Ice, anyone?


Toronto, NY stocks crash again more than 500 points

Oil collapses to under $68. Attention, Calgary.

Dollar now worth less than 80, on global gloom

In Iceland the future may have played out in miniature. That little country of 300,000 people has seen banks go bust, real estate values plunge, the currency trashed and the middle class crashed. I’m told by someone who should know that food stocks are running low because grocery stores have no cash for inventory. And as you may already be aware, the country’s three main banks were taken over by the government earlier this month, and that last Tuesday the stock market lost three-quarters of its value.

Why does this place matter?

Only because in a mini-country like Iceland, which is an affluent, modern society, might we see in weeks what we could reasonably expect in months.

You have to admit, there’s little to cheer about as we look out over the coming times. The Canadian dollar, once soaring far above the Yankee greenback, has collapsed to 82 cents. Oil has lost half its value, and if the slide continues the Albertan oil sands become uneconomical.

The Toronto stock market crashed another 400 points yesterday. The Chrysler plant in Windsor is now going half-speed. The Bank of Canada dropped interest rates again – the second cut in as many weeks – but not by enough. The Sterling truck plant in St. Thomas is kaput for sure now. And several mining operations in Northern Ontario are winding down, laying off people in communities where few other jobs exist.

In the States, the government’s not only buying up Wall Street and half the country’s mortgages, but is now gobbling money market funds. Banks are borrowing more than $400 billion a day from the Federal Reserve, and blue-chip companies like Caterpillar are having trouble borrowing enough money to survive. Yahoo is laying off a big chunk of its workforce, and it’s expected many retailers will close their doors before Christmas, since they can’t borrow the money to buy holiday inventory.

Because the US economy may be in the process of collapsing, commodity prices have slumped world-wide. As toxic US mortgage debt poisoned the global financial system, credit froze, banks teetered and suddenly money is hard to find, which has ironically made American greenbacks more valuable, further depressing commodities and the Canadian dollar.

Meanwhile, disastrous earnings reports of major American corporations are pulling down the stock market recovery that billions of government dollars were supposed to create. Some say the Dow may lose another 35-50% of its value.

Do I see a Black Swan?

And, yes, there is real estate. So far, the average house price has dropped by $30,000 in Toronto, $45,000 in Vancouver, $17,000 in Ottawa, $61,000 in Calgary and $64,000 in Edmonton. At the same time, 0/40 mortgages are gone, mortgages are harder to get and rates are higher for those who do qualify. There are more houses for sale than ever, and sellers are having to wait vastly longer times to find a buyer. If they can. And this has just started.

As I have said for a very long time now, the greatest threat to the wealth of middle class people everywhere, but especially in Canada, is a real estate melt. And now it’s happening. When I published my book warning of this, back in April, organizations like the Canadian Real Estate Association said an absolute price decline was not in the cards. Sadly for those recent buyers who heeded that advice, they are now under water.

All of the above brings us to a single conclusion: This is an economy in decline, and the bottom has yet to be glimpsed. We’re paying for a society which became dangerously addicted to debt and in which too many people wanted stuff they simply could not afford, yet bought anyway. Shame on them. More shame on those who gave them the money. And let’s heave special shame on experts, critics, analysts, economists, industry leaders and politicians who said there was nothing to worry about.

Fourteen days ago the Canadian prime minister was one of them.

But I can’t go there. Apparently I’m dead.

Coming soon: A survivor’s check list.


#1 Fan on 10.21.08 at 11:05 pm


I have cash around 50,000 CAD..where should I invest. Some ideas would be good. thanks and responce appreciated.

#2 cautious in winnipeg on 10.21.08 at 11:19 pm


Its easy to see your concern for the real estate market in general. Do you see the same concern for Winnipeg? Our market has always been less and is still “affordable” .As of yet sales are reported to be increasing and in a good state. Our Immigration is bringing new home buyers and so far demand outpaces supply. Question is what to do for all us hapless serfs?

#3 OZy on 10.21.08 at 11:46 pm

We then badly need the “Survivor’s check list”, Garth, pls help!

#4 B on 10.22.08 at 12:03 am

Hey Garth,

I’d like to know the real reason why the banks sold 5 Billion in mortgages to CMHC. Mainstream media says its to help banks raise money for new loans but given the timing, something stinks..

Cheers, B

#5 Waiting in Vain on 10.22.08 at 12:06 am

Another great post, Garth. I’ve read your book and followed your website since my wife and I moved to Edmonton at the end of 2007. We’ve managed to hold off until now on purchasing an entry-downtown condo, but there are a couple of decent deals that are now tempting us. I’m wondering how much longer it could be before Edmonton sees its market bottom out? As it led the downward spiral in prices, does it stand to reason that it will also flat-line first? In times like these, that just seems like wishful thinking…

#6 brazer on 10.22.08 at 12:06 am

Ritz-Carlton condo project stalls in Vancouver

VANCOUVER (CBC) – Construction of one of Vancouver’s most prestigious condominium projects has been halted, but the developer says design changes, not the international credit crisis, are behind the move.

Work halted on the Ritz-Carlton construction site on Friday, and crews did not return on Monday after the weekend, leaving a giant hole in the ground near the corner of West Georgia Street and Bute Street in the heart of Vancouver.

#7 Roger on 10.22.08 at 12:12 am


You better add Victoria to your list. Average single family home sale (SFH) price is down 80K from the April 2008 peak. The SFH median price is down 58K from the peak. That makes five months in a row that prices have dropped. Click my name to see the price graph.

#8 Greg in Victoria on 10.22.08 at 12:14 am

more cheerful news…

It is looking rather grim… I do look forward to Garth’s advice on how to survive this mess.

BTW has anybody been tracking how many (hundred!!) billion have been pumped into the financial markets by governments since this all began?? I’ve lost count.

#9 Mike B on 10.22.08 at 12:54 am

I think it important to point out that the Federal Reserve is not the Government rather a private consortium of bankers, getting richer and more powerful daily. Canadian dollar going lower because the US dollar is in short supply relatively speaking , redemptions in the US far exceeds supply. Alot of currencies are sliding not just the loonie. Plus we just dropped interest rates so our dollar becomes lesd attractive but this is good for some industries here. Not Ford, GM or Chrysler.
Addicted to debt is putting it mildly. The US consumer debt is just starting to be realized as credit card debt is alarmingly high. Now the US govt led by the worst pres in history is adding more debt. God help the next pres…a mess no one can clean up

#10 D in North Van on 10.22.08 at 12:54 am

A huge project in Vancouver (the Riz carlton project) a 60 storey hotel and condo high rise under construction is now abandend. A large project on the water front in North Vancouver will now only build one of four towers
that was to be completed, only because the building is almost complete.
The parent company of whister ski village owes 1.35 billon dollars and the loans up next week! Another project (two towers) at Surrey centeral station are bankrupted.
I have heard it all in the last few weeks from the developers, everything from, we are redesigning the parking lots, to we can’t get permits to carryon. These
people are telling people that have prepaid for their condo units that their deposits are safe.
Baloney i think.

#11 nonplused on 10.22.08 at 12:56 am

Not dead dude, just reformated.

If it’s any consolation, you are part of a group of authors and boggers that helped me. Maybe many others. Public service takes many forms, politics often being the lesser of them.

My finances are in order given the circumstances, and your book and site were in the list of books and sites that helped me figure out what the risks were. So that’s one person better off. I see there are others who lurk on this site too, some of whom seem to be prevailing in the situation each in thier own way.

Life = risk. As they say, “If you haven’t failed, you haven’t lived”.

Carry on Garth 2.0! (Or 5.0, or 8.0, wherever you are at.)

And hey, it’s not like I and probably many of your readers never had to “persue other opportunities”. It turned out for the better for me all 4 times so far. Life sucks, you loose, then you figure what you did wrong, then you beat it.

#12 Jon on 10.22.08 at 12:57 am

Wow…if u think the world is going to come to a end. do us all a favor and crawl under a heavy heavy rock.

#13 Becky on 10.22.08 at 12:59 am

I agree with you completely,”This is an economy in decline, and the bottom has yet to be glimpsed. We’re paying for a society which became dangerously addicted to debt and in which too many people wanted stuff they simply could not afford, yet bought anyway.”

