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Dean

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  1. Yes they do. Some anecdotals for you (I do actually have data to back all this up but nothing I could release sadly as it’s part of work stuff, so it’s kinda believe me or not stuff) I have been living in Canada for just shy of two years now and it’s become another example of my very bad luck, because to me at least here (in the Toronto area) the bubble is more ferocious than when I lived in London (and that is really saying something). Broadly speaking you still get more for your money here, but I seem to remember reading as part of some economic analysis that I did, that house prices had doubled in some areas here since 2014, which is a very steep rise over a very short time. Conveniently the government “doesn’t have” figures on non resident ownership in many provinces, yet they have still decided to put a one percent tax in their manifesto, so they have gone from saying it’s no problem, to now saying it is, in the space of about a year. Vancouvers similar tax seems to have been somewhat effective, but of course, tax doesn’t stop investment/money laundering it just siphons a cut towards the federal and provincial governments. I would suggest the Liberal party are well aware that the home buyer government loan would stoke prices higher, although the terms and conditions are slightly less insane than help to buy was back in the uk, it’s still blatantly a prop, I think they would be keen to see flattening prices in Toronto and Vancouver and rising prices everywhere else (say by the exact amount of the Canadian help to buy scheme), a cake and eat it scenario, where they can claim to be controlling prices in one area while stoking another. No party that I can see is wanting to block non resident ownership, because it is the golden goose and there is probably an ancillary fear of US repercussions, which would affect the snowbirds. I have actually done quite a lot of economic analysis on this subject as part of my day job and interestingly the average person tends to have more than 100 percent of their monthly income in debts. It’s actually worse than anything I saw in similar comparable figures in the UK, with no end in sight, credit is used for everything, I would even stretch to say it’s worse than similar comparable data in the United States whom have actually been paying down their debts. Canada sadly has a true, out of control debt and property bubble and I cannot see how it ends well. Honestly I even looked at the same exact figures in the UK for and it’s terrifying in comparison here. I do have the opportunity to move back to the UK but am weighing this up against the comparable quality of houses here for less money (at least in terms of space), it’s a tough choice, it may just come down to being close to family again winning out in the decision. In the event of a recession, you would see the mother of all house price crashes in Canada. Lovely country, lovely people, insane debt bubble directly encouraged by government policy, sound familiar ?
  2. I would say the only place you should emigrate to is a place you want to live in, which probably sounds really trite. I have been going through the Canadian immigration process for the last six months and it is brutal, even a job offer is not a particular help ( I have had a job offer and it is still taking forever, to the extent that the employer is now looking elsewhere) I reckon it could be next year before all the paperwork is completed. So all this mythology about Canada being the new destination for the emigrant, is kind of nonsense. I would love to live either there or the United States, but, the USA is essentially a closed shop ( unless you are willing to undercut their workers salaries on a h1b visa, which I have turned down twice, or can convince a company to pay 20k in legal fees to bring you in). Essentially, I like Baseball, American TV, Movies and the mythology of the USA, the faux pleasant nature and the plastic bombast that is present in North America suits me well and I have always found it to be a second home, having lots of friends over that side of the water, in comparison to the UK ( having spent over a year of my life over there ) go where you find cultural alignment I guess. Every country has its ups and downs. The United Kingdom as stated elsewhere is actually pretty great, the big downside is housing costs, if it were not that I prefer North America and find myself more comfortable there, I would not even be attempting to move and if I fail to move there, I will not be upset about my lot. Find a job where you can work from home and the United Kingdom has a lot to offer. Pros: Low Crime relatively. Good annual leave entitlement. Good healthy sense of humour/cynicism. NHS. A good sense of pride in most working class towns. Good transport links Given it's small size, a great potential to make leaps in technology. Cons: Horrible transport experience when using the transport links. Poor tenant protections. Absolutely and shamefully in hock to the bankers with very little in the way of industry. Very little difference between towns ( I could be wrong but it feels like living in Swansea is not too much different to living in Manchester ). I know this post will seem trite, especially for this forum, but you should only emigrate to a place you feel at home with, otherwise, it is better to be George Bailey fighting the battle of Bedford Falls ( to quote one of my favourite pieces of Americana ). House prices in Britain will fall, it will be a fight, writing to politicians, campaigning, renting, saving, it is going to be a rough ride, but they will fall, because the have nots have the numbers.
  3. My commute, is supposed to be 20 minutes by rail. Actually takes 40 minutes most days because the train has to stop outside London Bridge due to "congestion". The franchise owner has also cut the rush hour route trains from 10 carriages to 8 as of January, no reason or explanation given, it was overcrowded before, now it is torture. The days I work from home are bliss. The bane of my life, can not wait to get out of this city for good. I have also noticed that the drivers on the roads ( south east London ) are getting increasingly dangerous and taking very silly risks, due to, I am guessing a combination of stress and massive overcrowding of key routes.
