Everybody wants it

With Snowageddon  bearing down on central Canada (and 30 US states) this is probably the one time of year anybody in Mississauga or St. Albert ever thinks about Victoria. But Victoria, of course, thinks about itself all the time.

In fact, this little city on BC’s big island is a microcosm of what’s wrong with the country. At least its real estate market. And that irritating Canadian habit of believing you’re actually different (which really mans “superior”) to everyone else.

As this morose blog, populated with mouldy basement-dwellers, jihadist doomers, bullion lickers and people with an alarming attraction to underwear, continuously points out, we’re not different at all when it comes to screwing up finances. We may be slower, but we do it as well as anyone. Remember, there was a time (about 2005) when people bidding for real estate in southern California and Florida did so because, ‘everybody wants to move here.’ A great climate, unique scenery and boisterous economy shot housing values higher, as the Sun Belt swelled with northern exiles.

Today you can buy a condo on either coast for 40 cents on the 2005 dollar. Meanwhile home ownership in the US has withered from 70% then to 66% today, just as we’re going in the opposite direction.

Anyway, here’s Claire:

“What about condos in a city such as Victoria? Condos around $500,000 are half the price of a house, and both our residential unit and rental units are within 1-4 kms of the city centre, built within the past 5-10 years, not high end (as in no granite counter-tops!)  but comfortable in well-run buildings; one overlooks a golf course and the other overlooks the Gorge waterway above the Inner Harbour.

“We bought the residential unit in 2006 and the rental in the year you most warn about, 2009. Would not these types of units be appealing over the next 5-10 years for baby boomers who manage to sell in other parts of the country and want to re-locate to Victoria? And/or, the other scenario is if everyone takes the advice to sell now, and then rent, wouldn’t our units be desirable as rentals and worth hanging onto for the next decade or so?

Ah, poor Claire. Drank the Victoria Kool-Aid, bought two condos, and now as a million bucks tied up. Likely she’s getting a return of less than 2% on the rental unit, making it equivalent to life in the orange guy’s shorts. But at least with him, you’re liquid.

So what of her arguments (and those of people across the country who think rich Boomers, rich Asians or rich Iranians will flock to their hood)?

Well, unless you live in a world class city, such as London, Paris or New York, statistics pretty much indicate you can kiss goodbye this net migration theory. In Victoria, for example, 70% of all the people buying houses last year actually lived in Victoria. More than 85% of the buyers lived inside BC. And 97% were Canadian residents. Rich Asians? Nah. That’s how they stay rich.

Okay, so how about all those wrinkly, diseased Boomers flocking to enjoy the coastal monsoons? Apparently not. Just 14% of buyers in Victoria were retired. And what percentage of the Canadian population do retired people constitute? If you guessed 14%, you win a fabulous fun weekend in Cairo. Bring a stick.

By the way, how is it that Boomer refugees from Alberta or Ontario are going to move to the Floatie Capital of Canada and buy a $500,000 condo when they can’t sell their McMansions in the burbs for that much? What, exactly, will support Victoria condo prices other than the delusion of the locals?

As for the future of rental units, Claire, it ain’t great. There will be a downward pressure on rents equal to that on house prices in every major urban market in the country. Blame over-building, too much speculation, flippers, and tons of people who just can’t sell properties they own, and end up renting them for whatever they can get. As my last post showed, it’s already happening. If homeownership levels in Canada fall, as they have in the US, it doesn’t mean houses will go empty as condos are swamped. Methinks you’ve been inhaling those harbour vapours too long.

But, you’re not alone. There’s no city in the nation I have visited where ‘it’s different here’ is unheard. Houses will swell in Calgary and Edmonton for the oil, to Ottawa for the feds, in Halifax for the navy, in the GTA for immigration, in Skatch for commodities, in Vancouver for the Chinese and in Winnipeg for the dream climate.

Worse, Canadians think it’s different here just because we’re not Americans. It is the ultimate delusion.

So, Claire, if you can find a local greater fool than you, willing to give back your half-million in a market with a bad attitude, then sell.

The rest of us are too busy shoveling. We love it.

230 comments ↓

#1 West Coast on 01.31.11 at 10:26 pm

I imagine there are many others with a small nest egg saved and wondering how to best use it.

I have 15000.00 sitting in a savings account. About 10000.00 in RRSPs (I know…) and about 10000 cash in case of emergency.

I’m looking to invest the 15000.00 but with it being such a small amount I’m unsure what the best way would be…

Anyone else in the same boat? Any thoughts?

#2 Montrealer on 01.31.11 at 10:28 pm

and what will save Montreal? highest income/price ratio east of BC?
No immigration (they prefer english), no asians, no oil, no potash, no navy, no feds.
Damn, we’re screwed. I’m a happy renter!

#3 snoopdog on 01.31.11 at 10:30 pm

first

#4 mab on 01.31.11 at 10:31 pm

If bread goes to 25 cents a loaf, but you just lost your job, you are worse off compared to $3 bread and a job.

#5 Mikey the Realtor on 01.31.11 at 10:33 pm

Opportunities are arriving at a lightning speed; there will be great deals to be had in the next month or so. Don’t fret basement dwellers; your chance is coming up. Take advantage or be priced out forever. You have been warned.

#6 LJ on 01.31.11 at 10:43 pm

That 2% rental income can easily be destroyed. Look at Garth’s previous postings on the GTA condo properties.

Also, take a look at Phoenix. As the house prices tanked AND mortgage rates went down, speculators scooped up (and are still scooping up) houses as housing prices (continue to) go down, hoping to catch the “bottom.” They can offer cheaper rates and still cover expenses, often bought with cash, which does not include vig payments to the banks. Granted, a lot of those speculators are being burned as the market continues to sink. The renters rule the roost now as they can easily move to cheaper quarters.

Claire might just be caught with a unit that is illiquid at her desired price point and the rent she can charge is a net loss.

Then again, there are currently quite a few Canadians who are falling for the “invest in the sunshine states” line. Just like those who wish to live through our left coast’s 8 months of rain…

However, Victoria is a nice place to visit, in the summer.

#7 snoopdog on 01.31.11 at 10:45 pm

“Opportunities are arriving at a lightning speed; there will be great deals to be had in the next month or so. Don’t fret basement dwellers; your chance is coming up. Take advantage or be priced out forever. You have been warned.”

Anyone else smell that desparation in the air?

#8 Dmitri on 01.31.11 at 10:48 pm

Ohhh, Victoria! Get f…g real. Why would any f…g retiree move in there to buy condo for big f…g 500,000 when they can buy mansion in sunny Florida for….. 150,000. And if you are wondering what f…g means. It is freaking, just was saving on typing. -:)

#9 Jeff Smith on 01.31.11 at 10:51 pm

Looks like F is prepping up for election time with promise of balanced budget yadayadayada. How the heck does he expect to do that when they have all that stimulus running wild?

#10 T.O. Bubble Boy on 01.31.11 at 10:55 pm

@ #1 West Coast:

Whether it’s $15,000 or $150,000, treat your cash the same way: be balanced, and be smart (meaning tax efficient).

Even as an individual, you have $15,000 in TSFA room — get a self-directed TSFA account and get to work!

These picks aren’t for everyone, but the Egypt ETF was up 8% today, and INTERTAINMENT MEDIA (featured in the Globe and Mail last week) was up 37.5%!

Even the broad XEG (iShares capped energy ETF) was up almost 3%.

Get invested, but stay balanced — you can’t trust this recovery… things will stay volatile for a while.

#11 Jeff Smith on 01.31.11 at 10:58 pm

It’s different here alright. We have the best banking system in the world. yah right.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/canadas-banks-not-so-much-stronger-than-uss/article1889522/

#12 Dale in TO on 01.31.11 at 10:59 pm

Garth: OK I give up … The ‘Orange Guys Shorts’ … What the frig does this mean??

p.s. Nice Puppy

#13 HouseBuster on 01.31.11 at 11:00 pm

#2 Montrealer – The women, of course.

#14 mid-Ontario on 01.31.11 at 11:01 pm

“As this morose blog, populated with mouldy basement-dwellers, jihadist doomers, bullion lickers and people with an alarming attraction to underwear”…Garth

That is laugh out loud stuff! I’ll have you know that at know time is there any documented proof where I was found licking my bullion. We won’t go anywhere near the other stuff tonight.

Egypt is deadlocked. The million man march better result in an army type telling the boss man to flee to Canada (Victoria deserves him). If Mubarak doesn’t go, this “will not end nicely”.

#15 Vlad on 01.31.11 at 11:05 pm

First! Im 25 and I just signed a one year lease. Renting baby!

#16 Jon B on 01.31.11 at 11:08 pm

Thanks for pointing out who ISN’T buying the majority of Victoria/BC real estate at these crazy crazy prices.
So who is?

Each other. — Garth

#17 Ben on 01.31.11 at 11:10 pm

#1 West Coast on 01.31.11 at 10:26 pm

Open an online account and start trading the pinks.

#18 boomer62 on 01.31.11 at 11:11 pm

#2 Montrealer on 01.31.11 at 10:28 pm

Old Montreal trumps all the other ‘stuff’, but it still may not be enough.

#19 Kevin on 01.31.11 at 11:13 pm

Canada’s natural growth rate is 0.3% while its overall growth rate is 0.9%, due to Canada’s open immigration policies. In the U.S., the natural growth rate is 0.6% and overall growth is 0.9%.

Immigration did not save the US housing bubble from popping. It wont save the Canadians bubble from popping either.

Most immigrants are not moving to Saskatoon or another city like it with wealth but are moving here to try and attain wealth. But with high house prices and service jobs, those that succeed will be few.

http://saskatoonhousingbubble.blogspot.com/2010/12/immigration-will-not-save-housing.html
Immigration will not save housing

#20 Boombust on 01.31.11 at 11:14 pm

“there will be great deals to be had in the next month or so…”

Don’t be so dumb. We’re only getting started, chum.

#21 Stevermt on 01.31.11 at 11:21 pm

It’s totally different here in Hamilton.didn’t you hear ? it’s official. the Pan Am games are coming for sure now.we’re gonna have our brand spanking new stadium ( well Ok.. refurbished..but it’ll look just like new!!

And we are also located in a little micro climate at the west end of the lake here..only a dusting of snow so far this winter..it’s balmy ! eastern Canada’s version of Victoria:)

#22 Debt's Dark Embrace on 01.31.11 at 11:26 pm

Hey ! That dog crapped in the pool !

#23 WesternCanadian on 01.31.11 at 11:28 pm

Calgary’s median household family income is between $90,000 and $95,000 (http://lorla.com/calgary-leads-in-median-income-followed-by-edmonton-and-ottawa/).

Meanwhile, Calgary median home prices are around $380,000. (www.creb.com)

So about 4 times income.

Garth where does this stand vs historical averages, it does not seem that high to me?

If the ratio should be closer to 3.5 which I think you talk about than that would hardly cause a substantial fall in home prices.

Do you believe Calgary household incomes are going to fall over the next several years?

Calgary house prices hit $505,920 and have been falling since. It’s not over yet. — Garth

#24 poco on 01.31.11 at 11:32 pm

#183 charles( last post) –try this for 1 trillion
http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html

it’s been posted before

#25 Junius on 01.31.11 at 11:33 pm

Why would anyone retire to Victoria when you can buy twice the house or more in Arizona, California, Nevada or Hawaii? Even if you are in the States for only half the year what is the point in putting your money into Canadian Re?

#26 SophieZombie on 01.31.11 at 11:34 pm

Look what is going on in Nanaimo !
On Kijiji, the perfect revenue house is having a major asset ”Coin laundry for tenants use adds extra income” . Wow ! If you have 4 tenants at 2 loads per week per housing at $0.25 wash 0.25 dry, it is $208 a year… I am phoning the realtoron-call right now! As a previous basement-dweller, I can’t resist to the coin laundry lust !
http://nanaimo.kijiji.ca/c-housing-housing-for-sale-Perfect-Revenue-4200-mth-639-Kennedy-St-Nanaimo-BC-W0QQAdIdZ188063613

#27 john m on 01.31.11 at 11:34 pm

‘What, exactly, will support Victoria condo prices other than the delusion of the locals?”<<<<<<<<<< now that's the truth! :-)

#28 Devil's Advocate on 01.31.11 at 11:36 pm

AN UPDATE…
to my previous post at 9:00am today. Well… it’s the end of the business day here in Kelowna B.C. with still the early part of tomorrow to input sales that took place today and here are the numbers compared to last year:

THIS MONTH TO DATE (2011)
Total Units Sold = 111
Average price of units sold = $492,552
Average Days on Market = 113

THIS MONTH LAST YEAR (2010)
Total Units Sold = 149
Average price of units sold = $506,581
Average Days on Market = 95

Yes it is down but NOT NEARLY as much as most everyone on this blog had predicted. AND the fat lady ain’t sung yet… we got a full business day to go!
And how about this… at the peak of the market the same month in 2007…

THIS MONTH IN 2007
Total Units Sold = 186
Average price of units sold = $440,054
Average Days on Market = 10

How about those prices?!? And you all thought they had dropped since then! Shame on you… nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

(notes) Stats are raw taken from the OMREB Matrix MLS. Units Sold and SFD Single Family Dwelling Units, ADOM Average Days on Market under most recent listing agreement

#29 Junius on 01.31.11 at 11:38 pm

#5 Mickey the Realtor,

You said, “Take advantage or be priced out forever. You have been warned.”

Don’t you mean, “Buy now and be taken advantage of forever.”

As Warren Buffet said, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

In other words, if you are still waiting, wait for the crash.

#30 The Analyst on 01.31.11 at 11:39 pm

We’ve received three personal cards in the mail from Real Estate Salemen over the past week who received our information from open houses that we visited over the past 2 years. It’s the first time we’ve ever received any cards from a agent.

Can you smell desperation in the air?

#31 SophieZombie on 01.31.11 at 11:40 pm

In Nanaimo, as described on the Perfect Revenue House:
”Coin laundry for tenants use adds extra income” . Wow !
Four tenants, 2 loads at $0.25 wash + dry is $208 a year. If they don’t use a clothes line. As a previous basement dweller, I am feeling a dopamine rush by the coin laundry lust. I am phoning the realtor on-call ASAP.

http://nanaimo.kijiji.ca/c-housing-housing-for-sale-Perfect-Revenue-4200-mth-639-Kennedy-St-Nanaimo-BC-W0QQAdIdZ188063613

#32 Soylent Green is People on 01.31.11 at 11:43 pm

If you’re looking for a rich sucker to buy an overpriced shack, look no further than a shiny executive working for one of those rich coporations that your tax dollar props up.

ooooooooooooooooo

Lies, damn lies and corporate welfare

Each passing day reminds me just how much Steve Harper’s government takes us for idiots — by playing with words.

Take the case of corporate welfare. In a recent press release, the government said it was granting a “non-repayable loan” (you can’t make this stuff up) to a multinational.

Translation: They “lent” millions of your tax dollars to IBM or Warner Brothers, but those companies have no obligation to reimburse you.

What do you expect? If politicians told you they take your money to give to millionaires, they would have a hard time getting re-elected.

But it gets worse.

A study by the Frontier Centre reveals that even the money (your money) they give to multinationals in loans that are “repayable” … still doesn’t get paid back!

http://www.metronews.ca/toronto/comment/article/596697–lies-damn-lies-and-corporat

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#33 Devil's Advocate on 01.31.11 at 11:54 pm

#24 Junius on 01.31.11 at 11:33 pm
Why would anyone retire to Victoria when you can buy twice the house or more in Arizona, California, Nevada or Hawaii? Even if you are in the States for only half the year what is the point in putting your money into Canadian Re?

Oh I dunno… let’s see;

To avoid the draft
For the Medical System
For a change of seasons (skiing)
For sailing the San Juans
To be near family
because their job is here…

Try moving there for an indefinate period of time and tell us why. Believe it or not I know people who moved to Hawaii and were happy to return to British Columbia of their own accord.

Ever hear the saying “Walk a mile in their shoes”.