As I just read in, Jose Roncal and Jose Abbo’s new book, “The Big Gamble,” I probably won’t stop investing, all together, but I will do my homework and think carefully about where I put my hard-earned money.

#14 Google Alert - “Real Estate” | on 10.22.08 at 1:01 am

[…] Ice, anyone? By Garth Turner That little country of 300000 people has seen banks go bust, real estate values plunge, the currency trashed and the middle class crashed. I?m told by someone who should know that food stocks are running low because grocery stores have … Greater Fool – The Troubled Future… –  […]

#15 Kelowna Crashing on 10.22.08 at 1:05 am

Seriously agree. I look forward to reading more from you.

#16 AL on 10.22.08 at 1:14 am

Sharply disagree with this point of view. Most of this is short term and half of the scare tactics presented here are actually positive. A 20% decline in our dollar helps our manufacturing and helps soften the blow from the recent drop in commodity prices.
Mines going down all over the country! Well, this just part of a larger bull in metals. In many ways you are just weeding out the projects that either should not have gone ahead or where CEO’s let the costs get out of hand. Chrysler, Ford, GM, poorly run businesses. And considering the average salary for a non-skilled assembly line worker is $31 an hour, hard to feel sorry for the ones losing their jobs.
A 400 point crash means nothing in this volatility. It is necessary for people to make money on a market that will go nowhere for the next 6 month. Oil at $70 is still above the 2007 average price. Uneconomic oil sands is going to make quite a few greens happy. Likely you will see cost cuts before you see shutdowns. Disastrous earnings reports? CNR, RIM, Husky, Apple, plenty of profits there, you just need to know how to pick the right stocks.
Falling housing prices? It has really only hurt people who have bought in the last year. Things just became to easy for people to gain wealth.
I do agree markets have more room to fall, as does housing. And you will see unemployment rise. Being in the mining business, I will probably lose my job. But it is not the end of the world.
In the meantime time to sit back and wait for the RE market to fall another 10% so I can actually begin to afford something.

#17 long time reader on 10.22.08 at 1:20 am

[email protected] MAN, YOU KNOW? LIKE, JUST, [email protected]!
THIS IS [email protected] [email protected]

As a public service, tell us where you live. So we can move. — Garth

#18 Downsized and Delighted on 10.22.08 at 1:21 am

I’m a big Nashim Taleb fan, but I don’t think even he would see the collapse of the financial system as a black swan. It has happened before (1929) and predictably can happen again, especially with the interconnectedness of the global banking system.

Nashim Taleb pointed out in his book “Fooled By Randomness” that a man would be happier living below his means in a modest neighborhood, than living in a classy neighborhood that he could barely afford. This is because every day he would be reminded by his neighbours’ affluence that he was not as successful, and he would also become aware of all the material possessions that he was missing out on. By living in the lesser neighborhood, his neighbours would see him as the affluent one.

I can hardly wait for the survivor’s check list Garth! This little bit of wisdom from Taleb might be a good starting point!

#19 long time reader on 10.22.08 at 1:22 am




#20 BBC on 10.22.08 at 1:27 am

Looking forward to the check list….time to move forward!

#21 thriller on 10.22.08 at 1:49 am

CBC News
The number of million-dollar homes in Vancouver has been climbing over the last two years and market watchers are predicting yet another jump in property prices in 2009.

Property prices in downtown Vancouver are expected to climb again in 2009.
Although the real estate market is collapsing and foreclores are up 70 per cent in many parts of the United States, market watchers in B.C. said local housing prices are expected to rise nine per cent this year.

“Our economy is doing really well and we’re getting lots of job growth,” said Robyn Adamache, a senior market analyst with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

“And we have over 30,000 people per year moving to the Lower Mainland region so these are the things that impact housing demand.”

Robyn Adamache, a senior market analyst with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, said a healthy economy and strong job growth impact housing demand.
BC Assessment figures show 17,045 Vancouver properties were worth over $1 million in 2006, while the numbers jumped to 24,087 last year.

The figures also show assessments in Vancouver rose 25 per cent in 2007 and 12 per cent in 2008.

“Clearly the market still went up over the last year. It just didn’t go up as fast as it had the previous year,” said Jason Grant, an area assessor with BC Assessment.

Property prices will be held back by a couple of factors, Adamache said.

Realtor Ken Leong’s townhouse in downtown Vancouver is worth over $1 million, compared to $641,000 three years ago when he pre-bought it.
Interest rates are expected to increase up to 3/4 of a point and, because of troubles south of the border, B.C. lenders won’t be so willing to give additional breaks on mortgages, she said.

Ken Leong, a Vancouver realtor, said his Coal Harbour townhouse downtown has been assessed at over $1 million. He pre-bought it three years ago for $641,000 and said it’s not what he thought a million-dollar home would be.

“I sell these kinds of properties every day, but when it’s your own house and it’s on a tax statement, it hits you a little bit differently,” he said.

“I thought, you know, buying a million-dollar property would be like a big mansion somewhere with a lake, but it’s a townhouse downtown.”

#22 Jen on 10.22.08 at 2:06 am

Oh Yes. I feel the pain. The other day my husband and I went out to find and purchase a second hand truck for our almost 4 year old business. Lots of nice 2 year old diesels. Cheap! Well, we have made well into the 6 figures the past 2 years, own out right a home in Ontario, have No debt ( 2 kids) and a credit score of just under the 700 mark. Now, you could of knocked me over when the salesman said we were looking at 19% for purchase. WHAT!! He said rates have been going up. I don’t get it. I have a credit card that I could have put this truck on full value. So, we paid cash.

What amazes me is that we were approved for a home priced 17 times the amount of the truck with 10% down in august without a blink from the bank, but today…..

I am wondering if anyone else has had a wake up call such as this recently?

#23 jimstock on 10.22.08 at 2:33 am is an exclusive site dedicated to selling and buying homes in Stockton, California. The site has a huge database of listings for sale. The listings are even segregated community wise for quick and easy navigation. The site also offers tools for transaction calculations. It has thorough information for buyers and sellers and even offers marketing information and tools for sellers. The site also offers information on the home market in Stockton on a daily basis. The site has an expert advisor who guides buyers and sellers in their deals.
Stockton Real Estate California

Buzz off. No commercials. — Garth

#24 Blacksheep on 10.22.08 at 2:35 am

Comment on current events,

I see the bad moon arising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin’.
I see bad times today.

Don’t go around tonight,
Well, it’s bound to take your life,
There’s a bad moon on the rise.


#25 y3maxx on 10.22.08 at 4:46 am

Finance minister says B.C. best place to weather economic storm
14 hours ago

VANCOUVER, B.C. — If you had to pick any place in the world to get through the current global financial downturn, provincial Finance Minister Colin Hansen says there’s no better place to be than B.C.


#26 JB-ott on 10.22.08 at 7:34 am

Ottawa down 17%? The Ottawa Real Estate Board said prices were up ~6% over last September.

Where did you see this?


#27 brazer on 10.22.08 at 8:04 am

CAW pleas fail to move Daimler on shutdown

Oct 22, 2008

WINDSOR–Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewenza says Daimler Trucks officials have told him that “no money in the world” could change the fate of a plant the company plans to shut down in St. Thomas next year.

Daimler has said it will close the factory next March, eliminating almost 2,000 jobs, including workers previously laid off.

#28 JB-ott on 10.22.08 at 8:15 am

Sorry, that should read $17K!

#29 Aloha on 10.22.08 at 8:30 am

Iceland may be the near future, here’s what may be in store for the longer term future (from the Economist):

“A cautionary tale from the future”

FINANCIAL authorities in America and Europe took sweeping powers yesterday to avert a financial crisis by imposing restrictions on markets. In their sights are a peculiar brand of speculators known as “long-buyers” who buy assets not to live off the income they generate but to profit from rising prices.

“Some of these people buy homes that they have no intention of living in,” said Lord Poohbah, chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority, “and others buy shares they plan to own for just days or weeks, rather than the prudent time period of several years.” Their actions force prices up above fundamental valuation levels, critics say, causing some British tabloid newspapers to call leading fund managers “greedy pigs”.

