Jump to content

      














Photo

Our region's most expensive houses


  • Please log in to reply
646 replies to this topic

#21 gumgum

gumgum
  • Member
  • 7,069 posts

Posted 05 January 2008 - 08:45 AM

Nah. Pools generally add zero value to a property.

#22 Ms. B. Havin

Ms. B. Havin
  • Member
  • 5,052 posts

Posted 05 January 2008 - 10:07 AM

I'm so glad someone wrote in to rebut this guy from Landcor, who was quoted in an article a day or two ago, on how Victoria (and Vancouver) are still considered "bargains" by Americans and people from elsewhere. I remember thinking, "what a dickhead; typical realtor sales sleaze." (ok, ok, I was in a jaundiced mood -- the guy has to say this stuff since he has to make a living, too. But jeepers, like Gertrude Stein said, "a dick is a dick is a dick," or something like that...)

Great rebuttal in the letters section of the T-C today:

Victoria housing: Cheap it's not

Times Colonist

Published: Saturday, January 05, 2008

Re: "Region's homes worth $83.7 billion," Jan. 3.

There certainly seems to be no upper limit to what people will pay for Victoria real estate. However, it is a glaring error to state, "Our house prices are still cheap relative to prices around North America," as quoted in the article.

According to the National Association of Realtors, only five regions in the U.S. have median prices higher than ours: Los Angeles ($588,000-$700,000), Honolulu ($649,000), San Jose/San Francisco ($825,000-$852,000), San Diego ($589,000) and New York ($550,000).

Everywhere else is now less expensive than Victoria.

In the U.S., mortgage interest is tax deductible. That means they have to earn $1,000 to pay $1,000 in mortgage interest.

In Canada, assuming a 40 per cent tax bracket, we have to earn about $1,600 to pay $1,000 in mortgage interest.

Homes in Victoria are drastically more expensive than in any U.S. market when actual after-tax house payments are considered.

These facts unequivocally prove that we live in one of the least-affordable housing markets in North America, if not the world.

Our prices are not "still cheap."

Richard Brunt
Victoria

http://www.canada.co...22-119f2752518a


When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#23 amor de cosmos

amor de cosmos

    BUILD

  • Member
  • 4,933 posts

Posted 05 January 2008 - 10:09 AM

isn't there some sort of GST credit the government has set up for people buying a house?

#24 Ms. B. Havin

Ms. B. Havin
  • Member
  • 5,052 posts

Posted 05 January 2008 - 10:26 AM

^ Not sure; there was some talk of rebating or getting rid of the GST on new construction??, and there might be some program that helps the first-time buyers avoid this tax? But I'm really not sure. What he writes about the US tax structure is true. Interest on mortgage is tax deductible.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#25 Phil McAvity

Phil McAvity
  • Member
  • 1,238 posts

Posted 07 January 2008 - 10:14 PM

I'm so glad someone wrote in to rebut this guy from Landcor, who was quoted in an article a day or two ago, on how Victoria (and Vancouver) are still considered "bargains" by Americans and people from elsewhere. I remember thinking, "what a dickhead; typical realtor sales sleaze." (ok, ok, I was in a jaundiced mood -- the guy has to say this stuff since he has to make a living, too. But jeepers, like Gertrude Stein said, "a dick is a dick is a dick," or something like that...)



Huh? How is this guuy a dickhead because many people consider Victoria real estate a bargain? I must be missing something.

#26 Phil McAvity

Phil McAvity
  • Member
  • 1,238 posts

Posted 07 January 2008 - 10:17 PM

Man i wish there was some way to delete redundant posts. There's nothing more annoying than people that repeat themselves over and over and over and over and over and over.

#27 Phil McAvity

Phil McAvity
  • Member
  • 1,238 posts

Posted 07 January 2008 - 10:31 PM

isn't there some sort of GST credit the government has set up for people buying a house?


Yes, the government gives first time home buyers a tax break although i don't know the details.

Per capita, Victoria is in a class of it's own for expensive homes.

