Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is it a myth?

Some bear blogs are having a discussion as to whether the HAM buyers are driving our market or not.

My opinion is simple, in some areas they ARE they market. In others, like Pitt Meadows or Langley they are not much of a factor.

Take the North Shore. here is my anecdotal info. This year, I have had 3 friends sell their places. One bought smaller and banked the difference, one is renting and one moved to the Island with his family. ALL 3 sold to mainland Chinese buyers for MUCH higher than they had ever hoped for and in two cases for higher than their listing price as a HAM bidding war broke out.

Over the week-end I carried out my own unscientific experiment. I called up 5 newly listed rental homes in West Van on craigslist. 3 had Chinese agents who quickly admitted that their clients had just bought the homes and in fact two of them didn't even have possession yet. The other two were professionals agents- one volunteered that their client was from the Mainland and had just purchased it as an investment and had no intention of occupying for now. the last one would not reveal the ownership.

Based on my experience therefore it would seem that in some parts of Vancouver, the HAM money ARE the buyers PERIOD. The likelihood of being able to compete in the higher end market after 40% taxes unless you run a goldmine or are the CEO of Lululemon is zero...

Remember Landcor said that they estimate 74% of buyers in certain areas of Vancouver to be from off-shore. That is an astounding number and were it anywhere else in the world, there would be an outcry to legislate and regulate, but not here where we are the keepers of Hot money!

The only up-side I can see is that some people are making out like bandits, like my friends who sold, and some realtors who will hopefully be paying some taxes, and the Province will be getting the property transfer tax. It is btw desperate for any money it can get it's hands on with the deficit soaring, so if you think they are about to kill this golden goose, think again.


  1. "The only up-side I can see is that some people are making out like bandits"

    Few are, but the vast majority are getting hurt by it. I wonder at what point will the province/country react? How many more locals will have to move out of the Province to start reacting? In certain part of the world, ethnic cleansing had occured. In Vancouver, we are talking of a mix of ethnic and economic cleansing. Remember Kosovo. It was historically populated by Serbian people. Then muslim Albanese migrated there "en masse" and with much higher fecondity rate, they quickly became the majority in this province. The result? Kosovo is now an muslim/albanian dominated country. Serbians, who have been there dor centuries, have been forced to moved out. If we don't pay attention, that's what's going to happen in Vancouver...

  2. Fish,

    Have you heard? China's backing down on monetary tightening. They're letting banks lend again with smaller reserves. This should stimulate the Chinese real estate market (again). What do you think the ramifications will be for our market here? More HAM? How can it be less? Or do you think the current HAM is super big money?

    Also, is this happening in North Van? To normal housing? Or just to West Van. Thanks.

  3. "China's backing down on monetary tightening."

    They are likely keeping a thumb on property speculation through other measures. Same will likely happen in Canada if BoC lowers rates.

  4. Egghead the bank of china blinked! They saw the anger of those fleeced by the speculators and pushed the easy button.

    Who knows how it will affect it, more easy money into the hands of a few very wealthy people

    West Van

  5. Anon the poor Serbs!

    They just HAD to kill 30,000 Albanian men, young and old alike, and rape their women.
    Hope we are more civilized!

  6. @Anon,

    "They just HAD to kill 30,000 Albanian men, young and old alike, and rape their women."

    Did it give anyone the right to take over part of their country? I'm not at all defending the Serbs, I don't care. What I'm saying is that a large influx of population from the same origin at one place could result in the loss of this territory for the hosting country. I'd prefer have Vancouver to keep a balanced mix of immigration instead of relying too much on one country, especially China that could potentially become our enemy. If a war ever occurs between China and the West, how would the Chinese here behave?

    Don't think it's impossible...

  7. Anon 5.09. Are you a complete dork? The Albanians had been there for hundreds of years. This was just nationalistic BS by a war criminal and his henchmen, mostly thankfully dead or imprisoned.

    Even the Serbs are embarrased by what happened and helped catch the murderers.

    To draw comparisons with the Chinese coming here is not appropriate.

  8. @frank... I'm not a complete dork and you can stay polite.

    Ok, let me change my example. What is the strategy of Israel in east Jerusalem today? Take over as many houses as possible until it will no longer be possible to split Jerusalem and let the palestinians have east jerusalem as their capital. I'm not saying who is right or wrong here. I'm just saying, the process of replacing once population by an other can lead, over a long period of time, to a loss of sovereignty over that territory.

    Now, let say that for one reason or another, the Canadian government decides one day that it has do something that would go strongly against the interest of the majority of the Chinese people (I mean those who have kept their Chinese citizenship) in Vancouver. Do you think the Chinese government would say nothing about it? Do you think these Chinese people will not try to get their government involved in what looks like an internal Canadian problem?

