… Not getting into anymore debates with you. It was only an info piece to get a sense of what has happened and their continued challenges going forward. Some good business learning

  92. Of course she’s had some good ideas, but this RE issue kind of erases those for me.

    Seems to me her concrete actions and results on the RE issue speak for themselves. If those results have to come with some crazy ideas that lead nowhere, I’m OK with that tradeoff.

  93. “Do you really believe the mayor doesn’t understand those things? ”

    Yes Leo, she compared the current situation to WWII. That shows a lack of understanding.

    As Anna pointed out, bring us the “out of the box idea.” That’s not the same as “half-baked” or “out of context”

    Honestly I haven’t read BC today or VV about what they’re saying about Helps.

    But she reminds me of an old friend in his 20s that used to hitchhike – an idealist without a lot of practical knowledge. He told me how he doesn’t like society’s focus on possessions, and how he could travel the world and stay anywhere with a small backpack and his thumb. I asked him how he could have done that without people who have rooms, cars, & trucks (that work to pay for those possessions). No answer.

    Half-baked ideas without understanding the connections between them. Of course she’s had some good ideas (cutting red tape – I said she should have focused on that), but this RE issue kind of erases those for me.

  94. “Worth the watch to understand the Home Capital issue. Home capital director is very impressive.”

    Impressive liar you mean gwac ? They all lied for the last 2 years and are still on the ropes bigtime. Gullible or what but that’s the Canadian way to bury the frauds and pretend they don’t exist like the money laundering that’s slowly being unearthed.

    You can’t borrow at 9.5% and lend at 4% and make money nor stay solvent. Once Warren sees the fraud and housing market tanking in the coming months he’ll be dumping ASAP.

  95. Leo S

    Which part of that article makes you think that?

    Yeah, I read the article (speed read, boring AF). Nothing clearly indicated “relationship” to me. Clearly a business relationship exists/existed, but I don’t think that’s what was implied.

    @Curious Cat

    Thanks for the update. Sounds like your friend is on the precipice of disater. People I’ve known in similar situations often fall on dumb luck, be interesting to hear what happens.

  96. I have no issue with Lisa Helps. I do think we need people who think outside of the box.

    Along with her thinking out loud thought of people billeting people in their homes I wish that she would have also mentioned out loud that there is all this accommodation in town being used as AirBnBs and that it would be good if these places were offered up to people who live and work in Victoria.

    Did she think that when she mentioned the billeting? She may have but I would like to have heard her say it out loud.

    Dasmo said “It’s been hard to fail at the game…” You forgot to add yet to the end of that sentence.

  97. Good points in the article. This one is key. (Smaller units are also better AirBnB investments)
    “But it’s not the job of planning to maximize the profit of developers. It’s the job of planning to determine the vision for the city and the downtown, set clear expectations, and let those expectations help clarify land value for developers.

    Developers will argue that two- and three-bedroom units are not viable, but it’s false. Economic analysis shows that two- and three-bedroom units can be less profitable than one-bedrooms or studios, but that’s not the same as saying that they aren’t viable.”

  98. I quite like Lisa Helps as a mayor. Some of her ideas are flakey and the bike lane on Fort sounds disastrous but I do think she is very honest and does care about issues like homelessness. She has worked hard in the community and done far more than the rest of us who sit on the sidelines.

    We need more people like her to enter politics.

  99. Leverage to the hilt and buy everything has been very lucrative

    And that is why some sort of correction seems inevitable even if it hasn’t happened for the last 9 years. The situation where insanity is richly rewarded can’t persist forever.

  100. Oh, and I’m waiting for a ferry so I might type a lot here for a bit. It might still mean I need to get a life but then again, If you read this so do you….

  101. it would be hard if you were surrounded by people playing the game. Anyone that did so recently made serious cheddar. I know someone who got by by the skin of their teeth playing this game circa 2010. Bought to flip and couldn’t sell for five years. In the end they still rocked it because they bought in 2015 after selling for a minor loss. Now they are up big time (on paper). It’s been hard to fail at the game….

  102. “Edited to add that she listens to the wrong people: those that have something to gain, such as her builder and her realtor.”

    CC,
    Yes that can be the problem but usually there is something else going on beneath the surface. Know of several “used to be” very rich people who listened to their builders and agents and went bankrupt playing the “I can be the property king” game while they milked them dry. This town has many sharks looking for the weak with deep pockets.

    This next round will take out a record amount of sheep who will wake up and say “What the fuck did I just do?”.

  103. My previous comment didn’t go through. She has put in about 50% of the initial cost and loaning the rest from the friend. She believes she will get a construction loan or a loc for 80% of the value of the lot. (Her previous assumptions have turned out to be wrong however so who knows if that will work.) The problem that I see is that her budget for her half of the duplex is about $700k and that’s double the value of the lot. She has no more money. She will need to sell her house at some point to get the equity out. What I don’t know, is how much equity she has there.

  104. 35 San Jose Ave in James Bay relisted and slashed $155K to $989K. Ouch.

    5208 Del Monte Ave in Cordova Bay slashed 40K.

    Numerous other $10K to 20K slashes.

  105. Gwac omg that house! They said the bathroom was renovated, unfortunately, they neglected to say that it was renovated to have the bathtub on the front lawn! LOL

  106. Wow curious that is riveting though. Will she pull it off before the house of cards comes crumbling down? It’s so much money we are talking about! The private lender at 8% might be ok for a construction loan actually. It’s most likely 8% on what is drawn which can work out to a similar cost of borrowing as a lower rate on a larger amount. My construction loan ain’t pretty either….

  107. she listens to the wrong people: those that have something to gain, such as her builder and her realtor.

    And the thing is, that advice has worked out perfectly fine in the past. Leverage to the hilt and buy everything has been very lucrative. The problem is no one knows when the money train ends.

  108. Hawk, I think she has been caught up in the times of easy-money and loose lending practices, and she’s now being caught in the trap as it closes. She got greedy. She has surrounded herself with people that like to brag about their flips and their lucky deals as if they somehow orchestrated the whole thing and thinks, I’m as smart as them, I can do that too! She jumped on the bandwagon. No mental health issues that I can see, at least, nothing worth treating. She is just very persistent and stubborn and won’t admit defeat very easily.

    Edited to add that she listens to the wrong people: those that have something to gain, such as her builder and her realtor.

  109. CC,
    Your friend sounds like she has a “problem” as in mental health. No one gets into those situations over and over without some serious issues. Looks to me like the banks see the boom is coming to an end when the construction loans are getting axed.

    “So then she tried a mortgage broker who had a survey and appraisal done (Island Savings never bothered) and attempted to get a residential mortgage instead of a construction loan, because apparently those are too difficult to get now. “

  110. “Well Home Capital problems seem to have just disappeared. Buffet invested 400m and a 2b dollar loc. I am very impressed/surprised how this company turned things around.”

    Buffet just sucked them in when Home came knocking and begging for cash. He gets his shares at $10 and can sell tomorrow for 60% profit. It’s called DIP financing, as in desperation financing and shareholders still have to vote on it.

    Home still has to come up with more cash to lend out and why no Canadian banks or companies leaping in there ? Because they know it still smells to high heaven.

    Only in Canada do frauds get covered up then rewarded like Harper did in 2008 secret $114 billion bank bailout on to taxpayers risk. We’ll see how long the sunshine lasts.

  111. I’m tired of people saying this has to do with anger or revenge.

    I wouldn’t say it if the coverage and stoking of the flames came from a different source.

    Instead of focusing on cutting red tape & building more rental apartments

    Are you kidding? There is massive rental housing construction going on right now. They are fast tracking every multi unit property. More building going on than in years and more rentals being built than in decades. Garden suite red tape almost eliminated (the owner builder exam killed that but it’s not the city’s fault), regulations relaxed for building secondary suites, STVRs are being restricted quite aggressively. The results speak for themselves.

    when the mayor doesn’t understand senior abuse & homelessness/mental illness.

    Step back a moment here. Do you really believe the mayor doesn’t understand those things? Or maybe you are misinterpreting her statements. Again, if you read the comments on the original blog post you see that is brought up and obviously she is not suggesting random homeless people are somehow matched with random seniors.

  112. @Curious Cat:

    It sounds like she bought a nightmare. It certainly sounds like the guy has second thoughts about lending her the money. Don. t blame him either. I suspect that he will have another talk with his wife and then blame the wife for not being able to lend the money.

    I am not an engineer but two inches of sinking on one side sounds pretty dramatic to me.

    How much cash does she have for this project because a large mortgage will definitely affect whether she can get a construction loan. Is the duplex in Fairfield? I am also wondering if her partner can come up with his half since the banks wont touch it.

  113. This is worth a listen — Go to John Horgan’s facebook page, and look for the livestream posted June 20, for the Vancouver Town Hall June 20, 2017 — He addresses housing/speculation and what they will do about that at around the 26:00 mark. It sounds promising. He seems to be indicating David Eby will lead the charge on this front, which is even better news.

  114. Leo, personally I’m not offended or angry – just extremely disappointed. If you don’t see it the same way, then we just disagree, that’s fine – but I’m tired of people saying this has to do with anger or revenge.

    Instead of focusing on cutting red tape & building more rental apartments, she naively threw out an idea off the top of her head – (paraphrasing) – wouldn’t it be nice if homeowners compensate for STVRs causing long-term rental shortages & also “seniors living in big houses alone” should help solve it by taking in boarders.

