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  #9241  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2019, 6:52 PM
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Originally Posted by GeneralLeeTPHLS View Post
They have stable and growing real estate markets. The prices aren't rising very high for new apartments or SFH or other housing, and a healthy mix is being built of all housing types.
I follow regional planning in Halifax in addition to Vancouver. The city is growing at about 2% a year now but housing prices are fairly stable. There is essentially an infinite supply of land around the city for new development; many, many decades worth of forest that could be redeveloped. Road/highway/transit construction can be expensive there because of all the water and rock (blasting often required to get reasonable routes) but it's still possible to have very affordable housing there with those challenges.

Even in Halifax though the municipal government often comes close to artificially constraining the market in a way that could cause housing prices to shoot up. They tend to want to meter out the supply of new development land and NIMBYs don't want new development around them. Infrastructure spending is slow, and there are ever-escalating building requirements and fees. And there are a lot of people who want housing prices to go up.

Canada's metropolitan housing markets are pretty much set up for "cost disease" even before factors like speculation, foreign investment, and money laundering comes into play.
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  #9242  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 2:20 AM
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Small wonder Vancouver and all of BC are losing and can`t attract skilled workers. Demographia just came out with newest 2018 Housing Affordability Survey. Of Canada`s 7 most expensive housing markets all but one {Toronto} are in BC. This is why I have stated many times that it`s not just Vancouver but rather the entire province that is completely out of whack in terms of housing affordability. Toronto is still unaffordable but there are many markets in Ontario that are still affordable unlike BC where, for skilled workers wanting a decent life, it requires either moving to the very far north where the climate is colder/snowier than most places in Canada, or simply leaving the province which is what most are clearly doing.
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  #9243  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2019, 3:00 AM
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The housing price situation in BC seems like a classic case of "anchoring". People talk about Victoria or Chilliwack being cheap but they are only cheap by Vancouver standards.

The trade-offs around BC are really bad. Even small towns in BC are priced above major cities in other parts of Canada. It's okay if you want to retire out in the boonies or downsize but there aren't really useful alternatives for middle class working age people. A 30-something couple that is struggling in Vancouver isn't going to fare much better by heading to Kelowna or Nanaimo even if they find equivalent jobs.
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  #9244  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 12:46 AM
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Toronto developer collapses into bankruptcy:

A Toronto-area real estate development company that in recent months has cancelled two condominium projects has filed for court protection from its creditors after failing to make payments on about $220-million in debt obligations. The fate of two more condo projects, one completed but not closed and one at least partly pre-sold to buyers, remains undetermined.

In 2015, Forme Development Group Inc., then known as Time Development Group Inc., began pre-selling condos for a proposed mid-rise building called Danforth Square at 250 Danforth Rd. in Toronto. As many as 279 units were planned and units started at $179,000. Executives for Forme, founded by Yuan Hua (Mike) Wang, did not respond to requests for comment, so it’s not clear how many units in the proposed building were pre-sold, but court documents show that more than a dozen real estate brokerages are owed at least $392,000 in commissions for presales. Yingguo Ai, who represents investors in a syndicated mortgage on the Danforth property, says the investors were told the majority of the units have been sold.

“Danforth Square is fairly close to full approvals; we’ve been in negotiations with the city for three-plus years. Big projects like that do take time,” said Alan Tregebov, an architect who worked on a number of Forme projects. He said the average site plan in Toronto can take 42 months for planning approvals, although it can take longer when there are sticky issues to hammer out. “Mike was caught in this; I don’t think he quite grasped how long it takes. I don’t know how many times he told me: ‘In China, they build whole cities in less time than it takes to approve a block [in Canada.]’ "...


https://www.theglobeandmail.com/real...ndo-buyers-in/
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  #9245  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 5:48 AM
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Vancouver housing second least affordable in world: report

Vancouver is just behind Hong Kong for least affordable housing, according to the annual Demographia survey.