#28 Ms. B. Havin

Ms. B. Havin
  • Member
  • 5,052 posts

Posted 07 January 2008 - 10:48 PM

How is this guy a dickhead because many people consider Victoria real estate a bargain?

Because saying "many" is just him saying it, without backing stats or info. I think it's misleading to suggest that "Americans" (note the generic classification) consider Victoria a "bargain." It kind of plays on this Canadian idea that Americans are all carpetbaggers or something.

There are plenty of places south of the border where the bottom is dropping out of the real estate market -- except, perhaps, at the very very very high end luxury market, where you still find "overseas" types looking for a safe haven for their cash -- and that drop plays against the Victoria-as-bargain card. So I'm not convinced that Americans looking for a bargain are banging down Victoria's doors.

Victoria has gotten noticeably pricier in the past half dozen years -- especially when you consider that some people still need to pay a mortgage, which means they need decent, well-paying jobs with which to finance that payment. Buyers who pay for their pad in cash and don't take out a mortgage are still the minority. The ones who do that for really high-end properties are rarer still.

Ok, look, I feel badly about calling the guy a dickhead -- what do I know? I'm not a realtor. But look around you: in what universe, exactly, is Victoria still a bargain? And if you can identify that universe, how many lightyears is it from what you'd call "Americans"? Just because there are a handful (relatively speaking) of people with enough money that they don't have to think for 2 seconds about prices like ours doesn't mean Victoria is a bargain. With the US dollar losing strength, the US economy in crisis over the subprime mortgage fiasco, and people losing money on their real estate over there, I don't see how rising prices here add up to a bargain, except for a relatively small subset of people who live on a completely different plane.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#29 Phil McAvity

Phil McAvity
  • Member
  • 1,238 posts

Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:38 AM

Ms. B. Haven, the thing is, I don't know who the guy's been talking to. Maybe some people actually consider Victoria a bargain, as absurd as that seems. I also don't back up everything i say with stats and facts either. Many things i say are from my own experience, and that sometimes conflicts with other people's experience.

Getting back to the list, I went to the BC Assessment site and made a list of notable properties around Victoria. For some reason the numbers at the site don't jive with the Times-Colonist article which makes no sense since the T-C quoted the BC assessment site as their source. Here's a list of what the BC assessment site said versus what the Times-Colonist wrote:

Address of property:_______T-C price:__BC Assessment price:__

3195 Humber Rd. 11.6 million 14.3 million
3125 Beach Drive 10.5 million 12.9 million
3150 Rutland Rd. 10.4 million 11.2 million
3160 Humber Rd. 9 million 11.3 million
1069 Beach Drive 8.7 million 9.1 million
340 Moses Point Rd. 8.5 million 8.7 million
547 Ardmore Drive 7.5 million 7.9 million
3155 Beach Drive 7.4 million 9.3 million
9020 Ardmore Drive 7.2 million 6.5 million
1101 Beach Drive 7.1 million 7.5 million
3145 Humber Rd. 6.5 million 7.5 million
3150 Tarn Pl. 6.2 million 7.7 million
2985 Beach Drive 5.9 million 8.2 million
249 King George Tce. 5.8 million 6.4 million
3165 Tarn Pl. 5.8 million 7.1 million
237 King George Tce. 5.7 million 5.1 million
1029 Beach Drive 5.6 million 5.9 million
1039 Beach Drive 5.6 million 5.9 million
8100 McPhail Rd. 5.6 million 7.6 million

There are two properties that actually went down in value on this list!
Another interesting note about the two lists is that i found 6 properties worth upwards of $10 million, the Times-Colonist found 4. There is one property the T-C never even mentioned; 9344 Ardmore Dr. (worth 11.1 million). All in all, i found 41 properties in Greater Victoria worth over $5 million. Of those, 16 (or about 40%) are on Beach Drive.

#30 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:40 AM

People that think local real estate is a bargain are the same people that think Seattle-built luxury yachts are relative bargains due to the weak US$.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#31 aastra

aastra
  • Member
  • 15,242 posts

Posted 08 January 2008 - 12:12 PM

Yep, the perception of affordability is different for each person. Victoria is a pretty, historic city on an island that offers a sub-Mediterranean climate, dramatic views of snowcapped mountains, and easy access to beaches, the ocean, and other smaller islands.