On the other hand I’ve actually never been to Hawaii so what do I know? ;-)

#34 Jan Etter on 01.31.11 at 11:54 pm

My parents were born in B.C., live in Ontario and are retired. Garth, if you could break the bad news to Claire for me, let her know that they have no intention whatsoever of moving back to B.C.

“So what of her arguments (and those of people across the country who think rich Boomers, rich Asians or rich Iranians will flock to their hood)?”

Too late, they’re already here:
http://www.richmondhill.ca/documents/demo_profile_ward3.pdf

“As this morose blog, populated with mouldy basement-dwellers, jihadist doomers, bullion lickers and people with an alarming attraction to underwear…”

As option 1, 2 and 3 don’t apply to me I guess that puts me in the underwear category?

#35 BCing You on 01.31.11 at 11:57 pm

#4 Mab
“If bread goes to 25 cents a loaf, but you just lost your job, you are worse off compared to $3 bread and a job. ”

This is not necessarily true. The implication of this example is that there has been some significant deflation. If the person has income generating investments the value may increase in two ways: during a deflationary time incoming producing investments would likely increase in value if they are secure. The second is that the purchasing power would increase. This could more than offset any lost income depending on how big the investment portfolio is versus the amount of salary earned.

#36 R on 01.31.11 at 11:58 pm

I’m a vulture.. not waiting for a place to swoop in and buy, but for rents. I’ll gladly take a come down in rents…anytime now.

#37 Devil's Advocate on 01.31.11 at 11:59 pm

#30 The Analyst on 01.31.11 at 11:39 pm
We’ve received three personal cards in the mail from Real Estate Salemen over the past week who received our information from open houses that we visited over the past 2 years. It’s the first time we’ve ever received any cards from a agent.

Can you smell desperation in the air?

That or the savy agent is taking this rare opportunity to increase their market share. ;-)

#38 Debtfree on 02.01.11 at 12:02 am

Your old enough to know there are exceptions to every rule . You just won’t post them .

You talking to me? — Garth

#39 Devil's Advocate on 02.01.11 at 12:04 am

House prices didn’t go up: the purchasing power of your fiat currency went down. ;-) Think about it.

#40 IN VICTORIA on 02.01.11 at 12:04 am

Well the VREB stats in Victoria are out. 25% drop from January 2010, active listings up 14%. I am amazed as I peruse the listings how many “on market for first time in xx years/owned by same family” ads there are. Lots of price drops and lots of movement in the 600k range but very little in the 500k range selling – are we tapped out of the first time homebuyers yet?

Month-to-date Market Statistics

MTD January
2011 2010
Net Unconditional Sales: 320 418
New Listings: 1,122 1,211
Active Listings: 3,174 2,793

Left Column: stats so far this month
Right Column: stats for the entire month from last year

#41 Utopia on 02.01.11 at 12:05 am

#13 HouseBuster to #2 Montrealer

– The women, of course.

——————————————————–

Ten-Four Housebuster. Confirmed. It really is different in Quebec. Best gals on earth (PS, I love Quebec).

#42 BC Bring Cash on 02.01.11 at 12:05 am

There are lots of ways that Banks find a way to call in a loan (mortgage). In my own personal experience my spouse passed away. The Bank told me that because my spouse was no longer around, in other words the the other co-signer is gone that they can call in the loan even though I can make the payments on my own without her income. That conversation happened long before the renewal of the mortgage was due. At renewal time all bets are off. The financial institutions have the final say. IT’S BUYER BE AWARE AS ALWAYS.

#43 Debtfree on 02.01.11 at 12:06 am

See the thing is if your lucky or smart your sitting in a place where people have to go rather then want to go …. as in the electric/copper rush. Like Princeton only a shit load bigger .

#44 Memories on 02.01.11 at 12:08 am

I’m not sure why so many posters are down (or have downs); the Canadian economy beats forecasts again as the GDP powers upwards:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-gets-boost-from-financial-sector/article1888520/

Again, it’s great to be Canadian in Canada! The bleeding of jobs has all but stopped, the BoC will keep rates low in 2011 despite all the posts otherwise in the last few months, the strong CAD empowers consumers and hasn’t impacted the overall economy to any significant degree, and real estate prices continue to be strong.

Although it is only one month into 2011, Canadians investing in the stock market have been rewarded quite well for one month:

2011 YTD returns (excluding dividends)
DOW +2.7%
Nasdaq +1.8%
S&P +2.3%
S&P/TSX +0.9%

I for one are very happy to be Canadian since 2011 looks to be even better than 2010 (and 2010 was quite spectacular itself)!

Don’t be sad, be happy! Go Canada!

#45 Hoof Hearted on 02.01.11 at 12:09 am

Sure….

Add the cost of ferry trips to Vancouver Island…over $100 round trip plus passenger costs

Wait till ” Mr Floatie” subsidy is gone….when they enter the real world and pay sewer levies.

Rentals???? likely will be the result of more and more desperate people becoming something they never dreamed of….being a landlord and renting out rooms , basement suites etc….or family members forced to come back and live at home.

It’s tourist town and old money baby…

PS…did anyone catch Mike McCardell tonite…on Global BC TV…..the dog at Olympic Village…..dead man..dead….no-one in view.

#46 Memories on 02.01.11 at 12:09 am

If you smell desperation, you should get your smelling checked out. All I’m smelling is profit!

#47 Utopia on 02.01.11 at 12:13 am

#26 SophieZombie

“Look what is going on in Nanaimo. Wow ! If you have 4 tenants at 2 loads per week per housing at $0.25 wash 0.25 dry……”

—————————-

25 cents Sophie!! But what century?

#48 Debtfree on 02.01.11 at 12:13 am

BTW that first paragraph….. pure gold. Your really getting good at your craft but I guess you know that ….like a good guitar lick …you can feel it.

#49 45north on 02.01.11 at 12:13 am

Devils Advocate:
THIS MONTH TO DATE (2011)
Total Units Sold = 111

THIS MONTH LAST YEAR (2010)
Total Units Sold = 149

that’s good info!

so 113 is 74% of 149 so sales have dropped 26%

and if there are a half a dozen sales today that makes it 20%

#50 vreaa on 02.01.11 at 12:20 am

True Words Spoke In Jest – “The Vancouver real-estate market is a pyramid scheme teetering atop a cloud of ephemeral hope and, simultaneously, eternal fear. If a single homeowner begins to doubt the prudence of their investment, the pyramid will collapse.”

http://wp.me/pcq1o-1NI

#51 Crazy on 02.01.11 at 12:23 am

I believe anyone who is listening to this blog and has actually spent the last few years paying rent instead of buying a home to live in is crazy.

Even if real estate prices plateau or fall (as they have before in the past) it does not make sense to pay rent if you have the means to pay it off and live rent (and mortgage) free.

When rent costs less than occupancy and real estate will not have capital appreciation, and the difference is invested in income-producing liquid assets, of course it does. — Garth

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#52 City Slicker on 02.01.11 at 12:27 am

Thanks for the entertaining post once again Garth, always good to have a laugh in the evening. But I don’t think bringing a big stick to Cairo would get through airport security now.
I know you don’t like the doomer websites, but this site is accurate with everything it says. Since you mention California today, here is where California is today, I guess not even the Governator could save it, oh well I guess he did alright in body building and the movies:

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/california-is-broke-19-reasons-why-it-may-be-time-for-everyone-to-leave-the-state-of-california-for-good

#53 Stevermt on 02.01.11 at 12:36 am

#32 Soylent green..
I couldn’t agree with you more. We somehow have to get that term corporate welfare out “there” more before the election..we need to inject that into the public’s consciousness…i don’t think Conservatives will like that term either.

#54 nonplused on 02.01.11 at 12:51 am

#4 mab

OK, what about $3 bread and no job?

How about if you have $3 saved when you loose your job? Is it better for bread to be $0.25 a loaf or $3?

What if, like much of the world, you have a job but it pays less than $0.25/hour?

Is it still better to have a job if a loaf of bread is $30?

What if you live on food stamps? Should bread be $0.25, $3, or $30 a loaf?

What if you have a job and bread is $0.25 a loaf?

#14 mid-Ontario

The thing about these protest driven revolutions is that even with 1,000,000 people protesting (don’t they have anything else to do?), and even if Mubarak is the devil incarnate, who is to say that the devil that replaces him is in fact the candidate desired by the other 79 million people in Egypt? They could go from one bas ass dictator to another. Doesn’t anyone remember Iran?

That area of the world has a nasty habit of turning revolutions into civil wars or theocracies.

I was off on my Suez Canal oil and LNG numbers the other day (trouble with memory). It’s only about 10-15% of LNG and even less oil, but the amounts are still substantial enough to cause problems. But more alarmingly it’s 8% of overall shipped goods including everything from grain to new cars.

#55 virginhomebuyer on 02.01.11 at 12:51 am

I don’t think I’ve ever come across a more negative person than Garth Turner.

#56 Timing is Everything on 02.01.11 at 12:53 am

The city’s irrelevant. Garth’s pretty much gone thru ‘em all. Timing’s the thing….Cause ya gotta buy low and sell high if your speculatin’ RE…anything really. Ha!

Did you know there are stupid people in every city, town, and resort in Canada. Even in Victoria.

I know gold, RE, and stock speculators. Some winners and some losers. It all comes down to timing, at the end of the day.

Kids, don’t buy your ‘forever home’ just yet, no matter what friggin’ city. Wait a couple years and see how things play out. You’re young. You’ve got time on your side.

#57 Crazy on 02.01.11 at 12:58 am

I believe anyone who is listening to this blog and has actually spent the last few years paying rent instead of buying a home to live in is crazy.

Even if real estate prices plateau or fall (as they have before in the past) it does not make sense to pay rent if you have the means to pay it off and live rent (and mortgage) free.

When rent costs less than occupancy and real estate will not have capital appreciation, and the difference is invested in income-producing liquid assets, of course it does. — Garth

And if you can guarantee no loss on those income-producing liquid assets (TSX index has performed abysmally over the past decade-Ditto the DOW), you might be right.

Wealth is created by owning. When you rent, you always end up with nothing. I just don’t see your point of view having validity over the long term. Sorry.

How can you ignore every other asset class? People like you should remind us all how this will end. — Garth

#58 Sea Wave on 02.01.11 at 12:58 am

All housing bulls:

Do yourself a favour and read Shiller’s “irrational exuberance” for an explanation regarding how all asset bubbles involve a plausible “story” … a myth, if you will … something the rationalizing humans repeat to one another as they bid asset prices up well beyond the historical rules of valuation. Many, many examples: “rich Asians”, “running out of land”, “everyone wants to live here” etc., etc. Shiller provides examples of such bubble-brewing myth-making dating back into the 1800s … housing bubbles of yesteryear on the US Eastern seaboard, for example, fueled by immigration boom tales and land limit yarns. Same old, same old . . . ‘ended in tears for the vast majority of participants.

And once you’ve digested that book, launch into Rogoff and Reinhart’s, “This Time is Different” to discover that, lo and behold, it never is … virtuous cycles of exponentially-increasing credit-formation fuel, “it’s a new economy and the old rules of valuation no longer apply” rationalizations until the inevitable tipping point is reached and vicious cycles of deflating asset values (and associated banking and/or currency crises) ensue.

Sure, it’s a whole lot of reading and also quite a bit of thinking … and it’s liable to provoke uncomfortable sensations of cognitive dissonance as your core beliefs regarding Canadian real estate valuations and the post-2008 Canadian economic “miracle” are systematically refuted.

But, hey, what’s your financial future worth to you?

#59 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.01.11 at 1:01 am

-
“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” — George Orwell (1903-1950)

#179 Hoof Hearted on 01.31.11 at 9:30 pm — “Haliburton and the US military . . .”

Apparently Sadaam is still alive and well, living in Moscow. He had about a dozen or so stand-ins, and they conveniently got the wrong one, then forgot to leave Iraq (which was an illegal war anyway).

But that is how a dying animal keeps lashing out, feeding sheeple with the “War on Terror” garbage to dumb their own down, so they become subservient slaves.

Remember the Stuxnet virus a few weeks ago, which sent Iran’s peaceful reactors into a tailspin for a few days? Sounds right that the US and Israel would be the co-creators in this.

Also, recall the joker on Xmas Day 2009 or 2008 who was hauled off for supposedly carrying a bomb on board a plane in Detroit? Guess who ‘helped’ him get on the plane (the US govt.).

Western govts. are shitting in their boots as to what is happening, as they can’t do anything to stop it.
*
#1 West Coast — If no TFSA, open one and put the $15K into junior mining or small cap stocks, and with DRIPs let it grow. Add $5K every Jan. 2 and take a long-term view of retirement (or splash the cash returns on something else).

#33 Devil’s Advocate — “On the other hand I’ve actually never been to Hawaii so what do I know?”

Been to Oahu twice. Great for a holiday, wouldn’t want to live there. Living on an island can be quite expensive.
*
5:41 clip Egyptian bullets made in US. Surprised? No.

One little tin god followed by another — Tin god 2 “I see your true colors shining through, Hillary! So much for the will of the people of Egypt!

“The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.” — Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under Richard Nixon, about Chile prior to the CIA overthrow of the democratically elected government of socialist President Salvadore Allende in 1973.” wrh.com. Same with Iran in 1953, when the Shah was put in place.

Apparently, the lying, foul-mouthed paid-for m$m does not particularly care for online blogs and news feeds. Probably because these sources report the truth, and the m$m reports lies.

‘Net kill switch ready in the US, possibly here as well.

College bubble set to blow.

How to keep in touch if the ‘net is ever shut down here (ham radio is a good option).

Enjoying the global depress- / recession. Sick, demented puppies. Plus — Almost 11% of US homes empty.

Deflation Japan has learned to live with it; why can’t we?

Welcome MIST and long live BRIC.

#60 wetcoaster on 02.01.11 at 1:06 am

No rich Egyptians in sight either in V Town. The magic carpet ride is over, Bear Mountain was the warning sign the locals pretend never really happened, besides, it’s in Langford, so what did you expect.

#61 nonplused on 02.01.11 at 1:08 am

PS good luck with the snowstorm Garth and all the other 100 million soon to be affected souls. Let’s hope it is not as bad as forecast. And I hope everyone has their “bad day box” ready. The weather guy on the radio was describing it this way: “Not everyone is going to make it through this one, so let’s hope for the best.”

We got snowed in this weekend. Too much for my little tractor to handle. Luckily an enterprising young lad from a few doors down showed up with his dad’s big loader style tractor and offered to dig me out for $20. The free market lives! Luckily there were no cops to site him for 1. operating an unlicensed vehicle on a public road, and 2. driving without a licence. Also WCB wasn’t there which is good because I doubt he’s paid his annual fees, and also the labour board might have had something to say about it. He pushed some of the snow into the ditch on the other side of the road, which probably violated some water or environmental act. Really, I should have just called in sick this week.

#62 Chaddywack on 02.01.11 at 1:18 am

“If you guessed 14%, you win a fabulous fun weekend in Cairo. Bring a stick.”

Haha! That is just too funny Garth!

#63 Patiently Waiting on 02.01.11 at 1:19 am

Claire reminds me a little of David Lerah (former Chief Economist of for National Association of Realtors) who wrote the book “Why the real estate boom will not bust” in 2006, just before the real estate market in the US collapsed . . .

http://www.moneycone.com/looking-back-boom-time-economists-and-their-fantastic-predictions/

#64 Danforth on 02.01.11 at 1:21 am

No place is immune. But not all places will be equally hit, or at the same time.

Just as the real estate growth wasn’t spread evenly across all properties nationwide, nor will any decline be spread evenly.

#65 raincouver on 02.01.11 at 1:22 am

Damn, your writing runs like a freight train, Garth. You are the Bukowski of Finance.

#66 yt on 02.01.11 at 1:26 am

“The rest of us are busy shoveling, we love it.”

Totally agree that the amount of shovelling on this blog is trully impressive.

Couldn’t resist such an easy target.

#67 Left coast dbags on 02.01.11 at 1:31 am

#33- Devil’s Advocate

Actually, one would be sailing the gulf islands if one wanted to avoid the US of A and not be sailing the San Juans.

#68 Big D on 02.01.11 at 1:35 am

DA:
– they don’t draft seniors (or non-citizens of any age) ever and selective service hasn’t been invoked since Vietnam
– medical system there is about 2x the price but quality of care is 100x better
– retired implies you’re not working
– ever skied Tahoe or Big Bear? there is decent skiing in California

Sorry. Lived in Victoria before. Nice place but no better than any other place.

#69 Patiently Waiting on 02.01.11 at 1:38 am

Looks like Fraser Valley home sales are down from last January . . .

JAN 2011 Listings 2521 Sales 783
DEC 2010 Listings 1045 Sales 799
JAN 2010 Listings 2701 Sales 930
http://www.homebuyandsell.com

#70 NorthOf49 on 02.01.11 at 1:40 am

Forget Victoria, apparently Tillsonburg and smaller towns in Ontario are where the seniors are heading. Went to visit my wife’s cousin there yesterday. He’s an OPP officer and gets to talk to a lot of the locals. This little town of 15,000 is getting an awakening by the large influx of seniors who are selling up in GTA and Hamilton and either buying smaller cheaper places there or moving into retirement communities there all in the hope of capital preservation. One older guy he spoke to sold his condo in Oakville for $600K and bought a house for 1/3 of that in Tillsonburg. Penny pinching but flush seniors don’t move to Victoria to live out their last days, they move to smaller, crime free towns with rec centres, a Sobey’s, a Tim’s but still within driving distance to visit the grandkids.

#71 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 02.01.11 at 1:53 am

From Jon B number 16 above:

Thanks for pointing out who ISN’T buying the majority of Victoria/BC real estate at these crazy crazy prices.
So who is?

Each other. — Garth

Yes indeedy, and remember 2005 when Americans were all getting richer and richer selling their houses back and forth to each other. Remember when their houses “made” more in a year than the owners did. It couldn’t last. It didn’t.

And yeah, I’ll pick a cheap Florida house over an expensive Victoria one every time.

#72 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 02.01.11 at 1:58 am

45 HH – what’s the big deal about $100 ferry rides? Who needs to leave when there is:

3/4 million people
2 universities
several good hospitals
2 ski hills (could be more)
at least one decent symphony orchestra
the internet (yes it’s here!)

and if you insist on leaving

2 intn’l airports……

#73 debtified on 02.01.11 at 2:04 am

Just another opinion on the role of CMHC…

Reduce CMHC role in mortgage insurance: CD Howe

http://www.cbc.ca/fp/story/2011/01/31/4199182.html

#74 Timing is Everything on 02.01.11 at 2:05 am

@ #54 Timing

Ya I know ‘you’re’, not ‘your’…You anal asshat.

#75 Paying rent in BC on 02.01.11 at 2:08 am

So when will my rent go down?

#76 JB on 02.01.11 at 2:12 am

Read a article titled “Saving us from ourselves” in the Personal Finance section of our newspaper here in Saskaboom Skatch… Of course it made page B6, Not front page like when Remax decides to belch some verbal diarrhea. One thing in particular in this article caught my eye… It stated “more than half the mortgages taken out during the first six months of 2008 had 40-year amortization periods”.

Now I’ve been a firm believer that we’re due for a major housing price correction, I read as much data as I can, visit all the great blogs out there on the subject (there are many, and increasing in frequency)… Being a real stats junky, this stat floored me.

Lets say next year they drop amortization periods down to 25 years.. sound crazy? No more so than if I would have told you last January that by January 2011 35 year mortgages would be on the outs… How do you think Mr. & Mrs. 40 year mortgage will fair come renewal time. Along with the other + 50% of those who signed up for a 40 year mortgage in the first half of 2008…

2013 is the year people…

Houseageddon…

The aforementioned diarrhea hits the fan.

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/Saving+from+ourselves/4195153/story.html

#77 Sleepless in Phoenix on 02.01.11 at 2:21 am

@Devil’s Realtor #33: As a Victorian vacationing in Phoenix, I find your shilling laughable. You don’t become eligible for the draft by buying RE in AZ.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel lucky that I enjoy the best weather in Canada, but if I could work in the U.S. I’d be in AZ Oct-March no problem. It would take a special kind of perversion to prefer grey, rainy and cool, to sunny and hot.

Houses in the neighbourhood we’re staying peaked at $700K in 2006 (north end of Zip 85003). Houses can currently be had for less than half that. Lots less. Neighbours are expecting the worst. Prices dropped 14.9% in the past year, largely in the past six months after St. Obama’s giveaway to new buyers dried up.

Why would anyone pay $650K for a mouldering rat-box in Esquimalt when there are renovated heritage homes in Phoenix for a third of that price?

Going online is one thing. Spend the $500 on US Airways and get yourself down here. It’s a spectacular eye-opener.

#78 Devil's Advocate on 02.01.11 at 2:22 am

As this morose blog, populated with mouldy basement-dwellers, jihadist doomers, bullion lickers and people with an alarming attraction to underwear, continuously points out, we’re not different at all when it comes to screwing up finances. We may be slower, but we do it as well as anyone. Remember, there was a time (about 2005) when people bidding for real estate in southern California and Florida did so because, ‘everybody wants to move here.’ A great climate, unique scenery and boisterous economy shot housing values higher, as the Sun Belt swelled with northern exiles.

Today you can buy a condo on either coast for 40 cents on the 2005 dollar. Meanwhile home ownership in the US has withered from 70% then to 66% today, just as we’re going in the opposite direction.- Garth

Don’t you think now, better than two years after the financial shit hit the fan in the U.S. and globally, that were it going to hit Canada as you all have been predicting for the last two and a half years that it would have done so by now?

Move on people. If Canada is going to take such a financial hit as you so persistently predict it will be due to some unforeseen future event contained within our boarders or beyond that will shake us to the financial core no matter how sound our footing is. It’s not what you see in the rearview mirror that is going to catch up with us but that which we don’t see over the horizon that we will hit. And that, if it is there at all, is there and not a lot we can do about it.

Give Canada some credit. The fact is it has been two and a half years and Canada is weathering the financial storm far better than most. You all pounded me for an apparent lack of patriotism some months ago. The pathetic lack of patriotic pride by most here is embarrassing. Junius… move your basement dwelling sorry ass to Hawaii, if they’ll have you, because we certainly don’t need you.

We are doing pretty damned well considering the international economic climate. Apparently others think so too; why do you think our dollar is so high? It ain’t ‘cause our national mascot is a beaver, as cute a little fella that he is. Not because of our maple syrup either or the newfound soccer capabilities of our national police force. And, believe it or not, it’s not even so much our resource laden lands. It’s how we manage ourselves. You don’t invest in a poorly managed company and you don’t invest in a poorly managed country. Our dollar is where it is because they are buying shares in Canada.

All things being equal, we’ve got a pretty bright future ahead we Canadians. We have reason to be proud… we’ve done pretty damned good and for two and a half years amid a whole lot of economic crap everywhere else in the world. That or we are doing a pretty damned good job of fooling everyone else. And really, I just can’t believe they are that stupid.

So why don’t you all just suck it up and accept the compliment paid us as reflected in our high dollar because it comes at a cost and that cost is maintaining that which caused it to do so. Accept that we ARE doing a better job than most. Accept that maybe there is something to be proud of in this country. Accept that there are a lot of people who WOULD rather be here than where they are. Accept that you would rather be here than anywhere else or you wouldn’t be here.

Stand up EH… Stand up and yell… “Ya, ya we’re pretty damn good EH! We ARE Canadian and we’re OK!”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL7n5mEmXJo&feature=related

#79 Timing is Everything on 02.01.11 at 2:25 am

#41 Utopia
#13 HouseBuster to #2 Montrealer

– The women, of course.

Get your Twinrix shots and double bag it…Have fun.
Everyone did.

#80 Cellar Dwellar on 02.01.11 at 2:36 am

“….mouldy basement dwellers…”

Garth, do you have a two way camera hooked up to my ‘puter????

Friend of mine sold his condo in Whistler this time last year( just before the Owe-Limp-Icks ) and pocketed a nice chunck of change. He just picked up a 1500 sq ft house in Pheonix (with a pool) for $78K.

THATS where the Snowbirds rent in retirement(Not damp, rainy Victoria), until the medical insurance drives them home to the Land of Ice and Snow(Toronto)

#81 Timing is Everything on 02.01.11 at 2:37 am

Garth said – “And that irritating Canadian habit of believing you’re actually different (which really mans “superior”) to everyone else.”

Not superior, just had enough. Look out your window.
Sigh….white and cold.

And we get to go to all the warm tropical places just like everybody else in Canada. Get over it.

#82 Domain on 02.01.11 at 2:41 am

I would vote for a government party that had a platform of get rid of CMHC and the moral hazard, and market disturbance its existence brings.

Since I am presenting my wish list, I would also like for this fictional party to radically change (eliminate or radically reduce) the public employee pension obligations. We need a head start on these reforms, the sooner the better.

Just like we could look south in 2006 for a template of things to come in housing, the same can be said for our public sector pension obligations with the backdrop of our aging demographics. It’s coming to a head in the US as we speak.

#83 realityguy on 02.01.11 at 2:41 am

#52 – sound like california is not that bad compare to BC

#4 California has the third highest state income tax in the nation: a 9.55% tax bracket at $47,055 and a 10.55% bracket at $1,000,000.

–> (here in BC the income tax is avg about 40% for 47,000 and 51 % for 100,000)
10% sounds like a dream

#5 California has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation by far at 8.25%. Indiana has the next highest at 7%.

–> stop whining, our HST is 14% that is double your tax. And note the taxes we have on Gas and everything else and a monopoly on utilities. Allow them to rape and pillage are behinds. And told to take it and enjoy

#84 Devil's Advocate on 02.01.11 at 2:43 am

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean

#85 Mark on 02.01.11 at 3:05 am

Telus’ accounts receivable rising rapidly:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/248062-short-ideas-8-companies-near-highs-raising-accounts-receivable-flags

“Accounts receivable [at Telus], as a percentage of current assets, increased from 67.70% to 69.99% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2010-09-30). ”

Canadians not able to pay their phone bills? So much for a ‘recovery’? Delinquiences must be rising elsewhere as well.

#86 Thetruth on 02.01.11 at 3:08 am

An immediate concern for Canadians:

Your internet connection will be under more control very soon (March 1st):

1) usage based pricing…

…will result in you getting more info from certain telecom company sites (due to economics) and…

2) The telecom companies now own the TV and news content…

…and they have the CRTC in their hands…

…their market cap will swell as they have 34,000,000 Canadians paying through their nose for third world service…

..will result in propaganda media as special interest groups will pay to get whatever message out they want through limited channels that consumers will have access to……The herd will believe whatever they are told to a MUCH greater extent!

What is scary is what special interest groups can do with the internet. Example, a while back, the Ontario government was in a battle with Pharmacists. Try through google to search for any of the negative news regarding that. Good Luck. Try the same for the optometrists and the BC gov. Good Luck with that too.

Special interest groups can remove information off the internet. It will be much easier after these changes. Soon, you will be able to feed the masses whatever you want.

#87 hobbygirl on 02.01.11 at 3:19 am

I hope that is a pic of someone at a resort and not at home. Unfortunately we try to turn our homes into resorts and still find a need to get away from it all (debt) yet by going someplace else. It’s like alcoholism, one drinks to get away from the problems caused by drinking in the first place.

BTW, I would have expected a pic of the pool cleaner Jose in his speedos here.

#88 hobbygirl on 02.01.11 at 3:30 am

#22 Debt’s dark embrace –

I went back and checked and you are correct, that dog did crap in the pool! Today’s picture puzzle message has been solved, Garth needs to give prizes for good observation. I get it now.

#89 Jay Currie on 02.01.11 at 4:18 am

Love renting in Victoria! Great house, great view, reasonable rent.

Meanwhile, my ex landlords are pimping out their house for Spring sale. Like they did three years ago when it didn’t sell at 903k, or last year at 830. Taking the cinder block stair risers out, mulching the beds, plopping down new gravel on the driveway to the no-car garage. Have to bet they are trolling for the 800+ virgins though the countertop is spray on rather than granite.

Lot’s of pimping out going on. Spring should be great for listings…sales? well, not so much.

#90 Vancouver_bear on 02.01.11 at 4:21 am

#5 Mikey the Realtor on 01.31.11 at 10:33 pm

If everybody is priced out….then who will buy? Anyone…Anyone…..Bueller….
Try to think with your brain next time and not with the bottom when you post next time.

#91 Deliverator on 02.01.11 at 4:23 am

Now you know why F instructed the CMHC to buy their mortgages and sell them off as bonds… you know, that thing Canadians don’t do? Securitization? MBSes? Yep. We did them and continue to do so.

Canada’s banks not so much stronger than U.S.’s

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/canadas-banks-not-so-much-stronger-than-uss/article1889522/

#92 Phil on 02.01.11 at 5:07 am

#5 Mikey the Realtor

Opportunities are arriving at a lightning speed; there will be great deals to be had in the next month or so. Don’t fret basement dwellers; your chance is coming up. Take advantage or be priced out forever. You have been warned.

Mikey, are you for real, or just a wee bit of a bolux buddy ?

#93 London Calling on 02.01.11 at 5:46 am

“Well, unless you live in a world class city, such as London”

I happen to live in a World Class city, London, UK.

Let me tell you as a Candian living here you quickly learn how “different” Canada is, it is so different it is completely unimportant in the world. Few know much about Canada here in Europe, few care about Vancouver or Toronto. In fact, you don’t even get Canadian news here and the TSX isn’t even covered at all (and I do get 15 SKY news channels).

Vancouver, Victoria…where? That’s what they would say here. The British Pound rich who buy $1m CDN homes that are the size of starters, don’t buy in Canada.

Hard reality, but true.

Cheers.

#94 Repatriated Expat on 02.01.11 at 5:49 am

#51: “I believe anyone who is listening to this blog and has actually spent the last few years paying rent instead of buying a home to live in is crazy”.

A few years ago when I was ready to buy in the GTA – I sensed that RE valuations were ridiculous. After a quick google this site came up and Garth made a much better case against RE.

Today I’m again living abroad following the job opportunity, and thankfully I didn’t have to try and sell a place in the process. All I needed was to give the landlord the one months notice, and I moved onto the next phase of my life.

By the way, my company is no longer covering realtor fees in the relocation process. Another bad sign for the greedy self-imploding RE industry.

Crazy not to buy? More like crazy to buy, good luck with that.

#95 Utopia on 02.01.11 at 6:08 am

#53 Stevermt

“We somehow have to get that term corporate welfare out “there” more before the election..we need to inject that into the public’s consciousness…I don’t think Conservatives will like that term either”
———————————————————-

Let me guess Stevermt, you are a part of the group of Canadians who would actually like to see corporate taxes raised?

Hey lets just double those taxes on them fat cats buddy. That will make our country a lot more competitive now won’t it (have you seen the tax rates charged in Asia by the way?).

What you sneeringly call “corporate welfare” is more widely known as a competitive business advantage. If I am not mistaken, your job is probably pretty important to you. Maybe you work for government though and so have a sour taste for the private sector and the issues of business in this country.

Maybe you don’t understand that in a globalized economy the competition is not between business within the country so much as between companies who are diversly located around the globe.

A few precentage points here and there matter. A lot. Taxes are an expense in other words and they deprive the bottom line. Do you invest Stevermt? Do you like dividends? Perhaps you really just hate companies that succeed and are profitable?

Maybe you don’t get that foreigners also want to invest and own a part of our solid home-grown companies and that is actually a big plus for our country. Or that it is beneficial to us here at home when TD or Royal Bank make profitable acquisitions in the US or South America.

Don’t like banks? Then how about Magna or Potash Corp or Bombardier and a thousand others who are the business backbone of the country?

You see strong companies maintain employment in hard times and offer the potential to expand in good times. How hard is that to understand Steve? Our companies and many others who are involved in our markets provide consistent and stable revenues through the provision of employment to Canadians and yes, that includes foreign firms who operate here.

Unfortunately, like too many other people on this sorry site who despise the financial sector, you likely equate Canadian banks with those in the US in the same way you mix up the Fed and US currency woes with the Bank of Canada and the value of the Loonie without really comprehending the difference between the two.

Of course Steve I already got your number.

You are also one of those who shriek that the government is a huge waste. That it spends too much on wages and benefits for fat cat lazy federal employees too. Right buddy?

Then in the next breathe you will shout “free enterprise rules” and “cut the fat from the bureaucracy and let the markets rule, blah, blah, blah”……….

Then (cough), with out even skipping a beat or stopping for a breathe you will shout “now tax the hell out of those corporate bums and make them all pay!”

Perfect logic. (that is sarcasm for those who don’t get out much)

You see, that is the sensibility on this site lately and sadly it is far too representative of the general population. Very few of you people make any sense anymore and you don’t even attempt to think the issues through to their conclusions.

You have no idea where the bread and butter comes from nor why a favorable and nurturing business environment is beneficial to the country. All you see is easy fat revenue sources to be exploited for the public purse without considering how that can be a negative in a very interconnected and competitive world where capital can flow freely to the lowest cost jusisdictions.

Here is another issue for you since I am in the mood to give you hell today. Lets take a trip down memory lane shall we….

Not long ago, Mark Carney made a speech wherein he essentially reiterated the primary theme on this site in warning Canadians about debt levels, housing risk etcetera and yet almost all the blog dawgs here were up in arms screaming for his head on a pike.

The guy gave you exactly what you were asking for and you still decried him as a central bank hack in the pocket of big business and a puppet of the Prime Minister. What the hell is wrong with you people anyway?

I hate to say it, but some of you are idiots. Does not anyone think for himself anymore?

Like lemmings, dogs are pack animals. So off the cliff you go then,….and happy trails!

#96 Oasis on 02.01.11 at 7:55 am

#193 Utopia on 01.31.11 at 11:47 pm

#94 Oasis

“…..it’s crystal clear, that the USD, once it breaks below 76, will see the life sucked out of the dollar, and will confirm a collapse to 60″

Are you so sure? I will bet you don’t have money on that trade buddy. Not even ten cents. In other words, you don’t believe your own hype. Just wake me up when the dollar goes to 60, we will both have a good laugh.
———————————————————-

#112 Oasis

“HAHAHA, if by “bouncing” you mean heading straight down.. then yes.. AHHAHA. some people can’t tell up from down”

Straight down? Back to chart school fool.

_____________________________________________

http://charts.insidestocks.com/chart.asp?sym=DXH1&data=A&jav=adv&vol=Y&divd=Y&evnt=adv&grid=Y&code=BSTK&org=stk&fix=

where’s your bounce ?? lol. i suggest you learn to read a chart … straight down. where’s your Cairo “bounce”? dollar keeps going lower and lower and lower.

say bye bye to america.

#97 Northern_dirt on 02.01.11 at 9:09 am

#33 Devil’s Advocate

#24 Junius on 01.31.11 at 11:33 pm
Why would anyone retire to Victoria when you can buy twice the house or more in Arizona, California, Nevada or Hawaii?

Oh I dunno… let’s see;

To avoid the draft
For the Medical System
For a change of seasons (skiing)
For sailing the San Juans
To be near family
because their job is here…

……………………………………………………………………………

There is no Draft in the US..
Retiree’s wouldn’t have to worry about that either, nor worry about jobs.. Change of seasons? Maybe some, lots would give that up for warm weather, especially the older retiree’s. And how is “being closer to family” relevant for someone moving to BC from another part of Canada when it might be the farther or equal distance.

Just saying, generally I back a lot of your posts, and see peoples reaction to them as bias towards realtors.. But in this case, I think you missed the “retire” part of the post you were commenting on.

#98 Victor on 02.01.11 at 9:09 am

#1 West Coast

As Garth recommends in his book, you should consider dividend paying stocks. I recently researched and purchased the following which pay between 4-6% yields and also have a good chance for growth in the long term. These stocks aren’t “exciting” to watch, but they are good for solid payouts.

TRP.TO – TRANSCANADA CORP.
TRI.TO – THOMSON REUTERS CORPORATION
CPG.TO – CRESCENT POINT ENERGY CORP.
GWO.TO – GREAT-WEST LIFECO INC
RY.TO – ROYAL BANK OF CANADA
ECA.TO – ENCANA CORP.
TD.TO – TORONTO-DOMINION BANK

Do some research and you’ll never buy a GIC in your life again!

#99 Pr on 02.01.11 at 9:12 am

Numbers of SALES Quebec province, January 2011, -8%.

#100 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.01.11 at 9:40 am

Is this CMHC in a few years?

http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/01/real_estate/hamp_modifications/

>> More than half a million Americans have received mortgage modifications from the Home Affordable Modification Program.

>> Their mortgage balances — after modification — averaged $232,000. That is about five times median household income, about double what they’d usually be allowed to borrow on income of $46,000.

So, if I’m reading this correctly… 500,000 people with incomes of (on average) $46,000 had their mortgage principal reduced by an average of 40%. And, even after that modification, they still have mortgage debt that is DOUBLE what they should have been lent?

Does this mean that all of Vancouver is in for “modifications”? The average detached SFH is $1,000,000+. Assume 95% mortgage (5% down), and you have $950,000. Knock off 40%, and you have $570,000. With average income of say $70,000 in Vancouver, that is still 8-to-1 for a Detached SFH!

#101 S.B. on 02.01.11 at 9:40 am

About yesterday’s post, NXT Condos:

17 BRAND NEW CONDOS w/PARKING – FOR RENT @ NXT – $1300 – $1950

http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-housing-apartments-for-rent-1-bedroom-17-BRAND-NEW-CONDOS-w-PARKING-FOR-RENT-NXT-1300-1950-W0QQAdIdZ257589478

#102 Live Within Your Means on 02.01.11 at 9:41 am

#68 Big D on 02.01.11 at 1:35 am
selective service hasn’t been invoked since Vietnam
– medical system there is about 2x the price but quality of care is 100x better
………………

Have you a credible link to prove quality of care is 100x better?

#103 Victor on 02.01.11 at 9:49 am

How much risk is hidden in CMHC’s portfolio?

http://www.financialpost.com/news/much+risk+lurks+CMHC+portfolio/4200283/story.html

#104 David on 02.01.11 at 9:54 am

And the covering of vulnerable and/or appropriate butts continues…..

The CD Howe Institute has released a report asking how much risk Canadian taxpayers are really shouldering on behalf of people needing mortgage insurance, and calls for a gradual elimination of the CMHC to protect Candadian taxpayers from an unnecessary and unfair financial burden.

When is that report dated? Yesterday. No lie….YESTERDAY.

Barn door, horse (props to Garth).

Along with F’s tweeking of mortgage rules (to begin in 2 months…?!?), this isn’t just putting lipstick on a pig. It’s putting lipstick on a dead pig.

#105 Devil's Advocate on 02.01.11 at 9:57 am

#67 Left coast dbags on 02.01.11 at 1:31 am
#33- Devil’s Advocate

Actually, one would be sailing the gulf islands if one wanted to avoid the US of A and not be sailing the San Juans.

What ever floats your boat man. You’re in the Straight of Georgia… you gonna let an invisible line stop you from visiting all those ports of call? Of course that criminal record you got smoking pot in protest against the U.S. at U-Vic in 1975 might put a damper on that.

#68 Big D on 02.01.11 at 1:35 am
DA:
– they don’t draft seniors (or non-citizens of any age) ever and selective service hasn’t been invoked since Vietnam
– medical system there is about 2x the price but quality of care is 100x better
– retired implies you’re not working
– ever skied Tahoe or Big Bear? there is decent skiing in California

Sorry. Lived in Victoria before. Nice place but no better than any other place.

Not a senior yet Big D… and it’s not me I worry about so much as my children. They are the worlds police force and as such prone to sending young men and now women off to what ever conflict there is. I don’t entirely and always agree with their cause and not inclined to sacrifice a child or make it easy for them to choose to do so themselves.

Non-citizens of any age? Ya right, proud to be a Canadian living in another country because you dislike Canada for what ever reason and yet aren’t willing to adopt to your hosts ideologies either. How exactly do you spell “hypocrite”?

Medical system there is about 2X the price and 100X better? Hmmm you’re gonna have to do some more convincing me of that Pops.

Retired means your working? Yes, why yes I am working(although many believe not ;-) )

Ever skied Revelstoke Big D… ever skied Kicking Horse, ever skied Big White… pretty tough for anywhere in the world to compete with our mountains. That’s right we have Mountains… not hills, “Ski Mountain”. Of course you could always come for a ski holiday and try out our Bunny Hill. ;-)

#77 Sleepless in Phoenix on 02.01.11 at 2:21 am

@Devil’s Realtor #33: As a Victorian vacationing in Phoenix, I find your shilling laughable. You don’t become eligible for the draft by buying RE in AZ.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel lucky that I enjoy the best weather in Canada, but if I could work in the U.S. I’d be in AZ Oct-March no problem. It would take a special kind of perversion to prefer grey, rainy and cool, to sunny and hot.

Precisely why I live and play in Kelowna, British Columbia.

If it is so great… move to Phoenix and take up American citizenship. No body’s stopping you… hell we here in Canada might be inclined to encourage you… please.

#106 David B on 02.01.11 at 9:57 am

Worse, Canadians think it’s different here just because we’re not Americans. It is the ultimate delusion.

Tiss so Garth ….. Mr. F said so and last night on TV with a big broad smile on his face he said we will be debt free by 2015 …. The economy is booming …

Meanwhile here in Halifax Dartmouth I have not one but two bridges for sale …. you can use one for yourself and rent out the other!

We will never be debt-free. F might have meant no deficit by 2015, but even that is unlikely. Say, do you smell an election? Before the last one Mr. Harper said ‘there will be no recession in Canada’ and ‘we will not run a deficit.’ I’d be careful what you watch on TV. — Garth

#107 smw on 02.01.11 at 10:06 am

#55 virginhomebuyer

Is that because you believe his message is wrong, or is it because of its truths and you don’t want to hear it?

#91 Deliverator

Thanks for the link!

#108 Devil's Advocate on 02.01.11 at 10:11 am

#95 Utopia on 02.01.11 at 6:08 am

OUTSTANDING!!!

If I wasn’t before I am now a BIG fan.

gimmie a “U”
gimmie a “T”
gimmie an “O”
gimmie a “P”
gimmie an “I”
gimmie an “A”

What’s that spell?
Utopia.
What’s that spell?
UTOPIA.
What’s that spell?
UTOPIA!!!

#109 The Econoom on 02.01.11 at 10:27 am

Garth, could you please provide a source for the figures you state regarding Victoria?

“In Victoria, for example, 70% of all the people buying houses last year actually lived in Victoria. More than 85% of the buyers lived inside BC. And 97% were Canadian residents. Rich Asians? Nah. That’s how they stay rich.”

As much as I’d love to take everyone’s word on statistics, 92.41235% of them are made up on the spot. Would be nice to know where you got the numbers. I am not disputing them, but would like to direct my family’s attention to the source of that data when they try to dispute my claims.

Thanks.

Victoria Real Estate Board. — Garth

#110 Oasis on 02.01.11 at 10:30 am

well. would you look at that.. the king of jordan sacks his cabinet .. apparently there are some protests there too.. yemen next? saudi. oh what a year this will turn out to be.

one by one, american supported mid-east dictators are dropping like flies. wonder what that means long term… yeah.. exaclty.

#111 Mtl RE Observations on 02.01.11 at 10:37 am

#2 Montrealer on 01.31.11 at 10:28 pm

Old Montreal trumps all the other ‘stuff’, but it still may not be enough.

================

They’re over-building in Old Montreal too, and there isn’t enough demand to support the # of available rental units. We sold in June and are now renting in Old Montreal. Brand new 1,000 sq. foot condo (marble and stainless steel) with garage right along the Old Port with a view on the river, Expo 67, etc. The owner was told that he could rent it out for $2 a sq. ft . It sat empty for 7 months. The owner couldn’t find a tenant until we came along. We negotiated the price down to $1,500 per month.

#112 dave in calgary on 02.01.11 at 10:40 am

When rent costs less than occupancy and real estate will not have capital appreciation, and the difference is invested in income-producing liquid assets, of course it does. — Garth

And until this changes, I will never buy a home in Calgary. I don’t care if I have 4 kids and my parents have to move back in with me, if it’s cheaper to lease than to own, I will simply lease a bigger and bigger place. When it becomes cheaper to own than to rent, that’s when I’ll consider throwing my money at a down payment.

#113 DANIEL on 02.01.11 at 10:45 am

To keep you posted on the house sale in Calgary.

Almost finished fixing the house up; new carpet and paint, updating bathrooms and kitchen a bit – total of about 14k in.

Was thinking of selling for about $335 a month ago, now looking at about 365k. What’s changed? The Calgary market has strengthened a lot in the last month (I still think it’s on the way down – but being supported by kids trying to get in for the 35 year ammort)

I’m listing it next week and will keep you posted. I think property values will go down, but I think you’ll see them go up (and hear a lot about it in the papers) for the next few months.

Dan.

#114 Ukee_soul on 02.01.11 at 10:54 am

anyone wanting a good laugh should check this link out. Its for Realtor School in BC. “100% pass rate – BC housing market Booming – get license now or miss out” LOL

http://www.yourlearninglab.com/testprep_new.html?gclid=CNXN2amX56YCFRtVgwodvh5T2w

#115 Devil's Advocate on 02.01.11 at 10:55 am

#103 Victor on 02.01.11 at 9:49 am
How much risk is hidden in CMHC’s portfolio?
http://www.financialpost.com/news/much+risk+lurks+CMHC+portfolio/4200283/story.html

#104 David on 02.01.11 at 9:54 am
And the covering of vulnerable and/or appropriate butts continues…..
The CD Howe Institute has released a report asking how much risk Canadian taxpayers are really shouldering on behalf of people needing mortgage insurance, and calls for a gradual elimination of the CMHC to protect Candadian taxpayers from an unnecessary and unfair financial burden.
When is that report dated? Yesterday. No lie….YESTERDAY.
Barn door, horse (props to Garth).
Along with F’s tweeking of mortgage rules (to begin in 2 months…?!?), this isn’t just putting lipstick on a pig. It’s putting lipstick on a dead pig.

As you may have gathered from my posting history, I am no fan of government intervening in the free market. I most certainly agree that CMHC is an unnecessary entity and probably causes more aggravation in the market than cure. But I question that there is that much risk in the CMHC portfolio.

The organization is better run than most give it credit for and the premiums charged compared to the liability… well they make the private sector insurance companies look like they are giving away their indemnification against risk.

I have explained before my understanding as has been explained to me by what I consider to be high ranking bankers that CMHC does not insure the full mortgage but rather only the shortfall, if any, the bank might incur upon foreclosure and court ordered sale. In other words is the mortgage is $100,000 and they sell the property for a net $110,000 after costs then they have no claim and, in fact must write the defaulter a cheque for $10,000. If on the other hand the mortgage is $100,000 and they sell the property for $90,000 after expenses, then CMHC would cover that shortfall of $10,000 only.

Also as has been mentioned by me and others on this blog, CMHC is prone to diligently and relentlessly investigate the bank to ensure it did it’s due diligence prior to advancing the mortgage and if they find they did not will deny the claim for any loss on that account.

Also consider that many of those properties bought with high ratio financing still retain a very significant portion of that massive equity gain during the bubble’s building. Properties have not returned to their pre-bubble values – not by a long shot. Many of those high ratio properties are very solid with a better covenant than was the case when the mortgage was first taken out. Not even so many of those which were of the 0/40 era will not default as you suspect as most will want to hold onto their homes believing they will in the not too distant future regain the equity they lost. And they will regain that equity later, certainly within the minimum 7 years it would take for those mortgage holders to rebuild their credit if they were to default.

Given this, high premiums and lower risk than you might believe, I question whether CMHC is that prone to what happened with Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae southside. Again, I’d rather there was no CMHC, at least not in it’s present form and authority. But really as much a critic of it as I sometimes can be of CMHC I am more a critic of those who witch hunt without doing a little research.