  4. I am currently renting in Greenwich while waiting for my mountains of Canadian immigration paperwork to go through. The council has a massive waiting list for housing, they sold off a ton of housing between 10-15 years ago. I am currently renting in an ex council block, looks like a dive from the outside, but beautifully built inside, next to no noise from the neighbours, its a bit of a fortress. I do think that this is an attempt to stop house prices from plummeting ( as nothing anywhere near me has sold in the two years I have lived here ) but, I also think that the council does not want to take the time it would require to actually build anything. ( This area would probably be NIMBY central as well ). So a little bit of corrupt house price protection, a little bit of short termist reactionary planning.
  5. I will add to this, as it will provide good catharsis. Obscene house prices do my nut because ..... there are business projects I am unable to pursue due to needing to keep savings in the bank, due to lack of security of tenure, there are things I have not purchased due to having to move constantly and needing to be able to fit my life into a van, which in turn has deprived other businesses in the economy of my money, in my more downbeat moments I look around and think "I have worked two jobs since I was about sixteen, whilst earning a degree in a technical field and started one soon to be two companies ( my first even finished up with a small profit ) and I would have been much better off just getting into as much debt as possible as soon as I left school and buying a clapped out flat in south east London". Like you, ( I am a little younger but not by too much ) if not for high house prices, I would be able to afford to put all my time into my side job ( self employed ) , rather than having 8 hours a day taken by the job that pays more ( full time employed ) and potentially create jobs and opportunity for myself and for others as a result. The only people high house prices benefit, are those who would prefer to sit around doing nothing and earning at the expense of others, inherently corrupt politicians and criminally incompetent financial institutions, the amount of businesses that have and will go under as an indirect result of pursuing HPI ramping policy, is shameful and it is more shameful that the voting populace have allowed this. The final reason, for me personally, is that around the end of this year, I am moving to another country, primarily due to lower housing costs and while this has always been my plan since a young age, I have immense guilt as I know I will be leaving loved ones behind who at times, will need me, but essentially I know that this is the last chance, as soon enough I will be too old to qualify and staying in the UK without a house price crash of great proportions, is just not an option for me and my partner. To me this is not a left/right issue ( which is why I steer clear of debate threads ), this is a fundamental human need, being exploited by a minority of selfish, greedy, lazy, unimaginative people, who only pursue this irresponsible/amoral investment activity/political manipulation, because they are unable or unwilling to learn, how to do anything else. The only smarts that such property investors have, is the smarts, to have been born at the right time and then the ability to rig the game against their own children to ensure their comfortable lifestyle, with dangerously leveraged credit. For those, who have just purchased one home ( at a ridiculous price ) in the event of a massive crash, I would say, it would be an important life lesson about trusting your own intuition, because, I refuse to believe, that there is anybody who if you said "picture what you would buy with half a million pounds" would instinctively picture a clapped out semi in a London suburb, I suspect it would be closer to a small mansion with a swimming pool .... and they would be correct. Or to sum up the above in one phrase. "no single raindrop believes it is responsible for the flood". I hope things work out for you Popcorn and for everyone who just wants one roof over their own and their families head.
  6. That is an interesting graph thank you for sharing. I probably am looking for something around the 350-400,000 mark, as this would be a mortgage myself and my girlfriend could comfortably afford. Leaning towards Hamilton, or Oshawa, would really like Ajax or Pickering. Am in no great rush to buy, as we want to rent for say 1-2 years, just to make sure we like the place enough. Our reasons for moving to Canada are, comparatively lower cost of living than London, decent job opportunities in our professions and we really love it over that side of the Atlantic, it has always been the plan to move over there, as a personal choice, rather than any particular problem with the UK. However it is encouraging to see the very different approach to the property bubble over there compared to the UK right now ( probably it is just so the liberals can try and get re-elected, but, something is better than nothing ). It is a shame that this may effect your plans to move, hopefully things will work out in your favour ( that is a nice view you have ).
  7. This would certainly be nice for me to arrive to later in this year, long may it continue. I still believe that more interest rate rises would be needed to truly burst the bubble and as others have said, family homes within say an hours commute of major cities are still overpriced relative to Canadian incomes. There is a ways to fall yet.
