Vancouver real estate 2

Vancouver Real Estate, 2



searing portfolio come to mind
hovel constant occupation (2)
limit debt load go around (2)
blame climb (2) only so many
track track (2) snatch away (2)
vertigo displace astonishing
attract backlash double up
rule (2) dream (2) presumably
income purchase fixer-upper
push resident adjustment
anxiety flood (2) resentment
versus fend off dried up (2)
grand scores (2) bread and butter (2)
condo admit (2) absentee (2)
alarm suggest affordable
rate vacancy raising the alarm
gather mansion in the dark (2)
surge gem (2) altogether
restrict attribute announce
unfair downsize real estate
resort average hollow out
lack complicated






Vancouver real-estate watchers might remember this little gem, definitely a
fixer-upper, the word hovel comes to mind, sold this year for 2.4 million. Or this 31 million dollar home sold to a buyer who’s listed occupation is student.

In Toronto and especially Vancouver there’s only so many dream homes to go around, and many blame foreign buyers mainly from China, for snatching them away, which is why this week the BC government announced it will begin tracking them.

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Newscaster, One: “The average price of a home in Canada
keeps on climbed.”

Newscaster, Two: “From last week to this week they’ve gone up hundred thousand; next week probably a hundred thousand.”

Newscaster, Three: “How is anyone ever going to be able to own a home in our community?”

The Vancouver area vertigo has been sickening: the average home price now 1.4 million, a 30% surge in just a year, surging just as fast.

The blame: how much can be attributed to foreign buyers. And newcomers are feeling a backlash.

Chinese Property Buyer: “I think is unfair. Yeah, for most of people we are not so rich; we just want to buy a house to live to get a better life.”

With few rules and no limit on how extensive foreign buying could get, the BC government is now starting to gather data on the nationality of real estate buyers.

BC Government Official: “Let’s find out how many homes are being purchased in the market by people who aren’t residents of Canada.”

David Ley, Urban Geographer, University of British Columbia: “Vancouver is one of the least affordable cities in the English-speaking world.”

Urban geographer David Ley believes foreign money has pushed up Vancouver’s property prices for decades.

David Leigh, Urban Geographer, University of British Columbia: “Local incomes absolutely cannot support this kind of housing market.”

From the mid 80s, a national program to attract wealthy immigrants and anxiety over the future of Hong Kong drew a flood of money into Vancouver.

David Leigh, Urban Geographer, University of British Columbia: “We have more people coming to Canada as business immigrants than any other country in the world.”

Even then, foreign buyers were fending off local resentment.

Chinese-Canadian Real Estate Developer: “I don’t think it’s Chinese versus other races all at. I think it’s Vancouver becoming international very quickly.

And in the 1990s Vancouver’s real estate values overtook Toronto’s.

David Leigh, Urban Geographer, University of British Columbia: “And that migration is now dried up from Hong Kong and Taiwan. we’re now talking about movement from the People’s Republic of China. People are actually come on shopping holidays during the Chinese New Year for example, they come to Vancouver and buy a house.”

Signs of Chinese buying are everywhere; for many real estate agents their bread and butter.

White Real Estate Agent: “Most of the buying is coming from Chinese immigrants who are wealthy.

Chinese Real Estate Agent: “Although the price is high right now, he thinks the price will go further higher.”

Vancouver residents see it in the scores of grand homes sitting silent, in the condo units that seem perpetually dark, unaffordable and unoccupied, presumably just a piece of an absentee owner’s portfolio.

Resident One: “Foreign ownership of condos in this city: 60%.”
Resident Two: “Probably 40%.”
Resident Three: “I’m going to go 80%.”

But the latest actual figure on foreign condo ownership in Vancouver is three and a half percent (3.5%). For other housing there are no official numbers. Vancouver City data suggests property vacancy rates haven’t changed in more than a decade.

And even those raising the alarm admit they’re mostly in the dark thanks to years of government inaction.

Government Official: “There is a lack of data out there, and an astonishing lack of data in Canada, specifically; other countries do a bit better job.”

What is clear in searing hot markets like Toronto, and especially Vancouver, dreams are being downsized and displaced.

David Leigh, Urban Geographer, University of British Columbia: “There’s a lot of adjustments that people are making: very heavy debt loads, doubling up, people leaving altogether.

Constant change, constant building, that neighborhoods get hollowed out, becoming a resort town, where wealthy players come here for the season.”

Rules restricting foreign buyers could cool tempers. Cooling a market where two million four gets you a mansion like this might be more complicated.

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1. Houses in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada are average priced. True or false? Have property prices been increasing, decreasing or remaining the same?

2. According to local residents, why are home prices skyrocketing?

3. The average local resident of Vancouver can afford to buy a house. Is this right or wrong?

4. Is foreign investment in British Columbia a recent phenomenon?

5. Do Chinese buyers and real estate agents agree that they are raising property values?

6. When foreigners buy property, they always move in and live there. Is this correct or incorrect?

7. What do people think regarding the percent of home owners who are foreign? Is it close to the reality?


A. Are house prices in your city increasing, decreasing or remaining the same?

B. Do (many) foreigners come and buy property?

C. Can the average local resident afford to buy a home?

D. What might happen in the future?

E. What should local residents and governments do?

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