#116 AACI-Okanagan on 02.01.11 at 11:00 am

all this doom and gloom, I just thank my lucky stars I am not a Leafs fan

#117 bridgepigeon on 02.01.11 at 11:13 am

DA, you on your second double double this morning?

55 Virgin, It’s called tough love ;-)

#118 Rick in Japan on 02.01.11 at 11:16 am

Oasis,
As you cheer the troubles of the US and the rest of the world,if and when you finally get your head out of your ass you’ll see that good old Canada is far from immune. One thing I never miss about Canada are Canadians like you-so full of BS. I know, I know, ‘it is different here’ (and we really are better wink, wink).

#119 dave99 on 02.01.11 at 11:31 am

#57 Crazy, you wrote

“Wealth is created by owning. When you rent, you always end up with nothing. I just don’t see your point of view having validity over the long term. Sorry.”

***

Wow. I can’t believe you wrote that. Even after Garth provided your a rebuttal to your earlier post.

Long term?

Long term over the past 100 years or so, residential RE provided an average annual return of 1% above the rate of inflation. Add in property taxes and upkeep and it has broken even or lost value.

Long term, equities provided an annual average return of 5-10% above inflation.

And your statement “Wealth is created by owning (Real estate”??? How does that create any wealth?? What value are you adding to justify the accumulation of wealth, simply by paying for a roof over your head? Why would the market reward you for that?

Owning a home is a cost, not an investment.
Renting a home is a cost, not an investment.

Look at the comparable costs and benefits, and choose what it best for your. Nothing wrong with owning.

But it is not a long term investment (although a few will get lucky in the short to medium term)

#120 Live Within Your Means on 02.01.11 at 11:38 am

#106 David B on 02.01.11 at 9:57 am
Worse, Canadians think it’s different here just because we’re not Americans. It is the ultimate delusion.

Tiss so Garth ….. Mr. F said so and last night on TV with a big broad smile on his face he said we will be debt free by 2015 …. The economy is booming …

Meanwhile here in Halifax Dartmouth I have not one but two bridges for sale …. you can use one for yourself and rent out the other!

We will never be debt-free. F might have meant no deficit by 2015, but even that is unlikely. Say, do you smell an election? Before the last one Mr. Harper said ‘there will be no recession in Canada’ and ‘we will not run a deficit.’ I’d be careful what you watch on TV. — Garth

…………….

I’m pretty sure David B was being sarcastic. As many have said, too bad there wasn’t a sarcasm font.

#121 Stevermt on 02.01.11 at 11:41 am

#95 Utopia
first of all I’m not your “buddy”, and your fingers must be frickin tired after that rant and your blood pressure a few points higher.
Never assume what other people do or what they think..you’re probably wrong most of the time.
There’s no need to scream back at people just because something sets you off.
And you don’t have my number at all…..The actual tone on this site a lot of the time is uncivil to say the least due to the anonimity of it.

#122 The American on 02.01.11 at 11:50 am

At #11: Jeff Smith, thank you for posting that link. It is exactly what I’ve been saying. American analysts have been saying this for nearly 18 months in the U.S. When I try to tell my Canadian friends, they simply call me a liar.

At #25: Junius, Garth had a post on this several months back stating to sell Canadian and buy American. Everyone said he was crazy. Granted, Phoenix and Florida are basically the red headed step children of America. They tend to capture the rejects of the U.S. I would say buy in San Diego, Santa Barbara, or the Carolinas instead (it is much nicer there).

AT #33: Devil’s Advocate, first there is no draft in the U.S. Are you really that far behind the times to still buy into that sh*t? Unfortunately, we do not provide medical coverage to all our people (legal and illegal) in the U.S., meaning there is no base line. If you do have coverage, there is no finer medical in the world, and that is a fact. That’s why most nearly every Canadian politician comes to the U.S. for life-saving care, continued care, surgeries, and rehabilitation if necessary. We’re working on it, though. What change in “seasons” in Canada are you referring? July, Rain, or Snow?

At #91: Deliverator, thank you too. I (we) just cannot believe how in the dark Canadians have been kept about their own government and banking system. Can anyone PLEASE explain to us why Canadians have been so delusional to their banks and what their government has been doing? It is one thing to lie to your people through media propaganda, but it is entirely another thing to actually believe it and not question authority whatsoever. ANYONE??!?!? PLEASE!!!!!

At #44: Memories, you really don’t get it, do you? You’ll understand in about six months. A “strong” CAD is NOT good for Canada right now. DUH!

At #86: Thetruth, you are absolutely correct. In fact, I believe the usage-based pricing for internet in Canada is nothing more than a mere ploy to help thwart information flow and upheaval when the crash hits in 2nd-3rd quarter of this year in Canadian real estate. Timing is everything, isn’t it? Seriously, though, it is unbelievable a government to do such a deplorable and manipulative act to its own people.

At #93: London Calling, I hate to admit it, but everything you wrote is absolutely true. Canadians pretty much differentiate themselves by sewing a maple leaf on their back pack when traveling!!!

#123 Stevermt on 02.01.11 at 11:54 am

#108 DA….OMG ..don’t encourage him !
I always said good things about you and your mother.

#124 Willa on 02.01.11 at 11:58 am

I checked demographics – Kingston, Ontario’s retiree population is 1 – 2 % higher than the national average. That means that all those wizzened Toronto folks are retiring here.

Why? Even with inflated housing prices, you can still buy a 4-bedroom in a nice neighbourhood for $250G. Waterfront condos are cheaper. Everything is walkable or bussable. And the weather is Zone 6, the same as Niagara.

People retire to where they can live on the money they got left. They’re not looking for tea shops and flower gardens, and they know you can pay a kid to shovel the driveway.

#125 Devil's Advocate on 02.01.11 at 12:00 pm

#97 Northern_dirt on 02.01.11 at 9:09 am

There is no Draft in the US..

Retiree’s wouldn’t have to worry about that either, nor worry about jobs.. Change of seasons? Maybe some, lots would give that up for warm weather, especially the older retiree’s. And how is “being closer to family” relevant for someone moving to BC from another part of Canada when it might be the farther or equal distance.

Just saying, generally I back a lot of your posts, and see people’s reaction to them as bias towards realtors.. But in this case, I think you missed the “retire” part of the post you were commenting on.

There is no draft?!?!? So that means I can return? ;-)

True I was not considering the “retirement” part of the post so much and thank you for your backing support. Still the whole notion of buying property elsewhere because of the climate is easy to talk but to walk the talk is another matter. I know people who have tried it and returned to Canada for various reasons… including, believe it or not, the weather.

On being closer to family; I find in my line of work that is a BIG factor for many and a prevailing reason many retirees who try to retire to British Columbia end up returning to their native eastern province where their children have jobs and raise their grandchildren not to mention where their children are better able to keep an eye on their senior failing health parents.

And on medical insurance south side… it gets more expensive with age not cheaper. In Canada the young and healthy are subsidizing the health care costs of the aged and decrepit to a larger degree.

Am I really still so wrong?

Again thanks for your support Northern_dirt.

#109 The Econoom on 02.01.11 at 10:27 am
Garth, could you please provide a source for the figures you state regarding Victoria?

Thanks.

Victoria Real Estate Board. — Garth

But Garth, isn’t the Victoria Real Estate Board a member organization of the great big CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) Spin Machine and thereby an unreliable source for such figures?

hint… sarcasm ;-)

#117 bridgepigeon on 02.01.11 at 11:13 am
DA, you on your second double double this morning?

Hell no… I’ve been up since 3:00am, seriously. I’ve got a big day I needed to prepare lesson plans for. I’m on like my 5th… and it’s way stronger than that Timmy’s cow piss they pass off as coffee. My day is booked to 7:30pm and I fully expect I’ll have crashed by 5:00 so we’ll see how it plays out from there. ;-)

Yes… it is busy… for those not sitting in their dank basement complaining it must be.

Gotta run… later

#126 Roial1 on 02.01.11 at 12:03 pm

#55 virginhomebuyer on 02.01.11 at 12:51 am
I don’t think I’ve ever come across a more negative person than Garth Turner.

Garth,
Can you smell “Virgin sacrifice” being served on the alter of HGTV maybe?????

#127 Herb on 02.01.11 at 12:04 pm

#95 Utopia,

don’t like “corporate welfare”? How about a more recent “Socialism for business, capitalism for everyone else”? Or “What’s good for business is good for the country” (as in “What’s good for General Motors is good for the USA”)? Or “Trickle down business largesse” in the vein of R. Reagan?

How did the “business-first” approach work out anywhere? Business goes where its profits are the greatest and expenses the least. A bottom line has no conscience, country or other responsibility. Provide a business environment without taxes or regulation and with low-cost (better yet, free labour), and globalism will work for you. Every corporation will head your way, but where will the country, region or city providing this environment be? Utopia“, that’s right, “nowhere” in the vernacular. No wage or tax income, no population and – at last! – no government. Utopia indeed – for business.

Of course I’m stating an extreme: it’s all a matter of balance. So how about a deep “think” for yourself to find a little, as opposed to regurgitating the other extreme?

#128 BlorgDorg on 02.01.11 at 12:06 pm

From the Financial Post (of all places):

http://www.financialpost.com/news/much+risk+lurks+CMHC+portfolio/4200283/story.html

“What’s wrong with this picture? CMHC’s mortgage insurance book now backstops mortgage-lending equivalent of more than $500-billion. In the event of a housing collapse, the taxpayer exposure, while much less than $500-billion owing to mortgage paydowns and recoveries from borrowers, is potentially huge.”

#129 Oasis on 02.01.11 at 12:06 pm

#118 Rick in Japan on 02.01.11 at 11:16 am
_______________________________________

the only ones sticking their heads in their collective asses, are the ones supporting brutal dictators in 3rd world countries… and thinking something good will come of it. or … not realizing what is going on in the world today, and sticking your head in the sand…

the americans are a bankrupt nation. that is the reality. face it.

#130 Tim on 02.01.11 at 12:08 pm

There are enough rich people in Vancouver with grey hair that will be trading in their million dollar piece of crap for something in Victoria for half the cost. Where else is there no snow in this country?

#131 No crystal ball... on 02.01.11 at 12:26 pm

#57 Crazy…

I used to view renting the same way that you do, believing that renters were throwing money away when they could have been putting that money toward investing in their own home. That was when property prices were affordable which they have not been for a while.

Now that I have been in both positions – that of a home-owner for 23 years, and now a renter for the past two years, I see it very differently – mostly because times are very different. My husband and I believe, like Garth, that this real estate insanity is unsustainable, so for us it made total sense to get out while the going was good.

As an owner, our mortgage payment plus property taxes (in Oakville) cost about the same as what we pay in rent. So what makes it worthwhile you ask? Well, we were able to take our equity and invest it making us much richer than we would have been staying in the house which needed a LOT of work like replacement of all windows, furnace, air conditioner, pool equipment, etc. We had one of the nicest homes on the street but it costs a lot of money to keep it nice.

Now if we have a problem with anything we call our landlord who sends someone in to fix it for us and we pay nothing. This rental is not a shack by-the-way. It is a three year old house in a great location that the owner paid well over $700,000 for. The one next door was on the market for a year and just sold for over $100,000 less than that.

We are no longer ‘house poor’ and can afford to pay the kids’ university tuitions (two currently in school), take a holiday, pay for unexpected expenses like major car repairs, eat at nice restaurants and go to the theatre whenever we want to. We have no debt and that is a great feeling for a change, after living with it for so long.

I have a relative in Florida whose mortgage is twice what his home is worth. He is losing sleep at night waiting for prices to come up again.

I know which position I would rather be in.

#132 David on 02.01.11 at 12:28 pm

#115 DA- The gist of your POV is that the risk to CMHC (ie. me!) isn’t so high, because it only applies to any shortfall amount, not the full notional amount.

Well, I’d say this: The original architects of the CMHC would certainly not have been stress tested for the concept of zero downpayment…more likely they modeled 8, 10 or 12% as the pooled, aggregated DP amounts. That premise, and a market for house prices that still had a modicum of financial sobriety, is where they came up with the rates to charge for the insurance. ‘Pre-F’ insanity days.

Back then, CMHC had a viable, built-in safety valve…the first 10ish% loss of value was borne by the homeowner per his equity investment. Only after that might possibly things begin to worry the bank involved, and even later still reach the halls of CMHC, if ever. It just wasn’t that likely. Not like now, and not all in a giant stampede.

And yet, back in those days, when the price of a house was actually manageable and CMHC had room to be wildly more ‘generous’ with our money, they for some inexplicable reason didn’t stretch those formulas more. Back then, those in charge seemed to run a sensible fiscal ship.

But that ship sailed long ago, and guys like you just say we need a bigger boat. No one wants the ride to end, but don’t lie to yourself and us that it won’t.

#133 tonguestump on 02.01.11 at 12:33 pm

#97 there technically is a draft just google “selective services” for the US every boy who turns 18 must register for the selective services or it is a felony. So I got your back DA on this one.

#134 CrowdedElevatorFartz on 02.01.11 at 12:40 pm

@#55 Virginhomebuyer
Well , jump in an elevator with me and see how your day turns out :)

#135 SAD on 02.01.11 at 12:48 pm

DA should start his own B.C. political party. There is not enough choice.
He could call it the Denial Party.
Lots of potential members in B.C.
http://www.altstuff.com/bc.htm

#136 Hoof Hearted on 02.01.11 at 12:50 pm

Ah, poor Claire. Drank the Victoria Kool-Aid, bought two condos, and now as a million bucks tied up. Likely she’s getting a return of less than 2% on the rental unit, making it equivalent to life in the orange guy’s shorts. But at least with him, you’re liquid.

=======

Guy in the “orange suit” is the guy in the picture of the last post .

#137 Hoof Hearted on 02.01.11 at 1:19 pm

#59 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad

Re Egypt…we will be bombarded with all sorts of propoganda. In ” Confessions of an economic hit man”…there could be myriad reasons as to what is really going on and why. CIA has been known to hire a few thousand people to simply riot and denounce a leader, then get the mob mentality going and create an ouster.

Who knows if Israel is behind it….wars FIRST need to have their own citizens on side….maybe this whole exercise is a US attempt to justify a greater military presence in Egypt etc.

#138 BigAl (Original) on 02.01.11 at 1:25 pm

#55 virginhomebuyer on 02.01.11 at 12:51 am
wrote:
“I don’t think I’ve ever come across a more negative person than Garth Turner.”
======================================

I’ve posted this quote by Octavio Paz before, about the dangers of super-positivity:

“The North American system only wants to consider the positive aspects of reality. Men and women are subjected from childhood to an inexorable process of adaptation; certain principles, contained in brief formulas are endlessly repeated by the Press, the radio, the churches, and the schools, and by those kindly, sinister beings, the North American mothers and wives. A person imprisoned by these schemes is like a plant in a flowerpot too small for it: he cannot grow or mature. ”

This super-positivity can only be described as irrational and a mental illness. It stunts growth, it prevent personal and organizational development. Some people, especially in organizations, try to blur the distinctions between positivity and rational analysis/criticism or professionalism (or just plain manners/etiquette). But they are not the same thing.

It’s usually just plain selfishness when people play the positivity card anyways.

I’ll bet you yourself are happy and ‘positive’ when your gas prices come down at the pump. But what about the person who’s invested in the oil market – do you demand they be positive too about your good fortune and their loss?

If you think about it, your position is quite negative to me if my hopes are to buy a house for a lot less money in the near future. If I’m someone who is hoping to get my dream home and pay less for it in 2 years, this blog and GT’s analysis of the fundamentals is fuelling that hope. And along you come with your negativity, dashing my hopes, telling me I better spend more now, or choose a currently cheap home (what I can afford), and settle for a dump. Why would you be such a negative ninny?

#139 Timing is Everything on 02.01.11 at 1:27 pm

#122 The American – said “Can anyone PLEASE explain to us why Canadians have been so delusional to their banks and what their government has been doing?”

