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Harvey Spector

The BC Real Estate Discussion Thread

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12 hours ago, Harvey Spector said:

Victoria is booming right now. They are not affected by the new 15% foreign buyer tax as Victoria is not a part of Metro Vancouver. So I have heard there are lot of foreigners either already buying or looking to buy in Victoria and in other parts of Vancouver Island. 

 

You might want to hook up with a good Realtor out there and seriously look for something you like, as the prices out there might not be coming down anytime soon. However, if there is a downturn in the economy due to the Vancouver market it could affect Victoria as well. So there is always the possibility prices could drop at some point in Victoria as well in the coming year. But then by that time prices might have gone up another 10-20%, so it is always a gamble if you wait it out as well. 

Thanks for your insight Harvey!

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I'm curious to know how folks feel about millionaires moving to our country from a country with a falsely propped dollar supporting their "millions".  Which if their currency wasn't fudged would not be worth near what it is now?  These millionaires are then able to buy up property to use as rental income.  

 

To to me this is one of the big problems that never gets discussed.  Why do we let so many Chinese millionaires move here and push the population of people born and raised in the GVRD out?  

 

 

Thoughts?  

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Kathy Tomlinson's been covering some of what is happening here.  This is a more accurate depiction of what is actually going on, and it has NOTHING to do with supply/demand, "nice families" wanting to make this home, etc.  It's a cash cow and loopholes that can be exploited are paving the way (and our communities) for some to stuff their pockets at the expense of livability. 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/vancouver/out-of-the-shadows/article31802994/

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Never though I'd vote against the Liberals after the whole NDP fiasco but this 15% tax is a sham to try and get reelected. Hoping Corrupt Christy gets ousted.

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15 minutes ago, peaches5 said:

Never though I'd vote against the Liberals after the whole NDP fiasco but this 15% tax is a sham to try and get reelected. Hoping Corrupt Christy gets ousted.

Sure it is.

 

But the discussions are happening.  It's no longer a secret and people sticking their head in the sand...it opens it up.  So even IF the reason is to garner votes, this is being blown open and from that, hopefully changes will happen.

 

Sure, it will take some time and it's too little too late (really).  But it isn't a full speed ahead as it's been...brakes are being applied and even those finding ways to skirt around things are in the news.  So it's all about exposing what's really going on here...then seeing how it can be addressed.  Any measures to do so are steps in the right direction.

 

Even if it's "for show", everything is slowly being put on display for what it really is.  Which is nothing about buying and selling homes (to live in).  It's an absolute scheme to make fortunes for people, often with shady or less than desirable entrances into the game.  Casinos and real estate....a great way to dump dirty money in and then have it work to make you more money.

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2 minutes ago, debluvscanucks said:

Sure it is.

 

But the discussions are happening.  It's no longer a secret and people sticking their head in the sand...it opens it up.  So even IF the reason is to garner votes, this is being blown open and from that, hopefully changes will happen.

 

Sure, it will take some time and it's too little too late (really).  But it isn't a full speed ahead as it's been...brakes are being applied and even those finding ways to skirt around things are in the news.  So it's all about exposing what's really doing on here...then seeing how it can be addressed.  Any measures to do so are steps in the right direction.

 

Even if it's "for show", everything is slowly being put on display for what it really is.  Which is nothing about buying and selling homes (to live in).  It's an absolute scheme to make fortunes for people, often with shady or less than desirable entrances.

The realtors who stole millions of dollars from people, swindled them out of their money. Got a slap on the wrist, literally. They should be in jail and paying heavy fines instead they are still selling houses as if they have done nothing wrong.

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13 minutes ago, peaches5 said:

The realtors who stole millions of dollars from people, swindled them out of their money. Got a slap on the wrist, literally. They should be in jail and paying heavy fines instead they are still selling houses as if they have done nothing wrong.

I see it all as a start, not an end.  It'll get harder and harder for this crap to continue as it's exposed and broadcast.  Although, I understand that at the root of the problem is those getting their piece of the pie who turn a blind eye as a result.