  8. We are going to try to get a rolling month deal as plan A, but have no faith in this as technically our contract should go rolling anyway as of August so the agent clearly wants to break it. Plan B, offer six months rent and take the hit on the two months rent that will be left, but as a sweetener after signing, get the faulty oven replaced to wipe out some of the rental excess. If neither of those work I would love to go rogue, personally, but sadly my better half has no stomach for that ....so we might just go on a ridiculously long vacation, hanging around in sunnier climbs for a couple of months. (Anywhere but Malta which I hear has really gone downhill lately) Thanks for the tips all....back on with the thread with its superb analysis and here's to global property speculators getting a tiny fraction of the misery they cause others, over the coming macro economic storm, it does seem like popcorn time.
  9. Not wanting to move this totally off topic into the "London sucks thread" I sympathise with all of the above. I actually have something to contribute for once. Expecting to move to the Toronto area between October/End of the year, which is I guess, the good news, currently waiting on paperwork to be completed. Landlord, who has not raised the rent in two years now wants to raise the rent, Tenancy ends in late August, there is no way I can sign for another year, and this letting agent does not do six month agreements, while London rents are falling, we have, quite a good deal here, it will rent again to somebody else ( allegedly flat in the same building is paying 950 pcm, we pay 800 pcm ). So for the second time in three years, my girlfriend and I are homeless ( first time was a section 21 after complaining about a dangerously fitted shower that would run so hot it would burn your skin ). It's a market, we make our own choices, yadda, yadda sigh. Unfortunately security of tenure is not a choice here. Rant over.
  10. Fascinating topic. My ten cents. Big finance and technology's primary effect on creative work, is the utter destruction/disruption of every vehicle available for making a living from the work. The entire middle of the film industry has been destroyed by technology, Netflix and various VOD services have completely killed medium sized budget projects ( which used to be the largest employer ) as a result of this, a lot of incredibly talented people find themselves making a living, instead of through telling great fictional stories, making promo videos for corporates and in particular the finance world. As somebody starting out, if you do not make impact in your first two projects you are now essentially dead in the water. People that you would probably not expect to be struggling, if you saw their imdb pages, are really struggling financially and also as a double blow, are unable to talk about it through fear of losing even more work. ( status and the illusion of doing well being strangely important in that industry, especially at the higher end ), there is a joke in L.A that if you want to find a director urgently, go request an Uber instead of contacting the DGA. Very big companies, who you would think, would be invested heavily in protecting their intellectual property, are happy to let piracy decimate their industries if you throw in the rapid growth of VOD the result is that there is now only ultra-low budget and massive tent-pole productions, with very little in between. The demand on the back end has also been further destroyed by finance, when all somebodies disposable income is taken away by servicing debt, suddenly that trip to the cinema, that DVD purchase, become much more of a serious consideration. As a result, all the economic activity goes direct to the banks. It is tough to justify buying a movie when you need to keep the roof over your head, I understand that, but it is more important than ever to vote with your wallet, if you like books/movies/films and where possible support the artist directly, or it will go away. I can only really comment on film, but have heard the same is true for music and video games nowadays. Now logically you may say, that the value of entertainment products has declined and that this is a natural market reaction, but consider all the merchandising, jobs, tax revenue, services, that have been created from just the Harry Potter concept alone, the return on investment is insane, big finance and technology wish that they could achieve those kinds of returns for their products. Regarding the example of Tangerine, we now live in a world where anybody "can" make a movie on their Iphone, this is true, but we also live in a world, in which any investment in an independent film project you may as well write off at the beginning, unless you have a massively strong social media following or a ton of money set aside for marketing ( see Paranormal Activities marketing budget for an example ), if you walk outside and ask some people, how many do you think will have even heard of tangerine ? fewer still will have seen it. I agree with the comments that humans are much happier creating than servicing debt, but, as long as that debt exists and as long as our society remains capitalist, creative industries will be starving. To end on a positive however, where I see this going, is people identifying super niche areas of interest, we are seeing this begin, with a lot of projects catered towards very specific audiences, which should lead to an amazingly vast variety of things to watch, read and listen to ....finding them will be the challenge.... people will be making stuff for the love, because, well, the money just won't be there.
  11. I was just about to post this myself. Personally, happy about the rent control stuff, because I will probably be renting for a little while 2-3 years to build up the savings pot some more. It worries me that from afar Toronto feels like watching London all over again. The other measures foreign buyers tax etc, it just feels like, will have a slowing effect, but won't bring down prices per se, this is pretty much what happened in Vancouver, where currently everything currently seems to be just stagnated, until you have people needing to sell, then price falls will not happen. As you say in particular regarding Single Family Homes, the fact that myself and my GF, who will both be earning decent/ok wages in TO ( by the looks of things so far ) would be borderline on mortgage affordability for Oshawa and the surrounding areas ( even with 50% down payment ) suggests that something fishy/silly is going on in the SFH market. Ok fair enough the mortgage terms we have been looking at are about 12-13 year maximum term, so we could stretch further if we needed to, but, I am incredibly reluctant to take on debt on a longer term. I believe the SFH problems are being caused by people just saying "what is the maximum possible I can borrow with the lowest monthly payments" and getting insane 30 year mortgage terms at super low rates on five year fixes. All the above said, it is still cheaper like for like than London and the surrounding areas and better quality in size terms. Globally, high house prices driven by loose credit standards are a disease, a crack up boom of epic proportions. Without raising the interest rates to normal circa 5-10% levels, I can't see anything changing in a major fashion anywhere. However any measures by any government at this stage, have to be welcomed, even as a short term fix. I am also encouraged that Canada seems to have a slightly different attitude to the UK regarding House Prices to the moon and at least attempts to rein it in.