Particular criticism has been reserved for people dubbed “naked long-buyers”, those who try to buy homes without putting up a deposit. “Such people are in effect renters with a free call option on rising house prices,” said one financial analyst, “but they expect to be bailed out by taxpayers when house prices fall.”

Not only is this a clear case of moral hazard (the encouragement of irresponsible risk-taking) but their activities drive up house prices, putting them beyond the reach of hard-working families who have diligently saved up to put down a deposit. Also in the speculative category are “buy-to-letters” who buy a string of houses with borrowed money in the hope of making outsize gains.

#30 George Popovic on 10.22.08 at 8:51 am

And still you have the stock markets shoot up every few days only to be taken down lower the next. Hard to feel sorry for the folks dreaming of a quick recovery and losing even more of their wealth.
The sad part is the dramatic rise in unemplyment that is just around the corner and perhaps already here but not in the headlines. There is going to be a lot of pain out there for those who lived beyond their means.
The good news is that this cleansing is necessary and we will hopefully have a more balanced and realistic behaviour by governments, businesses and individuals once we come out on the other side of this disaster.

#31 Nicholas P on 10.22.08 at 9:00 am


“Shame on them. More shame on those who gave them the money. And let’s heave special shame on experts, critics, analysts, economists, industry leaders and politicians who said there was nothing to worry about.”

Once again, the only party to have thouroughly warned Canadians about the predators amongst us- in all aspects of public and private life- is the Canadian Action Party.

You seem to intuitively face down every storm that comes your (our) way and a return to the political arena also seems to be an inevitability.

Take the “blue pill” Mr. Turner and let the truth you spreak be your weapon. The rest of us will stand beside you.

The greatest bank heist in history is taking place to the south of us as we speak and the robber barons are moving north.

The True North Strong and Free is in danger!

Looking forward to your checklist. In the meantime here is some resource material:

#32 dd on 10.22.08 at 9:24 am

#15 AL,

Thanks for you view.

#33 dd on 10.22.08 at 9:25 am

#17 long time reader,

WOW … how do you really feel?

#34 dd on 10.22.08 at 9:28 am


Garth has had some great predictions. Housing is his big win. However he did say in one of his books to go long on the stock exchange … TSX and DOW at 30,000.

You remember that call Garth?

That was for 2015. Come back in seven years and we’ll talk. — Garth

#35 JR on 10.22.08 at 9:45 am

Garth… I did hold off on buying a condo in Toronto 7-8 months ago and I am happy I made the right decision.

But now, with the housing market going down(for another year or so), stocks plunging everything other day, where would you recommend investing the money at this point? I know the value of money grows during recession but these GICs & savings account pay almost nothing.

Any suggestions?

#36 Another Albertan on 10.22.08 at 9:55 am

The current joke making the rounds:

Q – what is the capital of Iceland?

A – about $10.


#37 TorontoBull on 10.22.08 at 10:04 am

Toyota (Woodstock) pays $33 per hour…

#38 Calgary rip off on 10.22.08 at 10:05 am


I dont understand the fuss about Calgary.

Homes are still DOUBLE what they are worth. When houses are about $180K median prices then you can start talking about crashing. Otherwise, save your breath.

#39 Carsten Nielsen on 10.22.08 at 10:25 am

Garth, you are the man!

#40 smwhite on 10.22.08 at 10:42 am

#35 JR

Unless you have the nerve to “short”, gaining 4% on a GIC/GIA is better then losing 20% – 40% , and it doesn’t matter what sector your in, its all gone down and treading farther into the hole.

You can do what #17 long time reader is doing and get canned goods, guns and ammo and a new keyboard with a working cap-locks button.

#41 POL-CAN on 10.22.08 at 11:17 am


So toronto is down ~ 9% in 2 and 1/2 months (August, Septmber, and 1/2 October)…. I smell 25 % off peak by spring….

In the mean time I am getting ready….

As I work for a bank the mortgage is not a problem and the rate for a 5 year closed will be equal to the veriable rate…. Plus no penalties for paying extra towards principle at any time….

I am looking for a 2 family house in C1 or C2, in or close to “Little Italy”. Also have my eye on High Park and the Beaches as alternatives. Prices are falling especially with the empty full renos where the sellers are getting desperate :)

Every month I wait while renting, my downpayment increases due to saving and the falling prices.

Amazing what happens when you live WITHIN your means eh?

#42 Andrew toronto on 10.22.08 at 11:24 am

With the print presses about to go full bore at the Fed
what can we expect hyperinflation .. seems the fed is so obessed with not having deflation , he is putting the whole country and it’s neighbours at risk of hyperinflation.. which is worse ..
Garth if Hyperinflation hits how will that affect housing ?

Seems like the Fed is advising on another stimulas package for the christmas season , Has well I’am hearing the Comercal realesate will be taking a hit has well in the U.S affecting many regional banks,,

looking forward to the survival kit…

#43 Buy_canned_foods on 10.22.08 at 11:32 am

Ottawa average home selling price 2008 (from CMHC):

June 298,336
July 295,134
Aug 282,792
Sept 289, 711

more drop to come.

#44 Andrew toronto on 10.22.08 at 11:33 am

phase 2 .. coming coperate cdo’s

“We’ll see the same problems we’ve seen in subprime,” said Alistair Milne, a professor in banking and finance at Cass Business School in London and a former U.K. Treasury economist. “Banks will take substantial markdowns.”

#45 Kestral on 10.22.08 at 11:35 am

I do not own a house (I think it’s a total scam when real estate salespeople call it a “home”, a “home” is what you make it, it’s a “house”). I’ve been all cash (in the 6-figures) safe and comfy since I got stopped out of my stocks in July, so bring the list on!

#46 Andrew toronto on 10.22.08 at 11:39 am

Garth are we not looking at the biggest deleveaging of all assets in history ,
1) we have not one bear but three we have the stock market bear .comodity /equity/minerals

2)we have the housing burst firmly in bear territory

3)In 2009 the U.S and Canada will have the Baby boomers starting to retire causing a third bear ..

Can it get any worse of a senario this looks like the perfect storm …hurry with the kit bandaides aint working for this storm .. looks like a cat 5

#47 Peter Schiff on 10.22.08 at 11:44 am

This was posted this morning and look at how many comments are here. Is everyone out of work or are more people visiting the site because Garth is right. Anyways I love falling House prices everyone is fearful. I will be buying in about 2 years when prices fall %50 in Toronto and all the yuppies are begging for my gold and silver for a swap for there dirty cheap condos. I think I will pick up about two or three.

#48 CTA on 10.22.08 at 11:49 am

Disgusting……$33.00 per hour for someone working on a auto manufacturing line is outrageous. I can see why plants are shutting down and heading to Mexico.

#49 CTA on 10.22.08 at 12:43 pm

I work 2 jobs in order to save money. Today is my one day off where I can catch up on the news. Sometimes I will have the time to post something. This is the type of life many Canadians live. No time to follow the trends. That is why they end up losing everything they work for while greedy predators (CEO’s) run away with millions of tax payer dollars.

#50 JB-ott on 10.22.08 at 12:44 pm

#43 Buy_canned_foods on 10.22.08 at 11:32 am

Ottawa average home selling price 2008 (from CMHC):

June 298,336
July 295,134
Aug 282,792
Sept 289, 711

more drop to come.

This is a drop from peak, and is quit normal. In 2007, the peak was in June @ ~280K. It went down as low as 267K in August, but was back up to 276 in December.

Don’t mistake season trends with outright declines in price… year-over-year is still showing price increases for Ottawa – it seems to be a bit behind the trend in Toronto/Alberta/BC.

#51 Dave on 10.22.08 at 12:49 pm

I lent a friend $20 last week.

Today I looked in the paper, and apparently I am now North America’s 3rd biggest lender.

#52 Bassmaster on 10.22.08 at 12:52 pm

#46 Peter Schiff, Good saying and this is my style………………..can’t wait till it happens but please don’t buy them all save some for me and everyone else! LOL.