Contrary to popular misconception (especially the misconception of most Victorians), these attributes are not a dime a dozen in North America.

Victoria is not a big place. Compared to the regions Mr. Brunt identifies in his letter, Victoria is positively tiny. You could lump Vancouver in with Victoria and the local market would still be tiny compared to Los Angeles or San Francisco/San Jose. But Victoria is very attractive to a very wide audience. Just as Victoria attracts street people from all over Canada, it also attracts wealthy real estate buyers from all over Canada, the USA, and elsewhere. Victoria isn't big, so when it gets too much interest from too many places and too many people, things get distorted. You can dismiss the interested parties as merely a "handful," but a handful of buyers from Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Texas, Alberta, and wherever else adds up to a lot of people for a market Victoria's size.

When you're talking real estate, Victoria is not Saskatoon or Halifax. I shudder at comparisons but in terms of high-end real estate, Victoria is much more like a mini-San Francisco or mini-Vancouver (but on an island, and with a good helping of the sort of international cachet that small cities can develop when they're well regarded by folks in the know but still fairly obscure to the mainstream crowd). And yet Victoria is neither of those places. It's Victoria. It's unique.

Compare equivalent high-end properties in the various markets and I suspect Victoria is indeed still a bargain. I could be wrong.

#32 gumgum

gumgum
  • Member
  • 7,069 posts

Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:21 PM

^Well said.

#33 Nparker

Nparker
  • Member
  • 24,379 posts

Posted 08 January 2008 - 07:16 PM

Yes, the government gives first time home buyers a tax break although i don't know the details.


First Time Home Buyers (FTHB) are allowed an exemption to the Property Transfer Tax (PTT)

First Time Home Buyer's Program

Introduced in 1994, the First Time Home Buyers' Program is designed to help British Columbians purchase their first home. Under the program, eligible purchasers can claim an exemption from Property Transfer Tax if the fair market value of the home is less than the threshold amount.

Thresholds


For registrations after February 20, 2007, the fair market value threshold for eligible residential property is $375,000 and applies throughout the province.
A proportional exemption is provided for eligible residences with a fair market value of up to $25,000 above the threshold (i.e. up to $400,000).

Other Criteria


To qualify for the First Time Home Buyers' exemption you must meet all of the initial eligibility criteria. To retain the exemption, there are also requirements which must be met in the year following the transfer. For a general overview of the eligibility criteria, please see the brochure, Property Transfer Tax and the First Time Home Buyers' Program. For complete information on all of the eligibility criteria, please see:
To claim the exemption you must file a First Time Home Buyers' Property Transfer Tax Return (FIN 269) and the appropriate Land Title forms at the Land Title Office when you apply to register your property.

Property Transfer Tax Rates

The amount of tax due depends on the fair market value of the property that is transferred:
  • If the fair market value is $200,000 or less, the tax is 1% of the fair market value.
  • If the fair market value is greater than $200,000, the tax is 1% of the fair market value up to $200,000, plus 2% on the portion of the fair market value that is greater than $200,000.


#34 VicHockeyFan

VicHockeyFan
  • Suspended User
  • 52,121 posts

Posted 08 January 2008 - 07:49 PM

whoops

#35 amor de cosmos

amor de cosmos

    BUILD

  • Member
  • 4,933 posts

Posted 11 January 2008 - 09:27 AM

Yes, the government gives first time home buyers a tax break although i don't know the details.


maybe this is what I was thinking of:

Jan. 11, 2008
Ministry of Finance

PROVINCE TO RAISE HOMEOWNER GRANT THRESHOLD

VICTORIA – For the fifth consecutive year, the Province will increase the homeowner grant threshold in response to rising property values across British Columbia, Finance Minister Carole Taylor announced today.