 

But as this all generates some momentum, it's got to be reined in a bit.  A lot of it really IS criminal activity, and I hope Revenue Canada starts doing a better job of making sure those with millions in assets here also have some declared income showing up on the books and taxed.  Not just this other scheme of low income students and housewives driving Jags to shopping outlets as their cheques roll in from abroad to keep them operating.  Time to pay some dues.

 

 

As for the supply/demand thing.  Rod, this data refutes that and supports my ideas (just happened across it after the fact):

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/vancouver/vancouver-housing-supply-isnt-the-issue-affordability-is-data-shows/article31794288/

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56 minutes ago, debluvscanucks said:

Kathy Tomlinson's been covering some of what is happening here.  This is a more accurate depiction of what is actually going on, and it has NOTHING to do with supply/demand, "nice families" wanting to make this home, etc.  It's a cash cow and loopholes that can be exploited are paving the way (and our communities) for some to stuff their pockets at the expense of livability. 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/vancouver/out-of-the-shadows/article31802994/

A Chinese-Canadian accountant in Vancouver estimates that he has filed tax returns for 1,000 clients just like Mr. Zhang in the past five years. He does not want to be named because he fears repercussions, but says the CRA is partly to blame for lost revenue, because it doesn’t require taxpayers to report the sale of any principal residence. 

“Every one of [those client families] has more than one house – two, three, four, sometimes more,” he says. “They don’t have to tell me. The CRA says they don’t have to tell anybody.” 

The accountant says that people like Mr. Zhang who work abroad but declare on their Canadian tax returns that they are residents of Canada are legally required to report their worldwide income as well. He says that most, however, do not, and because those financial records are in China, they are impossible to check. 

“They say, ‘I just want to pay around $5,000 in tax. How much does that work out to be in income?’ he says. “And then they say, ‘I have this much interest income from money I deposit with the Canadian bank or the company or whatever.’ That’s it.” 

“I have in my hands people who claim to be residents. They never live here for more than a month of the year,” he says. “These people can be buying and selling homes and claiming to be a resident all the time without getting into any trouble. The CRA doesn’t look to find out.” 

In fact, he believes the problem is so huge that the government should overhaul the tax code to get rid of the principal-residence exemption in its current form, which he acknowledges would be a very unpopular move. And one that would be a political non-starter: If the exemption were removed entirely, millions of Canadians would face the prospect of going deeply into debt – or, at minimum, forfeiting a major portion of their planned retirement incomes. 

Another Vancouver accountant told The Globe that she and her colleagues see questionable real-estate transactions all the time, which they believe have contributed to skyrocketing prices. “This has become a huge mess. You have no idea how angry I am,” says Corina Ciortan. “A generation of people has been screwed. It’s so obvious. Everyone I work with is so angry because there is a select group of people who have profited from this.” 

Federal figures reviewed by The Globe and confirmed by the tax agency show that auditors discovered $14.3-million in unpaid taxes from 339 individuals and companies last year through increased scrutiny of flips and other real-estate transactions in Vancouver. 

A CRA auditor who came forward to The Globe with concerns about enforcement said that that is barely scratching the surface of the dodging going on. “CRA will catch very few people, because the [inexperienced] auditors … have no idea of foreign income and how individuals hide income,” says the auditor, who requested anonymity, for fear of being fired. 

“Management has known of this issue for at least three years but did not want to pursue the real-estate flips, because most of the auditees were Chinese in descent. They were scared of being racist … I can confirm this fact, based on meetings held.”

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Shady Realtors being exposed for shadow flipping and coercing locals into selling for below market value. 

 

People from China somehow getting millions of dollars through our banking system even though by law a foreigner can only bring in $50,000 per year in offshore funds. 

 

Shady lawyers and accountants who are helping these foreigners bring in the illegal money and turning it clean while helping these foreigners to evade declaring the income and paying their taxes. 

 

CRA turning their back and allowing all of this to happen right under their noses without any repurcussions to the foreigners. 

 

Foreigners allowed to buy and flip homes at massive profits without paying any taxes and declaring they are BC residents with no repurcussions. 

 

The big banks of Canada allowing all of this money to come in illegally and doing nothing about it all in the name of making big profits for themselves. 

 

Our local government knowing that there is an affordability crisis on our hands from years ago and does nothing about it up until a month ago, largely to pander to the masses for extra votes in the next election. 

 

Did I miss anything?  Well it certainly looks like the local BC residents and the hard working Canadian citizens of Vancouver have been getting screwed over by EVERYONE. All in the name of money. Sickening really. 

 

Bernie Madoff had nothing on these guys really. He was a lightweight. This "Ponzi Scheme" that has been happening in Vancouver over the last 15 years or so is MUCH bigger than Bernie's. And everyone including the government, the taxman and the big banks are complicit. 

 

And we are supposed to trust these people to do what's best for us?  Certainly not. We have been trusting governments, banks and the taxman with our future and they have all failed us. One big Ponzi scheme to put all Ponzi schemes to shame. And people take issue with the right of Americans to bear arms. Well this is why they have that right in "their" Constitution. So they can protect themselves against their own government and corporations. 

 

I truly hope for everyone's sake that there is major changes and reform to the way BC does business in regards to the Real Esate industry moving forward. Unfortunately, when you have billions of dollars at stake, changes don't usually happen overnight. 

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2 hours ago, Harvey Spector said:

Shady Realtors being exposed for shadow flipping and coercing locals into selling for below market value. 

 

People from China somehow getting millions of dollars through our banking system even though by law a foreigner can only bring in $50,000 per year in offshore funds. 

 

Shady lawyers and accountants who are helping these foreigners bring in the illegal money and turning it clean while helping these foreigners to evade declaring the income and paying their taxes. 

 

CRA turning their back and allowing all of this to happen right under their noses without any repurcussions to the foreigners. 

 

Foreigners allowed to buy and flip homes at massive profits without paying any taxes and declaring they are BC residents with no repurcussions. 

 

The big banks of Canada allowing all of this money to come in illegally and doing nothing about it all in the name of making big profits for themselves. 

 

Our local government knowing that there is an affordability crisis on our hands from years ago and does nothing about it up until a month ago, largely to pander to the masses for extra votes in the next election. 

 

Did I miss anything?  Well it certainly looks like the local BC residents and the hard working Canadian citizens of Vancouver have been getting screwed over by EVERYONE. All in the name of money. Sickening really. 

 

Bernie Madoff had nothing on these guys really. He was a lightweight. This "Ponzi Scheme" that has been happening in Vancouver over the last 15 years or so is MUCH bigger than Bernie's. And everyone including the government, the taxman and the big banks are complicit. 

 

And we are supposed to trust these people to do what's best for us?  Certainly not. We have been trusting governments, banks and the taxman with our future and they have all failed us. One big Ponzi scheme to put all Ponzi schemes to shame. And people take issue with the right of Americans to bear arms. Well this is why they have that right in "their" Constitution. So they can protect themselves against their own government and corporations. 

 

I truly hope for everyone's sake that there is major changes and reform to the way BC does business in regards to the Real Esate industry moving forward. Unfortunately, when you have billions of dollars at stake, changes don't usually happen overnight. 

Why would a government change what is their largest source of money? This tax was nothing more than a cash grab. They placate people like Deb and a few others and make them think like big changes are happening and discussions etc. but nothing has changed. If, and that is a GIANT IF, they really believed foreign investment was the worst thing for the BC real estate market, they could have turned it off. No more foreign ownership. But they didn't. 

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Yes I agree. The governmenrt could have put a stop to this year's ago. Instead they were complicit and let it happen. Why?  Because Christy and her government have made BILLIONS of dollars in tax revenue since this Ponzi Scheme started. The PTT profits, the profits from the increase in property taxes, the profits from all the developers and builders for building permits and rezoning, not to mention all the "perks" developers have given to the government for getting favourable rezoning applications approved. 

