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Captain Cavey

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  1. Not sure about that. Toronto prices across all housing sectors are crazy as opposed to bat-sh1t crazy in Vancouver. Looks like the vultures are beginning to circle:

    U.S. short sellers betting on Canadian housing crash: ‘An accident waiting to happen’

    Large Wall Street investors who made billions when the U.S. housing market collapsed in 2008 are now betting real estate values in Vancouver and other Canadian cities will crash, financial insiders say.

    The cross currents are beyond crazy in Vancouver — it’s a mix of money laundering, speculation, low interest rates,” said Marc Cohodes, once called Wall Street’s highest-profile short-seller by The New York Times. “A house is something you live in, but in Vancouver you guys are trading them like the penny stocks on Howe Street.”

    He says Vancouver real estate has reached peak insanity, and any number of factors could trigger a collapse.

  2. Even the Chinese Politicians have recognised the problem with unregulated housing money laundering investing in Vancouver:

    Chinese envoy says lack of oversight behind Vancouver’s house-price crisis

    In a wide-ranging interview over tea at the Chinese consulate in Vancouver, Consul-General Liu Fei said local residents are blaming wealthy Chinese buyers for the city’s increasingly costly real estate but that the real blame lies with officials who monitor buyers, sellers and real estate developers.
    The diplomat’s remarks come as Vancouver grapples with a red-hot housing market that has become both a blessing and a curse. The soaring average price of a detached house in Vancouver reached $2.23-million in May, an increase of nearly 20 per cent from the same time last year. The real estate industry and homeowners have profited from the demand, which has been boosted by tens of thousands of mainland Chinese millionaires who settled in Vancouver through federal and provincial immigrant investor programs. Although there is a constant debate about the lack of available data on the subject, a large real estate firm in B.C., Macdonald Realty, estimated that in 2013 roughly one-third of the houses it sold in the city of Vancouver went to buyers with ties to mainland China.

    The comments reflect the growing resentment. Only a matter of time before the politicians have to do something or lose the popular vote

    If a Chinese woman from China representing the Chinese government is able to state the two key facts so clearly, then what type of crazy, maladaptive and idiotic form of political correctness is binding shut the mouths of every Canadian at every level of Canadian power, from the press to the mayor’s office to the Parliament Buildings?

    Has Canada gone completely mad?

  3. Garth Turner from the Greater Fool Blog also makes the same Canada-Australia comparison:

    On Friday the crazy people in Australia will begin doing something the crazy people in Vancouver and Toronto should envy. A big Parliamentary inquiry into home ownership kicks off in a country where they relish fine house porn as much as we do. Maybe more. It seems Australia and Canada have the last two remaining bloated, swollen, humped-up, dirigible-sized, gasbaggish middle-class housing bubbles in the world.

    Great blog, but he persistently refuses to acknowledge that Hot Asian Money is influencing the market. Any comment that suggests that HAM is a contributing factor results in the racist card being pulled.

    Perhaps he got his moderator training from the BBC.

  4. Vancouver is getting crazy now. This is what $950,000 gets you on the outskirts of town:

    image-261801465-1.jpg

    To get anything decent that’s in an area where you would actually want to live, this is what happens:

    West Vancouver home sparks bidding war, sells for $1.1 million above asking. Nine offers were made for the 60-year-old rancher, which was listed at $2.98 million and sold for $4.1 million

    The winning bid of $4.1 million came from a mainland Chinese "offshore buyer who has a house here already. He is buying the land to build a house for himself or maybe to resell it. He hasn't decided," said Harvey

    Similar to the threads about the Australian bubble being fueled by hot offshore money, the politicians are beginning to see votes in the growing resentment on Canadians being outpriced:

    Premier Christy Clark has thrown cold water on Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s call for extraordinary tax measures to cool speculation in the housing market, saying they could wipe out billions of dollars in peoples’ home equity.

    With Finance Ministry data suggesting there is little evidence wealthy or foreign investors are driving housing unaffordability, there is little reason to institute a tax on luxury housing, she said in a letter to the mayor.

    Interesting that they don’t actually publish the data, so no one can verify this.

    Growing resentment that there’s no curb on money flowing into Vancouver from overseas and no questions asked on how the $50,000 per year transfer limit out of China is being circumvented to keep the HPI party going.

    Many parallels to what is happening in Australia.

  5. There you have it laid bare people of scotland

    Vote SNP and brace yourself for higher taxes

    Just wait until they start spending too

    But with oil at $100 and going up, our nuclear power & defence capability, our huge national public sector workforce, what can go wrong?

  6. Canada surprise rate cut keeps housing party going

    TORONTO (Reuters) - A surprise move by the Bank of Canada to cut interest rates on Wednesday could reignite Canada's housing market and renew fears of a bubble, just as the market had finally begun to cool after a five-year run to record prices.

