Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Vancouver Story

May 18, 2011
Howes sees downtown restaurant prospects changing

Business dropped just under 20 per cent in 2008. Our sales came back by about 8.5 per cent in 2009 and we got a sense that kind of level was not likely to change significantly.


When we made the decision to close we gave everybody one year’s notice.

It's a fascinating story from start to finish. Howes knew a year ago that he was going to close this Vancouver restaurant.

Meanwhile in that very same city...

May 18, 2011
Luxury housing market spikes as Canuck wealth grows

Vancouver benefited most from a flood of foreign investment, in particular from China, RE/MAX said. Though some other centres also got a boost from foreign cash, most of the demand came from increasingly wealthy Canadians, it said.

Sales in Ottawa were up almost 60%, Calgary 51%, Winnipeg 24% and Greater Toronto 9%, it said.

"Is there a bubble? No there's not, it's just underlying confidence," said Elton Ash, regional executive vice president, RE/MAX of Western Canada.

Something sure seems to be underlying, perhaps right to our faces.


May 18, 2011
Vancouver Housing Prices Pass New York and London as Chinese 'Move' In

At this point, using the measure above (median household income to median price), Vancouver is now more expensive than New York or London. And I am sure a lot less investment bankers work there, than in either of those 2 locales.


A_Nonny_Mouse said...

IF there's a rational component to this, perhaps it's that people are expecting (hyper?)inflation and trying to lock in a real, tangible asset that will hold value more than "printing-press dollars" will?

FWIW, I'm holding on to my house with a death-grip; I couldn't qualify for the same house at the same price any more (since my job has been "down-sized"). Any chance that others are also saying "This might be my last chance to get into a house that I'm willing to live in"?

Troy said...

I strongly believe the top 1% of the market -- the Fortress -- is completely impervious to downturns.

This is simple math. The top 5-10% wants to live in the Fortress, but it can only hold 1%, and the top 5% of the buyers can bid this price pretty damn high.

One's location on this planet is a primary fact of the reality of one's overall quality of life. Location value is immense.

Now, all I really need is to be within pick-up distance of a Costco, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, etc.

getyourselfconnected said...

Interesting points Troy.

Stagflationary Mark said...

A_Nonny_Mouse, Troy, and GYSC,

Do these two houses really belong in the (hyper?)inflationary Fortress?

September 15, 2010
Is There A Housing Bubble In Vancouver?

Courtesy of Vancouver Real Estate, let’s have a look at some of the information on these fine houses so you can decide for yourself if Vancouver is in a BublĂ© .

Here's what I see when I look at that second house. I owe nothing on my Seattle area home (20 miles from downtown Seattle). If I sold it on its nearly 300% larger lot (15,000 square feet vs. 4,000 square feet) and used the entire proceeds to make a down payment then I would only be putting down 25%.

I could live in that house debt free if I so desired though. It would tap out most of my nest egg and I would have to spend the rest of my life working. I guess I just don't have what it takes to be a Fortress rider.

Put another way, if I lived in a similar house since 1974 (the year it was built) I would definitely be cashing out and using that money to retire. $1.8 million can go a very long way if you value your free time.

As Troy says, location value is immense. But Vancouver? Really?

April 26, 2011
In Vancouver, renting is a better option than buying

Here are the facts: On average, it currently costs Vancouver homeowners 70 per cent of their income to service household debt. Canadians owe roughly $1.50 for every $1 of disposable income they possess. In Vancouver, a home will cost you approximately 10 times your annual income, a figure that far exceeds that of the U.S. when it crashed and burned, and the obvious reason Vancouver housing is now rated as the third most unaffordable in the world.

getyourselfconnected said...

I hate mASSachusetts but I have to live here (dont ask, long story) but if I could I would be someplace warm.

watchtower said...

Mark I've been waiting for a suitable post to mention this, hopefully it won't be too far off topic...ok, so it's thousands of miles off topic but it still has to do with housing a bit.

I was checking out a 'Fallout' fan game site (Duck and Cover) and came across this:

If you scroll down to about the bottom of the page there is a post titled China's Ghost Cities.
I thought it was kind of odd that China's building binge has even been noticed by gamers.
I see where they are coming from, it does look like something bad has happened to humanity and all that remains are what we have built, but still, I was taken aback that people who generally don't follow what is going on would take any kind of interest in this at all.

Could I have stumbled over what could possibly be a sign of the top? : )

getyourselfconnected said...

I did not think gamers notice anything else but the game! Great catch Watchtower.

Stagflationary Mark said...

watchtower & GYSC,

To be fair, the site is called "duck and cover", lol. ;)

watchtower said...

You've got a point there Mark, LOL!

Stagflationary Mark said...


Speaking of games, I'm playing Resonance of Fate right now. It is no Borderlands but it is kind of fun. And the story can be rather amusing.

Here's a teaser.

I love the slap at 1:45, lol.