 

At the end of the day it was all about the money. And it still is. The last thing the government wanted to do was to slow down this gravy train. They had no choice but to slow it down now or else they would have been booted from office. They could have just stopped foreign investment completely if they really wanted to. Or at least put a major dent in it with new legislation years ago. But nobody was complaining back then. So why stop it if you don't have to?  

 

The party is over now and all the corruption is being exposed. The government, the big banks and the taxman are all backtracking now and saying they will put an end to all this nonsense. New foreign taxes, more audits to catch the tax cheats and criminals, the banks tightening up on their lending policies. All happening now because they have all been exposed as complicit to this massive Ponzi scheme. We will see if they live up to their word. 

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has anyone any insight on who during the next bc election cycle has a different approach to the housing nonsense?

 

ndp or green?  wish we could vote Clark out and elect another liberal.  aNY insight anyone?

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15 hours ago, Realtor Rod said:

Why would a government change what is their largest source of money? This tax was nothing more than a cash grab. They placate people like Deb and a few others and make them think like big changes are happening and discussions etc. but nothing has changed. If, and that is a GIANT IF, they really believed foreign investment was the worst thing for the BC real estate market, they could have turned it off. No more foreign ownership. But they didn't. 

They are pandering...to public outcry and pressure.

 

That's step one.

 

They've pandered to the real estate industry for long enough....because it makes $$.  But that doesn't mean it should continue.  That very profession is BASED on cash grabs at the moment and needs a thorough overhaul.  Because it's an easy way in for all these millions that come from questionable sources and is doing more harm than good.

 

Casinos and real estate...entry points with little in the way of paper trails for the most part.

 

You keep focusing on the cash grab that won't do anything.  Turning the taps off.  So you at least are admitting there are problems.  They're massive, and something is better than nothing at this point.  It at least is a declaration that there's a problem.  You are a beneficiary of the high prices and constant stream of buyers...but your argument is based there....not on what is "right/wrong" for others.  So you're not the best source in this.

 

I, on the other hand, also stand to benefit from it...but I see a bigger picture than cashing out and running.  So...I won't.

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14 hours ago, Harvey Spector said:

Yes I agree. The governmenrt could have put a stop to this year's ago. Instead they were complicit and let it happen. Why?  Because Christy and her government have made BILLIONS of dollars in tax revenue since this Ponzi Scheme started. The PTT profits, the profits from the increase in property taxes, the profits from all the developers and builders for building permits and rezoning, not to mention all the "perks" developers have given to the government for getting favourable rezoning applications approved. 

 

At the end of the day it was all about the money. And it still is. The last thing the government wanted to do was to slow down this gravy train. They had no choice but to slow it down now or else they would have been booted from office. They could have just stopped foreign investment completely if they really wanted to. Or at least put a major dent in it with new legislation years ago. But nobody was complaining back then. So why stop it if you don't have to?  

 

The party is over now and all the corruption is being exposed. The government, the big banks and the taxman are all backtracking now and saying they will put an end to all this nonsense. New foreign taxes, more audits to catch the tax cheats and criminals, the banks tightening up on their lending policies. All happening now because they have all been exposed as complicit to this massive Ponzi scheme. We will see if they live up to their word. 

Well said!

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40 minutes ago, debluvscanucks said:

Well said!

Real Estate in the lower mainland has run on a, worry about the problems later mandate. Lot of money was made by quite a few people and government. Get ready for the painful part. Note- the little guy/gal will feel the pain, those that made the money will  be just fine.

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Here's what money can't buy ... and why I feel as strongly as I do.  (Mostly directed to gurn's comment):

 

I was born/raised in Steveston.  A hole in the corner that smelled like fish all summer and had nothing to do in the winter.   People who would get lost and drive in/quickly back out saw nothing there, and that was fine.  For it was our little secret.