“2007 marked another active year for B.C.’s housing market and construction sector,” said Taylor. “While that speaks to the underlying strength of B.C.’s economy, the sharp increase in property values can lead to higher costs for many homeowners. Increasing the threshold will ensure the homeowner grant remains as an important support to B.C. families. It will allow over 18,000 British Columbians, who would otherwise face a reduced benefit, to receive the full grant.”

<snip>

The Home Owner Grant Program reduces the burden of residential property taxes for eligible homeowners. The basic grant entitles a homeowner to a maximum reduction in residential property taxes of $570. An additional grant of $275 – for a total of $845 – is available if the owner is over 65, or permanently disabled, or eligible to receive certain war-veteran allowances.

In Budget 2007, the additional grant was extended to low-income homeowners who also meet the above eligibility criteria, regardless of the assessed value of their home. In Budget 2006, the basic grant was increased from $470 to $570.

http://www2.news.gov...0001-000022.htm

that grant for low-income homeowners doesn't seem like enough... :confused:

#36 Phil McAvity

Phil McAvity
  • Member
  • 1,238 posts

Posted 12 January 2008 - 04:54 AM

Aastra, the only problem with what you said was, that Victoria can't compete with places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. I don't think we really try to either. Make no mistake, Victoria has some extraordinarily nice, extraordinarily expensive homes, but it's still a city of 350,000 people. There are homes in all those cities that are way bigger, way nicer and way more expensive since they are all so much bigger, they offer a wider array of homes. There is two things we must do if ever plan to compete with these cities, 1-we must grow dramatically and suddenly through advertising, and 2-we must get cool initials like N.Y., S.F., and L.A. I suggest we start calling ourselves V.I.

Hey, it worked for T.O.

#37 pseudotsuga

pseudotsuga
  • Member
  • 287 posts

Posted 12 January 2008 - 05:56 PM

The homeowner grant is nice.

But I feel the first time home buyers program thresholds are a joke.
I challenge you to find a sfd in Victoria that would qualify.

#38 Ms. B. Havin

Ms. B. Havin
  • Member
  • 5,052 posts

Posted 12 January 2008 - 08:00 PM

From today's paper -- click on url for remainder:

B.C. real estate 'millionaires' can apply for property tax relief
Jeff Rud
Times Colonist


Published: Saturday, January 12, 2008
For the first time in B.C. history, real-estate "millionaires" can qualify for full property-tax relief.

The provincial government announced yesterday that it is raising the homeowner grant threshold to $1,050,000 -- meaning that British Columbians whose homes are assessed up to that amount will receive the full $570 homeowner grant.

The threshold has risen dramatically over the past five years, reflecting the surging value of B.C. real estate. It climbed from $525,000 in 2003 to $950,000 last year.

http://www.canada.co...32-905e71815307


When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#39 Phil McAvity

Phil McAvity
  • Member
  • 1,238 posts

Posted 18 January 2008 - 03:32 PM

^Since when did any Canadian province (or the feds) allow concessions for the rich (or relatively well-off)? It's our job as Canadians to persecute, denigrate and leech off the rich as much as possible! How DARE people get rich?!?!?!

#40 steamer401

steamer401
  • Member
  • 4 posts

Posted 22 November 2008 - 01:30 PM

In responce to the swanwick ranch comment you couldn,t be any further from the truth I know Ed and Dorhty very well and have stayed on the property many times over the couple years since the construction of the house and I can tell you first hand the pool is fantastic,the gardens are gorgouse,the drive way is a great half mile paved skate bladers dream along with the compition style tennis court with a built in everything els function for basket ball,volley ball,etc....the care takers house is 1000 sqr ft buity
with a 1500 sqr ft two bay shop attached fully equiped from air to hydrolic lift for equipment repair and fully tooled and a 500 sqr ft tractor/lawn mower shop out the back.Also is a 30 thousand (ruffly) pond in one of the feilds witch is used incase of emergancy as a filling station for Ed,s fire truck incase ever needed ,so if you have anymore questions you would like to now about the property I would be glad to help you because im also the care taker of the property and know every blade of grass out there by name thanks.:D

You're not quite at the end of this discussion topic!

Use the page links at the lower-left to go to the next page to read additional posts.
 



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users