Ten years ago the Vancouver real estate market was in the midst of a bubble. Today the bubble on property prices in the western Canadian hub has expanded.
This week we observed that the historical anecdote in which Joseph Kennedy knew it was time to pull his investments out of the market when he heard shoeshiners touting stocks has found its present-day Canadian equivalent.
Making the rounds in email inboxes throughout the Great White North is the tale of a pizza deliveryman who proffered advice to Murray Leith, vice president of investment management firm Odlum Brown.
In a piece penned for The Vancouver Sun, Mr. Leith recounts:
He asked if I was interested in selling my home in Vancouver. He told me that he had contacts in China and that I should seriously consider selling because he could get me a very good price. Equally remarkable, a client who lives nearby had a Chinese person show up at his door with a cash-stuffed suitcase to express interest in his home.
My latest piece on Demotix.
Times may never have been better for commoners eager to purchase a piece of nobility. Business website Real Deal reports that in Hungary alone there are some 300 castles, mansions and country estates currently listed in the marketplace — many at prices far below those of apartments in European capitals.
In fact some are selling for as low as $20,000, according to the Hungarian financial daily Napi Gazdasag.
However, before you collect the keys to your new fairy-tale home, you may want to buy several gallons of paint, a few rakes, and the services of a skilled worker or two.
Most of the castles for sale are in such a state of disrepair that the renovation and maintenance costs are likely to far exceed – often exponentially – the price of the property itself.
An intriguing piece about castles that regular old common folk can actually buy appeared this week on the Hungarian business website realdeal.hu.
According to the report, there are approximately 300 castles and historic mansions for sale in Hungary alone. The asking price for some is as low as $25,000, while others are on the market for closer to $500,000.
However, most are in such as a state of disrepair that renovation and maintenance costs could run in the millions.
But don’t tell that to some bookmakers, at least not to Ireland’s Paddy Power, which at the beginning of the year posted the odds for where the Irish real estate would wind up on December 31, 2011.
According to their odds, there is a 6/5 chance that Irish housing prices would decrease 9 or more percent by the time we start singing “Auld Lang Syne”, 9/4 that prices will drop between 6 and 9 percent.
Conversely there is a 12/1 shot that homeowners will see a 9 or more percentage gain in 2011.
Of course, these are just the odds for Ireland, but whom would really believe: rosy analysts or the oddsmakers?