 

We didn't need fancy shops or anything to hook us in because it was the beauty and simplicity of it all.

 

Every single person knew and, for the most part (except cranky ol' man Ebbett), looked out for everyone else.  We had a little gathering on Canada Day (known as the Salmon Festival), a 3 car parade at Christmas (where all the participants stopped for drinks at my parent's place along the route) and a hotel/bar that was the happening place.  The hub.  Bikers and locals.

 

But it extended outward....and Richmond'ers knew others.  Large bonfires at the beach(es) were gathering places for teenagers and parents had parties and barbecues where everyone was invited.  It was a community spirit that connected us all.

 

Now, I know that things don't stay the same and it's unrealistic to demand they do....but to have things start to change in a rapid and drastic fashion as they have recently?  So you can no longer recognize "home" as such as millionaires and mansions sprout up...most vacant in both occupancy and a desire to connect with locals.  Because we are the lower class and don't count?

 

Money can't buy what we had.  And there's something seriously lacking in commercialism and the rat race.  It's an empty focus in the grand scale of it all.  Because having gates and walls up in place of driveways and lawns where neighbours once gathered?  It separates and divides us.

 

Those here for decades shared ... ideas, dreams, goals....as well as hamburgers that we cooked on Sundays. 

 

I ALREADY find it painful, as I feel like we're losing what made this place beautiful.  Sure, the backdrop and scenery (which I've always absorbed, admired and appreciated...my Dad actually is the reason we have Garry Point and the west dyke trail), but it's deeper than that.

 

So those focusing on monetary gain/profit - sure.  We will lose as things are addressed.  But for those (like me), who want - no, PLAN, on staying, we've everything to gain to fight for this.  To keep some of this for what it was.  The farmland is next in the sites...and, thankfully, this bone headed lawyer Mayor is finally putting his foot down.   We have a real gem here (Richmond in particular)...it's something that needs protecting.  Balance is nice and, right now, the scales are tipped totally to paving over everything.  "Investing" here vs "living" here.

 

People counting dollar bills instead of counting their blessings.  That's the problem.

 

/rant (for now)

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1 hour ago, debluvscanucks said:

They are pandering...to public outcry and pressure.

 

That's step one.

 

They've pandered to the real estate industry for long enough....because it makes $$.  But that doesn't mean it should continue.  That very profession is BASED on cash grabs at the moment and needs a thorough overhaul.  Because it's an easy way in for all these millions that come from questionable sources and is doing more harm than good.

 

Casinos and real estate...entry points with little in the way of paper trails for the most part.

 

You keep focusing on the cash grab that won't do anything.  Turning the taps off.  So you at least are admitting there are problems.  They're massive, and something is better than nothing at this point.  It at least is a declaration that there's a problem.  You are a beneficiary of the high prices and constant stream of buyers...but your argument is based there....not on what is "right/wrong" for others.  So you're not the best source in this.

 

I, on the other hand, also stand to benefit from it...but I see a bigger picture than cashing out and running.  So...I won't.

If the problem is affordability, that has been going on for a decade. There is not pressure. Nothing has changed Deb. Its already forgotten. Here and there a newspaper will say something, on CDC some of us will talk about it, but its long gone. The market is back to normal, as it was this time last year. In Vancouver there may be less deals happening, but that blistering pace was never going to continue, in fact, it was slowing since the end of May. 

 

Now, as for a source who isnt gaining from the real estate market. Your theory eliminates sellers (who are profiting from sale prices), the government  (real estate is their largest income), realtors (make a living from it), lawyers (record conveyance deals)... so who does that leave?

 

There is no pressure Deb. There were a few bad apples with the shadow flipping, the mass of asian buyers (which still hasnt been proven), a slowing market  (which happens every summer) and on and on. Yes, prices jumped up too much but just like gas prices. Quick to rise, slow to return. When you sell, you will want the most money and when you buy you will want to pay as little as possible for the ideal place.

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