  12. I see three factors for the current rises. 1. Clear and obvious international money parking. ( this would be hard to prove, with data, but C'MON.....would love to see some sources on this theory ) 2. People probably taking on very long termed mortgage debt, considering only monthly payments and not the potential ramifications in the event of a rate rise. ( Would be interested to see average mortgage term lengths over time ), this feels similar to friends in London who tend to ask, "what is the maximum that I can borrow and what are the monthly payments ?" [source] http://www.nationalpost.com/home+prices+climb+taking+years+mortgage+becoming+norm+toronto+vancouver/12015583/story.html as long as people can maintain the monthly payments, there will not be a crash, so herein is where interest rate rises become a factor. 3. People doing anything they can to not be stuck in a condo with 6/7/800 dollar a month service fees forever and get out of the rental market, which with an incredibly low vacancy rate, seems to be turning into a nightmare of its own, hearing of insane rent increases in TO and seeing some evidence of this on Craigslist ( perfect timing for me ) [source] http://settlement.org/ontario/housing/rent-a-home/basics/what-are-the-apartment-vacancy-rates-in-ontario/ 1.3% vacancy rate, at this level, without regulation, I can see Landlords will begin taking the piss royally.
  13. Thanks for the tips, really helpful information. I am fortunate enough to have a couple of friends there already and in the USA, as you say, I have found Canadians to also be interesting people, very friendly/polite outwardly, but super reserved and cautious in actuality. Thank you for the links, I will bookmark those and keep an eye. Moving it back to HPC related matters, I feel like, prices will correct if interest rates do in fact rise early 2018 and if the money laundering can be curbed, which is two big ifs. My logic being, from my research, it seems that Canadian mortgage underwriting standards, are much more robust and sound than a lot of UK Mortgage underwriting standards. Most of the quotes my GF and I have been getting have been about 2.5/3 times income, given that we would both be on decent-ish salaries and have a 40-50% deposit, I feel like the outskirts like Oshawa and Hamilton, would be about $300,000, would be more than happy to score something in Whitby for that kind of price ( which may be a pipedream ). Calgary seems strangely insulated, from the money laundering, especially given its good international transport links, I would presume, it Ontario were to curb the speculation, that the money may just flow to Calgary. The Canadian market feels like watching the London market play out again from the beginning.
  14. This would be pretty great for me, if it were to implode ( given that I will be out in Canada from about September of this year ) while I really want a HPC in the UK for my family and friends who are priced out, my personal plan has always been to move to North America, which is where I am about a couple of months out of each year, so the recently bearish news articles are good news for me. I have noticed anecdotally, that the Toronto bubble, seems to have gone into overdrive since about Summer of last year, I haven't found any good data sources for the Canadian market, so only have websites like Realtor.Ca to go by, Vancouver I have not been watching as closely. Not looking to buy for about one or two years and that is dependent on prices feeling right/wherever I end up settling, so a 2018 bubble pop semi-posited by some http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/torontos-housing-bubble-when-the-stinky-stuff-hits-the-fan/article34694950/ would be pretty perfect timing. One thing I have noticed, which is vastly different to the UK, is that I rarely see a Canadian news article selling high prices as a good thing, sentiment being such a big factor in a crash this could be important, I often read their news outlets discussing the housing market, as, a market, subject to rises and falls. Although, for balance, I do see in the comments on such articles, a lot of people have the view "we see articles every year saying the Canadian bubble will burst and it never does". I do think, even with taxation aimed at curbing speculation, that the only way to see a real correction, would be in the event of a base rate rise, as the current psychology I am hearing from friends, is, borrow as much as you can at current low rates, buy a property at any price, its all about the monthly payments, Toronto also seems to have a supply problem in terms of "single unit family homes" and freeholds, as I am guessing most people are not interested in apartments with ever growing monthly service fees. I am liking hearing about "HovelInHoves" experience in Barrie, as I did look at Barrie, but the commute to Downtown TO, seems pretty serious. Maybe set up a Canadian branch of HPC with an obligatory Tim Horton's inside it
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