    So she lost credibility with me. We have a huge senior population & a homelessness issue (due to our favourable climate). We cannot solve these problems when the mayor doesn’t understand senior abuse & homelessness/mental illness.
    eg., Here’s an RCMP link for more info on seniors’ safety & security, scams, identity theft, etc: http://bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=87&languageId=1&contentId=25520

    CuriousCat, very interesting to read your friend’s story – yikes.

  115. @introvert

    Do you believe that article? I know a lot of Chinese Canadians and I wouldn’t say that’s the case at all. It’s a bit like the RFD effect where everyone makes $200k and has zero debt. Riiiiiight.

  116. @3Richard Haysom

    Good memory! There is still a third property on the table. She bought one of those houses on Atkins, also going half with an uncle. She’s only had to put down a $10k deposit and doesn’t need to come up with the downpayment until it’s built… so she’s not even thinking/worrying about that one yet. She may even flip that one before she has to cough up the money.

    And noooo way. Money has a funny way of ruining friendships and family. She said she lent her husband’s cousin $10k (after they sold their last house and were feeling flush) and now he refuses to take/return their calls. The person lending HER the money now has said, after speaking with his wife, that they want a first mortgage on the duplex. She’s concerned this will impact her ability to get a loc or construction loan to proceed. I told her, I think he made the offer as a gesture and didn’t actually think she would call him on it.

    @Barrister
    If she sells now, she has no place to live. The plan was to live in BM while duplex is under construction and then move into the duplex. But now that the duplex might take a lot longer, she’s not sure she’s willing to put up with the commute past the summer. And of course she wants to sell at the top. I’ve told her to use a different realtor many times, but she is very loyal to this guy. (He’s hooked her up with her builder and found her this duplex after all so she feels she owes him.) She’s now at 8 real estate transactions with him. Cha-ching!

    As for the engineering report, I’ve seen it. Basically the house has structural issues. Big cracks in the walls. The house has sunk 2″ on one side? Something to that effect. It needs a whole new foundation.

  117. Well Home Capital problems seem to have just disappeared. Buffet invested 400m and a 2b dollar loc. I am very impressed/surprised how this company turned things around.

  118. BTW, I understand that STR regulations are mostly due to local rental shortage issues in cities around the world, and I also understand fully why people like to stay in other people homes when they travel (we did house swap with one professor from ETH Zurich for 3 months).

    But be honest with yourselves, who would like their homes to be right next to a hotel, even if the hotel is a high class one?

  119. it’s hypocritical of her to ask for volunteer homeowners to offer their houses to the homeless when she may have a business partner and landlord – who she interacts with a lot – who’s operating an AirBnB while not taking in homeless people.

    She’s asking homeowners, of which she is not one, to consider it. Not hypocritical. Also I’m not sure why you or anyone else is offended or angered at being asked. I am a homeowner, will never take in a homeless person, and am not offended in the least at the suggestion. Why would I be? the idea isn’t for me, but maybe it could work for someone else.

    If you read the comments on her blog post you will see quite a few positive responses. Seems like the suggestion isn’t so insane to some people. Obviously not a realistic solution to the housing situation but some people thought it was worth exploring.

    At worst, the suggestion is naive. That’s why the storm in a teacup response seems overboard.

  120. Gotcha, now I recall I couldn’t read them on my phone when you posted them so I missed it.

    Yes I agree with the policy as adopted and retract my earlier statement. Only thing I’d change is not requiring a business license if it’s just a room. That’s too much red tape and I don’t see the point.

  121. “Feels like a personal vendetta.”

    I see that that feeling is colouring your perception of why people bring this up about Helps.

    For people that I’ve talked to, they feel that it’s hypocritical of her to ask for volunteer homeowners to offer their houses to the homeless when she may have a business partner and landlord – who she interacts with a lot – who’s operating an AirBnB while not taking in homeless people.

    It’s 2 different – totally valid – perspectives. For some reasonable people here, it’s not meant to be cyberbullying in the slightest.

    And it has nothing to do with her recusing herself. It’s about optics. If she hadn’t written that stuff on her Facebook page, people wouldn’t care. (and what they do in Europe is totally different than what she’s proposing)

  122. Do you have the link to the recommendation? I haven’t read the original just secondary sources.

    Please see the recommendation slides in my post under “Tidbits” on June 16, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    You can also check city site webcam for the whole meeting video as the first hand source (I watched and got the slides pictures from there), the recommendations was discussed and approved under motion 7.

  123. It’s GONG! Like from the gong show…. it’s not meant to be taken seriously. And like I said, it is in response to the cyber bullying of Lisa Helps….

  124. I guess people being “gone”ed

    GONG, not gone. I just didn’t take it that seriously.

    Then we could be in agreement that “Entire suites in your place” are not okay to run STR (per city new recommendation)

    Do you have the link to the recommendation? I haven’t read the original just secondary sources.

  125. Me too. Seems like a very positive move.

    Very Good.

    Leo S: “Agreed. Renting out a room in your place is fine and should be preserved with minimal or no red tape. Entire suites in your place OK if you live there and pay taxes like a hotel. Units you don’t live at, I think they should just ban it entirely.”

    So the words above was not what you meant? Then we could be in agreement that “Entire suites in your place” are not okay to run STR (per city new recommendation)

    Unproductive, yes. Amusing, also yes.

    I guess people being “gone”ed and fingered do have feeling, too, and they might feel being hurt and bullied, rather than amused.

  126. I support the newly approved city recommendation: proactively enforce the bylaw to cease STRs on secondary/garden suites.

    Me too. Seems like a very positive move.

    But keep yelling “GONE” is worse than unproductive

    Unproductive, yes. Amusing, also yes. 🙂

  127. The impactful thing is what will happen with AirBnB regs and whether they will be effective.

    Agreed. I also agree to disagree on the subject, as I support the newly approved city recommendation: proactively enforce the bylaw to cease STRs on secondary/garden suites.

    I think it’s unproductive because it’s not getting at the meat of the issue.

    But keep yelling “GONE” is worse than unproductive, and that could be the reason of why others complained. The finger picture made me feel like seeing bully kid in the school yard.

  128. Curious Cat:

    Not sure why she is waiting to list at this point. Put it up for a million and see if she has any bites. If her realtor does not want to do it another one will. It is a bit of a hassle but maybe she will get lucky and get her price. While she is at it she should also list the duplex and try to get out whole or at least just mildly burned. She seems to be making decisions on emotion rather than judgment.

    Exactly what does the engineering report say? It sounds ominous. While you can certainly lend a sympathetic ear I suspect that giving sound advice will just alienate you. I am surprised that she found a friend to lend her such a large sum of money under these circumstances as well.

  129. On a public blog/forum, unless there are specific rules when people signed on, they should have the right to speak their mind, regardless who’s side they are on. For comments you don’t like, you can debate with facts and reasons, or just ignore them.

    Depends. On this website the topic is real estate with minor diversions into other topics. AirBnB is on topic. The mayor’s relationships are not. Most of the “discussion” on this topic on other forums has been speculation about the mayor’s relationships and has the flavour of a witch hunt rather than an honest discussion of whether there was any wrongdoing here. This is bolstered by the fact that the people running VV and VictoriaBCToday are very anti-Helps and so have an interest in playing up this story to be bigger than it is.

    I think it’s unproductive because it’s not getting at the meat of the issue. There would be an issue if Helps hadn’t recused herself from the discussions. But she did, so it’s a moot point. Why bother trying to play investigator to figure out if she did or did not have a relationship with her landlord if it doesn’t make a difference? Feels like a personal vendetta.

    The impactful thing is what will happen with AirBnB regs and whether they will be effective.

  130. Freedom, my “finger chart” was a response to a personal attack to me. So I’m not sure that falls under bullying….
    And it’s GONG by the way….
    Plus IMO my gong is a gong towards bullying of Lisa Helps. Absolutely not a gong to ideas or opinions.

  131. Hey Curious Cat,
    That is some interesting situation you’ve been describing! I thought there was a third property involved? I recollect someone forwarning you to not get involved financially, I hope you heeded that advice.
    This friend of yours is a one lady wrecking crew she is going to show you every conceivable situation how NOT to speculate in RE. I hope you keep us informed as it is almost mesmerizing. She is going to end up in serious trouble.
    I always found, “the less you do to a property (renovate) the more profit you will make”. In other words other than painting; tidying, cleaning and landscaping all other improvements may well reduce your potential profitability.

  132. Just when I thought things had calmed down, 2241 Pacific sells for $1.256M and it’s all original (maybe an 80s kitchen)

    “Which part of that article makes you think that?”
    Leo, they appear to be running a business together and so may have a business relationship based on their web site:
    http://www.thebackyardproject.ca/

    “Marianne, Olive & Lisa 250.598.9765 1619 Camosun Street V8T 3E5 in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia”

  133. they clearly have more of a relationship than just landlord/tenant

    Which part of that article makes you think that?

  134. I’m sad to see Sears on the ropes. I’ve been a loyal customer for 45 years. I’ll never forget after graduating and about to go to Europe for 6 months my parents bought me as a gift a wide angle lens for my Minolta camera from Sears. On arriving in Europe regrettably I found the lens had too much of a “fisheye” effect and I really wanted the next lens down. On returning to Canada 6 months later I went to Sears explained the situation and they allowed me to exchange the lens for the one I wanted no questions asked. I can’t imagine any other company ever doing that.
    It’s sad to see such a great company fall victim to the online retail business and yes those shopping centres that had Sears as a major anchor are going to have a problem.

  135. I haven’t posted in a long while, been busy with work and life, however I thought I would provide an update on my “Wanna-be Speculator” friend.

    On the BM house she currently lives in: She had hope that she could cash out with a selling price of $1 million, was waiting on word from her realtor that she could list for that and he kept saying $960k… well this month a house on her street listed for 988k and sold for 910k. Now she’s admitted that a million is out of reach and is wondering if she’s at the top. Should she sell now, or in the spring is her new dilemma. If she sells now, she has to rent again, if she waits, the market may drop. I don’t know for sure, but I think the house cost her $900ish to build. Back before she started construction, she thought she would spend 700k!

    On the duplex she purchased in Saanich with a friend back in March: Things went south with this one very quickly. Financing fell through – At first she was with CWB, then they backed out, so she went to Island Savings, who all of sudden said they could not do a construction loan. (She wants to tear down and rebuild.) They said rules changed, and there was also an issue with it being a duplex. So then she tried a mortgage broker who had a survey and appraisal done (Island Savings never bothered) and attempted to get a residential mortgage instead of a construction loan, because apparently those are too difficult to get now. But even that did not work because the disclosure statement says “see Engineering report” and she stated no bank would even consider it. Her options had dwindled to a private lender, at 8% interest! Yep, she had put in an unconditional offer so cannot back out! Luckily she had ANOTHER friend (not me) who offered to lend her the required amount from his LOC at prime. (Her partner, who needs to come up with his half, said he would be able to scrounge up his portion somehow. They close at the end of this month so stay tuned.)

    The bad news however does not end there. Saanich is now requiring her to get a DP to tear down and rebuild. She’s not looking to rezone (it’s already zoned RD-1) or for any variances, but for some reason, they want a DP. She was told this could take up to a year! So now she’s looking into renting the house out, (it’s currently tenanted but they are moving out) but she’s not sure it’s insurable, thanks to the engineering report. To be continued…

  136. Bingo

    I’m finding there are a lot of lazy selling realtors with this market. Lots of potato quality photos (why pay a pro or even bother whipping out your slr when you can post photos from your flip phone and it’ll still sell).

    I saw this pop up on my PCS account. http://www.vicrealestate.ca/listing/379757-3029-donald-st-saanich-west-bc-v9a-1×8/

    This house was on MLS last year, exact same photos. Sold April 2016 for $535,000. However, the description says it’s a 5 BED, 2 BATH home, when clearly the pictures and floor plan show it only has 2 beds, 1 bath. Also, I would be very impressed if they could manage 5 bedrooms in 993 finished square feet!!! Now that’s a lazy realtor.

    Edited to add that the PCS account also shows it has 2 kitchens, when clearly it does not.

  137. On a public blog/forum, unless there are specific rules when people signed on, they should have the right to speak their mind, regardless who’s side they are on. For comments you don’t like, you can debate with facts and reasons, or just ignore them. Keep yelling “GONE” and gave other that finger are not only bullying, but also make discussion on other blogs (say “snobby” VibrantVictoria) feel much more civilized.

    I know it is not my job to moderate here at all, but someone has stand up to a bully.

  138. Bit late and maybe we’re over it now.

    Irresponsible for you to state that when you can google Ms. Help’s response and it is front page on the times colonist that she has stated she is not in a relationship with her landlord. Just annoying.

    https://issuu.com/villagevibe/docs/february2012/3?ff=true

    As you can see in this article (“The Backyard Project”) they clearly have more of a relationship than just landlord/tenant. Ms. Help’s says she isn’t in a common law relationship, which may be true, doesn’t mean that she isn’t in a relationship with her landlord.

    They also share the same address:

    http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/lepublished/100123182.pdf
    http://mudstudio.ca/contact.php

  139. Agree Bingo. I’ve stayed in only high-rated STVRs (in NA, Australia), and there were some awesome experiences but also strange experiences. Here are a few from NA/Aus:

    a high-end brand-new garden suite with crazy-slippery shower floor that we should have worn running shoes in – could have easily broken some ribs, which I did at home once (they had installed high gloss tile on the shower floor)

    a beautiful oceanside garden suite with the loud air conditioning system/heat-exchanger going on/off all night just outside our bedroom window

    a dangerous concrete step jutting out into a major foot-traffic area, perfect for falling

    a loud dog-barking security alarm (bizarrely in the middle of a luxury neighbourhood) that kept us awake all night & no one answered the phone to help (we did get a free night though)

  140. Barrister I’m not trying to put you down but maybe don’t make assumptions about other people if you can’t take the critisism back. Putting down those who post on the same blog as you is just kind of funny and hypocritical. Also I’m sure there is plenty of volunteer work that isn’t physical that you could manage over the phone or net.

  141. Totoro

    I’ve stayed about 90 nights in STVRs on three continents with only positive experiences. I choose places with high ratings and there is insurance and guarantees offered through ex. Airbnb.

    I’m the person who gets the bone stuck in his throat eating a salmon fillet. The unit with plumbing issues I was in was a 2 year old condo worth around 800K. Not low end. I’m not sure an inspection would have caught it though.

    I don’t know what the answer is, and I’m not in control of it. We’ll see what the city does next I guess.

    No one knows what the answer is. No city has solved it yet and there are definitely going to be some mistakes made while trying to solve it. Hopefully the Victoria council is smart enough to learn from the mistakes of other cities so we can start with fresh mistakes.

  142. “Looks like Sears is near done. Sad for the employees. Interesting these mall expansions in Victoria. Wonder how that will work out in medium/long term.”

    Sears has been on the downhill slide for 10 years or more. Sad for employees but they have gutted their staff the last year so most are new part timers I’m sure can pick up work in other retail stores.

    Time to turn that space into a huge health rec center to attract people there other than to shop for crap but has the spinoff effect to support the other stores.

  143. Leo S

    I’m curious what 1586 San Juan will sell for. $650k for Gordon Head, totally not a bidding war setup.

    There are photos now. Maybe they should have left it without photos to get people into the house. Bleh. I wouldn’t pay ask for that place.

    I’m finding there are a lot of lazy selling realtors with this market. Lots of potato quality photos (why pay a pro or even bother whipping out your slr when you can post photos from your flip phone and it’ll still sell).

    I’m not so sure about that. Many people perhaps can’t afford or don’t want to pay for a vacation home so they don’t buy one. But if they can AirBnB it the 9 months of the year they aren’t there then maybe they would buy it. So now they are taking a home off the market they otherwise may never have acquired.

    Good point, but I see that more of an issue of price inflation or housing (for purchase) shortage. I was talking about STVR displacing LTR (long term rental). If you can afford a vacation property with the help of using as a STVR part time, someone richer than you can afford that much more. So the effect of STVR is price inflation. If it’s legitimately a recreation property you probably aren’t removing a potential long term rental from the market. Using your condo at MT Washington as a STVR when you aren’t there isn’t depriving the market of a long term rental.

    Speaking of price inflation. Don’t illegal suites add to price inflation? Since non-confirming suites are so loosely dealt with, people bid on a house without taking the cost of bringing the suite up to code into consideration. Someone buys some Fernwood special based off the fact they can get $1200/month for their suite with a 6′ ceiling without pricing in digging down the basement or lifting the house to make it conform.

    If suites were more actively enforced there would be a lot of people who could not afford to make their suite conform (they need that rental income). A bunch of houses would flood the market and they’d have to sell at prices that account for the work required to make them conform or a price that represents a home with no income potential.

    Of course we are loose on non-conforming suites since we have such low vacancy.Taking more units off the market would be devastating and would drive up rents (which would support high prices further).

    We need more dedicated rental buildings.

  144. Sorry to hear that Barrister. My parents have up & down days as well, hard to describe. Hope you’re enjoying your home.

    I guess that’s why I sometimes get really fed up with people who trivialize the issues related to senior homeowners being able to enjoy the fruits of their 90 years of labour (and still active in their business) without some nutty “person in authority” implying they somehow owe it to society to open their “large homes” to people they don’t know.

    Sorry but I’ve lived long enough to understand the mentality of a person that throws out that kind of illogical argument (on social media or elsewhere).

  145. totoro “You mean capitalism – the free market system we continue to operate under which relies on risk management and return on investment? Not my definition of help, nor the one in the dictionary.”

    Nowadays there is so much market manipulation and fraud and government intervention in this free market system of which you speak.

  146. “It seems that we are moving more to the mentality of I got help getting where I am but I’m not going to help you. Well, unless it helps me too in some way.”

    Anna, I see what you’re getting at. It reminds me of a salesperson I spoke to. He described the house he had grown up in (Victoria), and how the neighbourhood had always looked out for each other by sharing tree/gardening expenses and not building any structures that would block the neighbours’ views.

    He used the words “out of respect for your neighbours.” Then a few years back a new monster home was built right beside his old home – totally out of proportion with what was needed, and it quickly changed hands multiple times – mostly absentee owners, and it’s kind of an empty fort.

    But a good thing happened – the bylaws were changed so that the same structure wouldn’t be built again, but they can’t control the emptiness of it. The builder (based in TO now) made a profit though.

    The lesson was that our sense of community cannot be lost just for a few bucks of profit.

    I hope you keep posting even though your points sometimes get lost in the vitriole and melee 🙂

  147. Looks like Sears is near done. Sad for the employees. Interesting these mall expansions in Victoria. Wonder how that will work out in medium/long term.

    After half the bricks and mortars stores go bust we can convert one of them into the Crystal Pool replacement and the rest can be used for an indoor tent city.

  148. Penguin:

    If I was able to garden I certainly would be doing exactly that. And the time I can spend with family is really a blessing. But there is more bad days than good days now. But there are still challenging moments each day like trying to maintain enough dignity to getting yourself dressed in the morning in spite of the pain.

    I keep an eye out on the blog because I have a few friends that are thinking of retiring to Victoria.
    One friend was thinking until a few weeks ago of moving his high tech company here. His people would have bought twenty to thirty houses here undoubtedly paying top dollar. Some might argue that this just adds to Victoria’s unaffordability situation. Victoria is partially suffering from its own success.

    Your advice about family and volunteering is great but might be better directed to someone that can actually manage to do that. Anyway it is a beautiful day out and my angle of a wife is about to help me out to my chair in the garden so that I can manage to enjoy it.

  149. Looks like Sears is near done. Sad for the employees. Interesting these mall expansions in Victoria. Wonder how that will work out in medium/long term.

  150. “A lot of people have these totally unsustainable lifestyles they’re only able to pull off because, by doing nothing but sit on their ass, their net worth goes up by a few grand every month,” says Toronto resident Phillip Mendonça-Vieira. “I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t own property who’s not secretly, like, ‘F–k you, guys. This is unsustainable.’”

    So true, the complacency and expectations of easy street are going to be in for a very rude awakening when the credit market tightens up overnight.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/06/12/bears-circle-world-credit-impulse-plunges/

  151. Agreed Penguin. I didn’t know blogs were just for old rich retired dudes with nothing better to do. Last time I looked it’s about house hunting for potential buyers and new trends developing that old rich retired dudes should have zero care about.

    On a lighter note it was interesting to see the talk via Garth of Canadian rates going up next month. Wouldn’t that be a kicker to all the deflationists and those who said rates will never go up again and were going to negative.

    Nice chart Dasmo, I could have used that a few times. 😉

  152. Wow Barrister. You are belittling someone posting on a forum that you frequently post on. Boy I hope when I’m rich and retired I spend my time more meaningfully than posting on a house hunting forum. Maybe you could volunteer, spend your precious time with family, garden with your wife? You worked your whole life for what? What’s your excuse? Maybe people post here because they enjoy it….. Isn’t that reason enough? I don’t understand the hate from you.

  153. I sure do hope that most of the regular posters here are retired because, if not, your time would be better spent working or at least having a life.

    How many hours a day does Dasmo spend typing on here? You are sounding like Hawk maybe you should get yourself a favorite chart as well.

  154. @caveat emptor

    Drawbridge mentality: the attitude of people who have migrated to a more exclusive or more “unspoilt” community and then campaign to preserve the tranquility of that community by opposing further inward migration by people or businesses and, possibly, any development or refurbishment, including plans put forward by those already located there.

    A drawbridge was historically the hinged bridge at a castle’s gates providing entry across a defensive moat. Raising the drawbridge to a vertical position was therefore one’s means by which intruders could be shut out of the castle.

    Source: Wikipedia

  155. Wolf

    I see this as an issue in Victoria. I chuckle whenever I pass one of those “stop over-development, respect our neighborhoods” signs. Who cares about anyone else once you own your home, right?

    I want to get one of those signs ($10!!) and make some minor modifications.

    I could add two words – “Stop FREAKING OUT Over Development

  156. @ ash

    The problem with the proceeds of a class action law suit is that something bad has to happen to you first. Generally something bad enough that you wish the thing could be undone. For instance do you think these folks would rather have their youth back or the wad of cash?

    But yes if life hands you a lemon it is a good chance to make lemonade.

  157. From gwac’s post: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/economy/why-housing-have-nots-are-cheering-for-a-real-estate-crash/

    “A lot of people have these totally unsustainable lifestyles they’re only able to pull off because, by doing nothing but sit on their ass, their net worth goes up by a few grand every month,” says Toronto resident Phillip Mendonça-Vieira. “I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t own property who’s not secretly, like, ‘F–k you, guys. This is unsustainable.’”

    Love that guy.

    The DPNA opposes the current six-unit plan, too. Proposed lockout suites raise “the possibility of Airbnb rentals and higher density,” warns to the group’s website. The association lists a litany of other complaints, including noise and dust during construction and threats to property values. Meanwhile, the DPNA is offering “TAKE A STAND” t-shirts and lawn signs through its website.

    This is why I could never be in politics. Can you imagine the endless neighborhood associations that you’d have to deal with? Municipalities should really take a hardline approach to these nutbars.

  158. The thing that bothers me is when people slag millennials for not trying hard enough to get into the housing market. Millennials who are just trying to crack into the housing market for the first time are in a tough circumstance now, tougher than it has been for a while.

    http://www.gensqueeze.ca/

    Not that I can really figure out what they’re trying to do. Their policy support seems a bit all over the place.

  159. Secondary/vacation properties are a bit of a grey area. If I own a property I stay at periodically I’m not depriving the market of a long term rental

    I’m not so sure about that. Many people perhaps can’t afford or don’t want to pay for a vacation home so they don’t buy one. But if they can AirBnB it the 9 months of the year they aren’t there then maybe they would buy it. So now they are taking a home off the market they otherwise may never have acquired.

  160. @Caveat
    Ok so I’m only a small inheretance and class action law suit away from a house in Fairfield. Someday! 🙂

  161. Victoria is a tourist town and vacation rentals should continue to have some availability as an accommodation option. People coming to STVRs do seem to stay longer (and presumably spend good money).

    Agreed. Renting out a room in your place is fine and should be preserved with minimal or no red tape. Entire suites in your place OK if you live there and pay taxes like a hotel. Units you don’t live at, I think they should just ban it entirely.

  162. To help ease the rental crisis in the area my cousin lives in, in Northern California, some homes were built with guest homes. In her particular neighborhood, every few houses have a detached legal guest house, one bedroom with kitchenette, approximately 400 sq feet. Some guest houses are situated beside the home, some behind. It was a design that both residents and townships agreed upon. Here is a google street view of her neighborhood so you get to see how nice the neighborhood looks. I think this is a great idea.

    https://www.google.ca/maps/place/856+Antiquity+Dr,+Fairfield,+CA+94534,+USA/@38.2188639,-122.1557128,3a,60.2y,240.04h,87.87t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s8uXDsOx78qHCHmX_aGspvA!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x80851216dbbf1793:0x8327c2847da11847?hl=en-US

  163. “Eventually no one with talent or ability will either want to stay or come here unless paid enough to live here. Gotta pay more to attract the talent (or keep it)….”

    But someone with talent isn’t going to come here to haul drywall. So why would they come to Victoria at all? To work for the government, in IT? But how do inflated profits in construction raise wages in the public sector or IT? I see no linking mechanism. In fact, high RE prices are surely among the factors that would discourage people from coming here and that have brought the NDP close to forming a government, a government that, if it comes about, will raise taxes and thus put a further squeeze on what people can pay for housing.

  164. @CS I am not saying it will be good for anyone. I am observing what I see as the early stages of something that might happen. There has already been a wholesale raising of prices in the most important thing anyone buys… As you said, wages have not gone up, materials have not gone up in a major way, an extra few thousand in permit costs really doesn’t count. Condos are now fetching $1000/sqft. (built on land bought years ago) Pretty much the same building costs as 2013 when they were $450/sqft. I would classify this as raising prices. You don’t think this will result in concrete costing more? Why should only the builder get such a huge margin? They can afford to pay 20% more for windows. etc etc…. This will trickle down to workers eventually. Eventually no one with talent or ability will either want to stay or come here unless paid enough to live here. Gotta pay more to attract the talent (or keep it)….

  165. If you’ve rented someone once had to choose to rent to you. If you’ve bought someone once had to choose to give you a mortgage. Someone helped you get to where you are.

    You mean capitalism – the free market system we continue to operate under which relies on risk management and return on investment? Not my definition of help, nor the one in the dictionary.

    Bingo – I’ve stayed about 90 nights in STVRs on three continents with only positive experiences. I choose places with high ratings and there is insurance and guarantees offered through ex. Airbnb. I don’t know what the answer is, and I’m not in control of it. We’ll see what the city does next I guess.

  166. @ Dasmo:

    “This is the process of reverting to the norm… it will find a way.”

    You’re saying that if everyone raises their prices everyone will be better off. But that’s not what’s happening. RE, whether new or used, has been going up several percent a month, while wages have been going up no more than several percent a year, the growing gap between income and expenditure being bridged by increased borrowing. How do the people increasingly in debt get out of debt without cutting their expenditure on everything but RE and causing the rest of the economy to shrink, resulting in fewer people able to borrow to buy ever more expensive RE?

    In fact, the present trend in RE is driven by expectations of profit or at least the expectation of saved cost from buying now rather than later. At some point buyers will be maxed out unless credit is made endlessly easier. And when folks are maxed out on mortgages, the RE market will slump in the way that stock markets collapse after a period of irrational exuberance.

  167. I wasn’t clear. My apologies. I wasn’t talking about help with money.

    If you’ve rented someone once had to choose to rent to you. If you’ve bought someone once had to choose to give you a mortgage. Someone helped you get to where you are.

    Someone said that people who have STVRs in their houses wouldn’t rent them out if they couldn’t run them as an STVR and that may be true.

    It seems that we are moving more to the mentality of I got help getting where I am but I’m not going to help you. Well, unless it helps me too in some way.

    I find this mentality sad.

  168. totoro

    Any STVR I’ve stayed in has been high quality with smoke detectors.

    Nice anecdote. 😉 My experience has been the same, mainly. I had a Bosch oven that didn’t work at one and some questionable plumbing (improper venting of a plumbing stack resulting in sewer gas).

    Seems like a red herring.

    Possibly, but it puts them on the same footing as a hotel. Whether there is danger or not, an STVR shouldn’t get to cut corners. That’s an unfair advantage.

    Would it be better if I worded it as, “My main concern is that STVR safety standards must match that of their competition.”?

    A simple safety walk through seems like an efficient way to weed out the worst of them. If they are fine the walk-through should be trivial. It’s not like it’s something inspectors don’t already do for suites.. bringing us to:

    Most unauthorized suites and unpermitted renos in Victoria don’t have the safety check either.

    Erm, ya hence being unauthorised. The owner is taking a risk of someone complaining about their unauthorised suite and then being forced to come up to code or remove the suite. I know someone it happened to.

    If we are suggesting actively dealing with STVR, then why wouldn’t you do the same thing as when someone registers a legal suite? Seems it should be a very similar process.

    Old unrenovated SFHs that are owner-occupied are likely a bigger hazard re. wiring and asbestos.

    It’s the owner’s risk to take if they are living there. Once they attempt to rent it out (putting others at risk) they’d have to bring it up to safety standards.

    It seems strange you’d suggest there are people living in dangerous homes, but those same people wouldn’t run STVRs (because they houses have not been renovated). Those things aren’t mutually exclusive. Not all STVRs have been renovated. Seen any of the Airbnbs in the interior? I saw some sketchy ones in the 100 mile area when I was searching there.

  169. Who helped you? When you rented your first place who helped you? When you bought your first house who helped you?

    It seems that we are turning into a very me, me, me society and for those people who are having a hard time with today’s RE environment so many are saying too bad, so sad. I have mine and screw you.

    The thing that bothers me is when people slag millennials for not trying hard enough to get into the housing market. Millennials who are just trying to crack into the housing market for the first time are in a tough circumstance now, tougher than it has been for a while.

    The biggest help I had was heavy parental support for my university education. Graduating debt free with a few thousand in the bank is a huge leg up. I rented for a long time and lived below my means which helped save up for a first house. I also had “help” via a settlement from a class action lawsuit. That’s help I would happily have done with out if the hands of time could be turned back.

    Moving to Victoria coincided with receiving a small inheritance. Because of that we spent a bit more than we might have otherwise, but primarily we used that extra money to have a smaller mortgage.

  170. @Bingo,
    Going with EPS. Manufacturered locally at Beaver Plastics and EPS is not so bad for the environment as XPS is.

  171. My main issue with STVRs is safety.

    We had that discussion here before. Only place where the stats show housing is a death trap is on Reserves in Canada. Any STVR I’ve stayed in has been high quality with smoke detectors. Most unauthorized suites and unpermitted renos in Victoria don’t have the safety check either. Seems like a red herring. Old unrenovated SFHs that are owner-occupied are likely a bigger hazard re. wiring and asbestos.

  172. Oh I agree for some jobs you need to be in a larger community but places like the Comox Valley, Nanaimo etc are thriving …
    So many people are terrified to leave the shiny lights of the city.

    I wouldn’t recommend the Kootenays for most young people although there are some who could make it there. Depends on your job skills and comfort level for the real boonies lifestyles!

  173. Who helped you? When you rented your first place who helped you? When you bought your first house who helped you?

    No-one. I’m not sure of your point?

    I don’t know exactly what to do with STVR, but it seems like something is being done so sit tight and see what comes next I guess.

  174. Thanks Dasmo. I’m always interested in hearing about green/efficient home building techniques and the decision process behind them.

    Are you going with XPS for the foundation insulation? I remember talking about Roxul’s under slab solution, but not sure if you took that any further.

    @caveat emptor

    My main issue with STVRs is safety. I’d like to see an initial certification of any STVR. Whether it’s a separate suite or bedrooms in a primary dwelling. There should be sufficient smoke detectors, CO detectors, proper fire breaks etc. Make them post their certification in the rental unit(s) and have them re-certify periodically.

    This may pose an issue for some alternative rentals, such as tiny homes (someone on the peninsula is renting a tiny home on Airbnb, complete with composting toilet.. fun). I think this is an issue of bylaws and code that haven’t caught up with the times though, so a separate issue.

    Require a business license. That’s what’s required to run a business. No clue on what the business license fee should be, but it should compare with what a traditional BnB pays.

    As for where they should be allowed vs prohibited, I’m not sure. I think the Janion should stay transient. It was designed with that intent. While we need more rental stock I don’t think micro condos designed for transient use are the solution.

    As for suites in houses.. I’d like more data on whether they are actually impacting rental availability. I suspect they are (such as Helps’ landlord’s), but there are definitely other people who would never rent out long term but would be willing to rent their suite short term (having the option to block it out when they don’t want strangers).

    Whole house rentals of primary residence should be fair game. If you want to rent out your house while you travel there should be no issue with that. You aren’t removing anything from the long term rental pool by doing STVR on your primary when you aren’t there.

    Secondary/vacation properties are a bit of a grey area. If I own a property I stay at periodically I’m not depriving the market of a long term rental. If I never occupy the secondary residence (purely income property) and use it as a STVR I am depriving the market of a potential long term rental. The issue is, how do you police that? Self reporting creates a big loophole, fully prohibiting seems unfair, actively policing or requiring proof of temporary residence would be costly. The easiest solution is to prohibit, but I’m not certain that’s the best solution.

  175. “But your first place likely can’t be a house in Victoria. There are many wonderful places to live on the island alone.”

    Jobs are concentrated in major urban centres, and in BC that’s mainly Vancouver and Victoria. Sure you can move to a small town, but you’ll see a corresponding decrease in wage(s) / opportunity that will essentially put you in the same position as before. You know this from living in the Kootenays.

    There’s nowhere for young people to go. If you can’t buy in Victoria you probably can’t buy near Vancouver either. Alberta isn’t even an option like it once was.

  176. I bought my first home by myself. My dad helped my get the loan by talking to the bank (I had just started my business and the money wasn’t so loose back then). I had saved up my own money and when rates started falling and I saw the sign for the RailYards spring up in VicWest I rushed to buy a house there. My parents helped by also turning me on to this neighbourhood. They always like the cute little hoses on pine st. Then both my parents died some years later. So I did inherit some money which let me pay off my house early. I don’t recommend this to route to anyone though….

  177. No one helped us. We started off in a crappy mobile home in a remote part of the Kootenays. Built our own log house and worked our way up from there. Supported both our mothers and never inherited a penny. We are not rich but any means but no help that’s for sure.

    That said if I could I would help my children. We can only help with their education though. Life is ridiculously expensive now and my heart goes out to young people just starting out.

    But your first place likely can’t be a house in Victoria. There are many wonderful places to live on the island alone. Be creative and open to adventure! ( my advice to first time home buyers)

  178. I agree with you caveat emptor. I think STVRs should be regulated and the regulations enforced and not just complaint based enforced either. .

    I have a question for those on here.

    Who helped you? When you rented your first place who helped you? When you bought your first house who helped you?

    It seems that we are turning into a very me, me, me society and for those people who are having a hard time with today’s RE environment so many are saying too bad, so sad. I have mine and screw you.

    Like I said before. I’m a bleeding heart.

  179. No price drop on 1607 San Juan Ave (yet).

    Wonder if they got any offers after the open house.

    Leo S, did you attend the open house? I was curious about how it actually shows, but not enough to actually go. Probably for the best as I’d be likely to say something in poor taste to the selling realtor like, “Do you seriously think you can get over a million for this junker?!”

    Interesting article on recreational properties. No surprise considering the amount of equity some people are sitting on. I have to admit I’ve done a few searches for recreational properties. Prices are definitely up from a year ago.

  180. @Bingo,
    Wood bucks were my builder’s preference. The foam bucks are great in a CAD rendering but then there is only the tiny bit of plastic to attach your windows to. Also a less familiar assembly for them. Seeing it happen I’m glad they are the big fir bucks. There is a plastic layer separating them from the concrete (FYI). Thermal Bridging I am ok with since the window is already a big hole and I have bigger details to reduce more thermal bridging in other spots. Like 6″ of insulation under my floor slab. My roof design also doesn’t have any members exposed to the outside I also have minimal penetrations etc.

  181. I think rolling zoning backwards is BS. If they are going to open the Zoning books then do it all. Up zone the Hudson district. Remove a single family zoning in Victoria. Leave existing transient zoning alone though. The Janion is a better “crowd sourced” hotel than it is an apartment building….

  182. So how do people feel about the specific STVR proposal that Victoria council is discussing?

    Should STVRs be largely eliminated as some councillors would like?

    Personally I’d rather just see them regulated on a level playing field with the rest of the tourism industry. Need a business licence, subject to a health and safety inspection, collecting required taxes. Business licence stipulating max number of guests and other requirements.