#53 Jimster on 10.22.08 at 1:05 pm

That $33/hr is for assembling the cars. The are manufactured over-seas, big difference.

#54 Nicholas P on 10.22.08 at 1:19 pm


Finance minister says B.C. best place to weather economic storm.


You silly naive boy/girl/man/woman!

After all the lies, deceptions, distortions, misleading, borderline criminally negligent and possibly treasonous activities our political leadership has subjected the cnadian public to, you still listen to advice coming from a finance minister?

Having said that, I suppose the climate is definately an advantage… good fishing and hunting too.

Do us a favour find some other more credible, independant resources for your advice. Maybe from someone who is not a talking head taking his orders from globalist banker lobbies.

#55 lgre on 10.22.08 at 1:29 pm

$33/h sounds high but they pay that to try to get quality people and work. If they paid $10/h then the quality would be even poorer then it is now with some manufacturers. Also, as we seen before auto manufacturing jobs are just temporary for a lot, yes there are people who have been working for 30 years but ask them how many times they been laid off. I don’t envy anyone in that sector, they can keep their job I wouldn’t want it for more then one reason.

#56 dd on 10.22.08 at 1:29 pm

#34 dd,

Garth … thanks for the clarification.

#57 dd on 10.22.08 at 1:31 pm

#47 CTA,

$33 an hour is expensive? Who said it was free to live in this country anyway?

#58 MikeB on 10.22.08 at 1:32 pm

The system is rigged. I saw a house on mls that sold but a month ago in Toronto proper for $840K NOW on the market today at almost 1 Million. That is almost 20% in one month. Buyers still beware.

#59 Andrew toronto on 10.22.08 at 1:32 pm

I’ve been wondering if this is America’s future ….and to some extent ours… Garth we need that survival kit promto…

it happening everywhere else .. why not here

The Argentine stock and bond markets crashed yesterday. The market plummeted 11%, and bond yields soared 7%, to an annual yield of 24%. The country is on the verge of collapse.

Beset with debt and overcome by its bond obligations, the Argentine government nationalized $30 billion in private pension funds yesterday.

Fifty-five percent of those pensions are government debt holdings… and now that Argentine leaders have seized them, they can essentially write them off. The rest of the holdings they’ll use to finance debt payments and keep the government running.

Argentina is the second largest economy in South America. It is one of the world’s top five exporters of beef, soy, corn and wheat. Still can’t afford to keep the lights on. Argentine citizens are being asked to suspend reality and trust the government is good for the money when they’re ready to retire.

Hmmmn… puts us in mind of that ’70s-era Rainbow rock ’n’ roll tune “Can’t happen here, can’t happen here. All that you fear, they’re telling you, can’t happen here.”

#60 Zoronqueen on 10.22.08 at 1:37 pm

Mover up…. In panic….

Need some advise. We moved in Sept/08 to a bigger house in Edmonton. House prices have been coming down. We still haven’t sold our old house. We can continue to hold on to our old house but it doesn’t make sense. We had a realtor who offered to “buy” it for 317K when our agreement with our current realtor expires Oct 31.
It is worth 345K realistically, down from 370K since the summer. We had no offers with our current realtor and it looks like a downward market in Edmonton.

We bought the house 5 years ago for 163K, but we were counting on selling the house for min 335K.

Should we let it go for 317K?

#61 dd on 10.22.08 at 1:38 pm

#38 Calgary rip off on,

For housing to be in line with salaries look for $250k – $270k.

At $180k for a house – oil would have to hit $30 barrel and stay there long term (5 + years). It could happen … but the fundamentals do not support it.

#62 dd on 10.22.08 at 1:39 pm

#37 TorontoBull.

YA .. but they make great cars!


#63 TorontoBull on 10.22.08 at 1:47 pm

well labour cost is just one part of the equation. I hear there are tremendous problems with the Mexican auto plants

#64 Dr Phil, you can call me Uncle on 10.22.08 at 1:52 pm

#47 CTA
You are disgusted by the $33 per hour autoworker wage. I have heard that the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway ticket collectors in some cases make more than that. …..I wonder when they plan to go on strike next.

#65 Dr Phil, you can call me Uncle on 10.22.08 at 2:02 pm

#56 MikeB
It’s not the system, it’s the people. There was a house in the 905 that was listed @ $550K over the summer, then later listed at $499K. The house was on the market for months @ $499K. Finally when the house did sell the MLS listing had revereted to $550K with a sold price of $550K.

A friend of mine sold his condo for about $10K less than listed about a year or so ago. The realtor logged the sale as sold at the listed/asking price. My friend was told not to tell anyone the condo sold for less. When he asked why the realtor was doing this?…. he was told it was for their statistics. Hehehehe

#66 Sc0tt on 10.22.08 at 2:23 pm

Garth check out some of the companies on the verge of bankruptcy in the US. I assume Canada is next in line down the road….soon.

#67 Sc0tt on 10.22.08 at 2:26 pm

One more thing, I just received word that a certain top hotel/bar in Vancouver received THOUSANDS of applications for bartenders. The best job to be in for the coming depression

#68 Roger on 10.22.08 at 2:37 pm


How much is it currently listed for and what is the commission? Have you had a professional appraisal (not from an RE agent)??

Also you better read your listing agreement. Sometimes there are clauses in there where you still have to pay the commission after the expiry date if the agent showed the property to the buyer.

#69 ian on 10.22.08 at 2:39 pm

#58 Zoronqueen

You should rent your old house on a 6 month lease ’til spring ’09 (’til fear subsides). Migration to Edmonton will increase dramatically over the next year. Sure some projects in N. Alberta will be postponed ’til oil recovers next spring, but AB (and maybe to a lesser extent SK) will remain the only province with thousands of available jobs over the next year. Oilsands companies are in it for the long-term. They fully understand peak oil. Besides AB’s economy is three times as diversified as it was in the early 80’s (and the only province with billions in the bank). BC, ON & QC’ers will flood into AB over the next few years. One last thing, places like Edmonton, Red Deer, etc were posting 60 to 70% sales to new listings ratios in Sept (well into seller’s market territory – last year’s inventory overhang has already been bought up) and they will post far stronger sales figures next year once ‘everyone’ realizes this isn’t the next great depression… jobs, extremely low interest rates, low taxes, plentiful gov’t spending, interprovincial migration.

PS vacancy rates are tight – so make sure you pick the best tenant from the bunch.

#70 Shifty on 10.22.08 at 2:44 pm

What the hell happened to all the checks and balances that should be in place to avoid this kind of economic disaster? Were not all that far from swinging from trees by our tails. Geeeeez

#71 dd on 10.22.08 at 2:46 pm

42 Andrew toronto ,

Hyperinflation … read up on it: You would take your pay cheque and buy hard goods ASAP. But I wouldn’t worry about today. Would you buy a house? Maybe. I would look to fundamentals before purchasing any big ticket item.

#72 smwhite on 10.22.08 at 3:13 pm

The metrics weren’t a problem when they were projecting unreasonable and irrational gains, now with the country on the decline, different story.

Glad the banks are doing their homework when it counts!

#73 Rick on 10.22.08 at 3:21 pm

#47 CTA on 10.22.08 at 11:49 am Disgusting……$33.00 per hour for someone working on a auto manufacturing line is outrageous. I can see why plants are shutting down and heading to Mexico.
What is truly disgusting is the envious begrudging anyone who makes a livable wage. Who needs big corporations and business taking shots at the working middle class when people like you will do it, literally for nothing. Have you ever been in an auto manufacturing plant? Hint, hint….. the Mexican workers earn a wage that makes thier standard of living compatible with a Canadian auto worker. So maybe we should now lower the Mexican workers wage so you can feel a bit better about yourself.

#74 Rick on 10.22.08 at 3:22 pm

#48 CTA on 10.22.08 at 12:43 pm I work 2 jobs in order to save money. Today is my one day off where I can catch up on the news. Sometimes I will have the time to post something. This is the type of life many Canadians live. No time to follow the trends. That is why they end up losing everything they work for while greedy predators (CEO’s) run away with millions of tax payer dollars.
That is why there are unemployed, greedy people like YOU with TWO jobs. Nimrod.

