Brokers are rock stars, cabbies flip condos, and shacks are going for $1 million


June 25, 2010

According to Bloomberg Businessweek Vancouver real estate is a bubble – and headed for trouble.

The complex that housed athletes during the 2010 Winter Olympics has been converted into 1,100 luxury condos selling at a higher cost per foot than the average price in Manhattan. The project, however, is not even in downtown Vancouver nor even in a neighbourhood – its nearest establishment is the sale office for another condo development.

Bryant Urstadt’s Bloomberg Businessweek article suggests this is irrationally exuberant, especially considering the shaky international outlook.

“Real estate is like a sport here,” says Tracie McTavish, president of Rennie Marketing Systems, which is overseeing the sale of Millenium Water. In the last 12 months alone, the average home price has risen 14%, to around C$1 million.

According to Grant Connel, a broker with Sotheby’s, “Some of the brokers in Vancouver think they’re rock stars. Many have made $500,000 or $1 million this year…”

The below video, “Vancouver Real Estate Market Roller Coaster”, was created by a programmer who converted an inflation-adjusted Vancouver home price graph into a high-definition roller-coaster ride. The video gives an interesting visual representation of the doomsday scenario Bloomberg Businessweek is prophesying…

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