TIFFANY CRAWFORD Updated: January 22, 2019

Vancouver housing is the second least-affordable in the world after Hong Kong, according to the 15th annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

This year Vancouver bumped Sydney to be in the No. 2 spot after three years at No. 3.

Despite some correction in the housing market, mainly with the higher-end market, the report says Vancouver’s affordability continues to deteriorate.

After Vancouver on the list for least-affordable housing are Sydney, Melbourne, San Jose and Los Angeles.

Canadian cities with the most-unaffordable housing after Vancouver, according to the survey, are Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.



...

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-...n-world-report
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  #9246  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 2:58 PM
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Hong Kong and Sydney are global cities with powerhouse economies. How the fark do the rank and file Vancouverites survive, with their comparatively mediocre paycheques (relative to HK/Sydney), in this insane housing market? It was insane when I lived in Van back in the 90s...caused me to leave, in fact.
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  #9247  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 3:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
Hong Kong and Sydney are global cities with powerhouse economies. How the fark do the rank and file Vancouverites survive, with their comparatively mediocre paycheques (relative to HK/Sydney), in this insane housing market? It was insane when I lived in Van back in the 90s...caused me to leave, in fact.
I'm sure there are tons of people who struggle in Hong Kong and Sydney as well.

I also left Vancouver in the late 90's due to high housing costs, lower wages for my industry and long commutes. I was offered a job in Calgary for a significantly higher wage, got a nice downtown apartment for the came cost as the tiny shoebox I was living in in Coquitlam, and my reverse commute was a breeze compared to my daily run down the Lougheed to Burnaby.

Prices are dropping here in Edmonton as well across the board. There are significant deals to be had, I'd almost dip my toe back into the investment market here if not for the fact that I think prices are going to keep falling and the city is overbuilding rentals, rental rates are flat and I expect a jump in vacancy rates here. But wow.. you can get a 1 bed in a concrete highrise downtown now for under $100k if you're willing to slap some lipstick and mascara on it. The deals are even better in the south west.. brand new 2 bed 2 baths in a low rise on the top floor for well under $200k. It's an affordability dream here right now, but I think things are going to become further unbalanced. I think we'll keep our cash in GIC for the time being.
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  #9248  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 5:20 PM
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I'm in my early 30's and most people I know here are in their mid-late 20's and 30's. I also know a few people in their 50's.

All of the 50+ year olds I know here seem to be multimillionaires because they bought a house before 1995. Most are retired. These are the average parents of the 20-30 somethings who grew up in Vancouver.

Almost every 30-something I know here is a renter and has moved at least once in the past 3 years, and sometimes 2 or 3 times. Most of them have roommates (when I was a renter here I was forced to move about on average once a year). Some are in apartments with 2 roommates and some are in houses with 4-6 people. I only know a few younger people who own condos, and 1 who owns a house (maybe 25% own). Their long-term financial prospects generally seem not so great. For locals, the most common hope is that they inherit money from their parents, not that they will do well by pursuing some career.

Over the years maybe 60% of the younger people I have known have left the city, including ones who grew up here. I think people underestimate how strong this outmigration is because the outflow is somewhat balanced by an inflow of new people. But there is a lot of churn.

Every so often my partner and I have a depressing conversation about whether or not we want to stay here. We like it here to a moderate degree and are not struggling financially but we could "cash out" if we wanted. I don't really feel like moving far away again though. We live in a decent but not large condo. I think, unless prices crash, we'd be more inclined to buy a second place somewhere else (e.g. Spain, Mexico, Southwest US) rather than spend $300,000-500,000 for a slight upgrade in Vancouver. I would consider moving to San Francisco but it's also very expensive and has its own problems.
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  #9249  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 9:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
Hong Kong and Sydney are global cities with powerhouse economies. How the fark do the rank and file Vancouverites survive, with their comparatively mediocre paycheques (relative to HK/Sydney), in this insane housing market? It was insane when I lived in Van back in the 90s...caused me to leave, in fact.
I met a few people in Australia, two in Sydney, one had lived in Vancouver for school about 10 years ago, anyway he said Sydney was really expensive and they rented and had to pay rent every Friday, it was standard that rent was paid weekly to the people I spoke to. I saw a listing in Melbourne for a one bedroom that was $700 Aus which is on par with Canada. But that was $700 per week plus add-ons, $2800/month. Crazy.