#75 Dawn in Calgary on 10.22.08 at 3:25 pm

#59 For housing to be in line with salaries look for $250k – $270k.

At $180k for a house – oil would have to hit $30 barrel and stay there long term (5 + years). It could happen … but the fundamentals do not support it.


I would be happy to see house prices in Calgary at $250 – $270k. Sure would beat the $435k avg in my neck of the woods. Just on my little street alone, five houses for sale, two more for rent. Three of the for sale have been on the market since June, sellers not willing to drop their price. Hope they rot.

#76 Wealthy Renter on 10.22.08 at 3:27 pm

“I hear there are tremendous problems with the Mexican auto plants”

Make them in China’s “Auto City,” or somewhere else in the China. This is not good for working class North Americans, but the reality of the global world.

#77 AL on 10.22.08 at 3:34 pm

#58 ZoronQueen

Your house is worth only what someone will pay for it. If the best price you can get is $317k, then your house is worth $317k, regardless of what you paid for it or what its assessed value is or what a neighbor sold their house for.
Since I dont know you financial situation nor the Alberta market, hard to offer advice on whether to sell home.
I believe as do many others that prices will come down.

#78 Mr. Money on 10.22.08 at 4:01 pm

For once, hoarding food and water is looking to be a very, very wise and non-conspiratorial way to manage your wealth. Personally, I’m building up a few months supply of rice and beans and other foods with long shelf lives, while also perhaps buying another bicycle and maybe a rifle.

No matter what happens with the economy that bicycle and stored food will prove valuable. If deflation occurs, I can always buy more food with my savings, if hyper inflation occurs, I’ll have enough food and a relatively free mode of transportation.

Personally, I see both occurring, with deflation rocking nearly every sector except food and bicycles.

#79 EJ on 10.22.08 at 4:03 pm

#2 cautious:

I haven’t seen any fluff pieces from the RE mouthpieces in a while, and from looking around, things in Wpg have changed quite dramatically from last year. Many houses are now on the market for months before they sell or are delisted. Bidding wars are uncommon now, and “price reduced” signs are popping up.

Winnipeg is generally cheaper than other cities for a reason, so when you’re seeing condos listed there for $300k+ (twice the price of a Miami, FL condo!), you KNOW something’s very wrong with the housing market.

Don’t panic and buy a house out of fear or pressure. Bide your time. Public sentiment is changing, mania is dying off, and prices are dropping. The last thing you want to do is drown yourself in debt at the beginning of a major economic disaster.

#80 squidly77 on 10.22.08 at 5:00 pm

whos spewing about $270,000 houses being realistic for calgary..nonsense for the city to prosper we will go back to the historic mean..for a while prices will go lower
if you bit off to much house to chew your gonna get violently nauseous
its to late to sell now
you can draw that price all the way up to $450,000

baked beans are on sale at sobeys.. 3 for 2.99

#81 Rasputin on 10.22.08 at 5:07 pm

Wow. This @sskicking in the oil patch is the stuff of legend. Some shares are down 70 – 80%! There are a lot of newly poor people here in Cowtown. I wonder how that will affect the real estate market?

#82 Rob on 10.22.08 at 5:46 pm

Re: Roger #7

Even in a ‘normal’ market an April to Oct drop in price, month over month is normal no matter what time or place the market is in… [ofc not the 58/80K drop you’ve quoted!] … just sayins all. Would be interesting to see how big of a seasonally adjusted drop that is…

“You better add Victoria to your list. Average single family home sale (SFH) price is down 80K from the April 2008 peak. The SFH median price is down 58K from the peak.”

#83 dd on 10.22.08 at 6:05 pm

#79 Rasputin,

It is affecting everything in this town. 1st the credit squeeze and now low oil. Our company just annouced a hiring freeze until year end.

However, the lower prices go in the oil and stock market the bigger bounce it will be when this recession turns around. But that will be a while to go ..

#84 charliegosurf on 10.22.08 at 6:10 pm

The Greatest D 08-?

we aint a six figure person or family, we just got four beautifull smillin figure…, we could survive on rice, luv and water for years happy, and united, were proud of this. too bad not too many like us yet, but we just have too wait!

im so proud that my revenue is 0$ some year, no pension ever for me, im retired from yur society, always been always will,but stuck so close to the mess. can go build myself REAL estate, whenever i want or were i want, on this beautifull planet, as long as there still air to breathe…

even prouder to bike arund with my kid, watching people watching me like im an alien, iam. yu are too in many ways…those are Great Times, many BIG truck looser being pissed arund, yahoo! this country is slowly adjusting to reality, man what a bunch of dreamers they were!

people still doing their 9 to 5 dance, for almost nothing soon, aaaahahhahaah, keep on truckin! Life On Planet $.
the life and times of the Great Fool in the troubled present of fake estate…

ZEITGEIST, is yur answer if yu dare understanding all this, but yu probably dont want to, do yu, it’s so nice to be a sheep, all together, beeeeeeeeeeeeehhhh,

Hey Garth, SEEMS LIKE yur the head herder, direct them, their survival depends on yu MAN.

#85 dd on 10.22.08 at 6:12 pm

#78 squidly77,

I agree, however, household wages in the last couple of years have increased a lot. I figure it is $90 x 3 muilti = $270K. This will be adjusted if wages come down.
Maybe it is a 2x muilti? I guess we will see.

#86 dd on 10.22.08 at 6:17 pm

#73 Dawn in Calgary,

Talking about medium price house and not average. This can be a big difference. I had a house in the burbs and it was less than your hood. Actually in the deep SW. Nice area etc. Houses on the street I lived are still for sale … 6 months on.

#87 not so bad on 10.22.08 at 6:30 pm

GTA Resale Housing Market Reflects Economic Times
TORONTO, October 17, 2008 – Activity in the Greater Toronto Area resale housing market
moderated considerably during the first half of October with 2,700 homes changing hands,
Toronto Real Estate Board President Maureen O’Neill announced today.
Sales volumes in the GTA decreased 18 per cent compared to the first half of October 2007,
when 3,297 transactions were recorded and are down 10 per cent compared to the same period
in 2006 when 3,007 sales took place.
In the City of Toronto 1,140 sales took place in the first half of this month. This represents a 21
per cent decline from the 1,446 sales that took place in the same period a year ago and a 13 per
cent decrease from the 1,312 transactions recorded in the first half of October 2006.
In the 905 Region there were 1,560 sales in the first two weeks of this month, a 16 per cent
decrease from the 1,851 transactions that took place during the same timeframe in 2007 and
down eight per cent from the 1,695 homes sold during the first half of October 2006.
House prices declined throughout the GTA during the first half of the month. The average price
of a GTA home is currently $353,772, down 11 per cent from $399,013 recorded the comparable
period in 2007.
In the City of Toronto the current average price $375,804, a 15 per cent decrease from the
$441,878 average recorded at mid-October 2007.
In the 905 Region the average price of a home is currently $337,671. This represents an eight
per cent decline from the $365,527 average recorded during the first half of October 2007.
With 27,559 properties currently listed on the TorontoMLS system, there is now 30 per cent
more available stock from which to choose as compared to a year ago when 21,182 homes were
“More choice can mean slightly longer wait times for sellers whose homes are now on average,
selling after 34 days on the market as compared to 29 days a year ago,” said Ms. O’Neill. “The
list to sales ratio is 97 per cent of the list price.”
Increased sales activity was noted in specific pockets located throughout the GTA.
Sales in Oshawa (E16) increased 15 per cent compared to the first half of October 2007, based

#88 The Tallyman on 10.22.08 at 6:34 pm

“The Banker” #1 Halloween Costume for 2008

Going door to door looking for handouts
No candy please… we want $$$$$$$

#89 RimmyJ on 10.22.08 at 6:40 pm

I sure am glad that B.C. Finance Minister Colin Hansen (according to y3maxx) knows for sure that B.C. is the best place to weather the storm. If things are looking so good, why does Premier Campbell have to unveil plans to “stimulate the economy”? I would suggest Mr. Hansen read “Conquer the Crash” by Robert J Prechter Jr. He will then see that we are not just in a storm but in a deflationary meltdown. He will also learn why , this time , the central banks are hopeless in trying to reinflate the economy. No amount of money given to the banks will force them to loan out that money.

