How Vancouver Is Being Sold To The Chinese: The Illegal Dark Side Behind The Real Estate Bubble

Tyler Durden's picture

One month ago, when describing the latest in an endless series of Vancouver real estate horror stories, in this case an abandoned, rotting home (which is currently listed for a modest $7.2 million), we explained the simple money-laundering dynamic involving Chinese "investors" as follows.

  • Chinese investors smuggle out millions in embezzled cash, hot money or perfectly legal funds, bypassing the $50,000/year limit in legal capital outflows.
  • They make "all cash" purchases, usually sight unseen, using third parties intermediaries to preserve their anonymity, or directly in person, in cities like Vancouver, New York, London or San Francisco.
  • The house becomes a new "Swiss bank account", providing the promise of an anonymous store of value and retaining the cash equivalent value of the original capital outflow.

We also explained that hundreds if not thousands of Vancouver houses, have become a part of the new normal Swiss bank account: "a store of wealth to Chinese investors eager to park "hot money" outside of their native country, and bidding up any Canadian real estate they could get their hands on."

This realization has now fully filtered down to the local population, and as the National Post writes in its latest troubling look at the "dark side" of Vancouver's real estate market, it cites wholesaler Amanda who says that "Vancouver seems to be evolving from a residential city into almost like a lockbox for money... but I have to live among the empty houses. I’m a resident, not just an investor."

The Post article, however, is not about the use of Vancouver (or NYC, or SF, or London) real estate as the end target of China's hot money outflows - by now most are aware what's going on. It focuses, instead, on those who make the wholesale selling of Vancouver real estate to Chinese tycoons who are bidding up real estate in this western Canadian city to a point where virtually no domestic buyer can afford it, and specifically the job that unlicensed "wholesalers" do in spurring and accelerating what is currently the world's biggest housing bubble.

A bubble which, the wholesalers themselves admit, will inevitably crash in spectacular fashion.

This is the of about Amanda, who was profiled yesterday in a National Post article showing how a "Former ‘wholesaler’ reveals hidden dark side of Vancouver’s red-hot real estate market." Amanda quit her job allegely for moral reasons; we are confident 10 people promptly filled her shoes.

* * *

Vancouver’s real estate market has been very good to Amanda. She’s not a licensed realtor, but buying and selling property is her full-time job.

She started about eight years ago as an unlicensed “wholesaler” in Vancouver.

She would approach homeowners and make unsolicited offers for private cash deals. Amanda made a 10-per-cent fee on each purchase by immediately assigning the contract to a background investor. It is seen as the lowest job in property investment, but it is low risk and very profitable. Amanda has done so well that she now owns two homes in Vancouver and develops property in the U.S.

Unlicensed wholesaling is an illicit and predatory business that is quickly growing in Metro Vancouver because enforcement is virtually non-existent.

It’s similar to a tactic currently being examined by B.C. real estate authorities known as “assignment flipping,” which involves legally but secretly trading homes on paper to enrich realtors and circles of investors.

However, unlicensed wholesaling is completely unregulated. Amanda estimates hundreds of wholesalers are scouring Metro Vancouver’s never-hotter speculative market — not including the realtors who are secretly wholesaling for themselves.

Amanda decided to step away from the easy money for moral reasons.

She’s most concerned that wholesalers are targeting B.C.’s vulnerable seniors who don’t understand the value of their old homes. She is also worried about offshore money being laundered, and the resulting vacant homes.

Because wholesalers are unlicensed, they have no obligation to identify their background investors or reveal the source of funds to Canadian authorities who fight money laundering.

“Vancouver seems to be evolving from a residential city into almost like a lockbox for money,” Amanda said. “But I have to live among the empty houses. I’m a resident, not just an investor.”

Amanda said she believes that unethical and ignorant investors are driving B.C.’s housing market at full speed towards a crash. For these reasons, and with the condition that we not use her real name, she came forward to reveal how wholesalers operate.