My cousins BF was paying $500 a week for a room in a shared place in Perth and said that was pretty much the minimum and most places to rent cost a lot more.

They do have a higher minimum wage which makes eating out really expensive however I found groceries to be cheaper. So perhaps it balances out some. But at the bar it was $15 for a beer or cider. $10 drinks were considered a bargain.

Aa for Vancouver if you were lucky enough to live in the same space for years your rent isn't too bad, in my building a lot of the people have been there since the 80s or 90s, as soon as they move out the rent goes up but its not that bad for the area which is 5 minutes to Lougheed Skytrain. A lot of people have to settle for basement suites which isn't that bad but buying is no longer an option.
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  #9250  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 9:24 PM
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I have relatives in Sydney and the situation doesn't sound great right now. Rent is extremely high and for the vast majority of non homeowners that's not even considered an option. My uncle (tenured university professor) and his wife (policy with a local council) were only able to buy a sub-1000 square foot house after getting an inheritance.

I was informed that anyone under the age of 40 or so is considered to be part of "generation rent": https://www.news.com.au/finance/real...4b34018941bbcf
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  #9251  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 9:48 PM
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That article does a good job at pointing out the lack of intergenerational fairness and Canada has approximately the same issues. If you buy your house for $1M and sell for $5M your tax on that $4M income is $0 and your tax rate is $0. If you scrape by and earn $40,000 in income, your tax bill is around 14%.

On top of being an unfair way to share the tax burden it encourages investment in real estate that we don't need.

There are some serious failures in the highrise housing market too. In Vancouver there isn't much land available (due to the ALR and limitations of transportation) so only a fraction of the population can afford enough land for a detached home that is conveniently located. Okay. But this does not explain why it's impossible to find a spacious unit (maybe 1,500 square foot 3 bedroom) in a suburban highrise for under $500,000.

The detached housing affordability issue is partly dictated by available land and technology but the multi-unit affordability problem is primarily driven by regulations, the biggest ones being height limits. If a plot of land is $10M and NIMBYs lobby for 20 units max on that land, the land cost alone is $500,000. This basic math is a big part of what's killing multi-unit affordability in Vancouver. The "marquee" 60-storey towers that get presold in Hong Kong aren't really helping either. Maybe they bring prices down from what they would be without that construction but they are not going to be affordable buildings. To help with affordability I think we would need more run of the mill highrises on small footprints in areas like East Van.
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  #9252  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 10:13 PM
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Yes for sure. Vancouver and its nimbys are so selfish. There is so much potential for more.

The area between Rupert and Renfrew, from Grandview to Broadway other than the industrial/commercial areas is still SFH. They need to replace all those SFH along Grandview with more dense apartments, They could then transition to townhouses the further south you go. That area from Kaslo to Renfrew north to Broadway is all SFH, it should be highrises and then those blocks along Broadway between the two stations should not be SFH but be replaced with apartments etc. I noticed there is some kind of Land Assembly going on there so perhaps we are starting to see some change in that area. But skytrain has been in that area for over a decade now and the area clings to being SFH.
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  #9253  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 10:29 PM
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Vancouver (the municipality) is terribly dominated by NIMBYism. Burnaby and New Westminster are relatively good about permitting new development, but they are just suburbs. The consequence of this is that a bunch of people who could be living at, say, Commercial Drive live 5 or 10 SkyTrain stops farther out. This has a big impact in terms of traffic and infrastructure use and wasted time.

7 minute walk from the second-busiest transit station in a metro of 2.5 million people or so that has a housing shortage and sky-high land prices:

https://www.google.com/maps/@49.2595...7i16384!8i8192

The station itself:

https://www.google.com/maps/@49.2622...7i16384!8i8192
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  #9254  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 10:40 PM
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The wages are slightly higher in Australia...but the overall cost of living is really high.