    What I'm trying to say is that a dangerous process is starting in Vancouver by which the "local population"(in which I include the "Canadianized" Chinese that have been here for a long time) is slowly getting replaced by wealthy people coming from China that are here to park their wealth and that have no intention to integrate into the Canadian society, and that if we don't pay attention, in a distant future, Canada may simply lose control and even sovereignty over the Lower Mainland.

    You may disagree with what I say, no need to insult me.

  9. Anonymous,

    I know what you're saying. I've thought about it too. There was a report yesterday of a Chinese journalist/spy saying that quite a few journalists sent out to the West are actually spies and they are sent around the world.

    But this is nothing new. Neither is the worry over split identities. I've got to say that the Chinese kids and grandkids do assimilate well. I'm not going to worry about a future war but I do worry about the loss of European culture generally. Not just here but in Europe too. There was a recent poll along the lines of whether or not you believe your country or culture was special/superior to others. The news was that Americans now score themselves lower than ever before. But the non-news that caught my eye was that the British had the lowest score of all. 32% felt their culture better/superior than others.

    White, anglo Europeans have bent over backwards to tell themselves that they constitute a non-culture, a vanilla nothingness that only exists in counterpoint to other more interesting ethnic cultures. When you mix this with political correctness, you get an intersection of I don't deserve what I have so I should give it away (guilt)... mixed with I can't talk about the changes that are occurring in my society or I'll be labeled the thing I've declared to be worst of all:a racist (denial).

    Of course, all of this comes with a resentment that bubbles under the surface (fear and anger). So I understand where your concern with war comes in. One day, some of us may want some of our stuff back and we may not be so nice in the way we'll go about getting it.

  10. @Egghead

    Political correctness and guilt are two of the most powerful weapons of mass destruction used against the Western Culture. Canada is an extreme example, but it's also becoming pervasive in Europe too. China loves to use that angle against the West. No later than yesterday, during the climate change negotiations, they claimed: "we're still a developing country" and other such nonsense.

    To understand Chinese foreign politics, one only has to read Sun Tzu over and over again. It's crystal clear what the Chinese are trying to achieve. Here are some of his quotes:
    - Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.
    - For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.
    - In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.
    - Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
    - The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

    China is not the peaceful country it claims to be. When they bought their aircraft carrier from Ukraine, they publicly stated it would become a hotel:" It was purchased at auction for US$20 million by Chong Lot Travel Agency, a company widely believed to be a front for Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)[4] Chong Lot stated that the ship would become a floating entertainment center and casino in the Chinese SAR of Macau. This was proven incorrect as the ship was docked in Dalian and painted PLAN grey. Defense news and intelligence sources indicated that the ship had been refitted and would be put through sea trials in mid-2011.[5]" (from wikipedia).

    This little example describes pretty well the Chinese strategy. We, in the West in general, but in Canada in particular, should be very careful. Importing thousands of former Chinese officials (whether corrupt or not) can't be good for us.

  11. Anon,

    This weakening is something going on all over the West. We are taking a step back as developing nations step forward. I'm not against it. I just don't want to be stepped on. It's inevitable as we've lost our hunger, become fat, lazy and stupid.

    I don't see China as an imminent threat as you do. Every US military general reads that book. Its strategy doesn't belong to the Chinese. Individual European cultures can't withstand immigration in large numbers without becoming a minority. They have already begun to state that in Europe but it's too late. It'll take 20+ years for us to even think that here.

    I see ourselves as our own worst enemy as we have educated ourselves to believe we are the sole, guilty party on earth. Bad, bad, people. Now, I've gotta run and turn on the CBC to see my point validated...

  12. You guys are nut jobs:

    'One day, some of us may want some of our stuff back and we may not be so nice in the way we'll go about getting it.' wasn't yours to begin with! Other people sold it and now you want it back...ha!

    'European cultures can't withstand immigration in large numbers without becoming a minority'

    Like New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Australia- on wait there were no Europeans in those countries a few hundred years ago- like for the previous two thousand years. Yet we are the victims- doh!

  13. Guys, China is harmless, and has denied any role in the hacking of PotashCorp using spear phishing technology from 100+ locations.

    Fortunately, as some of them have remarked that the white Canadians cannot tell us a part. LOL.

  14. Frank,

    I'm glad you're glad that you can't wait for your own comeuppance in New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Australia (don't forget the US). You're a proud graduate of a Canadian University and a loyal viewer of the CBC. Good on ya, Now give your stuff back and don't whine and complain.