The calling cards of wholesalers — hand-written flyers offering homeowners “confidential” and “discreet” cash sales — started flooding westside Vancouver homes over the past 18 months. With the dramatic surge in home prices, wholesalers now are spreading into neighbourhoods across Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

In eight years Amanda has never seen the market hotter than it is right now, and her colleagues are urging her to start wholesaling again.

Notices offering cash for homes are the calling card of unlicensed wholesalers

"A lot of money is leaving China, so now every second day people are asking if I can go out and find places for them. They have tons of money,” Amanda said. “They are basically brokering business deals specifically for Chinese investors."

She said the mechanics of wholesaling schemes work like this:

The investor behind the unlicensed broker targets a block, often with older homes, and gives the wholesaler cash in a legal trust.

The wholesaler persuades a homeowner to sell, offering immediate cash, no subjects, no home inspections, and savings on realtor fees.

While the wholesaler claims to represent one buyer, or in some cases to be the buyer, Amanda said three or four contract flippers are often already lined up, with an end-buyer from China who will eventually take title in most cases. These unlicensed broker deals appear to be illegal.

A veteran Vancouver realtor confirmed these types of deals. The realtors we spoke to have been asked by their brokerages not to comment to reporters, so we agreed to withhold their names.

“I work with some non-licensed flippers,” one said. “They walk on to the lawn of an older house, see the owner and yell, ‘We’re not realtors!’ The owner invites them in, thinks they’re saving a commission — which they are — and loses big-time on the actual sale. I’ve seen it first-hand.”

According to flyers obtained from across Metro Vancouver and interviews with homeowners who were solicited, wholesalers often say they have Chinese buyers willing to pay a premium for quick sales.

Homeowners in Richmond, Vancouver’s east and west sides, Surrey, Langley, Coquitlam, Burnaby, White Rock, Delta and North Vancouver confirmed such offers in interviews.

One resident of Vancouver’s west side Dunbar area said she was annoyed by wholesalers constantly soliciting her, and a man in Surrey said his elderly mother was bothered by wholesalers.

“A guy walked up and he offered $700,000 cash within a day, and he said I would save on the realtor fees,” said Zack Flegel, who lives near 119th Street and Scott Road in Delta.

“He also says he will give me $100,000 cash and move me into a $600,000 house. He said he has a bunch of properties. He was talking about my house like it was a trading card. We don’t have abandoned homes yet like Vancouver, but this is how it happens, right?”

After the offer is accepted, the wholesaler assigns the purchase contract to the investor for a 10-per-cent markup, Amanda said. But some wholesalers aren’t content with making $100,000 or more per sale.

“People were going in and offering, for example, an 80-year-old widow, she bought the house for $70,000 and it is now worth $800,000 and they were offering her $200,000,” Amanda said. “So they are making $300,000 or $400,000 (after assigning the contract).

“And you are socializing with other wholesalers, and it is hard to hear them say, ‘Oh this whole street is filled with seniors whose partners are dropping off like flies.’ Or, ‘They just want to get rid of it, they have no clue what their house is worth, and it’s the whole street.’”

Amanda said her father died recently. She pictured her mother being targeted by wholesalers and resolved never to play that role again.

“There are elements of this that are elder abuse, absolutely.”

In a recent story that deals with implications of rising property taxes rather than predatory real estate practices, the Financial Post reported that, especially in Vancouver and Toronto’s scorching markets, “it’s not uncommon for some Canadian seniors to be unaware of the value of their location.”

B.C.’s Superintendent of Real Estate, Carolyn Rogers, conceded the potential for elder abuse as reported by Amanda.

"We would welcome an opportunity to speak to (Amanda) and assuming she gives us the same information, we would open a file,” Rogers said. “The conditions in the Vancouver market right now present risks … and seniors could be an example of that.”