Food, fuel, clothing, etc. is much more than Canada.
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  #9255  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 11:09 PM
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Vancouver (the municipality) is terribly dominated by NIMBYism. Burnaby and New Westminster are relatively good about permitting new development, but they are just suburbs. The consequence of this is that a bunch of people who could be living at, say, Commercial Drive live 5 or 10 SkyTrain stops farther out. This has a big impact in terms of traffic and infrastructure use and wasted time.

7 minute walk from the second-busiest transit station in a metro of 2.5 million people or so that has a housing shortage and sky-high land prices:

https://www.google.com/maps/@49.2595...7i16384!8i8192

The station itself:

https://www.google.com/maps/@49.2622...7i16384!8i8192

It's really pathetic, isn't it?
I like to use Commercial/Broadway station as an example as well. The fact that the area has remained unchanged for decades in the midst of the city's worst affordability crisis ever really speaks to how little political will there is here to change anything. These elected officials are more worried about their job security than anything else.
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  #9256  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 3:42 AM
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Coincidence, I was talking yesterday to my ex-gf who lives in Sydney and since her contract is about to expire (for a job paying in the six figures), she said she's likely going to be forced to move to some suburb.

Sydney rents are high - unlike Vancouver's. In Vancouver, average people are simply doomed to remain renters, they're not forced out. Manhattan or HK or Sydney or San Francisco, different story.
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  #9257  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 3:50 AM
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I met a few people in Australia, two in Sydney, one had lived in Vancouver for school about 10 years ago, anyway he said Sydney was really expensive and they rented and had to pay rent every Friday, it was standard that rent was paid weekly to the people I spoke to. I saw a listing in Melbourne for a one bedroom that was $700 Aus which is on par with Canada. But that was $700 per week plus add-ons, $2800/month. Crazy.

My cousins BF was paying $500 a week for a room in a shared place in Perth and said that was pretty much the minimum and most places to rent cost a lot more.
Yeah, I recall the conversation with my ex-gf (who is still a good friend) went approximately like this... (I don't remember the exact rent amount)

- "My rent (for a tiny apt) is $x"

Me: "That's high, but not that unreasonable"

Her: "That's per week."
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  #9258  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 4:25 AM
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Sydney rents are high - unlike Vancouver's. In Vancouver, average people are simply doomed to remain renters, they're not forced out. Manhattan or HK or Sydney or San Francisco, different story.
This is true. However, renting can still be precarious even if the rents aren't so high that people can't afford them, and there's no guarantee that Vancouver rents will remain affordable.

One issue in Vancouver that doesn't necessarily come across in the statistics is that the rental stock here is relatively poor quality. There do not seem to be many large-scale purpose-built rental buildings operated by big companies (relative to say Toronto or Montreal; I don't know about Sydney). A lot of people live in aging 60's-era walkups, basement apartments, and condos. There are a lot of amateur landlords who do sketchy or illegal things or simply offer unstable housing (e.g. I'll rent out my basement for 1 year to make a little extra cash to cover the renovations, etc.).
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  #9259  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 4:28 AM
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Montreal is a renter's paradise.
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  #9260  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2019, 5:23 AM
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The wages are slightly higher in Australia...but the overall cost of living is really high.

Food, fuel, clothing, etc. is much more than Canada.
I found it either the same or slightly cheaper than Canada. Uniqlo, H&M prices were the same or cheaper than here. Food was cheap at the Grocery stores I went to. Imported stuff and brands could be expensive though. I found dairy products much cheaper than BC, you could get 1kg of cheese for $8.99 at coles, 1 kg of cheese at walmart in Vancouver is like $18+. Milk was at least $2 cheaper than BC.

Fuel was cheaper than Vancouver. Was around 120 - 130.5 when I was there last summer, Vancouver was around 140.9 at the same time.

The dollars were at par, Canada was slightly higher but credit cards didn't reflect that.
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