Well, apparently…everyone is stoned in BC…and the rest of Canada is drunk due to the harsh winters.
Except Ottawa…Where everyone works for the government.

#140 Stevermt on 02.01.11 at 1:36 pm

#88 hobbygirl
go back and look at the photo again..that little guy is peeing in the pool..look..his little leg is lifted and he’s breathing a sigh of relief. you can see the rings in the water where the tinkle is entering…
too bad they don’t have that chemical that turns the water blue if someone pees in the pool..

Garth..prize??

I know…I get the trip to Cairo!

#141 Bob on 02.01.11 at 1:39 pm

Garth,

In regards to your comment, “Are we there yet?” I would say just not yet.

I have been having a daily, running conversation with a real estate broker (reputable) over the last week or so about the state of January real estate activity in this area. The broker indicated that the recent changes to the 35 year amortization rules has juiced the local real estate market here in Brampton.

Activity in this region in the last 10 days has picked up as people with pre-approved 35 year financing plans in place are picking up their speed and searching in earnest in order to get in before the deadline. Listing prices are not budging for homes that have been on MLS for over three months.

All this in the dead of winter.

No, we are not there yet.

#142 Live Within Your Means on 02.01.11 at 1:46 pm

#122 The American on 02.01.11 at 11:50 am

Unfortunately, we do not provide medical coverage to all our people (legal and illegal) in the U.S., meaning there is no base line. If you do have coverage, there is no finer medical in the world, and that is a fact. That’s why most nearly every Canadian politician comes to the U.S. for life-saving care, continued care, surgeries, and rehabilitation if necessary. We’re working on it, though.

……………

I agree with all of your other points and only partially agree with one point.

Please provide a list of those politicians, other than Danny Williams. “That’s why most nearly every Canadian politician comes to the U.S. for life-saving care, continued care, surgeries, and rehabilitation if necessary.”

I think the key words are that ‘if you do have coverage’. Last I read is that 40M don’t have coverage and the Repugs are using the constitution re states rights to oppose this. Cdn politicians and other ‘rich’ people can afford to go to the US or elsewhere for a fast track system. But, should we not care about average citizens. There are many other countries that have a much better medical system than Canada and the US with better outcomes. I know our HC system is unsustainable with we Boomers, but I certainly don’t want to go the US route. I remember, as a very child, neighbours had to return to England in order to get health care. They had to sell off EVERYTHING just to pay airfare to return to England. Is this the kind of country you want to live in?

#143 Devore on 02.01.11 at 1:49 pm

#75 Paying rent in BC

So when will my rent go down?

When you stop whining, roll up your sleeves, and negotiate for it.

#144 Angela on 02.01.11 at 1:50 pm

#105 DA “pretty tough for anywhere in the world to compete with our mountains.”

Bwaaahahahahaha! Ever heard of those pokey little hills they call the Alps?

Good grief!

#145 Karl Hungus on 02.01.11 at 2:22 pm

#131 no crystal ball…

But if you had never invested in a house in the first place you would not have had any equity to invest. Real Estate cant be all bad if you gathered all your initial investment from it.

While I understand peoples view on the future of house prices, you can’t deny that its been a good investment in the past.

When closing costs on transactions and occupancy costs are figured in, real estate lags equity investing over the last two decades. — Garth

#146 Mr.Plow on 02.01.11 at 2:23 pm

Garth…

I read an article, I don’t have time to search for the link. And it stated that Alberta had an avg income of $88,000 and avg housing price that was 3 times that income which puts in more in line with the norm.

Vancouver and TO were 9 and 7.5 times income respectively. Do you expect Alberta to be hit less hard than Van and TO or is that another “its different here” argument.

Thanks.

The average house price in Calgary, Edmonton or Red Deer is not $264,000. — Garth

#147 Vancouver_Bear on 02.01.11 at 2:24 pm

The catalyst of the canadian bubble is CMHC aka Cannie Mae – http://www.financialpost.com/news/much+risk+lurks+CMHC+portfolio/4200283/story.html

#148 Montrealer on 02.01.11 at 2:46 pm

#105 Devil’s Advocate on 02.01.11 at 9:57 am

Ever skied Revelstoke Big D… ever skied Kicking Horse, ever skied Big White… pretty tough for anywhere in the world to compete with our mountains. That’s right we have Mountains… not hills, “Ski Mountain”. Of course you could always come for a ski holiday and try out our Bunny Hill.

=====

I have lived in Lake Tahoe, and in Calgary, and in Quebec. I have skied Revelstoke, Fernie, Kicking Horse, Lake Louise numerous times… But I have also skied Mammoth, Heavenly and Kirkwood numerous times.

all are nice mountains, you really need to be dumb in order to think that the rocky mountains are any better than many US mountains.

Unfortunately, after making such statements, you kinda lost all credibility on the other stuff you tried to debunk. I won’t even start to compare the other topics you have compared, because you probably never lived in the US. I have been in the hospital both sides of the border and can tell you I’d prefer to have an accident 100 times in the US before having one in Calgary or Montreal… and in both case I never had to spend one dime. public (income tax) money in AB and QC, and private insurance in the US…

#149 Debt's Dark Embrace on 02.01.11 at 2:49 pm

Devil’s Advocate

You are a large festering boil on the derriere of humanity. Your posts are drivel, and you denigrate the entire “profession” that your are so proud of. You have caused more revulsion, disgust and scorn towards realtors and the industry in general than your little mind can imagine. Do us all a favor and end it all.

#150 betamax on 02.01.11 at 3:08 pm

#95 Utopia: “Let me guess….”

There’s the beginning of your error. The sound and fury that follows is the culmination. The fact that DA doesn’t get it either is confirmation.

#151 BigAl (Original) on 02.01.11 at 3:09 pm

Regarding the “buy now or be priced out forever” line.

I would say this is true – not for housing, but for investments and particularly equities.

I would say get out there and own as much as you can of every reasonably performing company. The reason is that we are entering, and already partially in, a state of looting of the public’s money and labour like you’ve never seen before in your lifetime. Wall Street/Bay Street/Large Corps are going to be given massive breaks and payouts money as well as regulatory advantages, and workers will be forced more and more to compete with their developing-world counterparts (and by ‘workers’ I mean all of you managers/HR people/semi-professionals too, not just labour).

So, get on the right side of the coming gravy train. Stop working and invest/own.

#152 betamax on 02.01.11 at 3:10 pm

The dog is clearly peeing in the pool with leg raised. Some people need reading glasses or a bigger monitor.

#153 big_cheese on 02.01.11 at 3:13 pm

When will rent go down. Well if you play the game right you can get cheap rent.

1. Pay one month with damage deposit.
live in it for one months.

2. Stop paying your rent

3. you get your notice

4. You now have a whole month to react or fight it in court. Complain about things and get the landlords investigated.

5. move out (only paying 1.5 month rent and your probably get 3 months. make sure you kick in the walls while moving, Cause thats life.)

oh yeah, if you apply for another place and the old landlord tries to say dirt about you.

Send a notice to court and the landlord will get the notice and will have to waste a month screwing around with our court system

(Me and my buddies were land lords, and believe me if someone callled me for a recommendation, I’d say there nothing wrong). Don’t need the extra bull, been through it and don’t want to go through it again. I hate most renter, they have too much rights. You can’t just throw them out on their asses if they miss the rent. There’s a process

But that’s Canada!!!

#154 Timing is Everything on 02.01.11 at 3:27 pm

#55 virginhomebuyer
#137 BigAl (Original)

It’s all about ones perspective.

Just because ‘Virgin’ has never “…come across a more negative person than Garth Turner”…does not mean that Virgin is ‘super-positive’. That is illogical.

IMO…BigAl has quite the BigEgo.
“[Vigin], your position is quite negative to ME if MY hopes are to buy a house for a lot less money in the near future. ” How is that ‘super-positive’?

I’m pretty sure Virgin does does not give a rats about BigAl or his/her house plans. Virgin was merely stating his/her thoughts about Garth, not you.

#155 DA on 02.01.11 at 3:34 pm

DA,
Not saying that Canada isn’t a great place to live. Just gets old hearing how Canada’s the greatest place in the world. Like every other place. There are pros and cons. NYC has great culture, nightlife and a real buzz in the air. Winters there are cold and it’s really expensive. LA has great weather and amenities. Traffic and air quality are bad. No need to go on.

I lived in the US for 15 years before moving back last year for family reasons. I never noticed before how much of the conversation is “compared to the States”.

It seriously starts to sound like a fat girl doing self-affirmations.

#156 EdmontonGuyHere on 02.01.11 at 3:37 pm

#23 Western Canadian
The median income for that year was the peak of the Bubble in Alberta. Oil was $148 a barrel that summer. unempoyment was 3.4% and since then we have an estimated 125,000 more people in all of Alberta! From the following year (2009) ALberta lost 2 BILLION in income Tax revenue from income, or about 5 billion++ of income evaporated. I heard the Median Household income sunk by $13,000 in Calgary to $77,000 and down to $69,000 in Edmonton for 2010.

#157 EdmontonGuyHere on 02.01.11 at 3:39 pm

Sorry meant to have typed we’ve had an estimated $125,000 people LEAVE Alberta since 2008!

#158 Hell in a Handbasket on 02.01.11 at 3:40 pm

My realtor is coming over today, we’ve spent the last two weeks prepping the house for sale. When(if) we sell, we are renting.

In the meantime my pastime has become trolling real estate stories and spamming them with “realtor” speak.

i.e.

“Land, the ain’t making anymore of it.”
“It’s different here.”
“Real Estate always rises in the long term.”
“Buy now or get priced out forever!”
“Real estate prices are going up.”
“BoC doesn’t dare raise interest rates.”
“The Olympics was like one big long real estate commercial.”
“Rich asians are flocking to invest their money in our real estate.”

Am I missing any?

If you see some guy posting these, it is most likely me and not a realtor. Don’t get too angry, I got to find me the last greatest fool.

#159 Hoof Hearted on 02.01.11 at 3:51 pm

Re Egypt:

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/02/01/EgyptsRevolt/

It is not arbitrary that civil rights, as exemplified in torture and corruption (recall Khaled Said), topped the list of grievances, followed by economic problems. For youth unemployment and underemployment will, under any regime, be among the greatest challenges of the times.

No one could have anticipated that this initial call would heed such mass and inclusive participation. Youths initially came to the streets braving tanks, rubber bullets, tear gas (much of which is made in the U.S. and part of U.S. military aid, incidentally), detention, and even death. And they were joined by citizens of all persuasions and life stages: children, youth, elderly, middle aged, female, male, middle class, poor, Muslim, Christians, Atheists.

Contrary to a number of commentators in news outlets in North America and parts of Europe, the two revolutions overtaking North Africa are not motivated by Islamism and there are no compelling indications that it will be co-opted in this direction. Such analyses are likely to be either ideologically driven or misinformed. In fact, Islam has not figured whatsoever into the stories of Bouazizi and Said. These are inclusive freedom movements for civic, political, and economic rights.

To understand what is driving the movement and what will invariably shape the course of reforms in the coming period, we need to return to these young men. Their evocative if tragic deaths speak reams about the erosion of rights and accountability under decades of corrupt dictatorship, about the rabid assault on people’s dignity. They remind us of the desperate need to restore a political order that is just and an economic order that is fair. Mohamed Bouazizi and Khaled Said have unwittingly helped to pave a way forward, and to point the way to the right side of history.

==========================

So….seems like the 2 deaths noted in the article above are more symptomatic of bad gov’t and bad economy….

It’s OK..we are both DIFFERENT and INDIFFERENT here !!

#160 young & foolish on 02.01.11 at 3:52 pm

“I’m a vulture.. not waiting for a place to swoop in and buy, but for rents. I’ll gladly take a come down in rents…anytime now”

Me too! Nothing beats low rent …. nothing!

#161 Victoria on 02.01.11 at 3:53 pm

hell in a handbasket – you forgot ‘everyone wants to live here’

DA – i lived in europe for 15 years and never heard anyone say Spain is better than, France is better than etc. etc. When we moved back (my husband is from Europe) they would ask him at parties – don’t you think it is great here – and he said it is okay they would badger him and badger him. He could not believe it. Canadians are very insecure.

#162 Debtfree on 02.01.11 at 4:08 pm

More people choose to die in Kelowna than to live in Kelowna .

http://www.bclocalnews.com/okanagan_similkameen/kelownacapitalnews/business/113496224.html

pretty tough to put lipstick on this story.

#163 BrianT on 02.01.11 at 4:25 pm

I guess Davidowitz is just another doomer conspiracy theorist http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/howard-davidowitz-blames-the-financial-crisis-on-the-accountants-and-ratings-agencies-535878.html?tickers=xlf,skf,c,jpm,gs,bac

#164 HouseBuster on 02.01.11 at 4:30 pm

#157 Hell in a Handbasket –
Here’s one: The market is stable now. The media caused the instability in 2008 and 2009.

#165 Bug on 02.01.11 at 4:33 pm

@22 and 88

No, the dog isn’t at least not in the pool. It’s photoshoped. Look at the shadows of the lady and the dog they are from a diffent angle. If i’m correct.

#166 Irrational Exuberance on 02.01.11 at 4:35 pm

Just curious… can anyone of the raging bulls cite one economic fundamental that would suggest further price appreciation is plausible? For example:
– Downward pressure on lending rates?
– Loosening of lending standards?
– Increases in real income?
– Significant inflow of immigration above historical norms?
– New buyers who will enter and replace the boomers that need to exit as part of their retirement strategy?
– Pent up demand when we’re at 70% ownership levels?

In other words… is there anything to suggest there will be a shift in the fundamental demand or supply for RE?

In the absence of any fundamental economic evidence to support further price appreciation, the only plausible explanation is that wonderful phenomina that is found in abundent quantities in any commodity bubble chronicled over the past 300 years…. irrational exuberance.

If any bull can find a quatifyable economic indicator that supports room for prices to continue upward indefinately, I’ll eat my words.

As a 35y.o. living in Vancouver, I feel bad for many of my friends and peers that will very likely get stung hard by what is happening here. The loss of “perceived” wealth will take an emotional toll on many, leading to divorce, bankrupcies, sleepless nights etc.. I would try to help them by explaining how all the fundamentals are stacked against them, but unfortunately “irrational exuberance” has no stomach for listening to or much less contemplating anything rationally.

For those who like lessons from history, “The Great Housing Bubble” by Lawrence Roberts is an excellent review of the rise and collapse of the market in Irvine, California. The similarities between Irvine and Vancouver are startling.

Me thinks I’ll become a FTB when the PTI hits around 3.5 to 3. Maybe buy a rental prop if it falls to 2.5 in an overcorrection. May take till 2020, but I am young and have nothing but time to wait.

#167 Mikey the Realtor on 02.01.11 at 4:41 pm

Positive attitude folks, that is the only way to get ahead. A long term outlook on RE is still the way to go. I’m in agreement that it is priced a little high but when will it drop?? Nobody knows for sure, we can all guess and speculate but there is one big problem, government intervention. Until C, H, and F are muzzled and thrown in a cage forget about a fair market or even one that can be predicted with some accuracy.

#168 Hoof Hearted on 02.01.11 at 4:47 pm

Okanagan vacation homes’ prices slide

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Okanagan+vacation+homes+prices+slide/4203325/story.html?tab=PHOT

While Metro Vancouver’s home prices continue to rise, prices in the Okanagans have experienced a significant slide, local realtors said Monday. Here are a number of Okanagan homes on the market for around $565,000 – roughly the average price of the 15 cheapest houses within Vancouver city limits.

#169 David B on 02.01.11 at 4:49 pm

Spring Election ….. very good chance because there are host of hot buttons Harper and Co wish not to talk about. Will Canadians accept a American RNC style attack rather than putting a plan on the table … who knows? Canadians are well aware their pay checks are smaller and prices, service fees and yes taxes are rising.

Garth …. As far as TV goes …. only CTV or Senator ( I am there for you Stephen) Mike Duffy can be counted on for the truth.

#170 doctore on 02.01.11 at 4:52 pm

What is a worse case of liquidity having one’s TFSA have half its value sit in cash making nothing, or at least half its value invested in a saving account to at least make something?

#171 Mr. Plow on 02.01.11 at 5:09 pm

#152 big_cheese

You know what the process is? You show up at the place with the cops and have them physically removed.

THEN you go to the courts. All you have to do is go to a JP and show that they haven’t paid, you get a little piece of paper that you bring to the cops and out they go.

Not that hard actually, had to do it once when a guy didn’t pay and changed the locks on me. I was dumb and did a poor job looking into his background. All in all it was more of an inconvenience and a relatively cheap lesson.

But you are right, the court system is not worth getting your money back. Even if you get a decision in your favor, good luck collecting. Just get them out and move on.

#172 Mr. Plow on 02.01.11 at 5:13 pm

The average house price in Calgary, Edmonton or Red Deer is not $264,000. — Garth

HA! I went too quick and did not do the math first. I guess I should try and find the article.

The point is, they were saying that in Alberta avg price of homes does not outstretch income compared to other parts of the country.

My question, does that mean we should expect less of a dip in Alberta or is that irrelevant at this point?

Thanks for a second time.

#173 Devil's Advocate on 02.01.11 at 5:27 pm

Just to set the record straight I have not traveled nearly as much as I would like to. I wouldn’t consider myself untraveled by any means but worldly so… no. Certainly not to any extent worthy of bragging of anyway.

As far as me being a smug and “superior” Canadian such as to believe this country is better than anywhere else in the world… hardly. I can not think of a part of the world to which I have traveled that I did not thoroughly enjoy. I look forward to traveling to many, many more to learn first hand what I have been told, both good and the bad, by the expats I have helped move to Canada and those who have visited there.

On the ski hill debate; there too I have not skied nearly as many countries as I would like. What I can tell you though is that if I had a dollar for every “advanced” skier who I headed up the hill with only to learn how sorrowfully they skied I’d surely have the financial resources to have visited most every one of their ski hills. I consider myself “intermediate” at best, yet compared to the skills of they who have led me to believe they are “advanced” I am “professional”. It does not bode well for their claim that their hills are so extreme when a day skiing with them is relegated to the bunny hill on our mountain because they can not ski a blue run let alone a double black or dare out of bounds.

The bottom line is, believe what you want to believe. As far as I am concerned a stranger relating their experience to me as proof source of their claim is nothing more than fiction when I have heard contrary from close acquaintence or personal experience. I don’t know you and your hearsay to me is no basis upon which I wish to rely upon . I have others I trust you are not yet one of them. Of course you could, and should, say the same of me.

And seriously Montrealer no one who adopts a handle like that has any business rating ski hills. Bunny hills here are indeed not a lot different here than they are there. It’s just that our whole mountain isn’t one big bunny hill.

#174 prairie gal on 02.01.11 at 5:45 pm

Boomers are not going to flock to Van Isle to retire unless they have no community or family ties in other parts of Canada. Why pay thru the nose to live in a boring but aesthetic town, overrun with silverbacks, riddled with panhandlers and drug-pushers when they can stay put, visit the grandchildren weekly, and fly south for 5 months of the year? I like my ocean turquoise, warm and tropical, not frigid and gray.

#175 dddd on 02.01.11 at 5:49 pm

from other fourm, re inflation now ISM report today…………….

Remember, Bernanke didn’t see the:
housing bubble,
banking crisis, or
market collapse…

…so, did you really expect him to see an increase in inflation?

#176 Devil's Advocate on 02.01.11 at 5:50 pm

#161 Debtfree on 02.01.11 at 4:08 pm
More people choose to die in Kelowna than to live in Kelowna .

http://www.bclocalnews.com/okanagan_similkameen/kelownacapitalnews/business/113496224.html

pretty tough to put lipstick on this story.

No big revelation there Debtfree. Been that way for years and no reason to expect its going to change any time soon. It is what it is. Every few years the up and comer wanna-bes get all up in arms about the Kelowna demographic and want to change it. That’s not what we are about. We are what we are because the market dictates it… you want to change it you’re going to introduce a whole different set of problems. Leave it be and let it do what it needs to do. Many have tried and many have failed, clearly they all have.

Here’s one for ya… the older demographic can afford to live here while the younger has not yet paid it’s dues so they can. Ya makes yer money where ya has ta and ya spends it where ya wants ta. If every old fart were to die tomorrow there would be no old farts to buy into Kelowna. Due to that diminishing demand prices would fall to the point the younger demographic could afford to buy and live in Kelowna.

So let just shoot all the old farts… that’d fix your problem for ya wouldn’t it?

Leave it alone man… it’s doing what it’s supposed to.

Oh and Mr. Fine should check out the demographic in Qualicum Beach… I think Kelowna pales compared to it for old farts.

#177 dddd on 02.01.11 at 5:51 pm

Corn spot up 7.76%, wheat up 5.63%, Rice up 10.08%, Hogs up 10.16%, Sugar up 5.64%, Orange Juice up 3.33%, and cotton…. up 17.08%. That’s in one month!

#178 Devil's Advocate on 02.01.11 at 5:53 pm

But WTF do I know… really I’m just like everyone else on here shooting the shit… ;-)

Coffee breaks over and the boss is on my case to get back to work. Oh ya, I am the boss, and the stock boy and the accountant, and the janitor and the… Damn payroll anyway!

#179 Coraline on 02.01.11 at 5:54 pm

Bob: So if things are so great in Brampton, then I guess we can look forward to the publication of their monthly stats any day now. In case you haven’t been following here, Brampton’s Board decided to discontinue that service a few months ago. Must be because they are so busy.

#180 Throwstone on 02.01.11 at 5:54 pm

Its comical that those in power think that they can try to withhold truth from the masses in the information age.

We are living in a time where people have access to information like no other time in history, moreover the masses are educated enough to discern half-truths from whole truths.

Hidden Agenda’s are not so hidden anymore. So why bother trying to disquise any ill intentions as being good. The results will be to your detrement. Trust will be eroded and any support one has amassed will ultimately morph into anger, resentment and distrust.

This phenomeona will certainly expose the truth in the economic and political arena of Canada as well.

#181 robert james on 02.01.11 at 5:55 pm

#160 Victoria I think you kind of nailed it.. I have lived in the okanagan off and on since 1967,,my wife was born here.. It is so funny when you go to a party or what ever,, people will say,, “We moved here a few years ago,,..Don`t you just love it here??” I have seen this time and time again,, they move here,,left their kids,,friends and family behind in Ont. or where ever,, they payed 500 K for a 200 K house.. They try to justify their move..I mean,,what else would they say?? My wife works in health care,,one of the only real jobs here,, and this must be the anti-depressant capital of Canada according to her.. There have been many studies done,,and people living in Flin Flon are just as happy as people living in Florida.. I would quess that people in Flin Flon are much happier than the Florida people now.. Cheers!!

#182 jim on 02.01.11 at 6:00 pm

When closing costs on transactions and occupancy costs are figured in, real estate lags equity investing over the last two decades. — Garth

The benefits of Real Estate is leverage. You cannot borrow 400,000 to invest in stocks and a bank will not take securities as collateral to the same extent.

So even if you make 5% it is on 400,000 rather than 6,000 (the yearly costs saving say of renting over owning).

This is not to say buy at the peak of the market but this is one of the main advantages of owning property is the leverage which benefit you cannot discount.

Leverage is a two-headed beast. Too bad the most heavily leveraged are always the least experienced and most vulnerable. Are you happy with that? — Garth

#183 prollywrong on 02.01.11 at 6:03 pm

Oops! I just dropped my cast iron pan onto the hardwood, and now there’s an inch-long gash!

Good thing I’m renting: normal wear and tear, baby.

#184 Irrational Exuberance on 02.01.11 at 6:05 pm

Correction on last post. PTI’s aren’t coming down below 4 here in Vancouver. Just did a quick check of comparables and I guess I’ll have to buck up and buy when they get below 5 and the real estate investors (not speculators) create a floor. Still higher than what it ought to be (3.5-4), but I guess there really is a premium to living in a “world class” city like Vancouver.

#185 Live Within Your Means on 02.01.11 at 6:10 pm

If I had my druthers, I’d live 6 mos. in southern Europe – great food, great wine, great architecture, great scenery & people who seem to appreciate all of these.

#186 Live Within Your Means on 02.01.11 at 6:15 pm

Oops re my last post. Should have said if I could afford it. At least I get to spend time visiting Europe so I should not complain.

#187 groundzeropat on 02.01.11 at 6:27 pm

Anyone want a prediction… see this site:

http://worldhousingbubble.blogspot.com/2011/01/vancouver-house-price-predictions-2011.html

Graph was supplied by Royal Lepage. Also, read “Chinese bailout money spilling into Vancouver” on the same page. The bailout money is just about all used up from my sources. So ‘No’ there aren’t many rich Asians snapping up Vancouver West and Richmond as realturds say.

#188 noillub.ynnub on 02.01.11 at 6:33 pm

It starts

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-01/ivory-coast-bondholder-calls-default-on-2-3-billion-of-debt-by-gbagbo.html

#189 Scalgary on 02.01.11 at 6:38 pm

#166 Mikey the Realtor,

You are right..! We must be as positive as the realtors down south the border telling about the future of real estate market in 2006. That is the only way, the realtors can make money… being positive…!

Let’s be positive and dont care about the future… Just hide your lies in the name of being positive and misguide middle class to ruin their financial freedom…

Hope you visit this site an year from now as well…

#190 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 02.01.11 at 6:38 pm

GOOD NEWS OUT OF EGYPT? MAYBE!

So the old Egyptian dictator prepares to shuffle off to the edges of history, leaving a seething mass of hungry humanity in his wake.

They’re glad he’s going, but they want him gone. NOW, not by September’s election date. So the demos continue. Will there be a response from the army? Will it be friendly or otherwise? We wait.
Regardless, the stage is set for the process of succession.

Who will it be? Another US stooge? Someone else? Or, one of this guy’s pals from the Muslim Brotherhood? Check out this from today’s Jerusalem Post: is this for real or is it ONLY a trial balloon?

‘Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Prepare Egyptians for war with Israel’
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
01/02/2011

A leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt told the Arabic-language Iranian news network Al-Alam on Monday that he would like to see the Egyptian people prepare for war against Israel, according to the Hebrew-language business newspaper Calcalist.

Muhammad Ghannem reportedly told Al- Alam that the Suez Canal should be closed immediately, and that the flow of gas from Egypt to Israel should cease “in order to bring about the downfall of the Mubarak regime.” He added that “the people should be prepared for war against Israel,” saying the world should understand that “the Egyptian people are prepared for anything to get rid of this regime.”

Ghannem praised Egyptian soldiers deployed by President Hosni Mubarak to Egyptian cities, saying they “would not kill their brothers.” He added that Washington was forced to abandon plans to help Mubarak stay in power after “seeing millions head for the streets.” ‘

We’ll find out who the new leader will be eventually.

Meanwhile, over in Jordan, the king there has fired his government and put some different hacks into positions of some kind of “authority” including appointing a new prime minister.

All of this doesn’t quite remind me of the time surrounding the disappearance of Communism from Eastern Europe in the late 1980s.

This Mideast stuff doesn’t remind me of anything in recent history. It’s certainly not another Iraq or Afghanistan.

It’s new. Why? Because the street demonstrations have not become violent, at least SO FAR. Because of that there is the possibility of a new more “democratic” order of things emerging in Egypt, and possibly elsewhere in the Mideast. I just wonder what “democracy”, Mideast-style, will look like.

In any case change is coming and that will bring yet higher oil prices to fuel these folks’ dreams or nightmares. You need loot, and lots of it, for whatever happens.

Mr. Obama is now left with a desert-full of tosses and turns as the dominos of history gather themselves up for a grand show of falling all over Hell’s half acre.

Demos by the dissatisfied masses, dominos, and threats from the brothers. Just another exciting day in the dunes.

#191 Debtfree on 02.01.11 at 6:41 pm

DA this is what Mr. Fine said ” Fine noted Kelowna is the oldest census area in Canada, with zero net population gain. He added a recent three per cent population increase is due completely to inbound migration. ”

Last time I looked Qbeach was in Canada.

#192 Live Within Your Means on 02.01.11 at 6:49 pm

#182 prollywrong on 02.01.11 at 6:03 pm
Oops! I just dropped my cast iron pan onto the hardwood, and now there’s an inch-long gash!

Good thing I’m renting: normal wear and tear, baby.

……..

LOL. Can totally relate, but we own!!

#193 triplenet on 02.01.11 at 6:53 pm

DA

Straight of Georgia…….
…..kinda reminds you of your favourite jacket I bet.

….too much Calona me thinks.

#194 Western Canadian on 02.01.11 at 6:55 pm

“Calgary house prices hit $505,920 and have been falling since. It’s not over yet. — Garth”

Okay… well that’s what I was asking, if we are at a 4X median home price to median income, than where “should” we be, by historical standards.

You didn’t really answer my question, not that you are required to, I know you are running a free website, but you did take the time to respond at all, so why not answer the question asked?

On an aside note, assuming you are right and Calgary prices did hit $505,000 and we are around $390,000 now then why aren’t all the doom and gloom scenarios you project happening in the rest of the country over the next two years occuring now in Calgary?? As you know we peaked in Calgary in 2007, and are now down apparently 20%, so we are now in Calgary where you project the rest of the country in 2014, however things seem fine in Cowtown, even though there’s thousands of people in negative equity, they aren’t for the most part dumping, retail spending remains strong, employment is healthy.

So buy. — Garth

#195 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.01.11 at 6:58 pm

Egypt ETF up another 6% today (5% if you factor in the USD dropping almost 1% against the CAD).

Who likes volatility???

#196 TS on 02.01.11 at 7:02 pm

Here is a quote from Tiff Macklin deputy governor of BOC crapping all over business in Canada.
http://www.financialpost.com/news/Business+needs+step+deliver/4205544/story.html

“Business needs to get on with investing and turning these investments into lower unit labour costs and improved competitiveness.

That is Social Darwinism on the global scale. I presume H,Fand C told him what to say.
Wonder how the future looks for many making a fair wage now? The last thing I would do is lock my money up in a fixed asset with idiots like this directing global monetary policy. Ontario manufacturing screwed and Ontario will not recover. Going to be a have not province for a very long time with these people around. We going down not up. Wealth distribution screwed. Makes you wonder where Canada will be at in one more decade. Going to look like China or India socially demographics I guess.
Life will go on but the fundamentals are going to be changing. Weak are not going to be inheriting Canada anytime soon that is for sure.

#197 ss on 02.01.11 at 7:06 pm

More new record highs for Vancouver
http://www.yattermatters.com/wp/wp-content/images/2011/02/2011-02-01-Average-Price.jpg

#198 john m on 02.01.11 at 7:18 pm

169 David B on 02.01.11 at 4:49 pm

Spring Election ….. Canadians are well aware their pay checks are smaller and prices, service fees and yes taxes are rising.

Garth …. As far as TV goes …. only CTV or Senator ( I am there for you Stephen) Mike Duffy can be counted on for the truth.<<<<<<<<<<<< boy do you ever have to lay off the cool aid :-)

#199 ballingsford on 02.01.11 at 7:19 pm

What’s up with the stock markets making gains today???

No rhyme or reason for that!

OK, who is manipulating the markets to make it seem like everything is fine? I wonder what the market would look like if we got rid of the penny traders.

#200 Original Bear on 02.01.11 at 7:20 pm

The average price of a detached home in Vancouver recorded $1,144,537 – a new record high that surpasses October 2010′s $1,058,578.

Source: Yatter Matters

*******

VANCOUVER PRICES UP UP AND UP….

We don’t even need to discuss a depressed or balanced market because once again, prices are up – for what, like the 121st month in Vancouver.

How do you bears put up with year after year gorings from all those uneducated realtor bulls who have made more in a few years that you will in a lifetime (even with all your hypothetical stock gains and war chests)?

How do you deal with all these uneducated industry shrills telling you that low interest rates will be around for many years, when your own bearish gut and “analysis” says that it should spike up like in 1982?