It is illegal for wholesalers to privately buy and sell property for investors without a licence, Rogers said. She said her officers have approached some wholesalers recently and asked them to become licensed or cease their activities.

A review of the superintendent’s website shows no enforcement orders, fines or consumer alerts filed in connection to unlicensed wholesalers making cash deals and flipping contracts.

Amanda said that over the past year she learned of new levels of “layering and complexity that I didn’t see five years ago” in wholesaling and assignment-clause flipping.

“Five years ago I didn’t see realtors wholesaling, and I didn’t see people calling me so that I would get them a property and not assign the property to them, but work as a ‘partner’ and I would attach a 10-per-cent fee.

“And then they would assign it to their boss and attach 10 per cent, and then that person’s boss would attach 10 per cent. I’ve been watching over the last month, and it has got astounding.”

Amanda said some wholesale deals involve only unlicensed brokers and pools of offshore cash organized informally, and some appear to involve realtors and brokerages hiding behind unlicensed wholesalers.

“I’ve seen it from the back end. We have friends in the British Properties and the realtor said he will buy their property for $2 million. And then six months later it was sold for $3.5 million. When I’m looking at that, it is a pretty clear wholesale deal.”

Darren Gibb, spokesman for Canada’s anti-money-laundering agency, FINTRAC, confirmed that unlicensed property buyers have no obligation to report the identity or sources of funds of the buyers they represent.

However, Gibb said, if realtors are involved in “assignment flipping” it is mandatory that they and unlicensed assistants make efforts to identify every assignment-clause buyer and their sources of funds.

Vancouver realtors confirmed that money laundering is a big concern in assignment-flipping deals, whether organized by an unlicensed wholesaler or a realtor.

“When you are a non-realtor broker you no longer have to play by any rules,” one Vancouver realtor said.

“There is a role for assignments, but nobody is asking where the money came from. We are creating vehicles for money laundering."

“No person in their right mind wants to buy your house once, and sell it three more times in a small window of opportunity, unless they have a whole pool of people lined up trying to get their money out of the country. The higher the prices go, these vehicles to get money out of the country get bigger and bigger.

NDP MLA David Eby and Green MLA Andrew Weaver commented that allegations of unlicensed brokers targeting seniors and participating in potential money-laundering schemes call for direct action from Victoria and independent investigation, because these concerns fall outside the jurisdiction of the B.C. Real Estate Council and its current ongoing review of real estate practices.

“It is very troubling to me,” Eby said, “that not only do we have a layer of real estate agents that are acting improperly and violating the rules, but there might be this additional layer who are not bound by any rule and have explicitly avoided becoming agents for that reason.

“This unscrupulous behaviour is targeting seniors who need money for retirement. What kind of society is that?” Weaver said.

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CHoward's picture

I forsee a very bad ending to this story for the entire of Canada. 

The Alarmist's picture

When everyone was worried in the 90's about the Japanese buying things like Pebble Beach and Rock Center, I pointed out that there was little possibility for them to pack it up and take it home and that we would be ready to take these assets back at pennies on the dollar when the time came.  The difference with China is that they have a couple hundred million spare bodies they can ship across the water to "perfect the lien" they have on these properties.  Ditto for SF and SoCal.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture

What about derivatives barons?  Where are they buying?

knukles's picture

First home, Park Avenue; weekend getaway the Hamptons; offshore store of wealth, London; "excess funds" never to seen again by anybody, Lake Como or Geneva.
Vancouver is a bit too well.... tacky. 

eatthebanksters's picture

What hath the reign of central planning brought?  So much easy money that those with access are changng the world, for the worse, for those with no access to it.  Fuck me, I don't know whether to say keep it going or let it blow up and come back to reality...

Antifaschistische's picture

NOTE TO CHINESE GOVERNMENT:

a. You already know your citizens like owning property.  This is important to Chinese people.

b. If you would stop your pseudo ownership bull shit and establish real property rights and legitimate ownership and drop this 75 year repo bull crap...this capital would not be leaving your country....because your citizen, who...at the end of the day would probably rather live in their home country, would rather invest in their own country.