    Relatively low fees and simple red tape if the operation is in your principal residence. Relatively high fees and strict requirements if you want to take a whole unit (house, condo) out of the local market and flog it for vacation rentals.

    Quite a few people near me in Fairfield doing STVRs out of the house they also live in. Never seen or heard problems from these. Most of these STVRs would not be on the rental market if STVRs were banned. On the other hand entire houses and condos I see differently as these would almost certainly be on the local market if not for STVR option.

    Victoria is a tourist town and vacation rentals should continue to have some availability as an accommodation option. People coming to STVRs do seem to stay longer (and presumably spend good money).

    Don’t want to sound like an AirBnB apologist. The current situation has gone too far and I am glad council is proposing to do something

  183. Willis Point asking $2.5 million less than 3 years ago. That was a useless tweet. Many high end properties selling for millions less than a few years ago. Greater fools come in all price ranges.

    Another Oak Bay escapee slashed $120K at 242 Beach Dr. They must be tired of Luke’s door knocking. 😉

    720 Genevieve Rd in High Quadra slashed $30K to $799K.

  184. @Dasmo

    Any particular reason you went with wood window bucks with your ICF build?

    (that’s on topic for housing right?)

  185. @CS it’s simple. We have builders right now building houses for $750,000 that they were building for $500,000 a few short years ago. Well…. after the drywall contractor visits the home in the uplands of the builder his company does work for he will want a piece of that action. So will the designer, so will Slegg, so will the workers eventually. It’s straight forward. This is the process of reverting to the norm… it will find a way.

  186. And I understand completely not expecting our elected officials to follow the laws, by or otherwise, that they have implemented.

    Law != bylaw.

    Hosting a STVR isn’t a crime. When it comes to bylaws things aren’t black and white. I’m not even convinced Helps not reporting her landlord even falls into the grey. If there is no legal obligation to report a breached bylaw why there is an ethical obligation? I could possibly be convinced otherwise. There are many things in life that are legal but not ethical. Of course that would take an actual argument and logic.

    As it stands the mayor hasn’t breach a bylaw and her landlord hasn’t commited a crime (though we can speculate about whether the landlord declares her rental income, a clear black and white issue since tax evasion is a crime).

    I posed that STVR is no worse than an illegal suite or various other bylaw infractions. Instead of refuting that you decided to use Argumentum ad lapidem. There are definitely arguments to support your position, but instead you chose to throw your hands in the air and dismiss my points as absurd without showing they are absurd. How do we determine one bylaw breach is more egregious than another?

    You also suggested breaking a bylaw as a parallel for someone not reporting a broken bylaw. Somehow you smoking at a bus shelter is equivalent to Helps not reporting her landlord? The equivalent would be you smoking and Helps also not reporting that. Hence the silly suggested scenario of you smoking at a shelter and Helps biking by.

  187. Anna Edwards

    And I understand completely not expecting our elected officials to follow the laws, by or otherwise, that they have implemented.

    Are you alleging the Mayor broke some law?

  188. @ Dasmo:

    “What will we have after this bump and plateau? Not falling rates. Rising wages”

    Hm. Currently, we have essentially no real wage growth at all. If inflation were calculated honestly, it would be seen that real wages are falling.

    What could possibly fuel a rise in real wages?

    Automation? Er, no.

    More Syrian refugees to take low end jobs? Not likely.

    AI? Probably not.

    A falling loonie? Could happen, but if the greenback slumps (Trump is mad a Qatar because they just agreed to sell oil for renminbis) how low can the Canuck buck go? Already down more than 30% from the high of 2010? And if it hits 50 or 60 cents against a depreciated greenback, how’s the BoC gonna pretend we still have only 2% inflation, when the real rate is maybe, 20%?

    Real wages can only grow with increased productivity and near full employment. How’s that happy outcome to be achieved?

    Building houses for one another and paying for them with ever greater quantities of borrowed money?

    Ending the off-shoring of textiles, shoes, car parts, and a thousand other industries that have gone down the tubes since Mulroney signed the Free Trade Deal?

    Selling black gunk over the objection of just about everyone in Canada who doesn’t actually work in the tar sands?

    Building hydro plants and selling the power below cost?

    I’m asking not to prove a point but to see if anyone has any cheerful thoughts to offer.

  189. caveat emptor

    “Can’t we discuss those topics without speculating on the personal life of the mayor or invoking some imaginary duty of our elected officials to report every bylaw infraction they see.”

    I don’t give a rat’s behind about the personal life of the mayor. And I understand completely not expecting our elected officials to follow the laws, by or otherwise, that they have implemented.

  190. “Other countries have shown great success with having seniors living with young people and how it can benefit both.”

    I’m totally familiar with that happening in Europe and love the way the seniors homes work. Also the town of Geel, Switzerland, who public psychiatric hospital manages a boarder program.

    Maybe there’s a generation gap here – but thoughtlessly suggesting seniors in their “large homes” take in the “homeless” living under a “bridge” is not anywhere close to the same thing as what goes on in Europe – and isn’t acceptable coming from a mayor on social media.

    I’m also spent a lot of time caring for aging parents and rellies, and the seriousness of their vulnerabilities are nothing to take lightly. Both physical & mental harm should be a concern to everyone – this is a serious issue.

    No leader (neither Helps nor Trump) should be using social media to “float” reckless ideas. Honestly, I’m extremely disappointed at her lack of education on this safety issue.

  191. @ Dasmo:

    It’s Trumpian because its fake news all the time. Sorry Alt news.

    If you’re saying fake news = Alt news, you’re wrong.

    Alt news is news disseminated by other than the mainstream, mainly corporate-owned, media plus government-controlled outlets such as the CBC.

    The advice: “believe nothing until it is denied,” which refers to the lies of the mainstream media, stems at least as far back as World War 1, or long before the alt. media, which are essentially an internet phenomenon, were conceived of.

    In fact, the mainstream media were invented to undertake propaganda for the ruling elite. Hence the founding of The Times (of London) to provide justification for the Crimean war against the traditional enemy, Russia.

  192. Wow, I’m a little late to the game.

    totoro

    Plus look at his avatar.

    I’m glad it achieved the desired effect. Obviously Anna is a cat person.

    The use of Argumentum ad lapidem, ad hominem, straw men, appeal to emotion etc seems familiar… birds of a feather or a single bird wearing different feathers?

    @Dasmo
    Well said. I won’t bother quoting the block of text.

    Leo S

    The important thing here is that AirBnB is being reigned in, in a seemingly sensible, measured way. That combined with a ton of new condo inventory and rental inventory will ease the housing crunch a bit going forward. Overall it seems that Victoria gets it.

    And at this risk of making this an echo chamber: this is what actually matters. The big picture is shaping up in the right way. Something is being done about the rental crisis and not in a haphazard manner.

    What I think is interesting is the only way this ‘issue’ would have come up with a mayor that owned a home is if he/she hosted an Airbnb in his/her own property. The funny thing is a renter is in a much better position to understand the housing crisis in Victoria than anyone that owns.

    She just floated the idea. Is that not allowed anymore?

    Seemed like the kind of idea that you float while smoking pot, then laugh about the next day.

    “Oh maannnn… I’ve got it! All theeese unused rooms in old people houses maaaaann! Think about it.. people could stay in those rooms! There’s got to be dozens even hundreds of rooms.”

    I’m more surprised that details such as providing foot rubs were left out ;).

    I’d like some municipality to look into zoning for tiny homes. Anyone read the story about the couple with their tiny home that got kicked out of Beachcomber just after setting up?

    It seems there isn’t anywhere legit to set up a tiny house here (other than RV parks, and some don’t want them). Even the zoning on the gulf islands doesn’t allow full time living in what is classified as an RV (the zoning I read allowed seasonal or temporary while building).

    I guess most farms are allowed one non-permanent structure, but that is intended for workers. Having someone live in a tiny house on your farm probably breaches a bylaw if they aren’t also doing work on said farm.

  193. We haven’t been around long enough for “always” to mean much.

    It’s not even true. There were very large declines in 1981. Not a plateau by any stretch of the imagination.

    He said low interest rates and money so cheap, plus growing population and demand

    Low interest rates are already priced in. Unless they are dropping further they can’t continue to drive prices forever.
    Growing population and demand can only drive prices ahead of wages and credit availability if the newcomers are richer than the locals. Could happen, but just a growing population on it’s own does not mean prices must rise.

  194. “Other countries have shown great success with having seniors living with young people and how it can benefit both.”

    If that’s how it’s going to be, why bother moving out of mom and dad’s house only to move into a similar situation with a stranger and a larger generational gap?

    Quote from Gwac’s link:
    “We have a housing shortage, and a large group of people who don’t want more housing—often people who already have secure housing, and who get richer if there is a shortage”

    I see this as an issue in Victoria. I chuckle whenever I pass one of those “stop over-development, respect our neighborhoods” signs. Who cares about anyone else once you own your home, right?

    People who already own homes while flipping others (and driving up prices) are probably what most non-homeowners dislike and therefore why some hope for a crash. The same flippers would likely sing a different tune if the tables were turned. Would be nice to see them get what they deserve.