With a projected hike of 1% this year and 2% next year, it looks like realtors will have been right with 5 YEARS of low interest rates.

Hmmmm….buying in 2008 with low interest rates, seeing your house rise every year, and renewing at low interest rates again. Yes, that was a bad decision – lol.

It is becoming quite sad that each time the government looks like it will introduce something to deflate a supposed bubble, your cheer and end up with an unintended consequence of prices rising.

#201 Timing is Everything on 02.01.11 at 7:21 pm

#144 Karl Hungus – said “While I understand peoples view on the future of house prices, you can’t deny that its been a good investment in the past.”

Agreed. Some housing markets much greater than others.

And, yes, some will deny it.

I would not purchase a house in the foreseeable future.

In general, your statement is valid. Just depends on one’s definition of ‘good.’ Yes, Garth, there were higher returns elsewhere. That was not his point.

#202 Harry on 02.01.11 at 7:23 pm

http://www.teamfisher.com/saskatoon-real-estate-market-sees-year-over-year-gains-in-january-2011-srar/

Prices up 11%, Sales up 10% year over year. No bust in Saskatoon.

#203 Paul on 02.01.11 at 7:30 pm

Everybody wants it…..Maybe not.

http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Average+price+single+family+home+Victoria+falls+sharply/4205346/story.html

#204 Original Bear on 02.01.11 at 7:34 pm

The average price of a detached home in Vancouver recorded $1,144,537 – a new record high that surpasses October 2010′s $1,058,578.

Source: yatter matters
*********************

Read’em and weep bears…

Cue weak explanations such as: the sales mix; fewer houses being sold overall but more at the high end; prices always peak before they crash (that was used here 6 months ago already); etc

Face it bears, your arm chair economic analyses and predictions were no match for those uneducated realtors who said in 2008 prices would rise, and interest rates would remain low.

Here is to year 3 of record low interest rates! Cheers!

Why would anyone celebrate unaffordable homes? — Garth

#205 ballingsford on 02.01.11 at 7:34 pm

Any snow it Toronto and area yet? Is it shaping up to be a big one?

#206 Mark on 02.01.11 at 7:36 pm

…we keep talking about people chasing real estate returns…

Have you seen the returns on equities and commodities over the past 3 months?

I think people are chasing all asset classes…again!

#207 Jacen on 02.01.11 at 8:09 pm

#95 Utopia,

Wow. That was a mouthful, though without any real content.
Corporate tax rates in Canada are some of the lowest in the developed world.

ftp://ftp.competitivealternatives.com/2010_compalt_report_tax_en.pdf

Is now really the time to lower them further? Probably not. But that’s the conservative way; spend on unnecessary items or provide tax cuts, then complain that we need to ‘tighten our belts’ because there’s not enough revenue to support, say, decent health care?

How they ever got the mantle of being fiscally responsible is beyond me; deficits always grow under conservative gov’ts in Canada.

As someone else noted, if DA is cheering for you, you’ve done something terribly wrong.

#208 moloko on 02.01.11 at 8:09 pm

…we keep talking about people chasing real estate returns…

Have you seen the returns on equities and commodities over the past 3 months?

I think people are chasing all asset classes…again!

————————————————————–

Woot Woot! go Uranium, you’re making me rich!

#209 Geology Joe on 02.01.11 at 8:15 pm

Vancouver is a dysfunctional market.. I lived there 12 years ago during the “Asian Contagion”. Multi-million $$ homes took massive haircuts, and people thought the world was coming to an end.

But in Vancouver, a basement tenant is de rigeur. So add it up, two income earners + factoring in a basement dweller forever = prices that look outrageous to us mere prairie dwellers who would prefer privacy and want pay off our houses before we’re again in diapers and eating pablum.

I don’t get, would never, EVER want to live there, even if the prices were reasonable, but if someone wishes to be a slave to the bank and live their life in fear of rising interest rates, a divorce or their cellar dweller leaving, just go for it! But me? Not so much.

#210 moloko on 02.01.11 at 8:24 pm

Hilar!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/stephen-quinn/glad-you-asked-pithy-responses-to-visitors-faq/article1887203/

#211 Mikey the Realtor on 02.01.11 at 8:48 pm

#189 Scalgary

“Hope you visit this site an year from now as well…”

Thanks for the invite, for sure I’ll be here and ready with open arms as there will be a lot of pups and poodles looking to buy.

I posted a little too much today, it has taken away from my slope time with DA, I hope he forgives me.

#212 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.01.11 at 9:19 pm

#57 Crazy — “When you rent, you always end up with nothing.”

We come into this world with nothing, own nothing and we leave shortly thereafter taking nothing with us. What is the point of owning a whole bunch of material things (junk)?

When life changes course for me (as it will), the less I eventually own — other than the basics — the better off I will be.

#110 Oasis — “one by one, american supported mid-east dictators are dropping like flies. wonder what that means long term… yeah.. exaclty.”

Change — MAJOR CHANGE — is in the offing. Can ya smell it in the air tonight? This continent is no exception.

#137 Hoof Hearted — Here’s a teaser for you:

The US is deliberately creating, then starting all these ‘wars’ simply because they are broke.

Halliburton and the arms’ makers are the among the few left who are profitable manufacturers, but pretty much all else has been offshored.

The US is in the process of bankrupting TROTW while staying alive because of that. Just a guess.

#175 dddd — “…so, did you really expect him to see an increase in inflation?”

No. He conveniently missed all the alarm bells, and because of that, we’re all headed into staghyperdeinflation heaven and hell!

#182 jim — “You cannot borrow 400,000 to invest in stocks . . .”

As far as I know (things may have changed), a person can use any amount from a HELOC, invest it in a good portfolio while writing repayments off on Income Tax.

Can anyone confirm or rubbish this?

#188 noillub.ynnub — “It starts” — Everything has a starting, or tipping point. Thanks for the link, bullion.

#190 VICTORIA TEA PARTY — One has to ponder (in this case): Is the devil you know (Mubarak) better than the one you don’t (Israel)?

Although the two of them are / were on the same page, Israel has a ton of nukes; they could wipe the ME (incl. themselves) right off this planet.

#213 Jeff Smith on 02.01.11 at 9:21 pm

well it’s Feb1,2011, and as far as the eye can see. No price reduction in real estate anywhere near where I live. As I have surmised. 2011 might not see much reduction. For as long as people can afford it (low interest) they will continue to buy. In fact this is a gift for us renters. WHy? They buy! so more and more buildings will get built. Voila! Please dont anybody (includes u Garth) ruin his unique situation in history.

#214 dradak1 on 02.01.11 at 9:49 pm

#182 jim on 02.01.11 at 6:00 pm

I’d like to say hi jim. :-(

#215 Ronaldo on 02.01.11 at 9:59 pm

#204 Original Bear – “The average price of a detached home in Vancouver recorded $1,144,537 – a new record high that surpasses October 2010′s $1,058,578.”

Yikes, that’s an increase of $698,737 in the past 5 years (2005) or 156.7%……Have your wages gone up that much? How many more greater fools do you think are out there? Where are they going to come from? What happens when the 5 yr rates go back to the 5.26% – 5.67% that they were in 2005 when the BOC rate was 2.75 – 3.50?

In 06 the BOC rates rose to 3.75 – 4.50 but then the banks got smart and started handing out prime minus mortgages to keep the bubble primed.

In 2007 the BOC rates started the year at 4.50 and peaked in July at 4.75, the housing peak. So in 2008 the markets dried up and nothing was selling and the BOC lowered the rates from 4.25 in January to 1.75 in December but that didn’t do the trick so in January of 2009 they lowered it to 1.25 and down further to .50 in April to get things going again.

They sure did get things going alright. Now, they are blaming the greater fools for the debt that they’ve accumulated and warning of higher rates to come when C & F were the ones that caused this whole mess in the first place. Now sit back and watch it unwind. It has every decade that I can remember going back to the early 70’s. Those who think that these prices can be sustained are truly the greater fools and this will be the year that will prove this.

#216 Utopia on 02.01.11 at 10:00 pm

#207 Jacen

“As someone else noted, if DA is cheering for you, you’ve done something terribly wrong”.
———————————————————-

I happen to be a supporter of Devils Advicate because he is clearly a thoughtful and intelligent person. Try reading his commentary without your “negative bias” glasses.

#217 Cellar Dwellar on 02.01.11 at 10:03 pm

geez, where’s BestPlaceOnErf when Devils Advocate needs some distraction to save himself from the seething mob bloggers?
‘Yooo Hoooo ! Besty where are YOUUUUUUUU?

#218 jess on 02.01.11 at 10:04 pm

The savings and loan crisis had left Uncle Sam with 402 billion in loans and real estate from failed thrifts and banks. Congress established the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) in 402b. to offload mortgages and real estate, and sometimes the failed thrifts themselves, now owned by the government. While the RTC was able to sell 6.1b Fannie and Freddie, most did not meet the GSEs’ standards. Some were what might be called subprime today, but others had outright documentation errors or servicing problems, not unlike the low-documentation loans that later became popular.

RTC officials soon concluded that they had neither the time nor the resources to sell off the assets in their portfolio one by one and thrift by thrift. They turned to the private sector, contracting with real estate and financial professionals to securitize some of the assets. By the time the RTC concluded its work, it had securitized 25 billion in residential mortgages. The RTC in effect helped expand the securitization of mortgages ineligible for GSE guarantees. In the early 1990’s, as investors became more familiar with the securitization of these assets, mortgage specialists and Wall Street bankers got in on the action. Securitization and subprime originations grew
hand in hand. 96-98 /662 (Commission Report)

==================

“Glenn Loney, deputy director of the Fed’s Consumer and Community Affairs Division from1998 to 2010, told the FCIC that ever since he joined the agency in
1975, Fed officials had been debating whether they—in addition to the FTC—should enforce rules for nonbank lenders. But they worried about whether the Fed would be stepping on congressional prerogatives by assuming enforcement responsibilities that
legislation had delegated to the FTC. “A number of governors came in and said, ‘You mean to say we don’t look at these?’” Loney said. “And then we tried to explain it to them, and they’d say, ‘Oh, I see.’”The Federal Reserve would not exert its authority
in this area, nor others that came under its purview in 1994, with any real force until after the housing bubble burst. ”
page 104

#219 charles on 02.01.11 at 10:21 pm

Well the only thing left out by #95 is that a “Citizen’s United” like policy here would be a Utopian wet dream. A corporate tax rate half of what it is in the States is not enough, rather than grovel on our knees lets get on our bellies and hope a few crumbs fall off the table, where it seems you have a pretty good seat.

#220 poco on 02.01.11 at 10:30 pm

#216 Utopia—I happen to be a supporter of DA ….etc

Which DA are you referring to??? –or should I say–which personality do you support—you haven’t noticed, he has several
I’ve counted six so far–easy to figure out–I wonder who will show up after this post?

#221 poco on 02.01.11 at 10:32 pm

#213 Jee Smith
give us a hint–where do u live?

#222 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.01.11 at 10:34 pm

-
Booga Booga Time! Just to keep you off guard, The Toilet is close to using a nuke (on itself). Here, too.

Israel “Israel is about to set the whole Mideast on fire.” wrh.com.

Mubarak The more things change (for outer appearances’ sake only), the more etc., etc.

Riots in Egypt were caused solely by GW. Ask Pope Al Lucifer Bore. Pope Satan Gore – We Are NOT Amused!

Tunisia and UK When people have nothing left to lose . . .

Neocon Job “Thereby proving they are Israel’s puppets. ” wrh.com.

7:46 clip Banks are running away from 4closures in The Rust Belt (snowstorms?). Plus — Ohio (not Buffalo Springfield’s song).

IMF Guess who is ready to step in and help Egypt rebuild? Hmm. Would the Rockefellers and Rothschilds be involved in any way?

GOP Plan to stave of bankruptcy — pay China first.

A question: Why should anyone bother to listen to John Bolton? He is a neocon, hell-bent on having a war against anyone who is free.

#223 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 02.01.11 at 10:43 pm

174 Prairie gal – I went boating today with 3 buds. No bikinis spotted, but sunny and calm nonetheless. You?

#224 Timing is Everything on 02.01.11 at 11:08 pm

#21 Stevermt – Mr. Micro Climate

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2011/02/01/storm-ontario-warning326.html

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/caon0289

#225 bridgepigeon on 02.01.11 at 11:27 pm

122 American
You think that the Americans question their banks and government more than us? Wtf is the Fed anyway? Half your government’s budget can’t even be debated as it’s the untouchable largest military machine in the history of the planet.
The warning signs before the collapse there were also mostly ignored, just like here and all over the world. We don’t teach our children critical thinking skills, that falls under the department of philosophy. They are trained to be cubicle cogs in the global economy.
I never wear the Canadian patch when I travel, one of my passions. On our last two month trips to Brazil and Vietnam we were noticeably shunned several times and once verbally confronted. I have a blonde wife and like to wear Hawaiian shirts, people assume we’re Americans. I even had to shout once that I am Canadian. I would say in the flag department overall, you guys take the podium.

#226 Jacen on 02.01.11 at 11:53 pm

#216 Utopia

I happen to be a supporter of Devils Advicate because he is clearly a thoughtful and intelligent person. Try reading his commentary without your “negative bias” glasses.

———————————————————-

You didn’t respond to my (supported) position that Canada has nearly the lowest corporate tax rates in the developed world. It was big news when the surveys came out, not sure how you missed it…?

If anyone is showing negative bias, it is you by insisting that Canadian corporations are ‘taxed too much’.

What a frivolous and unsubstantiated statement. I can say random facts too, but it doesn’t make them true (other than in my head). In fact, it would make me a Glenn Beck clone. No thanks.

#227 45north on 02.01.11 at 11:56 pm

Harry: link to Victoria housing stats: A total of 339 homes, condominiums and townhouse units sold through the board’s Multiple Listing Service last month, down slightly from the 349 sales in December. There were 418 sales in January 2010.

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Average+price+single+family+home+Victoria+falls+sharply/4205346/story.html#ixzz1Clk5Jbt2

339 is 81% of 418 so sales are down 19%

#228 AG Sage on 02.01.11 at 11:59 pm

>#158 Hell in a Handbasket on 02.01.11 at 3:40 pm

You missed the classics:
Why are you wasting money on rent?
Grow up, move out on your own already!
and
Chicks dig houses, no wonder you never have a date.

And it’s better to phrase “Real estate prices are going up.” as “Real estate prices only go up.” because it sounds like a law of physics that way.

>#187 groundzeropat on 02.01.11 at 6:27 pm
This isn’t me pimping, honest.

On that note, what happened to BestPlace? I’ve been trying to check in regularly to see if he took my cookie bet, but I haven’t seen him.

I’ll change the bet to silk hankies instead if he wants. He’s going to need them.

#229 The American on 02.02.11 at 1:18 am

At #225: Bridgepigeon, where to begin? First, yes, Americans did question their banks and system all together more than Canadians did. We weren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But, we all began this housing incline at the same time. The transparency in our system was there in order to catch it more quickly. Period. However, Canada is still trucking along over FIVE YEARS after the rest of the f*cking globe has collapsed, and Canadians have taken NO responsibility for continuing to act like the problem does not exist there.

Next, you weren’t being yelled at because they thought you were Americans. You were probably RUDE and self-serving as can be and they (nor anyone else on the planet) cared to look at the ugly Hawaiian shirts you were wearing.

As for the country that TROMPS the other in way of flag waving, eh hem, that most definitely goes to Canada. We don’t put American flags on all our F*cking McDonald’s signs! Nor, do we differentiate our selves from Canadians by trying NOT to be Canadian. LOL. Give me a break, already!

Oh, and don’t forget that although our budget is excessively high for military, it is the American tax payer also footing the bill to protect Canada too. Our military accounts for a lot of Canada’s continued protection and border protection. Deal with it. Or, would YOU like to anti up for your take of the bill? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

#230 Surprise! Surprise! on 02.02.11 at 9:22 am

Surprise! Canada’s Debt Is Worse Than Thought

http://thetrumpet.com/?q=7926.6534.0.0