So...if you want to wage war on capital flight.....then stop driving your people into our arms!!

Dr. Bonzo's picture

This is important to Chinese people.

It's funny the things that are important to Chinese. Most Chinese life choices go back to behavior rooted in China's deep past. Abusive land lords... better to own your own property... endemic serfdom.... be a mandarin, then you can abuse the serfs = study to take the government exam. They've been so traumatized by 2000 years of abusing eachother endlessly it persists to this day. But like a bad case of gout, they can't seem to shake the corruption monkey. That's also part of their delightful culture. Not a little bit corruption. Corruption that will make your toes curl.

Hey. They're coming. In waves. Enjoy!!!!!

quintago's picture

This sounds like a problem created by government inaction. Blaming China is fun and all, but just tax the shit out of it.

Lore's picture

Brilliant!  Because everybody knows taxes fix market imbalances... /SARC

Local regulators need to do their job, absolutely, but once again, international banking is responsible for creating the imbalances that manifest symptomatically in capital flight and bubbles. 

MalteseFalcon's picture

Cue the "Canadian" who insists that it is strictly Canadians and not Chinese that caused this sky high bubble.

Abbie Normal's picture

that would be Pitz, haven't heard from him in a little while....

pitz's picture

I'm still here.  Didn't show up in time for the evening's festivities, but yeah, most evidence points to 95% of the housing market in Vancouver being transacted in by local people, and no meaningful 'foreign' inflows.  A small market in very high end property is unfortunately being generalized by Realtors butt-hurt that the housing market is in decline and loaded to their gills in speculative "inventory".  Like this guy:

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/investigations/the-real-estate-techn...

 

"“It worries me a lot that this could all come crashing down. I worry about it all the time,” said one Re/Max agent, Khalid Hasan, who said he owns or co-owns 15 to 20 properties, all destined for resale."  

Vancouver is chock full of speculator types traditionally.  In the past they did stock scams/pump and dumps.  Today they're doing RE.  Its almost a way of life for some of the West Van crowd.

Lore's picture

That is my impression as well.  These people are quite literally psychopathic, not caring who gets screwed. 

Bay of Pigs's picture

Love to hear your explanation to damicol's comments below.

The Real Tony's picture

Every all white city in Canada has been falling in price since March 2012. Anyone who says the Chinese aren't 100 percent to blame is a liar.

pitz's picture

The widely accepted 'peak' of the Canadian RE market was in the 1st half of 2013.  Jim Flaherty (RIP) brought in a severe crackdown to the CMHC's subprime mortgage insurance operations in Budget 2013 and that pretty much marked the top.

August's picture

>>>Vancouver is a bit too well... tacky.

Yeah... Vancouver still has scanty residua of an actual working economy.

You know, shipping, pulp 'n' paper, and stuff.

Dr. Bonzo's picture

Caribbean. London. Miami. Wyoming. Tokyo. Singapore.

Hedging bets. I'm not sure if any of them see the North-South hemisphere dynamic thing. I'm thinking longterm the northern hemisphere sees the population bomb explode. Resource wars, nuke toxification, actual nuclear war.... southern hemisphere looking awfully good.

Freddie's picture

Hey Tojo - make my day!

Clint Eastwood with Peter Uberroth and a few others bought Pebble Beach in the aftermath.  They but it in some sort of trust so it will never be developed. 

eatthebanksters's picture

Eastwood, Uberoth, (Arnold) Palmer, and, (Richard 'Dick') Ferris bought Pebble.  And they have tried to develop it and got shut down.  I used to keep a horse at the stables in Pebble.  There used to be Polo fields which were used for Polo and an annual Level A World Class Rugby Tournament.  Now the Polo fields are driving ranges.  A plan was submitted to build a new resort hotel and golf course and the Stables were going to be moved way up the hill and substantially reduced in size.  The plans were shut down during the review process, not because the owners promised never to develop.  Btw, I have nothing against the owners doing any development becasue anything Clint has touched is first class.  I just wanted to correct your mistatement of fact.