#90 Roger on 10.22.08 at 7:17 pm

Rob #80 said:

“Even in a ‘normal’ market an April to Oct drop in price, month over month is normal no matter what time or place the market is in… [ofc not the 58/80K drop you’ve quoted!] … just sayins all. Would be interesting to see how big of a seasonally adjusted drop that is…

Sorry Rob – that seasonal argument is bogus. I prepared a slideshow last month called “Greater Victoria – Are Prices Falling?” Click my name to watch the show. After I prepared the slides the September numbers came out and the median house price dropped another 12K.

How many more months does it have to drop here in Victoria before those in denial accept reality?

#91 $fromA$ia on 10.22.08 at 8:09 pm

Comment #25 y3maxx,

Ya sure B.C. will be the lesser of all evils. They’re still going to have a downturn as well. Maybe even hit harder because of their premiums of the cost of living. I don’t think Gordon Campbell understands what it’s like to be earning an average family income of $60k a year and have a $300k Mortgage.

Wake up.

#92 nonplused on 10.22.08 at 8:11 pm

#58 Zoronqueen

Sell before you run out of greater fools. You don’t mess around over 10 grand here and 10 grand there.

#67 Ian like the optimism but think you are making it up without reference to facts. In Calgary, vacancies have `spiked` to 4% from less than 1% a year ago. That is still a landlord’s market but it’s getting better. Home prices are trending down and if that continues “involuntary investors” like Zoronqueen could be wiped out. It’s no time to catch a falling knife, especially 2 of them at once.

Back to the subject:

This 20% fall in the Canadian dollar has me really worried. It means even if you sold everything and moved into cash your buying power is still disappearing. But worse, I wonder what’s driving it. Could Canada go Iceland in the next few months? Why not? At least 6 more European countries went hat in hand to the IMF over the weekend. Could the Canadian dollar be collapsing? If it does we’re all screwed.

#93 Jamie on 10.22.08 at 8:34 pm

Garth, do you still stand by that DOW 30,000 in 2015 call? You go to great lengths using grandiose language to suggest the world is coming to an end. But for the DOW to grow 3.5 times over the next six years is quite remarkable. And I’m assuming your doom and gloom means you expect a further decrease in the DOW from here. So, are you still calling a 4, 5, or 6 bagger on the DOW in the next six years?!?! If so…….everybody should be buy, buy, buying not running for the hills!

If it can lose 40% of its value in six months, why can it not rise 500% in seven years? This is part of a possible flight from real assets into financial ones at the end of the next real estate bust (not this one). By the way, my prediction was made 9 years ago. I may get to adjust it a little over the course of 17 years. — Garth

#94 The Coming Depression on 10.22.08 at 8:40 pm

Rennie is getting smacked around over at the vancouver condo blog!

#95 CalgaryRocks on 10.22.08 at 9:06 pm


ZEITGEIST, is yur answer if yu dare understanding all this, but yu probably dont want to, do yu, it’s so nice to be a sheep, all together, beeeeeeeeeeeeehhhh,

Some people have ambitions and goals. Seems like yours is to sit on your ass all day believing you are superior.

You may also want to crack a dictionary once in a while and learn how to spell in your ample free time.

#96 3rdman on 10.22.08 at 9:19 pm

#36 Another Albertan

Another (UK) joke doing the rounds..

What’s the difference between a pigeon and a merchant banker?

The pigeon can still put a deposit on a Ferrari…

#97 Downsized and Delighted on 10.22.08 at 9:33 pm

#58 Zoronqueen: Be very careful of that “offer” from the real estate agent. Something is not right there. It is totally unethical for him to make an offer to you while the property is listed – he is up to no good. At the very least he is just trying to learn your bottom line. More likely he is just screwing with your head.

If it is a genuine offer, you should take it.

#98 3rdman on 10.22.08 at 10:06 pm

$33/hr @ Toyota.

Are you sure? I’ve done the public tour of that plant a few years back. They are non-unionized, some may be @$33 but I had the impression it was more $19 – 25.

Seemed to me the robots do all the work, the line workers just kept them fed.

Back to RE, people be patient, everybody wants to rush.
Give it time the US downward spiral has been more than 2 years. Ours is just beginning. Stock players – don’t panic unless you’re close to retirement leave it alone or you’ll miss the upturn.

Anybody prying here who hasn’t read Garth’s book READ IT.

#99 dd on 10.22.08 at 10:13 pm

#58 Zoronqueen,

$317k selling = $295K after fees and closing cost

Get cash now = easy $295K, interest at 5%

Be a landlord = work for $1000 net rent a month

Wait 6 months to sell and only pocket $280? Maybe less?

So … do you believe in real estate long-term, if so maybe keep it.

…. Make a list of qualitites and quantities or likes and dislike of cash now vs renting out … the answer should just pop out.

#100 dd on 10.22.08 at 10:27 pm

#90 nonplused,

Yes the CDN buck is going down … and other currencies. Why? Because everyone is loading up on the US buck. It wasn’t too long ago that the CDN buck was at $0.67. It is believed that the US is more secure than other $.

We will pay more for imports once again. However our goods will be cheaper to the world … well that is if anyone has any money to buy our goods (the US sure doesn’t).

Give it time. The US dollar is set to implode soon enough. The CDN dollar will once again be at par if not more. When … and it is when (not if) … the world gets itself out of this long recession people will need Sask Potash, nickel from Ontario, lumber from BC, and oil from Alberta.

Short term is going to be volatile and ugly … long-term this Country is sitting in a great position.

Just my view

#101 dd on 10.22.08 at 10:29 pm

#90 nonplused,

We are really viewed as an oil and commodity currency and these have been hit big time. These will come back … the question is when.

#102 dd on 10.22.08 at 10:33 pm

87 RimmyJ

Simulate the economy … that will be the sentence of the 2009. It won’t just be BC that will be talking about it. US, UK, Japan, and China are talking about right now in the papers. Just give it a month and Alberta will be taking about it.

#103 dd on 10.22.08 at 10:45 pm


Hopefully in the new book you mention something about possible areas of investment for the coming stock market boom.


#104 THE COMING DEPRESSION on 10.22.08 at 11:15 pm

Apparently the week of Oct. 15th not one home sold in New Westminster BC. There are over 20,000 listings in greater Vancouver! We are becoming another Las Vegas bust.

#105 dd on 10.22.08 at 11:15 pm

#90 nonplused

Great talk about the CDN buck:

#106 charliegosurf on 10.22.08 at 11:46 pm

hey Calgary rocks,

the sit arund part come from yur big oily mouuuuth, i luv my spellin, it’s web style, i….. yur probably standin up writing your post coz yur blubber doesnt fit in yur XL american style executive chair but made in china, lol,.or yu dont have time for yurself coz yur sittin in yur pick-up too

maybe i should check yur spelling in my own canadien language to see that after all the HABS rule you, indeed we are superieur. too cliche,lol, sorry to have offended yu,.

go flames go, let it burn or pump it up, or steam it up till there is no more, your style thats ambition, Rock style….., dont forget the rocks are rollin now,lol, without a G, it rolls better, mr Lord Oxford, king of the wolrd dominion.

all hail the queen, of the land of Eng, while yu can, coz her loonie is flyin low rigth now,lol, lol, lol it’s starting to smell AMERO bucks arund here, hope yur ready.

#107 Another Albertan on 10.23.08 at 12:01 am

The current talk on the street (that I’ve gotten from varied sources) in Calgary involves a good number of people employed by the oil producers.

It would seem that back in the spring, it was in vogue to take out significant withdrawals from home equity lines of credit to “back up the dump truck” and load up on your employer’s stock. Apparently many people believed that housing prices couldn’t tumble that much and the price trajectory of oil would continue into the stratosphere. The net effect is that people employed from the juniors to the integrated majors were plowing their house appreciation into the energy equities.