  195. Air B’n’B is an issue – as is the proposed moratorium on new builds that demolish older apartment buildings which was put forward by Ben Isitt and Jeremy Loveday (completely backwards thinking). If the price of real estate is to moderate the expected returns from running a vacation rental have to be mitigated (note you can tax Air BnBs or subsidize the provision of month to month rental suites – which might make renting less expensive in this city as supply is increased and or the price is subsidized for those with low incomes). Further, new stock is likely to make old stock less attractive and priced at a discount. However, failure to increase supply is likely to keep prices of rentals inflated. The other strategy would be to lower the cost of commuting from less expensive communities (ie. rail to Langford).

  196. We haven’t been around long enough for “always” to mean much. Sorry but this is uncharted territory. People are angry. People are leaving Van for here. People are leaving here for Duncan but finding nowhere to go in Duncan. People are angry that their kids can’t stay here because they just got back from University with two degrees and can only land a job for 50k. Poverty level here. In the last run up We had falling rates and rising wages to bring us to the last window of affordability. What will we have after this bump and plateau? Not falling rates. Rising wages is my bet which will lead to hyper inflation which will lead to rising rates which will lead to Michael saying “See! rising rates cause house prices to go up” ….

  197. Homeowners being asked to billet the homeless and empty suites that are being used as AirBnBs and these have nothing to do with RE.

    Can’t we discuss those topics without speculating on the personal life of the mayor or invoking some imaginary duty of our elected officials to report every bylaw infraction they see.

  198. http://www.iheartradio.ca/cfax-1070/news/real-estate-report-predicts-more-of-the-same-low-supply-high-demand-high-prices-1.2700502

    Ara Balabanian, president of VREB, was on Cfax yesterday talking about… you guessed it… the RE market. Unfortunately, I can’t find an online link to the show. He was mentioning how, in the past, Victoria RE always sat stagnant for up to seven years or so. This was then followed by a short period of fast rising prices, followed by another stagnant period. However, there was never any period of large price declines (not to say that can never happen). It’s been that way since the city began. The host of the show asked him how, now that wages are stagnant (unlike in past decades where wages were rising) can this be sustained? He said low interest rates and money so cheap, plus growing population and demand, etc. He didn’t seem to know much about rentals, but did mention that he thought the new Airbnb regulations won’t do much to add supply to the rental market.

  199. She just floated the idea. Is that not allowed anymore? Other countries have shown great success with having seniors living with young people and how it can benefit both. Obviously it wouldn’t just be random homeless people being stuck with random seniors. Seems like people want to jump to the worst possible conclusion immediately.

  200. She asked THREE Homeowners willing to do such a thing to come together to discuss her wacky idea. (of which we don’t even know what that is). She did not ask Homeowners (as in all) to billet the homeless. Totally different.

    And that wasn’t a news article. It was her personal statement on her personal website. So no filters….

    The notion is ridiculous yes. Let’s talk about how stupid the idea is. But trying to lump this in with the “she runs airBnB’s and profits from it” “She is a hypocrite” “she is “unethical”. There is nothing unethical about exploring ideas. There is nothing unethical about renting a room from someone who’s house violates some bylaws. This is what I GONG!

  201. Dasmo, I understand where you’re getting at, you have very reasonable opinions, but you said, “She didn’t ask homeowners to billet the homeless.” But in her own words, she did!

    In the news article you posted she said “We need … three people who might be willing to open their homes.” Also: “What if there was a way to connect people living in vehicles, in motel rooms, on couches, with seniors living in large houses all alone”

    WTF is all I can say. Inviting people into the homes of the vulnerable isn’t reasonable.

  202. I’ll get to this one b/f ol’ Hawk… funny, that must’ve been one of your many doppelganger’s at the car free day? 2133 Windsor Rd after just one week, already reduced by $20k to $879k. Guess the Chinese interpreter wasn’t needed? (I was thinking that would’ve been an interesting open house to go to, as the interpreter would likely be just standing there). Interesting anecdote… the place sold in July 2015 for $620k. On the corner of a four way stop on a bus route, that one will sit for quite a long while I predict.

    Interesting article Introvert… I def. see some Vancouver ‘flavour’ coming here w/ some of the new buildings, but on a smaller scale of course. My hope is that they try to do things w/ more of a local flavour more often, maybe playing off some of the heritage/history. Such as… the new condo complex behind the Empress. I do apologize for the tit for tat in previous posts and calling you a name. As you’re so precise… it makes me think you must be a retired school teacher or professor or similar? While good grammar is important, on a blog often people type things quickly as they’re busy. Now there is also autocorrect… you’ll notice with the younger generation huge use of acronyms and grammar is really on the slide with them. Have a look at the Vancouver condo blog to see how bad things can get w/ the grammar, etc.

    Anna Edwards… Apparently so, since you got a ‘GONG’!

    Dasmo – Hilarious, but didn’t you say it’s ok to talk about Helps if it’s about RE?

  203. The reason you don’t know me Anna is because you just arrived carrying your torch and pitchfork….
    I am 100% for AirBnB regulation and do see it as an issue right now for the sole reason it bumps up real estate prices since it changes the equation. It added $100k overnight to Era condos….

    So the vote is in I guess. Engage with the Lisa Helps BS brigade I guess….

    It’s Trumpian because its fake news all the time. Sorry Alt news.
    “Homeowners being asked to billet the homeless and empty suites that are being used as AirBnBs.”
    Is a false statement…. She asked for some people to come forward to explore a crazy hair brained idea….

    She didn’t ask homeowners to billet the homeless. Here is her statement from her mouth
    https://lisahelpsvictoria.ca/2017/06/13/help-us-develop-one-possible-solution-to-the-rental-crisis/
    “In Victoria in the 1940s during WWII, Times Colonist headlines urged Victorians to open their homes and “Billet Homeless War Workers.” Victorians responded to the crisis and opened their homes to strangers recently relocated to Victoria to help the local 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.

    Now we have a different crisis on our doorstep. For thirty years (1982-2012) there were no new purpose built rental buildings built in Victoria. And, in the last five years, nearly 6000 people have moved into the city. We’re facing a rental crisis. What if Victorians responded in the same way to this crisis? What if there was a way to connect people living in vehicles, in motel rooms, on couches, with seniors living in large houses all alone, with retirees with an extra bedroom, or even with families with large houses and extra rooms. Unthinkable? Victorians stepped up to help out their neighbours in the past.

    Interested in exploring the idea further? I’m working with a group of citizens and businesses to develop one possible solution. We need three people currently living in vehicles, on couches, in woodsheds (yes I have heard that this is true in more than one case) AND three people who might be willing to open their homes.

    We’d like these six people to join us for a short focus group session. There is no commitment required other than sharing ideas. We want to build a solution for the people who will use it – for those looking for a place to stay until the rental crisis subsides and for those wiling to billet someone.

    Please email mayor@victoria.ca if you’d like to help us out. And please share this post! To read more on the current rental crisis and its causes please head here.”

  204. At the risk of a gong, I don’t see anything unethical about what Helps is doing in this case. May be bad optics but it will also be forgotten soon outside of the usual echo chambers online.

    The important thing here is that AirBnB is being reigned in, in a seemingly sensible, measured way. That combined with a ton of new condo inventory and rental inventory will ease the housing crunch a bit going forward. Overall it seems that Victoria gets it.

  205. “Homeowners being asked to billet the homeless and empty suites that are being used as AirBnBs and these have nothing to do with RE. Okay.”

    +1

    By the way, it’s weird how people who don’t want to hear another opinion are using Trump’s words to call it a “witch hunt.”

  206. Dasmo. Spoken like someone with a raft of AirBnBs. Trying to divert attention away from yourself I see.

  207. Homeowners being asked to billet the homeless and empty suites that are being used as AirBnBs and these have nothing to do with RE. Okay.

  208. “I think the insane rate of construction will put a damper on condo appreciation.”

    Exactly Leo, the market will be flooded with pre-sale flips and the saturated market will make for some wicked price slashes in the coming months. Think Toronto 1990’s.

    I’m thinking the majority of the new builds in all categories are investment flips. Money moves from area to area to make money, not move permanently.

  209. One would hope that the people selling with a delayed offer setup are negotiating a lower commission…

    As for overall market, some mixed signals for sure. More over-asks, but more price drops as well. Lower sales, but so far more or less in line with the lower inventory. Increased MOI in some segment (SFH in the core) but decreased in others (condos).
    I think the insane rate of construction will put a damper on condo appreciation.

  210. Looking at Oaklands, tough to say if the market is cooling or if sellers are asking too much. Probably a bit of both.

    The duplex on Holly was initially asking 950k after the other half sold for that much in a bidding war only weeks earlier. Guess lightning only strikes once?

    The price drop on 2547 Scott was the first I’ve seen on a bungalow in what feels like years in this area. But 800k for that place? Just looking at the Shelbourne shacks towering over the back yard would be enough to scare me away. Had they priced lower maybe they would have attracted multiples and done ok.

  211. Indeed. Further posts on this topic should probably be posted on “Witch Hunt Victoria” aka the Lisa Helps thread on Vibrant Victoria.

    +1

  212. Interesting little flip. 14-4391 Torquay townhouse. Advertised last may for $499k, sold for $535k. Listed again for $599, sold for $600k

  213. Another curiosity is 1815 San Juan. Has a sign out front of for sale by a name (forget who) “Real estate agent”.. Normally they would say REALTOR.
    Not on MLS.

  214. 120/122 Memorial Crescent Is a duplex overlooking the Beach at Dallas Road. The property shows up on the realtor.ca website but does not show up on PCS accounts.
    MLS #379381

    It’s on PCS. Maybe your criteria is filtering it out?

  215. Underachiever, thanks, was wondering if it was a realtor related flip. Even more reason to see him get burnt to a crisp.

    I believe it was James who mentioned New Westminster houses ? Garth had an interesting anecdotal on failed financings showing up over there. 3 on one deal.

    “She said that they had multiple offers on offer night, but low and behold with each of the offers they had accepted, the night conditions were to be removed, BOTH buyers backed out. The third one was supposed to close tonight, and the buyer didn’t have any financing put into place … at all. 8pm, on the night conditions were to be lifted, that’s not good news. That is 3 collapsed deals in under 2 weeks.”

  216. Hawk, regarding 252 superior: I think that Mark Imhoff was the listing agent in May and may have bought it himself (with assignment TBD?) for a flip. I know he has done this with at least one James Bay duplex-zoned tear-down.

  217. Caveat, I agree on #1 and #2 you listed.

    Managing optics are part of being a leader. I don’t believe that the people who are concerned are conducting a witch hunt – they have valid reasons …

    She really did proposed something harebrained and dangerous to seniors (among other things), under the guise of “forward thinking”, which opened the floodgates.

    I also understand that when she moved in, she probably wasn’t thinking about the optics of rental/STVR and the fact she was running that composting business with her landlord.

    But just because someone has a history of community activism doesn’t mean they always have good judgement – which seems to be apparent, given the homeless proposal.

    “We have already concluded that pro-active bylaw enforcement is not the job of the Mayor.”

    Not everyone has concluded that. Again it’s about optics.

  218. It’s unethical to have sock puppets deployed around social media to try to work this up into a bigger issue than it is….

    Indeed. Further posts on this topic should probably be posted on “Witch Hunt Victoria” aka the Lisa Helps thread on Vibrant Victoria.

  219. It’s unethical to have sock puppets deployed around social media to try to work this up into a bigger issue than it is….

  220. I’m one of those bleeding hearts who think our politicians should have ethics.

    We have already concluded that pro-active bylaw enforcement is not the job of the Mayor. City policy that predates the current mayor is to enforce bylaws about STVR on a complaints basis. There would not have been any public interest served by the Mayor reporting this unless she had a complaint.

    Did the mayor violate the public interest by lobbying for policies that would have favoured her landlord? No, she recused herself and the policy that the city has adopted does not favour her landlord at all.

    Did the mayor personally benefit from the bylaw violation. No. It appears not.

    So while the optics of this mini controversy aren’t great, on looking into it I am much less outraged than when I first read about it.

    How could the mayor have avoided this mini-controversy?
    1) Don’t propose harebrained housing solutions – that’s what painted a target on her back for some.
    2) Don’t live in a rental house with any bylaw violations, though this is possibly a tall order in older parts of Victoria. I suspect at the time Ms. Helps moved in no-one thought AirBnBs were particularly controversial.
    3) Report her landlord. I am personally not sure the public interest would be served by that.

  221. Of course there is a scale. If things were really black and white anything the government declared legal would be right, which history (past and current history) has proven to be incorrect and inhumane.

    Of course our criminal justice system is built on this distinction. Yet most of our offenders come from backgrounds of poverty, abuse, mental illness, brain injuries and FAS so it is good to see shades of grey. Not that I don’t think once you become an adult there isn’t responsibility to seek help if you need it and have capacity.

  222. Here’s a major gouge in the works at 252 Superior. Was sold May 15 for $689K. They do nothing to it then try to flip it at $106K higher 2 weeks later.

    Now dropped the price $6K still trying for $100K flip minus agent costs. This is one you really want to see them lose bigtime considering it still needs a major makeover. Greed is out of control in this town.

  223. For the record Intorovert, 2171 Wenman Dr had been asking $1.5 million previously so it took a $500K slash to get the bidders hot and horny.

  224. “I know. I’m one of those bleeding hearts who think our politicians should have ethics. I’m sorely disappointed every time.”

    Just look at Christy Clark and her palm greasing insiders. Shocked at those who actually voted for her a second time but voters don’t have ethics either.

  225. 2171 Wenman Dr
    List: $998,000
    Sale: $1,258,000

    Must have been worth $1,250,000 as many blind auctions are failing the last week or two.

    Another Oaklands $30K slasher at 3014 Scott St after a relist.

    The triple 8’s aint working in Glanford for 4136 Hawkes Ave, slashed $30K.

    2919 Wascana St slashed another $10K for the 4th slash for a total of $60K off the top. Gorge is cooling.

    4967 Del Monte Ave slashed $40K. Nice place in Cordova Bay. Many more in the outlying areas. Not everyone is a Golden Head sucker. 😉

  226. It’s a scale thing for me Anna. If someone like Trump, or rest his soul, Ford, can hold office, well, I’m okay with a well meaning person with a long history of public activism and good works not being perfect.

    I wouldn’t report my neighbour for a bylaw infraction not causing a nuisance either, and I don’t expect my elected officials to do more but I do expect conflicts to be reported, which they were. I would report a criminal act or any cruelty to animals or children lickety-split. Would expect the same of anyone.

  227. totoro

    I know. I’m one of those bleeding hearts who think our politicians should have ethics. I’m sorely disappointed every time.

  228. I’m not so sure Mayor Helps has been ‘upstanding’ or without conflict in this ongoing AirBnB issue.

    Conflict of Interest has many legal definitions, but they all tend to follow a basic template, such as:
    …a public office holder is in a conflict of interest when he or she exercises, or fails to exercise, an official power, duty or function that provides an opportunity to further his or her private interests or those of his or her relatives or friends or to improperly further another person’s private interests…

    Since Mayor Helps has made a decision, favourable to her ‘landlord’, not to act on several bylaw infractions within her shared building, she appears IMHO to be unethical and maybe in a conflict of interest; and that’s the gist of perceived conflicts, if a reasonable person considers her actions or inactions to be in conflict.

  229. 120/122 Memorial Crescent Is a duplex overlooking the Beach at Dallas Road. The property shows up on the realtor.ca website but does not show up on PCS accounts.
    MLS #379381

    Does anyone know why?

  230. I think someone posted a picture of this house when it first hit the market and was questioning whether the garage was sinking (it was just an optical illusion). I see the seller did quite well:

    2171 Wenman Dr
    List: $998,000
    Sale: $1,258,000
    DOM: 5

    Great location in Gordon Head.

  231. I’m gobsmacked you are gobsmacked. You seem like a nice person, but I agree with Bingo. Plus look at his avatar.

  232. Bingo.

    I’m gobsmacked. I honestly don’t even know how to reply to what you wrote.

  233. Anna Edwards

    It’s not up to the Mayor of Victoria to have ethics.

    It’s perfectly okay for the Mayor of Victoria to know full well that people are not following the bylaws. It isn’t her issue as the leader of this city to set the standards for others.

    So let’s say her landlord didn’t run the basement as an Airbnb, but rather as a suite to long term renters. Since Helps knows the ceiling is a bylaw violation (it’s only 6’2″ and a suite must be 6’7″) by your logic she should turn the landlord in, because.. ethics… she’s knowingly letting someone get away with a bylaw infraction! She’s mayor, she can’t let people get away with bylaw infractions!

    Any time her landlord’s lawn gets above the max length she should call that in too. Is there sufficient off street parking for the number of suites? Bylaw infraction! It’s simple ethics!

    With the rental situation in Victoria chances are any landlord is going to have some kind of bylaw infraction. This one happened to be airbnb. Next one illegal suite. Next one, modifications without a permit. So basically Helps has the choice of a roof or ethics by your logic.

    I highly doubt you’d turn your own landlord in. If you wouldn’t turn in your landlord doesn’t expecting someone else to do so in fact make you a hypocrite?

    Should the mayor be held to a higher standard than the general public? Sure, but it seems she’s been pretty transparent and upstanding about this.

    My point still stands, her turning in her landlord does nothing to solve housing problems in Victoria. She stayed out of the way (recused herself) and now it looks like they will be tougher on STVRs (actively investigating), which means her landlord’s days are numbered. So her actions resulted in the same thing as her turning in her landlord, but only a different timeline.

    I’m going to start smoking in bus shelters.

    Go for it and see how many people complain.

    If Lisa bikes by but doesn’t say anything to you are you going to yell at her about her lack of ethics?

    “You should be turning me in! Smoking here is a bylaw infraction! Worst mayor ever! No ethics!”

    Up until now STVR was complaint based. No one is obliged to complain and apparently no one complained about Lisa’s landlord.

  234. How do we know which homes were sold with a bidding war with registered offers? A house sold over asking may have had only one offer with negotiation. The Canadian RE is not transparent in that regard so we just don’t know; that information will not be revealed to the public I don’t think.

  235. There are two properties on a street named Fremont in Gordon head that have been sitting for weeks and weeks. Also one on penshurst. Why are they not selling? All have suites, in good locations, et cetera. I thought Gordon head was a hot spot.

  236. Lots of over ask sales, but how meaningful is that now?

    It seems like the real estate selling technique du jour is intentionally underpricing and then setting up a bidding war. That was not really a thing before. In previous hot markets it seems like the favoured technique was to choose an asking price midway between fantasy and reality and then give ground a few percent to the buyers.

    Regardless – the fact that these bidding wars are even taking place does still indicate a pretty hot market.

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