Wednesday, 20 May 2015

re: the West Van dismemberment murder of Mr. Gang Yuan.

Global News

the Chinese media already dug out a lot of details, including this news piece in Province
“Richmond couple wants to talk to their neighbours about trimming a hedge, but nobody’s home…ever”
“No one will talk to us and no one will tell us who the owners are,” said Brian Cooper, 62, who has lived in the 5500-block Cathay Road for 37 years.
“If the owner is ever located, the Coopers would like to talk about trimming the hedge, which is undermining their stone wall.”
“You buy a $2-million house and you can’t even spend $200 on a gardener?” asked Linda Cooper.
The home is located in a 1960s-era subdivision of West Richmond that has filled up with 5,000-square-foot homes on double-sized 10,000-square-foot lots. It sold in 2011 for $1.4 million.
“According to real estate agent Melissa Wu, whose listing is on the property, it was recently sold for $2.3 million to an undisclosed buyer.”

Well, Mr Yuan was the one who purchased the property. He was already deceased before Province published the article.

Other details:
1. Mr Yuan is Mr Zhao’s brother-in-law. Mr. Yuan paid for the $5M West Van mansion but had it registered under Mr. Zhao’s name. “The Zhaos were registered as the owners for “legitimate tax reason”” as per Yuan’s lawyer.

2. Mr Yuan owned:
– 7500 acres of agriculture land in Regina
– one of his properties is worth $14M
– two cars worth $600k
– $9.9M worth of business deal in progress

“The lawyer also alleged that Zhao’s daughter Florence, who starred on Vancouver reality show Ultra Rich Asian Girls, wrongly claimed some of Yuan’s wealth was her own on the series.
“She pretend to own Mr. Yuan’s assets, including an island called Pym Island, his Rolls Royce, and his house in Vancouver””

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Mr. Trump always has a flair for the dramatic.

Mar 24 & Nov 14, 2012 (Toronto)
Falling glass danger closes downtown streets

“No glass came down, but this is the third time there have been concerns about glass falling from the Trump tower. Glass fell twice from the skyscraper in 2012. ”

“We need to ask some sharp questions to builders about how they’re constructing these buildings,” he said. “If this is happening now with buildings that have just recently gone up we can imagine what will happen five or 10 years from now.”

Vocal academic isn’t just an observer of Vancouver’s real estate industry – he’s part of it

Ian Young does it again!

Vocal academic isn’t just an observer of Vancouver’s real estate industry – he’s part of it

Tsur Somerville’s institution has been sponsored by developers, and he’s done no peer-reviewed research into the city’s extreme unaffordability

"Anyone hoping to get a handle on the mechanisms driving Vancouver’s eye-popping real estate market and the impact of Chinese money soon runs into the same problem: An apparent lack of data.
Data DOES exist (more on this later), but the supposed void has been filled with the opinions of a range of experts. And no pundit has been more enthusiastic than Dr Tsur Somerville, director of the UBC Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate.
For years, Somerville, armed with a PhD in economics from Harvard, has been a driving force behind some key notions: That there is nothing terribly abnormal or bubbly about prices in Vancouver (where the average price of a detached house is about C$1.4million); that affordability is best addressed on the supply side with more development, and not by addressing demand; and that worrying about the impact of Chinese money is racist."

Sponsorship and research

Now to the crux of the matter. While Somerville is enthusiastically cited - more than 100 times in the Vancouver Sun alone in the past five years - little if any mention is made of an  important fact: His Centre for Urban Economics is sponsored by the real estate industry. And his job is to prepare people to join that industry.
The centre’s sponsors have included the developers Grosvenor, Henderson Development, and the Vancouver chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (all currently listed on the centre’s website), as well as Polygon Homes, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association and the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (listed as sponsors as recently as 2012, along with Grosvenor).

"Somerville, of course, remains entitled to his opinions and he’s entitled to share them, whatever they may be. But anyone considering their value would do well to recognise the Centre Urban Economics for what it is: The academic wing of Vancouver’s real estate industry. And Dr Somerville isn’t merely an observer of that industry. He’s a part of it."

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Chinese police run secret operations in B.C. to hunt allegedly corrupt officials and laundered money

Chinese police run secret operations in B.C. to hunt allegedly corrupt officials and laundered money

Chinese police agents have been conducting secret operations in Canada — a top destination for allegedly corrupt officials — seeking to “repatriate” suspects and money laundered in real estate.
Vancouver city officials will not comment on co-operation with Chinese agents in “Operation Fox Hunt,” or on suspects pointed to by Chinese news services.
Xinhua news agency reported that while China does not have extradition treaties with Canada, the United States and Australia — the three top destinations for corruption suspects — in 2013 Canada and China signed an agreement to share assets connected to corruption.
Starting in 2014, Chinese agents came to Canada and other countries, Xinhua reported.
The Province found indications in various data sources of large wealth allegedly misappropriated in China and invested in condo and commercial developments and private residences in and around Vancouver.

Postmedia News reported that in his new book David Mulroney — a former senior adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012 — argues that Canada needs to take measures to block the influx of “hot money” pouring into real estate, and could go “much further” to co-operate with China in Operation Fox Hunt.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Feb 2015 Month-End Vancouver RE Snapshot

Feb 1-28 2015 vs 2014:

Sales: 3086 vs 2530 = +22% YoY  (was +9% YoY last month)

New Lists: 5390 vs 4700 = +15% YoY (was -11% YoY last month)

Sales/New List Ratio: 57% vs 56%

Total Inventory: 11930 vs 13412 = -11% YoY (was -14% YoY last month)

* Projected MOI for Feb/15: 3.9 months = Mild Seller's Market
* Last February had MOI of 5.3 months (balanced market) 
* Feb 2015 brought marked YoY increase in Both sales and new listings.
* New Listings = +14% above 10 year average (2005-2014)
* Sales = +21% above 10 year average (2005-2014)
* Sales/New List Ratio similar to last year. 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Feb 1-20 Vancouver RE Snapshot

Feb 1-20 2015 vs 2014:

Sales: 2240 vs 1845 = +21% YoY  (was +38% YoY a week ago)

New Lists: 4065 vs 3493 = +16% YoY (was +17% YoY a week ago)

Sales/New List Ratio: 55% vs 53%

Total Inventory: 12669 vs 14197 = -11% YoY (was -12% YoY a week ago)

Projected Months-of-Inventory for Feb/15: 3.7-4.3 = Seller's Market

* This past week (Feb 16-20) saw continued increase in new listings, while #  of registered sales this week was the same as last year.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Feb 1-13 Vancouver RE Snapshot

Feb 1-13 2015 vs 2014:

Sales: 1476 vs 1069 = +38% YoY *

New Lists: 2653 vs 2262 = +17% YoY

Total Inventory: 12254 vs 13959 = -12% YoY

Projected Months-of-Inventory for Feb/15: 3.5-4.5 = Seller's Market

*last 2 days had spike of sales.