Frances Bula header image 4

Impact of out-of-town investors: yes, increases prices; increases them more when supply restricted

November 8th, 2017 · 4 Comments

If you want to be guaranteed loads of clicks in this town, write about how everyone is being driven out by high real-estate prices (caused by heartless politicians, shadowy foreign investors, the real-estate cartel, etc etc) and/or about a study that tries to bring real data to the anecdotes. So this recent study from UBC got […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

The archive of by-election coverage

November 8th, 2017 · 1 Comment

Catching up on posting some older stories here. First up: the stories before and after the Oct. 14 by-election, which provided a story with endless interpretation possibilities (Vision dead; no, progressive vote on the rise; no, NPA on the rise; no, people-power politics on the rise; coalitions the politics of the future; yada yada). First […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

My tour of the underground — underground Chinese restaurants, that is

October 10th, 2017 · 3 Comments

One of the great pleasures of my life is connecting with a wide variety of students as a journalism teacher at the University of B.C. and Langara College. International students, in particular, bring a different eye and an ability to connect with communities here that many of locals aren’t always capable of. My students at […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Vancouver, usually at forefront of hipster trends, finally catches up with outdoor ping-pong

October 10th, 2017 · No Comments

A friend who visited Montreal recently commented on the number of outdoor ping-pong tables there when he came back. Out of idle curiosity, I asked on Twitter if there were any in the Lower Mainland. The answers I got made me realize that, yes, there were some scattered around but, more fun, there seemed to […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

City puts on a big push to demo new programs for lower-cost housing: rentals geared to income, infills

July 25th, 2017 · 1 Comment

The Vision council is using the slow summer months to push out lots of news on its planned “housing reset” — new policy aimed at trying to shape supply in the city more than it has in the past to create lower-cost housing. The target market, planners and politicians keep saying, is the households with […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

A hidden wrinkle that will make the group decision to sell your condo building even harder

July 19th, 2017 · 3 Comments

There are about 70 groups of residents in the Lower Mainland at present thinking about selling their buildings to developers. That process is already stressful enough. I’m told that, no matter what price sellers get, they are always convinced the developer is somehow ripping them off and making a huge profit. Then there are the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Expect a lot of jockeying among candidates to be the preferred “anti-Vision” vote in by-election

July 12th, 2017 · No Comments

So, thanks to the resignation of Geoff Meggs from council, as he goes off to be chief of staff for John Horgan in the new NDP government, there will be a by-election sometime in mid-October. Even though whoever wins won’t make a difference to the balance of power on council — Vision will still have […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Carol Ruby Davis: A heartbreaking death, 30 years ago now

July 6th, 2017 · 2 Comments

Thirty years ago, I was a rookie reporter at the Vancouver Sun. I got sent out to cover the funeral of a sex-trade worker — something we actually did back in those days when we covered so much more in the city. It was a searing experience for me. I’ve never forgotten it or the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Billionaire Singapore owner of Plaza of Nations property promises housing for locals, art museum, a green development

June 27th, 2017 · No Comments

There’s going to be a lot of conversation in the next year (and more) about Northeast False Creek, the last big piece of False Creek waterfront that’s going to be developed. Every piece of the creek’s development has generated debate, starting in the 1970s when the TEAM council of the day decided to convert former […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Owners of second homes, empty condos consider renting, lying, selling, and more as vacancy tax looms

June 27th, 2017 · 1 Comment

Vancouver’s impending empty-homes tax — the first in the country — is prompting a lot of angst as owners facing bills of $4,000 to $100,000 a year decide what to do. You urban-life keeners will remember that most of the units identified as empty are condos. The city’s electrical study identified 10,800 homes in the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized