Surprise

Seventy per cent of us own homes. Mortgage debt’s gruesome. Affordability sucks. So most families save nothing. Never have we gambled so much on houses. And has any politician talked about real estate yet?

Of course not. Tax credits for piano lessons, money for tuition, cheaper credit cards and an add-on to the CPP – all interesting, but basically irrelevant. A week into this federal election campaign we just don’t know where the parties stand on, say, banks giving mortgages to people with no money, CMHC’s unfunded liability, zero-down financing, taxpayer-subsidized real estate speculation, wall-to-wall debt, spiraling property and land transfer taxes or how anyone justifies a SFH price of $1 million in a city where families make $83,000.

In fact, real estate stuff – while at the very core of middle class finances – leaves most elected people flummoxed. In the Spring of 2008, still an MP, I published the book this blog is named after and tried to warn my colleagues that real estate speculation could help lead us into a financial mess. They didn’t care. That autumn, the bug hit the windshield. Right in the middle of an election campaign stocks markets tanked, fear exploded, jobs vanished and nobody could sell a house.

Today there’s a good case for believing risk is higher. Few of the reasons the world came to the brink of depression have been addressed. Governments owe far more. Most families have borrowed their brains out, while putting less in their RRSPs and more into paving stones and drywall. The Home Reno Tax Credit, all on its own, was responsible for adding billions to personal lines of credit, as people did all they could to spend $10,000 so they could ‘save’ $1,500. Argh.

Meanwhile, there’s a new war in Arabia, melting nukes in Japan, near-depression in America and too many people here tell pollsters when it comes to retirement, they’re probably screwed.

And the government party offers a $75 tax credit for art classes.

Ah well. In the last election the guy who won said there would be no deficit in Canada. And we bought it. Deja vu all over again.

But here’s one post-election result it looks like you can count on – an interest rate increase on May 31st. Given blog dog Mark Carney’s recent comments about leaping commodity prices along with his ceaseless warnings about our ongoing debt fetish, it’s almost certain. Carney has the numbers showing how real estate has completely messed up family balance sheets. Only by turning off the taps of cheap credit can he hope to do something about it.

And this will come on the heels of what’s turned out to be a crappy Spring real estate market in most parts of the country. In Toronto, March sales (they’ll be announced next week) are running below last year’s levels, making this the tenth consecutive month of YoY sales declines. As far as I know, that hasn’t happened for 18 years.

Sales are also brutal in the Okanagan Valley, prime Ontario cottage country, Edmonton, great swaths of the GTA and most of the Lower Mainland outside of nutty Richmond and volcanic Vancouver. In short, there are more markets in decline right now than ascending. And how could it be otherwise? People simply don’t have more money to spend – they just have a capacity for debt. As I’ve said before, were it not for cheap rates and government stimulus, we’d be back swapping squirrel muffin recipes. And, of course, both of those will end.

How horny has real estate made us? I whisk you to Victoria, where anguished dad Ted writes:

My son and his fiancée are in desperate need of advice.  He – a PHD candidate, she – a nurse.  He – no income except for education covered the most part by bursaries/scholarships.  She has a pretty good salary.

Problem – she came into the relationship with a condo in suburban Vancouver – lined up for granite/stainless and the like.  Prices are on the way down, so they listed and can sell for a 20k loss owned to the bank due to the decrease in mortgage rates over the years.  They rent a townhouse in Surrey and have the condo rented – not sure if it’s at a loss or not.  She doesn’t want to take the 20k hit so they are now talking about buying another place at a lower cost in order to not have to pay the 20k – madness, but she seems determined.  My son doesn’t have the time/strength to argue.

I’ve been reading your blog for a few years and agree with wholeheartedly with your views – I already see the ugliness in Victoria where I live. The question – can you give them some advice?

But there is none, Ted. Like my MP colleagues three years ago as the financial fires licked at their asses, most people pay no heed. They’re deniers. They believe what exists now will carry on forever, without end or consequence. They’ll argue rates can’t rise, credit won’t tighten and trouble visits only dumb Americans.

So I’m giving up. No more wagging finger. No sermons. No mocking of the idiots among us. There are just too damn many.

If political leaders don’t care about the sacrificial property virgins, house-locked Boomers, a debt-devastated economy or looming retirement crisis, why should I?

Damn, I miss the Rhinos.

214 comments ↓

#1 S.B. on 03.30.11 at 10:19 pm

1st!! :) ?

#2 Tony on 03.30.11 at 10:22 pm

Hi Garth,

Thanks for the hard work you put into this blog. Long time reader and first time poster.

You suggested that we should load up on Bonds. Is a “Government Bond Mutual Fund” qualify as the correct Bond type?

Thanks again,

Fund Profile:
Some of the top holdings:

Canada Housing Trust 4.00% 06-15-2012

Government of Canada 5.75% 06-01-2033

Province of Ontario 4.25% 06-02-2017

Province of Quebec 4.50% 12-01-2017

Province of British Columbia 5.70% 06-18-2029

Alberta Capital Finance Authority 4.65% 06-15-2017

Bank of Montreal 3.75% 10-01-2012

New Brunswick (F-M) Project Co. Inc. 6.47% 11-30-2027

By Sector:

Federal Bonds 52.84%

Provincial Bonds 27.60%

Corporate Debentures 9.30%

Municipal Bonds 7.58%

Other 2.68%

#3 homeinboca on 03.30.11 at 10:23 pm

What no comments yet from the doomsayers? I’m the first for the first time!

I live on a street in Toronto where every house that has ever been listed on it in the last 14 years I have lived there has sold within weeks, sometimes days. Another went up last week and the sold sticker is already on it. How come no one talks about location anymore as a prime reason why a home will sell?

#4 aslan on 03.30.11 at 10:24 pm

second

#5 homeinboca on 03.30.11 at 10:25 pm

To S.B. – well I guess you beat me to it. At least you can include a comment, thats the idea of posting..

#6 Boombust on 03.30.11 at 10:29 pm

I miss the Rhinos, too. Terribly.

They certainly added a lot of spark compared to this dishwater dull crowd.

#7 dmc on 03.30.11 at 10:32 pm

It’s always the way, until the fire scorches their own bum hairs they’ll continue to suffer from the illusion of control. Even then they’ll rationalise that its only scorched their bum hair and it’s didn’t burn their backside – keep partying!

The buyers’ strike has hit the msm airwaves in Oz now, with pretty significant coverage, although a lot of people have already been manning the picket line and it’s showing in the real estate industry.

http://tasmanianrealestatetrouble.blogspot.com/2011/03/cut.html

#8 Joe on 03.30.11 at 10:33 pm

Garth, I really, really hope you’re right. I so hope you’re right that renting is right. Today I went into a model home and all logic flew out the window. You see, I was a show home virgin until today. Sniff sniff. It was beautiful. Just beautiful, I tell you. Dark cabinetry, wood floors, main floor laundry. It was even hardwired for my TV and speakers so the ugly wires wouldn’t show. The upstairs bath was larger than my first apartment and that walk-in closet would’ve made a great Heineken room. It was so shiny and new. The kitchen sparkled.

But we got in our car with stiff upper lips and drove away. I mean, hell, we couldn’t afford a house that nice in a million years. But I sure see the attraction now. Showhome seduction. Wow!

The salesgirl didn’t seem all that desperate to me, fwiw. About five units were under negotiations. Development appeared about 70% sold out it looked to me.

#9 49north on 03.30.11 at 10:33 pm

I have a hard time seeing how a RE crash in Canada can be avoided. If/when this happens, will there not be an exit of foreign held Canadian bonds?? Since bonds determine interest rates, would this not cause an uptick in interest rates?
The government could fight this by increasing QE, but would have to do this at an incredible rate to outpace the herds leaving the exits.
Since the $C is not a global reserve currency, this could put us at risk for some serious currency devaluation, especially if an RE crash comes alongside a major commodities correction. In this regard, I guess we really ARE different from the US…

#10 InvestX on 03.30.11 at 10:37 pm

“And this will come on the heels of what’s turned out to be a crappy Spring real estate market in most parts of the country. In Toronto, March sales (they’ll be announced next week) are running below last year’s levels, making this the tenth consecutive month of YoY sales declines. As far as I know, that hasn’t happened for 18 years.”

Curious. Is the rate of declining YoY sales increasing or decreasing. Which way is the trend?

#11 Drew on 03.30.11 at 10:37 pm

I actually am one who thinks interest rates won’t rise much further. I think that energy prices will bring the whole world down (again), and besides, rates can stay exactly where they are and we will still have a housing crisis. Rates in the states are at zero, that hasn’t turned their crisis around.

The BOC knows that if they keep interest rates at 1%, there is a chance the average schmuck might be able to keep up with payments, but they know as soon as they increase it’s all over. Same reason the banks are lowering the 5 year rate. The game is ending, there is no one left to buy.

Just like winter, it’s a slow melt. I see the “prix reduit” signs are going up daily in my neighborhood.

#12 Clayton on 03.30.11 at 10:40 pm

Just curious about what I saw on the news tonight. I live on the outskirts of Calgary and on the News they talked about Calgary prices going up. Not much mind you but there is a buzz about Calgary being the next Financial Hub of Canada in the Future. I know that not everyone works for the oil companies and interest rates will rise.
So tell me Garth, what are your comments?
Calgary man

I’m speechless. — Garth

#13 Vapour Trails on 03.30.11 at 10:40 pm

What makes Mark Carney a blog dog? Does he post here under his real name?

BPOE. — Garth

#14 Behavioral Finance on 03.30.11 at 10:44 pm

Here is some info on Stransberry….

http://briandeer.com/vaxgen/stansberry-fraud.htm

#15 Mr. Reality on 03.30.11 at 10:47 pm

Now tell the truth. You’d take a bite out of old froggy wouldn’t you?

Mr.R.

#16 Shawn Petriw on 03.30.11 at 10:50 pm

Fiancée? Then it’s not too late. Let her go boy.

#17 S.B. on 03.30.11 at 10:51 pm

Harper’s target voter: meet ray, the canadian redneck

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5a2_1301458694

(Funny video, I watched it and it’s clean. A cross between Trailer Park Boys and Red Green).

#18 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.30.11 at 10:53 pm

I thought BPOE was Flaherty?

#19 S.B. on 03.30.11 at 10:56 pm

#5 homeinboca on 03.30.11 at 10:25 pm,

I was first yesterday too, and included a comment. I’m all tapped out. This ‘first’ greatness is not easy to achieve ya know! ;)

I use a combination of moon cycles and Bandit’s whizzing schedule, for determining when our forum host is likely to be at the computer posting a new blog.
:p

#20 drbrain8 on 03.30.11 at 10:59 pm

As the tsunami is about to hit the north shores, Garth shuts the door to the Ark..

#21 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 03.30.11 at 10:59 pm

There’s always the Republican party, dude.

You’d just have to get used to less obesity, fewer twits, and happier firearms owners.

#22 45north on 03.30.11 at 11:00 pm

reliable sources tell me the former finance minister gave a speech at the Chateau Laurier last night and he was down on the housing market. Worse he spoke too long.

In my family, the housing market has sparked intense interest, all participants are keenly aware of the issues. I’m stick’n to my guns.

#23 Qazmer on 03.30.11 at 11:00 pm

My GF and myself became surrounded with friends who bought homes and encouraged us to jump in.
Then I saw what happened to the homes in the USA and asked what happened, friends said; sub-prime, our banks are more responsible, and “it’s different here”. Some how I found this blog. Convinced my house horny GF that we don’t need or want a over priced home. Re looked at our finance.

So Garth, even if your giving up.

We have been saved , thank you .

Two property virgins saved from sacrifice.

#24 phinny on 03.30.11 at 11:02 pm

HomeinBoca,

I had a similar experience in a HOT TOWN in one of the National Parks a few years back. A house went up for sale, BANG, bidding wars and sold in hours or days. People were giddy- after all, a National Park doesn’t allow any more land to be developed for residences, and we are in Oil Country, man (!!)

I sold my place in a bidding war to some sorry sucker who has since watched the place deflate a good fifteen percent.

BTW- this was before I discovered G-Man. I took what I walked away with to pay off good old Alberta debt. You know, quad, sled, big truck with nuts hanging off it…
(well, okay, not that ostentatious…. paid off some nasty student loan and credit cards).

Now, we fast forward three years from the “sure thing”…

Friends of mine that bought while I sold are holding mobile trailers on tiny lots that were mortgaged for half-a-million bucks and have since become unsellable.

“But [realtors name withheld] told be this will be worth 2 million bucks in four years.”

**above is a conversation with a real person***

So, to recap, Mountains, Skiing, Azure Lakes, Elk munching on your Garden in the Morning, Hipsters in Audis with Kayaks on Roof Racks, Arcteryx and Patagucci… Skinny People with Good Jobs.

Railways and Oil.

And Location location location…

SO, Garth, if you’re going to turn this from a doom-y real estate blog to a good, positive investment blog, I’m all eyes.

The real estate bubble was soooooo 2007-2010.

#25 Basil Fawlty on 03.30.11 at 11:07 pm

Yes, the Rhinos were a lot of fun. They could probably even make Harper laugh. Okay, maybe snicker.

#26 Big Al (New) on 03.30.11 at 11:07 pm

It’s done I’ve just sold the last of my assets my business, to my partner. For 13 years we’ve run a small plastics company managing to pay ourselves a nice salary and make a small profit. But as the years have gone on no major improvement no increase in salary or profit to realize.
We had an enterprise that years ago employed up to seven people. I watched the Federal gov’t give away access to offshore company’s to sell into our country without tariffs, marginalizing the skills I had learned over a lifetime. All for what so our resource based multinationals could sell their products over seas. We gradually over time had to reduce staff as a way of maintaining our standard of living until April 15 when our company of two will be a company of one just to survive. We’ve sold our resources because it was the easy thing to do.In the process they replaced our middle class manufacturing jobs with their slave labor rates and no concern for the environment. Now thank some deity that I had the presence of mind to heed the warnings written here and on many other blogs, all the while watching people live like it’s 1999. We’ve been called doomers and gloomers and we’ve tried to point out the logic we see and the reality we live each and every day to no avail. Well I for one am going to miss my job most of the company’s in the GTA that we provided parts and or molds to have gone out of business long ago. The few remaining being so big that they won’t look at small operation like ours or even worse impose some quality system on us that needs an outside audit firm and thousands of dollars to implement and in the end what you produce for them will be pushed out 90 to 120 days for payment allowing them to finance their business at our expense. This is the state of Canadian manufacturing, look around at the number of industrial units sitting empty. When the Chinese economy/bubble blows up and they stop buying our resources what do we have to fall back on nothing. All the good jobs are gone outsourced while we gorged on cheap credit and home equity loans so we can feel rich as a nation, party’s over folks last one out turn off the lights.

#27 Throwstone on 03.30.11 at 11:08 pm

UTOPIA!!!

I am still waiting for your response to my position on Harper’s Macro vs. Micro economic policies….

and I would’nt mind reading your response to Daystar’s posting regarding Harper’s debt binge….

#28 Alex on 03.30.11 at 11:16 pm

Clayton: I know this will sound all conspiracy-ridden, but for the most part, the mainstream media, backed humungously as they are by the real estate mob (“This segment brought to you by Re/Max”), tends to paint a rosy picture of the housing scene. Actually, it goes much further than a rosy picture. The media pretty much outright lies. A single condo line-up? Two minutes on the prime-time news. A tacky marketing ploy with invited media in attendance? Positive evidence that the market is on fire baby! Thousands of Vancouverites barely able to make ends meet because they buy into the media-fed mania and overextend themselves for the rest of their lives? Nothing. BC markets outside of Vancouver/Richmond/Burnaby dropping? Nothing.

Look, several weeks ago, I initiated a complaint with the CRTC regarding Global BC’s BS about the market here in BC. During the first phase of the complaint, Global was mandated to reply to me. It did so, in a letter direct from the Big Boss Dude. I completely rejected the justification Global presented to me.

It is now into Phase 2, wherein I put together roughly 2000 words to explain my position, and where a CRTC panel will eventually make a ruling. Once a decision has been rendered, I’d be glad to let you take a look at that final summation. I’m no expert, but I read and watch a lot of stuff and I talk to a lot of people, and this summation, IMO, would explain things pretty clearly.

#29 Smoking Man on 03.30.11 at 11:18 pm

Bubble heads and basment dwellers. I feel for you, I have kids in the same boat, who I refuse to help…….I wan’t a crash just as much as you, getting board.

Why won’t I help my kids……I have been a Multi Millionare, and gone broke many times……..

It’s an amazing ride, up and down, and up again if you have the right attitude….

Never ever worked hard for my cash so I don’t value it that much…….. Im a gambler, and If you don’t gamble you can never make big money. It is what it is.
Crash is Not going to happen in the GTA……………

But if you beilive like others on this board that a crash is coming, gamble, show grow some balls Short real estate investment trust CO…..

But something tells me most of you are spinless sit on the fencers…

That’s why you rent…from ass holes like me…….

#30 kim on 03.30.11 at 11:19 pm

Toronto looks like buyers are all but gone . Driving through the city all you see are for sale sign. The weird part is my realtor has taken me to see houses that are up for sale but don’t have a sign up. Realtor is pissed my offers are 20% below asking. It’s a buyers market

#31 Smoking Man on 03.30.11 at 11:25 pm

Bubble heads, I bet when you go to the casino, you bet min on a slot machine….cause you hate to lose more than you like too win…..

SMOKING MAN is addicted to WINNING that’s why I max bet. Ya I lose once in a while but the odds are in your favore when you go all in…..

a concept that even the god of gloom mr garth does not understand………

#32 The Phantom on 03.30.11 at 11:27 pm

Hi Garth: I was wondering if you’d be prepared to offer us your opinion as to how high mortgage rates could climb over the next few years. I won’t hold you to anything but was curious to know as a matter of personal conjecture what 5 year rates would be in 24 to 36 months. As someone who would carry a mortgage worth about $4,000 if TFSAs were emptied and cash accounts liquidated, I am not terribly worried about interest rate hikes (to be honest, I worked my ass off at three different jobs and eradicated debt like crazy while many others “borrowed their brains out”). We took economical vacations and watched in wonder while neighbours, friends and family suddenly drove large SUVs, premium trailers and new motorboats…On the other hand, when my mortgage comes open in 2013, should I pay off the mortgage with the TFSA and then take out a HELOC for investment and deductible interest? My spouse and children are loath to sell so we are remaining where we are but I am interested in exploring other options…
The Phantom

#33 Dan in Victoria on 03.30.11 at 11:29 pm

Garth @ 13
Geez Garth, I just spit beer all over my keyboard.LMAO.

#34 Smoking Man on 03.30.11 at 11:30 pm

26 Big Al (New) on 03.30.11 at 11:07 pm

this is where you messed up…….if some one can do it cheaper faster and better than you…

Buy a piece of that company……….

#35 Behavioral Finance on 03.30.11 at 11:39 pm

The key element that took the US real estate under in my opinion was the adjustable rate mortgages that had teaser rates as introductory rates, so all the borrowers in Canada you have short term variable rate mortgages pray that interest rates do not go up too much and that you have extra cash flow to cover the payments just in case.

#36 a prairie dawg on 03.30.11 at 11:43 pm

G,

Get some Rhino balls on that Hummer…

#37 AxeHead on 03.30.11 at 11:47 pm

I really don’t know why that picture makes me laugh…poor little frog.

I’m not counting on Governments to help us with real estate woes when they created this problem – on purpose. Garth – I hope you’re right, I hope rates go up.

#38 Big Al (New) on 03.30.11 at 11:58 pm

Smoking Man, that’s a good idea Maybe we should all buy into those company’s that way no one has to work just consume. England at one time was the manufacturing powerhouse, when they lost that capacity they lost everything. The US is in the same position now and Canada being the US’s remora will suffer the same fate when our host dies.

#39 Patz on 03.30.11 at 11:58 pm

CKNW talk radio, today’s subject the HST. A guy phones in to say how great it is because it helps out his business–making movies. The film industry in BC is multi–billion, one of the biggest employers. And film people are big spenders, eat out a lot, feel the cash hot in their jeans when a show’s in town. But the hst is likely toast after June’s vote. So then what for the film industry? It is already suffering from the high Canadian dollar. How much can it take before they fold up the circus and go elsewhere? These are not secure jobs.

#40 Whistle punk on 03.31.11 at 12:01 am

Harper’s target voter: meet ray, the canadian redneck

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5a2_1301458694

(Funny video, I watched it and it’s clean. A cross between Trailer Park Boys and Red Green).

If you want to watch more then go to youtube 1puglife that is where the video come from.

#41 Patz on 03.31.11 at 12:04 am

@ 29 Smoking Man
“That’s why you rent…from ass holes like me…….”

Well you got the cohort right anyway.

#42 Jas on 03.31.11 at 12:05 am

Drop the fiancee, that’s a good solution. Lol. I do not understand this obsession about houses. It’s a place to live. Period. Plus, most people just keep buying stuff once they have a house, that it starts to look like a mini-store.

I will be a renter forever. Well, unless house prices go down more than 50%. Such a big country, and people are having trouble having a house. It’s ridiculous. Blame greed, the banks, and the government.

#43 TOTHEMOON on 03.31.11 at 12:06 am

Canadian home prices still rising. Nothing to see here!

#44 Jsan on 03.31.11 at 12:12 am

Food inflation is here, it’s just that companies are trying their best to hide it but people are catching on. It’s time for interest rates to begin their trek upwards from what have been extreme lows.

I vaguely remember when I got my first bank account as a wee child that I was getting around 10% interest on the few dollars I had banked. Back than, banks were telling their customers to lock their mortgages in at 10 – 12% rates because that was considered very good. Does anyone in this generation even realize that rates were once over 20% during the high inflationary days of the early 80’s? My guess is they don’t have a clue and will be like deer in headlights when the rates start heading to higher but more normal levels.

“Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Tinier Bags”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/business/29shrink.html?_r=3&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha25

#45 Whistle punk on 03.31.11 at 12:13 am

Global BC news was pimping realestate again, had a story about some house in Vancouver that used to be the meeting place for Greenpeace. The house looked to be a old POS selling for 1.4 million.

These people think the Greenpeace hads value to the house. What the hell are these people smoking ?

There is no video to link to the story here is a written story from Globe and Mail.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/tom-hawthorn/for-sale-the-house-where-greenpeace-was-born/article1962373/

#46 Housing CRASH ahead on 03.31.11 at 12:25 am

If march has a drop in sales when the so called rush is in to buy then housing in Canada will be heading for a monster crash. It’s funny to see the realtors and others who make their living in RE post daily on garth blog. Goes to show you how bad the RE market has become. Ten months of falling sales spells CRASH.

#47 mel on 03.31.11 at 12:26 am

Let me say this, I have long ago given up talking to people about real estate. I have decided that no amount of talking will make them change their minds. Only thing they will understand is when prices will fall over many years.

They have this believe that “IF” our beloved house fall in value it won’t hurt. Why you ask? Because it will recover in no time. That is what happend in the past few years RIGHT?

Any financial/housing bubble blinds people. Only time will take care of their senses. Unfortunatelly, by then lots of money will be lost.

#48 Devore on 03.31.11 at 12:31 am

#3 homeinboca

What’s your point? Even in the darkest and deepest of depressions, there are still houses that sell. Who cares about that one house that sells. It’s those dozens other that don’t.

#49 OZy - Time for a NEW POLITICAL PARTY in KANADA on 03.31.11 at 12:32 am

The old good times are gone for ever. Wake up felow Kanadians, the time for a brand new POLITICAL PARTY has arrived!
Too bad you voted against proportional representation 5 years ago, ’cause is gonna be really hard to start it. What a shame, what did you had in mind voting against proportional representation?

GARTH – your thoughs?

#50 Worried realtor smokingman on 03.31.11 at 12:33 am

You know the housing crash is here since we have smokingman posting his propaganda. Funny he was here during the 2008 housing crash screaming that all was well. We all knew the housing market was bad but the fact smokingman is here tells me it’s 2008 all over again bt the only difference is NOTHING CAN STOP THE HOUSING CRASH. Power of sales are now spreading from Brampton to other parts of the GTA.

#51 Dirt Dog on 03.31.11 at 12:34 am

Hey Garth I think you got Charlie Sheen posting as Smoking Man here, keeps talking about winning….

#52 BCing You on 03.31.11 at 12:37 am

A co-worker of mine was just outbid on a 1.5 million West Vancouver property. Is he ever lucky. His real estate agent told him that since the tsunami in Japan, sales in Richmond to overseas clients has dried up. Apparently they do not want to live at sea level. According to the agent, someone actually walked away from a deposit on a deal in White Rock.

Little do they know that Vancouver Island protects the lower mainland from any major tsunami.

#53 tmg on 03.31.11 at 12:42 am

Is commercial RE in Vancouver also over-valued?

#54 Increasing that 1% on 03.31.11 at 12:43 am

Re: #30. kim

Bs. ‘Toronto’ is a big place. What are you talking about? Or shall I say where…

#55 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.31.11 at 12:44 am

-
The stuff that’s happening on this planet is somewhat downcast, so . . . Heaven’s Arrivals

All arrivals in heaven have to go through a bureaucratic examination to determine whether admission will be granted. One room has a clerk who inputs computerized records of what each applicant did on his or her last day of life.

The first applicant of the day explains that his last day was not a good one.

“I came home early and found my wife lying naked in bed. She claimed she had just gotten out of the shower. Well, her hair was dry and I checked the shower and it was completely dry too. I knew she was into some hanky-panky and I began to look for her lover. I went onto the balcony of our 9th floor apartment and found the SOB clinging to the rail by his finger tips. I was so angry that I began bashing his fingers with a flower pot. He let go and fell, but his fall was broken by some awnings and bushes. On seeing he was still alive, I found super human strength to drag our antique cedar chest to the balcony and throw it over. It hit the man and killed him. At this point the stress got to me and I suffered a massive heart attack and died.”

The clerk thanked him and sent him on to the next office.

The second applicant said that his last day was his worst.

“I was on the roof of an apartment building working on the AC equipment. I stumbled over my tools and toppled off the building. I managed to grab onto the balcony rail of a 9th floor apartment but some idiot came rushing out on the balcony and bashed my hands with a flower pot. I fell but hit some awnings and bushes and survived, but as I looked up I saw a huge chest falling toward me. I tried to crawl out of the way but failed and was hit and killed by the chest.”

The clerk couldn’t help but chuckle as he directs the man to the next room, and is still giggling when his third customer of the day enters.

He apologizes and says, “I doubt that your last day was as interesting as the fellow in here just before you.”

“I don’t know” replies the man, “picture this. I’m buck naked hiding’ in this cedar chest . . .”
*
#182 daystar — “. . . we have a debt monster in this nation, Harper’s done whatever he could to create it and all else is spin . . .” — Precisely what Harper meant when he said “You won’t even recognize Canada when I’m finished with it.”

Re-elect the Rhinos! Is this the time for voters to finish with this two-faced liar? Reasonable to say oui.
*
Isn’t it fun to combine Dilldoe Pickle Surprise with debt fetish! Wotcha gonna mayke ov dat?
*
EU Floodgates opened. More compound interest, rich become wealthier, more are poor.

0:21 clip Radioactive particles over midwest April 1-2.

6:19 clip Japan update and HAARP. Obama is also in there, but TPTB are making choices.

Fukushima Two melting through base.

WHO Tamiflu resistance scam. Govts. will try anything to dumb us down into accepting what they give.

Not allowed See the difference in two headlines — Allowed. Does anyone believe Hill or Billary?

Utah Sound money law (gold and silver) passed.

Dictatorship Part II Moving ahead with a noose tied around the neck, plus Liquidation First few paras. are excellent.

Monsanto and Farm Wars. The west is processing itself to death.

3:41 clip Silver to gold ratio, plus 2:34 clip Counterfeit Engelhard 100 oz. silver bars.

#56 Utopia on 03.31.11 at 12:46 am

What? You are quitting?

Say it is not so Garth. your work has probably saved thousands from making a huge mistake. I myself have referred many dozens to your site and know that more than a few are now avid readers.

Hang in there friend. If not for yourself then for the benefit of the few who might still listen.

#57 debtified on 03.31.11 at 12:47 am

Please Mr. Carney, do the RIGHT thing.

It’s not too late to salvage your reputation and legacy. More doing, less talking. You don’t want to become Mr. Greenspan Jr., do you? You know what needs to be done. May you find your long lost cojones and finally do the RIGHT thing (now!).

Dammit, Garth. Don’t give up!

To all BPOE nemesis (or suckers): Do you feel silly now for taking BPOE seriously?

#58 OnlyTheBankers Laugh on 03.31.11 at 12:53 am

Smokin Man from the Globe & Mail boards? The crazy self admitted dyslexic circus freak who constantly berates and abuses the kids and self promotes his premonitions about anything financial while drinking tons of wine? Excellent that you’re here to join us. Your contributions will be a welcome chuckle since we lost our own Devil’s Advocate.

OnlyTheBankersLaugh

#59 Into The Sunset on 03.31.11 at 12:55 am

#2 Tony

Consider this analogy:

Real Estate is the lead car of the highest roller coaster in Canada sitting at the top with its front wheels over the point of no return.

Sitting in the last car approaching the apex to the upcoming, gut-wrentching downward spiral are bonds!

Down below:
Sitting on top of the height marker that attempts to wring the bell is gold and silver awaiting the next blow from the chaotic financial hammer to send it higher.

#60 JET on 03.31.11 at 12:57 am

Garth, What do you mean you’re giving up? No more posts?

#61 Soylent Green is People on 03.31.11 at 1:01 am

Who stuck Steve Harper into that jar of pickles. Oh yeah, he did it himself. All by himself.

………………………………..

Calls to ban useless Polls

Polls barely can get 15% of Canadians on the phone

Never mind that polls are often unreliable, or fleeting, snapshots of complex reality -more so these days, according to professionals in the field, partly because it’s hard to get anyone to answer the phone.

Do they still have enormous subliminal impact? Journalists feed on them, political partisans are exhilarated or depressed based on results and they clearly influence what is talked about on Parliament Hill.

For comic relief, nothing beats the “horse-race” polls -those proliferating rankings of voter preference and the wild speculation they engender.

Harris-Decima chairman Allan Gregg, Canada’s first celebrity pollster, is worried about the profusion of increasingly unreliable polls, the unhealthy relationship between unqualified pollsters and headlinehungry media and confident assertions based on flimsy data. One week the Conservative gender gap is gone, the next week “oops, it’s back,” says Gregg, who has complained that his profession “has fallen in love with the sound of its own voice.”

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Opinion+three+pollsters+wrong/4344550/story.html#ixzz1EyyfppkO

.
.
.
.

#62 Bigwhiffa on 03.31.11 at 1:12 am

Garth, awesome blog. You truly offer unique insight into what it really takes to create a responsible and sustainable society. Keep it up. You are an important part of the 21st Century Enlightenment

#63 Pops on 03.31.11 at 1:29 am

Smokin Man… put the cigarette out and get in my basement and fix the hot water tank!

#64 Mister Obvious on 03.31.11 at 1:44 am

#31 (Smoking Man)

“SMOKING MAN is addicted to WINNING that’s why I max bet. Ya I lose once in a while but the odds are in your favore when you go all in…..”

Utter nonsense. Slot machine odds are unchanged regardless of the quantity bet. Clearly, math is not your strong point, or English it seems.

#65 yb on 03.31.11 at 1:46 am

Maybe you should reincarnate the Rhinoceros Party of Canada…your presence at the leadership debate would be refreshing.

Of course that wouldn’t happen without a protracted court battle and media circus.

#66 Tim on 03.31.11 at 1:46 am

so the rates will rise a half a percent, wow, that will really wipe out the 100% gain in the housing market

#67 Alex on 03.31.11 at 1:53 am

Smoking Man: How are those punctuation, spelling, and grammar lessons coming?

#68 Tim on 03.31.11 at 1:56 am

re#28 Stick it to em! Global’s reporting is abysmal. I’ll bet many of the folks who watch Global vote for Steven Harper. By the way, the fighter jets are now estimated at over 100 million each!
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/story/2011/03/29/cv-f35-costs.html

Just imaging what we could do with that money. Who else in this country would spend that kind of money on the military?

Who else would spend 13 billion on prisons? Where’s our priority? Locking people up, or feeding and educating people?

Only a right wing former Alliance leader. Don’t vote for Harper if you care about Canada

#69 Tim on 03.31.11 at 2:08 am

Business Poised to Invest, Hire

http://www.financialpost.com/news/Business+poised+invest+hire/4531219/story.html

Tech Labor Crunch looming in Canada
http://www.financialpost.com/news/Tech+labour+crunch+looming+Canada/4525494/story.html

#70 SafetyBear on 03.31.11 at 2:27 am

Remember, Garth, It’s darkest before the dawn.

#71 The Original Dave on 03.31.11 at 2:31 am

ubble heads, I bet when you go to the casino, you bet min on a slot machine….cause you hate to lose more than you like too win…..

SMOKING MAN is addicted to WINNING that’s why I max bet. Ya I lose once in a while but the odds are in your favore when you go all in…..

a concept that even the god of gloom mr garth does not understand………

—————————————-

by what I’ve read from you, you sound bi-polar. You’re up, then you’re down etc. You need the rollercoaster as it matches your life in general.

Not everyone that has done well had to lose millions before becoming a millionare ( and repeating that cycle). Some do very well and build from there.

I’m sure the emotional rollercoaster that is your life, has a lot more drama than the people who don’t continuously lose their shirts.

#72 nonplused on 03.31.11 at 2:50 am

No, you have to stick in there Garth.

To not respond now would mean you don’t care anymore. That is the worst way to parent. We need you to care. If they won’t listen, you still have to care. even if they ignore you. One day, the student will find the teacher. But not if the teacher has checked out.

There is no worse social stigma than shunning. It guarantees tattoos, piercings, drug use, and other reckless behaviour. Do not shun your students. Even if they seem like idiots now.

And besides, you have more loyal followers than Christ in his times, and his message is more in dispute (at least parts of it, much of it is now common wisdom.)

#73 New Era on 03.31.11 at 3:51 am

GArth was that younger version of you on the Lang and Oleary show today, or right now.

Basically Oleary’s substitute bluntly said
– Vancouvers a bubble
– people are crazy
– driven by low interest and crazy real estate agent

, its good for people if they sell and realize the gain, but he doesn’t think most will.

You should post it on your site

#74 Save down in E-Town on 03.31.11 at 4:55 am

Ah yes… another election. I just love how all these great platform plans come out when the squeeze is on. I have to agree with todays post, in that none of these said ‘great plans’ have anything to do with anything important. Well not to me anyway. I’m 33, didn’t indebt myself to a house or buy a useless 70,000$ truck during the boom. I don’t worry about the Jones’s or their kids tax deductible piano lessons which they’ll never use anyway… Poor boomers that squandered their savings on R/E and empty nest shopping syndrome don’t concern me either. What concerns me is a lack of the honest representation that myself and people like me need in the Gov… we are 85k+/yr working stiffs that don’t believe the hype and do not follow fools down garden paths. We save our money for things we want and we don’t rely on tax payers money because we are the Tax payers. We’re average Joe and we’re pi$$ed off.

Garth, do you think with enough people you could take down the Green party and give it an overhaul? We’ll make survival of the fittest the slogan, have the U.S do tricks for oil and if you apply for Bankruptcy, EI or welfare you have to volunteer 40 hours a week for your cheque… haha I know it’s a stretch but with these group hug /’Dip$hidiots’ we have running the country now I might as well just quit my job, not try, buy a house and be rewarded. Feels like spinning wheels in this world.

@phinny#24… Railway and ya I am skinny

#75 UK CDN Expat on 03.31.11 at 6:03 am

Here in the UK, “The Canadian Post” on Page 15:

“Average household (Canadian) debt tops $100000″

The average debt-to-income ratio now stands at a record 150%. Canadian familes have an average of 100000 in debt. In 1990 average household debt was $56,800, while the debt to income ratio was 93%.

Yes, Canadian irresponsibility has hit the UK. Canadians are being laughed at by untold millions.

We will be registering to vote in Canada in the upcomming elections, don’t want to miss this one! (Voting is important to us and being outside the Country to vote isn’t easy). What party will be addressing Garth’s raised concerns? We want to know!

#76 Brian on 03.31.11 at 6:30 am

No BPOE comments today..too bad. I enjoyed them from the last post.

#77 Oasis on 03.31.11 at 7:04 am

well, would you look at that, the USD sinking again today. is there no hope for the world’s biggest economy? will the USD soon be know and the American Lira, or American Peso? what gives? i thought it was “predicted” to rise any day now.. i guess we’ll still have to wait and see when that day finally comes.

oh, we shouldn’t get carried away, even the Mexican Peso is gaining against the USD .. we should stick to calling it the American Lira.

#78 realist on 03.31.11 at 7:19 am

Sales volume is but one part of the real estate equation. Sales in the GTA were down last month by 5% but listings were down 15% and prices were up 5%. I have no doubt that sales volume will be down marginally again this month.

Turnover is prized by realtors and real estate lawyers. Homeowners only care about how much they can get for their home. As it is right now, prices are still rising.

#79 David B on 03.31.11 at 7:31 am

So I’m giving up. No more wagging finger. No sermons. No mocking of the idiots among us. There are just too damn many.

If political leaders don’t care about the sacrificial property virgins, house-locked Boomers, a debt-devastated economy or looming retirement crisis, why should I?

DITTO ……

Very soon April 8th will come and the mighty USA now neck deep in one …..two …. and three wars with no money just may go broke ! Then they will like many jerks and jerketts in Canada will borrow more money … in the USA’s case $1.6 Trillion, OMG! people here will pay games like mentioned here many times by Garth Turner. The USA has a few hole cards like the world’s largest economy and over one million world police officers who all carry big sticks! The middle class has …. “Nothing” for they rise each day by the grace of god and their employer.

Lucky Canada the West is in and we have King Steve so sign up to fight in the Winds of War, that’s where the money is to be made. Tommy Hawks $1.5 M each and fancy fighter jets at $100M+ each, and a host of other war toys worth $Billions ….

#80 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.31.11 at 7:43 am

@ #30 kim

Toronto looks like buyers are all but gone . Driving through the city all you see are for sale sign. The weird part is my realtor has taken me to see houses that are up for sale but don’t have a sign up. Realtor is pissed my offers are 20% below asking. It’s a buyers market.

Really?

I’m as convinced of the bubble as anyone, but I’m still seeing a lot of over-priced houses sell in days (or hours) because there isn’t a lot of inventory. Any house that isn’t completely disgusting sells pretty quickly.

Now – condos – different story… they sit and sit and sit because there are WAY too many on the market (and tens of thousands of more coming). Also, there is the bizarre mindset in Toronto that pre-construction condos are all worth a big premium (in terms of $/sqft) over existing condos… in other words, people will pay $400,000 for a basic 1-bdrm pre-construction condo that might get built by 2013, but they won’t buy an existing 1-2 year old BIGGER condo for $350,000.

#81 Moneta on 03.31.11 at 7:56 am

The salesgirl didn’t seem all that desperate to me, fwiw. About five units were under negotiations. Development appeared about 70% sold out it looked to me.
————

One of the most important skills in life is to know when to follow and when to walk alone.

Often, when I’m trying on shoes, the salesguy will say: “You’ve got good taste. It’s our best seller.”

As soon as I hear those words my lust for the shoes instantly disappears. Don’t know why. Maybe it’s the way I was brought up.

A couple of years ago, when my daughter was 7, I asked her if she’d jump off a bridge if everyone was jumping off. Her answer was: “If everyone seems to be having fun, of course I would!” I never laughed so loud.

What makes most people followers and others avoiders? I still have not figure it out. My husband says that maybe most people have stronger survival instinct that I do. Whatever.

#82 Moneta on 03.31.11 at 8:00 am

My husband says that maybe most people have stronger survival instinct that I do. Whatever

Corrected: My husband says that maybe most people have a stronger survival instinct than I do. Whatever.

#83 Seller Beware on 03.31.11 at 8:07 am

I understand your frustration Garth but you have not giving up. This blog is proof! Since you miss the Rhinos, take a look at the libertarian movement _http://www.libertarian.ca/_.

#84 realist on 03.31.11 at 8:35 am

There is no doubt that interest rates are artificially low in Canada and that they should rise. The problem is that the rates in the U.S. are even lower and will likely remain so for quite some time.

This creates a dilemma for Mark Carney. Our dollar pushed over the $1.03 US threshold yesterday. Any rise in Canadian rates without a commensurate rise in U.S rates will likely cause the CAD to rise even further. That would not be good news for Canadian exporters, who are already suffering under the lofty loonie.

In addition, Canada’s core inflation rate was an anemic 0.9% at last reading and any further monetary tightening could land us in the land of deflation – a very scary thought indeed.

#85 D Griffiths on 03.31.11 at 8:46 am

Just wondering Garth, are we headed for another meltdown like 2008? Dr. Krugman (nobel winning economist) seems to think the United States is in what he calls a “long depression” similar to one that occurred in the late 1800’s. I won’t bother detailing his explanation that shows the differences between that event and the dirty thirties. Suffice it to say, it’s not a good situation. But what I’m really asking is, what are the odds that our real estate disaster, combined with the fiscal mess in Europe and the U.S., a world awash in debt, and various geopolitical events of unprecedented scale could tip us into a worldwide depression? I mean, nothing has changed since 2008! Certainly no new regulatory scheme has emerged here or in the U.S. to alter the behaviour on Wall Street or Bay Street. The domestic auto manufacturers are carrying on with their absurd reliance on gas guzzling trucks and SUV’s. Consumers everywhere are tapped out with huge mortgages, and equally stunning consumer debt. And every western democracy blew its wad in 2008 to fend off disaster. From where I sit, these governments don’t have anymore bullets left in the chamber for the next crisis?! We can’t spend our way out next time. It seems to me, we have many years of deleveraging ahead of us for both governments and consumers, and this can only lead to one outcome. I guess it’s just a question of how truly crappy the ride down becomes! I sure hope I’m full of it! Any thoughts?

#86 Garth isn't quitting, folks on 03.31.11 at 8:53 am

He just threatens to once in a while so he can feel your love.

#87 Hey where is Devil's Advocate anyway? on 03.31.11 at 8:53 am

no the same without him is it?

#88 dd on 03.31.11 at 9:04 am

Man you have changed. In the past you would have slagged people for saying America is in a depression or “near-depression.” Garth it is not the 1930’s.

I referred to the housing economy. It is an accurate statement. — Garth

#89 dd on 03.31.11 at 9:08 am

#12 Clayton

…Calgary prices going up…

Still down from the 2007 highs. So actually down.

#90 fancy_pants on 03.31.11 at 9:08 am

People tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.

And as Garth mentions, there are just too damn many.

#91 stephen on 03.31.11 at 9:13 am

“If political leaders don’t care about the sacrificial property virgins, house-locked Boomers, a debt-devastated economy or looming retirement crisis, why should I?”

Because you care.

And I appreciate that, very much.

#92 robert james on 03.31.11 at 9:23 am

For the people that miss the Rhinos I would suggest you go take a look at Bob Truman`s blog on Calgary R/E.. They seem to be quite taken with Garth over there… I am certain that Dame Edna has the hots for you,, Garth.. Maybe the Rhinos humping picture had something to do with it…LOL

#93 Cash is King on 03.31.11 at 9:24 am

C’mon Garth, you know better.

Elections are not about facts, bad news, upcoming interest rate hikes or informing the masses of how to make squirrel jerkey.

On the ohter hand, $75 piano credits WIN elections.

#94 kc on 03.31.11 at 9:32 am

53 tmg on 03.31.11 at 12:42 am

Is commercial RE in Vancouver also over-valued?

I won’t comment on DT Van, however, the Commercial Industrial areas around where I drive through daily in the “burbs” (Surrey) industrial parks are slow. There are many apon many buildings that have had for lease/sale signs hanging for the last 2 years. make of this as you will. Either over priced or over built on speculations of a booming economy. However, these buildings are in well established areas where a plethora of “good times” once stood.

#95 Herb on 03.31.11 at 9:33 am

Maybe Rhino? where are you? We’re going political again!

#96 Love this Blog on 03.31.11 at 9:34 am

#16 Shawn
Smart man!

#97 Cow Man on 03.31.11 at 9:38 am

#183 Devore 03/29/11

Did you ever consider that government interference with normal markets results in distortions? Economics and physics are twins. If we did not have rent controls would the housing price distortion be as large? Rent controls limit the choice and range of rental options. Thus we got “buy for less than rent” sales pitch. Government controls fix nothing. Wage and price controls, and Supply Management in Agriculture, for example, only serve to exert pressures somewhere else. They will however keep on sticking they paws in the market; as perception is reality when it comes to politics.

#98 WH-a? on 03.31.11 at 9:41 am

Garth I’ve been reading your blog for some time now – thanks for daring to stand up to the masses. I was sent this article by a friend who is caught up in the hype. The numbers don’t match what you say is happening, could you explain why this could be?

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/fp/Home+prices+rise+more+than+expected/4527836/story.html

This matches exactly what I have been saying – rising prices on thinning volume. Not a good sign. — Garth

#99 dd on 03.31.11 at 9:50 am

#84 dd “near-depression.” Garth it is not the 1930′s.

I referred to the housing economy. It is an accurate statement. — Garth

Ya… and the housing economy did make up a large portion of the GDP.

22%. — Garth

#100 Daisy Mae on 03.31.11 at 10:04 am

Well, I’m just shaking my head….whata mess. And the political ‘offerings’ thus far are insulting to our intelligence — $75 tax credit on art classes? LOL

If the political ‘leaders’ don’t care, they’d better. Isn’t it consumer spending that makes the world go ’round? If we stop, for whatever reason — either because we’re tapped out or simply digging in our heels — then what?

#101 Daisy Mae on 03.31.11 at 10:08 am

Consignment stores and flea/garage sales may proliferate as consumers cut back and look for alternatives….

#102 Aussie Roy on 03.31.11 at 10:10 am

Garth, keep up the good work, I know it might seem a thankless task at times but what you are doing is the right thing.

Qazmer on 03.30.11 at 11:00 pm

Then I saw what happened to the homes in the USA and asked what happened, friends said; sub-prime, our banks are more responsible, and “it’s different here”.

Tell your friends they are putting the cart before the horse. Think about it, even if you had lent to sub prime borrowers, if house prices continued to climb then even under default (borrower cant pay monthly mortgage)the banks dont lose. They sell the property (as its gone up in price) for more than the current mortgage. So using a little logic, prices actually needed to fall first to expose the banks to losses. The negative feedback loop then began and continues now.

I think looking at the last quarters price and sales data this negative feedback loop has just began here in Australia.

Aussie Update

Darwin (think florida)

Prices down 9% for this quarter.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/31/3178822.htm

Building approvals dive again, not to worry we have a shortage so this will support prices – LOL.
http://www.news.com.au/money/property/building-approvals-dive-again/story-e6frfmd0-1226031325430

Family price fears as petrol predicted to climb to $2 a litre (approx 4.5Lts to Gallon)

http://www.news.com.au/money/money-matters/family-fuel-fears-as-petrol-to-hit-2-a-litre/story-e6frfmd9-1226031072830#ixzz1IBSosWCN

Qantas cuts staff, services to reel in growing costs
Less consumer spending is now hurting all sectors.

http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-news/qantas-cuts-staff-services-to-reel-in-growing-costs-20110330-1cgbu.html

Another retailer goes into liquidation.

http://www.news.com.au/business/brands-stay-as-colorado-group-fails/story-e6frfm1i-1226031105966

Rp Data released housing price data for the first qtr of 2011. Most capital citiy prices are now in decline. Stock on market is at all time highs, building approvals have dived but no bubble here and we have a shortage – Yeah right – LOL.

The housing price rot has started?.

#103 Young Old Fart on 03.31.11 at 10:11 am

Rhino? hahaha…. here’s a true story….

Just turned 18, Dad said I should vote. I go to the polling station…look at the list…. didn’t know anybody…..didn’t care at the time…

Then down the list I saw: Earl Slick – Rhino

That’s my guy I thought and put the “X” by his name….

That night we were watching the results and when our riding came up we saw “Earl Slick”….. ONE VOTE!!

My Dad said: “Ha, that guy voted for himself”

I just chuckled and kept quiet. My vote may have been for nothing but so was the election as Trudeau pulled off his Coup in the next few months….

Funnier times to be sure……

#104 Matthew on 03.31.11 at 10:21 am

Garth,

I’ve been sneaking away at lunch to read your new book. I really love the section about tax-deductible mortagees and putting your mortgage inside an RRSP.

I do have to apologize though…I’ve been sneaking away to Chapters to read it:)

From one Canadian that looks for savings everywhere,
Matt

Book royalties allow me to finance this free blog. You are not helping. — Garth

#105 OttawaMike on 03.31.11 at 10:27 am

Sue and Herb,
Thanks for the interesting big pharma tales yesterday, even if it was kind of off topic for here.

HST: Crunch time for small biz here in Ontario as I hear from many small contractors about hefty payments arrears on HST remittances.

This “harmonized” tax(Don’t you love that idiotic phrase?) is wreaking havoc with small business but the guys in charge just don’t care. The bureaocracy just needs to be fed copious quantities of cash and HST is a prime source.

#106 Daisy Mae on 03.31.11 at 10:28 am

“Carney has the numbers showing how real estate has completely messed up family balance sheets. Only by turning off the taps of cheap credit can he hope to do something about it.”

How about that? The three of them (H,F,C) caused this problem by enticing consumers with ridiculously low interest rates and easy credit…..and now must do their best to rectify a problem they alone created. And get CREDIT for it?!

#107 Moneta on 03.31.11 at 10:32 am

Just wondering Garth, are we headed for another meltdown like 2008? Dr. Krugman (nobel winning economist) seems to think the United States is in what he calls a “long depression” similar to one that occurred in the late 1800′s.
———–
Their deficit = 9% of GDP. Worse than Greece.

Either they cut, which will be painful or they keep on printing and create huge inflation which will also be painful.

#108 The American on 03.31.11 at 10:33 am

Garth, I’ve now ready story after story of Canadian men whining about how their spouse, fiance or wife are always pressuring them to buy a house. Otherwise, the man would be considered somewhat of a loser. In all fairness, the bottom line is the following… These men need to grow a pair and say, “no!”

IF the women don’t like it, and they move on, WHO CARES! If two people are not on the same page with what is typically the largest investment in one couples’ lives, what does that say for your partnership?

#109 Dontcallmeshirley on 03.31.11 at 10:34 am

While other countries have bullet trains, shiny subway systems, and fibre optic networks, Canada has thousands of new condos and renovated kitchens.

I believe this is what Mark Carney referred to in his speech last weekend as “…advanced economies have squandered capital inflows.”

He also said a high overnight interest rate encourages an economy to pursue long term projects.

So why did you go along with a sub 1% overnight rate if you feel so strongly Mr. Carney? Was it just for the sake of politics?

Hurry up and fix what’s been done.

#110 Throwstone on 03.31.11 at 10:35 am

UTOPIA….

I am waiting for that response….

You seem to behave like harper…not taking any questions.

Arrogant? or Ignorant?….not sure which. Either way can you please state how this government is so fiscally prudent?…and how that prudence has lead to prosperity for Canadians?…I only see debt but I’m sure you can explain that?…

UTOPIA!…Please respond!…Please enlighten us on how your praised government has done so well for Canadians! Daystar has also called you out…..

My belief is that you don’t have a clue about what your talking about!

#111 Moneta on 03.31.11 at 10:35 am

On the ohter hand, $75 piano credits WIN elections.
———-
Everyone wants to be in the top 10%.

And owning a McMansion, having your kids taking piano lessons is proof you’ve made it , no?

#112 Ex-Cowtown on 03.31.11 at 10:36 am

Clayton on 03.30.11 at 10:40 pm

Just curious about what I saw on the news tonight. I live on the outskirts of Calgary and on the News they talked about Calgary prices going up. Not much mind you but there is a buzz about Calgary being the next Financial Hub of Canada in the Future. I know that not everyone works for the oil companies and interest rates will rise.
So tell me Garth, what are your comments?
Calgary man

I’m speechless. — Garth

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Cowtown has a lot going for it, but it is still a one trick pony. Oil….that’s it, not even oil and natural gas, as NG is in the crapper and won’t be coming out for a long time.

Oil is funny stuff, though. The cost of production is rising hugely, and many of the projects that are going on need $70 just to be economic. Oil storage at Cushing, OK is filling up hugely due to a lot of new CDN crude flooding the market. This will likely push the price down to $90.

Now assuming that something stabilizes in the Mid East, we would lose our $25/bbl fear premium.

OOOPS!

Oil at $65/bbl and Cowtown is just another city.

Now let’s throw in a double dip recession in the US when they stop QE2 and forego QE3, 4 and 5.

Oil at $50. Oil sands projects don’t work anymore.

Not saying that any or all of these will happen tomorrow, but, as with house horny RE virgins, having too much of your net worth in one asset or commodity opens you up to huge problems.

The industry may be different, but the concept still is true.

#113 UK CDN Expat on 03.31.11 at 10:46 am

#52 BCing You “His real estate agent told him that since the tsunami in Japan, sales in Richmond to overseas clients has dried up. Apparently they do not want to live at sea level…Little do they know that Vancouver Island protects the lower mainland from any major tsunami.”

Unfortunately, Vancouver island does nothing to protect Vancouver from an earthquake and the unstable silt (liquifaction) that Vancouver is built upon.
.

Also a tsunami can go around the island as well or approach from a different angle where the island is a useless barrier.

Also Vancouver is not protected from Japanese radiation carried in the winds.

http://www.woweather.com/weather/news/fukushima?LANG=us&VAR=euradsfc&HH=0

#114 Rs on 03.31.11 at 10:49 am

Last night a friend of a friend came over to our condo. She being a real estate agent, immediately asked if we rent or own. I hate when people ask us this cause you know from that point on they put you in a certain group full of judgement. I proudly said “We rent. After doing the math we figured it would cost over $4,000 per month to own (not including property tax) (we live at harbourfront) and we rent for $2,150 which includes everything even parking. So to me if makes no sense to buy. I could invest that extra $2,000 a month a be much better off.” Still she looked at me like I was crazy. I said besides the market is going to crash! She said there will be no such thing.

I really dislike real estate agents. Do they truly believe there will be no crash or are they trying to scam us????

Did you check the silverware? — Garth

#115 detalumis on 03.31.11 at 10:53 am

I love the comments about telling the guy to dump the fiancee. Assumptions being made that he will be the high flying earner with his zero income and PHD? Could be a professional student with a PHD in ornithology or some such thing while a nurse can easily earn 100K with overtime and then become a manager and earn even more. She could very well end up supporting him for life.

I would tell her to dump the guy and build her own life and do her own thing. If I had listened to all the doom and gloom and advice in my lifetime I would never have accumulated anything, houses were always too expensive and stocks were a mugs game; I would still be renting and have a portfolio full of GIC’s and CSB’s.

#116 BPOE on 03.31.11 at 10:56 am

Folks, the RE market is only getting started in Vancouver and Richmond. Land values will only to continue to rise from here into oblivion! Damn, I have a small penis. Go Canada! We’re so smart! Canada is the new financial super power of the world! I wish my penis weren’t so small. The U.S. is a third world country! Maybe I should consider tucking it in. Everyone wants to move here because it is awesome and it has the best the weather (excluding Sydney, Hong Kong, Hawaii, California, Florida). No, really, my penis is so small that I almost plucked it last night with a pair of needle nose pliers. It kinda hurt, but not too badly because it is so small. I don’t care what actual statistical data says because I choose not to believe facts. Facts, after all, are ridiculous little things that only muddy the waters of selling. Errrrr, uhhhh, GO CANADA!

#117 Ex-Cowtown on 03.31.11 at 10:56 am

dd on 03.31.11 at 9:08 am
#12 Clayton

…Calgary prices going up…

Still down from the 2007 highs. So actually down.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Calgary prices actually dropping YOY. Median price down around 5%.

Only a BPOE would claim that a drop in price actually means it is going up.

Hmm… I like that….

“You’re such a BPOE”

“Don’t go all BPOE on me”

Quit pulling my BPOE”

It just works on so many different levels.

#118 Sid on 03.31.11 at 10:56 am

I too have heard from Vancouver realtors that the Chinese are suddenly scared of Richmond. They seem to think that this will cause a wave of new buyers to higher grounds such as Burnaby and North Vancouveer.

#119 ris ames on 03.31.11 at 10:57 am

aug/08 steve asks jim what’s the libor ois spread?
jim what’s a libor? when are you going to see the general?

#120 PEI Red on 03.31.11 at 10:59 am

There are some bankers out there that shoot straight and tell people “You can’t afford it and when interest rates rise, you’ll be screwed.” Generally, people don’t care to hear it, so I too, gave up and left the lending racket. Entitlement is driving this bubble and like a big wad of bubble gum, people are going to be covered in goo when it pops.

#121 BrianT on 03.31.11 at 11:00 am

85Griff-Of course things look very rough, but Krugman is a bad joke. In fact, the whole Nobel thing is a bad joke-the peace prize for Obama? WTF?

#122 John on 03.31.11 at 11:04 am

It’s interesting to read the posted comments. Kim, above, says Toronto is a buyer’s market. And yet, I just got off the phone with my real estate agent who says the market in the GTA is crazier now than ever. He estimates at least 80% of sales have multiple offers and the sales prices are way above the already inflated asking prices. It’s just anecdotal to be sure, but he’s someone on the ground living it every day, and I trust him since our family has known him for over 30 years. And I’m not looking to buy a house.

#123 SAD on 03.31.11 at 11:08 am

To #69 Tim on 03.31.11 at 2:08 am

Business Poised to Invest, Hire

http://www.financialpost.com/news/Business+poised+invest+hire/4531219/story.html

That story is a plant to support H and F and the corporate tax cuts. Canadian companies are for the most part standing still or shrinking. Now a days you cannot believe anything you read.

How abut this one? — Garth

#124 GregW, Oakville on 03.31.11 at 11:08 am

Hi #62 Bigwhiffa, re: 21st Century Enlightenment. 11min video link you posted.

WOW!!! I just watched it, Thanks!

Could you post it another time, too.
I believe it is worth seeing and thinking about.
It covers quit a lot in one go.
A reminder once and awhile would be nice.

#125 bill on 03.31.11 at 11:11 am

‘No BPOE comments today..too bad. I enjoyed them from the last post.’
he/she/it doesnt like muskrats……

#126 Dr. WAYNE on 03.31.11 at 11:11 am

For the most part, Garth, you’re wasting your time. Anyone with an IQ over 7 ‘should’ be able to take heed and see the silliness, particularly in Vancouver. But they don’t. You are preaching to the converted and the nay sayers think you’re a quack. Some of your photos would attest to this characterization, but I love them.

#127 GregW, Oakville on 03.31.11 at 11:19 am

Hi #68 Tim, re: use of money and the fighter jets

Remember this?

Eisenhower warned about the Military Industrial Complex. 2-1/2 min video
http://hubpages.com/hub/Dwight_Eisenhower_warned_about_the_Military-Industrial_Complex_1961

#128 John on 03.31.11 at 11:20 am

Amendment to my post above:
I did mention to my agent that I’ve seen reports that sales are actually down. He said, that’s true, but only because listings are way down. But demand is still very high. So a constrained supply is resulting in higher and higher prices. Manic.

GTA prices are up 4.6% since March, 2010, on reduced volume. I would not call that manic. — Garth

#129 realpaul on 03.31.11 at 11:20 am

The Canadian political cuture of pandering has led the entire population over the abyss. But don’t worry, it’s the same evrywhere. Canada got sucked into the global scheme of ‘one world economies’ decades ago and we have foolishly allowed ourselves to be deluded by faux largesse and the unaffordability of political correctness of the effte crowds who inhabit the corridors of power politics.

We imported millions of immigrants who now cost the country a net loss of approx $6000 per head so that we can think we’re saving the third worlders from themselves. See ‘Mayday Mayday.

We’ve decided to send billions overseas to bring the undemocratic dictatorships up to western standards with ‘sustainable development etc’.

We have slurped up the BS that zero intrest rates will save the economy and in the process beggared an entire generation.

We have allowed the rape of seniors savings instead of demanding cuts in spending on the fat sucking civic servants and the low life union bosses intent on the soviet statism begun by Trudeau and the federal Liberals.

We invite the terrorists of the world into the country and howl in outrage when the US government says “OK, but now we have to close the border to regulate the comings and goings of these new citizens whom we can’t trust”.

And yet, every day we have the Canadian media demanding that we go back to the ‘good old days’ of Trudeauisms and the largesse of socialist finance…..at a time when the coffers of both the individual and the nation are so deep in the toilet that that people have dumbstruck themselves with denial and debt. Living in this country has become like a whiplash of knowing whats right and the denial of what to do about it.

In a country that once had one of the highest savings ratio’s in the developed world we have become the most impoverished and debt ridden…..nice. BTW…all these ideas above came from the morning papers. Not a peep about saving…..just more spending and wondering why the country has gone to hell.

#130 fancy_pants on 03.31.11 at 11:27 am

#93 Cash is King on 03.31.11 at 9:24 am

Exactly! I was trying to figure out a way to put that into words. you hit the nail on the head. thank you.

People are sheeple and easily led.

#131 earlymidlifecrisis on 03.31.11 at 11:29 am

@#45- I was waiting for the part where they said “and it will be sold as a tear down . . .” Ha, That is next weeks hot real estate story. Still, prices are up here. I wonder for how long? It seems like it can’t be sustained, but just keeps going up.

#132 John on 03.31.11 at 11:36 am

Garth,

This from Brian Ripley’s latest:
“Toronto’s detached house prices for the GTA in February 2011 zoomed 6.6% M/M (chart) and are up 8% Y/Y setting a new all time record price.”

So prices in March have cooled to an increase of ONLY 4.6% Y/Y.

To March 15th, YoY price increase 4.6%. Sales decline 5%. Listings down 15%. Not healthy. — Garth

#133 AG Sage on 03.31.11 at 11:38 am

Today there’s a good case for believing risk is higher. Few of the reasons the world came to the brink of depression have been addressed

Thank You. So conveniently forgotten already. People really act like sheep when to do otherwise would require them to think. It’s terribly depressing.

#134 GregW, Oakville on 03.31.11 at 11:47 am

Hi #126 Dr. WAYNE, Funny you mention IQ of 7.

Because the permanent reduction of 5-7 IQ points is what I am taking about in my published letter in Scientific American magazine, April 2011. It don’t seem like a lot, but your society ends up with a few less brilliant people in total and few more retarded people. And from the average IQ levels, the lose of 7 IQ points you can usually still manage ok in your daily life.

We’ll need smart people to be about to compete in the global market place. Other country have figured it out and they are the competition. It’s not rocket science, you just need to know were to look so you can read the science for yourself.
http://www2.fluoridealert.org/Alert/United-States/National/Letter-in-Scientific-American-Skeptical-About-Fluoride

#135 BrianT on 03.31.11 at 12:00 pm

You gotta love the hutzpah of these experts-here is Harry Dent from 2004 : http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-post-election-blast-of-unbridled-optimism

and the same grifter today: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/harry-dent-major-crash-coming-stocks-commodities-already-20110331-080715-415.html

#136 David B on 03.31.11 at 12:00 pm

Looking better in Washington as the Tea Party is going south as Congress appears to be willing to settle for $33 Billion in spending cuts rather than $100 Billion demanded by hand full of Tea Party clowns who are fast learning just how the world’s largest economy runs.

Next wake up is that loan for $1.6 Trillion!

#137 daystar on 03.31.11 at 12:06 pm

“If political leaders don’t care about the sacrificial property virgins, house-locked Boomers, a debt-devastated economy or looming retirement crisis, why should I?” – Garth

Because you are different. Its all about who one serves.

#138 Ronaldo on 03.31.11 at 12:11 pm

http://www2.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/news/story.html?id=dd99eaf4-58a9-4fc7-807f-6fee110f42d3&k=57936 Chinese coming in by the plane load says realtor Cam Good according to the Nanaimo News…….watch out Nanaimo, you could be next to get swamped by Chinese buyers…yeah right!

#139 DaleFromCalgary on 03.31.11 at 12:13 pm

An interesting article at:
http://news.goldseek.com/SFG/1301581758.php
about buying houses in Florida.

In a word, don’t. The carrying costs will kill you. You’re going to rent? Good luck finding a decent tenant. How are you going to check up on them from the other side of the continent? Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it is a bargain.

#140 Cellar Dwellar on 03.31.11 at 12:13 pm

@#26 Big Al
Yup, totally agree. We’ve turned into a country of hamburger flippers and Future Shop Sales associates.
Nobody knows how to fix, repair,build anything anymore…… Quite a leap from the designers of the Avro, Candu, etc. to exporting raw materials on ships from other nations.

#141 Cellar Dwellar on 03.31.11 at 12:21 pm

@ #52 BCing you
Yes a Tsunami will hit the west coast of Vancouver Island. IF its the tectonic plate off the west coast that ruptures.
BUT if the tectonic plate BETWEEN the Island and the mainland ruptures, slips, etc ……………………Tsawassen Tsunami anyone?
The japanese were pretty smug about their 20ft high cement Tsunami barriers until a 30 ft high surge kept coming and coming.

ANYONE that thinks Richmond will be ok in an earthquake is an IDIOT!
Oh, by the way, have you heard the BIG ONE is overdue here? clown

#142 Greg on 03.31.11 at 12:28 pm

Kim #30 is right on the money. Buyers in Toronto are all but gone and ten stright months of falling sales isn’t a good thing.

Anyone who trades stocks knows prices can go up on low valume and then when it become obvious the bottom falls out and the stock crashes. This is exactly what we are seeing in Toronto and GTA where very few sales and slightly higher prices but it will become painly obvious that those buyers made a big mistake.

Realtors are holding back product or simply not putting up signs. That seems to be happening as others have pointed out a listing is up on MLS but no sign in the yard.

The bottom is starting to break and a hard and fast drop will wipe many people out.

#143 Soylent Green is People on 03.31.11 at 12:38 pm

This line:

My son doesn’t have the time/strength to argue.

…………………..

That’s pretty pathetic thing to have to say about your son.

.
…………………….
.

Does no one care?

Three simple words that encompass the smug, assuming and proudly non-contrite response of Conservatives to a string of recently revealed abuses of power, the public purse and Parliament. Three simple words that are repeated by observers, media and analysts as though that justifies an end to the conversation. Three simple words that seem to pose an impenetrable shield between this government and the voter backlash that Opposition politicians keep praying will arise.

Four senior counsellors to the prime minister — including two Senators — charged with offenses so serious they could go to prison? No one cares.

The apparent manufacture of invoices to propel their illegal scheme forward? No one cares.

Scott Reid Scott Reid is a former senior adviser and director of communications to Prime Minister Paul Martin who appears regularly in Point of Order on CBC’s Power & Politics with Evan Solomon.
A minister plainly lying to the House of Commons? No one cares.

Not one but two rulings that suggest contempt of Parliament in a single day — for a total of three such rulings this year, a mark unmatched in history? No one cares.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/03/16/pol-vp-scott-reid.html

.
.
.

#144 Utopia on 03.31.11 at 12:39 pm

#27 Throwstone

UTOPIA!!!

I am still waiting for your response to my position on Harper’s Macro vs. Micro economic policies….
———————————————————

Are you drunk or something? Why are you shouting? I can appreciate you want are seeking answers but there will be no response forthcoming to your position. I will tell you the exact same thing I told Daystar. I have expressed my position already. You have expressed yours too. If you want to engage in a public debate then take it up with your local riding and join a political party.

#145 Devore on 03.31.11 at 12:49 pm

#39 Patz

I don’t think HST will go anywhere.

#146 simkev on 03.31.11 at 12:50 pm

Cellar Dweller

Just a comment regarding:
“Nobody knows how to fix, repair,build anything anymore…… Quite a leap from the designers of the Avro, Candu, etc. to exporting raw materials on ships from other nations.”
———————————————————

It is true that there are areas that Canada could do better in and export manufacturing is one of them ….4 sure! But to say we simply dig things out of the ground and ship it away is simply ill-informed.
First of all digging things out of the ground in a safe and productive way is “not simple” it requires tremendous effort.
It includes things like R & D, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, building and design of infastructure, training, safety practices and methods and many other things to numerous to mention. My point is that Canada has an enormous wealth in resources and it is more than digging and shipping. Many of these skills and technologies we have used and sold around the World. We are leaders in Infastructure, Oil and Gas equipment manufacturing, logistics, telecommunications etc etc etc …. Just because we don’t make cheap steroes does not mean we have lost our edge, nor does it mean that we should not continue to try and be more competative in the World.

#147 Chris no longer in England on 03.31.11 at 12:56 pm

Going a bit pear-shaped in GB.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1371826/Rise-mortgage-defaults-house-prices-rise-confidence-ebbs.html

#148 Cowboy on 03.31.11 at 12:56 pm

What the hell does BPOE mean?

#149 daystar on 03.31.11 at 12:59 pm

#129 realpaul

We also allow biggots like yourself to spew off hatred filled nutbar rants. (something to do with Trudeau’s pinky charter as you would say, y’know, the charter of rights that implies disfunctional human beings also have human rights, not just the “functional” ones)

You do make a couple interesting points, though. Y’know, like the “knowing whats right and the denial of what to do about it” part. Some of us actually do know the difference between right and wrong dude. Hope you find out what that is some day (although hope truly is a weak word, it does inspire positive thinking which is the doorway to good will. You should try it sometime before all hope is lost).

#150 Devore on 03.31.11 at 1:08 pm

#97 Cow Man

/whoosh

#151 TS on 03.31.11 at 1:12 pm

So I’m giving up. No more wagging finger. No sermons. No mocking of the idiots among us. There are just too damn many.

Agreed but you do have a way of penetrating some peoples common sense. We are powerless over others. Just got our own little universe to look after. Guess most people are just going to have to learn from their own experience. The trouble is they will blame everybody around them and then look for the government to bail them out. Never really want to take a look at themselves or there responsibility. Greed and envy can blind people. Lots of trickery and manipulation in business today.
Those B.C. Olympic Village purchasers are a good example. You can bet if unit values were rising they would not have their victim suits on and be suing the City.

#152 D from London, ON on 03.31.11 at 1:23 pm

#29 Smoking Man
#51 Dirt Dog

I agree with Dirt Dog -Smoking Man is Charlie Sheen posting in his free time.

Expect more posts from him like:

“I’m not bi-polar, I’m bi-winning. I win here and I win there.”

“I’m different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man.”

“People can’t figure me out, they can’t process me, I don’t expect them to. You can’t process me with the normal brain.”

“I’m an F-18, bro, and I will destroy you in the air and deploy my ordnance to the ground.”

:-)

#153 Moneta on 03.31.11 at 1:30 pm

My point is that Canada has an enormous wealth in resources and it is more than digging and shipping. Many of these skills and technologies we have used and sold around the World. We are leaders in Infastructure, Oil and Gas equipment manufacturing, logistics, telecommunications etc etc etc ….
———-
True, but how much do we export of this know how and savoir faire?

For example, oil is getting more expensive BECAUSE it is costing more to extract a barrel not because of an expanding margin. We are not getting more added value out of each barrel, we’re just covering our costs.

#154 Utopia on 03.31.11 at 1:33 pm

#72 nonplused..

Garth is more popular than Christ? Probably because Jesus didn’t have a Harley.

#155 realist on 03.31.11 at 1:40 pm

While average price to average income can be a useful indicator when examining home prices, it fails to take in to account borrowing costs.

During the last great real estate crash in Canada in 1989, the affordability index, as measured by the percentage of household income required to service principal, interest, taxes and utilities was 55% in the GTA. The index is currently at 33%.

Mind you, the index is presently at a rather modest 33% only because interest rates are at historically low levels. Beware, even a modest increase in rates could drive the affordability index up in to the danger zone very rapidly.

On another statistical note, there has been some discussion here today about the lower volume of sales in the GTA in relation to year over year comparisons. It is well to remember that the early part of 2010 set an all-time record for sales volume, possibly due to pent-up demand after a dramatic (50%) drop in sales volume in 2009.

#156 Winterpeg on 03.31.11 at 1:51 pm

Am curious to know your thoughts are on Manitoba’s situation re: RE bubbles. The local view till now is that we are different due to high immigration and diverse economy, suggesting demand is still there. I don’t buy it completely. We have seen a big increase in values in spite of our less-than- trendy location. Don’t get me wrong. The ‘Peg is a great place to live once you get past the winters, the mosquitoes and floods. I think it is overpriced and has followed the “rush-to-buy” mentality like everywhere, and could (should) correct too. Its a matter of how much. Any thoughts?

#157 Kitchener1 on 03.31.11 at 2:07 pm

Market top anyone??? When the greatest bears- Garth throw in the towel, it must be close!!

#158 Joe on 03.31.11 at 2:10 pm

#116 BPOE poser: Bwaahaahahaha. No matter how long I’m out of grade school I never fail to giggle hysterically at that kind of humour. Tee hee hee

#159 tonguestump on 03.31.11 at 2:12 pm

Pickels and a bit of separation anxiety from Rhinos. Do you drink scotch?

#160 Sail1 on 03.31.11 at 2:28 pm

So I’m giving up. No more wagging finger. No sermons. No mocking of the idiots among us.

Until you criticize 70% of the population again tonight.

#161 TorontoBull on 03.31.11 at 2:42 pm

and now due to popular demand:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QS0q3mGPGg&NR=1

#162 Vankouver on 03.31.11 at 2:48 pm

If he’s a Ph.D. Candidate and can’t muster the time/strength to argue with the fiancee then I don’t know what to say. The same logic, calmness, and sincerity needed for keeping him and the fiancee out of the additional property will be needed going into his dissertation defense.
VanKouver

#163 daystar on 03.31.11 at 2:50 pm

#144 Utopia

I thought you answered the question myself. (with class, I might add) There are causal effects to all choices one makes that take years, perhaps even a decade or more to play out, to really know whether or not the creation of moutains of debt was a good or bad policy choice. I really didn’t think I was going to change your mind much on what you believe, but that wasn’t my true intention with my post addressed to you. It was my want to influence other readers through offering an alternative viewpoint on how the nations affairs have been run over the last five years and I think I did ok (although more links are necessary).

Time, as they say, will tell all but if I had to guess as to why one votes Convervative, its to serve the individual which is a fine ideology to embrace, but politicians of all stripes have to learn to do so with “sustainability” in mind.

I’m all for lower taxes, but not at the expense of a legacy of debt. I’m all for higher asset valuations, but they must be built on higher incomes, not mountains of debt. Debt has and will jeopordize the future well being of the vast majority of Canadians if interest rates rise. We didn’t have the same debt risk before Harper. Now… we do. I’m all for individual rights as long as they don’t come at the expense of the rights of others and they have and will but it will take time to see it.

It is balance I speak of, Eutopia, a balance I have not seen a Harper government begin to try fiscally and I don’t think they can be trusted socially with a majority in mind. The justice system, as an example, will become one of punishment, not reform. That gets expensive, never mind the moral arguments against… incarceration costs $160,000 a year to lock up males in Ontario and a whopping $250,000 a year to lock up females where natives of both genders frequent by far and away, the most (these financial numbers are 3 years old).

Maybe we expect too much from our politicians? Maybe we expect governments to step in with the true cost of healthcare, you know, the cost of drugs, but its corporations first (i.e. jobs first). Personally, I think the people come first, y’know. It’s funny… corporations want the same rights as an individual “identity”, but hey don’t want the right to pay the same taxes as an actual person. My oh my, how powerful their voices have become. Same goes with the very notion that drugs can save the day, but what about our lifestyles? Should all of our choices be left to the individual?

Conservatives at heart say it should be left to the individual as to how they live their life. And Liberals say it shouldn’t come to the expense of others (but they too, sometimes find themselves looking in the mirror as hypocrites, oh, the humanity). That means, we mind our second hand smoke at the very least in the workplace but if we can’t or won’t in a social environment, how far does one take Conservative/Liberal values? Far enough to see high body counts from second hand smoke to preserve the freedoms and values of the individual’s right to make their own choices to smoke? How about the individual choice “not to”? I offer this as but one of many examples, from smoking and drinking to gun control or any other law of the land that so called inhibits the freedom of the individual. Are we so wrapped up in our individual wants that we don’t ask what the true overall cost is of these wants we call “freedoms”?

Some lines are blurred, but… time will tell.

The choice to pay lower taxes (we’ll just borrow endlessly until the choice is taken away and paint the clean up party as the villian, makes sense, me first). The choice to not tax corporations (job creation right? lets remember, its all about the shareholders) but…. what about the shareholders of Canada? Where is the money going to come from to run the nation? (we’ll just borrow until the next currency crisis and y’know, blame it on the opposition, lol) Axe those expensive social programs? Make everything pay as you go, or at the individual’s disgression, y’know, the rich individual’s disgression (as if their ego’s weren’t teased by money and “have” instead of have not mentality, enough. Products of our “environment”, y’know. I have more, so therefore, I am superior, realpaul, is this sinking in?).

People want to talk about welfare state… I see our chartered banks as having absolutely no problems milking public coffers through CMHC. And naturally, they are only taking what is given… As asset valuations rise with the ease of credit (past tense, obviously), will asset valuations fall as credit tightens? (because of higher interest rates coming due to debt and further debt obligations) How will all this debt later serve the individual, has the U.S. example taught us nothing?

1 in 7 americans declared bankrupcy (along with 1 in 7 banks) over the last 5 years. 1 in 8 houses (talk about over development government policies) are empty carrying with them writedowns that the rest of the banks can’t afford to reveal, 1 in 8 that will soon be… 1 in 7. Just like Canada, over 20% of their GDP in the Bush era was from real estate. In this last year in Canada, 22% of our GDP was from real estate here. Ask yourselves… if the U.S. experience repeats itself here through a simple rise in interest rates triggered by rising debt risks, continued pressures to borrow in the bond markets, a rise in central bank rates in the U.S., a chinese recession, any one factor that can chop our Canadian dollar by .25 cents or more coupled with the need to borrow through the bond markets (cause its all about the individual!), all hell will break loose in this nation. People are far too indebted to handle higher rates in Canada. If and/or when it happens, how can it be good for the individual?

How can the political party that represents “the individual” be the one who runs up so much debt that a great many individuals will be swept away by the rising tide of rising interest rates? How can any political party be good for the individual when they pollute the economic/social environments individuals exist in? (save the rich, but even there… and especially there)

Maybe… its because the only individuals our current government serves is… themselves.

From my perspective, this ends badly well before the seed becomes wheat or weed. For others, it will take time. Time will tell all (unless one is to ignore reality as it happens and later rewrite history which “individuals” are often prone to do). In the meantime, regardless of our passions, it does no harm to not pass judgment, to forgive instead of condemn, to show compassion and kindness where there was none because perfection in most ways, eludes us all… (especially so for us well practiced narcissist’s) except through the evolution of time itself. Time WILL tell all.

#164 Ex-Cowtown on 03.31.11 at 2:59 pm

#148 Cowboy on 03.31.11 at 12:56 pm

What the hell does BPOE mean?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BPOE is shorthand for the Best Place on Earth. He is a pathetic useless real estate pumper who posts on this blog constantly about how Vancouver is special, how the people who buy in Vancouver are special, how the usual metrics of value, affordability, interest rates, etc don’t apply to Vancouver because it is special.

In short, he is special, so special that he gets to wear a helmet and ride the little yellow bus where-ever he goes.

Hence the unrestrained lampoonery of BPOE.

#165 Love this Blog on 03.31.11 at 3:06 pm

#116 BPOE

Are you the one people keep referring to as Butt Pirate of Exaggeration??

#166 Whistle punk on 03.31.11 at 3:06 pm

If we ever get a earth quake anything around the fraser river mouth will be gone. If you can dig the ground and not find any solid BC aka rock as in Richmond it fall apart.

Why do you think if you need to preload the ground if you want to build a heavy building in the Richmond to Fraser Valley. You need to do this so your building doesn’t sink or you have to drive piles so the building sits on them.

In Richmond you could dig a 10 foot deep hole in your backyard probably hit the water table, you can dig the hold with a garden spade the ground is soft enough.

#167 S.B. on 03.31.11 at 3:22 pm

Back to the stone ages we go!

(The elites are bombing us economically, while dropping real bombs onto the middle east.)

“Cars will be banned from London and all other cities across Europe under a draconian EU masterplan to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 years.

The European Commission on Monday unveiled a “single European transport area” aimed at enforcing “a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers” by 2050. ”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8411336/EU-to-ban-cars-from-cities-by-2050.html

4th Reich is in-force in Europe. Total control, every country was invaded. Tinfoil talk, right? But we won WW2, right??

With hyrdo rates set to rise 20-30% in Canada in the coming years, people will be forced back into rationing (just like in wartime, and hey the war is always against us). The days of running the AC all day will be but a dream.

McMansion dwellers will huddle into one roon around a solitary light, if they are unable to afford heatig/cooling/lights.

No manufacturing plant will wish to locate here. Maybe that’s the plan, to starve us into submission. Crazy idea? Like I said, the arabs get bombed and we are economically bombed. No child is left behind.

Pollution is real, but global warming as sold to us is a hoax. How about all the nasty daily emissions from our warplanes, ships, tanks, in the middle east?
Cognative dissonance…

#168 S.B. on 03.31.11 at 3:27 pm

Sane words…will be ignored. The master plan cannot be stopped. One stroke of a pen and our lives will change overnight, again. And again. And again. But we’re free!? We won all the wars??

“The Association of British Drivers rejected the proposal to ban cars as economically disastrous and as a “crazy” restriction on mobility.

“I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum,” said Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the BDA.

“If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker.”

Mr Kallas has denied that the EU plan to cut car use by half over the next 20 years, before a total ban in 2050, will limit personal mobility or reduce Europe’s economic competitiveness.

“Curbing mobility is not an option, neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system’s dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win-win,” he claimed.

Christopher Monckton, Ukip’s transport spokesman said: “The EU must be living in an alternate reality, where they can spend trillions and ban people from their cars.

“This sort of greenwashing grandstanding adds nothing and merely highlights their grandiose ambitions.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8411336/EU-to-ban-cars-from-cities-by-2050.html

#169 Hell in a Handbasket on 03.31.11 at 3:34 pm

@ #49 Ozy

There are many new and lesser known parties in the political woodwork. Here in Vancouver we have the Refederation Party, Canadian Action Party, The Truth Party, The Work Less Party. Just look around and pick one to support. Or start your own.

#170 MarK Carney aka BPOE on 03.31.11 at 3:40 pm

Don’t worry be happy.
Watch my video please.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULqvuY2penk&feature=player_embedded

#171 Hoof-Hearted on 03.31.11 at 3:57 pm

When I read the story I thought OMG….sounds familiar

However, I have a nephew, also a PhD candidate in Victoria.

He and his wife had bought a condo, and I put him onto this blog as they were reviewing their housing options.

The SOLD a few weeks ago, and I had advised him that it looks like a leaker ( ie wedding cake stucco all over ).

My basic rule of thumb is any condo with such 1980’s-1990’s Non Rainscreen stucco that has not been repaired is simply delaying the inevitable…avoid it .

My thanks to Garth for this blog….it saved one family member a lot of grief.

#172 Hoof-Hearted on 03.31.11 at 4:01 pm

Daystar:

Watch this,….

http://www.youtube.com/embed/A3YQANdvvbY

Not saying it will happen hear, but…….

#173 GregW, Oakville on 03.31.11 at 4:05 pm

Hi Garth, re: TV debate issue today.

Let all the party leaders know that there action in this manner will speak louder than there words.
As far as I am concerned.

What do they really stand for?
There actions will speck volumes to wether they are up to the job of being my Canada’s PM.

Will they take part in TV debate as they stands now? Thus condoning the dictatorial action of a small group of back room corporations, that are clearly discriminatory to the ideas that need to heard by all Canadians before we choice whom we want as our PM.

If these party leaders ideas are the best they have no worries.

Are they worthy leaders that could be the next Canada peoples PM? Will they stand up to this corporate fascism and refuse to participate unless the greens and any other major party leaders, will candidate running in most Ridings across this great land are included in the TV debates.
A million people did vote for Miss May in the last election. There votes count for something, don’t they?

The TV corporate media consortiums attempt to mazel debate and ideas is just not acceptable to me, on so many levels.

The party leaders needs to stand up and show me they are the best choice for our PM if he want my vote. They needs to tell them there action are just not exceptable in our free and democratic society. And they need to remind them there license to operate in our country is coming up for review again soon.

My vote will be watching!

#174 jess on 03.31.11 at 4:11 pm

is the frog a sterilized HYBRID

===========
Ireland’s Black Thursday.

The report on the stress tests is expected to say that Irish banks need about another €30bn (£26bn) to remain in business.

Most of the loan losses caused by reckless lending to property developers have been identified, but the report will also quantify losses resulting from the failure of thousands of homeowners to repay mortgages.

More than 44,000, or 5.7% of homeowners, are at least three months behind with their mortgages – valued at €8.6bn.

Trading in Bank of Ireland and AIB shares has been suspended for the day by the Irish Stock Exchange amid fears that speculation on the stress test results could create disorder in the markets.

Since the 2008 financial crash, Ireland has been forced to:

• Obtain €67.5bn loans from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union last November. The Irish state took €18bn from its pension fund to back that up. About €10bn of the total bailout was destined for the banks.

• Use about €46bn of state funds to recapitalise reckless lenders.

• Prop up banks with loans from Ireland’s Central Bank worth about €70bn on a continuing basis and the European Central Bank, worth about €80bn.

When the Central Bank details the latest – and, the country hopes, the final – debt bill, and it is combined with sums already guaranteed or owed, Irish banking debt will be somewhere in the region of one-and-a-half times the total value of the Irish economy. Much of this debt mountain is being shouldered by the citizens of Ireland.

#175 Samson on 03.31.11 at 4:17 pm

Garth, you would make Emerson proud. From Self-Reliance:

“A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his.”

What you’re doing is admirable because you AREN’T dismissing your own thoughts.

I hope you will keep going.

Canada needs you to keep sounding off, if for no other reason than to set an example about what it means to have guts.

#176 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 03.31.11 at 4:21 pm

“THE EVENT IS FREE. THE ADVICE IS INVALUABLE.”

And thus begins a full-page flyer distributed by a local RBC branch in Victoria for real estate virgins and former virgins.

The “advice” is all about real estate, naturally, an interesting development coming at such a time as this, when sales and prices are starting to “decline”.

The flyer is an invitation to a lecture or, more properly, a high-pressure sales pitch to urge you to go deep into debt to buy your very special piece of always priceless Victoria real estate.

“Join us and learn more about living large in small spaces,” it bubbles. (What does that mean, owning smaller blow-up dolls?)

Should you attend (April 14th), you will be greeted by the following real estate zombies:

–an interior designer,

–a “professional” stager (no amateurs here!),

–a realtor (but of course!),

–someone from Carshare Victoria , an activist anti-rental car outfit that rents cars to ex-hippies and other like-minded earthy-types who still have their drivers’ licences!

–an “award winning developer.” (What other kind is there?)

–Add in the “RBC Mobile Mortgage Specialist”. (What is that, someone flogging real estate at the next stop light?)

The hook to get you in the door, and staying there for this prolonged banking equivalent of a root canal treatment, is this:

“The RBC $25,000 Downpayment Giveaway.”

The company urges participants to:

“Share your home financing plans and you could win!”

I think this sales pitch is some sort of dead mineshaft canary portent for our trusty RE folks.

Hanging around the swimming pool recently I’ve been listening to some of the denizens there talk about the lousy home construction/renovation industry. It’s slow out there; little work; no money, they lament.

Otherwise those guys would be at work right? And not at the swimming pool where I go because I’m retired!

It’ll probably take a lot of airborne Japanese radioactive waste, gracing our lawns, forests and earnest droning “greens”, to bury this beast I’m afraid.

#177 Scare Crow on 03.31.11 at 4:45 pm

G-Man, I can sense your frustration – you have provided an invaluable site for those like me who believe the world has gone mad with money – the day of reckoning will show its ugly head and the financial storm will destroy all in its path – those who have heeded the warning from Garth may actually be saved to fight another day.
If Garth decides to call it a day – I have really enjoyed the blog (though some bloggers are complete knobs) I would like to add my 2 cents here – why not just have an open forum – a few lines and let the beasts fight each other in here – open a paypal account and those who feel that your service is worth a notable thank-you – can do so. The “Housing bubble blog” by Ben Jones had originally started off like this site – but has let the bloggers have a place to make their presence known … just a thought G-Man.
I hope you continue doing what you’re doing and one day write on the blog – “I told you so – but you didn’t listen”…so sad – too bad.

#178 Coho on 03.31.11 at 4:45 pm

I was so disgusted the other day, I marched into the local riding office of my MP and confronted him complaining of the irresponsible tag team BoC-Federal Government low interest “free money” debt enticement policies. I explained that my son and new daughter-in law recently bought a house they can’t afford even though they “qualified“ for the mortgage. This was despite my repeated warnings to them about bubble prices in this area in particular and my concern that they’re setting themselves up for a lot of hardship and heartache. After I finished my rant, he shot back in a thick New York accent, “Ahhh shaddap! Nobody put a gun da tha heads!”

Nah, just telling a tall tale, but you can bet that is the unspoken attitude. To keep the system going, there need to be losers…sacrificial lambs. The only language “they” know is $$$$$. Maybe a class action lawsuit against the banksters (BoC and ilk) and policy setters in Ottawa which has baited many into current and future financial destruction by taking their poisoned carrots would get and hold their attention.

It’s good to read that some of us are writing letters expressing our grievances. On some level, this CAN make a difference. What may seem as very insignificant actions vs. such a daunting situation on the mundane physical level can have very significant effects on unseen energy levels. Having said that, imo, nothing will avert the suffering that is here and the hardship to come because of the vile force running the affairs of this world. Perhaps the best we can hope to do is to slightly lessen the pain and to delay the boot of tyranny coming our way.

Even as things continue to unravel, taking a stand even if it is just writing a letter to yourself (you don’t really even have to mail it anywhere or to anyone) about your concerns about those you care about, the frustration of seemingly deaf ears and blind eyes by policy setters, your desire for fairness, goodness and justice will be good for your emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing. It may very well help make you stronger amidst increasing difficulty.

Of course, this kind of talk is considered too “lofty” or absurd to a lot of people, such has been the decline of humanity in general, but for those that are still trying to be good and decent people, at least they can say they spoke out (wrote out) and resisted the force taking us to hell in a hand basket.

#179 vreaa on 03.31.11 at 4:59 pm

Vancouver Realtor DashCam Gallery

http://wp.me/pcq1o-23F

[Please send additions]

#180 BrianT on 03.31.11 at 5:00 pm

#SB-At this point, I cannot believe anyone can swallow what these grifters say anymore-if rising CO2 levels were felt by these scum to be a legitimate threat, they wouldn’t be doing everything in their power to raise the levels of China generated CO2 (not to mention all the incredible pollution and toxic waste coming from the place).

#181 Cato on 03.31.11 at 5:01 pm

In a democracy we get the governments we deserve so the political wasteland we face is probably more a reflection of society. Austerity & hardship tend to awaken societies, it gave us the war generation – then again it also gave us nazism, stalin & the axis. Both great wars were preceded by economic upheaval, hopefully we’ve come further this time around and don’t go back to primate instincts of finding the biggest stick and bashing heads.

Lack of leadership has resulted in a bloated, self serving bureaucracy that in its arrogance has decided every aspect of our personal & economic lives needs to be managed. Take a look at the rate of increase in gov’t spending on all levels and you’ll see the pattern. What strikes me with dread is how wholly unprepared any level of gov’t is for the possibility of an economic shift. Instead of being a liferaft like the programs that came out of the great depression it will be an anchor dragging down those in the private sector who are the only hope of rescuing the economy. Unfortunately its too late to do anything about it now, just going to have to step aside and let the lemmings jump over the cliff.

#182 John on 03.31.11 at 5:05 pm

Bank of Canada’s secret deal with Goldman Sucks. a.k.a. Carney true son of Goldman.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/why-fed-redacting-bank-canadas-presence-fx-swap-lines-and-hiding-terms-its-currency-transact

#183 BrianT on 03.31.11 at 5:07 pm

#163Day-It is 2011-why are you carting out the old wives tale about “Conservatives” preserving individual liberties? I must have missed that TV commercial you watched where our fearless leader tore out all the naked body scanners, pulled us out of Afghaniville and Libya, and celebrated by lighting up some good old BC weed.

#184 Devore on 03.31.11 at 5:27 pm

#163 daystar

The question as to what the opposition would have done differently remains unanswered. It’s not like they had no opportunities to at least sound off (something all politicians excel at), this being a minority government and all.

#185 KingBubbles on 03.31.11 at 5:41 pm

I’ll second Winterpeg on that one. Any thoughts Garth?

Winterpeg, check out the following links to studies that have looked at Winnipeg’s real estate market. I doubt that Winnipeg is any different than the rest of Canada:

Louis and Brown (2009) conclude that Winnipeg’s housing market showed a fair bit of sensitivity to mortgage rate shocks, which might be something worth keeping in mind if rates go up in the months ahead. Sensitivity to mortgage rates were more pronounced in Vancouver and Victoria, where the mortgage rate is more important than income in contributing to fluctuations in the housing market, while Calgary and Edmonton are minimally affected by mortgage rates, but substantially affected by income.

http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/17245/1/MPRA_paper_17245.pdf

Another interesting report done by Somerville and Swann (2008) talks about how much the average house price would have to change to bring the rent/price ratio into line with a ratio that would be indicative of a balanced housing market, and they suggest that Winnipeg was a “very unbalanced” market.

In their view, the average house price in Winnipeg would have to drop by 25 percent in order to restore equilibrium.

Winnipeg was seen as being more unbalanced than Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver; and Toronto was considered a balanced market. This link is at:

http://cuer.sauder.ubc.ca/download/research/working/ownercost.pdf

I’m getting my tinfoil hat on, buttoning up, and getting the mashmellows out. Burn baby burn !!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
156 Winterpeg on 03.31.11 at 1:51 pm

Am curious to know your thoughts are on Manitoba’s situation re: RE bubbles. The local view till now is that we are different due to high immigration and diverse economy, suggesting demand is still there. I don’t buy it completely. We have seen a big increase in values in spite of our less-than- trendy location. Don’t get me wrong. The ‘Peg is a great place to live once you get past the winters, the mosquitoes and floods. I think it is overpriced and has followed the “rush-to-buy” mentality like everywhere, and could (should) correct too. Its a matter of how much. Any thoughts?

#186 super dave on 03.31.11 at 5:42 pm

#11 “The BOC knows that if they keep interest rates at 1%, there is a chance the average schmuck might be able to keep up with payments,”

The BOC doesnt give a rats ass about one asset class, in fact they purposely manipulated it to get out of the recession, and now what we are facing is rampant inflation because of it. Now they are in reverse mode, using the housing industry as an excuse, why we are in so much debt, and therefore May will probably see a rise in interest rates to combat a run away inflation.

gas prices up, vegtable prices up, rent up, hydro up, bc fairys rate hike annouced… need i say more?

#187 Cranky Dad on 03.31.11 at 5:54 pm

Tired of the blog, Mr. Turner? Take a break. Why not run for parliament again? Or even better, wait until after the election and run for party leader. There will be at least one national party needing a new leader when the bug has been wiped off the windshield.

#188 realpaul on 03.31.11 at 7:09 pm

The last refuge of the defeatist Liberal is to explode with faux righteous anger at the object of discomfort. We hear this nonsensical diatribe on the CBC everyday and have since the statist

DELETED for language.

#189 saskatoon missed the boat on 03.31.11 at 7:23 pm

I’d buy, if something acceptable came up in our price range. Have been trying to buy for 3 yrs, and the market always stays one step ahead of what we can afford for monthly payments. Rent keeps going up each year, so we are never getting ahead despite being in a undervalued rental for the city. Just stuck, stuck, stuck no matter which direction we turn. I am thinking that I am just going to have to bite the bullet and buy in a bad hood, or a 700ft house for our family of four, or I’ll be looking back another 3 yrs from now doubly as screwed because of wishful thinking that prices would have dropped like I’ve gambled on for too long.

#190 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.31.11 at 7:25 pm

-
#167, #168 S.B. and #178 Coho — Excellent posts! Tell it like it is!

#175 Samson — “I hope you will keep going.” — To keep pissing TPTB off!

#177 Scare Crow — “. . . (though some bloggers are complete knobs) . . .”

Probably right, but it’s those ‘knobs’ that add spice to an otherwise boring sandwich. They cause others to think critically, and possibly take new positions. We need them as much as they need us.
*
4:11 clip Modern America too close to 1933 Germany. For hyperinflationists.

US Home Sales A further 20% fall?

Libertarians – Watch out for the Cdn. version of DHS! “Self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies); Fear of economic collapse (buying gold and barter items).”

Whacknuts Inc. Another Hitler-esque steps into the breach, to tell us what is best for us. Goes through one ear, out the other.

Fukushima “Yep, it’s melting down.” wrh.com, and 5:06 clip Nuclear Titanic? Untimed clip “Fukushima update: Three raging meltdowns are underway.”

The elite and silver How to destroy three tons of it. That is why the price is shooting through the roof.

BP and the WH Not surprising Obama chose to suppress info. about it.

Recall the link about 50 feet of snow in California a few days ago? May be something to that.

Africa An internal war (matter).

US Default Catastrophic? Yes. But it would not destroy humanity, only govts.

Congress Obsolete under a NWO system.

Fluoride Corrosive, like Fukushima.

32:16 clip “Possible insider trading by Berkshire’s top manager, and then he resigns.”

Wal Mart Bill Simon expects inflation. That has to be the understatement of the year.

Olive Branch From Egypt to Iran.

Soros Now the end begins.

That’s what those 34 US Navy ships were for last fall — the Mediterranean and the Straits of Hormuz, to take Iran out, based on Israel’s orders.

#191 Vancouver_Bear on 03.31.11 at 7:29 pm

Rates will stay low forever(some say on this blog)…..the showdown of rate increases starts in a week…did you get your foreclosure notice in the mail yet?……it’s coming….

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703712504576234152792485360.html

#192 ballingsford on 03.31.11 at 7:50 pm

It’s no wonder Priszm is filing for bankruptcy protection. I used to like getting some chicken from KFC for dinner once in a while, but the establishment isn’t what it used to be. At least not in my hood.

The staff aren’t into thier jobs since they are mostly all young, probably making minimum wage and really don’t care about service, the outlets are old and looks really dirty. This could be because the original owner who made a bit of cash sold it and the new owners think they can make it work on name alone.

It’s also definitely not cheap anymore. That would be OK though if the quality was there, but it’s not anymore.

I also noticed the same sort of with the Harvey’s chain. It’s really gone downhill.

When will entrepreneurs learn that it is service, quality, and cleanliness that brings customers back? You can keep prices in check if you have customers.

Your customers will keep coming back if they know that the employee who just came back from a disgusting bathroom isn’t going to be the one dressing your burger.

And ‘No’, great service is not about having a server who takes the time to pick the roaches out of your meal before serving it to you.

Quality Service, Quality Cleanliness, and Quality Attitute will bring customers back. This seems to have been lost in a lot of the fast food franchises for the last decade or more.

Maybe that is good for the Mom and Pop restaurants, as those are the ones I frequent. They aren’t being dictated by shareholders thirst for the almighty dollar.

#193 B in Victoria on 03.31.11 at 7:56 pm

I’m wondering what sort of decline you think will happen in the Victoria area, percentage wise…

#194 jess on 03.31.11 at 8:04 pm

fake news
Pimps, Lies, and Videotapes
Courtesy Fox News, CNNInside Andrew Breitbart’s and James O’Keefe’s right-wing video fantasy factory

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/james-okeefe-andrew-breitbart-videos

#195 cash is king on 03.31.11 at 8:07 pm

#191 Van Bear

Bank cannot foreclose if it’s paid off.

Wife wanted a McMansion 5 yrs ago. She lost (after lots of fits and crying) Now she’s hearing from her sister who is underwater and cannot sell her McMansion. She’s glad she saw the light of my ways and she could not be happier.

#196 tkid on 03.31.11 at 8:40 pm

Inflation?

http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFN3125675820110331

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2011-03-30-wal-mart-ceo-expects-inflation_N.htm

http://www.financialpost.com/news/ready+swamped+food+prices/4535383/story.html

#197 jess on 03.31.11 at 8:43 pm

“Mohammed Ismail, a senior aide to Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, visited London in recent days, British government sources familiar with the meeting have confirmed. The contacts with Ismail are believed to have been one of a number between Libyan officials and the west in the last fortnight, amid signs that the regime may be looking for an exit strategy”

that would be good those missles cost around 1.5m a piece. how many were launched 131?

#198 S on 03.31.11 at 8:43 pm

#110 Throwstone on 03.31.11 at 10:35 am

I’ll take that one on if you don’t mind. This government is not financially prudent and it did not bring prosperity to Canadians. In fact it sports one of the least likable leaders in Canadian political spectrum. So what does it say about the Liberals, NDP and that other party that for several years now they have been unable to put it (the minority government) out of its misery? Yup, those are the guys we need in power… wolves that can’t catch up to a three legged dog.

#199 GregW, Oakville on 03.31.11 at 8:48 pm

Hi #167 S.B., Maybe the motivation is the peak-oil issue and compound growth on a finite planet, the inconvenient thing??
The show ‘Arithmetic, Population and Energy’ should be see at least once by all.
http://www.albartlett.org/presentations/arithmetic_population_energy.html

#200 S.B. on 03.31.11 at 8:56 pm

Oil now 107.50 in overnight sesssion. Seems unstopable, I see $120 as the next key level.

#201 Timing is Everything on 03.31.11 at 9:11 pm

#129 realpaul – said “But don’t worry, it’s the same evrywhere.”

realpaul, Just 4 U…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHFDa9efCQU

#202 45north on 03.31.11 at 9:22 pm

prices in US are still dropping:
In some cities, people who have paid their mortgages for a decade have little or no home equity.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/03/29/national/a060610D37.DTL#ixzz1IEGxWlKU

kitchener1: what are you seeing?

#203 45north on 03.31.11 at 9:24 pm

I mean in Kitchener, southern Ontario

#204 randman on 03.31.11 at 9:24 pm

” #191 Van Bear

Bank cannot foreclose if it’s paid off.

Wife wanted a McMansion 5 yrs ago. She lost (after lots of fits and crying) Now she’s hearing from her sister who is underwater and cannot sell her McMansion. She’s glad she saw the light of my ways and she could not be happier.”

Unbelievable! And women are suppose to be the smarter sex!

This scenario never fails to amaze me how many men
put up with this crap

I think I’ll just order in …more variety and much cheaper

#205 Where's the money Guido? on 03.31.11 at 9:26 pm

Re: #192 ballingsford on 03.31.11 at 7:50 pm

I went to a Taco Bell about a year ago in Coquitlam, and the food there wouldn’t be fit for a dog. I used to love going to Taco Bell, but it sure changed quick and I will never set foot in one again. I also quit going to Pizza Hut when they screwed me on Super Bowl day by giving me 2 medium sized pizzas in their large boxes and when I called them on it, they called me a liar.
I had been eating their pizzas for almost 25 years and they pull this crap. Never again.

#206 shanks on 03.31.11 at 9:30 pm

man good post…
“They believe what exists now will carry on forever, without end or consequence.”
This is a very common thought process for humans, and will ALWAYS get one into trouble. It is amazing when we are surrounded by change, unstability, chaos, and death, that humans have a way of thinking that these factors will never affect them, and that they will live forever!

Please dont stop dispensing good advise Garth, it is indispensable :)

#207 Patz on 03.31.11 at 9:34 pm

@ 52 BCingyou sez:
“Little do they know that Vancouver Island protects the lower mainland from any major tsunami.”

Not so sure about that. If there was a major eruption of the Cascadia (subduction) Fault*, which runs for 600 miles from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to N. California, then the Lower Mainland could suffer a big tsunami hit. How?

Look at the map. A tsunami event just outside of the Strait of Juan de Fuca could send a surge of water up the strait that could flood low lying areas of the LM. Remember Port Alberni go hit really badly in ’64 by a Japanese tsunami. Now look at it on a map. It’s way inland, almost to the east side of Van Is. still the tsunami made it up there. Much easier up the St. JdeF.

Richmond would be right in the path and would take a fatal hit. Furthermore an earthquake would liquefy the water soaked mud that passes for land in Rmd. If those investors only knew! Whew!

Many scientists think this is a biggie just waiting in the wings. Good luck to us all if it goes.

#208 Patz on 03.31.11 at 9:36 pm

Oops, meant to put an asterisk on that last line.

#209 randman on 03.31.11 at 11:52 pm

Guido

“I also quit going to Pizza Hut when they screwed me on Super Bowl day by giving me 2 medium sized pizzas in their large boxes and when I called them on it, they called me a liar.
I had been eating their pizzas for almost 25 years and they pull this crap. Never again.”

That wasn’t what I mean’t when I said I’d be ordering in!

#210 BCing You on 04.01.11 at 12:02 am

#113 UK CDN Expat
#141 Cellar Dwellar
#207 Patz

I’ll ignore your comments about earthquake damage and radiation as they are irrelavent to my comment. You should learn how to read and formulate an argument.

I stand by my tsunami comment. Are you suggesting that a wave will travel south east along the Juan de Fuca strait, make a very sharp turn north. Pass through the San Juan Island in Washington State, then through the Gulf Islands of BC, then over the city of Delta before finally flooding Richmond?

I suggest you take a look at a map.

#211 i.see.debt.people.in.trouble on 04.01.11 at 12:24 am

BPOE = Big Piece Of Excrement :)

#212 Adventures in Sea-Tac with Moneta on 04.01.11 at 12:26 am

207 Patz – Pt Alberni’s tsunami was from the good friday Alaska quake. PA sits at the head of a long inlet which has a wide mouth and narrow head, which funnels the
energy of a tsunami.

Some archive footage

http://archives.cbc.ca/on_this_day/03/27/

If the quake is off the west coast of the island, the resulting tsunami would not be funelled in the st of JDF
in quite the same manner. I will try to find some models.

#213 Adventures in Sea-Tac with Moneta on 04.01.11 at 12:51 am

Patz – further to above

http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/PDF/vent2713/vent2713.pdf

“The maximum amplitude of the propagating wave stays
virtually constant inside the SJDF at around 2 m, since
the Strait forms a near perfect one-dimensional channel
where wave energy is not dissipating.”

In the strait ofGeorgia (Salish Sea) itself, of greater concern are tsunamis caused by submarine slope
subsistence, but these are local disturbances.

http://www.costa-canada.ggl.ulaval.ca/Calgary_Paper/Session%2036_3.pdf

#214 Observer on 04.01.11 at 2:59 pm

My previous post – April Fools!