Of course, we all know what has happened since July… Mathematical analysis left up to Garth’s readership…

Quoting one geologist: “Everyone I know who participated in these activities is both shocked and embarrassed. Nobody wants to talk about it. The haircuts have been MASSIVE.”

[Note: I heard this from a few people in O&G. There’s nothing to say that others on the periphery did not also participate in significant buying on the run-up.]

#108 islander on 10.23.08 at 12:04 am

Jon writes: Wow…if u think the world is going to come to a end. do us all a favor and crawl under a heavy heavy rock….

We get it, Jon. Your cranium fits comfortably within your rectum. And the darkness soothes you. Congratulations.

Meanwhile, people with their eyes wide open are making moves to protect their families.

But good luck to you.

#109 Future Expatriate on 10.23.08 at 1:14 am

Garth, have you considered going into radio? I imagine a late night show going against the hours Coast runs in the US might do rather well with your droll sense of humor. Think of it, you could alternate guests that talk political and real estate truth (precious few) with the very worst of the PR idiots you and call-ins could rip to shreds. And always lump in the real estate bulls with UFO experts and “experiencers” and guys who see Bigfoot on Vancouver Island.

Could be quite fun.

#110 David on 10.23.08 at 1:59 am

A cheap Canadian dollar is of no help to boarded up businesses.
Canadian energy stocks are heading south at an alarming speed. $50 a barrel oil might sound all right, but those prices make capital spending on further oil sands development rather dicey.
The housing bubble is officially over and that includes Alberta and BC.

#111 j on 10.23.08 at 2:16 am

Garth, I just wanted to say thank you for the great blog and book. Both encouraged me to sell my Calgary condo earlier this year. It took a few months to find my greater fool, and I feel fortunate that I did. I have been renting since, while watching house prices continue to fall.

You were certainly correct about the dead cat bounce last month. I sold a bunch of my mutual funds that day–I wish I had dumped them all!

Thanks again–and thanks for your work as an MP.

#112 rant in Calgary on 10.23.08 at 2:26 am

Referring to the BNN article. “House drop may be exaggerated TD says”

Is this guy for real?
The banks are trying to out-spin the real estate pushers. Who would have guessed?

#113 Alan Yeung on 10.23.08 at 2:58 am

Zoronqueen, I would take the offer. I’m a fellow Edmontonian and the kind of drop you’re looking at is not out of line with what other people are having to do to sell. You’ve made out well over the last five years, don’t be afraid to take your money off the table.

#114 brazer on 10.23.08 at 7:17 am

US foreclosure filings up 71 percent in 3Q

Nationwide, nearly 766,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice from July through September, up 71 percent from a year earlier, said foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc.

By the end of the year, RealtyTrac expects more than a million bank-owned properties to have piled up on the market, representing around a third of all properties for sale in the U.S.


the above is a wake up call to those that say the US situation has “bottomed” – the pain will get much more worse there, and much worse here in canada too.

#115 brazer on 10.23.08 at 7:50 am

Suncor cuts capital spending by a third

October 23, 2008 at 7:23 AM EDT

Oil sands giant Suncor Inc. said Thursday it has slashed its capital spending budget for next year by one third to $6-billion, just a month after raising it by 20 per cent, as plunging oil prices and global economic uncertainty claimed another victim.

The Calgary company also said that it expects to maintain “similar levels” of capital spending through 2012 – and that it is slowing down construction of its Voyageur upgrader, delaying its targeted completion date by about a year.


more bad news for Calgary…

#116 Greg on 10.23.08 at 8:47 am

Roger #90,
Great slide show. Thanks for the analysis and detail.

#117 Downsized and Delighted on 10.23.08 at 9:05 am

“Another (UK) joke doing the rounds. What’s the difference between a pigeon and a merchant banker?
The pigeon can still put a deposit on a Ferrari…”

Merchant banker? I think the North American version was “hedge fund manager”.

#118 smwhite on 10.23.08 at 10:24 am

#80 squidly77

That big spike must be sustainable, because all I here from the blow hards out west is how great things are and the rest of the country is dragging Alberta down.

NEP was the culprit that ended the last boom, who or what is it going to be this time, because its not a Quebecois prime minister running the ship, its a western transplant steering the rudder.

Texas lost 200K jobs in the patch in the early 80’s, is Alberta in the same kind of danger?

#119 Dawn in Calgary on 10.23.08 at 10:32 am

#109 Garth, have you considered going into radio? I imagine a late night show going against the hours Coast runs in the US might do rather well with your droll sense of humor.


Easier way to get into it — blogcast — I know I’d subscribe to it.

Give it a shot Garth. Many do, and yours would actually provide useful commentary and content.

#120 TorontoBull on 10.23.08 at 11:39 am

A few years back that plant (woodstock) did not exist. They just made their first 5 cars on Tuesday

#121 dd on 10.23.08 at 12:20 pm

#115 brazer

Husky to forge ahead with oil sands efforts.

Great news for Calgary

#122 brazer on 10.23.08 at 12:59 pm

Ottawa to guarantee interbank lending

When asked to further define Canada’s potential liability, Mr. Flaherty said “zero to a lot.”


good lord.

#123 brazer on 10.23.08 at 1:02 pm

#121 dd

want to see how husky insiders/affiliates/shareholders feel right now?

#124 brazer on 10.23.08 at 1:07 pm

Economy on edge of recession: Bank of Canada

The housing boom, which supported much of the spending by Canadian consumers over the past couple of years, has come to a sudden end, the bank said.

Household net worth is declining as equity prices plunge and home prices slide.


ya don’t say.

#125 Alex on 10.23.08 at 1:34 pm

Karl Marx wrote that classic Adam Smith Capitalism is a self destructive economic model. He proved it mathematically. We see the proof in the news again, 70 years after the Great Depression. Russians took the note and constructed communist economic model which collapsed on them killing in a process tens (if not hundreds) of millions. Modern economists speak about so called “ethical capitalism” as a model of the future to insure humankind progress. I wondering how greed and fear based model will transform in to good intentions and morality model.

#126 The Coming Depression on 10.23.08 at 2:17 pm

I think the biggest drop will be in the Vancouver area. The Ritz Carleton is on hold, now the Millennium Developments has halted work on the Evelyn in West Vancouver. Koreans Overseas Property Purchases Fall 73%. Billions of dollars at risk as many unsold properties sit on the market.

#127 Jelly on 10.23.08 at 2:35 pm


Well said about Jon,

#128 Andrew toronto on 10.23.08 at 2:44 pm

The period from 1990 to 2000 has often been called “Japan’s Lost Decade”. It’s now just a year away from becoming two lost decades. And except for one brief point in 2003, The Japanese stock market is lower than it has been at any time in the last 25 years dating all the way back to 1983.

In 1990 the Nikkei peaked at 38,900. It is sitting at 8,438 as I type. After 19 years of ups and downs including one big rally of 140%, the Nikkei is down a whopping 78%!

Think That Can’t Happen Here? when the u.s could be heading in the same direction. here’s some points why

Unemployment is 6.1% and rising in U.S. and continuing higher into 2010.Think what rising unemployment will do to foreclosures, defaults on credit cards, bankruptcies, commercial real estate, and corporate earnings.

Banks and brokerages made immense profits being leveraged 30-1 to 50-1. However, brokerages are now under control of the Fed. Leverage is still unwinding and will be lowered to 10-1 or possibly lower. Reduced leveraged means less risk, but also reduced lower profit opportunity.

Boomers are heading into retirement, and a portion of their retirement plan (rising home prices) has been wiped out. Another portion of boomer retirement plans are being wiped out in the stock market crash.

As a result of the above, those boomers will be doing less spending and more savings. Don’t expect retail sales or store profits to come soaring back anytime soon.

Peak Credit has been reached and a secular shift to frugality and risk aversion has begun.
Stock markets returning from extreme conditions do not just drop to the trendline, they overshoot it.

Children who have seen their parents wiped out in bankruptcy or foreclosed on are going to have a completely different attitude towards debt than their reckless parents did. Expect to see more frugality from parents and their children alike.

perhaps you can give us a discount on your next book Garth after all we will need to be more Frugal going forward..