    ...and of course, the real estate chaps are once again nursing a semi over this – e.g. here’s Mr Fudge packing it in:

    "This means everyone is going to get back in the saddle and we're going off to the races again," said Toronto real estate agent Steven Fudge. "It creates a sense of relief that we haven't seen the top of the market."

  7. Vancouver is insane. Worse even than London in relative terms I would say. Unlike London though, the house prices do fall rapidly as you move further out into the burbs. The really strange thing about it is, unlike London, it has very few high paying jobs. Those doctors are likely the top 0.1% of earners there.

    Only Hong Kong has less affordable housing than Vancouver, study finds

    Vancouver is the second most unaffordable housing market in the world after Hong Kong, according to a new study of major property markets.

    That could spell trouble for homeowners if mortgage rates rise, economists say.

    “Given how high house prices are relative to household incomes, you’d only have to see a moderate increase in mortgage rates to have a really huge hit to affordability,” said David Madani, Canada economist at Capital Economics.

    In Vancouver, median home prices were 10.6 times higher than median incomes in 2014.

    Interesting chart from CHPC.biz. Listings are plummeting and sales are down, so it seems that a few sales at the high end are perpetuating the HPI to the moon mantra

    9811257_orig.png?719

  8. Watch what happens to Canadian house prices now.

    Canada Housing Market Is 63% Overvalued: Deutsche Bank

    Homes in Canada are the most expensive, being 63 percent overvalued, the bank said in a survey ranking Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries’ markets. The measure reaches 56 percent in New Zealand, the second-most priciest, 53 percent in Belgium and 49 percent in Australia.

    Boom

  9. Canada Gets Sell Order as Oil Bust to Swipe Bank Stocks

    For Merrill Lynch, the risk is the slowdown in the oil sands will seep into a housing market “already saddled with near-record levels of household leverage.”

    Canada’s ratio of household debt to disposable income rose to a record 162.6 percent between July and September, according to data released last month. Benchmark interest rates of 1 percent have fanned a house-buying frenzy that sent 2014 sales up 6.7 percent in Toronto and 16 percent in Vancouver.

  10. + 1

    I'm also having an itch to move more of my savings from sterling to dollar. (Or perhaps even buy my first gold? Just a little? :unsure: )

    I have a dollar savings account, but my bank charges too much to transfer from my GBP savings account to my USD savings account, almost 2%! That's ridiculous. I need to find a better way - cheaper, but also safe though.

    I've been using currancyfair for a while without any problems. Significantly better rates than the banks and only a 4 quid transfer fee

  11. Given enough time similar particles can get sorted and deposited in placer deposits. That's where some of the uranium comes from in the first place. So, yes, there probably will be Fukushima 'hot spots'.

    The risk is not just from the primary nuclear waste. Other particles can become 'charged' if they come into contact with nuclear materials (wiki: nuclear fallout).

    Unfortunately, the human body retains certain elements which have radioactive isotopes - for example, strontium 90 and Iodine 131

    wiki - 'bone seekers'

    There's an increasing number of smallish Japanese particles being washed up on Canada's western coast:

    8573191.jpg

    Vancouver

  12. If you put concrete on top it will force more contaminated water out from underneath which is where the leaks are coming from. If they dig underneath to seal it from underneath then I guess the leaks will increase at least for the several years the digging would take ... so after two years they are ... well no further forward and the plant infrastructure will be getting progressively worse day by day.

    NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka: “Considering the state of the plant, it’s difficult to find a solution today or tomorrow… That’s probably not satisfactory to many of you. But that’s the reality we face after an accident like this… We don’t truly know whether that will work… Of course, we’d hope to eliminate all leaks, but in this situation, all we can hope for is to minimize the impact on the environment. If you have any better ideas, we’d like to know.”

    I

    IMHO it is a mess of immense proportions which will not go away for decades if ever.

    no need to dig - there's a standard technique for lowering the permeability of a rock mass that comprises injecting a cementiceous grout at high pressure from a series of drill holes in a closly spaced pattern. This is used in the constructions of dams to prevent excessive leakage off the water beneath the dams foundation. I'd be surprised if the plant didn't have one in the first place, but it may not have been been extensive enough to stop the volume of contaminated water now present.

  13. Getting a bank account is a complete nightmare. One of the problems is that the banks presume that everyone is crook and that you are probably laundering money from somewhere. You'll need lots of copies of passport and work visa, but the trickiest thing is proof of address, such as a utility bill - not easy when you first arrive. Can take months to get this sorted. Try from uk with Barclays (ABSA in SA) to see if you can link an account. Otherwise see if your employers can set up a company account for you.

    You will also be in a high tax bracket untill things settle down, so remember to claim this back on your tax return to SARS (get an accountant to do this for you for about R500, don't try to deal with these morons yourself)

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