Spitzer's picture

You turned out to be right for the wrong reasons. People didn't imagine that the US would convince the rest of the world to produce things for it and that they should also pay for the privilege of doing so.

 

DaveyJones's picture

I've wondered the same and live in Microsoftland where there appears to be an unlimited supply of cheap software engineers and a global corp damn interested in them.   

Dr. Bonzo's picture

The difference with China is that they have a couple hundred million spare bodies they can ship across the water to "perfect the lien" they have on these properties. 

Indeed. And let's not forget the motivation. For the price of a Shanghai shitshack you can live like a king in the US. Using their networks and friends their businesses will never go bankrupt. That's how they roll. You get priced out of your own market. They don't care. Because they come out on top.

pilager's picture

How do I get one of these guys to buy my house in Chicago ?

Normalcy Bias's picture

List your house as:

#1 Super Lucky Gambler Feng Shui Invisible to Government Year of Monkey House!

pilager's picture

On craiglsist? Okay.

It worked, some guy named Tung coming over the weekend.
Thank you.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Where TF are the family members (children) of these "elderly people"?

I smell another Centrally Planned clamp-down on private and cash sales, with Big Brother using this as a Pretext to enact new legislation.

I'll bet $$ on it, knowing that Globalists use every real or manufactured 'Crisis' as an Opportunity for more Central Control.

garypaul's picture

This article seems fishy to me. Seniors are really that stupid as a group? The newspapers and media are screaming about the record-high average prices of Vancouver homes but these seniors have not heard anything about it? Someone that senile would have a power-of-attorney anyways, wouldn't they?

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Not a lot of experience with the elderly, do you garypaul? What you call stupid is often just naïvete and gullibility when they run into a nice, clean-cut polite person offering them what seems to them a large sum of money for the house that in their minds "only" cost them $70k.

Let me suggest you go volunteer with a seniors group locally where you live. It will help you understand the challenges of growing old. If you are fortunate, you may get to that point yourself one day. No, not all seniors are that naïve, but many live reclusive lives. It takes a fuck of a lot of energy to stay alive when you're old. Ah fuck, time for my nap.

garypaul's picture

Sorry but you're not very convincing. It only cost them $70K? If that was 50 years ago, don't you think they've noticed that prices of things seem to have risen since then? And if they live reclusive lives, wouldn't they be watching more TV and reading more newspapers? Yes it's easy to sucker elderly people into certain things, say a fake medical treatment or an over-hyped stock. But to think they are completely unaware of their surroundings, means they're probably in an institution and someone has power-of-attorney. Remember, in order to believe this article you have to believe seniors are being duped en masse. By the way, I volunteer at a number of organizations. Most of my colleagues are seniors and they are the shrewdest people I ever met (except when it comes to technology).

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

I'm not trying to "convince" you or anyone of anything. I'm glad that the organizations you volunteer for have the shrewdest seniors about, but that's not typical of senior demographics, nor my personal experience with a wide range of seniors of varying socio-economic groups. Most of the ones I know are a) female; b) widowed; c) live on fixed income and d) have very limited technology skills. Their primary sources of information are 1) television; 2) newspapers; 3) radio and 4) internet, though the fourth source would be limited to maybe 20% max. 

As far as the $70k "cost", that is the sum the house was priced at when they bought it. With interest they surely paid much more. But that would be the number that stuck in their minds. When you ask,

"And if they live reclusive lives, wouldn't they be watching more TV and reading more newspapers?"