Anyone here think this recession in the the U.S will be a L shaped recession or U shaped , I’ve already ruled out a V shaped.. interesting times are a coming

#129 Crikey on 10.23.08 at 3:36 pm

Andrew- just an idea- please quote Mish (or anyone else) if you’re going to quote so liberally from one of their posts.


#130 Rob on 10.23.08 at 4:07 pm

#90 Roger

Thanks – shows Victoria clearly tanking, no doubt about it.

I’m pretty sure it’s considered ‘normal’ here in any case — apologies for not being specific but I was referring to the GTA.

Does anyone have data confirming or dusting this assumption for the GTA over this year/past years?
[April-May is the buying season here — then it cools slightly through summer and goes even cooler in fall. ]

Seasonally adjusted sales aren’t bogus, if anything it will clear the muddied water on both sides of the bull/bear fence now that the market is dying everywhere.


#131 westcoaster on 10.23.08 at 4:35 pm

Referring to the BNN article. “House drop may be exaggerated TD says”

Have you noticed the last 6 months the real estate industry starts up this “it isn’t as bad as it seems” media campaign going into the last week of the month leading up the month end numbers. It has happened like clockwork again,these people are worse than used car salesmen trying to hook in the last of the sheep.

They put out a series of articles disputing the numbers and try to distort the reality of what is happening and put on the rose colored glasses that this will all be short lived. What bullshit.

What is happening now is exactly like 1981 with projects being abandoned left and right due to financing problems and no buyers.

#132 dd on 10.23.08 at 6:00 pm

#123 brazer,

thanks for the view.

#133 nonplused on 10.23.08 at 6:35 pm

I’m afraid I’m going to be one of those children who sees their parents wiped out in bankruptcy. My father has almost his whole net worth in commercial real estate and I can’t convince him to sell any of it. He’s close to retirement. I’ve been involved with the company myself (I sold out) and know that if they get a 20% vacancy rate the company goes to a monthly cash call rather than a dividend. Most of the shareholders are up to their eyeballs already so they probably wouldn’t be able to meet it. Also they have a refinancing coming that is not likely to be on as favourable terms, if they can even get the banks to even do it these days.

Everywhere I go in Calgary these days people are in a haze. Everyone knows something really bad has happened to their retirement prospects but nobody has really added it up, so life goes on. It’s like a picnic with a big storm cloud blowing in or something.

Here’s how I add it up for the 50 somethings in Calgary (and most of Canada, US too, world actually):

– RRSP (401K in US) down 50%
– Layoffs rising
– Salary therefore stagnant
– Employee stock options now worth nothing
– House prices not rising anymore, but here’s hoping
– Realization coming in Spring 09 that house prices are actually collapsing
– Walmart not hiring

#134 smwhite on 10.23.08 at 6:48 pm

#128 Andrew toronto,

Just to add to your point of unemployment in the USA, after an individual is no longer eligible for benefits, they are no longer counted towards being “unemployed”, so I know the employment numbers the US federal government uses are skewed in their favor. Especially at a time like this.

Peak credit, nice touch. You need peak stupidity to reach peak credit…

I believe we are witnessing a planned event across at the very least in the USA, if not the better part of the of western civilization, governments, can not afford to have the largest population segment all retire at the same time. There will be a decrease in income tax revenues coming in from boomers but an increase in payouts, there just isn’t enough money to foot the bill…

The stock markets say, boomers, work longer!

That kind of puts a crimp in plans of those younger folks that thought it made sense to take out a no money down 40 year mortgage thinking that the employment demand created by the mass exodus of the boomers, would allow them to catch up quickly… Doh!

#135 CalgaryRocks on 10.23.08 at 8:46 pm

dumb charlie said….
the sit arund part come from yur big oily mouuuuth, i luv my spellin, it’s web style, i….. yur probably standin up writing your post coz yur blubber doesnt fit in yur XL american style executive chair but made in china, lol,.or yu dont have time for yurself coz yur sittin in yur pick-up too

I don’t really speak retard but I understand it a bit.

I am in the best shape of my life because successful people lead a balanced life. Of course there would be no way for you to know that.

I was hoping that you’re a useless loser to society at your own expense. But by your own admittance, you are one of those people that drains our generous welfare system by choice rather than need and then shits on those of us that actually pay for your ‘lifestyle’.

It is true tough that when you are a loser, you technically have nothing to lose. Enjoy your useless, sit on your ass all day life.

And do learn how to spell, it’s not web style, it just makes you sound dumb.

#136 GrandePrairiegirl on 10.24.08 at 12:24 am

#134 CalgaryRocks

“I don’t really speak retard but I understand it a bit”.

That’s too funny!!

But your right and I’d concur he’s got to be retarded.
And retarded is a more definitive description versus mentally challenged (that’s for the benefit of all you bleeding heart politically correct people).
Then again maybe he’s just playing everyone here for a rise.
Or he’s consumed one too many joints or some other recreational drugs.
Don’t even bother responding to his posts, waste of time.
Can Garth block his posts?

#137 Bobby in Victoria on 10.24.08 at 1:44 am

Economist here for the credit unions stated today that housing starts next year will be down significantly. In addition, he says sales will slow by 30% next year and prices will fall 10-15%.
My guess is that is an optimistic view. It’s going to get ugly out there.

#138 charliegosurf on 10.24.08 at 4:30 am

On the news today; a massive stampede his happening in Calgary, get out of town while you can, and beware there is some cowboys hat flying in the success filled air…

My favorite hockey games when i officiate are the ties, the players are always grinning about it, but man i love it. why do people have to win so much in this society??? that is not a balance act, people love to hate, it’s so sad.

As a coach also, it is so tough to see little 6 years old cry because they loose, to see the dads enforcing the winning mentality. Being part of the game is what matters to my retarded head but try explaining this.

Won’t lower myself to your level, but man, you are pissed off for a balanced man, guess it’s part of the balancing act! Go relax this weekend brother. I hope to have a good grade on this post.

#139 pjwlk on 10.24.08 at 8:55 am

Waiting in Vain #5: I bought my previous house just after the downturn in the early 90’s. The deals were pretty good but after I bought the prices still declined and didn’t hit bottom for about another 1-1/2 years. Be patient, you will recognize the bottom when prices all around start going up slowly.

#140 pjwlk on 10.24.08 at 9:37 am

CTA: You haven’t got a clue. Wages are less than 5% the cost of the vehicle you buy – and I do hope you’re buying Canadian fella.

The difference between auto workers and you is that they’ve fought for decades for what they have and you have not. You get what you’ve fought and worked for.

BTW, I’ll bet you’d step up to the plate for a $33/hour job if you had a chance – am I right?

Rick: Nice posts, I concur 100%.

#141 s.p on 10.27.08 at 10:53 pm

The most scared people who enjoy dwelling on it, but do not actually know anything and so desparetely go on this site and buy a book.

Why would you think Garth has all the answers or a futuristic view?

All of the people on this site do not own a home an act and ask and fret about it.
What are you looking for?
No one else has the answers, duh.
It’s not as bad as you un-home owners want to think.
Just relax and go home and ask/or call your parents
and ask them if you should own a home.
For not so smart people I’ll tell you what your parents would say….no don’t buy a home you only loose money.

So, why is this conversation here?

I’m done with this silly,paranio is good only if you have a drug problem.

#142 s.p on 10.27.08 at 11:04 pm

put my message on the top for all the fretting people.
The only bubble that is going to burst is your ridiculous thinking of getting property cheap.
It sounds fun.

#143 bears & wall street | Baltbear on Finance on 10.29.08 at 2:54 pm

[…] & wall street market for bears denial went from being a rover in egypt to one in the north sea tossing people off the sinking […]

#144 lisacooper on 11.14.08 at 4:10 am

If you would like to narrow your search, simply click on the Laguna-Niguel SEARCH tab above the list of homes on the right, and move the sliders to create your own custom Laguna Niguel Search Results! If you would like to SAVE your custom search, you may do that as well. Simply click on the SAVE SEARCH button, also located above the list of your search results. Here is a link to a wonderful site that discusses in depth the state of the real estate market in Laguna Niguel and the surrounding areas.

Laguna Niguel Real Estate