It tells me that you indeed do not spend a lot of times with seniors. When I told you it takes a heck of a lot of energy just to live when you're old, I wasn't kidding. You comments brim with the energy of someone young. You can't fathom why anyone would not see or do what you would consider either, reasonable, rational or commonsensical. For you it's practically infuriating. But that's because you haven't been either debilitated, infirmed or old. If you're fortunate, at some point in the future, you'll get your chance. Just look at it as one of those "Aha!" moments you have to look forward to.

Lore's picture

In my experience, sheep are sheep, whether in their 20s or their 90s.  The sharpest, most questioning and deep-thinking person I have ever known was a woman in her late 90s, whereas an incredible number of young people are fools, most poignantly among the brainwashed "global warming" crowd.  I mean no insult: it's just my observation. The point is, many people lack aptitude when it comes to questioning assumptions, connecting dots and thinking for themselves: they seem content from childhood to have someone else tell them what to think, what to believe, what to buy, and in general how to live. In fact, some will become quite angry if you try to shed light on their darkness, especially when it undermines cherished delusions. The effect can be more harmful in some ways than it would be to let them be. 

golden kafir's picture

I have a friend who's parents are old and they got totally fleeced by a Realtor selling their home at a 300,000 dollar loss. As well i was renting a place from an old couple in their 80's and they sold their place about 200,000 below what it was worth.Somehow people don't read their appraisals or something i dunno. So yeah it happens.

asteroids's picture

Like it or not,  all those sales raise the "average" price of a home in Canada. When this "hot" money leaves, there will be hell to pay, by everyone.

Bananamerican's picture

Hongcouver has been 'hot' for how long now?

it's defacto Chinese territory

ebear's picture

Going by the amount of mandarin I hear, I'd say there's more mainlanders here than HK people. Last one I spoke to was from Shanghai, which seems to be a common point of origin, along with Beijing and a few other places you never heard of. HK's part of China now anyway. I don't think they're the money power they used to be - at least not to the point of naming a city after them.

Therefore, I suggest we call it Tiancouver, an auspicious name, and very descriptive of the place, if you know where to look.

Here is "Tian" explained:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tian

And here's a song to go with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2eHMBJOUKA

Dr. Bonzo's picture

HK's part of China now anyway. I don't think they're the money power they used to be - at least not to the point of naming a city after them.

You gotta remember, aside from the robber baron elites who colluded with the Brits pimping opium and the Japanese whoring out their city, most Hongkers are diehard commie-haters, a large majority of which fled China during the Cultural Revolution. There's no love lost between the original Hongkongers and the commies, the bootlickers and toadies you hear about in the SAR govt notwithstanding.

I can actually imagine Hongkongers fleeing Vancouver with the influx of commie money. Plus there's the whole thing with the Han Chinese imposing putonghwa on everyone. Canto is a cool very colloquial language, too bad it's a bitch to learn.

Taiwan is a popular destination for Hongkongers these days. They might just start migrating to Taiwan in large numbers and setup a little Cantotown somewhere on the island.

This generation of Hongkongers is not going quietly into the night, that's for sure.

Buck Johnson's picture

It's going to end real badly.

 

Normalcy Bias's picture

This is how they'll conquer the West without firing a shot. They'll buy it.

alexcojones's picture

Sounds completely Legit to me

847328_3527's picture
Follow the money: Evidence submitted at fraud probe points to concerns about Vancouver real estate market

 

Wei had arranged for three million yuan to be deposited in a Chinese bank and transferred to a Richmond currency exchange. Exchange owner Tony Xu called Wei and told the realtor his client’s cash had arrived and it was converted to $521,470 Canadian.

It was 10 times the legal amount individuals are allowed to transfer from China. And it was 50 times over the $10,000 limit that must be reported under Canada’s anti-money-laundering laws.

Instead of having Wei come to his Richmond location to pick up the cash, Tony Xu said it was better for the realtor to meet his brother Frank Xu in Vancouver. Wei’s client Zhongyun Zhang, a Chinese transportation professional, had come to Vancouver in August 2014 and set up a Bank of Montreal account with Wei’s help.

She had listed his Burnaby home address as her own. And on the title deed of Wei’s home she claimed to be a homemaker. Bank documents said she was a Canadian resident. None of it was true.

http://www.theprovince.com/business/follow+money+evidence+submitted+frau...

 

Laowei Gweilo's picture

it's rather rampant even outside of housing... most students I knew spent 50-100k a year on just tuition and living expenses.

every one is complicit, including regulators on both sides, because if anyone actually followed all the rules, no one would be able to afford to even go to school in vancouver, let alone invest.

local institutions are just as complicit: the municipality is addicted to construct and re-zoning revenue; B.C. government addicted to the property taxes which have made their surpluses explode; b.c. institutions revenues are skyrocketing because foreigners pay 3-5x as much and pay cash, and anecdotally fail/re-take classes/require ESL pre-bachelor classes/go onto to Master programs a lot more often.

if suddenly all the transfer regulations were enforced and foreign ownership was banned, basically every local government instituion, body, or otherwise would turn into an absolute shit show. their finances are wholly addicted to the foreign investors and students.

Seer's picture

Someone understands! +1000

I was figuring that the bubble was going to burst as all those students were called back home (parents no longer being able to afford the cost).  The rental market is huge; if/when it starts to stutter then all the other bloat will pop and spew ugly puss. [I hadn't figured on big capital flight angle (I suppose that I should have)].

But, like you mention, the political class KNOWS that it has to have this churn happening in order to generate their skim money (to feed back into the quickly eroding social structure).

The fact that it's broadened out to Surrey pretty much says that the bubble is nearing its end.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

And it goes even farther. The average Chinese buying these homes do so for multiple reasons. Not only does it secure them their money as property OUTSIDE of China, it gives them a landing spot when China goes to shit, (as is happening now. Also, the Chinese government is devaluing the yuan and it is truly assfucking the average Chinese middle class guy with a small business and money sitting around getting devalued.

The guy who was posted last week talking about bitcoin being an "interesting prospect" because of the "Chinese angle" wasn't kidding. Bitcoin is the perfect vehicle to move money from China to BC without even leaving the mainland! And the buyer can pay for the whole deal with bitcoin. $400k house is only what 1000 bitcoins? And the seller of the house can take the bitcoins, still on a thumb drive, fly to Zurich and convert them into CHF without ever having to convert them into Loonies.

Invisible freakin' money. Invisble freakin' house sales. Crazy like a fox.

 

CheapBastard's picture

"The Canadians are simply not working hard enough."

 

~ Jack Ma [paraphrased]

Bastiat's picture

A friend saw this one recently in SF:  1400 sqft Edwardian condo in a 2 unit building listed for $995K.  Two days later is was pulled off market.  Three weeks later the sale was recorded at $1.4M+.  

The Alarmist's picture

To paraphrase what is commonly accepted as economic wisdom south of the Canadian border with the US, one might say that the Chinese are buying the properties that the Canadians are not willing to buy (at the price they should be reasonably expected to pay).

O-Nomics's picture

Vancouver average single family detached prices are set to double again:

Chart: http://www.chpc.biz/vancouver-housing.html#Double 

OCT 2002   = $384,200
APR 2008   = $771,321
2016-2017 = $1,542,642

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Time to cash in, buy a nice place in interior BC, and have plenty of cash left over. It's called Trickle-down Economics.  Duh!

Dassey4FedChair's picture

Endless amounts of money pouring into a country from a wealthier and more productive country.  Pricing the local population out of home ownership as their purchasing power and wealth is diminished. Sound familiar Canada , enjoy your slow walk to the 3rd world. Oh and next time you go to Mexico on vacation that you paid for by credit card look around. Because when you get home you are the Mexican and the Chinese the rich tourist. Enjoy and don't worry I'm sure you're government will help you out